A Year in Woburn Sands – 1947 through the columns of the Woburn Reporter

These stories and photos are all from the 1947 editions of the “Woburn Reporter and Woburn Sands Record“. I have included all Woburn Sands or Aspley Heath pictures and news stories, except the more mundane sports news (and the weekly Whist report), unless they were exceptional in some way.

Most of the Woburn Sands news comes from a column by “The Hillmen”, an anonymous comment column that took up nearly a whole page each week. There are also some letters sent in to the paper. I regret there are not more pictures to illustrate the text, but I have included some adverts as well. Some of the photos appeared with no accompanying text; very different from todays papers.

Overall, you can get a glimpse of British post-war life, and what the problems and concerns of the village were. It’s not really very different from today: dealing with traffic problems, the housing needs, the marriages and deaths of local people and their local social events fill the columns. With no T.V. to occupy spare time, many local societies flourished, as did the religious groups.


January to March

January 7th

Child Artists at Woburn Sands Bright Performance of “Cinderella” – When the Woburn Sands Juvenile Entertainers gave a performance of the pantomime, “Cinderella”, on Thursday, at the Memorial Hall, the crowd seeking admission was so large that the doors had to be closed before the start and a number of people had to be turned away.

The pantomime was produced by Mr. Syd Davis (Uncle Syd) of Aspley Guise, and Mrs. F. Spring (Aunty Dora), who were responsible for the original script. The scenery was the work of Mr. Davis, and was very well done. The colourful dresses and costumes, which were made by Mrs. J. Smith, who had the assistance of Mrs. S. Davis, to dress the children.
Sixteen young people, whose ages ranged from five to thirteen years, took the various characters. They were Patricia Smith and Margaret Clayton (Fairies), Audrey Clayton (Cinderella), Dennis Gurner (Buttons), Ruby Nursall (Old Woman – Fairy Godmother), Maurice Circuitt and Lawrence Jenkins (Ugly Sisters), Kenneth Cooper (Baron Hardup), Eric Cook (Palace Flunky and Vicar), Vera Nursall (Lord Chancellor), Marcell Jenkins (Herald), Rubina Woollett (Prince Rupert), Gladys Enever (Waitress), Rosina Langridge, Ronald Munn, and Maurice Munn (Courtiers, etc.).
Humour and Music – The performance reflected great credit on those who had been responsible for training the children. There was plenty of humour, and the topical songs were well rendered. During the interval Mr. Billy Jones played piano-accordion solos, and Mr. Syd Davis gave humorous items. Proceeds from the sale of tickets and money taken at the door will be allotted to the fund for the new heating system in the Parish Church, and money raised from the sale of programmes will be used to give the Juvenile Entertainers an outing to a theatre at which a Pantomime is being performed.

Catholic Children’s Party About fifty children of the Catholic Church at Woburn Sands were entertained at their Christmas party on Wednesday at the Parish Hall, Aspley Guise.  The hall had been decorated with holly, and the well-loaded tea-tables were placed round a decorated Christmas tree. After tea, the children enjoyed themselves with community singing of carols, party games, and relay races. Father Christmas distributed a present and a bag of sweets from the tree to each child. Sunday School prizes, presented by Father E. J. Golston, were awarded to John Murphy (best attendance), and John Comerford and Mary Watson (religious knowledge).  The children gave three cheers for Father Golston and three more for those who had, by hard work and generous gifts in money and kind, helped to make the party a great success.

Social A New Year’s Eve social, arranged by the Methodist Guild, was held in the High Street Methodist Church. Games and competitions were enjoyed, these being continued until it was time for the Watch Night Service, which was conducted by the Rev. Arthur Manley.

A Parish Party
held on Wednesday at the Memorial Hall, was arranged by the Vicar, assisted by members of the Church. It proved very successful and attracted a large crowd. There were games etc., and refreshments were served.

For Missions There were a special services at the Parish Church on Sunday, when the offertories were in aid of the work of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa. The preacher at morning prayer and at the children’s service in the afternoon, was the Rev. L. C. Butler.

An Exhibition
of Handicrafts, and sale of work was held on Saturday in the Memorial Hall. The proceeds were for the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa. The effort was arranged by Mrs. R. Neville and the handicrafts were the work of members of the Coral League. During the afternoon the Rev. L. C. Butler showed films dealing with life in Africa.

Further Retrospect It has been pointed out that several noteworthy events occurring during the past year in Woburn Sands were omitted from last week’s Woburn Sands Retrospect. We can only say that limited space was mainly responsible for such omissions. Of course, mention should have been made of the united service at the War Memorial, and afterwards at the Parish Church (jointly conducted by the Vicar and the Methodist Minister) on Remembrance Sunday. This was an innovation for Woburn Sands, especially as the morning service at the Methodist Church was not held on that day in order that the service at the Parish Church would be, in fact, a united service.
Information concerning the raising of money during 1946 for charitable purposes was not included in the retrospect. A number of appeals were made to residents, and all these met with a ready response and some fine sums were raised. Of these the Poppy Day collection reached a new high figure, for, with a collection of £15 in church, over £111 was raised. A collection for St. Dunstan’s realized £47, and the annual Flower and Vegetable Show organised by the Woburn Sands Women’s Institute raised a high sum for local hospitals.

Not a Festive Greeting! In addition to Christmas greetings, etc., from their friends and acquaintances, Woburn Sands ratepayers received during Christmas week the half-yearly demand note for rates. This shows a substantial increase as compared with the previous half-year. Consequently it was not a pleasant greeting from the Rating Officer of the Newport Pagnell Rural District Council (for which, of course, he cannot be blamed). Woburn Sands rates have been steadily increasing for several half-years – an increase which, it is hoped, it will be possible to check eventually.

