Paxton Post Issue 34

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1 Issue 34 January - February 2023 Paxton Post THE MAGAZINE FOR GREAT PAXTON PAXTON POST Needs you You may notice that this issue is a little lighter than usual! We need your articles to publish in this newsletter. This is a village magazine, and relies on contributions from village residents, groups and organisations. To simplify submissions, we have now set the cut off date to 15th of the month prior to publication. These dates are listed inside this issue and are listed in every issue. Please help us keep Paxton Post going strong by remembering these dates and submitting articles which will be of benefit to Great Paxton.

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 Easiprint using the details below:

Email: Telephone: 01733 602302

Post: Easiprint Ltd, 39 Benedict Square, Werrington Industry, Peterborough, PE4 6GD

Paxton Post is published 6 times a year. Cut off dates are now 15th of the month prior to publication. Please see the table below for these dates. Please be aware that as this publication is a community publication, it is the responsibility of the contributors to ensure articles are submitted by the copy deadline dates. Easiprint regrets we do not always have the time and resources to chase articles, therefore we rely on contributors sending articles when due. Thank you for your co-operation.

Edition Copy Deadline

January - February 15th December

March - April 15th February

May - June 15th April

July - August 15th June

September - October 15th August

November - December 15th October

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.


Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue: What We Do?

Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue (CamSAR) is the Lowland Rescue unit for Cambridgeshire established in 2006, following the disappearance of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham. We are part of the UK Search and Rescue Operators Group – the body that governs all search and rescue operations across the country. We receive no central government funding, relying entirely upon grants, fund raising and individual donations.

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, throughout the year, we are a specialist search team, called upon by the police in the search for high risk, vulnerable missing people: a child, an elderly person suffering from dementia or even someone who is considering taking their own life. In each case an emergency response is vital – unlike people who are simply lost, the missing person we search for is unable or unwilling to give us their location. Cambridgeshire is a large, diverse county with areas of dense population and vast rural expanses which include waterways, farmland and woodland. These combined factors can make the search effort for missing people very challenging, and as each search is time critical, we can often be called upon to assist the police.

Close liaison takes place with the police on arrival at the incident, an incident response vehicle is set up and the team is fully assembled. All the team members are volunteers, but they have been extensively trained in disciplines such as navigation, first aid, radio communications and search techniques; many have undergone additional specialist training in the fields of water-based searches, flooding rescues, plus the ability to use dogs and drones. We can, therefore, draw on these skills to establish an effective and efficient integrated search plan to best manage the incident. Having such skills also permits us to work with agencies/teams beyond Cambridgeshire should the need arise. Each year we respond to around 50 incidents across the county. During the pandemic we were very involved in the delivery of food and personal protective equipment to vulnerable/shielding members of the public as part of Cambridge and Peterborough Local Resilience Forum. We have also assisted with car park marshalling for the mass vaccination programme and flood evacuation in Cambridgeshire. We have also recently worked hard organising the transport of required items to the Ukraine and promoting donations to the war-stricken country.

Unit 1, Mount Pleasant Industrial Estate, Pymoor, Ely, CB6 2DY 01223 968850


Vicar: Canon Annette Reed Tel: 01480 211048

Churchwardens: Mr Bob Hacking 1 Mint Lane Great Paxton 01480 219846

Mrs Andrea Goodyer 7a Church Lane, Great Paxton.

Tower Captain: Mrs Mary Parnham 01480 394727

Church Treasurer: Mrs Jacqueline Jackson

Please do contact Annette with any enquiries about weddings baptisms, and funerals. We can be very flexible with days and times for these special occasions.

The children’s Christmas party was held in the schoolroom and was a great occasion with the whole village involved. Children then received possibly a penny a week in pocket money, or maybe a halfpenny or, as in most cases, nothing at all. Therefore, any events would come as a real thrill, even if they could only dance around the gramophone music provided. The room was decorated with holly and mistletoe and children made colourful paper chains. Mothers then made jellies, cakes and sandwiches. As every child arrived, they were given a gift by the vicar, dressed as Father Christmas of course. These would be a small toy for the boys and a necklace for the girls. Everyone had to bring their own plate, mug and spoon as there was no such facility as a canteen. The afternoon would continue with games until 5 o’clock when the adults would arrive. Some would play whist, whilst others would dance to the gramophone. The community was so small only the infirm and very young did not enjoy at least part of the day. In most family houses children hung up their stockings, well usually large socks, on the bottom corner of the bed knob. As treats were so few it is surprising that excited squeals of delight could be heard from very early in the morning. At the top of the sock was always an orange, then a tangerine, then after a rustle of paper, a packet of Dolly drops. In a good year there would be a more personal present such as a string of beads or a bracelet, always from Woolworths. Further excitement was gained by searching further into the sock and finding a new penny. All this caused great joy in those happy, hard-up times. Each child received almost the same so there were no favourites and certainly no greed In the family. The cost of the oranges and tangerines was about 2 shillings which was a large amount out of a small retirement pension. One memorable Christmas was when her Dad found out that a family were so poor due to the father’s illnesses that the children were not going to get


any presents. Right said Dad, gather up half of our oranges and go round to their house and wish her a Happy Christmas. We were horrified at the time but it taught us a good lesson in charity. Many others sent gifts to the unfortunate family such was the community spirit. Most families had earmarked a fine chicken in advance for a great feast on Christmas Day. Stuffing was made from real ingredients such as breadcrumbs. Potatoes, carrots and brussels sprouts, often with ice on them, were picked from the garden. The pudding had been made and stored weeks before and an aunt made us a cake and mince pies.

