Friday, 24 March 2017

Going up in Old Buckenham

Chapel Green School site
Lots of activity this week with the steelwork being erected.

Wednesday 22 March
Friday 24 March
Just click on the pictures to see a bit more detail.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Old Buckenham Parish Council's thoughts in March

Minutes of March meeting
These minutes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 2 March at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. There were six members of the public present including John Fernihough and Sarah Dye in relation to the Green. The Vice Chairman Jonathan Kemp took the chair as Adrian Joel was unable to attend. Apologies had also been received from Graham Hart and Carol Marshall.
Minutes of the Council meeting held in February. These were approved as a true and accurate record of the meeting. There were no matters arising.
Public participation in relation to agenda items only. Points were raised about the Green including what investments and funds the Green Right Proprietors (GRPs) have. Sarah Dye said that whilst the GRPs have some funds, a lot of these would be used to remove the tree that had been damaged in the recent storm.
The Parish Council has a lot of projects in progress but few of them are reaching fruition, the Neighbourhood Plan being one of them. Sarah Hornbrook reported that no one had come forward to drive the initiative and she has too many commitments to lead the project herself. It was suggested that the Parish Council took a decision in April as to whether or not continue with the Neighbourhood Plan production. It was also suggested that those attending the Annual Parish Meeting should be apprised of the need for more help with the Neighbourhood Plan production and that an item put in the village newsletter to the same affect.
(Councillor Ben Devlin arrived at7.45pm).
Terry Cracknell suggested that the Parish Council paid someone to do the Neighbourhood Plan work. It was also suggested that Old Buckenham residents were contacted to see if anyone was interested in helping.
The issue of the Local Plan was raised. It was felt that two sites were now not needed if only 35 properties were required. The next opportunity for consultation will be when the next version of the Plan is published in May/June before the final document goes to the Planning Inspectorate. It was believed that Breckland Council would not want potential development sites removed from the Local Plan.
Update on the Green. Sarah Dye reported that the AGM and a normal meeting of the Green Right Proprietors had taken place in February. The GRPs had voted in favour of entering into an agreement with the Parish Council and had authorised Sarah Dye to sign the document on their behalf. Sarah Dye had been asked to bring up one issue with the Parish Council regarding ownership of the Green. This was not an issue for particular discussion, more a request to put on record that by signing the lease with the Parish Council, to which the Lord of the Manor was a party, was not an affirmation by the GRPs that the Lord of the Manor was owner of the Green. Sarah Dye handed the Clerk a letter confirming this viewpoint.
John Fernihough reported that a local farmer was willing to cut the Green free of charge in return for keeping the grass crop but the substantial amount of moles in the Green would make this task too difficult so the moles had to be eradicated first. The Council resolved to proceed with mole eradication on the Green by Able Pest Management Services at a cost of £750 to £900 plus VAT provided that the poll at the Annual Parish Meeting favours the Parish Council taking over management of the Green.
Planning application consultations. Downmoor, Banham Road, Old Buckenham. Erection of double garage. The Parish Council agreed to support this application.
Castle Hill Garage, New Buckenham. Detailed application following earlier outline permission. The Parish Council did not wish to make any comments on this application.
Planning permission received from Breckland Council. Oak Lodge, 2 Fen Street. Permission for single storey extension.
District Councillor’s and Chairman’s reports. The Chair read out a report from Adrian Joel in his absence and then reported that most of work on the new BT box has been completed but an easement to provide energy to the box still has to be resolved.
Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. Tom Johnson reported that the draft Neighbourhood Plan has now been submitted and he had obtained a hard copy which he had given to the Clerk.
Attleborough Development Plan meeting. Rona Boggia reported that there has been some discussion about the constructors getting a loan to fund the building of the relief road before development was started instead of building the road piecemeal.
Road Safety Working Party. Rona Boggia had written a draft letter in response to Paul Donnachie’s (NCC) recent communication which she distributed to councillors and then read out aloud. Essentially it countered his reasons for not allowing the safety crossing. The Council is to send this letter to Paul Donnachie and to send copies to County Councillor Steve Askew and MP George Freeman.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Andy Nicholls reported that the ditch in front of the Asparagus Field is over full and should be reported to Highways.
Terry Cracknell reported on the Village Hall Management Committee. The Scouts would like to put a container on the area leased by the Parish Council for the recreation area to house their trailer; the Parish Council will consider this request at its next meeting. He also reported that the Village Committee would like a donation of £5,000 towards further work on the car park. Steve Milner reported that the memorial walnut tree at Stacksford had come down in the recent storm. The trunk has been cut into discs which are being sold to raise funds to replace the fallen tree and it has been agreed to give any surplus monies to the Green funds. Steve Milner also reported that the application for the mobile telephone mast in New Buckenham is likely to be refused. He has emailed the company involved to let them know that Old Buckenham might be able to help with a site.
Ben Devlin apologised for arriving late at this evening’s meeting. He reported that he had spoken to the Play Area’s chosen fencing company but it was not willing to reduce the quotation. An ash tree opposite the Ox and Plough requires attention as the trunk is splitting. The Clerk agreed to contact the Green Right Proprietors about this.
Sarah Hornbrook reported that the Neighbourhood Plan document is a legal document and a specific procedure must be followed. The Parish Council might need to appoint a private consultant to complete the rest of the work if no one in the village is willing to spearhead the initiative but she is willing to brief such a person.
Village Hall car park. There was a discussion about the drainage issue in the car park and a feeling that this needs to be well and truly resolved this time. Professional help might be needed to solve this issue before the remaining work is done. Finally, the Council resolved to lend the Village Hall Committee £5,000, interest free over five years, on condition that the Village Hall Committee finally resolves the drainage issue.
Almshouses Charity. There was a need for the nomination of a Parish Council Trustee for next four years. The Clerk reported that a current member of the trustees is willing to switch to being the Parish Council nominated trustee and that she will contact the person involved.
Highways matters. The Council was still awaiting further details about verge cutting from the Highways Department. Steve Milner had done some speed checks on Doe Lane. Five cars had been recorded doing 60mph and one vehicle had been doing 70mph. He will carry out a few more checks and report back again.
Appointing an odd job man. Terry Cracknell presented his case for appointing an odd job man for the village on a self-employed basis. He would be prepared to compile the ‘to do’ list with the Clerk which would be approved by the Parish Council. He was also prepared to contribute £500 to the project if the Parish Council would put in £1,500. The odd job man would be paid £120 for a day’s work which would be monitored by Terry Cracknell. The Parish Council has included £2,000 in its 2017/18 budget for village jobs. Any contractor would need to show they had public liability insurance.The Council agreed to appoint a self-employed person as an odd job man at £120 per day up to a maximum cost of £2,000 (including the £500 offered by Terry Cracknell) in 2017/18.
Update on Chapel Green School. A further newsletter has been issued and the 30mph sign has finally been moved closer to Attleborough.
Correspondence. This included a letter from Mr Darby to confirm a recent conversation with Terry Cracknell and a representative of NCC Highways as well as a thank you letter from the Pre School for their 2017/18 Precept grant.
Items for the next meeting. These should include Doe Lane speeding, an Awards evening, update on the reuse of the telephone box, local mobile telephone mast, Chapel Green School, The Green and the Neighbourhood Plan.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 6 April in the Village Hall, Old Buckenham to start at 7.30pm.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Old Buckenham's new school

