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100 year-old, hand-cut nails from the restoration of Tom Wyke’s barn. Photos by Tom.


WAR MEMORIAL CENTENARY The War memorial was officially unveiled and dedicated on Sunday 4 September, 1921. Below is a short report written at the time. Thanks to Ralph Carpenter for sourcing the article and the photograph. A re-dedication will take place as part of the Remembrance Sunday service on 14 November. The Unveiling of the War Memorial Sunday September 4th 1921 Ex-servicemen were invited to take part in the unveiling of the memorial by paying public honour to the memory of their Cottenham Comrades who gave their lives during the recent War. Those not forming the general guard were to assemble at the Victoria Lamp (on the corner of Lambs Lane) at 1.45 and move off in a column of four behind the band en-route to the Church for a Dedication Service of the Memorial Tablet, at 2.30. Immediately after the Service they moved off to the Unveiling Ceremony and Dedication of the Public Memorial at 3-45. The Parade consisted of The Ministers and Officials The Band Platoon Commanders and general escort Ex Servicemen Relatives of the Cottenham Fallen The VAD Hospital Staff The United Choirs The School Children and the General Public

POPPY APPEAL Hopefully, this year’s Poppy Appeal will be more like the usual ones we have held in previous years. We will not be collecting door-to-door this year. We have found that more people have been donating online or with contactless cards and feel that this trend will continue. However, we hope to be distributing poppy tins throughout the village again, in shops, the library and community centres. We also hope to have static collections in the village, with small wooden crosses, enamel pins etc. Of course, all of our plans are subject to RBL and government guidelines regarding Covid-19 restrictions. Wreaths will be available as usual. If you wish to lay a wreath on behalf of yourself or an organisation, and have not already informed us, please contact Ann Scott, tel: 251468.

GARDENERS’ CLUB At the time of writing, club activities have not yet restarted, but I am assuming that all will be well. At our recent committee meeting it was decided that those who paid subscription in February 2020 will only pay a half rate next February to cover next year. Those yet to pay will pay half rate in September and full rate in February. Several of the speakers on our abandoned 2020/21 programme have moved away or decided to retire, so our Speakers Organiser has been working hard to find replacements. On 29 October Helen Ackroyd from the National Trust will talk about Lord Fairhaven’s Life at Anglesey Abbey. Our November speaker will be Joe Sharman, our local nurseryman, on Friday 26 November. The topic will be decided at our next committee meeting in September; his list contains several we have yet to hear. Meetings are usually held on the last Friday of the month, with refreshments served from 7:30pm, followed by a talk at 7:45pm. The evening closes with a raffle, with prizes kindly donated by members and committee. Should restrictions cause any variation in the usual procedure, members will be informed. For further information please contact Sarah Dumont Tel: 01954 260482

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LOCAL CHARITY ADAPTS AND PERSEVERES The Connections Bus Project has been providing youth services in Cambridgeshire for over 25 years but arguably is currently experiencing its toughest period in all that time. However through adaption and perseverance the charity is surviving and hoping to thrive. Read on to hear from the charity’s Project Manager, Alan Webb, on how they have faced challenges and are moving forward. As soon as the pandemic started - and throughout - we sought the guidance of the National Youth Agency (NYA) to ensure our work adhered to government guidance, in order to maintain the high standard and to provide support for young people in a safe, secure way. Initially it became clear that use of our 2 metre wide youth buses would in no way be possible. They were quickly mothballed and have been off the road for 16 months. Our building based youth work was also not possible and 15 youth sessions a week dropped to zero in the space of a few days. First attempts at any sort of online service clearly showed that the young people we work with were not interested in this, however our babysitting courses switched to Zoom and five courses were able to be run in this way. As summer 2020 approached we took the step to train up most of our sessional youth workers in detached youth work enabling them to go out in pairs and walk through villages engaging with the young people they met. Government guidance meant that we were unable to advertise these sessions and so as autumn and winter approached, being outdoors saw less young people and the lockdown of January 2021 kicked in. The next step was to accelerate an idea that we always hoped would happen with the purchase of our youth van, equipped with outdoor activities, games and a hot chocolate maker! This meant we could promote our session again and reconnect with young people in person, letting them know we were still there to help. The youth van has been running outdoor youth clubs in six villages a week since May 2021 and has accumulated nearly 100 hours of youth work sessions. Attendance has grown over this period with a mix of a few young people who had previously attended youth buses sessions and a larger number of those about to move up into school year 7. Mixed weather has not helped but we are building good foundations with young people who we hope to support over the coming years. We offer a listening ear, a safe place to meet with friends, someone to play a game with, as well as advice on every topic under the sun!

are going ahead with one at the moment so that we can train up new drivers and be ready. The other will wait until we have confirmation. There is still a shortfall on the costs for repairs so if you are able to help please check out our giving page campaign/a056900001k6VlzAAE We are also purchasing equipment for the youth van and are having flight cases made so that we can use the van fully loaded with moveable equipment to run popup youth clubs. This will enable the use of community buildings without the need for storage and equipment on site. Everything comes out of the van and everything goes back in. This has been a difficult period but the Trustees and staff have aimed to preserve our resources so that we can come back but with new and unique ways to continue to provide youth services in the county. We are a small and devoted team who recognise the increasing importance of open access youth work for young people who have had some of the toughest months, with little help and support. If you are like minded then we are keen to add to our board of trustees, more details can be found on our website: http://www.

