Parish Council – November 2020 Meeting

Unfortunately it was not possible to have the Parish Council meeting in November due to Covid restrictions and Guy’s accident. Hopefully there will be one held in December.

 

Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com  It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.

Parish Council meetings in 2020 will continue to be on the first Monday of each month, (unless a Bank Holiday) and start at 19:30. The next one is Monday December 7th. (Online on Zoom Meeting ID 630 318 8070 Password 140043 )

NetherHeyfordParishCouncilThePrattlerOcotber2020

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the Councillors please visit:

Nether Heyford Parish Council Website 

Allotment News – December 2020

Welcome
A warm welcome is extended to all new allotment holders (and those who are planning to join us in 2021). It has been heartening to see so many new allotmenteers in recent weeks. Plots that had once been derelict or have become vacant will now be put to good use and enable us to continue making the site on Watery Lane something of which the village can be proud.

Allotment Holders
If you are considering growing your own fruit and veg, act quickly by contacting Lynda Eales on 01327 341707. We have only a few vacant plots left, although two of those are the small “starter plots” that were created two years ago to give people the opportunity for people try out allotmenting free of charge for one year. If tenants like what they have been doing, they can transfer to a proper allotment (and pay rent) the following year. The cost of renting is not expensive and the vast majority of plots range from between £12 and £30 per year. Now that has got to be good value!

Rent Night
It was originally hoped to have our annual rent night in January. With the current uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus restrictions we are not in a position to confirm whether that will take place or whether we will be able to use the village youth club building. Please bear with us. Regardless of what happens, the rent due will be posted to each allotment holder in due course.

Sue’s CORNER
A beautiful commemorative bench has been set in place in our community orchard to remember the life and achievements of Sue Corner. Without her tireless efforts much of what we see on the allotments today would not have come to fruition.

Mike Langrish 

All the flowers of all the tomorrows
Are in the seeds of today and yesterday
(An Indian Proverb)

Parish Council – October 2020 Meeting

And so the Covid/Coronavirus emergency continues on, impinging on all of our lives. Things that we would not have imagined before have become normality after 8 months, and will continue to be for many more months. Due to continuing government regulations prohibiting public meetings; the October 2020 Parish Council meeting was held online, using the Zoom platform. This is in line with national advice. There is still no indication of how long these conditions will persist, but it is likely that meetings will take place online for at least the rest of this year. Parishioners wanting to participate in the Public Session should check the Agenda on the Public notice boards, or the Website, for the meeting ID on Zoom.

Due to difficulties experienced by Councillors unused to using the internet, a reduced number of Councillors attended the online meeting, but a quorum was achieved and was augmented by the District and County Councillors and an unknown member of the public.

The Chair had the sad duty of reporting the passing of Sue Corner, one of the Council’s most enthusiastic and capable members. He commented as follows:

Sue Corner joined Nether Heyford Parish Council in October 2015. On becoming a Councillor, she listened, appraised, and learned.

Her first responsibility was allotments, joining Cllr Lynda Eales in redesigning, reforming, and modernising a slightly moribund village asset. Between them they have created allotments to be proud of.

Sue’s next task was the Planning responsibility. This task can be complicated, but Sue took it in her stride, sharing issues, and dealing with all applications fairly, and responsibly.

With the Parish Council’s dream of creating a Neighbourhood Plan, Sue took the idea, created an amazing team, and knocked our collective socks off with her drive, and intelligence. Her team came up with ideas and strategies that were advanced, and revolutionary. Who’d have thought of filming Nether Heyford from the air by drone? This created the most fascinating picture of our village I have ever seen, and never tire of watching.

Sue’s intelligence, and drive have been a really great asset to the PC, she will be so very much missed on our team, and by Nether Heyford itself.

C. Kiloh

Mike Brassett has stood down due to pressure of work. This leaves Council 3 members short of its full quota of 11. We are able to co-opt new members, subject to them being eligible. The Parish Council does need some active new members, preferably familiar with IT – so if you feel that is you – please contact me or the Chair (details overleaf).

Reports from the District and County Councillors
Cllr Bignell reported that a number of SNC officers had been appointed to roles in the West Northants authority, but that SNC were continuing to operate, and had actually improved the rate at which Planning Applications were dealt with. Cllr Harries reported that a Rights of Way consultant had found that a number of footpaths had been changed in 2016 without any consultation. This applied to KS1 Parson’s Close, KS7 Wakefield Way and KS17. This meant that part of them may now be considered Highways. It was felt that this was not an issue for the first two, but enquiries would be made about KS 17.

Public Participation: None.

Reports
PCSO – a brief report had been sent, very few problems or crimes at present.

Lights Progress reports. NCALC had formed a partnership with Clear Utility Solutions to try and lower Parish Council lighting bills. CUS were able to act on Council’s behalf and could secure a 2 year contract with YU Energy, at rate of about 25% less than the 22p per unit Eon were currently charging. This should give a saving of c£2000 p/a now, with further savings when the LED lights were installed.

