Archives of Eaton Bray News for October 2011.
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Archived News

October 2011

Parish Council Minutes - October 2011

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

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting: Monday 3rd October 2011

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday 7th November 2011, 7.30pm, in the Coffee Tavern.

Let's Talk Together: Community Meeting

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

Central BedfordshireDate: Tuesday 6 December
Time: 7-9pm
Location: Eaton Bray Village Hall, Church Lane, Eaton Bray, LU6 2DJ

Visit the market stalls anytime between 7 - 7.45pm to talk to a range of public service providers, meet your local policing team and your Parish and Ward Councillors.

From 8pm join the conversation with other residents to decide the community safety priorities for the area, discuss local topical issues and what can be done together to make things work better.

The meeting will be chaired by a Council Executive Member.

For further information please visit

Source: Focus, October 2011

Ensure That You Have A Great Halloween

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

Halloween NightWith Halloween just around the corner, Bedfordshire Police has launched a series of posters to remind parents, guardians and youngsters to stay safe during the festivities.

The four posters – which can be downloaded from the bottom of this page offer hints and tips to 'Trick or Treaters' as well reminding people that not everyone enjoys Halloween as much as others. There are also posters for shop owners to place in their windows advising that eggs and flour will be sold at their discretion as well as a poster for residents who may not want callers at their door.

Officers have already been to schools around Bedfordshire to hand out posters and it is hoped that the campaign will ensure that all residents enjoy October 31 without causing distress to those who do not want to participate.

Head of Community Safety for the force, Police Inspector Alex House, said: "During Halloween some people, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, can find it very frightening to have large groups unexpectedly calling at their homes asking for treats.

"If possible, parents and guardians should go out trick or treating with their children, sticking to well-lit areas and only knocking on the doors of people they know. Some people may have 'No trick or treat' posters up at their doors and we ask that these are respected.

"We don't want to spoil anyone's fun, we simply want to ensure people have a safe and enjoyable Halloween."

During this time of year, the police take many extra complaints about Halloween-related activities. Some of these are about noise or general "high spirits" – but often the fun has degenerated into serious inconvenience and outright criminal activity.

Activities such as throwing eggs, flour and water bombs at other people or their property are, at the least, frightening for those who are subjected to it and at worst can mean the police investigating crimes such as assault.

Coupled with the onset of Bonfire night, Halloween can also mean extra problems with fireworks being thrown or used irresponsibly. It's worth bearing in mind that letting off fireworks near the road is actually a criminal offence.

To help reduce these types of incidents Bedfordshire Police will have a number of extra patrols in operation across the county to make sure that everyone has a good time whilst staying safe.

Source: Ringmaster, Bedfordshire

Full Steam Ahead

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

Bedfordshire Area Group of
The Association of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers

We are the local group of The Association of Narrow Gauge Modellers. Our membership is drawn from the neighbouring counties of Beds, Bucks and Herts and currently stands at around 30 members.

We meet monthly at the Eaton Bray Village Hall. The clubs exhibition layout is called Ridgmont, which takes its name from the Bedfordshire village where the club was formed over 20 years ago. During our meetings, members bring along their own locomotives and rolling stock to run on the club layout, Ridgmont, and other visiting layouts. The locomotives are a mix of Live Steam engines, most of which are gas fired, and a small number of coal fired engines. During quiet periods, when a member is waiting to raise steam, a strange assortment of battery powered engines can be seen making leisurely progress around the layout.

Visitors are always welcome at our club meetings. Any 16mm members from other groups are also welcome to bring along one of their own engines.

A full list of our clubs meeting dates can be found on the club's website at

If you would like further details or are interested in joining our club you may contact our club secretary: Chris Pretty on 01442 244345.

Source: Focus, October 2011

Bedfordshire Police: Making Contact: October 2011

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

Bedfordshire Police Authority: Making Contact
Issue 14 - October 2011

Bedfordshire Police is entering a period of unprecedented change and we are committed to keeping the public, our partners and stakeholders fully informed of these developments.

1. Value for Money

As taxpayers, the public quite rightly expects public services to be financed properly. Delivering value for money services has always been a priority for Bedfordshire Police Authority, particularly in light of the recent budget constraints, and we are pleased to report that we have again received official recognition for our efforts.

