Issue 4 – Week beginning April 19th

Congregational Church & Village from Harden Moor

Tittle Tattle Newsletter

Sponsored by Harden Congregational Church

Issue No. 4 week beginning April 19th

St George a.k.a Captain Tom 

Captain Tom, is the 99 year old man, who the country has taken to their hearts. He illustrates the best of humanity and what can be achieved, whatever your age or circumstance. His nephew, a paediatrician working for the NHS and on the front line, at the moment, commented

“He has the fire of St. George and the dragon in his belly. Uncle Tom you are what this country is all about.”

In case you have been in complete hibernation, you will know that Captain Tom is a Yorkshire man [what else] born in Keighley and was a pupil at Keighley Grammar School. He served in the army during the Second World War so understands what fear and hardship means. 

He has had a hip replacement and treatment for cancer, courtesy of the NHS. He wanted to do something to support the magnificent work of the NHS, as he approached his 100th birthday and to raise a modest amount of money, £1000. He determined to do 100 laps of his garden and he achieved his goal slowly but surely. At the last count he has raised the staggering amount of over £26 million. 

I have to admit when I watched him, on the BBC news, complete his last lap of the original challenge, it brought a tear to my eye. Why? Partly because he is an ordinary, lovely old fellow who had done an extraordinary thing, but also because he demonstrated the attitude of mind that is inspiring, when he assured all of us who might be feeling challenged by the present situation,

“Tomorrow will be a good day. Things will get better. The sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.”

Captain Tom’s achievement brought to mind a biblical passage and a poem :-

They Shall Mount up with Wings like Eagles

‘The Lord is the everlasting God,

The Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary;

His understanding is unsearcheable.

He gives power to the faint,

And strengthens the powerless.

Even youths will faint and be weary,

And the young will fall exhausted;

But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,

They shall mount up with wings like eagles

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint.

[Isaiah 40 28:31]


If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired of waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;

If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!              [Rudyard Kipling]


Are you struggling to get fresh fruit and vegetables? The Harden Hub, based at Harden Congregational Church, can help!! 

Volunteers have come forward to finance the cost of the produce, do the shopping, deliver the food to the Hub, put food in bags and deliver to households. Last week we delivered to three more households in the village

This will be our third week of delivery. We have had messages of thanks to the volunteers from those receiving the produce.

We are 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 vegetables 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.

Helen Keighley  (Minister, Harden Congregational Church)

Village Undertakers Coronavirus update:

There has been much in the news about PPE, both the need for and shortage of supplies, for key workers in the NHS and in Care Homes. So far there has been no mention of those who work in the funeral sector! As in all other areas there has been no definitive advice. Public Health England suggests that the virus can remain present on surface for up to 72 hours after which it is unlikely to be viable, but there is no reliable information as to how long the virus can persist on a body under refrigeration conditions.

Being a virus which is transmitted primarily via the airways there is a real danger that even after death when moving a body air particles can be expelled. Again there has been conflicting advice on the need for the use of body bags.

As members of SAIF [Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors] we are continually being updated on best practice to safeguard both clients and staff. The use of gloves has been commonplace in all situations for a long time; aprons and masks when procedures are being carried out, eye goggles less so; body bags – it just makes sense and are in plentiful supply.

As with all things, Bradford Council keeps updating its advice. As of April 12th the Council will allow up to ten mourners to accompany the coffin to the door of the crematorium. Only Ministers/Priests/Celebrants are being permitted to offer prayers and words of committal for the deceased within the building, if desired. Mourners must observe social distancing outside and will not be permitted to enter the chapel. It is expected that when the current crisis is over there will be opportunities for Memorial and Celebration of Life services to take place.

For information on Covid-19 compliant funerals see our website at

 and choose the ‘Whernside’ option under the prices tab.

Despite the current difficulties we remain open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. 

Telephone Robert Waddington 07599 46 26 49

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

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. . 

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 the Tittle Tattle Newsletter. 

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. 

Below are contributions from Mollie and Freya who normally attend Harden Primary School but who are isolating at home like so many others.

   Freya’s Poster on the Lockdown

   Mollie’s birthday card to Captain Tom for his 100th birthday

Beat the Bullies.Com

For Chapter 3 of our story see below

Answers to last week’ s Countries Quiz

  1. War [John Cleese]
  2. Damned [Thomas Hood]
  3. Escape [Robert Muldoon]
  4. Language [George Bernard Shaw]
  5. Scotland [Sydney Smith]
  6. Michael Angelo [Mark Twain]
  7. Kippers [Evelyn Waugh]
  8. Believe it [Clarence Darrow]
  9. Canoe [Pierre Benton]
  10. One [George Mikes]
  11. Cheese [Charles de Gaulle]
  12. Winter [Billy Connelly]
  13. World Napoleon Bonaparte]
  14. Enigma [Winston Churchill]

TV Quiz 

The following are anagrams of well known TV shows:-


  18. LAY AS CUT


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

Sheila Driver 

Or Kay Johnson 

Count Your Blessings

Count your blessings instead of your crosses

Count your gains instead of your losses

Count your joys instead of your woes

Count your friends instead of your foes

Count your smiles instead of your tears

Count your courage instead of your fears

Count your full years instead of your lean

Count your kind deeds instead of your mean

Count your health instead of your wealth

Count on God instead of yourself.

