Mid Beds Bulletin February 2020

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MP proposes ‘oven ready’ Bedfordshire deal to government on housing, infrastructure and public services MID BEDS EDITION

SPEAKING in Parliament on Monday, January 20, 2020, Richard Fuller, Member of Parliament for North East Bedfordshire, offered the government an ‘oven-ready’ deal for its new Infrastructure Fund, by means of an integrated plan on East West Rail, the realignment of the A1, improved health services and housing development.

Speaking in the House of Commons, The MP said: “North East Beds is already shouldering a substantial amount of the nation’s need for housing and as a result, we can see the shortages of public services like GP appointments because developments have not been properly planned. “With the decision on East West Rail imminent


A MAN who escaped from prison before carrying out a kidnap and common assault will now spend eight years and three months behind bars. Anthony Bolden, 55, of no fixed abode, was already serving a life sentence when he absconded from custody and went on a crime spree last summer.

He was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Monday, Janaury 20, 2020 after being found guilty of escape from lawful custody, possession of a pointed article, common assault and kidnapping. Bolden was serving a life sentence after he was convicted of attempted murder and grievous bodily with intent back in July 2006. He had been moved to an open prison where he had to be checked five times a day, but was last accounted for on May 31, 2019. On 23 June, Bolden entered the garden of a property in Ampthill Road, Bedford, and asked if there was a room to rent. When the occupants said no, Bolden became aggressive and attacked a man in front of his family. Little more than a week later on July 2, Bolden threatened a woman parked outside a shop in Sandy with a piece of glass, forcing her to drive. He asked the victim to pull into a car park in Bedford before telling her to get out of the vehicle, leave the keys and report her car as stolen. Bolden then made off in the vehicle. Police spotted the car being driven dangerously as

by Jane Bird it entered a one-way system the wrong way. When Bolden failed to stop for police, he crashed the vehicle into a police car and was arrested. In a victim impact statement read in court, the woman said: “Each time I go out I have to look over my back with the belief that I am going to be attacked… I am constantly having nightmares, fearing the worst that I could have been killed in this attack. The incident that day was so long and was just not coming to an end.” Detective Constable Aroop Nandre, who led the investigation, said: “Bolden’s dangerous and reckless behaviour has caused untold distress and angst to a number of innocent victims. The victim of the kidnapping has been left scared and distressed and this incident has affected her everyday life, as she now fears leaving her home. “Bolden knew full well how frightening his behaviour was, yet he continued with his actions. When he didn’t get what he wanted he became aggressive, and it is fortunate that nobody was seriously injured. “Bolden is a dangerous man who deserves to spend a significant time behind bars. He was already serving a life sentence after being jailed in 2006 and recently was trusted to stay in a lower risk prison; he broke that trust by absconding and carrying out this terrifying crime wave.” Bolden received six years and five months for kidnapping and 22 months for escaping from lawful custody, to run consecutively. He received 21 months for having a bladed article, 10 months for having an article with a blade and 18 weeks for common assault to run concurrently.


and the need for more housing, an integrated infrastructure deal that I am proposing for Bedfordshire can break the log jam on the realignment of the A1 and ensure access to adequate public services.” Mr Fuller has called for a meeting with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to consider his deal.

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Former Beds’ Borough councillors recognised for their service

FIvE former Bedford Borough councillors have been recognised for their years of dedication to public service. In a ceremony on Sunday, January 19, 2020, former councillor Pat Olney was bestowed the title of honorary Alderwoman alongside former councillors Randolph Charles, Will Hunt, John Mingay and Mark Smith who were conferred the title honorary Alderman.

Former councillor Randolph Charles was elected to the Borough Council on 6 May 1999, and served continuously for Cauldwell up until the recent election on 2 May 2019. He was Deputy Speaker for 2013/14 and Speaker in 2007/8 and 2014/15.

Pat Olney was elected to the Borough Council on 8 May 1986 and served for 33 years as a Councillor for Oakley until the election in May. She was Civic Mayor for 2001/02. She was also the Independent Group Leader 2009-19.

Will Hunt was elected to the Council in 1996 and represented Kempston West until 2019. Alongside the various committees and sub groups, he has also sat on many sports clubs, associations and boards across the borough and county.

Mark Smith was first elected to the Council in 1995, serving two terms, 1995-04 and 2007-19 May for Kempston Rural. In 2013/14 he was Speaker of the Council.

First elected on 7 May 1992, John Mingay served as a Councillor for Newnham until the recent election. In 2003/04, he was the Bedford Borough Council Speaker.


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Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson said: “May I congratulate all recipients, for the commendable service to the Council and the communities within the Borough. “It’s an honour to present these Honorary Alderman and Honorary Alderwoman certificates and badges in recognition of the long service and hard work both for the Council and particularly for the people of Bedford Borough”.

Memories of Luton Town FC

Passing cars attacked

THE Ampthill Community Policing Team have been out on foot in the area of Steppingley Road and Templefield School in Flitwick, following a series of incidents where youths have been throwing objects at passing cars from behind the bushes. Letters have been hand delivered to surrounding homes appealing for witnesses; and asking members of the public who know anything about this to contact Bedfordshire Police via 101 or by online reporting. If you happen to see it first hand we’re asking you to call 999 at the time of the incident because of the danger posed to motorists and other road users

Do you have Luton Town FC memorabilia? Programmes, tickets, photographs, shirts – in fact anything you cherish to do with the Hatters? Bring your souvenirs along and tell us about their stories at our Family Roadshow! We would love to photograph or scan your images and objects and record your memories of the club from any era to add to the new Hatters’ Heritage website – an archive for the future. Whether you’re six or ninety-six years old this is for you. The Roadshow event includes a Luton Town FC mini-exhibition, objects from the Hatters’ Heritage collection of 35,000 items, the attendance of a current or former player and activities for children and all the family! Sunday 2nd February 2020, 11am to 4pm, at The Swan Hotel, The Embankment, Bedford, MK40 1RW.

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‘Biggest funding boost in a decade’ welcomed

BEDFORDSHIRE Police has welcomed the latest police funding settlement from the Government, dubbed by Home Secretary Priti Patel as the ‘biggest funding boost in a decade’. The 2020/21 settlement announcement set out an additional £1.1billion of funding to all forces – should Police and Crime Commissioners take full advantage of raising the police precept element of council tax by £10 for a Band D home. It is designed to assist with the uplift of 20,000 new officers nationally and was announced in Parliament on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. For Bedfordshire, the new deal could see an increase of around £9million to its budget for 2020/21 – to £121.9m. The boost will help ensure funds can be invested where they are

needed most; in extra officers on the county’s stretched frontline. Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway said: “Today’s funding settlement is welcome but still requires me to raise the police precept by the maximum allowed without a referendum, of £10 a year for a Band D home – or 84p per month – in order to achieve another £9m for Bedfordshire Police. “This will allow me to recruit 156 more Police Constables this year, of whom 36 are our share of the national uplift in 2020/21 and 100 are needed to replace leavers but which also allows me to fund 20 additional PCs. (The core grant from Government also includes payment for 18 extra officers who were recruited in the financial year

2019/20 as the first part of the national uplift.) “There had been rumours that the core grant from Government was going to stand still. If this had been the case I would have had to find some £6m of savings so the extra investment is a relief. It allows me to meet the pressures of pay, pensions, insurance and other rising costs and still deliver the recruitment that both I and central Government had promised. “I’m also expecting further good news on funding imminently as both the current Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse, and former Minister, Nick Hurd, have pledged in writing to provide me with a second Special Grant this year, to pay for the specialist response to gang, gun and knife crime.”

Stylish extension to hotel’s restaurant THE extended Pen & Cob restaurant and new look Coach Room have been unveiled at the Bedford Swan Hotel. The green and gold art deco style of the restaurant has been extended into the former “sun room” which ran alongside the Coach Room. There is a new entrance off The Embankment straight into the area. meaning people can access the restaurant directly, without coming in via the hotel entrances. The Coach Room has been refurbished to create a beautiful setting for weddings and functions. The improvements included a disabled toilet in the Coach Room. The Ladies “powder room Suite upstairs has been refurbished too. To enable flexible usage, the extended section of the restaurant can be closed off from the main Pen & Cob and doors opened into the Coach House – allowing it to be used a separate dancing or exhibition area.

General Manager Malcolm Wyse told guests at a special event on Wednesday, January 8, 2020: “This gives us so many more opportunities to host events and activities in a flexible setting which we think is will be the pride of Bedford. We welcome everyone to come along take a look for lunch, brunch, afternoon tea or dinner.” Bedford College delighted staff with a super deal with the

Bedford Swan Hotel under which 200 Afternoon Tea packages were bought by staff. The college is just across the river from the hotel and staff were delighted to take up the offer made before Christmas. “We were delighted with the response which means that 100s of people will be coming to see us in 2020 and, we hope, tell their friends about our new look restaurant and Coach Room.”

