January 2002  Edition of the Linton News   Previous        Next

Articles  Village DevelopmentParish Councillors Wanted, Floods , Japanese tea, Dog & DuckLinton Action for Youth, Gardening Club, Cornerstone, Camera Club, Music Society, Slimming, Scrabble, WI, Ron Amsden Retires, All Change, Country Diary,  Cathodeon Building, Linton News Join Us, A1307 Access, The Dragon, Code Breaker, Best article, WEA Course, Talking Computer, Enterprise Bids, Free Classes, Magic, QEST Recovery,  Bush Telegraph, Gardening Club, Guides & New York,  Country Diary, Libary Sale, K-Club Winners, Recycled

Readers Write: More Comment, Our Thanks

residents to set village development plans    Top

AN ambitious project to give everyone in Linton the chance to decide the village plans for the next three to five years is being launched by Linton Parish Council.
The project, which could be completed by the end of the year, is also aimed at getting direct government funding for the parish to run many of its own affairs instead of relying on the district and county councils.
The first stage of the project is already under way with a steering committee of parish councillors. If successful, Linton could get "Quality Parish Council" status which will enable it to take on matters like:
n Running its own garden waste recycling scheme
n Getting grants to help keep a sustainable village – for example, it may be able to buy a property and offer it at an economical rent to encourage a building society or bank to open
n Take care of footpath and road repairs to make them quicker and more economic
"There are many ways that the village will benefit if we can get quality parish council status," said Gill Barker, the Parish Clerk who is drawing together the project.
The process will also mean the village will be organised according to a Village Plan – which will be produced from questionnaire answers from every household in the parish. The evaluation of the questionnaires will be done by an outside, independent body which specialises in that kind of work: that route makes the process transparently fair, with the questionnaire answers being turned into the priorities for running the village.
"The questionnaire will cover everything about the village," added Ms Barker. "Traffic, planning, recycling, leisure – it all comes into it."
To get quality parish council status, the village needs to meet two criteria: it must have an elected council (in recent years there have not been enough people standing so that councillors have been appointed rather than elected) and it has to have its Parish Plan produced from residents’ views expressed in the questionnaire.
Four councillors are now working out the first step of the process: getting the proposals in shape to apply for a grant to carry out the full-scale questionnaire survey of the parish’s 1,900 households, its analysis by an outside body and the production and printing of the Village Plan.
The next steps will be to widen the steering group to take into account a wide variety of views when drawing up the questionnaire; then circulate the questionnaire through the Linton News; get it filled in and returned or collected and analysed; and the plan produced.
But vitally important – where the whole effort could collapse almost before it gets properly under way – is the need to find more people to stand as parish councillors in May.
If you are interested in the plan or standing as a parish councillor, contact Gill Barker now on 891001 or email her at clerk@ lintonpc.org.uk. LNT

we need you to step forward now         Top

COULD you stand as a parish councillor? The future of the village depends on enough people coming forward for the election next May.
If the village is to get "quality" status to run its own affairs, then at least two people must stand for each of the 15 seats on the council.
And you could be one of them with the help and encouragement of the parish council, the Parish Clerk and even an existing or former councillor to help you under a new mentoring scheme to encourage more people to get involved.
"These are very exciting times," said Gill Barker, the Parish Clerk.
"The councillors who come on in May will have a big impact on the future of the village by helping to get the Village Plan worked out and setting up the kind of schemes that will be possible with grants direct from government."
In recent years, not enough people have come forward and councillors – who have done an excellent job for the village – have been appointed rather than elected. If that happens in May, the council will be ruled out of quality status even before it applies.
"There are many people who would like to do it but who doubt themselves for no good reason – they have never done it before, they think they are too young or too old, they have only just come to the village," said Ms Barker.
"None of these things matter: we need people and we will help them all we can with advice, training and mentoring to make sure they can feel confident and enjoy playing an important part in running the village."
If you want more information, contact Gill Barker now on 891001 or email her at clerk@ lintonpc.org.uk.


