Friday, 26 February 2010

Donate your body to save others

Make a difference once your spirit has left your carcass, your goodwill can live on.
You need to register your consent.
Sorry. No pictures or hard sell. Just think what joy your demise could leave behind.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Police Pounce on Prostitutes, Smoke Without Fire and Lotus Powered Black Cabs

No not a security sex scandal but a clamp down on a massage parlour in Wisbech where extras were thought to be doled for duplicate dosh. Apart from the paid for personal services, officials are perhaps more concerned with the associated people trafficking and working bondage (excuse the pun).  But what's the first line in the EDP report '...illegal brothel...', has Gordon slipped in a new cash raising measure I've missed? 'Slipped in', sorry I've punned again.

Dereham fire fighters put out the expression 'no smoke without fire' when the smell of smoke closed the High Street for about an hour. No fire and a professional sparks couldn't find fault, 'better safe than sorry' still applies then.

'Taxi, to the Olympic Stadium and don't hold the horses!'. Sports car performing Black Cabs for 2012? No, pollution free hydrogen cars for London with fuel cells from Intelligent Energy, with a base in Loughborough, fitted to cabs by Hethel based Lotus Engineering, first class NFN.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

X Factor Spots Little Star, City of Culture Charm Conflict and Sea Eagle Saga

Cowell cures child cancer, is there anything this man can't do?

No simon isn't up for sainthood. North Walsham residents noticed early signs of leukaemia from a filmed visit to Great Ormond Street during an X Factor programme.  Bethany's parents had thought the marks on her skin were eczema and not a symptom of something more serious. So he does have a use over forcing derivative cover version dross down cringing connoisseur's throats.

Is a nomination for City of Culture a contaminated chalice? As PP friends World Class Norfolk noted, being chosen could suggest that Norwich is unrefined and populated by philistines. Still, a good excuse that we don't need the help should we miss out! At least they've realised Norwich isn't Norfolk and visa versa.

Having been surprised that a large crow was in fact an unidentifiable bird of prey near to St Mary's at Houghton on the Hill fuelled an interest in the continuing saga of sea eagles on the Norfolk coast. Come on, who wouldn't want to see one of these 2.5m wingspan beauties? Glad I don't have a small dog though!

Finally, big news of the day is that dog whisperer and facial hair master Cesar Millan is following me on Twitter, best wishes to him on his recent family bereavement. I am number 88571 on his roll call but I'm chuffed to bits. Bertie picture for you, to celebrate the love of dogs.

© J Reed

© J Reed

Friday, 19 February 2010

Purveyors of Past Period Perceptions and Flo's Flown in Festivities

Bored of looking into the world of the aristocracy at National Trust venues, and the like, as if you were visiting a human zoo? Well now you can join in at feeding time with these rare breeds with specialist holiday and event company More Than Good Manners. They can arrange days at stately homes, like nearby Oxburgh Hall, or days out doing those everyday English pursuits of hunting, shooting and fishing.

Living the fantasy is one thing but please, lessons in manners and etiquette?! Clients are expected to be mainly wealthy foreigners, let's hope they won't expect English gentlemen to cover puddles with their coats or emerge manfully from Oxburgh's moat à la Colin Firth.

Back to reality and best wishes to Florence Green who is not just 109 years old but officially Britain's last remaining First World War veteran. Based at RAF Marham, Florence worked in catering and was duly presented with a birthday cake by a present day mess hall teenager.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Wherry Wreck Revival, Windmill Weather Reaction and Respite Recess Worries

After 10 winters and £200,00 the 1898 wherry trader Albion, originally rescued in 1949, is finally fully refurbished.

The 60ft boat is owned by Norfolk Wherry Trust and can be chartered from their base in Ludham on The Broads near Great Yarmouth. 

Reports today of a weather phenomenon around offshore turbines which drive warmer air at sea level with cooler air above to produce misty clouds like these at Scroby Sands.

Friends of Chernobyl's Children place kids with disadvantaged backgrounds from contaminated Chernobyl with families throughout the UK for a month of R&R with a little home grown TLC.

The Diss branch is warning that the £500 needed for transport and visas per child is getting harder to find in these financially depressed times with charities vying for funds.

Charity may begin at home, but perhaps the FOCC could ask for a financial gesture from one or more of the East Anglian renewable power companies to restitute the repercussions from nuclear negligence.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Snowdrop Diplomacy Suggestion

Perhaps we should invite the neighbours to the South Pickenham annual snowdrop service.

