Saturday, 31 October 2020

Bishop coming to Old Buckenham

A special day
Sunday 1 November is All Saints Day and the
 Bishop of Norwich will be visiting All Saints Old Buckenham for the 10am Patronal Service to rededicate the Church following the restoration of the tower, stained glass windows and the new thatched roof.
The Church will be decorated with 150 lilies to remember loved ones who have died. This event was cancelled at Easter due to Covid-19. The flower displays in the Church can be seen anytime from 9am to 4pm during the following weeks.

Take several buckets of lilies...

...cut the stems to the right size for the arrangement... 

...tidy up the arrangements and the display of names being remembered...

...and put more displays on the window sills. 

Latest Old Buckenham newsletter

 More to read

The November village newsletter is being put through your letterboxes in the next few days. As well as the normal items like the notes on the Parish Council minutes and news of the village Hall, you can read about repairs starting on the village windmill and how a village school burnt to the ground many years ago.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Old Buckenham's Eleemosynary charity

Allocation of Benefits 2020

A little later than in most years, the Trustees of the Old Buckenham United Eleemosynary Charities invite residents of Old Buckenham, in financial need, to apply for an annual grant of benefit. The need may be for a long-term situation or for a more temporary problem that has occurred only recently. There is no age restriction. However, as will be understood, the Trustees have a duty to ensure that the annual distribution of monies reflects the aim of the Charity to support the most deserving in our village.

The Trustees will review all requests received and will take into consideration any other benefits currently received by applicants. Application forms will be available in All Saints Church from the beginning of November. Fully completed forms should be returned to Mrs Jennifer Sallnow, Arianne, Attleborough Road, Old Buckenham, NR17 1RF (telephone 01953 860166). As was advised to beneficiaries last year, the Trustees ask that all previous beneficiaries complete an application form for consideration by the Trustees.

Last date for applications to be with Mrs Sallnow is Thursday 19 November.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Requesting Old Buckenham information

Six Villages newsletter 
The Six Villages Newsletter is hoping to produce a Christmas edition and would like input from individuals and groups in this village. If you are a local group, how have you been faring, are you intending to open again next year or have you reached the end of the road? If you are an individual or family how have you been spending your time since March? As it will be the festive season, however odd this year, would you like to send a message to anyone? Please contact Wendy, the editor, on by Saturday 7 November.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Footpaths in Old Buckenham

Parish Paths (Public Rights of Way) 

A number of parishioners have enquired about the routes of Old Buckenham Parish Paths (Public Rights of Way). We are fortunate to have a number of varied and very attractive routes within our village and these are identified on the map linked to this article. If you would like to view the routes in more detail you can do so by going on-line and accessing the Norfolk Highways ‘Definitive and Interactive Map’. This is accessed via On the website you can view the definitive map / interactive map / and the reporting form relating to a problem on a Public Right of Way. To access our village when entering the webpage just zoom to Old Buckenham and then left click on the map and select ‘View Public Rights of Way Definitive Map’. If you would like to investigate taking in Paths within surrounding Parishes, you can do so on this interactive map by zooming in on our neighbouring Parishes – you will see from the map that routes within an individual parish have the name of that Parish on the route as well as a route number. If you would like to undertake longer walks within Norfolk on established trails they are marked on the website

The Parish Council would like to emphasise that they can only deal with enquiries relating the Parish Paths identified by name and number within Old Buckenham. They have had a number of general enquiries about Parish Paths that whilst parishioners have thought the Path is in the Parish, it is in fact in another. They can point you in the right direction to get your enquiry answered but have no jurisdiction for Paths in other Parishes.
Your help and support would be appreciated – the Parish Council has been liaising with the NCC Countryside Access Officer for South Norfolk in relation to signage of Parish Paths. They have discussed setting up a joint project to ensure the regulations relating to signposting Public Rights of Way are adhered to. For example, it is the responsibility of the Norfolk Highway Authority to signpost a Right of Way where it leaves a public road. Therefore, they would welcome any suggestions for signposting where a parishioner is aware this does not occur. Also, the Highway Authority may arrange for additional way marking on the route of a Path where there are changes of direction or more than one possible route of travel is available or where there is a possibility of being unsure of the route of the Path. In all these instances they would welcome recommendations from parishioners where way marking would be beneficial. If you could send suggestions – with exact location details and if possible, photographs – the Parish Council can then work in partnership with the Countryside Access Officer to establish clear and informative signage within the Parish (please email suggestions to the Parish Council at or write to the Parish Clerk at 6 Forge Close)

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Mill repairs

 Work has started

Wednesday morning

Friday, 16 October 2020

Timber available for free collection

Pick it up

There is (or was earlier today) a pile of sawn wood behind the bus shelter on the village Green. This is the result of some tree maintenance and the Parish Council are happy that is free to anyone who wants to collect it.  

