Focal Point - February 2010

FOCAL POINT Issue No. 351

February 2010

Ed’s Comments

Has the winter taken its toll? Are you feeling that there must be more to life than this? Why not take on a fulfilling job with vast rewards?

Well I might have just exaggerated the size of the rewards! but I do see that once again this month there is a request for a replacement for Alan Stone in his role as church warden. Alan has agreed to assist anyone kind enough to take up the role and Ann will also be around, as she is continuing as PCC secretary, so there will be support in abundance.

This is not necessarily a role for one person; perhaps it is suited to a husband and wife team or any team of two?

This newsletter ‘might’ be good for some things but recruiting volunteers has never been one of them. Let’s hope that in 2010 that might change.

Should anyone wish to quietly see what the responsibilities of a churchwarden are without doing the obvious – like asking Alan, this is a very good website:-

David Milner in his article speaks of ‘white flakes of luxuriant snow’ how many of us thought the same as it fell initially? And still did when for the third week running we were still under its control? Hopefully that is all we are having for this winter, as we head helter-skelter towards spring and then Pat Finn’s sunflower competition! Happy days are heading our way.


Cliff Newbold

Closing date for the March issue is 19th February.




The next lunch will be at 12.30pm on Monday, 1st February. The menu will be:

Beef in Guinness Pie with Mashed Potatoes & Seasonal Vegetables


Breaded Scampi & Chips


Apple Crumble & Custard

£7 including a glass of wine. Because the Lunch is on the first day of the month you may not have received your copy of Focal Point before then. Hopefully you will have seen the posters and made your booking in good time.


The annual Quiz Night will be on Saturday, 6th February with David Barthorpe as quizmaster. The details are given elsewhere in Focal Point. Tickets are on sale at the Post Office thanks to Jo and Martin. The idea is to have teams of six (max.) but do not worry if you are one or two short. It may be possible to make up teams on the night. Please arrive in good time because we plan to start promptly at 7.30pm. We look forward to seeing you there.

Frances Kelly, Chairman



7 FOR 7.30pm, SATURDAY, 6th FEBRUARY, 2010

At the Community Centre

Teams of 6 (max.)

Tickets £7.50, including supper, available from the Post Office

Please bring your own drinks and glasses


Winthorpe Primary School

A belated Happy New Year to all Focal Point readers from all the staff and pupils at Winthorpe Primary School.

I am aware that it is some time since I last contributed and I have lots to report after a very busy autumn term.

OFSTED reported the findings of the inspection that took place in October. OFSTED judged the school to be good; my thanks must go to the dedicated staff, wonderful children and supportive parents the school has; it is a privilege to work at Winthorpe School!

The school celebrated further success in December following the publication of the government’s attainment and performance tables. Winthorpe school was one of only 268 out of over 13,000 primary schools to score a maximum 300 points in last June’s SAT’s tests. As I mentioned in the Newark Advertiser, the results are down to very hard work by the children and committed teaching throughout the school. However, the results in attainment tables must come with a health warning, all schools are unique and have different strengths. These results are just a tiny part of what schools are about and it is a mistake to judge them using this data alone.

Since Christmas we have welcomed two wonderful new pupils to the school. Valentina has joined year 1 and Gracie has joined year 4. I wish them a successful time with us; they are both a real asset to the school.

I am currently organising an exciting trip for our class 4 children. On June 7th we will be visiting North Yorkshire for a week. We will be staying just outside Scarborough in a village called Cloughton. I have organised for the children to ride on a steam train from Pickering to Goathland, try orienteering in Dalby Forest, investigate rock pools at Robin Hood’s Bay, go on a ghost walk in Whitby and see nesting sea birds at Bempton Cliffs!

Our next pensioner’s lunch will be on Wednesday 24th February; please telephone the school to book a place.

Jamie Macintyre

Head teacher (01636) 680060 -


10th – 14th AUGUST, 2010


Monet Gardens

I have arranged this visit for the Winthorpe Art Group and friends. There may possibly be some vacancies so if you think you would like to join us please contact me for full details.

On Tuesday, 10th August we will travel by Travel Wright coach to catch a lunchtime ferry from Dover to Calais. We will then continue to Paris where we will be spend four nights at the Novotel Paris Rueil-Maison hotel. This is about 7 miles from the city centre, close to the Bois de Boulogne.

On the Wednesday there will be a visit to the Musée D’Orsay and a riverboat ride on the Seine. Before returning to the hotel there should be some free time to look around and possibly travel up the Eiffel Tower.

We will spend the Thursday at Monet’s Garden which is about 35 miles from our hotel. The timing of this visit is partly to catch the water lilies which should be out.

