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February 2002  

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Above: Shetland Ponies in Milking Close in January 2002

Harrold Centre Quiz

Saturday 23 February at 7.45 pm Quiz of the Year

Once again Question Master Trevor Chesterton will be taking the chair to lead us through a mixed bag of questions to find out which team will hold the Challenge Shield for the coming year. Village organisations and groups of individuals are invited to enter teams of up to five. There is an entry fee of 1.50 per person – audience/spectators are free. Team registration at the door.

20th Harrold Pit Run - Saturday 20 April

Yes, the Pit Run is coming round again – and this year is the twentieth. Planning is going ahead for a special celebration. The Committee wants to make this a record year, and you can help by taking part and/or sponsoring the runners. Sponsorship forms should be available by the end of March from Michael Bliss in Harrold and from Carlton Post Office and Stores.

Golden Jubilee Celebrations and Odell Fete

Plans are going ahead for Odell to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in the period Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th June, which are to be public holidays, following the public ceremonies on the previous Saturday. The local celebrations are planned to include a Street Party in Horsefair Lane and an evening entertainment. Rob Lee (720730) is spearheading this, so please contact him with ideas and offers of help.


Odell Fete is planned for Saturday 8th June, and will no doubt have a linked theme. A special attraction will be the Family Dog Show, to be organised by Roma Garron.

Note the dates now, and make sure you are around.


Margaret Linggood certainly lived up to her reputation as an interesting and speaker. Her talk on bacteria was informative but also extremely amusing. She explained how bacteria have shaped the world we live in, how we all have our own personalised bacteria in our gut and how normally we co-exist for mutual benefit. She then detailed some of the nasties and how in trying to eradicate them by antibiotics we are seeing this clever organisms change and become resistant - a fascinating introduction to the subject.

Next month’s meeting

Mr Brian Woodrow will be with us on February 12th 2002 in the Village Hall at 7.30 to describe the office of High Sherriff. He will donate his fee to the Primrose Appeal.

Hostesses and Competition

February’s hostesses are Barbara Corley and Joyce Knight. The competition is "A Piece of Bedfordshire History".

Primrose Appeal Coffee Morning

The members of the W.I. are planning a Coffee Morning on Saturday 2nd March in aid of the Primrose Appeal. So many of us have had our family and friends touched by cancer. We were delighted with your support last year and hope that you feel you can do the same this year. Join us not only for coffee and a chat but also to look at the cake, book and bric-a-brac stalls.

Rachel Halton 720572

Odell Parish Council

The following matters were dealt with at the meeting held on 16th January 2002.

1 The grass cutting contract was awarded to Chris Horne, the price to be the same as 2001, because this is the last year of a 3-year contract. Applications to tender will be invited for the 2003 season.

2 We noted the shambles in the Country Park. We have been told that the cattle grid has been removed "on safety grounds". Likewise the gates have been removed and piled in a heap. We will object to this because the gate to the overflow car park must be replaced to prevent unauthorised parking, especially overnight.

3 The notice board by the bus stop is to be repaired or possibly replaced.

4 It was noted that the planning application for the development at Old Southend Farm had been refused by the Bedford Borough Council.

5 The Police had reported that speed checks in the village were made in October 2001, but no-one was actually speeding!

6 Bedfordshire County Council is part of consortium promoting a bridle way that passes through the Parish from north to south, and crosses the Great Ouse at Odell Bridge. This was noted and applauded, provided no cost falls on the Parish funds.

7 It was noted that the fences erected by the landowner beside the Great Ouse near Odell bridge had been reduced in height, and that shrubs had been planted.

8 The state of Church Lane is appalling, and the agents of the Bedfordshire County Council have been requested to repair it as a matter of urgency.

9 Bedfordshire County Council has made some attempt to improve the footway from Little Odell down to the Fire-station.

Jonathan Harrison.

Odell Parish Council

Village Hall News January 2002

On behalf of the Village Hall Management Committee may I wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope to see you at the events, some of which are listed below.

Thanks to all who supported events last year by attending and arranging.

