Sunday January 31st
Whilst part of the family take to the football fields on Sundays, Anne keeps up her attendance at the Methodist Church. Tonight there was a special service featuring a number of children. After the service the minister and his wife - the Rev Gerald and Lynne Cole - open up their doors to a number of youngsters aged up to 15 which they call the 999 club. The name comes from the last three digits of their telephone number. This evening the group (which meets every two weeks) was ahead of itself - making early Valentines' cards.
There have been a number of Methodist ministers in the village since we have lived here.
When we first moved here the Rev Brian Dann was the incumbent with his wife Margaret. They subsequently moved to the Newcastle area and were replaced by John and Rosemary Dean who never really settled into the Norfolk way of life which I think was too quiet for them. They moved to Runcorn in Cheshire and were replaced by William and Lynne Booker who were the first to live in the village manse in Richardson Crescent. They eventually moved to Oxford and their place was taken by the Coles.
The church itslef holds two services - one in the mornings at 10.30 a.m and one at 6.30 p.m - both of course on Sundays.
Over the years attendance at the services has fluctuated but is currently very healthy. The types of service over the years have varied from the solemn to the modern.
A youth club ran for many years on Friday evenings but closed a few years ago due to lack of people prepared to run it. For a number of years myself and Anne helped at this. Many of the children who attended have long since grown up and I am sure many have children of their own.
The Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury is a free newspaper which circulates in Hethersett. Copy from the village is usually provided by a village correspondent who at the present time is Liz Thetford who lives in priory Close.
The front page of the edition for January 29th ran a story about pantomime dame Barry Foster who played throughout this year's event despite having chopped the top off a finger by catching it in a door at rehearsals.
Apparently it didn't hamper him too much apart from the scene where he is supposed to hang out washing on a line.
It did prove a problem in his working life, however, as he's a painter and decorator.
The latest edition of the Hethersett Handbook has been published by the parish council. It is a directory of Hethersett organisations and businesses and includes maps.
It acts mainly as a contacts list, but also gives another idea of the large number of groups which exist in the village and also an insight into village life at this turn of the century.
So here are some facts and figures for posterity.
Hethersett Parish Council meets on the fourth Monday of each month in the Humphrey Back Room of the village hall. The chairman is Dr Geoff Brownsey who lives in Park Close. The parish clerk is Mrs Diana Dring who lives in Barford - a village about five miles away.
The village doctors at Hethersett surgery are Drs Signy, Beeby, Press and Morris.
The dental surgery is situated in Great Melton Road and the branch library is in Queen's Road. It has storytime sessions for under-5s on the second Wednesday of the month from 2.15 to 2.45 p.m. The library itself opens on Mondays from 2.30 to 7.30, on Wednesdays from 10 a.m to 1 p.m and 2 to 5 p.m, on Thursdays from 2.30 to 7.30 and on Saturdays from 10 a.m until 1 p.m.
There are a number of village charities. The Hethersett Parochial Charity assists those in need, hardship or distress and clerk to the trustees is Mrs S. Clarke from Lynch Green. The Caroline Lindley Trust gives further education grants for young people of the parish aged between 18 and 25.
The Hethersett and District Nursing Association assists those who are sick and in financial need and Hethersett and District Lions provide help to the community as a whole.
On the publications front, the local correspondent for the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury and the Eastern Evening news is Liz Thetford, whilst the Good News Parish Magazine is organised by a number of people through the parish church.
Community and support groups include Age Concern, the Friendly Club, the Good Companions Club for the Over-50s, the Happy Circle, Meals on Wheels organised by the Women's Royal Voluntary Service, Books on Wheels also organised by the WRVS and a Pensioners Association.
A Millennium committee has been set-up to co-ordinate Millennium celebrations/commemorations in the village and there is a voluntary services co-ordinator who recruits volunteers and liaises with voluntary groups to offer help and support to the community.
The handbook lists a large number of sports and recreation clubs. These include:
Badminton (Thursday evenings at the High School), Bowls (Wednesday and Saturday afternoons from May to September at the Memorial Playing Fields and also at Hethersett Social Club), Cricket (at the Memorial Playing Field from April to September), Cycle Speedway (Hethersett Hawks at the Memorial Playing Field on Tuesdays at 6 p.m from April to October), football (in a variety of guises at the high school, middle school and memorial playing field on Sundays), table tennis (Village Hall on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m for those aged 8 to 16), swimming (adult education courses for family and adult classes at Hethersett Middle School and Old Hall School. There are also aquafit classes.
