Issue 2 – Week beginning April 5th

Tittle Tattle Newsletter

Sponsored by Harden Congregational Church

Issue No. 2 week beginning April 5th


…..We all do it don’t we? It doesn’t matter if the problems are small or off the scale as seems to be the case at the moment. Well-meaning people say ‘Don’t worry, it will be alright.’ But we carry on worrying. Sharing a problem or a worry can help whether it is with a member of the family or a friend. 

I have always found that the best way is to share it in prayer. It doesn’t make the problem go away but it helps to get you through it, with often surprising results. So carry on worrying, it’s inevitable, but try sharing it!

I share with you some thoughts of Jesus.


‘Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.’ [1 Peter 5:7]

‘Come to me, all that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’[Matthew 11:28-30]

‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid.’ [John 14:27] 

A Wonderful World

Let’s not forget that there’s a wonderful world out there. Last week I found my spirits lifted by the daffodils; this week I found wonder in the night sky. It was one of the few occasions recently when there was a clear night. I looked out of the window and, such was the display, I went out onto the doorstep to take in the heavens and marvel. If you get the chance, weather permitting, and with a clear night sky, enjoy the experience yourself. We take so much for granted in our wonderful world, now is a chance to stand and be amazed!

This poem says it for me………

Escape at Bedtime

The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out

Through the blinds and the windows and bars;

And high overhead and all moving about,

There were thousands of millions of stars.

There ne’er were such thousands of leaves on a tree, 

Nor of people in church or the Park,

As the crowds of the stars that looked down upon me,

And that glittered and winked in the dark.

The Dog and the Plough, and the Hunter, and all,

And the star of the sailor and Mars,

These shone in the sky, and the pail by the wall

Would be half full of water and stars.

They saw me at last, and they chased me with cries,

And they soon had me packed into bed;

But the glory kept shining and bright in my eyes,

And the stars going round in my head.


Are you struggling to get fresh fruit and vegetables?

Starting next week we will be delivering fruit and vegetables in a mixed bag to your doorstep if you need it.

Are you 

a) over 70 and have no-one to shop for fresh produce for you

b) classed as vulnerable and have no-one to shop for fresh produce for you

c) an individual, couple or family who have suffered a loss of income due to the virus outbreak

To register for your weekly delivery of fresh fruit and

 veg to your door please send your name and

 address to 

or phone Helen on 07932 156337. 

There is no charge for the food or the delivery.

God bless

Helen Keighley 

(Minister, Harden Congregational Church)

Harden Quiz

  1. What has been in existence since 1877?
  2. Where would you find evidence of a Roman road?
  3. What premises were gutted by fire in 1979?
  4. Where would you find a much visited tourist attraction and pleasure resort in the 1920s?
  5. What do the numbers 616 and 727 signify?
  6. Where is the late seventeenth century farming development that is now a conservation area?
  7. Where would you find the names Thomas Connor and John Bowden?
  8. Where was Hateltone/Hatel-tun [Harden] recorded in 1086?
  9. What was designed by Dr. Alistair MacKenzie and Bobby Jones in 1931?
  10. John Nicolson, a local poet wrote the following lines in the nineteenth century; what do they describe?

‘Here may the contemplative mind

Trace nature and her beauties o’er

And meditation rest reclined

Lull’d by the neighbouring cataracts roar.’

[Answers in next issue]

Answers to Life Saver Quiz from Issue 1

1. Smallpox 2. Morphine

3. X rays 4. Insulin

5. Penicillin 6. Polio

7. DNA 8. Antibiotics

9. Blood transfusion 10. Anaesthetic

D&S Garden Services

For all your garden maintenance

Grass cutting, lawn care, borders & planting 

Weekly & fortnightly visits available

Based in Harden

Please contact David or Stuart

01535 274287 or 07794971703

Summer bedding plants/based in Harden

Hanging baskets

Troughs & planters available

Old ones can be refilled

Free local collection

Bedding plants £2.25 per punnet

Please contact Suzanne 

 01535 274287 or 07815559874

Coronavirus update: Cremations

Bradford Council has introduced a policy of Direct Cremations only. This means that there will be no funeral services permitted at any of the district’s crematoria. This ruling applies to all funerals even if the death is unconnected to Covid-19. 

