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December 2004- January 2005

Welcome to the Petrides family who have just moved to the village

Odell Parish Council

Meeting 15 November 2004

Seats in the village. These have now been repaired and painted.

Youth Group Disco. This will take place on 17th December. Funding has been received from the Borough Council.

Highways and Byways

Horsefair Lane has been resurfaced, but it has been necessary to bring the levels to the attention of the Highways Dept of the Bedfordshire County Council, and some of the drains are not working.

The white lines on Castle Hill have not been renewed in spite of the undertaking to do so in October. Bedfordshire County Council have been advised.

The footpath between the Flats and Hartles Hill needs repairing, and so does the footpath on Castle Hill. Both these have been brought to the attention of Bedfordshire County Council.

We have met with the Ranger in the Country Park, and requested that the gate for walkers and horses be repaired.


The Auditors have given an unqualified report on the Accounts of the Parish for the year to 31st March 2004.

Flood Defences. A notice has been put on the Notice board about the Flood Defences and warnings.

Odell Bus Service

The last bus into Bedford leaves the Green at 1.22 pm on weekdays, but during the School holidays and on Saturdays the last bus leaves at 3.15 pm. A request has been made to re-route the Service on weekdays in term time to leave at the later time of 3.15 pm.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place at 8 pm on 17th January 2005 in the

Village Hall.

Subsequent meetings in 2005 will be held as follows:- March 14th (Annual Meeting), May 16th, July 18th, September 19th, and 21st November.

Jonathan Harrison. Parish Councillor


Round and About

The Christmas Feast

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat! - or so the old rhyme goes - but what does Christmas Dinner mean to you?

Over the centuries it has changed quite considerably. In olden days, if you were rich enough, it was a side of beef roasting over an open fire, boar’s head, swan and peacock, with jugglers and acrobats to entertain you. If you were less fortunate you would count yourself lucky to have a smear of dripping on a piece of hard bread - that is - if you ate at all.

But this is Christmastime - so let us be more cheerful, and I will try and give you some idea of how and from where our Christmas Dinner has come.

Traditionally, at Christmastime, all our foods are highly spiced and this came about for one very good reason. Before the days of refrigeration keeping food fresh was a nightmare. In the very early days, to disguise the fact that much of the food was tainted, the only thing to do was to try and hide the taste with the use of spices. Once the Crusaders began to bring spices back from the Middle East this is exactly what happened and we have maintained that tradition ever since - although now we do so from choice rather than necessity.

When we think of Christmas Dinner today we think of turkey, but this is a relative newcomer! Turkey was first brought to Europe on the discovery of the Americas. At first these birds could not survive in our climate and most perished. This made them a luxury way out of the reach of ordinary people but over the centuries a hardier strain began to evolve and by Victorian times the turkey began to be more generally available. Prior to this it was the goose specially fattened for the occasion, as mentioned in the above rhyme : "the goose is getting fat!" When the goose began to lose favour people turned to chickens and, if the family was a large one, the turkey. Today, birds seem to be available in all sizes and it is more or less a case of personal choice.

Mincemeat pies are truly a piece of "Olde Englande" although originally they really were made from shreds of minced meat. The dried fruit and spices were later added when they became available - to 'spice it up' or to hide the taste of the bad meat. By Tudor times mincemeat pies were firmly in place on the Christmas dinner table in households both high and low. Banned by the Puritans of Cromwell’s time, they re-emerged at The Restoration but now the "meat" was beginning to disappear and the pies contained only the dried fruit, nuts and spices that we see today - although meat did linger on as an alternative. A renowned cook of her time, Hannah Glasse, produced a recipe for the fruit pie but added, "...delicious - but for those who like their mincemeat with meat, they can pop into the mix chopped ox tongue or sirloin of beef."

For the general public the hot spices were a real treat because they had to be imported from the Middle and Far East, travelling a long hard journey by both land and sea. The same can be said for the exotic dried fruit that was reaching our shores from warmer climates. Because of these conditions the fruit and spices were expensive and could only be used for special occasions and it is not surprising that they also ended up in the Christmas Pudding...the pudding is packed with all these special treats.

