Items of Local Interest 


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Click here for the October 2018 edition of the Oxborough News.
Issue 37

Latest Consumer Alerts from Trading Standards.

For more visit



Village Breakfast Team Thank You



As he launches the 2019/20 police budget and council tax consultation, Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green asks....
Would you be prepared to pay more for policing in Norfolk?
The PCC will soon have to decide whether to increase or freeze the policing element of council tax. First, he wants to know what the Norfolk public thinks and is asking how much people would be willing to pay.
For more information and to have your say, please visit


It seems that the generosity towards the
Oxborough Macmillan Coffee Morning shows no bounds.

This year the total is £1450.

This grand sum was the result of over 40 guests, many cash donations, contributors to the ‘bring and buy’ and cake sales during the day.

Particular thanks to the part paid by Craig and Fay who brought a wonderful collection of art produced by talented amateur Lynn Carr, Craig’s mother. Lynn, who was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of cancer sadly, passed away in August of this year. As a result of sales, almost £450 was raised for art works which the family wanted donated to Macmillan.

The fund raising day concluded with a pub quiz at Gooderstone Swan, the teams and customers added a further £150 to the grand total.

Janet would like to thank the team of friends for all there work and support.

A BIG thank you everyone who helped us raise £1450 for Macmillan Cancer Relief.

  The bring & buy stall proved very popular   Some of Lynn Carr's pictures for sale  First arrivals enjoying the morning sun



Thousands of illegal cigarettes seized in King's Lynn

11 September 2018

More than 210,000 illegal cigarettes and a quantity of illegal hand rolling tobacco were seized in King's Lynn yesterday evening by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards.

The products were found in two businesses, and one vehicle and around £1,000 cash were also seized. The duty evaded on these products is approximately £74,000.

Inspections were carried out at four retail businesses, two residential properties and a number of vehicles by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards and officers from Norfolk Constabulary and Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council. They were assisted by tobacco detection dogs of Wagtail UK Limited. Story

 Desert Rats Association Dog Show and Fun Day
 70 dogs with 24 classes
One of the entries                                                       Deserts exhibition tent

  21 car boot pitches and crockery smashing fun
 A good day at the Dog Show and Fun Day ends on a bitter note.

The fun day, Scalextric and car boot held in conjunction with the Desert Rats Association dog show was again well supported.
With 70 dogs entering 24 classes, (with final results to be confirmed), the show raised over £600.
The fun day stalls, with the crockery smashing a ‘shattering’ success (raising £50) together with the other games and 21 car booters, likely contributions of some donations still to come, means in excess of £200 could still be added to the total.

The use of the playing field was booked on behalf of both events with the help of Cllr. Allison, sadly an informer reported to the Parish Clerk that some preparation for the day was done on the previous afternoon, suggesting the OPC consider charging for an extra day?
This proved very upsetting for the dog show organiser when she learned of this so Cllr. Allison undertook to cover this expense from funds contributed from the car boot and games, thankfully common sense prevailed and the original agreement remained. Hopefully this will not deter any future events supporting our village green.

Eileen Lambert & Family would like to say a big thank you to all who gave raffle prizes, bought tickets and supported Henrys Quiz night at Gooderstone Swan.
It was a really good night and thanks to your help, £715 was raised for The Motor Neurone Disease Association.
My grateful thanks to you all. Eileen
PS. Since that night there has been a further £40 donation which brings grand total up to £755
Absolutely marvellous!

Mobile phone coverage map
Councillors from Norfolk County Council’s Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee today approved the publication of a mobile phone coverage map, which has been created using the results of a study commissioned by the council earlier this year.

You can view the map at

The survey covered 5,000km of Norfolk’s roads and 30 places on foot, capturing six million data points, looking at the quality of coverage from the four main mobile network operators (MNO) including EE, Telefonica/O2, Three and Vodafone across 2G, 3G 4G.


These pictures show that work is almost complete on the temporary roofing structure over the Bedingfeld chapel of St Johns Church.
Following the theft of the roof lead last September, this £12,500 arrangement will protect the timbers allowing them to dry out whilst mitigating further damage to the interior.


Oxborough Annual Parish Meeting 

Held at Oxborough Village Hall Wednesday 18 April 2018


Mr. D. Hotchkin

Mrs. S. Hernandez



14 Members of the Public, comprising 12 Electorate including Chair and Clerk

This is an opportunity for any member of the Electorate to make their own proposals for the benefit of the of the Parish. These will be debated by the Electorate at the meeting and then a vote will be taken by all the Electorate that are present. The results will be recorded in minutes by the Parish Clerk, will be made publicly available, and may then be used to steer Parish Council policy in the future. They may also be noted by other Local Authorities. Unlike Parish Council decisions, they carry no weight in law, but are useful for determining people’s wants and needs. If the Parish Council does not take note of accepted proposals, then the Electorate may always resort to the ballot box at the next election!

1.    To consider measures to alleviate the parking problems in the village

Mr. Colin Mason emailed his concerns regarding the parking problems: ‘Cars parked on the grass under the pub sign… on the grass opposite the pub at the church…on the grass by the bus shelter and up to the junction, also on the Pound triangle. Highways ... police ... Breckland Council could be involved. The Parish Council could be pro-active by offering the pub part of The Green for parked cars (it would have to be sectioned off, the grass removed and gravel laid down) and charge the pub an annual rent. Chain link fencing can be placed around the grass areas, including around the Pound’.

