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Norwich Street in Fakenham needs some TLC





In his weekly Wensum column, Jim Harding settles back into life in Fakenham after a holiday in Wales...

After a couple of weeks’ break in Wales where the major preoccupations were walking, swimming, reading and sun-bathing, we have returned to the real world here in Fakenham. To meet up with familiar faces in town and around has been a pleasure as I’ve slotted back into some accustomed routines.

A visit from my sister Kay, who lives in Surrey, prompted a few variations, reminding me that it can be good to look at where you spend most of your days through someone else’s eyes. She loved our market and was amazed by the crowds of people of all ages wandering about between the stalls on the traffic-free streets. Since I seemed to know loads of them and stopped to chat numerous times this was also a plus.

The barrier covering the damaged building on Newmans Yard has made no repair progress in many months.
The barrier covering the damaged building on Newmans Yard has made no repair progress in many months.

Walking by the Wensum appealed so we two made our way out to Goggs Mill and then continued on the old Lynn-bound railway line to Sculthorpe Mill. There I called on good friend Di who, thanks to having recovered from a recent operation, was more than pleased with some company. For months past when I’ve stopped by, she’s been putting up with pain and barely enjoying life. It was great to see her back to her usual bubbly self and also looking forward to taking her place again with the church choir.

As I was still recovering from the bike accident which happened in August when a car knocked me off at the roundabout adjacent to the Conservative Club I was a bit cautious about starting back at the gym. But I did so and, exercising caution, managed to get through the pilates session fairly well. This has encouraged me to continue with my two other classes, even though my shoulder remains a bit painful. I’m still negotiating over compensation, especially the cost of a new back wheel for my bike, but that’s an ongoing situation. At least it’s been pleasing to deal with the driver’s insurance company who have, on the whole, been very positive on my behalf.

There are several empty units in Norwich Street
There are several empty units in Norwich Street

Norwich Street is still struggling to make the best use of its shopping outlets. It has always been something of a hit and miss venture for anyone willing to take on premises there. My recent count came up with five empty windows, whilst the barrier covering the damaged building on Newmans Yard has made no repair progress in many months. This is an eyesore which does nothing to enhance the rest of the street. Back in the day this was a busy and popular little corner but has become sadly neglected. With the town generally buzzing at this time of year, Norwich Street can be a rather depressing experience when you wander along it on your way into the town centre, despite sustaining a number of popular small businesses.



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