Following publication in the Eastern Daily Press of the “Power 100” list of the most influential business people in Norfolk, I feel compelled to give publicity to some of those who were overlooked.
I have come up with a Top Ten who would possibly not be described as business people but who nevertheless have had a huge influence on the county in recent years.
Number 10 is Ian “Sam” Aufmerksam, of the School of Penguins, Chess and Road Surfacing at the University of East Anglia. Working in an environment that has shown itself to be particularly gullible, Prof Aufmerksam has maintained a sceptical approach to bandwagons of all kinds, As a result he has received almost no funding, but his work in many different areas has been ground-breaking. His discovery of carbon footprints in a field near East Rudham was particularly significant.
Number 9 is the Rev Nick Reppscumbastwick, a radical cleric who has introduced all kinds of new ideas, such as God, to the Church of England. He is also known for organising protests of various kinds; many people are loyal to him. His plan to build a big new church next to the proposed Olympic Stadium at Reepham was turned down by the National Secular Society, but he is continuing the fight.
Number 8 is Mrs Hicks, the mayor of Little London, near Corpusty. Her attempts to twin Little London with Norfolk new town Whynge, which was uncovered by a fall in sea level and is sometimes on the coast, have proved largely unsuccessful, despite a mutual interest in road humps. Mrs Hicks has never revealed her first name.
Number 7 is Len “Kissme” Hardy, a whole food chef and comet chaser from Hindolveston, whose adventures in the empty quarter south of Bungay overshadowed his many other interests, all of which had a lasting effect on parts of the county, especially Pondhenge.
Number 6 is Richard “Volcano” Meek, perhaps the most famous of Norfolk explorers and certainly the most talented. His fearless meanderings have uncovered the live extinct small hill at Thetford and the unknown mountains of West Norfolk, among many, many other things.
Number 5 is the Wymondham Duck.
Number 4 is Dorothea Goodchild, a well-known fiancee who disappeared mysteriously and is believed to be dead or at a secret hideaway known only to Len “Kissme” Hardy.
Number 3 is a consortium of great crested newts, whose enterprise in transforming newts from endangered species into beneficiaries of special planning concessions nationwide is believed to have had a “huge” influence on the building trade. The consortium’s drive to dehumanise society has resulted in its infiltrating most forms of central and local government. Excessive paperwork and targets were two of its most far-reaching innovations. A recent triumph was the introduction of targets for traffic police, who can only achieve outstanding success by arresting people who are not doing anything wrong. This is regarded as a breakthrough in newt circles.
Number 2 is the noted scientist Prof V A R Scheinlich, whose expert analysis of the precise nature of the Autonomous Republic of Hingham, a landlocked sub-division of Norfolk, revealed the time-space distortion and wormholes that control its existence. He also publicised its pioneering form of “Scout Hut” democracy, based on inviting widespread consultation and then ignoring it. This was adopted not only by New Labour and most government organisations, but also by the Post Office and local government generally, and has had a vast influence on the lives of ordinary people.
Number 1, and a foregone conclusion in the eyes of most right-thinking people, is Henry (Fred) “Shrimp” Houseago, a Norfolk legend now well into his second century. As well as fighting hard against the incursion of great crested newts, he has also found time to invent the cutting-edge software Houseago 99, and through his company Houseago Inc has diversified so intensively that he cannot remember what exactly he is doing. Based in Erpingham, he was for many years fiance of Dorothea Goodchild and is still the nephew of Mrs Hicks. He has been linked with missing baggage from Terminal 5 and several reports that have exonerated whoever made the decision in the first place.