Parkrun coming to Great Denham

The Parkrun organisation is coming to Great Denham on the 17th February 2018. For those of you that don’t know anything about it a brief description follows:-

Parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. These events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and we encourage people of every ability to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to  those with more experience; we welcome you all.

Click here for further details about Great Denham Parkrun, The event will take place at Queen Eleanor Driver, Great Denham, Bedford, MK40 4SQ and then on a weekly basis.  See Course page for location details.

This event will be in addition to the event at Bedford Park which currently gets congested. For younger children they might like to try Jubilee park in Bedford which a 2km event.

The great news to Biddenham residents is that they can walk or cycle to it

Biddenham History Society – The Bletchley Park Trust

When we came to the meeting on January 22nd , 2018 to listen to a talk by Jonathan Byrne, the Oral History Officer at the Bletchley Park Trust, we knew that in Biddenham we were living near the scene of important code breaking work during the Second World War. We learnt more about this work from Jonathan and we found out that several people who came to the talk had connections with war time Bletchley.

By the early 1990s, Bletchley Park had fallen into disrepair and there was a threat that it would be turned into a housing estate. However, a new Trust Board was formed at the beginning of 2000 and since then 28 acres of the historic site have been acquired, there has been renovation of the wartime code breaking huts and the Trust’s Oral
History project, which Jonathan is in charge of, has provided a rich and vital archive of veterans’ memories.

Jonathan described the difficulties in tracing the thousands of people who worked at Bletchley. There are over 12,000 people on the Roll of Honour and since 2009, they or their relatives can apply for a badge to commemorate their service. Three quarters of the people who worked at Bletchley were women, which because of marriage and
name change can make checking and tracing personnel more difficult. The allocation of jobs in a stereotyped way has made matters easier, especially if only initials for someone who worked at Bletchley have been provided. Jonathan can then decide whether the initials can belong to a man or a woman by the nature of the job.

Since 2011, nearly 400 people who worked at Bletchley have been interviewed in locations all over the world, most in their own homes. Skype has been useful for interviewing veterans in Australia. To help him, Jonathan relies on a team of volunteers, one of whom lives in Biddenham and came to the talk. He sends the veteran who has agreed to be interviewed, usually as a result of a visit to Bletchley, a questionnaire to prompt memory. He said that the replies are usually very detailed and precise. They include information about selection for Bletchley, lodgings, the work undertaken and leisure activities (some of the young women would cycle a long way for a concert or the chance to sing or join in drama). Sometimes a family member sits in with the interviewee to prompt memory, though Jonathan finds that peoples’ long term memory is usually very good. The main problems he finds are modesty – veterans understate the value of the work they did – and sometimes sadness and emotion as friends and colleagues are remembered fondly, who have since died.

Some of the recordings of the interviews can be heard at Bletchley Park and they highlight the broad range of roles people were fulfilling from code breakers to machine operators and clerical staff. Jonathan would like more veterans who provided support services like meals for those working at Bletchley to come forward. Every interview recorded contributes essential and valuable information which is helping to build a complete account of what happened at Bletchley Park. To add to the picture, Jonathan now wants to interview people who lived in the Bletchley area during World War Two and whose family perhaps provided a billet for someone who worked at the park. If you know someone who would like to be interviewed, do get in touch with Jonathan at Bletchley Park 01908 – 272685

The next meeting of the History Society will be on Monday, April 16th , 2018 at 8pm in the Church Barn. Bob Ricketts will talk about the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Bedfordshire to mark the centenary of some women getting the vote in 1918. I hope you will be able to come. Programme cards for 2018 – 2019 will be available.

Kathy Fricker

If you require a hard copy of this report to print, please click here.


URGENT – Application for up to 250 dwellings West of Gold Lane, Biddenham

A formal application has been made by a housing developer for up to 250 dwellings including vehicular access from Gold Lane, emergency only access from the A4280, pedestrian and cycle links, public open space, car parking, drainage, landscaping and other associated works. 

Biddenham Parish council have written a second letter detailing how to object to this development. There are multiple actions required to be undertaken in order to mount a successful rejection of this plan. The letter gives very detailed step by step instructions on how to complete these actions. The letter will be sent to every resident in the village of Biddenham shortly. Please click here to view the letter in advance.

Please reach out to friends and neighbours who may be unaware of this development plan. Bedford Borough Council will take into consideration the volume of comments when making their final decision. We need objections in the 1000’s

Note the following when making the submissions.

  • A Mr and Mrs application counts as one submission. You need to make two separate submissions to count as two.
  • Two separate Mr and Mrs applications may have the same wording.
  • Anyone  who is 18 and over can make a separate submission in the same household.
  • You don’t have to live in Biddenham in order to make a submission.
  • Please note the various deadlines for the objections in the Parish Council letter.


If you experience any problems with the process of objection, please let us know in the comments section below:-

UK Power Networks – Storm Fionn

Message from UK Power Networks

You will have seen that severe weather is again forecast for our region this evening, into tomorrow morning, Thursday 18th January.

As part of our preparation plans, UK Power Networks has organised for additional staff in our contact centre to help customers whose electricity supply might be affected by the predicted weather, and we have called up additional engineers to carry out repairs to overhead lines and poles as soon as the wind reduces to a speed at which it is safe to work.

We would be very grateful if you could share the information below with your local residents and constituents, so that they are aware of who to contact in the event their electricity is interrupted by the weather.

Anyone experiencing a power cut should:

  • Call 105 to report power cuts and damage to the electricity network, or 0800 3163 105 (from a corded phone or mobile phone if you have no power)
  • Visit for the latest updates
  • Visit and type in their postcode to view our live power cut map
  • Tweet @ukpowernetworks to report a power cuts or to receive updates

We advise people to stay clear of power lines and report damaged power lines immediately by calling 105 free from either a landline or a mobile phone. If they see electricity lines that are down or causing significant risk to the public they should call 999.

We provide extra help to customers on our Priority Service Register during a power cut.  Households with older or disabled people, those with children under five, or where someone uses medical or mobility equipment that requires electricity as well as other reasons can join the register.  You can find out more information about our Priority Service on our website:

If you would like to share information about preparing for the storm or the priority service register on social media you might like to use the following:

@UKPowerNetworks has extra staff on hand 24/7 to deal with the impact of #stormFionn

Call 105 to report a powercut and visit for the latest updates

Do you, or someone you know, need extra support during a power cut?

@UKPowerNetworks provides free services to vulnerable customers. Visit for more information #stormFionn

I hope you find this information useful and please do feel free to share it with your local residents and community groups.

Yours faithfully,

Julie Seal

Community Affairs Officer – East of England
UK Power Networks
Fore Hamlet

Mb: 07840 389335

Press Release – Crack-down on Littering

Bedford Borough Council is cracking down even harder on littering, and has contracted ‘Kingdom’ to provide Environmental Protection Services from this month.

The Council has long had a zero tolerance policy towards littering and other environment offences, has issued over 900 fines for littering in the last three years, and launched the long-term ‘Why Would You’ campaign to discourage this kind of behaviour.

Despite all of this people continue to drop litter and the Council is hitting back, appointing ‘Kingdom’.

Anyone caught dropping litter will be given a Fixed Penalty Notice by Kingdom’s officers, who will patrol the streets and public places wearing body cameras from this month. While Kingdom will initially focus on litter, they will start enforcing for other environmental offences such as dog fouling later in the year.

The scheme itself won’t cost the council, and therefore tax payers, a penny as it is self-financing, with costs being covered by the income from the Fixed Penalty Notices paid by those who litter, and commit other environment offences.

Cllr Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for the Environment said “While our own officers have a number of different jobs to do, ‘Kingdom’ staff will be patrolling our streets focused on tackling environment offences to deal with the selfish minority who spoil our neighbourhoods for everyone. Littering is a crime and if you are seen by one of these officers dropping even a cigarette butt or bit of chewing gum, you will be fined £75.”


Messy Church is Coming to Biddenham!

messy-church-logoOn 25 January at 4.30pm, St James’s Church will be holding its first Messy Church session at St James’ School. If you haven’t come across Messy Church before you might be wondering what it is.

Messy Church has been around for some time now and groups take place across the world. It involves bible stories, singing songs, being creative and, most importantly of all, lots of fun. A fundamental part of Messy Church is also that everyone sits together and enjoys a meal.

Messy Church is for people of all ages, of any faith or none (children must be accompanied by an adult).

Messy Church is free. There is no need to book – just turn up on the day. If you would like to give Messy Church a try but can’t come on 25 January, we are also holding another session at All Saints Church Hall, Church End, Kempston on Sunday 28 January at 4.00pm.

We hope to hold Messy Church once a month at each venue so watch this space for further sessions.

Update – Application to demolish Biddenham House and build 8 new dwellings on the site – Update

Today is the last day you can register to make a comment on the planning application to demolish Biddenham House and build 8 new dwellings on the site.

So far there are 146 comments submitted by the public via the Borough Council Portal. 

Please reach out to friends and neighbours who have not already submitted a comment or may be unaware. Bedford Borough Council will take into consideration the volume of comments when making their final decision.

The most effective way of doing this is to register a comment on the Bedford Borough Council website direct.  please click here. 

Note the following when making the submission.

  • A Mr and Mrs application counts as one submission. You need to make two separate submissions to count as two.
  • Two separate Mr and Mrs applications may have the same wording.
  • Anyone  who is 18 and over can make a separate submission in the same household.
  • You don’t have to live in Biddenham in order to make a submission.
  • The deadline for a Neighbour Consultation submission is 11th January 2018. No submissions will be accepted beyond this date.

If you experience any problems with registering with the Borough Council Portal, please let us know in the comments section below:-

Notification of withdrawal of Stagecoach service 11: Great Denham to Bedford via Bromham Road

Notification from Bedford Borough Council:-

We have received notification from Stagecoach that the service 11 is to be withdrawn from the 18th February 2018 (the 17th February will be the last day of operation). The service has been operating commercially between Bedford and Great Denham via Bromham Road and provides a direct link to Bedford Railway Station.

The decision to cancel the service is a commercial one, and the total withdrawal follows reductions in peak time services last year. The decision to withdraw this service has been made by Stagecoach on the basis that there has been insufficient take-up of the service for it to be commercially viable.

Alternative services operating between Bedford and Great Denham are currently available. These are services Stagecoach 8 (every 30 minutes) and Grant Palmer 24 (hourly). The former operates via Midland Road, a very short walk from the Railway Station whilst the latter terminates at the bus station, also a walkable distance to/from the Railway Station.