NEWS AT TEN: Students return from soccer tour, massed band concert success and jobs boost

WISBECH: Students return from highly successful Spanish football tour FORTY students from Thomas Clarkson Community College, Wisbech, have returned from a football tour to Spain. Organiser Graham Mallen said: The tour was a huge success and all s

WISBECH: Students return from highly successful Spanish football tour

FORTY students from Thomas Clarkson Community College, Wisbech, have returned from a football tour to Spain.

Organiser Graham Mallen said: "The tour was a huge success and all students and staff involved had an amazing time. The students stayed in a fantastic and spacious resort with two pools and a beach just meters away.

"While on the trip the students played some of the best teams in the area. Each team won at least one game and played some outstanding football."`

He added: "We had a day in Barcelona and were taken on a full tour of the Nou Camp.

"During the course of the week the students all showed us how brilliant our school can be. They were polite, well behaved and gave a great account of themselves. "Everyone who met our kids was amazed with how good they were and we have been asked back next year.

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"I would like to thank Mr Grant, Mrs Newton, Miss Garlick and Mr Garrod for all their help and support while on the trip, as I could not have done it without them.

Mr Mallen added: "Sam Cook won an award for his brilliant contribution on the tour. Jay McCourt, Jamie Burnham and Ashdon Nee all won the award for 'Most Valuable Player' for their teams."

MARCH: Hippdrome packed for massed band concert

On Saturday three brass bands joined together to perform a massed band concert at March Hippodrome, the first of its kind for some time.

March Brass 2000, Chatteris Town Band and Somersham Town Band performed separately in the first half with a varied programme including trombone solo "Killing Me Softly", "Theme from Robin Hood" and "Last Spring".

The second half of the concert saw approximately 70 musicians take to the stage and play a selection from each Musical Director including "Somewhere Out There", "Radetzky March" and "Keep Smiling Through".

The concert was compered by March Brass 2000 Chairman/President Peter Sutterby and the Hippodrome was kindly donated for the event by the

Petrou brothers. The event raised £550 for charity. The evening had

a fantastic atmosphere and the audience thoroughly enjoyed the volume and presence of three brass bands. Many thanks to all those who helped make the evening a success.

WHITTLESEY: Vandals force church to replace railings- but at a cost

RAILINGS at a Whittlesey church constantly attacked by vandals over the last 10 years will have to be replaced but without the spikes on top.

St Mary's Church is facing a £5,000 bill for the new railings but has been told they must not have spikes on top in case anyone gets hurt trying to climb over them.

Church secretary Shirley Wright said: "We get lots of youngsters congregating, especially in the light nights. The railings were put up in 1998 so after a decade of youth attacking them they do need replacing.

"We have been told that because of health and safety we must not have the spikes on top. So far I don't think anyone has claimed against us."

WEST WALTON: Gladys has a novel way to celebrate her 89th birthday

COUNTRY and Western fan Gladys Stokes celebrated her 89th birthday with a themed party to raise money for charity.

Eighty guests went along to West Walton Village Hall, many of them in country and western costume, and helped raise £420 for East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Mrs Stokes of Cocketts Drive, Wisbech, goes along to a country and western club held at March BRAZA Club every Sunday afternoon. She invited Mark James, a regular and popular singer at the club to perform at her party.

She said: "I thought I might not reach 90 so I decided to have a big party and give the money to charity because I didn't want presents. If I do get to 90 I will just have to have another party."

Mrs Stokes is an enthusiastic knitter and raised a further £50 on Sunday when she sold knitted toys and dolls with knitted outfits at the BRAZA Club.

She also goes along to Rose Lodge in Wisbech to help organise bingo sessions each week. She recently spent three weeks at the Lodge after falling and breaking an arm and two bones in her foot.

WEST NORFOLK: Record number of entries for Great East Anglian Run

A RECORD number of entries have been submitted for the third Bespak Great East Anglia Run in King's Lynn on Sunday.

Sporting legend Ron Hill will run alongside over 1,800 others in the race, which is rapidly becoming the biggest and most popular in Norfolk.

It is hoped that thousands of pounds will be raised for charities including WaterAid, the QEH, Mind and Breathe for Life.

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, a cabinet member for Sports, Arts and Open Spaces for the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk said: "When we started this event three years ago I don't think any of us could have hoped for the response we've had. "In such a short time the event has gone from strength to strength, attracting all sorts of runners from elite athletes, to sporting legends such as Dame Tanni Grey Thompson last year and Ron Hill this year.

"Perhaps more importantly the support we have had in the town itself is phenomenal. "All the runners are made to feel so welcome and the atmosphere on the day is absolutely amazing."

The race has become an East of England Grand Prix event and has this year been awarded Gold Grade Status by the British Association of Road Runners.

Race Director Harry Collins, added: "We've made a few changes to the course this year, which we think will make it faster than ever, so we are expecting some good times."

The race begins at 10.30am. Full information on road closures are available at

MARCH: Network Rail announces major investment into rail town

Network Rail plans to invest in March, to create at least 25 permanent new jobs, as early talks on Phase Two in the expansion of Whitemoor Yard begin.

These jobs are additional to other investment already announced, including an extra maintenance train at the depot, and are part of the depot's continuing success story.

Local MP, Malcolm Moss, met Network Rail executives last month first in Westminster to discuss the proposal and then to tour the site accompanied by the Conservative Prospective Candidate, Stephen Barclay.

Plans for Phase Two include the creation of a world-class recycling facility, specifically designed to improve the railway's environmental performance and prevent materials such as ballast and concrete sleepers being sent to landfill sites.

The investment in Whitemoor underlines Network Rail's commitment to the community of March, following the opening of the engineering depot in 2004 and the commissioning of a multi-million pound signalling project in November 2007. These projects have delivered over 40 new jobs for March and won a commendation at the Royal Town Planning Institute Achievement Awards in 2005. Both projects are strategically placed to service the growing travel needs of the East Anglia region, with the new signalling improving reliability for both freight and passenger trains moving through the March area.

On the planned works, Mr. Moss, comments: "Phase Two in the development of Whitemoor Yard signals good news for the local community.

"Having recently looked into Network Rail's proposal, both in discussions and on-site, I am confident that this development will provide significant economic and social benefits to the town of March and the region of East Anglia. I am eager to hear about positive progress on this project in the coming months."

Before anything is built, Network Rail is committed to full community consultation. Plans will be announced shortly for community briefings in June 2008.