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May 2005

Odell Village Fete 11th June 2005

The Fete will be opened by Peter Coleman., There will be all the usual attractions:

Boys Brigade

The Wodehill One-Steppers Jazz Band

Family Dog Show Cash Raffle

Tombola Children’s Sports

Lucky Programme Draw Children’s Stalls Ice Creams

Refreshments Many Sideshows

Gifts White Elephant Bottle Stall

Books Cakes Plants Produce

Fete Working Party on 2nd May, from 10.00am, at Doreen Wheeler’s.

Family Dog Show

(entry fee – £1 per dog per class)


1. Children’s Handling (14 years and under).

2. Puppies under 1 year.

3. Country Sporting Dog or Bitch.

4. Best Rescue or Re-homed Dog or Bitch.

5. Best Condition Dog or Bitch.

6. Dog or Bitch with the Most Appealing Eyes.

7. Best Cross-bred Dog or Bitch.

8. Dog or Bitch the Judge would most like to take home.

9. Best in Show.

Sponsors needed! If you are interested in sponsoring a class for £5 please contact Jill Cheadle 01234 720261.

Letter from Rachel and Peter who taken over the Bell during May.....

We are Peter and Rachel and are currently running a Greene King pub on the outskirts of Cambridge.  Due to the recent arrival of our baby daughter Rebecca, we need to move to a pub with larger living accommodation and are very excited to have been offered the Bell.


Having come from a village similar in size to Odell, we fully understand the important place a pub needs to play in village life.  We are particularly aware of our responsibilities given that it is the only pub in the village, and we very much hope to ensure that the Bell plays a central role in your community.   This is very important to us, for personal as well as business reasons, and we are looking forward to making Odell our family home.


The Bell is one of the loveliest pubs we have viewed and we don’t feel that any major changes are needed to the pub itself, as it has character and charm in abundance.  Our emphasis will be on ensuring that we have a well-kept cellar, offer a varied menu of good quality, traditional food and provide friendly service.  Most importantly, we will be doing all we can to bring back the much needed stability that may have been lacking in recent times.


It will be necessary for us to close for a couple of days but we will be open for business on Thursday 12th May.  We look forward to meeting you all soon.



Rachel & Peter

Round and About

The Humble Bumble

I like bumblebees...and once more I find myself watching these attractive, fat, hairy little creatures as they bumble around all day - never seeming to go anywhere - but terribly busy doing it! You cannot imagine a hot, summer's day without them and yet they are one of the first creatures to emerge into the early spring sunshine...and one of the last to disappear at the year's end.

The very large, single, bees that we see, sometimes as early as March, are the over-wintered queens, freshly emerged from hibernation and in urgent need of seeking out the pollen of the first catkins and pussy willow. They need to feed themselves up and gain strength so they may find suitable nest sites, probably a hole in the ground or a gap in an old stone wall, in which to raise the season’s new crop of bumblebees. The fertilised queen is the sole survivor of the previous year.

There are 22 species of bumblebees in this country. Fat and hairy, as light as thistledown, they are a delight to the eye. Broad striped, narrow striped, orange backed and yellow tummied, the buff-tailed bumblebee is Britain's largest bee.

The queen is able to make such an early arrival in the year, and survive the early spring frosts, because of a special muscle structure which gives her the ability to create and retain heat, thus enabling her to nurture those first eggs and larva that she creates in the spring.

Her first eggs will produce small, stunted, female bees that are destined to be the workers. There is not enough nectar to be found in early spring for these bees to fully develop as their task is to devote themselves to feeding and caring for the young larva which the queen continues to produce throughout the summer. These early bees do not live long and their short lives are full of toil. Meanwhile the now ageing queen will devote the rest of her life to producing more and more young. The next bees to arrive are the male bees of the colony. The old queen's life is nearly done. She carefully cleans the nest to lay her final brood...the young queens...the only ones to survive the following winter. These young queens get the best of everything with the entire nest looking after them.