Roads and pavements Large pothole outside the White House in Weedon Rd. To be reported. Parking in Middle St had been exacerbated by the school staggering collection times and it was felt that Highways should be approached with a view to extending the yellow lines around the school house.

The Green /Play Area The Green was felt to be in good condition, but there was concern that repairs to Play Area equipment had been delayed. These should shortly be carried out.

Playing Fields LE reported that the fields were being well used, especially the netball court. Comments had been made about the gate between the allotments and the Playing Field being locked. The situation would be monitored, as the gate was not supposed to be locked.

Trees There has been further storm damage to trees around the cemetery. STS have been given a list of trees to work on.

Allotments There are efforts to form an allotment committee.

Footpaths Some felt that the Church Lane to the river was overgrown, and the Watery Lane to Middle St jitty.

Churchyard The trimmed hedge and grass were felt to be looking good.

Canal Damage to Bridge 32 should be reported to Canal and River Trust.

Defibrillators In good order. CK to look into replacing the batteries.

Planning. S/2020/0428/FUL Land behind Denbrook. Having received a report from Hedley/Wellers it was felt that the next step would be to consult the NCC Village Greens and Common Land registers. Concern was expressed at reports of building work possibly having been initiated.

Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com  It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.

Parish Council meetings in 2020 will continue to be on the first Monday of each month, (unless a Bank Holiday) and start at 19:30. The next ones are Monday November 2nd (online) and Monday December 7th.

NetherHeyfordParishCouncilThePrattlerOcotber2020

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the Councillors please visit:

Nether Heyford Parish Council Website 

Allotment News – November 2020

Still much to do
There is a feeling at this time of the year that everything is finished on the allotment. The last tomatoes have been picked and any green ones are now ripening on a windowsill. The bean frames are leaning over at an alarming angle and any pods that have clung on are turning brown. The flowers that once grew amongst our veg have either faded or are, like the condemned man, awaiting the first frost. It can seem like gloom and doom arrives with the month of November. The poet Thomas Hood had this feeling when he wrote:

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, –
November!

But I’m having none of that. If we look around us there is still so much to be done and, more importantly, so much that the allotment can give us in return.

We are currently using the empty beds to store winter hardy plants for next spring’s bedding – Wallflowers, Sweet Williams, Foxgloves and Marigolds. The green manure that we sowed as we lifted our potatoes and onions has grown vigorously and now gives our soil a warm blanket of green that will be dug in as the winter progresses. The compost we have nurtured all summer will be spread over the soil that is bare and any crops we still have in the ground like leeks and parsnips will be harvested with extra relish in the dark months ahead.

Alan Jenkins in his wonderful book Plot 29 says that he visits his allotment as to an elderly relative and is dutiful, loyal. I think of it as a friend who still needs me when the winter sun is low. The truth, of course, is that it is me who has the need – to nurture, to walk through memories. To grow.

Maintenance
As you will be aware if you have visited the allotments over the past year, the plots are in a good state of repair. They have been well tended, pathways have been mown and lots of produce has been grown. And how lovely to see so many flowers being cultivated amongst all that fruit and veg. However, there will be some basic maintenance tasks to carry out over the winter, including covering plots for new owners to take on in the new year. We are also keen to tidy up the area by the Watery Lane entrance so that it does not become a dumping ground but a space where manure or compost could be delivered. We are also keen to carry out some work on the large shed by the orchard, improving storage and strengthening the structure. If you are able to assist in any of these tasks we would love to hear from you and will be publishing details of when we will be starting work in the coming months.

Our thanks goes to all those people who have helped with the upkeep of the allotments over the past year, whether that be giving of time and labour so generously or donating equipment for general use. Your support is appreciated.

The Orchard
Our fruit trees have grown really well this year and the area we planted up just two years ago is beginning to look like a real orchard. I would like to think that this time next year we will be picking fruit and asking you to share in our bounty. Basic tree maintenance will continue in the winter and early spring.

Wildlife
Dave Musson has been keeping readers of the Prattler fully informed of developments in the wildlife area with his monthly articles, so suffice to say that the bio diversity that he and Mark and Mary Newstead have helped create in that area has enhanced what we on the allotments do, day in, day out. That is something we all benefit from.

Equipment
A range of equipment is available for allotment holders to borrow when working on the allotment site; this includes mowers, rotavators, wheelbarrows, brooms and watering cans. Many people will own some or all of the above, but for those who wish to get access to such equipment, please contact Lynda Eales (01327 341707) or Mike Langrish langrish_heyford@hotmail.com (01327 341390). We can ensure that you get the equipment you require at a mutually convenient time.

Allotment Holders
If you are considering growing your own fruit and veg, act quickly by contacting Lynda Eales on 01327 341707. We have a few vacant plots but at least five local residents who are keen to begin allotmenting. Rent night will be held in January – more details in the next edition of the Prattler. It is hoped that by then we can reallocate vacant plots so that everyone is able to benefit from this wonderful village resource.

