Archives of Eaton Bray News for October 2010.
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October 2010

Local electoral arrangements for Central Bedfordshire finalised

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) has published its final recommendations for new local government electoral arrangements for Central Bedfordshire Council.

Today's publication follows months of public consultation and draws boundaries for each ward across the Central Bedfordshire area. Central Bedfordshire is a new council with 66 members elected to the former county divisions in temporary arrangements established at the formation of the new unitary authority.The Commission published its draft recommendations, which provided for a council of 59 members, in May 2010 and today confirms that figure in its final recommendations.

The arrangements announced today provide permanent electoral arrangements for the council that ensure electoral equality for local voters as well as recommending wards that reflect natural communities and encourage effective and convenient local government.

Max Caller, Chair of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE), said: “Our recommendations determine how many councillors will serve on the council. They also decide which wards you vote in. We're grateful to the people across Central Bedfordshire who took the time and effort to send us their views because having fair wards, where each councillor is representing around the same number of people, is important.”

The proposed new arrangements must now be implemented by Parliament. An Order - the legal document which brings into force the recommendations - will be laid in Parliament in the coming weeks. The draft order allows for the new electoral arrangements to come into force for the next council elections in May 2011.

Full details can be found on the LGBCE website: Central Bedfordshire electoral review.

Source: Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE)

Parish Council Minutes - October 2010

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting: Monday 4th October 2010

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday 1st November 2010, 7.30pm, in the Coffee Tavern.

The National Archives - Domesday on a map

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

The National Archives have recently released a tool which enables you to search and browse over 90% of the places mentioned in Domesday Book. To try it out, go to

Eaton Bray on the Domesday Map

Due to slight technical glitches, the Domesday on a map site still isn't working perfectly, but it does allow you to search for places such as Eaton Bray and quickly view the available documents from the Domesday Book, such as this detail for Eaton Bray, 1086.

For more historical maps, photos and information about Eaton Bray, see our Eaton Bray History pages.

Source: The National Archives Blog

New Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire Police AuthorityBedfordshire Police Authority has today announced the appointment of Alf Hitchcock as the next Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police.

Mr Hitchcock, who is currently Deputy Chief Constable at the National College of Police Leadership at the Police Staff College, Bramshill, will take over when the current Chief Constable, Gillian Parker, retires at the end of the year.

Congratulating Mr Hitchcock on his appointment, Chair of the Police Authority, Peter Conniff, said: "I'm extremely pleased to have been able to appoint someone with such extensive experience across different areas of policing, experience which will undoubtedly be used to Bedfordshire's benefit. On behalf of the full Authority, I welcome him on board and look forward to working with him as we address the challenges ahead."

Speaking after his appointment was revealed Mr Hitchcock said: “It's fantastic news and an honour to have been selected. I was particularly keen to be appointed as Bedfordshire is made up of both rural and urban areas, each having its own complexities in terms of the way policing is delivered, which represents a really exciting challenge.

“There are also some really difficult challenges to be tackled in the coming years and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to address these with a Force that is so forward thinking and positive about the future. Whenever I have visited the Force I've been impressed by the enthusiasm of all the officers and staff.”

Background Information

Alf HitchcockMr Hitchcock started his career with Lancashire Constabulary in 1977 where he carried out a number of operational roles.

He joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 2003 as an Associate Director teaching the national Strategic Command Course at the Police Staff College, Bramshill.

In 2004 he moved into Territorial Policing and took on the responsibility for nine territorial boroughs and held the Criminal Justice portfolio.

By 2005 he had lead responsibility for the Safer Neighbourhoods Programme in the Metropolitan Police area and had delivered the successful roll out of Neighbourhood policing across the whole of London by the end of 2006. In 2007 he became Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Operational Services, with responsibilities including Professional Standards, Diversity and Citizen Focus.

In 2009 he was appointed Deputy Chief Constable he joined the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) to help set up the new National College of Police Leadership and review the leadership courses delivered by the Leadership Development Unit.

Mr Hitchcock has an Honours degree in Psychology, two Masters degrees in Organisational Management and Business Administration, a post graduate diploma in Applied Criminology, and is a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. He was a recipient of the Queens Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service in the 2008 New Year's Honours. He is married with two daughters and enjoys skiing.

Source: Bedfordshire Police

St Mary's Village Carnival 2010

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Now that the dust has settled from this year's Carnival we are able to let you know that the Organisers have been able to donate the magnificent sum of £12,800 - the same total that was achieved in 2009 despite the more difficult economic climate. A massive 'THANK YOU' to everyone who has contributed to this total in any way.

