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Click for the February 2018 edition of the Oxborough News. Issue 33

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.

Burglary in Gooderstone.

Police are appealing for information after a black Mercedes car and jewellery was stolen from Gooderstone

The burglary happened between 7.30am on Sunday, November 26 and 10am on Tuesday, November 28.

After the property was broken into a black Mercedes AMG sport was taken and later found in Mundford.

Anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity in the area between the times stated, or anyone with information, should contact DC James Morgan at Thetford CID on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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.

 Macmillan Coffee Morning Exceeds All Expectations

Despite a very damp start to Oxborough Macmillan Coffee Morning held at Wychwood, it very soon got underway proving, by the end of the day to be the best supported since we started three years ago.
An amazing £1145 has been raised.

We would like to heap praise and thanks to villagers, family and friends from all around for their generosity, either from donations of cash, prizes or cakes but importantly those people who risked the weather and turned out for coffee, cake and a chat with friends old and new.

We would like to acknowledge the effort of the lads and lassies that provided invaluable help together with all our friends and fellow quizzers at Gooderstone Swan who held the quiz in support of our event helping us to top the £1100 mark.

£1145 is an astonishing achievement so thanks again for everyone’s support.




 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

Oxborough Farms Limited appeal against Refusal of Planning
Application Ref No: 3PL/2016/1310/O
Appeal Ref No: APP/F2605/W/17/3178097
Appeal Starting Date: 12.09.2017

Mr Ian Monson’s appeal follows the refusal of the application within the statutory period by Breckland Council. A copy of the Councils decision and the appellant’s grounds of appeal can be viewed on Planning Application Search or at the Council offices.

The appeal is to be decided on the basis of a Hearing, Breckland will notify those immediately affected in the proximity of the appeal site when a date has been received.

If anyone is affected by or have an interest in the proposed development and wish to comment on the proposal, you should send 3 copies of your correspondence directly to The Planning Inspectorate, Zone 3N, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol S1 6PN within 35 days of the appeal starting date above quoting the appeal reference number. Alternatively comment may be emailed to:

Any comments already made following the original application for planning permission will be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate and will be taken into account by the Inspector. Should anyone wish to withdraw or modify their earlier comments in any way, they should write direct to the Planning Inspectorate at the address given within the same time limit. Please be aware that all written representations are copied to the appellant.

The contact name at Breckland is Mrs K Arnold, and if anyone would like a copy of the appeal decision, please request a copy direct from the Planning Inspectorate.

Henrys Quiz
Eileen Lambert reports on another successful evening

We made a total of £560.10 for MNDA last Friday 4th August. Jane Lewis from MNDA was there with a team to take part in the quiz and also to accept the money on behalf of the charity. I would like to thank all who came to the quiz on the night for supporting the charity so generously, everyone who donated prizes for the massive raffle held on the night, Martin Webb who (though he couldn't be there on the night) did a lot of work helping to prepare the quiz, Libby for generously allowing us to use The Swan as a venue, James for stepping in as quizmaster for his Father's quiz when it became clear Martin wouldn't be able to do it as usual and Mike Cooper for organising the winners medals and engraving the shield afterwards.

This year the shield was won by Ground Force with Oxborough Mixed Infants in second place and Classic Veterans in 3rd.

It was a great evening and raised money for a really worthwhile charity allowing us all to remember Henry and raise money in a way of which he would have approved, which is what it was all about.

Thanks to everyone for there support.

Jane from MNDA with Eileen and Libby

 Planning permission sought for Glamping site in Oxborough.
There proposals to develop land adjacent 41 Eastmoor Road as glanping site. This development has been submitted by Mr Andrew McGreish 36 Eastmoor Road Oxborough.
What is Glamping?
For those who do not know,this is a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping. Whether in a tent, yurt, pod, igloo, hut, cabin, cube, teepee or tree house, glamping is camping without sacrificing luxury.

Site Plans Planning reference 3PL/2017/0537/F
 Proposed accommodation and facilities
Email to the Messenger from Andrew McGreish BSc inviting questions regarding planning.

22 Jun at 3:14 PM
Good afternoon,

My name is Andrew McGreish and I have applied for the planning permission in Oxborough for a glamping site.
I'd first of all like to thank you for listing my project on the 'Items of local interest' page of your website and the handy definition you have provided.
Secondly if anyone has any questions they would like me to answer, then please could you provide my email address
( on your page and I'd be happy to reply.
I can appreciate some of your readers and residents of Oxborough may have their reservations but I can assure you that my plans are positive for the village and the local area.

Many thanks again,
Andrew McGreish BSc



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.


