Read all about it - Here is how 2019 will pan out in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 11:25 30 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:25 30 December 2018
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2015
Sceptic Skip, self-styled Cromer seer, is back to pass on the only authentic home-grown crop of prognostications untainted by prejudice or pressures dressed up as promises.
Norfolk’s answer to Cassandra, Nostradamus, Mother Shipton and Mystic Meg presents his exclusive predictions for the county in 2019, with an occasional glance towards a place called Suffolk.
He is banking again on the old adage that people don’t always believe everything they read – but repeat it just to be on the safe side.
With no grants from the Arts Council, Brussels or the Poppyland Soothsayers’ Association, he admits it is tougher than usual to find scope and inspiration for confident forecasting “in these breathtakingly ominous times”.
Even so, an enviable reputation built on parochial fervour and a keen eye for the unorthodox leaves him in prime position to peer into an uncertain future.
No local councillors, estate agents or planning consultancies were harmed in preparing this venture:
Instant evidence that we’re in for another bout of swingeing cuts. Great Snoring is renamed Occasional Yawning, Mileham becomes Four Hundred Metres and Melton Constable is reduced to Cut-out Police Community Support Officer. Motion to sell off Norfolk County Hall in Martineau Lane for student flats defeated on casting vote of caretaker.
Norfolk “parish harmony” programme launched as Dickleburgh is twinned with Whittington.
With Norwich City pushing for promotion to the Premier League and Ipswich Town still languishing at the foot of the Championship, there’s a heart-warming call for closer links between Norfolk and Suffolk. It’s mooted to invite Paul Lambert to relive happy memories and present the table-topping trophy to the Canaries when the time comes. Idea dropped when Portman Road spokesman calls it “McCarthy-style witch-hunt”.
Babingley twinned with Brooke at Donald Peers tribute show.
Signs of real improvement on the Norwich – London railway service. All train drivers now assured of a seat each way. Mannington halt closed and declared a World Heritage Site. Endorsements by celebrity travellers Michael Portillo, Alan Partridge, Michael Palin, Eddie Stobart and the Beery Hikers help to calm tempers after another big fares rise.
Appleton twinned with Syderstone as part of “joint-core strategy”.
Worrying signs of more serious erosion along the north Norfolk coast. Aylsham inshore lifeboat launched twice. North Walsham lighthouse goes digital. Reepham coastguards seek more recruits. Sidestrand offered a bypass in return for permission to build a “garden retreat” of 500 clifftop retirement homes and elastic stocking factory. Parish council says the project is best suited to the Lost Village of Understrand.
Herringby twinned with Cranworth over a fish supper.
Housing market picks up along with Norfolk’s twitching reputation. A Lesser-Spotted First-Time Buyer causes a big flutter in Cley before moving on to North Creake. Survey from Chelsea (Cheaper Homes Encouraged by Local Society of Estate Agents) hints that rural deprivation in some parts of Norfolk means being unable to buy William Morris wallpaper at the village shop.
Rushall twinned with Sloley... eventually.
Big crowds line streets as Norfolk hosts the National Road Cycling Championships. Late changes to the route caused by fracking at Freethorpe and digging for coal at Saxlingham Nethergate. Pedlar of Swaffham is surprise winner of special event for amateur competitors after taking advantage of new park-and-ride service at North Pickenham.
Burston twinned with Riddlesworth as penny drops.
“Been there. Done that. Can’t remember” … slogan spotted on senior citizen’s vest in Mundesley. Bumper tourist season warms up. Exciting plans revealed for new music venue in Cromer aimed at “mature visitors and locals with rhythm to spare”. Dentures Plus promises a new Grey Power movement with melodic choices of Grime, Garage, Conservatory, Greenhouse, Sandcastle Hip-Op and Crabfunk. Free entry after Celebrity Come Darning.
Swannington twinned with Cobholm on Breydon Water.
Government looks favourably on bids to dig for oil at Outwell and for natural gas at Guestwick – but environmentally-minded ministers draw the line at peat-digging in the Broads “as it clearly goes against all scientific advice and could harm the highly valuable tourism industry”. The Norwich Northern Distributor Road, also known as the Broadland Northway and several other names, has its NDR status restored with “Nicely Designed Roundabout” signs.
Foxley twinned with Wolferton in Thetford Chase.
Confusion breaks out at Norfolk County Council. Six Labour members, five Liberal Democrats and a dozen Conservatives defect to the Greens while 23 others resign altogether because there’s nowhere else for them to go. Norfolk Independence Party takes caretaker control under the banner: “Why not dew diffrunt and go for home rule!”
Egmere twinned with Baconsthorpe at working breakfast.
BBC cuts begin to bite at local level. Look East leaves The Forum in Norwich for a prefab on the Hardwick Roundabout near King’s Lynn. Even so, viewing figures for Gone West are encouraging. Radio Norfolk stays put but forced to repeat old favourites first aired on the national network and now given a more homely flavour. Programmes include Round the Horning, Much Binding in the Marsham, Hanworth’s Half Hour, Down Your Weybourne and Have a Hoe.
Winfarthing twinned with Quidenham “to release quantitative easing”.
Norfolk Wildlife Trust reports record temperatures for this time of year at many of their sites. Honeypot Wood at Wendling leads the way with mercury rising rapidly along with birdsong at twilight time. Regular visitors Herbert and Hannah Wellington-Green enthuse: “We could be in at the beginning of an era of gloamin’ warbling”.
Winterton twinned with Somerton to tackle climate change.
Much quieter run-up to Christmas than usual as all Norfolk festive lights were switched on between September and early November. Local chambers of trade suggest they should be switched on again “to remind people what this time of year is really all about”. Most developers call a seasonal truce – but the Greater Norwich Partnership takes its planning drive into Ipswich when no-one’s looking.
Bale twined with Wheatacre to complete a stack of rural get-togethers.