Charlie Last (age 6)

APRIL & MAY 2015
Charlie Last (age 6)
Welcome to the Downside Magazine!
Dear Downsiders
Welcome to our Spring Edition of the magazine. Congratulations to
Charlie Last (age 6) for winning our drawing competition and making our
front cover of the magazine! To see all 3 entries please visit
The magazine is also available free in digital form on our website, go to
WG&D Residents Association is organising 2 trips this Spring and Summer.
Please check pages 3 and 7 for more details. There is also an update on
Our Place project on page 5 and lots of other interesting articles and
events. For a full list of what’s on please
check our Dates for Diary on the last page
Downside Magazine Volunteers
Don’t forget to read the latest Paul Heley’s
Clive Bates, Mary Cuckson,
article, this time about Dunstable but
Amanda Evans, Kama Langham,
3000 miles away.
Silvie French, Jana Veyres,
Moira Wollington
Enjoy! Your Downside magazine team
If you would like to advertise or write an article for the next edition, please
contact: Kama Langham, Centre Leader on
01582 666 403
Downside Neighbourhood Centre, Oakwood Ave, LU5 4AS. Pop in, write to us or send us your article
and photos on an email: [email protected]
If you require any help writing your article, we’ll be happy to assist.
Key Contacts
Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC)
0300 300 8000
CBC REPAIRS (e.g. Pot holes)
0300 300 8049
STREET LIGHT - report a problem
(lamp identification number on the lamp post)
0300 300 8049
Downside Neighbourhood Centre
01582 666 403
St Augustine’s Academy
01582 661 778
The Mayfield Centre
01582 670 695
Police Contact
Non-emergencies 101
SNT.DunstableHR&[email protected]
Dunstable Town Council
01582 513 000
Cllr T A W Stock
Dunstable Town Mayor
Tel: 01582 891 404
Cllr R Pepworth DTC
Tel: 01582 538 414
Cllr N Reynolds
Tel: 07963 377 087
Cllr Peter Hollick (CBC) & DTC
Tel: 01582 665 133
Ms Denise Davidson
Estates Officer
0300 300 5388
Any opinion expressed in these articles is not necessarily the opinion of the editor.
Sunday 3rd May 2015
Adult £8
Child £5
Downside departure: 8am
Coach will be leaving from
Mayfield shops
departure: 5.30pm
If you would like to book tickets or find out more please contact
Tony Cootes on 07860 402735
Ca ncy
7th June 2015
The Community Centre, Suffolk Road
FRE que
Downside Neighbourhood Centre
Regular Programme
Monday - Friday
Oakwood Ave LU5 4AS
Tel: 01582 666403 / 666418
% Breastfeeding brasserie
12:00 - 1:30pm
% Baby Clinic 1:00 - 3pm
% Tiny Tots 1:30 - 3pm
% Lone parent advisor
(Job Centre Plus) by appointment
% Stay & Play 1:30 - 3pm
% G.T.T. Clinic by appointment
9:00 - 12:00
% Bromford Support
1:00 - 2:30pm appointment only
As some of you may be aware Dunstable
South Children's Centre has been
managed by the Children's Society
on behalf of Central Bedfordshire Council.
As of 1st April we will be managed by
YMCA. There will be lots going on behind
the scenes, pop into the centre or check
our Facebook page for up to date
information. We welcome comments,
complaints and suggestions so please feel
free to speak to a member of our team.
Our Place
A community survey was undertaken in July/August 2014 as part of the 'Our Place'
project. Resident responses given included the need for health related services and for
other services to be delivered outside of regular office hours.
As a result Dunstable Town Council worked with partners to deliver on these requests.
Services included; Health Checks, Stop Smoking and the Lifestyle Hub, Citizens Advice
Bureau evening outreach and Financial/budgeting advice provided by Dunstable
Salvation Army.
However, the Wednesday evening sessions have not proven to be popular, with only
12 individuals accessing the services over 5 months. As a result both have now
ceased. Any resident needing advice from these agencies can obtain help and support
by visiting their town centre locations, it is advisable to make an appointment:
Citizen Advice Bureau, 76 High Street North, Dunstable - 661384
Salvation Army, Bull Pond Lane, Dunstable - 606031
A number of other services continue to offer help and support to local residents from
The Mayfield Centre and they are reported under The Mayfield Centre opening hours.
What next for Our Place?