Following an independent inspection, we were one of only five police authorities nationally to receive the highly-coveted Level 3 "Good" rating demonstrating our exceptional use of public funds.

The rating has also been backed up by a report by the Audit Commission, which assessed Bedfordshire Police Authority as "green" for its work to secure value for money – the highest rating given by the Commission for looking after public funds.

Our arrangements to ensure financial resilience as we face a severe funding gap have been met with approval by inspectors as well as the systems we have put in place to secure economy and efficiency at a time of financial hardship.

Residents can be assured that we are leading by example in our efforts to achieve economy, with our collaborative arrangements with other forces described as a beacon for other Police Authorities to follow.

Not only is it important to us to spend taxpayers' money wisely, residents can be assured we are also committed to providing them with a greater say on how we can use our resources well. The Authority has been recognised for its consultation work with the public on policing priorities and finances.

2. 101 - The New Number to Call

Contacting the police has now become much easier in Bedfordshire thanks to the launch of our new, three-digit telephone number for non-urgent enquiries.

The memorable 101 telephone number has been designed to increase accessibility to the police and people can use the line to report minor crime, discuss crime prevention advice or other non-urgent matters. Focus groups welcomed the introduction of a single easy to remember telephone that they could use from anywhere to contact the police.

It will also relieve pressure on the emergency service which spends a considerable proportion of time dealing with inappropriate 999 calls which are not genuine emergencies.

On average, Bedfordshire Police receives more than 1,300 calls a day however only about 11% of those require an emergency response from the police.

Calls to 999 should always be in the context of a real emergency such as when a crime is happening, when someone suspected of a crime is nearby or where someone is injured or in danger. All other matters such as reporting a less urgent crime or contacting police with a general enquiry should be made on the 101 number.

3. Update on Police and Crime Commissioners

Proposed changes to the police governance structure finally became a reality last month after the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill received Royal Assent, ending months of debate on the issue.

This means that by the end of next year police authorities will cease to exist and will instead be replaced by directly-elected Police and Crime Commissioners.

The Authority has welcomed the clarity this decision provides and is now working hard to prepare for the transition to the new arrangements.

Elections for the new PCCs have been put back to November 2012 to give everyone involved more time to get ready for the handover and make sure it is as smooth and seamless as possible. The extra time will also facilitate the publication of national guidance to assist us as we set up a framework for the new structure.

We like to reassure residents that we are working hard behind the scenes to safeguard recent improvements made in performance and public satisfaction rates. In our view, it is 'business as usual' as we continue to deliver our work across all areas of our responsibility to achieve the best possible outcome for our communities. We are committed to keeping the public fully informed of all developments relating to PCCs and will deliver this information in a timely manner so that our communities know exactly what is happening.

It is important that the PCC inherits a financially sound organisation, and over the next few months, we will press ahead with our pioneering collaboration programme to develop further value for money projects which will improve our ability to deal with serious and organised crime and make people safer.

The strong collaborative foundations that we have put down will continue to grow in the future and we take great pride to have played such a vital role in this.

4. Update on re-organisation

From this month, all the reorganisation work we have been busy working out over the past few months will start to take effect, bringing major changes across the force which will help it to run more efficiently while also saving money.

The changes mainly relate to the way we organise our staff and should not be noticeable to local residents. They are mainly concerned with making sure the Force utilises its resources in the most effective way possible and mobilises the right people at the right time.

The force will implement the three local policing districts, already widely publicised, this month, each of which will be led by their own Chief Inspector and linked to local authority areas. PCSOs will continue to provide a vital link with communities and deal with local issues and concerns, while more police officers will be available to respond to minor crime, anti-social behaviour and problem hotspots. Local policing will become a more prominent priority with extra resources to deal with the issues that matter most to the public.

The three Chief Inspectors for the districts have been named as:

  1. Bedford - CI Rob McCaffery
  2. Central Bedfordshire - CI Neil Waring
  3. Luton - T/CI Rob Bartlett

To contact your local policing team click here and follow the links to your local authority area.

We will be able to give problems such as sustained anti-social behaviour a higher priority and any intelligence generated will be used to help the investigation process and prevent future offences.

