Wensum, by Jim Harding, Tuesday, July 26

Cyclists ride through the grounds of Holkham Hall in the Fakenham 50 held on the final Sunday of Active Fakenham Week

This will feature a rowing challenge, a bungee run, smoothie bikes, inflatables, live music, activity stalls and refreshments. What’s not to 
like!

Principal organiser Richard Crook of Active Fakenham is upbeat about the programme he and his committee have put together. “There are over 40 fantastic choices over the nine days ranging through sports, writing workshops, dancing, music, cookery and storytelling,” he said. “Literally something for everyone.”

In a break from accustomed tradition, the Fakenham Fair, normally held on Millennium Park, will transfer to the town centre on the final Saturday. The move has been welcomed by the town’s traders who felt in the past that they had rather been left out.

This year’s circus theme will feature fairground rides, street entertainers and live music, a day of ‘food, fun and family entertainment’. Sticking with tradition, the last Sunday will culminate with the ever-popular Fakenham 50 bike rides around the countryside. In the past three years these have regularly attracted hundreds of cyclists. One of the great attractions is the choice of routes, ranging from 15 to 100 miles, appealing to both the novice and the enthusiast. You must register in advance. Riders returning to the community centre following their exertions can enjoy a barbecue, bar and music before heading home.

A free colourful brochure with details of all the activities is available now at various outlets in the town, including the new Information Hub at Sweets ‘N Things on the market place and, of course, the library. You can go to www.activefakenham.org.uk for updates. Oh, and don’t forget the Great Fakenham Duck Race at Goggs Mill, starting at 3pm on Sunday August 21. Ducks cost just £1. Have fun.

So far, so good with regard to the Aldiss rebuild on Upper Market Place. A section in front of the small parade of shops has been kept traffic-free and the market stall there has been relocated on Thursdays. Much of the site is now ‘behind closed doors’ and evidence of progress hardly visible to passers-by. We’re told that the whole project might take at least a year to complete and when finished will again provide a home for the Original Factory Shop. As residents will know, the business has been thriving out on the Industrial Estate for the past couple of years but will undoubtedly be delighted to return to the middle of town. I wonder how much locals have enjoyed the sight of the church tower in all its glory since the fire consumed the old premise. It was perhaps the only bright side of this awful devastation and there were even suggestions that the space created might be filled with some civic amenity such as gardens. That was never likely to happen but I’ve certainly become pleasantly accustomed to the view of the 115’ flint tower as a stunning backdrop from just about anywhere in the square.

And finally, some good news about grass verges. I seem to have been banging on about their overgrown condition for weeks past, as have many members of the public. Not before time, a widespread cut has at last taken place and the transformation has made such a positive difference. 
Especially noticeable around the college site, the traffic lights, North Park and Norwich Road. We cannot allow county highways to neglect this obligation so casually again in future years.