Category Archives: Virtual Tour of Bedfordshire

The Story of Nellie Rault’s Grave ~ Lives on!!!

Nellie Rault’s grave in Haynes churchyard

Nellie Rault’s unsolved murder back in 1919, one hundred years ago, inspired my murder mystery Murder Now and Then set in two time zones, 1919 and 2019.  As I explained in my talk the other day, Nellie continues to haunt me in various ways with unsolved mysteries today including a strange email from the Luton Paranormal Society!  When I first found her grave in St Mary’s churchyard Haynes, Bedfordshire, her cross was at such a precarious angle, it looked as if she was trying to get out. If you look closely at this photo the horizon is not horizontal ~ the ground is actually flat and not sloping at all ~ I’ve turned the camera off kilter!


When a friend of mine went looking for Nellie’s grave a couple of months back, to his dismay the cross has fallen over altogether. After asking me if I’d be interested in helping to raise the money to restore it, which I immediately said yes to, he wrote to the parish council. He had a nice email back saying that, because it is a Commonweath War Grave from WW1, the commission would visit and lay the stone flat on the ground.

Much to my friend’s surprise he received another email a couple of weeks ago saying that Nellie’s grave had been mysteriously restored

Nellie Rault’s grave restored

in the night and that the Parish Council had no idea who the benefactor was. I promise it wasn’t me but nevertheless I’m pleased it is restored so well. Above is a photo of the grave is in all its glory! The ground is flat as you can see.

Murder Now and Then can be ordered from Waterstones or bought from Amazon.


Filed under Murder Now and Then, Virtual Tour of Bedfordshire

More hidden treasures close to home ~ The Greensand Ridge Walk

Living on the Greensand Ridge Walk I’m ashamed to say that I had no idea until I looked it up last week where it began and where it ended, but I’m so glad we finally did.

The Woburn Hotel

The Woburn Hotel

On Sunday, a beautiful spring day, as a taster we chose the route between Woburn and Eversholt, parked our car in the free carpark at Woburn and walked along to George Street turning left at the cross roads. The Woburn Hotel stands at the junction and features in my murder mystery.

Woburn Abbey

Soon Woburn Abbey is in view across Woburn Park, the boundary marked by a red brick wall stretching as far as the eye could see, a sign of the successful brickworks near Bedford in the last century.  Taking the clearly marked footpath at Ivy Lodge at the kissing gates, although I defy any human to kiss over them – they are far too high – we were delighted to be walking right across the park, passing grazing deer, towards the abbey – not a religious establishment in fact, but the name of the stately home owned by The Duke of Bedford.

Eversholt Church

Eversholt Church

You could pause here for a comfort break and coffee. We didn’t in the instance, pushing on over the brow of the ridge and then down through pine woodland which marks the boundary of the park. From there we crossed a field and we were soon on the lane to Eversholt – our destination, The Green Man pub was a couple of hundred yards on, passing the unspoilt houses and church and thankfully it was open. I’m sure that the Sunday roast would have been delicious but instead we opted for a lighter

The Green Man Eversholt

The Green Man Eversholt

soup and filled baguette combination of salmon and cream cheese. Perfect, without making us too full to enjoy the walk back.

Our only detour, having passed Woburn Abbey on our return, was to take a right hand path and walk across towards park buildings, a path which detours around the left hand side of a small lake. Watch out for this. If you keep close to the stables you will see a collection of Bedford red brick houses in front of you and a path next to a cattle grid. After this the path is clear, taking you to the main cattle grid at the entrance to the park.


Woburn has cafes, pubs and restaurants for refreshments and after you can browse in antiques and china shops. The other famous place to visit in the area is Woburn Safari Park which you can access by turning right at the end of the street and it in about half a mile on your right hand side, also featured in ‘Murder, Now and Then’.

Our walk was about six miles, perfect for a Sunday stroll rather than a serious ramble. The website suggests a variety of forms of public transport if you would prefer not to return the same way. We were so pleased to view a familiar place with new eyes, so close to home. It is a treasure in the heart of Bedfordshire.


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Filed under Bedfordshire, Murder Now and Then, Virtual Tour of Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire remembers Glenn Miller and the 306th ~ My virtual tour continues with Signs of America

Long lost American airbases from World War Two and memorabilia from the high days of Glenn Miller whilst he was serving in the UK can be found in many unlikely places hidden in the villages north of Bedford. The mysterious disappearance of the famous musician lives on, as does the memory of many US servicemen who came over the ‘pond’ to fight and give their lives for our freedom. Long may we remember them.

Taking the A6 out of Bedford, at Milton Ernest turn right along Thurleigh Road until you see a sign to Thurleigh

Thurleigh 306th Museum

Thurleigh 306th Museum

Business Park, an obvious airfield site adjacent to RAF Bedford. At the park gates, which a man will open for you on request, follow the signs to the 306th Bombardment Group Museum. Here you will be delighted to find a plethora of memorabilia, photos, maps and information accounting for the 306th, and you may be fortunate enough to meet some of the volunteers who keep this museum alive. If you get in conversation they may be delighted to share stories with you of their journeys to America for the annual reunion of the 306th. A fascinating elderly couple!

Last time I visited they revealed, ‘Tom Cruise arrived here at Thurleigh in a helicopter the other day!’

Queen's head MiltonErnest Bedfordshire

Queen’s head MiltonErnest Bedfordshire

After spending an hour or two it is a pleasant place for a cup of coffee – otherwise make your way back to Milton Ernest where The Queen’s head Hotel will give you a warm welcome, coffee, drink and a good wholesome menu. To add to this charming pub’s appeal, there are pictures and posters all over the walls about Glenn Miller and his time at the airbase in Bedfordshire.

Once refreshed, if you head back along the A6, taking a left turn towards Clapham. About half way along the main street you will see a sign for Twinwoods. Don’t be put off by the odd concrete road. After about a mile you should see a sign to your right which takes you to the Twinwoods Airbase which has now been turned into a museum.) Only open from Spring to Autumn so check their website.

Here you can wander inside various buildings which give the unnerving impression that the serving airmen have just

Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller

upped and left moments before you arrived, especially in the watch tower, where Glenn Miller music plays eerily in the background and you browse over his posters of concerts in Bedford. The visit is completed with a cup of tea at The Officer Mess back downstairs.

I gather that the Twinwoods festival is almost fully booked before each year’s show is finished, but if you are lucky enough to attend you can dress up in period costume, sing, enjoy music and dance ~ embracing an era long gone in memory of Glenn Miller who lives on through his music.

Click on his photo on the right and you will have a link to ‘In the Mood’ and you can enjoy one of his most famous and well known swing sounds to get you in the mood!


(and yes, Twinwoods festival does feature in my murder mystery ‘Murder, Now and Then’!)

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Filed under Bedfordshire, Murder Now and Then, Virtual Tour of Bedfordshire