Archive 2007

Felmersham and Radwell
news and comment.

Grapevine Archive Index

Annual Boxing Day Walk - P3 Group
Twenty five walkers joined the P3 Group's Annual Boxing Day walk  Once again several children joined the walk and enjoyed the winter sunshine.
New Brownie Programme

Tawny Owl (Pat Keeble) has announced the Brownie programme for the spring term which starts on 10 January 2008.
Part of the programme involves working towards two new badges, one of which is shown on the right.
For more details go to the Brownie page.

New Seat for Margaret Alleway Garden

Karen and Jeff Stokley sitting on the seat which they gave to the Parish for the Margaret Alleway Garden. Both this seat and an earlier one donated by Ruth Coxon offer visitors scenic views over the Ouse Valley. Our thanks to Karen and Jeff who also supplied a new litter bin.  24/11/07

29 Swans Found Dead

Following a report to Bedfordshire Police 29 swans were found buried near a lake at Radwell.
The Police are investigating along with the RSPB to establish how the swans died, however it is believed they were shot over the weekend of 6/7 October.
Anyone with information should contact the Bedfordshire Police

in confidence on 01234 841212, the RSPB or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Photo BBC.  10/10/07
Macmillan Cancer Support
Paula Turvey write: Results from Felmersham and Radwell’s part in the Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. We raised a total of £469,99, which includes a fantastic contribution of £66.80 from the children at Pinchmill Lower School.
A very big Thank you to all who supported the Event at Pinchmill Hall on Friday 28th September.  11/10/07

Mary Ditmas 1912 - 2007

An obituary Including photograph of Mary as a Lieutenant in the ATS.

Autumn Show Results 2007

The entries and results of the Autumn Show

Dorothy's Debut  
A feline first
Sponsored Walk
Felmersham walkers taking part in the Beds and Herts Historic Churches Trust sponsored Bike ‘n Hike on Saturday 9 Sept. They walked 7 miles and visited six churches, raising £102.50 in sponsorship (divided equally between BHHTC and St Marys Church).
Photograph taken by Barry Welsh and shows the walkers at Carlton with Harrold church in the background. 11/9/07
London Wedding for Hannah

The wedding of Hannah Hartop (originally from Felmersham) and youngest daughter of Pat and Peter Hartop, to Lawrence Henry from Hadley Wood, London, took place on Saturday July 21st at the Old Marylebone Town Hall, London.
On leaving the hall the guests were then taken by a Special Wedding London red bus to Westminster Pier for a cruise on the River Thames with a champagne and canapé reception. This was followed by an evening reception with dinner and live entertainment at the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane. In spite of a few showers on the day a wonderful happy day was had by all.
Photo of the Bride and Groom.  7/9/07 Search Engine
As increases in size, finding that "vital" piece of information about Felmersham or Radwell becomes increasingly difficult. To facilitate a faster search a Search Box has been added to the Main Index page. Try it out you'll be surprised at what you will find! Note: The search engine will not find recent additions to the site.

Brownies' Page Updated
The Brownies' page has been updated with the autumn programme.

Watch this
How about having a go at this?

Margaret Alleway Garden Opened

The Margaret Alleway Memorial Garden was opened on Sunday 19 August 2007. The land was purchased by the Felmersham and Radwell Community Trust as a memorial to the Trust's benefactor and to provide a parish recreational area next to the River Ouse.
When completed the garden will be managed by the Parish Council. The photograph shows the chairman of the Parish Council, Cllr Peter Hartop, giving an opening address during a lunchtime parish gathering and picnic. The garden was formerly opened by Truus Boyce who was a personal friend of Margaret Alleway. 19 Aug 07
Video of Garden (1.6MB)  Garden Panoramic (554KB)


Until recently has been hosted free of charge on the original server. However the allocated freeserve web space was proving insufficient so has transferred to a new account. This means that the original freeserve address is no longer valid. In future please only use the domain address.
Almost all search engines etc point to the old address this means that until the new IP address has propagated throughout the internet, search engines will show that the Felmersham and Radwell web site is unavailable. 19 July 07

20mph Speed Limit Proposal
Fast traffic within the two communities was considered to be a major issue by respondents to the Parish Plan questionnaire. As a result, the Traffic and Transport Committee (formed as a result of Parish Plan initiative) has recommended to the Parish Council that 20mph speed limits are introduced within the parish. The Parish Council has taken this suggestion "on board" and will seek advice from BCC. Speed activated signs will also be purchased through a special fund allocated to the parish. The issue of installing traffic lights on Radwell bridge will again be raised with BCC.

