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February 2010 Issue 8 FREE

Tony Juniper TalkS IVC 18 Feb 7:30 PM


New Histon Resident to Wood Become a Queen’s Nurse to be

Local practice nurse Janet Diplock, a Histon resident who works at Cottenham High Street Surgery, has recently been successful in her application to become a Queen’s Nurse (QN). This title is not a qualification or a reward but recognition of a continuing commitment to improve standards of care in the community and to learning and leadership within the nursing profession. Qualities that the assessors are looking for in a QN include delivery of high quality care to individuals, their families and carers and also being a role model for their peers and professional colleagues. The development of new services at Cottenham Surgery and involvement with teaching student and qualified nurses were all featured in Janet’s application. Being a QN provides a link into a nursing organisation with a 120 year history of inspiring, involving and

investing in nurses and the opportunity through a QN Forum to influence future policies and practice. The Queens Nurse Institute is a charity that traces its origins to 1887 with the grant of £70,000 by Queen Victoria from the Women’s Jubilee Fund. A Royal Charter in 1889 named it ‘Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Institute for Nurses’ and gave it the objectives of providing the ‘training, support, maintenance and supply’ of nurses for the sick poor, as well as establishing training homes, supervising centres, co-operating with other bodies and establishes Branches as necessary. Janet will be attending an award ceremony in London in May 2010 to receive her QN Badge and Certificate. For further information about Queen’s Nurses go to: http://www. html

Sister Janet Diplock SRN SCM BSc (Hons)

Guided Bus: Latest There's one thing clear at the moment - and that is that we don't have a start date for the Guided Bus service. We reported in our December issue that the busway was prevented from opening because of 'snags', small details that needed to be addressed - missing railings, sound barriers, and dozens of other things. We understand that the snag list is now down to about half it's size back then. But that still

leave around 500 items left to do. What else we know is gathered from a number of reports, interviews and websites. David Jenkin's report to Parish Councils [bit. ly/9Cga0Y] reports "Under the terms of the contract Cambridge County Council pays all bills up front, and must argue for money to be returned when the project is completed." So, whilst BAM Nuttalls are

being charged £14,000 a day for late delivery (total over £4.7M to date) it will be a while yet before Cambridgeshire gets that back. [BBC Cambridgeshire interview with Brian Smith see:] The County Council's Audit and Accounts Committee have just had a report [] that says: "it is necessary to reach agreement on the final target price for the Guided Busway. In order

to reach this final target price it will be necessary to resolve a number of compensation events (which have cost implications) not yet agreed. This resolution process is likely to be protracted, having cash flow implications for the Council" That's all consistent - its going to take time to sort, perhaps a long time to sort, and meanwhile the Council is having to pay money out, some of which it should get

back at the end of it all. How much that extra money is another matter no-one is clear. The Hunts Post, who have been taking a considerable interest in the scheme, think it could be as much as £40M []. It would be great to know more, but the scheme's manager, Bob Menzies, has argued that some information has to be held secret at the moment so as to give the County Council the best negotiating position. However, thanks to District Councillor Mike Mason, South Cambs District Council appear to have lost patience as well they passed a motion [] that ask the County Council to issue a comprehensive public statement concerning the future operation and likely cost of the Cambridgeshire Guided Bus Scheme.


Volunteers are invited to help create a new community wood which is being planted to celebrate 100 years of Cambridgeshire County Farms Estates situated between Oakington, Girton and Histon - see the map on page 2 for the location. 8,640 broadleaved trees and shrubs will be planted to establish a woodland that will enhance the landscape, create wildlife habitats and protect biodiversity. The woodland will be public access and with the new permissive access across the site it will improve public access in the local area. Beth Minter, Farms Officer, said: “Anyone interested in coming along to help us plant the wood will be very welcome. These public planting days are great fun and it is exciting to be part of a new wood that future generations can watch grow and enjoy.” Everyone is very welcome, if you would like to help please join us on Saturday, February 27 between 09:30 and 15:30. The site is located off New Road between Oakington and Histon. Anyone wishing to attend should wear appropriate clothing and bring a spade if possible. Woodland contractors will be on site all day to provide advice and to assist with the planting. Parking is not available on site so please walk if possible. Cambridgeshire County Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance said: “We want this to be a brilliant community event where everyone across the County, can come along and create a lasting, living and growing cel-

Continued on page 2...

INSIDE: Histon Poor’s Land - Community Survey - IVC Art Exhibit


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...continued from front page

Location Map

ebration. This wood will not only celebrate the 100 years of County Farms Estates but will also provide a great boost to the local landscape. The land is owned by the County Council’s County Farms Estate and the wood will be a lasting commemoration of the Estate’s centenary. Funding for the new woodland is provided by the Forestry Commission through a Woodland Creation Grant and by Cambridgeshire County Council. The first plot of land on the Estate was bought at Milton in December 1908. Since then the Estate has grown to approximately 13,579 hectares of land and 233 tenant farmers. Today, new tenants come from all walks of life including people from a farming background looking to take on their first independent farm business and people looking for a life-style change. If you would like further information please contact Beth Minter or Robert Smyth on 01223 699094 or Christopher Burton on 01223 699093.

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Police Warning Station Road:

"We are aware of parking issues on Station Road near to the Histon Fryer caused by people parking on double yellow lines. On Saturday night there were approximately seven cars parked on the double yellow lines and this caused problems to cars trying to get up and down the road. We have been in the habit of giving customers of the Histon Fryer notice before we issued tickets. This has generally worked well but the situation continues and we continue to get complaints about cars parking on the double yellow lines. As from today (1st February), PCSO King and myself will no longer give warnings of our intention to issue tickets. Please park responsibly."

Chris Blewett, PCSO

Pots of Spring Flowers Histon and Impington Open Gardens group is not organising an Open Gardens event this year - but the group is giving village residents the chance to put some colour in their own house and garden. Volunteers have been busy potting up crocus, daffodil, tulip and hyacinth bulbs, generously donated by Oakington Garden Centre, which will be on sale soon. Look out for them on sale this spring outside 51 Cottenham Road, Histon (the thatched cottage) and at Hollyoak Veterinary Surgery (St. Georges Way, Impington). The proceeds will go to charities supported by Open Gardens. Ideal presents for Mothering Sunday in mid March, or for Easter in early April. Or the group suggests buying them to brighten up the house or garden - pots of daffodils or tulips can be placed in a border to fill an empty space. In summer 2011 there will be the chance to view village gardens once again – keep in touch with our plans via our website www.

Judy Wilson

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Challenge of a Lifetime Estate Agent Jamie Curtis is facing the challenge of a lifetime as he prepares to climb Mount Kilimanjaro the tallest free standing mountain in the world. Jamie, 41, is usually seen working at his desk or showing clients around properties, but on February 26th he will be donning his ruck sack and climbing gear and climbing nearly 6,000 metres for The WSPA. He said: “The charity does excellent work both in the UK and worldwide for the wealth fare and protection of animals, many of which have been subject to cruelty, abandonment and neglect." Jamie has recently joined TuckerGardner in the Histon office and brings with him over 18 years experience in residential sales. Alex Gray director of the local firm stated “we are very excited to have someone of Jamie’s experience joining the Histon team. You can sponsor Jamie by visiting or for further information call him on 07714 222408.



10 Years UK’s Best Known EnvironOld: CHOIR mentalist Speaks at IVC 2000 In January 2000 a group of around 60 people came together to celebrate the new Millennium with song. After six month of exciting rehearsals under the lively and skilled baton of Grayston Burgess, the group, then known as ‘Choir for the Millennium’ performed Haydn’s uplifting oratorio ‘The Creation’ at the Histon Baptist Church with organ accompaniment. The concert was a great success, and the participants decided to form a permanent choir. Thus, Choir 2000 was born and has since then performed three concerts a year. Grayston Burgess retired in 2007, having raised the choir to a considerable standard. Since then Peter Britton has held the reins and has continued to develop the skills of musicianship and the quality of the singing to an even more impressive level. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, Choir 2000, whose membership has now grown to nearly 150, will perform Haydn’s ‘The Creation’ on 12 and 13 March at 8.00pm at the Histon Baptist Church. This time the choir, conducted by Peter Britton, will be joined by the Choir 2000 Chamber Orchestra and soloists Abigail and Richard Hooper and Andrew Yates. Admission is by programme @ £10.00, concessions £8.00 including light refreshments. They are available from Jane’s Frames and The Beauty Studio, Histon, from members of Choir 2000, or on the night. Under 16s are admitted free of charge. For further information please visit www. or Tel: 01223 561635.

