Archive for May, 2012

Bircham Windmill’s Jubilee Celebration and Cake Competition

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Posted by Stella Gooch
Photo by Elly Chalmers

Children wave from Bircham Windmill's upper floors

Children wave from Bircham Windmill's upper floors

This  (late) May Bank Holiday, Saturday 2nd to 4th of June inclusive there will be red, white and blue all over Bircham Mill.  Formerly owned by the Royal family, Bircham Mill’s current owners, Stevie and Elly Chalmers are keen to celebrate the Jubilee in style.  From red, white and blue play dough, cakes, balloons and bunting, to Jubilee teas, staff in garden party dresses (apparently the baker has yet to learn that bit yet! and a Kings and Queens quiz.

On Monday June 4th is the annual Country Day with sheep shearing, Morris Dancing, stalls and a tractor to play on.  In addition, Bircham Windmill will be holding a staff Victoria Cake Competition and asking visitors to sample the cakes and vote for the winner SO YOUR HELP IS MUCH NEEDED!

The Windmill attraction will be open from 10 am to 5 pm each day.   FREE parking and FREE entry to the bakery and tearooms.  Entry for mill and garden is Adults £4.50, Retired £3.75, Children £3.00, garden only is Adults £1.50, Retired £1.25 and Children £1

The windmill sails will be turning, wind permitting so why not pop along this Bank Holiday Weekend!

Open Farm Sunday at Holkham Estate 17 June

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Posted by Stella Gooch
Photo courtesy of Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall Estate

Holkham Hall EstateThe Holkham Estate will be showcasing farming past and present on Sunday June 17 when it takes part in Open Farm Sunday and also hosts a Victorian Farm Day.Open Farm Sunday is a national event organised by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) giving people the opportunity to visit their local farms and meet the farmers who grow their local produce and care for the countryside.

At Holkham, visitors can view the display of large, modern farm machinery used in the farm operation on the estate and meet members of Holkham’s farming team to find out what is involved in modern farming today. This will be a great opportunity to get inside the cabs and see the on-board equipment and technology behind today’s machines. There will be guided tours of the farming areas of the park in an open trailer every hour between 11am and 3pm.  A sheep shearing demonstration will take place from 12 noon until 1pm and there is also an opportunity to see a majestic Suffolk Punch working horse and the cattle, calves, ewes and lambs on the estate.

In contrast a Victorian Farm Day is taking place in the Bygones Museum where visitors can step back in time to celebrate Holkham’s Victorian heydays of farming.  A cast of characters from the past, including a blacksmith and equine expert, will bring the museum to life and talk about farming in days gone by.  Cooks, kitchen maids and bakers will also show the food and cooking methods used in Victorian times and Holkham’s gamekeepers will be on hand to keep an eye on any poachers.

Mark Bowyer, farm manager for the Holkham Estate, comments: “This is our second year where Holkham has participated in Open Farm Sunday and it is a great opportunity to welcome visitors to the estate, both young and old, and show them the modern methods we use in farming today.  Alongside this, it is interesting to see how farming was carried out in the past with our Victorian Farm Day in the museum demonstrating just how much things have changed.”

Open Farm Sunday is a free event. There is a car parking fee in Holkham Park of £2.50 for the day.

Tickets for the Bygones Museum and Walled Gardens are £7 for adults, £3.50 for children aged between two and 16 years or a family ticket for two adults and up to three children is £19.

Tickets which also include admission to the Hall as well as the Bygones Museum and Walled Gardens are £12 for adults, £6 for children aged between two and 16 years or a family ticket for two adults and up to three children is £33.


Hunstanton Carnival Queen announced

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Posted by Stella Gooch

The Carnival Kids' along with Carnival Lion Leo and Zoe, Manager from the Golden Lion, who are supporting Carnival again this year!

The Carnival Kids' along with Carnival Lion Leo and Zoe, Manager from the Golden Lion, who are supporting Carnival again this year!

Plans for this year’s Carnival are well underway and there is still the opportunity for last minute parade and stall entries so don’t delay.

This year we have 3 princesses and 2 princes: Charlie Melton and Lewis Cleland both from Redgate School, Sophie Horner, Eleanor Wood and Rebecca Wallace also from Redgate School and our lovely new Queen Trudy Cooper from Wells High School. All children live in Hunstanton and are keen
to represent the Town at Carnival on Sunday 24th June and throughout the year at Civic Events.

This year’s theme is…’All that glitters…’ and the kids are keeping tight lipped about their outfits, although we suspect there will be some glitter involved. At last night’s Carnival meeting at the Golden Lion, excitement from the ‘kids’ was plain to see.  The Lynn News and EDP were on hand to take official photos…. look out in the local press for these soon!