Monday, 12 October 2020

Repairing Old Buckenham Mill

Work due to start

Mill back in 2007

Our historic grade II* listed mill is set to be reopened to the public thanks to support from Historic England and the Association for Industrial Archaeology. It is hoped that the major repair works starting this week are a first step towards rescuing the mill from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. 
Repairs to the unique 202-year-old Old Buckenham Mill can now get underway after the Norfolk Windmills Trust successfully secured funding of £95,325 from Historic England, and £20,000 from the Association for Industrial Archaeology.
Old Buckenham Mill has been closed to the public since 2018 when a pre-existing bulge in the brickwork at the base of the mill started to worsen by showing signs of further cracking and movement
Previously owned by the Colman family, well known for the famous Colman’s mustard, and then by Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, the mill in later years fell into disrepair before finally being taken into the care of the Norfolk Windmills Trust.
Old Buckenham Mill is not only the largest diameter tower mill still surviving in the country but also features a unique mechanism to turn the large heavy cap and sails into the wind.
Work is about to start on erecting full-height scaffolding that will allow extensive repairs to the tower’s aging brickwork to start. The mill’s ground floor will also be removed and replaced with further repairs being made to floor beams, the cap and internal walls. The two grants will cover the majority of the £119,156 cost of the work with the remainder of the funding coming from the Friends of Old Buckenham Mill, who have been fundraising locally, and the Norfolk Windmills Trust.
Once the first phase of work is complete the mill can be reopened to the public by the active volunteer group while further funding is sought for the phase 2 works to the cap and running gear. After this work is done it is hoped that the mill may finally be removed from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. The final phase will be to reinstate the stocks and sails.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Latest from Old Buckenham Parish Council

Minutes of October meeting 

These notes have been written from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date. 

Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 1 October at 7.30pm via Zoom. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Terry Cook, Andy Nicholls, Ben Devlin and Mike Farrington. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), Ryan Kuhl (Open Reach) and four members of the public. Naomi Bailey was co-opted on to the Parish Council (7 in favour). 

The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 3 September were approved (6 in favour, 2 abstain). There were no matters arising. Ben Devlin declared an interest in planning application 3PL/2020/1007/F which would be discussed later in the meeting. 

Financial report. The community account balance now stands at 38,884.08. The Precept of £10,192.50 has been received and is included in above balance.
Payments totalling £808.40 were approved (8 in favour).

Talk from Open Reach. Ryan Kuhl from Open Reach had kindly agreed to attend the meeting to highlight the Government’s Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme to encourage groups of residents and businesses to access funding towards the installation of FTTP (Fibre to the Property) and answer any questions. There is a list of 111 properties in Old Buckenham that have been identified as needing this service. Businesses can access vouchers up to £3500 of vouchers and each residential property can access £1500 of vouchers. Open Reach has been working with Better Broadband for Norfolk to help identify areas in need of help. Ryan highlighted that through this scheme, residents would continue to have more choice over their broadband provider and stay within a competitive market, whereas with other schemes, residents would be tied in to the one provider. When asked about expected speeds and prices, Ryan stated around 150mb/s at a cost of around £35 a month, for both new and existing customers. Ryan is happy to be contacted and answer anyone’s questions.
(Mike Farrington lost his internet connection at this point of the meeting and was unable to re-join!)

Planning applications and Breckland District Council’s decisions. (All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal – - Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting).

New planning applications. Rosedale, Fen Street. Prior approval for Change of use from light industrial (Class B1(c)) to a dwelling (Class C3). (The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) Schedule 2, Part 3, Class PA (3PN/2020/0044/UC). The application was supported (8 in favour).
Tall Trees, New Buckenham Road. Removal of the existing single-storey extension, new two-storey extension, replacement windows and new external cladding (3PL/2020/0979/HOU). The application was supported (8 in favour).
Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. 40 additional camping pitches and 40 additional touring caravan pitches. (3PL/2020/1007/F). Ben Devlin explained his desire to expand the business. He addressed concerns by some residents about lighting and noise. There is a noise plan in place and has been improved to include restrictions on cars on site at night and an evening patrol to ensure rules are followed. There are no plans to extend lighting. The Country Park follows NFU guidelines on safety and they are satisfied with all safety measures. The application was supported (7 in favour, 1 abstain).
Development site, Harlingwood Lane. Construction of a new dwelling house and detached garage (3PL/2020/1016/F). Change from initial application, now for one house instead of two. Concerns were again raised about the safety of the junction between Harlingwood Lane and Cake Street. The application was supported (8 in favour).
Land adjacent to Keele Cottage, The Green. Variation of Condition No 2 on Variation of condition 2 (approved plans and details 3PL/2015/0513/F) to allow substitution of these for as-built drawings to regularise the development (3PL/2020/1010/VAR). Several councillors were unhappy with some details of the build not matching the approved plans. It was highlighted that the original plan for 3-storey town houses had been rejected and that the developer had now turned the attic into a bedroom, with the addition of windows. None of this was on the original plan. Many councillors felt it was a matter of principle that it should reject any details which did not match approved plans. A proposal to object was approved (5 in favour, 2 abstain).

Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following four applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved.
Land to west of 22 Fen Street. Technical details consent for erection of 4 dwellings, permission in principle reference 3PL/2019/1257/PIP (3PL/2020/0495/TDC).
5 Hargham Road. Erection of an outdoor oak wooden gazebo structure with pantile roof (3PL/2020/0585/HOU).
Orchard House, The Green. Demolition of existing garage and erection of single-storey games room (3PL/2020/0814/HOU).
Old Buckenham High School, Abbey Road. The construction of an Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) with fencing and ancillary features at Old Buckenham High School (3PL/2020/0770/F).

Communications. Steve Milner has begun to draw up a Communications Plan which will soon be sent to councillors. Suggestions include creating a Facebook page for the Parish Council and a correspondence section on the agenda (to highlight contact via website/Facebook). Proposal to create a Parish Council Facebook page, which will be run by the Clerk, was approved (7 in favour). This will initially be used to inform of agendas, minutes, etc, but will be developed over the following months.

