Monday, 29 June 2020

Old Buckenham July newsletter

Soon be coming through your letter box
The July issue is printed, the insert of a survey to find out your feelings on the management of the Green has been completed and Terri's team of volunteers are poised to deliver a copy to all all households in Old Buckenham.

This is a special cricket and cycling edition also containing information about the Friends of Chapel Green School, the Green Working Group and the last Parish Council meeting.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Road safety in Old Buckenham

Another active site for SAM

Today saw the SAM speed measuring equipment installed for its first session in Cake Street. The post was put in yesterday and those installing it were very aware of the vehicles speeding by them as they carried out this work. 
Previous speed measurements have indicated that many vehicles are well over the 30mph as they approach the blind bind by the junction with Harlingwood Lane. The present equipment records and stores the speeds of all passing vehicles - these can then be downloaded by a member of the parish council who can pass the information on to the local police to see if further measurements should be done in the area.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Extreme effort in Old Buckenham

Phin the Ironman
Phin Robinson of Fen Street was expecting to do his second ‘Ironman’ on Sunday 12 July. As expected it has been cancelled due to Covid-19. However he is now planning to do his own Ironman UK around the village (and other parts of Norfolk) on the same day.
If anyone wants to join him for the swim 2.4 miles (a bit or all of it) or one or all of the bike loops (total of 112 miles) or bit or all of the run loops (marathon distance of 26.22 miles) then he will be pleased to have the socially-distanced company.
He will be donating his prepaid entry fee to Parkinsone.’s UK and will set up a Just Giving page if anyone wants to donate anything. It will be a hard challenge as normally on these events there is lots of support/aid stations, etc. The run won’t be quick at all and more like a run/walk at the end of 13 hours of constant exercise.
It would be great to get local people involved to help Phin around the course. More details will appear on the Old Buckenham Facebook page nearer the date.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Picturing cricket in Old Buckenham

Cricketer artist Jack Russell and our village heritage
While no matches have been played at the Horry Panks Cricket Ground so far this year, encouraging signs of life emerged in June, notably with a second visit to the ground by celebrated cricketer-turned-artist Jack Russell.
The former England wicket-keeper, who played in 94 international matches including many doughty battles against the Australians, is fascinated by the story of the 1921 game. The so-called “Private Test Match” between a strong England team and the formidable Aussie touring side of the day was arranged by Lionel Robinson and his cricket manager, ex-England captain Archie MacLaren. The latter lived in Old Buckenham for about 10 years under Robinson’s patronage. 
Jack Russell at OBCC in June 2020
Hobbs and Knight open an innings for Robinson's XI
Self-taught, Jack Russell is now one of the UK’s best-known contemporary artists, specially renowned for his cricket pictures. He first came to Old Buckenham last year to do a painting of the present-day players in the picturesque cricketing arena. At the time, he was unaware of the ground’s history and the most prestigious cricket match ever to take place in Norfolk. 
A photograph that came to light a few years ago in a museum in Sydney of Jack Hobbs batting in the 1921 match caught his imagination. So now he has started work on recreating a panoramic scene that captures the elegance of Hobbs the batsmen, the spellbound spectators lining the boundary and the timeless beauty of the wooded backdrop.
Jack was back at the ground to sketch, photograph and work out perspectives and was struck by how little the overall setting has changed in 100 years.
His painting will be finished later in the year, well in time for the centenary celebrations of the match next May.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Council minutes from Old Buckenham

