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 30th August - Cople Church Heritage Open Day
Sunday 31st August - Families at Willington
Thursday 11th September to Sunday 14th September - Heritage Open Day (England and Wales)
Vineyard Open Day, 14th Sept
The Warden Abbey Vineyard is a small, thriving vineyard right on our doorstep between Cardington and Old Warden. Each year it produces on average 4,000 to 6,000 bottles of dry white wine each year (24,000 in a very good year, none in a bad year) and has won internationally acclaimed awards.
This is a fascinating piece of living history. Founded in 1136 as a daughter-house to world-famous Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire, Warden Abbey was one of the earliest Cistercian settlements in England where the monks made their own wine on these very fields until the English Reformation led to its dissolution by Henry VIII in 1536.
It is now a community owned vineyard run year-round by volunteers who enjoy the fun of growing their own grapes, getting out in the fresh air and meeting other volunteers.
This year they are holding their Heritage Open Day and Wine Sale on Sunday 14th September between 11am and 4pm. Free entry, free tours, wine sales, educational sessions, animal encounters with Teaching Talons, barbecue, refreshments and stalls. Please note, due to the terrain this, sadly, may not be suitable for those with limited mobility.
Barn Dance Photos
The Friends of Cople held their 2014 Barn Dance at Oak Farm (kind courtesy of, and very grateful to, Paul and Heather Walsh) on July 19th. Barn Dance photos by Vaughan Southgate on our Cople Village Photo page
Full details in Vaughan's August newsletter
Watch out for the Friends next event, Wine Tasting on October 25th, which promises to be great fun when they "set France and Italy against each other in the light-hearted pursuit of knowledge in the fields of oenology and gastronomy." Details and tickets
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
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.
2001 Census Data
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.)
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
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.
Cople Festival 1971
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
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
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
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?
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
Jane Harvey asks "Is there anyone in Cople who can help in my local history research?"
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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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.
Cople Photo Albums
Many more of our Cople photo albums are back online
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
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.
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
Click here for the next meeting date
All members of the Council and local residents are invited to attend.
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
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.
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
Online map from the Environment Agency. Most of Cople seems clear, Water End has a risk from an extreme flood