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December  2008/ January 2009

Dance Evening, Saturday 22nd November





Happy birthday to:

Charlotte Lloyd who will be 7 on the 24th January

And to anyone else with a birthday in December or January!


Round and About 

Christmas Tree,Christmas Tree 

It is Christmastime once!That time of year when the very youngest of our children gather round the Christmas tree and gaze in wide-eyed wonder at the brightly coloured lights and the twinkling sparkles of the garlands and tinsel.They hear for the first time - only partly understanding - thestories that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.For Christmas is a very special time of year. 

Central to all festivities will be the tree, brightly lit - and festooned with decorations and gifts - ...but why is this...and has it always been thus?The questions seem endless and I will try and answer just a few. 

Amazingly, the traditions of the tree have remained surprisingly unchanged and go back a very long way ... admittedly this applies to Europe rather than to England - as the magic of the Christmas tree came to us rather late! 

It is generally accepted that the very first Christian Christmas tree dates back to 8th. century Germanywhen St. Boniface (an English missionary from Crediton) was commissioned by Pope Gregory II to spread Christianity to the people of Germany.While travelling he came across a tribe about to sacrifice a boy to their pagan god, Thor, beneath an oak tree.He persuaded them to stop the sacrifice and convert to Christianity.Boniface chopped down the oak tree and when all the debris was cleared away - there stood a young fir tree sapling.The people gathered round this tree and decorated it in homage to the Christ child.From this time Germany has always maintained a close link with the fir tree and they began the tradition of bringing the tree into the home at Christmas. 

In the pre-Christian world any plant or tree that stayed green throughout the winter months was considered special - people would bring pieces of these trees into the home to hang over doors and windows to keep away illness and misfortune.As mentioned above, the German people were the first to bring the fir tree into the home at Christmas, but by the middle-ages the custom was spreading across northern Europe.By theof the 17th. century many of the Christmas customs had come together to create the image of an evergreen tree, radiant with the light of many candles, as a symbol of newborn hope. 

By the 17th. century - across Europe - people would cut down small fir trees, bring them into the home, and decorate them with sweetmeats, fruit and nuts and many, many candles.In England, up and until this time, we had traditionally decorated our homes with the boughs of holly and ivy.Weaving them into garlands to hang in festoons above the fireplace, and across the tops of doors and windows.Towards the turn of the 18th. century wealthy English travellers had begun to bring the custom home with them and the tradition of the tree began to creep into the festivities of a number of our wealthier homeswhere they were more than happy to add the brightly lit trees to their more traditional decorations of holly and ivy. 

It is popularly believed that it was not until the arrival of Prince Albert (the German husband of Queen Victoria) that the custom spread to the more humble homes.It is believed that Albert, anxious not to lose any of the seasonal traditions of his homeland, encouraged ordinary families to bring the decorated trees into their homes for Christmas. 

Over the years the style of decorations may have changed, but in essence the overall effect is much the same.Modern times have brought tinsel and baubles and the coming of electricity has banned the candle in favour of strings of coloured lights, but these new introductions have not really changed the original concept of a tree bathed in light. 

As you gather around your tree, this Christmas, you will represent yet another generation following the customs of long held tradition....Happy Christmas.

                                                            Barbara Corley 

May I take this opportunity of wishing all my readers a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Jazz at The Bell

If you are a fan of Traditional Jazz then come along to The Bell on the first Wednesday evening of every month where The Wode Hill One Steppers will be playing from 7:30 pm .

Also, if you wish to enjoy a meal, please call 01234 720254 to reserve a table. 

The Wode Hill One Steppers will be playing on Wednesday 3rd December and Wednesday 7th January.

 Work Gifts Christmas Sale

 The Christmas Sale of gifts, jewellery, clothing and Christmas cards organised by Nicola Schoenenberger raised £175.00 for the charity Independent Age. Many thanks to everyone who came and did their Christmas shopping or made donations for coffee. Independent Age helps older people to live with independence and dignity in their later years. The charity provides practical support to enable beneficiaries to stay in their own homes for as long as possible and lead active and fulfilled lives 

Odell Parish Council

Minutes of a meeting of Odell Parish Council held on Tuesday, 4th November 2008 at 7.30 p.m. In Odell Village Hall.

