Extracts from 2004 Witham Staple issues 

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

Current Magazine [Click to Download]

 

A list of contacts for local interest  and community groups is updated in September each year:

Local Information Sheet   [Click to Download]

 

Local Advertisers

 

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.

February

March

April

May

June

July /August  

September

October

November

December

@ @ @

February 2004

Editorial – Stan Underwood

When did you last walk through one of the near-by villages- or even your own - as opposed to driving through, that is? Each of the Witham Staple villages is a delight to explore on foot and when you’re not in a hurry. The pavements are now mostly in good repair and, despite the ever-increasing motor traffic, can be safely enjoyed by pedestrians. The warm red-brick houses and farm building dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are a particular joy; and it’s fascinating to look in some detail at how the different later building styles and housing developments marry in with the older properties. The churches, of course, have their own architectural story to tell.

The gardens too are worth a closer look: it’s a pleasure and an inspiration often to get more than a glimpse of somebody else’s garden, even without waiting to explore them in detail on the Open Gardens days in the summer. So, make a point of leaving the car in the garage and seeing for yourself!

It’s leap year! So a special “Happy Birthday!” to those whose were born on the 29th February — times four!

Back to top of page

@ @ @

March 2004

Editorial – Stan Underwood

Spring at last! Well, the first signs anyway. Snowdrops and primroses were first to stake a claim; the sun, when there’s no wind, already has a gentle warmth to it; the birds have all found their voices again, and some are practising nest building already.

Such ageless indications of the year’s renewal must also have inspired the prince-poet Charles Duke of Orleans to write so achingly of his native France. Taken captive at Agincourt in 1415 and held prisoner in England for 26 years, he greets the arrival of spring thus: The weather has left aside his cloak of wind, of cold and rain, and has now put on brighter attire, glistening sunshine, bright and beautiful. There’s not a bird or animal that does not call or sing, in his own tongue: “the weather’s left aside his cloak of wind, of cold and rain!”’

Stamp collectors will know the rare instance of two stamps being accidentally printed side by side, one right way up, the other upside-down or tête-bêche, making them very valuable. A few copies of the February edition of The Witham Staple had two pages printed like this. If your copy is one such, then hang onto it; it may be a valuable collector’s item in the future! On the other hand... Anyway, sorry if you had to stand on your head to read it. At least you’ll agree it shows that the magazine is produced by real human beings!

Back to top of page

@ @ @

April 2004

Editorial – Stan Underwood

The weather in March has been its familiar teasing self again this year. We’ve enjoyed one or two mild sunny days, which have given us a delightful foretaste of springtime: frogs busily spawning in the pond, while the birds decided to get cracking without further delay, collecting the wherewithal to build their nests. But then the next day, the wind was round in the north-east again, the temperature dropped sharply, and we were back in winter with frost and snow! For the blackbirds and thrushes it was a question of ‘quick, huddle back under the hedge!’ - just in case we thought spring was here! It’s as well to remember that May’s still some way off!

A recent survey showed that nearly half of the 6.5 million one-person households in this country are elderly, and 75 per cent of these say they rarely or never leave their homes and see a maximum of two people a day, compared with younger people who are in contact with more than twenty a day. Loneliness is a major social problem but one we can each do something about if we are minded to. It does mean slowing down a bit and thinking who among our older friends and neighbours would welcome a small slice of our time. We can sometimes take a little bit of the outdoors they miss indoors to them, share with them the human contact that we all need to keep our spirits cheered and our souls in good shape.

St Michael’s Church, Bassingham: 14 Officer cadets from C Sqn, 206 Initial Officer Training, Royal Air Force College Cranwell spent the morning of 29th February digging up elder saplings and tidying up the churchyard. (Cranwell cadets are encouraged to take on a community project during their course.) George Marsh helped throughout and removed two large trailer loads of arisings. The Parish and the Village Church Council are grateful for the hard work put in by the cadets.

Back to top of page

@ @ @

May 2004

Editorial – Stan Underwood

Every month, the pages of The Witham Staple carry news of what is happening in our local villages; a reflection of the busy variety of rural community life. However, from time to time, news reaches us of less than happy occurrences. We have recently had further representation about the disgusting habit of allowing dogs to foul within the villages without clearing it up afterwards (see also page 3). The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 provides a maximum penalty of £1,000 for summary conviction for those in charge of a dog failing to clear up the mess anywhere within the built-up area.

