A tender moment... but meanwhile in the capital

All for one, one for all as this Norfolk family steps out in a scene similar to the one in Fakenham.

All for one, one for all as this Norfolk family steps out in a scene similar to the one in Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant

Gentle hands, powered by kindness, guided the mother and her offspring across the busy road on the edge of a Norfolk market town.

Traffic came to a halt, and a queue formed, the dozen or so drivers patient and unrushed, as the rescue attempt took place. As mummy mallard and her fluffy family moved from the warmth and safety of a nest on one side of the road, to the nourishing waters of a pond on the other, there was a big problem. Cars and trucks. And the tall grassy banks that have guarded the entrance to this town for centuries. Hold the thought of this frightened duck and ducklings, in danger on the road, for a moment. At exactly the same time, in a street in London, a young soldier was lying dead after an attack of shocking brutality. An act of murder, in numbing full colour, carried out for a world to witness. It seemed like an outdoor horror film or play, with various suspects and onlookers interlocked. Except that it was real, so tragically real – social media outlets and TV relaying it to an info-hungry public.

As I pondered on the soldier's desperate fate, the ducklings were in front of me, paddling with all their tiny might to get up the bank. They were no more than a couple of days old. Help was on hand – men from the nearby ironmongers ushered the babies to the side of the road. One by one they lifted the ducklings to safety and all quacked off happily together. Horror in London, a little happiness and kindness in Fakenham, Norfolk – worlds apart but, in term of miles not very far away at all. I thought of the vastly differing scenes as I made decisions about our Woolwich coverage that night.

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Later, the sickening picture of the alleged culprit came in from TV sources – and I knew this would be front page news for every national newspaper. But not in the Eastern Daily Press. I felt the picture was too horrific, just too graphic, for our title's front page. So, with a warning on page one, the picture was printed inside – readers had something of a viewing choice as they picked up their EDP. In this new column I thought readers might like an insight into how I see the world from the editor's chair. The joys of our Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, from coast to country, from broad to fen, from town to city and the way we look at some of the stories emerging further afield. Next week I will write about our bejewelled waterways of the Norfolk Broads where I am spending a few days.

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Have a restful Bank Holiday weekend and a lovely week ahead.

First published Saturday May 25, 2013

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