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Evening Telegraph, Monday, April 22, 1974
Transcribed by Greville Watson, October 2009

The map calls it Yielden, residents call it Yelden, but whatever you care to call it . . .


The angry villagers talk to Jerry Connolly

Yielden is a village of thatched cottages, winding streams, open fields, and a history that stretches back to the Domesday Book.

There is another facet to this quiet country village near Rushden - it stinks.

At least, that's the opinion of villagers who have had to do without any mains sewerage, and who now have the not unexpected news that their long awaited mains system has been postponed, possibly for five years.

Increased rates

Another twist to the sanitation situation saga is that there is a disused sewage works in the village.

Yet another twist, hitting the pockets of villagers - they have to pay the new increased sewage rates.

"Why should we?" asked Mrs Beryl Warde, of Smithy Cottage, who helps to run a cat breeding centre.

"We don't get the service, so we shouldn't have to pay the cost. I am not sure how much we'd have to pay, but it must be too much for the treatment we've been given."

And her neighbour, Mrs Winifred Cockle, of Chantry Cottage, explained: "The smell in the village is terrible sometimes.

"I am surprised there isn't more disease and illness in the village.

"Sometimes, after rain, you have to pick your way through the streets - it's all slimy and smells vile."

Slimy and smelly

"I've a good mind not to pay the new sewage demands - if only more people could be persuaded to join in.

"This sort of thing should have been done about 20 years ago, though."

Kennel-owner, Mr Tommy Carpenter was also curious about the sewage situation. "It's crazy," he said. "I could understand the problem if we were isolated and miles from anywhere.

"But we are only four miles from Rushden and close the Bedford as well.

"It's even more infuriating when there is a perfectly good sewage works in the village being allowed to rot away.

"Until a few years ago it served Chelveston Air Base. It wouldn't have cost a lot to adapt it to the village's needs.

"Most people would have paid to get piped into the system, but it seems nobody wanted to negotiate a deal."

A Bedford District Council spokesman said: "Tenders had been finished and were ready to go out. But because of Government cut-backs, sewerage tenders are unlikely to go out in 1974 or 75.

Cut back in spending

"The sewage works will not be operating for two years. This was happening throughout the district. The only works that can be finished are those that have already been started."

District Council local representative, Mr Deryck Cooper, said it was originally planned to introduce villages throughout the area to the main sewage system.

"It is hoped to get this introduced in 1976. But a cut-back in spending by the Government has put this right back."

He said he would have a better idea of any future plans when estimates are announced next month.

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