The partnership have submitted plans for work post April 2015 and are committed
to working with local people to improve the delivery of services. However, without
resident's involvement we can't move forward. Because of
the variety of skills within the local community there have been
conversations and ideas about establishing a community
enterprise, what this looks like and what it does is down to you and
those who step forward.
So if you are interested in getting involved in your local community
please pop into The Mayfield Centre, give us a call: 670695 or send
us an email: [email protected]
Springboard for Women Returners
Fed up at home?
Want to build your skills and confidence to prepare
for a return to work or training?
Starts 16 April 2015
at Downside Neighbourhood Centre, Dunstable
Runs Thursdays 9.45am to 2.45pm for 6 weeks
Childcare and travel costs met. CVs, interview skills,
benefits advice and much more ...
Contact Jo:
01525 850559
Voluntary and
Community Action
email: [email protected]
Grove Corner
If you are aged 13 to 18 and would like a place
to hang out with friends, listen to music, play
a free game of pool or table football and use
the internet for free then Grove Corner could be
for you. Grove Corner is warm, dry, light and
bright. Friendly staff are on hand, if you need any
information we are always happy to help.
We are open for drop-in's on Monday and
Wednesday evenings 7pm to 9.30pm and
Friday evenings 8pm to 9.30pm.
Sounds good but you are not yet 13? Don't worry
we have a junior youth club for 10 to 13 year olds
on Friday evenings 6pm to 7.45pm.
For more information visit
or contact Jacqui on 01582 891434
email: [email protected]
Every Saturday between 2:00-3:30pm at the
Downside Community Centre It’s FREE!
Creative church is a creative, fun filled, informal time for all of the family,
involving crafts, action songs, drama, music, stories and much more that teach
important life values. The aim of Creative church is to provide a place where families
can come to meet, share, create, learn, talk and eat together.
Creative church is sponsored by the Dunstable Seventh-day Adventist Community Church
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence includes
Threats of further violence or harming the
Breaking objects, hurting pets, abusive language
Isolating an individual from family and friends
Controlling access to money, prevented from
going to work
Physical and sexual violence
Living in fear of further violence
It is not just about physical violence and it doesn't just
happen to women.
If you think that any of the above things are happening to
you, there are people who can help.
Christmas Raffle
Report on the Residents Association Christmas Raffle 2014
The Woodfield Green and Downside Residents Association would like to thank all
residents that took part in the Christmas Raffle. The raffle was very successful and all
money raised will be going back into community events and trips.
The Residents Association would like to thank local businesses who generously donated
prizes. SCA Hygiene Products, Horse and Jockey, The Sandwich Bar, Mayfield Fish and
Chip shop, The Mayfield Take Away, Mayfield Mini Market and Mayfield Newsagent.
All prize winning ticket numbers are displayed on the notice boards around the estate.
Look out for the next RAFFLE during SUMMER 2015
WG & D Residents Association is organising a summer trip to Hastings
on Sunday 23rd August 2015.
If you would like to book tickets or find out more please contact
Tony Cootes on 07860 402735
Senior Citizens Christmas Lunch
Once again the Woodfield Green & Downside
Residents Association held their annual Christmas
Lunch for the senior citizens of the Downside estate
on 7th December 2015 at
The Community Centre,
Suffolk Road. Guests
at the event were
Dunstable Town mayor
and mayoress and other
council members.
Over 75 people attended the event which was thoroughly
enjoyed. All the ladies attending received a small
Christmas present.
Please note: There is a change of location for the Woodfield Green and
Downside Residents Association meetings every 3rd Wednesday of the month
at 7.15pm. They no longer are held at The Mayfield Centre.
The new location is Downside Community Centre at Suffolk Road.
The Mayfield Centre
Core opening hours are:
10.00 am to 5.00 pm on Monday
8.30 am to 5.00 pm Tuesday
9.30 am to 5.00 pm Wednesday
10.00 am to 5.00 pm on Thursday
10.00 am to 12 noon Friday
Bromford Support - 12 noon to 4pm
for anything tenancy related.
Westminster Drug Project - 2pm to 4pm
for any alcohol or drug advice.
Stop smoking clinic - 8.30am to 10.30am
help and support to give up smoking
Drop-in - 10am to 5pm
for local people to access the computers
for job and/or house searching and/or
specific information relating to services
for the elderly etc.
Sight Concern community group 12.30pm to 3pm
Life Style Hub - 12 noon to 5pm
for information and advice on health and
well being.
Work Club - 9.30am to 12.30pm and 1pm
to 3pm.
