Category: Suffolk

Appeal for bikers to join convoy to pay respect to Thetford man

Jimmy Boyce died at the age of 53, on Friday, Janurary 24. He was described as a popular and much-loved Thetford man. Photo: Jimmy Boyce

Jimmy Boyce died at the age of 53, on Friday, Janurary 24. He was described as a popular and much-loved Thetford man. Photo: Jimmy Boyce

Jimmy Boyce

A family have made an appeal for bikers to a join a “much-loved” Thetford man on his final journey.

Jimmy Boyce died in his sleep on Friday, January 24, after recovering from a heart attack just a week before, which has left his family devastated.

His son, also called Jimmy, said he has been overwhelmed with the kind messages he has received about his father who he described as a “very popular” man around the town.

The 53-year-old was known for his passion for motorbikes, being a trucker and his love for a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich.

But his greatest treasure was his family, including his five children, nine grandchildren, his brother, sister and mother.

Mr Boyce said: “It was a terrible shock for us all. He just went to bed one night and didn’t wake up.

“My dad was one of those people who touched the hearts of everyone he met. The best words I could use is funny, caring and loving and he always put others before himself.

“I couldn’t even go to Tesco with him without being stopped or someone saying hello, he was very popular and much-loved. I have had hundreds of messages from people I don’t even know.

“And he was a real family-man. He loved his grandchildren, they called him Grandad bacon.”

Now the former HGV driver for Foulger Transport will make his final journey, on Friday, February 21, to West Suffolk Crematorium, on the back of his lorry, surrounded by his biker friends or those just wishing to pay their respects.

Mr Boyce added: “My dad has been a biker since he was 15-years-old and used to go to the old Kings Head Pub and visit rallies with his friends.

“Then he fell in love with trucking. My grandad was a trucker and he followed in his footsteps. They were his main passions, his bikes and trucking.

“So, for him to be taken to his funeral on the back of his truck is amazing. If dad was here, he would have loved it.

The family have asked any bikers who wishes to join the convoy to meet at 1.30pm at Barnham Cross Common.

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Suffolk councillor Victor Lukaniuk asked to apologise after tailing driver for 15 miles

Lorry driver Emma Fulcher was followed by councillor Victor Lukaniuk, according to reports. Picture: EMMA FULCHER

Lorry driver Emma Fulcher was followed by councillor Victor Lukaniuk, according to reports. Picture: EMMA FULCHER

Emma Fulcher

A Suffolk councillor who reportedly left a female lorry driver “scared” and “intimidated” has been ordered to apologise for his actions while a formal complaints procedure investigates his conduct.

Victor Lukaniuk claimed HGV momvements has been an issue. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELLVictor Lukaniuk claimed HGV momvements has been an issue. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

Victor Lukaniuk is reported to have tailed 24-year-old truck driver Emma Fulcher for 15 miles between Brandon and Thetford, on January 29.

According to Mr Lukaniuk, a member of the West Suffolk Independents who is a councillor for Suffolk County Council, West Suffolk Council and Brandon Town Council, his actions were motivated by issues with HGV movements through the area.

Despite failing to apologise to Ms Fulcher, Mr Lukaniuk has now been ordered to apologise by Penny Otton, leader of the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group at the county council.

A spokesman from Suffolk County Council confirmed a formal complaint had been made and was now being investigated under its code of conduct.

Penny Otton, leader of the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group at the county council, has ordered Mr Lukaniuk to apologise. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPenny Otton, leader of the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group at the county council, has ordered Mr Lukaniuk to apologise. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It is understood that no formal complaint has been made to West Suffolk Council.

Ms Fulcher said that she made a number of attempts to allow him to pass.

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She told the Thetford and Brandon Times: “The distance he followed me was alarming, especially when you’re on your own. I was intimidated because I knew it was a male.

Lorry driver Emma Fulcher said she made several attempts to lose him. Picture: EMMA FULCHERLorry driver Emma Fulcher said she made several attempts to lose him. Picture: EMMA FULCHER

“It was going on for quite a while, I was deliberately doing under the speed limit to shake him off and I looped around the roundabout twice and so did he.

“It made me feel uncomfortable and I became quite distraught because I didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Mr Lukaniuk was eventually confronted by the transport manager at the firm where she works, and the police were also involved, where he was given “words of advice”.