As far as recreation areas are concerned there is the Memorial Playing Field and an all weather pitch at the village hall which is available for tennis, basketball and five-a-side football although it has to be said that it has been built in the wrong dimensions and is not used for any of these purposes much to the annoyance of the sports clubs who were not consulted before it was built.
There are numerous halls and buildings for hire in the village including the church hall in Henstead Road, the Jubilee Youth Club in Back Lane, Hethersett Middle School which offers rooms, hall, swimming pool and playing fields, Hethersett High School, Old Hall School which lets out a sports hall, barn, swimming pool and tennis courts, the Methodist School Room and the Village Hall in Back Lane which has a large hall, committee room, stage, kitchen and bar facilities.
In addition to the above the high school tennis courts ate left open for village use free of charge throughout the summer.
Equal opportunities, sexism - all buzz words of the late 20th century where it is politically incorrect to have groups excluding people by race or gender.
Nevertheless in a village like Hethersett, the past is still in play. There are several groups in the village for women. These include the Mothers' Union which meets on the fourth Monday of the month at the Church Hall in Henstead Road, the women's fellowship which meets on alternate Thursdays in the Methodist Schoolroom, the women's meeting which meets on alternate Thursdays in the Baptist Church in Henstead Road and the Women's Institute which meets on the third Monday of the month in the Methodist Schoolroom.
Continuing the trawl through the village organisations, there are a number catering for mums with young children including the Mother and Baby Group on Fridays in the Church Hall, the Under-5s which meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays in St Remigius Church and offer worship and activities for the under-5s and their carers. The Chimes Pre-School music group meets in the Methodist Schoolroom during term time. First Steps for toddlers, babies and parents meet for play and chat at the Village Hall on Fridays. Next Steps is for those from 18 months and takes place on Tuesdays.
The Playgroup for those aged 2 1/2 to 5 meet on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings in the Methodist Schoolroom whilst the Ducklings Activity Group for those aged 2 to 2 1/2 meets on Wednesdays. Little Fishes meet on the first and third Tuesdays in the Methodist Schoolroom for under-5s. In addition there is a baby sitting circle which organises mutual babysitting without the need to pay and a parent and baby clinic which meets twice monthly in the Methodist Schoolroom.
Youth organisations (all of which meet in the Scout and Guide Hut off Queen's Road) include Rainbow Guides (girls 5 to 7 years of age), 1st Hethersett Brownies, 4th Hethersett Brownies, 1st Hethersett Guides, 1st Hethersett Beavers (boys of pre-cubs age), Woodhall Cubs, Cromwell Cubs and Scouts. The Jubilee Youth Club in Back Lane opens its doors to Seniors (aged 14 and above) on Mondays and Wednesdays and Juniors (12 to 14) on Fridays.
There are a whole host of leisure groups including the following: Art and Craft group, Hethersett Choral Society, the St Remigius Church Guild, Hethersett Society, Hethersett and District Horticultural Society, Jigsaw Library and the Pantomime Group.
Then there is Probus which is a club for retired professional and business people, the Hethersett branch of the Royal British Legion, the Tuesday Club, the Hethersett branch of the Workers Educational Association (WEA) and a Yoga group.
I would like at this point to list the roads in the village:
Admirals Way Aldborough Loke Ambleside Anson Close Arneside Ash Close Back Lane Bailey Close Benbow Close Birch Road Bucaneer Way Buckingham Drive Cann's Lane Cartmel Cedar Road Central Close Central Crescent Childs Road Churchfields Collingwood Close Coniston Close Cromwell Close Curson Close Deacon Drive Drake Close Exmouth Close Firs Road Flint House Gardens Flowerdew Close Glengarry Close Grasmere Grenville Close Grove Road Great Melton Road Haconsfield Hall Close Harman Close Harmer Close Harvey Close Hawk Close Henstead Road Howes Close Hubbards Loke Hughes Court Jaguar Road Karen Close Kendal Close Ketteringham Lane Kett's Close Lakeland Way Linden Drive Lindley Road Long View Lynch Green Lyngate Close Malthouse Road Marion Roberts Court Meadow Close Melton Court Mill Close Mill Road Muriel Kenny Court Myrtle Road Nelson Close New Road Nimrod Close Oak Close Old Norwich Road Orchard Way Park Close Park Drive Pond Close Priory Road Queen's Road Recreation Road Richardson Crescent Rowan Gardens Shop Lane South Croft St. David's Road St. John's Close Stuart Close The Crescent Thirlmere Trout Beck Ullswater Drive Vulcan Close West Croft Whitegates Close Woods Close