Tuesday, 30 April 2013

What you May do in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for May

Wednesday 1    WI promotional meeting, Village Hall, 7pm to 9pm

Wednesday 1    Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 2    County Council elections, Village Hall, 7am to 10pm

Thursday 2    Parish Council, Church Rooms, 7.30pm

Friday 3    Crib, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Sunday 5    Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Tuesday 7    Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon

Wednesday 8    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 9    Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 9    Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.45pm

Saturday 11    Coffee morning, Methodist Chapel, 10am 

Sunday 12   Windmill open, 2pm to 5pm

Sunday 12   Askew Agricultural Museum open, 2pm to 5pm

Monday 13    Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Wednesday 15   Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Thursday 16    'A night on the tiles', OB Players, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 17    'A night on the tiles', OB Players, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 18    Vintage weekend at OB Airfield

Saturday 18    'A night on the tiles', OB Players, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Sunday 19    Vintage weekend at OB Airfield

Monday 20    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 22    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Wednesday 22    OB2000 Trust AGM, Church Rooms, 7.30pm

Thursday 23    Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Old Buckenham newsletter for May

Copies to pick up and read
Next newsletter has now been printed and distributed around the village for you to pick up. This is what to look for:

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Gardening event in Old Buckenham

Mostly indoor gardening
Today was the day of the 'Gardening Event' organised by the village hall as a fund raiser. It is an annual happening and this year the weather meant that those selling plants outside did not have to worry about whether they were well watered. The sun did break through now and then but there were also some very heavy showers, particularly around midday. 
Inside the hall there were more stalls selling things such as homemade jams and chutney while you could also sit down and enjoy tea, coffee and homemade cakes when it was too wet to go outside.
There was also a photographic competition in the small hall with six classes, all with a gardening theme.

(click on this last picture and you can see why the stallholder was sheltering in his vehicle)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Tail draggers at Old Buckenham

Fly in and ride out
Sunday 21 April was the sort of day that makes airfield managers just purr with delight. At Old Buckenham Airfield the sun shone virtually all day in a near cloudless sky and there was just a gentle breeze trying to lift the windsock above vertical.
It was the day chosen to have a fly in of American Taildraggers, celebrating the airfield's status as a USAAF base and honouring the taildraggers that were used in WWII, along with the iconic machines that came afterwards.
Also arranged for the same day was a display of vintage motorbikes as the Kings Lynn Branch of the Vintage Motorcycle Club had arranged for their 'ride out' to arrive at the airfield around noon.
So there were lots of planes flying in before lining up in rows to have their pictures taken or their registration details written down in note books.
Other fly ins earlier this year have not been so lucky with the weather so everyone, including Jimmy's Cafe, were certainly making the best of this great day at Old Buckenham Airfield.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Another high climber from Old Buckenham

Mount Kenya for charity
Dr Richard Lindner of Old Buckenham is to climb Mount Kenya to raise money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH). Richard, who was Medical Officer at EACH's hospice at Quidenham for five years before he retired from Attleborough Surgeries last year, is hoping to climb Mount Kenya on Thursday 16 May. Pt Lenana on Mount Kenya stands at 4,950m (16,355ft). In order to spur him on in his training and to make the event even more worthwhile he is raising funds for East Anglia's Children's Hospices to support the organisation in the amazing work it does to alleviate the suffering of children with serious life threatening conditions and their families.
Richard will be flying to Kenya on Saturday 27 April and will initially be working with his son Andrew (ex Old Buckenham High School) and wife Anika who are both doctors currently doing voluntary work for an American charity in Chogoria, at the foot of Mount Kenya. Then on Monday 13 May they will be joined by other family members and friends and will set off on the five-day trek.
If you would like to support Richard in his fundraising you can donate any sum, large or small, to EACH via his web site
or you can donate £10 by texting EACH59 to 70070.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Old Buckenham Green Right Proprietors

What are Green Rights?

