Maulden Village Traditions
The village has, has had, and has lost a lot of traditions over the years. We only have a few recorded, and we are looking for contributors to keep this updated with others.
We have rated the traditions as
- [current] – we have seen them recently
- [maybe] – might happen
- [historic] – not happening
Traditions that we could have
Aside from bringing back the best of the traditions that we have or have apparently lost, how about we start some new ones? What appeals to small groups who could get some new traditions going?
- A spring walk through the nature reserves?
- A (licensed) replacement for the Pram Race?
- Having a festival to welcome the Greensand Relay Runners through the village?
- A summer BBQ?
- A Bonfire Night bonfire?
- Pub Carol Singing at Xmas?
Who will take the lead and make some wonderful new traditions for future generations to treasure?
Carol Services [Current] on Xmas Eve are the big one for the village, with the Churches all filling to capacity. Very friendly services, with candle light, nativity plays and voices filling the churches on a very special evening for all those, regular church goers or not.
The village had a traditional Pleasure Fair [historic] on in the week nearest to St. Bartholomew’s day (24 August the feast of Bartholomew the Apostle)). This was definitely running in 1842. It was a legacy event that harked back to the massive Fair in London at that time each year. The London fair was charted to be a three-day event, it would last a full two weeks in the 17th century; but in 1691, it was shortened to only four days. It probably died out in Maulden shortly after the London fair was banned for debauchery in around 1855!
Remembrance Day Parade. [Current] Every year in November the Parish Council, both Churches, all the youth organisations and many of those with personal reasons to remember, come along to the War Memorial and take part in the Remembrance Day Parade. The list of names of those that we remember solemnly is on the web at the Roll of Honour.
Scout Firework Display. [maybe] There has been an intermittent firework display by the local Scouts behind Gardeners Close for a few years now. For parents and young people in Scouting, with a few guests.
Maulden School Summer Fayre. [Current] A wonderful and colourful affair on the Maulden Lower School Playing fields in the summer.
Village Float and Parade. [Current] A gaudy parade of vehicles, children, floats, fire engines and people with flags that wends its way through the village to the Maulden School Summer Fayre.
Hard to track these down, so we will need help on these. Do local clubs have special traditions? Maybe the Maulden Magpies, or the Bowls Club?
There was the Maulden All Terrain Race, [historic] which ran (!) up through Maulden Woods and round to the School playing field.
There is also the Greensand Ridge Relay, [Current] which passes almost unnoticed by most people through the village each June. Teams compete in legs of about 8 miles each to compete the 28 mile course from Dunstable to Northill. Maulden is in the middle. The amazing thing is some people run the whole way solo. 38 miles. A marathon and a half.
The race follows the way-marked Greensand Path, with a couple of small exceptions where a detour is made for safety or logistical reasons. The principle of the race is that finding your way is part of the challenge. There will be timing officials at start, finish and each changeover point, but none to guide you en route. So be warned that some navigation is required (some teams and runners have clearly found this difficult to adjust to in the past). A reconnoitre of the route before the race is advised if you are going to do it!
The British Heart Foundation Oxford to Cambridge Bike Ride [Current] is 90 miles long, and once again, Maulden is almost in the middle. Follow winding country roads from Oxford through the Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryside, to the flatter fenlands, and finish in Cambridge. Ride on your own, part of a company team or with friends and family. It is one of the oldest and most popular bike rides in the UK. Why not give it a go? Or turn out on the day to cheer the riders through?
The Devil’s Jump [Current] a large rock can be found in the fields behind George St as you walk away from church in a small woody area, myth is if you run around it holding your breath the devil comes out, we think you have to run round it 6 times. It is probably best if you are an expert at holding your breath and have first aid nearby before trying this!
Are there other traditions of village children?
There must be some!
There must be some!
The Pram Race. [historic] Used to run from the Commander in Chief to the Albion in Ampthill. Fuelled mostly by beer and sunburn, competitors used to raise a lot for charity. Always a little controversial, it was still a major village highlight.
There is a video of the 2000 Race on Ampthill TV. It looks wonderful.
The pram race came to a sad end in the confusion over needing permits to collect for charities on the roadside.
The brakes were slammed on the annual Ampthill Pram Race over Easter because organisers faced legal action if they went ahead without a street collection permit.
Ampthill Round Table, which has helped organise the event for the past 25 years, cancelled the race after believing it needed to pay for a permit. And because they couldn’t afford it, members risked possible court action.
Member Paul Meads, 35, said: “It was a really hard decision to make but we were in a catch 22 situation.
“We were told we needed a permit to collect cash from passers-by and assumed we would have to pay. We did not have enough funds and have not had to pay before. If we did pay, our club could be left bankrupt. And if we didn’t pay, we would have been fined.”
Maulden Beer Festival – at the White Hart. [maybe] A new tradition, one with excellent beers, great company and lots of live music. Three days of live bands and revelry attracted scores of people to enjoy the sunshine in the village heart. Will it continue? Who knows?