February  2001 Edition of the Linton News    Previous        Next

ArticlesTraining Boost Local Projects,   Diesel Leaks in Granta,   Stolen Games,   Just Like Mama Makes,   Housing & Benefits advice,   Parents buying Drink for young,   Parish Council report,   Womens World day of Prayer,   Task at St Mary'sGuides Award,   Free Concert,   Football Club Draw,   Bowls,   WI on Cycling ,   Cornerstone,   Virtuoso Cellist,   Time for the Elderly,   J-Team,   Mothers Union,   Literacy Group,   Article of the Year,   Round your Way School Links,   Traffic report forms,   Young Farmers,   Alpha,    Bush Telegraph,   Gardeners Not Eclipsed,   Save the Children,   Country Diary,   Church Choir,   Diary,   K-Club Winners

Readers Write: Traffic 1,   Roundabout,   Major Changes,   Dial-a-Ride,   £300 Coffee,   Thanks1,   Thanks2,   Thanks3

help and training boost begins for local projects Top

EARLIER this year, Cambridgeshire ACRE received funding from the National Lotteries Charities Board to deliver a unique and important programme entitled "Our Communities Our Future".
The programme will survey Cambridgeshire’s rural-based voluntary organisations and community groups, develop a series of training programmes and provide a range of advice and support mechanisms for Cambridgeshire’s voluntary sector.
The initial phase of the project was launched in January 2001. This involved a questionnaire being sent to each voluntary organisation and community group situated within rural Cambridgeshire. Given the survey is just the start of this exciting project, Cambridgeshire ACRE is keen to ensure all voluntary organisations and community groups "have their say" and are able to benefit from the project’s longer-term objectives.
Voluntary organisations and community groups are: not for profit organisations (e.g. Playgroups); run by volunteers (e.g. Meals on Wheels, Women’s Institute); registered charities; working for local communities (e.g. village hall committees); dedicated to particular issues (e.g. sports and hobby clubs).
The survey will be distributed throughout the south Cambridgeshire district during this month and next.
If you represent a voluntary organisation or community group, please contact me as soon as possible and I will ensure you receive a copy of our questionnaire – Teresa Jones, Community Outreach Worker, Cambridge ACRE, Old School House, Green End, Comberton CB3 7DY; Telephone and fax % 01223 264997; email teresa.jones @cambsacre.org.uk.

Farm diesel leak pollutes Granta as Cold weather fractures tanker’s feed pipe   Top


WALKERS and joggers out early on New Year’s Day were distressed to find the River Granta –in full spate from melting snow – shimmering and smelling of diesel fuel as it raced through the village.
Residents were not slow to contact the Environment Agency. The first call of many was received at 10.30am and by 11am a duty officer was at the ford in Mill Lane.
He quickly realised that the fuel was coming from upstream and within an hour had traced the spillage to a leaking tanker carrying red diesel at a farm in Bartlow.
Environment protection team leader Mike Martin told the Linton News: "Farm workers were already dealing with the leak as best they could. The tanker had been moved to a secure area and they were trying to soak up the spillage."
A feed pipe from one compartment of the four-section tanker, estimated to be holding a maximum of 3,000 litres of fuel, had apparently fractured in the freezing weather at the end of December.
The fuel had leaked into a service water drain which ended some five metres from the river, then soaked through the soil of the river bank into the water.
"Booms were placed across the river and along the bank on 1st January, more booms were added the next day and replaced on 5th January," Mr Martin added.
"A sump was dug between the river and outfall pipe and the situation continued to be monitored, and booms left in place, after that.
"Diesel breaks down rapidly and the river in full spate diluted it. There may be some residual diesel in the soil of the river bank that will be washed out but no long-term effects or damage to wildlife along the river is anticipated and none has been reported." LNT

Help us find children’s stolen Nintendo games Top

DO you know anyone who has acquired a number of new Nintendo games recently? Do you know of anyone who has recently tried to sell cheap Nintendo games? They might have been stolen from the Linton Out of School Club on 12th January – affecting the 60 club users.
The Out of School Club is a locally run charity which provides childcare for families in Linton. We are not a business; we are a non-profit-making organisation and we are very fortunate to have high-quality toys for the children in our care.
Why should we be working hard to obtain equipment if those in our midst think they can just take it?
There were no young people in the library at the time of the theft and it is probable that the thief was an adult.
The children would obviously be grateful if the games were returned. Sadly, I find this hard to imagine.
We have learnt a huge lesson from this theft and changes have already been made to improve security arrangements.
If you have any information, please contact the police or the Out of School Club on %0777 9049437.
Alison Omand Lewis

