Archives of Eaton Bray News for December 2007.
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December 2007

Youth Football: Eaton Bray Lions

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

EB Lions U8 Blues - 1
St Martins Orange U8 - 1

Eaton Bray Lions AFCLions grabbed a second half equaliser to retain fourth place in the league table.

A dominant offence, made up of Matt Kennell and David Wood, supported by Connor Tough and MoM Jack Reynolds, hogged possession for most of the match. Still St. Martins found a chink in the Lions' shield-like defence, and it was enough to open the scoring ten minutes in.

Following the goal against them, defenders Sam Bramston and Bradley Hicks sealed the back line, effectively closing down the occasional St Martins forward drives.

After the interval keeper Ollie Mulcahy was sent forwards to harry the opposition's defence, his usual role adopted by Toby McGee, who was forced to make two impressive saves. Some crisp passing and intelligent dispersal opened up a string of striking opportunities for the Lions, as well as a wealth of corners, but the equaliser would finally come after a breakaway run by star scorer Matt Kennell.

EB Lions U14 - 2
Bramingham U14 - 5

Lions hadn't played competitively for three weeks and it showed. They gave away an easy goal from a free-kick within the first minute.

Good defensive play by Thiel and great tackling by Taylor kept Bramingham's persistent attack at bay for some time but Lions eventually conceded a second goal. The Bramingham goalie stopped a neat back-heel by Crace and a shot from Storey.

Lions improved in the second half with O'Connell making a couple of menacing attacks. A superb free-kick by Lions' Moriarty set up Crace to score with a header. Bramingham retaliated with a third goal but then conceded a free-kick which Moriarty curled neatly over the wall and into the net. Just when it looked possible for Lions to level the score, Bramingham dashed their hopes by scoring twice more from quick breaks.

Lions MOM was Ross Taylor for a series of fearless challenges.

Source: EB Lions

Murderers were forced to walk to the coast and sail away for ever

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

Recently I came across some details of how they dealt with crime in the Middle Ages.

On the whole I think the way they went about things would certainly cause a big decrease in crime if we used their methods today)

Contrary to popular belief, in those days the death penalty was only used very occasionally for murders. People who had committed bad crimes such as robbery had all their possessions taken from their house to be sold or disposed of.

They could also be outlawed or expelled from the country for ever. The law was that they were required to take an oath to leave England and never return unless they received permission from the king.

They had to nominate the port from which they would sail, and then dressed in sackcloth and carrying a wooden cross in their hand as a sign of the Church's protection they had to walk there.

If they could not get a ship in time they had to wade in the sea up to their knees every day, as a token of their desire to cross it.

The protection of the Church applied to people who had sought sanctuary in their local church, like Robert of Eggington, who hid in Eggington church from fear because people wanted to arrest him for thefts. He stayed there for over a month and then confessed before the coroner that he was a thief and had stolen ham worth 2s, hens, geese and many other things.

His possessions worth 2s were confiscated and he was sent to Dover and ordered to take the first ship out and never come back.

Another case, in May 1379, was that of William Palmere of Leighton Buzzard who was outlawed for causing the death of Thomas Wydenhale.

Palmere was arrested and put in the stocks. But he managed to break free and fled to Leighton Buzzard church and stayed there, for 13 days.

He confessed his crime before the coroner, and was sent to Dover with orders to leave the country and never return.

A straightforward case of murder involved a man called Henry of Cornwall who had a row with Robert Sirlock of Leighton Buzzard over money owed for hens.

Henry struck Robert a blow above the left ear with a bow causing him to fall, and he died on the following day.

Henry's chattels, consisting mainly of sheaves of wheat, were confiscated and he was arrested and outlawed.

Another man to be outlawed was William Reeve of Tilsworth who quarrelled with his brother Richard, eventually striking him on the top of his head with an axe and giving him a four inch wound "so that his brain flowed forth." Richard died after being given the rights of the Church.

A woman who was exiled was Joan Clarice of Eaton Bray who was lying in bed with her husband John when he "suddenly had madness take possession of him."

She took a small scythe and cut his throat. She also took a billhook and struck him on the right side of his head "so that his brain flowed forth and he immediately died."

