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Northern Lights seen in Stapleford

 

The Northern Lights were spotted in Stapleford on Friday May 10th.

These are some of the best photos we have seen of the unique event.

 

Have you got local photos of the big night? Share your Northern Lights photos with davidm1961@gmail.com
Posted May 13 2024

lights
Photos by Kathryn Schofield, Steve Henry and Roger French

Orchestra concert for Stapleford charity

 

Stapleford charity Karen Morris Memorial Trust is the beneficiary of the Sampson Orchestra of Cambridge's next Concert on Saturday 15 June at West Road Concert Hall.  The programme includes music by Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn.

Tickets @ £18 (concessions £16; students £10; under 16 £5) from Sylvia at info@kmmt.org.uk.

As many Stapleford villagers who have generously supported the KMMT know, the Trust currently funds four Karen's Homes from Home for leukaemia patients and their families (at Addenbrooke's Hospital, the Churchill in Oxford, Hammersmith Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham) with the fifth under discussion.

The charity has now raised over £4 million.

As they approach the end of their 25th Anniversary Year - 25 years since Karen passed away on 19 September 1998 and 25 years since the charity set up to continue her fundraising initiative was registered on 1 June 1999 - they are delighted and grateful to report that with the support of so many of you to date, they have raised almost £4,000,000.  

Posted May 24 2024

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Stapleford artists in Open Studios exhibition

Karen Jinks originally joined Open Studios back in 2005 and was part of the organising team for a while, but left after a few years to pursue other projects and concentrate on her graphic design business.

 

She rejoined last year after taking on a studio at Stapleford Granary (just down the road from where she lives) after spending a few years really focusing on her own painting and needing a bigger space to work from, it’s so lovely to be back amongst other local artists.

 

She is best known as an abstract landscape painter, but actually she is driven by a desire to try and communicate emotion and memory through colour and texture, to create a sense of place that feels familiar, not necessarily figurative. Imagine standing on top of a hill in the Cotswolds (where she is from) on a hot sunny day, with the wind in your face and a view of the countryside that goes on for miles. Or walking through Wandlebury in the late afternoon sun when the light bounces around and the leaves rustle in the trees. Her paintings are a moment in time.

 

She spends the majority of her week at my studio either painting or teaching my process to others who wish to find their own creative voice. Creativity is very much her profession and something she has been doing in various different forms for nearly 25 years.

 

Her favourite part of the creative process is putting down those first layers of colour and texture and watching something emerge as if by magic. Her process is experimental and involves a lot of trial and error to start with, then slowly it turns into something that resonates with me, and hopefully with people who see her work.

Karen will be open on weekends 1 & 2 of the Open Studios week-ends which is the 6th & 7th and the 13th & 14th July, from 10am to 5pm. where you will see lots of finished pieces but she will also demonstrate my process and let people have a go themselves. 

Her address is Studio 3, Stable Block, Stapleford Granary, Bury Road, Stapleford CB22 5BP.

 

Keith Taylor who takes striking photographs of Cambridge and UK landscapes in colour and black and white is also taking part in the 2024 Open Studios:

 

How did you first get involved in the Open Studios?

I first joined Cambridge Open Studios in 2018. I’ve now taken part in the July exhibition three times. I had a break last year as I was unwell, but I’m back for 2024. It’s been a real privilege being involved and a great opportunity to showcase my work. Perhaps the best aspect of being involved in the July exhibition is chatting to visitors about my work. It’s not all about the camera settings, but often about composition, locations and the story behind many of the shots.

 

What inspires you the most?

What I love about photography is that there is always something to learn. It’s not really about the kit or the camera, but about the creative process and composition. I grew up loving the outdoors; camping, fishing and hiking. Landscape photography was a natural extension of these passions. Being at the top of a mountain at dawn or on a deserted beach at sunset and trying to capture the essence of that moment to share with others is what inspires me.

 

Is your work full time or a hobby?

Often people ask me if this is my full time job and they seem a little surprised when I say it’s just a hobby. To be honest, it’s a little more than just a hobby as I have two photography websites and sell stock images through an agency. I’ve even had a handful of photos feature in national newspapers. Not having to rely on photography as my main income is incredibly liberating. I can choose what I want to photograph not be limited to taking images that sell.

 

What is your favourite part of the creative process?

Obviously taking the photos is part of the fun. I do strive to get as much right in camera as possible as I’m not a huge fan of post processing on the computer when I get home. Printing is so very important to me. So many photos languish on phones and on hard drives in today’s digital era. Seeing a photograph printed, mounted and framed for me is the completion of a process.

 

Will there be a theme to your Open Studio week-ends?

UK landscapes will be the predominant focus, with seascapes a firm favourite of mine. I did spend a few days earlier this year in Venice and I’m hoping to print a few of these images even though that’s a little off plan. Cambridge photos will of course feature as well we are blessed to live in such a photogenic city.

 

What week-ends will you be open?

