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News - July to September 2000

Millennium Ball success

One hundred and fifty people attended the Millennium summer ball held in a marquee in the grounds of Old Hall School. The buffet was prepared by the school's catering staff followed by dancing to the group Wired who played music from the 60s onwards.

The ball, which was organised by the Hethersett Millennium Committee made a profit of about 600 which will go towards a permanent commemoration of the millennium in the village. It is hoped to repeat the event some time in the future.

Welcome for New Curate

Howard Robson was ordained Deacon in Norwich Cathedral on Saturday 1st July and welcomed officially to the village at a barbecue lunch at the Rectory the following day after a service in the parish church organised by Hethersett Churches Together. Meanwhile the roof of the back room at St. Remigius Church has been re-felted.

For Christian Aid

The annual collection for Christian Aid in the village raised 1,650. The charity has also launched an appeal for paperback novels and children's books which will be sold during the summer in the Suffolk seaside resort of Southwold.

New Scoreboard in Tony's Memory

East Anglian Copiers have donated a new scoreboard to Hethersett Cricket Club in memory of former captain and secretary Tony Curson who died last year. Tony believed in "Cricket for all" and the scoreboard will be a fitting reminder of the many years of service he gave the club.

Hethersett Cycling Club

The local cycling club has started its new season with weekly rides for all ages and abilities. The club has four ride categories - leisure for 10 mile "dawdles", active for 20 to 25 mile rides at a good pace, Over-11s for teenagers and adults over interesting terrain and family for parents and children who ride between four and eight miles to various playgrounds.

Ram-raiders snatch alcohol from store

Ram raiders stole 100 bottles of spirits from Dillons Convenience Store in Great Melton Road at about 4.10 a.m on Monday July 10th.

Security footage of the raid by three thieves is being examined by police. It is believed that they used a blue Isuzu Trooper stolen from the Diss area the previous night. A green Astra van is also thought to have been used in the incident.

Both vehicles were subsequently recovered in the Norwich area.

No damage was caused to the inside of the shop, but it was closed throughout the miorning of July 10th to allow staff to clear up. Damage was confined to the security shutters and door framework.

Inspector Tim Peacock of Norfolk Police, said that the Isuzu Trooper made off towards Norwich: "Three people were seen in the early stages by someone who contacted us," he said.

"They forced the bottom of the shutters up in order to get inside. They may have also tried to pull the shutters away from chains."

One of the thieves is described as being of medium build with short dark hair, in his late 20s and about 5ft 11 in tall.

Minister Says Goodbye

A special family communion service was held at Hethersett Methodist Church on Sunday July 16th to mark the retirement of the minister the Rev. Gerald Cole.

Gerald and Lynne Cole will be leaving the village in a few weeks after five years. Below is part of the text of a message from Gerald in the Methodist Church's July newsletter.

Dear Friends

This letter will be the 60th "letter from the minister" that I have written since coming to Hethersett five years ago.

My mind goes back to Sunday August 27th, 1995, when as a family we arrived for my welcome and induction service at Framingham Earl. It was a wonderful occasion and the loving encouragement and prayerful caring and support we received then has always been vivid in my memory. When I think of the five years since that day, two words keep coming into my mind - gratitude and privilege. I quote part of a letter written at Christmas 1995 and sent to family and friends.

"We have settled well. We like the house and the garden is not too big! Better still we like the people... and there is a sense of rightness about being here."

In 1996 we said "The initial sense of warmth and support has continued." and in 1997 "I know it sounds repetitive, but we still feel a great sense of encouragement."

From that very first day, that sense of being upheld is what we have felt throughout the past five years. So, for all your support, friendship, love and thoughtful caring; for your unceasing prayers; for hospitality, good conversation and laughter; for constant gracious encouragement; for all the ways you have enriched my life and strengthened my faith, I say a heartfelt thank-you - and that seems such an inadequate expression of what I feel.

It has been a joy to be your minister. Reflecting on the past five years I suppose the thing I am most conscious of is the speed with which those years have gone. There have been many special times and events which I shall recall and cherish in my memory. Now I must look to the future.

At the special service Gerald and Lynne received gifts and the thanks of church members.

I am extremely grateful to Gerald. He will know to what I am referring. An immensely talented and learned man, he had a great humility and wicked sense of humour which I will miss considerably. Many were the "verbal jousts" which we enjoyed over those five years. To be in Gerald's presence was to be amongst kindness and warmth.

