May 2001 Edition of the Linton News    Previous        Next

ArticlesSafety Fears at Chalklands,   Marathons,   St Mary's requires new friends,   Music Season,   Parish Annual Meeting,    Parish Council Report,   Breakfast all Day,   High Street Traffic,   Bowls Season,   Historical Society,   WI,   Cathodeon Building,   Library,   Chestnut Playgroup,   Bridge Club,   Slimming Club,   Computers,   Out-of-School Club,   Healing,    Village Directory goes Multi-mediaJoseph's DreamMrs Morley,    Bush Telegraph,   Gardening Club Country Diary,   Anderson Benefaction Christian Aid Union

Readers Write:  Chalklands Site,   Happy Ending,   Our Thanks,   Animal Tests,   Evidence,   Lost book,   James Cannon 



CHILDREN playing on land adjacent to the Hundred Houses development on Chalklands had a lucky escape when they became stuck in thick mud on the site last month. One girl, who had sunk up to her thighs in the sodden earth, was pulled to safety by District Councillor Joan Smith and Mrs Lynda Askew, who happened to be close by when the incident occurred.
The mother of one of the children involved, who has asked not to be named, has called for increased security measures on the construction site. In a letter to the Linton News, she writes: "I want to know why the residents were not informed of the date the area was to be fenced off and also of just how dangerous the area was… Children will be children–you either keep a dangerous area securely fenced off so they cannot enter it or inform the parents of the possible dangers so they can talk to their children about them, neither of these were done".
On Saturday, April 7th, a group of children and teenagers entered the site and began to play on the muddy field. At least two of them quickly got into difficulty on the muddy ground. Cllr Smith and Mrs Askew realised there was a problem when they saw a number of distressed and dirty children running away from the site, and more children standing by a hole in the fence. They were told that one girl was stuck and went to help. "It took the strength of two adults, using one of the protective metal gates as a platform, to release that child. If she had fallen forward in her efforts to free herself she would possibly have died as the mud would have covered her mouth and nose and she could not have got a purchase on the mud with her hands to lift her face up".
Cllr Smith said that this part of the site has always been a problem. "This is a clay field with a high water table and several springs which, combined with the wet weather, had caused a deep and very dangerous morass of mud on the second half of the field".

Colin Wiles, Business and Policy Manager for Hundred Houses, who are building 19 social housing homes on the site, stated: "On Friday 6th April, the contractors put up fencing to fill gaps around the site. While the work was going on, a group of children began abusing the contractors. On the following Saturday afternoon, someone phoned the contractor about the incident on the field. The contractor reported the incident to the police. On the Sunday morning, sub-contractors went to the site and reinstalled the fencing, which had been pushed down. They also erected signs warning children to keep out. The next morning (Monday) the fencing was checked again. Plastic fencing has since been added to mark off boggy areas of the site."
At Cllr Smith’s request, Chalklands Residents Association issued a warning about the site in a recent community newsletter. The police will be informed of any intrusions on the site and are monitoring the area. 


THREE hundred and twenty people took part in Linton Village College’s half marathon run in the village last month. The race was won by Dan Leggate from Cambridge University in a course record of 1 hour 11 minutes. The first woman across the finishing line was Melanie Hayward from Hull in a course record of 1 hour 17 minutes, closely followed by Dan’s wife Ellen, who had competed in the World Cross Country the weekend before.
Haverhill Running Club won the men’s and women’s team prize, while the Road Runners Club held its championship in conjunction with our event. It was an excellent day for this new event.
The three kilometer Fun Run which took place simultaneously was won by Phillip Hainsby from Riverside Runners in St Neots in a time of 9 minutes 39 seconds. First girl past the post was Rosanna Kennard (12 minutes 38 seconds). Mr Bush was just pipped at the post by his 7-year-old daughter Leah.
Meanwhile, Linton resident Geoffrey Harrison ran the Paris Marathon on 8th April, raising over £750 in sponsorship for the British charity Get Kids Going which gives physically handicapped children and young people up to the age of 26 the opportunity to participate in sport.
"I was delighted to complete the course in 3 hours 50 minutes and 52 seconds, since my ambition was to complete it in less than 4 hours," said Geoff. "I had carefully followed a training programme and joined Haverhill Runners to whom, along with my work colleague Terry Shaw I am very grateful for advice and encouragement. It is amazing what you can achieve when you deliberately set out to achieve a goal and persistently pursue it". 
Nick Urch and LNT


TWO important events are coming up soon for the Friends of St Mary’s, the annual general meeting in May and the re-launch of the Friends in June. Both are important for all who care about St Mary’s.
On Monday 21st May at 7.45pm, in the Church, a new constitution will be presented, seeking charitable status for the Friends. (A copy of the constitution may be obtained through the secretary of the Friends, Mrs Judy Nightingale, or inspected on the notice board at the back of St Mary’s Church.)
The new constitution will enable the Friends to take full advantage of gift aid and other tax allowances. It will also establish the Friends as a body entirely dedicated to the care, repair and maintenance of the church and churchyard and give definition to its membership.
At the meeting, the Venerable Alan Clarkson will give a talk, illustrated by slides, explaining why so much money is now needed for repairs and maintenance.
The Friends Committee would like to enlist at least 250 members this year and, with that in mind, it will be re-launching itself during the course of the annual flower festival in June. Full details are not yet in place but the date for your diaries is Saturday morning, 9th June. If all goes according to plan there should be a special meeting for teddy bears as well!
To become a member of the Friends there will be a minimum subscription of £10 a year (just 20p a week). If we can attract 250 members and make use of gift aid, membership alone could bring in over £3000 a year. Over ten years, this, together with fund-raising events, will help to make a big dent in the £100,000 needed for repairs.

