Monday, 1 June 2020

Special school in Old Buckenham

Become a friend?

Friends of Chapel Green School was registered as a charity in 1974 and supported the old Chapel Road School until it moved to its present site in Old Buckenham just over two years ago. As you are probably aware the school is for children with very complex needs aged from 3 to 19 years old and since opening the number of pupils has increased from 60 to over 100.
The Friends is comprised of parents, local people and teaching staff and its object has remained unchanged over the years: "To advance the education and well being of the pupils at the school by raising funds to purchase and assist with facilities not normally provided by the local education authority."
They have been supported by, and are grateful to, local organisations and businesses. Individuals have run marathons, climbed mountains, shaved heads and cycled miles. They have also been fortunate to have received bequests. As they are a charity they are able to obtain Gift Aid on donations.
What do they do? Two major purchases were the minibuses obtained with the help of the Variety Club and Lords Taverners. Contrary to some thoughts these are not free and in 2012 the Friends made a significant contribution to get these vehicles as well as buying their own minibus. Since moving to the new school they have purchased a variety of outdoor play and sports equipment, which are very expensive, with help from Wymondham Rotary and other donors.
The Friends also provided the start-up costs for the school’s Charity Shop in Attleborough, an important learning environment. There are also many smaller projects like Christmas and Leavers presents, servicing the minibuses and things to make a difference for a single child to a whole class.
The latest fund raising is to provide the deposit (about 25%) for an additional Variety Club minibus which is needed now there are more pupils. The school also needs to establish its gardening project and hope a recent application for a grant will be successful.
They have two major fund raising activities every year, these being their Christmas Fayre and Summer Fete, the latter unfortunately will not happen this year due to Covid-19. It will mean a loss of important revenue, probably upwards of £1500, but The Friends can only hope that things will get better.
They always welcome new members who may have fresh ideas and added enthusiasm. For more information please contact John Goode at 

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Another Old Buckenham newsletter

June issue being delivered around
To ensure that all our villagers can keep up with what is going on, we have printed an extra 100 copies this month. Terri and her volunteer distributors are aiming to get a copy through every letterbox in Old Buckenham.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Old Buckenham Green

Latest news
Here is an update from John Fernihough on the work that has been going on to maintain and improve our village Green.
We are very lucky to live in a village with allegedly the largest village green in the country. It extends to forty-five acres, and incorporates about seven acres of mixed woodland.
Certain householders in the village traditionally had grazing rights and also rights regarding timber etc. This was set down by Act of Parliament in the 1790s and the act is very specific regarding individual rights, etc. It was also registered as Common Land in the 1960s, incorrectly, but it would take another Act of Parliament to correct this error.
It is currently leased by Old Buckenham Parish Council who are responsible for its maintenance, grass, trees, paths and ponds.
The Parish Council have a sub-committee, the Green Management Group, that manages the Green. This committee comprises two Parish Councillors, the Lord of the Manor or his representative, two Green Rights Proprietors and two lay members of the village community. Others are sometimes asked to join to help and offer their specialist skills. This committee makes recommendations to the Parish Council, who are the final arbiters as to what is done.
The actual management of the Green can be controversial. We need to cut the grass to keep it tidy and accessible but the timing of this is critical. If it is cut too early many villagers approve as it looks 'better' but others feel it should be left until later to allow wild flowers to seed. We try to come to a happy medium but probably don't satisfy anyone. This year we are hoping to cut the main Green in late June but to leave The Pound, that piece in front of the Almshouses, until the autumn. This may be a reasonable compromise? The grass around the ponds and under the trees is only tidied up in the autumn where it is accessible to a tractor, the rest is left for wildlife, etc.
The various trees are managed, many old and damaged trees have been removed recently and we have 80 replacement trees to plant in the autumn (probably looking for volunteeers then to help with the planting). We have 20 oaks to go into the woodland opposite "The Hovis House" and a mixture of Field Maple and Hornbeam (total 60) to be planted on The Pound and on the Green opposite The Gamekeeper, behind the Bus Shelter and other sites.
We have renovated Green Pond and Ottomer Ponds recently and access is being maintained. Originally we thought to replant trees around the Ottomer but it is now as it was in the 1930s, when tree growth was limited by grazing cattle. It is probably to be left as it is, depends upon public opinion.

The Green is funded by the Parish Council, paid out of your precept, and we are always aware of the need to keep costs down. We received a grant of £2000 from Greggs for the Ottomer Pond, and Mervyn Lambert supplied a machine at cost price to do the earth moving and this was operated, by a villager, for free. There are obviously ongoing costs. Steven Suggitt cuts the main Green twice a year, and trims other areas in the Autumn, again at cost price. A great service, and we are most grateful to all who give their time, etc, for the Village.
Finally, the committee do try to manage the Green for the benefit of our villagers, the wildlife, bats, birds, the environment. Some people may be happy, others dissatisfied but it is a compromise. Should you have any concerns about the Green, please contact one of the Parish Councillors, or myself.

