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FREE home-grown veg and herbs in Sprowston

Free herbs and vegetables will be on offer in Sprowston later this summer thanks to young gardeners helping with Sprowston’s Grow Your Community greenhouse project, supported by Broadland District Council.

The young volunteers, members of the Sprowston Youth Engagement Project (SYEP), have made a raised bed beside the road at the project’s base, the Sprowston Community Hub, on Aslake Close.

Once the plants have matured, members of the public will be welcome to help themselves, leaving a donation if they’re able, according to project co-ordinator Mike Ellard.

The project – which makes use of two redundant greenhouses and surrounding land – is going from strength to strength, according to retired horticulturalist Mike.

Tomato, pepper and courgette plants, bedding plants, hanging baskets, fresh lettuce and rhubarb have all been selling well on the project’s trolley which goes out at weekends outside the hub. Proceeds are ploughed back into the project.

The young group has also been working on a trial vegetable patch which only needs 30 minutes’ attention each week. They have also been experimenting with growing edible lupins.

“Our wild patch has started to flower which was once a lifeless piece of ground,” Mike added.

 

 

GREEN FINGERS: volunteers planting one of the project’s raised vegetable beds.

 

New youth drama group for Sprowston

Sprowston Parish Players are celebrating the silver jubilee of their first production with a host of events and they’re inviting residents to join the fun.

The amateur theatrical group was set up by parishioners of St Cuthbert’s Church, Wroxham Road, to entertain the people of Sprowston and to raise money for local charities.

Their first show, in 1993, was The Wind in the Willows.

Since then the players have performed nearly 100 pantomimes, plays and concerts at St Cuthbert’s, and donated many thousands of pounds to good causes throughout Norfolk. Most recently, £500 was given to Guide Dogs for the Blind from the proceeds of the players’ 2018 pantomime, The Princess and the Pea.

Planned celebrations for the players’ 25 anniversary year will see:

  • Old Time Music Hall. A classic evening of scatty sketches and saucy songs to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, devised and directed by founder member Sheila Tuffield. Performances are at 3pm and 7.30pm on Saturday July 14. Tickets are £6 (children £3), which includes interval refreshments, available from Toni Morina on 01603 484 554. Audience members are encouraged to dress in Victorian/Edwardian costume for the evening and founder members of Sprowston Parish Players are invited free of charge.
  • On Saturday July 21, from 3pm-5pm, the players are throwing a silver anniversary tea party at St Cuthbert’s Church. All past and current members are welcome and the players would especially love to see anyone who has lost touch with the group. For more details ring Toni Morina 01603 484554.
  • Sprowston Parish Players’ Youth Theatre. In September the players are launching a new group for young people aged seven to 18. Led by Carol Rowell and Becky Harris-Cook, the youth theatre will offer youngsters tuition in drama, music and dance, as well as the chance to perform in players’ productions. Classes are free (subject to a £5 subscription) and will take place every Thursday from September 13, 6.30pm to 7.15pm. For more information, email sppyouth2018@gmail.com
  • Panto 2019: Cinderella. Next year the players present panto classic Cinderella, written by member Paul Allum, who has returned to the group after six years. The show will be a traditional potty panto, with slapstick, silliness, awful jokes, pratfalls, shouting, boos and hisses, calamity and kisses … and a dollop of sauce!

Casting will take place with two workshop auditions at St Cuthbert’s on Thursday August 30 and September 6, from 7.30pm to 10pm.

Paul said: “We are always on the look-out for new, enthusiastic members to join our merry and friendly band of thesps.”

Rehearsals are every Thursday evening, leading up to the performances on Friday January 25, (7.30pm), Saturday January 26 (2.30pm and 7.30pm) and Sunday January 27 2019 (2.30pm).

Paul added: “Are you an actor, singer, dancer? Or maybe you’re all three?  If you’re more at home away from the boards, we’d still love to hear from you – our shows take a great amount of work to put on and helpers are always welcomed and cherished.

“Be you a set builder/painter, technician, stage crew member, wardrobe person, make-up artist, or just want to join our front of house team, do let us know.”

