Monday, 31 December 2018

Old Buckenham events in 2019

Diary dates for January

Tuesday 1   New Year's Day walk, starts at Church Rooms, 10.30am

Thursday 3   Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 7   Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 9   Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 13   Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 13   Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm

Wednesday 16   Chapel Friendship Group, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 17   OB Players pantomime Cinderella, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 18   Visits from Mobile Library during morning

Friday 18   OB Players pantomime Cinderella, Village Hall, 7.30pm 

Saturday 19   OB Players pantomime Cinderella, Village Hall, 2.30pm 

Saturday 19   OB Players pantomime Cinderella, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday 21   Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday   23 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 24   Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Sunday, 30 December 2018

January issue of Old Buckenham village newsletter

Here we go again
Lots of information about the latest goings on in Old Buckenham can be found in the printed version of the monthly newsletter. The January copies have been spread around the village and some may have already dropped through your letterbox.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Start 2019 with the Old Buckenham walk

New Year's Day Walk
Why not start the New Year with a good walk and possibly new friends? This walk, now in its fourth year, leaves the Church Rooms at 10.30am, distance about 2 to 3 miles. On returning to the Church Rooms you will be able to enjoy homemade soup and rolls. The route will be a mixture of  'off and on road' but it is possible to skip some of the 'off road' bits if you have a pushchair. 

Well controlled dogs welcome. People who normally come to 'Coffee and Chat' on the first Tuesday of each month may like to come to the Church Rooms about 11.30amand join in with the returning walkers.
Donations towards your refreshments will go to the 'Raise the Roof' fund.

Your visit will also give you a chance to look at the newly thatched chancel roof. The final work on the ridge is now taking place.
22 November 2018 
24 December 2018
Just click on the images to see them at a larger size

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Latest Parish Council minutes from Old Buckenham

