Focal Point - April 2007


   FOCAL POINT   APRIL 2007   ISSUE No. 317


   Ed's Comments 

                                                   As the clocks have ‘sprung' forward we can now  look forward to light nights once again. I always know it's spring when I receive Pat Finn's article on the Sunflower competition!

One thing I don't think that I have ever mentioned on this page is that April of course brings us ‘all  fools' day on the first of the month. Here are a couple of hoaxes that took place many years ago........

The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest

In 1957, the respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in, and many called up wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti trees. To this question, the BBC diplomatically replied that they should "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."

To be fair to the viewers, spaghetti was not a widely eaten food in Britain during the 1950s and was considered by many to be very exotic

Alignment Decreases Gravity

In 1976, the British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes.

The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth's own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation.

When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.

Cliff Newbold

Closing date for the May edition is early; it is the 19th April.

Please let me have any submissions as soon as you can as I am on a very tight schedule. Deliver to 18 Woodlands or email     

PS. No cuckoo reported last year? Have they deserted us?  Peter Milroy will be disappointed!!                         


 Parish Council News

Village Web-Site

Work on setting-up the village web-site has now commenced and hopefully should be completed and up-and-running by May, if not before.  The site name -  - has also been registered. Take a look!!

Our next stage is to ascertain how many village organisations and groups are interested in contributing - free of charge - on a regular basis with details of activities, reports of meetings or matches, forthcoming events etc.

Each organisation or group participating will be asked to appoint a named individual to be responsible for the input and keeping the entry up-to-date. This is not difficult and help will be available for anyone not quite sure what to do.

It is also hoped to start putting the village scrapbook on the site, although this will probably have to be done in phases.

At the moment we are using the "Welcome to Winthorpe" material collected for the new resident's handbook, which has proved ideal.

Noise from the A1.

A local resident has complained to the Parish Council about increasing noise from traffic on the A1.  

The Council is writing to the Highways Agency about this, as it was felt that perhaps the new noise reducing surface laid a couple of years or so ago might have worn or was proving to be ineffective.

Meanwhile the Parish Council would be very pleased to hear from anyone else disturbed by the noise from the A1, or  anyone who feels that the noise level has risen over the past few years.

Parish Council Elections 3rd May 2007.

Elections to the Parish Council (and also Newark and Sherwood District Council) are due on the 3rd May next.

We were advised at our last meeting that three local Parish Councillors will not be standing for re- election this time - Alec Stewart, Ann Stone and Ian Wilson.

On behalf of all local residents, the Parish Council would like to express its sincere thanks to Alec, Ann and Ian for the work they have done and the contribution they have all made to the work of the Council and the village in general, over the past years.  This has been very much appreciated and we are all very sorry to see them step down.

Anyone interested in standing for the Parish Council should contact the Newark and Sherwood District Council at Kelham Hall for the necessary forms, which have to be completed and returned by the 4th April.  (Time is of the essence.)

 The Parish Council meets just eleven (11) times a year, on a monthly basis (no meeting in August), in the Village Hall, on a Thurs. evening.

Whilst the work is not onerous or complicated, it is necessary if the interests and future of our Village are to be protected properly and effectively.

"Open Spring Gardens" - 20th May 2007.

The Parish Council are still looking for a few more Stewards for the village "Open Spring Gardens" event, to be held on Sunday the 20th May, from 12 noon to 5.p.m.

We should be very pleased to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer, even if only for an hour or so. (Tele: 671377).

Date of next meeting.

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Thursday evening the 19th April , in the village Hall, commencing at 7-30.p.m.

Winthorpe Parish Council.





Because of Easter and a long term booking, the next Lunch will not be on the first Monday in April. It will be at 12.30pm on Monday, 16th April at the Community Centre. The menu will be:


Baked Ham with Pineapple


Baked Haddock with Lemon & Chive Sauce


New Potatoes, Green Beans, Carrots & Peas


Rhubarb Crumble & Custard


Tickets at £6.00 (including a glass of wine) will be available from the P.O. thanks to Jo & Martin.



