Saturday, 30 November 2013

Decorating Old Buckenham village hall

Time to decorate
Perhaps it was the possibility of mince pies and mulled wine that was the attraction. But this year there was a goodly collection of people of all ages who came along this afternoon to help with putting up Christmas decorations in Old Buckenham village hall.
There were trees to decorate and tinsel to hang up around the windows. Only when the work was done did they stop for the festive refreshments.
It should be a more colourful atmosphere for the bingo session this evening and all the other events that will take place this year.

Old Buckenham activities in December

Diary dates for December

Tuesday 3    Breckland Flower Club outing

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

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

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

Thursday 5    Women's Institute Christmas Lunch

Thursday 5    Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 6    Chanter's Jigge, All Saints Church, 7.30pm

Saturday 7    Race Night, Village Hall, 7pm for 7.30pm

Sunday 8    Father Christmas at Old Buckenham Windmill

Monday 9    Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Thursday 12    Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 12    Carols with NB Silver Band, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

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

Sunday 15    Christmas Fly In, OB Airfield

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

Wednesday 18    Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Thursday 19    High School carol service, All Saints Church, 10am

Thursday 19    Primary School carol service, All Saints Church, 6.30pm

Friday 20    Carols on the Green, outside Ox and Plough, from 6pm

Sunday 22    Crib service, All Saints Church, 4pm

Tuesday 24    Church Rooms open all day for food donations

Tuesday 24    Candlelit carol service, All Saints Church, 7pm

Friday, 29 November 2013

Old Buckenham latest newsletter

Copies have been taken around
The December issue of the Old Buckenham village newsletter has now been printed and copies should be available around the village for you to pick up.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Events at Old Buckenham village hall

Support your local events

Next Saturday 30 November why not come along at 2pm and help with the  decorating the village hall with Christmas decorations. There will be Christmas music playing to get you into the spirit and possibly some suitable refreshments.
Then come along in the evening at 7.30pm for the Bingo. The more that turn up, the greater the cash prizes.

Other future events announced by the Village Hall committee are:
Saturday 7 December there will be a Race Night starting at 7pm.
Saturday, 4 January will be Village Hall Cinema at 7.30pm.
From Thursday 30 January to Saturday 1 February Old Buckenham Players will be presenting The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew, a light-hearted play for adults and growing children.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Carols on Old Buckenham Green

A date for some singing
You can come and join in with your families and friends from Old Buckenham to sing some Christmas carols, along with enjoying a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. The Old Buckenham 2000 Trust is sponsoring this event as a way of thanking everyone for their support during the past year. So come and join in the fun and be prepared to have a good festive sing-a-long. Bring your voices, a woolly hat and a torch. The event will take place outside the Ox and Plough on Old Buckenham Green on Friday 20 December at 6pm. See you there.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Progress on Old Buckenham road safety campaign

Radio takes an interest
Radio Norfolk took an interest in the campaign to improve safety for school children as they cross the B1077 in Old Buckenham. Reporter Emma James visited Friday afternoon to gather information on the dangers the school kids are facing. All was quiet when she arrived and she wondered what the fuss was about. But as the schools emptied the scene rapidly changed. Again a few near misses were seen. Emma interviewed Steve Milner, Sadie Burton and her children.
The interview with Steve went out yesterday at 5pm, this can still be listened to if you go onto the Radio Norfolk website. The interview with Sadie and her children went out this morning (Saturday).  Again it can be heard on the listen again service.
More publicity is likely later in the week with a Diss Mercury reporter expected to be visiting the site on Tuesday 26 November.

Our Old Buckenham water

Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle
The November meeting of the Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle took the form of a talk given by Rachel Harvey from Anglian Water. Rachel gave a very interesting and informative talk on how clean and purified water reaches our taps, and how the items washed down our sinks and drains - and flushed down our toilets - are dealt with at treatment centres. In this part of the country fresh water is found mainly in aquifers although reservoirs do help with storage. But the supply of water is not endless, new reservoirs and water treatment plants are needed as the population grows. East Anglia is the driest area in the country with an average rainfall similar to that of Egypt. 

