Back to the Odell Home Page


April 2011  



Happy birthday to…

Rebecca Causton who will be 6 on the 3rd , and to Tania Fulford who will be 15 on the  5th and to everyone else with a birthday in April.


Round and About 

One-a-Penny - Two-a-Penny 

 With Easter fast upon us many people turn their thoughts to little rabbits, chicks and Easter eggs.  There is, however, one other tradition that we cannot do without.  Hot cross buns! 

These buns, or something pretty similar, have been around for a very long time.   They were first eaten in England back in Roman times and were associated with the coming of Spring.  When Christianity arrived the little buns became firmly linked with Lent when, on Good Friday the Church would distribute them to the poor.  It had always been the custom to slice the cross into the dough itself.  However, the first recorded incident of a change came in St. Albans, Hertfordshire when, in 1361, a monk preparing to distribute his hot cross buns to the poor decided to pipe the cross on to the top of the bun instead.  From this date onwards the idea seems to have spread across the country. 

Made from white flour with spices, sugar and dried fruit, the hot cross bun was always considered to be a special treat.  At a time when most people lived on coarse wholemeal breads and, as they were marked with a cross, they were only to be eaten on special holy festivals.   They were also considered to have special holy powers.  Hot cross buns cooked on Good Friday were used, in a powdered form, to treat illnesses.  Many families would hang the buns from their kitchen ceiling to protect the household from evil for the year to come.  Superstition also claimed that by taking hot cross buns to sea you would protect the vessel from shipwreck. 

Queen Elizabeth 1 considered the power of these little buns to be so great that she introduced a law banning them.  If anyone so much as ate a bun they ran the risk of imprisonment.  Her motives were governed by the constant fear of that age - the return of Catholicism.  As the buns were made from the same dough as that used for preparing communion wafers the fear was that anyone who ate the buns would be converted back to the old faith.  However, the buns were so well-liked that the Queen feared that the ban would damage her own popularity and she backed down.  Instead she introduced another law stating that the buns could only be eaten at Easter and Christmas.  Let us be thankful that we no longer live in such paranoid times! 

There is something so unique about the spicy smell of freshly baked hot cross buns.  Traditionally prepared with raisins, sultanas and later, when it became available, orange peel, together with a

generous helping of spice - One-a-Penny  -  Two-a-Penny ...Hot Cross Buns!  A rhyme that rings down through the ages reminding us that historically these buns would be sold to the public still warm from the oven. 

You do not even have to restrict yourself to the traditional fruits, however.  You can always try cranberries or diced apricots, if preparing them yourself.  Another slight change you might like to try your hand at is Easter Pudding.  This, really, is a form of Easter bread-and-butter-pudding only using hot cross buns instead.  Just cut the buns in half, lightly butter and layer into a dish and then prepare your egg and custard in the usual way.   Barbara Corley 

Odell Multi Fill Register For Oil Users 

As the cost of our heating oil has now become expensive, it is usually better to purchase large amounts to receive a competitive price.  I am proposing that I will keep a record of who needs to fill up so that a multi fill order is placed when anyone needs to buy.  If you are interested in being on this register or have any queries on this matter please telephone me on 721860, or contact me at my address below.

To register you will need to let me know your size of tank, usual order pattern, usual quantity ordered and past oil companies you have used, as well as your name and address of course.  Les Knowles


At our meeting in March, Odell WI welcomed Paul Airton, Fundraising Manager for East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).  Air Ambulances are nothing new and he reminded us that the Flying Doctors in Australia had to use aircraft to be able to reach remote and rural communities quickly and evacuate patients.  In 1987 the first helicopter Air Ambulance in this country operated in Devon and Cornwall.  In 2000 a group of people in Norwich decided to raise money to purchase a helicopter for the Eastern region and in January 2001 two helicopters started operations in East Anglia.  The EAAA now operate out of Cambridge Airport seven days a week, 365 days a year covering Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk and the operational area is 5,500 square miles with a population of 3.2 million.  Each call out costs an average of £1500 and the aircraft uses 350 litres of fuel per hour.  Air ambulances receive no government or lottery funding and are dependent on fund raising from the community.  £175 was raised by ladies in the village, many of whom are WI members, and at the end of the evening Mr Airton was handed cheques for over £200 plus many cash donations.  Also donated were old bank notes and coins that the EAAA sort and sell as part of their fundraising.  A big thank you to all who generously donated to this cause, many of whom gave anonymously.

For more information go to 

The next meeting, on Tuesday 12th April, 7.30pm in the Village Hall, is Parchment Making and will be given by Tova Irving who is one of the last parchment makers in the UK.

