Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Old Buckenham village newsletter

Latest version on its way around
Speeding, Ironman, cycling, cricket and what activities are starting up again, all in this issue along with notes on the latest parish council meeting. Expect a copy through your letterbox any day soon.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Flower attraction in Old Buckenham

Methodist Church Flower Festival 
The annual Flower Festival  will be taking place at Old Buckenham Methodist Church in Hargham Road over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of August. Entry is free. There will be flower displays, refreshments and activities. The church will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 29 August and Monday 31 August. On Sunday 30 August the opening hours are 12 noon to 4pm. 
Appropriate safety precautions and signage  will be in place and ample parking is available. For more information visit the website  or email

Monday, 20 July 2020

Cricketing progress in Old Buckenham

Cricket, lovely cricket

For Old Buckenham Cricket Club, it is full ahead to get back into cricket.
They have already managed four weeks of youth coaching on Saturday mornings at the Horry Panks Cricket Ground, with average attendance around 33 youngsters and eight  coaches in attendance. At Step 4 of the ECB Guidelines for 'Return to Cricket', they are now allowed larger groups with each coach, opportunities for game situations within the club and plans for friendly matches against five other local clubs (Garboldisham, Hethersett and Tas, Great Ellingham, Great Melton and Rocklands). These Youth Friendly matches are being  arranged and the home matches are planned for Monday and  Tuesday evenings.
On the adult side of the club, they had an inter-club game on Saturday 11 July. Now they await the provision of matches, for bubbles of six clubs, being put together by the Norfolk Cricket Board and starting on Saturday 25 July. The club plan to enter two adult teams.
The Ladies team, like the rest of the club, has seen all league cricket cancelled but hope that their games planned for mainly Sundays in August will still go ahead as friendly fixtures. 

Saturday, 18 July 2020

More opening in Old Buckenham

Soon time to get in
Old Buckenham Swim, the Old Buckenham swimming pool down Harlingwood Lane will be opening again from Saturday 25 July. There will be appropriate social distancing measures in place. For any more information please call 01953 860733.
They are looking forward to finally seeing you all again.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Old Buckenham Village Hall

Opening up
It is the intention of Old Buckenham Village Hall Management Committee to reopen the main hall to some of the regular user groups from Tuesday 1 September 2020. This is subject to all required risk assessments and making the hall Covid-19 secure in accordance with government guidelines.
At this stage private parties/gatherings will not be able to take place in the hall but if people wish to plan an event, dates can be pencilled in by contacting the bookings clerk.
The contact details are by email or phone 07880660444

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

The Old Buckenham Ironman

Job done

Details were posted on this blog on Thursday 18 June of the challenge Phin Robinson had set himself. Having trained for months for a national Ironman Triathlon, he was determined to complete the event on the scheduled date of Sunday 12 July even if that meant doing it by himself.
He was successful in his challenge spending 13 hours 9 minutes swimming, cycling and running, covering 226 km and using up some 5928 calories. One hour 27 minutes was open water swimming, 6 hours 25 minutes cycling and he finished by running a full marathon which took 4 hours 55 minutes.
Phin has also set up a Just Giving page which is raising money for the Parkinson's UK charity. The total collected so far is over £1,400.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Latest Old Buckenham Parish Council meeting

