Saturday, 28 September 2019

What to do in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for October

Tuesday 1    Coffee and Chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards

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

Thursday 3    Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 5    Village Quiz, Village Hall, 7pm

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

Wednesday 9    Chapel Friendship Group, Methodist Church, 2.30pm

Thursday 10    Breckland Flower and Garden Club, 2pm

Thursday 10    Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm

Saturday 12    Clear up in All Saints churchyard from 10am

Saturday 12    Bring and buy sale, Church Rooms, 2pm to 4pm

Wednesday 16    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Wednesday 16    Songs of praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

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

Thursday 21    Women's Institute birthday party

Friday 25    Visits from Mobile Library during morning

Saturday 26    Conservation skills day, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 3.30pm

Wednesday 30    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 31    Halloween Cafe, Chapel Green School

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Flowers and Gardening in Old Buckenham

Flower and Garden Club
At September's meeting, prior to introducing their guest speaker, members of Breckland Flower and Garden Club had an informal talk from Simon Pain, Breast Cancer Consultant Surgeon at the NNUH. This was a rescheduled visit from March’s AGM when the club presented a cheque for £8,000 to the Breast Cancer Charity at the hospital. Simon thanked the club and gave an insight into the plans moving forward for the future of the Breast Cancer Care Unit, explaining the new Boudicca Charity providing a one stop clinic for patients alleviating the worrying waiting time from diagnosis to treatment.
Next it was time to introduce Sarah Hammond with her talk “Peonies”. Sarah presented her talk with a slide show of delightful peonies. She told members a little bit about herself and how she had married a farmer whose mother had a passion for peonies which she too became enchanted with, now having a successful business growing and supplying seasonal Norfolk flowers for all occasions (
Sarah kindly judged the competition and table arrangements, Alison Vivian was this month’s winner. The afternoon concluded with refreshments and the raffles.
The Club’s next meeting is in Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 10 October at 2pm with Adele Kent and her demonstration entitled “Top Hat and Tails”. The competition is “Rainbow End” with the Barbara Fisher Trophy for best modern design.
The Club is planning a Charity Ploughman’s Lunch in Bunwell Village Hall on Wednesday 30 October from 12 noon to 2pm. Admission is £7 per person and if you wish to go along, please see below for contact details. All proceeds will be going to the Norfolk Accident Rescue Services (NARS) which is the charity the Club is supporting this year.
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.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

To Old Buckenham and beyond

Peddling around the churches
On Saturday 14 September at 9am Roger Peacock set off from All Saints Church, Old Buckenham, on his bike with the target of visiting as many of Norfolk's churches as possible before 5pm. This annual charity ride for the Norfolk Churches Trust has gone on for many years but this year seemed a good time to join in as they have just arranged a substantial contribution towards the re-thatching of All Saints Church.
The weather was spectacular. Clear blue sky, hardly a puff of wind and comfortably warm temperatures made for a cyclist's dream. Norfolk is blessed with both a wealth of historic churches (650 of them) and a fabulous network of tiny country lanes to travel between them. Roger had struggled for a few days trying to plan a route and was extremely grateful when the revered newsletter/blog editor passed on his routing experience which he found invaluable (including his tip for the church with the best food!).
The variety of church buildings is breathtaking, from the ancient Norman round-towered sites such as Gissing to the brand new modernism of St Henry Morse Catholic Church in Diss, from the simple Baptist Chapels to the most ornate Angel Roofed classicism of the 15th century.
His ride took him on a loop via Eccles and Quidenham to the south and then a long stretch up to Hethel in the north before setting off back down to Diss where the churches are thankfully closer together. In the end he managed 38 visits and thanks to the very generous sponsors should have raised around £500 for the Churches Trust.
The real heroes of the day however, were the lovely volunteer tellers who waited patiently in the churches to greet intrepid visitors with a smile, a drink of squash and a custard cream. Some were there in the tiniest of backroad hamlets from 9 till 5, only receiving a handful of visits but they quietly got on with their Catherine Cooksons with no complaints.
Roger said he had a thoroughly enjoyable day and by the time he returned to Old Buckenham village he'd consumed 62 miles (and 38 custard creams).