Bumblebees face a surprising number of enemies - not least man himself: the over-tidy gardener and the farmer as they clear away all the weeds and undergrowth that provide cover for the nests and then spray the area generously with copious amounts of weedkiller, to say nothing of the over-enthusiastic use of the lawn mower. Badgers love to eat bumblebee nests. They gobble it all down, nest, bees, larva, honey - the lot! Then we find that some bumblebees are a menace to their own kind. Of the 22 species of bumblebee, six are known as "cuckoo bumbles", which show the same character traits as the birds they are named after. The cuckoo queen is unable to feed and care for her own young because she does not have the pollen collecting sacs attached to her legs like the other varieties. To get round this problem she will have to invade her neighbour's nest, kill their queen, and then lay her own eggs in the nest to be cared for by the host workers. At first they will attack and sting the invading queen but she is so designed that she can survive the assault and the workers will finally accept the usurper.


With the disappearance of many of our honeybees due to the destructive varroa mite we are becoming increasingly dependent on our wild bumblebees as they pollinate up to 80% of our home grown food plants. They are also much friendlier than the honeybee as they rarely sting people. There are no swarming masses and they are full of personality.

In the autumn the surviving males will mate with the new generation of queens, after which the male bees die. The young fertilised queens then seek out their winter shelter, sometimes emerging on a warm day to feed on the pollen of the ivy flowers to top up their strength to get them through the winter weather. Then, one warm, sunny day in spring, the new queen emerges to start the entire cycle over again.

Barbara Corley

Thank You

We thank you all for all your caring thoughts and help while Florence was in hospital. She is now at home and making progress daily. Also, thank you for the help and love shown to Ken who is not in one hundred percent good health himself.

We walk with faith and not by sight as we take each step daily.

Ken and Florence.

Senior Citizens’ Summer Garden Party

The Senior Citizens’ summer garden party is to take place on

6th July

at 3.00pm,

in Roma’s garden.

All senior citizens are invited.

Please let Roma know if you wish to attend –tel. 720431


Our speaker at our April meeting was Lee, a producer from Three Counties Radio. He started working for them as a schoolboy of 11. He was fortunate to be offered a job with them only weeks after finishing his media journalism course at Nottingham University. He has undertaken many roles whilst with the radio from sports presenter to newsreader to his present position of producing the Milton Keynes edition of the Breakfast Show. He told us a little of the history of the station and the hopes for its future. He was willing to answer all our questions and had brought along some embarrassing out- takes from Three Counties Radio and other radio stations. It was a very entertaining and interesting evening.

May meeting

This will take place in the Village Hall on May 10th at 7.30. This meeting is our A.G.M. when we review the past year and look forward to the coming one. It also gives us the opportunity to thank everyone who helps to keep the W.I. active in Odell.

Hostesses and Competition

Our hostesses are Lynette Hall and Audrey Dempsey

Rachel Halton 720572


The W.I Coffee Morning in aid of the Church Fabric Fund raised approximately £170. Thank you to the people who made the effort to attend and support us.

Rachel Halton 720572

Unsolicited ‘Phone Calls

If you are experiencing unsolicited ‘phone calls selling services or offering prizes or holidays you can block these by calling the numbers below.

The service is free except for the cost of local call rate.

If you want to block junk mail or junk faxes contact Leslie Knowles who has separate numbers for these.

The Telephone Preference Society Service: 0845 070 0707

To Stop Silent Computer Phone Calls: 0870 444 3969

Events at Harrold-Odell

Country Park

Why not come along and join in some of the varied events at the Park? If you would like a walk with a special interest focus or to learn a new skill, we may have just the thing for you. You will need to ring and book yourself a place. Events are free but if you care to make a donation it will enable us to put on more of them in the future.

May Sat 14th, 7.00 – 9.30pm

Bat Detecting Become a bat detector, and identify which species of bat hunt for insects around the different habitats of the Park.

Sat 21st, 8.30 pm Onwards

Moth trapping Using light-traps, learn to identify the many species of moth living in the Park at this time of year

Sun 22nd, 10.00am – 2.00pm

Harrold Country Walk Explore the landscapes habitats and heritage of the local countryside with a 6 mile walk starting and finishing at the Park.

Friends of Harrold-Odell Country Park

Join our growing band of volunteers and help us manage the Country Park. All training and tools are provided and no experience is required. Keep fit, enjoy new experiences, meet people too and it’s free!

Come along on Monday 23rd May from 10am for a day involving a variety of tasks to improve the Park for wildlife and visitors.

For further information about the events or becoming a Friends Volunteer, please contact us on:

Tel/fax 01234 720016 or email

Village Hall News

2004/2005 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 the 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 for our Public Entertainment Licence accountable to the local Borough Council.

