Saturday, 31 December 2011

Birthday celebrations

Worth a special mardle
Although not a regular meeting day, a special meeting of the Monday Mardle Club was organised for Violet Botwright (centre) on Thursday 29 December to celebrate her 90th birthday. Her friends gathered at the Church Rooms to mark this event for Violet who was born on 28 December 1921. She can also claim to have lived most of her married life in the village of Old Buckenham.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Diary dates for January

First events of 2012 in Old Buckenham

Monday 2 Fly in at OB Airfield, all day from 9.30am

Tuesday 3 Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon

Thursday 5 Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 6 Crib drive, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 7 Church Rooms open for clothing donations, all day

Saturday 7 Queen's Jubilee celebrations meeting, Village Hall, 10am

Sunday 8 Church Rooms open for clothing donations, all day

Sunday 8 Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Monday 9 Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Wednesday 11 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 12 Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 12 Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.45pm

Friday 13 Yogacise restarts at Village Hall

Saturday 14 Debating Society, Church Rooms, 10.15am

Monday 16 Monday Mardle, Church Rooms

Wednesday 18 Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Thursday 19 Beauty and the Beast, OB Players, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 20 Beauty and the Beast, OB Players, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 21 Beauty and the Beast, OB Players, Village Hall, 2.30pm

Saturday 21 Beauty and the Beast, OB Players, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday 25 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 26 Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Another voice from Old Buckenham

Friendly Americans
Here is another short recording made at the Village Fete. You can hear one of the villagers remembering the Americans at Old Buckenham Airfield during wartime. We hope you enjoy listening and, if you have any problems, let the editor know in the comments.
Friendly Americans by Old Buckenham

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Overflowing candlelit service

Carols and lessons
The candlelit service of Carols and Lessons on Christmas Eve at Old Buckenham turned out to be very popular again. So popular in fact that around a hundred people needed to view the service by a video link to the nearby Church Rooms.
This was the first time that this had been tried so people were nervous about how successful the video link would be. Thanks to the kind donation of time and equipment by various people it all seemed to work.
Not only was it important that the technology should work but effort was put in to ensure that the Church Rooms should be as atmospheric as possible so, like the church, they were candlelit and decorated with holly, etc.
At first some people were understandably hesitant and disappointed about going having to go into the Church Rooms rather than the church itself. But people were given Orders of Service, joined in enthusiastically with the singing and even clapped after the solo performances. After the service many were very complimentary, saying that they had enjoyed the experience, they could hear and see better and were in the warm.
Even so some lessons have been learnt that it is hoped can make the experience even more meaningful next year.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day in Old Buckenham

Walking weather
The sun has been shining and people have been out and about (usually walking their dogs) in temperatures of around 12 C.
It has been nice enough for the editor to go out walking himself and take a few photos of life in Old Buckenham on the day after Christmas.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Season's greetings

Best wishes for
Christmas and the
New Year
the editor of the
Old Buckenham blog

Saturday, 24 December 2011

What ever the weather

Grit bins
Two grit bins have been positioned in Old Buckenham. They have been purchased by the parish council and put there for your safety during hard weather.
One is at St Andrews Close and the other on Hargham Road near the Almshouses.
They should have by now been filled by Norfolk County Council and can be used by any member of the public to grit the nearby paths, (take your own shovel, none provided). They are not for gritting private house driveways or paths.
If you live nearby please report any problems, including damage or vandalism, to any of the parish councillors.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Looking forward to June 2012

Diamond Jubilee celebrations

Next year there will be a meeting on Saturday 7 January starting at 10am in the Village Hall to discuss what the village would like to happen for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Many people have a day off work or school to celebrate the bank holiday on Tuesday 5 June. Moreover, the late May bank holiday will be moved to Monday 4 June giving a four-day long weekend.
Please come along to this meeting with your ideas. The Parish Council, together with other local organisations, have pledged some money and grants have been applied for.
Some ideas to start you off:
A street party?
A party on the Green?
An evening dance?
Events in and around the Village Hall?
Football match or sports on the Recreation Area?
Old Buckenham Airfield event?
All villagers are welcome to come along, those with offers of help will be particularly welcome. Let’s make this event a special time for Old Buckenham, one that will be remembered for years afterwards.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

A time for thinking of others

Worthwhile giving
Don't forget that you can bring non-perishable food items along to the Church Rooms in Old Buckenham all day on Christmas Eve. These will be made available through the St Martins charity for the homeless in Norwich and Norfolk.
The Church Rooms will be also open throughout the weekend of Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 January to receive contributions of warm clothing and toiletries, also for the homeless.

