Morris Dancers providing village entertainment outside the Dog & Duck public house on June 7 Photograph: Suki Klair
THE recent A1307 traffic meeting was well-attended by residents and parish council representatives from all local villages, and presentations were made and questions answered by Cambridge county and district planning and traffic officers and the St Edmundsbury Borough Council director of planning.
A lively and sometimes uncontrolled discussion ensued but sadly we were left with no more hope than at previous meetings that any major improvements were forthcoming.
The county council admitted that the subject of the A1307 had dominated discussions during canvassing for local elections and that there was insufficient infrastructure in an area where business has developed so rapidly – followed by the inevitable increase in housing.
The council is aware that the A1307 not only causes major problems at all junctions between Haverhill and the Fourwentways roundabout, but that surrounding villages are affected by extra traffic avoiding the congested road. Major alterations such as by-passes and roundabouts are out of the question due to lack of government funding but residents were encouraged to suggest smaller improvements as these are within the council’s budget.
Many suggestions were made, such as cutting the grass on the triangle at the Horseheath Road junction and a sturdier and lower pedestrian enclosure at the Grip, and all were noted. Traffic lights and pelican crossings which are not as costly as roundabouts are not considered the answer as, due to drivers’ impatience, they often create "rat runs". This point was agreed by some members of the public but disputed by others.
The renewal of the railway system is not considered viable but express bus services have improved matters and the county council is looking to expand this arrangement.
Speed monitoring cameras were discussed at length and the county council is assessing where they should best be placed, but it was agreed that A1307 speed limit enforcement is very difficult due to the reductions in police presence caused by lack of funding.
On the question of accident black spots such as the Bartlow Road junction, residents were told that five or more personal accidents in three years constitutes an "accident site" but these statistics are constantly changing and remedial action must be prioritised.
After nearly two hours’ discussion the conclusion reached was that local pressure is needed, as in the case of the A14 where the Government has reviewed the situation due to local and newspaper lobbying.
Residents were urged to sign up to the A1307 Action Group which District Councillor John Batchelor is instigating in the hope that something can be done about this seemingly insoluble problem. Linton News Team
CHELSEA Flower Show was intriguing this year, with show gardens
ranging from the nostalgic 1960s garden, through carpet gardens to
"prairie" planting. However, the most striking exhibit was the Red
Carpet of the Royal British Legion – a ravaged field of battle lying beneath a
floating carpet of red busy lizzies, a path of poppies leading to a
rainbow-planted Garden of Hope.
This year is the 80th anniversary of the Royal British Legion, the charity that protects the welfare, interests and memory of ex-Service people and their dependants. Originally founded to support the veterans of World War 1, many of whom were then in their late teens or early twenties, much of its work is now with the veterans of modern conflicts and their families, and it is wholly funded through donations and the Poppy Appeal.
Linton had less than its quota of poppy wearers last year, as there were too few volunteers to sell the poppies. We should all be proud to wear our poppies at this year’s Remembrance Day service and at the War Memorial afterwards, but we need help. If you have some time and would be prepared to sell poppies for the Legion early in November, please contact Mrs Glynnis Brewer . Thank you. Enid Bald
I WAS pleasantly surprised and pleased to see that the recycling
boxes had finally arrived in Linton on Thursday and Friday 14th/15th June. As I
walked up Horseheath Road after work, I could see them all sitting on people’s
doorsteps, and I initially thought " They aren’t very big!" but when
I took ours into the house I changed my mind. They are quite large really, and I
am at a loss as to where to put it.
If we had a big enough shed, that would be the obvious place, but with three bikes, a lawnmower and tools, that puts paid to that. The garage contains the car, so that’s not a good idea either.
If it had a lid, I could put it next to the dustbin, but with the typical English weather, it will soon fill up with water and I would be recycling soggy paper and rusty tins.
Indoors is also not a good spot if I want to recycle steel food cans. Obviously I will rinse them first, but unless they are washed properly in hot soapy water (I draw the line at this) they will start to smell by the end of the two week interval (thank goodness I haven’t got a cat – cat food smells awful even when fresh!).
