This is the page where you can have your shout. Tell us anything you like. Is global warming affecting your sleep? Are you confused by the Magic Roundabout? Should Piccotts End join NATO? We want to know. Email editor@piccottsend.org and see your name in lights!

Piccotts End development was always part of the plan

Word on the grapevine, The field opposite our field on the other side of the Leighton Buzzard Road is now owned by a developer who is champing at the bit to start building houses. If this is the case the houses will come down to the L.B.R. On the opposite side there is a road going to come from the M.1 round the back of the industrial estate, behind Woodhall Farm, dropping down & across Dodds Lane, down to the L.B.R. across the road between the Garden Centre & Mill Lane, across the fields up the hill over the top crossing across Boxted Road down to the Winkwell via Pouchen End Lane & joing up with the A.41 by-pass. As far as I know all the land is owned by the council. The wide grass verges along the L.B.R. in our vicinity have been left as there will be widening of the road towards the new road just after the garden centre. Obviously in filling by houses will take place from the back of Piccotts End up to the new link road & houses will come down to the L.B.R. on the other side.

Sorry to say, this was all planned in the 50s & although I will protest I sadly think it is a forgone solution. The present link road was built on land deliberately left by the planners when the new town was built many years ago. When I moved here in 1972 I often wondered why this strip of land was left when either side they built houses, now we know, it sat dormant for years. Piccotts End will unfortunately become as Northchurch is now. I believe they call it progress. Piccotts End problem is its accessibility to the M.1, M.25 & A.1M, once seen as a bonus but now to us residents a curse.

Mary Wiedman
The Tack Room
Piccotts End


Golden view

Cornfield, Piccotts EndI was passing Dodds Lane one sunny evening and caught this beautiful view of the newly harvested cornfield.

Jonathan Culverhouse
Marchmont Cottage

Residents need to take vigorous action

My lady, her of the red hair, and I have enjoyed our time here hugely since arriving in 2014.. Recent events and problems, like having my car vandalised and her wing mirror damaged,  only strengthen our resolve to keep this hamlet,and the people in it safe. I don’t feel that the authorities have enough focus. I suggest that vigorous measures are needed by the residents themselves. Cameras and security, and a true sense of community will see us through.

Barry Brady
46 Piccotts End

 

Dead foxes may have been poisoned

I wish to draw attention to the fact that there seems to be a surprising number of fox deaths over the past year. The latest one this week ,which  again I found in my garden , next to the pond. The previous  ones -at least 6 ,also found in my garden , one in the pond , and several grouped together, as though deliberately placed there. In addition ,a young buzzard also died unexpectedly last year , the parents were nesting in the trees in my garden .The one thing that these deaths have in common is that they  have all the hallmarks of poisoning as the cause . Clearly it is a criminal offence to poison animals and I ask all to be vigilant regarding this matter .
Dr Lynne Dyson
Piccotts End House

Very pleased with our warm welcome

We moved in around 3 months ago from St Albans and have been very pleased with the warm welcome we have had.We plan to bring the Church back to some of its former glory with a new bell, a renovated clock and a lived-in feel with our dogs and cats. We look forward to becoming part of the community.
Sean & Avril Larner
Church House 

Thrilled to be moving to Piccotts End!

I am so excited at the prospect of moving to No 42 next week. My family and I lived in the High St for many years and I always felt privileged  to live in an old house in such a lovely part of Hemel Hempstead. My sons’ respective heights- both well over 6 foot- forced a move to a more appropriate  modern house for the last 15 years, but as life moves on, I am now able to return to a home with lots of character where I know I will be very happy. I am a social worker by training and work independently for a number of local authorities. I should be retired but am not quite there yet!! I look forward to meeting fellow residents – I hadn’t quite realised Piccotts End was such a dynamic place- I will ponder the question of NATO between now and then!!
Yvonne Metcalf

Top marks for this dad & daughter decorating duo!

I have just had my cottage painted and maintained by a fabulous father and daughter duo. Graham and Lydia are meticulous, brilliant painters and Graham also replaced broken roof tiles. And they clean up afterwards. Another PE resident, having seen their work, has already engaged their services. Contact Lydia for a quote on 07971 223979.
Val Corbett (no 96)
PS I organise Lady Val’s Professional Women’s Network for executives in Central London and invite anyone interested to come to my lunches to contact me. You’ll meet like a diverse range of like-minded professionals who subscribe to the network motto: ‘There’s a special place in hell for any woman who doesn’t help another woman.’ Contact me on val@ladyvalnetwork.biz

I’m so fortunate to be living in such a lovely place!

