Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Have a busy month in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for April
Wednesday 1 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Wednesday 1 Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm
Wednesday 1 Village Hall AGM, Village Hall Memorial Room, 7.30pm
Thursday 2 Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Friday 3 Crib Drive, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Saturday 4 Bucks Just Play Grand Draw, Ox and Plough, 1pm
Sunday 5 Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm
Monday 6 Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm
Tuesday 7 Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon
Thursday 9 Breckland Flower and Garden Club, Village Hall, 2pm
Thursday 9 Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.45pm
Friday 10 (No Mobile Police Station as Good Friday)
Friday 10 Netgamers computer games, Village Hall, 7pm to 9pm
Saturday 11 Table top sale, Church Rooms, 2pm to 4pm
Wednesday 15 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Wednesday 15 Request Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm
Thursday 16 Women's Institute Group meeting
Saturday 18 Coffee morning, Methodist Chapel, from 10am
Sunday 19 Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm
Monday 20 Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm
Thursday 23 Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Friday 24 Netgamers computer games, Village Hall, 7pm to 9pm
Saturday 25 Gardening event, Village Hall, 10am to 1pm
Wednesday 29 Luncheon Club outing

Monday, 30 March 2009

Starring the village shop...

Pick up your copy now

The April newsletter is in the village shop and the village shop is on the front of the newsletter.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

East Anglian bird life

Wild birds at the WI
One or two of the Old Buckenham WI members had heard their March speaker, Steve Lovell, at an Auditions Day and so he came highly recommended. They were not disappointed. Steve spoke about the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and, in particular, the birds of East Anglia. His slides were very good and slickly presented, and his talk ranged through the East Anglian habitats of some of the most attractive and least common British birds. He also covered the winter visitors to this part of England.
The RSPB aims for biodiversity – caring for birds, some insects and animals, their habitats and the management of these areas. East Anglia has a huge diversity of different habitats – sand dunes, heathland, wetlands and arable land - which all help to encourage wild life. The Wash is particularly spectacular in the winter months, attracting some 33,000 waders and wildfowl.
Farmers and landowners are encouraged to manage their land sympathetically to encourage the right breeding and rearing conditions for birds. Of particular interest to East Anglia are the stone curlews, bitterns, little terns, corncrakes, bearded tits, marsh harriers and the well-known success story of the flocks of avocets which feature as the RSPB’s emblem. Members also discovered what a wide remit the RSPB has, not merely caring for birds but also the swallowtail butterfly and the Norfolk Hawker dragonfly in East Anglia. The Society also has connections with Birdlife International and the Indonesian government in helping to save a part of the rain forest where the rare Sumatran tiger lives.
Old Buckenham WI were lucky to hear Steve speak as he told them that this was his final speaking engagement for the RSPB. He had finished work for them that day and was about to start his own garden design business in Lincolnshire. He was thanked for his talk by Margaret Pearce, a keen bird-watcher who has braved the freezing early mornings at Snettisham and the Wash and who can thoroughly recommend the thrilling experience of seeing thousands of geese flying in to the mudflats to feed.
After a refreshment break, Susan Hunter gave a full and interesting account of the Federation Annual Meeting in Norwich. Four members had attended and heard witty, interesting and thought-provoking speeches by Baroness Shephard and Ann Widdecombe. A party of members had also been to see ‘Calendar Girls’ at the Theatre Royal in Norwich and thoroughly enjoyed the outing. Members were also encouraged to go to the Norfolk Showground to support Old Buckenham’s entry in the competition for the Cator Cup.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Enjoy a mardle

Talk, eat and now read
The Monday Mardlers are planning to add a Book Swop to their chat and cakes afternoons and would like to welcome some new faces. The idea is for people to chat to each other and to have the chance to talk about anything they have enjoyed reading and to informally exchange books. The Mardle organisers have a small collection of novels, a few biographies and books on several other subjects and they are planning to obtain more second hand (probably paperbacks) to vary the selection.
There is a minimum of formality at the Mardle. The cost is just £1.50 a time which covers home-made scones, tea and cakes, a free raffle, an occasional quiz and of course the book swop.
They meet every other week on a Monday in the Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm except when Bank Holidays, for instance, get in the way. The exact dates are published well in advance in the village newsletter. The next Mardle will be on Monday 20 April and then again on Monday 18 May.
Do come and join in if you feel like a convivial afternoon. Everyone is welcome, phone Jenny on 860176 if you would like to know more.
If transport to the Mardle is likely to be a problem they will also do their best to help with this.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