With many restrictions being lifted, it is clear that our building based youth work will be able to recommence in autumn 2021 but we are still waiting to hear about our youth buses. We’ll follow the very latest guidelines in place at the time as we look to start using our youth buses again, to keep everyone safe.

Ed Cameron, who’s been a trustee with The Connections Bus Project for five years, said, ‘The pandemic has had such an impact on people from all walks of life including many of our young people. While we were very reluctant to press pause on the youth work back in March 2020, it was the best thing to do to keep everyone safe. It’s great to have found new ways of delivering youth services and being able to reconnect with young people, offering somewhere safe for them to hang out with friends, make new ones and have someone who can listen and offer advice on anything needed.’

We have been successful in gaining some of the funding needed to get the youth buses roadworthy again and

More information about the charity and which villages we are working in can also be found on our website. Issue Number 181 • page 3


I am pleased to say that the SUSTRANS (Sustainable Transport Charity) Tuesday walking group has now passed it’s 5th birthday, so thank you to everyone that has helped and attended our short walks over the years’ gone by. We have finally resumed walking as an organised group now the pandemic has reduced to a manageable level, and I’m happy to say the current members have been continuing in a limited fashion over the last few months. We would now gladly welcome anyone that has not joined us before. If you feel like some gentle exercise and a friendly chat with new people please join us by booking using the email address and title your email “Tuesday Walk Group”. We take every effort to make sure that everyone is safe and comfortable while walking.

normally walk for about an hour in and around Cottenham. To keep the group running smoothly and consistently every week SUSTRANS would like to get new volunteers to help, as either a walk assistant or as a second walk leader to fill in when I’m away. Training can be arranged with our lovely SUSTRANS Volunteer Group Organiser Maria if needed. The walk assistant role is simply to keep an eye on everyone during the walk and alert the walk leader if any issues arise. The walk leaders’ main roles are to book people on the walk, inform them of any safety issues before the walk, lead the walk and be observant throughout the walk for participants’ wellbeing. Please do contact me at the above email address if you are interested in helping out as a volunteer.

The group meets outside the library every week at 11am from September to May, and at 10am from June to August, to avoid the heat. All walks are entirely free to attend and we

Stay Active, Claire (Walk Leader)

COTTENHAM WI It was great to see so many of our members at the first meeting after such a long time. We were lucky to have met in the lovely new village hall. Jane, from the Cottenham Community Cafe shop, made us a super ‘Welcome back’ cake (highly recommended, but don’t tell the other WIs that we didn’t make our own cake!) and it was a good opportunity to catch up with friends. We welcome new members to our meetings and all covid precautions will be followed with hand sanitiser and air circulation. Masks may be worn.

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October’s meeting will be a fun evening with Cottenhams own resident comedy duo Barbara Duckworth and Chloe Watson. Wednesday 13 October at 7:30pm at the new Village Hall. Novembers’ meeting will be craft ideas with a Christmas theme. Wednesday 10 November at 7: 30pm at the Village Hall. For further information please ring Margaret 01954 488427

ARE YOU READY TO WALK THE PLANK? – CTW ANNOUNCE 2021 CHRISTMAS PANTOMIME: TREASURE ISLAND Cottenham Theatre Workshop is delighted to announce that the pantomime has been decided for 2021 and this year it is Treasure Island! Following on from nearly a year and a half of not performing, we are thrilled to be able to finally re-tread those boards (or planks in this case!) and bring you a show which promises to have a lot of unexpected twists and turns! This version of Treasure Island, written by acclaimed pantomime playwright Ben Crocker and directed by our long-term member and friend Kerry O’Connell, centres around Long John Silver being that usual dastardly villain, but he’s not had to deal with the Ladies of the Smuggler’s Cove Women’s Institute! Including a search for buried treasure, pirates in frocks, and a group of hardened members of the W.I. who are desperate for a career change, this show promises to serve up all the classic pantomime tropes with a few surprises thrown in. The show will run from Wednesday 1 December – Saturday 4 December 2021 at Cottenham Village College. Weekday performances begin at 7:30pm and there are

two performances on Saturday, a matinee showing at 1pm and an evening showing at 5:30pm. Tickets will be available towards the end of October on our website or via our thirdparty provider Ticketsource by calling 0333 666 4466 (additional booking fee applies). Although the principal roles have been cast, we’d still love to see some new chorus members to join our friendly troupe! Full rehearsals will start at the beginning of September. Finally, you don’t just have to be on stage to be a part of CTW, we’re always looking for new volunteers in our backstage and front of house teams. If you’ve got any questions, please feel free to contact us at or visit our website. Also follow us on our Facebook page – www.facebook. com/cottenhamtheatre We hope to see many of you at the performances - enjoy the show! CTW Committee

