Something new at the Village Hall

Many of you may recall seeing a large photographic display in the foyer of the village hall, created in April last year to support our entry into the ACRE Village Awards Scheme. The judge was so impressed she immediately took photographs, and we believe that this helped us to win one of our two Gold Awards. (The other one being for the creative use of our communal space by the allotments association)

The display was the result of Mick Parker going around the village and taking photographs of as many of our community and group activities as he could, and it received many compliments. When it was time for it to be dismantled, it was felt that it would be a great shame for all these pictures of our village life to disappear completely. So, Mick and Tom Dodd got together and selected one photograph from each set of group pictures. The remaining photographs were then passed to all the relevant groups for their own records.

Since then, Tom has created an amazing montage, which has just been installed in the village hall foyer underneath our Welcome Sign – as a permanent ‘snapshot’ of our village life in 2022. You are recommended to go and see if you can find yourselves and your group in action. We are pleased to say that the cost of this undertaking has been fully covered: first, with £100 awarded to us by ACRE as Gold Award winners; plus a grant of £100 from our parish council; and with the balance coming from proceeds of a sponsored skydive by the then, village hall chairman.

Like Mick, Tom most generously gave his time free. One of the many aspects of our village, which helped to win our Gold Award, was the evidence of so many gifted members in our community.

Tom and Mick – we salute you!

Alwyne Wilson

Heyford Singers – April/May 2021


A year ago, I wrote the April article for the Prattler, just as we began the first lockdown. Beautiful spring days with summer ahead of us, yet the uncertain feeling of being confined to our own small patches, wary of a new threat to our way of life. In the twelve months since we have seen sadness and suffering, experienced loneliness and loss, and missed our families and friends. Yet time passes, the seasons come round again and with spring the eternal message of hope and new beginnings. There is much to look forward to, much to savour each new day, and much to cherish and remember.

Meetings and AGM’s have continued throughout the year, albeit in 2D format, and so it was with Heyford Singers AGM on 5th March. At this meeting I stepped down from the role of Secretary, after ten years in post. It was shortly after I retired from Bliss Charity School that Bob Wilson, then Chairman, persuaded me to take on the responsibility of secretary. I have really enjoyed ‘keeping the little grey cells busy’, it has honed my IT skills considerably and I am delighted that the choir has gone from strength to strength during that time.

Geoff Allen is taking over as secretary and will do a wonderful job. He informs me that Heyford Singers is one of the very few village committees that he has not served on!

Tony Wright will maintain his very long-standing commitment to the choir by joining the committee (and representing the basses), replacing Frances Johnson who has also decided to step down. Frances has served the choir with enthusiasm and dedication since its formation, and we all hope that she will still be there to support the altos for many days to come.

Arthur Hanley has finally relinquished the post of Village Hall Representative for the choir, doing a longer tour of duty than his intended one year. Alwyne Wilson has agreed to succeed Arthur in this post, which enables her to continue her very strong links with everything pertaining to village hall activities in Heyford!

I would like to thank Frances and Arthur for their years of hard work on the committee, Geoff, Tony and Alwyne for taking on the vacant roles, but also to everyone else in Heyford Singers, committee and choir, who work so hard to make this organisation such a wonderful part of our village community.

The HS committee is almost fifty percent male now (with Mike Andrew and Keith Rands-Allen)! We would now dearly like to recruit more men to sing with us. The choir is fun, it’s sociable, it’s so good for your wellbeing, it ticks the boxes of everything we’ve missed this past year – so why not think about it?

Take care, look after yourselves and each other.

*I may no longer be taking the minutes at meetings, but I shall continue to write these articles for the Prattler for as long as there is someone happy to read them!

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.


Do you need help? Grants available from the Arnold’s Charity – Deadline 31st March 2021


Need Help Box

The Arnold’s Charity is able to offer grants to residents of Nether Heyford and Upper Heyford who find themselves in need of help financially.

The grants which can be applied for are varied and include two categories.

Social Grants: All ages

The social grants are available to help residents who may be struggling financially. This could be an unexpected expense i.e. new glasses, dental treatment, a larger than anticipated bill, the need to travel to hospital appointments, heating, clothing, medical costs etc.

Eligibility: Resident of Nether Heyford or Upper Heyford

Educational Grants: Persons under 18 & Persons 18-24

Cash grants for Apprenticing and Education are available to or on behalf of persons who have not attained the age of 25.  This could be for learning purposes i.e. books, equipment, tools, etc.