Lengthy minutes for December
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 6 December. Those present were councillors Jon Hicks (Vice-chairman and in the chair), Gemma Frost, Adrian Joel, Debbie Callaghan, Andy Nichols and Ben Devlin. Also attending were Kerry Talbot taking minutes in absence of a Clerk, Donna Oakley and three members of the public. Apologies for absence had been received from Steve Milner.
It was agreed to approve Jon Hicks as Chair and Gemma Frost as Vice Chair. The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 1 November 2018 were approved.
Matters arising from November minutes. Adrian Joel advised that the highways’ issues regarding the chevrons and signs were now resolved.
Responsible Financial Officer. It was agreed to approve the appointment of Donna Oakley as the Responsible Financial Officer (RFO). The fee to be £200 per month with exception of one month at £250. Andy Nichols asked if Donna Oakley would agree to a yearly rolling contract with a three month notice period for both parties to provide continuity for the council. Donna Oakley agreed to prepare a contract for the council including a notice period for the council to consider.
Co-option of new councillor. It was agreed to approve Donna Oakley as a councillor. Jon Hicks advised that an RFO is also able to be a councillor, there is no conflict of interest but that there will be certain financial matters where they will need to abstain.
Bank accounts. Jon Hicks advised that he has started process of removing two previous signatories and adding Jon Hicks and Adrian Joel. It was agreed to add Donna Oakley and Gemma Frost. The account has also been changed so every cheque issued needs two signatures. Jon Hicks has also requested VISA capability on the account.
Public participation relating to agenda items. A parishioner wished to thank all councillors and their associates for what has been an extremely difficult year. The first quarter of 2019 will determine the success of the council and the hope that, by working together, objectives will be met to demonstrate progress is being made. The local community are taking an interest in the Green and need to be encouraged to attend meetings. They would like to see more young people involved with the council. Jon Hicks responded that the change in format for the meetings has gone well and the council intends to continue in this vein, keeping the agenda short and allowing public to be involved throughout the meeting. If discussions get out of hand then the council will review. Debbie Callaghan suggested the council considers a strategy in the New Year to make meetings more of a social event. Ben Devlin suggested allowing five minutes at end of meetings for the public to state their views. Jon Hicks suggested a continuation of meetings with parish council and the village hall management. Jon Hicks also suggested that he would like the Village Green Working Party to be invited to participate. Jon Hicks would also like to hold a public meeting with all three groups in attendance to give the local community the opportunity to share their views and allow the three groups to engage with them. A parishioner warned the council that using on-line banking for transfers with two signatories required can sometimes be difficult. The Village Green Working Party (VGWP) has been in contact with Oliver Lee Landscape Partnership who are keen to work with the council to develop a strategy for the Green. A parishioner asked if the council would still like Oliver Lee to attend a council meeting and this was agreed. There would be crossover with the Neighbourhood Plan and Oliver Lee could inform on the wider context of the village such as materials, how planting takes place and where. Part of the Neighbourhood Plan is to see how the Green would look in the future. This could include the war memorial and any other areas of the village so any improvements or enhancements take place through a plan rather than rushing ahead. The parishioner also asked if the new payment approval process for the VGWP had been formally agreed by the Council. Adrian Joel advised that this would be discussed at the precept meeting on Thursday 13 December and suggested the VGWP put together an idea of how much would be needed and send this for inclusion at the precept meeting. Andy Nichols agreed that VGWP should produce a budget plan. Parishioner advised that the main contractor for the Green has agreed to continue for 2019 at the same cost. Councillors agreed that it was important that VGWP budget did not include items such as bench repair. Andy Nichols felt it was important to negotiate a longer term lease, eg ten years with five year break clauses for both parties. A parishioner would like to see the lease extended as without a long term plan any work undertaken could be seen as a benefit to private organisations and could in the future prevent NWT and UEA from getting involved.
Jon Hicks said that the pedestrian crossing is being pursued but he has no updates. Parishioners told the council that they had attended a Norfolk Wildlife Trust workshop on ponds and this covered how to engage with wildlife, all notes of this meeting will be sent through to Jon Hicks. It was said that grants were available but the Green would need to be re-registered as a common.
Declarations of interests not already recorded. Donna Oakley declared an interest in financial matters and Ben Devlin gave a change of address.
Financial matters. The available balance on Wednesday 5 December 2018 was £41,469.58 and the Premium account balance on Thursday 1 November was £2,876.06.
Income received included Precept £20,160.57, transitional grant £246, allotment rents £165, Green donations £2,850, loan repayment from Village Hall £500 and Community car payment £900It was agreed that Donna Oakley should attend a training course as the newly appointed RFO. Invoice for supply and installation of the Christmas Tree on the Green had been received and Donna Oakley to pay as already approved at previous council meeting.
Planning applications and Breckland District Council’s decisions. Parish councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting. All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal -
New planning applications. Walnut Shade, Cake Street. Conversion of part ground floor to form annex, new first floor accommodation above existing footprint (including increased ridge height), attached new garage and replacement conservatory.(3PL/2018/1375/HOU).This was not supported by the parish council as it was considered out of character of the street scene.
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. Shrublands Farmhouse. Two-storey rear extension and erection of three-bay cart lodge with room over. (3PL/2018/1072/HOU). Approved.
Discussions were undertaken regarding the need to debate planning applications at the council meetings. All councillors were asked to ensure that they checked the portal prior to the meeting to make themselves aware of any potential issues. To ensure smooth and efficient running of the meeting, some councillors felt that discussions should only take place if an objection needed to be raised. Andy Nichols disagreed and felt that all applications should be debated. Both Adrian Joel and Andy Nichols felt that the council should comment to Breckland either way as the council are part of the consultation process. Ben Devlin felt all applications should be discussed, debated and voted on by the council.
Parish notice board. Jon Hicks said that the notice board had fallen off the wall outside the village shop. It was not economical to repair and that he would make good the wall. A parishioner generously said that half of the community notice board near the shop could be used as parish council space. Council agreed that sharing the notice board could encourage more people to read community and council notices. An additional set of keys would be obtained with the Council to pay any cost. The parishioner agreed to add any items to the notice board in the meantime.
Allotments. Adrian Joel provided a schedule showing payments to date. He would contact any non-payers with a view to all payments being made by end of January 2019 and advising that if no payment is received the allotment will be forfeit and the occupier asked to remove any belongings. Debbie Callaghan asked the cost of plots - £40 per year or £20 for half an allotment.
Village Green Working Party. Gemma Frost asked for the council to approve the payment plan and limits in respect of individual payments, suggested maximum £300 spend per item without council approval with an overall budget of £1000. Jon Hicks explained situation for benefit of councillors not at previous meetings. Ben Devlin asked why £1000 and so this will be discussed at the precept meeting. Andy Nichols said that there had been a number of very positive comments on the Green, one which stated they had lived in the village for eight years and it was the best they had ever seen it.