Mr Lukaniuk said: “I’m looking at the bigger picture.

“We have an awful problem with HGVs and some councillors have been asked to do a HGV count and we have been encouraged to do that by the KVF35 project.

“The town was assured that there will be no HGVs passing through the town from the aggregate company but at the council we have reason to think otherwise.

“We are monitoring HGVs through the town and we are perfectly entitled to do that.”

Bungay High School warns parents after truck seen filming young people

Bungay High School. Photo: Archant

Bungay High School. Photo: Archant

Archant

A school has warned parents after a person in a truck was seen filming young people in the area.

The text sent to all parents this morning. Photo: ArchantThe text sent to all parents this morning. Photo: Archant

Bungay High School sent out a text alert to all of their pupils’ parents and guardians on the morning of Friday, January 31, warning them to watch out for the truck.

The text reads: “IMPORTANT – White pick-up truck seen in Bungay (Manor Road area) filming a young person with [a] phone. Please be vigilant, students have been told.”

It was sent by the school’s headteacher Angelo Goduti.

A spokesperson for the school said that the text was sent after a truck was seen generally filming young people around Bungay, but was not a response to any incident of filming students at the school grounds.

However, the warning to parents said a person was filming in the “Manor Road area”, which is a few hundred metres away from the school’s entrance.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesperson said: “Police received a call shortly after 3.50pm on Wednesday 29 January following reports that a male was witnessed acting suspiciously in Manor Road, Bungay.

“A male in a white van was believed to be filming a teenage girl on his mobile phone as she walked down the road.

“The male did not speak to the girl.

“Police are continuing to carry out enquiries but can confirm that no further reports of a similar nature in this area have been received at this time.

“However anyone with any information should contact Suffolk police on 101, quoting crime reference 37/6102/20

“Alternatively, report any information online – http://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something”

Green light for Suffolk roadworks permit scheme to crackdown on overrunning works

It is hoped the new permit system will reduce delays for motorists. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It is hoped the new permit system will reduce delays for motorists. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Plans to introduce permits for utility firms carrying out roadworks have been given the green light, which aims to reduce disruption for motorists.

Currently Suffolk County Council operates a “noticing” scheme where utility companies such as gas, electricity and water operators only need to inform the council of its intention to do works.

The new scheme, approved by the county council’s cabinet on Tuesday, means firms will have to apply for a permit, which must be displayed at the works at all time.

READ MORE: Permit scheme delay ‘political points-scoring’ says Labour group

According to Conservative cabinet member for highways Andrew Reid, this will make it easier for motorists to see what works are going on and for how long.

The scheme will also be based on a cost system where firms wishing to carry out works over many days or at peak times will be required to pay more, which aims to encourage work at less disruptive times.

Mr Reid said: “Roadworks are the bane of the lives of all of us who travel by road – whether that’s by bike, bus, car, van or truck.

“But roadworks everywhere wear out over time and need to be patched up or renewed. Equally the utilities that we all rely on – gas, water, electricity, telephones, all depend on that infrastructure.

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“We have undertaken a detailed analysis and consulted on changing to a permit scheme.

“The network assurance team will require additional staff to operate this, and we believe we are able to operate this on a cost neutral basis.

“A permit scheme will ensure that any improvement works by Suffolk Highways and the public utilities can be better co-ordinated in the future.

“That will potentially result in less disruption and less time that vehicles spend in traffic and delays, benefitting those who live work and visit our county.”

The permit scheme will be introduced in April. It is likely to carry additional conditions or mechanisms for fines for firms which do not meet the criteria of their permit, such as overrunning works.

Proposals for a permit scheme had notably been called for by the opposition Labour group in March 2017, but were rejected because the Conservative administration had fears about rising costs and a lack of evidence.

Since then, numerous secretaries of state for transport have been pushing for local authorities to adopt the permit system, which Mr Reid said had forced the council’s hand to adopt the scheme – despite having run a noticing scheme that was “entirely fit for purpose”.

Labour councillor Sandra Gage, then opposition spokeswoman for highways, this week said: “I proposed exactly the same scheme Suffolk County Council is now proposing three years ago at a meeting of the full council.

“I lost the vote by three, thanks to the very same Conservative councillors who are now voting for exactly the same roadworks permit scheme I proposed in 2017. Politics at its worst.”