The Chairman asked if anyone was in favour of sectioning off part of the village green and charging the pub an annual rent and no-one was. He asked if anyone was opposed and Mike Cooper said he was, as the village should not have to pay towards finding a solution for the car-parking problem, rather that the pub owners should handle it. Elaine Willies suggested that the pub display a sign to advise customers that the village hall carpark could be used and Geoff Pritchard added that any costs should be borne by the pub owners. Frankie Watkin commented that she was aware that the pub had an option to extend their carpark as there is the plot of land alongside, but Dave Watkin said that this was owned by the Ashleys and it was not really an option. Geoff added that cars driving in and out of the village green would cause a danger to people and pets. Access to the National Trust carpark was not possible as this would allow access to Oxburgh Hall property. Bar Pritchard suggested that maybe the Parish Council could cease renting the parcel of churchyard land out to the National Trust, and instead convert the land into a parking area. Dave thought that as people normally want to park as close as possible to the venue, that parking on the verges would be more preferable, and suggested that the pub owners pay to have the verges reinforced and a membrane installed, through which the grass is allowed to grow. Elaine agreed with Colin’s point that the junction in question (i.e. with the pub on the left-hand side) is dangerous to negotiate, suggesting that the corners need to be improved. Dave added that such measures would not prevent dangerous parking and that only the police could enforce this. The Chairman pointed out that if vehicles are parked off the carriageway, then there is no parking problem which needs enforcing by the police, as vehicles are permitted to be left on the verges and the Pound. Mike Wood suggested that the plot of land adjacent to the pub could be fenced off and used for both churchgoers and pubgoers alike – but that the village should not pay. Bar mentioned that the row of daffodils which had recently flowered on the Pound had prevented carparking in the short-term. The Chairman asked for a show of hands for the first proposal: sectioning off part of the village green and charging the pub an annual rent; there were none. He asked for a show of hands opposing this proposal and this was unanimous (12 Electorate).

Geoff proposed that the Parish Council approach the owners of the pub with the suggestion that they extend their carpark. The Chairman asked for comments; Elaine thought that this should be only considered by the pub owners as it is in their interest to grow their business – and should encourage their clientele to park responsibly, even if this means parking in the village hall carpark. Bar suggested a map in the bus shelter, showing the location of the village hall carpark in relation to the pub, would be useful for visitors, but William Chapman pointed out that this

would be best placed at the entrance of the pub, as once parked, pub users were unlikely to re-park anywhere else. Dave added that there is a need to encourage the pub owners to look at the problem again but Mike Cooper stated that they do not care – and do not have to care – and that they would be unlikely to change their minds. So Dave reiterated his suggestion of reinforcing the verges which would preserve the appearance and keep them in good condition, but Geoff said that this would have no affect on the poor visibility at the junction, although Elaine suggested that maybe Highways would approve the installation of some posts on the corners. The Chairman read out the second proposal: that the PC approach the owners of the pub with the suggestion that they extend their carpark; this was seconded by Frankie. The Chairman asked for a show of hands in support of this proposal and this was unanimous.

Bar proposed that the PC should consider ending the lease arrangement of the parcel of churchyard land (previously earmarked as additional burial ground) to the National Trust, and instead convert the land into a parking area. Ian Monson confirmed that the Church had agreed that this land was not required at the time (and even since then it seemed unlikely to be necessary to retrieve for the purpose it was first intended), but that the problem was that it was not actually adjacent to the road, so access would be via about 30m of National Trust land- for which permission would need to be sought. In addition, the PC would need to apply to Highways for access to the road. Frankie thought that maybe there was no need to return the land to the PC, rather that the NT would simply allow access to use the area as a carpark for use by pub goers. Mike C. questioned why the PC should even consider finding or supplying more carparking locations for use by pub visitors, and besides what about losing the £150 per year received from the NT. Instead he suggested that a deep trog should be dug along the verges to make it impossible for vehicles to be parked there. The Chairman pointed out that Highways would need to be involved and that funding would be an issue, probably necessitating a PC contribution. Although Highways is responsible for just 1m width of the verges, the actual land beneath the verge, and beyond the 1m boundary is owned by, and the responsibility of, the PC. The matter of asking Highways for advice on how to deal with the parking at the junction should be discussed at PC meetings. Bar concluded that after all the discussion she would withdraw her proposal. 

Instead, Frankie proposed that the PC should consult with Highways regarding the question of parking in the village – this was seconded by Mike W. The Chairman asked for a show of hands and this was unanimous.

Regarding the suggestion that chain link fencing can be placed around the grass areas, including around the Pound, this was briefly discussed (mention was made of the fact that the PC had previously discussed this in earlier years), and the consensus was that it would not be permitted, although it will be included in the letter for the attention of highways.


