Back to the Odell Home Page


July/August 2004


Odell Village Fete June 12th 2004

In spite of the threat of showers the afternoon of the fete remained dry and sunny and a steady stream of visitors ensured that the fete was again a successful and pleasant event. As ever, the dog show proved to be very popular, (results shown below), keeping the tea tent very busy providing refreshments for both dogs and their owners! It was good to have once again both the company and entertainment provided by the Boys’ Brigade and we are grateful to Gerald Robinson for kindly agreeing to open the fete. Throughout the afternoon The Wodehill One-Steppers Jazz Band kept spirits buoyant with their lively and cheerful playing. Thanks to all who helped to make the fete such a success and to all who contributed prizes. We are pleased to announce that the fete made a profit of approximately £2800.

Competition Results.

Guess the teddy bear’s birthday:

Poppy Sherborne came nearest the date with 13th June. The actual date of the teddy’s birthday is 20th June – which is the date of my eldest grandson’s birthday!

Mary Rogers

Dog Show Results


Class Owner Dog’s name

1. Children’s Handling 1st Abby Seeley Gus

2nd Corinna Agate Gyp

3rd Kayleigh Bellerton Bobby

2. Puppies under

1 year 1st Eddy Scott Rags

2nd Liam Harris Mabel

3rd Abby Seeley Gus

3a. Country sporting

(dog) st Mick Surritt Kirby

2nd Jackie Ward Trooper

3rd Sam Jones Storm

3b. Country sporting

(bitch) 1st Heather Ward Truda

2nd Roy Agate Ellie

3rd Katherine Freeman Foxy

4. Best rescue 1st Nicky Masterson Willow

2nd Julia Hickman Bruno

3rd Freya Peverill Mack

5. Best condition 1st Pat Dougan Benson

2nd Roy Agate Ellie

3rd Elisa Artime Jess

6. Most appealing

eyes 1st Vicky Brightwell Lillie Langtree

2nd Sam Jones Bunty

3rd Pam Marriott Russell

7. Best cross-bred

1st Glenys Abbott Bear

2nd Nicky Masterson Willow

3rd Jennifer Marriott Russell

8. Most like to take

home 1st Jennifer Marriott Taz

2nd Sam Jones Storm

3rd Katherine Freeman Foxy

Birthday Greetings To:

Jonathan Sykes who will be 14 on August 15th and to Miles in Horse Fair Lane and to anyone else who has a birthday in July or August.

Round and About

To Coin a Phrase

I have to confess I am guilty of using a well worn phrase from time to time.  You only have to look at the titles of my monthly articles, most of them are a variation on a popular expression.  I have been looking into these favourite sayings that have dropped into our day-to-day language and have set out the origins of where some of them come from.

Dog Days of Summer:  This comes from the ancient Romans.  They called the hottest weeks of summer after the Dog Star, the brightest star in the sky at that time of year.  The Romans thought that the star rose with the sun and that the combined heat of the Dog Star and the sun were the cause of the stifling heat between July 3 and August 11.

The Walls Have Ears:  This saying dates to Catherine de Medici (1519-1589).  Whilst Queen of France and acting Regent she created listening channels in the walls of certain rooms in the Louvre Palace so that she could be aware of what people were saying when they thought they were alone and could not be overheard.  For malcontents, alas, the walls proved to have ears!

My Old Dutch:  This comes from the Cockney rhyming slang for "wife".  Duchess of Fife rhymed with wife and was shortened to "Dutch".  The phrase was particularly popular during the Victorian era.

Round Robin:  This one relates back to British sailors in the 17th c. and 18th c.   Discipline was pretty harsh in those days and in the face of mass unrest was usually brought to bear on the ringleaders of any organised trouble.  Ringleaders then came up with the idea of persuading their fellow plotters to sign their agreement to a piece of paper with their signatures forming a circle around the edge of the page. In this way it was impossible to identify the original instigators of any insurrection.  Some sea captains punished everybody who signed in this way but at least everyone got the same punishment.  At a time when many people could not read or write, let alone sign their name, I cannot help wondering what happened when "X" marked the spot!

To Bone Up on a Subject:  This dates to Victorian schoolchildren and one Henry Bohn.  This gentleman published and produced English translations of Latin and Greek classics thus enabling students of the day to study and revise in their own language.  It didn't take long before schoolchildren referred to (Bohning) "Boning Up", and as they grew up the phrase followed them into adult life

To Beat About the Bush:  In the 15th c. a popular style of gaining food for the pot was to hunt for wild birds.  It was illegal to hunt game birds - so they had to go after song birds.  After dark, when the birds had gone to roost, people would go out with a lantern or flaming torch carrying sticks and a net.  A light would be shone on the selected bush or tree to dazzle the birds and the rest of the group would soundly thrash the bush with their sticks until their prey fell from the branches into the nets below.  The hunters would then move on to the next bush.  It was, however, not very practical and yielded only one or two birds a night.  Today the phrase refers to any lengthy or impractical activity and is more usually used in the reverse i.e. "not to beat about the bush".

