Wilshamstead Parish Council

Parish Council Latest

The main agenda item for the Parish Council meeting on 20th June was the Borough proposal for 2100 houses within Wilstead Parish – see the front page of this newsletter.

Please come along to the drop-in session at the Village Hall on Sunday 10th July between 10.00 and 1.00 for more information and help with any response you feel is necessary.

We need as many Wilstead residents as possible to respond – the previous plan showed 500 additional houses and these were removed after over 200 residents wrote to express their dissatisfaction with the plan.

New Vehicle Activated Signs For The Parish Installed

The Parish Council is pleased that, following the Borough Council Highways Officers installation of 5 new site poles in the highways verges, the recently purchased Vehicle Speed Activated Signs are now being installed and calibrated.

If anyone could assist with the downloading and management of the data from the devices, please get in touch with the Parish Council.

This is managed via an 'app' which is straightforward and simple to use, with helpful training and ongoing support provided.  It is important that the data is extracted to build up evidence on traffic flow as well as speed.

It is planned to publish this data on the Parish Council website, so any help with this would be gratefully received.

Average Speed Cameras Update

Work has been continuing to take place on ensuring the Borough Council deliver their promise of average speed cameras along Cotton End Road.  

The Highways Officer confirmed in early June that they are meeting with the supplier the following week to discuss the new list of schemes, which includes Cotton End Road.

Following this the scheme will be issued to an Engineer to prepare a contract document, alongside health and safety information.  

A further update is expected very shortly, however, please be reassured this matter is being closely monitored by the Parish Council to ensure it continues to progress.

Parking Issues

The Parish Council has reminded all residents about being courteous when parking throughout the parish.  

Where it has been noticed in some areas of the Village that vehicles are regularly parking on the corner and in close proximity to the corners, plus where vehicles are obstructing the pavement causing pedestrians to have to walk onto the road, this information has been shared with the local Police.  

The Community Police team have anti-social behaviour involving vehicles as one of their current Police priorities.  

Rural Bulky Waste Service Returns

You may have seen information that this valuable service is returning this year, with the facility available on Saturday 2nd July at the Lay-by, off Bedford Road from 8.00am until 12.00pm.  The Borough Council ask politely that you please do not leave rubbish at the site if the collection vehicle is not there.

Contacting The Parish Council

The best way to contact the Parish Council is to email Lizzie, the Parish Clerk at:


Alternatively you can call 01234 743152 or write to PO Box 1548, Bedford, MK44 5AX.

Please note the Parish Office is open Monday 9am to midday and that the next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Monday 20th June at 7pm in the small hall of the Village Hall.

Wilstead Flower, Produce And Handicrafts Show

This year will be held on Saturday 27th August.

The Flower Produce And Handicraft Show schedule now can be seen on the Wilstead Village Website.

The paper version of the show schedule can be obtained from Village Post Office from the middle of July.

Looking forward to seeing you there as a visitor or entrant - refreshments available.

Reaping Rewards

At last all the hard-work us gardeners have put in over winter and spring is being rewarded with flowers, vegetables and fruit. It is definitely a bumper year for strawberries although some spring planted crops did not like the dry weather.

Wilstead Garden Club are enjoying visits to see other gardener's beautiful results. Last month we visited Briar Bank Park and saw what can be achieved in small gardens. There was something special to see on every road and some innovative planting. We also enjoyed a very social time in the Club. We thank everyone for the lovely evening.

Next month we have an afternoon visit to a NGS garden, Lake End House in Woburn Sands. The owner recently gave a talk to the Garden Club and he specialises in water features and follies, so it should be interesting for many reasons.

In July we have a bat walk around Priory Marina in the evening. If you would like to join us, please contact a member of the committee.

We look forward to seeing you either on our visits or back in Wilstead in September.

Maralyn, Lynda, Mary, Viv and Julie


Houghton Wilstead Golf Cup 2022

Golfers from both sides of the A6 will flock to Cainhoe Wood Golf Club on Friday 29th July to compete in the annual Houghton Wilstead Golf Cup.

2022 will see the tournament return for its 15th edition with Wilstead being the current holders of the cup.

As well as the team event there are plenty of other prizes to be won for Individual Stableford, Longest Drive and Nearest The Pin.

As ever, all money raised on the day through raffles, auctions and hole sponsorships will go to Sue Ryder St John's Hospice in Moggerhanger. The amazing palliative care as well as the support they give families is incredible and many players on the day will have personal connections with the hospice.

We would like to welcome all players to come forward to get involved in playing.