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As we leave Europe what is the future for town twinning? AS the UK started its exit from European Union at the end of January 2020, it is hardly surprising that many people are questioning the continued relevance of traditional town ‘twinnings’. Such links go back a long way but had their heyday in the 1950s and 1960s as Europe and America sought to rebuild after the traumas of World War 2. Emphasis was placed upon reestablishing cross-border communications and friendships as well as promoting forgiveness and tolerance. There is no doubt that Europe has changed hugely over the past 50 years. Integration in one form or another is well

advanced and systems and economies largely interdependent. This trend is likely to continue regardless of what happens with the EU. Furthermore the original post-war need for twinning may be obsolete but in terms of bringing together communities from different cultures there is still much to be gained from such activities. It is true that twinnings with countries such as France and Germany have lost much of their momentum over the past couple of decades. In the 1980s and 1990s many links became discredited as they became viewed by the public as little more than perks for

local officials and dignitaries. In truth many visits were little more than long weekends of sampling ‘la bonne cuisine’ and local alcoholic specialities, assaults on the local ‘hypermarche’ or a few days sunning on the Cote d’Azur. Where twinnings have survived it is because they have moved with the times and adapted to the changing circumstances within Europe and the wider world. Furthermore there have been real areas of growth and recent decades have seen an explosion of new links with former Eastern bloc countries as well as utilitarian links with the developing world, Africa and Central

America in particular. Twinning as a term no longer has any real meaning. However we live in interesting times. Whilst European integration continues to develop in many quarters there is at the same time an increasing impetus across the whole of Europe for nation states to want to reassert their national identities and promote their rich, cultural heritages. Brexit may do this for us but it is unlikely that we will want to give up the social, aesthetic, linguistic, sporting, commercial and even perhaps religious experiences that links with Europe can offer. At a time when the fortunes

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of modern languages in our schools are at a regrettably low ebb, many teachers are reluctant to organise exchange visits or trips abroad. A thriving town link with a French or German community may well offer real opportunities for language immersion and work-experience abroad initiatives, especially where there are reliable, trusted contacts in the partner community. In 2020 Sandy will celebrate 25 years of cooperation with the Polish community of Skarszewy and no less than 38 years of its link with Malaunay in Normandy. The link with Malaunay is based largely upon family exchanges but offers the community a range of cultural and linguistic opportunities. Over time this has involved a wide range of community groups. Furthermore both places have streets named after the partner town and a traditional red English phone-box (Now a children’s’ library!) plus victorian-style ‘reverberes’ adorn La Place de Sandy. Next May a coach party of no less than 52 French visitors, comprising regulars and a party from the local CPN group (Connaitre et Proteger la Nature) which is rapidly gaining popularity across France, will be coming to Bedfordshire. As part of the programme for the four day visit, we will give them the option of doing the Sandy Green Wheel walk on the Sunday morning and a day visit to Bedford with a picnic in Priory Park. This is an open invitation for

you to join us on the Sunday walk or if you are able to host a French couple over the long Whitsun weekend, please let us know. On the Skarszewy front we wait to see what ideas may be forthcoming from the Polish end for celebrating 25 years of the link, especially since this year also marks 700 years since the founding of the Polish town. We are hopeful of visits in June and November and the annual English summer school will take place in early July with a second summer school being started in the cathedral town of Pelplin, which itself has a cultural link with Skarszewy. English summer schools with volunteer Year-13 students from Stratton Upper School have been run successfully for 23 years and the new venture with Pelplin will involve a group from Sandy Upper School. Over the years more than 500 local students and 2000+ Polish youngsters have benefitted from taking part in the two-week summer schools every July. Such links will hopefully continue to offer people of all ages enrichment opportunities and experiences abroad at very limited cost. People can get involved as and when they like. We welcome residents from all the local towns and villages. We have no membership fee as such. For more information about any of the activities associated with our link towns in France and Poland please contact either Martin Pettitt on 680082 or at martin.pettitt@verginmedia.com or myself Max Hill on 6681469 or at amaxhill@outlook.com

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Stopping toner cartridges going to landfill

GUY and vincenza Ciampa at Cartridge Depot based in Bedford Town centre are celebrating the fact that since they opened their doors in 2012 they have recycled over 30,000 printer cartridges and prevented them from going to landfill! This has been achieved by the help of local customers, businesses, schools, charities and not-profit organisations dropping off or arranging collections of their empty or no longer required printer cartridges. Cartridge Depot has now been trading for over seven years so it works out to be just over 4000 cartridges per year being recycled! Business partner Guy Ciampa says: “We believe being able to offer a free printer cartridge recycling service is so important. We sell these products to our customers so we really want to be able to continue our service after the cartridges reach the end of their life and stop them going into landfill. We know it can be difficult to find places to recycle empty printer cartridges which is why we try to make it as simple as possible for people who want to recycle with us. If you have any empty cartridges you would

like to recycle just contact us to see how we can help.” Business partner vincenza Ciampa says: “Studies show that over 350 million cartridges are dumped and put into landfill each year. The fact that it can take anything between 450 to 1000 years for cartridges to decompose is staggering. “Now, more than ever is the time to be aware of our actions when it comes to our waste disposal. The whole world is already beginning to see the effects of climate change and recycling empty printer cartridges will in part help future generations. So next time you have an empty cartridge please think and rather than throwing it in the bin, help Cartridge Depot continue their good work by popping in and recycling yours. If you have a large quantity of cartridges and need them collected contact Cartridge Depot to find out how they can help.” Cartridge Depot is a local independently run award-winning business specialising in the supply of original, compatible and remanufactured printer cartridges, printers and paper.

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Skills for life for Flitwick Scouts MANY of the activities planned for all sections of Flitwick Scout Group for the next three months will teach them about skills for life. The programme for Beavers (boys and girls aged 6 to 8) includes finding out about Global Issues, basic first aid, road safety and Chinese New Year; they will find out how to deal with cuts and grazes; they will also identify different traffic signs, know about the Green Cross Code, find out about different pedestrian crossings and the importance of behaving safely in a car. For Chinese New Year they will be making Chinese lanterns.” The Cubs (boys and girls aged 8 to 10 ½) have created pictures out of waste materials that cannot be recycled, and they will work towards the Skills Challenge badge including making a hot drink, ironing their scarf and sewing on a button. Their evening learning about Chinese New Year will include tasting a selection of Chinese foods and finding out about Fortune Cookies. The pictures they made out of non-recy-

clable materials included a beach scene, an ocean scene, a countryside scene, a day time sky scene and a night time sky scene. On the programme for Scouts (boys and girls aged 10 ½ to 14) are hiking, indoor pioneering, how to use and axe and saw correctly and safely, survival skills and local knowledge. Also on their programme is some work in the Community which will be in Manor Park where they will be clearing some trees. The Scouts will be having a weekend on a narrowboat in April. Cubs will be spending a weekend camping in May at Great Barford. There is then a family camp at Bromham in June where it is estimated there will be nearly 200 people in attendance. In late July there will be a camp for Cubs and Scouts at Chalfont. On the narrowboat trip the Scouts will get the opportunity to steer the boat and open and close the locks. At all of these events, the young people will get the opportunity to do activities for the first time.


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Clean sweep of distinctions for BMS performers Marketing awards BEDFORD Modern School students have received a clean sweep of Distinction grades in this year’s London College of Music (LCM) Musical Theatre exams. Year 13 student Jade Ajibola and Elizabeth Gale in Year 12 both received the DipLCM award, one of the highest performance awards on offer.

The other successful students were Alexandra Wishart and Lilly Brittain in Year 11, David Bygraves, Ginger Galey and Phoebe Templeman in Year 12, and Addie Whitelaw and Jodie Tyler in Year 13. Many of these talented students have taken leading roles in hugely popular BMS

shows, including the recent production of Oh What a Lovely War! and Sister Act! last year. To complete the LCM grades students are required to perform two to five pieces followed by a discussion with the examiner. At Grade 8 this also includes a duologue and at DipLCM candidates are required to sight-sing a short passage from a musical. The aim of the syllabus is to promote and encourage knowledge, enjoyment and experience of musical theatre and to foster a commitment to the development of the various skills, techniques and disciplines involved. Diploma recipient and National Youth Theatre member, Jade, said: “I started taking the LCM Musical Theatre exams at Grade 5 when I was in Year 8. I have received distinctions for all my grades so far, so I am thrilled to have been awarded one for my

diploma too. I’m hoping to go on to study English and Theatre at Birmingham University later this year, and then on to Drama School, so this qualification will really help.”

