Thursday, 31 July 2014

See plans for proposed Old Buckenham school

Look, read, think and comment
Here are some of the points that have so far been raised concerning the Chapel Road School relocation (planning application y/3/2014/3006).
  • The proposed development falls outside the present village boundary. The justification given for this being that it is a sustainable development and that no other options were available. With respect to the former, it can hardly be described as sustainable as it is totally dependant on cars and minibuses as there is little to no public transport in the area. The latter comment is not substantiated with details of approaches made to land owners.
  • One reason for siting the building at this location is integration with mainstream schools. No details of integration, already happening or planned, is given to justify this statement.
  • The Design and Access statement states that public access to the Multi Use Games Area (muga) and other facilities could be through the village hall boundary. The Village Hall has made it clear that this is not an option because of an already oversubscribed car park.
  • The Transport statement describes that there is unlikely to be an increase in traffic travelling through Old Buckenham. With up to 80 teachers arriving and a total of 38 minibus movements in and out, with around 50% going through the village, there is a significant traffic increase especially considering these movements will already be concentrated into a busy time
  • The Transport Statement also shows no safety measures where the proposed new access road joins the B1077 - at a point where cars could be travelling at 60mph. The document describes an 85th percentile speed of 35mph using the moving observer method but sample sizes have not been disclosed. Independent measurements reveal a 42mph 85th percentile speed (this was determined by timing vehicles over a known distance with a sample size of 50). With a 42mph 85th percentile speed this requires a 120m vision splay. On the south side only a 90m splay has been recommended.
  • Insufficient parking spaces have been provided for staff when pupil numbers reach target. A target of an 11% reduction in single occupancy journeys has been set, with no plans on how this will be achieved or what sanctions will be applied if target is not achieved.
  • The design of the building is not in keeping with other buildings in the neighbourhood.
  • In the community consultation that occurred in June there was strong concern expressed about inadequate infrastructure and the increase in traffic at times that the roads of Old Buckenham are already congested.
  • Old Buckenham does not have public street lights and, most importantly, does not want them. The proposed development has significant external lighting The application does not describe switch off times to limit light pollution.
  • The proposed kitchen garden area is not in a good position in that light from the south side will be shielded by the building.
Remember there is an opportunity to see all the detailed plans in the Memorial Room at the Village Hall tonight between 7.30pm and 9.30pm.
If you cannot get there then the following is the web address that should take you directly to the application where you can look through everything and leave your comments.
Make sure your voice is heard, don’t just leave it to others.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Work starts on Old Buckenham church tower

All Saints gets enclosed in scaffolding
There is activity to make access to the church tower at All Saints, Old Buckenham, so that work can start on repairing the flintwork cladding over the rest of the year. Some pieces of the surface had been tending to fall off and make it unsafe to walk nearby. Repairs and repointing will continue for many months.

It may make some interesting photographs but the church will not look its beautiful self for some months to come.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

August newsletter available in Old Buckenham

A summer read
Copies of the August issue have been taken aroung the village this morning. 
Some of you will be getting a copy delivered with the Six Villages Newsletter which will be put together on Thursday afternoon. Otherwise you can pick up a copy from the shop, church, pubs, clinic, etc.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Fund raising at Karmel in Old Buckenham

Worthy cause to support
The date has been finalised for the now annual weekend garage sale at Karmel on the Green at Old Buckenham (postcode NR17 1RR for satnav users). All the proceeds from this event go to support the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
The sale will be on both Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 September between 8am and 4pm on both days. There will be bric-a-brac, books, homemade cakes, clothes, new items suitable for presents, toys, DVDs, etc.
All donations of items for sale will be gratefully received  by Yvonne and Henry now or nearer the time, they can be contacted on 01953 860011.
(taken at last year's sale)

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Plans of new Old Buckenham school

See plans on Thursday
Steve Milner, chairman of Old Buckenham Parish Council, has arranged  for the full size drawings that are in the planning application for the new Chapel Road School site to be available for all to see in Memorial Room at the Village Hall on Thursday 31 July between 7.30pm and 9.30pm.
If you go to
it is possible to look at all the data for the new school site. You can look at plans or read the details of how local ponds were searched for great crested newts. This is also the place where you can leave your own comments on the scheme before it goes before the planning committee.

