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ODELL VILLAGE NEWS
Round and About
St Crispin’s Day
Stand Firm Men of England!
It is nearly six centuries now (594 years this October, to be exact) since the English and the French met at Agincourt. This famous battle is firmly etched into the nation's history - although whether we would remember the battle had it not been for William Shakespeare is another matter entirely. However, Shakespeare did write about it - and we do remember - even if those immortal words "Once more into the breach etc." were never actually uttered. It was a famous victory... the French have never forgiven us. It was one of those victories the English seem to be good at - snatching victory out of the teeth of disaster. We really should not have won that battle - let me explain.
Henry V had brought his army to France in the summer of 1415 and had been campaigning hard since August. He had taken the port of Harfleur but had lingered too long. The season for fighting was over - yes, indeed, there was a season for fighting in mediaeval Europe - and that time had passed and Henry was marching his forces at high speed the 280 miles back to Calais where his ships were anchored. The French knew this and burning with a desire to avenge their defeat at both Crecy and Poitiers, to say nothing of that impudent attack on Harfleur, they were gathering a mighty army to stop Henry's retreat. It was just a question of where.
By mid-October the English army had covered most of the journey. They had fought a hard campaign, their supplies all but gone, they had marched themselves to the point of exhaustion, when they were brought to a sudden halt. Across their line of retreat - between them and the English fleet - stood a vast French army. The contrast could not be more obvious. The French mustered between 20,000 and 30,000 men.
Practically every noble family in France was represented on the field of battle that day. Then there were the English - 6,000 exhausted men and boys ... some as young as 12 years old. They mustered 5,000 archers and 900 men at arms.
The French had chosen the field of combat and they chose a site close to Agincourt, a stretch of open land bordered on either side by forest. The two armies faced each other across perhaps 2,000 yards of freshly ploughed, rain drenched, land. The French army made four grave mistakes that day and choosing this battlefield was one of them - for which they would pay a high price. As the two forces manoeuvred for position the ground rapidly became a quagmire. France was about to make its second mistake. They viewed Henry's army with contempt. What could this puny body of men do against the might of France. The battle, in their opinion, was theirs for the taking. They would savour the moment before they stretched out a hand to demolish this pathetic little army.
What could Henry do? The longer he waited the more demoralised his men became. His men had already confessed their sins - expecting to die. Against all the rules of mediaeval engagement for an outnumbered force Henry issued his extraordinary order - "attack". The English army pulled up their protective staves and marched towards the enemy. This advance was to prove crucial. The English set up their new line of defensive staves only 200 yards from the enemy lines - well within the range of the English long bow.
What were the French thinking? Why did they allow the English to advance to within 200 yards of their front line and to dig in. Were they so complacent that they thought they could ignore the English archers? It was accepted throughout Europe that the English bowmen (and to be fair - the Welsh as well) were a formidable force and that the armies of Europe had nothing to match the English long bow and that the men who operated these weapons were in a league of their own. All they could offer in opposition was the cross bow and a short bow. - neither of which had the driving force or the accuracy of the long bow. A trained English archer could fire between 12 and 15 arrows a minute - a force of 5,000 archers (the number present that day) could shoot an astonishing 1,000 arrows per second. As one arrow reached its mark the next one was already on the way.
The two armies stood nearly face to face and as was customary they began to hurl insults at each other. The archers ... those hardy sons of the soil ... shook their fists, with two fingers held triumphantly aloft - those two fingers so essential to an archer raised in pure defiance. The English today still use this two-finger salute - usually in a slightly different context, though whether people today realise where the two-finger salute originated is doubtful.
Henry gave the order and the English let fly flight upon flight of arrows on the stationery French. The arrows were tipped with armour-piercing points and the rain of lethal arrows forced the French into action. They began to move forward but, amazingly, not towards the archers. No, they considered the low-born archers to be beneath their attention and so they moved against the men at arms and the English nobility, their minds fixed on ransom. This delay, however, gave the archers yet more time to let forth their lethal fire. The heavily armoured French soon became bogged down, floundering knee-deep in the mud. With no room to manoeuvre they just fell one after the other. The flower of France lay mired in the mud.
