Wilshamstead Parish Council

Thank You Wilstead Residents

The Parish Council is most grateful that residents have continued to be engaged in a range of different items in recent months, as well as continuing to support lots of exciting projects planned in the near future.  It is really very much appreciated, as the time given by these villagers has enabled improvements which will benefit many, so thank you very much.

Parish Council Response To Bedford Borough Council Local Plan 2040 Consultation

It was great to see so many residents attending the drop-in session held at the Village Hall in August, plus those who kindly gave their time to support helping explain the Local Plan process and its potential impact on Wilstead.  The Parish Council really feel it is important that residents can access and engage in these important consultations.  If you would like to see a copy of the Parish Council's response then please go to:


Telecommunications Mast Update

At the time of writing the Parish Council has submitted a detailed objection to the proposed mast.  There have also been multiple meeting requests sent to the applicant to seek to discuss the proposed location. Sadly, there has been no reply to date.  

Ward Councillor Graeme Coombes along with the Parish Council continue to monitor this application very closely.  A number of residents have copied the Parish Council into their submissions made to the Borough Council.  

If you have not yet done so, please remember you can submit comments to:


quoting the application number, which is, 21/0211/TELPN installation of fifth generation (5G) equipment, comprising H3G Phase 8 18m high street pole c/w wrap around cabinet and 3 further additional equipment cabinets at Land fronting The Red Lion.

Whitworth Way Play Area Improvements

The Parish Council is very pleased with the final outcome now that the new safety surface has been installed up to, and under, the multi-use climber frame.  These projects take a long time to move forwards as there are so many different, and often unexpected, components to them.  The Council wishes to thank Mark Brooks, Andy Collins and James Carroll for their efforts with this.  

New Borough Council Ward Arrangements

As previously mentioned, there have been various consultations on the future ward arrangements for the elected Borough Councillor to represent Wilstead.  Currently there is one Ward Councillor representing Wilstead and Wixams.  It has been confirmed that from the next election Wilstead will join with Wixams, Stewartby and Elstow, forming a Ward which will be represented by three Borough Ward Councillors.

Christmas Lights Update

Work has been going on for a number of months already behind the scenes in preparation for this year's Christmas decorations.  There is much excitement as additional decorations are looking to be sourced. The Parish Council has committed some funding towards the lights but if through additional  fundraising more money can be raised then more the of village can have decorations.  If any individuals or business owners wish to provide donations then please do contact Lizzie, the Parish Clerk.

Visual Improvements To The Parish

The Parish Council continues to pursue various options. We are pleased to have secured some bulbs which will be planted along Bedford Road and Luton Road ready for the spring.

Thanks also go to the volunteer litter pickers who have continued with their efforts, being out and about keeping the roadside verges tidy.  This is an endless task and the Council is most grateful for residents giving their time freely to do this.

Also the Parish Council has recently replaced a well-used bench in the Churchyard/Burial Ground. A resident approached the Council seeking to re-home the old bench, which was able to be arranged so it has been rec-cycled.    

Reducing Speeding In The Village

At the September Parish Council meeting Councillors unanimously agreed to purchase vehicle activated signs for installation at various locations through the parish.  The Parish Council is as fed up as residents with the issue of speeding and has been very frustrated that the Local Authority have still, after many months, not responded to the request for the Village to have additional average speed cameras as well as relocate the existing cameras to a more suitable location.

The signs being purchased will enable not just speed data to be captured, but also traffic volume data, and it is planned to publish all the results on the Parish Council website.  These signs have proved to be invaluable in other local parishes where the data can be used to bring the Police into the village to carry out more enforcement, as well as the Local Authority camera van.  As the signs are moveable it means they can capture data at a range of places throughout the village.

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.

The Parish Office has now re-opened on Mondays 9.00 am to midday.  It is kindly asked if you are feeling unwell, please do not visit the Parish Office.  You are welcome to ring or email Lizzie, in addition to raising any items with a Parish Councillor, if that is easier.