Joan fled to Houghton Regis church without telling anyone her husband was dead, but the next day their son, also called John, was troubled that his father was lying in bed so late and raised the alarm when he found that he was dead.

Joan later appeared before the coroner and confessed that she had killed her husband without any help.

The dead man's chattels were distributed to his boys and Joan was ordered to walk to Dover and take the next boat out of England.

There were two coroners dispensing justice in Bedfordshire, one for the north of the county and the other for the south.

Much of their work involved inquests and these included quite a few people who had drowned falling into wells and rivers, often because they had epilepsy, known as the falling sickness.

Another common cause of accidental death was to people doing building work, who fell off roofs, or had walls fall on them. Many people also died in falls from horses and cart accidents.

Among such victims were the Abbot of Woburn's servant, William Day, who climbed an oak on the eastern side of Woburn wood and, standing on a ladder, cut a branch. The branch fell on his head and threw him from the ladder so that he fell, broke the whole of his body and immediately died.

The ladder was appraised at 1d and the branch at 2d and they were delivered to Woburn chapel.

Also at Woburn, Ralph Wye of Brought and Henry of Stewkley were in a marl-pit. Henry left the pit leaving Ralph in it washing. But then Ralph fell into a deeper part of the pit and drowned.

At the inquest the coroner said that neither Henry nor anyone else was guilty of Ralph's death, which was due to misadventure.

Other inquests included Alice Bercher aged 18 months, who was sitting by the fire in her father's house when a dish full of boiling water, which stood on a trivet on the fire, by misadventure fell on her so she died.

A woman called Emma who had been begging bread from door-to-door, came to a piece of cultivated land and died after being seized by the cold.

Another beggar was Joan, "a poor child aged five" who died from drowning after falling off a bridge.

Alice Cok, a poor woman, fell down while going from door-to-door begging food and then went to the home of her sister Agnes, who went out to get some milk for her.

While Agnes was away a fire broke out and burned the whole house with Alice inside it.

Richard Holme was transporting sheaves of barley in a cart, when the cart stuck in a ditch. Richard went to the wheel and tried to raise the cart but it fell on him, breaking his whole body and killing him.

A girl who was killed accident), was Maud Reynold, who was sitting on the doorstep outside her home, when a bob called Alfred arrived carrying a bow and arrows.

He shot at a target with a small arrow and by misadventure struck Maud in the right eye so that she lost her sight and died 15 days later.

A child of two called Cicely, went out of her father's door carrying bread. A small pig came and tried to take the bread from her hand and she fell Into a ditch and died from misadventure.

A man called Thomas Julian who was greasing the wheel of the abbot of Woburn's mill with his left hand stood too close to it and it crushed his arm, causing his death later that day.

The abbot was fined for having caused a human death.

During the 12th century there were 118 deaths by misadventure and 102 homicides, most of which were carried out on sudden impulses with the nearest weapons.

A punishment that appears to have taken place once was the cutting off of a man's ear after he had been in the stocks.

Source: Dick Dawson's local history column, Leighton Buzzard Observer, 18 December 2007

Centenary celebration

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

1st Eaton Bray & Edlesborough Scouts1st Eaton Bray and Edlesborough Scout Group celebrated 100 years of Scouting on Saturday by inviting past and present members and leaders to the planting of a special centenary rose at the village Scout Hut.

The Scout Group and committee, with the help of local archivist and former Cub Leader Peter Mayne, created an impressive display of old photographs and documentation of the Group's history since 1913.

Past members - including Percy Pitkin, a leader during the 1940s - were invited to reminisce and contribute as part of the celebrations.

Despite the appalling weather, over 100 people from the village and surrounds, many with a Scouting connection, dropped into the hut during the afternoon's event and helped piece together a record of the group's past.

1st Eaton Bray & Edlesborough ScoutsIt was also an opportunity for the current generation of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts, part of the thriving village Scout Group, to show the diversity of activities they enjoy today.

Anyone with historical information to offer regarding the group, or with an interest in assisting or becoming a leader, is urged to contact the Group Scout Leader, Nick Evans on (01525) 220040.

Source: Leighton-Linslade Citizen, 13 December 2007

Back to the drawing board

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

Sharp observations and striking sketches of Bedfordshire, by the late Bernard West, have now been gathered together in a new book.

