Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Denton Village News Archive for 2013

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Christmas Services

Full details of Christmas services at St Mary's and the Chapel are on the Church in Denton Page.

Christmas in Denton

Christmas comes to Denton tonight, Friday 6th December.

Decorations will be going up in the Village Hall and the Christmas Card wall will be going up. For those who are new to the village, this is the opportunity to put a card up in the Hall and make a donation to charity rather than spending your money on sending individual cards to local friends and neighbours. As in previous years, the donations will go to the Bwindi Orphanage in Uganda, a very worthwhile charity.

Although the Bar will not be opening on the evening of Friday 27th December it will be open, as usual, on Christmas Eve.

Super Supper

More than 100 people enjoyed a great evening at the Annual Village Supper on Saturday.

The Village Hall was packed, the bar did a roaring trade (how about a competition next year to forecast the number of bottles of wine sold?), and a delicious meal served. Four excellent courses and coffee for just £9. The other good news was that the dish-washer was working again.

However the real point of the evening was the opportunity for old friends, and new friends, to come together and enjoy each others' company. The only toast of the evening "The Spirit of Denton" was greeted with universal acclaim.

Gardening Update

The Gardening Club's complete Winter Programme is now in the Clubs section.


This is the time of year when certain males grow facial hair for good causes.

Our own David Godsmark is one of these and would value your support. Just go to our Sponsorship page to see him/it in all its glory.

Advance Notice

The dates have been announced of three village events in 2014.

The Village Hall Management Committee have fixed the dates for:

Put them in you new diary now!

Nearly a Record

It was a close-run thing but no records were broken at the Blackhand Cyder pressing weekend.

It has been a great year for the fruit harvest and apples are no exception. In contrast to last year, the Society's foraging teams found plentiful supplies and a halt was called when eight tons had been gathered in.

Pressing started on Friday and continued on Saturday with a break for the usual excellent lunch. It seemed likely that the previous record volume of juice produced, 685 gallons in 2010, might be broken.

Tension mounted as the last pile of apples disappeared into the crushers and the juice flowed. It was close; but the final figure, 657 gallons, was not quite there. However the sugar content is high and the prospects for some high quality cyder are excellent.

On The Carpet

Denton Carpet Bowls Club is up and running again!

Following a long break the village indoor bowls club has been re-launched. A group of enthusiastic bowlers gathered at the Village Hall on Monday evening and the "equipment" emerged from its long hibernation - some of the players were hardly out of nappies when it was last used.

A good time was had by all though your correspondent, amongst others, found it difficult at times to navigate between the edge of the mat and the barrier placed half way down it. The games were hotly contested, even more so when Mrs Hipwell and Mrs Lambert turned up.

So successful was the evening that it was agreed to make it a regular feature of the village sporting scene. Sessions will now be held every Monday starting at 7.30 pm. A session contribution of £2 per head will cover the costs. All welcome. Further details from Wise Dave (Lambert), 788216.

Great Cabaret

How do you follow that? What a night, a really fantastic audience, a wonderful tasty dinner, a magical group of local talented singers and an atmosphere second to none.

That was the cabaret! An evening of fun and singing. Of course all this could not happen without the help of some very special people. All too often helpers get put into the "Too many to name category", but the following deserve a special mention for their dedication, hard work, and for making the evening the success it obviously was. Sally Porter, Jean Whipps, Janet Skinner and Rosemary Gibson for providing a delicious dinner, Karen Dove, Peter & Denise Grant, Kat Cooper, Gill Hipwell, Ken Ashton, Val Carslake, and Terry Hanner for some first class entertainment, Malcolm Skinner, Roger Gibson, Barbara Spall for their work in the kitchen and hall preparation and to Steve & Annie Whiteman for stepping into the breach at the last minute to man the bar. Finally an "extra" special mention for the event organiser Johnnie Carslake.

Also a big thank-you to those others who helped in any way and those from the audience who responded to a call for help to clear up afterwards. After all expenses a net total of £800 was raised by local people for local people and will go towards the funds of St Mary's Church and Denton Village Hall.

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A "collage" from Lisa North

The Best Ever

Dentill 2013 proved to be even more successful than its three predecessors.

