Friday, 30 December 2016

Starting the year in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for January

Sunday 1   New Year Day walk, from Church Rooms at 10.30am

Tuesday 3   Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards

Thursday 5   Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 9   Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Wednesday 11   Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 12   Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 12   Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm for 7.45pm

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

Thursday 19   OB Players pantomime 'Aladdin', Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 20   OB Players pantomime 'Aladdin', Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 20   Visits from mobile library during morning

Saturday 21   OB Players pantomime 'Aladdin', Village Hall, 2.30pm

Saturday 21  OB Players pantomime 'Aladdin', Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 23   Planning meeting for 2017 village fete, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday 25   Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

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

Saturday 28   Senior Citizens' Party, Village Hall, 1pm

Saturday 28   Film 'Absolutely Fabulous', Village Hall, 7.30pm

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Start 2017 on the Old Buckenham walk

Walk into 2017
On the 2016 walk there were even daffodils out on 1 January
The New Year's Day walk will again take place on Sunday 1 January 2017. It will start at 10.30am from the Church Rooms and and will be approximately three miles long. It is being held in aid of Parkinson's UK and soup and rolls will be served in the Church Rooms after the walk. Please register your interest to take part in the walk at Old Buckenham shop or by email at
Everyone is welcome to come along and also bring their well behaved pets.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Latest Old Buckenham newsletter

First issue in 2017
Copies have now been taken around to our volunteer deliverers and placed around in the various village pick-up points. Time for a little read.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Decorations in Old Buckenham church

After the candlelit carol service
Lots of effort had gone in to decorating the inside of All Saints church, Old Buckenham, prior to the candlelit carol service on Christmas Eve. Why not take the opportunity to look inside the church now that all the candles have long been extinguished?

Friday, 23 December 2016

Progress on Old Buckenham school site

Chapel Green School activities
Here is an update on where the school site has got to prior to the Christmas holiday period. Progress along the new access road has been very good. All drainage has been installed, kerbs have been laid and they are now trimming up to the final levels in preparation for the tarmac finish in the start of the new year. 
The main site has seen lots of activity with various machines working across the area removing and stockpiling topsoil to the south of the site. Following on from this they have excavated down to the required reduced level within the car park area and also stockpiled the raised material to the south.
This has created a level area where the main building will be constructed, allowing preparation of the ground ready for the start of construction. Drainage installation has also continued through from the access road and into the main site area.
An entrance hoarding has been erected along the B1077 main road. This will shortly be populated with various signage to help keep everyone informed about the project’s progress.
With the Christmas holiday period shortly coming up the builders, Morgan Sindall, would like to remind all parents to advise children of the dangers of building sites and that the area must not be entered. As well the builders will be doing everything they can to eliminate any risks within their area as a matter of course.
For information, site will be closed from end of play on Friday 23 December and re-opening on Tuesday 3 January. There will be a contact number displayed at the main entrance for any out of hours queries over the holiday period.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Old Buckenham Parish Council

