Saturday, 28 February 2015

Old Buckenham activities in March

Diary dates for March

Sunday 1    Wargames Club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Monday 2    Roadside textile collections from 9am

Monday 2    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Tuesday 3    Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon

Wednesday 4    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Wednesday 4    Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 5    Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 9    Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Thursday 12    Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 12    Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.45pm

Monday 16    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 18    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Wednesday 18    Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Wednesday 18    Annual Parish Meeting, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 20    Village Cinema, 'Mr Turner', Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 23    Fete planning meeting, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Thursday 26    Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 27    Cash Bingo, Village Hall, 8pm

Friday, 27 February 2015

Pupils meet to discuss new school in Old Buckenham

Chance for school children to see future plans
The blog editor was a guest at a meeting today when pupils from the existing Chapel Road School in Attleborough travelled to Old Buckenham to meet up with representatives of fellow pupils from the Old Buckenham Primary and High Schools.
There was a chance to see a scale model of the new school buildings, have the facilities described and to discuss ways in which the three schools can co-operate over the next year or so as construction gets underway. All three headteachers were there to encourage the children to get together and pool ideas for events where the schools can join together during various parts of the project. The architect also came along to answer any queries on the building plans.
The intention is that, when it moves, the new school will be known as Chapel Green School and they already have a logo incorporating various images connected with Old Buckenham.

The village hall is bottom left, the existing Abbey Road runs across at bottom right and vehicle access to the new school will be at the top left of the model.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Old Buckenham village newsletter, March issue

More local news
The copies have been taken around today to various places and to various distributors who will be putting them through letter boxes along with the Six Villages newsletter. Enjoy the read.

(Apologies from the blog editor for the lack of new posts over the last few days. He has been struck down by the Old Buckenham bug that has been passing around amongst some villagers leaving them rather the worse for wear. Hopefully things will now improve.)

Friday, 20 February 2015

Celebration service in Old Buckenham

Remembering George
There were many cars parked around outside All Saints church in Old Buckenham this lunchtime. By noon the church was full of people who had come from far and wide to join in with a service of celebration for the life of George Aitken. George had lived in Old Buckenham for nearly sixty years and, being the local vet, was known to many people all around the area.
Over 150 people were in the church to sing hymns and hear from family and friends before moving on to the Church Rooms for refreshments.  This also provided the chance to swap more stories about his eventful life.

The Aitken family would like to thank everybody who came to George’s memorial service and made it such a special day. George would have loved it. They are most grateful too for all those who helped with the service and the catering in the Church Rooms afterwards.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Digging for history in Old Buckenham

Will anything be uncovered?
The archaeological dig prior to the building of a new school in Old Buckenham is now in full swing. A large area in the field next to Old Buckenham Village Hall has been uncovered and is being searched for any hidden history.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Neighbourhood plan for Old Buckenham?

To plan or not plan, that is the question
Old Buckenham Parish Council is inviting all parishioners to join them at the Annual Parish meeting on Wednesday 18 March at 7.30pm at the Village Hall for a presentation on neighbourhood plans. There will be a presentation of research to date followed by discussion and debate to get views on whether to create a neighbourhood plan for Old Buckenham.
Neighbourhood planning is a new system which is intended to give local communities more say in the planning and development of their areas. Neighbourhood planning is voluntary, so a neighbourhood plan will only be made for a given area if a local council (parish or town) or local group takes the initiative to prepare one.
There are a number of possible advantages, including the ability to write specific policies about the issues that matter to residents. There are also financial advantages for the parish council who can secure larger payments from developers if new houses are built in the village. Subjects that can be covered include housing, employment, shopping, transport, leisure, well being and environment.
Likely stages in preparing a neighbourhood plan would be:
1. Establish a working group to create ideas and suggestions. The group should represent local interested parties and individuals.
2. Appointment of planning consultants (optional but may be necessary)
3. Application for grant and other funding.
4. Publicity, including leaflets delivered to homes and business premises, information on social media, public meetings and exhibitions asking for the views of local people.
5. Collation of feedback from publicity and working groups.
6. Production of a draft plan.
7. Draft plan must be publicised and sent to local planning authority. Other consultees need to be informed - English Heritage, Highways, etc.
8. After the consultation period, the plan is submitted to the local planning authority and must include a map of the area, a consultation statement, the proposed neighbourhood plan and a statement explaining how the plan complies with the town and country planning act 1990.
9. Examination is arranged by the local planning authority, to be completed by an independent examiner.
10. Examiner reports to the local planning authority with recommendations.
11. Once the plan is finalised the local planning authority must organise a referendum in which all local government electors for the plan are entitled to vote.
If you have any comments or thoughts on the relevance of a neighbourhood plan to our village of Old Buckenham please contact Old Buckenham Parish Council at or write to the Parish Clerk, R J M Watling, at 29 Field Maple Road, Watton, Thetford, IP25 6GA.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Collecting textiles in Old Buckenham

