Thursday, 31 January 2019

Yet another Old Buckenham newsletter

February issue available for you to read

Copies have been distributed around and, subject to the weather, many may be making their way through your letter box along with the Six Villages Newsletter.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

A little snow in Old Buckenham

Winter delight
A sprinkling of snow and some bright clear skies make Old Buckenham Green look as pretty as a picture.

February events in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for February

Monday 4          Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Tuesday 5          Coffee and Chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards

Wednesday 6    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 7        Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday 13  Chapel Friendship Group, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 14      Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 14      Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm

Friday 15           Visits from Mobile Library during morning

Saturday 16       Senior Citizens' lunch, Village Hall, 1pm for 1.30pm

Saturday 16       Classic Cinema, Village Hall, 6.30pm

Monday 18        Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 20  Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

 Thursday 28    Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Rooms you can book in Old Buckenham

Places for you to use
The Church Rooms. There are lots of things going on these days in the Church Rooms in Old Buckenham. There are new pilates classes (including one for the over 60s), the weekly Art Group, the Monday Mardle, the Fawns baby and toddler group, bingo sessions, whist drives, the Wine and Social Circle, Cubs, and every Sunday after the service in All Saints there is coffee from about 10.30am.
It is a great venue for parties or craft courses or training groups. Why not come along and try something new this year? Or book the rooms for your own event. Hire charges start from only £5 per hour. Lydia Darrah on 01953 861360
 or can point you in the right direction for details of all of the groups using the hall and is the person to contact for new bookings. 

Methodist Church. The Old Buckenham Methodist Church in Hargham Road is available for bookings for meetings, events and activities. It is fully renovated with a kitchen and ample parking. There is a small booking fee to cover costs, though reductions are available to Old Buckenham residents, charities and church groups. To enquire please contact 01953 861207 or email

Village Hall. Old Buckenham also has a lovely Village Hall for larger functions like wedding receptions, adult and children's parties, film shows, quizzes, etc. It seats 120 people, has a sprung floor for dancing, a well equipped kitchen and a bar. Then there is also the Memorial Hall that has recently been refurbished with a carpeted floor and new furniture, particularly suitable for smaller functions. All for hire at very competitive rates.
For booking enquiries contact Eileen Oliver at or telephone her on 01953 860664.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Old Buckenham helps homeless

Big donation to St Martins
There was the opportunity on Saturday 26 January to hear about all the wide rang of work carried out by the St Martins charity to help the homeless in Norwich.

More than £36,000 had been raised during 2018 and this meeting at The Gamekeeper in Old Buckenham was arranged so that those volunteers that had been collecting at supermarkets and raising money by other activities could hear first hand from some of the people that were being helped by St Martins.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Old Buckenham Parish Council