Fellow diploma recipient, Lizzie, added: “I’ve been taking these exams for the past six years and, like Jade, I have received distinctions for them all. Although I’m hoping to go on to study midwifery at university, I will keep performing as I will always love Musical Theatre”.

Liz Bottone, a visiting singing teacher at BMS taught both Jade and Lizzie and commented: “I am so proud of the commitment both girls have shown to their studies and of how hard they’ve worked on their technique to reach this level. I look forward to seeing what they go on to do in the future.”

THE Bedford College Group has won a Gold Award for its work in engaging with employers and influencers in Northamptonshire (photo). The FE First Awards saw the Group taking the prize in the College Marketing Network category for a stakeholder event at the Kettering campus which brought together key local influencers to find out more about what is on offer in terms of education and training by the Group with an extra focus on Northamptonshire. Councillors, advisors and business people heard first hand about courses and campus developments which are preparing young people for the modern

world of work, and how continuing professional development is available to those seeking promotion and advancement. The event was staged by the Corporate Communications and Events Team which now helps promote the Group across the region to potential students, their parents, employers and local authorities. Meanwhile, thanks to the modern marketing skills of The Bedford College Group, full-time students at Tresham have now increased thanks to the enrolment in 2019 of 2,543 - 15% above the target set by the Group For this the Group was Highly Commended in the Targeted Recruitment Campaign.

Director of Sales and Marketing Sarah Baxter said: “We have been very grateful for the welcome we, The Bedford College Group, have received in Northamptonshire from everyone. We hope that our forward-thinking approach to education and training will support the continued success of the county and help us in our quest to grow the talent of tomorrow across the South East Midlands region. Earlier, Tresham College won an award for Marketing Campaign of the Year at the sparkling Northamptonshire Business Awards, held at the County Cricket Ground alongside hundreds of local businesses. The Bedford College Group team took the All Things Business prize for its fantastic efforts in encouraging more people to sign up for 16+ education in Northamptonshire, exceeding all targets. Leading the group to the stage was vice Principal Georgina Ager together with Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, Sarah Baxter, alongside members of the Tresham team.


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Georgina commented on the evening: “This is great news, on top of the recent announcement that Ofsted has declared Tresham College, as part of The Bedford College Group, as ‘Good’ under a rigorous new assessment process. “We hope that the people of Northamptonshire will recognise they variety of options once they leave school of further education offered on their doorsteps at our campuses in Kettering, Corby and the new look Wellingborough site, which will be opening in September 2020 for another 1000 students and staff.”

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New role as hospice’s Ward Manager

High flyers in technology

TWO students at Bedford College have been given a flying start in careers in technology. Samuel Frankl (right) and James Shelford (left) studied Level 3 Electronic Engineering at Bedford College. Samuel had plans to go on to University in the Netherlands and James, who always had an interest in the military had no idea he could sign up in a civilian role – until the college received a visit from the Ministry of Defence. Stuart Albert, a member of the civilian Engineering Ops Team based at RAF Henlow, was tasked with a recruitment drive to seek out new talent and was invited to talk to the Bedford College Engineering students. Samuel and James were so impressed they applied for and won new roles as Network Design Engineers. Sam started his new job on 16th December 2019 and James this year on 6th January. Once

fully trained the pair will be able to work from locations across the world. As civilians the posts are not ‘front-line’ but they will provide a rapid specialist engineering support service to all three military services. Group Captain Darren Thorley is Deputy Head of the department overseeing Engineering Operations: “This is a new recruitment approach for us, seeking out new talent locally in addition to our national apprentice scheme. James and Samuel will each have a training plan created for them, allowing them to continue their studies whilst learning on the job. “Once they have gained security clearance they will be working with the very latest communications and cyber security technology and, if they wish, will be able to take opportunities to deploy to Military bases and Embassies all over the globe to carry out engineering tasks.”

SUE RYDER St John’s Hospice has announced Jacqui Ackroyd is its new Developmental Ward Manager. Jacqui will lead a team of Sue Ryder Nurses and staff providing round-the-clock assessment and specialist care in the hospice’s 15bed inpatient unit. Jacqui is a familiar face to many involved with the hospice; she has worked there as a Sue Ryder Nurse for six years, most recently as a Senior Staff Nurse. Before joining Sue Ryder, Jacqui worked as a hairdresser and also in Human Resources. She was inspired to go into nursing after working for an out-of-hours doctor’s service. After doing a health and social care access course at Bedford College, Jacqui trained to become a registered nurse at the University of Bedfordshire. Jacqui’s final student placement was at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice – and she hasn’t looked back since.

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Longstanding social and cultural links with Malaunay in Normandy (38 years) and Skarszewy in Northern Poland (25 years). No membership fees. We are just looking for people in the area to get involved in one way or another. three social events annually as well as cheap visits abroad! To express an interest in any of the Association’s activities please contact Martin Pettit on 680082 (martin.pettitt@ virginmedia.com) or Max Hill on 681469 (amaxhill@outlook.com)


Chairman, Rowena Wolfe, welcomed members to their January meeting wishing them a Happy & Healthy

New Year. She reminded members to pay their subs to Ann Taylor and to pay the Holiday deposit to Kate Dilley as they were now due. She then introduced new members Kerry Austen and her Partner Alan French, who were to talk about her passion ‘Roses’. Kerry began by explaining that she had been a members of the gardening team at Wisley then being Head Gardener at The Royal National Rose Society where she over saw some 50,000 roses. When that closed she moved to Joseph Rochford Gardens Ltd in Hertford as Production Team Leader and Co-ordinator of the International Rose Trials and Alan as Head Gardener. Then followed a master class in all things about roses – the cultivation, caring, feeding and production of roses that grow and give great pleasure in our gardens. She had

leaflets to cover all the points she had raised and everyone learnt a great deal. Rowena thanked for a wonderful talk that everyone had enjoyed. There was a break for refreshments and time for a chat. The raffle was drawn. The next meeting will be on 19th February when the speaker will be Alex White talking about ‘Peonies – a Riot of Colour’. visitors are always welcome at a small charge.

Ann Taylor, Chairman, welcomed the members of the Ivel valley U3A to their January meeting wishing them a Happy & Healthy New Year. She thanked Audrey Yexley for organising the Christmas Lunch at Roxton Garden Centre which had been thoroughly enjoyed. The December speaker, Michele


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Dsouza, from Natwest had been very informative and most interesting. The notices of the groups were given, Book Group 1 meets on 3rd February at Langford Garden Centre for lunch and afterwards at Joan Osborne’s house. The Craft Group will meet at Ruth Loin’s house on February 20th. The Music group will meet at Pam Hulbert’s house on 4th February The Walking Group will meet on February 19th meeting at Henlow Church for a walk to Langford The next Sunday Lunch Club will take place at Stratton House on Sunday 23rd February. Please inform Mollie Smy if you are unable to attend or wish to attend; Chris Davies will start a new Craft Group for those interested – please

contact her if you are interested in joining as a date is being organised. The speaker ‘Keith Hitchisson, from Langford Garden Centre, was introduced with his talk about ‘Garden Safety’. After a slight delay due to technical problems, Keith gave a most interesting and informative talk about taking care and using common sense in your garden. Thelma Rogers gave the vote of thanks for a most useful reminder of the perils of gardening especially with electrical equipment. The chairman reminded the members that the next meeting would be on Tuesday 28th January which would be a ‘Discussion on Early Family Life’. visitors are always welcome. Club secretaries are reminded that the deadline for their reports is the 18th of the month preceding publication.

Bloor collecting for homeless

Generous staff and visitors to Bloor Homes’ new housing developments, in Cranfield, Ampthill and Biggleswade have been providing invaluable support to local homeless shelters. The South Midlands office of the regional house builder set up collection points at sales centres for core items such as unwanted warm coats, shoes, sleeping bags and pillows, with donations taken to Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes, Homeless Oxfordshire, Northampton Hope Centre and Hope Enterprises and Aylesbury Homeless Action Group. Jack Costello, Sales Director at Bloor Homes South Midlands, said: “As a responsible housebuilder, we are always keen to help the local communities where we build.”

