April 2000 Edition of the Linton News    Next   

This is the very first issue of The Linton News to be published on the web www.lintonnews.com we have now moved to www.linton.info and expanded

Articles:- School Security,   Barclays Bank,   Post Office,   Shops Robbery,   Parish Council Report,   High Street,   Traffic,   Music Society,   Arts Jazz Concert,   WI President,   Aztecs   Diana Award Bowlers,   Easter Fun at Sports CentreAdmirable Vintage,   Pocket Park   Cabaret JazzCricket: I Love It,   Rosalie Swannell,   LA4Y Prizes Needed,   College-Minibus,   K-Club Winners,   Bush Telegraph,   Gardeners Utopia,   Country Diary,   Youth OnLine,   PlayGroup,    Fund Raising,    Walking in Linton

LETTERS Barclays,   Children Suffering,   Car Menace,   Hillway Friends,   Water Bills,   Daffodils,  


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A PLANNING Application has been withdrawn for security gates and fencing at the Infants School, following the discovery that a public highway would be blocked by the scheme.
The head teacher, Heather Greenhalgh, planning officials, representatives from the parish and county councils, the local education authority, environmental, health and safety officers, the emergency services and conservationists all worked for months to devise a simple, cost-effective solution to the urgent question of the school's security. Then came the blow about the public highway.
So is this back to square one for Miss Greenhalgh, who is under "incredible pressure" from parents to solve the security problem at the school?
Involved in the new attempts to find a solution within the means of the school's budget are the highways commission, the district council, LEA property management and the Diocese of Ely.
Meanwhile, the problems of trespass and vandalism on the school grounds are worsening as the weather gets warmer and evenings grow longer.
At night the school premises are the haunt of under-age drinkers, while the playground becomes a rendezvous and race track for cars and motorbikes. The school caretaker has to work extra time to deal with the rubbish-strewn premises.
A typical morning's clearing up in the playground yields broken bottles, used condoms and bloody tissues.
The school swimming pool has been vandalised and debris dumped in it so often that the LEA has refused to pay for any further repairs. The village's infants could find that they have no swimming this summer.
Worryingly, the police seem unable to address the problem. "The police keep a record of incidents and number plates reported but they are clearly overstretched," Miss Greenhalgh acknowledges. "Without evidence of the culprits there's little they can do."
Things took a menacing turn recently when a member of staff was verbally threatened by a motorcyclist she challenged in the school grounds.
"We aim to work with the community, so that people can use access to the car park and church easily," says Miss Greenhalgh. "We don't want the school to look like a prison. But I am responsible for the safety of children and staff in school and for the premises at night."
The school has been able to use £1,000 granted towards the cost of the ill-fated fencing to fund alternative security measures, which look set to deal with some of the most immediate problems.
However, a permanent solution to the school's security nightmares still seems a long way off.
Linton News Team

BARCLAYs BANK            Top

WHETHER you bank with Barclays or not, the planned closure of the branch in Linton will have a big impact on village life. Not only is it going to present difficulties particularly for the older members of the community but local businesses are going to have to travel elsewhere to conduct their business, and potential customers are not going to have ready access to cash. This will not be good for local trade. There will be an increase in the number of journeys people will have to make out of the village and the status of Linton will be reduced.
Do you wish to protest at the closure plans in a way which will have some impact on Barclays executives?
If you have access to email or you know someone who has, you can contact Barclays directors at the following addresses:
Group Chief Executive: matthew.barrett@barclays.co.uk ; Chief Executive Retail Financial Services: john.varley@barclays.co.uk ; Director of Strategic Planning: gary.dibb@barclays.co.uk    Director of Human Resources sally.bott@barclays.co.uk.
Other internet addresses can be found by going to Barclays web site - http://www.barclays.co.uk/. In your protest emails, you only have to say that you are supporting the campaign to keep Barclays' Linton branch open. You can also encourage your email contacts to help the campaign and, with their support, we might influence Barclays' future actions.
If you would like further information, or you can give help in this campaign, contact me on the phone number below.
There are only a few days to the closure date but every bit of support will help. All the above persons can also be contacted at: PO Box 544, 54 Lombard Street, London, EC3P 3AH
Mike Crofts
Linton News Team

