LITCHAM

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

Held in Jubilee Hall on 26th April 2010 at 7.30pm

REPORTS from VILLAGE ORGANISATIONS

 

 

Organisation

Submitted By

LITCHAM  BELLRINGERS

Tim ANGELL

Litcham  Common  Conservation  Group

Tim ANGELL

Litcham Common Management  Committee

Tim ANGELL

LITCHAM  HISTORICAL SOCIETY

 David SHEPPARD

HOMEWATCH

John RELPH

LITCHAM  PRIMARY SCHOOL

Christine WATTS

 

 

 

LITCHAM  BELLRINGERS

Annual Report presented to Litcham Parish Meeting 26th April 2010

 

The past year has seen Litchamıs bells rung only infrequently, due to their generally poor condition and a lack of ringers within the village. However, with the help of people from other villages we have been able to ring the bells for some special services such as the Licensing of the new Rector on 16th April.

 

The bell restoration project is making progress. A Faculty for the work required was obtained in February (this is the Church of Englandıs equivalent of Planning Permission) and the Bell Fund now stands at over £3,000. The total estimated cost of the work to be carried out is approximately £40,000 which seems a daunting target. However, we are fortunate that the Friends of All Saints charity has decided to make the bells its next fund raising project and in addition grant applications are to be made to a number of other charities. The end result should be a properly tuned set of bells that will not need any further major work for perhaps a hundred years.

Litchamıs bells and tower are part of the heritage of the village and I would be happy to show them to anyone who is interested. All you need is a head for heights, depending on how far up the tower you want to go.

 

Tim Angell

 

 

Litcham  Common  Conservation  Group

Annual Report presented to Litcham Parish Meeting 26th April 2010

 

Litcham Common Conservation Group was set up in January 2004 to assist with conservation work on the common. The group is relatively informal, with no written constitution or formal membership list, and uses the Litcham Common Management Committee bank account to hold funds. However, the group is a member of, and insured through, the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV). The groupıs only income this year was a grant of £200 from Litcham Parish Council, for which it is very grateful. This covered the cost of insurance and expenses such as minor equipment renewals.

 

Volunteers meet on the second Saturday of each month and carry out tasks agreed with Norfolk County Councilıs Countryside Department. Over the past year the work done has included cutting and burning scrub, clearing rubbish and litter, and reinstating the bench which was vandalised last year.

 

Individual members of the group carry out regular welfare checks on the ponies that graze the common, on a rota basis. They also help round up the ponies from time to time for inspection by a vet or farrier.

 

The volunteers come from other villages as well as Litcham, and have ranged in age from five upwards. Those who come enjoy the physical exercise, company, pleasant surroundings and a sense of achievement.

Tim Angell

 

 

Litcham Common Management  Committee

Annual Report presented to Litcham Parish Meeting 26th April 2010

 

Litcham Common is a Local Nature Reserve and the Committeeıs primary responsibility is to manage it as such, particularly taking account of the siteıs importance as an area of lowland heathland. At the same time, consideration needs to be given to maintaining a diversity of wildlife habitats, as well as taking account of the commonıs importance to the people of Litcham and surrounding villages for recreational purposes.

 

The members of the committee include representatives of Norfolk County Council (Sarah Cureton), Lexham Hall Estate (Neil Foster), Litcham Parish Council (Mike Oldfield), Litcham Common Conservation Group (Tim Angell), and also three residents of Litcham (John Jones, John Mitchell and Dave Wheal).

 

The four Dartmoor ponies that graze the common have proved to be a popular attraction and, importantly, are doing a good job keeping down the vegetation and opening up the area to the north-west of the Dunham road.

 

The ponies are regularly checked by volunteers but have proved to be hardy animals, and were declared to be in good condition when last checked by a Field Officer from the charity World Horse Welfare.

 

It is hoped that in the future the other side of the Dunham road will also be grazed. Norfolk County Councilıs Highway department has recently indicated that it supports a proposal to install cattle grids on the Dunham road so that the ponies will be able to roam freely over the entire common.

 

The cattle grids would be installed in conjunction with the erection of stock proof fencing around the outer perimeter of the common, as well as the introduction of a number of road safety measures. However, this is unlikely to happen for some time as detailed plans will need to be drawn up and, more importantly, the whole project is dependent on the availability of funding.

