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FooTFAll in Bedford town centre in 2018 fell by 710,000 compared to 2017. This is despite projections of increased activity from the Riverside North development.

at a Full Council meeting on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, the Conservative group on Bedford Borough Council proposed a fully costed amendment to the proposed 2019/20 budget which would have introduced two hours free parking every day in the town centre – for a trial period. Cllr David Fletcher commenting said: “The recently announced closure of marks & Spencer and the threat to other big stores this seems like common sense to me.” “given that people in Bedford have been advocating more free parking for years, the adoption of this policy would have been a big vote winner for the mayor!” Bedford town centre would be given a ‘huge boost’ under plans from the Council’s Conservatives to provide two hours free parking every day. The proposals would provide:

l Two hours free car parking every day in the Council’s multi-storey car parks. l A subsidy for sixth form pupils’ school transport, reducing the cost of an annual bus pass from £890 to £500. The sixth form school transport subsidy was removed in September 2017. This saw the cost of a bus pass rise by 133% from £381 to £890. Decreasing the cost of a bus pass to £500 a year would make bus travel far more affordable and as a result reduce pollution and congestion with fewer cars. The mayor’s office was contacted regarding the reasoning behind the rejection of the two amendments to the budget but no answer was received at the time of going to press. Let us know your views on this or anything else that’s bugging you:

Celebrating 100 years young Champagne, flowers, cake and a special card from the Queen were part of the 100th birthday celebrations for mollie harris, a resident of Oak Way house, part of Bedford Citizens housing association. mollie was surrounded by family and friends to mark the big occasion including her great granddaughter four year old Seren. Born in Darlington in 1919, mollie worked in the wool industry for many years in the northeast but moved to Bedford five years ago to be closer to her family that live here. marie Taylor, Chief executive of BCha said: “mollie is a wonderful lady and it was a privilege for us all to be able to celebrate with her and her family on the day. I know that she had a wonderful time.” Mollie is pictured at Oak Way House with her family and friends.

More parking at Biggleswade station

BIggLeSWaDe station users will be very pleased to hear that the car park is due to be expanded to provide an additional 55 spaces. The work is due to begin on march 8, and this short term solution will provide immediate relief to the capacity issues currently being experienced. Councillor Steven Watkins met with govia Thameslink last week to press the importance of this work being carried out, and to discuss long term strategies for improving station facilities to support housing growth in the area. plans are being discussed for further parking provision, improving public transport interchange and long-awaited step free access. north east Bedfordshire mp alistair Burt said: “This is a welcome first-step in improving car parking at Biggleswade Station; though we realise this is a short

term success and we will continue to work for long term improvements. “I am grateful to the Biggleswade Rail User group for their work in highlighting these issues and representing the concerns of all those that use the station.” govia Thameslink have confirmed that the works to expand the number of bays and resurface the entire area will begin at 7am on Friday, march 8. This will require the complete closure of the car park until Sunday, march 24, with the full facility reopening to the public prior to the monday, march 25 morning commute. alternative station parking will be available at arlesey, hitchin, Sandy and St neots, and Biggleswade Town Council are expected to temporarily relax parking restrictions locally to accommodate rail users during the closure.

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FEBRUARY 2019 Students are smart cookies Castle Newnham students were able to have their cake and eat it when they were invited to a fabulous tea at the Swan Hotel. The 37 students had all taken part in the school heats of the Future Chef UK competition where had to cook a two course main meal for £5. Staff from the Swan Hotel acted as judges and chose two winners, Gemma James and Abigail Rayner, who went on to represent the school in the local finals. Staff from the hotel were so impressed with the efforts of all the pupils that they invited them all to the hotel for afternoon tea. Principal Ruth Wilkes was extremely proud of their efforts, she said: “Everyone had a great afternoon and enjoyed a tour of the hotel and were able to see first hand to how a professional kitchen works.” Pictured: Gemma (left) and Abigail (right) pictured with manager of the Swan Hotel Malcolm Wyse.


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Have your say on design of new Whole lotta Love £200,000 skatepark at Biggleswade going on CenTRaL Bedfordshire Council is consulting on its plans to build a new skatepark to replace the one on Chambers Way in Biggleswade, which is near its Saxon pool and Leisure Centre. In December, its executive committee gave approval to spend £200,000 from its capital budget to fund the replacement. The council is now seeking views about what ramps and features people would like to see included in the new design. Councillor Steven Watkins, Deputy executive member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “We are delighted that the executive Committee has agreed to install a brand-new skatepark facility in Biggleswade. “We know that the old skatepark was used on a daily basis, and we want to build a new one that people of all ages and abilities will use. It’s partic-

ularly important that young people are provided with community facilities that encourage them to be physically active, amid growing concerns about rising levels of inactivity and obesity. “Skateparks encourage more local people to take part in a sport that is accessible and informal. They can help create stronger communities and a positive outdoor space where young people can forge friendships, be sociable and physically active. These types of parks are also used by inline skaters, and BmX and scooter riders. and, with skateboarding and BmX freestyle skills becoming Olympic sports from 2020, the popularity of these types of skateparks is only likely to increase.” The new skatepark will be built on the existing site. a concrete skatepark is preferred by the council, as this is generally considered to be the best surface for skateboarding. It is also quieter, more

hard-wearing and is likely to require less repairs than alternative modular or metal ramp structures. The new design will be finalised after consultation with local users and the public, and will try to reduce noise for local residents. There will also be upgraded lighting and CCTV to help users feel safe. The ramps on the old skatepark were removed by the council in early January 2019. Until the new park is built, skaters can use other nearby skateparks instead, such as the new park at potton, or search at A public drop-in event will also be held at Saxon Pool and leisure Centre on Thursday 14 March, from 4pm - 6pm. The consultation runs until 18 March 2019 and the public can give their views at

in Bedford

Bedford town centre continues to attract new and loyal customers alike from traditional and new housing areas. Some walk in, some use public transport, others take advantage of various free parking deals, especially at weekends. There is something for everyone to enjoy night and day. Saddened though we are by the reports of M&S closing their existing store, we know that more businesses are opening every month and investment continues at the Harpur Centre and elsewhere. People who really love Bedford speak with their purses and shop, eat and drink in the town centre and are proud to believe that their home town remains a cut above many others where businesses have been scythed by on-line and out of town retail. Speaking up for Bedford businesses Christina Rowe, Director of BedfordBID which runs the love Bedford campaign says: “Against the back drop of the national seismic shift in retail and changes in consumer habits, Bedford has welcomed 26 new business in recent months and seen the upgrading and upsizing of others.

“Blue Glass has developed its wine merchants business and is extending into new bar premises on St Peters, Délices has been turned into The Gallery cafe and bakery, the old BHS unit will be completed shortly and developments at Harpur Centre continue. “The multi-million pound investment in the Bedford Swan hotel have resulted in a fantastic new bar and restaurant. Businesses such as Mama Concetta help to champion the quality restaurant trade, whilst Mayson’s are a testament to High Street investment. The old Nat West near the Bus Station is now being developed, as too is the Greggs on Harpur Street. “A Caribbean restaurant is opening on Howard Street and there is a new business: Panzerotto on Mill Street. The old BoS unit has been redeveloped to residential and Six’s/Angles is taking over the The Pad club on lurke Street” All outlets are documented on the complete with offers and deals and What’s on listing. THE most extensive collection of GooD news about Bedford.

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Harpur Trust appoints new Chief Executive Officer

The harpur Trust, last month announced the appointment of David Steadman as the charity’s new Chief executive, effective from late July 2019. David joins The harpur Trust from the national charity action on hearing Loss, where he is currently executive Director of engagement. With an ma in physics from Oxford University, an mBa from Cranfield University and a background in the technology sector, David has substantial experience gained in children’s and young people’s charities including The Duke of edinburgh’s award, Coram and The prince’s Trust. he also co-founded a successful new Free School, alma primary, and was its first Joint Chair of governors. murray Stewart, Chair of Trustees, said “David brings a wealth of experience and fresh ideas to The harpur Trust from his career in the charity sector.” David takes over from current Chief executive David Russell, who

programme. perhaps his proudest achievement is the transformation into Bedford academy of the old John Bunyan School, now a successful secondary school in its local community. murray Stewart, Chair of Trustees, said “David brings a wealth of experience and fresh ideas to The harpur Trust from his career

in the charity sector, and his new colleagues look forward to working with him as we develop our strategy over the coming years.” David takes over from current Chief executive David Russell, who joined the Trust in 2002 and retires in august. he has led the charity through a period of great change, both in its schools and in its involve-

ment in the community. David has driven the professionalisation of operations and services across the Trust, whilst playing a leading role in the creation of the harpur Trust’s grantmaking and social investment programme. perhaps his proudest achievement is the transformation into Bedford academy of the old John Bunyan School, now a

successful secondary school in its local community. Chair of Trustees, murray Stewart said “we are extremely grateful for the outstanding leadership and contribution which David has made to the Trust during his tenure. he leaves the Trust in a strong position as a charity here for the people of Bedford.”

joined the Trust in 2002 and retires in august. he has led the charity through a period of great change, both in its schools and in its involvement in the community. David has driven the professionalisation of operations and services across the Trust, whilst playing a leading role in the creation of the harpur Trust’s grantmaking and social investment

Two in prestigious TES awards

a DynamIC duo from The Bedford College group have been shortlisted in the prestigious Times educational Supplement (TeS) awards. Finance Director pat Jones (left) and Samantha Jones (right) will be joining the cream of the crop in the educational sector at a glittering ceremony on march 22nd at The grosvenor house hotel, park Lane, London. Last year The Bedford College group was bathed in glory when Keith Jones won the top prize in the apprenticeship training category. The group provides training for more than 2,000 apprentices each year across Bedfordshire and northamptonshire. Keith is based at Tresham College which became part of the group in august 2017. “Winning awards is second nature to staff from the Bedford College group who have a trophy cabinet of glittering prizes to demonstrate the depth and breadth of their expertise in education. To be shortlisted in this national forum is recognition in itself of the quality of these two key staff members,” said principal and CeO Ian pryce CBe. Since pat Jones has been Finance Director, the college has maintained outstanding financial health and is regarded as one of the most innovative colleges for financial practice.  Ian pryce continued: “2017-18 though has been a truly exceptional year even by her standards and pat’s personal performance ensured the merger between Bedford College and Tresham College was successful. pat achieved this by being innovative in her approach to costs and budgets whilst being proactive in maximising college income. She has led on bids securing £7.5m already towards the redevelopment of the campus in Wellingborough.”  This contribution from a financial leader makes a massive

educational difference. Wellingborough has become the second worst place in england for the progress of disadvantaged students, and this will mean 400 young people who do not travel to other providers will now be able to access education locally. pat has also secured £2.5m towards the new advanced engineering Centre in Bedford, as well as securing another £1m in voluntary donations and other grants towards the same building (a novel approach in the education sector).  pat will be joined by colleague from The Bedford College group, Samantha Jones.  Samantha Jones is an advanced practitioner at Bedford College.  She has worked for the College for over 14 years and moved into the Teacher education and Scholarship Department in 2013, teaching on the pgCe Certificate in education course, which has grew by 338% from only eight students in 2013 to 35 students in September 2017.  During this time, Samantha demonstrated outstanding commitment to the development of the course, the student learning experience and her own teaching best practice. This hard work has been reflected in the consistent increase in achievement of students.   In June 2017, Samantha launched the UK’s first Fe Research meet in Bedfordshire, providing a space for Fe lecturers to share and discuss their research. Five pieces of research were shared at this first meeting and 40 Fe lecturers attended. In 2018, the second Bedfordshire Fe Research meet saw in excess of 15 pieces of Fe research shared and 65 Fe staff attending.   Last year, Samantha gained a phD place at Cambridge University, which she began in September 2018, exploring ‘vocational knowledge and updating vocational knowledge’.


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Confusion over Bedford’s identity?

TO The eDITOR: Where is Bedford? Driving up

Brickhill Drive, I notice that a South east midlands consortium, and not the council, is funding road improvements. If the money is ever found, our hospital is integrating with Luton, which we all know is home to an airport in London. handily named east midlands or Thameslink trains are the ones to Bedford, although not as often as they would since someone forgot to improve the station surrounds as they’d promised. politicians generally know best of course; the current mayor sits with fellow east anglians on the east of england Local government association – handily for travel expenses, its offices are conveniently located in Bury St edmunds. hang on though, we have Three Counties Radio with Beds, herts and Bucks, and our football team plays in the evostick South, our police tend to share resources with Cambridgeshire and hertfordshire; and aren’t we also sitting proudly at

the heart of the Oxford-to-Cambridge (butBedford-doesn’t- get-a-mention) arc for our oft discussed, but never actually pinned down, infrastructure planning? Does anyone know where we are? and more importantly, does anyone know where we are going? a proper vision and a plan that the Borough could get behind is missing – and the current mayor seems happy to be an adequate manager of decline rather than an energetic proponent of a distinct and vibrant Bedford. Robin Illingworth, Bedford

In agreement?

TO The eDITOR: I believe in educating the whole child and it seems that Ofsted agree? Ofsted Quote from 2019 framework: “There are two linked themes that run all the way through

the draft framework: the substance of education, and integrity. We are proposing an evolutionary shift that rebalances inspection to look rather more closely at the substance of education: what is taught and how it is taught, with test and exam outcomes looked at in that context, not in isolation.” hoorah! Jim Weir, Great Denham

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£4400 raised for ‘Beads of Courage’ aFC Kempston and Bedford College held a gala Charity Ball last October to raise money in memory of mick Birch. president of aFC Kempston, gary Ingerson and michaela martindale were the driving forces behind the event. They would like to extend their thanks to the park Inn, all the local businesses that so generously supported the night and to the master Chefs who prepared a superb meal. The sum of over £4,400 was raised, split equally between Cancer Research and the ‘Beads’. mick Birch and gary served in the RaF

together. Laterly he worked at the CCS nhS trust who felt passionately about the Beads after meeting some of the children, seeing their Beads and hearing their stories. he committed to fundraising to establish the Bead programme for Bedfordshire but sadly suddenly passed away before this could happen. his friends and family have stepped in to ensure that his plans could come to fruition and it will be a wonderful Legacy to mick that the programme will be running from end of march. The Beads of Courage programme provides children with chronic and life limiting conditions with Beads that recognise their journey. The Beads help to decrease illness related distress, increases the use of positive coping strategies, help children find meaning in illness and restore a sense of self in children coping with serious illness. The Beads are something tangible that a child can use to tell family and friends about their experience during treatment. each bead is their way of saying “this isn’t easy, but I did it.”

Left to right: Rebecca Bedford (Complex Health Nurse); Tracey Nuttycombe (Specialst Community Nursery Nurse; Samantha Williamson (Cancer Research Local Fund Raising Manager); Gary Ingerson (President AFC Kempston and Bedford College); Michaela Martindale, (FACE); Maria Nowshadi (Team Leader CCN Team Leader); and Mags Hirst (Play Specialist).

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New crematorium in Steppingley on the cards CenTRaL Bedfordshire Council has submitted a planning application to build a new and contemporary crematorium off Fordfield Road in Steppingley, near Flitwick. Last year the council held a number of public events to gather feedback on the proposal. The location is on agricultural land that is well tucked away from sight and there would be additional landscaping to minimise the building's impact on its surroundings. It would have a modern, attractive design, with a tree-lined entrance and low-level lighting. There would be both formal gardens and tranquil areas of meadow, as well as a lake where family and friends can visit and remember their loved ones. Councillor Richard Wenham, Deputy Council Leader and executive member for Corporate Resources, said: “We also know that Central Bedfordshire is an area that is set to grow: over the next 20 years

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we are expecting around 40,000 new homes to be built. “There is currently no crematorium in Central Bedfordshire, so residents are having to travel to crematoria in other areas which are close to full capacity. We want to make sure our residents have a local service to use during what can be an important and often distressing time. Steppingley has a central location within Bedfordshire, allowing for easy access for all our residents.” The council anticipates there would be four to five services a day at the crematorium. Subject to planning approval, construction is estimated to take 12 months. The public can find out more about the proposal online at: matorium and can read the planning documents online, reference CB/19/00289/Reg3 at nning

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New changing facilities at Saxon Leisure Centre

Follow what’s happening in Bedford @lovebedford @lovebedford1

Councillor Steven Watkins, Deputy executive member for Community Services - Libraries, Leisure and Countryside at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “at a time when public services across the country are being squeezed, we as a council are investing more in our leisure facilities. “The £1million upgraded Saxon pool changing facilities will help ensure that this leisure centre meets our residents’ expectations of modern facilities. “We hope that the improved pool changing facilities at Saxon Leisure Centre will help encourage more local people to get involved and participate in this sport. Swimming is fun for people of all ages and a good form of exercise, whilst also being an essential lifesaving skill.” The pool will remain open during the majority of the works which are due to start in this month (march) and will be complete in the autumn.

Charged after string of crimes TWO men have been charged with a number of offences, following crimes committed across the county. James piggott, 28, of no fixed abode and marcus ashby, 42, formerly of Kempston were both charged and remanded in custody, after being arrested following a burglary at a convenience store in Bedford Road, Kempston on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. piggott was charged with four counts of robbery, in connection to incidents that took place in Dunstable and Bedford in which

handbags were stolen, as well as one count of burglary in Kempston, one count of theft from a shop, one count of possession of Class a drugs, and one count of obstructing a police officer. ashby was charged with one count of burglary in Kempston, one count of affray and one count of fraud. They appeared at Luton magistrates’ Court on Thursday, February 7, 2019, where they were remanded in custody pending a further court appearance at Luton Crown Court on march 11.

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The Saxon Leisure Centre in Biggleswade is set to receive new swimming pool changing facilities costing £1million. Funding for the new facilities was given the green light at Central Bedfordshire Council’s executive meeting. The improvements will modernise the facilities, make them more family friendly and give users more privacy. The extensive work will include reconfiguring the changing rooms so that all of the family cubicles will be next to the learner pool, making them more convenient for families with young children. The locker layout will be improved, with more of the popular larger lockers put in place. The communal male and female showers in the main changing area will also be replaced with individual shower cubicles, for greater privacy. The refurbishment work will also replace the toilets and dressing areas and will upgrade the accessible changing rooms.

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We’re going to the zoo – how about you?

