Saturday, 31 January 2009

What's going on in February

Diary dates for February

Sunday 1 Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm
Monday 2 Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm
Tuesday 3 Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon
Wednesday 4 Luncheon Club New Year party, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Thursday 5 Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Friday 6 Crib Drive, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Monday 9 Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm
Thursday 12 Breckland Flower and Garden Club, Village Hall, 2pm
Thursday 12 Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.45pm
Friday 13 Mobile Police Station by Village Shop, 9am to 10.30am
Friday 13 Netgamers computer games, Village Hall, 7pm to 9pm
Sunday 15 Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm
Monday 16 Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm
Wednesday 18 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Wednesday 18 Request Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm
Thursday 26 Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Friday 27 Netgamers computer games, Village Hall, 7pm to 9pm

Friday, 30 January 2009

From the Parish Council minutes

Parish Council in January
These notes of the parish council meetings are prepared by the editor of the newsletter from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is corrected later at the next month's meeting.
The chairman welcomed two members of the public to the meeting at the Village Hall.
The minutes of the December meeting were approved and signed by the Chairman.
Village Hall. The VAT refund situation has now been resolved and the clerk is happy to proceed with processing the request for grant funding on behalf of the parish council if so instructed. If there is a subsequent problem for the VAT reclaim, the burden of any shortfall will devolve to the village hall.
County Councillor’s report. John Baskerville said that Old Buckenham High School has been classified as being in phase 4 or 5 for development. So the redevelopment work is well down on the list. He has protested at this classification and hopes to bring Old Buckenham up the list.
The footpath route from the Ox & Plough to the High School will be addressed as per the comments in the adjournment meeting.
More information on the Local Government Revue will be forthcoming in February.
Tenders are to be sought now for the second footpath on Green. The clerk was so instructed and Trevor Crook has kindly agreed to draw up a plan for the path specification.
Children’s Play Area. Kerry Talbot reported that an accident book had been supplied.
The Breckland grant application has to go to Cabinet for consideration on Tuesday 24 February. Kerry Talbot and Mike Craven-Romain will attend.
There will be a meeting with Lucinda Leonard of Norfolk Rural Community Council concerning further funding.
Kerbing of the road by the play area will be considered after the playground extension has taken place. The Clerk will process this request on behalf of the parish and the Green Rights Proprietors.
Settlement Boundary Review. Inspectorate will consider comments in June/July 2009 in respect of core strategy and development control policies.
It was felt that the increase in housing development must be curtailed to accommodate the current situation financially. Adrian Joel is hoping to get cabinet support for this restriction. Old Buckenham should be represented by a member of the parish council.
Recreation Area. The Clerk had been notified on Tuesday 6 January that the Agreement to Lease the land behind the Village Hall was executed that day. The planning application has been sent recorded delivery to Breckland.
The Green. The Clerk has raised a query with Mott McDonald about the promised dropped kerb that has not yet been installed.
The County Council legal department has not yet responded about planning permission for the proposed footpath. John Baskerville stated that it could go ahead as it is on Old Buckenham Green land. The clerk was instructed to proceed with obtaining tenders for the work involved in constructing the path.
The Proprietors have said that a guaranteed rental for letting of the Green is required by any tenant.
Mike Read suggested that he will notify the Proprietors before their AGM and circulate what he finds out to all interested parties.
Planning applications. Mr and Mrs J Germany, Thistledown, Crown Road. Replacement conservatory. No objections from the parish council.
Mr and Mrs Dye, Grove House, Grove Road. Raising external walls of kitchen/utility rooms to first floor (amendment to previous application). No objections from the parish council.
Mr and Mrs De’Ath, Lark Rise, Hargham Road. Single storey rear extension. No objections from the parish council.
Planning decisions by Breckland.
Mr and Mrs A Medley, Ottomer Cottage, The Green. This application, supported by the parish council, went to Breckland Committee in November 2008. Permission was refused at that meeting.
Stephen Thorley, College Barn, Cake Street. Proposed rear extension. Approved at Breckland.
A Nicholls, Cart Lodge, Cake Street. Erection of new stable and tractor store. Tiled roof not feasible. The Clerk advised Breckland that it would support whatever alternative Breckland feels appropriate. Approved at Breckland with provision of suitable hedge planting and the use of red “Onduline” sheeting for the roof. Exact specification is to be agreed before the commencement of work. This development is as part of the existing property and may not be sold, let or sub-let as a separate unit.
M Frazer, Peacehaven, Fen Street. Rear conservatory. Approved at Breckland.
Stephen Brown, Shardalows Farm, Fen Street. Conversion of barn to provide residential accommodation. Approved at Breckland.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel said that, in spite of the fact that investment accounts are proving very difficult to manage in the present situation, the tax base for council tax has not altered very much. It is proposed that there will be an increase of 3.35%. Breckland Council is awaiting capital return from Icelandic investments. There will, almost certainly, be a loss of interest.
Attleborough has launched a task force to investigate, amongst other matters, infrastructure, schools provision, etc so that it can advise on the scope of development.
The Banham Poultry site in Attleborough looks dreadful and should be tidied up. The clerk was asked to write to Attleborough town council.
Councillors’ Reports. Could the mound by Dairy Cottage be removed? This is a Highways issue as it is in close proximity to the road. The clerk will investigate.
The clerk will also check dates and book the Village Hall for the Annual Parish Meeting at a date late in March.
Serious worries were expressed regarding the manning of Village Hall management committee.
The possible relocation of the dog bin near the playground was discussed and notification has been given to Serco to get it emptied as soon as possible.
Clerk’s report. The clerk will contact neighbouring parish councils about supporting a public meeting in Old Buckenham about a proposed Flexi-Bus service and will then fix a date.
Highways. A satisfactory inspection took place with Adrian Sewell and Highways Inspector Luke Denny. Some immediate repairs have been undertaken already. Others are agreed and will go ahead. The new drains have been installed on Church Lane in the vicinity of the playground. The clerk suggested that a request for kerbing in that area be requested to make the general drainage of the lane more efficient.
The clerk has heard from Adrian Sewell that the Cake Street flooding is now being tackled with the co-operation of Old Buckenham Stud who are removing a section of hedge and dredging out a drainage ditch whose blockages are contributing to the problem.
Hargham Road, Old Buckenham, should be added to the gritting programme for the winter season. The Clerk will notify Highways.
Correspondence. A reply has been received from the High School headmaster about safer cycling.
Copies of the new Electoral Register that had been received by the clerk were distributed.
An enquiry from Peter Martin about seeking co-option as a parish councillor has been circulated to all councillors.
A discussion on eleemosynary disbursements was conducted in camera.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be at 7.30pm on Thursday 5 February in the village hall.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Flexible travelling

