Letters: The Village Fete (Heyford Moped Club) – September 2019

The Village Fete

What a narrow escape we had! Everyone I spoke to was convinced that the heavens would open, and it would be another wash-out. The bouncy castle had already pulled out by mid-morning, though that may have been down to the wind. I met Alwyne, the fete organiser. She told me it was her first as chief, and the paper on her clipboard being so rain sodden it couldn’t be written on. She was breezily cheerful despite impending doom. Well done her for keeping her nerve.

For those who made it, is was the usual mix of fun. The bar was run with quiet efficiency as always by Faye from the Foresters Arms, and the burger bar next door took the concept of slow food very much to heart. Great burgers – worth the wait.

Off to the side nearest the swings, a less than menacing collection of mopeds lined up (owners ditto). We ended up with no less 4 Honda Expresses, in blue, yellow and orange (the only colour missing was the startling acid green variety). These little bikes date from 1978-1979 and were designed to look as much like bicycles and as little like motorbikes as possible, in order to attract the then largely-untapped women’s market. Also present and correct was a very similar Yamaha QT, and the granddaddy of them all – a 1974 Honda C90, apparently found hidden and abandoned in a pile of nettles, and coaxed lovingly back to life. And so Heyford Moped Club was born. We should by now have had our first ride out, to mix it with the big boys at Jack’s Hill Café. What will they make of us?


James Reed
The Old Chapel, 2a Church St

Village Hall – News – September 2019

Since our fete in June, we have been asked several times: ‘how did you do?’ In view of the awful weather, especially in the morning, we were resigned to raising less than previous years. However, we are pleased to report that we actually raised a net £3,148.69 – an amazing result, due mainly to the generosity and hard work of so many people: individuals, groups, organisations and businesses, including a recent donation from Starbucks. We repeat our heartfelt thanks to them all – what a great village we live in.

Now, we’re beginning to look forward to next year, which will mark the 60th anniversary of the building of our village hall – entirely by volunteers. We want to celebrate this event in great style and are already considering ways of doing this. But we would welcome your ideas too – any suggestions? If so, please contact Alwyne on 07814 898 336 or email: alwyne76@gmail.com

Finally, on a sadder note, our Secretary, Laura Sullivan, is having to stand down due to the pressures of other commitments, so we are currently seeking a volunteer to join our friendly team to help manage the hall. The Management Committee meets 11 times year, with meetings rarely lasting more than 1 ½ hours. The post mainly involves taking minutes, keeping records, being the contact with outside agencies and, if possible, helping with our fundraising events. A handover and continued support will be available. If you think you may be interested and would like to know more, please ring Alwyne on: 07814 898 336.

Alwyne Wilson

Parish Council – July & August 2019 Meetings


The July 1st meeting was held as normal in the  Baptist Chapel Schoolroom.

The Chair thanked all involved in the voluntary efforts to make the green look as good as possible for the fete.

He also thanked Nick Essex and Lee Pratt for the renovation and re- painting of the sign on the Green by the phone box, and for all their efforts with painting and repairing on behalf of the village.

A resident noted recent work on cleaning gutters and hoped more work could be
done voluntarily. Chair felt it would be better to have it done professionally.

The PCSO reported that there had been a few minor incidents, but generally quiet. He reported concerns about the safety of the junction of Furnace Lane with Weedon Road. There will be an additional PCSO liaising with Bliss School.

Village Fete Felt to have gone very well despite being in doubt due to the poor weather. Despite fewer stalls it had brought in more money than the last fete.

New Homes Bonus – to consider applications. A list was considered and a working party of CK, SC and LD formed to look at proposals for Traffic calming lights, a new Play Area and Lighting. It was stressed that Community Benefit should be foremost in the applications.

Neighbourhood Plan There had been no presence at the Fete but there were 2 pages in the next Prattler to update the village. SC was disappointed that SNC had been unable to give much help with progressing the Plan at this stage.

West Northants local Forum report The Clerk gave a report from the recent forum at which concerns were expressed that “Our” Unitary would be much too Northampton centric, and that the process was not transparent at this stage.

The August 5th meeting was held as normal in the Baptist Church Rooms. The August meeting is a shorter than usual in respect of the holiday season.

Public Participation Concerns were raised about the Oak tree next to the Play Area being damaged by children climbing.