Middle School Governors' AGM

Hethersett Middle School held its annual governors-parents evening in July when a very successful year was highlighted. For a full transcript of the chairman's speech follow the Middle School section from our home page.

At the end of term the school held a leavers' service in the Parish Church. During the term the school said goodbye to a number of valued members of staff including teachers Ralph Manning and Lois Povey, classroom assistants Barbara Tilley and Amanda Atkinson, school secretary Jill Garrould and caretaker Bob Beevor.

Class Dream Comes True

The former head of Woodside First and Nursery School made a nostalgic return to open a new 76,000 extension.

Vivien Horobin retired in 1999 but returned in July to cut the ribbon to officially open the new reception room.

Mrs Horobin began fighting for more space for the school's four year olds from the very first day she set foot in the school in 1984.

"I spent a lot of time trying to persuade the local authority the school needed a little more space because the classrooms were very small. We found the teaching space became more and more cramped as we needed more storage space.

"I was always optimistic it would happen and it was lovely to go back and see all the children and staff," she said.

The new room caters for up to 30 youngsters and was funded by the New Deal for Schools Scheme. As well as a celebration picnic the Middle School steel band popped in to add a Caribbean flavour to the day.

The school's new head Helen Lamb said: "It went very well and we had a lovely day. We are a growing school and a growing area and we have been over subscribed this year. It has always been known that four year olds need more space than other children for really good quality play. It was something as a school we pressed for a long time. It has doubled the amount of space for the reception children.

Officers from Norfolk County Council also joined in the celebrations.

Hethersett Blooms

Eighteen hanging baskets have been put in place along Great Melton and Henstead Roads thanks to sponsorship from local residents and businesses and a grant from the parish council. In addition flower beds around Oak Square have been weeded and the area around the village sign tidied up.

The village sign has been restored by Mike Woodcock with help and advice from Bob Mapes who made the sign. The letters Hethersett have now been picked out in gold and the parish pump next to the sign has also been cleaned up.

It is hoped that Hethersett in Bloom will become an annual event with more people becoming involved in clearing up other parts of the village which need a make over.

Summer Fete Success

St Remigius Church fete in June raised 765 for church funds. The event was opened by Janet Mark, head teacher of Hethersett Old Hall School and entertainment included the Hethersett Middle School Recorder group. Chairman of the fund-raising committee John Head said the result and the day were both excellent.

Singer aims for the Stars

20 year old Leah Morrison of Karen Close is aiming for the stars and a professional singing career.

Originally Leah was invited to the famous London Abbey Road studios to sing with pop star Boy George after becoming a finalist in the British Telecom karaoke contest. To reach the finals she beat off the challenge of 18,000 entrants. Now a chance encounter in a nightclub could take her career further.

She was enjoying a night out in Stoke on Trent when Jason G, owner of London based Kicking Pulse music, was promoting a track there. One of Leah's friends asked him to listen to her voice. He took her details and sent her a copy of a song to sing. Leah returned her version within a few days and the recording was complete in a day and featured Rockwell, a former rapper with the group Black Prophitz.

The song is now being sent to Jason's DJ contacts and could well feature on the London club scene. Leah has read Human Resource Management and Electronic Music at Keele University near Stoke.

"I'm very happy with how things have gone so far and it will be interesting to see how it does in London," she said.

Dedicated Assistant

A classroom assistant from Hethersett High School has been commended in the latest east of England BAFTA (Brilliant and Fantastic Teaching Awards).

Sue Wade has worked at Hethersett High since 1993 and was nominated by Head Marian Chapman:

"She gives everything she possibly can to the school. There is no job description which covers what she does and no pay which covers it. She's just involved in so many things," Mrs Chapman said.

A special ceremony was held at St Andrew's and Blackfriars Hall in Norwich.


Hethersett Hawks Cycle Speedway team look on target to win the South-East Division Two title and the juniors have become the British Junior League Regional Champions and also won the Norwich Under-17s Fours League and the Norwich Novice Fours League.

Several members of the club are main contenders for county, regional and national championship honours. The club has also announced an extended sponsorship deal with Kerley Services.

Electronic Plan after Grant

The village archives will soon be available on the Internet thanks to a grant of 1,865 from the Lottery Awards for All Scheme.

The money will enable village archivist Bill Reekie and Hethersett Society president Chris Barringer to make the archives accessible throughout the world.

The Hethersett archives comprises over 1000 items dating from the 1600s and includes original parchment deeds and wills through to modern newspaper cuttings, photographs and reminiscences from villagers.

