April 2023

Deadline for the May 2023 newsletter is 25 April

Update On PHC

The Parish Council would like to inform residents that The Door UK (www.thedooruk.com)

has been selected as the preferred bidder to buy PHC and return it to residential use as it was originally a house. The company specialises in restoring old and listed buildings into modern living spaces.

The whole site is included in the purchase. All the buildings will be restored into living accommodation and as far as is reasonably possible the gardens will be returned to their original state. Because of PHC’s Grade 11* Listing and its national importance, Historic England will be very involved in the restoration plans, as well as the NHDC Conservation Officer. A Conservation Architect has been commissioned to draw up the plans. Gardening Organisations, such as Hertfordshire Gardening Trust, will be contributing to plans for the gardens and grounds.

When plans are available, and prior to a planning application being submitted, drop-in sessions will be organised in the Village Hall so the local community can see what is being proposed and ask any questions they may have.

It is hoped that planning consent will be granted in about a year but it will be 3 – 4 years before the dwellings are occupied. The permissive path will remain open for the time being but this may be reviewed as part of the renovation of the site.

There will be no material changes to the wall, gates and hedge on School Lane and it is unlikely that there will be any impact from the development of the site on the immediate surroundings or the wider village community.

Parish Council Elections

On 4 May 2023 there will be elections for all members of the Parish Council. Anyone interested in standing for election should contact the Clerk for further information and a nomination pack.

Completed nomination forms must be returned to NHDC by 4pm on Tuesday 4 April 2023.

Clerk: Lisa Lathane:

Preston Celebrates The King’s Coronation

The Preston King’s Coronation Celebrations (PKCC) committee representing Preston Cricket Club, Preston Parish Council, St. Martin’s Church, The Preston Trust and The Red Lion has been formed to work together with Preston Nursery and Primary Schools, and you to create a wonderful celebration of the King’s Coronation and our special community.

Sunday 7th May starting at 12 00 am – The Coronation Big Lunch

A street party and picnic in front of The Red Lion with games and competitions on The Green.

This event is free, but we are asking you to book your places to ensure we have enough tables and chairs. There is a separate RSVP slip loose within the print edition of the newsletter and attached to the PNS message. As with the Queen’s Jubilee Street Party, we are asking you to cater for yourselves so that you may eat what, and when, you want. The Red Lion will be open, serving tea & coffee as well as its wonderful range of drinks, and there will be free squash and water on The Green.

Please join us for another afternoon of fun, festivities and friendship.

There will be many games that were played at Street Parties celebrating, the then, Prince Charles’ Investiture as the Prince of Wales including: Egg and Spoon Races, Three Legged Races and a Tug o’ War (both adults and children will be able to play all the games if they want). There will be 2 Competitions on the day. Both competitions are open to anyone who would like to take part.

1. The Great Preston Bake Off – Sunday 7 May

The Preston King’s Coronation Celebrations (PKCC) committee want you to amaze us with your cakes and bakes for our Coronation Big Lunch

Street Party. We want you to bake a sweet or savoury treat with a royal theme for judging at our Street Party. It can be anything you want to create as long as it’s decorated with a royal theme.

Entry is free and we will be splitting entrants into three age groups: children up to age 11, 12-17 year olds and 18+.There will be 1st 2nd and 3rd prizes awarded in each category and of course the glory of being the Preston ‘King’s Coronation’ Star Baker! The bakes will be judged by both look and taste with a prize awarded for the best looking bake and another for the tastiest. Can your bake win both?

If you’d like to be involved please contact me directly with the following details:

  • Your name
  • Which age group you are entering in to
  • Any possible allergens in your bake – this is important as we hope to share all bakes at the street party after judging

The deadline for notifying us of entries will be Sunday 19th April. Get Baking!!!

Please send notification of entries to:

2. The King’s Coronation Fancy Dress Parade and Competition – Sunday 7 May

Have you ever dreamed of being a King or Queen for the day

A guardsman, a page, maybe even a palace, or corgi at play?

Now’s your chance!

The Preston King’s Coronation Celebrations (PKCC) committee invite you to join The King’s Coronation Fancy Dress Parade and Competition, at the Big Lunch Street Party

You can come as anyone or anything you want, as long as you follow the theme of Royalty… There’s no need to book, simply come along on the day. Everyone taking part in the parade will be asked to gather when it is time for the procession to begin.

You are welcome to take part in the parade and not the competition, or in the competition and not the parade.

Entry is free and we will be splitting entrants into two age groups: Under 16 and 16+. There will be 1st 2nd and 3rd prizes awarded in each category. If you have any queries please contact

Monday 8 May – The Big Help Out
A FUNd Raising Walk for Local Good Causes Within the Parish.

