March 2020

Dates to Remember

Mon 2 Mar  Parish Council –Village Hall – 8.00pm
Thurs 5 Mar Neighbourhood Plan Referendum
Sat 14 Mar Spring Litter Pick – The Green – 10.00am to 12.00noon
Wed 18 Mar Preston Village Society – Rosebank  – 8.00pm
Fri 20 Mar Posh v Plonk – Preston Trust Wine Evening – Village Hall
Sun 29 Mar Open Gardens and Tea – St Waldensbury
Tues 31 Mar St Martins Church Committee AGM – St Martins – 7.30pm
Sat 4 Apr The Great Easter Egg Hunt
Sat 27 June Scarecrow Festival


Neighbourhood Plan Referendum – Thursday 5th March

Your Parish – Your Future – Your Vote

The Referendum on the Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan is being held on 

Thursday 5 March. The polling station will be open in the village hall from 7.00am to 10.00pm. 

All residents are encouraged to vote on this important issue for Preston. If the outcome of the Referendum is positive and the Neighbourhood Plan is made, planning officers will have to use the Neighbourhood Plan and its policies when deciding on planning applications in the neighbourhood area. The Policies can be found on pages 27 – 56 of the Neighbourhood Plan.

The Neighbourhood Plan can be viewed online at: . A printed copy is available to view in The Red Lion during opening hours. A loan copy is also available to borrow from Wally Steele:

Anyone who has any questions before the Referendum can contact either Wally Steele on the above contact details or Margaret Trinder;


St Martin’s Church And All Saints’ Church Services

March Service Sidesman Reader
1st10.00amParish CommunionAndy ColeVeronica Williamson & Liz Hunter
   Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7, RCL p.105, Romans 5:12-19  Gospel:Matthew 4:1-11
Intercessions: Dawn Jenkins   Chalice: Dawn Jenkins
8th9.30amHoly CommunionRichard BlockleyHugh Reeves
   Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, RCL p.110  Gospel:John 3:1-17
Intercessions: Alec Dickinson   Chalice: Alec Dickinson
11.00amHoly Communion at All Saints’
15th8.00amHoly Communion (BCP) at All Saints’
9.30amHoly CommunionMalcolm LowleLiz Hunter
   Romans 5:1-11, RCL p.115  Gospel:John 4:5-42
Intercessions: Angela Fielding   Chalice: Meta Reeves
11.00amSunday Praise at All Saints’
22ndNo Service
No Service at All Saints’
29thNo Service
No Service at All Saints’
April Service Sidesman Reader
5th No Services at St Martins’until further notice
All services are at St. Martin's unless stated otherwise
Church cleaning at St Martin’s.

Every first Tuesday of the month at 4.00pm.

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

A Letter from Our Team Vicar

Since I last wrote, we have held a morning together as churches looking at our future. In fact trying to step into the future 5 years hence and asking how we want it to be then. 21 of us from St Martin’s Preston and All Saints St Paul’s Walden met to discuss this.

Three big themes emerge. One is, that both our churches will be ‘younger’ in five years time… because they will be serving children and young people to a far greater extent. The relationship with the two schools, already excellent because of their two headteachers, will have been strengthened. We foresee really strong bonds, and a shift in our age profile.

A second theme is that the church is more fully at the centre of our village communities, and recognised by the villages and others for being just that.

And the third theme is that our two churches will be interacting and engaging more with each other: sharing services more frequently, caring for our communities, and varying the types of service too.

Vision is one thing and we certainly need it. But as a mentor of mine said to me years ago: “There comes a point when strategy has to turn into action!” Over the next year or so we will together be identifying the handful of priorities for action that will turn our vision into reality. I hope that as many of you as possible will be engaged in this.

Meanwhile, we are now in the season of Lent, the time of lengthening days outside, and self- examination for Christians on the inside. Do make time for the Lent lunches in the Village Hall, Whitwell, and time for reflection for yourself, as we journey once more with Jesus to the cross.

With every good wish,




St Martin’s Church 120 Club Draw 2019/2020

The winners of the February draw in the 2019/20 120 Club (£30 each) were:

No. 116 Mr & Mrs R Vyvyan-Robinson
No.   98 Mr & Mrs M Kellard

This is the final draw of the 2019/20 year. Tickets for 2020/21 are now being raised automatically for those participants who have taken standing orders, others are being distributed to past participants for renewal. We welcome any new participants – tickets cost £20 for the year, with 25 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 on 457631.

St Martin’s Church Committee AGM

Tuesday 31st March at 7.30pm at the church. All on the church’s electoral roll are welcome to attend.

Open Gardens Day – Sunday 24th May – The 29th Year!

Many of our lovely gardens will be open to visitors this year again. There will be  

Teas in the Village Hall and BBQ and Plants on the Green as well as a spectacular Flower Festival in the Church. Please bear the Plant Stall in mind when you divide or propagate your plants this Spring!

If you have never opened your garden before but would like to do so this year or if you will be free to give a hand on the day, we will be delighted to hear from you! 

Liz 433859, Pam 422315 or Meta 456567.

Added note:

The Open Gardens this year is the last to be master-minded by Pam, Liz and Meta. After 15 years they feel they have served their time. Fresh blood is needed to keep this well-loved tradition going. Guidance is available for those who would like to contribute in this way to village life and church funds. If this strikes a chord with you please contact Meta on either  456567 or

Preston Cricket Club – Season 2020

We’re very much looking forward to the 2020 season and we will again field four Saturday cricket teams representing the village in the Saracens Herts League. The club will also have two Sunday sides with the Sunday First X1 in the Bedfordshire Cricket League. 

