All Saints Church

We had a most successful Christmas Tree Festival weekend at the beginning of December.

The Church was most beautifully decorated by 16 Christmas trees from different organisations in the Village.

The History Evening went very well with some 30 people present. We heard about the history of the Village and the Church.

The Advent Fair was a great success. The lunches prepared by Mandy and her helpers were delicious and the stalls were well supported.

Sunday evening saw the Carol service and we all enjoyed the different readings and being able to sing our favourite carols.

Overall we cleared just over £1000 for our church funds. Thank you to everybody who worked hard to make it such a success and to all who came and supported us.

The Christmas service dates were put in the December Newsletter. We hope they were able to take place as planned despite the current Covid situation.

We begin the New Year with hope that we will be able to continue our weekly services.

We are not going to have a new Vicar for the Parish, and it is unlikely that we will have proper ministerial support until after Easter at the earliest. Then we will be combined with Elstow, Cardington, St Michael's (Barford Avenue) and Houghton Conquest.  We wait to see what will happen.

May I wish you a Happy New Year from all at All Saints Church.

Robert Heley

Bowls Club News

We had a very successful tea party at the end of November, all tickets were sold out.    Our Christmas coffee morning which included mince pies, was very well supported with some lovely raffle prizes.   Our next coffee morning will be in the New Year on Wednesday 2nd February.

We are hoping to have other entertainment evenings in 2022 when we are able and free from COVID-19.

Short mats on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons at 2pm is enjoyed by the many people who come to play, also on Friday evenings at 7pm.

Our Club opened again on Sunday 2nd January after the holiday season.   we will now be open as usual.

Jean Ward  -  Secretary

Happy New Year To All Gardeners

We look back on 2021 and forward to 2022 at this time. 2021 was a strange year and the Garden Club would like to thank the Village Hall Committee and caretakers for making it possible for the Club to meet this past year.

Our final meeting of 2021 was our Christmas meal and mega raffle. Unusually we held it in the Village Hall this year and enjoyed fish and chips and other delights. We must thank Wixams fish and chip shop for freshly cooking 25 portions of fish and chips so that everyone had crispy batter and hot food. We must also thank everyone who helped set up, clean up, wash up and turn up, without you all we would not have had time to enjoy what was a lovely event.

2022 meetings will still be held on the third Tuesday of each month in the large hall of the Village Hall at 2.30pm excepting in June, July and August when we go on visits. Entry is still £1.50 with a raffle at most meetings.

The provisional plan for 2022 is:

January - Willow Weaving

February -  Which Bird is That?

March - Planting for Floral Displays

April  - Vertical Gardens

May -  Plant Swap

June, July, August -  Visits

September - Fascinating Fungus

October - Amazing Trees

November -  Quiz

December - Christmas meal

Actual events are subject to change but we will publish any changes in this Newsletter.

We wish everyone a healthy and happy 2022 and look forward to seeing you at our meetings.

Maralyn, Lynda, Mary and Viv.

Village P3 Footpath Group


The latest meeting of the Group was on 13th November. Each of the circular 17 paths around the village was reported on. There were no major problems and all the paths were usable.

Some waymarking issues were identified including a couple of posts which have been 'relaxing' on the ground for a while!

These issues will be addressed as and when we can.

The next meeting will be on Saturday 15th January in the Village Hall starting at 10.00am.

Subsequent Footpath Group Meeting Dates for 2022 are listed below:

Saturdays – 12th March, 7th May, 16th July, 10th September and 19th November.  All meetings will be at 10am.

If you fancy doing something healthy that is a bit different come along and find out a bit more on how you could keep an eye on one of the paths around the village.

All are welcome.

Footpath Work

Bar the lightest of cutting back vegetation or adding waymark discs very little work has been done for quite a while. Just when we could plan to get some work done COVID gets worse and so we err on the side of caution.

The dates for Footpath Working Parties are normally guided by what work needs doing, who is around and the weather forecast. Normally there are 5 or 6 half day Working Parties in the year. All are welcome to come and help

If you spot any problems with the paths please contact the number below and the Group will try to address them.


The November walk was a circular walk between Great Barford and Blunham. This walk took us alongside both the Ivel and the Ouse as well as along part of the old Oxford to Cambridge railway line, not to mention numerous field edge and crossfield paths. Refreshment in the sunshine outside the Anchor pub was a very nice end to a varied walk.

