Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A busy build up to Christmas

Diary dates for December

Thursday 2 New Buckenham Silver Band at Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Thursday 2 Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday 3 Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Friday 3 Crib drive, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 4 Putting up decorations, Village Hall, 10am

Sunday 5 Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Tuesday 7 Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon

Wednesday 8 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Wednesday 8 "Driving home for Christmas", High School, 7.30pm

Thursday 9 Breckland Flower and Garden Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 9 Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.45pm

Friday 10 'One Stop Bus' outside Village Shop, 10am to 12 noon

Friday 10 Final Netgamers, Village Hall, 7pm to 9pm

Friday 10 "Driving home for Christmas", High School, 7.30pm

Saturday 11 "Driving home for Christmas", High School, 3.30pm

Saturday 11 "Driving home for Christmas", High School, 7.30pm

Wednesday 15 Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Sunday 19 Christingle service, All Saints, 4pm (workshop 3pm)

Sunday 21 Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Friday 24 Church Rooms open all day for food donations

Friday 24 Candlelit carol service, All Saints, 7pm

Saturday 25 Family Eucharist, All Saints, 9.30am

Saturday 25 Christmas service, Methodist Chapel, 10.30am

Monday, 29 November 2010

December newsletter is out and about

Something to read
If you feel like braving the snow, the newsletter is around at various village locations for you to pick up.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Decorating job to do

You’ll be delighted to help
The Christmas decorations will be put up in the Old Buckenham Village Hall on Saturday 4 December from 10am. There is a shortage of helpers to do this so if anyone could give a hand their help would be most welcome. These decorations are enjoyed by many residents over Christmas and New Year so please help if you can by coming along at 10am on the morning of Saturday 4 December.

Friday, 26 November 2010

More snow scenes

November snowfall
Overnight snow in Old Buckenham followed by about an hour of nice morning sunshine means that someone just can't resist going out taking photos.Whether it is Old Buckenham Green, the almshouses, the childrens' playground, All Saints Church, Ottomer Pond or the war memorial, they all look that little bit different with a sprinkling of the white stuff.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Thoughtful evening

Serious stuff at Social and Wine

The Social and Wine Circle in Old Buckenham held their fourteenth AGM on Thursday 11 November in the Church Rooms. Alistair Monkhouse gave a summary of the last year’s activities saying that speakers were becoming more expensive and that the organisation had made a small loss over the last year. He gave a summary of the speakers he had arranged for the 2011 season and hoped that a few more regular members could be recruited to stabilise the financial position.
Alistair was retiring from the position of chairman and David Sallnow was unanimously elected as his successor along with two committee members Brian Stone and Peter Warren.
The speaker for the evening was Kate Hill who gave an overview of her work involving mental health and understanding the human mind. Discussions took place on a wide range of subjects including schizophrenia, hearing voices, bipolar affective disorder and the possible effects of using cannabis. She described experiments involving MRI scanning to observe what parts of the brain were active during various activities and changes in the behaviour of people who had suffered accidental brain damage. She finished by pointing out that it seemed that having a past record of mental health problems was worse than having a prison record when applying for jobs.
It will be ‘party time’ at the next meeting on Thursday 9 December with a fish and chips supper on the menu.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Refurbishment project

Duck House renovation

Volunteers are needed to retrieve the duck house from the middle of Rod Alley pond and to refurbish it. The use of a boat may be available should it be required.
If you are able to help in any way then please contact Alison on  860692.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Attleborough and Snetterton Heath Area Action Plan

A chance to comment
Breckland Council representatives were at Old Buckenham Village Hall on the morning of Saturday 20 November. They were on hand to answer questions on the Area Action Plan to guide development in Attleborough and Snetterton Heath over the next 15 years. There was plenty of display material and maps for residents to look at which led to interesting discussions on where relief roads might go, where should a traveller and Gypsy site be put and how could the traffic flow around Attleborough be improved.
All properties in Old Buckenham should have now received a booklet/questionnaire from Breckland Council which needs to be returned by Friday 28 January 2011. This is your chance to put your views forward on schemes that could have considerable effects on life in Old Buckenham in the years to come.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

You can help

Food for homeless in Norfolk

The Church Rooms in Old Buckenham will be open throughout Christmas Eve as a collection point for non-perishable foods for the homeless accommodated under the St Martin's charity. St Martin’s provide the night shelter and temporary homes for those found sleeping rough on the streets of Norfolk. Regretfully many of these people found on the street have some form of mental disorder. Your contribution, however small, does help. If you have any queries please contact Mike on 860462.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Somewhere to live

