Sunday, 20 September 2020

Busy selling in Old Buckenham

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

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

Friday, 18 September 2020

 Five circuits of Old Buckenham Green

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

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Life of Old Buckenham shopkeeper

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

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Busy day in Old Buckenham

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

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Latest from Old Buckenham Parish Council

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

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

Monday, 7 September 2020

Farewell to Old Buckenham shopkeeper

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

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

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Correct times in Old Buckenham

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

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Old Buckenham weather radar latest

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

Monday, 31 August 2020

Another Old Buckenham newsletter

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

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Flower Festival at Old Buckenham Methodist Church

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

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

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Shopkeeper in Old Buckenham for many years

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

Thursday, 13 August 2020

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

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Football in Old Buckenham

Making use of new goals

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

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Clearing out in Old Buckenham

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

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Fish and chips in Old Buckenham

Something for Saturday lunch? 

You can now get your fish and chips in Old Buckenham on Saturday lunch times. Paul's Plaice will be frying outside the Ox and Plough from 12.30pm to 2.30pm each Saturday as well as continuing their long established sessions from 4.30pm to about 7.15pm on Thursday evenings.
Take them home or eat them outside on the Green.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Seniors' cricket in Old Buckenham

Last over thriller
You could have been on Old Buckenham Green admiring the noisy motorbikes or you could have been enjoying a pleasant evening at the village cricket ground watching an exciting cricket match between Norfolk and Suffolk.

Play started early afternoon, Suffolk batted first and scored 199 runs in their 45 overs.

The teams were the over sixties first teams for both counties. 
Play went on into the early evening with long shadows reaching across the ground.
Wickets tumbled as Norfolk tried to push along the scoring rate.
Into the last over and there were still runs to get.
Just a couple of balls left when Norfolk finally clinched victory.
There are plenty of matches to watch during August. A list of them was given in the last village newsletter.Why not visit the ground, you will be most welcome.

Monday, 3 August 2020

Further seat on Old Buckenham Green

Remembering Rosemary
All three places around Ottomer pond have now got a bench for you to sit on and enjoy the views. The latest one has now been installed and is inscribed 'In memory of the Bush family of West View Farm'.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Old Buckenham village newsletter

Latest version on its way around
Speeding, Ironman, cycling, cricket and what activities are starting up again, all in this issue along with notes on the latest parish council meeting. Expect a copy through your letterbox any day soon.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Flower attraction in Old Buckenham

Methodist Church Flower Festival 
The annual Flower Festival  will be taking place at Old Buckenham Methodist Church in Hargham Road over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of August. Entry is free. There will be flower displays, refreshments and activities. The church will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 29 August and Monday 31 August. On Sunday 30 August the opening hours are 12 noon to 4pm. 
Appropriate safety precautions and signage  will be in place and ample parking is available. For more information visit the website  or email

Monday, 20 July 2020

Cricketing progress in Old Buckenham

Cricket, lovely cricket

For Old Buckenham Cricket Club, it is full ahead to get back into cricket.
They have already managed four weeks of youth coaching on Saturday mornings at the Horry Panks Cricket Ground, with average attendance around 33 youngsters and eight  coaches in attendance. At Step 4 of the ECB Guidelines for 'Return to Cricket', they are now allowed larger groups with each coach, opportunities for game situations within the club and plans for friendly matches against five other local clubs (Garboldisham, Hethersett and Tas, Great Ellingham, Great Melton and Rocklands). These Youth Friendly matches are being  arranged and the home matches are planned for Monday and  Tuesday evenings.
On the adult side of the club, they had an inter-club game on Saturday 11 July. Now they await the provision of matches, for bubbles of six clubs, being put together by the Norfolk Cricket Board and starting on Saturday 25 July. The club plan to enter two adult teams.
The Ladies team, like the rest of the club, has seen all league cricket cancelled but hope that their games planned for mainly Sundays in August will still go ahead as friendly fixtures. 