Springing up

Here is some up-to-date news on progress at the Chapel Green School project.
The site team have been delighted to see some sunshine in the recent weeks and this has really benefited the project. They are now resident in their permanent office setup right in the heart of the main site, allowing them to keep a close eye on the activities taking place.
Works on site are progressing at a rapid pace – foundations and holding-down bolts are nearly complete for half of the building footprint. They have commenced the installation of the concrete bridge abutment to the south of the site and have excavated out for the hydrotherapy pool. Lots of other background work has also been taking place, preparing for the follow-on trades to make a start.
The main hoarding set up along Attleborough Road now gives more information to everyone, including an architect’s image of the finished building as well as key environment and sustainability information for the construction project.
You can keep an eye on the site from the village hall car park and you will soon see a building rise from the ground. Local engagement has continued with visits to the existing Chapel Road School and assistance to the village hall. There is another big event lined up for next month as well.
Finally, the project website has now gone live and will be updated regularly with various photos and information allowing everyone to stay in touch with the project. Go to

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Old Buckenham's replacement tree

New for old after Doris's damage
One of the trees that was blown down in the high winds during Storm Doris was a walnut that took pride of place on a small triangle of grass on the way to Stacksford. It was a special tree that had apparently been planted when Prince Freddie Dulip Singh was living in Old Buckenham Hall.
It looked to have died off over the last couple of years and the strong winds had toppled it onto the road. But thanks to the enterprise of Steve Milner, the trunk was cut up into thin slices which were then sold as souvenirs to people around the village. In all, over £300 was raised which has allowed a decent-sized mature walnut tree to be bought and this was planted this morning. Any money left over will be donated to the new organisation that is taking on the management of the village Green.
People of all ages were involved and here are some pictures of the tree planting ceremony:

And this is what the original tree looked like in 2016 - dead but still upright

Friday, 17 March 2017

Future management of Old Buckenham Green

Voting for the future
Tonight was the Annual Parish Meeting of the parish of Old Buckenham. There was a larger number of villagers than usual in the audience to hear reports from the county councillor, district councillor and the chairman of the parish council. There were also updates on the progress of the village's neighbourhood plan and on the building of Chapel Green school.
The main interest though was in the proposal to establish a Green management scheme involving the Parish Council, the Green Right holders, the Lord of the Manor and other village representatives.There was plenty of discussion and a vote to support this proposal was carried with no one dissenting (48 for and just one abstention).
A huge step forward after many years of infighting between various vested interests.