“The elections are coming, the elections are coming” might be the headline for the first half of the first year of this new decade. In the second half of the decade we may hear a more panicked cry: “The climate is changing, the climate is changing”. By then it could be too late, or too costly, to do anything about it. It’s no secret that the climate conference in Copenhagen last December didn’t produce a binding agreement on the emission of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide being the main concern. Since then, the world has seen the PR machines of those who stand to lose out if we clean up the environment working at full tilt to convince us that climate change isn’t real. Mother nature isn’t listening to them. However, some politicians may be. And, that is a major cause for concern. Strong leadership at all levels of government is needed if effective steps are to be taken to stem our greenhouse gas emissions. What can two small villages do? That’s one of the issues to be raised at a special community meeting called by HICCA at 7:30 PM on February 18th at IVC. The guest speaker will be Tony Juniper, best known as the former England director of Friends of the Earth and one of the contributors to the Climate Bill passed by Parliament last year. He isn’t a politician but as a campaigner he has debated, cajoled, convinced or battled most of them in his 25 year career. He is also running to represent Cambridge in Parliament under the Green party banner.

That doesn’t make him a neo-politician, in fact, just the opposite. He talks common sense.   HICCA is inviting all residents of Histon and Impington to come and hear what advice Juniper can offer, and to ask tough questions of this long time environmental campaigner. It’s not a political campaign meeting - we can’t vote for Juniper - but it will help us to focus on ways that we can make our own local voices heard on all of the issues facing our community. Please mark February 18th on your calendar and plan to arrive at Impington Village College a little earlier than the 7:30 PM start time. A large turnout is expected. Info at

Extensions Renovations Loft Conversions Bespoke Fitted Furniture

01223 569067 Tony Juniper, world renowned environmentalist, to speak in Impington

Crossing Keepers Hut to be Rebuilt When it was known that contractors building the Guide Busway were going to demolish the Crossing Keeper’s Hut the enviro.volunteers decided to save it and proceeded to dismantle it brick by brick, in the hope that one day it could be rebuilt somewhere in the village..... Well that day has finally come and we need a few more bricks so if you have spare ones lying around please let us have them! Impington Parish Council was quick to come to the rescue with a suitable site and agreed that it could be built on their land. So after much deliberation with many residents, including historians, architects and planners,

Crossing Keepers hut in its original location

it was agreed that the best location would be in the corner of The Copse - diagonally across the road from the Hut’s original location. It was also decided that to keep the orientation the same as it was originally was the most appropriate and especially important because, as it’s use would be very limited, it’s historic aspects needed to be respected all the more. There has been a lot of concern regarding the urbanisation of the area surrounding Guided Busway, so particular care has been taken to minimise any adverse effects rebuilding the Crossing Keeper’s Hut may have on the woods. A lot of thought has also gone into the plans to keep the development as natural as possible whilst still creating an attractive meeting place and focal point for the entrance to the woods. Although Impington Parish Council have agreed to assist with some funding for this project there are still loads of things you could help us out with. You can make a simple cash donation; alternatively some building materials or you may be in the building trade and can offer us your services. Or perhaps you could provide some equipment we could really do with the loan of a forklift truck for a day! We’ll

also need some temporary fencing. Just get in touch with us, anything you can help us with will be greatly appreciated. Simply or telephone Pene on 237155 To view the plans go to the planning section of South Cambridge District Council’s website then enter application reference S/1520/09/F or go straight there pa.php?paid=143748 Check out our website http://www.hisimp. net/enviro/railwayhut.htm showing the Hut being dismantled.


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Friends of the Rec: Open Meeting Why not come and meet one of the groups who have by their efforts answered the question “But what can I do to make a difference?”. The Friends of the Rec are holding an open meeting at the Pavilion Community Room on the Recreation Ground on Wednesday 24th February at 7.30 p.m. They already have a track record of successful fund raising, and perhaps even more importantly of organising fun events, to support the enhanced usage of the Recreation Ground and increased utilisation of the facilities. Their support has covered equipment, core community funding for the development programme, paying for young people in the village to become sports coaches, funding the essential exercise facilities for the elderly, and promoting activites on the Rec. This year, the Friends have also taken on a commitment to raise £5,000 for the upgrading of the Playground Area on the Rec (see the last Courier for more details). Lastly within the Friends there is a core of people who use the generously donated space from offices, hospital and IVC to provide the car parking for home fixtures of Histon FC primarily for the visiting fans: this both raises money and also reduces the impact on the

residents of the village. The Friends are always looking for new volunteers. Some of the stalwart originals have moved on (some literally to other parts of the country) and extra help is also welcome and necessary. The Friends meet about four times a year and organise three or four events a year (including the 5k Fun Run, and the New Year sport and leisure quiz). Parents with children might perhaps consider that the investment of few hours will directly benefit their own offspring (and their contemporaries) now and in future years. Jane Rush, Chair of the Friends, said, “We are privileged to have in our community a fantastic facility. The opportunity for outside recreation and sport activity should be available to all and I am proud the Friends are doing their part in enabling this to happen, and encouraging greater participation. All the warnings about our changes in lifestyle are all very well. Having a superb Rec that makes taking exercise, or getting out and watching others, available and (above all) good fun is one of the key benefits of the village”. After this meeting, the next Friends event is a Ceilidh at IVC the evening of March 6th.


Car Club for Histon & Impington Are you interested in joining a car club, letting you use a shared car kept in the village, whenever you need it? A community car club is a group that owns one or more cars, which are used by its members as needed on an hourly or daily basis, and we want to set one up in Histon and Impington. Car clubs are great if you don’t have a car, or if your car is left parked in the driveway much of the time. When you do need it, it’s yours! Borrow the car for a few hours to go to the supermarket, Ridgeons, the tip, or to a meeting. Take the car for a day or two to go walking in the hills, go on holiday, or to visit relatives.

There are now over 100,000 members of car clubs across the UK. We want one in Histon & Impington too!

Whether you want to join to reduce your carbon footprint, to reduce your costs, or to get access to another car, the car club might work for you. We’ll probably follow the model used by many community car clubs that have sprung up over the UK in the last year; pay a small annual membership fee (less than the cost of a tax disc), pay for your use of the car by the hour or the day, and then pay a per-mile charge. As a non-profit group, these charges will cover fuel, maintenance, breakdown cover, tax and insurance. Depending on interest, we could buy several good condition used cars of various sizes – perhaps an estate for when you need lots of space, a small city car for cheap local journeys. We’ll have roof racks, roof boxes and bike racks available to borrow. It would be great if we could buy a small electric car in a couple of years. Right now, we need to know if you’d be interested in joining the club, and we need a set of people to help form the committee and set things up. Please send us an email to let us know. Chris Brown,

Chipping Away

Rec in mid-winter

Impington Girl Wins Role in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Rebecca Goddard has won the part of Chip Because of age restrictions, Rebecca will the Teacup in the Pied Pipers production share the role of Chip with another child, of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, to be per- playing half the performances each. Rebecca formed at the ADC Theatre. will be playing Chip in the following performRebecca, aged 8, attended an open audi- ances: Wed 31 March 7.45 PM, Fri 2 April 2.30 tion for the role, and PM and Sat 3 April was delighted when 7.45 PM, and will be director Sarah Phelps in the chorus for the phoned to offer her remaining performthe part. “I couldn’t ances. Booking for Rebelieve it,” she said, “I becca’s performances was so excited when I is now open at the realised I’d really be in ADC Theatre, 01223 the show. The rehears300085 or www.adals have been fun and I’m enjoying it very Pied Pipers is an much. Chip is a small amateur musical theapart but I also play a tre club and are one of child in the village and the first regional theaa teaspoon, so there’s tre companies to be a lot to learn. I want granted permission to to be an actress when Rebecca Goddard, 10 to appear in Cambridge produc- stage this delightful I grow up.” show. tion of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Impington Parish Council are always looking at ways of helping to improve our environment, so it should be no surprise to hear that they recently approached Acacia Tree Surgery with the idea of sponsoring another free chipping service in our villages. The enviro.volunteers were also on board to help co-ordinate the whole event. So last Saturday the chipping machine arrived and everyone swung into

action to help feed the “beast” with garden waste, winter prunings and unwanted Xmas trees. Quote from enviro.volunteer Pene Nudds “What a result! Residents get their garden waste cleared for free, lots of chippings are produced which can then be spread on the woodland footpaths. that’ll make it much easier going under foot Plus no trips to the tip!”

