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Lions and Tigers aboard RNLI Sheringham Lifeboat

British Lions, England and Leicester Tigers brothers Tom and Ben Youngs have been made honorary members of RNLI Sheringham’s Lifeboat Crew.

Branch chairman Phil Hawes explains: ‘Tom and Ben grew up in North Norfolk and spent their summers on the beach at Sheringham. They’ve grown into exceptional men who through their sport display brilliantly all the qualities we look for in our lifeboat crew – dedicated, hard-working team players who daily strive to be the very best in a physically and mentally tough environment. However it is not only their skills and achievements that impress, it is their humility, honesty and integrity; the way they carry themselves, deal with life’s challenges and treat others. Tom and Ben are tremendous role models and we want to recognise that.”

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Sheringham RNLI. Phil said: “We are an incredibly proud community and have been celebrating our heritage and those who have gone before us. Never before has anyone been offered honorary membership of the Sheringham Lifeboat Crew. We are delighted both Tom and Ben have accepted.”

The RNLI exists to save lives from drowning. Not only are the Sheringham crew, and station on alert every day of the year to launch the lifeboat but in the last year, through visits, the organisation has educated more than 1,000 young people on how to stay safe by the sea and in the water.

The autumn is a busy time for the Youngs boys. Tom is captain of Leicester Tigers leading them in the RFU Premiership and European competitions and Ben, in addition to these, is in the England squad for the autumn internationals.

Travel agents launch fifth annual gift appeal in aid of Break charity

Hays Travel, in Aylsham and Sheringham, has launched its fifth annual Santa’s Sleigh appeal to spread cheer and change the lives of vulnerable children and young people this Christmas.

The team is asking people to pop into either branch and donate new, unwrapped items such as toys, gift sets, toiletries, household goods, stationery items or books in aid of the children and families that Norfolk-based charity Break supports throughout East Anglia.

Break supports young people in care, children with disabilities and families who need support, helping them through difficult times and securing a brighter future.

Branch manager of Hays Travel Aylsham (former CAS Travel) and initiator of the appeal Jo Dobbie said: “I like to be involved with the local community and there is nothing better than supporting a local charity especially in the festive season. I absolutely love Break’s ethos and this is a great opportunity for us to show support.

“I initially started Santa’s Sleigh at the Aylsham branch, and then got Sheringham on board with it too. It created bigger awareness for ourselves and for the appeal and we’re pleased to say they will be joining us again this year.”

Danielle Gravestock, senior fundraising officer for Break, said: “We can’t thank Hays Travel enough for the support they give us each year by organising their Santa’s Sleigh appeal.  We are very grateful to all their staff for organising the appeal and everyone who is contributing goods to support it. These gifts really do make a difference to the children and young people we support.”

Santa’s Sleigh started on Saturday and will run for four consecutive weeks until December 9.

Pictured are branch manager Jo Dobbie, Sam Antoniades-Cork, Mark Heffer and Karen Ashford.

 

Multi-million pound investment in sport for North Norfolk

A £12.6 million investment in state-of-the-art sporting facilities in North Norfolk will go before councillors next week.

The multi-million pound investment would see a £10 million new leisure centre with a swimming pool at the Splash site in Sheringham and a £2.6 million indoor tennis centre with gym at a new North Norfolk Community Sports Hub in Cromer, with satellite tennis facilities across the district at Fakenham, Wells and North Walsham.

The proposals will be considered at the council’s overview and scrutiny meeting next Wednesday. The reports will then go to Cabinet on December 4. If the proposals are supported they will go to full council on December 19 for the funding to be agreed.

Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “We know that keeping fit and active is important for residents. These ambitious plans would see a £12.6 million investment in sport and active leisure; that’s a wise investment for the Council as well as good news for the community who will benefit from better sports facilities.”

The North Norfolk Community Sports Hub would be created in partnership with Cromer Academy and part-grant funded by the Lawn Tennis association (LTA) and should be built by mid-2019 if councillors approve the proposals.

The new facility will include:

  • Three indoor tennis courts
  • Changing rooms
  • Toilets
  • Reception area
  • New bar/lounge and viewing gallery
  • 20 station-gym with an area for free weights and fitness
  • Studio space for fitness classes

In addition, a grant from the Lawn Tennis Association will provide for improved tennis facilities across the district, to drive up participation.

Building costs are estimated to be £2.6m for a ‘framed fabric’ indoor tennis facility or nearly £4 million for a traditional built facility.