I’m open the last three weekends in July, 13th -14th , 20th -21st , 27th -28th. Do please pop in and say hello. It would be lovely to chat and give you an opportunity to see some of my finished work. To give you a better idea of what to expect you can head over to www.cambridgeimages.co.uk/cos    The studio address is: 23 Greenfield Close, Stapleford, CB22 5BT

Posted May 24 2024

Stapleford Community Primary School PTA Fun Run 

The Stapleford Fun Run is back again for 2024, taking place on Sunday 7th July at 10am. Set at Magog Down, by kind permission of the Trustees of the Magog Trust, the event is ideal for both families and individuals.

You can choose from one of three distances (1km, 4km or 8km), and there will be medals for the top three male and female runners as well as a participant medal for everyone who completes the race. (Age limit applies to the top three 1km and 4km winners). 

If you sign up for the event in advance, the suggested donation is £10 per adult and £5 per child. On-the-day registration will be £12.50 per adult and £7.50 per child. All donations go towards raising much-needed funds for Stapleford Community Primary School. 

For more information about the Fun Run, including pre-event registration, go to https://staplefordrun.com/

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With thanks to our sponsors for their continued support of this event: Gymbo’s; Wedd Joinery; Scotsdales; Shelford & Stapleford Strikers; Angelica Fachechi Tennis Coaching; Noel Young Wines; The Three Horseshoes; Laura Sigsworth Travel Counsellors; Thorne Wines and Vantage Osteopathy. 

Posted May 24 2024

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wandle

Wandlebury celebrates its 70th birthday

 

Wandlebury Country Park is celebrating its 70th birthday.

 

They have decided to celebrate by launching an appeal to raise £70,000 so that Wandlebury continues to be an amazing place for the next 70 years.

 

On 26 April 1954 Cambridge Past Present and Future announced that it was buying the Wandlebury Estate to make it a public open space.

 

It became Cambridge’s first Country Park and has provided generations of people with a beautiful greenspace to enjoy. With the help of the charity’s members and supporters, they have also been able to protect the nationally important iron-age archaeology, maintain historic buildings and provide a home for nature.

 

They are also asking people to help us reflect on Wandlebury’s 70th by sharing their special memories with us on social media using the #Wandlebury70.

 

Read more about the birthday and the history of Wandlebury.

Posted April 23 2024

First archaeology dig at Wandlebury for 30 years

 

Date: Saturday 4 May 2024 

Time: 10am-4pm 

Location: Wandlebury Country Park 

Free event, suggested donation £3 

·         Excavation site tours 

·         Talk to archaeologists from the Department of Archaeology and the Cambridge Archaeological Unit 

·         Dress up like an Iron Age person 

·         Get hands on with prehistoric pottery techniques 

 

This is an exciting opportunity to observe the first archaeological dig at Wandlebury in almost 30 years. The most recent excavations at Wandlebury were carried out between 1994-7, by the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge and the Cambridge Archaeological Unit. Through a combination of different archaeological techniques, the investigation found a Late-Bronze Age to Early-Iron Age settlement, pre-dating the main defensive earthworks.  

 

The current excavation will be carried out in the South Field where a geophysical magnetometer survey in 2023 showed a linear feature running northwest to southeast through the field. This feature has a stronger magnetic field than the surrounding area, which signifies that it is likely to be archaeological and worth investigating. 

 

The investigation will build on the earlier work and the feature could be a ‘missing link’ between the hillfort and the surrounding archaeology that could add to the knowledge of Wandlebury and its history.  

 

Introduction to Wandlebury’s Archaeology 

Wandlebury Country Park sits on top of a small chalk hill and is the highest point in the immediate area. The site is home to an Iron Age hillfort, referred to as the ‘Wandlebury Ring’, that is around 1,000 feet in diameter. Now consisting of two circular banks with a ditch between them, the hillfort covers an area of six hectares. Originally the hillfort would have consisted of three banks and two ditches, though this was changed in the 18th century. 

 

Hillforts, also known as ‘ringworks’, were constructed in the Iron Age (c.800C to c. AD43) and, like the site at Wandlebury, many hillforts were home to settlements. While the term “hillfort” suggests these sites were built mainly for defence, they were probably used for distinct functions and archaeologists continue to debate exactly what they would have been used for.  

 

The Wandlebury hillfort is recognised as being nationally important and has Historic England Scheduled Monument status, which means the site is protected to preserve the archaeology under the surface. The current excavations are taking place outside the Scheduled area. #

Posted May 1 2024

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Greenway to run through Stapleford and Great Shelford

The Sawston Greenway will provide safer and better route for people walking, cycling and, where appropriate, horse-riding between Sawston, Stapleford, Great Shelford and Addenbrooke’s/Biomedical Campus.

The Greater Cambridge Greenways will follow off-road paths, along quiet streets or provide improved facilities along busier roads to provide more people with safer, easier and more direct routes in and out of Cambridge.

Early works on the greenway include traffic-calming in Stapleford and widening of the DNA Path between Stapleford and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Due to rising construction costs, they are pausing work on a proposed off-road link alongside the railway line from Shelford Station south to the Dernford Resevoir, which would have required major embankments to protect the railway.

