Village Hall – News – October 2020

New Vice-Chairman
More great news – the Management Committee has a new Vice-Chairman: Joan Kirkbride.

Joan has lived in the village since 1965 and has enjoyed playing a part in village life in various capacities. She has spent many years in public service, having served on the Parish Council, District Council and County Council. She has also a been a trustee of the Bliss Charity School. Although presently engaged in other Community Trusts, she has missed being part of the village organisations. She feels she will be honoured to serve on the Village Hall Committee as Vice-Chairman, and is happy to serve in any capacity needed. We are delighted to welcome Joan to our team and are looking forward to working with her.

Re-opening of the Hall
The hall was re-opened on 1st September as a “Covid-19 Secure” venue but, after just a few days, the Government announced drastic changes to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Regulations which would limit gatherings to 6 people. Or did they?

At the outset it appeared that the hall would again be closed to users, but behind the sound-bites and headlines in the guidance documents on the website, was detail that has allowed us to continue to make the hall available to users. The pages of “Covid-19: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities”, issued by the government, includes a section on permitted activities including leisure and social gatherings.

“We recognise the importance of social clubs for some individuals and recommend that these can proceed with caution in venues that have been made Covid-19 Secure. Clubs or groups that use community facilities can begin to meet again and facility managers should follow these Covid-19 Secure guidelines to facilities that. Premises or locations following Covid-19 Secure guidelines will be able to hold more than 30 people, subject to their own capacity limits. It is important for people to maintain social distancing and good hand hygiene when visiting these spaces. People using community facilities should continue to limit their interactions with those they do not live with outside of any formal activities they are participating in to help control the virus. People meeting in a club or group context at a community centre should be encouraged to socially distance from anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble.”

The hall therefore remains open for those who wish to use it, albeit with obligations on everyone to participate in maintaining the Covid-19 Secure condition. Please remember, however, that entrance to the hall remains unchanged, there is a one way system to access the washrooms, and to avoid people passing each other in the front lobby, exit will be via the front fire escape door. The Management Committee is committed to doing everything necessary to keep the hall as safe and Covid-19 Secure as possible, but if you see something that needs to be added, or could be done better, please let Peter Squire (01327 342167) know about it.

Alwyne Wilson – 01327 340803

Chairman, Village Hall Management Committee



Village Hall – News – September 2020

Great news – the village hall is returning to life! Under the current Government guidance, we are planning to open the hall again on 1st September.

To bring us to this stage, a great deal of work has been done, thanks mainly to the tremendous efforts of two of our Management Committee members – Peter Squire and Pat Paterson – who have spent countless hours over several weeks to interpret the many directives issued by the Government.

To re-open the hall, we must demonstrate through Risk Assessment that the building can be ‘Covid-19 Secure’. This risk assessment highlights the mitigation’s required to exclude the virus from the hall. Some of these will be actions by the Management Committee to provide equipment etc., and others will be actions required by the users. The latter are set out in a Special Conditions of Hire
documents that will be supplied to all users.

Significant changes in the use of the hall will be to restrict the number of people in the hall to a maximum of 30, close the kitchen for the preparation of food and drink, and create a one-way system to access the washrooms from the main hall via the kitchen and back to the hall by the entrance lobby.

Entrance to the hall will remain unchanged but, to avoid people passing each other in the front lobby, exit will be via the front fire escape door.

Users and event organisers will be asked to hold a contact list of their members / guests, and to make that available if required by the Government’s Track & Trace system.

The Risk Assessment and the Special Conditions of Hire will be supplied to all regular users, in both the bookings and documents sections and are also on the website:

If, as a non-regular user, you might consider hiring the hall but would like to know more first, contact Peter Squire on 01327 342167.

The Management Committee is committed to doing everything necessary to keep the hall as safe and Covid-19 Secure as possible but, if you see something that needs to be added, or could be done better, please let us know about it – on Peter’s number above.

And finally, when you return you will be welcomed to a newly decorated hall, in a fresh new colour scheme. We hope you like it.

Alwyne Wilson – 01327 340803

Chairman, Village Hall Management Committee



Village Hall – News – March 2020

In line with the aims of the original founders and builders 60 years ago, the current management committee continues to work hard to maintain the condition and facilities of the village hall for the benefit of all its users. For example:

New Storage Container
This has now been ordered and will be delivered in the next few weeks. In the meantime, the area to the left-hand side of the hall has now been prepared to form a firm base. Once constructed, the new container will provide additional longer-term storage for large and heavy items, thereby releasing space for more cupboards for use by the growing number of regular users of the hall.

