Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Wednesday, May 06, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise. It’s Wednesday 6th May and this is Adrian Dale with the daily podcast.

Firstly, I’d like to welcome Toby and Rebecca to the Village. They have just moved into Duchy Close and asked to join the WhatsApp group last night. When I first welcomed them last week, I said that this was a friendly quiet place that they would hopefully enjoy calling home.

Well yesterday was anything but quiet. By 10:00am I had made or received 18 calls from around the Village. Everything was happening at once.

I am out on my litter rounds by around 06:30 and had my first call at 07:20 from Sharen Hegarty. Now Sharen rarely calls and certainly never at that time. So it must have been urgent. I was on another video call at the time (whilst also walking the dog) but I broke the video call to talk to Sharen. It was urgent, she needed help on the High Street and I was at the other end of Caldecott. That dog has never walked so fast, but more of that later.

Then I had to get hold of Ray Dyer at 08:30 I needed help for once. Dexter the hound had managed to cut his paw tearing around our garden. Now I am not a dog person and I needed advice from Ray. I have to say the way he handled that dog was lovely but in the middle of it I had a call from John Elldred.

Now calls from John that early in the morning normally mean trouble. The last one was on Thursday 19th March. “Adrian” he said, “now that the internet is running in the Church, Michelle wants to broadcast a live service across the web this Sunday. What can you do?” Then followed a crazy three days but we succeeded. And as result of that call, these podcasts were born.

Well this time, John’s call was a correction to yesterday’s podcast. I had missed out one of the great fires of Chelveston. In 1996, John and Brenda were having lunch with her parents in St Georges Row and they heard an explosion. The bedroom window of 7 Sawyers Crescent blew out and a fire engulfed the house. A fire engine from Rushden brought the fire under control quickly but Val Marshall from number 8 remembers being worried that her house could have been damaged too. The cause of the fire was quite shocking. A child had been given a cigarette lighter to play with in their cot to keep them quiet. They managed to work out how to use it and set the house alight. As is the way in the Village no one was hurt. However, their belongings were destroyed. Brenda Elldred and other residents supported the family with camp beds and household goods to help them get back on their feet. Now when I checked Mark’s history web site, the fire of Sawyers Crescent is there.

20 minutes later Aitch called. “Adrian, you’ve missed a fire out, it were the big fire at Polar farm when I were a teenager”. Well this was news to me. I can’t find anything about it. Horace continued “Me and my mates were up to summut when it went up. We heard the noise and saw the smoke. And so we went up to watch.” Now Aitch refused to tell me what he was up to as he knew I’d tell the story. He’s going to tell me when I stop broadcasting. I can’t wait. But I am puzzled. The Poplar Farm fire was apparently the biggest but it isn’t on Mark’s list. I’ll leave Mark to do the research. But the good news is – no one was hurt.

Aitch also remembers swimming in the brook by the “New bridge”. I was puzzled - what new bridge? Well we now have two fords in the Village, one in Bidwell and the other in Water Lane. In Horace’s youth there were three more, one by JST, one on Raunds Road and the other in Kimbolton Road. In his grandfather’s time, there was another on the B645 at the end of Water Lane. This eventually had a bridge built over it and then a new bridge after that. The slight hill from Water Lane to School House was called New Bridge Hill. There was quite a pond between water yard and the new bridge.

Once Horace had finished, John Elldred came back with a story of another fire in Sawyers Crescent in the early 1990s. Ray Knight had an old stone barn near his current modern one. It’s the old story of a barn full of hay, some kids and cigarettes. The barn was completely destroyed and then demolished. No one was hurt.

Mind you it is easily done. Try asking in the Elldred household who left a candle burning overnight after the Monday evening service. I’ll give you a clue, it wasn’t Brenda.

So back to Sharen Hegarty who started this all. Why did call me so early in the morning? What was the crisis? About 3 weeks ago a duck flew into her garden on High Street and built a nest. The duck then laid a clutch of eggs and sat on them. Sharen hasn’t been able to let her dog out since. Via the Village telegraph, we’d located the ducks owner. It was Cuthy in Sawyers Crescent – now I haven’t spoken about him before, but like Aitch he is another of our village legends. Cuthy is the man who accidentally scrambled the county’s armed response unit for their first shout in years, and all quite innocently. But that’s for another day.

Cuthy had heard that one of his ducks had flown off and nested but there was nothing that could be done until they hatched. Well that was yesterday morning. Sharen went out early to check on them and found the mother and 10 ducklings waddling round the garden looking for a way out.

Sharen knew that the mother was looking for a way to water but was terrified of them crossing the Raunds Road and getting flattened. So she called the bloke in the Red Van.

I dashed back from Caldecott and got Dexter the hound into the back of the van. He was most puzzled at a change to his routine but he loves the van. I parked the van at the entrance to Britten Close ready to pull it across the road to block the traffic.

When I went into the garden the duck had gone back to the nest with the ducklings and wasn’t moving even after prodding with my litter stick. So I called Cuthy – he is quite literally the number one duck wrangler.

Now I’ve called Cuthy before, late at night, to deal with an escaped cockerel. That time he turned up in just his boxers, his cap and his boots (he’d had a few the night before) but he caught that bird. So you can understand that I was wondering what shock Sharen would have.

Fortunately, Cuthy was up and about and he came across with a box to catch them all. That mother duck was having none of it. Cuthy went to grab her and she pecked at him mercilessly, drawing blood, but eventually he got her under his arm. And then all hell broke loose. The 10 ducklings scattered. Three of us verses 10 ducklings is a losing battle. Three escaped under the gate, but I managed to round them up. All this time Dexter was in the van watching and wondering why it was me apparently sniffing in the bushes.

We recovered all but one. The missing duckling escaped into next door, Geoff and Muriel Palmer’s house that is now empty and overgrown. We could hear it but couldn’t see it. I went home to get ladders and then climbed over the fence to find it. Sadly I failed the duckling as it had gone quiet.

I went home in defeat.

I was just preparing my second breakfast when Sharen called again. The duckling had reappeared on her patio, coming back under the fence. She had managed to corner it and had captured it.

I was able to shoot across a pick it up. Stacey, Cuthy’s daughter was able to grab it and return it to the mother. So mission accomplished on my first ducj=k wrangling escapade.

So I was hoping the rest of the day would pass quietly – and so it did until 16:30 when James Bird told me a peregrine falcon had landed in his garden with ties on its legs. Did I know who to contact . . .

Now I’ve previously had escaped horses, cows, sheep, lost dogs, and even a lost parrot (which we found) but in one day to rescue ducklings and to find a peregrine falcon is beginning to push the boundaries.

I am hoping for a very quiet day today!

Thank you