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Don’t miss brand-new bangers at Sunday’s Big Norfolk Sausage Bash

Look out for prize-winning “warm dog” sausages, the invention of nine-year-old Charlie Turner, which will be on sale at the Bash.

Charlie’s “outside in” recipe features ketchup and mustard inside the sausage, rather than smeared on the surface.

It was picked from scores of entries into a competition for Aylsham schoolchildren to come up with a new sausage recipe which could be made by the town’s Coxfords Butchers.

Bure Valley pupil Charlie and his family always enjoy breakfast at Aylsham’s monthly farmers’ market where big brother James, 14, loves artistically squiggling a line of ketchup and mustard along the top of his hot dog – giving Charlie his recipe idea.

“I thought ‘there are already hot dogs, I’ll make mine a warm dog’. I was quite surprised that I won but it made me feel happy,” said Charlie who will visit the Bash after playing in his Aylsham Under-10s’ football match.



Council statement on North Walsham Wetherspoon’s plan

Following recent questions and speculation about the status of the proposed plan for a JD Wetherspoon to be developed in North Walsham, North Norfolk District Council has issued a statement, which sets out the current position.

JD Wetherspoon approached the district council in 2014 requesting an unencumbered freehold sale on the New Road site, meaning all occupants would need to move out.

This would then allow the company to develop a pub/restaurant on the site, which the district council believed would strengthen the town centre through generating additional footfall and visitors.

These moves were successfully facilitated by the district council and, by September 2016, the building was empty of occupants and subsequently secured. A contract for JD Wetherspoon to pursue the purchase of the site was agreed in 2016.

A right of way/footpath challenge was raised in 2017 and resolved, meaning this challenge is no longer a legal impediment to the sale of the site pending development.

The council believes there are no legal impediments whatsoever to progressing with the sale of the site, or any other impediments for JD Wetherspoon to submit or discuss with planners detailed plans of their proposals – which has not been the case to date.

The council has done everything in its power to make the site available to JD Wetherspoon in good order and in a timely fashion and wants to ensure a certain, economically viable future for the site to the benefit of North Walsham.

The council is currently waiting for JD Wetherspoon to confirm its intentions for the property.

Eric Seward, deputy leader of North Norfolk District Council and ward member for North Walsham (North), said: “This is a run-down prime town centre site. It is more than four years since JD Wetherspoon first expressed an interest in coming to North Walsham. The district council has done its best to accommodate JD Wetherspoon. However, in the last few weeks there have been conflicting messages from the company over whether they wish to open new pubs in Norfolk.

“The company chairman says no new pubs will be opened in Norfolk, but other company representatives give an opposite message. This saga has to come to an end. Are JD Wetherspoon going to open a new pub in North Walsham or are they no longer interested?”

Don’t miss local firms’ Christmas video

It’s back by popular demand! Drayton estate agent’s William’s Way very special video take on the Twelve Days of Christmas has been released.

The fun frolic features William’s Way and 11 other businesses, mostly from Drayton, Taverham and Hellesdon, each filmed for a different day of Christmas, sounding their own firm’s particular trumpet in festive fashion.

“It’s a lot of fun, with out-takes on the end!” said Wil Barber, owner of William’s Way which launched the first video last year.

“We got just shy of 1,300 views last year and the community really enjoyed it,” said Wil. “Unlike many businesses which get very busy at this time of year, in our industry we’re quieter at Christmas so we were happy to facilitate this.

“Everyone was so excited and appreciative and couldn’t believe there was no charge for it! It’s just a fun way of helping give local businesses a bit of an extra boost.”

The only non-local business taking part this year is the online punditry site Talk Norwich City. “Everyone round here’s a Norwich City fan so it is kind of local!” said Wil.

Also among the featured businesses is HexCam drone photography and video, based in Drayton, which turned one of its drones into a Santa’s little helper for the video. The firm works with clients including the BBC and English Heritage.

To watch the 12 Days of Christmas Jingle, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xln0ycPFW74

 

 

 

 

Becky brings Swing Train craze to Norfolk

It’s so new it hasn’t even got a Wiki page yet.

But Swing Train – dance/fitness set to belting Charleston, swing, gospel, electro-swing and jazz tunes – has reached Norfolk from London thanks to Sprowston resident and former North Walsham-area schoolgirl Becky Powell.

With the growing popularity of vintage fashion and music Becky hopes those who love that era, and anyone looking for a new, strictly-fun way to work out, will give it a whirl.

Swing Train borrows moves from vintage dance styles such as lindy hop which are blended into a cardio workout suitable for all levels of fitness.

Becky, who grew up in Worstead, discovered it while living in London where she trained as an instructor in several forms of fitness.