Breckland Council, confirming the refusal of Outline Planning Permission for the 8 houses.

The reasons (in summary):

The proposal
             1....would not amount to  sustainable development and would be contrary to para 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

            2....would be contrary to policies DC1,DC16,DC17 Breckland Core Strategy and Development Control Policies DPD and the policies within the NPPF, incl para 132

            3....would be contrary to policies DC4  and DC11 of the Breckland Core Strategy (as above) and the policies contained within the NPPF

The Local Planning Authority has acted positively and proactively in determining this application within a timely manner as possible, having engaged with the applicant at pre-application stage, and by identifying matters of concern with the application and
discussing those with the applicant. However, the issues are so fundamental to the proposal that it has not been possible to negotiate a satisfactory solution and due to the harm which has been clearly identified within the reasons for refusal, approval has not been possible.



                                            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’.

Hopefully conditions will still enable the Remembrance Service to go ahead on Sunday at 10.30am. The Remembrance exhibition table has not suffered much damage and the poppy decorations seem to be fine

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


 Remembrance Day Sunday, November 13th
Villagers, who this year prepared St Johns Church for Remembrance Day, are also highlighting ‘Five from Oxborough’.
As well as the remembrance poppies there is a display in the chapel in a tribute of remembrance to the men of Oxborough who fought and died during the First World War.

 Eight new houses for Oxborough.
Outline planning application has been submitted for the construction a residential development of eight detached dwellings and new access from Swaffham road into the old cricket field.
 This application ref: 3PL/2016/1310/O is from Oxborough Farms Limited and more information can be obtained by logging to

Extension proposed for Oxborough Lakes House, Boughton Fen.
During the Meeting of OPC the representative of Lanpro, Town Planners and Urban Designers, agent Philip Atkinson presented his clients initial proposal for the development of the property.

 A comprehensive ‘design and access statement’ is available from the company for those with an interest in the scheme.


                                                                      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.







 A good day out and fine warm weather was enjoyed by visitors to the Oxborough
Fun day, Dog show and Car boot sale.

The weather holds good for the outdoor events  Crockery shy was a smashing success  Face painters at work 
 Some of the dog show entries line up Scalextric racing in the village hall.  Ready for target practice! 
Getting soaked in the stocks  The mystic give fortune reading Target practice with toy guns 

                               Certain areas of Oxburgh Hall are closed to visitors until further notice. .
Following the collapse of a dormer window from the roof of the West Wing at Oxburgh Hall which has led to damage to this part of the building and inner courtyard the decision has been made by the NT to close the Courtyard area to visitors – only a very restricted area will be accessible to National Trust staff.

This means that the showrooms, gift shop, tearoom, courtyard loos and second-hand bookshop will be closed until further notice.

The NT have been busy making the building wind and watertight, and engineers have been onsite inspecting the damage.

The plan is to now erect scaffolding, to allow NT experts closer inspection of the roofline and to then plan the full extent of the repairs required.

The grounds will remain open, as will the Chapel and the pantry. The hall has set up tables in one of the marquees on the lawn and stocked it with a selection of books from the second-hand bookshop.
NT says they hope to re-open as soon as they can, but only when it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, visitors are welcome to come and enjoy the grounds. 



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

 ORSG achieve target for SAM sign funding.


Oxborough Road Safety Group, who have been working over the year to raise funds for traffic calming measures through our village, held their final event ‘The antiques fun quiz’ on Saturday 18 April.
This was another very successful fun evening for one and all, with a capacity crowd of 31 teams of 2 answering questions on a range of antiques and collectables brought in by our quiz master, auctioneer Keith Lawrence.
The first prize of two magnificent 1830c. rummers, was won the Wissy

Wanderers team.

We are delighted to report the event with the support of quizzers, a draw and donations, raised the sum of £611.80. Our many thanks to all those who have supported the ORSG’s work.

Together with our previous fund raising, this brings the group’s total contribution to £1432. This is sufficient with the NCC (£1,640) and OPC (£500) funding to have our radar speed signs installed very soon.

The ORSG is looking at a number of suitable SAM sign units for installation
and hope to have recommendations for parish councillors to consider at their next meeting.

 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


Oxborough History Group Archive now accessible to view any time by arrangement.

Oxborough history group has over the past year begun to assemble an impressive archive of local history. This is collection holds a comprehensive record of photographs, maps, documents and recordings.

Access to the archive, held in the village hall, is now available to view by all, residents, visitors or researchers, at any reasonable time not just at meetings or open days.

If you would like to look the archive please call Kelvin Smith on 01366 328601 or Bar Pritchard 01366 328730 and they will provide access.