Thank you.
John Fernihough, chair of Green Management Committee
Snetterton Farm, NR17 1PH, telephone 01953 860471

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Old Buckenham says farewell

Local losses
At the present time and without the usual funerals being held at All Saints the editor felt it appropriate to include details of the lives of two villagers who have recently died.
Gwen Rix. Gwen was born on 22 April 1932 the eldest of seven children of George and Gladys Buckingham living in Sibton Green near Yoxford, Suffolk. They lived in a small farm workers cottage sharing bedrooms and beds as often happened in those days. However they were a happy family even though money and food was scarce. When Gwen was 14 years old she left school and went to work as a housekeeper, a job she enjoyed all her life. Being very aware that there was little money in the family and lots of mouths to feed Gwen did her best to support her parents as much as she could.
After her daughter Susan was born it wasn't easy to find a job where Gwen could take Susan with her and, after a particularly unpleasant experience, Gwen decided to leave her family behind and move to Old Buckenham. The job was to be a housekeeper for Stan at the house he had built called Tall Trees at the top of Doe Lane. Stan's wife had died young leaving him with a family, including a young daughter, to look after. Gwen and Stan fell in love, married and later moved to St Andrews Close They enjoyed 35 happy years together adding two more sons to the family.
With her brothers and sisters all living in Suffolk, Gwen was only able to see them once or twice a year. She did though become part of the village life in Old Buckenham for over 60 years, joining the WI, The Women’s Fellowship, the Women's branch of the British Legion and the Luncheon Club to name but a few. She loved singing and joined the village Singing Group run by Rosemary West which she enjoyed immensely. Her favourite song was Mario Lanza's "Be My Love" which she would sing word perfect and without any music even after moving to Windmill House in Jan 2018 when the dementia had sadly taken hold. Gwen loved taking part in all the concerts the singing group gave throughout the county. Gwen was very happy and contented living in Windmill House for the two years she was there. The care she received was exemplary and many of the other residents became part of her new 'family'. She joined in many of the activities taking place and there were lots of laughs with visitors and carers.
Gwen died on Monday 4 May. The funeral took place Friday 22 May at the Breckland Crematorium with only close family present.
(Details provided by Gwen’s daughter Susan Simpson.)

Ida Jolley. Ida passed away on Easter Saturday 11 April 2020. She was born at High House Farm, Cranworth, on 11 February 1937. Her father was a smallholder farmer and she was the eldest daughter of six children. Ida left school at 15 years old. Her parents moved to Park Farm, Abbey Road, in March 1955 where her father and brothers worked for Robert Gilmore.
Ida used to attend church in Old Buckenham on Sundays and during the week meet up with friends on the village Green which is where she met her husband Keith. Ida was also in the Girl Guides and St John ambulance, both of which she enjoyed with great interest. Keith was working at Larkmans in Attleborough as an apprentice agricultural engineer and Ida worked at Briton Brush. She cycled to work there with her two friends Maureen and Cynthia Soanes.
At 21 Ida got engaged to Keith. He had now finished his apprenticeship and had to do two years national service. They rented the cottage at Post Office terrace in Old Buckenham six months before Keith finished his national service so it was ready for them to move into when they married on 22 February 1960 in Old Buckenham church. Ida remained in this cottage for all the rest of her life, she was married for almost 49 years and was devastated when her husband died suddenly in October 2008.
Ida was kept going after her husband’s death by her strong faith and knowledge that she would be reunited with her beloved husband.
(Details provided by Ida’s niece Amanda Welham)

Villagers stand outside All Saints Church to pay their respects at Ida's funeral 
Ivy Beales, Ida’s sister, and her family wish to thank Amanda and her family for all they have done to help, particularly in making the funeral arrangements.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Old Buckenham Parish Council minutes

A virtual meeting
These notes by the blog editor have been written from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met virtually via Zoom on Thursday 7 May. Those ‘present’ were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington, Terry Cook, Ben Devlin and Andy Nicholls. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and six members of the public. Prior to the meeting, councillors had emailed their votes for Chair and Vice-chair. Jonn Hicks was re-elected as Chair (4 in favour, 3 abstain) and Steve Milner was re-elected as Vice-chair (6 in favour).
The minutes of the meeting held in March were approved (6 in favour, 1 abstain). There were no matters arising or any reports of matters arising from those minutes.
Declarations of interests. Ben Devlin had a planning application being discussed later in the meeting.
Financial matters. Balance at bank is £38,836.91. Income received was a VAT refund £2,802.95 and Precept payment of £10,192.50. Payments approved (7 in favour) totalled £1196.31.
Playground. Several members of the public have explained their frustration at the playground maintenance (and subsequent closure) taking too long. Because of lockdown, the company providing the rubber pellets is unable to produce them and consequently some of the work could not be completed by the contractor. A member of the public explained that they understand the limitations of lockdown, but could we look at alternative suppliers who are open or tap in to the many volunteers in the village. Jonn Hicks explained that the company providing the pellets is going to re-open on Monday 11 May and so the contractor has been told the work should therefore be completed immediately, hopefully by the end of the following week. While the chairman was very grateful to the offers of help by villagers, he was reluctant to involve groups of people during lockdown and explained that there may be problems with insurance if there was an accident. Once work is completed, RoSPA will inspect it and it can be ready for use (once the government allow).
*The PC paused the meeting to allow the 8pm Clap for Carers* 

