Sunday, 31 July 2011

A visit from The Upper Octave

Songs from the shows at All Saints
Last night provided a most enjoyable evening’s entertainment in All Saints Church, Old Buckenham. Around eighty people, many from outside the village, came along to be entertained by The Upper Octave who performed their concert “Bizet to Broadway”.
The event was organised to raise funds for the church and turned out to be a most wonderful way to both raise funds and have a wonderful time. With the church rigged up with special sound and lighting equipment, the group performed a wide range of music from various operas and varied musicals.
Starting with the Phantom of the Opera (in costume) they travelled through Tosca, Iolanthe, Evita, South Pacific, The King and I, Carmen, and Les Miserables to mention just a few. They even managed to squeeze in a song by Victoria Wood before a finale of Love Changes Everything from Aspects of Love.
A standing ovation at the end meant that there had to be an encore to keep the audience happy.
Half time had provided the chance to have a glass of wine and some real home-cooked refreshments. As the evening drew on, the colourful but subdued lighting in the darkened church gave the performance that little something extra.
Should you have missed this show, the cast took the opportunity to tell everyone that they will be performing at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich on Sunday 4 December. Why not book now, you’ll enjoy it as much as the singers enjoy their singing.
There is also a rumour that they may be back in Old Buckenham in the summer of 2012 – if so, you will read about it here…

The lighting levels during the show were not really conducive to photography but the group posed outside before the second half and were also pictured having some welcome refreshments after they had finished their singing.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Old Buckenham cricket pitch

Archie MacLaren and Mr Porter
Can any of the blog readers expand on the links with Old Buckenham of Archie MacLaren. He was one of the leading players of cricket's Golden Age, heir to W G Grace as England captain and therefore the country's foremost sporting celebrity. After his Test match career ended and a string of business ventures failed, he was given the job of Lionel Robinson's cricket manager and provided with accommodation on the Old BuckenhamHall estate.
It is understood that Archie and his family lived at The Manor when he first came to Old Buckenham in 1911/12, but during or after the First World War moved to Warren House. An EDP article reveals he was still resident on the estate at the time of the 1921 Australian match (for which he was selected and captained Robinson's English XI). It says: "Groundsman Porter, who was wounded in the war, has had the benefit of the sound advice of Mr A C MacLaren, whose house is almost within a golf-shot distance of the cricket pitch."
Archie probably left Old Buckenham not long after, as Lionel Robinson's health was in serious decline and he died 14 months after staging the most prestigious cricket match ever played in Norfolk.
It would also be interesting to learn something more of Groundsman Porter, who was afflicted by a severe limp as a result of the wounds he sustained while fighting in France. Did he or members of his family have on-going links with the village?

If you can provide any information on this subject you can use the commenting facility below or send an email to

Friday, 29 July 2011

More local history

Our local garage
Here is more information connected to the drawing shown in the last post.
Herbert Westfield, moved to the village around 1924/5 from Essex and set up a garage and shop at the former Reading Room, now the Clinic on the Green. He repaired cars and cycles, sold petrol and paraffin, charged accumulators and so on. His wife Elsie ran the little shop next door until Herbert retired aged 80 in 1951 and they moved to Attleborough. They sold the business to Leslie Loveday.
The drawing illustrates of how the place looked in 1947. The (very) amateur artist was Maurice "Pally" Large, who lived across the road (his father was Will Large). It probably wouldn't win any prizes in the village art competition today but is an intriguing depiction of how the building, which has undergone many changes over the years, looked at the time.
Incidentally, in contrast to the present day, the village petrol station thrived in those days. In the 1930s, Westfield's sold the cheapest petrol for miles around - at a ha'penny under a shilling (5p) a gallon. That's about 1p a litre!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

When we had a garage

Sixty-four years ago
A reader of this blog has sent in a copy of a drawing done in 1947 of what is now the 'Clinic on the Green'. As was pointed out, this drawing by Maurice Large would not win any prizes in an art exhibition but it does give an idea of what things used to look like.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

August is here already

Yet another newsletter
If you have not got one yet you can now pick up a copy of the August newsletter from the village shop or the other 'selected outlets'.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Match of Yesterday

Official opening of recreation area
Tim Ing, the chairman of the Old Buckenham Parish Council, was on hand yesterday to cut through the yellow and green ribbons and perform the opening ceremony for the new recreation area. It is situated just behind the village hall and has now been equipped with two football goals with nets.
So it was appropriate that the supporting act was a football match between a team from the High School and another team made up of various players of differing ages. One parish councillor took to the field and was even allowed to be referee for the second half. It is understood that the final score was eleven goals to four but it is not really relevant to say which team scored the eleven.
The spectators were treated to some lovely homemade refreshments and tea or coffee to warm them up. The sun never really managed to break through and it was rather chilly just standing around.
Hopefully this will be the start of another useful facility for the use of all the village.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Old Buckenham Village Fete