Parish Council Notes
Notes taken at the Parish Council meeting held on 3 July 07.
Cllr Peter Hartop elected chairman and Cllr Marjorie Pipe elected vice chairman. Other portfolio holders are listed under the Parish Council link.
Three litter bins have been purchased for use at the three new bus shelters. The go-ahead was given to print anti-litter posters produced by Pinchmill School children. These will be displayed around parish.
A letter of reassurance was received from BCC regarding the future relationship between the Village Hall and Pinchmill School when it attains trust status. The Parish Council is to arrange a meeting with BCC to clarify the situation.
Parishioners with trees and bushes overhanging public paths and roads will receive a letter from the PC requesting that they cut them back to the boundary.
Funding was made available to produce a "What's On in Felmersham and Radwell" booklet which will be delivered to every household in the parish. This was a recommendation made by the Communications Committee,
formed as a result of Parish Plan initiative. 5/7/07

Neighbourhood Watch Update
Neighbourhood Watch has been updated with new information. 10/6/07

Choral Concert in St Mary's

On Saturday 19 May Janet Welsh conducted the the combined choirs of Kempston Musical Society and The Ouse Valley Singers in a choral concert which included works by Vivaldi, Parry, Rutter and Stanford. Soloists were Miranda Doggett of Felmersham and Jane Emmanuel of Radwell (Right). Photo: Barry Welsh 29/5/07

Gravel Extraction Meeting held in Felmersham
A public meeting was held on 14th May at Pinchmill Hall, to hear details of the proposed BCC Mineral Development Plan followed by a discussion. Approximately 120 people attended. For more information call Brian Smith 781443.
Details of Beds County Council Online Surveys and Consultations 14/5/07

"Historic" Parish Council Meeting

Cllr Maggie Spoor writes: The Parish Council meeting in May was held in St Mary's church. This was an historic meeting. Parish Councils have their origins in the Courts held by the Lord of the Manor to manage the land, rotate agriculture and regulate agricultural jobs.

In 1601, the legislators conferred upon church vestries the power of levying a poor rate. Everyone in the parish was entitled to attend Church Vestry Meetings but in practice the work fell to a few individuals, rather like Parish Councils today!

This arrangement continued until the nineteenth century when there was a major overhaul of the local government system. In 1834 the Poor Law Amendment Act removed from Parish Vestries the responsibility for poor relief. This was followed in 1894 by the Local Government Act which created institutions having a civil origin - the Parish Meeting and the Parish Council. It transferred the civil functions of the older parish authorities to the new institutions. As a result, the church was excluded from formal participation in local government. It is therefore quite possible that there has not been a Parish Council meeting in the church since 1894 (unless anyone knows differently). M Spoor. 16/05/07

Children Raise Funds for Keech
Ten children from our parish have received a letter of thanks from Keech Cottage children's hospice for their very hard work in organising a fundraising event during the Easter break. They raised £33.40.
Well done all of you. 2/5/07

Message From Di and Pete Stephenson
Di and Pete recently moved to Cornwall. Click here for their newsletter.

Bat Rescue
Neil Turvey writes: "I found a bat in our garden pond one morning last week - having put the bat in a dry shoe box I contacted the Bat Conservation Trust and they advised me how to deal with creature. After warming the bat in my gloved hands for about 10 minutes it shivered into action and holding my hands about 5 feet above the ground, as advised, the bat flew off towards the river.
It has caused much interest in the local bat fraternity - much discussion about the species - the consensus being a Whiskered Bat which is apparently a rare find in this part of the country or possibly a Brandt's Bat - apparently it is very difficult to identify bats without key measurements being taken."
Photo: Neil  25/4/07
Proposed North Bedfordshire Trust (NBT)

Sharnbrook Upper School is considering acquiring a single shared Trust. Sharnbrook Upper has always operated within a pyramid of schools called Learning Community 7 (LC7). There are nineteen schools that comprise LC7 and all have been invited to be partner schools within the shared Trust umbrella. Many are considering this option while others have already formally decided, like Sharnbrook, to be a full partner school. There are six partner schools that have passed a formal governors’ resolution to become part of a single shared Trust. These are:
· Lincroft Middle School
· Harrold Priory Middle School
· John Gibbard Lower School
· Margaret Beaufort Middle School
· Sharnbrook Upper School
· Turvey Lower School

