Saturday, 31 August 2019

Old Buckenham pedestrian crossing

Ready to be switched on
The builders' compound and the equipment has gone has gone, just leaving some flattened grass. Grass seed has been liberally sprinkled over the disturbed ground.
The new posts have been wired up and the lights fitted. Covers are draped over the lights.
All looks ready to be in operation for when school restarts at the beginning of next week.

Old Buckenham September newsletter

What can you learn from this month's issue?
There is information on the re-thatching of All Saints Church, the infamous village Produce Show, the possible future for the Gamekeeper and the metal detectorists next visit.
Read it all carefully.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Gamekeeper in Old Buckenham

Can you help with a rescue?
The owners of the Gamekeeper are intending to sell. The Gamekeeper pub is registered as a community asset and the parish council registered an interest to buy.  Villagers are trying to set up a team to create a community pub/restaurant.  There is a lot of work to do some of which will need people with specialist  skills such as having an accountant on the team.  These specialist positions will need to be voluntary as there is no cash at this stage.  Unfortunately, despite initial enthusiasm, it has not been able to get a team together at present. Therefore  one more request is being made to ask for volunteers, particularly accountants, builders, food and drink specialists, etc.  If there is not any response it would mean that there is insufficient appetite in the village for this purchase.  So if you are interested in being a part of a group to progress this exciting opportunity for our village please urgently express your interest by contacting Steve Milner via

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Old Buckenham's new white lines

Road markings for the new crossing
White lines have now been painted on the B1077.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Old Buckenham parish council

