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Sprowston January 21, 2017


A magazine for the people of Sprowston, about the people of Sprowston. Through your door, on time, every four weeks

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JUST Sprowston & Wroxham February 2017.indd 1


12/01/2017 16:46:43

from the editor Firstly, happy new year! Let me take this opportunity to say that I hope 2017 holds lots of happy times, memorable moments and achievements in store for you all... and do remember to get in touch if you’re doing anything that we can include in the magazine!

Sophie Stainthorpe Editor @SophStainthorpe

Our fantastic cover this issue is resident Carolyn Betts-Roddick’s vintage Fiat 500. The picture won an international award and we couldn’t resist putting it on the cover and bringing a bit of colour to an otherwise pretty grey January. You can read the full story on page five. We’d also like to say a big well done to local fitness instructor Denise Branford (pictured), who has been named as one of five Hero Instructors by Clubbercise for her fundraising efforts – find out more on page nine. See you in four weeks!

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it’s panto time – oh yes it is!

CUTE CAR: Carolyn Betts-Roddick in her Fiat 500 outside Blickling Hall; (below) the winning picture of The Mollster parked beside a field on Salhouse Road.

Fun Fiat wins international competition Some of you may have caught a glimpse of this eye-catching vintage Fiat 500 driving around Sprowston at the weekends, but now Carolyn Betts-Roddick’s pride and joy is being admired by a much bigger audience. A summery shot of “The Mollster” parked beside a field in Salhouse Road has won an international photography competition run by Axel Gerstl, a German website which stocks parts for vintage Fiat 500 and 126 models. Carolyn, 48, who works as the personal assistant to the executive team at Broadland District Council, entered the photo of her 1970 Rosso model for the theme ‘My most beautiful Fiat 500’. “I was really hoping to be top 10, so I

am chuffed to bits to have won,” said Carolyn, who lives in Sprowston. “I wanted a vintage Fiat 500 for years, I just think they are so cute and it’s a fun little car to drive.” She imported the car from Italy just over a year ago and nicknamed it The Mollster after her 18-year-old cat Molly, who passed away the week before. The Mollster is used as a “weekend car” and Carolyn is a member of the Fiat 500 Enthusiasts Club. Carolyn received a €200 gift voucher to spend on the Axel Gerstl website. “I’m not sure what I’m going to spend the voucher on yet – I would like to get an old fashioned radio for the car and some proper floor carpet,” she said.

Sprowston Parish Players present Robin Hood – a fun family panto whish sees Robin, accompanied by his Merry Men, attempting to thwart the evil plans of Prince John and the Sheriff, and win the heart of the beautiful Maid Marian, but Marion is not all that she seems... The panto is in aid of church funds, society funds and Hope into Action, which supports homeless people. Performances will take place at St Cuthbert’s Centre on Wroxham Road on Friday, January 27 at 7.30pm, Saturday, January 28 at 3pm and 7.30pm, and Sunday, January 29 at 3pm. Tickets cost £5 for adults and £2.50 for children and can be purchased from Toni Morina on 01603 484554, Chris Aldrich on 01603 470500, Sheila Tuffield on 01603 419896, or on the door.

snap meeting Residents are invited to the local SNAP meeting where you can have your say on issues that affect you, speak to your Safer Neighbourhood Team as well as help decide the priorities for the area. The Sprowston meeting is on Monday, January 30, 7pm at Gage Road Chapel.

VOLUNTEER HELP Every year, thousands of older people look to local charity Age UK Norfolk for support. Whether it’s for advice, help filling out forms or just a friendly chat when they’re feeling lonely, the charity is always there to help. But without the help of a dedicated team of volunteers, this wouldn’t be possible. If you can help, call 01603 785241 or visit

New year new hobby Want to try something new this year? The Seasons Art Class offers classes for absolute beginners through to improvers and is designed to be fun. The classes will cover pencil drawing, sketching, oil pastels, watercolour and acrylic painting. Bookings are now being taken for the spring 2017 course, which runs for 14 weeks and is held once a week at Hayman Lodge in Norwich, with three-hour morning or afternoon sessions available. Please call 01394 380292 for details.