All of these schools will have to consult formally with stakeholders and follow statutory procedures including the publication of Public Notices.
Four external partners have also agreed to support Sharnbrook's aspirations by agreeing to be part of the Trust. These are:

· Unilever Research
· Cranfield University
· Bedford College of FE
· Capita

Invitations to be part of the Trust have also been extended to the Oracle Education Foundation. They have indicated their enthusiasm for the Trust. It is possible, therefore, for the Trust partnership to grow over time.
Source: Proposed North Bedfordshire Trust  

Gravel Extraction Consultation at Felmersham

Bedfordshire County Council held a minerals extraction consultation meeting in Pinchmill Hall on Wednesday 18 April 2007. The consultation was well attended with parishioners discussing the Mineral Development Plan with council officers.

The photo shows Andrew Brown the Principal Planning Officer - Minerals and Waste talking to parishioners. Mr Brown wishes to thank Felmersham Parish Council for organising the meeting. Details of the local Development Plan can be viewed at
Bedfordshire Online - Mineral Supplementary Issues  18/4/07

Spring Letter

From Rita and Dave Hope (formerly living in Radwell) who now live in Oregon, near Portland, USA
Dealing with an Emergency
At their March meeting Felmersham and Radwell Parish Council were given a presentation by Mr Vladek Cirin on Emergency Planning Awareness. Bedfordshire and Luton Councils have jointly formed a support group to co-ordinate the emergency services and other agencies should a major incident happen.
With a main line railway running through our parish we may have to cope with a major railway incident. With dozens of emergency vehicles requiring access and a lot of media interest, the scene could quickly become chaotic unless some previous planning was in place. As the Head of Civil Contingencies & County Emergency Planning Mr Cirin has produced an Emergency Awareness Plan in order to ensure that all the emergency agencies are trained and prepared for any major incident.
At parish level we are advised to generate our own emergency plan and keep it up to date.
Rail accident at Sharnbrook station on the 4 Feb 1909 when an express goods from Manchester doing 60 mph crashed into a goods train standing at Sharnbrook station. The engine driver and fireman were killed and it took 13 hours to recover the bodies.
Felmersham Green
The Parish Council chairman reported at the March meeting that Beds County Council has removed the tree stumps on Felmersham Green (the area around bus shelter) and they propose re-aligning the paths and will decide whether to pollard the two remaining trees depending on their appearance during the coming season.
Radwell Green notice board will be repositioned and a seat will be installed.
Annual Litter Pick

Cllr Maggie Spoor has again organised the Annual Litter Pick in the Parish of Felmersham and Radwell. The photograph shows the Felmersham squad ready for action.
Comment: Litter in our parish is a big problem and if it were not for a few members of our community regularly picking up litter throughout the year then our parish verges would be covered in litter! We need to educate the offending adults and young people to take their litter home with them.

Essential Garden Work  
Some essential work has been carried out in the Margaret Alleway Memorial Garden. A Willow that had fallen into the river has been removed and a second willow in danger of falling onto the Jubilee Lawn has been cut down.

Working parties from the parish created the Jubilee Lawn in 1977 and it is hoped that similar working parties will help create the Margaret Alleway Memorial Garden.

The land was recently purchased by the FRCT on behalf of the parish. 

Photo: Peter Hartop.

Litter Pick
The next litter pick will be on Saturday 24th March. We’ll meet as usual by the bus shelter (near the church) in Felmersham, and by The Green in Radwell, at 10.00 am. All volunteers are welcome.
Maggie Spoor – 782031.

Glowing Ofsted Reports
Congratulations to both Pinchmill Lower School and Felmersham and Radwell Pre-school both of whom have received excellent Ofsted Reports.
The inspectors report for the Pre-school states:  "The quality and standards of the care are outstanding." "The quality and standards of the nursery education are outstanding." "The friendly, mature staff team are well-qualified and dedicated to the concept of quality childcare and education. This promotes highly positive outcomes for children." 2/2/07 
Link to Pre-school

Tree Stumps Removed
The County Council has removed the tree stumps from Felmersham Green (ie the area around the bus shelter). This is the first phase of the Parish Council's plan to improve the area after the four diseased horse chestnut trees were removed.