Policies. Jonn Hicks and Terry Cook had updated several Parish Council policies. Due to the volume of reading, councillors had received and read these policies in advance of the meeting. Steve Milner queried some minor points, which were left unchanged and the updated document was approved (6 in favour, 1 abstain).

Chairman’s Report. Paper for the village newsletter is to be ordered. Best price has been sourced and the RFO is to order.
The Met Office has been in contact regarding the possible radar tower. They had recently visited the village to illustrate the height of the tower using a cherry-picker. They have sent photographs of views from several locations around village. No application submitted but will expect to receive one soon.
The Precept Grant form is to be made available to village groups. Anyone interested should contact Parish Clerk.
Village Green Working Party. Large tree branch had fallen on the bus shelter during high winds. Thank you to the local tree surgeon for cutting back and making safe. Green will be cut this month.
Play Area. Are still waiting to hear from Playdale regarding date for visit to fix baby swings and complete inspection. Jonn Hicks and Naomi Bailey to chase up. Bins in the main area emptied. Bin in toddler area locked and unable to empty although Serco have been sent key by Jonn Hicks. Adrian Joel personally emptied it in the meantime.
Councillors’ reports. Adrian Joel reported that there had been a new tenant on allotments. It was agreed to maintain allotment rents for the next year, with a look to raise them next year. The Community Car has only two drivers at present. New drivers need to pass medical and CRB check but struggling to find location to complete medical. At present not half of the grant provided has been used. On Remembrance Sunday 8 November there will be a Church service in All Saints at 10am. Two minute silence at the War Memorial at 11am. Traffic diversion has been approved and the British Legion has recommended no door-to-door poppy collection this year and is requesting donations be made directly to the charity. Christmas tree to be ordered for installation on the Green. However, due to Covid-19, there will be no village celebration to turn on the lights.
Items for next agenda. These will include a Covid-19 update and preparedness for winter as well as school traffic.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 5 November at 7.30pm via Zoom. Any change of location to be confirmed nearer the time, subject to Government Guidelines.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

(Old) Buckenham  Castle

This is a medieval silver penny, which was deliberately cut in two to make a half penny (ha’penny).  They were also cut pennies into four if required, to make fourthings (farthings).  This is a composite photo, so you can see both sides of the half coin side by side and the coin itself measures only 18mm along the cut edge. Specifically, it's a coin produced during the 'new coinage' commissioned by Henry lll in 1247.  It was found recently by our local metal detectorist Godfrey Pratt. These coins continued to be minted until Henry's death in 1272, so the coin in the photo can be dated to within this twenty-five year period.  If you look carefully you can see half the King's crown, half of his nose, one eye, his curly hair, and his mace.

The mid-thirteenth century was a turbulent period in English history, with frequent confrontations between the King and his supporters on the one hand, and the landholding Barons on the other.  The D'Albini family of Buckenam had been in Royal service at court since the time of William the Conqueror, and were staunch supporters of Henry lll.  Things came to a head in 1263 with the Second Barons Revolt, and in that year Buckenham Castle was besieged by an army under Henry De Hastyngs, one of the leading revolting barons.

Such were the defences of the castle that the siege failed.  Since the coin shown was found within besieging distance of the castle,  Godfrey is romantically inclined to think it was there at the time, in the purse of a besieging soldier before being accidentally dropped and lost from sight for over 750 years until he picked it up... 

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Old Buckenham helping the homeless

Each year the St Martin's charity welcome donations of food and financial gifts over the Harvest season which they can use to help their work with the homeless. This year is a little different with Covid causing restrictions on churches and community groups meeting. St Martins have still been receiving donations of food, which have been appreciated. When they asked their residents which items they find most useful, the answer was tinned and packet food, tea, coffee and sugar. Comments included "I cannot always afford to eat" and "People don’t always spend money wisely. Some people go hungry." St Martins support people to be as independent as possible, especially around budgeting for food and developing their cooking skills. 
If you would like to donate food items for the homeless you will find a box in the porch of All Saints church where you can leave your donations.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Old Buckenham allotments

Ten years ago
the Parish Council were approached by residents requesting allotments in Old Buckenham. The Parish Council didn't own any land in the Parish and they had to search for land to buy or lease. Following advertising and discussions with land owners for a suitable and sustainable site, the Parish Council was offered four sites and subsequently agreed a lease on an acre of land in Ragmere Road owned by Steven and Philip Frost.
The land owners were very helpful and ploughed the land ready for it to be used. With the help from parishioners and parish councillors, 14 plots were marked out for garden allotments and mains water standpipes were installed. The plots were each 20 metres by 10 metres with some being split into half plots of 10 metres by 10 metres.
The leases on the plots were taken up very quickly by residents with some of the original tenants still caring for their plots and enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of their labour. During the start of the recent lockdown there was high demand for vacant plots and these too are now producing fresh fruit and vegetables.
The Parish Council currently have two full plots available and if any resident is interested in taking one on then please contact Rachel, the Parish Clerk, by email at or Adrian Joel at or by phoning him on 01953 860663.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Footpaths in Old Buckenham

The Parish Council would like to open the debate concerning Public Rights of Way in the parish. The history behind this initiative stems from a number of written and numerous verbal communications from parishioners to the Council. 

As a Parish we are extremely fortunate to have attractive and accessible Public Rights of Way. Whilst these have been utilised extensively over the years the volume of their usage has greatly increased since the Covid19 outbreak. This has resulted in numerous enquiries relating to exact locations and routes of the Public Rights of Way in the parish, the legal responsibilities of users, landowners and of various public bodies as well general issues relating to the usage of Public Rights of Way. The Parish Council are committed to make Public Rights of Way in our Parish easy and enjoyable to use for all people and our community (for example by groups/individuals such as walkers, cyclists, horse riders, etc). They would also like to promote increased community involvement with our Public Rights of Way. 

