Hello and Happy Christmas and Better New Year to all our members and friends.

We can now give you information on next year’s programme and other activities we have been involved with.  Thank you to all of you who have paid your subscriptions, (£5 per annum) we will continue to collect these at meetings or through the door of 30 Brandon Road (the yellow house), please phone 01953 882613 if you have any queries.

Firstly the programme 2022.  7.45pm at Watton Methodist Centre

(previously called the Watton Christian Community Centre).

Wednesday, 19th January.
Simon White, of Peter Beales Roses. Simon offers a wide variety of talks, this time we have chosen –
Highlights of Chelsea and Hampton Court.

Wednesday, 16th February
Malcolm Trayhorn – My career in the Police (previously booked and cancelled during lockdown)

Wednesday, 16th March
Roger Pugh – The Most Secret Place on Earth. The story of how the Tank was invented and how the World’s first Tank force was created, trained at Elveden near Thetford in utmost secrecy and despatched to France in 1916 to take part in the battle of the Somme.

Wednesday, 20th April
Mia Hansson – The Bayeux Tapestry. Mia will talk about her project, started in 2016, to create a replica of the tapestry. She will tell us about the handicraft entailed for her now and for the original tapestry. Mia will bring eighteen metres of her tapestry and we will set out as much of this as we can.

Wednesday, 18th May.
Andrew Clarke of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust – Antarctica. Andrew will talk about various aspects of Antarctica, including the wildlife. He came to Watton to speak to the Breckland Wildlife Trust group in 2019 and his talk was enthralling – there are bound to be some updates. (previously booked and cancelled during lockdown)

Wednesday, 15th June.
Stuff and Folly – an East Anglian based entertainment group that stages fully scripted original short plays and sketches, specialising in humour and with a wide variety of themes. You may or may not recognise one or two of their members.
July – if we meet on the Wednesday this would be the 20th, however we have not booked a speaker as we would like to arrange an outing, possibly with a meal out – any ideas? We have one or two possibilities but are open to suggestions. More information to follow.
August – no meeting.

Wednesday, 21st September.
Norma Howell – Medical Detection Dogs. A dog’s sense of smell is absolutely amazing and they are being used more and more in diverse ways – including the detection of Covid. As most dogs are working full time with owners there is not always one available for Norma to bring, and on the odd times when she has managed to it could be rather worrying if a dog indicates that it has detected a problem in a member of the audience! (Previously booked and cancelled during lockdown)

Wednesday, 19th October.
AGM followed by a quiz – more information to follow.

Wednesday, 16th November.
Philip Slater – Nostalgia Film Night. Philip is always adding film clips to his collection so we will have no trouble finding some things we have not seen before.

Wednesday, 21st December.
Annette Jude and Susie Turner.
Annette will play the piano with as much style as ever and Susie will sing for us, engaging the audience with her beautiful voice. They have entertained us before and we know how delightfully they perform. The charge for this meeting will be £8 for members and £10 for non-members. There will be Christmas refreshments.

Other News

Refreshments – The Methodist Hall does not now have the same links with other churches as it previously had and the terms of hiring state that no alcohol must be served. We have to respect this request which will mean that we will use only non-alcoholic wine on the occasions when we have wine available. We shall provide a variety of fruit juices. At our usual meetings, because we have a small committee, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to have somebody at the refreshment table, but may ask you to help yourself and put 50p in the pot. Thank you.

The Heritage Trail and Green Plaques
Five new plaques have recently been placed to mark the Watton Railway. These are on the site of the old railway (the road leading to Jewsons); Key House – which was the Railway Hotel; the Church Road Level Crossing; Loch Neaton which was dug out to make the embankment and Knotts Yard which was a coalyard. We will now proceed with the next plaque – for Harvey House (previously Quinton House) in Harvey Street.

Thank you to the Town Council for their financial support for the Heritage Project. We have recently received an email from the Town Council regarding their intention to produce some ‘Heritage Signs’ for the Town. They wish to use the Watton Society Heritage Trail leaflet as the basis for the maps and have offered to come to a meeting explain what they are planning, we will follow this up with them.

And Finally! … The Chaston Place Notice Board There is a metal notice board in Chaston Place which is owned by the Watton Society. The Mayor has confirmed that this can be refurbished from The Mayor’s Fund. We hope to send this to a local company for refurbishment in the New Year, as there are many requests to put posters in it over the Christmas period. Thank you to the Mayor and Town Council.

Now you know just about as much as your committee does!

Judy and John Kerr, Margaret Cator, Roy Challand.