Blur drummer to DJ at inaugural 90s night A member of one of the biggest bands in the world has been unveiled as the guest DJ at a new 90s music night in Norwich. Dave Rowntree, the drummer with Blur, will play a 90-minute set of indie tunes at the inaugural Common People night on Saturday, February 18. The Britpop, Indie and Chill 90s night is being held at Open and will feature three DJs across two rooms, playing five hours of

classics from the era. Dave, who lives in Norfolk, said: “I’m really excited to be involved with something new like this and when I heard about the plans I was keen to get involved in any way possible. I’ve been lucky enough to witness first-hand how much some of the songs from this era mean to people and I just know it’s going to be a fantastic night.” Jon Rogers, co-promoter along with David

Powles and Open, said: “To have managed to secure Dave Rowntree, a member of arguably one of the best British bands of all time, let alone the 90s, is a dream come true. We are really grateful to him for agreeing to get involved.” The event runs from 9pm to 2am and is for over 18s only. Tickets are £9 and can be purchased online at https://


BLOOMING MARVELLOUS: The Sprowston Community Hub greenhouses are set to be the venue for a new intergenerational project.

New greenhouse project will bring generations together Residents of Sprowston are being asked to get involved with a new intergenerational gardening project which will see people from across the community come together to grow produce in the Sprowston Community Hub greenhouses in Aslake Close. The gardening group will meet at the greenhouses on Monday evenings at 6pm and is free to join. The new scheme, supported by Broadland District Council’s Grow Your Community project and the Sprowston Youth Engagement Project (SYEP) has been awarded a grant of £4,941 from the Norfolk Community Foundation to buy new gardening equipment and to facilitate the project. The project will see a group of local young people work with local adults to learn new skills

from one another, share stories and gain new experiences. All are welcome to join the scheme, from experienced gardeners to complete novices. All young people who attend the scheme will gain a nationally recognised youth volunteering accreditation, the Vinspired award, which can also be used for UCAS points on university applications. Cllr David Willmott, member for community engagement at Broadland District Council, said: “The greenhouse scheme is a good opportunity for all members of the Sprowston community to get involved in something which they may not usually try and to meet people who they may not have otherwise have had a chance to meet. I encourage residents to get involved and to

try something new.” Clare Lincoln, project lead at the SYEP said: “The scheme is an intergenerational project and will teach young people new skills. The project is aimed at breaking down social barriers and is an amazing opportunity to teach each generation that they can benefit from each other’s support. “I really look forward to kicking this project off and working with new young people and local adults.” Those interested in the scheme can contact Clare Lincoln on 07917517405 or email clyouthworker@, or call the Grow Your Community project on 01603 430138 or email growyourcommunity@

Song misses out on top spot An audacious bid by a local group to make a Christmassy song that would take the coveted Christmas number one spot may have fallen short, but the team behind it are delighted with the community spirit that it represents. The song, called ‘Dance Tonight (It’s Christmas)’, featured crowd-sourced lyrics and the vocals of, amongst others, a waitress, a music shop employee and an overseas student. The team from Christmas Collective, which was created by Sprowston-based church Proclaimers, had a big challenge on their hands to compete for the top spot. Despite a total video reach of 195,100 and sitting in the top 10 of the iTunes, Amazon and Google Play Christmas charts for the majority of the week before Christmas, the song finished just outside the top 150.


The song also sold more copies in that week than big names such as Kylie Minogue, Olly Murs, and Gabrielle Aplin, and at various points was also outselling Fairytale of New York, All I Want for Christmas is You and other well known Christmas songs. “We were delighted with our Norwich campaign for a Christmassy Christmas number one,” said Owen Morgan, from Proclaimers. “It was fantastic to see so many people contributing to what was a fantastic song that we hope will be part of many Christmases to come. “We look forward to finding out how much was raised for the charities and feel that we have all contributed to something unique that we can really be proud of. “Proclaimers would like to thank all who were involved and to those who supported

online and through buying the single.” The final sales figures are still to be confirmed and all profits will go to Norwichbased charities Break and Love Norwich.


Cloudy2Clear Announce Trusted Trader Partnership Consumer champions Which? have now joined the thousands of customers who recognise that Cloudy2Clear Windows really are a business that you can TRUST. The company which specialises in repairing windows which are steamed up, broken or damaged by replacing the panes – not the frames has received the coveted ‘Which Trusted Trader’ status after going through a rigorous accreditation process entirely focussed on customer service.