Wymondham Abbey vicar had tyres slashed in row

Catherine Relf-Pennington, the vicar of Wymondham Abbey Picture: Ian Burt

Catherine Relf-Pennington, the vicar of Wymondham Abbey Picture: Ian Burt

A vicar claimed she was sent poison pen letters and had her car tyres slashed in a bitter dispute with church members, leaked documents reveal.

Wymondham Abbey. Photo: ArchantWymondham Abbey. Photo: Archant

Almost 20 complaints against The Revd Catherine Relf-Pennington at Wymondham Abbey, mainly from members of the choir, were investigated last year by a retired High Court judge, who ordered the two sides to resolve their differences.

They included allegations of bullying and one claim of an assault, which the Revd Relf-Pennington, 63, strongly denied.

Now a file passed to this newspaper reveals the full extent of complaints made against the vicar and her response to them.

The bulk of complaints regard an incident on December 16, 2018, during which members of the choir claimed the Revd launched an “unprovoked (verbal) attack” at a former employee who was in the choir.

According to the vicar the woman had been “expressly forbidden” from singing with the choir, but had turned up “unexpectedly” that evening.

Director of Music at Wymondham Abbey, Rob Goodrich, is one of the complainants in the ongoing dispute. Photo: Wymondham Symphony OrchestraDirector of Music at Wymondham Abbey, Rob Goodrich, is one of the complainants in the ongoing dispute. Photo: Wymondham Symphony Orchestra

A report into the allegations, written by a staff member at the Diocese of Norwich, a witness “asserts that the respondent (Revd Relf-Pennington) very publicly and forcibly told (the woman) that she was not permitted to sing in the choir. He refers to the respondent shouting at (the woman), who was visibly distraught.”

Complainants then allege that the vicar grabbed the woman’s arm “forcibly”.

The vicar denied all the allegations “in the strongest possible terms” and said her actions “did not even come close” to assault.

In her response in March 2019 she added: “At no point did I raise my voice, even in the face of a very emotional outburst from (her)…I did at one point place my open, relaxed hand, gentle near her upper arm… I was attempting to guide her to a seat and offering her tea.

“I do not shout and I cannot imagine ever being described as ferocious, abusive. Such emotive language undermines the credibility of the complainants because it is so obviously used to support the narrative of misconduct in the complete absence of any evidence.”

In one of the more bizarre complaints, the vicar was accused of leaving the scene of a car accident, something again which she again denied.

Revd Relf-Pennington became the town’s first female vicar in 2017.

She said those making complaints were “anti-women priests”, and that she and other Abbey staff had been bullied by the “same members of the choir, and many of the individual complainants”.

“We have received hate mail, I have had my tyres slashed… had threats made against me. It is clear from the well-known recent history of the Abbey that this is a difficult place to be a vicar.”

Of the 19 allegations investigated by the Diocese 13 were made by members of the choir.

The complaints also detail how the relationship between the vicar and choristers deteriorated over a two-year period.

She said this was due to changes she had introduced which had brought “significant progress and development” to the life of the Abbey.

She added that this had required a “more involved style of management”, and that a small group of people had “objected to every change”.

The complaints also detail how the vicar told choristers they would have to sign a written agreement in order to sing with the group.

In November last year, former High Court judge Sir Mark Hedley wrote a report into the complaints for the Church of England’s Clergy Discipline Commission.

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He called on both sides to reconcile their differences.

Sir Mark described “fear, resentment and unhappiness” at the abbey and condemns the ongoing dispute as a “disgrace to the Christian community”.

“Attitudes are clearly hardened and must now be recognised as such. However… if Ireland could do it in 1997, who are we to say that Wymondham could not do it in 2020,” the report said.

Earlier this month the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Usher, also called on both sides to reconcile.

“I urge all involved at Wymondham Abbey to find ways to demonstrate the love and grace of Christ to one another and to work together in healing hurts and divisions,” he said.

Revd Relf-Pennington did not respond to requests for comment.

-Car Accident

In one the more bizarre allegations made, the vicar was accused of accidentally reversing her truck into a parked car in the Abbey carpark and causing a “six-inch-long gash”, before driving away.

Revd Relf-Pennington said this was not true.

She said it was “highly improbable” her truck had been involved in the incident, given that her vehicle showed no signs of being in a collision.