This item, from the present chair of the Green Right Proprietors, aims to explain the background to green rights:
First a little history:

In 1791, when an act of Parliament was established to set up a framework for managing public and common land, thirty nine villagers who lived around Old Buckenham Green were given the right to graze a specified number of livestock on the Green. The rights were allocated to individuals – including the incumbent of All Saints Church and the proprietors of the two public houses on the Green. Some residents were also allocated ‘?planting rights’ which allowed them to plant trees and harvest the wood.
The grazing rights were passed down through families but in the past they had a value and could also be bought and sold or transferred to new holders. Later, the rights had to be registered and placed on record at Norfolk County Council. This register of holdings and subsequent transfers is kept at County Hall in Norwich.
The act of grazing livestock and watering them from the ponds, coppicing and pollarding trees and taking hay used to ensure the Green was maintained in a certain way - as working land - and without doubt conferred a worthwhile right on the Green Right holders who could benefit personally from an enhanced access to the land.
For today:
It has to be said that this is no longer the case. Not for many years have green right owners, either individually or as a group, obtained any financial benefit from their entitlements. However those who remain active in the village do maintain a strong sense of commitment to the ongoing maintenance of the Green for the benefit of everybody to use and enjoy.
Over the years the expectations of many in the village as to what this should entail appears to have expanded greatly to include pretty much anything and everything that happens on or around the Green. Many if not most of these were never part of the Right Holders remit. Cars are a good example of this as they did not exist in 1791 but currently cause considerable problems when driven over or parked on parts of the Green.
Currently the income available to the Green Right Owners is restricted to wayleaves paid by the electricity company and some minor levies on those obtaining a commercial benefit or right of way across the Green. Once the Public Liability insurance has been paid there is not a meaningful surplus available to do much other than attempt to maintain the Green as a hay meadow in line with its current DEFRA registration.
Commitment to the ongoing maintenance of the Green for the benefit of everybody to use and enjoy is and always has been the main role of the Green Right Proprietors.
In the past they had a vested interest in this role as the Green provided them with a financial benefit over and above that enjoyed by others. Today that benefit has been replaced with a sense of responsibility to history and tradition and a love of our village Green.
The Green Right Proprietors welcome the help and support of all in the village who have the Green’s interest at heart and are keen to add weight to any initiatives aimed at improving this unique village asset.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Old Buckenham and garden bugs

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
'Garden Bugs' was the title of Dr Ian Bedford's talk with slides at the first meeting of the Club's new year. A research entomologist, Dr Bedford showed pictures and talked about a great variety of bugs which can be found on our gardens - some beneficial such as ladybirds and their larvae which feast on aphids and the harmful ones which can pass on diseases each time they insert their mouthpiece into each plant. He explained that we are getting all sorts of harmful insects from overseas - brought in on exotic produce or pallets and vehicles - which have no natural enemies to help keep them under control. One comfort is that the harlequin ladybird which was predicted to decimate the native population has not had such a great impact as feared but the worrying news is of the Spanish slug - a real thug - which breeds twice as quickly as our own slugs. If discovered he recommends placing them in a bucket of salty water and bleach.
The competition results for this month were: Old Hands was won by Sylvia Briggs (and the trophy for best exhibit) and the New Hands by Alison Vivian who also came first in the table show with her vase of spring flowers.
The May meeting of Breckland Flower and Garden Club will take place at Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 9 May starting at 2pm when David Wright will demonstrate 'Forever Chasing Dreams'. The competition title is 'Blossom', the monthly trophy to be awarded for the best use of garden foliage and for the table show will be for 'one stem of blossom'.
Visitors are always welcome to these meetings and further details can be obtained from Sally on 788712.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Crafty Old Buckenham WI

Garden wildlife and county competition

Members of Old Buckenham Women’s Institute were pleased to welcome Hilary Reid to their March meeting. Hilary lives in Norwich and the subject of her talk was the ”A to Z of wild life in the garden”. She gave a fascinating insight into the wildlife in her city garden and she started with ants going right through to worms. It was interesting for members to compare the differences between a city garden and the gardens in this rural area. She never experiences problems with moles or muntjac but a fox, which she had named Vicky, had become a frequent visitor over the past two years.
Five of Old Buckenham’s members were involved in preparing and presenting the entry for the Cator Cup competition which takes place annually at the Norfolk Showground. “Seasons” was the theme for this year’s competition which is organised by the Norfolk Federation of WIs and well supported with 38 entries from around the county. Five crafts were chosen by each WI from a list of eight options. These crafts ranged from preserves to knitting, photography to sugarcraft, flower arranging to embroidery. The five crafts were completed to the highest standard, each craft being marked by a specialist examiner. All had to be displayed on a baseboard and staged to show an imaginative interpretation of the subject. Alongside the yearly seasons, other exhibits portrayed the pantomime season, the football season and the London season.
The top five positions were very close, with each half-point of extreme importance. Old Buckenham WI came a very credible third overall with l261 points, just one point behind the winning entry from Erpingham WI. This county competition is the place to see WI arts and crafts of the highest standard. The Cator Cup competition is an inspiration to all those who aspire to improve their own skills.
Some time during the late autumn, Old Buckenham WI are planning to arrange a Craft Day with a seasonal theme which will be open also to non-members. Watch this space for further details.
On Wednesday 1 May there will be a WI Promotions Evening in our Village Hall starting at 7.30pm. Please come along to see what the WI has to offer. The days of “Jam & Jerusalem” have long since gone - members rarely sing Jerusalem although some members still make jam.
The next meeting will be in Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 25 April when the talk will be about retired greyhounds.
At the May meeting on Thursday 23 May, the speaker will be a local man, Steven Fisher, whose talk is entitled “The history of cider” – who knows he might bring some samples with him!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Old Buckenham hears more from Nepal