The idea is that you pay a donation to come on the walk you choose, where you can enjoy the scenery, the company, learn things about the parish & surrounding countryside and there may even be a treasure hunt on the way…The money raised will go towards helping local good causes within the Parish.

Part of the King’s vision for this day and throughout Coronation Year is for charities to share what they do and encourage people to join them in volunteering. This is not possible for Preston on this day but everyone can join in one of the FUNd raising walks. The money raised will be used locally within the community to help others.

Once the routes have been recced and agreed we will be in touch to share more information, times and arrangements with you. (via the PNS, on Facebook & Instagram and a note delivered door to door )

If you have any suggestions, questions, or would like to offer to help please email:

or join us on:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/prestonscoronationcelebrations
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prestonscoronationcelebrations

With many thanks

David, Jane, Jo, Joyce, Malcolm, Paul, Rae, Richard and Vicky

(The King’s Coronation committee)

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services

Sunday 2nd April. Palm Sunday 9.30am




St Martin’s All Age Communion

Philippians 2: 5 – 11

Matthew 21: 1 – 11

All Saints All Age Communion

Thursday 6th April. Maundy Thursday  8.00pm All Saints Holy Communion (with feet washing) and stripping of the altars
Friday 7th April. Good Friday 10.00 – 12.00 St Martin’s Joint Children’s Good Friday Workshop
2.00 – 3.00pm All Saints. Last hour on the cross
Sunday 9th April. Easter Day 9.30am




St Martin’s Holy Communion

Acts 10: 34 – 43

Matthew 28: 1 – 10

All Saints Holy Communion

Sunday 16th April 10.00am Joint Service at St Martin’s

Acts 2: 14a, 22 – 32

Luke 24: 13 – 35

Sunday 23rd April 9.30am




St Martin’s Holy Communion

Acts 2: 14a, 36-41

Gospel: Luke 24: 13-35

All Saints Holy Communion

Sunday 30th April 10.00am Joint Service at All Saints – followed by APCM

Acts 2: 42 – end

John 10: 1 – 10

Sunday 7th May.
Thanksgiving after the Coronation of HM King Charles


St Martin’s Holy Communion

All Saints Holy Communion

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

A Letter From Our Team Vicar

At the heart of everything in our world, public or private, national or local, is the possibility of something better – of good coming out of the bad, of light even in the worst darkness. We may not think there is much light in Ukraine or Myanmar or among the victims of the Syrian/Turkish earthquake. And these are certainly dark, God-forsaken places. But repeatedly we see and hear of breath-taking courage, care, compassion and practical neighbourly help on the ground.

The crucifixion of Jesus, which we remember on Good Friday, was a disaster – for his disciples and for the wider followers to whom he had given hope, standing and the possibility of better things to come.

But soon, people came to see in the cross of Jesus that this was the place of glory, that so far from being a disaster it was in fact a triumph – God came and took the worst that the world could do and made of it a moment of freedom. Here, in the cross, the sin and suffering of the world were taken and absorbed, and it was done for our benefit.

Two days later, on Easter Day, God confirmed the victory of the cross by raising Jesus from the dead. I believe this is the supreme proof that there is always light in our darkness, good to come out of evil, the possibility that “all shall be well “. We will hold on to that whatever is happening to us or around us.

So I wish you every blessing for Easter.


St Martin’s Church 150 Club 2023/2024

The winners in the first draw (March) in the 2023/24 150 Club (£30 each) were:

No. 49 Mrs A C Morecroft
No. 105 Mrs R A Brenham

There are a few unsold tickets and we welcome any more participants – tickets cost £20 for the year, with 25 or more prizes of £30. This is an important source of income for St Martin’s church to help maintain the building and churchyard.  If you would like to join please call Richard Blockley

Hitchin Foodbank Shortages

The following items are the most urgently needed: Instant coffee (100g); 1ltr Long Life milk; 1ltr Long Life juice; Dried milk, Dried potato, Tinned tomatoes; Jam.

Please ensure items are undamaged and in date. Donations can be deposited in the blue box in the garage at Lychgate House, Church Lane, or at Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.  Thank you for your continued support; for more information, please visit letchworth.foodbank.org.uk

Village Day 1 July

This year’s Village Day falls on the birthday of a very special member of our community. Preston’s Red Lion became the first pub owned by members of a community on July 1st 1983. Happy 40th Birthday! Many of you will know about their amazing Birthday Bash in the evening but The Preston Trust would like to celebrate the pub throughout Village Day.

The Scarecrow Competition and Trail will have a theme this year of the 1980’s.

The range is fantastic, anything from Margaret Thatcher to Culture Club and Fraggle Rock which first hit our screens in 1983 ! If you rifle through your wardrobes you may still have your shoulder padded jackets and power belts to use.

