The next meeting of the Gardening Club will take place at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 13 April 2016 at The Piggeries, Hall Farmhouse, The Street, Ashwellthorpe when the speaker will be John Everett, talking about his subject of beekeeping – for example, on the life cycle of a bee and the different types of bee. He will be happy to answer questions and to suggest bee friendly plants for your gardens.

Subs for 2016 at £12 for the year are now being collected by the Treasurer, Nick de Spon – please drop your sub or a cheque for that amount (made out to Nick de Spon) in the letterbox at 103 The Street, Ashwellthorpe.

The June 2016 will be an evening visit to a place to be announced nearer the time but the Summer Outing is confirmed for Sunday 14 August 2016 at 2.00 p.m. (Cost £4.50) This will be a visit to the garden of Lake House, Brundall, which Janet Muter and her husband have restored and which is occasionally opened under the National Garden Scheme. But the Ashwellthorpe Gardening Club visit will be a private tour,  given by the Muters, of the garden which includes a series of ponds which descend through a wooded valley to the shore of the lake and which has steep paths winding through the valley planted with a variety of shrubs and seasonal flowers which attract rare birds, dragonflies and mammals. It is planned that there will be tea taken afterwards at a place to be announced.


“HANSEL and GRETEL” on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 February 2016 at Wreningham Village Hall  

is this year’s Panto, written by Alan Miller and staged by the Ashwren Players at Wreningham Village Hall. Ashwren Players have been performing for many years and  draw on the talents  of people of all ages from Ashwellthorpe, Wreningham and other surrounding villages, who get together nearly every year and, after much hard work and lots of fun, put on a Panto.

Tickets costing £6.00 available now from 01508 488123 for performances at 7.30 p.m. on Friday 19 February, 2.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. on Saturday 20 February 2016. There are concessions available on the Friday night and the Saturday Matinee performances only – full prices for eeryone on Saturday night.


Ashwellthorpe Gardening Club meets every alternate month  at The Piggeries, Hall Farmhouse, The Street, Ashwellthorpe (next the Church), at 7.30 p.m. Tea, Coffee and Biscuits will be provided. If you wish to join this very friendly Gardening Club, please contact the Secretary – Debbie de Spon – on 01508 488300.

Tuesday 16 February 2016 – Our Speaker is Gabi Reid from Garbriel’s Garden in Gissing, who sows, grows, cuts and arranges beautiful cottage garden flowers, wild flowers, grasses, herbs and foliage for use in the home or special events and weddings. Gabi will tell the story of the development from scratch of her smallholding.

Wednesday 13 April 2016 – Speaker and Subject to be announced

Thursday 16 June 2016 – ‘Summer Special’

Sunday 14 August 2016 – GARDENING CLUB OUTING

Tuesday 11 October 2016 – Speaker and Subject to be announced

Friday 9 December 2016 – CHRISTMAS PARTY

Lynn Preston is arranging the speakers for this year and more details on them and on the Summer Special and Club Outing will follow shortly.


The Wreningham & District Women’s Institute meets at Ashwellthorpe Village Hall on the SECOND TUESDAY of each month from 7.30 p.m. The President for 2016 is Mrs Shirley Moss and the Secretary is Mrs Carole Bradford both of Ashwellthorpe. You’re very welcome to come along to any meeting to see what the WI is all about and enjoy the varied programme of talks and demonstrations.

The 2016 programme is given below:

Tuesday 12 January 2016     Miss Lucy Whigham from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) will be talking about this local Charity.

Competition: Christmas Card depicting Children

Tuesday 9 February 2016     No Speaker or Competition but the annual Bring and Buy Stall

Tuesday 8 March 2016           Mrs Anna Meek will speak on an “African Adventure”

Competition: Something from or relating to Africa

Tuesday 17 March 2016         The Annual Birthday Party which marks  the anniversary of Wreningham & District WI’s first meeting

Tuesday 12 April 2016            Mr Chris Preston will be talking about the Charity Arthritis Care and its work

Competition: THREE Keep Fit Tips

Wednesday 13 April 2016      The Meeting of the Kett Group comprising several local WI groups. This meeting is not necessarily held in Ashwellthorpe – contact the Secretary on 01508 489211 for further details

Tuesday 10 May 2016               Resolutions which have been raised for adoption at the National Federation of Women’s Institutes’ Annual General Meeting are discussed and voted upon at this meeting. The business of the evening will be followed by a Quiz.

