Village Hall Exhibition – Request for memories – March 2020

Village Hall Exhibition

As part of the Village Hall 60th Birthday celebrations, we are holding an exhibition of its history. If anyone has any memories to share, photos etc, we would love to see them. Please send to or contact Sue Boutle, Sunrise Cottage, 15 The Green.

Thanks in anticipation, Sue Boutle

Nether Heyford Village Hall celebrates its 60th Anniversary next year

“It is the 60th anniversary of our village hall in 2020 and we would like to commemorate it by publishing memories of its existence in our village, particularly if you have resided here for 60 years plus. ”    
The Prattler is helping the Village Hall compile personal accounts, list volunteers who have worked on the hall, gather some photographs, memories and stories; ahead of celebrating their 60th anniversary next year.
  • Do you have a story to tell about its history ?
  • Were you a volunteer who helped out with any of the work ? Perhaps you had a relative who did ?
  • What are your memories of events at the village hall ?
  • Do you have any old photographs of the village hall or events there ?

The Prattler would love to hear from you via email or comment on this article below.

If you know any residents who would like to participate but are not online, please send us their contact details via email and once we have a list of participants we may visit for personal interviews during the Autumn.

Heyford Singers – March 2020


This month we follow the journey of a passionate, war torn, emotional story – from book to film, play to musical stage show, radio to TV series, and eventually to Heyford Singers’ spring concert 2020.

‘Les Miserables’ by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. It was originally divided into five volumes, each volume then divided into several books, totalling 365 chapters! It is a blazing pageant of life and death at the barricades of the political and social revolution in nineteenth century France. The story follows the life of Jean Valjean, released after serving 19 years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. He later breaks parole, and police inspector, Javert, determines to hunt him down and return him to prison. Factor in beggars, factory workers, “ladies of the night”, a bishop, an innkeeper and his wife, a young child, rebellious students, the police and young lovers, and the ingredients are set for a truly emotional, turbulent, and epic story. Victor Hugo drew his inspiration for the book from what he saw and heard in Paris, recording impressions in his diary. In 1846, he witnessed an altercation between an old woman scavenging through rubbish and a street urchin; he personally gathered information about working-class people’s wages and living standards, about life in a convent, the toil and drudgery of different industries, the battle worn lives of those who had recently fought at Waterloo.

Thirty five years after the book’s initial publication the Lumiere Brothers made a short film of ‘Les Miserables’; the film industry then seized upon this epic story, resulting in over 50 versions having since been made for the screen!

In 1985 The RSC and the theatre impresario, Cameron Macintosh joined forces to produce a musical stage show of ‘Les Miserables’, and the music, songs and dance sequences took the story into a new dimension. Those who have seen the stage show will remember how the music surges through the theatre as chairs, tables, cartwheels and barrels are used to create the changing sets. Rousing songs such as “Red and Black”, “Do You Hear The People Sing” feature beside the tear jerking “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”. There are many more memorable songs and tunes.

In December 2012, the world’s longest-running musical was brought to the big screen in Tom Hooper’s sweeping and spectacular interpretation of Victor Hugo’s epic tale, although the general consensus was that no amount of cinematic spectacle could replace a live stage performance.

In 2015 the BBC commissioned ‘Les Miserables’ as a radio drama with Joss Ackland and Roger Allam, 25 episodes lasting nearly six hours in total, and during which the many themes were explored in the greatest detail.

At the start of 2019 there was the long awaited BBC serialisation of ‘Les Miserables’, directed by Andrew Davies and starring Dominic West, David Oyelowo and Lily Collins. The six hourly episodes enabled a very long and complicated book to unwind slowly so that viewers could appreciate the true scope of the events ……… without being distracted by the songs!

Maybe you have read the book, seen the stage show, listened to the radio series, or watched a film of ‘Les Miserables’? We each have our particular preference for the way that the story is told.

Heyford Singers humble contribution to this inspiring story is to perform a few of the wonderful songs from the musical version during our forthcoming spring concert, entitled “LET US ENTERTAIN YOU” on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th May. We do hope that you will be able to join us, and continue along the journey of this most wonderful story …… ‘Les Miserables’

Jill Langrish


If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.


Flower Society – March 2020

Bugbrooke and District Flower Society

We invite you to join us at our monthly meetings to relax and watch demonstrations by a fully qualified NAFAS Area or National Demonstrator. This is followed by refreshments and the opportunity to win one of the arrangements in our raffle. Learn how to arrange and enjoy flowers.

Meetings are held on the fourth Monday of the month at 7.45pm in Nether Heyford village hall.

At our next meeting on the 23rd March we welcome Louisa Rigden with her
demonstration “Spring Delights”.

A warm welcome awaits both new members and visitors and those new to flower arranging are especially welcome.

For more information please follow us on Facebook or contact Dianne on 01604 830063 or Simone on 01327 342167.