Please note the next meetings of the Parish Council will be held on Monday 11th October and Monday 22nd November at 7.00 pm in the small hall of the Village Hall

Wildlife Walks & Talks

Geology Walk with Derek Turner (BNHS)

Saturday 9th October

Starting from Maulden Church Meadows at 10.30 am

On this guided walk Derek will explain how the flora of this area is influenced by the underlying geology of our region.  Please wear sturdy footwear as the ground will be uneven and potentially slippery if damp.  Open to all. We very much look forward to seeing you.

£3 per adult. Booking is essential, as places are limited. Please book with Ann by emailing flitvale.info@gmail.com or telephone 07580178889

The Wildlife trust for Beds, Cambs and Northants


Wilstead Bowls Club

We completed our outside season with our Final's day on Sunday 19th September, with many people taking part, or marking and umpiring. Thanks to all who took part in the club competitions, and the greenkeepers and helpers who have looked after our green all summer, as without them we would not have a green to play on.

Start of our indoor season with short mats began after Monday 20th September when 3 mats were placed in the main hall. We hope to have sessions on Tuesday/Wednesday afternoons starting at 2.00 pm, and if there is enough support Wednesday evenings at 7.00 pm. The Thursday evening Herts/Beds league started on Wednesday 23rd September at 7.00 pm until 9.00 pm.

Barbara Carter will have completed her term of office as Lady County President after the Church service at Wilstead All Saints on Sunday 26th September.

Ladies are having an open meeting on Tuesday 5th October at 7.00 pm followed by Ladies AGM at 8.00 pm.

On Wednesday 6th October we are holding our first coffee morning of the season starting at 10.30 am in our club house. You are all welcome to come along for a mug of coffee or tea if you prefer and varies cakes and a chat with friends.

Jean Ward - Club Secretary

Milton Keynes National Trust Association

Are you a member of the National Trust? Even if you aren't, you can join our local association in Milton Keynes that arranges visits to National Trust properties and places of special interest, lectures, holidays, and social events.

You can apply for membership to our Membership Secretary Annette Tyler, 56 Mortons Fork, Milton Keynes MK13 0LA (01908 314151) or possibly by subscribing at one of our meetings.

Annual membership fees are £7.50 or £14 for two at the same address.  (Entrance fees for National Trust properties will have to be paid by non National Trust members during our day excursions and holidays.)

In September we completed a coach excursion to Warwick and Hidcote Gardens and in October we have a holiday to Somerset planned. Money raised through these activities are used to support National Trust projects.

We meet once a month on the first Thursday of each month from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm, and we have provisionally booked Thursdays - 7th October, 4th November and 2nd December for our afternoon meetings.

The next meeting of the Milton Keynes National Trust Association will be at the Oak Tree Centre, Wallinger Drive, Shenley Brook End, Milton Keynes MK5 7GZ on Thursday 7th October. The talk will be the postponed talk by David Squibb on Malta. £2 for members of the MKNTA and £4 for non-members.

The Oak Tree Centre is a well ventilated, light and airy place, hand sanitation facilities are provided and the use of face masks is a personal choice. Questions can be referred to David Romine via telephone to 01525-630193 or via e-mail to david.romine@ntlworld.com.

All Saints Church

Things are much more normal at Church after the long break. Regular services are being held at 11.00 am on Sundays and we are very grateful to have the services of a variety of ministers, both retired and also still in active service, especially the Bishop of Bedford and the Archdeacon of Bedford plus curates from churches in Bedford.

We are now allowed to sing hymns which has made our worship more joyful. Sadly we are without the services of a regular organist since the death of our great friend Barry who sadly died in April.

If there is anybody out there who does play an organ we would love to hear from them if they would be willing to give their time on a Sunday morning. We have to use CDs which are not the same as real live music.

As to events we have planned dates up to Christmas for activities:

Wednesday 20th October at 12.00 noon.  After many years in Enid Wisson's house the famous Soup and Pud Lunch will be held in the Chapter House and Church to allow for overflow.

Tuesday 2nd November at 7.00 pm All Souls Service with Remembrance of those we have lost. Please come and light a candle in memory.

Please give names to be remembered  to Robert Heley or Janet Brooks. Even if you can't come to the service we will still light a candle in their name.