Communication in current situation. Jonn Hicks said he would like to thank everyone in the village who have helped residents during this difficult time. His full message can be found in the May copy of the village newsletter.
Mike Farrington raised the point that the village newsletter has become an important source of information at this time, especially for those not online or using social media. The current advertising costs don’t cover printing a copy for every household in the village and Puddledock is felt too dangerous for people to deliver to. The village newsletter editor has paid personally to ensure everyone has a printed copy during this time at a cost of just over £40. Could the Parish Council subsidise/contribute in some way? There was an initial difficulty in distribution too but the team of volunteers have aimed to deliver copies to the whole village. Jonn Hicks proposed giving the village newsletter (the only community magazine still in print during lockdown) a one off cheque for £300 as a short term solution to help cover the extra printing during the coronavirus situation (approximately five months including the May issue). The issue will be discussed further at a future meeting to look at long term ideas. This payment was agreed (7 in favour).
Terri Hammond has been the key coordinator of the volunteers in the village and wished to update the Parish Council on the current situation. There are currently 15 volunteers covering the whole of the village. They have made over 85 prescription runs, collected lots of food packages and are working with Breckland Council to help with any emergency help in the village. If there is anyone who requires help, please contact Terri Hammond/the Parish Council/a neighbour. Also please check on neighbours and ensure no-one is struggling alone. The volunteers have been working with OB2000 Trust to co-ordinate money for food/prescriptions. Electronic payments are made to the Trust by the resident, who is then passing the money on to the volunteers. If a resident is unable to pay electronically, the Trust is temporarily covering the debt until the resident can arrange payment safely. Thanks are due to the OB2000 Trust for their help at this time. The Chairman added that the Parish Council can’t give financial support at this time, so if there is anyone who is in financial difficulty, please contact Breckland Council for information.
Jonn Hicks took a moment to explain that during this difficult time, we need to be grateful and thankful to everyone for their help and remember those that have recently passed. The village also recently lost three great residents (not to Covid-19) and they will be greatly missed. The Parish Council held a 1 minute silence.
Rachel Noyes asked the Parish Council whether they have considered a Parish Council Facebook page due to its popularity in the village? Currently, Rachel Noyes uses her personal account to make Parish Council announcements online and would prefer not to. It could also be a source of keeping the village updated on Parish Council events/work/improvements to the village etc. Steve Milner explained that there had recently been a meeting of himself, the village newsletter editor and a member of the public with experience in IT/Communications to discuss the Parish Council Communications Strategy. This was broken down to four key points:
- What is being communicated?
- When is it communicated?
- Who is sending out the information and to whom?
- How is it communicated?
The group also highlighted the need for someone to own the communication (Clerk/Chair) and look at the various aspects of communication: website (which will need to meet new NALC guidelines), social media, those not on social media, newsletter, etc. It was felt by many that the Parish Council needs to get more of the good news out to the public as it is very easy to focus on negative comments. The need to make the communication two-way was also highlighted and a member of the public asked whether it was worth only having one central source of information to reduce confusion. The Parish Council decided to meet up (once allowed) and come up with a clear Communications Policy which will encompass all these aspects before proceeding with anything new.
Public participation. Members of the public contributed to the discussions as appropriate.
New planning applications. (All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal – - Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting).
West View Farm, The Green. Convert the existing barn into one dwelling and to build two new dwellings with a new access to service the three dwellings (3PL/2020/0327/LB). This application is linked with application 3PL/2020/0326/F. There was great concern by many councillors that this development would lead to an increase in traffic on a small road, past a playground and pub, which is used as one of the main walking routes to the schools. No comment yet received from Highways. The ecological survey needs further investigation too. The access road to the properties would run past a listed building, which could potentially cause damage. However it was highlighted that building on these areas to “fill in the gaps” in the village is preferable to expanding outwards. A proposal to object was approved (6 in favour, 1 abstain).
5 Oaklands. Removal of garage; new side and rear extension (3PL/2020/0379/HOU). No obvious problems with the application. Proposal to support was approved (7 in favour).
Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Prior approval for change of use from agricultural to C3 residential use under Class Q(a) only (3PN/2020/0014/UC).
*Ben Devlin was temporarily removed from the meeting for this application* 