District Councillor’s report. Breckland councillors have discussed the Council's proposed budget for 2019-20 and future financial strategies. If the plans are adopted next year, this would include significant investments in local communities over the coming twelve months but also a small rise in council tax. Breckland Council is currently predicting a balanced budget through until 2022-23 and that the council is putting in place financial plans to safeguard local services ahead of 'unprecedented levels of change' in national funding, which are expected from 2020-21. The Inspectorate amendments to the Breckland Local Plan Pre-Publication Document has now been received and presented to the full Council. One of the major concerns of the parish council and residents was the unallocated allocation of 17 properties in Old Buckenham. The Inspectorate amended document has retained the 17 properties with these expected to come forward over plan period of 2016-2036. Breckland will be carrying out a consultation for a six week period early in 2019.
Chairman’s report. Jon Hicks advised that the defibrillator had been purchased and an electrician needs to be engaged to install it on an outside wall of the village hall. Cost was under budget (£1400 plus VAT) so the remaining budget to be used to purchase a further defibrillator for the Church Rooms. The cost included a three-year maintenance contract with yearly inspections. Jon Hicks said no training was required, the user dials 999 and they will give code to access the equipment and guidance on how to turn it on. The equipment itself guides the user. Once installation has taken place Jon Hicks will make contact with the NHS to register the device on the 999 register. Adrian Joel and Andy Nichols passed on their thanks to Jon Hicks for his assistance in this matter.
Chapel Green School. Jon Hicks said that the meeting with the school took place and discussion centred around the footpath and the MUGA. The school were allocated money for maintenance and, as the areas around the school itself are not ready to be cut, they intend to appoint a maintenance team in January 2019. The footpath along the side is not a council or village responsibility - if the area needs cutting, individuals need to contact the school. The school is keen for the village and organisations to use the MUGA on the condition that access is via a gateway from the village hall car park. Groups will be given their own key code to access the MUGA. Chapel Green has asked that area is kept tidy and any equipment used is put away in the shed and, if able to, the organisations using the site to give a donation to the Friends of the School. Fencing is likely to cost in the region of £5000 with a handrail with steps to the MUGA. The school are asking Morgan Sindall for a quote and the Parish Council will source another quote for comparison. It is likely that the MUGA will be available during Spring/Summer months after 4pm and at weekends providing there are no events on at the school. Andy Nichols raised the issue of lighting. Lighting is a future consideration depending on how much use is seen during Spring/Summer. If the MUGA is well used the situation will be reviewed. If installed, the lights will be controlled from a payment box and timed so that when the last group leaves, the lights switch off. Andy Nichols stated that this was a perfect opportunity to engage with young people in the village who wished to use the facility and asked if this could be placed on the agenda for next meeting.
Village Hall. Jon Hicks asked for a volunteer to attend the Village Hall meetings as he was now Chair and he would not able to attend. Debbie Callaghan agreed to undertake the role and Jon Hicks will email all details. All committees to be reviewed at the next meeting.
Road Safety. Jon Hicks reported on behalf of Steve Milner. SAM sign grant application has been submitted and Steve Milner has met with the Highway engineer regarding the four installation sites. Speedwatch has been limited due to weather. However, the police have spent some time in Cake Street. They stopped 26 people for speeding, nine of whom were residents in Old Buckenham. Adrian Joel advised that the signs in Banham had memory sticks. The system for Old Buckenham will record data and direct it to the police.
Councillors’ reports. Debbie Callaghan advised that work will restart on the Neighbourhood Plan during the Christmas period and she will make contact with Andy Nichols and Steve Milner in the second week of January to make further progress. Debbie Callaghan had received an email from another village also starting the process who were not sure it was right for them but would like to join Old Buckenham for discussions. Jon Hicks felt this was a good idea for other parishes to open discussions to support each other through the process. Adrian Joel advised that the Breckland Neighbourhood Plan Officer is available to help. Debbie Callaghan said she would like to have a plan complete within six months. Adrian Joel also asked if the 2019 meeting venue had been booked including the Annual Parish Meeting. Jon Hicks confirmed that these had been booked.
Jon Hicks advised that he had received two quotes for removal of stumps from the Green. One contractor quoted £500 + VAT and another £240 + VAT. Gemma Frost asked if the stumps needed to be removed. Jon Hicks said that they were willow and if not removed they would re-grow and were very close to the play area fencing. Broadland Tree Services would be appointed to undertake the work.
Debbie Callaghan asked if council could engage contractors for a year with a rate card for varying work around the Green. Could ask three companies to quote for a twelve month period so that three quotes do not have to be sought each time work needs doing. Gemma Frost will raise at the VGWP meeting. Ben Devlin asked if the council could ensure that all work undertaken is completed ‘cradle to grave’. Andy Nichols said that the stump removal work could not be undertaken by the contractors who did the other work on the Green and therefore the council had to complete piece meal. A parishioner stated that council should seek to engage with the local community at every opportunity and if contractors are engaged for a twelve month period we may lose the opportunity. Jon Hicks used Ottomer Pond as an example of work undertaken by different people as there were volunteers and contractors used. Financial constraints need to be taken into consideration. Andy Nichols suggested a scope of works undertaken for each task.
Jon Hicks and Steve Milner attended a meeting at the former Penwood Chicken Company as LGC Waste are moving into the premises. They intend to set up their operation to buy all shredded waste plastic from Norfolk/Suffolk. They have five other sites in the UK. A total of eleven trucks per day will bring in waste and reload with product going out. The plastic is crushed into pellets and used in power stations to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Proposed site operation would be Monday to Friday, 7am to 5pm, with ten employees on site. Plastic is sourced from within a ten mile radius. The company has purchased the site and as it will be producing green energy it is not likely to be refused planning permission. There will be no vehicles based at the site and the licence will be restricted to eleven vehicles with strict access rules so that no vehicles will use Abbey Road. There will be financial penalties if not followed and Jon Hicks said that vehicles will be fitted with tracking technology. Andy Nichols asked that the council takes due diligence and asks for a list of contractors/sub contractors so the situation can be policed. Debbie Callaghan asked if there was any restriction on the number of vehicles. Jon Hicks said that their contract is with three power stations and there is no further capacity for trucks to exceed eleven. Need to check where the lorries will park up if they cannot access the site. Adrian Joel asked if we had a contact with Carlton Rode parish council as this would come under their jurisdiction and felt this will have more impact on Spooner Row.
Phone box. Colin Brown has agreed to undertake work on the phone box by Rod Alley Pond in the Spring, pressure washing and then painting. Councillors were asked to consider uses for the phone box for discussion at next meeting.
Projects finished. Defibrillator to be installed before Christmas. Jon Hicks to contact the Village Hall committee to arrange access for the electricians and to let them know where it will be located. Steve Milner has agreed to cut back growth alongside driveway down to the school but work not yet completed.
Items for the next agenda. These would include review of action log, uses for phone box, review of committees and working parties, the war memorial, lighting in the MUGA, planning tick list and an Oliver Lee presentation. Andy Nichols has offered apologies for not being able to attend the next meeting.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 3 January 2019 at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall.

