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Swaffham, Cross Keys, Terrington St Clement and Clenchwarton by-passes; Bircham Newton Training Centre; King Edward VII School & World Cup; Hare Arms, Stow Bardolph – Lynn News nostalgia

• Nostalgia round-up for Lynn News June 6, 2023:

Swaffham breathed a sigh of relief in June 1981 when its £4.25 million by-pass was officially opened by South West Norfolk MP Paul Hawkins.

Shopkeepers in the town centre even celebrated the loss of heavy traffic through the town by taking a morning coffee break on the pavement outside their premises. Despite bad weather, the main contractors for the project, 7.5 kilometres long, completed the work a month ahead of schedule, having started in September 1979. In this picture, Paul Hawkins MP cuts the ribbon to open the by-pass. Photo: MLNF-WC 6894

Swaffham bypass MLNF-WC6894
Swaffham bypass MLNF-WC6894

• On this week: June 4–10, 1981

Bircham Newton Training Centre is facing the possibility of a shock shutdown. If the axe does fall on the world’s largest construction training centre, 255 workers will join West Norfolk’s dole queue. A decision on the centre’s future will be made by Employment Minister Mr Jim Prior next month. The civil engineering college at Bircham Newton is run by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) which is almost entirely financed by the government. The future of Bircham as well as other centres in Glasgow, Birmingham and London is being reviewed by the Manpower Services Commission.

A loud cheer went up on a construction site at Terrington St Clement yesterday morning. Then the small crowd broke into spontaneous clapping as it was the moment that people living in a group of Marshland villages had been waiting for – work on the A17 by-pass had finally begun. Residents of Cross Keys, Terrington St Clement and Clenchwarton had battled for two years to get the go-ahead for the £5 million pound scheme.

Footballers from Lynn’s King Edward VII School are aiming to improve the tarnished image of English soccer in Switzerland. Following the riots by English supporters in last week’s World Cup game in Basle [fans caused riots on the terraces as England lost 2-1] the teenagers have set themselves a new goal. Three teams from the school will be going on a soccer tour of Switzerland next Easter and have started planning the trip already in the hope of restoring the good name of English football in Europe.

Police investigating a £1,750-value raid at the Hare Arms, Stow Bardolph, say the pub’s guard dog Benji should be sacked. Benji slept soundly in the bar while thieves cleared the cellar, spirit cupboard, till and fruit machines, carefully removing spirits, cigarettes and cash. There were no signs of forced entry and police are working on the theory that someone stayed behind after closing time.

The few remains of Lynn’s historic 18th century Reffley Temple may be removed to a safer resting place. Continuous vandalism at its present isolated site has reduced the temple to rubble, leaving only the obelisk and stone table intact. Anxious to safeguard what is left, members of West Norfolk Council’s leisure committee are talking about the possibility of moving it to a more central spot.

Lynn Town Band returned home exhausted but happy last week following their successful visit to Lynn’s twin town of Emmerich. The trip has been voted a tremendous success, both musically and socially and the band has already been invited to return to Emmerich to take part in the town’s 750th anniversary celebrations in 1983.

Work is forging ahead on a £700,000 shopping development which is fast taking shape in the centre of Lynn. The prestige development – comprising a 23,000 sq ft department store for the Co-op chain and four smaller units – is being built in St Dominic’s Square, opposite the junction of Broad Street and New Conduit Street and should be completed by the target date of August 31.

Bird watchers from all over the country swarmed to Roydon Common at the weekend in the hope of catching a rare glimpse of a River Warbler. It was only the fifth time such a bird has been sighted in the British Isles and it had set up home in a tree off the main Lynn to Fakenham road just over a week ago. A few days later Twitchers started flocking to the area as news of the sighting was quickly passed around. They were not disappointed as they had no difficulty in seeing the bird and hearing its distinctive singing. But the River Warbler left the area on Sunday afternoon, much to the relief of farmers and people living nearby.

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