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

60 Years ago through the pages of the 1947 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.

April to June

April 1st

Lighting System in a Church – Appeal for Funds at Woburn Sands An appeal for funds towards the cost (about £600) of the installation of a new heating system in Woburn Sands Parish Church was made by the Vicar at the annual vestry meeting and Parochial Church Meeting at the Memorial Hall on Thursday.  He said that the failure of the system was the reason why Sunday services had been held in the Memorial Hall for several weeks. The apparatus was out of date and could not fulfill the function for which it was intended. Enormous quantities of fuel could be used, but with no apparent result. It was hoped to install a new heating system during the summer months, and he felt confident that the £600 could be raised.
Bishop’s Appeal
The Vicar spoke of the Bishop’s Appeal Fund, and said that Mrs. Rashleigh had been appointed Bishop’s Courier for the parish. An appeal for the fund would be launched in the near future. It was hoped to hold a garden fete in the summer.  The Vicar said it was hoped to complete the work of concreting the paths of the church­yard. A fund had been opened to meet the cost of this work, and Mr. A. H. Kilpin was secretary. There was a good attendance at the meeting. Mr. H. G. Leigh-Bennett was re-appointed churchwarden and Mr. Edgar G. Smith was elected to the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. W. H. Bazley, who was churchwarden for over 30 years. Miss Billson and Miss Mowbray were appointed representatives to the Ruridecanal Conference.
Tributes Elected for the Parochial Church Council were Mrs. H. Hanna, Mr. A. W. Parker, Mrs. Rashleigh, Mrs. Bonnard, Miss Britten, and Mr. F. J. Mann. All the sidesmen were re-elected, with the addition of Mr. Henley, Mr. Joseph Pursell, Mr. R. Riddy, and Mr. F. J. Mann.
The Vicar paid tribute to the faithful ministry of the late Rev. John Shelton, who until his death in 1946 had been Vicar for more than 33 years. He also spoke in appreciation of the Rev. E. Y. Orlebar (Husborne Crawley), who had conducted services at the church during the time the parish was without a Vicar. The Vicar also thanked Mr. H. G. Leigh-Bennett for wise counsel and helpful advice when he (the speaker) first took on his duties in the parish.

To secure greater safety for pedestrians and moving vehicles in the Woburn Sands High Street, the Buckinghamshire County Council proposes to make an order so that standing vehicles are parked on one side of the road only. This is to be a unilateral parking, whereby vehicles stand on the east side on days in the month bearing odd numbers and on the west side on days bearing even numbers.
At the Parish Council meeting the suggested Order found little or no favour. The Council realizes the need for steps to be taken to ensure safety, but it was considered that the east side only should be used for standing vehicles – that being the shops’ side of the road. This, it was thought, would save owners and drivers of vehicles the necessity of having to cross the road to the shops, and back to their vehicles. Thus pedestrian danger would be minimized; and in the delivery of goods to the shops there would be no crossing the road with parcels and boxes of goods, etc.
The Parish Council’s suggestion, made to the County Council by way of amendment to the proposed Order, seems the best solution of the High Street problem, and should prevent confusion and uncertainty when drivers of vehicles wish to enter a shop.

April 8th

The marriage took place on Saturday at the High Street Methodist Church, Woburn Sands, of Miss Mariorie Mary Smith, younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Smith, of 4 Ridge Way, Woburn Sands, and Mr. Harold James Bird, eldest son of Mr and Mrs. Sanders, of Bletchley. The Rev. Arthur Manley officiated.
The bride, given away by her father, was attired in a white figured taffeta dress, with wreath and veil, and carried a bouquet of red carnations. She was attended by Miss Daphne Rodway (friend of the bride), who was dressed in gold taffeta; Miss Peggy Sanders (sister of the bridegroom) and Miss Joyce Higgs (friend of the bride), who wore dresses of lilac taffeta. All carried bouquets of pink carnations.  The best man was Mr. Peter Sanders (brother of the bridegroom) Mr. Sidney Barber (an uncle of the bride) presided at the organ.  The bride was presented with a wooden spoon by her nephew, Bruce Haddon, and a silver horseshoe by the bridegroom’s nephew, Billy Bond.
A reception was held in the Methodist Church Schoolroom.  Mr. and Mrs. Bird are spending their honeymoon in Wallasey.

At St. Michael’s Church, Woburn Sands, on Saturday, the wedding took place of Miss Betty Nunn, younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. E, Nunn, of 33 High Street, Woburn Sands, and Mr. Roy Shindell, of Homeleigh, London. The Vicar officiated at the choral service.
The bridegroom and his best man, Mr. Robert Douglas MacRae, of Dalmuir, Scotland, were in Highland dress. The bride, given away by her father, was attired in a dress of white lace, with tulle veil, and head-dress of orange blossome, and carried a shower bouquet of white carnations and white heather. She was attended by a cousin of the bride­groom who was dressed in gold-sprigged turquoise blue taffeta with pale blue flowered head­dress; and little Jennifer Nunn (cousin of the bride), who wore pink ring velvet with matching head-dress: she presented a silver horseshoe to the bride. Both bridesmaids carried posies of pink carnations and forget-me-nots.
A reception was held at the Swan Hotel, Woburn Sands. Mr. and Mrs. Shindell are spending their honeymoon in Cornwall.

The Vicar of Woburn Sands announces in the Parish Magazine that, starting on Easter Sunday, there will be a sung celebration of the Holy Communion, with hymns and a sermon, every Sunday at 9.15am at St Michaels Church.  Other services wil be unchanged.

Served In France – The Late Mr. W. J. Hooper The death of Mr. William Jack Hooper, of 28 Theydon Avenue, Woburn Sands, occurred recently in hospital at Northampton.  He was 31, the son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Hooper, of High Street, Woburn Sands. He was connected with his father’s drapery and outfitting business in the village. In October 1939 he volunteered for service in the Army, and was with the R.A.S.C. in France two months later. He was evacuated from Dunkirk, and after seven months in hospital was invalided out of H.M. Forces in March 1943. He leaves a widow and two baby daughters.
The funeral took place at Golders Green Crematorium, and floral tributes were received from: Rose, Jill, and Rosemary; Mother and Dad; Marjorie; Joan, Ralph, and Vicky; Con and Gat; Uncle Charles and Aunt Grace; Stan and Uncle Will; Aunt Jenny and Aunt Rose; Uncle Jack, Aunt Alma, Ernest, and Peggy; Uncle Fred, Aunt Maud, and family; Mother and father-in-law and family; Dick, Bill, John, and Derek; Members of British Legion; Woburn Sands Social Club; Staff,  39 and 47 High Street; Aunt Polly and family; All at 26 Theydon Avenue: Mr. and Mrs. Tyers; Mrs. Anderton; Mr. and Mrs. Wesley; Cosy Corner Cafe.

