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October 2003

Harvest Supper, Saturday September 20th.

The Harvest Supper was well attended this year, and as usual the feast was delicious. It was lovely that so many villagers of all ages attended, which created a very warm and friendly atmosphere.

After the meal Jon Hudson compered a quiz which was very kindly provided for us by Rob Lee and which, as usual, was very entertaining.

The Supper gave us an opportunity to thank David and Valerie for all they have done in the Church and Village over the last five years and to give them some tokens of our appreciation.

The evening was rounded off with a few rousing choruses of harvest hymns.

Keith Merret

It is with very great sadness that we have to report the death of Keith on 8th September after he was suddenly taken ill. Keith, Carolyn, Robert and Anthony came to Odell from South Africa a few years ago since when the family as a whole has taken a very active part in our village life. Keith became a churchwarden and gave invaluable help and advice to the church and also became an active member of the Fete Committee. Whenever there was an event in Odell Keith was there lending a helping hand. He will be especially remembered for his constant good humour and cheery smile, as well as for his interest in vintage cars, which certainly added a bit of interest to the streets of Odell! The church of All Saints’ in Odell was packed for Keith’s funeral on 16th September; a fitting tribute to a very popular man. We shall all miss Keith very much.

A fuller tribute to Keith will appear in the November Parish Magazine.

Round and About

A Sage Moment

Old Wives Tales enjoy a mixed reputation in this day and age. Many people feel that if something is old it must be replaced by modern development and technology to be of any good in these civilised times. Time, however, is now proving, with the help of modern research, that there is a lot to be said for folklore. After all, this is what an Old Wives Tale amounts to - folklore. It is not written down or based on technology but governed by time, and experience has proved it to be right.

Old Wives Tales usually come to our attention over medical matters and now that civilisation feels rather nervous about modern super-drugs and their side-effects science is taking another look at some of the old herbal remedies that served people in less-educated times. Today researchers are looking into the properties of sage - one of the most prestigious herbs of olden times.

The dictionary definition for sage is - a kitchen herb, and more interestingly - a person credited with profound wisdom, wise, judicious and experienced. Sapient or oracular. It is also thought to be the origin for the word 'sagacious'.

Researchers are now discovering a number of very beneficial effects for people using extracts of sage. It is proving to have wonderful effects on the memory and hastens quick recall and there is now great hope that it will prove beneficial in helping sufferers of Alzheimer's disease. In recent experiments with otherwise healthy people those taking capsules of sage have shown over 8% increase in memory and recall over those taking placebos. This research has shown serious possibilities for helping people suffering from loss of memory.

The research leader says 'this proves how valuable the work of the old herbalists is, and their work should not be ignored just because they lived centuries ago'.

So, what does folklore tell us about sage? Men and women have been using sage to fight memory loss for centuries, usually in the form of herbal teas. As far back as 1597 herbalist John Gerard wrote that sage was 'singularly good for the head and brain and quickeneth the nerves and memory'. Later Nicholas Culpeper claimed the herb 'heals the memory, warming and quickening the senses'.

Sage was known to the Ancient Greeks and as mentioned above is thought to have given rise to the word sagacious, meaning wise. Then there are the Seven Sages that Greek authors considered to be worthy of quotation. Tenth century Arab physicians believed sage extended life to be point of immortality leading to their saying 'Why should a man die who grows sage in his garden?' Herb strewers in the seventeenth century were employed by the English Royal Family to scatter sage and lavender to cover the stench of urban life.

This is what we know of sage, but it is well worth noting two other well-proven benefits received from British folklore. Probably the best known remedy taken from an Old Wives Tale is the use of old cobwebs used to bind open wounds. This horrified twentieth century scientists until it was discovered that a primitive form of penicillin formed on old cobwebs. Also, who amongst us cannot say that following an unwise brush with stinging nettles they have not reached for the comfort of the nearby dock leaf?

Barbara Corley


We were pleased to welcome Cllr Ian Clifton to our meeting last month. He was speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterways Trust. The trust was founded in 1994 inspired by the vision of its first chairman Brian Young to link the Grand Union Canal and the River Great Ouse. Earlier attempts at funding the project floundered. However since 2000 the trust has been working closely with British Waterways and a Project Partnership of local councils and other agencies and it is hoped, after widespread consultation, that a route will be confirmed later this year, and that the project as a whole will be open in 2010 at a cost of between £80-£150 million. The route of approx. 20 miles is envisaged to be a ‘Waterway for all’- a linear water park providing leisure, business and employment opportunities. He felt this was an exciting opportunity to be involved in creating the first brand new canal scheme for over a 100 years and could only bring benefits to Bedford.