I would be grateful if any readers have any ideas of where my bin can be stored.
Also, has anyone any novel uses for the bins when they are empty?
Dog bath has been one suggestion, with the holes in the bottom plugged with Blu-tac. Or you could fill it with chilled water and put in your beers for a barbecue, or perhaps fill with slightly warmer water and put in the kids on a sunny day. Ideas, clever or daft, would be well received. Tracey Wilson
Editor’s note: Lids are not available, but I have it on good authority that it doesn’t matter if your cans get wet and go rusty. Also, textiles can be bagged separately and put in the box at the last minute, likewise the paper. Please do not put bagged items in black bin liners, as the boxes are emptied on the same day as the bags are collected.
THE early June meeting welcomed six boys who requested
skate-boarding facilities on the recreation ground. Although financially unable
to consider the proposal for now, councillors congratulated the boys on their
presentation and suggested they apply for grants.
The council is considering completing the tarmac path from Granta Leys to Kingfisher Walk. Grass cutting at the cemetery and some of the open spaces has not been up to standard. It was noted that the Leadwell Meadows were cut better this year than last. Footpaths are now being opened again but have not been maintained. The matter will be pursued with the farmers. Renewal of the clapper style is making slow progress.
The council agreed to hire the tennis courts at the college for use by children under 16 years for free on Wednesdays from 6 to 8pm until the 5th September and Fridays in August.
Council reaffirmed its policy on providing streetlights each year, keeping a list of all requests for lamps.
The police had received 48 calls that resulted in 9 crimes. Cambridge police have set up a scheme visiting crime victims
and fitting security devices. Damage to trees, seats and the bench on the recreation ground was also reported.
The new green waste boxes were discussed. The district councillor reported that the scheme is being monitored carefully. Boxes can be personalised with your house number name, etc., and it may be possible to get additional ones.
Progress on the security fence at the infant's school is slow due to legal negotiations over access. The swimming pool has been repaired since the recent vandalism and the school is planning to extend its buildings. The council agreed to assist the Social Centre in redecorating as bookings are down due to tired-looking paintwork. Mr Gore was nominated for the Standards Committee.
Following the successful Public Meeting about the A1307, the clerk is organising an initial working party meeting.
BECAUSE of the high level of publicity for the Beginners'
Classes they got off to a good start.
Here are the results of Steeple Bumpstead League matches to date (points are 2 for each winning rink plus 4 for an overall win, with a possible maximum of 10). Steeple Bumpstead, home 8-2; Balsham, away 2-8; Clavering, home 2-8; Birdbrook B, away 0-10; Cavendish B, home 10-0; and Haverhill ES away 1-9.
Friendly matches: Balsham, home 55-63 shots; Withers-field, home 92-34; Birdbrook, home 92-32; Sutton (Ely), away 67-66; West Wratting, home 84-51; and Little Shelford, away 59-67.
The maintenance gang were here in May and did an unsatisfactory job on the green. Following representations the firm involved agreed and will make amends, hopefully very soon.
A QUALIFIED practitioner in Shiatsu and traditional Chinese
medicine, who has been working in clinics in Newmarket and Cambridge, is to set
up a practice in Linton.
Cindy Faulkner BA, MRSS will be teaching two terms of beginners' Shiatsu massage at Linton Village College from September. The course will consist of breathing, stretching and meditation exercises to increase the participants' own flow of energy, as well as the theory and practice of Shiatsu massage itself.
Shiatsu is a Japanese therapy, a form of healing closely related to acupuncture. Instead of needles, the practitioner applies pressure with hands, elbows, knees and feet. Stretching techniques are also used to stimulate and promote well-being.
Shiatsu combines a 4,000 year-old understanding of energy, derived from Oriental medicine, with modern knowledge of anatomy and physiology. It is an officially recognised therapy in Japan, and has spread worldwide from the East. It is one of the fastest-growing areas of complementary medicine in the UK.
The practice has helped people with many complaints, including anxiety and depression, fatigue and insomnia, headaches, back pain and arthritic and respiratory problems.
Shiatsu not only relieves specific complaints, but also helps to maintain over all health. Many people use Shiatsu preventively to help them keep well and counter the effects of everyday stress.