The death occurred on 1st April of Mr. Walter Henman at his home, 46 Wood Street, Woburn Sands. Aged 57, he leaves a widow and one daughter.

Cantata “The Crucifixion” (Stainer) was given by the Woburn Sands and District Choral Society on Good Friday in the High Street Methodist Church. The choir was conducted by Mr. H. Giles, the organist was Mrs. H. White, and solo parts were taken by Mr. W. Hillitenor). Mr. S Hathaway (baritone), and Mr. Tom Neale, Wavendon (bass).

Methodist Guild Progress – Active Year Reported The Woburn Sands Methodist Guild held its annual business meeting on 31st March, at the High Street Methodist Church. The President (the Rev. Arthur Manley) was in the chair. Mr. C. B. Bates (Secretary) gave an interesting report of the Guild’s winter session, which he described as very successful. The membership was 57, an increase of 14 over last year. Bad weather had caused the abandonment of some of the meetings during the latter part of the session, but members had responded well.  The “Anvil” evening had been an outstanding success, and the Vicar had been present as a member.
Social Side
The visit of the Rev. Wilbert Walton, a former president and now at Ampthill, had been much appreciated, and mention should also be made of the evening at which Mrs. H. Cook (a former Guild secretary, and who was home on furlough from the Mission Field) had given the address.  The social side had been successful under the supervision of Miss Doreen Hunt. The Treasurer’s report revealed a balance of £9 0s 7d, from which the following sums were voted: To the Trust Fund £2, gift to the caretaker £1, and a pro rata sum (3d. per member) to the Methodist Guild headquarters.
The following officers were elected: President. Rev. Arthur Manley; Vice-Presidents, Mr. W. Fleet and Mr. W. E. Evans; General Secretaries. Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Bates; Treasurer, Mr. C. B. Bates; Sectional Secretaries, Mrs. W. Smith (Devotional), Mr. W. Smith. (Christian Service), Mrs. A. Manley (Literary), Mrs. G. Hunt (Temperance),  Miss R. Loveridge (Roll), Mrs. Weekes and Mrs. R. Whitmee (Magazine), Miss D. Hunt (Social); Refreshment Committee, Mesdames Hill,  W. Fleet, Seabrook, Best, and Cheney; Pianists, Mrs. C. B. Bates, Miss Perry and Mr. H. C. Piper.
The formation of a summer programme was left in the lands of the newly-elected Executive. The Secretary expressed thanks to all who had given refreshments and money gifts for social evenings.

Woburn Sands Parking Problem The Buckinghamshire County Council’s suggested order for unilateral parking of vehicles in the Woburn Sands High Street has aroused interest among residents of the village, especially shopkeepers whose premises are in the High Street. It will be remembered that the Parish Council objected to the scheme, and offered as an alternative parking on the east side (the shops side) of the street only.
This, evidently, does not meet with unanimous approval, for objection has been voiced by at least one business man. He claims that the frontage of his shop is liable to be occupied by the standing vehicles, and a van whose driver wishes to deliver goods at his shop or make a call for other purposes, may have to be parked some distance from the shop. His solution is compulsory parking on the west side of the street, so that the fronts of the shops remain clear, and that no vehicle should be allowed to stand for more than 15 minutes (not 30 minutes as the County Council’s order will allow).

Scouts in Cross Country Run A three-mile cross-country run was held at Woburn Sands on Saturday between the 72nd Woburn Sands Scouts and the 71st Lidlington Scouts. The race was arranged by Mr. F. Cox, Scoutmaster of Woburn Sands, and Assistant Scoutmaster A. V. G. le Devoir, A.S.C. Mr. Lamont, Secretary of the Woburn and District Scouts Association, was the official starter, and Mr. Laythorpe, badge secretary, was recorder. Although the ground was heavy the runners put up a good show and came in as follows:
1 T. L. R. Cambers (Lidlington), 2 S.P.L. B. Bottoms (Lid­lington), 3 P. L. D. Cook (Lidlington), 4 Scout Blofield (Woburn Sands), 5 Scout Hathaway (Woburn Sands), 6 Scout Lynch (Woburn Sands), 7 Scout McGrath (Lidlington), 8 P.L. Gamble (Woburn Sands), 9 Scout Davis (Lidlington), 10 Scout Ellatt (Woburn Sands).
The Lidlington Scouts gained first place with 22 points, and Woburn Sands obtained 33. After tea, games, competitions, and a camp fire sing-song took place.

April 15th

Easter at the Sands The Easter holiday passed off quietly at Woburn Sands. Gardeners were hoping to make up lost time in the cultivation of their ground, but the wet weather prior to, and during, the weekend, sadly dashed their hopes, and after Easter Monday the allotments remained practically undug, and the setting of seed for early vegetables had to be postponed.

On Easter Sunday there were no less than eight services at the Parish Church, and these were all conducted by the Rev. F. W. Bowler.  The number of communicants was very large.

A rendering of Stainer’s “Crucifixion” on Good Friday, at the High Street Methodist Church, by the Woburn Sands and District Choral Society, attracted a large number of people. The society’s rendering, under the conductorship of Mr. H. Giles, proved very good.

The chief sporting event in the village was the visit of Ampthill Town football team to fulfil a Bedford and District League fixture with Aspley Guise and Woburn Sands. Victory went to the visitors, but the Aspley team put up a stout fight. By this defeat Aspley’s chances of gaining championship honours vanished.  On Easter Monday, Aspley Guise lost their first away game in the Bedford and District League when they were beaten at Great Barford by three goals to nil.

