Wacky Racers, The Parish Council, Save the Children, Anastasia the Tiger, WI Talk up a Thirst, Fun with Flowers, Rain Stops May, K-Club, Let them Eat Cake, Putting The Boot In, Happy Feet Raise Coins, Hot Shots Get their Wings, Playgroup Open Day, Summer Idyll at Barlow, Musicians ScaleHeights, International Support for Local Trust, Residents Invest, Roll up!, ACE New Name, Decade of Deliveries, Tea on the Lawn, Planes, Games and Automobiles, Wine and Song, Return to Childhood, K-Club, The Bush Telegraph, Gardeners Show, Country Diary
ON Sunday 25th May the second Wacky Races event took place in Linton. This
year proved even more popular and a great many people turned up - both to take
part and to soak the participants with water bombs, water guns and even a fire
The event was organised by The Crown Inn and raised money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the Linton Scouts group. The first team home were Area Scaffolding who managed to make the finish line in an amazing 12 minutes and 30 seconds.
We will be featuring more news from the Wacky Races next month so don’t forget to send us your pictures and tell us about your favourite moments. LNT
The crowds gather for the start of the race (Mike Rhodes)
. Gotcha! Everyone’s in for a soaking (Tracey Wilson)
. KER-SPLAAAT! Robin tries out the latest additions to his utility belt (Tracey Wilson)
Micky and Minnie wish they’d decided to enter the race as Donald and Daffy Duck (June Keeble)
The Ant Hill Mob get into deep water (Mike Crofts)
The winners celebrate in Grand Prix style (Mike Rhodes)
EXCITEMENT is building in the bell tower of St Mary’s Church. Recently, St
Mary’s was the recipient of the very kind donation of a bell to augment the
existing ring of five bells, to six. The St Mary’s Linton Ringers Guild is
delighted, as a peal of six sounds much better than five.
The members of the guild are an extremely dedicated bunch. After the flood in October 2001, they carried on as usual, both on practice nights and for the Sunday services held in the Social Centre before the church was cleaned up enough to use. Even so, they state that a big advantage to the new bell is that it will be far easier to ring!
The bell frame already has a space for a sixth bell and so the augmentation itself is relatively simple. The existing bells have plain bearings and are difficult to ring whereas the new bell will be hung on ball bearings. As the existing bells have not had any major work carried out on them for at least a hundred years it was decided it would make sense to have the older bells overhauled at the same time, because the total cost would be less than having both jobs done separately.
The Ely Diocesan Association of Bell ringers is eager to support the work with a grant but there will still be a substantial shortfall of approximately £12,000.
Obviously some major fund-raising is needed! The bell ringers are already donating their fees for ringing bells at weddings but any further donations would be gladly received and can be sent to The St Mary’s Linton Ringers Guild Tower Captain, Keith Nightingale, (Middleditch, Hadstock Road).
If you are interested in the art of bell ringing (less commonly known as campanology) the Guild are opening up the ringing chamber to visitors, after service at approximately 11am on Sunday 15th June. Whilst coffee is being served at the back of the church there will be an opportunity to visit the ringing chamber and see a demonstration of how it works. If you are interested you would be most welcome to come along. We normally ring before the 10am service to tell the villagers a service is about to take place. We practise on Wednesday evenings and also ring for weddings if requested. We are sure everyone in the village has heard us at some time!
Sue & Mike Ellis
Members of the St. Mary’s Linton Ringers Guild (from left to right - Robin Web, Jaqui Burge, Sue Filby, Josie Gowler, Keith Nightingale; above - Gilbert Rowlandson and Vince Gowler)
May Council Meetings
COUNCILLORS reported that repairs to the aerial runway on the Recreation Ground have been completed. Changes in the law now require a trained person to check the equipment each week. The parish plan is still on target for June.
The tree warden was asked to check on trees that are being strangled by ivy.
