Saturday, 28 February 2015

Old Buckenham activities in March

Diary dates for March

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

Monday 2    Roadside textile collections from 9am

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

Wednesday 4    Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 5    Parish Council, 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

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

Wednesday 18    Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Wednesday 18    Annual Parish Meeting, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 20    Village Cinema, 'Mr Turner', Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 23    Fete planning meeting, Village Hall, 7.30pm

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

Friday 27    Cash Bingo, Village Hall, 8pm

Friday, 27 February 2015

Pupils meet to discuss new school in Old Buckenham

Chance for school children to see future plans
The blog editor was a guest at a meeting today when pupils from the existing Chapel Road School in Attleborough travelled to Old Buckenham to meet up with representatives of fellow pupils from the Old Buckenham Primary and High Schools.
There was a chance to see a scale model of the new school buildings, have the facilities described and to discuss ways in which the three schools can co-operate over the next year or so as construction gets underway. All three headteachers were there to encourage the children to get together and pool ideas for events where the schools can join together during various parts of the project. The architect also came along to answer any queries on the building plans.
The intention is that, when it moves, the new school will be known as Chapel Green School and they already have a logo incorporating various images connected with Old Buckenham.

The village hall is bottom left, the existing Abbey Road runs across at bottom right and vehicle access to the new school will be at the top left of the model.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Old Buckenham village newsletter, March issue

More local news
The copies have been taken around today to various places and to various distributors who will be putting them through letter boxes along with the Six Villages newsletter. Enjoy the read.

(Apologies from the blog editor for the lack of new posts over the last few days. He has been struck down by the Old Buckenham bug that has been passing around amongst some villagers leaving them rather the worse for wear. Hopefully things will now improve.)

Friday, 20 February 2015

Celebration service in Old Buckenham

Remembering George
There were many cars parked around outside All Saints church in Old Buckenham this lunchtime. By noon the church was full of people who had come from far and wide to join in with a service of celebration for the life of George Aitken. George had lived in Old Buckenham for nearly sixty years and, being the local vet, was known to many people all around the area.
Over 150 people were in the church to sing hymns and hear from family and friends before moving on to the Church Rooms for refreshments.  This also provided the chance to swap more stories about his eventful life.

The Aitken family would like to thank everybody who came to George’s memorial service and made it such a special day. George would have loved it. They are most grateful too for all those who helped with the service and the catering in the Church Rooms afterwards.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Digging for history in Old Buckenham

Will anything be uncovered?
The archaeological dig prior to the building of a new school in Old Buckenham is now in full swing. A large area in the field next to Old Buckenham Village Hall has been uncovered and is being searched for any hidden history.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Neighbourhood plan for Old Buckenham?

To plan or not plan, that is the question
Old Buckenham Parish Council is inviting all parishioners to join them at the Annual Parish meeting on Wednesday 18 March at 7.30pm at the Village Hall for a presentation on neighbourhood plans. There will be a presentation of research to date followed by discussion and debate to get views on whether to create a neighbourhood plan for Old Buckenham.
Neighbourhood planning is a new system which is intended to give local communities more say in the planning and development of their areas. Neighbourhood planning is voluntary, so a neighbourhood plan will only be made for a given area if a local council (parish or town) or local group takes the initiative to prepare one.
There are a number of possible advantages, including the ability to write specific policies about the issues that matter to residents. There are also financial advantages for the parish council who can secure larger payments from developers if new houses are built in the village. Subjects that can be covered include housing, employment, shopping, transport, leisure, well being and environment.
Likely stages in preparing a neighbourhood plan would be:
1. Establish a working group to create ideas and suggestions. The group should represent local interested parties and individuals.
2. Appointment of planning consultants (optional but may be necessary)
3. Application for grant and other funding.
4. Publicity, including leaflets delivered to homes and business premises, information on social media, public meetings and exhibitions asking for the views of local people.
5. Collation of feedback from publicity and working groups.
6. Production of a draft plan.
7. Draft plan must be publicised and sent to local planning authority. Other consultees need to be informed - English Heritage, Highways, etc.
8. After the consultation period, the plan is submitted to the local planning authority and must include a map of the area, a consultation statement, the proposed neighbourhood plan and a statement explaining how the plan complies with the town and country planning act 1990.
9. Examination is arranged by the local planning authority, to be completed by an independent examiner.
10. Examiner reports to the local planning authority with recommendations.
11. Once the plan is finalised the local planning authority must organise a referendum in which all local government electors for the plan are entitled to vote.
If you have any comments or thoughts on the relevance of a neighbourhood plan to our village of Old Buckenham please contact Old Buckenham Parish Council at or write to the Parish Clerk, R J M Watling, at 29 Field Maple Road, Watton, Thetford, IP25 6GA.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Collecting textiles in Old Buckenham

