Ravensden through the eyes of the Women’s Institute of 1969

A scrapbook of Ravensden in 1965

(Click photos to enlarge)




RAVENSDEN

Ravensden is a scattered but picturesque village situated on undulating clay lands on the north periphery of Bedford, the boundary being approximately one and a quarter miles from the town centre.

The population is approximately 550.

The main occupation is farming and in all there are eighteen farms.



On leaving Bedford by the B660 and crossing into Ravensden, there is a difference in the colour of the road, the street lighting ends and the derestriction signs appear.

On the left of the road is Jackman’s farm where special sheep are raised, followed by Little Highfields Farm (which is a Bedfordia Farm) where the speciality is pigs.

Then on both sides of the road is open grassland for approximately 300 yards and it is on the right that Bedford Corporation plans the development of Mowsbury Park.

There is a little brook offering hours of enchantment to boys and girls and frequently bicycles are to be seen lying at the roadside. In the future there will be a sewage pumping station at this spot and by the end of September the workmen’s hut was erected and painted.

Houses start again and amongst them is Bushy Croft Farm, followed by Echodene Farm with Jersey cows and pigs. Here too, Jackdaws nest in one of the unused chimneys.

Opposite Echodene Farm is "Shortlands", the home of Mrs. Bright, Secretary of Ravensden Women’s Institute. She was very lucky this summer as she accompanied her husband on a business trip to Sweden, followed by a private holiday in Norway.

Now the climb starts up Cleat Hill, the top of which is 225 feet. Many hedgehogs lose their lives crossing this road. At Cleat hill is Mowsbury, the site of an ancient Saxon settlement. There is also a house of the same name belonging to Mr. & Mrs. Seeking, who left in March on a tour of the world. Their house at the moment is in the possession of Mr. Mrs. Hymoz, Americans, and an "au pair" girl has been helping there.

Mr Cromwell, organist at All Saints Church, Ravensden, lives on the other side of the road at "Poplar Cottage" and Mr. Rogers, joint Treasurer of Ravensden Village Hall Committee, at "the Crest".

At the bend of the road stands Cleat Hill Farm. The house is constructed of hand made bricks, which were made from the clay excavated from the local clay pits, which are numerous but now disused. Here live Mr. & Mrs. J. Crouch and Mr. & Mrs. C. Crouch – both ladies were founder members of the Institute and Mrs. C. Crouch is now the Treasurer.

This farm specialises in wheat and sheep. Gymkhanas are frequently held at the farm. A little foal was born here in May and gained awards at the Bedfordshire Agricultural show in July.

Opposite Cleat Hill Farm stands an example of modern architecture. The house was erected in 1965.



The district of Ravensden is a haven for birds. Chaffinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch , Garden Warbler, Yellow Hammer, Jackdaw, Bullfinch, Seagull, Magpie, Lapwing, Wren, Jay, Robin, Green Woodpecker and may more are seen here. One Jay is so tame that it feeds on the lawn of "Clayton" and at this house there is also a tame Sparrow.



Most people other than the farmers work outside the village of Ravensden, chiefly in Bedford or at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Thurleigh, a nearby village. Many people have moved into new houses and bungalows during the last twelve years. There are one or two living in caravans. The children in this part of Ravensden attend either Brickhill School (Bedford) or private schools in Bedford. Transport to Bedford is by Omnibus, but as the service is very poor the majority of people travel to and from their places of work by motor car. The young folk go by bicycle or on scooter.

The types of work followed are building, estate agency, civil service, plumbing, nursing, dentistry and hair dressing.



Mr. Page the Postman lives almost opposite Cleat Hill Farm and, as well as having his occupation, is a market gardener who supplies the residents of Ravensden with vegetables.



In March, geese were seen on ice, a pair of wild ducks was nesting on 26 Acres Pond and in April traces of a fox were seen. Was it the same fox which devoured the ducks at the local shop and was it the same fox seen at the bottom of Cleat Hill crossing the road on a Saturday in June?



