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inside Meet Eric Masih – The new High Sheriff of Bedfordshire The Duke of Edinburgh 1921 – 2021 Handmade Locally – Supporting our Talented Local Creatives WIN Tickets to The Sun in Felmersham’s Wine & Oyster Festival

MAY 2021

£25 Prize Crossword


37,000 copies Delivered to Bedford and North Beds Villages


“Getting tested is a really easy way to help keep my family and my workmates safe.” PRATIK, RETAIL ASSISTANT

Get free rapid tests, even if you don’t have symptoms. Around 1 in 3 people who have Covid-19 don’t have any symptoms and can spread it without knowing. Test regularly – twice a week.


to the May issue of BedsLife Magazine.

With two Bank Holidays and COVID restrictions easing, there’s lots to look forward to this month. Inside this issue we have our usual mix of articles from our regular contributors as well as a Handmade Locally shopping page showcasing the amazing talents of local creators. We also introduce you to our newly appointed High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, Eric Masih, and feature the wonderful poem by local poet, Rebecca Cook, commemorating the end of WW2. Following the sad passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, we share a message from Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire on behalf of the county. As well as our usual £25 prize crossword we have a fabulous competition courtesy of The Sun in Felmersham to win tickets to their Wine & Oyster Festival in June – The winners will be in for a treat! We do hope you enjoy this issue and please remember to support the local businesses and services who promote themselves in the magazine each month.

The BedsLife Team



Council News Richard Fuller MP Mohammad Yasin MP Volunteer Opportunities Meet the new High Sheriff of Bedfordshire The Duke of Edinburgh 1921 – 2021 Handmade Locally Mamma’s House Five Great Reads for Summer I Remember – Poem The Composing Cook Recipe Wine & Oyster Festival Competition – WIN tickets to the Wine & Oyster Festival Marston Forest – The Cuckoo Prize Crossword Film Releases The Great Outdoors Acorn House Motors – Electric Cars Gardening Cheats Science Bedford Town FC Bedford Blues Advertiser Index Useful Local Resources Last months Crossword Answers

4 6 8 10 12 14 16 20 24 28 30 33 36 38 42 44 48 51 54 60 64 66 67 68 72 74

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for even more local articles and lots of interesting and helpful local information! LIKE our Facebook page BedsLife Magazine to keep up to date with events, offers and local businesses and services. FOLLOW us on @bedslife_magazine and @bedsLife DISCLAIMER

All adverts and editorial are printed in good faith, however, BedsLife Ltd can not take any responsibility for the content of the adverts, the services provided by the advertisers or any statements given in the editorial. No part of the publication may be reproduced or stored without the express permission of the publisher.


council news Council urges residents to get twice weekly rapid ‘no symptom’ tests Everyone who lives or works in Bedford Borough and is over the age of 18 can now get a free rapid Covid-19 test twice a week.

the testing sites at the John Bunyan Centre (weekdays 7am to 12noon and 1pm to 7pm), Polhill Avenue and Prebend Street (every day from 2.30pm to 8pm).

Rapid tests are quick and easy to do and the accuracy of the test improves with practice and training. Anyone who is collecting their home testing kit from the John Bunyan Centre for the first time is encouraged to do a supervised rapid test to make sure they are familiar with how it works.

Anyone who completes a home testing kit must register their results by going online or calling 119. If the result is positive, you must self-isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test.

There are now a number of ways that people over 18 can get rapid testing kits, including through their employer, from some local pharmacies and by ordering them online for home delivery. A pack of seven home testing kits can also be collected from

Apply Now – Grant Funding for Local Business

Shop Local and Support Your Town Centre

Home based and mobile businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are being encouraged to apply for an initial £500 grant. Eligible businesses can now apply for the grant online via Bedford Borough Council’s website at www.bedford.gov.uk/BSG

During the lockdown period, Bedford Borough Council have delivered significant public realm improvements to Silver Street Square and the repaving work is almost complete in Allhallows.

Grants will be awarded to local businesses and home based and mobile businesses that have fixed business costs and have experienced a significant reduction in income due to COVID-19 restrictions. These grants are not intended to replace income that has been lost due to restrictions or provide income to the business owner. The Government has put in place other forms of support to assist business owners whose personal income has been affected by restrictions. Rather, the payment is to assist with fixed business costs.


Rapid testing is available for people who are not showing symptoms of Covid-19. Anyone with symptoms including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss in their sense of taste or smell should immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

We have also been upgrading the road, cycling and pedestrian networks to improve the accessibility and connectivity of Bedford town centre, making it easier for people to visit. A new secure bicycle parking facility will open soon in Harpur Square, and temporary loading bays and new dropped kerbs have been installed to support local businesses, visitors and shoppers. We’ve been working hard to make sure that Bedford town centre is in excellent condition for reopening and we are working alongside businesses to make sure they have the support they need to reopen safely and in line with government guidance. Please shop local and support the great independents and national chain stores that we have to offer in Bedford Borough, and remember ‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air’.



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Now, as lockdown restrictions ease and the weather brightens up, more of us will be meeting friends and families in outdoor spaces. Parks and greenspaces have never been more important to our mental and physical wellbeing. That’s why I welcome the Environment Bill which includes important provisions to improve our natural habitat and reduce waste. For example, plans to reduce plastic waste; promoting recycling through a deposit return scheme for drinks containers; and measures to ensure that firms producing plastic packaging fund the cost of disposing of it. The legislation also contains measures to crack down on waste crime and to reduce sewage discharges into rivers from storm overflows.

Richard Fuller, MP for North East Bedfordshire I cannot wait for the Summer. Maybe it is the tedium and annoyances of lockdown and, to be honest the weather wasn’t helping earlier in the Spring.


Ministers recently announced they are exploring plans for tobacco companies to pay for the litter created by cigarettes after fresh evidence that cleaning up littered cigarette butts costs UK local authorities around £40 million per year. Despite smoking rates being at their lowest recorded level, cigarette filters continue to be the most commonly littered item in England. The Conservative government is leading efforts to limit single-use plastics to protect our environment. We have already removed microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and banned the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds in England. The single-use plastic bags levy, about which I was initially sceptical, has been a great success. From April next year a plastic packaging tax will be introduced for products which do not have at least 30% recycled content. While these measures are significant, there is something we can all do to help our local environment. The environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy, is asking everyone to pledge some of their time to clear up the litter that blights our green places. The Great British Spring Clean campaign is running from 28 May to 13th June 2021. You can pledge to commit some time to litter-picking at www.keepbritaintidy. org/gbspringclean. Here is a practical way we can enjoy the outdoors and make a big difference to the environment on our doorstep.

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Under the new laws, you will only be allowed to protest without risk of arrest if you make no noise, make no impact and not annoy anyone, especially outside Parliament – where I’ve been pleased to meet so many protesters from teachers, taxi drivers, to women fighting for a fairer pension to those campaigning for the safe return of British citizens being unlawfully detained abroad. When I hear the chants of “Free Nazanin”, or whatever crowds chant to make their voice heard – whether I agree with the cause or not – I feel proud of democracy in action. Violent crime has more than doubled since 2015, including a 50 per cent increase in offences by County Lines gangs who prey on children to commit crimes such as drug trafficking, while the number of suspects charged is down by a quarter over the same period. Domestic violence has soared with a 90% increase in police recorded domestic abuse since 2015, while the rape conviction rate is at a record low. More than 12,000 officers and PCSOs have been lost from neighbourhood policing since 2015 and 99 per cent of the cuts to policing since 2010 have been from the frontline.

Mohammad Yasin, MP for Bedford and Kempston Policing and law and order issues are hitting the headlines every day at the moment with protests against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which will introduce some of the most controversial measures this country has ever seen to impose controls on free expression and the right to protest.


Last month, I invited police officers to go on a walk-about to visit areas impacted by crime in Bedford, particularly looking at areas where the impact of anti-social behaviour is a struggle for local businesses and individuals. Bedfordshire Police are doing great work trying to keep our communities safe in the face of cuts to officer numbers & preventive services, but it’s is clear that there are not enough officers to tackle the scale of the challenge. Although I’m pleased Bedfordshire has received funding for more officers, this funding will be raised by increasing council taxes and the measures still won’t replace the number of officers that were cut. I have long called for neighbourhood policing to be properly funded in our urban and rural areas. So, I’m delighted that the Police and Crime Commissioner candidate and former Scotland Yard Detective Chief Inspector David Michael MBE has pledged to prioritise community policing if he wins next month. Putting police back on the streets, a new Victims’ Law and an end to cuts to preventative services are long overdue.