All those in favour...
Click on image to enlarge it

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Old Buckenham WI meeting

Members and their interests
The February meeting of Old Buckenham WI took the form of a members’ evening. At the start of the evening John Fernihough told members of the plans for the future management of the Village Green and members were given the opportunity to ask questions and take part in a general discussion about its future.
Members had been asked to bring along a favourite book and to explain the reason for their choice. Favourite authors included Charles Dickens (from the past) to the more modern authors like Ian Rankin, Robert Harris, Victoria Hislop and Antoine Laurin. The highlight of the evening was Pauline Bartlett’s choice of a children’s book which led her to tell members about the recent escapade of a “lost sheep” called “Basil” in the village which caused considerable amusement.
The evening also included an exhibition of members’ craft skills including sugar craft, needlepoint, blackwork, hardanger, patchwork, painting and quilting.
The April meeting will be held in Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 27 April when the speaker will be Kathy Denton and the subject of her talk will be ‘A London Fashion House’.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Thirty-five years in Old Buckenham

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
Over 50 members gathered in Old Buckenham Village Hall for the March meeting which was the Club’s AGM. Chairman Christine Hewson opened the meeting beginning with the business including the minutes from 2016 AGM. The Treasurer, Secretary and Chairman read their reports and a committee of twelve members was elected. Founder member Joy Tunmore was presented with the President’s badge.
The Yearly Flower competition trophies were presented. The winners were: most points Novice, Maxine Mace, most points Advanced, Alison Vivian, most points overall, Maxine Mace and most points in the table competition Christine Hewson. Every year the Club raises funds for a local charity and this year it will be the Norfolk Blood Bikers. Last year the Club raised around £1000 for the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Association. In the last ten years the club has raised over £10,000.
This year marks the Coral Anniversary of the Club. Chairman Christine Hewson concluded the afternoon with a slide show and talk on the past 35 years. She shared many photographs, some evoked laughter as members recognised themselves and the changes in fashion. It was a credit to the club to hear of the arrangements and events the ladies had been involved in over the 35 years, including the Royal Norfolk Show, Kew Gardens, Chelsea and the numerous decorating of local and some not so local churches and cathedrals. To finish the afternoon, refreshments were served and the raffles drawn.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 13 April in Old Buckenham Village Hall from 10am to 5pm, including lunch. This is a members only meeting to celebrate the Club’s Coral Anniversary. The competition title is “Oceans Treasure”. Contact Christine on 01953 454528 for members ticket.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Centenarian in Old Buckenham

Reaching her hundredth birthday
Two weeks ago, on Sunday 26 February, Dorothy Williams of Ragmere Road quietly celebrated her special birthday. Congratulations from us all.
The blog editor has now received these photographs of the occasion.
Looking at her cards
With her son Paul
It appears that when asked the usual question of what was the secret of her long life she answered "hard work".

Friday, 10 March 2017

Old Buckenham interest in sewage

Social and Wine Circle
The Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle met in March to hear all about the history of sewage treatment. It was a well-attended meeting with the speaker John Spencer explaining how the problem of how to deal with increasing amounts of excrement has become more critical over the years. The Romans had large communal toilets where people would come to sit and chat with the waste material often just flowing into local streams. By the time of the industrial revolution even big fast-flowing rivers could not cope with the amount of sewage and industrial waste being dumped into them, leading to awful smells and the spread of diseases like cholera. London's sewers, built in the 1850s to channel sewage away from the big city, are still in use today but are threatened by blockages caused by modern day materials such as large amounts of cooking fat. The development and workings of sewage treatment plants, both large and small, was also described by the speaker who had certainly made the audience think of what happens after they flush things away.
The next meeting, in the Church Rooms, will be held on Thursday 13 April when Dr Sarah Dorling will be talking on the subject of radiation in our modern world. The meeting starts at 7.30pm and all are welcome to attend.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Need to re-thatch Old Buckenham Church

Replacing the thatch at All Saints
The roof seen from the top of the tower in 2014
The Parish Church of All Saints, Old Buckenham, has a feature shared with only a few other churches in Norfolk – it is still thatched. This is both a joy to see and a costly liability. It is over 30 years since the roof was last re-thatched and it is seriously in need of a total replacement. If this is not done it will not be too long before there is water entry into the wooden ceiling and potentially catastrophic damage to the interior of the church.
The process of thatching a building such as All Saints requires the skill and artistry only available in a few hands these days. The Parochial Church Council will be looking to raise the funds to procure the services of a master thatcher, who can make the church fit for the next 30 (and hopefully a good many more) years.
What is realised is that this opportunity does not come around often and, as part of securing grant funding, the whole process of doing the required work is something that the whole community of Old Buckenham can be part of – from the youngest members of the schools to the most senior of residents. Events are being planned in which the history of the church building and the artistry of thatching can be experienced by everyone. The village will be looking for a group of people who can work together to bring ideas to reality – people with an interest in the heritage of the village, lovers of traditional crafts, or just people good at planning with a few hours to spare.
If you think you can help in any way then please get in touch with Alison Hannah direct on 01953 861261. The first meeting to discuss the project will be held in the Church Rooms in early April. Please watch out for news of the date in the April village newsletter or on this blog.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Old Buckenham village newsletter

