Ouse News
The Parish Magazine
December 2002
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New Birth                        Rev David Mason

Very recently our eldest daughter gave birth to her second child. Naturally, as doting grandparents, we were very soon on the scene, and were filled with wonder and delight at the sight of a baby only a few hours old. That helpless little bundle lying there neatly wrapped up was so small that it was difficult envisage that he should grow into a man.

In a very few weeks we will be celebrating Christmas, and remembering again the birth of Jesus all those years ago. Jesus, Son of God, coming to earth as a helpless baby, born in a stable and laid in a manger because there was no room at the Inn. As he lay there he would appear weak and vulnerable, and, in spite of the prophecies surrounding his birth, and the chorus of angels appearing to the shepherds, I am sure that he looked like any other baby. Within a short time he would be a refugee, travelling to a foreign country to escape the murderous intentions of Herod. Jesus’ life and death has had a profound effect throughout the ages since he was born, and it is right that we should celebrate his birth with joy and thanksgiving.

It is also right that at this time of festival we should not forget why he came. Jesus came to proclaim and establish God’s kingdom on the earth. He was not promising ‘pie in the sky when we die. He was seeking to establish on this earth God’s rule of love and peace. We, as the disciples for this age, still have a long way to go. As we look at the world today we could easily become disheartened, it is easy to forget how much has been done already, to forget that from that small beginning in Palestine the Christian faith is now proclaimed throughout the world. It is also easy to fail to realise how much the Gospel message has influenced national and international law and behaviour.

Do not be disheartened by the work that still remains to be done, and the failures that are still all too evident. Let us in this festive season rejoice and give thanks for that most wonderful gift to the world all those years ago. In our festivities let us not forget those whom the world forgets or abuses, the poor, the refugee and the disposed, those who suffer from injustice and exploitation. And as we think of that baby born all those years ago let us re-dedicate ourselves to serving God in whatever way we are called to work for the kingdom

The Villager Community Minibus

The community minibus operates as a charity and is based at Sharnbrook Upper School. It is managed and driven entirely by volunteers. Would you like to use one of our services or help others by being one of our drivers?

Serving most of the villages in North Bedfordshire, we run regular services to Northampton, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, St lves, Olney, Rushden (Budgens), and Clapham (Sainsbury's). If you would like a copy of our timetable, make a private hire booking, or any other information please phone our office on 781920 (ansaphone). It is also available for private hire - it can carry 16 passengers.

It is cheap and convenient no parking problems and many regular users find it fun and sociable too. Why not give The Villager a try? If you qualify for the Bedford Borough Council bus pass then maximum fares are 40p single, 80p return cheap by any standard nowadays.

In addition, we would like to have a few more drivers - can you please help. To drive the minibus you only need a normal car licence. You can choose when you want to drive, and we would not expect you to volunteer more than once or twice a month. Most of the services start at about 9am and return by 2pm.

If you would like to join us in providing this service, please phone our office on 781920 (ansaphone). We would be pleased to meet with you to discuss it further.

Newspaper Delivery                        Clive Just

The east (Tithe Barn) side of The High Road has not had a general newspaper delivery on Saturday or Sunday for many months. I am sure that if there was anyone interested in taking on this round then Mr. Gill of Sharnbrook News would be delighted to hear from them. If a deliverer cannot be found then it might be possible, depending on demand, to get all the papers delivered somewhere in Felmersham, from whence people could collect their own papers. Would you be interested in such a scheme? Would you be prepared to be the drop-off/collection point? If so, I am happy to act as a message taker please email me at ausenews~bigfoot.com or call me on 781967.

Broadband Internet Connectivity        Clive Just

If you are interested in an ‘always on’ high-speed connection to the internet then please register on the BT website. If there is enough demand from residents on a particular exchange then BT will upgrade sooner than planned (I am not sure if Sharnbrook is even on a plan yet!) It seems that only about 30 more people need to register so please encourage your friends, neighbours or family in fact anyone whose phone number is in the range 781000-783999 - to sign up now. To register or for more information please look at the following page at http/www.broadbandl .bt.com/getting broadband/bb avail and reg.asp

Save the Children Fund     Jacky Phipps

Need last minute Christmas cards? I still have a lot in stock. Call me on 781789.

