The Story of Heyford (Extra): Village Hall 60th Anniversary #2 – Tony Wright

Village Hall 60th Anniversary in 2020

On 25th August 2003, the team assembled under the leadership of Christine Metcalfe, the Village Hall Chairman. It was split into two groups, door and windows were fitted by Dave Juland, who was also the Foreman., Brian May, Ralph Faulkner and Hughie Taylor. Tea was made and served by Ray Metcalfe who was in trouble if late. Cladding and insulation was fitted by Jim Williamson and Tony Wright assisted by Sally Sargent. Everyone brought sandwiches for lunch apart from Ralph who went home for a cooked meal. Very welcome cakes were provided by Jean Spokes, Rene Gilkes, Mary Hyde and Maureen Wright.

The old cladding was removed, and insulation batts cut to size and fitted followed by the new cladding. Peter Perkin kindly left a trailer every morning and took away the rubbish at night. Joan Juland looked after the curtains. The working day was 9am to 5:30-6:00 pm Monday to Friday. By the end of the first week, seven windows had been fitted and clad. The second week saw the remaining windows fitted and the cladding completed. Beading was fitted around the windows on the inside and on the Friday, the job was finished when Joan Juland and Marion Williamson re-hung the curtains. All agreed it was a most satisfying project.

Tony Wright

Letter published in The Prattler – February 2020


Heyford Bowls Club – February 2020


It is nice to say 2019 turned out to be a very good year for the ‘INDOOR BOWLS SECTION’ and good attendances were maintained throughout the year. The Wednesday afternoon bowls section has shown good attendances regularly. Well done to the organisers and supporters of afternoon bowls for creating an enjoyable afternoon bowling section.

The Christmas fun night turned out to be another hilarious bowling occasion. A good turnout was treated to a very enjoyable evening.

2020 will see the start of another year’s bowling competitions. Last year they produced some excellent bowling. Competition was keen, making it hard to win a trophy. Our first competition, ‘THE DAVE JULAND PRESIDENTS CUP’ will be played on the 8th February, 1pm for 1.30pm.

January 6th saw Heyford entertain Syresham in a Wardington League match. An enjoyable competition saw Heyford win on both mats. This enabled us to pick up 4 points from this win. Our next match is away at Middleton Cheney on the evening of 23rd January.

It would be nice to say thank you to Ray and Rosemary (EVENING) and Sandy (AFTERNOON) for all their hard work throughout 2019 in helping to maintain a thriving INDOOR BOWLING SECTION. Also a thank you to all our members for making 2019 a successful and happy year for the IBC. Good luck to all our bowlers in the coming year.

Den Taylor

For more bowls club information please visit our website:

The Story of Heyford (Extra): Heyford Home Guard WW2

Nether & Upper Heyford Home Guard (WW2)

The Home Guards met twice a week in the yard of the Foresters Arms, where they had their stores. The Commanding Officer was Charlie Highfield, chosen because of his army career.

Nether Heyford Home Guard.jpg

Back row (L>R):
Alf Adams, Stan Faulkner, Joe Matthews, Arthur (Batty?) Charvill, Jeff (Geoff?) George, Dick Fisher, Ron or Frank (?) Taylor, Fella Masters (the only name he was known by!)

Middle row (L>R):
Reg Collins, Tom Eales, Charlie Masters, Jack Butcher, Frank Reeve, Dave Ward, Herbert (Horace?) Blood, Amos Lee, Les (Bob?)Foster

Front row (L>R):
Bill Spokes, Anselm Banner, Sid Blencowe (Joe?), Harry Haynes, Charlie Highfield (Captain), Ted Wright, Joe Garrett, Joe (Joey?) Charvill, Arthur Mead


Thank you to the following villagers for the names: Joe Garrett / Michelle McMillan / Tom Harrison / Anna Forrester / Garry Collins / Zoe Highfield / Richard Eales / Keith Clarke /  Trev Clarke / John Butcher / Charlene Zambo / Shirley Collins

Follow more Nether Heyford history, stories and photos on the Facebook group – Nether Heyford Past “Thanks for The Memories”

Please contact The Prattler if you can confirm any of the name spellings or nicknames. Also if you have any information on the Home Guard activities or any memories to share then send them in and we can update this page.

Jez Wilson 

Heyford Bowls Club – December 2019



The indoor bowls section has been involved in a number of competitions during November. It was the start of the Wardington League winter games. Our first game was at home against the present champions Moreton Pinkney. Unfortunately we lost on both mats, though on one it went to the very last end. Our second match was away at Boddington. This proved to be a very good side and we were beaten on both mats. Never the less both games were enjoyed by all and it is very nice to
play people we would not normally play against.

The ladies versus the men proved a great laugh and played in a wonderful atmosphere. All games were played with a great spirit and of course both sides wanted to win. However after a fantastic afternoon of bowling and fun, the men were the eventual winners. We can once more look forward to the game next year. This year our annual Xmas fun night will be held on Wednesday evening 18th December.

After a very hard fought game the ‘BENCO SHIELD’ was won by Graham Drake and Jean Cullin. This was our last indoor club competition of the season, but there will be lots of ‘WARDINGTON LEAGUE’ games to look forward to during the winter months.