The Saturday First X1 will be playing the highest level of cricket the club has ever played in all its 130 years of history. The Championship division is one away from the top Premier division in one of the largest and most competitive cricket leagues in the UK. This will mean a change of format for some of the season with some matches starting at 11.00am and having to have the team fitted out in coloured ‘one day’ cricket kit. Season 2020 is certainly lining up as a significant milestone in the club’s history and we’re very proud by what has been achieved by the club over recent seasons – from achievements on the pitch as well as awards won by our ground team who make sure the ground looks stunning and beautifully maintained.

Preston CC First X1 now plays in a higher league than Hitchin, Stevenage and Knebworth and offers a great deal to anyone looking to get involved with local cricket and join a safe, progressive and inclusive club. A great deal of thanks to everyone who has helped support us over the last few seasons and enjoyed being part of the success – and all we ask is that support continues as we’re really going to need it! 

Our Junior Cricket will again be starting in April and it all promises to be a very busy, hugely challenging but hopefully very rewarding season for all involved and across all facets of the club. We’re always looking to welcome new players – senior and junior. We are also again always very keen to hear from anyone who may be open to helping us prepare cricket teas. It would be a huge help for us and I’d happily talk to anyone about what’s involved. We really do need some help on this if anyone is open to finding out more? is a good place to start and do please call Mark Waters  07796544683 for any questions. Hope to see you over the summer!

Posh vs Plonk Wine Evening – Village Hall – Friday 20 March

The Preston Trust committee would like to invite you to their upcoming Wine Evening:
Posh vs Plonk – but which is which – and which do you prefer?

Join us for a fun evening, where we will be tasting eight wines ‘blind’, comparing wine in pairs from the same region or grape variety – in each case, a decent, but lower value wine alongside a more expensive example. (Wines will range from £5 to £30 a bottle.) Is it worth paying more, or is it all hype? Can we find quality at lower price points, and is personal preference the most important differentiator? You be the judge!

No previous wine tasting experience is necessary. Open to all parishioners and Preston Trust Members over the age of 18.

Tickets are limited, so please email us at or call 07736 348655 to reserve your place. Alternatively, you can drop ticket requests through the letterbox at Wal’s, St Martin’s Place, Church Lane.

£10 for Preston Trust Members, £15 for Non-members – includes nibbles and cheese

We hope to see you there! – Fran, Preston Trust committee member

The Great Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday 4 April, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Dear Children, Parents and Guardians,

The Preston Trust committee would like to invite you to its Easter Egg Hunt (details below). We are asking for bookings so that we have enough eggs for everyone and so that if a child has any dietary needs they 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.

Follow a short trail through the village to where the Easter Eggs are, with things to do along the way… Will there be Easter Chicks hiding, bunny paw prints to hop along, questions to answer, challenges to try and new games to play? Come and find out! A great time to share with your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews!

We look forward to welcoming you – Rae, Preston Trust committee member

The Scarecrows are coming – Saturday 27 June

This year The Trust and PHC are organising a joint community fun day to celebrate Village Day and the 200th anniversary of the founding of Princess Helena College.

The Scarecrow trail will extend across the village and into the grounds of PHC.

Whether you’ve made a scarecrow in the past or this will be your first time, it would be great if you could make one to join this special, happy band of parishioners. Once again there will be Scarecrow Hotels – If you don’t want to make a scarecrow, why not host one?

More details to follow in the April newsletter and via the PNS.

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, then follow the links to Transport and Streets, Street Cleaning and Fly Tipping where there is a form to complete to report the details.

PC Johnie Streeter and PCSO Heather Burrows can be contacted regarding local community issues. Their contact details are as follows:

PC Johnie Streeter: 07525 905431 or 01438 757604

PCSO Heather Burrows: 07740 745168 or 01438 757604 or

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

Hitchin Foodbank

Many thanks for your ongoing support and contributions to the Hitchin Foodbank. Due to recent demand the following items are most urgently needed: 

sponge puddings, long life juice, UHT milk, as well as the usual products.

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.

The 2020 Spring Litter Pick: Saturday, March 14th, 10.00am – 12 noon

The Preston Trust committee would, once again, like to invite you to come and help pick up litter around the village and the parish.

Wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and bring your gardening/DIY gloves. Our helpful colleagues at NHDC/Urbaser will provide us with HiVis jackets, ‘litter-picker’ tools, black plastic sacks and disposable gloves. As usual, we will work in pairs along each lane and footpath, and bring the filled sacks back to The Green.

Just come along and lend a hand, please! This task does not take too long, nor require too much effort, and it really does make a difference! You are all very welcome!

Liz Hunter, Preston Trust committee member

Preston Village Society

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 18 March at Caroline Walford’s, Rosebank, Back Lane: Sam Hallas, Film Archivist for Hitchin Historical Society with several short early films, with sound, of events in Hitchin.

Open Gardens And Tea: St Pauls Waldenbury: Sun 29 March 2.00 pm – 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 Meta Reeves, 456567 or Sue Griffiths, 434194. They will also collect cakes if necessary.

A Lent Course on Praying With the Psalms

Wednesday afternoons from 2.00pm-3.00pm for 4 weeks beginning on 4 March. All sessions will take place at the vicarage except March 11th when we’ll meet at Crunnells Green House, Preston.  All welcome.