Dave asked what could be done for the residents of Eastmoor Road and Foulden Road, concerning speeding vehicles, as although Speedwatch had carried out a small number of monitoring, and no more as it was deemed unjustified ( due to low numbers of vehicles in contrast to the main road), perhaps an alternative would be for the PC to purchase 30mph stickers for applying to the household wheelie bins. Mike W. agreed that this would be worth a go and Ian suggested that villagers should be asked if they would like to take part in this scheme. Dave proposed that the PC should consider the purchase of 30mph stickers for use by those villagers who would be interested in participating, this was seconded by Jackie Palmer-Hibbert and the Chairman asked for a show of hands in favour – this was unanimous.

Frankie also suggested that the SAM2 sign be moved to Foulden Road occasionally and asked if the necessary pole was available for the installation. The Chairman confirmed that David Jacklin, Highways Engineer, had reviewed this location and deemed it possible, although the existing pole might not be appropriate, so he would speak with Mr. Jacklin again; Bar suggested that should a further cost be involved, then perhaps the PC could tap into the fund of money which Cllr Fabian Eagle had access for Highways matters. 

The Chairman asked if anyone else had anything further to say and without further ado,

he thanked everyone for attending and contributing and closed the meeting at 8pm.

06/02/18: Breckland councillors consider council tax rise

Breckland Council members today (February 6) debated a potential rise in local council tax, in order to protect frontline services. Breckland's Cabinet considered a report which recommends the council increases district council tax in 2018-19 by £4.95 for the year (based on a Band D property).

A £4.95 tax increase would see residents in Band D properties pay £83.88 from April, however as the majority of residents in Breckland (77%) live in properties which are Bands A to C - including 54% of the district's residents who live in Band A or B homes - most people would see their district council tax bills rise by less than £4.95 per year. For example, the increase for a Band A home would be £3.30 per year.

Cabinet members discussed how the majority of households pay less than £1.43 a week towards the services provided by the district council and that the proposed rise - the equivalent of around 9p more per week - would enable the council to continue to support frontline services and investment initiatives. Cabinet members resolved to put forward the recommendation to a meeting of full Council later in the month.

Even if the rise is agreed by Council, district council tax in Breckland is still expected to remain the lowest in the country. The proposed rise was suggested as Breckland Council's income from central government continues to fall, as a result in reductions in revenue support grant and New Homes Bonus. However, costs associated with delivering services continue to rise through inflation and other pressures.

Cllr Philip Cowen, Breckland Council's Executive Member for Finance, said: "Breckland Council is working hard to deliver good services for residents while keeping them affordable; our district council services cost households less than a cup of coffee per week.

"We've avoided making cuts to frontline services through sensible financial planning and by making our services and back-office teams more efficient. Our commercially-minded approach is proving successful, with the council generating around as much money from our existing investments as we receive from local council tax. The savings and new income we have delivered to date have seen us save £1.5m since April 2016 and we expect to save more than another million pounds before April 2019.

"However, like many councils, we have been affected by central government cuts to public sector funding, which means we have to think carefully about how we balance our budget going forward and what we want to be able to do in the future. We will always do what we can to keep the financial burden off local residents but freezing council tax is not an option, particularly if we want to continue delivering the services that our residents expect and to maintain our commitment to the district's growth and prosperity."


PCC's police budget proposals receive unanimous Panel support
PCC Lorne Green met with members of the Police and Crime Panel on Monday (6 February 2018) to present his proposals for the 2018/19 Norfolk policing budget.

Those proposals included a 5.5% increase in the policing element of council tax – which equates to an extra £12 per year or 23 pence per week for a Band D household.

Having run a public consultation at the end of last year, the PCC told Panel that the views of those who took part were clear – they would be prepared to pay something extra for their police if they could see something extra for their money.

Lorne said those views had been heard loud and clear and, in making his decision, he had asked the Chief Constable to take on board a number of enhancements to the new Norfolk policing model announced last October
You can also read Lorne’s full words to Panel by clicking


The theft of lead from the roof of the Bedingfeld Chapel, St Johns Church Oxborough last September, has left the structure and interior suffering serious water damage during the wet weather. Temporary polythene sheet over the roof is at present doing little to protect the timbers and interior whilst awaiting funds to be found which will provide a more perminant solution.


Oxburgh Hall buys back 130 acres of surrounding land.
The National Trust has purchased back over 52 hectares of farm land surrounding the Hall estate, which will eventually be restored back to historic parkland, trebling the site landholding.
In the short term the land will continued to be farmed in the usual way but once grant funding is secured it will enable the Hall to develop its outdoor experience for visitors.

 Only One Of Its Kind – 60ft Wellington Bomber Aircraft Mural
Wellington Bomber Aircraft Mural by Oxborough Artist Colin Mason unveiled at the Wellington in Feltwell

 On Friday morning 29th September, Forces TV arrived to film and interview the owners of The Wellington pub at Feltwell, Mr Mrs Samuels and also the artist Colin Mason from the Arts Lounge Gallery in Swaffham. The interview and film of the mural went out on Forces TV News on Saturday 30th September and Monday 1st October.

On Saturday 30th the sun shone, and Radio Norfolk did an early morning interview with Colin
whilst he was just adding a few final touches to the mural. As soon as the acrylics were dry, the covers were draped over the entire 60 feet of the wall in readiness of the official unveiling. By 1400hrs, guests started to arrive, and the sun was still shining too.