The fun is coming

click to enlarge the image

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

'Outside in' talk

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
'Outside In' was the title of July's demonstration ably interpreted by Linda Harman at the Breckland Flower and Garden Club meeting. Her outside containers included an earthenware bowl and long-tom pot, a brightly painted bucket, a piece of wood and an improvised pedestal made from bamboo sticks. Her flowers included soft orange lilies and gerberas, white antirrhinums and pink roses. She spoke of her experiences in USA at the world show (flower arranging) and included tips of how to wire fatsia leaves.
The competition for a miniature arrangement was won by Joy Tunmore (Old Hands) and by Janet Skidmore(New Hands). Joy was also awarded the trophy for most imaginative arrangement. The table show for a vase of sweet peas was won by Shirley Penfold.
The next meeting will be held in Old Buckenham Village Hall at 2pm on Thursday 11 August when Rosemary Ward will talk on ‘Flowers and Ruins in the South of France’. The competition title will be ‘Swirls and Curls’ - to include plant manipulation. The table show will be for three stems of ‘hot colour’ from the garden.

Further information from Pat on 457305 or Sally on 788712 - visitors are always welcomed.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Just read the poster

Just click on the illustration to enlarge it 

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Hargham Tea Party

Damp but enjoyable
Yesterday provided the opportunity to enjoy a cream tea in the gardens of Brian and Eileen Oliver in Hargham Road. The weather was less than kind with around half an inch of rain falling during the morning and early afternoon.
But this event was to raise money for the Senior Citizens' 'Christmas' Party to be held early next year so the regular supporters turned up with umbrellas and wearing their waterproofs to support the good cause.
Most of the teas were enjoyed while sitting under gazebos and party tents in the garden although a few took advantage of being indoors.
With a cake stall, some bric-a-brac and a raffle raising money as well as the cream teas, some useful funds were raised for the party. It was interesting to see that most of those attending were of an age that they were contributing to an event that they will be able to go to...

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Al fresco evening

Evening out
Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle had their July meeting out of doors in the Garden of John and Barbara Frost in Mill Road. After a rather wet day, things cleared up in the early evening and everyone was able to sit outside chatting (and probably have a glass of wine as well if you so desired). There was the chance to enjoy some homemade refreshments and to take part in a larger than usual raffle.
The evening did turn a little chilly as a virtually full moon rose above the trees so the mardling continued indoors for a little longer.
Next month the group will be having a meeting back in the Church Rooms on Thursday 11 August. Chairman David Sallnow has promised an evening of ‘fun with wine’ so why not come along for a 7.45pm start and see what it is all about.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Latest council minutes