Textiles for Third World countries
The local collections of textiles for the Third World have been in decline recently and it is hoped this can be redressed in the future, commencing with the roadside collection in Old Buckenham on Monday 2 March. Parishioners are reminded that one hundred per cent of the money received from landfill payments in respect of the weight collected is ploughed back into village organisations.
All forms of textiles sought, ie ladies’ and gents’ coats, jackets, cardigans, shirts, trousers, blouses, skirts and dresses, sweaters, underwear, socks, dressing gowns, swimwear and other sports clothing, nightwear, towels, all forms of curtains, pairs of shoes, hats, gloves, scarves, pillows and slips, sheets, quilts and covers, blankets, in fact all textiles apart from carpets. Please keep any donations of toys separate. Remember there is a toy bank at the Old Buckenham Village Hall car park.
All you need to do is put your contributions, suitably bagged, at the roadside outside your property for 9am on Monday 2 March.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

February meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council

Notes on latest parish council meeting
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.

All the parish councillors and two members of the public were present at the February meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council. Paul Boggia declared an interest in one planning application. The meeting was suspended for a short while to allow members of the public to speak.
Minutes of January Parish Council meeting. Adrian Joel had said that £1,000 of Parish Council funds would be ring fenced for set up costs for a Neighbourhood Plan. With this amendment the minutes were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Carol Marshall said that Mr Hicks had authorised payment of £250 to Scotty’s Little Heroes in lieu of his payment for maintaining the Play Area over the past year. Tim Ing asked for a letter to be sent to Mr Hicks thanking him for his work as he would no longer be able to do it in the future. Adrian Joel raised the matter of the MOGA at the new school when he suggested it be moved from right side of development to the left side away from nearby houses. Steve Milner said the County Council would not move the MOGA. John Frost and Paul Boggia raised the matter of school coaches causing problems in village when delivering and collecting children from school. The Parish Clerk to write to Norfolk County Council (NCC) on the matter.
Chapel Road School update. Steve Milner said there was a stakeholder meeting the previous week and it was reported that contracts had not yet been finalised but construction was planned to commence in March this year. The existing 30mph speed signs were due to be moved shortly. A tour of the school had been arranged for Monday 23 February and five people could attend. Chapel Road School would donate £1,000 for road safety issues. Adrian Joel said the Parish Council should be kept informed of any changes to the design of the school. Construction of the school is expected to be completed in May or June 2016 ready for use in the Autumn term. Derek Smalley suggested a liaison person from the village should be appointed and attend any meeting between contractors and NCC whenever any design changes are discussed. Steve Milner said it was already agreed by NCC that such a person could be appointed when a contractor is appointed.
Neighbourhood Plan update. Jonathan Kemp said two working party meetings had been held since the January parish council meeting and he gave details of what was discussed They will be doing a presentation at the Annual Parish Meeting and needed up to £122 to produce a leaflet publicising this before the Annual Parish Meeting by having inserts in the parish newsletter and the cost of printing the leaflets. It was proposed by Tim Ing and seconded by Steve Milner that they spend £122 on the matter and this was agreed by nine for, one against and one abstention.
Road safety update. Steve Milner reported that the Parish Council had placed the order for 20mph flashing speed signs which will be installed in approximately six weeks time. They will be positioned so that, if in the future a possible crossing point can be obtained, it can be placed within the two signs. Derek Smalley asked if the schools could be encouraged to give a donation. The Parish Council had submitted a bid for a SAM2 flashing speed sign under the 2015/16 Parish Partnership Scheme and are awaiting a decision from NCC on the matter.
Car Parking at Play Area and Ox & Plough. Paul Boggia said he had obtained three quotes for repairing the parking area by the play area and the Ox & Plough. One was for £3200 plus vat, one was £2,590 with no vat and the third was £3,540 plus vat. Steve Milner said that all three surfaces are different from that which was originally agreed with the Green Right Proprietors which was for a grass surface area. He thought none of the three surfaces quoted for would be acceptable to the Green Right Proprietors. He also said the Parish Council do not have funds to pay for any of the above quotes. He said the current state of the parking area was not safe as there was a raised BT manhole cover which could result in someone tripping over it. He then proposed that all ropes, signs, posts and the damaged matting be removed and to close it as a parking area as the Parish Council has a legal liability for the area. Other councillors agreed to assist in doing what was proposed. Tim Ing suggested that the matter be discussed at the AGM of the Green Right Proprietors later this month and seek their views on the situation.
Adoption of Transparency Code policy document. The Parish Clerk said the Parish Council were legally obliged to have such a policy and asked for their approval. It was agreed unanimously that the policy document be adopted.