Time to look around in the larder and the wardrobe and see what you can bring along on these days for this worthwhile cause.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A busy year ahead

Our inspired women
November was the month of Old Buckenham Women’s Institute’s annual meeting which gives members the opportunity to look back on the previous year and to review the coming year. In 2011 it was a busy year, with members taking part in darts and Scrabble tournaments, competing in the Cator Cup competition which takes place annually on the Norfolk Showground, supporting village events and organising the village Produce Show. They also held a Spring Fair which was well supported by the villagers. At this year’s birthday party (celebrating their 44th anniversary) they were pleased to welcome the Old Buckenham Players to entertain members and friends. The new committee was approved at the meeting and the President, Susan Hunter, was elected for 2012.
Members also heard a report from Nancy Hunt who was a member of the WI group which went on a three day trip to London. They called in at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge especially to see the Vermeer exhibition. Their trip to London also included one day spent at the Olympic site (including a visit to Woolwich Arsenal where the contact sports will be staged). Their third day was spent seeing the newly refurbished Albert Memorial and an in-depth tour of the Albert Hall where they were privileged to be able to sit the the ”Royal Box”. Barbara Stone also gave a report on a recent trip to Van Dal shoe factory in Norwich when twenty members enjoyed a tour of the factory plus of course the opportunity to make some purchases in the shop.
Everything the WI does is about empowering women. Their campaigns give every member the chance to highlight the issues that matter to her and bring some of the weight of the whole WI movement to bear on efforts to achieve lasting change in policy and practice.
Six resolutions have been short listed for next year and members will have a chance to choose the resolutions which they want to take forward at the annual general meeting in June 2012. This year’s short list includes airborne litter, reducing fuel poverty and the employment of more midwives.
The full programme of meetings for 2012 is listed below and new members are most welcome to come along. They take place in Old Buckenham Village Hall on the fourth Thursday of each month and start at 7.30pm.

Thursday 26 January Life and fashion in the 1940s
Thursday 23 February History and etiquette of toastmastering
Thursday 22 March Being a nun in the 21st Century
Thursday 26 April China – amazing flowers in Yunnan and Sichuan
Thursday 26 May Resolution meeting
Thursday 28 June World Horse Welfare
Thursday 26 July Norfolk Island – South Pacific
Thursday 23 August Conchology – the world of shells
Thursday 27 September Corn dollies and straw crafts
Thursday 28 October Mastermind and Who wants to be a Millionaire
Thursday 22 November Annual meeting
Friday 6 December Christmas party

