Fakenham scoop match with Premier League champions Leicester City

FOOTBALL - Thetford Town v Fakenham Town

Pictured: S Hunsden ANL-151228-232001009

FOOTBALL - Thetford Town v Fakenham Town Pictured: S Hunsden ANL-151228-232001009

The success of the endeavour, of course, depends on huge voluntary support and plenty of people of all ages joining in. Last year hundreds turned out to take part in 50 activities over the eight days, based in and around the town. Principal organiser Richard Crook has put out a call to groups of all descriptions based locally to act now if they wish to participate.

Apart from committing to the community and promoting Fakenham, involvement is a great opportunity for clubs, businesses and others to get lots of free publicity. Our market place is an under-used resource which really comes to life during this mini-carnival period. For much of the time the traffic is stopped, and plenty of action takes place. Richard invites you to offer something different, interesting, fun and preferably free.

The general theme is an association with sport or wellbeing. Building on recent success, the running events around the racecourse have attracted lots of enthusiasts of all abilities and the Fakenham 50 bike rides on the final day have drawn cyclists here from well outside Norfolk.

When the programme is finalised some 20,000 brochures will be printed and distributed free. Other sources of information will include Facebook, Twitter and the website. The dates for your diary are Saturday, August 21 to Sunday, August 28. For more information, including activity sheets to be completed by participants, go to richard@activefakenham.org.uk or phone him on 07887 803091.

Fakenham Football Club managed to hold on to its league place this season despite some nail-biting towards the final fixtures. Thanks to good contacts, the Ghosts have secured two excellent pre-season friendlies at Clipbush Park, with squads from Norwich City and newly-crowned Premier League champions Leicester City making appearances. Norwich have enjoyed the workout a number of times in the past, but the eye-catching presence of Leicester is quite a coup for the club. Obviously it’s unlikely that ‘big names’ will appear, but the standard is bound to be high. Leicester bring their squad on Wednesday July 20, k.o. 7pm and Norwich will play on Saturday July 23, 3pm. Both these outstanding fixtures deserve to attract bumper crowds.

Thanks to the planning of my cousin Sue, we are heading to a big family reunion in Oxford. I do wonder if such get-togethers are generally a thing of the past when nowadays we all seem to move away from the places where we grew up. In the post-war era, my Dad’s two brothers and two sisters along with their children were all within 20 miles or so of us. The three brothers all worked on the railways, following in the footsteps of their father, who proudly completed 50 years of service. It wasn’t that we met a lot, but I recall plenty of occasions when we did get together so that uncles, aunts and cousins were familiar companions. This lasted as long as the children were still at home. Once we started to become independent, the attachment waned so that for long periods there was no contact at all. Indeed, it seemed that the only family gatherings were prompted by funerals.

How nice, then, to revive acquaintance in happier circumstances. Our venue is a pub beside the River Trout, where we have met for the past three years. But 2016 is a bit special with the ‘overseas’ branch joining the reunion. My sister and brother from Sydney and Princeton along with their spouses will be in the mix which by latest reckoning will number well into the twenties. So thanks again, Sue, for making this happen as we look forward to many more in the future.