Village Events and News


Beast from the East batters Bawburgh

At the end of February 2018, the 'Beast from the East' dropped snow on most of the country and Bawburgh received its share. The initial fall of snow caused some problems but, over the following days, the snow drifted and caused more substantial issues. The school closed for three days and Stocks Hill was blocked to all those without four-wheel drive vehicles. Bawburgh News Editor, Rob Anthony, became stuck in the drifts and had to be rescued. He said, "I set off to get some food from Sainsburys and going up the hill was fine but, by the time I returned, the snow had drifted and a car had already become stuck in the snow. I tried to get past but also got stuck."

Luckily several people were helping to clear the road and pull people out. "It was a real community effort and I was certainly grateful for the help."

Sam Newton of Stocks Hill also became stuck. She said, "On 28th Feb, a kind lady by the name of Caroline came to the rescue. I was due to have an operation at the hospital, however had to turn back due to the snow and ice; whilst trying to get back into our drive, Caroline kindly stopped to see if she could help, she then drove me and a nurse who became stuck on the hill, to the hospital. She was a complete star, meaning my operation went ahead and the nurse completed her shift. Without the kindness of Caroline from 'near the church' I'd be back on a waiting list. So a huge thank you to a Bawburgh snow angel!"

Thank you to everyone in the village who helped those in need during this difficult time.

Speeding in our Village 2017

The Speed Monitor has been in place since July and has already had an impact on the traffic speeds in the village. Since we have had the speed monitor the mean average (80th percentile) speed has dropped by 2.2mph, so we can assume the monitor is having a positive effect. Other interesting facts generated by the machine are:

The average speed of 'speeders' in the village is 38 mph

Between 14 July and 16 September there were 63,724 traffic counts

Average 5 day volumes were 1,060 cars

Average 7 day volumes (to include weekends) were 980 cars. This tells me that traffic flow through Bawburgh is local traffic.

Average traffic flows through: Harts lane were 984 vehicles; New Road were 784 vehicles and Stocks Hill were 1,769. This in an average across all 3 sites.

Peak flows in all locations across the village were (unsurprisingly) between 8.00am and 9.00am and 5.00pm and 6.00pm. So rush hour!

The worse numbers of speeding offences are committed on Monday and Friday but the highest levels of speeding are recorded on Mondays and on Sundays!

The highest speed recorded during the data collection period was 75mph on Stocks Hill.


Mark Tudor said, "I am due to collect data again at the end of the year so will compare like for like. The biggest issue facing villagers is the ignorance of villagers who speed in their own back yard. We all have a responsibility to 'educate' them when they are seen to be speeding, I can't do it on my own and would ask for your involvement whenever or wherever you can. We are currently looking for volunteers for the Speedwatch Team if you fancy giving up an hour per week?"

Speed Awareness Monitor Installed 2017

The Speed Awareness Monitor (SAM2) is now in operation in the Village! The machine detects the speed of traffic as it approaches and displays this clearly to the driver. It also helpfully tells them to "Slow Down" when travelling above the speed limit. The monitor can be placed in any one of five different locations and , in three of these, it can be placed either way round. This means there are 8 possible arrangements to monitor traffic speeds in New Road, Harts Lane, two on Stocks Hill and Church Street. These sites were agreed with County Highways and Norfolk Police.

Mark Tudor has long campaigned for ways to reduce the speed of traffic in the village. He said, "We are delighted to have received our new SAM2 Speed Monitor that will be positioned at numerous 'hot spots' within the village to record drivers who speed. I'm sure raising the awareness of this increasing problem will only help to reduce the speed of motorists who either live in or travel through Bawburgh. The police have also been hugely supportive and have placed Bawburgh in the top five villages within South Norfolk to receive special attention for police activity over the next three months. Please be aware of their presence.

Let's all take responsibility to STOP SPEEDING IN BAWBURGH and keep us safe from the associated dangers."

Storm Doris

On the early afternoon of Thursday 23rd February 2017, Storm Doris blew into Bawburgh and destroyed two trees on the Village Green. The most striking was the fatal damage to one well -established willow on the Green, causing it to crash down across Harts Lane. The whole tree has since been felled, with some logs and branches dutifully foraged by villages.

 Additionally, it has been noticed by the observant Philip Eagle that, right opposite his cottage, a Black Poplar, nurtured by Sandy Munro (ex-Tree Warden) with a cutting from the original well-documented village Black Poplar, has a huge crack and sadly this will have to be felled too. The Parish Council agreed to fell and remove the tree as soon as possible.

It is hoped that a replacement tree can be planted in the near future, possibly as a memorial to Evelyn Minter, who died recently.



