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From Jo Simson - 25th December

Happy New Year:
I suppose it ought to be Merry Christmas, but by the time you read this it will probably be too late for that. But not, I hope, too late to join the New Year’s Day walk which sets out from the Village Hall at the very civilised time of 1.30pm. This is a shorter walk than normal, around 2-3 miles, and family-friendly. The walkers will be greeted on their return to Trinity Church Hall, with tea, coffee and mince pies, courtesy of the ladies of the WI. Mince pies are of course what Father Christmas uses to discover what we want for Christmas. If you believe the Christmas crackers. (Think about it).

New Year’s Eve Disco:
The Royal British Legion in Gun Lane will be seeing in the New Year with a New Year’s Eve disco, from 8 till late. Members £2.50, children 5+ £2, guests £5.

If Christmas leaves you feeling your parenting skills are in need of some fine-tuning, take heart. A six-part,' video-based, interactive course for parents of children aged 0-12 is coming to St. Martin’s in early 2015. The course is devised by Care for the Family. Sessions include ‘It’s not just me’, ‘Boundaries and battles’ and ‘Creating a sense of belonging’. If you think you might be interested, complete the survey at www.quicksurveys.com/s/Zr3f4 to indicate the best days and times for you.

Solar Park Application in Swangleys Lane:
The application for a Solar Park in Swangleys Lane was finally heard, with modifications, by the North Herts. District Planning Control Committee on Wednesday December 17. The Committee approved the application.

Local Plan consultation:
North Herts. District Council is also consulting on its preferred options for housing over the Christmas period. These include two Green Belt sites on the outskirts of Knebworth which would have a combined total of 414 dwellings and a primary school built on them in the period to 2031. This is a public consultation and you can have your say on it between now and February 6. Details can be found at http://www.north-herts.gov.uk/localplan, and there is also a copy in the Library in St. Martin’s Road.

Jo Simson

From Jo Simson - 18th December

Knebworth Community Chorus will be singing FROZEN though this Saturday, December 20 at 7pm, in the Village Hall, Park Lane. This is not to say that the new Village Hall heating system will be misbehaving itself, but extracts from Disney’ hit Christmas musical will be included in ‘Christmas with Knebworth Community Chorus’. There will also be an opportunity to sing along with favourite Christmas Carols and listen to Haydn’s toy Symphony. Tickets, £10 adults, £5 children, include mulled wine and mince pies and you can get then at Village News Station Road, or call 01438 816010.

Scout Guide Christmas Post:
If you are tearing your hair out trying to get local Christmas cards written and delivered before the big day – take heart. Provided you can get them written and properly addressed, Knebworth Scouts and Guides will happily deliver them in Knebworth and Old Knebworth for you for just 30p a card. Stamps and postbox can also be found in aforesaid Village News, Station Road. Last collection this Friday December 19 and deliveries will be made this week-end.

Christingle and Crib Figures:
An old favourite returns to the Christmas Eve Crib Service in St. Martin’s Church in the heart of the village at 4pm. This year Christingles will also be lit. All welcome, whatever your age.

Christmas Eve Services:
For those wishing to see Christmas Day in with a midnight service – you need to note that they all actually start at 11.30pm. A warm welcome will await all in any of the churches in the village: St. Martin’s, St. Thomas More, London Road and Trinity, Park Lane.

Jo Simson

From Jo Simson - 11th December

The Bells of St. Mary’s:
Up in Knebworth Park the bells are ringing out at a different time these days. Bell-ringing practice has switched from Friday to Monday nights at 8pm. Newcomers welcome – it’s great exercise. It’s not just for practice, the bells are rung at the start of weddings and other special services. For more information contact David or Rosemary Pateman on 01438 820253.

Memorial Stars Service:
Christmas can be a difficult time if you have lost a loved one. The short Christmas Tree Memorial Stars Service in St. Martin’s Church in the heart of the village is open to any bereaved people who would like to remember someone they have lost. During the service the tree is decorated with stars bearing their names and/or a short message. This year’s service takes place this Saturday December 13 at 4pm.

Christmas starts with a Silent Night:
But it won’t be silent up at St. Mary’s in Knebworth Park his Sunday December 14. Those aforementioned bells will be ringing out to welcome people to the Carol Service at 4pm. All welcome, but note the earlier start time. It’s been brought forward so it won’t be so dark when you arrive.

Carol Singing:
There will be more carol singing, but this time around the village, next Tuesday December 16. Knebworth Family of Churches invite us all to join in singing carols in aid of The Living Room, a local charity working to break the cycle of addiction. For details of route and timings contact Jo Simson on 01438 814166, jo.simson@ntlworld.com.

Christmas Walk:
Next Tuesday December 16 will also be the Christmas celebration for the Knebworth Walking Group. The walk centres round the Plume of Feathers at Tewin and lunch has been pre-booked, but if you would like to join in the walk itself, meet at the Village Hall car park at 10am to arrange car shares.

Julie Ansell has been recognised for her services to Guide Dog puppy walking. Julie was amongst those receiving awards on Saturday December 6. She has been walking puppies for 50 months. The puppies come to live with volunteers like Julie for a year to get acclimatised to the kinds of situations they might meet, before going on to be tested for their potential as Guide Dogs.

Eyes Down for a Full House:
Congratualtions, too, to the Royal British Legion, who are hoping for a full house to celebrate the first anniversary of their Bingo sessions on Wednesday December 17. Books go on sale at 7pm, eyes down 7.30pm.

Jo Simson

From Jo Simson - 4th December

Christmas is coming:
I don’t know about the goose getting fat, but I do know that Christmas arrives this week-end roundabout Knebworth my home village.

Christmas Tree Festival:
It starts up at All Saints Church, the building built by the people of Datchworth from the stones in their fields. Their Christmas Tree Festival runs on Friday December 5 from 5-8pm and Saturday December 6 from 2-5.30pm. It should be well worth a visit.

Nativity Windows:
The ‘snow’ is again falling through the tree at the bottom of St. Martin’s Green, courtesy of Knebworth Parish Council, and many more Christmas trees have appeared to brighten up the windows of our local businesses. At the other end of the High Street, Knebworth Family of Churches, in the guise of the very wonderful Penny Paton, are again displaying the nativity scene donated by the Catholic Church of St. Thomas More. Many thanks to Burgess Funeral Directors for allowing the KFC to use their window for this.

Winter Wonderland:
While we are walking in this Winter Wonderland, we could direct our steps to St. Michael’s School, Woolmer Green, whose Winter Wonderland is from 12noon-2.30pm this Saturday December 6.

Christmas Market:
But most importantly, we must ensure that we put in a visit to our very own Christmas Market, on St. Martin’s Green from 10am – 2.30pm this Saturday December 6. Home-made cakes, mulled wine, crafts, tombola and many stalls will be on offer. And a warm welcome extended to all, on the newly-swept green. Proceeds to Church funds.

Christmas letter:
Around this time the Knebworth Family of Churches Christmas letter, detailing all Christmas services in the village, should be dropping through your letterbox. It will be accompanied by ‘Silent Night’ a booklet about the famous meeting of First World War soldiers in no man’s land on Christmas Day 1914.

Neighbourhood Watch:
Christmas is a time for sharing, but perhaps not with uninvited guests. Jason, of Gun Lane, Knebworth, is setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Group. If you would be interested in joining, contact him on Knebworth_GLNW@outlook.com.

Jo Simson

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