Archives of Eaton Bray News for July 2007.
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Archived News

July 2007

Ray of hope in memory of Liz

Even after her death, brave Eaton Bray cancer victim Liz Farr is still making a difference.

Clive Bevins, the man she married three days before she lost her fight for life, has given a cheque for more than £2,000 to Dunstable charity Gentle Touch Healing.

Its founder Ray Wilson, who helped ease the pain during her final months, said Liz's legacy would go towards building a £10 million pyramid-shape holistic healing centre in Bedfordshire.

Clive Bevins, right, and Ray Wilson with blueprints for a holistic healing centre in Bedfordshire.
Planning Ahead: Clive Bevins, right, and Ray Wilson with blueprints for a holistic healing centre in Bedfordshire.

Ray, who doesn't believe in charging for his services, said the idea came to him 10 years ago and he has been working towards making it a reality ever since.

He said: "It's important that the healing centre is part of the community, offering a wide range of healing and health-related services."

Doctors, nurses, complementary therapists and counsellors would be invited to work together as a team towards a holistic approach to health care.

According to Ray the centre will be ecological, carbon-neutral and planet-friendly.

He said: "Jon Allen, who designed it, has a great deal of experience in using shapes and natural materials that are good for energy.

"He was one of the architects who designed a hospital in India for the spiritual teacher and healer Sai Baba. He also worked for many years as a design manager for The Prince's Foundation, an architectural school and trust founded by the Prince of Wales."

Ray hopes the funding for his dream will come from donations and that the centre will be financially sustainable through renting out rooms and selling ranges of healing and health-related products. And he believes it will happen when the time is right.

"I don't want to build an empire, just help people," he explained. "Quite often healers are the last hope for those suffering from terminal illnesses.

We don't promise a cure but we can give them a better quality of life."

Clive, a retired insurance company manager, said Ray was a great source of comfort and strength to Liz, who lived in Woodside. She hit the headlines when her film-maker son Rob made a documentary of her illness, Making A Song And Dance About Cancer. She also wrote and recorded the Thank You Song, with all proceeds going to Gentle Touch.

Clive said: "Altogether, she has given more than £4,000 to the charity."

He added: "On the anniversary of her death earlier this month, 14 of her friends joined me in a walk from The White Horse in Eaton Bray to put flowers on her grave at the church in Edlesborough. Then we went back to the pub for a roast lunch. We had lots of laughs and it was just the sort of occasion she would have organised and enjoyed."


For more information about Gentle Touch Healing call 01582 663900 or visit the www.gentletouch.co.uk website.

Source: Bev Creagh, Dunstable Gazette, 25 July 2007


St Mary's Church Open Afternoon

Our church will be open for visitors, with welcoming stewards, refreshments, and the opportunity to view Parish Records, History and Photos which will be on display.

Sunday 5th August from 2.00-5.00pm.


Ducks sail to victory in the rapid river race

The fourth annual Duck Race in the River Ouzel brought down the curtain on this year's St Mary's Villages Carnival.

The crowds turned out along the route in Eaton Bray and Edlesborough to see 250 plastic ducks launched into the river at the appointed hour.

Children hoping their ducks will be the victors

With a strong current, and against a head wind, the flock was soon spread out. Three ducks established an early lead and led all the way but there was a late surge by what would be described in the Tour de France as the peloton. As a result the duck in third place was overtaken only inches from the finishing line.

Six winners shared £150 and £350 went towards boosting the carnival's profit of £11,000.

The winners were:

  • 1st: No.128 - Mrs T Watkin and Ian Ruffle - £37.50 each.
  • 2nd: No.217 - Mr & Mrs D Ross and Mrs H McCluskey - £25 each.
  • 3rd: No. 243 - Mrs L Chapman and Georgia West - £12.50 each.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 17 July 2007


Dogs taught to help the disabled

Womens InstituteEaton Bray WI welcomed their guest speaker Diane, from the charity Dogs for the Disabled, at the July meeting.

Diane spoke about the work of the charity accompanied by Venny, a beautiful chocolate Labrador. She told how the charity helps disabled people to increase their independence, by training specially selected dogs to live and work with them.

The group learnt how Frances Hay had founded Dogs for the Disabled in 1986. Francis suffered from bone cancer and noticed that as she became more disabled her Belgian Shepherd dog helped overcome some of her physical problems and seeming to know instinctively when Francis needed her.