As always, David and Jane Clark will be kindly supplying the straw needed. Please remember you do not have to live within the village to build a scarecrow. Anyone living in the Parish can bring their Scarecrows to one of the Scarecrow Trail Hotels along the route or leave them at Scarecrow Corner.

For all of you who have your old scarecrows please feel free to dust them off and use them again. You may also make a scarecrow, but not enter it into the competition if you would prefer not to. This year we’re asking if you would like to erect your scarecrows on Friday June 30th and not take them down until Sunday evening or even longer should you wish.

More about the day will be in following newsletters but we thought you might like to start planning your scarecrows now. We are really looking forward to seeing your creations and you on Village Day.

Liz Hunter and Rae Reynolds – The Preston Trust committee members

Parish Council Meetings

Parish Council Meeting: The next meeting will be held on Thursday 20 April at 8pm in the village hall. Any member of the public who would like to raise an issue to be discussed at this meeting should contact the Clerk.

Members of the public who would like to speak to the Parish Council in person should register with the Clerk prior to the meeting. Contact details are: Lisa Lathane, Clerk to the Parish Council:

Annual Parish Meeting: The Annual Parish Meeting is being held on Thursday 27 April at 8pm in the village hall. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

The Preston Trust Great Easter Egg Hunt and Trail 2023 Saturday 8th April 2.00pm – 5.00 pm (last entry 4.00 pm)

There are only 2 weeks to go to the Great Easter Hunt and Trail, but you still have time to book your place.

There are some great new games along the trail and different emoji puzzles to solve…

The Preston Trust committee would like to invite you all, once again, to its Great Easter Egg Hunt and Trail. We are asking for bookings, so that we have enough eggs and so that any child with dietary needs can still take part in the fun! Simply let us know any allergies or intolerances when you book.

Payment of £2 per child will be on the day.

To book, or to ask any questions, please

We are looking forward to welcoming you The Preston Trust committee.

Another Big Thank You to all the Litter Pickers!

The Spring Litter Pick held on Saturday, March 4th

On behalf of the Preston Trust committee, very many thanks again to the 18 parishioners who volunteered for our ‘Spring Clean’. It is really heartening to have such a cheerful and enthusiastic team, especially on a chilly morning!

We managed to tackle all the lanes and footpaths, with Hitchin Road being ‘the worst’ as usual. Two volunteers detected some smelly squashed plants and pairs of surgical gloves, partly buried by soil hidden in a ditch. We reported this suspicious material to the police; they have logged it on their district map. PLEASE do not touch any suspicious looking material – it may be contaminated and toxic. Take a photo, if you able to, and then report the location to the police.

Our thanks are also due to those walkers and dog-walkers who, regularly throughout the year, collect up litter which they see on their usual walks. We much appreciate this helpful ‘good-housekeeping’ – it really does make a visible difference!

Liz Hunter and Rae Reynolds, Preston Trust committee members

Neighbourhood Watch

The number to contact at North Herts Police for all non-emergencies (including witnessing of fly-tipping) is 101 or 01707 354000.

For removal of fly tipping which has already occurred, call NHDC 01462 474000 or online at www.north-herts.gov.uk, then follow the links to Transport and Streets, Street Cleaning and Fly Tipping where there is a form to complete to report the details. If you use the What3Words app, please include the three words for the location of the fly tipping.

PCSO Heather Burrows can be contacted regarding local community issues.
Contact details are as follows:

PCSO Heather Burrows: 07740 745168 or 01438 757604 or heather.burrows@herts.pnn.police.uk

In the event of an emergency or if you witness a crime taking place please call 999.

Reporting suspicious activity

Please report any suspicious activity or vehicles you may witness in the locality.
Call the police on the non-emergency number 101 or report it online by using the website www.herts.police.uk/report and follow the links.

Village Hall – Hire fees

Due to the rise in utility costs, hiring fees for the Village Hall are as follows:

Residents and local organisations £7.00 per hour
Non-residents £10.00 per hour
For booking enquiries please email Carol at:

Preston Village Hall Committee

Open Gardens And Tea: St Pauls Waldenbury: Sunday 2 April 2.00 -5.00 p.m

Would anyone be able to make a cake or two to sell with the tea? Whatever you enjoy making will be gratefully received. All proceeds to St Martin’s Church. Cakes can be delivered to Ita Leaver or Meta Reeves. They will also collect cakes if necessary.

St Martins Coffee Morning

The coffee morning held at St Martin’s Church on Sunday 19th March raised £1319 for the British Red Cross earthquake appeal

Thank you so much to all those who came for your support.

St Martin’s Church Committee.