Beat the Bullies.Com

Chapter 3

Percy hovered over a Bunsen burner and waved various test tubes in its direction to keep his mind on the series of tests being conducted by the pupils in the larger of the two science labs. It was ‘double chemistry’, two lessons shared together to ensure enthusiastic young people could have sufficient time to experiment with all things poisonous or explosive, or both. Many children did not rise to the challenge so carefully planned for them, but Percy loved it. His was an enquiring mind. He liked nothing better than to follow the detailed list of instructions set out in his worksheet, mixing chemicals, eagerly anticipating an unexpected result and then carefully and meticulously noting up the outcome in his chemistry folder.

Of course many of his fellow students did not appreciate the opportunities that double chemistry offered and would have preferred at least a single lesson, so that they could get to the football field for games a little earlier. However, most accepted the inevitable and in a rather dilatory, reluctant fashion addressed the demands of the day’s task without too much messing about. Tempting though it was to play tricks of a quasi-scientific nature on those adjacent on the bench, the prospect of Mr. Measure noticing such idle distractions was too frightening to contemplate.

The chemistry teacher was terrifying to say the least. At his most calm his manner was loud and abrupt. He barked out instructions like a sergeant major on parade. He glared, threateningly, when he enquired if anyone had any questions, daring anyone to put up their hand. Many a time an object that had moments earlier occupied its proper place on the teacher’s desk was heard to be whistling past an inattentive child’s ear. Mr Measure played cricket for Ryedale Cricket Club, in his leisure time and as the opening bowler was known for the accuracy of his delivery! He had been head of the chemistry department at Wisdom Academy for over twenty years and did not seem to have read the modern teaching bible headed ‘Safe from Harm.’ Mr Measure would never be known for his nurturing side but he was a very talented chemistry teacher. By fair means or foul, he ensured those taking chemistry examinations came top of the dreaded league tables.

So, whilst Percy found Mr. Measure very intimidating, if not downright scary, when he first ventured into his lessons, he soon became used to the verbal onslaught. Indeed, as Percy never attracted the negative reaction to misbehaviour and his ears remained safe from Mr. Measure’s bowling practice, he found he was learning a lot from the experience. 

Kayne Wayne, however had not been so lucky. It had been one of the most enjoyable experiences of Percy’s short time at the Academy. Lacking the patience required to follow the detailed instructions for a particularly challenging experiment, Kayne decided to experiment on his neighbour on the stool next to him instead by trying to set his lab coat alight. This had not gone down well with Mr. Measure who raced around the bench with his ‘Chemistry For Beginners, file in one hand and jug of water in the other. He threw the water onto the lab coat with impressive accuracy quenching the small flame. With an equally agile manoeuvre he hit Kayne a hard blow across the hand with his ring-binder which sent the lighted taper into a handily adjacent sink and knocked Kayne off his stool.

Mrs. Wayne made a complaint to the school that her son had a bruised arm following an assault with a weapon. The Head Teacher, Mr. Bright, carried out an investigation. Mr. Measure explained he had been endeavouring, in the heat of the moment, to dislodge the lighted taper from Kayne’s hand to prevent injury to either of the boys involved.  When questioned, no other witnesses in the class dissented from this view. The Head Teacher, also a robust individual, told Mrs. Wayne there was no substance to her complaint and suspended Kayne from school for three days, for his trouble. 

Mrs. Wayne was not impressed by this as it meant she had to suffer three Kayne filled days at home. Mr Wayne was even less impressed. He was enjoying the same three days on leave from work and he brought it home to Kayne, through gritted teeth, that life could become very unpleasant if he should interfere with his father’s enjoyment of leisure hours again.

Kayne had not returned to Mr. Measure’s class. A decision was made that alternative methods of instilling scientific knowledge into Kayne’s brain would be found.

Percy had witnessed and enjoyed the incident. For once he had not been the victim and he had seen Kayne getting his come-uppance. Better still the long term result meant that he could enjoy the experience of double chemistry without Kayne’s menacing presence.

