Bedford Junior Parkrun

For all families with children in Biddenham, Bedford now has a Junior Park Run from 2017. it is located at Jubilee Park every Sunday morning at 9am.  It is a series of 2k runs for children aged between 4 and 14. Parents can run with their children but they will not be timed through the finishing gateway.

The Parkrun is free, safe and easy to take part in. If you are not a junior and wish to participate as an adult then please come along to the weekly Saturday parkrun events instead.

Registered park-runners do not need to register separately for the junior events. However, if you are not already registered with parkrun you can do so here.

We look forward to seeing you at the next junior parkrun!

Community Volunteering Events in Bedford

Dear Community Volunteers,

I hope that everyone has had a lovely start to 2017, and you are ready and raring to take on some of our upcoming volunteering opportunities in the coming months.

I am in the process of organising a Big River Clean Up and will be in touch with dates for the diary and information on the day in due course. Last time 50 volunteers came and helped on the day and the amount of rubbish collected was beyond expectations – I hope that we will be able to achieve the same success in 2017 with the help of kayakers and divers in the river.

In the meantime, if you are interested in all volunteering opportunities, whether in parks, museums, sport, events or libraries we are holding a volunteer fair in the Harpur Suite, Bedford on 25th February and welcome existing volunteers to attend.

I have attached a poster about this event for anyone able or interested in coming along on the day.

coms009_17_volunteer-fair-invite_a4-v3-2

We hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Katie

Bedford Borough Council Volunteering Team

Biddenham has a new Vicar

After more than a year without a Vicar, St James’ Church finally has a new Vicar. An elaborate ceremony took place on the evening of 31st January 2017 at All Saints Church, Kempston Rural. The Bishop of St Alban’s, The Right Reverend Dr Alan Smith, presided over the service to formally welcome and confirm the new vicar , The Reverend Eric Lomax.

Many clergy were present from the Bedford area and beyond as well as local dignitaries.

Further details about him can be found at  Introduction – Eric Lomax

Eric Lomax will be responsible for  both St James’ church in Biddenham and All Saint’s in Kempston Rural. His first Service will be at St James on 5th February 2017 @ 9am.

Biddenham Country Park Sports Centre

The Bedford Borough Council have formally confirmed that a brand new Sports Centre is planned to be built just off The Great Ouse Way on a new road to be known as Great Spur. There are no properties yet on The Great Ouse Way or on Great Spur, the area is just about to be developed. The centre on the brand new road to be known as Great Spur as shown on the plan:- biddenham-country-park-sports-centre

The address will be:
Biddenham Country Park Sports Centre
1 Great Spur
Biddenham
BEDFORD
MK40 4WG

Biddenham History Society – The Troops Bedford Welcomed

About 30 people braved the cold evening on January 23rd and were rewarded with two interesting presentations. Peter Applewhite started by giving us the result of his researches into the years 1917 and 1918. Last year, he told us about the Welsh soldiers, some of whom were billeted in Biddenham in 1916. After they left, we have no written record of soldiers being billeted in Biddenham, but the 62nd division and 72nd division were stationed in Bedford briefly in 1917 and 1918 before being sent to France or to do coastal defence duties on the East Anglian coast. The divisions contained soldiers from a variety of regiments such as the Lincolnshires and the Somersets. Peter had researched the local papers very thoroughly and showed how the people of Bedford made the troops very welcome, providing them with hospitality and musical entertainment. He also showed photographs of the areas of combat that the soldiers went to – the scenes of the area around Cambrai at the end of 1917 were very poignant as the frozen mud and rutted tracks in the snow showed how the time in Bedford earlier in the year had been a pleasant interlude for the soldiers before going out to the horror of the Western Front. Peter ended by showing us a table for the casualties from these divisions and the photographs of two of the young soldiers one aged 23 and one aged 20, who were killed. He accompanied the photographs with the Last Post – a moving ending to his researches. Thank you, Peter, for all that you have presented to the Biddenham History Society over the past two years.

Matt Edgeworth then reported on the square metre pit dig that he helped us with in August, 2016. A group of us dug two tests pits in the garden of Pat and Mary McKeown’s house in Church End. As Matt pointed out, there was some competition between those who were digging. Pat and Mary’s grandchildren dug to the greater depth with the energy of youth! Those of us who were older, dug less deeply, but were more fortunate in our finds. There were many shards of pottery, glass and iron – including part of an old door hinge. The star find was a clay pipe, which we managed to piece together from the bowl and stem. Most of the finds were from recent centuries: Matt thought that medieval remains had been obscured when the garden was developed or they were too deep in the ground to be found easily. Matt’s photographs of the day were a welcome tonic of warmth and sunshine in cold, grey January. As he said, those who took part had a most enjoyable day, added to which was Pat and Mary’s kind hospitality. We buried a time capsule in one of the test pits before we filled them in. We included a coin and some paper which we all signed. We would like to think that some archaeologists will find it in 100 years time, though they will have to look hard for the spot to dig as Mary and Pat assured everyone that their garden was restored immaculately when the dig was inished! Thank you once again to Matt for all his help and good advice and his patience with us amateurs.

The new programme cards for the History Society 2017 – 2018 are now available from Kathy Fricker and the programme is on the village website. The next meeting is on Monday, April 24th at 8pm in the Church Barn when David Watson will talk about his house 17, Biddenham Turn. I hope you will be able to come.
Kathy Fricker

Biddenham Website – Subscription service

We now have a subscription service on the website. The service is free and allows subscribers to be alerted every time a new news article appears on the website.

In order to receive this service you will need to register on a new widget which is located in the middle left side of the Home page.  See red highlighted image below:-

It would be great to see people actively use this website to obtain information about their community.
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Alert – Elgar Close Suspicious Activity

A Biddenham resident has reported to the Biddenham Parish Council and tried contacting the police (via 101)  a suspicious car, that has been seen in Elger Close.

On the 27th January 2017 it was outside a property in Elgar Close. When the resident walked towards it, the driver drove off too quickly for a reg to be taken. The resident also stated that it was seen on at least two previous occasions.

A picture of the car was taken and can be seen below. The car looks like a white VW polo or golf. It was driven by what looked like a single man in his 20’s.

The activity was reported to the police but they are not interested as the registration was not clear enough.

Of course it might just be a coincidence, or maybe even a resident!

white-car

Message from the Police – Burglary 2 in Elger Close Biddenham

Bedfordshire Police have advised us there was a second burglary in Elger Close, Biddenham, Bedford which occurred between 10:00 and 22:40 on Saturday 21st January and they are appealing for information.

The property was locked and secured at 10am. On return at about 22:40, the householder noticed the light in the kitchen was on.

Unknown offenders had entered the property and forced entry by using a screwdriver or similar into the beading into rear window of the patio door to cause the double glazed window to smash. They entered the premises and conducted an untidy search and left the property by unlocking another patio door from the inside where the keys had been left in the inside.

Did you see anyone suspicious? Did you hear anything? Did you see a person or a vehicle in the area that caught your attention?

If you have any information about this incident, no matter how small, please call 101 quoting reference number JH/2939/2017 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Whether this incident is near you or not, you may want to think about whether you have noticed anything suspicious in your area, no matter how small, and report it to 101.

Has anything similar happened recently to you or someone you know? Make sure it’s reported to the police.

For crime reduction advice to make your home secure, please click onhttp://www.bedfordshire.police.uk/tackling_crime/crime_reduction.aspx

You may want to check your own security and consider the following advice.
Most break-ins occur at the back or side of a house.

  • Keep your doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Remove all keys from locks.
  • Keep keys in a safe place out of view.                         
  • Keep valuables out of sight.
  • Keep side gates locked.
  • Keep sheds and garages locked.
  • Keep bins, ladders and tools locked away.
  • Make your boundaries difficult or impossible to climb over.
  • Make your house look and feels like someone is home at all times.
  • If your house is empty after dark, leave a light on or set a timer – and even leave a radio on.