Actually, not quite – but it is real possibility there could be a major new railway built in the Cam Valley as part of the new Cambridge to Oxford rail link, which 'would divide RAF Bassingbourne [sic] Barracks.
This shown in the red route (C2-2) on this map – the other routes are even more alarming for us in Hatley, with the yellow route C1-1 passing close to the parish border (and, seemingly, crossing Croydon Hill). Click on the graphic for an enlarged version:
This is part of Network Rail's 'East West Rail Central Section' which takes the line from Bedford, through Sandy and on to Cambridge.
Work on the proposals has been ongoing since October 2013 and is summarised in this – undated – document East West Rail Central Section. Note the lack or real detail and the emphasis on 'best value'.
Allied to the document is an Engineering Summary Report – also undated and with rather vague maps (and, on page 12 – in the right hand blue column, fifth line – source of the Bassingbourn Barracks quote).
Neither of these documents make any mention of the A428 and the settlements comprising Cambourne, Bourn Airfield, Northstowe and Waterbeach, none of which have rail links but do / will have very large populations.
To counter this, a new pressure group – CamBedRailRoad (CBRR) – has been formed which has produced (sans date and only an e-mail contact) this 'booklet',giving plausible arguments against the Cam Valley idea and suggesting a rail route focussing on the A428 would be far more sensible. More on the CBRR website (tolerance while it's being built, please); they also have a Twitter feed (curiously with a masthead photo showing a road in a foreign country).
UPDATE – 3rd October 2018
The following was e-mailed to Hatley's Parish Clerk by James Paxman on behalf of CBRR Info:
In July  we asked you – and all the other SCDC parish clerks north and west of Cambridge – to pass our invitation to your chairman or representatives to attend pathfinder presentations about Cam Bed Rail Road's proposal. It is for the best route for the East West Rail link from Bedford to Cambridge. Big thanks to the 85 parish chairmen and SCDC councillors who attended those meetings.
That led on to 17 more presentations to groups of parishes throughout South Cambs, receiving widespread support and extensive press coverage.
The purpose of this message is to update you and your community and to ask if you would kindly inform your parishioners and encourage those in agreement with CBRR to sign our petition as a matter of urgency.
The common sense route which goes where people want to go
CamBedRailRoad continue to promote their proposal energetically for an Oxford to Cambridge railway route following the A421 east from Bedford, along the expressway link from Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet, along the A428 and A14 into Cambridge North, Central and Addenbrooke's stations.
New stations are proposed at Bedford South, Barford Parkway, Cambourne Parkway and Northstowe.
If you agree CBRR's proposal should be considered by decision makers, then please sign our PETITION as soon s possible.
So far, we have:
▲ By mid morning, the hall was beginning to look crowded.
Click on the photos for larger images.
Judging from the hubbub when walking in to the first Hatley Coffee Morning on Tuesday, 4th October 2016, it was welcome social gathering
– and one year on, it has grown in popularity and become an established event.
Well done Linda and Mervyn!
On offer were coffee, tea, hot chocolate and several very yummy-looking cakes, which were happily scoffed by the 'clientele'.
The Coffee Morning idea was dreamt up a year ago by Linda Hudson and Mervyn Lack to help raise funds for the village – there's no set charge for anything, just a handy pot to drop in a donation.
Proceeds raised from the Coffee Mornings are held by Hatley Parish Council in a village fund for use in East Hatley and Hatley St George.
Working behind the scenes with them was Ann Hooley – who also contributed a cake, as did Joyce Denby, Sofie Schoolmeesters and Sue Wright, while Sylvia and Mick Marshall kindly supplied the milk, tea and coffee.
The Hatley Coffee Mornings are on the first Tuesday of each month from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm – the next is on Tuesday, 6th November at Hatley Village Hall.
Of old the village held an annual feast,
Plain were the dishes set upon bare board;
Beef, beer and bread no doubt was feast indeed
When little could the labouring folk afford.
Today the coffee morning takes its place
A monthly buzz of gossip of the day
And cream and chocolate and sugary tarts
Are merely snacks to pass the time away.
