Thursday, 1 December 2016

Eight years of the Old Buckenham blog

Who else reads this?
You may find some of the following statistics of interest. 
This blog first started at the beginning of December 2008 and has been posting about three or four times a week ever since.  
It has a relatively small audience compared with many other blogs as not everyone in the world is that interested in what goes on in our little Norfolk village. But there have been instances of Old Buckenham  residents getting to know what's going on here when contacted by their relatives in Australia or New Zealand.
Blogger states there have been 455,000 page views since the blog started. A more reliable measuring site puts the number of visitors so far at some 84,200.
The most popular time for readers to log in is between 11am and 12 noon (GMT).
The most popular day for visits is Monday and least popular is Saturday.
Some 82% of readers are from the UK with the USA coming next with 7%. Over twenty counties, from Angola to the Virgin Isles, have only visited once in the eight years since the blog went live.
The most number of readers in one day was 161 on Saturday 8 October this year (mainly to see photos of the car that ended up in Manor Pond).
The highest number of visits in a week was 436 when people logged in to check on arrangements for our Queen's Jubilee celebrations (June 2012).
The highest number in a month was 1426 in September 2015. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

December activities in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for December
Thursday 1         WI Christmas lunch
Thursday 1         Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Saturday 3          Christmas Bingo, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Sunday 4             Wargames Club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm
Tuesday 6           Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards
Wednesday 7      Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Wednesday 7      Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm
Thursday 8         Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm
Thursday 8         Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm for 7.45pm
Saturday 10        Film 'Our kind of traitor', Village Hall, 7.30pm
Monday 12         Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm
Friday 16            Carols on the Green, by Church Rooms, 6pm for 6.15pm
Wednesday 21   Carols at Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm
Friday 23            Visits from mobile library during morning
Saturday 24        Church Rooms open during day for food donations
  Saturday 24       Candlelit carol service, All Saints Church, 7pm

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Old Buckenham newsletter for December

Available now
Copies have been placed around in the shop, church, pub and airfield so if you don't get one delivered then pick one up in time for the start of a new month.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Dementia talk for Old Buckenham Scouts

Learning about dementia
As part of the Scout Association's Million Hands initiative, the 1st Old Buckenham Scouts were visited by Gill Wells who came to Old Buckenham Village Hall to talk about the issues of dementia and Dementia Friends.

Gill explained to the scouts, and some of their parents, that dementia is caused by diseases which affect the brain, the most common of which is Alzheimer's. In addition to the physical issues caused by this, Gill also explained about the emotional effects that these have both on the sufferer and their loved ones supporting them.
Dementia Friends is all about understanding the issues facing people who suffer from dementia and the little things to help and support them. At the end of the evening the scouts and their parents present became Dementia Friends. If you would like to learn more about Dementia Friends you can visit their website -

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Pressing ahead…..

Since the last update, works have progressed well on the 
Chapel Green project (despite some poor weather conditions). There is now an entrance into the site off of Attleborough Road, which was actually completed four days ahead of schedule in order to minimise the traffic disruption. The topsoil has been stripped along the length of the road, followed by the installation of surface water drainage. Works are now pressing on to install the road sub-base and kerbs in preparation for Tarmac finishing.
(Looking toward the main school site)
(Looking toward Attleborough Road)
On the main school site, works have commenced stripping the topsoil and reducing the levels down to the correct formation to install the building foundations. Following this the contractors Morgan Sindall will then begin the installation of the ground source heat pumps – underground coils of pipework used to heat the building naturally and therefore improving the carbon footprint of the building over its lifetime.

(Some earthmoving has taken place, click on the picture to enlarge it)
Installation has started on permanent fencing along the access road and also temporary fencing to the site perimeter to ensure everyone is kept safe, both inside and outside of the site area.
(Where the public footpath to Bunns Bank crosses the new road)
There have been several visits from the children of Chapel Road School and it is clear that they are all very excited to see works have started. Morgan Sindall have also been in contact with several local residents who have taken an interest in the project since work started and continue to welcome people to come and have a look what is happening – there is a safe viewing area from the village hall car park. 
Finally, thank you from Morgan Sindall to everyone for their patience and understanding during these first few weeks of starting work on site.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Old Buckenham Precept 2017

