What do a former Norwich doctor and an Oscar-winning actor have in common? Norfolk Wildlife Trust evangelist Nick Acheson explains
What Olivia Colman and a 20th century doctor have in common
Many a long moon ago, a lovely young woman joined my year at Gresham’s School for the sixth form. From the start she was effortlessly popular; not in the coldly beautiful way of some teens, but because she was funny and kind, with everyone, always.
A couple of days before I sat down to write this article, the same girl stood on a stage in Los Angeles. Tears streaming down her face, she gave a speech of thanks on receiving the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Even at school, it was clear that Collie (as Olivia Colman was known to us) was destined to be an actress, though just how great an actress could not be foreseen. Many people are born with talent (I myself am moderately good at crochet) and many of us have strokes of luck; but what separates those who achieve greatness from those who are merely talented, or lucky, are commitment, passion for their endeavour, and dauntless drive.
Ninety-three years ago, in 1926, Norwich doctor Sydney Long, already a leading light in the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Society, had a bold idea: a trust which would purchase land in Norfolk and preserve it permanently as a home for wildlife. Initially called Norfolk Naturalists Trust, it was formed to manage Cley Marshes, but within months was making further purchases, in an attempt to safeguard fragments of each of Norfolk’s precious landscapes and their wildlife.
Norwich-born and Gresham’s educated Oscar winner Olivia Colman