Extracts from 2002 Witham Staple issues 

Topical issues are aired and forthcoming events detailed each month in The Witham Staple printed magazine: 

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The Witham Staple is mandated to reflect what is happening in our Lincolnshire community (i.e. the villages of Aubourn, Bassingham, Carlton le Moorland, Norton Disney, Stapleford, Thurlby, Witham St Hughs and the rural areas surrounding these villages).

This page selects some extracts published during 2002 that provide a flavour of the prevailing themes.



July /August



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May 2002

Editorial – Stan Underwood

You will have received with this issue a questionnaire from North Kesteven District Council, asking for your comments on the Heritage Room at Bassingham. Like similar heritage rooms in the district, it is an amenity for all the villages in this area, and the survey is intended to help discover whether it is meeting the expectations of local residents. The questionnaire has a freepost return address, and every reply will be entered in the draw for a £10 book token.

….The first early swallow appeared over the village on the 16th April. Next it’ll be the house martins and then the swifts. Meanwhile, all our native birds are busy nest building. They’re quite a comical sight, some of them, as they fly off with beaks full of moss, twigs or dry plant stalks, sometimes a foot or more long, and poke and haul them into the hedges and shrubs, trying not to lose them…. George March has written a fascinating piece about the lapwing or pee-wit, one of our most delightful birds of open farmland. There are marvellous sights and sounds in the fields and lanes, if we keep our eyes and ears open.

Photographs Of Carlton Le Moorland

Another chance to see Barbara Smith’s collection of pictures of

Carlton le Moorland (Village Hall - Sunday in June), which was enjoyed by so many last September. The display will includes some photos not shown last time. Admission: £1 includes cup of tea. Proceeds to St Mary’s Church.

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June 2002 [Queen’s Golden Jubillee edition]

Editorial – Stan Underwood

Most people welcome an opportunity for a celebration and are more than happy to ‘pull out the stops’ for a special occasion. The Queen’s Golden Jubilee is just such an occasion, rightly to be enjoyed by all of us who wish to recognise and salute such an outstanding and long period of service as our head of state. It’s clear from the events detailed in this edition that the celebrations in our villages are going to mark the Golden Jubilee in true British fashion, with everybody coming together for fun and festive fare outdoors, providing the weather is kind

In all of this we shall be joining with others throughout the country: Carlton le Moorland’s Jubilee Beacon being one of five hundred or so to be lit on the Monday night; and our church bells ringing a fifty-minute tribute, in common with others around the United Kingdom. Let’s celebrate in style!

Apart from the Jubilee, there’s a whole range of other events taking place in June, particularly outdoors and for many of them you don’t even have to get into the car! The only problem is how to fit them all in.

Street Party Monday 3rd June from 2.30 pm

This is for all residents of the village and will again be on Sands Lane, along the lines of the very enjoyable Millennium Street Party of 2000. There will be table and chairs to sit at and you can bring along your own eats and drinks too. Come and help make it a day to remember!

Barbecue: Tug o’war: Clown: Dog Parade: Fun and Games

Carlton le Moorland’s Jubilee Beacon, one of the five hundred or so to be lit across the country, will be lit at 10.00 pm For further details or offers of help contact Diane Swales.

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July/August 2002

Editorial – Stan Underwood

‘The more things change’, it is said, ‘the more they stay the same’. The Golden Jubilee has given us an opportunity to look back over a period of fifty years and, inevitably, see just how much things have changed since 1952. The exhibitions of archive material in Aubourn and photographs in Carlton le Moorland, for instance, have given us a fascinating glimpse of life in our villages half a century and more ago. Some people, sadly, are no longer with us, while others of us, though recognisable, now look quite different from how we appeared then -and not just the grey hair and wrinkles: just look at the things some of us wore in those days! And the villages themselves have changed enormously too: a great many new houses, with Bassingham in particular growing hugely over the last ten years or so.

But not everything changes: some things, fortunately, are still much as they always were. For example, this edition of The Witham Staple carries items that echo the edition for July & August 1992, ten years ago: details of the same busy schedule of village summer activities that were a feature then: shows, fetes and fairs, outings and garden parties. All of which goes to make life in these village so pleasant and rewarding.

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October 2002

Editorial – Stan Underwood

Some years, autumn doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to come and take over. September this year has again given us a few lovely days, with a wonderful mixture of balmy late-summer weather tinged with all the hints of a rich, fruitful autumn to come. Let’s hope that we can continue to enjoy some of this same theme well into October!

Sometimes, though, in our eagerness to appreciate the world outdoors, we forget those who, because of illness or infirmity, can only rarely if at all get outside to enjoy the fresh air and the changing weather patterns. Perhaps those of us who are still fit and well can use our imagination a bit more to help you who can’t get out so easily keep contact with the world outside so that you can still to feel part of it.

What makes a thriving, happy village community, do you think? It’s certainly much more than building new houses. It’s likely to be about how the people see themselves as members of a particular community; how much they share common interests and aspira­tions; how the individual joins in and shares responsibility for what together the village does and achieves. Part of this must surely entail recognising and cherishing what is part and parcel of that village and is worth holding on to. So It is sad indeed to read the news that Carlton le Moorland seems likely to lose its annual village bonfire, which has been an occasion for- people of all ages to look forward to each year for over thirty years or more. It’s to be hoped there’s still time to find a solution. Tough problems do, of course, call for imaginative solutions... and determination!

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November 2002

Editorial – Stan Underwood

Do you find that life just seems to get busier and busier? It does sometimes feel that there’s simply not enough time in the day. But something has to give, if life is to be properly enjoyed; busyness doesn’t have to be all bustle and frenzy. We all need time and space occasionally to take stock and look at the quality as well as the quantity of our activities, and perhaps we should choose with a little bit more thought what we give our time and energies to.

Take food, for example: good eating can be one of life’s great pleasures. Yet many people seem to shop, cook and eat ‘at the gallop’, as though it were no more than a necessary evil, Indeed, convenience foods are a well-established part of modem life, and over the last forty years or so the supermarkets have transformed the cooking and eating habits of the nation. And yet, fortunately, there are still plenty of delicious foods that can only really be produced at home; it’s often good country fare too, grown locally and well prepared at home. The jams and marmalades, bread, cakes and pastries you make in your own kitchen, for example, can often be better than any to be found on the supermarket shelves. You don’t have to be a latter-day Mrs Beaton to get good results either. But you do need to find the time to do it...

November is when the cooks among us really get going, turning their thoughts towards the festive season. Have you made your sloe gin yet? Or the treacle toffee and gingerbread for Bonfire Night? Are you ready for the ritual of making the Christmas puddings? Nothing can smell so appetizing and evocative of good eating as a kitchen at this time of the year, busy making pickles and chutneys. Try the apple chutney recipe. It’s mmm...! mouth-wateringly good!

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Witham Staple Web Editor can be contacted by e-mail: info@withamstaple.com