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Bedfordshire Opportunities For Learning Disabilities – Chairperson The new Chairperson should have both a knowledge of the type of work undertaken by Bedfordshire Opportunities for Learning Disabilities and a wider involvement with the voluntary sector and other networks. They will have experience of committee work and demonstrate impartiality, fairness and the ability to respect confidences. The Chairperson will lead and see first-hand how the efficient management of the Board impacts positively on what can be achieved in the interest of the people who use our services.

The Chellington Centre – Building & Maintenance

Volunteering Opportunities

Many organisations are having to cut down on the activities that volunteers would normally engage in due to the pandemic. Others are busier than ever and not in a position to train new volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please register on our system and be patient as it may take a while for organisations to be able to accommodate you. The following organisations were actively seeking to fill these roles at the time of going to press. Search for any of this month’s featured roles by adding the name of the organisation into the keyword field on our Simply Connect opportunity search at cvsbeds.org.uk/volunteer

The Chellington Centre is a grade I youth retreat with accommodation for 30. They work with youth groups, schools and other organisations to offer a unique experience away from the school or working environment in a stunning converted church in a rural setting in North Beds. The Manager has a varied schedule of maintenance activities throughout the year and would welcome volunteer support with tasks that include fence fixing, furniture repair, interior render and painting tasks and many more challenges to keep on top of this unusual building.

Keech Hospice Care – Retail Volunteer – Great Denham Store Help is needed in the shop and also upstairs, sorting, tagging and steaming donated goods, providing customer service and displaying stock. Over 16s will also operate the till. Volunteers who are able to undertake slots of 9-1 or 1-5pm are preferred.

Putnoe Woods Preschool – Charity Trustee The preschool is particularly keen for a trustee who has knowledge or experience of early years education to join them. As a trustee of this charity you will be part of a voluntary group of people interested in guiding this successful preschool into the future. The trustees meet at least 4 times per year in the evening and are expected to be able to commit to a minimum of one day per year.

Wixams Retirement Village – Receptionist

43 Bromham Road, Bedford Call 01234 354 366 or Email: volunteering@cvsbeds.org.uk www.cvsbeds.org.uk 10

Wixams Retirement Village is looking for someone to assist their receptionist with tasks on reception. You will be able to provide excellent customer service in answering the telephone and taking/relaying messages. You will also answer queries face to face and over the telephone, meet & greet visitors, and direct and signpost visitors.


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Eric has been a well-respected and well-known face within Bedfordshire for a number of years. He started his working life within the Geophysical Services Institute before moving into the insurance industry where he held a number of managerial and financial roles. Eric’s true calling came in 1996 when he entered the property and mortgage sector and established his current business, Gold Crown Estate Agent. Within this sector, Eric is particularly committed to providing affordable and social housing in Bedfordshire. Following on from this, Eric has sought to introduce business opportunities into local areas which have previously been considered run down and derelict and, in 2006, Eric took over the previously derelict Irish Club on Midland Road in Bedford in an attempt to attract business to the locality. After an extensive refurbishment project, he launched the Midas Bar & Club.

Meet Eric Masih – The New High Sheriff of Bedfordshire 2021-2022 Eric was born in Punjab, India and was brought to the UK by his parents in 1967 where he was educated locally. Eric has continued to live in Bedford with his wife, four sons and four grandchildren. His hobbies include Asian classical music and martial arts, and he continues to practice as Southern Region Area instructor for the Tetsudo Martial Arts Association. 12

Within the local community, Eric holds roles with several charities and organisations including the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC) for which he is a trustee, founding member of the Bedfordshire Asian Business Association (BABA) and Queens Park Academy School where he is a governor. In 2013, Eric was appointed as the Chairman of Queens Park Community Organisation (QPCO), an organisation committed to building bridges between Bedford’s diverse communities. Eric plays an active role in community cohesion and by the hosting of numerous fundraising events, fayres, and activities he has very quickly gained full support of local businesses, residents and the local community policing teams. His dedication has always been intent on casting a light onto the melting pot of Bedfordshire’s varied and diverse communities. Eric is honoured to have been nominated as High Sheriff of Bedfordshire for the forthcoming year and recognises that, despite the joint efforts to keep communities going, there is yet much work to do. The unforeseen effects of the Covid19 pandemic over the past year have brought to the surface the financial, social and emotional hardships faced by many throughout the Borough. Eric passionately feels that it is through community cohesion, and in particular through the work of local voluntary groups, that we can start to move towards a recovery phase.

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The Duke of Edinburgh 1921 – 2021

It is with huge sorrow that we learned of the death of Her Majesty The Queen’s beloved husband, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, on Friday 9th April. He passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle. His long and dedicated service to our nation will forever be honoured and respected. We join with Her Majesty and members of The Royal Family in mourning his loss deeply. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Bedfordshire on numerous occasions and his presence was always much enjoyed by those organisations he supported. His humour and his ability to bring people together to encourage progress in so many areas of our lives means that he leaves a lasting and cherished legacy for the future. Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis said, “On behalf of the people of Bedfordshire, may I express our sincere condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and to the Royal Family for the loss of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. His contribution to the life of this nation and to the Commonwealth was enormous. He was a welcome and popular visitor to our county, always ensuring that every person he met felt special. His good humour and his genuine support for so many organisations will always be respected and remembered. May he Rest in Peace.” An online Bedfordshire Book of Condolence for HRH The Duke of Edinburgh is now available for those who wish to send a personal message of condolence and can be accessed at: www.royal.rip

A message from Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire

Many people in Bedfordshire may also think of showing their sadness and respect for The Duke by laying flowers. In this time of pandemic, The Royal Family has expressly asked that instead of floral tributes, people might consider giving a donation to a charity of their choice (www.royal. uk/donations). Thank you for respecting their wishes at this sad time.

His humour and his ability to bring people together to encourage progress in so many areas of our lives means that he leaves a lasting and cherished legacy for the future. 14

A Bedfordshire Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the Duke of Edinburgh will be available online so that all may join together safely together during the pandemic. Details of how you can watch this will be published on the BedsLife website and our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms once we have received confirmation.

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HandmadeLocally MAMMA TT ORGANICS Handmade, eco friendly, vegan and natural skin care. www.mammattorganics.com Body & Hand Moisturisers £10-£13 Natural and nourishing body and hand moisturiser, in several different scents, will quench any thirsty skin, from very dry to normal.

Shaving Soap £8-£16 A zero waste, natural solid shaving cream with a fresh and uplifting smell of rosemary oil and a hint of calming bergamot oil. Made with organic & vegan ingredients, unfiltered oils & butters, it lathers amazingly, making the shave easy and pleasant. Recommended for everyone, especially those with very delicate skin prone to irritations. It comes loose and in reusable glass jars.

Made with organic and vegan ingredients, unfiltered oils & butters and enriched with pure essential oils. It is proper food for your skin with its repairing and super moisturising properties.

BIZZY IZZY’S LITTLE BITS Geometric Design Earrings – Lots of unique designs! Made from resin pendants and hypoallergenic metals! £14 a pair Etsy page: BizzyIzzysLittleBits https://etsy.me/3szCsnq Or sold at Made in Bedford at no.13


ANNA REED FINE ART Original Artwork and Limited Edition Prints www.annareedfineart.com/

Claude Original oil painting with 24ct gold leaf detail. Limited Edition Giclee Prints available, each print is hand embellished with 24ct gold leaf. £70 Please contact me for details of the original painting. Alfred Original oil painting. Limited Edition Giclee Prints available in two sizes from £60. Please contact me for details of the original painting.