The AGM will be held at 7.30pm on Monday, 23rd April at the Community Centre. We hope you will come along to hear what is happening and to give us your views. New ideas are always welcome.

Frances Kelly, Chairman



Tuesday, 10th April - Morning Coffee, 10.30am in the

Village  Hall and it costs 50p!

We welcome anyone who would like to come along.

Tuesday, 17th April - Outing to Peak Village, Bakewell and Chatsworth Garden Centre. The coach will leave the Green at 9.30am and pick up at the Post Office.

We hope to be back in Winthorpe by teatime. The cost is £8.

We have a few spare seats on the coach - if anyone is interested please contact me, telephone 704241, as soon as possible.

Jean Foden.

Winthorpe Tennis Club


Tennis Club AGM is at 7.30 pm on Friday 20th  April.

It is in the Meeting Room at the Community Centre.

All Are Welcome

Maureen Smith

Garden Club

                At our February meeting we were treated to           a very informative presentation on growing and caring for fuchsias by nursery owners, the Muncasters. 

They were generous with tips on propagating, creating bush or standard specimens and overwintering.  For the latter it was suggested that feeding and watering are gradually reduced in autumn and then in October / November leaves and flowers stripped by running thumb and forefinger up the stems.  Then keep plants nearly dry and frost free in, say, a cold greenhouse, covering with fleece when the temperature is likely to drop below -2C.

In late January / February re-pot after removing some fibrous roots and prune to one or two leaf nodes, removing any weak stems.

Ian Cooke paid a return visit in March to give an illustrated talk on the history of bedding plants and planting schemes.  The Victorians were credited as the originators, introducing many new plants, including lobelia, heliotrope and begonia.  Originally considered sub-tropical and tender, they were grown in glasshouses.  However, it was soon found that they could safely be planted outside in summer. 

One of the earliest flower bedding competitions was held in 1845, and they continue today in the Britain in Bloom competitions. Ian has been involved with the City of  Nottingham entries for a number of years. We saw various styles of bedding from different countries. Reference was made to creating the right combinations of colour, foliage form and colour and variation in plant height to give optimum effect.  It was interesting to see examples of carpet bedding, sub-tropical bedding with cannas and bananas and mixed bedding with annuals, perennials and shrubs. 

In raising bedding from seed, Ian advised that fresh tap water not rain water should be used as the latter may harbour diseases.

Finally, a reminder that our trip to Harrogate is on April 26th.  A few places are still available, so why not ask a friend?

Our next meeting, our AGM and plant sale, is on April 18th.  If you have any surplus plants please bring them along.

Ian Wilson 



April, as some of you will already know is usually the month when children get ready to enter the Giant Sunflower Competition by the sowing of their seeds.

Competitors must be:

  • Children who live in Winthorpe, Langford or Holme and are born after the 1st of September 1995.
  • All pupils who attend Winthorpe County Primary School and who may live outside the three villages.

The competition will start on Easter Sunday, 8th April, when the children will sow their seeds.

If you are on holiday during the Easter period sow your seeds upon returning.

The competition will end on Sunday, 9th September, when the children will telephone me with their results.

Each pupil will have received, on the 28th of March, a packet of sunflower seeds.

If you wish to buy your own seeds, you will require SUNFLOWER  GIANT SINGLE, which can be obtained from Wilkinson's. Each packet costs 49p and has 75 seeds. You can buy two packets of seeds for the price of one at Wilkinson's.


Fill your 9cm plastic plant pots with potting compost. Make a hole with your finger about 2cm deep into each pot. Push one seed into the hole, cover with compost and water. Place on a windowsill. Watch out for the seeds germinating. This takes about 7 to 10 days.  

 Pat Finn

Whist Drive

The last whist drive of the winter will be on Thursday the 26th April.

We start at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

Dennis Taylor


WI REPORT               


The annual meeting (the word ‘General' is obsolete now so I'm informed) opened with the lusty singing of ‘Jerusalem.'