Eligibility: 1. Under 25 years old. 2. Lived in Nether Heyford or Upper Heyford for over one year OR have been educated in the parish for over one year. 3. In need of financial assistance for educational purposes, subject to the terms of the scheme and approval of the trustees

The applications are considered by the Trustees at their meetings twice a year, in April and November. Deadlines for completed application forms are March 31st and October 31st.

Next deadline for application forms:

March 31st 2021



  hours  minutes  seconds


Grant Application Deadline

Application forms are available from:

Rev Stephen Burrow (Parish Church) – Trustee | 01327 344436 | 07511 544375

Jez Wilson (The Prattler) | 07761 672376

Nick Adams – Trustee | 07812 032509

Bethany Kay (Clerk to the Trustees at Wilson Browne Solicitors) | 01604 876697

Alternatively – Download, Print, Complete and Return:

Charity History:

The Arnold’s Charity was founded by the will of Edmund Arnold, in or about 1689. The Charity was set up to help five Parishes in the County of Northamptonshire – Stony Stratford, Nether and Upper Heyford, the Ancient Parish of St. Giles -Northampton, Stowe-IX-Churches and Weedon Bec and also Merton College, Oxford.

Edmund Arnold:

Born: Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire

Baptised: Stowe-Nine-Churches, Northamptonshire, 1607

Graduated: Merton College Oxford, 10th October 1661

Career: Lawyer – Doctors’ Commons, Knightrider Street, London (Described in ‘David Copperfield’ and referred to by Sherlock Holmes)

Died: Kensington, London, 27th March 1676

Buried: Beneath the chancel in St Bartholomew’s Church, Furtho, Northamptonshire

Edmund Arnold’s Charity – Registered Charity number 260589

Arnold’s Education Foundation – Registered Charity number 310590

The Prattler – Editors notes

You may have noticed that this edition looks a bit different than usual. Its thinner and covers the next two months. Unfortunately due to the current lockdown and covid crisis, the Prattler is having to cut back on its publication costs and contents. Therefore we have decided that for the next few months, we will be publishing once every two months instead of monthly. This is so we can conserve our savings until activities restart later in the year.

Thank you to the advertisers and contributors for your continued support.

Sue Boutle – Editor

Edition 440 – February/March 2021

The Prattler is run by an active voluntary committee comprising of Sue Boutle, Christine Watts, Vicki Hamblin, Jez Wilson, Nick Essex, Richard Musson and Mary Rice. If you would like to submit articles or have any suggestions for future issues, please contact us.

The newspaper is supported by donations from the Parish Council, the Parish Church, the Baptist Church, Heyford W.I., Heyford Gardening Club, Heyford Singers, the Bowls Club, the Village Hall and Heyford Picturedrome as well as our advertisers.

Thanks are also due to the volunteers who distribute it every month.

Village Hall – News – February 2021

Although the village hall is not being used again, during this third lock-down, the management committee is still working hard at managing and maintaining the building. In addition to a complete redecoration, the hall is now undergoing its annual checks for Gas Appliances, Electrical Safety and Fire Extinguishers. When, at last, a new normality is restored, the hall will be ready and waiting to welcome back its regular user groups.

In the meantime, we are grateful for all the dedicated voluntary work going on behind the scenes.

Alwyne Wilson – 01327 340803

Chairman, Village Hall Management Committee



The Royal British Legion Nether Heyford Women’s Section

As stated in the previous Prattler, here is an update on the Poppy Appeal Fundraising over the last couple of months.

Firstly, my thanks to everyone who has been involved in the fundraising and to all the donors who are listed below. If I have missed anyone, please accept my apologies and thanks on behalf of The Royal British Legion. The support given to such a worthy cause is much appreciated.

I have collected the monies given and have paid these into our Bank. The total collected is £622.37.

Jez Wilson published the names earlier, but I would like to thank those that donated who include:

Gary Richmond, Aly & Rich, Joan & Alex, Trev Clarkey, Marie Hanlon, Sarah Hawkins, Birkett family, Jadine, Simon & Debbie, Heyford Athletic FC, Brian and Maxine Edgington, Stu and Emma, Sue & Tony Boutle, Jez Wilson, Gary McMahon, Lesley Faulkner, Jill Garratt, The Gilkes Family, The Wray’s, Lynn Adey, Mark, Sally and Emily Stroman, Ms Patricia Wakeman, Lisa King & many more donors who chose to remain anonymous.