The Parish Council has also arranged a meeting about the school in the Village Hall on Thursday 14 August.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Dog show in Old Buckenham

Top dogs

On Sunday 21 September there will be a Dog Show on Old Buckenham Green in front of the Ox and Plough pub. The Dog Show is being organised in conjunction with Rosedale Funeral Homes who are trying to raise £10,000 for lots of local good causes throughout 2014 which is their 10th year. The funds raised by this dog show will go towards the tower repairs and stained glass window restoration in All Saints Church.
The Companion Dog Show is being held under Kennel Club rules and schedules are available from all Rosedale homes or by emailing Registration will open at 12 noon for judging at 2pm. The Church Rooms will be open for refreshments and it is hoped to have other stalls on the Green.
Sunday 21 September is also the date of the Village Garage sale so there should be lots of visitors in the village – with and without dogs.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Old Buckenham's village fete

All the fun of the Fair
Despite all the pessimistic forecasts of erratic weather, the annual Old Buckenham fete went ahead yesterday afternoon without a drop of rain falling. There had been thunder rolling around in the very early hours of the morning but preparing the stalls went ahead as usual up until lunchtime.
Everything was set up on the lawn outside the village hall or within the building itself. Visitors started arriving and by 2pm and the stalls were in business. You could buy jam or jewellery, win bottles in the tombola, learn circus skills, get a prize from the human fruit machine, watch some energetic Zumba or cool down in the stocks as wet sponges were thrown at you.
There were refreshments of all sorts from tea and homemade cake, pulled pork rolls, burgers, ice cream and a small beer tent. Inside the hall there were more stalls, photos of the village in earlier days and a display of paintings by a village art group.
Overall a successful afternoon that will have raised money for the Village Hall finances and for all the local groups and organisations that ran their own stalls.

(Remember you can see these photos at a larger size by just clicking on them)
The popularity of paying to throw wet sponges at people increased considerably when the chairman of the parish council took his place in the stocks.
And finally here is the human fruit machine having a well-earned break.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Primary School fete in Old Buckenham

Plenty to do at the fete
It turned out hot for the Primary School fete today. A little downpour of rain during setting-up time early in the morning soon cleared away leaving blue skies and temperatures nudging 30C. There were plenty of stalls set around the school field where children and parents could spend their money, refreshment areas and some animals they could get close up to. 
The blog editor joined a queue of young people to take a ride in a cherry picker so that he could get a few different high level views of the surroundings.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Obtaining a grant from Old Buckenham Parish Council

Timetable for applications
Any group or organisation in Old Buckenham wishing to apply for a grant at this year's Precept meeting should make their application in writing to the Parish Clerk by Tuesday 30 September.
Any grants awarded at the Precept meeting will be paid in May 2015.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Flower Club in Old Buckenham

Breckland Flower and Garden Club

After June's visit to the wonderful garden of Furze House, Rushall, Diss - a plantaholic's paradise - members were back at Old Buckenham in July to hear about orchid growing from Mrs Robyn McDonald. In earlier societies a person's wealth was judged by the number of orchids they owned. Other collectors were prepared to pay as much as 12,000 guineas for a certain plant. Even today plant breeders will give up to £50,000 in order to clone millions of a very saleable variety. Members were then shown the best way to repot an orchid and it was explained that, depending whether the plant originally grew on trees, in the ground or in water, which medium to grow it in. A most informative talk.
In the competition for a modern design the New Hands class was won by Alison Vivian and Old Hands by Christine Hewson. The table show for roses was won by Alison Walker.
The next Meeting will be held on Thursday 14 August staring at 2pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall when there will be a demonstration entitled 'All Good Things' by Ann Colby. The competition title is 'Sun, Sea and Sand' and the table show is for three stems of 'Hot Colour from the Border'
Visitors are always very welcome. Further details from Christine on 01953 454528 or Sally on 01953 788712.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Old Buckenham High School quiz

Questions, questions, questions
There were some brain-stretching exercises going on in the hall of Old Buckenham High School tonight. A fund-raising quiz attracted eleven teams who were put through their paces with ten varied rounds of ten questions each. One area of competition seemed to be how attractive you could make your refreshments and one team had even brought their own tablecloth.

The Scrambled Eggheads team took the lead early on and remained in front for the rest of the quiz. Four other teams fought a battle for second place with Pete's Posse drawing ahead over the last few rounds. Two teams had equal points and were joint third until a tie break question meant the third prize went to T.O.W.I B. (where the B stands for Banham) rather than The Socialites.
The picture of the scoreboard shows all the results and if you click on the image it should be clearer.