The items put into the water system prove difficult and costly to deal with. Fat, oil and grease gradually solidify in the cold running water and this blocks pipes meaning that roads have to be dug up to remove the underground blockages. Items flushed down the toilet – wipes, nappies, and various other things – have to be removed from the sewage and taken to landfill before water can be treated.
The evening finished with members being challenged to design a water supply system for a small town, a practical exercise involving a map, lots of pipe sections, containers and real water. This is usually used to teach schoolchildren but was enthusiastically entered into by the grownups who completed their layouts without spilling water all over the floor.

The next meeting of the Social and Wine Circle will be on Thursday 12 December in the Church Rooms commencing at 7.30pm. The AGM will be held at the beginning of the evening and will be followed by the usual Christmas party festivities.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Quiz and Chips in Old Buckenham

Questions and answers
There was a full house for the Old Buckenham Village Hall Quiz and Chips evening on Friday 15 November. In all 15 teams entered with an excellent range of questions set by the quiz master Geoffery Short. Dorothy Wooliscroft and her team of Ann Delf and Pamela Richardson kept the show going with seamless answer sheet collection and subsequent marking.

The half time break brought a dash into Attleborough to collect fifty-five portions of fish and chips, topped up with chicken and pizza. It was the only time the hall was quiet as people had their heads down enjoying the feast.
Soon it was time for the second half and the dash to the finish line started with the final winners being the Women’s Institute "A" Team. Full results were:
WI A Team (Susan Hunter, Doris Monkhouse, Barbara Frost and Pat Shearing), 76 points
Three Stooges, 72 points
Odds and Sods, 65 points
Scrambled Egg Heads, 63 points
Three + one, 63 points
The Bucks, 63 points
WI B Team, 62 points
Ferniflecks, 61 points
Figgifens, 60 points
Puddled Golfers, 59 points
Cribbers, 59 points
Hidden Talent, 54 points
Windy Millers, 41 points
Old Buckenham Players 2, 41 points
Old Buckenham Players 1, 33 points
Thanks go to all those involved in organising the food and bar as well as the team of people who came early to set up and stayed late to put away. See you all for the next quiz in 2014.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Racing in Old Buckenham

Have fun selecting your horses
All details are on the poster, just click on the image to make it larger.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Music in All Saints, Old Buckenham

Christmas music concert
All Saints Church, Old Buckenham will be hosting Chanter’s Jigge who will be performing their Christmas concert ‘Deck the Halls’ on Friday 6 December at 7.30pm. The performance is made up with lively carols (with some audience participation), festive music and seasonal readings and anecdotes.
Chanter's Jigge is a professional duo performing a mix of early, traditional and folk music with a touch of jazz. In 2012 they performed three concerts at the Milan International Book Fair and they have been invited to return there next year.
Tickets are now available, price £7, from Doris on 01953 860845 or David on 01953 861261(to include a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie).To learn more about Chanter's Jigge and listen to their type of music go to



Saturday, 16 November 2013

'In the mood' in Old Buckenham

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
Brenda Tubb demonstrated to a full house at the November meeting of the Breckland Flower and Garden Club in Old Buckenham village hall. Using some new and unusual containers - wicker stands, a candelabra, a cone covered bowl - her designs included new varieties of roses and carnations. With the addition of coloured baubles and twinkling lights she certainly put everyone 'In the Mood' for Christmas.
The competition table was very colourful with ‘welcome rings’. Christine Hewson came first in the Old Hands class and was also awarded the monthly cup. Alison Walker gained most points in the New Hands class as well as winning the table show with her dried and preserved plant material.
Next month’s meeting on Thursday 12 December is a workshop. Please bring a small amount of foliage, about a metre of ribbon and a few decorative items - small cones, small baubles, etc. Don't forget a rubbish bag, scissors and secateurs. Members are also asked to bring a few cakes or nibbles for afternoon tea. There will also be a Christmas bring and buy stall.
The competition title is 'Crackers' – just use your imagination. The table show is for three stems of seasonal foliage.
Visitors always welcome, further details from Sally on 01953 788712

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Road safety in Old Buckenham

