November 2001 Edition of the Linton News    Previous        Next

Articles   Village Organisations, Helping Hands, Flooding in Linton, Parish Council Report, Bingo, WI, IT revolution, Historical Society LA4Y Award, Pool Project, Surveying Safety, Up close, Peace in our time  T.Wilson out after dark, Specilaised school, Baking for Kids, Country Diary, Reading group, Volunteers, Christmas fair, K-Club, Bush Telegraph, Sightline service, Gardners Club, Anderson trust, Christmas at St MarysNew Town Fight, 

Readers Write:, Head Master GuiltyHe's still some ones favourite, Editors Reply, Skin infections, Style fix ignored, Who's watch, Our Thanks

Crisis in running the village  Top

If you want to make a difference in your community, contact any of the organisations shown on the new village directory lists at the Post Office, library, or the parish office in the Social Centre. If you are not sure what you want to do, call Gill Barker (891001) to talk through the possibilities.

VILLAGE organisations - one of the mainstays of our community - are being hit by a recruitment crisis.
Helping Hands, an invaluable source of help for many people, faces closure and other clubs and organisations are being forced to rely more and more on the central core of people still willing to carry on.
Even vital and successful concerns are having to work far harder to replace people who move on.
"New people are just not coming forward to take on organising and other roles at a time when many of the old guard have reached a point where they have done enough," said Enid Bald, one of the parish councillors looking for ways to reverse the decline.
"Busy and useful organisations like the Gardening Club have been having difficulty in replacing their officers and, in some cases, the situation is very serious: last year, no one was selling poppies for Remembrance Day because there were no volunteers.
"We have had, over the years, a wonderful community in Linton and, if we let this situation continue, we shall lose something of great value. People will become more isolated and they, and the village, will lose their sense of community and identity."
The crisis – which many people involved in running local clubs and organisations have seen growing for some time – burst into public awareness recently at a Linton Parish Council meeting.
Gill Barker, the Parish Clerk, reported to the council that Helping Hands feared it might fold. "Suddenly, everyone had something to say about organisations in trouble because they cannot recruit replacements and extra help," she said.
Linda Read, another councillor concerned about the situation, commented: "The village has been run by volunteers through the years – people have always been willing to do things. They have kept the village alive and they have gained great satisfaction for themselves.
"Now, some organisations are in crisis because not enough people are coming forward. We have a good core but we need a lot more people."
The Linton News has been working for some time on addressing the problem, through the paper and through a new village directory project that will try to match people who want to get involved and organisations which need them. The first lists are available in the Post Office, the library and at the parish office in the Social Centre, and the next stage will be expanding the lists and publishing the material on the internet.
Gill Barker and Enid Bald are trying to work out a way of producing and making available a ‘needed now’ list for those who have specific needs (like a lift to the hospital, or someone to buy shopping) and people who can step in with an offer of help.
There seems to be a consensus on what is causing the shortage of volunteers: people’s lives centre more on their homes, many work harder and longer hours, and quite a lot at any one time are just staying in the village for work that will shortly take them elsewhere.
Another problem is the feeling, among some, that they will not be welcomed – in fact, their help will be very welcome, whatever they can offer, how ever long they have been in the village.
With time such a problem for many, some categories of people are seen as the most promising for taking on voluntary roles: the newly-retired, people who have just moved into the village, young mothers wanting to balance their new duties with other interests, anyone who sits at home and wonders what to do, and those who want to expand their interests and friends.
"We need to recognise that there are many organisations that have been excellently run by volunteers for many years — organisations like the Brownies, Guides, the ATC, youth clubs through to the Evergreens — and they deserve our thanks," said Mrs Read.
"This is our village. We are the people who have to keep it alive. We can all do a little bit to keep the village running."