Graze Hill branches off Kimbolton Road and Cleat Hill and here, at 8.30am on September 29th, the road was obstructed by a low trailer.

Graze Hill goes past many farms, the first being Graze Hill Farm where winter wheat was planted. The owner, Mr. Wessley, is absent in Canada. This is followed by Highfields for pigs and crops, Traylesfield – arable and Manor Farm for beef cattle and corn crops. The house is most attractive and belongs to Mr. Jefferies, chairman of Ravensden Parish Council.

The road then turns on to Thurleigh Road where we have Ravensden House, formerly the Squires Home. This house now belongs to Mr. Fairfield and is divided into flats. Mr. Fairfield farms the land.

Behind is Brook Farm where beef and cattle are reared. Along this road are three council houses and at last, after six years, a bungalow has been completed. Before reaching Ravensden Cross Roads stands Willow Farm where cereals and Brussels sprouts are grown.



At Ravensden Cross Roads is to be found the only shop (also serving as a post office), owned by Mr. Ward and the only garage, owned by Mr. Storton. Here stood too, until October 27th, the village name sign which was moved on that day to a position on the roadside verge between Bulls corner and the Village Hall. This was considered to be a safer, more central site.





The village is well served with mobile shops and the mobile library calls once a fortnight at Ravensden Cross Roads.



There are three public houses in Ravensden, one being the Blacksmiths Arms at the Cross Roads. Here skittles and darts are played regularly. On one of the outside walls can be seen a very old cycle advertisement.





A few hundred yards up Kimbolton Road is the Grange, which used to be the home of Colonel Sunderland – as a result this part of the road is known as Sunderland Hill. The Grange is now let out as flats. Mr. Sparks lives in one of the flats and has a wonderful collection of exotic birds and peacocks.

Grange Farm is farmed by Mr. Cave and sheep and cattle are reared. Many of the women in this area work the fields in the summer.

Ravensden Wood yields many wild flowers. A pair of red squirrels has been seen. There are Badgers in the wood. A heron has been seen in the pond and the rabbits and hares are in the neighbouring fields.



Returning to the Cross Roads, every school morning boys and girls, over the age of eleven, wait for the school bus to take them to Newnham Secondary School in Bedford. This summer four of the pupils, Jennifer Connolly, Audrey McKie, Frank Pell and Alan Wilde spent a week in Belgium with a party from that school.

Going east from Ravensden Cross the Police house is reached, P.C. Wilde is in charge. It was here that the skylark was heard during the first week of February.

During 1965 the police work in Ravensden has been mostly of routine character, but there have been several events that may be of interest. On 23rd September, there was a traffic census in Kimbolton Road near the foot of Cleat Hill from 6am – 10pm. The purpose of this census was to estimate the volume of traffic using the route regularly.

During the year there have been seven accidents, one of which was fatal, four resulted in injury and two resulted in no injury.

Crime is fortunately not very prevalent in the village, but in 1965 three cars were stolen and there were three house break-ins.

The routine duties of the Ravensden constable are much the same as any other country station. They include the patrolling of the beat sometimes by pedal cycle and sometimes by motor cycle. In the case of the Ravensden constable, the area includes the adjoining villages of Wilden and Renhold and covers an area of approximately 14 square miles, the biggest rural beat in the north of the county. Much of the constable’s time, especially in Summer, is taken up in visiting the unoccupied houses. The stock movement registers kept on every farm must be signed every three months. Stray dogs are also plentiful in Ravensden as this area, being so near the town, seems a favourite place for the abandonment of unwanted animals. There was one case of suspected swine fever and one of suspected anthrax - fortunately neither was confirmed. There has been no case of fowl pest this year – the first time for three years that the village has not had at least one case.

One unusual job concerning animals was when a stray Billy goat was found wandering about Cleat Hill and had to be caught and tethered in a near by field until the owner was found.

In February, Police Constable Wilde completed a three month course as ‘aid to C.I.D’ in Bedford.

