Why Tinchy Stryder is a hit with the Guides

TINCHY Stryder. If you had said those words to me a year or so ago I'd have been clueless.An anagram perhaps? Aussie slang for an injured marathon runner?Thanks to North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb and Girlguiding UK I now know that Tinchy is the performing Prince of Grime, and doing extremely well on the music scene.

TINCHY Strider. If you had said those words to me a year or so ago I'd have been clueless.

An anagram perhaps? Aussie slang for an injured marathon runner?

Thanks to North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb and Girlguiding UK I now know that Tinchy is the performing Prince of Grime, and doing extremely well on the music scene.

Promoters Archie Lamb - son of Norman - and his friend Jack Foster signed up Tinchy to their Takeover Entertainment business a fair while ago.

And next month the boy Tinch will be singing to my north Norfolk Girl-Guide daughter and thousands of others at the movement's Centenary Big Gig in Wembley Arena.

My daughter's experience of Girl Guiding is much happier than mine. Her North Walsham unit is forever off doing water sports, cooking, and generally having fun and games.

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The list of activities hundreds of north Norfolk girls got up to at their centenary sleepover in Sheringham earlier this month included rock'n'roll dancing, space-hopper races, and learning to use grass skis - all a far cry from my own Brownie memories of endlessly tying knots (wrongly), untying the mess and re-tying them (wrongly). I finally left when Brown Owl hooted that they didn't do a Supreme Tangler Badge, nor did they have an Apathy Award.

So if you happen to be on the Bittern Line, or at Norwich Station, on the morning of October 17 and wonder why they're heaving with excited children, all wearing centenary neckers, you now know that it's what Norfolk girl guides get up to nowadays - they're all off to London to scream at Tinchy Strider, not to mention N-Dubz, Pixie Lott and Scouting for Girls.

NOT what I'd call pretty - I don't go for the colours or typeface - but I've got to hand it to Stalham: you can't fail to get the point this sign's making.

My eyes couldn't help but be drawn to it when I was back in the town last week, after a fair gap.

It's slap-bang in the middle of a wall in the no-man's-land passage between Tesco and Stalham High Street.

I know that many High Street traders felt more should be done to tell visitors that Stalham wasn't just Tesco - and this seems to be an answer to that gripe, courtesy of the town council and Happing Partnership.

North Walsham's facing a bit of a similar dilemma with a lack of tempting attraction signs to lure passing motorists heading for Cromer and Sheringham on the A149.

If they do turn off, those drivers then find very little help in the way of signs pointing the way to town car parks.

Councillors have realised the problem and are trying, like their Stalham counterparts, to get some action.

Matthew Champion, who is currently investigating ways to help the town centre thrive, used a phrase which has given me an idea.

He pointed out that Walsham was not only the site of a bloody battle in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. In 1906 it was also the birthplace of the Eastern Counties Agricultural Labourers' and Small Holders' Union, established during a conference of Norfolk agricultural workers meeting at the town's Angel Hotel. That organisation later became the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers.

So if the sign-writers do have a bit of spare paint after they've directed everyone to the car parks, shops, eateries etc, I'd quite like them to add Matthew's three-word phrase underneath the 'North Walsham' signs on all the entry roads: 'A Rebel Town'.

I'd stop and take a look - wouldn't you?

IT'S time for a change. We know how much you all enjoy the daft signs, spelling gaffes, silly photos, overheard remarks and general absurdity which make north Norfolk life such a joy.

So in the next few weeks we're launching a new weekly column which will bring you nuggets from across north Norfolk.

In future this page will be featuring contributions from the whole North Norfolk News cast, 'but chiefly yourselves,' as the MC used to say when cueing Down at the Old Bull and Bush at the end of the Good Old Days.

We want you, dear reader, to keep your eyes peeled, your ears flapping and send us anything that brings a smile to your face - or makes you raise your eyebrows - as you work, rest and play in north Norfolk.

Please send offerings to tim.warner@archant.co.uk or you can write to him at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.