March issue now available
Copies have been distributed around so why not pick up a copy and have a good read.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A busy month in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for March 
There has been an unexpected delay in producing the printed copies of the Old Buckenham village newsletter for March so here is the list of things going on during the month.
Wednesday 1   Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 2   Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 3   Roadside textile collection from, 9am

Saturday 4   Prize Bingo, Church Rooms, 2pm

Saturday 4   Village cinema, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Sunday 5   Wargames Club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Monday 6   Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Monday 6   Fete planning meeting, Village hall, 7.30pm

Tuesday 7   Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards

Wednesday 8   Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 9   Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 9   Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm for 7.45pm

Monday 13   Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Wednesday 15   Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Friday 17   Visits from Mobile Library during morning

Friday 17   Annual Parish Meeting, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 20   Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 22   Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 23   Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Old Buckenham future events

Looking ahead
Here is an updated list of events that the blog editor has been informed about from April onwards. It is a decent list of individual activities and there are certainly more that could be included so please pass the information on to the editor, via the comment box if you prefer.

Sunday 16 April, Floral displays of lilies in All Saints Church from 11am, refreshments in Church Rooms from 2pm to 4.30pm.

Saturday 29 April, Prize Bingo, Church Rooms, 2pm.

Thursday 18 May, New Buckenham Silver Band at Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm.

Saturday 20 May, WI Coffee Morning at 59 Fen Street.

Saturday 27 May, Coffee Morning, Church Rooms, 10am to 12 noon.

Sunday 11 June, Village-wide garage sales plus open gardens.

Saturday 24 June, Church Garden Party, Mill Cottage.

Sunday 25 June, Sunday School Reunion, Methodist Chapel.

Saturday 1 July, WI 50th Birthday Garden Party, Mill Cottage.

Saturday 8 July, Village Fete, Village Hall, 12 noon to 4pm.

Saturday 22 to Monday 24 July, Breckland Flower Club 35th Anniversary Flower Festival at All Saints Church.

Saturday 29 to Sunday 30 July, Old Buckenham Airshow.

Wednesday 23 August, Luncheon Club coffee morning, Village Hall.

Saturday 26 to Monday 28 August, Flower Festival at Methodist Chapel.

Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September, Cycling weekend.

Sunday 10 September, Produce Show, Village Hall.

Saturday 7 October, Village Quiz, Village Hall, 7.30pm.

Saturday 14 October, concert by Liquorice Allsorts, All Saints Church at 7.30pm.

Sunday 12 November, Remembrance service at Airfield.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Old Buckenham's latest school news

Progress at Chapel Green School

The first period back on site since the holiday season has been exceptionally busy. The access road leading to the project has been completed and tarmac has been installed, giving clear uninterrupted access to the main site. This has allowed progress to accelerate at a great pace.
With clear access to the site, they have been importing Type 1 material (crushed aggregate) and laying this across the full area for the building footprint. Following compaction, this gives a solid and clean hardstanding area on which they can then construct the building and will form the base for the ground floor concrete slab.
A lagoon has been excavated to the south east of the site which gives a holding area for all surface water on site, allowing control of both the water that falls from above and water that flows. The contractors have also been working hard to form the main site set up which includes the installation of temporary site accommodation, storage and parking area.
Engagement with the local community is a key part of this project, and during February there have been site tours with students from Old Buckenham Primary School, Old Buckenham High School and Chapel Road School. Children had the opportunity to sit in a digger, carry out some setting out using state of the art equipment and also received an update on the project progression.
Morgan Sindall have also carried out some works to the village hall – repairing potholes to the car park and providing safer access for all.
Finally, the project now has a website for you to stay up to date with everything:

Monday, 20 February 2017

Old Buckenham Village Hall

Have your meetings at the Village Hall

Blog posts during the last couple of weeks have listed two places in our village where you can hold your meetings. Here is one more. Old Buckenham also has a lovely Village Hall for larger functions like wedding receptions, adult and children's parties, film shows, quizzes, etc. It seats 120 people, has a sprung floor for dancing, a well equipped kitchen and a bar. Then there is also the Memorial Hall suitable for smaller functions. All for hire at very competitive rates.
For booking enquiries contact Eileen Oliver at or telephone her on 01953 860664.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Another meeting place in Old Buckenham

