Monday, 16 January 2017

Old Buckenham parish council in January

January Parish Council minutes
These notes have been written by the newsletter editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
At the meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council held on Thursday 5 January the councillors present were Adrian Joel (chairman)), Terry Cracknell, Sarah Hornbrook, Jonathan Kemp, Tom Johnson, Carol Marshall, Steve Milner and Andy Nicholls as well as the parish clerk Hilary Clutten and county councillor Stephen Askew.
There were six members of the public who attended including John Fernihough and Sarah Dye in relation to the discussions on the Green.
Apologies for absence had been received from councillors Rona Boggia, Ben Devlin and Graham Hart.
The minutes of the meeting held in December 2016 were approved as a true and accurate record of the meeting
Public participation in relation to agenda items. Two members of the public had come to speak about their current planning application to convert a barn into a house at Stacksford House Farm. The access to the site has been moved to a new position where there are better visibility splays. Tree, structural and bat surveys have also been carried out.
There was a complaint about extensive dog mess on the Green. It was agreed to put an item in the village newsletter about this. It is hoped that the situation will improve when the Green is better looked after.
The village sign and the Parish Council’s noticeboard are deteriorating and it was agreed to put these items on the next agenda.
The village shop/post office owners are having a problem with people parking outside the shop at school opening and closing times. As the land involved is public land there is nothing that can be done to deter this.
It was noted that an increasing number of people are bringing dogs in cars to the village for exercise.
It was confirmed that the Parish Council owns the village sign.
It is important for the Parish Council and the Green Right Proprietors to decide on an option to support the upkeep of the Green and to present this to the village. It was also thought that a working party should be set up to look for funding and ideas for fund raising. These things need to happen quickly so that matters can be agreed by the February Parish Council meeting and then presented to the village at the Annual Parish Meeting in March. It was suggested that a working party be set up to look into the future management of the Green with the following make up:
Two Green Right Proprietors, two parish councillors, two independent village residents and the Lord of the Manor. This working party would need to meet soon and make a recommendation to the Parish Council at its next meeting. It was also suggested that a separate group be set up to deal with the conservation issues of the Green and which could then advise the management working party.
The public and parish councillors were invited to make comments.The members of the public present were keen to see the Parish Council take over the management of the Green which would be an asset to the village if properly maintained as well as making it more user-friendly. Most councillors were in favour of taking on the management of the Green regardless of who owned it. It was said that it was not useful to discuss the past wrongs of the situation but to work to sort something out particularly as it appears to be something that the village residents want.
There is a concern about the trees on the Green as some have specific owners who have the right to estovers (necessaries allowed by law to a tenant especially fuel or wood for repairs) and some trees have no owners. The Green Right Proprietors have a map of the trees which they can provide. It was suggested that the estover tree owners should give up their rights. Some of the Green could be managed as an amenity area similar to the area in front of the Ox and Plough and some areas left for conservation. Speaking as Lord of the Manor, Terry Cracknell said that the project has his full support as it had been purchased with a view to providing a village amenity.
The Council then resolved, with one abstention, to set up a Green Management Working Party with the following make-up:
Adrian Joel and Andy Nicholls on behalf of the Parish Council,
Terry Cracknell as Lord of the Manor,
Sarah Dye and one other on behalf of the Green Right Proprietors,
And John Fernihough and Ray Bayfield as independent village residents
It was agreed that the Working Party should meet in about ten days’ time.
The Clerk was asked to arrange to give her comments on the proposed contract.
It was agreed that Ron Brewer should be asked to put something in the February issue of the village newsletter about the management of the Green being discussed at the Annual Parish Meeting in March and that a poster should also be put on the Parish Council’s noticeboard.