Just like Mama makes  Top

HAVE you ever wondered what is so special about Italian cuisine? It might be the fresh ingredients, the colourful vegetables, the simple and varied pasta dishes, or the mouth-watering desserts.
Whatever the reason, you now have the opportunity to join an Italian expert showing you how to prepare fresh pasta, how to cook simple and quick dishes for the whole family, and how to stun your guests with a home-made tiramisu.
The one-day course is being held on Saturday 10th February at Linton Village College.
Cristina Devecchi

Housing and benefit advice Top

SOUTH Cambridgeshire District Council is to run housing and benefits advice service sessions in Linton after a similar scheme was a success in Sawston.
The service will start on Thursday 22nd February at Chalklands Community Room from 9am to 4pm – and will be held on the last Thursday of every month.
Sarah Lyons, the Neighbourhood Manager for Linton and the surrounding villages, will be there if anyone has any questions about housing, and a benefits advice officer will be there to deal with housing and council tax benefit claims.
The service is for the whole community. If anyone has any questions, please contact the Customer Services department at South Cambs. District Council on 443000.
Sarah Lyons

Parents ‘buying drink’ for young  Top

WE at Linton Action for Youth are well aware that alcohol is an issue for some young people, parents, village residents and ourselves.
The very nature of the Drop-In is that young people are free to come and go as they please and parents need to be aware that we have no right to insist that they stay inside the building. The rules of the Drop-In are very clear – we do not allow alcohol inside the building, and although we do not have the authority to stop anyone consuming alcohol outside, we do discourage its use within the immediate vicinity.
We are currently addressing this whole issue and are working closely with a representative group of young people to raise awareness and update our alcohol policy. One of our main responsibilities while young people are with us is to ensure their safety. However, once they leave the Drop-In, we are no longer directly responsible for them.
It is with this in mind that we are becoming increasingly concerned at the growing numbers of young people and their ages, some as young as 12 years, who are regularly drinking alcohol.
What is even more of a concern is that in some cases there is evidence to suggest that it is parents who are purchasing their alcoholic drinks – probably unaware of the strength and the end result. As a quick guide: a bottle of Alcopop or Breezer equals a double whisky. Perhaps your son or daughter is sober when they leave home and return some hours later – but it is these hours in-between that are a concern.
We feel that we are taking our part in this responsibility seriously but we cannot be expected to tackle this issue on our own. This must be shared between parents, young people, alcohol outlets and ourselves.
This is a difficult area for everyone concerned but surely the best way forward is to all work together, support each other and meet our own individual responsibilities head-on. Please feel free to contact the youth workers, Liz Govier or Jim Kimber, at the Drop-In should you wish to discuss this or any other issue further.
Liz Govier and Jim Kimber

Parish Council’s January meetings       Top

Reported by GRAHAM POTTER
IT was reported that Leadwell Meadows (Pocket Park) had once again become a water meadow during the recent rains, which reinforced the Council’s position on its purpose.
It was reported that Joiners Road is badly lit and the council is going to seek residents’ views about improving lighting near the A1307.
Liz Govier from the Drop-In Centre gave the council a review of the work the centre is doing for Linton youth.
A disabled parking place at the library is planned but the cost of marking parking bays has meant that it has been delayed.
The police reported 73 calls for service resulting in 16 reports of crimes. It was emphasised by the District Councillor that if people were reporting crimes they must be prepared to be a witness and make a statement as the police are helpless otherwise.
The County Council is increasing council tax by 8%, the District Council by 0%, and the Parish Council by 2%.
The District Councillor reported that a rapid transport system from the new Trumpington Park & Ride is being planned, utilising the old railway line as a guided track bus route.
The traffic working party report was endorsed by full Council. Of the five priority issues that are to be adopted, safety must be the first, followed by congestion. It is not the Council’s intention to relieve congestion without increasing pedestrian safety.
A traffic incident report form is to be made available within the village, but it was stressed that incidents must still be reported directly to the police.
The Council also agreed to some of the work to Horn Lane ford being carried out under the Millennium Village Enhancement project.

Join in the women’s world day of prayer    Top

THIS year’s Women’s World Day of Prayer service on 2nd March has been prepared by the women of Samoa, with the theme "Informed Prayer, Prayerful Action".
Here in Linton, our three churches invite you to share in this international, inter-denominational act of worship, which will be hosted by our Roman Catholic friends at St Mary’s Church, beginning at 10.30am.
Our Speaker will be the Rev Judi Clark, curate at Steeple Morden.
Coffee will be served at the end of the service, followed by a simple, light lunch.
Transport can be arranged, if required, by telephoning Joy Button beforehand.
Although the World Day of Prayer is organised and led by women, men are most welcome to join us. Joy Button 