More to the point though, why should we have to share our villages with these ill-bred people who have such disregard for the rest of us? In reality, the District Council can only act if it has clear evidence of those in charge of a dog failing to clear up the mess it has made. If we really are concerned to stop this filthy and dangerous fouling, then we must together make the effort to obtain the evidence and act For further information contact the Environmental Protection Unit at North Kesteven District Council.

Back to top of page

@ @ @

June 2004

Editorial – Stan Underwood

Do you have a daily newspaper delivered? Perhaps you’re one of the diminishing number of households that still get fresh milk delivered by the milkman or -woman. There it is every morning, without our having to place a daily order: it’s automatic, like daylight or water in the tap and, like many of the best things in life.., we can so easily take it all for granted!

Of course, there’s no nicer job on a summer’s morning, with the sun shining and the birds singing, as you push open the garden gate, up past the flowers and buzzing insects to people’s front doors. It’s not quite the same, of course, for much of the year, when you have to be up and out in the dark and the cold, the wind and the rain

- it’s not easy to keep the newspapers or the mail dry when it’s pouring, or to hold bottles of milk when your fingers are numb and stiff with cold.

So, let’s make sure we really appreciate our newsagents and newspaper boys and girls, postmen and women, and all those local delivery people whose job often has them getting up while we are still tucked snugly in our beds. They provide a priceless service to our community. Just think where we’d be without them!

European Parliamentary Elections —10th June This is a postal ballot [first of its kind]. Electors will receive a ballot paper, declaration of identity, return envelope and information sheet. The declaration must be signed and witnessed by someone who knows the elector. If you have no one who can do this, the Clerk at the Witham Office can do this on production of documentation with the your name and signature, such as a driving licence or credit card. Contact this office for any further information.

Back to top of page

@ @ @

July /August 2004

Editorial – Stan Underwood

High summer again, the hay is made, the corn looks good, and the combine harvesters will be busily working the fields on into dusk. The swifts race one another as they squeal high in the sky, and the cuckoo’s now just a memory. It’s school holidays and time for families to enjoy some of the long lazy days of summer together, at home or further afield: a break from the normal routine of the rest of the year.

As you can see from the pages of this edition, there’s a variety of summer events in our villages to keep us all entertained, even if you only manage to get to half of them! It’s always worth making the effort, and the people who work hard to organise them appreciate our support.

Our country roads nowadays are much busier than they used to be and you have to be careful when out walking. However, there is a good choice of quieter lanes — on the Fen or up on the heath land, for example - and footpaths are now generally well marked. It’s almost magic when you leave the tarmac: life seems at once to slow down, you hear and see things you didn’t realise were there — plants and flowers, birds, insects, small mammals. In some strange way, you become part of the countryside yourself, you ‘belong’ in a way you can’t when you dash in your car from home to town, to work and home again. Try it!

Bassingham Show Saturday 7th August

Vintage Vehicles

At Bassingham Show & Gala Day there will be a display of vintage vehicles. Anyone who owns such a vehicle and would like to display it and add another attraction to the show....

Back to top of page

@ @ @

September 2004

Editorial – Stan Underwood

Once again it’s September and autumn’s just around the corner, though summer when it came didn’t seem that keen to stay and settle down! We had a lot more rain than we really wanted and the crops and gardens took a battering. At least the lawns kept green and fresh, and we did get some lovely hot sunny days, so we oughtn’t to grumble - but we do, and with precious little cause, compared with our fellows in other parts of the world. The terrible plight of the people of Darfur or of north-east India and Bangladesh, for instance, alone should silence our own whingeing. Once again, the world’s political leaders can’t seem to get their act together; the aid agencies struggle manfully against awful odds. But we ourselves can do something practical to help: we can urge our own leaders to get a move on and in the meantime give what we can to those NGOs doing the work. 

Welcome to the Revd Judith Frost, who takes up her post as Methodist Minister from 1st September. We hope her time spent living and working here will be happy and fulfilling.

Mr Alan Robertson has been appointed Head-teacher of Bassingham School with effect from January 2005. In the meantime, Mrs Zoë Dixon continues as Acting Head-teacher.