As ever, it will be 36 players per team so this will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Additionally, we would like to invite the non playing community to get involved this year. Volunteers are always welcome to join on the day to help with the overall running of the event.

The raffle will be open to everyone from both villages and tickets can be purchased from both Houghton Conquest Post Office and Wilstead Post Office up until the event.

Prizes range from caps to luxury hampers.

If you cannot attend, there are different ways to support the 2022 HWGC. Raffles prize can be donated and hole sponsorships are most welcome.

Please contact Ranvir Thiarra for more information about playing, donating prizes or hole sponsorships.



The Houghton Wilstead Golf Cup Committee

Revd Stephen Toze

I am sad to report that Revd Stephen Toze died on 16th June.

As many people will know he had been very ill for some time and it is a sad time for us at All Saints.

By the time this Newsletter is published the funeral will most likely have occurred, and his friends and congregation will have had the opportunity to pay their respects.

Robert Heley

All Saints Church News

The service times for July are as follows:

Sunday 3rd July -   11.00am Morning Prayer

Sunday 10th July - 11.30 am Holy Communion

Sunday 17th July - 11.00 am Holy Communion

Sunday 24th July - 11.00 am Holy Communion

Sunday 31st July -  11.00 am Morning Prayer

Congregations are increasing and we thank all those who do support us. It is interesting having different visiting clergy from the Team Ministry to conduct our services.

As we said in the June Edition we are not having a Church Fete this year, but we are holding monthly Coffee Mornings . The July date is Wednesday 20th July. We are not having one in August but the September one will be on Wednesday 21st September.

They are held in the Chapter House, 10.30am until 12.00 midday.

Robert Heley

All Saints Church

Bowls Club News

The County competitions are being played at present along with all the Club competitions.  It is lovely to see everyone on the green during this sunny weather.

Wilstead ladies are doing very well in the County Competitions. They have reached the semi-finals in three so far.  These are the Senior 4's, the Triples with Anne Baker, Barbara Carter and Kim Douglas, the pairs Anne Baker and Barbara Carter. Also our ladies won the first round of Top Club against Linslade.

We have a Men's Bedfordshire County game against Norfolk on Thursday 7th July playing at 1.00pm.  On Saturday 30th July there is an Eastern County League Bedfordshire against Cambridgeshire starting at 10.30am.

President's Charity Day is on Sunday 7th August, in addition to all the Men's/Ladies and Over 60's games each week.

Jean Ward

Club Secretary

Footpath Group


The next meeting is on Saturday 16th July in the Village Hall at 10.00am. There will be reports on the condition of each of the seventeen Rights of Way, both footpaths and bridleways, in and around the Village and some of which also connect to surrounding villages.

These reports will identify what if any work is required so that they remain easy-to-use off road routes through the countryside surrounding the Village.

If you are interested in these paths and would like to help keep an eye on them, so they remain easy to access, come along to the meeting on the 16th and see what it is all about. All are welcome.


Circumstances conspired to stop the previously identified work on the paths to be undertaken over the past few weeks. However there was no major work needed to ensure that the paths were easy to go along and that which is planned mainly consists of replacing broken waymark posts or replacing faded discs on existing posts. Now we are well into the growing season there will also be some mowing and cutting back overgrowth required.

Working Parties will be arranged to tackle these tasks. If you are interested in helping with this work get in touch through the number at the foot of this article and you will be added to the notification list of each Working Party. You can then come along if you are free.

It is not a compulsory Group activity! However it is one part of the Group's remit. You don't have dig holes as there is normally plenty of lighter work.


The June five mile walk was due to be in and around the countryside near Stagsden but this had to be cancelled at the last minute. Apologies to those who were planning to come along. This walk will now be on Friday 22nd July. Meet in Whitworth Way car park at 6.30pm.

Don't worry if you don't have transport as lifts will be available. If possible please let me know beforehand then I make sure that there are spare seats.

These walks, although around five miles, are not route marches but intended to be a pleasant wander through the countryside. So come along and see first hand some of the hidden/less visited parts of Bedfordshire. Walking shoes/boots are recommended as bits of paths can be uneven or even muddy! (especially after rain).

The remaining walks will be on 26th August evening, 18th September afternoon, 30th October morning and 27th November morning.


If you would like a calendar listing the dates and times of the meetings and walks please contact the number below.

The dates and times of the Working Parties are a bit more flexible and depend on people's availability, weather and holidays, and so are finalised in the weeks before the Working Party.