SARA SAYER Fine Art Prints, personalised design and homeware inspired by where we live, where we love and where we connect. www.sarasayer.com Instagram @_sarasayer

A lovely cotton tea towel featuring our favourite pubs of Bedford. Printed and designed in England. Pubs included: Flowerpot, Three Cups, The Gordon Arms, Devonshire Arms, George and Dragon, The Ship, The Park, The Castle, The Embankment, The Cricketers, The Wellie, Burnaby Arms, The Kings Arms, Barley Mow, Foresters Arms, The Mill Hotel, and The Swan Hotel. £16

Commission a custom house drawing supplied as a print on paper; perfect gifting for a special birthday, wedding anniversary or new home. Joyful and friendly and full of the charm of home, £80.


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OPULENT REBELLION Funky, Edgy and Decadent Homeware @opulentrebellion www.etsy.com/shop/opulentrebellion Limited edition, hand drawn ‘Love Cats’ colour prints. A3 £15 and A4 £12.

Limited edition, sumptuous ‘Funky Felines’ soft velvet cushions with luxurious duck feather inserts. Piped in black velvet with a matching black velvet reverse. £45 inc delivery.

REBECCA SAGOO CERAMICS Beautifully Handmade Bespoke Pieces of Ceramics www.rebeccasagoo.com Facebook @RebeccaSagooCeramics Instagram rebeccasagoo

White earthenware, thrown small vessels with splash of gold lustre, from £20.

White earthenware, thrown pinch jugs with a splash of gold lustre, prices vary from £25.

White earthenware handbuilt blue flower press vessels, from £30. Inspired by walks in the Bedfordshire countryside. 18

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Walk this May It’s no secret that walking has so many benefits. Walking is good for our mental health as well as our physical health; it has been a lifeline to many especially during the last year. So let’s celebrate National Walking Month this May by upping our step count. Need motivation to get out? Not only are the evenings lighter, meaning we can increase our vitamin D intake which is linked to feeling good, but research has also found that a 20 minute walk each day can reduce the risk of certain health conditions such as cancers, heart disease and depression amongst others. Lockdown has also shown us how congestion and air quality has improved with less cars on the road. So why not walk to school or work? If you can’t walk the whole way, try walking part of the way instead by parking a few roads earlier.

Here’s some ways to help motivate you to walk this month: • Go on a family adventure • Let the kids lead the way • Search for rainbows • Go on a lunchtime walk • Walk to and/or from school • Have a tick list of items to look out for: birds, pelican crossing, lollipop lady/man • Give children a magnifying glass • Ring a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while • Download a podcast to listen to Want to take it one step further? There are lots of charities getting involved with National Walking Month, so why not set yourself a challenge and raise some money for your preferred charity.

For some great local walks follow us @mammas_house on Instagram. 20

Don’t forget to stay 2M apart, walk locally and wash your hands frequently.

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Five great reads for the summer Whether you wish to while away the long summer days with a pulsating romance or prefer a fast-paced thriller, these sizzling reads are as satisfying as a Long Island iced tea.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid The latest offering from the author of New York Times bestseller Daisy & the Six, this electrifying and supremely glamourous tale follows four famous siblings as they throw an epic party to celebrate the final days of summer. Set in Los Angeles in 1983, Malibu Rising not only dazzles with all the charm and panache of Hollywood in the Eighties, it also carries real depth and emotion as this complicated family implodes from years of lies and deceit. Hush Little Baby by R.H. Herron For Jillian Marsh, the life she has meticulously put together following an unbearable childhood is about to collapse as she finds herself pregnant and alone.


With her wife (and biological mother of her unborn child) having eloped with another woman, Jillian must work out if the strange things happening around her are part of a vendetta or merely the symptom of an unravelling mind. Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri From the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Lowland and Interpreter of Maladies, Lahiri bring us her first novel in nearly a decade. Self-translated from Italian into English, the Bengali American author – who moved from USA to Italy in 2011 – has created a work of art that is as disconcerting as it is poetic. Following an unnamed narrator through her day-to-day life in an unnamed city – though clues suggest it is Rome – Whereabouts is a captivating escape from reality as the streets, piazzas, coffee shops and swimming pools of Italy come to life.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry From the bestselling author of Beach Read, this is another mesmerising novel that demands to be read while lazing in the sun, preferably with a pina colada in hand. Perfectly capturing that age-old story of when opposites attract, outgoing travel writer Poppy finds herself inexplicably drawn to her oldest best friend, Alex. With only one week to make her intentions clear on an exotic trip away, this sizzling romance will have you yearning for more. Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead Seasoned novelist Shipstead spans prohibition-era Montana, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, New Zealand, wartime London and modern-day Los Angeles. Great Circle tells the courageous story of a daredevil female aviator who will stop at nothing to forge her own path through the world.

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I Remember. I remember, I remember, when the country went to war When the threat of Nazi Germany was shadowing our shore When the voice of Neville Chamberlain came on the air to say “The British Isles is now at war” upon that warm September day. I remember, I remember how little, lost evacuees Came, invading our school playground, gasmasks banging round their knees Cheery, sad some poorly clad. We eyed the strangers up and down Country children out of danger. Cockney kids from Canning town. I remember, I remember-over eighty years ago? How everybody pulled together then against the common foe ‘Save-not spend’ ‘ Make do and mend’ and ‘Dig for victory’ they said How little waste there was in those days; How valuable a loaf of bread. I remember , I remember, signs of war were everywhere Army lorries on manoeuvres. Blenheim bombers in the air. “Right men! Left men! R.A.F. men Someone’s husband, brother, son. Off to fight for king and country in the war against the Hun. O and then I can remember when it wasn’t really strange To see an air-raid warden call and hastily to rearrange The blackout curtain, just in case the man should see a chink of light Giving signals to a German overhead at dead of night. I was just a schoolgirl then and-well, it has to be confessed I didn’t mind , when in the middle of a horrid history test The air raid warning went and caused an interruption in the class As we hurried to a safer place for fear of falling glass. I remember, I remember how the village was bereft Of all the able-bodied men as one by one they upped and left Ken and George and Dick and William. Cousin James and brother Jack All received their call-up papers. Many never did come back.


I remember, I remember just before we went to bed Standing on the lawn and watching as the distant sky turned red. Not alas the evening sunset; this was London in the blitz. Only thirty miles from us were people being blown to bits. I remember, I remember how the chiming of Big Ben Reverberated round the room as Dad turned on the news again. Parents’ thoughtful sombre faces as they heard how planes were lost Ships torpedoed, soldiers missing. Freedom’s terrifying cost And again I can remember being frightened as I saw A doodlebug* come chugging past as I stood rooted to the floor Watching, waiting at the window.”Please dear God don’t let it stop” For when the engine coughed and cut out, then the dreadful thing would drop. O and then I can remember when the darkest days were there How the British people gathered for a national day of prayer. Backs were up against the wall and situations such as these Brings a nation back to God and brings it down upon it’s knees Was the apple blossom blooming sweetly on the orchard bough? Were the Willow and the Chestnut lovely then as they are now? Did the bright Clematis gambol gaily round the cottage doorAnd did the Blackbird sing it’s heart out just as though we weren’t at war? Yes, from what I can remember, as I look back and reflect Heartbreak, death and devastation on these things have no effect. God has set the world in motion. Man alone is given a choice Nature follows His instructions, Man can just ignore his voice. Then at last I can remember that Tuesday on the 8th. of May How the world was given the tidings. Peace at last. ‘Twas Victory day” Church bells rang, bonfires were lighted, There was dancing in the square “Now Thank We All Our God” we sang -and many people left Him there. Once again we need to gather, crying out ‘What have we done, What has happened to our nation since the war was fought and won. Then we turned to God to save us in our time of desperate need. Now many worship other gods and follow in another creed. The lesson seems to be forgotten, That is why the memory Must be preserved if only as the guardian of our liberty; But the words our dear King gave us, that first Christmas of the war Still apply to all of us today as ever did before. “I said to him who I saw standing at the gateway of the year Give me a light so I tread safely in this unknown path I fear” And he replied, “Go in the darkness. Place your hand in that of God. It shall be a better light. Safer than any path you’ve trod. Rebecca Cook© *V1 Pilotless plane


The Composing Cook The Composing Cook


INGREDIENTS: 2 tablespoons oil 1 thumb size piece of ginger (no need to peel) – grated 5 garlic cloves – crushed 2 green chillies (optional) – finely chopped 1 tablespoon tomato puree 1 teaspoon salt 1 heaped tablespoon garam masala 1 heaped tablespoon curry powder 500g skinless & boneless chicken breast – cut into bite size pieces 1 red & 1 yellow pepper – both cut into bite size pieces 400g tin chopped tomatoes 400ml water 125ml double cream 350g frozen broccoli and cauliflower florets a handful chopped fresh coriander To Serve: 240g basmati rice some extra chopped fresh coriander Serves 4

I am sure many of you have tried a takeaway version of this. You will be surprised how easy it is to make at home. My version also contains veg, so if you have children, this is a great way for them to eat some veg without even realising. Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed. Add oil to a deep sided frying pan and once warmed add the ginger, garlic and the chillies (if using) and cook for 1 minute. Add the onion, salt, tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes. Add garam masala, curry powder, chicken, peppers. Cook for 15 minutes. If it starts to stick just add a little cold water and mix. Add chopped tomatoes & 400ml water. Simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime, boil the frozen broccoli and cauliflower florets until just done. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and cut into bit size pieces. Put to one side. Use the same water to cook the rice (see packet instructions). Back to the Chicken Tikka, add the double cream and cook for 4 minutes. Add the broccoli and cauliflower and cook for 2 minutes. Scatter with the coriander and serve.

