|(Updated on Sunday 27th December 2015 03:10pm)|
We woke up this morning to find a visitor in our garden...
For those of you who are interested in choosing a decent new Police Commissioner on May 5th you may like to view a summary of what all the candidates have to say. Just click on the picture, or if you click on the title above you can go to the national site and enter your post code for more information.
Following the great evening of nostalgia and fund raising event at the Village Hall last Saturday, you may find the 'history' page on this website interesting. The title of this news item links to the 'memories' page where you will find Pete White's talk about his memories of living in Beckford for over 70 years. Under the local history top-bar menu you will also find some of the photos that were on show during the evening and also more information about some events in Beckford from days gone by. You can also view the short wartime video that was shown.
After the pre-opening session last Thursday (it seemed like the whole village turned out), we thought we would try out a meal last night at the Beckford Inn. The place was busy, even at 6:00pm, with many villagers taking advantage of the Fish and Chips evening. We tried one of the other al-la-carte items, which proved to be excellent. Why not give it a try!
Today we spend a pleasant afternoon attending a service in St. Peter's Church, Stanway to re-dedicate the bells in the church. Over the past few years the four old bells have been removed and the tower strengthened with new steel girders to support a new frame for the bells. A new bell was cast by Whitechapel's of London and the old bells were re-furbished and re-tuned. The church now has five nice sounding bells. As I had helped with the tower work I and Marion were invited to the service. After the service, we had a chance to ring the bells. The service (and ringing) was followed by tea in the Great Hall of Stanway House (used for some scenes from the TV drama Wolf Hall) and the famous Stanway fountain was turned on for the pleasure of those attending the service. We have added a short video of the Stanway Fountain - just go the video clips page on this website.
Although it was partially cloudy in Beckford, the effects of the solar eclipse on electricity generated by our solar panels was very marked. The nice parabolic dip in the power output is clearly visible.
After the opening of the new store at Teddington Hands roundabout just before Christmas, The Teddington Stores will be holding a Producers Day on Saturday 31st January 2014, when customers will be able to meet the producers and sample their products. Why not drop in - and have a cup of coffee at the same time.
Last Thursday evening we spend an enjoyable few hours at Toff Milways Conderton Pottery, enjoying a glass of wine and nibbles - and a try at making our own bowl on his potters wheel! We are looking forward to seeing the results, when they have been fired. The evening was organised to raise funds for equipment to go into the new extension to Overbury First School. Have a quick look at our new video (activities/video clips).
A day of unbroken sunshine yesterday saw the end to our longest spell of days with rain since (our) records began. Up until 15th February we had 49 days of rain - sometime only a little, but nevertheless a very long wet period. However, no flooding in Beckford, thanks to the past efforts of the now extinct flood group.
Last night we recorded the highest gust of wind we have ever had since we have had our weather station. At around midnight on Valentines day we recorded a gust of 53mph. It brought to mind a very appropriate poem by the late Spike Milligan...
Through every nook and every cranny
The wind blew in on poor old Granny
Around her knees, into each ear
(And up her nose as well, I fear)
All through the night the wind grew worse
It nearly made the vicar curse
The top had fallen off the steeple
Just missing him (and other people)
It blew on man, it blew on beast
It blew on nun, it blew on priest
It blew the wig off Auntie Fanny-
But most of all, it blew on Granny!
After 19 days without rain and very high temperatures we finally had rain - and not just a little! Our weather station reported its raining cats and dogs (see picture). We had about 26mm of rain in less than an hour and a record 230mm per hour rain rate! Things have calmed down now.
Although a little late this year, spring has finally arrived in Bluebell Wood. Why not take some time out and walk up to the wood and enjoy the show.
This morning and yesterday morning we had a visit from a solitary Turtle Dove to the seed feeder in our front garden - a first for us in Beckford Close
With the continued cold weather, our garden bird feeders are emptying at an alarming rate! We are also seeing a few new visitors to the garden. This week we saw a pair of Nuthatches at the same time on the seed feeder and the Buzzard now perches in the tree at the end of the garden. A male Siskin joined the Glodfinches on the Niger seeds.
Following the apathetic response from local people, BT did not get anything like the interest from Beckford to consider installing BT Infinity. Therefore we have gone ahead on our own and now enjoy 18Mbps download and 5Mbps upload speeds. This means we can now enjoy high quality BBC IPlayer and very fast file downloads.
After nearly a month of communications with Oregon about the poor performance of their new weather station (WMR200) I finally gave up and bought a Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station, which is now up and running - far better than the Oregon one. So, hopefully from now on we should have more accurate weather from Beckford Close!
