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December 2002 / January 2003

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Odell Parish Council

Present at the meeting were all the Councillors:

Mrs Rachel Halton, Brian Cheadle, Paul Crotty, James Gemmel, Jonathan Harrison, Mrs Amanda Sharpe, Mrs Susannah Swift.

Also in attendance:

Mrs Gershon, County Councillor and Martin Bridgman, Borough Councillor.

Matters arising:

Scout Field. This has been let on a yearly basis, and will be available for the Fete. Mr Cheadle has undertaken to assist with the mowing.

Mr Brandon has been appointed by the Mayor of Bedford to look after Rural Affairs. He hopes to meet the Parish Council.

Horsefair Lane. We have been assured that resurfacing work will be done before the end of March, 2003.

County Councillors. It was noted that they seek to increase their number because, they say, the electorate is bigger. It was decided to ask the County Council from what part of the Budget their cost would be paid for.

Grass Cutting. Invitation to quote has been sent to Mr Horne. No response as yet.

Freedom of Information Act. The Parish Council accepts its responsibilities under this Act. It should be noted by all Parishioners that the activities of the Council are set out in the Minutes which are available after each meeting, and a brief summary is given in the Parish Magazine.

Community Fund. The Parish Council has received 500 for the Community Fund and this has now been transferred to the Treasurer of the Odell Lunch Club.

Precept 2003/4. It was decided to apply for a precept of 3500, the same as for the current year.

Odell Harrold Country Park. Mrs Halton is the Parish Council's representative on a committee to discuss the use of the Park.

Police Speed Checks. It was noted that two speeding offences had been dealt with during the period April - September 2002. It was decided to request the Police to make checks on a random basis on Monday mornings between the hours of 8 - 9 am in the High Street near Tannery Lane and nearer the western end of the High Street.

Parish Council Meetings take place on the 3rd Monday in alternate months. The dates for 2003 will therefore be: 20 January, 17 March, 19 May, 21 July, 15 September, 17 November.

Road Mirror. The road mirror in the High Street opposite Church Lane is to be replaced.

Tree Pollarding. It was agreed to make a donation of 200 towards the cost of pollarding the chestnut tree in the south-east corner of the Churchyard.

Street Lamps. It was noted that the lamps B1 B2 B11 & B12 are faulty. The County Council is to be notified.

Jonathan Harrison

19 November, 2002.

The Villager Communitv Minibus - drive or be driven?

The minibus operates as a charity and is based at Shambrook Upper School. It is managed and driven entirely by volunteers. Would you like to use one of our services or help others by being one of our drivers?

Serving most of the villages in north Bedfordshire, we run regular services to Northampton, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, St Ives, Olney, Rushden (Budgens), and Clapham (Sainsburys). It is also available for private hire - it can accommodate 16 passengers.

If you would like a copy of our timetable, make a private hire booking, or any other information please phone our office on 781920 (ansaphone).

In addition, we would like to have a few more drivers - can you please help? To drive the minibus you only need a normal car licence. You can choose when you want to drive, and we would not expect you to volunteer more than once or twice a month. Most of the services start at about 9am and return by 2pm.

If you would like to join us in providing this service, please phone our office on 781920 (ansaphone). We would be pleased to meet with you to discuss it further.

Looking forward to hearing from you as a potential passenger or

driver.    T.W. Anderson 

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, there is a very reasonable hire fee for helping us maintain the hall.

Dates for your diary!

7th December 2002 – Xmas Disco

Christmas starts here, with a disco in the Village Hall and only 2.50 a ticket! What better value way to kick start Christmas for a 5’er a couple.

New Year’s Eve

We will be holding another "Open House". Bring your supper and a bottle, even a game or two, some music and see in the New Year.

Our application for funding for our disabled access in the Village Hall is still being put together. It is a time consuming process to get it right and we will have a couple of other events before any works are undertaken.

Dates for 2003.

4th April 2003 – Time of Our Lives Theatre Company.

Following another great performance, we have confirmed a date for this exceptional theatre group’s next presentation, which will be entitled "The Best Of Times". Get the date in your diary and watch out for details nearer the time.

We are waiting for confirmation of a date for the Ouse Valley Swing Band to perform early in the New Year.

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, so if you need to get rid of all that Xmas wrapping - put it in our bin!

This will be the last Parish Magazine of the year and it is appropriate that we use this forum to thank everyone who has supported the Hall over the last year. We have been really pleased with events and attendance and on behalf of the management committee, may I thank you and wish you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Do please support these events, and do suggest to us your ideas for alternative activities.

