On this week: January 14-20, 1994 in Fakenham, Hunstanton, King’s Lynn and Middleton
In our weekly On This Week column, we look back to stories making the news from January 14-20, 1994...
A boom time for Lynn store Wilkinson has led to at least 17 new jobs for the town. This week the High Street shop opens an upstairs floor and offers several new ranges of goods. To cope with the expansion, five more staff have been appointed and at least another 12 are expected to be taken on through the town’s Jobcentre. The old escalator, which had been boarded up since Tesco left the premises in the late 1980s, has been uncovered and revamped by engineers, and it is expected that the lift will also be refurbished. The Lynn shop opened two-and-a-half years ago and now employs 88 people; it is in the top ten of the chain’s 103 stores.
Hunstanton’s Princess Theatre is determined that “the show must go on”, despite the need for essential repairs and improvements. A survey has shown that a total of £373,000 needs to be spent on the theatre, including dry rot treatment. But the need for repairs has to be balanced against the problems of closing the theatre and cancelling bookings. The theatre’s sub-committee is hoping that by phasing the work and costs over three years, it will have minimum effect on the programme – and there will be no need to cancel any productions.
A holy war has been declared by all major churches in the Lynn area against what they fear is the increasing influence of an “evil” psychic movement in the town. The Christian soldiers – priests, ministers and pastors – are marching as to war, with the Salvation Army’s Major Leslie Green in the lead, to halt the psychic influence. They object because, they say, that the movement’s activities involving spiritualism, astrology, palmistry and fortune telling, with materials like tarot cards, are psychologically harmful, especially to the vulnerable.
Fakenham’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau is due to open its doors on February 3 after a year-long campaign. Initially, its hours will be limited to 10am-1pm on Mondays and Thursdays, but this will be increased in April. The new service will be managed by Jim Wallace and a team of six trained volunteers. Based in portable buildings in the car park behind the Limes Hotel, it will provide confidential and impartial information on a whole range of topics.
New rubbish bins have hit the streets of West Norfolk to make life easier for local traders. The wheeled bins, which will be officially launched on April 1 are in four different sizes, designed to replace the five feet high trade bins. These are awkward for many shopworkers and tradespeople to use and for refuse collectors to empty.
Sold boards are going up again on the luxury Arlington Park development at Middleton. A new sales campaign and an upturn in the property market have helped revive interest in the executive homes and building plots. Hockleys was appointed as the selling agent after original developers Essex-based Hey and Croft went into receivership. Acting on behalf of the receivers, the estate agency was given instructions to sell the 18 plots and three completed houses that were left on the original development of 36 properties. Houses are priced at £119, 950 and the plots range from £29, 950 up to around £36,000.
Controversial Swedish speedway rider, Henka Gustafsson looks like he may be finally severing his links with Lynn Stars. Gustafsson, who started last season late because of a pay dispute with promoter Buster Chapman, is once again refusing to ride until his cash demands are met. But this time Chapman, who has publicly attacked Gustafsson before for his commitment and attitude, has placed the Swede on the transfer list and it looks like his days at Saddlebow Road could be numbered.
News that a £640,000 improvement scheme to Lynn’s Fisher Fleet is due to start this month has been welcomed by fishermen. The National Rivers Authority will be dredging the Fleet, constructing a sheet steel-piled retaining wall, and reinforcing the channel. These improvements, due to finish in June, are part of Lynn’s £6 million flood defence scheme begun in the 1980s.
Lynn Sea Cadets have been given a cash boost to help maintain their historic headquarters. The local branch of the Royal Naval Association handed over a cheque for £500 at the Training Ship Vancouver cadets’ annual dinner-dance held at the town hall. The money will go towards the upkeep of the listed building on the South Quay. The RN Association had raised cash on a number of charity stalls at events such as the Sandringham Flower Show and Stradsett Country Fair.