Sunday, 31 October 2010

Pupils' Voice: Eco-School in Fulbourn!

click to go to Eco-Schools homepageAt Fulbourn Primary School we believe that pupils have great ideas about how we can improve the school and make a positive contribution to the community in which they live. With this in mind, over the past year, we have been developing a number of ‘Pupil Voice’ groups, where pupil volunteers work with an adult, be it staff member, parent, community member or governor, to have their say and develop an aspect of the school. So far, this has included:

  • The Bike It Crew, who are aiming to increase the number of children travelling to school by bike or on foot.
  • School Council, who had a focus on developing healthy eating, culminating in making a book about cooking and sending it to Jamie Oliver.
  • The Children’s Prospectus Group, who wrote an information booklet for new children starting at the school.
  • The Eco-Schools Group, who have been learning about sustainability and bio-diversity.

All of these groups have been successful in their initial projects, none more so than our Eco-Schools group. Our band of ‘Eco-Warriors’, led by their ‘Warrior Chief’ (our school site manager, Cheryl Caldecoat) and supported by various parents, including Mike Downs, have already undertaken a number of projects including organising the building of a Beetle Bank, making and hanging bird feeders and organising recycling collections of bottle tops and batteries. They have already gained their bronze and silver level awards for Eco-Schools and are now working towards achieving the highest level, the Green Flag. To do so, they need to communicate to the wider community what they are doing and "spread the message". To this end, they have written the following, which they have asked me to put in this month’s Mill.

Fulbourn Primary School logo"Fulbourn Primary School is organising a new Eco-School group. In the new group there is Ansh Tandon, Jessica Allen, Morgan Day, Angel Isla, DJ Hayns, Mae Grimshaw, Beth Irving, Lisa Mastroddi, Aeryn Childerley, Nelle Crowgey, Megan Lockwood, Eve Middleton, Isabella Covill, Harry Cook and Imogen Downs. We are going for the Green Flag Award, which is the highest award. We would like you to save electricity because it is energy saving week in a few weeks time. We are going round the school and telling the teachers off if they leave the electricity on!!!"

We think the Eco-Schools group is doing an incredibly important job. In the words of one of our young Eco-Warriors,
"It’s good being in Eco-Schools, because we can help to develop the school grounds and make them really eco-friendly. It’s good for me because I can learn about being eco-friendly and I can teach other people about looking after the environment."
If you would like to be involved in any way with this group, please contact Cheryl Caldecoat via the school office.
Fiona Thorpe
Head Teacher
Fulbourn Primary School

Goodbye Rhiannon


On Sunday, 31 December, Revd Rhiannon Jones said goodbye to the parishioners and people of Fulbourn, Great Wilbraham, Little Wilbraham and Six Mile Bottom. She's going to Birmingham to join the Transforming Church team. Goodbye, Rhiannon, you'll be much missed.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Hallowe'en: 10 songs about light and shades

click for a colouring-in pumpkin!I remember Hallowe'en as a young'un in Ayrshire, on Scotland's southwest coast. Trees which had been nothing but trees the day before suddenly became menacing, their gnarled limbs frozen in the daylight and just waiting for the night, dedicated to the dead from antiquity, to be released and go on the rampage. We would colour in pumpkins at school (few of us had seen a real one), then the lucky ones' Mums would cut out eyeholes in an old sheet and take them round the doors to be given sweets and peanuts. The emphasis, of course, would be on the Mass in honour of the saints the day after.

Shades of Gray

That's why I like Cynthia Weil's introductory lyrics to this song which, as well as introducing the theme, indicates the sometimes distorting lens with which we peer at our childhoods: when the world and I were young...Shades of Gray

Social evil?

Is the increase of social atomisation we perceive more than an artefact of memory? In 1966 Paul McCartney painted a picture of a city where somebody can literally die of loneliness and now, as then, the picture is all too recognisable. So instead of complaining about the sort of evil that is celebrated at Hallowe'en, is it not the social evil that we see that we should be fighting?

