Saturday, 31 January 2015

Future Old Buckenham events

Diary dates for February

Sunday 1     Wargames Club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Monday 2     Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

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

Wednesday 4     Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 5     Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 6     Village Cinema, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 9     Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Thursday 12     Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

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

Monday 16     Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Monday 16     Fete planning meeting, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday 18     Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Wednesday 18     Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Friday 20     Memorial service for George Aitkin, All Saints, 12 noon

Saturday 21     Senior Citizens' New Year's Party, Village Hall, 1pm

Monday 23     Litter pick on Green, start outside High School, 12.30pm

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

Saturday 28     Jumble sale, Church Rooms, 10am to 12 noon

Thursday, 29 January 2015

February newsletter now available in Old Buckenham

Pick up a copy

Many copies now come round with the delivery of the Six Villages newsletter sometime after today. If you are not one of the lucky ones you can pick up your copy at the village shop, All Saints church, the pubs, etc.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Lost your keys in Old Buckenham?

Could these be yours?
A set of keys have been found in the area around the Ox & Plough. If you think they could be yours then please contact 01953 860876.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Trees planted by Old Buckenham Primary School

Helping our environment
On Friday 16 January, Otters Year 2 Class at Old Buckenham Community Primary School welcomed Mark Webster from the Conservation Volunteers in Norwich to plant thirty trees on the school field. The whips were all native species including hazel, wild cherry and barberry rose.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and the children were assisted by a number of parent helpers.  The new headteacher, Mrs Humphrey, came out to join in and planted her own tree helped by Ted Devlin.

The children are very proud of helping the environment and look forward to watching the trees grow as they themselves grow through the primary school. Otters Class are currently working towards the RSPB Wildlife Action Awards by undertaking many activities to help our environment. So far this term they have found out all about British birds; made their gardens at home 'bird friendly'; taken part in the RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch; made homes for minibeasts on the school field; made bird feeders and discovered more about the minibeasts living in the school pond through pond dipping.  
The children are very inspired and passionate about caring for nature and hope to inspire their families, school community and the wider world too.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

January meeting of Old Buckenham WI

Highlights of Chelsea and Hampton Court
A chilly January evening did not deter the members of Old Buckenham WI gathering for their first meeting of this momentous year – the WI will be 100 years old in September.
Winter it might be but the evening’s speaker, Simon White of Peter Beales Roses, gave a taste of summer with a power-point presentation of his experiences at the prestigious RHS shows, Chelsea and Hampton Court. Members were warmed by views of exotic show gardens and glorious displays of flowers in the main marquees. Simon explained that it takes many months of preparation to be 'show ready' and of course, a lot of investment. Constructing the stands and manning them for twelve hours for five days is exhausting for the staff. The hard work, though, has been continually rewarded as Peter Beales has a fine record at these shows attaining the highest accolade from the judges for their stands, winning gold medals time and time again.
After refreshments members were asked to vote for a Resolution that they felt was of national importance. There were seven Resolutions to choose from and the most popular ones were concerning long-term care, and curbing the use of antibiotics. Both very topical subjects.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham WI will be on Thursday 26 February with the speaker Kate Brewster with her talk ‘A Dog is for life’.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Many remembered in Old Buckenham at Easter

Easter lilies

On Easter Day each year the lives of loved ones who have died are commemorated at All Saints, Old Buckenham, and they will continue the tradition this year. Flower arrangements in the church at Easter will comprise of lilies, each in memory of departed relatives or friends.
If you would like to contribute to this event you will need to provide the details and your donation before Sunday 22 March together with the name of the person(s) to be remembered. In the event that you have not subscribed before please also advise year of birth and date of death.
It is estimated that each lily will cost in the region of £3.50, any additional monies received will go towards a lasting memorial. Last year donations given went towards the restoration of the 15th century glass windows.
If you wish to contribute please send a cheque made out to 'Old Buckenham PCC' with details of the deceased to Revd Alistair Monkhouse, Wildwood, Mill Road, Old Buckenham, Norfolk, NR17 1SG.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Next film in Old Buckenham

Enjoyable village cinema
There have been requests for a British comedy with a feel good factor. Therefore you will be pleased to hear that Old Buckenham Village Hall Cinema will be showing What we did on our holiday on Friday 6 February at 7.30pm. this is a film created by Andy Hamilton (comedian and writer of the TV programme ‘Outnumbered’. You can watch a trailer at
It stars David Tennant, Rosamund Pike, Billy Connelly, Ben Miller, Celia Imrie, Annette Crosbie along with three smart, cute kids.
Tickets will cost £4 in advance or £6 on the door. To book call 01953 860866 or email

