'I'd insist everyone dress as a panto character' Q&A with Hannah Jackson

Hannah Jackson, from Briston, who is the chair of the North Norfolk Players.

Hannah Jackson, from Briston, who is the chair of the North Norfolk Players. - Credit: Hannah Jackson

Somebody who lives or works in north Norfolk is featured each week in our weekly Q&A. This week we speak to Hannah Jackson, 39, of Briston. 

How would you best describe your job or role in the community? 
I’m very fortunate to be the current chair of the North Norfolk Players, a relaxed and friendly group who have a lot of fun, drink many cups of tea and work as a team to produce entertaining plays and performances.

Town Focus on Melton Constable and Briston; GV Briston vilage sign

Briston's village sign. - Credit: Colin Finch

At the moment we’re doing our final rehearsals for A Twist in the Tale, an evening of comedies. I’m additionally excited as we’ll be performing on my doorstep, at The Copeman Centre in Briston on 26-28 May.  

I’m looking forward to treading the boards once more and will be tackling my most challenging role to date, as a member of an amateur dramatic society - I wonder how on earth I’ll get into character!

The only difference is that all is not going well in Little Grimley, and their chairman has a cunning, and rather saucy, plan to sell tickets. Our audiences should certainly expect the unexpected.

How long have you lived here? 
I’ve lived in Briston full-time for over 15 years, but I’ve always known the village. My dad’s family moved here in around 1750, traveling the vast distance from Edgefield - that’s three whole miles.  

What would you do if you were mayor of your town or village for a day? 
If I was mayor of Briston, I would be a full pantomime-style mayor and would insist on everyone dressing as a panto character for the day.

It’s my favourite time of year, and with the North Norfolk Players we’ve no sooner completed one pantomime then we’re busy planning the next.

I’m currently writing a Dick Whittington story for this year, complete with lots of local references.  

What is your favourite landmark in north Norfolk? 
Not really a ‘land’-mark, as such – I’d say the sea is my favourite. No two days are the same along the north Norfolk coast.

I could sit and watch the tide for hours and listen to the crashing of the waves against the shingle banks.  

What is your favourite pub? 
I’m very lucky to live just down the road from the Three Horseshoes in Briston, which does delicious meals. Sitting in their gorgeous garden on a summer’s evening is idyllic. 

Food at The Three Horseshoes, Briston

Delicious food at The Three Horseshoes in Briston. - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Which shops do you rely on? 
I’m perfectly provided for in Briston with H.V.Graves butchers, bakery and delicatessen, fresh fish and crabs available from Norfolk Sea Larder, and everything else you could possibly need from the two well-stocked village grocery stores.  

Members of the Graves family at their butchers at Briston.

Members of the Graves family at their butchers at Briston, on the business' 75th anniversary next week. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

What is your favourite place to eat out?
I’m a huge fan of a coffee and a pastry, so I’m delighted that Siding at Melton Constable has just reopened, with the added offer of lunches and dinner too.

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The chance to ‘click and collect’ a croissant was a treat that definitely got me through successive lockdowns. 

Lovely foodie delights at Siding Yard, Melton Constable. Pic: Siding Yard

Lovely foodie delights at Siding in Melton Constable. - Credit: Siding Yard

I love their reuse of the railway building, and many Jackson relatives worked for the M&GN before the lines closed. 

What is a perfect day in north Norfolk for you? 
It would probably start with finding something unexpected in the Holt Bookshop (you can never have too many books).

For a holiday vibe, the day would continue with a trip to the beach with friends – maybe with an ice cream overlooking Cromer Pier and a go on the 2p machines in the arcades.

It would finish with a walk along the shore at Mundesley looking out to see if we can spot the trio of beach treasures before heading home: a ‘hag stone’ with a hole in it, sea-glass worn smooth by the waves and a belemnite fossil. 

Golden hour on Mundesley beach

Golden hour on Mundesley beach. - Credit: Nadine Gray

Which places in north Norfolk would you recommend to visitors? I’d probably just recommend getting a good map and seeing where your feet take you.

Head off the beaten track and go further than the crowds and you’ll find stunning landscapes with surprising vistas, unspoilt coastlines and hidden heritage gems.  

Who is your north Norfolk hero? 
With Volunteers’ Week just around the corner, I would definitely say my heroes are the people who give up their time to support groups like ours, to run events and activities and keep our village halls and other local venues at the heart of our communities. 

What do you most love about north Norfolk? 
It has to be the wide skies and the fresh air. Mountainous and hilly places are lovely to visit, but it’s great to come back home again and to have that sense of space and freedom.