Parish Council Precept meeting
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Wednesday 16 November, primarily to agree the Precept for the next financial year. As part of the process the Parish Council considered the proposals put forward by the Precept Grants Working Party in relation to the grant applications that the Council has received.
The following grants were agreed for the next financial year starting on Saturday 1 April 2017:
Buckenham Pre-school - £120.60 (empathy dolls)
Old Buckenham Village Hall Fete Committee - £250 (fee for entertainer)
Monday Mardle Group - £100 (refreshments and outings)
Almshouses Charity - £200 (contribution to expenses)
Old Buckenham Village Hall - £250 (CCTV)
All Saints Church - £1,500 (roof alarm)
New Buckenham Football Club - £640 (mobile lighting)
Age Concern Norfolk - £120 (contribution to Advice Line)
Total £3,180.60
The Clerk will be contacting all these organisations to advise them about their awards and what arrangement will be made next year to distribute the grants.
The Parish Council also agreed to include a sum of £2,500 in the budget for the future purchase and siting of a defibrillator in the village.
At the meeting, the Council heard from John Fernihough and Sarah Dye about the position of the Green Rights Holders in relation to their request to the Parish Council to consider taking over the maintenance of the Green. The Parish Council agreed to enter into discussions with the Green Rights Proprietors to take over the maintenance of the Green; it was agreed that the Clerk and the Chair would start the negotiations as well as take legal advice from Norfolk ALC. The Council is setting aside £2,000 in the 2017/18 Budget for expenses incurred with those negotiations. When considering how to proceed in this matter the Parish Council will be considering many things including the results of the Village Survey, the costs and the legal implications before any firm arrangements are entered into.
The annual Contingency Fund of £2,000 was allocated as a fund for minor village maintenance expenses.
A further sum of £808.25 is being allocated in 2017/18 for the Neighbourhood Plan expenses to bring the reserve up to £1,000 again.
Taking the above changes into account the Parish Council agreed to request a Precept from Breckland Council of £21,400 which represents an increase of just under 7.5% compared to 2016/17. The effect of this increase is that the Parish Council’s share of the Council Tax will increase by on average of about £3 per property for the next financial year.
Following a request from the New Buckenham Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan Working Party, Old Buckenham Parish Council agreed to allow the inclusion of a small area of land containing the castle (which is situated in Old Buckenham) in the New Buckenham Neighbourhood Plan.
The Road Safety Working Party wishes to have a professional road traffic survey carried out in the village in advance of a meeting with George Freeman MP. The Parish Council endorsed this suggestion and agreed to set aside a budget of £600 for the survey.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Dark running in Old Buckenham

Part of a worldwide run
As darkness fell last Wednesday 16 November, and as most people were settling down in front of their televisions, the runners of Old Buckenham were putting on their running shoes and heading for the door. They were taking part in the "Run In The Dark" charity event - a global community of runners who are supporting the effort to find a cure for paralysis due to spinal cord injury and to reduce the impact paralysis has on people's lives.

The Run In The Dark is a global event that happens in November every year and consists of a 5 or 10 km run in the dark. This year there were over 25,000 runners around the world taking part in the event from Brisbane, Dubai, Moscow, Belfast, New York, Los Angeles and of course Old Buckenham. 
The event is in aid of a charity set up by Mark Pollock to fund research into finding a cure for paralysis due to spinal cord injury. Mark Pollock was born with an eye disorder but that did not stop him from enjoying life to the full. An avid rower, he won bronze and silver medals for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002. At the age of 22 he lost his sight completely. He became an adventure athlete and motivational speaker. He was the first blind person to ever to walk to the South Pole. But a second tragedy struck in 2010 when he fell from a 2nd storey window and broke his back and was left paralysed. Mark is now fighting through life, deciding how to overcome this second tragic turn of events. He is a pioneer of medical science, exploring the frontiers of spinal cord injury recovery through aggressive physical therapy and robotic technology.
The event was organised in the village by Chris Clarke, who is an old school friend of Mark Pollock. Chris wanted to support his friend and his charity 'The Mark Pollock Trust', in support of the cause of finding a cure for paralysis. Chris organised the event in Old Buckenham last year and on each occasion there have been about 45 participants. The run started at the Ox and Plough pub and proceeded along a route past the windmill, through Stacksford, along Fen Street and then back to the pub. This year was a great success with over £900 raised for the Mark Pollock trust (which matches the amount that was raised last year). Chris hopes that the event will become an annual one in the village and is aiming for over 50 runners next year.
You can find out more about Mark Pollock here or if you're interested in taking part next year please join the Old Buckenham Run In the Dark Facebook Group here:
Chris Clarke would like to say thank you to Ben Devlin at the Ox and Plough for allowing his pub to be used as as the start and finish, to Roger Peacock and David Hannah for being safety marshals, and to Anna and Rebecca Bennett for helping with the organisation on the night.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Wish list in Old Buckenham

