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April 2002


Edited by Clive Just.  email:  OuseNews@bigfoot.com

A Happy Easter - Rev David Mason
Spring is here again, one of the most pleasant times of the year, with new life springing forth as the spring flowers make a wonderful display, the fields are green with new crops coming through, birds are nesting, and there are new lambs leaping about. As I write this towards the end of March I am also preparing for Easter, when we will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus after the terrible events of Good Friday. It is a time of great joy, full of hope and promise for the future. And yet it is only a year ago when we were all fearful of the spread of foot and mouth disease to our area, with all the destruction that brings to livestock, and the damage that it does to the rural economy. This year we have the added sense of joy and thanksgiving that the disease did not reach us, although this is tempered by the realisation of how many are still suffering from the effects of that disease on their lives and their livelihoods. Many still have great worries and uncertainties about their future, indeed the events of last year have raised a whole series of questions about the future of country life in this country.

It does not seem long ago that our farmers were being encouraged to produce as much food as possible. New methods, chemicals and machinery brought previously undreamed of yields of crops from the land, with greatly reduced labour needs. Relatively few people now work on the land, and increasingly it is difficult for people to find employment in the countryside. Now we are told that there is no market for the produce that is being produced locally, it can be more cheaply imported. A visit to the supermarket reveals how much of what we eat comes from great distances. Questions are being asked about the future of agriculture in this country, ideas are being promoted about paying farmers to manage the environment for the benefit of tourists.

And yet our world, made smaller by the increasing availability and ease of travel and transport over great distances, still has areas where many are short of food and the other basic necessities of life. Still people starve and suffer from the diseases caused by deprivation, how can it be right to be encouraging a reduction in the amount of food being produced here while others starve in other parts of the world? This basic question should be occupying all our attention as we plan for the future. The answer may not be comfortable to us, it may demand a reduced standard of living for us as we practice ‘loving our neighbour’.

Advance Notice - Rev David Mason
The Bishop of St Albans will be visiting each Deanery in the Diocese this year as part of the celebrations for the 125th Anniversary of the Diocese this year. St Mary’s Church, Felmersham has been chosen to host the Bishop’s visit to our Deanery. The visit will take place on the afternoon of Sunday 9 June during the afternoon, and will finish with a service in the church in the early evening. More details in next month’s Ouse News.

Annual Meeting - Rev David Mason
The annual Church Meeting will take place at Pinchmill School on Monday 29 April at 730pm. It is an important meeting, when Church Wardens and PCC members are elected, and reports on the various activities and work of the Church are made. Please try and be there to support and encourage the work of the Church through the year.

"Escalado" Race Night at the Sun Lorraine - 
Lee and Derek Barnsley 
On Saturday 16
th February the Sun hosted a charity race
night to raise money for Keech Cottage Children’s hospice. For those who have not been lucky enough to attend one of the Sun’s famous race nights we should explain what happens.

Six small painted metal horses shudder their way up a green fabric track to the cheers of the assembled throng. Each horse will have been ‘bought’ by a lucky (or unlucky) owner and bets placed on each horse. From those monies, a percentage gets taken for charity and the remainder is paid out in winnings to the owner and those who picked the winning horse. On Saturday night, Brian Gifford was the proud owner of the winner of the inaugural running of the "Sun Derby’ and was presented with the prestigious Sun Derby Cup which is now on the trophy shelf of the pub. On behalf of everyone who was there, we would like to thank Steve and Maureen for providing the venue, we know that a thoroughly enjoyable night was had by one and all.

We would like to thank all those from the village, and from outside, who either attended the event or, having been unable to attend, supported it by generously donating money, prizes for the raffle, or the excellent food for the interval.

We raised a grand total of £325.00, which has been sent to the Hospice. Just think what we could have done if even more people from the village had been able to take part!

Harrold Lawn Tennis Club - Hazel How

As the winter season comes to an end the members look forward to playing tennis on warm evenings. Tennis has however become an all year round sport with winter leagues. The ladies team has had a reasonably successful season in the second division. They will have a challenging time in the summer league as they have been promoted to division 1.

There has been a lot of publicity from the LTA about getting more young players to take up tennis. Britain does need players to follow in the footsteps of Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski and help to make the British Davis Cup team more successful. A group from the club went to Birmingham to watch the Davis Cup match against Sweden.

In the club Alan and Rob Dynes ran a coaching course last summer for young people. The groups were coached from June to September, finishing off with a very successful tournament. Alan and Rob plan to continue with their coaching scheme this year. We are taking part in the Bedfordshire County LTA "Play Tennis" scheme. If you are interested in joining the club come along to are open morning starting at 10 am on Saturday, April 27th. If you cannot come on that day please contact Alan Dynes (720853) or Val (782140).

Felmersham & Radwell Parish Council Jubilee Committee

On the June bank holiday weekend the parish will be holding events to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and these will be for everyone in the parish, of all ages.

By popular demand the proposed programme includes: a revue evening in the Village Hall in Felmersham on Saturday 1st June, a display of photographs and children’s painting competition in Felmersham church with a Festival of Hymns and refreshments on Sunday 2nd June and a fancy-dress street party in Moor End Road, Radwell on Monday 3rd June which will include pram race, street hockey, prize for best fancy dress, various fun side shows, competition for best decorated house in the road and ending with a party tea. There will be small prizes for all competitions. For housebound residents we are hoping to deliver a small party tea. It is intended that all events will be free of charge. However people may give donations at the events and these will be given to a nominated charity. If any of our elderly residents require transport to any event a contact number will be given for this next month.

If there is anyone who would like to give sponsorship or donate prizes this would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Maxine Boswell, tel. 01234 782128.