December's discussions
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.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 1 December and all councillors were present along with the parish clerk and eight members of the public. Apologies had been received from Jonathan Kemp who would be arriving late because of public transport issues.
Minutes of the Council meetings held in October and November 2016. These were agreed as true and accurate records of the meetings.
Public participation relating to agenda items. Two members of the public were present because they had submitted a planning application to Breckland Council to build a two-storey extension at 5 Hargham Road. One member of the public had come to object to the planning application for 5 Hargham Road because he lived in the neighbouring property and believed that the extension would lead to a loss of light to his property.
A resident expressed concern about the entrance to the new school site. Sarah Hornbrook said that the current entrance is likely to be temporary and erected for health and safety reasons on the site. There appear to be no viewing points so that residents can see how work is progressing on the site. Steve Milner noted that the public footpath adjacent to the new school site appeared to be inaccessible. It was thought perhaps that this might be temporary until the new roadway was constructed and Steve Milner will take a further look and let the Clerk know if she needs to contact the Footpath Officer about this.
The Clerk was given the name and address of the person who had attended to the milestone so that she could write a letter of thanks on behalf of the Parish Council.
A member of the public expressed the thanks of the residents for the time spent on village matters by the members of the Parish Council who are all volunteers.
Planning applications. 9 Old Yard, Hargham Road. For reserved matters following outline permission in relation to issues of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale. The Council supported this application with 9 votes in favour and 1 abstention.
5 Hargham Road. Erection of two storey extension. Sarah Hornbrook said that the building had been designed in such a way as to lead to no loss of light to the neighbouring property. The Council supported this application with 9 votes in favour and 1 abstention.
Doe Lane. Change of use of an agricultural building to a dwelling, permitted development under current planning legislation. Ben Devlin gave information on his application then left the meeting during the Council’s deliberations. The Council supported this application with 8 votes in favour and 1 abstention. (Ben Devlin returned to the meeting.)
Planning permission received from Breckland. Breckland Council has given planning permission for the demolition of a grain store and the erection of two barn-style dwellings with detached double garages for the site at Shrublands, Attleborough Road.
Financial matters. A financial report was given by the Clerk which explained the VAT aspects of the Parish Partnership’s Grant from NCC. The Council resolved to give retrospective permission to pay the invoice from MW Surfacing Ltd for the Village Hall Car Park using the Parish Partnership’s Grant received by the Parish Council from NCC for this purpose. The Council also resolved unanimously to close the Santander Bank account and add the proceeds to the Barclays Bank account and to continue to ring fence the money as part of the reserve for recreation.
Chairman’s report. The Chairman thanked the councillors for all their hard work for the village in the last year.
District Councillor’s report. The next Parish and Town Forum was being held at Dereham on Thursday 8 December 2016 at 6pm. No councillor was able to attend on this date. He thanked Sarah Hornbrook for her excellent contribution to the Parish Council’s response to the Breckland Local Plan consultation. He is part of the working party for the Breckland Local Plan and will continue to support what the Parish Council wants from the Local Plan consultation. The next phase of the consultation will be in the Spring of 2017 when the next version of the Local Plan will contain details of the recommended development sites. Breckland is looking at how it provides housing advice so as to provide a better service than just adding residents to the Housing List.
Working parties. Old Buckenham Neighbourhood Plan Working Party – nothing to report.
Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan – nothing to report
Attleborough Development Plan – Terry Cracknell will be attending a meeting on Tuesday 13 December.
Road Safety Working Party – Rona Boggia reported that the Working Party had met earlier in preparation for a meeting with George Freeman MP the following morning. The Working Party has sent the MP an outline of what the problems are and what it would like to achieve from the meeting. The Headmaster of the High School is also attending the meeting and will speak first. The Working Party has obtained a quotation for a zebra crossing which is likely to cost a total of £25,000 but it would also eventually like to see a crossing on Hargham Road to the local shop.
(Jonathan Kemp arrived at 8.25pm.)
Andy Nicholls is also attending the meeting with George Freeman MP and wants to point out that if the new school is to use all the village’s facilities as it had indicated, such as the Green, then the pupils would need a safe way of crossing the road particularly as some of the children will be in wheelchairs.The preference is for all the cost of a new crossing to be paid by Norfolk County Council because of the additional burdens it is placing on the village by building yet another school. The Council could also apply for a grant under the NCC’s Parish Partnership’s Scheme to help with the cost of a crossing but the application has to be in by Thursday 15 December for the next awards. The Council resolved to make an application to the Parish Partnership’s Scheme, the Clerk will obtain the necessary documents and information and then liaise with Steve Milner who has offered to complete the application.
Play Area. Three quotations have finally been obtained to replace the fencing. After discussion, the Council decided unanimously to appoint G & G Fencing to carry out the work at a total maximum cost of £11,500 plus VAT. Graham Hart agreed to try and negotiate a discount with the contractor.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Terry Cracknell reported that the Chairman of the Village Hall Committee was attempting to resolve the flooding issue in the Village Hall car park. The Village Hall Committee is also hoping that Morgan Sindall (the new school contractor) will remove the BMX track as part of some work it has agreed to do in the village. There is the possibility of having more work carried out on the Village Hall car park as there are still some funds available under the Parish Partnership Scheme for 2016/17.
Steve Milner reported on the dangerous junction of Grove Road and Mill Road. A number of years ago the Parish Council had requested the installation of mirrors to improve visibility but the County Council had declined as this was not their policy. However he has noticed that mirrors are being used for visibility purposes at the new school site entrance and must have been approved by NCC. The Council agreed that the Clerk should contact Highways to renew the original request.
Tom Johnson reported that the minutes from the last SNAP meeting had been received and circulated. He has advised the SNAP group about the traffic difficulties the village is facing due to the building work for the new school. The road is getting dirty despite the wheel washing facilities and he wondered if these are being used or adequate. The first new broadband box in the village will be called New Buckenham 4 and will be sited opposite the telephone box. An offer by J C Frost & Co to reduce the rent on the allotment site to £450 per annum from December 2017 had been received. The Clerk reported that she had queried the rent reduction date, it appears that the letter should have said from December 2016 ie for 2016/17 onwards but only at such time as most of the allotments are let again.
Terry Cracknell wanted the Council to keep its allotment provision options open in respect of the charity-owned field.
Highways. The Highways Engineer for the village had sent a report to the Clerk. He has been working hard on trying to resolve the water problem in Cake Street. A tanker will be used to remove the water and a camera put down the pipe to see if there is a break somewhere. Some other gullies are to be looked at on Attleborough Road from opposite the Gamekeeper up to the new school development as they do not appear to be draining properly. Some routine maintenance work is to be carried out to fill in holes on the track between the old clinic and the primary school and a section in front of the old butcher’s shop, near the Green. There is to be some patching work along Hargham Road and Abbey Road. There was an enquiry from the public about the salting of the roads in the village but Highways have their own schedule to work to but have been known to do some additional work when pressed. Terry Cracknell commented on the long running issue with the hedge at the Harlingwood Lane junction. The Council has tried to resolve the matter with the owner of the property. He had now erected a willow fence which Andy Nicholls thought could eventually end up in the road during inclement weather. Also the hedge could just continue to grow around the fence and still cause a visibility hazard. The Clerk was asked to contact Highways about this matter and to request that firmer action be taken. Terry Cracknell also reported on the large amount of rubbish that has to be picked up near the junction of the Old Buckenham and New Buckenham Roads, this appears to be mostly fast food containers from Attleborough eateries. Adrian Joel asked to be informed when this was a problem so that he could contact Breckland Council to come and remove the rubbish.
Correspondence. The response from Attleborough Surgeries to the request from the Parish Council for a possible part-time surgery in the village had not been met with success.
Items for the January meeting. Several subjects were suggested. These included revision of Standing Orders, the Chairman’s priorities list, defibrillator/telephone box, The Green, the bus shelter, road safety, loan to football club, broadband, Chapel Green School and highways.
Appointment of Clerk. The Clerk gave a short report on how things had gone over the last six months and then left the meeting. In the Clerk’s absence the Council resolved unanimously to appoint Mrs Hilary Clutten as the permanent Clerk to Old Buckenham Parish Council following the satisfactory completion of a six month probationary period.

