Paxton Post Jan-Feb 2022

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Issue 28

Paxton Post

January - February 2022



This is your magazine, and it needs your contributions. All contributions to the next issue of the magazine are gratefully received. We cannot guarantee to include every article, and we reserve the right to carry some over to a later edition.

Contributions should be sent to Simon using the details below: Email: Telephone: 01733 602302 Post: Easiprint Ltd, 39 Benedict Square, Werrington Industry, Peterborough, PE4 6GD


Months Covered

Deadline Date - 5pm


January - February

12th December 2021


March - April

20th February 2022


May - June

24th April 2022


July - August

19th June 2022


September - October

21st August 2022


November - December

23rd October 2022

Paxton Post is published by Easiprint Ltd in association with Great Paxton Parish Council and is funded by the Parish Council. Whilst every effort is made to ensure information in this publication is accurate, neither the Editor nor the Parish Council can be held responsible for any errors. The views expressed in this publication may not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or the Parish Council.

It's been a while since I last put anything in the Paxton Post, but most of you see what I write on facebok or our website. With Xmas approaching we are busier than ever and we have lots going on over Xmas and the New Year. We shall be shutting for a week from new years day as myself and the Chef take a well earnt rest after what has been our busiest times since we re opened in May. There are concerns for the hospitality trade again, but we just need to keep positive and keep doing what we are doing, and you keep doing what you feel comfortable with, any support is always welcomed and appreciated in these times. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported The Bell through all these tough times, we would not have survived it without you, our custom base is what makes The Bell the place it is!! We remain number 1 on trip advisor and there is a reason for that…..the food is excellent and the service is pretty awesome as well!!! Tio know what is going visit our website or our facebook page, The Bell, Gt paxton or just give me a call on 01480 700107 or 07701038433. Have a wonderful Xmas and all the very best for 2022. Raqi and The Bell Team


Vicar: Canon Annette Reed 01480 211048 Churchwardens: Mr Bob Hacking 1 Mint Lane, Great Paxton 01480 219846

services stretching back to April 2020 plus the most recent editions. Annette also posts the link onto the benefice Facebook Page on a Saturday evening. @ThePaxtonsBenefice Please do contact Annette with any enquiries about weddings, baptisms, and funerals. These “occasional offices” at the time of writing can take place without any restrictions on numbers though face coverings are mandatory inside the church.

Mrs Sarah Gray, 12 Church Lane, Great Paxton 01480 214015

Tower Captain Mrs Mary Parnham 01480 394727 Church Treasurer: Mrs Jacqueline Jackson For news from all of our four churches in the Paxtons benefice, please go to our website:

Our benefice Facebook Page is updated most days with news and pictures from around our four churches. You will find us @thePaxtonsBenefice. From January 2022, Annette will be producing a You Tube service for the first Sunday in the month. If you search on You Tube for Canon Annette Reed you will find a library of

An unusual view of Holy trinity Tower with the wind turbines in the background.


SERVICES AT HOLY TRINITY MINSTER CHURCH JANUARY 2022 1 Sunday of the month: No service. 2 Sunday of the month 11.00am All Age Worship 3 Sunday of the month: 11.00am Morning Prayer 4 Sunday of the month: 11.00am Morning Prayer. st




SERVICES AT HOLY TRINITY MINSTER CHURCH FEBRUARY MARCH 2022 1 Sunday of the month: 9.00am Holy Communion. 2 Sunday of the month 11.00am All Age Worship 3 Sunday of the month: 11.00am Morning Prayer 4 Sunday of the month: 11.00am Morning Prayer. st




A BIG THANK YOU TO VILLAGERS FOR 2021. As you may well imagine, the upkeep of our 1,000-year-old church is a constant challenge for the vicar and PCC. The reason the church is still open and able to offer a range of services (literally) and community activities is because of the successful 100 Club which Graham Bevan promotes. As Graham would say, the 100 Club only raises as much as it does due to the generosity of village people. The enterprise raises c half of the funds required to pay the Great Paxton portion of the cost of having a Vicar in the benefice (Little Paxton paying the lion’s share of the cost) and without Graham’s efforts over several years now there would be a big question mark over the future of the building. So, thank you for supporting the 100 Club. Graham is always happy to welcome new members every autumn and hopefully you have won one of the monthly prizes in the past. Due to uncertainty over the Covid pandemic, the PCC are reluctant to plan any events which bring large numbers together inside the building early in the new Year but we very much hope that as the year progresses the situation will improve. We do of course look forward to the MilleniumFest festivities July 16 -17 2022. th