AFTER a dispiriting period following the flood, the Dog and Duck will receive a quality upgrade encouraging a new feel leaning towards the mediaeval. The lovely oak bar has been salvaged and repolished and there will be a new brick back bar.
Cleaning bills so far have amounted to over £12,000 and the final outlay is expected to be in the region of £100,000. Some structural problems have been highlighted but their rectification should have the positive result of putting this old property in a more sound condition. Unfortunately the toilet block will need to be almost completely rebuilt, so the longed-for reopening date will be delayed by a couple of weeks.
Improved safety at service area
A £100,000 safety scheme is planned for the A1307 Granta Services area.
Cambridgeshire County Council’s cabinet heard how 10 injury accidents reported in the last three years at the services had involved people turning right.
The proposed scheme includes installing a right turn lane to provide a safer point for vehicles to wait when turning right into the service station.
Councillors agreed that preliminary designs be drawn up for the scheme and consultations be carried out.
Councillor Shona John-stone, cabinet member for Environment and Transport, said: "This is part of the county council’s commitment to make our roads safer.
"The Linton site was top of the county’s medium-sized schemes list due to its worrying

Don’t forget the Public Meeting about the flood at 7.30pm on Wednesday 9th January at the Social Centre–your chance to question environmental agencies and re-presentatives of the County and District Councils.  accident record."

Sumiko Oya shows the children the green tea        Top

THE children in Blue Class at Linton Infants’ School had the experience of taking part in a Japanese tea ceremony.
Sumiko Oya, a kindergarten teacher from Hokkaido, is at the school for six months as part of an internship programme.
The tea ceremony is a traditional way of drinking powdered green tea, following set rules.
The tea is made by putting powdered green tea into a bowl, pouring in warm water and stirring with a bamboo whisk until foamy.
Then the tea is shared with everyone and should evoke a calm and peaceful atmosphere. The children tried hard to achieve this!
As well as sharing the tea ceremony, Sumiko has shown the children origami; she has taught them Japanese songs and numbers, and ayotori – cat’s cradle.
Not only has the school been experiencing Japanese customs, but we are trying to give Sumiko a taste of English culture – which includes Sumiko eating school lunches, although she does this with chopsticks!
Hilary Maddox


Bob and Tracy have been forced to eat out ever since the flood. This of course has added to their expenses and the pleasure of dining out has definitely palled. They are planning an efficient new industrial kitchen, which will make life much easier for the chef, but the costs over and above the insurance payout will have to be covered by themselves. They are also not looking forward to the projected increase in insurance premiums of three to four times the present level. 
However, there has been one pleasurable consequence for Tracy as the closure of the business has given her the time to research the history of the Dog and Duck which she has hoped to do ever since moving in.
Bob and Tracy are so grateful to villagers and customers for their huge support, and look forward to the day when they can once again meet their friends in comfortable surroundings. Gloria Fidler


Tracey Russell asked local clubs and societies about their plans for 2002


THE Drop-In will continue as the bedrock for all the rest of our activities. Lesley Silk, our Family Support Worker, will be consolidating the good work that has already started in partnership with all three Linton schools. Our youth work team, led by Liz Govier, will be focused on addressing issues relating to alcohol and substance abuse and helping young people to fulfil their full potential. The support of the Community Fund gives us security for salary cost for the next three years, but this grant will be the last. We must start planning now to replace this core funding. That will be our big challenge.
In the coming year we plan to develop our contacts with other funding agencies. In particular we hope to start work with the new Connexions organisation which is a government agency taking over careers and youth work functions.
LA4Y must continue to develop its community support role and make the most of the privileged position that 100 hours per week of professional youth work for Linton can bring.
Thanks to all of you who have supported our work through donations, the K-Club and simple encouragement. Without it we could not continue or attract so much money from outside the village. We are here for anyone who needs our services. If we can help please give us a call, in confidence.
John Batchelor


MORE members of all ages are what the Gardening club hopes to attract this year. Discussions are currently underway to celebrate the club’s Diamond Annual Show (60 years) and to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee (50 years) in some appropriate way. New members with enthusiasm will be most welcome to help make this year a double celebration.


OUR aim for 2002 is for every household to know our name, when and where we meet and that our doors are open to everyone from all walks of life.


THE Camera Club has a lot of ambitions for 2002 - perhaps the most important is to have fun taking and seeing photographs.
The club has been running for only three months but our plans for the year will give a lot of options to everyone and the chance to get work published in the village and shown at our first annual exhibition.
A big ambition is to attract more members - we have 11 at the moment and would like to increase that considerably to make our meetings and events all the more enjoyable. The emphasis is on sharing skills and experience. Already we have a wide variety of interests ranging from micro and macro photography to social documentary and portraiture.
These are our ambitious plans for 2002:
Meetings to include a half-hour presentation on a specialist subject and a show by a member of 25 transparencies or photographs for our enjoyment and friendly comment.
Set up a mentoring scheme where people who want to learn can have the personal help of another member.
Working with village organisations to provide photographs, including the village directory and www.linton.info project and the Linton News.
Arranging awaydays and casual village photo sessions, on the fourth Sunday of the month, an annual exhibition, and exchanging photos and views by email.
The Camera Club meets from 11am-1pm on the second Sunday of the month at the Social Centre. If you would like to join or you want more information, please contact John Keeble by email (jkeeble@clara.net)


