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November  2000

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The great Martian hunt

Sunday afternoon on the 15th October was a lovely afternoon to hold "Hunt the Horn" in the Odell Great Wood. Peter Coleman sought to revive the game last played a number of years ago by the scouts. The hornblowers were primed and set off to lead a group of 22 children, 10 adults and 2 dogs a merry dance through the woods…. But at the last minute we were alerted to the news that Martians had landed in Odell. More to the point they had abducted John Dunn. In addition the village flag and the village "Gonk" were also taken. Our walk was not in vain however as all present agreed to be Odell Village Deputies and hunt down the aliens and rescue John and the village heirlooms. What was helpful was that the alien Martians made sounds very similar to the horn so it was easy to follow them.

The Martians were in such a rush to get back to their spaceship they left torn fragments of their space suits in the bushes and trees to help ease our tracking of them. After wading through the jungle (sorry local muntjacks for frightening a few of you) we first found the village Gonk dangling from a bush. A little further along a trail we discovered the flag hanging proudly from a tree. We even discovered a cache of alien sweets left behind in their dash to freedom.

After checking all the routes off the stump, their trail was picked up again and it wasn’t long before we rescued John whom the Martians had left tied to a tree. With the Martians apparently on their way home in their space craft (which in the distance did look a little like a hot air balloon) it was time to head back to the village hall with the promise of hot soup and hot dogs washed down with lashings of lemonade and chocolate cake. (oops, sorry … I read too many Enid Blyton books).

Many thanks to all who turned out to make the event a fun afternoon, especially the mums who prepared the tea, John Dunn for allowing himself to be rescued and David Lee and David Johns for blowing the horn. Special thanks to Mr and Mrs Chamberlain who added to the spirit of the adventure by allowing us to trek off the main footpath onto private land.

‘Thank yous’ to Peter were given by Bethan Lee and Stephanie Bridgman for arranging the event and party and for the many other activities he arranges for the youngsters. Happy retirement Peter.

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Village Hall Update – September 2000

In the last edition it was reported that we might have to discontinue with the re-cycling scheme. All is not lost however, so please put your old newspapers in the bin. It is hoped that Beds Council DSD department will offer the service.

November 4th – Dance

Ticket sales are going well and we hope to report in the next edition all had a good night.

By the way, this was a much- enjoyed event last year. Dennis Love will once again provide the music. You can dance or sit and enjoy the music.

There will be a licensed bar and tickets kept to last year’s price of 3. (available from Pat 720594, Rob 720730, Chris 721060 and The Bell).

December 2nd – Disco

We are currently experiencing a slight difficulty, as our DJ is no longer "doing the biz". As soon as a replacement has been found, watch out for the posters!!

Following the "Hunt the Horn" walk some ideas were presented for occasional Sunday afternoon rambles through the woods and surrounding area. We would welcome your thoughts on this. It was also suggested that as the winter draws on to hold some "open sessions" in the hall where games could be brought along to be played, with refreshments on sale. Again any thoughts you have would be welcome, as would offers of help to supervise such sessions.

We would like some new members to help us on the committee particularly as we enter a period where the future of the hall will require some serious work. Do please consider if you can help in any way. We are a small but committed team, good fun, but badly in need of new ideas. If you have some time to give let any of the committee know.

We are still waiting to have further discussions regarding improved access to the hall. In the meantime anyone wishing to use the hall but is worried about the steps etc, let us know and we can make arrangements to ease your access.

Thank you for your continued support. The hall can be booked through Doreen Wheeler, tel:720358

Rob Lee, On behalf of the Village Hall Committee tel:720730

N.S.P.C.C. Collection.

The recent house to house collection raised the sum of 106.63

for the N.S.P.C.C. Many thanks to everyone who contributed.

Tinfoil, Milk Bottle tops and Silver Paper:

In the October Magazine I mentioned that these items would have to be sent to a commercial recycling facility. Since then I have ascertained that the Volunteer Services Bureau, in Bedford, will accept these items, so I shall continue to collect to send them there where they seemingly are of use. Thank you to anyone who wishes to continue collecting these items.

Isobel Ross,  4a Horsefair Lane, Odell.

Odell Parish Council

We received the report from Mrs Cook, the Rural Housing Enabler, on the need for affordable housing in Odell. A response had been received from 38 % of those who had received the questionnaire. Several people had commented that affordable housing would be required, but only 3 people identified an actual requirement and this was not immediate. Mrs Cook reported that the Bedford Borough Council would not take any action as a result of the Survey, but it was considered by the Parish Council to have been a useful exercise, and that it may be necessary to repeat the Survey in about 3 years’ time.

