Three-week closure of town centre street

Motorists have been warned to expect disruption when an Aylsham town centre road is closed for up to three weeks to allow a new footpath to be installed.

Penfold Street will be shut between the Pump and Market Place from June 1 to allow the new path to be built.

A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council, which is carrying out the work, said: “The need for the footway is for safety aspects.

“Currently pedestrians are having to walk along the carriageway, therefore a footway would provide a safer way of travelling down the road for pedestrians.”

The spokesperson added that the budget for the scheme was £26,000 and the works were planned to run from June 1-21.

The county council said the diversion route for motorists would be Norwich Road, Henry Page Road and Cawston Road.

A spokesperson for Aylsham Town Council urged residents to be patient and considerate and follow the signposted diversion route.

Witness plea after fatal crash

Police are appealing for witnesses following a fatal collision on the B1150 in Coltishall on May 2.

A triathlon time trial bike was being ridden towards North Walsham, near the junction of Ling Way on the B1150 North Walsham Road, when the rider was involved in a collision with a black Ford Kuga around 3.30pm.

The cyclist, a man aged in his 50s, was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with serious injuries and died on May 9.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the collision or the manner of driving of either the rider or driver prior to the collision to come forward.

Anyone with information or dashcam footage should contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit by calling 101 or by emailing quoting incident NC-02052021-257.

Man guilty of manslaughter after £10 drug debt stabbing

A 42-year-old who killed a man in North Walsham following a dispute over a £10 drug debt has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Thomas Moore, also 42, was stabbed once in the neck during an argument with Matthew Constantinou over the cannabis debt in October last year.

Constantinou, of Antingham Drive, North Walsham, had denied murdering Moore, claiming self-defence and was today convicted by a jury at Norwich Crown Court of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

During the two-week trial, the court heard how the incident unfolded on the evening of October 2, 2020. Prior to the argument, Moore had visited Constantinou’s address with his friend who was owed the money. Both men spoke to Constantinou’s mother, who answered door and handed over £10 before asking them to leave.

During this time, Constantinou appeared armed with a baseball bat and chased both men from the house. Constantinou chased Moore to Bacton Road where the argument happened, and Moore suffered a single stab wound to the neck.

Moore was given CPR by members of the public and later by police officers and paramedics but was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after midnight on October 3.

Following the incident, Constantinou returned home where he dialled 999, saying he believed he’d seriously injured someone. Officers went to his home address and arrested him on suspicion of GBH and later charged him with murder.

Det Insp Lewis Craske, from Norfolk and Suffolk’s Major Investigation Team, said: “This was a violent attack in which a man has needlessly lost his life over a £10 cannabis debt. Regardless of the catalyst for the argument, this case demonstrates that violence is not the answer. There are no winners in this case with lives on both sides affected forever.”

Constantinou was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on May 20.

Getting on their bikes for charity

Rotary in Aylsham will be riding exercise bikes in Aylsham Market Place on Saturday, April 17 from 9am to 12 noon to raise money for Rotary International’s ‘End Polio Now’ appeal.

When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Great progress has been made against the disease since then and, today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 per cent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A Rotary spokesman said: “The generous people of Aylsham have supported this campaign since 1988.

“Because of the present pandemic we had to cancel our event last year but we are back and we hope that you saw our incredible Purple for Polio Crocus planting earlier this year.

“We will be organising the bike ride in a slightly scaled down version in full compliance with the Covid regulations in force at the time. To maintain social distancing the riders will be in two locations behind barriers. Sadly, there will be no ‘Guess the Distance’ competition so that we can maintain social distancing.

“Please come and support us and, as usual give generously.”

RIDING HIGH – Rotary members at a previous event.

Surprise filming in Aylsham

Shoppers in Aylsham on Good Friday did a double take when they saw Boris Johnson coming out of Coxford’s Butchers. Surely the prime minister wasn’t taking a break to pick up a pound of sausages…

Closer examination soon revealed that it wasn’t him – and the film crews might also have given a clue that the town was taking a starring role in a TV production.