Monday, 24 December 2018

More homeless help from Old Buckenham

Food donations
As usual the Church Rooms at All Saints Church will be open throughout Christmas Eve to receive donations of non-perishable food to be taken to St Martins, the Norwich-based charity for the homeless. May be you have something to spare that you could take along for those more unfortunate than you and your family.

Tonight at All Saints is the annual candlelit carol service which starts at 7pm. The collection taken at this service will also go towards supporting the homeless in Norwich and South Norfolk.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Tree alight in Old Buckenham

Switched on
The Christmas tree on the Green, funded by the Parish Council,  is now lit up during the evenings.
The lighting up ceremony took place last Sunday with the New Buckenham Siver Band on hand to provide some Christmas music. 


Thursday, 13 December 2018

Old Buckenham High School helps homeless

Charity begins at the High School
Every year students at Old Buckenham High School enjoy a tradition that has become deeply embedded over the years. This is the Hampers for the Homeless competition where the whole school gets involved by donating food and then decorating hampers to be donated to the local Norfolk charity St Martins Housing Trust in time for Christmas. The hampers are judged for best decoration and most filled with the winning forms receive small prizes for their efforts. 
This year judging was carried out by representatives from St Martins, from Attleborough Sainsburys, who provided the prizes, and the school's deputy head. The clear winners were class 10F who created a beautiful house filled with all sorts of food under the snowy roofs and having flashing lighting too.. They were followed by classes 8F, 8B and 9T who provided other decorated boxes of items. All were then loaded into a van and taken off to Norwich to be distributed to those in need.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Old Buckenham thatching update

All Saints Church ‘Raise The Roof’ 
The thatchers have been hard at work during the last month and have already completed the south side of the Chancel roof. They expect to have finished the north side and the ridge before Christmas. It looks fabulous, well worth going to have a look in person (or to check out the Old Buckenham blog for many photos).
The Chancel is about one third of the total roof that needs to be re-thatched and this has been wholly funded by generous giving and fundraising within the Church and the village, together with a recently received grant for £7000 from the Norfolk Churches Trust.
Fundraising for the nave roof will start in earnest in February next year. An application is being made for a significant grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for this next stage of the work. Details about the opportunities for community involvement in this exciting project will be published once there has been a response to the Heritage Lottery Fund application.
Another load of Norfolk reed

South side now waterproof

Halfway up the north side of the roof

Saturday, 8 December 2018

More Old Buckenham fund raising

A very jolly morning
Chapel Green School had their first Christmas coffee morning and fete in Old Buckenham yesterday. The hall was buzzing with various stalls doing good business. Many villagers took the opportunity to visit the school and pick up the many bargains. The Friends of Chapel Green School have announced that £658 was raised by the event.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Thatching progresses in Old Buckenham

South side very nearly complete
Work has been continuing on the re-thatching of the chancel roof of All Saints, Old Buckenham. In all sorts of weather, from drizzly rain or bright sunshine to balmy afternoons and freezing mornings, both the builders and the thatching team have carried on working. The south side of the roof is now waterproof and the north side is ready to have the reeds installed. Hopefully the work will be complete by Christmas Eve in time for the candle-lit carol service.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Picturesque Old Buckenham

Evening views
What ever you may think of the clearance work done around Ottomer pond on the village Green, it does provide the opportunity to take interesting photographs.
Just click on the picture to see it at a larger size

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Old Buckenham December newsletter

This month's newsletter
Copies are out and about in the village now. Look inside to see news, views and events during December.