Nearly but not quite
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology a further message has been received from David Hannah in Nepal (see previous messages posted on Saturday 13 April). It was sent on Tuesday 16 April.
Well, despite the Lucky Monster, Good Luck cards & StChristopher that I brought with me I was unable to make Gokyo Ri. However they've all taken good care of me and I am well.
We rearranged our itinerary to allow more time to acclimatise at about 3800 mtrs and were suppose to set off for Gokyo today, however the altitude has not been great for me, unable to breath at night (scary & exhausting),s wollen tongue, etc. So I've separated from the group & have headed back to Namche Bazaar (where I am now) 3400 mtrs & I will stay here until the others pass through on their way back on Friday. I've spent the day today with a sherpa called Sorren & we had a brilliant trek together from Phortse.
Based on my past record of altitude sickness I know I've made the right decision. However I do feel a bit disappointed & hope people won't want their sponsor money back. My intention was to stay safe! On the up side, those of you who know me well will know that I'd don't mind my own company & having spent the last week or so as a group of 6 I will quite enjoy some time to discover this part of Nepal on my own.
We've all had a brilliant time. The time at Phortse was very emotional and special.


Monday, 15 April 2013

Photography in the Buckenhams

Put your pictures on show
There are two local items that could attract those people with an interest in photography.
On Saturday 27 April Old Buckenham is holding its annual Gardening Event at the village hall from 10am until 1pm. As part of this the Village Environmental and Recycling Group are running a garden related photo competition. If you enjoy gardening and photography then this could be just made for you. Prizes will be awarded for the winner and runner-up in each category with an overall winner and special children's prize. Also all visitors to the Gardening Event will be able to vote for their favourite photo.
The competition rules are:
1. Maximum of one entry per category
2. All entries must be submitted as prints
3. As this is a garden related competition all photographs must be taken in a garden
4. Images must be the copyright of the entrant
5. Entries must have a label on the back giving name, phone number, category and title
6. Entries must be submitted with entry fee to the village shop, Old Buckenham Stores, between Monday 22 April and Friday 26 April.
7. Prize giving will be at 12.30pm in the Village Hall on Saturday 27 April.
8. Entries may be collected after 1pm
9. Winning entries maybe featured in the Old Buckenham Newsletter and other local media.
10. By submitting entries you agree to the rules of the competition and the decision of the judges.
To enter you need to complete an entry form  available from the shop (or you may be able to print it from the image posted on this blog on Tuesday 22 January). Then take it with your pictures to Old Buckenham Stores between Monday 22 April and Friday 26 April along with the entry fee (for adults it is 25p per photo, free for under 16s).

So there is still time to take some photos in your garden. The six categories are:
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
2. Winter Wonderland
3. My favourite spot in the garden
4. Wildlife in the garden
5. Gardeners
6. Blowing in the wind.
Even if you do not enter you can come along to the Gardening Event to see all the entries on display.
There is free admission to this event with lots of stalls and nurseries with plants and gardening sundries for sale. There will be a 50/50 stall if you have things to sell, a raffle and refreshments will be available.