A final thank you note to… The ladies who bring floral decorations into the church – they are much appreciated. Our wardens Bob and Sarah who help to look after the church and churchyard. Our local Rainbows and Brownies who support many of our special events, not least at Remembrance time. Our Local History Group and MilleniumFest Group who enrich the story of Holy Trinity Church through their endeavours. To Jeff and Ursula who keep an eye on the church, often offer us moral support and who have transformed the north side of the building. To our benefice ringers who often ring our splendid peal of bells. To our PCC members who do their best to keep the administration of the church running smoothly, not least Jacqueline Jackson for her bookkeeping. To David Wier for playing the organ for services, and other occasional organists.

One of the window decorations in the porch at Great Paxton Church 6

A poem written by John Butler about Great Paxton Church. Why do we like to gaze And why do we wonder? Is it that we can really move in time As here by the trees we stand, look over the grass And see, as in days of youth, The Saxon pile? Symbol of honesty, set in your village charm, As far from the city’s grey as the roses are. And quietly, next to the farm, You speak of the days when ships along the Ouse Brought Saxons. Now the bells in stately time Over the willows ring. St. Ives and Huntingdon And many a quiet meadow village too, Have churches old, but none as old as you. The poem was written by John Robert Butler (born 1909). His father, who became a policeman in London, was born in Boughton Village (just across the river from Gt. Paxton). Eventually the family came to live at the Black Bull Public house in Great Paxton and John went to Great Paxton School. He won a place at Huntingdon Grammar School, but circumstances wouldn’t allow him to go. He eventually became a nurse.




We had our Christmas Lunch on the 7 December and we all enjoyed the good food and company. We would like to thank Rachel for producing a good meal and her helper for the good service to all of us. Also thanks to Sue for sorting out the excellent raffle. th

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 18 January 2022. If you would like to join us we meet at 11am for coffee, cake and a chat, we also play dominos or other games and have a fun quiz produced by Dennis. We welcome all new people, both men and women, Just come along for a coffee and join in. We do pay Rachael £2 a head towards the refreshments. th

If your new to the village, please come along and meet new friends. Marion, Sue & Angela

We have all three Colts teams U14, U12, U9s competing this season in the Hunts Youth League, playing Saturdays at 10am on the Rec ground. All squads are currently full in terms of numbers. We have space for a fourth team, due to being unable to find a full time manager for our U10s, so if anyone local is interested in contacting myself regarding starting up a young team of U6/U7s, the club will offer the funds to gain the necessary qualifications for coaches/managers to allow a new team start up. Finally a gentle reminder about dog walkers collecting the dog poo from the pitches! Also any local assistance in maintaining the Rec would be appreciated, be it sweeping the pavilion out on a weekly basis, or assisting in grass cutting or marking/refreshing the lines for the pitches. 10





Website Email Facebook Great Paxton Remembers Old photographs particularly welcome. Also Great Paxton 1000 A small group of us braved the winter weather to meet in person in The Bell for the first and last time of 2021. Reports of groups/activities. Lancaster memorial Progressing well;- stone pillar, plaque and sculpture arrived. Installation in March, dedication hopefully in early May. Milleniumfest - 16th and 17th July 2022 Work also takes place continuously with the arrangement of the Milleniumfest. Please make certain this weekend is in your diaries as lots of help will be needed. The new preserves were available to be bought at the Great Paxton Christmas Light Switch on and another financial grant has been received for the event. Family history Several members reported they had been contacted by people seeking information about their families from the village. Research is continuing. We are also in contact with Bert Goodwin’s family in America. This contact has led us to try to locate and photograph the Roman pot found in Great Paxton and now in the Norris Museum in St Ives. Show and Tell Various fascinating items were brought along and prompted much discussion for the rest of the evening, ranging across the years from Roman times onwards, and across the world in place. Much research will continue into many of the things to discover more. • A medal or token depicting ‘the new houses of parliament’ with Prince Albert on the reverse. • A 1970’s photograph of Green Farm, Adams Lane, with Bert’s list of previous owners, verified by David who knew 15