STuDENTS, staff and special guests attended a special ceremony to mark the progress of the foundations and steel structure for a brand new £3.65m Zoological Education Centre at Shuttleworth College. guest of honour, Owen Craft, general manager at the world renowned ZSL (Zoological Society of London) Whipsnade Zoo, near Dunstable, was joined by student ambassadors, The Bedford College group CeO and principal Ian pryce CBe, Centre Curator Carl groombridge and College governor, alasdair Simmons to tighten one of the structural bolts for the steel frame at the land-based learning campus at Old Warden near Biggleswade. Bringing the amazon and The Outback to Bedfordshire, Shuttleworth College’s ZeC will be the only Further education centre in the UK to have a specially-designed biome for housing tropical creatures from around the world. The unit will follow an



“evolutionary pathway” along which students will learn how to look after every “order” of the animal kingdom. It will include an aquatic room, bird flight area and outside paddocks for the bigger animals. This highly specialised training which young people can undertake at The Bedford College group facility will prepare them to follow the trails cut by earlier students who are now working in prestigious zoos and conservation centres. Carl groombridge, Centre Curator said: “The facility will allow us to expand the range of animals we have here. For example we already have some caiman smallsized crocodilians, but will now have mississippi alligators too in their own pool. “We are already part of an international conservation and educational network, but this new facility will put us firmly on the world map. For me it is a dream come true.” Carl and team have been working closely with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) which owns London and Whipsnade zoos, to create an environment where animal welfare is paramount. If you would like to work with animals then visit The Bedford College group on for details of courses and careers. Pictured above: Governor Alasdair Simmons tighten the bolt at on framework of new Zoological Education Centre

Ged to the rescue a ShUTTLeWORTh College student has been praised for stepping up to provide First aid cover when a huge fire broke out in an old building at a hospital site in Kimbolton Road, Bedford. gerald hargreave mawson, who is a St John ambulance Cadet saw the fire from his home and rushed to put his training into action standing alongside scores of firefighters and other emergency response staff. The blaze on January 3rd continued for hours with ‘ged’ receiving praise from the St John ambulance organisation for showing initiative by getting involved: “prior to the arrival of the east of england ambulance Service, ged was able to offer cover if first aid had been needed,” said an official letter and: “the dedication and support that he showed in supporting the emergency services went above and beyond what was expected of him.” ged is a first year Level 3 Outdoor advanced extended

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Diploma student at the Shuttleworth College in Old Warden, Biggleswade where he is learning coaching and leadership skills which he hopes will stand him in good stead for a job in First aid training and instructing outdoor activities in a few years’ time. “I love it here at Shuttleworth and was glad to be of service at the emergency incident,” said ged, aged 16, a former student of Bedford School.

Boson north raid property OFFICeRS from Bedfordshire police’s Boson team have secured a closure order for a property in Bedford following a warrant on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. The Boson north team carried out the

warrant at a property in Torridge Rise, and found a quantity of suspected Class B drugs. as a result, the team have secured a closure order on the property, with strict conditions about who can enter.


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Get involved with the first KickOff@3 football tournament Local companies and businesses are invited to sponsor Bedfordshire police’s charity KickOff@3 football tournament, part of a national initiative organised by police forces across the country in a bid to engage with young people they wouldn’t normally reach. The Bedfordshire tournament will take place on Sunday 28 april at aFC Kempston Rovers and is currently encouraging boys

and girls aged between 13 and 16 to enter a seven-a-side team, with the aim of representing the county at the national final in London later in the year. part of the team’s entry fee will be donated to the charity embrace, which works with child victims of crime and the rest will go towards the national KickOff@3 initiative.

paul griffiths, School Support Officer at Bedfordshire police, said: “The aim of this tournament is to build and strengthen the relationships we currently have with our community partners and so we are looking for community groups, businesses or charities to support and sponsor the event. “The level of sponsorship we are looking for is a £150 donation, and in return we will

feature your company’s logo across all of the advertising and promotion for the event and you will be named as a working partner. Our flyers will be circulated amongst all Bedfordshire Fa teams, as well as all schools across the county. “The sponsoring companies will also be invited to the tournament and will have the opportunity to engage with the public and J

give their support to a great community event and we hope this will be the start of something that we grow in the future.” For more information on how to support the event, please contact paul griffiths on If you are interested in finding out more about the tournament, please see the KickOff@3 national website.

Government S erio us ly i s yo ur driv ewa y loves looking as good as these? Bedford

A GovERNMENT report is suggesting that towns up and down the country follow the example of Bedford by having a Business Improvement District (BID) for the town centre. BedfordBID was formed in 2005 as one of only 12 towns to pilot the business-led project, since then 300 have followed and a report out now says they are an example for all towns.

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The report lists a of catalogue of ideas, many of which replicate what is already happening in Bedford more-bids-and-new-forms-ofbids-to-help-town-centres/

Said BedfordBID, which is led by a Board of business volunteers and promotes the town under the love Bedford brand: “love Bedford is the customer-facing brand which represents 500 town centre businesses large and small, retail, services and experiences. If you want to see just what great work in already being done, what investment is being made and which innovations are being introduced by real rent and rate paying businesses in the town centre go to and come on down to town to support them when you can.

“The business-funded Bedford Business Improvement District (BID) organisation which is behind love Bedford, works closely with the council, and other agencies, across a variety of local and nationally-led initiatives and we naturally welcome all and any ideas which encourage entrepreneurship or which ease the challenges facing our town centres. “At Government level BIDs, of which there are now 300 and of which Bedford was one of the founding 12 in 2005, are now recognised as a way to bring together the best business expertise in any town centre location. "Show you love Bedford by supporting the town centre brand:”

New fine for irresponsible waste disposal

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To crack down on this, a new Fixed penalty notice has been introduced which will see a £300 fine issued to people who are responsible for fly-tipping because they allowed an unauthorised individual get rid of their household waste.

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Five arrested after warrant targeting county drugs lines FIVe people have been arrested after a drugs warrant targeting county lines activity in Bedford. Officers also recovered numerous bags of suspected heroin, suspected drugs production paraphernalia and weapons during the operation in alexandra Road. The warrant followed on from a regional operation last month targeting county lines drugs dealing. an 18-year-old man from Bedford was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug. a 52-year-old man from Bedford was arrested for breaching a court order and is due to appear before magistrates today (Wednesday).a 17-yearold boy from north London who turned up at the address while officers were searching the property was also arrested. he has been charged with

possession of an offensive weapon, as well as breaching a court order. a 31-year-old man from Bedford was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a controlled drug, namely heroin. he has been released under investigation. a 49-year-old man from Bedford was initially arrested on suspicion of drug production and supply offences, and was later arrested on suspicion of other offences in relation to a previous incident. he has also been released under investigation. as well as drugs, police also recovered a knife and handheld crossbow during their searches. Officers are now in the process of applying for a closure order on the property, which they hope to secure in the coming days. Detective Sergeant graham Williams said: “I

would like to praise the conduct of all officers involved in this job, who acted with the utmost professionalism in challenging circumstances. “This was another excellent job targeting those suspected of being involved in county lines drugs activity in and around Bedford. “Drugs underpin much of the most harmful and violent crime we see across the county, so it is vital that we crackdown on those suspected of being involved in the production and supply of drugs.” To report information about drugs activity in your area please call 101 or visit Bedfordshire police’s online reporting centre. you can also contact Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111. For more information about county lines please visit the force’s website.

Developer secures new site in Bedford CReaTOn-BaSeD mulberry Developments has secured a new site in Bedford which it plans to invest £30 million to develop into a logistics park, creating more than 250 jobs for the area. The site, which was formerly part of a larger site owned by manufacturing giant 3m, is now set to be cleared and a planning application submitted for up to 250,000 square feet of logistics space. Located on hudson Road, the 12.12 acre site is part of the elms Farm industrial estate to the north east of the town.

mulberry hopes to attract a range of freehold and leasehold industrial, logistics and some manufacturing tenants bringing much needed new commercial space to the area, which is a key location for UK transport links and available labour. phil Jones, Development Director at mulberry Developments (left), said: “We are delighted to have been successful in securing this site, which we believe will be a sought after location for businesses looking to relocate or expand into the county. “Bedford has perhaps been overlooked previously but it is now growing in popularity with occupiers keen to take advantage of the easy access to major routes via the a1 and m1. “as a local, privately owned developer we look forward to working closely with the local authority to bring forward a much needed, high quality, brand new logistics park to Bedford which will be a prime addition to our portfolio of in demand commercial space.” The site, which is yet to be named, will be marketed by agents m1 agency, Cushman and Wakefield and Louch Shacklock. andy hall from m1 agency added: “This is an exciting project to be involved in and we actively look-

ing to speak to interested parties about how this development could suit their future business needs.” The new jobs will be created once the development is completed. additional jobs will be provided

throughout the construction process. The site is already vacant after 3m consolidated its operations last year. Subject to planning approval, mulberry hopes to start work during the latter part of 2019.


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Council to pilot high-tech roads

CENTRAl Bedfordshire Council has learnt that it has been chosen to trial the latest innovative road and pavement surfaces, after securing £1.05m of funding from the Department of Transport and the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT). Following an intense bidding round, including a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch, the council has won the funding to trial three types of renewable energy generation ideas. It will be testing three different new high-tech techniques for using roads, cycleways and pavements to capture, store and re-use solar, kinetic and thermal energy. These trials will see how

new technologies work in the real world, and will help influence how future roads are built in the 21st century. The council is currently upgrading a 3km stretch of the A421 road into Milton Keynes. The new dual carriageway will have a pavement and cycleway running alongside it with a special surface that will capture solar energy. In the summer, this heat can be stored and used to power streetlights and electronic road signs, or even heat nearby buildings. In cold weather, this technology will be used in combination with water pipes laid just below the surface that use geothermal energy from the earth. Together, they can also be used to warm the road surface,

to prevent icy conditions and reduce the reliance on gritting lorries. In another trial, the council will test kinetic pavement panels in Flitwick. These will capture the energy created by pedestrian footfall, which can again be used to power streetlights and electronic road signs. So, as people step on the pavement tiles, their weight will cause electromagnetic induction generators to generate off-grid electricity. Councillor Ian Dalgano, Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Central Bedfordshire Council is investing heavily in its road network over the next five

years, with £89m funding new and upgraded roads. As well as helping people to travel quickly and easily, these construction projects also provide a great opportunity to try out some new futuristic technology. “We are looking at how we can reduce costs and make the most our tax payers’ money. So we are really thrilled to be chosen to pilot these cutting edge renewable energy projects. The trials will help test innovative solutions that are currently very much in their infancy, but which could be rolled out to other local authorities in the future. And they will also help to ensure our communities’ energy requirements rely on sustainable, eco-friendly sources.”

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Scouts, spiders and snakes

IT’S Been a very active month for Flitwick Scout group. One of the Beaver Colonies (boys and girls aged 6 to 8) had some special guests in the form of spiders, snakes, a skunk, a chameleon and a tarantula. all of the children were allowed to hold the animals. They animals will be coming back later this month to visit the other three Colonies. The Beavers have also been on a sleepover; this was preceded by a trip to Wrest park, followed by pizza and a film before trying to get some sleep. They have all been awarded their Builder badge, and for this they had to decide what model to make and then build it using recyclable products. The Cub Scouts (boys and girls aged 8 to 10 ½) have been out walking in the dark. a route that took in numerous footpaths around Flitwick and Steppingley was navigated by one of the packs when there was snow on the ground. This was a sponsored event following an evening in the previous term where the Cubs took part in discussions and activities around World Toilet Day. The Cubs were dismayed to learn that a third of the world’s population has no access to a toilet! This motivated them to undertake a fundraising event, so that they could ‘twin’ some toilets in Third World countries. The Cubs have raised enough money to twin six toilets! They have also made torches as part

of their Scientist badge, worked towards their emergency aid badge and grown some cress. another memorable evening was spent celebrating Burns night. The Cubs dined on haggis, neeps and Tatties, followed by a Tunnock’s teacake, all washed down with Irn Bru. During the evening they took part in some highland games and danced The gay gordons! activities including cooking, DIy, Digital Citizen an incident hike and working towards their Skills Challenge badge have all been on the programme for the Scouts (boys and girls aged 10 ½ to 14). members of the group will have the opportunity to attend some camps this year. The first is a group camp at Bromham in June, Summer camp for Cubs and Scouts at Thriftwood, essex in July/august and a District Cub camp at milton Bryan in September. Sienna mcCallion said: “I’ve only been in Beavers for a few weeks but I’ve held a snake, been on a sleepover and got my navigator Stage 1 badge. Beavers is brilliant.” adult volunteer Sam Raines said, “It’s so good to be involved with Flitwick Scout group, the programme is so varied, the children have a great time and the adults also have fun and enjoyment.” For further information about Flitwick Scout group, please visit

Local business moves with the times

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D&g Short to close hardware branch of the business after 93 years. With a feeling of excitement for the future and a twinge of sadness for years gone by, D&g Short have decided to close the DIy side of the business and focus on the continuously growing locksmith, security and gate automation arm of the venture. D&g Short is a family business that has occupied the same premises in Flitwick for 93 years. During that time, the business has before adapted and changed to cater to people’s appetites and needs. previous guises include a greengrocer, milliners, iron monger, garden supplies shop, bike shop and the hardware store we know today. as the retail environment changes the decision has been made to focus on the thriving locksmith and gate automation business. D&g Short will continue to occupy the same premises it has for so many years and there will be some exciting changes happening to the shop in the coming months.

Victoria and Chris of D&g Short are keen to stress that the hardware store has been an integral part of their business but it’s simply time to shift the focus. Victoria said: “We feel so proud to be the last independent hardware store in the area that is still standing and hasn’t buckled under the pressure from larger retailers, particularly those online. We are incredibly grateful to our loyal customers for their support of the hardware store”. Chris added: “Of course we feel nostalgic for the hardware side of the business, it has been in our family for so many years. part of succeeding in business is evolving and we feel by focusing on the locksmiths, security and gates we can continue the Short legacy and provide employment in the local area, as we always have done. It’s exciting to wonder what D&g Short will look like in a further 93 years”. The D&g Short store will cease to sell general hardware items from mid February 2019, the locksmiths and key-cutting service will remain open for business as usual.

£13k fine for building regulation offences On Tuesday, January 29, 2019, mr mohammed Saleem, of Bromham Road, Bedford, was ordered to pay £13,772.97 after pleading guilty to breaching the Building Regulations. During the hearing at Luton magistrates Court, the court heard how mr Saleem had not complied with a number of Building

Regulations including some critical fire safety requirements whilst carrying out work to convert an existing office space into flats. The Court ordered that mr Saleem to pay one fine of £10,000, two of £1,000, a victim surcharge of £170 and £1,602.97 in legal costs, totalling £13,772.97.

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Recognising Emmaus’s work for a team mate In The centenary year of Bedford Queens Rugby Club, the club decided to hold a memorial lunch and game for a former player, Richard Coates. Richard’s story follows this introduction. The game took place on December 8, 2018, between Queen’s Unbreakables and Bedford athletic all Stars. It was followed by a lunch which was shared with Bedford athletic. a raffle and personal donations raised £720.20 for the emmaus community at Carlton. Jamie Coates, Richard’s brother Captained Queens and scored the final try to win the game 20-7.

Richard died in the summer of 2014 after struggling with depression and alcoholism. Richard loved rugby! he played Colts Rugby (18 and under) at Bedford athletic as a prop forward. Then he did his apprenticeship at Wh allen (Rolls Royce) in Bedford. Richard was also involved in the Wh allen Rugby team that played for a number of years after the factory’s centenary in 1994. he also worked as a doorman in his early twenties around Bedford. he played rugby at Bedford athletic, Bedford Colts, and represented east midlands and was on the bench for them when they got to Twickenham. Richard joined the prison Service and relocated to London to work at hmp Wandsworth, predom-


inately working with paedophiles. The work was especially challenging and one can only imagine what he saw and heard. Whist living in Wandsworth Richard played for a local rugby team called Tooting Bec. he ended up being first team captain. he was recognized as a quality player and played in an invitational side that played and beat Finland. Richard was a big character he was outspoken and a lovable rogue. But also quite a private man, and surprisingly to some an avid reader. What wasn’t recognised was that he was struggling with depression and then alcohol. It turns out it is pretty hard to spot an alcoholic in a rugby club! It was only when the evidence was overwhelming that the level of the problem came to light. Richard received the help that he required at emmaus Carlton and it transformed him. he had support, structure, and a role in life up until circumstances meant that he could not stay there any longer. It was during this time at emmaus that he was at his happiest, they were flexible with his work commitments there and allowed him to play rugby at Queens Rugby Club. after leaving emmaus he took himself off to Seattle in america, but the lack of support and structure and the lure of alcohol was a situation that was never going to have a positive outcome. he died in Seattle after all efforts to get him to return failed. his memorial was in early July 2014 and he was laid to rest at

Council consulting on air quality in Ampthill and Sandy

CenTRaL Bedfordshire Council is consulting on its plans to improve air quality in ampthill and Sandy, following on from a previous consultation back in 2015. now the council has produced plans for each town that outline the tactics the council intends to take to improve local air quality. The initiatives principally focus on reducing pollution from road traffic, as this has been identified as the major source of pollution in these areas. In the plans, the council sets out how it can help to tackle air quality by focusing on the following nine approaches: 1 alternatives to private vehicle use (e.g. use of car clubs, information through the council’s Travel Choices services) 2 Freight and delivery management (e.g. shaping future policy by working with transport planners etc) 3 policy guidance and development control (e.g. working with planners to mitigate negative air quality impacts of new developments etc) 4 promoting low emission transport (eg electric vehicles) 5 promoting alternatives forms of travel (e.g. walking and cycling, public transport etc) 6 public information (e.g. introduction of an early warning of high levels of air pollution system and online access to annual air quality reports, etc) 7 Transport planning and infras-

tructure (e.g. shaping future planning/policy to consider impact on air quality)

8 Traffic management (e.g. optimising traffic flow through the affected areas etc).

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, executive member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “generally, the air quality in Central Bedfordshire meets the government standards. however, our monitoring has identified that we need to look at ways of improving the air quality in ampthill and Sandy. “Our key priorities are to target emissions from vehicles and to promote the uptake of electric cars, as well as alternative forms of travel such as walking, cycling and public transport. This will help benefit residents in the area.” The consultations run until april 1, 2019, go to: www.centralbedford

Knifepoint robbery

The police are appealing for witnesses of a robbery in Bedford on Thursday, February 14. at approximately 9.55pm the victim was walking on a footpath near the palgrave Road and the bridge on the River Ouse when she was approached by a man and a woman, who stole her handbag. The woman, white, 5’5’, with dark hair. She was wearing a dark red jacket. The man, white, 5’7’’, with dark hair and wearing dark clothing.

