Saturday, 30 January 2016

St Martins thanks Old Buckenham

Over £30,000 raised during 2015
Today was the chance for the community of Old Buckenham  to pass over all the money they have raised in 2015 to the St Martins Housing Trust.
St Martins is based in Norwich and aims to look after the needs of homeless people in Norwich and Norfolk. For many years now the people of Old Buckenham have been raising money for the charity and during 2015 the total was the largest yet -totalling £30,241.48. The largest portion of this sum came from donations, supermarket and office collections, and a small legacy. The Old Buckenham 2000 Trust raised £1,1oo by organising a pre-Christmas visit of Father Christmas and his elves to Sainsbury's store in Attleborough while the collection at the Christmas Eve candlelit carol service in All Saints, Old Buckenham, provided a further £510.
Many of those involved in the fundraising were present in the Old Buckenham Church Rooms to enjoy some tasty refreshments and to hear Derek Player, general manager of St Martins, talk about how the money would be used and how the number of those rough sleeping in Norwich has recently shown a definite increase.
The photographer from the EDP was there to take photos of Derek Player and Maria Pratt (Bishopbridge House manager) along with Mark Standley and Elaine Penney of  Sainsbury's Attleborough store displaying the cheques that had been presented. 
An article and picture appeared on page 12 of the EDP on Monday 1 February.

Old Buckenham events in February

Diary dates for February

Monday 1    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Tuesday 2    Coffee and chat Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon

Wednesday 3    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 4    Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 6    Jumble Sale, Church Rooms, 10am to noon

Sunday 7    Wargames Club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Monday 8    Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Thursday 11    Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 11    Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.45pm

Saturday 13    Victorian Theatre evening, Village Hall, 7pm for 7.30pm

Sunday 14    Tea and cake fundraising event, Village Hall, 2pm to 4pm

Monday 15    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 17    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 25    Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 27    Senior Citizens' Party, Village Hall, 1pm for 1.30pm

Thursday, 28 January 2016

February Old Buckenham newsletter available

Ready to read the latest news?
Here is yet another issue with more details of what is going on in Old Buckenham. Pick up a copy from the village shop.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Old Buckenham runner in London marathon

Running for the air ambulance
On Sunday 24 April Old Buckenham resident Katy Walker will be running the London marathon in aid of the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA). Katy, a 
rehab therapist and Pilates instructor, is excited to be one of just two people in Norfolk chosen by the EAAA to run the 26.2 mile course, having completed the London Marathon in 2015 for the British Heart Foundation.
This is a timely point to be fundraising for EAAA as they are taking on a new helicopter for their Norwich base, which is due to take flight this month. The new helicopter will be able to fly for longer distances without re-fueling and will carry a larger medical crew with more equipment on board. Crucially it will also be able to take flight in the dark, with flash lights and sensors to avoid power lines and night vision goggles for its crew.
Katy is already fundraising and is hoping to raise enough money to cover the cost of one life-saving Air Ambulance flight. She has organised a tea and cake afternoon in aid of the EAAA on Sunday 14 February between 2pm and 4pm at Old Buckenham Village hall and everyone is welcome to come along. 

If you would like to sponsor Katy, the link to her sponsorship page is:

Friday, 22 January 2016

Brightening a winter's day in Old Buckenham

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
The first meeting of the club in the new year was very well supported. The dull day was brightened by a talk with slides by Tim Fuller from Plantsman's Preference of South Lopham.
His  knowledge of plants and soils was very useful, with members purchasing some beautiful plants that Tim had brought along with him.
The monthly competition was an arrangement 'To brighten a winter's day' and the winner of the Kitty Patrick trophy was Alison Vivien.
The Club's charity for 2015/16 is the dementia cafe in Wymondham. The money raised has been boosted by the sale of tickets to win an Easter egg, pennies in jars and the sale of flower arranging and gardening books.
The next meeting will be at 2pm on Thursday 11 February in Old Buckenham Village Hall. All are welcome to attend (visitors £4). There will be a flower arranging demonstration by Crystal Dyball with the title 'Floral Passion' and the competition will be for a modern design using tulips.
For further information contact the Club's chairman, Christine Hewson, on 01953 454528.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Luncheon Club in Old Buckenham