Bernard West's BedfordshireThe architect contributed his Sketch-book, of drawings and comment, to the quarterly former Bedfordshire Magazine for half a century.

He was passionate about his native county and shared his detailed knowledge of architecture and the history of Bedfordshire in his writings.

Bernard was also interested in archaeology, natural history and the conservation of both the natural, and the best of the man-made, environment.

His commentaries were often scathing as he continued his unrelenting campaign for good design and sympathetic preservation.

Now The Book Castle, in Dunstable, has published a fascinating selection of his work from the Bedfordshire Magazine, from 1947-1998.

Bernard West's Bedfordshire, edited by Gordon Vowles, contains sketches and comment on areas around the county.

In the editor's foreword, Gordon writes: "In his Sketch-book commentaries, he was a persistent and caustic critic of those who, in his own words, were 'guilty of inducing in others an anaesthetic acceptance of ugliness'."

Bernard died in January last year, and the book sets out to mark his unique contribution to the record of 20th century Bedfordshire life.

The selection of writings includes a section on Dunstable, written in spring 1995.

Bernard said the town centre nowadays belied its antiquity. He could remember something of its character surviving until the immediate pre-war years, "when the dreadful suburban tentacle from the west side of Luton began to engulf the old town".

High Street North kept a little of its character, he said, particularly around the Sugar Loaf Hotel.

It was, however, High Street South which preserved something of the character of old Dunstable.

Bernard talked of H.J. Massingham's reference, in his Chiltern Country, to "suburbanisation", and said that Dunstable was a monument to the result of this process.

He concluded: "There are indications that we have learnt lessons from the dreadful mistakes of the 1960s, that we are discovering a new urbanity, but it is a bit late for Dunstable to benefit."

In spring 1980, he wrote a scathing comment on Eaton Bray.

"As a county, we have worse body sores than Eaton Bray, but the spreading tattiness is unbearable in what is still a semi-rural setting.

"Tilsworth suffers from it, so do parts of Totternhoe and Stanbridge, and one wonders how and why the much vaunted planning control of the last 30 years has so utterly failed to hold these villages of the plain in some sort of order," he wrote.

Barton is among the other villages featured in the book.

In the summer of 1977, Bernard wrote: 'At Barton, the estates spread along the Higham Gobion road have become a textbook example of failure in planning control, but behind them is a precarious survival: the church, a magnificent partly moated rectory and various 18th century cottages.

"Some are in the usual fancy dress, and one in the foreground of the illustration is sorely in need of repair, but we must be grateful that it is still possible to walk from here onto downland, and still feel the relationship of the spring-line village with the hills beyond."

Bernard's sketch of Toddington

In 1955, Bernard described Toddington as one of the most urbane of the county's villages, perhaps because it had the status of a market town in the past.

He said that by 1800, its importance was waning, but the air of prosperity still lingered, "and the grouping of the buildings around the central greens is one of the most satisfying in the county".

The fine Georgian house in his illustration had been restored in recent years, and he said it was to the lasting credit of those responsible that the old village pond alongside had been converted so imaginatively "into a little gem of free garden planning".

He said: "There are no formal flower beds or railings, or the kind of suburban picturesque treatment that the Architectural Review so wittily calls 'God wottery'. The site is subtly contoured, the planting is informal, and the result is a complete delight.

"But is it not strange that a community which can create something so pleasing should tolerate such an abortion as the petrol sign in the middle of the green? The pumps and the garage itself, although utilitarian, are quite innocuous, but the sign sticks out like a sore thumb from all viewpoints. I have deliberately toned it down in the drawing.

"Surely the much vaunted Town and Country Planning Act could control this kind of thing? It can be harsh enough on the private builder and, rightly, on advertisements in towns; but out in the country it permits advertising and its attendant evils to riot unchecked."

Bernard West's Bedfordshire is published in paperback by The Book Castle, Church Street, Dunstable, price £12.99.

Source: Anne O'Donoghue, Dunstable Gazette, 12 December 2007

Carnival planners hope for a fairy tale ending

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

Plans for next year's Edlesborough and Eaton Bray carnival are well under way, despite a rumour that it had been scrapped.

