Extracts from 2005 Witham Staple issues 

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

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

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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 2005 that provide a flavour of the prevailing themes.

February

March

April

May

June

July /August  

September

October

November

December

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February 2005

Editorial – Stan Underwood

Boxing Day 2004 will long be remembered for the greatest natural disaster in living memory: the tsunami that brought death and destruction to the people living on the coastline around the Indian Ocean. Unprecedented too has been the international public response in support for the victims: a spontaneous reaching-out to fellow human beings, irrespective of age, race or religion, with individuals and groups giving money, time, skills and service as they have felt best able to do. It is even possible that this awful catastrophe may yet prove to be a catalyst for lasting good, demonstrating as it so convincingly does how we all belong to the same world-wide community, and showing the great strength and value of solidarity between people. But the real test will be whether we can sustain that commitment to our fellow beings struggling for survival and dignity, around the world, in circumstances far removed from life here in our own comfortable community; or whether our interest eventually wanes once the initial dramatic scenes fade, and we just get on with our own lives – until the next tsunami or its equivalent prompts us to act. 

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Welcome to Mr Alan Robertson, who took up his post as Headteacher of Bassingham School from January. We wish him a happy and fulfilling time in this important role in our local community.

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The Witham Staple – Grant Funding

 In Late November 2004 The Witham Staple secured grants from RACol and FundNK to upgrade and renew our printing, collating and booklet making equipment. This will enable us to expand the circulation of the printed magazine in line with new housing developments in the area.

 We are delighted that these funding bodies have offered support to our voluntary organisation and wish to thank them, together with all those involved in helping us to prepare and submit the funding applications. This award is the culmination of a year of hard work by our Chairman supported by the Witham Staple Executive Committee and we look forward to using the new equipment early in 2005.

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Bassingham Primary School - Meet the New Headteacher Mr A H Robertson

I started in my new role as Headteacher at Bassingham Primary School on 4th January 2005 and so far I have been made to feel so very welcome by everyone connected with the school. I thought it might be useful to tell you a little bit about myself by way of an introduction.

I am married with three children: Emma (24), Lynsey (22), and Cheryl (22). My wife Val, is a nursery school headteacher in Lincolnshire. I was born and brought up in North Shields, near Newcastle upon Tyne and was trained at Loughborough College of Education as a PE and English specialist. I began my career in Liverpool where I worked for nearly 13 years, initially in a secondary school and then in two primary schools.

As a family we moved to Lincolnshire in 1986, and settled very quickly into a more rural lifestyle. In the past nineteen years in the county, I have worked in three other primary schools before coming to Bassingham, two of those as a headteacher.

The idea of applying for the Bassingham headship came about as a family decision to move nearer to my wife's work place in Lincoln and to be closer to an area that could provide more job opportunities for my twin daughters who were due to finish their respective university courses in 2004.

I have a range of hobbies and interests, which are mostly sport and music-related, but I also have a passion for cryptic crosswords. My ambition in life is to reach the ripe old age of 100.
Alan Robertson

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Bassingham Heritage Room Event

Official Opening Of The Millennium Banner & Ornamental Brick Walls
Saturday 5th February at 11.00 am  Bassingham Heritage Room

Bassingham Heritage Room Management Group is pleased to announce that it will be holding an official opening ceremony for these two community arts projects. There will be tea, coffee and biscuits served in the Heritage Room at 11.00 am and a gathering at the walls on Stocks Hill at 12.00 noon. Those involved in these projects would be delighted if members of the public could join us in celebrating their completion. It is also an opportunity to view the recently constructed kitchen and refurbished craft room in the Heritage Room. Light refreshments will be served for invited guests after the opening event.

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The Bassingham Heritage Room Kitchen has now been completed and the craftroom cupboards fitted. Anyone is welcome to visit the building and see for themselves the improved facilities. It is available for hire by local residents at very reasonable rates.

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Bassingham Scout Group - Helping at Asda

The Cubs, scouts and brownies were at Asda on 22nd December to help people with their shopping. We raised around £600 for funds, which will help pay our fees to National Headquarters. We received many favourable comments on the children's behaviour and we were proud of how hard everybody worked. Here are some of the younger cubs' comments:

"It was very crowded so we had a lot of work to do, so it wasn't any good standing there so we got started.- I was there for two hours! The shop was very busy.- There was a man dressed up as an elf. People bought a lot of wine. - They bought lots of beer. - For lunch I got a packet of crisps and a milkshake. We had a ten minutes off break. - People were spending a lot of pounds - like £500. - The people on the till were very nice. - All the people were very generous, so we raised a lot of money. - I worked really hard and I was so tired. It was very busy but I enjoyed myself. - When we finished we got a Selection Box."

 

By Jake, Robbie, Alexander, Edward, William, Fraser, Joe. 

 

We also had some very good drawings by Sam, Ross and Curtis showing the cubs bag packing, too big to put in The Witham Staple though. Thank you all for your contributions. Editor

 

March 2005

Editorial – Stan Underwood  

One of the delights of living in villages like ours is the happy blending of the built environment with the countryside around it: the village street gently turns into the country lane; the gardens rub shoulders with the adjacent fields, and the lines and angles of our buildings and metalled surfaces are softened by hedges, trees and shrubs. All this doesn't just happen: sometimes it's instinctive, often though it reflects the attention that our forebears and we ourselves have paid to how things look and how they feel. But we can easily spoil things by allowing unsightly intrusions. So for instance, new houses need to fit comfortably in with older buildings while construction materials, styles and colours have to be sensitive to the context around them. Furthermore, any prominent visual statements need to be designed and sited with great care, if they are to be an enhancement and not an eyesore, and meet with the approval of those who live there; this is not always the case. Notably good examples are the recently installed commemorative village signs at Aubourn, Haddington and Norton Disney, and the striking new carved-brick sculpture at Bassingham. They each succeed in bringing something special to the village scene. 

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As fascinating as the emergence of a butterfly from its chrysalis case is the burgeoning growth of Witham St Hugh's. Here we see the developers enjoying the rare opportunity of having an eye to every aspect of the built environment. If Partridge Green and Squirrel Chase are anything to go by, things are looking very promising. Go and see for yourself!

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Aubourn Clock Tower

At the end of January, permission was granted by the Heritage Lottery Fund to start work on the Clock Tower. It is hoped the contractor will be on site in March to start re-shingling the spire and slating the chancel roof. Work on the parish website is well under way and we should welcome support from any local individuals or businesses that would like to promote their activities on the site.