This is an OPEN MEETING.  Visitors £2 to include tea, coffee and biscuits

Hostesses are Rachel and Lorraine.

New members are always welcome and if you need any more information please ring Rachel Halton 720572        Jane Eshelby 

Odell Parish Council News 

Annual Parish Meeting:

We held our Annual Parish Meeting on the 21st March, with a very interesting presentation on Crime Prevention from PC Pete Spicer, ably assisted by our local PCSO, Chris Warmington.  Neighbourhood Watch: the values to the community were discussed and it is hoped to form a group within the village in the next few months.  You may already be part of your own ‘neighbourhood watch’, but at the present time Odell is not registered as being part of the registered Neighbourhood Watch scheme in Bedfordshire.  The Parish Council are very keen to take this forward and would like to hear from parishioners who would like to be involved with this project.  There are many benefits, including a reduction in your Household Insurance if you are part of the official Neighbourhood Watch Association.  I would also like to bring to your attention the value of signing up to the Police lead ‘Ringmaster’ scheme.  This is a very helpful email alert system which sends out information of any local crimes in your area.   To find out more, please contact the Clerk, as I can give you more in-depth information and supply you with a Registration Form. 

At the recent Police Joint Action Meeting, held on the 3rd March, the three top priorities were decided for Policing in our SNT Area – 1. Rural Theft, 2.Anti-Social Behaviour (particularly in Harrold, Riseley and Sharnbrook), 3.Parking – especially in the areas around the local schools.  It is very important that all parishioners report any unusual activities in the village to the Police, no matter how small or unimportant you think it is.  Your information could help solve a crime.  Ring Riseley Police Station on 01234 842865, email, or call 01234 841212.  In case of an emergency ring 999. 

Elections:  Thursday 5th May is Election Day, this will include local Parish Council Elections.  We currently have a full Council, but if you feel that you would like to join Odell Parish Council you have until April 4th to have your Nomination Papers returned to the Returning Officer at Bedford Borough Council.  Information is displayed on the Parish Council Notice Board.

Highways:  The Parish Council have been working with Bedford Borough Council Highways regarding extending the 30 m.p.h. speed limit between Odell and Little Odell along the High Street and also the road in Little Odell past the new houses and up to Westwood Nurseries.  We have not been given a date yet for these much needed improvements, but we expect to see these occur in the next few months. 

Outside works to the Village Hall:  The improvements to the outside areas will have commenced by the time you read this article and we hope the weather is kind to the Contractor so that the work will be completed in good time.  I can confirm that the Parish Council were successful in their bid for part of the Borough Councillor Nick Charsley’s Ward Fund, the £2,000.00 has now been allocated to us. 

Harrold Odell Country Park:  There will be a very exciting Open Day at the Park on Monday 30th May, it is intended to have all users of the Park represented and there will be lots to do and see.  Do pop along to join in the fun and learn something new and interesting about your park.  The new Playground area has been completed, with signage and extra mesh fencing.  Please remember to shut the gate to this area when you leave, it will help to keep dogs away from this children friendly area. 

As always, if you have any concerns or need to contact the Parish Council I can be contacted on 01234 721812 between 10am to 12noon Monday to Friday.  A message can be left on the answer phone if I am not available to deal with your call.  Alternatively, send an email – 

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Monday 16th May at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.     Nina Bransgrove-Knight   Clerk to Odell Parish Council 

Fancy a Drink? 

I don't know about you, but when I go to the pub I never know what to drink.  I don't like fizzy drinks and I don't like beer.  I'm reluctant to buy juice or wine when I can drink them at home for a fraction of the price.  I do rather like Pernod mixed with a bit of tap water but sadly 'Pernod and black' is no longer in fashion, so a lot of pubs don't stock it. 

I don't have the same problem when I visit the West Country.  Lots of the pubs there have locally produced flat (often cloudy) cider for sale  - and I love it! 

Hmmm 'Evershed's cider' has a ring to it. 

I'd like to do it in the traditional way, using the old fashioned apple press that I bought but, in reality I have found it hugely labour intensive and not very efficient at extracting juice (something to do with the fact that I don't have proper 'pulping' equipment or a big enough press). 

Consequently I have, for the moment, chiefly resorted to an electric juice extractor or a combination of the two.  Regardless of the method I'm not able to get more than about 4 litres (if that!) of juice from around 20lb of apples.  With that sort of ratio I do need a source of free (or at the very least extremely cheap) apples, otherwise a bottle of cider will end up costing me more to make than I get when I sell it (I realise now why there are so few small scale cider producers...).  Anyway, if anyone would like me to relieve them of their apple crop in exchange for a couple of bottles of Evershed's finest I'd be delighted to oblige!  At the moment my supply has mostly come from Spitalfield's wholesale fruit and veg market in east London.  In season I would like to source the apples locally.  