POST OFFICE          Top

FOLLOWING the recent petition which was signed by 800 people, I thought it would be useful to clarify the situation regarding the Post Office.
It is unlikely that Linton Post Office will close, but we cannot be complacent, so we urge our customers to resist pressure from the DSS to have their pensions and allowances paid into the bank.
With the forthcoming closure of Barclays Bank, I would like to make you aware that personal banking facilities are available at the Post Office with Alliance & Leicester, Giro, Lloyds TSB and the Co-operative Bank. If you would like details, I would be happy to talk to you, or you may pick up a leaflet in the Post Office.
Anne Willers


VILLAGE shops and businesses have set up a "bandit alert" system and increased their security after a number have been hit by groups of thieves of east European appearance.
Goods and cash - worth "thousands and thousands and thousands" of pounds according to police - have been stolen throughout the Cambridgeshire police area since early December and local victims include Linton shops, the Pear Tree public house at Hildersham, and the Post Office at Castle Camps.
"There have been so many incidents that this has now become our top priority," a police spokeswoman said. "We have got to get them as quickly as possible."
Police are appealing for immediate calls from anyone who sees any group that arouses suspicions: dial 999 or call the CID at Parkside police station on 01223 358966.
Staff and owners in Linton shops have felt threatened and at risk when the groups have been present. At least two have got customers to stay with them.
They appear to be operating in two groups (or possibly one group which splits up to hit different targets): three men who try to buy some very small item and pay with a £50 note; and 12 to 14 men, women and children who swamp the premises to distract owners and staff, sometimes by staging mock fights, while cash and goods are stolen.
One Linton business, whose owner spoke on the condition of not being identified, said stock worth £1,000 had been stolen by a group of three men.
One of the first local businesses to be hit was the Pear Tree. A group of about seven men and women went into the pub when Diane Jamieson, who owns it with her husband David, was alone in the bar. Two men distracted her while others, who had been sitting out of sight, went through the kitchen and up to the Jamieson's bedroom - and stole cash and all Mrs Jamieson's jewellery.
"We lost quite a lot and we found that our insurance policy did not cover our losses because the policy had a clause that said it would pay out only when entry was forced," said Mrs Jamieson.
The group's activities increased in the following months. In the week that the Castle Camps Post Office was raided, Linton was also visited three times. People affected are linking the raids with the problems experienced in other parts of the country with asylum seekers.
Sweet Talk News in Linton High Street was visited on 21st March, the same day as the Castle Camps PO theft. Julia Westlake, who owns the shop with her husband, was - unusually - the only one in the shop when the group entered.
"I had my head down and when I looked up they were suddenly there, about 12 men and women, filling up the shop and going in all directions," she said
Julia is extremely grateful to customers who realised how nervous she was and remained with her while the group were in the shop. "I felt much safer having someone else there. The people did their best to move me from the till, asking in broken English about things in the window and for advice about things in the shop."
Both Julia and the customer refused to be budged. But while their attention was diverted, some of them slipped up to the video library above the shop.
"They weren't aggressive - there were just so many of them. They bought a few things, mostly sweets and cheap cigars, but as far as we can tell little was stolen. I didn't even realise that they had been upstairs. One of my customers told me after they had gone."
Some shop people complained that the police were "not interested" when they called. One was told by police that nothing could be done because they had not accepted the £50 note which they had suspected of being fake.
But the police countered - commenting of the response throughout the whole region - that people were leaving it too long before they reported incidents and were not sufficiently precise in giving details.

Parish Council report           Top

The main meeting started with a momentís silence in memory of Mrs R Swanell who had died earlier that week. She had been a long-standing member of the Council until she stood down at the last election.
Two topics were discussed in great detail, taking up most of the council meeting. They were Barclays Bank and the public traffic meeting.
Mr M Crofts, speaking in the public participation part of the meeting, gave an account of the steps he had taken with reference to the planned closure of Barclays Bank. He suggested emailing protests to tim.archer@barclays.co.uk and expressed his concerns about the effect the closure of the branch would have on the people of the village, especially elderly residents who rely on the bank to pay their bills and get their cash for other needs.
It was reported that the traffic public meeting and the traffic committeeís discussions were being reported to the County Council for comment.
There was no report from the police.
Dr T Bear, the County Councilor, reported that the Government was announcing the number of homes to be built in England. The District Councilor wanted confirmation that the Parish Council supported having homes for the homeless scattered rather than in a block, as a way of making them feel part of the community.
The Council elected Mr J Linsdell to represent its interests at the Football Club.
The Venture playground equipment is to be looked at with a view to making replacements if any are needed; the bark cannot be replenished yet as the ground is too soft for lorries.
The date of the Annual Parish meeting is now 8pm Tuesday 9th May at the Social Centre.

