Legal action against Bedfordshire County Council - update.
The situation as of early April is this: in January the Parish Council voted to launch legal action against Bedfordshire County Council with a view to closing the Timberlands Site. To date we have found a solicitor who has experience with our situation and we are hoping to have a meeting in April. At our Parish Council meeting on Monday 7 April we have instructed our clerk, Mr David Haste, to contact the Returning Officer for South Beds. Mr John Ruddick so that a small election can be held in Slip End later in the year to find out how many residents would be prepared to accept a one off £10.00. per household increase on the Parish Rate next year to supplement the £20,000.00. We are prepared to pay out from Parish Funds to finance the legal action. The information about this legal action is very confusing, not made any better by speculation and rumour fomented by some parts of the local media. All I can say is, if you want to know exactly what's going and when, please do not hesitate to contact any of your local Parish Councillors, their telephone numbers can be found at the front of the Parish News. They will be only too happy to keep you up to date with whatever information they have.

Crime figures for March 2003.
The following are crimes reported for the above period.
Theft of Mail 1. Criminal Damage 1.Interference of Motor Vehicle 1.Burglary (non dwelling.) 1. Theft of motor vehicle 1.Theft from motor vehicle 5. Theft (other) 1.Assault on Constable 1. Common assault or battery 1. Please remember to report all crimes no matter how trivial they may seem to you, it helps our crime figures.

Beds County Council Community Fund.
Applications are invited from charities and community groups in Bedford for the annual funding. Closing date is 16 May 2003 and application forms maybe obtained by ringing 01234 228 964.

Beds County Council Hotline.
Do you have a pothole outside your house? Is the street light two doors down on the blink? Now you can ring just one number to report anything. BCC Hotline number is 01234 228661. When you ring and state your problem you will be given a reference number. If the problem has not been dealt with within a reasonable time you can ring and give the reference number and BCC will have to explain what, where, why or how. I know this sounds yet another ploy for us to do the councils job for them, but it does simplify matters inasmuch as now everything is dealt with by ringing one number. Lets see how well it goes.
That's about all for now, I hope you enjoy your Easter and certainly hope that the weather stays nice.
Christine Benson.
Chairman, Slip End Parish Council.


The recent heatwave made a pleasant change after lots of rain and snow(?) throughout January and February. The intrepid (few) members of the Club who try to play throughout the winter enjoyed several Sundays that were more like Wimbledon fortnight than early Spring.

In the Winter months we restrict our competitive tennis to the Indoor League played at Vauxhall on Sunday evenings. The opposition is usually very strong but we enjoy the exercise. However, our Mixed team opened the Summer fixtures on Thursday 10th April with a victory over Toddington by 16 points to 6 points. As this was the first fixture of the season we were therefore league leaders. We must now wait until May for the next fixture.

The courts are still looking good after the refurbishment that happened last year. If you were a paid-up member last year you should have received your renewal slip already. If you were not a member either give Steve a ring on 01582 414162 or come down to the courts on Sunday morning for a taster. Club Nights will be
on Mondays (family) and Wednesdays (adults) from 5th May.

We will be running the annual Quiz Night on Saturday 10th May in the Peter Edwards Hall. Tickets are £5 each which includes fish and chips or chicken and chips. The first round will start promptly at 8 p.m. and we should finish at 10:30 p.m. As everyone brings their own liquid refreshment, it makes an inexpensive night out. We aim for teams of about 6 but we can make up teams for you. Again ring Steve to book your place and place your food orders on
01582 414162.

In this year's draw for Wimbledon tickets we only had four members who had not previously received tickets through the Club and two of them should receive them this year. If you join this year you can then go in the draw for next years Wimbledon tickets at the AGM in March.

Sally has started coaching sessions on Fridays for both adults and juniors. Give her a ring on 01582 413501 for further details.
Peter Smith

Once again, subscriptions are now due!

For the first time for several years we are increasing the subscription by 50p to £3.50 for the whole year . We hope you'll agree that this is still excellent value, with more colour covers on the way!
Please help our valiant distributors by having the correct money ready when they call.
Many thanks from the
Parish News Committee.
We had a very interesting meeting at the Café # 7 in April to sort out several issues. The Café makes an excellent venue for committee meetings so bear it in mind for a friendly meeting place - with food and drink available to help you.
In case there are readers who do not know who's who on the committee - here are some photos taken at the meeting.