St mark’s Church, Bedford. as a man whose roles were all pretty much alpha male, Rugby prop forward, doorman, prison officer... it was hard for him to show weakness. Richard’s message to his fellow players would be: don’t be too proud to ask for help, as its those who ask for help that recover.

Angela Foll, Chief Community Officer receives cheque from left to right: Mick Norman (Queens RUFC Chairman), Jamie Coates (Richard’s brother), Martha Coates (Jamie’s daughter) and Richard Pippett.


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Official opening of new hockey pitch at Bedford School The weather may have been bitter, but the atmosphere was warm at the opening of Bedford School’s refurbished astro pitch at the gordon Field on Saturday 19 January. The weather may have been bitter, but the atmosphere was warm at the opening of Bedford School’s refurbished astro pitch at the gordon Field on Saturday 19 January. parents, Old Bedfordians, trustees and former hockey staff of the school gathered for a hockey-filled day to celebrate the official opening of this refurbished facility, which culminated with a win for the Bedford School 1st XI against Oundle School. To kick the day off, Bedford girls’ School joined the Bedford School prep boys for several games of mixed hockey. This was followed by a special lunch in the Café Bar in the Dining halls, hosted by Bedford School head master, James hodgson and Director of hockey and national premier League player, Samuel mee, who were joined by some of the school’s

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foremost hockey figureheads such as Richard Walker, Tim machin and Jerome Watson, all Oxbridge Blues. Jerome Watson also went on to play for england. Boys from the 1st XI, fresh from their national indoor success, were also able to dine with the guests, before everyone headed up to gordon Field. a block fixture against Oundle School was already underway which made for a fitting timing of the cutting of the ribbon. Tim machin, Jerome Watson and Captain of the 1st XI, Upper Sixth Former Tom Blythman, were delighted to do the honours and herald the start of the hockey season and the first official fixture on the new pitch. Tim told us afterwards: “It was wonderful to see so many old friends, including fathers who I taught at school. Jerome and I worked it out that we have coached hockey at the school for over 80 years between us! The 1st XI put on a great display to beat Oundle 8-2 and the hockey, like the school, is in a very good place.”

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Tough at Youth Speaks

maRK Rutherford School students are winners of the Bedford District youth Speaks Semi-Finals! mark Rutherford School’s public speaking team were the winners of the Rotary Club’s District semi-final of the prestigious youth Speaks competition. They competed against six other schools in the event staged in hatfield and will now compete in the district final in Leighton Buzzard. The team comprised of amy

Buttice (chair), Suzie Baker (speaker) and elena Coles (vote of thanks). The girls, who are all studying for their gCSes at mark Rutherford School, spoke on the subject “Body donation, the ultimate act of charity?”, focusing on the importance of medical research and organ donation. mr Smith, more able and Talented Co-ordinator said: “The competition was tough, so we are very proud of the team’s success”.

Prints charming

STORIeS on the BBC about the threat to local democracy because of the problems of newspaper groups like Johnston press, does not mean print is dead. Bedford enjoys a good range of print publications which add up to more than 100,000 copies delivered through doors on a regular basis: Bedford Bulletin (plus Kempston Calling and East Northants Reporter); Affinity Magazine; OVL; Beds Local; Beds County Life; Business2Business and The Bedford Clanger Says our pR consultant and former journalist Jacquie manners: “as someone who started her career on the Beds Times in the 1970s I very much hope that the Johnston press Times&Citizen keeps going. “The Bulletin series has recently upgraded into a tabloid newspaper size and along with the popular Kempston Calling and Rushden Reporter titles delivers 90,000 to homes in the Love Bedford catch-

ment area. Old school newspaper publisher martin Quince uses real journalists to produce some key material as well as supporting local groups and charities by publishing their press releases. “The BedfordBID produces its own fantastic publications three times a year and distributes 20,000 each time to homes and outlets across Bedford. “Because Love Bedford is selling the town to such a varied audience it has tell its stories in print as well as on-line, for the latter it engages with top techological talent who manage the website and its social media platforms. “In addition to all this, BedfordBID uses group buying power to pay for outdoor advertising and sponsorship which is aimed at bringing people into town.” Of course Love Bedford has a huge presence on-line. go to for all our FB Twitter Instagram and Love Bedford nOW videos.

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Rotary Club ‘Youth Speaks’ competition

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Residents welcome crack down on drug dealers BIGGlESWADE residents have expressed their relief that these four people have been charged after police executed a warrant at a property in Biggleswade. The North Rural Community policing team and Boson North team, carried out the warrant in South Walk on Monday, February 4, 2019. At the location, a search revealed around 100 wraps of suspected Class A drugs, a quantity of suspected cannabis, other drug-related paraphernalia and an axe and a knife. Robert Boness, 42, of South Walk, Biggleswade was charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs, and has been remanded. He will appear at court in March. Marques Howlett, 20, of old Ford End Road, Bedford, was charged with possession with intent to supply class A and B drugs. He has been bailed with conditions and must not enter Biggleswade. Paul Buckland, 39, of Havelock Road, Biggleswade,

RUShmOOR School is delighted to be taking part in this year’s Rotary Club ‘youth Speaks’ competition. youth Speaks is a well-established competition designed to encourage the development of effective communication skills. The experience offers young people experience in speaking on a public platform; the incentive to formulate ideas on a topical subject; discipline in dealing with time limits and the opportunity of learning and practising high standards of expression. Rushmoor’s team, navraj Singh, Oscar Smith and harry Watling, first competed in november and secured a place at the Senior District Semi-Finals at Bishops hatfield School with their speech entitled ‘Is it ethical to genetically modify babies?’

was charged with a number of theft from shop offences. He appeared in court and was given a 12month suspended sentence and ordered to pay a fine. A fourth man has been released under investigation. The team has now secured a three-month closure order on the property. While at the property, PCs also arrested a woman, who was wanted in connection with a number of theft from shop offences. Charlotte Burton, 39, of South Walk, Biggleswade was charged and subsequently released on bail having pleaded guilty at court. She will return for sentencing later this month. Sergeant Rachael Welch, who led the warrant, said: “This was a real team effort, and we also had some great support from the community in helping us to obtain the warrant. I want our communities to know that we take their concerns seriously, and we will continue to tackle those who cause harm to our neighbourhoods.”

The competition was fierce with teams from other schools delivering compelling, well-researched speeches with worthy charisma. after delivering their speech on Tuesday 5th February in hatfield, Rushmoor’s team succeeded in qualifying for the next phase of the competition: District Senior Semi-Finals at Vandyke Upper School in Leighton Buzzard on the 27th February. Oscar brought great wit to the stage, navraj was highly commended for his in-depth knowledge of a complex topic and harry demonstrated great skill in organising his team and chairing the evening. Rushmoor are elated with this achievement and excited to see the boys progress to the next round.

Debating win for Bedford School Brilliant Blockchain Solution

Sabre Gold for Sixth Former BEDFoRD School Sixth Former oscar Hill emerged as the Eastern Region’s u18 Sabre gold medallist on Saturday 2 February after a tough series of games in the Eastern Regional Youth Championships held in Stevenage. Bedford School Sixth Former oscar Hill emerged as the Eastern Region’s u18 Sabre gold medallist on Saturday 2 February after a tough series of games in the Eastern Regional Youth Championships held in Stevenage. It was an early start for oscar and he fenced hard and strong to win the title. oscar has been training hard after school and is fencing in a category that includes boys in the age group above. oscar will go on to take part in the British Fencing Youth Championships in May

On Tuesday 5 February, the Bedford School debating team of harry hine (Speaker), Ben Barnes (Chair) and Freddie pelling (Questioner) won the Ouse Valley Branch Final of the english Speaking Union’s Churchill public Speaking Competition. The competition, held at hazeley academy, featured six strong teams from the Bedford and milton Keynes area. Bedford School’s head of english, nicholas hopton, said: “Our friends from northampton high School and Bedford modern School were particularly excellent, but our boys prepared thoroughly, hit all the judging criteria and showed flair.” harry’s topic was ‘Is mental illness in school children getting the attention it deserves?’ and he will speak again on this topic when Bedford School represent the branch at the regional final at magdalene College, Cambridge on Saturday 16 march. This is the second year in succession that the Bedford School team has reached the finals.

a Team of Bedford School Sixth Formers were the talk of the recent Barclays Blockchain hackathon in London when they scooped third prize amid the field of banks and high-profile tech companies. Bedford School Sixth Formers matthew Lewis, James Wallace, alex Ward and henry Shaw caused a stir in the Barclays Blockchain hackathon on the 5 and 6 February in London when they scooped third prize. awash with technical teams from banks and high-profile tech companies, the Bedford School boys were the only school team invited and had no prior blockchain technology experience up until two days before the event. Despite this, they managed to pitch their idea, set up blockchain networks, install software, develop a project and present it to not only the UK’s big banks and tech companies but also journalists and writers from The Financial Times and ernst and young. During the competition, the boys, alongside all the other competitors, were challenged to come up with an idea for exchanging data and verifying transactions between two different blockchains using Ion interoperability protocol. The Bedford School team identified a novel usecase for the technology; that of data exchange that enabled UCaS, examboards, awarding bodies, schools and students to all transfer and digitally sign contracts seamlessly in a currency that is very valuable to them – their exam results. During the pitch process, carried out Dragons’ Den style, the boys’ ideas immediately generated great excitement with the judges, mostly comprising of technical directors from banks, including Santander, hSBC and Barclays, who were overheard saying things like, “Do you realise that this could be applied to… ” and “my god, this is brilliant!”. after their successful pitch, the

boys set about the task of coding, from scratch, a working prototype of the solution. They created contracts that were digitally signed and passed through the block-chain Ion framework, being filled out by awarding bodies and schools; passing around examination result-tokens like bitcoins in a financial market. During the event, the boys also identified two significant bugs in the technology that they were using. The technical team at Clearmatics, the company who invented the Ion framework, could not believe that boys from a school could find such important defects. Clearmatics posted: “Some bright and motivated a-Level students from Bedford School were one of the teams, and they raised issues in our github repository and even wrote a pull request.” Speaking on the boys’ inventive

solution, Dr Braine, Investment Bank CTO Office at Barclays, explained: “Their solution was the only one that was truly generalised and re-usable, and it opened our eyes to new use-cases that nobody has thought of before”. he continued: “Bedford’s pitch was professional, clear and concise, and we actually saw the working prototype of contracts being automatically swapped between exam-boards and schools”. Computer Science Teacher, Dr Wild told us: “I have never been more proud of boys in all my time at the school – they were the talk of the event. They were personally congratulated by the worldwide Chief Technology Officer of Barclays Bank, and Santander has already opened a dialogue about possible future careers. Quite some achievement!”

New forestage for The Players

The Westoning players making use of their brand new forestage for which they have been saving for over a year. They would like to thank all the people who chose to put their Tesco Bags of Choice tokens in our ‘slot’, and also Westoning parish Council for their grant towards this project.

as you can see, everyone is very pleased that they have been able to replace their very heavy old forestage with a sturdy new one. The Westoning Players are in the middle of rehearsing for our next production - Agatha Crusty & the Health Spa Murders which will be performed 4th - 6th April.

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Free School alumni Seth Oraeki on The Voice SaTURDay, February 2, saw round five of the blind auditions of The Voice and a familiar face for Bedford Free School. alumni Seth Oraeki wowed the judges with his cover of Labrinth’s “Jealous” and had two of the superstar coaches turning, in the end he opted to join’s team over Jennifer hudson. Staff and students at Bedford Free School aren’t surprised by his success though. Drama teacher miss Damon said: “Seth always expressed a keen interest in the arts and was able to develop his love for music, dancing and acting here at BFS. We’re ecstatic that his hard work has paid off and will be supporting him through out.” Seth himself has told us: “I started at Bedford Free School later in the year which caused me a few problems, trying to fit in, catching up with the rest of my year and finding a place to belong, but the school allowed me to develop and grow as a person and I quickly found myself a part of the performing arts team. With the help of miss goodship and miss Damon I was able to expand my horizons higher than I ever expected. “One moment I’ll never forget is when they entered me into the ‘Bedfordshire Festival of music, Speech and Drama’ it was a competition for original songs and I entered my song ‘get It Wrong get It Right’. I was fortunate enough to come first, receive an outstanding


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and be invited to sing in the gala on the closing night of the festival. This was the first time a song I wrote had made such an impact on the public and the way miss Damon and miss goodship reacted was the icing on the cake. I’ve always known music is what I’ve wanted to do and Bedford Free School has given me the foundation I need inside and out

of the classroom to be able to pursue my dreams.” executive principal, Stuart Lock added: “all of the staff and pupils at Bedford Free School are very proud of Seth. he is a talented young man who will go far because of his hard work and dedication. The whole school will be tuning in to cheer him on in the next part of The Voice.”


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New foster care loan scheme to improve children’s lives CenTRaL Bedfordshire Council's executive has approved a new loan scheme to enable foster carers and adopters to adapt their homes and increase their capacity to look after vulnerable children and improve their lives. There is a particular aim to ensure that larger sibling groups are kept together, and it is expected that the scheme will reduce the volume and cost of children being placed into expensive independent fostering agencies (IFas), due to a lack of available rooms with in-house Council carers. There will be an initial tranche of £100,000 available for carers to borrow small, interest free amounts to make improvements, such as dividing an existing room or converting a loft space. This fund could be increased in the future if the scheme proves successful. The loans will be repayable through a deduction from the foster carer fees paid by the authority to the carer, for a period of up to five years. This is separate to the fostering allowance, which pays for the cost of caring for the child and will not be affected. Cllr Steve Dixon, executive member for Families,

education and Children, said: “Looking after some of the most vulnerable children in our community, is simply one of the most important things we do as a council, so we have really tried to think outside the box to increase our capacity to do this. “Our wonderful foster carers deserve the help this scheme can provide and it can also act as further incentive for new carers to choose to Central Bedfordshire Council.  “While this scheme will also significantly cut the average cost of placing a child with agencies, that are almost twice as expensive, the most important outcome is it will allow us to improve the lives of vulnerable children. This is especially the case with brothers and sisters because the last thing we want to do is split them up due to a lack of suitable rooms. In that regard, we hope this will be a game-changer to give them a head-start if life.”  To watch the executive again, visit: 

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AROUND THE CLUBS AND SOCIETIES BIGGLESWADE IVEL EVENING TOWNSWOMEN GUILD Chairman Chris Davies welcomed members to the meeting on monday, February 11. The January walk had started at the Danish Camp and finished with lunch in the cafe. The next monthly walk will meet at priory marina car park for a walk around the marina, lunch will be at Blossom Café and then a further walk to see the snowdrops at moggerhanger. Chris Davies gave details of a number of proposed outings these included Frogmore paper mill on may 8; melford hall Tudor experience; hughenden manor the home of Benjamin Disraeli; greenwich and the London postal museum. To mark the Tgs 90th anniversary, there will be a federation luncheon in hitchin on may 15 and a thanksgiving service at St martin in the Fields on april 3, a list was available for those who wanted to attend. Following the business meeting a supper of fish and chips was enjoyed followed by games of bingo. The next meeting, on Monday, March 11, 7.30pm at the Weatherly Centre will be the AGM. ROYAL BRITISH LEGION – BIGGLESWADE BRANCH The Biggleswade Branch of the Royal British Legion held a Branch meeting on 30th January, at the Church Rooms, St. andrews Church. There were ten members present. The Chairman recited The exhortation. apologies were received from five members. One new member was welcomed to the Branch. The minutes of the november meeting were dicussed. The Chairman and Treasurers report was received. The Branch runs various outings throughout the year: henlow greyhound Stadium in February. a visit to Duxford on June 5th for the 75th commemoration of the D Day landings was proposed where a collection of Dakota aircraft will be gathering to ferry an airdrop of 1000 paratroopers to normandy for 6th June. a cruise on a ship from UK to the beaches was also discussed. Further discussions will take place at the next meeting. The meeting closed at 15.20 hrs. The Biggleswade Branch meets at 14.00hrs (19.30 in Summer months)  every last Wednesday of the month at the Church Rooms, St. Andrews Church, Shortmead Street, Biggleswade SG18 0AT. please contact the Chairman Tony Dray on 01767 600996 or e mail: for more details. ROYAL ARTILLERY ASSOCIATION The Biggleswade Branch of the Royal artillery association held a Branch meeting and annual general meeting on 6th February 2019, at the Sea Cadets hall. There were twenty members present. The Chairman recited The Royal artillery prayer. apologies were received from four members. no new members were present. The minutes of the January Branch meeting and 2018 agm were both read. The Treasurers report was received. Christmas greetings and donations were acknowledged from anne Wolton, Russell Simpson, mick Jones and Biggleswade Town Council.

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The Chairman confirmed that 30 people attended the Christmas he was thanked for a well run and very enjoyable Christmas lunch. There was a discussion about the Roll of honour, and should it be moved to a more visible location. It was thought that a better place might be the local Library. This is going to be investigated and the Roll will also be updated. The members were informed that this years Civic Service will be on 17th march at St andrews Church. The Branch will be represented. It was mentioned that St Barbara’s Day falls on Wednesday 4th December this year which is the date of the December meeting. It was suggested that it would be a good idea to organise a celebration to fall on this day as we have time to organise an event. Ideas for the celebration were invited. The president thought a Lunch to celebrate the event could possibly be arranged. at the agm the Branch thanked mick Jones who again made a donation to the Welfare fund and also thanked ann Wolton who sent Christmas wishes to the Branch and also donated to the Welfare fund. The members were reminded that the 100 Club needed their continued support and by the end of the meeting all 100 number had been sold. all the Branch Officers volunteered to continue in their post, The Branch meets on the first Wednesday of the month at the Sea Cadets Hall, Biggleswade starting at 14.30hrs. (Next Meeting is on Wednesday 6th March). Please contact the Chairman Ted McKenzie on 07900806235 or E Mail for more details.