Hallowed be thy Name

Within the genteel tradition of the English Murder Ballad - eg the Beatles' Run for your Life, Tom Jones' Delilah and Tony Christie's I Did What I Did for Maria, there exists a subset wherein the murderer is awaiting execution, as in the Bee Gees' Got to Get a Message to You and Tom Jones' (again) Green Green Grass of Home. In Iron Maiden's Hallowed be thy Name, Bruce Dickenson voices the part of a prisoner in the condemned cell who is being visited by the Padre immediately before his execution. As he is led out a fellow prisoner cries a blessing, and this enables him to intone the words of the title as he stands on the scaffold.

For the Pagans

Hallowe'en is said to occupy the space that was once reserved for the pagan/Celtic Samhain, or summer's end, when the dark half of the year began. Some neo-pagans think of their dead ones at this time and, to tell you the truth, I have more respect for those who do this than for those who call themselves pagans but rejoice in the iconography of the Devil as he/she/it is represented in Christian art and literature - especially on Hallowe'en. So, for the Pagans - and all of us - here's Mike (Genesis) Rutherford's meditation on the difficult relationship his co-writer, BA Robertson, had with his grandfather, who died before he could see his grandchild.


Rabbi Ben A. states that the source of evil is misappropriation of the power of G‑d, while Fr Gabriele Amorth, Exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, gives his opinion in his two volumes of memoirs that Satan is interested not in sufferering but in souls. Both of these viewpoints indicate clearly the source of the deathcamps, the banality of evil and the Eleanor Rigbys expiring quietly and alone: us and our choices.

Here's Swedish heavy-metal band Sabaton with a historically-literate treatment of The Final Solution dealing with how "a nation in despair" chose to follow a man who not only turned "neighbours into foes" but embarked on a crusade of hate whose terrible echoes still ring around the world today. The YouTube video is powerful and disturbing; but I would say that we can only start to appreciate the power of evil by looking in the face the results of our choices and those of our ancestors.


In her biography of her mother, Holocaust survivor Edith Festinger, and her companions called We Never Lost Hope, Naomi Litvin writes of courage and friendship in Auschwitz, a light that outshines the evil around.

In Something inside so Strong, Labi Siffre sung of a light "that will outshine you" when interpreting Nelson Mandela's imprisonment.

The occult

Iron Maiden, who we saw earlier, have been accused of occultism with their albums, especially Number of the Beast, from which Hallowed be Thy Name comes. In fact, the band's chief songwriter enjoys writing about books and songs, and the title of the track is about The Omen, which is no more occult than Faust or parts of Dante's Divine Comedy - or indeed the Book of Revelation. Iron Maiden were not always all they seemed - for example, their song Two Minutes to Midnight compared the evils of abortion to those of the death camps and war.

click to learn the story of St Peter's Cross"Occult" symbols also aren't always all they seem. For instance, recipients of letters from the quondam St Peter's Seminary in Glasgow were often taken aback to see an upside-down cross at the top; this is in honour of his reputed wish to be crucified upside-down - as is shown in the crest of St Peter's Episcopal Church in Amarillo, Texas.

Real occultism has many dangers, the chief of which - as Black Sabbath were warned regarding the cod-satanic ritual with which they used to begin their concerts - is getting what you wish for. Edgar Allan Poe dwelt upon this in his poem The Raven, where a young man who has been searching his books for a means to make his lamented love return recieves an unforeseen visitation...

(Click here to listen to James Earl Jones recite the entire poem)


Perhaps the opposite of trying to force a knowledge of that which our senses are not equipped to experience (or at least telling your customers that you've done so) is sharing in what is given to all, without price...

What's it all about?