This was a misunderstanding following the cancellation of the village's Christmas street market.

The street market was called off after the organisers were landed with a £1,000 road-closure bill.

But Carnival chairman Peter Bennett said this was nothing to do with the 2008 carnival, which will take place on Edlesborough village green on September 5.

"The theme will be Fairy Tales and we are delighted that the carnival will be opened by the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, the Very Rev Graeme Knowles, who ,was at one time head teacher of Eaton Bray primary school.

"We are already taking bookings from businesses and individuals for pitches on the green on the big day because the carnival has become such a popular community event."

The main beneficiary for the 2008 carnival will by the East Anglia Air Ambulance Service and organisers hope to match 2007's record profit of £11,000 which was given to local charities and good causes.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 11 December 2007

Youth Football: Eaton Bray Lions

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

EB Lions U8 Blues - 0
Luton Borough Dragons Whites U8 - 5

Eaton Bray Lions AFCUnder testing conditions Lions bravely took on league top dogs Luton Borough Dragons.

An encouraging start had David Woods breaking away with Matt Kennell to threaten the visiting keeper and then, minutes later, a second run opened up as mid-fielders Robert Bunting and Connor Tough fed the ball through to the forwards again, setting up an impressive strike.

The weather showed no signs of turning, but the match was about to and following a brace of stunning saves from Ollie Mulcahy, the first ball slipped in. Defenders Daniel Challis, Jack Reynolds and MoM Bradley Hicks worked hard to keep the oppressive opposition at bay, successfully wresting the ball on more than one occasion but, following the half time break, three goals went against the Lions in quick succession.

Like so many matches, the scoreline ought to have been a lot closer, but the ultimate tally of 0-5 was nothing shameful: the Dragons are undefeated to date.

EB Lions Girls U12 - 0
Barton Rovers Girls U12 - 0

With the wind blowing strongly, icy cold rain and the playing surface slippery, this was always going to be one of those games that could be decided by a simple mistake by either team.

Lions' goalie Shannon had to contend with either the ball skidding fast as it approached her goal or almost stopping dead as it hit the mud just in front of goal.

Defenders Katie, Beth and Devon fended off a determined Barton attack, which they managed to do all match.

In midfield Lions had Megan, Emily and Elsa working against the wind, rain and mud to try and set up Darcy and Hattie up front to score the goal that they so deserved but conditions did not give the attack the breaks.

Even with their strikers coming back to try and create a goal scoring chance it was not to be for Lions and the match ended goalless.

Source: EB Lions

Burglars steal presents

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

Burglars who broke into a house in Knights Close, Eaton Bray on Sunday stole electrical goods and wrapped Christmas gifts.

The break-in happened sometime between 7.40am and 8.40am. Anyone with information is asked to telephone investigating officer PC Wesley Hall in confidence on 01234 841212, or crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 11 December 2007

Christmas Puzzle 2007 - The birds and the bees

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

Christmas PuzzleThis year's annual Charity Christmas Puzzle has now been posted, and is available to download.

This, the 17th annual Puzzle that Gordon Gray has set, has a theme designed to help completion and will appeal to people who enjoy doing Crossword puzzles, such as in the Daily Telegraph (though it is not a Crossword puzzle). Puzzlers have plenty of time to find the answers and Puzzles should be returned, with donation, by 27 January.

Four winners will each receive a £25 prize.
Everyone who enters will qualify for a £25 prize draw.

Gordon plans to post Puzzles on 8 December, so those already on the distribution list should receive their copies by 12 December. Anyone else who would like a copy of the Puzzle can access it from the web at Alternatively puzzles can be collected from St Mary's Eaton Bray on Sunday 9 December.

Over £24,000 raised for charity
Over £3,000 donated in each of the last three years

This year's puzzle will support three charities Romania Care, the restoration of the Harrison & Harrison Organ, St Albans Cathedral, and Michael Sobell House Hospice, Mount Vernon.

Two hurt in Eaton Bray crash

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

Two people were taken to hospital after a crash in Harling Road, Eaton Bray, yesterday, December 6.

A Ford Focus and a Vauxhall Corsa were involved in the accident, which happened shortly after 3.30pm. Police went to the scene, and the road was closed for a time.

