Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Saturday, April 18, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise. Welcome to the weekend, whatever that means today. It’s Saturday 18th April and this is Adrian Dale with the daily podcast for the Village.

Now I had begun to think that one day is going to be much like every other day for the foreseeable future. But yesterday was most intriguing.

I usually plan the theme for the next day’s podcast on my morning litter pick and then think it through during the day’s grass cutting. Then I review the day’s WhatsApp postings and confirm that I was on the right track. However, some days, things don’t quite go to plan at all, and everything changes, sometimes in a great way. Yesterday was one of those days.

Our WhatsApp started quietly. Some of the early birds listened to the podcast and immediately chipped in with fascinating facts about the Village which I didn’t know.

Chris Pentland really surprised me. He lives at Top Gate Farm in Caldecott. I have always been puzzled by his house. It seemed to be the farm with no land. And yesterday, I found out why. The land that now forms the old Chelveston Airfield used to belong to Top Gate Farm and was requisitioned by the War Office in the 1930s. Chris still has the compulsory purchase papers for this, somewhere in his deeds. I couldn’t find that anywhere on Mark’s history web site so now that has filled in a big gap in the Village history for me.

Can you imagine having your livelihood snatched away from you like that to fight a war. . . actually yes many of you can. It’s happening all over again!

Then we heard from Brenda Elldred about an incident in the Church in the early 20th Century. Apparently, the schoolmaster, who was also the organist, was very unhappy with the state of organ in the Church. No one would listen to his complaints and so one day he ran amok with a hammer and a razor and trashed the organ. This forced the Church authorities to invest in a new organ!

Now I ask you was this vandalism or was it simply forcing the authorities to move in the right direction? Did the end justify the means?

The irony of this is that John Elldred and I have recently been working on installing the new internet connection to the Church. As Church Treasurer, John has been most insistent that I mustn’t even drill a hole in the fabric of the building without permission from Michelle and the Peterborough authorities. Quite right too John, that is indeed your duty!

But in the interests of openness and honesty, Michelle, I confess that there were two tiny holes which I needed to drill to make things work. These tiny holes (and they were tiny Michelle honestly) enabled us to broadcast the first online Church service to over 100 households all those weeks ago. I think the organist was forgiven, so hopefully I will be too!

Then we had another fantastic story from Jim Stopps from Maynard Baxter. According to Maynard, folk in the Village would prepare their Sunday roast and take it up to the Village bakehouse at the top of Water Lane on a Sunday morning. The bakehouse operated 7 days a week and so the oven was of course still hot. Sometimes the baker would pour a batter mix into the roasting tin for every household to create the perfect Yorkshire pudding around the base of the roast. Another great story.

Allen Freeman then sent a post in about a great book – “A pictorial view of old Higham Ferrers and Chelveston”. I have a copy but had forgotten it. It really is well worth a read. There are some great pictures of the Old Working Men’s Club and even of Aitch’s brother John in his navy uniform with one of the “Yanks” as they liked to be called who became a friend of the family.

But more kept coming during the morning. Many of you will remember the lovely Maureen Kaye. She lived in the grand old building at 12 High Street. In my book Maureen was a kind unassuming lady, always polite and appreciative of everything you did. My lads used to deliver her morning Daily Telegraph and each Christmas she would give them a tip. Yesterday I learned that Maureen had chained herself to the huge Redwood tree now in James Bird’s garden to prevent it being felled. What’s more Jennie Ransom said that Maureen was the woman that taught her to swear! I was completely floored. This is the quiet Jennie that posts lovely pictures of her walks around the Village. I thought butter wouldn’t melt in Jennie’s mouth! Now she tells me that she could give Aitch a run for his money!

And the day got more interesting. Andy Barnes got home from work and saw the history discussions and wondered whether anyone knew anything about his house in High Street opposite the pub. I think he and Michelle got more than they expected. Jennie and Wendy seemed to know the layout of his house intimately. I didn’t know it but the WI used to meet in one of his bedrooms many years ago and Jennie swears that there is a hidden safe somewhere in the house.

Sharen Hegarty, then sent a picture in of Water Lane in the late 1980s with an old barn that Aitch knocked down to create Barnbrook. This sparked a whole new discussion about Water Lane and The Green. I remember the barn and Albert Dunmore’s yard where Cornerhouse Cottages are now. Michelle Abbott (Albert’s granddaughter) is now on the case to find more information about how the Village has changed.

And then Wendy sent in the corker of a photograph, the great lorry crash into the cottage to the left of the pub in 1982, long before my time. I had heard about this but never seen a photograph.

And that wasn’t the end of it. I didn’t realise how many petrol heads there are in the Village. I wondered why so many cars were parked outside. It turns out that the garages of Chelveston-cum-Caldecott are full of classic cars!

Can I please say folks, today has summed up this Village to a tee. We’ve had banter, jokes, history, advice, assistance, kind deeds, flour deliveries, puzzle swaps, book swaps, turf deliveries, mistaken veg deliveries.

Yesterday I went through 2 charges on a new iPhone in 14 hours . Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise are on fire!

Keep it up folks, Stay safe and thank you for listening.