Thursday, 28 February 2019

Busy in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for March
Saturday 2          Prize bingo, Church Rooms, 2pm        
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 and Garden Club, Village Hall,      2pm
Thursday 14       Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm
Friday 15            Visits from Mobile Library during morning
Monday 18         Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm
Wednesday 20   Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Wednesday 20   Songs of praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm
Saturday 23        Jumble Sale, Church Rooms, 10am to noon
Thursday 28       Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Saturday 30        Litter pick on Green, meet at shop, 10am
  Saturday 30       Spring Fair, Memorial Room at Village Hall, 2pm

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Another Old Buckenham newsletter

March issue now around and about

With lots and lots of news for you to read...

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Old Buckenham raising a bundle

Help with more re-roofing

After the success of the Raise the Roof campaign, achieving the initial aim to thatch the chancel roof on All Saints church, attention is now turning to the nave…an even bigger challenge. The aim of ‘raise a bundle’ is to ask for sponsorship through donations that represent the bundles of reed needed for the roof. It will take approximately 2200 bundles of Norfolk reed to thatch the nave roof each costing about £4. To make sponsorship really easy a ‘Just Giving’ page is now available through which you can make your donation - and see just how much has been raised towards the total cost of the reed - some £8,800. Just go to
If you would rather donate by traditional means, Old Buckenham PCC will be happy to receive your cheque or cash - just make it clear if you want your particular donation to go towards the ‘Raise a bundle’ total.
Of course the cost of the reed is only one part of the total costs of the project and other donations and support for other fundraising efforts for Raise the Roof will be very welcome - there is a long way to go. If the sponsorship received for ‘Raise a bundle’ exceeds the amount finally needed for the reed, the balance will still help ‘Raise the Roof’ and the Church restoration fund.
An application has been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a very substantial grant towards the total project costs and all are waiting with baited breath to hear the outcome, probably sometime in March.

Old roof on left and re-thatched chancel

A £4 bundle is big

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Old Buckenham lifesaver

Defibrillator now active
Old Buckenham now has a defibrillator installed by the front entrance of the village hall and it is now registered on the NHS system and the 999 call centre.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Old Buckenham Parish Council