 

The main route through Stapleford on Chaston Road, Hinton Way, Mingle Lane and on to A1301 will continue to be developed.

 

Great Cambridge Partnership is working with Stapleford and Great Shelford Parish Councils to host a community engagement event to show their plans for Mingle Lane and Church Street.

Find more details about the Sawston Greenway here.

Posted May 1 2024

greenway

Arthur Rank community voices sessions

 

Arthur Rank have launched some ‘Community Voices Sessions’.

 

The purpose of these sessions is to hear from our community what they and their loved ones value when it comes to end of life care.

 

The sessions are taking place at our Hospice but also a number of venues across Cambridgeshire, throughout May and June. For anyone unable to attend we’d still love to hear from them by contacting shan.zahra@arhc.org.uk or calling 01223675777.

 

People can book onto sessions by either contacting Shan on the above details or by signing up online at: https://ow.ly/2Agb50Rl70o

 

Dates:

Tuesday 7 May 2024 from 11:00am-1:00pm at the Education & Conference Centre at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, CB22 3FB

Tuesday 7 May 2024 from 7:00-9:00pm at the Education & Conference Centre at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, CB22 3FB

Saturday 11 May 2024 from 11:00am-1:00pm at The Living Well Services Lounge at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, CB22 3FB

Wednesday 19 June 2024 from 11:00am-1:00pm at Cambridge Central Library, CB2 3QD.

Posted May 1 2024

Stapleford wine tasting

 

Stapleford Twinning Association invite you to a Wine Tasting Evening, Friday June 14th 7.30pm, Cox’s Close Community Room, Stapleford, CB22 5SP

 

Blind taste French white wines from four different regions and from distinct grape varieties, sample accompanying French cheeses, comment on the wines and cheeses and guess the price of each wine. If you wish you can also try to identify the grapes used and estimate the alcohol levels. At the end of the tasting, find out which wines were liked most and compare the prices.

Cost: £12 to cover the cost of the food and the venue. Cash raffle.

Book your place early to avoid disappointment as numbers are limited. Send a cheque made payable to ‘Stapleford Twinning Association’ to Tony Hore, 8 Sterne’s Way, Stapleford, CB22 5DA or email Tony on smokytone@aol.com if you wish to pay electronically.

Posted April 23 2024

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Stapleford Nursery news

Spaces are available for three and four year olds at Stapleford Nursery.

15 and 30 hour funding is available at the Nursery based at Stapleford Community Primary School.

It involves play based learning and also includes forest school outdoor learning.

Stapleford Nursery is a newly established and newly refurbished part of Stapleford School. Since opening in 2019 we have strived to provide a warm, inviting and inclusive environment for children aged 3-4 years old.

Stapleford Nursery – Stapleford Community Primary School (staplefordprimary.org)

Phone 01223 508720

Posted April 23 2024

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Green light for guided bus

The guided bus is back on track.

The bus will travel on a new track on green belt land on the edge of Great Shelford and Stapleford, crossing Hinton Way as it travels between Babraham and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

 

The plans were paused in September 2023 because the £162 million price to deliver it was so high.

But following an announcement of extra cash in the budget on March 6, the plans are back on track.

A £7.2million boost to progress the Cambridge South East Transport (CSET) busway plans was announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

He said: “In addition, £10.2 million is being invested to support the development of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Europe’s leading centre for medical research and health science. £7.2 million of this will unlock improvements to local transport connections for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and the city, and £3 million is for Cambridge University NHS Trust to support plans for growth.”

The Greater Cambridge Partnership has confirmed that this funding will allow them to progress the CSET scheme to the next stage.

Cllr Elisa Meschini, chair of the GCP executive board, said: “We are pleased the government agrees with us about the strategic importance of this connectivity scheme by providing £7.2 million to progress it to the next stage."

Posted March 7 2024

New choir for Stapleford

Treble time is a newly created Musical Club for St Andrew’s Church, Stapleford. Primarily for the ages between 6-12 but we are flexible.

It is being run by Tim Kwan who is the new director of Music at St Andrew’s Church in Stapleford. He lives and teaches piano in Great Shelford. 

 

Rehearsals will take place in St Andrews Church on Thursdays between 3:45 - 4:30pm. Any standard, any experience, all are welcome. Treble Time will not just sing, I plan to develop a broad experience of music which will include, hand bells, ocarinas and theory/musicianship skills to name a few. Hopefully we will be giving performances in the church regularly by the summer months and after that…well you will have to attend to find out.

 

Parents/Carers and older/younger children are welcome to stay during the rehearsal or drop their children off. If there are any adults who are available to assist or help with the running of this new group, please do get in contact. Light refreshments will be provided for the little ones. If you have any questions or wish to help in some way, please contact Tim Kwan, his email address is music@standrewstapleford.org. See you there and don’t worry; you can’t be the only one as my children will be in attendance also.

 

Starts Thursday 7 March, in St Andrew's Church, Mingle Lane, CB22 5SY, from 3.45 to 4.30 pm. Juice and biscuits before the start time. 