New Year's Dip 2017

Getting ready to dive in

2017 got off to a wet and chilly start for several Bawburgh residents as the annual New Year's Day Dip took place. At exactly 12 o'clock noon, around twenty hardy villagers (many more supporting from the river bank) stepped into the freezing water to celebrate the arrival of the New Year and to raise funds for charity, this year's charity being Teenage Cancer Trust. This charity helps teenagers diagnosed with cancer and raises money to provide special facilities and services for these teenagers. After the dip everyone was invited back to Folly House for mulled wine and nibbles, to raise their core temperatures back to normal. In 2016 money raised for the Teenage Cancer Trust, together with money raised at the 2017 Dip reached a total of 1060. Many thanks to all those who have made this possible.

Local History Group (14th June 2016)

There was record attendance at the Kings Head for the exploration of the 400 year old history of the building, and 200 year records of landlords. We had the benefit of Ray Symonds' memory from Billy Johnson, through to Billy Howlett, and Tracy Howlett's childhood memories.

Seen far left, grand-daughter of Winnie and Billy Howlett.

Our thanks to Anton and Pam Wimmer for the room and coffee to add to the ambience of our discussions of how the building had developed through all the landlords.

Annual New Year Dip 2016

Twelve hardy dippers plunged into the Yare at precisely mid-day on the 1st January 2016, and twelve were counted out. Well done to Eleanor and Steve Brolly, Tracey and Martins Chapman, Symon Gaughan, Michelle Goodman, Lisa and Jon Myhill, Steve Newell, Jason Snook and Sue and Chris Williams (see photo left). Thanks to Sue and Chris for organisation and provision of refreshments. This year's dip was to raise funds for the charity St Martin's Housing Trust. 350 were raised on the day. Well done all!!    


They're off! And they're coming back still smiling! Photos with thanks to Betty Martins and Jenny Press

Annual New Year Dip 2015


Bawburgh did not disappoint, with its support of the first event of 2015. A much larger gathering than usual on the Green witnessed 16 mad dippers who appeared to enjoy the experience. We'll never know what prompted this surge of interest. Maybe the overnight thaw which melted the ice of the previous three days; maybe the smell of bacon rolls, home-made mince pies and mulled wine wafting across the road from the Old Post Office; maybe the colourful bunting (normally reserved for the summer Fete and Duck Race) strung up across the Green; Maybe Rupert's dulcet tones on Radio Norfolk an hour earlier; maybe curiosity generated by the sight of an ambulance parked strategically next to the mill pond into which several people (who really ought to know better) would shortly fling themselves. Hopefully it was just an outpouring of festive good will and charitable intention. Well done to dippers Steve and Eleanor Brolly, Karl Brend, Nick Calton, Martin Chapman, Joy and Rupert Hipwell, Michele Goodman, Carolyn Hamerton, Georgiana Heatley, Adam Lewis, Colin Muir, Mike Trivedi, Luca and Emma Webb, and Chris Williams. Joy and Rupert Hipwell are delighted to announce that 750 (around 150 of which was thanks to Tina Fielden, who was disposing of garage items before her imminent move from Bawburgh, which continued at the Village Hall Coffee Morning) was collected in aid of ATAXIA UK and the dippers and supporters were also very grateful for the warming drinks and eats back at the Old Post Office. As important as the raising of funds was the raising of awareness, and it is safe to say that those of us who had never heard of Ataxia, let alone understood its cause, symptoms and implications, are now better informed. (With thanks to Rupert Hipwell for help with the above).


photos with thanks to Pamela Ross

Annual Duck Race and Fete 2014

The Green was bathed in glorious July sunshine for the Fete and, later Duck Race. Much work had been done to prepare the river, removing reeds and weed which would hinder the bright yellow ducks on their way downstream.Many thanks to all those who took part in this task, and the duties of the Duck Steward on the day, Steve Brolly, (with Ian Williams and Nick Calton).

Photo with thanks to Neil Bond

 1,200 was made by the Village Hall, in addition to 65 by the Youth Club and 231 by the Church on their Bottle Stall and Guess My Name soft toy (which was Lindy Lou) won by Mrs Capp. Eleanor Brolly made it a double whammy by winning the Children's raft race (as well as her success in the Bawburgh Bake off earlier in the year). The Grand Draw hamper was won by Nicola Stroud of Norwich. Winners of the Duck Race were Louise Garnham, Kerry Sylvester, Gary Williams, Julie Cunningham, Chris Kemsley and Susanne Atkins. Well done to all helpers before, during and after the Fete. 