THE Linton Music Society hopes to extend its activities to other local villages. We also hope to have more music workshops for young people. These give a unique opportunity for local young musicians with different skills and abilities to learn and play with top performers. We would like to encourage even more young people to come to our concerts.
We also aim to raise more money to buy a new piano for the village. We have raised about £6000 but we will need to raise even more for a top quality instrument.
Trish Bear


IF you thought about getting fit in 2001, but never did anything about it, Christmas over-indulgence may have made you realise that this year is the time for action.
When it comes to getting fit, many people don’t know where to start. Self-motivation is a problem for those trying to get fit on their own, and evening classes only run in term time. The answer may be the Village College Mens’ Keep Fit Club. We meet in the Village College sports hall every Monday from 8pm, and unlike some clubs you don’t need to be fit before you join. Our only aim is to improve and maintain our fitness, as a group of friends of all ages, not in competition with each other.
We start in the fitness room, progress to a tutored session and circuit training in the sports hall, and finish with team games until about 9.30. After that, there’s always time for a visit to the sports hall bar. If you’re interested, give me a ring on  891608 or just turn up any Monday evening around 8 o’clock.
Ken Leake

NEW CLUB FOR 2002    Top

THE new Linton Scrabble Club will meet on alternate Tuesdays, from 10 am to 12 noon, at Linton Sports Centre beginning on 15th January.
We hope that there will be lots of new members for this new, friendly, and informal club.
For further information, please contact. Samara Philpott


There were 43 members and four visitors at the December meeting. Beautiful Christmas posies were made and distributed by Brenda Smith. Jane Scheuer reported on a Denman College course entitled "Christmas Delectables" attended recently by three members. Mince pies, produced to a recipe used on the course, were served. Miriam Rixon brought a sample of a beaded amulet purse, which she had learned how to make at a recent Day School and she mentioned some future craft events which might interest members.
Forthcoming events, which can now be booked, were read out. The Parish Council has suggested that the WI seat be placed at Rivey Hill. It was proposed that the WI raise money for a new seat for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Volunteers were requested to arrange the Members’ Evening in February.
We welcomed a return visit by the evening’s speaker, Louise Read. Her talk "I love Christmas, but is it possible to survive it?" contained many amusing anecdotes relating to herself and her family, including her husband’s attempts to buy presents on Christmas Eve. Tricia Lewis gave the vote of thanks for a very lively and enjoyable evening. Brenda Smith arranged a quiz on Christmas themes. A raffle concluded the evening.
The next meeting is on Tuesday 5th February. All are welcome.
Anne Parry-Smith

Ron amsden retires from linton news    Top

Ron Amsden: started the Linton News in 1987
Ron Amsden, who founded the Linton news, has retired from active participation in the paper after nearly 15 years of dedicated service.
Ron and his wife Jean moved to Linton 16 years ago, after living in Hadstock for 30 years, and his village activities included setting up the paper when he realised that there was a lack of communication among residents.
He thought – correctly – that the paper would put the villagers in touch with local problems and so would involve them more with the Parish Council.
Together with Dr Brian Cox, first Chairman of the Linton News committee, Ron Argent, who still generates the cash for the Linton News by selling advertising space, and several others, he started the first Linton newspaper since the Linton Tribune in the 70s.
The publication was typed up on Ron’s BBC computer, with a daisy-wheel printer with only one typeface.
There was no public money for it but the first copy was self-financing through the sale of adverts. The first lead story, on 1st April 1987, was headed "Foul! Are Linton’s Dogs Offside?" and it generated quite a response from villagers.
It was delivered by Ron, his wife Jean and Helen Krarup, who still kindly delivers for us to this day – it took several weeks to get round.
Nowadays, we have much more sophisticated computers and software, but then Ron had to type articles separately and blow them up on a photocopier to fill the space, then paste them in. It took two weeks every month.
Ron later invested in an Apple Mac for himself, and set about teaching himself how to use it. The first page generated on the Apple Mac was published on 1st September 1987 (although the rest of the paper that month was still BBC format – just in case the experiment went wrong).
Ron’s background, though mainly scientific, once involved working on his college magazine and proof-reading – something he has been doing for the present News team until very recently.
He previously worked for Pest Control in Southampton, and had various stints in the Sudan, where he learned to pilot a light aircraft. He has been married to Jean since 1939 and has three children, seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Ron has always been a person to do things for others, and his present hobby-horse is trying to raise money for the Linton Area Pool Project.
He was presented with an award for his charity and parish council work, and he has been named a Millennium Fellow through his connection with the Linton IT Club.
The present team would like to wish him well as he potters about in his garden. But we may grab him back if things get tough... Tracey Wilson
Fresh page in diary of a diarist

