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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (https://www.janmillwardpoetry.com/)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.