Christmas Pudding can be traced back a long way, although it has changed considerably on the journey. By Victorian times it had become the pudding that we know today but it goes way, way back into our early history. It started as plum pottage and would have originated with good English fruit like apples and plums...why else would it be called plum pudding. Just think of Little Jack Horner - but that is a different story! Plum Pottage was a dish for everyone and what was put into it was dependant upon your means. Originally it started as a meat dish with fruit added for flavour, and bulked up with breadcrumbs, to be boiled up in a cauldron rather like a stew. It came out as a kind of liquid slop! If you could afford it you added spices to improve the taste...and if you could not then you just did the best you could with whatever you could lay your hands on. By late Tudor times ovens began to arrive on the scene and cooks began to try their hand at baking it. Some chefs even tried to bake it first and then to boil it up in a bag. By now plum pudding was beginning to evolve from plum pottage and by the 1870s a chef of the period wrote "...The Plum Pudding is a national dish, despised by other nations because they can never make it fit to eat."

Finally, we come to the Christmas Cake. The rise of the Christmas cake brought about the downfall of the more traditional "Twelfth Cake" which was always eaten on the Feast of the Three Kings or, as we call it today "Twelfth Night" - or the 6th January. Before the Victorian era the big "party night" was "Twelfth Night", celebrated far more than Christmas, which was held principally to be a religious celebration to be finally concluded with the festivities of "Twelfth Night" and all the merry-making that went with it. The cake was a marvellous affair. Iced and adorned with coloured flowers together with gold and silver stars and crowns.

The Victorians, however, changed the major celebration of Twelfth Night by bringing in the new idea of Christmas celebrations and all the seasonal revelries migrated towards Christmas Day and by the 1850s, Christmas, with its turkey, mincemeat pies, pudding and cake were firmly in place and celebrated around the family Christmas tree.

May I wish all my readers a Very Merry Christmas …

.... and A Happy New Year.

Barbara Corley

Do You Have An Old Mobile Phone?

The Alzheimers Society can receive a donation for every re-cycled mobile phone it collects.

If you have a mobile phone you no longer use, please drop it in to Leslie Knowles at 4 Mill Lane, Odell, and £2.50 will go to the North Beds Branch of the Alzheimers Society to help people with memory problems, and their families.

Leslie Knowles


Christmas came early to the Village Hall this year courtesy of the W.I. Doreen Wheeler and Kathy Dunn, two of our members, agreed to share their talents in the art of Christmas card making. Doreen had already started making her cards as she sells them on behalf of the Corner Club at the Charity Christmas Sale at the URC in Harrold. She takes her inspiration from all over the place, pretty wrapping papers, printed fabrics and unusual bits and pieces that take her eye. Kathy is from the world of pre-school and she likes nothing better than glitter and sparkly paper cut into shapes. Between the two of them they showed us that anyone of any ability and any age can produce an original card that is sure to delight its recipient. It was then time to ‘have a go’ and all joined in with great enthusiasm and a great deal of laughing and talking. Thank you to both the ladies for giving us such a successful and fun evening.

December and January meetings

In December we meet at the home of Doreen Wheeler for our Bring and Share Christmas meal. I unfortunately will not be attending so can I take this opportunity to wish all the W.I. members a Happy Christmas and New Year. In January we return on Tuesday 11th January to the Village Hall. The meeting will start at 7.30 when we will welcome Major Alan Gilmore to speak to us on ‘Insurance Claims Investigation’. As always, visitors welcome - just come along.

Hostesses and Competition

Our January hostesses are Kathy Dunn and Stasia Wherrett.

The competition is ‘A Bizarre insurance Claim’.

Rachel Halton 720572

Broadband Internet Access

Business Serve - Internet for Business Click for homepage

Finally Broadband equipment is being installed by BT in our local telephone exchange. This means that the majority of homes in Odell, Harrold and Carlton can have Broadband Internet Access early next year. - so now’s the time to book up for it. Our friendly local KBNet who have provided the Odell website free for many years has been taken over by a bigger company called Business Serve. See for details of their Broadband offering. You can call them on 0870 881 0545 or email them on sales@ to book your fast internet service from them (please mention the Odell magazine)

Their 512K Broadband offering includes:

500Kbps broadband connection - up to 10x faster than dial up

50:1 Contention Ratio

Un-metered transfer

Unrestricted Bandwidth usage

No set-up fee

Odell Luncheon Club

Invites you to join us

on Wednesday 15 December 2004

at 12.30 for 1.00pm

For Christmas lunch

Please let Roma know (on 01234 720431) by Tuesday 7 December if you are able to join us.