Boxing Day Walk        Ken and Lorraine Shrimpton

We meet at Felmersham bus shelter at 11 .00am on the 26 December for our usual Boxing Day walk. You are welcome to join us with your family and friends for this short winters walk. Please dress prepared to walk across wet and possibly muddy fields.

Dropshort Field proposed purchase update -
Neil Turvey

All households within Felmersham & Radwell should have received a flyer through their Letterboxes dated the 11th November briefly outlining the proposals to purchase the 25 acre Dropshort Field. The proposed purchase is fundamentally to protect the field for the 2 village communities, the land being used as a ‘recreational area’ for a variety of possible uses which will be determined subsequently. Success however will rely upon sufficient interest and financial contributions being forthcoming from the individual members of the 2 communities. The exact mechanic for acquiring the land remains undecided but this will be some form of village trust that would also manage the land on behalf of the villages. At this precise moment (27th November) we have received financial pledges totalling £30,500 from some 17 households and my thanks to them - however the likely selling price will be some £80,000 plus legal costs. The deadline for making a proposal to Bedfordia is rapidly approaching. If anyone else is prepared to pledge any monies can they please contact me as soon as possible using the contacts provided on the earlier flyer. Many thanks.

Pinchmill School Nativity     Gill Peck

You are warmly invited to Pinchmill Lower School’s Christmas production, ‘Christmas Presence’. Performances will take place on Tuesday 10 December at 215pm and on Wednesday 11 December at 630pm in the School Hall. As numbers are limited, kindly contact Mrs. Wildman, School Secretary (tel. 781371), if you are planning to attend. We look forward to seeing you.

Well Done Brownies     Pat Keeble

The Brownies would like to thank everyone who contributed to their Coffee/Tea Cake Evening and Bring and Buy Stall. £134.10 was raised for The Children in Need Appeal.

Help!     Avrea Ellis

Is there anyone out there who would “independently examine” Pinchmill Preschool accounts? No qualifications required, just an ability to add up and a willingness to give up a few hours of their valuable time (for free!). Lots of coffee and biscuits provided. For further information please contact me on 782248.

Golden Jubilee Commemorative Medals
dith CaldwelI

We have now distributed the commemorative medals provided by the Parish Council to all those in Felmersham who were aged up to 16 on 2 June 2002 (Radwell medals are being delivered separately). We hope that every young person who qualifies has received a medal but if we have missed anyone out please contact either Edith Caldwell (781160) or Marjorie Pipe (781140).

Pre-School     Linda Rance

As many of you are aware, the pre-school is looking to establish its own building on the school site. We would then be able to offer extended childcare to the villages, including after-school clubs, holiday schemes etc. Development for these plans has continued over the past year and further fundraising has been undertaken, in particular the Jumble Sale. Future activities are a Craft stall at the School ‘s Christmas Fayre and the Christmas Ball (more details in this issue). A portable building has been donated, the suitability of which is still unknown. We should be able to move forward with this when it becomes available and we can see whether it complies with Building Regulations. The Pre-School would like to thank everyone involved in our fundraising work and any further support which people are able to give in bringing this project to fruition would be very welcome.

Grain And Chaff             Chris Ure

If you are new to the village, you may be interested in acquiring Ron Draycott's village history: ‘Threshing out the history of Felmersham

Hardback book of 300 pages, with maps, archive photographs and historical details of many of the houses in the village and events and characters of a bygone age~ Described by the County Archivist as a ‘treasury’ of village life. Some copies are still remaining of the final reprint of this unique village history.

Special Price to villagers: £15 To order or view a copy, contact Chris and Joan Ure on 782126 or Ure. Spring~btopenworld.com


Poppy Appeal 2002       Fred Turner

The poppy collection amounted to £213.28 in Radwell and £304.63 in Felmersham, making a total of £517.91. Donations to the War Memorial Wreath amounted to £90. The church collection was £62.04.

I would like to thank all who contributed to the appeal, and particularly the collectors, Mrs C Hulatt, Mrs M Mills, Mrs M Leach, Mrs G Stevenson, Mrs S Evans, Mrs S Carr, Mr B Holston, Mr R Horsford, Mr B Turner, The Sun, The Swan and Pinchmill School. Well done everyone.