April 22nd

All Allotments in Use – Woburn Sands Society Happily Placed The annual meeting of the Woburn Sands and District Allotment Society was held on 15th April, Mr. T. Bryant presiding, supported by Miss K. Pakes (Secretary).  Miss Pakes reported that all the plots in the Society’s field were in use, and that all subscriptions had been paid.  The Chairman asked for a proposition with regard to a charge for working expenses for the coming year.  For the guidance of members, the Secretary explained the financial position of the Society. A new gate had cost £5 15s., and certain payments were now due. It had been decided to redeem £50 standing to the credit of the Society in respect of Defence Bonds.
Same as Last Year Mr. W. Jenkins proposed that a penny per pole be charged, for working expenses (the same as last year), and this, being seconded by Mr. C. S. Whitmee, was carried. Officers and committee elected, were: Chairman and Treasurer Mr. C. Hutton; Secretary. Miss K. Pakes (Miss Pakes had for some time been carrying on as assistant secretary to her father, Mr. H. Pakes, but ill-health precluded him from continuing): committee, Messrs. E. Faithfull. T. Bryant, W. Jenkins, M. Porter, C. S. Whitmee, T. Collins, F. Fookes. A. Cook, and F. Mann.
Mr. Higgins raised the Question of cattle straying on to the allotment, and owing to the damage alleged to have been caused, he suggested that steps be taken to stop the nuisance.  The Secretary was asked to write to the responsible party asking that the fence through which the cattle strayed be repaired.

The Woburn Sands and District Branch of the British Legion held an enjoyable evening on 14th April. The social part of the evening consisted of refreshments, and a sing­song for which Mr. T. Casey was the accompanist. A disappointing feature of the gathering was the small number of members present. Some of the members have hoped that the social side of the Branch’s activities could be extended. This could be done with the aid of the younger members (these, unfortunately, were in a minority at the meeting on 14th April). It has been suggested that a darts team be formed to compete in the County tournament held among the branches. It is hoped that this idea of extending the social activities will be taken up, so that the members of the branch can meet and enjoy each other’s company, as did those who met on 14th April.

April 27th

The Institute as Cinema – Woburn Sands Project Turned Down – Council’s Annual Meeting At the annual meeting of the Woburn Sands Parish Council held on 21st April, Mr. J. McMurtrie was re-elected Chairman for the eighth successive year.  Other appointments included: Vice-Chairman, Mr. B. W. Hanson; Institute Manager, Mr. C. Hutton; Woburn Sands representative to the Ambulance Committee, Miss E. S. Robinson.  The Footpaths Committee will be Messrs. E. F. Bathurst, B. W. Hanson and J. A. Pursell; and the Lighting Committee, Miss E. S. Robinson, Messrs. J. McMurtrie, C. M. Ball, and A. E. Tomlin.  Further references to the infestation of rats recently complained about by Mr. Hinde (Station Hotel) and Mr. Webb (Station House) were made.

Dump Will Be Abolished Mr. C. Hutton reported that the refuse dump near the railway had been inspected by the Rural District Council’s Medical Officer of Health and Sanitary Inspector. As a result, appropriate action will be taken in the future, and ultimately the dump will be abolished.

A letter was received from Olney Parish Council in reply to the request for that Council’s views on the proposed formation of an Area Committee of Parish Councils. It was decided by the Olney Council that the Newport Pagnell area was too large for concerted effort by the Parish Councils of the area.

Institute’s Future The future of the Institute was again under discussion as the result of a letter from Mr. T. Cooper, of the Cosy Cinema Co., asking for the hire of the Hall for six-day film show. He expressed a wish to meet the Council, with a view to talking over the probability of making minor alterations, so that inflammable films could be shown with safety.  During discussion, the Council doubted whether it could let the Institute for six nights a week, and thus debar local organizations from using this village hall. Eventually, it was decided that Mr. Cooper’s proposition was impracticable, and could not be entertained.

Mr. T. B. Emms, in a letter to the Council, stated that he had decided to relinquish the work of looking after the War Memorial clock, and it was decided to ask Mr. Janes to take over the duties.

Appreciation Mr. J. A. Pursell asked that an expression of appreciation of the painstaking way in which the Newport Pagnell Rural District Council’s refuse collectors had carried out their work of removing accumulations of refuse from his house (and no doubt from other houses), be conveyed to the Newport Pagnell R.D.C. Sanitary Inspector. The accumulation had been caused by the difficulty in making the usual periodic collection during the very bad weather.  Mr. E. M. Ball concurred with Mr, Pursell’s statement.  Mr. Hutton said he would be pleased to voice this expression of appreciation, which he thought was deserved. He informed the Council that the refuse collectors would soon be equipped with a more efficient refuse lorry.

County Association The Council discussed a proposal for the formation of a County Association of Parish Councils. This would be affiliated to the National Association of Parish Councils. The objects of the proposed Association were examined by the members, who were informed that a meeting would be held at Aylesbury on 17th May, at which representatives of the Woburn Sands Parish Council were asked to attend.  The Council decided to be represented, and the Clerk (Mr. Joseph Pursell) was appointed. Mr. Ball promised to go if possible. Further action will be decided after a report of the meeting has been received and discussed by the Council.

Violet Day The house-to-house collection for the Orthopaedic Clinic amounted to £21 1s. 0d.

An Eight-day Mission began on Sunday at the Catholic Church. It is being conducted by a Franciscan Friar, Father Bertrand Aherne, and at a series of evening services during the week various phases of Catholic belief are being explained. On Sunday morning Father Aherne’s subject was “God and My Life”, and at the evening service it was “What is a Catholic?”

Funeral The death of Mrs. C. Chapman occurred recently at her home, 39 Church Road, Aspley Heath, and the funeral took place on 21st April at St. Michael’s Church, Woburn Sands, the service being conducted by the Vicar. Mourners included Mr. C. Chapman (husband), Mr. M. Chapman (son), Mr. H. Henman and Mrs. S. Blake (brother and sister), Mr. and Mrs. T. Chapman (brother-in-law and sister-in-law), Mrs. A. Henman and Miss K. Blake  (sister-in-law and niece), and Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins (cousins).

Order for Wife At a Bletchley Matrimonial Court on Thursday, Mrs. Dorothy Irene McCoy, of Wood Street, Woburn Sands, was granted a separation and maintenance order against her hus­band, Corpl. Jack McCoy, of Mons Barracks, Aldershot.  Mrs. McCoy alleged that her husband had been cruel to her.  McCoy was ordered to pay £1 15s. 0d. a week for his wife and 10s. a week for their child.