These sufferers of Galanthophilia could pop in to Pickenham on their pilgrimage south from Walsingham.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Chisel Apprentice Quest, Foul Fowl Assassins, Foreign Crustacean Foray & Burgh Castle Boat Builder's Boom

Any school leaver wanting to cut into a new career could do worse than contact Colin Smith. A stone engraver for 48 years, Yarmouth based Mr Smith wants to pass on his hand crafted skills to an apprentice. 
I particularly like his self scribed headstone for, hopefully far distant, future use, 'Just Walking The Dog'.

© J Reed

Distressing news of shot gunned swans north of Dereham. If the RSPCA can catch the culprit hopefully they will contact the Queen, although death penalty hopes for a treasonable offence are, unfortunately, just an urban myth.

Although more used to stories of more human sized Chinese immigrants to King's Lynn, a more sinister looking invader has appeared at nearby Great River Ouse. The Chinese mitten crab has been spotted before and seems to harm river banks more than indigenous crabs at the levels they are .

Better boat news from Burgh Castle where Goodchild Marine have secured a two boat, three year contract to build pilot boats with a unique French hull design. Norfolk showing the way in these troubled water times.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Useless Unitary Utterances

Whatever your thoughts were on the proposed unitary status for Norfolk, what can't be overlooked is the complete waste of taxpayer's money on the resulting rejected report from the Department for Communities and Local Government.  In October 2006 the then Secretary of State issued an invitation to two-tier principal local authorities, district and county councils, in England to submit proposals for a change to unitary or single-tier status. The invitation stated that any change to unitary local government should:
• be affordable;
• be supported by a broad cross-section of partners and stakeholders;
• provide strong, effective and accountable strategic leadership;
• deliver genuine opportunities for neighbourhood flexibility and empowerment; and
• deliver value-for-money and equity in public services
The Unitary Structures Team concluded, after two reports in 2008 and 2009, that Norfolk should become a single tier authority.

So why did the Secretary of State ignore this and decide to let things remain the same except for Norwich changing to a unitary authority? Norwich councillors wanted this but the general consensus from Norfolk MPs is surprise and astonishment. Some thoughts on what the changes may mean for you in the EDP.
Suffolk seems to have been unable to reach any unity under consultation and has been left alone to remain a wholly district and county council structure. At least the mad idea of moving Lowestoft into Norfolk was dropped!

Here's the final report you have paid for, whether a Norfolker or not.  Read, digest and ignore (and feel like a Secretary of State).

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Turbulent Times for Turbine Traders? Tosh.

Turbines are a hot topic in East Anglia with applications for, or protests against, onshore farms almost a weekly news headline. Stamford Renewables have sent applications to Waveney District Council for three sets of three turbines on three sites. The turbines will be like these at North Pickenham and not like the obviously offshore type shown in this EDP article.

© J Reed

Offshore wind firm companies are booming. Great Yarmouth based Seajacks, a company that provides portable if not pocket sized offshore lifting solutions, has just been bought by the Americans in a multimillion pound deal.

Permission for a turbine at HMP Bure at the old RAF Coltishall are in doubt  with other plans for the remainder of the site. TAG Aviation are in talks with the landlord, the Ministry of Justice, to use the airfield facilities for aircraft decommissioning with the proposed turbine thought to be an aviation hazard. Of course, a new employer in the region would be welcomed.

Street Advertising Services created this 3D piece of art for A4e who aid the long term unemployed back to work with advice, work placements and help inspiring self confidence, making people believe they can cut the mustard. Very apt from the home of Colmans. Perhaps 'Lottery Lout' Michael Carroll could give them a call. Having squandered just under £10 million in just over 7 years, Carroll is now officially unemployed with only his wrecked mansion to his name. Perhaps a new career at the mustard merchant? I've got the headline already: Chief Chav Chooses Colman's Catering Career Change.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Furtive Fly Tipping Twits

Fury was felt when favourite walk was fractured by furtive fly tippers.

The phantom fly tippers have struck again in the Houghton on the Hill area, this time being doubly offensive by spoiling the idyll of StMary's which has been lovingly restored and kept by volunteers and charity.

The people that do this have no regard for the beauty of our countryside. The likelihood is the culprits have been paid to take away the trash but are unwilling to pay any landfill tax. Instead, Council Tax payers will foot the bill for clearance.