Helping Hands – a cry for help  Top

LINTON & District Helping Hands was started in 1985 to provide help where other organisations did not.
Over the years this has mainly been help with transport for those that cannot use buses or afford taxis, although help in other ways has been given. So far this year we have provided 225 lifts.
During the last year we have lost one third of our drivers, mainly through age and illness. Our Chairman/Organiser and Secretary have both moved away. The Transport Organiser and Treasurer will both be retiring at the end of the year.
If Helping Hands is to continue it will require four new officers (none of whom needs to be a driver) and more volunteer drivers (who will be reimbursed for their petrol costs).
There is an obvious need for this service – can you help?
A general meeting of all those who need to use or can help to provide the service will be held at 2.30pm, Wednesday 7th November at the Social Centre, Coles Lane.
Jo Bevin (Treasurer) ;
Jean Champion (Transport Organiser)

What Helping Hands has done for us

Neither my husband or myself are able to walk down to the Post Office or other shops now.
I never thought this could happen to us, we have always been so active, then I saw in the Linton News about Helping Hands.
I cannot praise them enough,
I hear they might have to close owing to shortage of drivers, then what will people like us do? We can’t afford taxis every time and our family live too far away to help.
Please, all you healthy retired drivers, remember this will happen to you one day, please don’t give up, we need you so much.
Vera Watts
Fincham’s Close

Helping Hands is very helpful indeed. I came from Whittles-ford to here; I’m used to going to the United Reform Church at Whittlesford on Sundays and Tuesdays for a dinner. Helping Hands has been taking me to the dinners. We have lovely dinners, really good dinners. The Helping Hands person stays to have dinner as well – it saves a journey. Occasionally they take me to hospital, and to the bank at Shelford. I’m 88 – I can’t exactly run around…
John Arnold
Symond’s Lane

I have had a wonderful 18 months’ service from member Mrs Boyce. Every Tuesday morning she takes me shopping at Sainsbury’s – doing the shopping, loading and unloading it. We go at 10am and are back at 11.45am. Helping Hands is a wonderful thing for me. I can’t walk very far and would find it very difficult without them.
Christopher Dobson
Swan House
Symond’s Lane

Helping Hands takes me to the doctors or to the hospital about once a month. It is a different driver every time. If Helping Hands had to stop, it would mean that my son would have to leave work and come from Haverhill to help me. I would miss it dreadfully.
Shirley Cottage


THE worst flooding for over 30 years badly damaged the historic heart of Linton last month, with properties around St Mary’s Church flooded, people rescued from the Dog and Duck public house, and many High Street homes and businesses under water.
The ancient Guildhall in Church Lane was badly affected as the water rose to a depth of several feet and St Mary’s and the Rectory were flooded.
Among those badly hit were Chris and Melissa Ackerson, who were moving into the recently restored Church Cottage next to St Mary’s. As flood water rose to the level of the windows, the Ackersons and their guests, including a pregnant woman and small baby, were carried to safety by firemen or helped with ropes across the torrent of water flowing up Church Lane. The Ackersons had stored all their furniture in the garage before moving into the house. "Everything we had was there and we have lost it all," said Chris Ackerson.
Judith and David White from the Guildhall had to be rescued from an upper window. "We saw the water rising and began to move things upstairs. Then water started to come in and when it did it was just a rush. It smelled very bad," said Judith White.
The village was caught by surprise as water from heavy rain swept down towards the lowest parts and the Granta broke its bank. Roads all around the centre of the village were cut off by water or diversions. Many other homes, from Long Lane to Back Road, were affected to varying degrees.
Fire engines from a number of stations were called in to help and the village saw more police in an afternoon than it usually sees in a year. Costs of repairs are expected to run into scores of thousands of pounds and the sudden rise in water levels has triggered fears about safety in the future. LNT
"Teenagers were paddling in the water and had to be reminded that [it] probably contained raw sewage." Tracey Wilson and more pictures on page 7.  Also click floods on the left for even more pictures 


October meeting

THE Council received a presentation from D Willis from ACRE on a Parish Plan – this would involve putting together the needs of the parish and its plans for the for the next 3-5 years, including a questionnaire to parishioners.
The refurbishment of the recreation ground is complete; Council has received congratulations on the results achieved, and the Clerk had also received inquiries from other parish councils on how we had achieved it.
The District Council has recommended Oakington as the site it would prefer for the new town; this now goes to the County Council.
Our Council has received plans for new equipment and the refurbishment of existing equipment for dual use at the Village College, which includes an AstroTurf pitch – this will be given consideration at the precept meeting on 29th November along with any other requests for funding from local groups.
Council is showing some concern over the health of its trees on the recreation ground; two branches have broken off one mature tree and from a very young tree – how many other trees are also deteriorating? This was passed to the tree warden for further investigation.
There were concerns that yet again the Hildersham ride (horses) has left some of our paths in poor condition. Refurbishment of the Clapper style was to start on the 29th October.
It was reported that the Cambridge Building Society has now decided against having a branch in Linton. Planning permission is complete for the Infants’ School fencing. The school has also obtained ISA status for the next three years, and it has reached its maximum number of pupils at 180.
The position of Family Support Worker has been filled and the LA4Y has successfully obtained funding from the lottery of £159,000 to support youth workers for a further three years.
The Clerk has been contacted by the chairman of Helping Hands, stating it will have to close next year unless new officers are found.