One hundred not out

The first century
Yesterday we reached our first small milestone - one hundred posts. We look forward to the next few hundred and hope you are enjoying what you are reading about our village.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

A year is a long time in parish politics

Annual Parish meeting
The Annual Parish meeting was held in the Village Hall last Friday. A fuller report will have to wait until the minutes become available to read.
There were not many people in the audience to hear what the parish council has been up to over the last twelve months. There were plenty of projects that had been completed or moved on significantly during the year such as the safe route to school, the entrance to the burial ground and the recreation area behind the village hall. Little progress had been made on the management of the Green and this subject did provoke much lively, even heated, discussion. As you can see in the photo, the parish clerk, the chairman and vice-chairman followed the discussion with interest.
Reports on the community car scheme, management of the village hall, village newsletter and the village charity showed that there are people in the village giving their time and energy to making this a better place to live. Also on the positive side, two village mums made a point of thanking the parish council for getting the new piece of footpath installed and said how much it had improved their journeys.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Up at 4,500 metres

Nepal Plus
On Saturday 9 May David Hannah will give an illustrated talk in the village hall on his trip to the Everest region in Nepal. Here is a photo of David in situ just to whet your appetite.
The evening will also include an ‘Auction of Promises’, a raffle, a bar and refreshments. Admission is £2.50 per ticket, available from the village shop or by phoning David on 861261. Doors will open at 7.30pm and the talk will start at 7.45pm.

Further details are on the post for 17 March.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Top of the Shops

New star seen in village

Last night Breckland Council hosted a reception to present awards to various people and organisations. One award was for the best village shop as part of the BLISS initiative (Breckland Local Independent Shop Stars).

Shoppers thoughout Breckland were invited to vote for their favourite shops and the best village shop category was won by our own Old Buckenham Stores and Post Office.

Congratulations to Nathan and Venuka who were there to pick up the trophy and who enjoyed showing it to their customers today.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Opening delayed

Delayed re-opening of Windmill
Regrettably the opening of Old Buckenham Windmill will be delayed this year. There is essential work to be done at the mill, and a review of safety procedures to be finalised, before the local Committee can feel reassured that all the required safety arrangements are agreed with Norfolk Windmills Trust and have been put in place.
The mill will not open until May at the earliest. Future plans will be announced on this blog and in the next village newsletter and it is hoped that many visitors will be able to look around the mill later in the season.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

High level flying

Raising thousands for charity
The Old Buckenham Air Show has supported the East Anglia Children's Hospices (EACH) for many years with the profits from its annual Air Show. The year 2008 was no exception.
Airfield manager William Layzell recently handed over a cheque for £4771 to Danielle Clarke from EACH who said they were so grateful to everyone involved – the organisers, the pilots and, most of all, the public who go to the show every year.
This money will be a real help in caring for children with life threatening illnesses. William Layzell said how those at the airfield get a real kick out of supporting EACH. The Air Show is exciting and great fun for all of them but raising cash for the hospices is the cherry on the cake.
The annual Air Show at Old Buckenham has been a local summer highlight for nearly ten years being one of the best flying displays in the region. In 2008 it was the 90th anniversary of the RAF and the show had the famous Battle of Britain Memorial Flight of Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft and many other exciting aerial displays.
Will they be doing it again this year? William Layzell can only say maybe. They are at an early planning stage for the 2009 show but this year’s show is not certain as they are very dependant on sponsorship to cover the considerable cost of staging the event. So if there are people or organisations out there who would like to be associated with the show and will help with the costs, please contact him at the airfield. The airfield web address is www.oldbuck.co.uk