IVEL VALLEY U3A ann Taylor, Chairman, welcomed the members of the Ivel Valley U3a to their meeting on Tuesday 22nd January for their social afternoon. Details were given about the various groups. The meeting was handed to Brian Tobin who organised everyone into teams to play patience for Six. There followed a great deal of laughter and fun. It was a lovely afternoon. Brian was thanked by the Chairman. The members met on Tuesday 12th February when the chairman welcomed the visitors saying that she hoped they would enjoy the afternoon. Details were given by the various groups. Book group 1 meet on 4th march at Jean Williams’ house; Book group 2 meet on 8th march; the Craft group met on Thursday 21st at yvonne Crane’s house; the music group will now meet on the 1st Tuesday of the month and their next meeting is on 5th march at marilyn macdonald’s house.; the Walking group met on 20th February at Dunton Corner for a walk round part of the green Wheel; the Sunday Lunch Club met on 24th February at the golden Lion, Clifton. Chris gave details of an outing to visit Frogmore paper mill at hemel hempstead on Wednesday 8th may at a cost of £21.50 with an optional boat trip at £3.50. a list was available to sign. The speaker, alan porter, a retired auctioneer, was introduced. he gave a most interesting and insightful talk about his experiences during his working life. he had some fascinating stories to tell about selling fields of growing crops, methodist Chapels, and pigs & Sheep. his first auction was to sell 200 second hand pillows which were quite dirty and had been used. he sold them at modest prices but it had broken the ice for him

and he hadn’t lost too much money over the goods. he had a wealth of stories but also gave lot of background information which the members, being avid followers of Flog It and Bargain hunt, found very useful. Chris Davies gave the vote of thanks for a most entertaining afternoon. all visitors will be very welcome. meeting held Thursday January 2019 an extremely chilly January evening outside but inside warm, friendly and a very full hall. Chairman moira Fuller welcomed everyone, including 10 visitors. moira read various notices regarding events for the coming year and then welcomed Jo poulter who had travelled from peterborough to be our demonstrator for the evening. The theme for the evening was “all shapes and sizes” and Jo began with a circle. a beautiful copper hoop was decorated top and bottom with stunning green foliage, including succulents, roses and delicate white blooms. Fluffy cotton bursting from pods gave the impression of snow resulting in a frosty winter design. next up was a wooden arch shape and when pussy willow, iris, hyacinth, daffodils and tulips were added it invited us to gaze through the arch into an enchanting spring garden. a dramatic triangle shape next with blooms ranging from bright cerise through to white with many shades of pink in between. next we all stared in amazement while Jo took five hazel sticks and with only rubber bands produced in seconds an impressive star shape. With a very simple but pleasingly effective floral design she gave us a lovely rustic design. For the spiral shape Jo used bamboo to very good effect. The corkscrew tops were removed and the stalks used as a strong backdrop. Red roses were presented in a spiral and then the bamboo tops placed at the base. The result was gorgeous. next Jo demonstrated the ever popular hand tied bouquet. many different textures of foliage, including asparagus fern, incorporated with pretty flowerers resulted in an impressive design any lover of flowers would be thrilled to receive. The end result was displayed in a simple cubeshaped container. gill Clarke gave a warm vote of thanks for the demonstration and for Jo’s very entertaining and amusing anecdotes. The evening concluded with a raffle for the flower arrangements, the usual refreshments, chat and opportunity to see the displays and take photos up close. We would be delighted if you attended one of our meetings as a visitor, our Chairman moira Fuller will meet you and make you welcome. If you would like to speak to moira before you visit the club her telephone number is 01767 316104. We meet 7.30 p.m. on the 4th Thursday of the month at the Weatherly Centre, Biggleswade and our next meeting on 28th February will be a workshop lead by naFaS demonstrator adel Kent when those attending will be able be instructed in how to produce a pretty and unusual pave arrangement. We look forward to welcoming you. BIGGLESWADE FLOWER CLUB

Club secretaries are reminded that the deadline for reports is the 18th of the month preceeding publication. The editor will do his utmost to accommodate your report but they need to be on time!

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World Speech Day Biggleswade In The face of Brexit uncertainty, people are gathering in Biggleswade to hear speeches from locals on topics that matter to them. The event organiser said; “This is our contribution World Speech Day on march 15th where hundreds of communities around the globe will come together to celebrate the power of speeches by giving speeches. after an initial call out on the community facebook group ‘We Love BIggLeSWaDe!’ nine incredible people from in and around Biggleswade have said ‘yes’ to preparing five minute speeches for World Speech Day. They are covering everything from mental health, to personal development, to social action and environmental sustainability. Brexit will be on a lot of people's minds, for sure. I see this event as an opportunity for us to connect with some inspiring and diverse people from across our

community who have empowering messages about how we can live better lives as individuals and global citizens.”   To find out more you are invited to explore the event website at or search online for World Speech Day Biggleswade. The World Speech Day Biggleswade event is on Friday 15th March 2019 from 7pm at the Weatherley Centre, but it's unlikely we'll be able to accept people who arrive without a ticket. however, the speeches will be filmed so everyone who pre-registers or follows or on social media will get to see the speeches for free once the videos have been produced.  The event organiser is a performance poet and speaker coach based in Biggleswade called Leah K Stewart.

Fewer people sleeping rough in Bedford Borough LaTeST figures have shown that there are a third fewer people sleeping rough in Bedford Borough than there were one year ago, with work continuing to support rough sleepers and reduce the figure further. Increasing levels of rough sleeping have been a national concern, with figures showing that the number of people rough sleeping has more than doubled in recent years. The latest figures have shown a national decrease of 2% in the number of people rough sleeping compared to the year before. Bedford Borough has seen 33% decrease in the number of people sleeping rough. every year, Bedford Borough Council and partners carry out a Rough Sleeper Count as part of a national exercise. This aims to give an accurate view of how many people are sleeping rough in the Borough. This Count was carried out in november 2018, and showed that 51 people were sleeping rough in Bedford Borough that night, compared to 76 in november 2017.

The Council has been proactive in supporting those rough sleeping. In working with partners including SmaRT and the King’s arms project, the Council has been able to support ongoing outreach teams to ensure those sleeping rough are contacted regularly and offered help. There is also a range of accommodation for vulnerable people and those rough sleeping across the Borough, including Clarence house; a complex needs and supported housing project, hostel provision, and Bedford nightshelter. a recent successful bid for funding by the Council saw a range of extended and additional services being provided in Bedford Borough including: l the provision of an extra 20 beds open every single night through winter in addition to the severe weather beds available to all rough sleepers during cold weather l funding for 44 additional units of accommodation l more outreach and support staff

to help rough sleepers off the street and into accommodation Outreach teams have already supported 12 people off the streets and into long-term accommodation. a number of rough sleepers have also been supported into temporary accommodation including 8 people moved off the streets and into accommodation provided by our partners ‘The Kings arms project’, with intense support to find employment and long-term accommodation. This additional support was made possible after a successful bid for over £300,000 from the government under the Rough Sleeper Initiative Fund. If you are aware of someone sleeping rough we urge you to report their location and any details to Bedford’s Rough Sleeper Street Outreach partnership through the national rough sleeping report line at, and would encourage anyone sleeping rough to go to the prebend Day Centre and speak to the staff there to get support.

Two robberies on Kempston Road in two days The police are appealing for witnesses after two robberies in two days on the same street. On Saturday, February 16, just after 2pm, a teenager was robbed on Kempston Road when he was at the bus shelter outside Bedford hospital. he was with his friends when he was approached by a man who told him to empty his pockets. The robber took the victim’s phone, and threatened the victim when he tried to get his phone back. The attacker is described as black, around 17 or 18 years old and around 5’ 9”. he had brown eyes, and some facial hair on his top lip and on his chin. he was wearing a black puffa jacket with the hood up, a white T-shirt, black tracksuit bottoms and white trainers. The reference number for this incident is 40/9604/19. On Sunday, 17 February 17, a second teenager had his bike stolen as he walked along Kempston Road. at around 5pm, the victim was walking with a friend when they were approached by a man who asked if he

could have a go on the victim’s bike. The victim handed over the bike because he was scared, and he and his friend followed the man as he rode it into an alley. The offender then told the victim and his friend to empty their pockets, threatening them. They were able to get away. In this case the offender is described as black, in his mid-20’s, around 5’ 7”. he’s described as wearing a black jacket with a fur trimmed hood, black tracksuit bottoms and black trainers. The bike is a black Carrera Vengeance. The reference number for this incident is 40/9829/19. pC Ben Chance, investigating, said: “Both incidents happened in broad daylight near a busy road, and in both cases teenagers have been targeted whilst out with their friends. This is clearly unacceptable, and we are keen to find who is responsible. Therefore, if you were in the area on either day and remember seeing anything untoward, please get in touch.”

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New woodland planted for Wilstead and Wixams

THE communities of Wixams and Wilstead had a fabulous day, on Sunday 10th February, helping to create a new woodland, with the Forest of Marston vale charity. Despite the wet weather on the day, 350 people joined the Charity and its team of volunteers to plant 2500 trees on the site on Duck End lane, Wilstead. Creating the Forest of Marston vale is a longterm project for the Charity, who have been planting trees since the early 1990’s to create 11 community woodlands and turn the 61 square miles of the Marston vale into a thriving Forest landscape. This new woodland was made possible with the support of l&Q Estates, the developer of the Wixams who gave the land to Wilstead Parish Council. The Forest of Marston vale charity will continue planting trees on this land over the next 2 years to establish a woodland at the heart of the communities of Wilstead and Wixams, giving them green space to enjoy on their doorstep. Ian Hardwick of l&Q Estates, said: “The


Forest of Marston vale has been making a positive impact in the local area for almost 30 years and we are delighted to support its efforts in continuing that work, and creating a new woodland at Wilstead. We want to help create positive environments for local people which help enhance lives, and the Forest of Marston vale is dedicated to doing just that. We really appreciate everyone coming out in wintry weather to help plant the trees.” “We thought the rainy weather would put people off coming out to help us, so it was heartwarming to see so many people, of all ages, sharing our passion for planting trees,” said Jo Roberts, Community Engagement officer for the Forest of Marston vale. “Today we’ve created a new woodland, a home for wildlife, and a green haven for local people to enjoy.” The Forest of Marston vale has an ambitious vision of planting another five million trees and you can find out more about how you can help at or by calling the Charity on 01234 767037.

Have your say: Register to vote

BeDFORD Borough Council is encouraging any local residents not already registered to vote, to register before local elections on 2 may this year. There are fewer than 100 days until Bedford Borough voters go to the polls to elect the mayor of Bedford Borough, Borough Councillors and Town and parish Councillors. anyone not registered can do so at On 2 may 2019 elections will be taking place across Bedford Borough. elections will be held for the mayor of Bedford Borough, along with elections of all Borough Councillors. All Parish and Town Councils will also hold elections

on 2 May. The deadline to register to vote and have your say is 12th April. For anyone who is away or wishes to receive a postal vote the deadline for applications is the 15th April. philip Simpkins, Chief executive of Bedford Borough Council, said “I’d urge anyone who is not registered to vote already to do so as soon as possible, so they can have their say at this year’s elections. It is quick and easy to register online.” Information on the elections and links to the election timetable, applications to register to vote and to change your current voting arrangements, are all available at

Outstanding Royal Performance

CaSTLe newnham School’s award-winning 4SIXTeen Theatre Company performed to sell out audiences recently in their latest production of Queen’s hit musical We Will Rock you. This was the school’s most ambitious production yet with innovative approaches to staging, set design and lighting. On each of the four sell-out nights audiences were awe-struck by the standards of acting, dancing and some exceptional signing voices doing justice to the well-known and loved Queen numbers. principal, Ruth Wilkes says “pupils themselves were heavily involved in all aspects of the production, including the choreogra-

phy. each year our 4SIXTeen theatre production seems to exceed the high standards set by the previous one and this has been clearly assisted by the great addition to our school facilities of a bespoke studio/ theatre and music rooms. “Our pupils, parents and staff really value the performing arts as part of a culturally rounded education. “With such a talented performing arts team I just can’t wait to see what comes next.” Over the coming months, from the success of this year’s production, the school will be expanding the 4SIXTeen brand by launching a dance company as well as hosting summer arts festival.


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‘Planning approval anti-democratic’ says CPRE (Planning Application 18/02458/ouT – East of Baden Powell Way, Biggleswade East, 1,500 new homes)

CpRe Bedfordshire condemns the actions of Central Bedfordshire Council as anti-democratic for approving the above application for 1,500 new homes east of Biggleswade at a meeting of their Development management Committee on the 6 February 2019 Central Bedfordshire Council’s (CBC’s) action in approving the above planning application just eight weeks away from the start of the ‘public hearing’ into their Local plan 2035, is condemned by CpRe Bedfordshire as a flagrant subversion of the democratic process. Trampling on the rights of the

people of Biggleswade and others who were opposed to this development. This development of 1,500 new homes is not a small application it represents a community the size of a large village or around 40% the size of ampthill. CBC has already submitted its Local plan 2035 for approval by a government appointed Inspector. The Inspector is expected to start a public hearing to consider the plan in the spring – just eight weeks away! The “east of Biggleswade” development is a Key policy within the Local plan – policy Sa4. When CBC submitted its Local plan for approval it entered into a democratic process enabling all those who object to, or approve of,

policy Sa4, to make their case in public in front of the Inspector. The Inspector will then decide, if policy Sa4 should be approved or not. CBC’s approval of the application is a subversion of this democratic process – depriving the people of Biggleswade and others of their democratic right to have their say on this important policy. CpRe Bedfordshire believes that CBC had plenty of opportunity to refuse the application on the grounds of “prematurity” i.e. that the Local plan has been submitted and is in the process of being considered by the Inspector, and that the proposed development was a Key policy within the Local plan. a spokesperson from CpRe Bedfordshire said:

“The actions of CBC show a flagrant disregard for the democratic rights of the residents of Biggleswade, Sutton and elsewhere who wished to have their say in public, in front of the Inspector. This decision by CBC has trampled on the rights of residents. Why on earth should CBC Councillors and the Local plan process ever be trusted again by Town & parish Councils or residents? CBC should stand up for the democratic rights of the people they were elected to represent.” Are you a Biggleswade resident? How will the building of 1,500 more homes effect you? let us know, send a letter to:

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Eve’s Appeal bingo and disco

LOCaL woman anne elliottFlockhart is holding a Bingo and Disco evening for the eve appeal which funds groundbreaking research into gynaecological cancers. The Bingo and Disco which is being held on Saturday 23 March from 7pm until 10pm at Sandy Scout Hut, will help raise funds for ovarian cancer research and boost awareness of the disease. In 2003 anne’s mum Claire was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she underwent several courses of chemotherapy over the years but finally lost her battle in 2007 at the tender age of 51. Before her mum developed the disease anne had never heard of ovarian cancer. It’s been twelve years since anne lost her mum but she thinks about her every day. She holds her

tea parties in her mum’s honour and to help stop another daughter from losing her mum. Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer amongst women in the UK, with around 7,200 women diagnosed each year. That’s 20 mothers, daughters, sisters, wives or partners every day. anne is inviting you to join her at the Tea party to learn more about the disease and help raise vital funds for research. you can do this by buying raffle tickets while enjoying lovely tea and cakes. For further information please contact anne on 07733 157767 or For more information about the eve appeal Registered Charity number: 1091708 & SCO42612

Have you a property related problem? THE PROPERTY DOCTOR CAN HELP Just finished Half Term and was pleased to take my family to EuroDisney for the week. We had a great time but I could not switch off my Surveying instincts and was surprised to notice someone painting metalwork in the Park, which was not obviously necessary, whilst there was clear evidence of rot and decay in the windows of the 5* hotel on the site. This should not have surprised me as much as it did, given that most businesses like the client facing areas to be in tiptop condition but are prepared to let other areas decline in standards. The worst proponents of this action are the hospitality sector. Having surveyed many pubs across England it is clear that client facing areas are in good condition yet the back room areas are in very poor repair and in some cases unsafe. When a business commits to a Lease on premises they occupy for their business there is generally an obligation to repair, make good, decorate and maintain the building and services for the period of occupancy. At termination of the Lease most landlords will seek to ensure the building is returned in the correct condition. This is known as a claim for dilapidations and can amount to a considerable sum. Why not understand the implication of your lease obligations before entering into one and when you have why not understand what you need to do during and at the end of the lease so you can plan for and minimise any future monetary claim. Sums spent on repair and maintenance are tax reclaimable, monetary payments to settle claims for damages will not be tax recoverable in full. For leasing, as with owning a building, there is a benefit in regular maintenance and repair to avoid costly replacement and unknown bills later on down the line. Should you wish to discuss any repair, maintenance or dilapidations concern, for your leasehold property, whether landlord or tenant, please contact my team as we could save you £000’s. READER’S QUESTION: My builder has completed an extension project for me and I am really unhappy with the outcome but have paid him in full during the works because he stated he needed the money to buy materials. What can I do? I am not able to advise on the legalities of recovery of cost as this is a question for your legal adviser. However, in my opinion you should obtain professional advice from an independent surveyor, preferably with a detailed brief of all the issues you want covered and instruct them to produce a court compliant report on all issues required. Any court action to recover costs in this type of dispute is likely to result in the need for the Court to have independent professional advice under Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules. Whilst not helpful to your circumstances other readers should be advised to try and avoid this scenario. The risks can be significantly reduced by either engaging a professional to supervise the works or by ensuring that the contractor is appointed under a contract including a retention clause to hold back monies to allow for remedying any defects that may occur (advice should be sought). Further advice can be obtained from our team in Flitwick.