Homework drop-in - 3.30pm to 5pm
Drop-in - 10am to 5pm
for local people to access the computers
for job and/or house searching
Homework drop-in - 3.30pm to 5pm
4YP - for information, advice and
guidance for 16 to 19 year olds, by
appointment only.
Mayfield Makers and Creators Craft Club
- 10am to 12 noon new members
Dunstable Town Council has listened to
local residents and works with partners to
provide additional services from The
Mayfield Centre, currently this includes:
Wednesday Health Walks in partnership
with Sustainable Transport. If you would
like to join this friendly group meet at The
Mayfield Centre 9.00 am for a short walk
and finish back at The Mayfield Centre for
refreshments and a chat.
The Mayfield Makers and Creators –
Craft Work Shops Every Friday 10.00 am
to 12 noon. Come along and learn and
share skills within a friendly and
supportive group. Adults with children
welcome for this free activity (school term
times only).
Coming Soon
Library Point - Working in partnership
with the Library Service, The Mayfield
Centre will shortly be offering a library
point service from the Centre on
Tuesdays. You and your family will be
able to register as a library user and
borrow books from the Centre. Space is
limited so suggestions of
topics/titles/authors are welcome.
English & Maths - Central Bedfordshire
Adult Education Services will shortly offer
assistance to adults in improving their
English and Maths at The Mayfield Centre
on Wednesday's. Please visit for updates or call
into the Centre for more information.
The Town Council would really like to hear from you on suggestions of
services and activities you would like to see provided for you and your
family. Please feel free to call in and discuss your ideas with staff
at The Mayfield Centre or contact us on 01582 670695 or 01582 513000
or email: [email protected]
St Augustine’s Church
St. Augustine of Canterbury Church continues to meet for worship, social
and fundraising events, as well as encouraging the community groups that
meet in our halls. These include:
A lunch Club for the over 55's, Painting for Pleasure, Beavers, Cubs and
Scouts, an Alzheimer's support group, Foodbank, Ladies Guild, U3A Yoga, Karate.
We like to encourage our younger members, and were delighted to see the older group
encouraging younger members at the Crib Service in December.
Throughout the Christmas
Season, residents may have
noticed our colourful window
Easter Activities:
Holy Week
Mon 30th 7.00pm Lent Course Meal
Tue 31st 7.30pm Taizé Service at Priory Church
Wed 1st 7.30pm Reflective Service at
St. Fremund's
Thu 2nd 7.30pm Maundy Thursday Meal and
Fri 3rd
10.30am Walk of Witness starting at St.
Mary's Church, West Street, finishing in the Quadrant.
2.00pm An Hour before the Cross
Sun 5th 10.30am Easter Holy Communion
Our regular pattern of services will continue
Sunday 26th
10.30am Family Service
Race Night: Saturday 25th April
Please call the Church Office on 01582 661645 if you
would like tickets and we will get back to you.
Downside Pre School
Our New Garden
We have been refurbishing our garden. We had
artificial grass laid in January and eagerly waited
for our new equipment to arrive. The first to arrive
was the train. The children can climb, crawl and
jump off. Or they can sit and have conversations
or share books. The children were very excited
to see it. We are very much looking forward to the arrival
of our new playhouse.
Places available at Downside Pre School
Downside Pre-School offers high quality education and care for
children from 2 to 5 years old. We are open 5 days a week, from
8.45am to 3.15pm and have 15 hours funding for eligible 2 year
old children, and 15 hours of funding for children of 3 and 4 years.
Our prices are £4.20 per hour. Visits are welcome at any time.
Julie Russell, Downside Pre School manager, Oakwood Ave, Dunstable tel. 01582 660833
The Wildlife Trust
Events on Blows Downs this Winter
Birds on Blows - Spring walk
Join us for a spring morning guided walk with RSPB local
group leader, Mick Price. Climb above the urban sprawl and
enjoy the far-reaching views whilst watching, listening and
learning about the birds. Please wear suitable outdoor clothing
and footwear. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.
Limited places, booking essential. Price: £3 per head
Date and time: Saturday 25th April from 8am to 11am
Meeting Point: Skimpot Road/Hatters Way roundabout entrance, LU5 4GZ
Contact: Sue Turner on 07706131942
Wildlife Rangers (Exclusively for young people aged 13 to 19 years)
Wildlife surveying and practical hands on conservation, helping to make a real
difference for local wildlife, whilst learning new skills and meeting like minded friends.
New members very welcome to join our small friendly group. Add something amazing
to your CV, work towards the nationally recognised John Muir Conservation Award.
