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News April to June 2000

Closure of Barclays Bank

The Hethersett branch of Barclays Bank became one of 171 in England and Wales to be closed when it shut its doors for the final time on Friday 7th April.

The closures have brought wide spread criticism both locally and nationally, co-inciding with announcements of vast profits and wage increases for Barclays "fat cats."

The company has highlighted the need to increase telephone and Internet banking for the decision to close branches. It is difficult to see why, taking into account the vast profits that the bank is making, they have to close local branches.

They seem unable to grasp the fact that many older (and not so old people) do not have access to the Internet and rely on the local service. It is another prime example of arrogance riding rough shod over the wishes of the ordinary person.

Once again it smacks of the views of local people and customers being totally ignored whilst the obscenity of rising profits and wages at the top goes on.

Apparently banking facilities will now be available at local post offices. This will just lengthen the queues and waiting times at these.

Barclays have illustrated a "couldn't give a damn" attitude to the very people who keep them in business - their public!

The bank has also come under fire recently for charging for certain cashcard advances. The Hethersett branch was one of 10 in Norfolk to close. It has been in existence since 1973!

I know what I will do the next time I am sent a letter offering me another loan or credit card from Barclays and telling me how valued my custom is.

I hope that the chairman of Barclays, existing on his grossly inflated income, spares a thought for the pensioner in Hethersett who now has to travel to Wymondham or Norwich for banking.

The decision to close the local branches brought condemnation from the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James.

A number of Hethersett businesses are considering switching banks. Schools, the library, four shops and a convenience store are transferring to Girobank.

Nicky King, supervisor at the village post office said: "A lot of people are upset about Barclays closing.

"People are saying 'how dare they? Haven't they got any thought for what their customers want?"

Radio Four's Today programme was broadcast from the village. I was able to help them with setting up their programme after they contacted me thanks to finding this web site.

They made their base for the programme at the King's Head, where they conducted interviews with local people about the closures.

FOOTNOTE: The closure of the 171 branches and loss of 7500 jobs comes just days after Barclays bosses were awarded 1 million plus salaries. Chairman Sir Peter Middleton's salary has risen from 408,000 in 1998 to 1.76 million last year and new chief executive Matthew Barrett was paid 1.3 million for just three months' work.... And if that is not OBSCENE I don't know what is.

Teacher elected to national body

Hethersett Middle School teacher Ralph Manning has been chosen to join the General Teaching Council - the new voice for teachers.

Ralph is one of only two teachers from East Anglia to be voted onto the body. Over 100,000 teachers were balloted to elect the 25 teacher members of the GTC which comes into existence in September.

The independent body has been set up to regulate and promote the teaching profession.

The body is being set-up at a time when morale in the profession is said to be at "an all time low."

"I'm still amazed at the lack of essential investment in education, despite much hype. The GTC must rescue an exhausted profession and ensure both teachers and children have time for effective teaching and learning," Ralph Manning said.


Charges Dropped

The charges against two youngsters accused of causing damage to Hethersett High School through arson (see January to March news) have been dropped

Bright Idea

The parish council is to look into providing lighting along the footpath on the Memorial Playing Field following a suggestion by the newly formed youth parish council which has now been formally adopted as a committee of the full council.

In addition 42 street lighting columns in the village will be replaced and 23 electricity poles converted this year at a cost of 21,750.

Road matters

Norfolk County Council have turned down a request to extend a proposed 50 mph speed limit from near Station Lane junction all the way to the speed restrictions in Wymondham. Meanwhile the county council has acknowledged the problem of loose chippings on the B1172. Remedial work is due to be carried out in May or June.

A review of traffic calming schemes in the village is underway after reports of motorists speeding. The county council will start the consultation process next year with a scheme to follow in 2002/03.

The parish council is to ask for a pedestrian crossing in the area of the shops in Great Melton Road.

Best Kept Village

Hethersett is to enter the Eastern Daily Press Village of the Year competition which focuses on community life, the environment and amenities.


The Hethersett Society is concerned about the amount of litter in the village and a special spring clean is being organised with various organisations being asked to help. Residents are being encouraged to tidy up litter outside their own properties.

For Mozambique

The 1st Hethersett Guides held a fund-raising evening for the Mazambique Relief Fund. Various stalls were organised and 80 was raised for the disaster fund.

New Curate

A new curate has been appointed for the village.

He is Howard Robson who will be ordained in Norwich Cathedral on 1st July.

Howard was trained in theology at Cranmer Hall, Durham, before which time he was a bank manager in Bradford. He is married to university lecturer Joanna and they have three sons - Ben (19), Joseph (7) and Theo (4).


The church is concerned of non permitted items being introduced into the village churchyard. Many of these are breaking the national regulations and making it difficult to cut grass.