With the armies finally joined in hand to hand combat, the bows were cast aside and hammers, maces and bill hooks (usually used to slaughter cattle) became the weapons of choice. The horny handed, barrel chested ploughmen and blacksmiths proved themselves to be more than a match for the French grandees. In this mad, brutal, scramble for survival they fought without mercy. No quarter was asked and none given. The heavily armoured French were now at a disadvantage. Once they went down into the mud they rarely got up again. As they lay wallowing helplessly on their backs in the clinging mud, the English moved amongst them, flipping open the visors of their helmets, and despatching the man inside ... the battle was slowly turning to English advantage.
Another key factor to the English success was probably down to King Henry himself:a charismatic man and a natural leader. The King fought in the front line for most of the battle, even his crown was severed. An elite group of 18 French knights had sworn to take Henry or die in the attempt. They all died, all 18 of them, cut down either by Henry himself or his bodyguard.
The English took the day, their prisoners far outnumbering the English army in its total. Agincourt was, indeed, an astonishing victory and if Henry did not actually call upon his army to "fill up the gap with your English dead" he did lead from the front and his battle cry was - "Rally - Stand firm men of England" ... and they did.
What's on at The Bell
We will be holding a quiz at The Bell on Sunday 25th October starting at 7.30pm.
Again Rob Lee, who hosts the popular quizzes at the Village Hall, will be our quiz master. Teams of no more than 4 people please, £1 per person with the winning team taking the pot. Further quizzes will be held on the last Sunday of every month through the winter months.
Wode-Hill Jazz Band
The Wode-Hill Jazz Band will make its regular monthly appearance in The Bell – Wednesday 7th October.
KEN SHELLARD 1923 - 2009
Please see http://www.odellbeds.net/c9oc.htm for tributes to Ken Shellard whose funeral was held on 16th September
Our September meeting found us back in the Village Hall listening to an excellent talk on the Art of William Morris. It was well illustrated with slides and covered his first venture into oil painting, which was not a success, into his increasingly successful ability to manufacture all types of arts and crafts products for uses in the home. His products were all handcrafted and he asked his workers to do nothing that he couldn’t do himself.
We will be in the Village Hall on Tuesday October 13th at 7.30p.m. It is a members’ meeting and everyone is asked to bring a mug or cup with them that has a special significance to them and share it with us.
October’s competition is ‘Best mug /cup’.
Christine Devereux and Barbara Corley
Rachel Halton 720572
Odell W.I. will be holding a Jumble Sale at 2pm on Saturday 3rd October in Odell Village Hall. If anyone has any jumble they would like to
contribute please contact either Rachel Halton 720572 or Doreen Wheeler 720358 or bring it to the Village Hall between 10.30-11.30 on the morning of the sale.
Rachel Halton 720572
Lottie Wins a Day with Frank Lampard
Recently Lottie Robinson’s football skills won her a day with Frank Lampard at Wembley Stadium.
Lottie attends Sharnbrook sports centre where she is involved with Tesco soccer skills football training, sponsored in part by the FA. Tesco have now engaged 1 million U12s on their training courses, and, having been nominated by her coach, Lottie was one of 22 children selected nationally to attend a special day at Wembley Stadium. She was accompanied by her proud Dad where she was given a tour of the Stadium, lunch, then a special Tesco FA skills football kit and an audience with Frank Lampard. The children then went on to a special training session with Frank and some of the trained coaches, after which they were taken on a ride in the official England Coach with Frank and other reps from Sport England and the FA. She also met Sir Trevor Brooking, ex West Ham and England player and FA representative, - a busy day full of excitement and freebies.
Well done Lottie!
Odell Parish Council News
Minutes of a meeting of Odell Parish Council held on Monday, 14th September 2009 at 7.30 p.m. in Odell Village Hall.
