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      The Parish Magazine on line  June 2004
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Ouse News is published by Felmersham Parochial Church Council and Sponsored by Chesham Insurance Brokers

Preparing for Change - Rev David Mason
Many households throughout the country will be in the grip of examination fever. Many will be regretting work and study not done, or not done hard enough, many will be worrying about the questions that they are to face, and the results that they will achieve. Many will be wondering about their plans for the future, and whether they will come to fruition. And many families will be doing their best to help those facing examinations in whatever way possible. Key points in many people’s lives which will determine their future.
Life can be compared to a journey, with times of calm and easy going where the direction is clear and certain, and other times when the going can be very difficult and the direction very unclear, and very uncertain. It is good to have something to hang on to at these times. The Christian is aware from the very start that there will be good times and difficult times in their Christian journey. We are all told that there will be difficult times as we seek to follow the Christian way, we are not promised an easy journey. But we are also promised that we will never be alone on our journey. At the end of May we celebrated the feast of Pentecost, the time when the Holy Spirit came upon the waiting disciples after Jesus had left them to return to his Father. The Holy Spirit empowered that small group of men to become the founders of the Church, and to take the good news of Jesus out into the world. It enabled them to cope with numbers of difficult situations, and to maintain their faith and witness even when suffering torture and martyrdom. We have the opportunity of receiving the faith and knowing our Lord today because of the work that they began all those years ago.
Committing ourselves to Jesus, and seeking to serve him will not promise us an easy life, but we know that we will never be alone even in the most difficult circumstances. Let us seek to deepen our faith, and to develop a living relationship with God through prayer and study of his word so that we are better prepared to live and work in the world that God created. There is much work of discipleship still to do, and as followers of Jesus we are the ones to do that work. To those facing examinations that will affect their future lives I offer my best wishes and hopes that they will be able to perform to the best of their ability and achieve the results that they wish for.

Dawn Chorus Walk 15 May 2004
- Paula Turvey
When Ken Shrimpton suggested we try a dawn chorus walk as a forthcoming social activity, the P3 members enthusiastically set about organising one. One or two members shared doubts with some parishioners I met when putting up posters advertising the walk, "......What time did you say?....4.15am !!!!" Well, we did want it to be a dawn chorus walk.
The day had arrived and a group of 25 bleary eyed enthusiasts gathered by the bus shelter. We were rather disappointed to find that despite the early start the birds had begun without us. However we started to walk down to the Felmersham nature reserves, where we had arranged to meet Errol Newman, our bird expert, a ranger from Bedford Priory Park. To begin with all I could hear above a general cacophony, were nearby cockerels and very noisy geese. However, Errol soon helped us to identify some more species. We heard the usual suspects such as blackbirds, robins, song thrush, chaffinch, blue bits, great tits (call sign - teacher teacher), cuckoos, pheasants, woodpigeons, jackdaws, magpies, carrion crow and a wren. Errol also identified and explained the habits of the noisier birds, namely the greylag and the canada geese as well as the coots, who are apparently the local louts of the reserve. We then began to identify birds not normally common in our back gardens such as the yellow hammer (call sign - a bit of bread and butter with no cheeeeese), chiff chaff (call sign unsurprisingly - chiff chaff), blackcap, whitethroat, (the last two I could not single out and identify, but other people succeeded).
There were several highlights to the day, the first being the sighting of a cuckoo flying over, shortly followed by a pair of hobbys who circled around several times. It was several people's first view of a hobby, indeed some did npt know of their existence until that moment.
We learnt to identify the calls of the sedge warbler whose warble has a wider range and also grates rather more than that of the reed warbler. One sedge warbler graciously gave us a display, hopping from reed to reed to sing its song. Errol went on to explain that the sedge warblers thrive and nest within the oil seed rape fields, feeding on the insects drawn to flowers.
In addition to the "fauna", I learnt a few interesting facts about the "flora" within the nature reserve courtesy of Janet Cook. This produced a discussion about the possibilities of organising a wild flower walk. Should this come to fruition, the Ouse News will shed the details.
At 6am, having thanked our guide, an advance party headed back to assist head chef Danny Mariner in barbequing the bacon and making the drinks. Soon everyone was tucking into breakfast and the few residents of St Mary's Close who'd managed to wriggle out of an early morning being rudely awoken by a second dawn chorus, this one of 25 people all discussing the earlier one!
An excellent morning was had by all and the £40.00 raised has been donated to the Wildlife Trust, who maintain the nature reserves. Thank you to everyone who organised and helped to deliver what may become an annual event.

Thank You - Emily Groves
I would like to thank everyone from Felmersham and Radwell Community Care who gave of their time so willingly to take me to Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Cantamus Concert - Alan Stevens
The well known Bedford chamber choir Cantamus with Paul Edwards (organ) will a give concert of choral and organ music for a summer evening on Saturday 3 July at 8pm in St Mary's Church in aid of the Organ Fund. Wine and soft drinks will be available in the interval.
Tickets at £5 and £3 (concessions) may be bought at the door and in advance from Alan Stevens or Bedford Box Office.

