Issue 8 – Week beginning May 18th

Tittle Tattle Newsletter

Sponsored by Harden Congregational Church

Issue No.8 week beginning 18th May

Making Plans

We have moved into the stage, in this pandemic, of making plans. All over the world, plans are being formulated to help us all out of the world-wide lockdown. Some involve big steps, others on a smaller scale, but all proceeding with an element of caution. We are all hopeful for the future but recognise the dangers in making the wrong decisions, maybe for the right reasons, which may set us back. Some of us are intent on being ‘guided by the science’; some less so.

Knowledge and educated opinion are wonderful things and are needed in a situation such as this. However, what is required most of all, is wisdom. You can be the most educated, intelligent person on the planet but without wisdom you risk everything. You have to know how to use your education and intelligence if you are to have any chance of success. All the money in the world cannot buy wisdom, it is beyond price. We pray our leaders possess the sort of wisdom required but also that we too may have wisdom to take the right decisions, in our own small corner.

The Bible says of wisdom –

‘For wisdom is more precious than rubies

And nothing you desire can compare with her.’

[Proverbs 8:11]


New Every Morning

Every day is a fresh beginning

Listen my soul to the glad refrain

And, spite of old sorrows

And older sinning

Troubles forecasted

And possible pain,

Take heart with the day

And begin again.                                                                                                                                     [Susan Coolidge]

The Natural World is Calling. The Natural World has Plenty to Say! *

The world has changed over the last couple of months. To my way of thinking it’s become smaller. The new routine limited and constrained. Priorities redefined. With the world paralysed by the Covid-19 virus it makes you realise how fragile our human existence is and in the great scheme of things how insignificant we really are. A drop in the ocean! We’re marking time. Suspended in the moment until someone snaps their fingers and we wake up and realise it’s all been a bad dream.

Recently, birdsong appears amplified, partly because it is not in competition with road noise, aircraft and the buzz of human activity. I count myself as being extremely fortunate, in these difficult times, to be able to sit and listen, taking time out to recharge the soul, focusing on what’s important in my life, being immersed in the natural world. The natural world is calling. The natural world has got plenty to say! It’s a good feeling, a privilege. Nature is a wonderful thing, particularly when left to its own devices free from human interference. In the period of “lockdown” living in Harden is a bonus. The open countryside is on my doorstep easily accessible for daily exercise. I’ve witnessed new born lambs in the fields, the ebb and flow of Harden Beck and the changing colours of spring through to summer on the moor and in the woods.

I have a garden and part of it is given over to growing fruit and vegetables. I’ve been spending a lot of time there. Getting my hands dirty, turning the soil and planting seeds, onions, courgettes, runner beans, broad beans, beetroot and salad have been planted out. 

Research has highlighted the benefits of open air, gardens and the act of gardening in treating a wide range of physical and mental health conditions. I read an article the other day –“Dirt is good for you.”Contact with soil exposes us to beneficial microbes helping to make our immune system more efficient and keeping us healthy. As we become resistant to many current antibiotics, microbes in soil are being used to develop new antibiotics. Soil offers hope. Now there’s a thought at a time when the world is in desperate need of a vaccine!

By Friday, following Boris’ return to work call, the sound of human activity was on the rise. The noise of the distant drone of road vehicles, the drivers stepping on the accelerator along the ‘Mad Mile’ from Cullingworth, a swirling noise like someone sandblasting a building, a motorbike revving through the gears, the rider believing his trip to the Co-op is an audition for the Isle of Man TT! This was soon to be followed by the rattle of wagons and trailers, with no regard for speed limits or safety, crashing over the road humps on Long Lane. 

Yet against this cacophony I picked out the shriek of young starlings in a nearby tree chasing their parents, demanding food, the warning call of a blackbird alerting others to a cat prowling in the undergrowth, the chatter of house sparrows in the privet hedge, the tapping of the jackdaw on the metal of the allegedly squirrel proof peanut feeder, the twitter of blue tits and finches in the leylandii, the bleating of a lamb, most likely in the field next to Leach Lane.

In the silence of the recent weeks my ears have become trained to the beat of the natural world. The sound of renewed human activity, whilst in competition, is no longer the victor.


The 59th Annual Harden Beck Horticultural Society Show is on the calendar for Sunday 13th September. Thanks to the efforts of Anthony Bairstow and Jon Moffatt the schedule is ready to print/be downloaded on the website. A big thank you to the stalwarts of the HBHS Committee and also all those people who answered the call to get involved when there were doubts about the future of the Society.

Ian Hales continues to do a great job keeping the grass in the show field under control for Show Day.

Will it happen?

Well, that’s a decision for the future, taking on board the latest Government advice at the time and assessing the practicalities of safely managing such an event.


Andy Macdonald, Chair. Harden Beck Horticultural Society.