Parish Council minutes for June
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 virtually by Zoom on Thursday 2nd June 2020 at 7.30pm. Those present were Councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington, Terry Cook and Andy Nicholls. (AN). Also taking part were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and five members of the public.
Ben Devlin was not present and no apology for absence had been received.
The minutes of the meeting held in May were approved (6 in favour) subject to amending the amount to be paid to support the Village Newsletter to £300, not £200. There were no matters arising.
Financial matters. The Community account balance now stood at £34,524.56.
Payments totalling £769.30 were approved (6 in favour) which covered accounting fees, the clerk’s salary, work by the village handyman, grass cutting and community car payments.
A thank you was given to Donna Oakley for completing the accounts. They will be reviewed next month.
Public participation. The print run for the village newsletter has been increased to cover the whole village. Distribution has been helped by the volunteers in the village.
There was an enquiry about access to the Chapel Green School MUGA (multi use games area): The chairman explained that his initial plan for access was not approved by headteacher. She had an alternative idea but initial estimates of costs are very high so he is struggling to find a compromise that is reasonable in cost. As it stated in the original planning application for the school that these facilities would be available to the village, the parish council are keen to find a solution. There is a Governors’ meeting at the school on Thursday 9 July and the clerk will write to the Chair of Governors and the Headteacher asking for the subject to be discussed at that meeting.
Update on Covid-19 help. IT issues meant that Terri Hammond was unable to join the meeting for an update on the Covid-19 help. A member of the public who is one of the volunteers explained that the system is working well and trips are routinely made for food/prescriptions/care home trips/etc. The Councillors wished to express their thanks again to everyone involved with looking after the vulnerable residents of the village.
Parish Council communications. Councillors and residents have not had opportunity to meet again before the meeting. They will meet soon and update next month with a plan of action.
Attracting new councillors. (Mike Farrington left the meeting due to technical issues) The Parish Council want to look at how to attract new councillors to the Parish Council. It was highlighted that it would be good to have some younger residents on the Parish Council to help represent the views of families, with a possible focus sport/health/fitness. At present, the Parish Council is all male so female councillors would be good too. An advertisement will be used in the village newsletter and noticeboard. Several members of the Parish Council felt that they should be making more effort as councillors to meet up with groups and individuals to build up a relationship, improve communication and to explain how to become a councillor. While everyone appreciates that this is not possible at the moment, the clerk will compile a list of groups within the village so that councillors can attend to meet residents once restrictions are fully lifted.
SAM sign Notebook. A small notebook computer is needed to download and store the traffic data from the new SAM sign. Cost would be approximately £300 and this was approved (6 in favour).
Trees on the Green. The Green Working Party (GWP) have had 80 trees donated by Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) and they have been advised on suitable locations. The GWP have proposed putting 20 oak trees in existing woodland opposite the Hovis House to replace damaged, dead and removed trees and a total of 30 field maple and 30 hornbeam trees on the Pound (near the Almshouses) and behind the bus shelter. Jonn Hicks highlighted the need to consider the cost of maintaining these trees in the future as the oak trees will require coppicing every 10 years, which will be paid for by the Parish Council. Last year over £3000 was spent on the Green because of a lot of tree work. A lot of councillors were keen to highlight the environmental benefits the trees would bring. Trees absorb a large amount of CO2 from the atmosphere and therefore there was a strong feeling that we should be encouraging tree planting. Terry Cook suggested that the large spend on the trees last year was due to the lack of maintenance over the previous years and therefore if the Parish Council planned a strategy for maintenance and saved some money each year, then it would not be such a large amount in one go. It is proposed that the Breckland Tree Officer is invited to provide an independent view on how many trees should be planted and possible locations. This was approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain) and the Clerk will contact him.
Planning applications.  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. The New Stables, Grove Road. Further holiday cabin/caretaker accommodation (3PL/2020/0436/F). Applicant requires cabin to be part-time accommodation for on-site caretaker of their business as they are often away (approximately 6 to 9 months). This will also provide extra security and then the remainder of the time it will be a further holiday cabin for the business. Proposal to support was approved (2 in favour, 3 abstain).
Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Conversion of existing agricultural building to single dwelling (3PN/2020/0017/UC). Previously rejected due to Highways’ concerns. They are now supporting this new application. Land is no longer classed as agricultural. Proposal to support was approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain).
Haresfield, The Old Yard, Hargham Road. Change of use of parcel of land to rear of existing residential unit to residential curtilage and erection of a rear extension, comprising of garage bays to the ground floor and 2no bedrooms to the first floor and terrace at the rear (3PL/2020/0437/F). Land is only allowed one dwelling on it, therefore extending that one property. Not overlooked by anyone. Proposal to support was approved (2 in favour, 1 against, 2 abstain).
Buckenham Priory, Abbey Road. Infill Extension (3PL/2020/0461/LB and 3PL/2020/0460/HOU). This is a listed building that is controlled by English Heritage. Same footprint as a building that existed previously. Historic Officer has no objections. English Heritage are likely to monitor materials, design, etc. Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Land to west of 22 Fen Street. Technical details consent for erection of 4 dwellings, permission in principle reference 3PL/2019/1257/PIP (3PL/2020/0495/TDC). The PIP has been approved with a long list of recommendations, including replanting of hedge and no removal of trees on site. As the application came through quite late the councillors did not have much time to go through the detailed list and evaluate the plans. The opinions of other consultees have not been uploaded yet. Several local residents have contacted the Parish Council with objections. A proposal to request an extension to the deadline in order to fully understand plans, conditions of PIP approval and gather more information was approved (5 in favour).
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following application has now been considered and the application has been approved. 5 Oaklands. Removal of garage; new side and rear extension (3PL/2020/0379/HOU).
Chairman’s report. Many enquiries about a traffic survey being completed on Attleborough Road near the beginning of lockdown period. Was being completed for a potential planning application in the area. When asked about the Parish Council’s opinion on a development that which would be outside the village boundary, councillors explained that they cannot judge an application location before it has been submitted.
Road Safety. Concerns were raised by a resident about cars using the track between the Clinic and the Primary School as a road and driving very fast. As the track is maintained by Highways, the Parish Council are unable to do much. However they recommended contacting Highways themselves to complain and encouraged other residents nearby to do the same. Also the post for the SAM sign on Cake Street is being installed by village handyman.
Play Area. The company providing rubber pellets has been unable to fulfil the order and will provide a refund. Contractor has been unable to complete the work. Therefore the contractor will be providing a refund to the Parish Council and copies of all expenditure to the RFO. New order of rubber pellets has been made and should hopefully be delivered in 10 working days. Many people in village have offered to complete the job and Jonn Hicks has organised a new contractor.
Recreation Area.
Grass has been cut and rolled. However it was too dry to make much impact so will be rolled again when softer. Grass will be cut regularly. Andy Nicholls will order new goal posts as companies are now starting to open up again. Bin is full and requires emptying.
Items for next agenda. These would include communications and an Action Plan update.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held via Zoom on Thursday 2 July starting at 7.30pm.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Cricketing news from Old Buckenham

