BIDDENHAM HISTORY SOCIETY – Margery Fish

Meeting on November 19th , 2018

Now that the days are getting shorter and we are putting our gardens to bed for the winter, we start to think of how we might change and develop our gardens in the Spring. Amanda Goody’s fascinating and  very well researched talk on Margery Fish gave us some inspiration as to how we might revamp our gardens for the New Year.

It was reassuring to learn that Margery only became a serious gardener when she was 60, after the death of her husband, Walter Fish, a former editor of the Daily Mail. Margery had not responded to her parents’ desire for help in the garden when she was a girl. She had attended secretarial college and focused on a career as a top secretary in London. When her husband decided that they should move out of London in the late 1930s, because he feared that they would not be safe if another war broke out, they found East Lambrook Manor in South Petherton, Somerset.

At first, it was Margery’s husband who controlled the development of the garden. He organized the clearing of heaps of rubbish that had been dumped in the garden of what was an empty property. Margery had to help with this task and go along with his master plan for structure and order. Amanda described Walter as a micromanager! Paths were constructed and trees planted. Margery gradually began to rebel and infiltrate her own taste. She acquired some clematis of her own choice in addition to those selected by her husband. She neglected the watering of his dahlias, which she hated, in favour of nurturing the cottage plants which were her passion. Walter was older than her and he gradually became less and less able to direct the gardening. After his death from a heart attack in 1947, Margery went through a period of grieving, when the garden got neglected. She did travel to America though, and got inspiration from the gardens she saw there, and the designers she met.

Eventually, when she was 60, Margery was back in England and she put all her energy into developing her garden. She was gardening until a week before her death in 1969, and her family remembers her going out to garden in her evening dress, so obsessed was she with her plants. Amanda was not suggesting that we copy this approach, but some of Margery’s other ideas are more transferable to our gardens! She loved snowdrops and cultivated over 200 varieties. She also liked other spring and late winter plants such as hellebores. Summer planting included aquilegias and astrantias. She wanted every space filled in the borders and even in the cracks and crevices in walls and paths.

Margery was very friendly and sociable, so she rapidly made good relations with the owners of nearby properties in Somerset like Brympton D’Evercy and Tintinhull as well as famous garden designers from further afield such as Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter and Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst. Margery copied the use of silver, white and soft colours from Sissinghurst. By the end of the talk, we had plenty to inspire us in our gardens and several of us would like to visit East Lambrook Manor.

The next meeting of the History Society will be on Monday, January 21 st 2019, at 8.00pm in the Church Barn. Our speaker will be Dr Anne Daye who is an expert on historical dance. She will talk about Dance as an Entertainment 1750 – 1850, as before modern media, it would have been a popular entertainment in Biddenham. This should be a lively and interesting talk and may contain some practical elements! I hope you will be able to come. I will have the programme cards for 2019 -2020 available at this meeting.

Kathy Fricker

Biddenham Women’s Group – Dancing Bust to Bust

Our talk took place on 13th November 2018 at the barn and began with a 1951 copy of an Illustrated magazine, containing an article on Joyce Grenfell, a picture of her on screen and a rendition of her theme song, ‘I’m going to see you today’, which was written by her in 1942.

We learnt from our speaker, Kevin Varty, that Joyce’s mother was an American socialite, Nora Langhorne, and her father was Paul Phipps, an architect. Her aunt was Nancy Astor and she lived a very privileged life at Cliveden. She was one of the bridesmaids at the wedding of Lady Curzon and Oswald Moseley and, unfortunately, one of her stockings fell down. She turned to a gentleman standing by and asked if he could find her a safety pin. He duly did so and helped her to fix the problem. As they progressed one of the other bridesmaids asked her how she knew the king, to whom she had just waved acknowledgement. Just one example of how naïve Joyce could be. She met Reggie Grenfell in 1927, came out as a debutant in 1928 and married him in 1929. They went to many parties together and it was at one such party that she was introduced to an Observer rep who invited her to become a columnist with the newspaper.

By 1959 she had become well known as a singer, comic, writer of monologues and an actress with many celebrity friends of that time such as Noel Coward, Flanders and Swann and Norman Wisdom. She appeared in many London theatres but would only turn up just before she was due on. Joyce also entertained the troops on a couple of occasions, which she found rewarding but hard work. It was after this that she started working in cinema and appeared in 24 productions, three of them being the St. Trinians films.

Joyce Grenfell was a Christian Scientist who did not believe in medical intervention. She sadly died of a brain tumour in 1979.

Happily, we finished on a high note. The talk was interspersed with many of her songs, including the one about the dance class where there were too few gentlemen and some of the ladies had to dance together – hence the title, Dancing Bust to Bust, when a lady is not a gentleman but maybe a bosom friend!

This is but a brief synopsis of our entertaining afternoon. Do join us in the New Year when we welcome all-comers or if you wish to join us for our Christmas Countdown on 11th December at 2pm please contact me by phone 01234 210622 or by email valeriefitzhugh@gmail.com

The last Green bin collections of  2018

The last Green bin collections of  2018  will take place on Wednesday 21st November 2018 in Biddenham. Please ensure you fill the bin as much as possible as no further green waste will be collected until March 2019.

Green collections will resume from March 2019. Exact dates will be published nearer the time.