Parish Council meeting in February
The following 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 7 February 2019 in the Village Hall. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chairman), Gemma Frost, Adrian Joel, Ben Devlin, Steve Milner, and Andy Nicholls. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Parish Clerk), NCC Councillor Stephen Askew, Oliver Lee (Landscape Partnership), Sarah Dye (Village Green Working Party) and five members of the public. Apologies for absence had been received from councillors Donna Oakley and Debbie Callaghan.
Pedestrian crossing. Stephen Askew gave an update on the pedestrian crossing. It is hoped that the crossing will be in place by the start of the new school year in September 2019. However, the council have said that the crossing needs to be lit, despite this not being on the original plans. During his conversations with the County Council, they insist that any crossing placed there will have to be lit, so he has been pushing for them to install the minimum required light and to ensure that the lights are targeted on to the crossing. Adrian Joel was disappointed to hear that lights were required while Gemma Frost raised the question whether the priority was children’s safety or lights on the road. There was concern from Jonn Hicks and Steve Milner that if there was any objection to the lights or crossing, things would go back to consultation stage and may even be lost altogether. It has taken approximately two years to get this far. Sarah Dye explained that it was important for councillors to look at the overall picture rather than just focus on their personal opinion. One member of the public disagreed with the whole crossing as he felt it that a lot of time and money was being spent on putting it in the wrong location but Jonn Hicks explained that there was not a perfect location in the village as people approach the school on foot from lots of directions. Stephen Askew summarised that while it was a disappointment to have the addition of lights, the Parish Council were getting the crossing that they had requested and that it was not possible to pick and choose aspects that we want/don’t want. It was also highlighted by a member of the public that a lot of time and money had been spent on the project so far and would be a shame to waste it and that sometimes making the right choice is not always the most popular. Jonn Hicks thanked Stephen Askew on behalf of the Parish Council for the hard work and time he had put into the project so far.
The Parish Council agreed unanimously to support these changes and the crossing overall.
While in attendance, Stephen Askew explained that the potential new trod (a basic level footpath) on Hargham Road towards the junction could cost approximately £23,000. Also, the drain on Church Lane that has been causing problems is still being investigated but unable to find the cause of the problem at the moment.
Presentation from Oliver Lee from Landscape Partnership. The Village Green Working Party had contacted Oliver Lee about how best to use/manage/improve the Green. Mr Lee explained that due to its size, the Green fragments the village up into separate areas, whereas there was a need to look at ways to use the Green to bring the village together. Mr Lee showed various examples of areas his company had worked on and explained that various aspects would be incorporated: environmental, social, traffic, visual, etc. They would firstly learn about the village before presenting several options that could be discussed and fine-tuned with the Council and the village. Several members of the public commented how much better the Green looked after recent work and were keen to see how it could be improved further. Steve Milner raised the point of needing a long term plan for the Green and village, which brought up the Neighbourhood Plan. Andy Nicholls explained that the Neighbourhood Plan had only been reinstated three months ago so not much progress yet but the proposal put forward by Landscape Partnership will be part of the Neighbourhood Plan. The two aspects need to be unified and cohesive. The issue of funding was raised by the public and Andy Nicholls assured them that there were various methods of funding the project including grants, funds or borrowing money. The Green Working Party will fund Oliver Lee’s initial work initially, as a sub-committee of the Parish Council. A sum of £1000 has been donated towards costs by a member of the public so only £800 required. First report will take approximately two to three months.
Funding for Oliver Lee’s work was approved by all six councillors. A contract would need to be drawn up for this work.
January minutes. The minutes of the parish council meeting held on Thursday 3 January 2019 were approved. There were no matters arising from these minutes.
Public participation. A member of the public raised the issue of the speed of vehicles travelling down Fen Street in the section that was outside of the 30mph zone. Steve Milner had started investigating the speed restrictions of the village and found that the majority of houses lay within 30mph zones. However there were the exceptions, in particular Stacksford, Fen Street, Ragmere and Grove Road. Steve Milner asked that the parish clerk send a letter to Highways, requesting a review of the speed restrictions within the village. Jonn Hicks added that the more letters and emails about this, the better so encouraged any affected residents to write to Highways themselves. It was also requested that Harlingwood Lane be added to the list.
Financial matters. Donna Oakley was absent but had passed on a financial report. The balance in the community account was £39,809.42 and the balance in premium account £2,877.49. Income received included a VAT refund of £1,272.66 and allotment rent of £80.
New planning applications. Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Change of use of agricultural building to a dwelling (3PN/2019/0001/UC). The applicant was Ben Devlin and he explained that there was a Government scheme to convert agricultural buildings to residential use. This is a new application because of a change of the regulations. Ben Devlin then left the room to allow discussion and voting. The council supported the application, two for and three abstaining.
Shardalows Farm, Fen Street. Two-storey and single-storey extensions to farmhouse (3PL/2019/0040/HOU). The council supported the application, five for and one abstaining.
Manor Corner, The Green. Two-storey side extension and internal alterations (3PL/2019/0083/HOU). This was not supported due to over development of site.
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. 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). The above application has now been considered and the application has been approved.
Land south of March Field Way. Residential development of 12 dwellings and associated external works (3PL/2018/0719/F). This application has been approved.
Phone box. Ben Devlin explained his idea at a previous meeting about using the phone box as an information point for the village: maps, walks, events, heritage, suggestion box for public, etc. This was agreed by all councillors. John Hicks explained that the structure has started leaning and will need repairing due to its Grade II listing. Materials have been donated to repair and a local workman has offered to do the work for free. Would have to replace glass at the top, where it says ‘Telephone’.
The use of the Green. The yearly agreement for rent of an area of the village Green for use by the Ox and Plough public house is due to end in March. It was felt clarification was needed on the area included in this agreement and Andy Nicholls suggested drawing the specific area on a map. Jonn Hicks also suggested the rent stay the same for the next agreement but that in the future it would increase in line with inflation and be paid in two instalments. If any extension of that area was required for an event by the Ox and Plough, then they would need to apply to the Parish Council. This was approved with five for and one abstention. The Clerk is to write a new agreement and send to the Ox and Plough along with the first invoice.
Chairman’s report. The initial date for the Annual Parish Meeting falls within ‘purdah’ (the time immediately before the local elections) and therefore has been changed to Friday 31 May as this will give villagers the chance to meet the new Council members and provide any new ideas. Nomination forms for the Parish Council elections need completing and handing in by Wednesday 3 April. Adrian Joel is happy to help anyone and any members of the public who require a form should contact the Parish Clerk. A member of the public raised the issue of advertising to the public. Adrian Joel explained that New Buckenham published an article about becoming a counsellor and asked that the Clerk should write a similar article for publication in the village newsletter and also on Facebook.
District Councillor’s report. The Cabinet have met to make a recommendation of the Breckland share of the Council Tax. It was agreed to set the Council Tax at £88.83 for a Band D property in 2019-20, a £4.95 per annum increase on 2018-19. This will be the recommendation going to the Full Council for approval.
The Legal 106 has now been signed off and planning approval given for the 12 New Cotman Housing Association Houses in March Field Way. These properties are built under the Local Connection Scheme and are available to local people for rent. To qualify you must live, work or have family in Old Buckenham. There is a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom houses and building should start in March/April 2019. For those interested, they must add their name to the Breckland Council list.
Village Green Working Party. A tall tree near the War Memorial is requiring work to reduce its height although this could cause rapid new growth as it is a healthy tree. The recommendation by Breckland Tree Officer is to plant several replacement trees and then to fell the original tree in about eight to ten years time.
The track outside the Gamekeeper requires repair. A contractor has been agreed (after receiving several quotes) and the Brewery has agreed to share the £710 cost. The Green Working Party will pay the Brewery £355 (as the Brewery want the contractor to do some additional work which they will pay for). The Village Workman to cut back and clear vegetation growing into Rod Alley Pond. The Woodland Trust have advised about planting three native British tree species around Ottomer Pond. It is believed that these trees can be sourced for free from several charities and will be planted by Working Party members.
Play Area. The Play Area has passed its annual safety inspection. Some minor repairs are needed and Playdale have been contacted about parts.
Councillors’ reports. Steve Milner said it is one year since telephone mast was approved. The phone company is trying to change terms of access to 24 hours and discussions are still ongoing.
Old Buckenham High School’s 80th Anniversary is approaching and they have a project to interview past pupils. Anyone who was/knows past pupils, please contact Dana Eden at the High School.
Andy Nicholls said the football club had been informed that they can use the MUGA at Chapel Green School during the daytime and they are going to contact the Headteacher. If demand for the outside space increases, then lighting options will be investigated to allow evening use.
Items for next agenda. These will include an Action Log update.