  • Noise from Aircraft

The Council had complained to the Bedford Borough Council about the noise of helicopters from Santa Pod flying low over the village. The Borough Council had written to Santa Pod and to the Civil Aviation Authority, and it was noted that there has been no recurrence of this nuisance since then.

  • Dog Warden Scheme

The Parish Council has been invited to participate in this Scheme, whereby a Warden would be appointed with statutory powers to issue Fixed Penalty notices on any person allowing his dog to foul the roadways or footpaths. The Parish Council decided not to make such an appointment, but to invite an application from any person who felt he or she would like to take up the appointment. It was the opinion of the Parish Council that Odell is generally a clean village and that a Dog Warden was not necessary. The Country Park is of course within the Parish, but is the responsibility of the Bedfordshire County Council.

  • Children's Playground

Maintenance and repair work is to be undertaken on the swings.

  • Road Markings

The red strip and 30 mph roundel has been created at the eastern end of the Village, and in the Dungee Road. A similar marking is to be placed at Hartles Hill.  

  • Electric wires and Telephone Cables

The Parish Council has requested that these be placed underground. A contribution to the cost may be required, but the amount is to be ascertained. The Conservation Officer at the Bedford Borough Council is to be approached for his support in this application.

  • Byways

The County Council has closed 40 Foot Lane until February 2001. We note that Yelnow Lane is again impassable to pedestrians or even farm tractors. The County Council will be requested to repair this byway.

  • Police Speed traps

In the quarter ended 30th June, only one conviction had occurred. That was in Little Odell.

  • Police presence

The establishment of the Station in Riseley was noted. In an emergency, it might be wiser to ring direct to Greyfriars.

The date of the next meeting is to be changed to Wednesday 29th November.        Jonathan Harrison, Chairman

Round and About

The cup that cheers but not inebriates.

There is something very English about serving a cup of tea. Other nations, admittedly with affection, laugh at us for the pleasure we take from this humble infusion of a bunch of leaves.

Tea, however, did not originate on this side of the world neither can it be grown here. Perhaps our liking for tea enacts some perverse national trait in making this the most popular drink in the land.

According to legend tea originated in the year 2,700 B.C. when the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, being in some pain, caused water to be boiled for him to drink. Before this was passed to the Emperor some leaves from a nearby tea bush fell into the water and the Emperor, upon drinking the infusion, declared it to be a wonderful drink. No wonder, according to the Emperor his pain had disappeared. From this date on the Chinese have drunk considerable quantities of tea. The Japanese, however, have another legend for the origins of tea, and somewhat less pleasant. According to their legend a Buddhist monk, whilst deep in meditation, fell asleep. Upon waking he was so horrified at what he had done that he cut off the offending eyelids and cast them aside. In so doing they fell into a pot of boiling water and the story from here on is much the same as above.

Some years ago I wrote on the history of taking tea, from the earliest times to the present day. It proved to be very popular and I am now setting out a few more details about this perfect nectar. That welcome "cuppa" that makes us feel good, gives us a lift when we are down, welcomes our visitors or warms us up on a cold day. We love the taste and we are convinced that it does us good. Emperor Shen Nung certainly thought that it did him some good and now scientists, according to what I have read, have now proved that there are a number of benefits to be gained from drinking tea.

Tea contains antioxidants similar to those to be found in fresh fruit and vegetables and antioxidants help to mop up unwanted "highly reactive free radicals" which are to be found in our bodies. Scientists suggest that the presence of these antioxidants makes our daily intake of tea an important part of a healthy diet. Tea is also a great fluid provider. We are supposed to drink 6-8 cups of fluid in any one day to maintain the correct balance in our body and if we imbibe this in the form of tea we are not only catering to our needs but doing so in a pleasurable manner. Therefore, after walking the dog or digging the garden, sitting down to enjoy a cup of tea is a genuine way of providing us with a pick-me-up and of doing us some good. The question of caffeine need not worry us too much as the boffins tell us that tea contains less caffeine than coffee. It is also a drink that we can happily give to our children.

Serving tea is a traditional way of welcoming friends and relatives into our home. It is seen as a social activity whether supped amid a small convivial group of friends or as part of a larger congregation. Few social events would be complete without our precious cup of tea. The welcome arrival of the steaming pot of tea has been a part of our life for generations.

