Thursday, 21 March 2019

Old Buckenham Parish Council in March

Minutes of March meeting 
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at a later date.

Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 7 March in the Village Hall.
Those present were councillors Gemma Frost (Vice-Chair), Jonn Hicks, Steve Milner, Andy Nicholls and Donna Oakley as well as Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and six members of the public. Apologies for absence had been received from councillors Adrian Joel and Ben Devlin.
The minutes of the February meeting were approved (4 in favour, 1 abstained) and there were no matters arising.
Public participation relating to agenda items. A parishioner highlighted the talk by Norfolk Wildlife Trust about Common Wildlife on Friday 15 March at the Village Hall.
Financial matters. The balance in community account at the end of February was £38,714.68 and the balance in the premium account was £2,877.49. There was no income in February and payments approved totalled £971.98 including £110 for the installation of the defibrillator at the Village Hall and £225 for community car services.
A parishioner had submitted an invoice for approximately £400 for placing wooden posts and reflectors around the playground to prevent cars from parking on the Green in that area. The posts themselves had been donated and the invoice was for the labour and reflectors. However, this work had not been discussed or approved by either the Green Working Party or the Parish Council. Councillors discussed whether to pay this invoice as approval has not been sought beforehand and if they paid for this then others might carry out unapproved work and expect the Parish Council to pay for it. While all councillors were very grateful to the parishioner for all their help and contribution to the village, they felt the need for consistency was important. It was highlighted that the parishioner had not gone through the proper channels, they had not used the village handyman or sought three quotations for the work which is the standard practice on all work carried out in the village. A proposal to reimburse the parishioner £55 for the reflectors only and write a letter explaining why the Parish Council was unable to pay the full invoice was approved (5 in favour).
New planning applications. (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).
Willow House, Mill Road. Construction of a single storey rear extension along with extending and converting a loft space over an existing garage to form additional bedroom accommodation. Erection of a two-bay cart lodge with non-habitable space over. (3PL/2019/0080/HOU). There were no objections from the parish council (5 for).
Land to the north of Fen Street. Erection of four detached dwellings (3PL/2019/0231/O). There have been previous applications for this land by Askew & Partners, which have been refused due to utilities such as water and sewerage. This is the first application for four dwellings (previously for eight). There were several issues for existing residents of Fen Street such as traffic speeds, junctions with poor visibility and water pressure. While no one objected to the general location, it was questioned whether or not the existing problems could cope with more houses. Andy Nicholls highlighted that Breckland Council haven’t reached their five-year housing quota and so might be more likely to approve this time. Steve Milner suggested using the potential building of these dwellings to help improve the issues current residents are facing. This would include extending the 30mph zone to the full length of Fen Street, improving the visibility at junctions and making it safer for walkers and cyclists. If these issues are addressed, then the council would support the application. A proposal to support the application with letter explaining that it is on the condition of addressing these issues was approved (5 in favour).
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. Shardalows Farm, Fen Street. Two-storey and single-storey extensions to farmhouse (3PL/2019/0040/HOU).
Meadowcroft, Doe Lane. Removal of Agricultural Restriction on planning permission W.8024 and W.85233 (PL/2018/1460/VAR).
The two above applications have now been considered and both the applications have been approved.
Tourism/Breckworld. New Buckenham Parish Council had been in contact to inform about an idea they had to develop tourism within their parish, with the possibility of linking it with Old Buckenham. Breckland Council are developing an app (Breckworld) to promote five market towns in Breckland. New Buckenham Parish Council would like to join forces with Old Buckenham Parish Council and extend the Attleborough information to cover both villages, possibly through the Tas Valley Way which runs through Old Buckenham. All councillors viewed this as positive for the village as it would support local businesses and may be a way of promoting, and therefore protecting, local wildlife. Jonn Hicks explained that the only issue was funding. However there are lots of grants available which were being investigated by New Buckenham Parish Council. It was suggested that we could also link up with other nearby villages (eg Banham, Keninghall, etc) which would help spread the cost too. A representative of New Buckenham Parish Council would be invited to next month’s meeting for more information and an update.
Action Log review. The Action Log was reviewed and updated. Items still to be completed included putting together a welcome pack for all new villagers with useful information, to produce a Neighbourhood Plan (which will now be deferred until a new council is elected in May), and arranging repairs and conversion of the old phone box into an information point.
Village Green Working Party. The three quotes for clearing vegetation behind the bus shelter had been obtained. Only one of the quotes included chipping, despite this being requested from all three companies. There was not enough time to go back to ask the other companies to re-quote as the work must be completed before birds start nesting. Therefore, it was proposed to accept the company ‘B’ quote of £600. This was approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain).
Road Safety. One of the Speed Watch signs had been stolen. A letter and email had been sent to Highways regarding extending the 30mph zone on Fen Street but Highways claim there haven’t been enough accidents to justify this. Steve Milner appealed to residents of Fen Street to all write to Highways about this topic.
Play Area. The Safety Inspection has been passed. Nothing serious to do but there were quite a few advisory notes. An initial estimate of approximately £650 had been made to complete all improvements. Now waiting for Playdale to come back with more information before making a detailed costing.
Recreation Area. Stuart Barker has asked if the Recreation Area needs cutting this year. While it has already been agreed, Rachel Noyes will contact and confirm this with him.
Councillors’ reports. Steve Milner stated that work on broadband in Stacksford has started. Also he asked if there could there be a poster to publicise the elections in May to get people’s attention. Donna Oakley wished to remind all dog walkers to pick up dog mess. The minority of people who don’t do this make the village and the Green look awful. Gemma Frost said that the initial plans to plant snowdrops around Ottomer pond needed to be bought forward. It would now be taking place Saturday 9 March at 10am. Also the Primary School has requested an area around the pond that can be worked on with children for their Forest School project.
Items for April agenda. Play area to be discussed.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 4 April starting at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Old Buckenham Women's Institute