The guest of honour was 93 year old Mr. Ivan Potter who flew in the Wellington as a radio operator and air gunner. Also attending the ceremony was the New Zealand Air Attache from London, Wing Commander Lisa D’Oliveira, representatives from RAF Honington, members of 75 NZ Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, Group Captain Richard Dixon who was one of the last to fly the Wellington, and other invited guests.

Ivan Potter unveiled the mural in stages whilst the artist Colin Mason explained each part of the mural and what it signified. The ceremony was a huge success and a few who were touched by the whole mural had tears in their eyes, as it meant so much to them. So if you are in the area, go and visit The Wellington in Feltwell and see this magnificent mural.

If you click on the link below you will be abe to see the Forces TV interview.
 Ivan Potter, Colin and Richard at the mural
A plaque dedicated to Colin for the mural

More work needed for village hall floor.

It was revealed at the April AGM of the village hall trustees, that the work completed to repair and refurbish the floor at a cost of £1920 has failed.
The parquet blocks have swollen; become loose, causing bumps on the surface.

The trustees expressed that there seems little hope of recovering funds from the contractor or indeed of him having the work redone free of charge. The contractor’s solution was for him to re-do the work at a cost of about £3000, he claims that the failure was due to the ambient temperature of the hall not maintained during drying time allowing moisture to cause the wood blocks to lift.

The trustees are trying to resolve the situation but have received no response from the contractor and they suspect the guarantee for work done cannot be enforced, they are concerned about the cost of litigation or of a favourable outcome should they seek advice to have the damage corrected.

At this time the trustees are faced with the additional cost of in excess of £3000 to have the floor brought up to standard (making a possible total outlay of £4400 to have a safe floor), without this work the floor could become unstable for future use.
A grant for work was incorporated in the original expense and thus will not be available again for a second repair, leaving the trustees possibly having to dig into the village hall reserves of £8600 unless the money is raised elsewhere.

As the trustees usually only report to the community once a year at the AGM it may not be known to the community until April 2018 if and how the problem may have been resolved. The trustees did however make it quite clear at the AGM, that if anyone has concerns, questions or offers of help regarding issues with the village hall, they would welcome any direct approach to them for more information.


                                                         Thieves steal the lead from Oxborough church.
The lead has been stolen from the roof of St John the Evangelist at Oxborough over the weekend, either Saturday or Sunday night.

Churchwarden Teresa Squires reports ‘The theft was discovered on Monday evening during locking-up as the PIR security lights failed to come on. Once inside, the church was found to be wet, so members of the PCC returned onsite together with torches.

It was discovered that the exterior floodlights had been vandalised which meant that the thieves operated in darkness. It was difficult to see in the dark, but we think the lead was stripped only on the Chantry Chapel which faces away from the road. Heavy truck tyre marks were found on the grass and churned up mud on the south side where a ladder had been placed and the lead appeared to have been thrown down.

Working out the timings when people were onsite and the lights were last known to be working, we think the theft happened most likely Saturday 5th after 5pm.
The lead was marked with Smartwater from the re-roofing project in 2009’.

Norfolk Police have given us a reference number NC-07112016-401

Mobile library visit dates     For all enquiries about this route please call 01485 540181

 4   BEACHAMWELL      10:15 10:35    OLD POST OFFICE PE37 8BD
 6   DRYMERE                 10:40 10:50    TELEPHONE KIOSK PE37 8AS
 8   COCKLEY CLEY      10:55 11:05      PINE AVENUE PE37 8AW
 10 COCKLEY CLEY      11:10 11:25     RIVERSIDE PE37 8AN
 12 HILLBOROUGH       11:35 11:45     THE SWAN PUBLIC HOUSE IP26 5BW
 14 HILLBOROUGH       11:50 12:00     WESTGATE STREET (No.12) IP26 5BN
 16 FOULDEN                 12:10 12:20     WALNUT CLOSE IP26 5AN
 18 GOODERSTONE      13:30 13:40    ELM PLACE PE33 9BX
 20 GOODERSTONE      13:45 13:55    WALNUT PLACE PE33 9BZ
 22 OXBOROUGH    14:00 14:10    ST JOHN'S CLOSE PE33 9PU
 24 BOUGHTON             14:20 14:35    MILL ROAD PE33 9AJ
 26 FINCHAM                  14:45 14:55     METHODIST CHURCH PE33 9HF
 28 FINCHAM                  15:00 15:15     VICARAGE LAY-BY PE33 9EL
 30 FINCHAM                  15:20 15:35      CHURCHILL CRESCENT PE33 9EU

Date of Visits 2018

13-Mar-2018  10-Apr  08-May  05- June  03-July  31- July  28-Aug  25-Sep   23-Oct   20-Nov  18 –Dec  15-Jan- 2019

                                                                      Oxburgh Hall update

Oxburgh Hall remains closed but repairs to the Dormer Window are under way. Scaffolding is due to be erected during the last week of September but the house and court yard still remains closed. The gardens, walks, pantry and activities are still open to the public.







