May 2020

As all local events have been cancelled due to Covid 19 – there are no dates to remember.

COVID 19: Preston Help Line

Preston Parish Council and The Preston Trust would like to remind Preston residents that the helpline continues to be available during the corona virus situation with a large number of willing volunteers. Anyone who requires help with shopping, collecting prescriptions, collecting hot food from the Red Lion, walking their dog or would like to have a chat with someone should contact the Preston helpline in one of the following ways:

The phone line and emails are monitored daily from 7.30am to 9.30pm.

Please note that if a call comes in after 8 30pm it may not be possible to link the caller to a volunteer until the following day unless the issue is urgent.

The helpline will continue for as long as it is needed.

Please stay safe and remember to follow Government guidance in order to save lives.

COVID-19 and the Newsletter

Producing our Parish Newsletter is a community initiative. Between us, we have taken steps to protect both the volunteers who produce and deliver as well as our readers. We have reduced the number of people involved in production – Howard edited the newsletter and e-mailed it as a Word file for printing; Rae and Wal printed, folded and sorted into delivery rounds this month; each delivery round was laid out separately for contact free collection.

St Martin’s Church
Services And Readings For May

We do not know yet when we will be able to open our churches for public worship. It would be safe to assume that we will continue to provide a service by video from the vicarage until further notice.  Below I set out the readings for each service to be transmitted in May.

May 3. Easter 3 Acts 2:42 – end
John 10:1–10
May 10. Easter 4 Acts 7:55 – end
John 14:1–14
May 17. Easter 5 Acts 17:22–31
John 14:15–21
May 24. Easter 6 Acts 1:6–14
John 17:1–11
May 31. Pentecost Acts 2: 1–21
John 7:37–39

Please do call me if you need further clarification
Stephen Fielding

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

St Martin’s Church 120 Club Draw 2020/2021

The winners in the first two draws in the 2020/21 120 Club (£30 each) were:

[hr] March
No. 48 Mr R J Palmer
No. 130 Mrs C J Grout
No. 43 Dr J H A Barker
No. 111 Mr & Mrs P Diamond

The Vicar Writes

Writing a letter for the newsletter always involves a bit of thinking forward. Since COVID-19 hit our world, there is a double uncertainty – we cannot be sure how soon we will be getting back to a semblance of normality.

It seems that we will have some weeks more of lockdown or similar disruption. You will have your own means of adapting. You may have caught up with things you have told yourself repeatedly you needed to do but hadn’t done.

How might we deepen our faith over the next few weeks? It might for example be a really good use of time to sit quietly at the start of the day and to think about a person who has been very special for you and to thank God for them. On other days you might want to think about somebody against whom you are still feeling resentment. If you can, you may want to think about whether that resentment is helping you, or whether the braver and frankly shrewder choice might not be to forgive that person… try to let the resentment go.

This period of confinement is also a really good time to read the Bible slowly. It always helps in fact to read and re-read a passage slowly. When you do, just note what words jump out at you. Reflect on what the word might be saying to you.

COVID-19 has been a disaster for many in our country. It has also brought out reserves of service and courage by so many – doctors, nurses, health workers in care homes, delivery drivers, refuse collectors, supermarket and other shop workers. We owe them such a massive debt. I have also noticed what good neighbours we have in our villages.

I hope it is not too long before our churches can be open again and our lives opened up to be together once more.

With every blessing,

New Pictures On The Preston Website

Several local artists and photographers have shared some of their work for inclusion on the Preston website. You may have noticed new photographs on the home page. If you haven’t, please take a look, you will be rewarded with stunning pictures from around our beautiful parish. With more being contributed we plan to keep this display changing. One or more galleries of drawings, paintings and photographs, created and taken by some of our residents and friends of Preston will be included when time permits.

Everyone sees something different in an image so please share any you’ve created that you think someone else might like to see. For artwork and photos, you can contact Wal via the Photos Contact Form or Wal’s e-mail and Rae’s phone number published in the print edition of this newsletter.

Preston Neighbourhood Plan Hard Back Copies

During the various stages of producing the Preston Neighbourhood Plan, the Steering Group has been asked regularly by a number of residents if they could have a copy of the Neighbourhood Plan as a high quality printed and bound book. This has been organised with the printers who produced Philp Wray’s book: A History of Preston in Hertfordshire which was published in 2015 and who now trade as Print2Demand.