Detection dogs
At the February meeting of Old Buckenham WI President Kate Lloyd welcomed members and two guests. Arrangements were made for those members attending the Federation Annual Meeting in March. This year is being held in the Theatre Royal as it is the Federation's Centenary. Also there will be a celebration service in Norwich Cathedral in April at which OBWI will process with their banner.
The speaker for the evening was Norma Howell, her subject Medical Detection Dogs. This charity is totally dependent on public donations and has the Duchess of Cornwall as its patron. Here is yet another amazing service that dogs can provide for us along with guide dogs, sniffer dogs, etc.
The charity was started by Claire Guest (who worked with guide dogs) when her own dog, Daisy, detected her breast cancer. Research followed and now detection takes place under clinical conditions with trained dogs sniffing samples of urine or breath. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, 300 million smell receptors compared with a human's 5 million.
Norma also described the work of Medical Alert Assistance dogs. These dogs live with clients who have a disease such as diabetes and can warn carers when intervention is necessary. Each disease has a specific odour footprint and dogs can detect changes before any symptoms occur so, for example, they can warn parents during the night if their child's sugar levels are needing attention. Detection of Parkinson's disease for which there is no definitive test can mean treatment is possible up to 10 years earlier.
These dogs save lives, save the NHS hundreds of pounds and are life changing for many people.
Old Buckenham WI next meets on Thursday 28 March in Old Buckenham Village Hall and starts at 7.30pm. The speaker is Christine Humphries on the sbject of 'Laura Eke and the fisherman who painted on wood'.
The following meeting is on Thursday 25 April at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall when Simon White will talk about Peter Beales and the romance of the rose.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Flower and Garden Club in Old Buckenham

Fund raising for cancer centre at NNUH
Today was the AGM of Breckland Flower and Garden Club. The meeting was held in Old Buckenham Village Hall with some sixty members present to hear reports on how the club as done over the last year and to elect the officers and members of the committee. With the official part of the meeting over, it was time to hand over a cheque to the chosen charity for 2018/2019. The money had been raised by several special events and some generous donations.
Members gasped with amazement when the cheque was unrolled - the sum raised was £5,ooo which is going to help with breast cancer treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

This is the second cheque in the past year of fundraising, there was £3,000 last May for breast screening equipment making  a total £8,000.
The Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS) is the chosen charity for 2019/20. 

Members then took part in a workshop to produce an arrangement in a small pot using ivy leaves, delicate twigs and pink tulips before enjoying their tea and cakes.
A more detailed report of the meeting will appear on this blog later in later in the month.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Great news for Old Buckenham

All Saints Church secures National Lottery support
This is the official press release about the grant.

Old Buckenham PCC has received a grant of £95,700 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund towards its Raise the Roof heritage project in Old Buckenham. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project aims to replace the decayed thatched roof on the nave of All Saints Church in Old Buckenham ensuring the building is conserved for future generations. Starting this spring, the project will also include various activities designed to engage the local community with the heritage of the church, its history and its role in the life of the village.
Among the activities planned, children from Old Buckenham Primary school will contribute to the production of a ‘heritage and nature trail’ leaflet for the church and will be using the churchyard for activities as part of their ‘forest school’- based learning. Pupils from Chapel Green School will be undertaking a project to develop a sensory trail leaflet to help people with special needs access the building’s features and learn about their use.
All Saints Church is a focal point for the village and its history reaches back over 1000 years. Grade 1 listed, the building has been assessed by Historic England as ‘at risk’ because of the state of the thatched roof. As well as having an active congregation at weekly services of worship it is used by the schools for special services and for occasional events such as concerts throughout the year. The church is open during daylight hours every day for visitors.
Commenting on the award, Alison Hannah said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. We know how much All Saints Church means to the village and it’s great to know that we can bring a new generation along with us as we protect the building’s future for another 50 years at least” 

Old Buckenham Parochial Church Council (PCC)  is responsible for the management of All Saints Church and all that takes place there, on behalf of the Church of England. The PCC is made up of elected members of the congregation and is chaired by Rev Canon Stephen Wright, the priest in charge, with the support of the church wardens. 