General Power of Competence. The Clerk had circulated information on the General Power of Competence (Localism Act 2011) to all the councillors. The Council confirmed, with one abstention, that it now met the criteria to adopt and use the General Power of Competence and resolved to adopt it with one abstention.
County Councillor. Stephen Askew arrived and was invited to speak to the meeting. Referring to the road crossing issue he said it was a case of waiting for the County Council to reply to the letter from George Freeman MP. It was reported that there had been some near misses recently involving vehicles on the road through the village. It is important to get a new site for the 30mph sign as soon as possible. Stephen Askew asked if he could be emailed about this matter. Stephen Askew was also asked by Steve Milner if there was any news about the changes to the recycling sites but there was none.
Planning applications. Barn at Stacksford House Farm, part demolition of existing agricultural building and conversion of remaining barn to dwelling house with new detached garage and access. The Council agreed to support this application with one abstention.
Stacksford village, Stacksford. Removal of condition to not use the existing septic tank and to provide a new treatment for the disposal of water. Council agreed to support this application with one abstention.
Planning permission by Breckland. The Joules, Crown Road. Permission has been granted for change of use of a workshop to an annex.
Local Plan. Two additional sites within Old Buckenham have been submitted to Breckland Council for consideration. One site is on Attleborough Road but, if this site were to be allocated for development, the village would want a safe road crossing point, roundabout and a school dropping off area. 
The other site is behind the area known as the Pound but has no access so is not really an option. In addition the site is huge and development in that location would spoil the view of the Green. It was agreed that Sarah Hornbrook would word a suitable response on the two sites.
Financial matters. The Clerk had circulated a financial report to the councillors and said that since the report was written she had submitted the VAT repayment claim for 2016 and the Charity Return for the same period. The income of the charity was confirmed as £371 and a Charity meeting will be held after the next Parish Council Meeting.
Update on highways matters. It had been determined that a broken pipe was responsible for all the water in Cake Street and the County Council spent about a week rectifying matters. Some potholes and road edging have also been repaired and currently the finger posts are being cleaned. It was reported that there was a problem with water in a ditch on the right of leaving the village from Cake Street towards Dam Brigg.
Steve Milner proposed that the Parish Council purchase a mirror for the Grove Road/Mill Road junction and ask a nearby landowner if it can be mounted on his property. Council agreed to set a budget of £100 to purchase and erect a mirror subject to the Clerk checking on potential liability for accidents and Steve Milner speaking to a nearby landowner.
Sarah Hornbrook and Jonathan Kemp asked for it to be recorded that they had voted against this resolution on safety liability grounds.
The Council discussed the continuing issue with the hedge in Harlingwood Lane and agreed that a councillor should visit the landowner together with a representative from Highways.
Chapel Green School. It was reported that the contractors were making a good job of the road and that work should start on the building in February. There is still a problem with access to Footpath 4 during weekdays and the Clerk is to make further enquiries about resolving this issue. The Village Hall Committee had hoped to use a nearby ditch to help with its car park drainage problem but the ditch has been used by the school contractors for services. Morgan Sindall has agreed to mend a ceiling in the Village Hall in return for using services at the Village Hall and will possibly remove the BMX humps but is unlikely to help with the drainage problem in the car park too. The Clerk was asked to contact the Village Hall Committee to remind them that there was still Parish Partnership money available from NCC for the car park until the end of March 2017.
Broadband update. Work is in progress and some results are likely to be seen by March 2017.
Purchase of the village telephone kiosk. The Clerk had circulated information from BT about purchasing old telephone kiosks. The Council agreed to purchase the BT telephone kiosk near the Green for the sum of £1. The Council also agreed that it preferred BT to continue paying for the electricity supply to the kiosk and would let BT know that it intended to install a defibrillator in due course.
Precept Grant. The Council agreed, with two abstentions, to make an advance payment of £640 to New Buckenham Football Club being its Precept Grant awarded for 2017/18.
Chairman’s report. The Chairman requested that the correspondence folder be circulated more quickly.
District Councillor’s report. Breckland Council is switching to one main customer contact number, 01362 656870, which is expected to make it quicker and more convenient for residents to contact the District Council. Residents and businesses in Breckland are being invited to have their say on the Council’s draft budget for 2017/18. The consultation started on Friday 23 December and will last for one month. To have a say people can visit the Breckland Council website to view the budget and for further details of how to respond. Printing of the Breckland Voice magazine was suspended but money has been found to enable it to be published again twice per annum. To balance its budget Breckland Council is not selling off land but aiming to make better use of it as a partner in a Local Asset Backed Vehicle (LABV). A member of the public drew attention to the fact that a growing number of homeless people from Thetford were ending up in Norwich. Adrian Joel reported that there was a lack of social housing in Thetford.
Neighbourhood Plan. Sarah Hornbrook said that there was nothing to report at present but that a meeting would be held soon.
Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan. Nothing to report at present as the Plan has been handed in and developments are awaited.
Road Safety. Some members of the group had met with George Freeman MP and they were very pleased with the letter he had written to Norfolk County Council in support of a safe road crossing. The Clerk was asked to write a letter of thanks to George Freeman.
Play Area. The Chair reported that the group was awaiting further news from Graham Hart and that grants were being sought towards the cost of the new railings.
Parish Councillors’ reports. The Chair reported that the allotments were much better now and he would advertise for tenants in the village newsletter. It was requested that the Parish Council still pursue the possibility of finding a new site for the allotments. A new litter bin was requested and the Clerk would action using her spending power. There was a report of a dog bin not being emptied. There was a query about an invoice for a ‘traffic survey’ and the Clerk will resolve this at the next meeting.
Sarah Hornbrook had noticed that the Santander Account was still open. Carol Marshall said that a problem had arisen with one of the alleged signatories to the account and the Clerk will investigate.
Correspondence. A letter had been received from Age UK Norfolk seeking financial support. A thank you letter had come from the Village Hall Fete Committee for the Precept grant it is to receive in April
Items for the next meeting. These should include dog bins, the allotment site, Chapel Green School, the Green, Highways, village sign, noticeboard, and road safety invoice.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council Meeting will be on Thursday 2 February in the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Past picture of Old Buckenham

As seen on the radio
Back in the early 1980s, BBC Radio Norfolk broadcast a series of programmes under the title of Village Voice. One such visit was to Old Buckenham and the presenter, Wally Webb, went around many of the highlights of the village and interviewed the locals to learn more about them.
The speaker at the January Social and Wine Circle meeting in the Church Rooms was situated in a cassette recorder used to play a tape of the broadcast.