Carnival Donations 1996-2010

As usual, half of the money is for St Mary's Fabric Fund, half of the remainder goes to our principle charity, the Keech Hospice care and the rest has been distributed among local (or locally connected) good causes, in line with commitments resulting from the Carnival or as requested by people in the villages, as follows:

St Mary's Fabric Fund£6,400
Keech Hospice Care£3,200
1st E Bray & Edlesborough Scout Group£100
Age Concern£75
Appledown Rescue£100
Cystic Fibrosis£100
Dunstable Downs Rotary Club (Hospice at Home Volunteers)£50
Dunstable & District Handicapped Typing Club£50
Dunstable Round Table£50
Eaton Bray Lions AFC£125
Eaton Bray Lower School£100
Eaton Bray Methodist Church£50
Eaton Bray Parish Council£75
EB Village Hall£125
EDaN Project£75
Edlesborough Parish Council£75
Expedition - Amy Ryder£225
Expedition - Cody Plaats World Scout Jubilee £75
Expedition - Gemma Johnson World Scout Jubilee£75
Expedition - Jack Blumsom£75
Expedition - James Tate World Scout Jubilee £75
Expedition - Miguel Garcia World Scout Jubilee £75
Expedition - Nick Marshall World Scout Jubilee£75
Expedition - Sara Fisher World Scout Jubilee£75
Expedition - Matthew Johnson World Scout Jubilee £75
Hospice of St Francis at Berkhamsted.£125
Lionheart Explorer Group£150
MK Macintyre Home£125
Police Charity Fund - Beds£100
Police Charity Fund - Thames Valley£100
Salvation Army£50
St John's Ambulance£300
Stray Cat Rescue£50
Taskers Row Sheltered Housing Scheme£75

Over the past 15 years St Mary's Village Carnival has raised almost £150,000 for local good causes, with 124 organisations / good causes receiving money.

The Organising Committee have already started making preparations for next year's Carnival which, as usual, will take place on the first Saturday in July - 2 July 2011 - when the theme will be 'Pirates'.

If you would like to suggest a principle charity for next year or have ideas or offers for the event please contact Gordon Gray via the website -

Hopefully we'll see you there.

Source: St Mary's Village Carnival

Salvation Sound - October 2010

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Salvation ArmyTHE FIVE SENSES.

Sight; Hearing; Smell; Taste; Touch; but there is a sixth sense - intuition; the power of apprehension without reasoning; that special insight' which most of us seem to have.

Let us take each one and put a valuation upon it. What pleasure is there in sight? To be able to see colours, fl owers, trees, grass, sun, moon, stars, sky, clouds, the wonderful scenery in the places we visit and where we live, to be able to read books, Oh, the list could go on and on.

Hearing, well, there is bird song in the early morning, church bells, peoples voices, music, the radio, a clock ticking.

Smell, - perfume, the scent of old fashioned roses, lavender, mint, pine needles, wet earth after rain, freshly baked bread.

Taste, - roast beef with horseradish, the first English strawberries, chocolate, crackling from roast pork, in fact, food in general, for eating is a favourite pasttime of mine.

Touch - the feel of a cat's fur, silk, velvet, pussy willow buds, someones hand, real leather, the rough bark of a tree.

We can derive such pleasure from all of these simple things; things that perhaps we take for granted, not realising their worth until we lose one or two of our senses. How fortunate then are we to have that sixth sense, the insight, the imagination with which to conjure up any of these wonderful experiences.

Yes; we have the mental faculty which apprehends that although we cannot by using any of the five major senses know God, we do know that He is with us at all times, that we can trust Him implicitly.

“Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.”

Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” James 4: 14, states “You do not know what will happen tomorrow.”

None of us know when we will die, but we can all hope for a place in heaven; Jesus paid for our sins on Calvary's cross and rose again to provide eternal life for us.

Let that sixth sense take you to a better place, one where hunger, brutality and pain, cruelty and evil just don't exist any more; the place of supreme happiness: God's heaven.

Patience Strong wrote: “When sorrow knocks upon the door companioned by dread fears - and we are blinded by our doubts, our agonies and tears...

What is this faint dim light that fl ickers in a darkened place - Can this be God ? - we know we cannot see Him face to face - Yet through lifes calamities, with feeble hands we grope - Something divine is breathed into our hearts - and this is Hope.”


Source: Focus, October 2010

Cheeky Monkeys Under Fives Playtime

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Cheeky MonkeysCheeky Monkeys is pleased to be welcoming a number of new parents to our friendly group. We hope that many more will become regular visitors. Our new craft activities for the coming weeks are “Autumn collages”, “tree pictures”, “halloween magnets” and “fireworks.” Other toys and activities include a safe enclosed baby area, bricks, home corner, cars, brio train track, puzzles, colouring and junk modelling. We also have dressing up, chalk boards, painting and a workbench, as well as a new batch of home made playdough!