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SUSTAINABLE COTTENHAM CLEANER COTTENHAM: LITTER PICK Sustainable Cottenham’s next litter pick will be on Saturday 13 November, 2 5pm. Please put the date in your diary. See our FaceBook page and posters nearer the time for details. In June the pick-up collected over 100 cans plus quantities of glass and plastic bottles, crisp packets and assorted waste – so abundantly well worth the effort! PLASTIC FREE COTTENHAM: BUSINESS CHAMPIONS Our ‘plastic free’ campaign, linked to the national charity Surfers Against Sewage, has signed up its first approved Business Champion! Fen End Farm’s Orchard Campsite has been awarded ‘plastic free’ status as a result of its success so far in switching from single-use plastic to more sustainable options, and its commitment to making further changes. Single-use plastic free alternatives already introduced at the campsite include refillable dispensers for bodywash, shampoos and hand soaps, and sourcing firewood in cardboard containers instead of plastic nets. Other improvements focus on providing equipment – such as cutlery, crockery, chairs – to deter campers from bringing their own disposables or leaving discarded items behind. We’re very keen to hear from other potential business champions – what are the sustainable changes you have already made, or have plans to

make? If you run, or would like to recommend, a business taking steps in a single-use plastic free direction, do get in touch – contact Chris ACTION FOR NATURE RECOVERY Sustainable Cottenham’s Nature Recovery Group has begun some exciting activities to increase the quality of wildlife habitats in and around Cottenham. We will need volunteers through the winter months, so please let us know if you would like to help. The biggest project in hand is working with Cambridgeshire ACRE and the Parish Council to create a large pond on the Old Rec as part of the ‘New Life on the Old West’ (NLOW) programme. This three-year Lottery funded programme will deliver wildlife habitat enhancements in green spaces and surrounding countryside within areas close to the Old West River in the Cambridgeshire Fens. The project has been developed by Cambridgeshire ACRE, working closely with over 50 local and regional organisations, specialists and community groups. Planning permission for the pond is being sought and it is hoped to begin work by the end of 2021. On a smaller scale, we are working with the Parish Council and NLOW to improve the wildlife habitat at the WARG field on Histon Road. You may have noticed the mowing regime has been modified to let large parts of the field grow wilder. Amongst the variety of wildflowers present, there is a colony of bee orchids which we hope will begin to flower next spring if left to grow. With the flowers, will come a wide range of insect pollinators and bird life. Finally, Fen Reeves wood is another underdeveloped habitat and natural resource owned by the Parish Council. Planted by volunteers in the mid ‘90s, it has grown vigorously but now needs to be managed with a view to optimising its environmental benefit. For example, coppicing a number of trees along the rides will allow more light in and encourage wildflower growth. So, if you would like to contribute to these and other activities to improve our natural local environment in the coming months, please let us know. A few hours of very enjoyable work can make a substantial difference. Contact Chris

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COTTENHAM PARISH COUNCIL Council meetings A reminder that our Full Council meetings take place on the first Tuesday of each month in the Village Hall at 7:30pm. Residents are very welcome to attend and time is set aside specifically at the start of the meeting for you to raise questions. We also usually have at least one of our District Cllrs in attendance so this is an ideal time for you to question them too on issues that concern you. We also have smaller committee meetings through the month for planning, community facilities, highways and finance. We would strongly recommend anyone with a planning application to attend the relevant meeting to provide the committee with additional information if required. Details about our meetings can be found on our website and our noticeboards around the village. Highways One of the most annoying problems residents face arise from wear and tear of our roads and pavements. Potholes or subsidence can cause damage and blocked drains causing localised flooding. We encourage residents to report any Highways related issues they see directly to the County Council, via their reporting site https:// For faults which pose an immediate risk of danger to the public please call Cambridgeshire Highways on 0345 045 5212 during office hours - 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays or for out of hours emergencies use the Police 101 service. Community Gritting Scheme Local volunteers can help to keep their community moving in freezing weather by taking part in the Community Gritting Scheme. Volunteers can sign up to grit local footpaths with equipment provided by the County Council. To find out more or apply please visit the County Council’s website: https://www.cambridgeshire. help-with-gritting-and-clearing-snow Refreshment kiosk We are delighted that Cottenham Primary PTCA and Ladybirds are operating a refreshment kiosk from the Village Hall every Thursday from 2:30-4:30pm. Please come down for tea and coffee, cold drinks and snacks and support these local charities. Remembrance Please be aware that there will be a Temporary Road Closure on Sunday 14 November 2021 between 10:30am and 11:30am for the Remembrance Day service which will take place at the War Memorial. The High Street will be closed to traffic from The Green to Telegraph Street. Denmark Road will be closed from The Green to Telegraph Street. The planned alternative route is along Rampton Road, Lambs Lane, the interlinking part of the High Street and Telegraph Street. There will be access to the Village College from the High Street at the Histon end of The Green. Access will be available for residents of the affected roads. Stewards will be on duty to ensure

safety. Please contact us if you would like to help steward the event. Carols on the Green At the time of writing we are planning on holding our annual carols on the Green event on Tuesday 14 December from 6pm. We are on the look out for sponsors for our tree and this year replacement lights to go around the edge of the Green. If you can help please get in touch. Sponsors will be mentioned on publicity materials. We’ve had a fantastic response in previous years so if you’d like to help spread some Christmas cheer please get in touch. Junior Parkrun Cllr Hutchison is working to bring Junior parkrun to Cottenham. They may need to raise £4,000 and will require volunteers to get this off the ground. If you’re able to help in any way please contact Tracy Hutchison via New Life on the Old West project The project for Cottenham is currently at the planning permission stage. It is currently envisaged that works will take place in 2022/into early 2023. Village Hall hire We have a variety of spaces to hire that are ideal for parties, weddings, wakes, fitness classes, conferences and training events. All are fully accessible for those less mobile. If you’d like to hire the Hall please contact – bookings@ or see our website for full details and availability. You can also keep up to date with what’s on via our Facebook page: Office hours The Clerk is contactable via email and phone between 9am3pm weekdays only (we aren’t available on weekends or bank holidays) and messages can be left outside of these hours. If you wish to meet in person please contact us in advance to arrange an appointment. Our office in the Village Hall is currently manned every Monday between 9am-12:30pm. Jo Brook, Parish Clerk PSLCC Email: Phone: 07503 328401 Beth ( or 07490 459130) – all highways issues Debbie ( – all finance matters


