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The Willington Villager Price 60p where sold

November 2019



The Willington Villager Editor: Shane Horlock 8 Grange Way, Willington, Bedfordshire, MK44 3QW Tel: 01234 831704 Email: Published monthly, the deadline for copy and advertising is always the 10th of the preceding month.

Magazine Treasurer: Tony Sheward 6 Grange Way, Willington, Bedfordshire, MK44 3QW Tel: 01234 831388 Email: Please make cheques payable to Willington Village News Distribution Organiser for subscription copies: Pat Head 7 Gostwick Place, Willington, Bedfordshire, MK44 3QJ Tel: 01234 838636 Magazine also distributed, at the cover price of 60p, at Willington Post Office & Stores and at the Danish Camp visitor centre. Subscription price for one year’s issues - £5.00 – a saving of £2.20 To subscribe contact Pat Head on 01234 838636 Advertising Rates (per year) - full page £60, half £30, quarter £15 Fixed Position Premium (e.g. back page) £20 Circulation 260 copies

Cover Picture This month’s cover picture was taken on the 29th May 2018 during a trip to the battlefields in France and Belgium by 8 members of the Sandy and District branch of the Royal British Legion. The visit, which included laying a wreath at the Tyne Cot Cemetary in Belgium, was reported in the July magazine. Though pictured in May it provides a particularly poignant image for the month of November as the poppy was chosen by RBL to be it’s symbol of remembrance for those who lost their lives in the poppy fields and in all other war zones. For those who are observant, the picture was also on last November’s cover. If you have a favourite picture, that could grace the cover of the magazine, together with a few words of explanation - please send it to me at or at my address above.


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On Page 49 of the magazine, there is a poster indicating the issue that fireworks presents for horse owners. I have included it at the request of Zoe Jeffery-Wilkinson, who is the yard manager for the Nurseries. Their horses are in the paddocks owned by the National Trust, to the East of the Dovecote and behind properties in Church Road. Zoe is quite happy for people to set off fireworks, but she would like to be advised of any pans that might affect the horses in those paddocks. With advance warning, she is able to relocate the horses in order to ensure there are no risks. So please do contact Zoe on 07967 249901 if you have any plans for fireworks near the paddocks behind Church Road. I talked last month about the proposed development on land opposite the Post Office and suggested we might need to try Polyanna’s “The Glad Game”. Well the Planning Committee put off the decision and said they would carry out a site visit, so in a way that is something to be glad about. On Tuesday 8th October, Post Office Limited put out a press release about a new agreement with 28 UK banks, to ensure their customers would have free access to banking services at all branches of the Post Office. After describing that 130 million withdrawal, deposits and balance enquiries were carried out at Post Offices by customers last year, the press release went on to say that only one bank has chosen to take away from their customers the ability to withdraw cash from their bank account at the Post Office counter. This bank, as some of you will know after receiving letters from them is Barclays. This is obviously very upsetting for those Barclay’s customers who rely upon their Post Office branch to get access to their cash, whatever their source of income. We are fairly fortunate that in either direction along the A603, it is only about 4 miles to the nearest ATM cash machine, but I have heard that some villagers in remoter areas of the country would have a journey of about 23 miles - if they have their own transport. If anyone is concerned about the effect on access to their Barclays bank account, it would be easy to change banks. There is a bank transfer mechanism that all banks have to support that simply requires you to open a new bank account and ask your new bank to transfer your old account, including all payment arrangements you have in place currently. Shane Horlock


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Dear Friends,



As you read this, we will be approaching the season of Remembrance. The first opportunity to remember will come on Sunday 3rd November at 6.00pm, when St John the Evangelist, Moggerhanger, will host the All Souls Commemoration Service on behalf of our three villages: a time for all those of us who have lost loved ones, whether family or friends, to come together to remember, to give thanks, and to find God’s strength for the days ahead. All are most welcome to that service. Please do invite friends and neighbours if you know they have been bereaved. Then, of course, there is the official remembrance of those who gave their lives for our peace and freedom in two world wars, and the wars and conflicts since 1945. As the daughter of a man who served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and the Korean War, I never fail to be moved as the poppies fall down from the roof of the Royal Albert Hall during the Festival of Remembrance. That remembrance is all the more poignant in our own day as the reality of war and its human cost is once again apparent. The village Remembrance Services on Sunday 10th November will give all of us an opportunity to come together to honour those who died so that we might live in freedom. Details of each village’s service are in the magazines. Remembering with thankfulness is at the heart of the Christian faith, and at the heart of our worship, as week by week we come together to remember in bread and wine the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus’ willing sacrifice of himself on the cross for the sake of others is, for Christian believers, the ultimate expression of the self-giving love at the heart of God. One man dies, that many might live in freedom. One man dies, to bring life to others. “Do this in remembrance of me.” So in this season of Remembrance, as we remember with candles, poppies, or bread and wine, may we all take time to pause, reflect, and be thankful. With best wishes, Revd Fiona Gibson


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WILLINGTON VILLAGE FESTIVAL 2019 Our Biggest Yet! I would like to start by thanking the committee and all those who helped out on the day or in the run up to the Festival (and let's not forget those who helped to clear up afterwards). However, we would just have been a dozen or so people in a field, if it hadn’t been for all the people who took part, so I must also thank those of you who had stalls, either as part of a village organisation, as a private individual, a cottage industry, or a fully commercial venture. We were all working for the same thing – SUCCESS whether that was a profit, getting the word out of behalf of your community group or just having a good time with the people with whom we all share this fine village. Financially, the Festival was a success, which will ensure that there will be another Festival next year, on Saturday 5th of September 2020. We would welcome any suggestions that you may have for the next one, please contact us by E-mail: The planning for next year's Festival will start in earnest in the New Year, so watch this space and look out for posters around the village. Meetings are held in the Crown and the date will be 'published' in The Willington Villager once the committee have emerged from our 'winter recess' in February...then the work begins again.

I must give a Special Mention to one of our committee who will be leaving us for higher things - much higher things as he is embarking on a new career as an airline pilot! So thank you to Rob Hubbard from all of us for your work and your help to make the 2019 Festival such a success! Rob will leave a very big hole in the committee, not only for his encyclopaedic knowledge of Safety Planning and First Aid, but also with his skill in using FaceBook to promote the Festival to the general public and also to bring in stallholders and attractions. If you feel that you would be able to help us with this or would like to be a part of the team in any other capacity, then please get in touch with us on Finally, thank you again to those Villagers who came in your numbers to make it such a great day! Daniel Silson, Chairman


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Father’s Day at School


Her hair was up in a pony tail, her favourite dress tied with a bow. Today was Fathers Day at school, and she couldn't wait to go. Her mother tried to persuade her to stay at home as the other children might not understand if she went to school alone. However, she was not afraid and she already knew just what to say to her classmates about why he wasn't there today. Her mother still worried about her facing this day alone and so she tried once again to keep her daughter home, but the little girl determinedly went to school - eager to tell the others all about the father she never sees and who never calls. In the classroom, there were fathers along the back wall waiting to meet everyone. Children were squirming impatiently in their seats, but one by one the teacher called each child from the class to introduce their father. Finally, the teacher called her name and every child turned to stare, wondering where her father was, searching for a man who wasn't there. She smiled up at her mother and then, with hands behind her back, she began to speak. “My daddy couldn't be here, because he lives so far away, but I know he wishes he could be here for this special day. So though you cannot meet him, I wanted you to know. all about my daddy and how much he loves me. He loved to tell me stories, he taught me to ride my bike, he surprised me with pink roses and taught me to fly a kite. We used to share ice cream sundaes and cones. Though you cannot see him, I'm not standing here alone, because my daddy is always with me. Even though we are apart I know, because he told me, he will forever be in my heart.” With that, her little hand reached up and rested on her chest over her heart. Her mother stood in tears, proudly watching her daughter, who was wise beyond her years. Looking at the other children, the little girl softly said “I love my daddy very much, he's my shining star. If he could, he'd be here, but heaven's just too far. You see he is a British soldier who died just a year ago, when a roadside bomb hit his convoy. Sometimes when I close my eyes, it's like he never went away.” Then she closed her eyes and saw him beside her again, To her mothers amazement, everyone in the room also closed their eyes. Who knows what they saw or felt, but perhaps for a moment they also saw him at her side. In the silence, the young girl called out “I know you're with me daddy.” No-one could explain it, but when they opened their eyes, on the desk beside her was a fragrant long-stemmed rose. Anonymous Internet Story (Seemed appropriate for November)