Nun Wood Planning Application

Bedford Borough Council has made no decision on the planning application for 16 x 125 metre maximum height wind turbines at Nun Wood. No recommendation has been made and no date set for the consideration of the planning application. 15/1/07

Parish Council Notes by Cllr Maggie Spoor
Important Note: All references to planning applications have been edited out of these notes.

At a meeting held on 2 January 2007: 4 Parish Councillors, the Clerk – Mrs Payne, 2 parishioners, Borough Councillor Brandon and County Councillor Mrs Gerson.

Villager Bus: the service has a new Manager and Treasurer. The finances are sound. Routes are being reviewed; less popular ones may be withdrawn eventually. Only bona fide community groups will be able to hire the Villager – there will be no private hire by individuals.

Highways: County Council has agreed to grind out the tree stumps on the green next to Felmersham bus shelter. The water leak south of Felmersham Bridge has been repaired. County Highways to be contacted regarding the verge along the footpath – Felmersham Road, Radwell and also outside Laburnum House, Radwell. During April 2007, County Highways will be looking at all speed limits in the county, as well as weight and lorry bans on certain routes. On 3 occasions between 15th January and 26th October the road from Felmersham to Odell Road will be closed for repair between the hours of 9.00am and 3.00pm.
We are awaiting quotes for the grass cutting.

Land alongside the Slipway, Felmersham: following the withdrawal of the original purchaser, The Margaret Alleway Trust has been offered the opportunity to purchase this plot of land for appropriate use by the community. The Parish Council has confirmed it would be prepared to undertake management of the site once all the preparatory work is complete (cut the grass, deal with trees, hedges and fences, install gates and seats). The Trust would retain ownership.

Councillors’ reports: Both Borough and County Councillors reported their respective Council have put in bids for Unitary Status under the Government’s White Paper on reorganisation of local government.

Parish Plan: Parish Plan Steering Committee will be requesting updates from the various action groups by the end of January. Housing issues will be dealt with by the Parish Council. In the first instance the Clerk will obtain a list of both listed buildings and those within designated conservation areas in the parish.

Finance: As reported from the November meeting, the precept for 2007/08 has been set at £12,500, one of the lowest in the county.
First result from the Parish Plan Community Services action group, litter bins will be purchased for the three new bus shelters.
Our Parish Clerk has to obtain e-mail. Most local government correspondence is sent this way. As Mrs Payne is Clerk to other parishes the cost can be shared, but is still estimated at £11 per week to include all materials, time, etc. It was agreed she would report back on the reaction of her other parish councils.

Date of next meeting, which is the Annual Parish Meeting, 6th March at 7.00pm in Pinchmill Hall. 10/1/07

£585.49 raised for Children in India

This year's Carol Service at St Mary's Church raised £585.49 in  support of a children's home in the town of Bapatla, Andhra Pradesh, South India. The home desperately needs educational and medical supplies.

The charity takes care of 270 boys and girls from desperate situations. All the children are from very poor families unable to cope. Forty of them are "complete orphans" and have been left to fend for themselves on the streets, or cruelly dumped at the railway station; others have only one parent alive, often in ill health, and struggling to bring up their family on their own. Increasingly children are likely to have lost a parent to HIV/Aids.
"To see such poor children grow into well mannered adults often able and eager to go to college or nursing training is heart-warming. Having them mature into responsible members of society completes a remarkable transformation." 18/12/07

David James Rhodes MB, FRCP

Over 300 people attended the funeral of Dr. David Rhodes at St Mary's Church, Felmersham on Saturday 22 December. The service was conducted by the Rev. David Mason and the Eulogies were given by Mr Michael Robinson (a fishing friend) and Mr Humphrey Collis (read by David Mason) a friend for more than 50 years. The Committal was held at the graveside.
David will be sadly missed both as a friend and a very respected physician. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

History in an Old Oak Tree
The story starts circa 1794 and finishes with a storm in January 2007. Take a look at this amazing piece of living history.