HIGH STREET          Top

THE people of Linton are in agreement that something must be done about the problems in the High Street.
The public meeting last month chaired by Mike Gee, Chairman of the Parish Council, and attended by County Councillor Terry Bear, yielded lively discussion and some new ideas. The meeting was well attended by the public, but few of the villageís younger residents were present.
Pedestrians, motorists and cyclists let off steam with their particular complaints against each other, but by the end of the meeting there was general accord that a solution could be found through a willingness to accept change and compromise.
This was indicated by the majorityís show of hands in favour of the two main suggestions: a one-way system or the partial closure of the High Street to through-traffic.
What a pity then that it had been pointed out by Dr Bear at the start of the meeting that any improvements apart from the repair of kerbstones are a long way off.
The prevailing mood of optimism and zeal showed how passionately residents feel about Linton, but knowing that most of the debate was just a hypothetical discussion made one question the point of the meeting. Such genuine enthusiasm for solving the problems deserves a positive reaction from national and local government. After all, it is our money which they collect to allocate for the good of the community.
Linton needs some action now if it is to remain a viable village in the 21st century. We all know it makes sense!
Gloria Fidler

Editorís note: Gloria Fidler, although a member of the Linton News team, is writing as an individual. The Linton News does not have a position on this controversial issue and freely opens its pages to all sides in the discussion.

TRAFFIC          Top

COUNTY Highways are to be asked a series of searching questions concerning traffic safety in Linton by the Parish Council. Recommendations by the Traffic Sub-Committee following the well-attended public meeting on 9th March were accepted with very few alterations at last weekís Council meeting.
The recommendations range from suggestions to halt the deterioration of kerbs in the High Street to an outright one-way system and new roundabout at the Bartlow Road junction with the A1307. Highways are being requested to quantify, cost out and assess the advantages and disadvantages of the 10 recommendations as soon as possible.
Mike Gee, the Parish chairman, explained: ìSome of the suggestions, such as strengthening of the kerbs and the 20mph limit, as well as restrictions of HGV vehicles, could be put in place very quickly.
A one-way system and the Bartlow Road roundabout would have to be much longer term because of the costs involved. But we believe, if they are viable, then something could be done within two years.î Mike Gee


THE recent Music Society concert provided by singers from the Welsh Opera School was another great success, warmly received and enjoyed by all.
The Capriccio Quartet will be our next performers. They form a dynamic new ensemble already having worldwide experience, and have worked with the Julliard, Amadeus and Chilingvian quartets.
Their recital will consist of three beautiful quartets from the classical era, by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
The concert will be held at Linton Parish Church on Saturday 8th April, commencing at 8pm.
Members and non-members alike are welcome, and tickets will be available at the door..


Dear Editor
In reply to your front page news in the March issue, that Barclays Bank is closing without consulting its customers, I feel I should write to say: Just who do they think they are?
Banks do not have any money of their own. All the money they work with belongs to us, their customers, and they pay us a pittance in interest.
At the same time they lend our money to big businesses for high gain. So how come they think they can take our bank away without so much as asking, and with only a monthís notice? I thought the idea was that the larger branches subsidised the smaller sub-branches, but obviously the powers that be are just interested in profits, not customer relations.
I am lucky that I can use the branch at Addenbrookeís hospital, but I really feel sorry for people who have trouble getting out of the village. Time to start using the Post Office, I think, before they think of closing that down too!