A thank you dinner for all the helpers
Today was a special day at the Old Buckenham Luncheon Club. It was a chance to say thank you to all those who volunteer their time and energy every fortnight throughout the year to provide the opportunity for a cooked meal for those living on their own in Old Buckenham and the surrounding villages.
There are those who come early put out the tables and chairs, to prepare vegetables, to collect the participants and drive them to the village hall, to run the raffle, to cook all the food, to serve the meals, wash up everything and then drive people home again.
Today's meal included a choice of wine or soft drinks to wash down roast beef and all the trimmings followed by home-made trifle, coffee and mints.
After the meal, Bridget Burton spoke to thank all these many helpers who do so much to make this activity possible.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Old Buckenham Parish Council in January

Much to discuss at start of the year
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.
There were six members of the public at the January Parish Council meeting. Councillors Graham Hart, Carol Marshall and Ben Devlin, along with the clerk James Watling, had sent their apologies for being unable to attend.
Public recess. A resident from Fen Street raised concerns about the lack of information provided on December’s agenda in relation to the proposed planning applications on Fen Street and Hargham Road. Residents on Fen Street were unaware of the location of the proposed development and more detail would have been welcomed. Steve Milner said that the Parish Council were already aware of the concerns of the residents on Fen Street and that the presentation had been for information only. However, comments regarding the lack of detail provided on the agenda will be taken on board. It is hoped that the new Parish Council website will provide greater opportunity to provide additional information on agenda items. A second resident raised concerns about the 10mph signs that had recently been erected on Abbey Road, in particular whether these suggested that access may be taken from Abbey Road to the new Chapel Road School (CRS) site. Steve Milner had been to see the signs and was of the view that these were unrelated to the school development and instead alerted road users to the skid risk posed by the significant amount of mud on the road. However, the Parish Council will try to ascertain who was responsible for putting the signs up. The resident was concerned about HGVs using Abbey Road during construction of the CRS. The Parish Council will monitor this, and raise it with Norfolk County Council if this becomes a problem.
Minutes of December Parish Council meeting. It was agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the meeting (5 votes in favour and 3 abstentions).
Matters arising from December minutes. Rona Boggia advised that an attempt has been made to cut the hedge on the junction of Harlingwood Lane. Steve Milner said that Gary Overland has not yet been able to visit to check this work. Several councillors said that the hedge still overhangs the fence line by a significant degree. Adrian Joel said that Playdale had been due to make repairs to the play area in December but this had not occurred. They were now due to carry out the work on Wednesday 20 January. No fencing quotes have yet been received from Graham Hart and Ben Devlin. Adrian Joel will ask the Parish Clerk to write to Playdale for a third quote for the fencing. A Working Party meeting is to be arranged to discuss the next steps. Breckland District Council will provide a grant of 50%, up to a maximum of £5000.
Grant to Primary School. Sarah Hornbrook advised that no further details have been received from the School. As and when details are provided, the item will be put back on the agenda.
Four Year Plan. Adrian Joel requested that all councillors provide a response by the next meeting, prioritising three or four items for immediate action.
Chapel Road School. Steve Milner said that a stakeholder meeting, due to be held on Thursday 14 January, had been cancelled because of ongoing issues with probate. A new meeting date is awaited. Adrian Joel requested that a public meeting is arranged, inviting Graham Bygrave, Stephen Askew and the chairman of the Childrens’ Services Committee, to discuss progress and the construction programme. Steve Milner felt it important to demonstrate the depth of feeling within the village, and suggested a petition would do this. Sarah Hornbrook queried what it is hoped to achieve in terms of highways/infrastructure improvements and suggested that a definitive ‘wish list’ is drawn up to aid discussions. Steve Milner proposed that a small group develops a short-term action plan, to include a petition. Rona Boggia suggested that an open meeting would achieve the same outcome. It was proposed and seconded that an open meeting is arranged and this was unanimously agreed. Rona Boggia further suggested that George Freeman MP is invited to this meeting.
Breckland District Council Local Plan. Adrian Joel provided an update on the progress of the Local Plan. The Preferred Directions document would be out for consultation from Monday 11 January for six weeks. Various consultation meetings are to be held, including one for Parish Councils on Monday 18 January. Adrian Joel and one other will attend. Adrian Joel further advised that the document suggests an allocation of no new homes for Old Buckenham. He suggested that the documents and plans should be made available to members of the public between 6pm and 7.30pm on Thursday 4 February prior to the Parish Council meeting scheduled for 7.30pm. The Parish Council will discuss their response to the consultation at the February meeting.