Present:          Cllr. R. Halton [in the Chair]; Cllrs. B. Cheadle, P.Crotty, A. Sharpe, Borough Cllr. N. Charsley; County Cllr. P. Gershon. 

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr. J. Harrison.  It was noted that Mr. J. Gemmel was still in hospital.

Minutes of last meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 21st July were approved and duly signed as a true record of the meeting.

Co-option of councillor
It was pleasing to note that three local residents had expressed an interest in serving on the Parish Council.  Some time was taken in discussing the co-option as there was only one vacancy to be filled.  A vote was then taken and councillors elected to co-opt Mr. Steve Robinson.  It was agreed it was a difficult decision as all candidates were highly suitable.

Matters arising:
Odell Bridges:  Some concern had been raised that the bridges were going to be repaired and not replaced.  This is not the case and the work is all in hand.  The main bridge and the sluice are scheduled for factory manufacture in November and the County Council officer handling the projects stated his intention to bid to the Council for funds to do the Channel bridge next to the Mill itself on the basis of a Principal Inspection which he had done.

Speed survey:  The survey undertaken produced surprising results in that it did not show the expected number of excessively speeding vehicles; however, it was noted that although we had asked for it to be conducted during school term time, it was not, so that could be a contributory factor to the result.  The possibility of having a further survey carried out during term time will be investigated, if there is still money in the relevant budget.

County Council matters
There was nothing of note to report, other than the unitary work is progressing.
Accounts and Charity Status
The Bank of Ireland has agreed to open a second account to accommodate just the allotment transactions, as requested by the external auditor.  Because of the small amounts involved in these transactions, although the official charity status of the land has to remain, the charity can be de-registered with the Charity Commission and as such will no longer have to complete charity documentation and will not show on their register.  Councillors agreed this should be done to simplify the operating procedures.

Village Hall Update
Cllr. Sharpe had attended a recent Committee meeting; the Village Hall Committee, Mr. S. Robinson and the Rev. Clarke had all kindly written a supporting letter to accompany the Parish Council's grant applications.

The quotations for the building work were tabled and discussed.  There was some significant variance in the figures, and it was finally agreed after much debate, that due to the current economic climate and the difficulty in finding suitable funding providers, it would be wise to go with the lowest tender. 
This was from a 'tried and tested' builder so it was known the work would be to the expected standard.  Issues for consideration by the contractor will be:
a)         whether the footing work carried out will satisfy the planning requirements or whether a new application will be required:
b)         if the current electrical work will be compatible with the new wiring, or if a rewire of the hall will be necessary;  and
c)         the obtaining of Building Control approval.

A grant application has been made to SITA, which is the first panel to sit early in the new year.  Usually SITA does not grant more than £20,000 so other applications have been made to small charities in the hope that additional revenue may be obtained in the event of any shortfall.  An application is now in progress to WREN which sits later in the new year but may be a better option as they do often grant the full amount. 

Additionally both of these applications require a 11% third party funder, so applications have been made elsewhere to try to satisfy this requirement.

Mr. Bridgman has fitted the new Exit door which is a great improvement.  The question of the provision of a handrail was raised and this issue will be investigated.  The back doors of the hall have been closed off also in accordance with the 106 agreement and it just remains for the outside of this area to be finished to fully comply with the terms of the agreement. 

Cllr. Crotty said he was disappointed that Cynthia Sellars, who has been his Highways contact, is leaving but he hopes for a good relationship with her successor.  There are still problem areas around the village – particularly the poor standard of the repair work. The weed control work has still not been undertaken and this is of particular concern as the new pathway areas are beginning to be affected.  At the end of the day it is usually down to budgetary constraints.
The light outside the school house has been reported several times, but still does not appear to have been fixed; this will be reported yet again.
Of concern also is the culvert outside no. 220 High Street.  In times of heavy rain, this causes flooding right across the road in a very short space of time.  It is believed attempts have been made to clear this but they obviously have not worked.  The problem will be reported again.
Concern has been raised over the access road at the side of the Village Hall.  There is no indication when rounding the bend from Little Odell that there is an opening here and it can be quite dangerous.  The possibility of some kind of signage will be investigated.