Friday, 16 January 2015

What Old Buckenham is talking about

Public recess notes
This report on the subjects discussed during the recess session at the January Parish Council meeting have been written by the newsletter editor from notes supplied by the parish clerk.
A resident asked for road side markers outside his house as his verge is getting damaged. The Parish Clerk is to speak to highways on matter. A resident raised the matter of parking at the Village Hall where a notice had been issued stating he would be reported to the police. Steve Milner responded on behalf of Village Hall as this was not really a matter for the Parish Council. The resident said the problem of parking at village hall had not been resolved but just moved to the highway. Things had changed as in the past residents could use the car park to drop off their children at school with no restrictions since the late 1970s. Steve Milner explained the previous attempts to resolve the problem of the car park which were not successful. Adrian Joel suggested asking NCC for permission to use part of the playing field at the bottom of the school for parking and residents could raise a petition in support of this. Steve Milner responded and said NCC would never allow this. Another resident asked if Old Buckenham residents had to pay for a parking permit. Steve Milner responded that they, along with non- residents, have to pay. Steve Milner said that most residents were happy with present arrangements regarding permits and the Village Hall was trying to increase the number of parking spaces available.

A resident raised the point of the Special Meeting held the previous Saturday and residents are not sure whether Old Buckenham should or should not have a Neighbourhood Plan. It was also suggested that Jonathan Kemp take over as chairman of the Working Party dealing with the matter. A resident said that he was disappointed that the Special Meeting of the Parish Council on Monday 5 January was attended by only two Parish Councillors and three members of the public. Steve Milner responded that a lot of the Parish Councillors had been ill.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Old Buckenham learns about the Cheapside Hoard

Breckland Flower and Garden Club

The first meeting of 2015 welcomed Ann Bridge who gave a presentation about the Cheapside Hoard. In 1912 workman excavated into a cellar in Cheapside and found a wooden trunk which contained a hoard of approximately 400 pieces of jewellery, gemstones and trinkets dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. Although some of the crafted pieces could be fairly accurately dated and the maker’s name worked out, the origins of the remainder remain a mystery. Some of the find is exhibited in both the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert museums. Ann also illustrated her talk with two arrangements depicting the Fire of London with red roses and anthuriums.
In the monthly competitions the results were: Old Hands class was won by Christine Hewson, New Hands class and monthly cup by Maureen Ashfield, and the table show was won by Alison Vivian.
The next meeting will be held at Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 12 February starting at 2pm when there will be a workshop. Participants should bring with them a table cover and scissors, a small shallow dish, some moss to cover the dish, a bunch of tulips (red for valentines day?), about a dozen medium ivy leaves and a few twigs, and a small piece of oasis. Visitors are welcome but there will be a charge of £5 (club members free).The competition title is 'Cupid's arrow' and the table show 'First bulbs', either cut or planted but from your garden.
Further details from Christine on 01953 454528 or Sally on 01953 788712.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Latest minutes of Old Buckenham parish council meeting

