Ouse News
The Parish Magazine
January 2003
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Ouse News is published by Felmersham Parochial Church Council and Sponsored by Chesham Insurance Brokers

Time for Sober Reflection  -  Rev. David Mason

Once again I find that we are at that time when we think about the old year that is coming to its end, and the new year which is about to start. At the beginning of last year the events of 11 September were still fairly fresh in our minds, this year the effects of those events still reverberate through the world, and the feelings of insecurity are still very much in evidence. There is much apprehension for the future, and we must wonder if the direction in which we are travelling as we attempt to deal with the threats of terrorism are right or wise. It must be a time for sober reflection and consideration of all the possible consequences of our action or inaction. Above all, we must seek to understand the underlying causes that lead individuals and groups to undertake such desperate and destructive acts, sometimes in the name of religion. 

In the comfort of our relative affluence we may easily forget that Jesus was very much involved in promoting social justice, the gospel message that he proclaimed stressed the importance of the balance of love between God, neighbour and self. In God’s kingdom all are equal before God, and all are held in love. We must wonder to what extent our present difficulties are fuelled by the increasing inequality between the rich and the poor in the world. We cannot isolate ourselves from the greater world, modern communications and transport systems make that impossible. The poor of the third world cannot be kept in ignorance of the much higher standard of living we enjoy. Increasing inequality between rich and poor forms a rich breeding ground for envy, and determination to reduce the gap by whatever means are the most effective. We forget at our peril that God’s way of the kingdom is the only way of ensuring peace. Military might has never succeeded in the long term in preserving peace in the face of injustice and inequality.

We each have a responsibility to think and to pray about the world in which we live. I believe that prayer can be a very effective way of seeking God’s will, and of learning of what God wants each of us to do and to say for him. I wish you all a Happy and Peaceful New Year, and I pray that the will of God will prevail to bring his peace and love to our troubled world.

River Search - Paul Kelly (ex of Adina, Grange Road)

At the end of the Second World War the gravel pits were used to dispose of munitions. These were supposed to have been burnt in ovens. These can still be located albeit under brambles etc. to the right, a couple of hundred feet past the main gate. Not all of the munitions were disposed of as intended as was revealed in the 1970s. Severe drought caused the level of the pits to drop to a level revealing incendiary devices. The bomb squad were called and all (?) the devices removed. At the height of summer when the water is at its lowest you can still see pieces of tail fins if you know what you’re looking for.

It is documented that during these works an explosion occurred putting out many windows and damaging some of the stained glass in St Mary’s. The church windows being spared total destruction by the give afforded by the leading. 

Around 1980 some of my sister’s friends were swimming in the river and one stubbed his toe on something. It turned out to be a standard army issue Lee Enfield .303 rifle dating from the 1930’s. Soon after two more were found - one dating from the 40’s the other from the First World War. 

As one of the lads was lain Skingsley the son of the landlords of the Six Ringers (when it was a pub!) it formed a large part of the beer talk. The general consensus was that soldiers assigned to burn the munitions were not wholly into their work and spent more time in the pubs of Felmersham and Sharnbrook than on the job in hand. This led to them getting behind with the burning. To remedy this they started offloading devices into the ‘deep’ waters of the gravel pit thinking they would never be found again. They would also have been burning at a rate that was far faster than would normally be deemed safe. This because of the resultant explosion could be thought to be proved. Anecdotally I am led to believe that a number of soldiers lost their lives in this explosion.

But what of the rifles? If these soldiers were ‘ne’er do wells’ they may have stored’ them in the river for later retrieval on their return to Civvy Street. If these soldiers were let loose the mortal coil before they could cash in, then the rifles would have lain undiscovered until some 30 years later.

This summer I am intending to conduct an underwater search of the Great Ouse just outside Felmersham. This is for two reasons the first is purely because myself and my friends want to conduct an underwater stretch of a river and secondly to give the search purpose see if any more rifles etc. to lend greater weight to the storage theory. Before embarking on the search I do want to flesh out the story behind it and it’s for this reason that I am writing this.

