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Issue 26 - May 2014

and Town



Inside this issue

Win Tickets

to the Battle Proms Concert


with Alliance Foster Care

Win £25

in our Prize Crossword

Bringing Local Business to Local People in Alconbury, Grafham, Kimbolton, Riseley, The Stukeleys and all surrounding areas every month

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Message from the Editor: I am delighted to be taking over as Editor of The Villager magazine, an award winning community publication which reaches around 60,000 of you throughout Beds and Cambs - and not just because I can gaze out at a lovely view of the old Potton Market Square from my desk. The saying ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ certainly seems to apply to the magazine and I shall not be sweeping in with the proverbial broom as clearly, The Villager works very well and the advertisers would vouch for that. I do hope, however, to gradually introduce some more local features to the various issues we produce across the counties and explore new areas alongside the excellent writers and local contributors we already have on board. If there is anything you would like to see included in the magazine, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Likewise, if you have any articles of local interest in your area, I would be delighted to hear from you. This month we have a history of basket making and straw plaiting in the region, a new travelogue by aspiring journalist Melanie Ridley, and a heart-warming story from a couple who have fostered through Alliance Foster Care. So enjoy this spring edition of the magazine! You can contact me at or telephone me at the office.




Buying and Selling Houses the Savvy Way...............4

Where there’s a Will................................................20

Win a Pair of Battle Proms Tickets............................6

Kimbolton School Swimming Pool Timetable........22

Alliance Foster Care..................................................8

Puzzle Page............................................................24

Cuddly Koalas and Cool Kangaroos.........................10

What’s On...............................................................26

Divorce Urban Myths..............................................13

Prize Crossword......................................................28

The Budget............................................................15

Last month’s crossword solution and winners........30

Kimbolton Country Fayre........................................19 7,000 copies delivered free of charge in the following areas: Abbots Ripton, Alconbury, Brington, Buckworth, Bythorn, Catworth, Covington, Dillington, Grafham, Great Staughton, Hail Weston, Keyston, Kimbolton, Kings Ripton, Leighton Bromswold, Little Staughton, Lower Dean, Molesworth, Old Weston, Perry, Pertenhall, Riseley, Shelton, Stonley, Stow Longa, Swineshead, The Stukeleys, Tillbrook, Upper Dean (We also have over 150 distribution points, including pubs, garages, most shops, post offices, Supermarket Chains in all of the above as well as in Huntingdon, Lt Staughton, Grafham Water Visitor Centre’s and Kimbolton)

Editor - Catherine Rose Editorial - Jonathan Vernon-Smith, Catherine Rose, Melanie Ridley, Tamara Glanvill, Debbie Singh-Bhatti, and Tony Larkins Advertising Sales - Justine Miller- 07905 063211 Photography - Charles Wollertz Design and Artwork - Design 9 Tel 07762 969460

Publishers Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Bedfordshire SG19 2NP Tel: 01767 261122 Disclaimer - All adverts and editorial are printed in good faith, however, Villager Publications 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 this publication may be reproduced or stored without the express permission of the publisher.