Bedford Borough matters
Cllr. Charsley said that many local telephone boxes were at risk of removal; after representations from the various parish councils, the Borough took the matter up with BT and as a result, 14 of the 28 proposed for removal would now remain in place.
The Parish Council's objections to the planning application for the Podington Wind Farm had been submitted.
The Borough Planner has approved applications in respect of the land adjacent to Dungee Road [excavation of wildlife pond] and the Old Stable Yard, High Street [demolition of conservatory and erection of single storey rear extension].

Country Park
Cllr. Halton gave a brief update on the situation; Lyndsey Bignell will be moving to Mid Beds so there will be a new person in her place.  A grant has been awarded to allow the preparation work for the major submission to the Lottery Heritage fund. 
There are ongoing car parking problems – during the week the car park is full, and at the weekends it is overflowing, mainly with visitors to the tea room.

The payment of £70 to The Villager, as in previous years, was approved.

Councillors were handed a draft budget for 2009/2010 for them to consider and report back with their comments and proposals/suggestions at the January meeting.  The Clerk stressed that with the ownership of the village hall, serious consideration needed to be given to financial preparation in case of any major repair work or unexpected event.  The situation was considerably different to that of the pre-ownership of the village hall days when income and expenditure was fairly static and easy to determine.  The Village Hall Committee could not be expected to finance major expenditure from the income generated from the hall lettings – this was quite a different matter from the day to day general running of the hall.

Correspondence and requests
Other than the Villager payment, there were no other matters to consider.

Specifically for the business of the meeting
The owner of a thatched cottage had raised the problem of fireworks near to thatched buildings.  He had found 10 rocket cartridges in his garden so naturally expressed concern at the danger these presented.  The obvious danger to thatched roofs should be clear to those letting off fireworks, and it is hoped that every effort would be made to ensure that ones such as rockets were directed away from any such properties.  A reminder will be issued prior to Guy Fawkes day next year.

The dates for next year's meetings were tabled; Cllr. Crotty asked if the March meeting could be moved to allow his attendance.  The availability of the hall will be checked.
The proposed dates are:

19th January:   30th March:   18th May:    20th July:   14th September:   16th November.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.15 p.m.

Offer of help to pony owners.

If anyone in the area has any horses/ponies and would like unpaid help - or wouldn’t mind some company in looking after them, I would love to help you!

Please call 01234 721798

Or drop in a note at The School House, 97 High Street, Odell.

I am happy to groom, muck out, ride etc., although I have only had 3 - 4 years of experience around horses, and haven’t ridden without an experienced adult nearby, and so may not be able to assist with particularly spirited horses.

Many thanks,

Olivia Evershed, 13 years.


This month we were pleased to welcome back Dot Wigg to talk to us about the history of the W.I.  She took us back to the isolated area of Canada where the idea evolved for women to meet together to share their knowledge and experiences.  This proved so successful that groups rapidly sprang up and soon the idea was brought back first to Wales and then England.  The groups eventually banded together to form the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.

The First World War saw enormous growth in numbers when yet again women had a venue to share their experiences and knowledge during difficult times and similarly in the Second World War.

From the start the W.I. has campaigned to improve standards in all aspects of daily and family life.  In the 1950’s a long held dream became reality with the opening of Denman College which provided a residential college for the running of all types of courses open to all W.I. members.  The number and variety of courses continues to grow.

Today the aims of the W.I remain the same to educate, entertain and provide friendship for women of all ages.  The way forward is being led by the growth in the number of new groups set up in semi-rural areas by young careerwomen and mums who find they need and value the help and support and friendship of other women just as much as their mothers and grandmothers did.


Our December meeting will be at the home of Jane Eshelby on December 9th at 7.30. for our Christmas ‘bling’ celebration.  We are in the Village Hall for our meeting on Tuesday 13th January at 7.30.  We will learning the game of Boccia and it’s a opportunity for you to bring those left over nibbles from Christmas to share round.