Rob Lee (720730)

on behalf of the Village Hall Committee.

A Heartfelt Thank You

Thank you to wpe9.jpg (6272 bytes)all those who attended and helped in any way in the Service of Praise and Thanksgiving for Kenny who at 63 years of age was called to be with The Lord on 28th October. In his quietness and humility he would have been so touched to see so many attend (about 80 people) to give thanks for his life.

He was born in London and spent the first six years of his life amidst the bombs dropping - an experience he never did forget. At fourteen he started to study printing and this gave him the expertise and knowledge in a job he came to love so very much. His other two loves were Arsenal and playing and watching cricket. He was able to play cricket for Harrold Cricket Club and was an excellent wicket keeper and hit many 'sixes' until his eyesight made it impossible for him to carry on playing. He won many trophies for his sports - football, cricket darts etc. At eleven he spent his first camp in the field opposite my home, and of course he came to love Odell and the yearly camps here. Having visited Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales so much and loving it so dearly he decided last September to go there and spend his retirement. I was able to go and spend a lot of time with him in this very special part of God's beautiful world. When he was told in June that he had Terminal Cancer he took it all in his stride and was never heard to complain about the pain he certainly had. The last three months were showing that I should be there with him long term - and it certainly gave me a taste of this very special place in Yorkshire. I am so indebted to him for showing me Hawes so many years ago. The dales are picturesque and no matter when and where you look something different is seen each and every time. I likened them to Psalm 121 - "I look to the hills from whence cometh my help, my help cometh from the Lord". It certainly does and having been in such an awesome place I can echo those words "My God how great Thou art!"

Both Kenny and I appreciated the prayer that upheld us, whether it was from the Prayer Chain, individuals or over the telephone. It confirms again and again that prayer works. Thank you to all those people who held us in their prayers, thoughts and in their hearts. My prayer is that God in his infinite love and wisdom will bless you all abundantly.

Special Christmas Greetings and a Healthy and Peaceful New Year to you all. With Love and special thanks       Anne Turner


Long ago when autumn deepened

Into winter’s tale of woe,

When the old oak beams were bulging

Stacked with stooks from summer’s mow,

Then it was that folks drew nearer

To their chimney nooks at night

Burning logs of wood they’d gathered

Bright the hearths but dim the light.

In the morning pumps were frozen

Fingers blue and ears bright red

How the cowman cursed his living

As he staggered from his bed.

When the first streaks of the dawning

Glinted on the tiny panes

How the milkmaid longed for breakfast

As she stumbled in the lanes.

Later when the sun had risen

Then the school bell put a stop

To the work of lads and lassies

As they toiled at farm or shop.

Ponds were frozen so the farmer

With his stick broke ice and there

Frosty water gulped by cattle

Made their eyes stand out and stare.

Servants in the larger houses

Beat their arms upon their sides

Rubbed their chilblains, coughed and often

Warmly would in kitchen hide.

Geese that cackled in the orchard

Over ice hard tufts and mounds

Made the farmhand think of Christmas

Then he’d guess their weight in pounds.

Few could read but in the evening

Many a one brought out the Book

Children gathered round the reader

Leaning over for a look.

Most folk went to bed quite early

Saving lamplight, fuel and food

So it was until the springtime

When their spirits were renewed.

Winter season more than others

Somehow sets the scene again

Even now with times so different

Some things of the past remain.

Tom Hudson .

Concord Out of discord – A trip to Concord U.S.A.

I was interested to note that the opening paragraph on the Appeal leaflet enclosed with the October magazine made reference to Concord and the Reverend Peter Bulkeley. As a teenager I was enthralled by stories about Odell and Concord told to me by the late Mr. Cleaver Lay of Village Farm. Mr. Lay was a Non-Conformist and a staunch supporter of the Congregational Chapel in Harrold (now URC), and he was a very knowledgeable local historian and fascinated with the history of Odell and its church. It is one of my major regrets that I did not make the time to record Mr. Lay talking about Odell. His depiction of the turmoil existing within the Church of England during the 17th century remains clearly in my mind and I enjoy explaining how Concord came to be named by Peter Bulkeley. He had experienced so much discord within the established church in England that he vowed that the land where they settled would hopefully be a place of concord.

With this knowledge in my mind for so long I had always hoped to visit Concord and in September this year Richard, Alison and myself had a holiday in Canada and America. Whilst staying in Boston we took the opportunity to take the train to Concord. This was something of a pilgrimage for me, rounding off the lessons I had received from Mr. Lay. How I would have loved to have been able to tell him all about it on my return.

