June 2005 - Parish News


Pram Service Focus

Well, almost: despite adornment by the latest in photo-technology, the PN photographer failed with most shots he took recently of mums & children, just the two pictures here were recovered from the photo-shoot. 
However everyone there, young and not so young were having a great time in the warm comfort of the Family Room. Leaders Mary and Paddy captivated the little ones with games and stories, the Noah’s Ark picture being a particular favourite. Mums relax with tea and chat and everyone joins in the songs. So if want a clearer picture drop in, you’ll be welcome (see dates above).
After this very pleasurable assignment, the photographer promises to read the camera manual before his next visit, in time for PN’s next colour issue!!

Our day out at the Haig Garden Centre was enjoyed by us all as it made a change to visit one outside our area. Also, there was a Farmer’s Market selling lovely sausages and meat, bread, cakes and fresh vegetables which tempted quite a few of us into buying.
Our next outing is on Monday 13th June to Bourton-in-the-Water in the Cotswolds.
Pam King

With VE in mind, here’s another picture from the Edward’s Family archives. In this picture taken during WWII,we see a group of friends in Trafalgar Square. The lady in the centre is the late Kath Edwards, who served as a driver in the Royal Army Service Corps. The “squaddy” on the left is taking a keen interest in these attractive girls! 

At our Annual General Meeting last month, the committee and Madame President all have a chance to have a change of scene, so to speak. Lorna Kalisz who has served as president for the past three years has recently been elected as Group Convener and decided to stand down. A big thank you for all your hard work on our behalf Lorna.
Maureen Beale was elected to take office so a big breath Maureen and good luck. We were reminded of the past years happenings with a report given by Hon Sec. It doesn’t seem possible we did all that in twelve months and it really makes you realise the work that goes on behind the scenes. After refreshments our speaker Mrs Weston gave us a look at Creative Memories. Photo albums with a difference to you and I. We were informed the Albums of today with plastic pouches and covers for our snaps are the worst possible contact they could have. The chemicals in the make-up destroys the surface by breaking it down. We were shown a new type to come out that protects them as it is free from these ingredients. Its wiped the smile off my face, when I thought they were better off in albums. 
One lady that did go home with a smile on her face Mesdames Doris Wright won the silver rose bowl for twelve months after coming first in the years competitions. Polish at the ready Doris! President of Downside, Mesdames Chris Brewer was presented with a potted chrysanthemum and thanked for performing the duty of teller to count our votes. 
We meet 3rd Tuesday in the month at the Baptist Church Hall, Caddington 7.30pm
It would be lovely to see you,
Patricia Crick

Half of the Brownies, have taken their Road Safety Badge with Mrs Alli they still have pictures to draw to pass.
On Wednesday May 11th we visited the Dunstable Fire Station: I don't know who enjoyed it more the girls or the parents who transported us. We are going to make a further visit in June or July. On May 18th we will be having a talk on Hedgehogs by Angela Smith, then on the 25th, we visit Dunstable Police Station.
Gillian & Shirley Invite-you to join them on Friday June 17th, at Slip End Village Hall for ….

There will be tea, cakes, sandwiches, squash a Raffle and fun and games for the children There will be a charge for refreshments. So why not pop along and support this worthwhile charity. (Wear something Yellow!) Donations of cakes, books and bric-a-brac will be gratefully accepted.
Craft Fayre
Slip End Village Hall.
Saturday June I1th Ilam to 3pm
In aid of local organizations
For a stall ring 01582 723109
Brown Owl


June in the Vegetable Garden
The earthing up of all March & April planted potatoes must be completed during this month, this is not a task to be finished at one operation. During the month the bulbs of autumn sown onions will have attained sufficient size to be used: do not lift the whole crop. Peas sown last month must be staked and runner beans that you raised in boxes under glass in April will be ready to plant out in double rows. Make a last sowing of shorthorn carrots.

Flower & Fruit Garden
Remove runners from violets and strawberries, trim vines and pinch out the tips of secondary laterals when they have made one leaf. Most perennials and biennals, if sown out of doors now, will make good sturdy plants for placing in flowering quarters in the autumn. 

