Mini-Autobiography – Janet Taylor

I was pleased to be asked to write the first of this new series of profiles of local residents, but at the same time I wasn’t sure how to tackle something I haven’t done before. It’s my hope you’ll enjoy what you read. After all, many of you already know me. I’m Janet Taylor (formerly Stocking) of Thomas Bonnett’s and I live at Rowans, Lynn Road, Stoke Ferry.
I was Janet Ducklin, born in the Music Room of my parent’s house. Joan and Ted were tenant farmers, first in Stradsett and later in Whittington. At that time, farming was a really tough life, and much slower than today. We still worked with horses, but when we could afford one, tractors did make it easier. As I had no brothers or sisters, you can guess that at busy times, mine were the extra pair of hands needed to help out.
My first Primary School was Fincham. I was taught by Julian Clary’s Grandmother, who lived then on Wretton Road. When I was seven, we moved from Stradsett to Whittington. My father had inherited just enough to be able to buy his own small farm there. So for a short while I went to Whittington Primary.
But my parents moved me to Stoke Ferry Primary which they thought might be better as there were more pupils. My Secondary School was Methwold, which I left at 16, midway through my GCE’s, and enrolled at Pittman’s Secretarial College. Being a Secretary was thought to be a good career.
After two terms there, a cousin asked if I’d like to earn some money helping out at Boots in Downham Market over the Christmas rush time as they were short staffed. What teenager wouldn’t! And I loved it, chatting with people, helping them to find what they wanted. So when I was asked if I’d stay on, I took my chance. I had four very happy years there.
As you will guess, that puts me at the ‘girl meets boy’ age – and I did. That’s what brought me to Bonnetts, and to Stoke Ferry.
My mother-in-law was a Bonnett and she married a Stocking, and I married their son John. We had sons Chris and Paul, who have continued the family business, making the necessary changes to keep it up to date with what our customers want. When I married and joined the family, most business still involved repairing agricultural machinery. Now most work is bespoke ironwork – gates, railings, etc. with farm repairs the smaller side of the business, for which we now use a small portable forge.
With the decline in blacksmithing, and the increasing demand for hardware, we converted the two large forges into today’s shop and office which many of you will have visited.
Because I’d really enjoyed interacting with people at Boots, when Chris and Paul were school age, I went to work as School Secretary at our Primary School (then James Bradfield). Using some of the skills I’d learned at Pittman’s College.
This was followed by becoming a Registrar. Training for this involved working with a mentor for two weeks, I was able to take responsibility on my own. I loved the work, and feel especially lucky to have been able to register the births of my four grandchildren. Though Births and Marriages were fairly straightforward, the ’cause of death’ on a doctor’s Certificate needed careful checking. For instance – ‘Heart failure’ isn’t an acceptable cause of death. The certificate must record why the heart failed, ie. because of cancer, stroke, etc.
During my 20 years as a Registrar there were many changes. Now there are Civil Partnerships and Same Sex Marriages to Register.
Again, that early interest in people’s welfare prompted me to give two and a half days a month to work with the Red Cross. During those 30 years, I took the opportunity to take Casualty Simulation Training. We would act out what might happen in an accident – serious cuts, broken bones, bleeding nose, etc. and ask people what they thought they should do to help. We could then show them the right way to treat that injury. When ‘Look East’ on BBC TV did a series each day portraying different mock accidents, I appeared on the programme to show the correct treatment for a nose bleed! And at Norwich City Football Ground, I helped with the Training and Co-ordination of the Emergency Services.
Many accidents or illnesses can leave a person with scarring about which they feel self-conscious, so I took a two week intensive training course on Skin Camouflage techniques and worked within the Dermatology Department in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital so that I could help patients with such problems as Rosacia, Vitaligo, Scars and Birthmarks. How to use special camouflage creams to cover their problem and give them back their confidence. Again, I appeared on BBC TV. On the ‘Inside Out’ programme, when they were highlighting the condition Vitaligo – where patches of the skin make no pigment and for which there is no cure, I showed how this could be disguised.
When the Red Cross service celebrated its thirtieth year in the area, I was lucky enough to be introduced to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Now though, its Stoke Ferry I support. I think its a great place to live, one worth working for. So I’m on the Parish Council where I am Vice Chairman. I’d love to see all the village, all ages, work together to promote a real community spirit, to make it even better. After all, we are lucky to live in this wonderful part of the country.
And to finish, some likes – I prefer TV to film or theatre, enjoy reading biographies, and chill out with Rom Com. Enjoy eating out at The Crown Lodge, Upwell, though my favourite food is fish and chips, best of all eaten on a family outing to our beautiful coast. Though I do also enjoy a day’s shopping in Bury St. Edmunds with its easy parking and mix of shops centrally located.
And yes, I do have a pet hate. People who make litter for others to pick up. I think you’ll agree that we should treasure and protect our beautiful countryside. We are lucky to live here.

