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ODELL VILLAGE NEWS
Ouse Valley Singers
The Ouse Valley Singers
Songs for a Summer Evening
Saturday 30th June at 7.30 pm
All Saints’ Church, Odell
A Glass of Wine & Refreshments
Tickets £7.50 students £5
available from Ann 720587
Jill 720261 or Catherine 720348
Round and About
From Fact to Fiction
As an avid collector of useless information I have recently found myself looking into a number of bizarre accepted truths, only to find that many do not hold true. Let me shed a little light ......
Take the domestic moggie, for example. We are led to believe that, when dropped from a height, the cat will always land, safely, on its feet. If reports from vets are anything to go by neither are true. What is true is the remarkable ability of the cat to twist its body in mid-air in a bid to land feet first. Sadly this does not always happen as the cat needs enough height in the first place in which to manoeuvre, and if it does get its feet down there is a strong likelihood of broken bones. Shock of
impact can result in broken legs and internal damage. A vet reports a broken pelvis or fractured jaw is the most likely result from a high dive, even when landing feet first. Conversely, there is a report of a cat surviving a 46 storey fall as a result of bouncing from one canopy to the next.
Another popular myth concerning the domestic cat is their inability to swim. Bearing in mind that the domestic cat has evolved from a species living in the barren wastes of the Eurasian desert its little surprise that the cat has no natural instinct to take to the water. However, in extremis, most cats can keep themselves afloat long enough to reach safety. (Please do not try this at home!) Abyssinian, Turkish Angoras and Manxes are known to seek out water and a Bengali cat is known as the swimming cat. It lives in areas of Bengal, Burma, Nepal and China and catches fish with extra long, hooked claws. Perhaps I should also add that tigers have been filmed swimming and are known to quite happily cross rivers when called upon to do so.
We are told that mice love cheese and if Walt Disney is to be believed, would go to any lengths to get hold of a piece of cheese. However, Manchester University has been at work and has discovered that, when given the choice, mice prefer grain, pulses or fruit. Mice are opportunists and will eat practically anything, but faced with the option of cheese or chocolate they will go for the chocolate every time.
Folklore tells us that the Mad March Hare displays his amazing ability to leap and jump and to box with rival males as a part of their courtship. This, however, cannot be the case. Their mating season runs from February through to November and, therefore, the March Madness seems far more likely to be a form of Spring Fever displaying a joy of life after the long winter blues.
Another popular belief is that bats are blind but, in effect, they have quite good eyesight and use their excellent vision for both navigation and hunting for food. It is true that bats have the ability of echolocation but this is used primarily when in enclosed or dark places, like a cave or a cellar etc. Once in the open it is their eyesight that they use.
How about that wonderful myth, brought home by early explorers, that the ostrich buries its head in the sand. However talented this remarkable bird may be, burying its head in the sand is not one of them. The ostrich is "remarkable" in many ways. It is the largest and heaviest living bird with a kick that can kill a lion and a top running speed of 43 mph. The myth arose because, when sensing danger, the bird drops to the earth and presses its head and neck flat along the ground. Because both head and neck are pale in colour they blend with the sandy soil giving the early explorers the impression that the birds had buried their heads.
Wolves howl at the moon - or so we are told. Wolves are mainly active at night and prefer to spend the daylight hours quietly out of sight. When darkness falls the pack comes together in preparation of the hunt. Part of this routine is to start howling in order to locate the other members of the pack...and also to discover any other wolves that have strayed into their patch. Howling is a part of their preparation to go hunting...they hunt at night...therefore they howl at night whether the moon is shining or not!
A goldfish has a memory span of 4 seconds. Another popular myth and, it would seem, totally wrong. Under scientific tests Plymouth University have discovered that goldfish are clever enough to learn a routine and three months later can remember it. The fish have also learned to press a lever to gain access to food.
Can a swan break a man's arm with its wings? This, it seems, is highly unlikely. It is thought to be a scare story to keep children away from such a large, and potentially dangerous, bird especially when there are cygnets around.
Finally, does a shark have the ability to sleep? For a long time people have thought that the shark must swim to enable water to flow across their gills but now it has been discovered that due to the organ that controls their swimming, they are able to continue swimming while asleep. They also have the ability to pump oxygenated water across their gills, allowing them to "breathe" while stationary.