Neighbourhood Watch - Future Plans
Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer, Ian Hunter, gave a short presentation to the Parish Council on plans for the future of the Neighbourhood Watch scheme in April.
Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 promotes the practice of partnership working to reduce crime and disorder and places a statutory duty on police and local authorities to develop and implement a strategy to tackle problems in their area. In doing so, the responsible authorities are required to work in partnership with a range of other local public, private, community and voluntary groups and with the community itself.
Both the Parish Council and Neighbourhood Watch will be engaging in this new initiative. Links:
Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998
Neighbourhood Watch

Norwich Union MSA Classic Car Rally

One hundred and thirty cars on the Silverstone to Silverstone route drove through Felmersham and Radwell en route to Wimpole Hall on Sunday 14 October including local crews Ian & Margaret Coomber in a Vauxhall Hurlingham and Alan & Liz Pearson in an Austin Healey 3000.
The event has been revived after a ten year gap, with over 600 classic cars starting from Silverstone, York, Norwich, Bath and Epsom and all finishing at Silverstone.  This was the biggest assembly of classic cars in the country and the event was sold out within three weeks of its announcement leaving many crews disappointed. Margaret Coomber 13/10/07

Images of England
There are over 300,000 images on this English Heritage site, including 24 of Felmersham and Radwell. Click onto
Images of England and enter Felmersham in the search box.

Autumn Show Success
This years 9th Autumn Show attracted over 250 entries, an all time record. Both the Show and the Art Exhibition, by Felmersham and Radwell Art Group, were viewed by a large number of people. The WI provided teas.
Janet Cook Cook was this year's trophy winner with four first prizes.
Our thanks go to the organisers of the event. The Show: Maggie and Chris Spoor, Alan and Margaret Leach and Hilary Foot. The Art Exhibition: Brian Farman and Lorraine Shrimpton. 17/9/07
A Slimy Business
Peter Rankin amuses the Felmersham and Radwell Brownie Group with the remarkable properties of slime. Photo: Pat Keeble. 8/9/07
Bus Service Timetable Change
With effect from 3 Sept there is a small but important change to the M50 bus service to Bedford. The Monday to Friday 08.22 service has been rescheduled to depart Felmersham at 08.12 and depart Radwell at 08.15. View latest Timetable.

New Seat for River Garden

Ruth Coxon has kindly donated a seat to the parish and it has been installed in the Margaret Alleway Memorial Garden. Ruth is leaving the parish and moving south. She says that she has enjoyed sitting by the river  on the Jubilee Lawn with Murphy (her dog) and wished to give something back to the community. Thank you Ruth and we wish you well in your new home. 4 Sept 07

Three Counties Radio Visits Felmersham
Ernie Almond of BBC Three Counties radio visited Felmersham to record material for his programme which was broadcast on Sunday 9 September.

June Payne - An obituary

Celebration Recital Day at St Marys

Kate Ritchie asst organist, St Peters, Sharnbrook.
The New School of Organ Studies and The Bedfordshire Organ Association presented a Celebration Recital Day of fifteen minute recitals by local organists and students on the refurbished Nicholson organ at St Mary’s Church Felmersham on Saturday 16 June 2007. Sixteen organists played a variety of organ music including Pomp & Circumstance by E Elgar and Fanfare for Organ by J Lemmens. The event was organised by Colin Scott, organist at St Peters, Sharnbrook. Photograph: Colin Scott. 18/6/07
Confirmation at Turvey Church
Six candidates were confirmed by the Bishop of Bedford at Turvey church on the 26 June. The photograph shows the Bishop with the six candidates including Lorraine from Felmersham. 28/6/07 Quiz Competition – the answers
1. 24 secs;  2. Five;   3. Nine;   4. Rowland Field;
5. 1998;     6. February 2004;   7. Adam;   8. 38
9. Because of Spam;    10.;
11. Edward Evans;        12. Emma Mills.

Edith Brown 1916 - 2007

Edith (Edie) Brown - An Obituary. 31/5/07

Podington Windfarm - Planning Refused

Bedford Borough Council Planning Committee refused planning permission for the erection and operation of 9 Wind Turbines and associated infrastructure at Airfield Farm, Podington by 11 votes to 1. The photograph shows Brian and Blanche Smith being interviewed outside the Harpur Suite, Bedford before the planning meeting started.