Monday, 12 December 2011

Councillors' thoughts in December

December Parish Council meeting
These notes were prepared by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may change later.
There were five members of the public at the December parish council meeting and apologies for non attendance were received from Akis Chrisovelides and Jonathan Kemp.
The minutes of the November Parish Council meeting were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Adrian Joel said a resident had phoned him thanking the Parish Council for providing a new grit bin.
Co-opting of new councillor. There were two candidates to wishing to fill the vacancy on the parish council. Councillors were given the opportunity to ask questions of both candidates and then they completed voting slips. The majority of the votes went to Steve Milner who was then co opted as the new councillor and who, after signeding the Acceptance of Office form, joined the meeting.
Recreation Area. Carol Marshall said they were waiting for news on their grant applications and hoped to have some news in January.
New developments in Old Buckenham. Tim Ing asked the councillors how they wanted to take the matter forward. Adrian Joel circulated copies of the village settlement boundary and then referred to the Localism Act which could allow developments outside the settlement boundary. Under the bill Parish Councils would have more say in planning matters. The Parish Clerk then explained how the Localism Act would affect the Parish Council and planning matters. Derek Smalley suggested that Parish Clerk collate the councillors’ returns on future development in the village and circulate them to all other councillors. Sandra Dye suggested that the Parish Clerk try obtain more detailed demographics of the village through Breckland Council and Norfolk County Council.
Bribery Act 2010. Discussion on this topic was deferred to the January meeting.
Planning applications. Barkers Cottage, Ragmere Road. Detached garage and storage. It was proposed that this be objected to on the grounds the proposed development was too large for the site. This was agreed with 8 for and 1 abstention.
Queen’s Jubilee. Tim Ing said that the village would be holding a celebration next year to mark this event and could parish councillors please contact all organisations in the village to seek their views and suggestions. This was agreed by all councillors and a meeting would be arranged for Saturday 7 January at 10am in the village hall where residents could also put forward suggestions.
Chairman’s report. Tim Ing referred to the fallen trees in Hargham Road and he said, having spoken to the landowners, the trees were removed within two days. He then said the school governors had expressed concern over parking outside the primary school. The Parish Clerk to contact the police, Norfolk County Council Highways and both schools on the matter. Additional car parking signs had been erected by the Recreation Area. He also informed the meeting that a load of pig muck would be delivered to the allotments very soon. The village had again won the Pride of Breckland Award for 2011 and the £500 prize would be given to the village hall. The plaque for the award would be mounted with the previous awards on the plinth of the village sign. White lines at Dam Brigg Crossroads had been done.
District Councillor’s report. Breckland Council are due to go through a public consultation period before setting the Breckland share of the council tax at a meeting of the full council on Thursday 23 February. All Saints Church had received £100 from the ‘Breckland 12 Days of Christmas’ grant towards the Christmas Eve service. Breckland Council will also be collecting Christmas trees with the brown bins in January. Breckland are trying to reduce their housing list which stands at about 4,000. Private Sector Housing have launched a new financial scheme to get empty dwellings back into use - called “Restore” a maximum grant of up to £5000 can be given to bring the property up to a let able standard. The grant covers everything from repairs, to replacing kitchens, bathrooms and central heating systems through to decorating and supplying new carpets. The dwelling must have been empty for at least six months and cannot be used for owner occupation. Once up to standard the property must be let at an affordable rent for a minimum of twelve months to an applicant on the housing list.
Parish Clerk’s report. He informed meeting that due to new legislation the Council needed to order a first aid kit compliant with BS 8599-1 and could he go ahead with this, permission was granted.
Highways. Derek Smalley said there was a manhole cover in the centre of Ragmere Road opposite the allotments that was loose. He also reported that the water leak at Shrublands had now been repaired. It was also reported that the junction of Grove Road and Mill Road on the approach from Old Buckenham was dangerous and Parish Clerk was asked to contact Highways to see if mirrors could be fitted. Tim Ing said he was waiting to hear from Highways as to when the grit bins were going to be filled. He confirmed that residents could only use them for pathways and they could not be used for private property.
The Green. The meeting was informed that no meeting date had been set by the Green Right Proprietors and the next meeting would likely be their AGM. There was also no money available to deal with parking problems on the Green.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council would be on Thursday 5 January at the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas events

A busy week of celebrating
It has been the week when the clubs and societies in Old Buckenham decide to get their Christmas meetings over so that all their members can get started on their cooking, card writing and shopping.
Monday was the time for the Monday Mardle to have their Christmas lunch.
On Tuesday the Coffee and Chat did their bit.
Wednesday was the last Luncheon Club meeting of the year and the participants were treated to a roast chicken dinner with the usual trimmings.
Thursday the Breckland Flower and Garden Club  had a workshop to demonstrate how to make your Christmas table decorations (see the blog post for yesterday). And in the evening the Social and Wine Circle had their Christmas party with quizzes, some bingo and a fish and chips supper (see pictures above).
Only a fortnight to go...

Friday, 9 December 2011

Christmas workshop

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
Members and guests gathered at Old Buckenham village hall in December for their Christmas workshop. Sisal, twigs, leaves, roses, cones, etc, soon became lovely table decorations under Joy's instructions. A wonderful selection of sandwiches and cakes were then enjoyed together with a well-earned cuppa.
Alison Walker won the Novice trophy and Margaret Smith the Advanced trophy in the flower arranging competition entitled 'The Christmas Story' and Sally Westrup's seasonal foliage won the table show.
The next meeting takes place on Thursday 12 January when 'The Girls' demonstrate from 'What's in the box'.The competition title is 'Winter box of delights' and the table show will be for any type of houseplant from your home.

Monday, 5 December 2011

What a difference a year makes

Village in the sun
This time in 2010 the village of Old Buckenham was white with snow (look back at the photographs in the archive of posts in December 2010). Today it has been bathed in sunshine as can be seen in the photos of the almshouses, the Methodist chapel and the rooks flying over the village Greeen.

