Thursday, 28 February 2013

Busy month ahead in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for March

Friday 1    Crib, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 2    Meeting on future of Village Hall, 11am

Sunday 3    Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Monday 4    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Tuesday 5    Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon

Tuesday 5    Village Fete planning meeting, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday 6    Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 7    Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 9    Roadside collection of textiles from 9am

Monday 11    Textile collection, Village Hall car park, 8.30am to 9am

Monday 11    Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Wednesday 13    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 14    Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 14    Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.45pm

Friday 15    Village quiz, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 16    Talk on history of All Saints Church, in Church at 7.30pm

Sunday 17    LAA and homebuilt aircraft Fly in at the Airfield

Monday 18    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 20   Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Wednesday 20   Annual Parish Meeting, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 23    Jumble sale, Church Rooms, from 10am

Wednesday 27    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Wednesday 27   High School 75th anniversary celebrations from 5pm

Thursday 28    Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

March newsletter all around Old Buckenham

News of all the March events

The printed copies of the March issue of the Old Buckenham newsletter have been left at various locations around the village. Two extra locations where you may now find some are inside the Village  Hall and in the Church Rooms.
The main supply point is, of course, the village shop.

Monday, 25 February 2013

More on Senior Citizens' Lunch in Old Buckenham

What was on offer
A full roast dinner with plenty of vegetables was provided for everyone. Then there was the choice of sweets and a plateful of mixed cheeses to eat your way through, all washed down with glasses of wine or fruit juice.
Everyone had been given a free raffle ticket on arrival so the raffle was drawn next while the entertainer got ready on the stage. Country and Western songs were then sung for an hour or so to let all the meal be digested and give some people the opportunity to join in with the lyrics of songs remembered from many years ago. A couple of cards of cash bingo were played before more food arrived in the form of homemade mince pies, tea and coffee.
The afternoon finished with a big thank you to all the organisers and volunteers with the main cook being called out from hiding to receive a large bouquet of flowers.
Soon everyone was drifting out of the hall while some volunteers were still washing up in the kitchen...

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Benefit of being old in Old Buckenham

Senior Citizens' Lunch
Over eighty people who have reached 'retirement' age and live in Old Buckenham were treated to a slap-up lunch in the village hall yesterday. Money had been raised at various events in the village over the last twelve months and so, with the help of many volunteers on the day, the diners had nothing to do but sit down and enjoy themselves.
Work had started by setting out and decorating the tables on the evening before. Then food had been prepared and cooked during the morning ready for the guests to arrive just before 1pm.
Looking around on arrival you could collect your glass of sherry, see a table full of raffle prizes, another table loaded with lots of homemade sweets and, hidden away in the kitchen, plates of various cheeses being assembled for later consumption.
There was the opportunity to have your photo taken and to attempt  to work out some answers to the quiz sheet that had been left on each table. Then it was time for grace to be said and everyone got down to eating and drinking.

More photographs will be posted tomorrow.
You can click on these ones if you would like to enlarge them.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Old Buckenham hears about Victorian asylums

Social and Wine Circle
The talk for February’s meeting was entitled “Life in a Victorian Asylum”. A dry subject you might think but, after Alison Hannah’s talk about a similar subject last year, she was invited back to give more interesting information about asylums, especially the Norfolk Lunatic Asylum (NLA). This was built in 1814, shortly after the passing of the County Asylums Act in 1808 and, when it closed finally in 1998, was the third oldest asylum in the country. In its first year, the NLA had 62 patients, the majority of which were male and who had been transferred from workhouses which until then had been the main unit for housing such individuals. Some thirty years later, there were more than 550 patients in the NLA, recognition that mentally ill persons needed to be looked after rather than abandoned. The patients were expected to work, this being therapeutic as well as practical. The men looked after the gardens where food produce for the inmates was grown (the amount available to feed inmates was 4s 9d per person per week, approx 24p) while the women cleaned and cooked. All inmates were expected to look after themselves to a degree, there being very few staff to do this. Treatments were many and varied. Opium, cannabis and nicotine were some of the drugs used whilst purgatives ‘helped to calm or distract’ some patients. Alison had researched the subject bringing a wealth of information with her, helped as she advised us by the fact that the Victorians recorded everything in great detail.

