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November 2006


It’s autumn, autumn once again

I see it in the hedgerow

The early mist with heavy dew

A silent veil of sorrow.

Trees standing lonely, hanging low

With branches wet and dripping

From soaking leaves and heavy frosts

A prey for first frost nipping.

How thick the grass, how short the view

How rich the colour picture

By looking, feeling, I can hear

An overture to winter.

Roger Jackson


Round and About

Bonkers About Conkers.

Whether we realise it or not the 1947 Health & Safety Act has touched all our lives.  Created to reduce casualties in the workplace this, originally laudable, Act has now moved into the public arena.  The safety officials, far from content in that workplace, have extended their reach into every nook and corner of our lives.  The HSE (Health & Safety Executive) has an annual budget of £262 m and employs more than 4,000 staff to ensure that they eliminate even the slightest element of risk to our lives and this has resulted in some bizarre results.

As mentioned in an earlier article, a stroll in the Leicestershire countryside is a hazardous business. Council guidelines for organised walks requires a full 'risk assessment'.  This enquires as to whether the proposed country walk will bring you into proximity with such terrors as overhanging branches or rabbit holes, stinging nettles or barbed wire and, worst of all, the presence of a river, stream or canal, in which case a life jacket must be worn at all times.  Can you imagine the implications in the Country Park?

Over the months I have brought you a number of examples of school trips cancelled and local events hindered by the risk assessment regulations.  I now bring you a few more.

St. Benet’s Catholic Church used to employ a local electrician to replace failing light bulbs.  With the use of a long ladder it took less than two hours to complete the task and resulted in a modest bill.  Thanks to Schedule 6, used when working at a height, risk assessment now says they must employ two men working from a platform with a resulting bill at six times the original cost.  Again in Norfolk Wymondham Abbey has been using a three-rung ladder to light the 24 candles on their brass chandelier.  No one has ever been injured in over 300 years but now the Abbey has had to install a £6,000 special winch lest someone falls the alarming 30 inches to the ground!

 In Woodbridge, Suffolk, it has been ruled that the local Police Station can no longer fly the Union Jack because it is too risky for a police officer to open the window and lean out to raise the flag.

In Liverpool a shop keeper has been ordered to remove a number of St. George's flags for fear they distract car drivers or, even worse, fall off!  The Trafalgar celebrations in London struck an odd note when the actor playing Nelson triumphantly coming up the Thames in full dress uniform of a 19th century Admiral was instructed to wear a life jacket over the top - thus spoiling the whole effect.

Schoolchildren, these days, rarely undertake chemistry experiments any more whilst younger children have been banned from re-using egg boxes in craft classes lest they catch salmonella, although not a single case has been recorded.  In Wales a fancy dress festival attracting over 5,000 visitors had to be cancelled as it would have cost too much to employ and insure the requisite 60 stewards.  In Boston, Lincs, a flower show had to be called off for the same reason.

Seasonally, we have all heard about the dangers of playing conkers and the necessity of wearing goggles and, in some instances, a safety helmet as well, but this year they have found an additional worry to add to the list...the risk of nut allergy.  In Newcastle and Worthing they are going bonkers about conkers and are stripping the trees of the conkers before the children can get at them. Happily all these worries did not stop the recent World Conker Championship held at Ashton in Northants. which attracted over 250 entrants.  Recently, we have also been advised of the dangers from falling fruit - especially pears in Worcestershire where a warning notice has been erected and a barrier raised to keep people away from two trees on the Village Green.

Amazingly, Watford in Herts is advertising a Bonfire Night celebration but, wait for it - without a bonfire!  For the first time in 40 years the Round Table are no longer organising the event and the Council has taken over.  The Council claim the risk from a bonfire would call for too many people to steward the event, that smoke from the fire might upset some people and clearing up afterwards would be too costly.  Instead, Bonfire Night, they cheerfully announce, will provide an opportunity for street entertainers.

With the onset of winter the terror of snowballs once more rears its head.  Last winter, for example, many schools totally banned this innocent pastime.  In Devon it was decreed that prior permission should be obtained and the event supervised for fear charges of bullying could be raised.  In Norfolk, once again, risk assessment forms had to be completed and, resulting from this, all snowballing had to be supervised with the children, some as young as 9 years of age, standing at least 65ft. apart!  I assure you I have not made a mistake in the distance.

What has happened to spontaneity!  What is wrong with enjoying yourself and just having fun!

 Barbara Corley



We are pleased to welcome the Goodman family - Nick, Roberta and children Caitlin (18) and Sean (15) - to Odell. The Goodmans live in the High Street. This is a very belated welcome as the family have lived in Odell since the beginning of the year and are taking an active part in village life, but nevertheless we are delighted to give them an official greeting!

Antique Prints for sale.

A framed and mounted antique print entitled:

"S.E. Aspect of the Church at Odell, Bedfordshire"

This very attractive print was published in 1803 and is an original copper plate engraving by William Byrne (1743 – 1805) from the painting by Thomas Hearne.

In his book Antique Prints, Ronald Russell describes William Byrne as "the best of his time". The print has been delicately hand coloured, possibly at a later date.

This engraving is framed with a pale cream mount with a single gold line, within a slender "antiqued" gold frame. The overall size is 14.5 x 17.5 inches.

I also have a similar picture by the same engraver and artist, a landscape entitled –

"View of Harrold from Chillington Church Yard".

Priced @ £60, these would make wonderful Christmas presents. For more information contact:

David Edwards, Ridge Cottage, Pertenhall. MK44 2AX Phone 01480 860482

The Cock in Pavenham

Brendan Brokensha and Robyn Penn Sawers have taken over The Cock in Pavenham as from 2nd October.

They will be serving a traditional "pub food" menu as from 11th October.


Odell Parish Council has been approached by a number of concerned residents who feel that the fireworks celebrations of previous years, which have been spread over nearly a month, had lasted for too long.

There are those in our community who for a number of reasons do not enjoy, and are in some cases are even upset by the noise of fireworks. Whatever your personal feelings, one of the nice things about this community is the pleasant atmosphere that we all enjoy. Please can we ask that you consider those around you in planning your celebration.

Thanks for your co-operation and have a safe and enjoyable bonfire night.

Odell Parish Council


Lucy Pender was an enthusiastic and well-informed speaker on her subject: Norman Cross, the first POW site. Built mainly of wood for Napoleonic prisoners of war little remains on the site, though two buildings built of stone are still there though they have now been turned into homes. She gave us an insight into the lives of the prisoners and the conditions they had to endure. She also encouraged anyone interested in this subject to visit Peterborough Museum where there is an excellent display and some splendid bone models made by the prisoners.

Next Month’s meeting

We meet on Tuesday 14th November at 7.30p.m. in the Village Hall for a discussion entitled ‘Supermarkets - friend or foe?’ All welcome - just turn up or ring the number below.

Competition and Hostesses

The competition is ‘Your ideal shopping list’. Our hostesses are Audrey Dempsey & Rachel Halton.

Rachel Halton 720572

Christmas Sale

Silverware, glassware, pens, games and toys,

clothing and stocking fillers for sale at trade prices!

Tuesday 14th November

9.30 am—1.00 pm

At Village Farmhouse, 94 High Street, Odell

Plus: Miglio Jewellery

Donations for coffee and biscuits to Tabitha UK

A non-profit organisation building essential wells as part of its Clean Water Project in Cambodia.

Tel. 01234 720216 for more information


1st Harrold Guides

What a summer we have had as a Guide Company, which finished with our annual Guide Camp to Phasels Wood in Hertfordshire during August. Guides from Harrold and Oakley went and spent a great time fire cooking, abseiling, target shooting, doing archery and racing down the cresta run as well as chilling out and having fun.

We are now well into the autumn term working on our World Challenge badge, visiting Cadbury’s World, (we all love chocolate), cookouts and Christmas events.

We have a small number of places in the group, if you are interested and have a child between the ages of 10 – 14. Please give me a call (01234 720272) or visit us - we meet every Monday during term time at the Cub Hut off the High Street in Harrold from 7.30 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

Elspeth Sully

Holly Wiring – Help Needed

Help needed in Odell with holly wiring during December.

No experience necessary. Home working possible.

Tel. 01234 721296

Help Needed

From time to time the elderly and infirm in the village need help with transport to Harrold or Sharnbrook surgery for appointments or to collect medication.

So far, the following people have volunteered to help:

Kim Beardow 721246

Jill Cheadle 720261

Jonathan Harrison 721115

If you think you can also help with this occasionally, please let Jill Cheadle know (720261) as it would be useful to draw up a list of names and numbers which could be called upon when necessary. All help would be very much appreciated.


