Why I have grave concerns about the Piccotts End roundabout!

Hmmm, what's going on at the Piccotts End roundabout?What’s happened to the roundabout at the entrance to Piccotts End? Since it was last cut by the council in April the grass has turned a deathly yellow. Is this in preparation for a makeover by the funeral directors J. Worley who are the current sponsors? If so I wonder what they have in mind. The trend these days is for sponsors to make roundabouts a shop window for their wares. In which case can we expect to see a selection of attractive tombstones appear on this once grassy knoll?

Top marks for wit go to Sean at No 94. On April Fool’s Day last month a spoof blue English Heritage-style plaque appeared on his wall. It read: ‘Ferdinand Runge, German scientist who discovered caffeine in 1819, never slept here.’ It set me thinking that in addition to a plaque commemorating the life of Sean’s neighbour, the former PERA chairman Lord Robin Corbett, which I suggested at the March AGM, we could have a heritage trail of plaques indicating notable  buildings. Piccotts End’s  pretty collection of timber framed houses attract a lot of visitors who stop and admire them without knowing anything of their history. A little plaque here and there identifying the cottage that houses the medieval wall paintings, the old infirmary, the former mill, the old school, the church, the bakery, the former pub The Boars Head and the former home of the Earl of Marchmont, the Marchmont Arms, would enhance the identity of Piccotts End.

It was good to see so many villagers support the Safari Supper this month. Social events depend on a few idividuals who rally the many and in this case it was Ena Hartland and Margaret Stanier who can take a bow for keeping this tradition going. It was also an occasion to say goodbye to Trixi Field who is leaving the village after a stay of some 8 years. Trixie revealed that it was love that brought her to Piccotts End and an even greater love that is taking her away. She is returning to her native Cheshire to look after her sick mum. Farewell Trixi, we hope to see you again.

I don’t often mention the price of petrol in my blogs even though I have an OC tendency to take a keener than necessary interest in the stations offering the cheapest prices. I always avoid Texaco at the top of the hill even though it has the very convenient Co-op attached to it. Texaco always has the highest prices of all the local petrol stations, currently 134.9p a litre. Three miles further east you’ll find Esso on the A5 at Flamstead where it is 128.9p a litre (that’s a saving of at least £3 on a full tank and if you fill up every two weeks or £78 in a year). In my blog in November 2011 I noted that this same garage was offering petrol at the then bargain price of 129.9p a litre, which shows how the recession has put the brake on fuel prices. But how much less should it have been?

Since March we’ve had a new paperboy. His name is Richard. I haven’t met him and although I’ve called him a paperboy I doubt very much if he’s a boy. Most boys are still fast asleep when our paper drops through the door around 6am. It was even at 5.50am a couple of weeks back!  So thanks Richard for keeping up the excellent service set by your predecessor Sarah. One morning back in snowy February there was a knock on the door around 6am. It was Sarah, who’d got her car stuck in our drive. Rather than give up, Sarah completed her deliveries around Piccotts End on foot and then came back and together we helped her get going again. That’s real dedication. Sarah told us she was leaving to become a care worker. On this evidence she will be the best care worker anyone could ask for. Well done to Parry’s Newsagents in Boxmoor for finding such reliable people so early in the morning.

Wisteria at Toad Cottage, Piccotts EndJust spotted this beautiful Wisteria on Toad Cottage (No 130 PE). The new owners will be pleased!