Bingo’s coming sessions    Top

I WOULD like to thank everyone for supporting the Bingo session, we had a good turn out. These are the dates for the next four sessions (doors open at 7pm except in December): Tuesday 27th November; Saturday 22nd December (doors open 2pm); Tuesday 29th January; Tuesday 26th February.
The December session is an afternoon Christmas Bingo with a big raffle, mince pies and sausage rolls. Rosie Newman

WI plans open evening    Top

AT the start of the WI’s October meeting, Jean Goodwin reported on the August Fenland Fayre at Quy.
Five members from Linton accepted an invitation from Pampisford WI to their September Open Evening. Our members agreed their meeting in March 2002 – An Antiques Roadshow – should be an open evening for male and female visitors.
It was agreed the Committee should write to the Parish Council to move the WI seat (at the front of the Social Centre) to a more accessible site, e.g. near the village sign.
Our speaker was Sue Roberts, who had taken part in a walk along a section of the Great Wall of China to raise money for deaf children.
At the 6th November meeting, Jeff Capes will speak on Cambridgeshire. All welcome.
Anne Parry-Smith

How to join the IT revolution  Top

THE Linton News website projects – recently boosted by the acquisition of the coveted domain name – needs two additional people to share the work and fun.
The project, including the new village directory, is excitingly ambitious: it is on the leading edge of community projects with a website, printed publications and, eventually, a CD-rom for large volumes of data and pictures.
Designs and other plans for the website have been evolving but took a huge step forward when the Linton News IT specialist, Graham Potter, managed to buy – a name that has a worldwide reach in the same way as .com names.
Are you interested in joining our team of volunteers? You need to know your way round a keyboard but what we really need are people happy working with words and who have inquiring minds. We can provide you with the software and teach you how to produce good web pages.
Age and background are not important – enthusiasm and reliability are.
Please mail or phone John Keeble (,). John Keeble

On spies’ trail at Historical Society  Top

ONE hundred and twenty spies infiltrated Britain during the Second World War. They were intercepted, due to the work of the code-breakers at Station X – Bletchley Park.
Alan Stripp, one of the many code-breakers who worked there, told the Historical Society’s October meeting that most of them were not fanatical Nazis – they were not highly trained, they had poor English and did not know much about our monetary system. They were interrogated to see if they could be used as double-agents. If not they were imprisoned or shot.
It is due to double agents, who were kept in flats in London, that Hitler was ‘informed’ of our many ‘plans’.
Such was the excellence of our system that the enemy were deceived on many matters, including the Normandy D-day invasion with Hitler keeping his crack SS Panzer Division far away from Normandy. He was also led to believe that our force was much larger than in reality.
Garth Collard thanked Mr Stripp for a most enlightening talk and answering the many questions. The next meeting of the Society is on 20th November when Michael Gates will talk on the East Anglian Archives. Everyone is welcome. Joan Pearman

i’m guilty ... of challenging poor thinking and inequality      Top

Dear Editor
I am delighted to have had a response [Readers write, October] to the Bush Telegraph after the 70 or so editions I have written. I do feel I need to respond to some key aspects of the letter you printed last month however.
First of all it needs to be made clear that I am asked to write the column for the Linton News rather than the other way round. I also check with the editorial team from time to time that they are happy with the contents. The reply is always a resounding ‘yes’.
As to that content; if challenging the sometimes shallow and inadequate thinking of those who serve us as politicians regardless of their complexion, is deemed too ‘political’ or, if continuing to bring to the attention of our communities the scandalous inequality of education funding between Cambridgeshire and our neighbouring counties, is ‘whinging’ then I stand (proudly) guilty as charged.
It was nice to see that last month’s letter was not all negative though. At least your anonymous correspondent can sell his or her house at a profit.
C R Bush
Linton Village College