Hi there PERA! Just wanted to introduce myself finally! My name is James Dingle, graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, film editor based at Elstree studios, tenant at Wyndhurst for the last couple of months and at least for the next six, and very happy and fortunate to be living in such a lovely place!
James 07538837534  

New homes plan: The question we should be asking Dacorum

The old Lucas site, 'empty for 20 years'As the council has decided to build on farmland bringing it nearer & nearer to Piccotts End it would be a good time for PERA to question the council as to why it is not building on the old Lucas Aerospace site at the end of the industrial area? The site has been levelled, is about 80 acres & has been sitting there about 20 years. It is handy for commuters with access to the M1, M25 & the A1 M & hundreds of houses could be built there.  I’m sure more businesses would be attracted to opening there & more people would be able to live nearby. Put the travellers site there as well, why should they always get pristine sites in the country. Mary Wiedman, Piccotts End Farm.


Anyone for bowls?

Bowls at Little GaddesdenI represent Little Gaddesden Bowls & Croquet Club. We are very interested in reaching more folks in your parish to find out if there is interest in coming along to the club with a view to joining us.  We have many Hemel members and folks from further afield such as Pitstone, Dunstable and Tring. We currently offer both bowls & croquet for the single membership fee. We have a new committee on board, now with ambitions to grow the club and to work more closely with the county and national bowls & croquet associations, bringing coaching and competitions to the club. We have also refurbished our clubhouse last year to create a more suitable venue. Over the winter, we hold a monthly soup & social to keep in touch with our members. Little Gaddesden is an idyllic spot to play bowls on a Summer day or evening. We would love to welcome peole of all ages to our club. You can see more details on our web site www.lgbcc.co.uk I hope very much to hear back from anyone interested. Please phone me on 0771 934 2854 or email secretary@lgbcc.co.uk Best regards Alun March Club Captain

How about a plaque for these two worthy men?

Sir Astley Paston-CooperI understand a plaque has been unveiled on Robin Corbett’s house, this I understand but what about two more? One to Sir Astley Paston-Cooper for creating the first Cottage Hospital & another to Arthur Lindley who uncovered the Medieval Wall Paintings which he restored & opened to the public. It was he who after years of painstaking research, no Google then, found out about the connection between Paston-Cooper, who was Queen Victoria’s surgeon, and the village. No one had heard of Piccotts End until the late Mr Lindley’s various discoveries put it on the map. The famous wall paintings are reputed to be finer than those at Windsor Castle & the cottages they are in are now Grade 1 listed. Not many places can boast to have a Grade 1 monument in their town or village. Sadly when Mr Lindley died neither the council or any of the heritage busy bodies, who  were full of promises & no action, ever supported his widow who was forced to sell to a developer who, as with the others, was all talk & no action. Arthur Lindley & Paston-Cooper should also have a plaque dedicated to them.
Mary Wiedman, Piccotts End Farm
Editor’s note: More plaques are planned including ones marking the Medieval Cottage wall paintings and the Cottage Hospital.

Thanks for the fantastic fireworks!

Many thanks for the wonderful fireworks last night they really were superb, the food was excellent as usual. Thank everyone for all the hard work that was put in,we enjoyed it very much. Michael and Valerie Tate Millstream, Piccotts End

Whose job is it to keep our road clean?

Why is the area between the medieval cottages and the Mill House so neglected? The road is muddy and the drains outside Nos 140 and 140A are always blocked.  I have been on to the council highways dept. and they keep saying they will send someone along but after nearly three weeks the drains are still blocked. We do pay our council tax so why have Dacorum forgotten that Piccotts End Road exists!!!! It is not up to the locals to clean the road OR IS IT ????
Anita from No. 140a

Piccotts End will always have a place in my heart

Hi there everybody I just wanted to say that my move to Shropshire has gone relatively well.  I’m still living out of packing boxes but little by little the house and garden (oh luxury) is coming together.

Piccotts End and Piccotts Enders will always have a place in my heart and I consider myself so lucky to have lived in such a friendly community, and to have found another friendly community here in Ellesmere. My new home is just behind The Mere, an ancient lake. This is what “Shropshire Tourism” says about it:
The Mere at Ellesmere is the largest and most spectacular of the nine glacial meres around the ‘North Shropshire Lake District’. It is situated on the edge of the town itself and is a legacy of the last Ice Age, when large blocks of ice were left behind by the diminishing glaciers. They were buried by mounds of debris and in time the ice melted leaving hollows which became lakes filled with water. This is where Harry and I take our morning walks.  We have a mini-beach (not private, of course, but I like to think of it as “ours”) and when the ducks and geese aren’t there, Harry takes a bath (that is, he wades as far as his “Oh!Zone”. If they’re there, he has to go on the lead.  He only wants to play with them, but I just don’t think the birds’d understand…. All this is to say that I do hope we stay in touch.  If anyone’s heading this way, Vicki has my number and address – please do get in touch and come and see us. Wishing you all a great winter-tide with just enough snow to give Piccotts End its lovely Christmassy look….but not too much! Warmest wishes Trixi Field Ellesmere, Shropshire

Piccotts End remembered from the US

My Dad, Warren Howe, attended the Piccott’s End school in the 1920′s – 1930′s. His father was the Gamekeeper and the family lived in the Keeper’s Cottage. Living in the US, I love family history and I visited Gadebridge and the Marchmont Arms in August. Patricia Shephardson Rochester, New York.