Dogs are trained in practical tasks such as opening and closing doors, helping a person dress, taking laundry out of the washing machine and switching lights on and off to name but a few of the tasks.

The next WI meeting will be on Monday September 3 at 7.30pm in Eaton Bray Village Hall.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 17 July 2007


St Mary's Village Carnival Duck Race

The fourth annual Duck Race in the River Ouzel brought down the curtain on this year's St Mary's Village carnival. In front of a good crowd, especially of youngsters, 250 ducks were launched into the the river at the appointed hour.

Duck Race 2007

With a strong current and against a head wind the flock was soon spread out. Three ducks established an early lead and led all the way but a late surge, by what would be described in the Tour de France as the peloton, resulted in what until then had been the third placed duck being overtaken only inches from the finishing line. Six winners shared £150 and £350 contributed towards the Carnival's profit of £11,000.

Winners were:

  • 1st - #128 - Mrs T Watkin and Ian Ruffle - £37.50 each
  • 2nd - #217 - Mr & Mrs D Ross and Mrs H McCluskey - £25 each
  • 3rd - #243 - Mrs L Chapman and Georgia West - £12.50 each

More photos and results can be found on the Carnival website.

Source: St Mary's Village Carnival


Carnival 2007 - Favourite Adverts

Peter BennettWhat a Day! This years Carnival was a record in so many ways. But most of all it seemed like the whole population of the four villages had turned out to celebrate. In the process we raised a staggering £11,000 for local good causes and I say "we" because everyone there deserves credit for the achievement.

Not only did we raise record money but even the worm-charmers achieved a carnival record - 26 worms - congratulations. Many of the stalls sold out and there were queues all day for some of the attractions like the Climbing Wall.

I think we all thought that we would spend the day wet and with mud all over our clothes but not a bit of it. The sun shone for the first time for weeks and, apart from one short shower, the day was dry.

All the results will be found on the Carnival website and so it falls to me to thank all those that attended, all that decorated their houses and all those who gave goods, time and cash to ensure the Carnival's success.

Thanks also to Stephen Rhodes for opening the event and for judging the floats - I know everyone enjoyed his light touch throughout.

Finally, thanks to my magnificent Committee of Chris and Sheila Banks, my wife Eileen, Roger Cook, Sonia Dean, Sue Gladin, Katrina Grant, Gordon Gray, Theo Gray, Bernadette Hillman, Norman and Ann Lee, David Marriage, Heather Martin, Mark Saccoccio, Lin Sargeant, Rebecca Shaw, Peter Thomas, and Roger Wilkinson.

If you have a favourite local good cause please contact me through the website so that they may be considered for a grant from the proceeds of this year's event.

Our web site is www.stmarysvillagecarnival.com - do go there and look at the collection of photographs - you may see yourself!

If you would like to be involved in the running of Carnival 2008 on July 5th contact us, we would love to hear from you.

-- Peter Bennett - Chairman

Source: St Mary's Village Carnival


Norman pens a poem to his diamond girly Vera

Norman and Vera Davies with their bouquetEaton Bray couple Norman and Vera Davies celebrated 60 years of marriage last Thursday at their home in Wallace Drive, Eaton Bray.

Material and wedding dresses were still scarce after the Second World War and' back then bride-to-be Vera was lucky to receive one from Canada in time for her wedding to her army sweetheart Norman. The couple were married in Surrey on June 28, 1947.

Norman and Vera had both served in the army. Vera, from Wales, was posted in London dodging bombs while operating search lights so rescuers could see into damaged buildings. Norman, who was a skilled engineer, was deployed in various places throughout the UK.

They had met at a dance 18 months earlier while in Donnington in Shropshire. A very shy Norman spotted a very pretty girl on the other side of the room. "I asked her to dance and we've been inseparable ever since," he said.

Now both 82, they have shared a variety of interests over the years including canoeing in their younger days and dancing. They even worked together at electrical giants Phillips for many years.

Throughout their married life, they visited many places worldwide and finally settled down to have two sons, Barry and Ross, and a daughter Donna. They now have six grandchildren.

Norman and Vera always enjoyed good health until 18 months ago the devoted couple were dealt a devastating blow when Vera was diagnosed with cancer and given only six months to live without treatment.

She underwent intensive chemotherapy and is now in remission.

Doting Norman spends his time caring for Vera and making the gardens at their home an extra special place.