On the Friday there will be the opportunity to visit Versailles which is quite close to our hotel. The option will be to travel to Paris using public transport to see more of the city.

We will return home on the Saturday with a stop at Arras before catching an afternoon ferry. We should be home by mid-evening.

You may remember that the first village holiday Maurice Harvey organised was to Paris and Monet’s Garden, mainly for the benefit of the Art Group and the Garden Club - so we are back to where he started in 1999.

Peter Foden, 704241



Mrs. Pat Nelson the President welcomed members to the meeting and wished everyone a Happy New Year. She thanked everyone for turning out on such a cold icy night.

There were several apologies from members who could not be there either through illness or because of the weather.

Mrs. Brenda Tinsley read the minutes of the last meeting, which had been our Christmas Party, and there was an invitation from Coddington W.I. to their Birthday Party, Mrs Fiona Wright will attend and will give a lift to whoever else wants to go.

Teams were read out for the County Quiz and names were given for helping with teas and coffees on the night.

Mrs Viv Clarkson and Mrs Sheila Palmer were thanked for the trip to the Pantomime in Nottingham which they had arranged, it was unanimously agreed that this had been a most successful night.

Members were reminded that subscriptions were being collected this month. 

Mrs Nelson then introduced our speaker Mr. Steve Lord, who is the husband of one of our members. His talk was about a trip he went on with a group of teenagers from the school in Sleaford, where he is Deputy Headmaster. As a keen hill walker he was very interested in a trip to the Himalayas, when the boys were told about it, several of them were also very interested, and then they were told the cost, two thousand pounds! A lot of money for a teenager, however eleven of them managed to get the money together and the trip was on.

Each boy had to carry everything he would need on the journey in a rucksack, there would be extreme changes of temperature, so all events had to be catered for. 

On arrival in India the party could not believe the tremendous heat and the noise and bustle; confusion everywhere, traffic all over and cows and monkeys wandering at will. They were booked into a hotel and we were shown a picture of the hotel, it looked like something from an earthquake, ready to fall over. After staying a couple of nights they moved to one which was fractionally better.

The boys had been given the task of arranging their own transport and this was part of the trip, they were to complete three tasks,

No.1 was to organize their own food and transport to the climb, No 2 was a project to help the people among whom they were travelling and No 3 was the last week of their trip, which was the relaxation period.

The first part was almost completed, when one of the boys suffered very badly from altitude sickness and it was decided that for safety reasons the whole party should return to base, unfortunately the road had been blocked by a broken-down lorry and the party's transport could not get past. The only way to pass was by overtaking on the edge of a very deep ravine, there was a party of the Indian army also wanting to get by and no-way were they going to try it, but me and boys from the school decided that the only way to get past was to build up the edge of the road that hung over the ravine and this is just what they did! It took almost the whole day but eventually the party's transport made it and managed to get the sick member to a lower altitude, where after a rest he recovered.

Their project was to paint a village school and once again the boys organized everything themselves, completing the task in a week.

Then came the relaxation and trips around the area before coming back home to Sleaford.

A very entertaining and interesting talk and slide-show, thank you Steve.

Mrs Margaret Stewart gave the vote of thanks.

Our next meeting is on Thursday February 11th, when we are having a Valentine Beetle.

Hostesses are Mesdames B.Nelson, M.Bark and R.Dickinson.

Daphne Marshall


Garden Club

Our annual social evening held in the Community Centre was attended by 45 members.

It was a pleasant evening with food in abundance, bingo, quizzes and good conversation. Everyone seemed to enjoy this social gathering.

I wish to thank all who helped to make the evening a success.

Our next meeting to be held in the Community Centre will be on

Wednesday 17th February at 7.30pm. The guest speaker is Bill Wheatley MBE whose subject will be:-

Attenborough Nature Centre and Reserve.

Pat Finn.



Our two meetings in February are in the Village Hall as usual. Hopefully we won’t have any more cancellations because of bad weather!

Tuesday, 9th February. 10.30am. Morning coffee.

Tuesday, 23rd February. 2.30pm. Slide show of Village Holiday to Northern Ireland.

Jean Foden.



Dear All,

On Thursday 25th February the Robin Hood Theatre Company are coming to perform two of the six ‘Talking Heads’ pieces by Alan Bennett. They are undertaking a tour of smaller local venues while they are unable to use their home theatre.

The doors open at 7.30 for 8pm and there will be a refreshment break. Tickets cost £6 per person and are available from 01777 871171.

Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Thank you, 

Joy Allison


Winter weather in a narrow boat 

Many of you will know that Martin and I have just returned to Winthorpe for a winter break in our travels after three and a half years of canal boating. Friends have asked how we coped with winter conditions in a watery home only 56feet long by 6feet wide. Firstly, we were lucky to find a winter mooring in the lovely town of Warwick and secondly, keeping warm on the boat is no problem with central heating, fitted carpets and a log fire. We were warmer in the narrow boat than in our home with its larger rooms although at night, down the ‘cold end’, we slept with hats on and woke to ice inside the windows. Daytimes were spent in the local library that was always warm and comfortable and gave us a wide selection of magazines, newspapers and books to keep us entertained.

Boating in the snow is beautiful with the countryside blanketed in white; peaceful walks along the towpaths and evidence of wildlife easily visible with footprints in the snow. As the water freezes so the children come out to throw stones in the hope of smashing the ice and the swans and ducks seem puzzled as they skate over the surface. When the ice moves high-pitched noises resonate inside the metal hull of the boat.

Good Friday last year we were travelling out of Birmingham down the ‘Farmer’s Flight’ of locks when we were caught in blizzard conditions. This was very uncomfortable because we had to keep going to get to a safe mooring. The snow and wind was blowing in our faces, our hands were frozen and everything was very slippery. Usually when the weather turns nasty we are able to pull over and disappear like a snail into our own shell home but on this occasion we knew we had another four hours work before the safety of Minworth.

From the comfort of home,

Lynne Shapley





Feb 14th Michael 07896719698 5.5 miles Boothby Graffoe

Feb 28th Nigel 07969290885 6.5 miles Horncastle Canal

Mar 14th Derek 07816143141 5 miles Rolleston

Mar 28th Chris 07817975993 6.5 miles Bothamsall

April 11th Peter 07765834325 6 miles Epperstone

April 25th Dave W 07860277451 7 miles Eakring

May 9th Bob 07761221064 7.5 miles Roche Abbey

May 23rd Bus Trip Derbyshire 8 miles

June 6th Chris 07817975993 7 miles Tealby

June 20th Nigel 07969290885 9 miles Temple Bruer

July 4th Bob 07761221064 7 miles Beacon/Cuckoo

July 18th Dave S 07989253796 8.5 miles Bevercoates

Aug 1st Richard 0776756376 7 miles Farnsfield

Aug 15th Summer Lunch Woodcocks

Aug 15th Nigel 07969290885 7.5 miles Torksey Lock

Aug 29th Lorna 07980532842 8 miles Bradgate Park

Sept 12th Derek 07816143141 6 miles North/South Clifton

Sept 26th Bus Trip Northants. 8 miles

Oct 10th Richard 0776756376 7 miles Norwood Hall

Oct 24th Peter 07765834325 7 miles Granby and Plunger

Nov 7th Dave S 07989253796 7 miles Girton/Spalford

Nov 12th A G M Memorial Hall 7.30pm

Nov 21st Dave W 07860277451 7 miles Walesby

Dec 5th Michael 07896719698 6 miles Swinstead

Dec 19th Nina 07746033573 4 miles Festive Walk+ Mulled

Wine & Mince pies

Advance notice of walks can be seen in the notice board outside Collingham Memorial Hall

Details are sent to members by email

General information from Nina on 01636 678419

Please wear suitable footwear on all the walks and take waterproof clothing.

On Sunday walks you will need drinks and a packed lunch.

BUS TRIPS. The Derbyshire walk is from The Cat and Fiddle PH to Sining Tor

The Northamptonshire walk is from Harlestone to The Bringtons (near Althorp)

The Ramblers cannot accept responsbility for any accident or injury during a walk.

Coll. Ramblers cont........

Wednesday walks with Nina

March 10th – April 14th – May 12th – June 16th – July 14th – August 11th 

September 15th – October 20th – November 17th – December 15th

Lunch option – Walks in local area – All walks in the morning


Winthorpe Whist Drive

We only had 8 members at the Christmas Whist Drive, which was disappointing, but nevertheless we have decided unanimously, for the time being, to continue holding them monthly, as everyone enjoys themselves. We all shared a delicious buffet with wine and the highest score on this occasion was myself, probably due to too much wine, closely followed by Joan Frew (who again played as a man), with Jim Taylor and Pat Underwood in second place and June Taylor and Stella Hopewell (man), winning the much coveted booby prizes.

Fiona Wright


Thank You

I would like to thank all of those kind people who gave me much support and good wishes during my period of hospitalisation. It was very much appreciated.

Geoff Goodhall


Just a thought.........

Why is 'bra' singular and 'panties' plural?


Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?


Why is it that people say they 'slept like a baby' when babies wake up like every two hours?