Tim's contact details for any queries are music@standrewstapleford.org

Posted Feb 27 2024

Anchor 1

Stapleford cemetery complaints

Unsafe memorial labels in Stapleford graveyard have upset one family.

"Has anyone else visited Stapleford Cemetary recently," said Richard Francis. "It's become an ocean of bright yellow 'Unsafe memorial' labels.

While some of this labelling may be correct, many of the stones seem to be perfectly sturdy.

 

"My own fathers grave has been 'ticketed' yet its upright, squared off and I, for one, can't budge it, short of resorting to vandalism.

"No attempt has been made to contact the families involved and it was a real emotional upset for my poor mother, when she visited on Monday.

As a heads-up, we've been quoted just under £500 for a Stone Mason to come and check it."

The Parish Council said: "Stapleford Parish Council commissioned a Memorial Stability Survey in line with guidance from the Ministry of Justice and according to BSI standards on safety in cemeteries. This was conducted on 13th February and the PC subsequently received a report showing that a number of graves are unsafe.

"The Clerk and Assistant Clerk will be seeking to contact grave owners so that their memorials can be made safe. In some cases contact will not be possible, in which case the PC will need to ensure the work is carried out.
"

Posted Feb 28 2024

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Stapleford population grows by 7%

 

The population of Stapleford has increased to 2,005 according to the 2021 Census.

The latest figures show that the population of the village has grown by 134 over the last 10 years, a 7% increase.

The population of Stapleford in 2011 was 1,871.

The new data shows there were 852 households in Stapleford when the Census was carried out in 2021.

The population of Great Shelford has grown to 4,537 according to the 201 Census.

The population of Little Shelford has shrunk to 779 according to the 2021 Census.

The population of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in 2021 was 894,522 people.

The most recent Census was carried out in 2021. The results of the Census have only just been made public.

You can read all of the 2021 Census details here.

Posted Jan 29 2024

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Community orchard takes shape

The community orchard will start to take shape this week-end.

Planting at the Orchard behind the Slaughterhouse will start at 10am on Saturday, Feb 3.

Supporters are asked to bring a spade or a fork.

Posted  Feb 1 2024

orchard
twin

Stapleford Twinning Association news

 

Here’s what the Stapleford Twinning Association we’ll be doing in Stapleford during the first half of the year:

 

•          Quiz Evening: Saturday 10 February, Cox’s Close, open to all. Light refreshments will be available in the interval.

•          Film Evening for members: Saturday 20 April, Cox’s Close.

•          Wine Tasting Evening: Friday 14 June, Cox’s Close, open to all.

 

But the cherry on the cake for members this year is a weekend visit to our twin village in France – Villedômer in the Loire Valley – from 3 to 5 May. These visits are extremely enjoyable occasions with our generous French hosts laying on some delightful local cultural and culinary treats. All this, and local accommodation for two nights, is provided free of charge.

 

It’s easy and inexpensive to become a member – only £15 per adult per year. You don’t have to live in Stapleford and you don’t need to speak French! Full details of our association can be found here: http://twinning.staplefordvillage.org.uk

Posted Jan 22 2024

South Cambs Organic Gardeners

Are you an enthusiastic gardener? Then why not come along to our friendly gardening group?

We are a group of gardeners who like to use planet-friendly gardening methods, and have a strong interest in wildlife. Some of us grow veg and fruit, others flowers. But we all share a passion for growing. In winter we meet indoors for talks or social sessions. In the summer we go on visits to local garden and allotment plots.

Our next meeting:

Monday 12 February

Iain Webb from BCN, our local Wildlife Trust, will talk about the creation of the nature reserve at Trumpington Meadows and its wonderful wildlife.

 

Upcoming meetings:

Monday 11 March. A talk by “Cambridge Hedgehogs”, a local charity that is working to save our hedgehogs.

Monday 8 April. Plant swap. Bring your surplus plants and swap them for new and interesting ones!

 

All meetings at 7pm at Cox’s Close Community Room, £2 per session.

For more details, email helen_harwood_uk@yahoo.co.uk or ring 840393.

Posted Jan 22 2024

organic

Honour for Stapleford resident

Nicola Wood, from Stapleford, has been made an MBE for services to regulation.

She is the Senior Independent Director at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Nicola has more than a decade’s experience of leading public sector boards, mainly in financial services and health.

She is a specialist in dispute resolution and a former solicitor. Nicola has a particular interest in helping vulnerable consumers and helping businesses to help them too.

She also chair’s the ICO’s Remuneration Advisory Sub-Committee.

Posted Jan 2 2024

MBE
rose

Rose re-opens

The Rose pub in Stapleford re-opened in January.

 

Mark Mosley, who had previously run the Navigator in Little Shelford, has taken over the historic pub.

 

They are offering Thai food as part of the new tenancy. They are also be providing roast lunches on Sunday while a pizza oven is also being installed.