Previous application was rejected as tried to apply for Class Q(a) and (b) last time and mistakes were made in application. Only for Class Q(a) this time. Proposal to support was approved (6 in favour, 1 abstain).
Planning Decisions by Breckland Council. The following five applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved.
Nivelles, Fen Street. Proposed front entrance hall extension and alterations (3PL/2020/0113/HOU).
Apple Tree House, Church Lane. Demolition of west side lean-to. Demolition of front wall to the front porch to create open fronted canopy. Construction of a single-storey flat roof extension to the rear and small canopy porch to the east. Installation of ground source heating (3PL/2020/0150/HOU).
17 Hargham Road. 1st floor extension and ground floor infill creating a 1½ storey dwelling with annex accommodation (3PL/2020/0189/HOU).
Attleborough SUE Land south of Attleborough, Attleborough. Outline planning consent for all matters reserved apart from the principle means of vehicular access (3 accesses onto the B1077 Buckenham Road; 1 access across Burgh Common; 1 access across Hargham Road, 1 access across Leys Lane and 1 access onto London Road) for residential development for up to 4,000 dwellings on land to the south of Attleborough; construction of new link road between Buckenham Road and London Road, pedestrian footbridge across the railway line to connect with Leys Lane, provision of two, 2-form entry primary schools; Local centre including up to 2,600m2 gross floorspace for uses within Class A1 (shops), up to 1,400m2 (gross) for uses within Classes A2/A3/A4 and/or A5 and petrol filling station, along with up to 2,100m2 (gross) for Community Uses (Class D1). Two further neighbourhood centres together including up to 400m2 (gross) for uses within Classes A1/A2/A3 and/or A5, sports pitches, public open space and amenity greenspace with sustainable drainage systems and associated infrastructure (including off-site town centre highway improvements) and demolition of existing unused sewage works and agricultural buildings (3PL/2017/0996/O).
The Farm, Doe Lane. Erection of new poultry shed adjacent to poultry shed no. 7 and erection of associated 3 feed silos and removal of existing outbuilding. Provision of new steel shed adjacent to poultry shed no. 1 (3PL/2020/0071/F).
The following application has now been considered and the application has been refused.
Land adjacent Caldcleugh dwelling under construction at The Old Asparagus Field, Cake Street. Revised access location to dwelling approved under ref 3PL/2018/1014/VAR (3PL/2020/0171/F).
Road Safety. The SAM sign is back after having Bluetooth installed (to allow safer download of data when roadside). Can currently download on to a phone only and so may need to purchase a small notebook computer purely for use with the SAM sign and to store all the data. This will be looked at in a future meeting.
Recreation Area. This has been rolled. Currently unable to purchase football goals but will do as soon as possible.
Councillors’ reports. Adrian Joel said that two new allotments had been rented. Need access to the water meter for a reading but it is currently overgrown, will be cleared and tided as soon as possible. Terry Cook reported that no Village Hall meetings are currently being held but please be aware that the recycling bins are presently full as priority of collections has been given to care homes, etc. The Village Hall has also applied for a grant to help with current finances but are still waiting for a verdict. Jonn Hicks made a recommendation that the Village Hall Committee be offered a deferment on their loan repayment (a repayment holiday) until after the Covid19 virus epidemic and added to the end of the loan repayment period. Councillors present agreed to the proposal and this suggestion would be put to the Village Hall committee to see if they wished to take up the offer. Mike Farrington said that less traffic on the roads recently means that Puddledock has been a lot quieter with only one small accident in the last couple of months. Ben Devlin told the meeting that he has a new lawnmower so is happy to help with cutting play area, etc, when work there is completed.
Next agenda. Items to be covered would include a Covid-19 update, the Action Plan, encouraging more people to join the Parish Council and village communications

Next Parish Council meeting is to be held virtually via Zoom on Thursday 4 June starting at 7.30pm.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Old Buckenham headmaster 100 years ago

Can you help?

Shirley Boothroyd has contacted the newsletter editor to try to find out more about her relative who had an important job in the village over a hundred years ago.
Her great great uncle John Curtis Trinder lived with his wife Ellen in Old Buckenham from 1890 to approximately 1915. He was the master at the school next to the church and they lived in the schoolhouse, according to the censuses of 1891, 1901 and 1911. Whilst living there he was also the clerk to the board of charity trustees (Kellys Directory). He was quite a musical man as there are several reviews of him performing in concerts at Deeping St James and at the Assembly rooms in The George Hotel, New Buckenham.
She is trying to find information and possibly photos of the school, children and teachers for this period (1890-1915). Perhaps someone in the village would have had grandparents that attended as children? He would have attended All Saints so would there be any records there? Maybe Sunday school picnics etc. He retired from the school so could there be some publicity around that event? They then left Old Buckenham and went to live in the village of Briston until 1921, when he died.
The newsletter editor has sent some photos of the Church Rooms in the past and is it is now.
Shirley is happy for people to contact her direct by email at and the newsletter editor would appreciate being copied in on so that he can keep readers up-to-date on any progress.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Quicker lawn mowing in Old Buckenham

Takes only half the time
Why not join in and start a trend?

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Future road closure in Old Buckenham

What route will you take?
Cake Street to be closed near the junction with Harlingwood Lane in less than two weeks time.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Recycling in Old Buckenham

Save now for later
The Village Hall Management Committee are having problems with the collection of waste from the containers in the hall car park, particularly the one for wastepaper. They are doing their best to get something done about this as soon as possible. In the mean time they ask the people of the village to bear with them and to continue to collect material ready for when they can get the bins emptied. 
Your efforts to recycle material via these bins also raises funds that go towards the upkeep of the village hall.