Bush Telegraph is my favourite      Top

Dear Editor
I was disappointed to read the letter regarding The Bush Telegraph in the last edition of the Linton News.
It is regrettable that the writer, who was afraid of being ‘vilified’ for expressing his/her opinion, withheld his/her name and address.
Clive Bush’s column is written from his perspective as head of our local secondary school. To my mind he makes valid comment and broadens the interest of the publication.
Much of what is written is in a reflective and very positive vein (especially for example those columns concerning the Link South Africa project or the US terrorist attack).
The Bush Telegraph is always thought-provoking and often my favourite bit of the Linton News!
Ruth Phillips Thomson

Editors’ reply: conflicts of a fair press      Top

LAST month’s letter criticised the Bush Telegraph and the Linton News for printing it. Subsequently, a number of people expressed outrage that we print letters without the writer being identified.
To deal with the Bush Telegraph first: it is, without doubt, an exceptionally good column that gives the community in general and parents in particular an insight into education that they would otherwise not get.
The writing is direct and interesting; and the subjects matter to us all. Far from "whinging" and being political, Mr Bush puts his career on the line to tell us what is happening in blunt terms that make clear where his concerns and efforts are rooted.
You may think this is an interesting comparison with the letter writer who gave (as required) a name and address but refused to let us print them.
That was not lost on us at the time but there are several issues involved here.
The first is that we print every letter that comes in as long as submissions conform to the law and have a semblance of logical argument.
There can be no case here for refusing to print the letter: it attacked articles in the public domain and it included criticism of our own judgment.
But should we have insisted on using the writer’s name and address?
The ‘name and address supplied’ letter is common throughout newspapers and other publications, though perhaps less used than at one time.
It is to provide a buffer between those who feel, for whatever reason, that they cannot identify themselves and the readers of their letters.
It gives valuable protection on occasion, sometimes offering safety and security – and it guards against ‘public voices’ being only those with social and personal strength (but no more right to be heard than anyone else).
Sometimes you can see good reason for it. Other times, you can see and admire those who risk controversy by identifying themselves – they include several courageous people who have written in the Linton News in the past year or so.
We have been forced by the criticism to evaluate our position and we are happy to state, for others to challenge if they wish, that we thoroughly support the excellent writing of Mr Bush and, as much as we disagreed with the letter of criticism, we equally support the right of everyone to have views published within the parameters outlined above.
Sally Simmons and John Keeble

Beware of skin infections at schools and playgroups       Top

Dear Editor
I would like to inform parents of school and playgroup children of the nature of impetigo according to The Great Ormand Street Book of Baby and Child Care.
This is a bacterial skin infection. It is itchy and very contagious and can easily spread through a playgroup, school or family. It begins with small blisters, which change into areas of pus covered with very thin skin. Raw weeping patches then occur, and finally drying produces yellowish crusts. Healing usually starts from the centre and leaves temporary rings of red skin. Treatment with antibiotics will usually be necessary. Do not attempt to pick the crusts or wipe them off. Be careful to wash hands very thoroughly after touching an infected area and keep the child’s towels and flannels separate because impetigo spreads so easily.
If you suspect your child has impetigo please keep them away from school or playgroup until it has been treated.
I was very frustrated to learn that, after isolating my son from school for two weeks, treating him and having him cleared from the infection, he has been re-infected by another child on returning to school.

Why did council ignore offer to fix stile?      Top

Dear Editor
I have read with interest that your town has ignored the benevolent offer of an Englishman in America to restore the clapper stile shown on the village sign.
First, there was a workman who had been expected last February. Now, I read that another local craftsman has been found who is willing to mend the clapper stile. I wonder what is going through the minds of the Parish Council that takes the offer of a sincere ex-citizen and ignores it. I had even offered financial support but no one has contacted me. I wonder how important this clapper stile is to the village.
I will continue to follow this story on your web site.
John Altenburger

Is this your watch?      Top

Dear Editor
Some months ago I found a man’s watch lying in the road which is engraved on the back ‘A. M. Dron.’ Despite local advertisement of the lost item and a search of the phone books, I am unable to find the owner. Any help from your readers in locating Mr Dron would be greatly appreciated.
S Plummer