Please note – this is the only invitation – there will be no personal invitations sent.

News from the Park

Friends of Harrold-Odell Country Park

We are very lucky to benefit from the time and skills of our small band of volunteers. People often ask how they can get involved with helping at the park and here’s the answer – join the Friends of Harrold-Odell Country Park!

This is a new group we’re setting up to build on the work of our existing volunteers, give more people the opportunity to be involved, and of course, benefit the country park. We’re looking for people to help with practical work such as habitat management, tree planting and hedge work; assist with events and guided walks; record wildlife; become a voluntary warden or anything else!

We’re starting off with some conservation tasks on the following dates:

Monday 29th November, Monday 20th December, Saturday 29th January.

All events will start at 10am and end around 3pm. No skills are necessary as training will be given. All tools will be provided, as will hot drinks and biscuits. All you need to bring is your lunch and yourself and wear sturdy footwear and old outdoor clothing. So if you enjoy fresh air and the countryside, want to learn new skills or meet new people why not try it?

If you’re interested, would like any further information, or think you may have a different skill you’d like us to benefit from, please contact us on the number or email below.

Other events

Tuesday 7th December 10am – 2pm

Bedford Volunteer Bureau at the Park

If you’re looking for something else interesting to do, come to the Visitor Centre and meet Hazel from BVB and see what you can try as a volunteer. Stretch your imagination. Broaden your horizons. Help others in the process.

Wednesday 15th December 2pm-4pm

Introducing Harrold-Odell Country Park Guided Walk

For those who have never been to the park before, or have been hundreds of times and want to find out more about the park, its history and wildlife. Warm clothing and stout footwear required. The walk will be about 2.5 miles long. Booking required.

Saturday 22nd January 10am – 1pm

Winter Birds at the Park Guided Walk

Discover our winter wildfowl on the lakes and river. Listen for winter songbirds and look out for winter visitors. You don’t need to be an experienced bird watcher to attend, in fact no experience is required, but you will need warm clothing and stout footwear. Bring some binoculars if you have them. The walk will be about 2.5 miles long. Booking required.

For further information or to book your place on the guided walks please contact us on 01234 720016 or email:

Welcome to Simon and Kate Petrides and their children Oli, Lucie and Kitty who moved into the Manor in November.

The Community Tree Trust

Registered Charity no 1061706,68 Fir Tree Close, Flitwick, Beds MK45 1NZ

Tel: 07751 356 094

Supply of Local Provenance Trees and Shrubs.

The Community Tree Trust has been involved in seed collecting from ancient woodland sites throughout the whole of Bedfordshire for the last 4 years. The seed is collected from native trees and shrubs of local provenance. This is grown on at the nursery for about 2 to 3 years before being replanted back into the Bedfordshire countryside to restore ancient hedgerows and woodland.

The Community Tree Trust is now selling stock at a reasonable price to anyone who is interested in replanting or restoring ancient woodlands or hedgerows in the county, and includes whips ranging from 40-60cms size up to feathered and standard trees. Prices vary according to size and species. Below is a list of species available:

Field Maple Ash English Oak Hawthorn Blackthorn

Crab Apple Dog Rose Field Rose Spindle Hazel

Wayfaring tree Guelder rose Wild Privet Dogwood Buckthorn Silver birch Downy birch Rowan Hornbeam Geanwild cherry Crack willow White willow Grey sallow Common osier Native Black poplar

Large-leaved lime Small-leaved lime

Anyone interested in purchasing plants should contact Colin Carpenter on 07751 356 094, or 01525 716371


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 helps us maintain the hall.

Christmas Party - 17th December, 7-9.00 pm.

An evening of dancing to ‘1+1 Disco’, games , goodies to eat and lots of fun has been planned! All children of the village are invited, but as there will be lots of children we do ask for your support in supervising them. Toddlers should be accompanied and we ask for your support in making sure that your own children are supervised by yourself or someone else attending the evening. You are of course very welcome to join us anyway.

Please let us know how many children will be attending and if you can help so that catering can be arranged.

Burns Night Saturday 29th January 2005, 7.30 for 8.00pm.