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

High level talking

Nepal Plus
Do you remember David Hannah’s ‘Peru Plus’ evening at Old Buckenham village hall in 2007? Well on Saturday 9 May he is repeating the experience but this time it’s ‘Nepal Plus’. Following the same format as before, David will give an illustrated talk on his trip to the Everest region in Nepal.
The evening will also include an ‘Auction of Promises’, a raffle, a bar and refreshments. So far the ‘Auction of Promises’ includes a chance to bid for tickets to all the ‘Concert in the Forest’ events this summer at High Lodge – namely Paul Weller, Jools Holland, The Human League, David Gray and the Sugarbabes (more information on these concerts can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-7M7J3X). There will also be an annual family season ticket to the High Lodge Forest Centre and a family ticket to ‘GoApe’. An updated list will appear on this blog next month.
Make sure you take this opportunity to have an interesting and relaxing local night out, as well as raising money for our Parish Church.
Admission is £2.50 per ticket, available from the village shop or by phoning David on 861261.
Doors will open at 7.30pm and the talk will start at 7.45pm.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Changes at the top

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
The Annual General Meeting was held in March at Old Buckenham Village Hall. Christine Hewson was retiring after her term as chairman and she thanked everyone for the help and support she was given during that busy time. She presented representatives from the Big C charity with a cheque for £125 raised from the sale of a Handy Tips and Recipes booklet and also presented the club with a table frontal. The new chairman, Pat Wells, thanked Christine for all she had done for the club during her term in office. Marion Beasley was welcomed as president for the coming year and was awarded a cup and voucher for the most points for competition work during the past year.
For the afternoon’s project, bookmarks and cards were made from pressed flowers, and then laminated.
The competition winners were: New Hands - Margaret Smith and Old Hands - Ursula Jackson.
The next meeting will be held at 2pm on Thursday 9 April in Old Buckenham Village Hall when Mrs J Barham will demonstrate 'Take a Break'. The competition will be for a basket arrangement with fruit or vegetables included.
Further details from Sally on 01953 788712. Visitors are always welcome.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Coffee, fellowship and singing

Old Buckenham Methodist Church

A coffee morning with various stalls will be held in the Chapel on Saturday 18 April from 10am. A warm welcome awaits all who come.

The Women’s Fellowship meets at the Chapel on the first Wednesday of each month (up until December) starting at 2.30pm. There is usually a speaker and the meetings end with a cup of tea and a chat. New members are very welcome.

Request Songs of Praise takes place on the third Wednesday of each month and continues to be popular. If you would like to sing with others in a friendly atmosphere then why not come along and try it, you will be most welcome.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

High level building sites

The rooks are building

Nest building is in full swing alongside Cake Street in Old Buckenham. And the birds are making a lot of noise as well...

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Advance notice of fundraising

Spring Fayre
Each year events are organised to raise money for the Senior Citizens’ Christmas Party. This year there will be a Spring Fayre on Saturday 9 May in the Church Rooms in Old Buckenham. It will run from 2pm to 4.30pm and there will be many stalls including bric-a brac, plants, cards, tombola and a raffle. Refreshments will be on sale too.
If you would like to run a stall of your own you can book one through Janet on 01953 452847 for the sum of £5. Or if you have items that you would like to donate for any of the stalls the Janet would be pleased to hear from you.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

One hundred and one

Charlie Styles

Yesterday was the funeral of Charlie Styles and about a hundred people gathered in All Saints Church for the service. The following is taken from the address given by the Revd Alistair Monkhouse during that service.