All photos © J Reed

What makes this near desecration more galling is that the dumped detritus is only 1.8 miles away from Ashill Recycling Centre. I've done a map to show you the beautiful countryside and the route to the dump.  You can be fined if caught illegally disposing of waste.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Cancer charity concert, curtailing chuggers and clothing chain closures

Always a sucker for a silver lined cloud story. The death of Norfolk man Gerry Davies aged 66, a former submariner and glass industry worker in Norwich for 25 years, from cancer has led to the fulfilment of his wish to begin a male only cancer awareness charity. Money raised at his funeral and an upcoming concert will launch the Blue Ribbon Foundation

Chuggers, or charity muggers, used to only be seen in major metropolises. Now these usually attractive and overly eager charity signeruppers are becoming an unwelcome plague in Norwich. It's your own choice, but most of these clipboard huggers are paid and/or the company they work for takes a cut of anything you donate. Why not listen to the shpeel, think about it and contact the charity direct later?

Two stores run by Ethel Austin, one in Lynn and the other in Yarmouth, look to be in trouble again despite restructuring after administration in 2008. Competition from more high profile brands and slippery street sales are blamed.

Attention Pickenhamers

Omission from the Parish Voice this month, spread the word.

3pm SUNDAY 14th FEBRUARY 2010

Refreshments served afterwards and a chance to admire the aconites and snowdrops around the church.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Accession Anniversary

Today marks the 58th anniversary of the death of King George VI at Sandringham and the accession to the throne by QE2.

As usual, lots of great information from the Norfolk Coast blog.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Sadly missed biker and the fowl designator

A touching story in the EDP today when the widow of motorbike accident victim, Sue Capes, asked the judge not to jail the driver of the car which struck and killed her husband. Remorseful David Everson may have committed a criminal offence but was no criminal, she said, and gaoling him would just ruin another family needlessly.

Not only was Mr Capes a keen biker, he was also one of the few blacksmiths in Norfolk fast getting a reputation for his artistic metal creations. You can read more here in the official obituary and a personal view from a fellow Panthers MCC member.

But wait a minute, Mr Everson is a 'chicken sexer'. Is this a vocation? And just what do you tell a career advisor to be lead down this path?

Thursday, 4 February 2010

No peas, travel ease and not saving the trees

Bad news for East Anglian farmers as Birds Eye cancel the 30,000 tonnes of peas from the pod grown over 11,500 acres. Fortunately the cooperative had not ordered two new harvesters at £320,000 each.

Photo:James Bass

Trips into Norwich during the rush hour will ease with proposals for part time traffic lights at the Honingham roundabout. Generally light traffic is one of Norfolk's blessings, as I was contrastly reminded on a 2.5 hour each way 50 mile commute from Essex to Richmond on Thames last week.

Police efficiency is at an all time low, well energy wise anyway. Don't expect that three point penalty notice not to arrive, unless it gets recycled amongst the other 63 tonnes of paper Norfolk Constabulary gets through annually. Not to mention nearly a quarter of a million plastic cups at the water coolers!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Toilet Turmoil, Sub Station Site and Air Ambulance Arrival

Yesterday was Groundhog Day in the USA.

Yesterday was Groundhog Day in the USA.

And déjà vu it is in the EDP today. Watton council warn of a shortfall in funding as their £100,000 refurbed public toilets are repeatedly vandalised, reminiscent of  Swaffham's water closet Waterloo. Just how do you spend £100,000 refurbing some sanitary ware anyhow?

Just to the north of the Pickenhams, in Little Dunham, villagers are up in arms about a proposed electricity sub station. Not one of those humming brick sheds behind the local corner shop, but a 22 acre construction on a 42 acre site around 150 metres from the nearest dwelling. The proposed site will be the terminus for 45km of underground cabling from the Dudgeon Wind Farm landfall at Weybourne.

A short diversion via Little Cressingham yesterday, on my return from the south, as the B1065 was closed and the air ambulance called to assist at a traffic accident at Hilborough.

The injured lorry driver, who was transporting railway sleepers, was airlifted to Addenbrookes in Cambridge by this charity funded emergency resource. The East Anglian Air Ambulance needs £3million a year to run two helicopters 365/24/7 and provide ongoing training. That's about thirty toilet refurbs.

Monday, 1 February 2010

A lot less lute

As the Norfolk Constabulary decides to cut back on the standard of their new fleet of patrol cars, a lot more loot seems to be being spent on more traditional items.
David van Edwards has been making lutes since my birth year, some 43 years ago. You can contact him to make a bespoke lute for you here, although there is a four year lead time!