Three Counties Radio

Buying and selling houses the savvy way! By Jonathan Vernon-Smith

They say that death of a loved one and divorce are the top two most stressful experiences in your life. Well number three must be moving house! Anyone who has moved will remember the stomach churning worry and the logistical nightmare that is buying and selling houses. However, there are some things you can do to not only make the process easier, but also demonstrate that you’re a savvy consumer. Here are my top tips: When you decide that you want to move (please really do make sure you do as there’s nothing as unfair as a seller who changes their mind when emotions and money have been spent), assess the market. Is it a buyers or a seller’s environment? At the moment, property prices in most areas are increasing, which for sellers is great, but means buyers are having to dig deeper into their pockets to secure a deal. During tough economic times, property prices tend to fall which means a savvy buyer can bag a bargain. Always get at least three good, reputable, local agents round to value your house. Ask them for a sensible price at which to market your property and ask them what they will do to get those prospective buyers through the door. Always establish their fee and NEVER agree to pay any money upfront. Always ensure that you pay their fee on completion of a deal and for goodness sake, haggle! If one of the agents is prepared to market the property for a 1% fee as opposed to the other two who want 1.5%, why would you even consider paying more? Get them to agree to match the other agent’s fee. If they’re not prepared to reduce their fee, then they’re not hungry enough for their commission and will not try hard enough to find a buyer. Look at their pictures on websites like Rightmove and Zoopla to ensure that they make other houses and flats look nice and ensure their descriptions are nicely written. Generally it’s better to sell your property before you agree to buy somewhere. Ultimately until you know how much you can achieve for your property, you don’t really know how much you can afford to spend on another. You should stipulate to your estate agents though that any buyer will afford you reasonable patience while you find somewhere to buy. Always employ the services of a totally independent mortgage advisor with access to all companies and who is prepared to recommend the best mortgage for you and NOT for them. You will find that most estate agents will try to persuade you to use the services of their own conveyancing solicitor. I personally do not like the idea of this. To me, it’s a complete conflict of interest (particularly if both the buyer and seller use the same solicitor). You need a legal advisor who is completely independent and looking out for your interests, not someone who is under pressure from an estate agent to hurry up and complete a sale. My advice is to ask friends and family members who have moved recently to recommend a good conveyancing solicitor to you. Also, remember that you should get some different quotes for this service and never be afraid to haggle with them. When it comes to you putting in an offer for the house of your dreams, you will need to again assess the market environment you’re working within. If the market is good and there are not many properties available, but lots of buyers competing, then it’s normally better to go in with a high offer on the basis that marketing of the property is ceased immediately. In a falling market, then a cheeky, low offer may just bag you a bargain. One final piece of advice I would like to share with you, is to be open and honest with people. Sadly property deals in this country can be messy, unpleasant affairs. However, I do not think we should sink to the levels of others. Be upfront with both your buyers and the vendors of the property you’re buying and treat them in the way you would like to be treated. Always ask to meet both parties so they get to know you and find it easier to also be transparent. Remember, once you’ve accepted a deal, to mess people around is utterly unacceptable.

Jonathan Vernon-Smith not only offers you his consumer advice here but you can listen to The JVS Show tackling your consumer problems every weekday morning from 9am. 4

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WIN a pair of tickets

to The Battle Proms Open Air Picnic Concerts The Perfect Summer Celebration for 2014! The Battle Proms are back for another explosive season at stunning locations around the country, including Burghley House in Lincolnshire (Saturday 5 July) and Hatfield House in Hertfordshire (Saturday 19 July). These stately settings provide the perfect backdrop for a summer celebration with music, fireworks, Spitfire, cannons and cavalry! In addition to a full orchestral programme of sublime classical music, these unique open-air picnic concerts feature a carefully choreographed and highly emotive Spitfire aerial display and stunning firework finale. This year the thrilling and ever popular mounted skill-at-arms display by an expert cavalry troop will be carried out in WW1 regalia to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, just one of many elements in the 2014 programme that will pay homage to this important historical anniversary. Battle Promenaders will also be treated to the Battle Proms signature piece – Beethoven’s Battle Symphony – performed as he intended with the full complement of 193 live firing cannon providing a thunderous percussion! Conducted by Douglas Coombes and performed by the New English Concert Orchestra, the programme will also include soul-stirring classical favourites suited to the grandeur of the historic settings. From Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (which also gets the ‘Battle Proms treatment’ of live cannon fire) to a sing-along finale packed with favourites such as Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia.

Much loved Songs of Praise presenter and celebrated compère, Pam Rhodes will be hosting the event, there will be a virtuoso performance of Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1 as young clarinettist Jordan Black makes his first Battle Proms appearance. We are delighted to welcome back superb soprano Denise Leigh who will perform enchanting arias before bringing the finale to life - and the crowd to their feet – as the spectacular firework display lights up the summer sky. Widely regarded as the most exciting summer proms concerts in the country, these are events that fans return to year after year, to enjoy a romantic evening as a couple, a night out with friends or for a significant celebration. For more information, or to book tickets for these spectacular events, visit or call on 01432 355 416. The Villager Magazine is delighted to announce we have 6 pairs of tickets to give away to either of the Battle Proms! To enter the draw simply send your name, address and email address to: Battle Proms Competition Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Deadline for Entries Friday 6th June 2014. The winners will be drawn at random.