History group’s second archaeological dig took place Friday 19th and Saturday 20th August at the south of the churchyard wall, at the side of Oxburgh Hall car park.  
 Some of the finds
 For more information visit Oxborough History Group


 Good news for community groups and small traders

Community groups, small businesses and travelling tradesmen who need to dispose of commercial waste can now do so for a charge, at seven of Norfolk’s largest recycling centres.

• Thetford, Kings Lynn, Dereham, Ketteringham, Mayton Wood, Hempton, Caister.

The new service is aimed at small organisations who may not have the resource or the volume of waste to justify a commercial collection.

These centres will accept a wide range of materials from trade customers and prices start from a single bag charge.

For more information on how the service works, material types and for a full list of charges please go to
or call 0344 8008020

 The Oxborough Roll of Honour

A new publication from
The Oxborough History Group

Copies (£3) available from Kelvin Smith, Fairway, Oxborough (01366 328601) or
…or at one of our Open Days (first Monday of each month, 11 to 4 in the Village Hall)

   The quiet life of the village of Oxborough was cruelly shattered in 1914 with the outbreak of the First World War – an event that still stands out as a unique and incomprehensible phenomenon. Twenty-eight men from the village served in the War. Their names have been inscribed on a Roll of Honour that hangs in the chapel of St Margaret and Our Lady at Oxburgh Hall.

The names of five of the 28 who did not return from the War are inscribed on the village’s war memorial that stands at the northwest corner of St John’s Church. An earlier publication has described the lives and backgrounds of these five men (Five from Oxborough, published in 2014).

This publication focuses on the lives of the twenty-three individuals who returned and recounts their background, their experiences and their lives after the War. It also puts their lives into context, not only in terms of the village of Oxborough but also within the social structure prevailing at the beginning of the 20th century.



The image of the Roll of Honour is reproduced with the kind permission of
Sir Henry Paston Bedingfeld 



 The Norfolk Non-Native Species Initiative

The Norfolk Non-Native Species Initiative (NNNSI) is currently working to put together Biosecurity Plans for the western catchments of Norfolk and Suffolk. These plans will help us to improve the management and eradication of invasive species present in the catchments. Invasive species include plants such as Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed, and animals such as American mink and muntjac deer.

To help make these plans as useful as possible, we need up to date and accurate data on the distribution of freshwater invasive species and further information about activities being carried out within the catchments. To get this information we need water users, land owners and stakeholders to complete a brief online survey (~10 minutes). The information provided will be incredibly useful in helping us draw up the most practical and efficient plans to improve the management of invasive species.

I wondered if it would be possible if you could complete the short survey and/or pass it on to anyone you think may be able to help e.g. site managers, groundskeepers, volunteers – we need as many responses as possible!

You can access the survey here:

As a thank you, we are offering five £10 Cotswold Outdoor giftcards, which will be randomly awarded to five participants. If you would like to enter the prize draw, please leave your e-mail in the box at the end of the survey.

If you have any problems filling in the survey, require any further information or would like to get in touch about invasive species please contact Tim Foo at or on 01603 222 773.


New Railings help road safety.
Concerns have been raised at parish council meetings regarding the line of sight to the cross roads when (especially children) leave the playing field from the west gate.

Being unable to get a clear view created an unacceptable traffic hazard before crossing the roads, so the solution was to remove part of the hedge and replace it with railing similar to the existing fence.

On making enquiries for quotations to have 2m of rails constructed and installed, our Parish Clerk, Susan Hernandez, approached local businessman Jamie Tuckwell.

To the delight of the council and community his reply to OPC was ‘As a resident of the village, I would be prepared to carry out the work and supply all materials free of charge. Installation would be completed within 10 working days of authorisation of work’.

Most of us will now have seen this work has been completed and has made a considerable improvement to both road safety and appearance of the playing field.
 Jamie Tuckwell runs Breckland Engineering Services and can be contacted by e-mail and Tel 01366 328430 or Mobile 07889 134476

The OPC has written to Jamie, saying how very delighted they are with his generous offer as, it must be added, are the whole of our community.

Archaeological dig by the Oxborough History Group.

Oxborough History Group undertook an archaeological test dig in the corner of the playing field on the 8/9 August supervised by Claire Bradshaw of the Norfolk Historic Environment Service.

 Under instruction from Claire
Opening the first pit
            Looking for finds


This area was chosen as a demonstration test dig mostly to instruct those interested in our history, on the procedures and etiquette of excavation work.

Following the History Groups research it was discovered that two cottages existed in this area of the green as recorded on an 1845 tithe map. With the approval of the OPC, it was hoped some evidence of these buildings could be found.
Some of the finds
 Opening test pit two
 Looking at possible wall feature


 Little was found in the top 20cm of pit 1, but as Claire said ‘much of archaeology is finding yesteryears rubbish’.

The second test pit on day two yielded mainly building rubble, with nails and pottery shards excavated from a depth of about 40/ 60cm. before coming to the natural earth.
Recording  location at the end of the dig
 Backfilling the pits
                Making good
 As well as supporters of the OHG villagers and visitors stopped by to see the work under way, including Katkin who very kindly brought out drinks for the diggers.
Much was leant by the history group and casual visitors alike, for more information visit:

 Oxborough Village Social Evening

An Oxborough Village Social Evening has just been established and is being run by the participants informally for the fun of it.