Wretton Parish Council – January

Present– Cllr David Llewellyn – Chairman, Cllr Ian Mack, Cllr Martin Cann, Cllr Mick Peake, Cllr Mandy Peake, Cllr J Wyett.
Borough Councillor Colin Sampson
Norfolk County Councillor Martin Storey
4 members of the public
Apologies for Absence received;
Cllr Bill Whitmore.
No Declarations of Interest made
The Minutes of the meetings held on 07.11.16 and 29.11.16 were agreed as a true record.
Matters Arising from previous meetings
 HGV signs
Another incident involving an HGV attempting to traverse Wretton Row has occurred. Wretton Parish Council has paid for signage to help eliminate this but has been informed that Highways have been let down by the sign manufacturers and thus signage has not yet been erected. It is hoped however signs will be up in the next 7 to 10 days.
5.1 Chairman’s Report
 Reports have been received that the public footpath down to the river is badly overgrown. This will be passed on to Highways.
 For some time there has been a problem with aggressive dogs running loose in the area of Green Lane. The Police are aware of issues and anyone with any concerns is advised to contact the Police on 101.
5.2 Clerk’s Report
The Clerk had nothing to report as items would be covered on the agenda.
5.3 Risk Assessment
It was noted the trees on the Green may need work in the near future as has been discussed previously.
Accounts were presented and accepted for payment.
Cheques for approval of payment
SJ Scarrott salary £118.44
K & M Lighting £35.04
HMRC PAYE £44.40
SLCC subs £38.00
Westcotec (SAM2 sign) £3840.00
Watton Town Council (photocopying) £5.30
It was agreed money would need to be transferred from the reserve account to enable payment to be made for the SAM2 sign.
Financial position @ 30.12.16
Community Account Balance £813.86
Business Saver Account (1) £1.11
Business Premium Account £7291.53
Business Saver Account (2) £0.36
Correspondence received is passed to Councillors electronically.
A request for a donation has been received from Norfolk Age UK which will be considered at a future meeting. A policy is suggested around making donations. No amount is set within the current budget.
Planning applications received for consideration
17/00087/RM Reserved Matters Application: construction of three dwellings with garages at land SW of Church Farm, Wretton.
The Parish Council did not support the original planning application for this site as it outside the village development area and therefore no comment was made regarding this reserved matters application.
Repairs to play equipment
Councillors all agreed to accept the quote to repair the play equipment as identified on the annual inspection report. Total cost of £426.60.
Transparency Grant Fund
It was agreed by all to make an application to the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) Transparency fund for a grant of £1740.
Defibrillator for the phone box
Interest has been shown for locating a defibrillator in the phone box. There will be a need to raise money to supply and install the machine and thus further discussion will take place once options have been explored. This will be an agenda item for the March meeting.
Notices will be placed to gauge support and Councillors were reminded to look at information previously distributed relating to projects, assisted by Community Heartbeat, to put defibrillators in phone boxes.
Neighbourhood Plan
It was decided not to proceed with compiling a Neighbourhood Plan at this time.
Internal Auditor
It was agreed to approach the Internal Auditor engaged in previous years regarding the 2016/17 Audit.
Pension provision for Clerk
It was noted that the Council has been given a staging date for pension auto-enrolment of 01.04.2017. Enquiries will be made regarding what the Council needs to do.
2017/18 Budget and precept request
Consideration was given to the budget need for the forthcoming financial year. The budget was set and agreement reached to request a precept amount of £3692.
Further Reports
• Pot holes reported along Fen Road and West Dereham Road.
 Dog fouling remains a problem in places in the village and it may be that enforcement action should be considered.
 The Police are looking to revive local Homewatch schemes.
 Cllr Martin Storey reported that difficult decisions are needing to be taken at County Hall as a result of the pressure to make substantial budget savings. It is expected the Adult Social Care budget will be set by Norfolk County Council on February 20th.
 Following a tendering process the Borough Council has engaged “Shelter” to provide advice services. Publicity will be forthcoming regarding what Shelter will provide.
Chairman’s Signature……………………………………… Date……………