March 2003  Edition of the Linton News    Previous        Next


Rare magic real misery, County council must think big and make A1307 safer, seven deaths in 15 months, Quality Parish Council, Parish council news, the royal British legion needs you, amazing support, from theatre to prisonwacky races back by popular demand, jumble will fund guides' trip, out of school club, lean lunches for lent, a martyr and his music, British up your Shakespeare, Lintons' info, Linton news warmly welcomes new committee member, the Bowls Club AGM, desperately seeking stewards, The colourful past of Saffron Walden, backing the right horse, donate and save lives, Jubilee coins Almost gone!, the bush telegraph, #not such a Thorny Problem, Linton country diary, sociable questions, K-Club winners


dogs and other dangers, a few kind words, fencing: still room for thought, from the other side of the fence..., high street: remember the workers,


ON Friday 31st January, heavy snow closed nearly all of Cambridgeshire’s schools and kept most people at home. For those who spent up to 18 hours stuck in trains or cars, sometimes within short distance of their homes, it was misery. For others, it was a rare day of winter magic that transformed familiar sights.
Walkers and photographers made the most of it, undeterred by the costs of a day’s enforced holiday or unpaid leave.
This picture of Rivey Walk was taken by Linton resident John Creedy, who describes it modestly as "a very lucky photo which I hope your readers will enjoy".
"My wife and I had not walked the path down from the water tower for several years, not since it was tidied up," Mr Creedy wrote to the Linton News. "The previous deep mud and rubbish had simply put us off ever going again. I wonder how many people are aware how much better this path is now?
"I do not know the two walkers in the picture, it was not posed.
"I am an enthusiastic amateur and have no commercial photographic interests."
Anyone who would like a copy of this photograph can contact Mr Creedy on 893604. The Linton News would like to see more readers’ photographs. Please send digital images to or contact the editor, Hazel Olway, 892180. LNT


THERE has been yet another fatal accident on the A1307 between the Bartlow Road crossroads and the Long Road/Mill Lane junction. There was chaos in Linton High Street on 17th February as traffic was diverted through the village for more than 5 hours. The causes of the latest accident, in which one woman died and two other people were hospitalised, are still under investigation. However, given the increasing amount of traffic that uses the road, it is inevitable that there will be more deaths, and each one is a tragedy for families and friends.
In spite of pressure from local councillors, James Paice MP and the Access1307 group, the County Council still has no plans to make the A1307 safer. The reason is because of the way the Government and County Council set their priorities for road schemes.
Any major scheme to make it safer for people to join the busy road, such as a roundabout at the Bartlow Road crossroads, would cost up to £500,000 and would have to be funded by central government. The government would only fund such a scheme if there were more serious accidents than at other accident blackspots in the county. The trouble is that county council engineers consider accident clusters in small stretches of road and rank them with similar clusters elsewhere in the county. There are many accidents on the A1307 between Cambridge and Haverhill but because they all occur in slightly different places, there is nearly always somewhere in the county with a worse record for a short stretch of road.
So what is to be done? Access1307 are doing a great job collecting accident statistics, lobbying James Paice and keeping the appalling state of the road in the media. County council officers and Shona Johnstone, the county cabinet member with responsibility for transport must be persuaded to change policy and consider the accident record of the road as a whole, think big and make the road safer for all users. They must look at the whole road between Babraham and Horseheath and not design small schemes to address individual accidents.
It is very frustrating trying to explain to colleagues on the County Council who do not know the road how bad the A1307 really is. I need all the help I can get from Access1307 and others to pressurize officers and fellow county councillors to bite the bullet and spend large sums of money to make the road safer. Terry Bear