Some members of the public were not able to attend a Council meeting in April because of its difficult access for disabled people. Future meetings are to be held in the Cathodeon Centre with immediate effect. This will be reviewed later in the year.
The council were shown plans for the proposed lighting in the church yard. The council are in favour of the plans but have reservations about some safety aspects and have requested that these be addressed.
Two councillors, Mrs Read and Mr Birch, have resigned. Their places will now be filled by election or co-option.
Council rejected the plans put forward for the development on the old hostel site on Back Road despite pressure to get them passed to meet budgets.
Plans were rejected as the road access was in the wrong place, due to lack of cooperation with Granta Housing. Alternate plans have been drawn up to show the development can accommodate the objections.
Dr Val Urwin stood down as Chairman of the Parish Council after two years. Mrs E Bald has taken over as Chairman and Graham Potter as Vice Chairman. Most other Council officers remain the same.
The District Councillors gave an update in the government changes to official allowances for development density which is now 30 houses per hectare, with low cost housing included in developments of 15 or more houses. Enforcement orders on planning irregularities. are being increased
The audited accounts were received and agreed by the council.
THANK you to everyone who supported Linton & District Branch of Save The
Children during April. The History Tour raised £488 and £1,488,84 in Linton and
£166.95 in Hadstock from the house to house collection. Thanks to Garth Collard
for his knowledgeable and amusing account of the houses in Church Lane over the
centuries and to John and Madge Pelling who entertained everyone with readings
from 16th century writers.
There will be a Wine Tasting at the Mill House, Mill Lane, Linton at 8pm on Friday 13th June. Ticket price includes a buffet supper and a talk by wine expert, Peter Fowkes. Tickets from Felicity Wilson % 89175. The children's Teddy Bears Picnic is at 2.30-5pm on Saturday 21st June at the Red House, Hildersham - picnic tea, magician, face painting and lots more. Tickets from Jenny Logan
stepping out on the Hadstock Road
A RARE Amur (or Siberian) tiger cub, born at Linton Zoo on February 1st 2003,
has just started to venture outside with her proud mum Deja, herself born at
Leningrad Zoo. Anastasia can usually be seen exploring the outside
enclosure. This mischievous bundle of fun is keeping her mum on her toes and our
visitors entranced for hours.
The summer is always a good time to visit the zoo to see the new babies. In addition to the tiger cub, other zoo babies to look out for are a baby Sclater's lemur, eagle owlets and a cotton top-tamarin.
Linton Zoo is open daily, all year round and we have arranged a schedule of activities and events for the weekends and school holidays as part of our commitment to environmental education.
o Furry friends children's encounter: meet Flopsy our rabbit and her friend Fudge the guineapig. If you are thinking of having a pet rabbit or guinea-pig, here is a chance for you to ask our small animals keepers for care and husbandry advice.
o Tapir feed and keeper talk: meet our tapir family and find out all about these rainforest mammals.
o Owl encounter and barn owl conservation: meet Becky the Barn Owl.
o Snakes, bugs and little beasties: find out much more about some of our little creatures at this exciting interactive session with tarantula spiders, giant millipedes, giant land snails, stick insects, hissing cockroaches and Percy the royal python.
If you are planning a visit to see any of the above, please phone on the day itself to ensure the event you wish to attend will still be taking place % 891308. Our Quiz Trail is available every day, not just during school holidays.
TRICIA Lewis, the new president, welcomed members and visitors to the May
meeting which was very much a member's participation evening. Joan Pearman
informed us that the outing to Bletchley Park was full, with a waiting list.
Reports were then read out of visits by some members to the residential WI Denman College, a beautiful old house in Oxfordshire where there are numerous sets of buildings in the extensive grounds accommodating many ac-tivities and courses for members and husbands. Accounts of other enjoyable outings and meetings were read out by members.
Members then voted on three resolutions: Vocational Training, Care of Older People, and Children's Health. Our delegate will attend the AGM in London to cast the majority vote.