Sunday 14th November is Remembrance Sunday. There will be a short Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial with a Parade followed by the Remembrance Service in Church at 11.00 am. All are very welcome to come and remember those who gave their lives in service of their country.

17th November 10.30 am till 12.00 noon.  Coffee Morning in the Chapter House.

Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th December.  Christmas Tree Festival weekend with a planned event on the Friday, Advent Fair on the Saturday and a Village Carol Service on the Sunday at 11.00 .

We will be asking Village organisations for a choice of Carol and for anybody to give a Christmas reading, not necessarily from the Bible.

Friday 24th December at 3.00 pm.  The Christingle Service.

Friday 24th December at 11.30 pm.  Christmas Eve Midnight Eucharist led by the Bishop of Bedford.

Please put all these dates in your diary and come and support us. We welcome everybody.

Robert Heley

All Saints Church.

Would You Like To Make A Difference Within Your Local Community?

School Governor opportunities have opened up at Wilstead Primary.

What do Governors do?

The governing boards provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools and it does this through three key functions:

·     Overseeing the financial performance of the school.

·     Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school.

·     Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.

We are looking for candidates who could help bring the benefit of their experience and knowledge to this wonderful school. If you would like the rewards of contributing within a challenging yet fulfilling dynamic that may vary from your current day to day, then please write a letter of application, briefly outlining any relevant skills and reasons why you think you would be suitable for this role to


Wilstead Pre School

Christmas Bazaar

It gives us huge pleasure to announce the return of the Wilstead Pre School Christmas Bazaar to be held on Saturday 11th December 1.00 pm until 4.00 pm. The new venue for this year will be at Wilstead Pre School itself.

Father Christmas will have his own special log Cabin for the children to enjoy with his helpful elves.

There will be homemade cakes to enjoy, stalls games tombola's and all the usual fun.

This will be our first much needed fundraising event in 18 months so I really hope you can all get behind us and come along for a magical festive afternoon.

All are welcome and it will be a great opportunity to see what a wonderful Pre School we have in Wilstead.

There will be a fabulous Christmas raffle cash prize of £100 and many more prizes. Tickets will be sold on the day and before the event from Pre School.

Father Christmas will do a tour of the village before the event starts so do look out for him on his sleigh.

If you would like a stall or raffle tickets please phone Pre School on 01234 742546.

A huge thank you in advance for all your support.

It's been a very difficult few months for many of us and this will be a lovely magical afternoon for families to enjoy and a real event to bring the community together.

Again thank you for supporting our Pre School it is very very much appreciated by us all.

From all at Wilstead Pre School.

Wilstead Players

We have got our 50th Anniversary celebration, 'Make 'em Laugh' off the ground thanks to the hard work of directors Nic Hickson and Jez Knowles and the recruiting of several new actors and behind-the-scenes workers. Rehearsals on Wednesday and Thursday evenings are progressing well.

The dates for this production are Thursday-9th , Friday 10th and Saturday 11th December at 8.00 pm in the Village Hall. Seating for this production will be arranged around small tables to ensure sufficient spacing in the hall. Ticket details and dates and times for the Box Office and Patrons' priority booking will be confirmed in next month's Newsletter, so watch this space.

On a sadder note it is with heavy hearts that we have finally had to postpone 'The Wizard of Oz' indefinitely. We have tried everything to keep this afloat but it has sadly become impossible.

All ticket money therefore will be refunded. If you ordered and paid for tickets for the original March 2020 production and desire a refund please contact our Treasurer Judy Jacobs on 01234 400733 to arrange collection. We thank you for bearing with us during the whole Covid time and for being so patient. We also want to thank the cast and crew who, we know, will be so disappointed not to see the fruition of their efforts. Sorry, but it cannot be helped.

Jackie Tanswell

Sue Ryder Wilstead Coffee Morning

I would like say a great Thank You to everyone who helped make the Coffee Morning in the Village Hall on 4th September such a success. Thank you to those who came along and enjoyed a drink, cake and a chat. To those who baked and provided the great selection of cakes. Thanks to the local businesses and people that donated prizes for the ever popular raffle, but in particular the individuals that gave up their time to help me organise and run the event on the day.