Parish Council July minutes
The following notes have been produced 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 via Zoom on Thursday 2 July at 7.30pm. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Adrian Joel, Mike Farrington and Terry Cook. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), County and District councillor Steve Askew as well as 10 members of the public. Andy Nicholls had sent his apologies for not being able to attend. Ben Devlin was not present and apologies had not been received. 
The minutes of the council meeting held on Thursday 4 June were approved (4 in favour, 1 abstain) and there were no matters arising from these minutes
Financial report. Community account balance now stands at £34,864.46. Payments of £2,242.01 were approved (5 in favour) which included £1144 for goalposts to go on the Recreation Area and £122 to cover the costs of the Green survey (payments for the Green survey to be taken from the Green budget).
Public participation relating to agenda items. Steve Askew said he had been posting reports from Breckland Council on the Old Buckenham Facebook page. He wished to thank all the village helpers during these recent months.
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. 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. Having taken the time to review the application and the technical details, which included replacing any hedgerow that was removed and supporting wildlife post-build, the Parish Council could see no problems with the application. Councillors highlighted that the PIP had been granted and therefore this application was for technical details only. Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Redbourne House, Abbey Road. New detached double garage to front of property. Single storey extension to rear of existing garage (3PL/2020/0493/HOU). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Windmill, Mill Road. Brick repairs to walls, oak lintel repairs over openings and repairs to the Mill cap. Ground floor replacement and removal of cement render. Minor timber repairs to intermediate floor structures (3PL/2020/0550/LB). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Scales Farm, Road from Stacksford Lane to Hargham Road. Erection of straw barn (3PL/2020/0580/F). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Land west of Attleborough Road, north of the property East View. Outline application for 5 residential dwellings (3PL/2020/0578/O). Firstly, it was highlighted that the application was outside the settlement boundary of the village. Old Buckenham has a housing target of 17 additional properties and has already met this target. The site was initially put forward to be included in the Local Plan but was dismissed due to its impact on the historic environment. There was great concern from councillors and residents about road safety at the site. The original traffic survey was completed during the lockdown and produced unrealistic data of the volume and speed of traffic. Breckland Council has now stated that any survey completed in this period would not be useable. Road safety concerns included a lot of accidents in that area, being near a bend and vehicles frequently travelling above the speed limit as they enter the village. Additionally, there is no space to build a footpath and so there would be an increase in people crossing the road to access village facilities. Jonn Hicks wished to highlight that there had been a lot of opinions online about this specific application but very little interest in other applications in the village. He also reminded residents that the Parish Council is only one consultee and he encouraged all residents to submit their opinions for all applications on the Breckland Planning website. A proposal to object was approved (5 in favour).
5 Hargham Road. Erection of an outdoor Oak wooden gazebo structure with pantile roof (3PL/2020/0585/HOU). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
17 Hargham Road. 1st floor extension and ground floor infill creating a 1½ storey dwelling with annex accommodation, revised scheme (3PL/2020/0636/HOU). Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following two applications have now been considered and prior approval has been given:
Old Buckenham Country Park, Doe Lane. Prior approval for change of use from agricultural to C3 residential use under Class Q(a) only (3PN/2020/0014/UC).
Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Prior approval for conversion of existing agricultural building to single dwelling The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) -Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q (3PN/2020/0017/UC).
The following two applications have now been considered and the applications have been approved:
Buckenham Priory, Abbey Road. Infill Extension (3PL/2020/0461/LB and 3PL/2020/0460/HOU).
Land to the west of 49 Hargham Road. Permission in principle for the erection of 4 dwellings (Town and Country Planning) Permission in Principle (amendment) Order 2017 (3PL/2020/0117/PIP).
Development of Old Buckenham. Whenever a controversial planning application comes through, there is a lot of debate centred around how Old Buckenham will develop. As chairman, Jonn Hicks asked all members of the public present what their personal views were. The following points were raised:
* Like village as it is, don’t want any more houses built. 
* Can’t stop future development.
* Concern about Attleborough boundary edging closer.
* Need for housing, particularly smaller family homes.
* Parish Council can sometimes be inconsistent – Jonn Hicks reminded councillors of the “tick list” used to assess applications and this will be re-issued.
* Neighbourhood Plan will not stop all development but could give stronger arguments for/against some applications.
* Need to develop facilities, particularly for young people.
* If you want facilities, you need development.
* Developers just keep coming – Parish Council should be tougher.
* Government are very “pro” development and therefore Breckland is under a lot of pressure to approve applications.
* Planning system is complicated and unfair.
* Environmental impact of the houses needs to be considered for sustainable houses and development.
The Parish Council have previously approved the writing of a Neighbourhood Plan. When there is more freedom of movement and people are able to meet in person, the Parish Council will again look and decide the best course of action regarding a Neighbourhood Plan.
Communications. Steve Milner has started reviewing all the aspects that have been highlighted previously. Will complete and send to councillors so that they can add their own feedback and decisions can be made about best steps forward.
Action Plan update. Two defibrillator locations have been confirmed, just been waiting out this period until a tradesman can be arranged. There is also a need to continue reviewing policies.
Village Green Working Party. Some villagers feel uniformed about contents of the Green reports. The Clerk is to make this clearer in the agendas.
Residents of Almshouses are unhappy with the Pound being left uncut. The Parish Council and Green Working Party looked at initial reasons behind decision (wildflowers left to seed, rotating areas every year, feedback from residents) and decide to leave grass uncut until Autumn, as initially planned. The Clerk and Gemma Frost to write letter to residents of the Almshouses explaining the decision.
UK Power Networks have written to Green Working Party to request permission to access a small area of cables under edge of Green. This is routine request which Gemma Frost will authorise.
Road Safety. Now have new location for installing the SAM sign on Cake Street. Need to purchase new battery for the mobile SAM sign. Reminder to people to drive safely and within limits as there has been a large increase in speed during lockdown but roads are getting busier again.
Play Area. Rubber pellets are due to be delivered next week and work should hopefully be finished soon after (opened on Saturday 11 July). Safety Inspection can be arranged quickly after completion. Breckland Council had advised not to open playgrounds unless someone is present at all times to ensure social distancing. The Clerk to contact Breckland about emptying Playground waste bins.
Recreation Area. New goal posts and nets have been delivered and due to be installed next week. Will then look at planting fruit trees around boundary to help contain footballs and also provide a small orchard for the village. Grass will continue to be cut/rolled whenever weather makes this possible.
Councillors’ reports. Terry Cook explained that rules for safely opening the Village Hall are very strict. The committee will meet this month to discuss how to implement the rules. Jonn Hicks has cut grass at the front of the Village Hall. A volunteer from the village has offered to do so in the future, with possible contributions towards fuel.
Items for next agenda. Communications and Neighbourhood Plan.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held using Zoom on Thursday 6 August at 7.30pm.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Old Buckenham church reopening