Over the last month we have been fortunate to receive sponsorship from Quality Villas, the French villa specialist. Quality Villas has kindly agreed to pay for the hall hire for the next three weeks in October, and this will enable us to use this extra money towards our Christmas party. Please take a look at their website:

Don't forget we will be closed on 27th October due to half term, and re-open on 3rd November. For enquiries and further information, please see our website, (

Source: Focus, October 2010

ELF - Eaton Bray Leisure Group

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Our trip to Dorney Wood was enjoyed by a small group. The gardens were very pleasant, plants were purchased and the weather was kind.

In July the walking group had a very nice walk around Wilston, Long Marston and Puttenham, returning along the Canal. Lunch was taken at the Half Moon public house.

The weather was OK.

There was no walk in August and September will be past by the time you get this, but the October walk is on Monday 25th meeting at Eaton Bray Church at 10.00am. All are welcome.

On July 15th a large number of members enjoyed a lunch and an excellent slide show and lecture by a volunteer from the College Lakes. Thanks to the Volunteer and all the ladies and men of the ELF who arranged this meeting, and the preparation of lunch.

On August 12th intermittent rain did not deter a large group of members from enjoying an excellent cream tea in the garden of Val and Alan's home. Very many thanks to them and all the other helpers.

The next lunch out was Thursday September 16th at the Bridgewater Arms and the next meeting was on the morning of September 23rd in the Coffee Tavern at 10.30am, when we chatted about the future programme. Reports of the meetings will be in the November issue of Focus. Notices are placed in the NORTH PORCH OF EATON BRAY CHURCH.

The ELF GROUP would welcome any new members from around the area and also some new ideas. PLEASE come to the Coffee Tavern at Eaton Bray on a Thursday morning. There is a stair lift and transport can usually be arranged, if required, to and from any event.

If you are interested in joining ELF please contact Val or Alan.

Source: Focus, October 2010

2010 British Legion Poppy Appeal

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

PoppyKeith and Jean Stanley have organised the annual Royal British Legion poppy appeal in Eaton Bray for the last ten years. Our thanks go to them for the superb job that they have done.

They have now handed the job of local poppy appeal organisers over to us and I sincerely hope that we will do justice to it. We will contact all the house to house collectors on Keith and Jean's list (apart from those that we know are standing down this year) closer to the time. We will also supply local shops and premises with poppies and collecting boxes as before.

If you could help the appeal by giving a few hours of your time to collect house to house from one or two roads in Eaton Bray then please contact us. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

-- Roger and Helen Wilkinson

Source: Focus, October 2010

Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis Club

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis ClubWell it's been an event packed summer at EBLTC so I've no time for idle banter this month. As if I'd ever do that.

So let's start with our Summer League results, where we entered 5 teams competing against such mighty opposition as Luton & Vauxhall, Linslade and our local derby opponents Edlesborough (although there's never any crowd trouble, and there's not a single vuvuzela to be heard thank goodness). In total our teams played 33 matches, winning 17 of them (over half!) with the stars of the show being our Men's C team who won 6 out of their 7 matches, just one more win than our Men's B team. In terms of overall scores, our teams achieved 369 points against the opposition's 311, so another 'victory'! It's possible that our C team may get promoted next season, although look what happens when West Brom and Burnley do that - usually straight back down again. So we may claim insanity and stay where we are - these things are all sorted out by people a lot further up the tennis hierarchy than me! But overall an excellent season's campaign, and congratulations to all the EBLTC players who took part and played so proudly for our club.

From Summer to Winter. It's still not too late to join our club if you'd like to try some tennis over the cooler months (at bargain discounted rates of course...) - committee member Glenn has once again brushed the mothballs off his ZX-81 and compiled a competition spreadsheet so hugely complicated that an Enigma operator would have been proud to crack it, and only a very brainy one at that. However once he explained it to the committee in a meeting that lasted several days, all eventually became clear, and the long and short of it is that we're running a winter league where you can play about once a month on a Sunday from October through to March; this is organised around our normal Sunday social sessions. Players are placed in a section according to their standard, so it's open to absolutely everyone, and should be a lot of fun. The winner is awarded the Mike Venn trophy in memory of one of our club's founding members. Last year over 30 members played in the league, with Kevin Todd coming out as overall winner, So please do call us if you'd like to take part; as I've said we're very cheap at this time of year ☺