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WILLINGTON LOCAL HISTORY GROUP The 2019/20 season of talks commenced in September at the Methodist Church, where a packed audience were entertained by our speaker Sue Jarrett, whose topic was The Great North Road through Eaton Socon. What became the A1 trunk road, from London to Scotland, of course now bypasses the village, but the original route has always been a busy North/South artery, passing through towns on the way such as Peterborough, Stamford and York, and was used by mail coaches travelling between London and Edinburgh. The modern road mainly parallels the original alignment, with many coaching inns, which provided staging posts for accommodation, stabling for horses and replacement mounts, still surviving. Archive photos of Eaton Socon, showing some of the inns then and now, accompanied by detailed descriptions of former owners and tenants, enhanced the presentation. We were also shown pictures of the parish church of St Mary the Virgin, which stands on the picturesque green in the centre of the village. It burned down in 1930 after a fire started in the organ, but was completely rebuilt in the original style soon after. Eaton Socon is now a district of St Neots in Cambridgeshire. It was originally a village in Bedfordshire, along with the neighbouring village of Eaton Ford, but officially became part of the town in 1965. The talk pre-empts a visit by the Group with a guided tour, scheduled in our programme for Summer 2020 visits. You can find membership details on our website Mervyn Askew


Making a Difference, The Rotary Club


It is always distressing to hear about the destruction caused by war or extreme weather and the plight of the people left behind in its wake. Rotary clubs work with ShelterBox and Aquabox so that in times of devastation, however this is caused, people who have lost everything are provided with an adequate shelter for a family, warm bedding, cooking facilities, essential tools and a means to purify water. The ShelterBox base is in Cornwall and equipment is stored in a large warehouse there and at other strategic places around the world, ready to be sent out at short notice. We donate money on a regular basis to help replenish the stocks. We have also recently sent money to Mercy Ships, a charity which sends out a state-of-the-art mobile hospital ship providing free expert surgical care and aftercare to people living far from any form of medical attention. In the summer the Rotary clubs of Biggleswade Ivel, Biggleswade and Sandy organised a Fun Day for the pupils of the Ivel Valley School in Biggleswade and this was a great success. Money was also given to the school to buy two computers. The collaboration between the Biggleswade Ivel and Flitwick clubs has been ongoing to provide garden facilities for a little local boy who has profound problems. We raise money by putting on enjoyable events and we really appreciate the attendance and support that we receive. Recently we had `Ask the Gardeners` with fish and chip supper, where a panel of experts answered questions from members of the audience. On November 16th there will be a `Call my Bluff` which is always highly entertaining but made more so with Wine Tasting alongside. This will be in Willington Village Memorial Hall at 7pm and there will be a hot two course supper. Tickets are ÂŁ15 from Alan tel 01234 838994, Brian tel 01767 317031 or email On 11th December we will be out and about with Santa on his Sleigh collecting for Keech Cottage. Advance notice to put in your diaries for 6th March next year is the Murder Mystery evening to be held at Stratton School, Biggleswade. The School drama group will be acting out the play, so will you be able to guess who the murderer is or will you need the mystery to be explained by the detective at the end. Biggleswade Ivel Rotary club meets at 7pm on Wednesdays in the Green Man, Stanford and we are always very happy to welcome people who would like to be involved in some way.


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People in Willington 600 years ago While working on the Willington Bailiff’s Accounts and manor court rolls I realised that then most of the people were tenant farmers who cultivated their fields and were manorial officers, members of juries, repaired or arranged the repair of their buildings, and practiced rural trades as miller, brewers, carters, smiths, weavers, fishers, shepherds etc. These tenants were led by the bailiff, who was the lord’s man, and usually native to the manor. The most notable bailiff was Robert Gostwyk, whose family was linked with the manor for at least 400 years. He was the Mowbrays’ bailiff/accountant from before 1381 to 1393, being paid 20s a year. For ten years he allowed some tenants annual reductions of 32 shillings because they were being overcharged. Eventually the allowances grew to £17 4s. Some men of social standing provided pledges, or sureties, to guarantee the payment of rents, for repairs and minor offences, by less fortunate tenants and some women received pensions; the Mowbrays paid an annuity to Joan Caule, for her life, from 1388. It was 10 marks a year (£3 13s 4d) a generous sum; Christina Verne and Amicia Placer were each promised maintenance for life in 1409, perhaps by their sons-in-law. Some of the tenants were unusual characters: Adam Warde was appointed constable in 1405. He was almost certainly a villein and unfree; he had been fined in 1394 for trespassing with his colts and for another offence the next year. In 1405 he was fined for assault and for not collecting fines. Later he had ruined buildings and was accused of debt. John Kempston, the Woodward, was accused of concealing sales of underwood and 60 pairs of rabbits in 1421. His dishonesty may have led the lord of the manor, John Mowbray, to appoint Robert of Willington as Keeper of the Warren when in Rouen in January 1419. Robert was paid 60 shillings 8 pence a year and his wages were raised to £6 16s a year in 1432. He was described as the ‘surgeyn et warrenario de Williton’ and his wife Margaret received his payments in his absence. An abbreviation of his name, Robert Wilton, is believed to be on the list of original members of the Fellowship of Surgeons in May 1435. Emma Skynner, a new brewer, appears in the rolls in October 1451. She was accused of holding a common brothel or bawdy house, and the bailiff was told to get rid of her. John Skynner, who


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19 may have been her son, also only appeared once; he had been involved in a fight. He may have been the same John Skynner who was listed as fighting alongside lord Mowbray in France about this time. Most historians of this late medieval period agree that life was dominated by the church, but there is no evidence that this was the case here. Although Newnham Priory held extensive lands on the manor the Prior very often did not attend court, and was fined for not doing so. The vicar, described as the Reverend Robert, was accused of holding an illegal dovecote in October 1425 and vicar Richard Whythove was ordered to make an enclosure in 1454. The church is, however, mentioned in 1450 when John Stoughton and John Redy were fined for brewing at the time of the church service and each paid huge fines of 40d ‘payable to the lord and the Church in equal portions.’ John Stoughton paid the same fine the next year. Alicia Stoughton brewed with her husband in 1452 and became a constant brewer 1453 to 1467, being assisted by John Redy and others, including the vicar in 1454. Sometimes she and John Redy did not agree and were fined. In 1463 the roll says that they ‘did not answer to the order of the tasters at another time’ and they were both fined 4d. Only 10% of the people named in the Willington court rolls were women. In 1420, Agnes Abel was described as a common chatterbox and disturber of the peace; in 1450 Agnes Judde stole a sheet and a kerchief; in 1456 Agnes Partryche stole two pairs of stockings; in 1463 Alisia Dylerton assaulted John, son of John Roper, with her fists; in 1471 Elizabeth Redy and Elizabeth Langton were described as jugulaciones (rubber-neckers?). In the second half of the fifteenth century some tenants tried to extend their holdings by making illegal enclosures and blocking tracks without permission. In 1469 Richard Hatley enclosed the common field facing Castle Mill, across the Ouse, and put a pea stack on it. In 1470 five of the manor elite, Elisabeth Marion, John Morborne, John Chapelen’, John Myton, and John Yerwey the elder, obstructed common watercourses near their tenements, so denying water or drainage to their neighbours’ fields; each was fined 12d. The lords and ladies of the manor were a distinguished and important group and the records reveal a reciprocal relationship between their officials and the manor community; they depended on each other.