Sylvia welcomed members and Brenda recorded apologies for absence, read the minutes of the last meeting and conducted County business and correspondence. Tickets for the annual Newark Operatic Society musical production - this time ‘West Side Story' - were distributed and names were taken for the Fleet Group meeting in May. Also, plans were made for the Institute's 53rd birthday party at the next meeting.

Finally, before the annual meeting agenda, Sylvia announced the winners of the competition cup for the most points gained over the past year and I was very pleased to be awarded the cup plus a beautiful chrysanthemum plant! The runner up was Barbara Finn and third Pat Nelson, so congratulations to them too.

Now, it's down to business again. Our Treasurer Daphne presented an excellent audited financial report - with individual copies circulated - which proved once again we are still in the black! This was followed by Brenda's report - a brief resumé of the speakers and events at the meetings. Our total membership is thirty-two including four additional ones during the year and the average attendance at meetings is 25.

Then it was Sylvia turn, which took the form of thanks, firstly to the committee for all their willing support and efficiency in the jobs undertaken, also to the ‘helpers' from the ranks - Stella for organising walks, Jean, our photographer and Pip, our ‘Raffle Queen' ensuring no one fails to buy at least one ticket! Finally, after voting, Sylvia agreed to continue as our President for one more year and the committee stays the same, so we're in good hands.

As for me, I am relinquishing my position as reporter and am thankful - and delighted to say I have a successor!! I've decided not to name her, so watch this space in the May edition - - - I must say I was deeply touched by Sylvia's praise and thanks to me and surprised by her presentation of a beautiful pot of assorted plants on behalf of all members - much appreciated!! Actually, it will be nice to relax at the meetings and not to sit with pad and pen poised to scribble down as much of the speaker's information as possible - in longhand! How I've wished I'd learned shorthand, but the opportunity never arose.

Now, as I've already mentioned, the next meeting on Thursday, 12th April at 7.30pm in the Village Hall will be our 53rd birthday party, so mark the date on your calendar. Once again, don't forget your crockery and cutlery and, of course food!!

Finally, on behalf of all our members

A Very Happy Easter to you all.

Margaret Hewitt.

All Saints Church Winthorpe --- Flower Ladies


We hope that you will be able to help us decorate the Church for the Easter Festivities.

We would welcome any arrangements of flowers to enhance All Saints at this time. Your help as always is greatly appreciated.

The Church will be open from 3-30p.m on Friday the 6th April, or if necessary, Saturday morning.

I look forward to meeting up with you all once again.

Sylvia A Lloyd


At the public meeting in the Community Centre on Monday 19th February it was confirmed that this year's Festival will take place over two separate weekends:

Open Gardens

The Open Gardens will be on Sunday, 20th May from 12 noon to 5pm. This year a new dimension has been added to this event by recruiting Winthorpe Hall, Winthorpe House and Langford Hall to the list of gardens that will be open on this day.

Also over the weekend of 19th/20th May there will be a Flower Festival at All Saints Church and an Art Exhibition in the Village Hall. A "Songs of Praise" will take place in the church at 6.30pm on the Sunday evening.

As agreed at the Public Meeting, the monies accrued (after deducting expenses and topping up the Festival fund) will be shared equally between the Church, the Village Hall and the Community Centre. This will take place following the Gala Day when all expenses for the Festival are known.

Gala Day

The Gala Day will be at the Community Centre on Saturday, 7th July from 12 noon to 4pm.

                          The Lincs. and Notts. Air Ambulance will be this year's nominated charity and nice as it would be to see the air ambulance at some time we certainly do not want it appearing at our event in its official capacity.

Representatives of the three major emergency services have also been invited to attend and it is hoped that they will be demonstrating their various rescue and life saving skills and techniques.

Although it will be difficult to surpass the highlight of last year's show of a fly over by a Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, we are hoping to bring you something of equal interest.

