Woman attacked at Sprowston petrol station

A woman in her 60s suffered bruising to her arm after a man assaulted her at a petrol station in Sprowston.

Police have just issued a plea for witnesses to the assault, which happened on Tuesday August 29 at approximately 11.45am.

The victim was waiting for an available pump at a petrol station on North Walsham Road.

A man in the vehicle in front became abusive to her and then approached her window and assaulted her, bruising  her right upper arm.

The suspect is described as being white, approximately 6ft tall, of an athletic build with dark hair and a light beard.

He was wearing a dark jumper and a red baseball hat. It is also believed he had a female passenger and a child.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and may have witnessed the assault.

Anyone with information should contact PC Darryl Robinson at Sprowston Police Station on 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Police plea after Sprowston burglary

Detectives are appealing for witnesses following a burglary in Blenheim Crescent, Sprowston.

The incident happened on Friday September 8 between 5.20am and 5.50am when a suspect or suspects got into an address and stole a rucksack and an unknown sum of money.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident or noticed anything suspicious in the area between the times stated.

Anyone with information should contact Detective Constable Hayley Jennings at Norwich CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.




Military send-off for Sprowston’s Steven, 38

Generous and popular Royal Navy man Steven Taylor, who has left £10,000 to charities supported by his local pub, the Brickmakers, was honoured with a full military send-off at his parish church in Sprowston. Some 180 people packed St Mary’s and St Margaret’s Church for 38-year-old Steven’s funeral which included a military guard of honour, a six-gun salute, a coffin draped in the Union Flag and a bugler playing the Last Post. Steven’s navy commander attended the service, along with a number of his service comrades. Other mourners included Norwich City FC managing director Steve Stone. A lifelong Canaries’ fan, Steven was also given a moving minute’s applause by home and away fans during the 38th minute of Norwich’s clash with Queen’s Park Rangers (QPR) at Carrow Road after the suggestion, made by his good friend Mark Boast, went viral on social media. Among those who re-tweeted it was TV and radio broadcaster Jake Humphrey and Norwich City goalkeeper Angus Gunn. Steven would drive for nine hours from his base in Culdrose, Cornwall, to Norwich on a Friday night to attend home games, meeting up with Mark and other members of the Forces 2 Canaries supporters’ group before and after matches. He would then drive back on Sunday, ready for work on Monday morning. And he would often attend away games with another Norfolk member of Forces 2 Canaries, Scott Woodhouse. Steven’s sister Sharon Taylor said he had been a doting uncle who would bet on football matches and put aside any winnings for his niece and two nephews, the children of his twin, Clare. A wake for Steven, who died just nine weeks after being diagnosed with bowel cancer, was held at the Brickmakers. Steven had been a stalwart supporter of the pub’s many charity fund-raisers, often buying £200 worth of raffle tickets and giving back prizes if he won, according to his sister Sharon.  And even if he wasn’t able to attend an event, he would make a generous donation.  Landlady Pam South said they were absolutely overwhelmed and touched by Steven’s £10,000 legacy which would be shared among their good causes. Raised and educated in Sprowston, Stephen left Sprowston High School and straight away followed in the footsteps of his parents, Eileen and Graham, who had also been in the Royal Navy. He had loved his career, according to Sharon, a police officer. A leading air engineering technician, Steven had served on two tours in Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick and had been training to become a petty officer when he received his cancer diagnosis. The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity had paid for carers so that Steven could spend his final days at home with his parents, according to Sharon. “He was the most generous person – quite quiet, but he would be there at the drop of a hat if you needed help,” she said. Mark added that Steven, a friend for about 10 years, had been a “true gent in the old-fashioned sense.” He added: “To see all those people, including QPR fans, applauding my mate was amazing and heart-warming. It showed football supporters standing as one.”

Steven is also pictured in his Canaries gear with friend Mark Boast, and in his early Royal Navy days, with his twin Clare (left), and his sister Sharon.














Sprowston woodland wins biodiversity award

A popular area of woodland in Sprowston has won an award for its biodiversity.

Harrison’s Wood, which borders Blue Boar Lane and Salhouse Road, was opened to the public in May and was given the award by the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership.

Accepting the award, town council chairman Ian Moncur said there were big plans in store for the plot, saying: “This is just the start.

“We intend to increase involvement of community groups so that we can manage the woodland and realise our ambitions which include the bridging over of the existing ditch, provision of a car park and maintaining and improving the habitats of the woodland as a priority for conservation.” Public access to the 27-hectares of mixed woodland was made possible through a partnership of the town council with Broadland District Council and the Norwich Fringe Project.

The wood features a network of paths through mixed evergreen and broadleaf trees including oak, rowan, silver birch and scots pine and is home to birds such as chiffchaffs, treecreepers and great spotted woodpeckers.

David Willmott, Broadland District Council’s member champion for community engagement, added: “This is a great project and we were pleased to work with our partners to create a community asset which we hope residents will enjoy for generations to come.”



Sprowston teen’s bold fashion vision

Metallic and iridescent fabrics, crop tops and “bralettes” – Becki Ball is beginning to make a name for herself as a fashion designer.

Sprowston teen Becki showed off her latest collection at this year’s Norwich Fashion Week and is looking forward to September when she will start a three-year fashion design course at Norwich University of The Arts.

Becki, 19, a former Sprowston High School and Thorpe St Andrew Sixth Form pupil, has been spending her gap year working on her BECCI FASHION brand, selling clothes, especially special occasion wear, that she buys in from other sources.

Her dream is to find a company that will make up her own designs to sell and perhaps one day to exhibit at London Fashion Week.

