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 September 2015 

 Happy Birthday to… 

Christy Vyvyan – who will be 16 on 13th and

Sarah Jane Holden-Postles who will be 12 on 19th,

And to anyone with a birthday in September!

W.I. News

July news

Members of Odell WI love celebrating special anniversaries!   Our 70th Birthday was celebrated in style with a toast in champagne and a BBQ on a sunny day in July in the lovely garden of the home of our President Rachel Halton, Greystones, Little Odell.  Husband Barry cooked sausages and chicken and members provided a selection of salads.  Lynette, who unfortunately had a family commitment and was unable to join in the celebration, made one of her delicious meringues in the shape of 70 with a tasty cream and apricot filling.  Sadly, members Karen Boyes, Jill Cheadle, Jen Cuddeford and Sheila Weaver were unable to be present on this special occasion.  Members had fun looking at the three scrap books Barbara Corley has kept over the years recording all our outings and activities- thank you Barbara.  There are too many to record here but are well worth looking at in detail.  Doreen Wheeler is now the custodian of the history of Odell WI.  Please do ask to have a look.

ADVANCE NOTICE:  The WI will be having a Jumble Sale on Saturday, 17th October at 2.00 pm.  Please ask friends and family to save their Jumble ready for collection.

New members are always welcome and if you need any more information please ring Rachel Halton (01234 720572).  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

August news

August saw the introduction of our afternoon meetings which seemed to go down very well as members were not in a hurry to rush off and so stayed to socialise, which is, of course, a very important part of our meetings.  We also welcomed a new member. 

Our speaker was Malcolm Jones, a funeral celebrant, which seemed rather a depressing subject for a beautiful August afternoon.  However, that could not have been further from the case as Malcolm addressed a very emotional subject in a sensitive but light hearted manner which resulted in an informative, amusing and thought provoking talk.  The WI is all about taking members to places they might not normally explore and this was certainly the case. 

Members also expressed concerns about speeding traffic through the village, and in true WI activist style, a letter has been sent to the acting Chief Constable asking for urgent action towards a permanent solution to this very real problem.  We feel it won’t be long before a pedestrian or cyclist is in the path of one of the out-of-control speeding vehicles. 

Our next meeting is Behind the Scenes at Waitrose (Rushden) on Tuesday September 8th at 2.30pm which includes tea and cake (cost £4).  This is a really informative tour behind the scenes of the store and we have decided to open it up to non-WI members.  Please phone 01234720723 or email if you would like to join us.  Transport can be arranged.   Lynette Hall 

Another hole in the wall.

The observant amongst you will have noticed that the lamp post and the front wall of the Old School have been hit again, all caused by the usual problem of coming round the corner too fast and losing control.  This is a good intro to an update on "Community Speedwatch", which you will  see mentioned later in the magazine (pg. 29).  I have taken on the role of Coordinator for the village and have been through the training with Alison Foster.  The training is very straightforward, lasts no more than 2 hours and could be done locally with sufficient support.  The purpose of the campaign is to highlight awareness of speed through the village by setting up mobile speed monitoring equipment for a couple of hours on random days and noting any speeding drivers, who will get a warning from the police.

If you would like to know more and get involved, please contact me on 720065 or call in and have a word.    Mike Wherrett, The Old School

 Village Hall News

Work was due to start this week (24/08) on repairs and improvements to a couple of areas in the village hall that were seriously in need of attention (the gents toilets and the lobby).

The new Village Hall Committee had intended to have a big re-launch party once the work was complete (on September 19th) with a bar and live music.  Unfortunately the damage from damp is more extensive than was first realised and it seems unlikely that the work will be completed by this date.

Whilst the new Village Hall Committee are still fully intending to have a re-launch party, it seems likely that some of the planned events will have to be postponed and others will have to take place without the facelift that the new committee had hoped for.  This will mean that for the events that do go ahead, the gents toilets will be out of action and gents will be asked to share the facilities put in place for people with disabilities.  We understand that this is not an ideal situation but feel it is preferable to cancelling all of the planned events.  Elisabeth Evershed 

Borough Councillor’s Update for August

 Contact Borough Councillor Alison Foster by telephone on 07773371190 or email at 

Harrold Solar Farm – Dungee Road, Harrold

This application was rejected by the Planning Committee on 27th July who agreed with the officer’s recommendation that the applicants failed to provide compelling evidence to demonstrate that the development of the best and most versatile (Grade 3a) agricultural land in lieu of poorer quality land is necessary.  The proposed development is therefore contrary to the aims of paragraph 112 of the National Planning Policy Framework which requires local planning authorities to take account of the economic and other benefits of the best and most versatile agricultural land and Policy CP2 (criterion i and ii) of the Bedford Borough Council Core Strategy and Rural Issues Plan 2008.  We do not know yet if the applicant will appeal. 