Olwen Williams, the Linton News Country Diary writer, is leaving for new challenges.     Top

She tells of her passion for the natural world
AS an avid reader of the Guardian’s Country Diary, I was impressed to find that the local paper had a country diarist, on arrival in Linton 10 years ago. When this post was declared vacant, it took a little courage to volunteer – I have enjoyed the exercise each month for the last five years.
My interest in wildlife and the countryside began in childhood, kindled by my older sister, by the Girl Guides and by family excursions into the Peak District and Lancashire hills.
I have never really fathomed why we feel the need to identify flowers, trees or birds. Even those who claim not to know anything about birds will recognise a minimum of eight (robin, swan, duck, wagtail, blackbird, cuckoo, seagull, kingfisher). For me, part of the answer was acquisitiveness – I was a great collector of guide badges. Part was sheer curiosity. Part had to do with understanding how nature works.
In general, without an identity or a name, it is impossible to discover more. We can only register that species are endangered if we can recognise them, study what habitat they need for survival or know what other species are co-dependent.
I did not have any formal training in the natural sciences after leaving school, apart from that relevant to the study of medicine, which has been my career.
In the last 10 years, I began to extend my knowledge with weekend courses, graduating to part-time study with the Open University. I have had great fun along the way and finished up in some unlikely places!
Finally I have returned to Cambridge University as a full-time undergraduate in natural sciences, a considerable time after my original degree in medicine.
Throughout the last 10 years, I have been encouraged and inspired by the enthusiasm of scientists who obviously loved their subject and wanted to share it with others. In turn, I have tried to convey some of my own passion in my diaries each month.


We should have more comment – not less    Top

Dear Editor

I fear Ms Ketland in your last issue [More beating about Mr Bush] misunderstood both the editors’ response to the original letter complaining about the Bush Telegraph, and the function of the Linton News. Nowhere do the editors say that they agree with the views Clive Bush expresses. Saying that his writing is excellent, or that he speaks in blunt terms about his concerns, clearly expresses neither approval nor disapproval of the views themselves. Equally, their disagreement with the anonymous letter of criticism related to whether views of the kind found in the Bush Telegraph should be published in the pages of the Linton News, not whether those views are right or wrong.
I also hope you will think long and hard before agreeing to publish letters without including a name and address, except when there are good reasons for protecting someone’s identity. Anonymity does not usually encourage responsibility.
As to the function of the News, the key to the misunderstanding seems to me to be Ms Ketland’s reference to it being a "newsletter not a political platform". I have always understood, from the time of its foundation, that the rationale of the News was emphatically to be a newspaper, not a newsletter. Newspapers contain news pages; they also contain comment pages. There is no doubt a good argument for purely party politics to be confined to the news section of a paper like the News, but otherwise the comment columns should be open to all, provided no law is broken.
The value of someone writing about their own area of expertise is that they are likely to have something useful to say about important issues as they affect our own community. Rather than cutting down the Bush Telegraph, why don’t we have items from a wider range of contributors? For a start, what about an occasional column from a member of the Health Centre partnership analysing how well or badly the NHS serves local residents?
Getting experts to write also makes readers think about the issues. I sometimes disagree with Clive’s views. What I want is not an end to the Bush Telegraph, but letters taking issue with his opinions and suggesting why he’s got it wrong. Perhaps for my next letter to the News...
Andrew Gore

Our thanks    Top

Dear Editor    Top

An Open Pairs darts competition was held in the Waggon and Horses public house on 29th November. Brenda Wright, a local and regular darts player, died earlier this year and a memorial trophy was played for in her memory, which was won by K Naxton and S Wilson.
We would like to thank John, the landlord, for letting us hold the competition there, also big thanks for the lovely refreshments.
Thanks also go to everyone who donated and supported the large raffle. Also to all those who helped to make it a very good evening.
All proceeds from the competition are gong to the Macmillan Nurses. This will be an annual event.
Lesley Price (daughter) and Steve Wright (son)