Further details and entry forms for all events next month. Let’s make this an event to remember!

  W.l. - Karen Stokley
Our March speaker was Stephanie Field from Stevington, a local homeopathic practitioner, who gave us a fascinating insight into her specialist world of natural cures and remedies. Earlier in the month we had said farewell to Carole Barford, our president for three years, at a supper held in her honour.

At the March meeting Deborah Rout was thanked for hosting a successful fund-raising coffee morning, and we presented Renee Whitbread with a rose bush, to commemorate her golden wedding anniversary. On April 16th, we shall hold our Annual Meeting, when voting will take place for a new committee and president.

Parish Tidy Up - Saturday 13th April - Maggie Spoor
 Could you spare some time on Saturday 13th April to help with our third Spring Clean? All volunteers will be most welcome
- bags, gloves and natty ‘Tidy Britain’ sashes are provided!! We will meet at Felmersham church at 2.00 pm. (If you would rather ‘litter pick’ another time/day, please let me know).

Are there any volunteers from Radwell? If so, please give me a ring on 782031 and I will arrange to have gloves, bags and sashes(!) delivered to you, and for the rubbish to be collected afterwards. Thank you in advance your effort will make a difference. And thank you too to those people who regularly ‘litter pick’ around the parish, your efforts are much appreciated.

Belated Easter Greeting from  Stella Swift
Stella has moved to a nursing home and is no longer able to write her customary
Easter cards. Instead she sent best wishes to her friends and neighbours a hopes you all had a Happy Easter.

Coffee Morning - Jane Wells
The coffee morning for May in aid of the Felmersham Church Restoration Fund will be held at Kingsmead on Saturday 11 May at 1030am. Contributions of home made cakes, toiletries, produce, and bric-a -brac for the bring and buy stall will be gratefully received. Everyone welcome.

Annual Parish and the Parish Council Meeting
Maggie Spoor 
Councillors Cook, Pipe, Spoor & Thomas and 10 Parishioners attended this meeting held on 5th March 2002. Apologies from Councillors Hulatt and Barford. The Annual Parish Meeting was held first. There was a report from the Chairman on the Council’s activities over the last year, a financial report by the Clerk, a report on the Village Hall by Mrs Pipe, a report submitted by Borough Councillor Hulatt and a report by Mr Ure on the P3 Group.

Parishioners questions followed. These covered the state of the bus shelters, in particular the one in Radwell which is in a mess; a request for a mirror opposite the entrance to Tithe Barn to assist drivers exiting onto the High Road; a request for the flood warning signs to be opened and closed more promptly would it be possible for someone in the parish to hold a key? A request for a footpath from Moor End to the bridge.

The Parish Council meeting followed on. Items under discussion included:

The arrangements for the Golden Jubilee. The committee formed following the open meeting is chaired by Maxine Boswell from Radwell and has 7 members. Look out for details of the events being planned.

Parking problems at Pinchmill School. The Headteacher is working with a Travel Plan Co-ordinator to reduce car journeys and thereby improve the situation.

The bulky refuse collection for Felmersham and Radwell will take place over the weekend 27th / 28th April. Times as follows: 27 April 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm 28 April 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm

We were not advised which village they would be in on which day so please pay particular attention to any notices that appear!

The Cricket Club confirmed their continuing interest in the field at Town Lot Lane. The Clerk advised the Council that there is currently £4,500 available through the county highways partnership scheme to spend on improvements and/or repairs to pathways/roads in the parish. A group of Councillors will tour the parish to identify any areas that need attention. Following complaints regarding vegetation overhanging footpaths, they will also note where this appears to be a problem.

A Code of Conduct for Parish Councillors is to be introduced from May this year. All Parish Councillors are required to register their interest in land/property within the parish, ownership of company shares, affiliation to organisations, etc. This information will be available to view at the Town Hall and before any Parish Council meeting. Any Councillor who fails to register will be deemed to have resigned. (The next Parish Council elections will be in 2003!)

The next Council meeting is on Tuesday 7~ May at 7.30 pm in Pinchmill Hall.

Jubilee Band - Robin Shaw
There are still places for more musicians to join the band being organised for the
Jubilee celebrations. If you play an instrument and would like to participate please contact me on 782358.

Lock Up Your Daughters - The Mill Theatre
This bawdy musical was the opening production of the new Mermaid Theatre in 1959 and tells of the adventure of sailors eloping, mistaken identity, counter plot and cries of ‘Rape’, all set in 1730’s London Adults only!! Tickets from Village Trader, High Street, Sharnbrook (in person)

Silent Auction With Cheese & Wine - Sat 27 April, 8pm at The Mill Theatre - a fun evening!. Tickets: £5 available from Christine Norman 01832 733770, to whom please offer your gifts of items to sell and Promises of Services 

Summer Drama School 2002 - 29 July - 2 August, at the Mill Theatre, for 9-18 year olds, directed by a professional Drama Tutor, culminating with a performance on 3rd August. Course fee £100. Please apply to Mrs Erica Lester, The Mill Theatre, Mill Road, Sharnbrook, Bedford. Just a few places left.

Felmersham & Radwell Village Hall Committee - 
Gail Holbourn 
A date for the AGM has now been set for Wednesday 151 May 2002 at 8pm in the village hall. Flyers were distributed to all houses in both Radwell and Felmersham advertising the forthcoming positions that will need to be filled on the committee at the AGM. As a result of the flyers a committee secretary has now come forward. However the positions of Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer have still to be filled. If you are interested, or would like more information, please contact Marjorie Pipe 781140 or Margery Evers 781018

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We 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 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.

Ouse News is published free by Felmersham Parochial Church Council