Accidents have periodically occurred at the Cross-Roads and on June 28th a meeting took place there between safety representatives and the Parish Council to discuss the speed limit.

In the vicinity swallows were seen and the cuckoo heard on April 21st.

On Sunday December 26th a rare traction engine passed along Old Way Road.



The Hunt met at Ravensden Cross Roads on October 30th and on December 24th a photo was taken as the hunt moved off.





A little further along Old Way Road is the Zion Baptist Chapel of Ravensden and near here an Oak tree was struck by lightening in a violent thunderstorm on August 10th. Much activity is connected with the Zionist Chapel. There are three services every Sunday (including Sunday School) and some weeks, three meetings a week – one for the young people and a Prayer Meeting for older members. In July the Sunday School scholars together with their parents and friends visited Skegness.

Harvest thanksgiving was a very busy time and as usual this was held on the third Sunday and Monday in October – three services on the Sunday and on the Monday evening a service followed by supper or rather a banquet: the produce and flowers were distributed to needy Old Aged Pensioners in Bedford.

The wedding of Gillian Ann Stambridge and John Edward Daniels took place on January 30th. On December 10th Yvonne Connolly married Peter Lee.

A Carol Service was held at the Chapel on December 15th. Carol singing tours of Ravensden are organised each year and once again a group of friends from the Chapel (complete with small organ) raised money for the Helen Keller Homes for Blind Children.

One activity which was carried out at the Chapel was the recording of well loved music and also some services – these were loaned or sent free, sometimes complete with a tape recorder.

About 300 yards from the Chapel is Tycroes Farm where pigs are bred. Mr. Jeffs, the owner of the farm, is a very active member of the Chapel and organised the Carol singing tour.

Old Way Road, as well as others, was a picture in the latter part of April when the Hawthorn was in leaf and the Blackthorn was in flower.

Along this road on September 17th when the winds were very strong during the night, a large branch was broken off an Ash Tree.

The junction of Church Hill with Old Way Road is marked by a signpost and this point is known as Bulls Corner - the height here is only 118 feet. The old cottage was pulled down and rebuilt and now looks a delightful house.

Along the road to Renhold are two more farms – Struttle End specialising in poultry and Home Farm where cereals are grown.



Coming back to Bull’s Corner and before the brook is reached, stands Ravensden Village Hall.


This hall was constructed twelve years ago – it is smallish but delightful with a very good floor for dancing. There are many trees in the grounds of the Village Hall, including Laburnum and Hawthorn and a Red Oak Tree – a gift from the members of Ravensden Women’s Institute in March.

The Village Hall Committee meets at the Hall on the first Monday evening of every Month

Chairman and TreasurerMr. MacDonald
SecretaryMr. Lee
Bookings Secretary and 
Joint TreasurerMr. Rogers
Members of the CommitteeMr. BrownMr. Lambert
 Mr. CrouchMr. Prescott
 Mr. OwenMr. Ward
 Mr. A. FensomeMr. Whitelock
 Mr. H. FensomeMrs. Connolly
 Mr. W FensomeMrs. W.Fensome
 Mr. GibsonMrs. Lynch
 Mrs. Wilde 

Two special dances were run by the Village Hall Committee on 26th March and 12th November.

Once a month, on a Tuesday afternoon, there is a health clinic in the hall, serving not only Ravensden but also Renhold and Wilden.

The Hall may be hired for dances, parties, wedding receptions and Angel Owens’ twenty-first birthday party was held there on July 17th.