General work
Spray against pests, eg Greenfly, red spiders,etc. Trim evergreen hedges lightly at any time during the month. Keep an eye on the temperature in the greenhouse and close windows at night.

Taming the Thistles?
The Joint Editor of the Parish News and fellow allotment holder, the “honourable” Mr David Kingston, has asked that, as a newcomer to the allotment fraternity, I pen a few words about my early experiences in “taming the thistles” on Slip End Allotments.
Having been lucky enough to finally reached maturity!! (60) my family decided that it would be good for me to spend my retirement years getting to grips with nature by taking on one of the vacant allotment plots along Front Street. This seemed like a good idea and so in the Autumn of 2004 Derek Worsley presented me with (well, suggested I take on) a 10 pole allotment that hadn’t been cultivated for a few years. Now at that time 10 pole meant nothing to me other than it was a heck of a long way from one end to the other. Not wanting to let my family down I took this on with some vigour and began the long task of digging over the site. All was going well but the winter was drawing on faster than my rate of digging and so I only managed to achieve digging over half of the plot before Christmas. With renewed vigour I continued digging around mid February but noticed that even at that time the thistles seemed to be growing even faster than I could dig. Having almost completed the first dig, I looked back down the length of the 10 pole and realised that this wasn’t an allotment but it was a gardener’s version of the Forth Bridge and I needed to start digging out the weeds again at the other end.
During my periods of digging, I slowly became acquainted with many of the other allotment holders and my self congratulation on how well I was doing with my 10 pole paled into insignificance when I realised that most of them had far bigger plots and therefore had to do twice as much work as I did. Undaunted I was approaching the time when I could begin sowing various seeds. Being a good amateur I followed closely the information on the seed packets telling when to sow. Again I felt I was really good as no-one around me was as far advanced as I was. I soon realised why though……..information on seed packets is all well and good, but local information on ground condition and weather is far more important than the “ideal” growing information provided by seed manufacturers/distributors. Having therefore lost most of my early sowing I started to watch what the “experts” (my colleague allotment holders) were doing and realised that Slip End is very much prone to late frosts and why rush when all you have to do is wait the warmer months of May onwards (mind you, we have recently had some very late frosts that I think may have caught a few of us out). Anyway, at the point of writing I can record that I do now have some growth on my allotment (80% weeds and 20% plants) ….not really, although I do have to keep on-top of the weeds, particularly the thistles.
Having looked back on my first few months as an allotment holder I can say that the things I have gained are:- a bad back; blisters; cut fingers; fatigue and general exhaustion. However the “downs” have been outweighed by the “ups”: being out in the fresh air and meeting some really nice people who are working the other allotments who I didn’t know before. I am hopeful that during the year I will be able to benefit from some of the produce that I’m growing and get a real feeling of satisfaction from killing off as many thistles as I can. It does seem a shame that there are still allotment plots that are not being worked on. I can thoroughly recommend the life of an allotment holder to anyone who is thinking about it. If you are, why not have a word with Gill Plummer or Derek Worsley and come and join me and the others and we can kill off even more thistles together!!!!
Alan Buttery

Not a lot to report this month. Our Annual AGM was held in the Village Hall on Monday 9 May and was well attended by members of the public. Local Police Inspector Barrett and Carron Thompson also attended: they told us about the new Crime Reporting System in place at Dunstable since mid April; as it is 24/7 hopefully we can get crimes reported quicker and acted upon sooner. Time will tell.
Crime figures for April
Not much going on in the Parish but the figures confirmed are as follows:-
Theft from motor vehicle: 2
Theft of motor vehicle: 1
Common Assault: 2
Criminal Damage (non-dwelling): 1
Inspector Barrett did report that the crime figures for Slip End Parish for the last year were almost halved. Whether this is because any criminals have moved or the detection rate is deterring people is anyone’s guess.
Coronation Gardens
As you may be aware, Coronations Gardens are currently undergoing refurbishment. The footpath to the rear of the gardens has been widened and raised up. The reason it has been raised is to make sure that when it rains puddles do not form.
Front Street
You will have seen by now the refurbishment going on in Front Street outside Nos. 2 - 20. It certainly makes it look better. Residents are reminded not to put anything too heavy on the grasscrete or tarmac as things like lorries or laden skips will sink the tarmac and crack up the grasscrete.
I leave you with those thoughts, keep safe.