£100,000 task at St Mary’s   Top

THE Friends of St Mary’s have an enormous task ahead of raising a large part of the £100,000 needed for repairs to their mediaeval church. Over £20,000 is urgently required to prevent water penetration.
In June, The Friends of St Mary’s will be relaunched with a view to increasing its membership to at least 250 and raising £6,000 this year. The funds are wholly committed to the repair and upkeep of the church fabric.
On Saturday 6th January, the first event of the year raised £195 through the hard work of Miss Margaret Clark.
The next event, at 7.30pm on Saturday 24th February, is a Concert in St Mary’s Church – "Music for All". The Church choir, together with solo voices, organ and strings, will be performing a wide variety of items.
The Cambridge String Orchestra will be giving a concert in St Mary’s on 31st March.
The Friends’ annual general meeting will be on 21st May.
During the annual Flower Festival, on Saturday 9th June, a relaunch of the Friends will take place.
A Safari Supper is to be held on July 12th – great fun.
Autumn events are expected to include a "Cascade of Coffee Mornings" and a sponsored Songs of Praise.
We shall need the help and support of many Linton people. St Mary’s is Linton’s parish church and is available to everyone here. If we want it to be in good order for our children then we have to take action now.
Just thinking about £100,000 seems daunting but in the early 90s the church roof was renewed at a cost of about £800,000.
Grants were available for the roof but are unlikely to be available to us now. However, Gift Aid can help us if you are a taxpayer, enabling us to reclaim 28p for every £1 you give.
The Friends of St Mary’s hope to be able to put everyone in Linton in the picture during the summer. Meanwhile, please support our fund-raising events. Alan Clarkson

Guides win awards   Top

FOUR Linton Guides have received BP awards, the last occasion which girls can win the top Guide award which finishes this year.
At their meeting on 5th December at the Infants’ School, Gemma Thurston, Katy Franks, Samantha Lister and Sian Thorne were presented with awards by the Guides’ County Commissioner designate, Mrs Rosie Spencer.
Each girl had to complete a variety of interesting and useful badges such as first aid, deaf awareness and camper.
They also undertook challenges like raising money for charities and helping at Brownies.

Free concert planned     Top

ON Saturday 3rd March 2001, 7.30-8.30pm, there will be an informal concert given by Michael Macdonald’s guitar students and Henrique Meissner’s recorder students. The audience can enjoy the performance of beginners and advanced players on guitar and on all types of recorder; descant, treble, tenor and bass.
Esther van der Riet will play the harp.
Venue: Linton Free Church Hall, Horn Lane. Admission free. 
Henrique Meissner

Yes! What a result   Top

THE Christmas Draw organised by Mary Wright in aid of Linton Granta Football Club on December 16th raised £500.
A big thank you to all local businesses, friends and families in Linton for their generosity. Linda Wright

Bad weather stops play   Top

BAD weather has stopped members of the Linton Bowling Club from playing for the past two months.The annual general meeting will be held in mid-March and we need enthusiasts to offer to help in the running of the club.

I hears of cycling in Jordan   Top

WENDY Foster, President, welcomed 33 members and two visitors to the Linton WI meeting.
Members were asked to report on any WI events they had recently attended. Clare Neville and Tricia Lewis had taken part in a very enjoyable Christmas poetry and singing evening at Barrington.
Jean Goodwin had attended the resolution selection evening – the outcome of the final selection for the national Annual Meeting is awaited.
The speaker for the evening, Mrs Pusskin Gowlett, gave a most interesting account of a cycle ride she had undertaken through Jordan. Together with friends, she had undergone several months of physical training in preparation.
The party of 100 (with ages ranging from 18-69) set off in February 1998. On arrival in Jordan, the participants began by assembling their own cycles.
Mrs Gowlett described the terrain as rough, sandy and hilly and in the desert, of course, there was no shelter. At night, the temperature fell dramatically. There was a great feeling of achievement on completing the trip, for which the cyclists each had to raise £2,000 as well as meeting their own expenses.
After refreshments, Clare spoke about Pennies for Friendship, collected for the Association of Country Women of the World.
The next meeting, a members’ evening, will be held on Tuesday, 6th February at 7.30pm at the Social Centre. As always, visitors will be welcome. Anne Parry-Smith