In discussion with a random sample of interested parishioners and within the Council members, it was thought as a first step in awareness-raising and usage of our natural facilities, would be to post an information article each month in the village blog and village newsletter an update on issues relating to Public Rights of Way. As from November 2020 we will be including, both in the Blog and in the Newsletter, a ‘Public Rights of Way Update Information Article’.
It must be stated from the outset that as a Parish Council we have no specific duties for Public Rights of Way (apart from where we are the landowner). However, we can choose to work in partnership with responsible bodies to improve their local paths. More will be explained about this area of activity in a future article.
In the meantime, if you have a question or enquiry relating to Public Rights of Way within the Parish of Old Buckenham please email or write to the Parish Clerk at 6 Forge Close.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Busy selling in Old Buckenham

It's been a great day for a village yard sale today with over forty households having their unwanted goods on display for other people to buy. Spread out all over the village there was plenty of space for shoppers to keep socially distanced.

The event was initiated and organised by Steph Gipp who managed to raise £50 from the sale of maps showing the locations of the houses involved. She also received £30 from the Coleman family from a donation box on their stall. The £80 will be split between the village Brownie group and the village Beaver group that many of the village children attend. It's been a tough time for all charities but these groups have not been able to fund raise at all this year  

Friday, 18 September 2020

 Five circuits of Old Buckenham Green

Alison Frank is taking part in the altered 'Race for Life' on Saturday 26 September in aid of Cancer Research UK.  As the participants can't all run together at the moment she will be walking five times around the Green to complete the distance. She will appreciate hearing from anyone willing to  sponsor her. Please make contact via email  or you can ring 860692.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Life of Old Buckenham shopkeeper