Held on Sunday at Glebe Farm, the event was bigger and better than the Dentills held in 2007, 2009 and 2011. Attendance was up, passing the 1,000 figure for the first time, as were the takings. Final details are not yet known but it is expected that over £7,000 will have been raised for Breast Cancer, the Village Hall Extension and St Mary's Church Fabric Fund.

The range of exhibits and activities was also wider and both the food tent and the bar did a roaring trade. Everyone seemed to have a good time but the best quote came from an elderly gentleman who was asked on leaving if he had enjoyed himself. He replied, "It was the best day out I’ve had all year. . . . Wonderful!! Thank you."

Thanks must go to the many people who contributed to the event but particularly to Malcolm and Janet Skinner and their family who worked so hard to provide the ideal venue and to Adrian Hipwell who masterminded the organisation in his usual calm manner.

Questionnaire Results

The Village Hall Management Committee have provided this report on their recent survey.

“Thank you to everyone who took the time and trouble to complete our village hall questionnaire. In total we had responses from 44 households, with 41 stating that, on the whole, they feel the village hall meets their needs.

There were a variety of thoughts and suggestions as to the proposed extension and many proposals for additions and improvements to the hall itself. These included resiting the dishwasher, removal of chimneys, improved heating and tidying up the garden area. Also, there were a number of ideas for activities that people would like to see taking place in the hall, particularly around games and hobbies and provision for children and young people.

The Committee has agreed to look at two further proposals for a scaled-down extension and these will be discussed at our next meeting, alongside the existing plan. Also, we will be looking at the costs and practicalities of some of the suggestions for improvements to the hall. In the meantime, we plan to introduce some of the activities suggested so please watch this space for further information.

Our next Village Hall Committee meeting will be our A.G.M. on Monday 4th November at 8 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come along and join in our discussions.”

Supper Date Announced

The Village Hall Management Committee have announced that this year’s Village Supper will be held on Saturday November 23rd.

Further details, how to book your tickets etc., will appear in Coming Events soon.

Denton On Show

The Village Hall was packed yesterday afternoon for the Gardening Club’s annual Open Show.

All the entrants turned up of course — to see how their produce had fared — but lots of other people came too to admire the displays. The flower arranging was particularly impressive. Despite the challenges presented by this year’s quirky weather, competition in most classes was as stiff as ever. Congratulations must go to Ruth Cooke the winner of the Overall Trophy.

Full details of all the winners can be seen in the Gardening Club Section.

Village Hall Questionnaire

The Village Hall Management Committee are conducting a Survey to find out residents’ views on the current and future use of the Hall. They are circulating a Questionnaire and hope that every household in the village will respond.

If you have not received a copy of the Questionnaire it can be downloaded by following this link and submitted electronically. For further information please contact Annie Whiteman 01986 788251 or

Meetings Day To Change

The Parish Council have decided to change the day on which they hold their monthly meetings. From next January the meetings will move from the second Tuesday in the month to the third Monday.

STOP PRESS It now seems that this is under review and another day may be chosen — Watch this space!

Aussies Lose Out Again

From our Cricket Correspondent

The Australian touring team missed a trick by not watching the Craig Whipps Memorial Cricket Match held on the Denton playing field recently. Had they attended they would have seen lusty blows in to the pea field, some acrobatic fielding and a variety of bowling rarely seen in first class cricket.

The Haymakers Team notched up a total of 142 in 20 overs which proved too many for the opposition who quickly fell behind the clock whilst making their score of 90. Of the winning total Andy and Stephen Hipwell along with Dave Godsmark found the bowling to their liking as several replacement balls were needed to keep the ammunition coming down the track.

Emma Whipps and Ian Cooper scampered singles and struck out for victory in reply but some smart catching and canny fielding proved too much for their side. Meanwhile, Doris, as usual, caught the eye as she strode to the wicket full of menace complete with batting helmet, large pads and gloves but her score of three proved in vain. Chris Whipps held and then somehow dropped a stinging catch which some suggested may have been foul play, as it had been Jean who struck the shot towards mid-wicket. Surely not!

In-between innings the original DRS (Denton Refectory Service) was in operation and as usual spectators and players took full advantage of the strawberries and cream, scones, sandwiches and cakes. Dave Wright’s barbeque did a good trade and there was drink for all, even some beer left over!