Become a Time Traveller The Cambridge time traveller group is a fast growing project open to anyone interested in the history of Cambridgeshire. We have a radio show every month found on 209radio (105 FM) and we welcome you, the community of Cambridgeshire, a place on our website to share your memories, pictures and questions about our local history. We are slowly building a village history section and one of the first to feature is a section on Histon & Impington where you can read articles and add your pictures. Why not check out what is already been added about the villages by going to http://

Also coming in early spring the group will be releasing a book by Histon Postman Paul Siebold called ‘ He who wears Big Boots’ The Story of Major Mike Martin. Paul first released the book in 2005 and we are re-releasing it on his behalf. it as already gained a lot of interest. We also have a book due out in the Summer looking at the history of the Salvation army in Histon, so watch the HI Courier for more information on both publications. For more information on the group call (01223) 234720 or email info@

Fonz Chamberlain



Guides: Community Cinderella Action Ball

& Gowns Beauty Parlour

On Saturday 16th January Histon Guides met wrapped up warmly at the entrance to The Dole on the B1049. Today they are starting work on their Community Action Badge for which they have to complete a minimum of 12 hours service. The topic of the badge is ‘Action for the Local Environment’. Despite the rain a good turnout of volunteers and some parents joined the village Environment Group; the girls helped collect litter removed ivy from the trees in the area and dug up ivy roots. The girls mastered the use of spades, folks, secateurs, brooms and litter pickers and all worked very well and enjoyed themselves in the wet. Half way through the morning we broke off for hot chocolate and biscuits. This was a fantastic beginning to our badge work.

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01223 234846 Gift Vouchers Available

Guides help the enviro volunteers and work on their Community Action badges

Tel: 01223 234846

22a Cambridge Road, Impington, Cambridge CB24 9LR

Tel/Fax: 01223 237795


'Dancing at The Legion' AT HISTON BRITISH LEGION

Ballroom Dancing Classes begin at The Legion on Thursday 11 February. 7pm - beginners, 8-9pm - improvers. £3 each. Classes will be 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month. Tea Dances held at The Legion every Tuesday, 2-4pm, £2.50p each. All welcome.

WI Report Our December meeting helped us to get into the Christmas mood. Hilary Sage read a variety of poetry and prose from Charles Dickens ‘Christmas Carol,’ John Betjeman and Pam Ayres. Seasonal songs and carols were given by Hilary Almond on her key board. She gave a very amusing version of the 12 days of Christmas and what the young lady really thought of all the gifts she was receiving. Members enjoyed joining in with carols and when we opened the doors it was the first appearance of the snow, 3 inches and blowing a gale. In January we had Marian French giving advice on tracking our family history,on the internet, local archive centers and of course to family and friends on the personal things they remember. Writing this all down for future generations to enjoy, and not forgetting to sort the many photos we have collected and to name all the details on them. Next meeting 18th February ‘Conservation of Paintings’ by Dr Spike Bucklow. Meetings are held at the Methodist Church Hall 7.30 visitors are most welcome.

22-24 Saffron Road, Histon

Tel: 01223 233447

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6 Station Road, Histon, Cambridge

01223 232452 Telephone Orders Welcome

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Tel/Fax: 01223 691599 Mob: 07832 261 791 Email: 10 South Road Impington Cambridge



Recent freezing weather conditions have led to an increase in potholes across the county and teams of maintenance staff have been sent out to deal with them. However, the County Council need your help to find the location of potholes in your area that they may not know about. You can report on-line by using the following link: http://www2.cambridgeshire. or telephone the County Council Contact Centre on 0345 045 5212

Histon Methodist Big Issues session 2

After the success of our first series of meetings last term we are running another six talks this term. The February meetings are 11 Feb. Chasing the dragon. Why people turn to drugs and how they can be helped. Speaker: Jason Vinyard 25 Feb. Update on Mercy Ships.How long should we go on giving? Speaker: Leo Cheng The evening starts with coffee from 7 pm. then the talk, then discussion after a break for coffee and desserts.

Talk: Siberia and its Railway The Histon and Impington Village Society presents a talk on the 23rd February by Dr David Oates. It follows the Trans-Siberian railway through spectacular scenery and gives an insight into the lives of different groups exiled over the centuries. The meeting will be held in the Brackenbury Lecture Room, Impington Village College from 7.30 – 9.15. Non-Members £2.00 at the door

Engage in the Afternoon at Histon Library Adults are invited to the Histon Library on Wednesdays at 2 PM to hear informative, inspiring and fun guest speakers and events. There will also be tea, coffee, biscuits and you will have the library all to yourself.  These talks are free and the next one is on March 3rd, 2 PM, when Joyce Hallet will speak on ‘Holiday at Home’.  On April 7th, Stephen Harper-Scott will speak about Impington Hall and on 5th May David Oates will talk about our local history.


Histon And Impington Parish Councils The Parish Office is the contact centre for all issues relating to the work of Histon and Impington Parish Councils, and also activities at the Recreation Ground and Centre itself. For opening hours telephone 235906 or refer to our website . The Parish Councils welcome residents to attend all their meetings, including weekly Committee meetings, which are published on the Council’s on line calendar Histon Parish Council will next meet on 8 February and will be held as usual at St Audrey’s Community Centre. All are welcome to attend and listen to Council debate and agenda items will include: o   A Community Facilities report up-date o   Recommendations for Precept request to be made to South Cambridgeshire District Council for 2010 – 2011 following review of budgets and future requirements o   The Brook Clearance session was postponed in January due to bad weather conditions, new date to be arranged o   Approach made for Twinning with French town There are still 4 vacancies on Impington Parish Council, which we hope will be filled by co-option shortly. If you are interested in applying, please contact the Parish Office, or any Councillor, to learn more about the work involved. Impington Parish Council met on 18 January 2010 Items raised included: o   A grant had been awarded by Donarbon towards the costs of the new Play Area at the Recreation ground. The area would be closed from 1 February, with work due to be completed by the end of March o   Parish Council were in receipt of the draft Section 106 agreement covering open spaces and public art issues at land in Impington Lane, former Unwins site o   The village Tree Warden has decided to stand down from her role. Some interest has been shown in taking this on, with Pene Nudds to stand in for the time being o   Council thanked Pene Nudds and all her colleagues for work on getting a planning application accepted for rebuilding the gatekeepers hut in The Copse area o   Opportunities for a trial of a 20 mph limit within the villages were discussed o   Council asked County Councillors for Histon and Impington to organise a further meeting with Stagecoach and the County Council to discuss issues surrounding the Citi7 service o   Agreed to request Precept from South Cambridgeshire District Council for 2010 – 2011 of £110,350 representing a 1.175% increase in Impington’s part of a Band D Council tax payment o   Donations for the Day Centre, Choir 2000 and Victim Support were agreed o   Council were disappointed that the Connections Bus Project provided for village youth on Friday evenings at IVC was reporting low usage at present o   Meeting being sought to discuss traffic issues involving Histon Football Club The next Full Council meeting will be held 15 February at St Andrews Church Hall, Impington. All are welcome to attend and listen to Council debate. Recent Planning applications received from SCDC and considered at regular Planning Committee meetings (Impington Tuesday