A Second Concert Lovers of music will be pleased to learn that the Woburn Sands and District Musical Society will hold its second concert on 2nd May. The first concert, held a few months  after the formation of the Society last year, was a successful event, and those present have been looking forward, to bearing both orchestra and chorus again. The programme will include a cantata “May Day” (G. A. MacFarren) and miscellaneous items by chorus and orchestra. The two soloists will be the same as on the previous concert.

Woburn Sands Organizations Reports of annual meetings help us to judge of the progress, or otherwise of our local organizations. Three old-established organizations in Woburn Sands have held their annual meetings recently.  Of these, Woburn Sands and District Allotment Society is not the least important (owing to the necessity for producing food).  We learn from the remarks made by the Secretary that all plots are in use and it is pleasing to learn that continued enthusiasm is being shown by members. The Women’s Institute concluded a successful year in March and continues to be in a strong position. The Methodist Guild Secretary was able to report, a substantial increase in membership.

May 6th

Parking of Cars – Council’s Amendment Adopted At a recent meeting of the Woburn Sands Parish Council it was reported that the Buckinghamshire County Council had agreed to the Parish Council’s amendment to the parking of vehicles on the east side of the High Street. Thus the unilateral parking, as suggested in the County Council’s proposed order, has been dropped. It was reported by the Clerk that the police agreed with the Parish Council’s suggestion.
It was suggested that a “Car Park” notice be displayed at the authorized parking place between the Swan Hotel and the Memorial Hall. It was stated that the parking of cars at this spot would tend to defeat the order made by the County Council, as it would mean that cars would be standing on part of the west side of the road. A member pointed out that the road at this point was very wide, and so no danger would result if cars did stand on both sides.
After further discussion the Council decided to leave the matter, and judge by results after the “east side only” parking order had been in force for some time.

Brighter Woburn Sands? Woburn Sands High Street will look brighter if other shopkeepers follow the example of one business man.  This man has had the front of his shop painted bright red and yellow, thus forsaking the dark brown and dull yellow generally favoured by shopkeepers in the village.  It will be interesting to observe whether others will follow his lead in making the Woburn Sands shopping centre a brighter place than it has hitherto been.

May 13th

‘No’, Says County Council – Bedfordshire’s Idea Not Popular Buckinghamshire County Council are planning a united front against the proposals to include Woburn Sands, Wavendon, Linslade, and Edlesborough in Bedfordshire. At a meeting of the County Council on Thursday the Highways Committee reported as follows:-
“Your Committee have been informed that the Bedfordshire County Council propose to suggest to the Local Government Boundary Commission in due course the following boundary adjustments by transferring areas from Buckinghamshire to Bedfordshire:
“(a) That the Linslade Urban District and the Parish of Grove in the Wing Rural District should be amalgamated with the Leighton Buzzard Urban District and the com­bined area transferred to Bedfordshire;
“(b) That the parishes of Woburn Sands and Wavendon should be transferred from Buckinghamshire to Bedfordshire owing to the strong community of interest which those parishes are alleged to have with Aspley Guise and Aspley Heath in Bedfordshire;
“(c) The transfer from Buckinghamshire to Bedfordshire the Parish of Edlesborough, on the ground that it forms one community with Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire.
“Strong Opposition” “There seems little doubt that all these proposals would meet with strong opposition from the Buckinghamshire side of the border, and your Committee have appointed a sub­committee to discuss the matter with representatives of the Linslade Urban, Newport Pagnell Rural, and Wing Rural Councils, with a view to formulating counter-proposals. This meeting is to be held on 2nd May, and the chairman will be in a position to inform the Council verbally as to the result of the conference.”
Ald. N. W. Gurney (chairman of the Highways Committee) said on Thursday: “We had a conference on 2nd May as reported. Although the conference was satisfactory, it is confidential and I do not think that I am in a position to divulge anything. It has not been discussed by Newport Rural Council at all. But we are in agreement that we should have a united front in the matter. I do not think I can say any more.” The report was approved.

Woburn Sands New name-plates have been fixed to streets of the town, and have either replaced worn-out plates or taken the place of the plates which disappeared during the war years.

Blood Transfusion At a session of the Blood Transfusion, Service, held recently at the Friends’ Meeting House, 40 donors came forward, including several new volunteers. Twenty-five certificates have been awarded to donors who have given their blood on ten, or more occasions. Miss M. A. Barrett reports that several donors have left the village or have had to give up for other reasons. In order to keep the centre going new volunteers are needed to take the place of those who have had to cease attending.  Miss Barrett will be glad to receive names of volunteers.

Bible Society The annual meeting in support of the British and Foreign Bible Society was held on 5th May at the Memorial Hall. There was a good attendance. The Rev. Arthur Manley (resident Methodist minister) was the chairman, in place of the Vicar, unavoidably absent.  An address on the work of the Society was given by the Rev. Thomas Butler (District Secretary for Essex, Hertfordshire, and Buckinghamshire).

County Boundary Readjustment The proposal of the Bedfordshire County Council to the Local Government Boundary Commission that the parish of Woburn Sands be transferred into Bedfordshire is a matter that has been discussed by the Woburn Sands Parish Council. Pending further information and a report of a meeting held at Aylesbury on 2nd May, it was decided to withhold further comment or action.  It is certain, however, that the Council is not agreeable to transference from Buckinghamshire, but would probably support a proposal for the transference of Aspley Heath to Buckinghamshire.
Some Change Necessary That some adjustment of the Woburn Sands district would be welcomed is not denied. At present there is a civil parish of Woburn Sands and an ecclesiastical parish of Woburn Sands. The latter embraces part of Aspley. Guise and all Aspley Heath parish, but excludes part of the civil parish situated on the Wavendon side of the L.M.S. Railway line. Various anomalies would be eliminated if the area known as the ecclesiastical parish became the entire civil parish of Woburn Sands, and that part of the ecclesiastical parish now in Bedfordshire was transferred into Buckinghamshire. We suggest that such a proposal would be favoured by Woburn Sands people, the majority of whom would probably be unsympathetic towards the idea of a transfer of the village into Bedfordshire. This was so when the matter was under discussion about 12 years ago.