Answers are easy – being right is not   Top

Dear Editor
I was somewhat amused by the letter from Chris Griffiths (Linton News January) about traffic. It starts by telling us that "everybody seems to think they know the answer" and then falls into the trap of being one of those everybodies.
It stated: "The one-way system worked well when the new kerbstones were being laid." But the Parish Council insisted on this being completed at a time when children were on school holiday so that there would not be a problem.
It then suggested that the High Street, starting from the Green Hill end, should be one way up to the fire station. Does this mean buses from Haverhill will make a loop round and through the village, taking many residents on the round trip with them? I don’t think so.
As someone who has looked over lots of schemes, I do welcome Mr Griffiths’s comments but, as I could be part of the Parish Council that makes that decision, what really worries me is also contained within his letter: "Do we wait until someone is seriously injured or killed before a decision is made?"
At the moment no one has been killed or seriously injured in the High Street from Balsham Road to Coles Lane. If this or any other scheme were chosen, and I as a Parish Councillor made the decision to accept it, what happens if somebody is then killed or injured? Could you accept that your scheme had failed or that people will blame you for the accident?
Sorry, but I have not been trained as a traffic expert and we must take expert advice as the village’s future is at stake in terms of young lives and long memories.
Please keep suggesting but beware – think of the bad points of any scheme first.
Graham Potter
Although a member of the Parish Council, Graham Potter is writing as a private individual and his views do not necessarily reflect Parish Council policy.

Roundabout best traffic hope   Top

Dear Editor
Thank you for your efforts to improve the safety and quality of life in Linton’s High Street. Having read the letters in your last issue it would seem that some people still assume the car is all-important; it is not. This is the 21st century and people come before cars.
This was overwhelmingly confirmed at the recent public meeting chaired by the Parish Council at the Social Centre. Various proposals were considered which included:
Traffic calming, considered to be noisy and environmentally damaging, is a high price to pay to allow cars to continue to dominate the village;
Raising the kerbs, apparently too late as the resurfacing works had just been completed;
A one-way system, generally felt it would do nothing to improve the safety or improve quality of life – the only benefit would be for car drivers who could go even faster through our village;
Closing the High Street to through traffic – an obvious if radical solution. The vast majority of those attending the meeting considered this to be the best solution for the village. Possibly bollards – they could be raised and lowered – at the junction of High Street and Coles Lane.
Obviously, the amount of vehicles using the High Street has increased dramatically over the last few years; continuing residential developments will add to the present difficulties. The problems are exacerbated by belligerence and stupidity on the part of the drivers who just ignore safety in their rush to drive through the village; both speed and weight restrictions are ignored.
Add to this a road completely incapable of supporting modern traffic – have you watched two buses meeting? – and you have a disaster waiting to happen.
I do not have all the answers for re-routing traffic if the High Street was closed to through traffic but obviously some local authority (County Council) spending would be necessary. As far as the County Council is concerned, the High Street forms part of the main route through to Newmarket and it acknowledges the existing junction at the top of the High Street is preferred by motorists as their best exit on to the main Cambridge Road (but this does nothing for pedestrians!).
The Council has apparently looked at solving these problems by constructing a roundabout at the Bartlow Road/Cambridge Road intersection, thus pulling traffic away from the village centre; this is probably the first step in providing the best long-term solution. However, they estimate it would cost about £500,000 and they would need "encouragement" to spend this amount; you may consider this a worthwhile action to take to save both lives and our village.
M R K Holden

Dial a ride today   Top

Dear Editor
I have just discovered the excellent Dial-a-Ride scheme for the elderly and less mobile, who cannot use the normal bus service.
It goes to Cambridge from Linton every Wednesday and the driver is very helpful. But last Wednesday I was the only passenger, so I’m afraid that, if people don’t use it, we will lose it.
D Sparks

£300 for coffee   Top

Dear Editor
Could I please, through your columns, thank all those people who supported the coffee morning I held in November 2000, in aid of the MacMillan Cancer Relief Fund. I am happy to say that £300 was raised. I should also like to thank my friends who gave so much help on the day, and also the local businesses who very kindly donated prizes for the raffle.
Janet Whiteside
This was the letter that was nearly re-cycled last month. Apologies – Tracey Wilson

Major changes are needed  Top

Dear Editor
We are writing in support of Tracey Russell’s initiative to improve the safety of Linton roads. May we comment as follows:
High Street: A one way system coupled with minimum parking restrictions in the very narrow stretches would appear to be the only answer. Buses and lorries on footpaths are both illegal and totally unacceptable. We suggest clockwise up Coles Lane and along Back Road eastwards. To accommodate larger vehicles a parking lay-by for residents could be installed on the north side of Back Road by cutting into the embankment and building a retaining wall.
Back Road – Balsham Road junction: We have already made representations to the Parish Council about the dangerous parking on this corner. Our fears remain that an accident is inevitable with the constant illegal parking around this junction that forces vehicles turning out of Back Road into the centre of Balsham Road and oncoming, often speeding, vehicles. Regardless of other potential changes, mandatory parking restrictions indicated by double yellow lines should be installed.
Excessive speed in Balsham Road: This is a serious problem in this densely populated residential road that is also a major school route. In the five years that we have lived here we have not seen any effort at enforcement.
High Street – A1307 – Hadstock Road junctions: The speed limit is a sick joke, pedestrians risk their lives, the ‘refuge’ is a visual obstruction to traffic turning into Linton from the Haverhill direction. It is always dangerous to turn right out of High Street or Hadstock Road during busy periods. We suggest the installation of a light controlled pedestrian crossing between High Street and Hadstock Road junctions. Removal of the repeatedly damaged refuge coupled with yellow box hatching (keep clear) at both of the emerging roads.
Cost will be used in every case as an excuse for inaction. In this last case this would soon be saved by not replacing the ‘refuge’ several times a year.
Pat and Brian Marshall

