Friday, 30 September 2011

Looking ahead at Old Buckenham events

Diary dates for October
Sunday 2 Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Monday 3 Textile roadside collection from 9am

Monday 3 Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Tuesday 4 Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon

Wednesday 5 Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 6 Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 7 Crib drive, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 10 Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Tuesday 11 Debating Society, Church Rooms, 7.15pm

Wednesday 12 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 13 Breckland Flower and Garden Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 13 Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.45pm

Friday 14 'One Stop Bus' outside Village Shop, 10am to 12 noon

Saturday 15 Coffee morning, Methodist Chapel, 10am to 12.30pm

Sunday 16 Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Monday 17 Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 19 Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Saturday 22 Barn dance, Village Hall, 7pm to 10pm

Wednesday 26 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 27 Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Chocolate heaven

Tasty WI meeting
Chocolate making was the theme for the Old Buckenham WI meeting in September, with Angela Ruthven of ‘Saffire Chocolates’. What a treat it proved to be. Angela explained how she began to learn the art of chocolate making when she retired as a headteacher of a Norwich school. She had time on her hands and looked for a new hobby. Not like the other hobbies she had tried that ended up as ‘loft insulation’. She enrolled on a long distance course via the internet and three months later was in receipt of her certificate for chocolate making. Using the finest Belgian chocolate Angela proceeded to experiment with flavours and started to sell her wares at farmers’ markets. Business was good and next came a lease on a very small Norwich shop, and then a larger one. Angela can now be found in a unit at Taverham Garden Centre and has over fifty outlets in Norfolk and Suffolk selling her chocolates.
Next came the chocolate tasting and members were all willing participants. Angela explained that the finest chocolate should be tasted much like a fine wine should be appreciated. So one should look for shine, appreciate the aroma, hear the snap when the chocolate is broken and taste the smooth, creamy and silky texture.
During the tea break many members took the opportunity to buy some of the chocolates that Angela had brought with her. Some flavours are unique and the chilli and lime white chocolate was particularly enjoyed. Novelties were on display too, such as the winter scene and the mini chocolate pizzas in their own pizza boxes. Angela continues to experiment and her enthusiasm for her ‘hobby’ was infectious.
The next meeting is the Birthday Party on Thursday 27 October. This is an opportunity for husbands and friends to join in for a buffet supper followed by entertainment provided by the Old Buckenham Players.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Affordable housing moves nearer

Housing in St Andrews Close
The long awaited new development of fifteen 'affordable' houses will begin the spring of the next year now that the land transfer between Cotman Housing Association and Breckland Council has taken place. Other works will be carried out to areas near the site before the actual development starts.
It will be some twelve months before they are ready to be occupied but all the applicants will come from the Breckland Key Select scheme which is the housing register. If you have a housing need and either live in the village of Old Buckenham or have a local connection to the village you should consider applying to the register. This can be done by going online at you do not have access to a computer then you can telephone the Breckland housing team on 01362 656833.
Should you have any concerns about the development then please contact the enabling team at Breckland Council on 01362 656238.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Recycled books

Want to pick up a Penguin (or even a hardback)
The Old Buckenham Village Environment and Recycling Group would like to thank everyone who contributed to, or brought from, its book stall at the village fete. The sum of £193.50 was raised for the stage lighting fund at the village hall. Most of the un-bought books have been distributed to the charity shops in Attleborough, Diss and Wymondham as well as the National Trust at Blickling. But a small collection of books has now been put at the back of All Saints Church for anyone to help themselves to anything that catches their eye.
If you would like to make a donation in return, the church always needs money for fabric maintenance and there is a collecting box in the wall on the left hand side of the door.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Luncheon Club celebrates