May 20th

Musical Society Activities – Annual Meeting at Woburn Sands

The Woburn Sands and District Musical Society held its annual meeting at Woburn Sands on 6th May, there being a good attendance of members of both choral and orchestral sections. Mr. H. R. Giles was the chairman. Mr. Giles also speaking as the Society’s conductor, thanked all who had supported the Musical Society since it had come into existence last year. Miss. M. Palmer (secretary) voiced thanks to those who had done various work for the organization and expressed appreciation of Mr. Giles’s services as conductor. It was reported that the financial position was satisfactory, there being a balance of £8 3s 8d. Mr. Giles pointed out that quite a lot of money had to be spent on music. The accounts were adopted.

Election of Officers The election of officers and committee resulted:- secretary Mrs. G. Hunt; assistant secretary and treasurer Mrs G. Tyers; orchestral secretary Mr. T. Faithfull; pianists Mrs. H. White and Mrs. Carter; librarian Mrs. Bott; conductor Mr. H. R. Giles; committee Mrs. Bott, Mrs. K. Griggs, Mrs. Heard, Mrs. H. Potts, Miss G. Whitbread, Mr. W. Hill Mr. R. Payne, Mr. C. Purser and Mr. H. White. It was decided that the first practices for next season should be as follows:- For the chorus 16th September; and for the orchestra, 18th September; these to be held in the Friends’ Meeting House. Members were invited to make suggestions concerning the works to be performed at concerts. Some favoured “Les Cloches de Corneville” (Planquette); and Edward German’s “Merrie England” was also suggested. The chairman thought these were very popular, and would appeal to the public. Other suggestions included selections from Handel’s “Messiah,” and a programme of miscellaneous Christmas music. The suggestions will be considered by the committee.

The Late Mr. N. K. Roscoe The Roscoe family came to Woburn Sands during the war years. Being members of the Society of Friends, they took an active part in the meetings at the Friends’ Meeting House. Mrs. Roscoe became well known as a result of her keen interest in music, being a talented pianist. Her favourite composers included Mozart and Grieg. She organized several enjoyable musical evenings at Woburn Sands, and she, of course, figured generally as solo pianist. Mr. and Mrs. Roscoe left the village a short time ago, and those who knew the family will be sorry to learn that Mr. Roscoe died recently. Mr. Norman K. Roscoe went to Japan as a young man, and spent nearly 20 years in that country, first in the British Embassy and then in business. He returned to England with his family in 1931, when he and his wife joined the Society of Friends. Mr. Roscoe was the son of Canon Roscoe, an East African missionary and anthropologist.

Musical Society The Woburn Sands and District Musical Society has completed a successful first season. The annual meeting, however, brought about a change of officers, notably that of the important position of secretary, Miss M. Palmer has been the Society’s secretary since it was started nearly a year ago, and much of the success has been due to her hard work. Miss Palmer is a member of a very musical family, and it was with much regret she had to give up the secretaryship. Fortunately, the Society will not lose the services of Miss Palmer as a member. Her successor is Mrs. G. Hunt, who has been a very successful when in a similar position for other organizations in the village, notably as secretary of the Women’s Institute for a number of years.

Unique Ceremony? Woburn Sands church people had the opportunity on Rogation Sunday (11th May), of taking part in a Rogationtide procession, arranged by the Vicar. We do not remember such a procession being held in Woburn Sands in the past. There was a long procession, and after the Rogation service had commenced at St. Michael’s Church, various parts of the parish were visited, hymns being sung, and prayers offered for a blessing on the crops, and the agricultural industry generally. The procession returned eventually to the church for the last act of prayer.

May 27th

Consideration of Tenants – Reference to Woburn Sands Houses When Woburn Sands Parish Council met on 19th May, Mr. J. A. Pursell said that a suggestion had been made that the Council should have a voice in the allocation of tenancies for Council houses being built in the village.
Mr. C. Hutton (a member of the Newport Pagnell Rural Council) replied that there was a waiting list and that the applications would be considered by that Authority with references to the Woburn Sands representatives, who, if necessary, could refer the matter to the Parish Council.
Mr. Ball asked if Woburn Sands ex-Service men would have priority in the tenancies. The reply was, not necessarily, as applications were granted in accordance with the circumstances in which applicants were living at the time when the houses were available.

Boundary Question The Clerk stated that he had received the Northampton Electric Light and Power Company’s account for the lighting of the village during the past season. The Company had made a rebate for the period when the lights were out because of the fuel crisis (13th February to 19th April). After hearing the figures, the Council decided that the amount was inadequate, and instructed the Clerk to refer the account back for an explanation.
Mr. Hutton stated that he had attended a meeting at which the proposals concerning the adjustment of the County Boundary affecting the Woburn Sands district had been dealt with. He said he was not in a position to give any information about the meeting. All that had been said and decided upon was to remain confidential for the time being. The Council would, doubtless, be informed about the matter in the near future.Bus Shelter? Mr. E. F. Bathurst inquired about the possibilities of persuading the Buckinghamshire County Council to erect a shelter in the Square for the use of people waiting for buses. The Chairman (Mr. J. McMurtire) pointed out that the Council had approached the Eastern National Co. about a year ago on that matter, but the Company had refused. It was also stated that it was highly improbable that the County Council would undertake such work. The Council agreed to again ask the Bus Company to erect a shelter.

Other Matters The Clerk (Mr. Jos. Pursell) reported the proceedings of a meeting he attended as representative of the Parish Council. The purpose of the meeting was to decide the formation of a Parish Councils’ Association for Buckinghamshire. Of more than 100 delegates, there were only five from councils in the Newport Pagnell Rural area, including the one from Woburn Sands.
The Clerk said that the meeting decided that an Association should be formed, but the model constitution was not adopted. A committee was formed to investigate the matter. The support for the formation of the Parish Council’s Association was unanimous.
Mr. A. E. Tomlin expressed his desire to continue as School Manager, and the meeting agreed.

