Home   Lifestyle   Article

Subscribe Now

On this week in Ashill, Downham Market, Hunstanton, King’s Lynn, RAF Marham and Sculthorpe: January 21-27, 1986





In our weekly feature, we look back at what was making the news 38 years ago...

Nearly 200 RAF Marham personnel are affected by the disbanding of two units in the biggest reshuffle of base operations since the Tornado bombers arrived in West Norfolk. Number 57 Squadron disbands on June 30 – effectively putting 175 Victor tanker air and ground crew members on the job market. Fewer than half will stay at Marham, transferring to the tankers of Marham’s 55 Squadron, which will also lose staff. During the early 1990s, this too will disband. The Royal Air Force has balloted its men on whether they want to leave or stay, and 98 per cent of those who have received postings are happy with the result.

Thursday (January 23) sees one of the most important events in recent years in the history of Downham when the long fought-for southern by-pass will be opened. By-pass campaigners will be feeling very satisfied with their efforts when traffic begins to flow along the road, but traders will be holding their breath, wondering what the outcome on their businesses will be. Some traders have argued that the town is now cut off on two sides by the A10 and the A1122 by-passes and that people will not make the effort to go into the town; others say that the removal of heavy traffic from the town will encourage people to use the shopping areas more readily.

Head teacher Roger Swift celebrated 25 years in charge of Shouldham Primary School in January 1994. Staff, parents and governors staged a surprise party for Mr Swift who had arrived at the school at the tender age of 28 and had been in the hot seat ever since. In our picture he is joined by his wife Jeanne to help cut a specially baked celebratory cake. Mr Swift said: “I’ve got to the point where I’m teaching the children of children I originally taught. A small rural school has a charm of its own and I think if you are happy in a job then why change?”
Head teacher Roger Swift celebrated 25 years in charge of Shouldham Primary School in January 1994. Staff, parents and governors staged a surprise party for Mr Swift who had arrived at the school at the tender age of 28 and had been in the hot seat ever since. In our picture he is joined by his wife Jeanne to help cut a specially baked celebratory cake. Mr Swift said: “I’ve got to the point where I’m teaching the children of children I originally taught. A small rural school has a charm of its own and I think if you are happy in a job then why change?”

North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham was last night ready to put his career on the line. He was preparing, along with other Norfolk MPs, to fight a hefty 15 to 20 per cent rate increase about to be forced on the county by his own government. The desperate move of voting against the Rate Support Grant order in Parliament would be an act of defiance likely to put paid to his chances of ever holding ministerial office. The rates increase comes as a slap in the face to the traditionally moderate Conservative Norfolk County Council and will hit ratepayers hard.

Urgent repairs are needed to safeguard the future of St Margaret’s Church, one of Lynn’s most famous landmarks. A vital £350,000 programme of restoration has just started in a bid to save the historic building from closure. Builders will be concentrating on the north and south aisles and the porch; dry rot and the deathwatch beetle have caused extensive damage to beams in the roof – some of which have been virtually hollowed out.

CND leader Monsignor Bruce Kent could be jailed following his arrest in West Norfolk’s anti-nuclear demonstration at the Sculthorpe air base at the weekend. The 56-year-old Roman Catholic priest was among 27 demonstrators arrested and charged by police. He is to appear in court at Fakenham in a fortnight and is expected to plead not guilty, but if he is fined by magistrates and refuses to pay he could be jailed. Mgr Kent’s bid to cut the base fence was thwarted when a young policewoman arrested him for allegedly carrying a tiny hacksaw blade.

Hunstanton Youth Hostel has been given a major facelift as part of a national campaign to get rid of an outdated image of spartan dormitories and early lights-out. Although the number of young people under 21 who belong to the Youth Hostels Association has slumped from nearly 190,000 ten years ago to 99,000, the Hunstanton hostel in Avenue Road boasts a busy trade. Formerly two properties, the building is now one unit which has been completely modernised with the installation of central heating, complete re-wiring and additional kitchen and dining room facilities.

Richard Hellsen, one of the longest-serving riders in the British League, has been transfer-listed by Lynn Stars at his own request. It had been widely expected that Hellsen would see out his speedway career with Lynn, having first represented them in 1973 and re-joined in 1976. Last year he received a testimonial as acknowledgement of his efforts for the club. Having made a total of 486 appearances and scoring 3,326 points. Lynn are reported to be seeking a fee of around £7,000 for his signature.

The Methodist church at Ashill has been given a new look by a group of school leavers on the Manpower Services Commission’s Youth Training Scheme. The young trainees have been working at the church three days a week since March, and have re-laid the floor in the church’s schoolroom, wood-panelled the room, rebuilt the leaning pulpit and redecorated the building.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More