January 14th

Woburn Sands Catholics – Numbers Reach Record High Level Commenting on Sunday morning, on the year’s activities of the Catholic Church at Woburn Sands, Father E. J. Golston mentioned the following items. The number of Catholics in the parish at the Easier census had reached a record high-level, and tribute was due to their united and devoted efforts both on the spiritual and social side.  Father E. James, O.E.M., left Woburn Sands, where he had rendered useful service to the Church during the early months of the year. The best wishes of the congregation follow him to his new sphere of activity.  The Guild of the Blessed Sacrament for men and women has been established, and both sections are flourishing.  A Catholic Social Committee has been formed, and its first function – a dance at Aspley Guise – was a great success.
Presbytery Debt Cleared Our Lady’s Missionary League, under the leadership Mrs. Ingruille, has completed a record year’s work for the Foreign Missions. The financial position of the Mission was sound, and during the year, £120 had been collected for various charities, including £22 for the Foreign Missions. The debt on the Presbytery (of over £600) has been cleared, and the New Church Building Fund stands at £2.250. In the near future Father Golston hopes to establish a catechism class for children on the Brogborough Estate. Other forthcoming evens include a Week’s Mission to be conducted by a Franciscan Friar; a social evening; a bazaar and a parish outing.

Formerly worked in Rhodesia: Ex-Tradesman’s Death at Woburn Sands At the age of 82 the death of Mr. John Wilson Mitchelmore occurred on 7th January, at his home, Theydon Avenue, Woburn Sands. Mr. Mitchelmore was born at Totnes, Devon, and began work in the Post Office as a clerk. Later he was transferred to the Midlands. He joined the Great Western Railway and worked for about fifteen years at Haddon and Plymouth. In 1894 he took a position on the Rhodesian railways and served in Rhodesia for many years, during which time he travelled, on many occasions, on all the Rhodesian railway routes which comprised about 3.000 miles of lines.
Confectioner and Tobacconist
Mr. Mitchelmore was always full of praise for the Rhodesian climate, which he considered ideal, and he had many interesting and amusing stories to tell of his experiences. He returned to England in 1919, and for a short time lived in London. He and his wife came to Woburn Sands about 25 years ago, where he carried on business as confectioner and tobacconist in the High Street until 1935, when he retired for health reasons. Since then he had lived in Wood Street. His wife survives him. The funeral took place on Friday at St. Michael’s Church, the service being conducted by the Vicar.

An ex-Football Referee – Former Woburn Sands Resident’s Death – Chorister for Fifty Years The death of a former Woburn Sands resident, Mr. Harry Barker, aged 71, occurred on 7th January at the home of his son-in-law and daughter at Coventry. Born at Stanstead, St. Margarets, Essex, he had lived at Woburn Sands most of his life, and during a great number of years took an active part in the affairs of the village. A keen churchman, Mr. Barker was a chorister at St. Michael’s Church for 50 years, and served on the Woburn Sands Parish Council for some years. He was a prominent member of the Holly Bush Vale Lodge of Independent Odd Fellows, Manchester Unity, of which he was a trustee.
Former Referee
His sporting activities were varied and included football (in which game he was a referee), billiards, and bowls. He was a member of the Woburn Sands Social Club for a great numberof years.  For over 28 years Mr. Barker was connected with the retail coal business, but retired in February 1945.  After the death of his wife in March 1945 he left his residence in Russell Street, Woburn Sands, to live with his son-in-law and daughter (Mr. and Mrs. F. Giles) at Coventry.
The Funeral
The funeral took place on Saturday at St. Michael’s Church, Woburn Sands.  The service, which was choral, was conducted by the Vicar, Mr. H. Seabrook being the organist. The mourners were Mr. and Mrs. F. Giles (son-in-law and daughter), Mr. Will Barker and Mr. Tom Barker (brothers) Mrs. Whitbread and Mrs. Hall (sisters), Miss G. Whitbread, Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Thurley, Mr. and Mrs. E. Whitbread (nephews and nieces). Mrs. Wallis, Mr. Hall (brother-in-law), and Mr. Thurley (son-in-law). Others present included Mr. J. McMurtrie and Mr. C. Purser (representing the Woburn Sands Social Club), and Mr. Joseph Pursell (representing the Holly Bush Vale Lodge (Independent Order of Odd Fellows).
Floral Tributes
Floral tributes were received from: Agnes and Frank; Annie and Grace; Lizzie and Willie; Eddie and Albert; Dol, Wally and Phyllis; Florrie and Ern, Mr. and Mrs. A. Dunkley (Woburn Sands Social Club); Mrs. Burt; Mr. and Mrs. Hollier and family; Tom and Eva: Emma and Walter Fletcher; Adelaide, Beat, and Frank; Fred and Gert; Mr. and Mrs. Butler (Coventry); Mr. and Mrs. White (Coventry); Mr. and Mrs. Everson and Gwen (Coventry); A F. few neighbours (Coventry); Mr. and Mrs. Over and Mrs. Barson (Coventry): Amy, Jack and Norman.
The Late Mr. H. Barker
The late Mr. Harry Barker was very well known in the district, and when he went to live at Coventry about two and a half years ago, after the death of his wife, a life-long association with Woburn Sands it was severed. He was a staunch churchman, and in politics he was a supporter of the Conservative Party.  In his younger days he was a keen footballer, and as a member of the Woburn Sands Social Club was a very good billiards and snooker player.

The Methodist Guild meeting at the High Street Methodist Church on 6th January was a devotional one, at which the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was administered. The Rev. Arthur Manley (Guild President) presided over the meeting.

Funeral of Former Resident The funeral of Mrs. Male, a former resident of Woburn Sands and Aspley Guise, took place at the High Street Methodist Church, Woburn Sands, on Wednesday. The Rev. Arthur Manley officiated. Mrs. Male lived for a number of years in Theydon Avenue, and after the death of her husband, Mr. Joseph Male, left the village to live with a daughter. She was a member of the Methodist Church, and a constant attendant at Sunday services and meetings at the High Street Church. Her age was 83.

Scholars of the Parish Church Sunday School were entertained at a party on Saturday in the Memorial Hall. Tea was prepared by the teachers, and afterwards games and competitions were held, under the direction of the Vicar (Rev. F. W. Bowler). There was also a film show.