OUR THANKS

1 Dear Editor       Top
I an writing to you about my wife Caroline whom I lost in a long battle against cancer at the Arthur Rank Hospice, on 4th December.
I would like to thank all the staff in the Linton Co-op for their help and support which they gave me whilst Caroline was with us and after – she worked at the Co-op and enjoyed every bit, meeting all the local people and friends whilst working there. She will be very well missed by all.
I would like to thank H J Paintin Ltd for all its hard work and to all my bosses at Plumb & Webb, the local dairy where I work.
Thanks again everyone. I don’t know how I would have coped without help.
Graham Ball

2 Dear Editor         Top
I would like to say thank you on behalf of my family and myself to all our friends and Linton people who expressed kind thoughts and gave support after the death of my husband Len. Special thanks are due to Paintins for its efficiency and kindness, to the Rev Julian Thomson for conducting the service at the crematorium, and to Maeve and Mary for organising the refreshments after the service. I was very touched by all the trouble that was taken for Len and myself.
Thanks also for the donations made in Len’s memory to the Epilepsy Society.
Mrs Elsie Alderman

3 Dear Editor   Top
Jean, Peter and the family of the late Mrs Allen would like to thank friends and neighbors for their kindness and support shown to us in our sad loss, also for cards and donations sent. Special thanks to Jacquie and Shelia, Wardens of Flaxfields 
Jean Ingram

LAYING FOUNDATIONS, BUILDING A FAITH   Top

A new church with an informal approach has opened in Linton. Tracey Russell explains why she has joined.


DO you believe in God? It’s a question I’ve been asked many times. "Yes, I do," I reply, and yet apart from christenings, weddings and funerals I rarely go to church.
For some reason, it always makes me feel uncomfortable. I’ve never read the Bible. One year my New Year’s resolution was to read it cover to cover, but I found it hard going and gave up almost as soon as I’d started. My close friends and family certainly didn’t believe and I didn’t really have the courage to be any different, even though secretly I was intrigued by the Christian faith.
If I were to go to church I would need one that recognises my lifestyle. Accepts me in my jeans when I haven’t had time to put on my Sunday best. Makes me feel relaxed and not worry about disturbing the group if my children misbehave or need attention. One that uses words and phrases that I am familiar with and understand. Lifts my spirit with songs and music that I can relate to. Makes me feel as though I am amongst friends.
I would like help, guidance and explanation of the Bible. Be inspired to pray and praise. Encouraged to become a better person. Most of all I want it to be a fun, enjoyable experience.
The recently formed Cornerstone Community Church meets all of my expectations. It’s a church that I feel relaxed in, one where I know I can just be me. If you believe in God and want to investigate Christianity further, this may be what you have been looking for too.
The Cornerstone Community Church ‘built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone’ - is committed to working with other local churches in Linton to bring the Kingdom of God to all of the local community.
The Church meets at the Cathodeon Centre at 10.00am on Sundays for worship at 10.30am. There is a Sunday school for the children and they get to play on the equipment outside afterwards. Coffee is served at the end and most people stay for a chat.
Come one Sunday and experience the atmosphere for yourself. If you decide that it’s not for you after all, you won’t be made to feel guilty or live in fear of someone turning up on your doorstep to persuade you otherwise. For more information, visit www.cornerstone-community-church.org.uk 

VIRTUOSO CELLIST IN LINTON   Top

OVER the years, the Linton Music Society has welcomed many renowned and outstanding ’cellists, including artists such as Arnold Ashby, Amaryllis Fleming, Julian Lloyd Webber, etc. This month we welcome Yoohong Lee who began his spectacular career with concert appearances at the age of 10 and now performs all over the world. With the pianist Catalina Ardelean, also a prize-winning player of repute, he will present a programme of well-known and loved works by Bach and Brahms as well as virtuoso works by Britten and Paganini.
The concert will be held at 8pm on Saturday 10th February at Linton Village College. Members and non-members alike are welcome and tickets are available at the door. Any enquiries, please, to the Hon. Sec.