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21 •

Thomas Mowbray became 1st duke of Norfolk and Earl Marshall, and was named as lord of the manor in the Bailiffs’ Accounts February 1383 to Michaelmas 1397. He is depicted in the opening scenes of Shakespeare’s King Richard ll and was banished by that king

Queen Joan of Navarre was second wife of Henry lV, and is named in the court rolls as holding the manor October 1406 to May 1412

John Mowbray, 2nd duke of Norfolk and Earl Marshall, 13921432, was named as lord of the manor from 1413 to 1426. He died in 1432

The 2nd duke’s wife, Katherine Neville, was daughter of Ralph Neville Earl of Westmorland. After 1432 she held Willington, with her three later husbands, as part of her dower for about 50 years. Her fourth husband was Edward lV’s brother-in-law, John Woodville, and at least 40 years younger than she was!

There must have been significant differences in prosperity on the manor. The Yarwey family appear 249 times in the rolls 1448-1483 and substantially increased the size of their holdings, but the most influential and successful family, the Gostwyks, who were free and also held extensive holdings, were mentioned just 24 times in that period. After 1483 few records survive and information is unreliable. For instance, in 1507 Newnham Priory prepared a record of the lands which they held in Willington, in which the family name Yarwey appeared only three times, but John and William Gostwyk were mentioned 52 times. More research is needed to find out what happened to the Yarweys. [If you would like to know more about life in Willington in the hundred years after the Peasants’ Revolt email for a free electronic copy of her article ‘Emerging from the Willington documents.’ Transcriptions and translations of all the documents, which are on long-term loan from the Duke of Bedford’s Bedford Settled Estates, can be found in the Willington section of the Bedfordshire Archives website. Dorothy also has electronic copies of spreadsheets of names of people in Willington before 1440 and from 1440 - 1483. Another, smaller, spreadsheet 1515 to 1674 is being prepared. Copies of her book Willington and the Mowbrays; after the Peasants’ Revolt can be obtained from her at £12.50, that is, with a 50% author’s discount.] Dorothy Jamieson


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Bedford Borough Council Report


Bedford Town Centre Bedford High Street has been awarded a £2m grant as part of the Government’s ‘Historic High Streets’ initiative. This will enable the improvement of shopfronts and buildings on the High Street and the adjacent roads (namely Mill Street, Lime Street and Lurke Street) and public realm works on Silver Street. Bedford has also been invited by the Government to bid for £25m of the £3.6bn ‘Towns Fund’ to improve economic growth. Further details are awaited from the Council as to the scope of its bid. Proposals should relate to ‘transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture.’ Wixams Railway At its meeting in September, the Council’s Environment & Sustainable Communities Committee was provided with an update on the proposed Wixams railway station A Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) has been formulated which anticipates 866,000 passengers a year using a two-platform station. This has been shared with the rail industry for discussion before it is submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT). DfT’s preferred route for the East West Rail (EWR) line from Oxford to Cambridge will have a bearing on how the Wixams station is taken forward. Hydrotherapy Pool Closure The Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG), the body responsible for organising NHS services locally, has decided to close the hydrotherapy pool situated at Gilbert Hitchcock House at Kimbolton Road, Bedford. The pool, which was closed temporarily in November 2018 due to maintenance issues, was used primarily by patients with conditions such a chronic pain, arthritis and neurological disorders. The BCCG says the £120k cost of refurbishing the pool is unaffordable and that in future hydrotherapy sessions will be provided at various pools around Bedford.

Ward Fund The Ward Fund allows councillors to support community schemes. Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss any potential projects. The deadline for highways and greenspace projects has


27 now passed, but applications can still be submitted for litter bins and salt bins (deadline 22nd November) and projects supporting external organisations (13th December). School Admissions Applications for school admissions in September 2020 are now open. Search ‘Bedford school admissions’. Cllr Stephen Moon: / 01234 870061 Facebook: search ‘Cllr Stephen Moon’ Cllr Phillippa Martin-Moran-Bryant / 07934 853907

The Memoirs of Peter Horace Charsley (continued) Back in Mitcham, uncle Bert (mums brother) was plastering the whole scullery wall opposite the back door, while dad and uncle Len (dads brother) were outside watching a dogfight (Spitfire or more likely Hurricane versus a Messerschmitt 109 or 110) When the Messerschmitt broke away from the fight and dived towards the house. Uncle Len and dad ran for their lives at great speed through the door and into uncle Bert, who's impression was pressed into the plaster, like a Tom and Jerry cartoon. After my recollections of the following, I will have to agree with you that I was a right little shit. I thought the world of my aunty Sally, but on reflection, I was a thorn in her side and never missed an opportunity to make her life hell. Somewhere, probably at school I had seen a picture of an elephant trap, fortunately, foregoing the sharpened stakes, I set about setting a trap for the rather rotund aunty Sally. This is where my experience of digging holes came into its own. Near the far end of the garden I set to work in earnest and dug a wide hole about 18" deep, then spanned the top with thin branches of dead wood, which I covered with newspaper before hiding it all under a thin layer of soil. The trap was set and all I had to do now was provoke the unfortunate lady enough for her to chase me down the garden. Fortunately I don't recall what I called her, but whatever it was it did the trick. Off I ran, zigzagging down the garden making sure I was just out of reach until I jumped over the trap and the bottom half of my victim’s right leg disappeared to the


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29 accompaniment of screams of pain and shock. Fortunately for her and unfortunately for me no incapacity occurred and she was soon chasing me again but this time with a broom. I hid for a few hours until she cooled down. Tea like most things was rationed and I did nothing to endear myself to the household by running into the dining room and depositing a snowball in a freshly brewed pot of tea. On another occasion yours truly found out how to use a screwdriver, and removed all the door handles in the house, after which aunty Theresa christened me the "SHIT ARSED MECHANIC", unfortunately this did not disqualify me from the unenviable task of squeezing out the yellow heads and the occasional boil on her back and shoulders. Us kids had forgotten what oranges and banana's looked like and even the home grown apple was restricted to the season, however then, as now, some varieties were kept in storage and were released at a premium. these were a luxury item, I was very partial to them and no apple was safe from me. Anyway during a glut in the apple season, aunty Theresa decided to teach this little apple thief a lesson, so she bought a large quantity of the fruit, placed it in the middle of the table and gave me licence to eat as many as I liked. Her idea was that eventually I would eat so many that it would sicken me of the fruit. After some hours and my very frequent visits to the loo, she decided that she couldn't afford to continue. I still love apples.