For information on what a Direct Cremation is please see our website at  and choose the “Penyghent” option under the prices tab. Despite the current difficulties we remain open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Telephone 07599 46 26 49

Further information on burials to follow.

Rainbow Children

So it all started as a germ of an idea on the ‘Harden Community-lets get busy!’ Facebook page when a lovely village mum contacted me to see if there was anything the children could do to help lift the spirits of our elderly residents who were feeling lonely and isolated in the current crisis. Various ideas were passed back and forth, perhaps setting up a pen-pal network or posting pictures through doors. Most of these were not practical due to safeguarding issues, government guidelines etc. However, a practical solution was reached to include the children’s work in the weekly editions of Tittle Tattle so that everyone can enjoy it. 

A plan was duly hatched involving a handmade     post-box, that Rehka and Smylah have kindly offered to display in the post office, and a volunteer [me] to pick it up at intervals so that the children’s contributions can be scanned and included in Tittle Tattle. 

Mrs. Hutchinson, Head at Harden Primary School, has also expressed interest in involving the children of keyworkers who are still attending school during the current crisis. So it is a real community effort.

I am aware that this will only reach those people who have electronic access and social media but this appears to be the best solution at the moment. I plan to print a couple of copies of the Tittle Tattle and post it through the doors of a couple of elderly members of Harden Congs. who I know would love to receive it in their isolation. Perhaps you could do the same if you know of anyone in a similar situation.

God bless


Teddies in the window

Here’s another idea for children to help the boredom and lift the spirits of all who pass by their windows.

In New Zealand, teddies are appearing in windows across the country with tens of thousands of homes taking part, including the prime minister. Some are dressed in their best Sunday dress, some in weird outfits, some doing cartwheels, some holding messages.

How about it you little and big kids out there? Start it and pass on the word.

From the mouths of babes……..

One local child commented

“Mummy, the Queen was on TV last night, she hasn’t got coronavirus has she?

“No love she was just talking to the people.”

“Oh, thank goodness for that, she’s got dogs to look after.”

Beat the Bullies.Com

A Story for the Young and Young at Heart

See below for our serialised story of Percy Peckham and his experiences of bullying during his first term at secondary school. Chapter one in this issue to be followed by Chapter two next week and so on. 


A big thank you to

  • Our contributors
  • Ian Gerdes of Elevate Digital Agency for posting the Tittle Tattle Newsletter every week on our website.
  • Rehka and Smylah at Harden Go Local/Post Office for distributing hard copies of the Newsletter and displaying the post box.


If you would like to advertise, pass on useful information or contribute brief articles of general interest please email

Sheila Driver 

Or Kay Johnson 

And hold onto this thought from the Queen

“We will be with our friends again, 

 we will be with our families again, 

 we will meet again”


As the rain hides the stars

As the autumn mist hides the hills

The happenings of my lot

Hide the shining of Thy face from me

Yet, if I may hold Thy hand

In the darkness,

It is enough;

Since I know that,

Though I may stumble along the way

Thou does not fall.

Beat the

Chapter 1

Percy Peckham was packing his school bag. It would have been obvious to anyone taking even the slightest interest in his efforts, that he was doing it with little vigour. Lack of enthusiasm for packing school bags and it has to be said, school in general, is not an uncommon feature of an eleven-year-old boy’s approach to education. 

However, Percy had always enjoyed going to school. He was regarded as a gifted pupil. Indeed, one far-seeing teacher had described him as a budding academic. That is until he reached the age of eleven. He had been a star pupil at his primary school. He had been popular with his teachers and had had a small but close circle, of good friends. He had risen to all challenges put before him.

This had all changed when he moved, at the age of eleven years, as all children must, from the comfortable, caring and safe environment of the small, village primary school to the altogether more challenging atmosphere of the large secondary school, two miles away, in the nearby town of Bingford.