Textiles for Third World countries
The local collections of textiles for the Third World have been in decline recently and it is hoped this can be redressed in the future, commencing with the roadside collection in Old Buckenham on Monday 2 March. Parishioners are reminded that one hundred per cent of the money received from landfill payments in respect of the weight collected is ploughed back into village organisations.
All forms of textiles sought, ie ladies’ and gents’ coats, jackets, cardigans, shirts, trousers, blouses, skirts and dresses, sweaters, underwear, socks, dressing gowns, swimwear and other sports clothing, nightwear, towels, all forms of curtains, pairs of shoes, hats, gloves, scarves, pillows and slips, sheets, quilts and covers, blankets, in fact all textiles apart from carpets. Please keep any donations of toys separate. Remember there is a toy bank at the Old Buckenham Village Hall car park.
All you need to do is put your contributions, suitably bagged, at the roadside outside your property for 9am on Monday 2 March.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

February meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council

Notes on latest parish council meeting
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.

All the parish councillors and two members of the public were present at the February meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council. Paul Boggia declared an interest in one planning application. The meeting was suspended for a short while to allow members of the public to speak.
Minutes of January Parish Council meeting. Adrian Joel had said that £1,000 of Parish Council funds would be ring fenced for set up costs for a Neighbourhood Plan. With this amendment the minutes were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Carol Marshall said that Mr Hicks had authorised payment of £250 to Scotty’s Little Heroes in lieu of his payment for maintaining the Play Area over the past year. Tim Ing asked for a letter to be sent to Mr Hicks thanking him for his work as he would no longer be able to do it in the future. Adrian Joel raised the matter of the MOGA at the new school when he suggested it be moved from right side of development to the left side away from nearby houses. Steve Milner said the County Council would not move the MOGA. John Frost and Paul Boggia raised the matter of school coaches causing problems in village when delivering and collecting children from school. The Parish Clerk to write to Norfolk County Council (NCC) on the matter.
Chapel Road School update. Steve Milner said there was a stakeholder meeting the previous week and it was reported that contracts had not yet been finalised but construction was planned to commence in March this year. The existing 30mph speed signs were due to be moved shortly. A tour of the school had been arranged for Monday 23 February and five people could attend. Chapel Road School would donate £1,000 for road safety issues. Adrian Joel said the Parish Council should be kept informed of any changes to the design of the school. Construction of the school is expected to be completed in May or June 2016 ready for use in the Autumn term. Derek Smalley suggested a liaison person from the village should be appointed and attend any meeting between contractors and NCC whenever any design changes are discussed. Steve Milner said it was already agreed by NCC that such a person could be appointed when a contractor is appointed.
Neighbourhood Plan update. Jonathan Kemp said two working party meetings had been held since the January parish council meeting and he gave details of what was discussed They will be doing a presentation at the Annual Parish Meeting and needed up to £122 to produce a leaflet publicising this before the Annual Parish Meeting by having inserts in the parish newsletter and the cost of printing the leaflets. It was proposed by Tim Ing and seconded by Steve Milner that they spend £122 on the matter and this was agreed by nine for, one against and one abstention.
Road safety update. Steve Milner reported that the Parish Council had placed the order for 20mph flashing speed signs which will be installed in approximately six weeks time. They will be positioned so that, if in the future a possible crossing point can be obtained, it can be placed within the two signs. Derek Smalley asked if the schools could be encouraged to give a donation. The Parish Council had submitted a bid for a SAM2 flashing speed sign under the 2015/16 Parish Partnership Scheme and are awaiting a decision from NCC on the matter.
Car Parking at Play Area and Ox & Plough. Paul Boggia said he had obtained three quotes for repairing the parking area by the play area and the Ox & Plough. One was for £3200 plus vat, one was £2,590 with no vat and the third was £3,540 plus vat. Steve Milner said that all three surfaces are different from that which was originally agreed with the Green Right Proprietors which was for a grass surface area. He thought none of the three surfaces quoted for would be acceptable to the Green Right Proprietors. He also said the Parish Council do not have funds to pay for any of the above quotes. He said the current state of the parking area was not safe as there was a raised BT manhole cover which could result in someone tripping over it. He then proposed that all ropes, signs, posts and the damaged matting be removed and to close it as a parking area as the Parish Council has a legal liability for the area. Other councillors agreed to assist in doing what was proposed. Tim Ing suggested that the matter be discussed at the AGM of the Green Right Proprietors later this month and seek their views on the situation.