If you would like to put some of your favourite photographs on display in a non-competitive environment then you may be interested in the Bucks Photoshow which will take place in New Buckenham Village Hall on Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June.
Admission will be free and the event is open to all photographers in New Buckenham and the surrounding villages. This is a chance to put your work on public show. The Bucks Photoshow will be widely advertised and you can expect a lot of visitors to see your work.
The arrangements all very simple: for just £14 you rent an 8ft x 4 ft display board and on it you arrange however many of your pictures you wish - it's your space and your choice. If you can't fill a board, you can arrange to share with another photographer.

You put up your pictures yourself before the show opens on the Friday evening and take them down after the show closes on the Sunday lunchtime. It's up to you whether you offer your work for sale.
Applications to enter need to go to Charles Oxley charlesoxley@yahoo.co.uk please, with a cheque payable to New Buckenham Village Hall Trust, not later than Monday 24 May. Your application will be acknowledged and you will receive some guidance notes.

If the event is oversubscribed, display boards will be allocated on a 'first come first served' basis, giving priority to exhibitors who live in New and Old Buckenham and the immediately surrounding villages. If you have any queries now, please send Charles an email for more information.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Old Buckenham to Nepal

Notes from our intrepid explorer
David Hannah has sent back a couple of reports from faraway Nepal. Look back at the post on Tuesday 19 March to get the background on this visit.
A photograph has also arrived back in the UK to prove that they are there.

Greetings from Namche Bazaar, a market town at about 3400mtrs.
Having a great time so far & managing to stay well. We had an 'interesting' couple of days in Kathmandu, which is a wild and chaotic place, very narrow streets full of people, rickshaws, lorries, cows, etc. The atmosphere is amazing. The down side is that I'm sure the poverty and pollution have worsened.
Due to high winds at Lukla our flight was delayed by 5hrs. Believe me winds at Lukla ARE a problem. We eventually got away for an 'exciting' flight'  & landed safely. Sheila (who is with us & has been many times to Lukla) said it was the scariest flight she had ever been on. Due to the delay we had to trek quickly to our first lodge. Today in order to make up time we've trekked further than we planned, so we've arrived in Namche rather tired but in good spirits. The trek up was wonderful, trekking through little villages, children singing to us; giving us flowers as we passed by. Walked along rivers, over very high wire strung bridges, etc. The trail is very dusty, temperature has been about 28degs, but gets cold after about 4pm.
Staying at this altitude for 2-3 days now to acclimatise before going higher.
Had a great day walking. We walked to 3800mtrs, to visit Kumgumg; visited the school founded by Sir Edmund Hillary. Then on to Kunde to visit the hospital also founded by Sir E.H. We then dropped back down to Namche. The day started up warm, but we ended up walking in snow, which seemed quite appropriate. We seem to be acclimatising quite well to the altitude although the uphill bits are hard work, and the effects can be a little strange ie when I asked if anyone had seen my bag someone replied "Yes, it's still on your back!!" haha
The people are really friendly greeting you with 'Namaste" (hello) as we pass their homes & villages.
Tomorrow we're off for Thame.
Probably won't have internet coverage now for the next week.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Old Buckenham Annual Parish Meeting, part 3

The final part
Here is last part of the notes on Old Buckenham's Annual Parish meeting
Public Recess. David Spencer of Breckland District Council gave a presentation of the Localism Act and what it means for planning in Breckland. Areas covered in his talk included Neighbourhood Plans and the new Local plan which would incorporate the existing Local Development Framework (LDF). He explained that Old Buckenham is not identified for growth. Neighbourhood Plans he explained are optional and they were about building neighbourhoods, not stopping development. Cost for a Neighbourhood Plan can range from £19,000 to £86,000. A resident raised the question of the attitude of Breckland Council to Neighbourhood Plans which seems negative and he thought a Neighbourhood Plan would be good for Old Buckenham. David Spencer responded to the questions and related back to the LDF which supported the views of Old Buckenham residents who said they did not want any expansion to the village. Resident asked what the difference would be between the old Attleborough Expansion Plan and the new Local Plan. David Spencer said that Attleborough are looking at creating their own Neighbourhood Plan. A resident raised matter of infrastructure going in before development took place. David Spencer said that two new primary schools were being built but no new High School, the existing High Schools would be expanded. Adrian Joel raised the question of extra traffic flows through Old Buckenham and a resident said even if Old Buckenham had a Neighbourhood Plan it could not impact on what is happening in Attleborough. Another resident raised the matter of a large petition which urged infrastructure be in place before development in Attleborough took place yet this was ignored by Breckland Council despite over 1,000 new homes being approved. David Spencer said negotiations were still taking place with developers for infrastructure improvements. Breckland have also started three studies of traffic problems in Attleborough area and hopefully they will be completed by April. One resident raised the matter of building on green belt sites and playing fields. Another resident said the Old Buckenham High School was sucking in pupils from other areas and this was causing severe traffic problems.
A resident raised the matter of street lights being put in the village, he said he was strongly opposed to them. Tim Ing asked other residents what their views were and they unanimously agreed that no street lights should be introduced into the village. One resident raised the matter of Village Hall finances and asked if the Parish Council would precept £1,000 per year towards the running of the hall. He also raised the matter of the road approaching the village hall car park which he said was the responsibility of the Parish Council and he had legal advice confirming this. Tim Ing said the Parish Council would look into the matter. A resident raised the matter of the Shrublands development. Tim Ing who had attended the appeal with Adrian Joel said that they had made the Parish Council’s views known and were awaiting the Inspectorate’s decision. A further resident raised the matter of the grass verges in village being damaged by farm traffic. Tim Ing responded that Highways had been informed but there was nothing they could do.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Old Buckenham Annual Parish Meeting, part 2

