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October 2006

Round and About

That's Antastic.

We must all, at some time, have heard about the ant and that wretched rubber tree plant! I have recently been taking a closer look at this little creature and have turned up a few rather interesting details.

The ant is the most prolific species on planet Earth, with 11,844 known varieties! They can be found in practically every country in the world, the exceptions being the frozen wastes of the two polar regions and snow-capped mountain tops. Their most favoured habitat is the tropical rainforest where they outnumber any other living thing.

It seems that the ant is related to the wasp, from which it is thought to have evolved over 130m years ago during the age of the dinosaur. Their success is thought to be due to their highly organised, social, lifestyle. Ants live in colonies, or nests, where, in certain areas, they consist of millions, or even hundreds of millions, of individuals. This communal living has proved so advantageous that you can find colonies of ants in deserts, jungles, swamplands and tundra. Also in your own back garden.

There are 47 different varieties of ant in Great Britain. Their colonies, based on a network of tunnels and chambers, are created in either wood or in the ground and can be populated by anything from a few dozen to 100,000 individuals and these colonies can last for over 50 years. Each colony contains at least one queen. The queen is the largest ant in the colony and having established her nest she turns her attention to producing the first eggs, which hatch into workers. She very carefully nurtures these first ants before spending the rest of her life laying eggs.

Each egg hatches into a larva, which in turn develops into a pupa - a motionless, resting stage of development. These are the "ant eggs" which are sold as fishing bait. Most pupa hatch into workers - wingless females, who take on the business of nest building, food gathering and the defence of the colony. The remainder develop into males or queens, both of which develop wings.

In the summer the winged ants take to the air to make their first and only flight during which the queen ants are fertilised. The queens will then either return to the colony of their birth where they will become one of several queens, or start a new colony of their own. The queens then lose their wings and lay their first eggs. She may live for up to 15 years but will never leave the nest, strangely she never needs to mate again, fertilisation on her maiden flight will suffice for her entire lifetime.

Ants eat animal or vegetable matter, but can attack and kill other insects. The black ants found in our gardens feed, in part, on honeydew from aphids. Mound building ants keep aphid eggs in the nest throughout the winter months and put the newly hatched aphids out to graze in the spring. Birds apply ants to their feathers when preening as the fomic acid which the ants secrete, helps to kill parasites.

Ants have some surprising attributes. In addition to farming aphids, they teach young ants how to find food by taking them out on learning expeditions and pass on information by tapping the young ants on the leg. Ants, for their size, are very strong. A reasonably fit human can lift maybe half their own bodyweight over their head, but the leafcutter ant can raise and carry an astonishing 50 times its own body mass. If people were as strong as ants, scaled up, then Olympic weightlifters would be able to lift a 5-ton truck with ease.

A thought for that quiet moment – for every living human being in the world there are at least 2m ants…now that really is antastic. 

 Barbara Corley

Thank You

Life is full of surprises and unexpected pleasures such as that which Mr and Mrs Michael Wherritt gave to Ken and me as they left their home to escort their daughter Sian to her wedding at All Saints’ Church. Sian walked from her home in the old school to our front entrance to greet us before stepping into the chauffeur driven car taking her and her father to the church. Sian looked beautiful in her lace wedding dress.

We would like to thank the family for this as we were unable to be at the wedding. It was very much appreciated.

Florence & Ken

AD HOC Presents:

Lucky Sods by John Godber

Morris and Jean never seriously expect to win the National Lottery. When they do – to the tune of two million pounds - they can’t believe their luck. Their lives are irredeemably changed by the windfall – the question is, for better or for worse?

Can money buy happiness? Is enough ever enough? John Godber

addresses these questions with his customary wit and compassion in this sharply observed and brutally funny play.

Performed in the round at Harrold Centre on 26th, 27th and 28th October. Seating will be informal and allocated on a first-come-first-served basis so book early to secure your table. Tickets include a light supper and will be available from Harrold Post Office and ‘The Muntjac’ from 1st October.


Birth Announcement

A grandson for Andrew and Marion Ingrey Senn

On 2nd September a son, William Sidney, weighing 7lbs 3½ ozs was born to Sarah and Ken Peel. We send our congratulations to Sarah and Ken and of course to Marion and Andrew also!