As has been said in the past, the task can be 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.

Amended plans for disabled access have been prepared for re-submission to the Council. All this is subject to securing sufficient funding, and during the period of delay, major changes have

occurred to awarding bodies such as those forming the National Lottery.

We have been pleased with comments about events held in the hall during the past year. There has continued to be very good attendances, which has pleased the treasurer! Last year we took the decision not to accept bookings for some private parties, being primarily "coming of age" and it is pleasing that we have had no financial impact as a result and neighbours have not had to suffer disturbance.

The Parish Council obtained a grant, which they asked us to use for the young people of the parish. This provided the Christmas party, which was enjoyed by lots of children and really well supported by mums and dads. Thank you to all who assisted and to the Parish Council for making it possible.

In January this year, we were asked by the owner of a neighbouring property to consider altering the Fire Exit from the rear (north) wall to the redundant exit on the side (west) wall. The emergency exit has always exited across private property and has been with the agreement of the owner of the property. The committee agreed subject to approval from the appropriate authorities. Unfortunately, we were led to believe this was given and alterations, at the owner’s expense, took place in March. However we have since been informed that permission will need to be applied for and the owner has been advised of the situation and requested to comply with any conditions outstanding. Please note that the emergency exit has moved should the need arise to use it.

Obviously the hall is there for villagers to use and it continues to be the chosen venue for local 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 Veronica Lafferty’s yoga classes. We were also pleased that the local Fire and Rescue Service requested the use of the hall for a training exercise. Whilst proving useful for them it gave them valuable experience of the hall should the unlikely need arise for them to present themselves in their official capacity!! The hall has also been used as a staff training venue for a local social care provider.

An annual report provides a forum through which we can record our thanks to all supporters of the hall. Special thanks go to Les Knowles and his band of helpers for the excellent Burns Night, (proceeds from which were donated to local Alzheimers Support) and Roma Garron for organising the Luncheon Club.

Particular thanks go to Karen Fulford for ensuring we are licensed to run our bars, and preparing for the changes to the licensing conditions which come into force during the coming year, 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:

Chairman Rob Lee Vice Chairman Graham Hill

Treasurer Pat Asbery Secretary Karen Fulford

Members Nicky Freeman, Sue Robinson, Harry Smith, Les Knowles

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

The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook

2005 Season

Spend, Spend, Spend – Friday 13th – Saturday 21st May

Area premiere of the musical by Steve Brown and Justin Greene

From the book by Viv Nicholson and Steven Smith

When Viv Nicholson, a Castleford hairdresser, won the football pools in 1961 she vowed she would spend, spend, spend. Her rags-to-riches-and back-again story took her through five husbands, bacchanalia, bankruptcy and booze – finally waking up spent! With sharp, witty and sometimes earthy lyrics set to heart-warming music, the show presents a gritty urban legend and a modern morality tale, a heady mixture of exuberance, despair, triumph and tragedy.

Tickets(£9/11) available now from:

Sharnbrook Post Office – in person (cheque/cash)

Bedford Central Box Office 01234 269519 (Credit/Debit Cards accepted)

For Party bookings: Please phone Alison Bean 01234 781372

Nelson Mandela and Winnie: a Love Story

An original play in three acts: ‛Africa!’, ‛Winnie!’ and ‛Freedom!’

written and performed by Michael Prior as Nelson Mandela.

One performance only at The Mill Theatre on Saturday 11th June at

7.45 pm

Tickets: £8 available now from Bedford Central Box Office 01234 269519 only.



2nd 10.00am Fete working party at Doreen Wheelers, Linden House, High St., Odell.

3rd 10.30am Meeting Point at Jill’s, Rectory Farm.

10th 7.30pm W.I. Village Hall.

14th 7 – 9.30pm Bat detecting, Harrold-Odell Country Park.

18th 10.30am Meeting Point visit to Valerie and David’s.

21st 8.30pm Moth trapping, Harrold-Odell Country Park.

22nd 10am – 2pm Six mile walk starting and finishing at Harrold-Odell Country Park.

23rd 10.00am Volunteers day of maintenance of Harrold-Odell Country Park.

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the June 2005 magazine to Tricia Hudson (, Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by May 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.

Electronic mail address

email is

FAX number

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Last revised: April 26, 2005.