Refreshments were very welcome after so much discussion and we then played two very noisy games of Beetle. Judith Appleyard was the winner.
At the next meeting on June 3rd, David Cunningham will talk on ëLife Saving and First Aid in the Home'. Visitors most welcome. CMN
LOOK out for posters and fliers detailing the programme for this month's
Flower Festival weekend. This year the theme is ìCount your Blessingsî. The
church will be open to view the interpretation of this theme in flowers,
starting at 10am on Friday 6th June . At 7pm there will be a barbecue and barn
dance at the Infants' School. There is a full programme of events for the rest
of the weekend too. Please come and enjoy.
For further information please contact Judy Nightingale, Lesley Gore or Anne Parry-Smith.
The regal thing: Luke Plumb and Jamie Porter
TERRIBLE weather meant that the Linton Granta Playgroup and Toddler groups had their annual May Day celebration in the Playgroup room, not in the garden as planned. But the wet weather did not dampen the fun. The maypole was brought inside and the children, dressed up as May kings and queens, danced around it. There was a picnic lunch and games and prizes for the best-dressed king and queen in two age categories: Toddler May queen and king were Sophie Moss and Joseph Crump; Playgroup May queen and king were Jasmine Porter and Luke Plumb. Congratulations to all those who took part.
On Wednesday 25th June we will once again be having our Charity Walk, walking over the fields to Hildersham and back. We will be leaving the Infants' School playground at 6pm. Cost is just £1 per family, which is going to the Children's Hospice at Milton.
We are also collecting pennies for Riding for the Disabled, so please all come and join us ñ wet or fine.
I am writing to thank the many Linton folk who generously sponsored the trek to Nepal that my brother and I recently undertook. In total the two of us raised over £3,750 for The Leprosy Mission's hospital in Anandaban, Nepal, and we estimate that as a group we have raised around £60,000. I'm sure you will agree that this is a magnificent figure, and I would like to emphasise that none of the money raised was used to pay for the trek, the costs of which were all covered out of our own pockets.
The trek was a great success in every respect, despite both of us succumbing for a day or two to bad stomachs during the most strenuous part of the climb up to 9,000 feet. All of the trekkers (who ranged in age from 20 to 64!) completed the 50 miles along the Siklis trail through the Annapurna range of the Himalayas. Whilst being extremely basic in their facilities, the camp sites that we stayed in more than made up for this through their stunning locations.
Before we embarked on the trek, we spent a day being introduced to all aspects of the work at Anandaban Hospital. The activities include: sending preventative teams out into the community; a physiotherapy clinic; a reconstructive surgery theatre; a general medical out-patients facility; training for leprosy-afflicted patients in safer techniques for carrying out everyday activities such as gardening and cooking; conducting world-class research into the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of leprosy.
Your money will help to ensure that these activities will continue to be made available as a free service to the people of Nepal, so, once again, we thank you on their behalf.
I would like to express my sincere and grateful thanks for all the kind and comforting messages and letters I have received since the death of my dear sister Hetty.
With my failing eyesight she had been so very patient and caring with me during the last months of her life. I shall miss her dreadfully and I fear the future will be very empty and dull without her. I thank you all.
I understand from various articles in the local press that in the not too distant future our household waste collection system is to be changed drastically. The simple black plastic bags and green boxes are to be replaced by two, or perhaps three, large wheelie bins per household, one for domestic waste, one for garden waste and one for ???
Can anybody on the Parish Council tell me why the change is necessary? Is it to meet: some international agreement on waste disposal to which the UK has signed up? Or targets/legislation introduced by the European Community and now encumbent upon the UK? Or targets and/or impending legislation imposed by the UK government? Or is it the whim of some well intentioned but totally misguided bureaucrat at SCDC, who sees this as a route to improve the service and/or reduce costs?
I am totally in favour of good husbandry of our planet. Thus, I am happy to segregate household waste, newspapers, tins and glass for street collections and to take other items to the tip, as most people in the village appear to be.