2011 Spitfire - Darren Harbar



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Alliance Foster Care Based in Northampton, Alliance Foster Care covers a wide area that includes Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Working with local authorities and foster parents, they provide supportive homes for children who have been taken into care within a time frame that can be anything from a few days to several years. They also run various events for carers and their families from activity days and trips out to pantomimes and coffee mornings. Catherine Rose went to meet an experienced foster couple to find out about their experience. Lesley and Hugh Minty, who live near Bedford, have been fostering through Alliance Foster Care for a decade and are currently caring for two small girls: sisters aged two and a half and four who have been with them since December 2013. Having had four children of their own (now well into adulthood), their involvement with the company came about after Lesley’s mum died very suddenly and she felt that the time was right for a career change. Previously working in a school, she had always warmed to children seen as challenging and a close friend suggested she might take to fostering. The friend worked for Alliance Foster Care so Lesley had an initial chat with them and “was sold”. “It was good to have a personal recommendation” says Hugh “and when our friend had a problem with her foster child’s school, we were very impressed that someone from Alliance Foster Care got there before she did.” The couple went through an initial assessment process which normally takes a few months but despite having to answer lots of questions and supply references, they did not find it daunting. Lesley says: “It was all very relaxed and it gave us an opportunity to think about our parenting, the impact on us and our children, and how we would approach fostering.” At the time, the couple’s youngest daughter was eleven, and Lesley and Hugh were impressed with the fact that Alliance Foster Care goes to great lengths to include the foster family’s birth children in all their activities, even sending them a card and voucher at birthdays and Christmas. “The Birth Children’s Support Group means that their voices are heard” explains Lesley. Once the Minty’s had decided to go ahead, they attended an introductory training course ‘Skills to Foster’ which was based at Grafham Water and “included a nice lunch” says Leslie. There they


by Catherine Rose

met staff and four or five other couples who were starting out in fostering like themselves and who they have kept in touch with. Alliance Foster Care offers a comprehensive support programme with regular support group meetings, activities during every school holiday and a 24/7 telephone helpline. Hugh and Leslie describe the agency as having “a friendly, inclusive atmosphere”. “You always see people you know at events as people tend to stay with the agency” says Leslie. The Minty’s are short term foster carers which means they are often called on for respite and emergency situations. Once, they had to take in a baby at short notice and Hugh needed to dash to the supermarket for emergency provisions. “You need to be flexible” says Hugh “as you can be caring for a child for three months or three years.” Their first fostered child was a girl of three and a half, who has now been adopted, followed by a boy who was also three and half when he came to them. They then looked after a brother and sister who exhibited challenging behaviour and had come to them in an emergency. Despite the fact they clearly have admirable parenting skills, Leslie and Hugh are never on their own as they are constantly working with the professional team surrounding the child which includes their support worker, teachers, health visitors, child psychologists and paediatricians. “Our support worker Harriet is brilliant” says Leslie. “She always goes above and beyond what is necessary.” Alliance Foster Care also have someone in place whose job is to work alongside the foster parents and child’s school and will attend Personal Educational Plan (PEP) meetings if the child has special educational needs. There is an ongoing training programme with courses and workshops by specialists on everything from trauma and attachment to managing challenging behaviour. The training links into an appraisal system and there is an independent annual review which then goes to a fostering panel. “It is not bureaucratic and very child focused” explains Hugh “with the emphasis on helping the child to grow and develop.” When asked about the rewards of fostering, Leslie doesn’t hesitate to say how she always feels valued and explains how when their second child arrived,

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Lesley and Hugh Minty Fostering through Alliance Foster Care for over a decade

he was incredibly anxious, unable to manage his emotions and didn’t trust anyone. As time went on, although he still had a number of difficulties, he attended school regularly and came to enjoy it, and he joined Boys Brigade. “You could see his self-esteem rising” says Leslie. Although Hugh and Leslie both knew that he would move on, they felt that he had been prepared for the next step in his life journey. Alliance Foster Care gives a lot of support when the time comes for a child to be handed over and

the couple have stayed in touch with their foster children. Leslie says: “I feel blessed and honoured that we can still be a part of these children’s lives.” Alliance Foster Care is an independent fostering agency that provides children in care with high quality foster placements. The agency has been described as ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED, meeting or exceeding all National Fostering Standards. If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, you can visit their website at or telephone them on 01604 879373.