According to statistics we drink 185 m. cups of tea every day in the

U.K., 87% of which is brewed from tea bags. Tea accounts for 42% of everything that Britons drink and uses one quarter of our milk consumption. Britain's favourite black tea is grown in India, Sri Lanka, Africa and Indonesia, and is made by plucking the tips from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant and so in drinking plain black tea we are imbibing a natural ingredient. A tea bush lives for roughly 70 years, producing enough tea to make 40 tea bags a year for 65 years. The wild tea bush can grow up to 50 ft., but they are kept trimmed to 4 ft. on tea plantations to enable easy plucking.

In our search for that perfect cup of tea we have used loose leaves, but this unfortunately necessitated the use of a tea strainer, and until about 20 years ago more than half of our tea sales was in the form of loose tea. We then moved on to tea bags. Originally they were square but in later years we tried round and triangular, we even tried tea bags with draw strings.

Now we hear from Japan that they have made a wonderful break-through in the development of tea. They have produced a tea tablet, claiming that the compressed leaves offer a fresher cup of tea with a better flavour. The pills offer all the values of loose tea without the use of a tea strainer.

Every new invention, however, has its down side. It takes at least 4 tablets to make one cup of tea and they cost 3 per 18 gram pack. They do, however, come in 14 flavours including Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Assam, lemon and apple. To top it all they are presented in the shape of a heart - aah! Who is going to head the stampede!        Barbera Corley

Lavendon Branch of the Royal British Legion

For thirty five years I have organised and carried out the door to door sale of poppies in Odell, periodically with a helping hand from friends and neighbours.

This year, however, I have decided to call it a day.

There will be poppies on sale in the village as Mr and Mrs Derek Scott of ‘The Bell’ will be only too happy to sell one to you.

Please support them and make a visit sometime at the beginning of November before the national Day of Remembrance.

Florence Shellard


October’s meeting enabled us to find out about the work of Bedford Citizens’ Advice Bureau. After showing us a short video about the work of the Bureau on a national level, Helen Voce gave us an insight into the workings of her bureau in Bedford. It became apparent that the service they offer is invaluable to the community they serve, and she was the first to admit that they are only reaching a fraction of the people who need their impartial advice as they are constrained by space and lack of funding.

They are constantly trying new ways to address these problems. She pointed out that although people are aware of their personal interviews and telephone advice, few realised that they can also write into the bureau to ask for help and information.

It was a stimulating session with many members asking her questions. They are always on the look out for volunteers, who make up the majority of their staff, so if it appeals to you do ask for further information from their Bedford office.

Next Month’s meeting:

Our meeting in November is entitled 'Estate Agency Reminiscences' - an entertaining talk by Jayne Beard on her work.

We meet on Tuesday November 14th at 7.30 in the Village Hall. All welcome - either come along or phone me on the number below if you want more details.


Rachel Halton and Stasia Wherrett.


Most attractive photo of a house.   Rachel Halton  720572

Corner Club

wpeB.jpg (8061 bytes)On October 6th Rob Lee visited Corner Club and presented them with a cheque for 550 from Mencap. The money is to be used for providing music for the members in a variety of ways.

Corner Club is a leisure club for adults with learning disabilities. It has been running for 5 years and is held at Harrold Centre every Friday afternoon between 3 and 4.30pm.

The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook

 "Chase Dark" Friday 10th to Saturday 18th November, 2000

The world premiere of a dynamic, original musical.

Written by Kaye Vincent and Kaye Tompkins (two of our current Mill Trust members), "Chase Dark" provides an opportunity to see an original and exciting new work in its very first performance run.

"Chase Dark" is an innovative piece of musical theatre – a sleek and sexy thriller that explores what happens to the human spirit when power is too easily accessible. Full of contrast and a roller coaster in terms of emotive content, "Chase Dark" also treads a fine balance between deft humour and chilling revelation.

The score is incredibly appealing, including romantic ballads, soulful gospel, funky rock, rhythm’n blues and a touch of comic brilliance. Whether you enjoy poignant heartbreak, soaring harmonies or energising ensemble work, "Chase Dark" will not disappoint.

A minimum of 27 is required to stage "Chase Dark" although the power of 38 voices will greet you at the premiere. The multifunctional set allows for swift movement between scenes with almost cinematic freedom.

This piece has already created an enormous impact both locally and nationally, attracting the attention of music publishers.

It promises a bright future – see it here first!


Friday 10th November: Charity night on behalf of Bedford Ladies Circle. Please contact 01234 781210 for tickets.