HAVE YOU TIME FOR THE ELDERLY?   Top

AGE Concern exists to improve the quality of life for older people across Cambridgeshire. Can you help us? Could you be a home help (paid) or visitor (volunteer) for an older person in their own home? Could you help at one of our day centres, or in an office providing information and advice?
Whether we can help you or you can help us, please call our Cambridge office on  01223 568306.
Dawn Long,
Information Officer

ANIMATED ACTION FROM THE J-TEAM   Top

THE Linton J-Team invites children and their families to a special video screening of "The Miracle Maker" at 4-6pm on Saturday 3rd February 2001 at Linton Infant’s School.
"The Miracle Maker" is a visually stunning animation of the greatest story ever told – the life of Jesus. It uses state-of-the-art animation techniques and the distinguished cast, including Ralph Fiennes and Julie Christie, bring the characters to life.
Linton J-Team is a group of Christians well known in the village for organising children’s events and parties. This is the first event for all the family. We want children to bring along their brothers, sisters, Mum, Dad, Granny, Grandad, aunts and uncles to hear and see the story of the man whose life changed history.
For more details, please contact Sarah Thorne

MOTHER’S UNION HITS THE RIGHT NOTE   Top

ON 20th December a group of Linton Mother’s Union members and their children met at Fincham’s Close for an evening of carol singing. The weather was dry and we sang to appreciative households in five venues around Fincham’s before moving on to Emson’s Close and Copperfields via the Linton Tandoori Restaurant, where they not only encouraged us to sing but gave the children lollies as well! Altogether £92.63 was raised in around two hours for Jimmy’s Night Shelter. A great result! This year’s date is in the diary already.
Sunday February 11th marks the beginning of ‘Marriage Week’ and the Mother’s Union is organising a renewal of marriage vows service which will take place at St Mary’s at 3.30pm. The service will be followed by refreshments. Why not come along and celebrate your marriage with us?
For more information about the Mother’s Union, Pam Richardson

LITERACY GROUP gets off to a good start   Top

FOLLOWING the article on dyslexia in the January issue of the Linton News I am very pleased to report that we had a most successful meeting. We are looking forward to forming a local literacy group so that parents can help to enable their children to reach their reading potentials.
We had a most generous offer from a local Literacy Consultant, John Bald. He has offered to give his guidance in a demonstration session aimed at parents and, of course, interested professionals. The session, entitled "Helping Your Child With Literacy Skills," will be held 2-4pm on Saturday 10th February at 9 Symonds Lane, Linton. There will be no fee for this talk. Places will be limited so prior booking is essential. Please contact Mrs M. E. Clark,

ARTICLE OF THE YEAR AWARD    Top

ONE of the most striking aspects of the Linton News is the ability of its contributors to provide well-written and informative articles and items.
These often find a more direct route to the reader than the usual newspaper style: a person-to-person style that is a pleasure to read.
We wanted to mark this success of our contributors with an annual prize for the best written and/or the most informative article or letter of the year.
Contributions will be considered in each issue and one may be nominated by the Editor after discussion with the editorial team. At the end of the year, one of the nominated articles will be chosen by the same process.
Everyone nominated will get a certificate with our thanks and the winner will be awarded £50.
It seems unfair to exclude the very articles that have reinforced our growing feeling that recognition should be given to those who make an effort to keep our community informed - and so we have decided to run the first award year from 1st July 2000 and have nominated contributions from all but one of the issues since then. The winning article will be announced in the August 2001 issue and reprinted on the Linton News website. LNT

SOMETHING IS HAPPENING ROUND YOUR WAY   Top

ROUND Your Way Ltd are a web design company who have set up free websites for towns and villages around Cambridge. They contain all sorts of local news and information, including an ‘articles for sale’ notice board. The Linton site is currently underused and has to be brought up to date.
Local clubs, societies and charities qualify for a free web page (approx A4 and can include a logo and/or photograph). If you are interested in advertising your details or would simply like some help please email me on traceyrussell@talk21.com . Even if youalready have your own website it is still worth registering and linking with the free Linton site.
The site is updated on Wednesdays, so all new information must be sent in on Tuesdays. If you would like to advertise your business on this site please telephone Round Your Way Ltd 01223 207947 for details. Tracey Russell