SAINSBURYíS humanitarian gesture in response to the Mozambique Floods Appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee (of which Save The Children is one of 12 members) enabled members and friends of Linton and district SCF branch to collect on behalf of the Committee at Haverhill Sainsburyís on 4th and 5th March. The collection raised £1,863.70.
Grateful thanks to Sainsburyís, collectors and donors, whose great generosity shows that compassion fatigue has been overcome in our area!
Save The Children will be collecting from house to house during the week of 30th April to 6th May in aid of its own on-going campaign to save children from violence in 70 countries, including the UK.
The week of fund-raising will be focusing on those 20million young people forced from their homes by wars in Kosovo, Angola, Mozambique, Colombia, to name but four of the many countries in which these most vulnerable children have been displaced.
There is no space here to give details about SCFís varied work but readers can visit the SCFís website at: www.savethechildren.org.uk ñ and we hope you will be inspired to give generous support to our collectors.


Dear Editor,
We moved into our High Street house while repairs were being made to the pavements last summer. For us the one-way system was the norm, although we knew it was only temporary. We certainly noticed a sad difference when the system came to an end.
Within minutes of the plastic bollards being removed at the end of the road repairs, traffic past our house increased enormously. What we did not see was any difference in speeding. Cars and buses frequently speed past our house, usually at night but also at other times when the High Street is relatively quiet.
There are a number of residents and late-night visitors to Linton who treat the Health Centre car park and the Infants School playground as social centres and territory for car chases and ambushes. While this continues the High Street will be a focus for antisocial activity until there is either a serious accident, a serious response from the police, some proper security at the school, or (to be completely cynical) these young drivers get bored and go elsewhere.


Dear Editor
A Hillway and Friends reunion was held at Linton Social Centre on Saturday 26th February.

A small charge was made for admission, which included live music, buffet and bar.
After everything was deducted we were left with £80, which we have decided to donate to the Evergreen Club.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the food and to everyone who attended. We hope you all had an enjoyable evening.


Dear Editor
Anglian Water Authority is trying to charge us for surface water that runs into the sewerage pipes from our gardens and premises.
I found out from SCDC that most of our surface water runs into soakaways. I have contacted Anglian Water, who have told me that anyone in the same position as myself should phone them and they will send a form for claiming the money back. The phone number is 0800 169 3271.


Dear Editor
Through your newspaper I should like to thank the people of Hildersham for the colourful spring display at the entry to their village from the A1307.
At first sight it is easy to ask oneself, could Linton offer something similar: until, that is, one remembers the difficulties, sadly sometimes leading to fatal accidents, that motorists already experience at the junctions Linton has with that road.
Linton already has its own very attractive walks and corners, and with these in mind, I should also like to thank those who have been or are involved in the tree planting schemes.


NOVEMBER saw the first function organised by the Linton Arts Forum, and there was a letter in the December edition of the Linton News praising the high standard of the performance, and wishing for more. Sadly we are dependent on the subsidy from Arts in Cambridgeshire on Tour to promote such events, and hence performances are spread evenly throughout the district.
There will be another event in Linton in the summer, this time a jazz concert, but in the meantime do look for the ACT brochure in the library and see if there is anything else in the programme that appeals to you ñ they will all be excellent.
However, Linton Arts Forum has been working on another front to add to the artistic opportunities available in the village, and an application to the Millennium Fund ñ Awards for All ñ has resulted in the maximum (small) grant of £5,000 for a village sculpture project. The idea of sculptures in Linton to mark the millennium arose out of discussions with members of the PTAs of each of the Linton schools. The scheme gained the support of the Parish Council, once it had established that no other organisation in the village had plans to celebrate the event, which required help or assistance from the fund.


AT the outset of our March meeting the death was announced of Mrs Rosalie Swannell, who became President of Linton WI in January 1944 when the branch was formed, and served in that capacity for some 20 years.
Speaker for the evening, Mrs Jean Lawrence, related the independence she has enjoyed since being allocated a hearing dog for the deaf. Originally a rescue dog, Scampy ñ a little dog of the Heinz variety ñ alerts his owner to the door bell, door knocker, telephone, smoke alarm, intruder alarm, cooker timer, alarm clock and even the fax machine by placing his paw on her. Also alert to the camera, Scampy readily poses for photographs and, as a result, has appeared on magazine covers and even a poster displayed on the London Underground.
Hearing Dogs for the Deaf was formed in 1982 and has so far trained and placed 621 dogs ñ 70% from rescue centres and the remainder unwanted puppies. Thus, not only has a deaf person received a wonderful aid, but an unwanted dog has been given a life. Mrs Lawrence was presented with a cheque for the charity.
A collection was made for the Association of Country Women Worldwide ñ the WIís organisation to assist women of the third world.
Four members recently attended weekend courses at Denman College, and Elfrida Youngman and Val Spencer spoke of the enjoyment they derived from their courses.
A coach visit on 21st June to Lowestoft with a coffee stop at Beccles Dried Flower Centre was announced. There will be room on the coach for non-members. Anyone interested should telephone