Hallowe'en means "All Hallows Eve", the Hallows referred to being the Saints. This hymn by Bishop William Walsham Howe has become the classic for the feast, and is sung here by Dordt College Choir in interesting formation.


click to read about taking the dark side out of Hallowe'en
In many Christian churches there's a dialogue (conducted in various ranges of decibels) about the merits of the old as opposed to the new in terms of, among many other things, hymns. Our children will hand this dialogue on to theirs, but I must admit to being delighted by hearing children singing this. And what else could I end a music blog about darkness and light with?


Monday, 25 October 2010

Cambridgeshire Constabulary tips for Hallowe'en

click to download and print a posterThis is a message from the e-cops team for Linton, which includes Fulbourn, concerning Hallowe'en. Click here to find out about joining Cambridgeshire Constabulary e-cops.

Dear e-coppers,

That time of year is fast approaching again...trick or treat?

It’s time for the skeletons, pumpkins, monsters, vampires, witches and ghosts to knock on your door.

We wanted to remind you of a few tips you can take to ensure you have an enjoyable Hallowe’en:

  • Those who do not want to take part in Hallowe’en festivities can display a ‘no trick or treaters’ poster. You can download these from our website at, or else click the pic of the poster on the top right.

  • Ideally children trick or treating should be accompanied by an adult.

  • Children should stay in groups, make sure at least one person has a mobile phone on them and not go out too late.

  • Children should tell someone where they are going, what route they will be taking and what time to expect them back.

  • Not everyone wants to get involved in Hallowe’en and we ask children and parents to leave residents not wanting to take part in peace.

As it’s that time of year we will be increasing our patrols to prevent any anti-social behaviour and to ensure the safety of those involved in the Hallowe’en festivities.

If you have any issues or concerns during Hallowe’en, let us know on 0345 456 456 4.

Your Neighbourhood Policing Team

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Bible Sunday

In Great Wilbraham, every month, there's an Xpressions Service that has something for all the family - model-making, dramatic interpretation of Gospel readings, Bible study, etc - so that I'm almost persuaded to forgive the sin against the English language.

This month's service was the last for our Rector, Revd Rhiannon Jones, who is going to work for tclick to go to Transforming Churchhe Transforming Church project in the Diocese of Birmingham. So there were a lot of poignant moments, capped off with extemporised prayer for our departing friend, and a three-cheers (plus one for luck!)

Today, as Rhiannon reminded us, is also Bible Sunday. She distributed a leaflet connected with the occasion, and heartily recommended its reading.

The power and richness of the King James Bible's language is such that Richard Dawkins, for Pete's sake, pays tribute to it in The God Delusion. Even coming from a Roman Catholic background I feel that the translation is as comforting as a trusted old friend, although obviously there are other versions (I love to read the New Jerusalem Study Bible).

Below is an illustration from the Bible Sunday leaflet, with each graphic connected to its respective home page - I hope you enjoy exploring the links.

And Rhiannon, in the words of an old Scottish blessing, may the best you've ever seen be the worst you'll ever see.

click to go to the King James Bible Trustclick to go to Biblefreshclick to go to the Bible Societyclick to go to Grow with the Bible

jam today...

click to go to minutes of the Linton Neighbourbood Policing Panel
Traffic issues in Fulbourn High Street have been an issue of late - as is represented in the minutes of the latest Linton Neighbourhood Policing Panel (which includes Fulbourn) - so the jam represented in the photo above might reopen the debate about the quality of parking on the thoroughfare, as well as the wisdom of having buses travelling in both directions through the relatively narrow street. This photo was taken at 3.30pm on Friday October 22 and shows a number 17 and a Citi1 bus jammed in the centre of Fulbourn - and what you can't see is that there was a school bus trapped behind, although thankfully the impasse lasted less than 5 minutes.

However, what you also can't see is that the problem was a car parked right on the corner of the High Street and Pierce Lane (behind the grey one, which caused no problems). It didn't take too long to locate the driver, who got out of the way.

But what if the driver hadn't been around?