Sessions last for about an hour, including the treatment and time for discussion.
Shiatsu can complement any conventional medical treatment you may be receiving. It will assist the healing process by its overall strengthening effect, improving the circulation and reducing stress.
The Shiatsu Society maintains a register of qualified practitioners, each of whom has been assessed for their professionalism and clinical expertise by a panel of highly respected practitioners and teachers of Shiatsu. Only practitioners who have successfully completed this assessment procedure may use the letters MRSS after their name.
For more information about Shiatsu, please contact Cindy Faulkner. Information about all continuing education courses at Linton Village College can be obtained from the Coomunity Education Office. LNT
THE June meeting of Linton WI was attended by 32 members and one
visitor. Birthday posies were made and presented by Brenda Smith.
Mention was made of the wooden seat presented by the WI to the Social Centre. The seat, which went missing while the fence in front of the Social Centre was being renewed, has now been returned and is in its new position.
Miriam Rixonís husband was thanked for producing the redesigned membership cards, which have been well received. An invitation has been sent by Pampisford WI to attend their meeting in September. Members were encouraged to visit the trading stall during the evening, where there was a variety of plants and produce for sale.
Brenda Smith gave a report on the Group Meeting, held recently at Balsham. Several members from Linton WI had attended and had enjoyed the illustrated talk on the gardens of Madingley Hall, given by the head gardener, Richard Gant.
Joan Argent, who represents the WI on the Social Centre Committee, then gave a report. The WI was thanked for having the piano tuned. Details were given of forthcoming events and visits, which members may wish to attend. Members were asked to comment on proposed changes to the Constitution of the WI regarding voting on resolutions.
The speaker for the evening was Shirley Love, who is the only Specialist Osteoporosis Nurse in the region, based at Adden-brookeís. Her role is in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease but also importantly in health promotion to try and prevent the occurrence of osteoporosis She explained that osteoporosis is a very common disease affecting one in three women and one in 12 men. Shirley Love also spoke of the main risk factors and of the facilities now available for diagnosis and treatment. She stressed the importance of a healthy diet. There were many questions from members during what was a very lively talk.
The next meeting is at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 3rd July in the Social Centre. The Speaker will be Michael Bentinck on ëWartime Women', memories of the part played by women in World War II. All are welcome.
It seems that there is a newcomer in Symonds Lane who does not want the fair on the recreation ground again.
I was born in this village nearly 75 years ago, and apart from a few years during the war there has been a fair in Linton for as long as I can remember, the only difference being that it used to be much larger, noisier, smellier, and went on until midnight.
So we ban the fair; what next? No more football or cricket on the rec because the supporters are making too much noise, and what if a cockerel crows at five in the morning, that poor thing will have to have its neck wrung.
There are quite a few things that go on in this village today, that I myself and quite a few other elderly folk do not agree with, but we have to tolerate them in the name of progress!
I suggest the newcomer in Symonds Lane shows a little tolerance as far as the fair is concerned, so that the children of all ages can carry on the tradition that has gone on in this village for so many years.
Margaret Borley (Mrs)
What do you think? Are we less tolerant than we should be? Do we make too much fuss about noise, for example - and how willing are we to share our space with people who want to do things that we would not do?
I would like to thank the young man and the gentleman with the young girl who helped my mother when she had a fall in Symonds Lane that resulted in a broken arm.
On behalf of Christian Aid I would like to thank all those who so generously gave during Christian Aid Week in May. A record £2,258.95 was raised to help some of the world’s poorest people.
I wish to thank members of the community for once again supporting the St Mary’s Church Flower Festival.
At the heart of the Flower Festival are the flowers and all the creative talents of the arrangers who interpreted our theme this year – Whose world is it, anyway? – with such skill and imagination.
The 29 displays produced a harmony of colour, beauty and reflection – a feast for the eye and thoughts for the mind.
Despite cool and changeable weather we achieved a memorable weekend containing many highlights.
The weekend takings this year have, for the first time, exceeded £5,000 and we thank the people of Linton and surrounding villages who enabled church and community to celebrate their faith and friendship in a most fruitful way.