On Christmas morning we all went to church and sang carols. After Christmas dinner we were encouraged to go for a walk. In the evening, after tea, we would play any new games that had come our way such as Snakes and Ladders. Let it be said that although most men were still employed on the farms, and therefore low wages, our village was a proud one and its people clean, neat and law-abiding. The streets and lanes were very well kept by a council workman, a Mr Judd and houses and cottages were cared for, as were people’s gardens. Without doubt, the young had aspirations to go into the wider world but, with farming as by far the main local industry, the advent of modern machinery meant that they knew they would have to leave, but where to go.


It has been an action packed term for the Rainbows, Brownies, and Guides. Firstly, we said farewell to some of our leaders at the end of last term. Brown owl (aka Lynne) and Snowy Owl (aka Tracey). All the leaders and girls would like to pass on a great big thank you to both ladies, but particularly Snowy Owl. Without Snowy Owl, who joined our village 7 years ago there would have not been a Rainbows group or a Guides group. We are so thankful for all the work you have put in over the past few years and wish you all the best in your new village. Whoever your new Girlguiding group will be, they are very lucky to have you. At the start of term, all three units came together to remember and pay our respects to Her Majesty the Queen. The Queen was a fellow girl guide and later a patron for girl guiding. In the promises we make we commit to ‘serve the Queen and our community’, she was a very big part of Girlguiding and will be missed very much.


We’ve been working on knowing ourselves, lots and lots of badges, dancing, and lots of crafts (from handmade poppies to building robots). We had a sports evening as well as lots of games and songs.



The Brownies have been working hard this term on their leadership skills, learning how to lead but also to listen to others. They have completed various skills builders to help them with this challenge including a dance challenge and a rope race challenge. We also had lots of fun and games along the way, including a campfire with sparklers on Bonfire night, science experiments and an outing to Kimbolton Swimming pool for an hour of swimming fun. Wow what a term!


Its has been a busy term for Guides, focusing their time on first aid skills. Learning what to do if they were to come across an accident, how to help someone who might have broken their leg and how to help in extreme temperatures. They have all earnt their stage 4 and 5 first aid badges, well done Guides. Just like the Brownies, there have been lots of fun times had; including a ‘games show’ evening (play your cards right and musical bingo), making and cooking their own pizzas and creating mocktails as well as joining the Brownies at Kimbolton Swimming pool for a fun evening of swimming. We look forward to seeing what next term brings.


All units came together at the Remembrance service with some lovely words and a beautiful picture.

The Mobile Library Visits Great Paxton On The 3rd Monday In The Month. It Stop’s On Towgood Way outside number 37.

The Parish Council welcomed two new Members to its November meeting – Councillors Howard Fieldhouse and Leslie Sullivan. Howard has also taken over from Gordon Addison as the Parish Council’s representative on the Recreation Ground Committee. There is still one vacancy so please contact if you are interested in making decisions and taking action for your village.

You might have noticed the improvements being made to the footpath adjacent to the Alpaca Field off the High Street. A team of volunteers led by Councillor Hall has worked hard to widen the path and take away the mud and debris that had accumulated making it slippery and dangerous in winter. Thank you to local farmer Robert Lenton who has helped the project by robustly cutting the hedge that runs alongside to create more space for all those that use that stretch of footway. A dog waste bin will now be ordered and located on the verge close to the Manor Farm entrance. And a new application for local highway improvement funding from the County Council for surface repairs to the footpath, new reflective marker posts and an additional post for the Speed sign opposite The Bell will be submitted before the January deadline.

Regrettably, our application to the District Council for a contribution towards better street lighting on the High Street was not successful so Councillors are looking to upgrade the units in phases once it is satisfied with the quote and project to be undertaken by Balfour Beatty. Still on street lighting, the Parish Council has renewed its contract for electricity supply until September 2028 with Total Gas & Energies to take advantage of best prices negotiated by ESPO, a purchasing organisation used by many local authorities.

There was a disappointing response to the survey asking whether residents would support the provision of a village hall. However, this prompted a discussion on whether Great Paxton should prepare a village plan or more formally, a Neighbourhood Plan. This subject will be discussed again at the next meeting and, if the idea of a


Village Plan is pursued, could form part of a wider community discussion at the Annual Parish meeting in May. Watch this space! Councillors also decided to contact the Primary School to see whether better use could be made of the Community Room now that it is no longer used for a pre-school.

The Parish Council continue to report highway or other issues to the County Council and appropriate authorities so if you spot anything that you feel needs dealing with, please tell a Parish Councillor or the Clerk. All items will be followed through.

The Parish Council’s Grounds Maintenance Contract is due to be retendered early next year. If you can recommend any company or individual able to maintain the Parish Council’s green areas and empty dog and waste bins, please contact the Parish Clerk who will be pleased to send through some details.

Most importantly, the Parish Council has had to set its precept. 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. This has remained unchanged since 2018. Councillors have recognised that the ability of the Council to invest in the village has been compromised by not increasing the precept, even incrementally over recent years. So, regrettably, the Parish Council has taken the decision to set a precept of £22,000 for 2023/24.

Lastly, elsewhere in the ‘Post’ is an article describing the work of Cambridgeshire Search & Rescue. The Parish Council has donated £50 to their fund raising for a RIB, outboard motor and trailer to assist their ability to attend water-based emergencies and incidents.

Next meeting – 16th January 2023 at the earlier time of 7.30pm!


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