Hopefully the weather was kind on New Year's Day and the traditional social wander along some of the footpaths and bridleways around the village provided us with a good start to the New Year.

At the time of writing it was likely that we will have missed out on the traditional post-walk mulled wine and mince pies. (On the bright side think of all those calories you won't have eaten)!

Below is a provisional list of walk dates for 2022:

Saturday 1st January 11am

Sunday 7th February 10.30am

Sunday 6th March 2pm

Sunday 10th April 2pm

Friday 27th May 6.30pm

Friday 24th June 6.30pm

Friday 22nd July 6.30pm

Friday 26th August 6.15pm

Sunday 18th Sept 2pm

Sunday 16th October 10.30am

Sunday 27th November 10.30am.

These are subject to occasional change which will be identified in the Newsletter or 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

Pre-School News

Happy New Year to you all.

I hope you all had a happy and healthy Christmas.

The new year and the new term is upon us where we look forward to welcoming another intake of new starters. Looking forward to meeting you all.

We are very busy with a waiting list so please put your child's name down if you require a place in the future.

Just before Christmas we had to cancel our Christmas bazaar due to the ongoing uncertain circumstances.

However we did run our Christmas raffle.

A Huge thanks to all the parents and residents (and beyond) who brought tickets for this. We raised approximately £800 which was a truly fantastic result.

We held a children's art sale too which raised another £100 which again is just fantastic.

As you will all know we haven't been able to hold fundraisers over the past 2 years so this is a much needed boost to our funds.

Can I thank the following companies who donated prizes.

Herrings Green Bird of Prey Centre, Tesco, Dunelm, Moonlight nails, Bedford Rugby Club, Libby Cochrane, Gemma and Luke O'Sullivan, Mrs Glover,

Their fantastic donations made the raffle such a huge success. I cannot thank them enough for their support. It really is appreciated by us all at Pre School.

We would also like to thank parents for their wonderful Christmas cards and gifts which again are very much appreciated.

It's a real boost to have such kind words during this difficult time for everyone.

We also said a very sad goodbye to the truly wonderful Kelly!

Kelly has been at Pre School for more than 15 years and has decided to take on a new challenge at Bedford hospital.

I know I speak for everyone past and present when I say what an absolute asset Kelly has been to Pre School.

She is a very much loved member of staff and a wonderful person to work with. Personally I have learnt so much from working with her and I thank her for all the help and guidance she has given me over the years.

She will be dearly missed by all of us at Pre School.

Kelly, we wish you the very best for the future. Look forward to seeing you on your moped !! (Sorry I couldn't resist) !!

We are hoping to start up some more fundraising events this year and as always your continued support is hugely important and appreciated by us all at Pre School.

One final mention to Mandy and Nikki (I couldn't not !)  

They have been absolutely instrumental in keeping Pre School up and open all through COVID, which has been extremely difficult at times.

Thank You.

Julia Drummond

Wilstead Village Hall

As the New Year begins, thoughts often reflect on the past year and then onto the coming year. COVID restrictions were lifted earlier in the year and the Hall welcomed hirers back and once again became a vital part of the village with many varied uses. Children enjoyed their birthday parties, the very diverse clubs that meet welcomed old and new members back, and we even saw the set-up of a drop in cafe on alternate Fridays.

Hopefully, with a nod of caution to be safe, the diary will start filling up with bookings for 2022 and the Hall will welcome many of the villagers and the wider community, but the Hall needs help.

The Village Hall is run entirely by a voluntary Committee, which has unfortunately suffered over the last two years and is now sadly lacking in members, as well as being top heavy with more mature members.

There is nothing wrong with that, but the Committee would really benefit from having the ideas and enthusiasm from a contingent of younger members, however all ages are more than welcome to come aboard.

Wilstead is a village that has a fantastic community spirit and looks out for one another, so, if you feel you could spare a couple of hours, 4-6 times a year, you could make the difference between Wilstead having a vibrant Village Hall or a closed Hall.

Yes, the Hall could close if there is a lack of volunteers to run it! We don't bite and are a friendly welcoming bunch. The next Committee meeting is at 7.30pm on Tuesday 25th January in the small Hall and you are welcome to come along to find out what we discuss.

Please feel free to contact either myself, Sandra,  or Angela if you would like any information on joining the Committee and helping to take the Village Hall into the future.