Bedfordshire Police

Salvation Sound - December 2007/January 2008

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

Salvation ArmyChristmas, with holly, ivy and mistletoe, winter's evergreens.

What though we rove the woods no more
Should we not still be gay.
When winter hoar, has leaves in store
That never fade away.? "

Holly was sacred to Saturn - thanks to its distinctive appearance the Church was able to eradicate the pagan beliefs and give the holly a new symbolism; the spiked leaves representing the crown of thorns, the berries, Christ's blood. Ivy was dedicated to the god Bacchus; he is usually depicted wearing a crown of ivy and carrying a staff entwined with it. Ivy was believed to ward of drunkenness. Mistletoe is held by Druids in great reverence; they esteem it as a gift sent from heaven, and hold the tree on which it is found as sacred.

"Then let us all each other aid,
Where friendships wreath is seen,
'Tis never made of flowers that fade
But of the evergreen."

Christmas box, Christmas card, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Christmas pudding, Christmas rose, Christmas tree; a young conifer, decorated with baubles and lights. The custom was a Medieval German tradition, but is now practised in many Western countries. The tree most commonly used is the Norway Spruce.

So cometh that busy time of year we call CHRISTMAS.........

I thought of Christmas and the nativity,
Of promised joy, families and festivity,
Bells ringing from church spire,
The smell of pine from an open fire.
I thought of Jack Frost and icy tableaux,
Of misty breath, and blue winter shadows,
Of moonlight and starshine,
Of black velvet nights and cold winds whine.
I thought of ivy and mistletoe, and tall fir trees;
And of men and women upon their knees
Whispering a prayer of hope
That crabbed mankind on earth might cope.
I thought of presents, gifts to delight,
Of feasting, of crackers, of candlelight;
Of carols and choirs singing;
Of angels through heaven winging.
I thought of Santa, and children, trying to sleep,
I thought of shepherds herding sheep.
I thought of a donkey heavily laden,
That beast of burden, carrying a maiden.
I thought of Mary. and Joseph, awaiting a 'stranger';
I thought then of the baby, lying in a manger.
That tiny babe born in a stall;
At His feet, wise men did fall,
For He was the gift of God's own Son,
Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, Blessed One.
He came to earth for our salvation,
Sing songs to Him of exultation.
The Saviour who was once a child
Walked this earth all undefiled.
I thought then how once again
He soon will come as king to reign,
So let us now our homage pay,
And look forward to that glorious day......

May you all be blessed this Christmastime and may the New Year bring health and happiness to each one.

Soon 'twill be Spring......

Source: Focus - December/January 2008

Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis Club

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

Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis ClubAs the nights progressively draw in, the less hardy members of our club (including myself) are sometimes less inclined to venture outside in the dark damp evenings for a set or two of tennis, and more disposed to sitting in front of the fire with a warming brew and the dulcet tones of Bruce 'nice to see you' Forsyth blaring from the TV set as he once again tells the couple, with a celebratory possessing the dancing skills of a pregnant warthog, that they are his favourites. So in order to entice a few of these lounge-lovers onto the courts, we organised a 'Round Robin' tournament last week and were delighted that 12 members turned out on what was actually a rather nice afternoon, and we only had to pay 7 of them. For those not in the know of such colloquial tennis terms, a 'round robin' involves games of doubles where everyone plays with everyone else in rotation, swapping partners after 4 games (tennis partners, not what you're thinking) and keeps count of their own scores as to how many games they have won. It's all quite simple after you've played in a few hundred competitions, but fortunately there's always someone there who nearly understands it, so by the end of an afternoon's play punctuated by cries such as 'who swaps with whom?', 'is it sudden death deuce?' and 'ouch that hurt' a winner was decided and awarded the usual lavish prize of a bottle of cheap plonk. As befits tradition, the last placed player also receives a special consolatory prize, so at least I went home with something.