Present: Cllr. R. Halton [in the Chair]; Cllrs. B. Cheadle, P.Crotty, T. Freeman, J. Harrison, S. Robinson.
Apologies for absence received from Cllr. A. Sharpe.
Minutes of last meeting
The Minutes of the meeting held on 20th July were approved and duly signed as a true record of the proceedings.
SID: Cllr. Robinson did not have an opportunity to use the equipment before it was passed on to the next parish. Cllr. Crotty said he did feel the device acted as some deterrent, and being a mobile device made it more flexible for use in any position throughout the village. It was thought that the equipment previously borrowed from the old County Council was superior to this and we await Borough Cllr. Charsley's feedback on whether this may still be available. With regard to the SID device, the Clerk will check with Riseley Police Post as to feedback from other parishes before a decision is made on whether to participate financially in this project.
Road Signs update: The requested official Parish Council letter has been sent to Mr. Prigmore asking him to investigate the possibility of extending the 30mph road signs; an acknowledgement has been received but it will be quite a lengthy process. The Clerk will keep in contact with Mr. Prigmore re developments.
Bridges update: Disappointing position as no progress has been made over the last few weeks. According to the last update from the contractor, “some difficult ground very close to the ends of the bridge has been encountered” and this has involved further work to find a suitable solution that is acceptable to both the Environmental Agency and Clients Technical Approval Authority. Additional materials are now being acquired but as the director in charge is on holiday this week, no further work will be done before the 21st of this month.
Village Hall Update
Disabled access: The roof framing is in place and has a covering membrane. A combination of having to source a particular stone for the structure and workers' holidays have meant the project is now a disappointing 8 weeks behind schedule. This is having a knock-on effect on the other two [SITA funded] projects which were scheduled to run consecutively; it is hoped the outer structure – including the door and windows – will soon be completed but we still have to satisfy the Planner regarding the specifications for the latter in order to get the relevant conditions lifted.
Windows: The window installer started according to the schedule but was only able to fit the windows to one side of the hall, due to the disabled facilities' scaffolding which prevented access to the windows on that side of the hall. Until the outer work of the disabled facilities is completed and the scaffolding removed, the windows cannot be finished and it is hoped the installer will be able to fit this work into his own schedule quite quickly once the time frame is known.
The delays are impacting on the interior improvements also as these cannot be carried out until the building has broken through into the hall, and all the windows are in place.
The repairs to the porch canopy, however, can be undertaken and it is hoped this work will be done very soon.
Play area: The Chairman and Clerk attended a Borough Council presentation on the Playbuilder project. This was not very satisfactory due to the acoustics of the hall making it almost impossible to hear the speaker. It was determined, however, that 11 projects are currently under way – apparently without the need for the application form that we have had to wait for. It is recognised that there is some local opposition to the provision of a play area in the Odell end of the Country Park but if the disabled access is ever to be constructed, then a play area has to be in place before this could be accomplished. With the lack of funding currently available, the Playbuilder scheme is the only avenue we have to find money for a new play area. Discussion on this concluded with the decision that the Parish Council will make application to this scheme, as the normal planning route will then follow during which representations for and against any proposal can be made. The final decision would, in any event, be with the planning authority.
Cllr. Crotty expressed his disappointment at the difficulties being encountered with the transition of Highways from the old County to the Borough. The previous working relationship with Celia Sellars had been very effective and communication had been good. Cllr. Crotty has made every attempt to form a similar relationship with the replacement contact but this has proved impossible, and communication is almost non-existent. An initial contact did result in a walk round the village with the new officer and a detailed list of problems being identified; it took a considerable time and much effort to finally get a summary of work that would be carried out, but in fact no work was done during the summer. Following contact with the head of department on the 3rd September, Cllr. Crotty was contacted by Celia Sellars whilst the new officer was on holiday. Her research appeared to show that only one pothole was filled and no requisitions for any other work could be located. Cllr. Crotty will make further attempts to contact the highways contact but should there be no result or improvement by our November meeting, it was agreed a formal complaint will be sent to the Chief Executive asking for his intervention and assistance.