The proceeds from the weekend will help towards the running costs of St Mary’s and a programme of maintenance and repair which will help to sustain our beautiful church for future generations in Linton.
St Mary’s Church
On the beat with community police officer Andy Denzey
EVENTS in Linton recently included a vehicle in Primrose Way having petrol siphoned, and then after the owner replaced the petrol cap with a locking one, he had another attempt on his vehicle it was unsuccessful but the offenders did some damage to the paintwork. A garage door in Wheatsheaf Way was bent in an unsuccessful attempt to gain entry. A mobile phone was stolen from an unattended bag at a function in the village, and from the same location a ride-on lawnmower was taken from an open shed.
There were two burglaries; one where alcohol was stolen from a house in Back Road, no forced entry. The other was more serious.
An elderly lady in Rivey Way opened the door to a male who stated he was from a security firm and would do a free check of her windows, etc. He walked around the house checking the windows, then asked her to turn on the TV. Meanwhile his unseen partner was helping himself to her money in another room.
Cambridge Police have a unit set up called The Bobby Scheme. This is a professional body who attend and fit security devices such as door chains for people who are considered potential victims of burglary, or who have been victims of burglary. They have ID cards and telephone before they call on the prospective client. This service is completely free.
Under no circumstances allow anyone to enter your house until they have provided proper identification, and if you are unsure, make them wait outside while you phone their company to check. If they are legitimate they will wait, if they are not they will leave. If they become abusive at the door, shut it!
The Church in Horn Lane had damage done to its guttering and tiles, and a bench was put on the roof. This is the act of youths and inquiries continue.
Talking about youths, I am looking into who is responsible for damaging trees near to the new play area under construction at the recreation ground. A number of trees have been snapped or cut down. These trees are there to provide some cover from noise from the recreation ground for the residents of Granta Leys and
the nearby estates.
If they are cut down, then the residents of these properties will be complaining about the noise and could obstruct any future plans for the recreation ground.
I would like to stress that my mobile is not a 24 hour call out. It is not for reporting an incident or crime. I don't want someone trying to ring the mobile when they need a police officer there in a hurry, and finding that it is switched off because I am on leave. It is simply for contact with council members or residents who want to talk about a community issue.
JULY means that
Cambridge Open Studios is here again. This is the month when over 200 artists in
the Cambridge area open their homes and studios to display their current work.
This year, four artists in Linton and three in Hadstock will be participating with their own exhibitions in the villages. They are hoping to have the pleasure of showing their work and to be encouraged by local interest.
The Linton artists are Katherine Fairey at The Grip Farm, Linton, Philip Blakeley at 8A The Grip, Sue Jones at 11A Joiners Road and Neil Gardner at 18 Cambridge Road.
All four live close to each other and have arranged to be open on the same two weekends so that it is easy for visitors to call in. These are July 14th-15th and July 21st-22nd between 11am and 6pm.
Sue specialises in "impressionistic landscapes and figurative work", Katherine paints "in acrylic and mixed media to achieve abstract and figurative themes", Philip "paints figures in oils and acrylics and explores abstract ideas" and Neil specialises in "watercolours of the East Anglian coast and Linton".
The Hadstock artists are opening their studios at Yews Farm, Linton Road, Hadstock for the weekends of July 21st-22nd and July 28th-29th.
This is the second year that the group consisting of Sue Walker (painter), Katharine Childs (ceramicist) and Catriona Ogilvy (ceramicist and painter) will welcome members of the public to see something of the creative process at first hand.
Sue paints "colourful images in watercolour, acrylic and pastel inspired by local landscapes and foreign travel", Katharine will be exhibiting a "combination of hand-built and mould-made ceramics in a cross between art nouveau and art deco style" and Catriona specialises in"animal portraiture, clay modelling and drawing taking movement as her theme". For more details about the Hadstock artists, contact Sue Walker on.
The purpose of the open studios is not just to provide an opportunity to purchase. The artists are very happy for visitors to have a look round and see how they work in their studios.