There is, a you might expect, quite a lot of apple pulp generated by this activity but luckily I have located a pot-bellied pig up the road who is helping me to dispose of it! 

It's early days but I am now registered with the council and although there are a few things they have asked me to alter (like making my garden shed mouse-proof and mould-proof) they seem quite optimistic for me!  I still need my labels approved by trading standards but once that's been done I'll need to start looking for some customers!  I do have a shop in Castle Ashby interested in taking some and CAMRA's Regional Cider Coordinator for East Anglia has asked me to supply them with cider for a couple of beer and cider festivals. 

In the meantime, if any of you drink wine (unlikely I know...), then I would appreciate any screw caps from your wine bottles and any empty CLEAR wine bottles (screw cap or cork - including sparkling) as I plan to bottle my produce in 'pre-loved' bottles!  Please leave them in the green plastic old-style dustbin outside the fence on the driveway of our house (Florrie's old house).  Also, if anyone knows of a small orchard or a piece of land that is both local and cheap (and on which I could perhaps plant a few trees) please let me know (01234 721798 / 07890786009)!  

Cheers!   Elisabeth (and Olivia) Evershed    

Harrold-Odell Country Park

Carlton Road, Harrold, Bedford MK43 7DS

Email:  Website:   Tel: 01234 720016 

News From Harrold Odell Country Park 

I can’t believe we’re heading for Easter again!  The years seem to pass in the blink of an eye.  It’s so nice to see nature awakening with each passing day.  The pussy willow, violets and blackthorn blossom all interspersed with birdsong, a very heady mix after a difficult winter. 

Regular visitors may have noticed that we have a very smart new entrance drive thanks to some capital works undertaken at the beginning of March.  Cyclists can now sail happily into the car park without the danger of going over the handlebars after encountering a pothole. 

We are coming to the end of the winter work programme and looking at what’s needed through the summer.  Felling and hedging programmes ceased at the end of March in favour of footpath and fencing jobs.   

Dr. Sharpe’s cattle are due to arrive in the river meadows at the end of April/beginning of May.  Dog walkers need to keep their pets under close control at this time.  It is illegal to let a dog worry livestock and the cattle are there to keep the grass under control until the autumn.  It is also vital that you clean up after your pets.  We are still having problems with fouling despite providing free poop bags and numerous bins around the park.  We know that the majority are already doing this but a significant minority are not and Bedford Borough Council are cracking down on all forms of littering with fixed penalty notices soon to be introduced. 

There will be endless rounds of watering to be done if this year proves to be as dry as 2010.  We have large areas containing newly planted trees that need a lot of nurturing in their formative years.  We couldn’t do everything without the help of the volunteers from the Friends Group who support us in every way. 

From donations received from car parking, community groups and individual members, the Friends have given us grants to buy a water pump to assist with tree watering, new info signs to go in the bird hide and café annexe, a laptop and projector to allow us to put together a series of winter talks and 180 new trees.  So a huge thank you to all who put their £1 in the car park box.  We hope that you can now see how this money is helping. 

The fishing season finished on March 14th and will restart on June 16th.  Members of Vauxhall Angling Club recorded some excellent catches of pike up to 26lb from the big lake.  Membership books will be available from the Bailiff, Trevor Smith, from May onwards (cash only) or direct from the club  

We are putting together an Open Day scheduled for Bank Holiday May 30th between 11am – 4pm.  We’re hoping that as many user groups as possible will be represented alongside attractions such as wood turners.  Please look at the park website for more details nearer the time 

It is also hoped that we can put on an Easter Egg Hunt on Good Friday but we are trying to get sponsorship for this from local businesses so watch this space.  If anyone can offer help with this, we are looking to get 50 eggs to give out to local youngsters.  Tel. 01234 720016. 

As an experiment, Paris Cataldo, a local lady from Harrold has started offering pony rides in the park on Sundays and during holidays.  She is CRB checked and fully risk assessed and insured.  For more info, contact 07552 945334.  From the response she got during her first day, it’s going to be very popular.

Finally let me just say we’re looking forward to the new visitor season and we’re hoping to meet as many of you as possible during the coming weeks. 

Diary Dates

Health Walks every other Thursday. Meet at the café at 10.30am for an hour’s walk then refreshments and chat afterwards if required. 

April 14th & 28th

May 12th & 26th 

Friends Conservation Tasks meet 10am at the café.