Officers will be responsible for investigating low level crime affecting communities, targeting and disrupting prolific offenders living in neighbourhoods through early identification.

A new Response Policing Team (RPT) will attend incidents countywide, with new technology being deployed to help save money and speed up response times.

The response officers will respond 24-hours-a-day from bases in Bedford, Luton, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard, Ampthill and Biggleswade, and will usually be the first point of contact for the public in an emergency situation.

Plain clothes detectives will also cover the whole county, investigating and detecting more serious crimes.

The Force also aims to increase the number of incidents resolved on the telephone, which will reduce demand on frontline staff. As a result, it is improving the way the Control Room operates by introducing a new appointment system to resolve non-emergency issues. This enables police officers to meet victims and witnesses at times convenient to them.

The Police Authority has been keen to consult with the public and our partners throughout the reorganisation process which has guided many of our decisions. We are keen to continue that two-way communication in the months ahead and will be asking residents at a later stage whether these changes are having any impact on the service they receive to ensure we continue to meet public expectations.

5. Integrated Offender Management

Can we draw your attention to the Integrated Offender Management Leaflet? This bulletin has been sent on behalf of the Integrated Offender Management Team, which has been subject to significant investment by the Police Authority, to inform you about the joined up approach being adopted to prevent reoffending.

And finally...

If you know of anyone who may like to receive a copy of this, please forward this email - and please copy us in so that we can include their address on our distribution list.

If you have any questions about any of the articles in this newsletter, or indeed any other area of our responsibilities, then please get in touch.

If you have any questions about any of the articles in this newsletter, or indeed any other area of our responsibilities, then please get in touch.

For further information or to contact us

Bedfordshire Police Authority
Bridgebury House, Woburn Road, Kempston, Bedford, MK43 9AX.

Tel: 01234 842066
Email: [email protected]

Bedfordshire Police Authority

Source: Bedfordshire Police Authority

Autumn Gardening Course

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

Luton HooGuiding you through the autumn towards a successful spring with Joan Scanlon, Town Gardens Danny Snapes, Head Gardener, Fenton House, Hampstead Theo Chapman, Propagation, Wakehurst Place, W. Sussex

Every Friday at the Luton Hoo Walled Garden 21st October - 25th November 10am - 1pm

21st October - Ornamental gardening; principles of garden and planting design - this session will focus on extending the growing season, looking at autumn and winter flowering shrubs and herbaceous plants

28th October - Bulb planting; planning for year-round flowering - an introduction to bulbs, corms and tubers, with examples of each, and their potential for year round flowering interest.

4th November* - Making compost and mulching - the importance of soil improvement, and techniques for achieving this; different kinds of compost systems; principles of compost making and practical exercises in mulching.

11th November* - Common pests and diseases and their treatment - identification of the symptoms of common garden problems and methods of dealing with common pests and diseases of garden plants

18th November - The winter fruit and vegetable garden - autumn and winter tasks, looking at what it is possible to grow over winter and key tasks for this season which would develop and improve your vegetable garden/allotment. The practical part of the session will involve pruning the apple trees in the Luton Hoo Walled Garden.

25th November* - Propagation - propagating your own plants at minimal cost, with examples of particular shrubs which can be reproduced fairly easily; how to control the spread of herbaceous plants such as crocosmia, sedum and geraniums. In this session we will look at the principles of propagation, and the best plants to propagate at this season.

25th November - Theo Chapman

(*Denotes extra session for advanced gardeners : 4th & 5th November - Danny Snapes)

£110 for 6 sessions
£50 for 3 sessions
£20 for 1 session

Numbers will be limited, so please reserve your place early

For more information or to book your place on any of the sessions, call 01582 816034.

Luton Hoo Walled Garden
Luton Hoo
United Kingdom

Farm Theft - 14 October 2011

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

RingmasterBedfordshire Police are asking rural business owners to be vigilant, and to report any suspicious vehicles, or visitors, after a theft took place at a farm in Eaton Bray.

The offence took place between 9:00 a.m. on the 13th and 7:10 a.m. on the 14th of October.

The offender has approached the yard and removed high value machinery.

