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An Interdenominational Christian Charity

Old Rectory, Bolnhurst,Bedford, MK44 2ES
Reg Charity No.327398


Advance Notice - Christmas Sale

Government Covid restrictions permitting, we will be holding our annual Christmas sale on 4th December from 10am-3pm.  Please come along at any time during the day.  Our woodland walk will also be open.

You will be able to purchase our preserves, hand-made gifts and herbs and some special Christmas items.  Although we will not be providing refreshments this time, there will be delicious home-made cakes available to purchase and take away.

Sales - Open for Business!

Our shop is open during Centre opening hours (most Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9.30 and 3.30) or at other times if you phone beforehand to arrange.  Please browse (and purchase!) our range of preserves and craft items."

If you missed our Apple Day, we still have cookers for sale at £1.50 per bag. Just pop in.


Coffee Shop - remaining closed for the time being

We have made the difficult decision not to run our Coffee Shop this year.  We look forward to re-launching in Spring 2022.  We understand that this is disappointing for many of our regular customers, but we appreciate your ongoing support. 

Donate - at no cost to you!

Donations to the Stables from the Giving Machine have recently topped £400.  If you are not registered, please consider doing this and doing your online shopping this way.  This means that the Stables benefits from every purchase made (it's not a lot each time, but it adds up), at no extra cost to yourself.  A similar arrangement for Amazon purchases only is done via Smile Amazon.  Full details here.  Please let us know if you need any help with this, but it is very quick and easy.  Many thanks.


Activities News


2021 - November

Our newest trustee, Sue, visited for a Thursday morning, getting to know the teams and re-honing her plant care and craft skills which she practised many moons ago as a staff member here. 

Meanwhile we have started busy production of Christmas gifts, and have also made a lot of bags for the charity “Operation Christmas child”.  These go in the shoeboxes which will be sent off shortly.

Outdoors Tuesday teams have gathered material and are constructing their Christmas wreaths – each one will be a little different, but they are fun to make.




2021 - August - September

When the Riseley Scout Group lent us their marquee in summer 2020 to help us get going safely after lockdown, none of us imagined that it would be a whole year before we were able to manage without it!  But once the spacing restrictions were lifted in August we dismantled and returned it – with hearty thanks to the Scouts! 


Fruit picking continued throughout August and September, firstly with the different varieties of plum, and then with the apple harvest.  The orchard trees all had their summer pruning too. 




2021 - July

July was a busy month as we worked hard on plant propagation, but also had a bumper crop of redcurrants and blackcurrants to be picked and processed.  The craft dept gathered and produced lots of bags of confetti for a wedding order.  The sewing machine was serviced and back in use making aprons etc.  In the heatwave they abandoned the craft room and found a shady spot outdoors to work! 

We said farewell to Ronel and the Tuesday group presented her with a traditional Stables frog.  We were glad to welcome Jen as a new staff member on the Tuesday team.







2021 - June

As we have not yet been able to re-open the coffee shop, we held another sale on Saturday 5 June, which was busier than ever.  The plants were very popular, but crafts and preserves went fast too, and we had run out of home-made cakes by lunchtime.  Gill was kept very busy at the till.  It was good to see people able to chat outdoors in the lovely weather.



2021 April/May

It has been great to welcome back both teams on site.  We continue to operate under strict covid-safe rules but have been able to achieve much both indoors and out.  Outdoor activities involved much clearing and bonfires, and a lot of plant work to get our plant sales tables up and running.  We also restarted the comfrey column.  Sharon and her teams made a lot more preserves, while in the craft section draught excluders and telephone pads were fairly new additions to our stock.



2021 - Spring

The first 12 weeks of 2021 were a tale of two parts.  For January and February all was cold and quiet, with just a few staff coming in to work on their own when necessary.  Orders of preserves and snowdrops were supplied to our retailers, but our only visitor was the snowy owl! 




From March things came back to life – some of the teams are back working indoors and out (with appropriate safeguards), the spring flowers are coming up and trees which fell in the winter storms are being cleared.  We look forward to welcoming most people back from mid-April if all continues well.




Tinker the cat:  an end of an era.  Tinker died peacefully on Wednesday 16th December, aged 17 years and 2 months.  He was much loved by the Tuesday and Thursday groups and was usually to be seen as part of the garden team.  Some of the Thursday team kindly dug a grave for him the following day.