Nether Heyford 2022 Calendar

The Nether Heyford 2022 Calendar is now available. All photographs featured are from local residents and any profits made go towards the village newspaper The Prattler. Price £5.

They are available in the Heyford Meats, The One Stop Shop & The Foresters Arms.

Alternatively all other cash and online payments are available.

Book a “Cash on Collection” or “Cash on Delivery” slot via email heyford_prattler@yahoo.co.uk

Or “Pay Online” (Paypal, Bitcoin etc ) for free delivery throughout the village.

UK & International postage quotes available on request.

Photographs from: Vernon Cameron-Ilott, Mick Parker, Tom Dodd, Faye Brassett, Simon Bloys

Jez Wilson – Dig. Ed. December 2021

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: www.gigaclear.com/our-network – 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

Email: networkbuildcare@gigaclear.com

Website: www.gigaclear.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gigaclear

Twitter: twitter.com/gigaclear

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/gigaclear

Letters: Food bank – Get Help or Give Help


Website: www.towcester.foodbank.org.uk


Get Help:

Don’t go hungry – if you are in need of help, please contact Towcester Food Bank 07724 832043 (24 hours). Leave a message and they will phone you back. They can issue vouchers for food as well as a delivery or collection service. Alternatively contact South Northamptonshire Council Money Advice Team on 01327 322275 email: moneyadvice@southnorthants.gov.uk


Give Help:

Alternatively if you wish to help, you may donate food:

Towcester Food Bank:

St. John Ambulance garage, Islington Road, Towcester during the following times: Tuesdays 12:00 to 14:00 & Fridays 10:30 to 12:30


Daventry & Weedon Food Banks:

In the box outside the door of 15 Middle Street, Nether Heyford (they are then delivered twice a week)


Advertising in The Prattler

The Prattler is the local village newspaper for Nether Heyford and Upper Heyford , Northamptonshire, England, UK. 

Delivered free to every house, 10 months a year, since 1977. 

Newspaper facts:

Advertisement rates per issue:

  • Full Page £30
  • 1/2 page £15
  • 1/4 page £10
  • Business Card  £5

Full page £30 example:


Half page £15 examples:


Quarter page £10 examples:


Business card  £5 examples:


Advertising benefits:

  • Approx number of readers viewing advertisement in each issue is 1875 people.
  • Estimated average retention rate of publication in household is 28 days.
  • Highly targeted advertising reaching approx 99.9% of the village population.
  • Our advertising partners are widely viewed as contributors to a community asset.
  • New for 2019  – The Prattler is also uploaded monthly to HeyfordPrattler.org 

Booking deadline:

All advert bookings should be made before the 15th of the month for the next issue.

Email: heyford_prattler@yahoo.co.uk

Artwork deadline:

Advertising artwork should be sent to the Editor before the 20th of the month for the next issue.

Email: heyford_prattler@yahoo.co.uk

The Prattler – Editors notes

You may have noticed that this edition looks a bit different than usual. Its thinner and covers the next two months. Unfortunately due to the current lockdown and covid crisis, the Prattler is having to cut back on its publication costs and contents. Therefore we have decided that for the next few months, we will be publishing once every two months instead of monthly. This is so we can conserve our savings until activities restart later in the year.

Thank you to the advertisers and contributors for your continued support.

Sue Boutle – Editor

Edition 440 – February/March 2021

The Prattler is run by an active voluntary committee comprising of Sue Boutle, Christine Watts, Vicki Hamblin, Jez Wilson, Nick Essex, Richard Musson and Mary Rice. If you would like to submit articles or have any suggestions for future issues, please contact us.

The newspaper is supported by donations from the Parish Council, the Parish Church, the Baptist Church, Heyford W.I., Heyford Gardening Club, Heyford Singers, the Bowls Club, the Village Hall and Heyford Picturedrome as well as our advertisers.

Thanks are also due to the volunteers who distribute it every month.