Cllr Adam Brown reported that NCC were progressing towards the Unitary deadline, but there were concerns that changes in government might disrupt this if there were to be a General Election. NCC were trying to improve Children’s social services after Ofsted had given adverse reports. Agency workers were being replaced by Council employees.

Geoff Thorneycroft gave a report on the aspirations of the Playing Fields Association, and the various projects. Problems had been encountered with the Environment Agency objecting regarding new changing rooms, despite a previous time elapsed permission having been granted. He felt that concerns raised about the potential for vandalism and theft at the allotments were unfounded because of the likelihood of pedestrians crossing the allotments to access the proposed new basketball/netball court. He felt that the opportunities afforded to young people and women outweighed any other concerns about problems caused by public access to the allotments. The Chair stressed that Council was in favour of the new facilities but felt that the issues needed raising.

Street name for new houses off Hillside Crescent. All of Council’s suggestions thus far had been turned down. The following suggestions were made. 1. Horsa Court in memory of a wartime glider crash. 2. Meadow View, 3. Canal View.

Cllr Adam Brown has sent this report.

You will be aware that in recent months there has been a spate of sheep killings
across Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties. In response to the livestock
crimes the Police have established Operation Stock which did a number of things:

• Brought all crimes under one investigative strategy
• Appointed a gold/silver/bronze structure to the issue.
• Received investment from the Office of the Fire Police and Crime Commissioner to kick-start immediate actions including overnight patrols of otherwise remote, rural, un-patrolled roads and locations, the production and posting of A1 correx roadside and gateway signs
• Streamlined response to new calls and information created by the public demand
and interest

The NFU has been incredibly helpful as a critical friend and hosted a farmers’ meeting with Police at a barn in Thornby, attended by over 130 local farmers and landowners. It was a tense but productive meeting where Police explained the very basic and elementary strategy, given the lack of witnesses, intelligence or information.

1. Police wanted to raise the awareness and involvement of the farming and rural
community so that, with our help and advice, they could target harden their
2. Police wanted to raise the awareness of the rural community and meat market so that intelligence and information would be more forthcoming.
3. Police intended to mount nightly patrols to be able to respond to farmer’s
requests for visibility and respond to any calls created by 1 or 2. It is not a secret that resourcing levels, reductions in neighbourhood policing, and a proper emphasis on threat, harm and risk, would mean that otherwise, rural communities would not have overnight policing presence, unless part of a response to an emergency call on a rural area.

The road signs have been successful, and the operation has had some notable
successes, falling short of prosecuting offenders (as yet). Of highlight are the
• An unprecedented response to Neighbourhood Alert and media releases. Even a month later, interest and concern is not abating. Last Friday, Northamptonshire Police’s Press team had more media requests in one day than that which usually accompanies a whole major incident. The topic has been covered in the national broadsheets, on national radio, local radio and local television. There has been particular recent interest in deployment of the Police/Fire drone at night time
• Deployment of local farmers patrolling vulnerable areas equipped with front and rear dashboard cameras supplied by the NFU
• Commitment of the Commissioner to supporting particular needs of the policing
operation and response
• Meeting of the Commissioner with representatives of the NFU to receive
feedback and highlight issues of concern
• Meeting of Rural Policing representatives last week at NFU Stoneleigh to discuss tactics, improve communications and cross-flow of information and to plan next steps

Further meetings are planned for this week.

• Daily briefings between police departments to include cross-border information
• Integration of this investigation onto a system known as DAMES – similar to those used in serious or major crimes, to ensure all information and actions are captured and responded to
• Continuation of overnight patrols, press releases and Neighbourhood Alerts. Reports from Neighbourhood Watch and Village Facebook groups that membership is expanding with people asking what they can do, and increased reporting of suspicious incidents (other rural crime has reduced in this time)
• Capture of evidence following forensic investigation of crime scenes. This has yielded some DNA opportunities which have been followed up. A man has been arrested in Portsmouth and interviewed by Northamptonshire officers, with some evidence recovered from his home address. He has been released under investigation.
• Following reports of a suspicious van with the livery ‘Plantation Shuttering’ at a sheep farm in Warwickshire, this appeared on a number of occasions in our
county. A Neighbourhood Alert prompted reports of this van in the villages of
Thornby, Sibbertoft, Kilsby, Long Buckby, Naseby and Arthingworth, all in one
day. Farmers saw and contained the vehicle and its two occupants in Naseby,
and called the police. The van was seized for being suspected used in crime, but
there was insufficient evidence to arrest the occupants, whose details were
confirmed. It has been returned to its owners and continues to attract our
attention, and/or that of colleagues in Warwickshire.
• Work continues with automatic number plate recognition enquiries and the
checking of many vehicles using the county’s country roads at night-time. This
has led to the removal of a number of unconnected vehicles for being uninsured
or untaxed (given the ability of the mobile ANPR system to detect such vehicles).