During his 101 years he lived through twenty prime ministers and five reigning monarchs. He saw twenty-one clergy serve this church. He lived in a time before the first aeroplane flew across the English Channel, before the Titanic set sail on her fateful journey and before the British Empire broke up. He also saw the R101 airship break away from her mooring mast at Pulham and drift away to Belgium where it was recovered.
Charlie was born at Winfarthing on 25th August 1907 and he was the third eldest of six children and the last surviving. As one drives quickly through the villages of Norfolk it is often difficult to realise that a time existed when all the hustle and bustle of this present hectic life did not exist. The countryside was based on agriculture with the gradual change from horsepower to mechanical power. With no television and radio in its early stages of development, each had to make their own entertainment.
Charlie’s father died quite young. His mother, always dressed in black, used to frighten the grandchildren. She was the village person that all the villagers turned to. She looked after all their needs from cradle to grave. Acted as midwife, treating most of their medical needs, caring for young and old and laying out those who had died.
Charlie had a village education at the nearby village of Winfarthing and left school at 14. As agriculture was the only employment on offer he worked on a farm as horseman. There he learnt his skill to plough using heavy horses and to plough a furrow straight and neat.
In the 1920s he was married to Dorothy and enjoyed seventy happy married years of life together. With the ability of earning a little extra money they moved from Winfarthing to Old Buckenham in 1929. They moved into Hargham Road, when the council houses were built in 1931, which was to remain his home for the next seventy-six years. There four children were brought up - Betty, Brian, Jane and Richard.
He was in the Home Guard during the war protecting the village against enemy invasion.
Charlie worked for the Gaymers cider company in Attleborough from 1929 until his retirement in 1971. During this time he worked in every department producing this worldwide known cider. During his last few years he was in charge of the filtration plant and his number of friends increased dramatically as they visited him with their empty jugs to go away with a sample of the filtered brew.
He had probably the best garden in the village for many years. He always had a tremendous display of standard roses. Passers by would always stop to look at his wonderful handiwork. It was always totally weed less and immaculate - no weed dared to grow. His rows of vegetables were like lines of soldiers at the Trooping of Colour. He was known at times to go out into the garden at night with a light so that he could complete the scheduled digging. He kept up his gardening until he was 97 years old. A wonderful achievement. And he re-roofed his shed when he was 87!
He was able to make or mend virtually anything. He was equally well skilled in wood or metal. He was also a very good inventor and made many things in his well equipped shed. His forte was rat traps of which he made many.
He loved his dogs which he had after his retirement. He would walk miles with them. He could always be seen walking on the Green at all times of the day.
Until he had to move to the care home in October last year he was the village's oldest resident. Thanks to his great friend Billy Large and Pat he was able to stay in his own home, where he wanted to be, beyond his 101st birthday.
Another Charlie trademark was his smelly old pipe. He smoked it from age 15 until he went into the home aged 101. He had a wicked sense of humour and often played tricks on his friends and family. He had a stuffed ferret which he used many times in his trickery.
He was probably one of the few people in this neighbourhood who flew on Concord. A day trip to the Bay of Biscay and back. Not many people can say they have travelled from horsepower to supersonic in their life. Holidays with the kids were taken at Great Yarmouth in a static caravan and later he enjoyed holidays in Tenerife and especially Norway.
He was a charmer who liked everyone, was never stressed out and was a character of the village who will be deeply missed by his family and the village. He did not want any fuss and when he reached one hundred years of age he did not want any celebrations. Although receiving congratulations from the Queen he considered it just a normal day. He is recorded as saying when I go ‘I don’t want anyone ‘snotting or slavering’ over me.
A truly wonderful genuine "old Norfolk boy".

Hire your own table

Table top sale
There will be a table top sale on Saturday 11 April in the Church Rooms at Old Buckenham between 2pm and 4pm. There will also be a raffle and refreshments will be available.
It is being run to raise funds for All Saints Church.
You could have a table for a mere £5 and you can book one by ringing Janet on 01953 452847. If you have stuff to dispose of but don’t want to book a table then items can be donated for sale on the Church’s stall.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

All the local winners

In March the format of the crib drive at Old Buckenham village hall was changed slightly. By no longer stopping for a tea break, the number of games played was increased to ten. A good turnout was shown for the new changes with five full tables.
The prize-winners were Bill Cheesley, Alan Staniforth, Olive Fuller, Tommy Mack, Bev McAnulty, Jill Emms and Iris Lancester.
The Village Hall numbers club winners (that were drawn at the crib evening) were Frank Peck, Rhona George, Gerald Norton, John Walker, Mike Read, Mary Parker and Diane Packham.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

What's on the agenda?

Meet your parish councillors
You are reminded that the Annual Parish Meeting of Old Buckenham will be held on Friday 20 March in the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm. This is the chance for villagers to find out what their parish councillors have been doing during the last year.

The Agenda is expected to be:
1. Welcome by the Chairman of the Parish Council Norman Cawston.
2. Notice to convene the meeting.
3. To confirm the minutes of the annual parish meeting held on 28 March 2008.
4. Matters arising from that meeting.
5. Chairman’s annual report on the activities of the Parish Council.
6. Financial report on the Parish Council’s accounts.
7. Open forum with reports from Robert Ziman (Community car scheme), Old Buckenham Green Right Proprietors, Den Packham (Village Hall Management Committee), Ron Brewer (Village Newsletter), Joan Jenkins (Charity matters) and Mike Bartlett (Village Hall funding).
8. Norfolk County Councillor’s report (John Baskerville).
9. Breckland District Councillor’s report (Adrian Joel).
10. Councillors’ reports.
11. Electors’ comments on the above reports.
12. Any other Parish issues.

