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Hethersett Open Weekend 2012 Diary

To view a special photogallery of the events including the run the square click here.

Hethersett open Weekend 2012 took place from Friday June 22nd to Sunday June 24th inclusive. Below are reports and photographs from the events:

Friday June 22nd

24 Hour Swimathon in Hethersett Junior School's Pool


Former staff members, family and children line-up before the start of the swimming marathon and on the right the youngsters from Hethersett Junior School who kicked off the 24 hour swimathon.

The Open weekend kicked off at 8 a.m on Friday June 22nd with a 24 hour swimming marathon in the Junior School pool.

The event was a three way celebration as Head Teacher Andy Whittle explained:

"Today we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the swimming pool, along with the start of the Hethersett Open weekend and also commemorating the life of one of our teaching assistants, Lorraine Hedges, who died of cancer."

The marathon was started by former school swimming teacher Jo Hill who spoke of her memories of the pool and paid tribute to all the hard work that had made it a reality.

"When Leslie Crowther opened the pool is was just a steel box with a narrow rim round the edge. It was the same depth throughout as today's shallow end and it had a fibreglass roof. Every morning before swimming could start we had to remove frogs," she said.


Above the pool decked out in Olympic nation flags and on the right Jo Hill is photographed with current Head Teacher Andy Whittle

Mrs Hill remembered previous sponsored swims which had helped to upgrade it and attracted other users:

"Soon many of the schools in the area were using it along with adult education classes as it became a real amenity for Hethersett and the surrounding area.

Over the 24 hour period over 300 children and local people took part. First in, however, were Junior School pupils Owen Woodrow, Juliette Appleby and Alfie Smalls. Over the 24 hour period swimmers completed an astonishing 11,258 lengths which was the equivalent of swimming from Hethersett to London.

The event was completed by paralympic athlete Oliver Jones, who comes from Long Stratton. He swam a total of 36 lengths, including the final length on his won and afterwards showed those present his Olympic gold gained at the 1988 Seoul Paralympics. when he also set a new world record in the 100 metres freestyle.


Paralympic swimmer Oliver Jones who completed the swimathon is pictured on the left with organiser Jane Newstead and on the right is pictured with some of those who swam and supported the event.

Oliver praised the "excellent community spirit in Hethersett and all those who had taken part in the swimathon.

"I have never finished last in an event in such a good way," he joked.

Flower Festival in St Remigius Church


Just some of the colourful displays that formed the Hethersett Open Weekend Flower Festival. To see more visit our special photo gallery by clicking here.

Something to celebrate was the theme of the three day flower festival in St Remigius Church.

The festival celebrated and remembered special events and people and also raised money towards the 93,000 needed to repair the church roof:

"2012 is a year of celebration with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics with the flame visiting Hethersett, 350 years of the Book of Common Prayer, the end of the 400 year celebration of the King James Bible and lots of special anniversaries and birthdays. The Festival is our way of marking these events and more," said Rector of Hethersett the Rev Di Lammas.

The displays are designed to make people stop and think and give thanks for things too often taken for granted such as food, fresh air, freedom, friends, fun, holidays, hobbies, home, peace, love, laughter and life itself.

The festival was planned before the church knew the extent and cost or urgent repair work on the roof: "Sometimes we have to negotiate 14 rain water buckets. We need to make the church watertight and safe so that celebrations may continue," Rev Lammas added.

Numerous local organisations and individuals have combined to create the displays. These include Hethersett WI, Rick and Brenda Palmer, Hethersett Pensioners' Association, Hethersett Mothers' Union, David and Ann Arnall, the Yvonne School of Dance, Mrs Heather Williamson, Mr and Mrs Don Williamson, Hethersett Library, Church Farm Forge, Great Melton Church, Charlotte, Chris and Rachel Barringer, Mr and Mrs Roy Wiles, Mrs May Shakespeare, Ivan Fisher, Mr and Mrs Sturman, St Remigius Church Choir, Mrs Joy Leaford, Mr and Mrs Roy Wiles, Mrs Irene Hickling, Mr and Mrs Moore, Mrs Harvey, Hethersett Bell Ringers, Ros Talbot, Mrs Vi Ong, Hethersett Pantomime Group, Church Farm Garage, Mr K. Swann, Mr and Mrs R. Hickling, Mr and Mrs Fred Morrad, Mr and Mrs Duncan Pigg, Hethersett High School, Hethersett Parish Council, Hethersett Methodist Art Group, Hethersett Methodist Church, Hethersett Horticultural Society, Hethersett Old Hall School.

Subjects covered included: the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Birth, Conquering Everest, Landing on the Moon, 40 years of Hethersett Library, scientific advancement, the Commonwealth, modern technology, 350 years of the Book of Common Prayer, The Accession of Queen Elizabeth II, Christ's Ascension, Coronation Crowds and Street Parties, Holy Communion, the Bible, Olympic tennis and badminton, Olympic swimming, Olympic Field Events, the Paralympic Games, Olympic Cycling, Hethersett Parish Council, Lives Well Lived and many more.

Hethersett's Got Talent in Hethersett Village Hall


Left to right - Sassy Holmes, Aronaldo Bradders and winner Bonnie Holmes 

The third annual Hethersett's Got Talent once again provided an evening of excellent family entertainment with 10 acts battling it out in front of judges Hayley Moyses, Scott Atkins, Joseph Ballard and eccentric zumba instructor Mr Dod.