Alan Clarkson


LAST month a very enthusiastic audience filled Linton parish Church to hear Crispian Steele-Perkins, trumpet, and Anne Page, organ, playing together, talking, demonstrating and generally entertaining in a most successful concert.
The next recital, on Saturday 19th May, will be held at Linton Village College and given by the Rasumovsky Quartet. This vastly experienced and talented ensemble will play Haydn String Quartet in C, Mozart’s ‘The Hunt’ and Schubert’s A minor ‘Rosamunde’.
The evening should be a most enjoyable one with which to end the season, so do come along and bring your friends for this last concert of the present series.
Members and non-members alike are welcome and tickets are available at the door.
Any further information can be obtained from Jenny Purves .
Jenny Purves


THE Annual Parish Meeting is the opportunity for all residents to come and hear what your local Parish Council have been doing over the last 12 months and what is proposed for the next. It is also your opportunity to talk to your representatives and air your views.
This year, Mr Clive Bush, Principal of LVC, will be giving a presentation on the school’s links with the Boepathutse School in South Africa and what has been achieved so far.
There will be plans and photographs on show of the major refurbishment planned for the play equipment and associated area on the Recreation Ground. Please come and view and let us have your comments. The meeting takes place at 8pm on Friday 11th May in the Social Centre.
Gill Barker


Parish Council's April meetings

PARISHIONERS from Granta Leys raised concern over the noise and litter levels along the path on the north side of the river. They also expressed concern over the increased activity that the proposed tarmac area and path along the south side of the river would bring. The Annual Parish Meeting will be showing full details of the proposals which are to improve the surfaces under equipment in the venture playground, replacement of equipment and new equipment added, the installation of a tarmac area and the continuation of the tarmac footpath from the Bowls storage unit past the Drop-in Centre back to the bridge over the river. Further investigations will be made into a request to put a car park at the Meadow Lane end of the recreation ground.
The area around the village sign is to be improved.
Bus passes for over 65s will now be issued free of charge but require a photograph, which will cost in the region of £3. Dr Bear reported that it is possible to get photographs from Addenbrooke’s hospital, near the outpatients entrance. The next expansion of Haverhill is about to take place. A public meeting regarding the A1307 has been arranged for Thursday 14th June at Linton Village College.
The police reported that they had received 61 calls resulting in 16 crimes being logged. The additional storage extension and improved access for the disabled are nearing completion at the Cathodeon Centre. The traffic working party gave a report on its findings and a report will be sent to County Council.


THERE were unusual scenes outside Hadstock Village Hall one Friday in March. Sometimes in ones and twos, sometimes in batches, people were climbing the steep path from the road and letting themselves in – to emerge later looking somewhat heavier and a great deal more contented.
What was happening? ‘Britain’s Biggest All Day Breakfast’ no less – an event sponsored by Kelloggs and identical to hundreds that have been held over the country which have raised many thousands of pounds for the Cancer Research Campaign. The Hadstock breakfast was organised and staffed by Sue and John Crawley with the help of Gilly and Tom Boyden, Janey Devlin and others. Cooked breakfasts were served, from 7am to 2pm, to early morning commuters with trains to catch and to more leisurely citizens with time to sit and chat and read the free newspapers.
During the whole seven hours, there was never a time when cooking and eating weren’t taking place – and donations from happy customers have so far reached £550. Well done everybody!
Chris Scarles