As Focus goes to press, I'm delighted to bring 'hold the front page' news about last night's Quiz night held in our clubhouse. It's not known as the Tardis for nothing; from the outside one would never imagine that any more than 32 people could be 'reasonably' comfortably seated inside, but blow me down if we didn't have 33 people including quizmaster Keith Blackburn ensconced. Let me tell you about Keith; although he's never made the same big time as brother Tony (and therefore never munched on tsetse fly larvae in the jungles of Australia) he does put together a rather excellent quiz, and would make a welcome fellow passenger on a long haul flight to that same country, as he can keep one amused for hours, nay days, on fascinating trivia to prevent you from falling asleep and therefore making a complete hash of adapting to the vastly different time zone. 'Who invented NASA?' and 'What decade was Zinc' might have been 2 of the questions, but I may have got those mixed up, as I did most of the answers. My team, '4 Js and an A', consisted of myself (the 'A') plus four others whose names began with a 'J'; quite clever we thought, but no bonus points. I can reveal that three of the four were a Jane, a Jan and a John, but the fourth member has begged anonymity which I have to respect (thanks for the fiver J*nny, 29). Up until the last round, we were level pegging with Chairman Ross's team "One overly loud Italian and his long suffering wife (Shelagh 'where's me mini') plus a couple of hangers-on".

The last round was critical. Could we make up the two points required to overtake them and prevent another six months of insufferable smugness? It all hinged on the last question; 'Which three small islands in the British Isles issues their own postage stamps?'. 'One overly loud' etc went for Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, whilst I, as chief scribe, was persuaded to note down the Isle of Wight, Isle of Dogs and Isla St Clair. Inevitably we were pipped at the post and our Chairman delighted in handing out to his team their much deserved prizes of quality wine, one of which my wife and I had donated, so at least one of them will have a shock when they open that at their next dinner party. Home made is always the most enjoyed, I find, and Goldfish wine has to be savoured at almost freezing to be fully appreciated, although we didn't make that clear on the bottle notes. Thinking about it, we missed out any reference to the goldfish either. Probably best though after all the media trouble last time, although the guinea-pig fruit cake has since proved a gastronomic success at our local market cake stall in Dunstable. Call for further details, but leave it a couple more months until my release date.

Source: Focus, December/January 2008

Parish Council Minutes - December 2007

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

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting: Monday 3rd December 2007

The next Parish Council meeting to be held at the Coffee Tavern on Monday 7th January 2008 at 7.30pm. Items for the January agenda to be requested no later than Friday 21 December 2007.

Santa's already been to Eaton Bray

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

Eaton Bray's Christmas Fayre raised £1,300 towards St Mary's Church in the village.

Santa at St Marys Christmas Fayre in Eaton Bray

Organisers prepared lunches for the visitors and the plentiful stalls kept Christmas shoppers busy.

Many children came along to see Father Christmas.

Spokesperson Katrina Grant said: "It was busier than we've ever seen. We are delighted that local people have supported this event for the church."

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 4 December 2007

Judge awards £20,000 to libelled neighbours

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

A bitter row about a radio antenna has shattered the peace in a quiet cul-de-sac and left a family of four facing a hefty court bill.

Last Monday a parish councillor was awarded "significant" damages after a judge decided his neighbours had launched an unnecessary personal attack during a planning dispute.

Recorder Lance Ashworth QC ruled that Cllr Ric Brand, of Mill End Close, Eaton Bray, had been unfairly victimised by neighbours Paul and Sandra Dear when he applied to put the amateur radio equipment up in his back garden.

A letter sent by the Dears to other homes in the road made a number of personal allegations which the judge said were "designed deliberately to damage Mr Brand in the eyes of others."

It is believed the libel ruling cost Mr and Mrs Dear around £10,000 in damages and another £10,000 in court costs.

After the ruling Mr Brand said he plans to give a large chunk of the money to charity.

The 61-year-old parish councillor added last week: "I sincerely wish it hadn't happened, I didn't want this.

"It really has been a most horrible time for us, but obviously you can't allow somebody just to assassinate someone's character.

"There's nothing I've got to hide, so it's a pretty sorry state of affairs. It's a situation where this guy and his wife have just turned on us."

The problems started last year when Mr Brand, an amateur radio enthusiast, applied for permission to put the antenna up.

He said he had discussed the plans with the Dears and was willing to be as accommodating as possible.

But his neighbours objected and sent copies of their objection letter to South Beds District Council and other homes in Mill End Close.

When Mr Brand was shown a copy of their letter, he said he suffered a mini-stroke.

"It was absolutely horrendous. It completely deviated away from the actual planning issue," he said.