"Same authentic menu, same brilliant chefs, same fantastic staff and real ale selection, just a change in venue," said a leaflet on the Navigator bar about the move to the Rose.

 

The Rose pub last closed its doors in May 2023, with challenges around staff recruitment being cited as the main issue.

 

​The pub first re-opened post-pandemic on November 25 2022.

 

The pub is owned by Wells and Company. This is their Rose pub listing

Posted Dec 5 2023

Stapleford and Great Shelford burglaries

A house in Hinton Way, Great Shelford was burgled on October 20.

 

There were also six garden building burglaries on Mingle Lane, Stapleford and Hinton Way, Great Shelford on the evening of Friday 27th.

Posted Oct 31 2023

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£1 million worth of cannabis seized

 

Police have seized cannabis worth more than £1.1m at Shelford Bottom.

Cambridgeshire Police officers visited two outbuildings off Babraham Road at Shelford Bottom, near Cambridge, on September 26.

A 37-year-old man from the area was arrested on suspicion of cultivating 1,375 cannabis plants.

Sgt Amanda Rossiter said the force would "continue to tackle and dismantle cannabis factories" in the county.

Posted Oct 3 2023

Bell ringers wanted

 

The St Andrew's Handbell Ringers are looking for recruits. 

 

The team meets on Wednesday evenings at 8pm in St Andrew's Church, Stapleford,  to practise a variety of musical pieces and we occasionally give performances for groups such as the WI and local care homes. 

 

Anyone is welcome to come and try; you don't need a musical background, (though it may help), or the ability to read music, simply the ability to count! For further information please contact me, Jill Butler, tel 01223 844133

Posted Oct 9 2023

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New dog exercise area at Wandlebury

A new dog exercise area has opened at Wandlebury Country Park.

The new dog run is part of an ambitious project to expand the use of the park.

The area is securely fenced so that dogs can't run off.

There is a dogs on leads policy at the park.

The 150 acre Country Park is owned and managed by the local charity Cambridge Past, Present and Future.

Posted August 29 2023

dogs

Three Horseshoes changes hands

The popular Three Horseshoes pub in Stapleford is changing hands.

 

"It's been a wonderful 4.5yrs, but now it's time to move on," said Chris.

"We would like to thank you for all your support since we opened the doors in April 2019. Throughout our time, it's been great to serve you, and your support, especially during lockdown, has been amazing.  However, our time as custodians of the Three Horseshoes is at an end; hopefully, we have added a little something positive to the 200-plus years of history of the Three Horseshoes."

The new landlords are Justine and Duncan

The Greek food and real ale will continue at the pub.

Posted July 10 2023

Horse
survey

Village week-end survey

A major survey has been launched following the recent highly successful Village Week-end.

And it could see new ingredients in next year's week-end, including a Comedy Night.

The event survey can be found here.

Posted July 26 2023

Summer barbeque

During the afternoon of 13 August around 20 members of Stapleford Twinning Association congregated at Tony Smith’s house for the traditional summer barbeque.

 

The two Tonys, Smith and Hore, did the cooking wearing aprons depicting the flags of the two nations. We were blessed with sunshine, with a slight breeze, and the event was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

 

You can find out more about our association at http://twinning.staplefordvillage.org.uk

Posted Aug 15 2023

rose

Rose pub closes again

The Rose pub has shut down again.

On Facebook, Jamie Luke Godliman said:" I'd just like to personally thank the support we've had since reopening up in November, unfortunately due to numerous issues we've faced we have had to close. However we will be back.

"Unfortunately, in today's climate there are too many pubs closing down for good and not returning, so I'd like to reassure that the pub is not going anywhere, its just preparing to come back bigger and stronger."

 

The pub re-opened on November 25 2022. It is believed that they had struggled to recruit enough staff.

 

Updated May 2023

run

2023 Stapleford Community Primary School PTA Fun Run 

 

The Stapleford Fun Run is taking place once again and will be back in full flight on Sunday July 2nd. There are three distances runners can take part in: 1km, 4km and 8km.

 

If you register to take part before the day the suggested donation is £10 for adults and £5 for children. Prices increase on the day of the event. To avoid queues on the day, it would be very helpful if you could register beforehand.

 

There are prizes available for the fastest individual runners and for the person wearing the most imaginative fancy dress.

 

For full details and pre-event registration please go to www.staplefordrun.com

 

We would like to thank each of the local firms sponsoring the Fun Run and raising funds for our school: Wedd joinery, Camweavers, Gymbo’s Strength Fitness & Wellbeing, Scotsdales, Shelford and Stapleford Strikers FC, AF tennis coaching, Bridge Fitness, NY wines and the Three horseshoes. We are extremely grateful for their support for the 2022 Fun Run.

Posted May 18 2023

burglaries

Stapleford burglaries

Two homes have been broken into in Stapleford.

The burglaries took place in Haverhill Road, Stapleford on May 22. The thieves forced their way in through the back doors while the occupants were out.

 

Posted May 24 2023

plan

Stapleford and Great Shelford Neighbourhood Plan: April/May 2023 community consultation is live

 

There are only three things in life that are certain: death, taxes…and that development will be coming to Stapleford and Great Shelford.