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Old Buckenham parish council minutes

What was discussed in September
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 5 September in the Village Hall.
Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Andy Nicholls, Terry Cook and Gemma Frost. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and four members of the public. Apologies for absence had been received from Donna Oakley and Mike Farrington with Ben Devlin expected to arrive late. The minutes of the parish council meeting held on Thursday 1 August were approved (5 in favour, 1 abstain). Matters arising from those minutes were that no new information had been received from County Broadband regarding numbers signed up. A lot of villages locally have been approached yet the company can only work on three at a time.
Public participation. A member of the public requested to know what the Green Committee had spent £5,300 on during the last financial year. It was explained that any spending is stated in the Green Committee monthly minutes but that the chairman would request a list at next the Green Committee meeting for the parishioner.
Thanks were given to Dave Keable for a day’s work tidying the village playground.
Financial matters. The present Community account balance is £40,156.18. Payments approved totalled £825.54 (six in favour) and included £97.45 to the community car drivers and £90 for cutting the grass in the recreation area. The cost of the concrete bases for seats around Ottomer pond (£546) was paid from the Charity account.
Planning applications and Breckland District Council’s decisions.
(All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal – - Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting).
New planning applications. 4 Hargham Close, First floor side flat roof extension and later amendment for pitched roof (3PL/2019/0739/HOU). This application was supported by the parish council (6 in favour).
Roughlands Farm, Grove Road. Change of use of agricultural building to dwelling (permitted development) (3PN/2019/0042/UC). Andy Nicholls explained that the parish council had previously voted against the application and should have tried to show some consistency. It has been re-submitted using another example as evidence for their application. As the application fell within development, it was felt that the parish council views would not be influential. This application was supported by the parish council (4 in favour, 1 against, 2 abstain).
(Ben Devlin arrived)
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. Slade Lane Farm, Slade Lane. Proposed 6m extension to general purpose agricultural building (3PL/2019/0778/F). The above application has now been considered and the application has been approved
Site at Harlingwood Lane. Construction of two new dwelling houses and garages (3PL/2019/0333/F). This had been referred to the Planning Committee but the parish council were informed by Adrian Joel and Andy Nichols that this application had just been approved. While it was initially down for refusal, they had previously approved a site on Harlingwood Lane despite Highways objecting and so therefore approved this application too. It went through by eight votes to two. Councillor Stephen Askew spoke for the application (and was therefore not allowed to vote) and no one spoke against the application. This is now two more houses off the village quota of 17.
Allotments. The parishioner who has informed the parish council of planned charity work at the allotments was unable to attend at last minute. They will attend next month to clarify. Gemma Frost said that the beehive that was previously applied for has been placed on the field behind the allotments and that the allotment appears to be used as a bit of a dumping ground. The Clerk to write a letter requesting improved care of plot.
Adrian Joel raised the issue of allotment fees for the next year. Currently £40 a year for residents, £50 for non residents (with half plot fees of £20/£25). A proposal to keep fees the same was approved (7 in favour) as raising prices will deter people instead of encourage and already quite expensive. Need to highlight and advertise allotments to get more people in.
Precept Grants. The Precept meeting will be on Thursday 5 December and completed application forms need to be with the Parish Clerk by Thursday 21 November.
Gamekeeper update. Steve Milner said the forms had been accepted by Breckland Council. Had a meeting with J Glen and currently trying to arrange meeting with all parishioners interested in helping. Also had meetings with Redgrave and Garboldisham pubs and been using Pubs in the Hub charity for advice. Financially, currently investigating possible option of ½ charity, ½ Limited company and looking at tax efficiency. Will be in contact soon with Ei to arrange a visit.