@ @ @

Aubourn Clock Tower Project: 

Heritage Lottery Application The Parish Council is pleased to announce their success in securing a grant for £86,100 from the Heritage Lottery. The East Midlands Committee of the Fund met on 9th June and approved the application for the. restoration of the Clock Tower and the opening of the chancel area for community use. The Parish Council has also secured a further £7,000 in partnership funding through Lincolnshire Economic Action Partnership which, combined with £3,000 from the Parish Council itself, brings the project total to £96,100.

The project will see the restoration and conservation of the oak shingled spire and the Colleyweston slated apse roof using original materials, and the refurbishment of the chancel to allow community access and to display items of local historic interest. In addition, a parish leaflet and website will be produced and a heritage trail through Aubourn and Haddington will be established.

The Parish Council would like to thank all the individuals and local groups for assisting them in preparing the application to the Heritage Lottery.

In the meantime, we would welcome input from the local community to achieve the aim of the project. If you have any historical information about Aubourn and Haddington that you would like to share, or would like to get involved in some way, please let us know. The parish website is currently being developed, and local organizations interested in using this space to advertise their services are invited to contact the Clerk. Regular updates on the progress of the project will appear in future editions of The William Staple.

@ @ @

Thank You Norton Disney Summer Fête: after months of planning and hard work, we were all ready to start when we had a cloud burst. The Main Street was a river, umbrellas up and whiskers on the coconuts were matted! Then the rain stopped, a few brave souls ventured out, the sun shone and the children were soon enjoying the laughs and magic of the Punch & Judy man. Magic too to have a great afternoon after such a poor start. £766 was raised for Village Hall funds, and the committee wishes to thank everybody for their kind contributions and support.

@ @ @

Paul Hickman wishes to thank parents and pupils, past and present, for their wonderful gifts and kind messages on his retirement from teaching. During his 21 years as Headteacher of Bassingham School he has made many friends, and takes with him fond memories of events and achievements over the years. He will particularly miss the day-to-day contact with the children. “I have valued the support of parents, governors and staff. Bassingham School was always a happy environment, where children were encouraged to achieve their full potential. I wish the school and its pupils success in the future"

@ @ @

Bassingham 38th Annual Village Show: Bassingham Village Hall & Playing Field Committee thanks Director, Tony Vickers, and all who gave their time and energy to setting up and running the 38th Annual Show and making it a great success. Thanks, too, to the people of Bassingham and the surrounding villages who came along, joined in the fun and gave their generous financial support to the Day. We look forward to seeing you all again next year, on 6th August. Total profits for the Show are £1123.59.

@ @ @

I feel I must write and congratulate the Village Hall Committee and the Show Committee on the resounding success of this year’s Bassingham Show. The weather was good and there was plenty to see and do; a really first-class effort! The Show means a lot to me. As the only remaining member of the original committee who was involved for many years, I know only too well what a lot of work it entails. It’s not a matter of doing a bit just a few days before the event: next year’s show starts as soon this year’s has finished.

I also know that we could all be a little more appreciative of what they do by giving a little help, a little of our time every household could do something. So come on, let’s not leave it to the same old few each time. If you put a little in you can get a lot out. Try it. Don’t just live in the village: be part of it! Joseph Woodcock

@ @ @

Macmillan Cancer Relief World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Donations in aid of MacMillan Cancer Relief .

Event held Friday 24th September 10.30 am to 1.00 pm

at Irene and John Roddams’, Bassingham . Coffee: Cakes: Raffle  

@ @ @

St Michael’s Church Bassingham Open Day

Saturday 25th September 10.00 am to 5.00 pm

Events included organ recital, bell ringing, choral recital, historical tours, church equipment and accessories displays, flower displays, children and Sunday Club displays plus much more. Refreshments available throughout the day. The day ended with a short service and prayer for St Michael at 5.00 pm. Further details to be issued.

Back to top of page

@ @ @

Collingham Show & Ploughing Match

Saturday 18th September from 9.00 am at Larksfield Farm (opposite the Cricket Club)

Horse & Pony Classes : Vintage Vehicles: Produce Show: Dog Show Hedge Laying : Sheep & Cattle : Trade Stands. Main ring events from 11.00 am.