For further information on the whole event and artists further afield, contact Jane Evans, 12 High Street, Fulbourn, 561192, email artists@ camopenstudios.co.uk or see the website at www. camopenstudios.co.uk,
THE first week of the summer holidays will soon be here, and we
would like to invite all children aged five to 11 to join Linton J-Teamís
holiday club, MegaQuest.
It will be held from 10am to noon from Monday 23rd July to Friday 27th July at the URC hall, Horn Lane, Linton.
In MegaQuest we will be entering various levels of a computer game, having fun through games, craft and stories and discovering how we can attack a deadly virus! At the same time we will be discovering Godís big plan for the world.
Your children will be welcome but, because places will be limited, you will need to book in advance. Places are allocated on a 'first come first served' basis and charges are made to cover refreshments and craft materials.
Newcomers to the village may not have heard of J-Team. We are a group of Christians from churches in the village who organise activity days, parties, holiday clubs and other special events for the children of Linton and surrounding villages. This is our 10th year.
For further details, contact Sarah Thorne or Sue Morgan-Jones.
We are now expanding the project by asking organisations to
provide articles and photographs to promote themselves. Details from our project
team or you can pick up an information sheet at the Post Office (Linton News
THE first stage of the new village directory multimedia project is coming into shape ñ and it is looking very different from previous versions because of new opportunities with the latest technology.
A key change is likely to be the building of whole pages (in some cases, several pages) about each organisation. In the internet and CD-rom versions, they will be in full colour, including photographs, and many will have sound.
Under old technology, the limits were quite severe on what could be published and we will have some constraints in this area in our printed versions ñ it is unlikely that we will be able to afford full colour, for example. But, in the electronic versions, there is very little to limit what is included beyond the amount of work and time it takes.
The first of these pages are already in hand and will be available for use quite soon. They will give an idea of the possibilities in a form that is likely to be used by the younger segments of our community ñ quite often the hardest to reach ñ as well as everyone else with computer access.
Some organisations have already provided valuable information on our initial form aimed at establishing who needs the help of volunteers. This is enabling us to produce an information site for matching willingness to needs.
Next, we shall be focusing on helping clubs and organisations to promote themselves ñ from one final set of information and photographs from you, we will produce printed, internet and CD-rom pages to get your club or organisation better known and show it in all its attractiveness to everyone else in the area.
All the costs are being met from sources other than the clubs and organisations, which means no one will be charged or asked for anything more than their enthusiasm.
And once it has been set up, changes (you remember how your AGM changed all the officers just after the printed version went through the letter boxes?) will be updated continuously outdated information will, if changes are notified, become a thing of the past.
"This is a very exciting development," said John Keeble, who is editing and organising the project. "It will give local organisations a powerful means of attracting new members as well as extra help, if they need it"
The first step is to pick up a copy of our guidelines from the Linton News box in the Post Office or ask one of the project team. LNT
Gloria Fidler and Tracey Russell (email firstname.lastname@example.org) can provide guidance notes
John Keeble (email email@example.com) can discuss what the project can do for your organisation
Linton has a star in the making. Tracey Wilson went to meet him
ISN'T it amazing how trying out something you have never done before can lead to making a decision about what you want to do for the rest of your life? When Robert Taylor was a pupil of Linton Heights Junior School, he joined the Benji Warwick Drama Club, just to see what it was all about. He really enjoyed his time with the club, but when he left the Heights he was too old to stay on as a member. Keen to continue with his drama, he looked around in the Cambridge area for something similar, and chanced upon Whizz Kids, who operate from Long Road Sixth Form College.
Whizz Kids have a tough audition for anyone wishing to join, and Robert said he was asked several awkward questions that he had to answer spontaneously. He also had to dance and sing within the auditioning group, and was lucky to be one of only three or four people chosen from the group of around 40.
For the last year, Robert has attended the club every Saturday to learn acting, dancing and singing, and best of all, has had jobs as a film extra on the small screen (London's Burning and Panorama), has been in a TV advert ("Clear Blue", currently airing in the London area) and will soon be seen in various other TV and cinema productions.