SEVEN deaths on a three-mile stretch of road in 15 months: pretty horrific figures. 21st November 2001: man killed on dual carriageway near Dalehead Foods; 7th July 2002: pedestrian killed at Bartlow Road crossroads; 14th July 2002: driver killed near Village College; 8th November 2002: man killed near Dene Road crossroads; 3rd January 2003: driver died near top of High Street; 5th February 2003: pedestrian killed near Dalehead Foods; 17th February 2003: driver killed between Bartlow Road crossroads and Granta garage.
There is a popular misconception that as the A1307 is a ‘4-figure’ A road it must be a minor road. This is simply not the case. The section between Linton and Abington competes with the busiest of routes controlled by Cambridgeshire County Council.
Access 1307 is an action group that is campaigning for improvements to the stretch of the A1307 between the A11 and the Suffolk border and James Paice MP is supporting the group.
At one end of the road is Haverhill, the fastest growing town in Suffolk. A large proportion of the working population of Haverhill commutes to Cambridge and London and uses the A1307, Haverhill’s only route out from the south.
This stretch of road has no roundabouts and all the junctions are very dangerous.
Many smaller villages rely on Linton’s services: doctors, dentists, vets, post office, shops, pharmacy, garages, library and community education facilities.
However it is getting increasingly difficult for the residents to cross the A1307 safely to Linton by foot or by car.
Residents and employees crossing at the Grip have to use a small pedestrian refuge which has been totally destroyed once and still shows considerable damage from vehicle collisions. Residents have been waiting over 2 years for the County Council to move it. Every year traffic signals are on the Safety Scheme List from Cambridgeshire County Council but because they may cause congestion on the A1307 the village always loses out. The vehicle interval in the morning and evening is less than 2.2 seconds - not much time to cross the road.
Increased traffic in the High Street is making the village a nightmare to walk in, children are at risk travelling to school and damage is being caused to listed properties.
Linton Village College, with 800 pupils, is sited on the A1307 at the end of a dual carriageway and teachers and school buses all have to use the A1307 to reach the school.
The group is incensed by the County Councils approach. The County Council are looking at the accident statistics at individual junctions rather than assessing the severity of the problem over a length of road. Improvements to one junction will have an impact of the traffic flow at other junctions and could reduce accidents at both.
There are two dangerous junctions on this stretch of the A1307 which are recognised accident blackspots. These are the Dene Road crossroads, Bartlow and the Bartlow Road crossroads in Linton. These junctions are often confused by the Police and County Council officials and both are very dangerous to use.
The residents from this forgotten corner of the county are asking the County Council to take urgent action and to give us the priority we deserve. We are sick of hearing the sirens travelling to accidents and wondering who or where it will be next.
We must show the County Council the strength of feeling concerning the road and demand that urgent action be taken. Our MP, Jim Paice, will be meeting the County Council in April and we hope to send with him a petition signed by villagers. Copies of this petition will be available to sign in village shops, public houses and the library.
The title of the petition is: "We the undersigned request that the County Council take urgent action to improve the safe access for vehicles, pedestrians and other road users onto and across the A1307 between the A11 and Haverhill". Please make an effort to sign this so that we can show that Jim Paice has the support of the local community.
Esther Cornell 

Quality Parish Council       Top

LINTON Parish Council are currently striving to be awarded Quality Parish Council status. Through previous articles you will be aware that this should give them much greater autonomy within the village, allowing them to be responsible for more of the repairs within the parish, and to control repairs that at the moment are under the instruction of other bodies.
With other Councils our representations on your behalf will have to be heard! The Council are at this moment preparing their bid and compiling surveys and questionnaires of parishioners’ views on the way the village should progress. The workload for this has increased the present clerk’s duties to a point where she will now have to take on a part time assistant.