Parish Council Notes

The meeting of Felmersham and Radwell Parish Council on 15th May was held in St Mary’s Church. The meeting opened with the swearing in of the new Council. Councillors Thomas, Pipe, Cook and Hartop were present. Councillors Keeble, Spoor and Hulatt had been sworn in previous to the meeting.
Although quorate, it was decided to postpone the election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman to the next meeting when more members of the Council would be present. Mr Hartop will continue as Chairman until then.
Items discussed:
Pinchmill Lower School wishes to seek Trust Status.
Gravel extraction. A County Council presentation was held in the Village Hall following a request from the Parish Council, as Beds County Council had not included Felmersham in their programme of consultation. Over 100 people visited the exhibition. Letters in response from the Parish Council had been sent. The Chairman had attended a meeting arranged by residents in Radwell and another in Carlton. 120 people attended the meeting arranged by Felmersham resident Brian Smith. The meetings gave rise to a great deal of correspondence. Individuals should write to Beds County Council. A letter would be sent to Andrew Brown of Beds County Council stating that despite the time extension for consultation, it was still insufficient in the light of the information given to residents of the parish and surrounding areas.
Highways Pot holes have been marked for repair. The Clerk has requested that weeds in the gutters in Marriotts Close be removed. The footpath was also in poor repair. The yew tree in the churchyard needs trimming as buses are forced into the centre of the road. The Parish Plan Action Group are requesting the PC seek a 20mph limit through both villages. This will be on the agenda for the next meeting. The Causeway repairs had been completed, but anger was expressed over the time the road had been closed. The Borough Council have not responded to several requests to sweep roads in the villages. Drain clearing is still a problem.
Councillor’s Reports - Borough Councillor Brandon reported that the wind farm application was due to go before the Planning Committee on 11th June.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 3rd July in Pinchmill Hall at 7.30 pm. Notes by Cllr Spoor and Clerk of Parish Council. 28/5/07

General Knowledge Quiz Results
1. Sir Robert Peel
2. The Times
3. Treasure Island
4. Children's Comic
5. Charles Dickens
6. Just William
7. Italian dessert/ice cream
8. Aquarius
9. Soldiers
10. Arnold Wesker
11. Day of Atonement
12. USA
13. Space Probes
14. Germany
15. Lord Grade

The first five correct entries were submitted by;
Joan White, ”Mel”, Jeff Stockley , L&M Mills and “The Coombers”.
If you have last months Ouse News to hand (or visit Ouse News Online) you may like to check your answers. P. Rankin 16/5/07
Church Organ Restoration Completed

Nicholson & Company have "pulled out all the stops" to complete the organ restoration in time for Easter.
They handed over the organ on Maundy Thursday (5 April) after completing 6 weeks work on site over a three month period and 4 weeks work carried out in the factory at Malvern.
The organ will be played on Easter Day at the 10:15 am service. Report by Paul Keeble, Church Warden. 5/4/07
Cricket Club Welcomes New Players

Pavenham and Felmersham Cricket Club extend a warm welcome to all players including young players who would be interested in joining a thriving and growing club. Loads more News and Details
The flag is being held by Ian Outram and Ben Howkins. It was taken outside Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia at the Ashes Boxing Day Test Match, December 2006.

Organ Open Day - Report
30 people recently visited St Mary's church to see the organ being re-assembled on a specially arranged Public Open Day.
On another occasion all the children from Pinchmill School visited the church to see the organ being reassembled. Paul Keeble gave a brief history of the organ and Colin Scott (Sharnbrook church organist) explained how the organ worked using the organ pipes to demonstrate the various tonal sounds.
The school will return when the organ is completed to hear the full tonal range of the instrument. Over the summer months, concerts are being arranged so that parishioners will also get a chance to hear the organ.

Edith Brown
Edith Brown of Bailey's Villas has passed away. The funeral service and committal were held at St Mary's Church on Thursday 10 May followed by a private cremation. 13/5/07

Radwell Public Meeting
Radwell residents held a Public Meeting on Wednesday 25 April to discuss parishioners concerns over the proposed BCC Mineral Development Plan. Approximately 60 people attended. 25/4/07
Report of the Carlton and Chellington meeting.

Beds County Council Online Surveys
Bedfordshire County Council are currently conducting 3 Online Consultations/Surveys. For details Click Here. 27/4/07

Land next to Slipway Named
The land near Felmersham river bridge, next to the slipway, has been named. It will be known as the Margaret Alleway Memorial Garden. Felmersham and Radwell Community Trust (FRCT) purchased the land as an amenity for parishioners. It will remain closed until clearing and landscaping work has been carried out over the next few months. The Trust will be seeking volunteers to help with this work. Trust

Clocks Gain as Parish is Supplied with Emergency Power

At 6.30pm on Saturday 24 March the power supply in Felmersham and Radwell (and other villages too) was interrupted for up to 7 hours. The power was restored using standby generation at 1.30am Sunday morning. The parish was reconnected to the grid on Tuesday 27 March in the evening. One of noticeable effects was that mains operated clocks gained (including the church clock). The photo shows the emergency generator in Tithe Barn. 1/4/07

New Porch Gates

A parishioner has donated the cost of replacing the old wooden framed and chicken wire porch gates at St Mary's church.  The new iron gates, shown on the right, are designed to keep out the birds and, as previously, they will be kept unlocked.