Entertainments by Children Following on the entertainment given by the Aspley Guise young people at the Parish Hall, a number of Woburn Sands children have given their first entertainment, by producing the pantomime “Cinderella.” This was very successful, and Mr. Syd Davis, Mrs. F. Spring, with other helpers, and the young people who took part in the pantomime, should be encouraged by the large audience. The company was able to help the funds of the Bedford County Hospital by giving a second performance, this time at Aspley Guise. We hope to see more of these young people, and wish them and their trainers every success.

An Active Personality The death of Mrs. Annie Rowe, at 82, removes one who was known to the whole district through her long and eventful life. When her husband, Mr. Ernest Rowe. was touring the country on behalf of the Baptist Union Sustentation effort, she was a tower of  strength in the effort.  After Mr. Rowe’s death in 1943 Mrs. Rowe came to her daughter, Mrs. C. B. Stephens, at Bank House, Woburn Sands, and until she was taken to a Bedford nursing home she was motored over with the family on each Sunday to Ridgmont for worship. She was a keen person and a delightful conversationalist.

January 21st

A large company was present on Wednesday when the Woburn Sands Women’s Institute held its New Year party in the Schoolroom of the High Street Methodist Church.  Miss M. A. Barratt (Vice-President), assisted by Miss M. Palmer (secretary), was in charge of the proceedings, owing to the unavoidable absence of Miss Robinson (the Institute’s President).

Games and Entertainments Various games were carried through and the prize-winners included Mrs. Green and Mrs. Fryer (musical chairs), and Mrs. Brawn (musical parcels). Mr. Edward Pearce (a member of the Inner Magic Circle), assisted by his page boys, gave a fine entertainment.  Tea was served by members, under the direction of Mrs. Chapman, Mrs. H. Potts, and Mrs. Goss. After this, there was a surprise.  A decorated Christmas tree had been arranged entirely by the Misses Foster (Aspley Guise), who had been working for the past twelve months, making and collecting the gifts upon the tree.  These were distributed to the adults and children present.

Amusing Sketch An amusing sketch, “The Hat”, was given, those taking part being Mrs. H. Potts, Mrs. K. Griggs, Mrs. G. Hunt, and Miss G. Whitbread.  In guessing the weight of an iced cake, made and given by Mrs. H. C. Piper, the winner was Mrs. Curtis.  Mrs. Carter was the pianist.

Speed Limit for Vehicles – Request from Woburn Sands Council – Move by County Authority When the Woburn Sands Parish Council met on 13th January, under the chairmanship of Mr. J. McMurtrie, the question of the speed limit for vehicles travelling through the main street of the village was again under consideration.  A letter from the Buckinghamshire County Council was read, this being a reply to the Parish Council’s request for reconsideration of the decision recently made by the County Council not to reduce the 30 miles-per-hour speed limit.

Police Cars on Patrol The letter stated that the matter would be dealt with at the January meeting of the Highways Committee of the County Council. In the meantime special attention was being paid to the conduct of drivers of vehicles on this road, and police cars were on patrol.  The Parish Council was satisfied with this, especially so when Mr. C. M. Bail confirmed that there had been police cars on duty as stated in the letter.

The Chairman reported that Mr. Hinde, of the Station Hotel, had complained that the dumping of rubbish near his premises (the dumping obviously being done in order to make a temporary roadway) had resulted in an infestation of rats. The Council considered that Mr. Hinde has good reason for his complaint, and agreed that the matter be referred to the Newport Pagnell Rural District Council.

County Library The Chairman said that the ladies running the County Library wished to return to the Institute in which building the exchange of books took place on one day of the week before the military took the building over. This was agreed to. It was pointed out that it would be necessary to appoint a caretaker now that the Institute was again available for use, and the Council decided that the Clerk should get into touch with certain residents, and so fill the position.

Artistic Gifts – Death of a Woburn Sands Author Mr. Stanley J. Moore, of The Linden Path, Woburn Sands, only son of Mrs. Moore and the late Rev. C. G. Moore, died after an acute illness, following a life of suffering bravely and patiently borne. For the past 27 years he had been confined to bed, but he was active with his pen. Many people in the village appreciate his compositions, and he wrote for several newspapers. He was educated at the City of London School.  For many years Mr. Moore was in Canada, and during the 1914-18 war, though disabled, came to England to volunteer for any service he could render. He served with the Soldiers’ Christian Association at Witley and Bramshott Camps among the Canadians. He was unfit for any military service. He had great artistic gifts, undeveloped because of semi-blindness; and, in Canada, was much valued as a bass soloist.  Mr. Moore was not widely known in the Woburn Sands district, but those who did know him esteemed him highly.  The funeral took place on Saturday, when a service was conducted by the Rev. Arthur Manley (resident Methodist minister).

The Methodist Guild met on 13th January at the High Street Methodist Church, but it was not possible to hold the “Ilesha” evening as had been originally arranged. The members, therefore, had a quiz, Mr. C. B. Bates being quizmaster.

An Extension of the licence of the Swan Hotel, Woburn Sands, from 10.30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on 27th January, on the occasion of a darts match between the “News of the World” team and the hotel team, was granted by Bletchley Magistrates on Thursday.

The death of Miss Lydia J. Powell occurred suddenly on Wednesday at her home, 14 Wood Street. She was 75. She had lived in Woburn Sands for a number of years and was a member of the High Street Methodist Church. At an inquest held on Thursday at Bletchley the verdict was death by natural causes.

A Brighter Parish Hall During its recent meetings, the Woburn Sands Parish Council has given much attention to the well-being and future of the Parish Hall – well-known as the Institute. For the greater part of the war years the Institute was used by the military, and a certain amount of dilapidation resulted. During 1946 the building returned to the charge of the Parish Council. For several months the Parish Council met in a dirty and depressing Institute, and was the only body using the place. The interior badly required redecoration, and the Council decided to have the work carried out. The necessary licence was obtained, a local firm of decorators were commissioned to do the job, and as a result the Parish Council was able to hold its January meeting in bright and cheerful surroundings.  The interior of the Institute probably looks cleaner and lighter than it has done for a great number of years. A new slow combustion stove has been installed for heating and the Parish Council hope that it will be used by local organizations for meetings, etc.