The world, it seems, is riddled with such myths and misrepresentations.Barbara Corley
Thank you to those who collected in the village for the RSPCA; a total of £69.90 was raised for local branch funds.
Mandy Sharpe, 50 on 5th May 2007
Several weeks before Mandy’s birthday friends and family were contacted by Sam, Vicky and Georgie – her three beautiful daughters – we used to call them ‘Les Girls’!
They were planning a surprise party with help from partners Colin and James and fiancé Chris, and of course from Bobby, and diverting tactics from Robbie!
Came the day and Mandy sensed something was afoot, but thought it would be a modest dinner with her parents – so she was fairly overcome when arriving at the Village Hall. She found many of her family and dozens of friends assembled in the delightfully decorated hall, a full dance band in residence and a table set with a feast.
Around 70 guests danced, sang along with the two very lively young vocalists, enjoyed the barbeque presided over by brother Jonathan and all the dishes set out in the hall, plus delicious desserts!
Mandy must have been justifiably proud of her three lovely daughters after all the struggles in their early lives. It isn’t easy being a single mum and Mandy coped and managed incredibly well; this wonderful party was a fitting tribute to all her hard work, care, and above all love.
“The greatest of these is love”, 1 Cor. 13 v.13
On behalf of all the guests, thank you Mandy for being such a valuable member of our community, and thank you Samantha, Victoria and Georgina for such a splendid evening to celebrate this special birthday. Jenny Cuddeford
Quarry Threat and Village Action Meeting
As villagers know, there is a potential threat of further gravel quarrying taking place in the fields lying between the River Ouse in Odell and the villages of Felmersham (site ‘MD49’) and Chellington, (site ‘MD46’).
In last month’s ‘Round and About’ article Barbara urged villagers to petition Bedfordshire County Council with their objections to these proposals, on the grounds of detriment to the environment, danger to wildlife, destruction of an archaelogical site and damage to surrounding businesses, to name a few of the concerns mentioned (see ‘Round and About’, May Odell Parish Magazine).
On April 23rd a meeting was held in the Village Hall, convened and directed by Ian Hargreaves from The Mill in Odell, in which these and other concerns about the proposal were examined in greater detail.
Several of those present at the meeting remembered the quarrying which took place on the land now known as Harrold-Odell Country Park, and the disruption to village life which that caused at the time. Although that area is now a place of natural beauty, it was noted that there was little likelihood of the endangered land realizing the same fate should it be quarried; in fact it was possible it could even be used as a land-fill site.
Further to the village meeting, Ian met Alistair Burt MP and gave him several documents, including a copy of the petition signed by villagers at the meeting and the submissions Ian had made to the County Council.The objections raised to the quarrying of these sites included:
Traffic management, health and safety, flooding, environmental factors, pollution, loss of great landscape value, harm to bird/wildlife, historical and archaeological significance and lack of proven resource. Ian suggested that all those present should write to or email Bedfordshire County Council voicing these objections. Originally objections were to be received by 4th May but the consultation period has been extended to 31 May, so anyone receiving an ‘early’ copy of the June magazine will still have time to respond. The address to write to is:
Minerals and Waste Planning Team
Bedfordshire County Council
Cauldwell Street, MK42 9AP
or email; MWPlans@bedscc.gov.uk
Ian reports that Alistair said he had discussed this matter with the County Council and it is his view that it is unlikely that Sites MD46 and MD49 will be chosen by the County Council. However, he encouraged residents in the area to make any comments they feel necessary to the Council and gave his unreserved support to our campaign to stop the quarrying of the Upper Ouse Valley and in particular sites MD46 and MD49”.
Fete Weekend in Odell:
Friday 8th June
Setting up 2.00 – 7.00pm on Friday 8th June
Everyone welcome – come whenever you can!