Vera has spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals recently, she now occupies her spare time by doing jigsaw puzzles. She said: "I had no sign of illness at all except I began to lose interest in things, especially dancing - it has turned our lives upside down."

Having spent so much time at Vera's bedside, Norman whiled away the hours composing poetry to express his emotions. In a verse about being her carer, he touchingly wrote:

"I've been married for a long time, and love with all my heart,

"My wife, she's my partner, until death us do part.

"Then we were young, and parting seemed far away,

"But now she has cancer, please get well, so together we can stay.".

Meanwhile, the happy, spritely couple planned a quiet family celebration for their diamond anniversary and just to make it extra special, the LBO sent along an Orchard Flowers bouquet to mark the couple's fantastic achievement of 60 years marriage - Norman even composed us a poem to say thank you.

"We're not the average 82-year-olds," said Norman, giving Vera a kiss. "She's my girly!"

Source: Sarah Holmes, Leighton Buzzard Observer, 10 July 2007


Eaton Bray and Edlesborough Flooding

Some of you will know to your cost that several homes in the district were completely or partially flooded on 28th May, Bank Holiday Monday. Many others only narrowly escaped. People who have lived here for decades have seen similar problems over the years but perhaps not so severe as the 2007 flood.

The situation was reported to Eaton Bray Parish Council meeting and the local MP. A small group have come together to inform and lobby the authorities concerned who may be able to take action to help prevent this from happening again.

If you would like to know more please contact Sue Detre.

Source: Focus, July 2007


Eaton Bray Village Hall 4th Annual Beer Festival

I'll be honest this is going to be a very quick report as this sad old git (G I), went on holiday for 10 days immediately after the beer festival so I have got to write this very quickly or the honourable editor will not let me get it into print (if you see this then you know, as I do, that she is a very kind person).

The weather was just as good as last year and even though we did get more beer, burgers, sausages, potatoes, fillings and other alcoholic drinks along with the soft drinks we had almost sold out of everything by late Saturday and that was after a slightly quieter Friday (we think due to England v Brazil football match).

On Saturday the weather blessed us again and by early afternoon lots of families had turned up to watch the magician and then stayed in party mood 'til late into the evening.

Our biggest thanks must be to those who turned up to enjoy the Festival, but the sacrifices the CAMRA volunteers made just to make sure that every pint was up to their usual high standard were well beyond the call of duty. They did so much tasting that they had to get a taxi home each night!

Again it is the G I volunteers who also make it possible and our thanks to all of them.

With all that effort how could we fail? The final profit is in excess of £3,400. All this will be going into the work to be carried out on the toilets in the very near future.

Thank you all for your support again. We will definitely start planning the 5th Beer Festival which will take place on the first weekend of June 2008. Don't forget!

To more immediate things, our next event is a joint quiz with the Tennis Club which is to be held in the hall on Friday 5th October. We sold out last time so please book your places early. More details from Ross.

P.S. Where did I go on holiday? This is really sad but I loved it. I rode 1,600 miles around the UK on my motorbike visiting friends and family and enjoyed it tremendously. Makes coming back and writing this all worthwhile.

Source: Focus, July 2007


Eaton Bray Lions A.F.C. End of Season Awards 2007

Eaton Bray Lions AFCAll the players received a trophy in recognition of their contribution and hard work and each team manager nominated players for the special individual awards of "Most Improved Player of the Year" and "Manager's Player of the Year". The players in each team voted for their "Player of the Year" from amongst their teammates.

The club would like to thank Dave Jones for doing such a great job as "Master of Ceremonies" and also Edlesborough School for kindly allowing us to make use of their premises and facilities.

League Results

Please note that the U7, U11 and U13 Girls teams were all playing in leagues against teams a year older than themselves.