Improving local transport
There is to be a public meeting to assess the local feeling about a possible new flexi-bus service to serve the village and surrounding area. It will be in Old Buckenham Village Hall on Wednesday 25 February starting at 7.30 pm.
The more people who come the better so if you are interested please make sure this meeting known to as many people as possible.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Monday, 26 January 2009

Help for those less fortunate

Support for the homeless
Over forty supporters of the St Martin's Housing Charity for the homeless of Norfolk, gathered at the Chuch Rooms in Old Buckenham on Saturday 24 January. Represented were Old Buckenham Women’s Institute, All Saints Church, Old Buckenham Trust 2000, New Buckenham Silver Band, J Sainsbury management from both Thetford and Attleborough, and other individuals, all having contributed to the Christmas Appeal.
Cheques amounting to £12,304 were handed over to Derek Player (General Manager of the charity) by Susan Hunter, President of Old Buckenham WI and a further £700 by Brian Parish, Chairman of Old Buckenham Trust 2000. The Trust provided collectors in the form of Father Christmas and Elves at supermarkets, assisted by a team from New Buckenham Silver Band who rendered carols to the Christmas shoppers.
Derek Player thanked those present for their effort and contribution which, when added to the street collection in Norwich, would amount to over £40,000. The money would be used within the charity towards setting up education facilities to assist and prepare users of the Drop in Centre (Night Shelter) to return to life in the community. It is hoped this will reduce the numbers returning to living on the streets of Norfolk. Derek also told those present that every bed within the Drop in Centre, and the Care Homes that they manage, were occupied all the 366 days of last year.
During the thank you talk, it was revealed that a previous user of the St Martin's facilities, now back on his feet, was shortly getting married and would be dressed in a suit recently taken to St Martins by a donor from New Buckenham.
The management of the Sainsbury stores were thanked for the facilities that they provided to allow the collections to take place while appreciating that without the collectors, both individual and those from supporting organisations, such collections would not be possible.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Beautiful birds at the WI