Concerns over children's safety

Local mum, Sadie Burton, has become increasingly concerned about the safety of school children crossing the B1077 at Rod Ally Pond. She has both written to the Parish Council and attended the recent Parish Council meeting to voice her worries. Mrs Burton said in her letter:
Children of high school age walking from the Hargham Road direction cross on the corner near Rod Alley pond. Every morning they wait as streams of traffic flow past, just waiting for a gap to cross. Occasionally a car will stop to allow them over. Yet, with traffic approaching from several other directions, this in itself is adding to their danger as someone else may not stop. I feel it is only a matter of time before a child is knocked down.
I also observe (having just returned to the village having lived abroad for four years) that a lollipop lady is no longer in operation. Crazy! Children of primary school age - often alone - again cross this busy road yet further down near the Gamekeeper.
I find it extremely worrying that the county and parish council have not addressed this situation earlier. Or does a child have to be injured of worse killed before the said authorities sit up and take notice?
I will also add that the proposed relocation of Chapel Road school will only serve to add to this already dangerous situation.
A zebra crossing/press button crossing place and the reinstatement of a crossing patrol is surely needed to ensure the safety of our village’s school children."
There is already a community Speedwatch group in Old Buckenham who help reduce speed by alerting the police to speeding motorists but their activities are limited as more volunteers are needed so that the number of check sessions can be increased. The Parish Council has agreed to formulate a request for the adoption of a number of road safety measures.
However, there is little chance of success unless pressure can be brought to bear at county level. This needs your help.
If Old Buckenham road safety concerns you, please do some or all of the following:
1. Add a comment on this blog ('post a comment' button is at the end of this post on the left hand side).
2. Send your contact details to Steve Milner ( along with your thoughts and ideas. These can then be distilled into a plan to apply pressure for action to be taken.
3. Volunteer for Community SpeedWatch by contacting Steve Milner (
The bigger the voice, the louder the shout. Let’s make Old Buckenham roads safer

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Latest Old Buckenham Parish Council minutes