Since the public meeting at which various traffic issues in Linton were discussed the traffic working party is actively pursuing with County Council a variety of possible solutions which may help to alleviate these issues in the future. As one would expect it is not possible to change traffic orders overnight nor is there a simple solution which would be 100% effective without itself causing a different traffic problem for other residents. We also have to take into consideration that a problem for some is not considered a problem for others.
One area, however, which has taken priority to finding solutions is the safety of children walking to and from the infant school. Congestion in the High Street at the time children are going to school is caused by vehicles parking inappropriately and too many vehicles wanting to access the narrowest section of the High Street at the same time. This is not a new issue but changes in lifestyle have perhaps exacerbated the situation in recent years.
The success of the Co-op, which is paramount to our village community, means that several delivery vehicles each day have to access this section of the High Street. Although vehicles are allowed to park temporarily on double yellow lines while unloading, the Co-op have readily agreed to the following requests in an attempt to help alleviate congestion at the recognised peak time in the morning: delivery vehicles to avoid the following times, 8.30 - 9.15; to park no more than one vehicle on the High Street at any one time to only use the double yellow lines outside the Co-op for delivery and not those to the West of the Co-op all delivery vehicles to approach the Co-op from the East and to continue along the High Street in the same direction following delivery
Since the above measures have been introduced, approximately one month, Tracy Russell has reported that there has been less major congestion when parents are walking to school with their children.
The Co-op should be congratulated in supporting whole heartily our aim to improve safety for the school children. The Coop however is not the only cause of traffic congestion at the time children go to and from school. Any vehicle accessing this section of the High Street at school times could potentially cause problems and do. Although school numbers and associated car journeys can alter year by year the High Street can not and parking spaces will always be limited no matter what traffic measures are in force. We are currently exploring the possibility of staggering the time children arrive at school, perhaps in association with a Breakfast Club which has been well received in other areas, which would reduce the number of vehicles requiring access to the school at the same time.
In the mean time we would like all High Street users to ask themselves ' Am I causing a traffic problem for someone else?' Like the Co-op it may be that a small alteration to how you use the High Street would benefit many. If you can answer YES to any of the following YOU too could have been responsible for creating a traffic situation for other road users:
a) Have you ever parked on the double yellow lines outside the Co-op?
b) Have you ever parked on the double yellow lines anywhere between Green Lane and Coles Lane?
c) Have you ever parked on the pavement?
d) Have you parked your car in Green Lane close to the junction with the High Street?
e) Have you ever allowed your car to mount the pavement to pass another vehicle when it was possible to slow down, remain on the road and still pass safely?
Did you know that you have committed a traffic offence if you have answered Yes to any of the above? Did you know that if you have ever parked on double yellow lines anywhere along the High Street you could have caused a major snarl up of traffic? Double yellow lines free from parked vehicles are essential for traffic to manoeuvre through the narrow High Street. Please do not park on double yellow lines.
The Co-op has demonstrated how a little alteration to their timetable has shown a dramatic positive effect on one particular traffic issue. Can you the residents of Linton improve the situation even further by obeying the traffic orders already in place and by being less impatient when travelling along the High Street by car such that common courtesy becomes the order of the day. Linton High Street is renowned as being the best Conservation Area in South Cambridgeshire. Please help us to keep this well deserved recognition and not allow it to become known as a thoroughfare for the lazy and inconsiderate.
If you see any delivery vehicles to the Co-op parked incorrectly, according to the above requests, please record the number of the vehicle, name on the side of the vehicle, time of day and the problem and take the details to the Parish Council Office. Likewise if you see any vehicle parked illegally please record the vehicle make and number and give the details to Andy Denzey via the Police and Gill Barker at the Parish Council office. Alternatively, you could use the Traffic Incident Report forms available at The Chemist, Sweet Talk News, The Co-operative Store, The Video Store, The Post Office and Hale & Jacobs.
The High Street is not the only traffic issue requiring attention for Linton residents. The increased traffic on the A1307 is a continual cause of concern. Linton Parish Council have instigated a Public Meeting to be held on 14th June at Linton Village College commencing at 7.30pm to which all the neighbouring Parish Councils are attending together with County Council Members. Please make a date in your diary now and come and have your say. We have to act now to improve safety on this very busy and dangerous road.
Val Urwin


THE bad weather continues. Our first match was called off because of the inability of Melbourn to raise a team.
Grampian Foods has had to drop out of league play this year because of foot and mouth disease.
If any member would like to be considered for a tryout in league games please contact Captain Bryan Beavis For friendly games put your name on the lists exhibited in the container. There is still room for players wishing to play in Club Competitions.
Fun games every Wednesday afternoon at 2pm. Just turn up. Arthur Gore 


At the April meeting of the Historical Society Mr Mike Petty, well-known local author and historian, with the help of slides and many humorous anecdotes, gave us a view of Cambridge in 1838. From a recently-discovered play bill of that date we saw that Mr Pickwick entertained at the Theatre Royal Barnwell with extracts from Pickwick Papers. If, as is probable, he arrived by stage coach with the choice of being closeted inside with numerous passengers of all conditions, or outside to withstand the vagaries of the elements, Trumpington was seen as an open area of fields with sheep, but on the right side the Botanic Gardens had been mapped out. If he had lodged at one of the coaching inns he would have been subject to being fleeced by the landlord and at the mercy of pickpockets and thieves. Many of the 'old' buildings to be seen had already been renovated and restored. There were 3 gaols, the Town Gaol near Parkers Piece, the University Gaol, The Spinning House, and the County Gaol on Castle Hill where, in 1838 William Reader and William Turner, two men from Linton, were hanged. Addenbrooke's Hospital was in an open area but being run with voluntary contributions, only poor people with no money at all were admitted. At the workhouse there were many riots in the 1830's and also at the Hustings where elections were very much fixed with bribes and forgery. In 1838 there was a huge feast on Parkers Piece to celebrate Queen Victoria's jubilee. In all 15,000 poor people were fed. Another item from newspapers of the time disclosed the poverty in Cambridge, especially mentioning Falcons Yard off Petty Cury where 300 people lived in slum conditons - in fact one small apartment housed 13 families - a truly Dickensian scene. The next meeting is on 15th May when Mrs G Holmon will talk about Gurteen's of Haverhill. JMP