evenings and Histon Thursday evenings). All applications to the Planning Authority are normally available to inspect at the parish office and are also available to view on the SCDC website HISTON: S/1822/09/F Red Lion, 27 High Street – Bay window S/1834/09/F Mr M Shirley, 49 Cottenham Road – erection of dwelling following demolition of existing bungalow S/1850/09/F Mr & Mrs S Hargreaves, 9 Park Avenue – Proposed 2 storey side extension and construction of new lean-to-roof over former conservatory including demolition of garage and car port S/1843/09/F Mr P Fordham, 12 Farmstead Close – Proposed 2 storey extension to side incorporating garage S/1892/09/F Mr & Mrs Henderson, 3 Primes Corner – Single storey side extension S/1902/09/F Lloyds TSB Group Pension Trust No 1 Limited, Victory House, Chivers Way – entrance lobby to second floor S/1933/09/F Mr & Mrs J Morris, 39 Station Road – extension to dwelling and conversion/ extension of existing garage to form garden room S/1934/09/F Mr & Mrs N Walters, 37 Station Road – single storey rear extension and associated internal alterations S/1914/09/F Mr S Willett, land to the north of Moor Drove – change of use of land from agricultural to Gypsy/Traveller pitch (2 caravans) S/0024/10/F Mr D Ward, 108 Cottenham Road – single storey lounge extension to rear S/0057/10/F Mr H Dunne, 15 Normanton Way – 2 storey side and single storey front and rear extensions IMPINGTON: C/6/9/1A Cambs Guided Busway – Discharge of condition 5 (Lighting to Histon and Impington Bus Stops) – positions of lighting columns and cowls updated to reflect what has been erected at bus stops; a 2m high closeboarded timber fence to the north of Nos 3-13 Pepys Terrace to link the proposed noise barrier and existing fencing at Anglia Fireplaces to provide screening from light glare caused by bus shelter lights S/1799/09/A Anglia Firepalces & Design Ltd, Kendal Court, Cambridge Road – 2 fascia signs (retrospective) S/1896/09/A Rev Blandford-Baker, St Andrews Parish Church, Burgoynes Road – replacement church notice board S.0004/10/F Mrs Y Smith, 15 New Road – 2 storey side extension around and over garage with single storey lean-to S/0007/10/F Mr Tabalzynski, 4 Roselea – Conservatory Joint matters affecting both Parish Councils: Councils are looking at setting up an “Elderly Peoples Service Forum” for the villages The Parish Councils are looking for someone who might be interested in extracting information from the data provided after the Traffic Count carried out last year in Histon and Impington. This vital information can then form part of any responses to development proposals in our villages. Please contact the office if you would be interested in taking on this voluntary role From time to time vacancies arise on each of the Parish Councils. There are currently vacancies on Impington Parish Council which

we are keen to fill by co-option as soon as possible Volunteers to help out with special projects are also welcome If you would like to learn more about the work of the Councils, please contact the Parish Office, or any Councillor, to discuss ways you can become involved

Playground to Close for Refitting The major refitting and expansion of the Recreation Ground Playground Area (see last month’s Courier for details) will require the complete closure of the Area. The contractor will begin in early February and work through most of March. This is a major restructuring, including putting some shape into the landscape as well as installing new equipment. Neil Davies, Recreation Ground Committee Chair, said, “I appreciate that the winter time s often the time that the play area is the only available outdoor play space that is usable but the major grant that we obtained requires the work to be completed this financial year by 31st March” The plan is to close the Area from February 1st. The area will have to be re-seeded and it is the intention to manage the opening so the grass becomes fully established and avoids areas becoming muddy in poor weather. Hence, it is intended a limited part will open early in April and the rest will remain closed for the grass to become substantial. Then the rest will be opened and the original open part closed for re-seeding. Neil said, “We ask the residents, and especially the users of the Playground to be patient. This is a massive upgrade and we trust their future enjoyment will be worth the wait.” A date for the diary: it is planned to have a celebration opening event on the Recreation Ground on Sunday 13th June. Those who have been to previous Fun Days on the Rec will know the wide range of activities normally available. Fun is the right title. This time it will coincide with a significant Centenary anniversary of the Bowls Club and we have both that and the Playground opening to celebrate. A souvenir programme is planned (have you still got yours for the opening of the new Rec centre?) and there will opportunities for the village businesses to promote their offerings.

Playground area as now



Enviro Volunteers

Enviro Working Group enjoying a well earned break The Enviro.volunteers have some important dates ahead which we’d like as much help with as possible. Saturday Feb.6th - Tree and hedge planting 9:30am @ The Copse (opp. The Railway Vue). A few years ago the enviro.volunteers embarked

Enviro Group hedge planting and mulching on a major thinning and replanting programme in The Copse. As part of this we cleared and planted a new hedge along the edge of New Road. It was hard work but great fun too. We also had help from the Air Cadets, the Guides and even the Brownies. Our past efforts have

Enviro Group planting trees really paid off and everyone can see it is really becoming quite established now! .....However a few gaps have appeared which need to be replanted, plus it needs a general weeding and re-mulching. We’d really like your help again, so if you can spare a little time we’ll be meeting up at 9:30am on Saturday Feb.6th. As usual all tools and refreshments will be provided. This time however, although not essential, it would be helpful if you could bring along a small sharp spade. Further details of all our activities are available on our website htm Details are also regularily sent out via our mailing list, to join simply email your details to Saturday Feb.13th - Tree planting - 9:30am @ The Copse (opp. The Railway Vue). The enviro.volunteers have already made a huge start on implementing the woodland management programme for The Copse. Part of this has included clearing out a lot of unwanted Sycamore saplings. They have been helped by the probation service’s Community Pay back scheme so we now have several areas ready for planting with some native species...... so we’d really like your help again! If you can

spare a little time we’ll be meeting up at 9:30am on Saturday Feb.13th. As usual all tools and refreshments will be provided, although not essential it would be helpful this time if you could bring along a small sharp spade. Further details of all our activities are available on our website Details are also regularily sent out via our mailing list, to join simply email your details to Saturday March 20th - Hedge planting 9:30am @ The Rec. Play Area The enviro.volunteers will be on hand to help the Recreation Centre management with planting of the new play area. Saturday March 27th - Planting - 9:30am @ The Rec. Play Area The enviro.volunteers will be on hand to help the Recreation Centre management with planting of the new play area.

Enviro Group volunteer hedge planting and mulching

Histon Feast AGM

The Histon Feast Committee will be holding their AGM on Thurs 18th February, 7.30pm at the Salvation Army Hall. As part of the AGM the Committee welcome applications from local organisations, groups and charities who would like to apply for funding from the 2010 Feast Week. Funding application forms can be downloaded from the Feast website www. “We are starting to make plans for this years Feast Week and would love to hear from anyone who is interested in joining the Committee or helping out during Feast Week.” Sandra Howarth, Co-Chair continued. “The AGM is always an exciting meeting as we get to hear from local organisations, groups and charities what their work involves and how we as a community can help them” A full programme of events will take place throughout the week and as usual the Feast Parade will be on Sunday, 4th July. The Feast Magazine will be available for sale from June with articles and information on all our events. Meanwhile, do refer to our web site which is kept up to date with information relating to Feast Week. For more information please contact: Sandra Dunn – 01223 561147 sdunn@ Sandra Howarth - 01223 528785 showarth@

HELP NEEDED! To help with the reconstruction of the Crossing Keeper's Hut We urgently need Forklift Truck (to transport bricks from the container) Mini Digger (to help with the foundation) Volunteers Please contact Pene Nudds 237155 or


Steph Of Faith? New Life Church has welcomed another recruit to the team running its fast-growing TRIBE youth group. A pastor’s daughter from Birkenhead, Steph Orr is no stranger to Christian youth work and has arrived in Cambridge as part of the final year of her degree in Theology. “I have to do a six month placement in a church to gain practical experience,” says Steph, “so I want to get really involved with different areas of church life. As well as being one of the youth workers for TRIBE - which means helping out on a Friday and teaching once a month on a Sunday - I am also doing a girls’ Bible study, organising social events and working with New Life Church’s younger kids group, which is called Captain’s Crew.” Steph says that her background in the Wirral has made her see at first hand the needs that many young people have: “So many young people have no hope for the future and have such low self images. I think TRIBE offers young people a chance to come into an environment which is safe. It’s a place where they are loved and accepted for who they are. It offers a chance for them to develop long lasting friendships and get to be part of something bigger than their own friendship group. There is also a message of hope for the future and the encouragement and support of seeing the older youth develop into positive role models.” However, Steph admits that she found her first experience of TRIBE to be a little daunt-

ing: “My first reaction was that TRIBE was an awesome, wild place to be. There was so much energy, loudness and fun. But I could also see that people were really getting involved in what was happening. Most of all it seemed to be like a family, where people have built solid friendships and genuinely care for one another.” This idea of a caring family is definitely something that Steph has also found at New Life Church: “New Life Church is a really welcoming place, where people become like a family. It is so non-judgemental, in that people are free to express themselves and be part of a community where there are lots of exciting things going on.” TRIBE is a youth group for school years 7-13 and meets every Friday night in term time from 7pm to 9pm at Histon Baptist Church. New Life Church meets every Sunday afternoon at 3pm at Histon Baptist Church.

