Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Denton Village News Archive for 2015

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Compost Future in Doubt

Doubts have been raised about the future of Denton's award-winning Community Composting Scheme. A public meeting to discuss future plans is to be held - probably early in February.

The scheme has been running, very successfully since 2003. It has provided a valuable service, particularly for the elderly and those with smaller gardens, and raised significant funds for the village. However, the organisers would like to hand over the reins to a new team. There are normally enough people to perform the weekly tasks of collecting and processing the compostable material but it is hoped that a couple of volunteers will be found to do the critical central organising.

Details of the public meeting will appear on the website as soon as they are known.

Skinners' Meadow Threat?

The future ownership of Denton's Affordable Housing is uncertain.

Four year's ago, in 2011, Denton was celebrating the completion and occupation of the six new properties in Skinners' Meadow. Built by the Saffron Housing Trust, thanks to a generous provision of land by Malcolm and Janet Skinner, the objective had been to provide some affordable housing, rented and shared equity, to replace the former council houses sold off under right-to-buy legislation.

It had been assumed that the status of the accommodation would be permanent but in the run-up to the last election the Conservatives stated they wanted to extend the right-to-buy to Housing Association tenants. Then, in his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that five HAs would be trialing the new system starting in the New Year. A few days later he announced that one of the five, the only one serving a rural area, is Saffron.

Details of the new legislation, The Housing and Planning Bill 2015, are still emerging but it is hoped that the promised exceptions to the right-to-buy will take account of the special circumstances in rural areas like South Norfolk. Our district councillor Murray Gray, who played a prominent role in promoting the Council's affordable housing programme, is taking a close interest in this latest development. He has been pressing for schemes like Denton's to be protected.

Details of the history of the project can be found in the 2011 pages of the History Section.

Christmas in Denton

As is now traditional in the village, Christmas will get properly under way in Denton at the Village Hall on Christmas Eve.

The bar will be open from 7.30. Plates of food will be shared and a visit from Santa is anticipated!

Bin Collections

Denton residents are reminded that, with various bank-holidays due over the coming weeks, our bin collection dates will be changing. For most of the village the revised dates are:

Friday, 25/12, Green Bin, will be collected on Thursday, 24/12
Friday, 1/1, Black Bin, will be collected on Monday, 4/1
Friday, 8/1, Green Bin, will be collected on Saturday, 9/1

Normal service will resume on Friday, 15/1

A Super Supper

The spirit of Denton was alive and well on Saturday night when 125 villagers, family and friends, turned out for our annual supper. It was lovely to see a complete cross section of people of all ages, from tiny tots to folk in their 9th decade, enjoying an evening and a delicious meal together.

The raffle was a great success, with some of the children in particular, and helped contribute to an astonishing profit of £800 for DVH funds. The bar was, as always, well supported which all helps to pay the costs of running the hall.

Thank you to the cooks and organisers (you know who you are) and to the 35 people who turned out to help set up and chop vegetables on Saturday morning. Without all that help and people willingly clearing up on the evening and on Sunday morning it simply couldn’t happen. Thank you most of all to everyone who came and made it such a special, super, evening.

Val Carslake

Val Carslake 13th October 1941 – 28th October 2015

I really am sitting here a day after Val’s beautiful funeral on the 16th November 2015 not knowing where to start. It was a day of mixed emotions for my two boys and me and all our family. One minute I would be choked up with sad emotion the next I was feeling a warm happiness. Strange as it may seem.

Indeed Monday 16th November 2015 was a very sad day because Val had to leave to go on her journey and we had to say farewell to her but, it was also a happy day because we had a wonderful beautiful service in church to celebrate her life and we certainly did that in a way Val would have been extremely proud. The church was packed with 130 family and friends from this village such was the very special infectious effect that Val had on every person she met. Tony & Tim paid their own special personal tributes to their Mum which they both delivered with dignity and pride and tributes were also made on behalf of all village friends by Gill. The service was led warmly by Rev’d Chris Hutton our Rector. We left the church onward to the crematorium in a much happier frame of mind than when we first entered it.

