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@ Sheringham Community Paper Issue No 24 - Friday 3rd October 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
Ferrets are lively, playful and easily tamed, but they need a lot of space and can be expensive to feed. They can also inflict severe bites and emit a strong musky smell. Ferrets need companionship, to be with other ferrets and to have human company. A diet of raw or cooked meat twice a day. Any uneaten food must be removed daily. Prepared all-in-one diets are also now available. A constant supply of fresh, clean drinking water in a drip feed bottle with a metal spout. A large home that is kept up off the ground, in an open shed or indoor area out of direct sunlight and strong winds. Separate areas inside their home. A deep, clean layer of wood shavings on the floor and plenty of fresh meadow hay or old clothing for bedding. Toys to play with, like cardboard tubes and wooden cotton reels. Their home to be tidied every day and thoroughly cleaned every week. A very large, secure area to play in. Injections to prevent certain serious diseases. To be taken to a veterinary surgeon if they are ill or injured. To be looked after when you are away on holiday. Ferrets live for about eight years. Ferrets need to be with other ferrets and it is unkind to keep one ferret on its own. Either male or female ferrets from the same litter can live happily together. Although ferrets can appear very tame, they are not easy to look after as they need a great deal of space and may try to escape. Pick up a ferret gently but firmly using both hands, one around its hindquarters and the other around the shoulders. Hold it close to your body. It is important to handle ferrets regularly to keep them tame.

Sheringham Community Paper The RSPCA strongly advises that you do not breed from ferrits as it is very difficult to find good homes for the young. The best way to ensure that ferrets do not breed is to have them neutered. Male ferrets can be vasectomised. Female ferrets (jills) should be neutered because they can get serious diseases. Female ferrets come into season from early spring until September.

If you keep female ferrets, they will become sexually mature at about eight months old, and you should seek expert advice on their care before this stage. Ferrets must be vaccinated against the potentially fatal disease canine distemper. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise you on this. If the ferrets' home is left in direct sunlight, ferrets can suffer from heat exhaustion. They should recover if moved to a cool dark room and given plenty of water, but the situation is easily avoided. Ferrets can catch the influenza virus from humans, and you should keep away from ferrets if you have flu. Keep an infected ferret away from the others and seek veterinary advice straight away. If a ferret is constantly scratching, producing bald patches in its fur and broken patches in its skin, it may have mange. Seek veterinary advice straight away. Ferrets can suffer from parasites (tiny living things which live on other creatures) if their bedding is not kept clean. Check ferrets' ears and coat regularly and seek veterinary advice if there is any sign of mites. If you have any concerns about the health of your ferrets, ask your veterinary surgeon for advice.
Binocular Basics: 1 Magnification
When people are buying binoculars, very often the first question is 'What do the numbers mean?' The numbers in question are the 8x30 or 10x50 etc. Most people know that the first number is the magnification; ie in the examples given an object will be 8 or 10 times bigger or appear to be 8 or 10 times nearer. The other number simply describes, in millimetres, the width of the front lens; the bigger this number is, the more light is let in. Some people mistakenly think that a big objective (front) lens gives you a wider field of view. However the width of the image is actually determined by the design of the eye piece lens.

As binoculars are about making things look bigger, it is easy to assume that the more magnification you have, the better. The trouble is that the higher the magnification, the more the unavoidable movements of the hands make the image dance around. Above 10x, the gain from looking at a bigger image is usually outweighed by the fact that, unless the binocular is supported, the image is far from still. The assumption that 'biggest magnification is best' has for years encouraged mail order purchase of unsuitable instruments. Sadly, as a result of struggling with high-powered binoculars of poor optical quality, a lot of people come to the conclusion that binoculars are not for them.

The secret of buying binoculars is to select the pair that works for you. Even reviews by 'experts' in magazines will not tell you what you can see. If you take your time selecting a binocular and actually test it out before making a purchase, you will be able to ensure that you have an instrument that suits you and which will add a new dimension to so many out door activities.

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Let me start at the beginning,I was born on my fathers Farm in the Yorkshire Dales, in 1920 and ended up at Sheringham trying to sort Hitler out! Before having my training at Cattrick Camp in North Yorkshire on how to be a Soldier! Having been brought up in the Christian Home and on a farm, my love of the country life has never left me, our large garden at the back of our house is a haven for most of our small birds. So when I was posted to "Coastal Defence" I thought where ever am I going to end up! I found that the biggest name was at a place by the name of Sheringham, by now of course we men had been split up, some for Holt and some for Cromer, but Sheringham it was for me, our battery was named the, 352 Coastal Battery Sheringham, on the field telephone we had to call it, Sugar Harry! (For Sheringham Hill!) Just to confuse Hitler. Now at Weybourne Camp, that was as different as chalk is to cheese. You see those men at Weybourne fired at low flying air-craft, if there was any, but we of the Coastal Battery were on firing very big shells, we had to be trained every week sometimes twice, to be able to lift them without hurting ones back! They were seven inches in diameter, and eighteen inches long, and we fired out to sea at a training ship that was pulling another ship (A Dummy Ship) and we had to aim first at the "Far" side then the "Near" side and when the "shell" hit the water white smoke came up and we new it was a hit! I was in what was known as the "Observation Post" like I said once before; so that is an answer to your question! was the gun ever fired, I should say it was many, many times, not in anger, but to be ready and again, you in Sheringham would know little of that because the "sound waves" would go straight to sea; little did you know how well protected you were. We had to go and visit GENERAL MONTGOMERY, not long returned from his command of the Second Army in Egypt; all of the Coastal Command were withdrawn and he said to us, I was two feet away from him, forget all you knew about Coastal Defence! You are now going on to beaches of Normandy! And wherever the fighting is thickest! You will be there! So my story started on the coast of Sheringham and ends on the beaches of Normandy and the good thing is, I lived to tell the tale!
Edwyn Hodgson
Published by Norfolk A2Z. 14, Waterbank House, Station Approach, Sheringham, Norfolk. NR26 8RA
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