Back to top of page

@ @ @

October 2004

Editorial – Stan Underwood

British Summer Time ends on the 31st October, when clocks go back one hour. In any case, the nights have already drawn in and thoughts turn inevitably to the many indoor jobs that have been waiting for our attention. There are also plenty of evening events to tempt us out and away from the television. October also sees the late harvest in the garden and the orchard, apples and pears in particular - that is if the birds and wasps haven’t beaten us to it! Time to make pickles and chutneys, which taste so much better than those from the shops. And by the way, have you ordered your logs for the winter yet?

It’s time too for a bit of stock-taking for the contents of this community magazine. As you will know if you are a regular reader, The Witham Staple aims to reflect the interests and activities of our local village communities. To help us do this, we welcome the views of readers on the content of what is, after all, your magazine. We’d like to ask you to find a few minutes to complete the questionnaire overleaf and return it to the editor - your contribution to what is a wholly voluntary venture. Your help will be much appreciated.

@ @ @

The Parish Council would welcome any historical information or old photographs of Aubourn and Haddington that could be used in the preparation of the website and parish leaflet.

@ @ @

The Witham Staple Questionnaire - What do you want to see in it?  

To give us a better idea of what you like to find in the pages of The Witham Staple, please let us know what you like and do not like to read  of the regular or occasional features in the printed magazine.... Would you like to see any other type of feature? If so please let us know! Please contact The Editor with your answers and suggestions. Thank you for your help

@ @ @

‘Crisis in Sudan’ Appeal

Aubourn ‘Crisis in Sudan’ Appeal raised £325 in aid of the refugees in Western Sudan. Thank you to all who helped with the event and those who came along to support it. The money will go to Oxfam and Tear fund for their work in that area.

Norton Disney ‘Crisis in Sudan’ Appeal Bring & Buy Sale raised £175. Thank you to all who helped with the event and those who came along to support it. The money has gone to the Red Cross, and a letter of thanks from them is posted on the village notice board.

Back to top of page

@ @ @

November 2004

Editorial – Stan Underwood

We've gone world-wide! We're very pleased to announce the launch of The Witham Staple website. This brings an exciting new dimension to complement the printed magazine, and one that can now be accessed anywhere in the world! The website has been designed to a highly professional standard by David Wood. It is very easy to find your way around and offers an impressive amount of material, from both the current edition of the magazine and also from previous editions, all easily identified and located.

So, for example, you can find details of *advertisers currently carried in The Witham Staple, colour photographs of local village and countryside scenes, as well as maps and links to  other useful sites. It offers the facility for you to display your material, to share your views and comments.  Come and visit us and let us know what you think!

Important: The Witham Staple website is an additional facility; it does not in any way replace or alter the printed magazine, which will continue to be delivered to households in the eight villages. All items for the magazine should be sent to the Editor, as below, while material for the website should be sent to the Web Editor, David Wood, info@withamstaple.com 

[*Any advertiser not wishing to be mentioned on the website should contact us and
their details will be removed immediately.]

 

@ @ @

Funds Raised

Bassingham Methodist Church: the Busy Fingers Exhibition raised £256.48 in October for St Barnabas Hospice, Lincoln. 

Macmillan Cancer Relief: raised £225 raised in October.

@ @ @

The Bassingham Story

The launch of the book, CD etc was held on Thursday 18th November at Bassingham Village Hall.

Back to top of page

@ @ @

December 2004

Bassingham Christmas Pageant
Come and join us and watch the Christmas Story come to life! 

The telling of the tale will begin at the Five Bells at 6.00 pm on [20th Dec 2004]. Each scene will take place at a different venue in the village, ending at the Bugle Horn approximately 1 to 1½ hours later for the final tableau, mulled wine and mince pies. 

Children are welcome to join the action dressed as angels or shepherds. 

Please bring a lantern to follow the players.

@ @ @

Bassingham Village Hall New Year's Eve Disco Party [31 Dec 04]

Celebrate with Peekays Roadshow 8.00 pm until 1.00 am 

Licensed Bar : Raffle : Admission, by ticket only, £5 

Accompanied children aged 12 and over are welcome 

@ @ @

PANTO 2005 Act Two Theatre Company

Aladdin  by John Crocker with kind permission of Samuel French

 

26th - 29th January 2005 at Bassingham Village Hall

Tickets £4.50 with concession price of £3 for OAPs & Children under 12 years old.

Back to top of page

@ @ @

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