Notes of August minutes
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 August in the Village Hall. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Andy Nicholls and Mike Farrington as well as Rachel Noyes (Clerk), Stephen Askew (County and District councillor) and 13 members of the public.
Apologies for absence had been received from councillors Donna Oakley, Gemma Frost, Terry Cook and Ben Devlin. The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 4 July were approved (5 in favour).
Matters arising from those minutes. Adrian Joel is to meet with George Freeman MP on Friday 2 August about the proposed weather radar.
Public participation relating to agenda items. An enquiry had been made about the use of metal detectors around the roadworks area that has been dug up (after work is finished for the day). Bus shelter stop has been suspended but no replacement announced. Rachel Noyes will look at information and enquire. County Broadband deadline is by Friday 6 September for those interested in signing up. District councillor Stephen Askew said the local plan has been delayed but hopefully will be signed off by the end of the year. There has been some confusion during the road works on the B1077 including some lorry drivers but it was felt this was generally their own fault as the works had been clearly signed.
Financial matters. The community account balance was £41,073.98. Total payments of £712.90 were approved including £240 to power wash both the play area and the phone box and £106.65 to the community car drivers.
Planning applications. (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. Slade Lane Farm, Slade Lane. Proposed 6m extension to general purpose agricultural building (3PL/2019/0778/F). This application was supported by the parish council (5 in favour).
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. Southview, Fen Street. Erection of single storey front extension to create sun room, hall and wc (3PL/2019/0661/HOU).
Eastview, Cake Street. Conversion of existing detached bungalow to 2 number 3-bedroom semi-detached houses, incorporating ground floor side and rear extensions with new roof to accommodate new first floors (3PL/2019/0540/F).
Both the two above applications have now been considered by Breckland and have been approved.
The Gamekeeper. Adrian Joel informed about an open meeting held to discuss possibilities around the Gamekeeper pub. Breckland Council have been contacted for a clearer definition of a ‘Community Group’. There was a need to inform Breckland Council by Sunday 4 August about possible interest (and therefore prevent it going on the open market). If there is an interest, the PC or a community group would have until Tuesday 24 December to find funding. While the only current group (under their definitions) is the Parish Council, a community group could still form in that time and make the purchase, according to Breckland Council. By triggering the full moratorium period, there is no commitment to purchase.
A parishioner was keen to investigate the possibility of purchasing it. He explained the disadvantages of triggering the full moratorium period would be delaying outside investment in the pub/village. The advantages would be that it would provide time for those interested to investigate the building/business fully and establish if it was worthwhile purchasing and how best to run it (ie run it themselves, hire someone in, change style, etc). Several parishioners supported trigging the moratorium period. They explained that as the parish council had shown interest in listing as a community asset previously, then they should give the community time to investigate it fully now. Some councillors expressed a clear desire for the parish council not to fund the purchase but to be there to simply help any community groups and to facilitate any possible purchase.
Steve Milner put forward a proposal and Adrian Joel requested a named vote on the topic. The proposal to trigger the full moratorium period was approved (4 councillors in favour with Adrian Joel voting against).
Allotments. An allotment holder has written to the Parish Council enquiring about the possibility of running a gardening programme to help those less fortunate (ie suffering from depression, Alzheimer sufferers, etc). Everyone felt this was a very good idea and could help a lot of people. However Jonn Hicks explained that there may be some slight problem if they are planning on running a business from it (as it said a business plan was to be written) and making money. The parishioner will be invited to the next meeting where clarification and further information can be provided. A parishioner suggested looking at Norfolk Community Foundation for extra support.
Action Log. Councillor Gemma Frost was absent and so this item will be discussed at the next meeting.
Chairman’s report. The Village Green Working Party had received two quotes for installing concrete bench bases for seats by Ottomer pond. Locations have been chosen so that all face towards the pond. Some memorial benches in village have not been well maintained. New guidelines on the placing of benches have been drawn up and these were approved (5 in favour).
Roadworks for the crossing had started. Still waiting to hear from D Jacklin (Highways) to approve sites for the electronic speed sign. Thank you to councillor Stephen Askew for all his hard work to get the crossing on the B1077.
Play Area. This would be closed on Sunday 11 August for maintenance and repairs. Thanks were due to all of those that cleared weeds recently.
Councillors’ reports. Andy Nicholls said the village handyman unable to sand-blast the phone box but was happy to paint it if needed. Jonn Hicks explained that he has a volunteer from the village to paint it. Steve Milner talked about the County Broadband meeting held in the Village Hall recently about providing fibre broadband to properties. Requires 179 people to sign up to get it started. The Parish Council is not endorsing the company but simply explaining what was said. Adrian Joel said thanks were due to Martin Hodgson and Dave Tranmer for a new duck house by Ottomer Pond. Also that the Ox and Plough have donated £50 to the Raise the Roof fund.
Neighbourhood Plan. Presently looking at project plans for other villages. The clerk is to enquire about costs, etc, for a private company to complete a neighbourhood plan for the village.
Items for next agenda. These would include spending money on the play area and the Neighbourhood Plan.
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 5 September at 7.30pm at Old Buckenham Village Hall.

Apologies, a note from the clerk. In June’s parish council meeting, it was explained that a councillor witnessed a van bearing the company name Culling Scrap Metal Ltd disposing of their waste in to the village waste bins. Since then, discussions with the van driver have said that the van is no longer registered to the company and the waste was general daily rubbish and so was nothing to do with the company.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Old Buckenham displays musicals

Flower Festival at the Methodist Church
If you visit the Methodist Church in Hargham Road today from 1pm or tomorrow from  10am you can see many flower arrangements depicting famous musicals. You can have a go at the quizzes, enjoy the refreshments and even have a go at doing an arrangement yourself.
The event closes at 4pm on each day.
Here are some photos of the colourful arrangements, go and see them all for yourselves.

(click on the images to see them at a larger scale)

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Happening on Old Buckenham Green

Today's activities
The village handyman is installing the concrete bases for new seats that will be positioned around Ottomer pond.

The closure of the B1077 is due to start again tomorrow and the signs are ready in position.
Thankfully the spelling has been corrected and we have become Old Buckenham again.