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Cuddly Koalas and Cool Kangaroos By Melanie Ridley

Aspiring Bedfordshire journalist Melanie Ridley is spending two years backpacking across the other side of world. In this first of her travelogues, she shares her experience of meeting Australia’s most well-loved animals, the koala and the kangaroo. Many people believe that koalas are bears when in fact they are marsupial mammals related to the kangaroo and wombat, most commonly found in Australia. So the next time someone mentions koala ‘bears’ you now know this to be incorrect! They gained their nickname due to looking like every child’s favourite friend, the teddy bear. The scientific name for them is Phasclarctos Cinereus. Travelling with my partner, it has taken me over nine months of being in Australia to finally tick off something from our bucket list: cuddling a koala! Up until a few years ago, members of the public were able to cuddle koalas anywhere in Australia, but now this is not the case. It is against regulations to touch or handle the koalas in New South Wales, so because of this we had to wait until we travelled to the next state along the east coast, Queensland. Even though we were under the impression that koalas are unsafe to handle, when our female koala called Minty was handed to us, she couldn’t have been sweeter. Once she was in my arms she wrapped herself around me and nestled in my neck. Her fur was so soft and her body so warm, it really was one of the best hugs


I’ve ever had! I was able to hold her for a short while, during which time I had a few photos taken. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is 16532km away from London and is the world’s largest of its kind. It has been named ‘one of Australia’s best known and most popular animal sanctuaries’ by Lonely PlanetAustralia. Not only is it a sanctuary for koalas, but also for kangaroos, wombats, Tasmanian devils and even platypus. An interesting fact about the coat of arms of Australia includes a kangaroo and an emu. The reason is that both animals are unable to walk backwards and it therefore portrays the Australian mentality of always moving forward. With this in mind we had no worries about the kangaroos backing away from us! As we walked into the kangaroo run, a particular kangaroo really caught my attention. This was because he only had one eye. So I crouched down next to it and offered him my hand of food. This was the closest I had ever been to such an extraordinary animal. He was so content with me feeding him and also patting him. Inside there were approximately 50 kangaroos starting from a young joey age. We saw one mother with a joey still in her pouch. Cuddling a koala and feeding a kangaroo will be two of the moments I will cherish since being in the beautiful land of Australia.

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Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts 15/07/2013 14:57

Family Law

Divorce Urban Myths

By Tamara Glanvill Solicitor at Woolley & Co, Bedford

There is a myriad of misinformation out there! If you are getting divorce advice from well meaning friends/ family you will probably find many people who believe the following statements about divorce and marriage to be true – they are not. For proper advice you should see a lawyer, even if it’s just to get the basic information to inform you in your negotiations. • We are common law husband and wife so I have the same rights as if we were married If you are just living together you should be aware that there is no such thing as a common-law husband or wife. To protect your rights, you can get a “living together agreement”. In some cases, a Court might award a share in property to an unmarried ex partner, but there are very many cases where they will not award them anything at all, even if they have lived together for many years or have brought up children together. The law is very complicated and certain criteria have to be met before you can bring a claim. • I didn’t commit adultery because we had already separated when it happened If you have a sexual relationship with a member of the opposite sex whilst you are still married, then it is adultery, even if your relationship with your ex is over and you have been physically separated for some time. As such, your ex can use it as a ground for divorce Whilst in some divorces it is necessary to blame one person for the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, adultery is rarely relevant when deciding the division of marital assets. • My husband / wife can stop me getting a divorce In the vast majority of cases, one spouse wants to end the marriage and the other does not—at least at the onset. Sometimes the reluctant spouse stalls the process of a divorce in the hopes of a change of heart or out of spite. Good legal advice can ensure that the most appropriate ground for divorce is used to avoid the ex blocking the process. It is very rare that the divorce can be stopped, but it can be delayed to put in place arrangements for the financial settlement.