Speed Watch – Odell

More volunteers are needed to join the Odell Speed Watch Group for Odell.  There must always be a minimum of two people conducting the speed watch.  I have agreed to go out with Mike until such a time as other volunteers come forward and have taken the appropriate training.  Any volunteers should contact me or Mike and we will arrange training with the police.  Mike can be contacted by phone on 01234 720065; email at  

Bedford Magistrates’ Court

In June 2014 the Judicial Business Group, the body responsible for organising the courts system, took the decision to move all cases, other than those relating to family matters, from Bedford Magistrates’ Court to Luton Magistrates’ Court in an attempt to make savings. 

In July 2015 it was announced that a consultation is to be held with a view towards making the changes permanent, as well as moving family hearings to the Bedford Employment Tribunal. 

There are concerns that the arrangements have hindered access to justice as Bedford Borough’s witnesses, police and local authority officers, magistrates and lawyers now have to travel further for hearings.  This can lead to increased anxiety and inconvenience for those directly affected by a case as well as being inefficient in taking up the time of professionals. 

The consultation, which will end on the 8th October 2015, can be accessed at the following address should you wish to respond:  The changes have been opposed by all political groups on the Council as well as Alistair Burt MP and Richard Fuller MP. 

Schools Two Tier Proposal

State schools in Bedford Borough have been asked by the Council to fill in an application form detailing whether they are seeking to move to a two-tier system and if so to elaborate on their plans and partnerships with other schools.   

Bedford Borough is one of a few local authority areas in England and Wales with a three-tier system.  Despite strong Ofsted ratings, the Borough has consistently struggled when it comes to GCSE performance.  This was evident in 2014 with 52% of pupils at the Borough’s state schools achieving the key standard of 5 A* - C grades including English and maths, against a national average of 56.6%.   

There are varying opinions as to why GCSE results are not commensurate with the Ofsted ratings.  Arguments have been made that a focus on standards is required.  Others, however, have pointed the finger of blame at the three-tier system, arguing that the extra transition is unnecessarily disruptive to a child’s education and that it is harder to attract and retain teachers as the system is different from most areas. 

The Council announced in July that it would resurrect the transition to two tier and has set aside £39m of existing funds to provide the necessary facilities.  It is intended that there will be no closures of lower schools and that resources will be found where appropriate to extend facilities to convert them into primary schools. 

The deadline for applications is the 28th September.  Once they have been received, the Council will then put together proposals, including plans for the allocation of funds, which will go to consultation from November 2015 - March 2016.  The target date for implementing the new system is September 2017 although changes may happen after this date. 

Ward Fund

Each year I am able to make contributions from my Council Ward Fund to local community projects.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch if there is a scheme which you feel could benefit. 

Odell Parish Council

Report from Council meeting July 20th 2015

School Structure Changes – see Borough Councillor’s Report, above

Bedford Western Bypass

Good progress is being made with the delivery of the infrastructure.  The A6 Paula Radcliffe Way and Clapham Road in Bedford was closed from 8pm to 6am daily from Monday 20 July 2015 through to Saturday 8 August 2015 as works were undertaken on the second phase of the Bedford Western Bypass. 

Community Speed Watch – Volunteers Required – see Borough Councillor’s Report, above 

Odell Village Hall

The new Village Hall Committee has been very active in planning for the future of this important amenity.  Mel Fisher has been appointed Chair of the Management Committee and there are emerging plans to arrange a number of high standard events, effectively to market the facility, improve signage, continue the refurbishment programme and review hire terms.  The new Committee are planning a formal re-opening event in the autumn together with the return of Theatrical Niche to provide an evening of live drama.  The first phase of refurbishment works were scheduled  to commence on site on 24 August 2015.  This includes special damp proofing work and flooring works to the main entrance. 