Property taken was a Head Plate and Truck times for a vehicle at the location.

A witness reported a vehicle that may be linked to this offence.
A White Van, registration similar to B J 5 3 K P J.

Bedfordshire Police aks local residents and businesses to be exta vigilant and review the security of all property that may be visible from the road.

For more information on reducing rural crime visit

If you have any information about this crime or other suspicious incidents, please call the Force Control Room on 1 0 1, and quote crime reference, J,D,/,4,1,9,7,2,/2011.

Alternatively text your message to (07786) 200011 or email your message to [email protected]

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on (0800) 555 111, or online at

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Thank you for your support.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire

Cheeky Monkeys Autumn News

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

Cheeky Monkeys logo

Cheeky Monkeys Autumn Term update

We are still doing the Samaritans purse operation christmas child; you have untill early November to get your boxes complete and to us or a collection point. It is a wonderfull cause that gives children with nothing a gift at christmas; please see their website for more details We are also collecting left over party bag fillers, hats, scarfs, and toys that were never used, to help make up the boxes, so please bring any you have along to Cheeky Monkeys (feel free just to drop them off if you don't have children of Cheeky Monkeys age).

Our Christmas Party will be held on the 14th of December. We are trying to arrange for an entertainer for the children, so if you know of anyone who is willing to give us 20 minutes of their time please tell them to get in touch or if you know a suitable santa! Tickets will be on sale from 2nd of November.

On the 9th November, Paula from Bookworms will be selling her books that are aimed from baby to around 7 years old. She have a mixed range from board books, cloth books, bath books, Disney Princess, Cars, Toy Story, CD Books, A Good Range of Floppy and Activity Books. All books are half RRP or less, so come along and have a look.

On the 16th of November we have a photographer taking phots for us so just beacause they are not at school yet, doesn't mean you can't have some nice photo's.

We are also looking into becoming a registered charity and are still looking for people to support us. If you would like to support us maybe you would like to join our newly formed committee. It currently consists of Heather Burrows, Kara March and myself Rachel Turner! Yes not many, so if you would like to help us but can't commit to come along weekly, maybe you could join the committee. Please feel free to call me on 07789 760007.

For more information on our weekly events and much much more, please visit our website.

Aristocrats of the Prune Orchards

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

OrchardMost readers of Focus will know that our area was once famous for the production of a particular variety of plum with excellent eating and preserving qualities. It was also said to be of great value in the straw hat trade in Luton and Dunstable where the locally made straw plait was turned into natty ladies and gents headwear.

The local plums - or more correctly their skins were used to make a dye with which to tint the straw hats in a fetching shade of purple fashionable in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. Eaton Bray, Edlesborough and adjoining parishes were extensively planted with plum orchards and the trade flourished into the 1950s, but since then these orchards have ceased to be managed for fruit production and are, for the most part either used for grazing or are disused and reverting to scrub.

But they still have a great value for wildlife and support a range of characteristic fungi, lichens, plants, insects, birds and mammals. And some of the old fruit trees support species which are not found anywhere else.

In the depths of last winter's snow and ice some of you may have noticed some odd looking characters, well swathed in weather stopping garments, peering through hedges or over gates, or taking a close interest in any gnarled and ancient orchard trees which could be reached by public footpath or bridle way. They looked odd because they were carrying a heavy load of sample jars, tape measures, ordnance survey maps, assorted paperwork and other gubbins necessary for their business. They were volunteers carrying out an initial survey of the condition of local orchards and their trees on behalf of Natural England and the People's Trust for Endangered Species. If you own or live close to an orchard they may have knocked on your door, or left an information pack about the work.

More specifically they were looking for trees of an age and condition suitable for one of Britain's rarest creatures: a beetle known as the Noble Chafer. This beautiful beetle (see picture on page 73) depends on dead and decaying wood and is found only in traditional orchards, large numbers of which are being destroyed for agriculture or development, or are disappearing through neglect.

The Noble Chafer is a handsome creature. Adults are about 2cm long and a striking, iridescent green in colour. They survive for only 4 to 6 weeks and the very fortunate who live in the areas where they breed may see them on the wing, or visiting flowers such as hogweed, on hot, sunny days in July and August.