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Keppels of Old Buckenham

Golden wedding in 1914
The pictures above appeared in the magazine of the Keppel Association and one of them was used on the front cover of the December edition of the Old Buckenham village newsletter. These pictures and the following description are reproduced by kind permission of the Keppel Association secretary Miranda Villiers.
“The pages pictured are from the book presented to Major and Mrs William George Keppel of the Grange, Old Buckenham on the occasion of their Golden Wedding on 6 December 1914. The illuminations are beautifully done, as befits a presentation to a man who was a considerable craftsman himself. Major William George was the eldest son of the Rev Thomas Robert Keppel, the Rector of North Creake, and was a more than usually skilful amateur carver in wood; samples of his work can be seen on the organ case at Quidenham church and on the pulpit and lectern at Old Buckenham. The historian Brian Turner writes: "It is perhaps disappointing that Pevsner makes no mention of the pulpit, for .... it is a piece of superb craftsmanship". It was carved by Major William George Keppel who, with his wife, worshipped in the church for sixty years. Each panel is signed on the reverse with the stamp 'W G Keppel 1900' and shows a different type of vegetation. The central panel of the cross is adorned with a profusion of twining passion flowers. "The panel showing cereal crops is unusual in that maize takes a prominent place beside the more traditional wheat, oats and barley .... the lectern, bearing a motif of grapes and vine leaves, is also by this talented amateur craftsman".
The book was presented to the Keppel Association in 2008 by Olive Schickle.
The War Memorial at Old Buckenham records the names of thirty-seven residents who lost their lives in the First World War, and it is a sad thought that many of those recorded in this book were lost in the conflict, which in December 1914 had just broken out.”

These last comments are particularly apposite following the recent Remembrance Sunday service at the war memorial. And you may wish to pop into All Saints church (it is open every day) to see this wonderful wood carving at close quarters.

[just click on the images to see them in their full glory]

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The run up to Christmas in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for December

Thursday 1 Youth meeting, Village Hall, 6.30pm

Thursday 1 Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Thursday 1 Silver Band concert at Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Thursday 1 Women's Institute, Christmas meal

Friday 2 Crib drive, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Sunday 4 Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Monday 5 Monday Mardle, Christmas lunch

Tuesday 6 Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon

Wednesday 7 Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Wednesday 7 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 8 Breckland Flower Club workshop, Village Hall, 1pm

Thursday 8 Social and Wine Circle party, Church Rooms, 7.45pm

Saturday 10 Debating Society, Church Rooms, 10am

Sunday 11 Christingle service, All Saints Church, 4pm

Monday 12 Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Wednesday 21 Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

 Sunday 24 Candlelit carol service, All Saints, 7pm

Monday, 28 November 2011

Last one before Christmas

Another issue out there
December is now done, printed and ready for you to read.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Old Buckenham carol service 2011

Candlelit service overflowing?
All Saints Church, Old Buckenham, will be holding their ever popular annual candlelit service of Carols and Lessons on Christmas Eve starting at 7pm. The service will include participation by local schools, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers as well as members of the local community. The Rt Revd Dr Alan Winton, Bishop of Thetford, will give the Christmas message.
In recent years the number of people in the congregation has increased greatly and so this year, once the church is full, it will be necessary to provide additional seating in the Church Rooms. Here people will be able to participate via a video link to the service taking place in the church.
The collection will be given to the Norwich Night Shelter.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Walking with the WI

Enjoying the sunshine
Most months of the year, on the Friday morning after their monthly meeting, Old Buckenham Women's Institute  organise a walk around the 'local' footpaths. Today it was based around the village of Redgrave in Suffolk.
The sun shone all morning, the footpaths were all in good condition and the group stopped at the Cross Keys pub in Redgrave for a pleasant lunch after their two hours of exercise. A very nice way to spend a Friday morning.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

What the judges decided about Old Buckenham

Pride in Norfolk 2011 
The presentation ceremony took place this afternoon at County Hall and we were obviously delighted.

Winner, under 2,500 category
Old Buckenham

"The Judges felt that Old Buckenham exemplified an excellent community of this size with exceptional facilities. In every criteria we were satisfied that there was true community involvement, and the numerous and varied activities on offer were well supported.
We were also pleased to see that initiatives that had been suggested at previous judging visits (2 years ago) have now been implemented. We had no hesitation in making Old Buckenham the winner of this category."

The trouble with winning a brass plaque is that it is not easy to photograph and shows up all the fingerprints and/or reflections. So here is the best photo managed so far of what was won (it did come with a very welcome cash prize too).