January Meetings
Members of the public praised the council for its persistence in solving the drainage problems in a part of Rivey Lane. The rest should be finished early this year.
Concern was also raised over a branch that has snapped and overhangs the footpath in the High Street opposite the art gallery.
A member of the public raised the question of the new fencing at the infant’s school (as reported in the January Issue).
Council were also updated on the procedures for dealing with the recent heavy rain and how they worked.
Council were informed that we are losing our Community Beat Officer on his promotion to the CID. PC Poppet is to be his stand in although he will not be full time. Thirteen crimes were reported this month.
The County Councillor reported that Stagecoach had at last acknowledged that the 113 service does have problems and they are addressing them.
Council had still not had a breakdown of recycling credits. This will be followed up.
LVC has been granted £20,000 towards its sports centre facilities.
The Broadband group are looking at alternative ways of providing broadband to Linton to speed up its availability.
A Call Centre is to be set up to answer telephone calls to the District Council office.
Courses for local businesses could be set up locally to highlight recent updates in the Disability Discrimination Act. Council are very aware of the problems that they have before them regarding this Act and are still looking for the facilities to conform.
The burial fees for the cemetery were reviewed with a £25 increase approved from the 1st April 2003.
The Finance Chair gave a report on the precept for 2003/04 resulting in a 3% increase in the Parish rates to £84,130.
The Annual Parish meeting has been set for Tuesday 29th April 2003 in the Social centre and Community Appraisal will be featured.
February Meetings
Council discussed the recent death on the A1307. There have now been seven deaths in 15 months.
It was reported that the lock to the recreation ground had been cut but it is not known by whom.
It was pointed out that ox-bow erosion is taking place in the Pocket Park and the process has been observed over the years.
Council are to employ a part-time office assistant (see front page),
The parish plan questionnaire was discussed.
Once again excessive dog fouling has been reported. Further signs will be erected and offenders reported to the Dog Warden.
Council discussed a recent case of vandalism to a vehicle at the Library. Eleven crimes were reported to the police this month.
The Social Centre rep reported that they had been successful in obtaining two grants for refurbishing which will go ahead soon. The rear fencing will be the next project needing attention.
The council has received notice that the "Wacky Races" are to take place again this year after their success last year.
The fair has been granted permission to use the recreation ground in May.
The council were asked to suggest names for the new development on Back Road (the old hostel).
Suggestions included Union Court and Sticklers or Stickle Court (exact spelling to be researched) All have historic connections.
Please note that due to clerical training the office will only be open from 3-5pm on Mondays until mid June.

the royal British legion needs you       Top

THE Royal British Legion will be holding an open evening from 7.30pm on Thursday 20th March at Linton Social Centre. All members old and new are invited. Numbers have been dwindling over recent years and more support is required, so don’t be shy – come down and get involved. We look forward to seeing you.
Glynis Brewer


The maze at Manor Garden
MANOR garden and maze (42 High Street Balsham) opens as part of the National Gardens scheme on Sunday 23rd March from 1-5pm.
Our special charity, Friends of Addenbrookes will get 25% of our profits, the rest going to such charities as Macmillan Nurses and Marie Curie Cancer Care.
So please support our open day where there will be many plants and also tea for sale as well as the display of spring bulbs.
Please phone Jim or Hilary Potter for further details on 891211 Hilary Potter


FOLLOWING the raffle at last month’s meeting, a donation of £52 was made to the work of LVC’s link with Boepathutse, South Africa.
Members were encouraged to take part in forthcoming outings and activities, which include "Limelight", a day tracing the story of London’s Theatreland and a visit to "Legal London" on 1st May. Margaret Clark and Tricia Lewis from Linton WI. are taking part in "Curtain Up" on 14th March.
Joan Argent reported from a meeting of the Village Hall Committee where a loop system is being considered if there is sufficient demand. Information was given about the changes in the way pensions and benefits are paid and the possible effect on Post Offices. Members were urged to support their local Post Offices.
The evening ended with the singing of some popular songs accompanied by David Parry-Smith at the piano.
Next month’s meeting is on Tuesday, 4th March at 7.30pm at the Social Centre. The speaker is Rodney Tibbs on "Patio Gardening and Gardening in small places". Visitors are welcome and there will be a trading stall so clear you attic!
Anne Parry-Smith