At the moment, he is concentrating on background parts, to build up confidence and experience, but this will ultimately lead to more significant and speaking parts. He does get paid for this work, although he's not yet in the league of Hollywood actors. However, he earns enough for something to spend on anything special he might need, or for his holidays.
Robert does have acting in his blood. A relative of his Mum's grandfather was Vesta Tilley, the celebrated Music Hall star from the late 1800s and early 1900s, famous for her male impersonations. Robert's great-grandfather also had a reputation for being something of a performer within his family. Robert's immediate family are only involved with Whizz Kids in that they take him to film takes, and to the club, but his sister Tasha was once used as an extra, although she is much more interested in her horseriding.
Forthcoming projects that Robert has been working on include Human Body, which will be seen on the Imax Screen at the Science Museum; Armadillo for Children's BBC; Revelations, a film for cinema starring Terence Stamp (which he may not be old enough to see, depending on its final certification); Back Home, a made-for-TV movie and Fourth Angel, a big-screen film starring Jeremy Irons.
Robert told me that Jeremy Irons was very interested in all the child extras and chatted with them between takes, and when Robert told him his name, Jeremy Irons mentioned the late Hollywood actor of the same name, and said that he would remember to look out for our Robert Taylor in the future.
In the meantime, Robert knows it is important for him to keep up his studies at Linton Village College, as actors need something to fall back on during their "rest periods". The College is very good at letting him go if he needs time off for filming. Unfortunately, his acting experience doesn't mean playing the lead in school productions, as play rehearsals would inevitably clash with his Whizz Kids projects.
When he leaves the College at the end of year 11, he is contemplating attending a Stage School in London, which will hopefully lead to an Equity Card and fame and fortune. Don't forget, you read about him here first!
ON the evening of Monday 11th June, the first Linton Area Junior Schools Festival of Music was held in the prestigious surroundings of Chilford Hall.
DID you know that each year thereís a major music festival
within easy reach of Linton? A festival that features world class musicians and
Well, this year the Clare World Music Festival has none other than top musicians Edwin Starr and Geno Washington booked to play. Both these entertainers are world famous and Edwin Starr has a string of top 10 hits to his name, including War and H.A.P.P.Y. Radio.
The festival takes place in Clareís beautiful Country Park where a great afternoon of live music can be enjoyed by all the family. As well as the music there will be food stalls, a beer tent for the thirsty and even a Kidsí Club with fun for the young ones.
Nethergate Brewery, which has recently won the Best Beer in Britain award, will be brewing a special ale just for the event. And if that is not enough there will also be a free Sunday event, Gospel in the Park, which features the very best of Britainís gospel singers, the mighty London Community Gospel Choir.
The festival takes place on Saturday 21
NINE weeks is a long time to be away from home, especially when
that home is 11,000 miles away! That is how long our friends from Boepathutse
have spent as members of LVC, their host families and the wider community. After
an initial shock about how cold, green and expensive the UK was Moses, Desiree,
Tshepo and Euprecia have settled in remarkably well. They have made many friends
and become fully integrated within their tutor and teaching groups. Even though
English is not their first language, they have got to grips with the subjects on
our curriculum, many of which are new to them. It has not all been hard work for
them, however. They have been punting on the Cam, to Warwick Castle, the London
Eye, and many other places besides. They have met the South African High
Commissioner in London, helped celebrate Link Africaís Millennium Teacher Award
Scheme, spoken in assemblies and answered questions in our feeder schools. Their
host families have also given them a rich and varied taste of life in the UK
through their own visits and family gatherings. When we began this project, the
intention was to widen horizons, share lives and add yet more cement to what was
already a firm partnership between two very distant and different schools.
Talking to Moses, Euprecia, Tshepo and Desiree, it certainly seems that we have
succeeded. From our perspective, the link has been given life and some of the
realities of living in Soshanguve have been brought home to many of our pupils.
The horizons then have been widened, our UK complacency has been dealt a healthy
blow and our commitment to continuing to help our partner school to develop and
prosper has been redoubled.