Thank You's      Top

Dear Editor
Please may I through the Linton News, thank so many people of Linton for the cards, flowers, gifts and prayers. How very kind of you all.
Hopefully before too long I shall be back out on my bike! Meanwhile I am very determined to get my life back on track, and with everyone’s kind thoughts it all becomes most encouraging.
Very many thanks to Wendy Boardman. As Wendy’s daughter may I also add to this and thank my family, my friends for all support and my Aunt and all the great people in this village. My mum is an inspiration to me and a very positive lady.
Once again, very many thanks to all.
Melanie Belsom

Dear Editor
Margery and Doug McDiarmid would like to thank all the family, friends and neighbours who sent such lovely cards, flowers and presents for their Diamond Wedding Day. Special thanks to David and the two Hazels who arranged and provided everything including the beautiful cake to make the evening such a happy occasion.
Margery and Doug

Dear Editor,
Through your pages I should like to send a note of thanks to the kind people of Linton Road, Hadstock, who on Sunday night 14th October, came to my aid when my car overturned. Your help was really appreciated.
Trevor Blackmore

£159,000 AWARD FOR LA4Y   Top

IT was great news for Linton Action For Youth that the Community Fund has agreed to support us for another three years. The award of £159,655 is to be restricted to paying staff salaries; all running costs have to be found locally. This means that LA4Y will be providing 100 hours per week of youth work and family support putting Linton in a highly privileged position.
The award is a real vote of confidence in the quality of work that Liz Govier and her youth work team of Jim Kimber and Bev Reynolds have been achieving. It also calls for a vote of thanks for all of you who have supported us over the years. The contributions made by the Parish Council, the K-Club and local fund- raising are essential. Without that level of support from the community we quite simply would not have met the lottery requirements and would not have got this award. Please keep helping; it is crucial. Every £1 we raise locally is drawing in more than £10 from other donors.
So what is it that LA4Y does to attract so much money? Our basic function is to run the Drop-In Centre on the recreation ground. We run four sessions per week on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings and on Sunday afternoon. But that is less than half our work. We work with young people excluded from school, we support people at risk, run educational projects on drug and alcohol abuse and provide a ready ear and advice on a range of subjects for those that need it. At the beginning of October Lesley Silk joined us as our full time Family Support Worker. This will further broaden the range of services we can offer Linton. Up to now we have only worked with young people of senior school age. With the addition of Lesley to our staff we will also work with the Infants and Junior schools offering advice and support to youngsters and their families who request it.
Thanks to everyone who has helped us in the past. Please keep giving: we still need your support. If you need us please give us a ring on 891345, we are here to help, confidentiality can be assured. This is our number at the Drop-In Centre; if it is not manned there is a message service facility.
John Batchelor


GREAT news for swimmers – at long last the Linton Area Pool Project has been granted charitable status. This means that fund-raising can begin in earnest, and opens up the prospect of a sizeable grant from the National Lottery.
The aim of the Project is to establish a new, state-of-the-art indoor swimming pool for the whole community within the grounds of the Village College. The Pool will be open to the local community with certain concessions to the College and Schools during school hours. It will be run as a charitable trust, and that’s why it has been crucial for the Steering Committee to gain charitable status.
So now the fund-raising begins - and we’re talking about millions of pounds. But we’re also talking about a high quality asset that can be enjoyed for generations to come by Lintonians and by people from surrounding villages. Lottery money is essential (and it’s encouraging to hear that Norwich has just obtained a sizeable grant for its new pool), but in order to apply for money, we must first show that there is general support within our community. Some time ago, a questionnaire issued with the Linton News demonstrated enthusiastic support for the pool. Now we need to direct that support towards raising funds ourselves. Only when we have raised a considerable amount by our own efforts can we apply for a sizeable contribution from the Lottery.
The Steering Committee of the Linton Area Pool Project, having achieved charitable status, will now direct its efforts to fund-raising and is dependent on the support of the community. It also needs new blood as its responsibilities increase. If you have ideas for fund-raising, or would generally like to indicate your support for any fund-raising activity, or would like to become a member of the Committee, please contact: Tracey Wilson,. Chris Scarles