A location available for use

On Tuesday 7 February there was a post about Old Buckenham Church Rooms. Another place that might be suitable for your local meetings is the Old Buckenham Methodist Church in Hargham Road. It is available for bookings for meetings, events and activities. It is fully renovated with a kitchen and ample parking. There is a small booking fee to cover costs, though reductions are available to Old Buckenham residents, charities and church groups. To enquire please contact 01953 861207 or email

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Colourful arrangements in Old Buckenham

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
For the meeting on Thursday 9 February the skies outside Old Buckenham Village Hall threatened snow but all of this was soon forgotten as members sat down to be entertained by Susan Horn with her demonstration titled “Pick a colour, any colour”. For almost two hours Susan charmed the audience with her unique talent for flower arranging, creating nine colourful arrangements whilst sharing an insight into her family life and her love of flower arranging and demonstrating. She used a variety of foliage, most of which can be found in the garden even at this time of the year, adding bright colours with her selection of flowers. These were not large flamboyant blooms but the sort you can buy in the supermarkets. There were of course a few exotic ones for extra effect as she was there to put on a show. Susan concluded her visit by judging the competition before heading back to Chelmsford. The arrangements were all raffled and nine lucky ladies each took one home.
There were eight entries in the competition titled “Love is in the air” and the winner was Alison Vivian with a stunning heart-shaped table arrangement.
The next meeting, at Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 9 March at 2pm, is the Club’s AGM followed by a talk by Chairman Christine Hewson and using slides to look back over the many years of the Club.

If you would like further details please contact Christine on 01953 454528 or Sally on 01953 788712.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Old Buckenham Parish Council in February