At the February Aubourn and Haddington Parish Council meeting, residents discussed the findings of the traffic survey with representatives from Lincolnshire CC Highways. As a result, the Parish Council is working with a group of residents to formulate a request to seek approval from Lincs CC for an experimental weight restriction through Aubourn and Haddington. 

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April 2005

Editorial – Stan Underwood  

 

Now daisies pied and violets blue, 

And lady-smocks all silver white, 

And cuckoo buds of yellow hue 

Do paint the meadows with delight, 

The cuckoo now on every tree Sings cuckoo, cuckoo. 

William Shakespeare 

Four hundred and ten years after Shakespeare wrote those lines, they still have a familiar ring to them - provided you realise that lady-smocks are what in this part of the country are called cuckoo flowers, while Shakespeare's cuckoo buds are what we know as cowslips! And they still exist, of course. Sadly, though, what has changed is the rural landscape in this part of Lincolnshire: these days you have to know where to look to find a meadow, let alone the meadowland flowers. We can just about imagine - and some can still remember - how lovely green fields once came down to the banks of the Witham and the Brant where cattle stood in the shallows among the yellow irises and the dragonflies. Much of the pastureland that remained only thirty years ago has gone under the plough in a quest for ever greater yields of arable crops and, as we now realise, for even bigger harvests of EU subsidies. But things are about to change: the newly agreed EU Common Agricultural Policy could bring a major shift in the management of the countryside; farmers will no longer be so concerned with tonnage yield per acre, and will also be paid to nurture and protect the natural environment. Perhaps one day we shall again see lady-smocks and cuckoo buds painting the meadows with delight.

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Basket Making Trade - Can you help? 

Information required on local history of the basket making trade Rodney Cousins, who made an excellent job of entertaining us at the Bassingham Heritage Room on the evening of 23rd February, is writing a book on the history of the basket making trade in Lincoln-shire and Nottinghamshire. He is trying to source material from our area where he believes there was an active trade through to the early part of the twentieth century. There are two local names that he is aware were involved in the trade, but he would like to know more about them and the harvesting of materials in the area. The names he has are: J. Osbourne Johnson of Meeting House Lane, Brant Broughton (probably related to Dr Osbourne Johnson?) Walter Thompson Brown (listed as basket maker from Bassingham around 1920?) Rodney would appreciate hearing from relatives or anyone who has information, photographs etc on these individuals, or generally on the trade in the area. 

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Bassingham Cub Scouts Cross Country Success  

Bassingham Cubs took part in the Lincoln & District Cub Cross Country Race on 13th March. They came first in the team event for both the Over 9½s and the Under 9½s. The individual results were equally impressive: 

Under 9½s: 1st Alastair Weir, 2nd Jake Mammatt, 3rd Ross Taylor, 5th Charlie Brewer 

Over 9½s: 1st Linton Taylor, 2nd Callum Weir, 13th Daniel Brooks. 

Report by Jake Mammatt (age 8): 

When we arrived, Akela took everybody to have a look at the map of the course. The under 9½s had to do two laps around the cricket pitch; the over 9½s had to do one lap around the cricket pitch and one round the horse field. Akela and Dougie took us for a walk round the cricket pitch so that we knew the course. First up were the under 9½s. Jake and Ali took the lead and Ross soon caught up. After a while, Ali was in the lead by a few metres, followed by Jake then Ross. Ali won, Jake second, Ross third and Charlie fifth, but still very good. After that, were the over 9½s. After the frist lap, Linton was in the lead, followed by Callum, then Daniel. Daniel dropped behind but he still finished thirteenth, giving Bassingham both of the cups.

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"How Bassingham Has Grown!"

Many of us have seen Bassingham grow considerably over the last ten years or so. But it's also interesting to discover how it has grown - and shrunk - at times in the past. In 1802, for example, the population was 413. This crept up until by 1861 it numbered 927. Perhaps surprisingly, by 1939 it had dropped back to 564. After this, however, the population continued to grow steadily and by the year 2001 stood at 1308. 

We take many amenities for granted and it may surprise some people to learn that mains water and electricity didn't reach the village until the 1920s and 30s. Three of the original outdoor communal water taps can still be seen: on Carlton Road, Water Lane and High Street, having been saved by the Parish Council. Mains sewerage was installed as late as 1965 - a major advance in public health at the time. Efforts have been made to persuade the relevant authorities to bring mains gas to Bassingham, but alas with no success so far! 

Details supplied by Helen Ash [WS April 2005]

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May 2005 

Thursday 5th May is voting day, make your vote count!

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Aubourn Clock Tower Project

The building work on Aubourn Clock Tower started on 4th April and will continue until late June. Thank you to those who have made contact to register their support for the project. If anyone has any historical information or photographs that may be used for displays in the Clock Tower when the refurbishment has been completed, please contact the parish clerk.

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Malicious Damage Aubourn and Haddington Village Hall 

Damage was caused to the toilet door of the Village Hall between 6th and 8th April. The Police have been informed.

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NK's Anti-Social Behaviour Team - Presentation in Bassingham April 2005

Anti-Social Behaviour Team - North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) A presentation was delivered by Councillor D. Roberts on 14th April 2005 at Bassingham's Annual Parish Meeting. It formed part of an informative discussion attended by some 40 residents and PC Cheetham. The presentation was facilitated by the Bassingham Parish Council. 

NKDC has a policy that says it will treat as antisocial behaviour any behaviour that is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to anyone (except someone living in the same household as the perpetrator). It has set up (late in 2004) an Anti-social Behaviour (ASB) Team armed with some new statutory powers, a clear policy and procedure for dealing with such problems. So far in 2005 this team has addressed 157 cases within North Kesteven, issued 44 warning letters, 4 Anti-social Behaviour Contracts and 1 Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO). The team works in close co-operation with the Police and District Councillor Mrs Woodman. We hope to receive regular updates from this group as to their performance and their new approach to tackling a problem that is progressively eroding the quality of life for many in our community and across the district. 

Serious incidents should be reported to the Police directly, but lower level anti-social behaviour should be reported to the NKDC Anti-social Behaviour Team. We urge residents to do this to get such unacceptable behaviour registered and dealt with in a formal manner. The ASB team can be contacted: in writing (to NKDC); in person at the Council Offices; by telephone (through customer services: 01529 414144); by e-mail: ASB@n-kesteven.gov.uk 

It is worth reporting even incidents that are seemingly trivial when considered in isolation, but which ultimately cause a repeated nuisance to the surrounding residents. Remember also that although many anti-social behaviour incidents are perpetrated by youths, the root of most of the problems is poor parenting and parents prepared to ignore their responsibilities to the detriment of the surrounding community. The ASB team has a procedure to impose written parenting contracts, together with the Police, on such offenders.