Saturday, 18 July 2020

More opening in Old Buckenham

Soon time to get in
Old Buckenham Swim, the Old Buckenham swimming pool down Harlingwood Lane will be opening again from Saturday 25 July. There will be appropriate social distancing measures in place. For any more information please call 01953 860733.
They are looking forward to finally seeing you all again.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Old Buckenham Village Hall

Opening up
It is the intention of Old Buckenham Village Hall Management Committee to reopen the main hall to some of the regular user groups from Tuesday 1 September 2020. This is subject to all required risk assessments and making the hall Covid-19 secure in accordance with government guidelines.
At this stage private parties/gatherings will not be able to take place in the hall but if people wish to plan an event, dates can be pencilled in by contacting the bookings clerk.
The contact details are by email or phone 07880660444

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

The Old Buckenham Ironman

Job done

Details were posted on this blog on Thursday 18 June of the challenge Phin Robinson had set himself. Having trained for months for a national Ironman Triathlon, he was determined to complete the event on the scheduled date of Sunday 12 July even if that meant doing it by himself.
He was successful in his challenge spending 13 hours 9 minutes swimming, cycling and running, covering 226 km and using up some 5928 calories. One hour 27 minutes was open water swimming, 6 hours 25 minutes cycling and he finished by running a full marathon which took 4 hours 55 minutes.
Phin has also set up a Just Giving page which is raising money for the Parkinson's UK charity. The total collected so far is over £1,400.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Latest Old Buckenham Parish Council meeting