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The Parish Council offers a number of small donations and grants to enable projects planned by local voluntary and community organisations. The deadline for applications is Friday 29 October 2021. There is no guarantee of success as we may receive applications for more than our available cash and we also have to ensure that the money is only spent on a variety of lawful purposes. We cannot make donations or grants to individuals. Applicants should give a general description of what their organisation does along with details of what any grant will be used for. It is essential that you provide an indication of the number of local residents who will benefit from your project which must generally be completed within one year of the grant. If you are successful, we require you to provide details of how and when the money has been spent in accordance with the original intentions. For a copy of the application form please see our website or email or write to: The RFO, Cottenham Parish Council, Village Hall, Lambs Lane, Cottenham CB24 8TA.

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ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH COTTENHAM WITH RAMPTON Back to Church Sunday – ‘Looking back, giving thanks, looking forward’. Sunday 31 October 2021 at 10:30am There’s no doubt that this last year has been a difficult one. Not being able to see family and friends has been tough. We’ve not been able to mark births in the way we would want, nor say goodbye to those we’ve sadly lost. Our Back to Church Service is an opportunity to come together and give thanks for the good things we’ve enjoyed over the last year, particularly those who have

helped to look after us, such as those in the NHS, our schools, shops and local businesses. It’s also a time to remember and reflect on what we have lost – those who were dear to us, jobs, etc – the things we took for granted. And it’s also a time to look forward with hope. If you’ve been part of the church for a few weeks or decades… If you’ve lived in the village for years but have never come in… If you usually go to church in Cambridge but fancy trying something local… If you’ve been following us online but not been in person… You are WELCOME!

25 YEARS OF BRITISH SCHOOL TRUST In the 1800’s education in the village involved mostly church and non-conformist establishments, in Cottenham this is where the current charities bearing the names Catherine Pepys and Alice Rogers originate from. In 1865 British School occupied the new building in Margett Street (where the library is at present). This could accommodate 300 and it contained a hall which could accommodate 500. Building costs were from local subscriptions, the running costs by fees. Over 200 children, some from other villages, were enrolled in the first year and after and increased to 250 in 1867. At that time an infants’ class was added. In 1873 the Schools Board was formed under nonconformist control, the British School was immediately transferred to it’s management. School capacity increased to 600. After closure of all other schools in 1878 and 1880 the average attendance was 329 in 1880 and 399 in 1890. In 1936 fire destroyed the main hall section of the school, that section was then rebuilt in the modern style. In 1981 the County Council built the new primary school in Lambs Lane and abandoned Margett Street School buildings. There were at that time Trustees, their Chairman being Roy Burgess. With an empty building Roy worked tirelessly to achieve a worthy solution for the village, many hours were spent dealing with the Charity Commission, King & Co, Willingham BST who were in a similar position, in addition he would seek my audience to try out his ideas. This went on for some five or six years until all was settled

and the formation of the Trust was formally approved in 1996, and we are still here, what a successful 25 years it has been. Now we come to the icing on the cake, here are some figures for you to take in and enjoy. 1996 First meeting of Trustees – decided to invest £150.000 in COIF. Some £20.000 to be retained and deposited locally in the Cambridge Building Society as working capital. At that first meeting all members were male, sadly over the past twenty five years many have passed away and the Trust is now made up of four gentlemen and five young ladies. Regular spring and autumn meetings have been held until COVID restrictions arrived, however business has been carried out electronically. During the 25 years, 419 individuals have received awards totalling, wait for it £151.928.00 During the same period 84 local groups have received awards totalling £34.780.00 A staggering total being £191.708.00 Not bad really for a village, give yourselves a pat on the back!!! Clerk to Trustees:- Peter Sanderson, 9 Rook Street, Cottenham, CB24 8QZ. Telephone: 01954 200862 or e-mail to:

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HELP OUR HEDGEHOGS Over the past few years we’ve been trying to encourage hedgehogs to live and visit our garden, and we’ve been lucky to have them living, breeding and hibernating in our garden. They visit our hedgehog feeding station regularly, and are fascinating to watch when it gets dark - using a red torch. Cottenham has a strong hedgehog community, but they do need our help. Although they hibernate for the winter, they sometimes emerge and move their nest. They can also be active into November and December if it is mild, so food is helpful throughout autumn to help them survive hibernation. Meaty wet cat or dog food or cat biscuits are the best food supplement. We feed our hedgehogs all year round. Hedgehog numbers have fallen 30-50% since 2000, and they are now classed as vulnerable on the UK Red List of endangered mammals. If Cottenham residents use their green spaces to provide safe habitats for hedgehogs we can help them, and many other species too. Here are some things (from




