Rye Crescent


Welcome to the Cople village web site.

If weave maid any spelling miss steaks or udder errors please let me no, thanks, Ian

What's On Soon

Saturday 13th February to Sunday 14th February - St Valentines at the Five Bells

Monday 15th February to Tuesday 16th February - Grange Lane Closure

Saturday 20th February - Book Sale Blunham

The complete What's On list

Aladdin 2015

Aladdin cast

The amazingly successful 2015 Cople Pantomime of Aladdin led by Julia Moore and Miles Tetley has, as always, received some astonishing press reviews. Miles has compiled just a few of these here

Plus the nominees and the winner of the Eric Morecambe Award for Oration are here

Finally the photographs from "behind the scenes", and a few in-front of the scenes too, have now been bravely made public and are here on the Cople Photo web site see here

Cople Parish Council Website

Cople Parish Council now have their own web site.

This will now contain full details of the council and their documents which includes the Neighbourhod Plan for Cople (under the NEWS & INFORMATION section) and Parish Council Meeting minutes (under the FILES section)


Superfast Broadband Vouchers

Map of the Parish of Cople

Bedford Borough is now an eligible area under the Government’s Connection Vouchers Scheme. This means that small and medium sized businesses, registered charities, social enterprises and sole traders can get a superfast broadband connection with a voucher worth up to £3,000, to help them get connected. And they can club together to make their vouchers go further.

Off-the-shelf and bespoke packages can be purchased from a wide range of registered suppliers. See www.destinationdigital.info/vouchers for information about the scheme including eligibility and how to apply. Destination Digital has been set up by Cambridgeshire County Council and is running the scheme locally for Bedfordshire and Luton.

It’s a first come first served scheme operating till 30th March 2016, finishing sooner than this if the national pot of money runs out, so if you are interested, the sooner you apply the better.

Ctl + Rpt + Del Cybercrime

Bedfordshire Police are urging residents and businesses to be be aware of, and not fall victim, to Cybercrime

“We have called our campaign [Ctrl] +[Rpt] +[Del] because we want people to take control of the information and images they put online to protect themselves from scams, phishing and harassment; report any cybercrime they are aware of and delete the opportunities for criminals to use the internet for crime."

“For example if you are shopping online this Christmas always use either your credit card, which offers you protection in case of fraud, or a recognised online payment service such as PayPal. Avoid paying by money transfers or direct banking transactions which can be unsecure. Never send confidential personal or financial information by email."

Lots more information here, read it now, not after you have been scammed

Wheels in Motion

Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC) is providing new transport facilities in Bedford Borough to help over 65s and those with a disability to travel and meet social, recreational or other engagements.

More details from http://voluntaryworks.org/brcc/wheels-motion, call Amy Baker on 01234 345558 or email amyb@bedsrcc.org.uk

Download details from here (PDF)

Chimney Sweeps

The Cople web site receives a lot of junk e-mail shots asking me to give them a free mention of their wonderful product. Most go straight into the bin. But I have just had one that makes a little sense and told me things I did not know.

There is a trade association for chimney sweeps, NACS, who, obviously, campaign for everyone to have their chimneys regularly cleaned. So far no surprises. But they go onto say that if a chimney is not regularly swept and a certificate issued then your insurance company may refuse to pay out if it catches fire. I don't know if this is true but worth thinking about.

They also have a list of how often a regular user should have it swept, and this includes a gas fire chimney.

Make your own minds up, more information on their web site nacs.org.uk

Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven book cover

Many residents will fondly remember Rev. Christopher Huitson, vicar of Cople in the 1970s-80s. Their son Toby, still no stranger to Cople, has written and had published "Stairway to Heaven". Subtitled The Functions of Medieval Upper Spaces, the book covers those fascinating and curious places in the church that we wonder about and then may simply pass by, including spiral stairs, galleries and upper chambers.

Of course Toby has included some of our local churches in his book.

Stairway to Heaven: The Functions of Medieval Upper Spaces is a new book by Toby Huitson, son of Rev. Christopher Huitson, vicar of Cople in the 1970s-80s. Toby grew up locally and currently lives in Canterbury where he works at the Cathedral, having been a student at the University reading History there. Despite the distance, he likes to support local events such as the summer Music Festival and he sometimes appears as a guest organist at the Friends' Christmas celebration.

Toby's new book is all about the practical purposes of hidden and mysterious upper spaces in medieval cathedrals and parish churches such as galleries, gatehouse rooms, rood lofts and porch chambers. The book includes Toby's own colour photos of Cople, Northill and Willington church, and mentions Bushmead Priory and Dunstable Priory, together with many other buildings at home and further afield. It is written with the non-specialist in mind, but contains a full set of scholarly references and an index.