Thirty years young
At the September meeting of the Old Buckenham Luncheon Club there were some special celebrations. The Club had reached its thirtieth birthday having been set up in 1981.
People in the village had been contacted by church organisers in Norwich to see if it would be possible to start a luncheon club for those who were living on their own and residing within the church group covering Banham, New Buckenham, Quidenham, Eccles and Wilby as well as Old Buckenham. So discussions started with Old Buckenham WI and the Luncheon Club was formed, meeting fortnightly in the village hall. As well as the volunteer cooks and helpers, other people were recruited to provide transport to and from the meetings.
A coffee morning is held once a year to raise some funds as the only income in the early days was what the members paid for their lunches (75p when things started). Funds have come from other sources since such as the New Buckenham Recycling scheme, Old Buckenham 2000 Trust, Age Concern and various grants for items such as a heated food trolley.
There are also four outings held each year where members are taken out by coach to some interesting location and then have a meal out before returning home. One year the Club went to Hunstanton and was having a picnic lunch when rain looked likely. They asked at the Little Theatre if they could shelter there and were let in to see the show at a reduced rate!
So many people have been involved with helping run the Luncheon Club that it is difficult to name just some of them. They know who they are, whether cooks, vegetable preparers, table layers, ‘taxi drivers’, treasurers, tea ladies or general helpers, and they can all give themselves a big pat on the back for all the hard work that they put in.
This thirtieth birthday lunch was special in many ways – a roast chicken dinner with wine was followed by fresh fruit salad – and a beautifully iced cake was then cut to complete the celebrations. Finally the members were only charged just 75p for their meal, just as they had been thirty years before.
May the club continue for many years to come.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Turning things around

Social and Wine Circle
The speaker at the Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle meeting in September was Natalie Hutchinson. After an extraordinarily challenged life, she took back control of her life and used her vast experience to help start a successful business called ’Simply Hair’ which she sold in 2007.
Five years earlier, at the age of 34, Natalie had faced it all and lost everything. Then she realised that she had always allowed other people to control her and this changed her life dramatically. She picked herself up and by changing her perception of herself, took control over her own life by starting her own business.
She was the winner of the Barclays Bank ‘Trading Places’ award in 2006 for achievement in the face of adversity. She met the Queen at an ‘Achiever’s Reception’ held at Buckingham Palace during December 2006 and also met with Gordon Brown when he was Prime Minister.
In 2007 she set up an internet page called ‘Help to move on’ for victims of rape and sexual abuse which aimed to give advice both to victims and their families. She also produced a book entitled “Trading places” in the hope that hearing of her experiences could help others who might find themselves with similar problems.
The next meeting, on Thursday 13 October, will start at 7.45pm in the Church Rooms when Roger Cantwell will tell of his experiences in taking part in the BBC Mastermind programme.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Autumnal flowers

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
In-house entertainment was provided by four committee members at September's meeting who demonstrated 'Autumn Medley'. Mellissa's all-round arrangement with a candle featured autumn fruit, flowers and foliage gleaned from her garden and hedgerows, Sally's formal parallel design included golden astilbes, sunflowers, dahlias and lilies. Joy and Christine's designs - one in a giant martini glass - for an autumn wedding contained a lovely mix of foliage, gerberas, roses and spun sisal together with two hand-ties placed in sisal frames and presented in fancy boxes.
The competition table was very colourful with basket arrangements of 'Garden Harvest' . The ‘Old Hands’ class was won by Ursula Jackson together with the monthly cup and Janet Skidmore won the ‘New Hands’ class. Shirley Penfold's sedum won the table show.
The next meeting will take place on Thursday 13 October at Old Buckenham Village Hall starting at 2pm when Ben Potterton (of Blacksmith Nursery, Dickleburgh) will be talking on plants and flowers. The competition will be for an arrangement 'Inspired by a Fan' and the table show asks for three stems of from the garden.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Produce show part 3

Everyone is a winner
The produce and handicraft items were displayed around two rooms in the hall and the judges were kept busy during the morning deciding on the best exhibits. There was some serious competition in most of the classes, particularly the handicraft and the vegetables, and this provided plenty for all the visitors to see in the afternoon.
The trophies and other prizes were presented by Terry Cracknell. Olive Shickle again collected the prize for the flower classes with the pot plant award going to John Frost. Barbara Frost came top in the preserves and Annette Winters the prize for cookery. The wine prize went to Geoff Rix. As usual 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. Betty Stacey from Attleborough retained the trophy for the handicraft section with Shirley Penfold from Attleborough collecting the cup for the flower arranging classes. The shield for the Art section was shared between Elaine Carr and Ron Brewer.
The children’s classes produced some imaginative, interesting and colourful entries. Martha Richardson won 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 she also collected 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 Barbara Frost with 59 points, followed by Ray Snow on 46 points.
Thanks to the generosity of many of the entrants, the prize-giving was followed by an enjoyable auction of produce conducted by Mike Bartlett. This provided many laughs, great bargains and raised 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 successful.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Produce show part 2

