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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.”

 

Sprowston man’s Christmas song and video

 

Christmas-mad musician John Fisher has fulfilled a dream of releasing a seasonal single, plus an all-singing, all-dancing video.

And Sprowston resident John, 44, has done it in style, recruiting dozens of family and friends to take part in the six-minute video, which is packed with tinsel and fun, and was shot all over Norwich.

His single, Fit For A King, is an upbeat, Christmas-pudding mixture of a tune, with echoes of Slade, Wizard, Greg Lake’s I Believe in Father Christmas, and John and Yoko’s Happy Christmas War Is Over. It includes a choir-style chorus.

The song was played on December 3 at Thorpe St Andrew’s River Green lights switch on, and John and his wife Karen hired Norwich’s Hollywood Cinema on December 6 to give all those involved a VIP preview of the single and video before they were officially released, on December 8.

John, who owns recording business Earth Studios, on Salhouse Road, Norwich, wrote the song last year. As a singer/songwriter he is signed to Ashwood Music and recorded it at Ashwood Recording Studios, Bowthorpe, with other musicians including former The Darkness’s Ed Graham on drums.

The video, shot by ex-BBC cameraman Richard Howes, of Insight Media, was made between November 2016 and February this year.

It follows the drunken route of a very tipsy Father Christmas (played by Bradley Buxton) around Norwich, ending in the St Mary Magdalene Church, on Silver Road, where everyone is gathered.

A gang of motorcyclists is seen passing River Green while the Tunnel of Light and Chapelfield Gardens also feature.

Among those Bad Santa meets on his way are two young men dressed as Mrs Claus – John’s drama student son Jack, 19, and his friend Josh Mace. John’s younger son, Connor, 16, plays a cyclist who runs into Santa. And friends Simon Pritchard and his wife Suzie appear in rock ‘n’ roll gear.

“I struck gold with the cast. Everyone dressed up to the nines with tinsel, lights, and Christmas jumpers,” said John. “I’m a big kid at Christmas. I’m very much family orientated. We have a big do on Boxing Day with family and friends. I love all the singing and party games.

“The single is quite hooky. I wanted it to be one of those end-of-the-night in the pub singalong songs. Hopefully that’s what I’ve captured. I’m really, really pleased with the result.”

  • The single is available on all media sites to buy as a download, or to stream on Spotify.
  • The video can be seen on Universal via Vivo, or Sony via Radial. Search for John Fisher, Fit For A King
  • John Fisher is pictured right, clinking mugs with fellow musician Rob Arneil

Police charge pair with Sprowston burglary

A man and woman have been charged in connection with a burglary in Sprowston.  

Perry Goodall, 37, and Michelle Price, 34, both from Watling Road, were charged with a burglary on the afternoon of Wednesday  November 1 on Linacre Avenue. Goodall was also charged with a second burglary on Branksome Road which took place on October 21.

Both appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Saturday November  4. Perry Goodall was remanded in custody and Michelle Price was released with bail conditions.

Both are due to appear at Norwich Crown Court on Friday December 1.

PC Andy Mason, engagement officer for Broadland, said “Entry has been forced on both occasions and an elderly female occupant was present during the burglary on Linacre Avenue where the offenders were disturbed before they made their escape. An officer has been round to conduct a reassurance visit and the lady appreciated the support of her neighbours but this was still an understandably shocking experience for her. I would encourage residents to report any suspicious activity directly to the police on 101. It is also worth considering forming a Neighbourhood Watch to share information to both your neighbours as well as other residents.”

If you were a witness to either of these crimes or can provide any further information please contact DC Steve Gladwin at Bethel Street CID on 101 or contact CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


 

Three drugs arrests in Sprowston

Police have arrested three people in Sprowston in connection with drug offences.

Officers attended an address on Blackhorse Opening at approximately 11.15am on Thursday  October 5 and seized a quantity of Class A drugs, cash and knives.

A 17-year-old girl, an 18-year-old man and a 25-year-old man, all from the Norwich area, were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class A drug. They have all since been released under investigation whilst enquiries continue.

Sergeant Tony Lester from the Norwich Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “These arrests are part of our on-going commitment to disrupt drug-related crime in the city and we will continue to act upon information provided by members of the public.

“I would urge anyone with any information about drug dealing in their community to contact Norfolk Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

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.