Wednesday, 30 September 2009

What's under the covers?

You can pick up the October issue of the newsletter now...

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

What the parish council has been talking about

September Parish Council report

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.
There was no meeting in August so this report is rather longer than normal.

If you wish to read the full, unedited minutes, then they are posted on the notice board outside the village shop prior to the next parish council meeting.

Norman Cawston chaired the meeting and there were three members of the public present.
Matters arising from the minutes. Adrian Joel raised the matter of benches on the Green and asked if things had moved forward on a decision on the types to be used. He was informed the matter would be raised later during meeting. He also raised the question of the co- opting of a new parish councillor to fill the current vacancy. He was informed all procedures had been carried out but no person had come forward to offer themselves as a parish councillor. He also asked if our county councillor had been invited to this meeting. He suggested a copy of agenda be sent to him each month, the parish clerk is to arrange.
The Green. The meeting was informed that no decision had been taken on the type of benches to be installed and where they will be sited. After discussion it was proposed by Norman Cawston that a bench with no arms and no back be used. This was agreed with 8 for and 1 abstention. Tim Ing is to arrange to obtain a quote.
Planning applications. Alteration to caretaker’s works area, Old Buckenham High School. No objections from parish council, agreed unanimously.
Erection of single storey, single stable and tack room for Primrose Farm, Fen Road. No objections from parish council, agreed unanimously.
Proposed double bay of cricket nets, Old Buckenham Cricket Club. No objections from parish council, agreed unanimously.
Demolition of single storey extension and erection of two- storey extension, Fig Tree Cottage, Stacksford. No objections from parish council, agreed unanimously.
Demolition of existing garage, proposed rear extension, replacement of front porch and conversion of outbuilding to garden store, 13 Oaklands. No objections from parish council, agreed unanimously.
Planning decisions. Adrian Joel said he had been asked about the mobile home at Willow Farm which was being used as a home. He had spoken to Breckland’s Enforcement Officer on the matter and they had visited and found no one there. Carol Marshall raised the matter of the fence at the property and was informed the fence had been moved back two metres. Adrian Joel is to raise the matter again with the Breckland Enforcement Officer. Approval of accounts. An invoice from Norfolk County Council would not be paid until was clarified what the payment was for. The Parish Clerk will enquire.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel had attended a meeting on the recent Air Show which had raised £4,500. The Bank Holiday Balloon Festival, which included twelve hot air balloons, is expected to be repeated next year. He informed the meeting that the Parachute Club was leaving the airfield at the end of the year to move to Beccles. Between February and July there were five complaints regarding the airfield which is way down on previous complaint levels. Breckland Council is trying to encourage grants to village self help projects. He asked for suggestions that councillors may have for improving the village. Breckland are also launching Cinema Paradise which will tour selected villages to show the latest films. Ten villages will be selected. Breckland is looking to go greener and quieter on recycling. Trials are underway on new collection bins. Stephen Thorley asked if any studies had been done on the impact on the local economy if the Parachute Club left the airfield. He thought the figure could be as high as £20,000 per year. Trevor Crook said discussions are still taking place between the club and the airfield.
Councillors’ reports. Carol Marshall asked what the situation was with the Trell account. The chairman said the Parish Council had paid all monies that it owed, any balance outstanding is understood to be due for payment by the Lord of The Manor. Gerald Norton asked if the entire grant had been spent, he was informed that it had been. Tim Ing gave a breakdown of the costs and also confirmed that the Parish Council was not liable for any additional costs. He asked for the matter be put on next month’s agenda following the meeting with the contractor. Adrian Joel said a resident had stated that the grass along the pathway needs cutting and asked if extra litter bins could be sited on the Green. Adrian Joel said he had sent an email on the grass cutting and he would resend a copy to Norman Cawston.
Liz Taylor said fencing had been erected on three sides of the recreation area and the cost of erecting a fourth side would be £696 (inclusive of vat). Liz Taylor also queried if the insurance covered the recreation area, the Parish Clerk will check. She also asked if the Parish Clerk could write to the study group volunteers thanking them for their interest and saying that the Parish Council would be contacting them very soon. An item will be put in the village newsletter giving details of the feedback received. Liz Taylor also asked that the sum of £290.64 which was raised specifically for the recreational area should be transferred from general reserves to Recreation Reserve account. Liz Taylor told the meeting that she had to resign from the Parish Council’s planning working party as she could not devote the time necessary.
Gerald Norton said that at a meeting in September the Village Hall Management Committee said it had problems with people leaving the hall in an unsatisfactory state. Now a check list was in place and the last person out on every let had to sign the list to say they had checked everything.
Tim Ing raised the matter of the cost of hiring the village hall and that the Church Rooms were less. Councillors agreed that they should continue to use the village hall and support them. Mike Romain-Craven is now the Community Car Scheme coordinator. Kerry Talbot said £10,141 had been raised for play area which would now be closed till spring of 2010. They are still awaiting funding decisions for phase 2 but the Parish Council agreed that phase 1 work could commence now. Tim Ing informed the meeting that he and Chairman were attending the Pride of Norfolk awards ceremony at County Hall on Thursday 10 September as Old Buckenham had come second in the competition. He also enquired if an official opening ceremony could be arranged for the footpath beside the B1077. Norman Cawston said he would invite Mike Read to do the opening. Tim Ing asked about the Community Speedwatch programme. The parish clerk gave an update on the situation and Gerald Norton suggested inviting Norfolk Constabulary to a meeting, the parish clerk to arrange. Norman Cawston said that Robert and Denise Ziman had left the village and that a small reception had been held for them to thank them for their hard work, especially in connection with the Community Car Scheme.
Clerk’s Report. The clerk informed the meeting that the Parish Council had to adopt by law the Freedom of Information Act Model Publication Scheme at the next meeting. He would draw up a scheme for Old Buckenham Parish Council. He also said that very soon councillors would have to draw up a Health & Safety Policy plus carry out a Governance and Accountability Revue of its financial aspects and audit procedures. He said that a precept meeting would have to be arranged (later fixed for Wednesday 14 October) to set the budget and precept for year 2010/11. He then went on to give details of a new councillors' circulation folder scheme he would introduce with immediate effect.
Highways. There is a water leak in Crown Road from a leaking valve - the parish clerk to contact Anglia Water on the matter. A road sign was down at the junction of Crown Road and the B1077, the sign is in the roadside grass. Also there are pot holes in the road down to the Ox & Plough on the east side of the Green. Parish clerk to contact Highways.
Financial Accounts. The parish clerk said there were some errors in balances brought forward and some discrepancies in reconciliation in the accounts for the year ending 31st March 2009. He suggested sending the accounts to an outside firm of accountants to have them checked. This was agreed unanimously and the parish clerk will arrange.