At the time of writing this, only the wearing of face masks is mandatory and we cannot predict what rules might be introduced. However, at the moment, the Hall encourages all hirers and users to socially distance, use the sanitiser and wash their hands regularly, keep the Hall well ventilated, wipe down tables used, and consider the size and make-up of the group as well as taking sensible precautions to reduce the risk of an infectious spread.

Wilstead Village Hall would like to wish you all a very happy and safe 2022

Chairperson - Sandra Spinks


Secretary - Angela Fosbrook

01234 294692

Bedford National Trust Association

The next meeting is on Tuesday 18th January at the Addison Centre, starting at 2.15pm.

The speaker is Ian Keable on 'The Century of Deception – The Birth Of The Hoax in 18th century England'.   They were imaginative and the tricksters had varying motives.

For further information contact Betty Thomas 01480 860421

Wilshamstead Parish Council

Christmas Lights - Additional Thank You's

The Parish Council hopes the Village enjoyed the recent switching-on event. It was great to see so many people turning out on what was a very windy evening. The school children sang beautifully and, next year if they are prepared to give it another go, we shall try and amplify them so that all can hear more clearly.

We continue to be very grateful for the support shown by the Wilstead community.  Following on from the amazing generosity of residents and local businesses reported last month we have received further donations which have allowed the Christmas decorations to be extended even further through the village.

Special thanks to:

Peter and June Pool

Kevin and Anita Moroney

Highways Safety - Police Bid Application

The Parish Council has continued to be focused on improving highways safety in the Parish.  With Bedford Borough Council as the local Highways Authority and the local Police also having jurisdiction in this important area, it has been increasingly frustrating that neither organisation have been able to assist the Parish Council with the relocation of the existing average speed cameras to a more effective location, and/or progress the request for additional speed cameras in the village as a deterrent.

The Parish Council understands the concerns of residents regarding highways safety so have very recently applied to the Police and Crime Commissioner's Grant Fund for £7,500 towards vehicle activated speed devices in the Parish.  This money would be matched funded by the Parish Council with a project total of £15,000, so hopefully multiple devices could be purchased to be located strategically throughout the main Village routes.

Overhanging Bushes And Foliage

We have recently asked our contractor to cut back shrubs and hedges more severely than previously as they were encroaching upon pavements and walkways or looking quite untidy.

Can we ask residents to look at their own hedges and shrubs and cut them back where they restrict the width of pavements. This includes ensuring that grass, weeds and earth do not intrude from the verges onto the walking surface.

In some cases pavements are now only wide enough for one person to pass at a time, which forces people to move into the road and is a real hazard for pushchairs and mobility scooters.

In severe cases you may receive a letter from the Parish or Borough Council and, if no action is taken, the path will be cleared for you. The law allows for this work to then be charged to the resident.

Let us know if there is somewhere in the Village you are concerned about.

Dog Fouling

There has been a recent incident of dog mess being found close to the play equipment in the Whitworth Way playing field. The risk to children using the play equipment is obvious.

Residents are reminded that this is a DOG EXCLUSION AREA. Anyone who allows their dog into the field is subject to a substantial fine, so if you spot anyone doing so, please report them to the Borough using the contact details shown below.

Local Police Priorities …...Have Your Say

Our local Police contact, PC Craig Bond is keen to have residents engage in the setting of local Police priorities: The next round of priority setting meetings will be held on Monday 24th January, 6:30pm – 7:30pm at Wixams Lakeside Village Hall. It is hoped that as many residents as possible can make it.

The Police are increasingly raising awareness through different platforms for residents to be kept up to date, so if you do not already follow them please do.  You can find them on Facebook (North Bedfordshire Rural Community Policing) and Twitter (@NorthBedsPolice).

See An Issue – Have A Question – Where To Go

Over time as items are increasingly moving to online reporting, it can be confusing as to where you are to go if you want to find out who to report your bin not being collected, or how to raise concern over dog fouling or a highways or environment issue.

The Borough Council website has a page where you can be signposted to a whole range of different areas which are quite helpful, so do take a look:

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 temporarily closed in light of the most recent Government guidance.  Any changes to this will be communicated to residents.  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 meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Monday 10th January at 7pm in the small hall of the Village Hall, face coverings will be required.

Updated 7th January 2022