Does anyone know of this story? Have any details, hard fact research material? Are there any of the more mature members of the village who would know any of the soldiers names? If so please email me at ses20151@port.ac.uk [Ed: or pass on to me] Any information would be gratefully received. If I get enough information and results from the search I hope to be able to hold a small exhibition in Felmersham.

And who knows we may even find the missing bell stolen from St Mary’s!


Christmas Celebrations

I wish to thank all who have done so much to prepare the Church for Christmas, and those who have helped with the services and celebrations. Once again the Church has been beautifully decorated, and the services have been well supported in so many different ways, and I thank you all for that. Ann and I thank you for your presents to us, and also for the many cards and good wishes that we have received.

Christmas Raffle

On the 12th December the raffle draw to raise money for Fleur and her family went ahead. Thank you to everyone who took part as we raised over £700. Fleur was given a Polly Flinders dolls house, Lucy was given a Crayola Creations and Pottery Wheel Set, Mark and Becky were also handed a Christmas hamper. The remainder of the money went to the family for Christmas. The TV was won by Louise Turner, a Royal Mail employee. There were numerous winners including three from the village: Mrs Doggett - white wine, Mrs Whiting - red wine, Mr Hubbard - vodka. Thanks to the organisers - Keith Wigneil, line manager of rurals, Steve Darlington the Felmersham postman and a big thank you to Polly Flinders and the Grafton Hotel where the draw was held.

A Word of Thanks - Margery Evers

At Christmas had to retire as Brown Owl of Felmersham & Radwell Brownie Pack (65!). I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me over 26 years of being Brown Owl. Firstly, Janet Abbott who was my first Assistant Guider, and Pat Keeble who is the present one, in whose very capable hands the pack will continue. Also, Lilo Bluhm who was unit helper, all the girls who have done their D of E awards with us and Laura Howell, an ex brownie, who is now our Assistant Guider! Lastly I would like to thank all the girls who have passed through the pack for making my time so rewarding and enjoyable. Our numbers are very low at the moment and we do need to keep the pack alive, so anyone interested in joining please contact Pat Keeble on 782134.

Emmaus Village Canton - Peter Baldwin

It is just over a year since the first companions moved into the Community at Carlton, since when their hard work, and that of the staff and volunteers, has changed the place dramatically. The Bistro, Shop and Furniture Showroom are unrecognisable from a year ago.

Thanks to the unbelievable support of hundreds of visitors who have enjoyed snacks and meals, or just browsing to buy from the very wide and often unexpected range of bargains in the shops things have really taken off, Three important developments have taken place in the last month. Following the departure, for health reasons, of the Community Leader Cameron Thomson, Alan Barrett and his wife Maureen are coming from South London to take over. Sue Jezard, and husband Cohn, are going to live in the West Country. Vikki Young, who lives locally, will take over as Bistro and Retail Manager. Sue tells us she will miss the Community like mad, but feels the time is right for her to move on. The whole Community is deeply indebted to Sue for helping the companions to get the Bistro and Shop up and running so successfully. The companions are also forging links with the wider community, having installed shelving for the residents of the home for the disabled in Carlton, and supplying costumes and props for the TATS production in Turvey. Any other drama group who requires props, do get in touch with companion Mike on 720826.

To everyone who reads this - please come, browse, buy, eat and drink - you will not be disappointed! Emmaus Village is just outside Carlton on the road to Turvey, before the Church turn left at the sign to Emmaus

Coffee Morning  - Jane Wells

The Coffee Morning for February, in aid of the Church restoration fund will be held at the home of Cohn and Deborah Rout, on Saturday 1 February at 10:30am. Home made cakes, toiletries, produce and bric-a-brac for the bring and buy stall will be most greatly appreciated. Everyone welcome.

Parish Registers

18 November 2002 Internment of Ashes Margaret Alleway
29 November 2002 Burial of  George Bruce Galliver


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Page last updated: 06/02/03  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.
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