Barbara Fowler

Used stamps, tinfoil, silver paper, milk bottle tops.

Once again I thank everyone who during this year has handed to me

any or all of the above items. I am very grateful to everyone who has

participated. I also thank the person who has taken the collected items to Bedford for me.

All the above items still go to the Volunteer Services Bureau in Bedford who can make use of what is sent to them.

Many thanks to anyone wishing to continue to help collecting the above items. Isobel Ross. 4a Horsefair Lane.

Round and About

"Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly"

With the arrival of December our thoughts turn to Christmas with all its traditions of tinsel, holly and mistletoe and, of course, lots of snow. The adverts on television are full of snow-filled pictures and the cards, soon to drop on to our doormats, will be covered with the stuff. But why? We very seldom see snow at Christmas and the last time we did was back in the 1970s. So why are we "Dreaming of a White Christmas?"

Christmas, as we celebrate it today, is largely down to the Victorians. The big family get-together was their idea and so was the Christmas card. Then, of course, there was Charles Dickens who did much to romanticise the season in more than one of his books. It was much colder in the Victorian era and they had a lot more snow (you might say that they even lived through a mini Ice-Age ) and white Christmasses were not unusual. It seemed quite the natural thing to do therefore to cover their new greetings cards with scenes of snow, of stage coaches and people struggling through near blizzard conditions to reach the family hearth to celebrate a traditional Christmas…and we are still celebrating those same traditions today.

"Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat" – but we do not eat as much goose as we used to. Ever since the time that the turkey first arrived in England it has taken over as the people’s favourite choice. For some reason most turkeys were reared in Norfolk – far from the big cities – and the problem was how to get them to market. With no transport to carry them, the birds had to walk. These large ungainly birds, not designed for walking at the best of times, had to spend several weeks on the road as indeed did the geese, with resultant damage to their feet. The farmers then tied strips of sacking or leather to their feet and walked the geese through soft tar, thus creating what amounted to little booties to protect their feet.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" will soon be upon us and once you have accommodated all those birds…the partridge, turtle doves, French hens and calling birds, to say nothing of countless swans…make sure you do not overlook that final fatal day, Twelfth Night , the day when all the decorations come down on pain of endless bad luck. In the Middle Ages when the Twelve Days of Christmas were properly observed, Twelfth Night was the occasion for the biggest party of the year and a very special cake was prepared for the festivities. I cannot really believe that this cake was meant to be eaten as it contained a number of non-edible items. Surely it must have been a hoax cake. If you found a bean in your piece of cake then you would be King or Queen for the night. If it was a clove then you were destined to be a villain. A twig made you into a fool (or jester) and a rag turned you into a beggar…and so it went on.

Finally I come to mince pies. They have been around for a very long time and originally they contained minced, or shredded, meat. In those early days when it was difficult to over-winter livestock, most beasts were butchered during the Autumn months and without refrigeration it was not long before the meat began to go off. Our forebears were well used to eating tainted meat but it was only at Christmas that the cooks could afford to add fruit and spices to help disguise the taste of the near-rancid meat. They mixed it all together and baked it in a large pie. Originally these pies took the shape of whatever container they were baked in but over the centuries the shape evolved into that of a baby’s cradle or crib. By the 1600s the cooks were, amazingly, including a little pastry figure inside their pies. The Civil War brought many changes to the country. The Puritans took strong exception to the way that Christmas was celebrated and they forbade many of the traditions. The Puritans particularly objected to the mince pies and they were promptly banned. Of course, the people still wanted their mince pies and they were not to be gainsayed. Despite the Government ruling people continued to prepare their pies only now they were small, round, individual pies and with great scorn they were dubbed "Puritan Pies". Following the Restoration most of the old familiar Christmas celebrations returned but the mince pies remained small and round – much as we know them today. By the Victorian era Britain was trading world-wide with many new fruits and spices available. The meat slowly disappeared to be replaced with the sweet concoction of fruit and spices that we have in our pies today. Have you ever wondered why there are shreds of suet in our mincemeat? It is a token reminder of the days when mincemeat really was made with minced meat!

May I take this opportunity to wish all my readers a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…Oh! Yes…May you enjoy your Puritan Pies!