Vehicle Crime


A recent spate of car crime in the Village of Collingham has been detected.

To outwit the thief:

Rule number 1: Always keep your car locked. This includes closing the sunroof and windows, even if you only leave it for a few seconds. That’s all it takes for a criminal to steal your car or belongings.

Rule number 2: Don’t leave anything in your car, particularly when it’s parked overnight. 63% of thefts of and from vehicles happen when they are parked outside the home.

Rule number 3: Park with care. Park in busy or well-lit areas near CCTV cameras, or in police-approved car parks (look out for ‘ParkMarkTM’ on signs) if possible. Your can find out which car parks are approved at

Always chain bikes, motorbikes and scooters to something fixed like security rails and ground anchors.

Secure your car

Fact! You’re more than twice as likely to have your vehicle broken into than stolen. On average, that means paying out £100- just for the repairs.

• Never leave the key in the ignition, not even in a garage when you are paying for petrol.

• Don’t leave anything on display (even when you are parked in your driveway). That includes a jacket on the back seat, loose change in the ashtray, a chequebook in the glove compartment or mail with your address on it under the seat. Remember, thieves know all the usual hiding places!

• Fit a stereo with a removable front panel (also known as a fascia) – and take it with you when you leave the car.

• Never leave car documents or spare keys inside the car. Hide them at home, but not by the door. Thieves will use a hook and cane through the letterbox to steal car keys from hall tables.

• Get a professionally fitted car alarm or a Thatcham-approved electronic immobiliser (you can find an approved installer through the Vehicle Systems installation Board at, or you can use a steering lock on older cars. You can find information on products that have been tested by Thatcham at (phone 01635 868855) or by Sold Secure at (phone 01327 264687).

• Have you cars registration number etched onto all glass surfaces, including the windscreen and headlamps.

• When you’re driving, keep doors locked and windows up, especially in slow traffic. Keep bags and mobile phones out of view. A thief can lean in and steal what’s on your passenger seat in the time it takes for a red light to turn green.

• If you’re leaving your car, put your shopping or anything else in the boot if you can’t take it with you.

And finally………..

An officer in a neighbouring force was tasked to inform a George Parrot that a man was in custody, at the prisoner’s request. The officer attended at the given address and asked the female occupant if he could speak with George Parrot. The female led the officer into the address and into a room where she introduced the officer to George Parrot who was in fact George the Parrot in a large cage in the corner of the room. Realising he had been the victim of a very amusing joke the officer quickly made his excuses and left.

We are also still looking for volunteers for Nottinghamshire Police to volunteer across Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood!

Where do I apply?

If you are aged over 16 and are interested telephone the Volunteer Services Coordinator.

For further information and an application pack contact Volunteer Service

Co-ordinator Tracey Clay:- Office: 01636 657931 Mobile: 07595 006180

Contact your Beacon, Coddington, Collingham and Meerings Safer Neighbourhood Team for any issues that concern you:


Newark Police station 0300 300 9999 ext 8097616 or 8097770 for the Collingham Contact Point voicemail.

Remember: Nottinghamshire Crimestoppers Call FREE on 0800 555 111

(Call anonymously with information about crime)

PCSO 8130 Samson-Bailey, Mobile number 07595074288

PC 2548 Bakin, Mobile number 07776460407

PCSO 8128 Munro, Mobile number 07595074234



Dear All,

One of the most iconic cartoon films of the last 30 years with the title song famously recorded by the young Aled Jones, was of course the film ‘The Snow Man’. It was a fantastic story of love and loss and at its heart a relationship celebrating life. The large flakes of white luxuriant snow falling everywhere continues to draw the viewer in. As we watch the film there is a tendency to say an involuntary and collective Ahhh…

Over the past weeks we have lived that fantastic picture and discovered that the reality is very different.

Travelling even short distances has been a real challenge, if only we could fly!! Then of course there is the mess and the wet sludge that is too easily lifted on our shoes into our homes!

Isn’t life fun!

The weather has demonstrated the challenge to serve our group of churches and whilst this recent snow filled moment is unusual it underlines the challenges we face in delivering ministry around the group. Our first East Trent Group service scheduled for the 6th January was postponed due to the adverse weather conditions. A service will be held, but only when the weather is more accommodating. 

The snowy and cold conditions are an important reminder that we live on an amazing planet, which is naturally far more surprising and indeed breathtaking than anything we can conceive in our humanness.

The 6th January the night of our postponed service is called Epiphany. The word is taken from the similar Greek word Epiphania.

It was a day that recognised the arrival of the wise men and introduced Jesus to the wider world. The word is often used by people who have had a life changing experience often with a mysterious, likely God filled origin.