Left to right -Kitty Katz, Epic Dance and judges and winners at the end of the show

Top prize went to 11 year old Bonnie Holmes for her powerful version of "Colours of the Wind" from Walt Disney's Pocohontas. Second was solo singer Aronaldo Bradders and third place went to singer Sassy Holmes.

The judges praised the efforts of all the youngsters taking part. They also included Slanted Dance, Angelina Finch, Emma Goldring, Union Versus Jack, Kayleigh, The Kitty Katz and Emily.


Left to right - One of the show's organisers James Rice, compere Chris Watt and contestant Angelina Finch

There were special guest performances from dance combos Passion Elite and Epic Dance as well as last year's Hethersett's Got Talent winner David Wyatt who sang comedy songs - two of which had a special Hethersett theme. David was also joined on stage by Carole Lee for two slightly more serious country and folk numbers. You can view David's performance by clicking on the song links below.

Hethersett Surgery

Ballad of the Lawnmower Man

I'm My Own Grandpa

To Make You Feel My Love

I'm Over You


Left to right - Passion Elite, Carole Lee and David Wyatt and David Wyatt solo

Saturday June 23rd

Sport in the Park on Hethersett Memorial Playing Field


Fencers and Martial Artists at the Sport in the Park event

The most successful Sport on the Park event ever attracted hundreds of people on a relatively sunny day.

This year's event which ran from 11 a.m until 4 p.m featured some unusual sports alongside the more traditional pastimes. Croquet and bowls rubbed shoulders with korfball and dogeball. All the activities were free and there were displays of martial arts, American Football, tag rugby.

The traditional sports included cycling, badminton, football, netball, cycle speedway, hockey, fencing and volleyball and there were dancing displays and fete style attractions as well.

Hethersett Hawks Cycle Speedway Club staged its annual Breckland Autos Charity Cup as part of Sport in the Park and a good crowd watched some outstanding action. Eleven home riders were joined by five invited guests. Holder Dan Chambers fell while chasing Norfolk Champion Phil Adams who failed to find his top form. The most consistent Hethersett rider was Scott Grimes who scored 16 points but just missed out on third place in a race off with Norwich's Steven Clare. Fourteen year old Danny Margitson from North Park scored 17 to finish second but winner was Richie Fellgett from Ipswich

Concert by Hellesdon and Sprowston Brass Band in St Remigius Church

The perfect way to end Saturday after Sport in the Park was to sit back and enjoy a concert by the Hellesdon and Sprowston Brass Band. An appreciative audience enjoyed a very varied performance that included music by Strauss, Gilbert and Sullivan, Elgar and John Denver and included both the sacred and the secular.

Conductor Dario Salvi proved to be one of the hits of the night with his enthusiasm, audience asides and sense of fun running throughout the programme.

Sunday June 24th

The day started with a multi denominational church service in Hethersett Social Club. About 60 people gathered together for a special celebration act of worship led by the Rector of Hethersett, the Rev Di Lammas. Rev Lammas included the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Games, the 350th anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer and the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible as part of the overall celebration.

Round The Square Funrun


The start on the left and after the finish on the right

As Norfolk Olympiad Paul Evans started the warm-up for the 2012 funrun conditions looked perfect with blue skies and bright sunshine.

But this is England and as far as the weather is concerned anything can happen - and it did. No sooner had a record number of 302 runners/walkers set off from outside Hethersett Junior School than torrential rain and thunder started.

Finishing more like drowned rats than runners, those taking part still thoroughly enjoyed the experience, many running in fancy dress. The prize for the best fancy dress went to Alfie Smalls as The Riddler. First place in the actual event went to 2010 winner Adam Lewis in a remarkable time of well under 11 minutes. Last year's winner Ollie Armstrong finished third although it is rumoured that he made a detour on the way! First lady home was Maria Alborough.


Overall winner - Adam Lewis First Lady Home - Maria Alborough Best Fancy Dress - Alfie Smalls as The Riddler

A full gallery of photographs from the event is available by clicking here. Remarkably as soon as most people had finished the run, the sun returned to dry everyone out. Everyone completed the course and those taking part covered all age ranges and even a dog!

Hethersett Athletic Ladies Five-a-side Tournament on Hethersett Memorial Playing Field

The ladies five-a-side ran throughout Sunday from early morning until late afternoon and featured 26 teams from 14 clubs from Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

The competition was initially split into four leagues with the top two teams from each going through to the main knockout competition and the third and fourth placed teams taking part in a plate knockout competition.

Both sections were won by teams from Peterborough.

Cup Semi Finals - Lowestoft Whites 0, Bungay Blues 0 (Lowestoft won 4-3 on penalties); Peterborough Northern Star 0, Hethersett Ladies 0 (Pterborough won 4-2 on penalties)

Cup Final -  Peterborough 0, Lowestoft 0 (Peterborough won 4-3 on penalties).

Plate Semi Finals - Hethersett Blues 0 Peterborough B 0 (Pteerborough won 4-1 on penalties), Thorpe Yellows 2, Hockering 0.

Plate Final - Thorpe Yellows 0, Peterborough 1.

A full list of results is available on the Hethersett Athletic web site which can be accessed by clicking here.

The event was sponsored by Money Properties and Lettings of Wymondham and John Waters House Clearances and prizes were presented by John Waters and Mick Money.

The Open weekend was then concluded by a special Songs of Praise evening in Hethersett Parish Church where the hymns were chosen by leading members of the Hethersett community.