• Link your garden to others. Hedgehogs can roam 1-2km at night, visiting many gardens. They can squeeze through 13x13cm holes and under fences, so check your boundaries to improve access for them • Water - a bowl of fresh water, it doubles up as a bird bath! • Food - meaty cat food. We made a feeding station using a lidded plastic box with a 13x13cm hole cut out. Anything to keep the food dry and other animals out • Leave some garden wild and overgrown, they like hedges and scruffy places. Not too scruffy though because netting, black sacks and litter can trap small animals • Check before strimming or lighting bonfires, because when scared hedgehogs don’t run away, they roll up into a little ball • Garden organically, pesticides and slug pellets are toxic for hedgehogs and reduce the prey they need to eat • If you have a pond, make sure there is a safe shallow route or ramp out for hedgehogs • Make a hedgehog home for hibernation, although in our

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experience, they are just as happy in overgrown shrubs and under logpiles! Shepreth wildlife charity has a dedicated hedgehog hospital and they provide expert care in rehabilitating hedgehogs. Useful websites for more information www.sttiggywinkles. and Did you know? Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets. Hedgehogs can’t see very well, but they have a very good sense of smell. A female hedgehog is called a sow. Furzepig, hedgepig and urchin are all early names for hedgehog. Sharon Gallagher

WOKE UP THIS MORNING WITH THE CHALKHILL BLUES During lockdown nature on the Fen Edge Patch was almost all we had, but at the time of writing, July 2021, we’re in a slightly different position to that which we found ourselves this time last year and spreading our wings is possible, within limits. The middle of the summer is a time when many of the resident birds have finished breeding and are tucked away in hedgerows and undergrowth recovering from their time chick rearing. The swifts are still having screech parties overhead and there are reeling house martins around if you know where to look, as well as swallows gathering on overhead cables. But if the birds are hiding away, many of the butterflies and day-flying moths are not, but again, you have to know where to look. Trumpington Meadows was definitely worth a visit in July, the wildflowers are in blossom and marbled white butterflies flit from thistlehead to thistle almost too quickly to photograph. The male six-spot burnet moths buzz the grassy stems occasionally feeding on the field scabious and watching for newly emerged females on which they will quickly pounce even before the females have taken flight. This species of moth has an associated day-flyer the burnet companion, which is 50 shades of brown and orange. And, meanwhile also on the field scabious, tiny brassy longhorn moths shimmering alloy moths with the male antennae at least twice as long as the moth’s wings. Once you get a taste for tracking a few butterflies and dayflying moths, it can become something of an addiction to find new sites with species you may not have seen before. I had high hopes for the RSPB site in Knapwell, Hope Farm. It had a wilded area that had been productive for common blue and many other species of butterfly on a pre-lockdown open day. It is a working farm rather than the usual reserve open to the public, but it is crisscrossed with public footpaths, so you can see some of the site if you’re discrete and don’t stray into the non-public areas. There were plenty of meadow brown, gatekeepers, and more of those six-spotted burnet, as well as what are often known as “cabbage” whites. There were also a few skipper butterflies on the “wild” margins of the fields. Nearby is a little jewel of a woodland, Overhall Grove, tucked away behind All Saints’ Church in Knapwell. It’s a lovely bluebell wood in the spring and also has the relatively rare oxslip. But, well into the second half of July, it is far too late for those. What it wasn’t too late for was one of the hairstreak butterflies, which a couple with scopes and binoculars had spotted as I walked the trail through the woodland. There are several types of hairstreak butterfly, including a green hairstreak, which you may have spotted in Cottenham’s own Les King Wood in July. The hairstreak the couple were scoping, it turns out, is the white letter hairstreak. A socially distanced chat had them divulging a couple of other not-so-secret sites that are great for butterflies, namely Woodwalton Fen National Nature Reserve and the Newmarket “July Racecourse” end of our local Devil’s Dyke. A walk through Woodwalton Fen NNR, which is replete with oak trees, takes you to the historic Rothschild Bungalow

which is a wooden building perched on concrete stilts to protect it from flooding; you can see the date markers for flooding and soil level. The oak trees are home to a couple of butterflies with purple in their names, the purple hairstreak (of which there were perhaps a couple of dozen showing on my visit) and the purple emperor (again maybe a dozen). On a rapidly warming morning, the purple emperors will drop down to near ground level to feed on tree sap, vulpine faeces, and even the putty in the bungalow’s window frames. By midday, they head up to the tops of the trees and the males are incredibly territorial. One individual took to a perch away from the bungalow overlooking a drainage ditch and shorter trees. Any rival emperors that flew too close were quickly sent packing and that included purple emperors and emperor dragonflies. On to the Devil’s Dyke, pleased to see within the first few steps, a newly emerged painted lady of which there are not as many around as in irruption years. But, the big show was the host of Chalk Hill Blues, dozens and dozens, perhaps hundreds spanning a stretch of a couple of kilometres along the Dyke bank. There were also plenty of marbled white, an occasional Six-spot Burnet, and various skippers, including a dingy skipper, seen by another spotter but which remained invisible to us. Also on the list was a second species of fritillary butterfly for me having seen silver-washed fritillaries in the southwest they have spread north-eastwards and are present in Waresley Wood, Hayley Wood and elsewhere and might even turn up in Les King Wood in the next year or two. I also saw the relatively rare clouded yellow on a wildflower patch at the edge of Waresley Wood in 2020, but the farmer had ploughed over the area this year, sadly. Meanwhile, back to Devil’s Dyke there could be found dark green fritillary. The fritillary of their name essentially comes from the Latin word for dice box, but alludes to their chequered pattern in the same way as does the name of the flowers, such as the snake’s head fritillary. The dark greens remained hidden until we did an about face and headed back to the start of our walk, when within a few minutes we were spotting this flitty butterfly being chased off enthusiastically by the chalkhill blues. It’s all a memory now as you read this in the autumn, but if, like me, you always fancied a butterfly holiday but the pandemic put paid to your travel plans, it turns out that there was always plenty to see on our local patch and a little further afield if you were willing to flutter by to see them. David Bradley Please send your nature observations and sightings to You can see many of my nature photos on my site or Instagram as @sciencebase

