Nether Heyford Pre-School – April/May 2021


Nether Heyford Pre-School
Address: Church Rooms, Church Lane, Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire, NN7 3LQ
Telephone: 07984 055828
Twitter: @NHeyfordPreSch

Ofsted Registration EY450747Charity No. 1029571

Heyford Singers – April/May 2021


A year ago, I wrote the April article for the Prattler, just as we began the first lockdown. Beautiful spring days with summer ahead of us, yet the uncertain feeling of being confined to our own small patches, wary of a new threat to our way of life. In the twelve months since we have seen sadness and suffering, experienced loneliness and loss, and missed our families and friends. Yet time passes, the seasons come round again and with spring the eternal message of hope and new beginnings. There is much to look forward to, much to savour each new day, and much to cherish and remember.

Meetings and AGM’s have continued throughout the year, albeit in 2D format, and so it was with Heyford Singers AGM on 5th March. At this meeting I stepped down from the role of Secretary, after ten years in post. It was shortly after I retired from Bliss Charity School that Bob Wilson, then Chairman, persuaded me to take on the responsibility of secretary. I have really enjoyed ‘keeping the little grey cells busy’, it has honed my IT skills considerably and I am delighted that the choir has gone from strength to strength during that time.

Geoff Allen is taking over as secretary and will do a wonderful job. He informs me that Heyford Singers is one of the very few village committees that he has not served on!

Tony Wright will maintain his very long-standing commitment to the choir by joining the committee (and representing the basses), replacing Frances Johnson who has also decided to step down. Frances has served the choir with enthusiasm and dedication since its formation, and we all hope that she will still be there to support the altos for many days to come.

Arthur Hanley has finally relinquished the post of Village Hall Representative for the choir, doing a longer tour of duty than his intended one year. Alwyne Wilson has agreed to succeed Arthur in this post, which enables her to continue her very strong links with everything pertaining to village hall activities in Heyford!

I would like to thank Frances and Arthur for their years of hard work on the committee, Geoff, Tony and Alwyne for taking on the vacant roles, but also to everyone else in Heyford Singers, committee and choir, who work so hard to make this organisation such a wonderful part of our village community.

The HS committee is almost fifty percent male now (with Mike Andrew and Keith Rands-Allen)! We would now dearly like to recruit more men to sing with us. The choir is fun, it’s sociable, it’s so good for your wellbeing, it ticks the boxes of everything we’ve missed this past year – so why not think about it?

Take care, look after yourselves and each other.

*I may no longer be taking the minutes at meetings, but I shall continue to write these articles for the Prattler for as long as there is someone happy to read them!

Jill Langrish


If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.


Nether Heyford Tennis Club – April/May 2021


Would you like to come and try our new courts ?

Mondays 4pm to 6pm: Junior coaching 

Monday evenings: Men’s night

Wednesday evenings: Social tennis for all

Friday mornings: Ladies morning

Saturday mornings: Adult coaching

Sunday mornings: Club level play


For further information and to book a space please contact Jo on 01327 349094 / 07749 822016 or find us on Facebook 



Full facilities and location details can be found on our Nether Heyford Tennis Club page.

Heyford Cricket Club – April/May 2021


It’s been the most unusual 12 months for everyone, and the club is optimistic that 2021 will be a year where we can return to some sort of normality and enjoy a full season of cricket at Heyford CC starting on Saturday 1st May. If we cast our mind back to last summer, we were actually very lucky to get half of a cricket season, albeit in slightly different circumstances. Nevertheless, we are delighted to look back on the 2020 with a number of positive steps forward, even in the face of the global pandemic.

Firstly, the club launched a 3rd XI in 2020, this means Heyford CC have gone from a club that has one team playing league cricket, to a club that has three teams – all within 15 years. The trend is that local village cricket is a declining pastime, and many clubs have sought mergers or reduced the number of teams in that period. This is a great testament to the committees and membership over these years to truly make Heyford
CC the special club it is. The 3rd XI is a platform to develop younger cricketers, and is key in providing a transition from junior cricket to adult cricket, whilst allowing more senior players to continue to enjoy competitive cricket in the ‘autumn of the years’. To see pictures of ‘Dads and Lads’ playing 3rd XI cricket gives the club great pride.