Some of the people on the recording were invited along to the meeting to hear their contributions. Mike Bartlett had been talking about fundraising for the 'new'village hall while Jean Wade gave details of the Womens' Institute.
Other people heard on the tape explained more about the village sign, the doors and windows of All Saints Church, John Askew spoke about growing reed for re-thatching the church roof and Rosemary West on the history of the Green. Other subjects covered were Abbey Farm, Old Buckenham Hall, the local playgroup, Robert Cocks and the Almshouses, Terry Frost and his 'Hovis' house and the history of the windmill.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Old Buckenham thanks volunteers

Luncheon Club says thank you
Yesterday was the first Luncheon Club meeting of 2017 and also the opportunity to thank all those people who help this activity to continue to take place. It was an extra special meal with roast beef, yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and several vegetables - all washed down with a glass of wine or appropriate soft drink. And followed by sherry trifle, after-eight mints and coffee.

All those volunteers who collect members from home and take them back again afterwards were invited along to this meal as a special thank you. Bridget Burton also thanked all the other helpers including the main cooks Jean and Barbara, also Annabel, Peggy and Margaret who all just do whatever else needs doing in the kitchen as well as Enid and Carol who are two of the drivers who stay on to help and then end up serving coffee, running the raffle and serving meals.
Then there is Steve who puts out all the tables and chairs and then has to come back to the hall to put them all away. 
The members themselves are so generous with raffle prizes and always put their small change in the box and this year there was enough to pay for the November meal on the outing to Thetford. A kind offer from the Six Villages magazine also paid for the coach on that occasion so all were able to have a free outing. 
Once again an anonymous donor gave their winter heating allowance to the club and this, along with other kind gifts and help with the outings, means that the price of the meals will be able to remain at £3.50 during 2017.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Still time for Old Buckenham panto

Oh yes, it's here again

Old Buckenham Players are back with their pantomime offering for 2017. This time it will be 'Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp' by Ron Hall.
Transporting you back in time to Peking, the brave Aladdin along with his cheeky-chappy brother Wishee Washee and his voluptuous Mother Dame Widow Twankey will set out to avenge the kidnapping of his true love, Princess Lotus Blossom, by the evil Abanazar. He meets loveable and not so loveable characters along the way. Only the Genie of the Lamp's magic can help save the day on their intrepid journey. The riches on offer to the audiences include colourful costumes, eye-catching scenery, special effects and show-stopping musical numbers.
Performances start at 7.30pm on Thursday 19, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 January 2017 with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on the Saturday. It's all taking place at Old Buckenham Village Hall where there'll also be a raffle and a reasonably priced bar serving a range of soft and alcoholic drinks. Tickets are on sale now and cost just £8 for adults or £4 for the under 16s. They can be purchased by calling 01953 861336 or in person from Old Buckenham Village Stores or from the Nuts 'n' Bolts shop in Attleborough.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Ceilidh in Old Buckenham

Time for a good old knees up

On Saturday 18 February the Old Buckenham 2000 Trust will be hosting a Ceilidh event at the Old Buckenham Village Hall. Doors open at 7.30pm with the Fezziwig Band leading the evening. There will be a bar and food available so come and join us for a good old knees up. Tickets are £7.50 each and are available from Meg Batchelor (860992) or Celia Clarke (860129). 
Please note this is an adult event so over 18s only.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Old Buckenham Parish Council in 2017

Visit the meetings
Here are the dates for the meetings of Old Buckenham Parish Council during 2017. All are in the Village Hall and start at 7.30pm.

Thursday 5 January

Thursday2 February

Thursday 2 March

Friday 17 March, Annual Parish Meeting

Thursday 6 April

Thursday 4 May

Thursday 1 June

Thursday 6 July

There is no meeting in August

Thursday 7 September

Thursday 5 October

Thursday 2 November

Thursday 16 November, Precept Meeting

Thursday 7 December

The public are welcome to attend these meetings so why not go along and listen to the councillors’ deliberations?

Monday, 2 January 2017

Getting ready for Old Buckenham jumble sale

Get ready to jumble
It was a hive of activity in 2016
If you are having a post-Christmas sort out, please remember that the Buckenham Pre-school Group are having their annual fund-raising jumble sale (with tombola, cake stall and refreshments on Saturday 11 February. It is being held in the Church Rooms (by All Saints Church), doors open at 10am and buying will go on until 12 noon.
If you have any jumble or bric-a-brac to donate for this event then please contact the Pre-school on 07799 778806.
Anything left unsold at the end of the sale will be collected by the charity UK2ROM where it will be delivered to Romania or used to raise funds for those who need it most.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Wet walking in Old Buckenham

Out and about for the New Year
Unfortunately New Year's Day didn't dawn like the photo posted earlier today. By mid-morning the rain had set in and probably deterred some of those intending to take part in the village walk that took place regardless of the weather.
People and their dogs were gathering outside the Church Rooms at around 10.30 am and they set off for their three mile walk a little later.

As they walked off  they were passed by the radio car of Radio Norfolk on its Sunday morning Treasure Quest. Clue 3 was hidden on the Christmas tree in the Church Rooms
where it was soon found by 'Big Band' Anna and read out so that everyone listening to the programme could help solve it. This gave a chance for Linda Foulger to explain about our village walk and how it was raising funds for the Alzheimer's UK charity

When the clue was solved it turned out that the next location was to New Buckenham for their 'Hair of the dog' walk which has taken place for many years having first taken place in 1996.
For the next four weeks you can listen to the broadcast of the appropriate Treasure Quest edition on  Start at about 1hr 35 mins in for the local part.
When the Old Buckenham walkers returned they were welcomed by the sight of nice hot home-made soup and the opportunity to sit, talk and dry out from their morning's excursion.

