Archives of Eaton Bray News for June 2007.
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June 2007

MP opens new tennis courts

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Anyone for tennis? Over 100 people braved the showers to attend the launch of Eaton Bray's new tennis courts.

Free taster sessions were available on the resurfaced courts, which cost £35,000, partly funded by donations from Sports and Arts Foundation and the local Network Fund. Local MP Andrew Selous had a few games and later officially opened the courts.

Andrew Selous playing at the Eaton Bray Tennis Club open day

The event, in School Lane, was arranged as part of the National Lawn Tennis Association's Play Tennis days.

Club members rallied to provide a barbecue for hungry tennis players and 26 new members signed up on the day making it their most successful single recruitment event ever.

The club netted a National Lottery grant four years ago which helped to build a clubhouse with excellent facilities and also install floodlights on two of the courts.

A third court will be re-surfaced later this year at a cost of £18,000, "so the fund-raising continues" said club member Andy Cross.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 26 June 2007

Open gardens raise over £6,000

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Open Gardens 2007
Photography by Alison Grant
The rain kept off during the weekend as the area held its second annual open gardens day - and it proved a runaway success raising £1,400 for repairs to St Mary's Church, Eaton Bray, and another £2,800 for the Chilterns MS Centre.

The parish church has adopted the MS centre as its main charity fund-raising project this year and church members will be hoping to raise more money later in the year.

The gardens on show ranged from a tiny, beautifully-tended plot to rampant, semi-wild areas and even one with a medieval moat.

Hundreds of visitors toured the gardens and returned, inspired to the Memorial Hall, Edlesborough, to buy plants and refreshments as well as voting for their favourite garden.

Kevin Yeomans, owner of Garden Scene Garden Centre in The Rye, Eaton Bray, sponsored The People's Choice, voted for by visitors to the open garden event. Every one of the 10 gardens received votes and the winner, with 40% of the votes cast, was June Trott's garden in Moor End.

The event proved such a success that gardeners are already volunteering to open their gardens for next year's event on Sunday June 8.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 27 June 2007

Bolt of lightning blows up the telly

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

An Eaton Bray woman was sent reeling when lightning struck her home and blew up the television.

Firefighters were called to Waterside on Tuesday night at the height of a thunderstorm.

A bolt had hit the victim's satellite dish and bedroom TV but left the remaining household electricals in working order.

A spokesman for Leighton Fire and Rescue said: "The lady was downstairs when the lightning hit. We treated her for smoke inhalation but she was otherwise unhurt. Obviously she was very shaken up by the incident."

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 26 June 2007

June's garden is the top choice among open day visitors

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

A blooming good time was had by all at the open gardens event in Eaton Bray, Edlesborough and Northall.

And more than £4,000 for good causes was raised from the day, organised by members of St Mary's Church in Eaton Bray. Of that cash, £1,400 was raised for church repair funds, and £2,800 for the Chilterns MS Centre.

Hundreds of visitors toured 10 open gardens, which ranged from tiny, beautifully tended areas to some with rampant semi-wild sections - and even one with a medieval moat.

The visitors could also drop by at the Memorial Hall in Edlesborough, to buy plants, enjoy refreshments and vote for their favourite garden.

Open Gardens 2007

June Trott's garden, pictured, in Moor End was The People's Choice winner, attracting 40 per cent of the votes cast.

All of the gardens involved received votes in The People's Choice event, sponsored by Kevin Yeomans, of the Garden Scene garden centre in The Rye, Eaton Bray. It was only the second year that the open gardens event had been run, but it has already become an important date on the local calendar.

Villagers are already volunteering to open their gardens for next year's event, which will take place on Sunday, June 8.

St Mary's has adopted the MS centre as its main charity fundraising project this year, and church members hope to raise more money for the centre later this year.

For more photos, see Open Gardens 2007.

Source: Dunstable Gazette, 20 June 2007

Where should new estates go? It's time to speak out

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

The public is finally having its say on controversial plans to build thousands of homes in Leighton-Linslade - but they're being warned that there is now no stopping the development of the area.