Aunty Sally attended church, the one at the other end of the village, near the ancient Dovecot (National Trust or English Heritage) which I am sure I wasn't allowed access to at the time, but have visited a couple of times since. If you have not been inside it's worth a visit if you are in the area. The key holder at the time of my visits lived in the house next to it and he told me about a young Japanese tourist equipped as usual with camera's and buckets of film whom he showed around and after which the elderly key holder told his tourist that he had been a guest of emperor Hirohito for 4 long and extremely unpleasant years, but was pleased to be of help as all this took place before our cameraman was born. The tourist spent a long time apologizing for his countrymen before he went on his way. Dovecots were used as a source of fresh meat during the winter months, until crop rotation and turnips enabled large numbers of pigs and cattle to be over wintered,


31 instead of being killed and salted down every autumn. The following seems unlikely and may have been wishful thinking on my part. My memory is of aunty Sally and I walking home from the church and the vicar stopping to give us a lift, I was annoyed because it was a 2 seat car and I thought I would have to walk home on my own, but I need not have worried because the vicar got out and opened the boot to disclose 2 more full sized seats (these seats were built into the boot lid ,which opened downwards from just behind the regular seats). I saw one of these cars on a recent repeat of Campion on TV. So it probably did happen. On the way to this church and on the left hand side was a disused quarry where we kids played with some old small but very heavy quarry trucks which ran on rails. We were not supposed to of course but we knew nothing of health and safety, and if we had done, it would not have been allowed to come between us and our adventures. On the other side of the road, between the houses was a temporary British army camp in the true sense of the word, all under canvas. I can remember watching a boxing tournament which they put on to entertain the locals, and one of the contestants making a noise every time he threw a punch, Ssss, Ssss, Ssss, he went, while the other guy silently broke his nose, loosened some teeth and generally beat him up. So you see creating a noise to put off an opponent did not start with Billy Jean King or John McEnroe, only that they perfected it. It was a shock to me to see so much blood, as our meagre weekly meat ration would not have provided a teaspoon of the stuff. It was daylight outside but in the bedroom the curtains were drawn to protect my eyes as I was recovering from measles or chicken pox. I was alone, playing with a toy Tommy gun, when I heard the drone, drone, drone of what later, on one of our returns to London, I could instantly recognise as one of their bombers, the engines had a distinctly droning note. But on this occasion I imagined it was a German bomber so aiming my gun at the ceiling, began to shoot it down, click, click, click went my toy Tommy gun. THHRRUUUMMPPPP! went Herr Krupp's bomb. It made a huge crater in a field not far from the back of the house and not far from the back of the Crown public house. To be continued‌...



Jakes Drive, Willington These pictures show Jakes Drive, off Church Road. It runs alongside and is the access to the land behind Church Road and Sheerhatch Primary School, which is a County Wildlife Site. It was formerly owned by Lord Framlingham, but has recently been sold off in a number of plots at auction. A fence has been erected along the entire length of Jakes Drive and also fences have appeared to separate plots. As Jakes Drive has been used as a path for decades by the people of Willington, it could be officially recognised as a public footpath on the Bedford Borough Council Definitive Map and Ordnance Survey Maps. This process requires proof that it has been used as a path for more than 20 years. Some work was done on this by Frank Fattori, but it remains to be completed. If anyone else is concerned about events on this land, my phone number is 838548. Linda Syred




November 2019

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR The church and MMP are teaming up again for the Christmas Bazaar, to be held on Saturday 14th December in the church, between 10.00 and 12.00. There will be coffee/tea and mince pies of course, children’s activities including paper-chain making, other activities and hopefully Christmas plants for sale. So put this date in your diary and come and enjoy a typical Moggerhanger preChristmas morning. CORAL’S AFTERNOON TEA This month’s Afternoon Tea will be on Thursday 21st November in the church, starting at 2.30, till 4.00. The last for this year will be on 19th December. From next year these events, which with still feature Coral’s lovely china and freshly made cakes and scones, will be held every 3 months, so put in your diary the following dates for a good tea and a chat: 19th March, 18th June, 17th September and 17th December. KNIT & NATTER Every 4th Tuesday of the month, so the group will meet on 26th November, and then on 28th January. There is always a need for items for the neonatal department at Bedford Hospital so someone is usually doing something for that, but you are welcome to bring your own work. You don’t even have to be a knitter, you can also come simply for the natter. The group looks forward to seeing you, whatever your aim, 10.30.-12.00 in the church. (Ring Jane on 641501 for more information.) MOGGERHANGER WALKERS Held on the 1st Thursday in the month, this is obviously an event which depends on the weather and Linda and Alan decide close to the date on the details and let people know by email. If you would like to be on their email list, or you have found a new walk to do, or you would simply like more information, Linda and Alan Heath would be pleased to hear from you on 640798 or MUMS & DADS This event is held each term-time week (except half-term) in the church between 9.00 and 10.00. Dates for this month – 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th November. Come for a natter with other mums and bring your toddlers with you. There are toys in the church for them to play with and coffee/tea and biscuits for you at £1.



Friday 1 7.30pm Saturday 2 10.30 - noon Sunday 3

10.15am 10.30am

9.00am 11.30am 6.00pm Monday 4 11.00am 7.30pm

All Saints Day Willingtones band practice at Methodist Church All Souls Day Fairtrade Coffee Morning and book stall at St. Lawrence The Methodist Church St. Lawrence and Methodist Churches Together, United Café Church and Shoe Box Service Café Church Breakfast Café Church Shoe Box Service with Mrs. Pat Lilley and the Willingtones Other Services Sung Communion at Moggerhanger All age Communion at Cople All Souls Service at Moggerhanger Black Bin Collection Benefice Tiny Tots Singalong Praise at Cople Church Benefice Choir practice at Cople Church


Tuesday 5 Guy Fawkes Day 9.00-11.30 Coffee Pot at Methodist Church. Coffee, Cake, Chat and toddler play area. 2.30pm Over 60s Club in the Sports and Social Club Cople Wednesday 6 7.30pm Carpet Bowls in Cople Village Hall 7.45pm Parish Praise Planning Meeting at the Vicarage Thursday 7 9.00am Benefice Morning Prayer at St. Lawrence’s Church 10.00-11.30 Playgroup at Cople village hall 10.00am Walking Group meet at Village Hall 2.30pm Evergreen Club - AGM – Talk by Dorothy Jamieson Friday 8 Mobile Library -1.35pm School, 2.05pm Churchill Place, 2.30pm Crown, 2.55pm White Cottage 10.00am Bridge Day at Cople Village Hall Saturday 9 10.30-noon Coffee Morning at the Methodist Church Sunday 10 Remembrance Sunday - Copy deadline for next magazine 10.55am St. Lawrence and Methodist Churches Together, United Remembrance Service at All Saints church, Cople Other Services 9.30am Remembrance Sunday Holy Communion at Moggerhanger Church 10.15am Act of Remembrance at Moggerhanger Church War Memorial Monday 11 Orange & Green Bin Collection 11.00am Benefice Tiny Tots Singalong Praise at Cople Church 12.30pm Monday Lunch at the Methodist Church 7.15pm Benefice Choir Practice at 4 Grange Way Tuesday 12 9.00-11.30 Coffee Pot at Methodist Church. Coffee, Cake, Chat and toddler play area. 2.00pm Knit & Stitch Club, 8 Grange Way, Tel: 831704 7.30pm Tuesday Club at Cople Village Hall - Julie Anna Flowers Demonstration - Mince Pies and Wine 7.30pm WI meeting, Bowls Club New Road Great Barford Tel: 870516 Wednesday 13 7.30pm Carpet Bowls in Cople Village Hall


This picture of Willington villagers was given to me by Bernie Standbridge. He is unable to recall the date it was taken or the event involved. If anyone can cast light on that or identify any of the villagers, that would be really great. Bernie’s mother is the woman at the back on the far right with Bernie himself next to her looking over the shoulder of the man in front of them. Bernie looks to be perhaps 7 to 10 years old, which would date the


picture to around 1938 to 1941. Bernie has identified the boy wearing glasses and standing at the front, 2nd on the left, as being a Lack and also believes one girl at the front is a Spavins, while another is a Stokes. From other pictures I have seen, I think the seated man on the right is John (known as Jack) Webb, whose story of life growing up in Willington, was covered in the April edition of 2012. So if you can help to identify anything or anyone about this picture, please email me at