Planning applications. Land at corner of Crown Rd/Grove Road. Erection of two timber-clad holiday cabins and bed and breakfast for horses. It was proposed by Derek Smalley that it be approved but that a business plan should be required and restraints put on letting periods to ensure no long term rental and that actual layout and cabins may differ from original application. This was agreed with four for, three against and four abstentions.
Roughlands, Grove Road. Minor material amendment to previous application in respect of removal of the first floor loft element and revision of footprint. There were no objections from the parish council.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Burghfields, Stacksford. Demolish rear porch and conservatory and erect first floor extension over whole dwelling and remodel. Permission granted.
Orchard House, Mill Road. Erection of two-storey residential extension. Permission granted.
Approval of accounts payable. Akis Chrisoviledes asked questions relating to the payments to HMRC. The Parish Clerk explained that the payroll company had made RTI to HMRC but, due to administrative and personnel issues, the tax had not been remitted. Now all outstanding tax had been paid and reclaimed from Douglas Tonks.
Chairman’s report. Steve Milner said he had a meeting with stakeholders about Chapel Road school and he had also visited the Junior School to meet new headteacher who seemed very impressive. They would be getting children to design road safety posters and the four winning ones chosen at Easter will be printed and displayed on the Green.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel reported the successful launch of the 14 new affordable houses in March Field Way last year. Cotman Housing have had a meeting with Breckland Council looking to launch phase three of up to a further 18 houses. Breckland need to establish the need under the local connection scheme and are to send out a housing needs survey to all residents in the middle of May to establish the need for further houses under the local connection scheme. Adrian Joel also attended the Breckland Parish and Town Forum in Swaffham and the areas covered at the meeting included corporate plan, budget consultation and community grant funding. He also attended a meeting of the proposed Greater Attleborough Development Partnership (GADP). The meeting was called by the deputy CEO of Breckland Council and included Breckland Council, Norfolk County Council, Attleborough Town Council Neighbourhood Plan and other stakeholders. The intention is to appoint an independent chairman who will select a board with several working groups reporting into it. With Attleborough being the nearest market town, Adrian Joel felt it was important that Old Buckenham Parish Council have representation to ensure we have the best services available to Old Buckenham residents. These would include transport, health, retail, roads. The GADP is about co-ordination of investment and the delivery of aspirations rather than a new plan.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Tom Johnson said he had attended a meeting with Old Buckenham Village Hall and there would be a film show there the following evening. Paul Boggia reported school coaches causing a problem in the village and the Parish Clerk is to take the matter up with NCC. Adrian Joel said all the allotments were now let and a tenant had asked if he could erect a white polytunnel on his allotment – the Parish Council agreed this. Carol Marshall reported that the work on the Almshouses will start at the beginning of March and hopefully finish before the end of April. The work on the Almshouses will include refurbishing roofs, replacing windows, fitting new kitchens and the installation of wet rooms.
Highways. Tom Johnson reported a three-car accident in Ragmere Road due to ice on the road from water coming up from the mains. The Parish Clerk is to contact Anglian Water on the matter. Derek Smalley reported that the 30mph sign in Cake Street is still on the ground, the Parish Clerk to take up the matter with Highways. The sides of the road into Stacksford, at the Old Buckenham end, have started to collapse and the Parish Clerk will inform NCC.
The Green. The Green Right Proprietors will be holding their AGM on Tuesday 24 February at the Church Rooms. It was reported that the duck house on the pond should be reinstated and a villager could possibly pay the costs. A resident in Post Office Terrace had complained about the potholes and Sarah Dye said that the residents are allowed to fill them in themselves. Tim Ing suggested that the Green Right Proprietors apply to the Former Surveyors Land Charity for a grant to clear out the pond and trim back a tree. It was reported that the High School will be carrying out a litter pick on the Green on Monday 23 February.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 5 March at the Village Hall commencing at 7.30pm.

The agenda for this meeting will be1. Apologies
2. Declaration of interest of items on the agenda
3. Public recess
4. Minutes of the parish council meeting of Thursday 5 February 2015
5. Matters arising from the minutes
6. Neighbourhood plan update
7. Planning applications. 3pl/2015/0118/f Rodwells, Attleborough Road. Demolish existing garage and replace with single side storey extension. 3pl/2015/0096/f Old Buckenham airbase. New museum and separate sanitary block each housed in separate Nissen huts. 3pl/2015/0080/f Former Macro's builders yard, Hargham Road. Demolish one outbuilding and change of use of three outbuildings to storage of motor vehicles.
8. Planning decisions received
9. Approval of accounts payable/finance
10. Chairman’s report
11. District councillor’s report
12. Parish councillors’ reports
13. Parish clerk’s report
14. Highways
15. The Green
16. To confirm date and time of next meeting, Thursday 2 April in Old Buckenham Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Winning Old Buckenham photo

Celebrating January's photographs
As announced on the blog post of Monday 2 February, the team of photographers taking part in the 365 project gathered in the Ox & Plough pub at lunchtime yesterday to review their progress so far. An added attraction was that a small prize was awarded to those who, in the judges' opinion, had produced the best photographs.