I fail to see how the proposed changes offer any improvement over this system other than the reinstatement of garden waste collection (which could, of course, be handled with simple green plastic bags). I can however see serious problems in respect of storing large wheelie bins in small gardens, handling these in confined spaces (particularly by the elderly or infirm) and the potential of such bins to attract unwanted flies and vermin, particularly if left uncollected for two weeks in the summer.
Thus my second question - am I the only person in Linton who sees things this way? If so my apologies for wasting your time reading this and my promise to acknowledge the ìdemocraticî view of my fellow Lintonians. If not, perhaps it is time to lobby SCDC to rethink this scheme.
Mrs Bette Chapman of Chalklands would like to thank all the people that helped her when she fell in Back Road recently. She is now making a full recovery.
AMANDA Wayne and her partner moved to the village a year and a half ago and,
like the majority of us, they love it here. So, when they decided to get
married, they resolved to arrange the whole wedding using local Linton services.
They've managed very well. The whole wedding has been arranged with the help of
people and businesses in Linton, from the venue and marquee right through to the
flowers. There is just one vital ingredient missing.
If there is anybody in the village who is a dab hand at making and decorating wedding cakes please get in contact with Amanda on %892104 and help fulfil their challenge. But please be quick, the wedding is at the beginning of August! LNT
BEFORE they come down, Flaxfields is holding a Car Boot Sale on the site of
the garages that are to be demolished. Come and turn your unwanted goods into
cash, 10.30am-12.30pm, Saturday 5th July. Tables will be provided at a modest
Tea and coffee will be available in the Flaxfields Community Centre.
For details of prices and to reserve your pitch, contact Jacque Wilson Remember one person's rubbish is another person's treasure! Jacque Wilson
Linton Rainbows with their charitable cache of coins
TWO Guides have been chosen to represent Cambs East Guiding at the
international camp in August. Natalie Fletcher helps at 1st Linton Rainbows each
week. Rainbows is the youngest section of the Guiding movement. At Linton we
have ten girls aged 5 to 7.
Linton Rainbows wanted to help Natalie with her fund raising, so we decided to do this by practising our Guiding motto ëLend a Hand'. Each of the girls used their Easter holidays to do chores around the house in return for Coins for Camp. Staff at the Saffron Walden Herts and Essex Building Society made donations in return for homemade cakes. Exploiting the Footsteps to Freelife theme, we made a trail of our own footprints and we celebrated at a meeting in May when we had filled our footprints with the coins collected. We not only had great fun and helped others, we raised £45.87 for Natalie.
If you are able to make a donation, please contact Fiona Fletcher or Sue Filby on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Sue Filby
Club member Mike Clay under the tail of a VC-10
LINTON Camera Club members were greeted with a blue sky full of lots of
photogenic fluffy clouds for their May awayday at Duxford air museum. The day
started with an entertaining and helpful talk by Camera Club member Ron Pitkin
on the similarities and differences between photography and art, illustrated by
many of his own artistic pieces. After the talk, we went our separate ways to
point our lenses at whatever took our fancy.
Being the only woman in the club, I was determined to photograph something out of the ordinary that no one else would see, and I managed to gain special permission (with a borrowed reflective jacket) to go onto the runway and explore the world famous Memphis Belle bomber. I was given a guided tour of the inside and sat in the same cockpit seat that Harry Connick Jr occupied in the film, Memphis Belle. I felt very privileged being there, and realised how difficult it must have been getting about inside the small space, hard enough for me on the ground, but in flight and under fire it must have been terrifying.
Other members took a detailed photographic interest in the American pavilion, with its exhibits ranging from veterans to stealth bombers and the infamous B-52; the land warfare site; and the famous planes in the British hangar - including Concorde 001, the TSR2 bomber, and a mighty Vulcan. It gave a good opportunity to put into practice some of the ideas from Ron Pitkin’s art talk. Some members went home at lunchtime but others stayed to photograph demonstration runs of tanks, armoured cars and military vehicles during the afternoon. The next meeting (10am, June 8th) will combine some time at the Social Centre to show photographs from the last three awaydays and then a couple of hours at St Mary’s Church for the Flower Festival.
