Back to the Odell Home Page


April 2006

Fete Committee Painting Day

Painting of signs etc. for the fete will take place at Doreen Wheeler’s, Linden House, High Street, Odell, on Monday 1st May from 10.00am.

Birthdays in April

Happy birthday to:

Tania Fulford who will be 10 on April 5th and

Alex Swift who will be 14 on April 11th.

All Saints’ Flowers for April

2nd Catherine Corkery

9th Tricia Hudson

15th Decorate the church for Easter

22nd All help to clear

30th J Eshelby

Round and About

The Traditions of Maundy Thursday


With Easter fast approaching I find myself looking at the lesser known festival known as Maundy Thursday.  This event falls on the day before Good Friday and is the annual commemoration of the betrayal of

Jesus.  Were it not for the traditions surrounding this date, however, it would most likely now be forgotten.

This day was formerly the occasion of a Service of Reconciliation for penitents who had been excluded from their church during the period of Lent.  In Pre-Reformation England it was known as 'Shere' Thursday, the name ' Maundy' Thursday came later.   The name ‘Shere’ Thursday arose from the early custom of 'shearing' or cutting of hair and beards as a sign of rejoicing.

It was also the custom, on this day, for the monarch, or ruler, of the land to wash the feet of selected poor men and women, reflecting the occasion when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.  The custom arose at a time when the monarch ruled supreme and it was introduced to give a timely reminder to such monarch that it was also his duty to serve his people. It was also the custom, on such occasions, to distribute food and clothing to the needy.

In England the custom of washing feet by the monarch was preserved until 1689.  Up and until this time the King, or Queen, would wash the feet of the selected poor, on Maundy Thursday, in Westminster

Abbey.  The said feet were, however, first washed and prepared by Yeomen of the Laundry before the monarch was actually called upon to wash the feet.   Following the washing, food and clothing would be distributed. 

Slowly, over the years, the foot washing and the giving of food and clothing was replaced by the giving of specially minted money, ‘Maundy Money’, in small baskets,  or 'maunds', prepared for the occasion.  These coins were, and still are, legal tender, but as they are rare items, are much prized.  Due to the limited number minted they are much sought after by collectors.

In England today the monarch, our present Queen, attends a Maundy Thursday service at one of our many cathedrals throughout the land (a different cathedral each year), where she distributes the ‘Maundy Money’.  The Queen is accompanied by a Yeoman of the Guard who carries a golden tray, upon which are laid white leather purses containing the specially minted money.  The Queen is also accompanied by ‘Maundy Children’ specially selected from local schools, and the entire party carry posies, or nosegays, of flowers.  The carrying of flowers, in this way, was a traditional form of protection, most probably futile, against the Great Plague.  It fell to Charles I to distribute his ‘Maundy’ tributes during an outbreak of plague in 1639 when he protected himself in this manner.  From that day forward the carrying of flowers has become an essential part of the ceremony.

The number of purses distributed is equal to the age of the monarch.  In 2005, to mark the Queen's  79th birthday,  79 men and 79 women received purses containing the special money.

 Barbara Corley


It was a delight to welcome Dot Wigg back to Odell W.I. with her entertaining talk on ‘Tea with the Queen’. In her capacity as President of the Bedford Federation of

W.I.s she was invited to a Garden Party given by the Queen in 2003. She took us through the experience from having a hat especially made for her to having her

photograph taken at the gates of Buckingham Palace. Her only regret is that cameras were not allowed. She is a larger than life lady who certainly brought laughter to the village hall that night.

April meeting

We are pleased to welcome Sorrel Pinder on the 11th April at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall. Her talk is entitled ‘Balance and Flexibility’. Visitors are always welcome - just turn up or contact any W.I. member.

Competition and Hostesses

Hostesses are Jen Cuddeford and Joyce Knight and the competition is ‘A keep fit poem’.

Rachel Halton 720572

Odell Parish Council

The chairman gave a brief summary of the work of the Parish Council during the past year. This brought together the information given in reports in the Parish Magazine. The meeting then continued.

Old School Bell: This has been delivered to Mr Wherrett and

invoice for payment received. The bell has not yet been erected.
Grant for Church Parking Area: Cllr. Cheadle said that Mr. Chamberlain had raised the question of public liability insurance. No application for a grant can be made until this issue is resolved.

Highways: Cllr. Crotty reported in writing that he had spoken with Celia Sellars and her line manager and they walked the ground on 28th November. The work on the potholes and round the seat was promised for the February programme, but it was reported at the

meeting that although the potholes had been done, the kerbing round the seat is still outstanding. The Clerk will chase this again.
Planning: The Parish Council raised no objections to the proposed plans for Northend Farm: Notification received that the hearing into the Public Path Diversion Order for Part of Bridleway No. 33 will take place on Thursday, 18th May at 10.00 am at Harrold Chapel.
Bedford Borough Matters: A new freefone telephone number has been designated by the Borough for members of the public wishing to

request services such as bulky waste collections or pest control, or report problems such as litter, fly tipping, abandoned cars. The new number is 0800 121 8888.
The dates for this year’s Bulky Waste Collection in Odell are Sunday, 11th June : 12 – 3 and Sunday, 22nd October : 12 – 3.
County Council matters: Andrew Fett (County Council) was asked to provide the current position regarding the two Odell bridges. His eventual reply indicated that over the past year condition surveys have been commissioned for most of the larger structures and this has

revealed several in need of major repair or replacement. Additional

capital funding was sought to complement their inadequate budget for this work with the result that £200,000 will be made available for the 2006/07 budget and a similar sum should be available for each of the

following four years. Although some of the other large structures are considered to be in a far worse state than the Odell bridges, Mr Fett does believe that the latter are likely to be high in the programme but probably not for inclusion in the first year’s work. The Contracts Officer dealing with this (Chris Nicol) is currently on paternity leave but will be asked to update the Parish Council once the programme of repairs has been sorted out.
Councillors requested the Clerk to chase this up in a month’s time.

Various documentation received regarding the consultation project being handled by Four S on behalf of the County Council into the review of school structures. The consultation period ends on 4th April and a summary produced by Four S is available on their website:
Correspondence and Requests: Letter of thanks tabled by the Chairman from the Treasurer of All Saints’ Church in respect of the Parish Council’s grant towards the recent tree maintenance.

Notification of the next meeting of Town and Parish Councils with Alistair Burt MP tabled; Cllrs. Cheadle and Harrison expressed an interest in attending should their commitments allow. The nearest venue is Milton Ernest Village Hall on Saturday, 25th March at 9.30 for a 9.45 am start.
Specifically for the Business of the Meeting
Cllr. Gemmel tabled a short newsletter showing possible local gravel extraction plans. It was noted that although the plan was a very rough one, any attempt to extract at any of the denoted areas would be

extremely detrimental. In view of the lack of information it was proposed the County Council be asked for clarification of the proposals which it was noted are also on their website.

Cllr. Halton said she had attended a meeting regarding the proposed Wind Farm at Podington with John Chamberlain and Nicola Schoenenberger. The current sticking points appear to be the visual impact and the closeness of listed buildings. An independent survey has been commissioned but it seems clear that if the Borough Planners reject the

submission – possibly at their April meeting – it will go to Appeal.

Date of next meeting: Annual Parish Meeting, 15th May 2006 at 8.00 pm

Harrold-Odell Country Park

Come and join in with the events at the Park as the weather warms up and days begin to lengthen. You will need to contact us if you want to take part in the following (except the Mystery Quiz!). There is not a charge for events but donations will help us put on more events in the future.

Easter Holiday Mystery Quiz

Saturday 1 April – Tuesday 18 April

Solve the clues hidden around the Park. Hand in your answers at the Park Office. Lots of prizes!

Spring Birds of HOCP

Wednesday 26 April 10am – 2pm

Discover our spring wildfowl on the lakes and river. Listen for songbirds and look out for spring visitors. You don’t need to be an experienced bird watcher to attend.

Bring some binoculars if you have them.

Charcoal Making.

Wednesday 17 May 10am – 2pm

Join the Countryside Officer cutting willow to make charcoal, loading kilns, setting off a burn and unloading a kiln from the previous day. Charcoal made at Harrold has not travelled thousands of miles to get here, is cut from a sustainable source (nature reserve) and is widely

reputed to burn easily, hot, clean and long. Charcoal will be available for sale at the end of the session.