Mike Langrish 

Parish Council – September 2020 Meeting

Due to government regulations prohibiting public meetings the Sept 2020 Parish Council meeting was held online, using the Zoom platform. This is in line with national advice. There is still no indication of how long these conditions will persist, but it is likely that meetings will take place online for the rest of this year. Parishioners wanting to participate in the Public Session should check the Agenda on the Public notice boards, or the Website, for the meeting ID on Zoom.

Due to difficulties experienced by Councillors unused to using the internet, a reduced number of Councillors attended the online meeting, but a quorum was achieved and was augmented by the District and County Councillors.

Illness and unfamiliarity with IT have meant that the number of Councillors at meetings has fallen, and the anticipated election in May was postponed until next year, and this may well have bought an influx of new Councillors. We are able to co-opt new members, subject to them being eligible. The Parish Council does need some active new members, preferably familiar with IT – so if you feel that is you – please contact me or the Chair (details overleaf).

Reports from the District and County Councillors Cllr Adam Brown reported that NCC will give a financial report tomorrow that will show a small underspend on the previous year. Northampton had been downgraded from being an area of intervention as regards Covid19. The Greencore situation had improved. As regards LGR (Local Government Re-organisation) – all is progressing, and the schedule is being met. Most Statutory officers have now been appointed.

Cllr Phil Bignell confirmed downgrading of Covid19 situation, and reported that most new cases were in the younger age groups, and that there was some way to go.

Cllr David Harries confirmed Cllr AB’s analysis of the LGR situation. He referred to the failure of Council’s bid for NHB money for lighting. The panel had taken the decision to not support schemes for which Councils were in any case responsible; preferring to support larger schemes. He felt that schemes which helped with climate change should be supported. AW felt that the rules had been changed, and DH agreed that this had not been made clear enough.

Public Participation Tony Clewett reported that the NP (Neighbourhood Plan) had sustained body blows – participant illness and Covid19, which meant no meetings could be held. Strategic Environment Assessments (SEA) was the next task. SNC have said that the NP group have to screen this themselves, whereas most think that the District Council should be doing this. It was recommended that Kislingbury was approached for advice on this and other NP issues. Tom Dodd felt the need for an SEA was low, but that the NP would not be passed unless there is evidence of a strong scoping plan. Whilst the delays were a cause for concern, the whole process has been delayed in that there would be no referenda before May 6th 2021, and funding had been increased as a result. With the Parish Council’s allocation of £3000 for 20/21 and £500 already held, it was hoped that this would suffice. He had distributed a document on costings. The NP group would continue with the screening and to keep in line with SNC’s local plan. It was hoped to submit to the PC in Jan 2021, followed by statutory consultation. It would then go on to a referendum.

Roads and pavements Felt to be in generally poor condition, although it was acknowledged that there had been extensive re-surfacing work on the lane between the Heyfords.

The Green and Play Area The Green was felt to be in good condition, although there had been some storm damage to trees. The Council thanked Dominic Cawley for removing one substantial Robinia limb from the Green. The Tree surgeon had checked and adjusted a number of trees.

Damaged units in the Play Area had been taped off and would be repaired by Wicksteed shortly.

CK felt that funding for a new Play Area was now problematic although it was still possible to go for NHB money, if this was the case the last opportunity would be Nov 20th. 

It was resolved to insert an additional litter bin next to the bench at the bus stop. This would be to help deal with the worsening litter situation, which is felt to have been caused by the removal of the bin outside the One Stop Shop. The re-opening of takeaways was fairly obvious as detritus from the various outlets started to appear at the roadside almost immediately. This is particularly noticeable between the Heyfords; however most of the lane is in Upper Heyford, rather than Nether Heyford Parish. There has also been an issue with cars parking around the entrance to the Playing Fields. Police are aware.

Playing Fields LE reported that the Netball Court had proved very popular and was much used. She felt that the use of the fields had increased generally and that there were now more opportunities for women.

Trees Storm Francis had caused a good deal of damage.

Allotments LE reported that there had been an appeal for members to form an Allotments Association committee. There was now a waiting list of 5.

Footpaths LD commented that dog mess was an increasing issue on footpaths.

Churchyard Tree work would be recommenced in Autumn.

Joint Burial Board CK reported that there was a programme for tidying up the cemetery, and that the existing mapping was to be upgraded. There had been damage to some trees during Storm Francis, which was being dealt with.

Youth Club LD reported that she felt it was unlikely that the club could re-open in the near future. Those activities that were recommended by the County Association were not felt to be attractive to the club members and would be stressful and awkward for helpers to implement, nor were outdoor activities practical going into Autumn. The building has been deep cleaned. SNC had sent a tree inspector to look at the issue with the garden in Ridgeway Furlong.

