Ouse News
The Parish Magazine
October 2002
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Ouse News is published by Felmersham Parochial Church Council and
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Autumn Leaves                        Rev David Mason

The sun is shining as I write this, but the nights are getting longer and cooler, a feeling of Autumn is in the air. Most of the crops are in, and much of the land has been prepared for the winter. Soon we will be celebrating the harvest - all part of the regular pattern of life in the countryside. And yet, in spite of the apparent regularity of life in rural England we must all be aware of changes of life in communities there which are causing a great deal of unhappiness and insecurity. Last weekend saw the Countryside March in London, in which nearly half a million people from the countryside marched to protest about the way in which they felt they and their views were being neglected by those in power. Many will say that the proposed abolition of fox hunting was the reason for this event, and describe it as an attempt to thwart the will of those who would like to see this sport banned. It may well be that the proposed legislation formed a focus for organising the event, but I am sure that there is something much deeper here. Many living in the rural communities have seen profound changes that have severely affected their lives - the decline in the prosperity of shops, buses, public houses and other services. In our own village within recent years we have seen the closure of the village shop and baker, and also two of the three public houses. This pattern is repeated throughout the country. Changes in the patterns of farming have led to a drastic reduction of the number of people employed on the land and in those industries associated with agriculture. The farming industry itself is in danger of collapse. Depressed incomes of those who rely on rural based activity has also led to a distortion in housing, as those so affected cannot compete with those more affluent from urban based economies.

There are important decisions to be made in the near future. Do we really want the countryside to be managed as some enormous theme park run for the benefit of tourists, or do we want the countryside to be part of a productive and vibrant economy producing goods and services for the whole county. In times of national emergency we have been praised for our ability to produce food to enable the people of this land to survive. Those who plan need to be reminded of the importance of this as they consider the long term future of the countryside. God has given us the country, we are stewards, and we must be good stewards. Wise management of this precious resource is not to be just for the present, but also for the benefit those who come after us.

Parish Council Meeting  - Maggie Spoor

Councillors Cook, Pipe, Smith, Spoor & Hulatt and 2 Parishioners attended this meeting on 3 September. Apologies from Councillors Barford and Thomas.

Highway Report - In an agreement with Beds County Council, Geoff Hulatt is the nominated Liaison member over highway matters. He will monitor works in the Parish and meet twice yearly with the County Council officer.

Request to move the 30mph restriction to the Sharnbrook’ side of Felmersham bridge, initially rejected, has gone back to the Council officer for re-assessment. Grass cutting has not been satisfactory. Mike Thomas wrote to the contractor. Safety checks are being carried out by the County Council and Police on the sites of the new bus shelters.

Burial Ground - Plan and draft regulations will be discussed at the next meeting.

Finance - Councillors adopted the accounts for the year 2001/02, with one abstention. The accounts are also displayed on the village notice boards. Please contact Parish Councillors or the Clerk if you have any queries.

Bonfire Night - Janet Cook

I was appointed Chairman of the Village Hall Committee on 24 September, and at that meeting it was decided that the Committee would not organise a village bonfire this year. The Swan in Radwell has plans for a bonfire night, so please contact them for details.

Save the Children Fund - Jacky Phipps

When Judith and Ron Smith left the village a few months ago, they handed over to me their responsibilities with the Save the Children Fund. I shall be continuing the tradition of an open weekend for the sale of Christmas cards and gifts (and a cup of coffee!) and shall be holding this on 26 October from lOam - noon and from 2pm - 4pm, and on 27 October from 2pm - 4pm. All are welcome. I have already distributed catalogues around the village, but in case by some chance I have missed you, I shall leave copies in my front porch during the week beginning 20 October, so please help yourself. Even if you aren’t able to come to the open weekend, you can order through me and escape the not-insubstantial postage charges!

