Back to the Odell Home Page


November 2007

Do you know of any ‘Missildine’ Families?

Recently I received an email from Brent Missildine from Alabama, USA, who has traced back his ancestors to Odell. In fact, one of his ancestors, William Misseldine, is mentioned on page 27 of ‘The Millennium Book of Odell’ as having been killed by lightening in a field in Odell in 1727.

Brent is planning a trip to Odell next year and is keen to make contact with anyone here who has the surname ‘Missildine’ or who has connections with his family. He writes:

There were at least four generations of Missildines (or close variations of spelling) who lived in Odell, the first record being listed in 1686. The records disappear some time in the 1800s and I suppose they either died out or left the village some time during that time. The women who married Missildine men while in Odell were surnamed Eastwick and Butlin. I don't know if there are any of that family left or not. There are Missildines and Misseldines in other areas of England, but not in Odell. The name Missenden is also an ancient variant of our name, and you may be familiar with the towns of Great Missenden and Little Missenden in Buckinghamshire. But I do not know of a way to make a documented direct link of our line to people with that name.


Can anyone help? If you have any information of interest please email it to me, Tricia Hudson, at the magazine email address in the front cover and I will pass it on to Brent.


Round and About

Herod the Great

My search for a Christmas article has already begun and during my research I uncovered a wealth of material about King Herod of which I was in complete ignorance. The Christmas story tells us of the massacre of the innocents but if you are like me, you know little else about the man. Not quite fancying bring you the story of Herod as Christmas fare, I offer you this item for November.

Known in the Arab world as Herod the Great, he ruled Judea for 37 years. Although he kept peace in the land … the people loathed him. He was born in 73 BC in Petra to an Arab trader and a Jewish girl of good birth. He was raised with a strong Jewish background and although he was later to be declared King of the Jews, he was never accepted as a Jew by the people.

Evidence uncovered during excavations of Herod’s ancient port of Caesarea and a close look at historical accounts found recently amongst ancient scrolls, reveals him as a complex man, not all bad, but who suffered from extremely bad health in later years. This was probably a chronic kidney disease and might well have been the cause of his heinous behaviour. His father had been known to both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. The Romans had received both Herod and his father in Rome and he was accepted as Romanised. Rome was the all-commanding power at that time and they were in need of a place-man in Judea. They saw Herod as the ideal man and groomed him for this position. The fact that he was half Jewish made him ideal…or so they thought. At 26 he was sent to put down a rebellion amongst the Jews. This he did in a brutal fashion – much to the pleasure of Rome – he was to be their man. From this date, however, the Jews loathed him.

He became the Roman Governor of Syria and it was here that he met a Syrian woman to whom he became married. Later he was to meet a Jewish lady of high birth who was to become the love of his life…and for whom he put aside his Syrian wife so that he could marry her.

The Partheans attacked Judea and Herod tried to raise an army, however he had to flee to Rome where they promised to supply arms and men – but only if he declared himself to be King of the Jews. He agonised over this decision because he realised if would make him very unpopular but Rome was all-powerful and what the Jews thought of him proved to be less important. To Rome he was to be their strong man in Judea … and he agreed to everything. As he had realised, this did nothing for his popularity. Herod was not made welcome amongst the Jews in Judea, but with the backing of Rome, to say nothing of their army, the puppet king was set up. It was to be a hollow victory. He was loathed by the Jewish people and all the real power was with either Rome or the priests. He survived only with the patronage of Rome.

Mark Antony was to say of Herod that he was reputed to be the only man who did not fall for the charms of Cleopatra.

Herod built the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to impress the Jews. King Solomon’s temple, now 900 years old, was more or less a ruin and he built the new temple to gain favour with the people. It took 8 years to build – and the Jews hated him for it. However … they loved the temple itself. The western wall still stands today and is known as the wailing wall in the centre of Jerusalem and is still a holy place of worship for the Jewish people.

Meanwhile, in Rome Julius Caesar was dead and Mark Antony was having a lot of trouble with Octavian. Octavian was to prevail and he overthrew Mark Antony and with this Herod’s future hung in the balance. He had been Mark Antony’s man. Herod set off for Rome to make a pact with Octavian … he would need his

patronage to survive. Herod took a fortune in silver as a gift and Octavian accepted him, and even gave him more land. With his new sponsor Herod returned to Jerusalem in triumph but he now no longer tried to impress the Jewish people.

He embarked on an impressive building project, and he started with the massive hill-top palace of Masallah. On the coastline he created a deep-sea port, Caesarea. He built the port to open up trade with Europe, unheard of before this port was built. Today the remains of this port can still be seen by divers in the area, although nothing remains on land. The harbour was an immediate trading success and soon grew into a great city – the boom town of its age.

For the first 28 years of his reign Rome was delighted with Herod – and the country was rich. Herod himself, however, was becoming increasingly unhappy. His future was, indeed, to be bleak. He suspected his sons of trying to overthrow him. They had been educated in Rome and had all the Roman polish and they looked down upon their father.

Suspecting them of treachery he had them assassinated and following this he also had to kill their mother. He now recalled his first wife from exile. It is from this time that his behaviour becomes more and more outrageous. These were barbaric times but even so his actions raised eyebrows….and his health was deteriorating fast.

In the 34th year of his reign The Bible tells us of the visit of the Three Wise Men. Always paranoid about his safety he saw their visit as a threat. Matthew records that when he realised he had been outwitted he sent his soldiers into Bethlehem to massacre all the baby boys under two years of age, but it is only Matthew who tells this story.

Now in his 70s the last years of his reign are marked by much killing and slaughter. He was ill and in increasing pain. He was carried to Jericho where he seemed to become increasingly brutal until his eldest son, by his first marriage, rose up against him. In the last five years of his life he seemed to have gone completely mad and his life descended into mania, misery and murder. When he died his body was taken to Herodiam, where his prepared tomb awaited him.

Within a century much of what he had created laid in ruin. His tomb was opened a few years after his death – but his body was not there and has never been located.

Barbara Corley


Odell Senior Citizens Luncheon Club

Christmas Lunch

We you to join us

on Wednesday 12 December 2007

at 12.30 for 1.00pm

for Christmas lunch

in the Village Hall

Please let Jill know (on 01234 720261) by Sunday 2nd

December if you are able to join us.

I Can Help

Leslie Knowles is now work based in Bedford Hospital South Wing. If you need something collecting from one of the departments please ring Bedford 792686 and leave a message and Leslie may be able to help you.

Leslie Knowles



St Mary’s Church Carlton

Christmas Bazaar

Carlton Village Hall

Saturday 17th November

From 11am – 3pm

Lunches from 12 – 2pm

Grand Draw at 2.30pm

Entry £1 (includes coffee and biscuits)

In aid of St Mary’s new toilet and kitchenette



After the successful evening of debate that we had last year we decided to have another one this year. Our topic was ‘Where would you increase public spending?’ Lynette had worked hard to produce a sheet detailing public sectors with topics listed under them, to help stimulate discussion. This was certainly the case; we divided into two groups with instructions to pick up to three areas in order of priority. After 45 minutes of discussion some of it heated we reconvened to surprising results. One group had picked the N.H.S.

followed by Law and Order with the proviso that it was not spent on administration, the other group had opted for Education with the raising of behavioural and academic standards and Local Issues with particular reference to those affecting rural communities. Both groups felt more should be invested in Transport and Roads and issues caused by Immigration.

A stimulating evening much enjoyed by all. 

Next Meeting

This will be held on Tuesday November 13th at 7.30 in the Village Hall. We are going to have an evening of indulgence as our topic is ‘Cooking with Chocolate’; each member to bring along their favourite chocolate recipe cooked and ready to taste.


Vote for the best recipe


Audrey Dempsey and Josie Peat

Due to Rachel not being available to host the Christmas Meal this year it has been decided to have a New Year meal instead. Date 8th January venue Greystones. The December meeting will now be that listed for January. Please amend your programmes. Thanks

Rachel Halton 720572

Harrold-Odell Country Park

Carlton Road, Harrold, Bedford MK43 7DS

News and Events

By November the Visitor Centre and Café should be open again after necessary refurbishment to the building. The Café will be open under new management so come and try it out.

Christmas Decorations

Sunday 25th November 1 – 4pm

Make some decorations for your home.

Using cones, twigs and greenery from the Park make some wreaths, trees, etc. The choice is yours.

Please reserve a place on this session.

Events are free of charge but donations are always welcome.

Christmas Quiz

Throughout the School Christmas Holidays

Go into the Visitor Centre. Look at the photographs in the Discovery Room. See if you can identify who, what or where they are in the

Country Park. Fill in an answer sheet and post it in the box provided. At the end of the holidays you could win a prize! Competition open to all ages.

Friends of Harrold-Odell Country Park Conservation tasks 2007

Come and join in with practical work to enhance the park for wildlife and visitors on the following dates:

Monday 26 November 

Monday 17 December.

All tasks start at 10am and finish mid afternoon, but you only need stay as long as you want.

FISHING. Non-members need to join VAUXHALL ANGLING CLUB.

Contact 07963 641463 email

If you are a member already please stay within the designated zones.

Tel: 01234 720016



We welcome The Staughton family to Odell. Graham and Helen with children Emma-Louise 17, Tiffany 14, Georgia 9 and Evie 3 have moved from Pavenham to the High Street.

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.


29th September – Harvest Supper and Barn Dance. A busy night of eating the bring and share supper was followed by some energetic dancing to finish off a splendid evening. Many thanks to all who arranged and supported the event.


3th October – Quiz. Great fun was had by the eight teams who valiantly turned out for the village quiz, foregoing the viewing of the England v. France Rugby semi-final! However, the sacrifice was well worth it as once again the quiz was riveting, fun and almost as tense as the rugby match itself! The three winning teams are pictured below (sorry about the pic quality!)


17th November - “Irish night”. Dance to “Hair of the Dog” and enjoy an Irish Stew, all for the grand price of £8.

20th December – Christmas Party. School will have finished and Santa will be preparing his sleigh, so the children can have an evening of traditional party games and nibbles in the village hall.

In the new year we will be hoping to hold a Valentine’s Dance and a Theatre Night with old favourites, “Time of Our Lives” theatre group. Details to follow in later editions.

Update on Village Hall alterations. We have a copy of a draft lease, the terms of which have been analysed and have a number of questions to put to the parish council. The proposed new access and disabled drop off area is in abeyance due to the division of the existing land and sale of parts to the adjacent residents. This reduction in land area has resulted in the planning authority with-holding decision making until the Parish Council identify suitable alternative play space.

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


Reg. Charity No 242164

Richard Morris’ high-spirited 1930s Musical Extravaganza:

Thoroughly Modern Millie

16th - 24th November, 7.45 pm nightly - and Matinée 24th November

Tickets available from Monday 8th October from:

Sharnbrook Post Office (in person) or Bedford Central Box Office, 269519 (*credit/ debit cards accepted).

Parties: 10% Discount for 10 or more (excluding Charity Gala or Revue Performances).

Disabled Access: Lift, 2 Wheelchair spaces, easy access seating (3 steps).

and for Patrons and Performers to look forward to:

Tues. 11th – Sat. 15th March 2008

Oscar Wilde’s classic play The Importance of Being Earnest

Workshops: Tuesday 27th & Thursday 29th November

Auditions: Sunday 2nd December 2007

Friday 16th May – Saturday 24th May 2008

The challenging and moving, contemporary musical The Fix

Workshops: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 3rd, 5th & 7th December 2007

Auditions: Sunday 9th December 2007-09-07

Enquiries to: Enid Cooper 708432

Diary November

3rd 10.00am Fairtrade Café, Village Hall.

13th 7.30pm W.I. Village Hall.

14th 10.30am Meeting Point at Jill’s, Rectory Farm.

17th 9.45am All Saints’ Amblers,meet at The Bell.

17th 11am-3pm St Mary’s Christmas Bazaar, Carlton Village Hall.

17th Irish Night, Village Hall.

19th 8.00pm Parish Council Meeting, Village Hall.

25th 1-4pm HOCP Christmas Decoration making.

26th 10.00am Conservation Tasks Day, HOCP.

27th 7.30pm Confirmation Service.

28th 10.30am Meeting Point at Sarah’s, 9 Horsefair Lane.


7th 10-12 Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green Fm.

12th 12.30pm Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunch, Village Hall.

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the joint Dec 2007/Jan 2008 magazine to Tricia Hudson (mag1 at or Catherine Corkery by November 12th 2007 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.

Great local pubs

Back to the Odell Home Page

Last revised: November 10, 2007.