This month’s meeting

We will meet on Tuesday October 14th at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall, all welcome. This month is members night and everyone is being asked to bring a ‘hat with a tale to tell’ along to the meeting. This can be any kind of head attire as long as it brings with it some tale of why it was chosen. So shake the cobwebs off the wedding hat, dust down dad’s old bowler or snatch the baseball cap off your son’s head, but please bring something.

Hostesses and Competition

Our hostesses in September will be Barbara Corley and Jill Cheadle. The competition will be ‘The most interesting hat’.

Rachel Halton 720572

‘Flu Vaccinations

‘Flu vaccinations are available for patients registered with Sharnbrook Surgery, for those "at risk" and for those over sixty-five years of age.

Monday 13th and Friday 17th October, 2.00 – 3.00pm.

No appointment necessary.

Village Hall News


A regular Yoga session is held on Thursday evenings from 7.30 until 9pm. The sessions are conducted by Veronica Lafferty, a qualified and experienced instructor. All participants need to wear suitable clothing and bring something to lie on. Cost per session is £4, on a pay as you go basis. Contact Sue Robinson for details on 720113

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.

8th November - A Ceroc evening is arranged. Those in the know say it is highly entertaining, great fun and something for everyone to try!! Ceroc is a form of dance where an instructor guides you through the moves before trying them out to music. There will be a bar to slake the thirst generated by all the activity. Watch for details shortly.

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

Rob Lee (720730) on behalf of the Village Hall Committee.

News from the Park – Fun Days and New Displays

We’ve had a very busy summer at Harrold – Odell Country Park. The hot weather certainly brought people out to enjoy the park, for picnicking, walking or just sitting and relaxing!

We have had an excellent programme of children’s summer events ranging from the ever popular pond-dipping to art attack where children made very convincing models of the birds around the park. Willow weaving gave children the chance to make bowls and frisbees. This year we were fortunate to enlist the services of Albion Archaeology for an Archaeology Fun Day. Over 30 children (and their parents) had the chance to be a real archaeologist and take part in a dig. There was also find sorting, pot washing and pot sticking to have a go at. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and we are grateful for the support of the County Archaeological Officer and staff at Albion Archaeology, who made such an exciting event possible.

Staying with archaeology, in October we will have new displays in the information room. Roman Archaeology and Archaeology in Bedfordshire are part of a series of travelling displays which will be on show at various locations in the county. We have both displays for the whole of October, including half term, so be sure to come to the park to see them while they’re in your area. There is an excellent panel on the Harrold area, so don’t miss it!

If you would like any information about the park, or to receive information on future children’s events please contact:

Bill Thwaites, Countryside Ranger, 01234 720016,

Lyndsey Bignell, Countryside Officer, 01767 316358,

The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook

Jesus Christ, Superstar

Friday 14th November to Saturday 22nd November, 2003 - Rock Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The opera chronicles the last seven days of the life of Jesus through the eyes of Judas Iscariot.

Charity Performance 14th November for Souldrop Church and Sharnbrook House.

Matinee Saturday 22nd November, 3pm. £6 for which party discounts are available also.

Tickets: on public release from 20th October.

The Village Trader, Sharnbrook (in person) – your local booking point

Central Box Office, Bedford 01234 269519*;

The Castle, Wellingborough 01933 270007*

*Credit/Debit cards accepted.

For Party bookings: Please phone Alison Bean 01234 781372

(10% discount for 10 or more, excluding charity performances)

Disabled Access Fund Diamond Jubilee Superstar Draw.

Sharnbrook Mill Theatre is currently trying to raise £65,000 to provide a much needed Lift and Disabled Access facility. To help reach this target tickets are on sale for a "Superstar Draw" with thirty six outstanding prizes to be won.

Prizes include: 1st £250 cash, 2nd Rushden and Diamonds Hospitality for two, 3rd £100 Fine Jewellery Selection, 4th £100 Home furnishings, 5th £100 Landscape Services, 6th Northampton County Cricket Lunch and Hospitality, 7th Clay Target Shooting for two.

Tickets from The Promoter Theo Gibbs, Stoney Cottage, Park Lane, Sharnbrook. 01234 782377

The Draw will take place on the last night of Jesus Christ, Superstar, Saturday 22nd November. Thank you in anticipation of your support.

October Diary

5th 6.00pm Mozart Requiem, All Saints’.

14th 10.30am Meeting Point at Jane’s, Newton House, Avenue Rd., Newton Bromswold.

14th 7.30pm W.I. Meeting. Odell Village Hall.

15th 12.00 Senior Citizens’ Lunch, Odell Village Hall.

29th 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen’s, Corner House, Wymington Park, Rushden.

Magazine Deadline

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

Electronic mail address

email is jh at - I put it like this to avoid spam! - just retype with the 'at' being an 'at' sign and of course no spaces.

FAX number

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Last revised: September 27, 2003.