This fresh, new, social venture is unaffiliated to any other village organisation; it is aimed simply at everyone who would like to pop in, even on casual basis, to join in a range of social activities.

Open to all residents the event will run on Thursday evenings in the village hall from 7.00pm onwards.

There is a £1.50 per evening charge to cover overheads but will include the various refreshments provided.

So far there are a number of activities running including darts, dominos and cards with others being considered but do bring along any ideas or games you might like to introduce.

Just turn up and enjoy a friendly evening and if you want to, participate in some of the activities.


Oxborough Art & Photographic Exhibition

Thirty three artist and photographers exhibited at StJohn The Evangelist church and in theBedingfeld Chapel in July.
Over 160 works are on show including glass, jewellery and natural art created from from beachcombing on the north Norfolk coast.


Sponsored by
The Bedingfeld Arms and
E.W. English incorporating

Car Traders.Net and One Stop Car Shop.


Ground breaking digital treasure-hunt comes to the Brecks

The Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership Scheme announces a new grant award

The BNG Landscape Partnership is pleased to announce the award of a new grant of £2040 to Norfolk Trails for the development of an exciting and innovative new form of walking trail in the heart of Thetford.

Called the Thetford Munzee Heritage trail, this new project will see a series of discreet ‘Quick Reference’ (QR) codes being placed in key locations around Thetford Town, creating a digital heritage trail that can be accessed through the Munzee App. It will encourage participants to explore the town and discover some of its fascinating ancient buildings and features, while also providing information and links to further opportunities for discovery. The trail will be set up and launched during the summer.

Munzee is a high-tech treasure hunt where you download a free app to your smartphone and start capturing Munzees to score points.  A Munzee is a QR code hidden somewhere in the surroundings; be that on a lamppost, in a shop window or on a sign.  The app features an interactive map, built-in compass and uses GPS to help you find your way to each Munzee.   In addition you will be given a clue for each Munzee.  When you find it, you can scan the code to score your points... but not before answering a special quiz question.  The quicker you get it right, the more points you get. Half the fun is in the hunt; but they aren’t always a piece of cake to find so you need to keep your treasure hunting wits about you!

Once you start, you just won’t want to stop.  You’ll be collecting Munzee points left, right and centre!  And we can guarantee that it won’t just be the kids as Munzee trails are perfect for all generations and are great for getting the whole family outside exploring their local area.  It’s a brilliant way to learn more about the fascinating history and landscape of Thetford and to discover places you may never have been to.

“We are delighted to be funding the Munzee Trail Project, which offers an original and imaginative way of engaging younger people particularly with the heritage of historic  Thetford. We hope the munzees will encourage residents and visitors alike to get out and about and explore this fascinating town.” James Parry, Chairman BNG Grant Award Committee

The ‘Breaking New Ground’ Landscape Partnership Scheme, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has made this project possible through its small grants fund which supports individuals, organisations and communities seeking funding for their own Landscape or Heritage projects in the scheme area. The Breaking New Ground team were pleased to receive a number of fantastic applications for its second round of grants, and the Thetford Munzee Heritage Trail will be joining the two other projects that received funding last December.

The Sandlines project is already delivering a series of creative writing workshops inspired by the Brecks.The Brecks Landscape Patterns project will be taking participants out into the landscape to discover the landscape and create art. Both of these projects are actively encouraging anyone with an interest in either writing or art and experience is definitely not required!  For more information on any of the Breaking New Ground projects please visit


The earthstar at Cockley Cley that differed slightly from the rare Rayed Earthstar. Experts at the time considered that it was merely a variant but recent re-examination and DNA sequence analysis has enabled mycologists in Spain to describe it as a hitherto unknown species. It has been given the name Geastrum britannicum, recognising, so far, that it has only been found in Britain.

They might look like fun guys but they are in fact “a new species for the world” – and they have been found in Cockley Cley.

In 2000, Jonathan Revett collected an earthstar under pine trees at Cockley Cley. Although it resembled the rare Rayed Earthstar (Geastrum quadrifidum) it was sufficiently different for Jonathan to send specimens to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and to an expert in The Netherlands. The opinion was that it was a known variant but when Kew submitted three of their Rayed Earthstar specimens for DNA sequencing last year they received a surprise; all three were identical but different from any other Rayed Earthstars!  Further investigation showed that they were also significantly different (from the Rayed Earthstar) in appearance and spore size, and that a further six specimens had been ‘hidden’ under other names.

In 2015, the new species was described under the name Geastrum britannicum. Jonathan’s specimen was designated the type specimen, and a specimen collected by Trevor Dove at Surlingham was designated a paratype (examined with the original description).  It was first collected (but not recognised) in 1994 near Abergavenny, where two more sites have been found. To date, five specimens from different sites have been collected in Norfolk and a further three in Hampshire.

Earthstar new to science found in Cockley Cley.

Photo : Jonathan Revett

Published by Biodiversity News In Norfolk

 More on this story go to

 Police to scale down public enquiry office service

Norfolk Constabulary is announcing plans to scale down its front counter service as part of wide-ranging plans to meet Government spending cuts.