Thursday 14 9.00am Benefice Morning Prayer at St. Lawrence’s Church 10.00-11.30 Playgroup at Cople village hall 10.00am Walking Group meet at Village Hall Sunday 17 St. Lawrence’s Church 10.15am Sung Communion The Methodist Church 10.30am All age Worship with Mrs. Sue Plant Other Services 11.30am Family Service at Cople 6.00pm Songs of Praise at Moggerhanger Monday 18 Black Bin Collection 11.00am Benefice Tiny Tots Singalong Praise at Cople Church Tuesday 19 9.00-11.30 Coffee Pot at Methodist Church. Coffee, Cake, Chat and toddler play area. 2.30pm Over 60s Club in the Sports and Social Club Cople 7.30pm WLHG ‘Another Night at the Movies’ - Frank Banfield Wednesday 20 12.30pm St. Lawrence Luncheon Club 3.30-5.30 Messy Church children’s activities and meal at Methodist Church 7.30pm PCC Meeting 7.30pm Carpet Bowls in Cople Village Hall 9.00pm Steve Kind and The Old Geezer Band at the Crown Thursday 21 9.00am Benefice Morning Prayer at St. Lawrence’s Church 10.00am Walking Group meet at Village Hall 2.30pm Afternoon Tea at Moggerhanger Church Friday 22 Mobile Library -1.35pm School, 2.05pm Churchill Place, 2.30pm Crown, 2.55pm White Cottage Saturday 23 10.30am Coffee Morning at Cople Church Sunday 24 St. Lawrence’s Church 10.15am All age Communion The Methodist Church 10.30am All age worship and Holy Communion with Rev. Joanne Sherwood


Pizza and Film Night Blunham Village Hall presents a Pizza and film night on Saturday 16th November 2019. The film Italian Job starring Michael Caine. The story is about a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam. Doors Open 6:30pm with Pizza, salad and garlic bread served at 7:00pm followed by the film. Tickets cost £10.00 Bar and Raffle.Contact Stella Harding 01767 640515 to reserve your place. Reservations and ticket payment must be received by the 10th November. Refreshments available during the interval.

Blunham Community Cinema Blunham Community Cinema, held in the village hall, presents on Friday 29th November, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (Cert 12a) starring Mike Myers and Rami Malek. The story of the legendary rock band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985). Film starts promptly 7.30 pm doors open 7pm. Tickets costs Adults £5.00. Children £2.50. Family (2A + 2C) £12.00. Sweets, Drinks, Ice cream and pop-corn are available. For tickets or any further information contact 07783 046020.

43 9.00am 11.30am 3.00pm Monday 25 11.00am

Other Services All age Communion at Moggerhanger Sung Communion at Cople Forest Church at Moggerhanger Park Orange & Green Bin Collection Benefice Tiny Tots Singalong Praise at Cople Church Benefice Choir Practice at 4 Grange Way

7.15pm Tuesday 26 9.00-11.30 Coffee Pot at Methodist Church. Coffee, Cake, Chat and toddler play area. 10.00-3.30 Grange Estate Volunteers. Wear stout boots, water proofs. Bring a packed lunch. Ring Darren Woodward 01234 762603 Wednesday 27 7.30pm Carpet Bowls in Cople Village Hall Thursday 28 9.00am Benefice Morning Prayer at St. Lawrence’s Church 10.00-11.30 Playgroup at Cople village hall 10.00am Walking Group meet at Village Hall Friday 29 7.30pm Willingtones band practice at Methodist Church Saturday 30 St. Andrew’s Day 10.30 - noon Fairtrade Christmas Coffee Morning and book stall at St. Lawrence 8.30pm Live music at the Crown with Threeza Crowd - a nice mix of songs by The Beatles, Eagles, Tom Petty, Christopher Cross, Lindisfarne, plus blues and other Americana


Please use this event planner once each month to put dates in your diary well in advance. It will help to avoid clashes and also let you schedule things you don’t want to miss. If there are events missing from this list, please let me know - on 01234 831704 or email to Regular monthly events can normally be worked out as follows (but check the What’s On section to make sure of the current month): First Tuesday (odd numbered months) Parish Council meeting First Wednesday - Royal British Legion lunch First Wednesday - Moggerhanger Monthly Social Evening


45 First Thursday - Evergreen Club First Saturday - Fairtrade Coffee Morning and Book Sale Second Monday - Monday Lunch at Methodist Church (not Aug.) Second Tuesday - Knit & Stitch Club at 8 Grange Way Second Tuesday - Tuesday Club at Cople Village Hall (not Aug.) Second Tuesday - WI at Bowls Club New Road Great Barford Second Saturday - Coffee Morning at Methodist Church (not Aug.) Third Tuesday - Willington Local History Group (September to April) Third Wednesday - St Lawrence Luncheon Club Third Wednesday - Messy Church


6 December Carols in the Cabin at Danish Camp 7 December Christmas Village Market 8 December St. John’s Hospice Lights of Love 9 December Monday Lunch at Methodist Church 10 December Tuesday Club - Christmas Celebration 10 December WLHG ‘Mischief, Morality and Murder – Rob Bollington 13 December Nativity Pageant 14 December Coffee Morning at Methodist Church 18 December Messy Church 20 December Last day of School before Christmas 6 January 21 January 23 January 14 February 18 February 24 February 17 March 3 April 21 April 21 April 22 May 1 June 17 July 21 July 7 September


First day of School WLHG WWII – the Willington Connection Clothing collection to raise funds for Sheerhatch School, drop at either School site before 9am. List of items Last day of School before Half Term WLHG ‘Joyce Godber – Celebrating a Life’ School restarts WLHG ‘The Admiral Byng Controversy’ – Phil Dover Last day of School before Easter First day of School WLHG & Willingtones Joint Social Evening ‘Songs from the Shows’ Last day of School before Half Term School restarts Last day of School before Summer Holiday WLHG Trip to Highclere (Downton Abbey Location) First day of School




Dave Spencer came along to the Evergreens meeting on 3 October to give us an insight into what it was like to live in South Africa in the “Good” Old Days under apartheid. Dave emigrated to South Africa with his parents when he was 14 years of age, from the north of England, returning later in life in 1990. Apartheid was modelled on five pillars. 1.

Education – teachers were white, cleaners were black


Group Areas Acts – Sowerto would probably be the best known area for blacks which is outside Johannesburg whites.


Pass Laws – black people need a pass to work in white areas, where they were employed as servants or garden boys.


Prohibition of mixed marriages – even if couples were married abroad they were not allowed to live together in South Africa.


Reservation of separate amenities - 1 bus for whites 1 for others, as well as train carriages being segregated.