Nick Amis, chairman of Cromer Lawn Tennis and Squash Association, said: “It has always been my aim to increase the sporting facilities at our club and we have been fortunate to have received support for very many years from NNDC in various forms. This project will enable us to increase our already well established coaching programme for 140+ juniors. We will be able to accommodate all ages and abilities in the new facility, bringing in other local clubs to use the new indoor courts and keeping fitness levels up, which is a key part of the NNDC plan for healthy living.”

Cromer Academy principal Dr Geoff Baker said: “These are fantastic and creative proposals that will make a lasting difference both to our pupils and the wider community.

“Sport is already a really important part of life at Cromer Academy and this investment will give our young people even more opportunities to take part both as individual players and in teams, and develop key social and leadership skills.”

The feasibility study for the replacement of the Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre in Sheringham considered three options: refurbishment of the existing site; a new build and a new build plus a health spa facility.  The new build option was by far the best value and will be taken forward if the proposal is approved by councillors.

It is recommending that a new leisure centre with a swimming pool is built on the site, partly funded by the sale of land for a hotel development.

The new build option, without the health spa, would see:

  • A £10 million investment in a new leisure and fitness centre
  • A 25m six lane pool
  • A learner pool
  • A splash pad/ fun water
  • A 50 station gym health and fitness suite
  • One large dividable studio
  • A spin studio
  • Two treatment rooms
  • A café

The study estimates that the new leisure centre will take around two years to complete and be open to the public from October 2020. Splash will continue to be open as usual to customers and members while future investment plans are considered by the authority.

PICTURE: CHRIS TAYLOR PHOTO

REVIEW: Farndale at Sheringham

The first night of the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society (CSODS) production of We Found Love and an Exquisite Set of Porcelain Figurines Aboard the SS Farndale avenue showed off the company’s great talent.

To deliberately act badly requires a great skill which the members of CSODS managed to pull off well, although there was now and again times where the acting seemed to lose direction.

The play, by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jn, is one of a series of comedy-farce plays featuring the exploits of a group of members of an amateur dramatic society and their ventures into the world of the thirties musical comedy.

The three ladies of the Farnsdale Townswomens Guild Dramatic Society, played by CSODS members Chrissie Robertson, Nona Gray, Kerry Davis and also including the very funny Nick Bird, attempt to bring the elegance, glamour and enchantment of a thirties musical to the stage.

This is a riot of a performance – collapsing scenery, a man cast as a woman, a woman cast as a man, romantic interludes between unlikely couples, a sea captain with a full beard wearing a skirt and heels, a very questionable underwater sequence and shipwreck on a tropical island. The ladies of the Farndale Avenue Dramatic Society certainly carry on regardless and rise above the terrible acting and dubious scenery to bring the thirties back to the stage.

Once again a good performance by CSODS at Sheringham Little Theatre.

Kevin and Sandra Stone

Traders meeting to discuss future of seaside towns

Sheringham and Cromer chambers of trade are meeting this month to discuss the future prosperity of the local economy.

The two groups have got together the personalities who shape the future of the two towns to hear what they have to say and give businesses the opportunity to express concerns and hopes.

The meeting is being seen as a “one-off opportunity to have your say to those that matter” and will be held on Tuesday, September 26, 6-8pm, at Sheringham Golf Club.

A top table of invited guest has been assembled of North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, Nigel Best, who is the growth hub manager for New Anglia, Rob Young, head of economic and community development at North Norfolk District Council, and town mayors David Gooch and John Frosdick. The meeting will be chaired by the leader of the district council, Tom FitzPatrick.

The panellists will give a brief presentation of their views on the outlook for the areas from their perspective to be followed by a question and answer session from the audience

Anyone wishing to attend is being asked to confirm by September 24 to Economic.growth@north-norfolk.gov.uk or telephone 01263 516009. Any topics you specifically would like to be discussed must be submitted by September 19.

PICTURE: CHRIS TAYLOR PHOTO

Inspired collection by local photographer goes on show in Cromer

North Norfolk District Council’s public art gallery is showing work by local photographer Paul Macro.

The Inspired by Norfolk exhibition highlights the sights of the Norfolk coast with its dark winter skies, rough seas and fiery sunsets.

“The sights, sounds and smells of the Norfolk coast are woven into my soul and my happy childhood is a bright tapestry of memories,” Paul said. “I’m a Norfolk man, born and brought up in Norwich, and seaside holidays at Burnham Overy Staithe played an important part in my childhood.

“Several times a year, at all times of the year, my family spent holidays and weekends in our caravan, where the beauty of Norfolk’s unspoiled beaches and wide skies provided the backdrop to our other world, where there was peace and contentment and sibling harmony.

