November 2023

Deadline for the December 2023 newsletter is 25 November

Parish Council Survey

The Parish Council would like to thank everyone who completed and returned their preferences in the recent survey on the proposed community facilities.

The envelopes will be opened at an Extraordinary Parish Council meeting to be held on Thursday 2 November at 8pm in the village hall. The number of responses for each option will be publicly counted by Lisa Lathane, Clerk to the Parish Council, who is not a resident of Preston. Anyone who would like to witness the count must book their place by contacting the Clerk by  by Tuesday 31 October.

The results of the survey will be circulated via PNS and the Parish Council database on Friday 3 November and, as well as being posted on the website, will be in the December newsletter. The results will include the number of residents who received the form and the number of returned forms. The number of preferences for each option will be given in the order they appear on the form.

The Parish Council will discuss the results and decide on any necessary action at their meeting on Thursday 7 December. There will be no discussion on the outcome of the survey immediately after the count. Waiting until the December meeting will allow the Parish Council time to consider the outcome of the survey before making any decisions.

Preston Village Society: Thursday 23 November

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 23 November at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.

Dr Gilbert Burleigh, Consultant Archaeologist and Hon. Field Officer, North Hertfordshire Archaeological Society will give a talk entitled “Recent archaeological research and discoveries in North Hertfordshire.”

New members are very welcome to come along.

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services

Sunday 5th November






St Martin’s All Age Communion

1 Thessalonians 2: 9 – 13

Matthew 24: 1 – 4

All Saints All Age Communion with Baptism

Sunday 12th November

Remembrance Sunday








All Saints Holy Communion (BCP)

St Martin’s Holy Communion

Wisdom 1: 1 – 7

Luke 17: 1 – 6

All Saints Sunday Worship

Act of Remembrance War Memorial Whitwell

Sunday 19th November 9.30am


St Martin’s  Family Service

All Saints Holy Communion

1 Thessalonians 5: 1 – 11

Matthew 25: 14 – 30

Sunday 26th November






St Martin’s Holy Communion

Ephesians 1: 15 – end

Matthew  25: 31 – end

All Saints Holy Communion with Baptism

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

Letter From The Vicar

November is the month, above all, for remembering.

Early in the month, for All Saints Day, we remember those who have died. A little later in the month, on Remembrance Sunday, there is the recording of the fallen in war, with its themes of suffering and loss.

Memory is very important in any community. I see this most often when I take a funeral or bury ashes in the churchyard. For here the memories are publicly commemorated, first in words, and then in headstones and plaques.

Recently, I buried some ashes at All Saints.  Afterwards, in the church, I was asked if there were baptism records for the 1960s.

One of the mourners wanted to see if her own baptism record was there. I searched and found the records, and we were delighted to see her name in the baptism register for 1965. A happy memory for the person concerned, but also a valuable archive record, preserving and reviving a memory of an important event.

Events in the Middle East as I write tell of memory’s downside – the memory of conflict, misunderstanding, hatred and war. Those of us who pray will pray most earnestly for peace in that part of the world – just as we’ve done for Ukraine and Burma before this.

And any of us, whether we pray or not, will surely hope that this long-standing conflict can be resolved and the appalling humanitarian crisis relieved.

For memory and hope go hand-in-hand in the creation of lasting and peaceful communities.

With every blessing

St Martin’s Church 150 Club 2023/2024

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

No. 22 Mr K Stark
No. 44 Mr A G Hardy

Samuel Lucas, 1805-1870: a talented Hitchin artist

An exhibition of forty pen and ink drawings and oil and water colour paintings by Samuel Lucas are on display in the Temporary Exhibition ground floor Gallery, in the North Herts Museum in Brand Street, Hitchin, until Sunday, 12th November.

Several generations of the Lucas family lived in Hitchin. They were farmers and brewers, with their brewery in Sun Street, from where they supplied numerous ales and beers to many local public houses. Many of the family were accomplished artists; Samuel was perhaps the most celebrated, creating several hundred drawings and paintings; many of these are in the Art Collection of the Museum. Those on display show his knowledge of local landscapes and of local wildlife. There are also some witty caricatures!

The Lucas family were devout Quakers, and cared deeply for the townspeople. Samuel was also interested in national issues of the time. An oil painting on display depicts a meeting that he arranged in Hitchin, of leading national figures, including William Wilberforce, explaining the tragedy and injustice of the slave trade.

Entry to this Exhibition is free. Do not miss it!

The Preston Trust: the 2nd Autumn Talk, 16.11.23: postponement

It is with much regret that the Preston Trust committee has had to cancel our 2nd Autumn Talk this year, because our speaker, Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Curator of the North Herts Museum in Hitchin, is unwell and on sick leave.

We very much hope that this will be only a postponement, and that Keith will be able to come and give us a talk on ‘The Knights Templar in North Hertfordshire’, sometime in the Spring of 2024. Keith is an archaeology graduate, and is an interesting and scholarly speaker.

The Knights Templar were an internationally significant religious Order in early medieval times. They had a very important preceptory, or ‘base’, here at Temple Dinsley from 1142 until 1307. The site had several buildings, including a hall, a chapel, a bake house, a smithy and also a graveyard. The preceptory provided accommodation for several knights and their servants, and was the ‘office’ for receiving rents from market traders in both Baldock and Royston, and from tenants of the farmland which the Order owned in nine local parishes.

Liz Hunter and Rae Reynolds, PT committee members

The Autumn Litter Pick And The Green Clean, 7.10.23

Very gratefully, the PT committee thanks all the 25 people who gave their time and energy for two hours so successfully on the morning of the 7th.

We had sufficient volunteers to deal with all the lanes and footpaths. Two of our svelte ‘runners’, Christina and Erin, dealt speedily with both Dead Woman’s Lane and Tatmorehills Path for us!

Adrian’s new clear posters on the noticeboards, announcing ‘Walkers in the Road’, together with all our volunteers wearing their bright orange Hi-Viz jackets, had the desired effect of slowing down all the vehicles on the endlessly busy slope of Preston Hill. Common sense and courtesy prevailed.

Tom, on his large efficient ride-on mower, sped to and fro across The Green, and up and down the verges around The Pond. Weronika and Tim demonstrated amazing energy and stamina raking the verges and clearing the gutters!

We were delighted to welcome several newcomers for this Parish task: Luke, Parviz and Hussein, Millie and her small daughter in her pushchair, Angelica and her 3 youngsters.

Please could all walkers and dog walkers continue to consider collecting any litter, whenever and wherever you find it. Please also report any fly-tipping, in the usual way.

We are all to be much commended for keeping this small rural parish properly clean and green, for the benefit of ourselves, our many visitors and our wildlife.

Our sincere thanks to everyone.

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, 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

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.

Community Drive Safe

Community Drive Safe is a scheme, introduced by Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to reduce speeding traffic in local areas. Volunteers have a Speed Indicator Device to monitor the speed of passing traffic and take note of any vehicle driving at over 35mph. Drivers exceeding that speed receive a letter from the police. Training and equipment are provided. Monitoring sessions will be for an hour. A minimum of 10 volunteers is required to run the scheme.

Preston Parish Council would like to introduce this scheme on School Lane between the Village Hall and Crunnells Green and would like anyone interested in taking part to contact

Lisa Lathane, Clerk to the Parish Council

Further information can be found by following this link:

Harvest Supper

The Friends of St Martin’s Committee would like to thank everyone who supported this event which raised £341 for their funds.