Group Managing Director Marcus McGee believes that Which? have endorsed Cloudy2Clear’s long standing company policy of delivering the highest standards possible at all times. ‘Our service is simple. If your double glazing has misted up we can replace the glass at a fraction of the cost of a new window, in any type of frame, and with a new 25 year guarantee. But it’s not just about saving people money, although that obviously helps. Whilst a number of tradespeople perhaps

don’t focus on customer care as much as they should do, we make sure we turn up when we say we will, do the job the customer requires and leave their house as clean as a whistle. Locally Cloudy2Clear service the Aylsham, North Walsham, Sheringham, Holt, Cromer, Wroxham & Coltishall, Eaton & Cringleford, Hellesdon, Sprowston, Drayton & Taverham areas and manager Lee Rixon agrees that this approach is a major factor in his success. ‘The truth is that it’s not just the personal satisfaction that I get from

doing a good job but also it makes good business sense. I get a huge amount of business from friends and family of people I’ve done work for, which just goes to show how much a little bit of effort is appreciated as both my customers and, obviously a body as nationally important as Which? now recognise.’ So, if your windows are steamed up, broken or damaged give Lee a call for a free quotation on 0800 61 21 118 and he’ll be happy to help!

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Denise is top of the class! Anyone walking into Sprowston Community High School’s hall on a Wednesday evening could be forgiven for thinking they’d walked into a disco. That’s because it’s the venue for one of local fitness instructor Denise Branford’s Clubbercise classes. Denise was the first instructor to run this fun exercise option in Norwich and now, nearly two years on, she’s been named one of five Hero Instructors, chosen from the 2,000 instructors working across the UK. The competition was launched through the Clubbercise Facebook page and asked the Clubbercise community to nominate their favourite instructors. More than 2,000 nominations were received, which were then judged by Clubbercise managing director Ulrika Osterberg, co-founder and brand director Claire Burlison Green and lead master trainer Sonique Smith. “I’d seen the competition on the main Clubbercise Facebook, and some other instructors had then posted it on their pages, but I didn’t think any more of it,” said Denise, but unbeknownst to her, several class members had also seen it, and decided to nominate Denise. “The winners were announced on New Year’s Day, and I woke up to lots of congratulations messages on my phone and I burst into tears.” Denise was chosen as one of the winners because of the amazing amount of money she has raised for Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Addenbrooke’s Brain Tumour Trust. Denise was diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2013, and following surgery and recovery she wanted to give something

Say hello to our new columnist, Broadland area engagement officer PC ANDY MASON. This issue he talks about cycle thefts in the area, and how Neighbourhood Watch could help.

WINNER: (top and below) Denise Branford with her Sprowston Clubbercise class; (above) her Hero Instructor badge.

back to the people who helped her. To date she has raised more than £8,000, but she’s adamant that none of it would have been possible without the support of the people who attend her classes. “When I was poorly I couldn’t drive for 10 months and they all rallied round picking me up for classes. My house was full of flowers and cards. “They are so generous every time I have an Addenbrooke’s fund raising evening, so the money raised is all down to them. They got me through a very difficult time in my life and made it so much easier. I do genuinely love them all because of it.” Around 80-100 people a week take one of Denise’s three Clubbercise classes. It’s a simple, fun dance fitness class, with routines using glow sticks to club anthems from 90s classics to the latest chart hits taught in a darkened room with disco lights. “I think people feel less intimidated because it’s in the dark. There’s a really nice atmosphere and the routines aren’t too complicated, plus the music is brilliant. It’s probably my favourite class!” Denise will receive a trophy, tickets to the The International Fitness Showcase 2017, a £20 voucher for the Clubbercise shop, a personalised “Hero Instructor” badge to use on social media, and choreography made to a tune of her choice. “I’m going to get my class members to suggest songs on my Facebook page, then I’ll pick the winner and give them a free class,” said Denise. Denise’s Clubbercise class takes place at Sprowston Community High School on Wednesdays at 7.30pm. For more information call Denise on 01603 898615.