Canal The Furnace Lane bridge had been damaged. Clerk had reported to Highways and an inspection had taken place. No report as yet.

Defibrillators The defibrillators were in working order, but would need new batteries shortly as they had been in place since 2017.

Planning S2020/0428/FUL Land behind Denbrook SNC were unhappy with this application but have not heard back from the agent: so there is no current application. There is an issue regarding the crossing of part of the village green for access for any residence built on this site, as to whether an easement is required. AW had contacted Danny Moody at NCALC who had recommended contacting NCALC’s solicitors Weller/Hedley. County Council to be contacted to consult Register of Village Greens to try and clarify exact boundaries of village green. Cllr PB would check with SNC to clarify ownership.

Consideration of how Council would respond to a 2nd wave of Covid 19. It was felt that, should there be a 2nd Wave of Covid19, it would be straightforward to reintroduce the procedures for distributing food parcels and assisting shielding residents. The “mechanisms” and volunteers were still in place.

Lighting A working party would be formed to discuss lighting issues generally, and a possible application to the Salix agency for funding.

Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com  It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.

Parish Council meetings in 2020 will continue to be on the first Monday of each month, (unless a Bank Holiday) and start at 19:30. The next ones are Monday October 5th (online) and Monday November 2nd.

NetherHeyfordParishCouncilThePrattlerOcotber2020

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the Councillors please visit:

Nether Heyford Parish Council Website 

Allotment News – October 2020

Continuing a legacy
It was with great sadness that we learnt of Sue Corner’s untimely death at the end of September.

Allotmenteers will recall that her illness was the reason we contacted them in the middle of last month to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the allotments. Sue and her husband Bill have, over the last few years, done so much to help regenerate the allotments and create our community orchard, jam patch, flower bed and wildlife area. We did not want that legacy to be jeopardised. The response from plot holders was most encouraging and offers of help, to particularly keep up the maintenance work carried out by Bill, were plentiful. Sadly Sue’s illness progressed much faster than anticipated hence this sad news.

Sue wanted the allotments (and the village – through the development of the Neighbourhood Plan) to develop and grow sustainably. I’d like to think that we will continue that work. And what a fitting tribute for a very special lady.

Covid continued …
I have been determined to avoid that subject in these articles but a piece I read in my morning newspaper has prompted me to sing again the virtues of growing your own fruit and veg and getting outside in the fresh air – whatever the weather. “Bundle up and embrace an alfresco winter” ran the headline. So I reckon that creating a safe space between people, coupled with all that fresh air and exercise is achieved pretty well on an allotment. Added to which you get exercise and grow stuff to eat. If you bring something warm to wrap up in, along with a hearty snack and warm drink, we even have a welcoming outdoor seating area – where you can of course socially distance. What is there not to like?

Autumn
As the growing season comes to an end next spring and summer seem to stretch far into the distance. There is however, still much to do. Preparation of ground and basic maintenance makes work in the new growing year so much easier. How about building a couple of compost bins and putting all that green waste we create to good use. It always strikes me that whilst it is good to see recycling of green waste in the council bins, how much more productive to use that to build up the fertility of our own soil. There is lots of guidance on how to successfully compost your waste. Readers of the Prattler may recall that several years ago we actually ran a series of articles on this very subject. They are all still available.

In addition there are crops that can be grown throughout the winter, often without too much protection. I’ll go into more detail on that subject in next month’s article.

Finally, and of particular importance to those who think that they couldn’t/can’t manage a whole allotment don’t despair. A number of plot holders have rationalised their holding and covered some areas with plastic sheeting or a landscape fabric, cultivating just what they can manage at the moment. When they are ready to extend their growing again they will have clean areas of soil to work. Alternatively, a number of plot holders have turned part of their plots over to flowers. Dahlias grow well on the allotments and have looked quite stunning this year. Other perennial plants like lavender, rosemary or sage don’t mind a bit of neglect, come back every year and smother weed. We have even created a rhubarb hedge on the community jam patch. It just looks after itself and gives an abundant crop every year.

Equipment
A range of equipment is available for allotment holders to borrow when working on the allotment site; this includes mowers, rotavators, wheelbarrows, brooms and watering cans. Many people will own some or all of the above, but for those who wish to get access to such equipment, please contact Lynda Eales (01327 341707) or Mike Langrish langrish_heyford@hotmail.com (01327 341390). We can ensure that you get the equipment you require at a mutually convenient time.

Allotment Holders
If you are considering growing your own fruit and veg, act quickly by contacting Lynda Eales on 01327 341707.

Mike Langrish 

Parish Council – July & August 2020 Meetings

Due to government regulations prohibiting public meetings the July 6th and Aug 3rd, 2020 Parish Council meetings were held online, using the Zoom platform. This is in line with national advice. At this time there is no indication of how long these conditions will persist, but it is likely that meetings will take place online for the rest of this year. Parishioners wanting to participate in the Public Session should check the Agenda on the Public notice boards, or the Website, for the meeting ID on Zoom.