Saturday 9th June at 2.00pm
Odell Village Fete and Dog Show
In Scout Field, Horsefair Lane, Odell
Entry Adults £1.50, Children Free
Stantonbury Brass Band
Boys Brigade Teas
Children’s Tombola Ice Creams
Tombola Cakes Beat the Goalie
Books Refreshments Bottle Stall
Coconut Shy Children’s Sports White Elephant
Produce Gifts Many Side Shows
Raffle Dog Show
Programme of Events
2.00pm Grand Opening by Mrs Noreen Sturridge
2.00-4.00pm Dog Show
4.00pm Judging of Children’s Competitions
4.30pm Raffle Draw and Prize Giving
Family Dog Show
(entry fee - £1 per dog per class)
1. Children’s Handling (14 years and under)
2. Puppies under 1 year
3. Country sporting dog or bitch
4. Best rescue or re-home dog or bitch
5. Best condition dog or bitch
6. Dog or bitch with most appealing eyes
7. Best cross-bred dog or bitch
8. Dog or bitch the judge would most like to take home
9. Best in show
Thank you for all the cards and messages of condolence following the death of my wife Florrie. Many thanks to Rev’d Christine Clark for organising the thanksgiving service, to all who attended and the ladies who kindly arranged the refreshments in the village hall afterwards. It was very much appreciated. The collection for the charity Kidney Research UK raised £352.
Florrie Shellard 1925 – 2007
Florence Shellard, known affectionately to all her friends as Florrie, was born in Colmworth, the 10th child of the fourteen surviving children of Frederick and Mabel Fensom. The Fensom family were agricultural contractors working with steam engines in the surrounding villages. Florrie attended the village school and as a small girl was a keen Brownie.
She left school at the age of fourteen and three years later came to Odell to work as a landgirl for Ken Brookes at Rectory Farm. She lodged with Mr and Mrs Shellard in Horsefair Lane and in 1944 married Ken. Florrie took a keen interest in all aspects of village life, organising dances to raise money for the local scout troop, cubs and other causes. In 1959 her daughter, Jocelyn was born.
Florrie was an active member of the Odell tennis club for many years. Her support for All Saints’ Church included being on the PCC, teaching in Sunday school and for many years she marshalled a team to prepare the food and wait on tables at the Harvest Supper, sitting to eat only when everyone had eaten their fill.
Barbara Fowler recalls another part that Florrie played in village life
All The World’s a stage
And all the men and women merely players
They have their exits and their entrances
And one man in his time plays many parts
Picture in your mind Odell School. Now think of it as a theatre. The production being staged runs continually but the actors change every few years. They come in to learn the basic skills that will take them on their journey through life. Not only the rudiments in the three R’s but also teaching them to relate to other people and carry with them the qualities required of a civilised society.
Every theatre requires operatives and in the school we had people working who filled those roles. I saw Florrie as the Stage Manager. She was able to absorb her surroundings and to see what was required of her in so many aspects. She assisted many of the actors as they came into that new environment and gave them directions to help keep the show running smoothly. She kept the theatre clean and tidy. She organised the food. Most of the children thought she cooked it as well. Off stage and outside Florrie was Commander Supremo. No one escaped her eagle eye but she would be first to join in their games and fun.
Florrie also held the position of Secretary but I think without the title. In those days there was very little paperwork and it seemed to me that it was all sorted and dealt with out on the draining board; there certainly was no office space.
Florrie played many parts in the production overall.
Had we been selling tickets she would have been busy in the Box Office because we did not seem to lack takers for our productions. It was a happy house and Florrie with her fine looks and bearing certainly played many parts on her way.
As Shakespeare said: ‘One man in his time plays many parts’ and in this village Florrie did just that.
Jonathan Harrison tells of Florence’s devotion to the village.
I want to tell you about Florence as I knew her as a member of the Odell Parish Council.
Florence has given so much to this village of Odell, and I have beenprivileged to know her while I have lived here.
I knew her best after I was elected to the Parish Council, by which time she was already an experienced Member.
There was no part of our village life with which she was not familiar, and with most, she was intimately involved. She could therefore guide the Parish Council on any subject that came before the meeting, and give useful contributions on so many subjects.
She passionately defended this beautiful village from despoliation in connection with planning decisions which came before the Council from Bedford Borough, and this she did without fear or favour.
She joined in the fight to replace the concrete street lamps, known as dying swans. They were ugly, and the steel reinforcing was going rusty. The Council learnt that at last they were to be scrapped. And in the teeth of opposition from the Powers that be, we got the ones which we now have, and of which neighbouring parishes are extremely jealous.
