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March 2002  

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Ouse Valley Swing Band in Odell Village hall last month (see Village Hall news)

Saturday 20 April 20th Harrold Pit Run

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.

Round and About

What a (Mud) Lark

I hove always considered Horsefair Lane to be a quiet little road, disturbed only by the sound of children playing and the clip -slop of a passing horse - and no doubt, at some time in the future, it will be again.

At the start of the year development began on the building plot and we watched with interest as the footings steadily filled with water, resulting from the non-stop rain. We indulgently stepped around the stream of muddy water cascading down the roadway and smiled with approval as they swept the mud from the road each night....and then came the 4th February.

Transporters carrying earth-moving equipment, crawlers with a digger at each end and a cutting machine the like of which I have never seen before, all put in their appearance. Notices have been displayed within the country park for some time now about the closure of the footpath behind the back of the lake for the purposes of re-sufacing, but where were the notices advising us that the entrance to the park at the end of Horsefair Lane would become-a no-go area? Where were the notices advising us of the sea of mud that would engulf our road and where were the notices warning us of spilled loads and pollution? Our quality of life disappeared in a moment.

To be fair it is difficult to tell whether the lorries serving the work in the country or the building site cause-the most damage but I have watched aghast as our cherished little pot-holes, that we have loved and nurtured for years, have been torn into gaping holes; as the grass verge steadily disappears and the roadside, especially by the entrance to the old Scout Field, steadily disintegrates. To date the roadway at this point must have lost at least one-third of its width.

The purpose of the activity in the park is to create a pathway around the back of the lake along which wheelchairs can freely pass - and with this policy I fully agree. The condition of the footpaths within the park have long been a joke, but they are ferrying in from Leicestershire lorry-load after lorry-load of stone chippings, the very material they used to surface the bridle path two years ago. It proved to be impossible for people to walk upon - and they refused to use it, forging a new footpath alongside the old one! Horses got stone in their shoes, dogs lacerated their feet, pushchairs got bogged down and many a bicycle was brought to a spectacular standstill. We must assume that something has been learnt from all this and that residents can now look forward to the appearance of a steamroller to compress it all into a compact surface.

In the meantime those of us who live in Horsefair Lane can look forward to a procession of lorries, bearing their precious load of pale pink stone, processing past our homes to the quarry-site that was once the Horsefair Lane entrance to the country park, but which now more closely resembles an impassable morass - all ably assisted by the continual rain.

In last month’s Parish Magazine our Parish Council made reference to the Bedfordshire County Council promoting bridle paths and improving footways. Let us hope they are still in this mood for reparations! Let us hope our Parish Council can persuade the county Council to make good our entry into the Country Park and, above all else, to renew Horsefair Lane. With the subsidence now taking place our poor little road now needs levelling, proper foundations and a decent surface putting in place. This time I think the residents need something to look forward to - we have blessed our dear little pot-holes for long enough and they are now beyond patching.

I can honestly say I have never felt more like signing myself off as "'Appalled of Horsefair Lane"! Barbara Corley

Round and About Update

At the time of writing, after work on site – and having torn the heart out of the park – all work has ceased, men and machinery have departed and according to Bill won’t return until sometime in March…but at least it has stopped raining!


Welcome to Odell

We welcome two new families to Odell, the Mills and the Redferns.

wpe8.jpg (10632 bytes)The Mills - Graham, Ann, son Ben and daughter Emma – have moved into 4 Tannery Lane after a very patient wait while the house was being built.

The Redferns – Dave, Teresa, Amy (13), James (6) and Cary (1) have moved into 90 High St.

We hope that both families will be very happy in Odell.



We had an extremely lively and informative talk by Mr. Brian Woodrow about the 0ffice of High Sheriff. He had filled this position in 1994/5 and had obviously thoroughly enjoyed the experience. He began by describing its history from its roots in Saxon times at least 1000 years ago.

It is the oldest continuous secular office under the Crown and until 1908 remained first in precedence in the County at which time the Lord Lieutenant was given the prime office. Although the height of the Sheriff’s power was in Norman times the office still fulfils many important functions. Among these are the attendance at Royal visits to the county, the well being and protection of Her Majesty’s High Court Judges and the execution of High Court Writs. You have to be nominated for the office, hold freehold in the County and cannot be a lawyer, M.P., a peer or an officer of the Customs and Exercise. Normally the person will already be active in voluntary work. Mr Woodrow was also at pains to point out that the role was time consuming and was also personally expensive as no remuneration is given; all expenses come from the officer’s pocket. He personally felt this enabled the role to be independent and non-political. He finished by telling us a little about Crimebeat, an initiative to reduce the crime culture particularly in the young.

He donates his fee to the Primrose Appeal of which he is Chairman so gave a quick update on its progress.

Next month’s meeting

Tuesday March 12th will see us gathered in the Village Hall at 7.30 to hear Ted Bartlett talk to us on "Victorian Music Hall and Variety Theatre".

Hostesses and Competition

Mary Lee and Audrey Dempsey are our hostesses and the competition is ‘a Limerick on a Victorian Theme’.

Primrose Appeal Coffee Morning

Don’t forget our Coffee Morning on Saturday 2nd March at 10.30 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 in the Village Hall not only for coffee and a chat but also to look at the cake, book and bric-a-brac stalls, not forgetting to buy your primrose, and to take part in the raffle.

Rachel Halton 720572

Date for your Diary – Clocks move Forward!

Don’t forget that British Summertime begins on Sunday 25th March so we must put the clocks forward an hour and try not to be late for everything on Sunday!