 

Other work carried out over the past year has included the mowing of bracken, and selective scrub and tree clearance.

Tim Angell

 

 

LITCHAM  HISTORICAL SOCIETY

 

My name is David Sheppard and after a year as a member of the Society I am now reporting that year briefly to you. It was with great pride that I and other members assisted the selection and display of historical memorabilia both local and national 1909-2009which was part of the general celebrations for the Jubilee Hall Centenary(2009). Our archives were well and truly plundered to achieve individual decadal displays, but all members found it worthwhile.

 

Later in the year I provided some interesting photo albums for display at Tittleshall Open Day (July 12th),which the organiser Arthur Drinkwater said created a lot chatter about the names of old characters from the past.  We were invited also to Courtney House (for old folks), to give a short talk about some local Litcham and Tittleshall history. I attended with Mr Ron Shaw and another member(Don). After a brief introduction from Ron I gave a short talk on the general area and its significance of buildings and the Church which houses the famous Coke family mausoleums. The folks came much more alive when I showed them an actual Queen Elizabeth I seal concerning Edward Coke himself.

In discussion with other members it has become clear that general interest, especially from the young and in particular school parties, has been non existent. Of course our museum like some of its members(many in their 80s) has maybe frozen in time. Nevertheless over 200 visitors many from out of area saw our Museum in 2009/10. This is not to say that year in year out the same names come forward voluntarily to help keep the place staffed every weekend. Ron Shaw also has after-hours weekday appointments with people from far and wide with an ever-increasing trend of clientele seeking their family trees.

 

Mr Shaw and two other members (Don and John Howson) escorted a party of student Industrial Archaeologists from the University of East Anglia and guided them around one of the Lime Kilns that Ron has excavated in the past. Their Leader was very pleased with all the information and a reasonable donation given to the Society. Returning to the subject of youth interest in history it would be one our ambitions to try and understand if there has been a shift in the type, if any history taught in the local area and whether there is a tendency to steer clear of anything which may echo political or military dogma as part of a curriculum. Failing that, members wonder whether schools who used to bring parties to us are worried that we might need to fulfil some either health and safety criteria or do members need to be CRB checked??? I know I have been checked but some members might deem this not needed.

However, in order to bring the Society into the 21st Century these actions may have to happen. Of course the old group would like to see new members join to keep us going. It is a unique private museum and its future is not certain. Until it can be it would be nice if local people would give us a visit. It is free and any artefacts, anecdotes, group photos, sporting, work or long term residents memories would be of great interest. I have made these requests especially for 20th century items in a regular column in the Church and Village magazine. There are some interesting names on the tombs in All Saints, perhaps the local clergy or villager could give the Museum a lead on them?

The Society at Fourways is at a cross roads physically and metaphorically and so any help Parish Council members can help move forward with the problems raised would be most appreciated...

 Thankyou for hearing our report...

David Sheppard, Chair Litcham Historical Society.

 

 

HOMEWATCH

Report for Annual Parish Meeting 26th April 2010

 

Over the last twelve months The Litcham Homewatch has continued to meet with our Police Community Support Officer or Œlocal bobbyı Antonio Choca.

Although there has not been a lot to report some useful information was exchanged. I think we put in motion events that with the help of the Parish Council eventually led to the removal of a derelict car on the Tittleshall Rd.

 

The most common crime in out area is by far anti-social behaviour accounting for over three-quarters of all reported incidents. The occurrence of this particularly annoying crime varies from year to year and depends mainly on which particular yob has time on his hands between leaving school and going to college.

This year has been a reasonable good year for Litcham spoilt only by a fight outside the Bull in October and a spate of scratched cars in August.

 

Some Statistics

Norfolk is (so the Norfolk Constabulary claim) the safest place in the country, and crime in Litcham has dropped by 7% this year with an average of just under five reported incidents a month in our area (which covers Litcham, Beeston the Lexhams and the Dunhams), about four of these were reports of anti-social behaviour.

 

The Homewatch system has just undergone a through overhaul and Œnew systems of communicationı have been put in place. We are now part of the Safe Neighbourhood Scheme and I eagerly await the first messages from Œnew systemı, so far there has been a deathly hush, perhaps there has been no crime!

 

In conclusion the Homewatch system only works (and it does work, insurance companies would reduce rates in Homewatch areas if it didnıt) if people make a point of reporting incidents, so once again can I urge everyone not to hesitate to contact their local Homewatch co-ordinator.