She has been dancing, and loving it, since joining the north Norfolk-based Footnotes school as a 12-year-old. Later, as a student, she was an active member of York University’s ballet society.

Initially, it didn’t look as though Becky would follow her feet into a career. An academic high-flyer, she gained four As at A-level and went on to graduate from York with a first-class honours degree in maths and physics.

Convinced she wanted to become a school teacher, Becky studied for her post-graduate certificate of education at Cambridge University and landed a job at a primary school near Watford.

“I wanted everyone to love learning and they didn’t,” she remembered. “The teaching part was OK but it was everything else – I was in work at 7am and left at 7pm with a load of books to mark – and I found behaviour management difficult. I spent Boxing Day drawing up a seating plan for seven boys who couldn’t sit next to each other!”

She left to take up a post as an “explainer” at the Science Museum in London, spending 18 months bursting balloons, blowing bubbles and breaking eggs to help children understand everything from why it hurts to sit on one nail but not hundreds, and the manufacture of poo in the digestive system.

Next came a brief spell back at university when Becky began and soon gave up an MSc degree course in aerodynamics and advanced computation.

After a lot of soul-searching, she then decided to follow her passion and become a dance/fitness teacher.

Becky funded her training in London with a part-time job and gained qualifications as an instructor in Swing Train, Booty Barre and bbarreless – the last two being combinations of dance, pilates and yoga.

Since moving back to Norfolk Becky has started teaching at White House Farm, Sprowston; County Hall, Norwich; and in North Walsham, where she also runs an adult beginners’ tap-dancing class.

“I absolutely love it all,” she said. “Dance and fitness make me feel free and wonderful and I love passing on that passion.

“I’m pleased I’ve given so many things a try. I would regret more not giving something a go. It’s better to be brave and bold – and see what happens!”

  • Visit: https://www.inertiafitness.co.uk, email becky@inertiafitness.co.uk or text/call: 07748300091.
  • PICTURES BY JACQUELINE HARMER

 

 

Aylsham businessman jailed

A man has been jailed for four years after he stole nearly half a million pounds from his elderly mother to pay off loans and fund his lifestyle.

Gary Woodley, 66, of Norwich Road, Aylsham and formerly the owner of The Forge and Aylsham Garden Centre, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position and theft following a previous hearing at Norwich Crown Court.

The court heard how Woodley became a power of attorney, along with his brother, for his mother in 2013 in relation to property and financial affairs after 89-year-old Kathleen Woodley was unable to do this herself and was moved into a care home.

In February 2016, Woodley’s brother raised concerns and invoked his power of attorney after significant withdrawals of money had been taken from a number of the victim’s bank accounts over a number of years. In total Woodley stole £480,000 from his mother.

Police were informed and Woodley was arrested on September 15, 2016. He was subsequently charged on December 19, 2016 with one count of fraud by abuse of position and one count of theft.

Mrs Woodley sadly passed away during the investigation in March 2017.

Today (Thursday, October 11), Woodley was sentenced to four years for count one and 12 months for count two to run concurrently. A Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) confiscation hearing will take place in due course.

Det Con Bridget Milne, from Norfolk Constabulary’s adult abuse investigation unit which carried out the investigation, said: “Gary Woodley abused the position that he held as power of attorney to his elderly, vulnerable mother. Instead of managing the victim’s money in her best interests and providing for her, Woodley used the money very much to further his own lifestyle.

“Norfolk Constabulary will continue to work with partner agencies to protect the most vulnerable members of our community from these types of crimes.”

 

 

REVIEW: Don’t Dress for Dinner, Sheringham Rep

The Summer Rep season at Sheringham Little Theatre is always a delight of treats throughout August and this year is no exception.

Don’t Dress for Dinner launched the summer season at Sheringham Little Theatre on Thursday, July 26, and shows now run until September 5.

Set in the French countryside two hours from Paris, Don’t Derss for Dinner is a fast-moving, hilarious, typical farce, full of double meanings, mistaken identities and amorous intentions. The story centres on a married couple and a weekend where they are both intending to spend the time with their respective lovers, unknown to each others.

Into the mix comes the cook, Suzette (Lauren Verrier), whom Bernard (Steve Banks) has employed for the evening while he is entertaining his lover Suzanne (Sarah Langton). His wife, Jaqueline (Naomi Bullock), was meant to be visiting her mother but was secretly spending time with her lover, Robert (Matt Jamie). Plans go awry and they all end up in the same house trying to keep their respective secrets, which results in hilarious confusion and sharp banter.

A very entertaining and fun evening which the audience enjoyed and appreciated. If you have missed this production there are more to come from the rep company at Sheringham Little Theatre.