In July, the club will visit the Tudor reconstruction at Kentwell Hall: this is the event when partners are invited to join the day’s photography, followed by dinner in the evening. Everyone is welcome, whatever their photographic interest, medium or proficiency. Inquiries to John Keeble on 894948 or email email@example.com. The club always meets on the second Sunday of the month.
Tracey Wilson ready to roll in the famous Memphis Belle
THE staff, committee and parents of Linton Granta Playgroup and Toddlers
would like to invite prospective parents, children and anyone in the Community
who is interested in coming to their Open Day at 12.30-2.30pm on Friday June
20th at Linton Village College .
We have all been working hard to refurbish the Playgroup room, Toddler room and garden. We have raised the money to do this by various fund-raising events–quiz sheet, Cook Book, Christmas Fair–and from donations from the Village College and the Youth Club that also uses the building. We would like you to drop by, look at our Playgroup, chat to the staff and committee while enjoying a light refreshment in the purpose-built garden.
We look forward to seeing you on 20th June. All welcome.
THE Bartlow Benefit and Social Club are hosting a Midsummer Music Medley on
behalf of St Mary’s Church, Bartlow at 7.30 pm on Friday June 20th. In this
idyllic setting you will hear the church organ played as you have never heard it
before by David Boarder, with supporting soloists, flautist Frances Axford and
soprano Sarah Bugg. For details of prices and tickets, please phone Rebecca or
Refreshments will be provided and there will be a raffle. All proceeds will go towards the interior restoration and preservation of this unique church with its medieval wall paintings.
MICHAEL Macdonald’s guitar pupils and Henrique Meissner’s recorder students
will perform an informal concert on Friday 13th June at Linton Heights Junior
School, Wheatsheaf Way, Linton.
The programme includes solo and ensemble pieces by Bach, Handel, Bonsor and Extreme. The concert will begin at 7.30pm. Entry is free and there will be a retiring collection to cover the costs of the evening
SUPPORT for the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, founded in Linton, stretches far and wide.
Recently, Mr and Mrs Williams of Madeira asked friends and family to donate to the Trust instead of giving them 40th wedding anniversary presents. Their generous gesture raised a wonderful £222.50.
You too can help by attending a Coffee Morning and Bring & Buy sale, which is being held from 10.30am to 12 noon on Thursday 26th June at the home of Joan Pollock, 2 Kenwood Gardens, Linton.
There will be a small entrance fee to cover the cost of coffee and biscuits.
Joan D Pollock
CHALKLANDS Residents Association is actively working towards improving the visual aspect of their estate. Last autumn residents planted over 6,000 bulbs resulting in a beautiful display this spring. Residents have very much appreciated the many compliments that have been made about the bulbs from other Linton residents.
Chalklands is now raising money for a more ambitious project. An arts feature sited at the entrance to Chalklands would further enhance the estate and add to the beauty of the village. Residents are currently raising money to redesign the steps, railing and lamp that lead up the bank to the bungalows, and to finance a stone carved Chalklands sign.
The residents have been very encouraged by the support of Linton Parish
Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council. A grant has been received
from SCDC Arts Development Unit and donations have been received from the Dog &
Duck public house, The Village Pharmacy, Gary Hall Insurance, Linton Paving
Company, The Darryl Nantais Gallery and Sweet Talk News.
The next fund-raising event will be a Table Top Sale from 10 am to 12 .30 pm at the Linton Social Centre in Coles Lane on Saturday 7th June . Admission is free. To book a stall and for details of prices contact Cherry. Lots of interesting bits of bric-a-brac have already been donated. Further donations of items and raffle prizes would be much appreciated.