Old Buckenham in 2017

Dawn of a new year

Why not follow the blog throughout 2017?

Friday, 30 December 2016

Starting the year in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for January

Sunday 1   New Year Day walk, from Church Rooms at 10.30am

Tuesday 3   Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards

Thursday 5   Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 9   Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Wednesday 11   Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 12   Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 12   Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm for 7.45pm

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

Thursday 19   OB Players pantomime 'Aladdin', Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 20   OB Players pantomime 'Aladdin', Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 20   Visits from mobile library during morning

Saturday 21   OB Players pantomime 'Aladdin', Village Hall, 2.30pm

Saturday 21  OB Players pantomime 'Aladdin', Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 23   Planning meeting for 2017 village fete, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday 25   Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

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

Saturday 28   Senior Citizens' Party, Village Hall, 1pm

Saturday 28   Film 'Absolutely Fabulous', Village Hall, 7.30pm

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Start 2017 on the Old Buckenham walk

Walk into 2017
On the 2016 walk there were even daffodils out on 1 January
The New Year's Day walk will again take place on Sunday 1 January 2017. It will start at 10.30am from the Church Rooms and and will be approximately three miles long. It is being held in aid of Parkinson's UK and soup and rolls will be served in the Church Rooms after the walk. Please register your interest to take part in the walk at Old Buckenham shop or by email at
Everyone is welcome to come along and also bring their well behaved pets.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Latest Old Buckenham newsletter

First issue in 2017
Copies have now been taken around to our volunteer deliverers and placed around in the various village pick-up points. Time for a little read.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Decorations in Old Buckenham church

After the candlelit carol service
Lots of effort had gone in to decorating the inside of All Saints church, Old Buckenham, prior to the candlelit carol service on Christmas Eve. Why not take the opportunity to look inside the church now that all the candles have long been extinguished?

Friday, 23 December 2016

Progress on Old Buckenham school site

Chapel Green School activities
Here is an update on where the school site has got to prior to the Christmas holiday period. Progress along the new access road has been very good. All drainage has been installed, kerbs have been laid and they are now trimming up to the final levels in preparation for the tarmac finish in the start of the new year. 
The main site has seen lots of activity with various machines working across the area removing and stockpiling topsoil to the south of the site. Following on from this they have excavated down to the required reduced level within the car park area and also stockpiled the raised material to the south.
This has created a level area where the main building will be constructed, allowing preparation of the ground ready for the start of construction. Drainage installation has also continued through from the access road and into the main site area.
An entrance hoarding has been erected along the B1077 main road. This will shortly be populated with various signage to help keep everyone informed about the project’s progress.
With the Christmas holiday period shortly coming up the builders, Morgan Sindall, would like to remind all parents to advise children of the dangers of building sites and that the area must not be entered. As well the builders will be doing everything they can to eliminate any risks within their area as a matter of course.
For information, site will be closed from end of play on Friday 23 December and re-opening on Tuesday 3 January. There will be a contact number displayed at the main entrance for any out of hours queries over the holiday period.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Old Buckenham Parish Council