She saved the telephone box from its removal which BT threatened. They had decided on a horrid little yellow one, a real eyesore it would have been, as well as being drafty and uncomfortable to the user. It is now protected by a preservation order.
Florence also took it upon herself to open up the Village Hall for our meetings, making sure the lights were on and all ready for the business of the evening.
Her devotion to the welfare of the Village and all the people of Odell was recognized by the Bedford Borough Council when she received a Civic award for Citizenship from the Mayor of Bedford in a ceremony in the Howard Rooms in the Corn Exchange in Bedford.
She never failed to attend a meeting, health permitting, and when she finally decided not to stand again in the Election for Parish Councillors, it was decided to present her with a Silver Tray, suitably inscribed, to record the appreciation of the Council for her long devoted and meritorious Service to the village.
A few years ago she presented this tray to All Saints Church, and it stands on the altar in the South aisle to this day, as a fitting memorial to Florence.
I consider it my privilege to have known her.
The Lavendon & District Branch of the British Legion pay tribute
The Lavendon & District Branch of the British Legion and indeed the British Legion movement as a whole owe a debt of gratitude to Florence’s loyal and dedicated work carrying out door to door sales of poppies in the Odell area over many years. When I say many I mean not 5,10 or 20, but over 40 to 50 years.
Over the years she has been awarded a British Legion badge recognising 35 years service and in addition a Bar awarded for a further 10 years collecting.
In the early years Florence was a major contributor to the overall total, regularly collecting over £100 of the grand total of £700 to £800. This, in the days when donations of halfpennies, pennies, shillings and perhaps the odd half crown were commonplace, a truly magnificent effort.
Over the years Florence must have made many friends in the village on her annual rounds, sadly today we have failed to find a replacement for her and the only contribution from Odell is a collecting box in ‘The Bell’.
In conclusion I would like to record a sincere thank you to Florence for her supreme efforts and dedication to a worthy cause and offer sympathy to her family in their loss.
Roy Chapman Chairman British Legion Lavendon Branch
Keith and Pat pay tribute to their Good Neighbour
We appreciated the welcome Ken and Florrie gave us when we came to the village in 1988. Florrie proved to be a mine of local information, a good listener with an amazing ability to absorb and remember facts. She became a good friend to Pat and enjoyed lending her books on subjects of mutual interest.
Her support of Jocelyn as Akela of the Cubs was unstinting and she put a great deal of time and effort into co-producing the three volumes of the Pictorial History of Odell in conjunction with Ernie and Edie Surridge, Peter Coleman and Derek Spencer.
Doreen Wheeler adds a personal note.
Jim and I moved next door to Florrie & Ken 22 years ago. Initially, I worked full time and was not very involved with village life. This did not stop Florrie being a good neighbour. On one occasion we were on holiday and she thought she heard someone in our house. She called the farmer opposite and she accompanied him (armed with an axe) to investigate. It was, in fact, a friend watering the house plants but it was typical of Florrie. She didn’t ignore the situation hoping it would go away or leave it to someone else to sort. She handled it, but in a sensible way.
When I eventually finished work I joined the WI. Florrie was one of the founder members and was still a member when we celebrated our 50th birthday. She was a loyal member and always supported and contributed to any events. As she grew older and was less happy to come out on dark nights she decided to leave. I suggested she could join us on light evenings, but she would not consider being a fair weather member. She would only accept total commitment.
Of course Jocelyn, was very dear to her heart. She loved and cherished her, but accepted the way Joss decided to handle her illness even though it was not in tune with Florrie’s wishes. She was devastated when Joss died, but as with everything she handled it with great dignity.
More recently, I went with Florrie for any hospital and doctors’ appointments. Her medical conditions were many, varied and complicated. She always wished to know the exact circumstances she was facing and then faced them with courage. She would assess the options and decide which route she would take. She was a very determined lady and would set herself targets despite the considerable pain she was suffering. Her GP was astonished at some of the difficulties she overcame.
But above all she was interested in people and concerned for their welfare. If she knew there were problems in our family she always asked after them and tried to help. She supported charities that were dear to her heart, especially those that were associated with Joss. And then there was her incredible memory. It was typical that when I asked her about a now demolished building she went to great lengths to tell me its history. But later that day a ‘Florrie note’ as they were affectionately known, was pushed through our door with three more pages of details that she had since remembered.