News from The Bell


Bell PhotoWe are very pleased to report that we have been listed in the 2007 edition of The Campaign For Real Ale's Good Beer Guide. 

Only pubs which have been nominated by CAMRA's

members, with follow up 'mystery shopper' visits, are listed in the guide and we are particularly proud to be the only pub in the immediate area in next year's edition.

So, if you are a lover of real ales please come along for a pint - as well as the usual Greene King brews you will also find regularly changing Guest Ales on offer, which have proved particularly popular.

Also, in response to changing customer needs, we now have separate bar areas for smokers and non smokers.  This is in addition to the existing non smoking dining area.  We hope that this will make The Bell more enjoyable for those who want a drink in a smoke free environment.

 One final point - those of you living in Odell will know that we no longer have the Beds on Sunday delivered in the village.  We have, therefore, arranged for a bundle to be dropped off at the pub every Sunday.  So, if you want a copy in the morning, please feel free to pick one up from outside.  After we open at 12 you can pop into the side entrance where you will find copies just inside the door.

Best Wishes Peter and Rachel


 Keith Littlebury, BSc, PhD, CEng.

It is with great sadness that we report the sudden death of Keith Littlebury, on Sunday 10th September, aged 72 years.

Keith had lived in Odell for nine years and had become very much a part of the community. During this time he had made many friends in and around the village, and was a regular diner in The Bell where he got to know many local people.

Keith was born in 1933 in Essex, where he grew up. He moved to Bedfordshire to work at Cranfield Institute of Technology in the 1970s. Keith was a mathematician and worked in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics – which included applications such as the computer modelling of the way fires start and spread on oil rigs. He ran his own consultancy company and in recent times, was closely linked with Abbott Risk Consulting of Edinburgh.

Keith enjoyed a wide range of interests, and maintained his enthusiasm and love of life and his optimistic disposition right to the end. He will be remembered as a man who always had time for others.

Keith’s family – his two children, Paul and Helen, and his young grand-daughter Jennifer - meant a lot to him and gave him much joy. He kept in close contact with his family at Newport Pagnell, regularly baby-sitting Jennifer to whom he passed on his enthusiasm and love of life.

We shall miss seeing Keith’s friendly face in the village, and send our deepest sympathy to all of his family.

At the time of going to press we also heard of the death of Geoffrey Ardley on September 27th - more on this next month. We pass our sympathy to the Ardley family as well.


This month we had to change our programme at short notice as due to personal reasons our speaker had to postpone her visit. Instead an enjoyable evening was spent by members hearing about the history of Pot Pourri. The evening culminated in members having the opportunity to create their own Pot Pourri sachet using a wide variety of ingredients.

Next Month’s meeting

We meet on Tuesday 10th October at 7.30p.m. in the Village Hall for a talk on Norman Cross-the 1st POW site. All welcome.

Competition and Hostesses

The competition is ‘Wartime Memorabilia’. Our hostesses are Margaret Jones & Mandy Sharpe.

Rachel Halton 720572

Harvest 1951 (Before the Combine)

In autumn fields of gold and blue, by dusty road and hedgerow,

I toiled with farmhands that I knew, I loved the work and said so.

The sheaves were rough with butts that scratched my arms, and gave me trouble,

The binder shook each sheaf it hatched then tossed it in the stubble.

The golden fields they stretched away, down they rolled displaying

A dotted sea of sheaves that lay in wait for man’s arraying.

Fiercely blazed the sun above upon our toiling band

Yet every sheaf received its shove that made each stook to stand.

Down below us we could see the binder eating squarely

Its flailing arms continually paddling through the barley.

How the flask of tea revived each round more than the former.

Though warm, we felt much was derived from something even warmer!

What was it that attracted me? What had that life to offer?

What did I then in those days see that made me service proffer?

Somehow life itself was there with effort, joy and toiling

All richly mixed yet plainly bare, one’s baser motives foiling.

Roger Jackson



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


Odell Parish Council

A meeting of Odell Parish Council was held on Monday, 18th

September 2006 at 8.00 p.m. in Odell Village Hall.

We were pleased to welcome the Mayor of Bedford Mr. F. Branston to our meeting.
The Mayor spoke in the first instance about the Nirah project. A meeting had taken place that day with the County Council and Nirah, and a 28 day timescale was mooted as being essential if the project is to go ahead.

The second big issue is the Borough’s bid for unitary status. The Borough Council currently has a "Good" rating but it is hoped [and expected] that on re-evaluation by the Audit Commission this is likely to be upgraded to "Excellent" which would mean the Borough could then apply for unitary status. He then spoke at some length about the three proposed town developments: the bus station [largest], Riverside Square and Castle Mound. All were progressing although not as fast as he would like. The Government grant of £11m will make a significant difference and will be spread over the proposed projects.

The Mayor was asked if he had a policy on wind farms; he responded saying that this subject generally made him unpopular as he held the firm belief that as we created the global warming problem, it was up to us to find any possible alternative renewable energy sources that would help to alleviate it. He stated that, at the end of the day, his was purely a personal opinion as he had no jurisdiction over the planning process.
Asked about possible "halts" on the railway outside of Bedford to reduce the traffic flow into town, he again stated that Network Rail had a huge programme of work and this would be very low down on their priority list; additionally there was a particular problem as Bromham bridge was too low to accommodate any rail traffic beneath it.
The area of land between Aspects and Priory Marina was brought up as a particular eyesore and the Mayor was asked if there were any plans to improve this site. He replied that the whole of the Aspects area was a major problem as much of it was now empty; once the town centre

development is completed and a new cinema opened, the opportunity will be presented to start making changes in the Aspects area.

Cllr. P. Gershon asked the Mayor if he supported the retention of Bedford Hospital and he stated that this had his full and wholehearted support. He is looking to have a meeting with a hospital Trust representative to discuss the situation.

Grazing land:
The Clerk said no response to our last letter had been received. It was agreed a further reminder letter should be sent with

another copy of the current lease and a request for payment.

Rogue Traders: Leaflets received and had been delivered by Cllr. Swift. Thanks to her for undertaking this.

Seat in Horsefair Lane: Councillors were asked if they had had any thoughts on how this could be improved. It was agreed that we should ask for the initial proposal of a proper kerb and tarmac to be reconsidered and Cllr. Crotty will raise this again with Celia Sellars.

Purchase of Village Hall
Cllr. Halton will be present at the Borough’s Rural Grants meeting On 19th September and will be accompanied by Cllr. Cheadle.

Borough Council Matters.

Notification of an Appeal in respect of 10 Tannery Lane.
Permission granted for 5 Tannery Lane [garage extension].
Permission granted for 15 Horsefair Lane [erection of garage and workshop].
Refusal for the land at Odell Road for demolition of agricultural building and erection of storage and distribution buildings.

Harrold Community Liaison Forum Grant forms received from County Council. These are available for any local organisation wishing to apply for a small grant.

Highways: The footpath work under the Highways Partnership Scheme is currently under way.

Country Park
There is a lot going on at present; in partnership with Harrold Parish Council new bike bumps and kick boards are being constructed in a bid to help keep youngsters occupied. Advice from Highways regarding a new entrance to the Park for pedestrians is awaited before going ahead. There is considerably more blue/green algae in the lake this year and some of this could be dangerous so care should be taken. It is hoped that new signs will be installed at the entrance within the next few months together with upgrading of several of the surface routes. It is still hoped to go ahead with the plans for a new visitor centre. New winter events programme is out, and a calendar is available for purchase. There have been a number of break-ins but very little taken; the alarm system seems to have frightened off the culprits.
Cllr. Gershon said she had visited the Park recently and felt it looked rather ‘tired’. Consequently she has initiated some money to enable some tidying up to be done, particularly the path to the café which now looks rather dangerous.
Cllr. Gemmel commented on the speed of cyclists and the danger of them coming up silently behind you and asked if a notice could be erected asking them to slow down. Cllr. Halton will put this request forward.

Correspondence and Requests
Notification from the Churchwardens that work will be carried out to improve the car parking area.

Specifically for the business of the meeting.
Cllr. Crotty reported that it is likely the Planning Committee will not discuss the proposed Podington Wind Farm until November. There are also a number of other projected turbine projects in the pipeline locally.

Cllr. Swift said she was now withdrawing her previous support for the skateboard facility due to serious problems recently, in particular a nasty incident where a young teenager was set upon by an adult with a metal fishing pole. The police and ambulance were called to sort out the situation. Many of the children were left shocked and this is a sad end to a project that had given much enjoyment to the younger children.

Cllr. Harrison commented on the ivy ‘dripping’ from the Castle wall; Cllr. Cheadle will have a word with the gardener about this.

The Chairman reminded the meeting that Guy Fawkes night is fast approaching, and a reminder about noise should be prepared for insertion in the magazine.

Next meeting: Monday, 20th November at 8.00 p.m. [pre-meeting at 7.30].

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. If you think you can 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.

Vaccination Clinics For patients registered with Sharnbrook surgery.

Flu and PneumoniaOver 65 years and those "at risk".

Monday 30th October – Friday 3rd November inclusive, 2-3pm.

No appointment needed.

Harrold-Odell Country Park

Carlton Road, Harrold, Bedford MK43 7DS

Tel: 01234 720016 email:

Try something new at the Park this autumn. Events are free but it is helpful if you phone and reserve a place. Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

The Parklife Big Draw

Sunday 22 October 12 – 4pm

What sums up the Country Park for you? Take part in this national event. Have a walk around and draw a picture of Park life! You can bring your own materials or try making and using some charcoal. Art competition for all ages with prizes.

Or try your hand at making a large willow sculpture with the Bedfordshire Otters and Rivers Project.

Halloween Extravaganza

Sunday 29 October 12 – 4pm

Make a broomstick from materials in the Park or learn to create a walking stick. Have a try at mask making. See if you can do as good a job of disguising yourself as animals and birds do.

Christmas Decorations

Sunday 26 November 2 – 4pm

Get ready for the festive season by making some decorations for your home. Using nature’s bounty from the Park make some wreaths, trees, ornaments, etc. The choice is yours so experiment with all the materials.

Conservation tasks

Come and join in with practical work to enhance the park for wildlife and visitors on the following dates: Monday 30 October, Monday 27th 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.

Wednesdays – Line Dancing;

Thursdays – Yoga.

Coming up:

Saturday 25th November: The Time of Our Lives Music Theatre.

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

Buy your tickets now from Rob Lee (720730) or Nicki Freeman (720893). Early booking advisable as tickets sell very quickly for this event.

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


Oklahoma! - Fri 17th Sat 25th November , 7.45pm, Matinee 25th at 2.30pm

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 from 9th October 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.

Do You like to save money? Mill Theatre Chair Holders do!

They receive 12 vouchers, exchangeable at Sharnbrook Post Office anytime in the next 3 years, for tickets worth a total of up to £132…for just £100! No catches! You can too, simply by contacting Keith Lazenby on 01234 359733. Easy!

Fishing from the banks of the Mill Island is private.

However, catch this! Annual Fishing Membership is just £24 and Day Licences are £5. Full details are available from Erica Lester, 01234 781210.


Sun 1st 6.30pm Evening Service, All Saints’ Church.

Tues 10th 7.30pm WI in Village Hall

Wed 11th 10.30am Meeting Point at Doris’s, Goodly Heritage, The

Bury, Pavenham

Sat 14th 9.45am All Saints’ Amblers Walk, meet at The Bell.

Sun 22nd 12pm The Parklife Big Draw, HOCP.

Wed 25th 10.30am Meeting Point at the Rectory.

Wed 25th 7.45pm PCC Meeting, the Rectory.

Thurs 26th Ad Hoc Presents ‘Lucky Sods’, Harrold Centre.

Fri 27th, Sat 28th " " " "

Sat 28th 10am Churchyard tidy.

Sun 29th 12pm Halloween Extravaganza, HOCP.

Mon 30th 2-3pm Vaccination Clinic, Sharnbrook Surgery.

to Fri 3rd Nov " " " "

Mon 30th 10am HOCP Conservation tasks day

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the November magazine to Tricia Hudson ( or Catherine Corkery by October 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: October 01, 2006.