February 2005 - Parish News


The Brownies had a stall at the Craft Fayre in the Village Hall before Christmas, selling items which they had made themselves.
At our last gathering before Christmas we had our Party: the girls came dressed as Pantomime characters and we were delighted that Father Christmas found time in his busy schedule to call in to meet the girls. True to form he had gifts for the girls to help them with their activities in 2005; he gave each one some colour pencils, and a pencil case, rubber , pencil and a ruler.
We are rehearsing our Concert now, which we are putting on to celebrate the end of the Brownies 90th Birthday year. This will be held on Wednesday 9th February; all are welcome at the Village Hall at 6:30.
Gillian Plummer, Brown Owl

Above: Jessica giving Bea the hard-sell!

Below left: Father Christmas risks a cuppa 
Below right:
Salesgirls Charlotte, Francine, Jessica & India.


The spring term is well underway and new children have settled in and are enjoying all the activities. This term we are learning about shape, concentrating on square, circle and triangle. We shall also be doing some work on the seasons, especially if we get snow!
The committee have decided not to hold a Nearly New Sale this Spring. Instead we will have an Easter Draw. This will be a joint fund-raiser for ourselves and the Toddler group. There will be a £50 first prize and many other prizes so look out for the tickets going on sale. It will be drawn on the Friday before we break up for Easter.

40 years on, still going strong!
It doesn’t seem that long since we started. A meeting was held in Slip End Methodist Church on February 26th 1965 with Rev. Kenneth Ashworth in the chair with representatives from village organisations. It was agreed to form the Friendship Club in the Village Hall and the first meeting was set for 11th March. The Darts League donated £8 to cover the first month’s costs of the hire of the hall and refreshments, the following 4 weeks being funded by the Football Club who donated £10. Word soon got around and membership grew quickly to 66 amongst which were some of our 2005 members.
The parents of some of our present committee were there in the beginning: Viv Porter (Mrs Huzzy), Maureen Coker (Mr & Mrs Gutteridge), Pam King (Mr & Mrs Burgess), Ena Brigland (Mr & Mrs Goodman), Thelma Lawson (Mr & Mrs Evans): Josie Worsley’s in-laws were founder members and Gillian Plummer’s granddad (John Dyer) brought a set of dominoes for us and her dad (Gerald Dyer) was our chairman. Viv started at the Club as washer-up girl, soon rising through the ranks to become a committee member in 1967, she’s still there, keep up the good work, Viv!
And we fondly member those who are not with us any more: names like Kenneth Ashworth, Eric Cullis, Alf Godrey and Mr & Mrs Taylor and others come to mind. Sadly, we lost one of our oldest members recently: George King passed away in November.
So we will celebrate our Birthday on March 17th, we have already booked the “Razzle Dazzles” to entertain us!
Our thanks go to the Parish Council, Shirley and Gillian for their support.
Viv Porter & Gillian Plummer

Vegetable Garden
When not frosty or claggy, get out and do some digging: 3 spit trenching and manuring is recommended, but hard work on our heavy but productive ground! So where it is really heavy, work in some sand, wood ash and composted leaves (beech are particularly good).
Prepare the onion bed for sowing in late March: make a sowing of parsnips and early carrots if the ground is workable and not frosty. Continue to protect heading broccoli curds from frost damage.
It used to be said that shallots should be planted on the shortest day of the year but in our exposed, higher elevation it’s best to leave that until the middle of February. Shallots do well here and a number of our members specialise in this crop, well appreciated in the kitchen!
Keep a close eye on seed potatoes, “chitting” in a completely frost-free place and resist the temptation to put them out too early: we can get frosts in June around here! Better to work indoors on rotational planning than getting started too early.
Flower garden
Continue to prune bush and standard roses, and flowering shrubs. Few varieties can be sown outside at the moment but sowing can be done in the greenhouse if you have one. (Incidentally, St Andrew’s there’s going to be a “Seedling Sale” in the spring, see Diary Page.)
Fruit Garden
Pollinate and disbud early peaches, nectarines and apricots. Also pollinate and train early vines and raspberries.
Alan Marshtit

The review was published as Parish News went to press. It takes a long term look at ministry and mission in the Anglican Deanery of Luton, of which our church parish is a part. It is a resource for discussion in both the Deanery and within the Diocese of St Albans and may lead to significant changes designed to meet the needs within the resources of all the church parishes in the Deanery.
Parish News has taken a quick look at the report and there are recommendations there which impact significantly on our Parish and our neighbours in East Hyde and Caddington as well as other neighbouring parishes. Too detailed to go into here, the report may be seen on www.stalbans.anglican.org.  Parish News recommends that this deserves some study by our readers: it is written in clear and concise terms and there are several aids on the website to root through the impressive amount of local detail it contains.
At St. Andrew’s we are already studying the review and its implications and it is to be hoped that Parish News will be kept informed of developments as they occur.
David Kingston

Mothers' Union
We are having a winter break before putting a new programme together: as well, some illnesses etc. are keeping us in hibernation for a bit longer than usual, although we do hope to organise something on or before Pancake Day. We will however, have our Pancake Day celebration on Monday 7th February at 7pm at 29 Crawley Close (please note earlier time.) We look forward to seeing folks, MU members or not!
Calling all new Mums, Dads, 
Grandparents & Carers!