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New GCSE programme unveiled at Wootton Upper School event paRenTS and pupils are being invited to Bedford’s topachieving Wootton Upper School to discover the range of gCSe options available for year 10 students. The Information evening is being held on Thursday, march 14 at 7pm and is open to parents and both current and prospective pupils, who will be entering year 10 in the 2019 academic year. The school, based in hall end Road, Wootton, offers a wide range of subject options for gCSe students alongside a host of extra-curricular opportunities and competitive sports provision. It recently became one of only nine schools in the UK

to receive the coveted Secondary geography Quality mark (SgQm) in recognition of “excellence in teaching and learning in geography” in the 2018 awards scheme. The award, presented by The geographical association, follows a rigorous assessment process in which the national moderation Team examined how well the school embraced new and innovative approaches to teaching, pupil attainment and achievement levels, student understanding and knowledge of geography and the quality of teaching available. also, in november the school was recognised as one of the top ten schools in the country in terms of the

Central Beds Council recruiting more officers to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour CENTRAl Bedfordshire Council will be funding 12 new community safety officers to work alongside the police and communities to help tackle community safety issues. The new posts include Neighbourhood Response officers who will take part in the police accreditation scheme so that they can work alongside the police to tackle local issues. other officers will have specific roles to help tackle anti-social behaviour like graffiti, street drinking and environmental crimes such as fly-tipping, littering and noise issues. Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “low levels of crime and anti-social behaviour are important in making somewhere a good place to live and work. We know feeling safe is really important to our

residents and we are responding to this. “By having more uniformed officers, we will be able to improve our support to the local community, respond to issues faster, share more local intelligence with the police and generally have more visibility and presence in the community helping people to feel safer and helping to deal with low level crime. “I was also really pleased that the Executive today recommended an additional £1million funding specifically for community safety as part of the budget. This will also allow us to expand even further on the resources available by investing in CCTv and more officers. “We will recruit for these new posts as soon as possible and aim to have our new officers by the end of the summer.”

percentage of year 11 pupils successfully completing the national Citizenship award after sitting their gCSe examinations. The school was presented with a gold plaque and a framed certificate signed by the prime minister.’ These achievements have followed high praise from Ofsted in 2017 which commended Wootton academy Trust’s clear and strategic leadership and its “effective” teaching standards which has seen pupil attainment rise at the school - particularly in english and Science. michael gleeson, executive principal, said: “The educational, social and sporting opportunities at Wootton

keep on growing every year which is strengthening our reputation as one of the leading providers of education in this county. “We’re very proud of what we have to offer gCSe pupils embarking on their first steps to a fulfilling career and look forward to meeting parents and students and sharing our ambitious programme while supporting young people to make the best decisions for their future.” If you would like to attend the event please contact Linda gray on 01234 767123 to reserve a seat or book attendance via eventbrite at:

SANDY TOWN COUNCIL Would you consider becoming a councillor?

Have you ever wanted to get somethi ng done for your community? Have you wanted to make a differenc e in Sandy and help shape the future of the town? If the answer is yes, then have you ever thought about becoming a Town Councillor? To find out more about becoming a Cou ncillor you can contact the Town Clerk for an informal discussion. The Local Government Association which is the national body representing local government, also has lots of information which will help you understand the role of a councillor and what is involved.

Sandy Town Councillors continue to push for investment in Sandy leisure provision

Sandye Place Following the announced closure of over community use inty erta Academy and last year’s unc Sandy Town ool, Sch ry nda Seco dy of facilities at San with, and put icate Council has continued to commun over its overall ncil Cou e shir ford pressure on Central Bed investment in Sandy. leisure service provision and future inet Member for Cab ’s Central Bedfordshire Council n Council again to Tow the with t mee leisure has agreed to tral Cen by continue discussions on investment . ities facil rts spo dy Bedfordshire Council in San Central with k wor to e tinu con will ncil The Town Cou and n ectio prot Bedfordshire Council to push for the uding those at improvement of Sandy facilities, incl closure. its g win follo y dem Aca Sandye Place

Meeting facilitie s at the Council Offices

Facilities for meetin talks, interviews an gs, training courses, exhibitions, d private individuals, like events are available for hire by sations during the commercial and community organi hours of 9.30am–4 weekdays. .30pm on The room offers should supply theirWi-Fi, screen and projector (users parking in the adjo own laptop), flip charts and free inin If you are intereste g Town Centre Car Park. office for further de d in this facility please contact the tails and costs.

Mayor’s Awards for Citizenship

Do you know someone who deserves e recognition for the difference they mak ity? mun com its to Sandy and The nomination process for the Mayor’s Awards has started. Award categories are Citizens Award, Young ups Persons Award and Community Gro rd. Awa e If you would like to nominate someon our on s, please see details in the pres ct a website and Facebook page or colle es. offic ncil cou the form from The deadline for applications is 25 March 2019.



All meetin Developmen gs commence at 7.30pm ex t Scrutiny Com cept mittee (Plann usually starts ing) which at 6.45pm in the Council C 10 Cambridge hamber, Road, Sandy SG19 1JE

Monday 4th M arch 20 Town Counci 19 l Monday 11th March 2019 Developmen t Policy Finance Scrutiny & Resources Monday 18th March 2019 Human Reso urces Monday 1st A pril 2019 Developmen t Scrutiny Community Services & En vironment See our website fo r

details of othe rm



10 Cambridge Road, Sandy SG19 1JE Tel: 01767 681491 Fax: 01767 692527

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Showcasing seven key successes in seven years aT The end of her second and final term in office, SemLep’s Dr ann Limb CBe DL reflects on SemLep’s impact on strengthening the economy in South east midlands and the UK as a whole. appointed as SemLep’s founding Chair in September 2011, the network of the then 39 Local enterprise partnerships were created at a time when the country was coming out of a double-dip recession. Over this period, the strategic input of a unique partnership between the public and private sector was critical to steering investment decisions into areas that would have the biggest economic impact and restore confidence in our local and national economy. Under her leadership, SemLep has: l launched SemLep’s first Business plan ‘getting down to Business’ in 2013, the 2014 Strategic economic plan; and the refreshed economic plan ‘Where Innovation Fuels growth’ in 2017 with the mission to double the size of the local economy by 2050. l delivered an investment programme totalling £265million, contributing 20,000 jobs and 30,000 homes in the area through the growing places Fund and the Local growth Fund. l established the area’s growth hub, SemLep’s business support service for small and medium businesses, which has worked directly with over 2000 businesses each year, and with 20% of businesses receiving over 12 hours of intensive business support and advice. l successfully merged with our neighbouring Lep, northamptonshire enterprise partnership in 2016, creating an economic area of over 2

Dr Ann Limb CBE DL, Chair of SEMLEP (September 2011 to February 2019).

million people. SemLep was the first Lep in the country to eliminate geographic overlap, leading the way for Leps which are now merging as a result of the governmental Lep review in July 2018. l set up from scratch a strong new organisation recognised by government as a well-performing, well-managed Lep with good governance, successfully achieving investment spend targets year on year. l developed the area’s Local Industrial Strategy, due to be published this coming Spring, which




sets out how the South east midlands can boost productivity, earning potential and competitiveness in a post-eU, global economy. l overseen the development of an economy that, from 2011 to today, has grown from £46bn to £54bn gVa, and over 90,000 businesses, building 6% of national house building requirements, compared to 3.6% of the country’s population, and recognised as one of the most innovative Lep areas in the country. Reflecting on the last seven years, ann says: “It has been a huge privilege to chair SemLep since its inception and to oversee such phenomenal development and delivery by SemLep’s dedicated and talented team. “It has been an honour to lead on skills nationally for the Lep network and to have been able to promote SemLep’s delivery successes across the board to government ministers on so many significant occasions. “With such strong foundations in place SemLep will play a leading role going forward in the Ox-Cam arc.” The strategic role of Local enterprise partnerships remains of critical importance today as it was back in 2011. Responding to eU exit and the international trade agreements that will follow, will require continuation of the strategic leadership and expertise, collaborative working and evidencebased policy decision making that ann’s leadership has provided SemLep over the last seven years. ann’s last Board meeting will be 27 February 2019, when the SemLep Board is to ratify the appointment of their new Chair.

28th MARCH – £99pp

Includes theatre ticket & 2-course pre theatre lunch Motown the Musical tells the story of Berry Gordy and the creation of his musical empire, Motown Records, which defined the sound of a generation. Featuring over 40 hit songs from artists such as Diana Ross, The Jackson 5 and Marvin Gaye, this modern chapter in Motown’s iconic history is an unforgettable event. Prior to the show at the Shaftesbury Theatre you will also enjoy a delicious 2-course pre-theatre lunch at the nearby Bloom and Willow restaurant.


THURSDAY 25th APRIL – £75pp

Includes entry, 2-course lunch & guided tour Your day will begin with free time to explore this historic dockyard which is home to warships, RNLI lifeboat collections, the Victorian Royal Naval Ropery & more! Your ticket includes a 2-course lunch at “The Mess Deck”, followed by the official “Call The Midwife” walking tour. Guided by a costumed midwife, you will experience just how this 400 year old site was transformed into 1960’s London for the hit show.


23rd MAY – £99pp Includes theatre ticket & 2-course lunch Your day will start at Tutton’s in Covent Garden where you will enjoy a 2-course pre theatre lunch. A short walk away is the Novello Theatre, where you will take your seats for Mamma Mia, the smash hit musical based on the legendary songs of ABBA. Seen by over 50 million people worldwide, it tells the tale of a mother, a daughter, three potential fathers, a Greek Island and an unforgettable trip down the aisle!



To book your Great Day Out call: 01234 348882 Quote: ROSE19 11 Goldington Road, Bedford MK40 3JY

Includes entry to Gardeners’ World & Good Food Summer Indulge your passion for gardening at Gardeners World Live! With thousands of exhibitors, live demonstrations, show gardens and much more this years event is packed full of lots of new features for. Your ticket also includes entry to BBC Good Food Show Summer, featuring live stage demos from top chefs and a wealth of speciality producers.


THURSDAY 20th JUNE – £129pp Includes entry to The Queen Anne Enclosure Watch the worlds most famous race meeting from the epicentre of Royal Ascot, the Queen Anne Enclosure, situated close to the parade ring and the winners enclosure. With atmospheric raised terraces from where to enjoy world class racing and the Royal Procession, followed by the uplifting tradition of singing around the Bandstand, this enclosure ensures you are right at the heart of the action! Please note a formal dress code applies


Personal travel planner STaRTIng on Friday 15 march, Bedford’s award-winning familyrun independent travel agency, Select Travel holidays, is pleased to announce their pop-up travel boutique at Studio 281, with personal travel planner Sharon Williams. every Friday, Sharon will be available for appointments or drop-ins at The Basement of Studio 281, an innovative fitness establishment in Kempston, which takes a holistic approach to fitness and wellbeing. Sharon is well-known in the Kempston area, having lived in the town for many years, and has been in travel since 1977, specialising in cruise holidays. Sharon brings with her a wealth of travel knowledge and is looking forward to offering her years of experience in planning holidays – from long-haul destinations, family holidays to wellness retreats or even solo holidays, cruising or tours, and more - to the people of Kempston. Beyond both businesses being family-run, both Select Travel holidays and Studio 281 are customer-service led, and with their shared values and ethos feel that this new venture will be a fabulous fit. Whilst personal trainers personalise

THURSDAY 4th JULY – £69pp Includes guided tour of the house, entry to house & gardens, plus 2-course lunch Burghley is one of the greatest Elizabethan Houses, built by William Cecil in the 1500’s. You will enjoy a tour of the house with a specialist guide which will bring the intricate 450 year history of the Cecil Family to life, after which a 2-course lunch will be served in The Orangery Restaurant. After lunch you will also have time to discover the Sculpture Garden and the Gardens of Surprise, and the vast surrounding parklands, landscaped by the great Capability Brown.


THURSDAY 18th JULY – £85pp Includes theatre ticket & 2-course lunch The award wining show returns to the end of the pier for another season of traditional and contemporary variety including show-stopping vocal performances, magic, conjuring, and dancers that bring the glitz and glamour of the West End to this historic theatre. You will also enjoy a pre theatre lunch at the Tides Restaurant, also situated on the pier.


their clients’ fitness regimes to achieve their goals, Sharon as a personal travel planner personalises her clients’ travel needs, budgets and aspirations to create truly memorable holidays.


THURSDAY 5th DECEMBER – £75pp Price includes house tour, garden entry & festive lunch Experience this breath-taking stately home beautifully decorated for Christmas. With exceptional architecture, art collections and gardens, the estate was built to delight a small circle of Baron Ferdinand’s friends. Your day will begin with a 2-course festive lunch in the Manor Restaurant, followed by a self guided tour of the house. There will also be an opportunity to browse the Manors own Christmas Market set in the grounds.


WEDNESDAY 18th DECEMBER – £99pp Includes festive lunch & deluxe theatre seats Prior to the show you will enjoy a 2-course festive lunch at The Hourglass, a new venue for this season, in the nearby village of Sculthorpe. Upon arrival at Thursford you will take your “Deluxe” seats for the famous Thursford Christmas Spectacular – the largest Christmas show in the country! Set in the magical surroundings of theatre organs and fairground carousels with world-class performers, this festive theatrical extravaganza is the perfect way to kick off your Christmas celebrations!


8th AUGUST – £59pp

Includes Introductory talk & entry to the attraction Experience the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Black Countries historic past. Set in over 26 acres, the museum celebrates the scale, drama and intensity of the Industrial Revolution. With charismatic ‘residents’, shops, heritage vehicles to ride, a fairground, places to eat and a host of live demonstrations. Witness the glow of the forges, hop on a tram or experience life as a coal miner or life along the canals. MINES AND CANAL TRIPS PAYABLE LOCALLY.




WEDNESDAY 11th SEPTEMBER – £85pp Price includes pre show 3-course lunch & theatre ticket Due to demand from last years sold out trip, we return to the Brick Lane Music Hall, tucked away in London’s Docklands. You will be served a traditional 3-course lunch at the venue before enjoying a ‘right royal knees up’ celebrating the spirit of the East End and iconic songs made famous by our iconic Purley Kings and Queens.







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In Focus with

View from the Rt Revd

Update from the


Richard Atkinson

Police & Crime Commissioner

by Dave Hodgson Mayor of Bedford


The Bishop of Bedford

by Kathryn Holloway



are you a goody or a baddy? memories flood back of playground games when what mattered was which side you were on. you were either a goody or a baddy. We live in a world where so often we want to make binary decisions about people. are you this or are you that? Sometimes it is trivial. Do you put the cream on first on a scone or is it the jam (I know if you are Cornish or from Devon this is a matter with the potential to bring conflict!). But often it is more serious. The binary divide of ‘are you academic or vocational’ has led many to leave behind significant parts of their identity. Similarly in apartheid South africa whether you were black or white mattered. I thought about this tendency to binary divide as I heard of the trouble John mcDonnell, the Labour party Shadow Chancellor of the exchequer, got into when asked at the end of an interview ‘Winston Churchill – Villain or hero’. he answered: ‘Tonypandy – Villain’ with its reference to the sending in of troops against striking miners in South Wales in 1910 when Churchill was home Secretary. not surprisingly it was condemned immediately as a slur on a great Briton. are you saint or sinner; friend or foe; one of us or one of them? The tendency to see people as either this or that is one to which we are all prone. yet in reality that simple goody/baddy divide is rarely adequate. as a teenager I regret the pressures to decide between science and humanities. I chose humanities and in so doing left behind a huge part of learning. as a Christian I know that I am both saint – someone loved by god – and sinner – someone who falls short of the command to love. In St John’s gospel when Jesus meets the woman caught in adultery whom the religious leaders wish to condemn (they are clear who is the goody and who is the baddy) he reaches out to her in love, whilst also saying that she should sin no more. no simple binary divide for our Lord! But then again why should that surprise us? even Churchill, hero that he was, had his failings. It is easy to divide the world into goodies and baddies; it is much more honest to acknowledge that all of us are both saints and sinners.

Over the years the notorious Black Cat roundabout on the a1/a421 has increasingly become a byword for delays and congestion. The impact of daily delays on motorists’ quality of life and on businesses’ bottom lines is why I’ve lobbied government to deliver a proper upgrade. So it’s good news that highways england has now announced the preferred configuration of a completely remodelled Black Cat junction, along with the preferred route for the new dual carriageway immediately to the east of it. That will mean a fully-dualled route between Bedford and Cambridge. meanwhile, the Black Cat junction will finally see the a421/8 and a1 separated from the roundabout itself via slip roads, and not a moment too soon. For details see The scheduled start date for the works is 2021/22 which, appallingly, is two years later than had been planned for a project that was announced to great fanfare back in 2014. meanwhile, the latest announcement comes two years after public consultation on options. Local motorists and businesses cannot afford any further delay. nor can residents of great Barford, Wyboston and other villages nearby, where the upgrade will provide relief from rat-running. The government and its agencies need to recognise the urgency of upgrading our infrastructure to keep pace with economic growth. Jobs growth in Bedford Borough has dramatically outstripped both the regional and national rate in recent years. We need infrastructure improvements brought forward to match. In addition to the a421/8 and other road schemes, these include east West rail and a better deal overall for Bedford rail users, including an upgraded Bedford station, the return of all peak-time fast rail services and the retention of intercity services. each of these issues is crucial to economic growth and to local residents’ quality of life, and I’ll keep working to get the best for Bedford Borough on all of them.

I have been holding a series of panels over the past few weeks to decide which organisations will be awarded money from her grant Fund to help victims and reduce crime in Bedfordshire over the next year. The commissioning team received 85 applications (69 of which were from external organisations and charities) for the 2019/20 grant Fund totalling more than £3.8 million worth of bids to help victims and increase community safety in the county. Over the last two weeks (4–15 February), applicants have been presenting for an hour each to a panel of experts and residents from across the county who decide if any of the £1.6 million of grant funding will be allocated to them. my team were joined by safeguarding experts from local authorities, organisations and charities across Bedfordshire which provide support in domestic violence, sexual violence, education, early intervention and offender rehabilitation. The independent chair of the police and Crime panel, paul Cain, was also present for many of the panels. We will now be reviewing the feedback from the panels and the presentations with the aim of announcing the successful applicants for the 2019/20 grant Fund in march. as part of my commitment to working with services to support victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and hate crime, the team will also be looking to support services which aim to reduce offending in areas such as domestic violence by providing education for offenders, child sexual exploitation, modern day slavery and county lines. Last year, we funded an enhanced new service for all victims of crime in Bedfordshire, called Signpost. The free and confidential service is a one-stop-shop for all the information a victim of crime needs to know. Signpost consists of a call centre of specialist Victim Care Coordinators, available on Freephone 0800 0282 887, running six days a week (monday to Friday 8am – 8pm, Saturday 9am – 5pm). Signpost also has an online directory of all support services for those affected by different crimes – In the last round of grants we also commissioned organisations supporting victims of Domestic abuse and Child Sexual exploitation and other crimes against women and children such as Female genital mutilation and Forced marriage. Organisations such as the anne Frank Trust received funds to work in schools across the county to combat prejudice and prevent hate Crime through the story of anne Frank.