January 28th

Darts Champions at Woburn Sands Wednesday attracted a large audience. The visit was arranged by Mr. Quarry, and the proceeds were for the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital. The Chairman was Mr. Cyril Hutton, who introduced ‘the team, J. Pike (London darts champion), L. Newstead (all-England champion for 1943-44-45), J. Ross (London Business House champion), and H. Head (Peckham area champion). The compere was Mr. Charlie Cook.  The first match was 3 legs of 1,001 up, in which the visitors were opposed to a Swan Hotel team, A. Campbell, W. Keighley, A. Leadbeater, and T. Leadbeater. The local team put up a good show. Campbell being conspicuous, but the visitors won in the first two legs.

A Lennox-Boyd league team, Leighton Buzzard, then opposed the champions. Again two legs were sufficient to give the visitors the victory, although their opponents shaped well, and throws of 99, 97, 95, 33, 84, 100 and 140 made the visitors go all out at times.

An exhibition of dart-throwing by J. Pike was watched with keen interest. This included knocking cigarettes from the mouths of his partners and matchsticks from the finger­nails; scoring a bullseye through a man’s hair; and removing a pin from the mouth. With the board covered, Pike was able to score a double 18 and double one.

Mr. Jack Boon (Woburn Sands) opposed L. Newstead at 1,001 up. Mr. Boon was in fine form, registering scores of 94, 79, 61, 85, and 112. When Newstead needed three, Mr. Boon scored a double four, which gave him victory.

In his other two games with L. Newstead, the Woburn Sands man was not so successful. In the round-the-board-for-doubles game, Mr. Boon did not get past the double three, and so Newstead won easily. L. Newstead also won the twenty-five 25’s match.

The Funeral of Miss Lydia J. Powell, who died at her home, 14 Wood Street, took place on 20th January. The service was conducted by the Rev. Arthur Manley (Methodist minister).

The Methodist Guild met recently in the High Street Methodist Church, with Mr. W. Smith as Chairman. Mr. C. M. Ball gave an address on “The Christian in Industry.”

The Problem of Germany A sound film, entitled “While Germany Waits”, was shown to a good audience on Friday at the Friends’ Meeting House, Woburn Sands. The chairman was the Rev. Arthur Manley. The film showed various problems of life in Germany and the work being done by the Friends’ Relief Service and other voluntary relief societies,  who are dealing, as far as possible, with distress in that country. The town of Dortmund was shown as typical of the problem of securing food and housing accommodation. There were also scenes at camps for displaced persons, and of efforts being made to combat the apathy which has fallen upon people after years of forced labour and the uncertainty of their future.  A collection was taken for the Friends’ Relief Service work in Europe.

Disappearing Kerbstones Chapel Street (a Woburn Sands side street that has never yet been made up and taken over by the responsible authority), though its condition is thoroughly disreputable and a danger to pedestrians using it, has for a great number of years, had one redeeming feature. It could boast of a kerbing, extending for about two-thirds of the street, separating the path from the roadway – not that the state of the path is any better than the road. A certain amount of danger exists whichever the pedestrian uses, especially as some cyclists prefer to ride along the path. But now Chapel Street is likely to lose its kerbing. Some time ago a number of the kerbstones became dislodged, and because they constituted an added danger, they had to be removed. A few days ago, we noticed that another section of the kerbing had fallen away, and probably, by the time this note is read, the stones will be withdrawn from service.

Losses to Local Methodism The deaths of Miss L. J. Powell and Mr. S. J. Moore have robbed the district of two talented villagers and indefatigable workers for the Methodist cause. Miss Powell, with her friend, Miss Matthews, settled in Wood Street, Woburn Sands, soon after the last war, and among their many guests were Miss Murdy, the evacuee school mistress, whose work for several years was at Husborne Crawley, where she and her father lived during later months for convenience.  Mr. Moore was a prolific writer, and, with the help of Mr. C. J. Minter of Caxton House, Aspley Guise, produced some telling booklets which were printed at the Powage Press works, where his fast writing was understood by the “comps” and readers.

February 4th

The Methodist Guild met on 27th January at the High Street Methodist Church, when a sound film dealing with the life of “Penn of Pennsylvania” was shown.

Old Committee Resigns – “A Certain Amount of Dissatisfaction ” – Woburn Youth Club to Continue At a general meeting of the Woburn Sands and District Youth Club, held on 28th January in the Memorial Hall, new officers and committee were elected, the old committee, it is stated, having resigned at a previous meeting “owing to a certain amount of dissatisfaction”. The Rev. F. W. Bowler (Vicar of Woburn Sands) was the Chairman.
The Rev. Arthur Manley (Methodist Minister) said it appeared that general dissatisfaction existed. Briefly, the Club had resolved itself into a mere recreational centre; the business done in committee had been vague, and it was considered that the views expressed in committee had not been carried out after decisions had been made. He thought the first point to decide was whether the young people wished for a continuance of the Club, but he had little doubt that was the general desire.
Clear Definition
The Chairman said he considered that no clear aims and objects of the Club had been fully laid down. What was needed was a clear definition as to what the Club stood for; after this had been decided, a new committee could be formed. Mr. J. Pursell pointed out that the aims and objects of the Youth Club had been penned by Miss Williams (Area Organizer) when she had addressed a meeting several months ago at which the Club had been formed. (The Chairman had not taken up residence in Woburn Sands when this meeting was held. The meeting unanimously decided that the Club be continued. The Chairman thought the Committee to be appointed should be composed mainly of young people, so that the Club could be run for young people, by Youth Club members.
Mr. Bennett (a Youth Club Organizer in the Bletchley district) gave some good guiding principles concerning a Youth Club Committee. Mr. G. Wesley was of the opinion that there should be a blend of older and younger people on the committee. He wanted young people in Woburn Sands to have a good time, consistent with good behaviour
Officers and Committee The election of officers and committee resulted as follows: Chairman, the Rev. F. W. Bowler; Vice-Chairman. Mr. G. Wesley: Secretary, Miss J. Pratt; Assistant Secretary, Mr. T. Buxton; Treasurer. Mr. H. Leigh-Bennett: Assistant Treasurer, Miss M. Webb; Committee, the Rev. A. Manley, Mrs C. Cracknell, Miss M. Kilpin, Miss Deverell, Mr. J. Cracknell and Mr. Ted Parkins. The Chairman expressed thanks to the retiring committee and to Mr. F. W. Rice (the retiring secretary).