In due course the hall will be redecorated in time for a succession of special events planned for this year. We face a challenge in finding the right time to do this, because the hall is now almost continually booked (a victim of its own success).

In the meantime, this is now being comprehensively cleaned and sorted, with the exception of locked cupboards used by other groups.

Shortly, another working group will tackle the weeds and moss around the hall – made far worse by the recent heavy rains. This will not only improve its appearance but also ensure safer walking on the paths.

Future plans
In addition to managing and maintaining the hall, management committee members are now organising several events such as the biennial Garage Sale in April and the Village Hall Fete in June, and are seeking a good DJ for the Anniversary Dance in October (know anyone?).

Some are also involved with a group of other village folk in gathering information for an historical exhibition covering the hall’s 60 years.

Busy but rewarding times.

Alwyne Wilson – 01327 340803


Village Hall – News – February 2020

First, a sad note
Chris Phillips, who has represented the Crafty Club on our Management Committee for some time, has decided to stand down. We want to record our warmest thanks to Chris for her enthusiastic and positive contributions to our meetings, and also her willing and active support at our various special events. We are going to miss her.

Pantomime : ‘Dick Whittington’
Another huge thank-you to the many volunteers who helped to make our latest traditional pantomime another great success. Once again we had a packed house, making all the generous contributions of time, effort and raffle prizes well worthwhile. The children and young people enthusiastically shared in the audience participation, although the adults certainly enjoyed themselves too. Our next pantomime by The Looking Glass Theatre will be ‘Cinderella’ at the end of the year. More information nearer the time.

Carols on the Green
A report on this appears elsewhere but it was interesting to note that, as with our Village Hall Fete in June, the weather before and on the day was awful. During our setting up it was pouring and we were all soaked – again. However, as with the Fete, amazingly the rain stopped in time, giving us a clear and relatively mild evening for the event.

The Heyford Singers, lead by their Director Mary Rice whose idea this was, are to be warmly congratulated on a successful first event. It looks as though Nether Heyford now has another traditional annual event on the Village Green.

Main Hall Floor
This has now been fully cleaned and restored and looks like a brand new floor, attracting many compliments from our users. Our thanks are due to Peter Squire for researching and arranging for this work to be done over the Christmas break.

The boiler which heats the kitchen side of the hall and rooms behind the stage has now been repaired and is working well. So no more complaints about being cold. However, we did receive a complaint during the pantomime that it was actually too hot – can’t win – but we continue to do our best.

Future plans
Several are in the pipeline and will be reported as and when appropriate. We want our village hall to be in prime condition for its 60th anniversary celebrations.

Alwyne Wilson – 01327 340803


Carols on the Green (December 2019) – Update – February 2020

Carols on the Green – December 2019

When I first envisaged ‘Carols on the Green’ I had a picture of villagers singing as in a Christmas card, with the weather ‘Deep and crisp and even’. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, standing on the green, it was more like ‘Wind and rain and boggy’. The team who came to set up were incredible, completely ignored the weather and got drenched in the process. However, NEVER doubt the power of prayer as by 6.30 it had actually stopped raining and the wind was not as bad – I can’t claim that the green was perfectly dry but we can’t have everything! I would like to say a heartfelt, personal thank you to everyone who turned out to raise their voices to Christmas.

You raised £256.56p towards replacing our Church roof which, considering the conditions, was wonderful. I would also like to thank you all for leaving virtually no litter for me to pick up the next morning.

On behalf of Heyford Singers there are, as always, people who must be acknowledged for their help in the organisation of an evening such as this and I hope you will forgive me if I have missed anyone out!

The Parish Council for permission to use the green and help with insurance arrangements.
Unusual (Rigging) Ltd. for the use of power cables.
PPL PRS for a Charity Music Licence.
The Village Hall Committee for use of the Hall in the case of bad weather.
Alwyne Wilson for her co-ordinating skills.
Tony Clewett for the use of the sound equipment and being so sure it would stop
Geoff Allen for being an incomparable compere.
Peter Squire and Jeremy Rice for fixing the power cables in the rain without
electrocuting themselves (or anyone else)!
Keith Rands Allen, Jill & Mike Langrish + grandsons, Alwyne W and Tony C for
erecting the gazebo despite the wind and rain.
The Rev. Stephen Burrow for his closing prayer.
And Richard Musson for providing the collecting buckets.

I have been told that carol singing on the green used to happen in the past and I would love to hear from anyone who can tell me when this was. It would be lovely to start a new ‘ Village Tradition’ but equally exciting to carry on an old one – especially as Northampton seems to be creeping ever nearer along the A45.

Thank you all for your support; hope to see you again in December.

Mary Rice

Heyford Lodge 01327 340101