She added that there were two other black trucks, similar to her own, using the car park regularly at the time, and that people used the car park to visit the pub in the evening.

“This complaint has left me feeling very distressed, as I genuinely had no knowledge that any accident had taken place,” she said in her response to the complaints.

-Non-disclosure agreements

The documents also show that at least one members at the Abbey left in “unhappy circumstances” and signed a non-disclosure agreement.

The registrar, who looked at the complaints before handing them to the Bishop of Norwich, said the agreements “may constitute a concern”.

He said that although not unusual, if the NDAs were “intended to restrict discussion of the respondent’s behaviour… that would be a matter of considerable concern”.

In response Revd Relf-Pennington said: “These are entirely normal and every settlement agreement contains standard confidentiality provisions.

“There is no suggestion that I.. did anything that we wanted to hide.”

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Secrets of the man who lives at Haughley Park

new

Robert William of Haughley Park

Robert William of Haughley Park

Archant

Robert Williams lives at Haughley Park, near Stowmarket, Suffolk. The Jacobean manor house was saved from demolition by Robert’s father in 1956, and, following Alfred’s death in 1994, Robert and his family moved back from London to live there. Robert and daughter, Ellie, have since established Haughley Park Barn as a popular wedding venue. They also host many family-friendly, outdoor events at the Park including the new Spectacle of Light event in February. He talks to Gina Long MBE.

The Spectacle of Light at Haughley Park.The Spectacle of Light at Haughley Park.

What is your connection to East Anglia?

I was born in Stowmarket next to the ‘Camping Land’, a grass triangle near the market place. I was always puzzled that nobody ever seemed to camp on it but later I learned that ‘camping’ was an early form of football, which is exactly what we boys did on it!

What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?

It’s corny, but it’s the skies – we get fantastic sunrises and sunsets. On the ground though, it’s the medieval churches. Suffolk has about 600 and Norfolk about 900, one in each village.

What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?

I’m sorry but it’s the A14. It attracts too much development.

What’s your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

Wyken Vineyard. Good food and an interesting place to take visitors.

What’s your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

Out on our back terrace with family and a bottle of wine, cooking on the barbecue and watching the sun go down.

What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark?

When I lived in London it was Woolpit church spire, delicately lit up at night. The A14 does have its uses – seeing the spire meant I was nearly home.

The best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

I’m biased, but many say it’s ‘Weird and Wonderful Wood’ here at Haughley Park. Everyone talks about the ‘atmosphere’. It’s not happening this year but will be back in 2021.

What’s your specialist Mastermind subject?

In London I was a furniture designer/maker (his business was Pearl Dot Furniture Workshop in Islington), so possibly the different species and uses of wood, but I’d have to do a lot of swotting.

What is always in your fridge?

Three or four bottles of plain water at present. My wife is trying to stop me drinking so much orange juice which she says is bad for me.

Your simple philosophy of life?

Do what you love doing if it doesn’t harm anyone.

What’s your favourite film?

The Shawshank Redemption.

What was your first job?

I worked for my father, but the first job I got for myself, in 1967, was as a ‘Layout Planner’ with Dexion Storage and Logistics. I have a degree in history but ended up designing warehouses for their French subsidiary. Did you know that the French for Fork Lift Truck is Chariot-Elevateur?

What is your most treasured possession?

My 1928 Bentley. I love its engineering quality, its simplicity and the way it so clearly expresses what it does in the way it looks – it’s also wonderful to drive on our country roads.

Who do you admire most?

Pioneers like Brunel. People with imagination and foresight. My father was one.

What is your biggest indulgence?

An open log fire in the hall, which we bank up at night and keep going most of the winter.

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What do you like about yourself most?

My digestive system. It seems to work really well.

What is your worst character trait?

Indecision.

What is your favourite holiday destination?

If I’m allowed only one, it has to be France.

Best day of your life?

The day I made the prototype of my ‘Plank Back Chair’, but the births of my two daughters come close.

What’s your favourite breakfast?

My only really healthy meal: rolled jumbo oats with a ground-up seed mix and sultanas, soaked in apple juice and with blueberries and whatever fruit is in season, cut up.

What’s your favourite tipple?

I do like a nice whisky with San Pellegrino water.

What’s your hidden talent?

I used to be able to take people’s headaches away by hovering my hand over their head. All in the mind of course.