LET’S TAKE THIS A STEP FURTHER: This goes amazingly well with my Mango Chutney Sauce and Oven Baked Bombay Potatoes. You can watch me make all these dishes along with my Chicken Tikka Masala by visiting my YouTube Channel, The Composing Cook. Just head over to: www.YouTube.com/ TheComposingCook and there you will find me. 30

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Welcome to Saxby’s Cider based on our family farm in Farndish, a small village on the Northamptonshire/ Bedfordshire border. If you’re a discerning cider drinker, you’ve come to the right place. We grow our own apples in the orchards on the farm. These are carefully selected English cider varieties and dessert fruits which we slowly mature and expertly blend. Our award-winning range of ciders are pressed right here on our farm using real real cider and real fruit juices. Grange Farm, Farndish Wellingborough, Northamptonshire NN29 7HJ email: info@saxbyscider.co.uk phone: 01933 353666







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In June 2019 bake. opened it’s doors to welcome in the people of Kempston. Serving hot drinks, tasty homemade hot and cold food & delicious sweet treats in a relaxed and friendly setting. We are a social enterprise and offer work based training to unemployed people in our community to help them with skills & confidence building with the aim of helping them return to work. We also specialise in custom, wholesale & postal treats, spreading the bake delights far and wide!

OPENING HOURS MAY CHANGE DUE TO COVID RESTRICTIONS Sun - Fri: CLOSED SATURDAY opening and available for custom order cakes via direct message or email. CONTACT US ON TEL 01234 843888 227-229 Bedford Rd, Kempston, Bedford MK42 8DA, UK www.bakekempston.com

Wine & Oyster Festival at The Sun in Felmersham On 26th and 27th June, the first weekend of the potential return to the ‘normal times’, The Sun, The Wine Cellar and RawBoys will be hosting a weekend that includes Wine and Oyster Masterclasses, an Oyster Shucking competition, a Banquet on the Saturday evening, A Wine based Brunch, things to do for the little ones, local business presence and live music (provided by local Jazz supreme Tom Syson and his Trio including guest singer James Hudson) and a DJ all weekend. Husband and wife team Peter and Conny Pestell at The Sun in Felmersham have been transforming the food scene in Bedfordshire with the way they champion local produce and bring a little big city magic to the beautiful village of Felmersham. The Wine Cellar based in Woburn, Olney and, most recently, Felmersham has one of the most

impressive wine collections anywhere on our beautiful Isle, after Stefan Botfield spent years working at the very top of the wine world of Britain. RawBoys are yet to open, however, in late May local lad Toby Boutall, who has spent four years as Oysterman at the Chiltern Firehouse with his partner Paige Hughes, will be opening their first site on the new development Islington Square in Angel, London.

If you like wine, oysters, good food, entertainment and summer vibes, then this is the place to be in late June this year. Tickets are available now at www.thesunfelmersham.com.


COMPETITION WIN a meal for two at the New Bombay, one of the best Indian Restaurants in Bedford. Located on Harpur Street, this relaxing retreat boasts moderate prices and a globe–trotting menu that sweeps culinary terrain from comfort food to exquisitely sophisticated dishes. They are excited to announce that they can now take bookings for dining in their outdoor space! A lovely ambient setting with safe capacity. Bookings can be made via newbombay.co.uk or 01234 218318. *Limited seating. *Bookings only.

To be in with a chance to win simply email christa@bedslifemagazine.co.uk putting New Bombay in the subject. The competition deadline is Monday 17th May and entrants must 18 or over. The winner will be picked at random. T&Cs meal for 2 up to value of £40 excluding alcoholic drinks


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COMPETITION WIN a pair of tickets Courtesy of The Sun, Felmersham and BedsLife Magazine.

To be in with a chance to win simply email christa@bedslifemagazine.co.uk putting Wine & Oyster Festival in the subject and state in the email whether you would prefer Saturday or Sunday tickets. Competition deadline is Monday 17th May. Entrants must be 18 or over and the winners will be picked at random.

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The cuckoo a loveable villain?

There are certain birds that are ‘household names’: everyone knows them, because their appearance or behaviour is embedded within our childhood memories and cultural history. The robin, for example, with its rosy red uniform, or the striking black and white magpie, forever associated (probably erroneously) with having a fondness for shiny items.

The cuckoo is another of these birds. As they are seldom seen, it’s not their appearance that has won them a coveted place in the national psyche. It can be attributed to two things – their distinctive ‘cuck-coo’ call, and their reputation for treachery during the breeding season.


spawned the word ‘cuckold’, describing the husband of an adulterous wife, which appeared in written form as early as 1250.

Cuckoos are summer migrants from Africa and arrive in Britain in late March to early April. Their simple two-note song has for centuries been associated with the arrival of spring, and many a celebrated wordsmith has been inspired by their melodic call.

It has long been known that after breeding, the female cuckoo searches for a suitable ‘host’ nest in which to lay her eggs and then leaves the parenting of her offspring to the unsuspecting owner. But it was not until more recently, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, that the cuckoo’s behaviour, and how it actually managed to get away with it, was more fully understood.

The cuckoo’s apparent villainy has also secured it a starring role in the works of literature’s great and good: Shakespeare wrote of the bird arousing fear in married men in Love’s Labours Lost. The cuckoo’s seemingly deviant behaviour

Cuckoos will only lay their eggs in the nests of a particular selection of host birds. In Britain, these are, in 90 per cent of cases, dunnock, reed warblers, meadow pipit, robin and pied wagtail. But in the late nineteenth century, two German

until the owner has vacated it and will swoop down, eject an egg, and then lay her own in its place. The next part of this sophisticated operation is even more incredible. Once the cuckoo chick has hatched, it will expel all the other eggs by levering them out of the nest on its back. If the other eggs hatch before the cuckoo, it will do the same, but with the live chicks rather than the eggs! After about a fortnight, the cuckoo chick will be many times the size of its adopted parents, and will need feeding almost constantly. Although you’d think the exhausted parents might have realised by this stage that something is amiss, they continue to be deceived by yet another trick. According to Professor Nick Davies, interviewed in the excellent book Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo by Michael McCarthy, the cuckoo chick mimics the sound of a full brood demanding food to spur its frantic ‘parents’ into a food-collecting frenzy. Perhaps it is the cuckoo’s cunning that has secured it its place in the hearts of the natureloving public (everyone loves a good villain), or maybe we are uplifted by its seasonal song.

ornithologists went further and found that female cuckoos specialise in parasitising only one particular host species. That is, there are a number of different ‘races’, or gentes, of cuckoo – reed warbler specialists, dunnock specialists, and so on. A century or so later, in the 1980s, two British biologists expanded on this discovery. They found that many cuckoos have evolved to produce eggs that are almost identical in appearance to their host birds to prevent them from being rejected. Thus, a cuckoo that ‘specialises’ in reed warblers will lay a green egg, while a meadow pipit specialist will lay speckled white and brown eggs. Once a host nest has been located – that is, one that is full of eggs – the female cuckoo will wait

