It will be a sober Christmas for Unwins staff this year after it emerged that all of its 350 stores - including five in the Luton area - have closed.
The chain has made a total of 1,400 workers redundant, after accountants KPMG were called in as administrators on Monday after attempts to sell some of the stores fell flat.
There are Unwins stores in Riddy Lane, Luton, West Street and High Street North in Dunstable and in Barton and Eaton Bray.
The closure of the Eaton Bray store comes just two months after staff were threatened by two robbers armed with a gun and crowbar who made off with a large amount of cash.
Source: Herald & Post, 22 December 2005
A bid to extend The Paddocks care home on Green Belt land in Springfield Road, Eaton Bray, looks likely to fail.
A proposed extension, which would provide four additional beds with toilet facilities, is due to be considered by South Beds District Council's planning committee on Wednesday.
The applicants argue that a shortage of care homes in the area and the design of the extension are sufficient reason for the council to relax rules governing development in the Green Belt.
The committee, however, will also consider an officer's report recommending refusal.
The officer's grounds for this advice include that: "The proposed extension would, because of its size, sitting and appearance, be out of character with the existing residential care home and other properties in the locality and harmful to the established character of this rural location."
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 13 December 2005
The first Eaton Bray Parish Council 'surgery' went well, giving members of the public a chance to share their thoughts with parish councillors on local issues.
Twelve people turned up at the Coffee Tavern last Saturday to discuss topics such as nuissance youths, speeding in the village and the problem of overhanging bushes.
Councillors added a number of these topics to the agenda of thir next monthly parish council meeting, and plan another public surgery in March.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 13 December 2005
On a happier note, it's time to put on your thinking caps for the 15th annual charity Christmas Puzzle set by Northall villager Gordon Gray.
You can download the puzzle from www.christmaspuzzle.co.uk and the idea is that you should send in your answers, with a donation to charity, by January 22.
There's lots of info on the website, and I loved the section where people could comment on the 2004 puzzle.
One puzzler said: "What a lovely way of wasting time." Another remarked: "Difficult but not impossible. What more can a puzzler ask? Congratulations on keeping the little grey cells jumping about and supporting so many worthwhile charities."
But this was my favourite comment: "Much pleasure and frustration with the puzzle as usual. Can now use the kitchen table for meals, having put away a multitude of reference books."
Gordon has raised more than £18,000 from his puzzles over the years for good causes. This year, the puzzle will raise cash for Iain Rennie Hospice At Home; Emmaus, St Albans; and NOAH Enterprise. What an incentive to get puzzling! Pass the encyclopaedia, someone...
Source: Gazette Gossip, with Anne O'Donoghue, Dunstable Gazette, 14 December 2005
A summary of this month's meeting, along with a downloadable copy of the full minutes is now available from the Parish Council website.Minutes of Meeting: Monday 5th December 2005
Source: Eaton Bray Parish Council
Tyrone Spence will never forget seeing at first hand the scenes of devastation that followed the Asian tsunami.
He was among a team that flew out with charity Mission Direct to Sri Lanka eight weeks after the Boxing Day tsunami struck.
Now, as the first anniversary of the horrific disaster approaches, he is urging self-financing volunteers to come forward with offers of practical help to bring joy into the lives of orphans in northern Sri Lanka.
Those volunteers play their part by spending just two weeks of their life working on a project to improve and extend an orphanage in a small town called Kilinochchi, in a Tamil-controlled area.
Tyrone, lives with wife Angela, and children Oliver, Natalie, and Rosanna, and formerly lived in Eaton Bray.
He is a former churchwarden of St Mary's Church, Eaton Bray, and is the owner and managing director of Colour Quest in Hemel Hempstead.
Tyrone is also among volunteers backing efforts by Mission Direct, based in Luton, to help people in Sri Lanka to rebuild their lives.
In the latest issue of Church of England newsletter Seeround, he told of the sights that met his eyes when he travelled out to Sri Lanka after the tsunami.
"Nothing prepared me for waht I saw. It was as though an atom bomb had been dropped on the coastline - everything was flattened," he said.
"I was bewildered by the sheer power of the tsunami wave, which was the height of two coconut trees."
On their visit, the Mission Direct team met 55 girls living in the orphanage which they have since been helping, run by the church in Kilinochchi.
Tyrone said: "As we met these children, who had only 25 beds between them, it brought tears to our eyes."
Six of the youngsters were left orphans after the tsunami disaster and were now facing life without their families.
The team had an on-the-spot whipround and managed to come up with enough cash to provide more beds for the girls.
Volunteers have been going out to Kilinochchi since July to help build an extension to the girls' orphanage, a new kitchen and toilets.
Tyrone said: "By building a new dormitory, we will give each child a bed and a sense of dignity. But we need volunteers and we need money for building materials.
"Each trip lasts for two weeks, so you don't have to put your whole life on hold to volunteer. No skills required - just enthusiasm!"
To find out more, and to obtain an application form, email email@example.com or telephone Mission Direct in Luton on 01582 720056.
Source: Anne O'Donoghue, Dunstable Gazette, 7 December 2005
The Ivinghoe branch of the Workers Educational Association will be running number of courses in spring 2006.">
Established in 1950 and providing courses locally for over five decades, their spring course list is now available. This downloadable document also contains brief details about WEA:
Have you been on previous WEA courses in Ivinghoe or Pitstone? Let us know what you thought by leaving a comment below.
Police who swooped on a house in Eaton Bray on Thursday seized a quantity of cannabis resin and confiscated £10,700 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
A man was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and intent to supply illegal substances. He was later released on police bail.
Beds Police spokesman Dave Cook said that investigating officers successfully applied for authority to hold onto the cash for three months, pending further enquiries.
The office leading the case is Detective Constable Martin Eaton abd he can be contacted in confidence by telephoning 01234 841212.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 6 December 2005
Christmas came early for pensioners when they visited Eaton Bray Lower School for some festive fun.
The Northall branch of Age Concern was invited to the school to tuck into mince pies and stretch their vocal chords with some Christmas Carols.
The pupils and adults had a great fime on the day and are looking forward to the upcoming Christmas concert.
Liz Constable from the school said: "We have quite close ties with Age Concern, and always invite them every year for a Christmas afternoon of singing and mince pies. At the harvest festival this year we gave them a hamper filled with food and the children love having them here.
"Everyone enjoyed themselves and we've already had a Chsitmas card thanking us for a good afternoon."
Source: Dunstable Gazette, 30 November 2005