Due to difficulties experienced by Councillors unused to using the internet, a reduced number of Councillors attended the online meeting, but a quorum was achieved and was supplemented by the District and County Councillors.

Illness and unfamiliarity with IT have meant that the number of Councillors at meetings has fallen, and the anticipated election in May was postponed until next year, and this may well have bought an influx of new Councillors. We are able to co-opt new members, subject to them being eligible. The Parish Council does need some active new members, preferably familiar with IT – so if you feel that is you – please contact me or the Chair.

Reports from the District and County Councillors.
Cllr Phil Bignell reported that the Forum has yet to re-open, and that Covid 19 was something of a problem in several wards in Northamptonshire. Further measures were being considered by Government, but action and advice by local health officers has averted this.

Lights.
The required 3 Quotes had now been received and an application made for funding from the New Homes Bonus; the result of that application is awaited.

Roads and pavements.
The jitties between Watery Lane, Middle St and Manor Walk have been cleared up, as has the one between the memorial Green and Church Lane.

The Green and Play Area.
Grass in good condition. Play area has been re-opened and one of the fixtures has been repaired.

Playing Fields. In good order. Tennis courts have been re-surfaced.

Youth Club will remain closed until at least September. Trees had been cut down adjacent to the Youth Club.

Planning. An application for land behind Denbrook was proving controversial and a report had been put in to the Planning Dept at SNC.

Reports on effect of Covid 19 emergency. Whilst there are still restrictions, the lockdown has largely been lifted and most people are back at work. The volunteer effort to distribute food parcels and prescriptions has been largely stood down. All those involved in that effort should take a bow – we can be very proud of them and that this village got its effort together very rapidly and effectively with a mixture of residents and Parish Councillors involved. Indeed, it was so effective that Heyford became a hub for other villages to collect from.

It may be that there will be no further need for such an effort, or we could just be in a pause period before there is a second wave of Covid 19. The Parish Council will look at the readiness of the village to cope with another potential lockdown at the September meeting. The Parish Council are grateful for the work of all the volunteers during this emergency and are proud of the community spirit that it has engendered.

Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com  It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.

Parish Council meetings in 2020 will continue to be on the first Monday of each month, (unless a Bank Holiday) and start at 19:30. The next one is an online meeting  Monday September 7th.

netherheyfordparishcouncilAugust2020_list

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the Councillors please visit:

Nether Heyford Parish Council Website 

SOFEA Nether Heyford emergency community larder

The community larder deliveries have now ceased after 15 weeks. We hope you found the deliveries useful. If circumstances change and you experience an emergency situation around food or medicine supplies, please do not hesitate to contact one of us and we will endeavour to help and support you.

Charles Kiloh & Lynda Eales 07779 900860 | Jez Wilson 07761 672376 | Sue Boutle 07500 636009 | Faye Brassett 07827 707599 | Rev Stephen Burrow 01327 344436

“Thank you for your support for the Emergency Community Larders that were put in place with your help at Lockdown.  Since then 1588 food boxes have been delivered into Nether Heyford with the help of your local volunteers.  Thank you for your help in communicating this project with and supporting your own village during these unprecedented times.
Thank you again for your part in the Emergency larder, together we delivered 17084 food boxes into 74 villages with over 500 volunteers and 20 charity partners.  A truly magnificent South Northamptonshire response to a global crisis.
It has been a privilege and pleasure to work with you.”
Miranda Wixon – SOFEA
News: 
Could COVID19 have found a cure for loneliness in South Northants?

About My Area 25/08/2020

Volunteers deliver more than 17,000 food boxes to isolated people in need across south Northamptonshire during lockdown‘It’s just been incredible that people want to help each other – it’s been a very uniquely Northamptonshire project’

Daventry Express 27/08/2020

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 27/08/2020

Links: heyfordprattler.org/coronavirus | netherheyfordparishcouncil.org.uk

SOFEA:

SOFEA

Website: www.sofea.uk.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SOFEACommunityLarder
Email: communitylarder@sofea.uk.com
Donate: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sofeacommunitylarder

Nether Heyford Volunteers

Allotment News – September 2020

Community Use
It has been so good to welcome villagers to the allotments. They are often residents who have never visited the site or who came along when it was an overgrown wilderness. Their comments and general surprise at how productive and attractive the allotments look have been most encouraging. One long standing resident of Heyford said to me the other day: “Last time I came here it was a jungle and all a bit depressing really. Now look at it! The allotment holders must be very proud of what has happened”.

The sharing barrow in the community picnic area has been used by allotmenteers to off-load excess produce (particularly courgette’s). It is good to share and exchange what would otherwise be wasted. Even more encouraging, has been the increasing number of allotmenteers and villagers who have taken the opportunity to cut some of the beautiful flowers on offer. Virtually all of these flowering plants originated from donations, so many thanks if you were able to give us something earlier in the year. When you come to tidy up your seed box in the winter or begin dividing plants, do spare us a thought. Those items could be the basis of next year’s bounty.

