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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.

Norfolk Police urge people to stay safe over warm World Cup weekend

With Norfolk being promised more warm weather across this World Cup weekend, officers are reminding people to stay safe and think about personal safety.

Temperatures having been soaring across the county over the last couple of weeks and with sights set on the 3pm kick off on Saturday (7 July) officers are warning people not to put themselves at risk during all the excitement.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard said: “This is an exciting weekend for Norfolk, not only because England are in the quarter finals of the World Cup but also because we have a number of events being held across the county.

“In Norwich many people will be out to enjoy the Lord Mayor’s celebrations. If you are heading into the city please plan your day ahead, make use of public transport and be aware of any road closures which will be in place for the procession which will now start at 6pm, an hour later than originally scheduled.

“If you are heading out to enjoy the sunshine elsewhere please ensure you secure your vehicle and remove all valuables from display and from the vehicle where possible. At this time of year opportunistic thieves will be on the look-out for homes and cars with open windows and unlocked doors.

“For those who will be watching the football on Saturday we know an increased amount of alcohol and intensified emotions can sometimes lead to an increase in public order offences. We encourage everyone to enjoy the World Cup, but want to remind people to be considerate and tolerant of others.

“If you go out to watch the match we want you to have a good day out and make sure you stick with your friends. Excessive drinking leading to anti-social behaviour can have very damaging consequences for those concerned, and sometimes for their families.

“Norfolk has specific policing plans in place. Officers will deal robustly with any issues, but we hope there will not be a need to do so. People need to take responsibility for themselves and their friends. Make sure you plan ahead, if you’re going to watch a match at a pub pre-book safe transport home and do not accept lifts from strangers.

“There will be an increased police presence during the match in the city and town centres throughout the county to minimise the risk of any alcohol-related disorder.”

Chief Inspector Barnard is also warning people heading towards the broads or the coast this weekend to stay safe near the water: “Norfolk is well known for its maze of open waterways and on a hot day the water may look an inviting place to cool down. Please remember the rivers around the broads are unsuitable for swimming in and have hidden dangers such as a sudden change in depth, decreases in temperatures and unseen objects and currents, which can cause even the strongest of swimmers to get into difficulty very quickly.”

You can get more information about home and personal security across the summer months on the Norfolk Constabulary website at www.norfolk.pnn.police.uk

England Manager Gareth Southgate. Fans will be out cheering his team on across the city and county on Saturday.

REVIEW: Cromer Summer Show

The summer show at the Cromer Pier pavilion opened with fast-moving fun and plenty of laughs.

The show runs for 14 weeks from opening night giving audiences a unique experience  of the only end of the pier variety show in the world.

This year, in the shows 41st year, compere is comedian and impressionist Steve Terry. The jokes came thick and fast and he had the audience joining in, all in good humour.

The show dancers are legendary and always give a magical performance, very skilful and fast moving. The children from the Marlene school of dance were charming as ever in their performances.

Vocalists are Emily Yarrow, who is in her sixth year of performing in the summer show, and newcomer Harvey James. Emily’s lovely voice shone in songs ranging from pop to opera, which shows why she is so popular. harvey has a powerful voice and sang a very moving version of Anthem from the musical Chess.

The comedy is provided by a young man called simply “G”. He has so many voices in his repertoire that its like a whole show in one man – he is very funny. Illusionists Zooka and Suzie Q are a fast-moving duo who amaze. Suzie Q is suspended in air with no visible means of support. How do they do that? The scenery and lighting, as usual are out of this world, along with the marvellous costumes and music. A show not to be missed.

The show runs until September 22. See www.cromerpier.co.uk

 Kevin and Sandra Stone

Pictures: Dave (Hubba) Roberts and Andreas Yiasimi

Dramatic video of marsh rescue

The dramatic moment a police drone found a man stuck in marshes after being reported missing from Brancaster beach has been released.

Peter Pugh, aged 75 and from Brancaster, had been walking with friends and family at approximately 5.10pm on Saturday,  June 16, when he became separated from them.

Norfolk police, assisted by HM Coastguard, Hunstanton and Wells Inshore Lifeboat and Norfolk Lowland and Search Service, began searches of the local area throughout the night and into Sunday, June 17.

At approximately 2.35pm the Norfolk Police drone, being piloted by Sergeant Danny Leach, spotted Peter stuck in very dense reed beds and marshland at Titchwell. Sgt Leach was then able to guide a team from HM Coastguard and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service to him.

The team pulled Peter from a deep muddy creek before providing first aid until the Coastguard rescue helicopter arrived to winch him out.

Peter was then taken by air ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn where he is being treated for hypothermia.

Sergeant Alex Bucher, who helped co-ordinate the search operation, said: “This is a great example of multi-agency working at its best and through our teamwork we were able to successfully locate Peter and return him back to his family on Father’s Day.

“There is no doubt that without the police drone we would not have been able to locate him in the time we did. The police drone allows us to search areas that are difficult to access and within close range where a helicopter may not be able to get.

“Approximately 50 people were directly involved with this search operation and it was through their dedication and hard work we were able to save this man’s life.”

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said: “What a fantastic example of what can be achieved when our agencies work together and our police have the right tools for the job.

“Having pledged to give our officers the 21st century tools, including drones, that they need to keep our county safe, it’s incidents like this that demonstrate just how relevant that pledge was and continues to be.

“Now, almost a year since Norfolk Police launched its initial drone trial, this is yet another remarkable achievement. Well done to all involved.”

You can see the dramatic footage here  https://vimeo.com/275784037