February 11th

Grocer for 30 years – Loss to Woburn Sands His many friends heard with regret of the death of Mr. Albert Dunkley, of 43 Station Road, Woburn Sands, which occurred on 4th February. He was aged 62 and highly respected.  Mr. Dunkley carried on business as a grocer in the High Street for about 30 years, but owing to failing health he retired last year, and since had lived in Station Road.

Mr. Dunkley was a member of the Woburn Sands Social Club. His chief sport was bowls, and prior to the war he played in club matches and took part in the annual County bowls competitions. During the war he served as a special constable. His wife survives him.  The funeral took place on Saturday at St. Michael’s Church, the service being conducted by the Rev. F. W. Bowler.  The floral tributes included a wreath from the Woburn Sands Social Club.

Nonagenarian’s Death – Former Churchwarden at Woburn Sands The death of Mr. William H. Bazley, of Ashfield, Bow Brickhill Road, Woburn Sands, occurred on Wednesday. He was aged 90, and, despite the very inclement weather, was a regular attendee at St. Michael’s Church.  Mr. Bazley had been a church­warden for many years, and was one of the Woburn Sands representatives on the Wells Charity Trust. His wife died about 20 years ago. He is survived by three daughters; his only son died some years ago.  The funeral took place on Saturday, the service being conducted by the Rev. F. W. Bowler.
Mr. W. H. Bazley The death of Mr. W. H. Bazley at his home removes one of our best-known men. Farmers found him a valued ally, for he provided them with a special dressing for smut in wheat for which there was a great demand from farms all over the country as well as in the Colonies. His private life, too, will be eulogized, we are certain, by those who knew him.

Woburn Native’s Death – Began Work When 11, Lived To 95! – First Week’s Wages 3s. 6d. The death occurred recently of Mr George Healey, of 14 Church Street, Aspley Heath, He was aged 96 and had lived at Aspley Heath for nearly 30 years. Mr. Healey was born at the Bell Hotel, Woburn, of which his father was landlord for 30 years. Leaving school at the age of eleven, be went to work for G. B. Clarke – a name well known to farmers both in this country and abroad – in connection with wheat dressing. Mr. Healey received 3s. 6d. a week for performing a variety of jobs, which included assistance in printing (inking the type with a roller), housework, and the delivery of goods to people in the district.
Signalman-Inspector Mr. Healey was eventually apprenticed to Mr. D. Cook, a builder, at Leighton Buzzard, with whom he was taught the trade of a carpenter and joiner. Later he was employed by the L.N.W. Railway and he was, for 30 years, signalman-inspector.  He was at Lancester when he retired at the age of 60.  After retirement Mr. and Mrs. Healey resided at Wolverton for a time, and came to live in Aspley Heath in 1918. His wife died some years ago, and a daughter (Mrs. Chapman) lived with him. The funeral took place on Wednesday at St. Michael’s church, the service being conducted by the Rev. F. W. Bowler (Vicar).
The Late Mr. G. Healey
On the death of Mr. George Healey, of Aspley Heath, the Woburn Sands district has lost one of its oldest and most respected residents. Because of his activity since his 90th birthday in 1941, he was a remarkable man. His memory of happenings in the district from the time he was a small boy (he was born at the Bell Hotel, Woburn) made conversation with him very interesting.  Despite his great age, his handwriting was extremely legible and would put to shame that of many of our young people.

Sprinkler and New Valves – £500 Estimate for the Woburn Sands Area At the monthly meeting of the Newport Pagnell Rural Council on Wednesday, it was reported that the Aspley Heath, Aspley Guise, and Woburn Sands Joint Water Committee, had obtained an estimate of £500 for the cost of sprinklers and new valves for the water supply. The estimate, it was added, had been sent to the Ampthill and Newport Councils for confirmation.
Mr. C. Hutton (Woburn Sands) remarked that the replacements were necessary because of sheer wear and tear, and would be incorporated in the new scheme. The Chairman added that the new works comprised the construction of a new treatment tank, and the distributing gear on the new tank must be renewed now. The estimate was approved.
The “Hump” A suggestion was made that it was the duty of the Council to have the “hump” removed.  The Chairman pointed out that they were allowing the Ampthill Council to have their supply ad infinitum. They were ”proposing to maintain the “hump”, which was nonsense. They wanted to remove the cause. Mr. Low (Woburn Sands) said he had been pushing for this to be removed for some time. He understood that a resolution had been passed for it to be done.  The Chairman said he was under the impression that the “hump” was to be lowered.  It made no real difference, except when there was a fall in the reservoir.  It was agreed that the “hump” should be removed.  In the meantime the minutes were searched and it was found there was a specific resolution for the removal of the “hump”.

New Start in Woburn Sands Boys and girls in Woburn Sands and district will be interested to learn that meetings specially arranged for them are to be held in the Institute, Woburn Sands, each Friday. These meetings, commencing at 6.30 p.m., will be varied in character and interest and will have a wide appeal. It is hoped that parents will help in making these meetings a success by sending their children along in good time each Friday.

Youth Club Movement Mention of young people in the preceding note reminds us of the difficulties that appear to have beset the officers and committee of the Woburn Sands and District Youth Club. It is hoped that these difficulties have been smoothed out by the appointment of a new committee.  With the Vicar (the Rev. F. W. Bowler) and the Methodist Minister (the Rev. A. Manley) taking an active interest in the Club, success should come. As long ago as October 1941 it was reported by the “Hill Men” that a Young Woburn Sands boy was bewailing the fact that there was nothing of interest for him in the village. “What is there to do during the evenings?” he asked. “Nowhere to go and it is no wonder boys stand about in the High Street and pass away the time talking.” The formation of the Youth Club in Woburn Sands some months ago filled that need. We hope it will continue to do so.