Village Speeding

The Parish Council continues to have concerns at the incidence of speeding through the Village and has recently been made aware of concerns at the speed of some vehicles travelling in Horsefair Lane.  Horsefair Lane also witnessed a vehicle accident recently and the impact on visibility caused by indiscriminate parking in the area has been identified as a potential cause.  Some parking on pavements in the area was also having an adverse impact on footpath users.  Monitoring will be taking place over the coming weeks to assess the extent of the problem. 

Proposed Solar Farm – Yelnow Road

Proposals are emerging for the development of Yelnow Solar Farm, West of Sharnbrook and a recent planning consultation event was held in Odell Village Hall on 7 July 2015 in advance of a planning application being submitted.  

The Parish Council recognised that these tend to be very sensitive applications and the Parish Council encouraged residents to express their own views in response to a future planning application.  

Proposed Solar Farm – Dungee Road, Harrold  - see Borough Councillor’s report, above 

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday 21 September 2015 at 7.30pm.  

News from Harrold Odell Country Park 

Hooray – we’ve done it again!  We have won another Green Flag Award for the excellence of our park!  This makes it 8 years in a row and we have to be able to demonstrate progress every time.  The judges came out on May 22nd to look at every aspect of the running of the park from the 5yr Management Plan and sustainability to how we engage with the community and they awarded us their maximum mark of 80+ .

They were particularly impressed with how we work with our Friends Group volunteers, mentor work experience students and deal with education groups.  However, they also rated our enterprises like the sale of firewood, duck food and coppice products and the way this revenue together with your car park donations is ploughed back into the running of the park.

We couldn’t maintain these high standards without the efforts of our volunteers who have been engaged in refurbishing benches and picnic tables, building new log bins and storage areas and maintaining paths, hedges, splitting logs and helping with events.  They completely renewed the woven fence by the café entrance and the spiral next to the tin shed last winter.  Thank you doesn’t even begin to say how much we value all these contributions. 

If you want to learn more about the work of the volunteers please log on to  The webmaster, David Taylor is one of the volunteers.  He produces a quarterly newsletter called “The Park” which is free to pick up from the leaflet stands in the café side room or available on the website. 

We had a flag raising ceremony with the volunteers on August 24th – a monthly task day with all those who normally  attended.   Other Green Flag Awards were won by Priory Country Park, Bedford Park, Addison Howard Park and Mowsbury Hill Fort, all sites owned and managed by Bedford Borough Council.

Harrold Parish Council has installed a suite of outdoor gym which is situated beyond the play area next to the café.  It is generating a lot of excitement and has been designed to cater for adults although older children can also use it.  This complements their skate park in the nearby woods.  The latter was installed in 2008.

outdoor gym

We have embarked on a blitz on our overgrown hedges now that the bird nesting season is coming to an end.  We laid a section along the north shore of the big lake last winter and this has come on a treat.  The trick is to keep on top of the trimming so the hedges don’t become overgrown again.  The stretch from the stone wall in the overflow car park to the other side of the bird hide has been completed. 

Last year, the Friends Group sponsored a number of bat boxes that were then installed around the park by the Bedfordshire Bat Group.  They have been monitoring them every quarter ever since and running the annual public Bat Walk in August.

We always knew that we were an important site for bats as we have a number of different habitats around the park.  The monitoring results so far have been brilliant.  We now know for sure that we have at least 7 species with the possibility of another 2 yet to be confirmed.

We have Common and Soprano Pipistrelles, Daubentons, Brown Long Eared, Noctule, Serotine and Natterer’s.  A Barbastelle was recorded a couple of years ago and they think they had a Nathusius Pipistrelle, yet to be confirmed, during the most recent check.  All this is adding to our overall knowledge of the park’s biodiversity and adding to the importance of it as a County Wildlife Site.

The Friends Group is shortly funding the purchase of new hand tools to replace some old ones that can no longer be sharpened.  The money for these has come from your car park donations so a big thank you to all our visitors who put money in the boxes.  We are also getting some much needed boat training in October for the volunteers to enable them to get out on the water to carry out essential bankside repairs and tree maintenance through the autumn and winter months.

We will shortly be putting together the autumn/winter works programme as dictated by the 5yr. Management Plan so watch this space for bulletins nearer the time.  We will certainly be laying another length of hedge this winter. 