Footballers On Song

Hethersett Middle School's under-12 team have won their section of the Norwich Schools League with eight wins out of eight. It means the school has won the Ireland Cup for the first time. The team was coached by teacher Chris Watt and parents Paul Self and Mark Kerr. Paul is a governor at the school and Mark is a member of the committee of Hethersett Athletic Football Club. Several of the squad are young enough to play in the same league again next season.

Meanwhile Hethersett Athletic will be running more teams than ever before in the coming season. The ever-expanding club will have 11 sides covering all aged ranges from eight to adult. The boys youth set-up will see sides run at Under-12, Under-13, Under-14 and Under-15. There will be three adult teams and three women's and girls teams along with an under-nines mixed side.

"We truly are now in a position to make football available in the village for all age ranges," said club chairman Peter Steward.

Footballers Delayed

Former Hethersett Middle and High School footballers Scott Newstead and Chris Steward have been taking part in an international youth tournament in Minneapolis in the USA where they represented Norwich's Hewett School.

Scott and Chris, who both live in the village, were delayed by more than 25 hours on their outward journey thanks to delays on their plane from Norwich Airport to Amsterdam. Despite this and suffering jet lag, the Hewett side reached the final of two competitions in Eden Prairie before moving on the the USA tournament in Minneapolis.

The Hewett side came third in their group to qualify for the quarter-finals before being knocked out on penalties by a team from Sweden. Chris has been captaining the side during a tour which saw them play 13 matches in just over a week and which saw them reach two finals before being runners-up in both.

Chris was honoured at the end of season sports prizegiving evening at the Hewett School with a special award to mark his oustanding contribution to soccer at the school. Both Chris and Scott have gained places to study physical education at the University of Brighton.

Praise for High School

The caring attitude of Hethersett High School has been praised in a letter to local newspaper the Eastern Evening News.

Susan Swanston from Wicklewood wrote to the newspaper following a field trip attended by her son Tom who is in Year 10 at the school.

"I felt I had to write to let your readers know what a lovely, caring and thoughtful school Hethersett High is. I have just returned from a five day field trip with my son Tom.

"Tom is disabled, suffering from a rare condition known as Dejerine Sottas Disease and is wheelchair-bound for most of the time.

"It was originally thought that Tom would be unable to go on the trip because of this, but it was agreed that I could go along also to ensure he had the help and back-up he gets at home.

"The teachers, pupils and the two drivers from D Way Coaches made the trip easy for Tom. He was given all the help and assistance required to make the trip fun, educational and generally enjoyable all round. The teachers with him on each day's activity had ensured that the places they were visiting were accessible for him in his wheelchair. It was the same each day with everyone pulling together. I have to say a huge thank you to all involved on the trip."

Green Fingered Villagers

Hethersett Horticultural Society and the parish council have announced the winners of the Hethersett in Bloom competition.

The standard of the gardens was exceptionally high with entries coming in many different sizes and stages of maturity. The assessment was based on the Royal Horticultural Society recommendations for judging gardens and judges were looking at health, vigour and sustainability of plants; suitability of design and usage; maintenance of paths, structure, lawns and other grassed areas; cultivation and freedom of perennial weeds and the harmonious blending of colours, shapes and textures.

The winners of the private gardens competition were James and Adele Hersey of Mill Close, second were Leslie and Audrey Stutely of Oak Close and joint third were Shirley Maiden of Cartmel and Maggie Cooper of Priory Road.

The commercial premises section was won by the King's Head for its hanging baskets and the bakery in Great Melton Road was highly commended for the standard of their hanging baskets.

First place for the best communal floral areas was awarded to three properties at Churchfields which were especially commended for the condition of their front lawns.

Special mention was given to the flowerbed around the village sign and the flowerbeds in Oak Square which have been replanted.

It was agreed that the introduction of brighter coloured plants to the hanging baskets sponsored by local businesses and the parish council would help them to stand out even more. IT was agreed that the first ever competition had been a big success and it is hoped for even more entries next year.


Police are stepping up their patrols in the village following complaints of criminal damage and anti social behaviour involving youngsters.

A number of youths have been congregating close to the Village Hall and there have been reports of shouting, swearing and drinking. In addition a trail of empty bottles has been left in the car park.

PC Tim Tyler, who is community police officer for the village said: "The majority of youths that I come across in the village are well behaved and don't give any cause for concern. However, the situation at the village hall is worrying. It goes without saying that any person committing offences will be dealt with by the police."

Since the middle of July, police have stepped up patrols and arranged a public order meeting.