Particular thanks go to Karen Fulford for the Christmas Party and Toby Hudson and Friends for their music on New Year’s Eve.

childspty1.jpg (140427 bytes)Children's Party!


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 comes in handy too.

8th February 2002 - Ouse Valley Swing Band

Following their successful recent Swiss tour, we are pleased to present Sharnbrook Upper School’s ‘Ouse Valley Swing Band’, at the village hall. These talented young students will perform for you from their very wide repertoire. Tickets are available now from ‘The Bell’ and committee members at the price of 3.50. (and not what I put in the last edition – sorry).

13th February 2002 – Fish and Chip Lunch

Roma is arranging another of these special events for our more senior citizens. Roma will be inviting pensioners but if you have been missed out in error (‘cos our villagers do not look their age) let Roma know so that you do get to join in. Also if you are, or know of, a former villager you are invited to join in after the lunch for tea and coffee. Lunch is served at 12.30pm.

If anyone is able to help Roma on the day I’m sure Roma will appreciate it. Her number is 720431.

16th March 2002 - Quiz

Our annual quiz makes a welcome return. Usual arrangements will apply. More details in the next edition.

26th April 2002 - Time of Our Lives Music Theatre

If you missed the brilliant "Gilt and Gaslight" extravaganza last year, then do not miss this year’s production of "England Swings". The very talented foursome are back with a new production depicting "life in England, from jiving during the Festival of Britain in 1951 to pogo-ing at the Silver Jubilee in 1977"

There’ll be music from Noel Coward to Punk, from Gilbert and Sullivan to Andrew Lloyd – Webber and will be packed with laughter. This was a sell-out last year and tickets will go on sale in February!

Don’t miss them this time.

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.

Round and About

Feeding the Birds.

As the Festive Season approached we were treated to a period of crisp, frosty nights, and like most householders I took to putting out food for the garden birds - and then the temperature really began to drop. I set up my feeding station of seed hopper, nuts and a lump of fat in a little cage. I even bought in extra bread to put about the garden. I am sure I am not the only one to notice that no matter how hungry the birds become, they will only eat the black sunflower seeds, every other seed is totally ignored! Each morning as daylight appeared the little robin peeped in my kitchen window as if to demand morning rations and the first to present themselves would always be the blackbirds, who have now long-since polished off my windfall apples. For the first time this winter my robin and at least one hen blackbird have finally mastered the art of getting at the fat-ball hanging in its cage. This pleases me greatly because, quite unfairly I know, I quickly become frustrated at seeing the starlings tear the fat apart, unchallenged.

As the New Year arrived the temperature plummeted! The overnight hoar frost remained throughout the day so that the following night another frost was laid out upon those that had gone before until it began to look as though we had a light coating of snow on the ground. The branches of trees and bushes sparkled like diamonds in the sunshine and I found myself put forcibly in mind of the carol -

"earth was hard as iron "- as I walked out each morning with my dog. The lakes in the park began to freeze over and as the frosts intensified the ice began to thicken. On one day the river, as it ran through the water-meadow, froze from bank to bank -a sight I have only seen about four times in the period I have lived here. The countryside looked beautiful beneath this glittering coat of frost but for the waterfowl in the park it became a battle for survival. The smaller lakes seized up entirely and on the larger lake, just one small open space of clear water remained. Into this were crowded all the ducks, geese and swans, their combined body-temperature keeping open this precious space. Alas, it was not joined to the shore - they were isolated.

Those of us who feed the birds in our garden are as nothing compared to those few hardy souls who are determined to keep the park's birds alive throughout their time of crisis. My eyes were opened as, each morning, I watched the daily ritual. It did not take long for this hardy band to find the place where it was the shortest distance between the hole in the ice and the nearest bank. Then, day after day, the same scene was repeated. Bird seed was distributed about the car park together with quantities of bread - this was for the songbirds who, of course, were not forgotten. Not forgotten were the robins who seemed to hang from the ends of branches, flirting- their wings at passers-by, at various points around the lake. Beneath these stations little piles of bread would appear as if by magic each morning. But the major sight was to be seen at the edge of the lake.