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If you think Manchester united is a big football club you would be right, but you should also know that Linton is home to one of the largest football clubs in Cambridgeshire.
Aztecs junior football club started 26 years ago as Abingdon Aztec's. It now has 18 teams with players aged from five to 18, and although football is traditionally a male preserve, we have two girls’ teams in our line up. Altogether there are just over 300 players from Linton and the surrounding villages playing regularly for the Aztecs.
Whilst we do not have a stadium of light (yet), our home grounds at Linton Village College and Abington are the stage for some very exciting football on Saturdays and Sundays. Our teams play in the Cambs. FA Mini Soccer (under-8s to under-10s) and in the Colts league from 11 upwards, and our highly successful men’s team is currently topping the Alliance league.
Mini soccer, in which boys and girls can play in the same teams, has seen a huge boost in the number of players and is growing fast. Mini soccer started about six years ago and is played non-competitively. However, this does not mean that it is played without serious competitive spirit from the players. The teams build from five-a-side and move to six- and eight- a-side, as they get older. At the moment we have eight mini soccer sides, with more than 20 six- and seven-years-olds in training to enter the league next September. The Colts teams are full 11-a-side teams and we have at least one team per age.
It has always been the aim of Aztecs to be a sporting club and give everyone a chance to play. In practise this is great for all the children although it does mean that our trophy cabinet is not always full.
It takes a mammoth effort to run a club the size of Aztecs. It takes up almost all the spare time of our hard working chairman Barry Brewer. We must abide by all the many rules of the Cambs. FA and fines are imposed for even minor offences, such as failing to hand in a score card on time, so our managers and club secretary are kept on their toes. Graham Clarke, our fixtures secretary, is an avid weather watcher. Rearranging matches which have to be called off is a living nightmare for him.
Although the players’ match fees are only £1.00 per game and training fees 50p per hour, over the year this soon mounts up and the overall turnover of the club exceeds £20,000, of which Will Davey accounts (very successfully) for every penny.
Each team manager also has to put in a lot of work in training and on match days, plus regular first aid training and many are now attending FA coaching courses as well. Without their tireless efforts the children would not get to play.
As a totally voluntary organisation we rely heavily upon local support and fund-raising. Most of the team shirts carry the names of local businesses, although we do have one American company which kindly sponsors a team. Each year our fund-raising committee, chaired by Peter Belsom, stages a number of very enjoyable events including dances, quizzes and – the main event – our Fun Day Soccer Tournament to be held this year on 3rd September, a great day out for the whole family.
We have just received a grant from the Millennium Awards that has allowed us to buy and kit out a proper storage facility, which has been constructed over the past few weeks. We thank all those who have given up their Saturday mornings and put in so much hard work. We have also had a grant from the Parish council, which has enabled us to buy some new goalposts for training.
Some of our teams may have places available and we would be very glad to hear from anyone who wants to play or help us. If there are enough ladies interested in playing women’s soccer, which is becoming extremely popular, we would be happy to form a women’s team. We are also planning to continue training Year 1 children, as we did last year. For this we need players and a manager. So if you are a footballing lady, have a child who wants to play, or if you would be interested in managing a Year 1 group, please call the Publicity Officer,).