Road-shows, manned by planners and council officers, will be coming to the town and nearby villages in July at the start of a three-month consultation exercise asking for the public's views on where massive new house building should go. There will be leaflets to every house in the district and an informative website. Everyone is being invited to comment.

But what they can't say is that "we don't want it." Councillor Tom Nicols, head of a powerful planning committee charged with finding room for 43,000 homes in Luton and South Beds, said development had to go somewhere in the areas indicated in yellow and purple on the map above, and it was now up to the public to give their opinions on where. "Saying no is not an option," he said.

Where building could be allowed: Click for full sized image
The yellow patches are proposed areas where expansion will be considered. Villages circled with purple could also be in the frame for some development, but the areas finally approved for development may be smaller in size.
Click image for full sized version.

There is a discernable change in tone from the draft consultation document revealed only seven weeks ago on May 1. That suggested that Leighton-Linslade and nearby villages could be completely spared from further development if enough people spoke out strongly against it. Five out of ten option maps shown in the draft did not include any new estates for the town at all and only one option out of ten proposed building in our villages. Half the options indicated that all of the new homes could be fitted around Luton and Dunstable.

Now, however, councillors are talking in a manner that makes clear they would only permit this to happen if they could be persuaded by a very strong, factual case indeed. Realistically, it seems Leighton must expect more estate building - the main questions are how much and where.

The committee had originally been told to site new homes in areas of deprivation - parts of Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis - in the hope that the accompanying infrastructure would regenerate the region. Leighton-Linslade had not been included in the equation.

But Ian Slater, Luton Council's head of planning, told a press conference to launch the consultation exercise: "Because Leighton-Linslade Town Council argued strongly that it wanted growth the government suggested we looked at Leighton-Linslade."

Initially the Luton/Dunstable/ Houghton Regis and Leighton-Linslade growth area joint planning and transportation committee asked landowners simply to identify any areas capable of sustaining housing.

While most came back earmarking plots of land in the district, a group of developers, headed by Arnold White and Willis Dawson, went one further and commissioned an in-depth blueprint on expanding the town by a third. They also encouraged local landowners to join their Eastern Leighton-Linslade Partnership with claims of offers of up to £lmillion an acre.

A storm of protest erupted in September after the LBO exclusively revealed details of their planning brief. It suggested a scheme to site at least 6,000 houses (first phase) plus £50million of infrastructure that will include a new arterial duel-carriageway running from the Leighton Bypass to Heath Road, shops, schools, health centre, employment zones and leisure facilities.

Planners from both South Beds and Luton have studied developers' and land-owners representations and have now released an initial blueprint outlining options for growth. The maps for Leighton-Linslade highlight the east Leighton scheme plus two additional pockets of development, off Wing Road and Derwent Road, Linslade. Heath and Reach, Eaton Bray and Hockliffe are also flagged up for limited expansion while the edge of Eggington may be swallowed up by the vast eastern expansion zone.

Cllr Nicols said he wanted the public to come back with their ideas on where building should take place and the density of growth they preferred. He said: "If you go for low density, which people would demand, then we will need more land - people's paddocks will disappear.

"If we have high density then we subject the population to a less than suitable lifestyle. We want the public to give us a sense of balance.

"We won't agree the planning carte blanche. We don't want to see pieces just tacked onto Leighton-Linslade. We need to have key infrastructure in place and to integrate the growth into the existing area."

Mr Slater said the scale of growth was "massive".

"Development of this scale will require thousands of hectares but it is an amazing opportunity for the ' public to become involved," he said.

Building is not expected to begin until 2011.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 19 June 2007

Eaton Bray WI

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Womens InstituteEaton Bray WI plan to hold a coffee morning in July to raise further funds for the village hall refurbishment.

The group has also finalised plans for its summer outing in August as well as scheduling a number of social outings and activities throughout the summer months.

Guest speaker at the meeting was Lorna Salmon talking humorously about `50 Years on the Fiddle'.

Lorna took the group back to her childhood in Edinburgh, when at the age of 12 she took up playing the violin. She told how her father gave her the first full size violin, and mother had visions of Lorna becoming a concert violinist.

Her parents were very strict and ensured that violin practice took priority over any other childhood activities.