Steph Orr joins the TRIBE group at New Life Church

Youth Club on a Bus in Histon IVC at 7–9pm · PS3 and Xbox · Information · Advice · PCs with internet · Video/DVD · Karaoke School Yr 7 · Craft and above FREE entry · Tuck · Quizzes Tel: 01223 232978 E-mail:


Histon Poor’s Land - a Village Charity Do you know anyone in the village who needs a little financial help? If so, then maybe Histon Poor’s Land (HPL) can help. HPL is a Village Charity founded in 19th Century, and was the result of gifts dating from the 17th century to benefit the poor. Two known gifts were some land given by Dr Samuel Pont in 1780, and a £26 bequest from Mrs Grace Sindrey of Histon Manor in 1771. The Charity’s main asset is known as the ‘Paradise Allotments’ at the north of Histon off Cottenham Road. This name stuck following a remark by Canon Underwood, the Vicar, after the parish decided in the late 19th century to divide the land into allotments. Canon Underwood declared that it would be ‘paradise’ for those among the poor who would be able to rent the ground cheaply to sustain their families. The income paid for the upkeep of the allotments, and the surplus provided modest gifts to ‘the settled resident poor in the parish of Histon, with a preference to widows and those having the largest families’. Benefits were deliveries of coal - which must have been very welcome in the cold winters when there was no central heating. This historic arrangement continues today, although the bags of coal have been replaced by cheques paid at Christmas to members of the community. In 1998 the Charity’s finances took a significant upturn, receiving £32K from Mrs Esme Bumstead’s estate. Mrs Bumstead’s husband was a former Parish Councillor, and a plotholder at the Paradise Allotments. Income from this generous donation therefore provides the Charity with a greater opportunity to support the community. The timing of the gift coincided with the trustees’ desire to ensure that the Charity’s original aim was being met. Since the 19th Century, when the Charity was first set up formally to benefit Histon Parish, Histon and Impington have

grown into one community. Also there are nowadays not many widows with large families in our midst! With direction from the Charities Commission, the trustees therefore changed the ‘scheme’ of the Poorsland Charity to be ‘the relief of persons resident in the area of benefit who are in need, hardship or distress’ in the parishes of Histon and Impington. HPL now has six trustees—two from Histon Parochial Church Council, one from Impington Parochial Church Council, two from Histon Parish Council and one from Impington Parish Council. The governance therefore reflects the church roots of the charity but also now includes the secular community through the inclusion of both Parish Councils. So this ancient charity is still very much part of our community in Histon and Impington, and ready to provide limited help to individuals. The trustees are therefore keen to ensure that HPL becomes more widely known in both villages, and is given the opportunity to help support those of us who fall on hard times. Apart from Christmas gifts of £40, HPL has also paid for a the replacement of a villager’s uninsured stolen bike. The current trustees are the Rev’d James Blandford-Baker, Paul Glass and Mavis Driver from Histon PCC, Josephine Teague from Impington PC, and Marion Cleaver and Max Parish from Histon PC, and the Secretary is Joan Hart. Requests for help will be confidential, and should be made to The Secretary. Joan will soon be completing her spell with the Charity, and the trustees is therefore looking for someone else to fill this post. The trustees meet quarterly, and the Secretary’s duties include taking minutes, preparing the annual account, and managing day to day allotment issues. If you are interested in filling this post, and playing a key part in the long history of this local charity, then the trustees would be pleased to hear from you through Joan.

Village Society AGM Report A large attendance of members were present at the AGM of the Histon & Impington Village Society in the Brackenbury Room on Tuesday 26 January when officers for the ensuing year were elected as follows: Chairman Mr Alan Eade, Vice-Chairman Ann Whitmore, Treasurer Mrs Ann Fletcher, Minutes Secretary Mrs Barbara Parr, Publications Officer Mrs Pippa Temple and History Group Leader Mrs Eleanor Whitehead The Society meets monthly with speakers on many subjects. The next speaker on 23 February is Mr David Oates (previously of this village) and his subject is ‘Siberia and its Railways’. Tony Kirby will speak at our meeting on 30 March on ‘Victorian Buildings of Cambridge and South Cambs’ New members are welcome at an annual subscription of £5, or come as a visitor at £2 per meeting. Look forward to seeing you The Society urgently needs a Programme Secretary. Speakers have been arranged for the first half of the year. If you feel you can help please contact Mrs Ann Fletcher, 28

Manor Park, Histon, Telephone No. (01223) 564716 or email hugh.fletcher@hotmail.



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Local Surgeon’s Mercy Mission to Africa Leo Cheng, Histon resident and surgeon, recently returned from Benin on board the world’s largest non-governmental hospital ship – the Africa Mercy. There he performed life-saving operations to some of the poorest people of Africa.  He will be speaking at the Histon Methodist Church ‘Big Issues’ series of meetings on 25 February at 7:30 PM at the church hall. Leo Cheng, a Consultant Oral and Facial Reconstructive Surgeon in Cambridge and London spent two weeks in Benin, West Africa and has previously volunteered with the international charity Mercy Ships which has operated hospital ships since 1978. Last year, he also went with his daughter, Kat who volunteered as an eye clinic assistant in war-torn Liberia. Two years ago, his wife, Hilary, a Methodist Minister in Histon also volunteered as a chaplain for patients and carers both on board the Africa Mercy and on land-based community projects and clinics. Leo said: “Publicity in the UK often focuses on a few desperate patients being flown into UK for reconstructive facial surgery but with Mercy Ships, we provide western quality treatment for patients in the poorest countries of the world, on their door step. We know that 90 of the world’s biggest cities are port cities, offering easy access to the ship for people without health care.” His five previous trips were in Benin, Liberia (3 trips) and Ghana where he offered his

“His operation took me and another surgeon and our teams 9 hours to remove the tumour without disturbing the facial nerve. His extensive facial and neck defect after removal of this ruby-sized mass was repaired with vari-

Leo (right) with daughter Kat (left) observing and helping in the operating theatre. ous skin flaps from neck and scalp. Hence he was bandaged after the operation. “He could not believe that the tumour had gone after surgery as he looked at the mirror because the tumour had been with him for so long. It is very sad to me to see such an extensive tumour in desperate patients like him. What he needed was basic surgery from specialist Maxillofacial Surgeon to remove the tumour when it was small but such basic surgical procedure does not exist in the developing world like those countries in West Africa. Here in UK, small tumours of the parotid gland are removed by Maxillofacial Surgeons

Leo Cheng at work

it is believed they are possessed of evil spirits. So not only do they suffer physically, they also suffer tremendous emotional pain as close family and friends desert them.   The woman in the photograph with the enormous benign tumor in her neck is a perfect example. Leo told the HI Courier: “This woman was around 45 years who came to the Africa Mercy reluctantly because she thought that her growing neck lump was going to stay with her for life.  “She had a large thyroid or goitre which had been growing for 6-7 years. She tried to ignore it until her children asked her grandchildren not to come near her. It was because her children, other members of her family and friends all thought that she possessed evil spirit in her neck. She was isolated and not allowed to join various social events in her own village. She The Africa Mercy – a modern hospital that can move from port to port. also started to developskills and time, along with other surgeons and ing choking sensation and difficulty in swalnurses, to provide corrective and reconstruc- lowing. tive surgery to people suffering from large tu“During surgery, my team and I removed a 3 mours, cleft lips and war wounds. part goitre – one was obvious under her neck  In many parts of Africa, people who suffer skin, one pushed below her collar bone towards from deforming diseases are shunned because her heart, and another one pushed towards her windpipe (trachea) and food passage (oesophagus). It weighed approx 1kg. (Normal human thyroid gland weights around 40-60g) “After her operation, she was looking forward to hold her grandchildren and sit them on her knees, and socialise with her families and friends.” Another of Leo’s patients was a 41 year old man with a benign tumour growing from his parotid gland for more than 8-9 years. The ‘paratoid’ is largest pair of salivary glands and lies just behind the angle of the jaw, below and in front of the ears. Leo said: “It had grown so Leo Cheng and wife Rev. Hilary Cheng from Histon large that skin over the tip of the mass broke Methodist church. Hilary served as Chaplain on the down and it started to bleed. He was isolated Africa Mercy. by his friends and families and he lived in a