Doors are opening again

All Saints Church has been closed since the re-thatching work was begun last October but the PCC are delighted to once again be able to welcome visitors for private prayer and reflection from this Friday 10 July. 
To ensure that the building can be safe for all, please maintain ‘social distancing’ if you find others in the church when you come in. Also please use the hand sanitiser available in the porch before entering the church and again as you leave. You may find the church looks a little ‘bare’, without the usual altar cloths, books or other moveable items. The hand rails in the porch and other key points will be regularly cleaned but please minimise contact with the furniture. 
It is hoped to have the first service of worship in the church on Sunday 19 July. This won’t be the postponed ‘big celebration’ of the re-opening of the church following the completion of the roof work, that will be held as soon as it is possible to have a full church and ‘social distancing’ is just a memory. Until then you can quietly give thanks within the new ‘rules’ for services – there will be no singing, alternate pews will be left empty, and communion will be held without the ‘common cup’. There will be a ‘one way’ system and plenty of fresh air. 
Some further building work will need to be done which may involve another short closure, more information will be given when details are known.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Old variety shows in Old Buckenham

Fund raising in the past
With many people stuck indoors, much clearing out has been going on. Here is the text (very slightly edited) of a notice produced nearly forty years ago to go with a collection of photographs taken at the time of village shows.
The village variety shows of the 1980s were held in the old village hall (a wooden hut on the Attleborough Road). They were produced by Shirley Knight and Julian Goodey helped by a merry band of local performers. These shows were in aid of funds for a new village hall. When the new hall was opened they continued with lavish productions.
Sadly, some of the performers are no longer with us but happy memories remain. Such was the enthusiasm that the shows had to be performed on three nights a week. It is estimated that over the period £3,000 was raised for the hall and the church. On a Wednesday evening prior to the show tickets were sold at hall resulting in queues outside.
Each show was in two distinct halves. The first was of individual acts and groups of performers and dancers. The second half followed a theme such as the wild west, the circus and Old Buckenham itself - the Normans, the Romans and the Airfield.
Rehearsals started at least two months ahead, on Saturdays and Sundays, sometimes all day. Jackie Rout, a professional dancer, was in charge of the dancers ranging from teenagers to OAPs. The music was in the capable hands of Michael Dann and David Buckle. Thanks to the hard work of Pat Read and her team some excellent costumes were produced.
Videos and now DVDs of the shows have been made and it is hoped to show parts, or all of these, to the public in the future.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Starting nursery in Old Buckenham

Education begins for some village youngsters
The poster below gives all the details.