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Poetry Corner: A Second Chance “Are you good at public speaking? Better than me, I’m sure.” I went on talking boldly to my invisible congregation. “How I would love to stand here one day and read a passage from this Bible, even those at the very back would…” I stopped in absolute embarrassment as I noticed a woman sitting in the back row. “I am sorry,” I said meekly and descended the pulpit, scarlet faced, nearly tripping in my heels. I quickly tided the hoover and cleaning things away into the vestry and decided to make a hasty retreat from the church. The woman sat huddled in her dark winter’s coat and seemed oblivious of my embarrassment. But her sad expression drew me to sit beside her. I guessed she was a little younger than me, not yet retired. “It’s a beautiful church,” I said trying to break the silence between us. She looked up and spoke softly. “I loved him so much.” Her voice echoed against the cold stone walls. “But he never loved me as much as he loved her. She was his true love.” Tears fell freely down her cheeks. She hid her face in her hands. I put my arm around her shoulders tentatively, unsure if I would be rebuffed by this stranger but she accepted my comfort. Once her sobs had ebbed away, I spoke to her gently. “You should speak to my husband dear. He’s the vicar of this church. He’s a kind and wise man. He’ll help with whatever’s troubling you.” Just at that moment, John swept in through the door in his robes. He seemed to know the woman. Mary, he called her. He looked at us and wrapped his strong arms around us both. I don’t know why but we all cried. Mary got up abruptly as a number of people began to arrive. She went and sat in the front pew. People continued to file in until the whole church was full. John would be pleased. The organ began to play. There was no way I could leave now without being too conspicuous. John didn’t take his usual place in the pulpit, he stood to the side. A vicar spoke in a loud clear voice, as I would like to one day. I could hear every word in the back row.

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“We are gathered here on this sad occasion in remembrance of John, the long serving and much-loved vicar of this parish. Our support and condolences are with Mary, his widow, at this difficult time.” John came and sat beside me. He’s mine again! Written by Sue Armstrong 2021

Readers are invited to send in either original poetry or short stories for inclusion in the Cottenham Newsletter. Short stories should be no longer than 600 words. The objective should be to entertain the general readership – go on, have a go!


There are two Cottenham groups, one on Tuesday eve at Stevens Close, and one on Saturday eve at Franklin Gardens. We would love you to join us if you play, or used to play. Both groups are very friendly and looking forward to starting again in early October. Necessary COVID measures will be taken. Contact Heather on 01954 251424 or Glenice on 01954 488418 for details.

ARTICLES, DATES AND ADVERTISEMENTS E–mail, CD, memory stick and paper submissions are all welcome. Please contact the editor if you have any questions. Dates of events to be advertised in the next issue should span the months of December and January.


Letters for publication may be sent to the Editor, and should include the name and address of the sender, although this may be omitted from publication if requested. Please keep correspondence short and topical. Please note that the Editor may use his discretion regarding publication, and his decision is final. The views expressed by correspondents and other contributors are their own and are not necessarily shared by the Editor.


To discuss your advertising requirements Contact Artwork, if required, is charged separately, (minimum £10.00) depending on the amount of work involved. Quotations are available on request. Issue Number 181 • page 13

Small ads: MATURE MALE M/CYCLE RIDER interests keeping fit, likes sports bikes, but respects all riders,wonders if there is a rider(s) in Cottenham area who might like to join up sometimes for companionship. Don’t tend to go far, depends, but mainly ride to avoid going rusty! Please text or call 07570 797476 if interested. ......... MARK BENSON Gardening and maintenance work undertaken. Local and reliable. Please call 07807 024173 or email for a free no obligation quote. ......... FOR SALE 4 burner gas hob. Hardly used. £40. Electric preferred. A. Gawthrop 01954 250526. ......... HAYLEY JANE’S BEAUTY For all your beauty needs. Waxing, facials, massage, manicures/pedicures, spray tan. Call now to book an appointment 01954 251967. Located in the High Street at Cottenham Cutz & Beauty. ......... TUITION. ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (EFL). Teresa Haymer Cert Ed TEFL MA – General English, all levels, Business English, other ESPs & Homestay Immersion Courses. Email: or text to: 07410 978290 ......... HANDYMAN SERVICES COTTENHAM Need help fitting a kitchen or bathroom? Leaking washing machine, sink or shower? Need a blind fitted or guttering repaired? Call Mike on 07768 931810. ......... MATHS TUITION up to and including GCSE. I can offer ongoing general support to help consolidate school and college teaching or specific areas of the curriculum can be addressed. Lessons online or, if permitted, face to face in Landbeach. Contact Frank Batten, maths., for more information. ......... FRESH GRIMSBY FISH Fresh and smoked fish, shellfish in Cottenham every Thursday morning. Est. since 1989. Call John on 07584 578315 to arrange a call to your office or home. No order too small. ......... VIDEO TO DVD TRANSFER SERVICE Preserve your precious memories with Cottenham Video. We cater for all types of video tape. Cottenham Video – We can transfer your old VHS and camcorder video tapes to DVD or digital file. Audio cassette and cine film also catered for. Tel: 01954 775004 or Mobile: 07795 630037, cottenhamvideo@, ......... ANTIQUE, MODERN & BESPOKE UPHOLSTERY using traditional materials and techniques. Based in Cottenham, Victoria Morris Upholstery offers a professional (AMUSF Qualified) and reliable upholstery service for your most treasured antiques or favourite chair. For all enquires and/or a free consultation, contact Victoria on 01954 270050 or 07547 496931 or by email: vmupholstery@ or visit