Letters: Hugh Adams

It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of one of our oldest residents of Nether Heyford. Sadly recently, Mr Hugh Adams passed away.

One of our most long-standing Nether Heyford residents from one of Heyford’s most longest-standing families. A family that has farmed the surrounding area for a very long time.

This year Hugh provided The Prattler and the county news teams with a wealth of information, particularly around VE Day and his experience of VE Day in 1945.

The Prattler has been very fortunate to obtain the interview from BBC Radio Northampton from Martin Heath who interviewed Hugh in May this year in regards to VE Day.

“Hugh Adams (96) from Nether Heyford has been telling me about driving a jeep into Copenhagen in May 1945 as part of the Allied Liberation Force. He also collected guns off German soldiers and sold them to buy a car!”

Martin Heath: https://twitter.com/heathm50

Some Nether Heyford history articles connected to Hugh:

The Story of Heyford (Extra): Nether Heyford WW2 veteran Hugh Adams recalls VE day in 1945

The Story of Heyford (Extra): Heyford Residents who served in WW2

The Story of Heyford (Extra): VH 60th Grand Opening: 7th May 1960

The Story of Heyford (Extra): Sheep Dipping in the early days at Whitehall Farm – Hugh Adams

The Story of Heyford: Nether Heyford Women’s Institute V4C1

The Story of Heyford (Extra): The Baptist Chapel

Hugh will be sadly missed by all his family, friends and neighbours.

The Prattler team

The Story of Heyford (Extra): Americans put Northants village on the tourist map


Who is this and What was it all About??
Sally Smith MBE (formerly Sally Foulkes)
Students from the USA visit Nether Heyford May 1979

Recently there was a photo posted on the Heyford Facebook page, with a question “Who is this?” Several people had answered before I saw it and there is a story behind the photo.

The picture was of me taken by the Chronicle and Echo, then a much read daily local paper. There was an article on the front page in the edition printed on Tuesday May 15th 1979, 42 years ago. Margaret Thatcher had just become Prime Minister, the shop that is now Restore was the Post Office run by Mrs Blaney and the Eales family was running the “VG” store just visible in the picture, which was much smaller and their living room has now become part of the shop. There was a bus shelter since removed because of vandalism. It was a very hot early summer, hence the sun dress! Unfortunately my copy of the paper despite being in a plastic box has been attacked by a mouse, but gives the details of why I was looking quizzical.

”I was then Parish Clerk, and a letter arrived at the Post Office addressed to the “City of Nether Heyford Tourist Information Office.” Mrs Blaney gave it to me. It was a request for details of hotels or other accommodation in Nether Heyford from a Professor at Concordia College Minnesota USA. I wrote back to say we were a very small village without any hotels. They wrote back saying they really wanted to stay in Nether Heyford and after discussion with the Parish Council and other people in the village it was decided we could offer ‘B and B’ in local homes.

The students from Concordia were going to be visiting the UK and Europe on a cycling tour using backways and byeways. Their tour would start from London and take them via Bath and Stratford upon Avon en route to Cambridge, Denmark and Paris. We told them about Sulgrave Manor which would be on their route from Banbury to here so that was added to their itinerary and they arrived here in mid May, assembling on the village green to meet their hosts. We organised a tour of the Church with the Rector Alan Horsley, before everyone went off for a wash and change and evening meal with their host families. Later we all met in the games room at the Foresters Arms where local historian Ron Greenall of Leicester University gave them a lecture about Heyford and Northamptonshire, with slides, followed by games of skittles and darts, shove ha’penny and plenty of local beer. After a good “Full English” the next day the group set off for Cambridge and the rest of their European Tour. Concordia students came back to Nether Heyford several more times as they had enjoyed their visit so much.

And why did they want to come here… our village is half way between Stratford upon Avon and Cambridge, it was as simple as that!

Sally Smith MBE (formerly Sally Foulkes)

Letter published in The Prattler – December edition 2020