When our four friends touch down at Johannesburg on 7th July they will no doubt encounter a welcome as rapturous as the festivities that accompanied their departure. The questions will fly from that moment on and the community around Boepathutse will all be desperate to share a little of the experience of living here. I believe they will go back as wiser, more informed and knowledgeable young people who have seen the possibilities open to them, to Soshanguve and to South Africa as a whole. It has been a great pleasure to know them and I wish them all the luck in the world. Clive Bush, Principal
THE visit to Coughton Court in Warwickshire was a great success
with sun and only spells of light drizzle to contend with on a day when Linton
was awash. Our thanks to all non-members who joined us to help fill the coach.
I understand from the vegetable growers that recent weather is hindering the progress of their produce but letís hope that by the end of the month there will be the usual excellent display at the Annual Show. Even if you will be away on the day, items for the handicraft and produce sections could be entrusted to someone else to present so we hope that the numbers of adult and childrenís entries will be as good if not better than last year. Show schedules are still available from Susan Anderson at 3 Mill Lane.
We look forward to seeing lots of visitors to the show at 2.30pm on 28th July at the Social Centre. Do join us for refreshments and a raffle as well as a good look at the exhibits.
THE result of the May monthly draw: Ist (£50) Graham Richardson
(No. 113); 2nd (£25) Bill Kiddie (No. 221); 3rd (£10) Carol Northrop (No.
The result of the June monthly draw: Ist (£50) Janet Hann (No. 175); 2nd (£25) Gary Dixon (No. 004); 3rd (£10) Michael McCall (No. 323).
Wednesday 6th June 2001 Illustrated by Maureen Williams
MANY of the summer migrant birds have been seen or heard by now. The cuckoo calls from the woods in the early morning, sedge warblers croak away in the larger stretches of rushes, blackcaps and garden warblers sing from high perches or tucked away in the bushes and swifts scream through the sky. However, I have yet to hear the purring of turtle doves, while nightingales have to be specially sought in a few of the larger woods.
House sparrows have declined steeply in the last few years. I recently found that a friend had gone through life thinking that only the male robin had a red breast, whereas in fact the male and female are identical (to our eyes at least!). I imagine his ëfemaleí robin was probably the hedge sparrow or dunnock óa common, small, perky and inconspicuous bird, unrelated to the house sparrow. In spite of their drab colouration, they are said to lead an exciting and promiscuous social life, with polygamy not uncommon.
On 23rd May, the garden was visited after dark by a cockchafer. Also known as maybugs, these giant beetles fly clumsily around, often bumping into windows or lights. They may reach as much as 35 mm in length and are red and black, with amazing antennae like dinner forks, giving the appearance of a snow-plough. Their larvae are said to be very destructive to crop roots and also to be the favourite food of rooks. The next day, a 30mm hornet appeared in the garden and another was seen in Hildersham Church. These are giant wasps, but brown and yellow rather than black and yellow. They nest in hollow trees and, like wasps, feed on sweet foods such as nectar and rotting fruit.
On 28th May, driving over the Ridgeway on the M40, I looked up and was rewarded with a view of a red kite. Until recently confined to mid-Wales, they have been introduced to various sites in England with success.
Towards the end of May, I paid a visit to the Bartlow hills, where the typical chalk flora was in bloom. I particularly like salad burnet, with its strange flowers. Then, at Fowlmere, we found yellow iris, silverweed, water crowfoot, black medick, and celery-leaved buttercup. Silverweedís Latin name is Potentilla anserina, where anserina refers to geese. This plant likes its feet wet, and tends to grow around the edges of ponds and puddles, where the geese walk.
RECENTLY, two major village events were involved in a ënear
missí when their organisers realised that both had been booked for the same
date. One event had not been entered in the village diary and the organisers of
the second thought that the date was free. Luckily it was not too late to
rearrange the events but it meant a great deal of worry and extra work.
The village diary is kept permanently in the Post Office. It can be used by local groups to publicise their events, to book dates and avoid awkward clashes.
The editor of the Linton News borrows the diary once a month to update the Diary section on the front page. Frustratingly, many events are listed with vital information missing and often the Linton News cannot help readers who want more details of events in the village.
Please make use of this modest but invaluable local asset. It is possible to note events many months in advance—and a new diary for 2002 will be in the Post Office well before the end of this year. LNT