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Sawston Fun Run 2011: Charities and local organisations encouraged to apply for funding

go to Rotary Club of Sawston Districtclick to go to Cambridge Building Societyclick to go to the Sawston Fun Run homepage

Local charities and organisations are invited to become a beneficiary of the 2011 Sawston Fun Run that will be held on Sunday 15th May 2011. The event, the largest community-led event in the region, regularly donates over £15,000 to local charities and organisations and has provided over £336,000 to them since it was first held in 1986.

Charities and organisations that assist local residents, especially those of South Cambridgeshire, will be given preference in the selection process. Applicants need to identify a specific project or activity that needs support, who will benefit, when funds are needed and the impact any funding will have. Whilst capital projects are preferred, the selection is based on the strength of each case.

The closing date for applications is Monday 30th November.

Application forms are available off the website at or by emailing

The Rotary Club of Sawston District, who organise the event, have developed it over the last ten years so it engages with all sections of the community and regularly attracts over 1,000 entrants.

An increasing number of local businesses and retailers from Cambridge, Sawston and the surrounding area sponsor and support the event in many different ways. Local youth groups and cadet forces provide entertainment and man water stations and fulfil car parking duties. Other groups such as the cricket club help on the day and many individuals give of their time.

It is one of the original local fun runs and has grown to become the largest community event of its type in the area - organised and managed totally by volunteers.

The Rotary Club has raised over £147,000 since it became the organiser in 2001 and Vic Starkey, current President of the club says ‘We’re glad we can play our part in the community by giving so much pleasure on the day to so many people, whilst raising funds for local organisations and charities. We’re grateful to all who give us support and hope that everyone will help us make the 2011 as successful as those in the past; the community deserves to be congratulated on its wonderful fund raising efforts over the years, let’s plan to make the 2011 event another success’.

Past sponsors and advertisers are already confirming their support; any business or individual wishing to become involved should email Tony Collett, of the organising committee, at

Entry forms will be available from February 2011 off the website and branches of Cambridge Building Society.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Saturday courses at Bottisham Community College

go to Bottisham Village College weekend courses
Bottisham Village College
Community Education

If you have a day to spare,
try one of our Saturday Workshops this Autumn …

Saturday 6th November
Felt Making
Playing with Print (textiles)

Saturday/Sunday 20th/21st November
Stained Glass Making (over two days)
Oriental Cookery (Sat)

For further details of the workshops, please visit our website:, or contact the Community Office: email:, telephone: (01223) 811372

go to Bottisham Village College weekend courses

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

10 songs for the 33

Few things have captured the world's attention like the fate of the 33 miners trapped in the San José copper mine in Chile (los 33). In terms of offers of prayers and help from the international community there are echoes of Apollo 13, but that was in the days before instant coverage (instant gratification?) through internet-based news services. I'd like to offer 10 songs to the miners, their loved ones, and everybody who sees in this situation a reflection of the stories of Jonah, Noah and the mane tales of bravery with which we reassure ourselves that the world is a friendlier place than it sometimes seems.

Driving the Last Spike

It's inevitable that any discussion about the 33 would start with a chthonic theme. Driving the Last Spikle by Genesis is about blasting tunnels in England as opposed to mining copper in Chile, but the themes of dignity, betrayal and catastrophe are common to both. (It's a long song: when the video below ends, click this link for the second half!)

The Ferryman?

The Greeks believed that the souls of the dead were ferried to their eternal state of not-quite-being by Charon, who had to be paid by a coin placed in the mouth of the departed. Although I'm sure the 33 were all Christians, if not Roman Catholics, it would be unreasonable to expect that they did not think about the journey across the Styx (or any metaphor of transition you care to choose), especially when it was not apparent that anybody could reach them.

Ashes to ashes...

What did the 33 reflect on in those times that were dark in every sense? There are those who say that being brought up against one's own mortality changes one's view. Is there another dimension beyond dust?