Returning to a home

On Friday 26 November, Eamonn Burgess from St Martin's in Norwich will come to the village hall in Old Buckenham to give an informative talk on his work. This involves placing the homeless back into the community following their time in the Night Shelter, probably initially having been found sleeping rough on the streets.
Eamonn has tremendous enthusiasm for his work. He gets excited when somebody donates an item he specifically seeks for a first resettlement home. Starting at 7.30pm, it promises to be an interesting and informative evening.
Admission is free, and hopefully coffee will be provided. Should you be able to bring a ring top can of soup that can go back to St. Martin's, it would be put to good use and much appreciated. Ring Mike on 01953 860462 if you require any further information.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Children in Need event raises over £1000

High School fundraise for Children in Need

Because of a clash with the visit by the House of Lords Speaker to Old Buckenham High School, they held their fundraiser for Children in Need on Friday 12 November.
The School Student Council voted to hold an Indoor Fayre with over 25 stalls including face painting, x-box challenge, sponge the teachers, chocolate fountain and many, many more, all run by the students themselves. They not only invented their stalls but they advertised them, organised equipment and prizes, set up and cleaned up afterwards too. All the staff and teachers had to do was spend their money and enjoy the fun. The grand total raised for Children in Need this year was £1080.65.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Charity begins at home

OB2000T grants
The Trustees are pleased to announce that the following organisations were successful in their bid for funding from the Old Buckenham 2000 Trust.
• Buckenham PreSchool Group and Nursery for equipment and furnishings for their new extension,
• Old Buckenham Players for the replacement of the storage shed at the village hall,
• Old Buckenham Cricket Club for boundary ropes and a tarpaulin square cover for the new pitch at the High school
• and finally the Allotments Working Party for a water supply and fencing for the new allotments site.
It is hoped that with the benefit of the grants these organisations will be able to continue and improve on the good work that they do for our community and the Trustees hope to be able to help other groups in the near future.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Poppies raise more money

Breaking the thousand barrier
The money raised in Old Buckenham on behalf of the British Legion Poppy Day collection has this year reached the grand total of £1102.25. This is a fantastic amount of money, breaking the £1000 mark for the first time.

Many thanks to everyone for their generous donations and a further thank you to those collectors who gave up their time to make the “house to house” collections, without whose help this sum would not have been reached.

Monday, 15 November 2010

November market draws the crowds

Wonderful soups, worthwhile raffle
Saturday 13 November was the day of the November Market organised to raise funds for All Saints, Old Buckenham. There were all the usual stalls - bric-a brac, tombola, handmade cards and guess the weight of the cake as well as a local publisher selling his books, Fairtrade goods and a representative of the Energy Saving Trust giving out free advice.
One highlight was the supply of homemade soups which tempted many to come along for a pleasant light lunch (and to buy some raffle tickets as well).
First indications are that the event raised over £500 for the Church funds.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Lest we forget

Old Buckenham remembers
Villagers gathered around the war memorial on the Green today. The weather may not have been wonderful but they stood for the two minute silence and remembered those locally involved in the two world wars as well as those still involved today.

Treasure Quest in Old Buckenham

"I've found clue three!"
Old Buckenham had a visit from the BBC Radio Norfolk Treasure Quest programme this morning. Clue number two led them to the almshouses on the side of the Green and into the particular almshouse that contains memorabilia of the building of the property 150 years ago.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Decorating for Christmas

Breckland Flower and Garden Club

Travelling to Old Buckenham from Bedford, Lisa Howard demonstrated her 'Enchanted Christmas' to a packed hall at the November meeting of the Breckland Flower and Garden Club.
Starting with an advent ring which included deep burgundy roses, mini-gerberas and carnations she followed with a long table arrangement set with orange and bronze candles together with lilies, gerberas, carnations and roses. Then came an alternative Christmas tree - a moss covered cone studded with pink roses and coloured balls. An angel was her next offering - complete with wings and halo - dressed in pink lilies, astilbe, gerberas and carnations .No Christmas is complete without a snow scene and Lisa's green and white design included six different white flowers of varying textures with palm and aspidistra leaves all set in a white sleigh. The final design was a kissing bower with deep purple liatris, lisianthus, white roses and canna lilies woven through.
In the competition for flower arrangements the New Hands section was won by Susan Thurlo with Janet Skidmore second. The Old Hands section was won jointly by Shirley Penfold and Ursula Jackson with Norma Howes second; the trophy for the best use of garden plant material was awarded to Ursula Jackson.
The table show was won by Sally Westrup, Melllissa Sheldrake was second and Sylvia Briggs third.
The next meeting on Thursday 9 December at Old Buckenham Village Hall will commence at 1.30pm for the workshop (a list requirements can be obtained from Pat or Sally). Please bring a plate of nibbles for afternoon tea. There will also be a Christmas stall but please do not wrap gifts.
The competition will be for a Christmas table arrangement with a candle on a cake stand and the table show will be for three stems of seasonal foliage.
Looking ahead to next year, the meeting on Thursday 13 January at Old Buckenham Village Hall will be an illustrated talk starting at 2pm. The competition will be for an arrangement incorporating a photoframe and dried and/or preserved material. The table show will be for three stems to show winter colour.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Latest Council thinking

Parish Council in November
These notes of the parish council meetings are prepared by the editor of the blog from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended later at the next month's meeting.

