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Boxing Day Walk

Approximately 50 people joined the Boxing Day walk which this year followed the footpath from the Carlton Road passing Green's Spinney to Pavenham ridge returning along Pavenham Road. 26/12/03
Richard (Dick) Aitken
Dick Aitken passed peacefully away on Sunday 7 December 2003. Obituary

Christmas at St Mary's

A Christingle
A candle lit Christingle Service was held at St Mary's Church on Sunday 7 December. About 40 children accompanied by adults celebrated this ancient Morovian custom which celebrates the coming of Christmas. Children (and adults) were given Christingles and sang Silent Night. Both the candle lit midnight and the Christmas day services were well attended. 26/12/03

Banner in St Mary's used in Christmas card →

New P3 (Parish Paths Partnership) Coordinator
Felmersham and Radwell P3 Group gave a vote of thanks to Chris Ure when, after 4 years service as the P3 coordinator, he stood down. Chris has been an effective and hard working leader  of the group. The new coordinator is Carol Stork.
Each member of the group has taken responsibility for a path/bridleway in the parish. They will regularly walk them and ensure that the paths are accessible whilst at the same time establishing a good relationship with the land owner.
 Felmersham Remembers
A Service of Remembrance was held in St Mary's church on Sunday 9 November followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial. The services were well attended with more than forty people attending the wreath laying ceremony. Both services were conducted by the Rev David Mason, organist: Pam fforde, trumpet player: Nigel Doggett, wreath was laid by Geoff Hulatt with Fred Turner in attendance. 10/11/03
The wreath laid in St Mary's church.
Parish Show and Fair
Fine sunny weather helped to created a pleasant afternoon for the Parish Show and Fair held on Sunday 7 September 2003. There were a good number of entries for the Village Show held in the village hall. Teas and activities were provided in Harrowdene Paddock.
In the morning the Patronal Festival was held in St Mary's Church, which was also well attended. More on the Show and Fair
Harvest Festival at St Mary's

Both the morning and evening services were well attended for the Harvest Festival on Sunday 5 October. The evening service was intended to appeal to all Christian faiths. Afterwards coffee was served and funds were raised  for the "Harvest for the Hungry Appeal" through the sale of donated produce.  5/10/03

Part of a floral display in the church.

Autumn in Felmersham
This year the autumnal colours in Felmersham have been especially beautiful. Photo taken 21/10/03

Radwell Car Torched
A Ford Fiesta Zetec parked on a drive near Radwell Bridge was torched by arsonists at around 4.30am a few days ago. Damage amounted to £11,000, the police are believed to have a suspect. 18/8/03

Lower School's Temporary Classroom Arrives

Pinchmill Lower School has taken delivery of a portacabin to be used as a temporary class room. This is a measure of the success of the school. Only a short time ago the school's future was in doubt because of falling pupil numbers!
The Preschool are relocating from the Village Hall Committee Room to their own self-contained accommodation on the former swimming pool site in the grounds of Pinchmill Lower School. This will also be a portacabin.  £2600 was raised towards the cost of the Preschool building during a door-to-door collection in the parish. 14/8/03

Within minutes of listening to a report on the urbanisation of the countryside the Parish Council approved a proposal to install bollards on the footpath at the junction of Grange Road with The High Road in order to prevent motorists parking on the path. The Council appeared not to realise the irony of their decision.
Comment: Parking on the path is an offence, a cheaper way would be to threaten the offenders with prosecution. After all the Council has provided off road parking in the High Road.

Village Hall AGM
At the Village Hall AGM in March the committee was elected as follows:

Janet Cook  Chairman
Marjorie Pipe  Vice Chairman
Peter Rankin   Secretary
Bill Pearce   Treasurer
Janet Kitchen
   Bookings Secretary and Keyholder