Grant Allocation working party. Steve Milner said that one member of the public has been approached (Roy Dickinson) and he is happy to be involved. Terry Cracknell, Rona Boggia and Steve Milner confirmed their willingness to serve on this working party and Terry Cracknell is to act as chairman.
Section 106 payment projects. Steve Milner advised that the village needs to have plans for recreation/play proposals thought out to benefit from section 106 money in advance of being approached by any potential developers. It was suggested that Carol Marshall be asked to look into what additional facilities the village would like.
Trade directory. Terry Cracknell has spoken with Chris DeBoos, who had produced the last version. Whilst he is unable to commit to producing an updated version, he would be happy to assist in setting it up. The costs for the previous version were approximately £1500 for printing 1800 copies. In the region of £4000 of advertising space was sold but it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract sponsors. It may be possible to produce a new version on a not-for-profit basis if it were sold for £1 a copy. Steve Milner suggested that the Parish Council approach either the Old Buckenham 2000 Trust or the Church to see if they would be prepared to take on this project.
Planning applications. The Pines, Manor Corner. Single storey rear extension. This application was supported (seven votes in favour and one abstention).
Shrublands. Adrian Joel confirmed that this application would go before Breckland’s planning committee on Monday 11 January. Steve Milner had registered to speak on behalf of the Parish Council, and Adrian Joel would also be speaking in his capacity as District Councillor. Steve Milner read out his suggested presentation which expressed the Parish Council’s concerns regarding highway safety and the lack of pedestrian/cycle access into the village. Mike Farrington supported Steve Milner’s comments in full, and confirmed that it is impossible to walk safely along the B1077 in this location. As a result, there is a lack of community in that part of the village. Sarah Hornbrook suggested that the presentation, whilst expressing the Parish Council’s opposition to the proposals, should also make suggestions for measures to be taken should the application be approved, in light of the fact that the application was being recommended for approval by Breckland’s officers. Steve Milner suggested that improvements to sustainable transport links should be requested, for instance the provision of a pedestrian/cycleway link to Fen Street.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Doe Lane. Five holiday cabins. This application had been refused despite the Parish Council’s support.
Chairman’s report. Old Buckenham has achieved its aim of taking a photograph every day of 2015 demonstrating the Best of Old Buckenham and posting these images on the internet. The achievement has been well reported in the local press and the plan is to create twelve posters displaying the images. These would be framed and mounted in the village hall. An exhibition is planned for late January/early February. A planned stakeholder meeting on Chapel Road School was cancelled due to delays in resolving John Alston’s probate but a new date is expected in January. Old Buckenham are now in the rota for the use of a community SAM (Speed Awareness Message) sign and will have the sign for the next few weeks. The first session on Cake Street showed that many cars were slowing down when their speed was displayed but over half of the cars were exceeding the speed limit of 30mph and that 10% were driving at speeds in excess of 40mph. Mike Farrington volunteered to assist with the SAM sign rota. In relation to the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group, it was agreed that Jonathan Kemp would remain as chairman, with Sarah Hornbrook as vice-chairman to act in his absence. The group would be opened up further to members of the public. A meeting of the Working Group would be arranged shortly.
District Councillor’s report. The Breckland Local Plan: Preferred Directions and Site Specific Documents will be available from Monday 11 January for a six-week consultation period ending Monday 22 February. The document will be on the Breckland Council website or a hard copy can be seen via the Parish Council Clerk (01953 880110) or District Councillor Adrian Joel (01953 860663).There will be a public consultation event on Sunday 14 January in Attleborough Town Hall between 2pm and 7pm. There will be a briefing meeting for parish councils on Monday 18 January in Dereham at 5pm and a further meeting at 6.30pm for parish councils that are producing a neighbourhood plan or considering carrying one out. Comments should be forwarded to
The Breckland Medium Term Financial Plan for the next four years is predicting a balanced budget in future years with no reliance on government funding from 2019/20. The income will come from an increase in council tax of 2% per annum, growth in new assets such as the Local Assets Backed Vehicle Breckland Bridge Development at Thetford with a new hotel, cinema and five shops, building new housing in Milham and Attleborough ‘for Sale and Rent’. Breckland will also be looking to expand their existing assets and find other forms of income streams. The budget has been out for consultation during December and goes to full council at the end of February.