Next month’s talk, on Thursday 14 March, will be “Computers today” to be given by Steve Hammond.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The stained glass of All Saints Old Buckenham

Looking at windows


Have you ever thought about the history of the oldest building in Old Buckenham? You may walk or drive past it every day, you may regularly attend worship there – but maybe you have only been inside occasionally, for a wedding or funeral perhaps. It’s just possible you’ve never visited at all! To launch a major heritage project in relation to the restoration of the medieval windows, there will be an illustrated talk  entitled 'All Saints Windows - Throwing light on 1000 years of a village Church’ in All Saints Church on Saturday 16 March at 7.30pm.
The talk will be about the 1000 year history of this building, focusing particularly on the stained and painted glass. After the talk there will be refreshments in the Church Rooms with an opportunity to learn more and to find out how to get involved in supporting the continuous work of preserving this wonderful building for the future. Donations for the restoration project will be most welcome. For more information please contact Alison on 01953 861261.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Valentine's day in Old Buckenham

Romantic flowers
The members and visitors at Breckland Flower and Garden Club’s February meeting enjoyed a talk and flower arranging demonstration entitled 'Cupids Arrow' by club member Christine Hewson.
The first design consisted of all white flowers for ‘innocence’, freesia and eustoma in baskets. This was followed by a lovely romantic table arrangement with red candles with red/pink rose buds and spray carnations arranged on a metal candelabram. Also included was a heart-shaped foam base with rose buds, alstromeria, carnations, a selection of foliage and also ribbon and phormium leaves woven around the heart. A hand-tied gift bag of a dozen red roses for love, a cuddly bear, balloon and a large Valentine card were added.
This was followed by three designs arranged in floral foam in pots to resemble hand-tied bouquets. First was a design of cornus twigs with red and pink tulips (perfect love), then one of red anemones (unfading love) and a third of blue hyacinth (constancy).
A design of Cupid’s arrow followed, palm leaves with zantedeschia lilies (beauty) and cymbidium orchid (virility). Also a wire heart constructed by Christine with coloured wire, sisal and beads, with orchid heads and zantedeschia lilies woven in.
The last design was of three tall metal pots including stargazer lilies (wealth and prosperity), pink roses (love and gratitude) and included a candle. These were copied from the designs Christine had at her wedding as she was celebrating her wedding anniversary on Valentines day.
All the arrangements were raffled. Christine's knowledge of her plant material and tips were warmly welcomed, also her flower meanings, the history of Valentine and the customs of the day.
The monthly competition was for an arrangement depicting 'Romance is in the Air'. The Christine Hewson trophy was awarded for the best exhibit and it went to novice class winner Alyson Walker with the runner-up being Sylvia Briggs.
The Breckland Flower and Garden Club meet at Old Buckenham Village Hall, Abbey Road, on the second Thursday of the month. Their next meeting is on Thursday 14 March starting at 2pm and it will be the club’s AGM followed by a talk and demonstration entitled 'Quilts and flowers'.
All visitors are welcome (£4) and for more information call Christine on 01953 454528.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Old Buckenham Parish Council