  • Under 7's (Whites) 9th in Division 2 (U8) of Chiltern Junior Sevens League
  • Under 8's (Reds) 10th in Division 1 of the Chiltern Junior Sevens League
  • Under 9's 3rd in Division 3 of the Chiltern Junior Sevens League
  • Under 10's (Reds) 8th in Division 2 of the Chiltern Junior Sevens League
  • Under 10's (Whites) 8th in Division 3 of the Chiltern Junior Sevens League
  • Under 13 Girls 9th in Division 1 (U14) of Chiltern Junior Sevens League
  • Under 11's 5th in Division 1 (U12) of South Beds Saturday League
  • Under 13 Boys 8th in Division 5 of the Chiltern Youth League
  • Under 15's 8th in Division 5 of the Chiltern Youth League

Player Awards

 Players' Player of the YearManager's Player of the YearMost Improved Player
U7George OliverDax RoeLuke Priestley
U8Dylan KaravadraJack CookJames Pratt
U9Neel SlatterAarin JohnsonMason Ashby
U10 (reds)Charlie SlaterMatt GloverIvan Brodrick
U10 (whites)Scotty MercerJacob KnappittJames Tate
U11Jake HiggsDeclan TomlinsonJames Patriaco
U13 (girls)Milly AbdullahTamzin MeadKim Squire
U13 (boys)James ThielLee CavendishMatt Audouard
U15Gareth HemmingGareth HemmingAdam Lancefield

Will Sanders and Declan Tomlinson received special awards for 5 years of continuous play for the club. James Pearce received a special award for scoring 150 competitive goals in only 4 seasons of play - well done!

Besides watching the presentation of the awards we all enjoyed a barbecue lunch before returning to the hall to watch the FA Cup Final projected onto a big screen.

Despite several Manchester United supporters sporting T-shirts flaunting their Premiership Champions status it was the Chelsea fans who came away smiling! To make use of a couple of football clichés - our club chairman was "over the moon" and our vice-chairman was "sick as a parrot".

We bid farewell to our two trail-blazing teams this year. After six seasons of competitive play, our senior team, the U15's, will not be playing next season. They were runners up in the Watford Friendly League in 2002/3 but will be best remembered for their reputation as good sportsmen. They were Fair Play winners at a football festival in 2004, won the Chiltern Youth League Sporting Trophy for the 2004/5 season and have set a wonderful example for the junior teams to follow.

The U13 girls team (our first girls' team) will also be leaving us after two seasons, but next year we shall have two new girls teams at U10 and U12. A new team at U7 will bring our numbers up to 10 teams and we look forward to the next season.

For more information about the club please access our website at www.eblions.co.uk.

--Liz Coates, Press Officer - EB Lions AFC

Source: Focus, July 2007


Eaton Bray WI Report

Womens InstituteThe vice president took the chair at our June meeting, and apologies were received from our president who was unable to come along due to illness.

The members expressed their best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Our business consisted of finalising arrangements for our summer outing in August, and planning a coffee morning to be held in July. The proceeds from this being part of our continuing support for the refurbishment of Eaton Bray village hall. There are a number of social outings and activities taking place through out the summer months. Our guest speaker, Lorna Salmon, gave us an interesting humorous talk about '50 Years on the Fiddle'.

Lorna took us back to her childhood in Edinburgh, when at the age of 12 she took up playing the violin. Her father gave her the first full size violin, and mother had visions of Lorna becoming a concert violinist. Her parents were very strict and ensured, that violin practice took priority over any other childhood activities. It was under the tutorship of her teacher, a stickler for practice, that Lorna was introduced to the wonderful world of classical music. Lorna's father had a knack of volunteering her to play at local events that were usually Scottish dancing evenings. Her career progressed and reached its pinnacle when she played at the Edinburgh Festival, but alas never became that concert violinist her mother dreamed of. Lorna's career was in teaching children the violin, until she developed a genetic problem and lost her sight, thus ending her teaching career. However Lorna still has a wide musical repertoire, and finished her story entertaining us with a selection of Scottish reels, songs from the shows and much more.

Our next meeting is on Monday 2nd July in Eaton Bray Village Hall at 7.30pm.

New members and friends are always welcome

Source: Eaton Bray WI


Film stars set up camp near Eaton Bray

Edlesborough ChurchLand around Edlesborough Church has been turned into a Scottish movie set that will feature in a new Hollywood romantic comedy that's currently in production.

Grey's Anatomy McDreamy star Patrick Dempsey heads the cast of Made of Honour, which is due for release next year.

More than 400 cast and crew are involved in the production which has taken them to New York, California, Scotland and Hungary.

Recently they turned up for a day's filming at Ashridge before setting up camp in Edlesborough.

Little is known about the plot other than it involves a man falling in love with an engaged woman after she ask him to be her maid of honour.

The movie also stars Kevin McKidd (Rome's Lucius Vorenus), Sydney Pollack, Hill Street Blues' James Sikking and Britain's own Hannah Gordon.