In addition to the mini-season for the senior teams, we were able to run Junior cricket on Friday nights, and make some great improvements at the ground thanks to the amazing efforts of our Grounds Team complementing some new sight screens. We’ve also treated the Grounds Team to a brand new roller, due to arrive before the 2021 season commences.

When heading into a cricket season, we normally hope for good weather, a few wins of the toss and some good teas, but this year we have fingers and toes crossed that we can just play a full summer of cricket. Whether we are 6 or 66, it’s all about getting out there and having fun. We’ll be taking to the field with three senior teams, so if you fancy pulling some whites on there is an opportunity to play cricket at all

In the all-important Junior section, we are delighted to offer the All Stars cricket format again (Ages 5-8), new Dynamos format (Ages 8-11) as introductions to the game, as well as Under 10, Under 11 and Under 12 teams. We welcome all ages from the village and surrounding areas.

We’d love to tell you about the events coming up, but we staying cautious with regard to our Golf Day, Fun Day and any other events. However, what we do know is that the sound of leather on willow will be heard at the Playing Fields from May. Feel free to pop down and support us and follow us on Facebook for updates.

We always welcome new members, be that players or volunteers – so if you want to play, umpire, coach, sponsor or volunteer in any way, please do get in touch. The club’s contact details are below.

One final message must go to the previous Chairman Matt Baker, who led the club wonderfully over the last 5 years. The club have nothing but thanks for his effort and hard work, truly taking the club forward over his tenure.

Rob Pardon – Chairman

07894 865194

Download the app:

Heyford Bowls Club – April/May 2021


Heyford Bowls Club
Is that a light I see at the end of the tunnel? Heyford Bowls Club certainly think so. At a Zoom Committee Meeting the other day we started laying plans to have some sort of bowls season.

According to Boris’ roadmap out of lockdown, outdoor sports can commence at the end of March, which is well before the start of the outdoor bowling season. We therefore plan to open the green on Monday 19th April. Initial play will be restricted to roll ups, with limited numbers, on rinks 1/3/5 or 2/4/6. If all goes to plan, we shall be back to some form of normality by the middle of June, which means we might be back playing matches against other clubs, but we will have another copy of The Prattler by then and we can tell you for sure.

We also need to arrange our AGM when greater numbers can gather together, and this will be on the agenda of our next Committee Meeting which we hope to hold out of doors in the week commencing 12th April. Our Chairman will be scanning the skies and consulting his seaweed before deciding on the actual date and time.

Otherwise, it will be on Zoom again.

And I should have had my second vaccination by then.

Happy days

Geoff Allen 01327 349909

For more bowls club information please visit our website:

Flood Watch – April/May 2021

Flood Watch

As we moved into 2021 January storm Christoph saw more periods of heavy rainfall and more local flooding up to the very last day of the month, by which time the monthly average rainfall was exceeded by 75%. February started milder but by the end of the first week temperatures plummeted to -5 centigrade over night with daytime temperatures around zero and we experienced the first snowfall brought about by the “Beast from the East 2”, named Darcy. This was followed by a week of strong winds with coastal speeds of over 80 mph although locally they only reached 45 mph. In spite of these wind speeds and the issuing of yellow warnings the storm remained unnamed (should have been Evert!).The instability of the jet stream which had brought down cold polar air suddenly reversed to bring warm air from the south. The monthly rainfall returned to average and although the river level peaked several times no more flooding occurred.

March started slightly warmer but wind chill factor kept temperature in single figures. However rainfall throughout the month has dropped and should end up below average. As we approach the end of the month the Spring equinox will be reached by the 20th when day and night hours are equal at the equator although locally this will occur on 17/18th being in the northern hemisphere. On the 27th the clocks will go forward 1 hour when sunset will be at 7.30pm and daylight hours would have extend to 12 hours 40 minutes.

