PERA exists thanks to the support of a few like-minded members of the community who give their hard work and enthusiasm for the benefit of all. The committee consists of David Stanier (chairman), Michael Nidd (secretary), Andrew Wright (treasurer), Annette Harrison (social secretary), Pauline Willcocks (minutes secretary), Vicki Linsey, Clive Dunne, Ruth Gilbert, Carole Cohen, Jonathan Culverhouse and Francoise Culverhouse.

PERA’s main purpose is to act as a social focus for the village but as well as its progressive suppers and seasonal parties, it also addresses important local issues.

Committee members meet regularly to discuss matters such as the impact of a possible new housing development at Marchmont Farm, associated road schemes and the individual concerns of residents.

If you have any concerns which you think PERA should take up, or a suggestion for a social occasion, please email editor@piccottsend.org and they will be passed on to the committee.

PERA dates back some 25 years. Here Val Corbett recalls how it came about.

‘In the old days, before we came to Piccotts End there was a church, a school and a thriving bakery which all contributed to village life. But with the closing of all three, there was no centre and little sense of community. And because of the geography of the village, there were days when you saw no one.

PE_SchoolSo a group of us, all newcomers, decided this had to change but it was Ginny Dormer, then living in Greenbanks, who became the moving spirit behind PERA. Her swimming pool was the venue for the first-ever PERA event: food and wine around the pool with name tags for every guest. It was a huge success, especially with the children, because for the first time, people were able to put faces to house numbers and discovered they had quite a lot in comon – moaning about high speeding rush hour traffic for example and those concrete lamps posts which looked so horrible next to the pretty Victorian ones.

‘Well, we crusaded for the filter system in the Leighton Buzzard Road which has lightened the traffic load and after 15 years of lobbying, all the lamp posts were standardised to the Victorian-style. So that event about 25 years ago was the start of what we have today … and long may PERA continue to look after the interests of all who live in Piccotts End.