If you are picking flowers, try to use a pair of scissors or snips and, if time allows, give the plants a drink, using the watering cans we have left out in that area. A water cistern can be found nearby.

Soft fruit in our community fruit patch has been better than we anticipated, particularly as the bushes and canes were only cast-offs and did not look too promising when we planted them during the winter. Do feel free to pick fruit from this area if it looks ripe. We know for a fact that many villagers have already used this resource to make jam, fill a freezer box or even produce gin!

Allotments are cool?
We recently dug up the early potatoes on our own allotment, enlisting the help of our grandchildren. There is something quite magical about a child’s face when they unearth a large clutch of potatoes from the soil. For them it must be like finding buried treasure. As we finished and surveyed our haul, Nick, our eldest grandchild said: “You know grandad, allotments are really cool aren’t they?” I gave him a hug, there and then.

People used to have this stereotypical view that allotments were the preserve of old men in tweed jackets and flat caps. Those wise souls of more mature years are still a vital part of the growing community, but as Nick so wisely noted, allotments are “cool” and have attracted a far wider group of people. This has become so obvious in Nether Heyford, for our allotments are now tended by people of all ages and from all sorts of backgrounds. They have all discovered the joy of growing their own fruit, veg and flowers and long may it continue. Perhaps, as I approach another big birthday, I may even need dig out my tweeds and flat cap!

Weather
Despite the ridiculously hot weather we’ve experienced during much of the summer, the crops on the allotment have held up well – due in no small part to all the watering that allotment holders have done. However, we have found that cropping has advanced, in many cases by as much as a month. We are already picking autumn fruiting raspberries from our own allotment and sweetcorn is in danger of “going-over” if we don’t get a move on! I suspect that is a trend all gardeners will have to come to terms with as our planet warms.

Fruit Trees
A recent inspection and some routine maintenance of the fruit trees in our community orchard has revealed that all the trees, planted just eighteen months ago, are thriving. Earlier infestations by aphids have all but disappeared – largely due to the increasing number of predators like ladybirds and wasps. The excessive use of pesticide just isn’t necessary if you wait for nature to take its course. New growth on the trees is strong and they are beginning to take on that classical shape which should herald good harvests in the coming years.

Equipment
A range of equipment is available for allotment holders to borrow when working on the allotment site; this includes mowers, rotavators, wheelbarrows, brooms and watering cans. Many people will own some or all of the above, but for those who wish to get access to such equipment, please contact Lynda Eales (01327 341707) or Mike Langrish langrish_heyford@hotmail.com (01327 341390). We can ensure that you get the equipment you require at a mutually convenient time.

Allotment Holders
If you are considering growing your own fruit and veg, act quickly by contacting Lynda Eales on 01327 341707.

Mike Langrish 

The Story of Heyford: Rev Henry Isham Longden and Mr Fred Potter V3C10

Henry Isham Longden was born at Lamport Rectory on 26th September 1859. Following the death of Thomas Crawley in 1897 he became Rector of Heyford where he remained until his own death in 1942. He was a popular man in Heyford and in 1943, one year after his death, a book about his life entitled ‘A Northamptonshire Rector — The life of Henry Isham Longden’ was published by Joan Wake. The following is an extract from this book relating to his time at Heyford.

A Northamptonshire Rector – The life of Henry Isham Longden

Except for a brief interval during the war of 1914-1918, Heyford was Mr Longden’s home for the next forty-five years. The population of the parish was about 800. His rectory, though commodious and comfortable within, is externally an unattractive mid-nineteenth century building of local ironstone, overdone with gables and plate glass. The beautiful old church lies only some 100 yards away. His church services were, as to be expected, on the high church pattern. He introduced a choral communion service on the first Sunday of every month, at which he officiated investments, then rarely seen in a country church in the Peterborough diocese. He did not, however, indulge in extreme practices of a ritualistic type. The biretta which he had worn as a curate was discarded for a mortar-board on Sunday mornings. Though ready to suffer and possibly to fight for his opinions as other clergy had done, there was no occasion for it – his bishops left him in peace.

In the musical part of the services he was faithfully and ably assisted by Fred Potter, a man of musical ancestry and himself of no inconsiderable musical gifts. Fred had learnt to play the organ at the age of eleven, and officiated voluntarily as a boy at Shangton Church. At Heyford he became honorary organist and choirmaster, and so remained for forty-five years until his master’s death.

Mr Longden always attended the weekly choir practice and wrote out the lists of hymns and chants himself. Until the later years he taught in the Sunday School. On the friendliest terms with his parishioners, he took an interest in the social as the religious activities of the parish. One of his first acts was to collect funds for a church room which after six or seven years he succeeded in building. He founded a village cricket club, and for years was a member of the eleven. The village lads were very fond of him and he corresponded with many of them during the war of 1914-18. He had one or two pupils at the Rectory during the early years, including the Crawley boys from Stowe-nine-churches Rectory.