LINTON Infants School will be holding its Midsummer Fair in the school
grounds from 2.30pm to 5pm on Saturday 21st June. The children have been
practising hard and the fair will be opened with the reception classes
performing a country dance, followed later in the afternoon by Year 1 children
dancing round the maypole.
It is guaranteed to be loads of fun for all the family. This year the attractions include; face painting, a pocket money stall, lucky dip, toy stall, coconut shy, beat the buzzer, the train game, crockery smashing, various guessing games, splat the rat, tug of war, beat the goalie, wellie throwing, tombola and the wine game.
As usual there will be a bar, barbecue and refreshments along with the raffle prize draw. Year 2 children will close the fair with some medieval dancing. The summer starts here.
THE Mobile Warden Scheme and The Social Club have a new name - Activities and
Care for the Elderly - ACE!
This is the name chosen as the ìumbrellaî title of the scheme covering two aspects of village life for older people; the change was requested as part of our bid for charity status.
The Mobile Warden Scheme, which provides support similar to that in a sheltered housing scheme, is one arm.
The Social Club, which organises activities to help people meet and widen their range of friends, is the second arm. Together they are ACE.
There was a "Soup and Rolls" lunch on 16th May, when Mike Petty gave an illustrated talk on ìDisappearing Cambridgeshireî. The poor weather reduced our numbers - which meant we could have second helpings - but those put off by the weather missed a very amusing and informative talk.Mike showed how many buildings and historic sites we have lost. More interestingly we saw how living conditions and ways of life have changed; those picturesque cottages have not always been so coveted. Villagers had little comfort under the thatching and lived in the semi-dark, cooking on open fires with draughts and children vying for space.
Other slides showed crafts that are now rare, such as wheel making and ploughing with horses. One elicited the cry of ìThat's my Uncle Bill!î ñ Mrs Kenyon had never seen that photo before, so another book sale for Mike!
Our next ACE social event is a coach trip to Hyde Hall on Thursday 3rd July. We will be leaving the Social Centre at 1 o'clock. Call Gill on %891001, Margaret on 891231 or Enid on %891069 to book places. It is an RHS garden, so if you are a member, please bring your membership card with you.
Is this a record? The first mention of Christmas so far this year! (Groan…) Are there any takers for a Christmas visit to Thurston? We will subsidise the coach, but there will be a charge for this one; more details later.
Anyone for Footy? Brian Hale celebrates 10 years in Bartlow Road
BRIAN Hale and Pam Jacobs, owners of Hale & Jacobs Newsagents in Bartlow Road, are currently celebrating 10 years of living and working in the village so the Linton News went along to find out why they decided to set up shop in Linton all those years ago.
"We liked Linton a lot" said Brian, ìit seemed a very friendly village. Things have changed a lot since we first started. We have a much bigger range in the shop and many more paper rounds than we used to when we first opened but Linton is still a very friendly place. Many of our customers have become our friends now!î
Hayle & Jacobs deliver newspapers throughout Linton, as well as in Bartlow, Hildersham and Hadstock. In addition to a full range of newspapers and magazines they stock pocket money toys, children's books, and even helium balloons. Right now they have an extensive range of Father's Day cards as well - remember, Father's Day is on Sunday 15th this month!
Congratulations Hale & Jacobs on a successful 10 years. Here's to another decade.
Brian and Pat would like to thank all their staff and the many paper girls and boys for their help over the years LNT
THE Church Warden of Little Chishill is opening his garden at Little Chishill
Manor to the public at 2-6 pm on Sunday 22nd June in aid of St Nicholas Church,
Join us and you will be able to while away the afternoon, listening to music performed by the Reavey Brothers Jazz Trio, while feasting on home made teas and brousing stalls in this beautiful garden set in the heart of a wooded valley.
Little Chishill Manor is situated off the B1309 Royston to Saffron Walden Road, between Barley and Great Chishill.