 

We can’t stop development, but we can shape it to meet our community’s needs, protect the things we value and improve the less good bits. We can do this through legal powers given to us in Neighbourhood Planning.

 

Building on an initial opinion survey in 2022, a group of Stapleford and Great Shelford residents and parish councillors has drafted a vision for our villages in 2040 and actions we could take to realise it.

 

There are lots of other things we’d like to understand residents’ views on too, including our proposals to protect locally valued vistas and green spaces; meet local housing needs; improve biodiversity; enhance access to our surrounding countryside; and expand our active travel network.

 

We need to know if we’ve got all these things right before we start work on the legally binding policies against which all planning applications for our area will be assessed.

 

You may sometimes feel that you don’t have a say in the growth of our area, but you do! When completed, policies in our Neighbourhood Plan will have just as much clout as those in the National Planning Policy Framework and our Local Plan.

 

Please give a few moments to help shape the place where you live.

The survey is open until 28th May 2023 – you can find it and lots of supporting information online at www.greatshelfordparishcouncil.gov.uk/SGSNPlan or pick up a hard copy at a pop-up event or at Great Shelford Library. And three lucky-dip winners will each receive a £50 voucher as thanks for taking part.

 

Jenny Flynn

Chair of Stapleford and Gt Shelford Neighbourhood Plan steering group

Posted April 20 2023

twinning

Stapleford Twinning Association - French Reconnection

Over the late spring, sun-drenched, bank holiday weekend, two twinning communities were able to resume their joint activities. A 13-strong group from the village of Villedômer in the Loire Valley, France, came to Stapleford.

 

It was the first such visit in four years enabling long-standing friendships to be rekindled. On arrival there was a reception in the Stapleford Pavilion followed by a traditional English fish and chip supper – with mushy peas of course!

 

On Saturday the ‘twinners’ visited Bressingham where they took pleasure in seeing the award-winning gardens, an 18th century manor house, working steam trains and a vintage carousel.

 

A progressive lunch around Stapleford followed on Sunday. The main menu items were coronation chicken, with a nod to the recent major event in London, and trifle. After that there was a final gathering with farewell speeches.

In the spring of next year a group of ‘twinners’ from Stapleford will be welcomed to Villedômer. So… not goodbye, but au revoir!

 

More information is available at: http://twinning.staplefordvillage.org.uk/

Updated May 31 2023

bike

Bike repair shop

 

Dr Bike continues, at the least, through January and February.

We'll be at the Old Slaughterhouse in Church Street, Stapleford every Thursday from 15:00 until 17:30. Volunteers will check your bike for free, and do adjustments and minor repairs for a donation.

Get your bike fit and well before Spring.

We are also keen to have some more helpers, so that no one has to commit more than once each month. We've the experts, but help needed in doing basic checks (& admin) would be welcome from those knowing the difference between a brake and gear cable.

drbikestapleford@gmail.com

Posted Jan 4 2023

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magpie
spitfire
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Community orchard proposal

A community orchard could be created at the back of the slaughterhouse on Church Street, Stapleford.

The pocket of land is big enough for 15 fruit trees.

Another option being considered is a small wildlife meadow, possibly with a pond.

The Slaughterhouse will soon be used as a bike repair shop, staffed by volunteers. 

Read more about about the land's history and the Parish Council proposals. (External link.)

 

Residents need to give feedback by October 21. A Facebook poll to gather opinions is active on the ‘Great Shelford and Stapleford Community’ Facebook page, but some residents may prefer to email or write to the Clerk with their thoughts (clerk@staplefordparishcouncil.gov.uk; 14 Crawley End, Chrishall, Herts., SG8 8QL).

Posted Sept 27 2022

New bus campaign website

Campaigners fighting proposals for a new guided bus on green belt on the edge of Great Shelford and Stapleford have launched their own website (external link)

 

It includes some maps showing where the route is likely to go in the village.

New campaign posters have also been put up around the village.

Posted Oct 27 2022

£8 million for Magpie garage

Magpie Garage changed hands for more than £8 million in the summer it has emerged.

The sale of the site at London Road for £8,075,000, which happened in June, has just been notified by the Land Registry according to Oliver Pottrill, Managing Director of Pottrill Holland Property Agents.

The new owners of the Stapleford garage are the EMG motor group who also own other garages in East Anglia.

Posted August 30 2022 

Appeal for Spitfire memorial

 

An appeal has been launched to raise money to help pay for a memorial for a spitfire pilot who crashed in Stapleford.

Campaigners are hoping to raise up to £4,500 by the end of October towards the legal fees for the memorial.

Details of the appeal can be seen here.

Anthony Fane was a famous racing car driver in the 1930s and when WW2 started he joined the RAF and flew photo reconnaissance missions in spitfires. On his 25th mission on 18th July 1942, his luck ran out.