several of the final farmers. • A list in Bert’s handwriting of those people entitled to receive letters from the Royal Mail from the Buckden delivery office in the 1860’s. • A description of the Post Office services in 1932. • An early WI commemorative teaspoon. • A school certificate, in lieu of a metal medal, from 1915, issued by the London County Council. • A recipe book from 1853 – utility recipes such as different coloured inks, removing stains from mahogany, as well things to eat and drink. Dates of Great Paxton History Society meetings– The availability of The Bell is changing so we are unable to fix a regular evening to meet. We will attempt at least once each month. 7.30 to 9.30pm at The Bell, hopefully on a Monday. Please email either or (01480 477035 ) to be notified. We will continue with a monthly email ‘newsletter’. NEXT MEETING in The Bell 7.30pm Monday 17 January – Covid situation allowing. Please bring an interesting item for ‘show and tell’ or to identify; it (and you) will be very welcome. th

The village archives include detailed archaeological reports, old photos, surveys of the church by architectural experts and 17 century wills, but sometimes it is just a small note written by the great historian of the village, the late Bert Goodwin, or a simple paragraph on a website which can be of even greater interest. th

The Towgood Family, after whom Towgood Way was named, owned a large paper-making business by the river in Little Paxton. Their main family house was Paxton Hill House and for many years in the late 19 century it was occupied by Mr Edward Towgood, 3 unmarried daughters and numerous servants. Their family grave stands proud in the graveyard of the church that they helped so th

much financially. A recent find whilst researching the family reveals that Clara, one of the daughters, was a foster carer. She did not take in a child in need from St Neots though. Through the Waifs and Strays Society, she took in a young girl who was the daughter of a prostitute in Whitechapel in the East End of London, just before the Jack the Ripper’s murders. For six years she lived in this big house in the country with a wealthy family having presumably grown up in abject poverty. She was however removed from Clara’s care as Clara insisted on her having a vegetarian diet, against the instructions of the society! The information researched by Bert Goodwin was, I believe, taken from an annual publication called Kelly’s Directory in 1880. It was a sort of Yellow Pages but for postal use. It listed the very few businesses that existed here then as well the very few people who would be liable to receive post. The vast majority of men were poorly paid farm labourers and their wives busy bringing up large families. Houses did not have numbers then and no doubt did not have letter boxes. Letters or packages from afar were dropped off at Buckden and were then carried here on foot. There was a pillar box in the middle of the village with a collection at 3:30 pm. The people listed were: Miss Maud Etchells – school teacher Edward Towgood – Paxton Hill House Jacob Bullen – farmer (still known as Bullen’s Farm today, on the Offord Road) William Dent – farmer Thomas Topham – the ferryman down River Lane George Fowler = Blacksmith and carpenter Henry Gaunt – Butcher and baker Thomas Judd – Butcher and baker Charles Pryke – Farm bailiff Jabez Paine – Farmer at Manor Farm David Seamer – Landlord of the Black Bull pub and a wheelwright George Swepson – Landlord of The Bell Thomas Wayman - Farmer 17

A fabulous whirlwind of a half term. Rainbows have.... had a spooky meeting with Halloween themed crafts and treasure hunts (glow in the dark stickers particular favourites). They've explored emotions and insect bites as part of their First Aid Skills badge, they've made remembrance wreaths, played games, got festive with Christmas crafts (lots of glitter), Christmas music, letters for Santa and biscuit decorating. Rainbows then finished off their term in style with a campfire including songs, hot chocolate and marshmallows. We also said farewell to some girls who have 'jumped over the Rainbow' ready for their move up to Brownies next term. " ." Abigail, Rainbow The Brownies have... had a Spanish inspired meeting learning about language and culture including designing their own festivals, having fake tomato fights and racing the bulls. They've had a fireworks inspired evening; fireworks in a jar, chemical reaction rockets and sparklers. Lots of excitement to see how high we could make the rockets fly. Two of our Brownies ran a meeting between them for their Brownie Gold Award. They chose a Disney theme - with fancy dress, Disney bingo, make your own Mickey ears, Disney themed musical statues and Disney themed 'would you rather' game too. Great work! They've celebrated Girlguiding Anglia's 50th birthday with activities they'd requested; hot chocolate station, magic potion making, balloon dancing, photo booth and creating photo frames and of course there was cake! There's also been time for benchball, glow in the dark catch and exploring techniques to help them sleep. Guides have... tried their hand at whittling whilst carving pepper pumpkins, shared torchlit stories over hot choc and marshmallows. Had skills builder fun with tessalating pattern challenges, baking science and brain surgery tasks. They've been out under the stars lighting fires, 18

making dampner bread and having sparkler fun. There's been Christmas Disco and Karaoke to finish off the term in style! And in the lead up to Christmas, there's been lots of hard work put into organising the stall for the village light switch on and organising their reverse advent calendar - organising donation points (thanks to the village shop and the pub), advertising, collecting and sorting through donations.