More of the year's activities
Parish Councillors’ reports. Tom Johnson, who represents the Parish Council on the Village Hall Committee, said he thanked the existing committee members for their many years of service. They now need at least three new members for the Management Committee and their AGM will be held on Wednesday 3 April at the Village hall. Sarah Dye reported on the Play Area. As last year, the play area continues to be a well-used and much appreciated facility and is a real asset for the village – for our residents and others from further afield. Once again, sincere thanks to John Hicks for his commitment and work on maintaining the play area, mowing, strimming and repairing as the need arises. Also carrying out the safety checks and reports which are so important in ensuring the equipment and ground are a safe place to play. Vandalism continues to be an issue and the local police have been made aware of the situation. They have responded by making the play area a regular stop on their patrols. Villagers are urged to remain vigilant and report any disturbance or damage that they notice. Jonathan Kemp gave an update on the Recreation Area. The area is well used including the picnic tables and goal posts. Throughout the year funding sources have been sought and the project was awarded £2,000 by Breckland Council. An application for £20,000 is currently with the Norfolk Community Foundation and it is hoped that Breckland will give match funding. Seeking other funding opportunities will continue throughout the year. The BMX trail is currently being worked on with help from local youngsters and it hoped that it will be completed by Easter. Parking improvements have also been made at the project with extra parking spaces being made available in the village hall car park. The Parish Council, through Akis Chrisovelides, have tried and will continue to try to encourage young people to have a say in what goes on in our village, possibly through a Youth Council. With large-scale projects such as the development of the Recreational Area already in progress, it is vitally important to try to incorporate the views of the younger members of our community whereby they can influence village developments. Young people are invited to attend for an hour before the main Parish Council meeting and have their input in a non intimidating way. The Parish Council would welcome the opportunity to canvas their views, let them know the aspects that the Parish Council discuss and are responsible for and how it operates in relation to Breckland Council. Posters will be displayed at the High School and the local shop informing them of dates and times. Steve Milner spoke about Community Speedwatch and the successful Jubilee weekend with a number of very well attended events over the holiday period. A commemorative oak tree was planted and has been marked with a brass plaque. A concern regularly raised by parishioners is that of road safety, particularly the speed at which people are driving. A road safety group has been set up and the village has been lucky enough to become part of the Norfolk community speed watch scheme. Members of the group now perform speed monitoring sessions and have also arranged for ‘slow down’ posters for wheelie bins. It’s now down to the minority of drivers who exceed the speed limit to slow down. Derek Smalley gave details on planning applications. In the last year the Parish Council have dealt with 29 planning applications all except two have been ratified by Breckland. Derek Smalley also represents the Parish Council on the ACT (Attleborough Community Team) which comments on forward planning for the Attleborough Expansion Plan with special emphasis on the required infrastructure and the effects for Old Buckenham. Although now superseded by the Breckland New Local Plan, it should follow similar guidelines. Another of his responsibilities is being co-ordinator for the OB bulk oil scheme which is run by NRCC (Norfolk Rural Community Council) which, in conjunction with AF (Anglia Farmers), should be able to buy cheaper central heating oil in bulk. He also represents Old Buckenham on the Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP) which is a police-lead initiative to clamp down on local problems such as vandalism, speeding, etc. Reported problems within the community are highlighted and hopefully police action is taken .This has lead to the ‘Slow down in our village’ bin stickers campaign, which can be seen on dustbins throughout the village on collection days. As 500 stickers were purchased and 400 sold on to other parish councils, this meant that the 100 for use in the village were free of charge. Approximately six welcome packs have been distributed during the current year to people moving into the village. The general opinion is they have proved useful, so if anyone has a new neighbour moving in please let a member of the parish council know so a pack can be got to them