Bill Wardman Eulogy 
The editor of the Old Buckenham village newsletter and the village blog has been given the text of the eulogy given at his funeral service on Monday 7 September. Many villagers would not have been able to go to the crematorium so it is reprinted here to allow you to share the life of a most interesting man.
I’m Karen, Bill’s youngest. My sisters Ann Mary, Jane and I were very lucky to have such a caring, supportive and wonderful father and these words come from the three of us about our Dad, our Bill.
How do you condense 90 years of a varied and interesting life into just a few minutes?
Born in December 1929, during the Great Depression, he was a 14lb baby (can you imagine?) the first born child of a police officer Robert and his wife Elizabeth. From age 11 Bill was lucky enough to attend Warwick School, not far from where they lived. He enjoyed the school but was never keen on the its sporting tradition, but fortunately war time rationing meant that Bill could make sure there were never enough clothing coupons to get any sports kit! He had no time for what he called 22 or 30 silly men chasing a bit of leather about! Instead he was allowed to work in the school garden, growing both a life-long love of gardening and more food (win win!)
Bill left school at 16 and after a couple of years working in a pathology lab he left home to embark upon his national service in the medical corps in Wiltshire. A big strapping good looking lad who always wanted more food to support his fast growing frame, he signed up for the cookery course on campus. Now the ingredients weren’t part of your rationing allowance, the teacher was the only woman on camp, you learnt to cook and you got to eat what you made, another win-win all round!
Demob happy (and with a demob suit that still hangs in his closet today) Bill joined the Metropolitan police force following his father Robert who was in the Warwickshire force. Bill always took a keen interest in the career of Felicity our cousin who follows that family tradition.
As a young police man he guarded No 10 Downing Street, watching the comings and goings of Winston Churchill and the cabinet of the day. He joined the Police race walking team and extremely fit he completed the Nijmegen Marches in Holland and The London to Brighton Race Walk. Although there were elements of the police work that he loved the long cold boring nights at the back of Number 10, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey and the freezing damp smog prompted him to explore other options. Leaving the smog of London behind, in 1952 he joined the Kenya Police Force where he was involved in working against the Mau Mau. The few stories he told were of trying to protect the locals against forced enrolment and the arrested against illegal police and army action and of long nights tracing and searching.
It was in Kenya, both being part of the ex-pat social scene that Bill met Cecilia, the love of his life! Their marriage and the life they created together was indeed a love story. They worked together and laughed together, sharing a set of values and beliefs that always endured. Devoted to each other always.
Together they became shop keepers, taking on the running of a butchery business for a friend, then buying it and building it into a general stores on the North Kinangop. It was a settled life in the Scottish Highlands of Kenya and having to return to the UK was not a choice they would have made for themselves, but faced with an increased lack of safety and the prospect of giving up their British Passports when Kenya got independence in 1963 they felt that with two young children under 6, they had no option but to leave Kenya behind.
Returning from Africa in 1963 Bill and Cecilia looked at a few shops before choosing Old Buckenham which they loved then and always.
So in November 1963 Bill and Cecilia, along with Ann Mary and Jane moved to Norfolk! They found it a bit chilly compared with Africa, the winds howled from the east and the children saw snow for the first time. According to Mummy Ann Mary spent that first winter wearing every single item of clothing that she possessed!
The following year I was born on a Wednesday afternoon which of course in those days was half day closing.
Mum and Dad joined Spar in 1964, the shop went self service, and a while later they added the post office. 1971 saw decimalisation, and in 1974 they were the first grocery shop in England to get an off licence. In those days the wine selection was Black Tower and Matheus Rose, sherry was sold from a barrel into your own bottle and whisky and brandy were for medicinal purposes!
Bill spent most of those days in his green Spar overall behind the post office counter. This was the era before internet banking, mobile phones and email so most of the village went to his counter, collecting pensions and family allowance, buying postal orders as well as sending letters and parcels. Bill knew everyone and he was a man that believed that every individual had something interesting to say and to teach you if you listened to their stories. When not behind that counter he’d be slicing ham, fetching gallons of paraffin and delivering grocery orders round the nearby villages often with one of us in tow.
To three young girls growing up and to the end of his days as far as we were concerned our father was a giant of a man, both physically and intellectually, to us he knew everything (except sport!), he’d read the dictionary from cover to cover; knew lots about science, history and current affairs ; could quote case law from his time in the police plus he was practical and could make things and fix things. He was in charge of buying us second hand bikes and subsequently cars and had a solution for every problem.
Bill had his own unique way of fixing things. To make the house warmer upstairs he put a two foot hole in the ceiling above a heater! When one of my old Minis was letting in water which swooshed about like a tide he drilled holes in the bottom of the car and threw in some sawdust (so it then had a tide and a beach!). He repaired the wing of that green van he loved with the metal from a catering size corned beef tin. Only a few weeks ago he was trying to fix the downstairs loo hinge with two five pence pieces glued either side!
Living with three young people who all knew their own minds couldn’t have been easy for Bill and maybe this was the era when he started to develop his slightly grumpy persona! He made good use of those three little words to get him by “ask your mother!” There were some occasions when mum would say “don’t tell your father” and one of those that springs to mind was when our gerbils escaped and fell down Bill’s two foot hole in the ceiling!
It was a simple idyllic rural life in Norfolk and Mum and Dad loved it! They kept shop for 28 years from 1963 to 1991 and on the day they retired they became grandparents for the first time, to Deaglan and then to Clara. Once retired they maintained their links with the community, Mum as parish clerk and dad volunteering as a community car driver. Dad now had the time to return to his passion for growing fruit and vegetables. They would go out pretty much every afternoon, they loved to walk in Thetford Forest and along the beach in Southwold, plus going miles on their tandem. They adored those days and they adored each other, life was perfect.
Throughout his life Bill watched the goings on in the world with interest. He watched the 1 o’clock news and then the 6 o’clock news, switching over then to the channel 4 7 o’clock news (just to make they’d got it right he’d say) plus the 10 o’clock, then News Night, Andrew Marr and lots of documentaries. Plus he read the EDP newspaper avidly and much else besides. He read and he watched and he listened and he drew his own conclusions, he had his own take on things, “don’t you think” meant an interesting and wide ranging observation was about to follow. And he really did want to know what you thought, it was the start of many good, thought provoking, yet gentle conversations. Dad held a passionate belief in the principal that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. He was irritated by political incompetence, he was absolutely appalled by the Post Office Scandal, the Windrush Scandal and totally supported the Black Lives Matter movement. Dad also had a good sense of humour, he loved comedy programmes, laughing heartily at absurdity, silliness and satire, Dads Army and Allo Allo being two of his favourites.
Many of us here would also have known Bill’s dour outlook, mostly it was for effect though one of his favourite phrases was “I was born in a depression and I’m going to die in a depression!” Unfortunately this has turned out to be all too true!
After a long and happy retirement and when in her 80s Mum became quite frail and Bill cared for her with love, concern and tenderness. He did everything for her and was devoted to her to the end. It was 8 years ago that Mummy died and Bill has said numerous times that he just wanted to be with her again.
Bill was a lucky man, the eldest of his generation of Wardmans, brother to Ann and Mary, uncle to Robert, Ian, Mark, Lucy and Fitty, he enjoyed family parties and family life.
After a very brief spell in hospital Bill passed away peacefully with Jane by his side. He was chatty and lucid, telling Jane memories of Africa, Norfolk and his long and happy marriage. He gave her quite a number of instructions including “get that downstairs loo replaced, my 5pence piece repair hasn’t worked!” He also summed up his own life saying “I have had a good life, a wonderful wife and three daughters that I am proud of, I have succeeded”
In his old age Dad’s biggest wish was to stay in his own home and he achieved this with help from quite a number of good friends and neighbours many of whom are here today. Terry and Sue, Debbie and Stuart, Phil and Zona helped Dad in numerous ways. Dad’s good friend Jim helped keep the house maintained. The physios Becky, Jonathan and Amy from Back in Motion who kept Bill moving and extended encouragement and friendship. Daniel who lived with Bill and cared for him devotedly for quite a few months until he was fit to live independently again. The carers, especially Joe and Tessa, from Pride Homecare who called on Dad twice daily. Gavin who managed Dad’s affairs. To all of you the three of us say thank you. And as every orchestra needs a first violin to support the conductor there was Jane who tirelessly cared for and spent time with Dad, visiting and working with him to arrange things and to enjoy conversation, good food and television. Nobody could have done more or shown more care, we are very proud of you and on behalf of Ann Mary and I Thank you.
And as we say goodbye to Bill I want to pay tribute to him and our mother for everything that they did for us three girls. I for one want to celebrate his successful happy life and henceforth picture him reunited with Cecilia for which he will be a very happy man.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Busy day in Old Buckenham

Clearing out and clearing up
This Sunday 20 September, starting at 11am by the Ottomer pond, you are invited to take part in a litter pick around the village Green. Cleaned pickers and high vis jackets will be available for your use or bring your own.
The blog editor starts his picking when he leaves home and already has plenty in his black bag by the time he has walked up Cake Street to the Green.
This Sunday is also a village-wide Yard (or Garage) sale with nearly forty properties trying to get you to take away their unwanted goods.
Feel free to take part in both activities.