They mate at this time and the females lay eggs in the decaying wood of old fruit trees. They prefer orchards with mature trees, 50 to 80 years old – just the sort which are vulnerable to clearance or removal. The larvae feed on the rotting wood, taking two years to develop into adults. During this time the larvae produce characteristic droppings called frass. This often accumulates in the hollows and crevices of the old trees and is an indicator of the presence of the Noble Chafer.

Until very recently the Noble Chafer was believed to survive only in a few orchards in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, south Oxfordshire and parts of the New Forest. But no longer! For, as a result of the findings of the initial survey, and a very detailed follow up investigation by specialists in the field, the Noble Chafer has been discovered in an old orchard in Edlesborough. And it may be in others in this area. This is sensational news and has caused great excitement amongst naturalists and wildlife organisations.

If you own, lease or rent an old orchard and are interested in finding out if the Noble Chafer has made its home there you can ask the People's Trust for Endangered Species to send an expert to carry out a survey. Or you can search for "frass" yourself. Collect a handful of the wood mould that has accumulated in a hole or crevice in an old fruit tree. This will be fine, woody material, but it may contain frass, which are lozenge shaped pellets about 3mm long (see picture on page 73). Should you also find larvae in the mould sample, return them carefully to the hole or crevice – but take a photograph if you can. If you find frass or larvae please report your find to the People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES).

Also contact the PTES if you would like to know more about, or take part in the work to map, investigate and record the condition of old orchards and their wildlife. You can do this by telephone: 020 7498 4533; by e mail: [email protected] ; or by writing to: People's Trust for Endangered Species, 15 Cloisters House, 8 Battersea Park Road, London. SW8 4BG.

Source: Focus, October 2011

The Salvation Army's Annual Appeal

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

Salvation ArmyYou are superb. Thank you to everyone in the four villages that has donated to The Salvation Army's Annual Appeal. You have raised £460 and I am extremely grateful to you for that sum. This goes towards the total we have been asked to raise in the area of £2700.

My thanks go to the proprietors/owners of the four businesses in the villages that very kindly agreed to have a collecting box. Without their agreement we could not have done this collection in this way. They are:

  • Munns in Dagnall
  • The Post Offi ce/Stores in Edlesborough
  • Trading Faces in Eaton Bray
  • The Swan Inn at Northall

As you were kindly donating to the appeal, we were experiencing the riots in London and other areas. Teams from Salvation Army churches were out on the streets supporting the emergency services by providing drinks and food to keep them going through long shifts. The South London Emergency vehicle based in Croydon could not be driven out of his car park due to cars being set ablaze in front of it, but the Salvation Army folk still provided that back up that was needed. Haringey Council asked The Salvation Army to set up and run a refuge centre in Tottenham Hale for residents and their advice and support is still being provided. So, as you were donating, funds were being used to continue to provide care and practical support at a time of great need. I must also say thank you to the Focus team that have allowed us to set up the appeal this year in this way. My thanks to you all.

Captain Jenny Dibsdall
The Salvation Army/Eaton Bray

Source: Focus, October 2011

Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis Club

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

Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis ClubGrey clouds billowed menacingly across the sky last Saturday as our annual club Final's Day got underway, our 23rd since we stared out in 1989. Tennis players and supporters however are a hardy bunch, and all arrived undeterred by the BBC weatherman's forecast of 'a few light showers' determined to play – and hopefully win – their finals, or to cheer on their family member/friend/person who'd paid them to come along. And so it was that we laid out 20 garden chairs alongside court 1, made ourselves a cup of hot coffee, and sat down to enjoy the first final of the afternoon. Umpire was Peter Hale, who had to make do standing on another garden chair, as we'd inadvertently left the umpire's ladder in Judy Venn's garage and no-one had the energy to go back and get it.

This was the first time the Ladies Singles final had been contested since 2007, and we were not disappointed. Alison Lowe took on Alicia Franklin, both ladies still strictly Juniors, but putting on a display of tennis that would make any one of our first team players look over their shoulders. A match very high in quality eventually saw Alison come out on top 6-1, 6-3 to take her first Senior title at the club. Congratulations Alison!

