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Archive News - December 2013

The following articles appeared on the site in December 2013

Jennie Retires - One of the best known and loved characters will be missing when Hethersett Library opens its doors after the Christmas break. Jennie Hoult has retired after almost 30 years’ working at the building in Queen’s Road – the last few which have seen her fulfil duties as library manager. On her final working day staff, customers and friends paid tribute at a special pre-Christmas gathering. Mrs Hoult was presented with a bouquet, a cheque and a book of messages. Village archivist Bill Reekie mounted a display of photographs and articles covering her life and work at the library. Comments left in the book referred to Mrs Hoult as a “friendly and welcoming presence and a person who often went well beyond the call of duty.” Others referred to her as an inspiration and somebody “always willing to have a go at everything.” “She has been brilliant with people and has been the heart of the library and we will miss her immensely,” another message said. During her 30 years at the library, she has overseen many changes from the manual issuing of library tickets to the fully automated computerisation of today. She has also overseen the emergence of the building as a focal point for village life with the setting up of community groups for all ages from Baby Bounce Time to Silver Surfers. She was instrumental in organising a number of literature themed events, talks and presentations. “I have loved every minute of my time here and particularly the fact that people have always seemed so relaxed in Hethersett Library,” she said. The retirement presentation event also featured a cake featuring a iced model of Mrs Hoult and a special song written by colleague and friend Marian Watt and sung to the tune of Jingle Bells.

The spirit of Christmas is once again alive and well in Firs Road, Hethersett, as Tony and Margaret Dunton celebrate their 19th year of raising money for local charities. Once again donations from people going to admire their winter wonderland of lights will go to the local doctors’ surgery and the East Anglian Air Ambulance. This year the couple have gone for a blue and white theme with some new figures and lights. They have also kept to the traditional Bethlehem stable tableau in their garage and of course a couple of very jolly Santas. It is expected that youngsters from nearby schools and uniformed organisations will be visiting the display in the run up to Christmas.

Hethersett Woodside Infant and Nursery School was awash with colour as children performed their annual Christmas plays and songs. Classes throughout the school added to the festive spirit for mums and dads, grannies and granddads, brothers and sisters as they gave a number of fun packed performances. First up was Reception Class with their performance of the Little Nativity by Ruth and John Kenward, followed by the Nursery sections Hello Mr Snowman. Those performances kick started a week of shows which will also see Year One’s production of Repunzel and Year Two’s performance of A Christmas Cracker. A retiring collection after each performance will be donated to the Eastern Daily Press' Norfolk  Appeal for those affected by the 2013 floods. Above left is the reception class' performance of Little Nativity and on the right the Nursery performance of Hello Mr Snowman.


Christmas Fair - Hethersett's annual Christmas Charity Fair in the Methodist Church attracted hundreds of people and raised hundreds of pounds for charities and good causes. On a relatively warm evening local residents enjoyed refreshments and were able to purchase early Christmas gifts as well as enjoy seasonal singing and entertainment. For a report of the evening and more photographs click here.


Winter Nets for Cricketers - Hethersett and Tas Valley Cricket Club will be holding a series of winter nets as they prepare for the coming 2014 season. The club has booked Taverham Hall and the first session will be on January 27th from 7.30 until 9.30 p.m and then on every other Monday until April 7th. The club is also looking into the possibility of some additional coaching for adult players with Norfolk's Steve Goldsmith. These sessions will be in addition to the normal Wednesday night adult training sessions and will be aimed mainly at first and second team players. It is likely they will take place on Fridays for six to eight weeks if there is sufficient demand.


Bethlehem Experience - The Bethlehem Experience” is coming to Hethersett. Hethersett Methodist Church is, for the second year running, presenting The Bethlehem Experience this Friday and Saturday. With local actors, and audio visual effects, the audience will be taken on a dramatic journey through key events in the Christmas story. They will visit Mary’s home, Joseph’s workshop, a Magi’s home, a Bethlehem hillside, Herod’s palace and the stable. There are a total of six performances - three for local schools and three for the public. “It’s all about making what happened over 2,000 years ago more ‘real’” said Sue Skinner, one of the organisers of the event. “The feedback last year, from both young and old, was great, so we felt we had to do it again.” The three performances in the day on the Friday are fully booked for local schools.  The evening performance (7pm), and those on Saturday (10.30 and 2.30), are for the public.  Each performance is free and will last about one hour with refreshments at the end.  There is no need to book. “If you really want to know what happened all those years ago one night in Bethlehem”, said Sue, “you must come along. It is a fantastic prelude to Christmas!” Further information about the event can be obtained from the Church’s website which can be accessed by clicking here.