The next meeting parish council meeting will be on Thursday 1 October at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Discovering a garden

Women's Institute
Old Buckenham WI took a step back in time at their September meeting, when Sheila Adams came to give a talk entitled ‘The Plantation Garden’. This could have been called ‘The Secret Garden of Norwich’, as so few of our members had visited it. The Garden is a restored Victorian Garden which Sheila likened to the Lost Gardens of Heligon. Although not on the same scale as that found in Cornwall, the Norwich garden had its conception and development at the same time, during the middle of the nineteenth century.
We have Henry Trevor to thank for the Garden. Henry worked for a prominent Baptist and furniture retailer in Norwich. He married the boss’s daughter, a widow called Mary Page. They begin married life living over the shop in Exchange Street but as they prospered Henry bought some land in the suburbs of Earlham Road. Here he built a family house, which displayed his modest middle class status. Not long after Henry decided to turn the adjoining land, up till then a quarry for the brick making business, into a garden. With a hired gardener, Henry developed is ideas and created a garden on the outskirts of Norwich. In its heyday it had formal flower-beds, an impressive fountain and a splendid palm house. A bridge was built in the rustic style and viewpoints installed. The garden provided a quiet retreat for a busy businessman and his family. Henry died in 1897 and his wife just five years later.

During most of the twentieth century the house was used for various functions including a small maternity hospital. The garden fell into complete disrepair through total neglect. In 1980 a group of enthusiasts formed the Plantation Garden Preservation Society. The Society took the dismal garden under their guardianship and started to fund raise to restore the Plantation Garden to its former glory.
Sheila showed slides of the Garden totally overgrown and wild, then the restored Garden today. Only the Palm House has not been replaced as this was deemed too costly to maintain. The Garden is open daily to the public and is manned by volunteers on a Sunday. A donation of £2 is asked of those who visit to help with the upkeep of this treasure in the heart of Norwich.

So, if you have time on your hands and wish to spend it quietly revelling in a restored Victorian garden, find the entrance on Earlham Road close to the Roman Catholic Cathedral and just enjoy.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 22 October at 7.30pm in the village hall when Barbara Miller’s talk is entitled ‘Step by step’ and will be a history of the Norwich shoe trade. For the monthly competition members can bring along a pair of shoes with sentimental value to them and indicate the reason for this.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Busy, busy, busy

Looking for bargains at the garage sales

The weather was beautiful and there were were lots of visitors carrying stuff away.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Thousands of bargains

Thirty individual garage sales in one small village...