Highways. New crossing of B1077 has officially opened. Generally positively received by parishioners, particularly those with young children. There was concern by some about people having to cross Hargham Road to reach the crossing but initial observations don’t show it to be a problem. While it is not perfect, it’s a big improvement. Thanks to Terry Cracknell, Rona Boggia, Trevor Crook, Lucy Womack, Mike Bartlett, Tom Mcabe, Stephen Askew and George Freeman MP for all their time and effort. Thanks in particular to Stephen Askew for all his time and energy in getting a safe crossing to the village. The Clerk is to write a letter of thanks. Issues highlighted included one street light reflecting off the pond into a nearby house. Highways aware and due to alter the angle. Some of the footpath leading towards the War Memorial has not been completed very well. Again, Highways aware and are due to come out and improve. A member of the public explained that during his conversations with villagers, the feedback was very positive and that the parish council had done what they can to try and prevent any possible accidents for children crossing that road. Another parishioner was disappointed to see such rudeness and negativity on a Facebook post about the crossing and felt that people had forgotten that it was needed to help get children to/from school safely. Also highlighted that the visual impact of a traffic light crossing seemed to be causing cars to drive slower generally through the village.
The SAM2 sign (mobile electronic speed display) is due in 4 to 6 weeks. Still waiting to hear back from D Jacklin of Highways to agree locations. Suggested locations are Abbey Road, Attleborough Road as you enter village, Hargham Road and Cake Street. Jonn Hicks offered to have it placed at the end of his garden as well. Locations will be changed weekly and two batteries will allow continuous monitoring. It will log data of all cars, which can be used to notify police if needs be.
A resident has been asked politely if they could cut back their garden hedge which is overgrown and reducing visibility on an already dangerous corner. The resident was uncooperative and therefore the Parish Clerk will write a letter. If that is ignored, then Highways will have to be notified.
Chairman’s report. Two extra defibrillators have previously been approved by the Parish Council. They will be ordered this month. One to be placed on the Church Rooms, opposite the playground. Second will hopefully be placed by the Methodist Church on Hargham Road but need to liaise about exact location. Andy Nicholls highlighted that there is also now a defibrillator at the cricket ground.
Poppy collectors are required for parts of the village and volunteers should contact the chairman Jonn Hicks.
Playdale have suggested replacing the rope bridge in the Play Area with a wooden one as it is safer for smaller children. Waiting to hear back about the estimated cost. The path is all broken up and the first quote requested was dismissed as too small a job for the company. The Village Handyman to liaise with Jonn Hicks about re-paving the path and replacing bins. Highways are aware of missing drain cover, yet still not replaced it. This will be chased up. The bark chippings are proving difficult to maintain and the surrounding wood is rotting away. Investigating alternatives such as sand or mesh and longer grass.
Grass in the Recreation Area has just been cut again. Cars parking in Village Hall car park are hitting the fences and therefore causing them to become unstable. The Village Handyman to repair and improve stability and also cut back vegetation growing on to the path leading to Primary School.
Councillors’ reports. Ben Devlin said that cars are parking and rubbish being dumped by Prince Harry Wood, just before St Andrews Close. Cars are starting to cause a lot of damage to grass, which will get worse as winter weather approaches. The clerk to write letter to Breckland Council (as they are owners of the land) highlighting the problem and requesting preventative measures. She will also write a letter to Cotman Housing requesting their residents do not leave litter in the wooded area. Ben Devlin also mentioned a Macmillan Coffee Morning at the Country Park on Friday 27 September.
Steve Milner reported that the stream that travels through Stacksford is being blocked up. This is likely to lead to flooding over the winter months. The clerk is to contact East Harling Internal Drainage Board about clearing it up.
Gemma Frost said there would be a village litter pick on Sunday 22 September.
Adrian Joel mentioned that the Remembrance Day Sunday Service will take place at the War Memorial this year as All Saints Church will be closed for work on its roof. He suggested that work to repair and paint the railings surrounding the War Memorial be delayed till after this Service in order to prevent the area looking a mess.
Items for next agenda. These would include a new parish council laptop, policies/standing orders and the Neighbourhood Plan.