This week Coventry County Court heard that the letter made allegations about how Mr Brand had become a councillor, and alleged that he was a "pill popper" because he takes prescribed medication.

Under cross examination Mr Dear accepted that this was "a pretty personal attack," and conceded that the aim was to injure Mr Brand in the eyes of others.

Awarding aggravated damages, the judge said: "Having considered the conduct of the Dears, Mr Brand is entitled to feel that the Dears' conduct has exascerbated the injury."

Mr Ashworth said that Mr Dear had shown genuine remorse for what he had done.

After the ruling, Mr Brand said: "At the beginning when this all kicked off, had the Dears come to me when my solicitors first contacted them and said: 'Sorry, it was out of order and we went over the top', I would have said: 'Fine'."

He said he had withdrawn legal action against another neighbour when an apology was forthcoming.

And the councillor added: "At no time did I ever use my authority as a parish councillor either for my personal gain or to solicit help when the application went before the district council.

"The parish council doesn't have the authority to pass planning applications; all they do is look at it and advise the district council."

When the application was presented to the district council, it was given the go-ahead.

But yesterday Mrs Dear said her family had objected to the radio mast plan on health grounds, and claimed many of the comments in the letter had been misinterpreted.

She also claimed that the couple had sent a retraction letter, which had not been accepted.

"Now we're worried about where we're going to get the money from.

"He didn't have to do what he did; he could just have turned round and had a meeting," she said.

But despite the tension caused, Mr Brand said: "I don't bear anybody any malice. I'm not that sort of person.

"I'm not going to start throwing my toys out of the pram. That's it as far as I'm concerned.

"They can get on with their lives and we'll get on with our lives. It didn't give me any pleasure, in fact it's pretty tragic.

"I'm just hoping that this can be an end to it all and we can resume our daily lives."

Source: Dave Burke, Leighton Buzzard Observer, 4 December 2007

Youth Football: Eaton Bray Lions

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

St Joseph's U8 - 3
EB Lions U8 Blues - 0

Eaton Bray Lions AFCGoing into Saturday's clash with secondplace St Joseph's, Lions were anticipating a stern test. What transpired was a virtuoso display of football that culminated in the home team's narrowest win this season.

All three goals went in prior to the break, but as the second half got under way defenders Sam Bramston, Bradley Hicks and Daniel Challis drew together and cut off further attacks. As usual an on-form Ollie Mulcahy fielded the odd ball that squeezed through the Lions back line, pulling off half a dozen accomplished saves throughout the match.

Forwards David Wood and Toby McGee, assisted by mid-fielders Robert Bunting and Matt Kennell, harried the St Joseph's defence, creating a string of impressive chances. Despite adopting an accomplished passing strategy, dispersing strategically off the ball, they were unable to capitalise on the numerous openings they had established. Nevertheless, visiting fans were wowed by some of the best football Lions have played to date.

Crawley Green Lions U8 - 4
EB Lions U8 - 2

EB went one down after 4 minutes and had to push forward to get back on level terms in a very busy game, where both sides attacked strongly and defended well.

Freddie and George in defense kept the back safe with Jack, Harrison and Charlie keeping the Crawley midfield under control. With half time approaching fast an acute angled shot by Dax gave EB the goal they needed to end the half 1-1.

In the second half Crawley took the lead again but it only took EB three minutes to get level again after a free kick from Dax was pushed away by the goalkeeper and George put it in the back of their net.

EB MOM, goalkeeper Toby, made some great saves. Then Crawley scored twice more and although EB kept pushing forward and nearly scored twice more they ran out of time.

EB Lions U10 - 3
Oakley Rangers U10 - 0

Adopting his usual style, Dominic ran down every ball while Sean and Chris dispersed into receiving positions. The goals were spectacular, diverse examples each of them, demonstrating the Lions' ability to score from almost anywhere.

Opening the account, Adam fielded a neat cross, guiding it decisively into the net. Following the break, Sean took receipt of a mid-air lob from Dominic, delivering a shot into the top corner. Finally Dominic had his own chance to complete, firing at range to compound the victory.