From the beginning Mr Longden always farmed his own glebe, though the management was left largely in the capable hands of Mr Potter, whose whole heart was in the work. A great reputation was made with the Heyford strain of Berkshire pigs, as also with the hunters, bred and trained on the place, for which purpose a short ‘steeple-chase’ course was laid out. The Hunters’ Improvement Society’s Show at Islington in March, at which many prizes were won, was an important annual event, which was much enjoyed by both master and man.

The Rectory garden, too, except in Winter time, was always ablaze with masses of flowers. The greenhouse also was full of carnations, begonias, cyclamen, and other flowering plants, all under the care and supervision of Mr Potter. He had from the first days at Shangton always lived under his master’s roof, but when in 1901 he married Miss Bertha Nightingale of Pattishall, he moved to a cottage in the village. This arrangement did not last long, and in 1902, to everybody’s satisfaction, they were allotted pleasant rooms at the Rectory. The bacon-curing, butter-churning, and domestic work of the house were carried out by this devoted couple. The affection and respect which they had for Mr Longden was heartily reciprocated, and the party at the Rectory was essentially a happy and contented one.

Rev Henry Isham Longden with Fred Potter

All the Longden children had been taught to ride at Lamport Rectory, but though he kept a horse at Shangton and was always fond of riding, as a young man Mr Longden did not shew any sporting proclivities. After a few years at Heyford, though not actually ill, his health was not up to the mark and Potter suggested that an occasional day with the hounds might do him good. He had bought his brother Arthur’s mare when the latter went out to the South African war in 1899, so now had a suitable mount. Mr Longden agreed, his health improved, and he soon developed a great love of the chase, though he was rather ‘a parson who hunted’ than one of the old-fashioned type of hunting parson like his great-grandfather the Rev. Vere Isham.

Heyford lies just inside the Pychley country, on the borders of the Grafton, but though he would take an occasional day with the former pack, Mr Longden always considered himself a Grafton man. The masters liked to see the sport patronised by the cloth, and Mr Longden’s ‘cheery courtesy and inveterate love of little jokes,’ as Mr Cruft writes, ‘made him ever welcome, even to the most anti-clerical followers of the hounds.’ Well-mounted and well turned-out in top hat, black coat and white cord breeches, he arrived at the meets accompanied by Potter, who besides enjoying the sport quite as much as his master, was thus able to school – and sell – the young hunters bred at Heyford Rectory. Then General Livingstone-Learmouth came to live at the parish, and for eight years after the war Mr Longden hunted regularly two days a week from the middle of November right through the season. (He never cub-hunted). The General used to drive him to the meets, Potter going on with his horse. One day with the Pychley – the meet was at Cottesbrooke – hounds had a great run from Maidwell gardens by Kelmarsh, Arthingworth, Braybrooke, nearly to Brampton Ash, and finally killed not far short of Market Harborough. The General was galloping along beside his Rector. “Padre, I can’t go on any more,” he called. “no man ever stopped in the middle of a run in the Pychley country!” shouted back the parson. Both sportsmen were in at the death, and rode home together the many weary miles to Heyford, gruelling their horses at the Ismays at Hazelbeach on the way.

Then one sad day in the March on 1928, when hounds were running near Preston Capes, someone inadvertently slammed a gate in front of Mr Longden. He tried to pull up but there was not time. His horse swerved and jumped the gate-post, throwing him onto his head on the hard road. Only his top hat saved him from breaking his neck. Potter was with him in a moment and took him home. This was the end of the hunting. The old horse was turned out to grass and Mr Longden was no more to be seen with the hounds. He was then in his seventieth year.

Fred Potter

The relationship between Mr Longden and Fred Potter was obviously a very close one. Joan Wake’s book includes an appendix headed ‘Faithful Service’ which includes the following words written by Canon F. S. Keysell, Vicar of East Haddon, and formerly Vicar of Weedon.

“No record of the late Rev H. Isham Longden at Heyford could be complete without a reference to his trusty servant and faithful friend for 50 years, Mr Fred Potter. In his early days at Heyford Mr Longden used to drive a horse and trap, but with the coming of motor cars and the increase of road traffic and consequent inconvenience, Mr Longden, like many others, though he never went in for a motor car, decided to give up driving and took to a bicycle. It was then, and not till then, that Mr Longden, acting on the advice of Potter decided to take to hunting, for though he had always been fond of a horse, he had never previously appeared in the hunting field.

