Wensum, by Jim Harding, October 6

Diss, Norfolk. Aldi supermarket which will open 20th November in Diss ANL-141119-143441001
Diss, Norfolk. Aldi supermarket which will open 20th November in Diss ANL-141119-143441001
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sploit for choice: The Fakenham Aldi store is due to open on October 15

The Norwich Road store along with its neighbouring car park has been in preparation since mid-March with only a few weeks of traffic congestion when this busy way in to the town centre had to be closed off.

Like a lot of you, I’ve kept my eye on proceedings from ground level, marvelling at the massive diggers crashing their way through the old Peugeot garage buildings, the mighty cranes swinging panels to and fro and the grinding machine reducing lumps of rubble into fine bedrock contributing to the levelling of the whole area.

More recently a low-level brick wall has gone up along the main road with the finishing touches added to the main building and the car park.

Having just read that Aldi will have opened 65 new supermarkets by the end of this year, I can see that there must be something of a set plan and routine to all these substantial operations, always allowing for local site variations. It’s a staggering statistic and an indication of just how far we’ve changed the way we shop over the past 30 years. Who would have thought that our small market town would ever be home to a Morrisons, a Tesco, a Lidl and an Aldi, all within about a mile of each other.

Are we spoilt for choice? I reckon so. Certainly our personal priorities are more than satisfied by what’s available in the big convenience stores and we’re far less inclined to shop with the local butcher or greengrocer – just one of each surviving in Fakenham – than with did before.

Yes, it’s sad that the old ways are being left behind and the small family-run shops are no longer the hub of the community. But we all have to face up to realities and turning the clock back is not one of them. I’m just so glad that we still have the wonderful vibrancy of our weekly market and our monthly farmers’ market to enjoy. Long may they continue to thrive.

n And so to the Rugby World Cup. It was never my sport at school but in my early days here it really started to take off in the town when teachers Adrian Stringer and Terry Bishop got behind the initiative to establish Fakenham Rugby Club.

From the early 1980s onwards, the club has gone from strength to strength with Fakenham High – now Academy – contributing many young stars to its playing membership.

Despite being unschooled in the game, I have warmed to it over the years through the involvement of our three sons. Nowadays I actually prefer watching rugby to football and certainly the current tournament has provided some terrific thrills.

We were lucky enough to catch the final 15 minutes of the South Africa v Japan match and just about screamed the house down when that winning try was scored in the dying moments.

Lots of pubs and clubs here have been showing matches live on big screens and reporting good attendances.

The Rugby Club invites allcomers to share the remaining fixtures at its Old Wells Road headquarters from this Friday evening (October 9) onwards. You will be in good company at the refurbished club house, there’s naturally a bar serving real ales and snacks are readily available.