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 March 2013   

Senior Citizens’ Fish and Chip Lunch

The annual Senior Citizens’ Fish and Chip lunch will take place on:

Wednesday 13th March

12.30 for 1 o’clock

Village Hall

Odell Fete and Dog Show

Hard to imagine a summer without the annual Fete and Dog Show in the Scout Field in Horsefair Lane, but if it is to continue we do need HELP with getting it ready.   

So, can you come along to ….the Fete Preparation morning 10.00am on May 6th when we clean and repaint the signs for the stalls and  prepare the roadside boards … then reward ourselves with a tasty BBQ, gorgeous puds and a glass of wine 

The big preparation is on Friday afternoon 7th June when we need muscle, good sense of humour, wheels and anyone who is willing ….to collect tents, tables, chairs and stall signs, and to set up the field for the big day.      (Tea & Cake supplied to keep you going!)   Mandy (720414) or Christine (720234) await your call! 

Round and About 

The King in the Car Park 

With all the media Frenzy surrounding “The King in the Car Park” I could not stop myself.  Despite having already prepared a completely different article for this month I just had to set it aside.  I have never spent much time on the Plantagenet Kings, it is such a turbulent time – the kings came and the kings went and some of them even came back again – I could never sort them out.  Ah well, here goes.... 

I have been watching this matter unfold ever since they first discovered the skeleton in the Leicester car park.  Now that it has been scientifically proved that these bones are, indeed, those of Richard III we must accept it as a fact.  Most of us take our perception of Richard III from William Shakespeare’s play of the same name.  An evil man with a withered arm and a hunched back who, on the death of his brother, Edward IV, imprisoned his nephews in The Tower of London (Princes in the Tower) before murdering them and seizing the throne for himself. 

Richard is such a controversial figure and nobody seems to agree about anything.  He does have supporters who claim that he was not the monster Shakespeare makes him out to be and they are mostly convinced he was not responsible for the death of his two nephews.  Following the Battle of Bosworth there is even a dispute as to what happened to the body.  The majority of people think he was buried in the churchyard of the Greyfriars, whilst others claim his remains were just thrown into the river never to be seen again.  

What has been revealed by this uncovering of “The King in the Car Park”?  Following the popular belief that Richard was buried in holy ground at Greyfriars archaeologists began to dig in an area thought to be the site of the long lost friary.  They located the area of the churchyard and began to dig.  Sure enough in little more than a week they located a body – and yes, the skeleton revealed had a twisted spine.  The bones were subjected to rigorous scientific study and DNA testing and the University of Leicester feel confident enough in stating these are indeed the bones of Richard III.  Much of what historians and Shakespeare have said also seems to have been proved accurate. 

The skeleton reveals a severe curvature of the spine; however, bone specialists say, this would not have produced a hunched back, merely a slightly raised shoulder.  The bones of both arms are of the same proportion and, therefore, he would not have had a withered arm as claimed by Shakespeare.  The skeleton was found to have ten injuries

received at the time of death, only two of these injuries, to the skull, could have been fatal and were most likely inflicted by a sword or a halberd – a spiked axe on a pole.  His feet were missing, probably lost in excavation.  History records that the body was stripped and paraded through the streets of Leicester (the people had to be shown that Richard was really dead) and then hastily buried at Greyfriars, a Franciscan friary that was later demolished during Henry VIII’s demolition of the monasteries.  It was also confirmed that the body was found inside the walls of a building, in a shallow grave, with no evidence of a coffin or a shroud. 

Richard was born the youngest son of Richard Duke of York who was descended from Edmund a son of Edward III.  He was born at Fotheringhay Castle in 1452, the eighth child and youngest son in a family of 11 children.  He was a sickly baby and not expected to survive infancy....however, despite all the odds he reached his teenage years when he was described as “an exponent of all the manly sports”.  This probably meant use of the sword, battle axe, horse management and jousting.  How he managed this with his back problems can only be put down to strength of character. 

With the last of the Lancastrian kings, Henry VI, making such as poor fist of things the York family decided the time was right to make a push for power.  The eldest brother Edward, later to be Edward IV, George – Duke of Clarence and Richard seemed to lead the charge through a series of vicious battles fought between the Lancastrians and the Yorkists right across the land. 

Finally the Yorkists won the day and usurped their cousin Henry.  The Yorkists fell upon any surviving Lancastrians killing anyone they could find.  Richard played his full part in all these actions.  He was, indeed, a man of his time: a fine soldier, a good leader of men and popular with his troops.  He was also just as treacherous and unscrupulous as his two brothers. 