Keith Rose     Maintenance
Edith Caldwell   WI Representative
Linda Rance  Pre-School Rep.
Miranda Doggett  PSA Rep.
Margery Evers  Brownies Rep.
Gill Peck   Pinchmill School Rep.
Only six people turned up, but it was a lively meeting! 29/03/03
Sunflower Competition 2003
Candice and Peter Rankin are once again organising a Sunflower competition for the tallest sunflower. All parishioners are invited to take part.
More details......  
New Parish Council
At the May Council meeting, David Cook was re-elected chairman and Mike Thomas vice-chairman. New members were required to sign the Code of Conduct. Re-elected Borough Councillor Jim Brandon was in attendance. 7/5/03
Bank Trim
Notes taken at the Parish Council Meeting
The bank verge in Hunts Lane is to be tidied in June and finally after a two year wait the Felmersham post box is to receive a coat of paint.
Drains in the parish are still not being properly cleaned with the result that some roads are flooding, the Parish Council are registering their dissatisfaction with the Borough Council over this issue. New bus Shelters have been ordered for Felmersham and Radwell.
The parish has a total allocation of £4000 to spend on path and road improvements. Resurfacing The High Road path from Trinity Close to Hunts Lane was discussed. The council discussed the possibility of extending the lay-by at Swansholme in order to accommodate school pickup parking.
Carlton and Chellington Historical Society
REGULAR monthly meetings on the third Thursday of the month at 8.00 p.m., in Carlton Village Hall on topics of local or more general historical interest. Mike Benson

Harvesting starts in the Parish

Harvesting started in the parish on 13 July . The photo shows a Claas Lexion 480 Combine Harvester cutting a field of barley. Launched in February this year the Harvester is fitted with rubber half tracks, a cutter bar up to 9 metre wide and a grain tank with a capacity of 10 tons. This field was recently up for sale and a group of parishioners failed in an attempt to purchase it for recreational purposes. 15/7/03

Riseley Home Hoppa Scheme
Parish Council Notes: Riseley Parish has received a grant to pay for the Home Hoppa to take young people into Bedford, in the evenings, and bring them back. Could Felmersham and Radwell young people benefit from such a scheme?  Bromham Parish Council has invested in their own security at a cost of £13 per rate payer, per year. Drainage has been improved on the corner by the Memorial. Four councillors are to investigate the feasibility of setting up a A Vital Village group within the parish. Bus shelters in Felmersham and Radwell will be erected shortly 4/7/03

Bulk Refuse Collection
Bulk Refuse Collection dates
Radwell: near the bus shelter on Saturday 10 May  3.00pm to 5.00pm
Felmersham: Marriotts Close on Sunday 11 May 1.00pm to 3.00pm

Vital Village Project
Rural life is facing some tough challenges with the closure of village shops, banks and post offices, a lack of public transport ... these are common problems which have led many communities to take local action. The Vital Villages programme is making a real difference. It puts community decision-making in the hands of the people who live there, and it gives grants, quickly, in order to make things happen.
The Parish Council is interested to known if there is support for this scheme in our parish. Scheme Details

Radwell Swan Causes Power Failure
Swans are killing themselves by flying into the power cables near Radwell bridge.

Early Tuesday evening (4/3/03) another swan hit the power cables at Radwell causing an interruption of the power supply to the parish.
One parishioner is particularly upset and asks that you write letters of complaint to various agencies.
"Even if you do not care about the fate of swans you could loose vital information on your PC during one of these power outages! So why not complain?"

Swan Death tally 2003 - Record of known deaths caused by swans flying into the wires. Saturday 9 February; Tuesday 4 March; Wednesday 12 March
Patches of swan feathers littering the ground indicate many swan fatalities in the recent past.
This is not a new problem. Dead swans are a regular sight on this stretch of land and have been for several years.  However, these past two or three years have seen an enormous increase in the number of swans killed. For more details see
Soapbox  10/2/03
New Year Floods and Festivities

Continual heavy rain caused flooding throughout the region. Flood water was over 2 ft deep on the north and south approach roads to Felmersham and Radwell. The photograph shows the unusual sight of the flood water extending into Hunts Lane. Contrast this view of Felmersham bridge with the photo at the bottom of page.
Panoramic view of floods    Images of 1998 floods

On one of the few recent fine days, about 40 people saw in the new year outside the flood lit church in Church End. As the church clock struck midnight the champagne filled glasses were raised to 2003.
Many people felt that this should become a Felmersham tradition whereby groups and individuals come together as a community to see in the new year.
(The millennium year was also similarly seen in.) 1/1/03
← Roadside flood depth gauge.