Myself, Tony & Tim would like to sincerely thank all of you that attended the service in St Mary’s all the many people that have sent us cards and supported me since Val’s passing. The Ladies that provided lovely refreshments at Denton Village Hall. The donations given in Val’s memory to AOS (Acute Oncology Service) are going to be phenomenal I will post the final figure on here when it is known.

Thank you once again for making Val’s final celebration a real celebration which we will never forget. Johnnie, Tony, Tim.

Ready, Steady - Gone

Denton Village Hall was packed on Saturday evening for "Ready Steady Denton", the second Charity Gig in aid of Alzheimer’s Society, the first having been held back in May 2013. Once more folks turned out in large numbers to support this event and were treated to some wonderful entertainment from the musicians, all of whom performed for free.

First up was Sam Norfolk (of the band Eva Black) who, accompanying himself on guitar and in his own distinctive, gravelly tones, gave us some crowd-pleasers, ably assisted on his final number by Alex Eley. Next we heard from a newly-formed duo, Andy Ferguson and Ben Witchell, both of whom are relative newcomers to Denton. With Andy on saxophone and Ben on keyboards and vocals, they played some wistful numbers including “Summertime” and “Take Five”. To conclude the first half we were treated to a superb set from Jason Wick, Tracey Frost and Dougie, the men being part of the band Little Red Kings. If it was the case, as Jason told us, that he and Tracey had not sung together in public for 15 years, then the sooner their harmonies are revived in public the better. Both Jason and Dougie demonstrated their mastery of the guitar as well as singing powerfully together to great effect, performing numbers from their recent “Acoustic” CD .

In the interval the generous folks of Denton and its environs dug deep to raise money in the raffle (organised by Kath and Terry Hanner) and also in a game of “Heads and Tails”, won by Charlie Crohill. And all of this while the assembled throng ate from platters of food and some wonderful cakes, many provided by the audience. Thanks are also due to those who so generously donated raffle prizes.

The second half saw the return to Denton of the band from across the border, “A Certain Age”, who took us back to the 60’s and 70’s with their repertoire of golden oldies which had people up on their feet, reliving their past. To close the show all the performers squeezed on stage and joined in a finale, comprising “The Weight”, “All you need is Love” and “Imagine”.

The event raised £645 for Alzheimer’s Society. The organisers, Andrea and Mike Fitzgerald, would like to thank everyone who helped in any way to make it such a successful evening.

Great Tilling

In spite of not very helpful weather this year's Dentill was a great success.

The new site, in the field behind the Church, proved very popular with a great background and, as the pictures below show, lovely views. The food tent and the bar were kept very busy.

Unfortunately, during the afternoon the rain arrived but this did not dampen spirits (or the cyder). Over a thousand people attended and more than £6,000 was raised for three good causes, the Nelson's Journey Charity, St Mary's Church and the Village Hall Extension Fund. Congratulations to everybody involved in this the fifth Dentill.



Photos from Ken Ashton

Show Results

The Village Hall was blazing with bright colours for the Annual Open Show on Saturday.

Over 40 people entered the various classes. Many were hotly contested and the judges had a difficult task to separate the entries. The winners were:

  • Championship Trophy: Heather Squirrell, Second: Sarah Henderson, Third: John Chapman.
  • Flower Classes (Grant Trophy): John Chapman, Second: Kath Hanner, Third: Anne Carden.
  • Vegetable and Fruit Classes (Skinner Trophy): Heather Squirrell, Second: Ronnie Phillips, Third: Anne Carden.
  • Domestic Classes (Carden Trophy): Jean Whipps, Second: Bridget Hill, Third: Sarah Henderson.
  • Decorative Classes (Charnick Trophy): Barbara Spaul, Second: Kath Hanner, Third: Sarah Henderson.
  • Gentlemen's Class (Godsmark Trophy) – (Apple Dessert Cake): Mike Fitzgerald, Second: Peter Grant, Third: John Chapman.
Congratulations to them all.

One Down - One to Go

One of the vacancies on the Parish Council has now been filled. This still leaves one gap.

Back in May only five nominations were received for the seven places on Denton PC. The two vacancies can be filled by co-option so the Council appealed for volunteers.