Parish Council July minutes
The following notes have been produced 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 via Zoom on Thursday 2 July at 7.30pm. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington and Terry Cook. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), County and District councillor Steve Askew as well as 10 members of the public. Andy Nicholls had sent his apologies for not being able to attend. Ben Devlin was not present and apologies had not been received. 
The minutes of the council meeting held on Thursday 4 June were approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain) and there were no matters arising from these minutes
Financial report. Community account balance now stands at £34,864.46. Payments of £2,242.01 were approved (5 in favour) which included £1144 for goalposts to go on the Recreation Area and £122 to cover the costs of the Green survey (payments for the Green survey to be taken from the Green budget).
Public participation relating to agenda items. Steve Askew said he had been posting reports from Breckland Council on the Old Buckenham Facebook page. He wished to thank all the village helpers during these recent months.
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.)
New planning applications. Land to west of 22 Fen Street. Technical details consent for erection of 4 dwellings (permission in principle reference 3PL/2019/1257/PIP) 3PL/2020/0495/TDC. Having taken the time to review the application and the technical details, which included replacing any hedgerow that was removed and supporting wildlife post-build, the Parish Council could see no problems with the application. Councillors highlighted that the PIP had been granted and therefore this application was for technical details only. Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Redbourne House, Abbey Road. New detached double garage to front of property. Single storey extension to rear of existing garage (3PL/2020/0493/HOU). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Windmill, Mill Road. Brick repairs to walls, oak lintel repairs over openings and repairs to the Mill cap. Ground floor replacement and removal of cement render. Minor timber repairs to intermediate floor structures (3PL/2020/0550/LB). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Scales Farm, Road from Stacksford Lane to Hargham Road. Erection of straw barn (3PL/2020/0580/F). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Land west of Attleborough Road, north of the property East View. Outline application for 5 residential dwellings (3PL/2020/0578/O). Firstly, it was highlighted that the application was outside the settlement boundary of the village. Old Buckenham has a housing target of 17 additional properties and has already met this target. The site was initially put forward to be included in the Local Plan but was dismissed due to its impact on the historic environment. There was great concern from councillors and residents about road safety at the site. The original traffic survey was completed during the lockdown and produced unrealistic data of the volume and speed of traffic. Breckland Council has now stated that any survey completed in this period would not be useable. Road safety concerns included a lot of accidents in that area, being near a bend and vehicles frequently travelling above the speed limit as they enter the village. Additionally, there is no space to build a footpath and so there would be an increase in people crossing the road to access village facilities. Jonn Hicks wished to highlight that there had been a lot of opinions online about this specific application but very little interest in other applications in the village. He also reminded residents that the Parish Council is only one consultee and he encouraged all residents to submit their opinions for all applications on the Breckland Planning website. A proposal to object was approved (5 in favour).
5 Hargham Road. Erection of an outdoor Oak wooden gazebo structure with pantile roof (3PL/2020/0585/HOU). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
17 Hargham Road. 1st floor extension and ground floor infill creating a 1½ storey dwelling with annex accommodation, revised scheme (3PL/2020/0636/HOU). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following two applications have now been considered and prior approval has been given:
Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Prior approval for change of use from agricultural to C3 residential use under Class Q(a) only (3PN/2020/0014/UC).
Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Prior approval for conversion of existing agricultural building to single dwelling The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) -Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q (3PN/2020/0017/UC).
The following two applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved:
Buckenham Priory, Abbey Road. Infill Extension (3PL/2020/0461/LB and 3PL/2020/0460/HOU).
Land to the west of 49 Hargham Road. Permission in principle for the erection of 4 dwellings (Town and Country Planning) Permission in Principle (amendment) Order 2017 (3PL/2020/0117/PIP).
Development of Old Buckenham. Whenever a controversial planning application comes through, there is a lot of debate centred around how Old Buckenham will develop. As chairman, Jonn Hicks asked all members of the public present what their personal views were. The following points were raised:
* Like village as it is, don’t want any more houses built. 
* Can’t stop future development.
* Concern about Attleborough boundary edging closer.
* Need for housing, particularly smaller family homes.
* Parish Council can sometimes be inconsistent – Jonn Hicks reminded councillors of the “tick list” used to assess applications and this will be re-issued.
* Neighbourhood Plan will not stop all development but could give stronger arguments for/against some applications.
* Need to develop facilities, particularly for young people.
* If you want facilities, you need development.
* Developers just keep coming – Parish Council should be tougher.
* Government are very “pro” development and therefore Breckland is under a lot of pressure to approve applications.
* Planning system is complicated and unfair.
* Environmental impact of the houses needs to be considered for sustainable houses and development.
The Parish Council have previously approved the writing of a Neighbourhood Plan. When there is more freedom of movement and people are able to meet in person, the Parish Council will again look and decide the best course of action regarding a Neighbourhood Plan.
Communications. Steve Milner has started reviewing all the aspects that have been highlighted previously. Will complete and send to councillors so that they can add their own feedback and decisions can be made about best steps forward.
Action Plan update. Two defibrillator locations have been confirmed, just been waiting out this period until a tradesman can be arranged. There is also a need to continue reviewing policies.
Village Green Working Party. Some villagers feel uniformed about contents of the Green reports. The Clerk is to make this clearer in the agendas.
Residents of Almshouses are unhappy with the Pound being left uncut. The Parish Council and Green Working Party looked at initial reasons behind decision (wildflowers left to seed, rotating areas every year, feedback from residents) and decide to leave grass uncut until Autumn, as initially planned. The Clerk and Gemma Frost to write letter to residents of the Almshouses explaining the decision.
UK Power Networks have written to Green Working Party to request permission to access a small area of cables under edge of Green. This is routine request which Gemma Frost will authorise.
Road Safety. Now have new location for installing the SAM sign on Cake Street. Need to purchase new battery for the mobile SAM sign. Reminder to people to drive safely and within limits as there has been a large increase in speed during lockdown but roads are getting busier again.
Play Area. Rubber pellets are due to be delivered next week and work should hopefully be finished soon after (opened on Saturday 11 July). Safety Inspection can be arranged quickly after completion. Breckland Council had advised not to open playgrounds unless someone is present at all times to ensure social distancing. The Clerk to contact Breckland about emptying Playground waste bins.
Recreation Area. New goal posts and nets have been delivered and due to be installed next week. Will then look at planting fruit trees around boundary to help contain footballs and also provide a small orchard for the village. Grass will continue to be cut/rolled whenever weather makes this possible.
Councillors’ reports. Terry Cook explained that rules for safely opening the Village Hall are very strict. The committee will meet this month to discuss how to implement the rules. Jonn Hicks has cut grass at the front of the Village Hall. A volunteer from the village has offered to do so in the future, with possible contributions towards fuel.
Items for next agenda. Communications and Neighbourhood Plan.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held using Zoom on Thursday 6 August at 7.30pm.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Old Buckenham church reopening