Work continues on the new pedestrian crossing. The poles for the lamp posts are being installed as well as the pathways to the spot where you will be walking across the B1077.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Church closure in Old Buckenham

Re-thatching to re-start soon

At 11am on Sunday 8 September, after you've popped your entries into the village hall for the produce show, you are invited to come along to All Saints Church for a very informal service to mark the forthcoming closure of the church building and the start of the nave re-thatching work.
Every month All Saints have a service called ‘Morning Prayer’ (or sometimes ‘Service of the word’). It is often led by someone other than a minister and doesn’t include communion. Those leading the worship have a bit of freedom when it comes to the content of the service and on Sunday 8 September it will stray even further away from the ‘norm’. Even if you have never been to a church service at All Saints (or anywhere) before, they would love to see you. There will be a few hymns and prayers and a chance to share a bit of history and to meet a couple of ‘visitors’ from All Saints past.
Instead of the usual weekly collection for church funds there will be a donation box in the church for the Norfolk Churches Trust - an organisation committed to supporting the wonderful wealth of church buildings in Norfolk. The 'bike ride' around the various Norfolk churches, also raising funds for the NCT, will be taking place on the following Saturday 14 September.
Coffee, etc, will be served in the Church Rooms after the service. You will still have time to get home for lunch before heading off to the village show to check on the prize winners in the Produce Show.
You are of course welcome to every service at All Saints. The last service in the church before it closes for the re-thatching work will be the Harvest Festival on Sunday 15 September. Services after that date will either be held in the Church Rooms or an alternative venue (watch out for more information) until the work is completed in the early spring 2020.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Hardy exotics in Old Buckenham

Breckland Flower and Garden Club

The Club ended July with a visit to Mickfield Hostas on what was a very hot day. Several members made the journey and had a very enjoyable time exploring the nursery and buying a selection of hostas. 
The attendance at the August meeting was low mainly because of holidays and a clash of date with the NAFAS Diamond Anniversary celebrations in London that several members were attending. Those that were able to attend enjoyed a talk by Richard Clark of Panache Plants entitled ‘Hardy Exotics’. Richard delivered an excellent talk, encouraging members to ask questions. He managed to captivate everyone with his enthusiasm for the plants and his wealth of knowledge that he was happy to share. He also brought along a selection of plants for members to purchase. There were no entries in the monthly competitions but members still enjoyed the raffle and refreshments. A special thank you to Sally Westrup for holding the fort and making sure everything ran smoothly with the absent of so many members.
The Club’s next meeting is in Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 12 September at 2pm with a talk by Sarah Hammond titled “Peonies”. The competition is “Summer” using last of the garden treasures with the Joan Fisher trophy for best use of colour
For more details regarding any of the above including membership/visiting the club, please contact Christine Hewson on 01953 454528 or Sally Westrup on 01953 788712.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Old Buckenham WI in July

Improving your driving
The July meeting of Old Buckenham WI began with a minute’s silence in memory of their dear friend and committee member Gill Freitag.
The speaker for the evening was Martin Woodhouse of the charity 'I am road smart' (formerly known as the Institute of Advanced Motorists). Martin gave a great deal of advice and information on how to drive more safely. He told members that road traffic accidents are the leading cause of premature death in the world and 95% of all crashes are caused by driver error. The majority of roads in Norfolk are rural and these pose more hazards than motorways and A roads. Reaction time for an adult is 2/3rds of a second (greater with age) which at 30 mph means travelling 30 ft before applying the brake. Martin advised giving cyclists a wide berth (as if overtaking a car) and if alongside a lorry on a roundabout stay behind it as the driver can't see you. This applies on dual carriageways too, drive in the gaps between lorries until you can safely go past. Another good tip is to apply the 2 second rule. Allow 2 seconds between you and the car in front to give yourself braking time. If you are being tailgated increase this to 4 seconds. There was also advice on driving on flooded or icy roads and using fuel economically by removing unnecessary baggage and not leaving the engine running to defrost the windscreen. With theft in mind Martin suggested locking valuables out of sight and for keyless ignition cars using a Faraday purse to contain your entry key. All this information was given in an entertaining and anecdotal way.
President Kate Lloyd thanked the hostesses and cooks for making the annual Progressive Supper such a success. Names were taken for the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society’s production of 'Made in Dagenham' in January, for the visit to Costessey September, for proposed visits to Hotter shoes and Norwich Cathedral's Broderers Guild and for a quiz.
The meeting took place on the hottest evening of the year and members were treated to a spectacular thunderstorm as they left.
The next meeting is on Thursday 26 September at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall when Miss Gerry Foster will speak about sheepdog training.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Old Buckenham village produce show