It raised £631.80, all of which has gone to support the running of the local St John's Hospice at Moggerhanger.

I am constantly amazed by the generosity and support given by the people of Wilstead (and their friends) for this and other worthy causes.

Colin Close

If anyone would like to join me on Sue Ryders 5k 'Walk To Remember' around Bedford Embankment, on Sunday 10th October, or help in other ways, please contact me on 01234 741229

Walking Football Sessions

Thursday afternoons 2 until 3 in Wixams All Weathers pitch, Green Lane, Wixams, Bedford MK42 6DA

Cost is £4 per session 'pay as you play'.

You need trainers or Astro Boots to play in.

For more information and to book a place please email:



Wilstead Village Hall

For those of you who have not had the pleasure yet of meeting Brian Spinks, he is the Hall's new caretaker of over six months and by now (hopefully) is happily settled in. Please look after him and respect his position of caring for the hall and all the hirers. Andy Stokes is the relief caretaker and covers Mondays and any of Brian's holiday dates.

Should you have any queries about the hall, please contact Sandra Spinks or Angela Fosbrook (contact details below) and for any queries about bookings, please contact Roisin Whittle, the Booking Secretary (see hall advert).

At the time of writing this article activities are almost back to normal and the two halls are being hired out for a wide variety of functions. These include regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly groups, group meetings, children's and adult parties, fund raising sessions and whole day fetes and bazaars.

Do you know what regular activities take place in the hall?

As well as the private bookings, there are many activities aimed at specific ages and for different interests. Here is a selection:-

Young ones – Cha Char Chimps (weekly), Baby yoga and baby support(weekly), Holiday Bible Club in October half-term week,

Ladies – Women's Institute (monthly),

All adults – Pilates (weekly), Keep-fit (weekly), Sunshine Club for over 60's (fortnightly), Art Club (weekly), Craft sessions (weekly), Garden Club (monthly), Alpine Society (monthly), Parish Council, P3 (care of footpaths),

All ages – Evangelical Church services and events, Amateur Dramatics, Tang Soo Do,

If you are interested in any of the above, look around for posters, adverts in this newsletter or contact Angela Fosbrook for further details.

There are still some regular slots available for other groups and activities at hourly rates from £9.15 midweek for the small hall.

Wilstead Village Hall is a wonderful building and is available to hire by anyone living in or outside of the village. It is managed by a Committee of volunteers and we would welcome anyone to come and join us in keeping this hall going for the benefit of everyone.

Chairperson – Sandra Spinks

07853395939 – sanschambers@hotmail.com

Secretary – Angela Fosbrook

01234 294692 – angela.fosbrook@ntlworld.com

Wilstead WI

We're back! After 17 months without a WI meeting, on 2nd September we were finally able to get together again face-to-face. And what a lot of catching up there was – the chatter was deafening!

Not that we've lost touch completely. Members have been receiving regular updates via email or through the post, birthday cards have been delivered, and a few goody bags as well, notably at Christmas time.

But nothing beats being able to sit down with your friends over some tea, coffee and biscuits. Cake will have to wait until October, when Wilstead WI will celebrate 90 years since it was founded. There will be a big birthday cake to mark the occasion at 7.30 pm on Thursday 7th  October in the Village Hall).

For the November meeting we're hoping to get creative by painting plates that apparently can actually be used afterwards. In December we're pushing the boat out with a fully catered sit-down meal – although this is reserved for members only as a special thank you for their loyalty during the Covid crisis.

On Thursday 18th November we will be returning to Ely Cathedral for the Christmas Gift and Food Fair which was of course cancelled last year. The coach has been booked and there are still a few seats available, but you'll need to be quick. They cost £20 each.

Village P3 Footpath Group


The latest meeting of the Group was on 18th September. It was reported that numerous paths needed mowing and some paths had overhanging vegetation which needed cutting back. There were also a few waymark posts which required replacing or re-instating.

Hopefully the Group will be able to tackle these issues with the paths over the next few weeks.

The next meeting will be on Saturday 13th November in the Village Hall starting at 10.00am. Come along if you want to find out a bit more about the group.