There were two members of the public present at the meeting on Thursday 4 November together with all the parish councillors except Stephen Thorley who had sent his apologies.
The minutes of the Parish Council meeting in October were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Tim Ing will speak to the resident concerned about the dog bin at Raggs Lane to resolve the matter. Adrian Joel raised the matter of the allotments which had been officially opened in October. The entrance to allotments has been moved and hardcore may be needed where cars are parked to prevent them getting stuck in mud. Tim Ing gave details of an alternative material which could be more efficient. Parking at the allotments was an issue that would need to be resolved. There will be a meeting of the Liaison group later in November and Adrian Joel asked that allotments be a monthly agenda item.
Special Parish Council Meeting. The minutes of this meeting held on Saturday 9 October were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting. Matters arising from the minutes were discussed. Tim Ing said it was a good meeting but he was disappointed by the low attendance. The VAT issue had now been resolved and accepted by those attending. Adrian Joel raised the matter of the Green and the Parish Clerk said it was best to leave the matter until the outstanding legal appeal had been resolved in December. Adrian Joel also raised the matter of anti social behaviour and parking on the Green and he was informed that signs regarding parking were currently being made. Churchyard maintenance costs were raised by Adrian Joel and the Parish Clerk said they would have to make a grant application at the next precept meeting if they wanted assistance. The matter of the annual accounts was also raised and Parish Clerk said that the accounts were now posted on the village blog and a hard copy would be made available at the next Parish AGM. The question of a youth council was also raised by Adrian Joel and the Parish Clerk said he would seek clarification from NALC on the question of CRB checks. Tim Ing said that when Carol Marshall gave her report on the Recreation Area she said she felt that the project hadn’t progressed as well and quickly as hoped. Tim Ing said the Parish Council should now put more effort into the project and asked for other councillors’ views on the matter. Adrian Joel said the Parish Council should go for more grants and if necessary should charge organisations who want to use the area. On the matter of the cash reserves of the project, the Parish Clerk said that £5,000 would be transferred from Parish Council funds to the recreation reserve forthwith. Carol Marshall raised the question of the dangers of gym equipment in relation to insurance companies and also that she would arrange a meeting with the schools on the Recreation Area.
Minutes of the Precept Meeting. This meeting had been held on Wednesday13 October. The minutes of this were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting. (see post on Saturday 6 November)
Community Car scheme. The Parish Clerk gave a broad outline of the new regulations regarding the operating of community car schemes. This followed from a meeting of Mike Craven-Romain and the Parish Clerk with Breckland Council. It was proposed that the new funding agreement with Breckland Council be signed and approved, this was agreed unanimously. Mike Craven-Romain said he had eleven drivers on the books and two had left as they had moved away from the village.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Cherry Tree House, Stacksford. Residential extension, change of materials, permission granted
CCTV at Church Rooms. Adrian Joel said there was concern of vandalism around the vicinity of the church and play area. He suggested a CCTV camera could be put up at the church and the Church Rooms. Councillors were asked for their views on the matter. The majority felt that the cameras were not a good idea and Adrian Joel then withdrew his suggestion.
Approach road to Village Hall. The Parish Clerk said he had received an email concerning any possible costs of repairs to the approach road to the village hall. He had investigated the matter and found that an agreement was signed by the Parish Council as Custodian Trustees of the village hall but that any liability rested with the village hall for use of access and not the Parish Council. He understood from conversations with other people that the road had been repaired in the recent past and no bill had been presented to village hall for a contribution.
Recreation Area funds. It was agreed that the £5000 which had been granted to Recreation Area by the Parish Council would be transferred from Parish Council funds to the Recreation Area reserve fund. Breckland Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel said a ‘drop-in’ consultation on the Attleborough & Snetterton Heath Action Plan issues would be held in Old Buckenham on Saturday 20 November between 10am and 12.30pm Breckland Council would also be sending a questionnaire in the post to all NR17 residents during the consultation period.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Adrian Joel raised the matter of the water leak down Grove Road and junction of Crown Road, the Parish Clerk to contact Anglia Water again on the matter to chase them up. He then suggested that the idea of providing an amenity area opposite the shop and on the Green should be reconsidered. Tim Ing suggested that the original plans on the matter should be resurrected and the item put on the December agenda. Carol Marshall said that the recent garage sale had raised £281 and everyone concerned had a good time on the day. Gerald Norton raised the matter of the cleaning of the Old Buckenham war memorial. He said the memorial has just been cleaned but there are no funds available for future cleaning. He asked if the matter could be put on the December agenda when future funding of the memorial could be discussed. The Parish Clerk said an application for a grant could be made at next year’s precept meeting or an application made to the Former Surveyors Land Charity. Derek Smalley said the circulation folder was taking too long to get around as he had just received last month’s one that afternoon. He then raised the matter of a bin sited on the Green next to a bench that was being used as a dog bin and asked if a dog bin could be put there. It was pointed out there were two dog bins nearby and that perhaps the litter bin should just be moved away from the bench. The subject would be put on the December agenda. Tom Johnson said he had received winter tips from Norfolk Fire Service which would be passed on for inclusion in the next village newsletter.
Highways. The roadway at Puddledock Corner is bumpy where the anti skid surface meets the normal road surface. Adrian Joel raised the matter of cars speeding in Ragmere Road by the allotment entrances. He asked if Norfolk County Council could do anything about the matter and Mike Craven-Romain would speak to the County Council’s highway engineer on both matters.
The Green. Tim Ing said the appeal of the case between the Green Rights Proprietors and the Ox & Plough is due to be heard in December and a decision should be made on the day. Tom Johnson asked if the Parish Council could get details of all the Green Right Proprietors and Tim Ing agreed to speak to Mike Read on the matter.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 2 December in the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Waiting for the party?