No previous experience required. Outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear required
as it is an outdoor activity. Booking essential. Price: Free
Date and time: Thursday 28th May from 1pm to 3.30pm
Meeting point: Oakwood Avenue, LU5 4AU
Contact: Ruth Sneath on 01525 874317 or email [email protected]
Additional information for the above events:
Wheelchair access: No
Mobility: Uneven surfaces, slippery when
wet, steep slopes, rough grass paths
Funded early learning for 2 years olds
To find out more visit
or call us on 0300 300 8119
Another Dunstable 3000 miles away
by Paul Heley
You'll be aware that there are quite a few places in the UK
with the same name. For example, there are 6 Downsides; 4
Lutons; something like 80 places based on Milton (eg Milton
Keynes); roughly 250 places with either Newton or Newtown
in their name; endless Nortons, Eatons, Suttons and Wettons.
But there is only one Dunstable.
But if you now extend your horizon to the north eastern
corner of America - and in particular to the six states
collectively known as New England - you'll find a mass of
places with English names: including a little town on the
Sailing for the New World Massachusetts/New Hampshire border called Dunstable.
You'll also find that there are well over 200 English place names in New England alone
and that Massachusetts takes the lion's share with more than 80 (of which Dunstable is
How did this plethora of English names come about? The answer, of course, is
history since what is now Massachusetts was the area that English settlers - the "Pilgrim
Fathers" - landed in 1620. Eventually other settlers along the American eastern
seaboard joined forces to create the original American colony of 13 states. This lasted
until the American War of Independence in the late 1700s by which time it stretched
from the far north to Georgia in the deep south.
Apart from a few places like Jamestown (named after James 1st) in Virginia (named
after Elizabeth 1st, the "virgin queen"), most of the other place names reflect where the
settlers originally came from.
The reason for this mass emigration to America was mainly religious even though by
1620 Protestants and Catholics in England had largely stopped killing each other with
gay abandon and the Anglican Church of England was fully established. But groups
such as the Puritans, Quakers, Baptists, Independents and other "non conformists"
were far from happy with the dictatorial manner in which the Anglican church exacted its
control. And here in Dunstable, for example, there was considerable dissent when a
popular vicar, Zachary Symmes, was victimised for not preaching as the church
demanded. Eventually Zachary, together with a number of his followers and other
disgruntled preachers, decided that enough was enough and sailed to Boston in 1632.
There he was welcomed with open arms.
I find it amazing to think that so many settlers, having a similar background history,
named their new communities after the places back home where they'd been subjected
to ridicule and victimisation. Perhaps they were extremely nostalgic; perhaps they were
very forgiving; or perhaps they hadn't got much imagination!
Although many immigrants remained in the area around Boston, many others
ventured inland into what was dangerous Indian country. Maybe some were fired with a
missionary zeal; some with a quest for adventure. Who knows? But a contempory quote
reads:- "In the fathers of New England we behold a body of men who, for the liberty of
faith alone, resolutely and deliberately exchanged the delights of home and the comforts
of a civilised life for toil, danger and for an ungenial climate and a rugged soil".
Another Dunstable man, Edward Tyng (1600 - 1681), first emigrated in 1630 and by
1639 he was settled as a merchant in Boston. But he then pushed inland to found an
area of land known as "Dunstable" which by 1656 had attracted its first settlers. The
nearby settlement of Tyngsborough also takes his name and, later still, the community
of Dunstable was officially established and incorporated in 1673.
From these humble beginnings Dunstable gradually grew - but it has never been
large. Originally "Dunstable" had occupied a 200 square miles area of land and
straddled the NH/MA state boundaries but, with time, this large area was broken up into
smaller communities some of which have since become important towns. Dunstable,
however, has always remained either rural or, as at present, largely dormitory for Boston
28 miles away.
Its present population is about 3200 and census returns show that in 1850 there
were roughly 600 people. A 'flu epidemic in 1920 caused it to drop to 350 but thereafter
it has continued to rise slowly.
Looking at recent civic statistics shows Dunstable to be fairly affluent with higher
than state average income together with good educational qualifications and low
unemployment. Its standard of living appears to be high (and is most likely much better
than that which its "parent" town back in the UK currently enjoys. Ouch!)
But to return to its history, for seven years following 1774, America was embroiled in
its War of Independence when it tried - successfully - to shake off the yoke of British
colonialism. The war started with the so called "Boston Tea Party" and gradually moved
south over the years. The folk memory of the people of New England recalled Britain's
former high handedness and, in Massachusetts in particular, recruits were quick to join.