 

Returning from photographing the U-boat yards at Flensburg, bad weather set in and he followed the railway lines to try to reach his base. When the cloud descended to ground level he decided to turn to Duxford but the plane was so low that as it turned the wing clipped a hedge and he crashed and was killed.

Researcher Anthony Hoskins has now established the crash site was close to the Stapleford Granary.

 

The Village Day in July 2022 included a display of Fane's racing car, the fuselage of a spitfire and a Merlin engine. Read about Alfred Fane's life here

Posted Aug 31 2022

New cafe at Stapleford Granary

 

A new cafe has opened at Stapleford Granary.

It serves Butterworth's coffee, teas, cold drinks and exceptional locally sourced cakes & pastries. They also have a small selection of fresh savoury items daily.

 

You can enjoy the ambience of our walls of art, iconic prints, story-telling, music & local crafts - alongside a gift shop selling books, prints, cards, candles, ceramics, children's gifts.

 

Opening Hours:

Monday - Friday 08:30 - 16:00; Saturday 08:30 - 15:00; Sunday 09:00 - 14:00

 

Posted July 27 2022

New Community Warden for Stapleford

Juliet Hawksworth is the new Community Warden for Stapleford.

 

"I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself as you may

see me around Stapleford at various events, on the allotments if

you are passing through or even when I’m volunteering at

Cara Coffee.

 

"Originally from Yorkshire, I lived in Cambridgeshire in my early teens and 20’s. I then travelled, went to college, and worked in a number of different parts of the country as a teaching assistant, Residential Social Worker and then qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist. I have worked in schools and in the community for many years, supporting people who have visual impairment, hearing impairment, Dementia, Learning disabilities, and Neuro diversity.

"I have been The Community Warden for four months now and I’m thoroughly enjoying meeting and supporting several people in the village.

 

"The role of The Community Warden is to assist people over the age of 60 to remain living at home as independently and as safely as possible. I can contact you daily, Monday to Friday, either by phone call or a visit and liaise with your family or other agencies.

 

"I can help with support that may be needed for example: make phone-calls on your behalf, pick up prescriptions, shop for small items, make drinks or light lunches, help to find local groups of interest, arrange transport, or sit and chat over a cup of tea. I can also help you to access other services that might be appropriate or offered by Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and other organisations, such as,

  • Home safety checks

  • Handyperson service

  • Advice on benefits / form filling

  • IT support

 

"For all new referrals, you receive a 2-week FREE trial and then there is a small weekly fee to pay thereafter.

If you would like to learn more about the Community Warden scheme in Stapleford, or to refer a family member, friend or neighbour please do give me a call on 07436102733 or email: juliet.hawksworth@ageukcap.org.uk

 

Further information can be found on the Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and St. Andrew’s Church website.

Posted June 12 2022

Dernford reservoir island

 

The island in the middle of Dernford reservoir has been fenced off to deter birds.

 

The owners have revealed that they have been forced to take the action because it was requested by the Ministry of Defence as the reservoir is on the flight path to Cambridge Airport.

 

“A number of people are very upset about the fencing that has been erected, and we totally understand this,” said a statement from owner Robert Smith of Russell Smith Farms.

 

“This is NOT something that we wanted to do. The farm has been told that if we do not comply by February 26th with a condition imposed by the County Council to fence the island we will be fined and potentially taken to court.

 

“This condition was requested by the MoD as the reservoir is in the flight path for Marshalls Airport. This is a historical condition and has absolutely nothing to do with any proposals on the site.

 

“We certainly never wanted to fence the island.”

Posted Feb 17 2022

Toxic chemical found in water of some Great Shelford and Stapleford homes says The Guardian

 

More than 1,000 people in Great Shelford and Stapleford may have drunk water with dangerously high levels of toxic chemicals according to a report in The Guardian published on February 8.

 

MP Anthony Browne has demanded an urgent investigation.

 

Cambridge Water has said that tests have recently been carried out across Great Shelford and Stapleford and our water is safe.

 

The Guardian report claimed that toxic chemicals called perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS) were in some of the water supplied to Great Shelford and Stapleford in June 2021. It said they were from a water borehole near Duxford airfield.

 

The newspaper reported that the aquifer was found to have PFOS levels at almost 400 nanograms per litre (ng/l) of water – four times the Drinking Water Inspectorate’s limit.

 

​Great Shelford Parish Council called an emergency meeting about the issue on February 9.

 

The meeting was told that all houses in Great Shelford and Stapleford receive the same blend of water from four boreholes, including the Duxford aquifer.

 

When water samples from Duxford were found to have a slightly higher level of some chemicals in June 2021, the use of the aquifer was discontinued even though the increased level was still acceptable Cambridge Water Operations Director Andrew Lobley told the special meeting.

 

The public was not informed about the change at the time as it was not a breach of safety guidelines.

 

Anthony Browne MP for South Cambridgeshire condemned Cambridge Water's conduct and fears that "thousands of residents" may have been drinking the toxic chemicals.

"I’m appalled at the conduct of Cambridge Water in letting this incident happen and then concealing it. The continued secrecy around how many people have been affected, and the impact on our precious aquifer, is unacceptable.