VILLAGE SCHOOLS STRENGTHEN THEIR LINKS WITH SOUTH AFRICA   Top

I WALK around Linton Heights Junior School looking at some of the facilities offered to our children: a fully equipped IT suite, a large outdoor playing area with garden, pond and chickens, a well-stocked library, light and airy classrooms that are gradually being refurbished. I check the ever-growing list of further facilities we need to provide in order to keep up with government demands and to maintain standards: updating computers, extra software, more books, painting of classrooms, new furniture – all to be funded from a tight budget and valuable fundraising. So when I read some background information about our link school in South Africa it made me wonder how I would feel or where I would begin if I were a member of their Governing Body.
Mafumbuka Primary School has no library, no science laboratory, no games field on site, no computers, an inadequate supply of classroom furniture, and a shortage of other essential resources in desperate need.
Mafumbuka is in the township of Soshanguve, Pretoria. The community is relatively poor with unemployment running at 50%. There are 1,335 pupils on roll – a number growing as migrants, driven from their land by poverty, move in to seek work.
Ms Miriam Risenga is the larger-than-life principal of the school, leading a dedicated team of 33 teachers, teaching classes of 53 pupils on average! There is strong parental support and fundraising and development committees are active. Government grants are few, so Mafumbuka is grateful for donations such as those from our local schools.
The Heights were pleased to send Mafumbuka Primary School £190, which was raised at two of our pre-Christmas events: the production of ‘On the Air’ and our Carol Service at St Mary’s church. All donations are gratefully received. Further information from the Heights.

A COMMITTEE has been formed at the College to plan our future links with Boepathutse and the township of Soshanguve and we have decided to take a dramatic step. We are going to give four students from Boepathutse a scholarship for the summer term here at LVC, staying with local families. We have consulted carefully with the governors and staff at Boepathutse and they are all strongly in favour. They believe that the right students would gain a huge amount from the experience and take back that gain to share among their communities.
Having been there myself, I think they are right. What the children and parents I met most lacked was experience of something other than the poverty of Soshanguve; they needed something to believe in before they could believe in themselves. We hope to welcome our guests after Easter.
The next challenge is funding the scholarships. The sums involved are not huge however, as long as we have four households willing to host the Boepathutse students without charge. If you are willing to be a host family for a student, please let me know. Beyond that we need about £2,000 to cover the airfare and that appeal begins immediately. Judging by the success of the link so far, I am sure we will raise that.
Clive Bush

Traffic forms available     Top 

TRAFFIC incident report forms are now available at the Post Office and a number of local shops, together with posting-boxes for completed forms.
Please note that these forms should not be used as an alternative to contacting the police.
Gill Barker, Parish Clerk
Council report, page 2; Readers Write, page 3

YOUNG FARMERS: TOO BUSY WORKING?   Top

CONTRARY to belief, Young Farmers are not all wellies and wax jackets! The majority of Young Farmers are, in fact, non-farmers. I joined Ashdon and Saffron Walden Young Farmers mainly to enhance my social life. I have had to buy a bigger diary, a mobile phone and a map so I can get to all the events around the region.
We meet at 8pm every Tuesday at the Kings Arms in Saffron Walden and if we haven’t organised a speaker we go out to the cinema or visit somewhere.
So, all you 16-26 year olds out there – you wouldn’t judge a book by its cover, would you? Just as I am confident that you wouldn’t judge Young Farmers by what they wear.
Come along to our new members’ evening at the Kings Arms, Market Hill, Saffron Walden at 8pm on 13th February to find out more
Natasha Forster,
Chairperson A&SWYFC

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? ALPHA  Top

"ALPHA…coming to a church near you". This slogan has become commonplace in big cities and public display areas throughout Britain and the world as the Alpha Course has taken off.
Alpha is a course for those who are questioning their life styles and their faith. Particularly the Christian Faith. The format is informal and begins with a meal together followed by a short talk and then an opportunity to discuss things such as: What is the point of life? What happens when we die? Is forgiveness possible? Who is Jesus? What relevance does He have in our lives today?
You may see David Frost fronting a 12-week programme on Alpha on television during the early months of this year and if what you see arouses your interest, take this opportunity to find out for yourself where you stand and what you believe. There is a course running now, organised by the Linton Free Church in Horn Lane, and this will be followed by another course beginning later in the year.
If you are interested get in touch with Will Crowhurst
If you would like an invitation to our Celebration Supper at the end of the current course, where you can meet others who just have this feeling that there’s something more to life, please phone Sarah Devereux . Sarah Devereux

The Bush Telegraph  Top

WHO says Christmas isn’t about giving? We had a major fundraising drive at the end of last term culminating in a Charities Fair on the last day of term. Half the money raised was for our friends in Boepathutse Junior Secondary School in Soshanguve, South Africa and half was for charities chosen by pupils. Together with a non-uniform half day, we raised very nearly £1,400 Ð in about three hours! By any standards that is a tremendous achievement. The Link Walk money for Boepathutse has also now been counted and is approaching £3,000. As I’ve said before, the value of money practically doubles when you get to South Africa because the rand is weak against the pound and incomes are so low. Our contributions therefore make a dramatic difference. How much would a science laboratory cost here? And the next project is a technology room.
Perhaps we should all take inspiration from Roger Edwards, the gardener at the College. Next year he is planning to cycle from Linton to Santiago de Compostella in Spain along the old pilgrim route in aid of our link with Boepathutse. This is a tremendous undertaking and he deserves all our support. More of Roger’s trip in later Bush Telegraphs. If you would like to help us continue to make a huge difference to people in a very deprived part of the world, please send a donation, however small to the Boepathutse Appeal, Linton Village College. Cheques should be made payable to the Linton Village College Trust Fund. Please help if you can. C R Bush, Principal
Schools stengthen links with South Africa, page 5