LINTON Village College is delighted to announce that one of our pupils has been chosen to receive one of the first Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Awards for Young People for his outstanding contribution to the community.
Ashley has been chosen for the Award because of his commitment and work to raise money for the charity COPARS, a charity supporting families who have children with cancer. Ashley’s brother, Tristan, died of cancer in 1992.
The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award for Young People was set up in October 1999 to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions made by many secondary school students to their communities. The Award is given to those students nominated by their schools for improving the life of others. Colin Thomas


The annual general meeting of the bowls club was held on 16th march. The President reported that 1999 was a good year. After promotion to the 2nd Division of the Steeple Bumpstead League in the previous year, we came third out of 20 teams. The highlight of the club’s year was the millennium match played against the Steeple Bumpstead League on 9th January 2000. He thanked all officers of the club for their continued efforts, especially the catering ladies, and all the other members for their continued loyalty. He ended by asking for a minutes’ silence in memory of departed members, especially remembering Ann Charter, our first Ladies’ Captain.
The Captain requested members to read the team notices frequently, to report inability to play in good time, and not all to go on leave at the same time in August. The ‘Friendlies’ Captain reported that of 19 matches played, we won 11 and lost eight.
The Treasurer reported a decrease of £200 in income because of reduced membership, and an increase of £200 in expenditure, mainly because of increased carpet maintenance. Nevertheless, the club has a healthy bank balance.
Frank Bunn reported that there are now sufficient volunteers to run a two shift green maintenance scheme. £400 was spent on green maintenance, which will be a recurring charge.
Wednesday Drives begin on 29th March, weather permitting, and Membership Night is at 6-8.30pm on 26th April.


THERE will be a range of children’s activities at Linton Community Sports Centre during the Easter break.
There will be coaching activities and fun clubs, during the morning (10am-1pm) or for the whole day (10am-3pm). For the first time there will be trips to Gosling Dry Ski Slope and Rollerbury.


GRANTA Grapevine, the talking newspaper for the Linton area, has just celebrated its tenth anniversary.
Fifteen copies of the first tape, giving access to the news for sight-impaired local people, were sent out on 1st March 1990.
The Grapevine is still going strong, and new listeners would be welcome.


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The South Cambridgeshire Pond Survey noted the disappearance of many ponds. But Brian Cox has good news for Linton The Pond in Leadwell Meadows (otherwise known as Pocket Park) is not a natural pond but one that was excavated in 1989 to add an additional feature to which, it was hoped, typical wildlife and flora would be attracted. Well, the pond has been established just over 10 years now and it certainly has been a success in terms of the variety of wildlife it now supports.
About the time that this article appears the pond will be found to contain large numbers of amorous frogs and their gelatinous masses of spawn, together with the occasional smooth newt and toad (the toad spawn can be identified very easily as it appears as strings of eggs). Soon after it was excavated the pond was found to contain a water lily with large leaves and pink flowers, and a terrapin - both definitely not the result of natural colonisation! The terrapin was soon joined by a smaller companion, but neither has been seen recently, so maybe our weather was too cool for them.
The rushes soon colonised the pond and need active management since they increasingly encroach across the pond basin and have to be removed, otherwise there would soon be no open water left. The naturally seeded willows also need controlling.
The pond contains some fish, including sticklebacks, which probably invaded the pond when the meadows were waterlogged, as the pond has been dug in the line of a drainage ditch which enters the river down by the mill.
There have been suggestions that the pond should be enlarged and this is a possibility for the future. At present the pond is too small to support nesting waterfowl, and enlargement would encourage them. After a decade the pond has been accepted almost as a natural feature by villagers and pond inhabitants. With good management over the next ten years it should become even more attractive to Lintonians and wildlife.


Linton jazz will be hosting a cabaret evening at 7.30pm on Saturday 15th April, at Linton village college. The jazz band will be playing, and some talented young people from the village will be performing. There will be a licensed bar.
Tickets will cost £4.00 for adults and £1.00 for children, (family ticket £10.00). They are available in advance from band members, LVC office or telephone

All money raised will go towards buying the band new music.


LINTON Village Cricket Club will be running the following teams for the 2000 season, a 1st and 2nd XI on Saturdays, which will play a few friendlies on Sundays, and an Under-15 Team, which will usually play on Monday evenings. Indoor nets have been booked at Hills Road Tennis Centre for the following evenings: 6-8pm Sunday 16th April; 8-10pm Thursday 20th April; 8-10pm Sunday 27th April.
A pre-season away friendly has been arranged against Horseheath on Sunday 30th April, starting at 2pm. The 1st XI start their Cambs. Cricket Association Senior Division 2 season away to Lode on May 6th, while the 2nd XI travel to Quy to play Cherry Hinton II on the same date, both matches starting at 2pm.
If you live in the Linton area and are interested in playing cricket for the Club, further information can be obtained from the Secretary,
The under-15 team will again be managed by ******, who will need help with transport from parents. To qualify for this team, players must be under 15 on 1st September 1999.