These notes are written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and may contain information that is amended at the next council meeting.
Parish Council in July
All members of the parish council were present along with six members of the public.
The formal meeting was suspended to allow members of the public to ask questions. The meeting was then resumed.
Minutes of the June meeting. These were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting and there were no matters arising.
Allotments. Adrian Joel said there had not been liaison meeting since the last Parish Council meeting. He had received an email from Tim Bornett (chairman and secretary of the Old Buckenham Allotment Society) which he had replied to. He had also received another email from an allotment holder asking a list of questions to which he read out and the answers will be provided for the allotment holder. At next meeting of the liaison group a new tenancy agreement will be drawn up with clauses inserted relating to concerns that have been expressed. Adrian Joel expressed thanks to Keith Hodgson for his work on the taps for the allotments and the Parish Clerk is to send a letter of thanks.
Funding of Community Car Scheme. The meeting was suspended to allow the scheme co-ordinator to give details of new mileage funding rates and alternative ways that they have to be implemented. When the meeting resumed, Derek Smalley proposed that Breckland Council pay 2.5p of the new mileage rate and the other 2.5p increase to be paid by the users of the scheme. This was seconded by Tom Johnson and agreed unanimously.
Recreation Area. Carol Marshall thanked the Parish Council Chairman who had marked out the football pitch. She raised the matter of children possibly swinging on the crossbars of the goalposts and what action needed to be taken to prevent it. It was agreed that there was nothing the Parish Council could do as they could not have 24-hour supervision of the area. Jonathan Kemp said the business plan had been sent to Breckland Council who thought it was a good plan and they gave some suggestions for some small amendments. The time scale for funding had to be extended and it was hoped that the final business plan could be submitted to Breckland in September for a possible decision in December. The working party will also be exploring other avenues for funding. Tom Johnson raised some concerns expressed by the Village Hall that there was no provision for toilets on the Recreation Area. Carol Marshall said that, on the advice of the police, these would not be provided.
Planning applications. Whitehouse, 57 Fen Street. Single storey garage to replace existing garage. There were no objections from the parish council.
‘Doe Lane’ meeting notes. Adrian Joel raised the matter of parking at the play area and the subsequent problems. John Frost raised the matter of children using the Church Rooms’ toilets at selective times but the Parish Council may have to pay to clean the toilets. The use of the toilets would be on a trial basis. Tim Ing sought the views of other councillors on the matter and John Frost said he would speak to the present cleaner to obtain her views on the subject if the Parish Council was prepared to make a donation to the Church Rooms. Adrian Joel also raised the matter of holding regular meetings with residents and a meeting would be arranged for Saturday 24 September in the Village Hall (the Parish Clerk to check if the hall is available).
Declaration of satisfactory completion of play area. It was proposed by Adrian Joel that the play area had been successfully completed within the original terms of reference. This was seconded by the chairman and agreed with 10 for and 1 abstention. Adrian Joel said the play area is looking in excellent condition and thanked the volunteers who maintained it.
Road sign for village shop. Adrian Joel said he had spoken to Norfolk County Council (NCC) about obtaining a sign pointing to the village shop on the white sign post at the junction of Abbey Road and the B1077. He was advised that this was not possible and the matter is now with MP George Freeman who has taken the matter up with NCC. If unsuccessful the shop owner will apply to Breckland Council for a finger post on the Green. Tom Johnson raised the matter of speed signs at the play area and suggested the Parish Council have it owns signs on the play area following the refusal of Norfolk County Council to introduce a 20 mph speed limit and provide signs.
Attleborough expansion plan. Derek Smalley said he had attended a steering committee meeting of the Attleborough Community Team (ACT) as a private individual and not as a parish councillor. He raised some serious concerns regarding the whole Attleborough plan and asked if he could attend future meetings as a representative of the Parish Council. Adrian Joel replied on the matter of infrastructure and possible section 106 payments to be paid by the developers. Also Breckland Council had not received details of the prioritising of the infrastructure of the scheme. There was going to be a meeting at Breckland on Thursday 28 July and Tom Johnson would be attending the meeting. Tim Ing proposed that Derek Smalley should be able to speak on behalf of the Parish Council at ACT meetings and this was agreed unanimously. Various councillors expressed their views on the development.
Chairman’s report. Tim Ing said that the Parish Council need to appoint a Council Health and Safety Officer under the new proposed Health and Safety policy being drafted by the Parish Clerk. Tom Johnson agreed to undertake the role. The Parish Clerk would present the new policy for adoption at the September meeting. He then raised the matter of village archive storage as the Attleborough Heritage Museum had agreed to take the documents or alternatively they could be stored at the Village Hall. Various views were expressed on the matter and Paul Boggia agreed to look further into the matter. Tim Ing said he had received an email from a resident regarding a hedge removal in Banham Road. The Parish Clerk said that he had spoken to Breckland Council on the matter and they had informed him the removal of the hedge did not contravene the Hedges Act as it was on private property. Tim Ing then raised the matter of the £500 won from the Pride in Norfolk award and that no decision had yet been received for how the money should be spent. The Parish Clerk is to write to the Women’s Institute to seek their views on how the money could be spent. Tim Ing will be attending the planning meeting of Breckland Council planning committee regarding the Shrublands development on Monday 8 August to speak on behalf of the Parish Council.
District Councillor’s report. An examination in public of the Site Specifics Proposals of the Development Plan Document (DPD) will commence at the beginning of July and last about a week. The Inspector’s report will follow and the adoption of the DPD will take place towards the end of this year. With effect from the end of 2012, the Government will allow Councils to introduce a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on all new houses built to cover the cost of infrastructure. Breckland are currently working on a district-wide CIL. To ensure that major developments given planning permission prior to the introduction of the CIL contribute to the District’s infrastructure, Breckland will be looking at ways of enduring that these developments contribute ie a S106 legal agreement. The next meeting of the Attleborough Task Force is Thursday 28 July which will be attended by Adrian Joel and Tom Johnson.
Parish councillors’ reports. Tom Johnson said he attended the recent Village Hall meeting where views were expressed that the Parish Council seemed to be concentrating on things for younger residents and that the majority of the older residents were being ignored. He also said that the Village Hall will be making a grant application at the next precept meeting. Sarah Windle said she was working on the Community Emergency Plan and was having a meeting with Breckland Council on the subject. She will be getting out in the community to meet residents and see what equipment is available in an emergency. Derek Smalley said the first new welcome pack had been delivered. Also he had people coming to him regarding bulk oil purchase. He said that he needs at least 15 to 20 people and at the present time there were only five who had expressed an interest in the scheme so he will put an item in the next newsletter. Akis Chrisovelides will circulate a recently prepared document for a Youth Council in the circulation folder. Adrian Joel said he had attended a meeting of Norfolk Association of Local Councils (NALC) locally and he found the meeting useful. He had given them details of the Old Buckenham allotments and they were impressed with the project. They said they would like to see more people from Old Buckenham attend their meetings. Sarah Dye said she attended the new councillors training course and found it very useful and enjoyed it greatly. She then expressed her thanks to John Hicks for his excellent work on maintaining the play area. Carol Marshall said the opening event of the Recreation Area would take place on Saturday 23 July and asked if Tim Ing would do the official opening and he agreed to do this. She then asked for volunteers of the Parish Council in providing Old English teas on the opening day and also said that she needed more volunteers to assist with the garage sale on Sunday 21 August.
Highways. A tree branch on the B1077 towards Attleborough between the Pink Cottage and Puddledock corner was broken and is dangerous. Parish Clerk is to contact highways on the matter.
The Green. Tim Ing had attended the Old Buckenham Green Right Proprietors (OBGRP) meeting in June and will circulate notes from the meeting to all councillors. Steps up to the bench on the Green have been inserted and a new grass cutting agreement had been agreed up to 2012. OBGRP is looking at possible parking charges on the Green again. There is still no full list of owners of green rights. OBGRP was holding an open meeting on Saturday 23 July at Village Hall at 10am. The next meeting of the OBGRP would be held on Tuesday 12 July. They will be looking at an amenity area around the trees near the village shop and will not allow one on the main Green. He then said he and Sarah Dye had met with the owner of the Ox & Plough. Concerns have been raised about parking on various areas of the Green and that suggested solutions were being discussed to address these problems. Tim Ing said the Parish Council may be asked to make a financial contribution to the solutions. He asked for councillors’ views on the matter and some suggestions were put forward for discussion with the OBGRP. Akis Chrisovelides raised the matter of the fish and chips sign and was informed the OBGRP had given permission for the sign to be put on the Green on a temporary basis.
There is no parish council meeting in August.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 1 September 2011 at the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Upper Octave perform locally