Keep an eye on your children when cooking

many children across Bedfordshire are spending more time in the kitchen. But whether they’re lending a hand or simply seeking a snack, it’s important to make sure that they know the hazards of a hot hob. So as part of the national fire safety campaign, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging parents and carers to make any kitchen activities a chance for kids to learn about cooking safety. area Community Safety Officer andy martin said: “There are lots of creative ways to teach kids about cooking fire safety. and, it’s absolutely vital that they know what to do if the worst should happen. “So alongside the melting, mixing and making, why not take the chance to pass on your fire safety knowhow? Test your smoke alarms as part of the activity. and remember, never leave a child alone with a hot hob, and help keep them

safe by moving matches and saucepan handles out of their reach.” and the kids don’t have to be in the kitchen to change the way you work – distraction while cooking is a main cause of fire call-outs right across the country. andy martin continued: “many accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen - often because of distractions like phone calls or family. So whatever happens elsewhere in your home, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.” The national fire safety campaign’s top tips for staying safe in the kitchen are: •

• • •

Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk. If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999. Double check the hob is off when you’ve finished cooking. Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob. Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire. avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe. Take care with electrics - keep leads and appliances away from water and place grills and toasters away from curtains and kitchen rolls. Keep your equipment clean and in good working order. a buildup of fat and grease can ignite a fire.

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Don’t cook after drinking alcohol. hot oil can catch fire easily – be careful that it doesn’t overheat. never throw water on a chip pan fire.

In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place. Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. get out, stay out and call 999. make sure you have at least one

smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them regularly. For more information on fire safety, please visit or the

Cooking Safety page of the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Website at: https://www.bedsfire. Community-safety/homesafety/Cooking.aspx

22 —


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TEL: 07724 905406 or 07894 935952 EDITORIAL:

Lawn Doctor aLThOUgh it’s mid-February, the temperature is currently 13 degrees which has already prompted a marked increase in people’s jollity and general bonhomie! never really wanting to be the bearer of bad news but I am duty bound to warn all that frosts are still very much in evidence so my advice is always to be very careful. every year, people understandably impatient to get some much needed colour in their gardens, visit their favourite plant sellers and buy bedding. The problem is, if ravaged by the frosts, these same people will, in a couple of weeks time, return to the same places and buy exactly the same plants in what is for many the horticultural version of groundhog day! So, be warned. Delay buying any expensive bedding until the threat of frosts has well and truly passed. One type of plant that is currently thriving in most gardens is those that some choose to describe as ‘weeds’. a pretty useless term really, most trained horticulturalists much prefer to say that ‘a weed is any plant in the wrong location’ but that said, plants such as couch grass, also known as ‘twitch’ is sprouting up wherever there is bare soil at this moment in time so if you are wanting your beloved bulbs to look at their best, get weeding! another task that helps spring plants stand out regards lawns. edging with sharp, long handled sheers, if the edge is firm and straight, will instantly have a huge impact on the overall appearance of your garden. If the lawn is wooly, why not give it a trim? as I have said previously, whether to cut lawns at this time of the year, depends on the lawn and depends on the lawn mower but if the conditions permit, nothing has a greater, more positive effect. If edges are not straight, use string lines or a plank and get them right. They can then be maintained using sheers throughout the forthcoming year. If possible avoid using an edging iron/half moon every time you cut the lawn as it is very likely that your lawn will shrink before your very eyes! In the correspondence received this month came a question regarding the best time to prune vines. The best time for grape vines to be pruned is actually early winter, november/December, but to keep the plant happy throughout the growing season, and happy plants are productive plants, it is a very good idea to regularly prune. If you are keen to harvest your vine, there are

two distinct pruning systems that will facilitate this and they are the rod and spur system, sometimes called, Cordon, and the guyot system. The Cordon is generally used for inside growing vines in glasshouses, while the guyot system is the preferred option for outside grown vines. please contact me for any further information. This month’s just for fun question is, a neighbour’s cat insists on using your garden as a litter tray: what common place household ingredient can be safely used to prevent this from happening without hurting the cat? I myself have used this and found it to be more successful than any purpose bought deterrents. as usual, thank you very much for those of you who have been in tough and please contact me with any gardening tasks or queries you may have, or tel: 01767 627 581 or 07796 328 855.


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— 23

gardening Vegee,vegan or omnivore growing your own veg is good for you

conditions as Tomatoes and Cucumbers namely fibrous compost, regular watering and feeding weekly with tomato food. For sweet bell peppers try California Wonder, or Colour Spectrum for red orange yellow lime and deep purple coloured fruits, brilliant for using in salads. I also grow pak Choi a quick growing oriental brassica closely related to cabbage and very nutritious. Basil, the herb for a lot of Italian cooking and Coriander the oriental equivalent if sown every two weeks will provide an unlimited supply and can be dried or frozen for winter use.

by Maureen Catlin Milton Ernest Garden Centre he Buzz Word in 2018 was Vegan and as the media attention has already started to focus this year on getting healthy and not just thinner they are advocating a much lower meat diet to be replaced by more vegetables and whole grain food so although not vegan definitely a move towards a vegetable based diet. So in 2019 we should really focus on growing our own Veg. Last month we talked about root vegetables, some greens, courgettes and runner beans but there is so much more that we can grow ourselves no matter how large or small your garden. There is something special about being able to pick, cook and eat all that lovely freshness that you have grown. So what else can one garden realistically produce each year with only the initial investment in some Fruit Trees and Bushes and a few packets of seeds. Well an awful lot especially if you invest in a polytunnel or greenhouse or have a really sheltered hotspot in the garden you can grow the mediterranean vegetables Tomatoes, peppers, Cucumbers and herbs like Basil and Coriander will all grow well outside, where there is sun and shelter, or in a polytunnel or greenhouse in pots, grobags or directly in the well prepared soil. I would suggest germinating the seeds on the kitchen window sill and only planting in the greenhouse from april onwards or outside towards the end of may when the warmer weather comes. alternatively you can buy the plants from the garden Centre but there will not be the choice of varieties. Tomatoes are the most popular and what a choice of seed varieties there are out there. For the little sweet cherry tomatoes look for gardeners Delight, a popular old favourite or Red Cherry which is early and very sweet. maskotka is ideal for pots or 18 inch hanging baskets. For regular size tomatoes alicante is a reliable favourite for


growing inside or out while akron is well shaped and excellent flavour for indoors. Cucumbers are another profitable crop. One plant will produce at least one cucumber a week in season and if you grow the mini varieties like Socrates a lot

more. These mini varieties have all the qualities of Telegraph types and only produce female flowers so you can have a fresh cucumber for every salad. peppers and Chillies are also useful additions to grow. They require the same growing

american Land Cress is the next best thing to watercress to grow. It likes a shady spot with lots of moisture and is hardy so plant in rich moisture retaining soil. Water regularly and pick all through the year to use in salads. Rocket is another useful quick growing green salad vegetable. It has a distinct peppery nutty flavour and should be harvested and used at once. If you plant a 12 inch pot with mixed Rocket every two weeks you will have a continuous supply. The new kids on the block are the microgreens. They are seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs which are harvested by cutting the leaves with scissors less than one month after germination when the true leaves are about two inches tall. They can be used as garnishes, in salads or sandwiches and are rich in concentrated nutrients and delicious intense flavours. grow on the kitchen window sill in small containers approximately 20cm by 10cm in rich peaty soil throughout the year. Keep moist by spraying with water daily. The varieties to grow are Fothergills mixed Spicey Leaves, mixed mild Salad Leaves, Unwins Fenugreek, mustard Red Frills, Broccoli, Kale, Basil Dark Opel, purple Radish, Beetroot and Komatsuna. add to your morning smoothie for a daily pick me up.

Next Month: Grow your own Fruit Basket.


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out & about comedy p Comedy at Rugby Club

The Marquee at Bedford Blues Rugby Clu. Saturday, March 16th

Castle Comedy and Bedford Junior Blues U16’s presents Jarlath Regan and Ian Stone a fabulous evening awaits at Bedford Blues Rugby Club as Castle Comedy teams up with Bedford Junior Blues U16’s to put on a comedy extravaganza. The aim is to laugh and raise money for the host leg of the 40th anniversary Salles Tour – easter weekend 2019. headlining the show is Jarlath Regan (below). he is a hugely talented comedian who has numerous TV credits, awards and a hit podcast on his hands. his podcast ‘an Irishman abroad’ has a legion of loyal fans, millions of downloads and The Daily Telegraph proclaimed it “could turn out to be one of the

biggest podcasts since Ricky gervais picked up a microphone.” he has appeared on Tonight at the palladium (ITV), Stand up Central (Comedy Central) and Russell howard’s good news (BBC3). Opening the show will be Ian Stone. (right) The Independent ranks him amongst the top ten standups in Britain! he is one of the most talented topical acts in the country and a regular on television screens. Ian is the star of BT Sports 'The Football's On' and presents my5’s topical show ‘Comedy Bigmouths’. he has also appeared on 'nevermind the Buzzcoks' and ‘Live at the Comedy Store’. "Seriously funny" The Guardian also appearing is president Obonjo. as the larger-than-life, uber-confident, self-appointed, sidesplitting dictator of ‘Lafta Republic’, president Obonjo has been leading a comedy revolution to take over the world.

FLOOTES To reserve your table please call: 01525 290042

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Doors Open at 7:30pm - Show starts at 8.30pm. Food trucks onsite from 6:30pm - 8pm TICKeTS - £15 each + £1.31 online booking fee at For enquires call 07970048567 Castle Comedy – Bringing Comedy Royalty to Bedfordshire.


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music a Jazz at The White Horse

This venue hosts many of London’s Top musicians at their weekly event ‘monday night Jazz at The White horse’, hosted by mark hale. 4th March, Christian Brewer (right) (alto Saxophone), is one of the most lyrical and soulful alto players to have emerged from the UK in recent years. Loved for his melodic playing and pure tone, he has risen to prominence on the British jazz scene. he is now a regular at London’s prestigious Ronnie Scots and both he and his band are in great demand. 11th March atila huseyin is an established Jazz singer from the UK. Sartorially stylish and musically


SPRING CONCERT Tickets: Adults £5.00 Concessions £3.00

School Theatre Hall, 7.30 p.m.

Venue: Woo on Upper School, Hall End Road, Woo on, Beds MK43 9HT School Box O ce: 01234 767123

Wednesday 27th March, 2019

classy, his interpretations of the american Songbook are internationally renowned, taking influence from early Frank Sinatra. he began music professionally aged 15 with local big band ‘young Jazz’. First playing saxophone, but then encouraged by phil Revens to sing, atila was at ease in front of the big band. he was invited by Bill ashton to feature with the national youth Jazz Orchestra in 2002. atila learned his craft with nyJO, following extensive UK touring he fronted the group on the norwegian Sun Jazz Cruise, with special guests Benny golson and Curtis Fuller. Then followed an album with nyJO. ‘Something Old, Something new’ (nyJCD023) was something of a debut record for atila,

TEL: 07724 905406 or 07894 935952 EDITORIAL:

and his performance being described by all about jazz; “he’s only a step or two away from becoming one of the finest young jazz singers to emerge in quite some time” 18th March Sammy mayne - alto Saxophone 25th March Ofer Landsberg guitar, shortly after his arrival in new york, aged seventeen, Jazz guitarist Ofer Landsberg was performing regularly with Jazz greats such as; pianist Frank hewitt, legendary drummer Jimmy Lovelace, pianist gil Coggins and Jimmy Wormsworth. Distinguishing himself as a striking talent and key player within the scene, he frequently fronted gigs at the celebrated clubs “Smalls” and “Fat Cat” including musicians; ari Roland, Zaid nasser,

mike mullins, Dwayne Clemons, Chris Byars and Sacha perry. It was also during this time when Ofer met the famous Barry harris and became a steady participant of his workshops.

TEL: 07724 905406 or 07894 935952 ADS:

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— 27

music a

Black Grape + Guests Collapsed Lung Bedford Corn Exchange Saturday 23rd March

Black grape could only have been made in manchester. The swagger, fun and cryptic humour seem hewn from a city that offers a different way of english urban life to London. Both Shaun Ryder and paul Leveridge, known as Kermit, came from edgy-but-cool parts of the city. In Shaun’s case Salford, with Kermit originating moss Side. So we have two restlessly creative men, both from the wrong side of the tracks, neither inclined to go to art school or enrol on an mFa programme, yet loaded with street smarts and musical talent, and wanting the world. good old punk had told every scally they could have it, and a generation went for it in their own ways, with varying degrees of success. Shaun’s astonishing rise and fall with the happy mondays is the stuff of legend. as the friendship developed, so too did a stunning collaboration. It’s great When you’re Straight...yeah,

the ironically entitled album, gave a nod to their hook up as drugs buddies around the grizzled fag end of happy mondays and Kermit’s band The Ruthless Rap assassins. It was a storming phoenix rising from the ashes of the other projects that seemed to have run their course. Black grape followed this up with Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. Then...nothing… until now. Black grape are back on the road, and with new album pop Voodoo – a rewind to over twenty years ago and

the glory days. Shaun’s word play has never been deployed to such devastating effect, and he scores a bullseye whether he hits the obvious targets (Trump), and the more obscure ones... Special guests for the evening is Collapsed Lung. Tickets £25 from Seetickets & the central box office: 01234718044 & Locally with no booking fee from Slide Record Shop and mario’s hair Design. Free after show party at esquires!



Saturday 2nd March

Bedford Road, Kempston 01234 851143





Saturday 23rd March

KARAOKE in the bar starts 9pm

THREE PIECE IRISH BAND in the bar 8.30pm ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ Saturday 9th March


80s DISCO in the bar starts 8.30pm

Saturday 16th March

Saturday 30th March

DR SKA DISCO in the bar starts 9pm

Saturday 6th April

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★


LIVE BAND in the bar 9pm
















Tues, Weds, Thurs 3pm–12midnight – Fri-Sat 12am-1am – Sun-Mon 12noon-12midnight

Sunday19 19May May2019 2019//11am 11amto to4pm 4pm Sunday Bedford Park Bedford Park

HAVE YOU GOT A STORY TO TELL? Let us know all about it – email:





from £22


Book online or call 01234 782828 Santa Pod Raceway, Airfield Road, Podington, Nr. Wellingborough, Northants NN29 7XA. Signposted from J14/15 M1 *Booking fee applies. Advance ticket price available until 5pm Friday 12th April – standard price thereafter. See website for T&C’s.

FREE (max 3 per adult)

28 —


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Something old – something new

elstow abbey Church has something for everyone with events and activities indoor and out. Very old is the original church door and its inner wicker gate, now propped up inside the building - but clearly visible in the historic stained glass window depicting part of the story of a pilgrim’s progress, for centuries the second best-selling book to the Bible (only over taken in recent years by harry potter). The links with author John Bunyan keep this location on the international tourism map with customers from america, South Korea and europe stopping off to enjoy afternoon teas in the cottage garden at the rear of the church (opens at easter). Very new was the St Valentine’s weekend “dresses through the decades” promotional event where brides brought along their gowns from the 50s - 2000s for a special show. Innovative Vicar, The Rev. Father paul messan encouraged his lovely volunteers to put on a pop-Up

cafe inside the church to refresh visitors at the event. added Father paul: “We’re a great combination of old and new here. We had a pop-up cafe for the weekend run by the lovely team who host the cottage garden tea rooms from easter onwards. We have outdoor theatre, indoor music concerts and much more. “people do not realise how easy it is to get married in church now – you no longer have to live in the parish but simply have some connections. Familiesdon’t live and die in the same village anymore but they like to keep up traditions such as marrying where mum and dad or grandparents were wed. We’re here to help!”

TEL: 07724 905406 or 07894 935952 EDITORIAL:

Wait until dark Sharnbrook Mill Theatre 11th-16th March nightly 7.30pm

Book your seat now for this gripping production that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Set amidst London’s swinging sixties, Wait Until Dark follows the story of Susy, a blind woman who, left alone in her apartment, becomes embroiled with a group of con-men hatching an elaborate scam. as the suspense builds, Susy is left to fend for herself, but with the phone line cut dead and the house plunged into darkness, can Susy outwit the murderous

Who is Bedford? New show for children explores cultural heritage of Bedford March – June 2019

Families and school children in Bedford will be treated to a brand new cultural experience this year with Who is Bedford? an interactive show exploring the heritage of Bedford and the people who live here. With over 50 ethnicities represented in the town, Bedford is one of the most culturally diverse towns of its size in the UK. Who is Bedford? is a celebration of everything that makes Bedford the vibrant town it is today. With funding from national Lottery heritage Fund, Bedfordshire’s Full house Theatre have combined interactive audio technology with real stories, working in partnership with The higgins museum for inspiration. “It has been so exciting to create a show with and for the people of

BEDFORD ORGAN & KEYBOARD CLUB THE ADDISON CENTRE –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


MARK THOMPSON WEDS 27 MARCH 7.30 – 10.00pm TEA, COFFEE/BAR/RAFFLE ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Members £5 PAY AT Non-Members £6 DOOR –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Contact: 01234 344423 www/Organfax/clubs/Bedford

visitors? From the pen of Frederick Knott, author of Dial m for murder, this tense thriller was made famous by the 1967 film Bedford, our local town. We’ve worked with cultural, religious and heritage groups, as well as the wonderful school children of Bedford, to produce a fun experience that all the family can enjoy”. – Ben miles and harriet hardie, Creative Directors, Full house Theatre. Who is Bedford? will tour Bedford’s schools and community spaces between February – June 2019, including Queen’s park Community Centre and The higgins museum. Schools can contact Full house Theatre to book a show in their school. For further details and booking go to:

starring audrey hepburn which is ranked as one of the top 100 scariest films of all time. Book on-line at

/ or in person at pick-a-lily, Florists, 61 high Street, Sharnbrook: £10/11 (£1 booking fee). party of 10 or more, 10% discount (not Fri. or Sat). nB not suitable for U12 nB: monday 11th march is a Charity night for The Rotary Club of Rushden. phone: 01933 312668. also now booking and not to be missed: award-winning Canadian folk/country duo madison Violetwill entertain you on 16 may from 19:45, with support from David Banks (of The Whybirds). Tickets, £14 are available now at www.sharnbrookmilltheatre. or in person at pick-a-Lily, Florists, Sharnbrook.