Carnival Day starts at 10am with stalls and activities on the Green all day. The official opening by the Queen, Princes and Princesses
and Mayor and special guests will be at 11am and the Carnival Parade will leave the recreation ground at 1pm heading down to the Green.
There are performances and appearances all day on the stage by local groups and a special guest spot by a childrens’ choir from London!!

Look out for full programme guide in shop windows, Tourist Information Centre and on the day, on notice boards.

DON’T FORGET Sunday 24th June 10am  – 6pm  2012 HUNSTANTON CARNIVAL ….. ALL THAT GLITTERS….

Hunstanton’s Jubilee Celebrations 4 June

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Posted by Stella Gooch

The primary Jubilee Event in Hunstanton is on 4 June where a full day of entertainment is planned with fun for all the family finishing with ‘lighting of the beacon’ and fireworks.  There will be stalls and street entertainment in the High Street area and more stalls and all day entertainment on the Green.

On the Green starting at 10 am there will be a full programme of entertainment which will continue until the beacon is lit, one of 4000 registered  beacons round the country. 

The entertainment programme for the Hunstanton Jubilee Celebrations on 4 June is shown below.

10.00        Music
11.00        Brighton 65
12 noon    Rollason Dancers
12.45        Lauren Parkin
1.30        Hunstanton Community Choir
2.30        Genuine Fake
3.45        Tang Soo Do Demonstration
5.00        Hayley Dennis
6.00        Brighton 65
7.00        Lauren Parkin
8.00        Brighton 65
9.00        Cliff Allman

Also on the Lower Green will be the following attractions bouncy castle and slide, Tots play area, Dog Agility and flyball demonstrations, Punch and Judy (11am and 2pm), Balloon Race,  Hunstanton Motorcycle Training, BBQ, Hog Roast etc.   There will also be stalls which include Rainbows craft and face painting, In Bloom, The Allotment Society, Norfolk Hospice Tapping House.  There will also be a chance to paint a tile which will become part of a permanent feature on North Promenade.

In the High Street will be a craft market with street entertainment throughout the day including a clarinettist, Snettisham Salvation Army Band, Steel Drum Player and John Giller Drama and Theatre Academy.  In the Spinney, which has been yarnbombed, there will be storytelling from 12noon until 3pm.

This exciting day will cumulate with the lighting on the beacon on the Lower Green synchronised country wide at 10.15pm.  This will be followed by a firework display on the beach.

Diamond Jubilee Fever is not far away in the Hunstanton area

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Posted by Stella Gooch

HM The Queen has been our monarch for a fantastic 60 years in 2012.  Diamond Jubilee celebrations are planned all over the UK focussing on an extended weekend – 2, 3, 4 and 5 June 2012.  Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne on 6 February 1952 and was crowned on 2 June 1953.  There is so much happening in our local area to mark HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee so why not try and get around some of these enjoyable events some of which are listed below.

If you have any Jubilee events in our local area that deserve a mention just drop me an email to with brief details:

Saturday, 26 May
SNETTISHAM “Singing in the Reign” Concert in St Mary’s Church, Snettisham

Music to Celebrate H.M. Queen’s 60 year reign including Coronation Music/Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific Land of Hope and Glory/Jerusalem
Songs from around The British Isles and The Commonwealth.
Sung by “The Glebe Singers” ( based in Market Deeping Lincolnshire)
Saturday, 26 May

St. Mary’s Church SnettishamTickets for the concert (£7.50 adults, £2 children under 16) are available from:
- St. Mary’s Church (01485 541301)
- The Grapes Gallery , Lynn Road, Snettisham
- The Norfolk Hospice Tapping House (tel. 01485 542891)
- The choir’s websiteIf weather is fine picnics are welcome on the field opposite the Church from 5.00 p.m.For more details please contact Rev Geoff Suart on 01485 541301, or the choir on 01778 348001.