January meeting
Old Buckenham’s first meeting of 2009 began on rather a sad note as they heard of the recent death of Brenda Yates who had been a stalwart and committed member of the WI for 28 years. Her lively interest in all the WI activities are sadly missed.
For the first meeting of 2009, Old Buckenham WI were entertained by a talk given by Quinton Spratt who owns and runs the largest and only peafowl rearing business in England on his farm at nearby Forncett. Members heard how he had been fascinated by these birds from the age of eight, when his father had brought home a pair of peafowl eggs. These hatched successfully and thus started a lifelong interest in these proud exotic birds with their shimmering plumage. Over the years, as farmers were encouraged to diversify, Quinton saw that what had been a hobby could become a business and an unusual one at that.
This has led to a large enterprise, with between 1000 and 2000 birds being raised each year. Birds are exported as far afield as Europe and America, as well as all over England. It was a surprise to hear that he gets requests for birds to appear on film sets. He also gets asked for pairs of birds to strut around large country gardens and estates, although the urban fox population has cut down peacock numbers here.
Peacocks lay from April to the end of September – at dusk – which makes collecting the eggs tricky. The eggs are put under hens to hatch or into incubators. Those gorgeous tail feathers moult every year. Peafowl do not like rain but have few health problems, just sinusitis. They are only noisy during the mating season and are very stress-free birds, not objecting to being handled and boxed-up when travelling. Of the three main varieties, all from the Far East originally, the Javan Green is the rarest with the peahen being just as brightly coloured as the peacock (though without his glorious tail). The Javan Green were until recently on the endangered species list but Quinton has managed to hatch enough of their eggs to be able to send some back to their homeland in Indonesia where it is hoped they will re-establish themselves. The speaker’s interest and enthusiasm was very evident in his talk and he gave all those present a lovely peacock’s tail feather as a memento of a very enjoyable talk.
After the talk Gill Freitag gave a resume of the recent Resolutions Day and reported that the Norfolk resolution for National Conference was to be the one deploring the proposed polyclinics and the effect they would have on rural GP practices. Members are also beginning to think about ideas for the Federation Chairman’s Challenge and how best to rise to this challenge. Other business included details of the visit to see West Side Story at the Theatre Royal and arrangements for a walk the following day with both heavy rain and a gale forecast (but WI walkers are tough and it is reported that they managed their trek and that the meal afterwards was both welcome and warming). Plans were also made for the Federation AGM in March which will mean digging out the hat boxes as ‘hats will be worn’. Perhaps some peacock feathers might come in handy?

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Looking for booking

News from the village hall
The Agreement for Lease of the Recreation Area behind the hall has now been completed. The Parish Council is now seeking the necessary planning consent for the change of use and when this has been obtained the Lease will be completed.
The Committee is looking for a volunteer to take on the duties of Booking Clerk. Anyone who is interested in taking on this post should contact the Chairman, Dennis Packham, for further information.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Drink with a clear conscience