WINTER is coming and the nights are drawing in. Fires are being lit and central heating being switched on… but how long will it be until we will be hearing the familiar sound of sirens going to another accident on the A1307? Did they really stop in the summer? How many times do you risk your life trying to get into, or out of the village? How many people go the long way out of the village via the Back Road to Abington (this route is not gritted in winter and can be very dangerous)? How many of you go left towards Haverhill out of the top of the village only to do a U turn out of the Saffron Walden road because it is safer to cross only one lane of traffic? Are you unhappy about the road?
Four months ago the first public meeting was held about the A1307. At this meeting we heard how the County Council had no intention of spending any money making the road safer or easier to access because not enough people had been killed on the road. It was established that unless we formed a united case for the villages along the A1307 then nothing would be done in the future. A list was left at the meeting for people to add their names to if they were willing to further the cause and from this a committee has been formed – ACCESS A1307.
No member of the committee has ever done anything like this before and we have all been on a learning curve. We have had to look at how the road affects different types of people, cars accessing the road and pedestrians crossing the road. Although a reduction in speed on the A1307 would seem one of the logical options we have been advised that this alone could actually make it more difficult to access the road by car and not much safer for pedestrians.
The committee has not been formed to decide what the solutions are. It has been formed to highlight the issues that were raised at the first meeting – to collect as many facts and figures to present to the County Council, to promote the village’s case in the press and to put as much pressure on the Council as possible. We have to be united otherwise they will turn their backs on us again. To do this we are going to need the support of the village’s we represent. It is easy to sit back and say that they will do something eventually, but this will only happen if more and more people are killed on the road – which is clearly unacceptable.
The objectives that Access A1307 have defined are:
1. Safe access for vehicles onto and across the A1307.
2. Safe access for pedestrians to cross the A1307 to use the amenities within the village.
We are looking for volunteers to help for one morning and evening to assist in a traffic survey to be undertaken between 6.30am and 9.30am and also 3.30pm and 6.30pm.
We are also looking for any committee members so if anyone is interested in joining our committee, just expressing their views or letting off steam, please contact us at:


PHOTOS of bugs, lessons about digital cameras, projects to capture the scenes and activities of the village, a local photographic show and trips to exhibitions ... these are some of the ideas to emerge from the first meeting of the new Camera Club.
We took a quick snapshot of our interests, which ranged from micro and macro photography to immortalising pets and social documentary projects. There was a strong interest in digital cameras and computer manipulation of digital images, either direct from cameras or from prints and transparencies scanned in.
The next meeting, on Sunday 18th November, is expected to get further along with planning what we want to do. Seven people have signed up for the club and more would be very welcome, regardless of skill level and interests. If you would like to be part of it, call or email ( now. John Keeble 


THE Remembrance Sunday Service will be at 2.30pm in St Mary’s Church, Linton, followed by an act of remembrance at the War Memorial in the Cemetery. This is an important demonstration of gratitude for those who lost their lives for the sake of peace in the World Wars of the twentieth century. It is also an opportunity for us all to meet together to pray for peace in the world today.
Lesley Gore and Glynis Brewer

Tracey Wilson went out after dark as flood waters started to subside

TEENAGERS were paddling in the water near the Dog and Duck at 10pm, and had to be reminded that this was water from the drains and probably contained raw sewage. By this time the level across the high street had gone down to about two feet, but the river was still a torrent under the bridge.
Earlier, we looked at the meadow from the bottom of Palmers Close. Ducks were happily swimming around on the area cricket pitch. The water was up to the windows of the pavilion and nearing the Drop in Centre.
People were concerned about the residents whose houses were flooded, and were offering rooms for them to stay in. When something like this happens there are so many offers of help, and people talk to people they have never set eyes on before, sharing anecdotes and tales of sights they have seen and talk of the last time the village was flooded. I think the only other time I have seen so many people out walking in Linton is on the night of the Fireworks display.
Put your flood photos on the Linton News website. Phone Graham Potter on


LINTON Village College is embarking on a major new development. It is applying to the Government to become a Business and Enterprise Specialist College and if successful will scoop an extra £500,000 of funding. A further £50,000 has to be raised from business sponsorship, which will be a part of an increased business interest in the College.
The Cambridge area is the powerhouse of this country’s economic development, especially in terms of new high tech industries, and by adding an entrepreneurial dimension to what we do we are giving our young people a whole range of valuable skills and qualities, as well as training individuals who will ensure that the region’s economic success continues. C R Bush

