Archives of Eaton Bray News for March 2011.
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March 2011

The 2011 National Census

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterWe are aware that the census may give potential distraction burglars or rogue traders an opportunity to target vulnerable people in our communities. To help prevent this, please take note of the following information and, if possible, pass it on to family, friends and neighbours:

  • If you have completed and returned your questionnaire promptly (ie before 6 April), you will not be contacted by census field staff.
  • All census staff will carry an ID card with a photo, logo and hologram, which they should automatically show to you. They may ask for name and number of residents, but they will not ask for specific details (like credit card or bank/building society details, etc – never disclose these).
  • If you forget to complete your form, a census collector will call to request that it is completed. Make sure you check their identity and photo to ensure they are valid. Always use a door chain when opening the door. Census staff are not required to enter you house.
  • Our main advice about preventing distraction burglary still applies – if you’re not sure, don’t open the door. Telephone the census helpline on 0300 0201 101 to check the identity of the census collector.
  • If you wish, you can request a pre-arranged appointment with a collector, via the census helpline number.

If you have any reason to suspect a caller is not genuine, call Bedfordshire Police on 01234 841212, giving us as much information as you can.

Thank you for your support

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire

Stay on Mettle Against Lead Thieves

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Stay on your mettle against lead thieves if you are planning building work this spring.

That is the advice from Bedfordshire Police who say thieves will not hesitate to take advantage of ladders, or any other potential climbing aids, left lying around.

Chief Insp Neill Waring said the price of scrap lead is still high and reminded do-it-yourself enthusiasts and traders to ensure equipment is stored at night and access to any scaffolding is properly restricted.

Ways to protect lead include:

  • Coating it with anti-climb paint. It does not degrade the lead, but will make it very messy and difficult for a thief to remove. The paint is non-drying and marks clothing and skin, often helping the police to identify offenders
  • Forensic marking helps identify stolen metal and enables police to trace it back to the owner. It has resulted in the successful conviction of thieves. Products available include SmartWater, Red Web and SelectaDNA Grease
  • Check your roof regularly. The earlier you report a theft the more chance there is of finding the stolen metal – particularly if it is marked
  • Regularly check the perimeter security of your home or site. Limit access, particularly for vehicles, but maintain the natural surveillance provided by neighbouring premises or routes
  • Consider security lighting, CCTV and roof /drive alarms.
  • If lead or copper is due for replacement, consider modern alternatives that are less attractive for thieves.

Chief Insp Waring said: "Spring is one of those times often earmarked for building work involving the use of ladders, scaffolding and other equipment.

"Most project managers and builders are extremely security minded but with the price of lead so high we would just like to remind everyone, including the DIY enthusiast, about the importance of removing at night, or protecting, anything that could be used as a climbing aid.

"Double-check all materials and tools are securely put away after work, rather than left on site or in the back of a van, and that tools are security marked with a product like SmartWater. Today all prisoners who come into our custody suites are routinely scanned to establish whether they have come into contact with it.

"Bedfordshire Police are doing all they can to deter lead theft and residents can help by keeping an eye on building sites and contacting us if they see anything suspicious."

For further information and crime prevention advice, contact Bedfordshire Police Crime Reduction Officers on 01234 841212 or email [email protected].

For information about theft contact police, in confidence on01234 841212, text to 07786 200011 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire

Volunteer Custody Visitors Needed

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police Authority is currently recruiting Independent Custody Visitors.

Independent Custody Visitors check on the standards in which people are held in custody, enhancing the accountability and transparency of police among the communities they serve. Visitors play a vital role in raising standards in custody and the fair treatment of detainees.

Volunteers from all walks of life and sections of the community are invited to join Bedfordshire Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.

Applications for this recruitment are required by Thursday 7th April 2011.

Applicants must be able to attend induction training on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June 2011.

To find out more or apply for an application pack please:

Telephone: Pat Brown at Bedfordshire Police Authority on 01234 842067

Email:  [email protected]

For more details please visit the Police Authority web site using the link below. 

Thank you for your support


Orchard Pruning Course

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

OrchardMany of our much loved old traditional orchards have been lost in recent years. Those that remain are often in a poor condition due to lack of appropriate maintenance.

This is a real conservation issue because old traditional orchards can be very important places for wildlife.

Rare species such as the Noble Chaffer and Orchard Tooth Fungus are particularly dependant on them and any work to preserve these habitats will benefit much more than just the trees themselves.

This area was particularly well known for it's Aylesbury Prune orchards. Aylesbury Vale District Council Biodiversity Team together with Andy Howard from the Heritage Fruit Tree Company will be running a training event in one of the few remaining Aylesbury Prune orchards, to show you how to safely and effectively manage a traditional orchard. Andy will be demonstrating and instructing on all aspects of orchard management but particularly pruning techniques.