Next up was the Men's Singles, which saw our only 3-setter of the afternoon. Darren Kerins and Kevin Todd entertained us for almost 2 hours in a fiercely competitive match full of chips, lobs and powerful forehands. Despite Kevin taking the first set, Darren came through in the end 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to take his 13th Men's Singles title, his first being in 1993. Not many professional tennis players are still at the top of their game after 18 years! I should clarify that part of that 2 hour match included a rain break, when the heavens opened and every committee member to a man ran onto the courts to pull out the protective covers, before remembering that we didn't have any.

A short sharp shower it was however; play quickly resumed after a swift 10 minute break in the clubhouse (during which Kevin had a cup of tea and a bag of cheese and onion crisps).

The Mixed Doubles was played out on Court 2, giving some spectators the challenging decision of which court to place their garden chairs alongside. Carole Thorp and (tennis) partner Simon Mitchener had the tough task of playing club coach Sara Leavy and her partner Glen Wigley. Sarah played a 'blinder' with some magnificent contributions from Glenn (or so he told me afterwards, when I told him I'd be writing my Focus report later), and despite strong resistance from their opponents, Sara and Glenn won in straight sets 6-4, 6-1. That match was quickly followed by the Ladies Doubles final, consisting of Jane Cross and Claire Fox-Wilson against Judy Venn and Alison Lowe, by now fully recovered from her earlier victory (the stamina of these youngsters)! Judy and Alison played superbly, taking control of and winning the first set, and despite Jane and Claire raising their game in the second, they couldn't prevent Judy and Alison taking the title 6-1, 7-5. Two titles in one afternoon for Alison, and Judy's 3rd title overall, her first being back on our inaugural Final's Day in 1989. Still winning titles after 23 years is some achievement!

The final match was the Men's Doubles between Simon Mitchener and Peter Messetter, playing Darren Kerins and John Slater. Darren and John put up a good fight and made it a very close encounter, but Simon and Peter emerged victorious at the end of an exciting tie-break,6-3, 7-6. And so ended a fantastic day of tennis, but being Eaton Bray Tennis Club, the day was only just beginning! There followed a social evening in the clubhouse with around 30 members (some suitably hosed down after their exploits on court), both adult and junior, enjoying various savoury and sweet dishes brought along by members, the quantities of which could have fed most of Eaton Bray for a week. Our clubhouse fridge was bulging with copious amounts of bottles and cans of suitable liquid refreshment, consumed whilst regaling ever more exaggerated stories of heroic exploits on court earlier in the day. Cups and prizes were awarded, and as night fell, everyone slipped away happy, contented and proud to be a member!

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 2011

New Bus Service - Use it or Lose it!

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

A new bus service commenced on Monday, July 25th 2011 serving Totternhoe, Eaton Bray and Billington. The new Route 71 will operate 4 times per day through the villages to Leighton Buzzard on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, AND also extends further to THREE times per day to Dunstable calling at Sainsbury's and Asda.

This now connects the villages to 2 choices of towns and ALL four major supermarkets for shopping.

South Beds Dial-a-Ride are a Community Bus operator based in Totternhoe and have reached agreement to provide a complementary service to Central Bedfordshire Council to greatly expand this service using their minibuses which are a regular sight around their base in Totternhoe.

From April 2011 the 73 service was reduced to only one return per day to Leighton Buzzard on 3 days per week, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays only, giving only a short stay in the town.

The new service is experimental and will be reviewed if underused. See bus stops for timetable details or contact South Beds Dial-a-Ride on 01525 222331.

Source: Focus, October 2011

News from the Lions Den

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

Lions International logoA lot has been happening since our last article. Firstly, our club has now officially formed and some of our new members have been inducted, which was a great social event held at the Doubletree in Milton Keynes. Some of the members enjoyed watching a game at the stadium before the formation evening, watching the Dons win at home to Chesterfield 6-2.

Hopefully some of you reading this will have managed to come along to our Medical Detection Dogs presentation evening at the end of September. It really is a wonderful and very worthwhile charity making a difference to many people's lives. More pictures of these and other events can be seen on our website

Our next event is coming up soon - 19th November. There is a large advert placed in this month's Focus for our Race Night. This promises to be a great, fun filled evening. Tickets are available now and are priced at £12.50 per person. The price includes your entry to the event and a hot supper. Please bring your own drinks. To get your tickets please call 01525 229 656 or email [email protected].