Here are the principal functions held in the hall from January to December 1965

Wedding ReceptionsTwo from Little Staughton
 Two from Bedford
 Two from Bedford (Jamaicans)
 One from Renhold
 One from Ravensden
 One from Thurleigh
Twenty-firstTwo from Ravensden
Birthday PartiesTwo from Bedford
Ravensden Women's InstituteTen monthly meetings
 Ten Committee Meeetings
 Over-60's tea party
 Group Meeting
 Whist Drive
 Sixteen Country-Dance Classes
Manager of Barclays BankRetirement Party On 6th March
North Bedfordshire Young Farmers ClubTwo dances
Bedford Town Cricket ClubAnnual Dance 23rd April
Bedford Junior Chamber of CommerceTwo Cheese and Wine Parties
Bedford Hockey ClubDance on 3rd September
R.A.E. ThurleighParty on 30th October
Orange Lodge (N.I.) Bedford BranchDinner and dance on 16th November
Eastern Electricity Social ClubChristmas Party on 20th November
Conservative PartyBazaar and Whist Drive on 4th December


The most regular users of the hall are the members of Ravensden Women’s Institute.



The monthly meeting is held on the third Thursday of every month, except August, and the committee meeting on the previous Thursday. It is a very active Institute with thirty-nine members including three junior members.

The Office bearers for 1965-1966 were:-

PresidentMrs. Prescott
Vice-PresidentMiss Swales
SecretaryMrs. Bright
TreasurerMrs. C. Crouch
CommitteeMrs. ConnollyMrs. Owen
 Mrs. O. FensomeMrs. Wilde
 Mrs. HargreavesMrs. Winterbottom

As well as the regular monthly meetings there are extra meetings, one being on the occasion of the planting of the Red Oak Tree.

To all the women and children and men
 Who live in the village of Ravensden
  To celebrate our Jubilee
   We're going to plant a little tree
    We hope you all will come and see
     At the Village Hall the Ceremony
      (And after, there's a cup of tea, it's free)
       On March the Twentieth
        The Hour of three.

The day, from the weather aspect, was appalling and it was amazing that so many came to watch in the driving rain. Later, the children enjoyed games in the Hall. The first spade-full of soil was scattered by Audrey McKie while Mrs. Brent held the little tree in position. The work was finished by the President, Mrs. Prescott, while Mrs. Hargreaves, the Vice-President, leaned on her spade.

On May 11th the President, Mrs. Prescott, with Mrs. Owen (Junior) and Mrs. D. Harrison attended the Jubilee Luncheon at Bedford Corn Exchange.

A Member was chosen to go to the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on May 31st, in connection with the Golden Jubilee Celebration, and the lucky person was Mrs. Hoare.

Every year the members of the Institute treat the over-60’s of Ravensden to a coach trip and a meal – it is always a mystery tour and this year on May 31st they returned to the hall for tea and entertainment.

In connection with the Institute, Upholstery classes were held at the School from September to November. Country-dance classes were in full swing from January to April and also from September to November. Members of The Institute entered the Collage Competition organised by the Bedfordshire Federation of Women’s Institutes, also the Golden Wedding Competition at the Bedfordshire Agricultural Show on July 17th.

The Institute endeavours to widen members' interests, so an effort is made to arrange outings whenever possible. This year members visited Avon Cosmetics arriving home with perfume, the Ideal Exhibition in March, the Royal Show at Stoneleigh Park on July 8th, Pork Pie and Brawn making demonstration at Poddington on July 22nd and Bournville Factory on September 6th where members not only had tea but also received a gift of chocolates. To complete a good year of outings, thirty members and two friends had a splendid birthday outing on October 21st to Northampton Repertory Theatre. The show was "Design for Living". Afterwards a meal was enjoyed at Wedgwood Café, Northampton.



From the Hall, one crosses the brook and there some fish may be seen. Perch, Chub, three Spine Stickle Back, ten Spine Stickle Back, Stone Loach and Minnow.

A moorhen’s nest was sighted on the bank of the brook.

The road climbs steeply past the Plantation on the right, where there are squirrels. The Case is Altered is on the left. This public house was once the law court and later the parish workhouse. On September 18th, the water tap outside The Case is Altered was damaged in a slight road accident. Mrs. Peet applied for a spirit licence on September 27th.

A height of 236 feet is reached at the top of the hill and there stands the Church of All Saints looking down over undulating country. A similar view is shared by "Springfield" which stands on the bend of the hill and is farmed by Mr. Franks and by "White Gates" where lives the Superintendent of the British Nursing Association Mrs. Carter.



