November 2021

Update Re: The Preston History Website (

The website has had a make-over which not only allows it to be displayed on phones and tablets, but also has a changed appearance.

There have been a number of new articles published recently: the changing face of Temple Dinsley to 1909; how the man-servant, Thomas Harwood, inherited Temple Dinsley in 1767; an in-depth appraisal of the Darton family (perhaps the ‘forgotten’ Lords [and Ladies] of the Manor);  Sir Joseph Child Priestley and Tatmore Place; why only a handful of new cottages were built in the hamlet during the 134 years between 1766 and 1900; the story of Sidney Smith of 4 Chequers Cottages – and the latest piece, which features three new books about Preston and some of its folk: Link:

Carols near The Christmas Tree On The Green, Sunday 5 December 6.00pm

The Preston Trust Committee is planning to hold this event again this year, having not been able to hold it in 2020. The tree has been ordered, some children from the school will switch on the tree’s lights, Ray and Jo have once again kindly agreed to prepare the mulled wine and mince pies. And then we can all sing!

Rather than crowding too many people into the Red Lion, the Preston Trust will provide several gazebos on the pub side of The Green, if the weather looks to be wet and chilly. Thus, please SAVE THE DATE and just come along to join in! Further details in the December Newsletter and on PNS.

NHDC Survey On District Councillor Elections

NHDC are consulting on whether District Councillors should continue to be elected by thirds, one third every year, or whether all councillors should be elected for a 4-year period at the same time. All residents are eligible to respond to this consultation which closes on 8 November, explaining why they have chosen their particular option.

The easiest way to access the information is to log on to NHDC’s website and click on the orange bar at the top of the home page.

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services

A recording of the service from All Saints can be found on the link below:

Sunday 7th November 9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s

Hebrews 9:24-end

Mark 1:14-20

11am Holy Communion at All Saints with baptism
Sunday  14th November

Remembrance Sunday

9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s

Hebrews 10:11-14, 19-25

Mark 13:1-8

11am Holy Communion at All Saints
 3pm Act of Remembrance at War Memorial,


Sunday 21st November

Services led by the Revd

Chris Bunce, Team Rector

9.30am Family Service at St Martin’s

Revelation 1:4b-8

John 18:33-37

11am Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday 28th November

Advent Sunday

 8am Holy Communion All Saints (BCP)
9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s

Jeremiah 33:14-16

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

Luke 21:25-36

11am Holy Communion at All Saints

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

St Martin’s Church 120 Club Draw 2020/2021

The winners in the September draw in the 2021/22 120 Club (£30 each) were:

No. 39 Mr A Loustau
No. 101 Mr E C Heathcote

A Letter From Our Team Vicar

November is a real mixture of a month.

There are fireworks that thrill us with their colours lighting up the sky – though of course our dogs are less happy about the bangs!

Remembrance Sunday has us reflecting on war and loss and sacrifice. Which is really about the importance of memory and the duty not to forget what others have done.

And then right at the end of the month we reach the start of Advent. This is a season of hope and looking forward. In Whitwell I hope that there may be enough people willing to participate in the Advent Windows initiative which was so very popular last year.

Schools will be busy with their preparations for Christmas, as will our churches, as we get ready to tell again the Christmas story at carol and crib services.

Meanwhile I am pleased that two new initiatives are now under way.  In Preston, Ann Freeman leads a Sit and Stitch session on Tuesday mornings at St Martin’s from 9.15.  And Sulu Pike runs a Toddler Service at All Saints at 10.00am on a Tuesday.  All welcome!

With every blessing


Hitchin Foodbank Shortages

Thank you for your continued support, all donations are welcome; the following items are the most urgently needed due to recent strong demand: Tinned Meat; Tinned Fruit (not grapefruit or prunes); Sponge Puddings; Tinned Potatoes; Tinned Custard; Tinned Rice Pudding.  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.  For more information please visit

A Christmas Treat with A Film and A Raffle and some Tea! (plus other refreshments)

The Preston Trust Committee are also planning a showing of a delightful film for family viewing, with a Raffle and Teas, (plus other refreshments) during the Christmas school holidays. This event will obviously be subject to any Covid-19 restrictions which may apply at that time. Admission will be free! Date, time and venue still to be decided. Further details in the December Newsletter and on PNS. Any offers of a Raffle prize will be much appreciated; please contact Jo:

The 2021 Autumn Litter Pick And Clearing Of Twigs And Leaves

The Preston Trust Committee would like to thank sincerely all those parishioners – 21 adults and 5 children — who turned out on the mild dry Saturday morning of 16 October, with such enthusiasm, to help with this task. We had enough ‘man and woman power’ to cover all the lanes and footpaths, and also to have a team of 6 adults and 5 children to tackle the leaf litter on The Green. The adults raked and raked for well over 90 minutes, and the children were endlessly helpful and energetic filling large buckets with the leaves, and then emptying them onto Tom Duffin’s lorry. This load of organic litter was then taken down to Wain Wood to make a new habitat pile under the conifer plantation where there is little natural ground flora. All in all, a good morning’s work!

Once the remaining leaves have fallen, we will need to have one more session of clearing the twigs and leaves on The Green and around the Pond. We will send out a PNS note, once a date is decided. Raking up leaves is somewhat slow and quite hard work, so we are wondering if there is anyone in the parish who possesses a leaf blower tool and would be prepared to help us,or lend it to us, on our next session? Please let us know.

Many of you, who are regular walkers along our footpaths and bridleways, always pick up any litter which you see. Very many thanks for doing this ‘good deed’.

As the Preston Trust organises twice yearly Litter Picks, NHDC and Urbaser have now loaned us some litter picker tools, hi viz waistcoats, plastic gloves and bags. All are stored in Liz’s barn. lf anyone would like to have a set of these to use on their own walks, please just ask.

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. If you use the What3Words app, please include the three words for the location of the fly tipping.

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.

​Reporting Scam Emails and Texts

Please report suspicious emails to Action Fraud at:
Scam text messages should be forwarded to 7726.

Stay Safe From Phone Fraud – Neighbourhood Watch message

Phone fraud or ‘vishing’ is when a fraudster calls pretending to be your bank, supplier, customer, internet service provider or the police.

They’ll often call pretending to be from your bank, highlighting there is a problem with your accounts or online banking. They appear genuine as they’ll already have information on you.

159 is a new fraud hotline which will let you check whether a call from your bank is genuine. If you think someone is trying to trick you into handing over money or personal details……Stop, hang up and call 159 to speak directly to your bank.

Call 159 if:

Someone contacts you saying they’re from your bank – even if they are not suspicious. You receive a call asking you to transfer money or make a payment – even if it seems genuine

You receive a call about a financial matter and it seems suspicious

Remember, 159 will never call you. But you can rely on 159 to get you through to your bank.

What happens if 159 doesn’t work, for any reason?

You should contact your bank in the normal way, using the number on your bank card.

How much does it cost to call 159? Calling 159 will cost the same as a national rate call; usually part of the included minutes in most phone tariffs.

Who is behind 159?

159 has been set up by banks and telephone companies who want to fight fraud. It’s a pilot scheme at the moment. The following banks are part of it:

  • Barclays
  • Lloyds (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland)
  • NatWest (including Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank)
  • Santander
  • Starling Bank

That covers over 70% of UK primary current account holders.

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; then distributed, contact free to the volunteers who deliver.