In December there were a number of bike thefts on Mountbatten Drive and Windsor Park Gardens. Five thefts have been reported, including one in which three bikes were stolen, plus one attempted theft. We have also recently received a report of a bike being stolen from Wilks Farm Drive. All of these thefts were from residential garages and although we can’t say for sure if the bikes were stolen by the same person or persons, they are very similar in nature. We are encouraging local residents to give us as much assistance as possible to identify the thieves, and a great way to increase vigilance in the area is by setting up Neighbourhood Watch schemes. We are already in conversation with residents on Mountbatten Drive about setting one up, and have been dropping information to homes in these areas – below is a picture of PCSO Steve Downes from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team. Neighbourhood Watch enables better two-way communication between residents and the police, as well as creating a network of houses to report anything suspicious to each other as well as the police. The role of engagement officer is new, and PC Andy Mason is looking to strengthen connections with local communities and make sure their voice is heard. The role includes working with Neighbourhood Watch schemes, providing information through the Police Connect email update service, Community Speedwatch, working with special constables and support volunteers, as well as managing the Broadland Police Facebook page and Twitter feed. If you would like to get in touch with PC Andy Mason he can be reached at, or call 101, extension 6722.


Local wildlife enthusiast barry madden has his own remedy for being SAD – birdsong! I always find January and February difficult months. The excitement and anticipation of Christmas and New Year are long gone and we have to endure the long haul towards spring. During the short, cold, grey days it is hard not to be sad or indeed succumb to SAD, the Seasonal Defective Disorder. But there is a remedy: birdsong. Birdsong lifts the spirits, reminding us that spring is but a few weeks away. We may not be noticing, but the birds certainly realise that day length is increasing. The extra daylight triggers the urge to breed; subtle natural changes that are sometimes lost on us. All of our familiar garden birds are pairing up ready for the coming spring. Blackbirds are chasing one another, sorting out which birds can occupy which patch of ground. They will soon be singing from rooftops and telegraph poles advertising their ownership of a territory whose boundaries are invisible to us. Robins, early breeders, are already pouring out their sweet song from our garden hedges and shrubberies having paired up during the winter. Song thrushes will soon return from their country exile to blast their strident song from high perches, repeating each phrase as they proclaim their right to that particular plot. Their larger cousin the mistle thrush is already adding its clear fluting song to our wider open spaces, soon to build nests in the juncture of a stout bough and tree trunk. Maybe less welcome, and certainly less melodious, are the lesser black-backed gulls which will add their raucous cries to the Sprowston airways any time soon. These birds will be setting up home on the flat roofs of industrial sites, loudly proclaiming rights of occupancy whilst squabbling over territorial boundaries. I like them. They add a bit of character to proceedings. Birdsong helps. It speaks to our hearts and brings a kind of natural music into our lives. It makes me happy at a time when it sometimes seems nature is determined to depress us.


GOOD WORK: Love Norwich volunteers packing hampers; (inset) food gathered by Sprowston Community High School for the Norwich Soup Movement.

Food for thought The efforts of two local groups and the people who support them meant that many won’t have gone without this Christmas. Before breaking up for the Christmas holiday, students and staff at Sprowston Community High School gathered boxes of food to be donated to the Norwich Soup Movement. “It was wonderful to collect the donations from our students and staff,” said Jolene Blackthorn, head of active citizens and personal, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development at the school. “The food has already been distributed and much of it already used by the volunteers who cook, in their own homes, for the people of our Norwich community that are homeless. “I was glad to be able to help out as a Norwich Soup Movement volunteer on December 29. Standing out on a cold winter evening serving hot food to people who rely on it and knowing that our students had contributed to help that reminded me how privileged so many of us are. “It was a great thing that so many of our students, their families and SCHS staff donated and made such a positive difference – a great example of active citizenship and good community spirit.” Meanwhile, community group Love Norwich has seen the biggest year ever for its Christmas Hamper Appeal.

Last month the group was able to distribute 205 luxury food hampers to families in need across the city. Each hamper contained everything a family needed for Christmas dinner including mince pies, Christmas pudding, packets of stuffing, gravy granules, cranberry sauce, even Christmas crackers. The appeal works with local people asking them to donate food items on a ‘hamper shopping list’ which this year saw more than 3,500 items being dropped off at The Space at Roundtree Way. Local businesses also jump on board helping with donating items and financial contributions towards the meat vouchers for perishable items. “We have been overwhelmed with the response,” said project leader Gemma Neill. “It’s amazing to see local people being willing to get on board with this appeal to help people they will probably never meet. “The impact these hampers have on a family when they are delivered can not be underestimated. Not only does it meet a very real need for people facing food poverty, but it does more than that, the quality of the items donated, the fact that volunteers have been willing to give up time to put them together, communicates a message of love and value for the recipients. We are so thankful to everyone who has supported us this year.”