In the language of the dead

I once had a boss who said that reflecting on one's mortality was most likel;y to strengthen one's character. But just as cum mortuis in lingua mortua (with the dead in the language of the dead) comes before the most exultant parts of Mussorgski's Pictures at an Exhibition, I suppose that the old saw that "it's darkest before the dawn" is true.


But something happened. Chile was determined not to let its sons die, and the world responded, exemplified by NASA, which sent a team with experience of supporting astronauts who had to spend long periods isolated. Three teams set to excavating three excavation tunnels.

Juan Luis Guerra

One of the acts the 33 listened to in order to keep their spirits up was Dominican artist Juan Luis Guerra - here he is with Que me des tu cariño, which is bhest translated as Give me your tenderness.

Too much tenderness

There are indications that some of the miners face a situation that, unfortunately, is so common that even the Monkees sang about it...

Coming up

But the main thing, the miraculous thing, is that the 33 are ascending from what might have been their grave; all other travails are secondary to this.

Lead Kindly Light

And also, the mens' faith has sustained them and their families. I hope this faith sustains through the trials and temptations to follow. (Most of this hymn was composed by John Henry Newman, the Anglican priest and Roman Catholic cardinal who was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on his recent visit to Great Britain.)

The most important thing

is that 33 men who might easily have died have been given another life. As I write, the last miner has been brought into the light. Thank God.

the 2011 census is coming!

click to go to the 2011 Census HomepageOn 27 March 2011 all residential households in the United Kingdom will be taking part in a census. It's not just another survey. The census not only provides an excellent source of information about the population but enables central and local government, health authorities and many other organisations to plan housing, education, health and transport services for years to come. The census statistics feed into resource allocation for local authorities and play a major part in their ability to provide local services, so it is crucial the population estimate is as accurate as possible.

click to go to Census Family HistoryThe Census is completely confidential and no personal information is passed to other government departments or non governmental organisations. When the questionnaire envelope comes through the door you’ll easily recognise it by the purple 2011 Census logo (above left). Take care of it. If, like many people, you want to complete the questionnaire online, your individual internet code is on the front of the questionnaire.

click to look for Census JobsThe National Census will also be creating around 150 jobs in Cambridge City and South Cambs. These are all temporary but range from a few weeks to month, part time and full time all with competitive rates of pay . Details can be found at

I am the National Census Area Manager (AM) for Cambridge city and South Cambridgeshire. Part of my role involves direct liaison with various groups and organisations which include third sector organisations, ethnic minority groups, faith groups, media and the public with the aim of maximising returns.

Ralph While-Paddon
Census Area Manager

If you want to get in touch with Ralph, email, and I'll pass the message on - Ed.

Monday, 11 October 2010

ah, the cheese, the cheese...

click to go to the Horizon website
Watching the BBC2 documentary Horizon's What happened before the big bang? we were told that scientists plumbing this mystery are "men and women who defend their theories as passionately as any priest". The narrator may have been involving them in a debate they did not seek, as none of them produced any pro-faith or anti-faith opinions.

However, I was interested to hear one scientist, Professor Sergei Linde, wax lyrical to the effect that "the universe appeared out of the cheese of eternal inflation".

I must produce that one the next time somebody makes fun of the five proofs or the watchmaker, etc. Right, I'm off, saw some angels dancing on the head of a pin just there; one, two...

Friday, 8 October 2010

OLEM in the mist

We won't be seeing this sort of sight for much longer until next spring - Parker's Piece on a crisp early winter's morning, with the spire of OLEM (Our Lady and the English Martyrs RC Church) rising magnificently above the dawn mist!
OLEM in the mist

change to bus service

click to see changes to the 16 and 17The Stagecoach Passenger Transport Team for Cambridge has bclick to go to the Grafton Centre websiteeen in touch to advise us of a change in the early-morning 16/17 bus going between Fulbourn and Cambridge: the existing 08:24 journey between Fulbourn and Cambridge now departs 5 minutes earlier between Fulbourn and The Grafton Centre to improve reliability (Monday to Friday).