Further potholes and urgent repair work to be added to the list were raised by Cllrs. Harrison and Cheadle.
Bedford Borough matters
Little to report in the absence of the Borough Councillor. One planning approval received since the last meeting – 17 Horsefair Lane, single storey extension and outside modifications.
It was generally felt that major problems appeared to be surfacing in the areas that were previously under the aegis of the County Council; in addition to the highways issues, the Clerk is experiencing similar communication problems with the helpdesk re street lighting. This has been ongoing since May with no answers and no resolution.
Harrold/Odell Country Park
The Chairman said there was little to report as the next meeting is this week. Progress is being made with the orchard although there is an issue with the stream running through it. Car parking is still proving a problem; the joint venture events are proceeding well.
The reconciliation of accounts was tabled; it was noted that no bank interest is accruing but we are still getting a return on the COIF investment.
Correspondence and requests
Only one request this month from the Victim Support unit; unfortunately until the WREN and SITA projects are completed so our financial position is made clear, it is not felt possible to make any grants.
Specifically for the business of the meeting
A resident had asked if the Parish Council was aware of Warmingtons’ applications to the Allocations and Designations Plan; as stated at the end of the last meeting, this is in abeyance until the Borough has carried out an appraisal and we will then be informed of the next stage [consultation] should the applications be approved for consideration.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.45 p.m.
Senior Citizens’ Autumn lunch.
Odell Senior Citizens Lunch Club invites you to the Autumn Lunch on
Wednesday October 14th
In Odell Village Hall
RSVP to Jill Cheadle - 720261 - by Sunday October 4th
People willing to supply lifts to and from surgeries.
Below is a list of the people currently willing to give lifts, to and from surgeries, to people who can’t otherwise get there:
Kim Beardow 721246
Jill Cheadle 720261
Jonathan Harrison 721115
Steve Robinson 720113
Marion Senn 721176
Linda Tringham 720120
Madeline Jeeves 720803
If anyone else is willing to be a volunteer please contact Jill on 720261.
Harrold-Odell Country Park
Carlton Road, Harrold, Bedford MK43 7DS
Health Walks: Health Walks take place every second Thursday around the big lake led by Ed Burnett, lasting just over half an hour. Walking regularly can reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes and depression.
Health walks on: October 1st, 15th and 29th. You can book beforehand or simply meet at 10.30am on the day at the café. For more details call 01234 720016. These walks are free.
The Big Draw at HOCP
Sunday October 25th 1-4pm
Use wood from the Park and make your own charcoal. Try oak, ash, alder and lots of other types to make your drawing.
Prizes for the best ones!
Just come along on the day.
Two photographs illustrating some of the work that is carried out at HOCP:
1. Volunteer-in-Chief and Fishing Bailiff, Trevor Smith, showing off the new cycle trailer
purchased by the Friends Group from car parking donations. It will be used for ferrying tools and litter collections without having to use the Landrover.
2. Me (Janet Munro) clearing scrub from the orchard site at the back of Horsefair Lane,
I was helped by volunteers from the Friends Conservation Group. As you know, Head Ranger, Richard Dowsett, is setting up a Community Orchard project there. He hopes to start this in earnest in October. We are also looking at the drainage dyke that runs downhill along the hedge line here to make sure the water can flow as freely as possible in wet weather.
Other news - the Park won another Green Flag Award for excellence at the end of July. I went down to Bournemouth to collect the new flag from Michaela Strachan. We are in the process of applying for a CPRE Award (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) for good practice in Land Management. Watch this space.
Janet Munro, Assistant Ranger HOCP
Friends of Harrold-Odell Country Park Conservation Tasks
Come and join in with the practical work to enhance the Park for wildlife and visitors on the following date, from 10.00am – 3.00pm: Monday 26th October.
Wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Drinks provided. Come for an hour or two or stay as long as you like.
Email: email@example.com Website: www.hocp.net Tel: 01234 720016
Quiz Night, Saturday 17th October
The ever-popular Quiz is back this month, so book your table while there’s still time.
