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East Bilney

Reference Library – Parish – East Bilney


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Calling time after half a century's service

An industry stalwart of nearly 50 years closed the workshop door behind him for the last time this week. We caught up with Mick Hunn, stores controller at East Bilney Coachworks, Great Yarmouth, to find out what s changed in the past half century.

Mick started work back in 1966. The Beatles and Frank Sinatra topped the charts that year, the average house in the UK was 2,530 and a season ticket to Manchester United was the princely sum of 8.50.

A lot has changed since then.

Mick said, I started at a general engineering garage working on anything that had an engine in it or needed bodywork repairing.

It was called JR Pitchers in Great Yarmouth. That s where I served my apprenticeship and it s still going today.

I still remember my first day. I d just left school and was a young lad, just 15.

I got there really early and stood outside waiting for them to open up. I was anxious and ready to go with my overalls and new boots on.

When they arrived they asked if I was the new lad. I told them I was and they said my most important job first of all was going to the cafe to get the teas.

That was my first job every morning for a few years, getting the teas in before they started at 8am.

Mick went on to work at Ford and Volvo dealerships, either side of a year on oil rigs, before joining the garage where he s now worked for 33 rewarding years.

Learning has been an ongoing process because the industry has changed immensely in that time, especially over the last 10-15 years. It s completely unrecognizable.

It was called King Street Motors back then, but while the name has changed to Warwick Schubrook then to Thurlow Nunn and most recently to East Bilney Coachworks Mick has remained constant, employed at the site variously as manager, workshop controller, estimator and stores controller.

But, he admits, he never expected to stay so long.

He said, A friend asked me to help organise the workshops at King Street Motors, where his brother was the manager. I expected to come here for 18 months then go back to what I was doing.

But I got into estimating and bodywork and I never looked back.

I never left.

David Leighton was the manager then and I learnt so much from him. He taught me all there was to know about bodywork and body shops.

I ve been here 33 years now and learning has been an ongoing process because the industry has changed immensely in that time, especially over the last 10-15 years. It s completely unrecognizable.

Car safety is one area which Mick thinks has progressed in leaps and bounds.

He said, The construction of the cars is much safer now in my opinion.

There s no comparison between a car now and car even from the late 1990s.

We went to a Vauxhall course a couple of years ago and they showed us films of cars hitting walls. They were comparing Chevrolets and the new Omegas and you d think a great big, long-bonneted Chevrolet would withstand the impact better, but it absolutely collapsed compared to the new cars.

That s been the biggest change I ve seen, the bonding of panels. You started getting the high stress steels and the pillars behind the panels and the seals.

It only started to kick in about seven or eight years ago but it s made a vast difference.

Mick continued, The technical side of the industry is incredible too. With computers and everything electrical, there is so much for the guys in the shops to learn these days to do the job professionally and competently. Everything is so complex you have to take your hat off to them.

After such long service, Mick could be forgiven for rushing into retirement without a backwards glance.

Instead, he s excited about where his industry is heading and is even slightly envious of colleagues still in the foothills of their careers.

The industry is alive and buzzing now, he said. With electric cars and all the development taking place, it s very exciting. It s a shame really that I m getting a bit old to keep up!

Final word goes to Chris Browne, body shop manager at East Bilney Coachworks, Mick shares a vast knowledge and experience of the industry, and has been a fantastic, hard-working employee.

He has given the business his all and is a credit both to the Accident Repair Industry and to East Bilney Coachworks.

He will be sorely missed.

Visit link: Calling time after half a century's service

Extract September 15

A meeting of Beetley Parish Council was held on Thursday 3rd September 2015 at Beetley Village Hall. There were present seven Parish Councillors one of whom, Councillor R Richmond, is also the District Councillor for Beetley Parish, County Councillor M Kiddle Morris, District Councillor R Duffield and sixteen parishioners.
Planning. Applications. No objection had been made to the addition of a first floor single storey extension, roof alterations and garage to front at Woods End 14 Elmham Road or to the single storey extension to front of the property at 9 Wood Drive.

Both of these applications had been received after the July meeting and circulated to all Councillors for their comments which had been forwarded to Breckland Council. An application had been received for the erection of seven dwellings with detached garages on land to the rear of The Paddocks and a lengthy discussion was held with the parishioners who attended because of their concerns and objections to the proposed development. The parishioners were informed at the meeting that the Parish Council is only a consultee and that the final decision rests with Breckland Council.

The Parish council decided to object to the application, which is very similar to an application in 2002 which was refused by Breckland Council and the appeal by the applicant was dismissed by the Planning Inspector. The development is outside the settlement boundary for Beetley and the Parish Council felt that the development would lead to increased traffic through The Paddocks to the detriment of the amenity of the residents. It was also felt that if any development was to occur in Beetley over the next twenty years as part of the Local Plan this should be on land with a road frontage and not to the rear of existing properties.

The District Councillor had requested that if permission is likely to be granted by the officers at Breckland Council this application should be referred to the Planning Committee and this had been agreed by the Chairman of that Committee. At this Committee meeting the Parish Council will be allowed to speak as will objectors to the application. The Parish Council will have three minutes to state their case and all the objectors have only three minutes between them. Decisions. Permission had been granted for the extensions and alterations to convert garage into annexe to dwelling at 22A Elmham Road, the addition of a first floor single storey extension, roof alterations and garage to front at Woods End 14 Elmham Road and for the single storey extension to front of the property at 9 Wood Drive.
Beetley River Meadows. A problem is still occurring with the depositing of dog waste in the standard litter bins.

Would dog owners please use the bins that are marked for dog waste. The Environment Agency had been contacted again about the weed growth in the river bordering the river meadows and it has confirmed that it will be carrying out spraying from Gressenhall Mill to the Holt Road road bridge. It is hoped that this will occur shortly.
Finance. The External Audit had been completed by Mazars LLP and no criticism had been raised over the accounts or the governance of the public funds.
Request for a Post Box.

Royal Mail collections have confirmed that it will consider the request for a new post box.
Meetings. The next meeting of Beetley Parish Council will be held on Thursday 1st October 2015 at 7.30 p.m. at the Village Hall, Beetley. Planning applications are available for viewing from 7.15 p.m.


The full minutes are available for viewing on the Beetley Parish website,, or by contacting the Clerk on 01362 861112 or