John Frost reported that All Saints church had an inspection two years ago and repairs to the tower stonework and work to the stained glass windows needs to be carried out. Funding is being sought.
Village groups. The Old Buckenham 2000 Trust has had a bit of a mixed year with some ups and some downs. On the downside, four of the original Trustees stood down after 12 years of valued service. On the other hand, there were six new Trustees appointed at the AGM. This has brought some new ideas and renewed enthusiasm to ensure that the Trust continues to thrive and ultimately can offer further financial assistance to organisations and projects within the village. There were just two applications made for grants at the last round of funding, the High School and Pre School, and they were both successful in their bids. Fundraising over the past year has included the barbecue at the village fete, a barn dance at the airfield, a successful bonfire and firework display, the annual Sainsbury’s collection for the St Martins Housing Trust along with the much appreciated winter fuel donations from a number of village residents. Plans for this year so far are a Summer Party on Saturday 6 July at the village hall - this will include live music, a bar and a barbecue. Plans are being considered for a 'family walk' and 'cream teas' when the weather is a bit better, a barn dance in September and work is being done on a 'Village' calendar for 2014.Thanks go to all who have supported the Trust over the past year and it is looking forward to another successful year. The Trust’s AGM will be on Wednesday 22 May at 7.30pm in the Church Rooms for anyone who would like to attend.
Old Buckenham Community Car Scheme has, in the last 12 months, provided 794 journeys, seven less than in the previous year. Of these 176 were to the hospitals for consultations and treatment, 359 to doctors, dentists and opticians while visits to people in nursing homes and hospitals were 237 this year. Other medical requirements resulted in a further 22 trips. The recorded mileage was 12,761 miles - up 711 on last year. The parish share of the reimbursement cost to the drivers and for the administration of the scheme rose from £1208 to £1297. The number of residents who used the scheme during the last 12 months has fallen slightly from 56 to 50. Thanks are due to the volunteer drivers who give up their time willingly to help others and the village owes them a great debt. At present there are ten listed drivers on the scheme. Even allowing for illness and drivers not being free of other commitments, the community car scheme has been able to arrange transport to meet every request except two and these were met by relatives.
The majority of Allotment Holders, despite a challenging year with the weather, have stayed the course and most of the plots are now well established and productive. The allotments have helped people stay fitter, eat healthier, learn new skills and have created another diverse wildlife habitat in the village. Thanks must go to the Parish Council for their continued support, now is the time to look forward to welcoming new allotment holders to the vacant plots. No significant management issues have arisen this year although the recent flooding on Ragmere Road has, on a couple of occasions, blocked the field entrance and spilt over ditches onto the lowest-lying plots. Although this is not a responsibility of the allotment management, or directly the Parish Council, perhaps this could be raised with the authorities as a general issue for the village.
Details of exactly what is recycled by the Village Environment and Environment Group (VERG) were given and also details of other events being held during the coming year.
For the Old Buckenham Green Right Proprietors Sarah Dye gave a brief history of the Green going back to its inception in 1791 up to the present day. Income for the Green is very restricted and therefore there are no surplus funds available. Their desire is to keep the Green as a village asset for the benefit of the whole village.