January parish council meeting
These notes have been written by the blog editor  from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is changed at a later date.
Several parish councillors were unable to attend the monthly meeting on Thursday 8 January. Apologies had been received from John Frost, Tim Ing, Derek Smalley, Sarah Dye and Akis Chrisoviledes. Stephen Askew (Norfolk County Council councillor) was at the meeting as well as five members of the public. Paul Boggia declared an interest in one planning application.
The meeting was closed for a short recess to allow members of the public to speak.
Minutes of December Parish Council meeting. These were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Adrian Joel asked if there was any update on Chapel Road School. Steve Milner said there was no update but the school have offered a tour of their premises with five councillors able to attend.
Issues and options document for a local plan. Steve Milner explained that the local plan is being produced by Breckland Council and in the plan there are ninety questions. He then asked for councillors’ views on the document he had drafted answering questions which were relevant to Old Buckenham. After a full discussion and some amendments it was proposed by Tom Johnson that the document be adopted as Parish Council’s response to Breckland Council’s Local Plan Issues and Options Consultation Document, this was seconded by Paul Boggia and agreed with 5 for and 1 abstention.
Neighbourhood Plan. Steve Milner said that at a recent Annual Parish Meeting residents expressed the view that there was no need for a Neighbourhood Plan for Old Buckenham but perhaps now it was time to look at the matter again. He said that three important questions needed to be answered. At a recent meeting he believed there was no great enthusiasm for a Neighbourhood Plan but investigations should be carried out as to the cost of producing one, the time scale it would take to complete, who would have to be involved and the need to look at the cost benefit of such a plan. At the Annual Parish Meeting these facts could be put to residents and their views sought before a final decision is made after the local elections in May. Adrian Joel said Breckland representatives could attend meetings with residents and the Parish Council. He felt that the Parish Council should provide funds for preliminary meetings. Steve Milner proposed setting up a working party with Jonathan Kemp as Chairman to develop a presentation for the Annual Parish Meeting in March to obtain residents' views. This was agreed unanimously. Tom Johnson thanked Mike Bartlett for arranging for the recent meeting.
Flashing speed signs. Steve Milner proposed that the Parish Council obtain two 20mph flashing speed signs at a cost of £3,147.52 and this was agreed unanimously. The Parish Clerk is to arrange. Steve Milner also proposed that the Parish Council submit a bid under the 50/50 Partnership Scheme of 2015/16 for a SAM2 speed sign, this too was agreed unanimously.
Village Hall car park. Steve Milner reported it is an ongoing situation and further options are being investigated for additional parking spaces.
Scotties Little Heroes. It was agreed that £250 be donated to a charity of Mr Hicks choice in lieu of any payment made to him for all his work on maintaining the Play Area.
Planning applications. Waterworks House, Abbey Road. Extensions and associated alterations. There were no objections from the parish council.

Land at corner of Crown Road and Grove Road. Erection of two timber-clad holiday cabins for bed and breakfast. The Parish Clerk is to get an extension of time for comments to be made.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Barns adjacent to Amberly, The Green. Minor material amendment in respect of amended scheme. Permission granted.
Old Buckenham Airfield. Insertion of new caretaker’s flat into existing vacant office/workshop space. Permission granted.
Whitehands Farm, Stacksford. Conversion of barn for holiday accommodation. Permission granted.
Chairman’s report. Steve Milner said there was a planned meeting with Chapel Road School. The Community Initiative 365 project has started with a team of residents taking one picture a day in the village throughout 2015. Any residents wishing to join the scheme should contact him. He had attended a meeting with the Junior School on road safety. One idea was a poster scheme and the children would have the opportunity to design a poster. A seminar will be held on the Old Buckenham Facebook page to inform residents how best to use Facebook.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel reported on policy changes from November 2014 regarding affordable homes and contributions towards recreation facilities for new properties. Affordable homes are now only applicable on ten or more houses. There has been a change to black bin recycling with gift wrapping paper (excluding sticky tape) and greeting cards now allowed. Breckland have now agreed to move forward with their development growth programme and set up a ‘Local Asset Back Vehicle’. Breckland will partner with a private investor where Breckland will supply their land and the partner will provide cash investment and initially three projects will be delivered – a hotel/cinema complex in Thetford Riverside and two house building projects. The Breckland 2015/16 central government grant funding has been confirmed as being 15.1% lower than 2014/15 with Breckland set to receive £6.38m to support local services, down from £7.52m in 2014/15. Despite this Breckland has reiterated its pledge to protect local services and freeze the council tax.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Carol Marshall said application details for Almshouse tenancies are available in the village shop. Three of the almshouses will be available from May 2015 onwards. Adrian Joel asked if the Parish Clerk could write to resident regarding his hedge which is causing an obstruction. The Village Hall will be having film shows on Friday 6 February and Friday 20th March.
Highways. Tom Johnson said that water gathers at the junction of Grove Road and Mill Road and in cold temperatures it turns to ice. He feels the gulley in Mill Road may be blocked. The Parish Clerk to speak to Highways. A letter has been received from a resident regarding school buses in Old Buckenham, the Parish Clerk to contact the County Council on this matter.
The Green. The Parish Clerk read out an email from the NCC Highways Engineer on items that had been reported but were actually responsibility of the Green Right Proprietors. The Parish Clerk said that he would forward this email to the Green Right Proprietors. Estimates for resurfacing the car parking by the play area outside the Ox and Plough are being obtained. Adrian Joel asked when the AGM of the Green Right Proprietors was being held.