December's discussions
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.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 1 December and all councillors were present along with the parish clerk and eight members of the public. Apologies had been received from Jonathan Kemp who would be arriving late because of public transport issues.
Minutes of the Council meetings held in October and November 2016. These were agreed as true and accurate records of the meetings.
Public participation relating to agenda items. Two members of the public were present because they had submitted a planning application to Breckland Council to build a two-storey extension at 5 Hargham Road. One member of the public had come to object to the planning application for 5 Hargham Road because he lived in the neighbouring property and believed that the extension would lead to a loss of light to his property.
A resident expressed concern about the entrance to the new school site. Sarah Hornbrook said that the current entrance is likely to be temporary and erected for health and safety reasons on the site. There appear to be no viewing points so that residents can see how work is progressing on the site. Steve Milner noted that the public footpath adjacent to the new school site appeared to be inaccessible. It was thought perhaps that this might be temporary until the new roadway was constructed and Steve Milner will take a further look and let the Clerk know if she needs to contact the Footpath Officer about this.
The Clerk was given the name and address of the person who had attended to the milestone so that she could write a letter of thanks on behalf of the Parish Council.
A member of the public expressed the thanks of the residents for the time spent on village matters by the members of the Parish Council who are all volunteers.
Planning applications. 9 Old Yard, Hargham Road. For reserved matters following outline permission in relation to issues of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale. The Council supported this application with 9 votes in favour and 1 abstention.
5 Hargham Road. Erection of two storey extension. Sarah Hornbrook said that the building had been designed in such a way as to lead to no loss of light to the neighbouring property. The Council supported this application with 9 votes in favour and 1 abstention.
Doe Lane. Change of use of an agricultural building to a dwelling, permitted development under current planning legislation. Ben Devlin gave information on his application then left the meeting during the Council’s deliberations. The Council supported this application with 8 votes in favour and 1 abstention. (Ben Devlin returned to the meeting.)
Planning permission received from Breckland. Breckland Council has given planning permission for the demolition of a grain store and the erection of two barn-style dwellings with detached double garages for the site at Shrublands, Attleborough Road.
Financial matters. A financial report was given by the Clerk which explained the VAT aspects of the Parish Partnership’s Grant from NCC. The Council resolved to give retrospective permission to pay the invoice from MW Surfacing Ltd for the Village Hall Car Park using the Parish Partnership’s Grant received by the Parish Council from NCC for this purpose. The Council also resolved unanimously to close the Santander Bank account and add the proceeds to the Barclays Bank account and to continue to ring fence the money as part of the reserve for recreation.
Chairman’s report. The Chairman thanked the councillors for all their hard work for the village in the last year.
District Councillor’s report. The next Parish and Town Forum was being held at Dereham on Thursday 8 December 2016 at 6pm. No councillor was able to attend on this date. He thanked Sarah Hornbrook for her excellent contribution to the Parish Council’s response to the Breckland Local Plan consultation. He is part of the working party for the Breckland Local Plan and will continue to support what the Parish Council wants from the Local Plan consultation. The next phase of the consultation will be in the Spring of 2017 when the next version of the Local Plan will contain details of the recommended development sites. Breckland is looking at how it provides housing advice so as to provide a better service than just adding residents to the Housing List.
Working parties. Old Buckenham Neighbourhood Plan Working Party – nothing to report.
Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan – nothing to report
Attleborough Development Plan – Terry Cracknell will be attending a meeting on Tuesday 13 December.
Road Safety Working Party – Rona Boggia reported that the Working Party had met earlier in preparation for a meeting with George Freeman MP the following morning. The Working Party has sent the MP an outline of what the problems are and what it would like to achieve from the meeting. The Headmaster of the High School is also attending the meeting and will speak first. The Working Party has obtained a quotation for a zebra crossing which is likely to cost a total of £25,000 but it would also eventually like to see a crossing on Hargham Road to the local shop.
(Jonathan Kemp arrived at 8.25pm.)
Andy Nicholls is also attending the meeting with George Freeman MP and wants to point out that if the new school is to use all the village’s facilities as it had indicated, such as the Green, then the pupils would need a safe way of crossing the road particularly as some of the children will be in wheelchairs.The preference is for all the cost of a new crossing to be paid by Norfolk County Council because of the additional burdens it is placing on the village by building yet another school. The Council could also apply for a grant under the NCC’s Parish Partnership’s Scheme to help with the cost of a crossing but the application has to be in by Thursday 15 December for the next awards. The Council resolved to make an application to the Parish Partnership’s Scheme, the Clerk will obtain the necessary documents and information and then liaise with Steve Milner who has offered to complete the application.
Play Area. Three quotations have finally been obtained to replace the fencing. After discussion, the Council decided unanimously to appoint G & G Fencing to carry out the work at a total maximum cost of £11,500 plus VAT. Graham Hart agreed to try and negotiate a discount with the contractor.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Terry Cracknell reported that the Chairman of the Village Hall Committee was attempting to resolve the flooding issue in the Village Hall car park. The Village Hall Committee is also hoping that Morgan Sindall (the new school contractor) will remove the BMX track as part of some work it has agreed to do in the village. There is the possibility of having more work carried out on the Village Hall car park as there are still some funds available under the Parish Partnership Scheme for 2016/17.
Steve Milner reported on the dangerous junction of Grove Road and Mill Road. A number of years ago the Parish Council had requested the installation of mirrors to improve visibility but the County Council had declined as this was not their policy. However he has noticed that mirrors are being used for visibility purposes at the new school site entrance and must have been approved by NCC. The Council agreed that the Clerk should contact Highways to renew the original request.
Tom Johnson reported that the minutes from the last SNAP meeting had been received and circulated. He has advised the SNAP group about the traffic difficulties the village is facing due to the building work for the new school. The road is getting dirty despite the wheel washing facilities and he wondered if these are being used or adequate. The first new broadband box in the village will be called New Buckenham 4 and will be sited opposite the telephone box. An offer by J C Frost & Co to reduce the rent on the allotment site to £450 per annum from December 2017 had been received. The Clerk reported that she had queried the rent reduction date, it appears that the letter should have said from December 2016 ie for 2016/17 onwards but only at such time as most of the allotments are let again.
Terry Cracknell wanted the Council to keep its allotment provision options open in respect of the charity-owned field.
Highways. The Highways Engineer for the village had sent a report to the Clerk. He has been working hard on trying to resolve the water problem in Cake Street. A tanker will be used to remove the water and a camera put down the pipe to see if there is a break somewhere. Some other gullies are to be looked at on Attleborough Road from opposite the Gamekeeper up to the new school development as they do not appear to be draining properly. Some routine maintenance work is to be carried out to fill in holes on the track between the old clinic and the primary school and a section in front of the old butcher’s shop, near the Green. There is to be some patching work along Hargham Road and Abbey Road. There was an enquiry from the public about the salting of the roads in the village but Highways have their own schedule to work to but have been known to do some additional work when pressed. Terry Cracknell commented on the long running issue with the hedge at the Harlingwood Lane junction. The Council has tried to resolve the matter with the owner of the property. He had now erected a willow fence which Andy Nicholls thought could eventually end up in the road during inclement weather. Also the hedge could just continue to grow around the fence and still cause a visibility hazard. The Clerk was asked to contact Highways about this matter and to request that firmer action be taken. Terry Cracknell also reported on the large amount of rubbish that has to be picked up near the junction of the Old Buckenham and New Buckenham Roads, this appears to be mostly fast food containers from Attleborough eateries. Adrian Joel asked to be informed when this was a problem so that he could contact Breckland Council to come and remove the rubbish.
Correspondence. The response from Attleborough Surgeries to the request from the Parish Council for a possible part-time surgery in the village had not been met with success.
Items for the January meeting. Several subjects were suggested. These included revision of Standing Orders, the Chairman’s priorities list, defibrillator/telephone box, The Green, the bus shelter, road safety, loan to football club, broadband, Chapel Green School and highways.
Appointment of Clerk. The Clerk gave a short report on how things had gone over the last six months and then left the meeting. In the Clerk’s absence the Council resolved unanimously to appoint Mrs Hilary Clutten as the permanent Clerk to Old Buckenham Parish Council following the satisfactory completion of a six month probationary period.