At its August meeting Kay Wiltshire from Trunch Hill was voted into office. It is hoped that the final gap will be filled at the next meeting in October. Unusually, this year the Council had an August meeting but, as a result, there will be no meeting in September.

First Aid Session

A First Aid Session is to be held in Denton.

Following discussion on health issues at the annual Parish Meeting and at the Parish Council, the latter have organised a evening session which is open to all.

It will take place at the Village Hall on Thursday October 15th starting at 7 pm. It will be a one hour talk and demonstration by St. John Ambulance.

All welcome - no charge.

If you would like to attend please let Peter Hill know beforehand on 01986 788619.

Preparing for Dentill

Preparations are well under way for next month's Dentill event.

A highlight of Dentill is always seeing the old threshing (or should it be "thrashing"?) machine in action. But for this to happen a suitable supply of corn sheaves is needed. So, as shown below, Adrian Hipwell's team have been out with his binder preparing the required input.


Hot Contests at the Bouledrome

This year's Open Boule Championship, for the Boules Remy Trophy, was again hotly contested.

Held on Thursday at the Mill Farm Bouledrome, 12 three-person teams took part. Four teams emerged from the group stage to reach the knock-out competition.

The winners were "Postman Pat" ( Lucy, Amy & Jonathan) who beat "We'll fink abaht it!" (Linda, David & Richard) in the final. In the Plate Competition, last year's main competition winners, "Bless 'em All" (Clare, Gill and Rob), won defeating "Baby Beaver" (Sarah, Naomi and Toby).

As there is to be no Cyderfest this year the evening included a Tasting Table competition for Cyder Club members home-produced cyders. Attendees voted for their favourites in two classes.

Winners of the Pure category were Rob & Clare Seppings with "Old Faithful". In the Enhanced category, sweetness was a heavy influence on the voting. James Godsmark's pink branded "Summer Cyder" was the winner.

Invasion Thwarted

Residents of Upper Denton were relieved to find that what threatened to be an alien invasion of their privacy was narrowly avoided this evening.

At 19.45 the imminent landing of a large red spacecraft was detected and the local Home Guard (or at least the Godsmark, Parsons and Christian members) turned out. The landing duly took place in the field next to bridleway running North from Oak Lodge on Darrow Green Road.


To everyone's relief, the vessel turned out to be not an alien invasion craft but a large hot-air balloon carrying two crew and sixteen passengers. They had taken off from the Oaksmere Hotel in Broome near Diss and seemed surprised to find themselves in Denton.

Spectators were asked to tip the craft's basket on its side before the balloon was deflated and packed up for loading on a support vehicle which, together with a coach for the passengers, soon arrived.


The balloon carried the Virgin logo but there was no sign of Mr Branson. The owner of the field, David Parsons, was rewarded with a suitably effervescent present.

Photos by "Dave"

Fly-tipping Hits Denton

A very nasty case of fly-tipping has happened recently in Denton.

Incredibly, it seems somebody has taken the trouble to drive over a quarter of a mile off-road down a farm track to dump a pile of rubbish into Denton Beck.

The site is the bridge across the Beck halfway between Back Lane and Paynes Hill Road. As the picture below shows, the material dumped includes two television sets, plastic bags of rubbish and a mass of bottles and cans.


Local farmer Simon Winter, who discovered the dump, has reported the incident to both South Norfolk Council and the Environment Agency. It is thought the latter will be concerned about the potential pollution of the watercourse.

The Festive Spirit - in June

Denton's first ever Beer and Pimms Summer Festival was a great success.

Over 150 people were at the Village Hall last Saturday for an entertaining musical evening with suitable food and drink laid on.

The music included a variety of performers, soloists and groups with Tap the Barrel topping the bill. The food comprised a barbecue and a great selection of cakes but for many people it was the choice of six real ales that made the evening really special.

Thanks and congratulations must go to the organisers of the event which is thought to have raised over £1,000 for the hall extension project.

This Is Your Chance

Denton residents will be able to raise any local issues that concern them at the Annual Parish Meeting which will be held at the Village Hall on Thursday May 21st starting at 7.30 pm.