All the way from Bizet to Broadway
Norfolk's most popular and talented vocal ensemble "The Upper Octave" will present their new two-hour concept show "Bizet to Broadway" at Old Buckenham All Saints Church later this month. The show combines the best of classic musical theatre with everyone’s favourite operatic arias to create an eclectic mix which leaves audiences wanting more, bursts with energy, flair and has wowed discerning music and concert lovers alike. The performance will take place, wine and nibbles included, on Saturday 30 July at 7.30pm. Tickets at £10 each are available from Doris by calling 860845.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Another moveable feast

Talking between courses
Saturday 9 July was the date of another 'progressive supper' organised by  Old Buckenham Women's Institute. It all started with sherry and nibbles in a house in Mill Road before everyone moved on to  Hargham Road. Here another house was invaded by the diners who enjoyed their starters of pate and toast or a melon cocktail. Then off to the next venue, this time in Attleborough Road, by foot, by bicycle or even by car to sit down for the main meal and to enjoy a glass of wine.
After plenty of after-dinner conversation it was back to a different house in Mill Road where a large variety of sweets were laid out ready to be consumed. There were even seconds available for those who wanted to try something else.
The evening had remained dry despite a forecast of possible showers so many participants enjoyed their coffee sitting in the garden, enjoying even more chatting and admiring the flowers until dusk fell and it was time for all to return to their own homes.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Didn't we have a luv-er-ley day, the day we went to Wroxham

Luncheon Club eat out
This week was time for the local Luncheon Club to forsake the Old Buckenham village hall and take a coach trip out to have lunch at the Hotel Wroxham. After their meal in the Waterside restaurant they were then able to sit and watch the boat and bird traffic on the River Bure or do a little shopping around the many parts of Roys. Even the showers of rain came at the right times to allow everyone to keep dry before the coach journey home.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Keeping safe

Child Safety week events
The children of Buckenham Pre-school Group took part in various activities in support of Child Safety Week.
They had a visit from the St John Ambulance Service with their first response vehicle. They also took part in their own ‘beep–beep’ days with help from Old Buckenham’s lollipop lady, Julie Taylor, when they learnt about road safety and raised money for the Pre-school and the road safety charity Brake.
Road Safety Officer Philip Archer brought along his two bears Bethany and Benjamin to teach the children the importance of holding hands when walking along and also to always wear a seat belt when travelling by car.