|FLAMSTEAD WIN HERTFORDSHIRE VILLAGE OF THE YEAR COMPETITION
Following on from its success in 2000, when Flamstead won the Community Category in the Village of the Year-2000 Competition, Flamstead Parish entered the Village of the Year-2001 Competition this year.
The awards were made in early September at County Hall in Hertford and Flamstead were judged to be not only the winner of the Best Village in West Hertfordshire, BUT also the Overall Winner of Best Village of the Year in Hertfordshire for 2001.
Parish Councillors Colin Campbell and Peter Milson were at the Award Ceremony to receive a Brass Plaque and also a cheque for £150.
Winning this award means that Flamstead will now go forward to represent Hertfordshire in the Village of the Year England & Wales and will be in competition with 40 other villages who have won their county competition.
The award ceremony in Hertford was followed by the unveiling of a “Totem” Pole, on a site near the top of Chequers Hill, at a ceremony on Saturday 22 September. The unveiling was carried out Mr Simon Bowes Lyon, Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, accompanied by Cav Keith Gray, Chairman of Herts County Council, Cllr Derek Townsend, The Mayor of Dacorum, Mr Tony McWalter, MP for Hemel Hempstead, Mr Bill Atkinson, Calor Gas and Mr Kevin FitzGerald from the CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England). There were also members of the Flamstead Parish Council and representatives of the various organisations within the village, who had helped with or been present at the earlier presentation in June.
(Note: The County Council, The Daily Telegraph and Calor Gas are the sponsors of the competition).
Following the unveiling of the “Totem” pole the group went to the Village Hall, where there were speeches of congratulation by Cav Keith Gray, Mr Kevin FitzGerald and Mr Tom Davidson, who was one of the judges. After this there was the presentation of plaques by Mr Atkinson of Calor Gas to all the villages who were category winners and of course to Flamstead for being the Best in the West and the Overall Winner of the Best Village of the Year-2001.
This was followed by tea and refreshment, which had been provided by members of the WI and other Flamstead ladies and the cutting of a Celebration Cake by Mr Simon Bowes Lyon.. The official part of the visit finished with a guided tour of St Leonard's church by Mr Eric Edwards.
Going forward to the next round of the competition, which is to find six regional winners for the Village of the Year England & Wales, means that the FPC will have to make another written submission and this will be followed by a presentation to judges in late October. If we are successful at this level there will be one more presentation before the overall winners are announced.
The Awards will be made on 5 December at a luncheon at the Millennium Mayfair Hotel in Grosevenor Square in London to which representatives of all the county winners will be invited.
There will be an overall winner for Village of the Year - England & Wales
Plus category winners for : Environment, Business, Older People, Young People, Community and Information Technology.
The Parish Council would like to thank all those villagers who helped by giving presentations or information and photographs that made sure that we were able to give the judges the information that they needed.
Please keep up the good work for the presentation in late October!
More photographs of the unveiling of the award and presentation can be found here.
| Top of Page|
|OLD FASHIONED BOILED CHRISTMAS CAKE
This cake is not as the name suggests, boiled instead of baked, but the fruit is boiled in water and orange juice and allowed to stand for three days resulting in a wonderful plump, moist, rich cake. It doesn’t take long to make and is almost fool proof. Instead of marzipan and icing, it is finished with a glazed fruit topping but if you prefer, traditional marzipan and icing can be used.
- 225g/8oz sultanas
- 225g/8oz raisins
- 110g/4oz currents
- 55g/2oz mixed peel
- 55g/2oz glace cherries, halved
- 170g/6oz dried apricots chopped
- 110g/4oz dried dates, chopped
- 110g/4oz dried peaches, chopped
- 110g/4oz dried pears, chopped
- 225g/8oz butter
- 225g/8oz brown sugar
- grated zest and juice of a lemon
- grated zest and juice of an orange
- 110ml/4fl.oz orange juice
- 110ml/4fl.oz brandy
- 2.5ml/ 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 5ml/1tsp ground cinnamon
- 5ml/1tsp allspice
- 2.5ml/ 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1.25ml/ 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
- 15ml/1tbsp black treacle
- 5 eggs beaten
- 310g/11oz plain flour
- 5ml/1tsp baking powder
For the fruit topping:
- 340g/12oz mixed dried fruit and nuts, e.g. pecans, brazils, almonds, apricots, red and green cherries, prunes, peaches, pears etc.
- 340g/12oz apricot jam.