‘Unjust’ Remarks About W.I. – Protest by Woburn Sands At the monthly meeting of the Woburn Sands Women’s Institute on 21st May a member was applauded when she registered a protest against remarks published in a London newspaper which stated that the Women’s Institute “did no useful work”. In view of the many and varied activities carried on by the Women’s Institute, during and since the war, members considered this to be an unjust accusation. Reports were given of the Group meeting held recently at Toddington, and of the Bedfordshire County Federation meeting at Bedford.
Other Items The speaker was the Rev. F. W. Bowler. M.B.E., who gave an address, “My Experiences as an Army Chaplain.” Mrs. K. Griggs expressed thanks to him. The competition was for hand-made handkerchiefs, and Mrs. Lambourne was in charge. The winners were: 1 Mrs. G. Barnwell, 2 Mrs. Bazley. The half – hour entertainment was given by members of the Salford Institute, and Miss Robinson (President), when thanking them, referred to the excellent costumes worn by the entertainers.

The W.I. Players

The Woburn Sands Women’s Institute players are giving two plays, “Little Glass Houses” and ” Abu Hassan Pays His Debts”, at a concert at Woburn Sands on 28th May. Some of those who will be acting in these plays have in the past given much pleasure to audiences who have seen and heard them in a number of sketches.

The coming performances, however, are a little more ambitious, and it is hoped that the players will be encouraged to develop this branch of entertainment by having a good audience. The plays will also be given at Aspley Guise on 30th May, and later at Wavendon.

British Legion Activities

Pursuing the policy of developing the social and entertainments side of British Legion activities, the Entertainments Committee of the Woburn Sands and Aspley Guise Branch of the British Legion have organized a number of day outings to seaside holiday resorts. The Committee will no doubt carry on these excursions throughout the summer if they appear to meet a need.

June 3rd

Fine Acting at Woburn Sands There was a large audience at the Memorial Hall, Woburn Sands, on Wednesday, when the Woburn Sands W.I. Players were the actresses in two plays. This was the first appearance on the stage of these players (except at various times when one or two had taken part in small sketches), and the performances were very creditable and showed good training by Mr. C. T. Parfit, the producer.
Helpers included Mrs. Maisie Wooding (costumes and make­up); Mrs. Phyllis Wright (coiffures); Miss G. Mary Palmer (incidental music); and Mr. Peter G. Amos and Mr. C. W. Griggs, who were responsible for the lighting and music during the intervals. Mr. E. G. Smith, Miss J. Griggs, and Miss D. Hunt assisted in the hall.
There were five characters in the first play: “Little Glass Houses” (by Philip Johnson and Howard Agg), and they were taken by Mrs. Jean Sillem (as Mrs. Orpington), Miss Joan Bodley (as Jane), Miss Hilda Sumrnerley (Lady Titherington), Mrs. Marjorie Lambourne (Mrs. Carroway), and Miss Kathleen Wilson (Madame Rossignol). This comedy takes place in an anteroom in the Assembly Rooms of Bath in 1810.
An Infatuation
Madame Rossignol is an operatic singer, and the gentlemen have developed an infatuation for her, and pay all possible attention to her, ignoring the other ladies. Very annoyed, and perhaps rather jealous, Mrs. Orpington (who desires her daughter Jane to marry a man with much wealth), Mrs. Carroway and Lady Titherington, are devising ways and means of getting the singer to leave Bath. It is disclosed that Madame Rossignol’s real name is Lizzie Wilkins and when the singer appears on the scene the “ladies” confront her with this information and ask her to leave by the first coach next morning. But “Madame Rossingnol” is too clever, and, delving into the past, gives the ladies some information concerning either their own pasts, or about the misdeeds of the family with which they are connected.
Thus they learn quite a lot about each other – hitherto un­known, and afraid the information will be broadcast by “Lizzie Wilkins”, they themselves decide to leave Bath, and thus leave the one-time nurse­maid (now an operatic singer) to pursue her triumphs with the gentlemen.
Splendid Acting
All parts were splendidly acted. The expressions of horror and disgust on the faces of the three ladies when the disclosures were made, appeared very realistic, and Madame Ros­signol expressed real enjoyment at the discomfiture of the ladies. Miss Bodley played the part of a demure young lady very well, being kept well in hand by a typically strict early 19th-century mother.
For the second play, the audience was taken, in imagination, to Baghdad, when the Caliph Haroun Al Rashid ruled over the faithful. “Abu Hassan Pays His Debts” (by Ronald Hadlington) was also a comedy. In it Abu Hassan (played by Mrs. May Neale) is in financial difficulties, and is being pressed by his creditors, the chief of whom are two sweet vendors (Ali Wadi, played by Miss Grace Whitbread), and Rab Haddaj (played by Mrs. Violet Bolt). These confront Abu with lengthy accounts and demand payment, failing which the poverty-stricken debtor will meet a drastic punishment.

Abu and his wife, Nowz Hatoul (Miss Joan Bodley) formulate a plan whereby they can both arouse the sympathy of the Caliph and his princess, Zobeide. The plan is as follows: Abu is to call on the Caliph, and by informing him that Nowz is dead, he will arouse the Caliph’s sympathy and secure money for the burial of a devoted wife. The wife, on the other hand, is to call on the Princess Lobeide and enlist her sympathy (and money) by telling her that Abu Hassan has died. Thus the sum of money procured for “burying each other” will pay the creditors and provide more luxuries.
Suspicion But the Caliph (Mrs. Margaret Griggs) and the Princess (Miss Lily Harrison), who have both been taken in by the stories of Abu and his wife (and have given burial money), become suspicious. The result is amusing scenes, when Mussour (chief slave to the Caliph) (Mrs. Jean Sillem) and Schererade (chief serving maid to the Princess) (Mrs. Hilda Hunt) respectively visit Abu’s house to ascertain the truth about the “deaths”.
Eventually, the house is visited by the Caliph, the Princess, and an attendant (Timothy Neale), and a servant (Stephen Neale). The Caliph’s wrath melts before Abu’s endeavours to explain the deceptions and becomes so amused that he allows Abu to keep the money he has gained by roguery and thus Abu pays his debts.
Mrs. May Neale and Miss Joan Bodley were outstanding as the chief characters of this play, and word-perfect. When pressing for payment of debts the two sweet vendors gave a very realistic portrayal of irate creditors, their gestures (very Eastern) being really amusing. Other parts also were taken well, and the whole of the play went off smoothly, and was a source of much enjoyment and amusement to the audience.