Mobile IT Training Bus       Michael Thomas

If you live in Felmersham or Radwell, and you want to learn how to use a computer, or you wish to improve your computer skills, now is your chance to act. Coming to Felmersham village Hall for 2 months, each Friday morning from 10th January until 28th February, is a fully equipped IT Bus plus IT instructor. This will give you a 1:4 teacher/pupil ratio, which is high by any standards. We are looking for 8 local people to undertake this course of 8 x 1.5 hour sessions. Cost of the whole course will be just £8 per person.

Anyone who is interested, please contact The Felmersham & Radwell Community Care at 781722 to book your place for the course

Don’t get left behind Future courses are planned in 2003. All courses are organised by Bedford Rural Communities Charity.

Science Chemistry Tuition      Peter Rankin

A well qualified ex Deputy Head teacher offers Science/Chemistry tuition to GCSE and beyond. If interested, please contact me on 782897

Flour and Eggs                        Teresa Miller

This may seem like a trivial incident to some but I would like the parents who let their children take flour and eggs out for “trick or treat” activities to know where these ingredients ended up. My property, and I have since noticed another village property, was a target. I returned home, desperately tired, to find flour and eggs daubed on windows of my front door.

I don’t know why the children chose my house but I would like the parents and these children to know that I have had to pay someone to clear their mess from my front door and re-stain it. I am unable to find a window cleaner to clean one of the windows and I don’t have the courage to climb a ladder so this mess one will have to stay unless the parents or the children who threw the flour and eggs offer to help to clear away their mess.

A few seconds inconsiderate childishness has caused a lot of inconvenience and costs. I do hope the parents of those who threw the flour and eggs will encourage their children to apologise by offering to help clean the window and pay for the cost of cleaning and re-staining my front door.

felmersham.net               Ken Shrimpton

Last month felmersham .net was 4 years old. In those 4 years it has grown into a significant source of local news and information with an average of 12 visitors a day. Visitors are both local and worldwide with approximately 20% finding the site through a search engine. The site is constantly changing and updating so if you are a regular visitor it may be wise to use the ‘Refresh’ button. Your comments and contributions are always welcome. For some unique Christmas stocking fillers visit
http://www.felmersham.. net/cafefelmersham.htm

Pinchmill School Christmas Toy & Craft Fair

Everybody is welcome at the Pinchmill School Christmas Toy & Craft Fair which will take place on Friday 6 December from 320pm in the School halt. Plenty of good quality second hand toys, books and videos will be for sale alongside crafts and gifts, home-made cakes and preserves and tempting raffle prizes. Anyone wishing to donate items for the Fair should telephone Miranda Doggett on 782234. See you there!

Parish Council Meeting                        Maggie Spoor

Notes of the meeting held on 6 November 2002. Present: Councillors Cook, Thomas, Pipe and Spoor. Apologies: Councillors Barford, Hulatt and Smith.

Bus Shelters - Safety checks on the sites of the new bus shelters have been completed and approved. Borough Councillor Brandon has secured a grant of £629 towards the costs. Other grants may be available from County Council and Beds Rural Communities Charity.

Pinchmill School Travel Plan - Marjorie Pipe and Mike Thomas attended a meeting at Pinchmill School to hear about proposals for the safe passage of children to school. Traffic calming and footpaths were discussed. Returns from a survey are being collated. Application can be made to the Countryside Agency for funds.

Highway Report - The request to extend the speed limit to the north side of Felmersham Bridge has been granted.

The County Tree Officer has visited the parish. Trees on the verge in Tithe Barn are infected with honey fungus and must be removed. Dead/diseased trees along Radwell Road will be replaced.

Planning Reports Details of planning applications and approvals are in the minutes on display in the Village Hall.

The Clerk reported that the Local Plan has been adopted.

Finance The Parish Clerk has been granted the National Salary increase.

The budget for the financial year 2002/03 was discussed. Councillors came to the conclusion that in the light of projected costs it would be necessary to increase the precept for the forthcoming year. The amount to be fixed at the January meeting.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on the 7 January 2003 at 7.30 pm.

“Hampers & Champers” Christmas Dance
  Linda Rance

The Christmas “Hampers & Champers” will take place this year under a new name - Christmas Ball. The Village Hall Committee has kindly agreed to allow the Pre-School to host the event. The format has slightly changed in that there will be a bar (wine & beer - at very reasonable prices) and a cold buffet. If you wish to support the pre-school please contact either Christine Callaghan 781173 or Linda Rance 783191 for tickets.