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

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Old Buckenham carols

Songs for all
The Old Buckenham 2000 Trust once more organised the singing of carols on the village Green and this year it was on Friday 16 December. The area outside the Church Rooms had been decorated with strings of lights and the New Buckenham Silver Band was there to provide the music.  Mince pies, mulled wine, tea and coffee were available in the Church Rooms beforehand to fortify the participants before they ventured outside to sing.
The singers of all ages worked their way through the songbook of carols before retiring back into the Church Rooms to chat and to finish off the refreshments.

(The floodlit tower of All Saints has gained a star this year)

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Old Buckenham High School helps homeless

Generous contributions
Old Buckenham High School finished off the autumn term with their annual collection of food to donate to St Martins Housing Trust in Norwich. Every year students fill and decorate hampers for a competition before the food is delivered to people who are trying to get back on track after being homeless. 
This year the hampers were judged by Adrian Joel (chairman of Old Buckenham Parish Council), the deputy manager and staff from the Sainsburys store in Attleborough, volunteers from St Martins Trust and Ron Brewer who edits the Old Buckenham Newsletter. 
The boxes of food were decorated in many ways. One had wheels, another legs while another portrayed a table set for Christmas dinner. The first place for decoration went to students in class 8T followed by 10T and 7CR in joint second place. Class 9T also received a prize for the 'Most-filled hamper' and all winners received chocolates kindly donated by Sainsburys.
After judging had taken place, all the contributions were packed into the back of a van and transported off to Norwich where the St Martins Housing Trust will be able to make good use of them in the run up to Christmas.

Students had also produced their own personal Christmas cards to go to those being helped by St Martins.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Panto coming to Old Buckenham

January performances
Old Buckenham Players are back with their pantomime offering for 2017. This time it will be 'Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp' by Ron Hall.
Transporting you back in time to Peking, the brave Aladdin along with his cheeky-chappy brother Wishee Washee and his voluptuous Mother Dame Widow Twankey set out to avenge the kidnapping of his true love, Princess Lotus Blossom, by the evil Abanazar. Meeting loveable and not so loveable characters along the way, only the Genie of the Lamp's magic can help save the day as they embark on their intrepid journey.
The riches on offer to the audiences include colourful costumes, eye catching scenery, lots of special effects and show-stopping musical numbers. Whether you're an 'Old' or 'New' Lamp, there's something for everyone in this most classic of family shows.
Performances start at 7.30pm on Thursday 19, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 January 2017 with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on the Saturday. It's all taking place at Old Buckenham Village Hall where there'll be a raffle and a very reasonably priced bar serving a range of soft and alcoholic drinks.
Tickets are on sale from Sunday 18 December and cost just £8 for adults or £4 for the under 16s. They can be purchased by calling 01953 861336 or in person from Old Buckenham Village Stores or Nuts 'n' Bolts in Attleborough.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Carolling choice in Old Buckenham

Enjoy your favourite carols
There will be several opportunities to do some carol singing in Old Buckenham between now and Christmas.
The Old Buckenham 2000 Trust is again organising the singing of carols on the village Green. Meet outside the Church Rooms at 6pm on Friday 16 December. The carol singing will start at 6.15pm. Mince pies and mulled wine will be available beforehand. It's free and everyone is welcome.
Do you have a favourite Christmas carol? Come and join in at the Methodist Chapel on Wednesday 21 December at 7.30pm for a Festive Sing-a-long of the carols of your choice as well as other festive songs. Get ready for Christmas by having a lovely sing of all your favourite music for Christmas. Children are especially welcome. You too can choose a song to sing. There will also be refreshments afterwards. Come along and help make this a very happy evening.
There will be the annual candlelit carol service in All Saints on Christmas Eve which will start at 7pm. This is always a very popular event and you are advised to come along in good time. This will be a service of lessons and carols with church members, children and representatives from community organisations being involved in presenting the Christmas story in a special act of worship.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Flooding in Old Buckenham

Trying to clear the Cake Street flooding
The latest news from Norfolk County Council Highways is that their jetting company were able to clear the existing flood water just over a week ago. They have identified an area outside 'Cefalu' in Cake Street which they believe is where there is either an obstruction or the pipe is damaged.
They are now in the process of resourcing a gang and obtaining a permit to erect two way traffic lights on the road while they excavate the footway and clear the blockage. While on site they will also clear the mud from the footway, clear the outfall of the drainage system, and re-set two gulleys that have been identified as defective.