Items allowed include (for a burial plot) a head stone with or without a vase set into the base, an additional stone tablet set flush with the ground with or without a vase set in it and (for a cremation plot) a stone tablet set flush into the ground which may contain a vase.

Other vases, jam jars or planted contaners are not allowed unless they can stand on the plinth of a headstone or fully on a flat tablet and not impede the path of a lawn mower. Also not allowed are pebbles, rocks and stones, fencing and garden edgng materials or plastic and silk flowers.

Writing in the latest edition of "Good News" the parish magazine, the Rev Di Lammas states: "Many people like to plant something on a grave site. I have no objection to small plants being inserted into the grass when the ground is levelled. What you are not allowed to do at any time is dig the patch and cultivate it like a garden, or to plant trees, shrubs and bushes. After the first year when the ground is levelled and the lawn allowed to grow, then the best thing to plant are spring bulbs which can be mown down after they have flowered."

"Knowing that grief is often very raw during the early months I tend to leave any extra things that are put onto graves alone for the first year. However, we have to keep to the rules and if, after the first year, you still have any items on your family grave which are not permitted we must ask you to remove them as soon as possible."

"The extra items make maintenance very difficult."

Millennium Celebrations

As part of the village Millennium celebrations, Hethersett and District Churches Together are to perform the musical "Hopes and Dreams" based on the words of the Lord's Prayer, on 2nd December in the Village Hall. The event will include music, dance, monologue and comedy.

An open meeting to discuss the project will be held on 15th May.

Hethersett Parochial Charity

Dividends received in 1999 from the 989 shares the charity holds in the Charities' Official Investment Fund amounted to 350. The charity also received the entire income from the mini recycling centre in Great Melton Road. The revenue from this was down on the previous year due to the destruction of the centre through fire the previous Easter.

During the year the charity made grants totalling 1,795 to villagers, 900 of which was distributed at Christmas with 20 households receiving either 40 or 50.

Cycle Speedway

Hethersett Hawks/Kerley Services Cycle Speedway Club opened their 35th season at the Memorial Playing Field with high hopes.

They are led by Norfolk champion Dave Martin and have a blend of experience and youth including the fourth best under-13 in Britain - Nick Myhill.

The club holds club nights every Tuesday and competes in the south-east league division 2 as well as two local youth leagues.

The club kicked off their south east division two campaign with a 105-64 home win against Hawbush B.

Hethersett Athletic FC

Hethersett Athletic Men's Team have taken the Norwich Sunday League Division Four title by 11 clear points - a remarkable achievement for their first season in the league.

The Under-12s finished third in their first season in the A league of the Norfolk Youth Combination, having won the Under-11s B Division the previous season.

Scott Allen has beaten the club's scoring record for a season with 41 goals and Under-16 player Robert Mitchell became the first to score 100 goals for the club. Martin Mowser and Steve Perkins have both passed the 150 appearance mark for the club.

Three of the Under-14 girls have been selected for the county squad. They are Charlotte Boreham, Sarah Milne and Katie Welsh whilst Under-12s player James Pipe has been invited to join Cambridge United Academy.

The club held its end of season presentation evening in the village hall in May when the Lee Thompson Memorial Trophy for outstanding contribution to the club was presented to Ian Harrison.

The previous evening the successful men's side had picked up the Division 4B Trophy at the Norwich Sunday League presentation evening.

Caught on Film?

The Friends of Hethersett High School are aiming to raise 10,000 before the end of July to install Closed Circuit TV within the school grounds in an attempt to deter any further vandalism following the arson attack on the school earlier in the year.

The school is also anxious to maintain its policy of allowing students and parents the use of the grounds and extrenal facilities outside normal school hours.

Dog Mess Problem

The problem of dog mess on the Memorial Playing Field continues and seems to be on the increase. Owners allowing their animals to foul the field are liable to be fined under the bylaws.

New Methodist Service Introduced

A modern style celebration service beginning with a bring and share supper and also featuring a speaker will be held at the Methodist Church on the first Wednesday of each month.

Diamond Day

Hethersett couple Danny and Ted Nelson have celebrated their diamond (60 years) wedding day.

The couple have spent most of their married life in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, with their three children, but made the decision to move to Norfolk after a holiday at Caister. Danny is a member of the Women's Institute and enjoys painting and drama. Ted is a member of the Probus Club

Sponsored Walk

A five mile sponsored walk around Hethersett organised by the South Norfolk Dog Training Club raised 1,461 for the Priscilla Bacon Lodge and Macmillan Nurses in the memory of the late Al Merritt.