Dates for your Diary 

Health Walks

This is a national scheme which is free of charge.  We meet at the café entrance at 10.30am every other Thursday and walk for an hour to improve your health and wellbeing.  It is a chance to meet new people with an option to enjoy a coffee in the café afterwards.  Leader Janet Munro:  Please call 01234 720016 or e-mail for more information. 

Thursday Sept. 10th & 24th

Thursday Oct. 8th & 22nd 

Friends’ Tasks

On the last Monday of every month (a week earlier if a bank holiday) the volunteers get together on a task to progress the conservation and repair works around the park.  Meet at 10am at the Ranger’s office in the café.  Participants should bring a packed lunch, appropriate old clothing and sturdy footwear.  We provide refreshments, tools and gloves.  Please call 01234 720016 or e-mail   for more information. 

Monday September 28th

Monday October 26th 

Janet Munro, Greenspace Officer 

The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook

 Reg. Charity 242164  


3rd – 5th (Thursday – Saturday) September, 7.45pm.

Ben Alton’s hilarious satire, performed in the Auditorium by Sharnbrook Mill Youth.  # For booking, please see below 

Lunch @ The Mill, Wednesday 9th, 12.00 for 12.30, followed by a talk from Steve Pateman - original Kinky Boots of Earls Barton. 

Ticket, including lunch and talk:  £15 Virginia Pope 01933 356974  or Susan Moore 01933 318318. A ‘Warm Up’ Appeal event. 

At the Drop of a Hat, Friday 11th, the Sharnbrook Mill Youth comedy improvisation crew perform in the Clubroom; 8 for 8.15 pm.

Entry just £3. Do join us for a fun-filled hour plus. All welcome! A ‘Warm Up’ Appeal event. 

My Boy Jack, by David Haig

14th – 19th (Mon – Sat) September ,7.45 pm.  

WWI - the true story of Rudyard Kipling and his son Jack. In turn, warm, amusing, intensely moving, ultimately tragic. Not to be missed in this centenary year of this real-life drama.

For booking, as below #, except for Mon. 14th; Charity Night for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, please contact Angela Parker (01234) 214222. 

Wine Tasting & Food Matching Courtesy of Majestic Wine, Milton Keynes .  20th (Sunday)…..Do join us!

Come and Explore! ‘Uncorked’ at 5.30 pm. Ticket, in advance only, £15 including wine and nibbles, from Theo Gibbs  782377 or  A ‘Warm Up’ Appeal event. 

# BOOKING for Gasping and My Boy Jack: online: , also Sharnbrook Post Office (in person) /Twinkle, Twinkle Boutique, High Street, Sharnbrook (Post Office closure pending; date tbc), or Bedford Central Box Office* 718044. 10 % discount 10+ (exc. Charity night, Fri. & Sat); *2 wheelchair spaces; easier access seating A -C; hearing loop A-E  



2nd 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen Nottage’s, Heydown, High St.

8th 2.30pm WI trip to Waitrose, Rushden

10th 10.30am Health walk, HOCP

12th 10.00am Bike ‘n Hike/Open Church at All Saints’ Odell

16th 10.30am Meeting Point at Jane Eshelby’s, Newton House, Avenue Rd., Newton Bromswold

21st 7.30pm Parish Council Meeting, Village Hall

24th 10.30am Health walk, HOCP

28th 10.00am Friends’ Task Day, HOCP

30th 10.30am Meeting Point at Madeline jJeves’s, 15 Horsefair Lane


8th 10.30am Health walk, HOCP

17th 7.30pm Molière’s ‘Tartuffe’, Village Hall 

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the October 2015 magazine to Tricia Hudson (ed at  or Catherine Corkery by September 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. 

Boy’s Brigade at Odell fete on You Tube…

The 58th Old London Boys Brigade Band recently posted two Odell Fete related videos on YouTube.  One is a short video showing three of the Old Boys playing bugles and drum at the most recent fete. The other is of the Old Boys band marching from The Bell to the Scout field at the opening of the Fete in 2004.

“This was in response to Anne Edwards’ request to help revive memories of the days when as boys they would hold their annual camp in the Scout Field. “ Tom Ellingham, Editor, OBA News letter.


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Wodehill Cheese

Wodehill Cheese — hand-made in Carlton 

Wodehill Blue is a semi-soft creamy blue cheese

made with milk from Jersey cows in Carlton 

Nearest stockists:  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



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Last revised: September 03, 2015.