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
Old Buckenham Village Hall was once again full of enthusiastic flower arrangers and gardeners for the November meeting. With the weather growing increasingly colder a warm welcome was given to Adele Kent as she made a return visit to the Club to present her demonstration titled “I Have a Little List”. She said many people make lists – shopping lists, to do lists, do not forget lists. Adele has a wish list and using foliage and flowers she created her wish list – the first arrangement a meadow using grasses and gerberas, the second a kitchen garden using a wooden trellis, apples and beautiful red roses, the third a herbaceous border, with tall blooms at the back and shorter at the front (as they should be but often aren’t) followed by a classical design, a Hogarth curve and a tropical garden. Whilst delighting everyone with her flower arranging she also shared family memories and the new love in her life, her granddaughter. Once again several members went home with beautiful arrangements as raffle prizes.
Winner of the competition for November titled “Autumn Glory” was Jean Carnwell.
The next meeting will be at Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 8 December at 2pm (this is a members only Christmas meeting).
If you would like further details contact Christine on 01953 454528 or Sally on 01953 788712.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Birthday celebrations in Old Buckenham

Old Buckenham Women's Institute
Members of Old Buckenham WI welcomed friends and guests from neighbouring WIs to their Birthday Party on Thursday 27 October.

 After a bring and share supper and a glass of wine, they were entertained by Rachel Duffield, who told her audience about the life and times of Matilda Wood, professionally known as Marie Lloyd, who was born in London in 1870. She made her professional debut in 1884 as Bella Delmere and changed her name to Marie Lloyd the following year. 

She frequently topped the bill in London’s West End theatres. By the mid 1890’s she was in frequent dispute with Britain’s theatre censors due to the risqué contents of her songs. Marie Lloyd had a turbulent private life that was often the subject of press attention – she was married three times, divorced twice and frequently found herself giving court testimony against two of her husbands who had physically abused her. Privately, she suffered from bouts of ill-health and became alcohol-dependent. In 1922 she gave her final performance at the Alhambra Theatre, London, during which she became ill on stage. She died a few days later at the age of 52.
In addition to highlighting Marie Lloyd’s career, Rachel interspersed her talk with the songs that are always associated with Marie Lloyd.

After the entertainment the birthday cake, made by Jean Wade, was cut and sherry served and Mike Bartlett toasted the WI. He said that Old Buckenham WI had achieved a lot in their 49 years and there was much to look forward to in their 50th year.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Old Buckenham remembers

On the Green today
Villagers of all ages gathered at the war memorial for the wreath laying ceremony before going back for a service in All Saints Church.

Unusual parking in Old Buckenham

Been ditched?
Stephen recorded this intriguing picture along Cuffer Lane earlier today.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Remembrance services in Old Buckenham

Remembrance Sunday

Services for Remembrance on Sunday 13 November at All Saints Church are a Remembrance Eucharist at 9.30am commencing with commendation and two minutes silence. At 2.30 pm there will be the laying of wreaths at the war memorial on the Green followed by a service in All Saints Church.
Also a traditional Service of Remembrance will be held at Old Buckenham airfield around their war memorial, starting just prior to 11am. The 453rd Bombardment Group Museum will be open all day. This is an important day in the Airfields’ calendar and they are expecting to be honoured with the presence of veterans and relatives of those who fought and died while at the airfield during World War 2.