April 18th

May 23rd

Janet Munro  Assistant Ranger 

Village Hall April events 

Village Quiz, Saturday 2nd April

Book your table now for the ever–popular Village Hall Quiz

Date: 2nd April.

Time: 7:30 for 8:00pm

Tickets: £2.50 per person

Contact: Rob, tel. - 720730 to book a table, (6 per table). 

Coming up as part of this year’s 40th anniversary of Odell Village Hall:

The ‘Ruby Ball’!

Date: May 21st

Tickets: £40 to include glass of bubbly on arrival and 3 course dinner.

Live music, bar and raffle.

Contact: Nikki Freeman


The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook  Reg. Charity No 242164    

The Threepenny Opera - Friday 13th to Saturday 21st May 2011

Enter the world of Mack the Knife...if you dare! A sexy, wild romp through London’s underworld of beggars, thieves and cutthroats where Mack the Knife dodges the hangman’s noose and tries to evade the women in his life.  The dramatic dialogue of Bertolt Brecht combines with the wily melodies of Kurt Weill, whose vibrant, jazz-based score includes the hit song ‘Mack the Knife.’

Hilariously funny but with a delicious, dangerous bite, you’ll be splitting your sides one moment and on the edge of your seat the next.

Don’t miss the most powerful theatrical experience of your lifetime. 

Tickets available from 4th April at:

Bedford Central Box Office: 01234 269519*

Sharnbrook Post Office (in person)

Or order online via our website

*2 wheelchair spaces, easier access seating Rows A-C; hearing loop Rows A-E

Party Bookings: 10% discount for 10 or more at the same performance. 


2nd 7.30pm Village Quiz, Village Hall.

4th 7.30pm Lent Course, 3 Copper Beeches, Emmaus Village.

5th 7.30pm Meeting of Parishioners, All Saints’ Church.

5th 7.45pm APCM, All Saints’ Church.

5th 8.15pm Lent Course, 46 Harewell Way, Harrold.

6th 10.30am Meeting Point at Sarah’s, 9 Horsefair lane.

6th 1.30pm Lent Course, 32 Rectory Close, Carlton.

6th 7.30pm Lent Course, 30 Orchard Lane, Harrold.

7th 10.30am Lent Course, 40 High Street, Harrold.

9th 6.00pm Jerusalem Joy, All Saints’ Church, Odell.

11th 7.30pm Lent Course, 3 Copper Beeches, Emmaus Village.

12th 7.30pm W.I., Village Hall.

12th 8.15pm Lent Course, 46 Harewell Way, Harrold.

13th 1.30pm Lent Course, 32 Rectory Close, Carlton.

13th 7.30pm Lent Course, 30 Orchard Lane, Harrold.

14th 10.30am Lent Course, 40 High Street, Harrold.

14th 10.30am HOCP Health Walk.

16th 9.45am All Saints’ Amblers meet at The Bell.

18th 10.00am HOCP Conservation Tasks Day.

18th 8.00pm Compline and Meditation, St. Peter’s, Harrold.

19th 8.00pm “ “ URC, Harrold.

20th 10.30am Meeting Point at Jill’s, Rectory Farm.

20th 8.00pm Compline and Meditation, St. Mary’s, Carlton.

21st 8.00pm Meditation and Holy Communion, All Saints’, Odell.

22nd 11.00am Service on the Green, Harrold.

22nd 2.00pm An Hour Before the Cross, St. Peter’s, Harrold.

23rd 10.00am Decorate the Church for Easter.

24th 5.30am Easter Sunday Service, United Reform Chapel, Harrold 9.30am  “ “ St. Peter’s Church, Harrold

10.00am   “ “ All Saints’ Church, Odell

10.45am  “ “ United Reform Chapel, Harrold

11.00am  “ “ St. Mary’s Church, Carlton*

28th 10.30am HOCP Health Walk. 

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the May 2011 magazine to Tricia Hudson (mag1 at or Catherine Corkery by March 12th 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.


Alex Stubbs Flooring 

Carpets, Vinyls, Laminates, Safety Flooring, Adaptions, Refits, Repairs 

Supplied and Fitted 

07976 260572

01234 240954


Great local pubs

The Bell in Odell

As Featured in the 2010 Good Beer Guide 

With the relaxed charm of a village local and a varied menu of

quality, home-cooked food you won’t find any gimmicks here

 just a Great British Pub! 

Abbot Ale, IPA & Changing Seasonal & Guest Ales 

Telephone 01234 720254



Back to the Odell Home Page

Last revised: April 03, 2011.