Whatever the reason, one thing that is certain is that since the early 1980s, numbers of these fascinating birds have been steadily falling and they are now a red-listed species of highest conservation concern. The reasons for this dramatic decline are not fully understood, but climate change, habitat loss and a shortage of host birds are all thought to play a part. The protection of suitable habitat around the UK is vital in supporting the survival of the cuckoo. One place where cuckoos have been recorded in here in Bedfordshire is at Millennium Country Park in the Forest of Marston Vale, where reed warblers play unwitting host to their offspring. If you’re out exploring the park this spring listen out for and enjoy the enigmatic song of the cuckoo, which can carry for miles – and try not to think of the mischief that this intriguing species may be about to make! 39

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Home Counties Loft Ladders, Quality You Can Trust! These days most homeowners suffer from a lack of storage space. So many precious items that need to be kept – but where to store it all? That’s where Home Counties Loft Ladders come in. The company, based locally, offers homeowners the opportunity to maximise their storage space with a loft ladder, 50sqft of boarding and a light - all fully fitted in less than a day from just £355! But it’s not just the affordability of the package that makes Home Counties Loft Ladders stand out, as manager Jamie Oakley explains: ‘Our

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Bumper Prize Crossword Complete the crossword, fill in your details below, cut out this section and send to the address below before Friday 14th May Prize Crossword, BedsLife, 17 Foxbrook, Stevington, Bedfordshire MK43 7QY Last Months Crossword Winner – Mrs Roots, Bedford

For last months answers please turn to P74


1 Rip-off, hoax (4) 4 Twirling (8) 8 Foetus (6) 9 Be angry about (6) 10 Circle (4) 11 Striped feline (5,3) 13 Monty Python’s, ____ __ Brian (4,2) 15 Native American home (6) 17 Another word for aubergine (8)




20 Small round salty cracker (4) 21 Cavern, den (6) 23 Womb (6) 24 Supply, material (8) 25 Seize, grab (4)


2 Mixing (9) 3 Phenomenon (7) 4 Crow, flaunt (5) 5 Welsh_______, cheese on toast (7)


6 Delicious (5) 7 Female member of religious order (3) 12 Dumbfounded (9) 14 The essence of a food (7) 16 Ardent, impassioned (7) 18 Paved garden area (5) 19 Accord, amnesty (5) 22 Fish eggs (3)




Sale now entries invited Bedford Auction Centre. Entries for our auctions can include: Antique & Modern Furniture, Clocks, Ceramics & Glassware, Collectables, Books, Pictures & Prints, Jewellery & Watches, Garage Tools & Equipment, Bicycles, Household Electrical Items, Office Furniture & Equipment, Horticultural & Commercial Equipment, Timber & Building Materials, Retail Products & Stock, Vehicles, Garden Furniture & Effects.

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ig b e e r h t t a k o A lo new releases MAY 7

MAY 14


Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse In the past, the dramatisation of this brand of suspense-ridden fiction seemed to be focused predominantly on the likes of Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell and a couple of others; so the fact the industry – and in this case, Amazon – is opening itself up to Tom Clancy, and getting star names such as Jamie Bell and Michael B Jordan in on the act in the process, can only be a good thing. The result is impressive, too – Bell, who plays shadowy CIA officer Robert Ritter, is absorbing and endearing in equal measure as he looks to help solve the murder of the wife of US Navy SEAL John Clark (played by Jordan). Backed by star turns from Jodie Turner-Smith and Luke Mitchell, this is a thriller that translates perfectly from big book to big screen.


Black Widow In a rare move for the now 36-year-old, Scarlett Johansson steps into ‘revisit’ territory in 2021, capitalising on the popularity of Black Widow in Avengers for a breakout movie in its own right. As is the trend, the trick here is to portray Natasha Romanoff in her own light – a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent whose processes and actions very much complement the actress’s desire for independence and selfsustainability. The movie co-stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Ray Winstone and Rachel Weisz, and the central character comes with all the evolution we would expect her to have made over the past five years since she last appeared (in Captain America: Civil War). And yet, in fighting against the conspiracies that seek to bring her down, Romanoff remains vulnerable and open to the possibility of a different future.

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway The sequel to the 2018 Beatrix Potter animation has experienced more delays than Crossrail, but distributors have finally staked a claim to get this movie out, much to the joy of Margot Robbie, James Corden, Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson and Oryctolagus cuniculus fans everywhere (that’s the European rabbit, if you were wondering). In this latest instalment, Peter struggles to shake his mischievous reputation, even when the demands and responsibilities of family life should be drawing him in. In what in human terms we might only label a midlife crisis, our star must decide if the realities of life away from the garden are really what he wants, as his family come searching. Impeccably crafted and scripted for parents as well as their kids, there’s a feelgood theme to this that will transport us even closer to the sunny days out of lockdown!



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17:14 The 30th10/07/2018 St Philip & St James Charity Golf Day

Oakley IT 2018 QP ad.indd 1

Can’t wait to get back out on the golf course? Well, here’s your chance…

After such a difficult year, we’re giving you the opportunity to have a great day out and support two amazing local causes at the same time with a round of golf at the county’s number one golf course followed by a delicious two-course meal. What could be better than that? Over the past 30 years, the St Philip & St James Charity Golf Day has raised the incredible sum of £85,000 for local charities, and it’s all thanks to supporters and donors like you. In 2019, we shared an amazing £14,000 between Carers in Bedfordshire and FACES Bedford, and this year, we’re supporting two equally deserving causes:



annual event


CHUMS provides mental health and emotional wellbeing services for children and young people. This year they have a special focus on the Bedfordshire Suicide Bereavement Service, helping families to cope with their grief via specialist one-to-one counselling and group support for both adults and children. chumscharity.org

Living It Up Events CIC is a not-for-profit company providing social and educational opportunities for adults with learning disabilities and autism in Bedfordshire. They hold regular events where members can meet in a safe environment, and fund a performing arts centre where members can learn creative arts and perform. livingitupevents.co.uk

HOW CAN YOU HELP? Playing golf and enjoying a two-course meal – £50 per person • Sponsoring a trophy or a hole – starting from just £50 • Donating a prize for the raffle or auction

IN RETURN, YOU’LL RECEIVE Advertising for your service or company in our promo material • Your company details on our Main Sponsor Board • Your company details in our programme given to every golf team Should you wish to sponsor us by bank transfer, our charity’s account details are: Bank NatWest Account name St. Philip & St James Golf Society Account number 63141876 Sort code 60-02-13

COMMITTEE MEMBERS CONTACT DETAILS. Please get in touch if you want to know more… Jim Barrett 07870 625827 jim_barrett50@hotmail.com

Mike Chappell 07973 703340 mikechappell43@btinternet.com

Paddy Boylan 07590 380512 p4boylan@hotmail.com

Dave Flatres 07551 040368 davidflatres@gmail.com

Kevin Grice 07774 781037 kevinspersonalemail @googlemail.com Dermot Horan 07771 430664 dermot2510@hotmail.com

John McManus 01234 343886 bedfordcce@yahoo.com Steve Wilson 07528 225003 stevewilson946@gmail.com

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Bedford Daycare Hospice Caring for people with life-limiting illnesses


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The Great Outdoors



As I write this editorial, we are about to come out of lockdown and I have moved away from Bromham into a relatively new property on an estate. My new garden is just an area of lawn with a small patio area and it is not welcoming for wildlife at all. In fact, during the four weeks I have been here, all I have seen in the back garden is a solitary blackbird. Don’t get me wrong, there is birdlife about; my neighbours have sparrow hawk and all manner of small birds enjoying their feeders and even have a visiting hedgehog. But there are no trees planted in my garden yet and, despite putting up feeders and a nest box, I am starved of wildlife for now. So, for this article, I am featuring images of the birdlife from the garden I have just left in Bromham which was a real wildlife haven. In the past year of lockdowns, the garden had been the one place where life seemed to continue as normal. At this time, the blue tits would have settled in one of the nest boxes I provided, the dunnocks and the blackbirds would have inhabited in the conifers and the robins would be nesting over the back of the pond, not far from ‘Jenny Wren’. It’s amazing what birds you can attract into a garden if you spend a bit of time putting up some feeders and maybe a nest box too. Blue tits love to hang from a nut feeder while the sparrows decimate the feeders of sunflower seeds, seeming to throw most of them onto the floor as they search for that perfect sized and shaped seed. Blackbirds, dunnocks and

robins seem to prefer to hoover up everything that gets thrown or dropped on to the ground below the feeders. If you are lucky enough to have goldfinches in your garden, try some niger seeds - they love them! This is my favourite time of the year - the birds will be laying their eggs and soon, possibly by the time you are reading this, the young will be fledging from the bird boxes. It really is a magical time of the year. I went for a walk around a local nature reserve the other day and the sound of the birds calling was amazing, all of them trying to attract a mate. The area is totally new to me but, even on that short two mile walk, I saw a variety of warblers, goldfinches, long tailed tits, a kingfisher, heron and buzzards. Being at one with nature is so good for our mental wellbeing in these stressful times. Over the coming months I will continue to feature some of the many fantastic places I have visited with my camera over the years, but I’ll also update you on how my quest to bring wildlife into my new garden is progressing. It’s going to be a long term project; the birds are close by but seem loathe to move away from the established feeders and gardens on the estate. You can see more images on my Facebook Page which is Greg Coyne Photography so please check out my page, like it, and then keep up to date with my travels on a regular basis.