It is vital that local residents in rural areas, remain vigilant particularly those who live on or close to farmland where livestock are grazing.

Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be on the first Monday of the month at the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom at 7.30 pm and is, like all Parish Council meetings, open to all Parishioners.

Parish Council Notes by the Clerk; Guy Ravine August 2019

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the councillors please visit our Nether Heyford Parish Council page.

Roads and Pavements.
Parishioners are reminded that anyone can report a pothole or other highways
problem online to the Fixmystreet service, and this can refer to problems outside the village too. https://fixmystreet.northamptonshire.gov.uk/
Alternatively, phone 0300 126 1000 and ask for Streetdoctor.

The 2019 Village Hall Fete – July 2019

The 2019 Village Hall Fete – an act of faith which paid off

Due to the dire weather forecasts for Saturday 8 June, many local events were cancelled. However, as one later forecast indicated that the weather would gradually improve on Saturday, we in Nether Heyford decided not to cancel – especially as, even in the rain, our village green looked splendid, having been ‘litter-picked’ by the pupils of Bliss School, and given a last-minute mowing by Daniel, an ‘old boy’ of the school. We were so grateful for the encouragement they gave us to go ahead.

However, early Saturday morning as we were setting up in high winds and with heavy rain soaking us, we wondered if we were mad. But we all persevered, and by lunchtime, the rain slowly stopped, although the wind still made life interesting for the stalls with gazebos. Adaptability became our motto as we coped with some necessary adjustments: because of the wind, the bouncy castle and the gymnastics display had to cancel; the wind band moved into the village hall to perform, and one or two stalls weren’t able to come. A few of those who did come, moved into the Baptist school room and the village hall foyer.

After a slightly later start, we were ready. Our Rose Queen (Lily Davies) and King (Adam Gilkes) and their Attendants (Beth Manning and Chloe-Lea Holmes) arrived in state on our Land Train accompanied by their classmates, and opened the Fete in style.

Then, at last, the Fete came to life as people came along to support us. We started with maypole dancing and country dancing in the arena by the young people of Bliss School. Queues built up for the barbecue, beer tent, face-painting and the land train, which trundled around the village green for the whole afternoon, fully laden each time. The raffle tickets sold out. There were even queues for the ice cream van. The refreshments in the village hall did a roaring trade – and the performances by the Bliss School choir and the NMPAT wind band were greatly appreciated. The stalls were busy and the classic cars, tractors, mopeds and motorcycles all received their share of attention. Our final arena attraction – the tug of war- proved highly popular with contestants of all ages taking part, and this was followed by the raffle draw with £100 as first prize and many other prizes. Although this brought our Fete to its conclusion, the entertainment continued with Morris Dancing outside the Foresters Arms.

At this stage we are still receiving proceeds from the various activities so cannot forecast our final outcome. However, we were fortunate in receiving several generous donations: Heyford Picturedrome, Macflex, MN&TL Adams Heyford Marine, Alderman Roofing, Unusual Rigging Ltd and Heygates. The passengers on our Road Train, while technically free to ride, made many voluntary donations. We are also grateful to those who donated raffle prizes, including our village shops, and cakes. The Foresters Arms also gave us invaluable support. In addition, most of our expenses were covered by individual sponsors, and services such as the sound system, power cables and rubbish skip were provided free of charge.

So, despite our ‘typical English summer weather’ – we held our Fete, thanks to all the hard work done by so many volunteers – too many to name here – but we and they know who they are.

Finally, for all the help described above, plus our stall-holders and everyone who came and supported us, we offer our heartfelt thanks. We hope that you enjoyed this year’s Village Hall Fete as much as we did.

The Fete Committee

Friends of Danetre Hospital Fête Stall – WANTED Letter – May 2019

WANTED for the Friends of Danetre Hospital Fête Stall.