Dear Editor      Top

Mr & Mrs Andrew Powell very kindly made their delightful home, The Manor House, Green Lane, Linton, available for a cheese and wine party on 1st December in aid of CAMART, the locally based fund raising group for Alzheimer’s Research Trust. The event resulted in £650 being raised and grateful thanks are due to Mr & Mrs Powell as well as all who attended. Mention was made that of every £1 raised by the Trust only 6p is spent on administration.
Carol Todd

CathodEon: Good but can we do better?    Top

What do you think of the centre? Have we got it right? Have we made mistakes? What should we be doing next? We really want your views about what how the centre should develop in the future.
Contact us at the centre or through the Parish Clerk, Gill Barker, on 891001
IT is just over two years since the Cathodeon Centre opened for business, which means it is a good time to take stock.
The centre is run by a group of trustees, including three appointed by the Parish Council, with input from a Users Committee. Have we fulfilled three key aims we set out to achieve?
1 To create meeting spaces, which would fill the gaps in the existing facilities available in Linton.
The Chestnut Play Group and the Linton Out of School Club use the meeting rooms during the day from Monday to Friday, including much of the school holidays. We have regular hirers three evenings a week and on Sunday mornings, as well as casual bookings. Our regular bookings are all from groups who found existing facilities did not meet their needs.
2 To ensure the building would be welcoming, with a modern and well-maintained environment.
Most people were pleasantly surprised by the silk purse our architect created from a pig’s ear. But we want to keep it up to scratch. We have added a large new store and the decorators were due to give part of the interior its first redecoration over Christmas. We have carried out work within our means, and our aim is to build up a reserve against future maintenance and repairs. However, we feel the days of scrimping are no longer acceptable. People expect more now, and we want to keep improving it as much as we can.
3 To work in partnership with the Library Service.
Helped by their representatives amongst the Trustees and the Users’ Group, that partnership is well established. Use of the children’s library by the Out of School Club, and the cooperation between the library and the Senior IT Group in their use of the IT suite are the highlights of the partnership. Borrowing levels from the library have gone up by leaps and bounds since it moved to the centre.
We know there is more to be done. We want to fill the gaps in the schedule of regular hirings. If you have been thinking of setting up a club or a group, we still have vacancies on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
If you need a large meeting space, the library bookshelves can be moved into the children’s library when the library is closed, and the partition between the library and the main meeting room folded back, to create a much bigger single space.
With its modern power supply, this could be just the place for a film club, for instance.
And don’t forget that if you want to put on a social event which is too small for the Social Centre, one of our smaller rooms could be just right for you.
We would also like to extend community use of the IT suite, and when the PlayGroup and Out of School Club are not in the building, the children’s play equipment is there for every child to use.
Now Westbury has relaid the lawn at the front of the building, we want to draw up a list of volunteers who would be willing to open and close the play area on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, especially during the summer months. Can you help?
Andrew Gore

If you are a people person, join us     Top

DO you like people? Can you work with a team as well as on your own? If you are or you are willing to try... we want you. Now.
We need two more researchers to help gather information for the new village website and directory: both projects are very ambitious, with specific aims of helping the community as well as making life easier and better for residents and newcomers.
In addition, we want to cover Hildersham, Hadstock and Bartlow and need someone living in each village to get together all the information that their fellow residents will find useful.
In return for your voluntary efforts, you can expect to make a lot of new friends and have the opportunity to stretch your skills as you help produce material for print and the website.
The Directory Researchers will join our existing team. They will help ferret out information for various sections and get it together for the Web Editors to put on the internet site and the Directory Editors to edit into the print version.
If you would like to join us, or you want more information, please telephone John Keeble  (or email at jkeeble@clara.net).
Linton News Team

A1307 access group rethinks traffic count to build up ammunition    Top

NEW information from Cambridgeshire and Suffolk county councils has forced the A1307 Access Group to delay its traffic count while it gets geared up to record all the data to put a coherent argument forward for improved A1307 safety.
We decided at an emergency meeting to postpone the count until we were better prepared, consequently saving a lot of people’s time and energy.
I would like to thank all the people who agreed to give up their time and sleep in order to help with the planned count.
Within the last month, Cambridgeshire County Council has announced that it plans to improve the entrance to the Granta garage.
However, this will do nothing to improve access for both vehicles and pedestrians on the A1307 and although the figures from the county council show the Bartlow Road junction has a higher accident record, we presume at this stage that this would cost more money to remedy, hence no action.
It has been reported that the Parish Council has heard that traffic lights at the top of High Street may be included in the County’s 2003/4 programme, but again we have yet to hear any ‘cast iron’ guarantees.
We are in the process of writing to all the people who have shown their support for an action group and also the parish councils affected by the A1307, to inform them of our progress.
The Access A1307 group seems to have levelled out at about seven core members who meet regularly to keep the action going.
But we need as much support as we can get. If you just write to the council, your MP, or even us, (we would appreciate a copy of any letters) it will raise the profile of the A1307 and make a difference. We need to continue to put as much pressure on the ‘powers that be’ as we can. Already this winter the A1307 has claimed several victims.
For further information, or to offer your support, email Access1307@btopenworld.com or write to us at Access A1307, Phoenix House, The Grip, Linton, CB1 6NR.
Jenny Roland


LINTON’S business community has just gained an exotic addition in the form of a Chinese gift shop, The Dragon Pearl. Although close to the Dragon King take-away in the High Street, the gift shop is going to be a separate venture by Mrs L Truong.
Chinese ornaments such as ‘lucky cats’ are on sale as well as hand-made jewellery, children’s traditional clothes and novelty gifts in a wide price range, suiting every budget. Mrs Truong said she hopes to be able to supply wholesale to other gift shops and in time to supply adult traditional Chinese costumes from Dragon Pearl.
The shop (formerly the flower shop) is next to the video shop in the High Street. It is open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. LNT


Alan Stripp, keeping us guessing
ALAN Stripp, who lives at the Old Green in Linton, has published a novel based on his experiences as a code breaker in England and India during the Second World War. The Code Snatch, published by Vanguard Press, is a fictionalised account of the theft of a Japanese military codebook and is based on a true event, although Alan will not be drawn on the exact points where fact and fiction meet. "I always ask people to guess and hope they will find it an enjoyable business guessing."
Alan Stripp was recruited into the Intelligence Service within months of his going up to Trinity College, Cambridge to read Classics in 1942. After an intensive six months studying Japanese at Bedford, Alan was stationed at Bletchley Park, working on breaking Japanese army air force codes, "a nasty, multi-stage affair, very tough." From Bletchley he was sent to Delhi, the centre for the study of Japanese army air force signals, and stayed there for the duration of the war.
After a post-war career with the British Council, Alan and his wife Mary settled in Linton and Alan worked at the Board of Extra Mural Studies (now Continuing Education) at the university in Cambridge. Together they founded the Phoenix String Orchestra, which gave over 130 concerts before it disbanded in 1980.
The Code Snatch is not Alan’s first publication. In 1989 his book Codebreaker in the Far East was published and in 1993 he co-wrote the bestselling Codebreakers with Sir Harry Hinsley. Both books are available from Oxford University Press.
To find out more about a hair-raising wartime flight in a stolen Japanese plane, you will have to read Alan’s new book. The Code Snatch is stocked at Heffers in Cambridge and copies are available at Small Gifts and Hale and Jacobs, price £7.99. LNT


IN early 2001, we announced an annual prize for the best written and/or the most informative article or letter of the year. The final shortlist, from a number of contributions nominated between July 2000 and August 2001, was: LA4Y team: Why youth project is so valuable (August 2000); Margot Freeman and Lesley Gore for their article in memory of Adam Clackson (September 2000); Clive Bush: A different world (October 2000); Kate Bibbey: Local student’s summer of giving (November 2000); June Keeble: How Chinese gods link pain and purity (January 2001). With difficulty, the committee selected one from this shortlist: Kate Bibbey’s article about her work with children in Mexico.
Kate will receive a cheque for £50 and the authors of all the nominated articles will receive a certificate. Kate’s winning article is reproduced on the Linton News website.
The award will be made again in 2002. Please continue to send your letters and articles to the Linton News and maintain the high standard of contributions we receive. LNT

WEA COURSE         Top 

THE Linton Workers Educational Association’s spring course, An Introduction to Astronomy, starts on Tuesday 15th January. The course will be held in the Social Centre and each session is from 10 to 11.30am. For further information please contact Frances Angus


THE official opening of the new Sightline computer was held in Linton Library on Thursday 6th December .
In front of an Anglia TV camera, Gladys Adamson from Linton cut the launch cake which had been specially made by Linda Pearson, the Linton Library Supervisor. The cake was in the shape of a computer, complete with keyboard and mouse, although this mouse had a nose, eyes and ears, unlike most computer mice!
Representatives from the Talking Newspaper Association of the UK, Linton’s Granta Grapevine, and the County Council hosted a reception and demonstration for local guests to mark the launch of the new facility.
Lynda Martin, Partnership and Development Manager with Cambridgeshire Libraries, told guests that TNAUK had obtained lottery funding for 45 Sightline systems to be installed throughout the UK.
The equipment in the library is one of the first Sightline installations in the country, and the first one in Cambridgeshire. The computer can be set to show magnified text one line or one word at a time and speak the words that appear on the screen. It can also be used to scan a document that has printed text on it, such as a typed letter, and the computer can speak the contents.
Prospective users will need guidance before attempting to use it on their own. If you are visually impaired and you would like to try the system out, there will be a training day on Thursday 31st January. Please contact Lynda Martin on  01480 375194 to book an appointment on that day.
Mike Crofts

ENTERPRISE BID advance         Top 

AS part of its bid to become a Business and Enterprise College LVC has to demonstrate substantial business backing. The College also needs to show ‘intellectual investment’ with real partnerships formed with companies.
Partnerships are being developed with a number of local and Cambridge-based businesses. Negotiations are continuing with several others and the door is open to any who might like to be involved. The College is putting the bid together for submission to the Department for Education and Skills in March. With the degree of interest so far shown, the College clearly deserves to be successful. Clive Bush


HAVE you ever wanted to try your hand at pottery, create unusual craftwork, investigate local history, paint in watercolours, become more fit or learn how to use a computer? You can attend classes in these subjects, free of charge, if you take an isolated or vulnerable person with you.
A local community project called Health for Life needs volunteers to take people to community education classes and village clubs. In these activities, people referred on to the project make friends, learn new skills and interests and start to regain their confidence, health and independence.
If you have a couple of hours spare a week and would like to help someone feel better, we’d like to hear from you. Phone  01638 743658 for further information.
Samara Philpott

FAMILY MAGIC         Top 

"BRIAR Rose" is a show for the whole family. Cursed by a wicked fairy, Briar Rose is trapped in a magical castle surrounded by an impregnable wood where she sleeps whilst the forces of good and evil battle for her life. With music, action and plenty of laughs, this production will appeal to all.
The performance by Forest Forge Theatre is sponsored by the Linton Arts Forum. It will take place at 7pm on Thursday 24th January at Linton Heights Junior School. The Friends of Linton Heights will be selling tickets as well as Sue Albrow , Judy Rossiter and Sweet Talk News.
Judy Rossiter


QEST will be running a six-week Work Preparation course at Linton Village College from January. One of the course aims is to help individuals to recognise they have the ability and opportunity to make informed choices relating to their personal life, going back to work or considering further training.
To be eligible for the course you need to be of employment age, living in South Cambridgeshire and suffering from or recovering from a mental illness. If you meet the eligibility criteria and would like to join the course please call Sandra Greatrex   Sandra Greatrex


DECEMBER was a month of good news and perhaps good cheer for the world of education. In the most comprehensive international comparison ever undertaken of 15 year olds (the OECD – PISA study for the technical among you), the UK came out very near the top in literacy (only significantly behind Finland and Canada), mathematical literacy (only significantly behind Korea and Japan) and science (only significantly behind Korea). This puts us overall sixth in the world, well ahead of Germany, France and the US. It is perhaps sobering to note that these are fifteen year olds who have not lived through the reforms of primary education, the results of which seem to have stalled according to the recently published Key Stage 2 league tables. We have grown so used to hearing the negatives about our education system--long hours, inadequate resources and low morale--that some people find these results hard to believe. For decades the myth has prevailed that German and French schools were better than ours even when we had information to the contrary. Those of us on the inside saw things differently however. Every day we experience the astonishing potential of developing young minds and in successful schools we tap that potential to produce outstanding results in a wide spectrum of ways. Being successful is not just about GCSEs or SATs, it’s also the result of emotional and social development, sport, the arts and citizenship. The whole package is what produces well-rounded, confident and capable people. At last, there seems to be some recognition of this from our political masters who, while they still haven’t understood the crippling burden of paper work and red tape heaped on schools, do seem to have grasped the fact that freeing up organisations to be more independent will lead to yet further improvement. The increased freedom over the national curriculum and the freedom for schools to develop as businesses are two examples. If these reforms are accompanied by a degree of trust in our ability to be innovative while at the same time preserving our core achievements, then successful schools can look forward to a very positive and productive 2002. If this is combined with effective approaches to solving the recruitment crisis and a lessening of the bureaucratic burden, then the New Year looks bright indeed.
Clive Bush, Principal


EVEN after a glass or two of Cynthia’s delicious mulled wine, Garden Club members at the December gathering managed to tackle the cryptic clues of a gardening quiz. We had some fun with the answers; the highest score was achieved by Anne Parry-Smith. Earlier we looked at slides of open gardens in England, members’ own pretty patches and some beautiful wild landscapes in Crete. On a damp and dreary evening outside it was good to be reminded of the warmth of summer.
This month the talk will be about Ferns by Mrs Nimmo-Smith, so those of you with shady gardens could find some inspiration.
We would like to remind all photographers of the categories for the Show competition next September. These are: local village scenes or features, a flower stem, water, pets and a humorous photograph.
A happy New Year to you all. Gloria Fidler


THE Funkey patrol of 2nd Linton Guides has raised more than 20 dollars by organising a competition to build a pyramid of plastic cups whilst attracting sponsors for remaining silent. The competition was won by 10 year old Heather Oglesby who built up 15 cups.
The six girls in the patrol decided to help the New York Fire Department after seeing the horrific events of 11th September on television. They have given the money to Mrs Evan Jones of Haverhill who is also raising money for the Fire Department. Kate France

LINTON COUNTRY DIARY by Darryl Nantais         Top

Friday 7th December 2001     Illustrated by Maureen Williams
LINTON is a jewellery box of fascinating features with wildlife in abundance. Over the coming months I would like to lift the lid and share with you my sightings and discoveries.
In the quiet of the night, armed with a powerful rechargeable lamp, I welly-up and set off down to the river. One of my favourite finds are Cottus gobio, the beautiful fish called bullheads or Millers Thumbs. Bullheads are mainly night feeders coming out from the cover of stones or dead leaves. When you see one and note its broad head we can see just how they got their name Millers Thumbs. My imagination gave rise to all sorts of wonderful explanations, however I read recently a more plausible one that millers would develop broad thumbs from rubbing grain.
Stand on the footbridge down by the mill ford at night and shine your torch to the right or left side of the river and you may be lucky enough to spot one or two, though you will have to keep your eyes well peeled. On a good night I have seen as many as six there.
Their breeding in our local river, along with increased sightings of crayfish, signifies that the Granta is becoming clean once again. These creatures are terribly sensitive to pollution so things are obviously looking up.
Bullheads in the Granta grow to just three or four inches long. They are masters of disguise, preferring a gravel or rocky bed as their habitat laying their eggs under stones during spring.
The bullheads’ flat bodies blend in well amongst rotting leaves and multi-coloured stones. Lying camouflaged and dead still, they wait for a passing water shrimp or larvae. Quick as a flash they dart out and gobble them up, often returning to their post. When the barometric pressure drops and winged insects hover lower than usual you might also see one competing with trout for the tastiest fly.
I have observed the bullheads hanging around with sticklebacks, although since the floods a small rogue perch has been picking the sticklebacks off one by one. I don’t think there is any symbiotic relationship between bullheads and sticklebacks. Sticklebacks feed entirely on live animal matter, which is why many pet sticklebacks die in captivity. They resort to eating each other as they run out of food and dried goldfish food just won’t do. It’s possible they clean up after the bullhead has finished his meal.
Before temptation gets the better of you, remember these fish are spiny. An undocumented account claims that a single prick from a Linton Millers Thumb can cause unstoppable growth of the nose...


THERE will be a sale of surplus library books from 10am to 12 noon on Saturday 12th January at Linton Library (Cathodeon Centre). For further information contact Linda Pearson at Linton Library on Cambridge
Mike Crofts

K-CLUB WINNERS         Top

THE result of the K-Club December monthly draw: 1st (£50) Win Gibbs (No. 223); 2nd (£25) Dr D J Parry-Smith (No. 087); 3rd (£10) Jan Shambrook (No. 118).


FOR the period June to November the average participation rate for green box recycling in the Linton area has been 63%, which compares well to the 64% average for the whole district.
From June to November 2001, the Linton area recycled 105 tonnes. During the same period 22 tonnes of material were collected using the recycling banks. Using the recycling banks alone last year 136 tonnes of materials were recycled. If these same levels of recycling are maintained it would result in an annual tonnage of 328 tonnes of materials being recycled.
The theoretical maximum of recyclables in the waste stream in the Linton area is 489 tonnes.
New calendars detailing collection dates for the period December to March are currently being delivered. If you do not receive one please call Cleanaway on the helpline number  01353 863971.
Don Haymes, Recycling and Waste Minimisation Officer