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New Addition to our Website - Bassingham Primary School's Web Page 

The Witham Staple is pleased to announce that we have just added a page to our website on behalf of Bassingham Primary School. The page includes a series of articles, jokes, book reviews, poems and information about life at the school written by the children. It is well worth a visit and will be updated regularly by the editorial group at the school

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The Rise And Fall Of Bassingham Youth Club

At a Parish Council meeting in March 1998 four villagers were persuaded to form a Management Committee to get a Youth Club off the ground. A grant of £1000 was approved and received in May 1998 from the Community Safety Initiatives Project Fund of the Lincolnshire Police Authority. 

There was a lot of support in the village. The Village Hall and Playing Field Committee helped us get rooms and allowed us storage space. The Heritage Room was made available for committee meetings. To get us started we bought and borrowed various items of suitable equipment. Initially we had 40 registered members between the ages of 11 and 18. 

We had help from the LCC Youth Service and four different Youth Leaders, including Becky Simm, who was a trained youth worker and has gone on to be director of Youth Lincs. Phil Hutchinson, who has experience from Glasgow and brought some excitement to the club as well as a bouncy castle. He started a successful junior section and organised trips ice skating, ten pin bowling, horse riding and a car driving experience, unfortunately he was posted away with the RAF, the club has struggled since. 

Throughout there were volunteers helping out at various times keeping the club going without a leader. Notably Lyn Baker who managed the tuck shop and club funds and Pete Smith who entertained in various ways particularly his disco. 

The club has had its difficulties at times; some members did not behave as well as they might. This caused conflict with other groups and the school. Unfortunately volunteers have moved on to other things; the Community Room was no longer available and the last leader resigned. The Youth Club has now been wound up and remaining funds transferred to the Bassingham Village hall and Playing Field Committee for safe keeping. If volunteers wish to start this up again, find a suitable venue and the funds are available to help in the process. I feel the young would welcome the club being reformed. 

Tony Tyler Youth Club Secretary

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June 2005

We have a new Editor! 

From the July & August edition, Paul Hubbard will be manning the desk and putting The Witham Staple together for us each month. As always, he'll be pleased to receive items for publication both from local groups and from individual readers. Over the twelve years that I've been Editor, The Witham Staple has brought me into happy contact with many more people than I would otherwise have met. It has given me a unique insight into our local communities and a better appreciation of what can make English village life so good. I think it's all to do with a sense of belonging, of getting together to make things happen. I'm sure readers will agree that this magazine contributes in no small measure to that sense of togetherness; in fact, it is people who make the magazine, a lot of people, providing both the content and getting each edition produced and delivered. I wish Paul well in his new role and hope he derives as much satisfaction and enjoyment from this privileged position as I have. 

The recent series of annual village meetings has been an occasion where we can get involved at a local level in matters that affect each of us and our community. Perhaps we might also take the opportunity to recognise the work done by our local parish, district and county councillors on our behalf. Our parish councillors, for instance, get none of the kudos, glamour and financial reward accorded to national politicians. Their work is unpaid, often tedious and pernickety - dog bins and potholes being just two examples - yet essential to the quality of life in our villages. They're often the first port of call for complaints and objections, and don't routinely get many thanks. Yet they provide a priceless service to our community. Just think where we'd be without them! Stan Underwood 

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Let Me Introduce Myself - Paul Hubbard (new Witham Staple Editor)

Hi I'm Paul and as Stan has said your new Witham Staple Editor. My first job as editor, on behalf of everyone involved and all the readers of The Witham Staple is to thank Stan for all his editorial work over the last 12 years. I hope I can continue in his footsteps with the same degree of quality. I would like to also thank all the members of the team for welcoming me, and making me feel right at home. I'm hoping my age will bring a fresh youthful feel to the magazine but still keep the quality we have enjoyed over the years. 

As I said I'm Paul married to Jane (née Postlethwaite) we have 2 children Cloe 10½ years old and Thomas almost 7. We have lived in Carlton as a family for over 5 years now but have had a bond with the area for many years before as Jane was born here. The children attend Bassingham School, Cloe is a Bassingham Brownie and swims with Lincoln Vulcans, Thomas is a Beaver, plays in the under 7s football team and now tennis as well, so we are all involved with different groups within the villages. Jane is a registered childminder and carer. We all like getting out and about on our bikes, you may even have seen us on our travels, I'm the one with the battery on the front. I do have interests of my own but by the time we've sorted out all the above not much time is left these days. My main interest is in art and anything associated with it. I try to turn my hand to any medium asked of me, but mainly like to do watercolour scenes. I love to get out on my bike and now I have the Editors position to keep me busy. Oh and I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy!! hence the chair. Stan's work is a tall order to follow so please forgive me for any mistakes in my new role. As Stan pointed out I look forward to receiving items for publication from both local groups and individuals. I would also welcome your thoughts on how I'm doing in my new role over the next few months and what you might like to be reading in the future.

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Calling All Children, Parents And Grandparents 

Would you like a bigger, better play area in Bassingham? If so, contact Elaine Harris on 788047 to form an action group. 

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Manor Lane Playground 1997 (Carlton le Moorland) 

The Trustees of above named charity wish to announce that the Old Manor Lane Playground site has recently been granted outline planning approval. Following this, the Trustees plan to sell the land to raise funds. The funds will eventually be made available by application for the purpose of the charity, which is to: 

"Provide or assist in the provision of facilities in the interests of social welfare for the recreation or other leisure time occupation of the children and youth of the Parish of Carlton-le-Moorland with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said children and youth." 

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Carlton-le-Moorland Playing Field is very important to families with children of all ages within our community and the Parish Council would welcome the views of all parishioners so that these can be considered in the future planning of this amenity. A questionnaire will be distributed to all households in the near future. Please could residents complete the forms and return them by either placing them in the box inside Carlton-le-Moorland Post Office or sending them to the Parish Clerk at 28 High St. 

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July /August 2005

Editorial (Paul Hubbard)

Here we go then I've been unleashed and let loose on you all with my first solo edition. Thank you to all the new faces it has already brought me in contact with, I can't believe the impact this has had, we even had to put new batteries in the doorbell! 