WELL DONE: In the first week after the Christmas holiday, Sprowston Community High School held its Prize Winners Celebration Ceremony. Former student Billie Bell gave an inspirational speech. Since leaving Sixth Form two years ago, Billie has been studying politics and international relations at the University of Kent.

Congratulations to all the subject award winners at both GCSE and A Level. Nine students also received a Norfolk Scholar Award and 58 students a Sprowston Scholar Award. Students Leanne Thompson and Ethan Dye received the Head of Year Award, and Ethan Dye also received the Governors Award.


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the sprowston blog


bev woolner

Gymkhana memories? Welcome to the first of this year’s blogs, hopefully not too many New Year’s resolutions will have already bitten the dust. Quite a few ideas for this year’s blogs have been pencilled in, but it is often the spontaneity of you, the readers, bringing up something that requires airing that makes it so interesting. Last year we were approached by a young schoolgirl to provide information about Sprowston Lodge for a school project. Six months later we are still busily carrying out research and, for the young lady involved, it has indeed been a lesson in don’t believe all you read. To suddenly discover there were two Sprowston Lodges certainly came as something of a surprise, and newspaper reports of the 1965 fire could be so contradictory. It has always surprised me just how interested and helpful so many of the readers are over matters regarding Sprowston. Once again, could I ask for

ROUND AND ROUND: Snowy scene looking across Blue Boar Lane to Harrisons Cottage in the distance, taken in the 70s or early 80s; (inset) Sprowston Lodge before the fire in 1965. your help please. The Lowry Coles allowed an area near the lodge to be used for gymkhanas. Can anybody remember these or even perhaps have taken part? Griesel Lowry Cole carried this tradition on as well as being involved in local life. This makes it so puzzling that there are no photographs in the Sprowston Heritage Archive, can anyone help correct this? Lastly, for those of you using Blue Boar

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Lane, have you noticed that Harrisons Cottage is now but a memory. It’s all part of a march we cannot stop, where I now live was fields until the 1970s. How things go round in really such a short space of time. The Beehive PH, Cannerby Lane shops, built around the old pond, on the far side a Co-op, it didn’t pay so they demolished it! Now the pub is shut, becoming a Coop! Round and round we go! Call Bev on 01603 408594 or email

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sprowston heritage

An expert in farming and flying This issue, Sprowston Heritage tells us more about CECIL GOWING and his two passions: farming and flying. In 1883 George David Gowing was a farmer at White Hall Farm, entrance off Blue Boar Lane. The renaming from the previous White House Farm seems to have taken place when Cecil G Gowing took over the farm from George David Gowing in the 1920s. The Gowing family had farmed for more than three generations. Cecil G Gowing took over White Hall Farm from George David Gowing in the 1920s, and in 1950 Cecil bought Home Farm, Rackheath. This farm abutted White Hall Farm, it was purchased from the estate of Sir Edward Stracey, the owner of Rackheath Hall. When Cecil Gowing retired, the farm was taken over by the McFarlanes and reverted to its original White House name. Cecil Gowing was a veteran of the First World War, having served with 98 Squadron. He was a founder member of the Mousehold Aero Club, situated off Salhouse Road. Before joining the Royal Flying Corps, Private Cecil Gowing served with the Colours in the Norfolk Regiment of Infantry as part of the Army Reserve, enlisting on May 26, 1916. He was discharged on May 9, 1917 on being appointed to a commission. Disaster struck during his fifth solo