Are you aware that there is an opportunity to get out, meet other new parents, have a cup of tea or coffee and have your children entertained? The children are often allowed to make a mess and a create a lot of noise! The children's activities are usually based around a biblical story or theme. 
All this happens at our "Pram Service”, not so much a service, more an informal gathering for new and preschool children accompanied by their carers. 

It all takes place in the cosy warmth of family room at St Andrews' Church. We meet on alternate Wednesday mornings from about 10:30am to noon-ish, though timing is not important, come as the chores allow! 
We have comfortable seating and adequate facilities to allow for most aspects of baby care, including nappy changing and potty training etc. There’s stories, music and activities for the toddlers and refreshments and chat for the mums
Our next sessions is on the 2nd February then 16th February, 2nd March, 16th March etc.
For more information contact: 
Mary on73843 or Paddy 413108.
Mary Barker

Editor’s Note: Mary kindly invited me along to a Pram Group session recently, to spend a most enjoyable time with mums and kiddies. Mary & Paddy put on some interesting and colourful activities for the young ones and we all enjoyed a good sing, not to mention the welcome refreshments! The Family Room is ideal for this group, so if you have a toddler or two, get along there. The dates are fortnightly, alternating with the Clinic in the Village Hall.
PN had hoped to include a few pictures, but on the pre-text of “flat batteries in the camera”, another visit will be required!

Future Plans
As well as the Deanery Review, we are busy with several things at the moment. The Youth Groups are in full swing now, after the Christmas break. An Alpha group will be starting soon and we are taking a look at Stewardship commitment in the spring. Several events are planned: not many details yet, but some dates are fixed, see Diary Page. These include “Seedling & Candle Sale”, a Car Treasure Hunt, a “Roving Dinner” and a Concert. Watch this space!


Family & friends celebrate with Tammy & Peter at their engagement party last month. 

Welcome, loveless February,
Winter’s last born child.
Born among icy raindrops
And the cold wind wild.
While the earth sleeps on.

No one hailed your coming.
No festival day you brought
Never the warmth of sunshine
Never the life we sought
Still the earth slept on.

But I will sing your praises
Speak of the gifts you bring
Days which will slowly lengthen
And the certain signs of spring
And the gently wakening earth.
Vi Abraham

On December 12th our Church Christmas meal went off very well. It was followed by the children’s Christmas worship. The Church was packed with people of all ages. A collection was taken for Keech Cottage Hospice and raised £87.33. After the service we had coffee and mince pies and held the raffle for Noah which raised £61 and Barbara’s home made Christmas cake, which raised £45 for Methodist homes. The family service on December 19th was well attended and Malissa, Harmony and Lizzy all won prizes for their colouring skills. 
Thank you to all villagers who came to our Candle Light Carol Service on December 21st . It was heart lifting to see the Church so full. Also thank you to my son Adam, Harmony and Ashley Woods who came door to door carol singing with me on December 23rd. Altogether we raised £182.88 for N.C.H. The Christmas Day service collection raised £32.50 for the Pasque Hospice and our Aley Green Christmas card raised £53 for World Vision. 
Thank you to everyone who gave their time and their money to these Christmas events. 
We have a number of events coming up: see the Diary page.

Back of the loaf is the snowy flour.
Back of the flour is the mill.
Back of the mill is the wheat and the shower.
And the sun and the Father’s will.

God Bless you from all at Aley Green Church
Ann Meader

Monday 21st February8pm at The Village Hall Hall villagers are welcome to attend! We would welcome some new faces on the Committee, so if you are prepared to give some time to this important Village feature, please consider coming aboard. If you just want more information call by the Village Hall or contact Steve Fuell (see page 1 for contact information.)