For reference you can check your bin collection day and type in the Bedford Council web page online bin collection day finder

Biddenham Crime statistics – October 2018

For the month of October 2018, please find below a link containing crime stats from Bedfordshire Police.  As usual they have been sanitised so that people or houses cannot be identified.

The database does not record ASB’s (Anti – Social Behaviour)

Please click link below for crime related to Biddenham and Great Denham. The data have been filtered appropriately:-

Crime stats North sanitised Oct 2018

Note the large number of incidents relating to “Interference with a motor vehicle”

Dave Girling

Thank you

The Biddenham Remembrance service 2018

The Biddenham Remembrance service took place at the war memorial. The service was especially poignant as it was 100 years since the end of  World War 1.  The service was led by Paul Fricker. Joseph Mummery played the Last Post and John Daniels lowered the flag.  Terry Platt and Peter Culverwell laid the wreaths.

A larger crowd than seen for many years assembled, and the weather cheered up for the event, which was nice (although it was a bit blustery). The crowd was also in good voice and sang “Oh God Our Help in Ages Past” and the national anthem – rather well

Some photos of the service can be viewed below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iPhone 7 found at the Pavilion

A silver and black iPhone 7 has been handed into St James’ Primary School. The phone was found on the field at Biddenham Pavilion at the weekend. If you know of anyone that have lost their phone please ask them to make contact with the school office – 01234 352721.

Many thanks for your help.

Coming soon to Biddenham Village Hall: Peter’s Picturehouse

We are excited to announce our launch party on Tuesday 4th December, when we would like to welcome you to the showing of our first film, ‘The Theory of Everything’ (Certificate 12) in Peter’s Picturehouse in Biddenham Village Hall at 7.30pm. This is the story of Jane and Stephen Hawking, the eminent Physicist who died earlier this year. The normal charge for tickets will be £5, payable on the door, but our launch party film showing is free!

Please do join us to experience the film on our large screen, bringing a cushion if you wish to bolster the comfort of our (already padded) chairs. We will be selling coffee, tea, wine and ice cream from 7pm and hope that you will want to join us again on the first Tuesday of each month when we plan to show a popular film.

Next month, our Peter’s Picturehouse showing will be on Tuesday 1 st January 2019, when we will show ‘Mama Mia! Here we go again’ (Certificate PG). Come and recover from New Year’s Eve by watching this optimistic and jolly film! In view of the date, we will open at 5.30pm. Suitable refreshments, especially ice cream, will be on sale before the film starts at 6.00pm. The first Tuesday in February is Tuesday 5 th February, when we plan to show, starting at 7.30pm, the Oscar winning film, ‘Three Billboards outside Epping, Missouri’ (Certificate 15), a crime-drama starring Frances McDormand.

If you have any questions about Peter’s Picturehouse, please contact Marihelen on: 07710288933 or marihelen@btinternet.com. Poster Details

 

Motor Vehicles broken into at Deep Spinney

The following article was forwarded by a Biddenham resident:-

On Monday, 29th October 2018 a number of motor vehicles were broken into. My neighbour was one of those affected. It sounds like he simply left the car unlocked and the thief took advantage of it. From speaking to the Police, I know the problem is rife across Bedford at the moment so I had a look at my CCTV footage for that day and caught the individual in the act of trying our car doors. Luckily, they were locked. Sadly the floodlights that came on scared him off before he got really close so the images aren’t as detailed as one would have liked.

I have passed the video to the Police. Maybe you could mention something on the website and spur others into providing further images to the police to help them in their investigations. If not, well, he is prolific so he will be back – or maybe he is part of a gang operating in the area.

The individual broke into a car in Gower Drive at 5am, he then proceeded back down the road and turned right into Deep Spinney at 5:07am. If people were to check their recordings in the early hours of that day, the chances are, further footage would avail itself – I am aware of several with CCTV cameras along Deep Spinney.

The individual was about 20 years old, white, slim build, wearing a black duffle coat, possibly a black scarf and denim jeans. Short brown hair and about 5’10” tall.

If you have footage, maybe you could complete a Report on a Crime Form at https://www.bedfordshire.police.uk/report/Report-Shared/Report-a-crime who knows, we may even solve this as a community working together.

Latest news – Application for up to 250 dwellings West of Gold Lane, Biddenham – 18/00140/MAO Major Outline Application

At the Bedford Borough Council  meeting held on 29 October 2018 the Planning Committee resolved to Refuse Permission in respect of the above proposal. The Committee took into consideration your representations when reaching its decision. For a full explanation of the reasoning behind the decision and how your comments were taken into account (assuming these concerned planning merits) you are advised to read the Officers report in full which includes any resulting conditions that may have been imposed. Click here for further details

The Loop archive online

Starting with the February 2018 edition, copies of The Loop are to be posted on the Biddenham Parish Council website three months after their publication date. For example, the September edition will be posted at the beginning of December.

So, if you want to look back at events in the parish over the last year and have mislaid your copy of The Loop, you can now access the February to July/August 2018 editions by clicking this link .

Should you wish to look further back, there are bound copies of the parish magazine since 1966 which are held by the editor.  Email. loopeditor@gmail.com or call 349849 if you would like to see them.  Alternatively, copies of the magazines are also held in Bedfordshire Archives.