Thanks are due to all who helped out in so many ways to make the afternoon a great deal of fun.

Meanwhile the Australians, having missed their chance to watch and learn, stumble on their way.

It's Back! (Oh No It Isn't! - Oh Yes It Is!)

The letter-writers of “Upper Denton” are delighted; their local postbox has been restored.

The old Victorian box, which used to stand at the junction of Darrow Green Road and Norwich Road, was stolen back in January. Now, following pressure from the Parish Council, it has been replaced. The new box is nothing like as beautiful as its predecessor but at least it will perform its vital role.

After a false start (with no collections!) the box is now in use.

PC Meeting Re-arranged

This month’s Parish Council meeting, due to be held on Tuesday the 11th June, has been re-arranged for Monday 17th of June. The orginal meeting was cancelled when several councillors were unavailable due to illness etc.

The agenda for the meeting is available in the Parish Council Section.

No Change At the Top

The Parish Council’s Annual meeting on Tuesday went very smoothly with Peter Hill re-elected as Chairman.

One item that did generate some discussion was a proposal to change the day on which the Council holds its monthly meetings, possibly from Tuesday to Monday, but no final decision was taken.

Live at the Hall

The audience in a packed Village Hall enjoyed a great evening of live music last night.

Every ticket had been sold for the charity gig “Ready Steady Denton” organised by the Fitzgeralds to raise funds for the Altzeimer’s Society. The audience delighted in a series of skilled performers playing some great music.

First up was Andy FitzGerald who coped manfully with having to play his guitar while latecomers arrived. Next was Ben Witchell on keyboard with a great mix of songs old and not so old. At this point the audience were politely reminded that it was a concert not a gossip session and the players deserved a bit more respect. Everybody responded and people at the back could now hear the music.

The final player of the first half was Sid Cooper who had travelled down from Manchester for the occasion and impressed everyone with his singing and guitar playing. An excellent supper was then served — delicious meatballs! — and the bar did a roaring trade.

The second half saw two groups performing — Clapton Junction and A Certain Age — with a great selection of old favourites and dancing in the limited space available; literally “in the aisles” in some cases. The evening finished with all the performers coming together for a grand finale.

As many people commented “nothing compares with live music” and the performers were outstanding. Thanks must go to all of them, to everyone else who contributed to the event but most of all to Andrea and Mike Fitzgerald who masterminded the occasion. Could this become a regular feature of the village calendar?

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Performers on the stage

Anyone For Cricket?

The date of what has become the annual Craig Whipps Memorial Cricket Match has been announced.

It will be held on the Playing Field on Sunday July 7th. Last Year’s Match was a great success and a very appropriate tribute to Craig. Further details will be circulated in due course.

A Fitting Farewell

The life of Sir Jeffrey Darell was celebrated with a beautiful service at St Mary’s church last Saturday.

The church was packed with family members, local residents and others who came together to pay their respects to a very distinguished and much-loved man. Two generations of the family contributed with recollections, readings and some lovely singing.

The church was beautifully decorated and the sun shone. It was a very impressive service which fitted the occasion perfectly.

Obituaries of Sir Jeffrey appear in the History Section.

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Flower display in St Mary's church

Parish Meeting Details

Full details of the Annual Parish Meeting are now available. The Agenda has been published and is in the PC Section of the website.

As the Chairman of the Parish Council, Peter Hill commented:

“There is often confusion with regards to the difference between ‘The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council’ and ‘The Annual Parish Meeting’”.

“The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council is the meeting where Members of the Parish Council elect their Chairman and other officers and review Management Policies, etc.”

“The Annual Parish Meeting is the meeting where the Parish Council invite the public to hear reports from the Chairman of the Parish Council, District and County Councillors and other bodies connected with the Parish Council. There is an opportunity at this meeting for the public and the press to express their opinions on matters and raise matters of interest. This is the meeting that is being held on 23rd April”.

Summer in Sight

Well, nearly. The Gardening Club have announced their programme of summer activities.

Full details appear on the Gardening Club Page.

Caretaker Needed

Owing to the imminent retirement of our long serving caretaker, Maureen, the Village Hall Committee are looking for a suitable replacement. The role is part time up to a maximum of 3 hours per week.

For full details please speak to David (788352) or Kath (788414) or email to David.

