Dancers tap towards world record

Around 60 tap students recently took part in a nationwide event to try and break a world tap dancing record.

The Tapathon event was in aid of Children in Need and raised funds through T-shirt sales and sponsorship.

Tapathon is held in hundreds of different locations throughout the UK and involves dancers of all ages and fitness levels in attempt to break a world record as well as raising funds for the BBC charity.

The current world record is 7,596 dancers all doing the same routine to the same music.

The Aylsham part was hosted by Broadland School of Dance and took place at the ACT Centre last Sunday afternoon.
Before the record attempt, the students were also invited to the regions recording of Children in Need live from Norwich Castle. Some of the students and dance teacher Michelle appeared on the TV.

Whilst hopeful that this year’s attempt is good enough to beat the current world record, the dancers will have to wait a week or two for the exact number of participants to be verified.

Katy Carroll, who owns the dance school in the town, said she was delighted with how the day went: “A big thank you to all of my tap dancers. Today has been so much fun and everyone had a big smile on their face as well as having them painted like Pudsey Bear!”

The Tapathon dancers

Michelle with dancers at the BBC broadcast.

Starbucks to open in Aylsham this weekend

The Aylsham Starbucks Drive Thru will be opening this Saturday, March 17.

To celebrate, the store will be handing vouchers for hot drinks to residents and businesses throughout the week. People will also be able to pick up vouchers on Saturday, when the team will be hosting a coffee tasting session. New for the spring menu are green tea lattes as well as the old favourites.

The store will be operated in partnership with Starbucks licensed partner, Euro Garages, and has meant 15 new part and full-time jobs for the town.

Mo Tayab, Starbucks brand manager at Euro Garages, said Starbucks had made a lot of investment in the site and was looking forward to meeting customers: “We are looking forward to welcoming them into our store,” he said.

He said there was a possibility the store would be able to take on more staff as it got busier and was planning fundraising for charity.

The store, on Burgh Road, will be open from 6am-8pm Monday to Friday, 7am-8pm Saturday and 8am-8pm Sunday. This Saturday, it will be open from 8am.

Top award for Hellesdon housing development

A development of eco-homes in Hellesdon has scooped the top prize at the United Kingdom and Ireland’s most prestigious planning awards.
Carrowbreck Meadow, on Drayton High Road, came first in the Excellence in Planning to Deliver Housing category at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2017.
The development is made up of 14 Passivhaus homes in a woodland setting, designed to be ecologically friendly. The positioning of the homes maximises the access to solar energy in winter and prevents overheating in summer, leading to lower power bills. Electric car charging points, rainwater butts and connection points for photo-voltaic installation are also standard.
Andrew Proctor, Chairman of Broadland Growth Limited and Broadland District Council Leader said: “Winning such a prestigious national award with our first development is a huge honour for Broadland Growth.
“The award is testimony to the excellent teamwork and vision of our planning teams working alongside design and building consultancy Hamson Barron Smith to deliver an innovative Passivhaus project that delivers excellence in housing.”
Nick Raynsford, former planning and housing minister and chairman of the judging panel, said they were impressed with the innovative approach taken and the excellent use of publicly owned land, adding: “With over 40pc of affordable housing on the site, it is a great example of how innovation, quality and affordable housing could be delivered hand in hand.”


Walk the walk and help cure Parkinson’s

People in Norfolk are being asked to pick up the pace against Parkinson’s this year at Walk for Parkinson’s – Blickling Estate on Saturday, May 13.
It is one of a series of walk events to be held across the UK for Parkinson’s UK during 2017.
Walk for Parkinson’s offers the opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to get involved in a fun and active day out, while helping the charity step ever closer to a cure.
There are a range of distances around the grounds of the estate on offer to suit everyone, including a 2.5-mile and 5.5-mile walk to choose from.
Last year, 114 people took part in the walk at Blickling Estate to raise an impressive £11,000 between them, and the charity hopes to boost the fundraising total even more this year.
Sky Sports presenter and champion of walking for Parkinson’s UK Dave Clark was diagnosed with the condition himself in 2011. Dave is encouraging as many people as possible to step up at the event.
He says: “In 2016 I completed my own 200-mile coast to coast walk for Parkinson’s UK. It was tough but the sense of achievement when I crossed the finish line was fantastic.
“I know not everyone can walk that far, which is why our Walk for Parkinson’s at Blickling Estate with a choice of distances, is perfect for everyone.
“This year is going to be our most ambitious yet for the Walk for Parkinson’s series. With every pound that we raise we get closer to a cure. So please join us at Blickling Estate and help us step closer to our goal of improving the lives of every person affected by Parkinson’s.”
The registration fee is £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s. Everyone who registers will receive a free Parkinson’s UK T-shirt, fundraising pack and at the end of the walk, a finishers medal.
The charity is hoping to raise over £400,000 from the 32 events, so suggests walkers aim to raise at least £50.
All money raised from Walk for Parkinson’s – Blickling Estate will help Parkinson’s UK’s work to provide support and information for people affected by the condition and to help find better treatments, and ultimately a cure.
As well as walkers, the charity is on the lookout for volunteers to help register people at the start/finish area or to be a walk marshal at various points on the route during the day.
To find out more and to sign up to walk or volunteer visit:, call 0207 963 9367 or email

Residents invited to get involved in Aylsham

Residents of Aylsham are invited to join friends and learn more about what’s on offer in their community at the Aylsham Community Fair on Monday 10 October at Aylsham Town Hall from 10 am to 2pm, hosted by Broadland District Council’s Grow Your Community project.