• It is OK to deny ‘contact’ if the other parent does not pay child maintenance. This situation can arise where the non-resident parent falls behind in their payments and the resident parent punishes this failure by stopping them seeing the child(ren). The Court considers child arrangements to be entirely separate to financial arrangements ;child maintenance is not payment for the privilege of seeing their children. Stopping contact is blurring the line between the parents relationship with one other and each parents’ relationship with their child(ren) and has a strong negative impact on the children. It’s never ok to use money as leverage in this instance. • The wife always gets the house when a couple divorces There is no set rule in law that the wife gets the house, but children’s needs are given priority. The court will firstly secure a home for the children. In lots of cases, it is therefore the wife who stays in the house, although the husband may have a charge over the property so he gets his money when the children have grown up and it is sold. • Lawyers will cost too much Some lawyers will but there are a range of options, some of which are inexpensive. It can cost considerably more in the long term not to get basic legal advice, and ignore assets which would have been available – if only you had known. Divorce is rarely easy; it is one of life’s most painful and dislocating experiences. However, the way the spouses handle themselves goes a long way in determining how the marriage ends. Start with advice from a qualified, experienced Solicitor. For a free half hour consultation contact Tamara Glanvill, Family Law Solicitor : 0845 6802136 / 07824668538 /

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Hill House Grade II listed building Rooms with beamed ceilings Close to Grafham Water

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Beacon Wealth

The Budget

By Tony Larkins

Each March the Chancellor of the Exchequer holds the Budget to confirm what has already been stated or leaked. There was a huge surprise this time regarding pensions. It had been widely reported that of the 420,000 individuals buying an annuity each year, 60% were not shopping around for the best return. Whilst the average loss was 7% p.a. for life, some could have achieved 100% more. Now that George Osborne has announced ‘no one need buy an annuity ever again’- pension companies will lose a large amount of business. Many would say it is just rewards for failing to provide reasonable returns and, I agree, there is truth in this. However, very few of my personal clients ever bought an annuity anyway, preferring instead to utilise drawdown. Under new rules, individuals will be able to take their whole fund (less some possible tax) as a lump sum and do whatever they want with the money. Some will want to use the money to provide an extra income, but others will I am sure, choose to spend some or all of it. The changes made to pensions are in the main positive. Even if the age of access is to shortly be increased to 57 and then indexed. However, George Osborne’s changes to taxing pension funds will result in the exchequer recovering

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Tony Larkins CFP APFS Managing Director IFA Chartered and Certified Financial Planner

over 20 years tax upfront. For one typical example I looked at - 46 years of tax up front. Certain aspects I like, as it will now enable most individuals to more than double their level of tax free cash available, and for some the ability to maximise the marginal tax rate system. Forward planning on pensions is now even more important. If you treat pensions as a cash savings plan; a basic rate or non tax payer can now double their money after tax within a month. For anyone at, or within a few years of retirement, this will be just one of a number of considerations. Other interesting budget changes to be encouraged are: the increased limits to ISAs and their restructure, the new NS&I bonds and the increase to premium bond limits. I encourage everyone to speak to their Financial Advisers, or of course us, but as usual I urge you to ensure they are Independent and suitably qualified (look for APFS or CFP after their name). After all, last month Santander were fined £12.4m for not ensuring their advisers gave adequate advice. You should always seek qualified advice from an IFA, preferably a Certified (CFP) or Chartered Financial PlannerCM (APFS). If you have a financial question, e-mail:


Man Bird seed & Established for over 50 years Family run business Arguably the best selection of wild bird products in 3 counties Committed to Quality Products and Service Easy to find – Brington is just 1 mile away from Junction 16 on A14 Large car parking space One UK’s best known bird food suppliers Manor Farm Granaries Brand Bird Food manufactured on site.

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• Animal bedding Straw hay Shavings small packs and large bales

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nor Farm Country Store


Saturday Monday through pm 00 5. to am 00 9. y 4.00pm on Sunda and 10.00am to

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Local News

Sunday 13th July 2014 A fundraising event, packed with fun From classic cars to ferris wheel rides From daredevil motorcycle stunts to pet animals zoo From hurricane flypast to bouncy castles This will be a great day out for the whole family – the organisers have arranged a wealth of other attractions/activities too, not only in the two show rings but throughout the beautiful castle grounds. The Kimbolton Country Fayre is a non-profit making event with all proceeds supporting local and national children’s charities. This year’s charities will be: The Burns Camp (for children who have suffered

at Kimbolton Castle

severe burn injuries); Samuel Pepys School (for children with special needs); Hemi Help (for children with Hemiplegia); East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH); Cancer Research UK and the East Anglia Air Ambulance. So please come along on Sunday 13th July and have a wonderful day… In the meantime, why not have a look at our website www.kimboltoncountryfayre. com for all the latest updates on the Fayre, or follow us on Twitter @KimboltonFayre.