The runners-up were those taken by David Hannah on 30 January and Verity Morrison (age 6) on 28 January. The runaway winner was the picture taken by three-year old Phillipa Clarke of Highland cattle as seen from a child's point of view. 

One thing missing from the first month's contributions were many pictures of villagers. Perhaps in February they will come out of their warm houses and show that there are people living in Old Buckenham. And the grown-ups need to try harder as the children are doing better so far.
To look at all the photographs taken so far go to

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Bishop of Norwich visits Old Buckenham

Handing over money raised for St Martin's Housing Trust
You could tell that something important was happening in the Church Rooms today by the number of photographers taking pictures of the group outside the door.

Every year the people of Old Buckenham raise money for the St Martin's Housing Trust, known to many as the Norwich Night Shelter. Many of the volunteer collectors had gathered in the Church Rooms to hand over cheques to the representative from St Martin's. The surprise this year was that the person handing over the main cheque was the Rt Rev Graham James, the bishop of Norwich. He had done his own piece of collecting by doing an hour-long session with a collecting bucket before Christmas while standing outside a big local supermarket. He therefore welcomed the opportunity to hand over a cheque for £27,749.43 to Colin Bland (chairman of the Trustees) which was followed by further cheques for £1,000 from the Old Buckenham 2000 Trust and £543 from the collection made at the Christmas Eve carol service in All Saints Church.

Raising a total of over £29,292 was a tremendous achievement for one small Norfolk village.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Possible new buildings at Old Buckenham Airfield

Application for planning permission 
Old Buckenham Airfield has confirmed that a planning application has been made to Breckland Council for two new buildings at the former WWII USAAF base. Both buildings are to be bespoke-built to the plans of original WWII Nissen huts.
The first is intended to house a sizeable collection of memorabilia and artefacts relating to the 453rd Bombardment Group of the US 8th Air Force. Whilst this collection is the core of the museum’s exhibits, the Airfield already have other items generously donated by relatives and veterans from the US. The 453rd BG were stationed at Old Buckenham from 1943 until the end of WWII. This building would be located adjacent to the War Memorial Garden at the Airfield.
The second building would also be a Nissen hut. It is intended to provide sufficient sanitation facilities for the large shows, such as the Old Buckenham Airshow and the Military and Vintage Revival, which are held at the airfield. It would be placed to the north of the airfield’s large parking field. Both buildings will be entirely funded by the airfield ownership. It is hoped that, if permission is granted, both buildings will be erected during this summer, with the new museum building potentially opening on Remembrance Sunday  when a large contingent of veterans and relatives of the 453rd are expected to celebrate 70 years since the end of WWII.
Further details about the collection to be housed at the museum will be given later.

This image, taken during WWII, shows similar buildings to the ones proposed at the airfield.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Old Buckenham in pictures

A month's worth of photographs
The project to take a photo in Old Buckenham on every day of 2015 and to post it on a dedicated website is now into its second month. You can see the pictures taken so far if you go to
At the end of the first month there have been some great photographs taken by people from the age of three up to those at least well into their seventies. As a celebration of progress so far there will be a get together at the Ox and Plough on Saturday 7 February with a presentation of the 'Image of January'  at 1.30pm.
In addition, the get together will provide a chance to review January's activities and to talk about ideas for the future. It is hoped to get the images on to the big screen in the pub and Steve Milner aims to get the winning photo printed and mounted. Another planned activity (for the younger photographers?) is to get small prints of all the images, cut them up and make them into a collage of the letter "O". After twelve months there should be all the letters to make up OLD BUCKENHAM.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Future Old Buckenham events

Diary dates for February

Sunday 1     Wargames Club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Monday 2     Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Tuesday 3     Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon

Wednesday 4     Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 5     Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 6     Village Cinema, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 9     Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Thursday 12     Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 12     Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.45pm

Monday 16     Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Monday 16     Fete planning meeting, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday 18     Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Wednesday 18     Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Friday 20     Memorial service for George Aitkin, All Saints, 12 noon

Saturday 21     Senior Citizens' New Year's Party, Village Hall, 1pm

Monday 23     Litter pick on Green, start outside High School, 12.30pm

Thursday 26     Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 28     Jumble sale, Church Rooms, 10am to 12 noon

Thursday, 29 January 2015

February newsletter now available in Old Buckenham

Pick up a copy

Many copies now come round with the delivery of the Six Villages newsletter sometime after today. If you are not one of the lucky ones you can pick up your copy at the village shop, All Saints church, the pubs, etc.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Lost your keys in Old Buckenham?