My abiding memory will be her smile, which even when she was ill, lit up her whole face. She was more than our next door neighbour. She was a friend; a lady whom I admired, respected and shall most definitely miss.
The collection from Florrie's Thanksgiving Service in aid of the British Diabetic Association and The Dialysis Unit Centre at Addenbrooke'sHospital amounted to £352.00.
Birthday Greetings To:
Mia Vyvyan on 2nd June
Alexander Tringham on 16th June,
Eleanor Robinson on the 17th June
Elliott Swift on the 19th June
and to anyone else with a birthday in June!
Time is not in fancy clocks all springs and cogs within a box,
Time that hangs within a wall isn’t really time at all.
Time is in the mountains and in the valleys down below
Time is in the gullies where streams and rivers flow
Time is in the sea and tide and in the air where eagles glide
Time is in a winter’s thrall and in the spring and summer glow
Time is in the autumn breeze, in decay and fallen leaves
Time is old and time is new
But time means little without you.
Harrold Cricket Club Harrold Lower School
Harrold Playing Field
Saturday June 16th
7.00 for 7.30pm until late
Tickets £28.00 Tel: 720638
All proceeds in aid of the above organisations
It was our A.G.M. this month, our opportunity to look back over the year and reflect upon the highlights of a full programme. We held more meetings using our own skills and resources than in recent years and this proved so popular that we have decided to create a similar programme for next year. We were pleased to welcome several new members and hope that they find the friendship and support that is such a feature of Odell W.I.
We then discussed this year’s National Federation of W.I.’s resolution which is concerned with the closure of Cottage Hospitals. Lynette Hall gave us a presentation of the facts that she had discovered and we then voted. Our decision to support the resolution will be conveyed to our representative at the National Conference in June.
After tea we then enjoyed some light relief and took part in a quiz prepared for us by Doreen Wheeler.
This will be held on Tuesday 10th July at 7.00p.m. (note the earlier time) when we visit Margaret Jones at Yelnow Farm. Please note there is no meeting in June as so many members are involved in the organisation of the fete.
None this month
Rachel Halton 720572
Harrold Branch Conservatives
Craft and Food Fare on Saturday 16th June
at the Harrold Centre,
10.00am to 4.00pm.
Refreshments available; free entry.
We welcome you there.
LOOKING DOWNby Roger Jackson
One day I flew
Wearing Air Force blue
With an Army Reconnaissance pilot
The 1kite was small,
Hardly moved at all
And the clouds that day were a high lot.
While we cruised around
I could view the ground
As a patchwork piece to borrow
As it slowly rolled,
It looked somehow old
And I sensed of age-deep sorrow.
1. ‘Kite’ was a name given to a small military aircraft.
Summer Garden Party
Odell Luncheon Club invites you to a
strawberry tea in Jim and Doreen Wheeler’s garden:
Linden House, 93 High Street, Odell,
On Wednesday 4th July at 3.00pm
All senior citizens are invited.
Please let Jill Cheadle (720261) know by Sunday 24th June if you wish to come.
From time to time the elderly and infirm in the village need help with transport to Harrold or Sharnbrook surgery for appointments or to
So far, the following people have volunteered to help:
Kim Beardow 721246
Jill Cheadle 720261
Jonathan Harrison 721115
Linda and George Tringham 720120
Marion Ingrey-Senn 721176
If you think you can also help with this occasionally, please let Jill Cheadle know (720261) as it would be useful to draw up a list of names and numbers which could be called upon when necessary. All help would be very much appreciated.
Harrold-Odell Country Park
Carlton Road, Harrold, Bedford MK43 7DS
Celebrate Your Park!
Saturday June 30th 4 – 10pm
An invitation to all local villagers to come and see what your local park can offer you.
The events will include bats, trails, orienteering, bbq, story telling, make and take items, Friends group activities, mock archaeological dig (4 – 6.30pm), birds, doggy stall and a dusk walk, plus many more things besides. Dogs welcome.
Please note – Parking will be for disabled people only. Please walk or cycle.
Spoons and Spatulas
Sunday 8th July 2 – 4pm
Learn some of the tricks of the trade to make your own kitchen spatulas and spoons. Find out which wood is the best for this and have a go at some of the tools including a shave horse, pole lathe, spoon gouge and curved knife!