THIS year's Hadstock Village Fête is on Saturday 14th June, the nearest
Saturday to St. Botolph's Day, which is when the village traditionally held a
fair in medieval times. Events take place on the beautiful village green and in
the shadow of St. Botolph's church. The fête continues to grow each year,
attracting visitors from far and wide. Last year over £5,000 was raised for
village hall and church maintenance.
This year there will be a classic car show and biplane aerobatics display as well as colourful stalls and sideshows. There will be pony rides, tombolas, games, refreshments and much more. Hadstock Silver Band will provide musical entertainment and the King's Head will be open all day.
The fête starts at 2pm, so do come and join us and enjoy yourselves. See you there.
AT the next Friends of LVC meeting we will finalise future events, including
a Summer wine tasting evening on 28th June, and a disco, to be held early in the
Autumn term. This is the first event in the school year and provides an
opportunity to welcome ìnewî parents as well as giving everyone a chance to
enjoy themselves and have a dance
DO any of you fathers (or mothers for that matter) long with nostalgia for
your old toys or for the ones your children won't let you use? Well, the Linton
Scouts ëToy Day' from 2-6 pm on Saturday 14th June could be just what you need.
For a small fee to boost our group funds ahead of summer camps we are offering you and your children a chance to try your hand at driving remote controlled cars and Scalextric racing, crossbow shooting, air hockey, Playstation challenge and others. There will be a bar, barbecue and tombola stall.
The Linton Scout Group continues to be one of the largest in the district with the Beaver and Cub sections at full strength and a long waiting list.
We are still short of leaders and will be losing a Cub leader soon which will endanger the future of this section. If any one of any age, with or without experience, would like to try this rewarding challenge we can offer full support and training.
Please phone Barry Holman or Douglas Taylor or talk to us at the Toy Day.
THE winners of May's K-Club monthly draw:
1st (£50) Mrs Joy O'Brien (No. 098); 2nd (£25) Mrs G. Thomas (No. 405); 3rd (£10) Mr John Shambrook (No. 119)
SOMETIMES things really do come in bursts and the last few weeks have proved
the point. Firstly, I received a telephone call from the DfES telling me that
the College has been awarded Beacon School Status again, as a result of the work
it has done over the last three years in helping other schools to improve. This
was very pleasing and brings substantial extra funds into our overstretched
budget. Shortly after this I received a letter from Education Minister David
Milliband congratulating the College on achieving a national award for
excellence based on examination results at 14 and 16 over the last three years.
This also came with a sum of money, this time to be shared among all staff as a
bonus. Then came a message from one of the country’s largest unions, Amicus,
saying that its new Chief Executive would like to visit us to see how we our
developing our plans for specialist status as a Business and Enterprise College.
In its old guise as the AEEU the union had been a prospective sponsor so you
never know! Just to keep on the roll, we then heard from the Home Office that
the Minister for Rural Affairs, Alun Michael, wanted to spend some time at the
College to see how we worked with those young people who sometimes fall through
the education and training net and therefore do not achieve all they could in
life. This involved discussions about the new Connexions service for which the
College has been a pilot and a visit to Linton Action for Youth and the Drop In
Centre to talk to some young people. Mr Michael seemed pleased with what he saw
and has since emailed his appreciation.
At about the time this comes through your door the fifth event will be taking place. No less than the South African High Commissioner, Her Excellency Ms Lindiwe Mabuza is visiting the College, having heard about our links with Boepathutse School in Soshanguve and the fantastic efforts of Luke McKenna (aged 14) who has personally raised thousands of pounds for our partner school. As well as touring the College and meeting Luke and his family, the High Commissioner will present Luke with the Diana, Princess of Wales Award for his outstanding contribution to the school/community at a special assembly.
The next news we expect to hear from government will be the outcome of our Business and Enterprise bid and we should hear this by the middle of June. Needless to say, our fingers are well and truly crossed.