Who could fail to be impressed as, day after day, this small band of friends, laden with food, struggled to the icy lakeshore and began to call to the birds. It was as if they were expected. First to respond would be the ducks, their little feet flapping up and down as they ran across the ice. A few geese would follow and then it would be the coots. Finally, as if in response to a familiar call, first one swan and then another, would heave itself up on to the ice and start that long ponderous trek to the lakeshore. Those beautiful birds, so graceful on water, become strangely awkward and ungainly. It is a long, slow walk interrupted by their feet skidding sideways, depositing them in an undignified heap on the ice. The minutes go by; 5, 10, but their efforts are rewarded. There is still plenty of bread. Suddenly, with a swoosh, grain pours out upon the ground and the ducks go crazy, as they fall upon the seed. The swans, meantime, gather around their benefactor, and are able to concentrate on the bread, sometimes pecking at a sleeve, as if to emphasise their urgent need.

There has to be a lot of trust between the swans and their feeder, to bring them all that way across the ice. And, indeed, the food is always there, to be hastily gobbled down before it is filched away by the ravenous ducks! I found it a heart-warming sight to see those noble birds, with complete trust, taking food from the hand of their feeder. I take my hat off to this noble band who feed the park's birds all the year round and then, when the weather is at its worst, they turn out twice a day, with at least 2 loaves of bread and a bag of grain. Now - that is what I call feeding the birds!             Barbara Corley

The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook

2002 Season

Stepping Out by Richard Harris.

Tuesday 12th - Saturday 16th March 7.45pm

Follow the fortunes of a talent- challenged tap dance class of social misfits. Laugh and cry at their antics, as they lurch and lumber towards their big opening night!

Tickets: Tues. 12th - 6, Wed.13th-Thurs. 14th 7.50, Fri.15th - Sat 16th 8

Tickets are available from 12 February from:

Sharnbrook Village Trader, High Street, Sharnbrook (in person)

Bedford Central Box Office, Harpur Street, 01234 269519 (credit card facilities).

Wellingborough The Castle Box Office, 01933 270007 (credit card facilities).

Group Party Bookings: Please phone Alison Bean 01234 781372

10% discount for 10 or more at the same performance.


Drama Summer School 2002

Sharnbrook Mill Theatre has presented many successful Youth Productions over the years, but we are finding that the increase in curriculum and the constant succession of exam demands has made it difficult to plan a time when every age group is able to participate. In an attempt to overcome this problem, it is proposed to experiment with a week long Summer School in 2002 for those aged 9 – 18 years. Provisional dates are Monday 22nd to Friday 27th July culminating with a performance on Saturday 28th July.

The Trust would employ a trained drama expert to run this course and there is expected to be a course fee of 100. Numbers would be restricted to approximately 24 students. There may be financial assistance for qualifying students.

If you or a member of your family would like to be part of this exciting new venture, please write to the Honorary Secretary, The Mill Theatre, Mill Road, Sharnbrook, Bedford MK44 1NP providing the following information: your/their name, full address, phone number and date of birth. Please advise whether you/they are already a Trust member, the shows in which you/they have appeared, or whether you/they do not have previous theatrical experience. Thank you. We look forward to hearing from you. 

February Diary

2nd Aid for Romania Posh Supper, Watermead, Harrold. 7.30pm.

5th Meeting Point 10.30am at Liz Dodwell’s, Watermead, Harrold.

8th Ouse Valley Swing band, Village Hall.

9th Celebration of Christian Healing in the Context of the Eucharist, St Alban’s Abbey, 10.30am.

12th W.I. 7.30pm Village Hall.

13th Fish and Chip Lunch, Village Hall. 12.30pm.

16th Churchyard Spring clean. 10.00am onwards.

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

23rd Harrold Centre Quiz. 7.45pm.

March Diary

1st Women’s World Day of Prayer. 10.00am Harrold URC. Chapel.

2nd Introductory Course on the Healing Ministry, St. Mary’s, Rushden, 9.00am.

2nd Primrose Appeal Coffee Morning.

5th 10.30am Meeting Point at Jane Eshelby’s, Newton House, Rushden.

Magazine Deadline

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

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Last revised: January 26, 2002.