Amongst the Gala Day events we hope to arrange are:

  • Children's Art Exhibition
  • Pony & Buggy Rides
  • Police Dogs
  • Cheer Leaders
  • Fairground Organ
  • Giant Slide
  • Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
  • Band
  • Folk group
  • Various stalls
  • BBQ
  • Skittles
  • Tombola
  • Refreshments, etc.

As last year, village organizations, raising money through stalls and games, will be allowed to retain their profits, but we will expect (and gratefully receive) a donation towards the Festival fund. The amount will not be stipulated but should obviously bear some relation to the amount of profit made.

Please make an entry in your diary to spend the afternoon of July 7th enjoying the fun and entertainment of the Gala Day.

Alec Stewart, Chairman, Organizing Committee.


Gossip news

It has happened. People of Winthorpe are managing to endanger the future of their local store. The inaccurate ‘suggestion' that we are specifically ear-marked for closure is fast getting round the village.

I stated in the last focal that this is not the case.

It is highly irresponsible to converse this negativity, please stop.

This has come to light by way of sympathetic apologies from several people whilst being served.

Please help me nip this in the bud by correcting anyone who makes such comments.

Great News

A date has been set for commencement of EURO' S ON DEMAND. 

Sadly it won't be in time for Easter Break,

The date set is 12th April 2007. From this date Euro's will be available over the counter.

Finally I have spoken with Paypoint (The company allowing you to pay bills in shops) and we can have a terminal if we can apply £1000 in phone top ups per week. That means if 200 of you can send me a signed note with guarantee of a £5 top up purchase a week, we can re-apply for a terminal. See what you can do!

Also thankyou to all who took the trouble to write to the DTI last month.


The Friends of Winthorpe School Present 

                              Quiz  Night -- Friday May 11thFrom 7.30 p.m.

Winthorpe Community Centre

  • £5 per person
  • Up to 6 people per team.
  • Pie and Peas Supper

(Vegetarians - please let us know when you buy your tickets, thanks)

  • Licensed Bar
  • Tickets available from the School Office 

              And Winthorpe Post Office



As a tribute to a much-loved villager who sadly didn't quite make it to his 100th birthday ------a story that Tom wrote in 1997 in his own inimitable style...

   MINDEN DAY---The 1st of AUGUST

Those who are taught no history before 1900 might wonder what occurred during the previous centuries which led up to that date.

There were various happenings during that time which helped to form us into what we have been, what we are and what we probably shall be.

This is an account of one such incident that I know about.........

On a broad piece of heath land near Minden in Germany on 1st August in 1759, we were, as usual, fighting the French. They wanted to dominate things - a habit of theirs.

Six English Regiments of Foot, about three thousand men, found themselves drawn up in two ranks facing a mass of the flower of French Cavalry. A horseman charging at you on about a ton of horse going at about twenty five miles an hour was pretty formidable. Orders were given that 'when the advance begins it is to be made with drums beating'. By some mistake, the Hanoverian General took it to be 'Advance, drums beating, with such Regiments as you have and attack anything in your front'. This meant that the infantry would be advancing against the Cavalry! This confused the French, because for infantry to do that was unheard of; rather like playing Beethoven at a disco. After a while they thought they had better charge. So they did. When they got to within twenty yards, the infantry halted, raised their muskets and fired a shattering volley at them. This brought down all the front row of horses and men, and the ones immediately behind got into a tangle in the mess. The Cavalry could only sort themselves out and retire to reform.

Meanwhile our men got through the muddle and continued the advance still in a straight line. The French tried it again, with the same result. We suffered some casualties, but the line closed up, kept straight and kept on going. The French tried and failed a third time. Whereupon our men gave three cheers and marched back to their quarters. Battles did not last long then. On the way back they passed some rose gardens, and, being pleased with themselves, picked roses and stuck them in their caps.

From that day for almost two hundred and fifty years, on the 1st of August, those six regiments keep that day special, wearing roses in their caps, and having a special parade and entertainments for the Regimental families.

Which is why on that day, having belonged, however modestly, to one of those regiments, in my buttonhole I always wear a rose.