“My passion for Norfolk’s dark winter skies and rough seas, fiery sunsets and tough, wind-slapped greenery was born from an early exposure to these beauties – before I knew they were beautiful.”

Paul is proud that his work has helped local charities, and he has received orders for his charity calendars from every continent. The RNLI, Nelson’s Journey, Break and Red Balloon are amongst the charities that have benefited from his support.

“My life has been shaped by the landscape and the people of Norfolk and this is my way of giving a little bit back,” he said.

Maggie Prior, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “This is another fantastic display, and it’s lovely to see our exhibition space being used for such wonderful work. Paul brilliantly combines his natural skill and the wonderful Norfolk landscapes in his work.”

The exhibition runs until September 13 at the NNDC offices gallery in Holt Road, Cromer. The 1st Floor Gallery is open to the public 8.30am-5pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; at 10am-5pm on Wednesdays; and at 8.30am-4.30pm on Fridays.

Any inquiries about the pictures, which are for sale, should be made to Paul through his website at www.paulmacrolandscapes.com, via info@paulmacro.com or by calling 07727 644092.

BeachLife kids’ activity week set to return to Sheringham

Final preparations are underway for this year’s BeachLife activity week on Sheringham’s cliff top and beach later this month. Bumper crowds are expected, and there is no charge to join in the fun.

BeachLife is a joint venture by the churches in Sheringham, aimed at engaging with local youngsters, as well as holidaymakers, and this will be its sixth summer. It will run from Tuesday August 29 to Friday September 01. The event is open to all ages up to 17.

Daily activities will start with the “Beach Special” at 10.30am every day except Friday, where all ages come together at the cliff-top marquee on The Leas for music, games, drama and fun, and to introduce the day’s theme, which this year is Streetwise. The children and young people then split into age-groups for their “Going Deeper” sessions to explore that day’s theme in more depth before breaking for lunch. On the Friday, the morning starts at 10.30am with the Going Deeper sessions.

The afternoons and evenings comprise of beach games and sports, giant inflatables including the Demolition Ball, a family picnic, junk modelling, the tide fight, a “Sheropoly” challenge around the town, and swimming at “The Splash”.

“This has become one of the major events in the town’s calendar” said Peter Skivington, one of the organisers. “Not only does this provide an opportunity for the churches to engage with local youngsters, but we provide a great week for visitors as well. We already have people asking when next year’s BeachLife is so that they can plan their holidays to Sheringham”.

Anyone wishing to join in the fun can just come along and register on the morning, from 10.15am.

Visit http://sheringhambeachlife.co.uk/ for more information about the event, and contact details.

PICTURES: https://digitalink.media/

Review: The Business of Murder at Sheringham Little Theatre

No-one can accuse Sheringham Little Theatre of playing it just for laughs.

This intense, psychological thriller features in a line-up of comedies, farce and review which form the theatre’s summer rep season.

And it will have you on the edge of your seat as you try and work out exactly what happened – and indeed, what is happening.

A winning cast of three play three quite unpleasant characters: Stone, the aptly-named surly flat owner, local “grass” and either the perpetrator or the victim; Hallett, the menacing police detective; and Dee, the pill-popping, chain-smoking, alcoholic writer/journalist.

All three are engaged in profiting from the business of murder, whether as a bent copper, manipulative TV writer or calculating individual.

In a plot with more twists than a bowl of fusilli pasta, the three protagonists ponder the intellectual and discursive nature of justice.

Set in a London flat in 1981 (the period is evoked by the telly running in the background screening episodes of Are You Being Served, news bulletins and trailers for iconic ’80s TV programmes), this traditional cat-and-mouse thriller builds on the principle that the end justifies the means.

There is little action and much relies on dialogue.

Thankfully, director Nick Earnshaw successfully cranks up the tension and pace. And all credit to the cast, particularly Joey Herzfeld, from Norwich, who plays Stone, and seems to be talking continuously (how he remembers all those lines without drying is incredible) bringing some sharp comic touches to what is essentially a tense, edgy drama.

When the laughter dies down, though, you could hear a pin drop.

Sheringham lad Steve Banks as Hallett and, making her professional debut at the Little Theatre, Lesley Ann Acheson as Dee help turn this complicated script into a gripping and believable production making the unpredictable ending more satisfying and effective.

This is one of three plays featuring Steve Banks in SLT’s summer rep season, a theatrical tradition that is fast disappearing from the provinces. The Little Theatre should be justly proud to be staging stuff like this and “doing its bit” to keep seaside rep alive and flourishing.

-Patrick Prekopp

Sheringham lad Steve Banks as Detective Hallett.