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@ Sheringham Community Paper Issue No 10 - Friday 21st March 2003 - Choose another issue
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Sheringham Community Paper Dougal's Pet Corner

The place for your pet stories and pictures, let me have them
Hamsters make lovely pets for children, but don't be mistaken they can give a very nasty bite and it hurts! The best time of day to handle your hamster is the evening, between 7 and 10pm when they are most active. Clear a big space for the hamster, put the cage in this space and either open the door or take the top off. Rub some of the hamster's bedding on your hands to give them a familiar smell. When the hamster is out and about, practice scooping it up with both hands and get it used to being handled this way.
Sheringham Community Paper Be sure to use the floor, so that it doesn't have far to fall when it jumps from your hand, which it will almost certainly do from time to time. Don't try to grab the hamster from above, introduce your hands from floor level.
Try tempting it with a piece of vegetable or fruit, gently stroking its back can also help to get it used to being touched - it will learn not to fear this. In general, they tend not to turn around to bite, preferring to bite the object in front of them. This sounds obvious but if you keep your fingers away from their mouths you reduce the chance of being bitten. DON'T Try to pick up a hamster that is asleep or has just wakened. Handle the hamster if your hands smell of food. Try to grab the hamster from above. Handle the hamster in area where there is a risk that it could fall and get injured. There's a huge range of off-the-peg cages to choose from these days. The two main types are the wire-bar with a plastic base and the plastic or glass aquarium type. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, just ask your Pet Shop for advice, they will be glad to help.
The Birds of March
March can sometimes seem rather a quiet month in the birdwatchers calendar. The numbers of wintering birds, such as waders and wildfowl, particularly the huge hordes of geese that we get in north Norfolk, drop dramatically as these northern breeders head for the tundra, whilst it is still some weeks before the bulk of the summer visitors arrive. The sighting of the first individuals of the returning migrant species is always an exciting record. Perhaps surprisingly, the date, and order, that species appear in, is not a totally random process, but has a pattern to it as a result of species having 'learnt' when their breeding areas are in a suitable state to support them.

One of the first species to appear is the Chiffchaff. This tiny 'leaf warbler' announces its return by uttering its name, rhythmically and repeatedly; 'chiff chaff chiff chaff'. A few decades ago this species was certainly returning from further south, but with warmer winters, many are now staying put, and may just be 'returning' from a, sheltered site locally. On the coast, birders will be looking for the flash of white that reveals the presence of a Wheatear. The white patch on the upper tail gave the bird its original name of 'whiters': Middle English for 'white arse' The male of this Robin-sized bird generally arrives first and looks splendid with black mask, RAP-blue back and black wings, as well as the white rump.

Other 'firsts of the year' that always appear in March are Sandwich Terns and Sand Martins. It should always be borne in mind however, that whilst the general pattern is predictable, individuals can always buck the trend, and it is this ever present possibility of a surprise that makes birdwatching so eternally fascinating.
Cley Spy
Do you know who to contact for the Sheringham Children with Diabetes? Please let Editor know if you do.

Dear @ Sheringham. Your regular contributor Vic suggests that you all "write to our governing bodies, big businesses and European colleagues" to get "an adult play club with shop and courtesans …….. licensed and medically checked" (Issue No.7, page 3). Well said, Sir! As readers may recall, I have suggested this many times. Sheringham should and could take the lead as the Total Sex Pleasure Centre not only of Norfolk but of the EU. Sheringham, once known for its fishing and lifeboats, should now become famous for sex-workers and porn-sellers, straight or gay or whatever, and not only at the Hilbre Site. This will be a new lucrative source of tourist money, and rejuvenate your ageing male population in the process and provide a legitimate career opportunity for the otherwise unemployed school-leavers in the area who are among the best-looking in England. Eventual soft-drug legalisation would be another welcome local asset Your Vic is a really spunky guy! Yours in breathless anticipation, Candy Pelt. Lapdancer and Internet Model, Ecstasy Club, NEWCASTLE.


Town Council Elections 2003 are due to take place on Thursday 1 May at the same time as those for the North Norfolk District Council

Following the statutory 15 year review by the Election Commission these will take place on new boundaries. The Town Council will have two Wards (instead of the existing three) which will follow the boundaries for the new District Council wards. Each Ward will elect eight Town Councillors Members of the Town Council - like those for the District - are elected for four years and formally take office on Tuesday 13 May. Candidates must be registered electors who are 21 years of age and over. They must be proposed and seconded by electors from a Ward they wish to represent. They may stand for either Ward.

There will be a North Ward covering all properties on the coastal side of the A149 with the addition of those on the Cromer side of Common Lane, Common Lane itself, and those immediately facing the A149. The remaining properties will comprise the new South Ward. The Town Council meets on the first Tuesday of each month with an Annual Meeting on the second Tuesday of May. There are provisions for additional meetings on the third Tuesday of July, September, November and February. Members are expected to serve on at least one of three major Committees and may be asked to represent the Council on local voluntary organisations. All Council Meetings are held in the evenings. No allowances are payable but costs of training course are met from public funds. Nomination forms for the forthcoming Elections can be obtained from the Town Clerk (or the Norfolk District Council office) they must be returned to The Director of Democratic services at the District Council offices between 24 March and noon on 1 April.

Future meetings of the outgoing Council are scheduled to take place on 4 March and 1 April and there will be an Annual Town meeting, in the Community Centre, on Tuesday 25 March at 7.30pm. Minutes of the town Council and its Committees are available in the Library and at the Town Hall.Prospective candidates are recommended to discuss the new Model Code for Members with the Town Clerk or a Member of the outgoing Council.
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