Stairway to Heaven is published by Oxbow Press and is available online from Amazon UK and all good bookshops, RRP £35. ISBN: 9781842176658.

2001 Census Data

The link to the 2001 Census data compiled and writen about by Ged Peeke in the May 2014 Cople News can be found in the About Cople Page


Catherine Russell as Cinders

The Cople Players presented their first pantomime at the Cople Village Hall on the 28th/29th March 2014

Produced by Julia Moore and Fran Moore. Script and director was Miles Tetly.

It was a brilliant success and enjoyed by all.

Proceeds were divided between the Friends of Cople Church and BeCHar (homeless charity.)


Publicity by Ian and Claire - January 2014

Dress rehearsal by Ian - 22nd March 2014

Behind The Scenes by Fran - 28th March 2014

Live Show by Vaughan - 29th March 2014


The Cople Players were nominated for a number of prestigous awards and thanks to Miles you can read these and discover the winning actors in his transcription

Also Miles has kindly gathered the stunning reviews of the show here

Water Butt

As at November 2013 a limited number of water butts are available to Bedford Borough residents this winter. Bedford Borough Council, in partnership with Straight plc, is offering 190 litre Water Butt Kits for the special price of £30 plus £5.49 delivery charge. A saving of £9.98 on the usual price.

More details

Cople Festival 1971

Cople Festival 1971 Programme

In 1971 Cople had their own grand festival for no particual reason other than to celebrate Cople. Although they did also take the opportunity to raise funds for the new Village Hall and the Church.

Recently Bob Parrish found, amongst his late mother's possessions, the programme from this festival. He has kindly sent this to me for putting on to the Cople web site

You can read the 1971 Festival Programme through the same ISSU interface we use for the Cople News. Click this link http://issuu.com/cople/docs/cople_festival_1971

Bedford Tree Fund

Bedford Tree Fund logo

Trees are important. Trees are beautiful, soften the urban impact, provide shade, clean the air, benefit the environment, support diverse wildlife and can provide natural fuel and building material.

Bedford Tree Fund is an independent charity working from within Bedford Council to promote the planting and upkeep of trees in the parks, streets and open spaces across the Borough of Bedford.

BTF aim to plant 1,000 new trees by 2014 and are looking for individual or company sponsors.

More information on how you can help the BTF from www.bedfordtreefund.org

If you have a picture of your favourite tree please send it to me for adding to the Cople collection

Ernie Rawlins

Ernie Rawlins and his Cottage (from C Parrish)

I have been kindly sent two new pictures for the Cople photo gallery. These are of the late Ernie Rawlins and his Cottage (now demolished) in Water End. The pictures were supplied by Christopher and Bob Parrish

The pictures have been added to the main village image pool

If you have any old (or new and interesting) photos of Cople please do send them to me for adding to the collection. It is always nice if you know a few words about the image too, what it is, who took it, when, background story etc.

Reporting Potholes and Blocked Drains

Anyone can report potholes and blocked drains online to Bedford BC Highways or by email highways.helpdesk@bedford.gov.uk or by telephone 01234 718003

If you believe the fault you are reporting is an emergency (e.g. likely to cause damage or injury or wires showing) then please telephone the 24 hour phone line (01234 718003) to report the fault

Childhood Memories - Ernest Storton

Ernest Storton, 1909 - 2003, was born nearby in Hatch and moved to Cople in 1914. In 1989 Ernest wrote his memories of his childhood in Cople which were then published and distributed in Cople.

In March 2013 Ged Peeke, the currect editor of Cople News, has kindly transcribed Ernest's orginal article for republication.

Download Childhood Memories, Ernest Storton 1989 PDF

Any Children for Tennis?

Andy Murray

This spring & summer children from Cople Lower School are taking part in a programme of tennis lessons.

LTA liaison coach, Dave Revell, inspired children at the taster session at Cople Village Hall on a recent visit.

For further information please contact the Cople Lower School.

Shortstown and RAF Cardington Memories

Cardington Airsheds

Jane Harvey asks "Is there anyone in Cople who can help in my local history research?"

I live in Shortstown and run two websites one about the history of Shortstown www.shortstownheritage.co.uk and one recently set up about RAF Cardington www.rafcardingtoncamp.co.uk

If anyone has any memories or photographs of any time spent in Shortstown or RAF Cardington I would love to hear from them. I have also heard that during WW2 decoy buildings resembling the 2 sheds at Cardington were set up in some fields around Cople - can anyone comment on this please?

I can be contacted onjyh@shortstownheritage.co.uk or alternatively by phone 01234 740671. Thank you, Jane.


I have added some pictures from the Bedfordshire v Oxfordshire cricket match played at Cople May 13th 2012. If you know their names please email me and I will update the captions.

New albums have been added to the Cople Photo Albums with photographs from Julie Scherrer and Vaughan Southgate.