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04/03/2019 11:06

Travelling abroad with your pet in 2021

Although the rules and restrictions on people travelling abroad this summer are still to be finalised, the pet travel scheme for pets travelling to Europe post-Brexit has been up and running since January. Please read on if you are thinking of taking your pet dog or cat to Europe this year.

What do I need to do now if I am planning to take my pet abroad? For pets to be able to travel from the UK, the following procedure must be followed: 1. The pet must be microchipped 2. The pet must be vaccinated against rabies (booster injections are then required, usually every 3 years with the vaccine available in the UK) These parts of the procedure must be completed at least 3 weeks before travel and many clients will arrange this well in advance of the anticipated travel date.

What do I need to do when I know the exact date that I wish to travel? The previous UK- issued Pet Passport is no longer valid for entry into the EU. All pets travelling from

the UK to an EU country now need an Animal Health Certificate to be completed, signed and stamped by an Official Veterinarian (veterinary surgeon approved by the UK government). Most veterinary practices will employ at least one Official Veterinarian so that they can provide this service. The certificate must be completed within 10 days of the date of travel. A new document must be applied for, the pet must be examined and the certificate completed, every time the client and pet wish to travel.

What about returning to the UK from the EU? The Animal Health Certificate is valid for re-entry to the UK for 4 months after it is issued. Other acceptable documents for return to the UK include the old-style UK Pet Passport and EU-issued pet passport. The requirement for pets to have a tapeworm treatment administered and certified by a vet prior to return to the UK remains in place, as was the case with the previous system. Further information regarding the pet travel service available at Acorn House can be found at https:// www.acornhousevets.co.uk/PetTravel1504.html The government advice related to the scheme is available at https://www.gov.uk/taking-your-petabroad

D ogWat c h Dog Watch is a Bedfordshire police community volunteer scheme. It is an initiative that encourages dog owners to be proactive and vigilant whilst walking their pets in their area. The idea is for dog walkers to act as the eyes and ears for the local community and to report anything out of the ordinary on their regular routes. Because of their local knowledge, dog walkers will notice unusual or suspicious activity and anti-social behaviour. For a scheme to get up and running there needs to be at least 8 volunteers in any area. Dog Watch involves patrolling for two hours a month in pairs with your dog. Volunteers may commit more hours if you wish. In order to become a member of the Dog Watch scheme, there is a vetting procedure that needs to be completed by all members for this volunteer role. Once this has been completed there will be a briefing session in which volunteers are advised on how patrols are booked, what constitutes a 999 call, a 101 non-emergency call and how to use the online reporting tool. The purpose of Dog Watch is to look, listen and report what you see. All volunteers are offered supported training patrols at the start of the scheme. All Volunteers are fully insured with Bedfordshire Police and are provided with a High Viz Dog Watch tabard, ID card, pocket notebook, personal attack alarm, torch etc for use on patrol.


All our volunteer schemes adhere to current covid regulations in regards social distancing Joining Dog Watch will give you the tools to report to the relevant authority whilst staying safe. The scheme is a great way to build community relations and work in partnership with the Police and Local Authorities to reduce the fear of crime, deter offending and improve the quality of life in your area.

To find out more email watchschemes@ bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

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How Elon Musk’s drive for charging range has upped the game for his motor manufacturing rivals.

Tech wizard Elon Musk is so excited about his electric car revolution that he struggles to keep his feet on the ground… or is that because his other big project involves space travel? Whichever it is, the recent rumours surrounding a proposed 90-acre electric car plant being built in Somerset suggest the world’s richest person – whose Tesla and SpaceX brands have been gamechangers in their respective sectors – has our future exploration of green tech and outer space in his safe hands. As far as electric cars go, Musk sits at the forefront of an evolution that, within a generation, will have shifted from alternative to normal. Indeed, the only thing that has held back this revolution has, up until now, been the recharging needs of electric cars. While these incredible vehicles have presented a new way of getting from A to B, along the way


giving us one of the cheapest and greenest advancements ever conceived, the replenishing of power has been an issue. And yet, improvements in technology have meant the range of our electric vehicles is better than ever. Take last year’s Tesla Model S, for instance. Musk’s pioneering vehicle brand is ripping up the rulebook and this shimmering, humming piece of tarmac tech will take you 402 miles on a single charge… that’s right up there with petrol and diesel vehicles. The only downside is the £75,000 price tag! And what makes the Tesla brand so engaging as a tech entity that leads the way, is that others will always come along looking to replicate. Musk has opened up the motoring world’s consciousness to a new vision of electric cars that are also premium cars. Yet as a cheaper, what about the Chevrolet Bolt EV? You’ll be looking at around £30,000 for a car that will take you well over 250 miles on one charge. Hyundai (the Kona Electric also hits 250 miles) and Kia (the Niro Electric will take you 230 miles before you plug in again) both represent good value, and 2018 models can be picked up second-hand for around £15,000; while for those seeking a bit more status, there is of course the ever-popular Jaguar I-Pace - up to 300 miles in a car that balances eco and image perfectly. Musk’s impact on the electric car market is one that cannot be underestimated, yet so great is he as a visionary and pioneer of eco tech, he knows whatever move he takes next, others will follow. For Elon Musk, the pressure remains firmly on.

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MSpa UK inflatable hot tubs are innovative, smart, durable as well as portable. Pick the perfect one for you from our collection of over 15 models from six different luxurious design series. When purchasing directly from our website or from one of our authorised sellers, receive a 2 year warranty and support from our UK based service centre. Why MSpa? • M-One Auto Inflation – Monitors the air pressure and stops inflation automatically • Timer Function – Set the timer to turn on the heat • Anti-Icing System – Helps prevent the water from freezing • Smart Filtration – Filter cartridge cleaning reminder • UVC Sanitiser – Kills more than 60 disease-causing microorganisms and pathogens • O3 Ozone Generator – 50 times more effective than chlorine and works 3,000 times faster to kill odours and bacteria • Whisper Quiet Design – Silent motor to enjoy a relaxing time

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Ian Logan CEO SI Waterscapes How long have you been working with water features and ponds? At 11 years old, I built my first pond to put some frogspawn in. I also kept tropical fish and wanted to be a marine biologist. After leaving university, I worked for a local aquatic centre who were one of the early importers of Koi from Japan. I started SI Waterscapes two years ago because Aquascape Inc, the world leaders in pond building, made their products available in the UK. Training to become a certified Aquascape Contractor took nearly a year and included time in the USA working with the leading pond builders. Ongoing training with UK Aquascape ensures a network of support for complex builds and large projects so the customer is always assured of the highest standards.

How do your water features differ from an average garden pond? They are dramatically different. You will only see clean healthy water in a pond or stream that looks like nature created it and

it has always been there. No ugly pumps, filters or liners; just a beautiful eco-system which is friendly to families, pets and wildlife. You won’t even know where the pond finishes and the garden starts.

Your ponds and waterfalls are described as ecosystems, why? An eco-system mimics mother nature. We use natural stones, water circulation, plants and fish to form a natural cycle and that is why the water stays so healthy.