CARSUNDAYS BOOT SALES 10am-2pm : 17th March, 28th April, 19th May, 16th June, 21st July, 25th August, 22nd September & 20th October

Sellers set up from 8.30am, £5 per car £10 per van

MILTON ERNEST GARDEN CENTRE Radwell Road, Milton Ernest MK44 1SH Teas, Coffee, Breakfast, Snacks in Café For pitch enquiries contact Simon 01234 823033 E:

TEL: 07724 905406 or 07894 935952 ADS: WeSTOnIng pLayeRS present

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— 29

SanDy FLOWeR CLUB 7.30pm Monday 11th March 2019 Demonstration by Jo poulter

–––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––– AGATHA CRUSTY AND THE HEALTH SPA MURDERS

a comedy thriller by Derek Webb Thursday 4th - Saturday 6th April 7.30pm WESToNING vIllAGE HAll TICKeTS £10 Box Office 01525- 719695


COUNTRY AND FOLK DANCE CLUB Thursday evenings 8pm – 10pm Putnoe Heights Church, Bedford MK41 8EB Its good fun for only £2.50 including refreshments no partner required. Ron Law 01234 825574

aRTISTS neTWORK BeDS invites you to an


in Poplars Garden Centre, Toddington learning Zone on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 March from 10.30-5 each day a wide range of paintings and 3D artwork will be on show throughout the weekend. Come along and meet some of our artists.  everyone will be very welcome.

–––––––––––––––––––– POTTON MUSIC 4 –––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––– BeDFORD RSpB LOCaL gROUp MEMORY meet at aRa club, manton Lane BUGGY FIT Every Wednesday afternoon from Bedford mK41 7pF. 2.30pm-4.00pm at Potton Community CLASSES Thursday March 21st at 7.30pm Thursday 1pm-2pm The Weatherly Centre orchard Close Biggleswade SG18 0NE email: or 0300 300 5125. Tuesday 12-2pm Saxon Pool and leisure Centre, Biggleswade £2 per session


Tuesday 2pm-3pm @ Saxon Pool & leisure Centre, Biggleswade £1.50 per session please note: all classes are subject to change,


haS a LOVeD One DIeD? perhaps we can help you at our drop-in centre at: The Community Rooms, Baptist church, 24 London Road, Biggleswade SG18 8EB Wednesdays 10am – 12 noon Telephone: Carole or Jill on 07704 734225 for more information. • a place of friendship, compassion and understanding. • Fully trained bereavement support volunteers are always on hand to listen while you talk through your grief. • Somewhere to meet others coping with bereavement issues. • Come and make new friends

–––––––––––––––––––– SANDY ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY Founded in 2014 by residents of Sandy and surrounding areas, we are a group of keen astronomers of all abilities. We meet on the first Thursday of every month at mamas Coffee Shop (high Street, Sandy) and have regular viewing sessions on the grounds of Sandye place academy. you don’t need to own a telescope to join in. Club members are always willing to share their equipment and expertise, and if you become a member our club telescopes are available for hire for a small fee. Wrap up warm and we’ll see you there!

–––––––––––––––––––– SANDY WALKS 4 HEALTH Sandy Walks 4 health meet every Wednesday. These are free short walks ofabout an hour, with a trained walk leader. no need to book; just turn up. Walks start at 10am, meeting in SandyLibrary in the Town centre. For more information contact: Cathy Bailey 01767 692182, or Jane Janaway 01767 691455, or Mike Fayers (Health walks manager) 01234 832619

–––––––––––––––––––– SANDY CONSERVATIVE BOWLING CLUB Our well-established and friendly club with one of the best greens in the county is situated behind the Conservative Club in Bedford Road. We are always happy to welcome new members, whether experienced or new bowlers who will be offered coaching. For further details Phone 01767 680697

–––––––––––––––––––– MAYFLOWER 50+ SOCIAL CLUB We meet 2-4 pm on Wednesdays at the Labour hall, Crab Lane, and 2-4pm Fridays at St andrews Church - both have disabled access. We also run a lighthearted bingo 2-4pm at the Labour hall on the 2nd & 4th monday of the month. We play games, cards etc. or just socialise. We have occasional speakers and outings. entrance £1.50 (plus £1 if bingo) and door-to-door minibus transport is available at £1.50 return. please contact Iris on 01767 318434 or call or text Brian on mobile 07988 822678 or landline 01767 448954 BIGGlESWADE WEEKlY luNCH CluB We meet every Wednesday 12-1.45 in the Labour hall, Crab Lane to enjoy a hot 2 course meal and good company. Food is supplied by a local school. Door to door transport is available at £1.50 and the meal costs £5. mainly for over 50s. For more details contact Shirley Legate on 01767 448954 or 07988 822678.

Centre, Brook End , Potton. The group is facilitated by a qualified and experienced music therapist and supported by a friendly welcoming and supportive team. If you are living with memory problems, dementia or are a family carer this could be the group for you. We meet together to sing songs old and new, dance, recite poetry in a relaxed space. We always start with tea, coffee and cakes and a chance to chat and catch up with friends or speak to our dementia specialist. When the music starts we are all encouraged to share as fully as we feel able as a valued member of the group. No musical experience required, just come along, relax and enjoy. please contact us for more information on 01234 210993 or email or just turn up and give it a go. Potton Music 4 Memory is one of the services provided by Tibbs Dementia Foundation a local charity support people to live as fully as possible with dementia.

–––––––––––––––––––– THE SANDY UKULELE GROUP Meet every Friday at the Baptist Chapel Hall, Bedford Road, Sandy. 7pm till 9pm. For more information on joining the group please email the group:

–––––––––––––––––––– BIDDenham gaRDeneRS aSSOCIaTIOn Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 7.30 Biddenham village Hall

“Strictly Daylilies”

By paula Dyason Visitors very welcome admission £5 per meeting – includes Raffle & refreshments

–––––––––––––––––––– OUSe RIVeR RnLI FUnDRaISIng gROUp (LIFeBOaTS)


THuRSDAY 21 MARCH 10.15 for 10.45 am RoXToN vIllAGE HAll RoXToN MK44B 3uB Coffee on arrival, Fork Lunch, and Raffle Tickets £16 available from Janet mcnair Tele 01767 225341  / email before march 7th

–––––––––––––––––––– POTTON LADIES’ CLUB meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm at Mill lane Pavilion, Mill lane, Potton. SG19 2PG. our next meeting on the 4th December, is a members only party. We will then meet again on Tuesday the 8th January 2019 – When membership fees will be due. The talk will be Barbuda, after the Hurricane by Gordon McCann. We have a range of speakers, a lunch club & numerous day trips. Visitors are always welcome for £5, to include light refreshments.


–––––––––––––––––––– please join us for a fun


From 7.30pm Thursday 28th March The White Horse Pub, 84 Newnham Road, Bedford MK41 9PX everyone very welcome For more information please contact us on 01234 353331 Or email

Ben macdonald, conservation writer and wildlife television researcher presents,

‘Rebirding: Restoring our birds and rewilding our landscapes’

Suitable for experts and novices, RSpB membership not essential. entrance fee, group members £1 guest £2 annual group membership £5 Reg. Charity no. 207076, more info


Zelkova String Quartet Mozart, Mendelssohn, Dvorak 7.45pm, Thursday 14 Mar 2019 Bunyan Meeting, Bedford Tickets £18, Students 18-24 £5, Under 18 £2 on the door or from 01234 261811

–––––––––––––––––––– BIGGLESWADE –––––––––––––––––––– WATERPOLO BeDFORDShIRe FamILy hISTORy Every Monday 8.30pm at Saxon Pool SG18 8Su 12 and older, both sexes come along and join the fun

–––––––––––––––––––– SANDY TOWN BOWLING CLUB play bowls at this friendly local club adjacent to Sandy Village hall. excellent green. experienced and new bowlers welcome. Coaching available. more details: Secretary Michael Groom: 01767 227523

–––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––– mILTOn eRneST gaRDen CenTRe BEESTON WALK CERAMIC FLOWERS FOR HEALTH Pots of Fun would like you to join them at on Saturday 9th of March between 2pm-4pm to make Ceramic Flowers, age 11 and up. £10 includes materials and a drink, only 12 spaces available, to reserve a place or to find out more call Sue on 01234 860810 or email


pots of Fun would like you to join them Saturday 16th of March between 2pm-4pm for ceramic painting (suitable for all ages). hand and footprints, they would make an excellent gift for mother’s Day. price from £5 open session no need to book. For more details call Sue on 01234 860810 or email

–––––––––––––––––––– 3T’S TODDLER GROUP

We are a (non-profit making) Toddler Group who meet at Centenary Hall, 104 Bedford Road, Kempston on Tuesday from 1.00 pm to 2.30 pm (term time only) Contact: Debbie on 07975 –772-058 or Suzanne on 01234-857467.

–––––––––––––––––––– BIGGLESWADE WALK 4 HEALTH RegULaR WeeKLy WaLKS Walks for beginners and those looking to improve Two regular weekly walks of 40 – 90 minutes Wednesdays at 10.00am Walking with John and his team Dan albone Car park, Shortmead Street Sg18 0BQ Thursdays at 10.00am Walking with Rosario and his team from Stratton School, eagle Farm Road Sg18 8JB FoR THoSE looKING To Do A SERIouS WAlK oF 5 MIlES PluS: Tuesday Afternoon at 2pm Booking essential (This walk is not part of Walk 4 health and walkers walk at their own risk) Walking with Janette: approx. 90 mins. Start points vary – phone or email Janette for details Janette Sibley Tel: 07771 540117 email: Mike Fayers Bedfordshire health Walks manager, Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity Tel: 01234 832619 email: The Old School, Cardington. mK44 3SX

–––––––––––––––––––– aLL SaInTS paRISh ChURCh KempSTOn


of this historic church to visiting groups of 10 or above at a cost per head of £7.95. Contacts are Janet Fardell on 01234 855158 or Frances Leonard on 01234 852480

Third Saturday of every month 10am - 12.00 noon entrance 50p adults FRee paRKIng Clothing, Bric a Brac, Books, Linen, Toys and games Refreshments available 155 Barkers Lane, Bedford. mK41 9RX Tel: 01234 325781


We meet every monday at 9.00 a.m. by the letter box at the junction of The Crescent and The green. The walk is a first level gentle walk so we do about 30 – 40 minutes in the flat fields beyond Beeston green.  I will walk as slowly as the slowest person needs.  It’s a ‘just turn up’ walk. gillian Wilkes  07890 232685





SOCIeTy 7.15p.m. Friday 1st March 2019 Interested in Family History? Then come along to the next monthly talk on

‘Up with the Lark – Agricultural Labourers’

by Ian Waller Drama Hall, Mark Rutherford School Wentworth Drive, Bedford MK41 8PX members free, visitors £1. STEADY ACouSTIC

–––––––––––––––––––– 7.30 last Tuesday of the month at The Burnaby Arms, Stanley Street, BEDFoRD MK41 7Ru. all abilities Beginners very welcome. Info from mike 01234 308449 Facebook: Burnaby steady session see also Bedfordshire beginners melodeon playgroup


BeDFORD naTIOnaL TRUST aSSOCIaTIOn Meeting on 19th March 2019 at 2.30 in the Addison Centre, Kempston


Saturday 23 March 2019 from 1pm. village Hall, village Road, Bromham, Bedford, MK34 9JP. Clothing & textiles – includes nearly new.  Bags & shoes.   Books, vinyl, CDs & DVDs.   Jigsaws, toys & games. Bric-a-brac - includes electrical, kitchen, garden, tools & small furniture. 50p entry.   Refreshments available. Bus no 41 – Bedford to northampton/Stagsden – stops outside. Quality jumble at bargain prices. Registered Charity no 300445. Please note the EARlIER START TIME - 1pm


John Greening, poet.

mOggeRhangeR Keep FIT gROUp

–––––––––––––––––––– At the village Hall, Fridays 9.30-10.30. Tina or Josh take us through a lighthearted sequence with a warm-up, exercises designed to improve muscular fitness, brain co-ordination, balance and general well-being, then a cool-down. It’s not over-strenuous, we have fun, feel good – and pay only £5 a session. So why not come and join us? For more information call Tony or Judith on 640124.


meeting at the Addison Centre, Kempston at 7.30pm with Sharon Badger and her demonstration

‘A Vision for the Future’ Visitors welcome £7.

Many a Sundry Flower

–––––––––––––––––––– SanDy hISTORICaL SOCIeTy

by michael Brown 7.30pm Friday March 29th Stonecroft Hall, St Swithins Way Sandy SG19 1BB admission £2.50 including refreshments members & students free For further details contact 01767 680171 KempSTOn mUSICaL SOCIeTy


Kempston Musical Society will be performing Stainer’s Crucifixion for Passiontide on Saturday 6th April at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Midland Road, Bedford. proceeds will be donated to St. Francis Support of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in northern Uganda charity. Singers - £5. Rehearsal – 4pm.  music and Refreshments provided.  Dress – white top, Black bottom. The concert will start at 7.00pm. Tickets for the evening concert will cost £6, to include refreshments. This will be a most enjoyable evening and we look forward to seeing you. To find out more about this concert, all our forthcoming concerts or information about the choir please call 01234 781010 or email

–––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––– BLACK CRICKET SPRING QUIZ –––––––––––––––––––– KIDS CLUB mID BeDS FLOWeR CLUB EVENING next meeting will be on great for aspiring animal keepers, entomologists and herpetologists. First Wednesday of every month in Shortstown village Hall, Southcote, Shortstown, Bedford, MK42 0Ql. Fun, educational and entertaining sessions for children aged 5 - 13 who love animals, pets and wildlife. Children with SenD are warmly welcomed and sessions are differentiated to meet individual needs. Sessions are £5 per child (siblings £3). Registration is required. email:


Meeting at Kempston Hammers Sports & Social Club every Thursday 9.30 till 11.00am school term time only all children welcome from new born to preschool age. Large range of toys,activities and a craft table. Refreshments supplied for both children and carers. non profit making playgroup If your require further information just come along or ring Ruth on 01234 854657


If you are interested gardening why not come along to our meetings. We meet the second Wednesday of most months of the year in all Saints Church hall, Cemetery Road Kempston. We have speakers and demonstrations covering every aspect of gardening For further information contact Trevor on

01234 856040 or marian on 01234 855288

–––––––––––––––––––– IRISH CEILI AND SET DANCING Wednesdays 8pm to 10 pm £2 per session – first evening free no partner required. Beginners welcome. The Reading Room, 1, Barkers lane, Bedford. Ring pat 01234 308224 for more details.

Thursday 14th March when the popular local demonstrator Doug howard ‘s title is

‘Flowers to love’

in Flitwick Village hall. Visitors welcome £8.00 more details contact marion Tucker tel 01234 742396

Friday 8th March 7.30pm St. Swithun’s Church Rooms, Sandy. Teams to consist of up to six persons. admission £2-50p per person. In aid of the Sandy Branch of The Leprosy mission. please contact Colin Osborne on 01767 682032 to book your team.

–––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––– Do YouR BINS Go ouT MoRE OOMPAH BAND THAN You? THEN lADIES CIRClE IS FoR You! EVENING Ladies Circle is a membership club for women aged 18 to 45 who want to make new friends, have lots of fun, do things t  Whether you’re new to the Biggleswade area, or are just looking to broaden your social life. The group is a perfect way of getting more out of life. members include single and married women, those with children and those without, working and not working,everyone’s welcome to come along and just be themselves! email: Twitter: @BwadeCircle.    Facebook: Biggleswade Ladies Circle

ChRIST The KIng paRISh haLL harrowden Road, Bedford mK42 0SpSat 9am to noon. 9th March

–––––––––––––––––––– entry 50p Refreshments available, Tables £5 - must be prebooked. For information call on 01234 965497

TABLE TOP SALE 7.30pm. Sat 16th March


Tickets £5, Children £3 Bar, raffle, bring and share food music from malachy and Sam hughes To book tickets call 01234 965497 2pm to 4pm Friday 22nd Marcht


at Rushden Station Saturday, 30th March 2019 The Bierkeller Schunklers will provide a fantastic evening of Bavarian merrymaking, with singing, dancing, marching and much, much more! Bavarian food and bar with german beer also available! Doors open 7.30. £10 per person. please go to to book

–––––––––––––––––––– MUSIC ON THURSDAYS Fenella Humphreys violin, Robert Thompson piano Bedford School Music Recital Hall Tickets £18, Students 18-24 £5, Under 18 £2 on the door or from 01234 261811


Wednesdays from 7.30pm-10.00pm at Kempston East Methodist Church new members welcome For further details contact Brian Woodcock on 07795251988 or

–––––––––––––––––––– admission £4 - Tea, home-made cake –––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––– STEVEN BILLING’S and dancing –––––––––––––––––––– WORLD RECORD COWPER & KEMPSTON SENIOR We invite all stroke survivors & their ATTEMPT carers to join our NEWTON MUSEUM CITIZENS’ CLUB –––––––––––––––––––– Running Bath Half Marathon 10:30 to 4:30pm Tuesday 5th March IVEL STROKE CLUB March 17th DanCIng, WhIST, BIngO WORLD SHIP SOCIETY Come inside to learn all about 18th century life on Pancake Day in Olney, interpreted beautifully with heritage Lottery funding. See our georgian ladies and gentlemen taking in the beneficial Olney morning air as we promenade around the market place!  Usual museum admission applies.

Meets Wednesday 10am-12noon Friday 10am-4.00pm CenTenaRy haLL, behind Kempston Town hall, Bedford Road For further information telephone: 01234 347306

Kempston Constitution Club 196a Bedford Road, Kempston 3rd ThURSDay in the month

BEDFORD BRANCH Telephone: 01234 352014

Meetings are held at Stonecroft, St Swithins Way, Sandy on the third Monday of each month 7.30pm. Transport can be arranged. Speakers, outings & entertainment througout the year. please contact 01767 680503 for further imformation.

Visitors welcome at £5.00 entrance on the door. There will be a raffle and tea/coffee. We meet at the Conservative Bowls Club pavilion (Rear of the Conservative Club, Bedford Rd.) The Flower Club meets second monday in the month (excluding aug. Dec. & Jan) at 7.30pm and new members are always welcome. For more information please call: Sue alexander: Tel. 01767 699729 or follow us on Facebook

–––––––––––––––––––– TRINITY –––––––––––––––––––– METHODIST BeDFORD FLORaL aRT SOCIeTy CHURCH March 5th

–––––––––––––––––––– ––––––––––––––––––––

John introduces a selection of his poems, and shows how they have been shaped by particular places, from the pyramids of giza to the Cardington Sheds. everyone welcome - small charge For more details ring Betty Thomas on 01480 860 421.

‘All Shapes and Sizes’

dressed as a shark to attempt a new WR Fundraising on behalf of guide Dogs for the Blind Full info, details, and pictures at this link stevebilling Any support hugely appreciated.