No competition either month.


Our January hostesses are Roberta Goodman and Mandy Sharpe 

We have a change to our programme, instead of our celebration meal being in the New Year it will now be on December 9th at Jane Eshelby’s.  Transport was organised at the last meeting.  If you are unable to attend or are unclear about what food you are bringing or who is taking who please contact Doreen or myself as early as possible.

And please don’t forget to SPARKLE

                                                                                                Rachel Halton 720572


Harrold-Odell Country Park

Carlton Road, Harrold, Bedford MK43 7DS 

Friends of Harrold-Odell Country Park Conservation Tasks

Come and join in with the practical work to enhance the Park for wildlife and visitors on the following dates, from 10.00am – 3.00pm: 

Monday 15th December.

Wear appropriate clothing and footwear.  Drinks provided.  Come for an hour or two or stay as long as you like. 

Email:  Website:   Tel: 01234 720016


Town & Parish Councils’ Association

"The Youth Citizenship Commission is seeking evidence and views on whether the voting age should be lowered to 16.The consultation document highlights the perceived pros and cons and refers to a number of recent relevant reports.A copy of the consultation document can be accessed at A hard copy can be obtained from Lola Bello, Youth Citizenship Commission, 7.35, 102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AJ.The consultation closes on 20th January 2009." 

Village Hall


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 Dance Evening on Saturday 22nd November was a great success - see pictures at the top of this page. 

Programme for 2009.

Look out for more details of the events coming up in 2009, including: 

Dr Busker, 21st March, and Irish Night (featuring Hair of the Dog) on  9th May. 


The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook

A l a d d i n - Our own spectacular traditional pantomime.

Friday 5th - Saturday 13th December 2008

Nightly  at 7.45 pm,  (not Sunday) with 2 Saturday Matinées, 6th and 13th December, at 2.30pm.

(Please note: The above are the correct times. Please accept our apologies for the errors, namely: Evenings 7.30 pm as on the posters, and Matinées  2.00 pm as in the November Review, and for any inconvenience caused thereby). 

Tickets available?  You may be lucky – but hurry!

Booking Points: Sharnbrook Post Office (in person)

or Bedford Central Box Office 269519* 

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

*To book wheelchair space (2 spaces available). 

Parking for disabled; Lift access; Easier access seating rows A-C.

NB Hearing loop rows A-E only.For programme details please visit 



3rd        10.30am           Meeting point at Sarah’s, 9 Horsefair Lane.

3rd        7.30pm            WodeHill One Steppers Jazz Band at The Bell.

5th        10.00am           Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green    Farm.

8th        8.00pm            Advent Service Harrold URC.

9th        7.30pm            W.I. celebration meal at Jane Eshelby’s.

10th      12.30               Senior Citizens’ Christmas lunch, Village Hall.

13th      10.00am           Church decorating.

15th      10.00am           HOCP Conservation tasks.

17th      11.30am           Meeting Point at Jane’s, Newton House, Avenue Rd.,  Rushden.

20th      6.00pm            Carol singing round village; meet at The Bell.

21st      6.00pm            Candlelit service of Nine lessons and carols, All   Saints’.

25th      10.00am           Christmas service at All Saints’ Church. 


1st        9.45am All Saints’ Amblers meet at The Bell.

7th        10.30am           Meeting Point at Jill’s, Rectory Farm, Odell.

7th        7.30pm            WodeHill One Steppers Jazz Band at The Bell.

13th      7.30pm            W.I. at Village Hall.

19th      7.30pm            Parish Council Meeting, Odell Village Hall.

21st      10.30am           Meeting Point at Eileen’s.

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the February 2009 magazine to Tricia Hudson (mag1 at or Catherine Corkery by January 12th 2008 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.

Do you look after someone who is frail, ill or disabled?...

 ...that makes you a carer. 

For information, support and advice you can now ring the Bedfordshire Carers Helpline: 0300 0123435



Great local pubs


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Last revised: December 06, 2008.