Nigel Jacobs

01234 400733

Wilstead's Rural Nature Under Threat

You should have received a leaflet from Bedford Borough Council by post summarising the proposals for new housing in the Borough up until 2040.

This shows an additional 2100 houses for a 'Wixams Extension'.

In fact all these, if built, would be within Wilstead Parish – thus trebling the size of the Village.

If this troubles you, if you want to learn more or would like to learn how and what to comment, the Parish Council will be holding a drop-in session at the Village Hall on Sunday morning 10th July from 10.00 until 1.00.

Responses have to be in by Friday July 29th so there is little time.

Find details of the proposals and how to comment at:


or Google 'Bedford Borough Local Plan 2040'

Can You Help Hospice Chef's Kitchen Garden Grow?

Chef Sandra Galton joined Sue Ryder St. John's Hospice last year and had the tasty idea of growing the hospice's own vegetables, fruit and herbs to give a wholesome, flavoursome 'garnish' to meals made for patients.

There used to be a kitchen garden in the grounds, but over the years it has been lost.  From this seedling of an idea Sandra put a call out to hospice colleagues for donations of seeds and plants to get the garden started and she was inundated with donations, which are now growing in the hospice kitchen garden looking out onto the beautiful open fields of Moggerhanger.

Now they would really value some volunteer kitchen gardeners to help, everyone is welcome.

Sandra is currently tending to the garden around her shifts in the hospice kitchen, but hopes people will come forward to volunteer in the hospice gardens to help the kitchen garden grow.  So far Sandra has planted peas, beetroot, spring onions, carrots, radishes and assortment of lettuces and some spinach.

She has added some donated blue cornflowers as an insect attractor.

Involving patients in all aspects of the care and services given by Sue Ryder is a priority for the charity, and Sandra says this includes at meal times too.

Someone from the kitchen goes to each individual patient with the menu and encourages them to pick what they would like. Traditional, real, home-cooked food is what people mostly crave and they want to deliver on that.

Sandra hopes the fruit, vegetables and herbs of her labour will be a boost to patients' wellbeing.

If you think you can support Sandra in tending the Sue Ryder St John's Hospice kitchen garden find out more about gardening volunteer opportunities at the hospice by visiting the Sue Ryder website or emailing


For more information on Sue Ryder St John's Hospice visit


Wilstead Players News

The Players held their long postponed AGM in the Village Hall on 16th June. This was a very pleasant social event with wine and pizza provided on a warm summery evening.

Colin West was again elected unopposed as Chairman/Secretary and Judy Jacobs was persuaded to continue as Treasurer for another year, again unopposed. Gill Turnbull continues at Village Hall Rep.  

We were pleased to welcome two new members, Paul Wheeler and Alex Gould, to join the committee.

Plans for the interactive Murder Mystery Dinner Evening are shaping up nicely. The dates for this are Friday and Saturday 21st and 22nd October. As before seating will be at tables where a three course dinner will be served. Followed by coffee and mints. The action will take place in the Hall and on the stage, and audience members will get the opportunity to quiz the suspects if they fancy themselves as detectives!

Looking further ahead, Spring 2023 will see the production of a comedy play and dates for this will be confirmed shortly.

Hopefully we shall be back to our pre-Covid ways in the future.

Jackie Tanswell 01234 740782

Wildlife Walks and Talks

Saturday 9th July, 10.00am-12.00 noon, Fancott Meadow

Wildflower walk with Graham Bellamy

Join Dr Graham Bellamy on a tour round this spectacular traditional flower-rich meadow with both sweet vernal and quaking-grass and the adjacent mixed-wood spinney. Places are limited. The Fancott Pub is close by for lunch.

£3.00 per adult

Saturday 6th August, 10.00am-12.00, Duck End

Dragonfly And Damselfly Walk With David Withers

A guided walk round the Duck End nature reserve with the reserve's ward, David Withers.   This small reserve (1ha, 2.4ac) is a gem of remaining wetland, hopefully providing some unusual flora, dragonflies and damselflies.

£3.00 per adult

Saturday, 13th August, 10.00am-12.00 Broom

Wildlife walk with Betty Cooke

A guided walk round Broom looking for invertebrates, birds and wildflowers with Betty Cooke.   Meet in the overflow car park of Jordan's Mill.

£3.00 per adult

Open to all.  To reserve a place or for further information please email Ann at


or ring or text on 07580 178889.

The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Northamptonshire

Registered charity number: 1000412


Flit Vale Local Group


Updated Wednesday 29th June 2022