My friends from the Hethersett Old Hall School Facebook page posted this photograph, unsure of exactly what they were.
It immediately struck a chord with me as I recognised them as being either medals from the Hethersett Village funrun or commemorative coins given out to mark the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen and the day the Olympic flame came to Hethersett.
I increased the size of the photo and came to the conclusion it was the latter. The coins featured the date of 5th July, 2012, and that was the day the flame came to Hethersett and put us on the national map. Let me explain.
In 2012 the Olympic torch began its journey as is customary in Greece and reached the UK on 19th May. It criss-crossed the country until 27th July. On 4th July it went from Peterborough to Norwich and on 5th it travelled from Norwich to Ipswich. Along the route the torch was carried by many people who had shown outstanding service to their local communities.
Hethersett was not on the scheduled route, however. But such was our involvement that for the only time in Olympic history anywhere in the world the flame made an off route visit to Hethersett. It was unprecedented but recognised the fact that our village organised more events in support of the Olympic Games per head of population than any other village, town or city in the UK.
The only drawback was that the visit had to take place very early morning. Nevertheless hundreds of residents turned out to see the flame being paraded round the field at Hethersett High School (now Hethersett Academy) before being re-united with the full torch and going on its way.
The following description is taken from my personal diary of the visit.
"One of the big days in the history of Hethersett. It was the appearance of the Olympic Games flame. It's about one foot high and a tiny flame but that wasn't the point. It was symbolic and brought much of the village together.
"We were up about 3.20 am. It was a clammy night. Around 4.40 am we set off for the High School. We were early enough not to have to worry about parking restrictions in the village. Popped into the library to unload breakfast goods, parked in the High School and had a look round the site and took a few pre-flame photos. Also got hold of a press tabard so I could move around the site. Went back to the library to help prepare the breakfasts.
People started coming in their hundreds. Estimates are that there were between 1,500 and 2,000 out. It all went very smoothly. The flame was carried in by the Head Boy and Head Girl and then paraded round by Shane Hull who was only told that he would be carrying the flame when it arrived.
Six minutes later it was all over. The crowd dispersed and we went to the library for breakfast. There were about 50 people there. We managed to clear up and get away before the morning school traffic arrived. We were home again by 8.30 and I spent much of the remainder of the morning downloading photographs of the event and putting them on various web sites."
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A few days ago my story about Derek and Rodney Trotter and their antics appeared in the EDP and Norwich Evening News (I will post a copy of the cutting when I have scanned it in). Somebody must have sent it to Sir David Jason's agents because a message was posted on Facebook as follows:
"David Jason has asked me to thank you for sending the link to the EDP. Sir David is not on any form of Social Media himself but enjoyed reading the article.
David Jason was of course the original Del Boy (Derek Trotter) in Only Fools and Horses.
Then it got even better. An American E-Magazine entitled Good News Network got hold of the story and featured it extensively. Take a look at:
Derek and Rodney's fame doesn't surprise me. I thought when I first heard about it that this was a story I wanted to write and one that would go national. It appears to have gone wider than that and is becoming an international sensation - simple ideas are so often the best.
I think it's time I wrote a children's book entitled "How Derek Saved The World." Watch this space as they say.
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A couple more of my stories have made the EDP 24 site and will probably appear in the newspaper. The first features the lovely people at Dawson's Law and the second the proposed new pavilion on Hethersett Memorial Playing Field. Follow these links to read about them.