Monday, 7 November 2016

A light lunch in Old Buckenham

November market
Come along to the Church Rooms on Saturday 12 November and enjoy the traditional annual November Market. It will run from 11am to 2pm with stalls including Fairtrade, bric-a-brac, tombola, books and a raffle. Light lunches of soups and rolls are served from 12 noon providing a good chance to sit and enjoy talking to others from the village.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Old Buckenham history

The history of our local market town
A chance to learn about Attleborough over the years and how this has affected the local villages such as Old Buckenham. Also a look into what the future might bring.
Come along to this talk on Saturday 12 November in Old Buckenham Village Hall by members of the Attleborough Heritage Group.

(click on the image to enlarge it)

Monday, 31 October 2016

Old Buckenham school site work has started

Start of access road
The digger has been at work today, starting to create the entrance to the Chapel Green school site off of the B1077.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Work starts on Old Buckenham school site

On site at Chapel Green School
On behalf of Norfolk County Council, Morgan Sindall are carrying out the construction of the new 110 place special educational needs (SEN) school in Old Buckenham, which will replace the old school in Attleborough. The work will involve the construction of new teaching facilities, a hydrotherapy pool and extensive external works including soft landscaping and a new access road. 

The initial works will include the formation of the entrance bellmouth into the site off Attleborough Road. For this period of time a full Highways Approved traffic management system will be in place Following this, the main focus will be installing the access road leading up to the main site area whilst also commencing installation of perimeter fencing and commencing the site strip.
To minimise disruption to the local area Morgan Sindall have submitted a traffic management plan as part of the planning requirements which has been approved. As part of this plan the 30 mph sign will be moved closer towards Attleborough. 
It will also prohibit construction traffic from using Hargham Road (the road leading to the A11) and Abbey Road. Wheel washing facilities will also be present on site to prevent contamination of the highways.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Read the latest Old Buckenham newsletter

Latest news on our village
The November issue had been printed and taken round to all sorts of places in the village for you to pick it up and read the news.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Coming soon in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for November

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

Wednesday 2    Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 3    Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Sunday 6    Wargames Club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

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

Wednesday 9    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 10    Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 10    Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm for 7.45pm

Saturday 12    November Market, Church Rooms, 11am to 2pm

Saturday 12    Talk on local history, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Sunday 13    Remembrance service at Airfield, 11am

Sunday 13    Remembrance wreath laying at war memorial, 2.30pm

Monday 14    Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Wednesday 16    Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Wednesday 16    Run in the Dark, starts from Ox and Plough, 8pm

Saturday 19    Pre-school shopping event, Village Hall, 10am to noon

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

Wednesday 23    Luncheon Club outing

Thursday 24    Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Monday, 24 October 2016

Old Buckenham in 2017

Important dates for next year
Various dates for regular events that will happen in Old Buckenham during 2017 have already been announced. If you are starting to fill things in next year's diary, then here is some information.

Old Buckenham Players will be performing their pantomime on Thursday 12, Friday 13 and Saturday 14 January in the Village Hall.
Saturday 28 January is the date for the Senior Citizens party at the Village Hall. If you need to know any more details then please contact Eileen Oliver on 01953 860664, email

Saturday 8 July is the day chosen for next year’s village fete, again at the Village Hall
The fete will open at 12 noon and go on until 4pm. Please contact Alison Frank on 01953 860692 or at if you would like to take part or require other information.
The Old Buckenham Airshow will be at the airfield on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July.
The Old Buckenham cycling weekend will go ahead on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September 2017.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Chapel Green to Old Buckenham

First activity on Chapel Road School move
This afternoon many people gathered in Old Buckenham Village Hall before moving out to the adjacent field to celebrate the starting of the building of a new school. Chapel Road school in Attleborough is, after many years of planning and setbacks, to rise up on a site near to the existing pre-school, junior school and high school.

Children from those schools were in the hall with the Chapel Road school pupils have a last minute practise of the song they were to sing later on.