Den Taylor

For more bowls club information please visit our website:

Heyford Bowls Club – November 2019


Wednesday bowling sessions are going very well with good turnouts. The ‘BENCO SHIELD’ was played on the 19th October and will be reported on later.

Our next eagerly awaited competition is the ‘LADIES v MEN’ on Saturday 9th November with a 1 pm start. No doubt this will be very keenly fought. This will be the end of our competitions till the spring, so let’s have some really good turnouts.

We are entering the WARDINGTON league again through the winter months that was very much enjoyed by our bowlers. It gave us the opportunity to meet and make friends with bowlers from the south of the county. It was a charity league and over £800 was raised and presented to four worthy charities. It was our first year in the league and we finished a very respectful runner up. It looks like being a very busy and enjoyable winter season for ‘HEYFORD INDOOR BOWLERS’.

Our first match is at home to MORETON PINKNEY on Monday 4th November with a 7.30pm starting time. Our second game is away against WOODFORD HALSE and BODDINGTON on Wednesday 13th November with a 2.30pm start. These will be two hard games to start the season.

Den Taylor

For more bowls club information please visit our website:

Heyford Bowls Club – October 2019



During the summer months when attendances are known to drop with holidays etc, dark nights and winter months now approaching, it will be time to relax and enjoy our Wednesday bowling sessions. These sessions can be very enjoyable and we welcome anybody who would like to come and give it a try. Bowling is in the village hall and times are afternoons 1.50pm and evenings 7.15pm every Wednesday.

It looks like we will be entering the WARDINGTON winter league again this year. Last year’s matches were very enjoyable and in our first season we finished runners up.

Four teams contested The Men’s Pairs on Saturday 14th September. Bowling Club competitions as always produce some very fine bowling. These are hard fought matches as teams strive to reach the final. The winners were Morris Freeman and
Graham Drake over Geoff Groom and Barry Clements.

Don’t forget the BENCO SHIELD on Saturday 19th October at 1 pm.

For more bowls club information, please visit our website.

Den Taylor


Well I’m afraid we were relegated from Division Two of the Northamptonshire Area Triples League. Requiring a 6-0 win in our final match, we won 5-1 and were relegated by the cruel margin of half of a point. Obviously, our aim is to bounce back next season.

All the club competitions have been completed. The winners and runners up were:


And that’s the end of the outdoor season. We put the green to bed on Sunday 6th October. Our AGM is on Tuesday 29th October and our Presentation Night is on Saturday 23rd November.

Geoff Allen – 01327 349909

For more bowls club information please visit our website:


Archaeologist Dr Den Does It Again – October 2019

The installation of the Basketball/Netball Courts at Heyford Playing Fields was
brought a stage nearer over the weekend of 7/8 September by the efforts of local
Archaeologist Dr Dennis Taylor.

As part of Nether Heyford Playing Fields Association’s (NHPFA) aspirations, the
construction of the new courts was planned on the recently purchased land adjacent to the existing playing fields. The project was estimated to cost £30,000 by Sports Courts UK. Funding has been obtained by a grant of £20,000 from the London Marathon Charitable Trust and a £10,000 Capital grant from South Northants Council. Planning permission has been requested, however the County Assistant Archaeologist applied for a condition to be placed on the application. This meant that an archaeology investigation needed to be undertaken to identify the age and character of crop marks which showed on aerial photographs held in the County Archives.

The cost of this investigation had to be borne by the Planning Applicant. NHPFA
had no funding for this, consequently the whole project was in jeopardy of being
cancelled. The only solution was for the investigation to be undertaken, at no cost, by volunteers. When approached, Dr Den Taylor of South View Nether Heyford, despite being retired, agreed to supervise the investigation. Mr Daryl Welsh of Flore offered to loan and operate his digger for a weekend and Mr Dan Musson of Bugbrooke also offered plant assistance. A further crew of 6 able bodied volunteers was formed and the investigation was organised and carried out 7/8 September.

The County Assistant Archaeologist Liz Mordue and Cllr David Harries visited the
site on the Sunday morning and Dr Taylor showed them the excavations. After
discussions, Liz Mordue agreed that the particular area was of no further
archaeology interest and that the County Environment Records could be updated

This was the second time that Dr Den Taylor had come to the assistance of NHPFA,
as he carried out a similar investigation in 2012 to enable the Bowls Club to build their changing rooms.

Dr Den is an interesting village character. After leaving university with a degree in archaeology, he joined the RAF as a navigator. He flew in De Havilland Mosquito and Super Sabre planes with the 58th Squadron and is now one of two surviving members of his time in the Squadron; he says ‘it makes reunions easier!’. With 14 years service, he left the RAF as a Squadron Leader and worked at several jobs, including being a bricklayer.

On retirement, Dr Taylor returned to Archaeology and after several projects earned his doctorate. He has 4 children who paid for him to pass his Pilots Licence as a 86th Birthday present. Dr Taylor is now a very spritely 92 and serves on the Village Hall Committee.

Thanks again Dr Den, the Basketball/Netball Courts project is now back on track.

Submitted by Geoff Thorneycroft on behalf of NHPFA

NetherHeyfordPlayingFIeldsOctober2019 copy