February 18th

Speed Limit at Woburn Sands – Council Told Not To Be Reduced Reason: ‘No special Features At the monthly meeting of the Woburn Sands Parish Council on 10th February a letter was read from the Clerk of the Buckinghamshire County Council in which reference was made to the reduction of the speed limit through the village.  The letter stated that the County Highways Committee had considered the Council’s request, but decided there were no special features by which the 30 mile per hour speed limit could be reduced. It was decided that nothing further could be done, as the Highways Committee’s decision confirmed the opinion expressed I in a previous letter from the County Council.  A member remarked that “the 30 mile per hour speed limit would be all right if vehicles did not exceed it.”

A precept of £20 for general parish expenses was decided upon.

By the death of Mr. W. H. Bazley, Woburn Sands had lost one of its representatives on the Wells’ Charily Trust, as Mr. Bazley’s appointment was until 1950. The Council decided to send a message of sympathy to the relatives in view of Mr. Bazley’s services to the village. On the proposition of Mr. J. A. Pursell, Mr. C. M. Ball was asked to fill the vacancy, Mr. Ball having expressed his willingness to serve.

Caretaker Appointed The Clerk stated that Mr. T. Pople. Wood Street, had accepted the post of caretaker of the Institute, and had commenced his duties. The Council confirmed the appointment.

It was reported that Mr. Hinde’s complaint regarding the infestation of rats near his premises, the Station Hotel, alleged to be caused by the dumping of rubbish, had been referred to the Newport Pagnell Rural District Council and was now being dealt with.

A Well-Known Personality Mr. A. Dunkley Buried at Woburn Sands The funeral of a well-known personality, Mr. A. Dunkley, of 43 Station Road, Woburn Sands, took place recently at St. Michael’s Church, the service being conducted by the Rev. F. W.  Bowler.  The mourners were: Mrs. A. Dunkley (widow). Mr. and Mr. Chapman, and Mr. and Mrs. Bavington, Newport Pagnell (brothers-in-law and sisters), Mr. and Mrs. Dunkley (brother and sister-in-law), Mr. Oldman and Mr. B. Dunkley (nephews), Miss  B.  Linney and Miss O. Chapman (nieces), Mr. F. Allcorn, Mrs. W. Brice, Mr. and Mrs. H. Giles, Mr. and Mrs. T. E. Nunn, Mr. W. H. Elliot, Mr. H. Hooper, Mrs. Bathurst, Mr. Dick Bathurst, Mrs. J. Holmes, and representative of the Special Constables, the Woburn Sands and District branch of the British Legion, and the Woburn Sands Social Club.  Mrs. M. Dunkley and Mrs. Linney (sisters) were unable to attend owing to ill health.
Floral Tributes Floral tributes were from: Ada; Rose, Arthur, and family; Bet and George; George, Annie, Bert, Mary and  Bill; Elsie and Betty; David; Pollie: Nellie and Trevor; Betty and Will; Ena and Bert; Frank, Nellie, Allan, Norman, and Kath; Harry and Flo; Grace, Charlie, Doris, Joan and Frank; Sarah: Mr. and Mrs. Hooper and family; Mr Partridge; Mr, and Mrs. Holmes; All at 26 Theydon Avenue: Mr. and Mrs. H. Gill, and family; Theresa Moorat; E. and G. and John Wesley; Steve, and May Hales; Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Smith, and family; Mr. and Mrs. T. E. Nunn; Mr. and Mrs. Preston, and family; Mr and Mrs. W. H. Elliott; Mrs. Le Pare Trench and Mrs. Smith; Mr. and Mrs. H. Hobley; Woburn Sands Social Club Ltd; Woburn Sands branch of the British Legion.

Mrs. Emily Bettle The funeral was held at Woburn Sands Parish Church on Wednesday of Mrs. Emily Bettle, who died on 8th February at her home, 6 The Grove, Woburn Sands. She was 73. Mrs. Bettle came from Aspley Guise and had been a resident of Woburn Sands for more than 30 years. She was a widow, her husband having died about three years ago.  The Vicar officiated at the service, and the mourners were Mr. George Bettle, Mr. Frank Bettle, and Mr. James Bettle (sons), Mrs. W. Coleman, Mrs. Labrum, and Mrs. Davis (daughters), Mr. W. Davis and Mr. W. Labrum (sons-in-law), W. Bettle (grandson), Mr. R. Hinde and Mrs. Farmer.

Mr. John Jones The funeral took place at Golders Green Crematorium on 11th February of Mr. John Jones, who died on 7th February, after a long illness. He was 58. Mr. Jones was born at Carnarvon, and at an early age went to America, where he first worked in slate mines and later helped in the construction of Canadian railways. At the outbreak of the 1914-18 war he returned to England and served in H.M. Forces, attaining the rank of sergeant-major. He had lived at 16 Aspley Hill for some years and worked for Messrs. Valentin, Ord and Nagles at Fenny Stratford.

Octogenarian’s Death By the death, at the age of 86, of Mrs. Mary Ann Kingsley, of 19 Chapel Street, the village has lost another of its old residents. The funeral took place on Wednesday, at St. Michael’s Church, the Rev. F. W. Bowler officiating

Church Services Change Due to the fuel shortage, Church services will be held in the Memorial Hall, Woburn Sands except the 8 a.m. service of Holy Communion on Sundays and weekdays, which will continue to be held at St. Michael’s. Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer each Sunday will be held in the Memorial Hall, as also will be the Sunday Schools.

