Monday and I'm on flood watch. Down on the River Yare there's little sign of the deluge that came to most of East Anglia overnight. Apart from one or two isolated places Norfolk pretty much escaped the worst. Then I'm off to Lakenham where I met up with Sian Evans. She missed the deadline for submitting claim forms for child tax credit payments and subsequently lost £230 a week. With no luck after trying to contact HM Revenue & Customs she turned to us. We persued the issue and next week she hopes to have the payments reinstated. In the meantime she's relied on friends and family to keep her and her four children going.
Tuesday and it'll be a long day! First stop Bracondale where the road surface has lifted like an earthquake. Fortunately it's at the junction with Carrow Hill and won't restrict the flow of traffic too much whilst they repair it. Then on horseback at Easton College. Look at this magnificent beast! The horse that is. The first time I've conducted an interview on horseback but this stunningly realistic machine is a far more economical way to teach students the basics before they get on a horse with a mind of its own! That's Hilary Francois holding the mike. I can't do everything. There's also an olympic size arena in this huge new complex which has been open for a year now. Back to the roads and back to Furze Road off Plumstead Road (see last Travelogue) Thy had repaired this pavement where a huge hole appeared but just look. The repair has sunk into another chasm! Will it ever end. Back to BBC Norfolk and then down to the train station and a trip to Chelmsford.
Quite similar to Norwich I felt. Thanks to all the staff at BBC Essex who made me feel very welcome and reminded me of the equipment we used to have in Norwich many years ago! I didn't take any pictures there but snapped these two on the walk back to the station heading for home. A long day!
Wednesday and I'm transport correspondent! First, at Reepham they build on their success with the Car Club with 6 cars in Norwich and 3 at Reepham and now the next phase in Aylsham. The world's first electric minibus should be completed soon so an excuse to visit project manager Rex Warner again! Here he is with their new green van - the latest addition to the Reepham fleet. In the city I was met by Jeff Jordan from the Norwich Cycle Campaign and we're talking about bike safety. Aviva's survey reckons that 20% of cyclists have their bikes taken after leaving them unlocked to pop into a shop. The message - security should be uppermost in t your mind when leaving your bike anywhere. A handy note from Jeff though - why not pick up a ccycle map of the city? Very useful from City Hall, tourist information etc.
Thursday morning at Hellesdon Hospital where I met up with Maggie Wheeler, chair of the Norwich and Waveney Mental Health Trust. To help treat the growing numbers of people with Alzheimers and other forms of dementia they're investing £14m in a new dementia intensive care unit at the Julian Hospital with 36 beds. The intention is to recreate a homely atmosphere with gardens for education, research and clinical care. Opening in 2012 Norfolk is gearing up for the increasing numbers who may need such help in the future.
Friday comes around and today I'm your retail correspondent! First, the revitalised NAAFI shop at the former RAF Coltishall. Behind the counter, Sean Ismay the owner of Thoroughgoods Select Convenience. A Franchise company that Sean used to work for before happening upon this opportunity. It opened at 10am today. Then to the Assembly Rooms in the middle of Swaffham where they've had a Friday market for the past 35 years. The Town Council wants the market to stop but David Smith (4th pic) has hundreds of supporters who say they want t to stay just as it is. Last pic in the coffee room shows the strength of feeling with (centre) former town mayor Ben Emmerson with Carol Raiunbow and other supporters. Their arguement is that it's a focal point for locals and visitors and it doesn't clash or interefere with the Saturday market on the car park outside.