Ten years ago in Old Buckenham

Still blogging
It is ten years ago today that the Old Buckenham blog came into existence. In that time it has had (if you can believe the counting software) over 110,000 visitors averaging out at 30 people per day. The most was 161 on 8th of Otober 2016.
Some 83% come from the UK, 7% from the USA and 1% from France. Over the ten years there has only been one visitor from the Faroe Islands, Swaziland and Monaco. Most people look in on Mondays and least on Saturdays.
Thank you to all our regular readers and keep on looking in to see the words and pictures that illustrate what goes on in this wonderful village of Old Buckenham.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Work on Old Buckenham roof

Thatchers hard at work
It has been sunny today so the thatching team at All Saints Church have been taking advantage of the better weather. A load of reed arrived this morning and at four o'clock this afternoon work was still going on as dusk closed in.

December events in Old Buckenham

 Diary dates for December
Tuesday 4          Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards
Wednesday 5    Chapel Friendship Group, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm
Thursday 6        Women's Institute, Christmas lunch
Thursday 6        Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Friday 7             Chapel Green School Fayre, 9.30am to 11.30am
Sunday 9           Country Park Christmas Dinner, Village Hall, 12.30pm
Wednesday 12  Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Thursday 13      Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm
Thursday 13      Parish Council Precept meeting, Village Hall, 7pm
Thursday 13      Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm
Saturday 15       Prize Bingo, Church Rooms, 2pm
Sunday 16         Christmas tree lights switched on, the Green, 4pm 
Wednesday 19  Festive sing-a-long Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm
Friday 21           Visits from Mobile Library during morning
Monday 24        Candlelit Carol Service, All Saints Church, 7pm
Tuesday 25        Christmas Eucharist, All Saints Church, 9.30am

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Flowers and fund raising in Old Buckenham

Flower Club news

In November approximately forty ladies of Breckland Flower and Garden Club gathered in Old Buckenham village hall for their monthly meeting. Unfortunately the original speaker had been taken ill so five committee members were 'volunteered' to do at least one flower arrangement to fill the gap and just to “fill the stage with flowers”. Sheila Bullen was first on stage creating a beautiful table ring using foliage from her garden and a selection of beautiful flowers. Next was Sandra Sanford who had prepared her arrangement at home using autumn hues which allowed her time to show the audience how to make a poinsettia using ribbon and wired berry beads which could be added to a flower arrangement or pinned onto a door ring. Next up was Club chairman, Joy Tunmore, who had also prepared one arrangement at home before completing her Christmas themed display with a second arrangement on stage. Both arrangements complemented each other and Joy used pink roses, lilies and foliage from her garden. Maxine Mace followed Joy. Taking inspiration from a flower arranging magazine, she used glass containers filled with Christmas baubles and then placed an arrangement on top using flowers from a mixed bunch from a well known supermarket. Lastly Club President, Christine Hewson took to the stage, creating a wonderful display to commemorate 100 years since the end of WW1. Using red roses, poppy heads, red gerbera, berries and autumnal foliage from her garden including almost red leaves and three rustic containers, Christine managed to create a very moving and emotional display. To complete the afternoon the raffle was drawn which included all the arrangements on stage ensuring that at least ten lucky ladies went home with flowers.
In the competition for ‘Floral Contrast’ the winners were New Hands -Jean Carnwell and Old Hands - Alison Vivian. The table show depicting ‘Autumn Colour’ was also won by Alison Vivian. The Club’s next meeting will be on Thursday 13 December when they welcome Nick Grounds with his demonstration titled “Bah Humbug”. Visitors always welcome.
At the Club’s AGM, a local charity is selected and the club raises funds at meetings and events throughout the year. Last year it was the Blood Bikers. At this year’s AGM in March the nominated charity was the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) Breast Care Unit where several Club members have received treatment for breast cancer.
In May the Club held its first big event, a flower demonstration with afternoon tea at Connaught Hall in Attleborough. This raised over £3,000. In October an evening flower demonstration by Christine Hewson at Eccles Hall raised a further £500 followed by a coffee morning with craft stalls, etc, held on Saturday 10 November that raised over £700. Add to this the money raised at Club meetings throughout the year and the total now stands at over £5000. The Club’s aim was original to raise £3000 (which they exceeded after just one event) and they are now hoping the final total will reach £6000. This is a tremendous amount of money and with four months still to go this target is achievable. Watch this space for details of their final fund raising event, a Fashion Show in February.
Breckland Flower and Garden Club meet every second Thursday of the month in Old Buckenham Village Hall. The Club was established over 35 years ago and has a membership of over sixty ladies. 
For more details regarding any of the above please contact Christine Hewson on 01953 454528 or Sally Westrup on 01953 788712.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Event at Old Buckenham's newest school

Christmas coffee morning and fete
Have you ventured down the long approach road to Chapel Green School yet? Take the opportunity to visit their ...

