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Train with Queen on board delayed and Any Questions for school: Look back at headlines from February 1986

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In our regular On This Week column, we look back through the pages of the Lynn News from February 4 – 10 1986…The Queen has become the latest victim of delays and hold-ups on the Lynn-London rail link. Other travellers were frustrated and embarrassed when The Fenman, with Her Majesty on board, broke down seven times on the trip to Liverpool Street, arriving 43 minutes late. At Ely station, there was another hitch when the Queen’s breakfast had to be carried to her along the platform because restaurant staff couldn’t unlock the door connecting the Royal carriage with the rest of the train. To add insult to injury, her return train to Lynn the same day rolled in 18 minutes late. North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham slammed bungling BR bosses for the “shameful” stop-go trip and complained to chairman Bob Reid.Norfolk ratepayers look set to fork out an extra 19 per cent on their rates for only 1.5 per cent increase in spending on the county’s services. If county councillors agree to the rise it would mean the average domestic ratepayer currently paying £250 a year in rates would be asked to fork out another £50 in the next financial year.

As part of the 250th anniversary celebrations of the founding of Hamond’s School in Swaffham, BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions was broadcast live in February 1986 from the High School assembly hall – and local folk just crowded in. Question master John Timpson was virtually back on his old stamping ground of the 1950s, when he was a news reporter in the Swaffham and Dereham area. He is pictured far left, and on the panel were (from left) Swaffham’s Mr Jack Boddy, general secretary of the agricultural workers’ division of the TGWU, Selwyn Gummer, former Tory Party chairman, Dr Elizabeth Cottrell, formerly of the Conservative “Think Tank” and Denzil Davies, Labour defence spokesman. Pictured on the right is Hamond’s headmaster Robert Young.

Lynn priest the Rev Walter Bridge has blamed drop-outs for smashing a nineteenth-century stained glass window, which he believes could be the oldest in the town. The window – depicting Christ and the saints in a representation of the Transfiguration – dates back to 1850 and will cost £500 to repair. Mr Bridge, Rector of All Saints’ Church, near Hillington Square, said a brick or something larger must have been thrown with tremendous force because it damaged a wire guard which broke the window.A highly-equipped dog warden, complete with a “suit of armour” should be patrolling West Norfolk by April in the war against stray dogs. Removal of stray dogs in a humane manner, a 24-hour service for complaints, and monthly reports to environmental health chiefs were some of the duties discussed by councillors at a borough council subcommittee meeting. They agreed a draft contract, costing £15,000 for a trial period of one year, adding that the appointed warden would be provided with protective clothing of a metal-reinforced material, gloves, and catching equipment.Staff of C.H.S. (Amusements), the Hunstanton leisure company, launched into charity fundraising for the first time in aid of Lynn’s CAT Scanner appeal and netted a bumper £300. Eight employees helped contribute to a raffle held at an end-of-season party by company chairman Mr Clive Sillis. They were joined by about 100 of the company’s customers who dug into their pockets at the party held in the Alexia Restaurant above the firm’s premises on The Green at Hunstanton. Mr Sillis later presented the cheque to consultant radiologist Dr Mike Brindle at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital X-ray department, boosting the appeal fund to a total of £397,000.During a meeting of the Swaffham Tourist Committee, it was reported that Mrs Merle Boddy had agreed to act as secretary in the initial stages. The town council had now affiliated to the East Anglian Tourist Board, which entitled the town to be entered in its guidebook. The committee felt the town hall would be the ideal place for a tourism display area and it was decided to make an application to the town council. A possible town tourism brochure was discussed and it was suggested that firms specialising in such publications may be willing to produce one for Swaffham free of charge.A man who had a life-long love of horses has had his last wish granted. Seventy-five-year-old Charles Marsters, who had lived at Harewood Drive, Lynn, and had died last week, was carried to his funeral at St Nicholas’ Chapel in a 94-year-old horse-drawn hearse. The beautifully restored hearse, owned by funeral directors A.J. Coggles from Lynn and Pentney, was making its first appearance since the turn of the century, when it was last used.The Department of Transport has finally picked a route for Narborough’s long-awaited by-pass … but hopes of an early start could still be blocked. Within hours of the announcement of a revised route to the north of Narborough, villagers heard that there could be an appeal. If Narford landowner Commander Andrew Fountaine carries out his threat, it could take the whole scheme virtually back to square one. Cmdr Fountain, who lives at Narford Hall, claims that the southern route would be best.Customers at Woolworth’s in Fakenham have had their first look at the store’s new extension. The conversion of the old granary store next to the shop, which began before Christmas, has increased the sales area by 1,216 sq ft. The records, tapes, and hardware departments have all been expanded and a selection of home-brew products has been introduced, too.

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