Brightening up Old Buckenham

First posters posted
The first posters have now been put up on the noticeboard at the Methodist Church. Here are Anna and Lucy Hornbrook who had just put up some pictures, plus a further one by Travis Gipp.

 More pictures please as there is still lots of space to fill (details posted on  Monday 27 April)

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Old Buckenham telephone call

Who was talking from the phone?
The link below is to a BBC radio programme on BBC Radio 4 extra today that contains an old recording of a lady talking from the telephone box by Old Post Office Terrace
Go about 45 minutes into the programme. Her name sounds as if it was Lancaster. Can anyone tell me more?

Thanks to Jackie Terry and the power of the village Facebook site we have learnt that the caller's name was Margaret Lancaster and she lived at Carr Farm, Old Buckenham. If Jackie remember rightly it was Radio Norfolk that she phoned and the call just went on and on.They used to keep playing it as one of their classic callers. Her husband was Tony Lancaster and he worked for John Alston of Besthorpe Hall. They had a daughter called Denise who lives in Attleborough.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Latest Old Buckenham village newsletter

Enjoy the May issue
Extra effort is being made to get one through all the letterboxes in the village. If you are a member of the Old Buckenham Facebook, you can download the artwork on a recent post there.
The contents contain different articles this month as there were no parish council minutes to include. You can read about the winter of 1709 or the jobs on offer in the EDP during November 1969. There are even a couple of pages of poetry...

Monday, 27 April 2020

Pretty posters for Old Buckenham

Brighten up the village
The large noticeboard in front of the Methodist Church in Hargham Road isn’t being used at the moment so members of the church wondered if any children in Old Buckenham would like to create some posters to display in it. They are thinking that something bright and cheerful for passers by to enjoy would be wonderful. 
It is suggested that they are A3 or A4 in size and the subject is 'Spring'.
If your children create a poster then you can phone 01953 861207 or email and then the organisers can arrange to come and collect it or provide the information on where to drop them off.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Supporter of Old Buckenham Mill

Murray Curtis
Murray, who died on Thursday 23 April aged 81, was deeply involved in the restoration and reopening of the Old Buckenham windmill.
Murray and his wife Jean came to the village in 1994 living in The Kenyons on the Green  and later moved on to Attleborough in 2002.
He was Chairman of windmill committee for many years, only handing over the chairmanship after they had moved out of the village. He was leading the group when the sails were repaired by John Lawn and were able to operate when the wind blew.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Shop to reopen in Old Buckenham

Welcome back
A message from Venuka
Dear customers
We apologise for the inconvenience of our recent closure. We hope to be up and running on Monday 27 April. We will be opening for a shorter period in the day and closing for lunch.
Hopefully we will be back to normal hours as soon as it is safe to do so. We will be safely following social distancing guidelines and limiting the number of customers in the shop at a time.
Thank you for your patience.
Venuka Seevaratnam

We understand she will be selling newspapers and that opening hours are 9am to 12 noon and 3pm to 6pm.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Old Buckenham Parish Council

Next parish council meeting
While they were unable to meet in April, the May Parish Council meeting will be going ahead virtually. As usual, minutes will be available later on the Parish Council website and also published in the June issue of the village newsletter. However if you would like to join the meeting from your home then please email the Parish Clerk ( with your full name and address so that you can receive your emailed invitation. 
The Parish Council would like to take this opportunity to offer their huge thanks to the residents of Old Buckenham who have worked so hard to look out for each other, help where they can, keep moral up and followed the Governments guidelines during this difficult time. The Council could not be prouder of our community.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

An Old Buckenham pinder

Jessie Allen
You may not remember Jessie’s name but if you attended a local fete or event in the area between 2005 and 2015 you will probably have bought some of Jessie’s delicious homemade jam, chutney, pies, cakes and sausage rolls. These were all made in her tiny kitchen in her cottage in Fen Street to raise funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance - she raised many thousands of pounds for the charity. 

Jessie moved to Old Buckenham in 1948, first lodging at a house on the Green before moving to Fen Street and buying her cottage in 1955. She had a variety of jobs over the years: she was a cook at Bloom’s restaurant on the Green, had a delivery round for the village shop, was one of the last “pinders” on the green looking after a green rights holder’s cattle. She was nanny to a local doctor’s family and was housekeeper at Besthorpe Hall for many years. She retired aged 74 and then started her fundraising work to keep herself busy.
She was a very shy person who did not enjoy large gatherings but if you called in to see her the coffee pot was always on and there would be a large slice of homemade cake. 

The photograph is Jessie on her way to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party. She didn’t see the need to buy an expensive hat for the occasion – this one came from a charity shop.
Jessie Allen died on 12 April, 2020 after being admitted to hospital after a fall in her care home. 
She was 88. She tested positive for Corona-virus, responded to treatment at first but suddenly went down hill and sadly passed away. 
Jessie was a very good friend and neighbour and will be sadly missed.