February Parish Council
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
The meeting was held on Thursday 2 February. Councillors Adrian Joel (Chairman), Terry Cracknell, Ben Devlin, Tom Johnson, Steve Milner and Andy Nicholls were present along with the parish clerk Hilary Clutten. There were apologies for non attendance from Rona Boggia, Sarah Hornbrook and Jonathan Kemp.
Minutes of the January Parish Council Meeting. These were agreed as a true and accurate record of the January meeting.
Matters arising from these minutes. The metal village sign needs sandblasting and then repainting – a quote is to be obtained for the work. An item had been put in the Village Newsletter about the dog mess on the Green. There has been a problem about installing a broadband box on Hargham Road as it was not possible to obtain a wayleave to get an electricity supply. It might be possible to connect it to an electricity pole in a different position. The purchase of the telephone kiosk is in hand. BT need to carry out a consultation exercise before removing the telephone service, then the purchase of the kiosk can be completed. The litter bin purchased by the Clerk has been delivered to the shop and installed.
Public participation on agenda items. It was reported that the road sign on the corner of Abbey Road is in a disgusting state and part of the sign is missing; Clerk will report this to the Highways Department. The Parish Council was urged to be cautious about erecting a mirror as they can be dangerous to road users. The Parish Council was urged to show it appreciation for everything that Ron Brewer does in the village at the Annual Parish Meeting next month. A lady living at Ragmere will be 100 years old in March, the Clerk will arrange for the Parish Council to send hera card.
The Green. A report was given by John Fernihough and Sarah Dye of the first meeting of the Green Management Working Party. A potential lease has been thrashed out which if acceptable to the Parish Council will be presented to the Green Rights Proprietors at their AGM in February and to the Annual Parish Meeting in mid-March. It is a tight timetable to ensure that work can start on the Green to remove the mole hills so that the grass can be cut. More work may need to be done on mole eradication later this year and next year as the problem is prolific at the moment. Three ponds need to be cleaned eventually and potholes filled in which in the course of time will improve the look of the area. There are three dog bins at present but they are not in satisfactory places and possibly four more may be required; the next Green Management Working Party Meeting will discuss locations and cost.
It would be good to have some publicity for the Annual Parish Meeting, such as posters put around the Green. Steve Milner agreed to look into doing this. Also publicity would be useful on the village noticeboard, the Parish Council website, perhaps a press release, an entry on Facebook and the village blog, leaflets in the Ox and Plough and at the next film presentation in the Village Hall. Possibly also a leaflet within the Six Villages Newsletter. Steve Milner will seek volunteers to help him with distributing publicity material.
The public liability insurance for the Green will be covered by the Council’s current insurance so no additional premium will be necessary. The parish councillors were then offered the opportunity to make their own comments on the suggested lease arrangements. Comments ranged from it being immoral to ask people in Old Buckenham to pay for what are effectively the financial responsibilities of the Green Right Proprietors to something has to be done to improve matters as it has gone on too long but to keep in mind getting value for money. The Village Survey responses on the Green last year are indicative of what the residents think about the current situation.
A vote was then taken on whether or not to accept the terms of the draft lease document drawn up by the Green Management Working Party. The Council resolved to accept the terms of the draft lease and it will now be presented to the Green Right Proprietors for agreement at their AGM in February.
Planning applications. Oak Lodge, Fen Street. Single storey extension – the Parish Council had no objections to this application.
The Parish Council had just received pre-application details of a plan to convert an old agricultural building into a residence in Doe Lane – the Parish Council had no issues with this prior application.
Planning decisions received from Breckland Council. Land off Fen Road. Planning refusal for three detached dwellings and garages.
5 Hargham Road. Planning permission for extension to dwelling.
Old Buckenham Airfield, Planning permission for temporary office space.
Whitehands Farm, Stacksford. Planning permission for variation of condition.
9 Old Yard. Planning permission for static caravan as temporary accommodation (retrospective).
Financial matters. The Clerk had circulated a financial report prior to the meeting.
The Clerk had carried out the annual update of the Parish Council’s Risk Assessment and had distributed it before the meeting and the Council resolved to adopt the revised Risk Assessment. The Clerk explained the problems that she had had with getting monthly payslips and had offered to take over the PAYE calculating and reporting for a fee of £10 per month which represents a saving of £5 per month compared to the current external contractor. The Council agreed that the Clerk should take over the PAYE calculating and reporting from April 2017 at a cost of £10 per month. The Information Commissioner’s annual fees would in future be paid by direct debit
Chairman’s report. The Chairman will be away for the next Parish Council meeting and it may be necessary to appoint a chairman for the meeting if the Vice-chair is not present. The tenure of the present Chair will come to an end in May 2017 and a new Chair will have to be appointed.
Breckland Council would be holding a Local Plan Working Party meeting in February and members of the public and parish councillors were invited to attend and make their contributions. The recommendation being put forward for Old Buckenham is that the two additional sites are not suitable, but the proposal to allocate 50 houses without the sites being specified is still on the table. This leaves the village with a great deal of uncertainty and despite several ‘calls for sites’ being made, no suitable land has been offered. The Chair will be asking the Local Plan Working Party to revise the Old Buckenham housing figure downwards.
Attleborough Town Council Highways meeting. Tom Johnson and Terry Cracknell reported that there had recently been a meeting in the Council Chamber in Attleborough Town Hall where about 150 people had attended in a room that would only comfortably seat 80. Another meeting will be called to summarise the views of Breckland Council and Highways Department to improve the Attleborough road network and associated traffic issues.
Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan. Terry Cracknell reported that the plan was in its final stages and it should soon be possible to move forward.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Andy Nicholls reported that the Gamekeeper public house was shown as being under offer to rent on the Enterprise Inns website. The Clerk was asked to contact the local Highways Engineer to thanks him for his recent assistance with highway matters and to report a blocked drain on Crown Road/Ragmere Road as well as outside Down Combe on Attleborough Road. Andy Nicholls also reported that he had a nasty experience on the road whilst walking his dogs as a driver was not paying due care and attention to the road. The community policeman, Andrew London, had been called out and given an excellent service. The Clerk was asked to thank him.The road near Councillor Nicholl’s development site in Harlingwood Lane will be closed for a while for highway improvements to be carried out and it is hoped that any upheaval will be kept to a minimum. Terry Cracknell reported that he had visited the resident on Harlingwood Lane with the local Highways Engineer about the hedge. The house owner has cut back his trees but there is still two feet overhanging the area designated as ‘highway’. The banking by the edge of the road is prone to crumbling and Highways offered to arrange some edging and will also do some road markings. Terry Cracknell reported on the most recent Village Hall Management meeting where a risk assessment has been carried out and fifty-six permits been issued for parking at the Village Hall. The Village Hall is hoping to have further work carried out on the car park using the balance of the Parish Partnership’s Award for 2016/17. The Clerk said that this would need to be paid for by the end of the current financial year and will liaise with the Village Hall Committee.
Terry Cracknell would still like the Parish Council to consider appointing an ‘odd job man’ to do village jobs. Ben Devlin offered to chase up the fence quotation for the Play Area – the Chair said that he would let him have a copy of the quotation. Steve Milner reported that the village would have the SAM sign for the next few weeks but it is not suitable for use on single track roads. Concern about speeding on Doe Lane was raised and Steve Milner reported that he has an app on his mobile phone to measure road speeds which provides good data.
Terry Cracknell reported that litter is being thrown out of vehicles between Attleborough and Old Buckenham, and that asbestos is also being dumped.
Steve Milner has completed the Parish Partnerships grant application. The next film to be shown at the Village Hall will be “A Street Cat Named Bob”.
Road Safety Working Party. The Chair reported that Norfolk County Council has replied to the letter sent by George Foreman MP and that he will be arranging for the Parish Council to get a copy of this response. The Council resolved to amend the description of a ”Traffic Survey” mentioned in the minutes of the November 2016 meeting to “Road Safety Survey” and to pay the invoice received from the contractor for £3256.
Play Area Working Party.The Council resolved to allocate up to £5,000 on the new fencing for the Play Area from the Council’s Play Area reserves. At the beginning of the meeting the Clerk had been handed cheques totalling £800 from Lesley Coates being donations from residents of Old Buckenham and fundraising carried out at the summer fete – this sum to be added to the Play Area reserves. Some steering wheels for the tractor were also provided.
Almshouses Charity. Nomination of a Parish Council trustee for next four years is necessary but as the current appointed trustee was not present it was agreed to leave the item until the next meeting.
Highways matters. The Clerk is awaiting further details about verge cutting from the Highways Department. The subject of roadside mirrors is to be discussed at the next meeting.
Update on Chapel Green School. The Clerk is to contact Rona Boggia on her return to the village to organise a meeting with Norfolk County Council regarding the road crossing. It was also agreed to invite local resident Tim Bornett to the meeting. The School Governors have met with Norfolk County Council but Old Buckenham Parish Council was not invited to the meeting.
Items for the next meeting. These are expected to include the Green, highway verges, Chapel Green School, Doe Lane speed limit, the Annual Parish Meeting, the PC-appointed Trustee to the Almshouses Charity, the Play Area, the Recreation Area and Highways matters.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 2 March in the Village Hall at 7.30pm.
The Annual Parish Meeting to take place on Friday 17 March in Old Buckenham Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Old Buckenham learns about Jane Austen