The rain started just as it was time to venture outside so the multi-coloured umbrellas soon appeared. Short speeches took place before local MP George Freeman was handed a shiny spade and invited to do the 'turf cutting' ceremony. The Chapel Road pupils then made sure there really was a hole in the ground to portray the start of building work.
Soon it was back into the village hall for tea and cakes and time for school head Karin Heap to be able believe that, after so many years, things really were happening.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Old Buckenham Parish Council in October

Parish Council minutes for October
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 6 October. Those present were Adrian Joel (Chairman),Rona Boggia, Terry Cracknell, Ben Devlin, Sarah Hornbrook (part of meeting), Tom Johnson and Andy Nicholls as well as the parish clerk Hilary Clutten. There were also three members of the public.
Adrian Joel was appointed chairman for the remainder of 2016/17.
Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence had been received from Graham Hart, Sarah Hornbrook, Jonathan Kemp, Carol Marshall and Steve Milner.
Minutes of September Council meeting. These were approved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Rona Boggia reported that Chris Hey (NCC Children’s Services) had attended the recent Attleborough Development Partnership m eeting. He had said that the work on Chapel Green School would start in 15 days’ time. The meeting had also talked about the Partnership’s logo, website and the link road from Breckland Lodge to Bunn’s Bank. Gary Overland (NCC Highways) had stated in his recent Highway’s Report that the existing 30 mph road sign on the Attleborough Road would soon be moved nearer to Attleborough as part of a highway improvement for Chapel Green School.
Report on the Green. John Fernihough reported that the Green Right Proprietors (GRPs) had discussed the setting up a charity to manage the land but the cost of doing this had proved prohibitive. The GRPs would like the Parish Council to take on a two-year agricultural tenancy of the Green at a peppercorn rent and with an option to renew. This would enable the Parish Council to manage the Green on the lines of what the village wants but might cost around £200 to £400 to set up. The Parish Council would need to insure the Green, the GRPs currently pay around £500 for this. As part of the arrangement it would be necessary to consider the cost of maintaining the roads and paths over the Green as well as near the properties including the land in front of the Gamekeeper and the local shop.
A two-year tenancy would probably allow the Parish Council to apply for grants, including ones from DEFRA, but the Council thought it would be a need to check on this as some grant-making bodies require longer tenancies. Tom Johnston thanked John Fernihough and Sarah Dye (GRPs) for their work on this matter. The Council agreed to discuss this proposal from the GRPs at its next meeting. During a period of public participation it was said that whilst the Green needs attention, different people want different things but this could be a one-off opportunity to resolve the entire issue. Resident Rosemary West made some comments on the planning application for Sunnyside Farm, adjacent to her property, and said that design of the property would look ‘peculiar’ between the two existing listed buildings. A letter had been received from Jean Bornett about the planning application for the Clinic on the Green, asking that consideration should be paid to this possibly being a part-time surgery for the Attleborough doctors as many of the patients from Old Buckenham are over 65 years of age. This could also benefit New Buckenham patients. The Parish Council agreed that the Clerk should write a letter to the Practice Manager at the Station Road premises about this suggestion.
Planning applications received. Plot at Sunnyside Farm. This site is located between two listed buildings on a site with many trees. Sarah Hornbrook, in a written report, recommended that the Parish Council should not support this application due to the poor quality of design and the fact that there was no tree plan with the application. The Parish Council agreed not to support this application but to mention that it would look more favourably on an application for a more suitable/traditional design. There were five votes against supporting this application and one abstention.
Extension at the Homestead, Fen Road. Council agreed to support this application as it did not have any effect on any other property. Five votes in favour and one abstention.
(Sarah Hornbrook arrived at 8.25pm)
Change of use of workshop at The Joules, Crown Road, to a ‘Granny annexe’. Rona Boggia reported on this application made by her husband and then left the meeting temporarily. Council agreed to support this application with five in favour and one abstention.
Planning permission received from Breckland.
For alterations at the Anglian Water Treatment Works
For change of use of the Clinic on the Green to a residential dwelling.
Planning refusals by Breckland. Planning refusal had been issued for the barn conversion application at Stacksford.
Breckland Local Plan. In the latest version of the draft Local Plan, Breckland Council is allocating housing to service villages. It is proposing that Old Buckenham is allocated 50 new homes and that these will be social and open market housing. The Plan is under consultation until the end of October and the Chairman has forms to enable comments to be made.
Sarah Hornbrook said how important it was for the Parish Council to make comments on the Local Plan and on the allocation of 50 new homes to Old Buckenham. She said that the village does not have the quality of roads to support this amount of housing as they are mostly narrow. Forty percent of the proposed properties have to be affordable housing. Cotman Housing owns some land in the village that Breckland Council sold to it. It was agreed to hold an extraordinary Council meeting on Monday 17 October (when the Village Hall is already booked for a Neighbourhood Plan Working Party meeting). Andy Nicholls gave his apologies for this meeting. The Chairman would be hosting a meeting at the Village Hall on Saturday 8 October between 10am and 12 noon to enable residents to see the Local Plan details and maps.
Financial report from the Clerk. The Clerk had circulated a report. In addition she was able to advise that the second half of the precept and grant had been paid into the Council’s bank account. The Council agreed to various payments in October including the sum of £463.32 to buy 90 reams of paper (a year’s supply) for the village newsletter. The Clerk reported that she had received Precept Grant applications from the Pre-School, the Monday Mardle Group, the Village Hall Fete Committee and the Almhouses Charity. Further applications were expected from the Village Hall Management Committee and Age UK, Norfolk. Applications would be considered at the November meeting.
The Gamekeeper public house. The Chairman reported that CAMRA had applied to have the Gamekeeper public house declared a community asset which would mean the village would have the first right to buy should the property be put up for sale. The Council agreed that the Clerk should write a letter to Breckland Council to support the Gamekeeper being declared a Community Asset.