Annette and Steve Miller have their own memories:
We have fond memories of Jessie who was our neighbour in Fen Street for 18 years. She was never happier than when she was tending her garden or giving the fruit and flowers she had grown to anyone who passed. She certainly was a character and if ever there was a suspicious looking individual outside she would have pen and paper ready to take details and their car registration number - just in case! She loved her dogs and in the time we knew her she had Timothy, Toby and then Louie - they were all thoroughly spoilt.
Rest in peace Jessie you will be sadly missed.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Garage near Old Buckenham

Where to get your MOT
Millhouse Garage is now able to add MOTs and services to their list of available services they can offer during this time of restricted practices. This should ease the backlog of MOTs that had to be cancelled during March/April, although there is six month extension period currently in place for MOTs due from 31st March.
Please note that the garage is working with less staff, as some have had to self isolate, so it may take longer than the normal turnover time to complete jobs. Priority is being given to key workers. Now available, subject to the availability of spare parts, are:
- services
- MOTs
- calor gas supplies
- tyres
- punctures
- batteries
- break downs
- emergencies
- basic repairs
The body shop is currently closed.
Please make contact by calling the office number 01953 860572.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Collecting in Old Buckenham

Nearing the final countdown

Those Plant to Plate tokens that many of you have been collecting to be passed on the Chapel Green School finished in the EDP at the end of March. A big thank you to all those who have saved them up and passed them on to the newsletter editor who is then getting them moved on to the school.
The school have until September to do their final count up for the newspaper but you have helped me get to a total of 1846 tokens at the present time. If you come across any odd ones around in the next couple of months just put them away safely.
Chapel Green will definitely be able to claim their gardening pack worth £130 (just a thousand tokens needed) but with many other people having been collecting for them they will be hoping to qualify for one of the big £1ooo prizes.
Well done everybody. 

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Easter Sunday in Old Buckenham

Outside for all to see
Two photos taken early this morning in All Saints churchyard of what would normally be inside the church.

Well done Old Buckenham

Hello Old Buckenham residents 

As Chairman of your Parish Council may I take this opportunity to thank you all for being resilient and paying attention to the government advice of social distancing. I know it has been a strange and sometimes difficult month not being able to see friends or loved ones. We are fortunate that we live in such a beautiful part of the county and are able to go out for a walk and exercise whilst maintaining social distancing.
May I also take the opportunity to thank those in the village who are and have volunteered to help fellow residents with shopping or collecting prescriptions, you are all doing a wonderful job. It warms the heart to think in this day and age that we still have a little community spirit in Old Buckenham. May I also thank everyone who helps this village come alive to the sound of handclaps on Thursday evenings showing your thanks to all those working in our hospitals, care sectors, pharmacists and all key workers. I am myself continuing to go to work as are many within the haulage industry to try to keep this wonderful country fed.
Also please feel free to contact any of us from the PC if you need any help during this crisis.
Once this pandemic over let’s have a party on the Green and celebrate what a wonderful village full of fabulous residents we are.
Jonn Hicks

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Old Buckenhan village newsletter

Newsletter for May
The village newsletter for May will be going ahead as usual thanks to our fit printer and all those helpful volunteers in the village. Some villagers have been providing copy in the form of reminiscences or stories that will be needed to fill the pages as there will be very few meetings to report on.
There have been plenty of posts on the Old Buckenham Facebook page from people who lived in Old Buckenham in their youth. Information such as this would be much appreciated by the newsletter editor who you can contact by email on It looks as if the need for material to go into the village newsletter will be needed for months to come so don’t be shy in providing some words of your own.
Also spare a thought for the local firms who advertise in the newsletter. Many, through no fault of their own, suddenly had to stop trading. It would still be worth contacting them to see if they can still be of help, through home deliveries for instance, or to organise something for (much?) later in the year.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Recycling collection in Old Buckenham

Village Hall car park facilities
Paper. The container is full. White's are unable to say when the next collection will be. They have many drivers away from work so are needing to concentrate on collections from hospitals, etc. Attempt being made to obtain a temporary container for waste paper.
Glass. Hopeful that there will be a collection within 14 days.
Textiles. Unable to see inside the container to establish how near it is to being full.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Old Buckenham poetry

Local reminiscences
The following is an extract from one of Marjorie Westfield’s poems recalling her Christian enlightenment made through the Baptist Church and some of her contemporaries at Old Buckenham. 

Born again of the Spirit, passed from death to life,
Saved from condemnation, my sinful heart washed white.
And the people who worshipped with me
I hold most dear within my memory.
There was Kathy, Audrey*, Miss Germany,
Pastor Wagnell and the Hiltons from West View.
I recall the Sunday School wherein I taught
And the Thursday Prayer Meetings too.
Ah, happy days of youth which made my soul rejoice;
And I never will regret the making of that choice.

*Audrey Hammond but what was Kathy's surname?