Old Photographs of Felmersham - Helen Dawkins

The old photograph of the bridge and church at Felmersham has proved very popular. I have 2 additional old views of Felmersham available now : Church End Road, view from church tower, showing The Plough

View from field behind old bakery looking to Church, showing several cottages. If you have any local fund raising events coming up and would like some copies of the photographs to sell on a commission basis, please let me know. I also have a large collection of other old views of north and mid Bedfordshire villages. Contact me at Black and White Revival (217263)


Harvest Festival   Rev David Mason

This year the harvest festival will be held on 6~ October, and I hope that you will all support it as in previous years. The proceeds of the Festival will once again be sent to the Bishop of St Albans Harvest for the Hungry Appeal which this year will be devoted to supporting the work of St Francis Hospital, Zambia. 

Parish Registers

29 July.
Interment of the ashes of Ronald (Richard) Ryszard
11 September
Interment of the ashes of Wyn Hawken

A Note From the North - Judith & Ron Smith

As our American friends would say ‘Just touching base’. We are firmly established in our new apartment and while we miss our friends we do enjoy being near the four grandchildren. Lancaster is a small city with the sea on one side and the hills on the other. Morecambe is separated from Lancaster by the River Lune and together with the Lune Valley form one administrative area. For those who do not know Lancaster, it’s a small city complete with a cathedral, university and a working castle working in the sense that part of it is still a prison. The town is very compact and has a lot of character. It’s a case of ‘swings and roundabouts’. The Trough of Bowland is on the doorstep and Kendal and the Lakes are just twenty miles distant, for shopacoholics however, there is nothing to compare to the convenience of the Milton Keynes shopping complex. Temperatures are a C degree or two lower than Felmersham and it rains more often, but the atmosphere doesn’t get oppressive.

Judith does miss WI. We are not without old friends here as we now swap visits with Christine Lindley and Stephen Lott who live in Kendal. Through Christine, Judith had a happy day with Jennie Herd, formerly of Milton Ernest. We have no Save The Children Fund Branch in Lancaster so we will probably start in a very modest way in our apartment block this Christmas. We do hope that friends who may be travelling up the M6 will drop off at junction 33 and join us for a coffee, a meal or an overnight stop to see us.

Coffee Morning - Jane Wells

The Church Coffee Morning for October in aid of the Felmersham Church Restoration Fund will be held at the home of Paul and Mary Freeman, Meadowbank, Pavenham Road, Felmersham, on Saturday 5 October at 1030am. Contributions of home made cakes, toiletries, produce and bric-a-brac for the bring and buy stall will be most welcome. Everyone welcome. November’s will be at Willow Cottage, Grange Road, Felmersham on Saturday 2 November at 1030am.

Bellringing - Cohn Payne

A peal attempt will take place at St Mary’s, by a visiting band, on Tuesday 29thOctober. It will start at 1O am and last over 3 hours. A full peal on the eight bells is over 5000 different changes continuously on the bells a rare event.

Wedding - Janet & Michael Abbott

The wedding of Victoria (Vicky) Abbott to Warren Loader took place on Friday 13th September on Lundy Island of the coast of North Devon. Sixty guests made the journey to Lundy by boat, to stay on the island for two days. The wedding service was conducted by the Rev. Andrew Richardson in the tiny church and the reception was held in the island tavern. Vicky attended Pinchmill School and later Dame Alice Harpur School and now lives in London and works for the BBC as a Broadcast Journalist.

Oil Buying Group - Clive Just

An oil buying group was set up last year in Felmersham to bulk buy oil (several residents at the same time) at reduced prices. Last year we saved up to £20 per tank per person. Orders are placed when someone needs oil rather than at fixed times as the latter seems too difficult to plan. Although an order has just been placed there may be another one placed soon. If you would like to join please send an email to OuseOil-subscribe@smartgrouos.com or alternatively call me (789167). There is a similar group in Radwell but I do not have any details.

Carlton and Chellington Historical Society -
Mike Benson

There will be a talk with slides on Railways in Bedfordshire given by Richard Crane in Carlton Village Hall on Thursday 17 October starting at 8pm. Admission 50p, £1 for non-members. For more information call me on 781649.

Remembrance Sunday - Fred Turner

There will be a short wreath laying service, conducted by Rev, David Mason, at the War Memorial at approximately 11.45 am on Sunday 10 November, immediately following the morning service. If you wish to contribute towards the cost of the poppy wreath please contact me on 781864 or send your donation to “Five Elms”, Moor End Road, Radwell. Please support the poppy appeal!

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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.