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Where There’s a Will… By Debbie Singh-Bhatti

Whether you are old or young, married or single, rich or poor, you really ought to make a will! If you don’t, the only way to divide up your property after death will be according to the Law of Intestacy – and the result may not be to your liking! For example, if you are married, your other half may not automatically get everything. Brothers, sisters, parents and children may also inherit. And if you are an unmarried couple, you could be classed as a single person and your surviving partner could receive nothing. If a parent, consider who you would like to look after your children in the event of your death. For single parents or unmarried parents living together, a valid will that nominates guardians is invaluable. If no one knows your wishes, the court will decide on the future care of your children. A will gives single people the chance to have their estate divided amongst friends, relatives or charities, and even if you have made a will already it is a good idea to review and possibly update it, to ensure that it reflects your current wishes. Making a will is the one and only way to make sure your wishes are carried out after your death. There are several choices available when making a will. The ‘Do It Yourself’ option can be completed with the aid of a ‘Will Pack’ available from stationery shops or online. Though relatively cheap, this option offers no advice, so the will may not accurately reflect your wishes and best fit your circumstances. Professional bodies such as banks and solicitors offer will writing services. Typically, a representative


will take down your instructions and draft a will accordingly. The skill and qualifications of individuals may vary, so check they are properly trained. Finally, you could use a professional will writer. Most firms send a specially trained person to your home to record your instructions. Your will is then drafted by someone qualified in will writing. Will writing firms are generally covered by professional indemnity insurance, and are members of a professional will writing body such as the Institute of Professional Will Writers. The cost to make a will depends on the complexity of your requirements. A simple single or mirrored will typically cost around £150 to £200, whereas more complex wills may be between £400 and £800. The original signed copy is the only legally binding version and if it gets lost, stolen or damaged it will be worthless- so keep it in a safe place! Tell your friends and family that you’ve made a will - but not necessarily what’s in it – and let them know how to find it.

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Visit our new community


Codeword 1



























Easy Suduko

Hard Suduko

Fill in the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 box, contains the digits 1 through to 9 with no repetition. Use your logic to solve the puzzles. 24

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n O s ’ t Wha 1 May Little Paxton Gardening Club 8pm Little Paxton Village Hall Members £1, Visitors £2 including refreshments Speaker will be Jane Buist of Penny Cross Plants talking to us about Salvias and how to keep them flourishing from year to year. Janet supplies the World Garden of Lullington Castle. Plants will be on sale. 2 & 16 May St Neots Library Knitting Group 1-4pm Meets on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. 3 May Craft Fair 9.30am-4pm St Ives Free Church Local people selling hand-made crafts at very reasonable prices. Held on the first Saturday of each month. Charity tombola and free entry. For more details visit 4, 11, 18 & 25 May Kingfisher Church 10.30am Little Paxton Primary School Every Sunday - all welcome. Services include children’s groups and a crèche. Refreshments served. Tel: 01480 214894 Web: 7 May Poor Little Belgium 7pm for 7.30pm The Comrades Club, Godmanchester, PE29 2AY The Cambridgeshire branch of the Western Front Association is pleased to present a talk by John Chester about the role of and experiences of Belgium on the Great War. Non-members most welcome. Web: 7, 14, 21 & 28 May Tots, Tea & Chat 10.50am-12 noon St James’ Church, Little Paxton Drop-in session for children and their carers. 10 May The Beautiful Bluebells of Brampton Wood 10.30am Brampton Wood Car Park, Grafham Road, Brampton (GR TL 184698) Suggested donations Adults £2, Children free The Huntingdonshire Local Group of the Wildlife Trust invites you to come and experience the delights of a carpet of bluebells in this ancient woodland. You are welcome to share this enchanting scene by participating in one of two guided walks they are offering this year. George Cottam, Brampton Wood Warden, will lead the walks. Please park in the Trust car park. Tel: George 01480 450809