Woburn Sands Upholds WI Reputation All organizations have their critics, and the Women’s Institute is certainly no exception. Healthy criticism, given in a kindly way, does no harm, and can be an incentive to greater activity. Recently, a remark purported to have been published in a section of the national press, has caused much indignation among members of the Woburn Sands Women’s Institute. This was to the effect that the Women’s Institute “does no useful work”. We must conclude that the author of the statement was badly misinformed.
Judging from the activities of the Woburn Sands branch of the Women’s Institute, the criticism was unjust. During the war this branch did much useful voluntary work. Members did a large amount of knitting for men serving in H.M. Forces. Jam-making was another piece of voluntary work carried out by some members, and the Red Cross benefited financially by the inauguration of an annual flower and vegetable show.
The Secretary, in particular, had a very busy time, and was applied to for information on a large variety of subjects resulting from war conditions. During the special National Savings weeks (“Wings for Victory”, etc.), that were a feature of the war, the Women’s Institute never refused help. When funds were not thought to be needed by the Red Cross, the flower and vegetable show proceeds have been given to help various hospitals.

Music and Drama Most Women’s Institutes have done quite a lot to promote the love of music and play acting in their particular villages, and are still doing so, by forming choir and drama sections. For instance, the basis of the choral section of the present Woburn Sands and District Musical Society is the choir of the Woburn Sands Women’s Institute. And now we have the Woburn Sands W.I. Players – a company of actresses who have given their first two plays on 28th May.
The foregoing are a few things W.I. branches have done or are still doing. The Woburn Sands branch has been taken as a typical example. Many other activities could be outlined, such as the various classes which are run for the education of members, but these should be well known, if W.I. notice boards are scanned from time to time.

June 10th

Woburn Sands Company’s successful play The Woburn Sands Women’s Institute Players went to the B.P. Hut, Wavendon, and presented two plays entitled “Little Glass Houses” and “Abu Hassan Pays His Debts” on Friday. Both plays were well acted, and splendidly stage-managed and produced. Wavendon is very proud to be able to claim that two of the “stars” came from this village, namely, Mrs. M. Neale, “The Bakery” (who played the part of Abu Hassan in the second play), and Miss K. Wilson (Hillside), who was Madame Rossignol of the first play.
Both were word-perfect and gave a realistic portrayal of the part they each played, as, in fact, did all the players. Special mention should be made of the excellent scenery in the background of the second play (Abu Hassan), which had been painted by Mr. Jim Barnwell, of Woburn Sands, and did so much towards giving the correct effect and setting of the East. It was most realistic, with the do lies and minarets of Baghdad, outlined against the deep blue sky, and (as one member of the audience who had travelled in the East put it, gave a truly correct Eastern picture.
Clever Producer
The W.I. Players are fortunate in having Mr. C. T. Parfit as producer. He is Dramatic Arts Master at Bletchley Secondary School, and, previous to the war, was connected with stage designing. Much credit is due to him, because the plays have been successful in all three parishes where they have been performed.

Woburn Sands The Annual Collection for the British Empire Cancer Campaign was organized, by Mrs. H. M. Hunt, who had the assistance of Miss E. S. Robinson, Miss Smith, Mrs. Goss, Mrs. A. Hill, Miss J. Bodley, Mrs. V. Bott, Mrs. L. P. Higgs, Mrs. H. C. Piper, Mrs. C. Barnwell, and Mrs. R. Payne.  The sum of £28. 8s.10d. was raised.  A Meeting of the Woburn Sands branch of the British-Israel World Federation was held on Friday in the Memorial Hall. The lecture was “The Grim Writing on Britain’s Wall” and the speaker was the Rev. J. Shenton. Anniversary Services of the High Street Methodist Church Sunday School was held on Sunday, when there were large congregations. The services were conducted by the Rev. W. Walton (Ampthill). The organist was Mrs. C. S. Whitmee. A special meeting was held in the afternoon, when scholars gave musical items and recitations.
The services at St. Michael’s Church, on 1st June, were in support of the Missions to Seamen. In the morning the sermon was preached by the Rev. E. C. Stephens (Organizing Secretary of the St. Albans Diocese).
The first of a series of day outings to seaside resorts, arranged by the Entertainments Committee of the Woburn Sands and Aspley Guise branch of the British Legion, took place on 1st June. The venue was Clacton-on-Sea, and a number of members and friends had an enjoyable day.

A Creditable Effort Writing in “Forward” (the Woburn Sands Parish Magazine), the Rev. F. W. Bowler states that as the result of his appeal for the Bishop’s  Christian Reconstruction Fund in the Diocese of St. Albans, £95 15s. 10d. was received. In addition to sums of money provided by the Parochial Church Council, and the money sent last year to the Diocesan Common Fund, the parish has provided £191 towards the appeal, only £9 short of the target of £200. Mr. Bowler describes this as “a very creditable effort”.

Excellent Performances No bouquets (either literally or figuratively) were presented to the Woburn Sands W.I. Players after the excellent performances of two plays on 18th May. But it is evident that the players created a good impression, and it was generally hoped that they would be seen in future performances. A special word of praise should be given to Miss K. Wilson, who, despite a sad bereavement (the loss of her father), gave a brilliant performance of the chief character (Madame Rossignol) in the play “Little Glass Houses”. We understand she was not willing to jeopardize the success of the play by withdrawing from the part at the last minute.

More Work for Roadmen Abnormal weather conditions have resulted in our roadmen being called upon to do much additional work. During the extreme winter, sanding roads and footpaths in Woburn Sands seemed to be almost a full-time job. This job ceased when milder conditions prevailed, and naturally it might be expected the sand-cart could safely be stowed away until icy conditions returned next winter. But not so. Even during the summer weather, roadmen have not been relieved of this task, for on Wednesday morning they were to be seen spreading sand and gravel on the roads of the Woburn Sands side-streets, due to the semi-liquid state of the tar on the roads.

June 17th

Good Record In First Season – Aspley Guise Win Nine League Matches The extended football season has brought a certain amount of success to the Aspley Guise and Woburn Sands Football Club. Playing for the first time in the Bedford and District League, the club has finished in a good position, and at one time looked like becoming champions. But a bad spell round about Easter put the club entirely out of the running. Their first defeat was not until 16th November, when Kempston West End won by the only goal, but in the return match, Aspley Guise reversed the decision, 2-0.
Although losing, 4-2 to Ampthill Town, ultimate champions, in the home match, the return match was won, 2-1, by Aspley Guise. Aspley failed to beat only two league clubs, Cranfield (both matches being drawn), and Ridgmont (draw at Woburn Sands and defeat at Ridgmont).
Some teams visiting the Aspley ground were outclassed and met rather heavy defeats. The biggest problem facing the Aspley Club continues to be with regard to the ground. Bad weather made the Bow Brickhill Road ground very heavy. The committee have this problem under consideration, and hope to solve it in the future. Of the league games, 9 were won, 4 were drawn, and 6 lost.