The Church of All Saints is twelfth century and has three bells, the oldest of which was cast in 1603.

VicarRev. L.B. Impson
Church WardensMr. J.W. McKieMr. R. Ford
P.C.C. SecretaryMr. D. Wilde
P.C.C. TreasurerMr. R. Ford
OrganistsMr. R. CromwellMr. R. Crane
Churchyard supervisorMr. W. Fensome
Pledge SecretaryMr. D.W. Brown
Members of the ParochialMr. J. W. McKieMrs. Williams
Church CouncilMr. Mrs. HargreavesMr. D.Brown
 Mr. Mrs. W. FensomeMr. Seeking
 Mrs. Buckley

The Annual General Meeting of the Parochial Church Council was held on March 15th and meetings were also held on July 20th and on November 15th. These meetings were held in the Village School.

On September 23rd and on Sunday September 26th the Church was beautifully decorated for the Harvest Festival. The Vicar acted as auctioneer at the Harvest Sale held at the School on Monday September 27th. The sale was well attended and the sum of £17 was raised.

The Church magazine used to appear monthly as a proper magazine. However it ceased to exist abruptly and as a temporary measure a newsletter appeared during the last three months of the year.

Only one marriage took place in the Church. On June 12th Elizabeth Ann Perrin married John William Sabey.

Baptisms
May 9thMandy Jane Roberts
October 24thTracy Ann Matthews
October 31stMichael Kefford King
October 31stDarren James Smith
November 21stMandy Jean Brown
December 19thJonathan Peter Voyce
 
Burials
June 1stHepzibah Lily Chessum
September 27thThomas E.C. Mayes

The Christmas Bazaar in aid of Church Funds was held at the Village Hall on Saturday November 20th. Inspite of the bad weather the Bazaar was well attended and £78 was raised.

There was a Church Outing on November 23rd when thirty-eight people went to the Northampton Repertory Theatre to see Jane Eyre and enjoyed a meal at the Wedgwood Café.



The road takes a sharp turn to the right. At the corner on the left stands "Rose Lea", a delightful thatched cottage fronted by tall cedars. Mr. Langley, who is a Solicitor in Bedford, lives here.



On the opposite side of the road is the third public house in Ravensden – The Horse and Jockey. Mr. Whitelock is the licensee, and a darts team has been formed and plays regularly in a darts league.



A fire occurred on December 22nd, the fire having been caused by an electric blanket. Next door to the Horse and Jockey stands the picturesque thatched cottage –Oak Cottage. This was the public house in olden times.



Now we reach Ravensden Village School on the left – a delightful little school with thirty pupils. The headmistress is Mrs. A. Buckley and there are two part-time teachers – Mrs. Cavan and Mrs. Sawyer. The terms this year were January 5th to April 9th, May 3rd to July 23rd, September 7th to December 17th. The half term holidays were 22nd –23rd February, 7th – 11th June, and 25th - 29th October.



Ravensden is rich in flora and the pupils, in addition to the normal school work, collected the following flowers.

RareFairly uncommon
Grass VetchlingBroom RapeCommon Twayblade
Common BuckthornYellow ArchangeleBee Orchard
Corn ButtercupBristly Ox-TongueCommon Dodder
 Strawberry CloverHerb Paris
 
Others
Dog DaisyBeaked ParsleyGroundsel
Red & White CloverTeaselLady's Bedstraw
ColumbineDocksCommon Sowthistle
PoppiesMarsh ThistleCorn Sowthistle
Yellow BrionyMeadow SweetColtsfoot
Creeping CinquefoilSilver WeedNipplewort
AgrimonyWhite CampionPlantain
YarrowGreat Hairy WillowLords and Ladies
Round Headed RampionBay Willow HerbSun Spurge
ChickweedKnot WeedNettles
Shepherd's PurseGreat MulleinDeadly Nightshade
IvyTraveller's JoyHerb Robert
PignutBlack and White BryonyCut-leaved Craneshill
HemlockHoary PlantainHop Trefoil
Cow ParsleyDewberrySelf Heal
Goose GrassLarger BindweedGround Ivy
Gypsy WortHedge MustardHedge Woundwort
Dog RoseBirdsfoot TrefoilDog Violet
Scarlet PimernelMeadow VetchlingBluebell
Spindle TreeCowslipSpeedwell
BlackthornPrimroseLesser Celandine
Purple OrchisJack-by-the-HedgeLesser Knapweed
HoneysuckleBlack NightshadeLady's Smock
MelilotWoody Nightshade 