The course will be held at 23 Leighton Road in Edlesborough, starting at 10.30am until 3.30pm, on Wednesday 22nd June 2011. The cost for attendance is £30 and you will be need to bring your own lunch and some appropriate working clothes. All tools will be supplied.

If you are interested in finding out more about the course then please contact Matt Dodds on 01296 427972 or 07843 311844 [email protected] Please apply early because numbers will be limited.

Whether you are wanting to reinvigorate an orchard for fruit production purposes or to benefit the wildlife that depends upon it, this course can really help you achieve your aims.

Matt Dodds
Aylesbury Vale District Council

Parish Council Minutes - March 2011

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting: Monday 7th March 2011

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday 4th April 2011, 7.30pm, in the Coffee Tavern.

Toy Library

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

The Mobile Toy Library is no longer running.

Please see the local Sure Start and Beehive Children's Centre websites
for details on local Toy Libraries.

Toy Library

Central Bedfordshire Children's Centres brand NEW Toy Library is almost ready to roll!

We have hundreds of brilliant toys organised into age appropriate packs for all the ages between 0-5years. The service is open to all families of under 5's and is FREE.

We will operate 2 static toy libraries based at Barton-le-Clay Children's Centre Mondays 9.00-10.00am and Roundabout Children's Centre Fridays 12.15-1.15pm. The catalogues' can be accessed at anytime during our normal session times.

A mobile Toy Library service will also operate on a Thursday. The mobile toy library will operate a two weekly rota starting as below and will return to the same venues on a fortnightly basis:

Starting Thursday 17th March 2011

  • 09.00-09.45: Heath and Reach Thrift Road
  • 10.00-10.30: Aspley Guise Village Hall Car Park
  • 10.45-11.15: Woburn Village Hall Car Park
  • 11.30-12.15: Cranfield (TBC)
  • 13.00-13.45: Ampthill Methodist Church Car Park
  • 14.00-14.30: Clophill Village Hall Car Park
  • 15.00-15.45: Toddington Methodist Church Car Park

Starting Thursday 24th March 2011

  • 09.00-09.45: Eaton Bray (School Lane) Public Car Park
  • 10.30-11.15: Kensworth Village Hall Car Park
  • 11.30-12.15: Caddington Lower School Car Park
  • 13.00-13.45: Slip End Village Hall Car Park
  • 14.00-15.00: Dunstable Methodist Church (Creative Play session available 1.30-3.00pm at Dunstable venue)

To become a member of our Toy Library service you will need to bring along photographic I.D (i.e passport or driving licence) a recent utility bill with your current address on, a completed membership/application form and have registered with the children's centre. If you haven't got an application form, please pick one up from your local children's centre or come and get one on your first visit to the mobile library.

For more information on our Toy Libraries or any of our other Children's Centre services, please call us on 01582 881054 (Barton) or 01525 384368 (Leighton Buzzard).

Barton-le-Clay Children's Centre, Our Space, c/o Ramsey Manor Lower School, Manor Road, Barton, MK45 4NS

Roundabout Children's Centre, c/o St George's Lower School, East Street, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 1EW

Salvation Sound - March 2011

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Salvation ArmyIn the jeweller’s window a diamond of magnificent beauty was on display. The huge stone was worth many thousands of pounds. A passerby looked at it and remarked, “I see a flaw there, it’s not perfect.”

A very well dressed lady exclaimed “It really isn’t that attractive.”

“It’s far to large” declared a woman who was wearing cheap costume jewelry. “I think it’s vulgar, but I just had to see it”. commented another. The guard on duty at the store remarked, “Sour grapes!, It’s a splendid stone; some people just have to criticise”.

We see what we want to see - glance at yourself in a shop window ‘mirror’, and have a surprise - either for good or not so good, depending on how we view ourselves.

Think of a butterfly it comes from a really ugly form, the chrysalis, but when the right time comes, from this emerges the butterfly, a creature of outstanding beauty. The design and colour of its wings are beyond words, perfect in every detail; from that awful case which had enclosed it comes a new creation without blemish.

The diamond before it is cut and polished does not hold much beauty - the crysalis awaits its transformation - more than likely each one of us could do with a make over!

God recognises that we tend to make judgements about people based on how they look, what sort of car they drive, what work they do or did, what sort of house they live in etc. These things do tell us something about a person’s preferences, but they do not tell us how valuable people are as human beings.

Luke 16 : 15. Jesus says “ You are the ones who make yourselves look right in other people’s sight, but God knows your hearts, for the things that are considered of great value by man are worth nothing in God’s sight”. (Good News bible).

What does your mirror reflect?