Woman with a enormous benign tumor in her neck is shunned by family and friends as being possessed by an evil spirit

Leo and his daughter Kat who served as an eye clinic assistant

Same woman after her operation. Life returns to normal and she can see her grandchildren again back room. When he came to the Africa Mercy, he was anaemic due to slow dripping of blood from his tumour. The mass also pressed on his facial nerve making his facial muscles weak (like a stroke patient without the function of facial expression). His families stuck dressings on the tip of his parotid mass to reduce bleeding. When he came to the ward, he had a dark shirt covering his head and face. I thought he was a woman when I first saw him!”

with a few hours with good preservation of facial function.” The impact on the lives of his patients can not be over emphasised. To them, Leo is a true miracle worker and friend for life.  You can see why Leo and his family go back again and again.  Every crew member of the Africa Mercy, including the captain, surgeons, nurses, dentists, hygienists, chef, engineers, electricians and cleaning staff are volunteers who pay for their own accommodation on board and transport to the ship. In addition to the dramatic transforming surgery on board the Mercy ship, medical and dental teams establish land-based field clinics carrying out free vaccination programmes, dental care, minor operations and medical screening, as well as supporting the training of local doctors and nurses. They also run education programmes in hygiene, nutrition, basic health care (including AIDS prevention) and micro-enterprises to generate income for the poor.   To meet Leo Cheng and hear more about the work of the Africa Mercy, come to the Histon Methodist ‘Big Issues’ meeting on 25th February at 7:30 PM in the church hall on High Street.



Pet Column:

When it's Time to Say Goodbye It can be the most difficult decision an owner has to make, but it can also be the bravest and kindest - to have a beloved pet put to sleep.

Sometimes a crisis occurs and everything happens very quickly. Usually in this sort of situation, it is clear that the only way to relieve suffering is euthanasia. It is always difficult to actually say the words but it is obvious what must be done. It can be more of awkward to make the decision with an older animal which is gradually ageing and experiencing a variety of different health problems. What makes Decision Day different from any other? Your pet has good days and bad days so how do you know when to say they have suffered enough and it is time to let them go? It is worth discussing the situation with a vet who knows your pet and their problems. Your vet should be able to discuss each of the health issues, how they are likely to progress, what treatment is avail-

able to help maintain a good quality of life and how your pet might be suffering. Many owners equate suffering with pain but this is not the only way in which animals can suffer. Some animals can be kept pretty much pain free but are still unable to get up and walk about as they would like which can make them frustrated and depressed. Some pets can become very upset if they don't always make it outside, or to the litter tray, and accidentally soil themselves. It must be very unpleasant to be very hungry but unable to eat, or to be perpetually nauseous or vomiting frequently. There comes a time when a kind hearted owner has to really try to see life from their pet's point of view and say 'enough is enough'. What happens once that decision has been made? In all cases your pet will be given an anaesthetic overdose so they will go to sleep, become unconscious, then breathing, heartbeat and everything else will stop. In most situations, this is given by injection into a vein and takes just a few seconds. Owners would sometimes like to have their pets put to sleep at home. Whether this is possible will depend upon the availability of staff and how urgently the animal needs to be relieved of it's suffering. You also need to think about where in your home you would like it to happen. It is important that both vet and

nurse have sufficient room to treat your pet and that there is decent light available. What happens to my pet after it is put to sleep? There are three main options. You can bury them at home if you have somewhere suitable: bear in mind how difficult it is to dig in hard very dry or frozen ground and where to keep them until someone is able to dig the grave. If they remain at the surgery they will be taken to a pet crematorium. There is strict legislation to ensure that everything is done properly. It can either be a group cremation with their ashes buried in the Garden of Remembrance at the crematorium or an individual cremation with the ashes returned to you to bury, scatter or keep. Clients who have visited the Garden have told me how lovely and peaceful it is. Our pets are very much part of our family and people who do not keep animals often do not understand how devastating the loss of a pet can be. Allow yourself and your other pets time to grieve, something which there is no right or wrong way to do. Often there are feelings of guilt about the decision even if it was perfectly obvious there was no other choice. This is perfectly normal. There are counselling services available for those who need it - just ask your vet for details.

- Paula Dean, BVSc MRCVS



Plug into Dance

Dancing is a great way to get active and social whilst having fun. For adults there are a whole range of classes run through adult and community learning at the Village Colleges in Impington and Cottenham, including Salsa, Line Dancing, Ballroom and Belly Dancing. For young people there are after school dance classes at Impington Village College, and a Saturday dance club at Cottenham Village College. This month there are two very special events taking place: Youth Dance Platform Saturday 13 February, 7 - 8pm Energise! is a showcase for talented young dancers from across the District. Dancers from Impington Village College will be amoungst the groups performing at this event at Comberton Village College. The event is free to attend, and the venue is fully accessible with plenty of parking and a licensed bar. All welcome. To reserve a ticket please contact April on 01954 200533. Tea Dance with Bob Watts Friday 26 February, 2.30 - 4.30pm Fen Edge Community Association is supporting another Tea Dance at Cottenham Village College this month. All dancers and

Tea Dance - a friendly and social afternoon of ballroom and sequence dance

Moonlight Mandolins at Histon Baptist Church The Moonlight Mandolins are a local orchestra, comprising mandolins, mandolas, guitars and bass. They have played at the Histon Feast opening concert for the past few years, and their next concert is at 7.30 pm on Saturday February 6th at the Histon Baptist Church. The concert will include classical pieces, Greek dance music, and even a world premiere of a piece by an Australian composer. They will be joined by the Cambridge Guitar Orchestra who will play music by Debussy, Grieg, and Jimmy Page amongst others. Both orchestras will combine to play a movement from a Vivaldi concerto. Admittance is £5, under 16s are free, payment at the door or bookings can be made by calling 01223 234874. More infor-

mation about the Moonlight Mandolins can be found at They are always keen to meet new players.

Moonlight Mandolins played at the Histon Feast

lovers of good music are invited to attend a friendly and social afternoon of ballroom and sequence dance. Entertainer Bob Watts specialises in music for strict tempo dancing, including sequence, ballroom and latin, swing to jazz standards, dinner music and smooth vocals. £4 entry with refreshments. For details contact Alan Leeks on 01954 250061. If you're interested to find out more about dance activities in the area, or would like help promoting your group, please contact local Arts Development Manager Amy Wormald on 01954 288748 or








Energise! is a showcase for talented young dancers from across the District


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Impington Writer’s Winter Project Two new books by Impington writer Gill Saxon could be just the thing if your family is expecting a new baby. Basic knitting skills are all you’ll need to get started on a fun project ideal for those long winter evenings. When you’ve finished you will have a unique heirloom for the new arrival. The idea for “How to Make My Welcome Blanket” (an instruction book) and “My Welcome Blanket” (a story book) began with Gill’s own children back in the 1980s. The project she describes has since been tried out many times over by families who wanted to make something special together for a new baby. Gill explains: “When I was first pregnant I remember wanting to make something original for my baby. It had to be useful and I didn’t want to have to take a course or buy a toolkit to make it. I had seen my mother knit patchwork blankets from oddments of wool and thought I could manage something similar to fit a cot. “I started by knitting stocking-stitch squares(one row plain, one row purl) in single colours. This seemed a bit dull, so I tried stripes, simple repeating patterns and multicoloured yarns. Books from Histon library spurred me on to try more ambitious stitches and showed me how to interweave several colours. Then I copied some motifs from children’s jumper patterns. After Ben was born I used an alphabet chart to knit patches showing his name and birth date. Instant heirloom, playmat, or cot blanket. Everybody admired it. “When Emma was on the way, I knew I didn’t have the time to knit another complete blanket, so I asked family and friends who could knit to contribute one patch each. I left the colours and designs up to them, but asked them to make sure their patch measured 15cm / 6 ins square. “Everybody loved the idea and many people didn’t stop at one square each. Emma’s blan-