ROSALIE Swannell, who died on 6th March, was forthright in her manner and speech and even in walking, carrying a stout stick looking to use it to be labour any opposition rather than to assist her progress, but kindly withal.
In 1939 Rosalie married Edwin Swannell who was to become Warden of Linton Village College in 1964. Apart from her work within the college, Rosalie was an active member of the W.I. – President for 20 years of the refounded branch after the war, member of the Federation Choir and of the Catering Committee involved in the Royal Show.
Rosalie was the first woman member of the Parish Council (quite an achievement in those days) and Chairman 1963-64 (even more of an achievement) during the planning and building of the Linton by-pass. The Parish council administered three charitable trusts to provide fuel for eligible residents. Rosalie was one trustee and I joined her as the other, twenty years ago. Rosalie kept the confidential records up to date, did most of the distribution and made delectable scones whenever we had a meeting.
Rosalie was one of the village representative trustees of the Social Centre from its inception and only retired a year ago. It was typical of her to refuse any ceremonial farewell so I took the presents and the thanks of the committee quietly to her house.
Rosalie also helped out as an active Friend of Symonds House and was in charge of catering for Granta Lodge for 26 years. Rosalie had a clear memory which helped to provide names for new roads relating to the history of each part of the village. Her contributions to Parish Council matters were occasional but very much to the point.
Rosalie’s influence SPREAD throughout the village and beyond. Sixty years of endeavour for the community. Her passing leaves a gapwhich will not be filled.
Rosalie Swannell, b. 6th April 1915, d. 6th March 2000.


LVC is now the proud possessor of a 17-seater minibus in pristine condition thanks to the generosity of the Cambridge van Centre, Linton, and funds raised from a variety of other sources, not least the grand night out on 18th march which aimed to raise £1,000. The final figure was double this! Thanks to everyone who took part and pledged such wonderful items. We still have some more to pay on the bus so we are hoping for massive support at the half marathon and fun run.


Chilford hall are having their big road show event on Easter Monday, 24th April, and have invited Linton action for youth along to raise money for the drop-in centre. We will be running a gigantic tombola, but we need loads of prizes. Please help with that unwanted present, that bottle you will never drink or anything else you can spare.

Leave a message on our answer phone *********, and we will be delighted to arrange collection. Many thanks for your help.
Winners the result of the March k-club monthly draw:  1st (£50 (no 414), 2nd prize (£25) (no 299), 3rd (£10) (No 126)


A FRIEND of mine who runs a business said to me recently that it must be funny being a service delivery point when aspects of the service keep being changed by someone else. Once I had adjusted to the idea of schools as ‘service delivery points’ I understood what he meant. The LVC product is the service of education and I believe we happen to be pretty good at it. It does keep changing and so it should, but there is a problem about the nature of that change; it’s imposed. More seriously, change is imposed for the most part by people who have no, or at best distant, knowledge of the thing they are changing. The national curriculum has been revised five times, the most recent changes reaching my desk a few months ago. Areas outside the national curriculum like Personal and Social Education have also recently been revised. Then there are the questions hanging over sex education and ‘Section 28’, not to mention proposed changes to the timing and length of the school day and school year! The way schools are funded has also been changed recently and for many, particularly in Cambridgeshire, this has resulted in drastic reductions. LVC is no exception; and only two weeks ago, having planned for a large cut in funding, we were given a week’s notice that a further £60,000 would be cut from the budget. I won’t go into the arcane regulations that have led to this but you will see what I mean about being on the receiving end of imposed change.

Then there is the biggest and least understood change of all; the new pay and performance regulations for teachers. This will be the largest performance-related pay structure ever imposed on any single organisation anywhere. It is being implemented over a period of only five months and judgements about who is to receive the additional money will have to be made before the systems for measuring performance have been put in place. I’m involved in the training of headteachers for all this and I know the extent of the problems caused by the rush and the back to front nature of the change. People are resigning, information is being lost and the contractors are struggling to train the trainers. The contract for all this is worth £7m and you could be forgiven for wondering if the money could have been put to better uses.