This year’s Norwich Fashion Week was Becki’s second. Aged just 17 she designed a tie-dye collection for the event in 2015.

“I’ve always liked clothes and being creative,” she said. “When I was little I used to make things for my toys to wear!

“My own style is a bit over the top. When I dress I like something with a lot of embellishments, bold and a bit different – but practical at the same time.”

Becki took an A-level in textiles at school, plus a Gold Arts Award enrichment course which also included textiles and gave her the chance to organise a fashion show.

“I spend a lot of time looking at Instagram to see what’s trending and what famous people are wearing,” she said.

Inspiration for her metallic collection stemmed from a picture of a top on the social network site Pinterest.

Becki prefers to produce rough sketches, rather than detailed designs, and then work with the fabric to see how it will adapt to her ideas.

She is looking forward to learning more about design and sewing techniques at university.

Becki’s online fashion shop can be found at

A model is pictured wearing one of Becki’s designs.





Bands bonanza at Brickfest, Sprowston

Dozens of bands will be taking to the stage at the Brickmakers’ pub, Sprowston, later this month helping to raise money for a special project to help children with autism.
The popular live music venue will be hosting its 11th annual Brickfest event, on Bank Holiday Monday August 28, featuring 38 bands performing on three stages, from noon to midnight.
“It’s huge this year,” said manager Emma Teasdale. “When last year’s Brickfest finished we already had bands signing up to take part this year. We still can’t fit them all in. We already have a waiting list for the 2018 event.”
Landlady Charley South added: “Every Brickfest we always say that it just can’t get any better, but it just does. This year we will be running a weekly internet radio show every week leading up to the event. It will feature special news and spotlight some of the bands playing this year’s event. You can hear them via a link on our website.”
A bouncy castle, inflatable boxing ring, acoustic tent, face painting, raffle, barbecue, pizzas, ice cream and a giant inflatable slide will be among added extra attractions at the event.
All proceeds will be donated to Sprowston Infant School’s Turtle Class to help fund their new garden refurbishment.
Entry is £2 on the door, under 12s free. The theme is superheroes and all children under 12 in superhero fancy dress will get a free superhero goodie bag.
The Brickmakers’ pub is at 496 Sprowston Road, Norwich, NR3 4DY. Visit:  email: Pictured: A scene from a previous Brickfest


Literary festival success for Open Academy, Sprowston



Visiting authors, singers and literary experts inspired Open Academy students at their recent Literary Festival.

The week began with a visit from Louis Buxton, from the Norwich Writers’ Centre, who discussed the concept of creating a character through a carefully stepped approach to writing.

Experts provided by BBC Voices were also busy with a group of film students who created three videos whose stars included vice principal Betsy Fowler in her alter ego as Joyce Grenfell.  These have been uploaded to the website.

Students were introduced to Lilie Ferrari, whose literary credentials include writing for TV series EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City.  She is hoping to launch a new soap soon, on one of the digital TV channels, which was originally set in Eaton Park. Lilie is also a writer and demonstrated to students the difficulties of selecting an appropriate book cover.

Local author Heidi Jo Swain inspired students with writing workshops.  Heidi has recently had her fourth book published, Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage, and one of her books has been released in Germany.

Singer/songwriter Tom Ryder, whose soulful voice has earned him recognition from rock superstar Rod Stewart, performed original songs for the students.

Students discussed and created their own comics after a workshop led by Dr Epstein, a University of East Anglia expert in the genre.

And local theatre group the Garage put students through their paces to create some Oompa Loompa dances to be performed as part of a production at the end of term.

The week also gave students a chance to showcase their own work. A Literary Death Match was fought to the bitter end with only three marks separating first, second and third place entries.

Year 7 students became film directors and, having come up with ideas for new films, they pitched their ideas to a highly-critical staff team of dragons. The winners created a comedy horror called Knock Knock Scream!

Interesting examples of slam poetry were created by Year 9 students. The winning entry, Slithering Snakes, was an insightful metaphorical poem about being led astray by fake friends.

The week finished with an afternoon of performance by Year 7 students who had spent the day rehearsing a summarised version of Romeo and Juliet. The Oompa Loompas and the Year 8 cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory also gave Year 7 pupils a taster of the eagerly-anticipated end-of-term show.

“The response to the Literary Festival by the students has been amazing this year,” said Angela Taylor, head of English.


Sprowston-area children sing out for Grenfell tower victims

Hundreds of schoolchildren from the Sprowston area have been singing their hearts out to help victims of the Grenfell Tower  tragedy in London.
The pupils have recorded the inspirational anthem Believe which is set to benefit those affected by June’s fire disaster which claimed more than 80 lives and left 74 people injured.
Claire Munday, assistant head teacher of Sparhawk Infant and Nursery School, Sprowston,  said: “The children were blown away by making the recording. They were all really excited.”
The recording date followed a successful Sing Up concert in June, organised by Claire and staged by about 300 pupils, aged from five to 18, in a packed St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich.
The young singers gathered in the Wharf Academy of Music for the recording session, funded and organised by the Norfolk Music Hub. The song Believe encourages everyone to reach for their goals and was written for schools’ music organisation Sing Up.
This year’s Sing Up concert involved 15 schools, ranging from infants to high schools, including the Hall School for children with special needs.
Former Sparhawk headteacher Carina Ingham first conceived the idea and this year’s concert was the sixth.
“It’s not a competition, it’s about coming together and celebrating singing,” said Claire.
Schools paired up for rehearsals in the months leading up to the concert, but the only time they all came together to practise was in St Andrew’s Hall on the day of the event.
Sparhawk Infant and Nursery School is inviting past and present pupils and staff to a 40thanniversary garden party on Friday September 22 from 3pm.