Find HBHS on Facebook, Twitter and 

*title inspiration Sonny Landreth, from his album, ‘The Road We’re On.’

 Village Undertakers Coronavirus update:

Information from Bradford Council tells us that in the Bradford area up to May 15th there have been 1128 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 415 deaths. With the rate of infection in this area currently the highest in England [0.8] Bradford’s Director of Public Health suggests we need to maintain the “Stay Home” policy despite national moves towards relaxation.

Accordingly, there will be no immediate change to the Council’s policy of restricting the number of mourners at Burials and Cremations to a maximum of ten. Small amendments and improvements keep being made; whilst services at Nab Wood, Oakworth and Scholemoor are still not permitted inside the crematorium chapel there are now shelters for mourners [suitably distanced] outside for the duration of a short service.

The good news is that up to 15th May in Airedale and Bradford hospitals 561 people have been successfully treated for the virus and released from care.

If there are any changes to Bradford Council policy before next weeks’ Tittle Tattle the updated information will be posted on our website

at where you can also find details of our services and prices. Despite the current crisis we remain open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Ring Robert Waddington on 07599 46 26 49


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 each Friday since the beginning of the Lockdown. Last week we delivered to twelve households in the village

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)

Thank you

 To all who have donated money, produce and time to ensure we have been able to continue with this community assistance.

Rainbow Children

Here is Tilly [2] who would normally be attending Harden Pre-School chillin’ in the sunshine after her daily exercise!


Beat the Bullies.Com

For next chapter see below

Missing the Grandchildren?

Here are some thoughts about grandparents from children

Child [Aged 7] ‘A grandpa is old on the outside and young on the inside.’

Child [9] ‘A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance.’

Child [7] ‘Grandad is mad about football. He was a player once but now is so old that when he tries to kick a ball sometimes, he falls over.’

Child [10] ‘When my mother gets thirsty she has a cup of tea but when my Grandma gets thirsty she has a gin and tonic.’

Child [9] ‘If you want something, always give your Grandad a hug.’

Child [10] ‘If we get bored with our mother and father telling us what to do, there’s always someone waiting for us with her arms out.’

Answers to last Quiz ‘Who Am I?’ 

  1. Prince Louis of Cambridge
  2. Nelson Mandela
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Charles Darwin
  5. Mother Teresa
  6. Ludwig van Beethoven
  7. Richard Branson
  8. Greta Thunberg
  9. Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
  10. Tim Berners Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web
  11. Emily Pankhurst
  12. Florence Nightingale
  13. Adolf Hitler
  14. Buddy Holly
  15. Catherine Howard
  16. Marianne and Connell, in BBC 3 drama ‘Normal People’
  17. Oti Mabuse joint winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2019
  18. Harry Styles
  19. Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
  20. Captain/Colonel Thomas More

Missing Body Parts Quiz

Some body parts have been removed from the following words

e.g. el*sis = ellipsis           [Answers in next Newsletter]




















Food – What connects the answers to these questions?

  1. Which Carla Lane sitcom concerned the Boswell family?
  2. What was the surname of the British Prime Minister 2007-10?
  3. The institution which produces British coins is called the Royal…what?
  4. Which fruit has varieties, beef, cherry and plum and is normally served as a vegetable?
  5. Which county was merged with Herefordshire in 1998?

Friends in Other Countries

Gary has friends in countries all around the world including Argentina, Denmark, Russia, Sudan and the United States. Which country is Gary in?

Putting you to sleep

Find a whole number which when spelled out has its letters in alphabetical order.

 Parting thought

‘Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.’ [Lord Byron]


God grant us the


to accept the things we cannot change


to change the things we can



to know the difference. 

Beat the Bullies.Com


It was lunchtime and Percy was joined by Ken at a table usually frequented by some older girls and occasionally by members of staff. This choice of lunch companions was a deliberate ploy on Percy’s part to avoid the immediate attention of Kayne and Co. It was highly unlikely that they would choose such company.

It had been the usual story. Kayne had relieved Percy of his lunch box on the way into school. Percy had to wait for Kayne to throw it back in his direction when Kayne had had his fill of its content. As usual, there were some measly leftovers for Percy to consume. They consisted of a couple of celery sticks and a carrot or two which Kayne had dropped back into the container with a disgusted snort. Kayne’s diet did not include such healthy options as vegetables and salad. He was only interested in the stomach bloating, teeth rotting, artery- blocking stuff. He wasn’t any stupid vegetarian!