Candlelight Wedding

The wedding of Katie Rhodes to Giuseppe Roggerone was held on
6 December 2003 at St Mary's Church.

The reception was held at Holdenby House, Northamptonshire. 6/12/2003

Rowan's Royal Litter

Rowan, a black flat coated retriever, is fostering a litter of 10 orphaned pups whose mother died in child birth. She was shown the day old pups and within minutes she was feeding all ten and now regards them as her own. Rowan's owners, Roger and Bev Foreman of Felmersham, think that the pups will have a serious identity crisis when they grow up for whilst Rowan is a retriever the pups are .......corgis! They are pleased to say that they are going home when they are weaned! 16/11/03

Parish Speed Watch Scheme
Once again no motorists were caught speeding when the police recently conducted speed checks in the parish. However the Parish Council believes that motorists speeding through the village are a danger and have expressed interest in a Parish Speed Watch Scheme. This involves trained local volunteers who operate speed monitoring equipment and record the registration number of speeding motorists. The scheme is currently being piloted at Heath and Reach and could be introduced county wide next year.
Portable electronic slow down signs were also a possibility again operated by trained local people.

Pat Walker
Pat Walker, formerly of 1 Memorial Lane, Felmersham, died peacefully at his home in South Africa on 4th November. Pat was a ‘regular’ at Church Coffee mornings, there will be many people in the village who will remember him and his wife Alix. 6/11/03

Bus Service Withdrawal Scare

Bus drivers have been advising local bus users that the Felmersham and Radwell bus services will be withdrawn end of November. Whilst it is true that Stagecoach is considering withdrawing some services within the county the Company is in discussion with BCC and no decisions have yet been made.
Litter and Dog Fouling Problem

Litter is still a problem in the parish and a questioner at the Parish Council meeting asked what could be done about it. Large items are collected by the Borough Council however general litter is collected by several community spirited people.  They are the unsung heroes of the parish who keep the parish tidy for all of us. Naturally anybody can have a go. Members of the Parish Council stated that there has been a recent out break of dog fouling in the The High Road. Dog fouling is an offence. Bins have been provided.
Radwell Pumping Station Fixed
Flooding at Radwell sewage pumping station has been fixed. "In order to avoid a reoccurrence of the problem Moor End residents  should use the lavatory in the morning whilst the rest of the village should use the lavatory in the afternoon" suggests a local wag. 

Vital Village Project Adopted
The Parish Council is to launch a Vital Village project within the parish. Parishioners will be invited to a public meeting with the aim of explaining the purpose and objectives of the project. There is considerable enthusiasm within the Council for this project where it is seen as a vehicle for improving all aspects of parish life. Communication is seen as an important element of the project and one area under consideration is a Vital Village web site.
Vital Village Link   3/9/03

Speed Checks
The police regularly check the speed of motorists driving through the village. In their latest report to the Parish Council no motorists were found to be exceeding the speed limit.  3/9/03

High Speed Car Crash
In the early hours of Sunday 24 August a car crashed on the corner by the War Memorial ending up in the porch of "Chanterelle". The driver and passenger ran off but were caught by the police using their helicopter.
Earlier in the week three large round straw bales fell off a farm trailer into the path of a passing car on the High Road near the church. Nobody was hurt but the elderly driver and passenger were shaken. 

Thank you

Thanks to Karen and Jeff for planting pansies in the two planters near the bus shelter and also thanks to the person who painted the old cast iron water hydrant near the church. 30/9/03  Comment; What we need now is for a community spirited person to volunteer to paint the other hydrants (Smooth Hammerite - Black) and to gold leaf the lions head (not gold paint, it tarnishes within weeks!). Have a word with the Parish Council first.