Women's Institute's first meeting of 2017
Old Buckenham WI were pleased to welcome Rev Jacqui Horton (the local Methodist minister) to their first meeting of 2017. Jacqui gave a fascinating insight into the life of Jane Austen, who died at the early age of 42 in 1817 (this year is the bi-centenary of her death). The title of the talk was “The Trail of Jane Austen” and the speaker traced the life of this remarkable author from her birth at Steventon (a village in Hampshire) in 1775 until her death in Winchester in 1817. Her father was the vicar of this village and on his retirement she, with her parents and sister, moved to Bath and lived there for four years. After her father’s death in 1805 she and her mother and sister moved around the country until finally settling in the village of Chawton in Hampshire (this house now houses the Jane Austen museum). She had already written in script form the novels of Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility whilst living at Steventon and the latter two books were published in 1811 and 1813 respectively. Her other books were published posthumously. For the last two years of her life she and her sister lived in Winchester so that she could be near to her doctor and she died there in July 1817. She is buried in Winchester Cathedral and there is a stained glass window in the cathedral dedicated to her memory.
Members were pleased to hear that Alison Frank has now raised over £1,000 through the “Waste Not Want Not” table she organises each month. This money is donated to the Associated Country Women of the World, of which the WI is a founder member, and supports the education and training of women in third world countries.

The next meeting is in the Village Hall on Thursday 23 March starting at 7.30pm. The speaker will be Chris Brown and the subject of his talk is “The Case for the Defence – life as a criminal lawyer”. Old Buckenham WI meets on the fourth Thursday of each month and they are always pleased to welcome new members. 

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Old Buckenham jumble today

Pictures tell the story
No need for many words, these photos show the action from the Church Rooms earlier today. Lots of happy customers went away carrying bags of bargains.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Rumble in the Old Buckenham jumble

Are you ready for the scrum?
For the bargains of the year come to the jumble sale in the Church Rooms at Old Buckenham on Saturday 11 February. Everything kicks off at 10am so get there to pick up clothes, toys and bric-a-brac. Refreshments too.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Using Old Buckenham Church Rooms

Take part in village activities
There are lots of things going on these days in the Church Rooms in Old Buckenham. 
There are new pilates classes (including one for the over 60s) , the weekly Art Group, the Monday Mardle, the Fawns baby and toddler group, bingo sessions, whist drives, the Wine and Social Circle, Cubs, and every Sunday after the service in All Saints there is coffee from about 10.30am. 
It is a great venue for parties or craft courses or training groups. Why not come along and try something new this year? Or book the rooms for your own event. Hire charges start from only £5 per hour. 
Lydia Darrah, 01953 860136 or, can point you in the right direction for details of all of the groups using the hall and is the person to contact for new bookings. There is room for more activities!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Old Buckenham lilies

All Saints and Easter lilies
On Easter Day each year, All Saints Church in Old Buckenham commemorates the lives of loved ones who have died and they will continue this tradition this year. Flower arrangements in the church at Easter will comprise of lilies, each in memory of departed relatives or friends. If you would like to contribute to this event could you please let Alistair Monnkhouse have your donation before Sunday 2 April together with the name of the person to be remembered. In the event you have not subscribed before please also advise year of birth and date of death. 
It is estimated that each lily will cost in the region of £4 and any additional monies received will go towards a lasting memorial. Last year donations given went towards the purchase of a fifteen set of Nativity figures. If you wish to contribute please send a cheque made out to ‘Old Buckenham PCC’ with details of the deceased to Revd Alistair Monkhouse, Wildwood', Mill Road, Old Buckenham, Norfolk. NR17 1SG

Friday, 3 February 2017

Old Buckenham events throughout 2017

Happening during 2017
Here are the dates of some meetings and events in Old Buckenham that are fixed to happen later this year. There must be many more so if you know of others then please let the village newsletter editor know (via the comment facility on this blog or emailing and he will include the information in future blog posts and in the printed newsletters.
Put the information in your diaries now to make sure that you do not miss them (or arrange other things on the same dates).