The Pupils had varied classroom interest:-

GoldfishCaddis worms, beetles and larvae
HydraDragonfly larvae
Newts and their eggsMites
Frog and toad spawnMiniature bi-valves

They also had spiders, stick insects and their young, a mouse, a wormery and an indoor garden.

The following flowers are grown in school –

Hyacinths, Roman Hyacinths, double tulips, Narcissi, Cheerfulness, Daffodils, Crocuses, Iris Reticulata, Fritillary, Gloxinia and Begonai.

Basket work, flower arrangement and decorative stitchery were taught.

There were various school excursions.

January 1stPantomime Aladdin
SeptemberVisit to Priory Printing Press in Bedford
June 25thVisit to London to see St. Paul's
December 31stPantomime Dick Whittington

Prize giving was held on July 20th.

A Bring and Buy Sale was held on October 20th and the sum of £25 was raised – this was a record.

Plans for the new school are still being discussed but there is no definite news. However one improvement was made – Elsan toilets were installed at the school in February and, as from April, Bedford Rural District Council undertook to empty them weekly and so relieved Mrs. Paulger, the caretaker, of the job.

There is a school Management Board comprising

ChairmanRev. L.B. Impson
CorrespondentMr. Hargreaves
MembersMr. D. BrownMr. Brown (Great Barford)
 Mrs. McKieMr. Jefferies

The trustees of Ravensden Town and Poor Estate Charity met at the School on December 7th.

There are seven trustees – three representatives and four co-optative. The representative Trustees are appointed by Ravensden Parish Council for a term of four years, and the Co-optative Trustees must be persons residing or carrying on business in or near Ravensden and they are appointed for a term of eight years.

RepresentativeMr. R.H. WilesMr. J.C. Langley
 Mr. J. Crouch
Co-optativeMr. B. JefferiesMr. R. Watson
 Mr. S. H. WardRev L.B. Impson
SecretaryMr. P. C. Wallinger

The Chairman in 1965 was Mr. B. Jefferies.

The income of the Charity this year was divided in the following ways.

    1. A contribution towards the maintenance of the school at Ravensden.
    2. Money gifts to widows and necessitous persons in Ravensden.
    3. Supply of coal to deserving and necessitous persons in Ravensden.

The Ravensden Parish Council meets at the School.

ChairmanMr. Jefferies
MembersMr. JeffsMr. Wiles
 Mr. MacDonaldMr. Taylor
 Mr. McKieMrs. Paulger
ClerkMr. Wallinger

January 29th Special meeting to consider planning application for housing development in Church End.
March 2nd Parish Council Meeting followed by Annual General Meeting.
June 1st Parish Council Meeting.
October 1st Parish Council Meeting.
December 7th Parish Council Meeting - Complaints were made about the disgraceful state of the road at
  Church End due to the building development.

A social evening was held at the School on Saturday 10th April for the presentation of a book of organ voluntaries to Mr. Harrison when he retired as evening organist at the Church of All Saints, Ravensden.



The Church End part of Ravensden has changed beyond recognition during this year. The land on the left hand side of the road was farmland and, until late December 1964, there was a farmhouse. However it was demolished and the builders moved in. The first of the new houses was occupied by Mr. & Mrs. Milnes on 20th May. In the months of August and September more houses were completed and by December 31st ten of the houses were occupied.