Sunday, 20 November 2011

Charmed by Ivor Novello

Filling the plush
Many people came along to the Old Buckenham village hall to hear all about ‘The charm of Ivor Novello’ on Saturday 19 November. There was room for many more and it is a shame that that they didn’t bestir themselves as they missed a great evening’s entertainment.
Ivor Novello could be considered as the Andrew Lloyd Webber of the 1930s, 1940s and the early 1950s. He wrote the music for all of his shows and often the lyrics as well. The productions played to full houses and made Novello a rich man. He believed in “filling the plush” which in today’s language meant getting bums on seats.
The evening was narrated by John and June Garratt who told the story of Novello’s life in words written by Richard Crawley. The narration was interspersed by performances of songs from the shows energetically sung by Susie Turner along to Annette Jude’s accompaniment. The performers were suitably dressed for the time of the songs’ popularity with Susie Turner changing dresses when appropriate. The audience were allowed to join in at times singing the choruses of ’Keep the home fires burning’ and ‘We’ll gather lilacs in the Spring again’.
The event was organised to help raise funds towards the Old Buckenham village hall lighting improvements which are expected to start in early 2012. Many people were involved in setting up the evening with the Old Buckenham Players providing the front of house staff and the Old Buckenham Women’s Institute supplying the homemade cakes that were much appreciated during the interval.
Next time such an event is put on let’s hope more village people can be convinced that they can forgo their tv programmes (they can always be recorded and watched later), come out to see a live performance and ‘fill the plush’ in the village hall.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Enjoyable lunchtime

November market
The Church Rooms were full of the usual stalls today - and the usual people turned out to spend their money to raise funds for All Saints church. There was the raffle, tombola, books, beads, cards, bric-a-brac, FairTrade goodies and, of course, those lovely dishes of hot homemade soups to provide you with a light lunch.
It is a shame that more people from the village didn’t stroll across to the Church Rooms to see what was available but, just the same, a total of £603 was raised and an enjoyable time was had in the process.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Our local history

Working locally
‘Working life in Attleborough’ was the title of the talk given by Cliff Amos to the Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle at their November meeting. Cliff Amos is the chairman of Attleborough Heritage Group and was able to show a wide selection of old photos of life over the last 150 years in Attleborough and the surrounding villages.
There were images of farming through the ages including harvest time, pigs, sheep being dipped, turkeys being fattened up and timber sawing. The local shops were pictured such as the butchers and International Stores. The opening of the railway station led to big changes with a busy goods yard bringing in coal and the post while allowing Gaymers cider to be delivered all over the country.
Even more photos showed the gas works, Dingles garage, the police, the fire brigade, the local ambulance and the staff that worked at Wayland hospital.
There was plenty of feedback from the audience, many of whom had their own memories brought back by scenes that were normal to them in their childhood.
The talk had been preceded by a short AGM where it was pointed out that although the accounts showed a very small loss for 2011, the meeting fee of £1 would remain the same for the forthcoming year. David Sallnow was re-elected chairman as were the committee members (Brian Stone, Peter Warren and Alistair Monkhouse).

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Just more than last year

Poppy collection
It was another successful village poppy collection, a gross total of £1102.52 was donated by the inhabitants of Old Buckenham.This was an improvement on last year by the princely sum of 27 pence.
This was a valiant collection by a dwindling number of collectors. The remaining collectors buckled round and every house was visited (if you were out at the time hopefully you donated at one of the static collection points at the village shop, the pubs, schools or at the airfield). Thank you all for your generosity and a huge “thank you” to all of the collectors, without whom this collection would not be possible.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Somethings for Saturday

Market and music
Make the best of your weekend by participating in two fund-raising events.
Come to the Old Buckenham Church Rooms at 11am for the November Market arranged by members of All Saints Church. Ideal for a light lunch from noon, nice homemade soups on the menu.
Then spend the evening in Old Buckenham village hall and be charmed by the music of Ivor Novello (and more refreshments).
Just click on the poster images to read all the details.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Beauty and the beast

The panto is coming
Old Buckenham Players will be performing ‘Beauty and the Beast’ by Ron Nicol, a classic retelling of the traditional 18th century fairy tale, in Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 19, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 January starting at 7.30 pm with a special matinee on Saturday 21 January at 2.30pm.
Tickets are priced at £6 (or £4 for the under 14s) and will be available in December from Old Buckenham Stores, Nuts ‘n’ Bolts in Attleborough or by phoning 01603 810373.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Remembrance Sunday

Old Buckenham remembered

There were two services in Old Buckenham on Remembrance Sunday 13 November. The weather was bright and sunny all day which meant that a few hundred people gathered at Old Buckenham Airfield for a short service at their war memorial. A representative of USAF Lakenfield was amongst those who laid wreaths, a poignant reminder that although the 453rd Bombardment Group was only operational there for eighteen months, 366 aircrew lost their lives. A flypast of two planes from the last World War brought the service to a close and those attending could look around at the American vehicles and classic cars that were lined up for all to see.