The force remains on track to deliver the bulk of the £20 million savings required by 2018 but it is now estimated that an additional £5million will need to be found by 2020.

Last year Chief Constable Simon Bailey outlined how the force intended to bridge the funding gap in the coming years with a view to preserving frontline resources as far as possible.

To achieve this, from 1 April, the force’s Public Enquiry Offices (PEOs) across the county will have reduced or changed hours and the PEOs at Attleborough, Swaffham, Gorleston and Diss will close.  

The changes, which will generate savings of over £360,000, follow a review which showed people physically calling at police stations continues to fall.

Stations affected by PEO closure will continue to be used as operational police bases with plans put in place to ensure local communities still have access to local officers.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Nick Dean, who leads on local policing services, said: "Cuts to the police budget mean we have to make some difficult decisions in order to maintain visibility and maximize front line officer numbers. This is the reality of our situation.

"It is a fact that fewer people now pop into a police station, preferring instead to use telephone or online services.

"The front counters earmarked for closure see some of the lowest footfall in the county.  It will not affect our commitment to policing in the affected areas nor the opportunity for the public to meet and speak with local officers on a regular basis. "

The closures and reduction of hours will all be in place by July 2015, if not sooner.  The yellow phones located outside each of the PEOs will remain in place and can be used 24 hours a day, taking callers through to another open PEO or the police control room.

Sign-posting for people who require direct access to a PEO service, such as handling lost or seized property and reporting a crime, will be supported by improved information available via the Norfolk Constabulary website

District commanders in the areas affected will be working to ensure neighbourhood policing officers remain accessible through regular meetings and events. Consultation on the plans has taken place with the force’s Contact and Control Room, the local policing commands across the county and other related partners,  such as magistrates courts, as well as engagement with hard to reach communities.

The current Norfolk plan to bridge the funding gap will see the workforce cut by around 350 posts over a four year period in a bid to shield the frontline and maximise police officer numbers. The ‘Valuing the Police’ report, published in July, following an inspection by HMIC of plans in place to meet the Government’s savings requirements set for 2015/16, judged the force as ‘outstanding’ overall in terms of proving value for money with praise for its efforts to reduce costs through workforce transformation.

News from Oxburgh Hall 

Click on the link below to see a wonderful video of the six barn owls that live in the grounds. This was shared on NT facebook page by Tim Peers, a garden volunteer.!/photo.php?v=782592748441896&set=o.362975080450824&type=2&theater

Meet your new Breckland Master Gardeners


Our newly-trained green-fingered growers will soon be out and about, using their knowledge to nurture novice gardeners, and kick off the two-year Breckland Master Gardeners project.

Following a successful training session last month, the Breckland Master Gardeners project is up and running. There are now 21 experienced Master Gardeners who are keen to get started in supporting and mentoring families and individuals throughout Breckland in growing their own food.

Interested? You don’t need to have grand ambitions – you could just start small with pots of herbs and salad leaves by the kitchen door. Do what is achievable within your daily routine and enjoy the results.

The Breckland Master Gardeners project, which is funded by Breckland Council and the Health and Wellbeing Board and managed by Garden Organic, is part of a national programme supporting new home-food growers.

To find out where your nearest Breckland Master Gardener is based, contact Gabbie Joyce on 07584 583803, email or look on the website


                                           Fabulous new offering to St John the Evangelist Church
Eileen shows us the new altar cloth
Long before work started on the church roof restoration project, Eileen Lambert had seen that the material covering the altar
left a lot to be desired, certainly it would not be in keeping with the new look that would follow the work put into restoring
the fabric of the building; so late in 2010 after talking to church warden John O’Dwyer, Eileen took it upon herself to put her extraordinary talents as a seamstress to work into producing a fabulous valance and altar cloth in time for the service of re-dedication.

The altar cloth of gold filigree is an intricacy embroidered quilt boarded with an Ivy leaf design of festival thread,
red, purple and green
In 1610 the first church bell (long since lost in time) was known to have held the inscription Omnia sint ad Gloriam Dei.
Eileen has brought this message back into the heart of the church by adding this and the translation
‘All to the glory of God’ to the centre of the altar cloth.
Beneath the alter cloth Eileen has provided valance of white damask.

 Eileen with John place the cloth on the altar and cover it with protective glass sheet.
St John the Evangelist Church and Bedingfeld chapel are now fully open and welcomes visitors.

  The Jubilee group place protection around the Holm Oak
Following the recent OPC meeting it was thought there is a real risk of damage to the Jubilee tree and dedication plaque through accidental damage from gang mowers cutting the area (other trees show scars from hits). With remaining funds, the Jubilee group have now placed a protection area around the Holm Oak and dedication plaque. This it is hoped will offer a pleasant feature within the village green.

Sir Henry Edgar Paston-Bedingfeld. Norroy and Ulster King of Arms.


Sir Henry took part in the Queens Diamond Jubilee Pageant 3rd June 2012.
This was the largest flotilla held in the last 350 years with up to 1,000 boats starting at Battersea Bridge which sailed along the Thames with the Queen on the Royal Barge.
Sir Henry made time in his demanding formal schedule to join the residents during village celebrations, to dedicate the Jubilee Oak on behalf of the village and present complimentary Oxborough Jubilee mugs to village children.

