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Weekend Overview

Now that the dust has settled and the first Hethersett open weekend is over, it is time to reflect on a hugely successful event that fully promoted everything that is good about our village.

So many people and organisations came together to provide top class events that attracted hundreds of people.

One comment I heard quite a lot was along the lines of "this weekend has helped to bring back the community spirit to our village" and that was certainly true.

As Hethersett continues to grow there is a tendency to forget that our village offers facilities, entertainment and support in just about every imaginable sphere. The fact that the deputy chairman of the London 2012 Olympic organising committee spent a day in the village on the Friday was testimony to the importance that committee gave to our weekend.

The most events organised per head of the population in the entire United Kingdom - that is certainly something to be intensely proud of. This was certainly a case where a group of people supported an idea and in sporting terms "ran with it."

The village owes parish councillor Shane Hull a tremendous debt of gratitude. Shane had the vision and determination (and he's a very determined man) to see the open weekend brought to fruition. He put together a group of "doers" who got on with the job of organising the various events over a hectic, sometime tiring, but always enjoyable three days.

Shane has already pledged to "do it all again, but bigger and better in 2011." There is no doubt that open weekend 2011 will happen.

And so to the events. Literally thousands of people took part over the three day period beginning with a packed village hall for Hethersett's Got Talent on the Friday evening. This was a fun event that I'm sure will grow and mature next year.

Saturday saw over 15 sports on offer in Sport in the Park with an estimated 1,000 people visiting during the day. Sunday started with what was described by village veteran Duncan Pigg as an "inspirational church service" at the High School followed by the re-launch of an old Hethersett tradition - the Run the Square Funrun.

Arguably this was the success of the three days. Over 250 people took part - some serious runners, some dressed in fancy clothes and many walking the course. All finished the two miles within 45 minutes and the winner Adam Lewis did it in an amazing time of just over 10 minutes. I hope that the photographs on this web site capture just some of the joy and excitement from this event.

Sunday also saw a major ladies five a side football tournament on the Memorial Field and how good it was to see the playing field used to such good effect over two days. The competition attracted 18 teams and was won by Thorpe Ladies. The event was organised by Hethersett Athletic Football Club and there are already plans to repeat it next year.

The weekend was rounded off by a concert in St Remigius church featuring the Pulham Orchestra and the Wymondham Youth Orchestra.

Throughout the weekend the village received huge amounts of promotion in the local press, on radio (with Radio Norfolk broadcasting live from the Memorial Field on Saturday) and from both Anglia and BBC Television who covered the visit of Sir Keith Mills extensively in their Friday evening news programmes.

Hethersett Open Weekend 2010 proved just what can be achieved in our village. It was a wonderful experience and one that can be built on next year. Hethersett may not be the most attractive village in the UK, it may not even be the most attractive in Norfolk, but when it comes to community spirit there are few that can rival it.

Peter Steward - July 2010