In early afternoon there was the wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial on Old Buckenham Green. The last post was sounded for the second time during the day and representatives from the Royal British Legion, the Parish Council, the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts came forward to lay their wreaths while many villagers looked on.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Using renewable sources

Energy explained
Over thirty people gathered at Old Buckenham Village Hall on Saturday 12 November to learn about the various ways that they could use renewable energy systems for their own houses or for community schemes. The event had been organised by the Village Environment and Recycling Group (VERG). Breckland Council were represented and providing general energy saving advice while two commercial suppliers were there to answer questions.
Much of the morning was then taken up by a presentation by Damien Baker of RenEnergy who gave a non-commercial talk covering many of the systems available such as photovoltaic panels, ground source heat pumps air source heat pumps, biomass boilers and wind turbines. Each was explained in basic terms, the pros and cons of each being pointed out. The importance of designing any system to the individual building properties was stressed and the financial outlay and potential monetary feedback explained.
There were plenty of questions from the audience to keep the speaker busy and discussions were continuing well after the event had theoretically come to an end.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

More arranging

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
More than 60 members and guests enjoyed a lively demonstration by Brenda Tubb at the November meeting. Her superb designs started everyone thinking of Christmas as they included baubles and a hint of glitter as well as a wonderful selection of foliage (some courtesy of a supermarket gardener) and roses of different shades. She also regaled us with tales from the days when she worked in a florists and of her husband’s efforts at soupmaking.
The competition entitled 'Advent' was won by Shirley Penfold in the Old Hands class and Janet Skidmore in the New Hands class. Janet also won the monthly cup for best use of garden plant material.
The table show was won by Shirley Penfold by half a point.
The meeting on Thursday 8 December at Old Buckenham Village Hall will start at 1pm for the workshop. Those attending should please bring a table cover and rubbish bag, scissors/secateurs, a dozen 2 inch ivy leaves and no more than a handful of cupressus - all other ingredients will be provided (free of charge). There will be afternoon tea so also bring a small plate of cakes.
The competition title is 'The Christmas Story' and for the table show it is 'Three stems of seasonal foliage'.
The first meeting of 2012 will be at Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 12 January starting at 2pm. The demonstration will be by 'the girls' with the the title ‘What's in the Box'. The monthly competition is for an arrangement entitled 'Winter Box of Delights' and the table show will be for a photograph of winter colour.
Visitors are always made welcome, further details from Pat on 457305 or Sally 788712.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Silver Band performance

Concert at Methodist Chapel
The New Buckenham Silver Band will be in concert at the Old Buckenham Methodist Church on Thursday 1 December starting at 7.30pm. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served. Come along and get in the Christmas spirit, a warm welcome awaits everyone.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Councillors' discussions