The Neighbourhood Plan copies will be of the same quality as Philip Wray’s book. They will be full colour, high quality, proper hardback copies with a sewn binding. The minimum 25 copies has now been exceeded so an order will definitely be placed. The price will be determined by the final number of copies ordered and at the time of writing it is likely that the cost will be between £14.50 and £19.50 per copy.

We would like to encourage anyone who has not yet ordered their copy (or copies) to do so as soon as possible

Please contact us via the online order form at or the contact details published in the print edition of this newsletter, PNS and Parish Council e-mails.

Closing date for orders is Tuesday 5 May.

The actual cost will be confirmed to those who have ordered copies before the order is submitted to the publisher with details of how to pay.

If you would like to look at the Neighbourhood Plan online to decide if you want to order a hardback copy, please visit and follow the link (10 lines down the page) to Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan 2018 – 2031

The book will contain all 112 pages of the plan. In addition to the 27 pages which detail the planning policies there are:

    • Chapters on the history, heritage, buildings and natural environment of Preston
    • The outline story of writing our plan, its objectives and our community rights
    • Over 150 photographs from around the parish
    • 23 annotated maps

Preston Parish Council AGM: Wednesday 6 May

Preston Parish Council’s AGM will be held on Wednesday 6 May at 8pm via Zoom video conferencing. Anyone who would like to join in the electronic meeting should contact Lisa Lathane, Clerk to the Parish Council via the Parish Council contact form, or the details published in the print edition of this newsletter, by Friday 1 May. A link to join the meeting will be emailed about half an hour before the meeting is due to start.

Anyone who would like to join the Parish Council database which keeps residents informed of Parish Council matters, including planning applications, should also contact Lisa Lathane, Clerk to the Parish Council, details as above.

Dog Fouling

Preston Parish Council would like to thank everyone who always clears up after their dogs. They would, however, like to remind a minority of dog owners that it is their responsibility to clear up after their animals, something which really isn’t difficult to do. There are dog bins in various areas of the village to help residents and visitors. It is not pleasant for people to have to clear up after another person’s animal.

Please help to keep Preston a dog faeces free zone so that we can all enjoy a healthy and attractive environment. Evidence of dog fouling can be reported to NHDC on 01462 474000 or online at, then follow the links from environment and planning.

Permissive Path In Wain Wood

The Parish Council has been working for about a year with Pilkington Farms Partnership and Hertfordshire County Council to create a Permissive Path in Wain Wood. A Permissive Path is one on which the Landowner permits public use but is not a public right of way. The landowner also has the right to close the path for up to 20 days per year to enable land management practices to take place.

The Permissive Path is now in place, running along the top inside edge of the wood. More work will be carried out as soon as possible to install signage to ensure that walkers keep to the correct paths. There will also be kissing gates at appropriate points in the wood.

The 2020 Great Easter Egg Hunt Games

As the Easter Egg Hunt has been postponed, with Liz guarding the chocolate…, we have put some Easter games and jigsaws on the Preston website for you to try. We will be adding more (not just with an Easter theme) as time allows and our skill at making them improves. To play and puzzle, please follow the link to The 2020 Great Easter Egg Hunt Games

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.

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 and follow the links.

The Preston Trust AGM

Due to the Coronavirus situation The Preston Trust committee has cancelled the planned AGM on 31st May. As the newsletter goes to print we are looking at the best way to proceed, based on the alternatives and guidance published by The Charities Commission. The main requirement of these is transparency so we will keep you updated once we have decided the format and timing for presenting reports, approval of accounts, election of officers and committee members. Wally Steele – Chairman, The Preston Trust

Hitchin Foodbank

Thank you to all who have donated goods to the Hitchin Foodbank over the past few years. During the present crisis balanced food parcels are difficult to assemble, extra supplies of food are difficult to obtain. They are short of volunteer drivers and are not able to accept donated goods for the time being.  From now on, Supermarket Vouchers for food only will be issued to clients. In order to purchase the vouchers for clients to buy essentials, the Foodbank requires monetary donations for the foreseeable future.  Please go to the website and follow the instructions on how to donate to help if you wish to help their needy clients again.

The Red Lion

The Red Lion will be doing fantastic fish Friday every Friday so please ring the pub and book at anytime. Large cod and chips £9 small £5. Battered halloumi and chips £8.

Also we started Super Burger Saturday last Saturday. There’s “the classic” a beef Burger with bacon and cheese (cheddar or Stilton) salad and fries. £8.50. A chicken and chorizo burger with salad, sweet chilli mayo and fries £8.50. Or a spicy beanburger with salad cheese and mayo. Child’s portions £5. To be repeated subject to demand.

Please just ring the pub (459585) to place your order.