Adoption of Transparency Code policy document. The Parish Clerk said the Parish Council were legally obliged to have such a policy and asked for their approval. It was agreed unanimously that the policy document be adopted.
Planning applications. Land at corner of Crown Rd/Grove Road. Erection of two timber-clad holiday cabins and bed and breakfast for horses. It was proposed by Derek Smalley that it be approved but that a business plan should be required and restraints put on letting periods to ensure no long term rental and that actual layout and cabins may differ from original application. This was agreed with four for, three against and four abstentions.
Roughlands, Grove Road. Minor material amendment to previous application in respect of removal of the first floor loft element and revision of footprint. There were no objections from the parish council.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Burghfields, Stacksford. Demolish rear porch and conservatory and erect first floor extension over whole dwelling and remodel. Permission granted.
Orchard House, Mill Road. Erection of two-storey residential extension. Permission granted.
Approval of accounts payable. Akis Chrisoviledes asked questions relating to the payments to HMRC. The Parish Clerk explained that the payroll company had made RTI to HMRC but, due to administrative and personnel issues, the tax had not been remitted. Now all outstanding tax had been paid and reclaimed from Douglas Tonks.
Chairman’s report. Steve Milner said he had a meeting with stakeholders about Chapel Road school and he had also visited the Junior School to meet new headteacher who seemed very impressive. They would be getting children to design road safety posters and the four winning ones chosen at Easter will be printed and displayed on the Green.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel reported the successful launch of the 14 new affordable houses in March Field Way last year. Cotman Housing have had a meeting with Breckland Council looking to launch phase three of up to a further 18 houses. Breckland need to establish the need under the local connection scheme and are to send out a housing needs survey to all residents in the middle of May to establish the need for further houses under the local connection scheme. Adrian Joel also attended the Breckland Parish and Town Forum in Swaffham and the areas covered at the meeting included corporate plan, budget consultation and community grant funding. He also attended a meeting of the proposed Greater Attleborough Development Partnership (GADP). The meeting was called by the deputy CEO of Breckland Council and included Breckland Council, Norfolk County Council, Attleborough Town Council Neighbourhood Plan and other stakeholders. The intention is to appoint an independent chairman who will select a board with several working groups reporting into it. With Attleborough being the nearest market town, Adrian Joel felt it was important that Old Buckenham Parish Council have representation to ensure we have the best services available to Old Buckenham residents. These would include transport, health, retail, roads. The GADP is about co-ordination of investment and the delivery of aspirations rather than a new plan.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Tom Johnson said he had attended a meeting with Old Buckenham Village Hall and there would be a film show there the following evening. Paul Boggia reported school coaches causing a problem in the village and the Parish Clerk is to take the matter up with NCC. Adrian Joel said all the allotments were now let and a tenant had asked if he could erect a white polytunnel on his allotment – the Parish Council agreed this. Carol Marshall reported that the work on the Almshouses will start at the beginning of March and hopefully finish before the end of April. The work on the Almshouses will include refurbishing roofs, replacing windows, fitting new kitchens and the installation of wet rooms.
Highways. Tom Johnson reported a three-car accident in Ragmere Road due to ice on the road from water coming up from the mains. The Parish Clerk is to contact Anglian Water on the matter. Derek Smalley reported that the 30mph sign in Cake Street is still on the ground, the Parish Clerk to take up the matter with Highways. The sides of the road into Stacksford, at the Old Buckenham end, have started to collapse and the Parish Clerk will inform NCC.
The Green. The Green Right Proprietors will be holding their AGM on Tuesday 24 February at the Church Rooms. It was reported that the duck house on the pond should be reinstated and a villager could possibly pay the costs. A resident in Post Office Terrace had complained about the potholes and Sarah Dye said that the residents are allowed to fill them in themselves. Tim Ing suggested that the Green Right Proprietors apply to the Former Surveyors Land Charity for a grant to clear out the pond and trim back a tree. It was reported that the High School will be carrying out a litter pick on the Green on Monday 23 February.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 5 March at the Village Hall commencing at 7.30pm.