Two W.I. Advisers, Jean Coxall and Sue Atkinson were welcomed to the A.G.M. of Linton W.I. Birthday posies were made and distributed by Miriam Rixon. Members enjoyed a fish and chip supper before the business of the evening.
Forthcoming events organised by the Cambridge Federation of Women's Institutes were announced, including an Autumn Break in the Lake District and a day school on Flower arranging in Burwell. The Group meeting takes place at Balsham on 22 May, when the Head Gardener at Madingley Hall will be the speaker. There is an outing to Kentwell Hall on June 30.
The new style programme for the coming year will be available at the next meeting. It is planned to have trading stalls, (when members can bring items to sell), on specified themes at meetings.
Suggestions for future speakers were invited.
Wendy Foster, President, thanked the Committee for their help during the year. There will be two new Committee members. Joan Argent was thanked for representing the W.I. on the Social Centre Committee. The recent table top sale was a great success, making a profit of £216. Sue Atkinson W.I. Adviser explained her involvement with the W.I. and informed members that a quiz entitled "here and there" and raffle tickets were now available. Wendy Foster was then re-elected as President. Carol Todd gave a vote of thanks to Wendy and to the Committee. Joan Pearman is to continue as Secretary and Jean Goodwin as Treasurer.
Jean Goodwin then spoke about the new W.I. that has been set up at Cambourne. It is planned to invite members from Cambourne W.I. to a Linton W.I. meeting. The next meeting, when the Resolutions to be presented at the national Annual Meeting will be discussed, will take place on Tuesday, 1 May at 7.30 pm at the Social Centre, Coles Lane. All are welcome.
Anne Parry-Smith


Dear Editor
I am writing as a concerned parent. On the 7th April, my daughter and her friends, aged between 8-14, were out playing in Chalklands as they normally do when a near disaster happened. My daughter’s friend got stuck in the mud, on the building site. My daughter tried to help her but became stuck up to her knees herself. She was helped free but another boy decided it would be fun to bury her boots in the mud. My daughter’s friend was finally freed.
I know the children should not have been anywhere near the building site, but if the so-called barriers had been in place and more secure the children would not have been able to enter the site. My husband, who is a member of Linton Fire Brigade, went to look at the barriers and said a toddler would be able to get into the site, which is an accident waiting to happen.
I want to know why the residents were not informed of the date the area was to be fenced off and also of just how dangerous the area was.
Children will be children– you either keep a dangerous area securely fenced off so they cannot enter it or inform the parents of the possible dangers so they can talk to their children about them, neither of these were done.


Dear Editor
Thank you very much for printing my letter regarding the whereabouts of Mr and Mrs Tofts with whom I stayed when I was evacuated to Linton.
I have been lucky to receive a reply from Mrs Tofts’ eldest daughter Olivia, via her sister Pamela who lives in Linton. Olivia also now lives in Sussex, just a stone’s throw away from Burgess Hill, what a small world!
After meeting, we were able to exchange news about the Tofts family. Unfortunately, her father died in 1948, and her mother also died 12 years ago.
I would still like to know a little more about Mr and Mrs Tofts and their background of which her daughter may not know either, so if there’s anybody out there in Linton who may know a little more, I should very much like to hear from them. Maybe there are other letters on their way?
Tom Casey


Dear Editor
May I on behalf of William (Bill) Palmer thank all friends and relatives for attending his ‘surprise’ party on 31st March.
He enjoyed meeting a lot of his friends who he hadn’t seen for quite a while. Thank you also for the lovely array of gifts which were received.

Animal tests tell us about animals, not people’ Top

Dear Editor
Jean and Ron Amsden say that if we succeeded in closing down Huntingdon Life Sciences, the work would move abroad. Maybe it will, but surely we must start somewhere. For many years we campaigned against veal crates in this country until we got them banned. We then took our campaign to Europe. What is wrong with setting an example to the rest of the world in the hope that others will follow?
Replying to your "name and address supplied" correspondent: there is no legislation that says animals have to be used to test anything. All the regulatory authorities require is to demonstrate that a product is safe, and if one can convince the health authorities of this, without the use of animals, then this can be accepted. That is not to say that they would not request laboratory animal procedures on a case to case basis. This was an amendment to the Helsinki Declaration proposed by Dr André Menache as reported by FRAME (Fund for Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments) in December 2000. And yes, we do raise funds for alternative research. It is naïve to suggest that all drugs tested on animals are safe. The list of drugs which have caused death and serious side-effects is endless–the most recent one under the microscope is Zyban, the anti-smoking drug. Animal tests tell us about animals, not people. What of possible cures we may have lost because they did not work on animals?
Stephen Inglis’s remarks that "animal rights protesters in this area have resorted to burning cars, threatening families and even attacking an individual with baseball bats" are spurious, unfounded and irresponsible and merely serve to incite violence where none exists. We are as keen as anyone to discover the facts.
Jean and Ron say we need "factual details, not pictures and stories from the media". Well, we have them–thousands of pages. As for reporting misdemeanours to the authorities, why do you think we are embroiled in the whole issue of animal experiments? Because the laws that regulate vivisection are not enforced. There are 21 home office inspectors, mostly ex-vivisectors, policing 350 licensed establishments carrying out nearly three million experiments a year. I have it on good authority that they very rarely turn up unannounced.
Pat Griffin