This month's double issue as you will see is full, with a variety of summer events in our villages to keep us all entertained and I'm sure your support would be well received by the people who work hard to organise them. There is all the usual information and you'll find a little bit more too. Jane has provided me with a recipe, as I'm no Jamie Oliver! 

I can tell you that we are into July and have half the year behind us, summer is upon us and school holidays are near with families having time to enjoy long lazy days together at home or further a field wherever you're going. The swifts race high in the sky and the spring sound of the cuckoo just a memory, harvest will begin in earnest working from dawn to dusk to bring home the rewards, I can't think of a more enjoyable place and time to be than this rural farming community, of which we are a part with nature on our door step. So read on, digest and enjoy, have a great summer whatever you're doing and I'll be back in September.

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Welcome To Witham St Hughs! 

Whether you live in one of the former RAF properties or in a newly built house, you will be very aware that Witham St Hughs is growing at an amazing pace. It must be very exciting to be 'in at the start' of an entirely new community and watch it taking shape before your eyes. At the moment the new developments are in the midst of a very busy building phase: it's not immediately obvious which houses are already occupied and which are not. You don't know who all your neighbours are going to be, because some of them haven't yet arrived! 

Witham St Hughs Parish Council and The Witham Staple hope that you are settling in happily and beginning to feel at home here. We hope too that you are finding The Witham Staple interesting and helpful. It's a community magazine produced by people living in our eight villages and delivered free to every household for the beginning of every month (July & August and December & January have an edition to cover two months). Your copy is likely to be delivered by somebody who lives near by. 

We believe that The Witham Staple can play its part in helping Witham St Hughs grow as a new community. So we should like to invite all who are interested in finding out how you could get involved with the magazine and the village to come and meet some of the existing team and some of your Parish Council members at the Ark. You might, for instance, be happy to deliver the magazine to the houses on you part of the road.

Looking forward to seeing you!

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Bassingham Primary School's Web Page 

The Smile Team have come up with another ten stimulating items. These are:

Animal Word Search 

Drama Club Proudly Presents: Bugsy Malone 

Book Cover Competition 

Brownies 

Jokers' Corner - Doctor, Doctor Day 

Kwik Cricket Match 

School Council Update 

Testing Times 

Cool Competition: The Knock Wood Inn 

Views on Secondary Schools

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A Play Area to be Proud of

When we came to live in Carlton in 1969 there was to be a new school on the land owned by the County Council on Wheatley Lane. Part of this was used as a school sports field but in the eighties our Village School at the corner of High Street and Church Street closed, so we had no hope of a new school. In my opinion closing the school took the heart out of the village. 

The County Council then decided to sell the land on Wheatley Lane and at a Parish Council Meeting it was suggested that the village should try to buy it for a new play area for the children of the village. The County sold the front part of the plot to a builder and the Parish Council set up a Fund Raising Committee to buy the remainder with the access drive. Grant aid was obtained from the District Council. We had to raise the money and do the work in stages as the grant money was only paid out on work completed and invoices paid. First enough money was raised to get fencing which was then erected by volunteers, some of whom are now sadly no longer with us. The ground had to be drained then levelled and grassed. 

Money was raised by all sorts of efforts such as Coffee Mornings, Bingos, 100 Club, Garden Fetes, 50/50 Auctions. We had a sponsored Walk/Fun Run, Treasure Hunt, and Clothes Parties etc. Christmas Cards were sold from one of the card catalogues and the money raised was given to the fund. This all happened in the eighties when the village worked together and played together and we ended with a lovely large play area for the children where there is lots of room for the equipment and for ball games etc. At the end of all this there was approximately £4000 left and this has since been used for new equipment. A number of us who helped raise the money now take our grandchildren there and it is very well used by residents and visitors. Over the years I have heard a lot of appreciation and admiration voiced for our play area. 

Stella Postlethwaite

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Debt Forgiveness

Bob Geldof has invited us all to join him in Edinburgh this July. His open invitation has caused consternation to some who worry about how a million people will look after themselves in the city. Others point out that unless a huge crowd turns up our world leaders will not feel the weight of concern of many of us to see the vast continent of Africa helped and supported to lift itself from poverty and to find new ways of sustaining its myriad communities. 

World finance ministers have already met (in June) and set down some proposals to move forward their ambition for 'debt forgiveness' for the poorest nations of our world community. 

Some believe debt forgiveness is the best way to help Africa towards a brighter future. They believe the nations of Africa need a clean slate in order to build a better future. Others are concerned that, as often happens in Africa, it will not be the poor who benefit from such measures but those who are experts in feathering their own nests. Stringent control of the 'forgiveness' will be necessary to avoid such corruption. 

Over the last couple of years the churches of the United Parish have been working at building a link with just one small corner of Africa - some schools in Swaziland. The Swaziland Schools Project seeks to provide an education for the children of Swaziland who long for a future set free from the plague of HIV/ Aids and the daily grind of poverty. They live under a monarchy which sucks in huge amounts of the nations wealth to support its own lavish lifestyle. As well as raising money to support the children of Swaziland we have written to its - and our own - government expressing our concern. 

Debt forgiveness for Africa must go hand in hand with stringent regard for the well-being of her people over the self-serving of the corrupt. 

The Christian's world is entirely shaped by the notion of 'debt forgiveness'. We use a different word - 'redemption' - but it boils down to the same thing. We owe God a debt of gratitude for his patient love for us that we can never repay. He forgave us the debt when Christ died on Good Friday. The challenge of the Christian life is to live in the light of that forgiveness. 

Revd. Nick Buck

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The Inaugural Bassingham Ball 

Saturday 17th September 7.30 for 8 pm Bassingham Village Hall (although we promise you will not recognise it). 

Full sit down 4 course meal. Carriages 1 am.

A fantastic night of live music, good food and good company. Invite your friends and book a table of 10 or just part of one. The evening will be Black Tie, However black trousers, white shirt and bow tie will be quite acceptable.

Tickets on sale from 1st July to 12th August at £32 each (cheques payable to BVHC).

This is being organised for the Witham villages with the idea to create an annual night to remember. There is no financial backing, its success is purely dependent on ticket sales. Surplus money will be donated to the "New Village Hall Fund". If you would like to help organise this event, please get in touch. Your ideas, help and input would be most welcome.