Made of Honour is being directed by Brit Paul Weiland, whose career has swung from ignominiously being nominated as worst director in the 1988 Razzie Awards for Leonard Part 6, to being BAFTA nominated for Blackdder Back and Forth.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 10 July 2007


Thousands enjoy record carnival

Jolly masks on one of the floats. Picture by DAVID LANGFIELD.Worm charming, belly-dancing, rock climbing and a dog show were just some of the attractions that drew families from all over the region.

Carnival chairman, Peter Bennett, said: "It was phenomenal. There were thousands of people, a record both in terms of how much we raised and the number of visitors.

"We had never seen anything like it. The tea tent ran out of cakes, the stalls emptied, even the tombola. We had to send out for more raffle tickets because of the number we were selling.

"It was wonderful weather - for a change - and we had some new attractions like the Mont Blanc climbing wall that proved a firm favourite. There was a huge queue for it.

"People just didn't want to go home but by the end of the day there was nothing left for them to spend their money on."

This year's theme was favourite adverts and the winners of the Best Dressed House competition, sponsored by the LBO, was 130 High Street, Eaton Bray (Typhoo Tea) and 66 Moor End, Edlesborough. Each home-owner received a cut glass rose bowl.

Carnival day started with local resident and Three Counties Radio host, Stephen Rhodes, judging the floats, before the procession was led off by carnival queen Melissa Sibley, princess Bethan Roberts and attendants Katie Neal and Emma Baldwin.

The carnival began life in the 1960s as the church fete, held in the grounds of Eaton Bray vicarage. In 1965 it moved to nearby Park Farm and, in the 80s, to School Lane, in the village, before making the transition to the more open space of Edlesborough Green.

Since 1995 the event has raised more than £114,500 for local good causes and charities. The last four carnivals alone have produced £10,000 each year clear profit to hand over to help local groups and organisations as well as aid the upkeep of St Mary's Church, Eaton Bray.

And the fund-raising isn't over yet. The villages' annual duck race takes place this Saturday on the River Ouzel between Edlesborough and Eaton Bray.

Carnival press officer, Katrina Grant said: "We would like to thank everyone in our local community who has worked so hard to make it a such a success. Thanks to all our sponsors, the helpers and stall-holders on the day, entertainers, community police, local councils and the public who supported the procession and came to the green to help raise such a magnificent amount of money."

To complement the carnival the new landlords of village pub, the Bell, hosted a pig roast for visitors.

Landlady Alex Maddern said afterwards: "We've only been open six weeks and we were delighted that so many people turned up. We'd like to thank everyone for their support. We've had nothing but positive comments since we opened."

The winner of the Pre School/Lower School category in the float competition was awarded a new trophy in memory of Norah Coates, who was a much loved member of the community and served as a churchwarden at St Mary's Church, Eaton Bray.

Procession of Floats:

  • Pre-school and lower school category: 1st Eaton Bray Pre School playgroup; 2nd Eaton Bray Lower School; 3rd Edlesborough Under 5s.
  • School-age organisations category : 1st Eaton Bray and Edlesborough Cubs; 2nd Friends of Edlesborough School.
  • Family and business category: 1st Janes' Store, Edlesborough; 2nd The Bell Public House, Edlesborough; 3rd the Hawkes Family.

The winner of the Clarabelle the cow's performance in the arena was Mrs S Evans who won £110.

First prize in the grand draw, a weekend for two, at a top hotel in Rome, went to Mr M Bennett.

For more information and pictures about the carnival visit www.stmarysvillagecarnival.com.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 10 July 2007


Carnival Success!

St Mary's Village Carnival 2007Thank you to everyone who helped make St Mary's Village Carnival 2007 such a huge success.

CONGRATULATIONS
Together we raised
£11,000
for local good causes

www.stmarysvillagecarnival.com

Photos and results from the day will be available
on the Carnival website very soon.


Parish Council Minutes - July 2007

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting: Monday 2nd July 2007

The next Parish Council meeting to be held at the Coffee Tavern on Monday 3rd September 2007 at 7.30pm.


Pre-school celebrates its 40th birthday

Committee members and staff past and present joined together to celebrate 40 successful years of Eaton Bray Pre-School at the village hall last Wednesday.

Pre-school celebrates its 40th birthday

Playleader, Cindy Tearle said: "The current staff have worked very hard to make this a special time and our cake was donated by Cakes by Shelly."