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2,300 signature petition is with the minister THE SG19 Road Group has objected to the proposed development of another 100 houses to be built in Potton. Although many of us are residents of Sandy, the Group is concerned at the road network in the SG19 area generally. We would welcome anyone living in the area who shares our concerns to join and assist us. Please get in touch via our website. The many developments that have brought new housing to Potton in recent years have greatly increased the volume of traffic driving though Sandy. This bisects the shopping area, causing pollution and congestion. The queues can now stretch from the cemetery through the High Street onto Bedford Road and the A1. Station Road and New Road are also suffering with the road surfaces breaking up. The absence of

a footpath from Tesco to the A1 creates danger for residents from Beeston wishing to access the store or the station. Increased traffic leads to increased danger of an accident to a pedestrian walking along the verge alongside this road. This development is likely to be putting some 200 plus vehicles into the network and while not all may travel through Sandy, a significant number will do. Enough is enough. This significant number of additional houses would put a further burden on the over stretched and poorly maintained roads. Responsibility for local roads is devolved to Central Bedfordshire Council. It appears that the only figures available for existing vehicle movements referred to in the planning application dates back to 2011 so this is totally out of date bearing in mind the sig-

nificant number of new developments built in Potton – some still in the course of completion since that date. In the Transport Assessment there are a number of points made including mention of the impact of the development on traffic using Biggleswade South roundabout on the A1. However, it appears not to have considered the effect on traffic using the A1 via the Sandy roundabout. The levels of pollution at Sandy roundabout are known to be excessively high and Central Beds Council has responsibility to implement an Air Quality Management Plan on which this Transport Plan makes no comment. Alistair Burt, our former MP, agreed that action was needed and highlighted that Highways England has a fund from which improvements can be made.

However, this Transport Assessment makes no reference to that. Why not? A petition with over 2,300 signatures generated by the SG19 Road Group is currently with Grant Shapps, MP Secretary of State for Transport. The petition is addressed not only to the Dept for Transport but also to the Dept for Communities which is responsible for authorities such as Central Bedfordshire Council. The petition exhorts both Depts. to work together to deal with the parlous state of the roads in the SG19 area. It is hoped that this oversight will trigger a pause in the apparently unstoppable rush to build more houses until greater consideration has been given to the need for improvements to the infrastructure as a whole and the road network in particular. As always, public support is vital so

please put suggestions for road improvements where you live on our website. If you have yet to do so, please join the SG19 Group by signing up as a member on our website: www.sg19.org. It costs nothing, we do not release details to others and we do not bombard folk with e-mail. It will enable us to ‘spread the word’ and get support when we move forward, with our colleagues in Buckden, to establish a petition to trigger Government action. Promises to improve the infrastructure of the country were made during the election campaign, supported by the release of the necessary funding. The need for a proper bypass to move the A1 away from our communities has been clear for many years and the time has now come for some positive action. Stephen Allen Chairman SG19 Road Group

SANDY TOWN COUNCIL Sandy Town Council Precept 2020 /21

Sandy Town Council has set the budg et and precept for the year ending 31 March 2021 at a Full Cou ncil meeting on Monday 20 January 2020. The budget and precept were both unanimously voted through by those Members in attendance. The agreed 2020/21 budget and prec ept request will result in an increase of £3.42 a year, or 6.56 penc ea Band D tax payer in Sandy. Resident week for the average s will pay £148.43 in 202021 for all the services Sandy Town Cou ncil provides. As with other financial years all aspe cts were scrutinised and evaluated to redu of the Council’s budget ce costs and make efficiency savings where possible while ensuring that its core functions are adequately resourced. This included re-negotiating service contracts and looking at new suppliers where possible to achieve cost savings. In total the Cou ncil made approximately £16,800 in budget reductions and £6,10 0 in increased income



c Service to The Mayor’s Civi ’s Church un ith Sw St at be held March 2020. on Sunday 22nd . Everyone welcome ll be wi t as Fe Last year’s Eat y with the nd Sa to g nin ur ret place in the first market taking on rk pa r ca town 2020. Friday 10th April to be rty Pa et A VE Day Stre Square on et ark M e th in ld he th live music, 8th May 2020, wi d food. an t en nm entertai

Mayor ’s Awards for Citizenship

The nomination process for the Mayor’s Awards has started. The Mayor’s Awards recognise some of the wonderful individuals and groups who have served our community. Award categories are Citizens Award, Young Persons Award and Community Groups Award. If you would like to nominate someone please see details in the press and on our website and Facebook page.

Councillor Surgery

The next councillor reside nts surgery will be on Saturd ’ ay 29th February between 10am-12 noon at the sm all Britannia Pharmacy on the Market Square.

set against required budget increases

of approximately £36,600. The areas that account for a growth in the budget include increased costs for business rates, staff ing, contracts, leases, and agreements to which the Council is obligated. The budgets for community grants and community event been increased so the Council can cont support have also inue to support events in Sandy and look at holding new ones . More funds are also available for the planting of trees to help fulfil the Council’s commitment as a member of the tree charter. The Town Council recognises the impo rtance of providing a best value service and keeping costs dow n. As and contracts are continually reviewed such, service providers to ensure best value and the Council actively applies for addi tional support funding wherever possible to help alleviate the burden on the Precept.

s at the Meeting facilitie ffices hibitions, talks, interviews Council O ex , commercial s, training courses,

als ng Facilities for meeti ailable for hire by private individu av m–4.30pm on and like events are nisations during the hours of 9.30a sers should ga (u and community or offers Wi-Fi, screen and projector the adjoining weekdays. The room top), flip charts and free parking in facility, please lap is n th ow ing eir us supply th erested in Park. If you are int d costs. Town Centre Car ls an tai de er th fur for contact the office

Green Wheel Walk success

Sandy Town Council would like to than k everyone who took part in the walk on Sunday 5th January and contributed to great success of the Sandy Green Whe the el Winter Walk – the first of our series of seasonal organised walks througho ut 2020. The Spring Walk will be held on Sun day 24th May, starting from the Commun ity Stand in the Market Square soon after 10am. The Friends of Sandy Green Wheel play an important part in helping keep area s of Green Wheel looking good. They will the be starting their litter picking and prun ing along the Green Wheel route in March. If you’d like to join in and help look after our local greenspaces, please contact admin@sandytowncouncil.gov.uk.

COUNCIL MEETINGS All meetings commence at 7.30p m except Development Scrutiny Committ ee (Planning) which usually starts at 6.45pm in the Council Chamber, 10 Cambridge Road, Sandy SG1 9 1JE

Monday 17th February 2020 Development Scrutiny Policy Finance & Resources Monday 2nd March 2020 Town Council Monday 9th March 2020 Development Scrutiny Community Services & Environmen t See our website for details of othe


10 Cambridge Road, Sandy SG19 1JE Tel: 01767 681491 Fax: 01767 692527 admin@sandytowncouncil.gov.uk www.sandytowncouncil.gov.uk


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In Focus with

Dave by Dave Hodgson Mayor of Bedford


One of the things that has irked me for a number of years, and I know it bothers many local residents too is the absence of Bedford on the television weather maps. Toward the end of last year, I contacted both BBC Look East and ITv Anglia asking them to look at putting Bedford on their maps. ITv Anglia did so on a permanent basis in their ‘West’ region that covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes. BBC Look East, as of, January have added Bedford to their map on an occasional basis. Whilst it may not seem an important issues, it actually is. Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire. It has a proud, famous history dating back to the early Middle Ages. Throughout this history it has been a cultural and commercial centre for the wider area, and it continues to play this role today. Bedford has a larger population than some other towns that are already on the weather maps. Bedford deserves to be on the map! Local Bedfordbased cartographer, Alice Gadney, said, “When people look at maps, their initial thought is – where do I live? or where am I? So seeing Bedford on the weather map, they will gain a sense of place.” I have written to the BBC asking for Bedford to be placed permanently on their local weather map.

View from the Rt Revd

Richard Atkinson The Bishop of Bedford


The licensing of a priest to a new parish as their vicar is always a special and joyous occasion. It is an opportunity to celebrate the life of the community, as well as the congregation, and to look ahead with hope. Last month was no different. At Renhold I licensed Ian Smith to be the priest with responsibility for All Saints. Like nearly all clergy Ian has completed his curacy. In his case it was in Silsoe, Pulloxhill and Flitton, and now he takes the care of this new congregation. However, unlike most other clergy, Ian has a full-time job at vauxhall in Luton where he has worked for many years in a range of roles. When he was ordained he continued working there. For Ian his work at vauxhall is not a parallel activity in his life, but an essential part of his ministry. He is recognised as a chaplain in the works and often offers pastoral and spiritual care to his fellow employees. He speaks of encountering ‘God moments’ in his work when he sees God’s presence in those around him. The presence of priests in the workplace is not new. Although much diminished from its heyday, industrial mission placed priests and lay people as chaplains in industry and other workplaces. There is a chaplaincy team at Luton Airport which is an echo of this. In the past chaplains visited many of the light engineering firms and other businesses in Bedford. Some priests felt they wanted to go further. The tradition of worker priests, especially in France, was where priests worked alongside other labourers in mines, docks and factories. It was an attempt at a radical way of identifying with those working people who had been alienated from the churches. Whatever the model of ministry, at the heart of it is the desire to witness to Christ through engagement with the world and to see Christ in the world of work. It is a testimony to God’s love for all people, in all places. A witness to the fact that faith is not just a private and domestic matter. Ian’s appointment to Renhold, with his continued employment at vauxhall, is an exciting intersection of the world of work with the church. I know that in both settings there will be many ‘God moments’ for God is at work in both places.