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Latest from Old Buckenham Parish Council

Details of September minutes
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met via Zoom on Thursday 3 September. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Terry Cook, Andy Nicholls and Ben Devlin. Also present were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and two members of the public.
Mike Farrington had sent his apologies for not being able to attend.
The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 6 August were approved (6 in favour).The request mentioned in these minutes for the 30 mph zone extension on Harlingwood Lane had been refused by Highways.
Financial matters. The Community account balance was now £29,479.07. Payments of £787.49 were approved (6 in favour).
AGAR forms. Due to COVID and lockdown, the AGAR (Annual Governance and Accountability Return) deadline was initially cancelled and the Parish Council were informed that they would be contacted with a new date. This did not happen and the council have been informed that the deadline has passed. Donna Oakley has worked incredibly hard to complete the AGAR forms as quickly as possible. The Parish Council could see no problems with the forms and they were approved (6 in favour).
Public participation relating to agenda items. When asked about the recent visit by the Met Office to the Airfield and the Anglian Water site the councillors explained that the email informing them was quite late and vague on times so no one attended. It wasn’t clear whether councillors were being invited to attend or was the email simply to inform them of the Met Office’s actions. Councillors decided to reply to the Met Office asking for any further information and asking to be invited to any proposed future site visits. They also queried whether neighbouring councils had been informed as well as George Freeman MP and the District and County councillor Steve Askew.
New planning applications. None.
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following three applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved.
Land South of March Field Way. Residential development of 9 dwellings and associated external works (3PL/2019/1401/F).
Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. New shower block and a cabin to replace an existing static caravan (3PL/2020/0675/F).
Haresfield, The Old Yard, Hargham Road. Change of use of parcel of land to rear of existing residential unit to residential curtilage and erection of a rear extension, comprising of garage bays to the ground floor and 2 no bedrooms to the first floor and terrace at the rear (3PL/2020/0437/F).
The following application has now been considered and the application has been refused. Land west of Attleborough Road, north of the property East View. Outline application for 5 residential dwellings (3PL/2020/0578/0).
Communications. Steve Milner provided a document summarising communication by the Parish Council. Councillors are to provide feedback and a plan drawn up for the next meeting.
Public Rights of Way. Terry Cook explained that the recent increase in walkers, cyclists and horse riders has raised several queries about Public Rights of Way (PROW). Terry Cook and Steve Milner would like to utilise the village newsletter to highlight the laws and rights of both landowners and walkers, and also raise awareness of some of the public footpaths that exist in and around our Parish. Ben Devlin explained that they had started looking at making a map for their customers at the Country Park and so could work together and share resources. Councillors were supportive of this plan.
Policies. Several policies of the Parish Council are in need of updating. Jonn Hicks, Steve Milner and Terry Cook volunteered to meet up and draft new copies for approval at next meeting.
Chairman’s report. As most groups have been unable to meet up and use last year’s Precept grants, the chairman asked whether we need to do them this year? Many councillors felt that this would put other groups who would still need them at a disadvantage. Some groups might rely on these grants more due to lockdown restrictions. It was agreed to keep the present Grant policy (6 in favour) with a new deadline of Friday 20 November. Village Hall doors still need purchasing by the Parish Council (in lieu of Grant) as still awaiting three quotes.
Another defibrillator has been installed, this time on 39 Fen Street. Many thanks due to Mr and Mrs Evison for allowing it to be placed on their property. Registered with the NHS and ready for use. SAM speed equipment also installed at 39 Fen St to measure traffic speeds. Will be rotated to measure speeds of cars travelling in both directions.
Playdale are being chased up to complete repairs in Play Area. Grass will be cut in next couple of weeks.
Football posts in the Recreation Area have proved popular. Proposal to accept a quote of £80 to initially mark out the pitch with £25 to re-do once a month (can evaluate and change frequency as necessary) was approved (6 in favour). Large drop between the level of the village hall car park and the recreation ground by the entrance gate has been reported. Jonn Hicks and village handyman will fill and compact in attempt to minimise tripping hazard.
Councillors’ reports. Steve Milner said he was struggling to find a clear explanation of new website accessibility regulations. He will ask for feedback on the difficulty that users face. Adrian Joel reported that one ½ size allotment plot has been taken.
Items for next agenda. These will include allotment rents, the Action Plan, communications and update of Policies.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 1 October at 7.30pm. Location to be confirmed nearer the time, subject to Government guidelines at that time.

Monday, 7 September 2020

Farewell to Old Buckenham shopkeeper

Villagers congregate outside village shop
The weather was overcast and damp but many villagers met together today on the edge of the Green to say their last farewells to Bill Wardman. Bill and his late wife Cecilia moved to Old Buckenham in 1964 and ran the village shop for 26 years.
The blog editor has put together a pictorial reminder of an emotional event.

A lone piper plays outside the Wardman's home
Villagers start to arrive...
... and so do the clergy
Talking to the family mourners
More villagers start to arrive
Rev Alistair Monkhouse talks about Bill...
...and leads the prayers
Light-hearted moment to look at old photographs
Hearse begins to leave
Piper leads hearse out to the road...
...and then off to the crematorium.