Odell’s traditional ‘Burn’s Night ‘celebration will take place in the Village Hall on the 29th January. As in past years, the evening will begin with a toast to ‘the haggis’, followed by a wee dram and a delicious supper of haggis, neeps and tatties (vegetarian options available), and a pudding. After supper there will be Scottish dancing.

Tickets: adults £8.00, concessions £6.00, available from Les Knowles, 721860.

This is always a very popular event so be sure to book early!

Times of our Lives Theatre Company - 5th February 2005

Returning in the new year with another great show – "Two for the 1/9d" - this time looking back over the years of ‘cinema experience’, from the era of silent movies to the swinging 60s. The evening will be a mixture of music and dance, stand-up comedy and sketches.

Contact Pat Asbery, for tickets. 720594.

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.

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

On behalf of the Village Hall Committee, may I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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

The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook

Patrons past and present, thank you for your valuable part in helping us to create and develop what has been described as ‘The Mill Theatre Experience’, over the first 25 years and the tally of more than 84 musicals, comedies and dramas - with numerous Youth productions, Concert Party and Christmas Revues in between - that separate "Salad Days", the inaugural production in 1979, and "My Fair Lady", our most recent sell-out success. Following our own rise to the challenge and transformation, we trust that we, too, have ‘got it right’!

With the accent on progressive improvement for your comfort and well being, the discerning ear and eye will, hopefully, have sensed the far superior sound and lighting quality that complemented the scenes of "My Fair Lady", following our major investment in these fields in November. Progress is being made, also, with the provision of Access for the Disabled, our highest priority. Plans have been passed; fundraising continues diligently and the technical details are currently being ironed out, with the earnest endeavour of proceeding with the installation of the important lift, the first of two phases of the project, in the not too distant future. But more ‘grist to the mill’ is still needed! Please help. If you are willing to make a donation, please contact The Honorary Secretary, Erica Lester, on 781210, in the first instance.

And so a Preview of our exciting 2005 Season:

The Dresser March 8th – 12th. The Wartime Drama by Ronald Harwood, (at which advance tickets for Spend, Spend, Spend will be on sale).

Spend, Spend, Spend – May 13th – 21st. The Extravagant Musical by Steve Brown and Justin Green.

Seasons Greetings – September 20th – 24th. An Hilarious Comedy.

Scrooge - November 11th – 19th. The Wonderful Seasonal Musical.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Mill Theatre in 2005.

Season’s Greetings to you all – and Happy Theatre Going!

Tickets available from:

The Post Office, Sharnbrook - in person – your local booking point

Bedford Central Box Office 01234 269519 *Credit/Debit Cards accepted

For Party bookings: Please phone Alison Bean 01234 781372

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



3rd 10.30am Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green Farm.

7th 10-2.00pm Bedford Volunteer Bureau, Visitor Centre Harrold and Odell Country Park.

14th 11.00am Meeting Point Christmas lunch at Rectory Farm.

14th 7.30pm W.I. Christmas Supper at Doreen Wheeler’s.

15th 12.30 Odell Luncheon Club Christmas Lunch in Village Hall.

15th 2-4.00pm Country Park Guided Walk.

17th 7.00pm Children’s Christmas Party, Village Hall.

22nd 10-1.00pm Winter birds guided walk, Country Park.


11th 7.30pm W.I. Odell Village Hall.

12th 10.30am Meeting Point at Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, Harrold.

17th 8.00pm Parish Council Meeting, Village Hall.

29th 7.30pm Burn’s Night celebration, Village Hall.


Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the February 2005 magazine to Tricia Hudson (patriciahudson at, Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by January 12th 2005 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.



Mike & Jane

Welcome all customers, both old & new to the

recently refurbished

Cock at Pavenham

Hand Prepared & Home Cooked Food is available Wednesday to Saturday Evenings. Fresh sandwiches, Soups & Ploughmans are available at weekend lunchtimes

Large garden with fabulous views

Parties welcome in our separate dining room

We are keen that our food offering is of the highest quality using the freshest ingredients and make no apologies if availability is limited – so BOOK EARLY!

Quiz night every 2nd Monday in the month

Opening Times

Monday to Friday 5.00pm to 11.00pm

Saturday 12.00am to 3.00 pm & 6.30pm to 11.00pm

Sundays 12.00am to 3.00pm & 7.00pm to 10.30pm


Electronic mail address

email is

FAX number

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Last revised: December 04, 2004.