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth:  An old phrase, this one.  The only sure way to tell the age of a horse is to check the teeth.  A horse grows new teeth at different ages and depending on the number of teeth in the animal’s mouth, no matter what the dealer told you, you could always tell the age by looking into the horse’s mouth - hence the present day meaning of receiving first hand knowledge.

There are, of course, a number of phrases in constant use today that refer back to less pleasant origins.

To Bite the Bullet:  Used today when we have to face up to an unpleasant situation but this originated as a medical expression in the field hospitals on early battlegrounds before the time of anaesthetics.  A soldier would be presented with a bullet and told to bite down hard to try and distract him from the pain soon to be inflicted.  Another aspect of this was that it helped to muffle the screams.

Coming Up to Scratch:  This refers to the fine art of pugilism.  Under London Prize Fighting Rules for Boxing, introduced in 1839, a fight ended when one of the participants was knocked down.  He had a chance to continue the fight, however, if he could walk, or even crawl, to a mark scratched into the earth, in the centre of the ring. In this particular period most fights were held outdoors.  If a man failed to get up to scratch he was deemed to be the loser.

For the High Jump:  This phrase refers to the days of public hangings when a convicted man, or woman, would be pushed off the edge of a stage, or even a single wooden bar.  This was referred to as "the high jump" and even today relates to getting yourself into a spot of bother!

Break a Leg:  This is now a traditional "good luck" message for actors as they prepare to go on stage but the origin brought less good fortune.  When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Fords Theatre in 1865 the murderer leaped down on to the stage to elude capture - sad for him - the fall caused him to break a leg!

To Give Short Shrift:  A Shrift was a confessional given to a priest and refers to the brief last rights and confession to absolve a convict prior to execution. He received a short shrift and today refers to anyone receiving lack of sympathy.

Finally, I shall close by offering you   "The Real McCoy":  In the 1880's MacKay Whisky was considered so good that it was exported from Scotland to Canada and the U.S. The ex-pats in these countries could not get enough of the genuine article and although the word "MacKay" became corrupted to "McCoy" the enthusiasm expressed by the men who finally received "the real stuff" can well be imagined by their exclamation "Ay, that's the real McCoy alright!"

Barbara Corley

 A Parish Walk

The Rights Of Way Officer, Ed Burnett, has arranged to escort a party of us to Yelnow New Wood and Odell Great Wood

On Wednesday 7th July

Starting and finishing from outside The Bell


Everyone welcome

In 2002 about 20 of us joined Ed for an informative evening, why not join us this time.

No need to book and it is FREE, just turn up.

For more details contact Richard Hall on 01234 720723


May saw us gather in the hall for our A.G.M. This is our opportunity to thank everyone who has helped to keep Odell W.I. in existence when so many W.I.s are closing. We are always pleased to see new members and if anyone is interested please ring me, talk to any other member or turn up on the night.

We also debated the three resolutions which were to be discussed and voted on at the national A.G.M. in Sheffield in June. After a lively exchange of views we voted to support all three.

July and August meetings

There was no meeting in June as most of the W.I. members were involved in the fete. We resume our programme in July when we are making a visit to the museum at Thurleigh on Tuesday July 13th. This is a follow up to our extremely interesting talk about the airfield in January by Richard Hall. Visitors are welcome at a cost of £3.00 per person. August sees us at the home of Mandy Sharpe for our annual bring and share B.B.Q. on the 10th. We have an earlier start for both these events of 7.00 p.m.

Rachel Halton 720572

Odell W.I. visit to Thurleigh Airfield Tuesday July 13th

Our July meeting will be a visit to the 306th Bombardment Group Museum on Thurleigh Airfield. We welcome any non members to join us for this special opening on Tuesday July 13th from 7.00-9.00pm.

The museum, which opened in 2002, contains a unique collection of artefacts related to the American presence from 1942 to 1945, which details the social impact on the area. It transports you back to wartime Britain and appeals to all age groups.

Cost: Members £1, non members £3, includes light refreshment from the authentic NAAFI bar.

Bring your picnic tables outside for a sunny evening!

Fully wheel chair accessible.

For more details about the visit contact our president, Rachel, on 720572, or for more information about the museum contact Richard Hall on 720723.

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.

Village Hall Access

This long drawn out process is still gathering a little momentum, new plans are being drawn up for presentation to the Planning Department and once costings have been confirmed, we should be able to submit an application for funding assistance. A number of people are working hard to make this happen but we are at the mercy of many systems and processes, but as things progress we will keep villagers up to date.


The Annual General Meeting was held on 26th April. Only two villagers attended and the annual report is attached for your perusal.


Please be reminded that the front door lock has been changed and in keeping with good practice we have a new arrangement for opening the hall. A list of key holders will be posted on the hall door. Harry Smith has kindly offered to prepare the hall for users ensuring heating is on as necessary and the doors opened and locked after activities. In the absence of Harry being available other key holders will undertake this task. We hope this will not inconvenience anyone, as keys will not generally be handed out as a point of security.

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.