Too often glued to screens and travelling
Some seldom met and so let contacts sag;
Let's cheer communal living, face to face,
Ban texts and emails – long may all tongues wag!
Ishbel Beatty, April 2017
By East Hatley resident Ishbel Beatty
We do not sing East Hatley,
It's not a lyric name!
To find a rhyme for Hatley
Would be a testing game.
It has few redeeming features,
Some say its name is mud,
Its alpacas are exotic,
They're not of British blood.
The church was made redundant,
Wild Nature got her way.
The moat became truncated
And are ditches in decay.
But there's heart still in its people,
Though we're not all local breed.
The Coffee Morning's crowded.
Some run, some run to seed.
Some walk Buff Wood to study birds
And some to stretch their legs.
We fetch each other's papers
And we buy each other's eggs.
So sing a song of Hatley,
A village of its day.
Let's say it rather flatly,
We like it just this way.
Ishbel Beatty, February 2017
Click here... and here for more of Ishbel's poems
St Denis – tidy up: a poem
With the recent tidy up of St Denis' churchyard in mind, East Hatley resident Ishbel Beatty has written a poem about tidying up churchyards as a thank-you to the volunteers from those unable to join them:
The dead who lie in sober rows
Were swathed in summer grass;
Their feathered flags caught every breeze,
And butterflies that pass
Splashed colour like a hidden jewel
When grass stems parted wide,
The bees were busy at their work
Where stores of nectar hide
Perhaps the summer nights bring forth
The souls of those who lie –
Perhaps they danced beneath the moon,
In sunlight they’re too shy.
But now the tidy gardeners
Have come with shears and rake;
The dead must have their dignity
And lie in modest state.
The new-cut grass reveals the names
Engraved on ancient stones;
Though age has changed their upright stance,
They tell us of old bones.
And those whose names were never graved
Will now more peaceful lie,
Close-blanked in greenery
Under the Cambridge sky.
Ishbel Beatty, August 2016
Click here... and here for more of Ishbel's poems
Our thanks to everyone who has helped with tidying up the churchyard this year: Sarah Brennan, Joyce Denby, Steve Greenhalgh, Jeremy and Sofie Hooper (and their children), Nicola Jenkins, Mervyn Lack, John Lanchbery, Peter Mann, Allen and Andrew Miller, John O'Sullivan and John and Sue Wright (and their grandchildren). Our photo shows the effort being put in during a similar session on 19 July 2015.
30 November 2016 and good news: the Friends of Friendless Churches now owns St Denis', East Hatley, (the building, not the churchyard) after South Cambridgeshire District Council, the previous owners, officially finalised the hand over of St Denis' to FoFC, completed the conveyance and banked with them the agreed dowry of £60,000. More news of FoFC's plans and celebrations by Hatley Parish Council in due course.
Flyer about the church.
Preliminary roost survey – the Wildlife Trust shows bats roost in St Denis.
Appeal for funds
Links to pages on St Denis
Flowers, insects and gravestones
LNR management Group
Hail our 2017
heroes and heroines
▲ Charlie Gouldsbrough. Click on the photos for larger images.
▲ John and Penny Hewlett. Click for a larger image.
▲ Laurence Drake, Alan Pinney and Caroline Drake. Click for a larger image.
▲ Mervyn Lack and Mick Marshall. Click for a larger image.
▲ Nicola Jenkins and Margot Eagle. Click for a larger image.
▲ Sarah Brennan. Click for a larger image.
The 2018 litter pick will be on Sunday, 18th March.
Photos: Peter Mann
Hatley pancake race
Sunday, 26th February 2017
Winners of the various 2017 Hatley Pancake Races - held in East Hatley, 26 February 2017. Click on the photo (and the ones below) for larger images.
New definitive maps
The County Council has produced a new Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way for Cambridgeshire.
It shows all changes made to Public Rights of Way up to 11th May 2016. It has also provided us with an electronic copy of the relevant section of the Map for Hatley – or, rather, Maps as we're split over three sections.