Kayne was not encouraged by his parents to reflect upon the pros and cons of food choices. His mother did not believe in spoiling children or spoiling her own leisurely breakfast by going to the trouble of providing her son with a daily packed lunch. She usually managed to persuade her reluctant spouse to part with a pound or two to give to her fast growing offspring, so that he could purchase supplies at the local shops on the way to school

 But not for Kayne the healthy delights of the ‘Dip In Deli’ on the parade of shops near the bus stop. No, he took his custom and his unwelcome presence to Dashwoods’ Off Licence/ Shop Local convenience store. There he could stock up on supplies of ‘Dinky Doughnuts’ and ‘E’ infested, salty crisps. Surprisingly, however he did not choose to devour these delights during his lunch break, preferring to pilfer Percy’s lunch. He saved his own treats for the end of the school day.

This choice of diet was not without consequences. His mother commented that he had put a bit of weight on around the middle and had lost a couple of trouser buttons in the process. He was also developing a somewhat spotty visage which many of his class mates sniggered at behind his back, although for obvious reasons, never in his presence. Some brave soul had even coined a nickname, ‘Warty Wayne’. Admittedly, this was not very original but it was amusing to the class of 1B. Those who couldn’t challenge him outright took consolation in mocking him out of sight. Even his cronies ‘And Co’ enjoyed the joke between them.

As it turned out there had been an interruption to Kayne’s regular visits to the Dashwoods’ emporium when Mr. Dashwood had barred him from the shop following the spitting incident. Nothing daunted, Kayne believed he could get around this little temporary problem. He would only enter the shop when Mr. and Mrs. Dashwood were absent and the place was being supervised by a young, diminutive assistant. As this young lady had only been working there for a week or two she lacked the wealth of experience in dealing with difficult customers that her employers possessed in bucket loads.  The badge displayed on the lapel of her rather natty luminous green overall proclaimed her as Senior Shop Assistant, Tracy. Anxious to impress her employer during her probationary period as Senior Shop Assistant she addressed every task with a concentration that prevented her attention being diverted by anything else. She had yet to learn the skill of multi-tasking. 

In these circumstances, Kayne took the view that it was not going to be difficult to bamboozle her. He had decided as far as Tracy was concerned that cunning was more appropriate than confrontation. He had observed Tracy arriving for work one morning and dismounting from the rear of a rather large and impressive-looking motorbike. The driver of the said motorbike was also large and impressive in his tight fitting leathers which displayed a magnificent, muscular physique. That Tracy was someone who this budding Hell’s Angel held dear was obvious from the passionate embrace they shared before Tracy waved him off. It would not be a good idea to upset Tracy and thereby her swain. Kayne took the prudent decision not to behave in any rude or aggressive mannertowards Tracy, as was his usual custom with shop assistants, even the senior variety. After some thought, he adopted a rather more cunning strategy. He would continue to access the shop and his daily supplies of e numbers and at the same time ‘get one up on old Dashwood.’

He put his plan into action the following morning. He waited before he entered the shop to check that there was no sign of the dreaded Dashwoods and that Tracy’s eye was not focused on the entrance, before he sallied into the premises. Kayne observed that Tracy was busy cleaning the shelves behind the till area and that she was giving the job her all. She had her back to the aisles and the few customers who were present perusing the goods. He decided this gave him the opportunity to relieve the sweet section of some of its chocolate. He picked up a couple of bars of ‘Milky Wisps’ with his left hand whilst with his right hand emptying most of the rest of the chocolate display into his school bag. So far so good; nobody had noticed his foray into petty crime. 

But then things did not go entirely according to plan. Just at the moment when the pilfered items fell into Kayne’s bag, Tracy had progressed to cleaning the mirror which was placed immediately behind and above the till area. This gave an excellent albeit backwards view of the shopping aisles. There was a sharp intake of breath before she bellowed out in a surpisingly loud voice for one so small, “Oi! What do you think you are doing?”or words to that effect.

A number of customers queuing at the till turned around in the direction of her gaze and stared at Kayne. Although they had not witnessed the theft, they soon got the drift of what was happening, from observing chocolate bars falling to the floor around Kayne’s feet and listening to the strident tones of Tracy shouting as Kayne turned to flee. “Stop thief. Help! Police!. Stop thief!”

Kayne made good his escape but this final act of anti-social behaviour meant that he had, according to Mrs. Dashwood, “blotted his copybook” once and for all. His face appeared on Mr. Dashwood’s attempt at a ‘Wanted Poster’ not dissimilar to those appearing on the shopkeeper’s favourite western films. In fact, Kayne was not ‘Wanted’; quite the opposite. Mr. Dashwood observed that if he ever saw Kayne again it would be too soon. His feelings were made very clear by the letters on the poster in huge black capitals informing the world at large that Kayne Wayne was ‘BARRED.’