How would we respond if the tables were turned? Our next meeting will be on 7th November and this will be our AGM with Dorothy Jamieson talking to us for a short time afterwards. Ruth Caves

Brian Peers I would like to thank everyone who came to say goodbye to Brian who passed away on 31st May 2019 and to those of you who couldn’t make it but sent your condolences. Thank you all for the lovely cards, kind words and donations to Meningitis Now. Thank you to Revd. Katie Franks for the lovely service and support and thank you to Gail and Roy at Danish Camp for the delicious food. Brian is now back home in his beloved Willington resting peacefully with his dear mum and dad. Mandy Field



Employee relations issues Redundancy and reorganisations Severance, including settlement agreements Discipline, grievance, capability and appeal handling Attendance management Bespoke terms and conditions and contracts of employment Variation of employment contracts TUPE Employment Tribunal claims and representation Policies and procedures Will act for employer or employee side 07717 882114 Informed professional and practical advice

Letter Box Hi Shane,

May I use a few lines in the magazine to say a huge thank you to the person who stopped to help and took me home in her car after I fell and broke my hip in Station Road on 30 September. I have no idea who my 'Good Samaritan' is as I didn't get her name but I hope she will read this as I believe she is a Willington resident. She went out of her way to help and ensured I was safe although I would hazard a guess the she was on her way to work. Her care and kindness restored my faith in human nature. Perhaps the preceding 4 or 5 vehicles that passed had higher priorities than an elderly woman collapsed at the side of the road just after 7 a.m! Regards, Mrs P Butler



Once again it is that time of year when preparations are being made for the selling of poppies for Remembrance Day. Volunteers are needed for Street Collecting and also Collectors for Frosts Garden Centre. If you could spare a small amount of time to either take on some street collecting, or an hour or two to help at Frosts Garden Centre please contact Sylvia on 01234 838747. Your help will be very much appreciated. Thank you, Sylvia Phipp


ROYAL BRITISH LEGION SANDY AND DISTRICT BRANCH The Branch lunch at the Crown, Willington continues to be popular. We meet on the first Wednesday of each month 12.30pm for 1pm. Everyone welcome. Our trip to Skegness on 14 September was a great success. The weather was amazing and a few of our members even had a paddle. It is that time of the year when we need help with the Poppy Appeal. Volunteers are needed for Street collecting and also for Frosts Garden Centre, Willington. Please contact Sylvia Phipp: 01234 838747 if you can help even for an hour or two would be appreciated. We also collect at TESCO in Sandy. Please contact our Poppy Appeal Organiser Cheryl Watkins: 07894345434 if you can help in Sandy. Saturday 16 November 2019: A remembrance Social will be held in The Conservative Club, Bedford Road, Sandy commencing 7.30pm. There will be music, buffet and a raffle will be held in aid of the Poppy Appeal. Prizes most welcome. Please contact Mary Baker (Branch Social Secretary/CSO 01767 225278) if you would like a ticket. Cost £10.00pp The Turkey & Tinsel holiday to Scarborough will be from 18 to 22 November 2019. I will be in contact with everyone who has booked when I know pick up time etc Christmas Dinner will be at the Toby Carvery by request on Friday 6 December 6.30pm for 7pm. Cost £10pp Members (£15.00 guests). This is a three course meal plus tea or coffee. Sandy Branch of the RBL is a very friendly Branch and new members are always welcome. Why not come along and see for yourself and hopefully, become a member. There is no age limit and you do not need to have served. We welcome everyone from the community to our social events. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at The Conservative Club, Sandy, commencing 8pm. Please contact Mary Baker 01767 225278 for further information or if you would like to attend any of our events. Everyone welcome. Mary Baker

Branch Community Support Officer / Social Secretary, 01767 225278




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Tuesday Club

Pauline Martingdale. Behind Closed Doors October 8th 2019 The Tuesday club listened to an account from Pauline, a retired prison officer, who spent 23 years at various jails including Holloway and Wormwood scrubs. Holloway prison was built in 1852 to resemble Warwick Castle. It became a women only establishment in 1902, until its closure in 2016. Ruth Ellis was the last woman to be executed there 13th July 1955. Prison is not necessarily the sombre place depicted in the media! Pauline witnessed a marriage ceremony in Holloway where the bride in a wedding dress was given away by the Governor. Nicknamed “Hitlers wife” Pauline was tough on discipline but always treated the inmates as people first, then as prisoners. She had an encounter with the “ghostly” grey lady on her rounds one night! Pauline met many other diverse characters in prison, the repeat offenders, the criminal families, the young mothers, the violent prisoners and the law breakers who used their time in prison to be educated and rehabilitated.

The talk concluded in rather an unusual and humorous way with Pauline singing about a young lady who disposed of her family illegally!! Eithne Dandy We next meet on Nov12th at Cople Village Hall 7 30 pm for Julie Ann Flower demonstration, with wine and mince pies. We will be going to the Crown at Northill for own Christmas dinner this year. The menu looks varied and delicious. It will be on 10th December with the time to be decided. Transport can be provided if required. There will be a sign up sheet (with menu choices) at our November meeting or contact a committee member.



Village Hall 200 Club August 2019

Drawn by Mrs. S. K. Cross 35 75 90 23 48

£20.00 £5.00 £5.00 £5.00 £5.00

Mrs I. Lansberry Miss L. Wells Mr S. Williamson Mr J. Filby Mr R. Bollington

September 2019

Drawn by Mrs. J. Taylor 120 139 70 42 14 99 72 75

£100.00 £75.00 £50.00 £20.00 £5.00 £5.00 £5.00 £5.00

Mrs J. Winterbotham Mrs J. Taylor Mrs E. Eagle Ms S. Shepherd Mrs M. E. Stokes Mr P. Emery Mrs A. Monoghan Miss L. Wells

As requested by a village resident, we are now going to publish the weekly winners and numbers for the 59 Club, which is based on the Lotto main draw bonus ball.

Village Hall 59 Club September 2019

Date Bonus ball 7 8 14 28 21 54 28 26

No Winner No Winner No Winner J. & P. Hickton

Where there is “No Winner” it is because no-one has yet bought that number. Both the 200 Club and the 59 Club have numbers available, so if you wish to help support the Village Hall by participating in these draws, please contact Colin Page on 01234 838109


CHRISTMAS LUNCH AND DINNER MENU We will be serving Christmas lunch (Wednesday to Sunday) and Christmas dinner (Wednesday to Saturday) from 4 to 22 December 2019 inclusive. A non-refundable deposit of £10 per person will secure your booking. Please telephone 01234 831024 to book, pre-order and advise of any special requirement.

To Start Curried parsnip soup, warm crusty bread Smoked salmon & mackerel terrine, caper crème fraiche, watercress (GF) Moroccan chicken skewers, yogurt & mint dressing Warm goats cheese, balsamic roast figs & walnut salad (v)

Mains Roast Norfolk turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables (GF) Braised lamb shoulder, crushed root bubble & squeak, greens, rosemary jus (GF) Duo of seafood: bacon wrapped salmon, seabass fillet, coarse grain mustard, grilled potatoes, fine green beans (GF) Spaghetti, roast squash, broccoli, spinach, tomato (v)

To Follow Christmas pudding, brandy sauce Gingerbread & orange cheesecake (v) Roasted pear & apple bread & butter pudding, rum sauce (v) Chocolate torte, raspberry sorbet (v)

TWO COURSES £23.95; THREE COURSES £27.95 The '(v)' symbol means that the dish may be suitable for vegetarians. (GF) means gluten free. All our food is prepared in a kitchen in which nuts, cereals containing glutens and other foods known to cause allergic reactions may be present. Our menu descriptions do not include all ingredients. Please let us know before ordering if you have a food allergy or intolerance. Full allergen information for food and drink is available upon request.