Death of Former School Secretary - We are saddened to learn of the death of former Woodside School secretary Christine Stone. Christine worked at the school for 24 years until her retirement in 2007. We covered this event at the time and you can read this story from our news archives by clicking here.


More Youth Cricketers - Hethersett and Tas Valley Cricket Club will be running four youth teams in the coming season, the club’s annual meeting heard. Valley will be fielding an Under-9s side for the first time as it puts a major emphasis on youth cricket and the stars of tomorrow. The club will also be running teams at Under-11, Under-13 and Under-15 levels in a mixture of the Norfolk Alliance and the South Norfolk Community League. Once again the club will be fielding four men’s Saturday sides – two in the Norfolk Alliance and two in the Norfolk League – a Sunday league side and midweek friendly sides. It will also be entering a number of Norfolk knockout competitions including an entry for the first time in the National Village competition in what promises to be a very busy 2014 season. During 2014 Valley will also be applying for re-accreditation of the national Clubmark status. The club is also having a recruitment drive: “We will be fielding teams at all levels and would welcome any players interested in joining us,” said club chairman Tony Smith Officers elected were: President, Duncan Pigg; Vice-Presidents, Richard G Ellis, Harold Kerslake and David Johnson; Chairman, Tony Smith; Vice-Chairman, Richard Matthews; Secretary and Fixtures Secretary, Richard D Ellis; Treasurer, Susan Ellis; First Eleven Captain, Julian Emeny; Vice-Captain, Matt Ellis; Second Eleven Captain, Matt Steward; Vice Captain, Tristan Hunt; Third Eleven Captain, Dale Clarke; Sunday Captain, Robbie Matthews;  Sunday Vice Captain, Paul Reeve; Midweek Captain, Paul Reeve; Cricket Development Officers, Matt Ellis and Paul Reeve; Club Development Officer, Peter Steward; Youth Cricket Manager, Rennie Broughton; Under-9s Manager, Stephen Hayes; Under-11s Manager, Sara Worley; Under-13s Manager, Stuart Cooper; Under-15s Manager, Craig Henderson; Welfare Officer, Susan Ellis; Social Committee Chair, Al Watts; Development Committee Chair, Peter Steward; Groundsmen, Richard D Ellis, Richard Matthews and Richard G Ellis; Bar Manager, Tony Smith; Auditor, David Johnson; Scorer, Al Watts.


Gym Break - Hethersett’s new mobile gym will be taking a Christmas break following its latest session which took place on Wednesday (December 11th). It will re-start on January 8th. The gym is a joint initiative between South Norfolk Council, Active Norfolk and Hethersett and the Meltons Sports Association. To date attendance on Wednesdays between 10 a.m and 2 p.m has been slightly disappointing but organiser Wyn Nurse is hoping things will pick up after the festive season. “I do think that the time of year has kept numbers down and hopefully we will get more in the new year,” she said. The gym takes place in Hethersett Jubilee Youth Club’s premises in Back Lane, Hethersett. Sessions under qualified instructors last for about an hour and cost just £3.


Volunteer Spirit - Volunteer staff at Hethersett’s MacMillan Charity shop have been entering into the Christmas spirit. The shop which is open six days a week raises around £55,000 each year for the cancer charity and is staffed entirely by volunteers. It has a range of Christmas decorations and clothing on display and is the only MacMillan charity shop in East Anglia.


School's Open Day - Hethersett Woodside Infant and Nursery School will be celebrating its 40th birthday in January with a special open afternoon and evening. The event from 2 until 8 p.m on January 9th will feature a special exhibition of memorabilia. “We would love anyone who has been connected in any way with the school over the past 40 years to come and look round. Light refreshments will be available all day,” said organiser Joanne Adcock. The school is still looking for memorabilia and Joanne Adcock can be contacted at the school on 01603 810674.


