Boredom is the enemy of retirement, especially to the man who has led an active life, meeting people and being involved with the life around him.
Although by no means a 'retirement' town — the ratio of young folk to elderly is very good — North Walsham does have a fair number of senior citizens and it was primarily for them that a new club, the brain-child of Mr. E. Nunn, well known for his work for B.L.E.S.M.A. of which he is Vice-Chairman, was opened by Mr. F. Bloom on 27th November 1974.
The Club meets most Wednesday afternoons in the St. Nicholas Rooms (behind the Parish Church) from 2.00 p.m. Here the menfolk can meet and mardle over a cup of tea — the making and serving of which is in the capable hands of Mrs. Ostler and Mrs. Final. They can also play darts, cards, Bingo, draughts, etc. Interesting speakers are being booked and outings planned for the future.
The Club has an excellent Committee under the Chairmanship of Mr. Leggatt and is fortunate to have Mr. G. Chappell — the indefatigable Chairman of the Good Companions Club — as President. Our Vicar, the Rev. D. Maurice, is to be the Club's chaplain. Membership is already high and growing, showing how real was the need for such a Club.
Congratulations to the North Walsham & District Royal British Legion on reaching its Golden Jubilee. To mark the occasion the branch raised £150 to endow a bed at the Cottage Hospital — a much appreciated gift.
Still with the Royal British Legion, the North Walsham branch can be truly proud that it numbers three holders of the R.B.L. Gold Badge amongst its members : Lieut-Col. G. Harvey : Mr. G. Read : and Mr. S. Salmon. These three gentlemen epitomise the spirit of the Royal British Legion. In common with Legion members everywhere they have given un-stintingly of their energy to help those in need.
The North Walsham Historical Society continues to flourish. Mrs. McManus, the Society's enthusiastic Chairman, carries on her untiring efforts to establish a museum in the town. Obtaining the right premises is the first difficulty, although I have heard a whisper that such a place might be found in the not too distant future. Another difficulty, one which admittedly does belong to the future, will be staffing. If the museum is to be open to the public every day there must be someone in charge and money must be found to pay an adequate salary. However, knowing the way the seemingly impossible is achieved in our town — the building of the Community Centre and the Cottage Hospital Extension are just two examples — I feel sure we shall see a museum established in the town 'before very long.
If so, we may then look forward to the return of our loved little fire engine now being cared for us by the Norfolk Counties Museum Service.
By the time this Letter appears in print the new extension to the Community Centre should have been open and in use for several weeks. The people of North Walsham can really be proud of their efforts to raise the money which was needed for this extension before a government grant could foe Obtained.
At the beginning of March we look forward to welcoming a new curate to the town. The Rev. Hugh Lockhart Clark will be coming to us from Islington, London, to assist our Vicar, the Rev. David- Maurice. Mr. Clark has said he, his wife and 19-month old daughter look forward to coming and 'savouring some of the fresh Norfolk air'! Well, there will foe no shortage of the latter (especially in March) but no doubt the traditional warm welcome North Walsham gives to its in-comers will temper the sharpness of that fresh air quite a lot.
To end on a slightly grumbling note — when can we expect to see something done about that untidy junction at Bull corner, known locally and disrespectfully as 'aspirin' junction? Surely it is time to put it in order on a proper basis: to go on calling this mess of jumbled masonry 'experimental' is (becoming something of a sick joke. And what about the flooding under the railway bridge every time we get a heavy downpour of rain and, even more urgent from the safety point of view, the provision of a footpath on the Cromer Road between the railway bridge and the junction ? These are only three of the concerns demanding immediate attention : there are others equally important and many of us feel money could be found for them if sufficient pressure was brought to hear in the right quarter. Of course, the provision of our inner ring road has once again become a pipe dream !