"I urge Cambridge Water to come clean about the extent of the incident, both in terms of who was affected and how long it went on for. They must directly inform affected residents."

 

Read the full story in The Guardian.

BBC coverage of the story

Cambridge News coverage

Cambridge Independent coverage

Updated Feb 27 2022

Go ahead for retirement village

 

Controversial proposals to build a retirement village on green belt in Stapleford have been given the go ahead.

The retirement care village will include 220 residential units on green belt land between Haverhill Road, Stapleford and Hinton Way, Great Shelford.

There will also be facilities for the wider community to use including wellness facilities, a swimming pool and a new 50-acre Countryside Park.

There were 54 objections to the original proposal. One resident from Haverhill Road in Stapleton who submitted a letter to South Cambridgeshire Council said they were worried any development would "irreversibly change" the character of the area.

They added: "The proposed development of Greenbelt land combined with the planned busway would devastate the delightful rural character of our village.”

The proposal was originally rejected by South Cambs Council in April 2021. But it was given the go ahead following a planning appeal at the end of last year.

Developers Axis Land Partnerships said the high-end retirement village would include an investment of £15 million, creating 190 jobs during construction. 

Axis Land Partnerships is part of the Sir Robert McAlpine Group and are working in partnership with the landowner of the proposed development site.

In a statement issued on February 7, South Cambs councillors said they are disappointed that the Planning Inspectorate has allowed plans for a retirement village in protected countryside to progress.

 

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr Dr.Tumi Hawkins, said: “We are naturally disappointed by the Planning Inspectorate’s decision, but at the same time we must note the different balance the Planning Inspector struck and we are bound to accept their decision. We were very clear in the reasons that we gave for our refusal and did not feel that the very special circumstances outlined by the developer justified this scheme. However, we do not plan to challenge the decision because the Inspector was very clear in their view which means the likelihood of a successful challenge is greatly reduced.”

Details about the planning appeal can be found here

The original planning application from July 2020 can be read here.

Updated Feb 7 2022

New Chair for Parish Council
 

Stapleford Parish Council has a new leader.

 

Gillian Pett has taken over the Chair from Howard Kettel.

The council is also recruiting a new Parish Clerk.

The Parish Council is now down to six members following the resignation of Jez Raphael.

This is a statement from the Parish Council about the overall changes.

 

"As many people will be aware, Stapleford Parish Council has undergone some changes in personnel recently. Other than clerks, all members of the Parish Council are volunteers and give their time freely to working for, and on behalf of, the community. Recently, we have experienced a number of unrelated changes, with a couple of our long-serving councillors retiring due to ill health, another needing to spend more time on their business interests, etc. Our part-time Assistant Clerk is moving on to take up a full-time job in Cambridge City and our Clerk will be consolidating her work with multiple other Parish Councils with which she has worked for many years. Contact details remain the same whilst both Clerks remain in post.

 

"None of these changes alter our ability to function as a Parish Council and councillors remaining in post are committed to continuing with our current work, plans and support for the community. To this end, we have reshuffled roles and responsibilities and are delighted to announce that Gillian Pett will be taking on the position of Chair. This will enable our out-going Chair, Howard Kettel (who remains a Stapleford Parish Councillor), to focus more on the major CSET threat to our greenbelt, and on finance and asset development, and to spend more time on other voluntary commitments.

 

"Stapleford Parish Council has been without its full complement of 11 Councillors for a long time. In fact, nationwide, it's difficult to find people to join parish councils, given the pressures of work and family life and the breadth of responsibilities that parish councils take on. In Stapleford, we also have significant external pressures to which the Parish Council must respond, including CSET, housing pressures, one local plan following on from another, to name but a few. Despite all this, the Council has continued its record of achievement. In the past year, we have created a new multi-use games area (MUGA) for the village; we continue to provide high quality cricket and football facilities for local teams; our Jubilee pavilion is an important venue for community use; we have responded to multiple consultations on everything from major transport infrastructure projects to local plan proposals and changes to our conservation area; we review every planning application in the parish and respond when appropriate; we apply for grants to expand and improve community assets and the environment; we own and maintain the cemetery and have plans to create a wildlife meadow at the north end of the more recently purchased area of cemetery; we are rolling out a new environmental action plan for the village and our assets; we are about to embark upon a significant renovation of the children's playground at the Rec; and we keep our finances in good health. We have done a lot and we still have a lot to do.

 

"We would love more people to come forward and join us. If you have particular interests in helping to improve the biodiversity of the village, supporting our neighbourhood plan, investing our S106 funds from developers in village improvements, helping to maintain and develop our sports facilities, supporting local transport improvements and, more generally, in shaping the village over the coming years, then do get in touch. Let us know how much time you can give and we can try our best to match your interests and availability with our community needs. Our contact details are available at https://staplefordparishcouncil.gov.uk/council-members/ or you can email clerk@staplefordparishcouncil.gov.uk (this email remains unchanged, irrespective of who is in the role)."

Posted Nov 8 2021

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