Already on the agenda, now available on the website, are the proposal to provide a defibrillator for the village, the Village Hall extension and improved play equipment for younger children. But this is an opportunity to discuss any matter affecting the local community.

If no other inducement to attend is needed, note that wine and other refreshments will be served!

Only Five Out Of Seven

There will be no elections for the Parish Council on May 7th.

Only five nominations were submitted for the seven places on the new council. They were: Zoë Brown, Roger Gibson, Terry Hanner, Peter Hill and Kerry Norfolk.

The remaining two places will have to be filled by co-option.

TT Report

From our table-tennis correspondent.

Tables were turned at Denton table tennis tournament this year as all the winners were from outside the parish, leaving the locals empty handed.

The junior winners were Jaya Mace in the U16 boys event whilst Grace (sorry didn’t catch the surname), also from Alburgh, won the girls’ competition. The junior numbers were up and their ability frequently outshone their more senior opponents.

There were a few more players than usual for the Open men’s section, bolstered by a few marauders from Huntingfield. One of them, Joe Tompson was too good for most us including the previous winner on two occasions David Kemp. But some things never change and, sure enough, Jo Andrews ran away with her third consecutive tournament victory.

To finish with just a few statistics:

  • 28 players took part,
  • 108 sets were played,
  • No balls were trodden on.


Your Parish Needs You!

The "real" election on May 7th

We all know that two elections are due on Thursday May 7th - for the House of Commons and South Norfolk Council. But what could be a much more interesting contest will be held at the same time - for Denton Parish Council.

Last time, four years ago, there were not enough nominations to fill the seven places and a co-option was needed to complete the Council. The PC hope that this year at least seven people will put themselves forward. It would be even better of course if there were more nominations so that an election was required. We would then have to choose between them!

Further details on the website on the Elections Page.

Beauty the Winner

As ever with the DVC, it was very much a case of "It'll all be alright on the night" at this year's panto.

With a week to go, Gill Hipwell's clever adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast" seemed to be a long way short of performance-ready but, as usual, everybody rallied round, learnt their lines (or at least most of them) and everything came together "beautifully".

The three performances went remarkably well and the audiences appeared to enjoy themselves; the cast certainly did! There were of course a few "mishaps" but, as Oldstager mentions in his review of the show, Denton pantos would not be the same without them.

Most important of all, in the great panto tradition, good triumphed over evil and Beauty was the winner.

Anyone for Table Tennis?

The Annual Denton Table Tennis Tournament will take place at the village hall on Friday 13th March with tables available from 7.30pm.

Bats and balls are available, entrance is free, everyone is welcome and it doesn't matter if you're not very good - most of the people who turn up only play once a year!

There is a junior section for those under 16 who fancy a go. The bar will be open as usual and the table tennis usually finishes around

For further information please contact Steve Whiteman - 788251.

Compost Recognition

The achievements of Denton's successful composting scheme were recognised at South Norfolk's recent Community Awards Evening.

As reported in Thursday's EDP, grants of £250 were made to seven community organisations to be donated to their favourite charity. Two further special grants of £100 each were also made with the Community Composting scheme taking one of them. The paper's coverage of the ceremony, held at the John Innes Centre, included a photograph of the winners with Liz Cargill and Anne Carden holding Denton's certificate.

Romance and the Rising Stars

Following the success of the first meeting of the Rising Stars Club in December another session for youngsters is to be held - on Saturday 14th February.

On that date the theme can only be "Valentines Day". Let's hope that a massacre is avoided! Further details on the DVC Page.

PBBH Success

Congratulations to the PBBH Team, winners of Saturday's annual Village Quiz Night.

Even more congratulations to the Grant Team, quizmaster Denise and her "glamorous assistant" Peter, and to everybody else involved in putting on this great event. The providers of the excellent food and the bar staff deserve our thanks. It was good to see two teams from Alburgh taking part; but perhaps just as well they did not win!

All has now been revealed. It seems that the winning team's name PBBH (Not GBH as previously announced) stands for "Powered by Blackhand". Obviously their success can be put down to a good supply of quality cyder.