School Vacancy



The Governing Body of Alburgh with Denton Primary School requires a Clerk to organise Full Governing Body Meetings and prepare, finalise and distribute minutes of these Meetings to all Governors. Meetings are usually held six times each academic year with a late afternoon or early evening start.

Good listening, oral and literacy skills are essential. Remuneration is available. Training can be accessed.

Further information about this post can be obtained by contacting Alburgh with Denton Primary School on 01986 788678. Applicants should apply in writing to the Chair of Governors (via the School) by Monday, 15 April 2013. Candidates will be subject to safeguarding and CRB checks.

The Big Switch

Denton residents have been invited to take part in a new electricity bulk-buying scheme.

South Norfolk Council is participating in a Norfolk-wide bulk buying exercise for electricity and gas (a bit like the DABBOS scheme for oil purchases).

Residents can register without obligation at the Big Switch Website. You should have your fuel bills handy so that you can enter your current usage and current tariff. You need to do this by 8 April.

The Council will then nogotiate the lowest terms with the full range of suppliers. Later in April you will get an email stating what the new supplier will be charging and what saving you should make. Obviously the more people that register the better the potential savings.

At that stage you can decide whether to switch or not and SNC will do the switch over for you.

Ploughing On - Date Announced

It’s official; Denton’s own biennial farming festival, Dentill, is to be held again this year. A steering committee, headed by Adrian Hipwell and Malcolm Skinner, has been formed and detailed planning is under way.

The event, the fourth in the series, will take place at Glebe Farm on Sunday September 29th.

Anyone for Ping Pong?

This year’s Village Table Tennis Tournament will be held on Friday, 22nd March. Further details under Coming Events.

Oh Mary!

The Variety Club production for 2013 was “Mary Mary Quite Contrary” a new pantomime written and directed by Denton’s queen of panto, Gill Hipwell.

The three performances – last Thursday, Friday and Saturday – were much enjoyed by cast and audience. Cakes and cross-dressing kept everyone on their toes. A review, photographs and other details are available in the Clubs Section.

Green Deal for Denton

The Parish Council have announced details of how Denton residents can take advantage of the Government’s new Green Deal Scheme.

Residents may be aware from the media or elsewhere of the Green Deal Scheme, which is currently being promoted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The object of the Scheme is to improve the energy efficiency of properties by means of Insulation, more efficient Heat Sources and Renewables. Clearly, this is something to be encouraged. Under the Scheme the cost of these measures is covered by a loan, which is then paid back over a number of years through ones electricity bill. The concept is that the cost of the loan repayments will be offset by the savings resulting from the energy saving measures adopted. The intention is that the improved energy efficiency will result in no overall additional cost to the property owner and a saving once the loan is repaid.

It should also improve the Energy Rating of the property. If you are interested in taking advantage of this Scheme the first step requires the property to be surveyed by a Green Deal Energy Assessor, who will determine the measures which would benefit your property and the savings which should result. You are not obliged to adopt all or any of the Assessor’s proposals.

South Norfolk Council (SNC) have asked the Parish Council to promote the Scheme under an Arrangement which SNC (in conjunction with Broadland District Council) have negotiated with DECC. Under this Arrangement the cost of the Initial Assessment (estimated at £150) is FREE. In order to qualify for this saving you must be referred by a Parish Council and is subject to a maximum of 10 Referrals per Parish Council and the overall availability of funding. The funding has to be spent by 31 March 2013 and therefore any Referrals should be made as soon as possible and in any event by 11 March 2013.

For more information or for a Referral Form please contact The Chaiman of the Council, Peter Hill, on 01986 788619. You should also be aware that the Parish Council will receive £50 for each Referral under this promotional arrangement.

Dentill Rides Again

Dentill, a “celebration of traditional bygone farming”, has turned into a biennial event and following its success in 2007, 2009 and 2011, is likey to be held again this year.

A planning meeting is to be held at Glebe Farm on Monday 25th February starting at 8.00 pm. All welcome. Further details from Adrian Hipwell - 788188.

Coverage of the 2011 event can be found in our History Section.

A Close Run Thing

As usual, last night’s Village Quiz was a hotly contested affair. In a nail-biting finish just three points separated the top three teams.