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

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Old Buckenham carols

Songs for all
The Old Buckenham 2000 Trust once more organised the singing of carols on the village Green and this year it was on Friday 16 December. The area outside the Church Rooms had been decorated with strings of lights and the New Buckenham Silver Band was there to provide the music.  Mince pies, mulled wine, tea and coffee were available in the Church Rooms beforehand to fortify the participants before they ventured outside to sing.
The singers of all ages worked their way through the songbook of carols before retiring back into the Church Rooms to chat and to finish off the refreshments.

(The floodlit tower of All Saints has gained a star this year)

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Old Buckenham High School helps homeless

Generous contributions
Old Buckenham High School finished off the autumn term with their annual collection of food to donate to St Martins Housing Trust in Norwich. Every year students fill and decorate hampers for a competition before the food is delivered to people who are trying to get back on track after being homeless. 
This year the hampers were judged by Adrian Joel (chairman of Old Buckenham Parish Council), the deputy manager and staff from the Sainsburys store in Attleborough, volunteers from St Martins Trust and Ron Brewer who edits the Old Buckenham Newsletter. 
The boxes of food were decorated in many ways. One had wheels, another legs while another portrayed a table set for Christmas dinner. The first place for decoration went to students in class 8T followed by 10T and 7CR in joint second place. Class 9T also received a prize for the 'Most-filled hamper' and all winners received chocolates kindly donated by Sainsburys.
After judging had taken place, all the contributions were packed into the back of a van and transported off to Norwich where the St Martins Housing Trust will be able to make good use of them in the run up to Christmas.