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gardening Welcome wildlife to your garden by Maureen Catlin Milton Ernest Garden Centre RITISH wildlife is being threatened even more by the unseasonal weather patterns that we are experiencing. Whether this is due to climate change or the natural pattern that our planet has always experienced we do not know. They were skating and holding trade fayres on the Thames as recently as the sixteenth hundreds. It is however a fact that our wildlife is affected. The RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch has recently focused our attention on the need for us all to help with the conservation of our furry and feathered friends. We can start by taking steps to invite wildlife into our own gardens.


The easiest wildlife to encourage is the wild birds who all need to find food and water daily. February is often our coldest month when Blackbirds Thrushes and Robins struggle to find enough insects and worms. They will also eat fruit so any surplus apples or pears can be stored dry or frozen and then produced in late winter. Birds do not

mind blemishes so keep these aside from the family supply. Dried mealworms are a convenient way to supplement the seed, fat and kitchen scraps we put on the bird table. Starlings also love mealworms and can be very entertaining in their antics trying to eat more than their fair share. Remember to position your bird table or feeders away from a fence to stop the neighbour’s cat using it as a spring board to the bird table but near a shrub or tree for shelter if a predatory bird like a Red Kite or Kestral patrols. Blue, Great, Coal and Long Tailed Tits and of course Starlings all benefit from the suet and co-co-fat treats that can be bought or homemade both are high energy food sources. Other good choices are red millet, linseed, sunflower hearts and peanuts. Peanuts should always be put in feeders to prevent young birds taking a whole nut which could choke them. Woodpeckers, Siskins, Nuthatches and The Tits all will flock to Peanut Feeders. Goldfinches, always a welcome sight, will come to Niger Seed

Feeders. Birds also need water to drink and clean their feathers especially when it’s freezing so add a little sugar to the bird bath which lowers the temperature and stops ice forming. The best way to help birds through the winter however is to furnish your garden with plants that provide nature’s own food supply here are a few to consider. Holly, Hawthorn, Cotoneaster, Pyracantha, Sorbus, Rosa Rugosa and viburum Opulus all hold their berries well into winter and attract Fieldfares, Redwings, The Finches, Starlings and Blackbirds. Ivy flowers very late in the Autumn and attracts many insects which in turn feed Wrens and Robins while Teasels and Sunflowers if left to ripen produce seed that is great for Sparrows, Nuthatches, Long Tailed Tits,

Goldfinches and Buntings. Most insects and arachnids survive by hibernating or overwinter as pupae and find cracks and crevices to rest. Ladybirds like my bathroom window frames! It is important not to allow the surface of the garden pond to completely freeze over because the oxygen levels in the water quickly reduce and fish, newts and pond insects will suffer so float a ball on the surface which will move around and stop the water around it freezing. Some small mammals like hedgehogs dormice and bats will hibernate which drops their body temperature to reduce their need for food so it is important to supply plenty of food for them in autumn. Leave garden debris and leaves in heaps to provide warm

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tuating temperatures. Indeed, in Norfolk, and I dare say other places also, bats have broken their hibernation early because the unseasonally warm weather has triggered them into action. If this is happening in the animal word, the chances are, it is also happening in the world of plants. And so it is. Seen in a garden in this area, in the first week of January, a Delphinium in full bud and ready to flower! Amazing. Does anyone else have any unusually early flowering plants? This month’s just for fun question is: why should sodden ground not be walked upon? lawndocgardens@aol.com or tel: 01767 627 581 or 07796 328 855.

peanuts. A good bowl of drinking water is also welcome. Enjoy watching your garden visitors while helping them survive the coldest time of year.


The Lawn Doctor THANK you to all of you who entered this year’s Annual Gardening Quiz, the winners shall be notified shortly. Here are the answers: 1. What is the name of the fungus that has round fruiting bodies that dry out and when tapped, often by rain drops, propel their spores in all directions? PUFFBALLS 2. Fairy Rings are often the bane of gardeners and green keepers’ lives, and some of you may recall from this magazine, that I was surprised to see them on the wicket at Lords in the summer. But how do you know if the fungal growth, the hyphae, is still active? THE OUTER EDGES OF THE RINGS CONTINUE TO GROW AND THE RING GETS BIIGER EACH YEAR. 3. What majestic, commonly occurring tree is believed by many to be the most ancient of all flowering plants? MAGNOLIAS – THEIR FOSSIL REMAINS HAvE BEEN FOUND IN ROCKS 120 MILLION YEARS OLD – WHEN THE DINOSAURS LIvED. 4. What regularly seen garden plants’ name when transliterated means, ‘Rose Tree’? RHODODENDRONS. 5. The flower group Asteraceae is vast. Name 3 members of the family? ASTER, DAISIES, DANDELIONS etc . 6. Many plants rely on bees, butterflies and other insects to spread their pollen. In return, what do they receive from the plant? NECTAR 7. The simplest way of classifying plants is by the number of leaves that emerge on seedlings. Those that have just one leaf are called, Monocotyledon. What is the name of those that have two? DICHOTYLEDON 8. One of this country’s most famous gardeners is known by the nickname ‘Capability Brown’, why? HE USED TO TELL CLIENTS THAT THEIR GARDENS HAD EXCELLENT ‘CAPABILITIES’. 9. What was Capability Brown’s real first name? LANCELOT – MANY PLANTS HAvE ‘LANCELOTTA AS PART OF THEIR NAME – THIS SIMPLY MEANS THEIR LEAvES ARE SWORD SHAPED. 10.From what tree found in the West Indies does ‘Allspice’ come from? THE MYRTLE TREE. Despite being only a few days old, 2020 has already given us an incredibly diverse range of weather with rapidly fluc-

cover so don’t tidy up too much in the autumn. You can of course supplement with hedgehog houses, bat boxes, insect tenements and bird boxes which all need to put in place in the summer. I have a tit box with a camera and there are 16 blue tits all snuggled in it each night. Mice, squirrels, rats, badgers and foxes do not hibernate but put on weight in the autumn and hunker down in warm dry places. Supplementing their food supply in winter is always welcome. Mice and rats will pick up scraps fallen from the bird table or throw some bird seed onto the lawn. Squirrels will happily feed from the peanut bird feeders. If you’re lucky enough to see badgers peanuts are also a favourite and foxes enjoy raw or cooked meat, tinned dog food and

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out & about clubbing

Fatback ready to raise the Corn Exchange’s roof

by Tony Hendrix The Fatback Band, one of the most acclaimed disco, soul and funk groups to have ever emerged from America, are destined to explode and raise the roof off the Bedford

Corn Exchange on Sunday, February 9, with their amazing high energy live show. Hugely influential and playing live shows that blow audiences away, they are an original group from New York City who have put out more than 35 albums . The disco-funk band were prolific in the 60s, 70s and 80s and laid the foundations for modern rap and dance music today. with some of the most prolific and ground breaking music of the era with tunes like: ‘Do The Bus Stop’, ‘Spanish Hustle’, ‘Wicky Wacky’, ‘Is this the future’, and the seminal ‘I found loving’, just a few off their global hits. Hear these and many more with a 90 minute live set headed by the leg-

endary Bill ‘Fatback’ Curtis and his original band. The band will be supported by acclaimed DJs, Jon Jules (Mi-Soul Radio), Louie Martin from (Delight Radio), DJ Stumpi (Diverse FM) and local maestro Rocky. The event starts at 7pm till midnight with some amazing disco and funk to get you in the mood from the supporting DJs. Judging by past shows at The Jazz Café, Ronnie Scott’s and the Butlins Weekenders, this event will guarantee to be a total sell out so you are advised to grab yourself a ticket as soon as you can. Tickets for this event are available from the Bedford Corn Exchange on 01234 718044, vIP tickets cost £40 and those willing

to stand pay £32, doors open at 6pm for tickets and drinks . ‘Central Square’ is the latest addition to Bedford’s buoyant nightlife, this amazing capacity venue is located in central Bedford at 15 Lime Street. Central Square is currently offering ‘Meet and Mingle Fridays’ up to and including Friday 13th March, between 5pm and 11pm, you can relax eat and drink with friends, entry is free and there is free car parking for two hours. This multi functional venue can cater for small intimate parties up to corporate events of 1000 customers. The hugely successful Castle Comedy Club currently working out of The Ent Shed/Gordon Arms, in Castle Road, Bedford will be leaving this site and setting up home at Central Square. The site owned by Wells & Co site will be re-developed into a restaurant specialising in Pizzas! Castle Comedy will launch its first show on the second Thursday of every month at Central Square, Lime Street, Bedford, commencing Thursday 12th March. The opening act is Marlon Davis, an extremely talented comedian, improviser and actor who has made recent Tv appearances on BBC’s Live at The Apollo. Topping the bill for this special evening is Ben Norris. Ben is a regular at the Comedy Club, he has made appearances in ‘Never mind The Buzzcocks’, The Comedy Store and Mock The Week, Ben is the ultimate circuit legend and not to be missed! The event will be hosted by Paul Revill. Food is also available pre-show. For more info contact info@centralsquarebedford.co.uk

jazz White Horse jazz nights m

This February, The White Horse has a packed schedule bringing a variety of musicians to the pub to perform at their regular Monday Night Jazz evening. Why not come down and support live music and an evenings worth of entertainment with some of the UK’s finest musicians, from 8.30pm. Contributions of £5-£10 encouraged to ensure the musicians earn a fair fee for their performances.