Harrold-Odell Country Park

Carlton Road, Harrold, Bedford MK43 7DS

Tel: 01234 720016



Christmas Decorations

Sunday 26 November 2 – 4 pm

Get ready for the festive season by making some decorations for your home. Using nature’s bounty from the Park makes some wreaths, trees, ornaments, etc. The choice is yours so experiment with all the materials. Bring along any bits and pieces you already have but can’t think of ways to use them. Get some ideas to experiment with, utilising what is growing in your garden.

This event is free but you are encouraged to make a donation to enable further events to be put on. Contact us if you would like to come.

Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

Christmas Holiday Quiz for All Ages

From December 19 – 2 Jan

Collect a quiz sheet from the Discovery Room in the Visitor Centre. Solve the clues hidden around the Park. Hand in your answers at the Park Office. Lots of prizes at the end of the holidays!

Friends of Harrold-Odell Country Park Conservation tasks

Come and join in with practical work to

enhance the Park for wildlife and visitors on the following date:

Monday 27 November

All tasks start at 10am and finish

mid afternoon, but you only need stay as long as you want.

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.

Coming up:

The Time of Our Lives Music Theatre.

Saturday 25th November.

"All The World’s A Stage". Romp through the Golden Age of Theatre through a mixture of music, dance, stand-up and sketch comedy.

Tickets £12 from Rob Lee (720730) or Nicki Freeman (720893). Book now – tickets are selling fast for this ever-popular entertainment group!


Saturday 2nd December, 7.30pm

Always popular – so book your table for 6 in good time.

Children’s Christmas Party.

Date and time to be announced in the December magazine.

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.

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

Odell Senior Citizens Luncheon Club

Invites you to join us

on Wednesday 13 December 2006

at 12.30 for 1.00pm

For Christmas lunch

In the Village Hall

Please let Jill know (on 01234 720261) by

Monday 4th December if you are able to join us.

The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook


Fri 17th – Sat 25th November, 7.45pm, Matinee 25th at 2.30pm

Fri. 17th November – charity gala performance in support of Save the Children, Bedford.

The musical that changed the course of Theatre history:

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s lively, popular, colourful tale of love,

jealousy …& cowboys! Full of memorable songs, including "Oh What a Beautiful Morning", "The Surrey with the Fringe on the Top", "People Will Say We’re in Love"….

Early booking advised to avoid disappointment!

Tickets (£9/11) available now 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)


Disabled parking. Lift and access: 2 wheelchair positions, subject to availability. Please book at least 2 days in advance of required date. Easy access seating (Rows ABC – NB 3 steps).

…and to look forward to:

Willy Russell’s clever comedy:

Breeze Block Park 6th – 10th March 2007

Performers: Workshops will be held on Tues. 28th November and Thurs. 30th November 7.45pm.

Auditions: 2pm Sunday 3rd December. Enquiries 708308.



Sat 4th 10am Fairtrade Café in Village Hall.

Sun 5th 3pm Time To Remember Service in All Saints’, Odell.

Wed 8th 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen’s, Corner House,

Wymington Park, Rushden.

Tues 14th 9.30am Christmas Sale, Village Farmhouse.

Tues 14th 7.30pm W.I. in Village Hall.

Sat 18th 9.45am All Saints Amblers meet at The Bell for walk.

Sat 18th 11am Christmas Bazaar, St Mary’s Church, Carlton.

Wed 22nd 10.30am Meeting Point at Sarah Bennett’s, 9 Horsefair

Lane, Odell.

Sat 25th 7.30pm Time of Our Lives Music Theatre, Village Hall.

Sun 26th 2pm Christmas Decoration making, HOCP.

Mon 27th 10am HOCP Conservation tasks.


Sat 2nd 7.30pm Quiz, Village Hall.

Wed 6th 10.30am Meeting Point Bring and Share lunch at Doris’s,

Goodly Heritage, The Bury, Pavenham.

Fri 8th 10.30am Christian Family Care Coffee & Hamper Morning.

Wed 13th 12.30pm Senior Citizens Christmas Lunch, Village Hall.

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the joint December 2006/January 2007

magazine to Tricia Hudson ( or Catherine Corkery by November 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

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Last revised: November 11, 2006.