10 May Organ and Soprano Recital 7.30pm St Mary’s Church, Huntingdon Admission on the door £5, Concessions £4 By David and Carol Shippey. This historic Victorian organ, built by the Hull firm of Forster and Andrews (using some earlier pipework) will showcase a broad range of contrasting musical styles. Enjoy a worthwhile and inspiring evening in this beautiful 14th century church. Tel: John Dillistone - Recitals Organiser 01480 455573 10 May Fashion Show 7.30pm The Sacred Heart Church Hall, Needingworth Road, St Ives Tickets £5 including a glass of wine and nibbles Male and Female fashion for all ages by M & Co. All welcome. Proceeds – Holy Land projects. Tickets: Kathy Bishop 01480 214524 10 May The Combertones 8pm Comberton Village Hall Tickets £7 (in advance or on the door) An evening of classic jazz with local band The Combertones. Bring your own drinks/glasses. Teas on sale. Proceeds towards Comberton Scouts international trip to Belgium in Summer 2014. Tel: Liz Bland 01223 263040 for tickets Email: 10 & 11 May Art Exhibition 10.30am-4.30pm Hemingford Abbots Village Hall Hemingford Art Club Art Exhibition. Works of art are for sale and original. Also on sale will be cards featuring original and hand painted work. 14 & 28 May Night Knitters 7-9pm St Neots Library Free admission A friendly evening for those who enjoy knitting, crochet and other thread based crafts. Meets every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month.

16 May 12 Years a Slave (15) 7pm for 7.30pm Mandeville Hall, Kimbolton Adults £4, Concessions £3, Under 16 £2 Kimbolton Community Cinema. Tickets from Watson’s, Dixi’s Deli, Bytes Café or on the door if available. Tel: 01480 860297 for more information Web: themandevillehallkimbolton

16 May A Victorian Country House Evening 7.30pm St James’ Church, Little Paxton Tickets £6 including refreshments Presented by members of St Neots Choral Society. Raffle. Tel: Tickets Alison Rogers 01480 215607 Email:

22 May St Neots & District Gardening Club 8pm St. Mary’s Church Hall, Brook Street, St. Neots Members £2.00,Non-Members £2.50 which includes refreshments and a raffle ticket Paul Hoxey talking about Cacti and Succulents. Competition is ‘One stem of a foliage plant’.

17 May Plant Sale 11am-3pm Buckden Towers Adults £2.50, Children free 20 specialist plant stalls. Free parking. Refreshments available.

25 & 26 May The St. Ives Antiques Fair Burgess Hall (One Leisure), Westwood Road, St. Ives Adults £2, Concessions £1.50 More than 45 expert antique dealers ready to give advice and offer genuine antiques at affordable prices to suit every age and pocket. There’s plenty to inspire you, including ceramics, china and porcelain, paintings and books, costume and precious jewellery, glassware, art deco and art nouveau pieces, silver, militaria and quality small furniture. Ample free car parking, wheelchair access by lift, hot and cold snacks and refreshments available. Tel: 01480 896866

17 May Music for a May Evening 7.30pm All Saints’, Haslingfield Tickets £10 Music for a May Evening with Hazel Brooks (violin) and Robin Walker (organ). Works by Vivaldi, Handel, Schmelzer, Samuel Wesley, Gläser, Pärt and Rheinberger. Tickets from the Village Shop Tel: Enquiries 01223 872190 18 May Red Cross Open Garden 1.30-5pm £4 Crosshall Manor, Eaton Ford, PE19 7GB Part of the British Red Cross (Bedfordshire division) Open Gardens events. Many parts of this lovely garden have been revamped since we last saw it. A Gorrik columned seating area overlooks two carp pools which is surrounded by urns and pots. From this position there are beautiful views across the fields. Another seating area surrounds an old tree and overlooks the terraced laws and boarders filled with flowers. The vegetable garden and Antique Barn may also be open. Parking and teas at the house. 18 May Exclusive Shopping Event at L.K. Bennett 5-8pm 1st Floor, Grand Arcade, Cambridge Tickets £10 including Fizz, nibbles and a chance to enjoy complimentary therapies 10% discount, Luxury Raffle, plus gifts and goodie bags and chat to Kuoni holidays. Tickets: 20 May Kimbolton Flower Club 7.30pm Mandeville Hall, Kimbolton Admission for visitors £6, including light refreshments The May meeting will be a flower arranging demonstration “A Blooming Good Read” by Gill Shanks. 21 May Huntingdonshire Family History Society 7.30-9pm Women’s Institute Centre, Waldon Road, Huntingdon Non-members welcome - £1 donation appreciatedAGM followed by Fascinating Facts from ‘The St Neots Advertiser’ during WW1 by Sue Jarrett. Web:

