Cromer unites to send support after councillor and events stalwart suffers severe injury

Messages of goodwill are flooding in for a councillor and stalwart of a host of town events who has suffered a severe spinal injury while working in his garden.

Jim Bond fell from a bench while clipping a hedge, and is currently in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and is set to be moved to a specialist spinal unit in Sheffield.

Town councillor Mr Bond, 61, recently returned from a holiday in Japan and was inspired to emulate the nation's famous sculpted hedges by creating one in the shape of a cloud.

But during the work on Sunday, May 13 at his home at The Warren, Cromer, he had the accident, which has shocked many people in the town.

His wife Jill said the family - including children Laura, Nick and Lucy - were shocked by the accident, but had a positive attitude that would help them cope with the situation.

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Mrs Bond said: 'Everybody's working hard to keep him in good spirits, and he remains reasonably chirpy.

'Our philosophy as a family is to make the most of every single day because you never know what's round the corner. This is our corner.'

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Laura said: 'He's still got his great sense of humour', and Mrs Bond added: 'We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the love and support from our friends and people in the local community. We've had so many messages of support and goodwill.'

They also offered their thanks to the emergency services and to the crew of the East Anglian Air Ambulance, which attended the incident.

Mr Bond, an architect, has designed some landmark town homes, including ones on Connaught Road, Holt Road and Cliff Drive.

His work in the town includes two spells on the town council, plus support for the Christmas lights, and the Coast and crab and lobster festivals. He also supports the Belfry Arts Centre in Overstrand.

He is chairman of the New Year's Day fireworks committee and Cromer in Bloom, and is one of the driving forces behind creating eye-catching planted areas in parts of Cromer.

Tony Shipp, chairman of Cromer Carnival committee and the Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival, has worked closely with Mr Bond on events including the town's Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the New Year's Day fireworks and the carnival.

He said: 'It's a shock because Jim is involved with so many things, including the Jubilee, the Olympic torch visit, helping with the carnival by organising the beach hut competition, and chairing the New Year's Day fireworks committee.

'He works so hard. We shall miss him greatly while he is away. On behalf of everybody I wish him the very best and a speedy recovery.'

Hilary Thompson, president of the crab and lobster festival and a colleague of Mr Bond's on the town council, said: 'Jim means a lot to the people of Cromer. He works so hard and is very positive.

'He has done a lot of behind-the-scenes work with Cromer in Bloom that has improved our town. I wish Jim a full recovery.'

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