The West Norfolk branch of the Norfolk Family History Society has presented a book of Memorial Inscriptions to the Oxborough PCC.
This fascinating book contains a brief history of the church and the story of the collapsing spire in 1948.  Actually, 2 spires, as one had been struck by lightning 70 years earlier.

There are also wonderful photographs of the church memorials and monuments in both the Chancel and the Bedingfeld Chapel, together with the inscriptions.

There is a description of the War Memorial together with information about the people named on it and information as to where their bodies are buried.

What is probably of interest to local families is the map of the churchyard together with names and inscriptions of most of the headstones.
If anyone would like to see this book or trace a relative's grave please contact
John O'Dwyer - Churchwarden 01366 328431

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The parterre at Oxburgh Hall
Bob Greef writes
The parterre was created by Sir Henry Richard Paston-Bedingfeld in about 1848 from a design by the French Garden Designer Antoinne Dezallier d'Argenville. In 1709 d'Argenville published a book on Garden Design entitled La Theorie et la Practique du Jardinage which was translated into English in 1712 by John James.
Much of the work is believed to have been actually supervised by Mr Anderson, the Head Gardener at Foulden Hall. A reference to 'That clever Scotch gardener, Anderson' appears in contemporary notes held in the Bedingfeld archives. The garden is usually simply referred to as the 'French Garden'.
The planting scheme is a mixture of permanent planting, Rue, Lavender, the dwarf Box edging and topiarised Yew. Each year in late spring the tender annual planting goes in, usually around the first or second week in June after risk of frost has passed. The tender bedding is yellow Tagetes, blue Heliotrope and Ageratum and red Canna and Pelargonium. By the second week in July the planting has filled the beds with lovely colour and this will persist until the first frosts.

Norfolk Health, Heritage and Biodiversity Walks
Oxborough - Gooderstone 3.2miles
The aim of the Norfolk Health, Heritage and Biodiversity Walks project is to encourage people to enjoy local walks on a regular basis. Using the guides, people will be able to discover a variety of local footpaths and explore their local environment, experiencing the wealth of heritage and wildlife Norfolk has to offer.
For more follow this link.                                                                
Oxborough artist Colin Mason

Colin an aviation artist also paints many other subjects in oils, acrylic
and pencil sketches

During the past year Colin has raised just over £8,000 for the RAFBF (Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund) by auctioning a variety of items, including the original oil painting seen here in the photo, painted by Colin and called "Wings Over Bentley Priory". The successful bidder was non other than Lord "Stuffy" Dowding's grand son Lord Piers Dowding 8th Baron to Bentley Priory.

In the photo from left to right is: Lord Trenchard, Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton, Air Marshall Sir Robert Wright, and Colin Mason                   

Thanks to the 1619 Will of Thomas Hewar or Castle Rising, who left land that he owned at Oxborough for the benefit of the Church and of the poor in perpetuity, the Hewars Trust exists. 

A portion of the rent from the ten acres of arable land at Ferry Lane and the shooting rights of the 13 acres of Caldecote Fen (known as the Poor Fen), plus one sixth of income from a Cockley Cley charity is distributed annually in December.  A third of the money goes to the church fabric fund, a grant goes to Gooderstone School, ostensibly to buy books for Oxborough children, and the remainder is available to give to those of pensionable age who are not working, the chronically sick or disabled  who have lived in the parish of Oxborough for at least 12 months.

Anyone in need or maybe needing help with university books etc may apply during the year.  The Trust is entirely discretionary and inevitably there are from time to time those who may slip through the net.
Anyone who thinks they may be newly qualified should contact one of the Trustees.
Valerie O’Dwyer – 01366 328431
Charles Ashley – 01366 328
Henry Lambert – 01366 329509
Elizabeth Mason – 01366 328874
Revd. Kit Chalcraft is an Honorary member of the Trust

Henry Paston-Bedingfeld,appointed Norroy and Ulster King of Arms.
Norroy and Ulster King of Arms is one of the senior Officers of Arms of the College of Arms, and the junior of the two provincial Kings of Arms. The current office is the combination of two former appointments. There is a case to be made that the office of Norroy is the older of the two English territorial offices, there being a reference as early as 1276 to a "King of Heralds beyond the Trent in the North." This is the precise area to come under the later kings specifically nominated as "Norroy." The office of Ulster King of Arms (and Principal Herald of Ireland) was established in 1552 by King Edward VI to replace the post of Ireland King of Arms, which had lapsed in 1487.
In 1943, the office of Ulster was combined with that of Norroy, and the Norroy and Ulster King of Arms now has jurisdiction over the counties of Northern Ireland as well as England north of the Trent. Norroy and Ulster has also acted as Registrar and King of Arms of the Order of St Patrick since 1943, though no knights of that Order have been created since 1934, and the last surviving knight died in 1974. Heraldic matters in the Republic of Ireland are handled by the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland.
The arms of Norroy and Ulster King of Arms date from 1980 and are blazoned Quarterly Argent and Or a Cross Gules on a Chief per pale Azure and Gules a Lion passant guardant Or crowned with an open Crown between a Fleur-de-lis and a Harp Or.



Politicians and nappies have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.