The National Lottery Heritage Fund, using money raised by the National Lottery, inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Putting colour in Old Buckenham Green

Preparing for next Spring
A group of hardy volunteers spent some of their Saturday morning planting snowdrops and aconites around the area of Ottomer Pond on the village Green. The planters were of all ages and were dressed to cope with the icy wind blowing across the site.
Now it will be a twelve month wait to see the outcome of this work.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Common talk in Old Buckenham

Life on the village Green

This talk at the Village Hall is free (and there are refreshments). Gemma Walker of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust will be introducing some of the species that exist on our Norfolk commons and including those on our village Green.
There is no need to book so just come along and enjoy it.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Drive carefully in Old Buckenham

Speeding down Cake Street

As a result of the measurements made by members of the village Speedwatch team, the police often come to officially check on the speed of vehicles in Old Buckenham.
Today the local 'speed cop' was stationed for a while in Cake Street. We understand that at least a dozen motorists were recorded at well over the 30mph limit. While the blog editor was present, one motorist came by at 48mph - that driver will definitely be paying the price for their lack of concentration...

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Busy in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for March
Saturday 2          Prize bingo, Church Rooms, 2pm        
Monday 4           Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm
Tuesday 5           Coffee and Chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards
Wednesday 6      Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Thursday 7         Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Wednesday 13   Chapel Friendship Group, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm
Thursday 14       Breckland Flower and Garden Club, Village Hall,      2pm
Thursday 14       Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm
Friday 15            Visits from Mobile Library during morning
Monday 18         Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm
Wednesday 20   Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Wednesday 20   Songs of praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm
Saturday 23        Jumble Sale, Church Rooms, 10am to noon
Thursday 28       Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Saturday 30        Litter pick on Green, meet at shop, 10am
  Saturday 30       Spring Fair, Memorial Room at Village Hall, 2pm

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Another Old Buckenham newsletter

March issue now around and about

With lots and lots of news for you to read...

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Old Buckenham raising a bundle

Help with more re-roofing

After the success of the Raise the Roof campaign, achieving the initial aim to thatch the chancel roof on All Saints church, attention is now turning to the nave…an even bigger challenge. The aim of ‘raise a bundle’ is to ask for sponsorship through donations that represent the bundles of reed needed for the roof. It will take approximately 2200 bundles of Norfolk reed to thatch the nave roof each costing about £4. To make sponsorship really easy a ‘Just Giving’ page is now available through which you can make your donation - and see just how much has been raised towards the total cost of the reed - some £8,800. Just go to
If you would rather donate by traditional means, Old Buckenham PCC will be happy to receive your cheque or cash - just make it clear if you want your particular donation to go towards the ‘Raise a bundle’ total.
Of course the cost of the reed is only one part of the total costs of the project and other donations and support for other fundraising efforts for Raise the Roof will be very welcome - there is a long way to go. If the sponsorship received for ‘Raise a bundle’ exceeds the amount finally needed for the reed, the balance will still help ‘Raise the Roof’ and the Church restoration fund.
An application has been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a very substantial grant towards the total project costs and all are waiting with baited breath to hear the outcome, probably sometime in March.

Old roof on left and re-thatched chancel

A £4 bundle is big

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Old Buckenham lifesaver

Defibrillator now active
Old Buckenham now has a defibrillator installed by the front entrance of the village hall and it is now registered on the NHS system and the 999 call centre.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Old Buckenham Parish Council

