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On this week in Fakenham, Gaywood, Grimston, Holme, King’s Lynn, North Lynn, Swaffham and Stradsett: September 17-23, 2000

On this week: September 17 – 23, 2000

Job losses, a £190,000 fuel bill and fears for the future prompted two West Norfolk men to man the blockades at North Lynn’s Q8 depot during the fuel crisis. Both haulier Mark Fuller and farmer Bill Burt have seen their fuel bills go through the roof in the last 18 months and with no sign of things changing, both decided enough was enough and took direct action. The two men have vowed to return to their picket line if the Government fails to take any action to reduce the cost of fuel by the end of a 60-day deadline imposed by protestors.

Three years after he proposed the idea, Fakenham Town Mayor Philip Walker has seen his dream come true, with the official opening of the Queen’s Millennium Park. Hundreds of spectators gathered in front of the newly-built bandstand to hear Mr Walker express his personal pride in the achievement. The guest of honour, High Sheriff of Norfolk Richard Jewson, declared the park open and paid tribute to Mr Walker’s dedication.

Residents from the Kettlewell Lane area of Lynn used bread to entice ducks out of Gaywood River after diesel oil was seen floating on the water’s surface. A Lynn-based Environmental Agency protection officer said it appeared a “gallon or two” of agricultural red diesel had got into the river from a surface water sewage upstream of Kettlewell House. Most of the diesel dispersed during the day, leaving only minor traces and there was no harm to fish.

A hidden drugs den was discovered beneath the canopy of a tree in Swaffham churchyard while dense undergrowth was being cleared from the area. The find came during a clearing operation for Swaffham Town Council when workmen found old blankets, several needles and silver foil in a dry area under the tree. Police checked it out and said it appeared to have been used by drug takers.

Another bitter row has erupted over the historic timber circle Holme Henge – dogged by controversy since it was discovered last year. English Heritage wants the ancient monument to return to Norfolk, but wants West Norfolk Council or Norfolk County Council to pay for its upkeep. During a meeting of the Holme Timber Circle Forum, including representatives from the two councils, it was agreed that the timber circle should be returned to Norfolk and options for its display should be explored, including replacing the timbers at the original site.

The Lynn News is celebrating after scooping a top newspaper industry award for the popular Visitors’ Guide supplement. Judges at the Newspaper Society Awards 2000 said the guide was the best “stand alone” publication in the country and it beat stiff competition to take the prestigious award.

A ten-month-old kitten was fortunate not to lose a leg after getting caught in a fen trap in the fields around its Grimston home. The brave cat, called Tiger Lily, was discovered by a neighbour who heard a clanking near her back door and discovered the cat dragging the firmly-clamped trap on her hind leg. The trap was released by a vet who said Tiger Lily had been lucky that the trap had closed across her thigh, creating a lot of painful muscle damage, but not damaging the bone.

Plans to renovate Lynn’s leaning tower could be in real danger if the National Lottery does not stump up enough cash. West Norfolk Council’s development and estates committee has been told that if Greyfriars Tower does not receive Lottery funding its £900,000 repair bill will be a third under budget and in real danger. English Heritage put the 100ft tower on its “at risk” register in June because of its poor condition, caused by wind and rain, insect damage to its timbers, structural stress and subsidence under its north-west corner.

Stradsett, near Downham, has been crowned as Norfolk’s village of the year in the under-500 population category of the competition run by Norfolk County Council. The win comes just three years after the village, which has 60 residents, was named the most improved entrant in the annual competition.

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