Another date for your diary is Saturday 10th December when we will be holding a 'Christmas, Crafts and second hand book sale' at Dagnall village hall. Watch out for more details coming in next month's magazine.

Each month so far we have written about a different Lions project. We recognise that some of these may not always feel relevant to the local community but our 'Message in a Bottle' really can make a difference to a significant number of people everywhere.

This scheme is free to the user. Whilst it is focused on the more vulnerable people in our community, anyone can fall downstairs, so this scheme can benefit anyone, including you. As a minimum it will save the Emergency Services valuable time identifying you and your emergency contacts. By telling whether you have special medication or allergies or not, it is a potential lifesaver and provides peace of mind to users and their friends and families.

The Message in a Bottle scheme ensures that important medical and personal information is on hand for the emergency services when they are called out to your home. Members of the Message in a Bottle scheme place a small plastic bottle in their fridge containing details of all relevant medical information. A green cross sticker is placed inside your front door and another on the fridge to alert emergency services to its presence. Lions work in partnership with local councils, health services and emergency services to deliver the scheme.

Many Lions Clubs across the country have taken to recognise this initiative as a means of fulfilling the motto 'we serve' and often fund this scheme from their own charity accounts.

If you know of anyone who could benefit from one of these small plastic bottles please do get in touch. You will find that we tend to have these on display at most if not all of our events and give them out free of charge, if you have a need for one now, please do get in touch by emailing [email protected].

Ordinary people doing amazing things

Source: Focus, October 2011

Salvation Sound - October 2011

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

Salvation ArmyIt is cold. The sky begins to show itself above the mist which hovers over the turned brown earth of the ploughed fi eld. With a gentle sigh a golden leaf falls to the damp ground beneath a tree which holds its bare branches heavenwards as if pleading with its creator. Another day begins, the sounds of which seem to intrude upon my thoughts, my quiet time, my time of prayer...

Sometimes it is diffi cult to pray; we often think that our prayers are unimportant when we consider world situations, but that is not so. All heart-prayers are heard, (all incense rises towards heaven, no matter the perfume it's composed of.)

And they are answered; prayers are really desires and desires are fulfi lled according to their strength. It seems that sometimes prayer is more readily heard when a large number of people pray together, as in church; but Jesus took himself away from the crowd many times so that He was able to speak to his Father alone. Sometimes I feel the need for solitude. A time when I can not only commune with the Lord, but a time for refl ection and recollection and self-examination. A time in which to ask and try to receive the answers to the inevitable questions. Why? How? and When?

How do you feel when you try to make a 'phone call to a company only to be greeted with a computerised voice? Press 1 if your call is urgent... Press 2 for more grace. Your call is important, please hold.

Then comes the music...Thankfully God is always available. "Call to me, and I will answer you" (Jer 33:3) has not been replaced by "All lines are busy".

Communication (prayer) with God is a two-way thing. He speaks to us through His word and through the indwelling voice of the Holy Spirit, sometimes interpreted as our conscience. He paid the price to keep the lines open so that we can experience the ioy of being still and knowing that He is God; Psalm 46:10.

"He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known: (Miles)

"Through the tangled web of life, Lord, guide me.
Through the problems of the day, stay beside me.
From the dangers of the world, defend me.
In the quiet of the night, Lord, hear me;
And accept my prayer, my thanks, for being near me."

Source: Focus, October 2011

The Planning System - How Can I Make It Work For Me?

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


This whole day session is part of CPRE/NALC's Supporting Communities and Neighbourhoods in Planning project.

It will be an excellent opportunity to help people get to grips with the planning system and responding to planning applications. The event is funded by Communities and Local Government so there will be no charge to delegates but booking with CPRE is essential. The event is open to all members of the community, so we anticipate wide interest.

Please book your place early to avoid disappointment.

For bookings please contact:
Ann Collett-White, Branch Development Manager
CPRE Bedfordshire, 5 Grove Place, Bedford, MK40 3JJ
Mobile: 07989 837819
Email: [email protected]