Potter, who had always been a good judge of a horse, was soon able to fix the Rector up with the right sort of mount, and not feeling it advisable for him to go alone, decided that it would be in the best interests of all concerned that he should accompany his master in the capacity of second horseman. Henceforth for many years the Rector and his groom were generally to be found at meets of the Grafton hounds on Mondays and alternate Fridays, with an occasional meet of the Pychley on Saturdays thrown in. Though Potter made it his first business to see that his master was in the same field with the hounds not only at the meet, but also when they were running, and though he always seemed to be in the right spot when a lead was required over a difficult jump, yet at the same time Potter was generally to be found here, there, and everywhere. Did any rider take a toss and let go his horse? Potter was always there to catch the animal, and if need be to render first aid to its owner. Did anyone at the tail end of a hunt forget to shut a gate? Potter was always there to do the needful in time to prevent any cattle from straying. Did anyone lose their bearings and not know how to find their way home or the place where they had left their car? Potter was always there to tell them, and if necessary to point them by the shortest cut.

Potter soon came to be recognised as an authority on horseflesh, and it became widely known that in the stables at Heyford Rectory there was sometimes to be found a useful, well-trained type of hunter for sale. Would-be purchasers, however, were warned that it was no good going to Heyford with that object in view on a Sunday morning (which alas! had become the fashionable day for such transactions), because at that time the Rector would be standing in the pulpit and Potter would be sitting at the organ, where for many years he acted as voluntary organist and trainer of the choir.

A nasty hunting accident some fifteen years ago when he was then about seventy years of age ended Isham Longden’s hunting career, and Ruby, the much loved horse which had carried him so well for many years, was turned out in the Rectory field where he was allowed to end his days in peace.

Fred Potter, on the right

Photo lent by Charlie Masters

Potter, however did not allow himself to be downcast because he had no more days to look forward to in the hunting field, but turned his attention to gardening (with the exception of an occasional day’s shooting) and soon the Rectory garden became as well worth a visit as had been the stables in earlier days. On one occasion he was showing the beauties of the garden to the writer of this article. Potter remarked to him “There can be no such thing as a groom-gardener, you must be one or the other – you must concentrate!”

The passing of Isham Longden in the early summer of 1942 meant the breaking up of the home in which Fred Potter and wife had for over 40 years devoted themselves heart and soul to all that concerned the well-being of their master and friend, but it has not meant the breaking up of Potter.

The latest report about him is that he is now farming at Heyford on his own account, for though he is old in years he is still young in mind and body. His many friends will wish him every success and if, when the war is over and the country has settled down, ‘Grafton Mondays’ come into their own again, all followers of the hounds will know that there is one farm in that county at all events on which they can be sure of a hearty welcome, and on which the gates and fences will be in good order, and there will be no barbed wire to obstruct. Potter has, and always has had, that mark of the true sportsman that he likes to share his pleasures with others and to enable them to enjoy to the full the things which he has enjoyed so much himself.”

The words of Canon F. S. Keysell, former vicar of Weedon

The memories of Bill Nickolls

A number of local people still remember Mr Longden and Fred Potter, and talk about them with affection. Mr Longden was a kind man who could relate to people of all ages and backgrounds. If you were unwell in hospital he would visit you, ‘even if you attended chapel rather than church!’ The church in those days (19205 and 30$) was well attended. It was normal to go three times a day – morning service at 9.00am, bible classes in the afternoon and evening service at 6.00pm.

Bill Nickolls particularly remembers the choir. It was a full choir, singing all parts. Some of the attendees were Harry Eales, Fred Goodman, Mr Pearson, Charlie Foster, Nell Nickolls, Freda Tebbit, Doll Collins, Ethel Barnes, Bill Nickolls, ]o Nickolls, and ]ack Nickolls. Choir practice on Friday evenings Was run by Fred Potter who was a skilled and knowledgeable musician. He also made it fun. He used to send out to the shop for some sweets and they sometimes played games.

The will of the Rev. Henry Isham Longden

Henry Isham Longden suffered a stroke and finally died in the arms of his friend and servant Fred Potter on Sunday April 26th 1942 at the age of 82 years. The following details from his will are reprinted here from a newspaper cutting (date and source unknown).

‘The Rev. Henry Isham Longden of Heyford Rectory,.who died on April 26 last, left £11,168 9s 1d gross with net personalty £9,725 8s 7d. He left certain furniture and his horses and crops etc. to his faithful friend and servant Frederick W. Potter, and £1,500 upon trust for him for life, and then upon trust for his wife for her life. £300 upon trust to pay the stipend of the organist of Heyford Church. £100 to the rector and churchwardens to provide an additional bell for the church, and £50 to complete the church room.’

Fred Potter

Fred Potter moved to a house in Church Lane and kept a small dairy herd in the field opposite (now known as Rice’s paddock and partly built on). He continued to farm and to produce milk for the villagers. He died at Nether Heyford on November 10th 1964, aged 87 years and was cremated at Milton.

~~

Extract from “The Story of Heyford” – Local book series published in the late 1990’s

Volume 3 of 4 | Chapter 10 of 17 | Page 20 to 24

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