Parish Council meeting in February
The following notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 7 February 2019 in the Village Hall. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chairman), Gemma Frost, Adrian Joel, Ben Devlin, Steve Milner, and Andy Nicholls. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Parish Clerk), NCC Councillor Stephen Askew, Oliver Lee (Landscape Partnership), Sarah Dye (Village Green Working Party) and five members of the public. Apologies for absence had been received from councillors Donna Oakley and Debbie Callaghan.
Pedestrian crossing. Stephen Askew gave an update on the pedestrian crossing. It is hoped that the crossing will be in place by the start of the new school year in September 2019. However, the council have said that the crossing needs to be lit, despite this not being on the original plans. During his conversations with the County Council, they insist that any crossing placed there will have to be lit, so he has been pushing for them to install the minimum required light and to ensure that the lights are targeted on to the crossing. Adrian Joel was disappointed to hear that lights were required while Gemma Frost raised the question whether the priority was children’s safety or lights on the road. There was concern from Jonn Hicks and Steve Milner that if there was any objection to the lights or crossing, things would go back to consultation stage and may even be lost altogether. It has taken approximately two years to get this far. Sarah Dye explained that it was important for councillors to look at the overall picture rather than just focus on their personal opinion. One member of the public disagreed with the whole crossing as he felt it that a lot of time and money was being spent on putting it in the wrong location but Jonn Hicks explained that there was not a perfect location in the village as people approach the school on foot from lots of directions. Stephen Askew summarised that while it was a disappointment to have the addition of lights, the Parish Council were getting the crossing that they had requested and that it was not possible to pick and choose aspects that we want/don’t want. It was also highlighted by a member of the public that a lot of time and money had been spent on the project so far and would be a shame to waste it and that sometimes making the right choice is not always the most popular. Jonn Hicks thanked Stephen Askew on behalf of the Parish Council for the hard work and time he had put into the project so far.
The Parish Council agreed unanimously to support these changes and the crossing overall.
While in attendance, Stephen Askew explained that the potential new trod (a basic level footpath) on Hargham Road towards the junction could cost approximately £23,000. Also, the drain on Church Lane that has been causing problems is still being investigated but unable to find the cause of the problem at the moment.
Presentation from Oliver Lee from Landscape Partnership. The Village Green Working Party had contacted Oliver Lee about how best to use/manage/improve the Green. Mr Lee explained that due to its size, the Green fragments the village up into separate areas, whereas there was a need to look at ways to use the Green to bring the village together. Mr Lee showed various examples of areas his company had worked on and explained that various aspects would be incorporated: environmental, social, traffic, visual, etc. They would firstly learn about the village before presenting several options that could be discussed and fine-tuned with the Council and the village. Several members of the public commented how much better the Green looked after recent work and were keen to see how it could be improved further. Steve Milner raised the point of needing a long term plan for the Green and village, which brought up the Neighbourhood Plan. Andy Nicholls explained that the Neighbourhood Plan had only been reinstated three months ago so not much progress yet but the proposal put forward by Landscape Partnership will be part of the Neighbourhood Plan. The two aspects need to be unified and cohesive. The issue of funding was raised by the public and Andy Nicholls assured them that there were various methods of funding the project including grants, funds or borrowing money. The Green Working Party will fund Oliver Lee’s initial work initially, as a sub-committee of the Parish Council. A sum of £1000 has been donated towards costs by a member of the public so only £800 required. First report will take approximately two to three months.
Funding for Oliver Lee’s work was approved by all six councillors. A contract would need to be drawn up for this work.
January minutes. The minutes of the parish council meeting held on Thursday 3 January 2019 were approved. There were no matters arising from these minutes.
Public participation. A member of the public raised the issue of the speed of vehicles travelling down Fen Street in the section that was outside of the 30mph zone. Steve Milner had started investigating the speed restrictions of the village and found that the majority of houses lay within 30mph zones. However there were the exceptions, in particular Stacksford, Fen Street, Ragmere and Grove Road. Steve Milner asked that the parish clerk send a letter to Highways, requesting a review of the speed restrictions within the village. Jonn Hicks added that the more letters and emails about this, the better so encouraged any affected residents to write to Highways themselves. It was also requested that Harlingwood Lane be added to the list.
Financial matters. Donna Oakley was absent but had passed on a financial report. The balance in the community account was £39,809.42 and the balance in premium account £2,877.49. Income received included a VAT refund of £1,272.66 and allotment rent of £80.
New planning applications. Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Change of use of agricultural building to a dwelling (3PN/2019/0001/UC). The applicant was Ben Devlin and he explained that there was a Government scheme to convert agricultural buildings to residential use. This is a new application because of a change of the regulations. Ben Devlin then left the room to allow discussion and voting. The council supported the application, two for and three abstaining.
Shardalows Farm, Fen Street. Two-storey and single-storey extensions to farmhouse (3PL/2019/0040/HOU). The council supported the application, five for and one abstaining.
Manor Corner, The Green. Two-storey side extension and internal alterations (3PL/2019/0083/HOU). This was not supported due to over development of site.
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. Walnut Shade, Cake Street. Conversion of part ground floor to form annex, new first floor accommodation above existing footprint (including increased ridge height), attached new garage and replacement conservatory (3PL/2018/1375/HOU). The above application has now been considered and the application has been approved.
Land south of March Field Way. Residential development of 12 dwellings and associated external works (3PL/2018/0719/F). This application has been approved.
Phone box. Ben Devlin explained his idea at a previous meeting about using the phone box as an information point for the village: maps, walks, events, heritage, suggestion box for public, etc. This was agreed by all councillors. John Hicks explained that the structure has started leaning and will need repairing due to its Grade II listing. Materials have been donated to repair and a local workman has offered to do the work for free. Would have to replace glass at the top, where it says ‘Telephone’.
The use of the Green. The yearly agreement for rent of an area of the village Green for use by the Ox and Plough public house is due to end in March. It was felt clarification was needed on the area included in this agreement and Andy Nicholls suggested drawing the specific area on a map. Jonn Hicks also suggested the rent stay the same for the next agreement but that in the future it would increase in line with inflation and be paid in two instalments. If any extension of that area was required for an event by the Ox and Plough, then they would need to apply to the Parish Council. This was approved with five for and one abstention. The Clerk is to write a new agreement and send to the Ox and Plough along with the first invoice.
Chairman’s report. The initial date for the Annual Parish Meeting falls within ‘purdah’ (the time immediately before the local elections) and therefore has been changed to Friday 31 May as this will give villagers the chance to meet the new Council members and provide any new ideas. Nomination forms for the Parish Council elections need completing and handing in by Wednesday 3 April. Adrian Joel is happy to help anyone and any members of the public who require a form should contact the Parish Clerk. A member of the public raised the issue of advertising to the public. Adrian Joel explained that New Buckenham published an article about becoming a counsellor and asked that the Clerk should write a similar article for publication in the village newsletter and also on Facebook.
District Councillor’s report. The Cabinet have met to make a recommendation of the Breckland share of the Council Tax. It was agreed to set the Council Tax at £88.83 for a Band D property in 2019-20, a £4.95 per annum increase on 2018-19. This will be the recommendation going to the Full Council for approval.
The Legal 106 has now been signed off and planning approval given for the 12 New Cotman Housing Association Houses in March Field Way. These properties are built under the Local Connection Scheme and are available to local people for rent. To qualify you must live, work or have family in Old Buckenham. There is a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom houses and building should start in March/April 2019. For those interested, they must add their name to the Breckland Council list.
Village Green Working Party. A tall tree near the War Memorial is requiring work to reduce its height although this could cause rapid new growth as it is a healthy tree. The recommendation by Breckland Tree Officer is to plant several replacement trees and then to fell the original tree in about eight to ten years time.
The track outside the Gamekeeper requires repair. A contractor has been agreed (after receiving several quotes) and the Brewery has agreed to share the £710 cost. The Green Working Party will pay the Brewery £355 (as the Brewery want the contractor to do some additional work which they will pay for). The Village Workman to cut back and clear vegetation growing into Rod Alley Pond. The Woodland Trust have advised about planting three native British tree species around Ottomer Pond. It is believed that these trees can be sourced for free from several charities and will be planted by Working Party members.
Play Area. The Play Area has passed its annual safety inspection. Some minor repairs are needed and Playdale have been contacted about parts.
Councillors’ reports. Steve Milner said it is one year since telephone mast was approved. The phone company is trying to change terms of access to 24 hours and discussions are still ongoing.
Old Buckenham High School’s 80th Anniversary is approaching and they have a project to interview past pupils. Anyone who was/knows past pupils, please contact Dana Eden at the High School.
Andy Nicholls said the football club had been informed that they can use the MUGA at Chapel Green School during the daytime and they are going to contact the Headteacher. If demand for the outside space increases, then lighting options will be investigated to allow evening use.
Items for next agenda. These will include an Action Log update.