3.5 metre Sunflower is a Winner

Candace and Peter organised the Annual Sunflower Competition and judging took place on Sunday 24 August 2003 at a garden party held in their garden.
There were 34 entries and the overall winner for the tallest sunflower was Ken with a sunflower height of 138 ins. (3.5 metres). Ken challenged the village and especially the Sun with the comment  "This sets a new standard which villagers will find hard to beat!"
Competitions were held for children and refreshments were served. Our thanks to Candace and Peter for all their hard work. More.......
← The winning entry        26/8/03

New Bus Shelters for Felmersham and Radwell

Felmersham and Radwell Parish Council have installed two new bus shelters in the parish for the convenience of passengers travelling to Sharnbrook and Rushden and for school children catching the school bus to Sharnbrook Upper. 29/7/03

Path Repair

Part of the £4000 allocated by the Borough Council to the Parish Council budget for highway repair has been spent on repairing the pavement in the High Road from Trinity Close to The Old School.

Broadband comes to Felmersham and Radwell on 3 Sept
BT have announced that Broadband will be available from the 3 September 2003 for the following telephone numbers: 01234 78****  Subject to certain line tests.
You are advised to seek the best broadband deal to suit your needs. There is a range of download speeds to choose from and the monthly subscription rate is priced accordingly. 7/08/03

Computer Training
90 minute tuition sessions held in the computer bus parked at Felmersham Village Hall every Friday morning commencing in October. Bus fully equipped with latest technology including internet. Classes included: Beginners, Database, Word Processing, Publishing, Spreadsheets and Internet. Ring 781722 for coarse details.

Litter On the Increase  Editorial Comment

Litter in the Nature Reserve Car park.
Whilst this is private land, it still illustrates the problem of litter thrown everywhere.

Those who regularly holiday abroad are always aware upon returning to the UK just what a litter strewn country we live in. There is litter everywhere and most believe it is on the increase.
We are fortunate in this parish because there are one or two dedicated people who pick up most of the litter. Without their resolve the problem would be much worse. Our Mayor was elected on a "Better Bedford" ticket which included cleaning up the Borough. There is no evidence yet that his policy is working in our parish or the Borough!  23/2/03

Vauxhall Centenary 1000 mile Trial pass thro' Felmersham
 Approximately 50 Vauxhall cars representing the Company's products from 1903-2003 toured Britain in a reproduction of the famous event that took place in 1908. They passed through Felmersham on Friday 9 May 2003.


Ian and Margaret Comber from Felmersham in their 1930s Vauxhall

Jim Brandon Elected
Jim Brandon the local Independent candidate has won the Carlton Ward of the Bedford Borough Council by an overwhelming majority. 2/5/03




953 votes







Lib Dem









Barn Fire
Vandals may have been responsible for a barn fire near Dropshort Cottages along the concrete road. The Fire service was called out over the weekend of 26/27 April to deal with a barn full of burning straw.  30/4/03

New Parish Council
Due to insufficient candidates standing for Felmersham Parish Council the following nominated candidates are elected: David Cook; Mike Thomas; Peter Hartop; Geoff Hulatt; Marjorie Pipe; Chris Poulter and Maggie Spoor. 15/4/03

Road Closure at Milton Ernest

The Radwell road through Milton Ernest will be closed from 3 March to 31 March between 09.30 hrs and 15.30 hrs.

Broadband Initiative
Are you interested in having Broadband? If you have a Sharnbrook exchange number (781/2/3...) then Register your interest and help to bring forward the projected date for converting the exchange to broadband. BT need 200 names, you are not committed even if you register!
East of England Development Agency (EEDA) are working towards giving the region Broadband access and they would like you to also register your interest


 Historical Barn Repaired

Parsons Barn at the bottom of The Old Road has been recently repaired. The stone wall to the left of the barn opening had fallen down and it has been rebuilt. Historically Parsons barn is as important as the tithe barn. The tithe barn was built in 1428 to store the parish tithes and Parsons barn was built circa 1766 as part of a compensation package for the loss of tithes following the Enclosure of the parish. 24/1/03
New Farm and More End Farm including Parsons Barn are for sale. Details

Chellington Church Appeal for £700K

In the 1970s Chellington church took on a new life as a diocesan youth centre. However whilst the building is structurally sound the standards of accommodation , cooking facilities, disabled access and toilets have fallen below modern health and safety standards for children and it can no longer be used. An appeal has been launched to enable the facilities to be modernised. Chellington is a diocesan Out Reach project and offers young city children the opportunity to cook, go on midnight walks, sleep outside and have an appreciation for the countryside. 24/12/02
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