The Bugbrooke and District Flower Society meet every fourth Monday in the month in the Village Hall. Our meetings start at 7.45pm and usually take the form of a Demonstration when a qualified demonstrator will create several floral designs which are raffled at the end of the evening and lucky members take home the beautiful flowers.

Flower Society affiliated to the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) promoting Floral Art.

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


Heyford Picturedrome – The Horse Whisperer – Thursday 19th March 2020


The next film to be screened in the Village Hall on March 19th will be The Horse Whisperer, by popular request. It stars and is directed by Robert Redford and costars Scarlett Johansson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Sam Neil. It is a 1998 American film about a Montana horse healer (Robert Redford) who helps a girl and her horse who were both traumatized in a bad accident. The film is 2 hours 50 minutes and therefore the start is being brought forward to 7.15pm with doors open at 6.30pm.

Admission remains at £4.00 per person and there is no joining fee. There is free tea or coffee and a biscuit on arrival and there will be a licensed bar for the purchase of wine and soft drinks both before the film and during the interval.

The April film to be shown on 16th will be Peanut Butter Falcon, a 2019 American film which has received excellent reviews and has been highly recommended by one of our projectionists – praise indeed! After running away from a residential nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a pro wrestler, a man who has Down Syndrome befriends an outlaw who becomes his coach and ally. It stars Shia LaBoeouf, Zack Gottsagen, Dakota Johnson and Bruce Dern. One critic said ‘Go in expecting the best and you’ll come out smiling!’




Tony Clewett – Phone: 01327 341533

Heyford Gardening Club – February 2020


We held our AGM at our January meeting at which Mike Langrish stepped down for a well deserved rest after ten years as our Chairman. Avril Minchin now takes over the helm for a year which looks to be full of exciting talks and events. We also held a competition for the best winter arrangement which was won by Chris Watts. Looking at the offerings on display our gardens are full of colour and interest even in midwinter.

After everybody had filled up with wine and cheese, I was allowed to update them on the progress on our wildlife area.

Our next meeting will be on the 10th February when we will welcome Liz Taylor of the Woodland Trust who will talk to us about woodland flora. We will also hold our annual Art and Craft competition; the classes will be

A photograph (on a theme to be decided)
A piece of visual art in any medium
An item of craft work.

Programme for rest of the year
March 9th: Anita Thorp: Snowdrops Mini Show – Daffodils
April 6th *: Clare Price: Propagation; Mini Show Tulips
May 11th: John Lee; Penstemons; Seed Swap ; Mini Show of Spring Flowers
June 8th: Patsy Raynor: Plants in Literature and Anecdote; Mini Show Roses
June 20th: Village Hall Fete
July 13th: Summer Party
September 14th: Autumn Show
October 12th: Philip Aubury: Garden Ponds
November 9th: Plant Swap
December 14th: Christmas Tree Festival
*(NB a week early due to Easter)

Things to do in February
1. Plant bulbs in pots for the summer
2. Plant bare root trees and shrubs
3. Sow broad beans and sweet peas.

Mark Newstead


For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page


Village Hall Events – The 60th Anniversary

2020 – The 60th Anniversary of Nether Heyford Village Hall

2020 Events:

Village Garage Sale – Sunday 19th April – Postponed to Sunday 20th September

Village Hall Fete – Saturday 20th June – Cancelled

Art Exhibition – Saturday 26th September

Anniversary Dance – Saturday 10th October

Yuletide Festival – TBC

Pantomime Cinderella – TBC – Late December (usually between
Boxing and Hogmanay.)

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


W.I. & Crafty Club – Christmas Fayre Update – February 2020

Crafty Club / W.I. Christmas Fayre – Saturday 7th December 10:00 TO 14:00

The Village Hall looked absolutely amazing with all the stall holders making their tables look very inviting. W.I. commenced “frying” their wonderfully, delicious bacon butties, and apparently were sold out before the 2 o’clock deadline. All the trees were decorated and ready by the start of the Fayre and a banner was placed outside on poles.

The Christmas Trees and Mystery Boxes in the Chapel Rooms had a steady flow of people through the four hours, with many comments about how people felt the idea of the trees all being the same, giving the various groups the same opportunity to win, was a “good idea”!

At 2 o’clock votes for the best dressed tree were counted, the results were as follows:

Flower Society – 8 votes
ReStore – 5 votes
Crafty Club – 16 votes
Singers – 23 votes
Messy Church – 16 votes
Foresters – 6 votes
Garden Club – 5 votes
Quilters – 2 votes

So, the overall winner was the Singers with Crafty Club & Messy Church tying for second place. The Singers were awarded a box of chocolates and as there were two joint seconds Crafty Club gave Messy Church the box of biscuits.

Thanks to the Baptist Church for the use of their room.

The Mystery Box went well – two numbers were picked by an independent person at 2 o’clock and the winning numbers were

126 – Jude Massingham
11 – Lorraine Streeter.

I would like to thank all the people for their hard work helping with the organisation of the Fayre and for all the people who came along that made the whole event worthwhile.

Finally I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year.

Chris Phillips