The next Old Buckenham Parish Council meeting will be Thursday 7 March at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Flowers in Old Buckenham

Breckland Flower and Garden Club

February’s meeting was all about romance as the date was Valentine's day. Joy Tunmore opened the meeting with a warm welcome to everyone followed by the sad news of the passing of Marjorie Greenwood. Marjorie will be missed by all at Breckland Flower and Garden Club as shehad  played a huge role - past president and chairman along with supplying plants and cuttings from her own garden for the monthly plant sales table. She was a very popular lady dedicating her life to family, friends and the community. Members shared a minute’s silence followed by a short slide show in honour of Marjorie. Dilky thanked everyone for their show of kindness and support for her family.
The special guest this month was Vicki Hease with her demonstration titled “Treasured moments”. Vicki created six beautiful arrangements, describing the lives of a young couple from engagement through to celebrating their Pearl Wedding anniversary. As she worked she told a story catching the imagination of her audience and the essence of romance. Apparently she has now created a part two demonstration which hopefully she will bring to the Club on a future visit.
The raffle was drawn, with several ladies winning one of Vicki’s arrangements. The competition was judged by Vicki and the winner this month was Allison Vivien, Well done to everyone that entered, all the entries were stunning.
The next meeting is the Club’s AGM, on Thursday 14 March starting at 2pm. There will be a workshop and members need to bring a bunch of pink tulips and scissors. Then there will be cakes plus the handing over of a cheque to the NNUH Breast Cancer Care Unit. Prior to the next meeting, the last event for this charity will be a Fashion Show at M and Co in Attleborough on Wednesday 6 March at 7pm. Tickets are limited but still available.
For more details regarding membership,visiting the club or the Fashion Show please contact Christine Hewson on 01953 454528 or Sally Westrup on
01953 788712.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Old Buckenham School after LEGO

