Wensum, Tuesday, August 23, by Jim Harding

bike ride photos from the Fakenham Fifty rides, taken by Daniel Harrison. ANL-140829-182309001
bike ride photos from the Fakenham Fifty rides, taken by Daniel Harrison. ANL-140829-182309001

Now in its fourth year and with a greater variety of activities than ever before, this 9-day extravaganza aims to encourage all ages to take part in sporting and community challenges which local groups are keen to promote more widely. In addition there are creative writing, musical and dance workshops.

The extended Words Across the Wensum schedule has plenty going for it today[Aug 23]. Children’s story teller Jenny Cunningham has a free reading of her new book Big Baby Sparrow in the library from 11am for an hour. She will also pass on tips about how it came to be written. Two one-hour sessions at the community centre provide guidance on writing for children[6.15pm – 7.15pm] and script writing for film, radio or TV [7.30pm to 8.30pm]. Both cost £3, including refreshments. Enquiries on 07810 288712.

On Wednesday there’s a choice of Balkan dancing in the community centre lounge[7pm – 8.30pm],£1, 01328 856582 or joining members of the Harmonise Singers at the same venue and at the same times, cost £3.50, 07875 600289.

On Thursday, Jill and Sarah are running two cookery demos at the Scout Hall at 10.30am and 1.30pm. Just drop in.

Music teacher Dawn Wakefield has a recorder taster session at Hempton Memorial Hall from 6.30pm – 8pm, £1. Book on 01328 856582. You can try Samurai Arts with an emphasis on self-defence skills at the Trap Lane Sports Centre from 6pm – 7pm for £1 with George Condron, 07810 365032. Or a free one-hour netball skills session at the same venue[aged14+]from 7pm – 8pm, 07916 911232. Fakenham Rugby Club hosts an open air circuits session at its ground off Seppings Road from 6.30pm – 7.30pm.

On Friday there’s a life writing workshop at the community centre from 6.30pm – 7.45pm, focusing on how to turn aspects of your own life into a memoir. £3 including refreshments, Ph: 07810 288712.

The highlight on Saturday will be Fakenham Fair and Food Festival in the market place with a circus theme. Fairground rides, charity stalls, live music and street entertainers throughout the afternoon.

As previously, the final Sunday will be devoted to the Fakenham 50 bike rides, offering distances of 15, 25, 36, 62 and 100 miles. The routes circulate the north Norfolk countryside and are signposted throughout. There are mobile mechanics, rescue facilities, drinks along the way and, of course, Heather’s delicious flapjacks. You can register on the day or in advance at the Sweets ‘N Things shop on the market place. Departures are from 8.30am outside the community centre. Afterwards there’s a barbecue, bar and live music in the walled garden area. This will be my third year ‘on the bike’ and I’m already much looking forward to it. Hope you find something to your taste and enjoyment from amongst these choices which rely on your support to keep them going in future years.

Good news for the air cadets of 2534[Fakenham]squadron who have just doubled the number of their computers thanks to a gift from Cambridge-based company Marshall Aerospace. As we all know, academic work has moved on from printed manuals to IT based learning but with limited funds our cadets had to wait their turn to get on screen. Now that has all changed for the good. Instructor David Abrahams praised the generosity which he said would make life so much easier for all concerned.