GARDENERS ARE NOT ECLIPSED   Top

IN spite of competition from the eclipse and the cold weather, there was a good turnout at the January Garden Club meeting. Jim Pearce, who has achieved the status of Chelsea judge during a distinguished horticultural career, gave an illustrated talk on conservatory plants.
The Oxford dictionary describes a conservatory as ‘a room attached to a dwelling for the growing of plants’ and Jim Pearce’s photographs of familiar, exotic and unusual plants showed just that.
The careful control of temperature and humidity produces brilliantly coloured and perfumed flowers which must cheer any gardener during the dull winter months.
During the break most of us popped outside for a view of the darkened moon, and the evening finished with questions to the speaker.
The February meeting will feature a talk by Mike Day on ‘Unusual Vegetables for Small Gardens’ and we hope members and visitors will join us.

SHARPEN YOUR WITS TO SAVE THE CHILDREN   Top

LINTON and District Branch of Save The Children Fund will be holding a Quiz Evening on Friday 2nd March at West Wickham Village Hall. Entry forms from Judith White Anna Newton Judith White

LINTON COUNTRY DIARY by Olwen Williams     Top

Sunday 21st January 2001 Illustrated by Maureen Williams

A SUDDEN overnight fall of three inches of snow on 28th December turned the world into a nightmare for travellers and a magic fairyland of white delights for children of all ages. Snowmen sprang up, sporting scarves designed for decoration rather than warmth, stones for eyes and carrots for noses. Toboggans emerged, snowballs flew, hats and gloves fell off in the snow, disregarded by inexhaustible children.
Thankfully, my trip to Spain was not until the following day, when traffic at least had returned to normal. Seville was warm, occasionally wet and pleasantly spring-like. In the small squares, the marmalade oranges just coming into season were beginning to fall from the trees and when crushed, lay around, scenting the air. At Ronda, small purple irises were in flower and choughs tumbled and swooped above the gorge.
By the time I returned, the snow had disappeared, but frost has continued throughout most of January to date.
On 9th January, there was an eclipse of the full moon starting at 6.40pm and lasting 2-3 hours. Clear skies allowed a good view of the gradual occlusion of the moon by the earth’s shadow, followed by a paler image, due to light refracted through the atmosphere around the earth, then a reversal of occlusion finishing around 9pm. The intervening image may at times be a blood-red colour, but on this occasion, only a less than spectacular pinkish-brown.
There was an interesting report of a sunfish, stranded on Titchwell beach in November 2000. These are large and rather square fish, about two foot in both length and width, plump and heavy. They are Mediterranean species, but before we assume it represents another manifestation of global warming, it should be noted that previous UK records do exist, including one in the 1890s at Sutton Bridge. It is to be preserved and will be displayed in the Cambridge University Zoology Museum in Downing Street. This museum is open to the public on weekdays and is well worth a visit, especially if you have children to amuse during the holidays.

FRIENDS IN CONCERT   Top

MEMBERS of St Mary’s Church Choir will give a concert in the Church at 7.30pm on Saturday 24th February. There will be a wide variety of music including some solos, duets and works for a small instrumental ensemble. There should be something for everyone.
The concert represents the start of a drive to raise funds for repairs to the Church fabric, some of which have become urgently necessary to prevent damp from causing increasing damage to the walls. The Friends are charged with the task of finding this money, so do please tell your friends and come along and support us; we feel sure you will have an enjoyable evening! B C Conochie

WATCH THAT SPACE   Top

DO you use the Linton Diary on page 1? Do you enter events you are organising in the Village Diary in the Post Office?
The Linton News borrows the Village Diary once a month, on the Wednesday following the copy deadline when the Post Office is closed in the afternoon. We rely on the information it gives us to complete the Linton Diary and supplement the announcements readers send in.
If you would like to be sure that your event is listed accurately in the Linton News Diary, please check that all the details are put in the diary in the Post Office venue, time, organiser and a contact number if appropriate. LNT

K-CLUB WINNERS   Top

THE result of the January K-Club monthly draw: 1st (£50) (No. 227); 2nd (£25) (No. 252); 3rd (£10)  (No. 187).

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