Gill Saxon's Welcome Blanket

ket was big enough for a toddler’s bed and featured fancy stitches, motifs and Swiss embroidery (embroidery on top of knitted stitches). Some people even designed their own knitting charts. This is much easier to do than you may think. “My family has knitted a welcome blanket for every new arrival since then. People who saw the blankets started asking me how they could do something similar, so I wrote up the idea and gave them instructions they could photocopy and distribute to their own group of knitters. “It seemed common sense to after that to get the instructions together in book form. Then I thought how great it would be if, when the blanket was ready, you could also give the baby a storybook about how and why their blanket was made. So I designed squares which tell a story about a family looking forward to a baby’s arrival, then I used photographs of these as illustrations for book. I can’t find any other picture books with knitted illustrations like this, so it may be a first. “You don’t need to be an expert knitter to contribute. Every blanket needs plain patches as well as more ambitious ones, so even people who can only do plain knitting can help. Emma knitted her first patch for a baby cousin’s blanket when she was eight. Also, plain patches only take about an hour for an average knitter . “If you enjoy using designer yarns you can, but this blanket looks equally good made with yarn you may already have at home or can pick up cheaply in the remaindered basket at your local knitting shop. “Once you have the basic instructions, you can make any size of blanket and adapt it as you wish. Because the patches are small, knitters often feel the urge to be ambitious. Anything from flags of the nations to musical symbols have all featured on patches.” Gill hopes knitters who make a Welcome Blanket will send her photographs of it, and share their own designs for patches, so that she can post them on her website. “How to Make My Welcome Blanket” (39 A4 pages, including 26 pages of patterns) gives comprehensive instructions and costs £8.99. It is spiral-bound to lie flat for easy use. “My Welcome Blanket” the story book (29 A5 pages) costs £4.99. Both books can be ordered from the website: or e-mail Gill your queries: gill@gillsaxon. com 

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A Chilly Welcome For Our Winter Visitors Beautiful as a snow-covered Histon and Im- mistle thrush, with a bright yellow bill, boldpington might be, I’m sure I’m not the only ly spotted breast, and a slate-gray head and one who’s had enough of the white stuff for the back. They’ve been particularly noticeable this time being - the snow has certainly had a big winter in crab apple trees around the village, effect on all our lives. But what effect has the where they’ve even been holding territories snow had on our and seeing off local wildlife? the blackbirds One of the who more usumost noticeable ally exploit this and notable - effood source. fects of the hard Windfall apples weather has been have also been to bring some a popular fieldinteresting new fare food source visitors into our in gardens. gardens here in The redwing the village, in the is a smaller shape of fieldbird, about the fares and redsize of a song wings. These two thrush, with a species, relatives spotted breast, A Blackbird in a crabapple tree (photo: Penny Reeves) of our blackbirds a marked eyeand thrushes, are winter visitors to the UK, stripe, and bright red patches visible under the flying in from the north at the same time as wings. I personally saw them throughout the our summer visitors take their leave and head village during the snowy weather, and enjoyed south to warmer countries. Although these some particularly good views of a small group are not uncommon birds - an estimated 680 feeding in the rowan trees outside the Histon 000 fieldfares and 650 000 redwings visit the library one morning - a reminder that you UK every winter - they rarely visit gardens, never know what you’ll see when you head out preferring to forage in woodland or in farm- of the door on even the most mundane shopland fields and hedgerows. ping trip. However, this winter has been different. FigThese are birds that spend their summers in ures from the ongoing British Trust for Orni- Scandinavia and Northern Europe, who travel thology Garden Birdwatch project show that, south to us to escape the harsh, cold condicompared with the previous four winters, tions of winter in their breeding areas. One January 2010 saw a substantial increase in the has to wonder what they make of the snowy occurrence of these birds in the gardens sur- and icy conditions we’ve been experiencing veyed. Difficulties in finding food under the here! snow and ice drove the birds to seek food in Details about the resource used in compiling places they would normally avoid, and as a re- this article are available on request from pensult fieldfares and redwings were recorded in For more information about one third of gardens instead of the more on fieldfares and redwings, visit http://www. usual one in ten. The hard weather brought them into closer proximity than normal with Visit my blog, Neighbourhood Nature, at human beings, giving us a chance to see these beautiful birds in our own backyards. So have you spotted them? The fieldfare is - Penny Reeves a large and striking bird, about the size of a



History Article

A Fine New Bridge at Histon Ford One hundred and fifty five years ago a muddy crossing through the Brook separated Water Lane from Mill Lane. The ford was a serious inconvenience to those who wished to cross east for Impington or travel onwards to Cottenham. It was up to an enthusiastic young farmer, originally from Soham, William Dennis, to remedy this sad state of affairs, by raising the funds necessary to erect a sturdy, traffic carrying bridge. Mr. Dennis was the tenant of Abbey Farm and resided in the 17th farmhouse next to the Victorian property, we now know as Abbey Farm, where the owner, widow Ann Taylor, lived. According to the 1851 census William farmed 380 acres and employed 14 men and 6 boys. A heartfelt if verbose article in the Cambridge Chronicle of June 1855 records the two year endeavour of Mr. Dennis to complete the project. “ HISTON -The New Bridge - It will be remembered by our readers that less than two years ago, in the centre of (Histon) there was a most dangerous and filthy place; always a puddle of water for horses and vehicles to pass through, besides, being a stagnant pool, it was detrimental to the health of the inhab-

sion of opinion prevailed that a testimonial ought to be presented to him for his indefatigable exertions in carrying out that most useful and excellent improvement. As far as we are concerned, we hope this will be carried out, and we think our friends at Cottenham, and indeed all the villages adjacent, will feel pleasure in contributing something towards it, considering the great benefit the improvement has conferred upon them, and the increased comfort they experience in going from place to place, now it is fully completed.” In the October of that year the following proceedings were reported “…the benefits (of the bridge) were three fold: in the first place, the accommodation to all parties was very great, for instead of wading through mud and water, they could now go over a place perfectly clean: in the second place, it was beneficial in a sanitary point of view, because before the improvement there was bad drainage and stagnant water, which conduced to fevers, cholera etc., whereas now the drainage is good and the waters run off: in the third place, it was morally a great advantage inasmuch as formerly it was the lounging place of all the idle and dissolute characters of the village, who used to annoy

c.1926 Mr. J.T. Marshall in trap having just crossed “...the bridge that William D. built” itants. Well, this was admitted on all hands; but who was to set about removing it? That was the question. At length the matter was taken up with energy and perseverance by Mr. W. Dennis; he set about collecting subscriptions, spent a great deal of time, was at considerable expense, and the result has been that the present neat and substantial bridge was erected, and an improvement has been carried into effect which has no parallel in the history of the village. Considerable difficulties had, however, to be surmounted; but all have been cleared away; and at length the subscriptions have been received, and like the faithful steward Mr. Dennis called a meeting of the rate payers yesterday week, and laid all the list of subscriptions, vouchers and accounts before the parish, which, after being duly audited, were found correct, and signed by the chairman, Mr. Gardiner; and before the meeting separated, a vote of thanks was passed to Mr. Dennis , and a general and unanimous expres-

and insult all the passers-by with unseemly and disgusting language: now the police have strict orders to clear the place, in order to prevent the continuance of this nuisance. The following is the inscription engraved on the cup, which was supplied by Mr. Reed (who lived at the Firs), silversmith, of Market Hill:‘Presented to William Dennis, Esq., by upwards of sixty of his friends, as a memento of their esteem for his having been the cause, and his subsequent valuable services in procuring subscriptions for the erection of the new bridge in the village of Histon.’ Oct. 25th 1855.” The writer would like to think that those modern District and Parish Councillors, who have contributed so much to the improvement of community facilities within Histon and Impington, are thought of with the same grateful respect.

- Eleanor Whitehead

Quality assured work by skilled craftsmen who care!


GIVE US A CLUE! And win £20 of vouchers Histon Methodist Church, in the heart of the village (opposite Barclays & Nat West Banks) is looking to develop its premises to broaden the use by the wider community.

Please can you help us by sharing your views: 1.