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The Changing Agricultural Scene (Part 3)  [see Parts 1 and 2]

In the last two articles I have mentioned that we are likely to see less barley and wheat grown in this area and that we had already lost dairy cows and were likely to see fewer beef cattle. Also under threat is sugar beet. The plan being discussed at the moment is for the price paid for sugar beet to fall by 32% over the next three years. If this price cut is implemented then analysts expect the number of sugar beet factories in the country to be reduced to 2. My guess is that the two that will be retained will probably be Whissington, Norfolk (the largest and most efficient sugar beet factory in Europe) and Newark. It is possible that the area of sugar beet planted will fall by 90%. Although this will not affect wild life in this area to any great extent it will have a significant impact upon the Pink Footed Geese. Over 80% of the world population of Pink Footed Geese overwinter in East Anglia and their main source of food is sugar beet tops. 

So what is going to replace the wheat, barley, dairy cows and sugar beet? 

The high price of oil will encourage farmers to grow energy crops. A field of willow for coppicing was planted in Norton Disney in May and will add to the bio-diversity of the area. This willow will be harvested in three years time and will be burnt in one of the Trentside power stations. This must be the first time that willow has been planted on such a scale since the basket making industry was in it's prime in the 1800's. 

With the price of oil at over $50 a barrel it is economic to use oil seed rape for making diesel. Oil seed rape contains 40% oil but only 30% is extracted to enable the residual product to be sold as cattle feed. A manufacturing plant is being built at Middlesborough to convert vegetable oil to bio-diesel and this will be the largest plant in Europe producing 240,000 tonnes of diesel per year (one tanker train every working day). If the manufacturing plant uses locally produced vegetable oil, then a huge area of oil seed rape will be needed. We are likely to see even more fields of yellow next spring and there is also the possibility of seeing more fields of light blue linseed, again for the oil content.

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The Witham Staple Website - Progress

It is now nearly nine months since the website was launched to the world. Key objectives for the website are to complement the printed magazine rather than to compete with it, and to reach an additional audience. The website is updated routinely towards the end of each month and on an ongoing basis as new material becomes available. 

The web as a medium enables us to present material that cannot easily be included in the printed magazine, such as colour digital images and longer text items. Space has enabled a vast archive of material to be posted (see for instance the "Archive" section including photographs, historical material and most articles published in the magazine since 2001). 

Recent postings include: the WI Wedding Dress Exhibition with photographs; Bassingham Primary School web pages; minutes from three parish councils; a presentation on dealing with anti-social behaviour. We are delighted with such progress, but feel that the website is only just beginning to fulfill its potential. There is still plenty of scope to include more information. We are particularly interested in material that records the substance of what happens at events that take place in our community rather than just promoting them. Such material helps the website to present positive aspects of our local culture and to demonstrate what a vibrant community the Witham Villages forms. 

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September 2005

Editorial (Paul Hubbard)

Here we are September already, children back to school and Autumn just around the corner but did you all have a good holiday. From all the advertising in the last issue there was certainly plenty to do, I hope all the events were successful. We have had an excellent time, too much in fact to go into detail. I must however just mention a few, the schools drama group performance of Bugsy Malone at the end of term was a truly moving performance well done. The Bassingham show, an excellent afternoons entertainment and well done to you if like me you were a winner (yes I did win the men only boiled fruit cake)!! Oh yes and my 5 minutes of fame, the moment when I was invited to appear on Radio Lincolnshire as Editor of the local magazine. Did you visit the out and about bus whilst it was in Bassingham during the first week in August, or better still catch my interview with Lucy Wheeler on the afternoon show. What a holiday it's been. But enough from me, read on because as always there's a lot to look forward to. Till October then.

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The Witham Staple Cover Design Competition for Children

Congratulations to our winners:

Thomas Hubbard………seven years and under 

Martha O'Brien……………eight to eleven years 

Georgina Wiltshire….…..twelve to fifteen years 

 

Well done to these young people and thank you to all who entered. The winning designs will be used for the cover of The Witham Staple over the next six months.

The competition was open to children from all the Witham Staple villages.

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St Germain's Church Thurlby - New Gates

We have recently installed new gates and posts to the churchyard.

The money came mainly from funds donated in memory of Yvonne Ogg, who tragically died in 2001. She was for a time a churchwarden at the church. 

Photographs of the new gates can be seen on this website.

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"Awards For All" Grant For The Witham Staple 

We are delighted to announce that in July the Witham Staple was awarded a grant of £2905 to cover the purchase of new computer equipment.

For many years we have relied upon volunteers to produce the magazine using their own equipment. In recognition of the growth of the magazine, its broader circulation and website evolution, it is now deemed appropriate that volunteers be provided with the specialist equipment required to produce top quality material.

We are extremely grateful to Awards for All (Lottery Grants for Local Groups) for the financial support of this initiative.

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Vandalism-Norton Disney Village Hall

The Hall Committee is becoming increasingly concerned about the vandalism taking place at the Hall especially around the Entrance Door. In recent months fires have been lit damaging the paintwork and the light fitting - spitting on the floor - the fanlight window forced open on occasions and rubbish thrown into the hallway - stones and other objects forced into the lock and the handle removed and reversed making access impossible. The general litter and rubbish left around causes a great deal of extra and needless work. And of course no-one knows who has done it! All we get is "it wasn't me". Could parents please ensure that they know where their children are and what they are doing in order to have our lovely little Hall keep its well-cared for appearance. Thank you

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Acknowledgement of Stan Underwood's Contribution as Past Editor 

Mike and Bunny Allport kindly hosted the party in their garden on the evening of 23rd July. This party enabled all those involved in various capacities associated with the support, production and delivery of the Witham Staple to get together. It also provided an opportunity for the executive committee to thank everyone for their contributions over the past two years. The weather was kind to us and enabled the 50 or so that attended to chat and stroll around the garden whilst enjoying the excellent refreshments prepared by a number of volunteers.

This year's party was special because it enabled us to acknowledge Stan Underwood's retirement as editor after twelve years of dedicated and high quality service to the magazine.

Stan was then presented with a gift by John Rowland to commemorate his valuable contribution in developing the magazine into its current format. Stan thanked everyone for the gift and told us what a privilege it had been to serve the community in what he saw as a facilitating role. He also reminded us what a special group of villages the magazine covered and wished Paul Hubbard the best of luck for the future as the new editor.

Cynthia, Stan's wife, was presented with a bouquet and thanked for her supporting role and valuable contribution as proof reader for the magazine during the past twelve years.