November parish council meeting
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is changed at a later date.
 It was a busy parish council meeting in November with Norfolk county councillor Stephen Askew and 23 members of the public in attendance. All parish councillors (except John Frost who had sent his apologies) were also there.
The meeting was suspended to allow the members of the public to ask questions before the meeting resumed.
Minutes of the October Parish Council meeting. These were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Derek Smalley said a manhole on the B1077 had now collapsed. Also Adrian Joel said potholes in Doe Lane are not yet repaired and Steve Milner said grass verges in Stacksford Road have not be worked on.
A 20 mph speed limit. Steve Milner said that New Buckenham have had 20mph speed limits and have over the last few years had footpath work carried out by Norfolk County Council and yet Old Buckenham has not. Stephen Askew, Old Buckenham’s county councillor, said he would struggle to get anything as funds are very restricted. Tom Johnson said that putting in 20mph speed limit signs is not very expensive. Steve Milner proposed that the parish council should request NCC to budget for 20mph speed limit signs on the B1077 where the current 30mph signs start through to the national speed signs at the other end of the village. Also that some form of safe crossing be installed on the B1077 at the crossroads of the B1077 and Abbey Road together with the completion of a footpath network covering Cake Street to Sun Corner and the last 50 metres of Hargham Road leaving the village, along with a footpath in Fen Street. This was seconded by Akis Chrisovelides and agreed with 8 for and 2 councillors abstaining.
Bullying and Harassment Policy document. The Parish Clerk gave a detailed overview of the need for the policy document in terms of employment law and how it will protect the Parish Council in future employment disputes. Item to be put on the December agenda.
Chapel Road School. Tom Johnson raised the matter of why residents knew about the proposed school move before the Parish Council. Tim Ing explained the situation and the need for confidentiality. Paul Boggia said the school would be an excellent asset for the village. The meeting was informed that the school will be a day school before eventually becoming a residential one. It will be for 60 pupils to start with and then increasing in numbers over time. Derek Smalley proposed that Old Buckenham Parish Council become a consultee on the project and have representation whenever the matter is discussed. Tim Ing said he would contact NCC about this and report back to the Parish Council.
Planning applications. Land off Folly Lane. Erection of livestock building and associated hard standing and feed bin. Tim Ing said the Parish Council this month have undertaken site visits and have spoken to people in view of the lack of information when the application was first received. Derek Smalley said the information first received indicated a small application but subsequent information now shows it to be a much larger development. All parish councillors views were sought and given on the application and the meeting was suspended to allow members of the public to ask questions. The meeting resumed and it was the unanimous view that the application should be rejected by Breckland Council due to the facts that all access routes to the site are totally inadequate as the road is a single track road unsuitable for HGVs. Also the road is regularly used by ramblers as it forms part of the Tas Valley Way and regular users include dog walkers and children cycling to and from school. Serious concerns were also expressed regarding the sewerage and drainage of the site which was considered totally insufficient. The Parish Clerk is to give these views to Breckland Council and urge them to refuse permission for the development.
3 Mill Cottage. Parish Clerk to seek a time extension.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. 45 Fen Street. Demolition of existing porch and replaced with single storey extension. Permission granted.
Buckenham Priory. Alteration to study, one garden room and bedroom. Permission granted.
Eel Farm, Fen Road. Variation of condition number 8 on earlier planning permission (to allow renting of the annexe). Permission granted.
Chairman’s report. Tim Ing reported that he had now moved into his new home and was able to send and receive emails. He said that last year the Parish Council had donated £250 to the charity Scotties Little Soldiers on behalf of John Hicks because of all the work he does on the maintenance of the play area with no charge to the Parish Council. He asked the Parish Council’s permission to do the same again this year, this was approved. Tim Ing had been approached by a resident concerning the footpath between the recreation area and the junior school which had brambles obstructing the footpath, Parish Clerk to contact Highways on the matter. He had raised the matter of the dog bin in Raggs Lane with Serco who said they could not empty it due to its location.
District Councillor’s report. Breckland Council is seeking a commercial partner to put up a multi-million pound figure into a joint scheme to refurbish and develop land and properties owned by Breckland. It will cover 188 properties all over Breckland during the course of the next five to twenty years. It is hoped the scheme will create 262 jobs and 133 homes in the district in the next 5 years and 492 homes and 1,268 jobs over the next 15 to 20 years. As from the beginning of November, Breckland have started a scheme offering gym membership to young people aged 18 to 25 at their local Breckland Leisure Centre (including Attleborough Sports Centre) for £10 which will be for a six-week membership. The next Big Switch & Save auction will take place in mid-November and details are available on Breckland’s website under Big Switch & Save. The new Cotman Houses in St Andrews Close are well under way and are expected to be ready for handing over in May 2015 subject to weather conditions.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Steve Milner said residents in Old Buckenham who are on Attleborough’s telephone exchange will now be able to register for a high speed broadband connection and other people in the village will be able to register later this month. The Village Hall put on a tribute act recently which was excellent but poorly attended by residents. A Village Screening is booked for Saturday 4 January, also a Bingo Night for Saturday 30 November and a Quiz and Chips night on Friday 15 November. Adrian Joel reported that the allotments are fully booked but two residents have yet to pay their rent. Tom Johnson said the Village Hall committee had informal discussions recently covering a number of matters. Sarah Dye reported the picket fencing by the pond had been vandalised and needs fixing. North Tuddenham Fencing have donated gates and will fix the fence in the near future. Derek Smalley attended a recent SNAP meeting and was unable to get Old Buckenham’s speeding issues put as a priority. It would appear that this is a problem with all villages. Also he attended a recent Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan meeting and the plan is progressing.
Parish Clerk’s report. He reported that he had now moved house, his old telephone number had been connected and he could be reached on 01953 880110. He then gave details as to why the precept meeting had to be delayed from October to November. This was due to issues surrounding the paying of Precept Support Grant from Breckland Council.
Highways. It was reported that marker poles outside the Stud in Cake Street have been hit and are nearly in the ditch. Sign posts are in the ditch at the corner of Crown Road and Grove Road. The Parish Clerk to contact Highways on these matters.
The Green. A meeting of the Green Right Proprietors was held in October and the issues of the trees near the bus shelter have been resolved. A meeting will be arranged with Highways regarding issues with the pond and also sorting out grass cutting for next year.