Edward took the crown, and became the first Yorkist king.  Although Richard was totally loyal to his brother during his lifetime he did not like his brother’s wife and Edward, therefore, appointed Richard Governor of the North.  Making his base at York Richard spent the following years maintaining law and order and repelling the marauding Scots.  He was well liked in the North being considered harsh but fair. 

Edward had appointed Richard to be guardian of his children in the event of his death and when his brother died Richard lost no time in securing his two nephews and placing them in the Tower.  The two children soon disappeared from sight, never to be seen again.  Richard declared himself to be King.  In little more than two years he had to face his worst nightmare.  Henry Tudor placed himself at the head of the Lancastrian cause and returned to England to face Richard in the Battle at Bosworth Field.  Richard was happy to go into battle with Henry as he was the only other rival claimant to the throne.  After all, he was the King, an experienced soldier and he had an army twice the size as that of Henry. 

Richard was on the high ground and had every advantage but he was a troubled man.  There had been a prophecy and it did not bode well for Richard.  The two armies came together and battle commenced. 

Perhaps foreseeing disaster Richard charged through the battlefield towards Henry on a win all – lose all policy.  If he lost he would be dead and everything would be over.  In the event he nearly reached Henry’s side before being brutally cut down.  With Richard dead the opposition disappeared.  Richard was stripped of his clothes, thrown across the back of a horse and paraded through the streets of Leicester before being bundled into a hasty grave. 

So much of the legend has been proved to be true it is quite amazing.  With the story still on-going – what of the future?  The Government, to date, has said very little.  As Leicester University excavated the site they seem to have the right to decide what to do with the remains.  The University seem to favour re-burial at Leicester Cathedral, close to where the body has lain all these years.  However the City of York wish to have Richard re-buried at York Minster as he had spent so much of his life in Yorkshire and had expressed the wish, in his lifetime, to be buried at York.  Historians, however,  seem to think Richard should have a full state funeral in London with the Royal Family in attendance and be laid to rest in Westminster Abbey alongside the rest of his family. 

Richard’s story is not yet over.  What form will this final stage take?  Will Richard be villain or vindicated?  A large state funeral with all the trimmings or will he, once again, be shuffled off to an obscure grave?.                                                           Barbara Corley 


W.I. News

In February we had a Members’ Evening, the topic being Your Special Place or Building.  We heard about the geysers and mud eruptions in Yellowstone Park; the Corinth Canal; a School in a stately home in North Yorkshire; Lyme Regis; Whitworth Institute in Darley Dale owned by Sir Joseph Whitworth the nineteenth century tool maker, near where Rachel lived as a child and used to ride her bike.  Lynette showed pictures on her laptop of her special place, Odell, through the seasons.  Mandy had fond memories of canal holidays saying “it was me and the world and nothing else as we glided through the water in the early morning”.  One member recalled the splendour of the Royal Theatre in Northampton as a special place.  Everyone agreed it has been a most enjoyable evening.

The next meeting will be held in the Village Hall on Tuesday, 12th March at 7.30pm when we will have a demonstration on Wet Felting by Christine Galley.  Hostesses are Jane Eshelby and Jill Cheadle

New members are always welcome and if you need any more information please ring Karen Boyes, 720952.  Ladies, just come along to the Village Hall on the second Tuesday of each month and see what we do and how we enjoy ourselves.  To find out more about the WI go to or the local Bedfordshire Federation website,uk/bedfordshire    Jane Eshelby

Odell Parish Council News 


Disabled Access via track

The Parish Council has received a request to fill in potholes in the track leading from the High Street to the disabled access to the Village Hall.    However this track is neither owned nor maintained by the Parish Council, it is in private ownership.  The request has been passed on to the Village Hall Committee. 


BOAT-Yelnow Lane

Discussions with Bedford Borough Council are ongoing in relation to obtaining a key for the Footpaths Officer to open and close the BOAT to traffic as ground conditions dictate.  The BOAT is currently very wet, with deep ruts in the mud some of which are hidden by grass – walkers and horse-riders need to be aware of this risk and proceed with caution.

Bridleway from Odell fields to Sharnbrook Spinney.

The Footpaths Officer has spoken to the landowner who has pledged to re-instate the path when the weather improves sufficiently to work the land. 

Odell Bridge – Erosion on Felmersham bank

Recent flooding has eroded the bank behind the retaining wall on the Felmersham side of the bridge.  Bedford Borough Council officers have inspected the site and confirmed that this has been noted for repair in the future but does not form any risk to the structure and stability of the bridge itself at present.   