What are the main benefits of a water feature? We choose holidays near beaches, rivers and lakes because we are naturally drawn to water. The sight and sound of a stream is soothing and creates a positive mood. It is the same for wildlife; birds hone in on the sound of water and as a result you will see many more garden visitors.

How much ongoing maintenance is required? It’s not quite none, but close. Much less than a lawn. Once a month you might need to empty a removable basket. We offer a spring clean and autumn service to prepare for the season.

What budget will I need? We have something for most budgets starting with patio ponds for under £1000. Streams and waterfalls start at around £2500 and eco-system ponds start at £4950. All fully installed by us and guaranteed.

How much does it cost to run a water feature? Running costs are mainly power. Pond pumps are extremely efficient now, starting at about 40 watts which is about the same as a lightbulb. Lights are 12 volts and use little energy. Food and water treatments may cost around £50100 per year.

I would love a SI Waterscapes feature in my garden, what happens next? We have a simple process. In the first instance, please send me some photos of your garden from all corner angles. I especially want to see the view towards the house. Our website has a free download called The Book of Dreams to provide ideas and help you decide on style. We can then discuss ideas, talk budgets, looks etc until you feel you’ve arrived at the right choice. This isn’t something you can pick off the shelf. There is a waterfeature for everyone and each one is a bespoke design. For more information visit SIwaterscapes.co.uk or call Ian on 07415 281969.


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GARDEN NEAT CHEATS Six tips to help you get to grips with your unruly garden in no time.


Focus on the lawn Your lawn is ultimately what leads your eye out into the garden, so keeping this well mown, clutterfree and healthy is arguably the biggest factor in retaining a tidy feel. To that end always try to keep borders to a maximum width of around 1.5m. Any wider than this and you may well find their maintenance is taking up a lot of your time.


A path to perfection Sometimes the issue with lawns is that they present such a wide expansive space it can be difficult to know what to decorate them with. The simple answer is to add a winding path to your lawn – not only is this a one-off addition that will add structure and personality to your back garden, it would also require almost zero maintenance each year, helping the space stay tidy and uncomplicated.


Crazy paving? If you want to take this a step further, consider paving over larger areas of your garden. In recent years this is a trend that appears to have subsided somewhat, but that’s not to say it wouldn’t create a nicer, cleaner, easier to maintain garden space. Wood decking has the same effect, as well as adding interesting textures and a softer base on which adults and kids can sit and enjoy their surroundings. 60


Evergreens every time Evergreen varieties are very handy for all-yearround foliage and variety: and adding a plentiful array of evergreens to your garden means you can avoid pruning, deadheading, staking, weeding and all those other things involved with perennials that take up valuable time that could be spent on other tasks… such as relaxing!


What weeds? If the idea of spending hours picking out a smorgasbord of weeds from your beds doesn’t appeal, then wood mulch is almost certainly the solution. Not only does it look great, it adds texture and colour too and is a great tool for keeping moisture in the soil, something that will come in handy when the baking sun of the summer months begins to dominate the day.


Take a fake Finally, probably the best low maintenance addition of them all – fake grass. The technology these days means the look is almost as good as having a real lawn and, if you’re brave enough to take it a step further, then fake shrubs can decorate difficult to reach or hard to maintain corners of your garden in a way that will need little maintenance, whilst offering big impact.



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Science Did you know? Stelios Mores



During the mid-3rd century BC, the Greek polymath Aristotle stated that things can only be moved by something. This ‘something’ he called a force, saying that there were forces within objects as well as forces between them. The idea of a force acting on an object to change its speed was described by El Valles in Spain in 1564, such that the concept was widely accepted by natural philosophers from the mid-1600s. Reflecting Aristotle’s original concepts, the English natural philosopher and mathematician Isaac Newton reiterated this in the Principia, which he first published in 1687, forming the foundations of classical mechanics. This established properties such as inertia as well as the gravitational force which was based on Robert Hooke’s insights, letters and publications during that same period. The force of gravity is one of the four forces of nature and has been observed and experienced by both the animate and the inanimate since the dawn of time. In a similar way the electromagnetic force has been present in the form of heat and light. It is less obvious to us, however, when it comes to this being perceived as a force. The first observations of both electric and magnetic phenomenon also date back to Ancient Greece when, around 600 BC, Thales of Miletus noted the effects of amber when rubbed with cloth. These were the first experimental accounts of electrostatics, noting that if the amber was rubbed for long periods of time electric sparks would be seen. The phenomenon was named after the Greek word for amber which is ‘electron’ and

later became known as electricity. Curiously although electricity and magnetism were not understood to be a single force until the work of the Scottish physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell in 1865, Thales of Miletus also wrote the first scientific accounts relating to the magnetic effects of lodestones. The term for lodestone is ‘magnetis lithos’ in Greek. The electromagnetic force is another of the four forces of nature and, much like gravity, is well understood and characterised by scientists and engineers the world over. The forces of nature were limited to these two for most of our history until the nature of the atom was finally understood in the 1970s creating a conundrum relating to how and why an atomic nucleus should remain intact given the extremely powerful repulsive forces which exist between the positive charges of the protons. As such, it was perceived that a force exists which holds the nucleus of an atom together, holding the neutrons and the protons in its centre by overcoming these repulsive forces. It was aptly termed the strong force and was subsequently attributed to the constituents of the protons and the neutrons, the quarks, which exchange a particle known as the gluon which subsequently holds them together. A third force of nature had been established although in this instance it was very much masked from our human everyday experience. Our contemporary understanding of the atom and in particular the phenomenon of radioactivity led to the proposal in 1933 by Enrico Fermi that a weak interaction or force existed which attempted to explain beta decay. Beta decay refers to the release of an extremely energetic negatively charged electron (or positron) from within the nucleus of an atom. It relates to

the conversion of a neutron into a proton and an electron (or positron). A positron is essentially an electron moving backwards in time and, as such, its negative charge is observed in reverse, ie positive, from our perspective. The argument for existence of the weak force was developed further in the 1960s until finally proved in 1983 with the discovery of the W and Z bosons at the Underground Area 1 (UA1) facility at CERN in Switzerland. With the fourth force identified as predicted, it seemed that the forces of nature had all been discovered and these became known as the Standard Model of particle physics. Having discovered the fourth force of nature through conclusive evidence from the UA1 experiments at CERN, another experimental installation known as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and already made famous through its discovery of the Higgs Boson particle (which gives matter its mass) appears to have stumbled upon evidence of the existence of yet another fundamental force of nature throwing the very much accepted Standard Model out of kilter. Once again, this force appears to exist at the subatomic scale, hidden from view of our everyday experiences. It seems therefore that many phenomena, ranging from the subatomic to the cosmological which encompass half-solved or even unsolved curiosities such as dark matter and dark energy and which may even shed a light on the future of the Universe, may be given another a new means of being addressed as physicists move away from the established into the unknown... ‘may the force be with you!’.


Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder which causes symptoms including a dry mouth and dry, irritated eyes as well as a loss of moisture in other parts of the body. Researchers looking into this condition at the University of Hyderabad in India grew cultures of tear glands or lacrimal gland organoids which resemble the structures of tearglands. They did this by assembling the cells in a three-dimensional form in petri dishes. The research group went to this extreme as the glands are very difficult to study due to the fact that they are located behind the eye socket and extremely difficult to access. Progress in the study has now reached the point where the glands are literally welling up when they are prodded and, although they cannot cry due to the lack of tear ducts, they have definitely been made to weep a little. The use of this culture to address Sjogren’s syndrome is certainly to cry for.


To make a yummy rainbow drink you will need the following: 1 tablespoon 1 straw 1 fork 4 cups 1 tall drinking glass sugar water 4 food colourings – preferably red, yellow, green and blue Permission to maybe make a small mess in part of the kitchen if things do not go too well Add 3 tablespoons of warm water to each cup by mixing cold water with hot water from the kettle. You should ask an adult for help with this. Leave the first cup to one side. Add 1 heaped tablespoon of sugar to the second cup, 2 to the third and 3 to the fourth. Next add the red colouring to the first cup, yellow to the second, green to the third and blue to the fourth. Using the fork, stir the contents of each cup until the sugar has fully dissolved. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Place the straw in the tall glass and hold it with one hand at a slant so that it touches the bottom on the inside. Use the outside of the straw to very gently pour the blue contents of the fourth cup into the tall glass. Then do this with the third cup containing the green mix, followed by the second with the yellow and finally the red without the sugar and... Hey presto... a rainbow in a glass! A yummy, supersugary, sickly sweet rainbow in a glass. Yuck!