Until recent changes, the names of the six Regiments were: -

The 12th Foot. The Suffolks

20th The Lancashire Fusiliers

28th The Royal Welsh

25th The Kings Own Scottish Borderers.

37th The Royal Hampshires.

57th The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

Tom Balding

Whilst we said our goodbyes at his funeral on Wednesday March the 7th, his memory will linger for a very long time. Gods Blessing. Ed.


The concert given by the Radcliffe-on-Trent Male Voice Choir was very successful and enjoyable. It raised £560 for the church fabric fund. The choir were very pleased with the reception they received from the audience and are planning another visit to us in December 2008 when they are hoping to have some audience participation with carols. More news later.


The PCC Vestry & Annual General Meeting was held on Monday 12th March. The following were elected: Alan Stone Churchwarden, Sylvia Lloyd & Ann Stone Deanery Synod representatives. Parochial Church Council members:- Nan Jackson (treasurer) Ann Stone ( secretary) Keith & Sylvia Lloyd , Christine & Ian Hasman , Joan Young, Julie Shuckburgh , David Wathen, John Nelson.

Priest's Report .

2006 had been busy but very successful as well as having had the Funding Campaign. More people were coming to church and social events were giving David more contact with the community. The 8pm Christmas Communion service appeared to bring in people who are not usually regular church attenders. He felt the new service pattern had been well received. The introduction of the weekday 10am Holy Communion service was proving popular. This was followed by coffee and general conversation. A visit to the Nursing Home usually followed at 11am when David talked to them and gave Holy Conununion when required.

Pastoral Care groups were now working over the eight parishes and Ann had given David a visiting list of vulnerable people which he will work through.

He thanked Joan & Peter Roach and their family for the Autumn event which was an enjoyable evening and an unqualified success. On Saturday December 8th 2007 from 6pm to 9pm there will be a ‘Rector's Jolly' in the Commumty Centre. David will organise this (with a little help from his friends !) All the village and age groups will be invited and activities will be available for the children, mince pies etc. to be eaten and Christmas music to suit all tastes. There may be more surprises.

David thanked everyone for their support. It was a pleasure to welcome members of other churches to services and to be able to move across the boundaries. This is an exciting time for us all and this will be a year of consolidation.

The coffee morning for Christian Aid raised £143.25 and thank you to those who supported us.

On Good Friday 6th April between 2pm - 3pm David will conduct a devotional service in Winthorpe Church.

The Service of Light on Saturday 7th April will commence at 7pm . It will commence with the lighting of the Pascal Candle which David will take in turn to the eight churches in our group.

Flower Festival. This year takes place on Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th May. The Songs of Praise will be on Sunday Evening commencing at 6.30pm. For printing purposes it would help if your suggestions for hymns could be given by telephone on 702104 or given to any member of the PCC before 5th May. There has been a suggestion by a village member that we may have some favourite hynms from our youth that we would like to sing again , but whatever your favourite hymn we will be pleased to sing it for you. We will follow this as usual with refreshments.

Many of us said a sad ‘Good-Bye' to Tom Balding only weeks before his 100th birthday but he has now come home to be with Mary.

Brass Cleaning:-  Mr & Mrs Dennis Taylor.

Church Bells:- They will ring for practices on Thursday evening from 7pm to 9pm and possibly for the following:

Sunday April 8th Easter Day 10.l5arn Holy Communion

Sunday April 15th 10.l5am Family Service

Sunday April 22nd 5pm Evensong

From the Registers

RIP Kenneth William Smith - Funeral on 2nd March

Jose Henriette Therese Lambie - Interment of ashes on 2nd March

Leonard Christopher Ross (Tom) Balding Funeral 7th March

Peter Gardner - Funeral service only 13th March

Up to date notices of our church services are displayed on the Parish Council notice board and on the notice board outside the church. There is now a notice at the Post Office of all the other church services in the Benefice.