The Bush Telegraph, page 8


THE NSPCC Christmas Fair is at the Officers Mess, Duxford, from 9am–3.30pm on Tuesday 13th November.
The Linton Branch runs the cake stall and needs loads of cakes, buns, biscuits and preserves to sell. Please deliver your contributions to Susan Anderson, 3 Mill Lane, by Monday 12th November,  for collection.
Two years ago we had a fantastic response and made £1,400 on our stall alone. Can we beat this?
There are many trade stalls, NSPCC cards, refreshments, a raffle and a wine tombola so come and do your Christmas shopping in congenial surroundings on November 13th and support the NSPCC.
Susan Anderson

LINTON COUNTRY DIARY by Olwen Williams         Top 
Friday 19th October 2001            Illustrated by Maureen Williams

We are enjoying a spell of unseasonable warmth! Even though fairly wet, it is very mild and the grass is still growing hard. For me, the last marker of summer was a swallow seen on 2nd October. So far, there have been no frosts and in one respect this is a shame, because an early frost often brings out the best autumn leaf colour. Spectacular displays are always a race between the first frost and the first good gale, which blows them off the trees. Apparently, the summer growing season has extended by about 20-30 days over the last few decades, due to a combination of earlier spring and later autumn.
I am told that ragwort has recently been put onto the list of obnoxious or poisonous plants and in future Councils will be asked to get rid of it from all kerbsides and waste land. I must say that I thought it had been so described for years, but that the obligation on farmers and councils was often ignored. Perhaps the farmers can tell us about this?
Jays, crows and squirrels are busy collecting walnuts. I wonder how many are ever found again and how many germinate to make new trees.
Judging by the scarcity of wild walnuts, probably very few, so perhaps some nuts just go to waste. It has been a good year for rabbits locally, with 31 seen feeding in the field opposite Hildersham Churchyard terrace. Do we have a dearth of foxes?
Next month will be my last diary and after five years, I shall really miss it. I am especially grateful to Maureen Williams for her beautiful illustrations, and to the people who have given me feedback or made queries which have caused me to do some digging. However, I no longer live locally and am also beginning to find that themes repeat themselves, so a new diarist is due!
Anyone interested in writing the Country Diary should contact the editor.


ARE you a reader? Would you like to join the reading group that meets at Linton Library?
Over the past few months we have read and discussed a variety of books, ranging from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, to Joanne Harris’s Chocolat.
For the next meeting (7.15 to 8.00 pm on 14th November at the Library) the books will be an autobiography, Still Me by Christopher Reeve, a biography, Beatrix Potter by Elizabeth Buchan and a poetry collection, Poems on the underground.
Please come and join the group. For further information, call Linton Library on 892227, or pick up a leaflet on your next visit to the library.
Linda Dumper


A six-week training course for volunteers to help the hearing impaired starts on 10th January 2002. CAMTAD, Cambridge Campaign for Tackling Acquired Deafness, runs hearing help sessions where volunteers clear, check and re-tube NHS hearing aids and advise on regular maintenance and best listening conditions. They also loan out equipment and can help with hearing doorbells, telephone, television and household alarms.
If you are interested in the training course or would like to discuss it further please phone Sue Hempstead on % 01223 460616 or write to her at Buchan House, Buchan Street, Cambridge CB4 2XF. Training is compulsory for our volunteers but there is no obligation to volunteer at the end of the course.
We are a small charity with limited means and depend on our volunteers to exist.
Sue Hempstead


COME and buy your Christmas cards and presents at the Coffee Morning in aid of Save The Children 10.30am– 12pm, at 4 Church Lane, on Saturday 10th November.
Judith White

K-CLUB WINNERS        Top 

THE result of the October K-Club monthly draw:1st (£50) Simon Turner (No. 077); 2nd (£25) John Batchelor (No. 121); 3rd (£10) Clive Bush (No. 041).