On behalf of the Parish Council may I take a moment to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year. I hope that 2005 will be a good year for all of us.
Gifts for the Elderly
I hope you all received your gifts which were distributed during December. Any left over will be given to the Slip End Friendship Club which meets at the Village Hall on a Thursday and I am sure that they will go down well with a nice cup of tea. 
Crime Figures
Burglary (non-dwelling) 1
Burglary (dwelling) 1
Criminal damage (dwelling) 1
Theft of motor vehicle 1
Theft from motor vehicle 1 Common assault or battery 1 Interference of motor vehicle 3

Some of you may have noticed the four red glowing lights on top of a high pole. These are the four new cameras which will cover the Crawley Playground and the Village Hall and car park. We have six cameras, four colour and two black and white. The night time sensors give a good picture of the Playground and hall all on their own, but we will be adding to the security by putting in lighting, at the time of going to print these lights were subject to a Planning Application.
These cameras are working 24/7 and as a note to anyone contemplating getting up to no good in these areas. YOU WILL BE SEEN, YOUR IDENTITY WILL BE KNOWN, YOU WILL GET A VISIT FROM THE POLICE. This whole area has over the past year or so been the centre of mindless vandalism and it has cost you, the council tax payer, of this village, a lot of money to put right. This whole CCTV system has cost you the villager some £11,000.00., with an extra contribution from the Village Hall Management Committee of £3,000.00. which will take the total to £14,000.00., this is a lot of money from anyone's pocket. We know who does this vandalism, we know their names, where they live, how old they are, and up until now we can't catch them, but if they continue to be so anti-social, we will catch them. 
Surprisingly, whereas in the past the blame could be pointed in the usual place these people are young men who live in the village and come from comfortable homes, I am sure their parents would be horrified if they knew who they were. And they will if they continue in their ways.
This system is the most up to date all singing all dancing plus the twiddly bits system you will find. Eventually you will be able to download the data onto your own computer so if you are looking for your kids you will be able to find them. We are adamant that this year vandalism and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. If you see somebody doing wrong please do not hesitate to let us know.

Skate Park
Bearing in mind the above, there will always be somebody who will say that there is nowhere for the older children to play and pursue the sort of things they pursue. Well, here's your chance to help out. The Parish Council has put aside money for a public meeting at the Peter Edwards Hall to form a body of young people and adults who are prepared to get the project of a skate park off the ground (pun). Look out for the posters and possible circulars being put 
through your door. The skate park project has been something that the Parish Council has being looking at for some time, but , due to the lack of interest by most adults - these are your kids - we haven't been able to do anything. Our newest Councillor, Ken Crossett, has taken it upon himself to get enough people interested. 
That is not the end of it, it needs everyone with an interest in what goes on in this village to show some concern. Not just the parents of kids who may use the park, adults with any talents, people who complain about the vandalism and the way these youngsters carry on. Anyone with any input into this scheme is welcome at the Meeting. 

LADACAN goes to court
The challenge by Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise to the Governments White Paper by Judicial Review reached the High Court late last year. LADACAN argument was that the Government had acted unfairly by supporting the airport company's plan to extend the current runway as an option for expansion. It did this despite repeated refusals to consult on that option and a written promise to consult again if it supported any alternative.
Slip End Parish Council are members of LADACAN and as some of you will know by now, our Councillor Richard Stay has resigned from the London Luton Airport Consultative Committee. Therefore as I am the Bedfordshire Town and Parish Councils representative on the above Committee, I shall take it upon myself to keep you all informed. There's a long way to go yet. 

Whilst the majority of dog owners are very mindful of the needs of others and collect their pets 'doings' and leave them in the receptacles provided, there are still the few who obviously think that they and their pets are above this sort of thing. Owners allow their dogs off a leash against a South Bedfordshire Byelaw. Neither are they allowed onto ground owned or rented by the Parish Council, Playground, Sports Field, two pieces of land in Claydown Way, on School or Church property, certainly unleashed and allowed to foul. 
The irony of all this is, if the current legislation that is being talked about comes into force, Parish Councils will be allowed to issue their own ASBO (Anti Social Behavior Order) and as dog fouling falls into this category, you could be finding yourself with an ASBO - not your dog - you!!

Legal action against Bedfordshire County Council
Many of you will have attended the Parish Council meeting in September last year, when we had a visit from our MP, Ms Margaret Moran. Amongst other things she promised to send us the address of the Local Government Ombudsman so that we may write to protest about the problems we were experiencing with Timberlands. 
I note from comments in the press that she has been in touch with the Ombudsman on our behalf: all well and good, but we feel it would be good to write to him ourselves, so I have again instructed our Parish Administrator to write to her again to ask her to send us his address as we are still awaiting receipt. Let us hope that she can take some time out of her no doubt busy schedule to fulfil her promise.

That's all for now. If I seem a bit soap-boxish, it's because I haven't been allowed to have a rant for at least eight weeks!
Keep safe!
Christine Benson
Chairman, Slip End Parish Council.

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