(Just one more instalment to go)

Monday, 8 April 2013

Old Buckenham Annual Parish Meeting

A year in the life of a village
The Annual Parish Meeting was held on Wednesday 20 March in Old Buckenham Village Hall.
The following notes are taken from the minutes of this meeting and, as the minutes are a few thousand words long, the report will be published in two or three parts during this week. 
The meeting was chaired by Tim Ing, Chairman of Old Buckenham Parish Council, and James Watling, Parish Clerk, who took the minutes.
Also present were Adrian Joel in his role as Breckland District Councillor, David Spencer, Deputy Planning Manager at Breckland District Council, and 24 members of the public including other members of the parish council.
The minutes of the Annual Parish meeting in March 2012 were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting and there were no matters arising from the minutes.
Chairman’s Annual Report. Tim Ing said that the year really got going in June with the Queen’s Jubilee party and it will live long into the memory of everyone who attended the events. All those who spent many hours of their own time planning and organising deserve a very big pat on the back. It was the best ever village gathering over a number of days that he can remember with some 400 people attending the street party. The size of the village has remained fairly constant in recent years and the Localism Act allows for the planning of growth should the village wish it. More on this subject would be heard from David Spencer of Breckland District Planning department later in the meeting. A start will soon be made on the social housing development at St Andrews Close and this will allow parishioners and dependants first refusal. Two more grit bins have been installed (opposite Oaklands and by Prince Harry’s wood) to allow parishioners to grit the footpaths. Year on year Highways are asked to grit the Hargham Road but to no avail. Parking around the schools remains a problem and it is intended to meet with the schools again to try to find a solution. A group of our parishioners have successfully formed a Speedwatch team and it has produced real dividends by slowing down speeding motorists, particularly at school times. Council members had attended the Shrublands public inquiry to put the Parish Council’s points of view forward and to give evidence to the inspector. It is expected that the outcome will be known within two months. The draft minutes of the parish council meetings are now going on the notice board outside the village shop, clearly marked as DRAFT (in red), as soon as is practical after the meeting.
Parish Clerk’s report. The Precept meeting for the financial year 2013/14 was held in October 2012 and the precept was set at £16,342 this is an increase of £1,817 on the previous year. The Parish Council awarded grants to local organisation of £2,425. It is hoped that forward budget proposals for financial years 2014/15 will be at the current level of expenditure for recommendation by the Parish Council. There will be changes to how Breckland Council will fund future precepts due to changes made by National Government which will result in a smaller tax base for precept funding. This may impact on future precept setting for parish councillors. The Parish Council are fully aware of the harsh economic times for a large part of the villagers who are on fixed incomes. The Parish Council will therefore ensure strict financial and monetary controls are affected at all times and that all expenditure is within budgetary limits. During the year ending 31st March 2013 the Parish Council received grants totalling £4,001for the Play Area and the Recreation Area. In addition Breckland also contributed approximately £1,434 towards the Community Car Scheme. Expenditure for the year so far totals approximately £18,027, net of VAT, from a total income of £20,815. All figures are subject to audit as the financial year end has not yet arrived. The Parish Clerk would like to thank the parish councillors for their hard work and commitment to their responsibilities as parish councillors and for the support they have given over the past year.
District Councillor’s report. The Chief Executive Officer retired earlier during the year and has been replaced by a shared chief executive. Therefore Breckland are only paying a third of his salary. Cuts in funding from central government means Breckland District Council needs to increase income streams or make more savings elsewhere. Last year a deficit of £3.6 million was announced by Breckland this has been reduced to £2.6 million as a result of efficiency savings and better use of assets. During 2012 public consultations were carried out and the majority of residents were opposed to introducing parking charges in places like Attleborough. A majority of residents said they would be happy with an increase in council tax in line with inflation or the maximum the government would allow. Breckland will be increasing council tax for the first time in five years. The District Council are also hoping to introduce a ‘switch and save’ energy scheme for residents which should enable them to make savings on their energy bills. Also, a Breckland-wide Local Plan is being constructed to replace the old LDF plan. Old Buckenham will soon be getting some much needed social housing. The Boundary Commission is undertaking a review of boundaries in Breckland with the aim of providing a fairer system of representation for residents.
(to be continued)


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Old Buckenham Women's Institute

A touch of spring
The sun has been shining and the cold east wind has gone away so Saturday's Spring Coffee morning in the Church Rooms was a most pleasant affair. It was organised by Old Buckenham Women's Institute as a fund-raising event and all the usual stalls were there to tempt you to spend your money.
There was a large raffle, cakes for sale, a tombola and some bric-a-brac to browse through.
Most people also took advantage of enjoying a cup of tea or coffee together with a piece of homemade cake.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Old Buckenham Parish Council

April Parish Council meeting
These notes were prepared by the blog editor from the draft minutes and may contain information that is amended at a future meeting.

All councillors were present apart from Jonathan Kemp who had sent his apologies. Two members of Norfolk Constabulary and two members of the public also attended.
There was a public recess with the meeting suspended to allow members of the public and Norfolk Constabulary to speak.