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Metal detecting digs at Old Buckenham

Digging report
Norfolk Heritage Recovery Group visited Old Buckenham in those blazing hot days of summer for two charity digs to support the Raise The Roof appeal. Since then, in between having digs most weekends, they have been able to appraise what was found and take a good number of archaeologically significant finds to the Finds Liaison Officer at Norfolk Historic Environment Record for recording on the national database at
Across the two sites in the village, they were able to record two Roman brooches, one Roman coin, a nicely decorated Anglo Saxon strap-end and twelve medieval hammered silver coins. These included a 13th century Scottish penny of Alexander, a Queen Elizabeth I sixpence dated 1574 in excellent condition, and also from the 16th century a Venetian soldino. A fair amount of artefacts associated with weaponry were found. As well as the usual Civil War period musket balls, they turned up a gunpowder measure, a dagger chape and a pistol handle. From a more recent period of hostilities George Bunn, the youngest detectorist taking part, found a silver Technician’s Badge from WWII.
Among the more prosaic finds were numerous thimbles (used to protect fingertips while gleaning, it is said), a few animal bells, buttons, horseshoes and modern coinage from the 18th century up to the present day.
Probably the best result of the two visits was being able to write out a cheque for £900 from the Dig Fees to go towards the work that has now started on the chancel roof of All Saints Church.
Many thanks to the two landowners Tom Baron and Stephen Askew for allowing the Group to dig holes in their fields, and to those others from the village who lent a hand. All being well NHRG will be back in 2019. Meanwhile, if anyone reading this can offer land for NHRG to hold more digs for this or any other charity, do please contact their chairman Godfrey Pratt at

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Lovely cakes in Old Buckenham

Great way to help mend the roof
Tomorrow lunchtime you can go along to the Church Rooms and partake of the most wonderful homemade cakes. Have a chat over your tea or coffee with other villagers.

Come along at 1pm to get first choice of all the goodies available. Or come on the way to picking your children up from school. Even come when you have picked up the children and bring them along as well.
You can also walk down the churchyard path and see what progress has been made so far in replacing the thatch on the chancel roof.

WARNING: the blog editor has been persuaded to make some of his infamous rock cakes. Why not check out if they are as good as they are cooked up to be... 

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Take a trip with Old Buckenham WI

Musical theatre visit

Old Buckenham Women's Institute are organising a trip to see “Guys & Dolls” at the Theatre Royal, Norwich on Tuesday 22 January 2019 and there are some tickets still available.  The cost is £30 which will also include coach travel to right outside the theatre and driver’s tip.  The coach will leave Old Buckenham Village Hall at 5.45 pm that evening.  
If anyone is interested in joining them for this visit, please telephone Barbara on 01953-860841.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Latest Old Buckenham news