Representative to the Village Hall Management Committee. Terry Cracknell was appointed as its representative for a period of twelve months.
Chairman’s report. The Chairman said that it has been reported to him that Old Buckenham would no longer be getting copies of the Mercury as part of a distribution review by Archant. The Council agreed that this was disappointing news and that the Clerk should write to Archant to ask why the Mercury would no longer be available to Old Buckenham residents and how it was letting down its readers. It was also agreed that the Clerk should write to Matt Heuschneider, who has been delivering the Mercury in the village, to thank him for all his work.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel reported that Breckland Council has secured £2.3 million from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to provide power to Snetterton Heath. This will enable Employment Land to be developed which could support high tech business relating to the motor racing industry. He also hoped that both residents and the Parish Council will continue to comment on the Local Plan Preferred Site Options and settlement boundaries. The current consultation period ends on Monday 31 October.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Andy Nicholls reported that he would soon be meeting with his highways’ contact to discuss a road crossing for the village. Sarah Hornbrook reported that that she had received questions from parents who use the Village Hall car park and are currently being charged £2 per week which they understood as being to help pay for the resurfacing of the car park which has now taken place. They had queried whether should this payment now be reconsidered? Tom Johnson reported that the Village Hall Committee had had to draw on its reserves to pay for the work on the car park. It was reported that there had been bad flooding in the Village Hall car park in a recent downpour as now that there is an impermeable surface, the rain can no longer be so quickly absorbed. Tom Johnston wanted the Parish Council to draw the attention of Norfolk County Council to keeping the public rights of way maintained and also that gates have appeared on certain paths. Tom Johnston also asked what the purpose of the cycle races had been as it had inconvenienced some Old Buckenham residents. Ben Devlin replied that that this was a day out for people to enjoy and to raise money. Also it contributed to engendering a community spirit in the village despite the fact that the weather had been inclement.
Road Safety Working Party. Rona Boggia reported that there had not been a Road Safety meeting since the last council meeting as the group was waiting to find out when the local MP could come to a meeting. However, the group can continue to gather information and meet to talk about what they want to achieve at the meeting. Rona Boggia reported that at the recent meeting of the 
Attleborough Development Partnership she had made a point of saying that whilst £11 million is being spent on a new junior school in Attleborough, all that Old Buckenham wants is a safe road crossing costing comparatively little in relation to the cost of a new school. Rona Boggia also proposed that there be a meeting with the Head of Chapel Road School to discuss the highway issues and get the school’s input. Sarah Hornbrook said that it was worth spending some money to get some professional advice on a crossing. However at the moment it was though prudent to wait and see what was reported in the Attleborough Development Plan minutes and then write to Chris Hey (NCC Children’s Services) or his superiors about the crossing issue. Andy Nicholls reported that NCC Highways are supporting his planning application and will be asking Mr Darby to cut his hedge back. The Play Area fencing still needs progressing. Graham Hart has got two quotes but is having difficulty getting a third. The Clerk said that two quotes would be acceptable as along as it is recorded that it is not possible to obtain a third. There was nothing further to report about the Green Rights Proprietors. However it was said that it was good that they are being supportive of John Fernihough’s suggestion that he had reported earlier at this meeting. Rona Boggia reported that the milestone between Banham and Old Buckenham is in a bad state of repair and a stonemason has been asked to take a look and provide a quotation.
Neighbourhood Plan Working Party. Sarah Hornbrook reported the Village Survey results are now available in the Ox & Plough public house and the local shop, she will email the document to the Old Buckenham councillors.
Allotments. The Chairman reported that the allotments at the top of Ragmere Road cannot be used as they are too wet. There are now eight tenants for the allotment plots and this means that the Parish Council has to heavily subsidise the allotments. The landowner has replied to an enquiry from the Clerk about reducing the rent because of the wet condition of some of the allotments but he is unwilling to do so because of the cost of hedge cutting, etc. It was agreed that the Clerk should contact the owner again to negotiate a lower price and give 12 months’ notice if this was not forthcoming. Meanwhile the Council agreed that the Chairman should investigate if the village charity land, comprising the old Highway’s Surveyor’s land, might be available for allotments. The Council resolved that the allotments rents should remain at £40 per plot for the coming year. The Chairman said that he would confirm the names of tenants to the Clerk so that she can prepare the invoices.
Removal of the BMX track. The Council resolved to remove the BMX track at the Recreation Area. Jonathan Kemp will be advised.
Highways matters. It was reported that there has been a complaint of vehicles driving at 50mph in St Andrew’s Close.
Community Car scheme. The Council agreed to join Norfolk Community Transport Association which will enable disclosure checks on drivers to be carried out free of charge. The scheme will also be promoted to potential drivers and users. The Chairman reported that there are now three drivers available and they are willing to have their telephone numbers published in the Old Buckenham village newsletter. He also reported that the Clerk is willing to complete the paperwork and mileage claims for the scheme but that this work is not part of her OBPC contract. The Council agreed that the Clerk should receive payment for one additional hour per month to do this work. The Clerk’s role will purely administrative and does not include co-ordinating the car scheme journeys.
Role of the Parish Clerk. The Council agreed a short document produced by the Clerk and agreed to annex the document to the minutes.
Agenda for next month’s meeting. Subjects to be included will be the Green, revision of Standing Orders, precept grants and priorities for the village.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 3 November at 7.30pm in the Church Rooms, Old Buckenham.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Old Buckenham and Banham boundary