When were you most embarrassed?

When I was invited to watch a big event on Horse Guards Parade and went wearing a dinner jacket.

What’s your earliest memory?

My friend and I, aged around three, were playing on one side

of our road when a man with a wheelbarrow stopped on the

other side and stared at us. In his barrow there was a sack with something moving inside it and we both knew immediately that he must be a German collecting up little English boys. We took one look at each other and fled home. I still don’t know what was in that sack. I’m now married to a German though.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Maybe Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

I have never bought a CD.

What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

F-off Four-eyes! I had caught someone throwing fast food litter out of a posh Range Rover and told them to pick it up.

Tell us why you live here

I want to keep this lovely place going.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

A new event here in February: SPECTACLE of LIGHT. It’s an after-dark walking trail through the gardens of the house. The trees and buildings will be illuminated and there will be amazing light installations accompanied by a musical score. Very much a family event.

See our website: www.haughleypark.co.uk

If you’d like to be featured please email gina@hallfarmfornham.com follow Gina @geewizzgee1

Truck plunges into ditch on A47 Acle Straight

A truck left the road on the A47 Acle Straight ending up in a ditch. Recovery is likely to cause disruption on the single-carriageway stretch Picture: Liz Coates

A truck left the road on the A47 Acle Straight ending up in a ditch. Recovery is likely to cause disruption on the single-carriageway stretch Picture: Liz Coates

Archant

Delays are expected on the A47 this morning after a truck veered off the road into a ditch.

A truck left the road on the A47 Acle Straight ending up in a ditch. Recovery is likely to cause disruption on the single-carriageway stretch Picture: Liz CoatesA truck left the road on the A47 Acle Straight ending up in a ditch. Recovery is likely to cause disruption on the single-carriageway stretch Picture: Liz Coates

Two recovery vehicles have been on stand-by on the Acle Straight waiting for the rush hour to die down and begin the process of removing the vehicle.

Emergency services rushed to the scene at around 11.10pm on Wednesday (January 22).

Three fire crews were called from Acle, Great Yarmouth, and Gorleston, to make the scene safe.

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The last crew left the scene at 12.20am.

A police spokesman said the driver was checked over by an ambulance crew but was not injured.

Recovery could require a lane-closure in which case police officers will be needed to manage traffic.

The incident took place at the Acle end of the single-carriageway stretch on the Yarmouth-bound side.

– You can keep up to date with all the latest travel news via our live traffic map.

Lorry overturned near King's Lynn

The A149 near Bablingley where a lorry has overturned. Photo: Google Maps

The A149 near Bablingley where a lorry has overturned. Photo: Google Maps

Google Maps

A main road has been closed after a lorry overturned.

The truck rolled on the A149 at Bablingley, near Sandringham, where the road is currently closed with diversions in place.

Police were called at 12.50pm to reports that the lorry had rolled over and come to rest on a bank. No other vehicles were involved.

Police are currently asking motorists to avoid the area.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue said appliances from Kings Lynn North and South attended a collision on the A149 Queen Elizabeth Way. Crews used small gear to release a casualty before they were taken by an ambulance.

– You can keep up to date with all the latest travel news via our live traffic map.

Investigation into JCB forklift truck theft closed by police

A JCB forklift truck was stolen from a building site in Shadingfield. Pictures: Suffolk Police

A JCB forklift truck was stolen from a building site in Shadingfield. Pictures: Suffolk Police

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Police have been unable to trace thieves who stole a JCB forklift truck from a building site.

A JCB forklift truck was stolen from a building site in Shadingfield. Pictures: Suffolk PoliceA JCB forklift truck was stolen from a building site in Shadingfield. Pictures: Suffolk Police

The hunt for those responsible for the overnight theft of a JCB forklift truck from a building site in Shadingfield has been “closed unless new information comes forward,” according to officers.

The theft of the yellow JCB telescopic material handler happened as a building site on London Road, Shadingfield was targeted at some point between 7pm on Wednesday, December 4 and 7am on Thursday, December 5.

Last month a police spokesman said: “The offender or offenders entered a building site and stole a yellow JCB telescopic material handler.”

However today, a police spokesman said: “Officers conducted a proportionate inquiry with no leads established and no further reasonable enquiries can be made so the case is closed unless new information comes forward.”