The agenda for this meeting will be1. Apologies
2. Declaration of interest of items on the agenda
3. Public recess
4. Minutes of the parish council meeting of Thursday 5 February 2015
5. Matters arising from the minutes
6. Neighbourhood plan update
7. Planning applications. 3pl/2015/0118/f Rodwells, Attleborough Road. Demolish existing garage and replace with single side storey extension. 3pl/2015/0096/f Old Buckenham airbase. New museum and separate sanitary block each housed in separate Nissen huts. 3pl/2015/0080/f Former Macro's builders yard, Hargham Road. Demolish one outbuilding and change of use of three outbuildings to storage of motor vehicles.
8. Planning decisions received
9. Approval of accounts payable/finance
10. Chairman’s report
11. District councillor’s report
12. Parish councillors’ reports
13. Parish clerk’s report
14. Highways
15. The Green
16. To confirm date and time of next meeting, Thursday 2 April in Old Buckenham Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Winning Old Buckenham photo

Celebrating January's photographs
As announced on the blog post of Monday 2 February, the team of photographers taking part in the 365 project gathered in the Ox & Plough pub at lunchtime yesterday to review their progress so far. An added attraction was that a small prize was awarded to those who, in the judges' opinion, had produced the best photographs.

The runners-up were those taken by David Hannah on 30 January and Verity Morrison (age 6) on 28 January. The runaway winner was the picture taken by three-year old Phillipa Clarke of Highland cattle as seen from a child's point of view. 

One thing missing from the first month's contributions were many pictures of villagers. Perhaps in February they will come out of their warm houses and show that there are people living in Old Buckenham. And the grown-ups need to try harder as the children are doing better so far.
To look at all the photographs taken so far go to

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Bishop of Norwich visits Old Buckenham

Handing over money raised for St Martin's Housing Trust
You could tell that something important was happening in the Church Rooms today by the number of photographers taking pictures of the group outside the door.

Every year the people of Old Buckenham raise money for the St Martin's Housing Trust, known to many as the Norwich Night Shelter. Many of the volunteer collectors had gathered in the Church Rooms to hand over cheques to the representative from St Martin's. The surprise this year was that the person handing over the main cheque was the Rt Rev Graham James, the bishop of Norwich. He had done his own piece of collecting by doing an hour-long session with a collecting bucket before Christmas while standing outside a big local supermarket. He therefore welcomed the opportunity to hand over a cheque for £27,749.43 to Colin Bland (chairman of the Trustees) which was followed by further cheques for £1,000 from the Old Buckenham 2000 Trust and £543 from the collection made at the Christmas Eve carol service in All Saints Church.

Raising a total of over £29,292 was a tremendous achievement for one small Norfolk village.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Possible new buildings at Old Buckenham Airfield

Application for planning permission 
Old Buckenham Airfield has confirmed that a planning application has been made to Breckland Council for two new buildings at the former WWII USAAF base. Both buildings are to be bespoke-built to the plans of original WWII Nissen huts.
The first is intended to house a sizeable collection of memorabilia and artefacts relating to the 453rd Bombardment Group of the US 8th Air Force. Whilst this collection is the core of the museum’s exhibits, the Airfield already have other items generously donated by relatives and veterans from the US. The 453rd BG were stationed at Old Buckenham from 1943 until the end of WWII. This building would be located adjacent to the War Memorial Garden at the Airfield.
The second building would also be a Nissen hut. It is intended to provide sufficient sanitation facilities for the large shows, such as the Old Buckenham Airshow and the Military and Vintage Revival, which are held at the airfield. It would be placed to the north of the airfield’s large parking field. Both buildings will be entirely funded by the airfield ownership. It is hoped that, if permission is granted, both buildings will be erected during this summer, with the new museum building potentially opening on Remembrance Sunday  when a large contingent of veterans and relatives of the 453rd are expected to celebrate 70 years since the end of WWII.
Further details about the collection to be housed at the museum will be given later.

This image, taken during WWII, shows similar buildings to the ones proposed at the airfield.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Old Buckenham in pictures

A month's worth of photographs
The project to take a photo in Old Buckenham on every day of 2015 and to post it on a dedicated website is now into its second month. You can see the pictures taken so far if you go to
At the end of the first month there have been some great photographs taken by people from the age of three up to those at least well into their seventies. As a celebration of progress so far there will be a get together at the Ox and Plough on Saturday 7 February with a presentation of the 'Image of January'  at 1.30pm.
In addition, the get together will provide a chance to review January's activities and to talk about ideas for the future. It is hoped to get the images on to the big screen in the pub and Steve Milner aims to get the winning photo printed and mounted. Another planned activity (for the younger photographers?) is to get small prints of all the images, cut them up and make them into a collage of the letter "O". After twelve months there should be all the letters to make up OLD BUCKENHAM.