LOCAL PERSONALITY: Cecil Gowing saying goodbye to children at the infants school; (left) as a young man. flight on June 8, however, when he crashed. Cecil Gowing was badly injured and he was hospitalised for six months. He finally returned to flying on April 20, 1918, and by October 1918 he was back in the action. On February 25, 1927, largely due to the vision and commitment of Norwich`s Lord Mayor and the Sheriff of Norfolk, the Norfolk and Norwich Aero Club was founded. Cecil Gowing was elected to the committee, which proceeded to raise funds through public subscription. The first aircraft was a de Havilland DH 60 Moth, the second a Avro 548, and the third an Avro Avian. Cecil Gowing’s own flying with the Norfolk and Norwich Aero Club was spasmodic and was subject to the amount of time that he could spare from the farm. His last flight appears to have been in March 1937. During the Second World War he kept his feet firmly on terra firma as a member of the almost clandestine 202 Battalion of the Home Guard. It was not by choice though. With the outbreak of war he had applied for service again in the RAF in

a flying capacity, but to his profound disappointment, when he attended the necessary medical he was found to be colour blind! His wartime farming activities were, of course, of immense importance, and the productivity of White Hall Farm reflected that. He was not altogether divorced from the RAF though. He was awarded the rank of Flight Lieutenant and commanded 232 Squadron of Sprowston Air Training Corps. In the 1960s a new school was named after him, Cecil Gowing First School, and he and his wife allowed the schoolchildren to visit the farm during the lambing season. Unfortunately, health and safety reared its sometimes ugly head, and the visits had to stop. However, the Gowing family were made of sterner stuff, and Mrs Gowing said: “If the schoolchildren cannot visit the farm then the farm will visit school.” The lambs were put into the farm vehicles and made the short journey to the school. Cecil Gowing served as chairman of the Sprowston Schools managers for 46 years. When he retired, the schoolchildren presented him with a book of drawings and photographs. Cecil Gowing died in 1976.



Sprowston Heritage chairman Peter Sneddon would like to thank the two families who have recently made cash donations in thanks for the DVD of Sparhawk Park Opening and photographs of Barnards Ltd.

In the December issue of Just Sprowston, we showed a picture of the second year Sprowston Secondary Modern School football team. Unfortunately, one of the names was not correct. You, the Just Sprowston readers, have helped us to put the correct names to the photograph – thank you for the phone calls. Back row: Christopher Smith, John Gowing, Nigel Mower, Trevor Quantrill, Tony Pointer and Colin Skoyles. Front row: Michael Taylor, Kevin Smith, Mick Landamore, Reginald Stone and John Cullum.

Sprowston Community Archive can be viewed by arrangement, contact Peter Sneddon on 01603 404958 or Bev Woolner on 01603 408594. You can view some of the archive at


ASPIRATIONS: (left to right) Kyle Friend, Luke Morgan, Tom Hepburn, Jacob Morgan and Aidan Ludford enjoy playing for North Walsham Vikings, which is now overseen by ex premiership player James Brooks (right).

Join the ‘great game’ Football is probably the most popular sport at Sprowston Community High School, but meet five Year 11s making their mark in rugby. Kyle Friend, Luke Morgan, Tom Hepburn, Jacob Morgan and Aidan Ludford all play for North Walsham Vikings Under 16s, with aspirations to move onto the adult sides. Their involvement started at different ages: Tom in the under 6s, Luke and Jacob in the under 11s, Kyle and Aidan last season. And they all quickly discovered the enjoyment rugby gives them. “It’s a great game,” said Aidan with his team mates nodding in agreement. “You’re always involved and there is a position for

everyone irrespective of shape and size.” They also recognise what rugby has taught them: discipline, teamwork, communication skills and the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds. The Vikings are Norfolk’s leading side, playing in London One North, a tier higher than any other club in the county. Its youth and mini section, with fixtures across Norfolk and Suffolk, has 325 registered players and is very important to the Vikings – around a third of the first team started their rugby careers there. There are age sides under 6 to under 18, each with their own qualified coaches supported by Vikings players. These are

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overseen by ex Premiership player James Brooks, who joined last summer as head of rugby and also works developing rugby at Hellesdon’s schools. The Sprowston link to North Walsham doesn’t end with Kyle, Luke, Tom, Jacob and Aidan. There are players in other teams and Under 16s coach, Al Hepburn (Tom’s father) attended Sprowston High in the 1980s, subsequently spending 35 years with the Vikings as player and coach. “I say to Tom, if he has half the fun I have had from rugby he will be a lucky guy,” said Al, who can be contacted at ahepburn.

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