A number of issues have been logged over the past few months with Bedford Borough Council’s Highways department, including speeding, lamppost maintenance, footpath defects and potholes.  An on-site review meeting with Highways has been requested and a date for this is awaited.   The Parish Council has recently been invited to prioritise outstanding issues in order to assist Highways in developing their repair programme for the year ahead.  It is understood that their preference is likely to be to tackle these on an area by area basis which is a more cost-effective approach than making multiple separate visits.  If you notice any new footpath and highway defects please report them directly to Highways – the more people who report a fault, the more likely it is to get attention.  


The Parish Council wishes to thank the Swift Family for putting the Xmas Tree up again this year complete with upgraded display of lights – many residents have commented on how lovely it looked.


We are awaiting a date for the installation of the defibrillator.  The phone box in which it will be located will be renovated and given a fresh coat of paint. 

News from the Bell

Saturday 16th March

St Patrick’s Day celebration at The Bell

Live music from “The Wedding Crashers”

Whole pig’s head on bar in traditional Irish style. 

Castle wall repairs

CAW Builders from Turvey spent the whole of February repairing the damaged stone wall on the hill up to the Castle.  The wet summer followed by hard frosts really took its toll in the last year (picture below) 



Village Hall News

Following the very successful ‘Burns Night celebration at the end of January, Leslie and Doreen asked that this note of thanks be printed in the magazine: 

Doreen and I would like to thank everyone who offered assistance with the Burns Night on 19th January. Thanks to the Bar Staff, vegetable cooks, dessert cooks, helpers, clear up squad, Martin Cameron & Keith Rose. It made for another successful event and the evening was full of 'dancing divas' and lots of laughter.  It is quite a hard event to organise but it makes it all worthwhile when you see so many people enjoying themselves.  It is also my pleasure to announce that we have raised £520 for our nominated Charity which this year is Harrold Medical Practice.  Once again, many thanks to you all.     Doreen & Leslie.


Coming up in March…

Brand New.  Friday 8th March from 7.30 pm: Indoor Carpet Bowls. Come along to this FREE event of Indoor Bowls.  Open to anyone, young or old, fit or unfit, this is a fun event where anyone can take part.  You can play sitting down or standing, it is really easy to play and it can become quite competitive! But what it is really all about is having a get together and a laugh.  Refreshments will be available but the rest is free.  Hope to see you there. Village Hall Committee. 



Harrold-Odell Country Park 

Email:  Website:

Tel: 01234 720016 

News from Harrold Odell Country Park 

We are beginning to see the signs of spring now.  New growth is starting to appear and more visitors are coming to the park. 

As with last month, we continue to have a lot of rainfall and we have been flooded on several occasions.  The worst floods saw the paths disappear under water in two areas of the lake circuit.  The bits between the silt pond and the large lake just before you get to the children’s playground at Odell and further round just past the little bus shelter where the bank height is at its lowest level.  If we get further flooding bear this in mind when you walk round.  When the water is at its highest you cannot see where the edges of the ditches are in relation to the park so great care is needed when walking around the park. 

This winter, a lot of work has gone on in the shelter belt of trees just between the end of the café and the roadside.  This area was originally planted as a screen when the park was still a gravel quarry.  Many of the trees were planted too close together and are deteriorating at the same rate.  We have systematically thinned the conifers and planted 120 native saplings in the gaps created.  These include Holly, Birch, Rowan and Hawthorn.  The idea is that we grow a greater variety of trees to take this bit of woodland into the future.  The trees we’ve planted came from those put in along the North shore of Grebe Lake and were too close together. 

Now we have let in so much more light, snowdrops, primroses and violets have appeared in greater numbers.  We are expecting to see many more plants appearing between the trees over the coming months.  The felled timber has been stacked into piles for drying out over the next year.  After this, we will be milling some into planks and the rest will be sold for firewood.

We also intend to clear the next section of the west bank of the large lake as the willows there urgently need to be coppiced.  We will be looking to open up some new views during this exercise.  The willows will then be left to re-grow over the next few years.  High water levels have so far, delayed these plans. 

My Walking 4 Health Group has clubbed together to sponsor a notice board telling the story of our new bird hide.  I will be working on getting the graphics professionally done over the next few weeks before we order the cabinet to house everything.  We also need bird graphics to go inside the hide to help visitors identify the different birds on the lake.  We can’t thank you all enough for all the support and donations towards the cost of rebuilding the hide after its destruction last April. 

The new play equipment for younger children installed adjacent to the café has been very well received.  Sometime in the new financial year, we will be erecting a fence around its perimeter to keep dogs away from the immediate area.  This will be completed as soon as finance becomes available. 

A number of recent incidents have arisen involving dogs that have not been under the level of CLOSE control that is required.  Bedford Borough Council is clamping down on incidents such as dog attacks, fouling and running loose in sensitive areas such as playgrounds and nature reserves.   