Woburn Sands Ambulance Woburn Sands and District is in grave danger of losing its ambulance.  This was made very clear at the general meeting of the Woburn Sands and District Red Cross Ambulance Service held recently.  During the War and when the Red Cross first brought the ambulance to Woburn Sands, the Detachment was a flourishing concern.  Now with the return of peace, and other less exacting and more pleasant interests, the detachment cannot find the staff to maintain it.
The Need Still Great
That the ambulance is needed in the district is made clear by the fact that it was called out ten times during the past month – a fair average of its usual work. In the two and a half years it has been in service it has taken over 300 calls. We are in a rural area, fifteen miles from the nearest hospital, and no other ambulance nearer than six miles. The Ampthill ambulance is already kept fully occupied, and would not come into Buckinghamshire to carry patients Both the Newport Pagnell and Bletchley ambulances are kept very busy with the large area they have to cover.
Who Will Help?
The situation could be saved if some of the people of the village would come forward and help. But training is needed. The ambulance attendant must hold both first-aid and home nursing certificates, and be prepared to join the Red Cross. Ambulance work is not fun, and it is sometimes unpleasant, especially when carried out in the early hours of a winter morning. But it is worth while, and something for the good of the community. We owe it to ourselves, and to those who have worked so hard, not to let the ambulance go. All that is needed is people with time to spare, and who are willing to give part of that time, for a few hours a week, to be on call, either at home or at work, for the ambulance, and to put in a little study to pass the necessary examinations. Employers can assist by allowing a volunteer from their staff to “stand-by” during work hours, for it is the daytime when help is most needed. Further information can be obtained from the Ambulance Officer, Miss A. Chester, Horse Grove House, Woburn Sands; Mr. Climer, Cross End, Wavendon; or any other member of the Detachment.

“Dicky” Lynton We have been asked several times recently if “Dicky” Lynton was ever heard of. He kept a rag and bone store down Aspley Hill for a long time, until, with his wife and son, he was removed to St. George’s Hospital. With his wife and boy, Lynton toured the district for a long time in search of bargains, and “the three”, as well as the pony and cart, were familiar to most residents.  “Dicky” died recently, his son is now in the Army, and his widow is living with a sister.  Harry Hatton, just as well known in the same district, is still in one of the patients’ wards at St Georges, and always welcomes old friends to his bedside.

February 25th

Boarding-Out of Children – W.I. Members asked to Give it Attention  Miss Robinson presided at the monthly meeting of the Woburn Sands Women’s Institute at the Methodist Schoolroom on Wednesday, when members stood in silence as a token of respect to the late Miss Powell and also expressed sympathy to fellow-members recently bereaved.
Special attention was called to a letter about the boarding-out of children in Bedfordshire consequent upon the Curtis Report, and members were asked to give the matter their consideration.  Miss Nettleship of London, gave an illustrated talk on music and showed snapshots from her a recent visit to Switzerland. She praised four items rendered by the choir.  Members then joined in community singing and in musical games.  Another interesting feature of the meeting was an exhibition of old spoons and ladles.

Confirmation at Woburn Sands A service of confirmation was held on Saturday at Woburn Sands Parish Church. There was a large congregation, and Mr. H. Seabrook was the organist. The service was conducted by the Bishop of St. Albans and the Rev. W. C. D. P. Mercer (Rector of Eversholt and Rural Dean of Fleete) acted as the Bishop’s Chaplain.  The following 26 people had been prepared for confirmation by the Vicar: Phillippa Leadbeater, Dorothy Cook, Nina Wright, Freda Capp, Jill Wright, June Norman, Mary Pursell, Primrose Emms, Mary Willmott, Catherine Willmott, Doreen Linnell, Patricia Linnell, Flossie Munn, Jean Pratt, Mary Kilpin, Daphne Goff, Averil Plummet, Phoebe Little, Irene Farmer, James Barnwell, George Barnwell, Lawrence Jenkins, Anthony Preston, Keith Farmer, David Large, and John Burton.

Lent The commencement of the Lenten season, Ash Wednesday, was observed at St. Michael’s Church with two celebrations of Holy Communion. There were also two services in the Memorial Hall (owing to the shortage of fuel for heating the church), conducted by the Vicar.

Postponed Owing to bad weather conditions the jumble sale arranged to take place last Tuesday at the High Street Methodist Church (in aid of the local Nursing Association) has been postponed to a future date.

The funeral of Mrs Elizabeth Tansley, whose death occurred recently at Renny Lodge, took place on Wednesday at the Parish Church. The Vicar officiated.  Miss Tansley, who lived at 3 Theydon Avenue, Woburn Sands, with her brother (Mr. G. Tansley) was an old resident of the village.

Late Mrs. S. A. Sanders The death of Mrs. Sarah Ann Sanders occurred recently. She was 83, and was living at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. C. Willmott, 28 Wood Street, Woburn Sands. She was the widow of Mr. George Sanders, who died some years ago. The funeral took place on Wednesday at the Parish Church and was conducted by the Vicar.

A Long Life Closes On the recent death of Mr. W. H. Bazley, Woburn Sands lost a very respected resident.  He had a long association with the village, and despite the fact that he had attained his 90th year continued to maintain a great interest in all its activities. He served St. Michael’s Church for 26 years as a churchwarden, and his attendance at Sunday service was regular until about two weeks before his death. Activities in connexion with sport also claimed his keen attention, and he was very interested in the progress of the newly-formed football club Mr. Bazley was a member of the first Parish Council of Woburn Sands, and continued a member until 1919, when he resigned.  But up to his death he maintained a connexion with the Parish Council by acting as a representative of the village on the Wells Charity Trust, this appointment being made periodically by the Council, the other representative being Mr. A. E. Tomlin (the Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council).  Although he was in his 91st year, Mr. Bazley was until the time of his death, actively engaged in his wheat dressing business. A feature of his long life was the wonderful health he enjoyed, and this continued until within some days of his death.  He suffered a family bereavement a few years ago when his son, Hugh died.  He is survived by three daughters and one son.

March 4th

Church Bell Silent The absence of the church bell on Sundays to remind Woburn Sands people to worship at St. Michael’s Church is reminiscent of war-time restriction.  Now the bell is silent because it has been found necessary to hold the morning and evening services at the Ellen Pettit Memorial Hall, owing to the lack of fuel to heat the Church.  The services of Holy Communion continue to be held in the church.

The High Street Methodist Church has been hit by the fuel shortage, and Sunday services have been held in the primary schoolroom instead of in the Chapel.

The Sunday morning meeting for worship at the Friends’ Meeting House has been suspended for a time, owing to the loss of some regular attenders at this Quaker centre.

