Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Denton Village News Archive for 2018

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Festive Lighting

For several years the residents of Upland Terrace and Norwich Road have enjoyed some friendly competition in a great display of Christmas lights. This year's efforts have been well up to standard.



Christmas Is Coming

'Twas The Night Before Christmas,
And down at the bar,
The Sida-Page’s are ready,
They've travelled so far.
One from the shire with a castle and bear,
Her sister the one with the mad curly hair,
At about half past six they'll hear such a clatter,
And hope it is Denton folk with snacks on a platter.
Come all from the Greens, Great, Upper and Lower,
Including the Darrow come fast or come slower,
Come Ronnie and Maureen,
Come Beaver and Kat,
Come Kath and our Terry (in a nice sheriff's hat),
Come all of the Winters the plucking is done,
Come Jon and Lorraine it will be ‘such fun’,
Come all Middle Roaders,
Come one and come all,
To enjoy Christmas Eve at the Old Village Hall.

Make Yourself Comfortable

The Village Hall Bar is now a lot more comfortable.

The Management Committee have invested the generous donations from the families of some much loved Denton residents who sadly passed away in 2018, to purchase new comfy chairs and curtains for the Bar.


Residents are looking forward to trying them out over the Christmas and New Year period.

Eight Trees - Two Venues

Many Denton residents crossed the border last weekend to visit the wonderful display of decorated Christmas Trees in Alburgh's All Saints church. They were pleased to find that no less than eight of the 35 trees on view had been supplied by Denton people or clubs.

One of the trees had been created by a skilled team from the Gardening Club so it was entirely appropriate for that one and five others (not sure what happened to the other two?) to be "transplanted" to DVH for the Club's Christmas Social evening last night.

They made a very attractive backdrop to the party and helped develop a great Christmas spirit for the occasion.


From the left above, they came from: the Dentones, the Tennis Club, Lana Osborne, The Art Group, The Gardening Club.

It is hoped that they will remain in the Hall over the festive period.

Welcome to Denton

Denton has just expanded! We are now 8 properties and 14 people bigger.

The previously announced parish boundary changes, between Denton and Earsham, are being implemented on the new, 2019, electoral registers. These have just been published and will be used for next May's District and Parish Council elections.

We are delighted to welcome the new arrivals in Danacre Road, Middle Road and, what is still officially, Denton Road, Earsham. We hope this anomaly will be corrected in due course.

The village now covers 329 voters in 165 properties.

Dining in Style

The Village Hall was packed for the annual Village Supper on Saturday and those attending enjoyed a really excellent meal.

The menu included a Smoked Salmon starter, followed by Roast Beef with all the trimmings, a choice of tasty Puddings and a selection of Cheeses. Needless to say the bar did a roaring trade.

As usual the Sheriff did a great job drawing the raffle prizes before proposing the traditional toast “The Spirit of Denton”.

Thanks must go to everybody who contributed to this great, not-to-be-missed, event but particularly to those who organised and produced the wonderful food.



The Last One?

For many years the five Parish Councils that cover the Earsham District Council Ward have held an annual Joint Meeting to share common experiences and hear some guest speakers. This year it was Denton's turn to act as hosts so the latest one was held at Denton Village on Thursday.

There were two guest speakers. First up was someone with a great local connection, one Kevin Hanner, son of the Sheriff. Kevin described his work with "the Feed", a Norwich social enterprise charity which supports the homeless, helping people access long term housing, training and employment. They run a catering business and café in Norwich staffed by the people they support with 100% of their profits go to charity. Further details are on their Website.

Following Kevin was PC Jim Squires our local Police Community Engagement Officer. He explained the impact of cuts on policing, the way that the local team in Harleston were trying to work with the community and answered questions from the audience. The Police Information on our website has been updated to reflect the new situation.

Sadly, the change to ward boundaries due next May will mean that this may be the last of these useful joint meetings.

Art On Display

Compliments poured in when Denton's artists put their skills on display at the Village Hall on Saturday.

The Art Group (perhaps it should be called the "Greater Denton Group" - a number of members come from further afield) meet at the Hall on a regular basis and every year put on an exhibition of their work.