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Some Old Buckenham history

Memories of Marjorie Westfield

A link with Old Buckenham’s past stretching back almost 100 years has been broken with the death of Marjorie Walshe (nee Westfield), who was born in the village in 1926 and whose father and stepmother ran a garage and shop on the Green for many years either side of the second world war.
Marjorie’s father was Herbert Westfield who came to the village from Essex in the early 1920s and set up his business and home in the former village Reading Room, nowadays the premises of the Laurel Tree Centre. He did general engineering, specialising in cycle repairs, and installed petrol pumps to sell fuel to the growing clientele of motorists in the district. In the early 1930s, Westfield’s petrol was among the cheapest for miles around, at a halfpenny under a shilling a gallon – equivalent to just over 1p per litre.
His wife Elsie looked after the adjacent shop which sold household items, confectionery and tobacco. She had originally been employed as a housekeeper after Herbert’s relationship with Marjorie’s mother broke up.
They married in 1930 and had a son Raymond who died when just over a year old. Herbert, who died in 1955, and Raymond are both interred in the churchyard.
Marjorie was among the first pupils to attend the current High School when it opened in 1938 as Old Buckenham Area School. In the war years she worked for her parents in the shop and, in her late teens, attended village dances which attracted an eclectic mix of locals and American airmen newly arrived at the wartime aerodrome. 

The date 1944/1945. Marjorie is on the right, the American is Mike. Do you recognise the young lady on the left who is thought to be 'Vera'.
She inherited a love of music from her father who was an accomplished pianist and had played accompaniment for silent movies in earlier years. After a hard day’s work in the garage, he loved relaxing at the keyboard and Marjorie often recalled listening in awe to the music of Beethoven, Grieg or Liszt drifting up to her bedroom. She too learnt to play the piano and sometimes acted as organist at the Baptist chapels in Old Buckenham and Attleborough. 
A deep Christian faith was central to her life. She was baptised and taught in Sunday School at Old Buckenham before moving just over the parish boundary to Foundry Hill, Attleborough, in 1951 after her father retired and sold the business.
She joined the congregation of Attleborough Baptist Church but retained many links with the village via the friends she had made through family connections, school and as a member of the chapel community.
In the 1950s, she started her own Sunday School, called “The Children’s Church”, in a disused building adjacent to Bunn’s Bank on land which had been part of the aerodrome. There she gave spiritual and often social support to many deprived youngsters and their families living in makeshift accommodation on the site.
Marjorie herself had a challenging time in her 20s after she became a single parent, being forced apart from the man she loved. It was nearly 10 years before they were reunited, marrying in 1960.
Some villagers may recall Marjorie and her mother Elsie for their connections with Gaymers cider works in the 50s and 60s. Marjorie was employed in the canteen and served meals to the villagers who worked there, many of whom made the daily five-mile round journey by cycle. Elsie picked apples in late summer and autumn in the orchards which then adjoined the factory; she also worked at the United Dairies depot, or “Creamery” as it was known, on Buckenham Road.
Marjorie and her husband Tom moved to Stowmarket in 1970. Nine years later, and by then mother to another three children aged between 16 and 11, she was widowed at the age of just 53.
She continued to live at Stowmarket for the rest of her life. In later years she became a prolific artist and poet, some of her verse* inspired by her earlier days in Old Buckenham. She always loved returning to the village which held so many memories.
She remained active well into her 80s, lovingly tending her garden and doing DIY work in the house. Her physical and mental health declined in the last few years, though she remained living in her own home until just before Christmas. She died at the West Suffolk Hospital on March 18th and a family funeral took at Stowmarket Baptist Church on April 1st.
The family hope to hold a further celebration of her life later in the year when current restrictions have ended. If anyone who remembers Marjorie would be interested in attending, they would be most welcome. Please contact her son, Tom, on 01953 789510 or email:

* A piece of her poetry will be posted later

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Old Buckenham's April newsletter

Full of reports

Enjoy all the reports of Old Buckenham activities while you can. With virtually all events in April being cancelled, the May issue will be rather thin unless villagers submit some interesting copy to go in the spaces between the advertisements.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Local to Old Buckenham

If you have been collecting Plant to Plate tokens for Chapel Green School then please put them in a safe place which you can remember as the deadline for schools to submit tokens to the EDP  has been moved to Wednesday 30 September. 
The Six  Villages newsletter team expect to have printed copies of their magazine by Tuesday 31 March and hope to get it out to everybody next week via doorstep deliveries to the local distributors. If you don't receive your usual copy please contact Alison Frank  on 01953 860692.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Out walking in Old Buckenham

Blog editor takes his exercise
The sun was out, the streets mainly deserted so it seemed a good time to take my allowable 'exercise' walk this morning. Here is a mainly pictorial review of the ninety minutes rambling.

One of the regular pavement parkers is back just round the blind bend in Cake Street

Proximity testing.Tradesmen seeing how close they can get to each other on a building site

A sign of things to come

Work has started on the track outside Bramble House. The photographer was threatened and sworn at for taking this photograph

Most of the scaffolding is  now removed from All Saints Church showing the beautiful thatching and how quickly the earlier work has changed colour

Remember that hollow tree by the entrance to the High School? This is what remains.