28 May Fashion Show 7.30pm Alconbury Memorial Hall Admission £3 including a glass of wine Hosted by Alconbury cum Weston WI. The evening is organised by Lincs Fashions who will be selling half price and less ladies ex-chain store - Next, M&S, BHS and many other clothes. All sizes catered for. Tickets: Judith Aylott 01480 896565 7 June Organ Recital 7.30pm St Mary’s Church, Godmanchester Admission by programme on the door £7 With John Dillistone, Recitals Organiser. The Godmanchester organ is a unique example of work by the renowned Victorian organ builder, Henry Bryceson. Installed in 1859, it contains pipework similar to continental Baroque organs, inviting an eclectic programme that includes music by J.S. Bach, Sweelinck, Guilmant, Henry Smart and Samuel Sebastian Wesley. In aid of the Church Roof Appeal. 14 June Bromswold Bike Fest Start times vary. The Green Man, Leighton Bromswold No entry fee – donations suggested Bromswold Bike Fest has been awarded a Cycle Legacy grant by Cambridgeshire County Council. A group of keen cyclists from Leighton Bromswold is organising a ‘Tour de West Cambridgeshire’ with the aim to get as many people as possible from Leighton Bromswold, the surrounding villages on a bike to ride one of the planned cycle routes (2, 6, 15, 25 and 50 miles). We aim to appeal to all ages and abilities. All routes will start/finish at The Green Man, which will also be the venue for post-ride refreshments. Start times vary depending on the length of route cycled, but it is hoped that all will finish by 4.00 p.m. Charity event in aid of for Macmillan Cancer Support, Samuel Pepys Special Needs School, St Neots, and Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Tel: Carol Greed on 01480 891568 Web:



The Villager Prize Crossword


Across 1 Stove (4) 3 Confessed (8) 9 Remove (7) 10 Tall structure (5) 11 Current (12) 14 Married woman (3) 16 Smooth surface (5) 17 Perceive (3) 18 Clarifications (12) 21 Fine porcelain (5) 22 Passion (7) 23 Calamity (8) 24 Small room (4)

16th May 2014 Prize Crossword, Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Name:



Last Month’s Crossword Winner - Martin Cooper from Bigglewade For last month’s solution please visit 28

Complete the crossword, fill in your details below, cut out this page and send to the address below before

Down 1 Conquer (8) 2 Devoured (5) 4 Small spot (3) 5 Road junction (12) 6 Defeats (7) 7 Terrible (4) 8 Butterfly larva (12) 12 Simple (5) 13 Private (8) 15 A swinging time? (7) 19 Small fruit (5) 20 Not alkali (4) 22 Female sheep (3)


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Crossword Solution for The Villager April Edition Last Month’s Crossword Winner - Martin Cooper from Biggleswade

April’s Wildlife Competition The solution to the puzzle in the last issue of The Villager was MIGRATION derived from the initial letters of Mistle, Ivy, Ground, Robin, Adder, Thrush, Ivy, October and Nightjar. From the correct solutions, the winner, selected at random, was Natalie Bartlett (Offord Cluny), who has been sent the prize, a copy of ‘Wildlife through the Year’ signed by the author. If you did not win, this book, largely concerned with the wildlife of Bedfordshire, is available through your local bookshop (ISBN 978-1-291-66252-8) or for £9.95 + £1.80 p&p from Wildlife book, Fountains, Park Lane, Blunham, Bedford MK44 3NJ.

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