Committed to a Fairtrade cuppa
The congregation of All Saints, Old Buckenham have, as a part of the diocesan mission Committed to Growth, decided to become a Fairtrade Church. All tea, coffee, sugar and even biscuits and cookies provided after the services are now fair-trade.
The Committed to Growth plan is a way of parishes looking at the ways in which they can grow in discipleship, service and numbers. Under the umbrella of service it was decided that a real commitment could be made to those less fortunate particularly those in developing countries who routinely provide the produce for the weekly cuppa after church.
Fairtrade products for the church are sourced through Traidcraft which was established in 1979 as a Christian response to poverty. They look to fight poverty through trade. Buying products with the official fair-trade symbol ensures:
· A fair price which covers the cost of sustainable production;
· An extra premium to invest in community projects;
· Defined standards for the health, and social and economic welfare of producers;
· Defined standards for the protection of the environment.
In addition the Traidcraft organisation seeks to go further by, amongst other things, lobbying governments on the behalf of workers, demonstrating ethical business practices, helping with business innovation and looking to support poor and small scale producer groups. The next Traidcraft stall will be on Sunday 8 February after the Parish Eucharist at All Saints. Here you can stock your cupboards with not only delicious tea, coffee and cookies but a whole range of foodie products including cereals for breakfast and lunch box goodies. The Traidcraft catalogue will also be available which contains a huge range of products from clothing and food to gift ideas.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Book recycling

Early warning of booksale
The Village Environment and Recycling Group's next booksale, the fifth, will take place on Sunday 17 May in the Church Rooms. As usual, there will be secondhand books at bargain prices and, it is hoped, another selection of new but damaged items being recycled at a fraction of the published price.
This year the organisers intend to provide a much more comfortable area for children to browse and to extend the area given to their books (always presuming plenty of children’s books are donated). The Old Buckenhan Women’s Institute will once again be providing delicious light refreshments and there is no entry fee so you will be able to come along for a browse and chat, if not to stock up on reading matter.
Collection boxes will be put out as usual nearer the time. In the meantime, please collect up books you have read and do not want to keep. If you can store them a bit longer it will be appreciated but, if you are really desperate for the space in your home, early collection can be arranged. Ring 01953 452716 for details.

Friday, 16 January 2009

The Players perform

The annual pantomime (as seen by the newsletter editor)
“Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, performed by the Old Buckenham Players on Thursday 15, Friday 16 and Saturday 17 January was another village panto in the finest tradition of village pantos. It had all the typical characters that you would expect, the script contained the requisite amount of corny jokes and also actors who were determined to enjoy themselves. The first night audience were obviously an experienced lot who joined in with all the “It’s behind you” and “Oh, yes it is” with very little prompting from the cast.
Set in Bagdad and having the odd camel on the cast list, it had some connections with the Ali Baba story that I seem to remember. Ali Baba himself, entertainingly played by Matt Butcher, soon had the audience on his side while Tom Key as Kasim Baba (or the dastardly El Scorpio in his alter ego) could be guaranteed to be greeted by boos every time that he appeared on stage.
The dame Fatima Kebab, a real ‘Dame Edna’ character, gave Chris Langton the chance to milk plenty of food jokes. Laura Gipp had the principal boy part of Rhum Baba and enjoyed her pursuit of Polly Jones (played by Georgina Key) and after many adventures everything turned out well in the end.
Polly’s father (Chris Morter) got turned into a camel, the mysterious Crystal (Jenny Harrison) seemed to get all her predictions right, the two belly dancers wiggled through their parts, El Scorpio’s henchmen (two of the forty thieves) got most things wrong and Olive Baba (Lisa Chenery) had both good and bad fortune befall her as the story progressed.
There were the members of the adult chorus and the children’s chorus to do some dancing and a well-bandaged Mummy made a few appearances too. One thing that was missing was thirty-eight of the forty thieves but the stage at Old Buckenham is not really that big.
The scenery, music, costumes, sound, lighting and props were all of the usual high standard. Going to the first night meant that not everything went as planned (but the ad libs were of the highest panto standard) and the prompt had a bit more to do than they would like. By the time the finale came, everyone seemed to realise that the show had gone well and relaxed, singing their way through a reprise of the songs with obvious enjoyment. And the audience went home in a cheerful mood having been well entertained all evening.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Panto pictures

Ali Baba
The Old Buckenham Players performed their 2009 pantomime Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves by David Swan on Thursday 15 January.