Contact chair Toni on 01603 484554, or Paul directly on paulallum81@gmail.com

Scene and characters from the players’ last panto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danceathon for Sprowston’s brave Sophie

More than 200 people have taken part in a danceathon to help a brave little Sprowston girl who is fighting cancer.

Dance teacher Carly Fryman, who owns Dynamic Dance in Sprowston, organised the event to raise cash for four-year-old Sophie Taylor, who has recently undergone surgery on her leg after being diagnosed with bone cancer.

During the fund-raiser, held in Spixworth Village Hall, dancers received a Facetime call from Sophie, who was in hospital recovering from her operation, and she was able to watch some of the action.

“We managed to raise over £1,500. It was a lovely, family atmosphere. A lot of the girls I teach go to school with Sophie. We played different types of music, including a lot of Little Mix, who are Sophie’s favourites,” said Carly.

Of the 200-plus dancers, 20 had lasted the whole 12 hours, she added. Dance school members collected sponsorship while others paid £5 to take part in the danceathon.

Sophie has an older sister, seven-year-old Evie, and a three-month-old baby brother, Connor. Mum and dad Kirsty and Alex have launched a Super Strong Sophie Facebook page to chart their cheeky little girl’s courageous battle.

They are inviting everyone to show their support by “Taking a Sophie” – posting photos of themselves sticking out their tongues to cancer.

  • Anyone who wants to donate money to help Sophie can do so at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/superstrongsophie Any money not needed for Sophie’s journey will be donated to a charity for the research, treatment and support of those affected by bone cancers (osteosarcomas) and children’s cancer. #takeasophie photos can be posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter along with the hashtag #takeasophie and #standuptocancer

 

 

 

 

 

Location, Location, Location looking for buyers

TV property experts Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer (pictured) are looking for homes in the Norwich area for a new season of Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location. The presenters will be helping people find their dream home this spring. Chain-free buyers struggling to find the right property are welcome to apply.  Programme chiefs will be talking to potential buyers over the next few weeks. A spokesman said: “Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, buying your first property or hoping to find your ideal forever home, you could have two top property experts on your side. Whatever the budget and however tricky the search – we would love to hear from everyone! Phil and Kirstie may be just the helping hand you need! The online application form can be found via: www.shortaudition.com/Location-Location-Location

Birthday bash for Cecil Gowing school

A 50th birthday party invitation has gone out to all former pupils, staff and governors of Sprowston’s Cecil Gowing Infant School. And head teacher Isabel Stubbs is hoping members of the Gowing family will hear about the event and turn up on the day, Tuesday May 15 at 2pm. Mrs Stubbs is keen to find out about the man who gave his name to the school as she only has scraps of information about him. She believes Cecil Gowing may have been a pilot injured in the Second World War whose family donated the land for the school on Falcon Road West. “I’d love it if members of the Gowing family came along so that I could hear the whole story,” she added. Mrs Stubbs hopes all visitors will bring along any memorabilia they still have, and chat over their memories. She has invited Dr Jess French, a former pupil, who is a vet and a presenter on CBeebies, and hopes she will speak at the event. A Morello cherry tree will be planted on the day, echoing the weeping silver pear planted by Cecil Gowing at the school’s opening, on April 3 1968. The school is also creating a garden to mark its 50th birthday. All 180 children at the school enjoy gardening outside at the school every week.

Cecil Gowing plants a tree at the school opening ceremony, helped by the first headmistress Miss Strapps


 

 

Cecil Gowing addresses guests at the opening ceremony, telling them of his association with Sprowston schools, dating back to 1925

(Below) pupils at work creating a garden at Cecil Gowing Infant School

 

Lift-off for Sprowston’s community sports hall

Four men built this frame in just one day – and now Sprowston’s dream of a new community sports hall is officially, and literally, off the ground.

Before work could begin, the Omnis Construction team had to overcome problems including an underground wartime air-raid shelter and a Victorian water tank, discovered during drainage diversion works.

Despite these challenges, hopes are high that the £1.3m hall, at Sprowston Diamond Centre, will be finished this spring.

The project is entirely funded by Sprowston Town Council. The hall will include a reconfigured and refurbished central area, a reception area and new changing rooms.

It will provide improved facilities for a range of community sports and other activities.