For the Cake:
Put the fruit, butter, sugar, lemon and orange zest and juice into a large pan with 110ml/4fl oz water. Bring slowly to the boil, stir and simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the brandy and spices and transfer to a large bowl. When cold cover and put in a cool place (not the refrigerator) for 3 days, stirring daily.
Line a 25cm/10in round cake tin with double sheets of greaseproof paper, making sure the paper stands up above the rim of the tin to help prevent the cake burning.
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/ gas mark 3.
Stir the treacle into the boiled fruit and beat in the eggs. Sift the flour and baking powder and stir into the mixture. It will be slightly sloppy, turn it into the
cake tin, form a slight hollow in the centre and bake until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. (approx. 4 1/2 hours, about 4 in a fan oven).
A circle of two of greaseproof paper laid over the top of the mixture will also prevent the top of the cake from burning.
When completely cold, remove from the tin and wrap in aluminium foil. It will mature well for 2-3 months.
Boil the apricot jam in the pan with 15ml/1tbsp water, then push through a sieve. Brush some of it over the top of the cake.
Arrange the fruit and nuts all over the top of the cake and using a pastry brush glaze carefully with the apricot glaze.
I have made this cake several times over the last 6/7 years and it is always a success. I didn’t normally decorate it, but this is up to you. I also make it in a 12in tin using double the quantities. The actual type of fruit does not really matter, what ever you like and can get hold of as long as the quantities are approximately correct. I have avoided the exotic fruits such as pineapple, mango etc. but that’s because I like a traditional Christmas.
| Top of Page|
|Fr. JOHN GREEN WRITES
At their meeting on 25th September, the members of the PCC got out their diaries and volunteered to help me clear the Vicarage garden of the saplings and weeds, which have grown up over the last couple of years. (Thanks to Harry Birtley the grass already looks very much better than it did.) The PCC decided on 24th November as the date for this gardening party. The plan is to have two sessions starting at 10am. and 2 pm. with lunch laid on for those who come for the whole day. Pasta and salad would be a fairly easy lunch, which would mean that I would not have to spend the whole morning in the kitchen, and so could do some work in the garden. I think this is a super idea and I am grateful to the PCC for suggesting it. Would anyone else like to come along?
Autumn is the time for taking stock, for looking at what we have and what we need and for deciding how we are going to use our resources better. One simple thing that we all can do, if we pay income tax, is to make sure that we put Sunday collection money into the little white envelopes at the entrance to Church. In this way we can claim back the tax from the Government. A small thing, but one which will bring us extra revenue. Many of us are
doing this already of course. We need to make sure we all do it. I will make sure there are always spare biros on hand, since we need to write our name on the envelope. Perhaps the greeters and meters could hand the envelopes out at the beginning of services and then give people one for next week as they leave?
We also need some more intercessors. I would be very willing to coach anyone who would like to do this valuable ministry in our church but does not feel confident to plunge in unprepared. Don’t feel shy. The acoustics in church are good, and, with a little coaching, anyone can make themselves heard even at the back of the choir.
We have started to gather a group of willing learners for bell-ringing. We meet once a fortnight on Friday evening, at 8pm. At our first session we had a good number, including six young people. If you are interested and were not able to come to the first session, look for the notice on the church door and in the post office – and come along.
Finally are there people who would like to be confirmed? There is a confirmation service in the deanery in November. That gives us plenty of time to prepare. If God is calling you to fuller involvement in the church, please let me know. If you are uncertain, why not talk to me about it? Six sessions
| Top of Page|
|PARISH COUNCIL MEETING Sept. 3rd
We have been told that as a result of the burning of the bus shelter by local vandals, we are now a hot spot and hopefully will get regular patrols from the Police Specials. Reporting to the police any incident by a 999 call means that there is a report to the Superintendent, which in turn creates action by the local force.
We have been forced to take the roof off for safety reasons. Do we completely remove it, as it has been a meeting point for the rowdy element in the village? Villagers living near to the shelter have been threatened, it is used as a toilet; rubbish and graffiti are very prevalent. How many people use it for what it was constructed for?
ACTION STATION PLAY SCHEME
It was very successful during the summer vacation and District Council has confirmed that they will repeat the event again next year. It is well run, with a variety of activities for the children to undertake under good supervision.
Several people will start basic training at the village free on Wednesdays and Fridays. This follows on the taster day in August; other courses have been made available for those who want specific improvement programs.