We get our evidence from the laboratories’  Top

Dear Editor
Stephen Inglis’ blinkered view that without animal experimentation there would be no new medicines (Linton News, April) is not an opinion shared by all scientists. I would urge everyone to read Vivisection or Science by Prof Pietro Croce. Prof. Croce is the Hon President of Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine, whose objective is "the immediate and unconditional abolition of all animal experiments on medical and scientific grounds". I joined DLRM as a Friend in order to increase my knowledge of the scientific arguments, so please do not accuse me of not being in possession of facts.
Of course we work to change the law and we achieved a small victory for animals when their use in cosmetic testing was banned in this country in 1998. Our focus is now on achieving this ban throughout Europe and beyond. Jean and Ron Amsden say that cruelty should be reported. Who will do this? The vivisectors themselves? We get our evidence straight from the laboratories and from people such as Prof Croce, not from "media stories and pictures".
Of course, the replacement of animals is the way forward and there are already alternative methods in use. I have been raising funds for organisations that promote humane research for many years. If the government gave more than token financial backing to non-animal research, we would have safer drugs and fewer people in hospital as a result of drug damage (6% at present).
‘Name and address supplied’ should have talked to PC Andy Denzey, as I did, before accusing us of depriving our villages of their community officer. Andy has assured me that the demonstrations at HLS make no difference to his day-to-day duties. He pointed out that the police are present in order to allow people their right to protest. Would ‘name and address supplied’ take away this right from pensioners, nurses, environmentalists and farmers, or any other group that has ever demonstrated?
Our relationship with the police is, on the whole, a good one. No-one asks for police protection outside HLS, but the presence of officers does ensure that small numbers of people can maintain the protest without being threatened.
Sue Hughes


Dear Editor
I think a brown accounts book must have dropped out of my bike basket when I was cycling along Back Road during the evening of Tuesday 10th April.
The book contains notes on various Guide camps, I would be most grateful to hear from anyone who picked it up. I will gladly come to collect it.
Mrs Kate France


Dear Editor
My name is John Caldicott and I was fostered out in Hadstock from about 1936 to 1942 when I was returned to the Foundling Hospital in Berkhamsted, Herts. My foster mother was Mrs Turner who lived at 6 Council Houses in Hadstock. Her husband, Mr Walter Turner was the local road sweeper.
The purpose of this note is to see if there is any way I can trace my foster brother James Cannon who I am sure worked at the local garage at the bottom of Linton. He went into the Royal Engineers probably for his National Service.
I appreciate this is a very long shot but anything you can come up with will be appreciated.
There were also two other foster brothers named Peter Bowes and Arthur Lempster but I have no idea what happened to them.
The Foundling Hospital, now known as Coram Family, is the oldest children’s charity in the UK. It was founded by Royal Charter in 1739 for the acceptance of illegitimate children. There are about 1500 Foundlings still alive and many were fostered in the Saffron Walden and Cambridge areas. Also in Kent and Surrey. We are trying to arrange a reunion of those who were in Berkhamsted between 1951 and 1954. If you would like to contact me my phone number is Via editior.
Again, any way in which you could make this request known would be very much appreciated.
John Caldicott  or


WHEN word got out that the former canteen build ing from the demolished Cathodeon Crystals factory was to be refurbished into a new library building for Linton, the general opinion was that it was a good idea, as the old library was small and old-fashioned, and not very central to the village.
The fact that there would also be a room for hire was greeted with less enthusiasm. Linton already had the Social Centre building, which was considered to be adequate for the village needs.
Since the new building was opened a year ago, many groups have begun to hire the room regularly, most of them new groups to the village. The Cathodeon Centre has become the venue for a wide variety of activities.
Tracey Wilson invited representatives from some of these groups to say, in their own words, what their organisations are about.