Revitalised boundary marker
Where Banham Road meets up with Sandy Lane is the point where you cross over from the parish of Old Buckenham into the parish of Banham. Now when you pass by you will see a bright clean stone pillar beside the road.
This boundary marker has been there for many, many years but has been knocked about and had become rather dirty. Now thanks to work done on it by Alistair Aitkin it is standing up, all bright and clean, so you will know when you pass into foreign territory.

The lettering is very simple, just OB on one face and B on the other.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Harvest festival in Old Buckenham

All Saints Church is decorated
It is harvest festival time so there are flower arrangements and other decorations in the church. Why not pop in and see them?

Friday, 14 October 2016

Chance find in Old Buckenham

History revealed at Church Rooms
During improvement works at Old Buckenham Church Rooms recently by Bill Rout, a remnant of an old newspaper came to light in a ventilation duct..
It would appear that the paper had been screwed up and pushed into the duct in an attempt to stop cold draughts during the winter weather. The paper recovered is somewhat tattered and only partially legible. Bill examined the paper carefully and although there is no date visible on the remnant, the news it reports suggests that it dates from January 1944 and that it is a copy of the Daily Mail. The page is most likely to be an inside one due to its relatively mundane content. It must be remembered that newspapers were somewhat thinner during the war due to shortage of materials.
One side of the page reports current news of the war whilst the other concentrates on advertisements, book reviews and advice for gardeners.
The most prominent news items are related to the war, both military and diplomatic activity. Two maps illustrate the progress of Russian forces as they push westwards into Poland. The maps suggest that both Kiev and Leningrad were in Soviet hands. Kiev was retaken by the Russians on the 6th January and the Siege of Leningrad was relieved on the 27th of January.
Another, less prominent report indicates that a German counter attack against Allied forces on the Garigliano front had been repulsed. This was part of the allied drive towards Rome which was severely held up by Axis resistance at Monte Cassino later in the spring Interestingly there is no mention of activity around Anzio which was the scene of an Allied landing on the 22nd of January. This may of course have been given more prominence on the front page. A report had been received to the effect that Nazi Party leaders had been warned that certain elements in the German Army were thought to be plotting to overthrow Hitler and sue for peace. Approaches to the US authorities by representatives of the German Government had been spurned by both British and American representatives.
In smaller reports readers were informed that American submarines had sunk 12 Japanese vessels and that Indian RAF Spitfires had downed six enemy aircraft in Burma.
On a happier note, a report indicated that a memorial fund for those who fell in the Battle of Britain had reached the sum of £20,000.