Meetings stopped by weather The severe weather in February caused the postponement and abandonment of a number of meetings in Woburn sands. Foremost was the series of meetings for young people.  The annual jumble sale for the Nursing Association had to be postponed.  Also some meetings of the Woburn Sands Methodist Guild have had to be abandoned or rearranged.  The brighter side of the picture is that the weekly and fortnightly whist drives held in the village have not been affected.

March 11th

Housing Progress at Woburn Sands – Rural Council Takes Action   It was reported at the monthly meeting of the Newport Pagnell Rural Council on Wednesday that the Ministry of Health had been notified that the developers would be prepared to enter into normal tenancies agreements with the future occupiers of the proposed four cottages at Station Nurseries, Woburn Sands, and that it would be open to the Council to consider amended applications for subsidy under the Acts. The combined area of the dwellings must not exceed 4,000 superficial feet.  A letter was read from the Architect enclosing three copies of the revised plans, two forms, and four amended applications for the subsidy, stating that the houses would be let on tenancy agreements, and the rent would be 9s. a week for the large cottages, and 7s. 6d. for the small ones. The Council decided to forward their amended applications to the Ministry of Health and ask the Ministry to approve the maximum grant being allowed, subject to compliance with the terms of the Act.

Chapel Street Site  A letter from the Ministry of Health stated that no objection was raised to the acquisition of the Chapel Street site, Woburn Sands, of approximately one acre, on the terms and conditions set out in the District Valuer’s report dated 11th December, 1946.  The Council’s solicitors are to be instructed to proceed with the acquisition of the site, and the Committee appointed will meet and consider the Parish Council’s application for resale of a portion of the land.
A letter was read from Mr. H. W. Whitton reporting that the owner was selling two houses the Newport Road, Wavendon, last occupied as one, as two dwelling houses, and an application for a licence to build up the partition was where broken through had already been made to the Council. If this licence could be granted they would get the party wall made good and complete the sales. The Clerk reported that the necessary licence had been issued accordingly.

Water Adjustment It was also reported that the necessary permit had been forwarded for the repair of an empty cottage, stated to be in a deplorable condition, opposite Wavendon Post Office.
Mr. C. Hutton (Woburn Sands) submitted to the General Purposes Committee a graph of the area in relation to the Bow Brickhill reservoir, and gave estimated consumption of the various parts. He pointed out that Wavendon’s consumption was estimated at 15,000 gallons a day, and suggested that, by fixing the Wavendon boundary meter and feed from Woburn Sands, the present overburdened main would be relieved to the benefit of the remainder of the area.  Mr Hutton also reported that the Joint Committee had the necessary apparatus for carrying out sectional tests and would co-operate if requested.  He also gave particulars of the lengths of the different sizes of main serving this area and of frictional losses.
New Meter
Col. Byam Grounds suggested that pressure gauges be fixed at various points. The Committee were of the opinion that more effective arrangements were needful to ascertain the question of depreciation of services in particular areas, and also the general position of the water systems.  Reference is to be made to a competent consulting engineer to act as a consultant, both in the present emergency and in general
As regards the reinstatement of the Woburn Sands – Wavendon boundary meter, it was decided to purchase a three-inch meter at a cost of probably more than £35.

The funeral of Mr Henry Atkinson of Church Road, Aspley Heath, took place on Thursday at Woburn Sands Parish Church.  The service was conducted by the vicar.  Mr Atkinson died in hospital. He was 71 years of age.

The Methodist Guild held its annual concert last Tuesday at the High Street Methodist Church, when an entertaining evening was given by members of the Bletchley Youth Club.

March 18th 

Methodist Guild
At the meeting of the Woburn Sands Methodist Guild, on 10th March, at the High Street Methodist Church, the speaker was Mrs H. Cook (at one time secretary of the Guild).

A dance arranged by the Woburn Sands and District Youth Club was held on Friday at the Memorial Hall. The M.C. was Mr W. Dolton.

March 25th

Gale Damage The damage to local property during the gale on the night of 16th March was in the main negligible. A large number of slates were dislodged from various houses, a pane of glass was blown out of a shop in High Street, and some trees were blown down, the largest being one in Spring Grove. Two small trees suffered similarly in Weathercock Lane, and there was damage to fencing along, the Aspley Hill Road, and in Wood Street.

Volunteers as Home Helps – Need Emphasized at Woburn Sands W.I. The Woburn Sands Women’s Institute held its annual meeting on Wednesday in the Schoolroom of the High Street Methodist Church. Miss E. S. Robinson (President) asked members to make known the needs of the County Home Help Service, which was in need of volunteers.Miss M. Palmer (Secretary) gave a report of the year’s work, which had included many efforts on behalf of charitable organizations.The balance sheet, presented by Mrs. K. Griggs (Treasurer), showed a balance of £26 1s. 4d.

New Committee The result of the voting for the new committee was announced by Capt Owen-Jones, R.N., who was teller, assisted by Miss A. White. This was as follows: President, Miss E. S. Robinson; Vice-Presidents, Miss M. A. Barrett, Mrs. G. Hunt, and Mrs. Lambourne; other committee members: Mrs. C. M. Ball, Mrs. C. Barnwell, Mrs. Chapman, Miss D. Foster, Mrs. Goss, Mrs. K. Griggs, Mrs. A. Manley, Miss M. Palmer, Mrs. Payne, Mrs. H. Potts, Mrs. F. Sillem, and Mrs. E. G. Smith. In a talk on the use of leisure, Mrs. Wade, V.C.O., showed that much of the drabness of everyday conditions might be lightened by joining in music and drama through the Women’s Institute. The competition was for an apron made from unrationed material. The entries were judged by Mrs. Bathurst, who awarded first and second prizes to Miss V. Harris and Miss E. S. Robinson. The social half hour was given by members of the Studham Women’s Institute

A dance was held on Friday in the Memorial Hall, when there was an ”old-time” programme.  The proceeds were to the St. Michael’s Church Heating Fund.

The Methodist Guild met on 17th March at the High Street Methodist Church.  Mrs A. Manley presided.  Mr. W. E. Evans assisted in the opening devotions, and the Rev. Arthur Manley was the pianist.  The members took part in a quiz conducted by the Rev. and Mrs. A. Manley.

Click here for April – June 1947


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