It is interesting to note that, in these parts, there has always been a sense of "genteel
rebellion" and a reluctance to "do as you're told". Bloody mindedness if you like!
From the very start, 40 Dunstable men volunteered for the local army contingent and
numbers quickly grew. It is recorded that in May 1775 the whole male population of
Dunstable between the ages of 16 and 50 was only 128 but that each one of these men
was somehow engaged in the conflict. New England men were particularly valued as
fighters since they had already experienced warfare against Indian tribes and the
French regarding Canada. Described as " hardy, fearless and indefatigable, almost
every one of them is a trained marksman. They have experience of savage warfare and
forest hunting is familiar to them all. They can aim their weapons at a human oppressor
as readily as at a bear".
In June 1775, many Dunstable men were involved in the famous Battle of Bunker
Hill and as the war continued and moved further south, so they were involved in later
battles. Another quote says "They were in almost every fight from Bunker Hill to
Yorktown. There were victories, there were defeats; but they were there at Yorktown
when the whole British army capitulated and independence was won".
But isn't it terribly ironic that less than 100 years later, many of these soldiers,
northeners and southerners, who had fought side by side in the War of Independence
now found themselves on opposite sides during the American Civil War; and that they
were now killing each
other? Such is the nature
of war.
After these two very
different conflicts,
Dunstable went back to
sleep and continued to
develop its quiet
existence gradually
becoming the prosperous
Boston and
and typical New England
country town of today.
The Notice Board
The Scouts will be amongst the first
charities in the country to use its own,
unique personalised text code, TENT09 to
raise funds using JustTextGiving by
This is a brand new, free service for charities that has no set up or fundraising costs for
charities, no network charges for people making donations and every penny donated
goes to charity. Gift Aid can also be added to donations.
From today, supporters of The 9th Dunstable Scouts can make donations of up to £10
by texting TENT09 and either 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 to 70070 to make their donation. The
text message is free and all of the donation will be passed to The 9th Scouts
Dani Bailey of The 9th Dunstable Scouts said: “This is a wonderful way for us to raise
money as it's speedy, simple and spontaneous. Most people have a mobile phone
these days so we expect this to be very popular with our supporters.”
01582 606031
[email protected]
The Salvation Army
Bull Pond Lane
The Salvation Army offers a free, confidential,
professional service to all people in the Dunstable area
The Salvation Army Registered Charity Number 214779 and in Scotland SC009359
Authorised and regulated by Financial Conduct Authority
Supported by Dunstable Town Council
Have you or anyone you know:
!Been offered a cash loan without paperwork?
!Been threatened when you couldn’t pay?
!Had your benefit or bank card taken from you?
!Had a loan which keeps growing even though
Email: [email protected]
you are making payments?
Text: loan shark + your message to 60003
If you answer yes to the above you may have
been bitten by a Loan Shark.
For confidential help and advice contact the Illegal Money Lending Team 0300 555 2222
(local call rate, including inclusive minutes from mobiles)
Dates for your Diary
Every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7.15pm - Woodfield Green and
Downside Residents Association meeting at a new location - Downside
Community Centre, Suffolk Road. Everyone is welcome!
Easter Egg Hunt - 10am to 3.30pm at Ashton Square Area, see page 6
Springboard for Women Returners - Free 6 weeks course. For more
details please see page 5
Race Night - St Augustine’s Church, please call the Church Office on
01582 661645 if you would like tickets, see page 10
Birds on Blows - Spring walk organised by The Wildlife Trust. for more
information and contact details please see page 11
Trip to Southend-On-Sea organised by WG&D Residents association
For more details please see page 3
Wildlife Rangers - 1pm to 3.30pm organised by The Wildlife Trust, for
more information and contact details please see page 11
Please let us know about any other events happening at Downside which
you would like to have included in our Dates for Diary. You can contact us
via Facebook or email us on [email protected]
Police Contact
As always, if you need us:
in emergency please dial 999
non-emergencies call us on 101
Email address: SNT.DunstableHR&[email protected]
We take great care
to ensure all
information in the
Downside magazine
is correct at the time
of going to press.
However, we would
advise everyone to
phone and check
details prior to
making a long trip ...
or promise!
Special thanks to the following sponsors for their contribution
Funded by the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation’s London Luton Airport Operations Ltd Fund
and Dunstable Town Council Our Place project
Simon Whitbread Charitable Trust