It was under the tutorship of her teacher, a stickler for practice, that Lorna was introduced to the wonderful world of classic music.

Lorna's father had a knack of volunteering her to play at local events that were usually Scottish dancing evenings.

Her career progressed and reached great heights when she played at the Edinburgh Festival, but alas never became that concert violinist her mother dreamed of.

Lorna's career was in teaching children the violin, until a genetic problem caused her to lose her sight, thus ending her teaching career.

However, Lorna still has a wide musical repertoire, and finished her story entertaining the meeting with a selection of Scottish reels, songs from the shows and much more.

The WI's next meeting is on Monday July 2 in Eaton Bray Village Hall at 7.30pm. New members and friends are always welcome.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 12 June 2007

Favourite Adverts

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Carnival Queen, Princess and AttendantsWe're almost ready for carnival on 7th July and here is our queen with the princess and attendants who are now preparing for their big day leading the procession and presiding over the occasion. Pictured are (back row from left) Katie Neal -attendant, Bethan Roberts -carnival princess, Emma Baldwin -attendant and in front, Melissa Sibley our carnival queen.

But before the big day, watch out for Clarabel the Cow's visit to the villages later in June. It's just £1 a shot to guess where Clarabel will make her special deposit and it might win you a big cash prize so make sure you don't miss Clarabel. And here are just some of the exciting things you can join in with on the day:

The Procession - get dressed up and come on a float or on foot.

Best Dressed House Competition - if you're home is on the procession route, give us a good display and you could win a beautiful trophy from our sponsor, Leighton Buzzard Observer.

Worm Charming - some amazing techniques and strong competition Silent Auction - place your bids for some top quality items.

Climbing Wall - new challenge this year scaling the heights.

Clarabel's Lucky Cash Prize - Don't miss Clarabel the Cow's performance in the arena. Guess where she will make her special deposit and you could win a substantial cash prize-the more guesses the bigger the prize!

The Grand Draw - Some of the best prizes for miles around.

Of course we'll also have vintage vehicles, belly dancing, chainsaw carving, traditional home baking, tombola, and many other sideshows, stalls and entertainments so make sure you're there for a fun filled day.

For more info, check out the carnival website

Source: Focus, June 2007

Search for Kenneth's relatives

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

I told you last week about a search for relatives of the late Kenneth George Evans, who used to live in Eaton Bray. You'll remember that I'd been contacted by someone looking back through family history and searching for information about Kenneth.

Linda Budd is researching the family tree of her partner Richard Evans, and needed a helping hand from Gazette readers.

She was looking for more information about Richard's uncle Kenneth George Evans.

They had thought that Kenneth died in the Second World War, but then found out that in fact he survived the war, and died in 1995.

The last known address that she could find for Kenneth was in Knights Close, Eaton Bray.

Richard's father was killed when his RAF plane came down on Dartmoor in 1941, on the day before he was born.

As he never knew his own father, he was very interested to hear that his uncle had survived the war.

I was pleased to hear that, following the mention in the Gazette, they have been contacted by various helpful folk - and an email has winged its way to them from one of Kenneth's sons.

Linda and Richard have now discovered several generations of relatives that they didn't know existed.

And they would like to thank everyone for all their help.

As I always say, if you want to know something, ask a Gazette reader.

Source: Anne O'Donoghue, Gazette Gossip, Dunstable Gazette, 13 June 2007

Anyone for tennis on club's new courts

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis ClubIt's that time of year again. With Wimbledon on the horizon, tennis clubs up and down the country are braced for a couple of weeks of mayhem as budding Tim Henmans and Andy Murrays queue up to hone their skills.

And Eaton Bray Tennis Club is no different. On Saturday (16th June) there's going to be a free taster session for adults and children, and South West Beds MP Andrew Selous is due to be there to officially opening the new courts at the top of School Lane, Eaton Bray, at midday.

There will also be a barbecue, tennis equipment sale and tennis-related games.

The event runs from 11.30am to 3pm.