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Correct times in Old Buckenham

Opening times for post office services
The newsletter editor wishes to apologise for some wrong information that was included in the September village newsletter. Having been asked to include the opening times for the post office in the village shop he took the information from the Post Office’s web page rather than checking directly with Venuka. He has now been informed that the post office services are available Monday to Friday from 8.45am to 1pm and then 2pm to 5.30pm. On Saturday the times are 8am to 12 noon.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Old Buckenham weather radar latest

Met Office looking at options
The Met Office have sent the following information to the Parish Council:
Since the withdrawal of our planning application for a proposed weather radar at Old Buckenham in March of this year (planning number 3PL/2019/1555/F), we have been exploring two alternative options to our original plan.  One option focuses on reduction of the radar tower height at the original site whilst the other option focuses on an alternative site suggested by the airfield, with a taller tower. 
 As part of our preliminary work, we would like to advise you that we will be visiting the Old Buckenham airfield and nearby Anglian Water site on Abbey Road on Wednesday 2 September and will be using a cherry picker to demonstrate the potential tower height at both sites. The cherry picker will arrive at the airfield mid-morning and will then move to the Abbey Road Anglian Water site by mid-afternoon. The vehicle will not be using roads through the village and will be leaving on the same day. 
 In order to maintain similar coverage levels to those possible from the originally proposed site, the tower height requirement will be different for the two sites. The height of radar towers largely relates to the height of the land it is sited on and the height of surrounding trees and buildings. The land at the airfield is lower lying than the land at the Anglian Water site. The cherry picker will reach to the new heights at both locations and allow us take photographs and measurements for consultation and planning reasons.  
We would like to stress that we are currently evaluating both options and we will continue to keep you informed of any progress. 
So look out for things high in the sky on Wednesday...

Monday, 31 August 2020

Another Old Buckenham newsletter

Distribution has started
This issue has details of the recent find of a votive bronze axe, a big garage/yard sale throughout the village, local planning decisions, more on Lionel George Robinson and much other news. Some copies have already been delivered and the rest are on the way around.

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Flower Festival at Old Buckenham Methodist Church

Bright and beautiful
Despite all the present day rules and regulations, the bank holiday Flower Festival is taking place in the Methodist Church on Hargham Road.
The church is open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 29 August and Monday 31 August. On Sunday 30 August the opening hours are 12 noon until 4pm

Appropriate safety precautions and signage is in place and ample parking is available. Just remember to bring along your face mask, come inside and enjoy all the colourful flower arrangements.

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Shopkeeper in Old Buckenham for many years

