Chatterbox signpost. Green letters on a white signboard pointing right

Chatterbox – Bickerton Newsletter May/June 2020

As the government takes its first tentative steps to relax the Covid lockdown we have good reason to look back and feel proud of the ‘Dunkirk spirit’ experienced once again here in Bickerton. In our April newsletter we had much which needed to be cancelled. However, previously planned activities were soon replaced with alternatives and many acts of generosity/kindness followed, helping people we previously didn’t know to cope with the crisis.

A big thank you to Joyce for bringing us the antics of Teddy Edward on a daily basis, he is inspirational bringing joy to young and old. The Scarecrow competition also organised by Joyce was a resounding success bringing smiles and laughter with every entry. Well done to the entrants you were all winners! Joyce has more to say on this in her rec0llections below.

The voting forms for the competition gave us an opportunity to invite new members to ‘Chatterbox.’ For those of you who are reading this as your first Newsletter, WELCOME. We look forward to meeting you again in the coming months and hearing your views/ideas on how best to move ‘Chatterbox’ forward for the benefit of all.

We would like to thank residents and members of our parish council, all have been most supportive of our activities. A big thank you to the Wetherby News who have featured Bickerton over previous weeks including lovely photographs of our VE day celebrations and scarecrow competition. Still to come – we have a miniature garden competition organised by Karen for the 4th July. Who knows, in the absence of The Chelsea Flower show this year Bickerton could be the nations answer to ‘Chelsea’, so come on let’s have a go!



MemorialOn the 8th of May in Bickerton, we remembered the sacrifice made by people in WW2 by joining the 2 minutes silence at 11am. We then celebrated the end of the war by having a virtual street party in our gardens. The planning of this event was the main topic of conversation all the previous week with bunting being made and shared and afternoon tea menus being planned with red white and blue outfits being sourced including wonderful fascinators made by Sue Carter, garden furniture being moved, and grass and hedges cut; Bickerton looked very special. A vase of beautiful flowers on the memorial set the tone of the day. Teddy Edward was out with his friends dressed in red white and blue and they had some special visitors who greeted people as they walked down the lane. He has brought a smile to many people’s faces over the last weeks as they walk down to see what he is up to that day – Duvet day or trip to Venice or baking? On Saturday he was asking people to write a letter to a British Legion veteran or carer at Lister House in Ripon this weekend as they are feeling very isolated.

Teddy VE DayThe Queen said in her speech to the nation that our streets are empty, but they are filled with the love and care we have for each other. And that was so evident as people greeted each other and chatted over the road or fence as they ate their afternoon tea and walked around the village at a safe distance of course. There was jiving to Glenn Miller, a magic act, a WW2 jeep, and we all joined in singing “We’ll meet again” with Vera Lynn at 9.05pm

Over the last 9 weeks in Bickerton, people have really got to know one another, they have time to stop, smile, say hello and ask how you are.

Arts DisplayJulie McCready’s crafts are such a good example of someone sharing her gifts with others and helping us to cope with lockdown. We had a virtual gallery to visit at West End Cottage and to admire nature reflected in her wonderful designs. And indeed, we are all having time to enjoy the wonders of nature on our doorstep in the wonderful countryside around us. She had ” baskets of creativity” for people to take and make their own artwork too, which the children of all ages loved. Julie’s cart is out during fine weather with an invitation to take or bring unwanted craft items you would like to share.

Julie's Art CartOther people have been sewing scrubs and making headgear to tie on face masks for health workers. They have been making hearts to be distributed to bereaved families. Everyone has been checking on their neighbours and going to collect shopping or prescriptions or just giving them a dinner or a surprise gift at their door.

Just as in WW2 we are becoming a closer community, fortunate to live in such a glorious countryside village and blessed by having wonderful neighbours who care for one another. The love being shown is helping us to cope with the dark times we are going through, and we must praise God for that every day because when love is shown that is truly the work of The Holy Spirit.

Joyce Harrison


scarecrow montageBickerton’s First Scarecrow Competition proved to be a roaring success. When Teddy suggested it, he had no idea what to expect but we were absolutely thrilled with the number of entries but also by the imaginative ideas, the humour and the quality of the entries.

The winner was Mary Poppins by Donna Kirk. She is shown here with her prize and certificate.

A prize draw of the 119 voting slips was won by Rebecca Cross.

Scarecrow winners

There was a real buzz in the village as people wandered round  taking pictures and filling in their voting slips. We met and chatted to people we had not met before and the weather was beautiful. And, we raised £321.13 for the worthy work of CHRISTIAN AID. A huge thank you to everyone who took part and made this such a wonderful event and to Meg for her beautiful collage. Also, to Steve for his You tube clip which can be viewed HERE  on YouTube.

Joyce Harrison

And still to come….


Following on from the success of the scarecrow competition, we are now calling out to all the budding gardeners in the village. RHS Chelsea might not have gone ahead, but we’ll be making up for that in Bickerton! We would have loved to have held an open gardens day but we’re down-scaling to comply with social distancing and are asking if you can show us a sample of your garden instead with the…….

“Best Planter Competition”

Put out your best flowerpot, hanging basket or miniature garden (e.g fairy garden) for others to see and enjoy……

There will be a prize for the best adult and children entry.

Please e-mail me () to let me know if you’d like to take part in the competition and I will give you an entry number.

Please include:
• Name
• Address
• Whether it’s an adult or child entry (you can have more than one entry per household)

Entries should be out by 10am on 4th July.
The winner (of the adult and child sections) will be chosen by the residents of Bickerton and announced on Sunday 5th July.
Judging slips can be collected from Teddy Edward (outside Manorlea on Main Street) on the morning of the 4th and need to be posted in his voting box by 18:00hr that day.

Good luck and Best Wishes

Karen, Joyce, Linda and Susie