Jacqueline Sutton, district councillor for the village, said the problem now seemed under control and praised police for their handling of the situation. "It has created difficulties for local residents in that area and the police have been very proactive about dealing with the problem and have gone out and spoken to the children," she said.

Hethersett Youngster prompts Charity Donation

A Norwich Rotary club has been inspired by a Hethersett youngster.

The Norwich St Edmund club raised 2,500 for young sufferers of diabetes after a plea from past president Mark Little whose eight year old grandson Kieran John of Hethersett was diagnosed with the disease when he was only three.

"Kieran went into a semi-coma, was rushed into hospital and the whole family stayed there for a week. It was that which made me really decide to help because of the wonderful help they had from the hospital and the Norwich and District Diabetic Youth Group," Mark said.

The club raised 500 for the group in 1999 and 2,000 this year with events including a Sportsman's Dinner attended by football legends Sir Bobby Charlton and Peter Shilton.

Record Year for Football Club

Hethersett Athletic Football Club continues to expand and in the coming season will be running more teams than ever before.

All ages from eight to adult will be catered for as the club continues to expand. A new mini soccer section for children under-10s has been added and as well as boys youth sides at Under-12, Under-13, Under-14 and Under-15s the club will have three girls/ladies sides and three men's teams.

Chairman Peter Steward told the annual meeting at Hethersett Social Club that the club was becoming a force to be reckoned with in local footballing circles. "The club is gaining a good reputation for sporting behaviour and skill.

In order to cope with the workload the positions of assistant secretary and sponsorship/fund-raising officer were added to the committee structure. In the coming season the club will be playing at the Memorial Playing Field, Hethersett Old Hall School, Hethersett Middle School and Hethersett High School. There is also the possibility of a pitch at the new village hall.

Officers elected were: Chairman, Peter Steward; Vice-Chairman, David Manington; Secretary, Mel Perkins; Assistant Secretary, Mel Bradfield; Treasurer, Mel Perkins; Fundraising Officer, Robert Whitmore. Co-Opted members, Dave Bowden and Paul Self.

So Near and Yet .......

Members of Hethersett Youth Cricket Club were desperately unlucky to lose in the final of the Hales Fitness Express Youth League.

The league was decided on a knockout final contested by the top two teams. Hethersett finished top of the regular season by a considerable margin, having won all their matches.

In the final, however, they lost for the first time this season to Beccles - a team they had already beaten both home and away.

It seems a strange way of deciding a competition! Needless to say the Hethersett boys were disappointed but are looking forward to another two seasons in the competition with the same squad of players.

Meanwhile Hethersett Cricket Club's Matthew Ellis has played a starring role in taking Norfolk Police to the final of the Eastern Area Police Knock-out tournament. Matthew hit a half century in the quarter final against Hampshire and then took two vital wickets in the semi-final win over Thames Valley Police.

Vandals Strike Again

For the second time this year vandals have set fire and destroyed the recycling bins in Great Melton Road. Once again the damage was done late at night and the fire brigade were unable to save the area from devastation. In addition goalposts belonging to Hethersett Athletic Football Club have had their stanchions ripped off.

The re-cycling bin area after the latest fire


Green Fingers

Hethersett Horticultural Society held its annual show in the Village Hall on September 9th. To view photographs of the show Click Here. The number of entries was slightly down but the standard was very high. members of Cringleford Flower Club gave a flower arranging demonstration and other attractions included a plant sale and stalls run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Cats Protection League. At the end of the afternoon chairman Eric Crowe auctioned some of the produce to raise funds.

Cup and trophy winners were:

President's Cup and Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural Medal of Best in Show Mrs Pauline Harper
Burton Fanning Silver Challenge Cup for Best Exhibit in Flower Section Mrs Pauline Harper
Silver Challenge Cup for Most Points in the Flower Section Mrs Pauline Harper
Benjamin Trophy for Best Exhibit in the Flower Arranging Section Mrs Daphne Abra
Chairman's Trophy for best Exhibit in the Vegetable Section Mrs Pauline Harper
Charles Tudor Challenge Cup for Most Points in the Vegetable Section Mrs Pauline Harper
The Deacon Senior Cup for Best Exhibit in the Fruit Section Mrs Pauline Harper
The Deacon Junior Cup for Most Points in the Fruit Section Mrs Pauline Harper
The Emily Knights Memorial Trophy for most Points in the Fruit and Vegetable and Flower Sections Mrs Pauline Harper
The John Howard Memorial Trophy for Best Exhibit in the Cookery Section Mrs Pat Bond
The Abra Trophy for most points in the Flower Arrangement and Cookery Sections Mrs Pauline Harper
The Ethel Haywood Memorial Cup fof the winner of Class 40 (Bowl of Roses) Mrs Gill Williams
Children up to and including seven years of age Eve Baldry and Stephanie Emery
Children eight to 11 years Holly Wardale
Children 12 years and over No Entries


New Facility By Christmas

The transformed Barclays Bank building in Great Melton Road could be opened as a breakfast club, nursery and after-school club for children by Christmas.