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

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Next door to Old Buckenham

A day in New Buckenham
How many people do you recognise in this record of a typical day in New Buckenham, just about the time that the blog editor moved up to Norfolk?
Just click on this link:

Village sign in Old Buckenham

History of local village signs

The speaker at the August meeting of Old Buckenham WI was Michael Weatherstone. He had been a policeman and later a trainer for professional drivers whilst working for the Advanced Driving School but his hobby was Norfolk's village signs. Having acquired copies of three books on signs written by two ladies in the 1970s containing a limited selection of signs, he decided he would visit as many Norfolk signs as possible. Over 15 months and driving about 5,000 miles he claims to be one of very few people to have visited every village and hamlet in Norfolk. The result was a well-illustrated book of over 400 signs published in 2014 and called 'Norfolk, a History Through its Village Signs'. Several members bought a copy. Many signs were designed and made by Harry Carter, a nephew of Howard Carter of Tutankhamen fame. They take many different forms and are made of a wide variety of materials, traditional things such as wood, metal or slate but the Diss sign is made of fibreglass. It shows a Diss farthing as well as King John and John Skelton, tutor to Henry VIII. About half of Norfolk's signs were instigated by Women’s Institutes as was the one in Old Buckenham. Showing a selection of pictures, Michael explained his experiences and some of the history behind the signs. The oldest survivor is at Wolferton dating from 1912 that shows Fenir the wolf from Norse legend. However many are of more recent date and many have been restored or remade over the years. 
Arrangements were made for the forthcoming village Produce Show, for a visit to Norwich Cathedral's Broderers Guild and a tour of the Hotter shoe shop in Norwich.
The next meeting is on Thursday 24 October which is Old Buckenham Women's Institute’s 52nd birthday party.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Old Buckenham Produce Show

Results and pictures

Class 1 Preserves    Jane Burrows

Class 2 Cookery    Holly Thomas

Class 3 Eggs      Debbie Thomas

Class 4 Flowers    John Frost

Class 5 Pot Plants    John Frost

Class 6 Children, 7 and under    Harriet Soddy and Eleanor Feakes

                               8 to 11    Thomas Hills

Best entry 
in children's classes    Eleanor Feakes for her Lego model of an ice cream van 

Class 7 Handicrafts    Betty Stacey

Class 8 Art    Pat Dickinson

Class 9 Vegetables and Fruit    Roy Dickinson

Overall Winner    John Frost

Concentrating on judging
Children's entries
Awaiting prize giving
Jonn, parish council chairman, presents John, overall winner, with trophy

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Old Buckenham Produce Show

Visit it on Sunday afternoon

Come along to the village hall tomorrow at 2.30pm to see how well your entries have done (if you have entered some exhibits) or to see what else has been entered and who has won all the prizes.
You can also enjoy nice homemade cake with your cup of tea and buy some of the prizewinning produce when the auction takes place.
See you there.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Digging in Old Buckenham

The detectorists are back
Not the BBC4 comedy show, these are the REAL detectorists from Norfolk Heritage Recovery Group who arrange metal detecting digs at locations across Norfolk every weekend to raise money for good causes. On Saturday 28 September, they’ll be in Old Buckenham, raising money for Raise the Roof. The money is raised by the NHRG members paying a fee to attend the digs, with all of the proceeds being donated to good causes. This will be the fourth such dig in Old Buckenham, with the three previous digs raising £1,400 for Raise the Roof.