Every two months you could help in surveying a path, part of the 11 miles of paths in and around the Village. Or you could occasionally help install new path furniture such as waymark posts and kissing gate or replace faded waymark discs.

All are welcome.  If you are interested come along to the November meeting or contact the number below.

Footpath Work

As well as the work identified at the September meeting if you spot any problems with the paths please contact the number below and the group will try to address them.


The September 4.5 mile walk started in Steppingley and went south towards Westoning before circling back to the start. The walk went along field edges, across pastures and through woodland.

The optional post walk refreshment was taken at the French Horn.

The next walk will be a 4 to 5 mile walk in the fields between Shillington and Pirton on Sunday 17th October. Mainly flat with two small hills, one to a church and one to a castle.

Meet at Whitworth Way car park at 10.30am.   If you would like a lift please bring a mask.

If you would like to be put on the Group's emailing list regarding these walks then please contact the number below.

Nigel Jacobs

P3 contact, 01234400733

Brightening Up Our Darker Nights

Well the nights are drawing in and we are busy in our gardens trying to keep our flowers flowering for as long as possible, taking cuttings for future plants and planning for next spring and summer. Nothing to be depressed about then and so much to look forward to.

Our speaker in September gave us an insight into using plants for life enhancing and medicinal purposes. Dr Gwenda Kyd science writer, editor and speaker gave a talk entitled 'People and Plants, Molecules, Medicine and Mischief'. She told us about the chemical properties of plants, how they are used in medicine and who discovered them. For example digitalis slows the heart beat and makes each beat stronger, but she also told us about using it for less kindly purposes! She was very informative about the use of garlic, hawthorn and horse chestnut. Not things we should try self medicating with though!

In October we are having a series of mini talks on a variety of topics led by the committee. This is really to show that we actually know something! Ideas include prolonged spring flowering, herbs and edibles, plants and pets and cacti and hens. There should be something for everyone including tea and biscuits.

November will be our quiz and grand raffle and December our Christmas meal, all things being as they are.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 19th October at 2.30 pm in the Village Hall. Entry £1.50 and an optional raflle of £1. Correct money is appreciated.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Maralyn, Lynda, Viv and Mary


We are still open for business! not only for Doctors and Hospital requests and the Covid Jab! While we are not yet near being back to whatever normal was we are steadily working towards it. Same rules apply as per last newsletter insert but ask us if you need help.

I hope you have noticed the revised Logo above, created to recognise the Wixams input to our group and to and to show we are trying not to get into a rut but to evolve as life goes on. Thanks you to all the members who contributed some input to the design.

As a group we are running short on Volunteers and Phone Holders, again partly due to the pandemic and also to age evolution! Please give serious thought to joining our group and thus allowing it to continue, giving you the service you desire. Without volunteers we will have no option but to retire! Call either of the numbers below.

I am still getting requests as to when we can open up the Coffee Shop again, but I cannot give any definitive answer to that one. The main issue is the Methodist Hall and whether it will be able to be opened up again. Like many organisations they have been hit hard by Covid and suffered by lack of income. I suspect that the earliest date to hope for is around September, when I hope we will all know a lot more as to how we have mastered the epidemic and can plan for the changes that it will have brought to our everyday lives. Covid is not going to get back into its box but we may by then have found a way to keep it on a tight lead! Lets hope so.

'Till next time, enjoy the sunshine!

Look after yourselves and keep well.

Regards to all.

Rick Baxter

Chairman WGNS


WWGNS Phone 07807 408928

Half term holiday fun

Do you have children age 4-11? Are you looking for activities for the half term holiday?

Join us for our Secret Agent themed Holiday Bible Club this October half term. We're excited to be back this year with three fun-packed mornings of games, quizzes, crafts, songs, stories and more.

Can you unscramble secret messages? Are you a master of disguise? We've got lots in store for children to enjoy, and we'd love you to join the fun from 10-12, Wednesday 27th to Friday  29th October in Wilstead Village Hall. All free.

For more details, visit wilstead.org or contact Ross Knight on 01234 631426.

Run by Wilstead Evangelical Church.

Updated 1st October 2021