November brings a rare and special event to the daytime sky. The planet Mercury, being the closest planet to the Sun, orbits our star roughly once every 88 days. When it passes between the Earth and Sun, an event called inferior conjunction, we cannot normally see the planet due to it’s close proximity to the solar glare. However, about 13 times each century, the angle of the orbits of Mercury and the Earth are such that the planets line up exactly with the Sun. On these occasions the planet passes right across the solar disk from our vantage point here on Earth, an event known as a transit, and we can see it’s dark silhouette against the Sun’s disk. These are rare events; if we miss this one, we will have to wait until Nov 13th 2032 to see the next! This is the good news. The bad news is that special precautions need to be taken to be able to view this special event, to avoid damage to our eyesight. The size of Mercury’s disk is tiny compared to the Sun, so a telescope is needed to see the transit, and this MUST be protected with special filters. Unless you have this equipment, and know what you’re doing, you should not try to observe this event. This means the transit will sadly be missed by most of us, but it is still worthy of mention, nevertheless! Meanwhile, in the night time sky, the Winter constellations are beginning to come into view once more. The most well known of these is Orion the Hunter, but this is still quite low down in the east


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59 during November. However, above Orion lies the constellation Taurus, the Bull. This is a fine constellation, and contains many objects of interest. Perhaps the most conspicuous and easily seen are two star clusters that require no optical aid to see, although the view through binoculars will give more impressive views. These are The Hyades and The Pleiades. The Hyades (pronounced “High-Add-Ease”) is a large star cluster that form a bright “V” shape. This is the head of Taurus the Bull, although a little imagination may be needed here! The cluster numbers a few hundred stars in total. Most are quite faint and require a telescope to see, but the brighter stars forming the “V” are easily seen with the naked eye. The brightest member of the group is the red-giant star Aldeberan, over 40 times the size of our Sun. The cluster is one of the closest such objects to the Earth, being a mere 151 light-years away! We are therefore observing it as it was 151 years ago due to the time light takes to travel to us. The second cluster, The Pleiades (pronounced “Play-Add-Ease” or “Ply-Add-Ease”), are a little trickier to spot since they are much further away from us, around 444 light-years, and are therefore smaller and fainter. Fortunately, they appear close to the Hyades in the sky, which serves as a signpost to help locate them. To the unaided eye the cluster appears as a faint misty group of stars resembling the Plough in shape. They formed around 100 million years ago, condensing out of a huge cloud of gas, the remnants of which can still be seen in long exposure photographs, being lit-up by the starlight. The other, perhaps better known, name of the Pleiades is the Seven Sisters. The name originates, like so many names in the heavens, in Greek mythology. The Pleiades were the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas, who held up the sky, and the oceanid nymph Pleione, the protector of sailing. The sisters were Maia, Electra, Alcyone, Taygete, Asterope, Celaeno and Merope, who were also said to be half-sisters of the Hyades. Although they are called the seven sisters, even on a really clear night, most people can see no more than six stars with the naked eye. Perhaps people’s eyesight was better in ancient times, but is more likely due to skies being more polluted these days. Have a try and see how many you can see! The Solar System this month NEW MOON – 26th Nov FIRST QUARTER – 4th Nov



FULL MOON – 12th Nov LAST QUARTER – 19th Nov MERCURY – Passes directly between the Earth and Sun on 11th Nov (solar transit!) and rapidly moves to it’s greatest apparent distance to the west of the Sun (western elongation). It should be visible from around the 20th of the month in the early morning sky in the south east. VENUS – Very bright in the evening sky in the south west by the end of the month. It will be close to the Moon on the 28th Nov, to it’s left. MARS – visible in the south east in the early morning sky before sunrise. JUPITER – Bright (but not as bright as Venus) and low down in the south west in the early evening. It too will be close to the Moon on the 28th Nov, to it’s right. SATURN – Low in the south in the early evening and quite conspicuous to the east of brighter Jupiter. It will be just above the Moon on the 2nd Nov and on the 29th Nov. URANUS & NEPTUNE – Too faint to be seen without a telescope. Please feel free to email me any questions or suggestions for future articles. Most of all – keep looking up!

Kevin Earp,



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WILLINGTON’S WILDERNESS Ivy – if there is ever a ‘Marmite’ sort of plant then ivy has to be well up there with the leaders; it has a dual personality and, consequently, it has both detractors and fans, and, those who are a bit of both – and I belong in the latter camp, although with a more firmly planted foot in the ‘fans’ camp. Hedera helix or Ivy is a tough, evergreen climber which is as much at home forming carpets of leaves across grass and under trees as it is twining up trees, often to the very top of the tree and completely shrouding it, often forming massive, choking stems up to several inches thick and I have seen it enclosing trees rather like some sort of sinister, encasing external skeleton, like something out of the ‘Alien’ films. And it is mainly that habit that causes it so much dislike. Ivy is climber, scrambler and creeper; it creeps across the ground but once it reaches a tree it can climb up to 100 ft or more in height. The young leader stems are thin and flexible and can ‘feel’ their way across bark and snake into crevices and use their small, aerial roots to grip onto the rough surfaces very tightly – they also produce a ‘glue’ to help the attachment. But this doesn’t cause the


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65 problem; ivy doesn’t strangle, destroy or poison trees but there is no doubt that, especially during the winter, the large mass of green ivy leaves spread across a bare tree (which would usually enable any strong winds to pass through) acts like a sail so preventing the winds from passing through – if the tree is weakened through disease or has a poor root system then the formula; strong wind + weak tree blanketed in ivy = tree blown down. So, if you reduce the amount of ivy by severing some of the stems at chest height then the resistance will be reduced. And there is also no doubt that a thick covering of ivy on a tree can also affect the tree by reducing the amount of light getting to the leaves during summer so making the tree less efficient and possibly reducing its health. Does ivy affect walls? Like so much about ivy, the jury seems to be out on this one. There is no doubt that it can look nice; sparrows and other small birds like to nest in it and studies have shown that, being evergreen, it can actually help to insulate your house in the winter and keep it cool in summer. The waxy leaves deflect water away from the walls so keeping them drier. Depending on the wall substrate, it is now considered that ivy can only damage walls if the wall is already damaged as the small rootlets can penetrate the existing damage and widen the cracks. Ivy is also very mildly poisonous and the plant itself, if handled with





67 bare hands, can cause contact dermatitis and/or rashes (it does that to me). But, on the other hand, ivy is the source of compounds that can help with breast cancer, asthma, COPD and has antiinflammatory properties. As I said, swings and roundabouts‌ Ivy is also hugely important for wildlife. It is thick, bushy and evergreen and provides winter hibernation sites for butterflies and other insects and cover for roosting birds and bats. During the summer it provides nest sites for birds. But, most importantly, ivy has another twist – it flowers in late summer/early autumn (when most flowers and sources of nectar have finished) and it produces berries during the winter (when most berries are becoming depleted). Out for a walk on a warm autumn afternoon recently I could smell the most amazing honey scent and around a corner was a huge mass of flowering ivy covered with those attractive fuzzy yellow balls of flowers. And you could hear the insects before you even got close. Humming and buzzing they were feasting like a banquet on the flowers which were dripping with nectar. Solitary bees, honeybees, hoverflies, wasps, flies and butterflies (and, at night, moths) were swarming all over the flowers which were providing that so important, late stockup, before winter hibernation. Which is so important for our wildlife. And, during the winter, the stock of matt black berries provide food for birds and small mammals. The Holly Blue; a butterfly like a small, silvery scrap of blue sky, lays its eggs on holly in the spring and ivy in the summer, and the Ivy Bee; a beautiful, harmless, small bee and a new arrival in the UK, bases most of its life history around ivy. So, ivy, on balance, really is an important plant for all kinds of reasons – just keep an eye on it and, if it is doing no harm let it grow luxuriantly and produce flowers and berries; if you need to control it then sever a percentage of the stems every now and then to keep it under control so then everyone wins (and benefits). Steve Halton