Saturday 4 March, Prize Bingo in the Church Rooms, 2pm.

Sunday 16 April, Floral displays of lilies in All Saints Church from 11am, refreshments in Church Rooms from 2pm to 4.30pm.

Saturday 29 April, Prize Bingo, Church Rooms, 2pm.

Saturday 20 May, WI Coffee Morning at 59 Fen Street. 

Saturday 27 May, Coffee Morning, Church Rooms, 10am to 12 noon.

Sunday 11 June, Village-wide garage sales plus open gardens.

Saturday 24 June, Church Garden Party, Mill Cottage. 

Saturday 1 July, WI 50th Birthday Garden Party, Mill Cottage. 

Saturday 8 July, Village Fete, Village Hall, 12 noon to 4pm.

Friday 21 to Sunday 23 July, Breckland Flower Club 35th Anniversary Flower Festival at All Saints Church. 

Saturday 29 to Sunday 30 July, Old Buckenham Airshow.

Wednesday 23 August, Luncheon Club coffee morning, Village Hall.

Saturday 26 to Monday 28 August, Flower Festival at Methodist Chapel.

Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September, Cycling weekend.

Sunday 10 September, Produce Show, Village Hall.

Saturday 7 October, Village Quiz, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 14 October, concert by Liquorice Allsorts, All Saints Church  at 7.30pm.

Sunday 12 November, Remembrance service at Airfield.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

What to do this month in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for February 

Thursday 2   Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Sunday 5   Wargames Club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Monday 6    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Tuesday 7   Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards

Wednesday 8   Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 9   Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 9   Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm for 7.45pm

Saturday 11   Jumble Sale, Church Rooms, 10am to 12 noon

Monday 13   Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Friday 17   Visits from Mobile Library during morning

Saturday 18   OB 2000 Trust Ceilidh, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 20    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 22 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 23   Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Old Buckenham's February newsletter

More village news
Printed copies of the Old Buckenham village newsletter for February 2017 have been spread around at various locations in the village. If you haven't had one put through your door, go and pick one up soon.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Old Buckenham funding for homeless project

Handover at breakfast time
During the latter months of 2016, residents of Old Buckenham in Norfolk had been raising money to help with the building of more accommodation to be used by the St Martins Trust in Norwich to care for those who find themselves homeless.
So early on the morning of Saturday 28 January many of those involved in raising the money found themselves at Route 11 on the outskirts of Attleborough for the ceremonial handing over of the results of their efforts. 
Wally Webb of BBC Radio Norfolk was on hand to do some interviewing and the Bishop of Norwich  (who had done his session of bucket collecting outside a local supermarket in December) spoke about the problems of homelessness.
Three cheques were handed over to Derek Player of St Martins. The major one was for over £29,000 pounds and a further £1004 came from the Old Buckenham 2000 Trust and £477 had been collected at the candlelit carol service at All Saints, Old Buckenham, on Christmas Eve.
The total sum raised was a staggering £31,253.42.
Many thanks are due to the staff of Route 11 for opening up early, hosting the event and providing refreshments.

Posing for the EDP photographer

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Annual meal in Old Buckenham

Senior citizens enjoy their lunch
Old Buckenham Village Hall was full yesterday as the older members of the community sat down for their annual meal provided by a team of volunteers and financed by various fund-raising events during the previous twelve months.
After the roast beef dinner, homemade sweets, drinks galore and cheese and biscuits there was a chance to relax listening to songs from Wymondham singer Carole Lea. This was followed by a short session of bingo, warm mince pies and a choice of tea or coffee.
A pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon , all provided by the generous activities of local people.

With special thanks to the cooks

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Gardening advice in Old Buckenham

Organic gardening
Growing Buddies are volunteers who offer free food growing advice and encouragement to Breckland residents. You can learn to grow your own food and join many local residents who benefit from growing organic food in their garden. To learn more, contact Deborah on
Growing Buddies are volunteers managed by Garden Organic offering food growing advice and support. They don't offer a gardening service. Participation for all involved is free.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

House move in Old Buckenham

Lifted out for repairs
The recent high winds had caused the duck house on the pond by Post Office Terrace to capsize as one of its mooring lines had become detached. This morning the operation took place to turn it up the right way once more.
The job was made more difficult as the structure was surrounded by thick ice. Eventually the house was freed and lifted out on to the bank. A quick examination showed that a few repairs are needed so it was placed in 'dry dock' until this can be done.
A big hole in the ice was all that was left as a reminder of a good morning's work.