The decision makers
One thing the visitors don't see is what goes on after all their entries have been put on the display benches and they have gone home to have some lunch.
This is when the panel of judges move in. Quietly they go round looking and examining all the individual entries. Using their own specialised expertise they decide on what has come first, second or third in each class. Following on behind are the stewards who are recording the results and completing place cards. Also behind the scenes there are others analysing the points in each group of classes and deciding who will win the various cups and prizes.
By the time the exhibitors come back in the afternoon, everything is ready for the public to see how well everyone has done and to consider how they might do better next time.
Of course not everyone agrees with the judges' decisions, just one look at some of the children's monsters made from fruit and/or vegetables shows how difficult the job of judging can be. 

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Produce show part 1

Surprise visitor
It was setting up time at the Old Buckenham Produce and Handicraft Show today when a surprise visitor came rushing in, microphone in hand. It was Nanette from BBC Radio Norfolk who was trying to solve clue one of the Treasure Quest programme on Sunday 11 September. She was looking for a jar of strawberry jam and, when she found her way to the entries of preserves, there was the envelope containing clue two for her to open.
Not being able to hear what was being broadcast from the studio in Norwich made for some interesting conversations as the 'experts' in the hall tried to solve this clue. Eventually Nannette and driver/sound engineer Keith were told to go off to Forncett End, the BBC car left the car park and those bringing their entries for the Produce Show carried on as usual.
For the next week you can hear the programme by going to