David Kingston - Chairman
and Sue Horton, Treasurer

Sue Cowell, Editor
and Brian Church, Distribution

For anyone who hasn't visited the Café yet, there is a lovely wall full of children's pictures/paintings. It's worth a visit just to see them and unfortunately the photo below doesn't do it justice. Crayons and paper available there for any future artists.
Café #7 in Manor Way, Caddington

Hello to all of the village people. I am sorry that I have not been writing over the past few months but quite frankly there has not been a thing to write about. However I keep getting asked to think of something so I will give it a try this month.
The village still looks the same and the good folks who live here although I myself don't see a lot of them as I love to get out and about whilst my age and health allows me to.
There was a village hall meeting last night, 14th March but I have not a lot to report on, except that the committee is planning to install a new camera to give a wider berth over the area, which may improve things so we must wait and see.
I must add that the car park really looks nice and gives the hall a sophisticated look. I also said that I would ask a question to the public as to whether anyone out there will voluntary give a hand to help spring clean the hall as although the caretaker does keep it looking lovely we do need a strong young chap or two to clean the paintwork around the window frames as it is an arduous job for a woman and also it would be nice to become part of the community by volunteering but of course it is entirely up to you (let me know).
Well, the old village still looks the same and now we have the brighter weather it looks even more dismal (my opinion only). The same one corner shop that thankfully sells everything especially for the people who cant get to town. I was going to suggest that we pressed for a speed camera along the Markyate Road as I am sure the sign means nothing but the orange box may deter the long-standing speeding along the tempting stretch of road from the cross roads to Markyate but not being a council member myself I don't know how to start going about it, Any advice on that please? Well, we are now having lovely weather and the gardens are beginning to come into bloom so at least the wonders of nature will cheer one up around the village (even for me).
I noticed that the magazine last month was not very full with very little to read, so that is perhaps another reason why I felt like writing, because some bits may interest you - and some may not. I haven't seen many young people roaming around the place whilst the Easter holidays are on and I miss saying hello to them (where are you all hiding?).
Getting away from the village and moving into Caddington for a moment, I would like to say how wonderful the new café is - so clean, courteous staff and a lovely meeting place for the shoppers living there. Lets hop it continues as so many people enjoy that chat over a cup of tea. Also the lovely bread that one can now buy at the paper shop in Caddington, that comes from the Markyate bakery.
I am not intending to advertise by writing these things but it is nice to know that these things are on sale to the public by going a shorter distance to buy exactly what the public need. I know the village shop in Slip End sell the same thing, also very nice but if the Caddington public know about the bread they can buy in their own village it may save a lot of running around to get it. My sons told me about it or I would never have known myself.
As I sit here trying to think what can I write to give interesting reading and by the the time you all read what I have written it will be the month of May I can honestly say that there is nothing to write about this village unless I walk around with my note book and pen like a freelance reporter then I could come up with notes of interest to you all but one has to be careful these days, what one writes or be in trouble, so if this months report on nothing is uninteresting, I apologise but some you readers will know what I mean. That is all for now and I promise that I will try to do better next time.

Editor - Yes, Muriel, I noticed the PN was a bit thin on the ground last month but if I don't get the news - I can't print it! Thanks for your bits of news and glad to hear someone giving the café a good name. Sarah and Chris McGaughey have worked hard to get it going.

A talented photographer was invited to dinner with friends, and took along a few pictures to show the hostess. She looked at the photographs and commented: "These are very good! You must have a good camera." The photographer was rather annoyed at this, but didn't make any comment - until he was leaving to go home. He said to the hostess: "That was a really delicious meal" You must have some very good pots."

A husband and wife sat in their lounge when suddenly the man said: I'm going down to the pub for a bit, so put your coat on." His wife, taken aback, replied "Darling, are you taking me with you?" The man replied: "No, I'm turning the heat off."

