Drama this week as the new year brings the end of an era for local theatre

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After more than a century echoing to the sounds of music, dance, drama and comedy, the Spa Pavilion was silent this week, doors locked, its future shrouded in uncertainty. As another panto run came to an end, the emotion and reality of the occasion hit home and there were tears on stage and off as the Spa Pavilion was formally closed after 103 years as a venue for seafront entertainment.

Youngsters from the children’s theatre company (CTC) can add fundraising to their list of talents. Thirteen acts sang, played and read poetry at the group’s first ever talent show at Bramford’s Victory Hall; raising £100 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

A daring bunch of fitness fanatics got covered in mud in a gruelling 10k challenge for a charity. Part-time personal trainer and full-time postman Mark Flewitt, 38, led the 15-strong Fitness 23 team from Ipswich on the 10k Mucky Races Guts’n’Glory course at Bures Pit in Essex. The runners tackled the tough course in aid of eight-year-old Mason Fountain’s charity, Mason’s Magic, which helps children with brain tumours, supporting the national charity Brain Tumour UK.

Twenty children aged three months to six years gathered at Rushmere Village Hall for a children’s Christmas party in aid of the Ipswich and East Suffolk National Childbirth Trust (NCT). Home-made cakes were eaten, Christmas crafts were made and the children enjoyed a trip to the North Pole with a mini workshop from Pyjama Drama.

A town sixth form college hosted an event to encourage more students to pursue careers in engineering. Suffolk One students were joined by sixth-form students from Northgate High School, St Albans and Stowmarket High School for the annual competition. The idea was to give the sixth formers greater awareness of some of the professional and technical careers in construction such as civil and structural engineering.

An animal lover has thanked Suffolk residents for helping to reunite her with her pet pooch. Heidi Copping first discovered her dog Cody, was missing on Wednesday morning and miss Copping was contacted by the police following reports a husky had been seen on the A14 near Stonham. He was eventually caught by a farmer in Creeting St Mary and it is believed the pooch had travelled up to 25 miles during his disappearance.

Youngsters have written a book and dedicated it to a school pal recovering from a brain tumour, aiming to raise funds for a charity which has helped the boy’s family. Children from Felixstowe’s Fairfield Infant School and Colneis Junior School, where Ethan is a pupil, wanted to support their schoolfriend by helping the Sick Children’s Trust, which has provided accommodation for his parents, Tina and Andrew, during their two-and-half-month long bedside vigil.

A male deer, nicknamed Rudolph, got in a tangle when a rope caught in his antlers in the grounds of Orwell Park School in Nacton. The RSPCA, who were alerted to the incident by a member of the public, said it appeared the deer had got entangled in a roped off area of a cricket pitch.

Beaming Brooke Lawrance’s first day back at school was one she had dreamed of and the seven-year-old was desperate to walk through the school gates for the very first time. Brave Brooke, who suffers from cerebral palsy, proudly strolled into Britannia Primary School this week after undergoing pioneering surgery in the USA last month.

An impressive fleet of Bentleys could be seen travelling in convoy along the picturesque Suffolk coastline. Members of the Bentley Essex owners’ club took part in a special trip from Essex to Aldeburgh at the weekend where they enjoyed some locally-caught fish and chips by the sea.

A man once branded the fattest in the world is hoping to fight his way back to fitness by joining a gym. Paul Mason, who lives in Ravenswood, is hoping doctors give him the go-ahead to start pumping iron after a gastric by-pass helped him to lose an incredible 46 stone.

An intrepid cyclist has completed a successful coast-to-coast challenge across Mexico. John Miller, 62, from Woodbridge, undertook the 600km ride in aid of Help for Heroes, which raises money for injured troops.

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