Friday, 9 September 2011

Latest parish news

September’s parish council minutes
The following notes have been prepared by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended later.
Two members of the public were present and all parish councillors except Sarah Windle and Jonathan Kemp who had sent their apologies.
Minutes of the July Parish Council meeting. These were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting
Matters arising from the minutes. John Frost said the Church Room toilets would not be able to be made available for users of the play area.
‘Doe Lane meeting’ notes. Tim Ing said he had concerns over the continuing referral to these notes. Having received comments from residents that the meeting was attended by only 30 residents it was not necessarily the views of the village. As chairman he sought the views of the other councillors who, in the main, supported his view. The councillors said that the open forum meeting being held on Saturday 24 September would address any concerns and the Doe Lane meeting notes no longer need to be discussed.
Health and Safety policy. It was proposed by Sandra Dye and seconded by Carol Marshall that the policy be adopted. This was agreed unanimously.
Governance and accountability policy. This was proposed by Adrian Joel and seconded by Sarah Dye that the policy be adopted, this was agreed unanimously.
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Tim Ing said Parish Council had £500 from the Pride of Norfolk Awards competition and, having heard from organisations in the village, it was the view of many that the money be spent on a celebration of the jubilee. It was suggested that the matter be discussed at the open forum meeting on Saturday 24 September.
Bribery Act 2010. The Parish Clerk gave a brief outline of this new legislation which came into force on 1st July 2011. It placed a responsibility on all public bodies and businesses to have a policy to ensure no corruption took place in their organisations. The Parish Clerk said that as the Parish Council had very strict financial regulations and Governance and Accountability policies there was a minimum risk of theParish Council or its employees being open to bribery. Akis Chrisovelides is to carry out a risk assessment on the matter and report back to the Parish Council.
Planning applications. Land adjacent to 12 Hargham Road. Three bedroom dwelling and garage. It was proposed by Derek Smalley seconded by Akis Chrisovelides that this be rejected. This was agreed unanimously.
Ashwood Farm, Stacksford. Change of use from agriculture. This was agreed with 8 votes for and with Tim Ing abstaining as he had declared an interest.
Eel Farm. Fen Street. Removal of condition 8 of earlier planning application and new garage block and alterations. Proposed by Derek Smalley and seconded by Paul Boggia that it be approved. This was agreed with 8 votes for and 1 against.
All the following applications were proposed by Derek Smalley and seconded by John Frost that there be no objections. This was agreed unanimously.
New Barn Farm. Installation of two small turbines.
The Coal Yard. Erection of fuel storage building.
Crown Lane Cottage, Crown Road. Variation to conditions of previous planning application.
Abacus House,The Green. Proposed new rear sunroom.
Old Buckenham Mill, Mill Road. Removal of old stocks and sails, replace and repair.
Old School House, The Green. Installation of solar panels.
Twitchers Cottage, Stacksford. Erection of mobile home for use as an annex.
Planning decisions received. The Shrublands, Puddledock. Refused by Breckland Council.
Approval of accounts payable. It was pointed out that all village organisations that wished to apply for a grant had to have a written application to the Parish Clerk by Friday 30 September 2011.
District Councillor’s report. Cotman Housing Association has confirmed that they will be starting on the site at St Andrews Close in June/July 2012. They will be doing drainage works in early 2012. Adrian Joel informed the meeting that Breckland councillors are looking for additional members for their Youth Council. This organisation allows young people to put forward their views and ideas to Breckland Council. Any young person interested should contact Steph Barnard on 01362 656870 by Friday 30 September. Breckland Council are making funding of up to £100 for organisations organising street parties to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, contact Adrian Joel on 01953 860663 regarding this.
Parish Councillors' Reports. Tom Johnson said he attended a meeting of the Attleborough Task Force in late July along with Adrian Joel. Tom Johnson had also attended a recent meeting of the Village Hall committe. He then raised the matter of the circulation folder taking too long to get round to councillors. It was agreed that all councillors would only keep the folder for a maximum of two days before passing it on to the next councillor. Paul Boggia raised the matter of village archives and said Roger Wilson was not able to part with his own archives. The Village Hall has offered space to store them. John Frost raised the matter of footballs being used on the Recreation Area hitting parked cars and causing damage. The Parish Clerk explained the legal aspects of this and suggested a notice be erected saying that the Parish Council did not accept any responsibility for damage caused to parked vehicles. The Recreation Area working party should carry out a risk assessment on this situation. Derek Smalley informed the meeting that there had been no meeting of Homewatch for two months. He had attended the Attleborough Community Trust meeting. Three welcome packs for new residents had been delivered during the month and any new residents who had not received one should contact him. He then said Community Car scheme rates had increased and that users of the scheme now had to pay an addition 2.5p per mile for the service. He also raised the matter of funerals at the church and the play area being used by large number of children at the same time. He suggested asking parents to make their children aware of the funeral taking place and to keep their children quiet whilst the funeral cortege passed the play area. The Parish Clerk suggested a letter be created and then handed out each time a funeral took place. He suggested a sign be put out whenever a funeral took place. Tim Ing sought other councillors’ views on the matter. Carol Marshall and Tom Johnson are to liaise on the matter. Derek Smalley then said that the oil buying group now had 50 members signed up and have started using the service. He requested feedback on the service to assess the savings made and to see if they could be improved. Carol Marshall said the Recreation Area was opened in July by Tim Ing and with a football match and she thanked all the volunteers who helped on the opening. Also a village-wide garage sale had been carried out on Sunday 23 August and raised £415 before costs for the Recreation Area funds. Akis Chrisovelides said he had concerns that the school had started a youth council and they already had people in place who could qualify to run it as they were CRB checked. He is in contact with Breckland Council on the whole matter. Adrian Joel said the allotments were in full use and being enjoyed by the residents. New tenancy agreements had to be agreed and he would draft amended ones and circulate to all councillors for their comments before next meeting. He then read out an email from the Old Buckenham Allotment Society (OBAS) on various points which he would deal with direct. A letter from a tenant had requested permission to erect a polytunnel on his allotment. Tim Ing and Adrian Joel are to arrange a site visit and contact the tenant in question. Adrian Joel said an allotment Liaison Group Meeting would be arranged for September. Tim Ing referred to the Open Forum Meeting being held on Saturday 24 September and asked all parish councillors to attend and for all working parties to have a presentation ready for the meeting. The amenity area would be discussed at the next Green Right Proprietors meeting. Tim Ing said he was trying to obtain a map of all footpaths within the village.
Parish Clerk’s report. A letter had been received from Breckland Council seeking the views of the Parish Council on future opportunities for development in the village. The Localism Bill will give more powers to parish councisl in respect of planning applications and Breckland wanted the views of what the Parish Council would find acceptable in terms of future development suggestions. The Parish Clerk is to invite Ms Darryl Smith of Breckland Council to the November parish council meeting.
Highways. Tim Ing raised matter of lorries encroaching on the footpath near the war memorial and had spoken to Norfolk County Council (NCC) on the matter and they will look into it and see if any measure could be installed to prevent it happening in future. He had also raised the matter of gritting of roads and tried to get it extended within the village but was told by NCC that this would not be possible. NCC had informed him that the budget was in place for year 2012/13 for possible surface improvements of roads near the play area.
The Green. Tim Ing said next meeting of the Green Right Proprietors would be on Tuesday 4 October and they would look at improvements to parking around the play area and public house. He had met with local fencing contractors Carriageman about the cost of post and rail fencing on the Green. Adrian Joel raised the matter of precepting for maintenance of the Green in the future if the Parish Council and the Green Right Proprietors entered into a partnership.
The next meetings of the Parish Council are the Open Forum meeting on Saturday 24 September at 10am and the normal monthly meeting on Thursday 6 October at 7.30pm. Both meetings will be held at the Village Hall.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Produce and Handicraft Show