The other side of the sheet is largely given over to advertisements for seeds for the coming growing season. Such household names as Webbs, Dobbies and Unwins are present along with lesser known traders as Toogoods, Talkamps and Allwoods. Allwoods were offering “January Bargains” such as 1 pint of broad beans at 1/10p, culinary peas at 1/3p per ½ pint as well as 13/- mixed boxes for 10/- if ordered in January.
The gardening column is still visible under the heading “Gardening with Percy Izzard” The redoubtable Percy notes that the days are getting longer and readers are exhorted to be “up and doing” in the garden whilst good results are expected in his plot later in the year.
Other advertisements visible are those for Lux Toilet soap (endorsed by Dorothy Lamour no less) and Puritan Soap “You need so little for a lot of lather”, well worth it at thruppence farthing and two coupons for an ½ pound bar. BDS “the King of Tobacco” tobacco was available at 2/7p an ounce.
Other items legible are the Theatre and Cinema listings for London as well as the wireless schedules.
Quite an interesting read and a reminder of a world very close to home, but very different from our own.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Manor Corner in Old Buckenham

Not getting round
After the blue car that didn't get round Manor Corner last Saturday morning and ended up in the pond, 

it appears that a few days later a red car also failed to negotiate the turn and ended up hitting a brick wall. 
What next?

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Thirty-five years in Old Buckenham

Luncheon Club celebrates
The Old Buckenham Luncheon Club, which provides the chance for people living on their own in the village and the surrounding area to get together once every fortnight for companionship and a 'home-cooked' meal, today celebrated having been going for the last thirty-five years.
There was wine on the table to enjoy with the roast chicken dinner followed by trifle and cream. Doris Monkhouse pointed out that there were some helpers who had been involved since the Luncheon Club was founded and that the cost of the meal, now £3.50, had been just 75p when things had started.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Typical Saturday in Old Buckenham

Plenty going on
With two events happening between 10am and noon this morning, there was plenty for the blog editor to report on today.
On his walk to the village Green there was one distraction at Manor Corner where a car coming up Cake Street had failed to get round the corner and gone straight into the pond. The occupants appeared unhurt and were happily engaged in taking 'selfies' in front of their half-submerged car. Later when the car had been removed, its route into the pond across a small grassy traffic island and through the reflector posts was obvious for all to see.

Then on to the Church Rooms where the 'Fawns', the local baby and toddler club, were holding a fund raising event. You could have your face painted, checked through the displays of pre-loved toys and books before enjoying a drink and something from the table laden with lots of homemade cakes.

Moving on further to the Village Hall there was the chance to examine the relevant documents that will shape the future growth and development in the district until 2036. The plans on show included one showing the potential housing sites that had been put forward for the village and another indicating the two sites that Breckland was putting forward as feasible for development. Public consultation on these documents started on Monday 6 September and goes on for six weeks. You should be able to read the information online via the Breckland Council website 

To complete the day there was the village quiz this evening. With some fifteen teams of six taking part, the hall was rather full. There was a wide range of questions to try to consider and many could be seen deep in thought in their attempts to sort out the right answer.
A halfway break to enjoy a meal of fish and chips, cooked in a van right outside the door, was welcomed. A game of true or false was played while the results were worked out with those guessing wrongly having to drop out.
When the general quiz results were announced it turned out to be a very close thing with previous winners 'Maggie's Mob'  losing out by just half a point to their old rivals of the Women's Institute A team. Susan Hunter of the WI collected the trophy after a very pleasant evening.