Village News

News from the Winterton-on-Sea Parish Council & the village, November 2021

© All content copyright 2021


A digest from October's parish council meeting

The Seasiders Ukulele Band serenades 'Banksy couple' in Great Yarmouth

SEAL SEASON: Part of the beach at Winterton is to be fenced off for a second year to keep seal pups and the public separate during the busiest part of the pupping season.

And dog walkers will again be asked to head south towards Hemsby.

The fence was introduced last winter. It is due to make a return later this week and will be extended slightly to the north because some pups managed to get into the dunes at the far end, Cllr Marina Carr told parish council colleagues.

Councillors are gearing up for the winter and organising a rota to be on call to help deal with traffic issues. There are also hopes the borough council’s enforcement officers will make their presence felt on a regular basis.

But councillors were told it probably wouldn’t have been agreed anyway because of insufficient resources.

“It’s incredibly disappointing,” Cllr Marina Carr said at the full council meeting on October 27. “We’d only asked for a little bit extra.”

Cllr Nigel Coe asked if the council could apply for a change in the route next year. “All we are asking for is for a lorry to go about a hundred yards.”

The parish was hoping the gritters could cover down to Kings Corner and Beach Road and made the request because of several incidents last year when residents fell on the icy roads, including someone collecting their prescription from the Church Room.

The borough council has said the route can be assessed next year and in the meantime the parish is looking for volunteers to help spread grit in problem areas when needed. It is to investigate what tools would be needed, including manual gritters, wheelbarrows and shovels.

Anyone willing to volunteer can speak to Cllr Carr at the next councillor open surgery session in the village hall on November 13 between 11am and noon.  

VIRGIN BUILDING DEVELOPMENT: Borough council planning officers have told the parish council they will monitor work to convert the former Virgin Media hub in Low Road into a holiday let.

The parish had expressed concern at access arrangements for contractors to the site, which was given planning permission some weeks ago.

Friends of Horsey Seals will be providing volunteer wardens on the beach and the car park will be open seven days a week over Christmas and New Year, with some of the parking charge money going to the charity.

For more information on the fence and the reason behind it follow the link here.

WILD WINTERTON: The In Bloomers have been given permission to plant a hedge along the edge of the village hall green to help stop the front wheels camper vans from going up onto the grass.

The 2ft 5ins tall hedge will follow the line of the kerb, bearing catkins in the summer and berries in the winter. Wildflowers, grasses and lavender will be planted in front of it to attract insects.

Members of the village environment group have also identified four areas where it believes  wildflowers can be encouraged to grow.

The group plans to return to the council when it is clear who is responsible for the sites for a formal plan to be agreed.

SEASON’S GRITTINGS: The parish council’s bid to have the gritting route extended in Winterton in time for this winter melted away to nothing because the borough council officer who had been emailed with the request left the authority.

Volunteers wanted to help with Russian vine management in the south dunes on Sunday November 14 or Monday 15

The South Dunes and 'valley' between Winterton and Hemsby is a wonderful area, enjoyed by many of us. It is a great habitat for wildlife, in particular the valley bank which runs along the western edge of the area, below the gardens of the houses on Bush Road.

However, the plant-life biodiversity of this slope, which supports many resident and migrant birds, butterflies and other wildlife, is under threat from the invasive Russian Vine or 'Mile-a-Minute Plant', Fallopia baldschuanica.

Relative of Japanese Knotweed has escaped from gardens and established itself at five locations on the valley bank, between the southern path up to the Hermanus and the start of the Winterton Valley Estate. It is such a vigorous species that it overwhelms and kills every other plant species (flowers, shrubs and even substantial trees) which it covers. In the picture on the right you can see it overwhelming a Rowan tree growing about half way down the valley - if it is not removed the tree will die within a few years.

We have identified three sites where if we act now we can hopefully save quite a few trees and shrubs from being overwhelmed.  

Therefore we have decided to hold two volunteer Russian Vine Control days, on Sunday November 14 and Monday 15, between 11.15 am and 3pm on Sunday and 10 am to 3pm on Monday.

If you would like to help out we'd be hugely grateful.

Bring gloves, tools such as loppers, rakes, secateurs and anything else you think might help.

Meet at the bottom of the public steps at 11.15am (Sunday) or 10.00am (Monday) or just pop along whenever you are able to during the day to lend a hand! Natural England has kindly agreed to dispose of whatever we can clear. If you would like to let us know you are coming in advance please email: or ring 07900 376 462.