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THE LAWN DOCTOR’S ADVICE As the penultimate month of the year beckons, my correspondence this month is full of stories from gardeners rendered incredulous by unusual sights in their gardens. Primroses and Marigolds that have been in flower most of the year, even Grape Hyacinth coming into bloom in mid-October rather than its more normal March, it would appear, UK gardens are changing. Are we witnessing ‘global warming’? For me, the science is unequivocal. Yes we are. But to paraphrase Heraclitus, ‘everything is always in flux’, so the changes we may be viewing now are simply rather more conspicuous than other changes that have taken place throughout our lives. And of course, putting a new name on an already existing phenomenon always gives the illusion that it is itself, new. And as always, it is the job of the gardener to work to the conditions we have rather than go by a calendar or any other artifice. After an enormous amount of rain in mid-October, though much needed, it is worth taking particular care on any areas that are prone to flooding in your garden. Working on land that is saturated underneath can cause serious damage to soil structure which will lead to problems down the line so, if any doubt, steer well clear for the time being. Every year at this time, I receive questions about whether to cut lawns or not and every year, my advice is thus: it depends on the lawn and it depends on the mower! If conditions, allow, mowing grass at this time is fine. Sporting clubs, golf courses etc., will often continue cutting grass throughout the winter. A roller on the back of the back generally creates less damage than wheels but, only you can decide whether the pros outweigh the cons! The grass will certainly continue to grow until the ground temperature drops. One advantage of mowing at this time of the year is that the mower will collect detritus blown onto it such as leaves. And of course, the longer the grass the more likely the leaves are to become entangled in it so providing you are not causing damage, its fine to keep mowing. In the October issue of the BBC Gardeners World magazine, they run a consumer test on the best ‘robot’ lawn mowers currently available which has prompted a few questions along the lines of ‘are they any good?’. For me, cutting grass has always been a


71 task I enjoyed doing so I thought I would throw it open to you. If you use a robot lawn mower, what has been your verdict? Would you recommend their use to others? Please get in touch via the details above and I will report back over the coming months. Last month’s just for fun question, was in two parts: 1. What is the correct botanical name of the plant commonly known as ‘Butterfly Bush’? Answer: Buddleia. And 2. Why is it called this? Answer: It was posthumously named after the acclaimed Botanist and Rector, Reverend Adam Buddle (1662-1715). Over the years, I have heard a number of people complaining about this plant but simply, if you want a steady stream of beautiful butterflies weaving around your garden, you really need to have at least one of these. As if that is not reason itself, they are incredibly easy to grow – a source of some of their unjust criticism – have beautiful and very long lasting flowers which actually have a similar scent to lilac. They will need an annual prune and they do respond to dead heading but they reward one handsomely. There are even dwarf varieties. This month’s question is, a qualified gardener friend tells you to be careful of ‘wind rock’; what do they mean? Thank you all very much for your correspondence, I really enjoy receiving it, please keep it coming - and do please contact me with any gardening tasks or queries you may have using the details below or at . Lawn Doctor Garden Services, 6 Sand Lane, Northill, Bedfordshire SG18 9AD Telephone 01767 627581 or 07796 328855 Tree Care, Planting, Weeding, Hedge Trimming, Turfing, Jungle Clearing, Landscaping, Lawn Improvement, Patio/Drive Pressure Washing/Weedkilling, Holiday Watering etc., etc.



History Group Bedford Borough Councillors Chair: Mr. F. Fattori, 28 Church Road Tel: 831527 Mr. S. Moon, Tel: 870061 Ms. P. Martin-Moran-Bryant Tel: 07934 853907 Knit & Stitch Club Bedford Disabled Horse Riding Jessie Horlock Tel: 831704 Association Mrs. Jean Bedford Meningitis Trust Tel: 838362 Maureen Alban Tel: 838770 Beavers, Cubs & Scouts Contact Emma Whiterod Mobile Library Tel: 07908 167356 Tel: 01234 276453 Alternate Fridays Bell Ringers 13:40 The School Contact: Mike Vacher 14:05 Churchill Place Tel: 831207 14:25 The Crown Brownies 14:50 outside 59 Station Rd Brown Owl: Karen Murray Moggerhanger Village Hall Mobile: 07775 507749 Bookings - Chris Bashford 01767 640242, Events - Carolyn Lister Carpet Bowls 01767 640727 Secretary : Pauline Bowles Monday Lunch Tel : 838102 Pat Lilley 07596 730725 Conservative Association Chair: Daphne Payne Mothers Union Tel: 838454 Contact: Jill Ebbs Cricket Club - Cople Tel : 838659 Chris Gregory 838396 National Trust Evergreen Club Phil O'Donoghue Chair: Mrs. Sylvia Phipp Tel: 01480 301494 Tel: 838747 Neighbourhood Watch Fairtrade Area coordinator: Graham Tillett Organisers: Janet & Colin Taylor Mob:07955 851518 18 Church Road Tel: 838579 email: Forest of Marston Vale Liaison: Sam Hayden Over 60's Club - Cople Tel: 01234 767037 Secretary : Hazel Shreeves Tel : 838817 Friends of St. Lawrence Chair: Tich Endersby Tel: 838278

Play Group - Cople Steph, 07591 108746 Police - non emergency tel 101

Local Policing Team: lpt.gtbarford&roxton@bedfordshir PCSO Calum McHattie Calum.Mchattie@bedfordshire.p Royal British Legion Mrs Mary Baker Tel: 01767 225278 Sheerhatch Primary School Head Teacher: Helen Johnson Tel: 838 280 Sports & Social Club Cople Chair: David Hughes Tel : 838669 Tuesday Club Joy Duthie Tel : 838407 Village Agent / BRCC 0800 0391234 Wendy Worgan 07717 269440 Village Hall Bookings & Caretaker Tresa Wood, 7 Warren Farm Tel: 07508 620319

Village Hall Chairman Mr. M. Endersby, 21 Chapel Lane. Tel: 838278 Village Hall Postcode MK44 3QB (quote for defibrillator) Village Hall - Cople Bookings: Catherine Bayliss Tel : 838704 Village Market Bookings: Sarah Jewers Tel: 07775 613244

Coordinator: Emma Parker Tel: 831628 / 07905 281629

Walking Group Thursday 73 Mrs. Marian Briscoe Tel: 838759 Walking Group Tuesday Frank Coxon Tel: 01234 871321 Willington Allotments Terry Wilkinson Tel: 838166 Willington Cricket Club Dino Biagioni Tel: 831014 Willington Fete Daniel Silson 07813 473 487 Email Willington Good Neighbour Group For our help call 07779 906 020 Chair: Shane Horlock Tel: 831704 Willington Parish Council Clerk: Sue Bottoms 17 Willow Springs, Cranfield MK43 0DS Tel: 751300 Chair: Gordon Vowles 5 Beauchamp Place Tel: 838619 Willington Village web site Willingtones Band Gwynneth Akins Tel: 838270 Willingtots Pre-School Manager Tel: 07972 148085 Women’s Institute (Gt. Barford) Tel: 870516 (Renhold) Diane Hill Tel: 871183 200 & 59 Club Mr. C. Page, 17a Church Rd. Tel: 838109


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Church of St. Lawrence, Willington Vicar Reverend Fiona Gibson, The Vicarage, Cople Tel: 838145 Church Wardens Alison Witchell, Barn End, Manor Farm Ann Stevens, 19B Chapel Lane

Tel: 838114 Tel: 838710

Services every Sunday at 10.15am.

The Methodist Church, Willington Minister New minister to be appointed Stewards Mrs P. Lilley, 11 Station Road Tel: 838667 Mr K. Lilley, 11 Station Road Tel: 838667 Organist Miss G. Akins, 3 Church Road Tel: 838270 Services Café Church – 1st Sunday of month at 10.30am All age worship – all other Sundays at 10.30am Lettings Miss G. Akins Tel: 838 270

Roman Catholic Church of Christ the King Harrowden Road, Bedford Services: Sundays at 10.00am and Saturdays at 6.00pm

The Society of Friends

5 Lansdowne Road, Bedford Services: Sundays at 10.30am


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The Willington Villager November 2019  

Monthly magazine for the village of Willington, Bedfordshire

The Willington Villager November 2019  

Monthly magazine for the village of Willington, Bedfordshire