The electricity failed at Church End on the evening of September 30th, and there was no Electricity from 9am – 4.30pm on Saturday October 2nd.

The residents of Church End work in Bedford or at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Thurleigh or at Luton or commute to London.

Here the bus service is even worse that at Kimbolton Road. Children attending schools in Bedford must travel by car as there is no bus in the morning. Residents without cars are only able to reach Bedford on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings, the buses leaving Church End at 9.50am Wednesday and Friday and 10.40am on Saturday. Letters are delivered about 8am and 2.30pm, milk at 11.30am and newspapers from midday.



The president of the Women’s Institute, Mrs. Prescott, lives in "Ros-Cluaran" and for all persons interested the name is the Gaelic for Rose and Thistle.

Many of the meetings connected with this scrap book were held at her house.





A little further along stand "Northfields", the home of Mr. MacDonald and four partly thatched cottages and these cottages have no running water. Water has to be taken from the water tap and in winter this must be protected by sacks otherwise the supply freezes.





On the opposite side to "Northfields" are large Elm Trees which are protected by an official order. Unfortunately one of the trees was blown down on Thursday December 9th and telephone wires were pulled down as well as a telephone pole, and telephones were not working until midday on Saturday.

The land lying between the new houses and Kimbolton Road which was Top Hill Farm, is now farmed by Mr. Donkin - cereals, potatoes and brussel sprouts are grown.

Church End has many birds – Blackbirds, Missel Thrushes, Starlings, Crows, Rooks, Coal Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Owls, Moorhens, Partridges and Pheasants.

A satellite was seen at 3am on August 7th and the American Satellite Echo II was observed at approximately 8.15pm on September 20th.

A cuckoo was seen in flight on Friday June 4th.



Now turning to Green Lane, the last farm in the village is reached – Glebe Farm. The owner is Mr. J. W. McKie and he farms sixty acres. He has a pedigree herd of fifty Friesian Cows – the Bonnie Herd, also Suffolk sheep and poultry.

In 1965 Mr. McKie had the highest milk herd average in Great Britain – 2,000 gallons per cow, 21,115 at 4.42% butter-fat. He won the Friesian Cup in the Bedfordshire Dairy Herds Competition gaining 4,069 points. For the second year in succession he gained the agricultural Executive Cup for the highest milk and butter-fat average over three lactations, Guillyhill Janna 2nd, top yielding Friesian cow in the National Dairy Herds Competition, gaining 2,654 points. Mr. McKie was very successful at a pedigree Friesian Sale at Reading in December.

Green Lane is a very attractive right of way connecting Church End and Kimbolton Road and is rich in flora – grass, Vetchling, meadow Vetchling, Melilot, birds foot trefoil, spindle tree, spurge laurel, to mention only a few. The hedges are Hawthorn, bramble and dog rose and are covered in blossom in early summer and fruit from September onwards.

In February, the pond along the lane was frozen – seen by four teenagers from Church End – Andrey McKie, Frank Pell, Elizabeth Hargreaves, Richard Jackson, also Meg, the farm dog from Glebe Farm.



On Kimbolton Road, almost opposite the end of Green Lane, stands the Water Tower (complete with multi-signals aerials) built on the highest ground in the district.






Now that we have come to the end of our trail
We write an appendix to compass the tale
Of Ravensden's countryside, hedges and fields
Of seed-time, of harvest, of ploughing and yields.
Of fur and of feathers, of flowers and trees.
Of butterflies, berries, of honey and bees.
And how our church keyhole is high as St. Paul's Steeple
And perhaps, best of all, about Ravensden people.




Compiled by Ravensden Women’s Institute

Contributors:

Mrs. A. Bright   Mrs. A. Buckley
Mrs. M. Cavan   Mrs. M. Crouch
Mrs. G. Hargreaves   Mrs. S. Prescott
Mrs. B. Wilde   Mr D. Bright
C. Crouch Jnr.   Mr. C. Hargreaves
Mr. D. Wilde



From the original Scrapbook, typeset for this site by Marty Lund-Conlon

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