There's also a handy list of where each footpath / bridleway starts and finishes. The files are:
Hatley.pdf (list of paths).
2016 09 15 Public Notice Consolidation.docx.
Hatley St George church has its own loo.
The new disabled use, compositing toilet installed in the grounds of Hatley St George church on 26th July 2016.
Click on the photos (by Peter Mann) for larger versions.
▲ The 'business end' of the loo is round the back
▲ The loo is just about visible from the church. A woven willow fence around the loo is due to be installed in August / September
▲ The church is more visible from the loo!
▲ It was opened on 16th September 2016 by the Reverend Steve Rothwell – above with Gamlingay District Councillor Bridget Smith and John Mercer, from Gamlingay Community Turbine whose Tithe Fund grant was a big help towards the cost of the loo.
The church's new loo, made and installed (on 28th July 2016) by a Welsh company which specialises in these things. It has a ramp for disabled access and will be open during / for church services and events.
A woven willow hurdle fence around the loo (using material grown near Barton) is to be added, along with some new woodland planting.
The cost of the loo and fencing is £4,850, for which only £2,350 has been raised in grants so far, with the shortfall being made up from the church's restoration fund – other grants are still being sort so church funds are not unnecessarily depleted.
Donations are, of course, very welcome - please contact Philippa Pearson on 01767 651 253 or e-mail email@example.com.
The Reverend Steve Rothwell's last local service, in St Mary's, Gamlingay, was on 24th July – he's moved to a church in Cambridge after ten years as the vicar for Gamlingay, Everton and Hatley. A replacement is yet to be appointed.
The Famous Hatley Quiz /
Snapshot of the Hatley Quiz Night in the Village Hall on 4th February.
The winning team scored 99 points – out of a possible 110. The joint runners' up scored 97 each and fourth place got 95, so quite a tense finish! Click on the picture for a larger version.
The Hatley litter pick heroes and heroines 2016
Many bags of litter + stuff too big to go in the bags were collected between Long Lane to Holbien's Farm on Sunday, 13th March. Our grateful thanks to:
Micky Astor Peter Mann
Chris Ball Mick Marshall
Laurence Drake Harold Nickerson
William Drake Marion Nickerson
Margot Eagle Linda Perry
Becky Fisher Alan Pinney
Nicola Jenkins John O'Sullivan
Mervyn Lack John Wright...
.... and John Hewlett, who regularly stops and picks up litter between Hatley St George church and West Lodge and also to Pat and Peter Gouldson who also stop and pick up litter on their walks around Hatley.
Not everyone was there when our tame photographer turned up click on the pictures for larger images:
▲ Linda Perry, Chris Ball, Harold and Marion Nickerson at the Long Road junction.
▲ Mick Marshall, Mervyn Lack, Nicola Jenkins, Becky Fisher, Alan Pinney and, in the ditch, John Wright opposite the Village Hall.
▲ William Drake, John Wright, Laurence Drake, Becky Fisher, Alan Pinney, Nicola Jenkins, John O'Sullivan, Margot Eagle and Mervyn Lack after doing the Village Hall to Holbien's Farm stretch.
▲ And this is how much was collected!
Places to go
If you're stuck for ideas of somewhere to go, try these websites:
Where can we go?
You can search for events in each county as well as by
village, town or post code.
Visit Cambridge and beyond
What's on in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire and
University of Cambridge
Bedford and surrounding areas.
Roads – up-to-date traffic information via Traffic England
101 – the non-emergency number for contacting the police – if urgent, use 999.
Use 101 to report an incident or crime, including anti-social behaviour – see the 'Contact us' section of Cambridgeshire police website.
101 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. From landlines and mobile networks, calls will cost 15p per call, no matter what time of day or the duration of the call.
01767 650 596 – for the Hatley Parish Clerk.
The blue bins: here's a useful list of what can go in them.
Hatley Parish Council's scheduled meeting dates, its agendas and its minutes from 2002.
Roads – up-to-date traffic information via Traffic England.