2003/2004 Annual Report of the Odell Village Hall Committee

As the management committee of the village hall we have been tasked with overseeing the running of Odell Village Hall on behalf of the village. We are required to comply with local and national legislation and regulations in the course of operating, for example, as a Charity, accountable to the Charity Commission, and our Public Entertainment Licence accountable to the local Borough Council. The task is an onerous one and has a responsibility over and above arranging events in the hall. To this end I would like to thank all past and particularly the present committee for the time, commitment and energy to their important role. Part of this role has required us to consider how best we serve all elements of our community. The hall is purely dedicated to communal activities of a social nature and open to all regardless of race, religion disability etc.

We had hoped to have available an altered hall by now, but it is with a great deal of frustration that we have not yet been able to make our hall accessible to disabled people, though we set out to do this with a mandate from the village members some three years ago. We continue to strive to achieve this important goal so that we can be truly inclusive. However, we are pleased that our legal concerns seem resolved and amended plans are being prepared for re-submission to the Council. Once these are complete we will share them with villagers and hope to have a completion date for the alterations. Of course all this is subject to securing sufficient funding, and for this we keep our fingers crossed.

On a more positive note there have been some good nights’ entertainments in the hall with great attendances, a consequence of which has been some income into our "coffers". Highlights have included an evening of Ceroc dance, Burns Night Supper, another great Time of Our Lives theatre performance, great music and songs from the Ouse Valley Swing Band. Some said the Quiz wasn’t bad either! These events have realised an income in excess of £2000!

Private bookings have been equally important, although we have taken a decision not to allow some of the more boisterous parties, which have caused some upset to neighbours. We do remain happy to consider important "coming of age" parties for villagers.

Obviously the hall is there for villagers to use and it is very pleasing to have it used for meetings and other group activities. Our core users continue with the hall as a venue for their functions, all of which provide hire fees, which help offset the running costs. Our thanks go to the Parish Council, WI, Paddie Paws and new for this year Veronica Lafferty’s yoga classes. Hire fees have seen an income of about £1300.

An annual report provides a forum through which we can record our thanks to all supporters of the hall. Special thanks go to Nicola Schoenenberger and the band of helpers for the excellent Burns Night and Roma Garron for organising the Luncheon Club. Nicola will be unable to co-ordinate the event next year so we would be pleased if there was someone else to take over this popular event, which never fails to be sold out!! Our good-bye and thanks also go to Liz Dodwell, who has arranged the dancing during Burns Night. Our committee has lost both Chris Swift as Vice-Chairman and Brian Cheadle during the year, both of whom have many other commitments but have been and remain stalwart supporters of the hall, so thank you to them. Thanks also go to Paul Johns, ably assisted by Les Knowles and Steve Robinson, for replacing the ceiling tiles.

Particular thanks go to Karen Fulford for ensuring we are licensed to run our bars, Doreen Wheeler for making sure the bookings are faithfully kept, Derek Gadsby for ensuring the hall is cleaned ready for users, and Harry Smith; "the keeper of the keys", who opens and locks up after use.

The Current Village Hall Committee is:

Chair Rob Lee Vice Chair vacant

Treasurer Pat Asbery Secretary Karen Fulford

Members Nicky Freeman, Sue Robinson, Harry Smith,

Leslie Knowles and Graham Hill

Do please support our events, and do suggest to us your ideas for alternative activities. Rob Lee (720730)

The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook

The Lion in Winter - The wonderful historical drama by James Goldman.

Tuesday 21st – Saturday 25th September 2004, 7.45 pm.

Director: David Midlane

Tickets, £8-£9 available one month before from:

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)

The Mill Theatre Reg. Charity No 242164

Sharnbrook Amateur Theatre Trust Ltd

Wednesday 22nd September: Charity performance for The Friends of St. Peter’s Church. Tickets: £10 only from The Village Trader.

Visitors to The Mill Theatre during The Lion in Winter may take advantage of advance booking for :

My Fair Lady (Friday 12th – Saturday 20th November) before tickets go on public release.

Youth Theatre Summer School 9 – 18? Act now!

Please note change of date: Mon. 26th – Sat. 31st July – not 2nd – 7th August. Professional tuition, fee £100, concluding performance on 31st July. A few places left at time of going to press.

For further details and reservations please contact Erica Lester: 01234 781210.

19 Class Companion Dog Show - Sunday 5th September.

Kennel Club permission - formerly Exemption. Sunday 5th September, Mill Theatre Riverside Grounds. All Welcome. Pedigree & Novelty Classes. Trophies – Rosettes - Prizes. Stalls – Refreshments – Licensed Bar – Free Car Parking.

Enquiries: Elizabeth/Theo Gibbs 781298/782377



7th 7.00 pm Parish walk, starting from The Bell.

13th 7.00pm W.I. visit to Thurleigh Museum.

14th 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen’s, Corner House, 38

Wymington Park, Rushden.


10th 7.00pm W.I. Barbecue, Mandy Sharpe’s.

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the September 2004 magazine to Tricia Hudson (, Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by August 12th 2004 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 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

Back to the Odell Home Page

Last revised: July 10, 2004.