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Bypass Update – 2 March 2015

2 March 2015: Some photographs from a recent walk round the Deep Spinney/Gold Lane/Bromham Road area of the bypass – work now progressing rapidly around the roundabout, the disruption to this busy section of the road is well ‘contained’ – down at the ‘baulk’, the roadway leading from the roundabout is now showing signs of tarmac, however the area leading towards the north of the Bromham Road area appears to be very much in the excavation stage.

Opening of the Biddenham Heritage Trail


To what?  Why the opening of the Biddenham Heritage Trail of course on Saturday18 April at 11.00am at King’s Corner, Main Road.  Festivities will commence at 10.30am with entertainment by some of the talented musicians from Biddenham Upper School under the direction of their tutor Georgina Murphy.  Our current (but then prospective candidate) Member of Parliament Alistair Burt will formally open the trail at 11.00 am.

There will be balloons for the children and trail maps for everyone, with the different routes colour coded and identified by waymarkers.

Other heritage trails exist but not like ours!  The Biddenham version really will be a bit special – but then, so is Biddenham!   As you follow the trail and any of the three optional extensions (for the energetic) see how many of the natural and man-made features of great historical interest you can identify.  Over 30 of these are illustrated in full colour on the six information boards which will be positioned around the village and the surrounding area, in the form of reproductions of a selection of the 54 original paintings done specially for the occasion by village artists.

>>> click here for further details from the 2014 Biddenham Society AGM

We want this to be a real family event, so bring the children and/or grandchildren, and take the Heritage Challenge.  This is in the form of a special Family Trail Questionnaire, the answers to which can all be found by following the main Anniversary route of about 1.5 miles in length through the historical parts of Biddenham.  There is no need to go further afield.  Some questions are easy (children) and some more difficult (adults) – or should it be the other way round?  Prizes donated by local organisations will be awarded for correct or near-correct entries. The questionnaires will be available immediately following the opening ceremony, but if you can’t spare the time to take the challenge on the day itself you will have a week in which to do so and to submit your family entry.

Come on!  Note the date, and help give this initiative a flying start.

Tony Wood               


Founded in 1965 by a group of concerned residents, The Biddenham Society remains committed to the continued preservation of the beauty, history, character and heritage of the village.

The Biddenham Society’s 50th AGM

A full house of 100 residents attended the 50th AGM and lunch of The Biddenham Society held on Sunday 7 December 2014 in the Village Hall.  In his welcoming remarks the chairman drew attention to the presence of two residents, David Palmer and Pat McKeown, who had also been present at the inaugural meeting of the society in 1965.

The minutes of the 2013 AGM (presented by Secretary Mark Phillips) and the Balance Sheet for 2013-2014 (presented by Treasurer Bob Hutchinson) were both accepted by the meeting, the particularly healthy state of the finances being primarily due to as yet unspent lottery funds committed to the heritage trail.

Chairman’s Report
In his report, the chairman reported that 38 planning applications for the Biddenham area had been received during the last year, most of them relating to property extensions.  However four recent submissions of particular significance to the village were worthy of specific note.

i). The most recent application by the owner of 29 Day’s Lane to construct two dwellings on the site of the orchard adjoining the pavilion field had again been refused following widespread local opposition.

ii). The application for retrospective planning permission by the occupant of 38 Church End for a two-storey residential barn already constructed in the back garden was refused following objections by the society, the parish council and neighbours.

iii). The application to extend and re-model the façade of ‘The Firs’, 21 Church End was withdrawn following objections from the society and others regarding an inappropriate pastiche design and other factors.

iv). The application to construct a large residence to the rear of ‘Lavender Lodge’, 42 Main Road is pending, but has been opposed by the society as an overdevelopment of the site and with an excessive footprint.

The chairman then described the latest developments regarding the paddock between Church End and the golf course and a new form of protection for green spaces which can be shown to be special to the local community.  From the floor, Pat McKeown spoke of the initiative he has launched to acquire this area presentation in trust to the village, and Cllr Jon Gambold followed with the possibility of still having the paddock accepted  as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ despite the recent rejection by the borough of an application from the parish council for its designation.

The chairman then updated the meeting on the by pass extension north of Bromham Road: completion by October 2016 (earlier if the weather is kind); a contractual requirement to complete the first two roundabouts in nine months giving access for housing construction; 1300 dwellings currently planned, but initial development will only be at the western end of the site; cost £8 million.

Heritage Trail

This will be opened at 11.00 am on Saturday 18 April 2015 at King’s Corner, Main Road, by Alistair Burt MP. Biddenham Upper School will be providing musical accompaniment, and family trail questionnaires (with prizes) will be available.  More details later.  The Junior Heritage Trail, devised by pupils of St James’ Lower School, will be opened at a later date in the school’s summer term.

Three excellent presentations on aspects of the heritage trail were then made to the meeting.  Monica Knight discussed the history and development of the Arts and Crafts movement in Biddenham, specifically in relation to the houses of Mallows and Baillie-Scott; Peter Applewhite talked about the origins and turbulent past of the village pond and its lost dovecote, and encouraged those present to help preserve this important asset by becoming ‘friends’ of the pond; and Kathy Fricker described the work and activities of the recently-formed History Society, and its close links with the development of the heritage trail.

Peter Applewhite also briefly referred to the excellent new initiative of the ‘Biddenham Blog’. The society’s section can be found on

Election of committee

Left to right Jeremy Reynolds, Susie Mason Patel, David Slark, Monica Knight, Will Jenkin, Averil Watson, Mark Phillips, Chris Gleave, Bob Hutchinson & Tony Wood

Thanks were expressed to Averil Watson who is stepping down from the committee this year.  The remainder of the committee Dr Tony Wood (Chairman), Mark Phillips (Secretary), Bob Hutchinson (Treasurer), Chris Gleave, Will Jenkin, Monica Knight, Susie Mason Patel, Dr Jeremy Reynolds, and David Slark were re-elected for 2014-2015.

In closing the meeting the chairman thanked the committee, helpers and friends for their great efforts in organising the luncheon event, and especially Chris Gleave for once again masterminding the preparation of the meal.

>> click for further details 

Bypass Update – 12 December 2014

12 December 2014: A mild December so far, and the race is on before the Xmas break (?).
The ‘cycleway underpass’  off the main entrance towards the ‘Baulk’ is progressing, and to the right hand side of the Baulk work is concentrating on the excavation/transfer of sand & gravel before the road foundation work can commence. The Clapham Road end site is also now established.

The Clapham Road end site is also now established.


Biddenham Future

A new page Biddenham future has been added to the blog’s main menu.

It will provide a record of Biddenham as it is before developments take place that will change the village in the future. Initially, it is covering the two major planning issues currently of particular interest to the village:

  • the proposed development of land north of Bromham Road; and
  • the submissions for development in Biddenham put forward for inclusion in the local plan for the Borough of Bedford in the period up to 2032.