Youth Meets Again

The third meeting of the Youth Parish Council was held at the high school and members negotiated free use of the all weather pitch at the village hall for basketball. The free sessions will start in June on Mondays from 4 p.m until 6 p.m. Members are planning a youth float for Hethersett Carnival on June 24th and a fund-raising stall at the fete in the afternoon.

The group is also drawing up plans for a skate park in the village having received agreement from the village hall committee to consider a site in the grounds.


Choral Success

Hethersett Choral Society presented The Merry Widow by Franz Lehar in the village hall. The cafe style seating provided a relaxed evening with Stewart White of BBC Television acting as narrator. The role of the Merry Widow was taken by Lorna Richardson.

Footballing Future

Pictured Above is James Pipe of Hethersett Athletic Under-12s who is celebrating being selected to train with Cambridge United's Centre of Excellence.

James, who lives in Great Melton Road, received the offer after impressing the Nationwide League club's youth development staff at recent trials.

James, who is aged 11, will be aiming to make sufficient progress over the next couple of years to enable him to be offered an apprenticeship in due course. His team manager, Mark Kerr, says that James is a natural goalscorer with pace and great awareness around the penalty area.

"James was our leading scorer this season and, bearing in mind that he is a year younger than the rest of the team, he deserves a lot of praise. James certainly has the potential to make the grade."

James' proud father Mike said: "James will have agreat chance to develop his game with this opportunity. A lot of credit must go to the management team at Hethersett Athletic who have encouraged their players to achieve so much this season."

A number of James' team-mates have also made an impact on the professional talent scouts this season, four boys having trained with the Norwich City's Player Development Centre and three with the Cambridge United equivalent. Despite this Mark Kerr is still keen to sign top quality players for next season. "We have had a very good season and finished third in the A Division of the Norfolk Youth Combination League. However, to improve next year we would like to strengthen the squad in allpositions. We have one of the best youth set-ups outside Norwich and the fact that scouts from league clubs have recognised this is excellent news."

International Concert

There was an international flavour to a concert at Hethersett Middle School in May.

For local youngsters teamed up with youngsters from St Paul's School in Utrecht, Holland, to provide a first class concert featuring orchestras and choirs.

A friendly link has been set up between the two schools. Last year the Hethersett choir visited Utrecht and this was the second part of a very successful exchange which is likely to continue in the future.

The Dutch boys and girls performed a number of pieces including The Stars and Stripes March by Souza and the entire Peter and the Wolf by Prokofieff.

Hethersett responded with blues and rock pieces and a selection from the Lion King. The concert ended with all the children combining for "A Mouse Lived in a Windmill."

Children's Parties

Two parties for children in the village were organised by the Millennium Committee. These were held on Sunday May 14th in the Village Hall. One was for children aged between four and six and the second for those aged from seven to 10. They started with children's entertainer Steve Sausage and he was followed by food and drink and more entertainment. A total of 80 youngsters attended.

Millennium Yew Tree Planted

A millennium yew tree has been planted in the churchyard to help celebrate the turn of the new century. At the same time pupils from schools in the village have combined to bury a time capsule.

Reports of the two events are available on the excellent Hethersett Millennium site. To view Click Here

Park and Ride Scheme

A park and ride scheme is being planned for the Thickthorn area which is about two miles from the centre of the village on the way to Norwich.

Dancers in Step

Dancers from the Yvonne School of Dance from Hethersett produced Dance 2000 at the Walter Roy Theatre at the Hewett School.

The event raised 542 for ChildLine and this amount has been matched by Colman's of Norwich.

A cheque was presented by the dance school proprietor Yvonne Cutting and her daughter Kirsty to Elizabeth Lee, June Marsh and Stephen Cutting, representatives of Colman's

Meanwhile Kirsty Cutting has won a bursary award for gaining honours in an intermediate tap examination. Kirsty gained the third highest mark within all the United Teachers of Dance Schools in the country.

The UTD Bursary Award Panel in Birmingham presented her with two medallions - one for herself and one for the dance school.


The former Barclays Bank building in the village (see also story at the top of the page) has been bought by resident Marilyn Mills for 70,000.

Mrs Mills, who runs the Rockinghorse nursery next to the former bank wants to preserve the building as a community facility.

Her immediate aim will be to use the site as a car park for nursery staff and visitors, but eventually to convert the building into an after school club for the village children or a special baby unit.

Mrs Mills has paid over the asking price for the building which had a guide price of 45,000.

"There was reasonable interest in the property as there has been in many of the other branches up for sale. It wasn't a surprise that it sold for considerably more than the guide price," a Barclays spokeswoman said.

The parish council has welcomed the sale despite attempting to buy the building itself. "This is definitely preferable to some other uses I can think of which we feared may come. In an ideal world we all wanted it to remain open as a bank. We objected strongly as a council to its closure as did dozens of other people, but to no avail," said parish council chairman George Beckford.