What next...? Ah yes the Chairman's barbecue. I can report on a good sized gathering in early September comprising of members aged from 4 months to, well, a tad older. Chairman Bernadette Hillman once again hosted whilst husband Dave was put in charge of burning the steaks and spilling the wine (although Peter Hale was in charge of spilling the beer). In fact the steaks were huge and juicy, the chicken was cooked to perfection and the beer and wine fl owed as freely as the Zambezi (mostly onto the Hillman's decking). Young Sophie Anne Booth, our newest recruit, was passed around for several members to coo at without once crying (Sophie, not the members), so we're sure she's made of stern enough stuff to lead our Ladies team one day. Maybe, Rosie and Jon, you can get her up to the courts on a Sunday morning? It's never too young to start, so they say, and we have some quite small racquets and can lower the net a bit.

Oh gosh this is exhausting, so much news. I'm all worn out. So to our club Final's day which took place on 11th September. 'Focus' have very kindly 'held the front page' for these results, and it was worth it! We saw two relatively new club members walk away (quite slowly) with championships. Stuart Adolph, with partner Jane Wigley, took the Mixed Doubles title in a tight match against Danielle Tansley and Martin Clarke. In the Ladies Doubles, Jan Hale and Judy Venn beat Carole Thorp and Des Antoniou in a game umpired by yours truly; I performed this task from ground level, due to the extremely small seat at the top of the steps not fitting my body shape. This was Judy's fourth title since the inception of the tournament in 1989, but Jan's first, so there was much celebration in the Hale household that evening. During a quiet moment in the scoring, I decided to add up the player's ages which, when added to mine, made a total of 307. I think that must be some sort of record for 5 people on a tennis court, unless of course Ilie Nastase and Billie Jean King made a comeback.

The Men's Doubles was another close contest with another recently-joined member taking the title; John Slater and partner Darren Kerins got the better of Nick Boys and Glenn Wigley, and Darren went one better in the Men's Singles beating an in-form Keith Hillman in another excellent contest. This was, believe it or not, Darren's 24th title, an average of 1.4 a year since his first back in 1993. Now that will take some beating, and I'm planning to start with my first next year; I reckon I can beat Darren by the time I'm 108. In the meantime, congratulations are due to Stuart Adolph and John Slater for making such a rapid rise up the club rankings and taking their first tournament titles, and most certainly not their last! Just wait until they meet me, though...

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, you can visit our website at

Source: Focus, October 2010

Don't Fall Foul of the Law

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council is asking dog owners to show consideration for other residents by using poop-scoops and dog waste bins when they are out walking their pets after receiving 268 complaints in the last year.

The council's dog wardens have the power to hand out fixed penalties of £75 to any dog owners caught failing to clear up after their pet when it's in a public place.

Cllr David McVicar, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities and Healthier Lifestyles at Central Bedfordshire Council said: “With over 620 dog bins installed across Central Bedfordshire, there is no excuse for not doing the right thing. People take pride in their community but public areas are becoming blighted by dog mess.

“I would urge all dog owners to act responsibly or face receiving a fixed penalty if they fail to clear up after their pets. Dog mess is the public's most hated type of litter and it is dangerous.

“People may not realise that Toxocariasis - an infection of the round worm - is spread via dog faeces and young children are particularly at risk due to their weaker immune systems.

“The Council has already successfully prosecuted a resident for not cleaning up after his pet and I hope that all dog owners do their bit in keeping our pavements and parks mess-free.”

Dog walkers must scoop their dog's mess up from all designated land to which the public have access. Designated land includes:

  • Footways and paths, including public footpaths
  • Play areas, picnic sites and outdoor eating places
  • Sport playing pitches including 5 metre border
  • Formal parks and land where the grass is cut
  • Land outside schools and hospitals
  • Car parks, public transport bays and surrounds
  • Cycle ways and surfaced areas near to houses
  • Shopping areas, markets and public circulation areas
  • Cemeteries and war memorials
  • Land surrounding toilets, recycling sites and public buildings

If you want to report a problem with dog mess, please call 0300 300 8631 (North)/ 8632 (South) or email [email protected]

If you are a dog owner, here are some things you can do to help;

  1. If you walk your dog always carry the means to clear up after them. A simple plastic bag will do the trick or buy a poop scoop from a local pet shop
  2. You can also buy biodegradable plastic “Doggy Bags” from the a number of pet supply retailers
  3. Every time your dog fouls, bag it and bin it. Take the poop scoop home and dispose of it there or use one of the bins if available. Remember rain does not wash the problem away.
  4. Never let your dog out alone to “go to the loo”.

Source: Focus, October 2010