Source: Dunstable Gazette, 13 June 2007

Open Gardens 2007

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Open GardensDid you see it? There deep in one of the gardens was a single simple, perfect rose. It caught my eye - not literally, of course - and summed up the day for me. We had taken a simple concept, opening gardens for the public, and turned it into something beautiful with a wonderful atmosphere that can only be found when hundreds of people with a shared interest come together and enjoy themselves.

For a full write up, see Open Gardens 2007.

Update: Photos from some of the gardens are now available.

Source: St Mary's Eaton Bray

Eaton Bray close the gap

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray beat North Crawley by 23 runs on Saturday to close the gap on Morrant Four Counties Division One leaders MK City.

Bray totalled 120 with John Salmon scoring 52 before dismissing North Crawley for 97 with Andy Norris taking 3-15 and Gary Ellerton 3-24.

Great Brickhill are in third place after handing leaders MK City their first defeat of the season.

City were all out for 119 with Nick Tweed taking 4-14 and Shannon Tubb 4-40.

Brickhill replied with 122-2 with Aaron Aris hitting 51 and Tubb 31.

Cublington were 113-run victors over Winslow with Steve George 56 and Phil Ellwood top scoring in their total of 245-5. Winslow were removed for 132 with Fenton Price taking 3-46.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 12 June 2007

Villagers bounce back and push champions all the way

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Morrants Four Counties Cricket League - Milton Keynes bounced back from last week's unwanted record-breaking total to push current Division One champions New Bradwell to the wire.

Against Eaton Bray they were shot out for just eight runs - seven of which were extras - but they responded against Bradwell eventually losing by just three wickets.

Sami Ali hit 31 as Milton Keynes totalled 153, but the defending champions proved to be too strong as they won with 158-7 with 34 from Andy Overton and 33 from Naseem Malik.

MK City remain top despite falling to their first defeat of the season, losing by eight wickets to Great Brickhill.

Abid Hussain hit 67 in City's opening knock but 4-14 from Brickhill's Nick Tweed restricted their total to 119. In reply Aaron Aris scored 51 as Brickhill scored 122 for the loss of just two wickets.

Eaton Bray's 23-run win over North Crawley saw them close the gap at the top to 12 points, John Salmon's 52 helping them to an opening innings total of 120. Crawley were all out for 97 as Andy Norris and Gary Ellerton took three wickets apiece for Eaton.

Elsewhere, Newport Pagnell Town (151-9) beat Mentmore (119) by 32 runs, James Chaplin hitting 25 not out for Newport with Gary Hefferon taking 3-10 off his 10 overs in the Mentmore innings. Cublington (245-5) beat Winslow Town (132) by 113 runs.

Source: Milton Keynes Citizen

Fitkid has arrived in Eaton Bray

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

TUESDAYS 6.00pm-7.00pm in the VILLAGE HALL

The children have LOTS OF FUN with a variety of equipment including balls, beanbags, hoops, skipping ropes, space hoppers and a parachute. Our classes concentrate on putting the fun back into fitness through games involving physical activity and play, and are aimed at school children aged 4-10.

Describing a typical session, Caroline Corcoran explains, "We follow the aerobic curve, so we start with stretching exercises and warm-up games, work up to higher intensity throughout the session and then work back down again. So we make sure we're giving children the aerobic workout needed for proper health benefits, but as far as they're concerned, they come along and have a great time."

Fitkid also offer Fitkid Magic birthday parties, combining lots of Fitkid activities, a few traditional party games and culminating in a magic show by local magician Stefano, a Member of The Magic Circle.

To find out more call Caroline on 08445 606 432, or email [email protected].

Source: Focus, June 2007

'Play Tennis' Day - 16th June

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

'Play Tennis' Day

Saturday 16th June
at Eaton Bray Tennis Club, School Lane, Eaton Bray

'Play Tennis' day is a FREE tennis taster session for adults and children. There will be lots of fun tennis related games and activities, competitions, free giveaways with Chiltern Radio, tennis equipment and clothes for sale by PWP, official opening ceremony for new courts by local MP Andrew Sealous (midday), BBQ and much more.