Minutes of March Parish Council. These were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Derek Smalley said the Norfolk Rural Community Council had increased the subscription to the Oil Buying Scheme from £15 to £20 per year.
Planning applications. None
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Land off Fen Street. Outline application for five houses. Permission refused.
Chairman’s report. Tim Ing reported that the allotment water supply had been turned back on. He then referred to the Annual Parish Meeting which he thought was very positive and that it seemed all parties wanted to work together. Following the successful Jubilee celebrations he wondered if the village could hold an event every two to three years to bring the village together. It was suggested that councillors think about it and put forward suggestions in the future. On the recent road flooding in Cake Street and at Manor Corner the meeting was informed that the problem at Manor Corner was caused by the pond being full as the ditch which ran out surface water emptied into the pond and said the pond needs to be cleared out. The recent surface water in Cake Street was due to a cracked pipe which Norfolk County Council Highways would be repairing in the near future. He said that he had spent £45 on pins to deal with the matting at the play area parking site. Tim Ing said he had spoken to Ron Brewer about putting important telephone numbers in the newsletter for residents. He reported that he and Adrian Joel had attended the recent public enquiry at Attleborough Town Hall into the Shrublands development and a decision will be made within the next six to eight weeks. Steve Milner raised the question of a Neighbourhood Plan. Tim Ing said this needed to be discussed at a separate meeting involving residents and the item would be put on the May agenda.
District Councillor’s report. Breckland’s Switch & Save campaign is going well with over 7,000 households signed up registering their interest. Breckland Council have written to all owners of empty homes in the district to encourage them back into use. In Old Buckenham there is one empty property and two under probate. He then said that the percentage of properties in Old Buckenham in the various tax bands were A to C 52% and A to D 71% with a total of 555 properties in the parish. Breckland’s Transport Plan for Attleborough should be completed by the end of May. This will include the effect of increased traffic levels through Old Buckenham.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Tom Johnson said he recently attended the AGM of the Village Hall and they have elected three new trustees. An election would be held at their first meeting for various committee positions including that of chairman. Sarah Dye said the damaged swing at the play area had been repaired. Akis Chrisovelides said he had given some posters to the High School for display for the proposed Youth Council inviting young people to the next meeting. Adrian Joel reported that one allotment was still available for rent and had been widely advertised. Carol Marshall said repairs to the Recreation Area fence had been done and the goal posts had been moved to allow construction of the BMX track. The Recreation Area had failed to get a grant from the Norfolk Foundation.
Highways. There is a large pothole in Stacksford Road and the road surface on the B1077 at Slough Lane was very poor. The Parish Clerk is to inform Highways.
The Green. The old hay bales are being moved but they are very wet from recent bad weather and they may need to be left until they have dried out.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 2 May in the Church Rooms commencing at 7.30pm.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Playtime and pond life in Old Buckenham

Playing, painting and dipping
Using the final part of their grant from Community Spaces, the members of Bucks Just Play were able to invite children of  pre-school and primary school age to come along to the Old Buckenham Play Area this afternoon. Despite a very cold east wind blowing across the Green, the sun did come out and many children, accompanied by mums, dads and grandparents, came along to take part in the entertainment.
The play area equipment was being well used and members of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust were there with various hands-on activities including pond dipping and seed planting.
Things were warmer in the nearby Church Rooms where refreshments were available for both the children and grown ups and many children queued up to have their faces painted in attractive designs.

Thanks to the grant money, all this was totally free to the participants who were able to have an invigorating and educational afternoon.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Exercise opportunity in Old Buckenham

Only this Easter Monday morning

There is a wonderful opportunity today to take part in a unique programme to improve your fitness. Come along and meet outside the village shop in Old Buckenham where you can join in with various athletic activities especially organised for the village by the Norfolk Association for Future Fitness (NAFF).
There will be timed road runs around the perimeter of Old Buckenham Green (over 70s will be limited to one lap). Callisthenic exercise sessions are being held on the flat area of the Green by the Almshouses and fitness expert Lil Paroof will be on hand to give helpful advice to anyone wanting to improve their ability to exercise.
Why not walk to the area by the shop for this once-in-a-lifetime event. The entertainment will start at 10am and will definitely be over by noon. You'd be a fool to miss it.