The ‘service delivery points’ will somehow make it work. We always do. But my friend was wrong about one thing - it’s not funny!


"THE acid test of a patio’s attraction is ‘Would I want to sit there’." Rodney Tibbs showed how this Utopia can be achieved and discussed ideas for small gardens at last month’s Gardening Club.
With modern houses especially, gardens tend to be smaller, so greater use must be made of the space available. Suggestions included curved vistas and hidden areas, topiary in pots as well as the tried and tested arrangements of mixed flowers, and the use of unusual containers like a hollowed-out section of tree trunk.
Those who needed inspiration were spurred on to make new efforts after seeing 100 slides of patios and gardens in England and abroad.
The meeting was well attended with several guests, who are always welcome. Next month there will be an illustrated talk by Ken Akers entitled ‘Design and Colour in the Herbaceous Border’. There is still hope that mistakes caused by lack of planning can be corrected!


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Sunday March 19th 2000 Spring in full flood is always a pleasure. Today, I spent about four hours in the vegetable garden, preparing seed beds and planting the early seeds: those which will come to no harm from the frosts. As I worked, greenfinches were calling and the occasional laughing call of the green woodpecker floated from the direction of the river. Robins came beady-eyed to pick over the newly dug soil, hardly caring if I was near or not. Surprisingly, fieldfares clacked away at the top of a nearby poplar tree. Surely it is time they were heading north! A comma butterfly wafted by and a bumble bee investigated the flowers of the red deadnettle. Dreaded weeds, including creeping thistle and ground elder, are beginning to flex their muscles, defying all attempts at eradication. Nearby, dogs investigated exciting new smells and children played hide and seek, while their parents discussed the merits of different varieties of potato.

On Monday 13th March, I heard the first of the season’s chiffchaffs. This is a really early date, as generally they are not here until the middle or end of the month. Then today, the first willow warbler. Daffodils planted in Hildersham are up and blooming – a lovely sight. The hedges are tipped with green leaf buds or in places white with the flowers of the sloe. Lawns need cutting, so the drone of lawn mowers and smell of new mown grass are reminders that winter is receding. Frog spawn is also early this year, reflecting the generally warm month we have been enjoying. I am always surprised when folk tell me how much they dislike frogs and toads. We are used to phobias about snakes and spiders, but many people seem to harbour fears of amphibians.

Tonight a full moon and a clear sky.


LINTON Action for Youth proudly announce their website, www.la4y.org.uk, and would like to know what you would like to see on it.
I would like to see a link to every other Linton web site and a link to any site of interest to the youth of Linton. Tell me if you think you should be there.
Email the webmaster on bruce.hunt@lineone.net or give him an old-fashioned telephone call


Linton Granta playgroup and toddlers has been in the village for 21 years. During term time, we run playgroup sessions on Mondays to Fridays and a toddler group on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. All groups are based in the youth centre at the village college. Playgroup is for children aged from two years; Monday and Tuesday toddler sessions are for babies and toddlers up to the age of three and the Thursday group is a more structured session for toddlers over 18 months.

Open days will be held from 10-11.30am on 11th April (toddlers) and 12th April (playgroup). If you have any questions, or would like to register your child for a place, please telephone


For good causes is something to which LVC pupils always respond. Recently students were able to spend part of their lunchtime listening to local singer Kirsten, a schoolmate of Simon Hilton who died from meningococcal septicaemia in 1998. A contribution of 50p for Meningitis Research gave pupils the privilege of hearing a young talented artiste and contributing to vital research.

Year 8s rose to the occasion, as the dreadful catastrophe of Mozambique’s floods became apparent. They contributed proceeds of £36.00 from a ‘Name the Penguin’ competition and a week of break-time cake stalls. This has set the ball rolling for yet more events.


Fancy a countryside walk but don’t know where to go? Feel like some fresh air and exploring pastures new? Help is at hand! Next month the Linton news hopes to deliver to you absolutely free a booklet entitled ‘Linton walks’. This has been written and produced entirely by local volunteers, and contains descriptions of thirteen delightful walks of all lengths. Together with illustrations, maps and interesting historical and nature notes it will make summer walks a fascinating pleasure. We hope that the booklet will prove useful to residents and newcomers alike, and spare copies will be on sale at the post office for visitors. Happy walking!

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