Sunday, 3 October 2010

nightmare: the fright of your life...

click to go to St John's Player's homepageclick to book a place for Nightmare!a play by Roger S Mossclick to learn more on the St John's Players' Website

An amateur production in association with Samuel French

St John's Players' October production will be an edge-of-your-seat thriller, “Nightmare: The Fright Of Your Life”, by Roger S. Moss, which will be presented at the Townley Memorial Hall, Fulbourn Centre, Fulbourn from 27th-30th October at 7.45pm.

Frank and Jenny Gilman rent an apartment in an old converted chapel in a quiet country village. Before long, strange things start to happen in their new home and frightening discoveries are made. Who can they trust in the village? Who are the intruders who threaten to turn their idyllic new life into a living nightmare? The true horror of their situation makes this a play that you will never forget.

The cast includes Kieron Toner, Shannon Hogan, Barbara Oxley, George Sigsworth, Sophie Jackson, Tim Bancroft and David Wilson. The play is directed by Carole Ransom and Andrew Clark and our talented set builders are busy constructing one of the most complicated sets that St John's Players has seen.

click to go to St John's Players' homepage

Click here to book your place for NIGHTMARE!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Fulbourn Health Centre: self-treatment of common illnesses and accidents

Many common aches and pains can be simply treated without the need to consult a doctor. Here we have some advice regarding a few simple conditions:

Back Pain

spinal columnBack pain causes 13 million working days to be lost in Great Britain each year. The spine supports the whole weight of the upper body, so it is understandable that it sometimes goes wrong. Because of the complex nature of the spine it is advisable to consult your doctor if back pain persists for longer than a few days. If, as usual, the pain has been caused by abuse (e.g. lifting too heavy a load), be sensible and take things easy. Take care to sit as upright as possible with a support for the small of the back. Take ibuprofen or paracetamol (unless contraindicated) which will not only help the pain but will also tend to relieve the inflammation. Ice packs can also help for muscle spasm. Your doctor may well prescribe stronger drugs and physiotherapy if symptoms do not settle.


stomach bugIn adults, this is usually caused by a viral infection and is, therefore, unable to be treated directly. The symptoms can sometimes be eased by "over-the-counter" medicines advised by your chemist. Travellers diarrhoea is sometimes due to bacteria and, again, your pharmacist can advise you. Consult your doctor if symptoms persist for more than a few days.

Most babies have very loose bowel action in their first six months due to their predominantly liquid diet. Sudden bouts of unusually watery diarrhoea is usually viral. This should be treated by taking the baby off milk and solids and feeding them a cooled solution of boiled water with a teaspoon of sugar and a half teaspoon of salt to the pint. If the symptoms persist consult your doctor.

Colds & Flu

Even in this day and age, there is no magic cure for the common cold!

coldMost adults will get at least one cold each year and children may get several. Colds usually start to improve after 5-7 days in adults but can last longer in children. Symptoms include fever, headache, runny nose, sore throat and cough. It is caused by a virus infection and antibiotics have no effect on the course of the illness. Simple painkillers, decongestants and rest will help ease the symptoms.
Occasionally complications such as severe earache, tonsillitis or chest infection may develop. These may require treatment from your doctor.

flu virusThe term flu is over-used. It should refer to the specific infection influenza. This occurs in epidemics every few years and is a particular risk for the elderly or patients with chronic heart or lung problems. These patients should request flu vaccinations in October each year.

Talking of which, a reminder that our flu clinics are available to book now at Cornford House Surgery on the 2nd and 16th of October and at Fulbourn Health Centre on the 5th and 19th of October in the afternoons. Please check the posters in the surgeries to see if you are in an “at risk” group.
Russell Sims
Practice Manager
Fulbourn Health Centre