BEACH UPDATE: A bid is being made for a fence to be installed at the end of Beach Road follow last month’s bout of erosion.

Borough and county councillor James Bensly said he was applying for chestnut paling to tidy up the edge and to stop people using the old gap to get down to the beach.

Members of the parish council  heard the message was that the area was still very much open for business but that the fencing would give visitors some clear guidance.


Fr John to retire

THE village is set to say goodbye to its priest next year.

Fr John Bloomfield, who is in charge of the Flegg Coastal benefice that includes Winterton, Somerton and Horsey, will be retiring at the beginning of May.

The son of a shepherd, he came to the village in early 2019 from Hunstanton, stepping into the shoes of Fr Selwyn.

Here's what we wrote about him when he arrived.

Disgust at poppy collection tin theft

THE theft of a Poppy Appeal collecting tin from the church minutes before a remembrance service for children has prompted outrage in Winterton.

It was taken from inside the church in the space of less than an hour.

“It’s disgraceful,” churchwarden Sandra Laws said. “It’s such a shame because it was a lovely service for the children.”

She said the building was unlocked today – Armistice Day - at 8.20am and she arrived at 9.15am. A short while later a local couple went in to buy a poppy and thought the tin had been put away.

She started the children’s service outside at 9.30am and was unaware of the theft until later in the day.

It’s not known how much was in the tin, which had been put at the back of the church. But

Sandra had put in £10 for two wooden crosses in memory of her mother-in-law’s first husband who died at Arnhem in the Second World War and an uncle who was killed in the 1914-18 conflict.

People in the village have voiced their disgust and some have offered to donate money to replace the stolen cash. A new collection box will be available at the 9.00am remembrance service on Sunday.

The incident has been reported to the police and anyone who may have seen or photographed anything suspicious is asked to call them on 101.


Village raises hundreds after Poppy Appeal theft

WINTERTON folk dug deep into their pockets to raise an amazing £832.58 for the Poppy Appeal after a collecting tin was stolen from the parish church just before a remembrance service.

Local organiser Flo Gallacher was stunned when she totted up the donations to find the total was a staggering £755 more than last year’s £68.70.

“I really couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I was so surprised when that tin was opened.”

Flo said she was gutted when she heard about the theft, which happened between 8.20am and 9.15am on Armistice Day as the church prepared to host a special service for children from the school.

To her knowledge it was the first Poppy Appeal tin theft in the village in the 38 years she has been organising the collection.

“I thought: ‘How could they do that in a church, of all places. It’s sacred'.”

People queued up at the Remembrance Day service on Sunday to put money in her collecting tin, accounting for £114 of the total. “I couldn’t even remember £20 notes going in,” she said.

The theft triggered disgust in the village and as news spread people began to make donations, including one man who took his money box into the church. After it was opened with a tin opener a whopping £380 was counted out.

Cadets from 901 Troop and their families had a whip round and contributed another £113.

A delighted churchwarden Sandra Laws said: “It’s absolutely brilliant. Good has come out of


something bad. I think we have got to thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts for donating to the appeal.”

The response from members of the public, the cadets and military veterans in the village had been heart warming and they had given to a very worthy cause.

She said although a man was seen leaving the church shortly before the children’s service the police had told her they would not be continuing with the investigation and had suggested the church install CCTV cameras.

Sunday’s Remembrance Day service saw a large group gather at the war memorial in the churchyard to honour the fallen.

Names of villagers who died in two world wars were read out, prayers were said and the Last Post was sounded before a two-minute silence.

Boxes full of festive cheer, with love from Winterton

A LITTLE Christmas spirit was delivered early to the village hall when local people responded to the Salvation Army’s annual collection with bags and boxes filled with food and gifts.

Toys, festive treats, smart crocheted and knitted blankets were handed over on November 18, along with toiletries, tinned goods and even a box full of teddies.

Community manager Harry Woods said: Winterton has been supporting us for quite a few years. I’m just overwhelmed with the response. We have tables full. I think it’s brilliant.”

He explained the organisation was launching its Tins and Toys appeal, making up hampers of Christmas food and treats for vulnerable families, to be delivered during the festive season, and the collection would be a big help.

Donations of new, unwrapped gifts and toys suitable for children from babies to 17-year-olds can be taken to Salvation Army shops – the nearest is in King Street, Great Yarmouth, open between 10am and 3pm.

If you want to support the appeal with an online donation go to