First place went to “Billy Nomates”, the Godsmarks and Hipwells. One point behind were “HGW”, Hills Grants and Winter and one further back came the “After Eights”, Squirrells, Porters, Cardens and Gibson. It seemed the smaller the team the better the score. The competition for the booby-prize was almost as intense but the winners, the seriously afloat “Shipmates”, just scraped home.

The proceedings were halted for an excellent not-so-chilly supper (thanks to all the providers). But it was the great question-mastership (mistressship?) of Denise Grant, aided by her glamourous assistant Ken Ashton, which ensured that the evening went with a swing.

Where Have They All Gone?

Local results from the 2011 census have just been released. They show that Denton’s population went down by more than 7% in the 10 years since the previous census. The number of recorded households went up very slightly, 149 compared with 148, but the number of residents went down from 352 to 326.

Further details and a link to the main census website can be found on the village Facts and Figures page.

Getting the Papers Through

The newspapers readers of Denton owe a great debt to the Hanner family. Despite the recent weather conditions they have managed to keep their delivery system going.

The ups and downs of Middle Road present a particular challenge. Nothing daunted, yesterday Terry and Lucy used a tractor to make sure the papers got through!

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Terry and Lucy Hanner

Who Pinched Our Box?

Residents of “Upper” Denton are finding it difficult to post their letters. Somebody has removed their postbox!

It seems that thieves have removed the box that stood near the junction of Norwich and Darrow Green Roads. All that remains is a pile of the bricks that supported it. Before and after images appear below.

Unfortunately as an old Victorian box it was quite valuable; up to £1,000 has been suggested. Needless to say, attempts will be made to track down those responsible.

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The original postbox
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The scene after the theft

Road Closure

County Highways have announced the following closure.

NORFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL has made a Temporary Traffic Order affecting the C366 Norwich Road from 300m north of junction with U76156 Chapel Hill in a northerly direction for 500m towards U76155 Darrow Green Road in the PARISH OF DENTON because of creating safe access during work to an overhead structure adjacent to the carriageway.

The road will be temporarily closed (except for access) from 09:30 hrs to 15:30 hrs on 4th February 2013 and 5th February 2013 for the duration of the works, expected to be about 2 days within the period.

(If necessary the restriction could run for a maximum period of 18 months from the date of the Order)

Alternative route is via: U76155 Darrow Green Road, U76157 Manor Farm Road, U76156 Chapel Hill.

Penalty: £1000 maximum fine on conviction and/or endorsement for contravention.

In the event of the start date being delayed the new start date will be displayed on site in advance.

The person dealing with enquiries at Norfolk County Council is Adrian Stout (Environment, Transport and Development) Telephone 0344 800 8009.

Dated this 1st day of February 2013 (Sic!). Victoria McNeill, Head of Law.

View Map.

Community Post Office Success

Since just before Christmas 2011 the teas and coffees served at the Thursday morning Post Office have raised over £500 for charity. The proceeds have been split between the East Anglian Children’s Hospice and the Air Ambulance.

The Post Office is open 9-1 every Thursday morning; teas and coffees are served between 9-11am. Please support your local Post Office, all welcome. Bus passes are not mandatory.

New Arrival

Jennifer (née Lambert) and Paul Wharton are pleased to announce the recent arrival of their daughter Harriet Rose (7lb 2oz). Mother, baby and proud father (plus the grand-parents of course) all doing well.

Precept Reduction

There was good news for Denton residents at this month’s meeting of the Parish Council. Considering how much money they would need to raise via the Council Tax Precept for the coming financial year, 2013/14, the PC decided to reduce the figure by nearly 10%.

Recent changes to the Council Tax system have resulted in the District Council making specific grants to each of the towns and parishes in South Norfolk. The PC were told that the size of each grant is based on a formula related to the number of Band D properties and the level of CT benefit claimants in the parish. In Denton’s case this produces a figure of £278.

As a result the Council decided to reduce the precept from £3,300 to £3,000. This will slightly reduce the PC’s share of the overall CT bill from the £21.42 charged for a Band D property in 2012/13 to £20.83. However the needs of the parish are only a small part of the total sum that householders will be required to pay. Further information is available in the Local Government Section.

Quiz Night Announcement

The Village Hall Committee have announced that this year’s Quiz Night will take place on Saturday 9th February.

Further details will be circulated in due course.

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