Mini Beasts!

Wednesday 31 May 1 – 2.30pm

An event for all ages. What’s under that stone? What’s made that strange mark? What’s disappearing through there? Come on a discovery session to find out about the weird and wonderful world of mini beasts that live in the Park

Friends of the Park Conservation Tasks.

Why not join in with some practical work to enhance the Park both for wildlife and visitors? You can get fit and enjoy yourself at the same time! The next sessions are on Monday 24th April and Monday 22nd May. All tasks start at 10am and last until around mid afternoon but you can leave when you want to. Please wear practical clothing and footwear.

Tel: 01234 720016


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.

2006 in the Village Hall:

Barn Dance Saturday 8th April, 7.30pm. Tickets to include meal of jacket potato and hot chili supper. Licensed Bar. Tickets £8, available from Pat Asbery and Committee members.

Quiz Saturday 13th May (date to be confirmed – see May magazine). Always a very popular event so book your table well ahead. Tables of 6, £2 per head.

Wednesdays – Line Dancing; Thursdays – Yoga.

Waste Paper Collection – thank you for bringing your waste paper to the bins. Though the return is very 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.

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


The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook


Return to the Forbidden Planet

Friday 12th – Saturday 20th May, 7.45pm.

Shakespeare’s forgotten rock musical, by Bob Carlton!

This cult rock musical is based on William

Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’. Fasten your seatbelts, listen very carefully for ‘Great Balls of Fire’ and ‘the Young Ones’, then ‘Shake, Rock and Roll’ yourself through 1950s sci-fi. We leave you in the safe hands of Captain Tempest and his crew…

Tickets available from Monday 27th March from:

Sharnbrook Post Office – in person – Your local booking point.

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

· Party bookings (01234) 781372 (10+ 10% discount, excl. Charity/Gala performances)

Access for the disabled: new Foyer to first floor Lift – easy access via Clubroom – Bar – covered river view balcony to 2 wheelchair positions - (please book at Bedford Box Office), also to Rows A, B and C – NB 3 steps.

Sharnbrook Mill Theatre New Cardholders Scheme.

12 Ticket vouchers worth up to £132 for £100, useable singly or severally over 3 years? Yes, it’s true!! Each voucher is exchangeable at Sharnbrook Post Office, or the Advance Box Office at The Mill Theatre during shows, for one complimentary seat at any show of your choice (excluding charity galas and Christmas Revues) over the next three years (subject to conditions).

To become a chairholder simply contact Keith Lazenby, 24 Pemberley Avenue, Bedford MK40 2LQ. Tel: 359733. Application forms also available from Erica Lester 781210 or Theo Gibbs 782377. Save up to £32

9 – 18? Youth Theatre Summer School 2006: Monday 24th July – Saturday 29th July. For details and to reserve your place for 6 days of professional tuition contact Erica Lester, 781210, or



Sun 2nd 6.00pm Lent Service, St Nicholas, Wilden.

Wed 5th 10.30am Meeting point at Jill’s, Rectory Farm.

Sat 8th 7.30pm Barn dance, Village Hall.

Mon 10th 7.30pm AGM of All Saints’ PCC, Village Hall.

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

Thurs 13th 8.00pm Maundy Thursday service, All Saints’ (CW)

Fri 14th 2.00pm Good Friday Service of Devotion, All Saints’.

Sat 15th 10.00am Church decorating for Easter.

Sun 16th 10.00am Easter Day Holy Communion (CW) Service

Wed 19th 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen’s, Corner House,


Wed 26th 8.00pm PCC Meeting, The Rectory.


Mon 1st 10.00am Fete painting, Doreen Wheeler’s, Linden House.

Wed 3rd 10.30am Meeting Point at Jane’s, Newton House, Avenue

Rd., NewtonBromswold, Rushden.

Wed 15th 7.30pm Annual Parish Meeting, Village Hall.

Wed 17th 10.30am Meeting Point at Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, Harrold.

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the May magazine to Tricia Hudson ( or Catherine Corkery by April 12th 2006 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

Back to the Odell Home Page

Last revised: April 01, 2006.