However, on this particular morning, Percy had more on his mind than fond reminiscing.  His need to be on time for Registration overruled his curiosity to discover what help Colin might be able to offer. He had left the language lab in some haste, with Colin still smiling out from the computer screen. From Registration it was straight to Double Chemistry. He could not be late for that either. He listened to and followed Mr. Measure’s instructions involving a particularly challenging experiment. Normally, he would not have contemplated the idea of allowing his concentration on test tubes to be diverted to any other topic or activity but today, he managed to finish his experiment early and to complete his result analysis in record time. So, although a little wary of the eagle eye of Mr. Measure, he decided to switch sites and retrieve the abandoned ‘Consult Colin ‘file. 

The smiling albeit inanimate face of Colin appeared and Percy pressed the video play arrow. Colin’s voice rang out, “Hi Percy, I’m Colin. How can I help you?” Percy froze. He had omitted to turn down the volume control. Mr. Measure looked up from his desk. “Who’s talking?” he bellowed. Inspiration came to Percy. “Sorry sir, I pressed the wrong key on my laptop.” A few petrifying seconds passed. “Well press the right one boy and be quiet!” was the surprisingly calm response. Percy clicked off with a shaking hand. Clearly, Mr. Measure was not himself today. This was not his normal reaction to interruption. Maybe it was because he regarded Percy as a good and attentive pupil so was prepared to overlook the misdemeanour; perhaps it was because he had got six wickets yesterday and, in a quiet moment, was basking in sporting glory. Whatever the reason, Percy was relieved and reconciled himself to the fact that he would have to find another setting for his conversation with Colin.

The opportunity to converse did not arise until much later in the day. History, English literature and Games had demanded his attention in lesson time and during breaks he had been pre-occupied trying to avoid the notice of Kayne and Co. At mid-morning break he had volunteered his services to chemistry and to his friend Ken, by assisting in cleaning up the mess left behind by an experiment by Ken that had gone spectacularly wrong. The results of Ken’s efforts could be seen all over the adjoining wall, desk tops and most of the lab floor.

At lunch time, he had readily agreed to an extra orchestra rehearsal for the Halloween concert, in the music room.

So it was on his long trek home that his thoughts turned again to Colin. He was itching to hear what Colin might have to say but he dared not take his laptop from its hiding place just in case Kayne was lurking nearby. He quickened his pace, unable to contain his impatience. In record time he completed his enforced route march and with rising excitement burst through his front door. He shouted “I’m back” to his mother as he ran into the kitchen, grabbed a piece of chocolate cake and rushed upstairs to that oasis of calm and safety, his bedroom.

At last, he could open his laptop without fear of interruption. He knew that his mother, having returned from work at the local library would be pre-occupied. She would be sitting with her feet up on the sofa, cup of Earl Grey in hand, drinking in the tea and the contents of the ‘Great English Dish’ on Catch Up TV. Cooking programmes were her passion. It was only a matter of time before she tried out the dish of the day on Percy and his father who she regarded as available guinea pigs. If they survived the experience and went so far as to compliment her on her culinary skills she felt emboldened to introduce her efforts to the competitive atmosphere of St Matthew’s Ladies Supper Club. Her efforts were not always successful but her menus were never boring.

With a sigh of relief Percy sat at his desk and waited. There it was again Colin’s enigmatic smile. To the now familiar question Percy answered by typing “I hope you can.” The mouse nearly jumped out of his clutch when Colin replied in a very confident tone “You don’t need to type, just talk to me”

Tentatively, Percy mumbled “You mean you can have a conversation with me?” He was sure that his laptop did not have that sort of voice recognition facility. 

“there are many things I can do, Percy, you’d be surprised” replied Colin

That he was surprised was a bit of an understatement. Percy slowly closed his mouth which had dropped open. 

“Don’t sit there gawping. I can see what looks like chocolate butter icing coated on your tongue. Ugh! Disgusting! Tell me what the problem is.”

Percy began to pay a little more attention to the figure on the screen. Colin sounded very much like a disapproving adult. He spoke in the clipped tones of an actor playing the part of Little Lord Fauntleroy in a BBC production that Percy had watched last week. He looked rather like him too. He was dressed in a dark, old fashioned suit, a shirt with what his mother had described as a wing collar and he had a shiny sort of sash tied around his neck. Percy frowned. What would a nerd like this know about the sort of problems he was facing. 

“I don’t suppose you can really help me. The fact of the matter is…….” 

He paused for a moment to collect his thoughts and then the words came tumbling out

“I’m being bullied at school. It’s happening all the time, every day. I can’t seem to get away from them.”

He went onto describe the whole sorry, ghastly experience to Colin.

“so you see, I can’t tell anyone. My life if hell and I don’t know what to do. You are my last hope”

Percy looked anything but hopeful. 

Colin’s rather stern, formal expression melted away. A huge grin spread across his face. 

“No problem! I shall be delighted to assist. Beating the bullies is a speciality of mine.”