Why people were standing with their hands on their heads will be known to those who attended - what people will do to try to win some money!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

School move to Old Buckenham

Still time to make your comments
Several weeks ago all residences in Old Buckenham received documents through the post about the proposed move of Chapel Road School. There is still just time to provide your comments to the County Council but they do have to be sent in by Monday 14 July.
More information on the subject can be found in posts on the blog for Wednesday 11 June and Thursday 19 June.
There does not appear to be any reason why more than one person from each residence should not put their views forward, in fact people in the same household may have differing views. You can do this online and go through the three page document to send off your feelings before the consultation time ends.
Just click here:

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Public recess discussions at July meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council

Concerns of local residents
 These notes have been written by the blog editor from information supplied by the parish clerk.
A resident asked for an update on the question of parking on the Green at the play area. Carol Marshall informed the meeting that a working party had been set up and they were getting prices for digging up existing parking areas and replacing them. An alternative was to put hardcore down and to replace the posts. Sarah Dye said that the Green Right Proprietors could not agree to hardcore. Tim Ing explained that two options were available, either replace the whole area or replace with a concrete base but he did not think either solution would suit all parties. The meeting was informed that the Ox and Plough public house would be willing to contribute towards the costs. It was agreed that Steve Milner and Carol Marshall would meet with local residents.

The question of bikers meeting at the public house ('Two wheel Tuesdays') was also raised as they meet every Tuesday and up to 135 bikers have turned up. They make a considerable noise when leaving which was upsetting to residents nearby and their animals. They are having a meeting with the police and asked for the support of the Parish Council on the matter. Another resident said there needs to be a balance between the needs of both bikers and the residents. Steve Milner agreed to attend the meeting with the police.

A resident raised the matter of the missing gate at the play area and thought the play area was unsafe without the gate. Another resident raised the matter of street cleaning vehicles damaging the road surface when carrying out cleaning. A resident raised the matter of Chapel Road School and said residents are unhappy with the planning application and also that Norfolk County Council are unwilling to attend meetings on the application. A traffic survey on the road outside the proposed new school is due to be completed in mid-July. The question of extra traffic on Hargham Road because of the new school was raised. One resident said that proposed access to the new school is not suitable and also that the drawings presented by NCC at the recent village meetings were not helpful, raising questions over traffic volumes on the road outside the school when it opens. A resident raised the question of the parish council's new Grievance and Disciplinary code which he thought was too involved and complicated. A further resident raised the matter of parking in the Village Hall car park. Steve Milner replied that the Village Hall working party was looking at possible solutions and some trials of these possibilities will be looked at. A resident raised the matter of the traffic management information received. Steve Milner said that a transport statement had been received and would come out with the planning application for the new school. The Parish Council were asked if they would challenge the application and Steve Milner replied that he would be submitting comments to NCC on the concerns of the village regarding the perimeter road but he wants a meeting with NCC. One person who is a school governor of the Chapel Road School as well as a local resident had met recently with Steve Milner regarding the issues of the new school. The Parish Council was asked to contact MP George Freeman and seek his help on the question of new school.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Parish Council meeting in July
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
It was a well attended parish council meeting in July with fourteen members of public present along with Stephen Askew (Norfolk County Councillor) and all the parish councillors except Jonathan Kemp and Akis Chrisovelides who had sent their apologies.
During the public recess the items raised included Chapel Road School, parking on the Green by the play area, bikers at the Ox and Plough public house, the missing gate at the play area, Village Hall car parking and the parish council’s new grievance and disciplinary procedure (further details should be on this blog tomorrow).
Minutes of June Parish Council meeting. These were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Adrian Joel raised the matter of the working party on Standing Orders. Steve Milner said this would be covered under the chairman’s report. Derek Smalley raised the matter of restricted deliveries to the new pig farm. Steve Milner and Terry Cracknell had met recently on the matter. Adrian Joel would keep a register of all complaints and any resident with a complaint should contact him via his email (
Chapel Road School. Adrian Joel stated that he was disgusted that NCC Highways was not at this meeting and had refused to attend the recent public meetings. Steve Milner reported that he had invited NCC to attend but they stated they were unable to attend the Parish Council meeting and he has asked NCC for a further meeting with residents but NCC had also refused this. Steve Milner reported he had replied to NCC in strong terms via email at their refusal to attend any meetings involving residents and the Parish Council. NCC said they would attend a small meeting with some parish councillors and two residents. The Norfolk County Councillor for Old Buckenham (Stephen Askew) informed the meeting that he had tried numerous times to contact Highways who do not reply to any of his letters or emails on the whole project. Adrian Joel suggested that a number of residents and parish councillors go and speak at future NCC Planning Committee meetings and voice their concerns over the application. Steve Milner said the junction of the access road to the school will enter on a B road with national speed limits which he believes is very dangerous, especially with coaches. Steve Milner is hoping to get some speed figures together to counter the findings of NCC. He wants the existing 30mph speed limit extended so that the entrance/exit is much safer. Steve Milner also said he has some specialist who would attempt to draw up information for the Parish Council to take forward to NCC. Tom Johnson asked why there had been no traffic census over an extended period by NCC to establish accurate vehicle levels and speeds. Sarah Dye asked if parking was still an issue with the new school. Various points on the whole scheme were raised by members of the public and it was agreed that the Parish Council would express serious concerns regarding traffic and safety issues along with a severe lack of communication by NCC Highways on matters already raised with them. Letters are to be sent to the Director of Highways and the Leader of NCC and advise them a group has been set up with an outside specialist to advise Parish Council on relevant issues.
Adoption of new financial regulations. Deferred to September meeting.
Adoption of new grievance and disciplinary procedures. Deferred to September meeting.
Planning applications received. 5 Fen Street. Erection of two-storey extension. No objections from Parish Council.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Crown House, Stacksford. Demolish garage and erect two single-storey extensions. Permission granted.
Sunnyside Farm, Church Green. Proposed alternative conversion of outbuilding attic and extension to form annexe. Permission granted.