Barbara Corley


Joy from the Village Trader in Sharnbrook was our speaker in November. She had been invited to demonstrate Christmas Flower Arrangements, and this she did with enthusiasm and style. However what was more important she only did arrangements that she felt we would be confident in attempting ourselves and which didn’t cost a fortune in flowers. It was an evening enjoyed by all, and I look forward to seeing everyone’s Christmas flower arrangements.

Members also brought along their contributions to the annual appeal by Bedford and Luton NHS Community Trust for gifts for people being treated and cared for in the community.

December and January meetings

We meet on Tuesday 10th December at 7.30 at the home of Doreen Wheeler for our Bring and Share Christmas Meal, an occasion we always look forward to.

January sees us back at the Village Hall on Tuesday 14th at 7. 30, when our speaker will be Mr. Antrobus speaking on Life in Bedfordshire during World War 2. As always visitors are welcome, just come along or give me a ring on the number below.

Hostesses and Competition

Joyce Knight and Barbara Corley are our hostesses in January and our competition is ‘A World War 2 Relic’.

Rachel Halton 720572

The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook

is proud to present its Diamond Jubilee Season:

Amy’s View – Drama. 11th – 15th March 2003

Chorus of Disapproval – Drama. 23rd – 27th September

Jesus Christ Superstar – Musical. 14th – 22nd November

Wild, Wild Women – Christmas Revue. 3rd – 6th December

Local Booking Point: Village Trader, Sharnbrook.

Full details of each show will be available, together with information of other events in celebration, as the season unfolds. We look forward to welcoming you to The Mill Theatre during this special year, particularly newcomers to the parish and all who have yet to visit our locally unique venue – just a s-mile or two away!

With effect from 1st January 2003 The Mill Theatre will be extending the booking period for shows performed by the company:

Tickets will be on sale - to patrons attending and members of the public calling at The Mill Theatre, for the show immediately following that currently being staged; e.g. for ‘Wild Wild Women’ during ‘Amy’s View’.

Booking Point: The Clubroom (upstairs, not the foyer) of The Mill Theatre.

Applications will only be accepted 'in person' at The Mill Theatre.

Tickets will be sold only upon full payment being received at the time of booking made by cheque payable to ‘SMTT' or in cash (or in exchange for valid Chairholder vouchers); we regret credit card facilities will not be available for Advance Booking by this method.

Tickets will be on general sale thereafter at the usual Box Offices:

(This supersedes the previous, restricted 'available from one month before' arrangement.)

The Village Trader, Sharnbrook (in person);

Central Box Office, Bedford 01234 269519*;

The Castle, Wellingborough 01933 270007*

* Credit/Debit Cards accepted.

Party bookings: (10 or more 10% discount excluding charity performances) 01234 781372.

We hope you will take advantage of this facility to avoid disappointment. Please note that the Bar will be open on performance nights!

If you have any questions concerning this new arrangement, please contact Erica Lester on 781210.

To hire the Mill Theatre recently refurbished, heated and double glazed Clubroom and Bar for your special occasion, please contact Mim. Bradshaw 01234 781650


Can any of our readers help with this request? Replies can be sent to the editor’s e-mail address

I have researched my family tree back to 8 generations. I found that the Reverend Peter Buckley came to Massachussets around 1635 but arrived with a relative named William O'dell and his wife Rebecca Brouen. I am trying to find out William O'dell's parents names. After reading this site I know I am on the right track. Hope you can help me further with my research or provide any photos. I am located in Atlanta, Georgia U.S Thank you:

Leandrea O'Dell



3rd 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen’s, Corner House, Wymington Park, Rushden.

4th Tba Senior Citizens Christmas Lunch, Village Hall.

6th 10.30am Christian Family Care Hamper Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green Farm.

7th 7.30pm Christmas Disco, Village Hall.

10th 7.30pm W.I. Bring & Share Christmas Supper, Doreen Wheeler’s.

12th 9.30am Bedford Farmers Market, St. Paul’s Sq.

14th 10.00am Church decorating.

15th 10.00am Children’s service.

21st 6.00pm Carol singing round the village – meet at The Bell.

22nd 6.00pm Carols by Candlelight, All Saints’.

24th 11.30pm Midnight Communion, All Saints’.

25th 10.00am Morning Worship & Holy Communion.

31st New Year’s Eve. Celebration, Village Hall.


14th 7.30pm W.I., Village Hall.

20th Parish Council Meeting, Village Hall.

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the February 2003 magazine to Tricia Hudson (, Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by January 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.

"Happy Christmas" and best wishes for the New Year from all the editorial team.

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Last revised: December 08, 2002.