Monday 13th November: 7.00. All other nights: 8.00.

Bookings may be made one month beforehand from:

Bedford - Central Box Office, Harpur Suite - tel: 01234 269519

Wellingborough - The Castle Box Office - tel: 01933 270007

(Both of the above accept credit card bookings).

Sharnbrook -by returning your booking forms in person to The Village Trader, 28 High Street.

Group Sales - Alison Bean - tel: 01234 781372 – 10% reduction for parties of 10 or more.

Enquiries/Mailing list 01234 782377

All performances start at 7.45pm. Seats can be reserved.

The Marianettes

Amateur Musical Comedy Society Charity No: 296828


Chairman: Eric Pates (01234) 267288

Affiliated to N.O.D.A.

Forthcoming Productions:

Red Riding Hood

The Bedford Marianettes' Traditional Panto in the Civic Theatre, Bedford – Christmas 2000

Sunday 17th December to Saturday 6th January 2001.

General enquiries: Please telephone (01234)267288

A recipe for a cold November night:

Cheesy Beef Bake

A lovely warming dish. Just serve with peas or beans.

Serves four to six


1 onion

2 carrots

2 sticks of celery

2 tablespoons oil

1lb minced beef

2 level tablespoons plain flour

1 (14oz) can tomatoes

1 rounded tablespoon tomato puree

pint water

level teaspoon mixed dried herbs

1lb potatoes

1 pint milk

2oz soft margarine

2oz plain flour

4oz Cheddar cheese, grated

Peel and slice onion and carrots, scrub and slice celery. Heat oil in a saucepan, add onion and minced beef and cook for 3 minutes, stirring. Stir in flour, carrots, celery, tomatoes, puree, water, and season with salt, pepper and herbs. Bring to boil, then leave over a low heat while preparing rest of dish.

Peel and slice potatoes, place in a 5 pint ovenproof dish. Whisk milk, margarine and flour together. Pour into a small saucepan and bring to the boil stirring. Season with salt and pepper, stir in half the cheese. Pour meat mixture over potatoes, and pour sauce over. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cook in a moderately slow oven (Mark 3 - 160C - 325F) for about 1 hours, or until potatoes are tender. Serve hot.

Odell Parish Church and the USA

On Wednesday October 11th, we were visited by the Howell Family Association from the United States. Some twenty members arrived to view the church and listen to the rector’s lecture. Connection with Odell goes back to the 17th century when Edward Howell, a Puritan and friend of the Reverand Edward Bukley, Rector, rode 45 miles from Marsh Gibbon in Buckinghamshire to marry Frances Paxton, his fiancee, who rode with him. Like Peter Bulkley, Edward Howell emigrated to New England and his family is now spread far and wide in the USA.                                     David Streater  

We are always on the lookout for short items, articles or pictures to include in the magazine. Pictures need to come out well in black-and-white. If you have

anything of interest relating to Church or Village, do let us have it.

November Diary

1st 7.00pm Emmaus Road Show, Oakley Methodist Church.

4th 10.30 – 12.00 Coffee Morning for Mencap, 93 High St., Odell.

4th Morning Meet the Ochanas, Abigail House, Odell.

4th Evening Dance at Odell Village Hall with Dennis Love.

5th 10.00am Inaugeration of Mr.Keith Merret as Church Warden, All Saints’, Odell.

11th 7.30pm Concert in aid of The Children’s Society, St. Paul’s Church, Bedford.

12th 10.45am Service of Remembrance, All Saints, Odell.

14th 7.30pm W.I. Meeting in Village Hall.

15th 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen Shakespeare’s, Corner House, Wymington Park, Rushden.

28th 10.30am Meeting Point at Mary Rogers’, 2 Hall Close, Sharnbrook.

29th Evening Meeting of Parish Council, Village Hall.

December Diary

8th 10.30am Christian Family care Hamper Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green Farm.

13th Morning Meeting Point and bring and share lunch at Catherine Corkery’s, Manor Cottage, Harrold.

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the December and January joint magazine to Tricia Hudson (, Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by November 12th at the latest. May we remind you that the editorial team exercises the right to edit, shorten or alter any items that are submitted. Also, the opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and are not the responsibility of the editorial team.

wpe9.jpg (16298 bytes) Excellent Bed and Breakfast Accomodation at the Oakley Arms in Harrold (2 miles from Odell by car, or 1 mile through the Country Park) , call +44-1234-720478 for more details (mention the Odell Web site!).

Electronic mail address

FAX number

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Last revised: October 29, 2000.