Join the Fun
at Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis Club on School Lane
11.30am to 3pm

Contact Ross Bagni on 01525 221411
with any questions or queries

Source: Focus, June 2007

Eaton Bray Village Hall Public Meeting - 18th June

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Your Hall Needs You!
A public meeting will take place at
Eaton Bray Village Hall
Monday 18th June, at 7.30pm

The trustees of Eaton Bray Hall invite ALL villagers to see the plans for the refurbishment of the existing toilets due to be carried out this summer.

The trustees would also like to discuss with you the progress being made towards the next major phase of the refurbishment, which will include a disabled toilet, creation of a meeting room along with a completely refitted kitchen and completion of replacing the present roof.

It is important to the trustees to have your input.

Please do come along.

Source: Focus, June 2007

Northall and District Age Concern

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

On Friday 4th May Len Rawle, international theatre organist, returned to our village for a second concert. He once again played his fabulous Yamaha HS8 electronic organ to a packed house at Eaton Bray Methodist Church and what a superb evening we all enjoyed. The original idea for the whole event came from Maurice Sanders, a lifelong Eaton Bray resident and an active member of both Eaton Bray Methodist Church and Northall and District Age Concern. The proceeds of the evening have been shared between both organisations.

Many thanks to everyone who supported this magical event.

Northall and District Age Concern members enjoy themselves each Wednesday at Northall village hall. They forget about aches and pains for a little while, spend time with their friends and enjoy a freshly cooked lunch. If you are on your own and a little bit lonely why not come along and try us out (most of our members tell us they wish they had joined sooner!)

The only thing we ask is that you are over 70 and live within the area of the four villages served by Focus.

If you are interested and want to know more, please contact Helen.

Source: Focus, June 2007

Eaton Bray skittle MK for eight runs!

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Visitors Eaton Bray cracked 222-5 batting first in the Morrant Four Counties League Division One match before Milton Keynes' sorry demise, only one run coming from the bat as the innings saw nine batsmen dismissed for nought.

A league spokesman confirmed this week that Milton Keynes' score was not only the lowest in the history of Division One but was also the lowest in the league.

The previous lowest Divison One score was 34 and posted by Great Brickhill in their clash with Olney Town in May 2003. The lowest league total of 28 was scored by Wing in their Division Four game against Biddenham in July 2004.

For the record the one run scored by a batsman came from Shahid Malik - the rest of the total made up of three wides and four leg byes. Three batsmen were caught, four were clean bowled, two fell leg before and one was stumped.

For Eaton Bray Gary Ellerton bowled six overs - three of them maidens - taking six wickets at a cost of just two runs.

Andy Morris bowled six overs - five of them maidens - taking four wickets at a cost of just two runs.

James Flecknall top scored with 79 in Bray's total of 222-5, giving them victory by 214 runs.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 5 June 2007

Parish Council Minutes - June 2007

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting: Monday 4th June 2007

The next Parish Council meeting to be held at the Coffee Tavern on Monday 2nd July 2007 at 7.30pm.

Eaton Bray Taverners Bridge Club

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bridge Players

Why not bring a partner and play duplicate bridge on Friday evenings from 7.30pm. to 10.30pm. If you need a partner, please phone the club secretary on 01525 221779. Lesson and practise duplicate play 2.00pm. to 5.00pm until June 8th, restarting Friday 21st September.

Bridge Curio

These are the hands of all the players:

  • 7 6
  • 9 8 3 2
  • A K Q J 3
  • K Q
  • 5 4 2
  • Q J
  • 10 9 5
  • J 9 8 7 6
  • J 10 3
  • 10 5 4
  • 8 7 6
  • 5 4 3 2
  • A K Q 9 8
  • A K 7 6
  • 4 2
  • A 10

Through a bidding misunderstanding, South became the declarer in a contract of 6 clubs (12 tricks with clubs as trumps). It is most unusual to play in a trump contract when the opposition have got a nine-card fit in your trump suit, especially when you are at the small slam level. West leads the SpadeJ. You can see all four hands, can the contract be made? Answer on the website [see below for details].

Bridge courses

Courses for absolute beginners, improvers and advanced players are scheduled to start in September 2007.

Please phone 01525 221779 for more information.