November’s Parish Council meeting
The following notes have been prepared from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at the next meeting.
Peter Whear, headteacher of Old Buckenham High School, and Darryl Smith, Principal Housing Officer at Breckland Council, attended as well as two members of the public. There were no apologies for non-attendance.
Minutes of the October Parish Council meeting. A amendment was made in the Parish Councillors’ reports to change Attleborough Council to read Breckland Council. With this amendment they were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Minutes of the Precept meeting in October. These were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Old Buckenham High School. Peter Whear, headteacher, gave an update of the school in which he said they had received an excellent OFSTED report and have achieved sporting academy status. Improvements to the school accommodation have taken place and are continuing to do so. Achievements at the school continue to rise including sporting and musical activities. Carol Marshall asked what sporting activities they have planned so the recreation area does not duplicate. Peter Whear responded with information that funding had been greatly reduced and this required a complete reassessment of what they could do. Lots of indoor sports are carried out in the school working with the local community. Akis Chrisovelides asked how many students were at the school. He was informed there were 598 and that the school has a school council ensuring representation of the students. Akis Chrisovelides said that it was hoped that the Parish Council would be involving young people in what happens in the village and he hoped the Parish Council and the school could work together on this. Peter Whear agreed to meet to discuss this matter. Sarah Dye asked how the school could be at the heart of the community and Peter Whear gave a response. Carol Marshall raised the question of the tennis courts being used by the village and Peter Whear said he hoped they could reach an agreement on this. Adrian Joel raised the problem of parking and Peter Whear said he had no problem with the school parking facilities being used, subject to an agreement. Derek Smalley raised the matter of the Attleborough Development Plan and how the school would fit into this and would a sixth form be created at the school. Peter Whear said he was currently talking to headteachers of other schools in the area on this matter but he felt there was no real clarification in the plan on the matter. Tom Johnson raised concerns on the expansion and that Old Buckenham may have to take up some of the overflow of pupils. Tim Ing thanked Peter Whear for attending the meeting.
New development in Old Buckenham. Mrs Darryl Smith of Breckland Council said she had responsibility for housing development within the Breckland Area. Breckland Council had been approached by developers with ideas for development in Old Buckenham. She said that planning concepts were changing and there was a move by Government to encourage developments. She asked for the Parish Council’s views on future development in the village. She said that the Localism Bill and the National Planning Framework would bring forward changes which will give greater opportunities for local councils to be more involved in the decision process. Various councillors asked questions and concerns to which Darryl Smith responded. Tim Ing said that the Parish Council would have to think on the matter and discuss it in more detail at a future meeting and he thanked Darryl Smith for attending.
Recreation area. Jonathan Kemp raised the question of the Norfolk Village Games and had spoken to Breckland Council on the matter. He hoped the Recreation Area working party would be preparing a list of events which would then be advertised and that Breckland would assist in this. Jonathan Kemp would look into how many sporting groups there actually were in the village. Carol Marshall said that a grant application had been submitted for two litter bins for the recreation area.
Policy procedures. Three documents had been drawn up by the parish clerk covering Grievance Procedure Policy, Disciplinary Procedure Policy and Equal Opportunity Policy. It was agreed that these documents should be adopted and this was agreed unanimously.
Grit bins. The Parish Clerk informed the meeting that he had sufficient funds to purchase two grit bins from this year’s budget and he had ordered them. They will be located at St Andrews Close and at Hargham Road near the Almshouses. The Parish Clerk will inform Norfolk County Council Highways of their location.
Planning applications. 32 Hargham Road, installation of source heat pump. It was agreed to object to this on grounds of being too near the neighbouring property and suggest movement of the unit further from property boundary.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Repair to Old Buckenham Mill, permission granted.
32 Hargham Road, installation of air source heat pump. Permission refused.
Old School House, erection of solar panels. Permission granted.
Ox & Plough, various signage. Permission granted.
Twitchers Cottage, Stacksford, erection of mobile home for use of as an annexe. Permission granted.
Eel Farm, Fen Road. Removal of condition 8 of previous planning application concerning occupation of annexe and new garage block and alterations. Permission refused.
Chairman’s report. Tim Ing said he and Adrian Joel had attended the Town and Parish Council Forum meeting at Breckland Council offices where issues relating to Town and Parish Councils were discussed and that things would be coming down the line. Tim Ing asked if there had been any progress in finding a suitable site for village archives. Paul Boggia replied that nowhere had yet been found.
District Councillor's report. Adrian Joel said the One Stop Bus service had been funded up to September 2011 by the Breckland Partnership. It had brought services and IT training to rural villages but with the end of funding the service would stop from November. The Overview and Scrutiny Commission have been asked to look at alternative and more cost effective way of providing a similar service. He then said Breckland Council is providing a one-off funding to assist groups to stage goodwill events over Christmas period under the banner of The Pride of Breckland 12 Days of Christmas giving scheme. Grants of £100 are available but application forms had to be submitted to Stephan Clifford of Breckland Council by Friday 11 November.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Carol Marshall informed the meeting there was a renewable energy event being held at the Village Hall on Saturday 12 November at 10.30am. Adrian Joel said the allotment renewable agreements had been sent out and only two tenants had not yet replied. He would contact them. One new tenant has taken over a vacant plot. He then raised the matter of the Remembrance Service being held at the war memorial this month, Paul Boggia is to lay a wreath on behalf of the Parish Council. Adrian Joel raised the matter of insurance for the war memorial. The Parish Clerk said that he had spoken to Gerry Norton of the War Memorial Trust and informed him that a grant may be available for insurance. Tim Ing said the water at the allotments would be turned off soon to enable a meter reading to be taken so bills for usage could be sent out to allotment holders. Tom Johnson said that a tree had fallen on the Green recently near the war memorial and asked who would be responsible in this instance if damage had occurred. He was informed that it would have been the responsibility of the Green Right Proprietors. Akis Chrisovelides said there would be a meeting for young people in the Village Hall at 6.30pm on Thursday 1 December and that he would arrange publicity for the meeting. Tom Johnson said he and Adrian Joel had attended a meeting of the Attleborough Task Force and said that things were moving forward and the Parish Council's views are being considered. Paul Boggia said that he attended a meeting in October organised by Breckland Council in relation to celebrating the Diamond Jubilee. He said it was a useful meeting and very informative with lots of suggestions for events. John Frost said that All Saints Church would be holding a service on the day of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. He then said the church has to have a surveyor’s report every five years and the latest one found the church tower to be in a dangerous condition and the base of the tower will be cordoned off in future. Also on there will be a service at the church on Christmas Eve and it is hoped a screen will be used to allow any overflow to watch the service in the Church Rooms. He asked for a volunteer to read the service on Christmas Eve and Tim Ing said he would do this. Derek Smalley will be attending a meeting of Homewatch in Attleborough in November and he also raised the matter of Jubilee Woods but Adrian Joel said no land had been found in the village to create such a wood.
Parish Clerk’s report. The Parish Clerk explained the procedures that had to be followed after the resignation of a parish councillor. He said there are two people who wished to be considered to be co-opted on to the Parish Council. Councillors would vote on the matter of whom is co opted at the December meeting.
Highways. It was reported that a tree was down in Hargham Road between Leys Lane and Burroughs Farm. The Clerk to speak to Highways on the matter.
The Green. Sarah Dye said that no date had yet been agreed for the next meeting of the Green Right Proprietors.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 1 December at the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Lighting improvements nearer to reality