Issue Number 181 • page 14

C HILSDEN DECORATING SERVICES all aspects of painting and decorating, tiling and home maintenance carried out to the highest standard. Free estimates and excellent rates. Carl Hilsden – Mobile: 07590 517882 Home telephone 01954 250446 www. ......... DOG DAY CARE IN COTTENHAM. Open Mon – Fri, 8am to 6pm. Great area for hour walks on our 150+ acre farm and 100% attention all day at home and in our enclosed garden all for £15.00 a day. Lingwood Farm, Cottenham, CB24 8PX Tel: Erica 07956 406643 or visit ......... R J BENSON CARPENTRY Local fully qualified reliable carpenter. Please call 07961811454 or email for advice/free quotes. ......... TOAT – “TOM OF ALL TRADES” Tom Wykes Handyman. No job is too big or too small – garden/house clearance, shelving, plumbing and so on – call Tom for a quote on 01954 250324, 07762 559259. ......... FENCING – P MARTIN FENCING, all types of fencing undertaken, over 30 years trading, please call 07802 440494 or 01954 250568 email for a free no obligation quote and advice. ......... PEAT’S GARDEN SERVICES Lawn and hedge cutting, pruning, planting, rotovating, turfing, weekly and monthly visits, all garden work undertaken. All garden waste removed. For a free estimate call Pete Bullen 01954 250771 or 07749 863047. ......... HOUSE/PET SITTER, fully insured and CRB checked. Tailor made service having your pets looked after in their own home with anything from daily visits to living–in, assuring security. This is a reliable/ discreet/confidential business with visits in an unmarked vehicle. Excellent references. Email: Tel: 01223 232972 or 07980 042601. ......... THE VILLAGE FOOT CLINIC Wilburton Clinic & mobile chiropody for: nail cutting/nail thickness reduction. Corns, callous and cracked heels. Diabetes etc. Assessment and treatment £32. Marisa Jolley MCFHP MAFHP. Tel: 07909 943171. ......... AGRIPEST If you’re looking for a friendly, reliable and competitive pest control service then please get in contact with AgriPest today! Rats, mice, wasps, moles and much more! Please call Neil on 07889 018041 or email Thank you. https://www. ......... ENGLISH TUITION English, all levels offered, including support for GCSE, IGCSE, EFL, ESOL, EPQ and Business. Lessons online or face to face, adhering to the local education policy. Email: Text to: 07719 592375 ......... 10p per word, with some proceeds going to the MAGPAS charity. Send advertisements and payment to the Advertising Manager.

ON THE EDGE - TRANSPORTATION COSTS THE EARTH Did you know that in the UK transportation is the biggest contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the climate crisis? The carbon-based fossil fuels: diesel, petrol and aviation fuel used to run our transportation networks all contribute to this catastrophe. Fossil fuels come from the remains of ancient plants. A scientist once worked out that 25 tonnes of this plant matter creates one litre of petrol. One litre of petrol takes the average new UK car (2019) about 11 miles. 25 tonnes is about 19 times the weight of your (average) car! When you look at it like that, the use and production of fossil fuels has never been sustainable ... and that’s without considering the emissions! Here are some more facts: • 24% of the UK’s CO2 emissions comes from transport • About two thirds of transport emissions in the UK are caused by road transport • Most of the trips we take by car are between 2 and 5 miles • Diesel and petrol exhaust also release the highest levels of toxicity leading to air pollution, which contributes to allergies, asthma, strokes, dementia and heart disease • You are exposed to the highest levels of air pollution when driving a car. Scientists recommend a target of 2030 to avoid further catastrophic changes to our climate. The UK Government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, including ending sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, but so far progress is worryingly slow. This means huge changes for all of our lifestyles and we need the support and infrastructure to make this happen. So what does this mean for us in Cottenham? Most of us, including On the Edge people, rely on some form of fossil fuel-powered transport to get where we need to go, whether this be private cars or public transport. We may be trying to cut down on our trips,to buy more locally, or to cycle or walk more, but it is challenging to completely eliminate fossil fuel-powered cars. Some of us may be lucky enough to have electric vehicles, but buying a new car is unaffordable for many of us and the infrastructure is not there to support it. Also, electrifying everything is not sustainable in itself. Better public transport is a more sustainable answer, but we can all see that our current system would need much improvement to be reliable enough to encourage us to make the switch. If we look at the vehicles on our roads, we also need to consider commercial transport, carrying our food and goods, farm vehicles, as well as vehicles that are relied upon by small business contractors. In order for the necessary changes to be fair to all, we can’t rely on individuals or companies to initiate the process. It is really important for the government to have a clear plan and ensure we have the incentives to change. Changes need to be fair and inclusive of all, including:

Do you have any ideas or thoughts about this? We would love to hear your visions of what future transportation might look like, whatever your age or background. Please share your thoughts on our website: https://ontheedge270.wixsite. com/intro You will also find some useful links there if you want to find out more. While real solutions will require action on a global scale, there are choices you can make in your day-to-day life to lessen your personal impact on the environment and reduce your carbon footprint (after One of the most effective ways to begin thinking about how to reduce your carbon footprint is to reconsider how much, and how often, you travel. How can you stop using a car? Try taking a train, bus or better yet, ride a bike or even walk for shorter journeys. But let’s be realistic. You will likely need to use a car this year. So, when you do, here are some tips to make your trip more climate-friendly: Go easy on the accelerator and brakes — driving efficiently can help to reduce emissions. Drive “like you have an egg under your foot,” recommends Brian West, an expert in fuel and engine research Regularly service your car to keep it more efficient Check your tyres. Keeping them pumped correctly can reduce emissions Air conditioning and intensive city driving can make emissions creep up. Cut down on these as often as possible Don’t weigh your car down with extra things that you don’t need on your trip Carpool, made famous by James Cordon and George Michael. You’re splitting emissions between the number of people in the car and enjoying a singalong too! Making this transition is vital to the safe and healthy futures of each of us, our children and our planet as a whole. There is no other choice!

• People with disabilities and health conditions • People with lower incomes • Older people • People isolated from current public transport systems • Working people • Business owners. Issue Number 181 • page 15


Newsagents Shaun’s News Council Offices

Police General Switchboard Doctors


Dr. T Blumenfeld, 188 High Street 250079 Firs House Partnership, 42 Telegraph Street 251180 Urgent Care Cambridge (formerly Camdoc) 0 330 123 9131 District Nurse Team 01223 726469

Cottenham CareCar

Co–ordinator, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Gerry Brett


Cottenham Community Centre 202109 Cottenham Charities 250387 Cottenham Day Centre Mrs Pauline Brown

07708 425720

Cottenham Gardeners Club 260482 Cottenham Tennis Club Cottenham Toy Library Christina Koester 270334 Village Society Glynis Pilbeam 251544 Cottenham WI Margaret Briggs 250870 or Margaret Squires 488427 Dentist Wiese and Associates, 40 Margett Street 251696 Chemist 222 High Street 250556

Child, Teen & Family Counselling

Julie McCrae 07482 723265 Counsellor & Therapist Ruth Barnett, 202556, 07961 644006 Samaritans Cambridge Centre 01223 364455 Veterinary Surgeon Village Vet Cottenham 252122 Schools Village College and Community Office 288944 County Primary, Lambs Lane 250227 Under–Ones Baptist Church 251066 Pre–School Ladybirds Pre-School, Rec. Ground 250891 Kids Only (Out of School Club) 250025 Ballet School or 200533 Brownies 1st Cottenham Lisa Nicoll 201575 2nd Cottenham Julie Percival 200854 3rd Cottenham Chris Hurworth 203764 Guides Deanna 250388 Scouts Army Cadet Force 2Lt Mark Parker, Longstanton Detachment Commander Parade night Wednesday 7:30-9:30pm ACF Cadet Centre, The Old NAAFI Shop, Magdalene Cl, Longstanton, CB24 3EG


County Council Switchboard 0345 045 5222 SCDC Switchboard 0345 045 0500 Parish Council Jo Brook, Clerk 07503 328401

District Councillors

Neil Gough, 07919 990299 Eileen Wilson, 07825 770899

County Councillor Neil Gough, 07919 990299 01223 301426

British Red Cross Shop Citizens Advice Bureau

66 Devonshire Road, Cambridge, CB1 3BL 0844 848 7979 Social Services Histon Team 01223 718011 Mobile Warden Scheme 200080 NSPCC Cottenham Area Team 01733 558245 RSPCA 24 hour cruelty & advice line 0300 1234 999

Railway Station Cambridge Passenger Enquiries

0845 7484950

Driving Instruction TOPS Driving School 252239 Taxi Panther Taxis 01223 715715/424424/523523 Library Margett Street 0345 0455225 Library at Home Service (formerly Doorstep)

0345 045 5225 583651 252298 Office hours: 9:30am-2:30pm Wednesday and Friday Baptist Church Church Office 252378 Catholic Church St Laurences Church 01223 704640 Methodist Church Histon 01223 700778 Salvation Army Paul Cooper, Captain 252419 Royal British Legion Ann Scott 251468 Cottenham Brass Band Diana Braverman (Sec.) Bridge Farm Riding School 252284 Allotments Cottenham Charities 250575 Sustainable Cottenham Christine Ward 251813

Parish Church Revd. Lynda Davies Parish Administrator Matt Unwin-Riches

Cottenham Dissenters’ Cemetery

Kate Lees 252378, Sarah Berenger 07484 221369,


Adrian Ient, 2 The Wrens, Cottenham CB24 8XD. Tel: 01954 775004 e–mail:


Peter Robertson, 30 Lyles Road, Cottenham, Tel: 01954 200080


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