There is no excuse for fouling anywhere in the park as we provide dog bags free of charge at all main entrance points.  Most incidents occur when people have allowed their pets to roam long distances from them and therefore do not witness fouling when it occurs.  THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!  Fixed penalty notices are applicable for any that are witnessed by park staff or Borough Council Enforcement Officers.  A fine of £75.00 will be applied – indeed one unfortunate gentleman has already been fined when seen by the enforcement team allowing his dog to foul in the river meadow.  For more information log on to  

Dates for your Diary 

Health Walks: 

Leader: Janet Munro tel. 01234 720016 or e-mail  Held every other Thursday at 10.30am and walk for an hour to improve your health & wellbeing and make friends.  Meet at the café entrance for registration.  Please ensure that you wear appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear. 

March 14th & March 28th

April 11th & 25th 

Friends Task Days: 

Held on the last Monday of every month (a week earlier if a Bank Holiday) starting at 10am.  Meet at the Ranger’s office inside the café.  Take part in a variety of conservation jobs according to season.  Wear sturdy clothing and footwear and bring a packed lunch.  We provide the tools plus tea & biscuits.  For more information call Richard Dowsett on 01234 720016 or e-mail  

March 25th April 29th


Details to be confirmed: 

Easter Monday April 1st Easter Egg Hunt £1.00 per child.  2 sessions 10am – 12pm & 1pm – 3pm.  Booking essential - 50 places only.  

A fundraising stall for the Friends of Harrold Odell Country Park will be available on the day.  Please look on the park website nearer the time or in the park notice boards.

Janet Munro, Ranger

The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook 

Alan Bennett’s

The History Boys 19th  – 23rd  March 2013, at 7.30 pm 

 ‘Intensely moving,

thought- provoking - and immensely funny’

      Set in a boys’ grammar school in the north of England, the History Boys follows a group of clever history pupils as they prepare for their Oxford and Cambridge entrance examinations.

      An immediate smash hit, its London première received rave reviews and caused a Box Office melt-down!

      This is Alan Bennett at his effervescent, comic best.  Packed with a multitude of hilarious one-liners, this is a play with depth, as well as warmth and wit.



Not suitable for persons under 15 years of age

TICKETS £8 - £10 now on sale at:

Sharnbrook Post Office (in person)     or     Bedford Central Box Office* –
*NB this has moved to *Tourist
Information Centre in St Paul’s Sq. 718112 (NB new number)

10 % discount for 10 or more (excluding Fri., Sat. & Charity


2 wheelchair spaces, easier access seating Rows A – C:

hearing loop Rows A –E.

Advance booking for THE BIG, BOLD MUSICAL: Gypsy : 18th - 25th  May - matinée 25th

will be available during The History Boys, but only at The Mill Theatre



1st 10.30am Women’s World Day of Prayer, All Saints’ Milton Ernest

8th 7.30pm Indoor Carpet Bowls, Village Hall

12th 7.30pm W.I., Village Hall

13th 12.30 Senior Citizens’ Fish and Chip Lunch, Village Hall

14th 10.30am Health Walk, HOCP

16th St. Patrick’s Day celebration, The Bell

20th 2.00pm Lenten Pilgrimage from All Saints’ Church

23rd 9.45am All Saints’ Amblers meet at The Bell

25th 10.00am Friends Task Day, HOCP

25th 8.00pm Evening prayer, St. Peter’s, Harrold

26th 8.00pm “ “ St. Mary’s, Carlton

27th 8.00pm “ “ United Reform Chapel

28th 10.30am Health Walk, HOCP

28th 6.00pm Passover Supper, Village Hall

29th 11.00am Good Friday Service, Harrold Green

2.00pm “ “ “ St. Mary’s, Carlton

30th 8.00pm Easter Eve Service, St. Peter’s, Harrold

31st 9.30am Easter Communion, United Reform Chapel

10.30am “ “ “ All Saints’ Church, Odell

11.00am “ “ “ St. Mary’s, Carlton



1st 10-12noon Easter Egg Hunt, HOCP

1-3pm “ “ “ “

1st 2.30pm Café in the Tower, All Saints’ Church

3rd 10.30am Meeting Point, Jane Smith’s, Horsefair Lane 

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the April 2013 magazine to Tricia Hudson (ed 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.



Wodehill Cheese  

Wodehill Cheese — hand-made in Odell  

Wodehill Blue is a semi-soft creamy blue cheese

made with milk from Jersey cows in Carlton 

Nearest stockists: Matthews and Hurleys in Sharnbrook and Carlton Village Shop




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


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Last revised: March 06, 2013.