The next meeting of the Old Buckenham Parish Council will be held on Thursday 5 February in the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Daily pictures of Old Buckenham

Why not join our project?
The project to take a photo on every day of 2015 and to post it on a dedicated website is now underway. You can see the pictures taken so far if you go to
Even better, if you would like to to help by taking pictures yourself, please contact either Steve Milner on or the blog editor on
There are twenty people on the rota so far so it's not a huge commitment, not more than eight days in the whole of the year. The photo does have to be taken and downloaded on your designated day. You don't have to live in Old Buckenham, perhaps you work here or regularly come to meetings in the village. And you don't have to have an expensive camera either.
Although it has to be taken within the parish of Old Buckenham, that does give you plenty of options.
The blog editor had his first turn today, took a quick walk around the Green and the allotments and below are some of the images he didn't use (but might give you some ideas of what you could take in future).

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Christmas Eve in Old Buckenham

Candlelit service raised money for the homeless

A large congregation gathered on Christmas Eve in All Saints Church, Old Buckenham for the popular annual service of Lessons and Carols .
The soloist for the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City was year 7 student from the High School, Dylan Irving. The readings were given by representatives of the Old Buckenham 2000 Trust, the High School, the Methodist Chapel, the Village Hall Management Committee and the New Life Church. The Christmas message was delivered by Rev Alistair Monkhouse and the organists were Sarah Dye and Annette Ellis - Annette's tuba was also much appreciated. Other contributions to the service were from the Primary School, the Scout Group and Steve Bennett who sang the gospel-influenced song “People Get Ready”. A collection of £545 was taken at the service for the work of St Martin’s Housing Trust (Norwich Night Shelter).

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Discussing a Neighbourhood Plan for Old Buckenham

Neighbourhood Plan for Old Buckenham, yes or no ?
Over forty people gathered in Old Buckenham Village Hall this morning to discuss the pros and cons of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the village. The meeting was chaired by Mike Bartlett who introduced the four speakers.
First was Tim Bornett who went through why he felt Old Buckenham should embark on Neighbourhood Plan. He was followed by Sarah Hornbrook, a planning consultant  living in the village, who was able to explain the procedures that had to be gone through and the legal status of such a plan. Our District Councillor Adrian Joel talked about other nearby places that were in the process of producing such a plan. Then the chairman of Old Buckenham Parish Council, Steve Milner, gave the council's view on the value of the scheme to the village and the work involved in producing such a document.
There were a wide range of questions from the audience including whether the plan could be as simple or complicated as we liked, what difference it might make to local planning decisions and how much it might cost to produce and get approved as a legal document.
The general feeling of the meeting seemed to be that they were neither for or against, that more information was needed and that it would be helpful to have someone from Breckland Council Planning Department to attend any future meetings. 
 A break for tea/coffee, with the opportunity for further questions directed to individual speakers, gave many people the chance to have informal discussions both with the speakers and other members of the audience.
This meeting was on a subject that could greatly affect what goes on in the village many years into the future. Rather surprisingly there didn't seem to be anyone in the audience under the age of forty, in fact the great majority would be holders of bus passes or free tv licences...

Friday, 2 January 2015

A year's pictures of Old Buckenham

Only 364 to go
Yesterday not only marked the start of 2015 but also the start of a project to document a year in the life of Old Buckenham through photography. So far twenty residents have signed up to take a photograph on their allocated days. The photographers range from the young to the not so young.
Yesterday, Thursday 1 January, some of this group of photographers gathered at All Saints church to give the project a start and to take pictures of the newly restored tower.

It was a challenging session due to the weather but some interesting images were taken as they explored around the churchyard.

Following a review in the warmth of the nearby Ox & Plough, the group chose Alison Hannah’s image to be loaded as the first image of 2015.
If you want to follow the team's efforts you can see the photographs using the following address
Even better, if you would like to to help by taking pictures, please contact either Steve Milner on or the blog editor on  

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year wishes from Old Buckenham

Favourite images of 2014
As we start a new year the blog editor has picked out some of his favourite images of Old Buckenham, all taken within the parish over the last twelve months.
They may bring back memories of 2014 but what will we see in 2015?
Remember you can click on the individual images to see them at a larger size.

 Reflections in Rod Alley pond
 Removing medieval windows for repair
 Cuddly ducklings by the village shop
 Reminders of previous successes
 Our own water tower
 Must be a 'two wheel' Tuesday
 Riding high at the primary school fete
Restoring the tower of All Saints church