November 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.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 1 November  in the Village Hall. Those present were councillors Jon Hicks (Vice-chairman, in the chair), Gemma Frost, Steve Milner and Adrian Joel. Also attending were Kerry Talbot (taking minutes in absence of a Clerk) and six members of the public. Apologies for absence were received from councillors Ben Devlin, Andy Nichols and Debbie Callaghan.
The Vice Chair, Jon Hicks, agreed to chair the meeting and councillors decided to postpone the appointment of a new Chairman and Vice Chair until the December meeting to give all councillors the opportunity to vote.
The minutes of the October meeting were approved.
Matters arising from those minutes. Jon Hicks said that a meeting had been arranged for Tuesday 13 November with the head of Chapel Green School and said that the question regarding local community use of the multi-weather surface pitch would be raised. Adrian Joel advised that he held a copy of assets from Breckland Council for future reference and questioned whether the Parish Council wished to add the Village Shop on the Breckland “Right to Bid list” for Community Assets should it be put up for sale. Adrian Joel also said that he had received two cheques from allotment holders and would retain these until all outstanding money had been received.
Public participation relating to agenda items only. A parishioner said the council needs to ensure that the company they choose to provide the defibrillator provides a guarantee and a maintenance contract as there have been reported difficulties around the country with faulty products. Jon Hicks responded and said that the parish council have a company and product in mind and they have the maintenance and guarantees required.
A parishioner said that interest needs to be generated from parishioners to encourage people to join and participate in the parish council meetings. The council needs to actively encourage young people onto the council and suggested that three items were selected that can be delivered within the next three months to demonstrate to the local community the activity and achievements of the parish council. A parishioner said councillors/parishioners from within and outside of the village need to work together as there were concerns that Old Buckenham will not have a parish council. The council needs to regenerate interest from villagers in the council. Jon Hicks replied that most of these issues raised will be addressed in his chairman’s report.
A parishioner said that the council could consider public participation at the end of meetings or as items crop up during the meeting. A parishioner said they were concerned that the parish council was at a low point and should not rush into making decisions. The council seemed to be at a crossroads and should play for time and be prepared to have outside professionals to help until May 2019. They felt that promises are being made and nothing is happening. Decisions need to be made and action taken, otherwise the council will drift. The parishioner sincerely wished the council well.
A parishioner said they were organising another breakfast meeting for residents. They had been unable to engage enough people to undertake the cooking at the current time but will look to organise such a meeting in the future. Another parishioner said they thought minutes for the last two or three years, accounts and budgets would not bear scrutiny. A further parishioner commented on the amount of funds held by the parish council. Adrian Joel responded by stating most of this money was in reserve and ring-fenced for specific projects such as a Neighbourhood Plan and the Play Area. A parishioner said £2000 for a handyman was too expensive and no work appears to have been undertaken. The council needs a short, medium and long term plan and to find a way of engaging with people to get them involved.
Financial matters. Payments agreed included £1050 for clearing brash at Ottomer pond and work on bunds on the Green, £1080 to Mervyn Lambert for work around Ottomer pond, £600 to Suggitt for grass cutting and a total of £149.90 to the Community Car drivers. Jon Hicks is to write to all contractors who worked on the Green to thank them. Steve Milner mentioned lumps of wood and rocks still around the pond and the damage and difficulty this could cause when grass needs cutting. Jon Hicks said that a voluntary Norfolk Community Group have been engaged to clear the remaining debris and this was scheduled for Thursday 29 November, weather permitting.
SAM signage. Steve Milner advised that he is willing to apply for Parish Partnership funding for up to 50% of the costs. The proposal is to move the SAM unit between four locations approved with Norfolk County Council. The units are battery powered and will be managed by volunteers. The units display speed and record data. The costs would be £2800 plus £250 for data collection and £220 for fixings. An observer in the village has reported that cars do slow down when approaching with the units currently in use. They are effective against drivers who normally drive at the speed limit but forget. Rotation of the units is essential as drivers become complacent. Costs of the unit to be funded by Parish Partnership funding plus £1200 from the Parish Council and a £800 donation from village resident. Steve Milner proposed to go ahead with the funding application and for the Parish Council contribution to be put forward at the Precept meeting. Jon Hicks pointed out that although units record vehicle data this cannot be used as a prosecution tool but can be passed to the police to use to determine target areas for their own surveillance. Jon Hicks also said that all councillors had been consulted on this issue and were in agreement. It was agreed to include this project at the precept meeting and for Steve Milner to apply for grant from Parish Partnership Funding
Planning. Parish councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting (all planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal). There were no new planning applications but Adrian Joel advised that there was one new application recently regarding a menage and grain store – the council is to ask for an extension to allow the parish council to consider it at its next meeting.
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. Asparagus Field, Cake Street. Variation of conditions for new dwelling and attached garage/carport (3PL/2018/1014/VAR). The application has been approved by Breckland.
Highways. Gemma Frost said that concern has been raised over greenery impeding the path up to the school. There has been no decision on who is to take responsibility for the management of this. The school budget has been used previously. It was suggested that village handyman be asked to undertake this work but would need other work to occupy a full day. Steve Milner advised that he would be happy to undertake the work. Jon Hicks said that he would discuss this at the meeting with Chapel Green School. Adrian Joel pointed out that the chevron sign at Sun Corner/Ragmere Road has come down, Jon Hicks will email Highways.
Village Green Working Party. Gemma Frost said the working party have organised a meeting for early November to decide on the next steps for Ottomer Pond and how to involve the community. Spring bulbs need to be planted around the pond and the grass mowed prior to Remembrance Sunday. The Council needs to find a way to communicate the progress and explain the plans for the Green. Most people are pleased with the results of the work around Ottomer Pond. There have been some comments on social media and Jon Hicks will pass a report to Ron Brewer to publish to explain the situation to the local community. There are also to be two follow-up surveys by Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) in the Spring. A parishioner said that NWT was running a course and members of the local community were attending, the course will include how to identify great crested newts.