The next Old Buckenham Parish Council meeting will be Thursday 7 March at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Flowers in Old Buckenham

Breckland Flower and Garden Club

February’s meeting was all about romance as the date was Valentine's day. Joy Tunmore opened the meeting with a warm welcome to everyone followed by the sad news of the passing of Marjorie Greenwood. Marjorie will be missed by all at Breckland Flower and Garden Club as shehad  played a huge role - past president and chairman along with supplying plants and cuttings from her own garden for the monthly plant sales table. She was a very popular lady dedicating her life to family, friends and the community. Members shared a minute’s silence followed by a short slide show in honour of Marjorie. Dilky thanked everyone for their show of kindness and support for her family.
The special guest this month was Vicki Hease with her demonstration titled “Treasured moments”. Vicki created six beautiful arrangements, describing the lives of a young couple from engagement through to celebrating their Pearl Wedding anniversary. As she worked she told a story catching the imagination of her audience and the essence of romance. Apparently she has now created a part two demonstration which hopefully she will bring to the Club on a future visit.
The raffle was drawn, with several ladies winning one of Vicki’s arrangements. The competition was judged by Vicki and the winner this month was Allison Vivien, Well done to everyone that entered, all the entries were stunning.
The next meeting is the Club’s AGM, on Thursday 14 March starting at 2pm. There will be a workshop and members need to bring a bunch of pink tulips and scissors. Then there will be cakes plus the handing over of a cheque to the NNUH Breast Cancer Care Unit. Prior to the next meeting, the last event for this charity will be a Fashion Show at M and Co in Attleborough on Wednesday 6 March at 7pm. Tickets are limited but still available.
For more details regarding membership,visiting the club or the Fashion Show please contact Christine Hewson on 01953 454528 or Sally Westrup on
01953 788712.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Old Buckenham School after LEGO

Please collect the tokens
Chapel Green School are collecting the tokens that are now appearing in the EDP and are asking for help to win the school some LEGO.
The EDP are running a new campaign with CreativeHUT, giving primary and junior schools across the region the chance to share £10,000 worth of LEGO Education resources.
Our Chapel Green School would like to take part in this competition and for every 1,000 tokens they collect, they will receive £50 worth of LEGO. The top three schools who collect most tokens will win £1,000 worth of LEGO (this is based on number of pupils in the school versus tokens collected, meaning that all schools have a chance, both big and small).
Tokens started appearing in the EDP on Saturday 9 February and everyday there will be tokens in the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News (two on Saturdays) as well as some of the weekly titles such as the Lowestoft Journal and the Dereham Times also including tokens.
Tokens are now in the papers and the final token will be printed on Friday 3 May. Please spread the word and collect up as many as you can. Ask your neighbours and friends too to cut them out for you if you know they read the EDP. You can take the tokens along to Reception at the school or, if more convenient, give them to the blog editor or put them through the letterbox at his house, Crockslea in Cake Street.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Old Buckenham Women's Institute