Village Hall news
At the November meeting of the village hall committee Sarah Dye was warmly welcomed. She proceeded to outline the possibilities of gift aiding some of the money which comes into the village hall coffers. Most of it is not able to be gift aided but some of it could be and this could provide a welcome extra small income for the hall. Sarah offered to be the gift aid co-coordinator for the hall and is going to acquire the appropriate forms from the Inland Revenue.
The Treasurer was pleased to report that the Norfolk Foundation had granted £1500 towards the new stage lighting project and Richard Crawley also reported that Breckland Council had also given a grant. This means the work to upgrade the lighting will commence early next year after the Old Buckenham Player’s pantomime.
The barn dance, which should have been held in October, had been cancelled bcause of a lack of support. The committee felt that it seemed to be an uphill struggle to come up with ideas which people would support. Anyone with ideas on what people want nowadays would be most welcome to share their ideas with the hall committee. The next fund raisers will be a quiz in March and the Garden Event in April and, of course, the Ivor Novello evening which is on Saturday 19 November (full details are given in the post on Friday 7 October).

Everyone is reminded that the village hall is available for hire from £6 per hour upwards, dependant on time of day and type of function.
At the November crib drive at the hall the winners were Joyce Goodey, Bill Cheesely, Alan Staniforth, Iris Lancaster and Muriel Large. The numbers club winners drawn at the crib drive means that £10 each goes to Bev McAnulty and the Allens with the £5 prizes being won by Bev Giles, Malcolm Wade, Gerald Norton, Jean Garwood and Berta Scott. The renewal date for the numbers club is Sunday 1 January and the committee hope that all existing members will carry on their subscriptions. There are several numbers which now have no owner so new members will be welcome. Any enquiries about the numbers club or hire of the hall can be directed to Jill on 860551.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Examination results

Getting close up
Following the quinquennial inspection of All Saints Church at Old Buckenham it became necessary to carry out a more detailed inspection of the condition of the church tower (see the pictures on the previous post on Wednesday 3 November).
This inspection revealed that the tower had succumbed to excessive weathering over the years. This has caused much of the mortar to be eroded and this has resulted in some of the flint work not now being securely fixed to the tower. Already some flints have fallen off the tower and there is a danger that many more will become detached.
To protect the public the area around the tower has been cordoned off, restricting passage around the tower and for safety reasons has become a ‘no go area’.
It is estimated that this diversion may last for the next two years. First the required remedial work will be put out to tender and then it will be necessary to make applications for grants so that the work can be completed.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Up the tower

Having a close look 
This week saw an examination of the fabric of All Saints Church, Old Buckenham. To get a good look at the flintwork of the octagonal tower meant a ride in the sky for those involved.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Enjoyable birthday party

Celebrate the forty-fourth
On Thursday 27 October it was time for Old Buckenham Women’s Institute to celebrate its forty-fourth birthday So husbands, friends, delegates from other local WIs and the county WI chairman were invited along to Old Buckenham Village Hall to enjoy the party. Members had been busy preparing a real finger buffet to be followed by the usual collection of mouth-watering sweets (that did need a spoon to eat them). Wine or non-alcoholic drinks were provided to wash it all down.
After the meal there was entertainment provided by members of the Old Buckenham Players with a collection of sketches that were ideal for the audience especially when they portrayed the church flower arranging group or the proposals for a forthcoming Old Buckenham WI calendar.
There was the usual large raffle and then the chance to have a piece of the beautifully iced birthday cake together with a glass of sherry.