Back to the church and how it deals with Epiphany. First of all many church communities, particularly in Europe, see the 6th January and the historic arrival of the Magi as central to the Christmas experience and not just the 12th day of Christmas when traditionally our decorations and cards are cleared away. The recognition of Epiphany and how we think about it and celebrate it today, points powerfully to the way in which too often we fail to live the Christian calendar observing and celebrating our traditions in a contemporary way.

This year with our enlarged group there are going to be many changes celebrating both our traditions and innovations. All are key to our spiritual wellbeing.

As I close I would like to thank so many who have made Christmas such an enjoyable experience. Thanks especially to all the Churchwardens who worked so hard to ensure that all our services over the Christmas period ran smoothly. My thanks come with this article to all the people who decorated our churches. 

The worship was ably supported by our choir lead by Carole Needham, music group by Anne Speed,

Alan Stone and Reg. Priestley offered fine support at their organ consoles. I am grateful to them all for their continued support. 

As you read this doubtless the sun will be shining and the snow a memory and we will be entering February!

On Tuesday 2nd February at 7.30pm we will celebrate Candlemas at Girton, a service that takes a last lingering look at Christmas before beginning to prepare for Lent and Easter!!! So watch out for more landmark events. We look forward to seeing you at them.

In Christian Love



Church Notices

A BIG ‘Thank you’ to all those who spent time decorating the church for Christmas; it looked beautiful and each year seems better than the last. It is very sad that the church is not positioned in the village so that it may be left open for all to see & enjoy. We are very grateful to Diana Donaldson and Stella Hopewell for the decoration of the tree. Our thanks also to Ian Hasman for assembling the tree and for other ways in which he helped. We are in great need of some younger people to join us in the church to keep it viable.

It is many years since we suffered a long very cold spell with snow & ice making life hard for many. We are very lucky to live in a village where we care for our neighbours and many thanks to Jo & Martin who we know made some home deliveries where needed.

On March 15th 2010 the Annual Vestry & Parochial Church Council Meeting will be held in the Village Hall at 7.15pm. Due to health problems Alan will retire as Church Warden. He will hopefully continue as organist. The position of Churchwarden is elected at the Vestry meeting and if someone would like to be proposed for this role, forms for proposition are obtainable from Ann 702104 (Secretary). It is very important for the future of the church in this village that someone is willing to be churchwarden - both Alan & Ann will be willing to help & support this person or people. The churchwarden needs to have been confirmed as a member of the Church of England. David our Priest now has eleven churches and all would like a service, so it is necessary that we are able to help him in Winthorpe. This is a voluntary role but very worthwhile for the Community.

We send our best wishes to those who are ill or are in hospital at this time.

We wish them a speedy recovery and better health in the future.

Diary Date:- 

Monday 15th February- PCC Meeting 7.30pm at the Rectory, Collingham.

Church Bells

They will ring for practices on Thursday evenings from 7.00pm - 9.0pm

and possibly for the following:-

Sunday February 14th - 10.15am Holy Communion 

Sunday February 21st - 10.15am Morning Worship

Sunday February 28th - 5pm Evensong

Alan & Ann Stone 

Up-To-date notices of our church services and those of the other church services in the Benefice are displayed outside the church.



Sunday 7th - 2nd before Lent

9.00am Holy Communion, Holme.


Sunday 14th - Next before Lent

9am Morning Worship, Langford.

10.15am Holy Communion, Winthorpe.

Thursday 18th 

10am Holy Communion, Winthorpe.

Said service (B.C.P)

Sunday 21st - Lent 1 

10.15 am Morning Worship, Winthorpe.

Sunday 28th - Lent 2

10.15am Family Service, Holme.

5pm Evensong, Winthorpe.



                   FEBRUARY                              MARCH

26th Mrs Stone, Mr McClymont. 26th Mrs Foden, Mrs Hill



Monday 1st Luncheon Club 12.30pm – Centre.

Silver Bin.

Thursday 4th Library Van

Saturday 6th Village Quiz, 7pm – Centre.

Monday 8th Green Bin

Tuesday 9th Tuesday Club Coffee Morn. 10.30am - V.H.

Thursday 11th WI Meeting, 7.30pm – Village Hall.

Monday 15th Silver Bin

Wednesday 17th Garden Club, 7.30pm – Centre.

Thursday 18th Library Van.

Monday 22nd Green Bin.

Tuesday 23rd Tuesday Club slide show, 2.30pm – V.H.

Wednesday 24th School Pensioners Lunch, 12noon, - School.

Thursday 25th Whist Drive, 7pm – Village Hall.