A couple of issues back I asked for volunteers to come forward for the Management Committee as we desperately need newcomers. To date I think that we have had two volunteers but we do need more. Whilst I sympathise and agree to some extent with Mr Allsop's comments in the last PN, for him to say that if there is no Committee the Parish Council will run it concerns me somewhat. Several members of the Parish Council help run the Peter Edwards Hall with no problems and two members of the Parish Council also sit on the Village Hall Committee. The Hall belongs to you the villager: anything the Parish Council runs or may not run has to be for your benefit. We, the Parish Council are bound by Law to do our best for the Parish and if for whatever reason we found ourselves running the Village Hall (somewhat reluctantly I may add as we already have more than enough to cope with) it would be run properly, legally and with whatever the village had in mind for it! Certainly not for our own gain or for our own ends. I can't say about past Parish Councils, for in some form or another, I have been on the Parish Council for nearly twenty years and in all that time nothing untoward vis-a-vis the Village Hall has ever been contemplated, perhaps the perception that we would be 'up to no good' on your behalf is in the minds of certain people.
Any Parish Councillor on any Committee is usually a democratically elected member, not somebody who turned up one night to get on any old Committee and then kept on getting re-elected because nobody else is bothered to turn up. With us you've got the comfort of the Law behind us: we know the penalties that would be visited upon us should e do something that is not kosher.
Christine Benson
Chairman, Slip End Parish Council

Postcript: Following recent appeals by the Village Hall Committee for some new faces, a couple of newcomers turned up at the last meeting to see what’s afoot. Committee members are faithful local folk, several of whom have been at the job for a long time. And their collective experience provides a sound basis for operating the hall with effective efficiently.
As well as normal business, two other items struck last month. The furnishings will be improved soon with arrival of new tables and chairs. A sample table, lightweight and functional, was available for inspection. 
Sparing him embarrassment in his absence, appreciative words were expressed about Wally Allsop, who is retiring as treasurer, serving over 40 years in the job! The committee are planning to show their appreciation to Wally and Muriel in a more tangible expression of thanks.
All in all, an informative evening. The Village Hall is a precious local asset and deserves community help and support.

Slip End resident Brian McDonald, can be seen most weekends walking the country lanes training for his long distance exploit in June, when he will be taking part in a Sponsored Walk in Scotland. Nothing too remarkable about that perhaps, but when you hear that he will be walking over 50 miles in 24 hours, now that it quite something! So far his walking training has taken him from Slip End to St Albans, Sandridge, Wheathampsted, Kimpton, Dunstable, achieving 27 miles with just one short break. In the next week or so he hopes to complete a 36mile walk and also include a night walk on the South Downs (head-torch needed on this one!!) So far his feet seem to be blister free but we mustn't talk too soon! 
The charity he is walking in aid of is called The Starlight Foundation which helps seriously and terminally ill children: for information about their work, call 020 7262 281 or go to www.starlight.org.uk.  Should you wish to sponsor Brian, please call me on 411573 for further details 
Hilary McDonald

The first committee meeting took place on 17th May and the following officers were elected: Chairman Steve Baird, Secretary Gail Vardy and Treasurer Matt Ogier-Russell. Committee members decided on which part of the project they would like to concentrate on and were given a wad of papers to get them started. This included the outline of a layout which would cost somewhere in the region of £43000. Quite an ambitious start! If you have any ideas that could be included in the project, committee members would like to hear from you. In addition to the Officers they are: Danny Flemons, Jay Williams, Matt Vardy, Peter Wilson, Stuart Baird, Tim Goodaker, Neil Williams, Rachel Fotheringham, Verity Edwards and myself.
It was agreed for the next few months the full committee will meet every month and our next meeting is scheduled for 17th June. So there will be just about enough time before next months’ PN copy deadline for me to let you know how things are going.
Ken Crossett

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