Senior Citizens’ party

The date for this has been fixed for Saturday 26 February 2011 and details/invitations are now being distributed.

Monday, 8 November 2010

New head teacher

Coming soon
Old Buckenham Community Primary School has a new Head Teacher. His name is Paul Andrew and he will be starting at the school in the New Year.

He currently lives in Norwich and has worked across the full primary age range from Reception to year 7, becoming Deputy Head and then acting Head Teacher of a school very similar to that in Old Buckenham. For the last two years he has worked as a Primary Development Adviser.
When not working, he and his wife enjoy the theatre (both watching and taking part), geocaching and walking their dog.
Although he officially takes up his post in January, he has already started working with the staff and governors and making links with the High School, the Nursery and cluster schools to hopefully ensure the best possible start to the New Year.
(A longer version of this will appear in the December issue of the village newsletter.)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

What the council expects to spend

 Where the money will go
The Old Buckenham Annual Precept Meeting was held on Wednesday 13 October at the Village Hall.
All councillors were present (except Jonathan Kemp who had sent his apologies) along with three members of the public.
James Watling, the parish clerk and Responsible Finance Officer, said his proposed budget recommendations were based on the current economic situation and the concerns of residents on low fixed incomes who were facing increased costs in essential items.
Discussion of grant applications. There had been three grant applications. Two were from the Village Hall, one for improvements to the toilets and one for repairs to the car park. There was also one from All Saints Church for the felling of a tree which is considered dangerous.
Salaries. It was agreed unanimously that this be remained fixed the same as previous year (£5060).
Community Car Scheme. It was agreed this would be set at £800.
Room hire. It was agreed unanimously that this be set at £270.
Insurance. There would be a large increase because of the liability for the play area and the increase in the assets of the Parish Council. The sum was set at £960, this was agreed unanimously.
Audit Fees. Sometime in the future the external audit would no longer be carried out by government appointed auditors and parish councils would have to appoint a firm of accountants to carry out the audit. It was not clear when this would happen but it was agreed to set aside £400 for this.
Administration costs. These were set at £150.
Training. This would be set at £200 to allow for three training courses for councillors in the next year.
Subscriptions and grants. The following were agreed.
  • Subscription to the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) would be £250
  • Village hall grant for toilet improvements was agreed unanimously at £1,000.
  • A grant of £750 would be made towards the cost of repair to Village Hall car park.
  • A grant of £500 would be made to All Saints Church towards the cost of necessary tree felling.
Newsletter paper. It was unanimously agreed to set a sum of £318 for the purchase of paper for the village newsletter.
Printing, postage and stationery. This was set at £225.
Rent for recreation area. It was agreed that this be set at £385.
Miscellaneous. This was set at £500.
Contingency fund. This would be reduced from last year’s figure of £1,500 to £400.
Travel expenses. It was agreed unanimously that this be set at £250.

Total precept. The total precept was agreed at £12,656, an increase of 3.5% above last year.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

November is the month to remember

In addition to the usual services at All Saints Church, there will be Remembrance Day service on Sunday 14 November at the Old Buckenham War Memorial on the Green at 2.30pm followed by a Remembrance Service at New Buckenham Church at 3.15pm.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Out once more

November news
Copies of the November issue of the newsletter have now been spread around the village, ready for you to pick up. This month there is even a four-page 'supplement' with more about the life of Robert Cocks.