Please collect the tokens
Chapel Green School are collecting the tokens that are now appearing in the EDP and are asking for help to win the school some LEGO.
The EDP are running a new campaign with CreativeHUT, giving primary and junior schools across the region the chance to share £10,000 worth of LEGO Education resources.
Our Chapel Green School would like to take part in this competition and for every 1,000 tokens they collect, they will receive £50 worth of LEGO. The top three schools who collect most tokens will win £1,000 worth of LEGO (this is based on number of pupils in the school versus tokens collected, meaning that all schools have a chance, both big and small).
Tokens started appearing in the EDP on Saturday 9 February and everyday there will be tokens in the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News (two on Saturdays) as well as some of the weekly titles such as the Lowestoft Journal and the Dereham Times also including tokens.
Tokens are now in the papers and the final token will be printed on Friday 3 May. Please spread the word and collect up as many as you can. Ask your neighbours and friends too to cut them out for you if you know they read the EDP. You can take the tokens along to Reception at the school or, if more convenient, give them to the blog editor or put them through the letterbox at his house, Crockslea in Cake Street.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Old Buckenham Women's Institute

January 2019 meeting
President, Kate Lloyd, welcomed members of Old Buckenham Women’s Institute to the first meeting of 2019 including the new secretary Betty Stacey and WI Adviser Carol Cousins.
A minute's silence was held in memory of Marjorie Greenwood, a member of Bunwell and Carleton Rode WI and a long serving judge at Old Buckenham's Produce Show.
Members and friends had enjoyed a trip to the Theatre Royal for the Norwich and Norfolk Amateur Operatic Society's production of Guys and Dolls.
The speaker for the evening was Helen Reeve who owns a 60-head herd of Dexter cattle in the Waveney Valley, one of only a handful of Dexter breeders in Norfolk. She also teaches at Easton and Otley colleges. Helen spoke about the organisation 'Ladies in Beef'. This was set up following the realisation that other groups promoted aspects of farming for instance Ladies in Pigs, Farm Women's club and the NFU but there was nothing specific to celebrate beef production. Launched by Princess Anne in 2011 it is now countrywide and champions high welfare status beef concentrating on the health and welfare of cattle. It also runs an annual Great British Beef Week which raises funds for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute.
In January all WI members vote for one of the year's Resolutions which this year covered the environment, women's health and rural buses. The majority of Old Buckenham's votes went to plant bio-security with the promoting of smear tests coming second. The one or two resolutions gaining most votes throughout the country will be discussed and passed for campaigning on at WI’s national AGM in June.
Vouchers were awarded to those members gaining most points in the two competitions held at each meeting throughout the year. Barbara Frost won for Flower of the Month and Kathy Fleckney for the monthly competition. A posy of flowers was given to Susan Hunter for consistently entering both categories.
At the next meeting on Thursday 28 
February Norma Howell will be taking about medical detection dogs. Then on Thursday 28 March at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall the speaker will be Christine Humphries on 'Laura Eke and the fisherman who painted in wood'.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

At All Saints Church Old Buckenham

An unusual scene
The mourners mostly came by car but the coffin was given a special arrival.

Returning home

Friday, 1 February 2019

The Gamekeeper in Old Buckenham

A message from Tony and Jen
Hi Old Buckenham, we have been asked by Ron (the village newsletter and blog editor) to drop you a line and bring you up to date with what is happening at The Gamekeeper. So here it is.

You will no doubt have heard the rumours that we are leaving The Gamekeeper. The reason for writing this is not just to confirm that rumour but also, as you know, rumours lead to gossip and with gossip there is always a victim who gets hurt. So, to prevent this we would like to outline the motivation behind our decision.
The fact is there is not currently enough business in The Gamekeeper. In an effort to keep the overheads down we are each working 80 hours per week and that is not sustainable. We could employ more people but the revenue can’t afford it, we are just working to pay the VAT. If the government would see sense and reduce the VAT on food sold in a pub, in line with the supermarkets, then a lot more country pubs like ours (yours) would survive. It’s our belief that in 10 years’ time there will be no country pubs as a result of this and business rates. We also have tried to get people to understand that The Gamekeeper’s history of being a restaurant is no longer valid, instead it is “A PUB that serves food” but unfortunately this has not been the perception.
We also understand that some of you will be very critical of Ei Group (you know them as Enterprise). Well we would like to put this straight. As with all organisations it’s the person who is your first point of contact that sets the standard and Adam has been very fair with us as over the past 6 months our rent has been significantly reduced in an effort to keep this pub going.
So, the only thing for us to do sadly is to move on and make way for another publican with more energy than we have, with more backing and hopefully more support from the local people. Ei are currently recruiting and, to our knowledge, there is at least one couple in the frame and producing their business plan.
Sadly, but with some relief, we say bye to Old Buckenham. Our contract termination date is Tuesday 16 April so this will be our last day but if the new publican is ready before then it could be sooner. That would be better for them as to take over one week before Easter could be difficult.
All that remains is for us thank the lovely people that have supported us and to wish you all well.