Could these be yours?
A set of keys have been found in the area around the Ox & Plough. If you think they could be yours then please contact 01953 860876.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Trees planted by Old Buckenham Primary School

Helping our environment
On Friday 16 January, Otters Year 2 Class at Old Buckenham Community Primary School welcomed Mark Webster from the Conservation Volunteers in Norwich to plant thirty trees on the school field. The whips were all native species including hazel, wild cherry and barberry rose.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and the children were assisted by a number of parent helpers.  The new headteacher, Mrs Humphrey, came out to join in and planted her own tree helped by Ted Devlin.

The children are very proud of helping the environment and look forward to watching the trees grow as they themselves grow through the primary school. Otters Class are currently working towards the RSPB Wildlife Action Awards by undertaking many activities to help our environment. So far this term they have found out all about British birds; made their gardens at home 'bird friendly'; taken part in the RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch; made homes for minibeasts on the school field; made bird feeders and discovered more about the minibeasts living in the school pond through pond dipping.  
The children are very inspired and passionate about caring for nature and hope to inspire their families, school community and the wider world too.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

January meeting of Old Buckenham WI

Highlights of Chelsea and Hampton Court
A chilly January evening did not deter the members of Old Buckenham WI gathering for their first meeting of this momentous year – the WI will be 100 years old in September.
Winter it might be but the evening’s speaker, Simon White of Peter Beales Roses, gave a taste of summer with a power-point presentation of his experiences at the prestigious RHS shows, Chelsea and Hampton Court. Members were warmed by views of exotic show gardens and glorious displays of flowers in the main marquees. Simon explained that it takes many months of preparation to be 'show ready' and of course, a lot of investment. Constructing the stands and manning them for twelve hours for five days is exhausting for the staff. The hard work, though, has been continually rewarded as Peter Beales has a fine record at these shows attaining the highest accolade from the judges for their stands, winning gold medals time and time again.
After refreshments members were asked to vote for a Resolution that they felt was of national importance. There were seven Resolutions to choose from and the most popular ones were concerning long-term care, and curbing the use of antibiotics. Both very topical subjects.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham WI will be on Thursday 26 February with the speaker Kate Brewster with her talk ‘A Dog is for life’.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Many remembered in Old Buckenham at Easter

Easter lilies

On Easter Day each year the lives of loved ones who have died are commemorated at All Saints, Old Buckenham, and they will continue the 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 you will need to provide the details and your donation before Sunday 22 March together with the name of the person(s) to be remembered. In the event that 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 £3.50, any additional monies received will go towards a lasting memorial. Last year donations given went towards the restoration of the 15th century glass windows.
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.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Next film in Old Buckenham

Enjoyable village cinema
There have been requests for a British comedy with a feel good factor. Therefore you will be pleased to hear that Old Buckenham Village Hall Cinema will be showing What we did on our holiday on Friday 6 February at 7.30pm. this is a film created by Andy Hamilton (comedian and writer of the TV programme ‘Outnumbered’. You can watch a trailer at
It stars David Tennant, Rosamund Pike, Billy Connelly, Ben Miller, Celia Imrie, Annette Crosbie along with three smart, cute kids.
Tickets will cost £4 in advance or £6 on the door. To book call 01953 860866 or email

Friday, 16 January 2015

What Old Buckenham is talking about

Public recess notes
This report on the subjects discussed during the recess session at the January Parish Council meeting have been written by the newsletter editor from notes supplied by the parish clerk.
A resident asked for road side markers outside his house as his verge is getting damaged. The Parish Clerk is to speak to highways on matter. A resident raised the matter of parking at the Village Hall where a notice had been issued stating he would be reported to the police. Steve Milner responded on behalf of Village Hall as this was not really a matter for the Parish Council. The resident said the problem of parking at village hall had not been resolved but just moved to the highway. Things had changed as in the past residents could use the car park to drop off their children at school with no restrictions since the late 1970s. Steve Milner explained the previous attempts to resolve the problem of the car park which were not successful. Adrian Joel suggested asking NCC for permission to use part of the playing field at the bottom of the school for parking and residents could raise a petition in support of this. Steve Milner responded and said NCC would never allow this. Another resident asked if Old Buckenham residents had to pay for a parking permit. Steve Milner responded that they, along with non- residents, have to pay. Steve Milner said that most residents were happy with present arrangements regarding permits and the Village Hall was trying to increase the number of parking spaces available.