About our cricket
Tom Walshe has written this piece for the blog and the village newsletter about the current cricketing situation:
It was a barren month of May at the Horry Panks Cricket Ground in the peaceful wooded setting of Old Buckenham Hall. After Coronavirus stopped play, not much stirred other than furtive muntjac grazing and barking among the trees. 

Horry’s 62nd year tending the celebrated wicket has still found him at the ground most days, keeping things shipshape despite there being no cricket in prospect. 
The lack of action has been a great pity and a source of concern for the usually thriving Cricket Club. In a normal season over 90% of its income is generated between April and August from match play. And the sterling effort that has seen youth cricket in particular flourish in recent seasons has been on frustrating hold.
To rub salt in, the sun beamed down like seldom before in May and the pitch shimmered and shone like a mirage in a cricketing desert.
The month of May has often been significant for cricket at Old Buckenham. Something similar to this year’s malaise occurred over a century ago. If history is an indicator, however, cricket should come back with new vigour when the pandemic relents.
In May 1915, the war in Europe posed a greater mortal threat than Covid-19 does today. Many cricketers who played at Old Buckenham in the previous summer found themselves on a very different field by the end of 1914. And for some the battles that followed exacted a terrible toll – as indeed they did for so many young men whose home ground was the village of Old Buckenham.
Groundsman Porter, who skillfully tended the cricket square in similar fashion to Horry Panks today, was among those who answered Kitchener’s call and found himself entrenched in France with the shells flying. He came back to Old Buckenham minus part of a leg, but at least he survived.
Porter was back in charge of the pitch when, in May 1919, cricket returned to Old Buckenham with something of a fanfare. The first international first-class match played in England after the Great War took place at the Hall ground.
Lionel Robinson, the Australian bigwig who brought cricket to the village on a grand scale, got together a group of English and South African players to play Australian Imperial Forces, a team made up of Aussie servicemen who had fought with the Allies in Europe. It was a fitting fixture, as Robinson provided accommodation at Old Buckenham Hall to many colonial soldiers in need of convalescence from wartime injury and trauma.
Then in May 1921, of course, the Australians were back at Old Buckenham in even more impressive guise. The full international team played the second match of their tour at Robinson’s handsome ground against a strong English XI which included one of the game’s all-time greats, Jack Hobbs.
More about that to follow in a future article. 
In the meantime, the present-day cricketers face an impatient wait for the 2020 season to get under way. Let’s hope the war against Coronavirus, unlike the conflict of 1914, is truly over before Christmas!
*While no matches are yet in prospect, youth coaching will resume this Saturday 13 June from 9am to 11am in groups of six per coach and subject to Government and ECB guidelines. See the Club’s Facebook page @OldBucks.Cricket for more details.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Recycling again in Old Buckenham