Monday 3rd February: vocalist Anita Wardell. (pictured right) Best known as an outstanding scat singer, she is also a skilled writer and performer of vocalese, and a sensitive interpreter of standards and jazz originals. She’s collected several awards, including a recent prize for Best Jazz vocalist from the British Jazz Awards, and her artistry has inspired accolades from fellow singers like Mark Murphy, Roseanna vitro and Kate McGarry. Yet, up until now, Wardell’s albums have only been available as high-priced imports, and she has made limited trips to the east and west coasts of the United States.

Monday 10th February: Leon Greening (Piano). One of the most popular and admired Jazz Pianists in the UK, Leon Greening has been a name on the British jazz scene for many years, dubbed ‘The Professor’ by his peers.

Monday 17th February: Vasilis Xenopoulos (Tenor Saxophone). Saxophonist, composer and educator vasilis Xenopoulos is one of the most accomplished Greek jazz

musicians of his generation and a genuine representative of straight ahead jazz. London became his permanent home after graduating with honors from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and gradually established himself as one of London’s up and coming jazz saxophonists. He has worked with some of the best musicians of the International Jazz Scene as a band leader, a section leader and as a guest soloist at various projects.

Monday 24th February: Mark Hale (Drums). The distance between London and New York is just over 3400 miles, and traveling that distance by air takes about 6 hours. It’s not cheap to fly across the Atlantic, but it is an essential trip for jazz musicians to make if they want the benefits of soaking up the Tradition of the music and experiencing some of the highest levels of musicianship in the world.

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comedy After eight years Castle Comedy moves to new bigger venue p Castle Comedy launched in 2012 at The Gordon Arms Ent Shed and over eight wonderful years they welcomed some of the biggest comedy acts in the UK. These included Katherine Ryan, Joel Dommett, James Acaster, Josh Widdicombe, Sara Pascoe and Zoe Lyons. It was with great sadness that the club learned that they could not stay. The farewell show in February sold out within hours! Now for the good news… the club founder Paul Revill went into overdrive and refused to let Castle Comedy leave Bedford. Castle Comedy will now be held at Central Square Bedford. It is an exciting new venue situated in the heart of Bedford town centre that offers a unique space for events. Paul said: “Teaming up with Central Square is the start of an exciting new

chapter for Castle Comedy. The best comedians will keep coming to Bedford and I’m sure everyone will love the shows

gardens ‘Happy new partnership’ for the Swiss Garden as 2020 rolls in! The Shuttleworth Trust is delighted to announce that its Swiss Garden has been awarded Royal Horticultural Society Partner Garden status and will offer free entry to RHS members every Thursday* from January 2, 2020. Following a large-scale restoration, completed in 2014, this charming 9-acre site, complete with quirky follies and thirteen listed buildings and artefacts, was removed from the Heritage at Risk register. The garden team have since been busy building on these very positive foundations – refreshing borders and seasonal planting schemes, developing a varied events schedule and, most recently, introducing a programme of activities promoting the relationship between outdoor spaces and wellbeing. A team of five, including one apprentice gardener, and a lively

and dedicated volunteer group maintain the historic late Regency landscape on a daily basis, led by Head Gardener Sissel Dahl. views and vistas are a key element of the garden’s design, and there is something to see all year round. There is plenty of seating throughout, and a warm welcome is guaranteed from the team and three resident peacocks! Garden Manager Corinne Price is thrilled at the news: “This is a fantastic accolade to the hard work put in by the team to make the Swiss Garden such a lovely garden to visit, and to the investment from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and others who made the recent restoration happen. We look forward to welcoming members to the Swiss Garden and to a successful working partnership with the RHS.” *Excludes ticketed event days

at our stunning new home.” The shows will continue to be held on the second Thursday of each month and Central Square will be offering delicious pre-show food options. The first show is on Thursday March 12th and is a Double Headline Act Special. Opening the show is Marlon Davis, (left) a talented comedian, improviser and actor whose recent Tv appearances include Live at the Apollo. Closing the show is top headline act, Ben Norris (right). He has appeared on Nevermind The Buzzcocks, Comedy Central’s ‘The Comedy Store’ and Mock The Week. “The term circuit legend is overused, but Norris is one of a handful that have been headlining for more than two decades and rarely departs a stage without leaving it torn to shreds in his wake. A master of the craft.” GQ Magazine.

Have I Got News For You) and Glenn Moore (Mock The Week) are set to appear. All the shows feature full support and are hosted by Bedford favourite, Paul Revill. Doors open 7pm, shows start at 8.15pm and tickets are £10. To book tickets www.castlecomedy.co.uk. To book food visit: centralsquarebedford.co.uk

On Thursday April 9th Castle Comedy celebrates its eighth Birthday! Hal Cruttenden (right) Live at the Apollo,

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“Sweet as a nut”

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music Music Club brings risings stars to Bedford a Bedford Music Club present on Thursday, February 20, Giacomo Susani, guitar with music by Frescobaldi, Scarlatti and others. Giacomo Susani is an Italian classical guitarist; born in Padova in 1995 in a family of important musical traditions, since 2014 he is based and conducts most of his artistic activity in London. He has won numerous awards, achieving recognition and support to his career. Pludits have come from The Julian Bream Trust, The Calleva Foundation, The Countess of Munster Musical Trust (Star Award), Help Musicians UK (Ian Fleming Award), The Worshipful Company of Musicians

(Yeoman programme), The Park Lane Group, The City of Music Foundation. In 2016 he was selected by IGF – International Guitar Foundation – Young Artists Platform for a concert tour in the UK and in 2018 by EuroStrings – European Guitar Festival Collabora-

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Bedford’s Danni Nicolls returns to The Stables again on May 30

With the wind in her sails from receiving three consecutive Americana Music Association UK award nominations (Album, Artist and Song of the year in 2017, 2018 & 2020 respectively) singer-songwriter Danni Nicholls has been enjoying an incredible ride. She will be performing at the Stables, Wavendon, on May 30, last year she filled the main stage auditorium, ticketing information from the Stables website. From supporting the legendary Shakin’ Stevens on his 28 date major UK tour to opening for the mighty Lucinda Williams and The Secret Sisters plus being invited to perform at prestigious events such as Folk Alliance International, Cambridge Folk Festival, Tonder Festival, Denmark and AmericanaFest in Nashville. 2020 is already looking to be a stellar year. Following her first two critically acclaimed studio albums, A Little Redemption (2013) and Mockingbird Lane (2015), 2019 saw the release of her third, The Melted Morning to even more praise. Closely personal yet widely relatable, the themes of this album span an array of life’s takeaways from the pain and darkness of

rejection, the fear of losing yourself and the power of human connection to offering up hope and new perspectives in the face of adversities. “I needed a new challenge, a new landscape to work in sonically, physically and viscerally. Collaborating with producer Jordan Brooke Hamlin gave me that opportunity and I have come away with a delicate, vibey, honest and vulnerable collection of songs that we dove deep into to find out who they wanted to become.” Touring this new collection of songs as a trio, her vibrant, spell binding performances are guaranteed to melt your heart into the soles of your boots. Danni’s passionate delivery, captivating velvet voice and charmingly engaging between-song banter compel you to fall under her spell. “An artist with the elegance and imagination to restore your faith in the visceral power of an original song.” Paul Sexton, BBC Radio 2 and freelance print/broadcast journalist. “I absolutely love the elegance and beauty of her music.” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2. “Smokey soul, folk-pop and heart-wrenching alt-country, all in a rich voice.” Q Magazine

TEL: 07894 935952 ADS: advertising@rosettapublishing.com


MID BEDS FLOWER CLUB Thursday, the 13th of February at 7:45 pm in Flitwick Village hall. The demonstration will be


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“The flower of Scotland”

by Fiona Harrison. isitors welcome £6 more details contact Marion Tucker telephone (01234) 742396 ADDISON CENTRE, KEMPSTON

––––––––––––––––––––––– FUND RAISING TEA DANCE

MONDAY 10th FEB 2020 2.00pm to 4.30pm £3.00 (INCL CUPPA) Tel: 01234 851877 or 01234 340997




ALL WELCOME www.biggleswadetennis.co.uk


––––––––––––––––––––––– At the Village Hall, Fridays 9.30-10.30 Tina or Josh take us through a light-hearted sequence with a warm-up, exercises designed to improve muscular fitness, brain co-ordination, balance and general well-being, then a cooldown. 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.