The next meetings of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be the Precept meeting on Thursday 14 November and the monthly Parish Council meeting on Thursday 5 December. Both meetings will be at the Village Hall commencing at 7.30pm.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Moving remembrace at Old Buckenham Airfield

Time to remember
There was a big crowd at Old Buckenham Airfield today for the annual service of remembrance. The weather was bright and sunny, if rather chilly, and many classic and military vehicles were on display as well.
This year the Airfield is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its opening and special flags were flying to commemorate that fact.

The service included a very moving solo singing of the American national anthem before the sounding of the last post.

Then it was time for the laying of several wreaths by a range of people, from senior American staff from Lakenheath to representatives of the local primary school.

Old Buckenham's Titanic connection

John Balls gives his talk
Last night there was an audience of some seventy people gathered in Old Buckenham Village Hall to listen to John Balls give a talk about Ellen Bird. This young lady had been brought up in a small cottage in Stacksford, a hamlet within the parish of Old Buckenham, and later was on that fateful first voyage of the Titanic. How she later got the job as maid to American millionnaires Ida and Isidor Strauss is still a mystery and something that John is very interested in finding out.
The talk was illustrated with snippets from a film about the Titanic which illustrated just how big the ship was and the luxurious facilities provided for those passengers on board. The story of how Ellen was one of those who boarded a lifeboat and survived contrasted with that of her employers who decided to stay together on board and subsequently drowned.
Ellen never returned to the UK and later married an American.
The cottage where she first lived, known as 'The Birdcage', still stands and is now named Fig Tree Cottage. Her parents, Samuel and his wife Maryann, are buried in Old Buckenham churchyard.

The organiser is most grateful to John Balls for agreeing to give the talk and all those who bought tickets to attend. This event was put on to raise funds for Old Buckenham Village Hall and, thanks to the generosity of those attending, will have raised over £500.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Tonight's talk in Old Buckenham

Get some local history
Unless you were listening to BBC Radio Norfolk this morning you will have missed this:
Just fast forward about 2 hours 19 minutes in to hear what is on in the Old Buckenham village hall tonight.
Tickets should still be available at the door.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Favourite pictures of Old Buckenham

Images provide a way in
Looking at the details of people who are reading the Old Buckenham blog, several each day arrive because they are looking at Google images for some particular picture.
Often the subjects they are searching for are not the most obvious but perhaps this blog does include pictures that nobody else would bother to take. A human fruit machine for instance or simple photos of a selection of tinned goods or of dropped litter. The searches are naturally seasonal, at the moment it is remembrance poppies and a few weeks ago it was all harvest festival arrangements. Some of the seasonal scenes of snow-covered trees and an extreme frost glinting on the branches were popular enough to be amongst the first dozen images of snow scenes for several months on Google. They will come into their own again as Christmas approaches.
Whether these visitors ever come back to read more about Old Buckenham is probably unlikely but you never know.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Milestone reached by Old Buckenham blog

This is number 1000
It is five years since this Old Buckenham blog was started and it has now, with this item, reached one thousand posts and has been acessed at least 42,250 times.
As blogs go it does not have a huge readership, about 250 a week or 35 per day. It has been looked at by people from 155 countries all over the world. Of these around three-quarters are from the UK and surprisingly nearly 10% are from the USA.
Monday is the most popular day for logging on to the the site and it is least popular on Saturdays.
Very few people ever leave comments - it would be interesting to see what you think about what is done to tell you of some of the activities of this little Norfolk village of Old Buckenham.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Crafty times in Old Buckenham

Making things
Today Old Buckenham Women's Institute held a craft day in the village hall. It was a chance for people to come along and learn new skills, practice old ones and meet other people in a convivial atmosphere. There were several things to try - parchment craft, making a notice board, pewter work, making a Christmas decoration or producing a decorative cover for a notebook.
There was time for lunch, jacket potato with various fillings and salad followed by homemade apple pie with ice cream.
This was an event open to anyone but the participants were virtually all members of local WIs. All went home clutching something they had made during the day and obviously feeling a little more crafty.