 A PLEA!! We are in urgent need of helpers who would be willing to help keep our church clean. This does not mean a ‘SPRING CLEAN' as we housewives know it - it is a dust and polish of pews, a sweep of the floor and a wet mop if necessary. We work in twos and it can be an enjoyable 1-2 hrs when we enjoy each other's company and catch up on news of friends etc. We only clean the church twice a month so with more helpers this may only occur once every three months. Over the years we have been blessed with many people to whom we are grateful but as you know age catches up, therefore we need more younger bones and muscles. Please we are desperate and would be grateful for any help. Please contact Ann on 702104

Alan Stone


Dear all,

Easter, a time for families, holidays and chocolate eggs, is upon us.  Throughout our group death and resurrection will be mourned and celebrated.  Christians world wide will, like us, take part, formally and informally, in the annual pilgrimage and like us be challenged and changed by the experience. 

A church near you will celebrate Easter, the times and venues are on the following page. You will receive a warm welcome and we look forward to seeing you over the Easter period.

Over the past weeks I have attended a number of Annual Church meetings. In the normal course of church life new people join and others stand down or leave. I am as always grateful for those whether coming or going who support and enrich our church life.  In particular, I am very thankful for the support Brian and Judith Wright have given at Langford in their various roles.  Thank you both for the encouragement you have given me. 

At Besthorpe Sandra Sterling has decided to stand down as treasurer.  Sandra you have done a great job, thank you and especially for your continuing support. 

At Collingham Derek Croucher will stand down as treasurer having completed his agreed term of office.  Thank you Derek for you patience, concern and thoroughness, you will be missed.

The above posts need to be filled if we are to operate, particularly the two treasurer positions.  If you feel you could help either at Besthorpe of Collingham I really, really need to hear from you.  This is a genuine and urgent request.

Happy Easter!

In Christian Love, David



                        Sunday 1st  Palm Sunday

                        9am                 Holy Communion, Holme.                 

                                                NO SERVICE IN WINTHORPE

            Friday 6th  Good Friday

            2pm                 Devotional Service, Winthorpe.

            Saturday 7th  Holy Saturday

            7pm                 FESITIVAL OF LIGHT, Winthorpe.

            Sunday 8th  Easter Day

            8.45am                        Morning Prayer, Langford

            9am                 Holy Communion, Holme.

            10.15am          Holy Communion, Winthorpe.

            Sunday 15th Easter 2

            9am                 Holy Communion, Langford.

            10.15am          Family Service, Winthorpe.

            Thursday 19th

            10am               Holy Communion, Winthorpe.

            Sunday 22nd Easter 3

            5pm                 Evensong, Winthorpe.

            Sunday 29th Easter 4

                                                NO SERVICE IN WINTHORPE

                       CHURCH CLEANING VOLUNTEERS

                       APRIL                                           MAY

        13th Mr & Mrs A. Hill                        10th Mrs Foden & Mrs Hewitt

       27th Mrs Stone & Mrs Jackson           25th Mrs Lloyd & Mrs Nelson 


                        APRIL CALENDAR

Monday 2nd               Silver Bin.

Thursday 5th              Library Van.

Monday 9th               Green Bin.

Tuesday 10th             Tuesday Club Coffee morn. 10.30am V.H.

Thursday 12th                WI Party, 7.30pm Village Hall.

Monday 16th             Luncheon Club, 12.30pm Centre.

                                  Silver Bin.

Tuesday 17th             Tues. Club Outing, 9.30am The Green.

Wednesday 18th        Garden Club AGM, 7.30pm Centre.

Thursday 19th            Parish Meeting, 7.30pm V.H.

                                  Library Van.

Friday 20th                Tennis Club AGM, 7.30pm Centre.

Monday 23rd             Community Centre AGM 7.30pm.

                                  Green Bin.

Thursday 26th            Whist Drive, 7.30pm Village Hall.

                                  Garden Club Outing to Harrogate.

Monday 30th             Silver Bin.


3rd      Parish Elections

11th    School Quiz

20th Open Spring Gardens