Extract from "Norfolk Fair" magazine - July 1976
Things are happening at North Walsham...
There is a lot going on in North Walsham at the present moment. At long last a start has been made on building the town's much needed by-pass and the work seems to be going ahead quite fast. There is news, too, that work should begin at any time on the long-awaited Medical Centre. It will be built in Northfield Road: not the best site for it, in the opinion of one local doctor, but the best obtainable. The Centre should be completed by September 1977 and then all the town's medical services, apart from the dentists and the chemists, will be under one roof.
There is plenty of building going on in both the private and the council sectors. In Vicarage Street, 22 houses and flats are being built: these will, in effect, be an extension of the Reeves Court Grouped Homes scheme. The ground floor flats in Vicarage Street will be linked to the Warden in Reeves' Court by a special bell system, so that the elderly residents can obtain assistance whenever they need it. A disabled person's flat will also be incorporated in this development.
In addition, the first phase of the Manor Farm site, which is close by the Park Estate, is being developed. Here there will be 25 mixed dwellings, that is, houses and flats, all on what is known as the 'Mews construction' principle—houses in small groups built around a service road. The Skeyton Road development under the control of the Greater London Council is going ahead. This is for those people, at present housed by the G.L.C., who wish to retire to the country from London.
In the private sector the building of more houses and bungalows in' Bluebell, Mundesley, and Yarmouth Road, to mention only three developments, is making good progress. To avoid a possible imbalance of population, age-wise, the District Council is trying hard to attract new, light industry to the town and district. This, it is hoped, will bring a greater number of young people to live and work in North Walsham.
We already have the Aylsham firm of Tomex here and the Milk Marketing Board's depot is under construction. Negotiations with several other firms are being actively pursued and representatives from the government-sponsored Industrial Development Commission have visited the town to assess its potential and possibilities. We certainly have the land available, with all the necessary services connected to it. It will also be adjacent to the by-pass when this is completed.
The Royston Bridge Water Scheme is now working. It may be remembered that test bores were made five years ago and it is thanks to the foresight of the old Urban District Council that we now have this additional source of water supply. It will certainly be needed if we have the prolonged drought with which we are threatened.
Now to two somewhat controversial matters of which we have not heard the last.
The proposed charge for car parking has aroused a lot of opposition and anger. Up till now the town has prided itself on its several free car parks and it is firmly believed this has brought shoppers and visitors into the town. It is equally firmly believed that if a charge for parking is imposed then many of these people will go elsewhere and the trade and prosperity of the town will suffer. The whole proposal is being deferred pending a survey during the coming months. I am told that the opinion of the townspeople, for and against, will be taken into consideration.
The other matter concerns the local traders—the introduction of increased charges for the removal of refuse from trade premises. This will be challenged, I am told, through all the proper channels but if this fails then it is possible that more militant action will be taken!
North Walsham continues to be as lively and busy as ever. Still more organisations are being introduced, one of the latest being the Probus Club. This is a club for retired and semi-retired people—of both sexes. On 1st June a branch of the Citizens Advice Bureau was opened in offices above the Midland Bank in the Market Place. The work is undertaken by voluntary helpers, five of whom have been on a 10 week training Course.
It is too early to assess how great is the town's need for a C.A.B. but in view of the slow but sure growth of the population in the coming years, the need for the service which the Citizens Advice Bureau gives could be very great indeed. And the very latest news is that North Walsham is to have a Sunday Market—promoted by the Baw-burgh Sunday Market Club. The site chosen for the Market is in Laundry Loke.