The building is next to the Rocking Horse Nursery which Mrs Mills has been running for the last 15 years.

Two full time staff, a cook, cleaner and various part-time staff will be employed to run the facility which will hold up to 15 youngsters. It will be used as a holiday club outside term time. It is estimated that the running costs for the building will be 600 a week. The plans and idea will now be discussed by South Norfolk District Council.

Youngsters enjoy Activity Day

Nearly 40 children attended Hethersett Library's Children's Activity Day in August. Based on the summer reading scheme, the day had a sporting theme with the morning session for children aged from three to five. Books read were The Gingerbread Man and Maisy Makes Gingerbread and there were gingerbread men to decorate and eat.

In the afternoon older children listened to stories including Frog is Frog and the Magic Bicycle. The children from both sessions helped to make a track-style Reading Relay collage of their own feet and coloured pictures of sports footwear.

Methodist Sale

A table top sale on the forecourt of the Methodist Church raised 77.50 for the amenity fund of Cromwell House, Methodist Home for the Aged in Norwich.

Archives set to go electronic

The Hethersett Archive now contains about 1,000 items including documents, photographs, post cards and other items. A lottery grant has been awarded to have the contents professionally catalogued and the index and a brief description of each item published on the Internet. It is hoped to complete the work by December.

Brighter Nights

Plans are going ahead to floodlight the all weather pitch at the village hall to enable its use during winter evenings.

Son of Kett's Oak

A special oak tree has been planted in the grounds of Wymondham Abbey by schoolboy James Coleman. It marks the new century and also the famous Kett's rebellion of 1549.

The tree has grown from an acorn taken from the tree under which Robert Kett held many of his meetings before marching on Norwich to protest against the enclosure of land.

The original tree is at Kett's Oak on the B1172 between Wymondham and Hethersett.

Best of British

Phil Howells of Hethersett Hawks/Kerley Services Cycle Speedway Club has become the club's first ever British Senior Champion. Phil, who lives in Nelson Close won the most coveted prize in the sport when the finals were held in Norwich in August.

Dave Martin also reached the final and semi-finals for the event were held at Hethersett.

St Remigius Flower Festival

Hethersett Parish Church was awash with colour over the final weekend of September thanks to a Millennium flower festival depicting many aspects of Christian life.

Photographs of the festival can be viewed by Clicking Here

Reaching for the Sky

Pupils from Hethersett Woodside First School and Nursery and Hethersett Middle School have spent the summer tending sunflowers grown from seed. A competition for the tallest was won by eight-year-old Charlotte Frost whose sunflower reached 3.6m high. Second place went to four year old George Topliff whose sunflower grew to 2.4m.

New Methodist Minister signs in

Members of the village methodist church have welcomed their new minister David Hart and his wife Anita (pictured below).

David comes to the village after two years as Chaplain at Shebbear College, a Methodist school in North Devon. He completed his training for the ministry in 1984 and was a minister in the Bideford circuit in North Devon before becoming an army chaplain.

In 11 years he has visited 23 countriess with tours of duty in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Cyprus as well as Canada, the United States and Australia.

Mrs Hart is a deacon in the Methodist Church and has served as a church community worker among army families in a garrison in Germany and as an agricultual chaplain in Devon. She will continue as an agricultural chaplain in Norfolk.

The couple have three children - Rebecca, 21, and twins Elizabeth and Robert, 17.

Publicans and Chemists Call Time

After 12 years as landlords, John and Sally-Ann Ashley (pictured below) have left the King's Head Public House.

Before taking over behind the bar the couple were well known as customers at the pub: "We have decided to hang up our tankards and take at least a year out after the hectic life of the pub," John said.

The Ashley's have been replaced by Cathy and Trevor Seaman, who are also local people.

"We wish them well and hope that they will be as well supported by the locals as we have been," Sally said. I for one, having spent many happy evenings in the pub, will drink to that!

In the same week another well known local couple have retired. Gordon and Liz Edwards have been running the pharmacy on Great Melton Road for the past 17 years, but have also decided to call it a day.