Kevin and Sandra Stone

 

 

 

From patients to pottery

Work experience students Evie Cowling, Sophie Smith and Kitty Foss spoke to Jane Bond about how a pottery hobby has escalated into selling her plates, bowls and more to friends and businesses

 

Retired theatre nurse Jane Bond never expected to make a second career of her hobby when she discovered a love for clay after a six-week pottery course.

Now, a year on from finding her creativity streak, she is supplying a top Norwich restaurant with plates, dishes and bowls as well taking on commissions.

“It wasn’t something I had thought of doing before,” she said. “Perhaps the creativity streak is something to do with the caring side as a nurse.”

Her hobby became a passion and, after posting photos of her pieces on Facebook, she instantly had requests from various friends asking her to make something for them.

But it was at Worstead Festival last year, where Jane’s talents suddenly had a larger audience. She said: “I help out each year behind the scenes in hospitality and washing up for the chefs in the kitchen theatre. I was a bit cheeky and asked if the chefs would use my plates to hand round the food they were cooking.”

They attracted the attention of Roger Hickman, the owner and head chef of his highly-commended, fine dining restaurant in Norwich and he asked her about providing tableware for him and to contact him after the festival.

“I didn’t didn’t have the confidence at the time to ask him about it,” she said, and time lapsed. Six months later, he posted a picture of Jane’s tableware online and got in touch to order more than 100 pieces, from serving dishes to amuse bouche bowls.

It was a big change from making single items for friends, so she decided it was time to invest in her own kiln. She’s now thinking of buying another to keep up with orders.

So far she has not had to advertise her wares, using social media and word of mouth to spread the word. She said: This keeps it close to home and more bespoke as she thinks it’s extremely important that “it doesn’t become a production line”.

Last Christmas, at a small fair in Worstead, Jane noticed the amount of artistic talent within the village and how there wasn’t really anything or anywhere local to showcase their talents.

So, at this year’s Worstead Festival, she has got together with like-minded artisans to launch Made in Worstead, which will be held on the Sunday, July 29 (Saturday, July 28, will be a produce show).

The idea isn’t just to sell their work, but also to attract more artists from the area to get involved and start to build a bigger community of local people who enjoy art. Jane made it clear that it’s important to her that it stays “handmade and original” to make the group different and unique.

She has various plans for the future, both personal and for the artisan crafts group, including her own studio so she has more space to build up her collection. She has many ideas for the group, such as a Christmas fair in the church and organising demonstrations and workshops in the village hall.

The overall aim is to get people involved so that they may even find something they love doing, just like she did with pottery a year and a half ago, which has become so much more than just a hobby.

PICTURES: SOPHIE SMITH

 

New exhibit to raise awareness of wetland habitats

A Norfolk visitor attraction is doing its bit to help save wetland habitats by launching a new Wetland Discovery Area for visitors.

On Thursday, July 19, Pensthorpe Natural Park, in Fakenham, opened the doors to its latest new attraction, the Wetland Discovery Area, which is intended to educate visitors about the importance and fragility of wetland habitats and to inspire them to help protect them.

The new £70,000 educational area demonstrates the different wetland habitats around the world such as lakes, rivers and garden ponds, and has been part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A large pond-dipping facility, thought to be the largest in Norfolk, gives visitors a ‘hands on’ opportunity to see domestic wetland habitats in action, whilst the popular Pensthorpe flamingos are back on public display as their new home, illustrative of tropical lagoons more commonly found in southern Spain, takes pride of place within the new area.

Wetlands occur on every continent of the world, except Antarctica. Many of these wetland areas are home to species which both permanently live there or travel to take advantage of their food supplies. Unfortunately, in the last 100 years about half of the world’s wetlands have vanished yet they are still hugely valuable for wildlife. Whether for water provision, hunting territory, breeding sites or plant growth, wetlands are vitally important.

Bill Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe, comments: “We want to tell the story of wetlands as a habitat. They are diverse, complex, teeming with life, yet, most worryingly, under threat, so the more we can do to make people aware of their unique place within the ecosystem the better.

“We want to take our visitors on a journey of both guided and self-led exploration, starting with interactive pond-dipping in the Wetland Discovery Area and finishing at the Wetland Hide where they can observe nature in action. If we can communicate the beauty of these habitats effectively, we hope to inspire a passion in our visitors to protect them.”

The new area is the latest addition to the 700-acre reserve since it opened its Wetland Hide in April this year.

The new Wetland Discovery Area opening comes within the same month as Pensthorpe Natural Park sees its 30th anniversary and its 15th under the care of current owners Bill and Deb Jordan (pictured below).

For more information about Pensthorpe visit pensthorpe.com or call 01328 851465.