Percy had been looking forward to the move. Through the long, albeit enjoyable, carefree days of the school summer holidays he had imagined this next step; a step towards the promised independence of teenage years. More importantly, there was also the prospect of that most desirable object for a budding scientist, a proper science lab.

He recalled his science lessons at his old school with fondness. They had been great fun, driven by the comical antics of his maths and science teacher, Mr. Adder. Mr. Adder enjoyed nothing better than entertaining his ten-year-old prospective ‘Einsteins’ with the lighter side of science. The creation of stink bombs was a speciality. His efforts had gone down a storm with his class although they were not always appreciated by his colleagues, in the staffroom, who had to suffer the aftermath. Creative teaching was to be encouraged in a colleague but sometimes, when they had to deal with the consequences, enthusiasm waned. Not infrequently they had to endure smoke and unpleasant smells in the corridors and classrooms. No one wanted to teach in Mr. Adder’s classroom after his science lessons. Although an evacuation, when the smoke alarm was set off, had only occurred on one occasion, it inevitably happened on the wettest day, of the wettest October, on record. Half an hour in the rain storm with two hundred soaking, fretful children and nerves were frayed. Mr. Adder had had to purchase an awful lot of superior biscuits for the staffroom before even the kindly and caring reception class teacher would speak to him. The caretaker still holds a grudge!

It would be fair to say that although his teaching of the wonders of science was rudimentary, it did start so many of his pupils off with an enthusiasm for the subject. Naturally, in later years, this interest often dwindled when faced with calculus and chemical tables. But such was the curiosity that Mr. Adder had stirred up in Percy that he had taken the trouble to search out a few books, in the local library, from the appropriate shelf allocated to eleven-year olds, on wide ranging topics such as ‘How to Make Magnetic Slime’, ‘Incredibly Cool Egg Experiments’ and ‘Explore Space in an Hour.’

He read through them all during the enforced leisure of his summer break when his mother was not insisting on taking him to the park, the swimming pool, the fair and the church holiday club. He managed to fit in this packed programme around the odd, solitary hour spent improving his store of knowledge.

His interest in all things scientific was not just down to the antics of his teacher. His father, known to his colleagues as ‘the Prof.’ was a leading light in the laboratories of All Scripts Ltd, a multi- national drugs company whose research facility was based in the next town. It was clear, at an early stage of Percy’s development, at the tender age of five, that he was a chip off the old block, as he listened avidly to his father’s bedtime stories. Not for him tales of princesses, haunted castles, mythical creatures or nattily dressed, talking animals which entertain most youngsters at bedtime. No, the Prof. regaled his infant son with tales of space ships, ghastly, flesh-eating bacteria and the fascinating possibilities of exploding pens.

As the days were growing cooler and shorter and September arrived, Percy prepared for this new adventure, secondary education. His first week at Wisdom Academy [a name chosen in recognition of its founder and not to reflect any vain hope of unlikely outcomes] was all it promised to be. New classrooms, new teachers, new books and the icing on the cake, state of the art science labs whose recent construction had been funded by, no less, the multi-national drugs company. 

And then it all went wrong. It would not be an exaggeration to say things went rapidly downhill. Within a fortnight of the beginning of term, the poor lad’s excitement and enthusiasm were overtaken by fear and dread. No longer did he look forward to the next day’s academic challenge in the classroom or lab. Instead, he could only anticipate the days dragging out in a seemingly endless, first term. And this was all down to one thing or more accurately one person, the bully of Class 1B, Kayne Wayne or was it Wayne Kayne? Percy hadn’t been sure at first.

It might be anticipated that a child known as Kayne Wayne or even Wayne Kayne would have something of a complex about his parents’ selection of names. Clearly, they had not put too much thought into the naming process. They had not considered that their choices would prove to be a challenge to any child making his way through life and that he might be the butt of many a future joke made by unsympathetic school colleagues. It would seem that his expectant mother had had a ‘bit of a thing’ for a long-forgotten star who rose to brief musical heights after adopting the catchy title, ‘Kid Kayne’. Undeterred by a disinterested husband, she decided to inflict the name on the unsuspecting infant.