More than 40 local clubs, groups, charities and organisations will be at the event, ready to speak to visitors about what is on offer in Aylsham from volunteering opportunities to different ways of keeping fit to tips on how to reduce your energy bills.

Organisations attending the event include Leeway, Norfolk Carers, About with Friends, Aylsham Band and Broadland District Council.

Action for Children will be running a pop up shop of clothing and accessories. Visitors will learn how to request tokens to spend in the main Action for Children.

Aylsham in Bloom will be holding a raffle and the Methodist Church Arts and Craft Group will be displaying some of their work whilst inviting new members to join.

“The Community Fair is a great opportunity for anyone to find out more about what’s on in their area which they may not have known about before,” said Cllr David Willmott, member champion for Community Engagement at Broadland District Council. “I hope residents will find something they’d like to get involved with, make new friends or start a new hobby.”

Broadland District Council’s Grow Your Community Project is a scheme available in many towns and villages across the district, aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of local people, particularly focussing on helping older people to get involved in their communities.

Visitors are welcome to drop in to the free Aylsham Community Fair between 10am and 2pm on Monday 10 October and Aylsham Town Hall where free refreshments will be available.

For more information about the Aylsham Community Fair and the Grow Your Community Project visit, email or call 01603 430138.

Aylsham Town Hall where the Aylsham Community Fair will be held.

Aylsham Town Hall where the Aylsham Community Fair will be held.

Enjoy a sky high view in Coltishall

There’s a chance to see Coltishall in a new light on September 11 with a special event throughout the whole village.
On Sunday, September 11, Coltishall will be holding its annual garage sale throughout the village to raise funds for the Coltishall and Horstead Preschool.
Again, the church will be open to visitors for refreshments, various stalls and, best of all, trips to the top of the tower.
Editor Gay Webster and work experience Molly Foss took a trip up the tower to get these pictures recently to give an idea of what you can see.
There will also be the chance to see the working mechanism of the bells and even have a go.
The church will be open from 10am-3pm.
Audrey Weston said: “Come along and chime the bells, see the clock tower, bell chamber, ringing chamber and of course take some amazing pictures from the very roof top, the views are really great. Inside the church there will be various stalls, raffle prizes, tea/coffee, soft drinks and cakes to keep you going.”
One stall will be selling pre-loved items to raise funds for St John’s Church.
For the garage sale, the preschool will be producing a trail map and co-ordinating various pitches around the villages, of which St John’s Church is one.
Base camp is Coltishall Village Hall, where visitors will be able to buy their trail map for the day and check out a table-top-sale, toy sale and refreshments.
All the money will go towards providing early learning education for local tots at the preschool.
To book in for the sale call 07747 663565 or email

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Aylsham garden show raises £1,490

Woodgate Nursery’s Garden Show was a success with a great turnout over the weekend, raising £1490 for the Liz Jones Memorial Trust and Dravet Syndrome Charity.

Inspired by this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the Woodgate Nursery Garden Show at Aylsham showed off local companies’ gardening skills, with visitors voting for their favourite garden design.

This year’s winner was Thyme For Bed featuring an outdoor room which was designed by the Woodgate team.  A close second went to IFC Landscapes, featuring a paved design, box hedging and a willow fence.

Peter Purdy, founder of Woodgate Nursery, said: “Our garden show raised a staggering amount for local charities and everyone had a fantastic weekend, with the garden show getting better every year! I’m already looking forward to the 2017 designs.”

This year’s show was packed with inspiration for the garden, including for budding young gardeners who enjoyed a fun treasure hunt and for the grown ups a raffle to win a wheelbarrow with more thabn £300 worth of garden goodies (including the  barrow).

See more at

Tyme For Bed - Winning show garden 2016

Nominate you local wildlife heroes

There are just over two weeks left to nominate local wildlife heroes for a Norfolk Community Biodiversity Award 2016.

Nominations close on Friday, May 13, ahead of the awards ceremony, which will take place in Norwich in July.

Nominations can be for individuals, businesses, local groups and parish and town councils right across the county who are taking voluntary action to improve the local environment for nature. The awards will be judged on how their work has boosted biodiversity, got the local community involved and how the project will continue to bring benefits for years to come.

The awards focus on the voluntary efforts of individuals and groups, whose projects are not part of the daily work of any conservation organisation, and which benefit their local communities and local environment.

Last year there were 15 winners including Wild About Colby who set up an inspiring nest box boost project to help owls in North Norfolk.

The awards are sponsored by Kelling Heath Holiday Park (Inspiring Others Award); The Landscape Partnership (Parish and Town Councils Award); Norfolk Wildlife Trust (Churchyards and Cemeteries) and the Church of England Norwich Diocese.

For more information and to make a nomination visit the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership website: