Back to the Odell Home Page


April 2008



We would like to wish the following a very ‘Happy Birthday’: 

Rebecca Causton, 3 on 3rd April,

Tania Fulford  12 on 5th  April, and

Alex Swift who will be 16 on 11th April.


Round and About 

Britannia - A Fine Lady 

I couldn't help but notice the recent ripple of interestthe media over the Government's decision to drop the symbol of Britannia from the last of Britain's coins.What surprise I felt, that Britannia has been continuously on our coinage since 1672 and that she has personified the history of this nation since long before the creation of the Union Jack, which now appears on her shield.

I was intrigued.I had always assumed that like the anthem 'Rule Britannia'she had her origins in Victorian times.Now it appeared I was mistaken...and so I turned to the internet, (where would we be without it?).I was amazed to read just how long this proud lady has represented this nation through good times and bad.Britannia, it seems, is 2000 years old, and possibly older. 

The islands of Britain were invaded by the Romans in 55BC when we formed the North West frontier to their ever expanding empire and the name on their maps appears as Britannia.Historians believe that the symbol of Britannia is based upon a goddess belonging to these islands prior to the Roman invasion and that possibly, as an act of appeasement, Emperor Hadrian had her image impressed on to the coinage of Britain and named her Britannia.A shrine was also erected to her at York. 

The Romans were the first to give Britannia shape and form and she has scarcely changed in appearance to this day.Her early form shows a handsome young woman wearing a Roman centurian helmet and wrapped in a Roman robe.She is seated on a rock, holding a spear with a spiked shield at her side.The native people of Britain seem to have willingly accepted her (helping to confirm the theory that she was already known to them as a goddess). She was soon adopted by the people as a symbol of the nation and became a rallying point in times of trouble.She became embued with many of the qualities of Boudicea and when the Romans finally withdrew from this land, they fiercely retained Britannia as their own - instead of discarding her like other Roman benefits such as clean running water and underfloor heating. 

After the fall of the Roman Empire Britannia remained a very popular figure gaining inimportance right through the Saxon period and through the Norman hierarchy.She was carried into battle when English soldiers, under Norman leadership,the European wars.By the Tudor period, however, her popularity had begun to wane. 

On the death of Elizabeth I, James I (VI of Scotland) faced the problem of trying to unite England and Scotland, by no means an easy task following the troubled history of the two countries.He hit upon the idea of re-introducing Britannia, already a popular rallying point for both nations, as the personification of a united Britain.He held pageants throughout the country under the title "The Triumphs of a United Britannia".The central feature of these tableaux being a supreme being depicting a fair and beautiful nymph...Britannia herself.

 From the time of 1672 she has appeared continuously on the coinage of the realm.It is said Charles II modelled the new Britannia on the form of the Duchess of Richmond.When the Bank of England was granted a Charter in 1694 they promptly adopted Britannia as their symbol on their official seal. 

By the time of Victoria, and Empire, Britannia had reached the peak of her importance as an Emblem of the Country and it was considered timely for her to have a make-over. For the first time in nearly 2000 years she was to have an update.She kept her Roman helmet and her robe but now she held a three pronged Poseidon trident and stood, or sat, on a rock beside the ocean with a ship sailing thereon - to represent naval power.Her shield was now adorned with a Union Jack.

Britannia has represented this nation, in practically unchanging form, for 2000 years.She gave hope to our suppressed forebears under first Roman and then the Norman conquests.She has rallied our soldiers in both small local conflicts and on the larger battlefield.Her form has been impressed on our coins for hundreds of years.She has personified the proud history of this land for 1000 years prior to the invention of our United flag.A figure of Britannia was presented to the family of every fallen soldier at the end of World War I.The Royal Navy has named 8vessels after her and the Queen named her royal yacht Britannia.Locomotives have borne her name and various companies have incorporated her name into their own i.e. an airline and a building society spring to mind. 

Britannia - a beautiful, gentle, feminine symbol of our united country that genuinely connects us with centuries of our past.

Barbara Corley


Harrold Pit Run 2008 In memory of the late Avril Brittle.

Harrold's 26th Pit Run will take place on Saturday 19th April 2008.

We thought we'd get this date in your diary now! This year the event will be themed St George's Day with plenty to keep allages occupied. So…

RUNNERS - get training

CLUBS / CHARITIES - get organised

FUN RUNNERS - get a costume sorted

BUSINESSES - get in touch

EVERYONE - make sure you're around



Farewell to Michael Bliss

Farewell to Michael Bliss who is handing over his TV and Radio business in Harrold to Darren Banks. Darren takes over the High Street premises on 1st April.  He will continue the tradition of providing TV and radio sales and installation, but will also offer other domestic electrical services including the fitting of security alarms. 

W.I. News 

We were pleased to welcome back Major Alan Gilmore to our meeting in March, his topic this time was ‘Training as an Intelligence Officer’.  He joined the army in the sixties and was selected after basic training for CI6 training.  He took us through the various stages including parachuting, weapons, code breaking and self defence to name just a few.  He had to passed some stringent initiative tests before entering active service spending much of his time in Arab countries but also worked in the USSR and Cuba.

 It was a fascinating insight into a secret world; unfortunately he couldn’t go into much detail about his field work as he is still bound by the Official Secrets Act.



This will be held on Tuesday April 8th at 7.30 in the Village Hall. Our speaker will be Alisa Savage and her topic will be ‘Recycling’.



Make an item from recycled materials.



Margaret Jones and Joyce Knight

Rachel Halton 720572

Odell Angling 

Article removed by request of Del Romang


Notes of Odell Parish Council Annual meeting Monday 17th March 2008.


Chairman’s Report 2007-2008


The Parish Councillors are myself, Mrs. Rachel Halton (currently Chairman), Mrs. Amanda Sharpe, Vice Chairman, Mr. Brian Cheadle, Mr. Paul Crotty, Mr. Jonathan Harrison, and Mrs. Suzanna Swift.  The Borough Councillor is Mr. Nick Charsley, the County Councillor is Mrs. Phyllis Gershon and our clerk is Mrs Mavis Knight.

 I now propose to give a brief summary of our work during the past year.  This will bring together the information given to you in the reports in the Parish Magazine throughout the year.


Village Hall

The Parish Council was delighted to finalise the purchase of the Village Hall for the Parish of Odell in April.  We were grateful to the Rural Grants Committee of Bedford Borough Council for a very generous donation of £45,000 and to several smaller charities which allowed us to proceed with the purchase.  However the decision of the previous owner to sell two parcels of land from the original play area to two adjacent householders and a change in the legal specification for the path of the disabled access has meant we have, together with the Village Hall Committee, been unable to proceed with the provision of disabled facilities as quickly as we would like.

We were informed by Bedford Borough Council planning department that the area of land to the side of the hall had been legally designated a play area.  The reduction in the size of the land we were able to purchase and the increased area requirement for the disabled path meant that there was no possibility of also accommodating a play area as we had originally hoped.  We have been informed by Bedford Borough Council Planning department we would not get planning permission for the disabled path unless we could provide an alternative play area.

The Parish Council is therefore investigating together with the Harrold and Odell Country Park staff the possibility of siting a play area just inside the gates at the bottom of Horsefair Lane. Odell Parish Council, Harrold and Odell Country Park and Bedford Borough Council planning department see this as a good solution to resolve a complicated situation but we are at an early stage.  It is likely to be an expensive project which will require more fund raising having to be undertaken but only when that is in position will we be able to move forward with the disabled access, as permission for the latter is dependent upon first providing a play area.

During this year we have also started to investigate the possibility of purchasing the Village Hall Car Park in order to secure its continuing use.

The Parish Council voted in November to sign a formal 106 agreement with the owner of the property to the rear of the hall and Bedford Borough Council which will eventually lead to the blocking of the doors at the rear.  He has offered to upgrade the existing side access to act as a temporary means of providing disabled access, the work to be undertaken in the near future.

We must thank Cllr Cheadle for undertaking the research which has resulted in the new sign for the Village Hall and its car park, and for its installation. 



Cllr. Crotty continues to undertake the duty of Parish Liaison Officer with the County Council’s Highways representative Celia Sellars. 

Regular meetings have been undertaken in order that problems can be discussed and resolved.  This year’s work has included patching the road surface where necessary, the clearing of the footpath between the Little Odell junction and the Mad Dog and, with the money given to us under the Highway’s Partnership Scheme, the continuing improvement of the footpath between Little Odell and Odell.

The water leakage on Hartles Hill has been reported and we are informed it will be repaired during the coming financial year.  We continue to report the problem outside 198 High Street in Little Odell and the additional problem that is occurring outside 220 High Street Little Odell to Bedford Borough Council Highways Department but have had no resolution as yet.

Several people were concerned at the inability of the Highways Department to correctly indicate with the flood signs as to whether bridges were passable.  We registered our concerns and asked for an explanation.  They blamed the Environment Agency who, they say, will not permit removal of the signs until they are certain there is no further possibility of flooding. 

Parish Survey

The Parish Council were not inclined to produce a full Parish Plan but felt it was time to gain feedback on the issues that were concerning the local community.  We undertook a Parish Survey.  Surveys were issued to 112 households in October and we had had 31% returned by the cut-off date in January. The results are being collated and will be published in due course.


Village matters

The village seat on Hartles Hill has been replaced.  Our thanks to Messrs. Bridgman and Swift for undertaking its installation.

After investigating the options for grass cutting we are staying with our existing contractor but may use other contractors for specific jobs.

We have been advised by Bedfordshire County Council Countryside Access Department that funding is not now available for remedial work to be undertaken on 7 bridges in Bedfordshire.  However the bridges in Odell will continue to be monitored by them until such time as funds are available.

Our thanks to Cllr Cheadle for undertaking the re-letting of the grazing at the Parish fields.

Several residents expressed concerns over the bulge in the castle wall. After being approached by the Parish Council the owner had it surveyed and it was pronounced safe with a recommendation that its condition should be monitored regularly.

Yet again we are indebted to the Swift family for the Christmas lights that give a festive atmosphere to the village.

It was decided to support the Odell Luncheon Club with a donation of £300 as Councillors considered this a worthwhile community project.

The County Council has granted us £3500 through its Community Safety Fund.  However, the money is so hedged round with restrictions that it has proved difficult to spend.  We have asked for a traffic survey to be undertaken, litter picking, some tree and bush cut back and hopefully activities for the local children (although this is subject to a set number being able to attend).  


Various planning applications have been discussed over the year and the decision of the Parish Council reported back to the B.B.C. planning department.

We were delighted when the Borough Council rejected the proposal for nine wind turbines at Podington and although initially Nuon were appealing against the decision, in March we heard that this decision had been reversed.

Bedfordshire County Council were undertaking the production of a new Country-wide Mineral Extraction plan during the year and concerns were expressed that two sites that had been submitted by land owners were on land directly opposite Odell.  However these sites were not on the eventual short list produced by Bedfordshire County Council. 

Councillors undertake various duties and attend meetings throughout the year on behalf of the Parish Council and I thank them all.  Cllrs Cheadle and Halton attend the North Bedfordshire Community Liaison Forum from which we were fortunate to obtain a small grant for the Luncheon Club.  Cllr. Halton continues to liaise with the Harrold and Odell Country Park management and Cllr Crotty liaises with the Highway’s Dept.

 We have been noting with interest the battle for unitary status between the Borough and County Councils.  It is now expected that from April next year we will be part of Bedford Borough Unitary Authority.  We are in a time of change which will affect us all.

 This concludes the Chairman’s Report for 2007-2008.  Many thanks for your attention. 

Local survey:  The results of the parish survey were distributed to Councillors in a chart format and given some consideration.  It was agreed that Councillors should individually study the results so that a more in-depth discussion can take place at the next meeting.

Beds County Council Communities Fund Questionnaire:  This was completed and returned to the County Council as requested; to date no further information has been received from the County Council regarding this exercise. 

Village Hall Update

Lease:  Investigation by the Clerk into the legal position had determined that the current lease cannot be changed, as it was an integral part of the purchase of the hall by the Parish Council; it therefore has to run its course until the end of the lease period in about 14 years time.  The formation of a subcommittee comprising Cllrs. R. Halton, B. Cheadle and A. Sharpe was agreed to comply with a request from the Village Hall Committee. 

Car Park:  The owner is happy with the codicil proposed by the Parish Council.  Councillors unanimously endorsed the purchase of the car park which will be funded in two stages – half the purchase price being paid this year on contract completion and the remainder in 12 months’ time.  The owner will be notified of this decision and asked to have an agreement drawn up for the Parish Council’s approval.

Disabled access:  The Borough Planner has agreed the Parish Council can resubmit the plans originally drawn up and submitted by the Village Hall Committee, but a legal codicil has been attached preventing any work starting on the project until the new children’s play area is in place.  The approval of the plans will allow for quotations for the work and applications for funding to be undertaken, so this is one small step forward.  The Parish Council resolved to accept the Legal Obligation regarding this which was signed by the Chairman.

New playground facility:  The Chairman has met with a supplier of approved equipment type and County Council representatives and a proposal is expected shortly.  There are other suppliers who manufacture the type of equipment the County Council stipulates so these could also be investigated if necessary.  Understandably the play area is required to blend into the character of the country park so there will be no highly colourful plastic type pieces.  As soon as a firm proposal is to hand to enable a planning application submission, funding can be applied for from a landfill tax scheme which does not require planning approval to be a pre-requisite of funding applications; proof of submission is all that is required in the initial stage.  The Parish Council is therefore doing everything it can to expedite this.


Cllr. Crotty met with Celia Sellars again about the various potholes around the village.  Once again it was confirmed that the potholes would be repaired in the financial year commencing April. 

The County Council has doubled the Partnership Scheme funding this year so the sum of £6000 is available to Odell.  This should allow a much more extensive footpath section to be undertaken and the Highways representative will be asked to liaise with Cllr. Crotty regarding the section to be carried out this year under this scheme. 

Cllr. Cheadle referred to the ongoing problem at Hartles Hill; the County Council again has promised to carry out rectification work on this post April.

It was reported that there is flooding again outside 198 High Street and at 220 High Street the culvert appears to be unable to take the water which is consequently flooding the road. 

Cllr. Halton commented on the weeds growing apace again on the footpath between the Mad Dog and the Odell Junction.  All these issues will be taken up with the County Council once again. 

Bedford Borough matters

The Rural Bulky Waste collection for Odell this year will be carried out on the following two Sundays: 

Sunday, 1st June  from 12.00pm until 3.00pm

Sunday, 19th October from 12.00pm until 3.00pm.


Harrold/Odell Country Park.

The Chairman gave an update.  The placing of a sign at the Odell end of the park is to be held over until the play area position is resolved. A feasibility study is to be undertaken re the possibility of obtaining funding for an extension to the building to accommodate a meeting area/office space.  The skate park area is being cleared and should be tarmaced by the 25th March with the equipment being installed by the end of the month. 

Specifically for the business of the meeting

Water ingress in the Village Hall had happened – exacerbated by the extreme weather at the weekend.  Inspection by the Village Hall Committee had shown some missing roof tiles and broken guttering/parts; concern was expressed that some of the wooden floor blocks may lift and have to be replaced.  Some rectification work was carried out immediately and the situation regarding both the roofing and the floor blocks will be monitored by the Parish Council to see if  any further work is required.

Cllr. Halton said she had received a request for a light to be fitted outside the emergency door; the Parish Council had already recognised the need for this and will attend to this once the new entrance is fitted and completed by Martin Bridgman. 

The Chairman asked that the County Council should be approached again to see if the street lights can be repainted. 

  The next meeting [AGM] will be held on Monday, 19th May at 8.00 p.m.


Pub News

Hello from all at The Bell, Odell, where there is a new spring menuPeter and Rachel, landlords, give you a warm welcome, along with the team.

Pictured: Rachel and Cheryl.


The Swan at Radwell is now closed temporarily and there are new landlords at The Sun in Felmersham.


Look out for the New Restaurant at The Fox in Carlton, under the management of new landlady, Alex Hadland.

The Grand opening of the restaurant takes place on Sunday, 6th April.  Roast dinners will be served from 12-4pm.  Space is limited, so please book in advance!

From 6th food will be served at lunchtimes (12-2.30) and evenings (6-9pm) Wednesday through till Sunday lunch.  The restaurant will be shut on Sunday evenings and all day Mondays and only the bar snack menu will be available Tuesdays.

As much locally sourced produce as possible will be used and cooked to the highest standards. 

To book please call 01234 720235.  Private parties and special dietary requirements can usually be accommodated, so please enquire when booking.

The Senior Citizens’ Fish and Chip Lunch on  5th March (pictured above and below) was a great success with an excellent turn-out.



Harrold-Odell Country Park

Carlton Road, Harrold, Bedford MK43 7DS


All the events are free but donations are welcome. 