Open Gardens 2014

11 gardens were opened on the 8th June, and the whole village was bathed in glorious sunshine and smiles. 1,049.95 was raised net of expenses thanks to the energetic gardeners and helpers. 50% of this went to the local charity, the Big C, 25%to the Church Fund and 25% to a village Amenity which was later agreed to be a bicycle rack for the Village Hall. Meanwhile, back at the Village Hall, refreshments and BogArt were in full swing, with second hand books being sold to those who enjoyed reading. Profits for BogArt were increased due to a kind donation of a painting and greetings card of St Mary and St Walstan Church by Louise Bacon. Her painting was raffled, which, together with the sale of cards, made a total of 300 of BogArt profits, to be shared between the Church Fabric Fund and Big C charity. Everyone was delighted that Sandy Munro won the church painting - a worthy winner considering all the work he has done for the church (and the village) over the years.

See photo gallery of open gardens 2012





Super-fast Fibre Broadband has arrived! (Bawburgh News March 2018)

Until recently, checking the availability of Broadband resulted in the message, "Your cabinet is enabled to receive Fibre Broadband but we are not accepting orders yet." However, this changed in February and those houses higher than the Village Hall on Stocks Hill can now be connected to a faster service through Hethersett. This means that the whole of Bawburgh can connect to the Internet on high-speed cables. Until the change, only the lower half of the village could connect as they used the Costessey exchange.

To start using this new service, you need to contact your existing broadband/phone provider and find out what packages are available. Or, you can use a switching service by searching for 'superfast broadband' on a search engine. Internet speed is measured in megabits per second. The current service is between 2 and 2.5 megabits per second whilst the new service will be at least 10 times faster, and may be up to 36 magabits per second.

You will usually pay a higher monthly fee for the new service and the cost is around 35 per month, depending upon your provider and the additional services they offer.

Fete and Duck Race 2017

Saturday 8th July saw the village annual Fete and Duck Race take place.The children had their duck boat races first, and, after several heats and finals, this was won by Ellison Edwards (above).Then it was the big event with all ducks sold and a nail-biting finish as several ducks approached the line at the same time. Duck 214 sold to Tracey Gilbert, was the winner.

The stalls and activities went on all afternoon, including sale of home made cakes, second hand books, bottle tombola, face painting, Grand Raffle, School and youth club stalls, with plenty of food and drink to be had for all including a barbecue and beer tent set up by the King's Head.

Money was raised for the village clubs, school, hall and church.

A big thank you to all those who helped to make the day such a success.

Open Gardens 2017

Pre-drinks at June Tucker's, to thank all those organising/helping in any part of the Sunday Event

(photo with thanks to Bawburgh News)


Sunday 18 June was a very hot day! Ten villagers threw their gardens open and welcomed people from all over the local community. The gardens varied from formal to informal, with many points of interest for the keen gardener and amateur alike, with Jenny Press displaying her wonderful pictures in her garden. The Village Hall served teas and coffee all day, with plenty of cold drinks, and home made cakes, with a barbecue selling organic hot dogs and burgers from Harveys, a local meat supplier, between 12 noon and 3pm. There was a fair at the Village Hall selling many different craft items, second hand books, and plants supplied by Moores. On the Village Green Ronaldos ice creams did a very good trade! The event raised over 750 for MIND, East Anglian Air Ambulance and village amenities. Well done all!!

War Memorial is Grade II Listed


On the 13th February 2017, Historic England, the organisation responsible for deciding which buildings and monuments should be listed, agreed that the war memorial in the churchyard would be Grade II listed. This means it is protected by law. Historic England commissioned a report outlining the reasons for listing the cross. It states "Bawburgh's War Memorial, remembering those from the parish who fell in the First and Second World Wars, was erected c.1920. Standing in the village churchyard, it is a simple yet dignified memorial. This is a good example of the polished granite wheel-headed cross type of war memorial. It has group value with the listed church and other nearby listed buildings."  The report also details the history of the cross, "Bawburgh's memorial was sited in the churchyard with the funds being raised by public subscription. The memorial was presumably erected in 1920, and certainly before October 1920, when it was photographed with floral tributes for the Thetford and Watton Times and People's Weekly Journal. It was decided that it should take the form of a wheel-headed pink granite cross, and should be placed by the path leading to the church, facing the way the parishioners would enter. It was made by J R Childs of Chapel Field Road, Norwich and was unveiled in October 1920 by Mr Barclay of Colney Hall and dedicated by the vicar and the Dean of Norwich. The memorial commemorates seven local servicemen who fell in the First World War and two men who fell in the Second  World War." The report concludes, "After examining all the records and other relevant information and having carefully considered the architectural and historic interest of this case, the criteria for listing are fulfilled. Bawburgh War Memorial is therefore recommended for listing at Grade II."

More on those commemorated on the memorial

Fete and Duck Race Day 2016

A resounding success! Spirits had been very much dampened during the downpours of the morning of 9th July, but the sun shone on cue at 2 pm and the Village Green filled with happy fete-goers and duck-watchers. Thanks go to the Village Hall Committee for once again putting on the event, so important in the Bawburgh calendar. The Committee would like to thank everyone who played an active part or who made a contribution, especially the team (water-rats) who set things up in the morning - not to mention the team actually in the river! Also the cake-makers and our "Beachmaster", Chris Williams, holding everything together.