Midfielders Charlie and Mason put their usual stamp on the game, turning and weaving with the ball past a bewildered Rangers defence, while defenders Ben, James and MoM Aarin, pulled off meteoric shots that would have sent most adult players running for cover.

Keeper Dan once again showed his style, putting in a sequence of stunning saves to retain the zero end of the scoreline.

EB Lions Girls U10 - 3
Houghton Athletic Girls U10 - 0

After a great victory and team performance last week EB Lions were raring to go. They started off the blocks quickly and were soon imposing themselves in the oppositions half.

The first goal to EB Lions was created by some great passing play between Megan and Mel resulting in the goal being scored by Hannah. GoM Hannah got her second quickly after courtesy of a throw in. A great solo effort by Liberty running down the left wing resulted in the third goal. EB Lions continued to work hard with impressive defence duties by Misha, Sarah Jane and Holly.

The second half started brightly for EB Lions with Georgia and Steph battling hard for the ball in the middle of the pitch. The pressure play then swung in favour of Houghton Athletic but they were unable to get on the score sheet due to some great saves by Amber Wright.

EB Lions U11 - 1
Barton Rovers Youth B U11 - 1

Lions' winning run came to an end but this result was every bit as satisfying as those wins. The boys showed huge determination and great team spirit to battle back for a draw after being behind at half time.

A physically strong Barton team took the lead halfway through the first half. Lions' keeper Harry Rogers was excellent again making some great saves and the central defensive pairing of Ivan Brodrick and Jakob Knappitt were solid throughout the game.

The Lions were the better side in the second period with Ben Flitton a constant threat. Matt Bramston and Scotty Mercer both went close to scoring. Lions continued to attack and finally Matt's tenacious play won the ball allowing him to score the equaliser. MoM Ivan used his pace and some great tackling to thwart numerous Barton attacks.

It was a gutsy second half performance from the boys in difficult conditions.

Source: EB Lions

Christmas and New Year Recycling and Refuse Collections

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

South Beds have now published their schedule for Christmas and New Year Recycling and Refuse Collections.

By suspending green bin collections, the council can offer a WEEKLY collection of your BLACK bin over the Christmas and New Year period. (Green Bin collections will be suspended from Monday 17th December 2007 until Friday 11th January 2008 inclusive)

From Monday 17th December put your black bin out in place of your green bin. Orange bin collections will remain alternate weekly.

The following table shows the changes that affect Eaton Bray:

Scheduled CollectionRevised Collection Day
Orange and Green BinsMonday 10th DecAs normal
Black Bin onlyMonday 17th DecAs normal
Black Bin and Orange Bin
(no Green bin)
Monday 24th DecAs normal
Black Bin onlyMonday 31st DecWednesday 2nd Jan
Black Bin and Orange Bin
(no Green bin)
Monday 7th JanTuesday 8th Jan
Black Bin onlyMonday 14th JanAs normal
Orange and Green BinsMonday 21st JanAs normal

The Eaton Bray Refuse Collection page will automatically update to show the correct next collection dates.

Source: South Beds Website

Beware! Bogus callers

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

In July 2007, Beds Police launched a campaign called 'Second Generation', to get children, grandchildren, carers and neighbours thinking about older people and reminding them about the dangers of burglars and rogue traders. Posters and leaflets were distributed to relevant locations such as GP surgeries, nurseries, post offices, schools and parish councils.

Bedfordshire residents, particularly older and vulnerable people, need to be on their guard after a spate of burglaries in the county. Offenders have been pretending to be from utility companies, e.g. water, gas, electricity and phone, to bluff their way into your homes. They do this by keeping the occupier busy while an accomplice steals cash and valuables. Sometimes they even pose as Police officers.

Beds Police offer the following advice:

  • Use door chains and spy holes.
  • Always ask to see identification before letting someone into your home.
  • Do not keep large amounts of money at home.
  • Keep outside doors and windows locked.
  • Call the Police if you are in doubt about the identity of a caller.

Other nuisance callers include:

  • Cold callers: sales reps who turn up without an appointment and won't leave until you have signed a contract.
  • Rogue traders: unqualified workmen who often do jobs in your home badly and expensively. Victims are usually older people.

Anyone with information about bogus callers can contact Beds Police on 01234 841212, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency dial 999.

Source: Focus, December/January 2008