Many a child would have suffered loss of self esteem as a result, but not Kayne. As it turned out and perhaps because of the name, he presented as a robust, hyperactive child who by the time he was compelled to go to school was prepared to take the educational world by storm. In no time, he had proved to be a challenge to both teachers and fellow pupils. He was a bully!

It was never clear whether he acted in a difficult and antisocial way from feelings of inferiority and insecurity or whether his early experiences of life had triggered an attitude of over confidence and superiority. Whatever the cause, the effect was unpleasant for most of those around him, children and adults alike. There were exceptions. Most experts might have predicted that he would be a universally unpopular child who all would avoid like the plague. However, he had the uncanny knack of identifying two or three potential disciples to his cause; boys who, because of their own feelings of inadequacy found it easier to be part of a gang. They might be more than a little wary of Kayne’s social attitudes and a somewhat fearful of possible unwelcome personal consequences to themselves, if they associated too closely with him but the alternative way of standing up to him seemed far more uncertain. So, they joined his gang and became his sidekicks. They adopted Kayne’s laissez-faire attitude to the wearing of uniform, his style of address and sometimes colourful language and his unpleasant practices.

Kayne and his small band of cronies picked on lone children, usually out of sight of watchful adults. They selected the small and shy, children who obeyed the rules, those who were bright and conscientious, naïve to the ways of the world, who did their homework and listened in class. Percy fell into this select group for most of those reasons. By random selection and the unfairness of fate he had landed in Form 1B alongside Kayne and his cronies.

From day one, Kayne and Co. had made Percy’s life a misery. They called him names, took his bus money, ate his packed lunches, ripped his school bag and on occasion resorted to physical violence if he showed any inclination to protest. It was the effects of the latter that had attracted the attention of his mother, in the second of week of term. Percy was sporting a black eye and scratches on his face. She enquired, with some concern, how he had come by such injuries. For a second or two Percy considered spilling the beans to her and telling her of the hell on earth that school had become. But after that momentary hesitation he decided that this was not the best course of action. He had witnessed the results for a fellow class member, Jeffrey Hardaker, whose parents had complained to the head teacher about Kayne’s atrocious behaviour toward their son. This led to Kayne spending several hours in detention. Nothing daunted, in an unobserved corner of the school yard, he had made threats of what he and his gang would do to the poor lad and even his younger sister if he ever grassed him up again. Jeffrey’s life was made even more of a misery and this time, Kayne was careful to ensure no one in authority knew what was going on. Percy had noticed that Jeffrey had been off school last week. The rumour going around 1B was that he had developed unexplained stomach cramps and was too ill to attend. 

Percy told his mother that his injuries were the result of a fall during a football session where somebody’s boot had caught him by accident. The ’boot’ bit was accurate; the ‘accident’ was not. 

Percy was not a coward but, being heavily outnumbered, he recognised that he had little chance of standing up to Kayne and Co. successfully. He was astute enough to realise that the behaviour could not continue, indefinitely, if he was ever to have a chance of “furthering his studies” as his father was fond of saying. That was stating the blindingly obvious! However, at present, he could not concentrate on anything else but avoiding meetings and confrontations with his tormentors.

He packed his bag as usual with his lunch box, the contents of which he was unlikely to have the pleasure of eating and his maths homework book which inevitably would be hijacked to ensure Kayne got top marks in algebra. Finally, he placed his laptop in a small folder marked ‘GERMAN’.  In a moment of inspired genius, he had invented a Kayne-proof device to prevent Kayne interfering with his treasured laptop. Fortunately, Kayne did not have any interest in the contents of a German folder; he struggled with the intricacies of the English language never mind any foreign tongue, so he paid it little attention. This had allowed Percy some respite during the school day when he took stolen opportunities, in the Kayne-free zone known as the language laboratory, to pursue one of his passions, I.T.

He picked up his bag and coat, went down to the kitchen, gave his mother a goodbye kiss and with as much enthusiasm as he could muster, assured her ‘Yes’ he would have a good day.