Friday, 1 June
to Sunday, 3 June
HUNSTANTON Lifestyles 2012 Weekend at Hunstanton – Extreme sports festival including kite surfing, wind surfing, skating, BMX, beach activities and live music.
Lifestyles 2012 Tel: 01553 818 018

Saturday, 2 June
11AM onwards
HEACHAM Heacham Club Charity Invite You To Their Sports Extravaganza
Football Field from 11.00am onwards
Sponsored Stroke Association Ramble, 1948 Olympic Torch Relay
Mini Olympics
Sports Taster Sessions

Saturday, 2 June
10AM – 2PM
Sunday, 3 June
ANMER St Mary the Virgin Church, Anmer
10am – 2pm Flower Festival to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee Rededication of the church bells at 4pm on 3rd June, followed by BBQ and music by the King Swingers.Patron H R H The Prince of Wales

Saturday, 2 June
The Corn Exchange, Tuesday Market Place, Kings Lynn, PE30 1JW
Tel: 01553 764864 – John Harris presents:

A variety Concert celebrating the 60th. Anniversary of the Accession to the Throne of Her Majesty The QueenFeatures: King’s Lynn Town Band, King’s Lynn Male Voice Choir, Maureen Larkin, Michael Sands, Vera Boxer, Doreen Reed, David & Kath Burkett, Graeme Warwick, Malachi Needham and The Diamond Jubilee players.

Seat Price £9 (Concessions £6) Available from Box Office 01553 764864

Proceeds in support of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

Grand Raffle – Many Prizes

Following the success of his Silver and Golden Jubilee Galas, John Harris looks forward to presenting another varied and nostalgic show featuring favourite local acts, together with accomplished artistes, to provide an excellent evenings entertainment, culminating in an impressive ‘Tribute to Britain’ featuring the entire company.

Sunday, 3 June
2.30 – 4.30PM
HEACHAM St Mary’s Church Invite you to an afternoon of events
1950s Tea Dance 2.30pm-4.30pm
Prizes for best hat and best outfit
Lots of activities in and around the Church including cream teas
Songs of Praise 5.30pm
All free – Donations to Heacham Surgery

Sunday, 3 June
3.30 – 6.30PM
HEACHAM Heacham Parish Council Invite you to a Jubilee Street Party – High Street 3.30pm – 6.30pm
Hog Roast, Jelly and Ice-cream, Jubilee Cake, Entertainment and Last Night of the Prom Sing Along
Tickets £5.00
Sunday, 3 June
SNETTISHAM Dance and ‘Fish & Chip Supper’ in the Jubilee Marquee from 7pm.
Adults £8, 11 years and under, £4.
Tickets available from the Pharmacy and Grapes Picture Gallery in the Market Place, Snettisham.
Or send a cheque, payable to Snettisham Village Events Committee to: SVEC Jubilee Tickets, 1 Station Road, Snettisham, Norfolk, PE31 7QL

Sunday, 3 June
10.30AM – Church
SNETTISHAM Diamond Jubilee Church Service in the Marquee
12.30pm Jubilee Marquee THE BIG LUNCH

Monday, 4 June
HUNSTANTON Hunstanton Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.Lower Green. Music all day including live bands, barbecue and hog roast. Bouncy castle, punch and judy show, martial arts display, yarn bombing. 10pm: Lighting of the Jubilee Beacon on the Lower Green followed by fireworks on the beach nearby at 10.30pm.High Street and St Edmund’s Terrace: closed for a craft market and street entertainment. Enquiries:  01485 532610

Monday, 4 June
2.30 – 4.30PM
HEACHAM St Mary’s Church Invite you to an afternoon of events
1950s Tea Dance 2.30pm-4.30pm
Prizes for best hat and best outfit
Lots of activities in and around the Church including cream teas
Songs of Praise 5.30pm
All free – Donations to Heacham Surgery

Monday, 4 June
3 – 5PM
DERSINGHAM Royal Cream Tea to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee 3-5pm – St Nicholas’ Church Hall, Dersingham – £5.50

Monday, 4 June
1.30PM – Treasure Hunt
3v- 5PM – Sports
5.30 – 7PM – BBQ
7.30 – midnight – Dance/picnic
SEDGEFORD Sedgeford Village Celebration Fun Day – 1.30 pm Treasure Hunt round the village for all the family
meet at the village hall to collect your clues. All children
must be accompanied by an adult.3-5 pm Sports for all the family5.30 – 7pm BBQ for all the family £2.50 a head
(telephone 579002 to place your order)7.30 – midnight Dance and picnic
Local band DNA and DJ Mick Le Mod
Music from 1952 – 2012.
Bring your own picnic and drinks
Tickets £5 from 01485 57900210.26 pm – Lighting of the beacon

Tuesday, 5 June

DERSINGHAM  “Jubilations” – a village Voice Live event to mark HM The Queen’s Jubilee
St Nicholas’ Church Hall

Saturday, 9 June
DERSINGHAM Jubilee Concert – Norfolk Brass and members of the Kings Lynn Festival Chorus
A concert to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Tickets: £7.50 (phone Hadyn 01485 544561) or £8.50 on the door



Hunstanton gets Blue Flag and Quality Coast Award

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Posted by Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk

Hunstanton Beach at low tide

Hunstanton Beach at low tide

Hunstanton has once again been successful in gaining both a Blue Flag and Quality Coast Award.