Filming was being carried out for This Sceptred Isle, starring Kenneth Branagh – a Sky drama about the UK’s response to the covid-19 crisis.

Branagh plays Boris Johnson, and the series looks at how the government dealt with the crisis along with how health staff and others on the frontline made the big decisions about how to respond to an unknown adversary.

On Friday, Branagh was filmed in locations around the town including the Drill Hall, the town hall, and the butcher’s shop.

Johnny Payne, who runs Coxfords along with Jason Gibbons, said it was “an honour” to have his shop in a scene and that the crew spent a couple of hours filming.

This Sceptred Isle is expected to be shown in August 2022.

Make a date for open gardens

Some of the area’s most beautiful gardens are being opened this spring and summer to help raise money for St John Ambulance.
While the service was in high demand during 2020 helping the NHS deal with the covid-19 pandemic and now keeping busy assisting at vaccination centres, its fundraising took a nosedive.
And now gardens including Sheringham Hall and the Bishop of Norwich’s Garden are holding open days to give the charity a shot in the arm in return.
Sheringham Hall is the first garden to open up on April 17, from noon until 5pm, with Chestnut Farm at West Beckham, near Holt, soon after on May 16.
Visitors to Sheringham Hall, a house designed by Humphrey Repton, will be able to see the walled garden, glasshouses and cold frames which have been lovingly restored.

There are also walks through the woodland, a wildflower meadow and vistas over the park.

Chestnut Farm is a three-acre garden with plants gathered together during the past 50 years and more being added annually, with many rare and unusual species.
A stroll through the old paddock will show off the collection of shrubs and trees forming a small arboretum, many of which will be in blossom and giving off a wonderful scent.

The event at the Bishop’s Garden will be on July 4 but can be booked now.
Pre-booking might also be required at some of the gardens, and while there will be some distancing requirements in place there will be the usual tea and cake – albeit in a different format from previous years.
The charity needs your support so please visit for more Norfolk gardens to visit, times, ticket prices and any necessary updates.
You can also call Georgina Holloway on 01328 700514 or email

Vandals attack golf course

An attack by vandals has meant that the course at Sprowston Manor Hotel and Country Club has been unable to reopen to golfers on the first day that lockdown restrictions were eased.

The damage caused to one of the greens.

Following overnight damage of five of the greens, the long-awaited first day of play has had to be postponed and, in a post on their Facebook page, the venue said that the greens team was checking the damage and would be making urgent repairs in the hope of reopening soon.

Police have been informed and members will be updated.

Police move to allay dog theft fears

A rash of posts on social media provoking concerns about dog thieves has led to police issuing a statement to put minds at rest.

Community pages on sites such as Facebook have had lots of posts from dog walkers concerned about being targeted by thieves and apocryphal reports of attempts to take dogs by force, but police have quashed these, saying there have been no such crimes reported to them.

“We are aware of concerns and rumours circulating on social media about dogs being stolen or men in a van, including a van allegedly marked with the RSPCA logo, acting suspiciously around people out walking with their dogs.

“Please know there haven’t been any crimes recorded this week that relate to dog thefts nor have we received any reports of dogs being stolen from a property or while out walking with their owners over the last week.”

It went on to say that one person in North Walsham had reported a man in a Transit van asking questions about their dog, but no further reports had been received.

The RSPCA also moved to quash rumours that dog thieves were posing as RSPCA inspectors, and the police statement added: “The RSPCA has told us that a number of incidents circulating on social media claiming people are impersonating their inspectors do not appear to have been actual cases of people trying to pass as bogus officials.

“It’s important to know there are very few incidents whereby an RSPCA officer will approach someone in public unless they witness animal cruelty or see an animal in immediate danger. Officers will also wear RSPCA brand clothing and always carry RSPCA identification. RSPCA officers do not have power of entry or seizure unless accompanied by a police officer.”

But while they said there was no increase in threats to pets in the area, police stressed that any incident or concern – especially anyone claiming to be from the RSPCA – should be reported to them by calling 101.

“Try to give us as much detail about the person or the vehicle they were in as you can. And do not hesitate to call us on 999 if a crime is happening and you need our help.”