They were made by Arthur Brooker in his workshop at Risely.


Bishop visits St Mary's
The Bishop of Bedford, the Rt. Revd Richard Inwood, dedicated the nave altar at St Mary's church on Sunday 7 January 2007 at a joint service with the churches of Sharnbrook, Souldrop and Knotting. The altar was provided by the Felmersham and Radwell Community Trust in memory of Margaret Alleway, the Trust's benefactor.
The Bishop also dedicated a set of new hymn books given in memory of Gerry Sidebottom by his family. Gerry was Vicar of this parish from 1960 to 1982. Hazel and the family attended the service.

Organ Restoration and Repair

Work has started on the restoration and repair of St Mary's church organ. The total estimate cost of the repair is £42,000 of which £15,000 has been raised by concerts, coffee mornings, grants and a substantial bequest. The funding gap has been bridged by securing a grant from the Lottery Fund. A public exhibition will be held in the church during the reassembly of the organ.
See the Church Organ page for details of the organ. 11/1/07

Church Tower Steps
Work has started on facing the treads on a few of the steps which provide access to the church tower. Several of the steps are badly worn and the architect has advised that they could be the cause an accident.
Cracking has occurred in several of the lintels that supports the north east turret roof . The lintels have been propped and work repairing them will commence shortly. 1/2/07

Purchase of land by FRCT
Felmersham and Radwell Community Trust (FRCT) have purchased the plot of river frontage land adjacent to the Jubilee Lawn. The land now belongs to the villages of Felmersham and Radwell, but will be held in trust by the FRCT.

FRCT reports "It is a decent size plot and will be a useful river frontage amenity for villagers although a lot of hard work is required during the next few months, such as clearing, cutting, pollarding, grassing and hauling etc! We may be asking for working parties to help (remember the construction by villagers of the Jubilee Lawn, when a lot of hard work was involved but much more was gained in community spirit?) but we will keep you informed! It is envisaged that the hedge between the land and the public slipway will remain, this is because the Jubilee Lawn area belongs to the County Council and we wish to maintain the separation. Therefore access will be from the road."

Once details for use have been established, maintenance will be provided by the Parish Council but the deeds retained by the FRCT on behalf of the villages of Felmersham and Radwell. 27/1/07

Model of Felmersham Church
Stan Green of Brightlingsea and his brother from Alresford, Essex made 27 or so models of churches they had visited during their retirement. They visited churches all over England taking photographs both inside and out of those they found interesting and, on returning home, made models from their photos.
Felmersham church was one of their churches and the model is complete in every detail including the screen, organ, lectern and pulpit. Upon the death of the two brothers the models were stored by various people until ending up in the church of All Saints,
Brightlingsea. Janet Russell of All Saints wrote to all the churches that were modelled asking if they would like the model of their church. Felmersham church accepted her offer. 26/11/06

Messiah Triumph
Two residents of Felmersham were acclaimed for their part in the "accomplished" performance of Handel's Messiah at the Bunyan Meeting Free Church, Bedford on 18 November.
Sandra Dudley, the editor of the Bedford Arts Forum magazine art’icle gave plaudits to Nigel Doggett for his solo performance on the trumpet and to Janet Welsh for her "charismatic" performance as conductor of the Bedford Messiah Choir. Congratulations to both of you.
Nina Britton 1921 - 2006
The funeral of Mrs Britton was held on Tuesday 28 November at St Marys Church, Felmersham followed by cremation. The Revd Ian Brown (former Chaplain at Bedford School) conducted the service, assisted by Rev David Mason. 2/12/06

Felmersham Causeway
Work is shortly scheduled to start on the elevated path to the north of Felmersham bridge.

Bus Timetable change
The first bus of the day now runs 10 minutes earlier than shown in the printed timetable. It is now 06.22 from Felmersham and 06.25 from Radwell. The Stagecoach on-line timetable does show the new time.
  View Timetable (48KB pdf file) 15/11/06

Local History Book 
The History of a Riverside Parish

Full Details
 Available from

at Milton Ernest Garden Centre
Open 7 days a week. Plenty of free parking
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