There must be something you need so come along to Old Buckenham on Sunday and have a good look around.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Half hour landscape

Painting in the Church Rooms
There was an excellent turnout at the September meeting of Old Buckenham Social and Wine Club for a presentation by Dr Robin MacDonald, the Chairman of the Suffolk Art Group. In a witty and informative manner Robin demonstrated that by mixing a few basic colours from his palette box he was able to produce a creditable landscape painting in about 30 minutes whilst explaining the basic perspective rules in an understandable way.
Robin’s painting teacher also taught Prince Charles and therefore their styles are very similar. Robin’s paintings are now much sought after, he teaches art to various groups and is currently producing painting DVDs.
Until his retirement he was a partner in a large Essex medical centre and was the medical adviser to the Trisha Show on Anglia Television.
On Thursday 8 October, Chris Weston will be explaining about the changing shape of the Norfolk coastline in his talk entitled “Claimed by the sea”. All are welcome at the Church Rooms for the meeting which starts at 7.45pm.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

All sparkles and bangs


The 1st Old Buckenham Scout Group will be holding their fireworks display on Saturday 31 October at the site in Doe Lane - see the posters and notices around the village for further details or check out

(If 31st October is 'rained off', the event will be held the following weekend on Saturday 7 November)

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Recreational requests

Survey results

In the recent survey, all the households in the village were asked about what facilities people would like for the new recreation area This is what they said.

[Just click on the diagrams to see them at a larger scale]

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Flowers and gardens

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
The afternoon tea party held at Flaxley, Bunwell Street, in August was well attended and everyone enjoyed the good weather as well as the selection of sandwiches and cakes. Several decorated hats graced the occasion; the most imaginative was worn by Marjorie Greenwood, a lovely pink creation for which she was awarded the Rosemary Leeder Trophy.
Jenny Baker's demonstration at the September meeting illustrated her love of flowers, plants and gardening. Her colourful and neat arrangements were all ones which could fit into any home.
The competition table was well supported with 'plant and flower' (pot-et-fleur) designs. Pat Barton and Ursula Jackson were equal top in the Old Hands class and Margaret Smith won the New Hands class and was presented with the Joan Fisher Trophy for the best use of colour.
The October meeting will be held on Thursday 8 October at Old Buckenham Village Hall at 2pm. John and Ann Bridge will illustrate their talk 'Glories of the Garden'. The competition will be for an arrangement in a kitchen container and the Barbara Fisher Trophy to be awarded for the best modern exhibit.
Visitors to the Flower Club meetings are always welcome, further details from Pat on 01953 457305 or Sally on 01953 788712.

Friday, 18 September 2009

What's in your bag?

Use less plastic

All households in the parish should now have received their own Old Buckenham Bag for Life. It has been designed by pupils of Old Buckenham High School to promote a reduction in the use of plastic bags.
Plastic bags create serious litter problems and can pose a real danger to wildlife. These reusable bags have been designed with this in mind and it is hoped that they can help the efforts to clean up the environment.
Please use (and reuse) the bag for trips to the shops or the library and let everyone see how Old Buckenham is tackling this environmental problem.
This project has been supported by Breckland Council, Old Buckenham High School, Old Buckenham Village Environment and Recycling Group (VERG) and Old Buckenham Stores.
To help keep up awareness of this Old Buckenham Bag there is a photographic competition entitled “Your bag in its own environment”.
Why not let everyone know what happens to your bag?
Let’s see it in use. It might be just carrying shopping or taking stuff to the recycling banks. It might be protecting your head from a torrential downpour of rain, it could be on top of a high mountain or down a coal mine...
The competition is free and open to all Old Buckenham residents. There are two classes: one for adults and one for those under 16. Winning entries will be used in local publications like the village newsletter and this blog, and will receive a prize from Breckland Council.
All entries need to be emailed to by 31st December 2009, or deliver prints to:
Crockslea, Cake Street, Old Buckenham, NR17 1PS. Please include your name, contact details, your age/the class you would like to enter and a brief description of where the picture was taken. The judges’ decision will be final.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Will it be your Fete?

After the Fete was over
A meeting was held on Monday 14 September to discuss the outcome of the Village Fete earlier in the month. As there had been no adverse criticism it was deemed to have been a success, not least as it raised over £1400 for the Village Hall funds. It was pleasing to note that the organisation of the Fete had brought many people in the village together and hopefully more will join in for next year’s event.
Those who have next year’s diary may like to note that a meeting will be held in the Memorial room at the Village hall on Monday 19 April 2010 to discuss ideas for the next Fete which will be held on Saturday 4 September.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Local skills on show