The Caroline connection in Galley Hill

My tip for a dry cleaner is Swan in Galley Hill. The owner used to work, many moons ago it is true, for Jeeves in London and his main claim to fame is that Princess Caroline of. Monaco once came in to compliment him on the ironing of her ball gown. Well as well as ball gowns he does a pretty good job on normal clothes. Val Corbett

The shooting stars that inspired a poem

Thank you for an amazing party and extraordinarily beautiful fireworks! It reminded me of the first poem I learnt written in 1884 I think. I have slightly changed it! I saw Fantastic Fireworks light up the sky, Shimmering Piccotts End as they flew by, Too burning and too quick to hold, Too lovely to be captured or turned into gold, Good to make special wishes on and then forever to be told. Vicki Linsey No 107 Thank you! Had a geat time. Fantastic fireworks! No 42

Introducing your new county councillor

I recently became your local County Councillor, so I am writing this to ensure that you are aware of my contact details if you have any County Council issues.  It must be confusing to have the InTouch newsletter delivered to you as part of “Grovehill and Piccotts End” – which is a ward of Dacorum Borough Council, quoting Colette Wyatt-Lowe as your County Councillor.  Yet, the County Council divisions do not coincide with the Borough Council boundaries, and for County Council purposes Piccotts End is in “Hemel Hempstead Town Division” – which includes most of Apsley, of Boxmoor, and of Hemel Hempstead Town Ward.  This is the division that I represent.  Fortunately, with Colette being my wife, any issues reported to her would certainly be passed on to me. You may be interested to know that each County Councillor has a ‘personal budget’ of £10,000 each year. I am inviting applications for funding from organisations, youth or community groups within the Hemel Hempstead Town Division for grants towards projects which promote social, economic or environmental wellbeing.  I am particularly keen to help where a project needs a bit of extra funding to get started but will be sustainable thereafter.  If you would like to apply for a grant of up to £2,000 please contact me using the details below. Shortlisted applicants may be invited to put their case to a panel. I will be making decisions on how to allocate this at the beginning of December. If there is anything else that I can do on behalf of the residents of Piccotts End, please do not hesitate to contact me. William Wyatt-Lowe Member for Hemel Hempstead Town Division. Tel: 07717 857544  &  07710 381323  &   01442 247372 Email: William.Wyatt-Lowe@Hertfordshire.gov.uk   Web: HemelHempsteadTown.YourCllr.com

A Pat on the Back for the Jubilee Party Organisers

Please pass on our thanks to all the organisers for the Jubilee party at the Marchmont. With all the rain it was the ideal place to be. Fantastic turnout too! Chris & Richard Lewis Wyndhurst

I Knew This Funeral Was Going to be Magnificent

Val Corbett pays tribute to her late husband Robin, Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, who died last month aged 78

As soon as the organist began playing the quiet beginning of Elgar’s Nimrod as Robin’s coffin entered the ancient St Mary’s Church, I knew this funeral was going to be magnificent and yes I am prejudiced, but that inspirational music encapsulated the atmosphere … it reached its crescendo as his coffin was placed gently on the plinth. A large and beauteous red rose was its only adornment, as I explained to the congregations later, it was from his twin sister Judy in Australia. We chose Robin’s favourite music for the ceremony and it all fitted in with the mood .. especially The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams when we had the time and space to remember him against such a melodic background.  Leslie Griffiths and Jenny Hill conducted the service with warmth, sensitivity and yes, love. Leslie’s words will resonate with us for a long time. A friend summed it all up: ‘That was the most wonderful send-off for Robin.  We mourned but we laughed as we remembered a great man.’ Thank you so much for cards and letters, so many I cannot hope to reply individually. Please take this as my heartfelt gratitude for the descriptions and stories of my beloved husband – some made me cry but they were not sad tears. Val Corbett 96 Piccotts End

The sign that makes you see red!