Samuel 16.7. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. “

Source: Focus, March 2011

Gordon's Charity Christmas Puzzle 2010

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Christmas PuzzleI am very grateful for the support of many local people and for their generosity – as a result of this year’s Puzzle £4,635 will be donated, to be shared equally between five nominated charities.: Accomplish Children’s Trust, Camberley Care Trust, Combat Stress, St Mary’s, Eaton Bray and The Suffolk Punch Trust. The total raised by the Puzzle is now £41,200 – my thanks to everyone who has helped to make this possible.

Of 299 entries this year, from as far away as New Zealand, Australia and Canada, 41 achieved full marks including a number of local people: Liz Constable, Sheila Furnell, Estelle & Paul Marshall, Roger & Helen Wilkinson, A draw, to select four winners, was held at St Mary’s Church, Eaton Bray, on 6 February. The winners, none of whom are local, were: Susan Gibb, Polly Helliar & Marilyn Fursey, Sally Kettle and Jackie & Dave Morgan.

In addition, one entry was drawn at random from among all the entries received, the winner being Sheila Farrow from Luton, who scored 118. These five winners each receive a cheque for £30.

Among other ‘winners’ was a French team, led by Jean-Charles Vechin, who entered the Puzzle for the first time scoring a remarkable 80 out of 85 attempted answers. However did they know where Bill and Ben lived?

Some local people and families have edged towards the top of the Puzzle leader boards, notably:

  Position over past
Name 10 years 5 years 3 years
Liz Constable = 1st = 2nd = 3rd
Sheila Furnell = 4th = 4th = 3rd
Roger & Helen Wilkinson = 5th = 4th = 2nd
Viv & Mel Grundy = 6th = 4th = 3rd
The Baker Family     = 3rd

You can register to receive a copy of next year’s Puzzle at

Next year’s Puzzle will be issued on 8 December.

-- Gordon Gray

Source: Focus, March 2011

Eaton Bray Methodist Church

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Our next Cafe Community will be held on Saturday March 12th from 11-00 am until 1-00pm. We invite you to join us for coffee, a hot snack and a chat with friends. All donations given will be shared between HELP THE HEROES and our CHURCH MAINTENANCE FUND. All ages are welcome.

Source: Focus, March 2011

Panto Stuff

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Edlesbray PlayersThe stage is back to normal, its curtains waiting to welcome the next budding actors into the limelight, or the enthusiastic leaders of some of the many exercise classes we have running in the hall. The sound system is waiting in readiness for the next event, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, funeral, quizzes, dances, all the numerous events put on after many hours of hard work by local people from all walks of life.

This year’s Panto was attended by hundreds of people, we hope you all had a good time and will be back next year for some more locally brewed entertainment. This year we had some new faces along with the usual mix of young and old stagers, and everyone seemed to enjoy the experience. Our thanks to all you fantastic people who helped in any way however small, and to all of you who came and supported us.

In order that we might continue to keep up a good standard we still need more volunteers to help, mostly in the field of administration, so if you can phone or email then you can be of assistance. No theatrical experience needed.

We could also do with a few more people to have a go at acting. You may be surprised how much fun it can be.

If you would to help or have any comments good or bad, contact us via the website.

Pete & Ronnie Farrar (Edlesbray Players)

Source: Edlesbray Players

Force Backs 'Burglar Buster' Campaign

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are throwing their weight behind a national initiative aimed at helping to protect the elderly from distraction burglars.

From today Safer Neighbourhood Officers are starting to deliver hundreds of posters to shops, post offices, doctors' surgeries, libraries and other locations as part of a national campaign called Operation Liberal.

There are four posters in the campaign that feature the slogan "Not Sure? Don't Open the Door" and pictures of pensioners who have become "Burglar Busters" by following key crime prevention advice.

For example, when two men claiming to be from the "Water Board" called at Jean's home, she called police because she knew "Water Boards" no longer exist. The men are now behind bars. When two men posing as police officers called at Harbans’ house, he kept the door closed while he called local police to check their identity. It turned out they were bogus.

Quick-witted Mary saw a suspicious couple calling next door claiming to have lost a ball in the garden. Mary noted the couple’s vehicle details and called police, who confirmed they were distraction burglars.

And John's quick call to police helped stop a bogus caller pretending to be an energy supplier. John had signed up to the Priority Service Register password scheme and the caller did not know his password. John rightly refused to open his door.

Central Bedfordshire Police Crime Reduction Officer, PC John Shiels, said: "This area is not suffering a major problem with distraction burglars at the moment and we are determined to keep it that way. For that reason we are delighted to back this initiative and the 'Not Sure? Don't Open the Door Message'".

"Our advice to pensioners is to use a spy hole and door chain and insist on seeing identification. If you are any doubt about a caller do not let them in and call police.

Anyone with information about distraction burglary can contact police, in confidence, on 01234 841212; Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text to 07786 200011.

For crime reduction advice email [email protected].