Students had also produced their own personal Christmas cards to go to those being helped by St Martins.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Panto coming to Old Buckenham

January performances
Old Buckenham Players are back with their pantomime offering for 2017. This time it will be 'Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp' by Ron Hall.
Transporting you back in time to Peking, the brave Aladdin along with his cheeky-chappy brother Wishee Washee and his voluptuous Mother Dame Widow Twankey set out to avenge the kidnapping of his true love, Princess Lotus Blossom, by the evil Abanazar. Meeting loveable and not so loveable characters along the way, only the Genie of the Lamp's magic can help save the day as they embark on their intrepid journey.
The riches on offer to the audiences include colourful costumes, eye catching scenery, lots of special effects and show-stopping musical numbers. Whether you're an 'Old' or 'New' Lamp, there's something for everyone in this most classic of family shows.
Performances start at 7.30pm on Thursday 19, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 January 2017 with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on the Saturday. It's all taking place at Old Buckenham Village Hall where there'll be a raffle and a very reasonably priced bar serving a range of soft and alcoholic drinks.
Tickets are on sale from Sunday 18 December and cost just £8 for adults or £4 for the under 16s. They can be purchased by calling 01953 861336 or in person from Old Buckenham Village Stores or Nuts 'n' Bolts in Attleborough.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Carolling choice in Old Buckenham

Enjoy your favourite carols
There will be several opportunities to do some carol singing in Old Buckenham between now and Christmas.
The Old Buckenham 2000 Trust is again organising the singing of carols on the village Green. Meet outside the Church Rooms at 6pm on Friday 16 December. The carol singing will start at 6.15pm. Mince pies and mulled wine will be available beforehand. It's free and everyone is welcome.
Do you have a favourite Christmas carol? Come and join in at the Methodist Chapel on Wednesday 21 December at 7.30pm for a Festive Sing-a-long of the carols of your choice as well as other festive songs. Get ready for Christmas by having a lovely sing of all your favourite music for Christmas. Children are especially welcome. You too can choose a song to sing. There will also be refreshments afterwards. Come along and help make this a very happy evening.
There will be the annual candlelit carol service in All Saints on Christmas Eve which will start at 7pm. This is always a very popular event and you are advised to come along in good time. This will be a service of lessons and carols with church members, children and representatives from community organisations being involved in presenting the Christmas story in a special act of worship.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Flooding in Old Buckenham

Trying to clear the Cake Street flooding
The latest news from Norfolk County Council Highways is that their jetting company were able to clear the existing flood water just over a week ago. They have identified an area outside 'Cefalu' in Cake Street which they believe is where there is either an obstruction or the pipe is damaged.
They are now in the process of resourcing a gang and obtaining a permit to erect two way traffic lights on the road while they excavate the footway and clear the blockage. While on site they will also clear the mud from the footway, clear the outfall of the drainage system, and re-set two gulleys that have been identified as defective.

(Work started on Tuesday 13 December)

On completion of the job, the jetting company to return to jet the system once more to ensure that everything is free from obstruction.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Party time in Old Buckenham

Definitely social and with wine
Last night was time for the Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle to get together in the Church Rooms for their own bit of party time. It was the now established format of quizzes, a little bingo, a raffle, some poetry readings and of course a fish and chip supper. An extra attraction this year was a rendering by our local singing postman.
This year the fish and chips arrived freshly cooked by Paul's Plaice who were parked nearby outside the Ox and Plough.

The Social and Wine Circle will be starting its meetings in 2017 on Thursday 12 January. During the year they will be hearing talks on a wide range of subjects from a history of sewage treatment to listening from a 'Pam Ayres' of Norfolk.
All are welcome to come along to these meetings so why not come out for an evening once a month for a convivial experience and make new friends?

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Eight years of the Old Buckenham blog

Who else reads this?
You may find some of the following statistics of interest. 
This blog first started at the beginning of December 2008 and has been posting about three or four times a week ever since.  
It has a relatively small audience compared with many other blogs as not everyone in the world is that interested in what goes on in our little Norfolk village. But there have been instances of Old Buckenham  residents getting to know what's going on here when contacted by their relatives in Australia or New Zealand.
Blogger states there have been 455,000 page views since the blog started. A more reliable measuring site puts the number of visitors so far at some 84,200.
The most popular time for readers to log in is between 11am and 12 noon (GMT).
The most popular day for visits is Monday and least popular is Saturday.
Some 82% of readers are from the UK with the USA coming next with 7%. Over twenty counties, from Angola to the Virgin Isles, have only visited once in the eight years since the blog went live.
The most number of readers in one day was 161 on Saturday 8 October this year (mainly to see photos of the car that ended up in Manor Pond).
The highest number of visits in a week was 436 when people logged in to check on arrangements for our Queen's Jubilee celebrations (June 2012).
The highest number in a month was 1426 in September 2015.