Further performances will be on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 January starting at 7.30pm in the Village Hall (with a special matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday 17 January). They are virtually sold out for all these performances but you might be lucky, ticket details are on the post for Tuesday 9 December.

The village newsletter editor was at the first night and took a few photos. When he has recovered he will post his review.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Another year of lunches

Locals who lunch
The Old Buckenham Luncheon Club members have had another happy and successful year. The Club was formed 27 years ago for the elderly residents of the surrounding villages who live alone. Four outings were held during the year and these are always enjoyed by the members. The Club recently held their New Year's Lunch Party when they were pleased to welcome the volunteer drivers who do such a wonderful job in transporting members to and from the Village Hall. The Club has recently received a generous donation from the New Buckenham Re-cycling Scheme, for which they are very grateful. Also many thanks to Old Buckenham Primary School who donated their Harvest Festival goods for the Club's use.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

What a party...

Traditional celebration
The “Senior Citizens’ Christmas Party” has again provided the chance for many of the older village residents to sit down together for a most enjoyable afternoon. There were over eighty people gathered together in the village hall on Saturday 10 January to eat, drink, be entertained and, of course, talk.
There were a couple of quiz sheets on the ready-laid tables to keep everyone busy before the meal started. Then a full roast beef dinner was served up to everyone. Each table was also provided with wine, soft drinks, crackers and mints and there was a selection of sweets followed by cheese and biscuits and then tea or coffee to wash it all down.
The after-dinner entertainment was provided by the duo “Michael Ruston and Helen” who sang their way through a wide variety of songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Audience participation was encouraged and soon everyone was singing along.
There was time for a couple of cards of bingo (with cash prizes) before tea and hot mince pies were served. There was also a large free raffle with lots of prizes and the tables getting most marks in the quizzes were able to take away yet more prizes.
Eileen Oliver had taken on the responsibility for this year’s meal and took the opportunity to thank all those who had helped to make the event possible. There were those who had run events such as cream teas and bingo sessions to raise funds during 2008 and the village OB2000 Trust who had provided a substantial grant towards the cost. Thanks were also due to all the helpers, both young and old, who had prepared vegetables, cooked the food, served it to the tables, cleared it away and then washed up. In particular she mentioned her husband Brian and Julie, the cook, for their support throughout.
It was left to Ron Brewer to thank Eileen for her major part in making sure that everyone had had such an enjoyable afternoon.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Time to think

More questions than answers
The Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle began their 2009 programme of meetings with their now traditional quiz evening. David Sallnow had set the questions and his wife Jenny was the scorer.
There were five rounds with twenty questions in each to keep the teams thinking hard. All rounds were a collection of general knowledge questions covering a wide range of subjects. One round involved answering questions based on short snippets of music from David’s personal collection and they ranged from operatic arias to songs by Peter Sellars.
The winners, who managed to get 60% of their answers correct, were the team of Susan and Neil Hunter, Doris Monkhouse and Margaret Pearce who were rewarded with a box of chocolates to share between them.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 12 February at 7.45pm in the Church Rooms when the speaker will be Tony Blackburn talking about stamps in the Spanish Civil War.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Coffee and Chat

What to you do on Tuesday mornings?
Why not go along to the “Coffee and Chat” in the Church Rooms between 10.30am and 12 noon on the first Tuesday of each month.
The organisers are hoping to see all their regular friends and lots of new faces during the coming months.
This is an ideal opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee and a delicious fresh scone with friends. There is also a table for fruit, vegetables, jams, etc which anyone is welcome to bring or buy.
Babies and toddlers are very welcome. Toys and games are provided.
There is no charge for admission although donations towards the cost of the scones, tea and coffee are most welcome. Any profit goes to All Saints Church.
Unfortunately you have missed the one that was held today but the next ones will be on
Tuesday 3 February
Tuesday 3 March
Tuesday 7 April
Tuesday 5 May
and Tuesday 2 June.