Eaton Bray Taverners Bridge Club meets in the Coffee Tavern.

For full contact details, please see their website:

Source: Focus, June 2007

Salvation Sound - June 2007

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Salvation ArmyWafting across my garden came the pungent smells of a Bar-B-Q. !! It was such a lovely day, blue skies,warm sunshine, just the hum of bees, the songs of birds and the scent of flowers, a day for me to contemplate my allotted plot; a day to commune with nature and my God; - but it was spoiled for me by the intrusive smell of burnt fats and meat...

So then I retired to the inner sanctum of my lounge; where I started to mull over times gone-by. Afternoon tea on the lawn with bread and butter, strawberry jam, and a homemade fruit cake. A picnic with salmon and shrimp paste, or sometimes bloater paste sandwiches, with mustard and cress or water cress added; perhaps even finger rolls with cheese and pickle, and tomato wedges, madeira cake and swiss roll. Flasks of tea and bottles of homemade lemonade; and very important, the Box Brownie, for the family photograph. We all carried something and set off for a spot by the river or a place under the trees in the orchard. Happy days, a time of innocence and simplicity, days when fields were still ploughed by ploughmen, when you paid for your groceries with shillings and ha'pennies, and when no motor traffic noise was heard; when we could gather bunches of wild flowers and take them home to be placed in a jam jar on the kitchen window sill.

I thought of that wonderful picnic that Jesus held, when He fed five thousand with loaves and fishes. Matthew 14:13-21.

One of the joys of getting old is that we can look back a long way. Sometimes the Senior years are viewed as a pleasantly useless era - when we just claim benefits, senior citizen discounts, have lots of free time and do very little. On the other-hand we can be useful - for God still has much for us to do - we may be prone to illness and weakness,even confined to our homes, but we can still PRAY. However infirm, this is a benefit we can offer, and we can become a godly example to others.

"When I am old and greyheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare strength to this generation." Psalm 71: 18.

"The older saints who trust God's word,
Have trod the paths that you will walk;
They've fought the battles you will fight -
There's truth and wisdom in their talk."

Then I thought time for tea - I could just go for one of those burnt sausages and a dollop of mustard !!!

"Some tempestuous morn in early June
When the year's primal burst of bloom is o'er.
Before the roses and the longest day -
When garden-walks and all the grassy floor
With blossoms red and white of fallen May
And chestnut flowers are strewn -
So have I heard the cuckoo's parting cry,
From the wet field, through vex't garden-trees;
Come with the volleying rain and tossing breeze:
The bloom is gone, and with the bloom go I!

Matthew Arnold. 'Thyrsis'.

Source: Focus, June 2007

Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis Club

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis ClubI'd like to commence this month with a top tip for all your shoppers who find parking charges prohibitive at big shopping centres like, for example, Milton Keynes. My thanks go to one eminent club member for recounting the following true story regarding how to get free parking for three days in a two hour parking bay. This member, who for legal reasons had best remain nameless (I can't afford a good lawyer, or even a bad one for that matter), parked her car at Sainsbury's in Milton Keynes last Friday whilst she nipped in to purchase a few essentials for husband R....oh gosh nearly gave it away. Once finished she popped into another couple of shops before returning via a different route to Sainsbury's to find her car gone. Vanished into thin air, disappeared, missing, departed, in fact, assumed stolen. Police were alerted, insurance companies contacted and claims lodged, CCTV camera footage studied, witness statements taken, and a full scale Missing Mini alert launched (oh no, there I go again, that rules out all non-Mini owners).

Our member was distraught; not only had her car been nicked but she'd left her very expensive Gucci sunglasses in the glovebox. And worse of all, she had to call her husband, break the news and ask him to come and pick her up in his Cit....(oh good just stopped myself).