April’s forecast expects a period of more stable weather as long as US hurricane season does not create problems with the jet stream. An historic event on 28th February saw a meteor stream deposit debris of up to 300 grams in Gloucestershire. The finding of such fragments, not seen in over 30 years, identified the age in excess of the earth at 4.5 billion years. I have been informed that our local E/A contact has been re-assigned to a new location and that all contact will revert to the Partnership and Strategic Overview team. I have contacted the team leader to try to ensure continuity and that he is fully aware of our concerns over lack of progress. I am currently awaiting his response to my E-Mail.


Letters: Dee Hillyard

Sadly, our Mum Dee passed away in Northampton General Hospital on 19th February aged 88 years. She had been admitted to hospital following a routine Doctors appointment at Bugbrooke Surgery. Mum was well known in Heyford as she spent 22 years as a school dinner lady at Bliss from the early 70’s to 1997. As a family we still have the newspaper article from the Chronicle & Echo with a lovely photo of Mum with some of the children. The article said she hung up her apron the day before her 65th birthday!

The Prattler also featured a full-page piece written by then teacher Jill Langrish about Mum and all that she experienced at school. (Reproduced below). The lovely comments we have received from past pupils has been really comforting. Especially those messages about wobbly teeth, grazed knees, ‘seconds’ at lunchtime and lots of reassuring hand holding.

Mum was born one of nine, in Kislingbury, and leaves behind her older sister Daph (Faulkner) who still lives in Church Street. When she married Dad (Alan) in 1959 they started married life in Heyford and never left. They lived first at the B&B in Church Street and then in Church Lane where they had Sheena and Mark before moving to Furnace Lane where both Paul and Sara were born. This was the family home, at number 72, until Mum & Dad downsized in 2008 to their lovely bungalow at 5 The Pound. They used to say that they had the best view in the village, out across The Green.

We have lovely memories of Mum and Dad going off to play bingo at the village hall when we were young. Mum also enjoyed a game of cards and kept this tradition going on Christmas Day until a few years ago. It was something she took seriously!

She will be truly missed and we are sure many people have many memories of Mum as she used to walk up and down Furnace Lane, with her shopping, and would stop to chat on the way.

Sheena, Mark, Paul & Sara.

From Spam Fritters to Hula Hoops

Twenty-two years ago on 20 October 1975 a new dinner lady joined the lunchtime staff of Bliss Charity School, a staff that included Mrs Clarke, Mrs Faulkner and Mrs Nial. The new dinner lady was Mrs Dee Hillyard and she was appointed to a temporary post with one month’s probation.

Her duties were to work in the kitchen preparing the food and then serve it to the children. At that time the teachers supervised the children in the school hall but in time, this became the responsibility of the dinner ladies together with clearing away plates and cutlery, wiping tables and sweeping the floor. Then it was out to the playground, in winter to button up coats and help fingers into gloves, and in summer to shelter from the sun and allow trips to the drinking fountain. The playground crazes of Hopscotch, Skipping, Tig, Tazos, Football Stickers and Marbles have all been part of Mrs Dee Hillyard’s “lunchtime diet” over the years.

As the years passed so another area of the hall was developing, that of the packed lunch group. Now the dinner ladies had to open Thomas the Tank Engine lunch boxes, peel back yoghurt tops and pour drinks from flasks. These ‘picnickers’ became more numerous and in March 1992 the school kitchen finally closed, the
kitchen staff departed and lunchtime supervision was left to the three dinner ladies.

But whilst the weather outside remained as unpredictable as ever, the children, like their choices of food changed term by term, year by year. With hundreds of children, Dee Hillyard has watched their games, enjoyed their secrets, marvelled at their appetites and perhaps been surprised by their table manners!