If you have any of the following items:

DVDs .:|:. CDs .:|:. BOOKS .:|:. BRIC-a-BRAC

and you would like to donate for the stall they can be taken to:

Jane at 22 South View, Nether Heyford


Angela at 16 The Green, Nether Heyford


Village Hall – News – May 2019

Village Hall News – aren’t we lucky?

We are so fortunate in Nether Heyford to have such a splendid village hall which is
comfortable, warm, safe, in good condition and adaptable at the heart of our
community. However, we’ve realised recently that, whilst the village hall is used
both regularly and occasionally by a wide range of groups, few people actually
know of its background or how it is managed and maintained.

It’s now almost 60 years since our village hall was built, mainly by volunteers –
since when it has been managed and maintained by volunteers. This is done by a
management committee composed of representatives of the groups who regularly
use the hall. As the hall is a registered charity, members are trustees – as is
normal. Some people feel a little hesitant about becoming a trustee but, as both
our financial and legal affairs are stringently managed and monitored, there is no
reason for anxiety. In addition, our vice-chair is also vice-chair of the Parish
Council and presents regular reports.

In addition to the user group representatives, our committee also includes a
chairman, vice-chair, treasurer and secretary – plus three ‘parishioners’ who,
whilst not directly benefiting from any regular activities, share our keenness to
keep the hall in good order for our community to enjoy. We are a lively and
proactive group who enjoy working together for what we see as a worthwhile
cause. We meet one evening a month, excluding August, and do our best to keep
our meetings fairly short, aiming to finish by 8:30 pm or 8:45 pm. It’s not obligatory
to attend every meeting – we do have other lives too. Some members also help to
organise our fundraising efforts to ensure that we have enough money to cover
essential repairs and renewals. We did the pantomime at Christmas which was
greatly enjoyed, and now we’re planning this year’s Village Hall Fete on 8th June.
Together, we gain both satisfaction and enjoyment from our teamwork.

We are supported by another group – the Friends of the Village Hall. These are
people from the village who don’t want to be involved in a regular commitment but
are happy to help out occasionally with jobs such as putting up and taking down
our Christmas decorations and helping to clear the surrounding grounds of weeds.
We hope that they will also be helping to set up and clear up on Fete day. These
are enjoyable occasions where refreshments – and chocolate biscuits – are freely
available. Anyone can be a ‘Friend’ so if you want to join, call me.

Finally, we are able to look forward to our next ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING on
THURSDAY 23rd MAY, 7.30 PM, at the VILLAGE HALL.

It would be a great encouragement to us all if our fellow-villagers could show their
appreciation and support by joining us – and maybe giving us some new ideas to
help make our hall even better. We hope that we may see you there.

Alywne Wilson
01327 340803

Village Fete – Facebook Page

The Fete is on its way: Saturday 8th June 2019 2pm – 5pm.

Nether Heyford Village Fete now has a Facebook community page providing updates of what to expect at this years Fete on the village green.

” Welcome to the Facebook Page for this years village fete which will be held on the green on Saturday 8th June 2019 2-5 pm. Watch this space over the coming weeks for news of this years attractions, events and big prize draw “


All proceeds raised from the Fete go towards the ongoing upkeep and management of Nether Heyford Village Hall, one of the villages most valuable assets.

For more information on volunteering or assisting on the day, read the article in the March edition of The Prattler

Heyford Gardening Club – Events 2019


Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments 

Programme of Events for 2019:

March 11th: Liz Taylor from Woodland Trust; Mini Show – Daffodils

April 8th: Patsy Raynor – Plants in Literature: Origins & Anecdotes; Mini Show – Tulips

May 13th: Branch Out MK –Helping People to Grow Through Gardening; Seed Swap; Mini Show – Spring Flowers

June 8th: Village Fete

June 10th: Steve Brown, Bonsai Trees or Graham Pavey, Vertical Gardens; Mini Show – Roses

July: Summer Party

August: No Meeting

September 9th: Autumn Show

October 14th: Malcolm Dickson Hooksgreen Herbs

November 11th: Caroline Tait – Fellow of Longwood Gardens, Philadelphia, A Year at Longwood

December 9th: Christmas Tree Festival; Snowdrops

Mark Newstead 


For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page