This joyous occasion also marked the end of an era for the pre-school as it expects this to be it's last year in the village hall. The group plans to move to Eaton Bray Lower School next year.

Next weekend the pre-school will be taking part in the village carnival where its theme will be Sun Care.

For more information about the preschool contact Cindy.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 3 July 2007


What will mum do when they start swimming?

Charlotte, a broody hen from Stanbridge, is a real quacker!

Charlotte, Bellow Mill. Picture by Frazer Waller.For the second year running, the surrogate mum has come to the rescue of a feathery friend and successfully hatched four ducklings.

The duckling's mother. Patti, a call duck, was the victim of an attack by a strimmer whilst sitting on her eggs. She had made a nest in the long grass beside the millstream at the Bellows Mill Restaurant in Eaton Bray and as a result of the trauma deserted her eggs. Luckily, broody Charlotte was more than happy to take over the responsibility of incubating them.

When asked whether the ducks were destined for the table, Tom Hodge, the owner of the restaurant said that there was no chance of this happening as Patti and her ducklings were pets and would be kept well away from the kitchen.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 3 July 2007


Carnival fun for villages

St Mary's Village Carnival 2007It's carnival time for Eaton Bray and Edlesborough this Saturday, the biggest event of the year in the villages.

All sorts of fun has been lined up for St Mary's Village Carnival, including a record number of stalls and attractions.

BBC Three Counties Radio presenter and consumer champion Stephen Rhodes will open the carnival, to be held on Edlesborough Green.

The carnival procession starts out from The Orchards, Eaton Bray, at 12.30pm and arrives at Edlesborough Green at 1.30pm.

Favourite Adverts is the theme for the procession, and there will be lots of people in fancy dress in the parade.

Every year, homes along the route are decked out in line with the procession theme, too, and take part in the Best Dressed House contest.

Exciting new attractions at the carnival include the Mont Blanc climbing wall, and a silent auction offering a chance to bid for some great goodies.

Other features will include the annual companion dog show, with entries from 10.30am and judging at noon.

There will also be a spectacular chainsaw carving display, a troupe of belly dancers and a bigger-than-ever collection of vintage and classic vehicles.

And once again there will also be a quirky worm-charming competition. Clarabelle, the pantomime cow, will also be visiting the carnival for a contest which involves people guessing where she will leave a special deposit in the arena.

Presiding over all the fun will be Carnival Queen Melissa Sibley, Carnival Princess Bethan Roberts, and attendants Emma Baldwin and Katie Neal.

St Mary's Village Carnival started life as a small church fete, but has rapidly grown to become a major local event.

In 2006, the carnival raised a hefty £10,000 for local good causes.

This year, a quarter of the proceeds raised will go to help to improve vehicle access at Edlesborough Cemetery, and a further quarter will benefit other worthy local causes.

The cemetery access work is a much-needed project, especially for people who are disabled or elderly, as the long and slippery path often cannot accommodate vehicles.

Canon Malcolm Grant said: "Because I walk with bereaved people at times of great personal distress, I can assure you the cemetery project will make a very real difference to the people of this parish.

"I have known widows who have had to sit alone in a car at the roadside while their soulmate of more than half a century is laid to rest - because the distance, even in a wheelchair, was too great and cars could not be taken to the new part of the cemetery."

The remaining half of the proceeds from the carnival will go towards maintaining St Mary's Church, Eaton Bray.

To find out more, check out www.stmarysvillagecarnival.com.


- The River Ousel Duck Race will be getting under way on Saturday, July 14 this year. It's all happening on the river by The Meads, Eaton Bray. Tickets will be available at the carnival.

Source: Anne O'Donoghue, Dunstable Gazette, 4 July 2007


Tracing the History of the Carnival

What do the Wild West, Dagnall Church extension and a TV presenter have in common? The answer is quite simple - but only if you have been coming to the St Mary's Village Carnival since 1990. For those of you now intrigued, the Wild West was the theme of the carnival in 2001, Pam Rhodes opened the 1998 Carnival and Dagnall Church Extension was one of the good causes supported by the 2005 event.

Thames Valley Police consider the Carnival to be the biggest single annual event that they police, other than the Bucks County Show. But how did four villages manage to create this great family day out - not to mention raise over £103,000 for local good causes since 1995?