This year's was claimed to be the best ever with over 100 pictures and craft items. One new feature of the show was to ask visitors to vote for their favourite exhibit. The result demonstrated a wide variety of preferences!



Round or Square?

Part of the climax of the celebrations held to note the completion of St Mary’s major restoration project was a performance by the Rising Stars.

An exhibition showing the extensive work on the roof and the floor etc was held in the church on 24th October. This was accompanied by a performance of "A Square Tower in a Round Hole" by the Rising Stars together with singing by the Dentones. The former attempted to answer that long-term question “Why is the church tower both round and square?”. Something to do with the big bad wolf chasing little pigs we gather. The debate continues.

The Stars were certainly not fazed by the large audience and the imposing building – they did very well – but producer/director Gill Hipwell must share the credit.

The Costumes Must Go Somewhere


Denton Variety Club, as a very "green" organisation, has a great record for reusing and/or recycling scenery, props and particularly costumes.

Thanks to the efforts of the Club's Wardrobe Mistress, Barbara Spaul, there is an amazing stock of the last. But where to store them?

They out-grew Barbara's loft many years ago and various other temporary locations have been used.

Now the Club Committee have bitten the bullet and, with the kind permission of the DVH Management Committee, they have installed, a suitably insulated etc., shed behind the Village Hall.

Rather like the Tardis, it's bigger inside than it looks in the picture!

New Play Equipment

Thanks to a valuable grant from the Big Lottery Fund the equipment of the village playground has been upgraded.

The Fund provided £7,523 for the Parish Council to replace the old seesaw with a new "non-bump" version together with a new attraction a "Rota-Roka" spinning dish.


ssaw rr

Another Great Show

This year's Annual Denton Gardening Club Open Show held at the Hall on Saturday was a great success.

A total of 349 entries were submitted across the 53 classes by 52 competitors.
The winners of the Section Trophies were:

  • Flowers - Peter Wiltshire.
  • Vegetables - Ronnie Phillips.
  • Domestic - Jean Whipps.
  • Decorative - Kath Hanner.
  • Overall - Anne Carden.
Further details can be found in the DGC Show History section of the Website.


Judging under way.

World Cup Viewing

Recent events have highlighted the bonus to village life of the recent extension to the Village Hall and the provision within it of a nice large TV screen with a licence to view the main TV channels.

Thus in recent weeks Denton Residents have been able to come together to support the England football team as they battled to represent us in the World Cup in Moscow. The "Green Room" has been packed and the bar, open as usual (thank-you Dave), has provided suitable liquid refreshment.

The three group games saw England through to a Quarter-Final against Sweden on Saturday 7/7. This produced a convincing 2-0 win to entertain the assembled village fans. Unfortunately, the result of the Semi- Final against Croatia on the 11th was not so enjoyable. But once again the Village Hall proved its position as the centre of Denton life.

A Fitting Tribute

The Memorial Cricket Match held on the Playing Field on Sunday provided a very fitting tribute to the late, and much missed, Craig Whipps.

As usual with this, almost annual, event, the contest was hotly contested over 16 overs per side between the two scratch teams led by Gill Hipwell and Terry Hanner, but played in the best sporting spirit.


The Participants

The result was very close with Terry’s team needing 5 runs to win off the last over and squeaking home with three balls to spare. There were several outstanding individual performances but the bowling prize should surely go to Alex Eley who achieved three dismissals in his two overs.

Thanks must go to Chris and Jean Whipps for organising the match and to everybody who contributed particularly those who provided the excellent refreshments.

Pocket Park Clearance

Last weekend, Denton welcomed 3 Police Cadets together with PC Jim Squires, Community Engagement Officer, who worked very hard clearing the path through Pocket Park. This was part of a South Norfolk Police 'Community SOS' initiative.
The attached photos show the transformation; the first shows the path after it was strimmed and then the 'after' photo shows how much of the overgrowing weeds were cut back to widen the path.

before after


Thanks to everyone who contributed to this useful project.

Hero Recognised


One of Denton's longest serving residents has received the recognition he so richly deserves.

Every year South Norfolk Council holds a Community Awards scheme to reflect the work of volunteers within local communities. This year Denton Parish Council made several nominations and at a recent ceremony, at the Diss Corn Hall, Terry Hanner won the Lifetime Community Hero Award.

Terry, who has lived in the village all his life, has contributed to the Denton community in so many ways not least as a long-serving Vice-Chair of the Parish Council. Well done Terry!

At the same meeting the Denton Lunch Club made it into the last three in the Community Wellbeing Group of the Year category; also well deserved.

Broadband Update

If you did not get to tonight's Annual Parish Meeting you missed a very interesting presentation on the future of Fast Fibre Broadband in Denton.

Former Denton resident, Karen O'Kane, who is the Director of Norfolk County Council's "Better Broadband for Norfolk" Programme, explained how broadband is being rolled out across the County and revealed the challenges this presents in rural areas.

But the most interesting part of the presentation was when she gave details of what is planned for Denton. We were told that this is proceeding in four phases:

  • The new cabinet (No.5), at the junction of Trunch Hill and Middle Road, is up and running and servicing 90 properties in the centre of the village.
  • The next cabinet (No.8), near Sunbeam Cottage in Norwich Road, will soon be connected and will support 20 properties in that area.
  • The next 59 properties, in two sets in other parts of the village, will be connected by direct fibre cables but this will not happen until next year.
  • This will leave 5 more properties, in Low Road and the Earsham end of Middle Road, for whom there are no definite plans at the moment.

These are the figures quoted by Karen this evening. They total 174 but there are supposed to be only 158 properties in the village? Watch this space!

Every Other Month

The Parish Council have decided to change the frequency of their meetings.

For many years (since the year dot?) Denton PC has normally met on the second Tuesday of every month with the exceptions of August and December. There have been occasional further exceptions; perhaps the most notable one being in February last year when the date clashed with Valentine's Day and the romantic councillors decided they had duties elsewhere.

On Tuesday evening, at the Council's Annual Meeting, it was decided to follow the custom of many other PCs and switch to meeting every other month. In future they will thus be held in January, March, May, July, September and November. Of course additional meetings can always be called if significant urgent issues, e.g. a contentious planning application, should arise.

Well Done Beth!

As previously reported back in February, Beth Barrett entered this year's London Marathon to raise funds for cancer research in memory of her late father, the much missed George Porter.

The event took place last weekend and, as the "before" and "after" pictures below show, Beth completed the course and was awarded her medal.

before after

Beth's original fundraising target was £2,000 but, thanks to the generous support of many people including a number from Denton, the result, including Giftaid, was over £4,000. She would like to record the biggest possible thank-you to everyone who contributed.

Another Green Box

As some residents have noticed, in the last few days another green telephone cabinet has appeared in the village close to Sunbeam Cottage in Norwich Road.


It seems that BT had not informed anyone of its arrival or purpose. The only hint came through the notice of the required road works via the County Council. It is presumably intended to provide a fibre optic link to properties on the northern part of the village and give them access to better broadband.

Presumably, as with the box installed last year at the end of Middle Road, those with lines transferred to the new box will not be notified but will have to install a suitable broadband hub to take advantage of the new facility.

It's Your Chance

The Parish Council have announced the date of the Annual Parish Meeting.

This is the open meeting, held once a year, when all village residents are invited to come along and raise any local issue they like. The PC will be reporting on what they have been doing on our behalf and answering any questions that arise.

The meeting will also handle questions about County Council and District Council issues, but anything that affects us locally as a community that you are concerned about can be discussed. It really is "Your Chance". If you have a "bee in your bonnet" why not publicise it in advance via DentonTalk and encourage others to attend?

The meeting will be held at the Village Hall on Thursday 24th May starting at 7.30 pm. See you there.

A Colourful Prize


The March meeting of the Gardening Club saw a change of speaker. David Keleel had to cry off due to illness so Denise Johnson from Reydon took his place.

She gave a really excellent talk on "Planning, Planting and Making a Cut Flower Garden", providing lots of tips on how she ensured a supply of cut flowers all year round.

At the end she very kindly donated the flowers she had brought with her to be used as a prize in the Club's usual raffle. Needless to say, this was quickly grabbed by the holder of the first ticket drawn and, as the picture shows, Doris Lambert was able to return home with a gorgeous bunch of flowers.

A Sad Loss

A number of Denton residents attended Pam Warwick-Baker's funeral at East Harling last Saturday to pay their respects.

During her all-too-brief stay in the village Pam made many friends.

She will be greatly missed.

Tackling the Beast

The recent bad weather, “The Beast from the East”, saw community spirit in Denton at its best. Everyone rallied round to support each other as the snowdrifts closed roads and sometimes made movement almost impossible. DentonTalk was at its busiest with requests for information on road conditions and offers of help flowing almost continuously.


Lots of people contributed in different ways but special thanks must go to Malcolm Skinner and Simon Winter for their work on clearing the roads.


One of the interesting, but very appropriate, items that came round via Talk was this poem, circulated by Jon Symons.
The 4th Emergency Service
By Jan Millward (

Many hate the farmers,
They don't like tractors on the roads,
Especially those with trailers,
And a slow and heavy load.

They moan about the cattle,
They complain they hear them moo,
And phone up to say the bale stack,
Is blocking up their view.

But when the roads are icy,
And then it starts to snow,
And they're stuck on hills and ditches,
And can't get their car to go.

The first one that they phone up,
Is the guy down on the farm,
They know he's got a tractor,
And it can't do any harm.

And suddenly he's a hero,
With a tractor and a rope,
The first one that they call out,
When they cannot cope.

And he always takes the call out,
He doesn't want your money,
He'll do his best to help you,
I think it's rather funny;

Because they will soon forget him,
When the snow has gone away,
And they're stuck behind his trailer,
Loaded up with hay.

With Dave Godsmark’s help Terry Hanner even managed to deliver the papers (or at least those that got through to him!).


The Friday night Bar session was cancelled as was the Beetle Drive planned for the Saturday night. However, a small team led by Zoe Brown, see below, pressed on with a Tea & Cakes session on Saturday afternoon and, with most of the roads now passable, this proved a great opportunity for residents to get together and celebrate their victory over the forces of nature. And it raised £265.00 for The Big C charity at the same time.


Then the thaw started - eventually.


Many thanks to everyone who supplied these pictures.

In Good Company

The significant contribution to community life in Denton of the Tuesday Lunch Club has been recognised with an award under the County Council’s “In Good Company” scheme.

Thousands of people in Norfolk are lonely. Loneliness can cause poor health and even lead to premature death. It can make people vulnerable to scams and fraud and increase their reliance on public services.

The scheme seeks to encourage community activities which help to tackle the issue and, following a nomination by the Parish Council, the Lunch Club has recently been awarded a Certificate to acknowledge their good work. This was presented last Friday to the founder of the Club, Doris Lambert, at a ceremony at the Theatre Royal. She was accompanied by members of her team, Denise Grant and Jean Whipps, together on the left below.

Dawdlers Doing It

Today's dawdle took place despite the inclement weather!

Photo courtesy Rev. Chris Hutton.

Sand Almost Everywhere

The Village Hall was moved to Egypt for half-term last week as the Variety Club presented their annual show - a (very loose) adaptation, in panto format, of the classic romance between Antony and Cleopatra.

The DVC likes a challenge and this year's production offered several. Not least was getting the audience to accept the frequent time changes between 30 BC and 1865 AD and the language changes between Latin and Ancient Egyptian. But the plot, cleverly contrived by Denise and Peter Grant, swept all this away as the romance bloomed and the efforts of the baddies, the Vizier, Lissen Toome, and the Oracle, Alexa, came to nothing.

The acting was, of course, very impressive, and this year for a change Jean Whipps, as prompter, seemed to have a very easy ride, but the greatest credit must go to those who created the setting for the performance. The scenery, always another challenge given the limitations of the Village Hall stage, and the lighting together produced just the right environment. As usual, Barbara Spaul created some wonderful costumes and, once again the "orchestra" did a great job.

Everybody involved, on the stage and off, had great fun - they hope the audience did too.

A review of the production is now available in the DVC Section of the website.