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We have noticed a increasing number of “near misses” at the speed restriction at the Mill Close end of the village, for seemingly no particular reason. Following the latest icident involving our daughter who experienced something of a road rage incident at the site, I decided to take a closer look to see if there was any reason for the problems. Sometimes the answer can be staring you in the face and you don’t see it.Can you spot the rather obvious error in the attached photograph? We have passed this on to the Highways dept. Regards Lorri Shearman Mill Close

Dacorum has ‘done a U-turn in Piccotts End development’

Regarding their core strategy I got Dacorum to send me the government planning inspector’s report. This was done in 2002 and included consideration of the Marchmont Fields site as an extension to Grovehill. The good thing is that the Inspector did specifically talk about a separation from Piccotts End being preserved. Dacorum are now saying that Green Belt sites should be the last to be developed, so in theory it could be years before anything happens there. The report starts by noting that the Council ‘accepts that the land is not productive in agricultural terms but does not consider that this is a reason for developing it.’ The Inspector, however, ruled that he did think the site was acceptable for development, but he particularly mentioned its proximity to Piccotts End: The area is separated by a noticeable ridge in the topography. There is therefore little visual interconnection between the areas. Providing any housing was sited to the east of this ridge I do not consider that it would result in a visual or physical coalescence with Piccotts End. So, while unfortunately he did give his general approval for the site to be considered for development, he also gave consideration to Piccotts End and evidently recognised that there should be some physical separation – a ‘substantial landscape buffer’ (trees and plantings?) – between any new building and the rest of Marchmont Fields. NB the site we’re talking about is the top end of the field, which is owned by English Partnerships, and not Colin Poole’s land, where the car boots take place – I would imagine this would form the ‘reasonable gap’ the inspector stressed. Obviously, since this was published, the site has been accepted by Dacorum and they’ve done a U-turn on their previous opposition. Penny Gore Piccotts End Lane.

Why we must say No to 3-storey plan

I’m appalled at what’s said about Marchmont Fields – “a mixture of 2- and 3-storey homes”. I’ve played with the Ordnance Survey map and contours – plain as the nose on one’s face that 3-storey homes would be clearly visible from as low down as the Leighton Buzzard Road. All those in the current “Grovehill West” around Marlborough rise are 2-storey and also designed, deliberately, with low mono-pitched roofs so they don’t stand out like a pimple on a pig’s backside against the skyline. So, for me, the most important single change I’ll be wanting to see is the elimination of any reference to 3-storey homes. I’m minded to remind the Inspector that, right now, the West Grovehill development is, effectively, hidden from view by a 2-metre-high hedge because it is all low-rise – IF they were misguided enough to build further down the hill it would need a 60-foot-high forest to screen 3-storey buildings from the conservation area and from the Gade gateway into Hemel Hempstead. Michael Nidd The Old Bakery

Introducing Tim, Julia and family

We have just completed our purchase of 138 Piccotts End and would like to introduce ourselves. We are Tim & Julia Blinko and our sons James & Alex. We won’t actually be moving in for a while, as we are having some restoration work done to the house first. Tim is Professor of Music at the University of Hertfordshire and Julia teaches piano, clarinet and flute in schools and is a keen singer. We are very much looking forward to becoming residents of Piccotts End. Julia Blinko

You’re invited on a blind date!

As a Piccotts End resident for over 6 years I’d like to introduce my company, Presence Interiors (www.presenceinteriors.com, tel 01582 793866), the curtain & blind specialist. We are based in Redbourn with a small showroom and offer all services for home furnishings. You’re welcome to pop to us or we can come to you. Neil Presence Piccotts End Lane

Does anyone know the lady who really is an oil painting? 

I recently got a splendid portrait pastel painting from auction with the name Diane Pratt, Potten end. I want to find out more of the person in the painting. Do you know of her or a family called Pratt in your area who she could be related to. This is a superb portrait done in the style of Renoir and could be quite old. But I can find no other reference to her. Can you help. Thankyou. Jeff Ward artwarduk@yahoo.co.uk

Does anyone have any info on baker George?

I am following my wife’s family tree and find via the 1871 census that a George Cook lived at 22 Piccotts End as a baker. Does anyone have any info on him or his family, or photos of this house. Thanks. Jack Danbury jack.danbury@sky.com

Thank you PERA

Just a little note of thanks, for all the hard work that has gone into the PE website , thank you also to the PERA for the hard work that goes into looking after the interest of the village. This is the first time Peter and I have browsed the website. How lucky are we that people care. Thank you. Eileen Teakle Horseshoe Cottage

Red kite alert!

Red_Kite

Out walking I saw a kite (the bird!) just above the car park to the old rifle range in Dodds Lane. It was very low and obviously hovering over something in the adjacent field. This is

the second time I have seen one here. Interestingly this time a sparrow hawk tried to chase it off … but failed. David Stanier 110 Piccotts End This is a red kite, which has spread from the Chilterns in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire to Hertfordshire. It’s easily recognisable by its huge wingspan (nearly two metres) and distinctive markings. I also saw one (probably the same one) circling over Highfield the other day. Though birds of prey red kites prefer carrion, however according to other sightings reported in the Gazette they are not averse to the odd pigeon! – Ed.