The Carnival itself has been taking place for much more than 12 years though. It began as a traditional church fete, first in the Vicarage Garden and then in 1965 it moved to Park Farm in Eaton Bray. By 1988, however, it had outgrown its Park Farm site and was moved to Eaton Bray Recreational Ground. Its stay there was short-lived because in the following year it again transformed itself, under the guidance of Mel Grundy when the decision was taken to alternate between Eaton Bray Recreational Ground and Edlesborough Green. Accordingly the 1989 Carnival was the first to be held in Edlesborough. However, the huge advantage that the open space of Edlesborough Green gave soon became evident and, despite initial intentions, the Carnival has never moved back to Eaton Bray. Anyone coming to the Carnival today will recognise that with the parade, the arena events, dog show, classic car show and range of entertainment, the Carnival has long since ceased to be a village fete.

Since 1990, the Carnival has been opened by a long list of local personalities. These include 4 local councillors, 3 TV or radio presenters, 2 MPs and.....instead of a partridge in a pear tree - you can take your pick from one vicar, a celebrity chef and a disabled athlete! The Carnival has also been opened by a local GP, two local shopkeepers and last year, by Mel Grundy, whose idea it was to develop the 'fete' into today's Carnival. Taking over from Mel as Chairman of the Carnival Committee was Gordon Gray and from 2003 onwards, Peter Bennett.

Over the years, as well as supporting the St Mary's Church fabric fund (which pays for maintenance on the church building in Eaton Bray), the Carnival has raised money for the Florence Nightingale, Iain Rennie and Luton and South Beds Hospices, Keech Cottage, the Silver Star Society at the John Radcliffe Hospital, the Stoke Mandeville Cancer Unit and the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust, all of which have helped local residents. The Carnival has also raised funds for a myriad of local good causes, from playgroups and Scout groups to the Dunstable and District disabled typing club and St John Ambulance.

One feature of the Carnival that has stayed constant thoroughout its history is the great support it receives each year from you - the great public of the four villages!

For each of the last four years, we have raised £10,000 for the good causes. (Note this is the actual amount donated to good causes and not the amount generated in 'turnover'!) The most raised in a single year was £10,700 in 2003 - help us on 7th July 2007 to beat this and get £11,000!


All Rhodes leads to Edlesborough

Stephen RhodesIt's carnival time for Eaton Bray and Edlesborough this Saturday (July 7), the biggest event of the year in the villages.

All sorts of fun has been lined up for St Mary's Village Carnival, including a record number of stalls and attractions.

BBC Three Counties Radio presenter and consumer champion Stephen Rhodes will open the carnival, held on Edlesborough Green.

The carnival procession starts out from The Orchards, Eaton Bray, at 12.30pm and arrives at Edlesborough Green at 1.30pm.

Favourite Adverts is the theme for the procession, and there will be lots of people in fancy dress in the parade.

Every year, homes along the route are decked out in line with the procession theme, too, and take part in the Best Dressed House contest.

Exciting new attractions at the carnival include the Mont Blanc climbing wall, and a silent auction offering a chance to bid for some great goodies.

Other features will include the annual companion dog show, with entries from 10.30am and judging at 12 noon.

There will also be a spectacular chainsaw carving display, a troupe of belly dancers and a bigger-than-ever collection of vintage and classic vehicles.

And once again there will also be a quirky worm-charming competition. Last year, the record was set by someone who charmed eight worms in 30 minutes.

Clarabelle, the pantomime cow, will also be visiting the carnival for a special contest, which involves people guessing where she will leave a special deposit in the arena.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 3 July 2007


Christian Aid Concert

On Wednesday 6th June, Edlesborough School held a concert at the Eaton Bray church. It was raising money for Christian Aid. The orchestra, choir and some soloists performed. It started at 7:00pm when all the parents started flooding in.

The Edlesborough School choir were on first with a jolly song, they got everybody clapping. After a while some children who used to go to Edlesborough Schoolarrived, they also gave us a good performance. People from church were there including their choir, orchestra and a brilliant organ player!

It was soon time for the interval, drinks and biscuits were served. Raffle tickets were also on sale. All the money went to Christian aid. There were some lucky winners who were given some very nice prizes. It was getting on to 8:30pm when they started the second half. It was just as good as the first and all went well. The concert finished just after 9:00pm and everybody went home feeling proud.

£529 was made over all. It was a very good result !

Source: Focus, July 2007