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Sheringham Community Paper Dougal's Pet Corner

The place for your pet stories and pictures, let me have them

It's a Paw Life
Running Norfolk House Sitters has been an interesting experience. We have rescued cats, retrieved a walking stick & linen!

There are frequent requests to cater (forgive the pun!) for many types of cats from Siamese, Persian breeds to cockney moggies. Naturally, we have also catered for dogs be they pedigree or rescued dogs. My experience of not being eaten so far is very comforting especially when on one assignment I was informed that the dogs had previously bitten most strangers! I hastily enrolled on a canine communication course, which I must admit depended to a large extent on doggie treat bribery.

More esoteric requests have included birds, fish, geese, ducks, chickens, ferrets, a snake and a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig.

We also look after homes as well and they have varied in size from bungalows, flats, to large estates including a haunted house. Some clients only want daily visits, others require overnight care of their homes & pets. We, being flexible, try to help most people with their requests as far as practicable and reasonable - a client even asked me to look after his grandmother, which I politely declined.
S Rowan. Norfolk House & Pet Sitters
Surprises at Glandford
One of the pleasures of birdwatchirig is the unexpected, and as these articles have mentioned recently, it can be the surprises that can come from birds in unusual places or at unusual times, as much as unusual birds themselves.

Over the last weekend in March, we had two examples of 'the unexpected' at the Glandford shop. On the Saturday, a customer had taken one of the latest telescopes up to the Farmland Bird Reserve to compare it with his existing instrument. The field had been cultivated so the ground was bare. A pair of Red-legged Partridges looked striking through the 45x eyepiece even though there was a bit of cold March mist. Suddenly the customer uttered a surprised expletive, prompted by a splendid male Wheatear on top of one of the recently created 'beetle banks'. This bird really is a harbinger of spring, as it doesn't winter in Britain at all, and it was reassuring that this birder of long-standing was excitedly surprised at his first sighting of Wheatear for the year.

The next day, various customers, including a fenland farmer who grows wildbird food, were stood outside the shop comparing binoculars and looking across the yard to feeders which attract several species of birds including Tree Sparrows. Suddenly I became aware that there was a bird of a colour that was not usual among the regulars. This bird was scarlet, not the orange red of the so-called 'Robin red breast', and therefore could only be one thing: a male Crossbill! The Crossbill gets its name from the fact that the upper and lower parts of its bill literally cross, an adaptation for tackling pine cones, so why it was attracted to an elder bush full of sparrows is anyone's guess. It was however, much appreciated.
CIey-Spy
Sunflower seeds attract the most
variety of birds
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A NEW CHALLENGE FOR 2003, THE 6th ANNIVERSARY OF THE FORMATION OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCES ASSOCIATION

At the Annual General Meeting of the Sheringham & District Branch on the 25th March at the Southlands Hotel, Derek Shrigley, MBE was elected Chairman. He joined the RAVR in November 1943 and was transferred to the Army in 1945 when he became an Army Glider Pilot. In 1948 he became a Conservative Party Agent and retired in 1993. He joined RAFA in 1952 and has been a very active member of the Sheringham & District Branch. On election as Chairman he said that 2003 will be a very active year with a special campaign to recruit 70 new members to enable the Branch to raise a minimum of 7000 for Wings Week for the first time. All this together with a very attractive social programme to mark the 60th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Forces Association. In presenting the Chairman's Report, the acting Chairman, Ted Dunne, reminded the members that 2002 had been a most successful year with an increase in membership in marked contrast to the experience of Branches generally owing to growing age of so many members, who joined in the 1940's. For the second year running the Branch had raised well over 6000 in its Wings Week Campaign. He went on to say what a tragic blow the Branch had suffered by the sudden and unexpected death of Don Palmer, the much respected Chairman of the Branch, who had dedicated so much of his life to the service of RAFA. He was also sorry to report that owing to ill health two very hard working members of the Committee had announced their retirement. Firstly Pamella Ashdown-Lewis, who had raised so much money for the Branch as Raffles Organiser. Secondly Ron Large, who as Membership Officer had done an excellent job in ensuring that all members and associates paid their subscriptions. The President, Sir Colin Turner, announced that all existing Officers and Committee Members were re-elected and Mrs Dorothy Baker had volunteered to take over as the Raffles Organiser and to the meeting's delight, Mrs Sybil Palmer, our late Chairman's wife, had agreed to become Membership Officer. Christine Swettenham was elected as Entertainment Officer in place of Derek Shrigley. The final item on the agenda was the award of The Celia-Turner Member-of the- Year Cup. Sir Colin Turner announced that there had been only one nomination for 2002, and that was for Don Palmer. In handing over the Cup to Sybil Palmer, he said that no member had shown such dedication to the Branch over so many years first as Hon. Secretary and then as Chairman, as Don. Sir Colin Turner, Kt.,CBE.,DFC.
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OLD & FOREIGN COINS MAKE NEW COINS FOR 'BREAK'! Were you one of those people who donated your foreign or old coins to BREAK Charity? You didn't know what to do with your left-over foreign currency from a recent holiday, or old coins you found in the loft no longer in circulation or legal tender due to the Euro - so you gave them to BREAK and raised almost 7,000 for the charity which provides holidays, short breaks and respite care to people with special needs. Rosemary Fereday, Head of Fundraising Operations said; "It continues to surprise me how so many people, who only give just a little, in this case just a hand full of coins, help to raise such a large sum of money for our charity. We gained an excellent total of 6,694.65 from this appeal, which is continuing to rise with more donations being received by our shops on a daily basis by people who have just been on holiday or found coins that are of no use to them anymore. Many thanks to all our customers who donated their coins, and I encourage anyone who still has some foreign currency or old coins, please drop them into your local BREAK charity shop and help us reach our target of 10,000 from the Foreign Currency Appeal!" Please drop your unwanted Francs, Pesatas or old or other coins into your local BREAK Charity shop 01263 822161.

Published by Norfolk A2Z. 14, Waterbank House, Station Approach, Sheringham, Norfolk. NR26 8RA
Tel: 01263 826005  Fax: 01263 823235  website: www.at-sheringham.co.uk   e-mail: info@at-sheringham.co.uk