Well done to the village (and visitors) on raising an overall profit on the afternoon of well over 2,000. The village hall has announced profits of between 1,300 and 1,400, the Church had a bumper result of 500, School refreshments amounted to 115, Bawburgh Youth Club stall took 32.50 and the Parent and Toddler Lucky Dip 88. Well done all!!

Photos thanks to Betty Martins.  Zena, Symon and Mike at finishing post with Henry, Kate and Eleanor accepting their father/grandfather's second place prize.

Leo and Charlie, winners of the mini raft race which preceded the main event.
 Thanks to Chris Williams who is looking on, in his capacity as compere for the afternoon.

The Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrations

Hockering Lane Residents residents organised a celebration of the Queen's 90th Birthday with a street party on 11th June 2016. Photo with thanks to Rachel Scott.

Fete and Duck Race Day 2015

The above was a resounding success, with the Village Green full to overflowing and a great trade done by all the stalls. There was an amazing family atmosphere, summed up by this lovely photo of the Buck family. More than 2,000 was made across all village organisations on the day.

Chris Williams kept things going with his excellent compering. 1,000 ducks took part in the Duck Race and was preceded by the excitement of three heats of the children's Duck Raft Race (hampered slightly by head winds) then in glorious warmth, but not too hot sunshine, the 23rd Annual Bawburgh Duck Race had a count down, by Russell Martin, captain of Norwich City FC and more amusing commentary by Chris. Profits by the village were in excess of 1,500 (of which 500 has been given to the Church), the very busy Youth Club games 60, School refreshments 130 and the Church Bottle Stall 320. Many congratulations to all and thanks to helpers and excellent entertainers, Wright's Duo and St Withburga's Ringers.

Wandering in the Forest for EACH 14th June 2015

Bawburgh Wanderers show off their medals following their Walk for Life (for East Anglian Children's Hospices). Well done to (from the left) Jenny, Helen, Betty, Julie, Michele, Sarah and (behind the camera) Christina.

On a cloud smothered and cool Sunday morning, seven Wanderers undertook a sponsored walk in the Thetford Forest to raise money for EACH - East Anglian Children's Hospices. The walk threaded its way along well marked pathways with a great sense of peace - wonderful bird songs, pine resin scenting the air, and incredibly the rain held off until we had completed the mini-challenge. Thanks to many individual donations and a most generous one of 100 from the Village Hall Committee, the Wanderers were able to donate a grand total of 336.79 to the EACH project. Thanks to everyone who took part or helped in any way, especially Sarah Catchpole for the wonderful idea.

Trouble at Mill 2014

Four years ago, looking downstream from our upstairs mill windows, we noticed damage to the flint river wall below our front lawn; the force of the mill race teeming down the sluice had destroyed the foundations. After a variety of proposals, we decided on a wider inspection, covering the brick retaining wall that supports the drive by our bridge. This 3-metre high wall had been built in September 1893, and was supported off timber piled foundations. We hired a diving team from Yarmouth-based Red7 Marine, and over the video in their control cabin we heard their diver reporting "Here's a void!..Here's another void!" There sounded to be more voids than solids! After several delays, work on replacing the foundations eventually began on Monday 20th October 2014. Villagers were alerted by the arrival of a giant 120 tonne capacity Liebherr mobile crane with 56 metre reach that towered over the village. During one morning, it transferred 12 modular steel sections that bolted together to form a 50 square-metre floating work platform, culminating in another powerful crane being delicately lowered into the central section (see photo). The platform is secured to the river bed by two raisable steel columns called spud legs. The platform houses a steel cabin, air compressor, gas cylinder, generator, diving and building equipment; it can be nudged into working position by a small motor punt.

The Red7 Marine team spent their first two weeks dredging the wall foundations and installing vertical I-beams close to the brick wall; these provided support to timber shuttering panels which slotted between the beams down to the river bed. On 12th November a concrete pump, unfolding its hydraulic arm to a high of 20 metres, pumped concrete behind the bottom row of shutter panels and into all those voids. Three further concrete pours have been completed since then, but 15 hours of heavy rain on Sunday, 23rd November forced a week's delay, Two further pours are required to complete the wall strengthening.

The giant mobile crane returned to remove all the equipment, on 9th December and a return of the un-encumbered river, should have happened by the time you receive your January Bawburgh News.

Thanks to Roger Thompson for the above. Photo record with thanks to Pamela Ross

 (historical photos of work carried out in 1991)

(photo record of work carried out in 2014)