Parish Council in February

These notes of the parish council meetings are prepared by the editor of this blog from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended later at the next month's meeting.
Two councillors, Derek Smalley and Paul Boggia, had sent their apologies for not being able to attend the February meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council. There were four members of the public present.
There was the usual public recess when the meeting was suspended for a short while to allow members of the public to ask questions.
Minutes of January meeting. These were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting. Chairman Tim Ing thanked Kerry Talbot who had done the minutes in the absence of the Parish Clerk.
Matters arising from the minutes. The Parish Clerk said that under Chairman’s report it was stated that a rebate of £983.50 will be paid to the Council. The Clerk explained that this was not a rebate but, because of a new means of fixing precepts, Breckland Council has a smaller tax base from which the precept was allocated and in year 2013/14 it meant there was a shortfall in the precept of this amount. Central government was funding this shortfall and Breckland was paying it in the form of a grant to make up the precept shortfall.
BMX trail and car parking at recreation area. Jonathan Kemp said that three quotes had been received for the works and he then gave details of the ground works involved. This would increase car parking spaces by up to 17 cars. Carol Marshall has had a meeting with the young people in the village showing them what the track would look like. They were very enthusiastic about the project and would put forward ideas as to how the final layout could look. Councillors then asked questions relating to the project. Jonathan Kemp and Carol Marshall would liaise with the village hall on start dates for the project. The quotes received were for £5,610, £3,666 and £3,040 (all were plus VAT). Jonathan Kemp proposed that the quote of £3,040 be accepted as the person had done previous work in the village, this was seconded by Carol Marshall and agreed unanimously. Tim Ing thanked them both for their hard work on the project. The Parish Clerk is to send letters to the two unsuccessful firms who quoted.
Village Emergency Plan. It was proposed by Carol Marshall and seconded by Jonathan Kemp that the village emergency planned produced by Steve Milner be adopted, this was agreed unanimously.
Planning applications. None
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Crown House, Stacksford. Erection of front porch. Permission granted.
Alice Cottage, Ragmere Road. Convert integral garage into bedroom and bathroom and side extension to form car port. Permission granted.
Abbey Farm, Abbey, Road. Convert outbuilding to residential annexe. Permission granted.
43 Fen Street. Demolish existing rear storage room and erection of conservatory. Permission granted.
The Finches, Cake Street. Front and rear extensions, raise roof to create rooms in roof including Juliette balcony. Permission granted.
Chairman’s report. Tim Ing had received an email regarding overhanging trees on Hargham Road. He said that they were the responsibility of the landowners and the problem was not too severe at the present time. He then said the play area parking work was done and was proving successful. He had also been informed that the promised contributions to fund the work would now not be paid as they disagreed with how the work was done. School parking during the recent snowy weather had been a problem as the Village Hall car park was not accessible because of the snow. He also said that congestion at the school is growing as more people are dropping off children. Tim Ing said he had received comments regarding proposed street lights in the village and most of them were against the idea of having them. The matter will be discussed at the Annual Parish meeting being held on Wednesday 20 March at 7.30pm. He also reported that he had some words with farmers’ wives regarding farm traffic in Hargham Road and the damaged being caused to grass verges. The Shrublands planning application would be discussed at a public enquiry on Tuesday 12 March at Attleborough Town Hall, this matter is to be put on March agenda for full discussion.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel said a licence had been given to move the great crested newts from St Andrews Close to the newly constructed ‘piles’ in the adjoining woods. This would enable Cotman Housing Association to start building the 14 new properties in early summer 2013. Breckland Council had a deficit a year ago of £3.5 million and they had to find this over the next five years. This deficiency had already been reduced to £2.6 million with efficiency savings and better use of their assets. Breckland had decided after their consultation programme to keep free parking in the five market towns. Breckland are proposing a council tax increase of £4.98 per year on Band D properties which would be the first increase in four years and would take a band D property to £69 per year. District Councils are getting together a scheme to save residents money on their gas and electricity bills. A ‘power switch’ scheme will be announced shortly and residents will be asked to register their interest and full details would be available later this month.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Steve Milner said that slow down speed signs have now been distributed and are appearing on wheelie bins in the village. John Frost said the church tower has been awarded a grant and it is hoped to start work in 2014. A bat survey had been carried out at the church and none were found, only some droppings. Another survey would be carried out later this year. Akis Chrisovelides has prepared a draft notice regarding the youth council and would be putting them up in the village and see what response there is. Adrian Joel said a resident has thanked the Parish Council for providing new grit bins. There were suggestions that another one was needed and he would raise the matter in November to see if any funds were available to get another one. Tom Johnson said he attended a Village Hall committee meeting and they raised the matter of flooding in the car park which they thought was Parish Council responsibility. Jonathan Kemp said the responsibility actually rested with the school. Norfolk County Council have said they will deal with problem. Tom Johnson said there was a quiz night at the village hall on Friday 15 March and hoped the Parish Council would enter a team. A public meeting at the Village Hall would be held on Saturday 2 March regarding the future of the Village Hall. They urgently need three new nominated trustees. There has been a lot of correspondence between the Charity Commission and the Village Hall regarding the existing committee and, if no new volunteers are forthcoming, then the hall could close and the Parish Council would have to take up Custodian Trustee status. Tom Johnson asked if Parish Council would attend the public meeting and support the existing committee. Wednesday 3 April would be the date for the AGM of the village hall and Wednesday 10 April would be the first committee meeting. Jonathan Kemp has applied for a grant of £20,000 for the recreation area from Norfolk Community Foundation and would be in the March round of applications.
Highways. Pot holes were reported in Abbey Road on the left approaching the school. Also in Grove Road and the junction of Hargham Road. More were reported in Hargham Road from number 46 down towards Fen Street. The footpath up to the shop in Hargham Road needs attention. John Frost reported another recent accident at the junction of Grove Road and Mill Road. The Parish Clerk is to contact Highways on these matters.
The Green. Sarah Dye said the AGM of the Green Right Proprietors would be held at the end of February. Tom Johnson said the duck house on the pond at the Gamekeeper needed repairs and Sarah Dye said it would be dealt with in near future. Akis Chrisovelides asked if the Green Right Proprietors had regular funding streams for the Green. Sarah Dye said that there was not and that the income received paid for the insurance but no extra money was available.
The next parish council meeting will be on Thursday 7 March in the Village Hall commencing at 7.30pm.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Once lived in Old Buckenham