A resident raised the point of the Special Meeting held the previous Saturday and residents are not sure whether Old Buckenham should or should not have a Neighbourhood Plan. It was also suggested that Jonathan Kemp take over as chairman of the Working Party dealing with the matter. A resident said that he was disappointed that the Special Meeting of the Parish Council on Monday 5 January was attended by only two Parish Councillors and three members of the public. Steve Milner responded that a lot of the Parish Councillors had been ill.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Old Buckenham learns about the Cheapside Hoard

Breckland Flower and Garden Club

The first meeting of 2015 welcomed Ann Bridge who gave a presentation about the Cheapside Hoard. In 1912 workman excavated into a cellar in Cheapside and found a wooden trunk which contained a hoard of approximately 400 pieces of jewellery, gemstones and trinkets dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. Although some of the crafted pieces could be fairly accurately dated and the maker’s name worked out, the origins of the remainder remain a mystery. Some of the find is exhibited in both the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert museums. Ann also illustrated her talk with two arrangements depicting the Fire of London with red roses and anthuriums.
In the monthly competitions the results were: Old Hands class was won by Christine Hewson, New Hands class and monthly cup by Maureen Ashfield, and the table show was won by Alison Vivian.
The next meeting will be held at Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 12 February starting at 2pm when there will be a workshop. Participants should bring with them a table cover and scissors, a small shallow dish, some moss to cover the dish, a bunch of tulips (red for valentines day?), about a dozen medium ivy leaves and a few twigs, and a small piece of oasis. Visitors are welcome but there will be a charge of £5 (club members free).The competition title is 'Cupid's arrow' and the table show 'First bulbs', either cut or planted but from your garden.
Further details from Christine on 01953 454528 or Sally on 01953 788712.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Latest minutes of Old Buckenham parish council meeting

January parish council meeting
These notes have been written by the blog editor  from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is changed at a later date.
Several parish councillors were unable to attend the monthly meeting on Thursday 8 January. Apologies had been received from John Frost, Tim Ing, Derek Smalley, Sarah Dye and Akis Chrisoviledes. Stephen Askew (Norfolk County Council councillor) was at the meeting as well as five members of the public. Paul Boggia declared an interest in one planning application.
The meeting was closed for a short recess to allow members of the public to speak.
Minutes of December Parish Council meeting. These were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Adrian Joel asked if there was any update on Chapel Road School. Steve Milner said there was no update but the school have offered a tour of their premises with five councillors able to attend.
Issues and options document for a local plan. Steve Milner explained that the local plan is being produced by Breckland Council and in the plan there are ninety questions. He then asked for councillors’ views on the document he had drafted answering questions which were relevant to Old Buckenham. After a full discussion and some amendments it was proposed by Tom Johnson that the document be adopted as Parish Council’s response to Breckland Council’s Local Plan Issues and Options Consultation Document, this was seconded by Paul Boggia and agreed with 5 for and 1 abstention.
Neighbourhood Plan. Steve Milner said that at a recent Annual Parish Meeting residents expressed the view that there was no need for a Neighbourhood Plan for Old Buckenham but perhaps now it was time to look at the matter again. He said that three important questions needed to be answered. At a recent meeting he believed there was no great enthusiasm for a Neighbourhood Plan but investigations should be carried out as to the cost of producing one, the time scale it would take to complete, who would have to be involved and the need to look at the cost benefit of such a plan. At the Annual Parish Meeting these facts could be put to residents and their views sought before a final decision is made after the local elections in May. Adrian Joel said Breckland representatives could attend meetings with residents and the Parish Council. He felt that the Parish Council should provide funds for preliminary meetings. Steve Milner proposed setting up a working party with Jonathan Kemp as Chairman to develop a presentation for the Annual Parish Meeting in March to obtain residents' views. This was agreed unanimously. Tom Johnson thanked Mike Bartlett for arranging for the recent meeting.
Flashing speed signs. Steve Milner proposed that the Parish Council obtain two 20mph flashing speed signs at a cost of £3,147.52 and this was agreed unanimously. The Parish Clerk is to arrange. Steve Milner also proposed that the Parish Council submit a bid under the 50/50 Partnership Scheme of 2015/16 for a SAM2 speed sign, this too was agreed unanimously.
Village Hall car park. Steve Milner reported it is an ongoing situation and further options are being investigated for additional parking spaces.
Scotties Little Heroes. It was agreed that £250 be donated to a charity of Mr Hicks choice in lieu of any payment made to him for all his work on maintaining the Play Area.
Planning applications. Waterworks House, Abbey Road. Extensions and associated alterations. There were no objections from the parish council.