Breckland Council is making a series of one-off grants available to thank the army of volunteers who give up their spare time to make the district a nicer place to live. A national campaign, called Clean for the Queen, is currently underway to encourage people to help tidy up their bit of Britain ahead of the Queen’s 90th birthday in the Spring. To encourage existing and new volunteers to get involved in tidy-up projects locally, Breckland has launched its new grant scheme to coincide with the national initiative. People from the district who give up their time to help make their town or village a little neater and tidier will be able to apply for a grant from Breckland, worth up to £200, to hold a barbecue, party, or celebration event to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. To qualify for the one-off grant funding, applicants will need to demonstrate that they have completed a litter-pick, tidy-up, weeding session or improvement work at a community area or building – such as removing graffiti. The scheme is open to all constituted community groups with a bank account, such as parish councils, sports clubs, and social groups. Successful applicants will be provided grant funding which they can use to meet the costs of entertainment, equipment hire, venue hire, decorations or food and drink at a celebration event for the volunteers and their friends, family and neighbours. Funding applications must be submitted to Breckland Council by Monday 1 February, with successful bidders due to be notified by Monday 15 February. Applicants need to carry out their community clean-up event during February and before Monday 21 March. Celebration events should be held between Thursday 21 and Sunday 24 April, the weekend of the Queen’s birthday. Full details, criteria, and applications forms can be accessed at
Parish Councillors' reports. Tom Johnson reported that the road improvements to St Andrews’ Close had still not been carried out. Adrian Joel advised that he had received email correspondence from Cotman and that work was due to start on Monday 18 January. He further suggested that the Parish Council should write to Cotman directly. Tom Johnson also raised concerns about the amount of mud on the road and flooding issues within the village and suggested that the Parish Council draw attention to the fact that ditches aren’t being dredged. The Parish Clerk to contact the relevant responsible authority.
Highways. Adrian Joel advised that a number of road markings need to be re-marked. The Parish Clerk will be asked to write to Gary Overland to request that this work is carried out in the Spring. Tom Johnson raised concerns about the fact that the verges are being eroded, causing drivers to drive in the middle of the road. Terry Cracknell queried whether a full half of the village hall car park had been resurfaced. Steve Milner confirmed that the area was slightly less than half but that funds were being raised to do the remainder. In addition to the Parish Partnership grant, a fund-raising event has been arranged for Saturday 23 April. Adrian Joel raised concerns about the mature tree positioned at the junction of Crown Road/Church Road and the B1077. This tree is obstructing visibility and there have been a number of accidents in this location as a result. Steve Milner advised that he had spoken to the Green Right Proprietors about this tree but it is unlikely to be removed as it is a good specimen. Adrian Joel hoped that the Parish Council would support any request for its removal but this support was not forthcoming
The Green. Steve Milner reported that an offer had been made by the owner of the Green (Terry Cracknell) to transfer his interest in the Green to the Parish Council. However, the ownership is disputed. After some discussion, it was agreed that the offer will be reviewed and discussed at the next Parish Council meeting. Mike Farrington expressed thanks on behalf of the Parish Council to Terry Cracknell for the generous offer.
Public recess. A resident expressed the view that the provision of a footway on Crown Road had not been discussed with residents of Crown Road and should not be included within any potential section 106 projects. In relation to the Recreation Area, a suggestion was made that the Parish Council asked a committee member of the New Buckenham Football team to join the Recreation Area Working Party. Changing facilities are likely to be required if the Recreation Area is to be used seriously by any teams and this should be prioritised as a project. Steve Milner will pass these recommendations on to Carol Marshall. The same resident also spoke about Chapel Road School and expressed the view that an open meeting could act as a kick-off for a petition. Attendance at such a meeting would be dependent on good publicity from the Parish Council. The resident felt that a ‘wish-list’ of improvements was not appropriate as the desire is to see existing problems solved. The role of the stakeholder group was queried and Steve Milner advised that this is a group set up to bring together all interested parties and that he attends as the Parish Council representative.
A second resident spoke in relation to the proposals for some development on Fen Street, discussed at December’s meeting, and asked whether any feedback had been provided by the Parish Council and whether this was in the public domain. Steve Milner confirmed that he had corresponded with the developer’s agent on a number of occasions. The resident also queried whether planning permission had been granted for Chapel Road School. Steve Milner confirmed that it had but advised that a number of changes may be required as a result of value engineering. The Parish Council has not seen details of any such amendments.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council was confirmed as Thursday 4 February. The Parish Council meeting will begin at 7.30pm but the hall will be open from 6pm to enable residents to view Breckland Council’s Preferred Directions consultation documents.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Old Buckenham schoolchildren in 1923

