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Smithdon High School and CHS Amusements in Hunstanton, Castle Acre concerto for Queen Mother and ITV1 series Kingdom with Stephen Fry in Swaffham: Lynn News nostalgia

Nostalgia round-up for Tuesday, May 23:

Seventy sixth form leavers at Smithdon High School in Hunstanton received their records of achievement at a special presentation in May 1996 – and it was one of the last occasions that they would be together as they had started examination study leave.

It was also the last such presentation to be attended by retiring head teacher Mr Doug Little, who had been in charge when the sixth form was started at Smithdon. The students heard a talk and received their records from the personnel manager of Master Foods in Lynn, Mr Lawrence Vingoe. Special thanks were given to Mrs Carol Summers for her hard work in preparing and co-ordinating all the records. Photo: MLNF-9605193

Seventy sixth form leavers at Smithdon High School in Hunstanton records of achievement in May 1996 – and retiring headteacher Mr Doug Little
Seventy sixth form leavers at Smithdon High School in Hunstanton records of achievement in May 1996 – and retiring headteacher Mr Doug Little

On this week: May 21–27, 2007

New Mayor of West Norfolk, 47-year-old Mrs Kathy Mellish, is proud to be the youngest female mayor since the Borough of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk was created. Following in the footsteps of another female mayor, Mrs Ann Clery-Fox, she took office at mayor-making at Lynn Town Hall, where she told councillors and guests: “We are living in a very good borough. Community spirit is alive and well and I would love to see it more readily promoted. A Londoner by birth, mother-of-two Mrs Mellish lives in Downham.

Doctors in West Norfolk will be offered incentives to increase the number of patients on cheaper prescriptions, if health bosses approve a new cost-cutting scheme. GP practices will earn money if they increase the number of patients on low-cost drugs used to treat common conditions, such as heartburn, high cholesterol, high blood pressures, osteoporosis and allergies. Norfolk Primary Care Trust, which is £42 million in debt, is being recommended to bring in the Prescribing Incentive Scheme in a bid to help it slash its prescriptions bill by a further £3.8 million a year.

Castle Acre is to play host to the world premiere of a specially-commissioned piano concerto in memory of the Queen Mother. The piece, which has been written by award-winning composer Nigel Hess, will be performed in one of two concerts being organised by the charitable trust Music in Country Churches in July. World-renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang will perform the 23-minute composition to an audience at St James’ Church which will include Prince Charles, who commissioned the piece in memory of his grandmother.

Student nurses worried about their future training held a meeting at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital this week. It followed news that nursing and midwifery lecturers working in West Norfolk fear their jobs are on the line in the latest round of cutbacks in the deepening NHS cash crisis. It is thought that about 19 lecturers could lose their jobs as a result of the NHS funding shortfall – and those working and training at the QEH could be affected.

South coast businessman Henry Morton has completed his takeover of Hunstanton firm CHS Amusements and is now looking forward to a busy summer season at the resort. He has been involved with multiple amusement arcades on the south coast, as well as Yarmouth, and now owns the CHS centres at Hunstanton Pier and on Beach Terrace Road. He is determined to maintain a full mix of family entertainment at both centres and it is also hoped seven new job positions will be made available.

Changing shopping habits, high rents and a poor mix of businesses are being blamed for some shops in Swaffham closing down or moving to smaller premises.

And the picture painted by traders feeling the pinch is very different to the idyllic image of a thriving market town conveyed in the Sunday night ITV1 series, Kingdom, starring Stephen Fry, set there. The town council and Iceni Partnership community group are trying to find ways of attracting new businesses to Swaffham to reverse the downward trend.

The lovingly-restored former home of Sir Peter Scott – famous namesake of the Marshland walk – is being made open to the public for a special art exhibition. Scott, the son of Antarctic explorer Robert Scott, lived at Sutton Bridge’s East Lighthouse from 1933 to 1939 before serving in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War. As well as his distinguished maritime career, he is remembered for his conservation work and paintings inspired by The Wetlands. Now visitors will be able to see 15 paintings by the man himself.

Building products supplier Screwfix Direct is coming to Lynn – but its location is unconfirmed. In a Lynn News advertisement last week the company said it was looking for managers and service assistants for a new trade counter it is opening in the town. This week a company spokesman said it was too early to release any further information.

Residents in Fakenham have taken to the polls to express their concerns over plans for a travellers’ site and the possible closure of the town’s community hospital. More than 1,500 people voted in the referendum held to gauge the level of public opinion on the controversial plans. Asked about the proposed short-stay site for travellers off the old Holt Road, 1,427 voters said such facilities should not be based the Fakenham area; asked if Cranmer House should remain open, 1,516 voted “yes”.

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