Rooms within the new hall will be named after teachers and head teachers of the school which formerly stood on the site.

During construction, Sprowston Town Council’s office has decamped into a portable building in the rear car park next to Neville Road with access through a pedestrian gate. A temporary car park has been provided in the field opposite.

Picture: OMNIS

Catch Sprowston’s panto on Jan 26, 27 and 28

Sprowston Parish Players are about to celebrate their silver anniversary with a traditional panto, The Princess and the Pea.

It was 25 years ago when a group of the congregation at St Cuthbert’s Church formed an all-age drama group for the Sprowston community.

The group’s first production, at the end of January in 1993, was The Wind in the Willows.

For their latest production, the players have given new scriptwriters the opportunity to see their words acted out on stage and the Princess and the Pea has been written by Sally-Anne Clarke who, as a child, played the caterpillar in the players’ 1995 production of Alice in Wonderland.

Through the years the players have also put on a variety of different entertainments, including plays and music hall, and now present regular summer and Christmas concerts too.

When they first launched, the players had to build a stage out of large wooden blocks for each production. It was all hands on deck, often on opening night. Luckily there were always members to provide hot drinks and biscuits. In recent years they have benefited from an all-purpose platform (stage).

A spokesman said: “Having limited staging, even today, we have had to devise ingenious ways to design scenery and properties, and find ways to get them on and off the sets. Stage lighting has been installed in the church negating the need to hire and spend hours fixing them into position ready for use.”

The players are affiliated to the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, which supports over 2,500 amateur theatre groups throughout the UK.

With incredible support from the community, they have raised cash for charities with a local connection, and the church. This year’s nominated charity is Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Anyone interested in joining the players should contact Toni Morina (01603 484554)

Children from seven years are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult until the age of 12.

The Princess and the Pea can be seen in St Cuthbert’s Church, Wroxham Road, at 7.30pm on Friday January 26, at 3pm and 7.30pm on Saturday January 27, and at 3pm on Sunday January 28. Tickets cost £5 for adults, £2.50 for children. They are available from Sheila (01603 419896 or sheila.tuffield@btinternet.com), Toni (01603

484554), Chris on (01603 470500) or on the door.


Sprowston event for medics who saved tot’s foot

A couple whose toddler daughter was involved in a horrific accident are holding a Family Fun Day in Sprowston to thank the medical charity whose volunteer’s expertise saved her foot.

The event, at Sprowston Sports and Social Club, will be held on May 27 – exactly a year after Amelia Duncan (pictured) was seriously injured.

One-year-old Amelia was playing in the family garden while her dad Ben was cutting the grass, using a ride-on lawn mower.

The tot ran into the machine’s path and was caught underneath it. When Ben lifted it off her, Amelia’s terrified parents saw that her right leg had been deeply gashed by the lawn mower’s blades.

They rang 999 and first on the scene was an ambulance crewed by two paramedics and a student paramedic.

As they rushed Amelia to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn – the nearest to the family’s home in Wisbech – the ambulance was met en route by critical care paramedic Carl Smith, a volunteer with the charity Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS).

Doctors and paramedics who volunteer with NARS have received extra training to provide specialised trauma care.

Carl assessed Amelia and realised that to save her foot she would need specialist plastic surgery, carried out at a major regional trauma hospital like Addenbrooke’s, in Cambridge, and so the ambulance took the little girl there instead.

Over the next three weeks Amelia underwent seven operations, including major surgery on her second birthday, three days after the accident. Today she is making good progress but still has a scar on her leg.

NARS receives no funding from the government or NHS and relies entirely on public donations and Ben and his wife Tracy, who have two older children as well, want to say ‘thank you’ by raising as much money as possible for the charity at the Sprowston event.

They own BT’s Roadshow, which provides a range of equipment for parties and events, including bouncy castles which will feature at the fun day, together with stalls, face painting and many other attractions.

Ben said: “We would like as many people as possible to come along and support this fantastic cause. These fantastic people saved our daughter, along with amazing paramedics.”

He added: “Amelia isn’t fully recovered and may need further operations and will be under Addenbrooke’s for many more years to come.

“We are holding the fun day at Sprowston as there is a good community spirit there and we do a lot of events throughout the year for them.”