Produce and Handicraft Show
Old Buckenham held its annual Produce and Handicraft Show on Sunday 13 September in the Village Hall. This event, organised by Old Buckenham WI, retains its popularity and attracted entries both from throughout the village and various exhibitors from the surrounding area. With the produce and handicraft items displayed around two rooms in the hall, the judges were kept busy during the morning deciding on the best exhibits.
There was some serious competition in many of the classes, particularly the preserves, cookery and vegetables, and this provided plenty for all the visitors to see in the afternoon.
The trophies and other prizes were presented by David Hannah. It was a good afternoon for John Frost who collected the prizes for the flower classes and also the pot plants while his wife Barbara came top in the preserves. Debbie Thomas from Stacksford won the trophy and prizes for cookery. The wine prize went to Mr Brand. It was very competitive in the vegetable and fruit classes with Ray Snow from Banham managing to score the most points and also taking the award for the best tray of vegetables. Fran Pemberton and Pam Monk had to share the trophy for the handicraft section with Shirley Penfold from Attleborough collecting the cup for the flower arranging classes. Ron Brewer won the shield for the Art section.
The children’s classes were not as well supported as usual but attracted some imaginative, interesting and colourful entries. William Mason and Olivia Hartley-Mcleod jointly shared the section for children under 7 with Toby Richardson taking first place for those between 8 and 11. Megan Richardson was successful in the over-twelve category and was also given the special award for the best exhibit in all the children’s classes.
This year the overall winner of the cup for the most points in the whole show was Ray Snow with 65 points.
Thanks to the generosity of many of the entrants the prize-giving was followed by a enjoyable auction of produce conducted by David Hannah. This provided great bargains as well as raising useful funds in the process. The large raffle draw came next and the proceedings ended with Old Buckenham WI’s president, Susan Hunter, thanking all the WI members and others from the village who had worked so hard to ensure the event was both enjoyable and a success.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Resting for the winter

All clear

The children's playground on the Green near All Saints Church will now be closed until Spring 2010.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Appreciate the drumming

DGAS information

Someone left a comment on the recent post ‘Dancers and drummers’ about our village fete and wrote “Do I dare ask what is the Dead Goat Appreciation Society?”
The Dead Goat Appreciation Society is the performance arm of DGAS (Drummers Gather And Socialise) which is a drumming group for women. It was formed this year and they are doing well in getting themselves all sorts of gigs. They have played at the Pining for Pride gig in Norwich Arts Centre, the Lopham Craft and Garden Fayre, Diss Carnival, in Old Buckenham Church and in Chapelfield Gardens' bandstand in Norwich.
Their hand drumming mainly involves djembes and dunduns from Senegal.
The Dead Goat Appreciation Society is based in our neighbouring village of New Buckenham (see They play mainly West African rhythms but also have some North African, Cuban and Haitian ones in their repertoire.
They are happy to perform at local community events and if you would like to have them at your event then you can make contact via email at

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Award has been presented

[Just click on this list of award winners to see it in more detail]

Monday, 7 September 2009

Dancers and drummers

All the fun of the Fete
The sun shone and it was just like old times. The Old Buckenham Village Fete was held in the Village Hall and on the grassed area in front of the Hall during the afternoon of Saturday 5 September. There was a wide variety of stalls and games with extra entertainment from the local Kenninghall Morris Dancers and the lady drummers of the Dead Goat Appreciation Society.
You could buy homemade cakes, preserves, jewellery, books and have food cooked on the barbecue. You could “splat the rat”, have your face painted, play target bowls, search for a bargain amongst the bric-a-brac or try you luck at the tombola stall. There were teas and cakes to enjoy inside the main hall and you could look at the display of paintings by the village’s Wednesday Art Group.
The afternoon ended with a very large raffle and hopefully many satisfied stall holders and visitors.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Farming as it used to be

Askew Agricultural Museum
The newly-established Askew Agricultural Museum at Scales Farm opened for the first time today (Saturday 5 September). There was no admission fee (just a cash collection for local charities) but normally the museum will charge £2 per adult with children under 16 free (but children must be accompanied by a guardian over 16).
The museum received a lottery grant of £9,600 for the restoration of defunct farm tractors and equipment. During specialist repair work to the tractors, other old farm equipment has been located and placed into the museum. This has now gained momentum with other people wanting to place antique memorabilia into the museum. The museum now displays 20 items of farming equipment from years gone by plus many small exhibits of hand tools, milking parts and horse harness with photographs and other items.
Looking to the future, the museum will open in 2010 from April to September one weekend per month (at stated times) with the exception of schools and other groups on special visits.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Putting you in the picture

Nature in Breckland
The photograph used as the illustration on the front cover of the September issue of the newsletter was taken on the public footpath that runs northwards from behind Old Buckenham village hall to Bunn’s Bank on the day of this year’s Old Buckenham Airshow.
The photograph was one of the two hundred prints entered into this year’s Breckland Photography Competition run by Breckland Council and was one of those shortlisted in the “Nature in Breckland” category. It did not win but will be included in the exhibition of entries that is touring throughout Breckland over the next six weeks. You can see these photographs locally at Zuari in Attleborough between Friday 11 and Saturday 19 September where you can also vote for your favourite picture for a special People’s Choice award.
Why not go along and see if you agree with the judges’ favourite?