Ready and waiting for newspapers
The Paper Bank in the Village Hall car park has recently been emptied and is waiting for all that waste paper you have been collecting up over the last couple of months. The blog editor has put all his newspaper in tonight and there is still room for yours.

There is also room in the bottle banks for your donations.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Work recommencing in Old Buckenham

A message from All Saints Church

Since the contractors had to leave the site in March we have all been frustrated that although the Nave re-thatching had essentially been completed the church remained shrouded in scaffolding and metal sheeting.
With the lifting of restrictions put in place by the Church of England we have welcomed the return of the contractors and we should soon have the work completed and the scaffolding removed.
Please be aware that contractors on site will be working within government guidelines – observing ‘social distancing’ where possible. The contractors need to have access to the Church Rooms' facilities but these cannot be used by any members of the public or people visiting the churchyard.
Anyone using the public footpath should keep at least 2 metres away from anyone working on site and avoid contact with any materials or tools.
The church building itself still remains closed until further notice.
If you have any concerns about the work being done please get in touch with the church wardens (Francis Darrah or Sarah Dye), the Priest in charge (Revd Canon Steve Wright) or Alison Hannah.
We hope that very soon we will be able to clean up the area around the church and uncover gravestones and memorials that have been protected from damage during the work. We will then be able to stand back and enjoy the newly thatched church in all its glory – awaiting our chance to give thanks to God as well as remember all those who have died during this difficult time, with the recommencement of services of worship once again.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Special school in Old Buckenham

Become a friend?

Friends of Chapel Green School was registered as a charity in 1974 and supported the old Chapel Road School until it moved to its present site in Old Buckenham just over two years ago. As you are probably aware the school is for children with very complex needs aged from 3 to 19 years old and since opening the number of pupils has increased from 60 to over 100.
The Friends is comprised of parents, local people and teaching staff and its object has remained unchanged over the years: "To advance the education and well being of the pupils at the school by raising funds to purchase and assist with facilities not normally provided by the local education authority."
They have been supported by, and are grateful to, local organisations and businesses. Individuals have run marathons, climbed mountains, shaved heads and cycled miles. They have also been fortunate to have received bequests. As they are a charity they are able to obtain Gift Aid on donations.
What do they do? Two major purchases were the minibuses obtained with the help of the Variety Club and Lords Taverners. Contrary to some thoughts these are not free and in 2012 the Friends made a significant contribution to get these vehicles as well as buying their own minibus. Since moving to the new school they have purchased a variety of outdoor play and sports equipment, which are very expensive, with help from Wymondham Rotary and other donors.
The Friends also provided the start-up costs for the school’s Charity Shop in Attleborough, an important learning environment. There are also many smaller projects like Christmas and Leavers presents, servicing the minibuses and things to make a difference for a single child to a whole class.
The latest fund raising is to provide the deposit (about 25%) for an additional Variety Club minibus which is needed now there are more pupils. The school also needs to establish its gardening project and hope a recent application for a grant will be successful.
They have two major fund raising activities every year, these being their Christmas Fayre and Summer Fete, the latter unfortunately will not happen this year due to Covid-19. It will mean a loss of important revenue, probably upwards of £1500, but The Friends can only hope that things will get better.
They always welcome new members who may have fresh ideas and added enthusiasm. For more information please contact John Goode at