June 24th

Conservatives Get Together – Association Branch at Woburn Sands At a meeting at the Institute, Woburn Sands, on Thursday evening, it was decided to form a Woburn Sands branch of the Conservative Association. There was a good attendance, and Dr. L. B. Furber presided in the place of Mr. C. M. Ball, who was unavoidably absent.
An address was given by Mr. M. W. Boden Bladon, Agent for the Buckingham Division Conservative Association. He said a change of Government was necessary as soon as possible; the present state of affairs in the country was serious, and Conservatives must be active. Their political opponents were working feverishly because they realized they were losing the confidence of the country, and he (the speaker) suggested that supporters of the Conservative Party should give a little of their time to the party likely to oust the present Government from power.
Organization Ideas
Mr. Bladon went on to deal with the problem of successful organization in a village such as Woburn Sands Endeavours should be made to get active workers of the branch each to canvass the residents of about ten houses, once a month at least, and deliver party literature. This should not be a burdensome job, and a steady flow of literature should eventually bear fruit. Their opponents’ propaganda had resulted in their success at the General Election. He hoped that workers in Woburn Sands would adopt the form of organization he had outlined and so build up confidence in the party at the time of elections. Discussion and suggestions followed, and some members of the audience offered assistance on the lines laid down.
The election of officers and committee resulted as follows: Chairman, Dr. L. B. Furber; Vice-Chairman, Mr. E. W. Marchant; Secretary, Mrs. E. W. Marchant; Treasurer, Miss E. Mowbray; Committee, Mrs. Owen-Wells, Mr. C. M. Ball, Mr. C. Marchant, Mr. C. Hutton, Mr. F. Mann, and Mr. Dolton, with power to co-opt. The appointment of representatives to the Executive Council was left to the Committee.
Mr. Boden Bladon stated that a Divisional rally would be held at Bletchley Park in September, and it was suggested that the newly-formed branch should assist in some way. It was also hoped to hold an open-air meeting at Woburn Sands shortly, when Major S. F. Markham (prospective candidate for the Division) would be the speaker.

Dramatic Art at Woburn Sands – W.I. Talk and Examples A talk on, and examples of dramatic art formed a feature of the June meeting of the Woburn Sands Women’s Institute on Wednesday, when two new members, and one member who had been transferred from another branch, were welcomed. The President (Miss E. S. Robinson) stated that the collection for the Cancer Campaign (organized by Mrs. G. Hunt) had raised £28 8s. 10d. The result of the jumble sale held recently was £13 0s. 3d.
Miss J. Bodley gave a report of the annual meeting of the National Federation held in London. She stated that the President (Lady Albemarle) hoped all members of the W.I. would support the National Savings campaign, and try to build up their store-cupboards, even more than usual for the coming winter.
Began in Ancient Greece
Miss Robinson said gifts would be gratefully received at the July meeting for the miscellaneous stall at the flower show to be held in August.  Mrs. Alison Heady gave the talk on Dramatic Art, which, she said, began many hundreds of years ago in Ancient Greece. In the social half-hour, Mrs. J Heady gave some excellent examples of dramatic art, with the assistance of Mrs. K. Griggs, Mrs. V. Bott, and Mrs. Lambourne. Mrs. Heady also presented a play in one act, and the members taking part in this were Mrs. V. Bott, Mrs. K. Griggs, Mrs. Lambourne, Mrs. S. Wooding. Mrs. G. Hunt, and Miss J. Bodley. In an exhibition of salt­cellars, of which Mrs. Dovey was in charge, some of the entries were 150 years old.

Coach Tour A “mystery” coach tour, arranged by the Methodist Guild, was held on Tuesday.  A large number of members and friends took part. The destination was unknown to all except those organizing the tour, and the party were taken round the Kettering district and to Northampton, where they visited Abingdon Park. They returned to Woburn Sands at about 10.30pm.

Clubs’ name may be changed – Annual Meeting of Aspley Guise F.C. The Aspley Guise and Woburn Sands football Club held its annual general meeting on Tuesday in the Fir Tree Hotel. Mr. J. A. Pursell was the chairman, supported by Mr. F. W. Rice (Hon. Secretary).  In the absence of Mr. R. N. Smith (treasurer), the financial statement was presented by Mr. F. W. Rice. A balance of £27 9s. 11d. was considered very satisfactory, in view of the fact that the club began the season with £5 11s. 11d. The club’s record in the Bedford and District League (Div. III. West Section) was: Played 19, won 9, drawn 4, lost 6, goals for 58, against 36, points 22.
Name Misleading
It was suggested that the name of the club be changed to Woburn Sands and Aspley Guise F.C. Some confusion had arisen because the name of Aspley Guise was placed first. It had given rise to the idea that the ground was in Aspley Guise, and some referees had been under that impression. The meeting agreed with the suggestion, and it was left to the committee to deal with the matter.  Mr. C. White proposed that the club continue to use the Bow Brickhill Road ground. It was pointed out that that the weather might not be so bad as last winter. The matter was left to the committee.  The Chairman congratulated the players on their success, especially mentioning the defeat of the League champions (Ampthill Town) on Ampthill’s ground. He thanked the retiring officers and committee for their work.
Election of Officers
Officers were elected as follows: Chairman, Mr. J. A. Pursell; Secretary, Mr. E. Fox; Assistant Secretary, Mr. S. Cook; Treasurer. Mr. R. Bathurst; Committee, Messrs. S. West, M. Porter, J. Hart, C. White, H. Wilson, H. Jackson, R. N. Smith, with the captain (Mr. K. Hawley) and vice-captain (Mr. W. Dolton). It was decided to ask Mr. A. Fairey to be trainer.  The meeting received with regret Mr. F. W. Rice’s resignation from the position of secretary, and the Chairman spoke in appreciation of his work.  It was decided to compete in the Bedford and District League (Div. Ill) next season.

Click here for July – September 1947


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