A full list of co-ordinators is available from the website at Litcham.org or from me.

 

John Relph, Area Homewatch Coordinator

 

List of Local Homewatch coordinators
Rectory Meadow & Archers Farm. Mr. J. Relph (Litcham Area Co-ordinator) 700 813
Pound Lane, Back Street, Front St. & Lexham Rd.
    Mr. R. J. Mitchell - 701 342
Butt Lane    Mrs. D. Collen - 701 401
Tittleshal Rd. & Back Lane    Mrs Claire Lawrence - 700 145
Mileham Rd.    Carol Hilton - 700 745
Manor Drive & Upper Church Street    Mr. S. Lynn - 701 377
Priory Area    Mr. & Mrs. A. Clarke - 701 720
Lower Church Street    Mr. N. Housden - 701 218
Dereham Road    Mr. J. Jones - 700 184
Oaklands Farm Area    Mr. D. C. Holland - 701 304
Wellingham Road    Mr. L. Raven - 701 958
Weasenham Road & Keppel Close    Mr. T. Walker - 701 592
Lexham Road West, Hall Farm House
& Coronation Cottages    Mr. G. Blower - 701 748

 

 

 

LITCHAM  PRIMARY SCHOOL

Report for Litcham Parish Annual Meeting held on 20th April 2009

 

I am pleased to provide the following report of the school and its events from April 2009 to now.

 

>  The pupil roll is presently 90, which is an increase from last year; astonishingly 6 pupils joined us at the beginning of the summer term.        We have maintained four classes this year but due to a cut in budget we may have to operate as three classes in the afternoon next year. The Reception class presently has 14 pupils and we are promised 15 in September, which is our admission total. We suspect that having good, on site childcare and extended schools provision may have contributed to the increase in numbers.

 

>  Mrs. Kate Lane decided to retire from class teaching last July but continues to deliver French

to Years 5 & 6 and presently is taking Year 3 & 4 for Spanish. Mrs. Natalie Gable replaced her in Holly Class [Years 1 & 2].

>  The schoolıs reputation for the provision we offer for pupils with Special Needs has been maintained. We currently have 8 pupils with statements, as a percentage of the school population this is way above the national average. The Reading Recovery type programme we offer continues to show good results.

 

€ We continue to employ a Games Instructor, a Music Specialist and Modern Foreign Language teacher, enabling assessment, planning and preparation time for our class teachers and our classes some specialist teaching. The school also continues to provide the opportunity for its Key Stage 2 pupils to learn the recorder, violin, keyboard, guitar and Samba percussion.

 

€ All our recycling activities, collecting clothing and paper have continued. Presently we are collecting plastic bottles for Breckland Council, who intend to make a giant snake to enter the Guinness Book of Records. The Road Safety programme for pupils in Reception and Year 1 and cycling proficiency for pupils in Year 6 has again been repeated and is being extended to Year 5. Our Year 5 & 6 had a residential trip to France; I believe that travelling aboard maybe a first for the school. During the summer of 2009 we took a group of Key Stage 2 for an over night stay in London.

 

>  We always support several charities during the year, we have given food parcels to homeless teenagers in Kings Lynn, made a sugar collection for the Homeless and are also raising funds for the Air Ambulance. Our Class & School Council systems, Energy Busters & Playground Angels are all still thriving and make a good contribution to the life of the school.

 

>  We enjoyed a pantomime production at Christmas and pupils in Years 5 & 6 watched the High Schoolsı performance of Alice in Wonderland. The school continues to offer a range of clubs during the year, multi-skills, film, drama, orchestra, gardening, pottery and dancing. At Christmas the lower school produced a Nativity and the upper school pupils a version of Robin Hood.

 

>  The Whole school visited All Saints at Harvest & Christmas. >  The Year 5/6 cricket team for the fourth year running won the cluster tournament and we

went on, not only to the area but the county finals too.   We also did extremely well at Cross Country with both our teams winning their Cluster event and being entered into the County finals.

 

>  Perhaps the biggest change this year for all our pupils has been that of taking on a new school meals provider. Our meals since the be

inning of this term have been provided by the High School chef, Simon Nobbs.

Going on the success of the first week this has been an extremely good move as the number of pupils having a meal has more than doubled.

 

Christine Watts 23.4.10