Come along and see what the people of Old Buckenham can produce

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Old Buckenham village fete (part three)

Photogenic dancers
When Kenninghall Morris come to perform at the fete it provides one of those colourful items that you just have to try to photograph. Here are some images of the dancing, helped by the fact that the sun was shining on their multi-couloured outfits. 

More details at

More pictures of the Old Buckenham fete

Some of the entertainment

 There was Punch and Judy for the children (?)

 Pony rides (really for the children)

 A well-loaded raffle table

 The dog show was well supported

One entrant was the same colours as his master's make-up
(but more about the Morris dancers in the next post)

Saturday, 3 September 2011

A near perfect day

Pictures of the village fete
The sun shone, the stall holders were enthusiastic, the entertainers entertained, the visitors visited and seemed to be spending their money at the Old Buckenham village fete today.
Here are some photos to show what you might have missed. More will follow tomorrow.
Mid-morning as setting up begins

Muriel performs the official opening...

...and then tries her luck on the stalls

The car boot gets going...

...while other drool over cars...

...or wait for their food to be cooked.

(to be continued)

Friday, 2 September 2011

Hearing dogs for the deaf

WI in August
Assistance Dogs was the theme of Old Buckenham WI’s August meeting when Loiuse Brundell gave an illustrated talk about ‘Hearing Dogs for the Deaf.’ Most people are familiar with Guide Dogs for the Blind but unaware that dogs can be trained assist those with a hearing disability.
The charity was the brainchild of a police dog handler who, in 1976, visited the USA and witnessed working Hearing Dogs for the Deaf. In collaboration with a hearing therapist, Tony Blunt started to fund raise in earnest. By 1986 the first few Hearing Dogs were working and now there are over a thousand dogs around the country.
Many of the first dogs were rescue dogs though now most come from dedicated breeders. Labradors, retrievers, King Charles spaniels and poodles make the best Hearing Dogs. These dogs spend the first few months of their lives with a foster family undergoing socialisation. At six months they are assessed for their aptitude. They need to be obedient, sociable, calm, confident and curious. All dogs are sent to the training centre in Yorkshire where they are trained to respond to basic sounds – a doorbell, smoke alarm, telephone and clock alarm. The handler can request other responses too.
The trainer then works with the dog and the new owner for about a week to ensure the new relationship is established. After three months in its new home, the dog returns to the centre for a final test. On completion of this test the dog is given a special coat with the Assistance Dog logo and an identity card.
The headquarters in Buckinghamshire was opened in 2000 and is the centre of the fund raising team. One hundred and fifty dogs a year are trained and this is expensive. There is a huge demand for Hearing Dogs and the waiting list is long.
The members at the meeting were reminded of their participation at the Village Fete and also the annual village Produce and Handicraft Show, run by the WI and needing plenty of entries from members.
The next WI meeting is on Thursday 22 September when the speaker will be Angela Ruthven with a demonstration of chocolate making. The competition will be for an unusual teaspoon.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Old Buckenham village fete 2011

Why not come along and join in?

(just click on the poster to enlarge it)