Scarecrow Competition - Di Stephenson
If you haven't managed to grow your sunflowers to any respectable height, how about entering the Scarecrow Competition? Any height for him ....or her, will do! We would like to see all shapes and sizes and of course any age you want him/her to be! Worzel or Worzelina should be taken to the Sunflower judging on the 4th July - where a suitable prize will be available for the Scarecrow who everyone thinks is the most attractive - not to crows but to us humans..... So dig out your old clothes, or even last year's designer wear... make a masterpiece, put this masterpiece in a wheel barrow and trundle "it" along!!! The more the merrier! And no excuses that the slugs ate him or the neighbour pinched her!

Bedford St John's Signal box appeal - BRTA
BRTA has received notification from Network Rail that the St John's signal box will "no longer be required" which in plain speak means it will probably be demolished or disposed of. We would dearly love to save it from destruction as it is a very famous landmark for the local railway landscape and is the last intact structure remaining on what was the former Bedford St John's Station site.
BRTA has plans to turn the St John's site into a working museum as the start of a preservation move to relay tracks as far as the A421 Bedford Southern Bypass to link with Bedford Town Football Club. This is a longer term aim but we need to start now to make progress. Saving St John's signal box is the first step along that road. Please help us: Further information and to send donation send to: BRTA St John's appeal, 115 Kimble Drive, Bedford, MK41 9SZ. Makes cheques payable to BRTA.
BRTA Chairman said "we will need to form a trust initially to provide the umbrella to get things sorted for lottery application etc and to work towards getting the necessary site for a peppercorn rent and dealing with the local planning authority and SRA. If we save the St John's signal box this will be a tangible physical structure to start the preservation ball rolling. We need business sponsorship and much more."

From www.felmersham.net ....
Felmersham Flower Arranging Club

"The flower arranging club was formed when a group of friends decided that they could do with some expert tuition in the art of flower arranging. So under the watchful eye of Hazel Pearce, a session was booked at the Village Hall and the first efforts are as in the pictures.... Hazel tweaked and added to each to help the students cope with the intricacies of length of stems and size of blooms..... Week two saw much more adventurous arrangements, using focal leaves as well as focal flowers! And we learnt the importance of odd numbers! If anyone is interested in joining us please contact Di, through Webmaster comments, and I will let you have details.,,

Gateway to Infinity
Phil Moon of Felmersham has combined his interest in astronomy with an equal interest in web page design to produce an outstanding web site on our solar system. To view this well designed and informative site click onto: www.philmoon.co.uk

Work has started on the repair of the church floor
Work has started on the general repair and levelling of the floor in St Mary's Church. The intention is to improve safety, remove trip hazards and provide handicap access. Workman are installing concrete beams across the boiler pit, which is situated between the choir stalls, prior to capping it with flag stones. When the work is completed it is intended to have no carpeting in the aisles

Will the future really be Orange? - Carol Stork
You still have the chance to decide!! The 'Vital Village' project, kick-started by the village meeting in February, and designed to help us plan, and influence, how our Parish will look in the future, is `roaring' into life! Six willing and enthusiastic volunteers have formed the Felmersham and Radwell Parish Plan Steering Committee - and met for the first time on 6'h May. The Steering Committee will seek all parishioners' views on how they would like the parish to develop over the next few years, distil those views into the Parish Plan and liaise with the Parish Council and other authorities along the way. The eager Committee members (and their contact numbers) are: Peter Hartop (Committee Chairman); Margaret Coomber; Laurie Mills; May Mills; Maggie Spoor; and Carol Stork.
The project is in its infancy and is likely to take between 12 and 18 months to complete - so there's plenty of time for everyone to be involved and to have their say about the future!
So please watch this space - and the Felmersham website, the village notice boards and your letterbox - for further details on how you can put your thoughts forward. For more information in the meantime, please contact any of the committee members.

Pinchmill Pre-School Portacabin Appeal - Christine Callaghan
Due to current disability regulations the pre-school will need to vacate the Village Hall by December this year. This means the pressure is on to raise funds for materials required to refit the interior. Any assistance through funding, donation of building materials, skilled or unskilled labour will be beneficial in ensuring the pre-school continues to provide the high quality early years education reflected in the recent 'outstanding' Ofsted report and enable us to meet the demand for child education in the immediate community.
Our small but committed parent volunteer group are ready to apply their skills and labour for free, but without materials we cannot progress. Can you or your company help? We need windows, electrics, doors, partition walls and studwork, sanitary ware, security fittings, timber, tool hire, kitchen units and equipment to name but a few.
To date, the committee has raised nearly £9,000 through own fundraising efforts which has been used to re-roof the building and pay for legal, planning and building regulation fees. In-kind donations for labour, professional advice, the portacabin , transport and building materials have already exceeded £13,000.
Our efforts last weekend to remove external grills and strip out the portacabin means we now have a building in good condition ready to be converted into the pre-school. Whilst we are continually researching and submitting grant applications which are time-consuming and involve lengthy processes, we would be grateful for any further donations, whether its your time, money or materials.