Libby, Guide Alongside all of these... •

Girls from all three units attended the village Remembrance Service and all contributed to the memorial with remembrance jars (Brownies), yarns (Guides) and wreaths (Rainbows).

Girls went to a special viewing of the new Disney Film, Encanto with 130 others from Girlguiding St Neots. An amazing film and of course there was a badge!

Guides organised and manned a stall at the village light switch on, raising over £100 from a tombola and name the gonk. Thank you to everyone who donated.

We're hugely grateful to Hades Firepits who have continued to support our fundraising efforts this term. The profits from their stalls at a Halloween event plus the village Christmas light switch on has boosted our fundraising totals yet again. Big THANK YOU!!!

There's been a whole host of badges to present to girls; mixology, local history, baking, animal lover, backwoods cooking, theme awards, buzz about Anglia, First Aid Skills Builders, Feel Good Skills Builders and Innovate Skills Builders. It was also very special to be able to present some of our Brownies with their Bronze, Silver and Gold Brownie Awards. Congratulations girls!

A special farewell to Little Owl as she jets off on her year abroad. We will miss you very much.


A huge thank you to our fabulous team of volunteers and all of the parent helpers who have made all of these activities possible - we couldn't do it without you! And if anyone is interested in joining our team of volunteers, please do get in touch - we'd love to hear from you.


And it’s all good news……….! • Those residents with children or grandchildren will know that the play space on Saxon Green becomes a horrible muddy mess during the winter and is bone hard with cracks in the summer! As, this has been an issue for some time, your Parish Council decided to invest in some ground works to improve surface drainage. This has involved the installation of four new drains with channels leading to a main drain. New topsoil and grass are also to be laid. Once the work is completed, the play space will remain closed for a further two weeks to allow the new grass to settle. Thank you for patience with this. • At the same time and with a mini digger on site, the Parish Council has asked the Contractor to dig out and remove the build-up of debris in the ditch adjacent to Saxon Green. This is also a problem in winter as water can overflow down Adams Lane and into the High Street. The drainage pipe entrance has been cleared and new mesh fitted to, hopefully, prevent it getting blocked again. • Three pieces of Adult Gym equipment have now been ordered and it is expected these items will be installed on Saxon Green early in the New Year. Just in time for all those new year resolutions! • Lastly, the new ‘Mobile Vehicle Activated Sign & Speed Indicator Device’ (MVAS) is now awaiting collection and will be ready to install in the High Street in early January!


In other good news, the Parish Council was pleased to welcome new Councillor Chris Hall at its recent meeting, agreed to plant a new tree on Mount Pleasant as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations and most importantly, set a precept of £20,000 for 2022/23 - a level which remains unchanged since 2018. This is the Parish Council’s share of the Council Tax so the amount the District Council will collect to fund the activities of the Parish Council in the next financial year. The Parish Council is fortunate to receive the support of its County and District Councillors Stephen Ferguson and Richard West. Their reports may appear elsewhere, but Councillor Ferguson has encouraged residents to report (to the County Council) areas where flooding occurs, or water persists in the Parish as funds have been committed to address these problems this winter. New development or planning issues are always contentious and Councillors have been made aware of the marketing of land for sale to the rear of 33 High Street. Whilst current planning policy would suggest that a maximum of three new dwellings could be built on the site, the Parish Council will continue to keep the situation under review at future meetings. Lastly, it has been reported that vehicles are being parked on the Green at Rectory Close. At this time of year, tyres will damage the grass and surface. The Parish Council would be grateful if those responsible could park elsewhere to protect the Green and maintain its appeal for the Spring and Summer months. Our next meeting takes place on Monday 10th January 2022 at 8pm. So, to conclude its report, the Parish Council would like to send its best wishes to all residents for a peaceful and healthy New Year.



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