February's meeting
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
A meeting of the Old Buckenham Parish Council took place on Thursday 3 January at 7.30pm in the Village Hall, Old Buckenham.
Those present were councillors Jon Hicks (Chairman), Adrian Joel, Debbie Callaghan, Ben Devlin, Steve Milner and Donna Oakley Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk)and two members of the public. Apologies for absence had been received from Gemma Frost and Andy Nichols.
Rachel Noyes was welcomed and introduced as the new Parish Clerk.
Minutes of the December meeting. Jon Hicks had been contacted by a contractor who wished to complain about their name being published in December’s minutes against a high quotation claiming that it reflected poorly on his company. Adrian Joel explained that names had always been published in the past. Ben Devlin and Steve Milner agreed that everything discussed in a public meeting should be published. Debbie Callaghan highlighted that it could affect his business and that councillors should have checked the minutes before publication. No one had contacted Jon Hicks about the minutes. It was agreed that quotations should be published for clarity with parishioners but they should be anonymous and that councillors will have one week to check the minutes of the meeting before it is sent for publishing on the village blog and published in the village newsletter. Also a letter would be sent to the contractor apologising for this mistake.
The minutes were accepted subject to amendments.
Matters arising from these minutes. Adrian Joel said that Oliver Lee was unable to attend this month’s meeting and so will be coming to February’s meeting instead. The public will be notified.
Adrian Joel asked when the wall behind the old Parish Council notice board would be repaired. Steve Milner is to organise repair work.
Public participation. A parishioner wished everyone a Happy New Year. He explained that while he liked the objectives of the council it doesn’t always feel like they were being achieved. Some 41 meetings ago, the matter of a blind drain which caused frequent flooding to his garden was mentioned to Councillor Stephen Askew. However, nothing has been done. Jon Hicks agreed and stated that Norfolk CC and Highways will be informed in order to investigate and complete any work.
A parishioner also asked if there will be a public consultation regarding the location of the crossing of the B1077 as he did not feel that the proposed location was the most useful or logical. The public should be provided with more information regarding the crossing. Steve Milner explained that the Parish Council had no choice in the location and, as the process has taken so long and even failed in the past, we should focus on the positives that we are getting a crossing and should work together to find best ways of making it work for the village. Steve Milner to write to County Councillor Stephen Askew to ask for an update on the crossing.
The parishioner commented that he felt good progress had been made in the village by the Parish Council and felt that the hard work should be demonstrated and highlighted to the parishioners. Is getting rid of a designated PC noticeboard diluting the importance of the council?
Debbie Callaghan raised the issue of moles on the Green and that after all the hard work and money spent on it, it now highlights the mess made by the moles. No representative of the Village Green Committee was present to comment. Adrian Joel explained that a previous attempt was unsuccessful as it was too big an area to control and it is an expensive process with no guarantee of success.
Planning. (All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal and parish councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting.)
New planning applications. Meadowcroft, Doe Lane. Removal of agricultural restriction. (3PL/2018/1460/VAR)
The councillors agreed to support the application (4 for, 1 against,1 abstaining).
Document for planning issues. Jon Hicks provided a sheet with a tick-box list of factors that are considered during the planning process. It also clearly stated reasons that cannot be considered. It was laminated so that it can be reused by councillors for each planning application. Adrian Joel explained that the tick-box can be used to determine the balance of for/against arguments for an application. Ben Devlin found the sheet nice and clear, simple and straight forward. He also hoped to develop one in the future so that it runs along-side the Neighbourhood Plan in considering what we want within the village. Debbie Callaghan mentioned that they hoped to complete the next Village Survey both online and by post.
Assets of community Jon Hicks introduced the idea of adding the village shop to a list of Assets of Community Value which would allow the village to bid for the building, should it be put up for sale in the future. While the current lease of the shop is for sale, the building itself is not. If we were interested we would have six weeks to bid and then a further six months to find the money. Ben Devlin questioned whether having a community shop would be a good idea due to the difficulty in staffing it. It would be a large commitment by the village. Other villages with community shops/pubs were having trouble staffing it and therefore resorted to paying salaries. Debbie Callaghan reminded that it is important to a lot of people in the village, especially as it houses the Post Office. Debbie Callaghan also suggested that it could simply owned by the village and then rented out. JH explained that adding the shop to the list of village assets would simply give the Parish Council the option to bid in the future.
It was agreed that the village shop be added to the list of village assets (six approved/no objections/no abstaining).
Chairman’s report. Defibrillator is ready to be installed. Been let down by three electricians but two more are coming to quote for work. Should hopefully be completed by the end of January. The phone box is Grade II listed so has to be repaired, specifically the glass pane at the top stating Telephone. It is leaning towards the pond so will be lifted and placed on new base as well as being fully restored. Ideas are needed for its use after restoration. Ben Devlin suggested using it as a community hub of information - Parish Council minutes, a drop-box for suggestions and comments by residents, maps for walkers, surveys, What’s On information, etc. Full discussion would take place at the February meeting. Jon Hicks is to get quotes for the restoration work although he is keen to also use community help if possible.
District Councillors’ report. Breckland Council will be holding a Town and Parish Forum on Thursday 21 February in the Committee Suite at Elizabeth House, Dereham from 5.45pm. It is hoped that a councillor(s) from the Parish Council will attend. The consultation on the recommendations from the Inspector on the Local Plan should take place for a six-week period during January/February. Councillors and residents will be informed when dates are received.
The Planning Committee is to discuss the Attleborough SUE Outline Planning Application in early February (date not yet confirmed). In view of comments from the Parish Council in September 2017 and the views of residents, a parish councillor should speak at the meeting. Steve Milner dealt with it previously and will attend to speak. Jon Hicks also offered to speak, provided Steve Milner could provide the information.
If any rough sleepers are spotted locally, especially during this cold weather, contact Breckland Council on 01362 656870 for emergency shelter.
Recreation Area.The goals are in a poor state. Local children should be consulted on what they would like to have there and ideas of use. Debbie Callaghan is to speak to the High School for possible collaborative work. Steve Milner had asked previously on social media but received no suggestions. Jon Hicks explained that work was planned to build a shelter but the idea got scrapped once the High School became part of the Sapientia Education Trust.
Councillors’ reports. Steve Milner said the Village Cinema is being relaunched and the first film would be Lawrence of Arabia on Saturday 16 February. Adrian Joel said the lighting on MUGA has been paid.
Jon Hicks said that twice-a-year meetings are to take place between the Parish Council and Village Hall Committee (VHC). First was to be on Wednesday 23 January. VHC against including Green Committee, as suggested by Jon Hicks. Jon Hicks, Adrian Joel, Ben Devlin and Steve Milner all volunteered to attend.
Parish meeting. The Village Parish Meeting will be held on Friday 22 March starting at 7.30pm and all councillors are requested to attend. A guest speaker is required, nothing political as it is in the run up to local elections. Any suggestions to the chairman Jon Hicks.
Items for next agenda. These will include the phone box, the purchase of more defibrillators and the Oliver Lee Presentation.

The next Parish Council meeting to be held on Thursday 7 February at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Disco evening in Old Buckenham

Re-live your youth
Or perhaps come and see what your parents enjoyed when they were young...

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Old Buckenham roof nears completion

Nearly there
Whether you look at the south side or the north side, the newly-thatched chancel roof at All Saints now has now got its patterned ridge.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Walking in Old Buckenham

Starting off the New Year
Villagers (and their dogs) collected up outside the Church Rooms to enjoy a walk around the local footpaths.

First they all gathered to have their photo taken
Then it was off in one long line across the Green
A couple of hours later there were a few people still walking back across the Green towards All Saints
Enjoying some well-deserved soup and a roll
Queuing for their refreshment.

The refreshments were free but the generous walkers donated just over £250 which will go the the Raise the Roof fund.