Dear Editor,
I felt I had to express my disgust with regard to the complete ignorance of some dog owners who allow their dogs to foul the pavements, in particular along the High Street.
Do these people realise it's hard enough negotiating a buggy, small child, and for some of us, an older child at the end of the day as it is, without dodging the trails of dog deposits as well?
Children, if unfortunate enough to step in it, trail it into school on their shoes, into assembly and run the risk of sitting in it. The health risks are well known, and apart from the hygiene aspect, too, it's enough to warrant that something must be done to eradicate the problem.
Is it not bad enough that we have to endure being pinned against somebody's house to avoid a bus, or in my case the lorry that delivered to the Co- Op the other day, who saw fit to speed along at least 40 mph when the other side of the road was blocked by parked cars?
Every day it seems we "run the gauntlet". When are the daily rigours of life going to get a bit easier in the village?
I persevere with walking my children to school in already dangerous circumstances, but one more thing may prompt me to get in my car and drive, and that will not help the traffic situation will it?
So, to all those who allow their dogs to foul the pavements, please give a thought to others; pick it up and take it with you, and give us one less thing to worry about.
Sharon Dillon
Fairfield Way


Dear Editor,
May I say a big thank you to those drivers who move over and/or slow down when passing pedestrians during and after heavy rainfall.
Because of the high water table nowadays, rain does not drain away from gutters as it should, and it's not much fun getting soaked shoes and clothing when out walking or cycling.
So, a round of applause to the good guys and gals, and to those who haven't thought of slowing down, perhaps you could give the idea some consideration?
Name and address supplied


Dear Editor,
Thank you for publishing part of my letter.
I had second thoughts about publishing it at all, but it was good to have it appear just before the fence goes up.
Unfortunately, although you included my request for "this small change" to the plan, you edited out what that change involved. I had intended the school to leave a narrow pathway along the north wall of the churchyard, similar to the path that leads from Mill Lane to Camping Close. This would mean an additional length of fence following the churchyard wall, and hence a bit more expense, but far better security for the school and unimpeded access to Camping Close for the general public.
The Parish Council were not prepared to back any such suggestion for fear of delaying the fence. However, they did offer to reconsider my proposal after the fence is erected if it does indeed cause problems. It will of course be far harder to agree any such change with the school after the deed is done, but it is good that your paper has drawn people's attention to the fact that a long-standing right of way has been blocked unilaterally without any attempt to publish details.
I will be interested to see if you receive any further comment on this matter.
Henry Bennett


Dear Editor,
It is obvious that the only contact Mr Bennett [Readers Write, February] has had with the school has been when he trespassed across the playground.
If he had to do half of the cleaning up in the playground, as I have in the past and as has our stalwart caretaker Mr Creek, who spent years trying to keep the area clear of broken glass, cigarette ends, needles, urine, excrement, dog mess, broken rain pipes (the list goes on), he may not be of the same opinion.
If Mr Bennett does not like walking through the churchyard he only has to walk down the High Street to Mill Lane.
The fence will stop trespassers and keep the children safe at all times.
Mr L F Booth


Dear Editor,
Before he climbs back on his soap box let me remind Dr Elphinstone [Readers Write, February 2003] of the amount of work put in by the Parish and County Councils to find a way to ease the traffic in the High Street, of the teams of people who monitored the traffic at different times of the day and of the many meetings that have been held.
The one and only pattern which has emerged is that as fast as one idea is suggested it is dismissed by part of the village.
I would suggest that Dr Elphinstone talks with his neighbours and other villagers to understand the difficulty of finding an answer to this problem.
Mr L F Booth


AFTER the phenomenal success of last year's Wacky Races event and due to popular demand, the Crown Inn is pleased to announce that the Wacky Races will be held again this year.
Last year a staggering £2,200 was raised for Linton Charities by a group of eccentrics running around the village pushing prams, barrows or carts in strange dress. And this year we hope to do just as well. The benefiting charities will be the 1st Linton Scout Group and the Cystic Fibrosis fund, a charity with strong Linton links.
The standard of cart customising last year was extraordinary with entries as diverse as Barney Rubble in a Boulder-Mobile, Penelope Pitstop, Nuns on the Run and Bart & Lisa Simpson, to name only a few.
Anyone who wants to join in the fun this year and help raise money can get an entry and sponsorship form from the Crown. You must be 18 or over. Go on. You know you want to rampage round the village in an old pram, trolley, bath, wheelbarrow, etc …don't you?
PS: all water pistol/bombers beware … we know who you were! More details to follow next month.
Louise Gooden


Natalie Fletcher (left) and Milly Armstong (right)
TWO Linton Guides will be very keen helpers at the Guides’ Jumble sale on 8th March at the Infants’ School because some of the profits will be given to them to help with their trip to Austria in August.
Fourteen-year-olds Natalie Fletcher and Milly Armstrong from Linton Village College have been selected by Cambridgeshire East Guides to join a contingent of 12 girls and three leaders at Freelife 03, an International Guide and Scout Jamboree in Salzburg from 5th to 14th August.
There will be opportunities to take part in competitions, sports and crafts from many different countries as well as a chance to sample different national dishes. With 12,500 Guides and Scouts on camp from around the world this is a great opportunity for the two girls to enjoy being part of a truly international youth movement.
The girls have to raise £500 each for the camp. In addition to applying for grants, they are selling quiz competition sheets and hope to run a cake stall and maybe a disco in Linton.
Kate France


THE Linton Out of School Club offers places for children aged between 4 and 11 after school and in the holidays. Term time places fill up quickly so should you require a place these should be booked as much in advance as possible. The Club also provides day care (full or part days) in the holidays offering a variety of activities from arts and crafts to sports and cooking. We also have a large garden where the children can play safely as well as toys and computer games. Booking forms can be obtained by calling 0777 9049437 and leaving a message.
We are also looking for playworkers to work at the Club. If you have experience of working with children and/or have a Level 2 in Playcare (or are willing to undergo training), please contact Gail Thacker on 891221 after 6.30 p.m. Gail Thacker


LENT Lunches are again being held this year to remind people of the needs of the hungry and persecuted in our world and to do something about it, by gathering people together for the sharing of a simple and frugal meal.
Over the next few weeks Lent Lunches will take place in a number of homes scattered round the parishes, ending with the Community Room at Chalklands.
Lunches will take place each Wednesday, between 12 noon and 2pm, and will consist of soup, bread and cheese, and coffee.
A donation of £2 (or more) will be asked for the work of the Barnabas Fund. The Barnabas Fund helps Christians living in countries where they are persecuted for their faith. Its work is particularly relevant in the present world situation.
All who share our common concern for the hungry and persecuted peoples of our world will be welcome. Please come to as many lunches as you like and bring your friends with you.
The addresses and dates are: 5th March: Alan and Monica Clarkson, 12th March: Andrew and Lesley Gore, 19th March: David and Judith White, 26th March: David and Anne Parry-Smith, 2nd April: Keith and Judy Nightingale, (opposite Linton Zoo) 9th April: Graeme and Sue Walker; 16th April: Margaret Clark and team.
Alan & Monica Clarkson


FOLLOWING Charivari’s concert in February, the Early Music theme continues in March when Mary Remnant will talk about ‘Music, Minstrels and Instruments in the Age of Thomas à Becket’. Mary is one of the leading authorities in the country on old music and a firm favorite with the Linton Music Society. She will bring with her and play a large number of old instruments and illustrate her lecture with slides. The audience will also have an opportunity to participate. The presentation is at 8pm on Saturday 22nd March in the United Reformed Church in Horn Lane, Linton.
Members and non-members are very welcome. Tickets for both concerts are available on the door or in advance through the Cambridge Arts Box Office on 503333. Any queries to Hugh Wood on 894908. Hugh Wood


WHICH planet in our solar system is the only one to spin clockwise? How old is Bart Simpson? This is just a reminder that our Family Quiz Night is on Saturday, 22nd March at Linton Village College. Tickets include either a chicken and chip or fish and chip supper. There will also be a bar.
We strongly recommend booking early as last year this proved a very popular event and competition was fierce.
For more information and tickets, please contact one of the following: Chairman, Mandy Crawley ; Secretary, Lorraine Noble; Treasurer, Anne Bragg

Linton's INFO       Top

THIS year The Linton News is planning to publish a new edition of the Linton Village Directory, which last appeared in 1998 and is now more than a little out of date.
The Directory is a very useful booklet, free to all residents, that lists all the local services, village organisations, activities, shops, businesses etc.
Please would anyone who runs a local organisation or business who was missing from the last edition, or who would like to update their entry, please contact Norman Dann on email
The input of as many village organisations and businesses as possible is very important as the more comprehensive and accurate the booklet can be, the more useful it is to us all.

LINTON news warmly welcomes new committee member       Top

THE Linton News Committee is proud to announce a new member.
This month Judith Rouse joins us as advertising manager and we are pleased to have her as part of our team. However, we are still a fairly small team and are always on the lookout for new and enthusiastic volunteers to join us!
Have you always wanted to be a roving reporter or try your hand at editing? Do you think you have a good enough eye for detail to be the perfect proof reader? If you are more technically minded we are still on the lookout for a web editor for Linton's very own website (for more details of this position check out last months issue).
If you are interested and would like to find out more please contact Hazel Olway on %892180. LNT
Looking forward to further success

THE Bowls Club AGM        Top

will take place at 7.30pm on Monday 17th March in the Pavilion. All members are requested to attend, as well as prospective new members interested in joining.
It really is a very fine relaxing game for all ages.
The green is ready for play and with lots of practice perhaps we can again win a League Cup following our success last year.
The subscription evening is on Wednesday 16th April 6pm till 9pm.
I hope to see you there!
Derek Dimmock

desperately seeking stewards        Top

THIS year's Oxfam sponsored walk is taking place on Sunday 18th May 2003 at Wimpole Hall near Arrington, a property owned by the National Trust.
The walk will take in the villages of Wimpole, Great and Little Eversden, Longstowe, Hatley, Croydon and Arrington and participants can choose to walk 7, 14 or 21 miles.
The purpose of the walk is to raise funds and support Oxfam in helping people to work themselves out of poverty.
We welcome more walkers, however, if you are interested in helping but don't think you want to walk quite that far we would also welcome more stewards to help point people in the right direction!
For more information please contact Clare Wilson or Stephen Green be telephone on %563388 or by e-mail at
You can also log on to our website at, and from there you can download a sponsorship form.
Clare Wilson

The colourful past of Saffron Walden       Top

LAST month a large audience at Linton's Historical Society meeting attended to hear Linda Ketteridge (a Blue Badge guide for Saffron Walden and Audley End House) talk about "The Hidden Town of Saffron Walden".
Saffron Walden has a long history, dating from the Roman and Saxon times, there has also been a Neolithic find at Ring Hill, opposite Audley End where there is now a monument built by Robert Adam.
Walden is a very ancient British name and means valley of the Britons. The original settlement in Saffron Walden was originally situated at the site of the current High Street and a Roman road ran from Gt. Dunmow to Gt. Chesterford (where there was a Roman fort) and crossed the Icknield Way.
On the site of Audley End House there was originally an Abbey, a Norman castle was also built there, and was comparable with Castle Hedingham, however, it was not clad in stone because stone could only be afforded by the very wealthy.
Saffron Walden eventually became a very wealthy town of wool merchants and saffron growers so the prefix Saffron was added at this time. Saffron was a very expensive commodity, harvested for dying wool and for medicinal purposes. Even today, ounce for ounce it is more expensive than gold.
At the time of the formation of the Guilds a decorated church had already been built but the decision was made to build a bigger and better church. Today, Saffron Walden's church is still the biggest church in Essex and boasts the highest tower, which was added in Victorian times.
In the late 1700's the wool and saffron trade died out and the town become an agricultural area. Barley was a major crop and led to the development of the brewery trade, when there were at least 20 malt houses in the town. The Gibsons were a very prominent family in the brewing trade in Saffron Walden (even though they were Quakers!); they also opened a bank, and it is thought Barclays Bank actually originated in Saffron Walden. Eventually the Museum was built and Fry Art Gallery was opened for local artists to exhibit. In addition, Bridge End Gardens was constructed for the use of the poor who lived in tenements in Castle Street.
Visitors to the town are advised to keep looking up to identify the many old original buildings still existing.
Linda then went on to describe the long and interesting history of Audley End House. I think a visit there would bring back her detailed account!
There is a proposed trip to Bletchley Park on Saturday 14th June, which will be in conjunction with the WI.
At the next meeting on 18th March, Ashley Cooper will be speaking on the subject of "History in the Countryside'. All are welcome.
Joan Pearman

backing the right horse       Top

THE Linton Infants School PSA are holding a St Patrick's Night Celebration at 7.45pm on 15th March.
Ticket price includes a hot meal. There is also a bar with cheap Guinness in honour of the Irish Saint.
The St Patrick's night celebration will also include a race night using video horse racing.
Will you have the luck of the Irish and get an Arabian thoroughbred or a stubborn mule? Either way you will help raise money for the Linton Infants School. The first race starts at 8pm
Tickets are available from the school office, or ask a PSA member for more details.
For further information contact me on Sarah Neale

donate and save lives       Top

MANY months, as with this month, you may notice blood donor sessions advertised in the box on the top of the front page of the Linton News.
What you may not know however, is how vitally important donation sessions such as these are. Blood is required in numerous types of surgeries and is also used during treatment for many conditions including haemophilia and cancer. Hospitals in England and Wales require over 10,000 donations of blood every day!
So go on, save a life, give blood. LNT

Jubilee coins Almost gone!       Top

COUNCILLORS will be available on Saturday 22nd March from 10.00 ñ 11.30 for the collection of coins for Linton children. If you have not been able to collect your children's coins, please try to come, or send a representative during the morning. Failing that, they will still be available during office hours.
Gill Barker 891001

the bush telegraph       Top

THE great thing about writing this column is that it provides an opportunity for reflection, not normally available in the course of everyday life at the College. Although, on this occasion it is half-term and I am lucky enough to be enjoying this remarkable weather among the mountains of the Lake District. What a time for reflection this is. It appears we are about to go to war and millions of people all over the world have been motivated to join protests the like of which have never been seen. Only this week the most powerful government in the world has forbidden the sale of drugs to treat Aids to poor nations at knock down prices because such a move would de-stabilise the economic world order. What a confusing world this all must be to our young people. I have lost count of the times I have been asked if I could please explain what it all means. Sometimes teaching can feel as if it has been consumed by the National Curriculum, by endless target setting or financial balancing acts. If that happens we lose sight of the incredible role teachers play in helping young people form reasoned opinions about the great issues that face the world. It seems to me that, more than ever, we must find the time to debate, to think and reflect. If we cannot create such time then the world will not move forward. There are huge moral issues to be faced and it is vital that the views and opinions of the people who will shape the world over the next fifty years, have been given the space to develop.
Looking back over the first half of this academic year, one of the most important things we have done is to create a climate where debate and discussion can lead to real change for the better. The new subject of Citizenship, much derided by some when it was first conceived, is one such important development. The second is the re-birth of the Year and College Councils where pupils really do have their say in how things can be improved. Recently we have gone even further and put forward candidates for election to the national UK Youth Parliament. Three Year 11 students from LVC have entered into the political arena and are now part of the Youth Cabinet advising MPs or the South Cambridgeshire Youth initiative. I am very proud of the fact that LVC has been so successful in giving young people a real chance to put their views forward. And knowing Jo Hassel, Alex Corwin and Sally Clifton as I do, I have no doubt that they will put forward those views and that the views themselves will be reasoned, sensible and careful. I for one want to live in a world where such people are heard and have influence. I wish them good luck and endless patience. The complexities of modern life are sometimes horribly daunting but the moral imperative to try to understand those complexities and get things as right as we can are part of what it means to be human. Clive Bush, Principal

not such a Thorny Problem       Top

"NO flower is as versatile as the rose and there is one to suit every garden situation." So claims Peter Beales, the rose grower from Attleborough who joined the movement orchestrated by Graham Thomas to rescue some of the old-fashioned roses which were in danger of disappearing.
The trend for modern roses which flower for longer and are sometimes more disease resistant started in the mid-twentieth century as many new varieties appeared in the growers' catalogues, but the understated beauty and perfume of the old ones compensate for their thorns and short flowering season.
Slides showing specimens of all colours and sizes in many parts of the world demonstrated Peter's maxim that roses are best left to get on with it.
His interest started at an early age when he collected hips from Norfolk hedgerows to send to a company making rose hip syrup. Such dedication, for it took huge amounts to bring a small reward, was the beginning of a lifetime's work with these celebrated blooms.
The Gardening Club's plant sale will take place on Saturday 10th May, so if the weather allows you to be in the garden this month, please think of us if you have any surplus plants to contribute.
At the March meeting Ray Symmonds will be talking on Managing Ancient Woodland. New members and visitors will be welcome.
Gloria Fidler

LINTON COUNTRY DIARY by Darryl Nantais       Top

Illustrated by Maureen Williams
SQUISHING in mud I felt inspired to march to the top of Rivey Hill and down again. When I was up there a week before, I gazed at our village below, nestling in a luxurious duvet of snow. Like soft furnishings in a room the snow absorbed the echoes of laughter from children playing on a surprise day off school, and oh what a peaceful and joyous place to be. The hill is a favourite haunt to many, and amongst the clods of earth, stone and chalk, tangled in roots and peppered amidí wild flowers are the sweet memories of past lives. I stopped and gave respectful thought to those that left their silent footprints along this route.
To make this climb to the top of our hill when all around is flatness, seems almost symbolic of a zest for life. Artisans may interpret with adoration this scene a thousand times, yet still it will never be enough. It seems that especially during dramatic weather conditions the old water tower at the top acts like a great magnet, attracting even the most creaking and wiry of souls. The hill summit is undoubtedly a fine place to take that life enhancing deep breath. When you are next there, cast your eyes or tune your ears for a treat from Milvus milvus, a red kite soaring high, sometimes screeching sharply especially in the summer months. This absolutely delightful sight and sound was once considered a rarity in these parts, but this partial migrant belonging to the order of falconiformes with its long forked tail has thrilled bird watchers around Linton in recent years. A solitary walker may be enlightened by the abundance of wildlife. Fox and deer are often lurking behind trees. Badgers and owls can be seen in the evening light. Lizards, slow worms, newts and frogs and many rare plants and fossils are there to be discovered. The Rivey treasure is incalculable, so oh what a tragedy it would be to place one more brick on this glorious Cambridgeshire landmark?
I finally made my way back down to the village. It was a long slippery journey but without complaint. Never have I experienced so much cordiality between so many residents. People took time to chat, making new acquaintance with their neighbours. A friendly village atmosphere shone through with so much warmth I swear it was melting the snow. I stopped at the bridge to observe. Children leaped into the air snapping off the long icicles, twinkling and suspended like cut-glass chandelier pendants from the thatched roof of the Dog and Duck.
That memorable morning has now passed. The slush and muck has gone, leaving behind but a few battered hedgerows, bent street signposts and bruised bottoms as we head for what I call the season of yellow bloom. Clumps of snowdrops light the way for the very next phase. Many residents are spreading the joy of flowers by planting bulbs in the village open spaces. Had Wordsworth never written these few well known lines, " I wander'd lonely as a cloud, That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host of golden daffodils," then a visitor to Linton this spring might well be equally inspired to do so.

sociable questions       Top

LINTON Mobile Warden Scheme are hosting their own version of "Question Time" on Friday 14th March, where Garth Collard will be available to answer your questions on the History of Linton Buildings. If you are 60 or over, and would like to spend a lunchtime in good company, partaking of some home-made soup, then please feel free to come along.
In order to know numbers for catering, please ring in advance to book on one of the following numbers:
Enid, Linda and Gill 891001;

k-CLUB winners       Top

THE winners of February's K-Club monthly draw:
1st (£50) Mrs E Pugh (No. 099); 2nd (£25) Mr I Marshall (No. 398); 3rd (£10) Mr P Latimer (No. 372)

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