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Wensum, by Jim Harding - June 27, 2017

Fakenham - the 115 ft tower of the Parish Chuch (St Peter and St Paul) dominates the market place.
Fakenham - the 115 ft tower of the Parish Chuch (St Peter and St Paul) dominates the market place.

My nightmare job would probably be scaffolding as I do not have a head for heights.

With that in mind it’s been a relative pleasure to observe the repairs taking place on top of our church tower from down at ground level.

On my walks round the river the tower frequently comes into view and with the aid of my binoculars I’ve spotted the workers attending to the corner pinnacles from the platforms they set in place back in March.

Closer to the building itself there’s been a pulley system on the car park to haul items up to the summit and lower stuff down.

This seems a bit primitive but, as I can testify, works very effectively.

What has surprised me somewhat is the amount of time this work has taken to complete.

One of the pinnacles was sheared in half when Storm Doris battered the town and looks as if it still requires replacement.

On post-storm inspection the other pinnacles were deemed to be unsafe as well, so they have also been worked on.

Accepting that the tower platform itself is not the easiest space in which to carry out a skilful task such as this, these craftsmen are experienced in what they do.

It’s now four months and more since the accident took place and completion should surely be imminent.

Even if there is no connection between the repair work and the functioning of the bells, as I’m informed, something is clearly amiss.

The ringing team has been on sabbatical since March with the tower sadly silent.

On these summer days we could all do with hearing those bells ringing out again over the town on Sunday mornings and other special occasions.

There’s been a change of management at our cinema. The Hollywood sign has been taken down and Central has moved in.

The transition period has meant a cut in staff and I’m sad to wave farewell to our Derren who had been such a good ally in helping to run the Fakenham Film Society.

Just now the society is enjoying its summer break but it remains to be seen whether it will continue to function as normal come the autumn.

The new regime has had some teething problems in its first few weeks.

There’s a notice on the door stating that entrance is by cash only and the phone system is ‘currently’ experiencing problems.

On the positive side, ticket prices will be held at just £5 until the end of 2017 and £4 for family films.

Live screenings will be continuing. It remains to be seen what plans there may be to renovate the building which could do with something of a makeover.

Three screens will continue to play their part in providing all manner of film entertainment and for this we must be grateful.

When we first came to live in Fakenham there was no cinema at all, the previous one in the old Corn Hall having closed in 1976.

During the 1980s it reopened as a bingo club for some ten years and we had to wait until the year 2000 for the same venue to be spruced up and opened as part of the Hollywood chain.

Before coming here my film-going days seemed to be all but over.

But I’ve now embraced the cinema scene with some enthusiasm and would hate to lose the lovely old facility we have in the middle of town.

So Central have my best wishes as they pick up the Hollywood baton and hopefully run with it for many years to come.

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