Are you getting ready to show?
The Open Produce and Handicraft Show takes place on Saturday 8 September. Schedules giving details of all the 102 classes were distributed with the June issue of the village newsletter.

Here are all the classes. You can enlarge the images just by clicking on the

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Housing appears in Old Buckenham

Across the fields
The roofs of the new housing in March Field Way are now surfacing above the cornfield alongside Ragmere Road.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Over the limit in Old Buckenham

Speed measurements

As part of a planning application for work on a house in Cake Street, the developers needed to get a traffic survey done. For just one week (27 June to 3 July) the amount of traffic and its speed was measured on the B1077 just by the entrance/exit of the blog editors's front garden. 
There is a 30mph speed limit on this stretch of road.
Some 30,418 vehicles were counted. 
Of these 2599 vehicles were measured doing 35 to 40mph
266 vehicles were doing 40 to 45mph 
46 vehicles were doing 45 to 50mph 
16 vehicles were doing 50 to 55mph 
No vehicles  were measured in the 55 to 60mph range
One vehicle was found to doing over 
With a total of over 30,000 vehicles, perhaps 2928 doing more than 5mph over the official speed limit doesn't seem too unusual. But if all of them had been given the standard fine of £100 this could have raised nearly £30,000. Assuming this was a typical week for traffic, in one year that would amount to over £15 million...
Luckily the blog editor was not driving out of his front drive when the vehicle doing over 60mph was coming round the blind corner so he is still here to post things on the Old Buckenham blog.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Parking at Old Buckenham village hall

Car park permits
The following information was provided for people bringing children to the primary school during term time but may be of interest to other villagers.
Why do we need to pay to park in the Village Hall car park? The Village Hall is responsible for maintaining its private car park. The car park is not a public car park. The school parents/carers collecting and dropping off children at the school are the most regular and largest body of traffic to use the car park and money from the permits helps pay towards the ongoing cost of maintaining it.
Why is there a permit system? There aren't enough spaces for everyone who might want to park here. The permit system ensures the number of daily users closely matches the number of spaces available.
How much does it cost to use? A permit for the entire school year costs £30 for school users or £20 for pre-school users. If you join mid-year, it's either £10 per term for school users, or £7 per term for pre-school users.
How many permits do I need? You only need to pay for 1 permit per household. If you have multiple different adults driving the same children, that's fine; just tell us how many permits you need. It's still only £30 but of course, you can only use 1 permit at a time.
What about family/friends who occasionally collect my children? We know sometimes you'll have to ask someone else to do the school run. That's fine - we sometimes undertake permit checks in which case they may be asked for your name and it will be checked against the permit database.
How do I get a permit? The system is run by parent volunteers on behalf of the Village Hall. Please email and they will send you a copy of the Terms and Conditions, plus a Data Protection Statement. They will also ask you for some basic details.
What if I don't want to buy a permit? Sorry, but you can't use the Village Hall car park for the school run. Work is being conducted by OId Buckenham Parish Council to determine how the village can meet the parking needs of future school users. For the current generation, efficient use of the Village Hall car park is essential to meet the needs of parents/carers and we welcome your ongoing support of the permit system to ensure the safety of our children.
For other information please take a look at our Facebook page @OBcarpark