To stand still is to go backwards in the world in which we live. This may not apply to individuals who have choices to make about lifestyles but it certainly does to organisations like schools. Success in just about any organisation comes from seeing and taking opportunities because in doing so you carve out the future rather than have that future imposed upon you. It is a rare thing to be able to do in the world of education where all schools tend to be tarred with the same brush. For example: boys are seriously lagging behind girls at GCSE, children in year 7 and 8 go backwards in terms of attainment when they arrive at secondary school, schools are not doing enough to open their doors to their communities. None of these is the case at LVC, or many other successful community schools and yet the Government expects us to go through the same hoops as schools where it is. When the chance comes to set your own agenda and actually lead the field, I believe it has to be grabbed. Hence our involvement in the new round of the Specialist Schools Initiative. There have been specialist schools for almost ten years now. Indeed we sought to become a specialist Technology College a few years ago. We failed because of our close proximity to two existing specialist Technology Schools, Saffron Walden County High and Sawston Village College. Recently though, the Government announced an expansion of the programme and a new range of specialisms. After much debate, the College decided to become one of the first Business and Enterprise Colleges. This means that, if we raise £50,000 in sponsorship ourselves, the Government will grant us a further £500,000 to allow us to increase the opportunities we offer our young people so that the skills and qualities associated with success in the world of business and enterprise can be developed. The College will continue in its role of successful Community College offering the full range of courses and qualifications it does now to both children and adults. It is just that it will have an added dimension which will appeal to some young people more than others. It is a very exciting opportunity and one that is for once, supported by a reasonable financial investment. If you would like to become involved or would simply like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Clive Bush, Principal


CD-ROMs of national and local newspapers and TV guides, updated weekly, will be available at Linton library from 12th November, during library opening hours. They will be accessible to all visually impaired people in the Linton area. Granta Grapevine, Linton’s talking newspaper, in conjunction with Cambridgeshire Public Library service, has been successful in a bid for lottery funding to offer this service, via the Talking Newspaper Association of the UK.
The Library will house a computer system that will help visually impaired people either to see enhanced text on a large screen or to hear spoken text via the JAWS software.
If you, or someone you know, would like to try the system, please contact Linda Pearson at Linton Library( 892227) or Linda Dumper of Granta Grapevine for further information.
If you would like to join the group of volunteers who produce the Granta Grapevine talking newspaper every month, please contact Clare Neville, Chairman, 


THE late Professor Charles Anderson created the Charles and Mary Anderson Benefaction when he sold his house—Church Cottage—and appointed Trustees to invest the proceeds in order to provide an income to be distributed to charities in Linton. The amount varies each year but so far contributions have been made to: Linton Village College (musical instruments); 1st and 2nd Linton Brownies; St Mary’s Church; Linton Action for Youth; Linton Cathodeon Community Trust; and the Infants School.
The Trustees will be pleased to consider applications or suggestions for the next distribution of income which should be available early next year, Please write to the Chairman, Michael Holden, at 99 High Street, Linton, Cambridge CB1 6JT. The deadline for applications is 7th January 2002.
M R K Holden


MEMBERS of the Garden Club renewed acquaintance over a cup of coffee after the completion of business at the AGM on 9th October. We were pleased that Sally Plummer volunteered to join the Committee but more people are needed following the resignation of four long-serving members.
During the coming season we look forward to talks on Cacti, Ferns, British Wildflowers and their Habitats, Pruning of Ornamentals and The Drama of Northern Italian Gardens. We hope this programme will capture the enthusiasm of members and entice visitors to join us
For all keen photographers (including non-members) we have decided to give advance notice of the categories for the photo section at the Show next September. These will be: Local Village Scenes or Features, Flower Stem, Water, Pets or a humorous photograph, so please keep snapping away all year and let everyone see your efforts on display. The more pictures you enter the more points you could accumulate.

Gloria Fidler 


OUR traditional Christmas Bazaar this year takes place on Saturday November 24th at 2pm in the Infants School Hall. As usual, there will be a wide range of stalls, including cakes, preserves, toys and games, plants, books, tapes and CDs and gifts of all kinds, in fact everything you may need for Christmas, including wrapping paper and the odd bottle or two. So do come along, bring the children to meet Father Christmas in his grotto, enjoy a cup of tea and buy your presents here in Linton!
Lesley Gore  and Judy Nightingale

new town fight ‘not over yet’         Top 

SOUTH Cambs District Council has voted to propose Oakington and Longstanton for a new town.
Councillors saw presentations from the proposers of each site, and from opponents including a team from Stop Abington New Town. There was also a visit to each site.
An analysis by council officers showed Abington as the least suitable of the six sites considered, including Six Mile Bottom, Waterbeach, Wilbraham and Childerly Gate.
The recommendation by South Cambs is not binding on the county councillors, who are now beginning their own decision-making process. During this week, they have received presentations from the developers of each site, and the SANT team were there as well. A decision on which site to include in draft county plans will be taken in December.
The developers in Abington have not given up, and have taken on board more consultants to press their case. Stop Abington New Town will continue to lobby councillors, and make the case that a new town at Abington would be the wrong choice.