District Councillor’s report. Breckland Local Plan modifications are in the process of being received from the Government’s independent inspectorate, these will then be reviewed by officers. In the New Year there will be a consultation with residents and parish councils on any amendments by the Inspectorate. The Attleborough SUE is still due to come to planning committee in December. If there are any changes Adrian Joel will keep the council and residents informed. The Parish Council will be able to speak at the planning meeting and Adrian Joel suggests a councillor is appointed to present the view of the Parish Council and the residents.
Chairman’s report. Jon Hicks thanked Kerry Talbot for attending to take the minutes and Donna Oakley for agreeing to take over the financial responsibilities of the council as responsible financial officer (RFO). The Council will vote at the next meeting regarding the appointment of Donna Oakley as RFO. The advertisement for a new Parish Clerk will be placed on the NALC website next month and be published in the village newsletter. Jon Hicks has removed the financial responsibility from the role so it is an administration role in the hope that this makes it more attractive to local residents.
Jon Hicks addressed the issue of involving the local community in council meetings and said that since setting up meetings with the Village Hall Management Committee, the relationship between the two organisations has improved. He would like to set up further meetings to include the Village Green Working Party with a view to organising a meeting inviting the whole village which will hopefully encourage further interest in the Parish Council and village organisations. Jon Hicks also said that he has attempted to engage with pupils at the High School to encourage their participation in a Youth Council and to get involved in activities around the village without success. Even with local companies providing materials for the projects no youth volunteers came forward to participate. He felt communication with local community essential to remove any misconceptions.
Jon Hicks added that he would like to introduce a process to retain councillors for a period of 12 months following any training courses they had attended that had been paid for by the Council. Any new councillors need to attend the introductory courses. He also felt that too much time is wasted at meetings discussing planning applications. The applications were available online and discussion should be the exception in the event of any objections.
Jon Hicks raised the issue of Village Green Working Party (VGWP) budget. Would it be less time consuming if the Council agreed to a limit on individual expenditure so invoices could be paid without being referred to the Council? VGWP reports to the Council each month and this could be included in their report. Process needs to be more flexible and streamlined. The VGWP is to put together a proposal of how this might work ready for the precept meeting so it can be implemented in the next financial year.
Jon Hicks said that the Council needs to look at how to attract more parish councillors. There is a need for a new Village Hall representative and to look at all committee responsibilities at next meeting.
Councillors’ reports. Adrian Joel said that Phil Anderson had been approached for a quote to provide a 20 to 25ft Christmas tree. To erect, stabilise and lights would be £450 plus VAT. Electricity will be provided by way of donation from the Ox & Plough pub. Switching on of the lights to be Sunday 16 December at 4pm. Any social media advertising for events based on the Christmas tree lighting switch-on should include both pubs in the village. Local children will be asked to put their names in a draw to decide who will switch on the lights.
The Precept meeting has been re-arranged for Thursday 13 December, starting at 7pm. Applications for precept money will be open until Friday 30 November. A few applications have already been received and Jon Hicks will provide councillors with a copy of the applications prior to the meeting.
Gemma Frost and Jon Hicks said that they had laptop but needed updates. Adrian Joel to ask New Buckenham Parish Council regarding the grants that they had received for laptops.
Communications via social media. Steve Milner said that he would meet with Gemma Frost to ascertain how to keep the current website up to date. Gemma Frost has created new email addresses for all councillors. Steve Milner will provide these to all councillors and, once received, councillors are asked to use these as their designated email. General email is still in operation for the public. As a result of confidentiality issues, the new email addresses will not have a forward or print function. Steve Milner asked if the website could be placed on the agenda for the next meeting so the council can decide the material/subjects for publication to improve lines of communication with the local community. Steve Milner said he currently uses Facebook but with the ‘no comments’ function activated. Websites can be used to provide feedback and forums for discussion but the Council agreed that Facebook was not the forum for debates. Steve Milner is to organise any subjects on the website forum for discussion.
Defibrillator. As the councillor responsible for this has resigned there is no paperwork trail and the process will start again. Adrian Joel volunteered to take responsibility for implementing the sourcing and purchasing. Jon Hicks pointed out that this expenditure has already been agreed and approved (£2000) and he will ask for an update at the next meeting. It was agreed to look at a second defibrillator in the New Year.
Public participation at meetings. Jon Hicks proposed allowing time for discussions with public by allowing three questions from the public floor at end of meetings. Gemma Frost said she preferred public interaction throughout the meeting as the comments were then relevant. The suggestion of a timer being used to limit length of discussions was put forward. Steve Milner agreed with interaction throughout meeting. Adrian Joel advised that meeting time limit was 10pm. Parish Council meetings are not a public meeting and it would be up to the Chair to control the meeting. Public comments are helpful but must be relevant to agenda items.
Items for the next agenda. These would include the appointment of the RFO, voting for Chair and Vice Chair, to decide what subject matter to publish on the website, agreeing the format of meetings, reviewing of all committees and appointment of a new Village Hall representative, date of the next joint meeting with the Village Hall committee in January 2019 and to consider a three-way meeting between the Village Green Working Party, the Village Hall Management Committee and the Parish Council.
Public participation. A parishioner asked if the Council could consider events as community events, such as incorporating the Christmas lights turn on with food and hospitality. A parishioner asked whether a Welcome Pack for new residents was available and Gemma Frost said that this is being worked on.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 6 December at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall.