Astro Turf Notice Board

The Astro is open for business

First paving slab received at OBH

Willie Crawshay, Chairman of the Astro Appeal, popped into school this week to deliver the first engraved paving stone to be laid on the spectator area alongside the new Astro. More than 80 such stones will be delivered in the coming weeks and it is anticipated that the spectator area will be paved during the Easter holidays.

The Astro Appeal still needs to raise a further £20,000 in order to reach its target.


Kick boards and more sand!

This week the contractors have been trying to get some sand down onto the carpet. In order for them to lay the sand it has to be dry, which is why recently it has been so difficult. To enable us to play on the surface we have to have a minimum of 60 tonnes of sand laid. At present we have just over 30. We need some more dry and windy weather so that the sand will settle into the surface and we can then put another layer on top of it. In the mean time they have been busy finishing off the kickboards, which are the wooden boards around the edge of the pitch. They are covering the wooden planks with blue turf which looks fantastic and it will stop the hockey balls causing any damage to the fence. We all are keeping our fingers crossed for some more dry weather!

Toys4Astro Update

A very big thank you from Barnarby Anderson to all those who kindly donated toys for Barnaby’s Toys4Astro Toy Stall at the Christmas Fayre.  Over £300 was raised which is a magnificent achievement.


Waiting for the weather!

They have finished laying the turf this week and have started to work on the outside of the pitch to ‘make good’ all the areas that have been churned up by the machinery.

This is a critical point for the astro as we are waiting for some dry, and slightly warmer temperatures to lay the sand. The sand cannot be put down when it is damp as it will just sit on the surface of the turf and will not penetrate the fibres of the carpet. Hopefully over the next month this will be possible, but we are in the hands of the weather gods!


Making good and path laying

This week the work force have finished the actual laying of the pitch and are concentrating on the surrounding areas. The pathway up to the astro has been prepared ready for the tarmac and the gravel spectator area has been laid.
On the pitch the blue kick boards still need to be fitted and once that has been done early next week, they will start to put the sand down.
The pitch looks amazing, please do go and have a look!


Carpet progress!

It has been a good week for the carpet layers.

Good weather has allowed the men to press on and finish laying most of the carpet. The kick boards and some of the blue surround still need to be laid but I am pleased to say that it is down and looks fantastic.

The next phase begins with laying the 100 tonnes of sand, which needs dry weather for it to settle. The pitch will look like a beach to start with, but as the sand settles through the surface it will become clear. The process may take a week or two depending on the weather.


Carpet laying

It has been a tricky week for the contractor’s. Cold temperatures and plenty of wet weather has made the process slow, but they have made excellent progress despite the conditions.

All the sand has now arrived which the contractors will begin to place on completed parts of the carpet to brush in at a later date. We are all hoping for some dryer weather next week to allow the contractors to make up some time in the next week or two.

If you have a moment go down to have a look at what they have done so far,  it looks fantastic and the children are very excited about it!


Carpet Delivery

Monday was an exciting day with the carpet arriving around mid-morning. Two truckloads of rolls, which needed fork lift vehicles to lift each roll, came up the drive.

It took them all day just to off load the carpet which was placed  at  various points around the astro. Due to some difficult weather conditions the actual laying of the carpet has been slow but we hope that it should be completed in the next week or so.

There is still a lot of work to do around the site, but with some dry weather coming our way we hope to make good progress.

Week 7 and 8 Fencing and Shock pad Installation

It has been a very busy two weeks for the contractors, and despite some rather ‘blowy’ conditions they have worked hard to stay on track.

The first week of half term was dry and mild which was ideal for them to finish the fencing and install all of the double and single gates.  The fencing had to be finished first before they could start to lay the shock pad, which is the rubber beneath the carpet. It gives the pitch a slightly springy feel to it and helps to protect the knees from impact injuries; albeit too late for me anyway! The shock pad is melted rubber mixed with a binding agent which requires dry weather to lay it.

I have been very impressed with the contractors so far, they really have worked in some terrible conditions and last Monday was no exception! High winds battered them about but it did not stop them from starting to lay the shock pad, and it only took them three days to complete. A fantastic effort. Whilst this was going on they started to work on the landscaping which you can see in the photos, it will take a few months to settle in but they have done a great job in blending the pitch into the rest of the park.

We are now awaiting the arrival of the carpet which should be here next Monday. It will take a full week to put down, if the weather is dry and another week to sweep the sand into it. The pitch will take a few months to settle in, and it will appear to be very sandy at first. The sand will eventually move down through the carpet which will give the pitch a cleaner look to it.

This is a very exiting period of development, and if the weather holds we might even be able to get on to the pitch this term! We shall see. I am looking forward to the next stage of fundraising for the lights; I hope we can have as much fun raising the money for them as we did for the pitch!

As ever, I am very grateful to everyone who has helped with the Astro, and I look forward to raising a glass or two, to you all at the Sports Dinner.

Tarmac completion and fencing

This week the crew have finished the tarmac and started with the fencing.

The surface is now awaiting the ‘shock pad’ which will only arrive once the fencing has been completed, in order that the surface is kept clean and free of any wildlife!

For the shock pad to be laid we must have dry weather for the glue to set, so fingers crossed there! They estimate that the shock pad should be laid by the end of half term, ready for the arrival of the carpet the following week.

They have also been working on the spectators area which runs 80m alongside the pitch. We will in due course lay the engraved paving slabs there but not until later next term.

Great progress again and now it is a race against the incoming snow!


Week 3

The final layer of stone was laid this week in preparation for the tarmac to be laid.   The crew have worked very hard to get it all down and compacted ready for the next stage. The whole site should be tarmacked by the middle of next week in readiness for the next set of contractors to come in and start laying the shock pad, on which the astro carpet will lie.

Meanwhile they have started the fencing, which should take a couple of days to complete. The recent good weather has enabled the contractors to make very good progress.

I had the privilege of standing on site yesterday with our Chairman of the Astro Committee, Willie Crawshay together with other members of the Committee.   We all found it difficult to believe that only a year ago we were in the planning stage for launching our appeal at the Sports dinner! What an amazing effort by all!


Astro Update:Week 2 Cut & Fill

The work force have really made excellent progress this week and despite the ugly weather at times managed to move plenty of dirt!

This week is all about ‘cut and fill’ which as I understand it, means that they are moving the soil around to level up the base. Using lasers and various other hi- tech measuring devices they can level up the surface to within .6mm of perfection! I was lucky enough to get a guided tour from one of the contractors the other day, who told me that the ‘job’ was going well and he predicted an on time finish, not that I want to jinx the project of course.

I seem to spending most of my time keeping the children off what has now become an ‘awesome dirt track for the bikes’, as one of the Year 8 boys told me yesterday, but I guess you can’t blame them for trying!


Week Commencing 9th September

The Astro is well under way now with the removal of the top soil this week and the  ground levelled ready for compacting next week. Excellent progress has been made and while the weather is good the contractors should be able remain on schedule. Some of the top soil has been moved to create ‘buns’, or spectator mounds for  those of us not familiar with the term . This is of course additional to the spectator areas which will be built and paved alongside the pitch.

It is great to see such great progress after a week’s work and the children are getting very excited about the progress as well. Please do pop down to check the progress, you will be surprised with how big the site is!


Work begins

It was a warm Tuesday morning when the work traffic started to roll into Brettenham Park and a certain middle-aged slightly battle worn Director of Sport sprang out of bed as if it was Christmas morning.

“Their here, their here”  I shouted, obviously incurring the wrath of Mrs D who disappeared back under the covers muttering under her breath!

It was the day which I had been waiting for, for three years. The start of construction, for our very own Astroturf.

Work has begun and the Park will be a very busy place over the next few weeks, and if the weather stays fair we should be on for a middle to end November completion. So much of it depends on the weather, especially when it comes to laying the carpet towards the back end of the project. We will keep you all updated on progress, with photos of course, but please do pop along to the site to see for yourselves.

We hope that we will be able to get some use out of the surface this term and we will be working hard to ensure that the girls are playing various hockey fixtures on it next term as well. This is such an exciting time for OBH and I would like to thank everyone for their support and tremendous generosity for helping us, I am sure that all the children are very appreciative!

Mr Drake
September 2013


OBH Illustration

Lorna Maxwell’s Amazing Illustrative cartoon of Old Buckenham Hall and it’s residents raised £2,800 at Auction.

We are now selling 62 cm x 56 cm prints of this fabulous painting for all to enjoy as a memory of life at OBH.


Please order your print from the School Office by completing the sign up sheet as soon as possible and the Committee will endeavor to have prints ready for collection by Speech Day.


Gastronomical Cookbook

Sophie Grant’s cook book has now gone to the printers and will be on sale at Speech Day 6th July and it will cost £10.00 per copy, £7 of which will go direct to the Astro fund and the remainder will go to production costs.



The Astro Ball Committee would like to thank all those at OBH who were involved in making the party such a huge success!
Hannah and Jo in the office for their support throughout this event. Mr. Bunting for his IT skills! Special thanks to Janice and Tina who worked extremely hard before and after the event. Thank you to Jane behind the scenes in the kitchen. Thank you to David Mitchell and his team who were fantastic. And lastly, a huge thank you to the Year 8’s who were involved with the Silent Auction—they did an amazing job.
An update of the Astro Appeal progress will follow shortly.

Astronomical Run Update – April 2013

A huge well done to all the children for a fantastic all round effort last term. So far we have collected £5,400 with still plenty of sponsor forms to be returned.
Please can I ask all parents that if they still have the sponsor forms/money at home could they bring it into school before the deadline next Friday 3rd May.
Well done to you all and a big thank you to the parents for all your help!

The Gastronomical Cookbook

My name is Sophie Grant and I am in year 7 at OBH. I am writing to you to see if you would be able to help me with my fund raising idea for the school astro. I love cooking and I thought it would be good idea to collect recipes from pupils, friends, family and staff of OBH and create a recipe book, the profits of which will go to the astro fund. The book will be called ‘The Gastronomical Cookbook’.

It will be about 100 pages long, with some colour pictures. I am hoping it will be a book that everyone will want to buy. The book will cost £10 and I would like to raise at least £1000 for the astro fund. The book will be available in June.

If you would like to take part, please send me your favourite recipe and give me permission to use it in my book. You could also say a few words about why you like it. If you want to send a photo of the finished dish or of you making it that would be great.

My Mum and Dad are helping me and we have set up a simple website. The website,, explains a little more about this idea and has information on how to give your recipe including providing a template for sending it via the website and a section for pre-ordering your book. By pre-ordering your book this gives us a good idea how many we need to publish. All contact details are also on the website if you have any questions.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you very much


Astronomical Summer Ball 15th June 2013

Thank you to all those parents who have very generously supported us to date. We are still looking for lots more, so if you have something to donate – all contributions large or small will be gratefully received.

Please contact Caroline Wheeler –

Boys’ Hockey 1st VII

1st VII Finish off the season as joint 3rd in the Country

Thursday was a special day for the 1st VII as they played in the National IAPS Hockey Finals. The long journey down meant a late arrival in Glastonbury on Wednesday night but the excitement was high as we arrived at Millfield Senior School to see 20 very strong hockey playing schools.

The day started perfectly with wins in the group stages against Beeston 4-1, Lambrook 2-1 and The Downs 1-0. This meant a last group game against Brandeston and in a superb game a 1-1 draw meant that OBH were second in the group on goaldifference which set up a quarter final in the main cup competition against Millfield. Two years ago at the U11 Nationals a 1-1 draw in the group stages had allowed Millfield to go on to win the tournament and the OBH team were determined it was going to be a win this year. The team played with great spirit and 0-0 at full time meant golden goal extra time which saw the team score an excellent goal to secure a place in the semi-final. Another fantastic game with Gresham’s ended 1-1, even after golden goal extra time, so it was down to penalty flicks and luck ran out as we went down 2-3 on flicks.

This was a performance of the highest standard and one which the team can be extremely proud of. So close to the National Finals and the best place that the school has ever finished. Throughout the competition, from the regionals to the finals the team did not lose a game and silver ware was only missed by the narrowest of margins.

The boys support for one another during the highs and lows of the days was wonderful to see and something that is so special at OBH. The encouragement from the parents who made the long journey helped the team so much and the season ends with many memories to take away of some outstanding hockey.

Astronomical Fun Run

I just wanted to say a massive thank you to all children and parents that came to raise some money on Monday. The sun even made a brief appearance and as ever the children did not let us down with their costumes.

Seeing the whole school out running, walking and skipping around the cross country course made me feel very proud of the whole OBH team.

Thank you to you all, Nick Drake