Time: 7:30 for 8:00
Tickets: £2.50 per person
Tel: Rob 720730-to book a table, 6 per table (limited numbers)
Coming up in November…
American Theme Night (featuring Melvis), on 14th November
The time and cost of tickets are still to be confirmed.
Sharnbrook Wildlife Trust
“Adventures in Guyana” ; an illustrated talk by Marilyn Basketter.
Friday 16th October, 8pm, at the Methodist Church, Park Lane.
Admission £2 (inc. tea/coffee). Members and non-members welcome.
The Mill Theatre, Sharnbrook
Mack and Mabel: Friday 20th – Saturday 28th November 7.45 pm
Also: Matinee Saturday 28tth November
Out of the Silent Movie ‘Golden Era’ and the heady heights of 1920s Hollywood, the heart-wrenching love story of two of its greatest legends: Film Director Mack Sennett “The King of Comedy” - the creator of The Keystone Cops - and his star comedienne Mabel Normand
A ‘not-to-be-missed’ musical delight!<>
Music & Lyrics by Jerry Herman; Book by Michael Stewart, the team that brought you ‘Hello Dolly’.
Tickets: £10 – 12 will be available from about 1 month before opening night at:
Sharnbrook Post Office (in person)
or Bedford Central Box Office 269519*
10% Discount on parties of 10 or more (excluding Charity Performances)
Allocated parking, Lift; 2 wheelchair spaces (please book through Central Box Office*),
easier access seating Rows A – C; Hearing Loop effective Rows A - E
Two ‘Golden’ opportunities to raise or to save money.
Are you connected to, or involved with any organisation that raises money for charitable purposes?
Do you know that you/they can hire a night of our shows?! Other groups have successfully raised well over £1000 in one evening. Have a Gala! For details please contact Erica Lester (01234) 781210
In time for the above, or in preparation for our exciting soon-to-be–revealed 5-Show, 2010, Season, we invite you to become a Mill Theatre Chairholder. In return for just £100 you will receive 12 vouchers exchangeable for tickets worth up to £143 valid for 3 years. Now there’s a gift idea for Christmas or for you!
Please contact Keith Lazenby (01234) 359733
Sharnbrook, Souldrop, Knotting, Melchbourne and Yielden Conservatives
Registered Charity Number 1079675
A Presentation by John Barker, Regional Volunteer Coordinator
Tuesday 20th October 7.00 for 7.30pm
St Peter’s Room, (adjacent to St Peter’s Church), Sharnbrook
Tickets £6.50, including Wine and Canapés, available in advance from Theo. Gibbs (01234) 782377 Proceeds to NEBCA Raffle
1st 10.30am HOCP Health Walk.
3rd 2pm W.I. Jumble Sale, Village Hall.
7th 10.30am Meeting point at Doris’s, Goodly Heritage, Pavenham.
7th Wodehill Jazz Band at The Bell.
10th 10-12pm Churchyard tidy.
13th 7.30pm W.I. Village Hall.
14th 12.30pm Senior Citizens’ Autumn Lunch, Village Hall.
15th 10.30am HOCP Health Walk.
16th 8pm Sharnbrook Wildlife Trust talk, Methodist Church.
17th 9.45am All Saints’ Amblers meet at The Bell.
17th 7.30pm Quiz in Village Hall.
21st 10.30am Meeting Point at Jill’s, Rectory Farm.
25th 1-4pm The Big Draw at HOCP.
25th 7.30pm Quiz at The Bell.
26th 10am – 3pmConservation Tasks, HOCP.
29th 10.30am Health Walk HOCP.
31st 10-12pm Fairtrade Café, Village Hall.
Please send all entries for the November 2009 magazine to Tricia Hudson (mag1 at odellbeds.net) or Catherine Corkery by October 12th 2009 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.
PS photos welcome
Do you look after someone who is frail, ill or disabled?...
...that makes you a carer.
For information, support and advice you can now ring the Bedfordshire Carers Helpline: 0300 0123435
Great local pubs
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