Music for a Summer Evening - Pinchmill School Association
On Saturday 19`" June there will be a rare opportunity to hear soprano Jane Emmanuel (Royal Opera chorus) and pianist Tim Farrell perform a recital programme of summer music in the garden of College Farm House. Bring a picnic to enjoy before and after the recital, a la Glyndebourne but without the black tie! Tickets £7.50 and £9.00 (reserved), which includes a glass of wine, are available from Miranda Doggett or from the School office (781371). Wine will also be available to purchase by the glass or bottle.
All proceeds to Pinchmill School Extension Appeal. In September 2004 Pinchmill Lower School celebrates its 30th anniversary so watch this space for details of events to mark this special occasion.

Felmersham Fair - Janet Cook
Will take place on Sunday 18 July 2004, 2 pm onwards at The Paddock, Memorial Lane, Felmersham. Fun for all the family! W.I. teas, pony rides, tombola, children's races and competitions, dancing displays and various stalls and games. Join in the great Radwell (cup holders) v Felmersham Tug of War. Watch our Pub Teams sweat it out! Bring along your favourite barbecue food and cook it from 5 pm onwards. Entry is free and everyone is welcome.
We'd like some volunteers to spend just a few minutes helping with races, etc. and we appeal for bottles of various liquids for our Tombola. Proceeds will go towards making our village hall a more welcoming place for disabled people. Contact Janet Cook, 781373 if you'd like to run your own stall or help in any way.

Kathleen Booker 1930 - 2004
Born in Stoke-on-Trent, Kath worked for the local Michelin Tyre Co and in 1952 she and Ken were married. They moved to Harrold in 1964 and later to Felmersham in 1974. In 1966 Kath had major heart surgery from which she made a full recovery. She worked for Marks & Spencer and Mothercare in Bedford and at Radwell Gravel Pits. She subsequently worked part time at Pinchmill Lower School as a playground assistant and in the kitchen. Kath was a founder member of the Carpet Bowls Club in Felmersham and as a member of Sharnbrook Bowls Club she played both indoor and outdoor bowls at county team level. She helped with the parish Over Sixties Club raising money by holding tea parties in her front garden. Kath was a keen gardener. She died peacefully at Papworth Hospital and leaves a husband, two sons and two grandchildren.

Coffee Morning - Jane Wells 
July's will be held at the home of Ken and Lorraine Shrimpton, on Saturday 3 July 2004 at 10.30am.
Home made cakes, toiletries, produce and bric-a-brac for the bring and buy stall will be greatly appreciated. All welcome

The Ruth Rankin Memorial Sunflower Competition Tea - Candace Rankin
Goodness, that certainly is a bit of a mouthful, but hopefully it caught the attention of all sunflower entrants. This year the Tea will be held at 3pm on Sunday, 4 July in the garden of Adina, Grange Road. Due to the high number of participants this year, could each competitor please bring a small plate of sandwiches or cakes to share; we will provide cups and paper plates as well as hot and cold drinks. We also provide games and prizes for the various divisions. Please bring lots of 2p pieces for one of the particular games on offer. If there is a fun game anyone would like to bring along, please feel free! It would also be helpful if you can bring some lawn chairs for yourself. We will have some seating but would prefer it be used for older entrants who should not be asked to lug along chairs. But as for the youthful lot, please do bring your own. Family members of entrants are warmly invited to attend as well.
In this issue of the Ouse News Di Stephenson has given you the details for the Scarecrow competition. I am looking forward to seeing all the wheelbarrows trundling down Grange Road transporting the various entrants to Adina for the Tea! Please remember that you do not have to be entered into the Sunflower Competition to be in the running for the best dressed scarecrow. We are hoping over the next couple of weeks to be making our own scarecrow to sit proudly on the front lawn. I thought this might be an excellent opportunity for me to get rid of husband's 14-year-old trousers and 18-year-old shirts, but he shivered in horror and whined, "But you know how I LOVE those trousers "....etc...you've heard the same wail in your own house I am sure!!
Marjorie Pipe has kindly agreed to once again lend her unbiased appraisal and final decision as to the tallest and thus winning sunflower. You will probably note that she has been walking Dolly with a little sign around Dolly's collar that says, "I do not accept bribes or gift vouchers from the pet shop."
Regretfully we are not able to take mid-point measurements to induce a pre-Tea frenzy. This is mostly due to the fact that the local statistician is face down marking exams and I am face down planting the flowerbeds. I am daydreaming of my first visit to Chelsea Flower Show this year and will be certain to take photos of the sunflower displays. Husband has requested that I not follow Alan and Charlie and Diarmud around with the digital camera shouting "Coo..www..eeeee."

WANTED - secretary for the Village Hall Committee - Janet Cook
The Village Hall is a vital part of our community and you would be making a valuable contribution to this community. Please contact Janet Cook.
Village Hall Annual General Meeting - Janet Cook
This will take place on Wednesday, 9th June 2004 at 8pm. Everyone is welcome and refreshments will be provided.

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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. Online version of Ouse News additionally edited by the webmaster.