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King’s Lynn Gaywood Park School, Fisher Foods, arson in Gaywood; ‘Mr Downham Market’; Beachamwell & USAF Feltwell – Lynn News 1981 and 2002 nostalgia

• Tuesday, June 13 nostalgia round-up:

The outside of a classroom at Gaywood Park School in Lynn was completely transformed in just a week in June 1981 – thanks to the efforts of a dedicated team of pupils.

Formerly a drab, dreary breeze block building, it became a cheery place and, from a distance, looked similar to a country cottage complete with shutters and surrounded by flowers. The school had entered a national Dulux competition saying how it would use £100 worth of Weather Shield paint and Gaywood was one of the winners. The enthusiastic class was soon working on ideas for the next competition in the hope of winning more paint to decorate the inside of the classroom. Department head Mrs Doreen Davies is pictured with some of her pupils / decorators. Photo: MLNF-WC 6619

The outside of a classroom at Gaywood Park School in Lynn was completely transformed in just a week in June 1981 – thanks to pupils.
The outside of a classroom at Gaywood Park School in Lynn was completely transformed in just a week in June 1981 – thanks to pupils.

• On this week: June 11–17, 2002

Staff at Lynn’s Fisher Foods were dealt a devastating blow when receivers announced the closure of the plant and the loss of 400 jobs. Receivers KPMG called the workers together to make the announcement, which sees the biggest single round of redundancies in the town since the closure of North Lynn’s Anglia Canners in 1991, when 370 jobs went. The workforce has been invited to special sessions over the next two days to finalise redundancy pay details, and representatives from Lynn Jobcentre will also be at the Knights Hill venue to help staff find alternative employment.

The Tom Thumb Playgroup in Gaywood has shut down this week after it was attacked by arsonists. Three fires, causing hundreds of pounds damage were deliberately started in the playgroup’s grounds, one in an outdoor wooden playhouse, one at a storage shed and one at the school sign. Fire crews were praised for their prompt action at the playgroup which is behind the Alderman Jackson Special School in Marsh Lane.

Beachamwell villagers are hoping to start work on the restoration of their unusual and historic Saxon church tower before the end of this year. But the village’s tiny 270 population faces the daunting task of finding about £50,000 to prevent the round tower of St Mary’s Church from collapsing. St Mary’s is one of only eight churches in the country with a Saxon round tower and a thatched roof – and one of only five that has always been thatched.

Anti-missile protestors, including a group from Lynn CND, are planning to meet at the main gate of the USAF base at Feltwell. The demonstration comes just after the American withdrawal from the 1972 anti-ballistic missile treaty, which is committed to reducing nuclear arsenals. The CND believes the protest will be particularly poignant at a time when nuclear nations Pakistan and India are threatening war.

Campaigners fighting a threat to Lynn Arts Centre have launched a protest petition. Scott and Valerie Chapman, of Tennyson Road, who have so far collected nearly 100 signatures, are keen for the venue to remain open. Performing arts at the Arts Centre could be in jeopardy because West Norfolk Council has said it depends on whether it can finance repairs and restoration work. The Lynn News reported last December that costs could reach more than £1.6 million over the next five years.

Tinker Taylor, popularly known as ‘Mr Downham’ has been presented with the Paul Harris Fellow award and medal, one of Rotary International’s highest awards. He joins an elite band of non-Rotarians in the country who have received the coveted award. Named after the founder of Rotary International, Tinker’s name was put forward through the Rotary Club of Downham for his exceptional service to the community and helping to make the town a more vibrant place in which to live.

West Norfolk’s beaches may have missed out on Blue Flag awards this year, but work is going on to see if Hunstanton’s waters can get to award standard in the future. A report on bathing water quality has been put forward to West Norfolk Council by the head of tourism, Ruth Hyde. Hunstanton, Snettisham and Heacham’s North and South beaches had been given Seaside Awards for 2002 acknowledging they were clean, well-managed and relatively safe beaches. But to receive the Blue Flag award bathing water must reach a minimum standard in the previous year. To comply with the more strict Blue Flag Award, Hunstanton would have to achieve a higher level of water quality known as the guide-line standard.

Luke Taylor and his sister Lisa, of Hillen Road, South Lynn, took football fever to new heights when they painted their house with a St George’s Cross for the World Cup – and were in jubilant mood when England beat Denmark 3-0 to reach the quarter finals. The huge flag was a nice surprise for their dad who had been working away and it will stay until the end of the tournament.

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