The evening was a thoroughly enjoyable event! Some photographs of it are displayed on this website.

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Funding for Community Projects - Put The Rural Fizz Into Your Community 

Do you belong to a community or voluntary group looking for funding for a new or additional project? If so, you may be eligible to apply for a grant of up to £4000 (min £200) to cover 50% of capital project costs from the new Rural Fizz Fund. Applications will have to provide matched funding or funding in kind towards the remaining projects costs.

The Rural Fizz fund has been set up to make small grants available to rural communities (not individuals) in Lincolnshire. The funding has been allocated by Lincolnshire Enterprise to help communities to work towards creating a healthy, safe and inclusive society.

As well as receiving grant funding towards the establishment of new services and facilities, applicants will be given advice from the project partners on how best to establish these services and facilities.

The scheme is being administered by the Community Council of Lincolnshire (CCL) and an independent panel of local people will be called upon to approve applications. 

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October 2005

Editorial (Paul Hubbard)

How are you all? Yet another month has passed and it seems only days since I sat typing September's issue. Are you all back into the swing of things after the summer break, back to work, kids at school etc. We, as with some of you out there, have the difficult task of choosing a secondary school for Cloe in the next few weeks. It seems no time at all since she was starting Bassingham Primary. I am now helping out at Beavers and at the end of last month we had the investiture of the new Beavers so Bassingham now has a fully formed Beaver Colony. The family took part in the Old Churches cycle ride but we only managed 9 miles and visited 5 churches as we lost heart with the weather being so miserable. On my biking travels over the last month I have noticed how busy you all seem to be getting in the harvest, bails stacked high, ploughing and still time for a friendly wave from you as I pass by. 

A classic Autumn sight is of swallows gathering on wires, and in the last few weeks they have. The visual looks of hawthorn berries, conkers and the turning of the Oak, means Autumn is upon us. The late harvest to gather from the garden and the orchard, apples and pears to mention a few. That is if the birds and wasps haven't beaten us to them! Getting over the thought of dark nights, our minds are drawn to the many indoor jobs that have waited patiently for our attention and there are still plenty of evening events to draw you away from the television. As ever, read on, as there's lots to look forward to. Until November.

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Witham St Hughs Primary School 

 

Lincolnshire County Council held a turf cutting ceremony to mark the start of construction of the new 210 place primary school. This £2million + state of the art school is being built to take pupils from the new village under construction on the former air base. It marks the start of a twelve month construction that will mean the new school will open in September 2006. 

Almost half the cost is funded by contributions from the site's developer as a result of North Kesteven District Council and Lincolnshire County Council working together to secure this contribution. 

 

The design is by HBS Business Services, the County Council's Strategic Business Partner and is for an ecologically sensitive building including using renewable resources, having a high thermal performance design, using natural but controllable lighting and recycling roof rainwater. 

 

The turf cutting ceremony was carried out by Councillor. Mrs P. A. Bradwell, the Portfolio Holder for Children's Services at Lincolnshire County Council, who made a speech outlining the advantages of the project. The school already has a Temporary Governing Body who will have the task of appointing a Head teacher and other staff ready for the opening in 2006. 

 

Refreshments after the ceremony were generously provided by Westbury Homes who also allowed the use of their show home. 

 

Groundwork is already taking place and it is hoped that by the end of the month the wooden frame of the building will start to be assembled giving local residents an indication of the size and layout of the school.

 

[WS Oct 05]

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A Plea to Farmers and Landowners

As a new resident of Witham St Hughs and of Lincolnshire, I attended a meeting organised by The Witham Staple with several other new residents who are interested in bringing our growing community together. 

I would have liked to suggest an occasional Sunday morning walk to visit some of our lovely country pubs, but one thing has stopped me. I am a fairly agile person, although not a spring-chicken and I have tried in vain to follow public footpaths in this area. Even the dogs refused to go through stinging nettles, brambles, ditches and deep ploughed fields where the footpaths should be. 

It would be brilliant if farmers and landowners helped keep these paths clear so that maybe families and the less able-bodied people can enjoy the wildlife around here or manage a short stroll through the fields to the riverside. 

I hope that farmers do not think all walkers leave gates open, trample crops and let dogs worry livestock - only a few mindless, irresponsible people do that and spoil things for everyone else. Let us all enjoy what we have and appreciate our countryside. 

Marie Edmead, Witham St Hughs. [WS Oct 05]

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Wheels On Fire 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a group of eight women from the Midlands will embark on a 170 mile sponsored cycle ride from Nottingham to London 'Burning up the Miles' for three Breast Cancer Charities. The cyclists, all mothers who between them have 20 children, have been inspired to take on this challenge as three of their great friends, Rebecca Chatterton, Sandy Polglase and Willa Wilson have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last three years. They have been especially moved by the incredible strength and courage of Rebecca (36) from Sedgebrook, Lincs and are hoping to raise thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Relief, The Lavender Trust and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. 

Rebecca was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago and her friends have watched her bravely battle with everything her condition throws at her, whilst she remains positive and happy for her husband and their three young children. One of the riders, Charlotte Linney from Farnsfield says, "We have been inspired by Bex's amazing attitude and positive outlook and been frustrated by not being able to do anything to help - so here's our chance". The eight women, Vikki Buckland, Emily Eadie, Claudie Farr, Louise Swallow, Fi Wilson and Jules Weldon along with Rebecca and Charlotte range in age from 34 to 41. They had differing fitness routines, for some it was just a quick dash around the supermarket and riding a bike was a major event. Claudie from Worksop says, "This is our biggest physical challenge since giving birth. None of us are athletes or owned a bike that didn't look like something Mary Poppins might have ridden!" 

Realising that this was a challenge not to be undertaken lightly they enlisted the help of an ex-army corporal from Retford, Jane Daniels, who devised a training programme to get them into shape. Jane says of the programme, "Taking on such a physical challenge would be hard enough for even an experienced cyclist but it is going to be incredibly demanding for these mothers. They are, however rising to the challenge and showing huge personal determination and commitment. 

The girls will be starting the ride at the Paul Smith store on Lower Pavement in Nottingham on October 10th. They will take three and a half days to cover the 170 miles stopping overnight at designated places along the way. The ride will end in Knightsbridge.