Disputes about "the smallest country in Europe/The World" and "the longest river in Europe" may continue (did you know the year that Elvis died?) but the important thing is that everybody who attended had a wonderful evening. Thanks to all those involved.

Council Tax Down

Some good news for Denton council tax payers has been announced by the Parish Council.

At its recent meeting the Council decided to raise the same amount that it required last year, £3,000, in 2015/16. However, for some reason, possibly due to an increase in occupied properties in the village this year, this will result in the amount of council tax charged to each household going down slightly.

Thus a mid-range Band D property, there are 25 of them in Denton, will be paying £20.41 next year compared to £21.13 in 2014/15. Of course the PC share is a very small part of the total council tax bill - but every penny helps!

Further information about the Parish Council and the Council Tax System can be found elsewhere on the site.

Christmas Collections - Ours Not Royal Mail's

Once again a substantial sum has been raised over Christmas for a very good cause.

This report has been provided by Jenny Crohill.

Just before Christmas a good troop of Denton folks took to the street and sang carols to who-ever would listen! In fact because there were several of us we were able to split into two groups. The walking group made their way down Chapel Field whilst the second group climbed aboard Dave’s Landrover and worked the top end of the village. After 3½ hours singing we all met at Hilda and Tim’s for refreshment and a grand count-up was made. The total collected was £306 — Amazing!!

As usual the big board was put up in the village hall for everyone to post their Christmas good wishes cards and leave a contribution. This total was £268 — again what an achievement.

All these proceeds, £574, are now being sent to the Bwindi Orphanage in western Uganda. I first visited the orphanage in 2004 when it was a very small operation. Orphans were being taken in for care, health treatment and education but the conditions were extremely basic. Every year since then Denton has collected money from carol singing and the Christmas card board and sent it straight to the orphanage. Over the past years we have raised a considerable amount of money, all of which goes directly to Bwindi with no other admin costs being taken out of it.

Whilst bumping along in the back of the Landrover carol singing, Sarah Henderson asked who/what were we raising money for. I explained where the funds were sent only to be told that her family had also visited Bwindi a few years earlier as volunteers at the community hospital which is all part of the orphanage. What a surprise and fantastic to think that there is now another connection between this tiny village in Uganda and Denton.

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed and turned out to sing. I know all your efforts are so much appreciated back at Bwindi.

First Second Tuesday

A new service for Denton residents was launched today and was much enjoyed by all those who took part.

The first Second Tuesday lunch was served to 40 residents at the Village Hall. Two courses were provided, both delicious, with a cup of tea to follow. Needless to say the event provided an opportunity for a good mardle.


Congratulations and thanks must go to the organiser, Doris Lambert, and her team of willing helpers.

The second Second Tuesday lunch will be on Tuesday, 10th February.

Top School in County

Congratulations must go to the staff and pupils of our local school for their recent success.

As reported in the EDP (Thursday, January 8th, Page 22), Alburgh with Denton Primary School has been named as the top performing Norfolk primary school for their Year Six tests.

Key Stage Two figures for reading, writing and maths from the Department for Education show how children are performing at the age of 11. AwDPS has climbed from 85% of pupils achieving the expected Level Four in 2012 to 100% across every area in 2014.

The School has also been named as one of the top 250 performing primary schools in the whole country. Well done everybody!

Too Many Lights?

This year's remarkable display of Christmas Lights in the village has produced an interesting debate.

In past years some residents have erected a limited amount of festive lighting on their properties for the Christmas period but this year it has expanded dramatically particularly at the top end of Norwich Road.

The display produced comments in the January edition of the Parish Magazine where The Rambler's Countryside Ramblings included - "And what about light pollution? I remember the old days when in many villages houses were just lit by a few oil lamps, but while nobody wants to be without electricity, I do wonder if we have swung to the other extreme with many houses coated in Christmas lights, making the countryside look like suburbia."

The response on Dentontalk has been immediate with lots of support for the lights and promises of even more next year! We will obviously need all the extra electricity produced from renewable sources.

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