Clive Bush, Principal
WARM weather again contributed to the success of the Gardening Club’s plant
and produce sale on 10th May so a good sum was raised which will help towards
the cost of the annual show. Visitors were able to enjoy refreshments in the sun
in John and Susan Anderson’s beautiful garden while the selling went on apace
around the garage. A big thank you to them as well as to the donors of goods,
the helpers and the buyers.
The show is on 12th July in the Social Centre and schedules are available from Alex Todd, % 892979, or Susan Anderson % 891623. For those who wish to enter the photographic section, the categories are: flower(s) on a single stem, historic Cambridge, reflections, a holiday scene and ‘my garden’. Adults will be limited to four photos per category. The children’s subjects are your holiday or your pets.
There are still vacant places on the coach trip to Peter Beales’ rose garden and Wyken Hall on 28th June. We would welcome non-members. Please contact Bruce Conochie for the ticket price and further information
Finally, we would like to thank all those who display advertising posters of the Club’s events at their homes or business premises. They definitely do bring us new members and visitors whom we are always pleased to welcome.
Illustrated by Maureen Williams
ON May 10th I awoke to the warning sound of a fearful blackbird. This
guardian of the peace, turdus merula, sworn enemy of the poacher and cat and
famed for being drunk and disorderly on fermenting apples in Linton, is the
catalyst for this month’s diary. Looking out of my window I saw nervous tits,
squirrels and other arboreal inhabitants flitting amongst the light, yet lush
green leaves of spring. There, fifteen feet high in an Italian poplar was the
black and white reason for all the commotion. Unable to control his instincts to
kill, Sparky finally left his favourite observatory and arrived home with a gift
of minced frog, but after all, it was my birthday. Entre nous it must be the
French in me that found the little croaked anthropoid less repulsive than if it
were a bird. What a waste of tender legs! Incidentally, for those unaccustomed
to French country cuisine, frog legs normally taste a little like chicken,
especially those chickens fed on dried fish.
My garden pond this year is practically overrun with newts and frogs. They have divided their watery world between them, newts to the left, frogs to the right. Whatever the reason for this might be, I have for sometime been considering adding fish to the aquatic equation. So, off I went to do some research on the effects of this action. I was told by an enthusiastic aquatic technician to net the current inhabitants of the pond and release them to the wild. I could then happily introduce some fish he, "just ‘appen to ‘av’ fo’ sale".
Alternatively, he continued, I could wait until the frog-breeding season is over. You see, it turns out that frogs are not particular about mating partners and consequently the fish too become the focus of their amorous intentions. Now this may seem harmless enough, but the hug of a frog in spring is intense and enduring which, may be very nice for Mrs Frog but to a fish it can prove fatal. The reason for this is the frog’s limbs can and often do wrap around the gills causing the fish to drown.
An observant and diligent gentleman of our village pointed out something I thought I had imagined; the return of the beloved thrush. Where they are nesting this year eludes me, however. Perching birds such as the song thrush are known as passerines and make excellent cup shaped nests. These are usually constructed of an outer framework of twigs wedged into a bush or tree fork. Smaller pieces are then woven into the main frame until a cup is formed in the centre. This is then lined with much softer material, one presumes for comfort and insulation. The design appears to have the benefits of preventing the eggs and young from rolling out, but one wonders why so few birds bother to build a roof?
The full moon over Linton on May 16th was dioramic. Three silhouetted mallard ducks swooped through the scene and I was almost inspired to cast them in plaster of Paris to hang on my outside wall, but according to tree folklore we are in for a good deal of rain over the next few weeks.
A keen observer will notice a temporary change in the colour of the trees. In the light breezes this change from rich to pastel green is caused by seeing the underside of the leaves. Surprisingly, this has little to do with wing strength or wind direction, but occurs because of the softening of the leaf stalks by increased moisture, most obvious on trees such as Sparky’s poplar.
Our next full moon is on June 14th. Until next month, look up!