24 beaches across the East Coast of England were awarded Blue Flags and Quality Coast Awards by Keep Britain Tidy today*. In total 142 beaches across England gained awards this year and Hunstanton was one of just 36 beaches to have gained both a Blue Flag and Quality Coast Award.

The awards recognise high standards in beach management.

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Cabinet Member, said, “It is great news that Hunstanton has achieved these prestigious awards once again and further recognition of the quality of the resort. The flags are a clear symbol to visitors that the beach and facilities are well-managed and clean.”

Beaches are awarded the Blue Flag based on compliance with 32 criteria covering the following: environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, safety and services.

Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, which is responsible for the Blue Flag scheme in England and the Quality Coast Awards, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that England has more Blue Flag beaches this year and we urge more holiday-makers to take advantage of the East of England’s award-winning seaside resorts this summer.

“It’s great to see that more beaches along our coastline have achieved high standards of excellence for visitors. With 24 beaches in the region receiving Blue Flags and Quality Coast Awards, what better way to holiday in the East of England than to visit one of these local award-winning beaches?”.

The news comes ahead of the extended bank holiday weekend in June when thousands of water sports enthusiasts are set to flock to Hunstanton to enjoy Lifestyles Festival (1-3 June). Once again the event will include the British Kitesurfing Association’s National Kitesurfing competition as well as workshops and demonstrations of a variety of extreme sports. For full details visit:

The Quality Coast Award and Blue Flag scheme are administered in England by Keep Britain Tidy. For more information visit

Hunstanton loses bid for Lottery Funding for Pier

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Posted by Stella Gooch
Photos provided by John Maiden

View into Conservation  Area from Hunstanton Beach 2002

View into Conservation Area from Hunstanton Beach 2002

The cat is out of the bag re the recent lottery bid by Hunstanton Civic’s Society.  The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), having assessed their £7.48m application for the creation of a new Hunstanton pier and two heritage centres have now decided that the Fund was unable to support the project. To date, HLF has made 98 awards in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk totalling £11.4m and it is a shame that on this occasion Hunstanton has missed out.

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said:

“Whilst we commend Hunstanton Civic Society for their desire to create a new pier, we were unable to support this project as there is so little of the original historic fabric of the previous pier remaining.  The Heritage Lottery Fund is always available to provide advice to organisations considering applying for a grant and we would be happy to do so should the Civic Society want to discuss any future plans with us.”

John Maiden’s reaction on behalf of Hunstanton Civic Society:

“Members of our committee were disappointed with the outcome, but will accept the invitation to discuss future plans with the HLF.  There is clearly a need for a heritage centre of some kind in Hunstanton, it is just very unfortunate that West Norfolk Council failed to enforce the repairing covenant in the Pier Lease when most of the pier was washed away in 1978, or again in 2002 when the final remnant was removed after fire had destroyed the entire entrance building. Had this small section of pier been preserved the HLF would have been more likely to fund the reinstatement of the whole structure. However, since the 999-year pier lease has another 8 centuries left to run, there will clearly be opportunities to build a pier on the original footprint if money can be found from other sources…”

Hunstanton Pier 1978

Hunstanton Pier 1978

Open Days at Bircham Newton Memorial Project

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Posted by Stella Gooch

Bircham Newton RAF Crest logoThe Bank Holiday weekend once again saw the opening to the public of the RAF Memorial Project Heritage Room Museum.  Since I had never heard of the museum previously – entry was FREE – and it was close by my family and I ventured out to take a look.  What we found was an amazing collection of historical memorabilia and records covering the life of what was once an operational RAF base throughout two world wars.   The material gathered had been provided from many sources throughout the local area.  In such a small room there was an amazing range of items to get your head around.  For me it was overwhelming in that I currently live on top of all this history and had no idea of the role played by Bircham Newton in the two world wars.

I also witnessed on display a truly wonderful piece of memorabilia which I understand, was created more than 90 years ago.  This plaque had been donated to the Museum by Rene Chamberlain, a resident of Heacham near Hunstanton in 2011 when Mrs Chamberlain was 100 years old!  The plaque is painted on canvas from the skin of an aircraft (Fairey Albacore)  and is an emblem representing the 119 Squadron in which Mrs Chamberlain’s father Frank Coe served, working all over the UK and for a period in France.  This is a phenomenal piece in the collection of memorabilia and will generate a lot of interest for future generations, because of its age and the fact that it was painted by someone who served in the 119 Squadron which was actually based here at Bircham Newton.  Alongside the display is an explanation of its history.