The sell-out Friend's dinner and talk by Charlie Porter, "Tales from Wood End", and the first Heritage Open Day for Cople Church. The latter is to be held usually on the last Saturday of each month for six months, this has been a great success.

Community Garden Shortstown

From Caroline Williams, Shortstown Community Garden. 01234 313815/07888 730184. email: shortstowncommunitygarden@gmail.com

I have just started a Community Garden in the area, and am looking for support from residents in the area. The garden I have recently set up in Shortstown, having the use of part of the Shortstown Lower School's plot. I have the backing from BPHA, have set various networks such as on Facebook and also a link with Shortstown Heritage Site. I have also have connections with Mile Road Allotments, Shuttleworth College and Bedford Borough Council, so quite a lot of work has been undertaken.

The land I have is temporary, the school is moving next year. I am therefore looking to grow interest through demostration at the site I have at the moment, in order to form a committee and eventually get funding. I am also looking for a permanent location in the area, this may well be more suited in Cardington or Cople, as finding land near to Shortstown is turning out to be impossible.

My vision is to grow something that is self-funding and pretty much sustainable, and have fairly ambitious goals. Do you think that this is something that the residents might be interested to get involved in? Or would you like to know more about this?

If it is of interest to someone in this area, I would love to hear from you (see above)


Village Hall web pages

Village Hall

The Cople Village Hall now has its own mini web site

See booking rates, facilities, contact details and photographs. Village Hall is available for hire, discounts offered to Cople residents and regular hires.

Charity Shoot

Shooting party

Paul Walsh and Charlie Porter recently came up with the brilliant idea of having a Charity Shoot on their respective farms to raise funds for St John’s Hospice and the Friends of Cople Church.

Click here to read more

Cople Photo Albums

Water End cottage

Many more of our Cople photo albums are back online

Click here for the Cople Picture Albums

Police 101 Non-Emergency Number

Bedfordshire Police have launched a new number providing people with a new way to get in touch about non-emergency issues. 101 is now the main number to call Bedfordshire Police when it is less urgent than 999

Further details here

Distraction Burglary

The police newsletter has asked everyone to be aware of a distraction burglary with a new twist that took place recently in Milton Ernest

If you live near to an elderly or vulnerable person please take the time to think about who might be calling at their home.

Details on our Police Reports page

Get Safe Online

BEWARE: Internet users are being warned about cold callers who offer to fix viruses but then install software to steal personal information.

Never accept these calls and do not follow their advice

Get your own good advice from getsafeonline.org A joint initiative between the Government, law enforcement, leading businesses and the public sector.

Parish Council

A section has been added to this Cople web site to promote the work of our Parish Council. The council will provide details of minutes, meeting agendas and other items that are of interest to Cople residents.

You will find a permanent link to the Parish Council page in the right hand menu of this page

Next Meeting

Click here for the next meeting date

All members of the Council and local residents are invited to attend.

Further information

Your new neighbour

Beware of visitors claiming to be your new neighbour

Ringmaster, the Police information service, has asked that we make residents aware of a distraction burglary alert. Someone is calling on the elderly claiming to be their new neighbour


Local Shops

Willington Post Office

Although Cople has no full time shop of its own the Willington Post Office sells a useful range of basic food, bread, wine, some good-looking fruit and vegetables and newspapers. We urge residents to support the Post Office whenever possible.

Summerhill Farm Shop

Also March 2008 has seen the opening of a new shop in Cardington, Summerhill Farm Shop. Since then Summerhill have earned a good reputation selling salads, vegetables, bread, fruit, meat, cheese and other delicatessen items sourced locally where possible.

Safer Neighbourhood Team


A new web page has been added for the Cople Safer Neighbourhood Team police officer.

Who is your local bobby? When are his/her Cople surgery/walkabouts? Do you know what Ringmaster and Smartwater are? Read about local crime statistics and contact links in the Cople Safer Neighbourhood Team's newsletter here.

We are also including recent, local crime reports on the 'Ringmaster' page. This lists reported crimes in this area and offers advise on how to avoid becoming a victim.

Local weather



Web and weather cams are usually fixed cameras uploading an image every few minutes. They are often run privately and may not always be working. I have not found any cams in Bedford. The live cameras below are within 40 miles and usually have similar weather patterns

Clifton weather cam (10 miles south)

RSPB Sandy bird feeder (10 miles east)

Ampthill weather cam (12 miles south)

Stopsley, Luton (20 miles south)

Cambridge (30 miles east)

Winslow, Buckinghamshire (30 miles west)

Peterborough weather cam (40 miles north)

Flood Map

Online map from the Environment Agency. Most of Cople seems clear, Water End has a risk from an extreme flood

Older News

Click here for older news items