A boy is about to go on his first date and wonders what to talk about. He asks his father for advice. The father replies: "Son, there are three subjects that always work. These are food, family and philosophy." So the boy and his date go to a burger bar, and sit staring at each other for a long time. He remembers his father's advice, and chooses the first topic. He asks the girl: "Do you like spinach?" She says "No" and the silence returns. Then the boy turns to the second item on the list, and asks: "Do you have a brother?" Again the girl says "No" and there is silence once again. The boy then plays his last card. He thinks of his father's advice and asks the girl the following question: "If you had a brother, would he like spinach?"

It was mealtime on a small airline, and the flight attendant asked a passenger if he would like dinner. "What are the choices?" he asked. "Yes or no," replied the attendant.


The year seems to be flashing by very quickly and before long we will be thinking towards Christmas and of course starting organising, collecting and making up the show-boxes for the very needy children that love receiving them. We are already collecting little items and making hats, gloves and scarves to go in the boxes. We have been given some wool, so if there is anyone around, or you know anyone who likes to knit please contact Teresa Willson on 01582 482681.
There is also going to be a knitting club which will meet at the Family Room in St Andrews so if you would like to go and join others and try your hand at some simple knitting please do go along - you will receive a warm welcome.
Tony and Teresa Willson, Brenda McMichael and myself went along to the Operation Christmas Child seminar which took place in Reading recently. We met lots of volunteers and were given lots of information and help with regards to setting up a warehouse to help with the shoe-boxes that are lovingly donated for this area and also the Milton Keynes area which will be joining us this year. Teresa will be looking for volunteers for helping in the warehouse and for drivers to collect the boxes in late October, November and December. Do bear it in mind if you want to help this very worthwhile cause. I will be printing more information at a later date.
Sue Cowell

Small child with her 'love-in-a-box'

Tony, Teresa and Brenda after the seminar

Some of the posters on display

Sue and Tony after a rewarding day.

'Learn to Knit' or just meet up with other willing volunteers to enjoy an evening amongst friends whilst knitting for the shoe-boxes. Hats, gloves and scarves are all essential items as a lot of the shoe-boxes go to countries that are very cold. The organizers have some knitting patterns but are always on the look-out for more so if you have any patterns or wool or needles they would be most appreciated. Don't worry if you don't have anything, as you will be provided with the necessary equipment! What they need are lots of people just to turn up and help. Refreshments will be available and if enough people are interested it could become a permanent fixture. The first meeting is on June 17th at 7.30pm in the Family Room at St Andrews Church. For any more information please contact Mary Barker on 01582 738435.

Just some of the exciting accessories to knit.

Driving through Woodside recently I noticed that at least there were some people
celebrating that it had been St George's Day on April 23rd - Well done the Plough.

A special mention also to William Shakespeare who was born on
April 23rd and a copy of his Sonnet 30.


Is This Me?

Who am I? What am I?
What makes me what I am?
The you see, is it really me?
Or is it the you want to be?
Is it as I am now?
Was yesterday's a different me
From the me I'll be tomorrow?

When you look at me, can you see
Everything that has happened to me?
Events, exchanges and emotions
That fill every moment of every day,
Are added to me,
And make me the me that I am now.
But tomorrow's me will be different.

Sue Hudspith

and with May fast approaching we say goodbye to April with a poem about Shakespeare by Patience Strong.


From the corners of the globe all
creeds and colours meet
In the humble cottage of a little
Stratford street,
And pilgrims walk the meadows
where the Avon winds its way
The fields where Shakespeare must
have dreamed on many an April day.

Sacred are the trees that cast their shade about his head.
Hallowed are the cobblestones
that echoed to his tread,
The boy who won a poet's crown
of immortality
And carved a matchless name upon
the scroll of history.
But that was yesterday-
The outlook was a gloomy one
And I had lost my way.
I saw no hope, no sign, no sun,
But that was yesterday.

and finally a poem for May Day - what's happened to the children dancing round the maypole? I remember some lovely days watching my children dancing at the school and celebrating the arrival of May.

May Day

May Day conjures up the picture
of a merry scene.
Children dancing round the maypole
on the village green.
May Day was a day for play and
long awaited joys,
For dairy maids and shepherd lads
and laughing girls and boys….
May Day takes us back to that great
age in history -
When poets sang with silver tongues
and Drake was on the sea.
For when we see our lovely land bedecked in May's gay dress -
We think of Merrie England and the days of good Queen Bess.

Sue Cowell, Editor

Village Diary