Saturday, 30 July 2011

Village Show 2011

The royal family at North Pickenham Village Show and other highlights of this years competition entries.

All photos © J Reed

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Sheringham Park

Sheringham Park, one 'r' is the given spelling, is a delight at any time of the year. Should you happen to miss the rhododendrons that flower from spring to summer, you may be able to enjoy the copulating toads or the brisk walk down to the stony seashore via the two lofty lookout towers, which give breathtaking 360 degree vistas, on the way. If you're really lucky, patient or have a relevant timetable you may see, and smell, the historic North Norfolk Railway.

© J Reed

Houghton Hall

Nothing to do with my local Houghton on the Hill, as far as I know, this gem is still a private house; the grey bit, the reddish buildings are the stables and now a museum cum canteen cum toilet-block. Albeit the custodian of HMRC owned historic soft furnishings, the bricks and mortar, situated just the other side of the gloriously dual ponded Great Massingham, are still owned by the relatives of the de facto first English Prime Minister. Even in the greyness of a July English summer, Houghton Hall is a truly grade one gracious place. The walled gardens are truly splendid.


All photos © J Reed

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Dandy Dancers and Insightful Interviews

Whilst international attention eyes the gladiators on Centre Court in SW19 and in the ring in Hamburg, Sheringham on the north Norfolk coast saw a dance-off between 32 morris dancing teams from around Britain. There were various styles of dress from the colourful, flower strewn, camp handkerchief waving to the more sinister looking, blackened faces resembling those seen at Sweeps festival in Kent. Excellent EDP photo story.

William Kempe morris dancing from Norwich to London

Reporting techniques in provincial newspapers can be somewhat different to sensationalist tabloid titillating  storytelling. In a not at all funny tale where several people were seriously injured in a car accident,  Rebecca Gough in the EDP filed the following stunning insight:
'One woman said she had lived in her house on the A1066 High Road, for 22 years and had not seen a crash. "I didn’t hear anything, I hadn’t heard anything about it,”'
Not happy with this revelation, the point was driven home by another fascinating interview with a couple:
'“We didn’t see or hear anything but we don’t usually get accidents along here.”'
with the man adding that, although he hadn't actually seen another accident:
'I think the only fatality I’ve seen was a cat about three or four weeks ago which I saw at the edge of the road.”'
Regional Press Award heading to Norfolk for sure.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Sat Navs, Black Cats and Unscheduled Bus Snags

Summer is always a bit of a short news season, perhaps even more so in Norfolk. So stories of big cats, lost American servicemen and disastrous delays on the gorgeous north Anglia coast abound in this weeks splendid Eastern Daily Press.

Small country, have satellite navigation - surely the high flyers of the American air force elite can't mistake Mildenhall in the west country for the America abroad namesake airfield base in deepest Suffolk? The Americans deny having lost anyone permanently, perhaps the hundreds of miles detour embarrassment is not often admitted?
'John Desmond, the landlord of the Horseshoe Inn, a popular pub in the Wiltshire village, said personnel arrived roughly 11 or 12 times a year.' A strangely accurate estimate.
Guys, head towards the rising sun, not the setting one, but don't detour to any houses of disrepute.

If you read books about wilderness walks you will be aware of the idea of a monster in the quite woods actually being a squirrel burying its nuts. I, too, have been guilty of this misappropriation. In the woods behind Narford Hall I could swear I had spotted some stray domesticated pale lamas, in fact they were disparate delinquents from the near albino deer herd at Houghton Hall. Anyhow, the sighting of something large and black in the shadows of a bleak Breckland brook could be mistaken identity. A Black Leopard in Breckland? Perhaps.

Transport chaos? Well, in fact the incident started at 11am and, although the local road bound tourist train was impeded, the two buses were sent on their way by 12.45. This may sound petty, but as all locals know, Cromer really is a roundabout with three main arteries with no obvious detours. Still, a finer place to be stranded to consume fresh crab can't be found.