Page 6 - Town & Around - September 2021
P. 6

6  Town & Around September  2021                                               Tel: 01485 540620 email:

       By Margi Blunden
         f I could arrange the weather I couldn’t
         have done any better for the day of
       IWednesday 4th August: the air was kind
       with gentle breezes, the arch of blue sky was
       freckled with puffs of white, the sun beamed
       on its universe as if to say all is well.
        A group of volunteers gathered in the
       Seagate Coach Park about 11 a.m. waiting
       expectantly for a group of people to arrive in
       two coaches from Norwich.
        Cast your mind back ten years or so when
       the news was full of the Syrian conflict – a
       conflict which has continued to destroy the
       lives of its people ever since. Towns bombed,
       buildings pummelled, people killed, maimed
       and traumatised. The structure of the country
       built up over millennia gradually broken and
       the livelihoods of all those people who had
       helped create and nurture it, smashed into the
       crumble of concrete and bricks.
        If chance spared them there was nowhere to
       find shelter and peace unless they left. And
       leaving meant they left behind their identities
       forged in the landscapes and townscapes of a
       country they may never see again or at least
       until this conflict has been resolved.
        Such people are the Syrian refugees who
       have settled in Norwich and we welcomed
       some of them to Hunstanton on Wednesday         Hosts and visitors happy in the Hunstanton sunshine.
       4th August - a small offering to help ease their          Photo credit John Bridger
       way forward in this country.
        Yvonne Bridger, who has for four years   futures in the UK and impressed me with their   experience of Hunstanton could be heard
       running, organised this outing from the   ambition and determination.   amongst the throng of departing guests.
       Hunstanton end, had put a huge effort into   Excited to be on the beach, the younger   Good seemed to be the feeling they all
       gathering the resources needed to ensure that   children loved splashing in the sea which   expressed about the day.
       everyone enjoyed themselves.      sparkled blue on this most lovely of days.   Earlier when  Yvonne asked one of the
        After the coaches had arrived, our guests   There was even a 4 month old baby carried   women whether she was having a good day
       for the day were met by the Mayor of   around for the day who was loved and looked   she replied:
       Hunstanton, Adrian Winnington, and his wife   after by all the Syrian women around her.   “EVERY DAY A GOOD DAY”
       Catherine.  They had thoughtfully and   The generosity of the owner of The Vegas   Her answer struck right at the heart of
       generously provided a big box of drinks and   Fish Bar, Joe Rodrigues, meant that we all   something. Here are people who have
       snacks for the families to refresh them after   gathered there for a free fish and chip lunch.   experienced the unimaginable – losses and
       their journey.                    This seaside experience was taking on an   trauma greater than most of us can barely
        Gathering by the Big  Wheel we were   authenticity  which  everyone  was   dream of and yet, and yet……  somewhere
       allocated our families for the day.    appreciating!                 within the spirit remains indomitable. These
        Walter who works for the Big  Wheel     Satiated with food there was now some free   victims of cruelty and brute force still have
       Company had offered free rides for those who   time before a visit to the Sea Life Centre and   hope and it was our privilege to meet them
       wanted it and so some of our party got to   some of the youngsters went on the fun fair   and learn what it is to survive well.
       experience the enormous views from the top   rides.                    This day would not have been possible
       and begin to take in where they had come.   I will never forget their laughing faces as   without the organisation and help of
        After that it was free time to explore the   they came towards us afterwards, breathless   volunteers Dale Craske, Ale, Michael, Netty
       beach and the playground in the Heritage   with pure pleasure.       and Tina all from the People Abroad Team,
       Gardens.                            “ That was soooo good!” one of them cried.   Norfolk County Council.
        I stayed with half of our allocated family on   The Sea Life Centre was a success too.   From Hunstanton: Grace and family,
       the beach and spent the time chatting to them.   Nigel Croasdale the General Manager has   Kathryn and Rosie, Margi, Martin and Mylo,
       The younger members, even in the 18 months   provided complimentary tickets each year   John and of course Yvonne whose dedication
       since they arrived in Norwich, had become   they have come for the families and helpers.   to organising this trip is founded in her refusal
       very good in their language skills and it was   There were many expressions of delight and   to ever forget the murder of Jo Cox, former
       possible to forge relationships quite quickly. I   surprise as everyone explored the interior of   MP for Batley and Spen, who firmly believed
       found that the mother in our family group was   the centre.          ‘we have more in common than that which
       a woman of spirit and friendliness. She and I   Sadly it was time now for the coaches to   divides us’.
       have an interest in cooking and as I am keen   take the Syrians back to Norwich.      A last but not least mention of those
       on Middle Eastern food she offered to teach   Adrian  Winnington and Catherine had   Hunstanton business managers mentioned
       me some Syrian recipes. I hope at some point   returned to wish them well for their return   above, whose generosity helped to fund the
       this will happen. Her grown up children talked   journey.  People’s enthusiasm for their   day.
       to me about their plans for how to create their
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11