Neave, Lovett and Harper
One blog reader, Alec Cooper of Harleston, saw the blog entry on 9th January 2013 entitled “Behind the mantelpiece”and was prompted to share details of his maternal grandmother’s story with the readers. This is information that formed a small part of his family tree research. A move brought Alec to Wymondham in 1968 and then later he retired to Harleston, often travelling through Old Buckenham without knowing it was home for some of his ancestors.
The lady’s maiden name was Edith Neave and she was born in 1878. The 1881 census shows that she and her sister Sarah Elizabeth lived with Robert and Lydia Lovett’s family in Attleborough Road, Old Buckenham. Lydia’s maiden name was also Neave and she was born in 1824 and married in 1848.

Edith’s photograph was taken when she was about 20, just before the time she got married to a Hussar. She met him in Old Buckenham and the story goes that the horse he was exercising entered their cottage doorway to get the apple that she was eating. He convinced her that the horse would not leave without the apple!
The other photograph is of Alec’s grandfather, Harry Harper, in his 7th Hussar’s uniform and taken about the same time as Edith’s.
If any readers can add anything to this information then they can leave a comment below or contact Alec direct on


Saturday, 9 February 2013

New homes in Old Buckenham

If you go down in the woods today...

Several large heaps of earth, sticks and rubble have appeared recently beside the pond at Manor Corner and in amongst the trees in nearby Prince Harry's Wood. It turns out that these have been built to provide suitable accommodation for the great crested newts that are living in the locality.
The proximity of these protected newts has delayed building on the nearby Cotman Housing site and it appears that the aim is to persuade the newts to establish themselves outside the area approved for the new houses.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

World record attempt in Old Buckenham

Guinness World Record attempt 
To celebrate National Libraries Day, which is on Saturday 9 February, Old Buckenham High School students today took part in an attempt to smash the world record for the most people writing a story at multiple venues. The current record is held by 953 people at five venues.
Top-selling author Matt Haig had written the first page of a story called 'My Family and Other Aliens' and the aim has been to get as many students as possible to write one sentence each to continue the story during Wednesday 6 February.
At break and lunchtime students were having to read the story so far and, in turn, add their own sentences. The ever-growing text was continually updated on the school website

Over a hundred schools were simultaneously taking part in this attempt and as Old Buckenham managed to get 32 people to help write the story it seems likely that the existing record will be well and truly beaten.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Old Buckenham's help for homeless

Handing over the cheques

Representatives of the St Martins Housing Trust came along to the Church Rooms at Old Buckenham this morning. St Martins is a registered charity for single homeless people in Norwich and Norfolk. Each year they are invited to come along and collect cheques for the money that has been raised by various groups within Old Buckenham to support their continual work for the local homeless people.
The four cheques handed over today were for money raised from
  • the collection at the Christmas Eve carol service at All Saints Church,
  • from fund raising organised  by the Sainsburys store in Attleborough,
  • more fundraising by the Old Buckenham 2000 Trust
  • and money given at the many 'bucket collections' made at several local supermarkets over the Christmas period.
The total sum raised came to £18,090.74, an amount that St Martins Housing Trust are most grateful for and which will be put to very good use in helping to finance their activities in the coming months.