Land at corner of Crown Road and Grove Road. Erection of two timber-clad holiday cabins for bed and breakfast. The Parish Clerk is to get an extension of time for comments to be made.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Barns adjacent to Amberly, The Green. Minor material amendment in respect of amended scheme. Permission granted.
Old Buckenham Airfield. Insertion of new caretaker’s flat into existing vacant office/workshop space. Permission granted.
Whitehands Farm, Stacksford. Conversion of barn for holiday accommodation. Permission granted.
Chairman’s report. Steve Milner said there was a planned meeting with Chapel Road School. The Community Initiative 365 project has started with a team of residents taking one picture a day in the village throughout 2015. Any residents wishing to join the scheme should contact him. He had attended a meeting with the Junior School on road safety. One idea was a poster scheme and the children would have the opportunity to design a poster. A seminar will be held on the Old Buckenham Facebook page to inform residents how best to use Facebook.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel reported on policy changes from November 2014 regarding affordable homes and contributions towards recreation facilities for new properties. Affordable homes are now only applicable on ten or more houses. There has been a change to black bin recycling with gift wrapping paper (excluding sticky tape) and greeting cards now allowed. Breckland have now agreed to move forward with their development growth programme and set up a ‘Local Asset Back Vehicle’. Breckland will partner with a private investor where Breckland will supply their land and the partner will provide cash investment and initially three projects will be delivered – a hotel/cinema complex in Thetford Riverside and two house building projects. The Breckland 2015/16 central government grant funding has been confirmed as being 15.1% lower than 2014/15 with Breckland set to receive £6.38m to support local services, down from £7.52m in 2014/15. Despite this Breckland has reiterated its pledge to protect local services and freeze the council tax.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Carol Marshall said application details for Almshouse tenancies are available in the village shop. Three of the almshouses will be available from May 2015 onwards. Adrian Joel asked if the Parish Clerk could write to resident regarding his hedge which is causing an obstruction. The Village Hall will be having film shows on Friday 6 February and Friday 20th March.
Highways. Tom Johnson said that water gathers at the junction of Grove Road and Mill Road and in cold temperatures it turns to ice. He feels the gulley in Mill Road may be blocked. The Parish Clerk to speak to Highways. A letter has been received from a resident regarding school buses in Old Buckenham, the Parish Clerk to contact the County Council on this matter.
The Green. The Parish Clerk read out an email from the NCC Highways Engineer on items that had been reported but were actually responsibility of the Green Right Proprietors. The Parish Clerk said that he would forward this email to the Green Right Proprietors. Estimates for resurfacing the car parking by the play area outside the Ox and Plough are being obtained. Adrian Joel asked when the AGM of the Green Right Proprietors was being held.

The next meeting of the Old Buckenham Parish Council will be held on Thursday 5 February in the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Daily pictures of Old Buckenham

Why not join our project?
The project to take a photo on every day of 2015 and to post it on a dedicated website is now underway. You can see the pictures taken so far if you go to
Even better, if you would like to to help by taking pictures yourself, please contact either Steve Milner on or the blog editor on
There are twenty people on the rota so far so it's not a huge commitment, not more than eight days in the whole of the year. The photo does have to be taken and downloaded on your designated day. You don't have to live in Old Buckenham, perhaps you work here or regularly come to meetings in the village. And you don't have to have an expensive camera either.
Although it has to be taken within the parish of Old Buckenham, that does give you plenty of options.
The blog editor had his first turn today, took a quick walk around the Green and the allotments and below are some of the images he didn't use (but might give you some ideas of what you could take in future).

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Christmas Eve in Old Buckenham

Candlelit service raised money for the homeless

A large congregation gathered on Christmas Eve in All Saints Church, Old Buckenham for the popular annual service of Lessons and Carols .
The soloist for the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City was year 7 student from the High School, Dylan Irving. The readings were given by representatives of the Old Buckenham 2000 Trust, the High School, the Methodist Chapel, the Village Hall Management Committee and the New Life Church. The Christmas message was delivered by Rev Alistair Monkhouse and the organists were Sarah Dye and Annette Ellis - Annette's tuba was also much appreciated. Other contributions to the service were from the Primary School, the Scout Group and Steve Bennett who sang the gospel-influenced song “People Get Ready”. A collection of £545 was taken at the service for the work of St Martin’s Housing Trust (Norwich Night Shelter).