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire

WI Inspiring Women

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Women's InstituteThe Women's Institute has been ‘rebranded’ in a bid to modernise its image, hoping to attract new and younger members. The change began about Jan 2010 when a new revamped logo stated “WI Inspiring Women”.

Encouraging women to participate in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.

The reason many women joined in the first place was to get out and meet people.

Another key theme which cropped up was the friendship found within each group. “Its binding for the community”.

Eaton Bray was founded in 1921 and the stalwarts laid the foundations that still continue today. The strength of each WI lies in the contribution of its members. The more you put in-the more you get out-the WI is what you make it. With enthusiastic support from members, almost anything can be achieved. The WI is for all women, of all ages and interests,there is something for everyone.

Meetings. The main part of the monthly meeting is a talk or demonstration (the members take a hand in forwarding ideas for the programme), preceded by some brief WI business. There are outings arranged to various places of interest, meals out and other celebrations as well as joining in the activities of the other group WI’s.

We are always looking to strengthen our numbers and welcome new members to share in our activities. Subscriptions are £30 this year which includes copies of WI Life, delivered to your door during the year.

Meetings are held on the first Monday of the month. Next months meeting is on Monday 7th March at 7.30pm, at the new venue for all future meetings, Eaton Bray Methodist Hall. The speaker will be Keith Lillie, who will demonstrate the art of floristry.

Interested in joining us? Please phone the Secretary Barbara Collier on 01525 221401.

THFC - aka Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis Club!

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis ClubWhat an amazing few days it has been here in the boardroom of EBLTC. There have been various comings and goings of internationally recognisable stars from both business and sport.

Late night negotiations have kept us up until breakfast, and our lawyers fees alone are already running into the millions (note to self; ask Chairman to put subscriptions up a bit next year).

So what is all this about, I hear you ask?

Well I can exclusively reveal, here in Focus, before you read about it in the newspapers or see it on News at Ten, that we have negotiated a multi-million pound deal to sell our tennis courts! You will have read that West Ham United have won the right to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 games. That left THFC - Tottenham Hotspur Football Club - with nowhere to go. So sensing the chance to make a few quid, we phoned White Hart Lane and asked to speak to ‘Arry. We made an offer; for 25 million pounds you can buy our courts and build your new stadium there! We agreed to start negotiations in the coffee tavern that evening, and we’re delighted to announce that a deal has been struck! (First time round we got the wrong number and got through to Harry, the manager at the White Hart in Dunstable who was very surprised at being asked to pay 25 million quid for 3 tennis courts. He said “I’ll give you 15, luv”).

All arrangements are in place, contractors organised, contracts signed and bribes paid. The courts will be dug up next week, turf laid, and painted like a football pitch (penalty areas, six yard boxes, the lot). However, and this is the clever bit; after each match on Saturdays, the pitch will be ‘re-branded’ (our marketing manager came up with that) as tennis courts and re-painted accordingly. So we will have Spurs playing on a Saturday with 60,000 people watching from the new all-seater stadium to be constructed in the rec (sorry about the skate park lads) but then on a Sunday we can take over again and play proper lawn tennis with our usual crowd of about 3. We’ve agreed that they can sit anywhere they like, but the burger joints and bars won’t be open. This, therefore, is the ultimate ‘ground share’ where Spurs and us both benefit from a mutually beneficial business venture (the marketing bloke again). They keep the gate money and we get 25 million up front, as much white paint as we can store in the clubhouse, a box for life (that’s one to stand on not to watch from), and free parking and burgers for life. Simples.

Clearly School Lane will have to be widened to accommodate the extra traffic expected, and a couple of Hemel Hempstead type roundabouts built, but that’s a small matter and we reckon we won’t need planning permission if we do all the work at night. Striker Peter Crouch has already been into Densons, and has his sights on a nice semi in the Orchards. Manager Harry Redknapp intends to base himself in the bar at the White Horse and will conduct transfer negotiations there over a few pints of Spitfire. His wife was concerned about how she will fill her time in a small village, but has found employment at the Happy Valley where she will be section leader of the chip department. Chairman Alan Sugar required a dwelling a little more up-market, so has chosen a 35 foot chrome-trimmed caravan (double axled at that) for which we have gained planning permission to be parked on the unused grassy triangle at Moor End. Well we haven’t actually got it through in writing yet, but our lawyer Phut Pholt says in won’t be a problem. It will add a bit of class to a rather run-down area of the village and help stop cars parking there in Carnival day. Finally, training facilities for the team have been leased (or rather commandeered). We all measured our back gardens and Glenn Wigley had the biggest, so the team will train there 4 times a week. The ducks will have to be re-housed so ‘Arry has offered to sneak in one night next week and take them somewhere safe where he can look after them. Apparently he’s also ordered 10 pounds of oranges from Tescos to be delivered the next morning. I never even knew ducks ate oranges. Amazing what you learn at EBLTC.

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, March 2011