Can you recognise anyone?
The photo below has been sent to the blog editor and it would be nice to be able put names to some of them. If alive they would be over a hundred by now but villagers might recognise their parents or grandparents.
You can leave information using the comment facility at the end of this item or by emailing details to 

(just click on the image to enlarge it)

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Old Buckenham in the papers

Seeing ourselves in the local press
Old Buckenham (and its photographs) have been well reported over the last few days. The Eastern Daily Press used two whole pages to cover the completion of the 365 project on Thursday 7 January. A smaller version of the same article appeared in the Attleborough Mercury, also on Thursday 7 January.
The Diss Express also ran a piece on the same subject in its paper on Friday 8 January.
The Mercury also included a description of the New Year walk along with a large photograph of everyone gathering at the start.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Take care in Old Buckenham

Flooded road and speeding drivers
One of the regular spots for short term flooding is just before the 40mph sign in Cake Street. Today has been no exception.
It would help if cars and other vehicles could drive more slowly and not spray water into the neighbouring gardens and those walking home from school.
Some drivers even seem to think it's funny...

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

SAM at work in Old Buckenham

Sam helps to slow things down
Yesterday there was a new three-legged helper for our campaign to slow down the cars, vans, lorries, motorbikes  and tractors that continue to exceed the speed limits on the village roads. And you should be seeing more of him (or her?) in future.
This mobile provider of a 'Speed Awareness Message' indicates your actual speed and reminds you to slow down if you are going too fast. It was very effective in its first deployment in Cake Street with virtually all vehicles down to 30mph by the time they passed the indicator board.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

A photo a day in Old Buckenham

Total coverage during 2015
Just over a year ago, a small group of villagers with an interest in photography took up the challenge of ensuring that one picture was taken within the parish boundary of Old Buckenham on all 365 days of the year.
Now you can all see the fruits of their labours by visiting         
Members of the team have successfully taken an image every day to celebrate this lovely village.
Some rough statistics:

  • Around forty different people have provided their pictures, ranging in age from Philippa (now aged four) to at least one regular who is well into his seventies. As that number includes groups like the Rainbow Brownies, Old Buckenham Scouts and Old Buckenham Primary School, all of whom have been enthusiastic contributors, the number of people actually connected is much greater.
  • A quick count showed that the most favourite subjects to be photographed were All Saints Church (28), the Green (28), the Village Hall (16), the Scouts and Brownies (18), pictures with bikes in (16) and the Ox and Plough (15). Other popular sites included the various village ponds, Old Buckenham Airfield, the windmill and those ducks living around the village shop.
  • At the moment some of the first pictures taken in January have now been viewed over 250 times.
  • One person who was willing to step in at short notice to make sure all days were covered has contributed over forty of the images.
As a snapshot of village life in 2015 this is a most valuable document. It would have been wonderful to be able to look back on 365 village pictures taken over a year in Victorian or wartime years so hopefully the catalogue will be of interest to future generations looking back at Old Buckenham's history.
There are plans afoot to provide a permanent display of all the images and also to organise a get-together to celebrate this wonderful achievement.

You can now see an image of all the photos at

Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year's Day walk in Old Buckenham

Walking for Parkinson's UK
Linda Foulger had organised an inaugural village walk today to celebrate the start of a new year and to fund-raise for Parkinson's UK in a practical and enjoyable way.The weather dawned bright and cold with a good crowd gathering outside the Church Rooms at 10.30am.
There were over forty grown-ups, many children and plenty of dogs. Led by Sheila Freake, the group went past the windmill, along Sandy Lane, across the fields into Stacksford and then back via the Green to the starting place by All Saints Church (about four and a half miles in all). It was rather muddy underfoot in places but no one seemed to mind. It was great that many of the participants soon found themselves in conversation with other villagers that they had never met before and were introduced to footpaths that they didn't know existed.
Back at the Church Rooms there was hot soup and rolls available for all so the chatting continued for even longer. Donations were collected for Parkinson's UK and there is always a chance that a New Year's Day walk could be repeated to start off 2017.

The donations have now been added up and Parkinson's UK will benefit to the sum of £511. Well done everyone.