It's Gone!

For some time the future of our only telephone-box, opposite the village hall, has been in question. Well, debate over - it's gone.

Like most such facilities, it had been overtaken by the march of technology; everybody seems to have a mobile phone these days. Usage had shrunk to virtually nothing and yesterday BT, having warned the Parish Council etc., took it away.

The people that will miss it most will perhaps be those local residents who found its light a very useful beacon when making there way to the Village Hall at night!

Appeal Dismissed

Denton's latest long-running planning dispute seems to have been resolved.

During 2016, following complaints to South Norfolk Council about the increasing dog noise emanating from Rainbows End at Chapel Corner, the owners of the property put in a planning application for a dog-breeding establishment on the site. As reported here at the time, this went to the December 2016 meeting of the Planning Committee and was refused.

An Enforcement Order was issued setting the maximum number of adult dogs allowed on the premises at six. But in March last year the applicants appealed against the Order on the grounds that they had been operating there for over 10 years and had thus gained the right to continue.

The Council challenged this and, finally, on 9th January this year an Appeal Hearing was held before a Planning Inspector at Long Stratton. Several Denton residents and our local district councillor, Murray Gray, attended and took part in the proceedings.

The Inspector's decision has now been released. He found that the applicants had failed to produce any evidence of commercial dog-breeding over such a long period and therefore dismissed the appeal.

Running for George

Beth Barrett, daughter of the late, and much missed, George Porter, is running in this year's London Marathon to raise funds for Cancer Research in his memory.

If you would like to support her and pay tribute to George, please go to our Sponsorship Page.

Youth Triumphs

Saturday saw the annual Denton Quiz Night at the Village Hall. As usual the event was hotly contested by the ten teams involved. However, what really made this year's contest so spectacular was the result, which saw all the "senior" based teams outclassed by the youngest team in the competition!

That great quiz-setting team, Denise and Peter Grant, produced: some challenging rounds of questions - where does one dare to play one's Joker?, some great inter-round spot questions (based on prime-ministers ancient & modern - well done Chris Whipps) and a very tricky table-quiz. The last had to be tackled as we consumed an excellent chilli & cheese supper, which may have inhibited some teams' performance?

Scoring was very impressive from all the teams but it was the youngest table that triumphed. The "New Beginnings" team comprised: Lorraine Symons, Abigail Symons, Benjamin Bremner, Matt Squirrell, Marie Guyader and Jasmine Symons (where was Jon?).

Six of the team with the "Brains of Denton" trophy.

Congratulations to them and thanks to all those who contributed to such an enjoyable event. So many played their part but a special mention must go to Jean Whipps who co-ordinated the excellent food.


A further progress report on Denton's defibrillator.

Registration has been completed, 20/01, and the cabinet is now in use.

The external cabinet for the defibrillator has now been installed on the outside wall of Denton Village hall next to the main entrance. The defibrillator will not be put into the cabinet until the Ambulance Service has registered the cabinet and have it on their system. The defibrillator will remain in its current position in the village hall until that registration has been confirmed.

Once the Ambulance Service have the cabinet registered, anyone can ring 999 and, when a defibrillator is thought to be required, the Ambulance Service will give out the location and cabinet code. However Denton residents will have much faster access.

Key fobs, giving the cabinet access code, have been obtained and one per Denton household will be allocated. They will be distributed at the Thursday Post Office and via various events. If residents would like more than one key fob, additional ones can be purchased at 25p each.

For further details, and to request extra key fobs, please contact Kay Wiltshire, preferably by email on

Kept in the Dark

Sometimes it is great to be proved wrong.

In a previous news item we expressed some scepticism that our new, faster, broadband service would not be up and running before Christmas. But it was!

This means residents within a reasonable distance of the new green box at the junction of Trunch Hill and Middle Road can sign-up for the new service and see broadband speeds at least ten times faster than previously. Great news for using data-heavy online services.

Unfortunately, those living in the more remote parts of the village (and, it seems, some others living quite close but not connected to the new box) will still not be able to take advantage of the improved facilities.

Most surprisingly, there has been absolutely no publicity from BT telling us that the new service is up and running.

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