Tuesday 14 June 2016             Mr David Knock and Miss Angela Knock will give a talk about Traditional Toys

Competition: An Old Toy of Mine

Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 June 2016  The two days of the Royal Norfolk Show

Tuesday 12 July 2016              Summer Party


Tuesday 9 August 2016          Mrs Ruth Smith will give a talk on “Life with Nanny”

Competition: Old Family Photo

Tuesday 13 September 2016   Mr David Boulton will be giving a talk and exhibition of “Images sof Broadland”

Competition: Something from Norfolk

Tuesday 11 October 2016       The talk and demonstration tonight will be “Christmas Magic” – Flower Arranging for Christmas – given by Mrs Jacquie Aldous

Competition: Last Rose of Summer

Tuesday 8 November 2016      The Annual General meeting of Wreningham & District Women’s Institute

Tuesday 13 December 2016     Christmas Party


DON’T FORGET – The next meeting of Ashwellthorpe Gardening Club will take place on Wednesday 14 October 2015 at The Piggeries, Hall Farm House, The Street, Ashwellthorpe at 7.30 p.m. when the speaker will be Jane Lister of Hoecroft Plants. New members always welcome. Fuller details on the Leisure > Clubs/Groups/Events page


The next meeting of the Club will be held at The Piggeries, Home Farmhouse, 105 The Street, Ashwellthorpe (courtesy of Peter and Viv Barry) on Wednesday 14 October 2015 at 7.30 p.m. when the guest speaker will be Jane Lister of Hoecroft Nurseries. Many of you will know this Nursery and Garden at Severals Grange on the East Dereham to Holt Road (B 1110) and there are already many of its plants in Ashwellthorpe’s gardens I am sure – their specialisms are ornamental grasses and variegated or coloured foliage plants. So it will be a good chance to hear her  pass on her extensive knowledge of  the care and uses of various plants – and to ask questions on the aftercare of some of her plants you already have.

New members to the Club are always welcome – there is a small annual membership fee – so please contact the Secretary, Debbie de Spon, for more details  on 01508 488300



ASHWREN PLAYERS – Recruiting for next Pantomime

Ashwren Players will shortly begin work on their next Pantomime. Anyone aged 8 to 80 , experienced or not, who is keen to have a go, is welcome to get in touch and have a chat – call Val Keel on 01508 488231


Some of you will know about the Qigong sessions at Ashwellthorpe Village Hall which started about three months ago and have been running on Thursday evenings between 6.00 and 7.00 p.m. . Qigong (pronounced CheeGung) is “an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention”.

The Qigong classes are taken by Karen Redfern from New Buckenham who has been a practitioner for ten years and she will be holding a workshop, along with Derek Smith, to conduct a Yin Yog and Qigong session at Ashwellthorpe Village Hall on Saturday 8 August between 10.00 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. Karen Redfern’s website is


The meeting of the Gardening Club which had been pencilled in provisionally for Tuesday 12 May 2015 will NOT now take place.

So, the next important date is the Open Gardens Weekend on SATURDAY 13 AND SUNDAY 14 JUNE 2015. The “passport” tickets will cost £3.50 – valid for both days and for visiting all gardens in the programmeOpen-Gdns-poster-email – and will be available at Ashwellthorpe Village Hall.


Three members from the Ashwellthorpe Shuffleboard Club, which meets at Ashwellthorpe Village Hall every Wednesday evening throughout the year, took part in the first ever UK- based Shuffleboard tournament against visiting players from Canada and USA at St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich from Wednesday 29 April to Friday 1 May 2015. There were twelve players from Norfolk; nine from the Wymondham club and the three from Ashwellthorpe – Alan Dawson, Gordon and Jennifer Robbie – who won three, two and two matches respectively against their Canadian and US opponents. Two of the Wymondham Club members Roger Garwood and Martin Seaman won through to the last sixteen in the tournament.

The standard of play was amazingly good and the Canadian team included some past and present world champions. We could but look on and admire once our progress had been halted in the tournament, although the three Ashwellthorpe members did very well to win against such competition – the thinking-ahead of strategy and the subtlety of shots is something we shall have to bring to our club-nights! The shuffleoard courts were very different from the ones used in Ashwellthorpe Village Hall, being of a poly-tile construction as opposed to roll-out rubber mats we use. The Norfolk competitors found them very, very fast in comparison, whereas the Americans, in particular, found them very slow compared with the polished concrete (with beads on top) used outdoors in  Arizona.

The tournament was well-organised and a pleasure to attend and to meet the North American competitors – many of the Canadians spend the winter months in Florida where Shuffleboard is on the calendar every day; the Americans also mostly play in Florida or in Arizona. Many members of the public wandered in to St Andrew’s Hall to see what Shuffleboard was all about and the tournament was covered by Anglia TV and Mustard TV. Apparently, the Germans are expressing an interest in another UK tournament, perhaps also in Norwich. Ashwellthorpe will have to practise.

Jennifer and Gordon Robbie

Competitor Alan Dawson facing camera; Jennifer Robbie vs. American competitor

Competitor Alan Dawson facing camera; Jennifer Robbie vs. American competitor

IMG_5969 shuffleboard international