Cyclist Jules Weldon from Norton Disney says, "It's been tough fitting the training around work and family life but when it was wet and windy the thought of Bex, who is fighting her own personal battle every day, made us just get on our bikes and keep going. In the UK 41,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and 1,000 die from the disease each month. The girls say "So many of us have been battered by this disease either personally or through family and friends but we are hoping that with your help we can better the odds for the future. We promise you that we will earn every penny in sweat and tears and your donation will spur us on as we tackle another monstrous hill. 

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Lincolnshire Old Churches Trust Sponsored Bicycle Ride And Walk 

Sadly for biking and walking enthusiasts this event was a damp affair on Saturday 10th September! 

This yearly event organised by Lincolnshire Old Churches Trust is aimed at helping to save part of our beautiful heritage by participants raising money through sponsorship for cycling or walking from church to church. The majority of churches in the area and throughout the diocese were open for participants to check in. All the churches in the Withamside Parish including the Bassingham Methodist Church participated. 

Although many participants delayed their departures and kept their fingers crossed throughout the day in the hope of some sunshine, the rain persisted. In spite of this set back some did manage to battle against the elements and visit our churches and many volunteers manned the (at times lonely!) checkpoints throughout the day. 

Pictures of some of those who participated and enjoyed the event regardless of the conditions are now posted on this website. 

Let's hope for better weather next year!

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November 2005

Editorial (Paul Hubbard)

Hi, how are you all and how’s your month been? November 1st, 341 days since last Christmas and yes only 55 days to this year’s festive celebration. I have been busy myself these last few weeks with football and Beavers to name a few, I’ve not even had time to get out on my bike and enjoy the autumn sunshine. With foggy mornings, leaves on the ground, squirrels gathering nuts and the clocks going back we are truly now set into autumn. Looking back I notice it is a year since the launch of the Witham Staple website and I am sure that you will agree with me what a grand job David is doing, the site is awash with information past and present and complimenting the printed magazine perfectly.

"Remember, remember, the 5th of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot."

Millions of people throughout many centuries have enjoyed fireworks. Accidents can happen with anything, anytime, anywhere. Don’t let it happen to you with fireworks because the consequences of carelessness with fire can be devastating. The guidelines for a safe fireworks party are very simple to observe. Follow the firework Code. Sparklers can be beautiful and enjoyable for young children but adults must be aware of their potential. 

Sparklers are the cause of a disproportionate number of injuries but only a few simple precautions are necessary. 

1. Always supervise children. 

2.  Teach them how to hold the sparkler. 

3.  Have a container of water handy, for the spent sparkler.  

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Bassingham Bonfire:

 

Saturday 5th November Bonfire lit at 7pm Fireworks at 7.30pm This will be held on the field at the top of Torgate Lane. There will be Burgers, Hot Dogs, Mushy peas and cold drinks available to buy. Please be generous with your donations at the gate as this event must be entirely self-funding if it is to continue. 

 

Rubbish for the Bonfire may be taken to the field on Saturday 29th October between 9.30am and 12.30pm, where help will be available. We regret we cannot take upholstery, mattresses etc.

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Bassingham Surgery Official Opening 

Being Editor of The Witham Staple I, with great delight, received an invitation to the opening of the new surgery. Thank you. From all the planning and the arrival of the builders last year to start construction the official opening took place on Friday 7th October. There were many familiar faces and as many unfamiliar ones at the ceremony. The evening kicked off with a glass of what you fancied followed by a speech from the resident Doctors Peter Bridgewood, Sue Marris and Clare Farrell thanking all concerned, for whatever part they played in this project. It was then handed over to Fiona Godlee, Editor of the British Medical Journal who gave a poignant speech before her official opening at which point she was presented with a bouquet of flowers. We were then invited to tour the new building and really discover what an impressive place the new surgery is and what an important roll it will play in the area. Whilst indulging in the buffet spread, we walked around and I'm sure you'll agree from the moment the building started to take shape at the beginning of the year it was evident that we would have a surgery to be proud of, and we certainly have. If you haven't been, the open plan easy access and décor is pleasing to the eye. Topped with the facilities and equipment it must be a satisfying place to work and a relaxing comforting place if you have to visit. A truly impressive, essential building for the area. 

The Editor

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Public Rights Of Way 

It is within our own interest to keep the countryside open and I believe the area to have an extensive labyrinth of paths leading to all parts for us to enjoy a good walk. It is in the individual landowner's interest to keep these areas cleared for our use to a standard governed by the local authorities. From what can be seen with the growing number of new wooden bridges over dykes and stiles with clearly marked signs showing the way I think we can be pleased with the upkeep of our pathways. However, if you feel there is an obstruction, complaints and enquiries concerning footpaths designated as public rights of way are dealt with at County Council level. Your comments can be addressed in the first instance either to the local parish clerk who will take the matter up with the Authority or by contacting the local County Councillor whose contact details appear in the Witham Staple. 

The Editor

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1st Bassingham Scout Group Cub Scouts - Posters


For the global challenge badge the Bassingham Cubs have taken part in a conservation campaign. We have made posters to do with saving water and energy. The posters will be put up in local shops and around the Cub's houses for the half term. A big poster will also be displayed in the Heritage Room. We hope our poster will encourage people to recycle and save energy. We enjoyed making and putting the pictures on the poster. The winning entry for the Witham Staple was chosen by the Editor. Well done to Andrew Evans.

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Bassingham Supplementary Waste Collection "the Skip" is to end!

The service in Bassingham on the second Saturday of each month is to end. This service will cease on the 31st December 2005, therefore, the last collection will be on Saturday 10th December.

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Formation of a Local History Group
At the recent Lammastide Celebration held in Norton Disney Village Hall, a number of people expressed an interest in forming a local history group. It is envisaged that during the winter months we would have four or five speakers and during the summer months there would be two or three visits to places of interest. Visits could be to such places as Boughton Pumping Station, the mediaeval 'open fields' farming system at Laxton, roof top tour of Lincoln Cathedral, Duke's Wood Oil Museum or the ladies may wish to visit the Doll Museum at Cromwell. There are numerous places of interest within 40 minutes of travel from our area. Some members may wish to form groups of three or four to research a particular interest whilst others may only wish to come and listen to speakers. The venues will depend upon village hall availability, cost and where the members reside. Costs of membership will be kept to a minimum.

The first meeting will be: -
Thursday 24th November at 7.30pm
Norton Disney Village Hall

The speaker will be Jim Wishart who will speak on
The Channel 4 'Time Team' dig at Farndon earlier this year
Cost will be £2.50

The next meeting will be on Thursday 12th January when it is hoped to have a speaker talking about working in the engineering industry in Nottinghamshire during the 1960's and 70's.
The formation of the history group will depend upon the amount of interest shown..