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Discussing a Neighbourhood Plan for Old Buckenham

Neighbourhood Plan for Old Buckenham, yes or no ?
Over forty people gathered in Old Buckenham Village Hall this morning to discuss the pros and cons of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the village. The meeting was chaired by Mike Bartlett who introduced the four speakers.
First was Tim Bornett who went through why he felt Old Buckenham should embark on Neighbourhood Plan. He was followed by Sarah Hornbrook, a planning consultant  living in the village, who was able to explain the procedures that had to be gone through and the legal status of such a plan. Our District Councillor Adrian Joel talked about other nearby places that were in the process of producing such a plan. Then the chairman of Old Buckenham Parish Council, Steve Milner, gave the council's view on the value of the scheme to the village and the work involved in producing such a document.
There were a wide range of questions from the audience including whether the plan could be as simple or complicated as we liked, what difference it might make to local planning decisions and how much it might cost to produce and get approved as a legal document.
The general feeling of the meeting seemed to be that they were neither for or against, that more information was needed and that it would be helpful to have someone from Breckland Council Planning Department to attend any future meetings. 
 A break for tea/coffee, with the opportunity for further questions directed to individual speakers, gave many people the chance to have informal discussions both with the speakers and other members of the audience.
This meeting was on a subject that could greatly affect what goes on in the village many years into the future. Rather surprisingly there didn't seem to be anyone in the audience under the age of forty, in fact the great majority would be holders of bus passes or free tv licences...

Friday, 2 January 2015

A year's pictures of Old Buckenham

Only 364 to go
Yesterday not only marked the start of 2015 but also the start of a project to document a year in the life of Old Buckenham through photography. So far twenty residents have signed up to take a photograph on their allocated days. The photographers range from the young to the not so young.
Yesterday, Thursday 1 January, some of this group of photographers gathered at All Saints church to give the project a start and to take pictures of the newly restored tower.

It was a challenging session due to the weather but some interesting images were taken as they explored around the churchyard.

Following a review in the warmth of the nearby Ox & Plough, the group chose Alison Hannah’s image to be loaded as the first image of 2015.
If you want to follow the team's efforts you can see the photographs using the following address
Even better, if you would like to to help by taking pictures, please contact either Steve Milner on or the blog editor on  

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year wishes from Old Buckenham

Favourite images of 2014
As we start a new year the blog editor has picked out some of his favourite images of Old Buckenham, all taken within the parish over the last twelve months.
They may bring back memories of 2014 but what will we see in 2015?
Remember you can click on the individual images to see them at a larger size.

 Reflections in Rod Alley pond
 Removing medieval windows for repair
 Cuddly ducklings by the village shop
 Reminders of previous successes
 Our own water tower
 Must be a 'two wheel' Tuesday
 Riding high at the primary school fete
Restoring the tower of All Saints church

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Old Buckenham events during 2015

Happening during 2015
Here are the dates of some meetings and events in Old Buckenham in 2015. If you know of others then please let the village blog editor know via the comments box and he will include the information in future blog posts.
Why not put the information in your brand new diaries and make sure that you don’t miss them (or arrange other things on the same dates).

Friday 6 February – Film Night in Village Hall

Saturday 21 February - Senior Citizens' Lunch at Village Hall.

Saturday 28 February – Jumble Sale in Church Rooms.

Friday 20 March – Film Night at Village Hall

Saturday 11 April – Liquorice Allsorts Quartet concert in All Saints Church.

Saturday 25 April - WI Centenary Evening in Village Hall.

Saturday 27 June - Upper Octave concert, All Saints Church. 

 Saturday 4 July – Village Fete at Village Hall.

Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 August – Old Buckenham Airshow.

Wednesday 2 September – Luncheon Club coffee morning, Village Hall.

Sunday 13 September – Produce and Handicraft Show, Village Hall.

Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 October - Military and Vintage Revival, Airfield.

Sunday 8 November – Remembrance service at Airfield.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Old Buckenham events for January

Diary dates for January

Saturday 3     Meeting on Village Plan, Village Hall, 10am

Monday 5     Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Tuesday 6     Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon

Wednesday 7     Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 8     Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 8     Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Thursday 8     Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm

Monday 12     Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Monday 12     Fete planning meeting, Church Rooms, 7.30pm

Wednesday 16     Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Monday 19     Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 21     Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 22     Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Thursday 29     Jack and the Beanstalk, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 30     Jack and the Beanstalk, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 31     Jack and the Beanstalk, Village Hall, 2.30pm

Saturday 31     Jack and the Beanstalk, Village Hall, 7.30pm


Sunday, 28 December 2014

Start the year with Old Buckenham newsletter

Ready to read
The January 2015 villge newsletter has been distributed around today and many of you will get a copy put through your letterbox in the next few days. Other copies have been left in All Saints church, the village shop and pubs, the Clinic on the Green and the airfield. Enjoy the read.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Season's greetings from Old Buckenham

Best wishes to all our readers