(Work started on Tuesday 13 December)

On completion of the job, the jetting company to return to jet the system once more to ensure that everything is free from obstruction.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Party time in Old Buckenham

Definitely social and with wine
Last night was time for the Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle to get together in the Church Rooms for their own bit of party time. It was the now established format of quizzes, a little bingo, a raffle, some poetry readings and of course a fish and chip supper. An extra attraction this year was a rendering by our local singing postman.
This year the fish and chips arrived freshly cooked by Paul's Plaice who were parked nearby outside the Ox and Plough.

The Social and Wine Circle will be starting its meetings in 2017 on Thursday 12 January. During the year they will be hearing talks on a wide range of subjects from a history of sewage treatment to listening from a 'Pam Ayres' of Norfolk.
All are welcome to come along to these meetings so why not come out for an evening once a month for a convivial experience and make new friends?

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Eight years of the Old Buckenham blog

Who else reads this?
You may find some of the following statistics of interest. 
This blog first started at the beginning of December 2008 and has been posting about three or four times a week ever since.  
It has a relatively small audience compared with many other blogs as not everyone in the world is that interested in what goes on in our little Norfolk village. But there have been instances of Old Buckenham  residents getting to know what's going on here when contacted by their relatives in Australia or New Zealand.
Blogger states there have been 455,000 page views since the blog started. A more reliable measuring site puts the number of visitors so far at some 84,200.
The most popular time for readers to log in is between 11am and 12 noon (GMT).
The most popular day for visits is Monday and least popular is Saturday.
Some 82% of readers are from the UK with the USA coming next with 7%. Over twenty counties, from Angola to the Virgin Isles, have only visited once in the eight years since the blog went live.
The most number of readers in one day was 161 on Saturday 8 October this year (mainly to see photos of the car that ended up in Manor Pond).
The highest number of visits in a week was 436 when people logged in to check on arrangements for our Queen's Jubilee celebrations (June 2012).
The highest number in a month was 1426 in September 2015. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

December activities in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for December
Thursday 1         WI Christmas lunch
Thursday 1         Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Saturday 3          Christmas Bingo, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Sunday 4             Wargames Club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm
Tuesday 6           Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards
Wednesday 7      Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Wednesday 7      Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm
Thursday 8         Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm
Thursday 8         Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm for 7.45pm
Saturday 10        Film 'Our kind of traitor', Village Hall, 7.30pm
Monday 12         Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm
Friday 16            Carols on the Green, by Church Rooms, 6pm for 6.15pm
Wednesday 21   Carols at Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm
Friday 23            Visits from mobile library during morning
Saturday 24        Church Rooms open during day for food donations
  Saturday 24       Candlelit carol service, All Saints Church, 7pm

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Old Buckenham newsletter for December

Available now
Copies have been placed around in the shop, church, pub and airfield so if you don't get one delivered then pick one up in time for the start of a new month.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Dementia talk for Old Buckenham Scouts

Learning about dementia
As part of the Scout Association's Million Hands initiative, the 1st Old Buckenham Scouts were visited by Gill Wells who came to Old Buckenham Village Hall to talk about the issues of dementia and Dementia Friends.

Gill explained to the scouts, and some of their parents, that dementia is caused by diseases which affect the brain, the most common of which is Alzheimer's. In addition to the physical issues caused by this, Gill also explained about the emotional effects that these have both on the sufferer and their loved ones supporting them.
Dementia Friends is all about understanding the issues facing people who suffer from dementia and the little things to help and support them. At the end of the evening the scouts and their parents present became Dementia Friends. If you would like to learn more about Dementia Friends you can visit their website -

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Pressing ahead…..

Since the last update, works have progressed well on the 
Chapel Green project (despite some poor weather conditions). There is now an entrance into the site off of Attleborough Road, which was actually completed four days ahead of schedule in order to minimise the traffic disruption. The topsoil has been stripped along the length of the road, followed by the installation of surface water drainage. Works are now pressing on to install the road sub-base and kerbs in preparation for Tarmac finishing.
(Looking toward the main school site)
(Looking toward Attleborough Road)
On the main school site, works have commenced stripping the topsoil and reducing the levels down to the correct formation to install the building foundations. Following this the contractors Morgan Sindall will then begin the installation of the ground source heat pumps – underground coils of pipework used to heat the building naturally and therefore improving the carbon footprint of the building over its lifetime.