Approval of accounts payable. It was unanimously agreed that the invoices due for payment on the cheque list be paid. Adrian Joel raised matter of previously purchased voice-activated software. The Parish Clerk explained to the meeting that the software would not work in a sufficiently effective manner and he had stopped using it. The software had cost only £20 and it was worth trying for this small amount to try and improve efficiency with it.
Chairman’s report. Steve Milner said that the theft of gate from the play area had been reported to police but there was no sign of missing gate. Picket fencing would replace the gate. Adrian Joel said the gate should be replaced. Steve Milner replied that if the gate was replaced there was a strong chance it would be stolen again. Adrian Joel said the other gate needed some work done on it, along with some of the fencing. Steve Milner said that the fencing would be repaired by using screws instead of nails. It was also reported that surfaces on the play area were compacted and Steve Milner reported that this is also being looked at. Steve Milner then reported on the Standing Orders working party and only two areas need to be agreed. These would cover public recess at Precept meetings and the other would involve the creating of a human relations subcommittee which could delegate to a working party for the purpose of appraisals. Another meeting of the working party will be held to finalise these two areas. He then reported that the Village Hall Committee had set up a working party with some residents to solve current issues surrounding the use of the village hall car park. The Committee will be putting forward possible solutions. One idea suggested was turning part of the Recreation Area into parking spaces. This would need the consent of the Parish Council and the Parish Clerk informed the meeting that this may not be possible under the terms of the lease that the Parish Council has on the land. Tim Ing spoke out against the idea. Steve Milner sought the views of the parish councillors and a majority were in favour of looking into the suggestion further.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel reported that the 14 new affordable houses in St Andrews Close are now available to bid for on “Breckland Key Select Scheme”. These houses are expected to be available for occupation at the end of August this year. A mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom rental properties for people with a local connection to the village are being provided by Cotman Housing Association. If local people have a connection to Old Buckenham and are in need of affordable housing they may be eligible for one of the properties. They must be registered on Breckland’s housing register to apply for one of the dwellings via the Breckland Key Select website. The properties are being advertised on this site from the first week of July. If local people are not registered then they should do so as soon as possible. To apply for registration visit If anyone requires any information on the process then they should contact the Breckland Housing Team on 01362 656870. An audit of all open spaces in Breckland District was undertaken in 2007 and 2010. These audits examined areas of open space irrespective of ownership and included formal sports pitches, children’s play areas and informal or amenity areas of open space. All parishes will be asked to complete an update. Breckland are putting £950,000 in the partnership with NCC to bring faster broadband to more homes and businesses. Breckland Council are to offer training courses for parish councils, a leaflet giving details will be in the parish councillors’ circulation folder.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Tom Johnson raised the matter of potholes in the village and the Parish Clerk informed the meeting that NCC Highways are undertaking a countywide project on potholes. Paul Boggia raised the matter of grass cutting on the Green. Sarah Dye informed the meeting why it was cut in June. Derek Smalley had attended the Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group meeting and said minutes from the meeting are in circulation folder and when other new minutes become available they will also be circulated to councillors. The Business Steering Group had put forward a lot of ideas and some may impact on Old Buckenham. Any near misses or accidents on the B1077 should be reported to Derek Smalley by email to Adrian Joel asked when the rest of the Green is going to be cut as the existing cut areas look nice. John Frost reported that work on the tower of All Saints church will start in July. The windows that have been taken out for repair are more damaged than originally thought and the extra cost in repairs could be as high as £3,000. The stained glass windows will be put back by the winter of this year. Residents can visit the works where the repairs are being done and anyone interested in going should contact John Frost. Carol Marshall reported that the BMX track at the recreation area should be completed by the end of July. The garage sale scheduled for Sunday 21 September needs more volunteers to collect contributions.
Parish Clerk’s report. The Clerk read out an email from Kerry Talbot regarding the stolen gate and damaged fence at the play area. He would inform her of what action the Parish Council were taking in the matter. Sarah Dye is to look into possible grant stipulations.
Highways. A hedge on land at Hill Farm on Hargham Road is obscuring a crossroad sign. Footpaths at Rags Lane and Fen Street are overgrown. The little island at Manor Pond/Manor Corner is overgrown. The Parish Clerk is to speak to Highways on these matters.
The Green. Sarah Dye said the Green Right Proprietors had a recent meeting and she has sought their views on allowing parking on the Green. They would look at the recent application for the amenity site at the shop. They are carrying out a tree survey and some trees need attention. Posts outside the village shop which are rotten will be replaced. Grass cutting of Green was carried out and the grass used as animal fodder. There are no fences around any of the ponds but Rod Alley (Old Post Office Terrace) Pond, which has steep sides, has grab chains in case anyone falls in. All tree works recommended by NCC Highways have been carried out.