Sunday March 3rd 10.30 a.m. Cafe style service led by Brenda Ballantine  a Bring & Share lunch will follow. Thursday March 7th a short service at 11.30 in church followed by the monthly lunch at 12noon. Sunday  March 10th 9.30  a communion service to be led by Rev. Dalwyn attwell. 10.30 a.m Service to be led by mrs. hazel hitch. Sunday March 17th  10.30am Service  to be led byDr. Robin Rowles 6.00pm. Informal service led by Rev. Dalwyn attwell  hopefully Trinity Band will accompany Sunday March 24th  10.30 a.m. Rev Dalwyn attwell Communion will take place during this service. Sunday March  31st   10.30a.m. Rev. Richard Barrett. please note there will nOT be a  service at Trinity in evening but a circuit healing Service will be held at  6.30pm. at priory methodist Church in Bedford led by Rev. andrew hollins. APRIl Thursday April 4th  Short service at 11.30 in church followed by monthly lunch at 12 noon. Sunday April 7th 10.30 a.m Cafe style service led by helen Boshier   Bring and Share lunch to follow. Sunday April 14th  9.30am Communion service led by Rev. Dalwyn attwell 10.30 am service to be led by Rev. Stan Short. Monday April 15th  7.30 p.m. Circuit Taize service at Trinity Thursday April  18th Maundy Thursday 7.00pm. agape meal at Trinity with communion Sunday April 21st  8.00 a.m Led by Rev Dalwyn attwell  to be followed by Breakfast 10.30 a.m service to be led by Stewards 6.00pm.  no service at Trinity but mission group will lead a service at Beeston methodist  together with  Sandy methodist church. to be led by Rev. Dalwyn attwell. Sunday 28th April  10.30a.m Rev. Dalwyn attwell to include Communion. The WILDLIFe TRUST BeDFORD LOCaL gROUp


Bedfordshire Orchards Survey

an illustrated talk by Steve halton Wednesday 13th March 2019 - meeting at 7-15pm for 7-30 pm start Priory Methodist Church Hall, Newnham Avenue Bedford MK41 9QJ plenty of parking available in Church car park. no charge but voluntary contributions are appreciated. Further details available under events on or at 01234 266057

–––––––––––––––––––– READING GROUP “Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin!”

Our friendly reading group has been meeting once a week since april 2017. We shall have our 100th gathering in a few months’ time. We meet every Wednesday at Wootton library, from 2:30 to 3:30pm. Why not come and join us? It’s absolutely free, and you’ll have:• a short story read to you by Colin, our group leader. • Refreshments served by the library staff half-way through. • The companionship of a lovely group of other members. • There is no commitment to attending at all - each story is complete, so it doesn’t matter if you miss a weekly meeting here or there. Come along and join in - we think you’ll really enjoy being part of our group. We look forward to welcoming you at the library. KempSTOn mUSICaL SOCIeTy

–––––––––––––––––––– HAYDN’S CREATION

Kempston Musical Society, together with invited soloists, will be performing Haydn’s Creation on Saturday 27th April 2019. The event will take place at Kempston east methodist Church, Kempston. The evening will start at 7.30pm and is sure to be an enjoyable night. Tickets will be available on the door and will cost £8.50 and will include refreshments. To find out more about all our forthcoming concerts or information about the choir please call 01234 781010 or email

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Fit to play, not fit for football!

Prep School’s U11 Hockey Team County Cup Champions

BIGGlESWADE TN .......1 ST. NEoTS........................0

by Mike Draxler

aFTeR the snow and rain the preceding few days the Langford Road pitch was passed fit to play on. The waders a fast passing outfit struggled on a pitch that was more like the league sponsors evostik than grass. St. neots came with rumour and

counter rumour, a club in turmoil. maybe, I don’t know best only get the truth from the horses mouth. I heard before the game that with so many new and young players in the side our visitors had little chance. But and you know… The pitch was unforgiving with the whole surface being difficult to construct a passing game. St. neots for all the young players did well certainly their two wide players leading the Wader fullbacks a merry

dance. Opportunities were created but as in previous games the finishing has to be more clinical. The closest a header from Jordan gent that smashed against the bar from a Ben Walster corner. at 0-0 half time it seemed Biggleswade were making hard work of disposing of their nearest neighbours. Out for the second period and the youngsters were gaining in confidence despite play being mostly in the visitors half. On the

No way back

Waders pay the price

One of the longer journeys in the Southern League central, we have been there before in the Fa cup 1st round proper. always an enjoyable experience, the fans and Stourbridge officials are there for the right reasons. The game itself saw a shuffled back line with Longe-King, Smith and Bradshaw not available. The line up of makoma, gent, Walster and back again Lucas perry defended well and kept the Stourbridge forwards struggling for possession. Disaster struck early as a free kick was not cleared or collected by Sam Donkin and with a rush of Stourbridge players, Leon Broadhurst got the ball over the line. Starting from that disadvantage the Waders took the game to the opposition. a stunning strike by Donovan makoma brought out the best in the home keeper James Wren as he flew to push the ball over the bar. Certainly chances were created but not taken. The ball played to feet saw some remarkable play from the

The small but beautiful squad assembled in august and added to over the past five months are now seeing the cost of a small squad. as the grounds get heavier and wetter so the injuries are mounting up.yesterday David Longe-King and Donovan makoma both had to be replaced adding to a lengthening injury list. no disrespect to the players coming in but the majority are playing out of position, still putting in a full shift. as the weather worsened towards kick off, a strong breeze added to by heavy rain made an unpleasant afternoon for players and spectators alike. Kicking up the slope the Waders took the game to Coalville and created chances, but, the make sure mentality, prevented an opening of the scoring as chances went a begging. Coalville faired not much better and only a fierce shot skimming the bar from the hosts. We all thought kicking down the slope in the second half would bring the 3 points home to Bedfordshire. Coalville came out with different ideas as they stoked up the play,more dominating in the second 45 as they played with a renewed purpose always first to the ball. It was no surprise on 58 that  Kairo mitchell had time in the box to spin and put the ball high into the roof of the net.  With the loss of makoma and Long-King seriously denting Wader chances Coalville took full advantage. On 68 the game was up when Tom mcglinchey picked up on a loose ball to beat Sam Donkin's

STouRBRIDGE ..............2 BIGGlESWDE TN..........0

boys in Orange. The long high ball had Joe White struggling on his own and was dealt with by a strong Stourbridge defence. at the break 10 was retrievable and with the Waders normally able to up the pace in the second period, all to play for. Very much on top, the Waders kept going at the deficit and a series of stops by the keeper and clearances from the line kept the Stourbridge nose in front. On 70 a free kick just outside the box saw danger man Luke Benbow step up. a free kick to grace any premiership side beat the diving Donkin to hit the back of the net. a body blow and one couldn’t see a way back from two goals down. Change of personnel with Sean Lucien proving an inspired signing as he continues to get to know the play structure and his team mates. One for the future. The team played well with no reward but this has been the story of so many of the recent games. Kieron Forbes encouraged the players and his talent for captaining the side came in for special praise from the officials. Well done Kieron.


Exciting stuff

BIGGlESWADE TN .......9 luToN ToWN................1

mORe a comment than a report. all those goals, be here all day. excitement has been tops with Luton coming to town albeit their academy improvement side. For Luton the game started well, their youth, vitality, slick passing and quick movement had us all in the stands concerned. early chances fell to the boys in orange. The loudest voice on the pitch way above the others Lee allinson, barking orders and instantly the game plan changed. a much higher line pushing Luton back and out of their disciplines. a continual stream of goals over the next 80

minutes once the first had gone in, the only reply from Luton on 22 minutes to make it 1-1. But then the Waders cut loose. Biggleswade looked and performed like they wanted this match. So well deserved, play like that every game and become world beaters. Strange but my pick of the bunch Ben Walster, who as a make shift centre back controlled the back line, his tackling immaculate. Scorers: Joe White 2; peter Clark 2; Bradley Bell 2; Solomon nwaboukei 1; Lucas perry 1; Dylan Williams 1 The pick of the goals, no disrespect to the other scorers, Williams and Bell stunning shots from distance. So to Kenilworth Road in March for the final showdown with Barton Rovers.

CoAlvIllE ToWN.......2 BIGGlESWADE TN .......0

odd occasion they ventured upfield the shots getting closer and the home worry lines deeper. It was not the best night for this group of players but it was always going to be that way as the pitches became heavier. at last after a mix up on the St. neots goal line, where confusion caused Brett Donnelly, peter Clark and Jonny mcnamara all being credited with the goal. The truth will always out as Jonny mcnamara was given the decision. despairing drive from distance. Despite the final onslaught towards the Coalville goal, the game was a loss and the final free kick from outside the box, summed up the game as it went well wide of the mark.

Last gasp breaks Wader hearts


nOne but the brave ventured out on an evening of rain, sleet and snow. The pitch held up but what was coming from the sky made the match and the travelling home, difficult. The whole of the 90 was typical Waders, not total, but certainly in front when it came to possession. What was missing? Clinical finishing of the umpteen chances that were created every time we were in the needham box. Lady luck as Jonny mcnamara's jinking run and curling shot hit the post. To a man, Biggleswade tried their very best, the only way to keep warm, a big coat or keep on the move.  needham played their part and were certainly better in the second period as adam mills made consistent runs down the left flank. all look set for a goalless draw as time added was being played. a hard fought battle and sharing the points seemed fair. a last gasp corner in by needham and somehow the ball, after a mix up found the goal. Cross with themselves, the Waders threw everything forward, yes even Sam Donkin, but to no avail as Biggleswade lost out for a third game in a row.

BeDFORD prep School’s U11 hockey boys took their supporters on a roller-coaster ride on monday 4 February when they faced Bedford modern School in the County Cup. Despite playing some superb hockey the seven-a-side squad just could not find the net in normal time, but neither could Bedford modern, causing the game to go to sudden death penalties – twice! however, in the nail-biting second set of penalties, our boys kept their cool to win 4-3. Bedford prep School’s U11 hockey boys took their supporters on a roller-coaster ride on monday 4

February when they faced Bedford modern School in the County Cup. Despite playing some superb hockey the seven-a-side squad just could not find the net in normal time, but neither could Bedford modern, causing the game to go to sudden death penalties – twice! however, in the nail-biting second set of penalties, our boys kept their cool to win 4-3. as the County Cup victors, Bedford prep School’s U11 team now head to the regional finals in early march where they may well meet Bedford modern once again as they also qualified as the runners up.


Beds and District Cross Country winners


Dolphins at Novice Gala SaTURDay, February 9, saw Flitwick Dolphins Swimming Club compete at the Leighton Buzzard novice gala. This gala was a great introduction to competitive swimming and for some of the younger swimmers was tahe first time they had ever raced. Swimmers Ida Corcoran,

grace Thomas, Ryhanna Cummins, euan humphries, Finlay Darvall and Zac Dobson, along with experienced competitor Charlotte Joyce and Dolphins ladies relay team, secured maximum points with their first place finishes. Dolphins finished in third place overall and great fun was had by all.

Club Secretaries please note the deadline for reports is the 18th of the month preceding publication Please send to:

On Wednesday 30 January, Bedford prep School cross country runners were crowned the overall winners of the combined boys’ age group competition at the Beds and District Cross Country. On Wednesday 30 January, Bedford prep School cross country runners were crowned the overall winners of the combined boys’ age group competition at the Beds and District Cross Country.

all the age groups performed superbly with the U12 team winning their age category, the U11 boys taking second place (just two points behind the winners of this group), whilst the U13 boys took third place in their group. Director of Sport in the prep School, Shawn phillips commented: “I am delighted for the boys on their success. This was a superb result across the board! Well done boys.”

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Sweet victory over old club


by Mark Wood

ReTURnIng Blues fly-half Jake Sharp was delighted to get one over on the club he had left just a few before as he helped to engineer Bedford an incredible 53-52 victory over Coventry in January. Sharp enthused: “The only thing that would have made it better is if I’d have finished it, that would have been nice! But what a team effort to stick in after conceding with Coventry fighting real hard to get that try, us to do the same at the end – it could have gone either way and that’s exciting with two teams trying to play a good brand of rugby. Best of luck to Coventry and, as Bedford, we’ll move on and enjoy ourselves. “I think I’m the only person that can say they have won both fixtures this year

having beaten Bedford and then beating Coventry.” On returning to a club he has served with such distinction, Sharp continued: “For me it’s just about coming and being part of a group that really want to take me in and that’s exciting. That’s my 191stgame and it’s easy to slot back in and now it’s just smiles on faces for the quarter-finals. “I was here a really long time. I went for more coaching opportunities and playing opportunities but mikey (Rayer) welcomed me back with open arms with a few injuries with the tens, but it’s a real tight-knit group here so once you’re in I felt like I’d never left to be honest and that’s exciting and I just look forward to next week now.” having left for those coaching chances at Butts arena Sharp admitted he had been

able to inform Bedford’s preparation a little, saying: “We weren’t phased by what they were bringing, they’ve got some really powerful lads – you’ve got to stop that. We changed our kicking game a bit and there and a couple of loose kicks and Rich Lane was on fire like he has been all year and opened up some amazing holes singlehandedly. Just the character as a group, it’s a small squad, there’s only about 27 of us, so we all had to just strap in and go and I’m really proud to be a part of this now, so it’s exciting! “I was able to offer a little bit (of an insight), but rugby’s rugby, you’ve got to go and win the collisions, you’ve got to play at a high tempo, you’ve got to keep your discipline. I thought (referee) Jp was really good today, he kept the game rolling for both teams, I don’t think there was a scrum in the

first half – that’s a good stat I don’t think you’ll find that in world rugby for a while. Some really good stuff and a little bit of an insight, but in reality once you take to the pitch the game takes care of itself.” Despite his long tenure at the Blues over two terms, Saturday’s see-saw tussle against Coventry was still something special. he continued: “I’ve played in a few of those for Bedford now and to do it against a team I recently left was interesting. Cov played some really good rugby, as Bedford we played some very good stuff and what a day for the crowd, probably not for the coaches, but for the crowd excellent. “I think I played in a 52-all London Scottish v Bedford two years ago when I first left, a bit crazy, not ideal. We showed some really good composure and a real

young nine with Jiffy (James Lennon), obviously with Lee Dickson out injured, he showed some great control to win us that game at the end so hats off to the boys for playing for 80-plus minutes, it was really exciting.” and Sharp is now targeting glory in the inaugural Championship Cup, adding: “mike’s always said we want to go and win this type of tournament. It’s new to everybody, but yorkshire have gone from struggling to very strong. I think that’s seven out of eight games Bedford have won and I’ve just slotted into the last three. It will be an exciting game, but we will take it game by game and if we can go and win it sweet, but it’s all about us getting things right this weekend and moving forward and doing the job down at headingley.”

Justin on international duty

by Mark Wood

FeROCIOUS flanker Justin Blanchet is relishing the prospect of a first-ever international cap for his native Canada as he flew out in Janaury to take part in the americas Rugby Championship 2019. Fresh from helping the Blues to an incredible 53-52 derby win over Coventry he was preparing to jet out to South america for his first-ever call-up. he said: “I’m flying off to Uruguay tomorrow evening so straight into it. We’ve got a game against Uruguay this weekend coming up on Saturday and then another game against Brazil the following weekend. So straight into it, flying straight in. “It really will be (a dream come true). ever since I played for Canada U17s it’s been a real dream for me to play for and represent my country. I think it will be an amazing opportunity and I hope I do well. The 25-year-old, who joined Bedford from exeter Chiefs in the summer of 2014, has become a mainstay of the Blues pack and is looking forward to meeting up with some former team-mates from when he played for the Canucks’ U17s. “I played Canada U17s when I was younger so

know a few of the guys that are there involved in the Canada set-up so it will be nice to see those familiar faces,” he continued. “I’ve never been involved with Canada mens before so I think it’s a really great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it. “I think it’s a 28-man squad for the first block which is the South american block which is Uruguay and Brazil and I think with any team if you train well then there’s the opportunity to play so I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running on monday morning and training well.” The Canadian native will be being supported by his girlfriend and her father in South america and Blanchet can’t wait to finally fulfil his promise. he admitted: “I’d been in contact last season but unfortunately I couldn’t stay fit to save my life, I broke my arm twice, so it was very difficult for me to get involved. I was really happy with the call-up and I’m really looking forward to playing my first game. “I was born in montreal, French-Canadian, and I moved over here when I was nine but all my family are Canadian, mum, dad, all Canadian, my brother’s Canadian – all my family are Canadian. They are really proud and I’ve just got to train well and take my

chances if they come.” If selected for the second block of fixtures he could even come up against fellow Blue and USa international Will hooley in Seattle. he said: “It’s two weeks in South america and then a week off and then two games against Chile and Uruguay XV in Canada, Langford, British Columbia, and then one game in the US in Seattle playing the US. hopefully if I get selected for that I think maybe a few more people will come. “It would be a great thing to play against him, but I need to play well in that first block and take my opportunity. I think on the pitch we know we’ve got a job to do but off the pitch I think we’ll still be amicable and we’re good friends, so it’ll be fine.” Blanchet has sought advice from both hooley and former team-mate and Canada’s record all-time point scorer James pritchard. he continued: “I’ve been in touch with pritchy quite a bit, I played with him when he was here so we’ve been in touch about these sort of things and I spend a lot of time with Will – he lives just down the road so I probably see a bit too much of him than I’d like! It’s really great for hooley, I think he’s really excelled and

it’s been great for him. So I’m hoping to emulate the joy he’s had with international rugby. “Will likes to talk a lot so he’s been the first one to give me a bit of advice, really good helpful advice but I think it all comes down to working hard and taking my chances if I get them. I think the onus is on me to do what I can.” and with Canada having qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan through the repechage there is the prospect for an amazing summer ahead. Blanchet added: “They qualified, they did really well. They played three tough games against Kenya, germany and hong Kong – they won all three of those games so qualified so it’s amazing they’re in the World Cup. “It would be an amazing, amazing thing! Let’s wait and see. Let’s see how this first introduction to international rugby goes and see from there. “I think for me it’s my first opportunity to get into the Canada squad so I’m not looking too far ahead. Obviously it would be an amazing, an amazing thing if that happened, but for me I’m just fully focused on this first set of two games in South america and I’m just going to work hard and take my opportunity hopefully.”

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Beds Bulletin March 2019  

Local news from East, Mid and North Beds

Beds Bulletin March 2019  

Local news from East, Mid and North Beds