Tea, Music and Fellowship - About 50 people attended the Hethersett Methodist Church Singing Fellowship music and tea afternoon when a range of Christmas hymns, readings and prayers were presented by the group. The Singing Fellowship presents four such afternoons each year as well as visiting care homes and church events on a regular basis throughout the year. After the Friday afternoon event home made cakes and tea were served in the church and a thank you was expressed by Hethersett’s Methodist Minister the Rev Matthew Olanrewaju.


Road Closure - Part of Lynch Green, Hethersett, will be closed from December 2nd to December 6th for electrical connection work. The work will affect Lynch Green for about 50 metres west of the junction with Henstead Road.


Hawks Celebrate -  Hethersett Hawks Cycle Speedway Club celebrated another successful season with its Christmas Party and prize presentation evening at Hethersett Social Club. Club founder, secretary and stalwart Mel Perkins announced his retirement from racing after over 45 years of competing for the club. You can see who won what and view photographs from the evening by clicking here.


Fairies Raise Hundreds - Fairies and elves in Hethersett have helped to raise more than £700 for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH). You can view a cutting on this story from the Wymondham Mercury by clicking here.


Christmas is Coming - Hethersett will once be awash with Christmas celebrations this month. To see details of what's coming up visit our What's On section by clicking here. On Friday 13th December Hethersett Singers will be presenting a Christmas Celebration of seasonal music and carols conducted by Kris Thomsett in St Remigius Church at 7.45 p.m. Tickets are £7 (under-16s free) and include mince pies and refreshments and are available by phoning 01603 810449. St Remigius will also be the venue for a "Celebrating the Christmas Crib" coffee morning on Saturday 14th December from 10 a.m until midday. There will be a collection of cribs and nativity figures from around the world on display. There will also be a bring and buy sale and activities for children.




Christmas Fair - Hethersett’s festive season celebrations got off to a rip roaring start with hundreds attending the sixth annual Christmas Charity Fair in the Methodist Church. On a relatively warm end of November evening, local residents enjoyed refreshments and were able to purchase early Christmas gifts from a wide variety of charity stalls. Hundreds of pounds was raised for a variety of good causes. There was also a children’s games room upstairs. Seasonal singing and entertainment was provided by children from Woodside School, Hethersett Singers, David Wyatt, Hethersett Methodist Singing Fellowship and the St Remigius Church Choir. Charities represented included the East Anglian Air Ambulance, Hope and Homes for Children, the RNLI and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Local charities included Starthrowers, the Norfolk Association of Disabled People, the Respect Yourself Group and Norfolk Wildlife Trust. A number of Hethersett youth and community groups were also represented. Our pictures show the Hethersett Singers on the left and Hethersett Methodist Church Singing Fellowship on the right.


Hawks Celebrate -  Hethersett Hawks Cycle Speedway Club celebrated a successful season at its presentation evening. Competitions won by individual members at Club, County, Region and National level were acknowledged as well as members of both the Club's South East League teams who received trophies for finishing runners-up in Division 1 and 2. The most successful riders were brother and sister Ollie and Danni Riley and it was no surprise that these two were named First Team and Second Team Riders of Year respectively.  Ollie was also awarded the Club Top Scorer award, eight points ahead of Dan Chambers.  Katie Adams was named Most Improved Junior and also received the Club Member of the Year award for her support at Club Nights, recruitment activities and overall commitment. The prestigious Hawks Sportsperson of the Year award, voted for by those present on the night, was won by Ollie Buxton for the second consecutive year.  The voting was very close with Ian Grange and Katie Adams just one vote behind the winner. Much talk at the gathering was around a challenging 2014 with revised League competitions, including a new National Friendly League. Members are busy training on Tuesday evenings for the British Indoor Championships in Coventry on January 4th and 5th.  A big recruitment drive for youngsters will also be a major feature in 2014. The pictures above show club chairman John Nelson making presentations to Danni Riley (left), Ollie Riley (centre) and Katie Adams (right)