Please contact us for further details.

 March/April (throughout the school holidays)

Easter Colouring Competition

Colour in a butterfly or a fish.  Prizes for the best ones at the end of the holiday.  Collect yours from the Discovery Room in the Visitor Centre. 

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 date:


Monday 28th April

10am – 3pm

Wear warm clothing and footwear.

Hot drinks provided.

Come for an hour or two or stay as long as you like.


Tel: 01234 720016.  Email:

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.  

The Time of Our Lives Music Theatre Company (above) entertained villagers once again on Saturday March 15th with their witty sketches depicting all the oddities of the British, including those dearly loved British institutions The Woman’s Institute and Gardeners’ Question Time 

Coming up in April:

American Theme night (featuring Melvin)

Date: 12th April

Time: 7:30 for 8:00

Tickets: £8.00 to include burgers and accompaniments

Tickets can be purchased from:

Nicki on 720893 and Karen on 721590.


Do please support our events, and do suggest to us your ideas for alternative activities. Rob Lee (720730).


 The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook


Reg. Charity No 242164  


The Fix- 16th – 24th May, 7.45pm

By John Dempsey and Dana P Rowe

Regional Premiere – think Kennedy the Musical!

A musical tale of sex, scandal and rock and roll! A dramatic adaptation of one American family’s greeds, desires and passion to conquer politics!

An amateur production in association with Joseph Weinberger. 

Tickets available from

Sharnbrook Post Office (in person)

& Bedford Central Box Office 269519* *To book wheelchair space.

10% discount for parties of 10 or more (excluding Charity performances).

NB Hearing loop rows A-E only.

For programme details please visit


Back to Broadway 

Four young professionals ...who have already appeared across the West Midlands to great acclaim…bring your favourite West End Musical selections to life, in 4 spectacular and colourful performances at The Mill Theatre -



Thursday 12th June in aid of Solvit.                          

Friday 13th June in aid of Barnardos

Saturday 14th June in aid of Rushden Rotary

Sunday 15th June in aid of Bansang Hospital, Gambia

 Tickets: £15, to include a glass of wine, with all proceeds going to charity.

Available from Sharnbrook Post Office or 01832 730255.

 Have you ‘Bin’ Recycling? We’ve just made it even easier…

Thanks to you Bedfordshire is now one of the fastest growing recycling counties in the UK today.  Only five years ago Bedfordshire recycled just over 10% of household waste.  Since then recycling rates have accelerated to nearly 40%. Bedfordshire County Council would like to thank every resident who has helped us reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

 Despite all that recycling and composting, last year we still landfilled 134,000 tonnes of waste.  That’s equivalent to 335 jumbo jets- full of passengers and luggage!

 To help you start slimming your bin’s wasteline this spring Bedfordshire County Council is investing even more into recycling schemes.  We've been listening to feedback from residents and the County Council are now giving nearly £1 million pounds to Bedford Borough Council to fund new orange lidded recycling wheelie bins for paper, cans, plastic bottles and cardboard.  The bins are available in two sizes- standard (the same as your black waste bin) or small (a bin half the size for smaller families).  The bin will replace the orange recycling bags which are not able to take as much waste and are sometimes difficult to store.  In this way we can all recycle more and stop using orange bags which then need recycling themselves. 

If you would like a new recycling wheelie bin, either fill in the form which was posted out to you or order it direct on 0800 121 8888.



2nd 10.30am` Meeting Point at Eileen Shakespeare’s, 24 Church Hall

Road, Rushden

8th 7.30pm W.I. Village Hall

12th 2-5.30pm All Saints’ Open Day.

12th 7.30pm American Theme Night, Village Hall.

13th 2-5.30pm All Saints’ Open Day.

13th 6pm Evening Service, All Saints’.

16th 10.30am Meeting point at Doris’s, Goodly Heritage, The Bury,


19th 9.45am All Saints’ Amblers meet at The Bell.

19th Harrold Pit Run

22nd 7.30pm PCC AGM, All Saints’ Church.

28th 10-3pm HOCP Conservation Tasks.

30th 10.30 Meeting Point at Jane’s, Newton House, Avenue Rd., Newton Bromswold, Rushden.




Great local pubs

Back to the Odell Home Page

Last revised: April 12, 2009.