(Some earthmoving has taken place, click on the picture to enlarge it)
Installation has started on permanent fencing along the access road and also temporary fencing to the site perimeter to ensure everyone is kept safe, both inside and outside of the site area.
(Where the public footpath to Bunns Bank crosses the new road)
There have been several visits from the children of Chapel Road School and it is clear that they are all very excited to see works have started. Morgan Sindall have also been in contact with several local residents who have taken an interest in the project since work started and continue to welcome people to come and have a look what is happening – there is a safe viewing area from the village hall car park. 
Finally, thank you from Morgan Sindall to everyone for their patience and understanding during these first few weeks of starting work on site.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Old Buckenham Precept 2017

Parish Council Precept meeting
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Wednesday 16 November, primarily to agree the Precept for the next financial year. As part of the process the Parish Council considered the proposals put forward by the Precept Grants Working Party in relation to the grant applications that the Council has received.
The following grants were agreed for the next financial year starting on Saturday 1 April 2017:
Buckenham Pre-school - £120.60 (empathy dolls)
Old Buckenham Village Hall Fete Committee - £250 (fee for entertainer)
Monday Mardle Group - £100 (refreshments and outings)
Almshouses Charity - £200 (contribution to expenses)
Old Buckenham Village Hall - £250 (CCTV)
All Saints Church - £1,500 (roof alarm)
New Buckenham Football Club - £640 (mobile lighting)
Age Concern Norfolk - £120 (contribution to Advice Line)
Total £3,180.60
The Clerk will be contacting all these organisations to advise them about their awards and what arrangement will be made next year to distribute the grants.
The Parish Council also agreed to include a sum of £2,500 in the budget for the future purchase and siting of a defibrillator in the village.
At the meeting, the Council heard from John Fernihough and Sarah Dye about the position of the Green Rights Holders in relation to their request to the Parish Council to consider taking over the maintenance of the Green. The Parish Council agreed to enter into discussions with the Green Rights Proprietors to take over the maintenance of the Green; it was agreed that the Clerk and the Chair would start the negotiations as well as take legal advice from Norfolk ALC. The Council is setting aside £2,000 in the 2017/18 Budget for expenses incurred with those negotiations. When considering how to proceed in this matter the Parish Council will be considering many things including the results of the Village Survey, the costs and the legal implications before any firm arrangements are entered into.
The annual Contingency Fund of £2,000 was allocated as a fund for minor village maintenance expenses.
A further sum of £808.25 is being allocated in 2017/18 for the Neighbourhood Plan expenses to bring the reserve up to £1,000 again.
Taking the above changes into account the Parish Council agreed to request a Precept from Breckland Council of £21,400 which represents an increase of just under 7.5% compared to 2016/17. The effect of this increase is that the Parish Council’s share of the Council Tax will increase by on average of about £3 per property for the next financial year.
Following a request from the New Buckenham Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan Working Party, Old Buckenham Parish Council agreed to allow the inclusion of a small area of land containing the castle (which is situated in Old Buckenham) in the New Buckenham Neighbourhood Plan.
The Road Safety Working Party wishes to have a professional road traffic survey carried out in the village in advance of a meeting with George Freeman MP. The Parish Council endorsed this suggestion and agreed to set aside a budget of £600 for the survey.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Dark running in Old Buckenham

Part of a worldwide run
As darkness fell last Wednesday 16 November, and as most people were settling down in front of their televisions, the runners of Old Buckenham were putting on their running shoes and heading for the door. They were taking part in the "Run In The Dark" charity event - a global community of runners who are supporting the effort to find a cure for paralysis due to spinal cord injury and to reduce the impact paralysis has on people's lives.

The Run In The Dark is a global event that happens in November every year and consists of a 5 or 10 km run in the dark. This year there were over 25,000 runners around the world taking part in the event from Brisbane, Dubai, Moscow, Belfast, New York, Los Angeles and of course Old Buckenham. 
The event is in aid of a charity set up by Mark Pollock to fund research into finding a cure for paralysis due to spinal cord injury. Mark Pollock was born with an eye disorder but that did not stop him from enjoying life to the full. An avid rower, he won bronze and silver medals for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002. At the age of 22 he lost his sight completely. He became an adventure athlete and motivational speaker. He was the first blind person to ever to walk to the South Pole. But a second tragedy struck in 2010 when he fell from a 2nd storey window and broke his back and was left paralysed. Mark is now fighting through life, deciding how to overcome this second tragic turn of events. He is a pioneer of medical science, exploring the frontiers of spinal cord injury recovery through aggressive physical therapy and robotic technology.
The event was organised in the village by Chris Clarke, who is an old school friend of Mark Pollock. Chris wanted to support his friend and his charity 'The Mark Pollock Trust', in support of the cause of finding a cure for paralysis. Chris organised the event in Old Buckenham last year and on each occasion there have been about 45 participants. The run started at the Ox and Plough pub and proceeded along a route past the windmill, through Stacksford, along Fen Street and then back to the pub. This year was a great success with over £900 raised for the Mark Pollock trust (which matches the amount that was raised last year). Chris hopes that the event will become an annual one in the village and is aiming for over 50 runners next year.
You can find out more about Mark Pollock here or if you're interested in taking part next year please join the Old Buckenham Run In the Dark Facebook Group here:
Chris Clarke would like to say thank you to Ben Devlin at the Ox and Plough for allowing his pub to be used as as the start and finish, to Roger Peacock and David Hannah for being safety marshals, and to Anna and Rebecca Bennett for helping with the organisation on the night.