Council member Charlotte Gurney, who was returning from the launch of Aylsham Show’s Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards 2015 at Blickling Hall on Tuesday, February 10, saw the mute swan and flagged down a passing vet Helen Boast, of Westover Veterinary Centre.

Helen, who was actually en route from Hainford to meet show president Tony Bambridge at Park Farm, Blickling, grabbed a clip board and used it to drive the year-old male swan into a nearby loke.

The swan had reached the town’s thatched Soame Pump and had already waddled by the nearby Black Sheep Shop along the Blickling Road.

At that stage, Michael Pollitt, who is a life vice-president of the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association, had arrived and offered to help. He had also seen the swan and recognised a fellow committee member of Stalham Farmers’ Club.

Once the swan had been safely shepherded off the main road, Helen called a colleague Elliott Simpson, who is a fully-fledged veterinary surgeon with Westover and an avian expert to boot.

Then the three members of Stalham Farmers’ Club managed to herd the swan into a corner of the loke and used a borrowed curtain to catch it.

Ironically, Mr Pollitt, who is the EDP’s former agricultural editor was wearing the club’s unique silk tie. He added: “Funnily enough the club’s emblem is a swan-necked hoe!

An Australian veterinary student, Sarah Hanlon, who was spending the day with Mrs Boast, captured the swan chase on her camera. Later, it was given a thorough vetting by Mr Simpson.

The swan, named Michael by Mrs Boast, was set free by a millpond between Moorgate and Itteringham, and swam off without further incident.


To nominate – www.thealyshamshow.co.uk/ food-hero-awards – by May 15.

Anyone can nominate a hero, local pub, shop or those producing outstanding food or drinks.

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