January 2019 meeting
President, Kate Lloyd, welcomed members of Old Buckenham Women’s Institute to the first meeting of 2019 including the new secretary Betty Stacey and WI Adviser Carol Cousins.
A minute's silence was held in memory of Marjorie Greenwood, a member of Bunwell and Carleton Rode WI and a long serving judge at Old Buckenham's Produce Show.
Members and friends had enjoyed a trip to the Theatre Royal for the Norwich and Norfolk Amateur Operatic Society's production of Guys and Dolls.
The speaker for the evening was Helen Reeve who owns a 60-head herd of Dexter cattle in the Waveney Valley, one of only a handful of Dexter breeders in Norfolk. She also teaches at Easton and Otley colleges. Helen spoke about the organisation 'Ladies in Beef'. This was set up following the realisation that other groups promoted aspects of farming for instance Ladies in Pigs, Farm Women's club and the NFU but there was nothing specific to celebrate beef production. Launched by Princess Anne in 2011 it is now countrywide and champions high welfare status beef concentrating on the health and welfare of cattle. It also runs an annual Great British Beef Week which raises funds for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute.
In January all WI members vote for one of the year's Resolutions which this year covered the environment, women's health and rural buses. The majority of Old Buckenham's votes went to plant bio-security with the promoting of smear tests coming second. The one or two resolutions gaining most votes throughout the country will be discussed and passed for campaigning on at WI’s national AGM in June.
Vouchers were awarded to those members gaining most points in the two competitions held at each meeting throughout the year. Barbara Frost won for Flower of the Month and Kathy Fleckney for the monthly competition. A posy of flowers was given to Susan Hunter for consistently entering both categories.
At the next meeting on Thursday 28 
February Norma Howell will be taking about medical detection dogs. Then on Thursday 28 March at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall the speaker will be Christine Humphries on 'Laura Eke and the fisherman who painted in wood'.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

At All Saints Church Old Buckenham

An unusual scene
The mourners mostly came by car but the coffin was given a special arrival.

Returning home

Friday, 1 February 2019

The Gamekeeper in Old Buckenham

A message from Tony and Jen
Hi Old Buckenham, we have been asked by Ron (the village newsletter and blog editor) to drop you a line and bring you up to date with what is happening at The Gamekeeper. So here it is.

You will no doubt have heard the rumours that we are leaving The Gamekeeper. The reason for writing this is not just to confirm that rumour but also, as you know, rumours lead to gossip and with gossip there is always a victim who gets hurt. So, to prevent this we would like to outline the motivation behind our decision.
The fact is there is not currently enough business in The Gamekeeper. In an effort to keep the overheads down we are each working 80 hours per week and that is not sustainable. We could employ more people but the revenue can’t afford it, we are just working to pay the VAT. If the government would see sense and reduce the VAT on food sold in a pub, in line with the supermarkets, then a lot more country pubs like ours (yours) would survive. It’s our belief that in 10 years’ time there will be no country pubs as a result of this and business rates. We also have tried to get people to understand that The Gamekeeper’s history of being a restaurant is no longer valid, instead it is “A PUB that serves food” but unfortunately this has not been the perception.
We also understand that some of you will be very critical of Ei Group (you know them as Enterprise). Well we would like to put this straight. As with all organisations it’s the person who is your first point of contact that sets the standard and Adam has been very fair with us as over the past 6 months our rent has been significantly reduced in an effort to keep this pub going.
So, the only thing for us to do sadly is to move on and make way for another publican with more energy than we have, with more backing and hopefully more support from the local people. Ei are currently recruiting and, to our knowledge, there is at least one couple in the frame and producing their business plan.
Sadly, but with some relief, we say bye to Old Buckenham. Our contract termination date is Tuesday 16 April so this will be our last day but if the new publican is ready before then it could be sooner. That would be better for them as to take over one week before Easter could be difficult.
All that remains is for us thank the lovely people that have supported us and to wish you all well.

Tony & Jen