The Village Hall is closed (and the car park is empty)

The recently planted daffodils are providing a colourful show at Chapel Green School while two buzzards 'mew' overhead 

Sadly the Village Shop is closed for a while...
Then it was back home for a welcome coffee and biscuit.
Just click on the individual pictures to enlarge them

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

For car owners in Old Buckenham

Car repairs and MOTs
Mill House Garage will be winding down on Monday 30 March but Clive Rush is happy for you to contact him by phone if your car breaks down and you need help. He also has Calor gas and courtesy cars if anyone needs them. He will be contactable on 01953 860572 as normal.

Following the government's recent announcements, Millhouse Garage in New Buckenham will be open as usual and for as long as they can get car parts delivered from their suppliers. MOTs can be carried out as normal. However, due to the increased demand, they are booking two weeks ahead. For your peace of mind they have put processes in place to ensure the safety of everyone. The office is closed so you will need to come to the workshop entrance where they will deal with your needs.
They can also collect and return cars if necessary. 
Stay safe.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Very quiet month in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for April

Wednesday 1    Village Hall AGM - postponed

Thursday 2    Parish Council, Village Hall - cancelled

Sunday 4    Learn a new song, Methodist Church - cancelled

Monday 6    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms - cancelled

Tuesday 7    Coffee and Chat, Church Rooms - cancelled

Wednesday 8    Luncheon Club, Village Hall - cancelled

Wednesday 8    Canada Days, Village Hall - postponed

Wednesday 8    Chapel Friendship Group, Methodist Church - cancelled

Thursday 9    Breckland Flower and Garden Club - cancelled

Thursday 9    Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms - cancelled

Wednesday 15   Luncheon Club, Village Hall - cancelled

Wednesday 15    Songs of praise, Methodist Chapel - cancelled

Saturday 18    Spring Fair, Methodist Chapel - cancelled

Monday 20    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms - cancelled

Thursday 23    Women's Institute, Village Hall - cancelled

Friday 24    Women's Institute Walk - on hold

Saturday 25    Alternative Quiz Night, Methodist Church - cancelled

Wednesday 29    Luncheon Club, Village Hall - cancelled

Friday, 20 March 2020

Collecting tokens in Od Buckenham

Get cutting

Last chance to collect tokens from the EDP. The final ones will be in the paper on Friday 27 March but there will be ten bonus tokens on Saturday 21 March and again on Tuesday 24 March.
Help with this last push to see if Chapel Green School can win one of the big prizes worth around £1000.
With both the Village Hall and the Church Rooms closed and the Village Shop closing at the end of Wednesday please put any tokens that you have
cut out  through the blog editor's letter box (Crockslea in Cake Street) and we will make sure that they get to the school in time for a final count up. Thank you

Monday, 16 March 2020

Old Buckenham Women's Institute

On the subject of homelessness
The speaker at Old Buckenham Women’s Institute's latest meeting was Jan Sheldon, chief executive of St Martins Housing Trust. Also attending was Mike Bartlett who helps to raise astonishing amounts of money for St. Martins every year.
Starting with a video of some people talking about how they became rough sleepers and how the charity has helped them, Jan explained they offer hope, trust and safety to the rough sleepers of Norwich. Among the varied facilities owned by the trust 'Under One Roof' teaches life skills to enable them to gain confidence and make them feel human again. They are never given up on and some end up working for them.
The number of rough sleepers in Norwich has decreased from 35 in 2016 to 18 in 2019. Each story is unique and a recording was played from a woman who after a happy childhood told of a life of misery involving one drug dealer abusive husband, another abusive alcoholic husband, having her daughters taken away and twice attempting suicide which Jan described as a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Saved by St Martins she now works for them and has her daughters back.
There are many such success stories at St Martins who help up to 200 people at any one time. Rough sleepers are the tip of the iceberg.
Several Old Buckenham members act as collectors outside various supermarkets and some knitted scarves for the recent 'house' erected in Norwich Cathedral. The 4,766 scarves represented the rough sleepers across the country in 2019 and included 600 black ones representing those who had died. Altogether an excellent and enlightening talk.
On Friday 24 April, to celebrate 'Women Walk the World Day' and to raise funds for the charity Associated Country Women of the World which supports women across the world to improve their lives, two walks are planned of five miles or two miles starting from the Village Hall. The cost of the walk is £2 and for another £5 a lunch of soup and a roll and a dessert is available afterwards. Start times are 10.30am for the 5 miles and 11.30am for the two miles. Anyone is welcome to walk or just come to lunch at the Village Hall at 12.30pm.
The next meeting is on Thursday 26 March when the subject of Rebecca Tate's talk will be 'Hats made from start to finish'. Then on Thursday 
23 April  the speaker is Liz Keable talking about 'A Pocket Full of Purpose'. Both meetings start at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall.

Monday, 9 March 2020

Broadband in Old Buckenham

Meeting in Village Hall
In case you have missed the information that has come by post, there is a meeting with County Broadband on Tuesday 10 March (tomorrow) at 7pm in the Village Hall to highlight this opportunity for parishioners to educate themselves about the technology, the project and its funding. Learn more about this potential new service to the village so that you can make an informed decision on future broadband in this area.