Our bird feeders and pond regularly attract a wide variety of birds to the garden but during the last couple of weeks we have had a daily visit from the nuthatch and visits from the kestrel, grey wagtail and jay. When January comes and we do the RSPB garden bird watch I expect all we will see is the usual finches, tits etc.
The new weather station is now fully integrated with this website. Hopefully improved from the last version. Please let me know if you find any bugs or have any comments for improvements.
Having failed to get a replacement rain gauge for our old weather station, we have now purchased a brand new professional Weather Station from Oregon Scientific - a WMR200. Although the station is now up and running at home, we still need to connect it to the computer and website. This may take a few days to get everything up and running correctly - so keep an eye on the news items here to find out when everything is up and running.
After over 8 years of faithful service the rain gauge on our weather station has finally failed. I have tried in vain to find a source for a replacement gauge, but Oregon Scientific do not supply spares any more and even a search on the internet has failed. Therefore, the rain information on this website is now no longer available (we do make a guess at the rainfall but updating is manual and unreliable). If anyone knows where I can buy a wireless rain gauge for a WMR 928N Oregon Scientific Professional Weather station - please let me know!
We have heard through the grapevine that Overbury Estates are looking at a few sites in local villages with the view of future housing development. One of these sites is in Beckford. Provided the site is "the right location" i.e. an integral part of the village with good access and the housing is affordable to first time buyers and young families, we support the idea of Beckford growing. This village needs more young families to keep it alive and vibrant.
At 08:12 this morning we went outside to join in the National Ringing in the 2012 Olympics Games. We were greeted by absolute silence! So we added our contribution to the Cultural Olympics by vigorously ringing our wind chimes and door bell for 3 minutes - we make no apologies for waking sleepy Beckford.
The Parish Council have now launched their new website - click on the title above to view, or use the top menu item under extras. The new site looks very good, with lots of interesting information and links. Well done!
A new website has been launched to serve the Beckford Nature Reserve. Therefore, the Nature Reserve page on this website now links directly to the new website. Why not try it out by clicking on the title of this news item.
Please click on the title of this entry to see information about the latest scam that is going around the country - BEWARE OF ANY SIGHTLY SUSPICIOUS PHONE CALLS SUPPOSEDLY FROM YOUR BANK. Banks rarely make this kind of phone call and if they do, they fully understand if you refuse to give them any information.
Finally, after three years of persuasion, we finally have a Blackbird nesting in our log-hole on the shelf that I designed specifically to stop them from nesting on my ladder. Hopefully, the next generation will learn from its parents!
What a wonderful sight on Sunday afternoon - a flash of brilliant blue along the Carrant Brook as a Kingfisher flew by. Too fast for any photos.
Firstly, between 1400hrs on Weds 2nd May and 1530hrs on Weds 2nd May there was a burglary at an address on Waterloo Way, Bredon. It is believed that unknown person(s) entered the property whilst the owner was at home. A number of items were stolen, including cash from a handbag and jewellery.
Incident ref 137-N-020512.
Secondly, between 1455hrs on Weds 2nd May and 1510hrs on Weds 2nd May there was a burglary at an address on Queensmead, Bredon. The resident was in their front garden mowing and noticed that a male was hanging around infront of the property. Upon asking him what he was doing, a second male was seen to come out of the residents property. The males explained they had lost a cat and were looking for it. It was later noticed that cash had been stolen from a handbag.
The description of the two males. Male 1: Fair hair, round face, approx 5ft6 in height between 16 and 18 y ears of age wearing light coloured clothing, had no hat and was not carrying anything. Male 2 - Possibly younger than male one, dark hair possibly black, narrow, pointed face and slender build, thinner and shorter than male 1, wearing bright coloured top colour unknown, possibly navy blue trousers. No car was seen. They left on foot towards Kemerton Road.
Incident ref 129-S-030512.
If you see these men or see anything suspicious please report to the police call centre, via the switchboard, on the non-emergency number, 101 or click on the title link to reply on the Police website.
We now have (on the menu to the left) a weather summary data for Beckford, giving you a host of information about the recent weather in Beckford. This is automatically updated.
With the recent rainfall levels and the forecast for heavy rain on Sunday, Wychavon DC have issued a flood warning for the region - advising residents to take any precautions they may have to protect their property.
Having spent a great day at the International Bird of Prey Centre near Newent, we came home to find a kestrel enjoying his afternoon tea of a small dunnock on our front lawn!
Having had a reply from the Graffiti developers, I have tried once more to have the book reviews feed through to Facebook and it seems to be improving - so I will keep trying!
Due to the poor functionality offered by Facebook - they do not want people to automatically update their pages from other websites - I have decided not to post our book reviews directly to our Facebook page. Just follow the link on the notification about this page (on this feed as well) if you wish to see the latest book reviews. This is a backward step by the Facebook organisers as many companies would like this functionality. There are other APPS which profess to offer this feature, but after many days of trying, even these apps fall short of being able to post a decent feed because they do not comply with the RSS standards.