Would you support broader community use of our premises Yes No


What type of venture is most needed in our village (select no more than your top 3)

Contemporary Community Café Citizens Advice Centre Cinema Club Fitness Classes Modern meeting facilities Adult learning (technology classes etc) Art & Craft exhibit space Other ideas: Easiest is to complete this survey on-line at


Community Commitment in Histon Exciting times are ahead for the village of Histon as the Methodist Church searches for new ways to make its premises more useful to the local community. The existing church building and attached hall in the main village High Street are already well used for a wide range of activities that go far beyond regular Sunday services. This has prompted some church members to consider remodeling and updating of the buildings to accommodate an even broader range of activities. Central to the plans is a real commitment to ensure the church is providing for the needs of the local community and as such the first step in this project is to get input from those who live and work within the village as to what types of facilities and services would be most beneficial. A simple survey has been developed to collect these views and it is hoped that local people will respond favorably with comments and suggestions. Speaking on behalf of the project committee, church member Christine Pooley said ‘We re-

ally want to exploit our central location in the village and are very open to ideas from local people. We seek to ensure the Church continues to serve the needs of the community for future generations.’ One of the initial ideas is to build a modern cafe that would serve coffee, tea and light snacks which is believed to be one of the main amenities that the village lacks. Other suggestions have included a citizens advice center, meeting facilities and even a cinema club, but the church committee stresses that no final decisions will be made until it is clear what would be in the best interests of the community. To share your views on this project, please visit to fill out the on-line questionnaire, or clip the survey form here in the HI Courier and drop it into the survey box at Lighthouse Toys. The closing date for the survey is March 5th.

- Michael Watson

Junior School Choir at the Grafton Centre On Friday 11 December, I was one of 50 lucky children chosen from the Histon & Impington Junior School choir to go and sing Christmas songs at the Grafton Centre, Cambridge. Lots of people came to watch us, including some familiar faces as many of our Mums, Dads, relatives and friends came to the centre specially. We all had a spectacular time thanks to Mrs Lee, our music teacher, and the other helpers and Miss Redsell, who played the keyboard for us.

We sang lots of familiar songs, like ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’, ‘Rocking around the Christmas Tree’ and ‘We Wish you a Merry Christmas’. There was a very festive atmosphere and everyone enjoyed the singing. We all went on a big coach to get there and back to school.

Alternatively detach this form and place it in the drop-box situated in Lighthouse toyshop in the high street, next to the Post Office. Include your email address or phone number and you will be entered into a draw to win a £20 Lighthouse toys gift voucher. Email Address: Telephone:

Histon & Impington Junior School Choir at Grafton Centre

- Madeleine Goddard, (age 10).



IVC Art Exhibition Impington Village College’s 49th annual art exhibition will take place during the spring half-term from the 13th to the 16th February. The first exhibition took place in 1959, when some friends of the college bought a painting by Mervyn Roe, a local artist and former student of the college. This was the first of their many contributions to the College’s art collection, which also includes sketches by Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland. Since 1959 the exhibition has grown and this year it will contain about 400 works by local artists in a wide variety of materials and styles. The exhibits will be for sale at prices from £30. upwards. At the private view from 7.00 - 9.00 pm on Saturday the 13th of February, visitors will be

able to view the exhibits and meet some of the artists. The £3 ticket (available at the door) will include a catalogue, along with complimentary wine and snacks. Entry to the exhibition is free during the rest of the week and the opening times are: Sunday 14 February: 2.30 - 6.00 pm Monday 15 February: 2.00 - 4.00 pm and 7.00 - 9.00 pm Tuesday 16 February 2.00 - 4.00 pm and 7.00 - 9.00 pm The event is organised by the IVC Parent, Staff and Friends Association, a local charity, which rises money for the college. Each year about £3,000 worth of paintings are sold and the commission on the sales is used to support the work of the College. website design from basic page to bespoke site

Samples of the high quality art produced by local artists at previous exhibitions

tel: 01223 719558



HI Courier SPORT

Signify kits out Histon FC Scholars

February Half term Tennis Camps Mon 15th – Fri 19th February Cambridge Lawn Tennis Club is running coaching sessions over the February Half Term: Mini (4-7yrs) 9.30am – 11.00am £8.50 members/£10.00 non-members per ½ day Book in advance for 5 days to get a discount: £34.00 members/£40.00 non-members Junior (8-16yrs) 9.30am – 12.30pm £15.00 members/£19.00 non-members per ½ day Book in advance for 5 days to get a discount: £60.00 members/£76.00 non-members

One fan who wished to remain anonymous explained his short, medium and long term views:

Histon FC Scholars in their new home kits sponsored by Histon-based company Signify 
Histon-based Signify, a leading vendor of managed IT security services operating from Vision Park, is supporting its local football team by sponsoring Histon FC Youth Academy’s home kit for the 2009/2010 season.
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to back our local football club’s Scholars,” said Dave Abraham, CEO Signify.  “It is important to us to support the local community, particularly to help bring on younger members of the club, and we are proud to have the Signify name on their shirts.” Histon Chairman Tony Roach commented “Our Academy is becoming an increasingly important part of Histon FC and gaining the support of a such a blos-

soming local company like Signify is indeed highly significant and much appreciated” Histon FC has a long history of sponsorship. John Chivers, the chairman of the major employer in Histon & Impington, the jam company Chivers, helped to found the Histon Institute in 1903, from where the football club has its origins. The Stutes were promoted as Champions of the Nationwide Conference South in 2006-07 and currently play in the Blue Square premier, it’s highest ever level. Histon’s crest features a rose, the flower representing the rose-covered field given to the people of Histon & Impington in perpetuity for sporting activities in the community by local firm Chivers.

"Short term: Steve Fallon going is bad for HFC and, crucially, bad for the village and fan base."

Scholars Manager Ian Hart with Signify's Stuart Howden

Vox Pop: What people are saying about HFC While storm clouds still hover over the Glass World Stadium, we asked some fans what they thought of the ongoing row over the dismissal of Steve Fallon by new HFC chairman Tony Roach. We sent our intrepid masked reporter into the heart of Histon FC supporters country - the Railway Vue - to ask: "Was the sacking of Steve Fallon in the best interests of Histon FC?" James: "It was wrong how he was treated. Whether it was in the best interests of the club remains to be seen. I'm very sad to see him go. He was a good manager, so given his proven success, it's a questionable decision." David (aka "Spiderman"): "No. Absolutely not. I'm already on record as saying that the

club can't sever the link with the community, and that link was Steve Fallon and the other players they got rid of. To be fair to Tony Roach, we know he bailed us out from a difficult situation, but he's alienated the community by getting rid of these people. Steve Fallon is much loved. So there is bunch of fans who aren't going to back there now. There's another bunch of fans who maybe will go back, but in their heart of hearts that connection with the community has now lost." Darren Cotterill: "No. All the good Steve Fallon did in the last 10 years - it was fantastic. So a guy comes in, sacks a bunch of players, then brings Steve back and sacks him two days later. It's beyond belief, really." Steve Hills - Landlord of The Railway Vue:

"No. The fact is that Steve is the most successful manager in English non-league football in the last 10 years. He's been so closely involved with Histon FC - him and his family. He's well regarded in the village for who he is and what he's done. The bottom line is, Steve's a village man, and the way he has been treated is appalling. I'm extremely angry." There is unquestionably a loyal following for Steve Fallon in the village and rightly so. Under his stewardship Histon has reached great heights. "To question his ability and professionalism is unthinkable," said a village resident who is only a casual follower of the club. Yet even among the die-hard fans there is a realisation that the club is in financial trouble and that Tony Roach is the saviour of the moment.

"Medium term: The interests of HFC lie with the Board and their willingness to contribute. It lies with the results. It also lies with the fans and the village. Those that support Steve Fallon FC will follow him. Those that follow HFC need to get down to the Glass World and support the team." "Long Term. HFC need to function as a focal point for local football. I believe that kids get just as much out of HFC functioning as a successful team playing high quality football (for a village team!) as they do with Steve Fallon being involved." Fans are worried about the club's future. Rumours have even been circulating that the Glass World stadium might be sold for housing. Those are only rumours as the land upon which it sits was given in perpetuity to the people of Histon and Impington by the Chivers family to be used for sporting activities. It must be remembered that Histon FC depends on the good will of the community. Most people turn a blind eye to the inconvenience posed by floods of cars parking on streets and causing general traffic chaos during match days because the club has been a valued part of the Histon and Impington community. That spirit of cooperation and sacrifice could be damaged if there is not a friendly resolution soon. As one village resident said: "If we want HFC to survive at all - and I don't believe that the fans, whoever they are, want it to vanish off the face of the earth - then people have got to be going to matches, buying tickets, supporting the players." [If you want to comment on this issue, go to or e-mail them to mail@ ]

HI Courier Feb 2010  

Histon Imington Courier (print edition) for February 2010