The 119 Squadron was formed in January 1918 as a day bomber unit but failed to become operational before the end of the First World War.  After training at Duxford and Thetford it was eventually disbanded in December 1918.  Mr Coe is believed to have joined the squadron in 1918.  (The squadron was reformed again in July 1944 and served in Bircham Newton, flying Alacore and Swordfish biplanes on anti-shipping missions. It was disbanded again in May 1945.)

When presenting the plaque, Mrs Chamberlain said: “The plaque was just left in my house and I didn’t want it to end up on the scrap heap. I had asked a lot of friends if they knew of a museum who would like to take it and my friend Peter Collison contacted the people here at Bircham Newton.”

Mrs Chamberlain was rightly proud of her father who had been awarded three medals for bravery during his time in the service and felt sure that he would be delighted if he could see what had happened to his plaque.  The emblem drawn and painted by Mr Coe features a white eagle with a crown above it.

It is believed that this was not the squadron plaque used during World War Two but it could well have been a preliminary design.

The work of the museum is to be commended.  There are unfortunately too few volunteers for the museum to be open very often.

Memorial at Bircham Newton

Memorial at Bircham Newton

Future dates in 2012 for museum openings are (11am to 5pm for each day):


Sunday, 27 May
Sunday, 24 June
Sunday, 29 July
Sunday, 26 August
Sunday, 30 September (special celebration 2pm 5pm)

RAF Bircham Newton closed in December 1962. The closure was marked by a final graduation parade of RAF apprentices and a ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony conducted by the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and the Queens Colour Squadron. The guest of honour was Marshal of the Royal Air Force Lord Tedder, who had commanded one of Bircham Newton’s squadrons in the early 1920s.

An event will be held at Bircham Newton on the afternoon of Sunday the 30 September 2012 to mark the 50th anniversary of the closure of the RAF station. Weather permitting, there will be a flypast of vintage aircraft from Felthorpe Flying Club, and many other things to enjoy, including military music performed by the Fakenham Town Band.

It is anticipated that several RAF veterans will attend, including former RAF Administrative Apprentices, who participated in the original closing ceremony. Other local organisations have also been invited to participate and exhibit, including the National Construction College, the Air Training Corps, the Royal British Legion, the Royal Air Force Association, the Norfolk Military Vehicle Group, the Friends of Langham Dome and the War Graves Group from St Mary’s Church Great Bircham.

There will be a display of military vehicles and large scale model aircraft, and an exhibition of paintings and drawings produced by two local primary schools. In addition, trustee David Jacklin will present an illustrated talk on the history of the former RAF station and its satellite airfields. To conclude the event, a small ‘Sunset Ceremony’ will be conducted to replicate the final part of the original closing ceremony when a bugler played the ‘Last Post’ as the RAF ensign was lowered.


You can find out more about the Bircham Newton Memorial Project on their website

Take the B1155 (Stanhoe to Gt Bircham) through the centre of the National Construction College East campus (Bircham Newton) – see OS Landrange 132 – NE Norfolk/Kings Lynn/Fakenham.
From Stanhoe: Immediately pass signs for The Birches Conference Centre – look for sign on lefthand siDe of road indicating “RAF Memorial”.  Turn off B1155 at this sign.  Pass memorial (on right).  Parking area and Heritage Room Museum in building facing blue ramp and wooden sign in place).
From Gt Bircham: Drive through campus – pass main car park on right.  Take second turning right then directions as above.


Bircham Newton’s RAF history spans 1918 – 1962 and involves some illustrious names over the years.  The origins of the station go back to the First World War when it opened as a home to the first four-engined bombers.  The base continued hosting bomber squadrons during the 1920s and 1930s.  In the Second World War it served with distinction in Coastal Command.  At this time the station became the home of Admin and Officer Training.  The Construction College (known as CITB at the time) purchased the site in 1962.

The Memorial Project was established in 2005 with a view to raising funds for permanent memorials at both Bircham Newton and Docking.  These memorials are now in place and the offer focal points to honour those who served and died at both stations.  The College kindly provided a permanent home for the project in what used to the Commanding Officer’s quarters and the Heritage Room Museum became established.

The Museum commemorates the personnel and work of those involved in the RAF station at Bircham Newton and its satellites (Docking, Langham and Sedgeford) and houses personal memories, memorabilia and items of interest illustrating the history of the life of the station.