East and North Herts have formed rural transport action groups (RTAGs) to understand, to find out, to survey and report transport requirements for groups of villages and parishes. We would like to combine with Markyate and Redbourn to form a RTAG; this will be open to all villagers. Those interested please contact our Clerk Mrs. S Draper 840481.
OLD WATLING STREET BARRIER
Residents of the street have voted to lock the barrier in the mornings to stop the rat run. This was a majority decision by the residents and supported by the council.
BEST VILLAGE OF THE YEAR
Flamstead won the West Herts and the overall County, which is a fantastic result. We will be entering the National competition competing against 40 other villages across England and Wales. There will be a totem pole at Delmerend lane and Chequers hill corner showing our achievement.
| Top of Page|
|VILLAGE SHOW RESULTS
The show Committee would like to thank everyone who helped to make the Show
- THE PRESIDENTS SHIELD: Classes 1-46: Flowers vegetables and fruit
- Winner: Mr B. Pedder (59 points)
- Runner up: Mrs M. Putman (43 points)
- W.I. ROSE BOWL: Classes 47-63: Cookery, domestic and decorative
- Winner: Mrs A. Meritt (25 points)
- Runner up: Ms. M. J. Motley (21 points)
- THE SECRETARY’S SHIELD: For the Best Flower Exhibit
- Winner: Mr G. Meritt
- Runner up: Mr J. Hobbs
- THE JOHN HOBBS SHIELD: For the Best Flower (Vegetable) Exhibit
- Winner: Mrs. M. Putman
- Runner up: Mrs . G. Underwood
- THE BETTY TIMBERLAKE MEMORIAL CUP: Classes 16-41 Vegetables
- Winner: Mr B. Pedder (37 points)
- Runner up: Mr J. Hobbs (29 points))
- BEST SCENTED ROSE IN THE SHOW:
- Winner: Ms. A. Pearse
- Runner up: Mrs D. Bourne
- BARRY PEDDER CUP: for the heaviest marrow
- Winner: Mrs J. Underwood
- Runner up: Mr M. Putman
- PEGGIE WILSON TROPHY: for the Best Exhibit in Cookery
- Winner: Ms. M. J. Motley.
- Runner up: Mrs A. Meritt
- THE ROSE WADE TROPHY: For the Best Exhibit in Handicraft
- Winner: Mrs D. Bourne
- Runner up: Mrs E. Sands
- THE DAWSON CUP:
- Classes 64-73: Handicrafts and photography
- Winners: Mr. A. Dixon
- Runner up: Ms. W. Brownlie
- THE SHOW COMMITTEE CUP: Age 5-7 years
- Winner: Shevaun Davis (17 points)
- THE MERITT CUP: Age 8-10 years
- Winner: Emma Bech
- THE LACEY CUP: Age 11-15 years
- Winner: Carrie Bowman (16 points)
- PEGGIE WILSON JUNIOR AWARD: for the Best Children’s Cookery Exhibit.
- Winner: Louise Felipe
- PUTMAN ROSE BOWL: Flamstead School poster competition
- First: Chris Papworth
- Also presented at the Show were:
- THE SKILLMAN CUP: For the Best Front of House:
- Winner: 100, Trowley Hill Road
- Second: 49 Parsons Close
- Third: 21 Parsons Close
- Fourth: Windrush, Hollybush Lane
- 16 Hollybush Lane
Photographs of the show can be found here.
| Top of Page|
What is going on at Chequers Meadow?
From questions we have received, it is apparent that many of you don’t know or have been misinformed what we are doing down at Chequers Meadow.
We have been clearing up the rubbish of 12 years neglect and preparing it to be a specimen tree nursery.
The grading is almost complete, then the telephone poles will be placed in the ground as tree supports and cut to size.
We plan to put in about 2,800 specimens/semi mature trees between November and March that will cover the land on the south side of the stream.
The building we erected is the equipment shed and nursery office and extensive landscaping will be planted.
This will be a wholesale nursery selling to people such as the landscape architect, and landscape contractor.
We will primarily operate Monday through Friday although some Saturday work may occur during busy times.
We are looking for staff, especially if you have a horticultural or agricultural background. Please apply by calling for an appointment. Thank you all for your support and we look forward to being neighbours for many years to come.
Steve & Janet McCurdy, Chequers Meadow, Chequers Hill, AL3 8ET
Tel: 01582 843881
| Top of Page|