We have now added a book review page under activities. It is designed for those interested in reading either ebooks or hard copy books. All visitors to this website are invited to add their own reviews of books they have read that they feel will be of interest to others. Click on the link above or use the top menu item - activities/book review to learn more and see the latest reviews. The book reviews will be added to our Facebook page automatically (that is, when I get the function working!)
Did you know that although we might think this years March weather has been exceptionally hot, if you look back to last year the maximum and minimum temperatures for March were very similar? Of course we did have a longer period of warm weather this year. Click on the link above to visit our weather page - if you follow the link to Weather Underground you will see all the historical data from the weather station at 3 Beckford Close.
While walking today we spotted the first bluebell in flower in Beckford Copse - Spring is on its way!
Check out a new interesting article on the crimewatch page about PEDLARS
A great new website has emerged that offers a service for all villages around Bredon Hill. Obviously much thought has gone into producing a fantastic focus for promoting the activities and attractions of our local environment. It is good to see that all the material has been collated and suitably presented before going live. Lets hope that this enterprise succeeds and shows the people around the hill what can be achieved with a little forethought and planning - unlike some other websites that have appeared recently. A common website for all the villages is by far the best way to get more recognition for our area.
Today we saw one of the first signs of spring in our garden. The surface of the pond was boiling with very active frogs. As usual, they have laid their spawn in the most vulnerable area of the pond - but I am sure some will survive and our frog population will expand yet again. We are anxiously looking out for newt activity!
Weve just returned from attending the HP Science Lecture in Bristol. A fascinating talk by Jim AL-Khalili entitled Faster than the Speed of Light. After the release of the measurement results last year it was anounced that the apparent speed of neutrinos was faster than the speed of light in a vacuum (by an amount equal to 5 miles per second), Jim promised to eat his boxer shorts in public if the results were to be confirmed! In his lecture he explained some more details about the experiment and also some basic facts about the particles used in the experiment. Until the results are confirmed by several other independent labaoratories Jim said that his boxer shorts are SAFE. He went through a few ideas to explain these bizare observations.
Fernleigh House was broken into yesterday (Monday) between 08:30 and 13:30. If anyone has any information that may help the ploice in their investigation please use the 101 number or just phone the local police - see the crimwatch page for contact information.
Observations required please for a dark blue or black Nissan Terrano, registration number MH05EOB. This vehicle may be involved in rural crime in the Cotswolds. If seen in suspicious circumstances, please contact Gloucestershire Police immediately, using the 101 or 999 numbers.
While out for a walk round the Nature Reserve today we saw two Dabchicks (Little Grebes) in the small area of the lake that was not frozen at the eastern end of the reserve. Our first sighting of these small cute water birds - but not the first in the Nature Reserve.
The new Beckford Village Hall website is now up and running - we will watch it with interest as it develops.
A small band of volunteers spent the morning doing some tidying work in the Nature Reserve. A row of hawthorn hedges were planted on the northern boundary; the steps all round the reserve were repaired; the western bank was cleared ready for sowing grass and wld flower seed and various paths were re-stocked with wood chippings.
A first for us at The Shieling. At 1:50pm today we watched a Red Kite flying over the field behind Beckford Close - being harrassed by the local jackdaws. Although fairly common now around this area, we have never seen one come so close to the house in Beckford.
There are concerns about the water levels in the Nature Reserve affecting the waterfowl during the breeding season. Click on the subject for more information.
Andy and Marion wish all our supporters around the world (and those with a genuine interest in our website) a very happy, healthy and trouble-free 2012
Please be on the look out for cars parked at dusk sitting outside houses with headlights on, it could be someone just waiting whilst a burglary is in progress! Earlier this week between 4pm and 6pm a house in the village was broken into, with silver and jewellery taken. Please make sure you lock back doors, and take keys out of the lock. Report anything suspicious - rogue callers, unusual vehicles directly to the police using the new 101 number.
Please click on the link in the title to see the changes to waste collections over the Christmas period.
Please note that there was a car-key burglary at an address on Cheltenham Rd, Beckford, between 2130hrs on Fri 2nd and 0700hrs Sat 3rd December. A large value of silverware was stolen, as were a set of car keys, which were used to take a black Mercedes SLK convertible, reg VK09ENV. Please make your members aware and report any info/sightings of the car to the police control room, via the switchboard, on the non-emergency number, 101, quoting incident ref 160-S-031211.
Some of the menus on this website are displayed in white. These items require registration to view them. Please register by selecting backchat and filling out the registration form. If you care about what is happening to your village 'behind' closed doors, you may find registering will surprise you.
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