Remembering Bill
Bill Wardman, whom many people in the village will remember, passed away at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on Monday 17 August. Bill was 90 and he was at his home in Old Buckenham until a week before. The funeral is on Monday 7 September at 2pm at the Breckland Crematorium. The hearse will be leaving from outside the village shop at 1.15pm. Anyone who would like to join Bill’s family briefly there should arrive by 1pm when the Revd Alistair Monkhouse will be saying some words and prayers. 
Bill and his late wife Cecilia moved to the village in 1964 and ran the shop for 26 years. 
Donations in memory of Bill, if desired, may be sent c/o Andy Free, Fairfields, High Street, Attleborough, Norfolk, NR17 2BT for All Saint’s Church Fund (cheques should be made payable to Andy Free Charity Account). 
If you have any memories of Bill that you would like to share with others then you can email them to the editor of the village newsletter at for possible inclusion in the October newsletter.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Report on August meeting
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is altered at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met via Zoom at 7.30pm on Thursday 6 August. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington, Terry Cook and Andy Nicholls. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and four members of the public. Andy Nicholls had sent his apologies in advance for late arrival.
The minutes of the meeting held in July were approved (5 in favour) and there were no matters arising.
Financial matters. The Community account balance is £30,411.65.
Payments of £932.58 were approved (5 in favour). These payments included £90 for grass cutting, £335 for the village handyman and £67.30 for the community car service.
Public participation relating to agenda items. A member of the public wished to thank the Parish Council for the installation of the new football goals at the Recreation Ground and the on-going work to flatten the ground. It has been greatly appreciated.
New planning applications. Old Buckenham High School, Abbey Road. The construction of an Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) with fencing and ancillary features at Old Buckenham High School (3PL/2020/0770/F). The Parish Council were all happy for the school to improve the sports facilities for its pupils. However there were some questions asked about whether the community could ever get any use of it in the future and the council will raise with the Trust in the future. The application was supported (5 in favour).
Land at Chalk Lane, Snetterton. The construction of an agricultural feed mill (Use Class B2) with ancillary offices and welfare facilities, creation of a new vehicular access and associated infrastructure including silos; engineering; landscaping; and ground works. This is an Environmental Impact Assessment Development (3PL/2020/0780/F). The Council could not see any reasons for objection to the application. It should not create any extra traffic in Old Buckenham or neighbouring villages as it is very near a junction of the A11. The application was supported (5 in favour).
Orchard House, The Green. Demolition of existing garage and erection of single storey games room (3PL/2020/0814/HOU). No problems or reasons for objection. The application was supported (5 in favour).
Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. New shower block and a cabin to replace an existing static caravan (3PL/2020/0675/F). The Clerk apologised for missing this application off the published agenda. The Council felt this was a logical application that enhanced a local business. The application was supported (5 in favour).
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following four applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved.
Windmill, Mill Road. Brick repairs to walls, oak lintel repairs over openings and repairs to the Mill cap. Ground floor replacement and removal of cement render. Minor timber repairs to intermediate floor structures (3PL/2020/0550/LB).
The New Stables, Grove Road. The New Stables, Grove Road. Further holiday cabin/caretaker accommodation (3PL/2020/0436/F).
17 Hargham Road. 1st floor extension and ground floor infill creating a 1½ storey dwelling with annex accommodation, revised scheme (3PL/2020/0636/HOU).
Scales Farm, road from Stacksford Lane to Hargham Road. Erection of straw barn (3PL/2020/0580/F).
The following two applications have now been considered and the applications have been refused.
Redbourne House, Abbey Road. New detached double garage to front of property. Single storey extension to rear of existing garage (3PL/2020/0493/HOU).
Canem Cave Cottage, 62A Fen Street. Rear extension, permitted development (3PN/2020/0026/PNE).
Communications. Steve Milner has been unable to complete the research and so the subject will be discussed next month.
Planting of new trees around Green. (Andy Nicholls joined the meeting) Mike Farrinton and Adrian Joel were able to meet with the Breckland Tree Officer, along with some members of the Green Working Party. The Tree Officer felt that overall it was a good plan with suitable species in appropriate locations. He added that they should be planted in small groups and that there would be little maintenance for 50 years (although crowns could be raised or trees pollarded if desired). Jonn Hicks highlighted that he had spoken to several tree surgeons who claimed that the oaks would need maintenance after 10 years. Steve Milner commented that the Parish Council should think about the environmental impact for future generations, not just financial costs. Several councillors and members of the public explained that there have been high costs in recent years due to a lack of ongoing maintenance in the past. Overall, the Parish Council were supportive of planting new trees about the Green, especially to replace those that had died/been removed in the past. With concerns about high maintenance costs, it was proposed to approve the Green Working Party request to plant the trees. However the Parish Council will set aside £500 each year in to an emergency tree fund (eg large damage following a bad storm) and that the Green Working Party should set aside part of their budget for the regular ongoing maintenance of the trees too. This was approved (5 in favour, 1 abstain).
Chairman’s report. A meeting with Chapel Green School is booked in for September. Adrian Joel and Rachel Noyes will attend. He is also waiting for electrician to be free for the installing of two defibrillators.
Village Green Working Party. The VGWP were pleased to get very positive feedback from their village survey which overall showed good support for the recent Green management. All feedback and comments are being read and noted for future maintenance.
Road Safety. The SAM speed sign has been operating in Cake Street. Steve Milner expects to download and collect the data in the next week or two.
Play Area. Playdale are due to visit at the start of September to replace some toddler swings and fix bearings on the roundabout.
Recreation Area. New set of goal posts installed and getting lots of use over the summer holidays. Grass will be rolled following any wet weather during summer. It would be great to get some adults together for a little football team. Andy Nicholls and Jonn Hicks are looking in to getting the pitch marked out.
Councillors’ reports. Adrian Joel pointed out that the road leading to the Primary School and Village Hall has lots of pot holes. Need to email Norfolk County Council to confirm who is responsible for that road. The two allotment plots that were put aside for a community project will not be needed as it has been decided not to go ahead with the project.
Terry Cook will be attending a Village Hall meeting to address the Covid rules and regulations with the aim of opening the Hall from Tuesday 1 September.
Mike Farrington reported yet another accident at Puddledock corner. He is looking to arrange meeting with District and County councillor Stephen Askew and local residents to try and find a solution.
Terry Cook and Steve Milner have had several enquires over last few months regarding footpaths in the area. They will need to consult with the County Footpaths Officer over some of them. Please raise any further issues so they can be logged and addressed.
Andy Nicholls said that a resident on Harlingwood Lane is writing to Norfolk County Council to request extending the 30mph zone further up the lane to the last bungalow. They also requested that the Parish Council also write to support this which they agreed to do (6 in favour). Large numbers of dog walkers use Harlingwood Lane and so would be a good idea to install an extra dog poo bin, possibly at the corner by the Stud’s rear gate. Will need to consult with Breckland to arrange collection. Suggestion approved (6 in favour).
There appears to be speeding by some bikes on a Tuesday, following their meeting on the Green by the Ox and Plough. The pub is doing a good job at reminding attendees to drive safely and respectfully as they leave but cannot control them once they leave.
Items for next agenda. These will include Communications.
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 3 September at 7.30pm via Zoom (subject to Government Guidelines at the time).

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Football in Old Buckenham

Making use of new goals

The Parish Council has, at a cost of over £1000, installed some new goal posts at the Recreation Area behind the Village Hall. They are also ensuring the grass is cut (and rolled when it is wet enough for it to have some effect).
Despite temperatures in the low thirties there were half a dozen youngsters there today when the blog editor arrived to leave his old newspapers and glass in the recycling bins.
Remember the recreation area is there for all to use, what ever your age, and there has even been talk of Walking Football matches for the less athletic.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Clearing out in Old Buckenham

Take part in yard sale
There will be a Yard Sale in Old Buckenham from 9am to 1pm on Sunday 20 September. Properties on Doe Lane, St Andrew's Close/March Field Way, The Green, Attleborough Road, Fen Street, Crown Road and in Stacksford have booked in to take part.
There are over twenty places booked so far but the more the merrier so get in touch with Steph Gipp if you would like to be added to the map that she will be producing. Steph can be contacted by email on or by phone 01953 860550
There is no charge for taking part in the sale but a small charge of £1 for maps, any money raised will be donated to a chosen charity.
Please make sure that you contact Steph by Monday 7 September to make sure that you are included on the map.