––––––––––––––––––––––– ST ANDREW’S BOWLING CLUB

AT BIGGLESWADE CONSERvATIvE CLUB Over one hundred years of friendly bowls on our own green Experienced, or new bowlers who will be offered coaching, will be most welcome to come and join us. For information please call 01767 221243

––––––––––––––––––––––– SANDY NIGHT OWLS WOMEN’S INSTITUTE

7.30 pm Sandy Conservative Club We meet on the 1st Wednesday of each month (except August). A friendly group where guests (£4 ) will receive a warm welcome and enjoy a varied programme with refreshments. Join us this month for a talk on

“The Luton Hat Trade”

E-mail sandynightowlswi@gmail.com

––––––––––––––––––––––– 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 Tim 01234 317847 for more details

––––––––––––––––––––––– 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: Kevin Hurry 01767 692567 sandytownbowlingclub.org.uk

––––––––––––––––––––––– BUGGYFITNESS CLASSES Thursday 1-2pm The Orchard Community Centre, SG18 8SZ £2.50 per session Contact: 0300 300 4248 or active.lifestyles@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Tuesdays 2-3pm Saxon Pool & Leisure Centre, Biggleswade £2.50 per session active.lifestyles@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk


––––––––––––––––––––––– IVEL BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT CENTRE HAS A LOvED ONE DIED? Perhaps we can help you: 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

––––––––––––––––––––––– BEDFORD EARLY DANCE AND MUSIC Meet monthl on Saturdays 2-6pm at Brickhill Community Centre, Avon drive, Bedford MK41 7AF For further information, dates and times please contact David Parsons 01234 853637 email bedmg1djparsons.me.uk or visit our website www.djparsons.me.uk/bedmg/ All Welcome



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

––––––––––––––––––––––– COWPER & NEWTON MUSEUM

February 2020 18th – Museum re-opens! 18th – 22nd – Half term children’s trail – more details to follow (Usual admission applies/ Trail £1.50 per child) 21st – Historical Spooky Walk, Olney North End. A spooky night-time guided walk to explore some of the hidden corners and alleyways of the town. £10 adult/ £2 child to include refreshments. Meet outside museum at 7:30pm. 25th – We’ll be in 18th century costume on Pancake Race Day! (Usual admission applies)

––––––––––––––––––––––– THE SANDY UKULELE GROUP Meet every Friday at the Baptist Chapel Hall, Bedford Road, Sandy. 7pm till 9pm. BEDS & NORTHANTS MS THERAPY CENTRE

––––––––––––––––––––––– 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 www.mscentrebedsandnorthants.com



––––––––––––––––––––––– We offers members (women and men 18+) personal and social opportunities, both daytime and evenings, whilst supporting Guiding and Scouting. For more details contact secretary kategroves67@gmail.com or 01234 301575


––––––––––––––––––––––– BIGGLESWADE JUNIOR BADMINTON CLUB Stratton Upper School Saturdays – 2-4pm & 4-5.30pm New Members Welcome More information call Janice Buckle: 01767 312053 Email: biggleswadejbc@btinternet.com


––––––––––––––––––––––– KEMPSTON GARDENS ASSOCIATION

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

––––––––––––––––––––––– BRIDGE CLUB Cranfield Village Hall MK43 0DR Sundays 6.50 for 7pm Info email tim.sharrock1@gmail.com


Meet, Thursdays 7.30 at Stewartby United Church Hall, Park Crescent. If you are interested in performing (singing acting or dancing) or helping back stage, come along and give us a try. All newcomers welcome! For tickets and further information, visit our website: www.saods.org.uk.

––––––––––––––––––––––– POTTON LADIES’ CLUB

Potton Ladies Club meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm at Mill Lane Pavilion, Mill Lane, Potton. SG19 2PG We have a range of speakers, a lunch club & numerous day trips. visitors are always welcome for £5, to include light refreshments. Stroke survivors & their carers join our

––––––––––––––––––––––– 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.


––––––––––––––––––––––– JOIN YOUR LOCAL PROBUS CLUB We are for retired or semi-retired people from all walks of life and may include business or professional people. (Male & Female). We usually meet on the 1st Monday of each month at the Addison Centre, Kempston, Bedford over the lunchtime period. Enjoy a meal in great company followed by a talk on a range of interesting topics. Why not come & give us a try!! Contact: Andrew on 01234 838407


––––––––––––––––––––––– BLACK CRICKET KIDS CLUB 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. www.blackcricket.co.uk/kids-club www.facebook.com/blackcricketkidsclub Email: kidsclub@blackcricket.co.uk


Meets Wednesday 10am-12noon Friday 10am-4.00pm CENTENARY HALL, behind Kempston Town Hall, Bedford Road For further information telephone: 01234 347306 BEDFORD RSPB LOCAL GROUP Meet at ARA club, Manton Lane Bedford MK41 7PF Thursday 20th February Meeting 7.30pm aiming to finish by 9.30pm Connor Jameson – the life story of one of our more rare birds of prey


“Looking for the Goshawk – the Phantom of the Forest”.

Suitable for Experts and Novices, RSPB membership not essential. Entrance fee, group members £1 Guest £2 annual group membership £5 under 18s enter free. The facilities, including refreshments, are at ground level and there is secure parking. BEDFORD LOCAL GROUP OF THE WILDLIFE TRUST Wednesday 12th February Meeting 7-15pm for 7.30pm Priory Methodist Church Hall, Newnham Avenue, Bedford MK41 9QJ


‘A Social Marvel – New World Leaf Cutting Ants’ an illustrated talk by Brian Sims Plenty of parking available, All welcome, no charge but voluntary contributions are appreciated. Further details available under Events on www.wildlifebcn.org or 01234 266057


CHRIST THE KING PARISH HALL Harrowden Road, Bedford MK42 0SP 9am to noon Sat 8th Feb

––––––––––––––––––––––– Entry 50p Refreshments available, Tables £5 - must be prebooked. For information call on 01234 965497 2pm to 4pm Friday 28th Feb


AFTERNOON VINTAGE TEA Admission £4 - Tea, home-made cake and friendship. For Information call 01234 326291

BIDDENHAM GARDENERS ASSOCIATION Biddenham village Hall 7.30pm Tuesday 18th February

––––––––––––––––––––––– “Mythology of Plants” By Joanne Baxter –––––––––––––– 7.30pm Tuesday 17th March

“Gardens Question Time”

By Roger Skipper and R Callahan visitors very welcome Admission £5 per meeting – includes Raffle & Refreshments

––––––––––––––––––––––– TRINITY METHODIST CHURCH

FEBRUARY 2020 Sunday February 2nd the service at 10.30am A bring and share lunch will follow this service. The service at 6pm will be led by Rev Andrew Hollins and entitled ‘Space for God’ (this is now held on the 1st Sunday of most months) Thursday February 6th There will be a short service in the church at 11.30am followed by the monthly lunch at Noon. (This is usually held on the first Thursday of each month - occasionally there will be a short concert or speaker - but this will be announced prior to the meeting) Hopefully the lunches will continue through the summer on the 1st Thursday of each month with a service at 11.30am and the lunch at Noon. We are always pleased for anyone to attend the price is £5 for a two-course meal with coffee/tea. Sunday February 9th the service at 9.30am will be a communion service and will be led by Rev. Dalwyn Attwell. The service at 10.30am will be led by Mrs Pat Lilley. Sunday February 16th the service at 10.30am will be led by Rev. Dalwyn Attwell and will include communion. The service at 6pm will again be led by Rev Dalwyn Attwell and will be an informal service and will be held in the ‘Footprints Room’.Hopefully the band will accompany. Sunday February 23rd the service at 10.30am will be led by Rev. Lorna valentine.