The dig will take place on fields owned by Tom Baron of Old Hall Farm, Harlingwood Lane, who has kindly given permission for the event to take place on his land. Previous digs have discovered several significant items from Old Buckenham’s dim and distant past including two Roman brooches, a few Roman coins, a nicely decorated Anglo Saxon strap-end and over twenty medieval hammered silver coins. These included a 13th century Scottish penny of Alexander, a Queen Elizabeth I sixpence dated 1574 , a 16th century Venetian soldino and two very well preserved Charles l silver shillings. A fair amount of artefacts associated with weaponry have also been found, including several Civil War period musket balls, a gunpowder measure, a dagger chape and a pistol handle.
Finds will be on display during the day in the registration tent, located about half a mile past Old Hall Farm on the right hand side. It’s probably best to wait until the afternoon, to give time for the detectorists to do their stuff, and there will be someone on hand to help with identification and explanation of what’s on show.
As with all NHRG digs, they are only open to club members but if you have an interest in metal detecting please come along and have a chat. And if you are a landowner willing to donate the use of a field for another fundraising dig - whether for Raise the Roof or any other charity - please contact the NHRG chairman Godfrey Pratt who lives in Old Buckenham. Contact details are or by phone 07761 726343.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Trying the crossing in Old Buckenham

Safer way to cross the B1077
After several years of discussions, agreements and finally construction, the new button-operated Puffin crossing is now operational beside the village Green for all to use. The aim was to get the work done during the school holidays and it was completed in time for the first day back after the summer break.
A collection of county, district and parish councillors met this afternoon for a short photo shoot and a chance to see the school children and their parents making full use of the new facility.
It was not quite the iconic Beatles crossing Abbey Road but the officials had to cross over themselves to provide images for the local press.

Yes the camera does lie, the lights are not that bright

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Seats on Old Buckenham Green

Ready for a sit down
There are three concrete bases around Ottomer Pond awaiting seats to be positioned there.

These  have been organised by the Parish Council as there are memorial benches waiting to be installed.
The Parish Council has recently issued guidelines for the placing of memorial benches on the Green. The guidelines say:
We appreciate the kind offers to purchase benches in memory of friends or family members which provide welcome seating around the Green. However the Parish Council need to exercise control to prevent the proliferation of lots of different styles of bench in locations which may not be practical. We also need to ensure benches are properly maintained in an attractive and safe condition.
· Benches must be good quality and may be made of wood or wood-effect recycled plastic/composite material. Memorial plaques should be made of brass or silver metal.
· Donors should submit details of the proposed bench (dimensions; materials; plaque size and wording of inscription and a picture) to the Parish Council for approval.
· The Parish Council will suggest or approve possible locations (in consultation with the Green Right Proprietors and Lord of the Manor).
· Benches must be sited on a concrete pad and fixed in place.
· All costs of the bench and siting must be met by the donor.
· After installation, ownership and maintenance will become the responsibility of the Parish Council, who will insure against any public liability.
· The Parish Council reserve the right to repair or remove the bench, should it be irreparably damaged or rotten, at their discretion. The original donor may, of course, repair or replace the bench at their cost should they wish.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Active September in Old Buckenham

 Diary dates for September  
 Monday 2            Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15m to 4.15pm
Tuesday 3             Coffee and Chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards
Wednesday 4 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Thursday 6           Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Sunday 8           Village Produce Show, Village Hall, 2.30pm
Wednesday 11 Chapel Friendship Group, Methodist Church, 2.30pm
Thursday 12         Breckland Flower and Garden Club, 2pm
Thursday 12         Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm
Saturday 14         Norfolk Churches cycle ride
Monday 16          All Saints Church closes for re-thatching work
Monday 16           Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15m to 4.15pm
Wednesday 18 Luncheon Club outing  
Wednesday 21   Songs of praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm
Sunday 22         Harvest Festival, Methodist Chapel, 10.45am
Sunday  22           Litter pick, Village Green, meet by Ottomer Pond, 11am
Monday 23         Auction of harvest gifts, Methodist Church, 7pm
Thursday 26        Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Friday 27             Visits from Mobile Library during morning
Saturday 28        Metal detectorists at Old Hall Farm
Saturday 28     Bingo, Church Rooms, 2pm