Saturday 25th August 8pm - late
Learn to identify the many species of moth living in the Park at this time of year with a practical hands-on session.
Friends of Harrold-Odell Country Park Conservation tasks 2007
Come and join in with practical work to enhance the park for wildlife and visitors on the following dates:
Monday 25 June, Monday 30 July, Monday 20 August
All tasks start at 10am and finish mid afternoon, but you only need stay as long as you want.
If you would like to bring a group of children to the Park, an event can be organised for them. Adult groups also welcome. Contact us for further details.
Village Hall News
If you have an idea or can help with these let us know, and if you would like a venue for a private function, the very reasonable hire fee helps us maintain the hall.
AGM on June 12th at 8pm in the Village Hall. Everyone welcome.
Please note some work is being carried out at the side of the village hall and therefore villagers are asked not to go into the former play area as it will be unsafe for the next few months. Your co-operation will be much appreciated.
Waste Paper Collection - Thank you for bringing your waste paper to the bins. Though the return is small, every little bit helps financially and of course the waste is recycled.
Do please support our events, and do suggest to us your ideas for alternative activities.
Rob Lee (720730) on behalf of the Village Hall Committee.
The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook
Reg. Charity No 242164
All quiet at The Mill?
You could be forgiven for thinking so, but for the
contrasting accents of Liverpudlian English, elegant ‘Edwardian’ Swedes and ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ Lancashire, still echoing around The Mill, and in the memories of our patrons, from our March and May presentations!
Also, rehearsals are well underway for Francis Durbridge’s sexy,
passionate classic thriller:
Suddenly at Home, 25th – 29th September,
and Richard Morris’ high spirited, musical for all the family,
Thoroughly Modern Millie, 16th – 24th November.
Tickets will be available about 6 weeks beforehand.
These are preceded, at the end of July, by our Youth Theatre Summer School, which is fully subscribed again this year. Are you aged 9-18? Reserve early for 2008! Tel. 781210.
In readiness for our Autumn Season, why not become a Chairholder of The Mill Theatre, thereby receiving 12 vouchers, valid for 3 years, exchangeable for tickets face value up to £132 … for just £100! Plus special concessions at The Riverside Restaurant, where Theatre Dinners are available. Please contact Keith Lazenby, (01234) 359733 for details and conditions …. it’s well worth it!
Many people extol the virtues of the Mill Theatre Island, its delightful views and tranquil setting, and the Public Bridleway from Mill Road, Sharnbrook across the river to Radwell, a lovely walk. It can be tempting to stray ‘off the beaten track’. But, please remember this is private land and kindly respect it as such, taking your litter home; Dog Walkers, please use the new Dog Waste Bin at the top of Theatre Drive; thus conserving this pleasant environment, unsullied, for us all to enjoy. Thank you!
The Trust also owns the fishing rights. Mid-June sees the resumption of the Fishing Season. The downstream banks have been cleared in readiness. .Please contact Erica Lester (01234) 781210 to arrange Annual Fishing Membership £25, or a Day Permit £5. Good Luck!
Sun 3rd 1.30- Carlton Open Gardens
Fri 8th 2.00-7pm Setting up fete, Scout Field
Sat 9th 2pm Odell Village Fete Opening
Sun 10th 11am All Age Service of worship, Scout field
Tues 12th 8.00pm Village Hall Committee AGM
Wed 13th 10.30am Meeting Point, Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, Harrold
Sat 16th 10-4pm Harrold Conservatives Craft and Food Fare,
Sat 16th 7pm Midsummer Ball, Harrold Playing Field
Sat 23rd 9.45am All Saints’ Amblers; meet at The Bell
Mon 25th 10am HOCP Conservation tasks
Wed 27th 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen’s, 24 Church Hall Rd., Rushden.
Wed 30th 4-10pm HOCP Open Day and fun events
Wed 30th 7.30pm The Ouse Valley Singers concert, All Saints’
Please send all entries for the July 2007 magazine to Tricia Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Catherine Corkery by June 12th 2007 at the latest. May we remind you that the editorial team exercises the right to edit, shorten or alter any items that are submitted. Also, the opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and are not the responsibility of the editorial team.
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