The parish council had hoped to convert the building into a community one-stop shop where people could go for advice and information on a wide range of issues including Age Concern, Citizens Advice Bureau, and the police, but Barclays turned down their bid.

School Traffic Complaints

The parish council has received complaints regarding traffic congestion around Woodside First School and Nursery at the beginning and end of each school day. Complaints have also been received about cyclists riding on the pavements.

This latter matter will be referred to the police and the former taken up with the school

Caring for the Environment

A new working party has been set-up by the parish council to look at environmental issues in the village. The group is looking for volunteers from the public.

More Policing

The annual parish meeting was told that re-organisation by Norfolk Constabulary will bring a higher profile policing to the village. PC Tim Tyler and Inspector Andy Taylor told the meeting that the increased presence would be a result of moving local officers from Tuckswood near Norwich to Wymondham.

PC Tyler and Inspector Taylor also gave a presentation on the changing face of
policing over the past 50 years.

Parochial Help

Hethersett Parochial Charity has awarded grants of 1795 to 30 needy households during the year. The money came from investments and income from the re-cycling centre in Great Melton Road.

Playing Field Problem

Vandalism, litter, dog fouling and general anti social behaviour are still causing a major concern on the village memorial playing field. The playing field committee have stated their intention of dealing with the problems and will be asking police to bring prosecutions against offenders.

Chairman Re-elected

Chairman George Beckford was re-elected at the annual Hethersett Parish Council meeting. Nick Jarvis was re-elected vice-chairman.

Village Appraisal Delivered

There's one subject on which we are all expert: Hethersett. So runs the publicity for the Village Appraisal which has been delivered to householders at the end of June.

The purpose of the survey is to find out what individuals feel about the village as a community and about its services and amenities. It is designed to be an action plan for the future.

The appraisal covers activities, amenities, businesses, sporting interests and many other subjects and has 58 questions. It is anticipated that the data will be analysed and a report available by the end of the year.

2,000 for 2000

Woodside First School and Nursery held its most successful fete ever when the sun shone on 10th June and over 2,000 was raised. Children, staff, families and friends enjoyed a variety of stalls, games and entertainment.

The event was organised by the Friends of the School.

Village Carnival Success

Hethersett marked Millennium Year with a carnival procession and fete in June.

Villagers lined streets to watch a colourful procession led by the City of Norwich Pipe band. A number of the pipers actually live in the village.

The event was organised by the Hethersett Millennium Carnival and Fete committee. A number of local groups spent many hours preparing costumes and floats. The best processional costume award went to Hethersett Carnival Company followed closely by Yvonne's School of Dance. Awards for the best float went to 1/ Woodside First School, 2/ Hethersett Youth Council 3/ Hethersett Pantomime Group.

Following the procession, a fete was held in the grounds of the new village hall. Money raised from the processional collection and the fete will go towards a lasting Hethersett Millennium memorial.

It is estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 people attended the carnival and several hundreds of pounds were raised

Photographs of the procession will appear here shortly.

Parish Council to Fight Further Development

The parish council is strongly recommending that the village has no further large scale housing development. The council is also opposing plans for development in Myrtle Road.

IN SHORT ......

The Hethersett Society is planning to put the village Archive on the Internet. At the annual meeting Bert Palmer took over the chair. The post of treasurer remains vacant.

The Millennium Committee is considering buying a millennium clock for the village.

Maps outside the library and on New Road are likely to be updated in the near future.

The parish council is considering displaying hanging baskets of flowers on some of the telegraph poles in the centre of the village.

Further work is being carried out to look into the possibility of the parish council taking over ownership of the Parish Pit.

Suggestions of a pedestrian crossing near the shops in Great melton Road have initially been turned down althoughthere is a chance that the idea could re-surface as part of the traffic calming measures in the village.

The parish council is to look into ways of improving the quality and frequency of the cutting of grass verges in the village.

Good weather brought a bumper crowd to the Middle School fete and 1,800 was raised towards new Information Technology equipment.

Hethersett Church Tower was opened to the public on a Sunday at the beginning of June. On a very clear day people were able to see as far as Norwich, but views of the old partof Hethersett were impossible because of trees.

Cyclist dismount signs are to be placed in the loke between Central Crescent and Great Melton Road.

The village sign has received a face-lift and the nearby pump is to be painted black with the crown at the top to be picked out in gold. The work near the village sign has been carried out voluntarily.

There are plans to provide lighting on the village Memorial Playing Field. Graffiti on the children's play equipment has been removed.

There is concern in the village over the continued use of the pavements by cyclists. This is looked upon as being a danger to pedestrians.