W.I.        Candace Rankin

Attention was instantly riveted on our speaker as he introduced his topic for the evening as “the oldest profession.” We then sat back in our chairs as we learned that the 5 century Greek historian, Herodotus, recorded auctioneering in 500BC to describe the sale of marriageable age women. Local auctioneering house, Peacocks, owes its present modus operandi to Roman law which “heralded” (present day advertising) an inspection viewing day and reserved a minimum price which the seller was willing to take for these women. Some of us older members squirmed uncomfortably with the thought of a 2p placard around our neck!!

Simon Rowell, one of Peacocks directors, clearly loves his work. He shared his fascination with the business as he explained that auctioneering houses in England began in the 1730’s with Sotheby’s, then Christies in 1766. In 1901 Walter Peacock started out on Dame Alice Street in Bedford with mainly furniture sales rooms. After a century of various management takeovers, Peacocks has now formed with Locke and England and Ambrose to form one of the largest provincial auctioneers in the UK.

Simon told of fascinating and unexpected finds when called to various homes, including a 1st century Roman head found in one client’s back shed, now living at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. He shared his discomfort at being told by one solicitor to view an estate with bicycle clips around his trousers to wade through the debris! But he was rewarded for his efforts by finding an original letter written by John Wesley. Today Peacocks values everything from 1700’s clocks to canal barges, to 25 aquaria, to 18,000 Italian girls’ dresses! The life of a valuer and auctioneer is truly never dull, especially when chased by Alsations at one property!

Simon concluded by explaining how the Internet has made a huge impact on sales with their catalogue now on the web which has brought buyers from Hungary, Spain, the Far East, the US and Continental Europe.

Our final treat was having Simon cast his expert eye on some of our favourite family antiques for valuing. No million pound surprises for any of us, but a very high value on entertainment!

Next month’s meeting will be the annual Christmas Party with each member asked to bring a gift to the value of no more than £2 for exchange with other members. Most importantly, please bring a gift for a child from the charity we are supporting this year, Christian Family Care.

Goodwill Children’s Homes Christmas Appeal Rosalind Templeman

Following up the item in last months newsletter, we do hope you can bring a very small gift (wrapped or unwrapped) to the Carol Service on 15th December. Your gifts will be sent straight to orphaned and destitute boys and girls cared for in the Goodwill Children’s Home at Bapatla, Southern India. The houseparents, Hepsi and Babu, wrote that the children were very grateful to receive your gifts last year, and were apparently so excited when the boxes arrived: such things make a real difference to their lives. Very small, light items such as pencils, chalk, tiny toys and cars, inflatable balls and toys, notebooks, hair bobbles, sachets of shampoo etc are so welcome and can easily be shared by these children who have so little. Sharp items and those made of metal and glass have to be avoided this year because of safety. Monetary donations are of course extremely welcome, and will be passed directly to the administrator of Goodwill. If you would like to find out more about this charity, visit their website www.goodwillhomes.org.uk Thank you very much in advance for your generosity.

Felmersham Parish Council & Pinchmill Lower School
 Please help us to keep our children safe, and improve the quality of life for
 in the Parish of Felmersham & Radwell 

There is some concern about traffic matters generally, and especially about congestion in the Old Road Area around the school. In response to this, the Parish Council approached the Environmental Strategy Unit of Bedford County Council to suggest measures to resolve this. The first step to be recommended was to conduct a comprehensive Traffic Survey so that all concerned (villagers, parents, those who travel through or work here) can give their views.

Please give give a few minutes to indicate any particular trouble spots which you may have encountered, and ideas for improving them, by marking the map and writing your comments on the back. i.e. traffic calming; road markings; kerb ramps; additional ‘set down’ or ‘pick-up’ areas etc.

Please support this joint initiative, as the greater response we can get, the more funding we can attract to improve life in the village. 

Please send your comments to Pinchmill School

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  Page last updated: 02/01/03  Ouse News is published by St Mary's PCC

Ouse News will print anything of interest to the community not just reports of past village activities or reminders of forthcoming ones. Feedback on any of the items published would be most welcome – whether for printing or not.
Items for next month's Ouse News should be sent to the editor: Clive Just, 2 The Old Rectory by the 25th of the month. It would help if items were emailed to OuseNews@bigfoot.com; sent on disk; or typed. Phone 781967 for more details.