Odell Parish Council

Golden Jubilee Celebrations

At recent Parish Council meetings, the Queen's Golden Jubilee was considered, and it was decided that support would be given if a celebration similar to that enjoyed in the village on the 50th anniversary of VE Day were proposed.

Election of Parish Councillors

The Parish Council has been advised that it is likely that all Parish Councillors will have to be elected in the future. It has been our practice in the past to co-opt Councillors, if there were insufficient persons willing to stand for election. The implication of this is that if there were not enough Councillors actually elected, then the Parish Council would be abolished, and the Parish merged with a neighbouring Parish. Heaven forbid that that should befall us. It is to be hoped therefore that there will be enough persons willing to stand when the next elections occur in May 2002. Jonathan Harrison,  Odell Parish Council

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, the very reasonable hire fee comes in handy too.

Burns Night

Many thanks to Nicola Schoenenberger and her band of helpers for organising this great event. A full house enjoyed ‘Tatties and Neeps’, before dancing the night away to music, with instruction from Liz Dodwell. Thank you to everyone who took part.

8th February 2002 - Ouse Valley Swing Band

Thank you to everyone who attended the fantastic concert performed by Ouse Valley Swing Band, at the village hall. There was a tremendous turnout, leaving little spare room. Not only did everyone enjoy the event but you helped swell the kitty by about 400!

13th February 2002 – Fish and Chip Lunch

Roma will have arranged another of these special events for our more senior citizens by the time this goes to print. More on this in the next edition.

16th March 2002 - Quiz

Our annual quiz makes a welcome return. Reserve your team place for this popular event, 2 per head and up to 8 members in a team. Don’t worry if you can’t get a full team, there are always willing and bright extras to make up the numbers.

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, with the fun of 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 packed with laughter. This was a sell-out last year and tickets will go on sale at the end of 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.

Burns Night Supper

wpe9.jpg (12308 bytes)This year's Burns Night celebration held in the Village Hall in January was a sell-out success. The event began in dramatic style when the haggis was piped into the Hall by Bagpipe Player, Martin Cameron, who then performed a rousing rendition of Robert Burns' famous address. Around 80 people feasted on haggis, neeps and tatties followed by pudding - all cooked to perfection by the team of volunteers. Those that could still move after the feasting joined enthusiastically in the Scottish dancing expertly coached by Liz and Tim Dodwell.

The event raised over 500 towards the upkeep of the Village Hall. Special thanks go to those mentioned above, as well as to Doreen Wheeler and Faith Hartwell (for their highly creative decoration of the tables plus their wonderful cooking and organisational skills), the food team and the Village Hall Committee who were kept busy behind the bar.

Practically every guest at the event paused before leaving to say how much they had enjoyed themselves - so all the effort was well rewarded.

Nicola Schoenenberger


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- 7.50, Fri.15th - Sat 16th 8

Rotary Club of Bedford Gala Performance Thursday 14th March.

Tickets are available now! 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

Are you (or a member of your family) aged 9 -18 years? A week long Summer School at Sharnbrook Mill Theatre under the direction of a professional Drama Tutor is proposed. Please note that the dates have been changed from those previously published and are now provisionally from:

Monday 29th July to Friday 2nd August,

culminating with a performance on Saturday 3rd August. The course fee is expected to be 100. Would you like to take part? Please contact Mrs Erica Lester on 01234 781210 for details and reservations.

Ten Friends, Night Out? Families, groups or organisations booking together 10 or more seats on the same night benefit from a discount of 10 %! Please contact Alison Bean 01234 781372 to arrange. Offer excludes Charity Gala Performances.

Corner Club

A Social Club for People with Learning Disabilities Living in North Bedfordshire.

The club meets Friday afternoons at Harrold Centre. We also hold monthly discos and weekly sports and swimming sessons.

Volunteers Needed

Join our dedicated team of volunteers. You could find yourself:

Helping members make a collage

Disco dancing

Playing bowls

Taking part in Olde Tyme Music Hall

Helping with refreshments

Fund raising

Whether you can spare a couple of hours occasionally, commit to a weekly involvement or just want to help with sports or swimming we would be delighted to hear from you.

If you would like to join us or know more, please call:

Lucy Clements (Club Leader) 01234 217813

Doreen Wheeler (Secretary) 01234 720358


The Odell Website

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Lots of pictures of Odell and archives of old magazines can be found on the Odell Website. The above picture was taken from Northend Odell showing the smoke (looks like the lower dark cloud) billowing from the recent fire at Yarl’s Wood International Detention Centre.  


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, 10.30am Village Hall.

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

9th Children’s Work Training Session, 9.45am – 12.45pm, Shefford.

12th W.I.,7.30pm Village Hall

16th Communication Skills Training Day, St. Albans.

16th Quiz, Village Hall

20th Meeting Point, 10.30am at Catherine Corkery’s.

28th Maundy Thursday Holy Communion Service, 8.00pm All Saints’.

29th Good Friday, ‘Hour at the Cross’, 2.00pm All Saints’.

30th Decorating the church, 10.00am onwards.

31st Easter Day – Morning Prayer 10.00am followed by shortened Communion (BCP).


1st Pilgrimage to St. Alban’s Abbey.

9th Meeting Point, 10.30am Eileen Shakespeare’s.

23rd 7.30pm onwards, Meeting of Parishioners followed by Annual Parochial Church Meeting, Village Hall.


Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the April magazine to Tricia Hudson (, Anne Turner 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.


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Last revised: March 02, 2002.