Refreshments will be served at the end of the meeting.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Less landfill and fairer trading

Two lots of thank you
A big thank you to all those who have brought their old batteries along for recycling. The result is that 3000 batteries have now been saved from landfill by being placed in the green container in the back of All Saints church. There are still some in there so the total is now on the way to the next hundred!
Another thank you is due to those who bought from the Fair Trade stall after church on Sunday 7 February. A total of £24.85 was raised which will go to help give a fair wage to those who produce Fair Trade produce all over the world.
The next stall will be on Sunday 29 March in the church after the morning’s service (about 10.30am).

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

How flexible can the bus be?

When is the bus coming?
Judith Powles from Norfolk County Council spoke to about fifty people who attended the meeting in the village hall on Wednesday 25 February to explain all about a proposed flexi-bus service for this area. Very pertinent questions were dealt with by her in an expert manner. The one surprise for many of those in the audience was that the current 51 bus service to Attleborough on Thursdays is not expected to continue. There may have had a bigger attendance if people in the village had known about this beforehand.
Two buses (carrying 14 passengers each) are scheduled to come on line in May and this will be a six days a week service between 9am and 6pm. Basically there will be local rate phone number where people can book their ride on the day before. Fares will be at “competitive rates” and valid senior citizens' bus passes will be accepted. Further information is expected to be made available for distribution in the next few weeks.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Lots of hats

Women’s Institute
On a rather cold and wet evening in February, Old Buckenham WI listened to a talk given by Julie Hirst on the history of hats. She had brought a large selection of hats with her, ranging from a cloche of the 1930s to a baseball cap of the present day. She also had a colourful selection of her own handmade raffia hats, beautifully made and dyed in a variety of natural dyes.
The talk began with a brief history of hats and hat-making, from the earliest hats worn for warmth, for identification, for tribal distinction, or occupation, or religious belief. Hats worn by Pearly Kings and Queens with masses of pearl buttons sewed on in particular patterns to denote which part of London you hailed from, bowler hats originating from the Earl of Leicester’s estate at Holkham as worn by the gamekeepers and flat tweed caps from the north of England which showed by the tweed pattern where their wearers hailed from.
One early historical mention of hat making came from Milan in the seventeenth century – milan:millinery. The Italian salesmen did a good promotional job in selling their wares around Europe which helped trade and hats began to be used for more decorative purposes and not merely warmth or local identification.
Hat-making was based on three areas in England; Luton, Stockport and London. After the 1930s, hat making declined as fewer people wore their hats to work in or when going out. Today they tend to be special occasion wear. John F Kennedy is often blamed for the decline in mens’ headwear as he declined to wear a hat when campaigning during his presidential election campaign. Conversely, his wife Jackie is credited with helping to keep the fashion alive for ladies. Princess Diana also did a great deal for the industry during her lifetime.
All this information was demonstrated by Julie whilst wearing the hats she was talking about. She demonstrated her method of plaiting and making her raffia hats and members saw a hank of raffia, which comes from the 7ft to 8ft long leaves of the raffia tree and is then dried. Dyeing, plaiting and stitching together to make the hats takes about 8 hours work. They are packable, very easy to wear and will last a long time. With the request to wear hats at the coming Federation AGM, several members gave those on show a careful look.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham WI will be on Thursday 26 March in the village hall when Steve Lovell will be talking on the RSPB in East Anglia and the monthly competition is for a four to six line poem entitled ‘Birds in my garden’.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Which way to the Palace?

Sign of the times

The editor was tempted to leave this until the first of April but the first day of March will have to do instead.

Old Buckenham Parish Council has spent the last few years trying to get the village properly signposted at the Dambrigg crossroads (where the B1077 crosses the B1113).

Extra signs have now been installed but they don't mention Old Buckenham at all...

Things to do this month

Diary dates for March
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, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Wednesday 4 Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm
Thursday 5 Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Friday 6 Crib Drive, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Saturday 7 Roadside textile collection, from 9am
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
Friday 20 Annual Parish Meeting, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Thursday 26 Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Friday 27 Netgamers computer games, Village Hall, 7pm to 9pm
Monday 30 Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm