The first garden waste collections of 2019

The first garden waste collections of 2019 will take place in Biddenham on Wednesday 13th March 2019. As there has been no collection during the last 3 months the green waste may have hardened during this period. There is no excuse for the collection not to take place on this basis as the operators should make the effort to release all waste. If you experience issues please contact the Borough Council direct.

For all details regarding the collection service, please click Bin collections then enter your post code details.

Drivers reminded to find alternative routes ahead of Network Rail’s Bromham Road Bridge Closure

With Network Rail’s major works on Bromham Road Bridge commencing on Monday 4 March 2019, Bedford Borough Council is reminding residents to find alternative transport routes.

Network Rail is closing the bridge to allow utilities running through the bridge to be removed and relocated ahead of the structure being demolished and reconstructed. The work is part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade, which will see the line electrified from London to Kettering and Corby via Bedford.

As part of this, as of Monday 4 March 2019, there will be a partial closure of the A4280 over the bridge (supported by a vehicle diversion via Clapham Road). Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout the work, but drivers will be affected.

A Bedford Borough Council Spokesperson said; “Bromham Road Bridge is a busy thoroughfare and one of the main access routes in and out of Bedford. We would urge drivers to seek alternative routes wherever possible and to allow more time for your journey in order to help minimise any disruption and delay.”

You can find out more about the planned work on Bromham Road Bridge by visiting the Network Rail website,  or calling the Network Rail National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41.


Network Rail – Improvements to the Bromham Road Bridge (railway)

From Monday 4 March, Network Rail teams will begin work to upgrade Bromham Road bridge in Bedford, just north of Bedford Central station. Ahead of the full replacement of the bridge, underground utilities services running through the bridge need to be removed and relocated. This work will require a partial closure of the A4280 over the bridge.

By 2020 the bridge will have been demolished and reconstructed in order to allow for the safe clearance of the overhead line equipment underneath the bridge, ahead of the railway line being fully electrified from London to Bedford via Kettering and Corby.

In advance of work commencing, Network Rail is holding a public information event where residents and businesses can find out more about the work, and Network Rail representatives will be on hand to answer any questions. This will take place this Friday 22 February between 15:00 and 19:00 at the Park Inn Bedford, 2 St Mary’s St, Bedford, MK42 0AR, and you or your representative would be very welcome to attend.

If you are unable to attend but would like more information please do contact me and I would happy to arrange a face to face meeting with your parish members.

For more information about the work taking place please visit

I hope this information on the planned partial closure of Bromham Road bridge is helpful, but please do not hesitate to get in touch should you require any further information.

Kind regards,

Mary Afonja

Communications Consultant (MML)

Mob: 07809376507

Network Rail Route and Project Communications
Room 119 Trent House
R T C Business Park
London Road
DE24 8UP

Update – Outline planning application for up to 160 dwellings including vehicular access

The deadline is fast approaching – 30th January 2019 for this application. There have been over 900 objections so far but we need many more to give weight to our feelings about this development. Many of you have already objected to this development. The Parish council thanks you for this. Please however make a final effort to ask friends, family and neighbours to make that final objection count.

There has been some concern that the Borough have not received or processed some objections. The Parish Council have been assured that all objections will be processed. The Borough are running a backlog. The Borough have stated they will acknowledge every objection individually.

The simplest and easiest way to object is to register at

If you or your friends don’t want to use the internet or feel able to engage with neighbours and friends, please print out a letter from the link below:- 


Door Step Challenge 10 – Gold Lane Development – Part 2


Biddenham History Society – Historical Dance

The January meeting of the Biddenham History Society was both informative and fun. Our speaker, Dr Anne Daye, is an expert on historical dance. She began by giving us an overview of aspects of dance as a source of entertainment as it would have been in a village like Biddenham from about 1750 to about 1850. Dances were one of the main means of meeting new people or renewing social connections. Dances were held in private houses – floor space was cleared – and in public venues, Assembly Rooms. There were  Assembly Rooms in Bedford in 1834.

The style of dancing changed considerably during this period. In the late eighteenth century, the minuet was still in vogue. Attention was focused on the performing couple: others stood around and watched.  Gradually other dances were introduced that involved all those present. These were country dances with their long sets and most shocking of all, the waltz, which necessitated close contact with a partner.

The new dances required instruction as it was too difficult to learn them at the ball. Dancing masters, they were generally men, were employed by wealthy families. Anne told us about Queen Victoria’s dancing master who travelled to Windsor and Balmoral when required. He sometimes taught the ladies-in-waiting and other times, the young royals. If there was no need for his services that day, he went fishing. In Bedford, the dancing masters were based in the Crescent and taught families like the Russells and St Johns.

Once we had some background information, Anne took on the role of dancing master, so that we could try out a couple of the Country Dances. One of them was regularly danced by a 14 year old girl in the  nineteenth century, but we soon realized that the young can learn moves and remember them faster than older people! We did try valiantly to remember where to go and when and Anne was very patient with us. We had plenty of laughter as well as gentle exercise!  Thank you Anne for being such a good teacher as well as lecturer!

After the meeting, we looked at an aerial photograph of the village taken in about 1960, that belongs to the Gardeners’ Association. Paula had brought it along for everyone to see. Three ponds were clearly visible in the centre of the village as well as the old farm buildings for Grove Farm.

The next meeting of the Society will be on Monday, April 29th at 8pm in the Church Barn. Our speaker will be Jean Fullerton who will tell us about Victorian Medicine. Jean has been a nurse and lecturer in
nursing. She is now a published novelist and a regular lecturer on cruise ships. I hope you will be able to come and hear her.

Kathy Fricker

Emergency Temporary One-Way Prohibition – Biddenham Turn


Road: Biddenham Turn, Biddenham.

Length Affected: Prohibits vehicles from proceeding in a south-westerly direction along that length of Biddenham Turn, Biddenham, which extends from Bromham Road, Bedford, to a point approximately 25 metres southwest of Bromham Road, Bedford.

Contact/Applicant: For further information please contact Kim Hamer of Anglian Water Services, Tel: 03457 145 145.

Reason for Closure: To facilitate urgent sewer repair work.

Dates: This emergency temporary one-way prohibition is anticipated to be in operation between 9:30am and 3:30pm on up to 5 days from Monday 28th January 2019 to Friday 1st February 2019 inclusive.

Signed Alternative Routes: Proceed in a westerly direction along Bromham Road to the roundabout adjoining Deep Spinney, Biddenham. Take the 1st exit and continue along Deep Spinney to Gold Lane. Turn right and continue along Gold Lane, then Main Road, and then Biddenham Turn to site.

Kind Regards,
Jason Holdsworth.
Highways Technician (Temporary Traffic Management).

Street Works,
Bedford Borough Council,
Borough Hall,
Cauldwell Street,
MK42 9AP.


barn@2 – Your Life’s Story; A Precious Legacy

Marilyn Freeman and her husband Barry run a company called Spellbrooktales and she came to talk to us on 8th January 2019 about how their company can create books from your pictures, memories, poems etc. to pass on to family members.

It all began with Marilyn editing and proof-reading the books which Barry wrote when he retired. I discovered this incredible service on finding a very mouse-munched photograph album in a box in our barn and, wondering what I could do to rescue it, found their advert in a local magazine.

Marilyn had been brought up in a shop in Hollinwood, on a busy Manchester main road. It was when her mother died in 2010 that she began setting down her childhood memories, partly in tribute to her parents and also as a way to help deal with her grief. She wanted her children and grandchildren to know something of her life growing up among the red-brick terraces and smoky cotton mills. She also described in wonderful detail the annual trip the family made, by coach or train, to the coast at Blackpool or resorts on the north coast of Wales. Her poems, included in her book, were so poignant and got us all thinking of our past lives and how different they were from the lives of children today.

A good place to start, perhaps, if you want to leave a written legacy for your own family? There are self-publishing sites online but they require a certain level of skill and an ability to proof-read, not to mention the time and effort it
might take to perfect those skills.

Marylin gave us many good suggestions for ideas of what to include and various themes to work towards, remembering to include thoughts, feelings and references to all five senses. She has produced a small booklet for anyone wishing to embark upon their own ‘book of memories’. Further information can be found at

This was our first meeting as barn@2, our all-inclusive group but……..where were you all? We did have a couple of newcomers but the audience remained gender specific!

Our new programmes are available with a membership fee of £5. Members fees for meetings are £3 and for non-members it’s £5 for which you get a talk, refreshments and a chance to win a prize in the raffle. Our talks are advertised so if you see something which appeals, do come along and join us. You will be most welcome and if you have a talk you can give, or know someone who could contribute to our programme for 2020, do get in touch.

Many thanks and a Happy Friendly New Year!

Val Fitzhugh