Wensum, by Jim Harding

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Sam Sadler as King Rat in the FADLOS production of Dick Whittington.

There were rehearsals in the community centre followed by a performance of Faure’s Requiem in the parish church with some 200 singers from Norfolk and further afield taking part.

Thanks to a big audience and generous contributions all round the society was subsequently able to donate £4,000 to the Tapping House Hospice. There’s to be a repeat presentation on Saturday February 20 when the featured composition will be Mozart’s Coronation Mass. The day will again be led by the society’s musical director Janet Kelsey with morning and afternoon workshops in the community centre starting from 10am and the evening’s concert at 6pm in the church. I understand from one of the organisers, Rosemary Dear, that numbers are likely to be a bit down this time around but she is pleased that 120 have so far registered and that is likely to rise. Singers pay £12 for the day – under 21s half-price – and late-comers may still get on board by calling Rosemary on 01328 851776 or going to www.fakenhamchoralsociety.co.uk Entrance to the concert is free with funds raised through a bucket collection, raffle and refreshments. The chosen charity this year will be Macmillan Nurses with the society hoping to raise in the region of £1000 for them and also boost its own funds.

There’s been some good news for Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society[FADLOS] following its Christmas panto, Dick Whittington. The show has been nominated for best panto in the region by the National Operatic and Dramatic Society[NODA]. Publicity officer Roy Ferris, not surprisingly, described this as ‘fantastic news’. The company will have to wait until April to learn the final result. With FADLOS due to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, a win would be a fitting tribute. Roy was also proud to acknowledge the generosity of Barclays Bank which had agreed to match the funds raised by the society during the show’s run. This culminated in a donation of £1,000 which will enable this year’s planned performances to go ahead in some style. The main company will be rehearsing for Legally Blonde, scheduled for May 10 to 14, with the youth section, Fadlos Kidz,tackling Phantom of the Opera, set for July 5 to 9. I’ve seen the review of Dick Whittington submitted by NODA member Sue Du Pont which obviously contributed in no small way to the nomination. She described it, amongst many other accolades, as ‘a perfect family show’. Can’t get much better than that.

The controversy over the parking restrictions at the Highfield Road car park rumbles on. It’s no surprise to me that local sentiment from residents and councillors is firmly opposed to the barrier which prevents coaches, buses and lorries using a space close to the town centre which they have done for as long as anyone can remember. What has obviously aggravated things was the complete lack of much advance warning or any close consultation with elected representatives. This was always bound to be contentious in the light of similar failings by our district council in the past. It’s rare in my experience to have witnessed in a town council meeting such a concerted level of frustration and anger over one issue. Of course the barrier is now a fait accompli and we have no alternative but to live with it. But let’s at least hope that the reaction generated will be taken on board in Cromer and perhaps act as a turning point when ‘matters Fakenham’ come up for discussion in the future.