You can email the


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


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
09-May  -  06-Jun - 04-Ju l  - 01-Aug  -05-Sep-  03-Oct-  07-Nov- 05-Dec-

The ‘premier’ of Richard Allan’s Exhibition of Iconic Film Memorabilia took place in the Bedingfeld chapel recently. This is the first time it has been available for public viewing and during the two days show over 130 people from as faraway as Norwich and Bury have visited.

Richard, whose company Stoke Ferry Timber supplied materials for set construction of many films and TV programs, was the inspiration opportunity for him beginning his collection. Although many of the exhibits have been given to him by actors and crew on set, many more have been sourced through auctions and private sellers. This all started over 20 years ago and since then his hobby has become a fascinating collection of props, costumes, scripts and call sheets from the industry.

As well as his hobby Richard spends much of his time working as a film extra and has appeared in more than 22 films to date including  Love Actually and Nowhere Boy(John Lennon) and soon will be seen (briefly, he says) in Holby City.

At home in Stoke Ferry Richard has built a small eight seat cinema where he entertains friends and, in which, proudly stands the clock that once graced the foyer of the Regent picture house in Downham Market.

Following the close of the event Richard made a generous donation of £100 to St Johns Church for the use of the Bedingfeld chapel.


Visitors look at some of the various props from Phantom of the Opera, Harry potter, Nick Parks cartoon Chicken Run and many others.

The display was made all the more interesting by the personal commentary Richard and his wife Stephanie gave to visitors on the various artifacts.

One of the visitors tries on the hat worn by Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral

Props showed here are from Gladiator and there were others from films including Men in Black, Star Wars, Titanic and more.

                                           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

  Want to know where to walk?
Find a walk near Oxborough or maybe plan your day out or holiday walks.
Walk4Life is part of the Change4Life movement that has been set up to encourage families and adults to eat well, move more and live longer, by making small lifestyle changes that add up to big health benefits.

Walk4Life is all about helping people move and walking is a great way to start.  Almost everyone can do it, anywhere, at any time, and it’s free - you can just get out there and start walking.
It’s one of the easiest ways for children to do their recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day that gets their heart beating faster than usual. These 60 active minutes a day will help burn off energy and prevent excess fat being stored in the body. It also helps young muscles and bones grow properly.
And for us adults we need to be active for 30 minutes 5 times a week so walking can really help you fulfil this in a cheap, easy and fun way.
For more information visit

Prestigious heritage awards for ‘Hidden Gem’ and ‘Best Garde

Oxburgh Hall ‘The Hidden Gem’

Announced at the Marriott Grosvenor Square on the 1st December by Lucinda Lambton and Loyd Grossman, Oxburgh Hall near Downham Market and Peckover House in Wisbech were awarded Highly Commended at the Hudsons Heritage awards.
Hudsons Heritage Group is the market leader for heritage publishing. This is the first year they have launched their Heritage awards. Awards highlighted excellence in the UK heritage leisure industry across 13 categories, with only a handful of the top venues in the UK being short-listed in each category.  All aspects of the heritage leisure market were taken into consideration and the judging panel comprised of four experts from the worlds of heritage, tourism and architecture.
The 15th-century moated manor house Oxburgh Hall was awarded Highly Commended under the Hidden Gem category and Peckover Houses two acre Victorian garden was awarded Highly Commended in the Best Garden category second only to Exbury Gardens in Southampton.
  Oxburgh Hall - Hidden Gem - Highly Commended

L - R: Lucinda Lambton (judge)
Teresa Squires (Property Manager, Oxburgh Hall)
Liz Cooper (House Manager, Oxburgh Hall)
Loyd Grossman (presenter).

Teresa Squires, Oxburgh Hall and Peckover House Property Manager said “I am incredibly proud of the teams achievements and to have our hard work recognised by Hudsons Heritage Group tops off a great year for us.”
To find out more about Oxburgh Hall and Peckover House visit

Who Do You Think You Are?
Are you interested in the history of your family – who they were, where they came from, what they did? Perhaps you have come across a brick wall in your research?
Kelvin Smith has recently moved to Oxborough (Fairway, Stoke Ferry Road) and is happy to research peoples’ family history for members of the village community. What’s more, he enjoys it so much that he will not charge you anything for it!
Kelvin retired a few years ago after a 40+ years career at The National Archives and he has been researching his and others’ family histories for several years. When you work in archives and records management it apparently becomes an occupational hazard!
If you live in the village, give Kelvin a ring or drop him an email and he will be glad to help.
Tel:01366 328601
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     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.


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.