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December 2005

Editorial: 

Christmas is a coming and the goose is getting fat, but we're having turkey the thin scrawny one in the corner because the goose ate everything!! How are you all? Ready and raring to go for the festive season, I bet some of you even have your presents wrapped already! The change in the weather has brought us the beautiful crisp cold mornings of winter, so wrap up warm because apparently now scientists have proven you can catch cold from the cold. Off we go then down the shops must get Dad a pair of socks. Remember a modern wise man says drink, eat and be merry. But leave the car at home.

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Thank You & Seasonal Messages 

 

Bassingham School PTA would like to express their thanks to Mr Green of Lynx AC for his kind donation of Air Conditioning systems for the two mobile classrooms at the school. These are already making a big difference to the children and teachers.

Bassingham Beavers would like to give their thanks to the members of No Name Lodge RAOB for their kind donation to the colony. This donation will be a great boost to the colony funds.

The Editor on behalf of all our readers, would like to take the opportunity at this time, to thank all those who give their time and efforts each month to produce, print, collate and deliver The Witham Staple to over 1500 homes in the eight villages. Thank you and a Merry Christmas.

The Witham Staple Committee hope this special time of year brings joy and happiness to everyone and we wish all our readers, contributors and advertisers A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Cub Scouts Christmas Postal Service 

1st Bassingham Scout Group Cub Scouts I would like to thank all those who supported the Cub Christmas postal service last year. We made over £110.00 which was a welcome boost to our funds. We will be delivering cards (with the help of our new Beaver scouts) again this year for a small donation. We only deliver around the local villages.

Post boxes will be found in: 

Bassingham 

            Greens Stores 

            Spar Shop 

            St Michael's Church 

            Post Office 

 

Carlton le Moorland 

            Post Office 

 

Norton Disney

            St Vincent Arms Public House

 

Post boxes will be in place from Thursday 1st December, and the last Post will be Saturday 18th December. All cards will be delivered by Thursday 22nd December. Please make sure that the cards are addressed fully, as last year we had cards with Christian names only and no addresses on them! 

Alison Kelley (Akela)

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Bassingham & District WI 70th Birthday Party

This year Bassingham WI celebrates its 70th birthday and the WI movement its 90th, so our birthday party this year will be a bit special. It will be held on Thursday 1st December at 7.30pm, and the entertainment will be by the Bassingham Choir, with extracts from the minute books of the past read during several interludes in the music. Past members of the WI have been invited, there will be a raffle, and the usual delicious buffet meal will be on offer. It promises to be a very enjoyable evening.

Our first meeting of 2006 will be on Thursday 5th January at 7.30pm. at Carlton-le-Moorland Village Hall The speaker will be A Funny Kind of Evening with the Gossiper Peter Brown from the Lincolnshire Echo. The competitions will be An Amusing Headline and the usual Flower of the Month.

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Racol Community Development Officer invites you to a community meeting

In the ARK, Witham St Hughes Thursday 8th December at 6.30pm 

As a Community Development Officer for Regeneration Across Communities of Lincolnshire, my role is to provide assistance and support to develop and enhance communities. Witham St Hughes, as a segmented village with some areas still under development, is a little isolated and lacking in facilities. The meeting is being held to give you the opportunity to raise and address any issues that are caused by this isolation and division. Coffee, tea, juice and mince pies will be provided! There will be an opportunity for:

Community groups to talk about what they do and to invite new members to get involved

People with an idea for forming a new group to talk about it and invite people to join them

People to discuss what facilities and events they would like to see in the village and how we might go about arranging them 

People to seek advice and assistance concerning community matters, projects and funding 

People to talk to the Community Development Officer and Funding Officer for the North Kesteven area and a representative from Witham St Hughes Parish Council. 

What facilities would you like to see in Witham St Hughes? If you have an idea come and join us. 

Look forward to seeing you there. Suzanne Saunter.

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Saturday Supplementary Waste Service - Response from District Councillor Following Objections from Users About Plans to Discontinue the Service

This service has been operated by the Lincolnshire County Council for a number of years but they have now announced that it is to end in December. The Audit Commission recently criticised the county council for this service as it only served a limited number of villages and was not considered value for money. The Audit Commission was also critical of the fact that the waste went to landfill and was not recycled. The County Council have invited North Kesteven District Council to continue this scheme by making a one-off financial contribution, which would pay for the service for one year; or North Kesteven District Council may use the contribution for other services connected with disposal and recycling. North Kesteven District Council have not, as yet, made a decision regarding this money but are concerned that however it is used it will benefit the whole of the District equally. 

It is worth commenting that North Kesteven District Council presently operates one of the best recycling schemes in the country with 50% of waste being recycled. The decision regarding the County Council's financial contribution to North Kesteven District Council will be reported in the next edition of the Witham Staple. 

Cllr Pat Woodman NKDC

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Consumer Direct - For clear, practical consumer advice 

Consumer Direct is a new government backed telephone and online consumer advice and information service from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). 

It provides clear, practical consumer advice, free of charge, on a range of issues or complaints. Consumer Direct East Midlands launched on 27th June 2005. The service is available six days a week and callers to the help line will be connected to professionally trained advisors at our contact centre in Lincoln. 

We aim to provide consumers with the knowledge, tools and confidence to resolve consumer problems themselves and work in partnership with local trading standards services, Citizens Advice and other existing consumer advisory bodies to deliver a complete service. 

We now want to raise public awareness of Consumer Direct East Midlands to ensure that consumers know where to go for advice. 

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The Origin Of The Twelve Days Of Christmas

You're all familiar with the song, I think! To most it's a delightful nonsense rhyme set to music. But it had a quite serious purpose  when it was written.
Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829, when Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England, were prohibited from any practice of their faith by law - private or public. It was a crime to be a Catholic.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith - a memory aid, when to be caught with anything in *writing* indicating adherence to the Catholic faith could not only get you imprisoned, it could get you hanged, or shortened by a head - or hanged, drawn and quartered, a rather peculiar and ghastly punishment I'm not aware was ever practised anywhere else.

The songs gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith. The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn't refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge which feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, much in memory of the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so..."

The other symbols mean the following: 
2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the 4 Gospels and/or the 4 Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first 5 Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the 6 days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit, the 7 sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the 8 beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the 10 commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the 11 faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the 12 points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

Information sourced from the internet

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