Exhaustive enquiries continued over the weekend with the police diverting all available resources into tracking down the exclusive gold Mini (oh heck). By Monday morning they were running out of ideas when they received a phone call from Sainsbury's along the lines of 'There's this car been abandoned in our car park, could you come and take it away please'. They duly arrived and were clearly delighted to discover the 'missing' Mini, which had evidently been sitting in the same car-parking space since the previous Friday, un-moved and very definitely un-stolen. Yes, when our member had returned to find her car, she'd been looking in the wrong car-park!! To say she was a little embarrassed is like saying that Jose Mourinho is a little shy. Oh how the police sighed with relief and smiled about it. MI5 were stood down and the insurance company's claims team were re-deployed. As for our member, all's well that ends well; she got her car back, plus her sunglasses, and as a bonus three days free parking and she didn't even lose her no-claims discount! Apparently her other half was very good about it all and there was absolutely no barney (uh oh that's torn it .... do EasyJet fly to Brazil)??

Following our Spring Dance (see last month's report on the drumming) we followed up in April with a joint Quiz Night with the Village Hall committee. Over 170 people across 20 teams tried to answer questions on subjects from the symbol for the chemical element Barium, to the birthyear of George II. Or was it the III, or it may have been the year of his death, but by then it was all a bit of a blur. We stopped after four rounds to enjoy a magnificent cheese and pate platter provided for each table together with crusty bread, and supped some more beer and wine from our cooler bags. I was seconded to a team who couldn't think of a suitable name, so we appropriately called ourselves 'The Team with No Name'. The second half of the evening saw us rapidly climb up the scoreboard as we sailed through the Sports and Geography rounds thanks mainly to a very intelligent dentist in our ranks, aided by a bank manager who knew the currency of Azerbaijan (1 manat = 100 qapik, in case you ever need to order any), and by some miracle after the full eight rounds we found ourselves overall winners by half a point! We accepted our prizes of bottles of wine with gusto and determined to keep them away from our chairman who was eyeing them with more than a passing interest. The evening raised around £750 each for both the Village Hall committee and our tennis club, and everyone seemed to have a good time as well, so look out soon for booking details for the next Quiz on 5th October. 170 people can't be wrong!

Finally, see the advert in Focus this month for our Play Tennis Day on Saturday 16th June. Chiltern Black Thunder, Andrew Selous MP, free tennis, competitions, and my famous BBQ. Don't miss it!

For any further information about the club, including when we get together for our social tennis sessions up at the School Lane courts, or our various activities, please contact either Chairman Ross Barney Bagni, Coach Nick Boys, or if they're all out and I'm not fighting extradition from Sao Paulo, me, Andy Cross.

Source: Focus, June 2007

Old & Young GIs Unite to Take First Prize at Largest Ever Quiz!

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

On Friday 29th April the Village hall was throbbing, with 173 eager minds just waiting for the off. Keith Blackburn (the greatest living quiz master in Eaton Bray) took the microphone and we were away. What a night, with difficult questions great banter, as exceptionally talented teams fought it out to become the champions.

In the middle of all this we had a lovely supper and I didn't win one of the fabulous prizes in the raffle. Still you can't have everything, can you?

Into the final round and 5 teams at the top could all win the title. "Art's Cool" led "The Team with No Name" by just half a point. After the last round with all the contestants waiting with baited breath while Keith in classic style announced the results in reverse last the final result: The Team with No Name were winners by half a point!

Well would you believe who was in the winning team? Yes the old and young GI's united in their brilliance (well actually it was two of our guests who answered 90% of the questions) but we will happily take the glory. Perhaps even happier was the Mary French team who had a great evening and went away with a large carton of Celebration for being the best non winners. Congratulations ladies.

The real winners, The Village Hall and the Tennis club, who will split the £1,483 profit between them. Our thanks go out to all the villagers and guests who come along and make the organisers life so easy.

A special thanks to Keith who gives up a lot of time to make these quizzes so special.

And so onwards, towards our 4th Annual Beer Festival on Friday evening 1st June and all day Saturday 2nd June, with the beers chosen and served by volunteers from CAMRA. We will be having 14 beers, 2 ciders and a Perry, not to mention lager, wine and soft drinks for non real-ale types. We will also have entertainment on both evenings plus a magician for the whole family on Saturday afternoon. Hope to see you all there.

Again thank you all for your support for the quiz and as I had to turn 3 people away on the morning of the quiz book early for our next one, Friday 5th October Eaton Bray Village Hall.

Source: Focus, June 2007