There is no parish council meeting in August. The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 4 September at the Village Hall commencing at 7.30pm.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Cream teas go well in Old Buckenham

Enjoyable outside eating
It is always a slight risk to be taken when holding events outside at this time of year. The weather forecast for yesterday afternoon was not very promising but the rain didn't try too hard and the sun appeared from behind the clouds for the odd moment or two.
Eileen and Brian opened their garden and, with lots of helpers, provided pots of tea, scones, cream and jam for those who came along. The aim of the event was to raise funds for the Senior Citizens Lunch to be held in February next year. A cake stall, a large raffle and some bric-a-brac items all helped to bring in the money. Those at some tables seemed keen to discuss all the village problems, others were happy to dine alone and some continued under umbrellas when it did try to rain. 
A good afternoon for all concerned.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

June meeting of Old Buckenham Women's Institute

Remembering policemen
At the June meeting of Old Buckenham WI, members were transported back to the 1960s and 1970s by the speaker Martin Wynne. Martin is a retired policeman and, as a 19 year old in 1966, was determined to become a policeman. Unfortunately he was too short for the Norfolk or Norwich police force at that time and so enlisted with Essex. His first posting after training was Stanstead, a much different place in the 1960s. Martin patrolled the streets on foot or on bicycle with no radio. The police officer cycled from one red telephone box to the next to report in to the station. His duties also included cutting lawns and hedges at the local police station. An altogether slower pace of policing to match the slower pace of life in general. Martin eventually returned to his home county of Norfolk and was stationed at Bethel Street in Norwich where he ended his career as a sergeant.
The local representative at the WI AGM in Leeds this year was Eileen Bowhill of Attleborough WI. Eileen gave a thorough report of the day's proceedings and the guest speakers - the poet Andrew Motion, the ecologist George McGovern and the TV presenter Bill Turnball. This year's national resolution on encouraging organ donation was passed with 97% in favour.
Members were reminded to contribute to the WI stall at the Village Hall Fete on Saturday 19 July, enjoy the
Progressive Supper in July and provide food for a supper at their meeting on Thursday 24 July meeting when they will be entertaining members of New Costessey WI. The talk that night will be about Octavia Hill and the National Trust. 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Old Buckenham Cricket Club shirt

Shirt that has travelled far
Julia Orege has sent the blog editor this amusing and interesting photograph. It was taken in Kisumu, Kenya. Old Buckenham Cricket Club shirts seem to get everywhere.
She says that these two men are from different tribes. The Luo is wearing the cricket club shirt and the Masaai warrior looks as if he is wishing that he was.


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Come to your local cinema in Old Buckenham

Get out for the evening
Are you planning a barbecue for Saturday evening? Well they are forecasting rain and England are not in the World Cup so you would be much safer booking tickets for Old Buckenham Village Cinema.
Showing, for one night only, is The Railwayman, starring Colin Firth for the ladies and Nicole Kidman for the gentlemen.
Reviewers have commented that the film is beautifully shot and acted and, unlike the portrayal in the trailer, the harrowing scenes are minimal.
The screening starts at 7.30pm on Saturday 5 July.
Advance tickets cost £4, they will be£6 on the door, so call 01953 860866 or email to reserve your seats.
Come on, stay dry and join everyone in the Village Hall and watch this wonderful film. You know it makes sense.