 If only this sentiment had been transmitted to the world at large and no further it could have led to a satisfactory conclusion. However, it came to the attention of Mr. Wayne Senior when he stopped off at the off-licence,on his way home from work, to purchase his evening’s supply of cans. Not one for hiding his feelings Mr. Wayne enquired in extremely irate and intemperate terms what it all meant. Mr. Dashwood gave an equally heated explanation. Needless to say, there was some frank discussion in the Wayne household that night and Mrs. Wayne vowed to descend on the shop the next day to defend her son’s reputation.

In the meantime, under Colin’s influence and taking a leaf out of Colin’s book or rather his laptop, Percy was getting wise as to how to deal with Kayne’s demands, effectively, but in ways which avoided out and out confrontation. He noticed that on certain days of the week his mother chose to pack her own, her spouse’s and her son’s lunches with healthy options as a nod to the latest clean living diet. On those days Kayne left more scraps in Percy’s lunchbox. Percy had lived with his mother’s food fads and ever-changing recipes since he was an infant so unusually, for an almost teenage boy he was able to consume anything on her extensive menu, without complaint. There were some exceptions, broccoli being one of them, but on the whole her choices for the family menu were acceptable to Percy. This was not an opinion shared by Kayne. And so it was that Percy came up with an idea to tackle the lunch box problem. 

On his return from school one day, when he had managed to salvage some Wardolf salad [Kayne didn’t like celery or nuts and he wasn’t over fond of apples] he joined his mother in the kitchen. She was busy preparing a new dish which her fellow foodie friend from the library had recommended. It looked complicated to Percy requiring the separation of egg yolks and whites. His mother was a little distracted. She patted him on the head with a free, albeit flourery hand and asked him if he had had a good day. Percy responded enthusiastically for once.

“Yes Mum. That salad you made for lunch was delicious. We’ve been doing diet in our Healthy Living and Hygiene classes and I wondered if I could have salad or fruit and veg every day. I especially like peppers and nectarines. [he knew Kayne had a particular aversion to peppers and nectarines]. And if you cover the salad with your special mayonnaise that would be great. “ [Kayne had described mayonnaise as tasting like spew].

Mrs. Peckham was momentarily diverted from the task in hand. She had noticed over the last week or two that Percy had been helping himself to two large slices of her daily home-baked cakes rather than his customary one slice, on his return from school. She had put it down to the needs of a growing lad not those of a boy suffering from food deprivation but had intended to give him a few words of advice on the subject of excessive calorie intake. His request for all things healthy delighted her.

“Gracious, Percy you are turning into a young man after my own heart; healthy living and a foodie to boot. I will do my best to ensure you get salad and fruit galore!”

She was true to her word. Percy’s lunch on the following day consisted of avocado, beans and pulses with a few garlic croutons thrown in. At lunchtime the pilfered lunch box was thrown back at Percy with the words

“That was disgusting” 

For the first time in ages Percy enjoyed a complete midday meal. The only thing that Kayne had attempted was the bread roll but as it was a wholemeal, seed affair from the ‘Dip In Deli’ which Mrs. Peckham frequented, it was only missing a couple of bites. Kayne had spat out the half chewed bread with a disgruntled shout , 

“I don’t do seeds, seeds are for birds”

Things looked promising for Percy’s future repasts. 

One of the other effects of Percy’s lunchbox scheme was a certain loss of interest by Kayne’s cronies in joining Kayne to waylay Percy, on the way to school. With a lack of goodies to share out, from the healthy alternatives now provided by Mrs. Peckham, there seemed little point in the exercise. Percy began to notice that Kayne’s early morning back-up was dwindling. After a few days of slim pickings and a lack of a supportive audience even Kayne lost enthusiasm for his daily pilfering of food from Percy. Although Kayne continued to make his presence felt at various intervals of the day, Percy enjoyed at least one period of respite and began to enjoy his journey to school uninterrupted.

As Kayne’s interest in the contents of Percy’s lunchbox waned quite quickly he turned his attention onto some other poor, unsuspecting victim. Unfortunately, for Kayne, the small, timid girl he selected had a very large not so timid sister in Year 10. This young lady was known as ‘Big Katie’ by her friends to distinguish her from another rather smaller Katie in her class. But the name more than adequately described her. She took great exception to Kayne’s purloining of her little sibling’s provisions, threatened him with violence to certain parts of his anatomy and had the temerity but albeit good sense to report his exploits to the Deputy Head, Mrs. Judge.

The following day, Kayne’s mother was requested to attend an interview with said Deputy Head and a truculent Kayne to discuss Kayne’s future dining arrangements. Much to his disgust he was required to spend his lunch hour sitting at a table with Big Katie and her equally intimidating group of friends. His future ability to eat other people’s food was much diminished. His eating companions were not above pinching one or two of his Dinky Doughnuts which his mother now had to purchase on his behalf. 

When Colin became aware of Percy’s triumph he congratulated him on his ingenuity

“There’s always a way to deal with these situations Percy as I see you are realising”