Tony & Jen

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Yet another Old Buckenham newsletter

February issue available for you to read

Copies have been distributed around and, subject to the weather, many may be making their way through your letter box along with the Six Villages Newsletter.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

A little snow in Old Buckenham

Winter delight
A sprinkling of snow and some bright clear skies make Old Buckenham Green look as pretty as a picture.

February events in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for February

Monday 4          Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Tuesday 5          Coffee and Chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards

Wednesday 6    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 7        Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday 13  Chapel Friendship Group, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 14      Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 14      Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm

Friday 15           Visits from Mobile Library during morning

Saturday 16       Senior Citizens' lunch, Village Hall, 1pm for 1.30pm

Saturday 16       Classic Cinema, Village Hall, 6.30pm

Monday 18        Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 20  Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

 Thursday 28    Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Rooms you can book in Old Buckenham

Places for you to use
The Church Rooms. There are lots of things going on these days in the Church Rooms in Old Buckenham. There are new pilates classes (including one for the over 60s), the weekly Art Group, the Monday Mardle, the Fawns baby and toddler group, bingo sessions, whist drives, the Wine and Social Circle, Cubs, and every Sunday after the service in All Saints there is coffee from about 10.30am.
It is a great venue for parties or craft courses or training groups. Why not come along and try something new this year? Or book the rooms for your own event. Hire charges start from only £5 per hour. Lydia Darrah on 01953 860136 or can point you in the right direction for details of all of the groups using the hall and is the person to contact for new bookings. 

Methodist Church. The Old Buckenham Methodist Church in Hargham Road is available for bookings for meetings, events and activities. It is fully renovated with a kitchen and ample parking. There is a small booking fee to cover costs, though reductions are available to Old Buckenham residents, charities and church groups. To enquire please contact 01953 861207 or email

Village Hall. Old Buckenham also has a lovely Village Hall for larger functions like wedding receptions, adult and children's parties, film shows, quizzes, etc. It seats 120 people, has a sprung floor for dancing, a well equipped kitchen and a bar. Then there is also the Memorial Hall that has recently been refurbished with a carpeted floor and new furniture, particularly suitable for smaller functions. All for hire at very competitive rates.
For booking enquiries contact Eileen Oliver at or telephone her on 01953 860664.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Old Buckenham helps homeless

Big donation to St Martins
There was the opportunity on Saturday 26 January to hear about all the wide rang of work carried out by the St Martins charity to help the homeless in Norwich.

More than £36,000 had been raised during 2018 and this meeting at The Gamekeeper in Old Buckenham was arranged so that those volunteers that had been collecting at supermarkets and raising money by other activities could hear first hand from some of the people that were being helped by St Martins.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Old Buckenham Parish Council