SANDY HISTORICAL SOCIETY Friday February 28th 7.30pm

––––––––––––––––––––––– GNR & LNWR through Sandy

by George Howe Stonecroft Hall, St Swithins Way, Sandy SG191BB Admission £2.50 including refreshments Members & students free For further details contact 01767 680171

––––––––––––––––––––––– KEMPSTON AND DISTRICT MODEL RAILWAY SOCIETY Wednesdays from 7.30pm-10.00pm at Kempston East Methodist Church New members welcome For further details contact Brian Woodcock on 07795251988 or brianwoodcock@btinternet.com

––––––––––––––––––––––– 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!

––––––––––––––––––––––– 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

––––––––––––––––––––––– SANDY WOMEN’S INSTITUTE

Sandy WI was formed in March 2017 and is still going strong. We meet on the third Tuesday of each month (except August) at 10.00am in Sandy Conservative Club. Contact our President, val Haygarth, for further information on 01767 691711 valeriehaygarth@btinternet.com..

––––––––––––––––––––––– WORLD SHIP SOCIETY BEDFORD BRANCH Kempston Constitution Club 196A Bedford Road, Kempston 3rd THURSDAY in the month 20 February 2020 Derek Sands, WSS Area Liaison Officer “Passing the Pier” Telephone: 01234 352014


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TEL: 07894 935952 EDITORIAL: editorial@rosettapublishing.com




WADERS ROUND-UP by Mike Draxler

Right old mixed bag of results ! BIGGLESWADE TOWN ............2 HITCHIN TOWN.........................0 When I first arrived at the club more than a decade ago, wins against local rivals Hitchin were rare. Now it has become the norm not to lose to the Canaries. On the back of four straight wins, three under current manager Chris Nunn, the large boxing day crowd were expectant of seeing some feisty football. The pitch, wet but playable did not assist in making the game a classic but honest endeavour from both sides kept chances to a minimum. The only real quality opportunity from Shane Bush as his header flew over the visitor’s bar. At the break the game had the appearance of a goalless draw with both defences so reliable, to make that happen. After the break Hitchin piled on the pressure and won four corners in a row but unable to profit. A sloppy back pass let in Trey Charles to win an early corner on 52. As the ball came across and Hitchin unable to clear, Drew Richardson lashed to ball into the back of the net to give

the Waders the advantage. Try as the may Hitchin were just not able to create enough danger as the solid Waders backline held firm. On 84 Charles again galloping into the box was brought down, the resulting penalty put away in style by Dylan Williams. BIGGLESWADE TOWN ............1 STOURBRIDGE...........................2 You cant help but respect the current Wader’s team, so much pride in their work wanting to play for the badge on the shirt. Devastated to concede a goal, distraught to lose. It was always going to happen. As each game came the pressure built and better to get that out of the way and relax into the forthcoming fixtures. We know Stourbridge of old, always competitive and strong. The first 10 did not disappoint as the visitors busied themselves in the Wader’s half of the pitch. Once Biggleswade had the measure of the game, normal service resumed and some of the play on an inhospitable pitch was exemplary and emotional to watch as to a man the team put on

a display. On 35 a quick free kick from Matt Ball found Charlie Pattison running on who squared to Dylan Williams to make no mistake. What this meant to the boys was so evident in the prolonged celebration. The Waders kept at Stourbridge not giving room for their forwards to play. After half-time Stourbridge were a different outfit. 45 minutes of pressure was surely difficult to deal with and Wader hearts were broken when conceding on 55, a great header from visiting 5 Jordan Williams. Over 400 minutes without conceding, the goal shocked the Waders. On 85 Thomas Tonks with a wonder throw eluded all but Andre Landell who placed his shot firmly between the Wader’s defenders and into the net. Pride took over and superhuman effort was put into the remaining minutes as Biggleswade tried to salvage a point. PETERBOROUGH SPORTS .....1 BIGGLESWADE TOWN ............1 From the players, management and

staff at Biggleswade Town we wish you all a happy New Year, which started footballwise at Peterborough yesterday. Early in the season today’s hosts came to the Langford Road and inflicted a 3-0 beating with a fine display in the sunshine. The return fixture was of interest to see how the new Waders faired after a first defeat, Saturday. The game started at pace with The hosts buzzing around the Wader’s area looking threatening and for an opportunity. The Peterborough forward line quality and known goal scorers. It took six minutes for the breakthough as the ball came across Avelino vierra fired in with a well taken goal. A wake up call for Biggleswade as honest endevour took over with some “fab” football. No suporise on17 as Matt Ball hit a shot that beat the keeper just under his bar. A goal fitting of a New Year’s day. Encouraged the Waders pushed on and looked the more likely but kept out with some fine keeping by Lewis Moat. After the break both sides looked for a winner but it was a game to be played in the mid-field as both the defences cancelled any ball reaching them. A feisty affair on a cold afternoon, not that sort of game but the officials managed nine bookings and a sending off of Peterborough 6 Daniel Lawlor. It marred the second half with continual stoppages and never let the game flow. The inconsistancy annoying fans from both sides. In the end an honourable draw which was a fair reflection of the play. The officials, escorted off to loud “boos” from the home crowd. BIGGLESWADE TOWN ............2 BROMSGROVE SPORTING.....4 The expectations of the travelling support was met as Bromsgrove eased past the Waders. But the whole complete story is not told in the score line. Biggleswade had the best of the early chances with Drew Richardson, Shane Bush and Jamie Peters all going close. At the other end Richard

Gregory gave notice with a flashing header just over the bar. Biggleswade had an early change on 22 when Peters went off to be replaced by Kweku Lucan. This disrupted the home side with Peters the midfield player being replaced by a forward with Shane Bush moving backwards. Against the run of play Bromsgrove scored on 29 through the persistent Michael Taylor whose cross shot rolled agonisingly over the line. Certainly Bromsgrove were bossing the game with the home side resisting with some entertaining football. At the break all to play for. The second period saw Bromsgrove waiting patiently for the home side to re-appear and punished quickly scoring within 35 seconds of the re-start. This time it was Richard Gregory with his head to double the lead before some spectators had re-taken their seats. Bromsgrove continued to press and ticked the score along seemingly at will. On 65Tommy Taylor met a corner perfectly as his bullet header hit the roof of the net. It looked like a landslide as Michael Taylor again on 71 got his head to a ball to make it 4. However the Waders never say die attitude got them back into the game immediately as Kweku Lucan got his toe on the end of a free kick in from Matt Ball. 1-4 respectable enough but Biggleswade pressed on to get another through Lucan. A cross from Dylan Williams saw Kweko get on the end of another cross to make it 2-4. Certainly Bromsgrove were pleased to hear the final whistle as the wave of green swept towards them time and again. RUSHALL OLYMPIC .................3 BIGGLESWADE TOWN ............2 Yes, Biggleswade have an unbelievable squad of players putting every effort into winning a match against a very strong and physical side at Rushall. With two loan players Callum Donnelly and Richard Walton coming in for the injured Jamie Peters and Kyle Forster, more

The Bulletin is an independent publication, part of Rosetta Publishing Ltd. Published by ©2020 Rosetta Publishing Limited, 30 Radwell Road, Milton Ernest Bedford MK44 1SH. Tel: 07894 935952 Editorial: editorial@rosettapublishing.com Advertising: advertising@rosetta publishing.com Printed by: Reach Printing Services, Kimpton Road, Luton, Bedfordshire LU2 0SX.

new faces. The Waders equipped themselves well on the 3G pitch and weathered the early storm of the powerful Rushall forwards. Its all coming together for the Waders and some great movement coupled with accurate short passing saw the visitors take an early lead on 16 as Matt Ball slid a ball through to Shane Bush who took the pass in his stride to beat the home keeper. Rushall pressed back with some heavy weight pressure and a corner on the right was headed in with power by centre back Sam Whittall on 18. With the pressure mounting and on some occasions desperate clearances, Levi Rowley fired in again on 22. The game settled and the combo of Devante Stanley and Trey Charles started to pay dividends troubling the home defence. Busy, busy in the midfield, Ball, Pattison and the ever impressive Donnelly started to pull the strings creating for the front guys. At the break, the teams went in with the spectators enjoying a thrilling contest with more to come. The never say die Waders came out determined to make amends and pushed the home side back as Dylan Williams and Trey Charles were turning their markers with pace and trickery. There were some close calls but the score line remained the same till 79 when Charles beat the advancing keeper and crossed the ball for Shane Bush to launch himself and level the game up. Waders not happy at a point pursued a winner with all but Walton in the Waders goal moving forward. Chances came but were smothered. Into time added on and still the boys in green pressed. A foul on the edge of the home box not given, a lucky ricochet the ball finding Jakob Burroughs who hit a shot which took a wicked deflection to break Wader hearts. Its happened before, for and against Biggleswade, part of the game. But and as you know there is always a but, the spirit in this team will see the Waders over the line in the future.