Mrs Dee Hillyard has lived in Nether Heyford for over 30 years and is a mother of four children, Sheena, Mark, Paul and Sarah. When these children grew up she acquitted a new set of children to enjoy – her grandchildren Kelly, Ben and Louise. Several years ago Dee’s husband Alan was very seriously injured in a road traffic accident. It was a difficult time for her and her family but time, patience and care resulted in a full recovery for Alan Hillyard. Although Dee had a few days absences from school at the time of the accident she was soon back at work. We all admired her strength and fortitude at such an emotional time.

So, sadly on 20 June we will be saying goodbye to Dee as she retires on her 65th birthday. We are Bliss School, staff, parents, governors and above all the children, who will miss her very much. We would like to say “Thank You” for the past 22 years. We hope you have a very happy birthday and an even happier retirement. You certainly deserve it, especially the lunchtimes.

Jill Langrish

Article from The Prattler – 1997

Gigaclear Broadband in Nether Heyford

A new Fibre Broadband provider is coming to Nether Heyford.

Following on from building a successful fibre broadband network up the hill in Stowe IX Churches, Gigaclear will be working in the village to build the UK’s fastest, full fibre broadband network. They are getting ready to commence work in the village.

They are asking for any feedback you may have on their plan for the village.

For more information on the network rollout in Nether Heyford, visit: – Use the postcode option “Can I get Gigaclear?” to register your interest.

For all questions or feedback regarding Gigaclear activity in Nether Heyford then contact Stu Haynes, Community Engagement Manager:

Phone: 01865 591137

Mobile: 07887 821442






Do you need help? Grants available from the Arnold’s Charity – Deadline 31st March 2021


Need Help Box

The Arnold’s Charity is able to offer grants to residents of Nether Heyford and Upper Heyford who find themselves in need of help financially.

The grants which can be applied for are varied and include two categories.

Social Grants: All ages

The social grants are available to help residents who may be struggling financially. This could be an unexpected expense i.e. new glasses, dental treatment, a larger than anticipated bill, the need to travel to hospital appointments, heating, clothing, medical costs etc.

Eligibility: Resident of Nether Heyford or Upper Heyford

Educational Grants: Persons under 18 & Persons 18-24

Cash grants for Apprenticing and Education are available to or on behalf of persons who have not attained the age of 25.  This could be for learning purposes i.e. books, equipment, tools, etc.

Eligibility: 1. Under 25 years old. 2. Lived in Nether Heyford or Upper Heyford for over one year OR have been educated in the parish for over one year. 3. In need of financial assistance for educational purposes, subject to the terms of the scheme and approval of the trustees

The applications are considered by the Trustees at their meetings twice a year, in April and November. Deadlines for completed application forms are March 31st and October 31st.

Next deadline for application forms:

March 31st 2021



  hours  minutes  seconds


Grant Application Deadline

Application forms are available from:

Rev Stephen Burrow (Parish Church) – Trustee | 01327 344436 | 07511 544375

Jez Wilson (The Prattler) | 07761 672376

Nick Adams – Trustee | 07812 032509

Bethany Kay (Clerk to the Trustees at Wilson Browne Solicitors) | 01604 876697

Alternatively – Download, Print, Complete and Return:

Charity History:

The Arnold’s Charity was founded by the will of Edmund Arnold, in or about 1689. The Charity was set up to help five Parishes in the County of Northamptonshire – Stony Stratford, Nether and Upper Heyford, the Ancient Parish of St. Giles -Northampton, Stowe-IX-Churches and Weedon Bec and also Merton College, Oxford.

Edmund Arnold:

Born: Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire

Baptised: Stowe-Nine-Churches, Northamptonshire, 1607

Graduated: Merton College Oxford, 10th October 1661

Career: Lawyer – Doctors’ Commons, Knightrider Street, London (Described in ‘David Copperfield’ and referred to by Sherlock Holmes)

Died: Kensington, London, 27th March 1676

Buried: Beneath the chancel in St Bartholomew’s Church, Furtho, Northamptonshire

Edmund Arnold’s Charity – Registered Charity number 260589

Arnold’s Education Foundation – Registered Charity number 310590