February's meeting
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
A meeting of the Old Buckenham Parish Council took place on Thursday 3 January at 7.30pm in the Village Hall, Old Buckenham.
Those present were councillors Jon Hicks (Chairman), Adrian Joel, Debbie Callaghan, Ben Devlin, Steve Milner and Donna Oakley Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk)and two members of the public. Apologies for absence had been received from Gemma Frost and Andy Nichols.
Rachel Noyes was welcomed and introduced as the new Parish Clerk.
Minutes of the December meeting. Jon Hicks had been contacted by a contractor who wished to complain about their name being published in December’s minutes against a high quotation claiming that it reflected poorly on his company. Adrian Joel explained that names had always been published in the past. Ben Devlin and Steve Milner agreed that everything discussed in a public meeting should be published. Debbie Callaghan highlighted that it could affect his business and that councillors should have checked the minutes before publication. No one had contacted Jon Hicks about the minutes. It was agreed that quotations should be published for clarity with parishioners but they should be anonymous and that councillors will have one week to check the minutes of the meeting before it is sent for publishing on the village blog and published in the village newsletter. Also a letter would be sent to the contractor apologising for this mistake.
The minutes were accepted subject to amendments.
Matters arising from these minutes. Adrian Joel said that Oliver Lee was unable to attend this month’s meeting and so will be coming to February’s meeting instead. The public will be notified.
Adrian Joel asked when the wall behind the old Parish Council notice board would be repaired. Steve Milner is to organise repair work.
Public participation. A parishioner wished everyone a Happy New Year. He explained that while he liked the objectives of the council it doesn’t always feel like they were being achieved. Some 41 meetings ago, the matter of a blind drain which caused frequent flooding to his garden was mentioned to Councillor Stephen Askew. However, nothing has been done. Jon Hicks agreed and stated that Norfolk CC and Highways will be informed in order to investigate and complete any work.
A parishioner also asked if there will be a public consultation regarding the location of the crossing of the B1077 as he did not feel that the proposed location was the most useful or logical. The public should be provided with more information regarding the crossing. Steve Milner explained that the Parish Council had no choice in the location and, as the process has taken so long and even failed in the past, we should focus on the positives that we are getting a crossing and should work together to find best ways of making it work for the village. Steve Milner to write to County Councillor Stephen Askew to ask for an update on the crossing.
The parishioner commented that he felt good progress had been made in the village by the Parish Council and felt that the hard work should be demonstrated and highlighted to the parishioners. Is getting rid of a designated PC noticeboard diluting the importance of the council?
Debbie Callaghan raised the issue of moles on the Green and that after all the hard work and money spent on it, it now highlights the mess made by the moles. No representative of the Village Green Committee was present to comment. Adrian Joel explained that a previous attempt was unsuccessful as it was too big an area to control and it is an expensive process with no guarantee of success.
Planning. (All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal and parish councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting.)
New planning applications. Meadowcroft, Doe Lane. Removal of agricultural restriction. (3PL/2018/1460/VAR)
The councillors agreed to support the application (4 for, 1 against,1 abstaining).
Document for planning issues. Jon Hicks provided a sheet with a tick-box list of factors that are considered during the planning process. It also clearly stated reasons that cannot be considered. It was laminated so that it can be reused by councillors for each planning application. Adrian Joel explained that the tick-box can be used to determine the balance of for/against arguments for an application. Ben Devlin found the sheet nice and clear, simple and straight forward. He also hoped to develop one in the future so that it runs along-side the Neighbourhood Plan in considering what we want within the village. Debbie Callaghan mentioned that they hoped to complete the next Village Survey both online and by post.
Assets of community Jon Hicks introduced the idea of adding the village shop to a list of Assets of Community Value which would allow the village to bid for the building, should it be put up for sale in the future. While the current lease of the shop is for sale, the building itself is not. If we were interested we would have six weeks to bid and then a further six months to find the money. Ben Devlin questioned whether having a community shop would be a good idea due to the difficulty in staffing it. It would be a large commitment by the village. Other villages with community shops/pubs were having trouble staffing it and therefore resorted to paying salaries. Debbie Callaghan reminded that it is important to a lot of people in the village, especially as it houses the Post Office. Debbie Callaghan also suggested that it could simply owned by the village and then rented out. JH explained that adding the shop to the list of village assets would simply give the Parish Council the option to bid in the future.
It was agreed that the village shop be added to the list of village assets (six approved/no objections/no abstaining).
Chairman’s report. Defibrillator is ready to be installed. Been let down by three electricians but two more are coming to quote for work. Should hopefully be completed by the end of January. The phone box is Grade II listed so has to be repaired, specifically the glass pane at the top stating Telephone. It is leaning towards the pond so will be lifted and placed on new base as well as being fully restored. Ideas are needed for its use after restoration. Ben Devlin suggested using it as a community hub of information - Parish Council minutes, a drop-box for suggestions and comments by residents, maps for walkers, surveys, What’s On information, etc. Full discussion would take place at the February meeting. Jon Hicks is to get quotes for the restoration work although he is keen to also use community help if possible.
District Councillors’ report. Breckland Council will be holding a Town and Parish Forum on Thursday 21 February in the Committee Suite at Elizabeth House, Dereham from 5.45pm. It is hoped that a councillor(s) from the Parish Council will attend. The consultation on the recommendations from the Inspector on the Local Plan should take place for a six-week period during January/February. Councillors and residents will be informed when dates are received.
The Planning Committee is to discuss the Attleborough SUE Outline Planning Application in early February (date not yet confirmed). In view of comments from the Parish Council in September 2017 and the views of residents, a parish councillor should speak at the meeting. Steve Milner dealt with it previously and will attend to speak. Jon Hicks also offered to speak, provided Steve Milner could provide the information.
If any rough sleepers are spotted locally, especially during this cold weather, contact Breckland Council on 01362 656870 for emergency shelter.
Recreation Area.The goals are in a poor state. Local children should be consulted on what they would like to have there and ideas of use. Debbie Callaghan is to speak to the High School for possible collaborative work. Steve Milner had asked previously on social media but received no suggestions. Jon Hicks explained that work was planned to build a shelter but the idea got scrapped once the High School became part of the Sapientia Education Trust.
Councillors’ reports. Steve Milner said the Village Cinema is being relaunched and the first film would be Lawrence of Arabia on Saturday 16 February. Adrian Joel said the lighting on MUGA has been paid.
Jon Hicks said that twice-a-year meetings are to take place between the Parish Council and Village Hall Committee (VHC). First was to be on Wednesday 23 January. VHC against including Green Committee, as suggested by Jon Hicks. Jon Hicks, Adrian Joel, Ben Devlin and Steve Milner all volunteered to attend.
Parish meeting. The Village Parish Meeting will be held on Friday 22 March starting at 7.30pm and all councillors are requested to attend. A guest speaker is required, nothing political as it is in the run up to local elections. Any suggestions to the chairman Jon Hicks.
Items for next agenda. These will include the phone box, the purchase of more defibrillators and the Oliver Lee Presentation.

The next Parish Council meeting to be held on Thursday 7 February at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall.