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Folk Fest in the Forest
The sounds and melodies of folk, world and acoustic music will blend with the trees later this month at Brandon Country Park. Folk Fest, on Saturday 22nd July, will celebrate the best of East Anglian Folk and world music in the intimate setting of the park’s historic Walled Garden.

The day starts with a majestic opening from African Drumming Circle, a great fun, group participation activity that will get the day really kicking off. Playing live during the afternoon are: the "wonderfully wonky" Elly Tree playing mash-up of art, folk, indi and world; Suffolk born and bred singer songwriter and guitarist Holly Johnston with Sarah Will on flute; Silbury Hill playing lively folk/rock songs inspired by their Suffolk roots; and Double Take, amongst many, many others.

There will be space for open mic and folk sessions, so bring along an instrument (or your fine vocal cords!) if you fancy joining in. And there will be a creative zone with crafting your very own handmade instrument!
Folk Fest is on Saturday 22nd July 12:00 to 8:00pm.
Tickets are just £10.00 adults, £7.50 children (3-16) and concessions. Under 3’s are free. Purchase tickets at Brandon Country Park in the shop, by card over the phone on 01842 810185, or online on the
What’s On West Suffolk website at


Report to Oxborough Parish Council AGM May 2017

The Oxborough Speedwatch group was formed in March 2016 under the leadership of Cathy Warnock and I subsequently took over as village coordinator in February of this year.
We now have a group of eight trained volunteers who, working in teams of three, usually carry out two one hour sessions per week. Earlier this year Oxborough was selected to be one of the first Norfolk Speedwatch groups to receive a new, more modern radar device. Our selection was a result our commitment to the scheme measured by the number of sessions carried out. In March we took delivery of the new device and can now be seen around the village with our ‘hairdryer’.
An additional sixth site at Church Farm Drive was approved by the constabulary and we continue to concentrate our efforts on the sites along Swaffham and Stoke Ferry roads where we see the heaviest traffic.
Over the last quarter we have recorded an average of 72 (50 – 100) vehicles per hour of which an average of 3 (0 – 10) were recorded speeding at over 35MPH and reported to the Norfolk constabulary. This compares with an average of 85 vehicles and 1 – 12 vehicles speeding over a similar period last year. Our perception as a group is that there are fewer cars speeding through the village when we are out although we do sometimes still see vehicles travelling at speeds approaching 50MPH.
The SAM sign is now operational in the village and, earlier this month, I had a very useful discussion with David Hotchkin regarding the data from the first month of its use. For June I have incorporated the information regarding number and times of speeding vehicles to fine tune the timing of our sessions around the village. I hope to continue to receive regular monthly updates as the SAM sign moves round the village so that I can better target the Speedwatch sessions in terms of both time and location.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers for their support, hard work and good humour over the last 14 months. We are always keen to attract more volunteers to the group. If anyone is interested please get in touch with me or come and speak to us if you see us operating around the village.

Frankie Watkins Speedwatch Coordinator, Telephone 328 366


 Dave’s sponsored bike rides
Dear Friends,
Normally I cycle for pleasure but, once in a while, there can be an additional purpose.
On 18th June I have ridden 75 miles (yes, it was very warm) in support of the Park House Hotel at Sandringham, part of the Leonard Cheshire Disability organisation.
I have raised £25 so far and now I am asking for your support to raise at least another £25. Please let me know if you are able to help.

Later in the year (September) I will be doing another sponsored ride, this time for the Norfolk Churches Trust. 50% of my sponsorship will be channelled back to St John’s in Oxborough to help towards the church roof refurbishment fund.

So if you would like to support me in only one event this year and would prefer your donation to help with issues closer to home, save your sponsorship until September.

Thank you.
                David Watkins
                The Stables
                Hall Farm Barn

Friday Lunch Club

For many years the Iceni Partnership has organised a Friday Lunch Club
for those who want to mix a good meal with good company.

A Main Meal, Desert and either tea or coffee for £6 in Swaffham
Community Centre and a chance to make friends, spend time chatting or
doing a bespoke crossword.

Recently we bid for a grant to work in partnership with Swaffham
Community Transport to offer free transport to those people living in
the villages surrounding Swaffham for a limited period of time.

If there are people in Oxborough who would like to take up this offer  please contact Don or Jonathan on 01760 722800.
Don Saunders
Manager - Iceni Partnership

Letter from a past resident.

Dear editor
Thank you for continuing to manage the Oxborough website. Since we left Oxborough I realise even more how important it is in informing everyone of life in the village both residents and those of us who are ex-residents but still have an interest in events. We lived in the village for 29 years so are obviously still interested.

It is very sad that some elements are not kept up-to-date i.e. news on the church, which was obviously our first interest. This beautiful building is the centre of the village and attract visitors from all over the world and in our time we were contacted by many people who had read about the terracotta screens for example. Where is the information, the accounts which should be made public as so many people help with fundraising ?

Hewars Charity – Charity Commission website is complete but no information has been added to the website for some time although this is a village charity and I am sure making the accounts visible will be of general interest.

There are so many things that go on in the village that people, looking to buy particularly, would be interested in as would people from nearby villages such as the village hall and gardening club activities.

It is such a shame that much of this useful facility is ignored, we still look forward to keeping up to date.

Valerie O’Dwyer

Stoke Ferry & District Ladies Group
Programme 2017
For more information call Janet on 01366 328666


Message from a resident for the Oxborough Messenger.

Some years ago when the Bedingfeld Chapel and the church was re-roofed an offer was made to protect this in the form of alarms and lights, but the PCC declined quoting the cost that some £400 was to expensive for a state of the art system.
What now that the lead has gone and all that fund raising,what for, not a lot.
How short sited can people be and what is the cost now???

Colin Mason

This message was recently received be the Messenger from Diane Hazel Sullivan
Email: Phone: 07799403003

Subject: Family History

Message: I am a descendant of the George family; my Great Great Grandfather was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth and was born 1.1.1838. I am wondering if you could shed any light on why he left Norfolk in the 1850s and moved to Kirkleatham (in Redcar now) from my research I believe most of the family remained in Norfolk.

Diane will be grateful for any help you may provide.


The rock that shaped a region

Still nobody knows exactly how it is formed though it is thought to be the remains of sea creatures such as sponges being squashed under immense pressures inside limestone rock that create it’s tough and glassy surfaces. Flint can be seen all over the Brecks, it has gone from being used to make fire and various tools, to building homes and being used in guns. It has truly shaped the modern landscape of the Brecks and you can find out how by visiting Ancient House Museum in Thetford.


 Bill Basham’s flint alphabet. Photo copyright Ancient House Museum

Alphabet of capital letters, made from 26 individual flint flakes by Bill Basham of Brandon in the 1920s; extraordinary skill used - it took him over two years of his spare time; each letter about double the size of a postage stamp; each letter sewn onto a single piece of card'
 Over the last 11 months, the museum has hosted Breaking New Ground’s Heritage Lottery Fund supported ‘Flint Rocks’ exhibition, an interactive exhibit charting the timeline and usages of flint in the Brecks. It has been seen by 6000 people so far. There is one month left to go of the exhibition so come and visit while you still can and see fascinating items like the flint alphabet and flint necklace, expertly and painstakingly knapped by master flint knapper Bill Basham from Brandon. There also flint tools, a recreation of a Grimes Graves flint mineshaft and one of the great collection of flint masterpieces, a horse, knapped by William Carter. Due to the importance of this wonder material to the local area, a roaming exhibition has been created to go out to the community and allow more people to learn about this unique aspect of Brecks heritage, which will begin touring in January 2017.

One outstanding additional element that came out of the museum working on the flint exhibition was a relationship that was struck up with the Obsidian Museum of Okinawa in Japan due to the similar properties and usage of flint and exhibition. Grimes Graves is not officially twinned with the Obsidian Museum and pupils from Thetford and Okinawa have visited both countries to learn more about their linked heritage.

Nick Dickson, Breaking New Ground Project Manager said “The craftsmanship and skill with which has flint has been knapped away with for thousands of years in the Brecks is truly something to behold. Breaking New Ground is very proud to have worked with Ancient House to allow so many new people to learn more about their local heritage”.

Museum Curator Oliver Bone from Ancient House Museum said “we have been really pleased with the reaction to the Flint Rocks exhibition with some people travelling long distances to come and see. Flint is such a strength of the museum collections and a distinctive part of local Brecks tradition that it is great to shine a light on this fascinating story.”.

Ancient House Museum Learning officer Melissa Hawker commented “it has been great working with a variety of community groups and schools on Flint Rocks included Thetford Academy who were able to show some of the art work created by their pupils inspired by the theme of flint.”

For more information on this and our other 36 projects, click on or find us on social media by looking for TheBrecksBNG.



Report to Oxborough Parish Council AGM May 2016

Following training by Norfolk Constabulary Officers the first Speedwatch was held the second week of March 2016. The trained ‘Watchers’ are myself, Frankie and David Watkins, Brian Bennett, Mike Woods, Mick Cockram and Sylvia Voaden.
We aim to hold two Watches per week, each for an hour, at one of the 6 locations in the village approved by the Norfolk Constabulary. We are still testing these sites and already know that some are not as effective as others, those on Swaffham and Stoke Ferry roads recording the most vehicles.
We are averaging approximately 85 cars per hour (a recent watch recorded 105 vehicles) with up to12 vehicles reported for speeding.

We are keen to attract more volunteers, and to do more ‘watches’. Please refer interested people to any of the above volunteers and I will send them the required forms to complete. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers for their support, positivity, and hard work to date.

April – 5 Speedwatches took place
May – 8 Speedwatches took place
June - 10 planned
July – 9 planned

77 vehicles reported as speeding as at 23 May.

Constabulary have written to 5 people in April; May stats not available (as May not finished yet) but should be much higher.
Twice recently the police have spent time in the village doing their own Speedwatch, due to the regularly high numbers of vehicles reported by us.

Cathy Warnock, Speedwatch Co-ordinator, Telephone 328454
25th May 2016  

                                                  UK Youth Parliament (UKYP).
This is an independent national body which is run for young people by young people.

"Kieren Buxton is currently on placement as a trainee Youth Worker at The Benjamin Foundation. Kieren is currently a youth parliament member as is Emily Fox one of the Breckland YAB young commissioners. Please if you have any questions for them or have young people who may be interested in this opportunity get in touch with them, Kieren’s email is
Full details click.


    Wildlife Recorders of Tomorrow - Call for Volunteers

Are you interested in monitoring wildlife? Live close to the Brecks or visit regularly?

Norfolk’s Environmental Records Centre (Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service - NBIS) is looking for new volunteers to help record the distinctive biodiversity of Breckland, which studies have already shown is a nationally and internationally important hotspot for rarities.

The “Wildlife Recorders of Tomorrow” project is part of the “Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership scheme” (supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund) and will provide wide-scale monitoring of wildlife which is important for detecting underlying changes to the biodiversity of the area.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned surveyor, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with lots of support and training.

Biodiversity Information Officer with NBIS, Sam Neal said: “All you need is enthusiasm! We can provide training in species identification, or you may just want to tell us what you’ve seen whilst out walking in the area.”

Volunteers can choose from three levels depending on their interest, time availability and expertise:
1. beginners will be given training and encouragement to get started;
2. species surveillance volunteers will help with monitoring at a number of important wildlife sites in the Brecks;
3. river corridor volunteers will survey a stretch of the Little Ouse river for invasive non-native species

To find out more, please register your interest by email, or visit the NBIS stand at the Charles Burrell Centre Open Day on Sunday 6th September from 10am – 3pm, Staniforth Road, Thetford, IP24 3LH.

Breckland is one of the driest places in England with sandy soils and a ‘continental’ climate which experiences extremes of temperature. Previous studies by the University of East Anglia have shown that the area is a hotspot for biodiversity with a huge variety of species identified. In 2010 the university and a team of 200 naturalists collated nearly 1million records with over 12,000 species represented, of which over 2,000 are priorities for conservation in Breckland. The study showed how fragile their survival is, with habitat fragmentation, climate change and nitrogen deposition all risk factors.

New monitoring by Wildlife Recorders of Tomorrow will play a key part in developing strategies to ensure the long-term survival of all components of this unique ecosystem. We do hope you can help.

    Click for poster 1.           Click for poster 2.           Click for poster 3.

  Come and join   

Oxborough Village Social Evening

 Thursday evenings from 7.00pm onwards.     Venue Oxborough Village Hall

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

Open to all residents; drop in, even on casual basis and join in the range of social activities.

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

 Open to all residents; drop in, even on casual basis and join in the range of social activities.
   Just turn up and enjoy a friendly evening and
if you want to, participate in some of the activities.



The Recycling Revolution is coming.

You’ll soon be able to put even more in your black recycling bin. From October 2014, Breckland residents will be able to recycle a range of new materials, helping to cut down on waste sent to landfill.

The new items that can be accepted for recycling from October include clean plastic food pots, food tubs and trays, food and drink cartons, clean foil and foil trays, and glass jars and bottles. These will be in addition to the materials you can already put in your recycling bin.

The first black recycling bin collection in Breckland under the new arrangements will be on 6 October.

Breckland Council will be sending out more information to residents nearer the time but, if you want to know more, why not come along to one of the Breckland Recycling Roadshows? They will be held:

Mon 29 September                11am to 2pm             Watton, Tesco
Tues 30 September               11am to 2pm             Thetford, Sainsbury’s
Weds 1 October                    11am to 2pm             Attleborough, Sainsbury’s
Thurs 2 October                    11am to 2pm             Dereham, Morrisons
Fri 3 October                        11am to 2pm             Swaffham, Waitrose

The improvements to the recycling service are the result of Norfolk councils working together as the ‘Norfolk Waste Partnership’ to negotiate a new county-wide recycling contract. When the new service launches in October, all Norfolk residents will benefit from these new arrangements that will save council taxpayers’ money whilst enabling us to recycle even more.

For more information, look out for your leaflet delivered with the bins during the week commencing 22 September. You will also be able to find details on the Breckland website ( or Recycle for Norfolk website ( from the end of September.


PLEASE continue to use the recycling bins at the village hall.

All monies raised from these recycling bins (£1000) remains within Oxborough.

It is used to support maintenance on our village hall.


WEDNESDAY 5.30 -6.30pm. £4

Please wear loose clothing & trainers, bring an old towel
(for time on the floor) and a bottle of water

Let’s get fit for Summer 2014!

Tel: Susan 07900 587825


Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?