Doors are opening again

All Saints Church has been closed since the re-thatching work was begun last October but the PCC are delighted to once again be able to welcome visitors for private prayer and reflection from this Friday 10 July. 
To ensure that the building can be safe for all, please maintain ‘social distancing’ if you find others in the church when you come in. Also please use the hand sanitiser available in the porch before entering the church and again as you leave. You may find the church looks a little ‘bare’, without the usual altar cloths, books or other moveable items. The hand rails in the porch and other key points will be regularly cleaned but please minimise contact with the furniture. 
It is hoped to have the first service of worship in the church on Sunday 19 July. This won’t be the postponed ‘big celebration’ of the re-opening of the church following the completion of the roof work, that will be held as soon as it is possible to have a full church and ‘social distancing’ is just a memory. Until then you can quietly give thanks within the new ‘rules’ for services – there will be no singing, alternate pews will be left empty, and communion will be held without the ‘common cup’. There will be a ‘one way’ system and plenty of fresh air. 
Some further building work will need to be done which may involve another short closure, more information will be given when details are known.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Old variety shows in Old Buckenham

Fund raising in the past
With many people stuck indoors, much clearing out has been going on. Here is the text (very slightly edited) of a notice produced nearly forty years ago to go with a collection of photographs taken at the time of village shows.
The village variety shows of the 1980s were held in the old village hall (a wooden hut on the Attleborough Road). They were produced by Shirley Knight and Julian Goodey helped by a merry band of local performers. These shows were in aid of funds for a new village hall. When the new hall was opened they continued with lavish productions.
Sadly, some of the performers are no longer with us but happy memories remain. Such was the enthusiasm that the shows had to be performed on three nights a week. It is estimated that over the period £3,000 was raised for the hall and the church. On a Wednesday evening prior to the show tickets were sold at hall resulting in queues outside.
Each show was in two distinct halves. The first was of individual acts and groups of performers and dancers. The second half followed a theme such as the wild west, the circus and Old Buckenham itself - the Normans, the Romans and the Airfield.
Rehearsals started at least two months ahead, on Saturdays and Sundays, sometimes all day. Jackie Rout, a professional dancer, was in charge of the dancers ranging from teenagers to OAPs. The music was in the capable hands of Michael Dann and David Buckle. Thanks to the hard work of Pat Read and her team some excellent costumes were produced.
Videos and now DVDs of the shows have been made and it is hoped to show parts, or all of these, to the public in the future.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Starting nursery in Old Buckenham

Education begins for some village youngsters
The poster below gives all the details.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Old Buckenham July newsletter

Soon be coming through your letter box
The July issue is printed, the insert of a survey to find out your feelings on the management of the Green has been completed and Terri's team of volunteers are poised to deliver a copy to all all households in Old Buckenham.

This is a special cricket and cycling edition also containing information about the Friends of Chapel Green School, the Green Working Group and the last Parish Council meeting.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Road safety in Old Buckenham

Another active site for SAM

Today saw the SAM speed measuring equipment installed for its first session in Cake Street. The post was put in yesterday and those installing it were very aware of the vehicles speeding by them as they carried out this work. 
Previous speed measurements have indicated that many vehicles are well over the 30mph as they approach the blind bind by the junction with Harlingwood Lane. The present equipment records and stores the speeds of all passing vehicles - these can then be downloaded by a member of the parish council who can pass the information on to the local police to see if further measurements should be done in the area.