Bedford Town

Football Club

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01234 480244 or 07977 206403 Finally, as Britain comes out of lockdown, things are starting to stir at the Eyrie as The Eagles get their preparations underway for the new season due to begin on August 14th. They have been bolstered with the news that the management team led by Gary Setchell will be remaining for the new campaign.


Some preseason fixtures have already been announced with the first a trip to Newport Pagnell Town on Tuesday July 7th. That will be followed on Saturday July 10th by the return to the Eyrie of popular coach Gordon Boateng who will bring with him his newly formed Hertford United team. The Bedford Town news does not stop there as they have also announced recruitment details for their new academy due to begin in September, it will be open to 16-18 year old school leavers and will combine top level coaching with classroom based BTEC education. More information on this fantastic opportunity for football loving teenagers is at bit.ly/3tbt226 or you can contact Connor Tomlinson on 07935 560918 or email: academy@bedfordeagles.net For younger age children Connor will again be running fun football training sessions in half term, the first week of June, contact him on the number above or email: connortomlinson333@icloud.com for more information.


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Local Engineer Specialising in all heating appliances Breakdowns & Installations Fixed Boiler Services £65 Landlord Gas Certs Power Flushing All Plumbing Repairs Carried Out

01234 307 667 | 07967 643 405



Domestic & Commercial Garden Machinery College Farm, Lovell Road, Oakley, MK43 7RX 01234 826066 in info@whites-online.co.uk www.whites-online.co.uk www.whites-online.co.uk Tel: 01234 826066 College Farm, Lovell Road, Oakley, Bedford, MK43 7RX Sales, Service, Parts, Repair & Hire Briggs & Stratton Service Centre

Also Available Indespenison & Brian James Trailers and more.




T J Odd-Job Services

General House & Garden Maintenance Give me a call, see if I can help you Tony Joslin T: 01234 218923 M: 07761 561131 E: tjoddjobs@yahoo.com

• Self Drive Hire • Contract Rental • Financial Lease • Large Fleet of Standard • Refrigerated • Specialised Vehicles

rentxpressltd.co.uk 01234 339008 71

UsefulResources ACCESS BEDFORD Works with the D/deaf and hard of hearing community to make Bedford Borough more accessible. They also have a facebook social group for Deaf people living in and around Bedford

BEDFORDSHIRE RURAL COMMUNITIES CHARITY Delivering a wide range of rural development and community projects. Tel 01234 838771 www.bedsrcc.org.uk

Tel 07376 262 873 www.accessbedford.org.uk



Local organisation solely devoted to the welfare of the over 50’s in Bedfordshire.

Offers a range of free and confidential talking therapies and specialist support to help you feel better.

Tel 01234 360510 www.ageuk.org.uk/bedfordshire

Tel 01234 880400 www.bedfordshirewellbeingservice.nhs.uk

AUTISM BEDFORDSHIRE Independent charity dedicated to improving the lives of autistic people and their families across Bedfordshire.. Tel 01234 350704 www.autismbedfordshire.net BEDFORD BOROUGH LOCAL OFFER A place where parents and young people with Special Educational Needs and or disabilities can find clubs, activities and services to support them and their families Here you will find details of upcoming events, clubs and services available in the Borough of Bedford. www.localoffer.bedford.gov.uk

BEDFORD DAYCARE HOSPICE Provides individualised holistic care to patients suffering with a life-limiting condition from the point of diagnosis through treatment to remission or palliative care. Tel 01234 352 015 www.bedforddaycarehospice.org.uk

BEDFORD WOMEN’S CENTRE Supporting women in the community who may have experienced Domestic Abuse or want more information about healthy relationships. Tel 01234 316801 www.bedfordwomenscentre.org.uk

BOLD Supporting and advocating for people with a learning disability and challenging behaviours. Tel 01234 352899 www.bo4ld.org.uk

CARERS IN BEDFORDSHIRE Local charity helping unpaid carers of all ages and backgrounds to cope with the stresses of their caring role. Tel 0300 111 1919 www.carersinbeds.org.uk

CATS PROTECTION Tel 0345 260 2505 www.cats.org.uk/bedford



Mental health and emotional wellbeing service for children and young people 01525 863924 www.chumscharity.org

A voluntary organisation operating in Bedford and surrounding areas supporting individuals with a learning disability and their families. Tel 07973 859940 www.bedfordmencap.org.uk

CITIZENS ADVICE An independent charitable organisation that helps people resolve their problems by providing information and advice. 0Tel 01234 867944 www.bedfordcab.org.uk

MINDBLMK Supporting positive mental health and wellbeing. Tel 0300 330 0648 www.mind-blmk.org.uk

COMMUNITY VOLUNTARY SERVICE BEDFORDSHIRE (CVS ) Support for voluntary and community sector organisations in Bedfordshire. Tel 01234 354366 www.cvsbeds.org.uk

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS THERAPY CENTRE BEDS & NORTHANTS Provides help, support and therapy for those with MS in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. Tel 01234 325781 www.mscentrebedsandnorthants.com


OPEN DOOR Charity providing FREE and confidential counselling

local independent charity offering practical and emotional support to families under stress.

to young people aged 13 – 25.

01234 270601 www.facesbedford.org

Tel 01234 360388 www.bedfordopendoor.org.uk

FAMILIES FIRST BEDFORDSHIRE 01234 341977 www.familiesfirstbedfordshire.org.uk

FRIENDS FOR LIFE A local charity working to address the social isolation of residents in Bedford’s care homes Tel 07460 575410 www.friendsforlifebedford.org.uk

ROAD VICTIMS TRUST Offers a range of free support services to residents of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire who have been affected by fatal road collisions. Tel 01234 843345 www.rvtrust.org.uk

SMILEY CLUB (PART OF BEDFORD MENCAP) Provides a fun social club for boys and girls from 9 to 18 who have learning disabilities. Tel 07798 762 808

MEN AS VICTIMS Group support is provided for men who have experienced domestic abuse in a safe, therapeutic environment. This service is for male victims living in Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire or Luton. Tel 01234 341977 www.bedsdv.org.uk/get-help/men-as-victims/

THE JOBS HUB Provides an all age careers advice and employment support service for people that live in and around Bedford. Tel 01234 223510 www.bedfordjobshub.co.uk





James Mellor Creative

Bespoke Cartoons & Corporate Copywriting for publications, websites, social media, presentations and conferences www.jamesmellorcreative.com @jamesdfmellor 74

The Will Writing Company Mayfair House 11 Lurke Street Bedford MK40 3HZ Tel: 01234 964911

Free Will & Testament The Will Writing Company is celebrating its 22nd Year in business and is offering a free Will & Testament (joint or single) to all readers. If you have been meaning to make a Will, now is your chance to take advantage of this exclusive offer and give you and your loved ones peace of mind. By making a Will, you decide who takes care of your children and who inherits your estate. Storage facility optional.

To take advantage of this offer and book an appointment or for further information please call n the above number between the hours of 9:00am-5:30pm Monday to Friday.

OFFER ENDS 31st May 2021


This voucher entitles you to a FREE Mirror Will (normal cost £125) or a FREE Single Will (normal cost £85)

Valid until 31st May 2021 The Will Writing Company

Mayfair House, 11 Lurke Street, Bedford, Beds, MK40 3HZ

Tel 01234 964911


Terms and Conditions. Office and telephone appointments available. This voucher can not be exchanged for cash – The voucher must be produced at your appointment.

Have Your Windows Steamed Up? Replace the pane, not the frame!

“I really liked the fact that they were a local community run business” Janet Beard All glazing backed by our

We are a Which? Trusted Trader Social distancing in operation

Faulty locks, handles or hinges? Priority freephone www.cloudy2clear.co.uk

Love Your Home - Protect Your Windows - Save Money

Profile for BedsLife Magazine

BedsLife Magazine May 2021  


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