A COUPLE of years ago I was given a wonderful present; it was very nearly as wonderful as my first grandchild, and presents don’t come any better than him! I was given a brand new library to play with and I still have difficulty believing how lucky I am.
Every time I look around the new Linton library I am struck by how much the facilities have improved, compared with the old public library in the Village College. The old library served the village long and well for 60 years but the new library has so much more to offer – many more books, up-to-the-minute videos and plenty of books on tape catering for all tastes and ages, not to mention free access to the internet.
If you haven’t been to the new library yet, Kathy, Janet and I would be delighted to see you; if you are one of our regulars you will know why I am so enthusiastic about this lovely asset to the village. I reckon I’ve got the best job in the world! Linda Pearson
Library Supervisor


CHESTNUT Playgroup opened in Hadstock over 30 years ago. It moved to the Cathodeon Centre in September 1999 and became the first user. Moving into Linton has enabled the playgroup to work more closely with the infant school and other local organisations. The playgroup is run by a parent/management committee and a team of trained staff. An OFSTED inspection in June 2000 gave us an excellent report.
From May, the playgroup is extending its sessions to a Friday morning, initially to those children going to school in September 2001.
Like most voluntary groups, the Playgroup relies heavily on fundraising and sponsorship. Last year’s Midsummer Madness event was so successful that it is being repeated this year on 7th July at Linton Infants School. This event is a joint venture with the Granta Playgroup and tickets are available now.
For further information regarding the playgroup telephone Anya Brooks. Anya Brooks


JUST over a year ago we held the inaugural meeting to form the new Duplicate Bridge Club at the Cathodeon Centre. Since then we have regularly held Duplicate Bridge Sessions, involving from three to five tables. We appreciate the support we have received from the Parish Council and local players. We have excellent equipment and facilities. Above all we have built up a friendly and congenial atmosphere at the Club. We are one of the first Bridge for All Clubs to be formed in England; we have taken part in a prototype scheme of awarding EBU Master Points – which most of our members have accumulated.
We are very keen to increase our membership. If you want to know more, please contact Bill Penfold. We meet at the Cathodeon Centre at 7pm on Fridays. You are welcome to visit and play, without commitment, or join us. Bill Penfold


WHEN Lesley Bradford became the Consultant of the Linton Slimming World Class in November 1999, the first thing she did was to move the venue to the Cathodeon Community Centre.
Since then, the class has gone from strength to strength, in no small way due to the comfortable surroundings, and the friendliness of the membership from Linton and the villages nearby.
A weekly attendance of up to 70 includes both men and women covering a wide age range from 16 upwards.
In the last 17 months, members have lost a total of more than one tonne. This has been achieved by following the Slimming World Food Optimising System, which is based on eating plenty of foods, most of which can be eaten freely, without measuring or weighing.
If you are interested in popping in to find out more, you will be made most welcome with a cup of tea or coffee. The class meets at 7pm every Monday, 52 weeks a year! For more information call Lesley 


LINTON senior surfers are a unique and innovative venture, and without the Cathodeon Centre they would simply not exist. The club’s complete lack of stuffiness, its openness to any adults in the village who want to know about computers, and perhaps most surprisingly, its splendid example of relaxed co-operation between a voluntary organisation and the local authority’s library service are a constant source of enjoyment to everyone involved in it.
On club nights, each Tuesday, from 7 to 9pm, members can use the full range of computing facilities, including saving their work on floppy disks and using e-mail, and their cards allow them to use the club’s computers whenever the library is open. The Senior IT Club is just one way in which the Cathodeon breathes life into the community, and helps Linton to help itself. Our next target is to attract the former Speaker, Betty Boothroyd, who said at the opening of the building that she would like to get more out of her computer. But softly, softly…
John Bald & Mike Crofts


THE Linton Out of School Club celebrates its first birthday this month. A year ago we were opened with the help of a New Opportunities Fund Grant through the National Lottery.
The club is open to Linton children aged between 4 and 11. During term children are collected from school and escorted to the Cathodeon Centre. Once there they can relax with plenty of games and activities until their parents arrive for them.
During development days and holidays the club stays open from 9am to 6pm. These longer sessions allow for a wider range of entertainment.
The club is registered as a charity, is non-profit making and run by a voluntary management committee. This means that it is essential that the mums and dads who use (and value) the club are prepared to join in.
We currently have 60 families in the village that have used the club.
If you require any further information, please contact the club, during opening hours, 
Alison Omand-Lewis


CHRIS Bassett, a licensed trainer for the National Federation of Spiritual Healers, wanted roomy accommodation that was welcoming, clean, and had good facilities for her courses to train healers. She found all this in the Cathodeon Centre and has successfully run courses there since it first opened.
Spiritual healing is the channeling of natural healing energies through the healer to the client. It enables the client to deal with stress, illness or injury .
Chris hopes to run another course on the theory and practice of spiritual healing starting in September. If you are interested in this course or a one-day introductory course to learn more about healing, please contact her 
Chris Bassett

Village multimedia directory planned     Top 

The first stage will be building a list of organisations and clubs – if you want your organisation to be included, please collect a form from the Linton News box at the Post Office or telephone Gloria Fidler 
A NEW section is being added to the Linton News website – giving details of local organisations offering you the chance to enjoy yourself while helping the kind of good cause that appeals to you.
It is the first step in an ambitious multimedia venture listing village information on the internet, on CD-roms – and as a new printed Village Directory to be delivered free to homes and businesses.
Some of the organisations in the first stage are purely local, like the football club and local schools; others, like Save The Children and medical charities, reach across the world.
They all have a need for help and support. They all offer you a chance to put another stitch in our local social fabric – and to widen your circle of friends and activities as a result.
We have started gathering information about local organisations and clubs that are run partly or completely on a voluntary basis. And those which need people for specific reasons – like those clubs and societies which need a constant supply of occasional speakers.
When the section includes most of the organisations, we will be offering both CD-roms and printed copies to the library and the Parish Council.
Then the internet section will be widened to include updated material covering all the items now found in the Village Directory. Again, this will be supplied as updated CD-roms and printed pages – and, hopefully by early next year, a new printed Village Directory to be delivered free with the Linton News.
The website ( and the CD-roms will have much more information than the printed directory: the Linton News Walks booklet, for example, will be included and at least a year’s back issues of the Linton News with a CD-rom search facility. In addition, we are looking at the possibility of including useful data from the Parish Council (perhaps minutes of meetings and the annual accounts). We would welcome your views on what would be useful.
It is an inevitable fact that once the printed directory has been published, some of the details will gradually become out of date. But, both the website and the CD-roms will be updated to cover those changes.
If you are involved with any organisation that operates with the help of voluntary efforts, please supply details to us – you can supply written notes (place in the Linton News box in the Post Office), phone us or email us at We have left some forms in the LN box in the Post Office and you may find it more convenient to use one of those.
We want the following information:
Category (type of organisation, eg Children, Medical, Developing World, etc.). If you come under more than one, please indicate so that we can list under each category.
Name and aims of the organisation.
Local efforts: (what you do locally, eg fund-raising, hold events, etc. etc.).
How new people might be able to help: (general statement, even if you do not need anyone at the moment – eg, collecting, organising barn dance, attending events and encouraging others to do the same, etc.).
Local contact: (Name, address, phone number, email address – or any combination that you want. No addresses will be used on the internet, and we would prefer email addresses on the web page to phone numbers. If you authorise it, all your details will appear on the CD-rom and printed lists; your name and email, or phone number, will appear on the website).
Logo and organisation’s web address: if you can supply a logo for the organisation, we will use it – and, if you supply your organisation’s web address, we will put in a link (which means that anyone interested will be able to get immediately from your entry on our page to your organisation’s web site and back).
Photograph: If you supply us with a photograph illustrating what you do (print, transparency or digital image in JPEG format) we will use that on the website and the CD-rom and may use it in the printed directory.
In addition, we are hoping to produce features about some organisations for use on the web site and in the Linton News. If you are interested in this, please let us know.
The project team: Gloria Fidler and Tracey Russell are gathering the data; Gill Barker will be ‘proof’ reading; Graham Potter is solving the technical problems on the website and the CD-rom; Tracey Wilson is helping with production, as is Norman Dann who is also finding the finance; John Keeble is organising the project and editing it; Sally Simmons, as Linton News editor, is keeping an eye on the rest of us. LNT


ON Saturday 21st April, Mr Dick Sisman, Chairman of Linshare, presented a cheque for £200 to Mrs Katie Jarvis in aid of her son Joseph, 4, who is autistic and hoping to attend a specialised programme of intensive therapy in America.
Katie and Russell Jarvis, of Linton Fire Shop, launched an appeal (Joseph’s Dream) to raise funds for Joseph’s treatment last year. Joseph was diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) at the age of 15 months. Autism is a genetic condition which affects half a million people in the UK.
As Joseph approaches school age, the resources of the NHS have become limited. His parents would like him to be able to live as independent a life as possible and have found a programme at the Options Institute in the USA. There is a preliminary programme for parents beginning in June this year, while Joseph waits for his place in the Institute.
Linshare is a share club formed by 20 Linton residents. Members organise social occasions in the village to raise funds for local causes—and they are quite successful at the investment side as well! Among the events which have helped to raise money for Joseph’s Dream are a race night, disco, golf days and a theatre trip. All events are open to the whole village. Look out for details in the Linton News. For more information about Joseph and his appeal, visit LNT


IRENE Frances Morley (Ingrid), widow of Oswald Victor Morley, died at Saffron Walden hospital on 5th April at the age of 94. The funeral took place at Cambridge Crematorium on Thursday 19th April.
Mrs Morley lived in Linton for many years and her friends have asked the Linton News to publish the announcement of her death. For more information, please contact Mrs Zofia Everett 

The Bush Telegraph  Top

JUST as light is bent by the gravity of a black hole, so politicians’ thinking is bent by elections. The Prime Minister stated last time that education was the big idea and this time, he assures us, it remains so. We have seen some money coming into schools, and for schools in most other counties financial life has improved significantly. Not in Cambridgeshire, I am disappointed to say. We still labour under a funding regime which produces much less money per pupil than Suffolk or Essex. The bold step of funding all schools with the same basic per pupil amount has come to nothing. Yet Mr Blunkett was reported to have been genuinely shocked last month when the discrepancies were put before him. Not quite shocked enough to do anything about it, however. Last month I mentioned the Prime Minister’s silly idea about specialist schools and how 50% would be in that category within four years. Now he’s changed his mind. He wants all schools to be specialist ones!
In a large city it just might make sense to encourage five or six schools within a shout of each other to specialise so that parents and pupils have more choice. But when a school serves a wide, mainly rural hinterland and is the only secondary school within reasonable travelling distance, does it still make sense? The specialist schools initiative was designed to allow schools to develop a distinctive flavour or focus. So far we have Technology, Sport, Languages and Arts. Such schools have to raise £50K themselves and are granted substantially more each year by the Government. The school has to meet stringent targets, however, or it loses its money.
However, schools which cater for all children, will get nothing. You might think the argument runs that successful, across the range schools don’t need any extra money but that is blown out of the water by the Prime Minister’s declaration that all schools will ‘be encouraged’ to adopt a specialism. Tony Blair has no idea what a good comprehensive school looks like but has decided to get rid of them anyway.
Clive Bush, Principal


AT the last Garden Club meeting of the season Geoff Peck, an expert on the construction of ponds and water gardens explained how to provide the best environment in a pond to keep fish, wildlife and plants happy. The single most important factor is aeration to ponds which should not be sited under trees where leaves will fall to the bottom and use oxygen as they rot, and oxygenating plants need to cover a much larger area than most people imagine.
As part of a nationwide survey to discover why fish are dying and frogs only colonise ponds in certain areas, members who have ponds were asked to fill in a questionnaire about the conditions they provide. Mr Peck followed his informative talk with slides of water gardens and features he has created. He may not look like Charlie Dimmock but his output can rival hers!
Everyone will be welcome at our bring and buy Plant and Produce sale between 10am and noon on Saturday 12th May at 3 Mill Lane.
There will be an outing on 16th June to Coughton Court, a house with a beautiful garden in Warwickshire. We would welcome non-members to help to fill the coach. For details please ring Bruce Conochie, or me.
Here’s hoping the weather will improve so that we can enjoy a good summer in our own and others’ gardens
Gloria Fidler 

LINTON COUNTRY DIARY by Olwen Williams     Top 

Sunday, 21st April 2001   Illustrated by Maureen Williams

A MONTH after first turning off the central heating, I have at last capitulated and put it back on again. It must be the first year I have ever planted potatoes before digging up the last of the previous year! At least a long, slow spring has the advantage that the season for spring flowers is extended much longer than usual: forsythia and daffodils, normally finished by now, are still flowering. The hedges are still a mixture of white sloe blossom and bright green young leaves of the hawthorn:- heaven knows if the latter will manage to flower in May, as its name implies that it should. The sticky buds of horse chestnut are half in leaf, but most of the other big trees are still bare.
A Easter trip to Prague found the season at about the same stage as here, in spite of the colder winter. There, as here, chiffchaff, willow warblers and other early migrants were proclaiming territories. (My first UK chiffchaff was heard on March 30th, with a willow warbler a few days later.) And there, as here, I failed to see any swallows or martins, as yet.
On April 19th, I visited Groton Wood, in Suffolk. Ancient woodlands in spring are full of birdsong, and although we were too early for orchids, bluebells and white stitchwort were beginning and there were plenty of primroses. However, as we sat eating a picnic, yet another wintry shower arrived with hail stones, followed by sleet and wind. Further east, near Ipswich, Suffolk is sandy and here we noticed masses of spring-beauty growing among the gorse. This is an annual which has colonised Britain from North America: the small white flower is guarded by leaves encircling the stem. It has a weedlike ability to colonise disturbed ground. Then, along the roads were white lines of Danish scurvy-grass, looking almost like hoar-frost. This plant has spread inland along the roads, taking advantage of the salty conditions created by de-icing. It is reputed to spread at 10-15 miles per year, the wind-borne seeds encouraged by the traffic and the stony verges providing a welcoming habitat for this originally coastal plant. The last invader we saw was alexanders, a tall glossy plant, related to parsley and introduced by the Romans as a spring vegetable. It tends to grow not far from the sea and like the scurvy-grass, is often seen along the roadside.


THE Trustees of the Charles and Mary Anderson Benefaction recently met to allocate funds for the year 2000, and made in accordance with the Trust Deed.
Beneficiaries included:
The 1st and 2nd Linton Brownies, each receiving £200.
Linton Village College; £1,000 towards the cost of buying musical instruments for disadvantaged students.
Linton Action for Youth; £2,000 towards the cost of providing family support workers.
St Mary’s Church; £1,000 donated to the Fabric Appeal plus £200 to meet the additional cost of a new notice board.
The Trustees will meet again later this year to consider new applications. If your organisation would like to be considered as a beneficiary of the Trust, please contact the Chairman, MRK Holden, 99 High Street, Linton for information on how to apply.
M R K Holden


PLEASE give generously in Christian Aid Week, 13th-19th May . Christian Aid works with the world’s poorest people and this year is focusing on helping people in Bangladesh, Uganda and Brazil to help themselves and break out of their poverty trap. Last year Christian Aid Week in Linton raised over £1,700 – a good contribution to the national total of £12million. Let us try to make it more this year.
Margaret Cox


THE result of the April K-Club monthly draw: 1st (£50) Mrs K. Mitchell (No. 364); 2nd (£25) Mrs Morley (No. 296); 3rd (£10) K. Homan (No. 342).