I would also like to thank Claire Green, one of our members, for the donation of £127.30 being the proceeds from the sale of masks and various other items. These were made by the Adult Education Unit which Claire works for. Our heartfelt thanks to these special people who have made a difference.

Our small Branch is always looking for new members so, ladies, if you would like to join and come to our meetings, you would be most welcome. We fund raise and have a meeting on the first Thursday of the month and have some interesting speakers. If you feel that this would interest you, come and join us. Please contact Kath Pancoust, our Branch Secretary, for further details on 01327 340034 or email/message The Prattler and they can connect you with one of the British Legion members so you can find out more about membership.

Kind regards

Caroline Elliott – Treasurer – February 2020


The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion, is a British charity providing financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants.

There are approximately 2,500 Royal British Legion branches across the UK and overseas. They are focal points for social activity, Remembrance and support the Armed Forces community in all kinds of ways.In local communities they play a vital role in helping hard-to-reach individuals and tackling problems like loneliness and isolation.

Fundraising page (now closed):

The Story of Heyford (Extra): The Ox Hovel

The Ox Hovel

The ox-hovel was first mentioned in the sale of the farm in 1758. Several local estates were being sold by auction after the death of William, Duke of Powis. The ox-hovel seems to have been built with stone from an earlier demolished manor house. It includes several interesting features such as rounded corners and substantial stonework suggesting this was an important building on the farm.

The auction took place on Monday 13th November, 1758 and the two following days at Covent Garden. The ox-hovel and the surrounding fields were part of lot seven, up for sale for £2200 and they were brought by John Devall for £2440.

The ox-hovel was used for cattle until the mid 1970s when the farm gave up its dairy herd. Over the years the thatched roof was replaced with a corrugated iron roof. At that time this was seen as a great improvement. Since the 1970s the ox-hovel was left derelict and was subjected to various forms of anti-social behaviour and was even set on fire. Restoration work was performed.

This is a rare and interesting building the like of which is not know anywhere else in Northamptonshire and may be one of the few examples of early cattle housing buildings of this type left in the whole country.

Historic England listing:

Jez Wilson

The Prattler – December 2020

The Prattler is run by an active voluntary committee comprising of Sue Boutle, Christine Watts, Vicki Hamblin, Jez Wilson, Nick Essex, Richard Musson and Mary Rice. If you would like to submit articles or have any suggestions for future issues, please contact us.

The newspaper is supported by donations from the Parish Council, the Parish Church, the Baptist Church, Heyford W.I., Heyford Gardening Club, Heyford Singers, the Bowls Club, the Village Hall and Heyford Picturedrome as well as our advertisers.

Thanks are also due to the volunteers who distribute it every month.

Nether Heyford British Legion – Poppy Appeal 2020 – Update

On behalf of the Royal British Legion, Nether Heyford Women’s Section, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for the generous donations given through the Justgiving site set up by Jez Wilson to help with the Poppy Appeal.

Thank you Jez for your participation in setting this up and for your earlier note in The Prattler.

Thank you to all for the generous donations given, through the site and through donations given personally to members of the RBL. Your donations have exceeded the expectation of the original £80 to purchase the wreaths. I can confirm that I have paid the sum for the wreaths and once all monies are collected, I will let The Prattler know and put the totals in the next edition.

Once again, thank you all. This means so much to keep the RBL helping our veterans.

Kind regards

Caroline Elliott – Treasurer – December 2020

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion, is a British charity providing financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants.

Poppy Appeal 2020 – with amazing speed and generosity £310 was quickly raised – combining that with some cash and cheque donations sent through the post, a grand total of £425 was raised for the local village British Legion branch helping towards remembrance day 2020 and beyond.

Many thanks for all those that donated which included :

Gary Richmond | Aly & Rich | Joan & Alex | Trev Clarkey | Marie Hanlon | Sarah Hawkins | Birkett family | Jadine | Simon & Debbie | Heyford Athletic FC | Brian and Maxine Edgington | Stu and Emma | Sue Boutle | Jez Wilson | Gary McMahon | Lesely Faulkner | Jill Garratt | The Gilkes Family | The Wray’s | Lynn Adey | Mark, Sally and Emily Stroman

& many more donors who chose to remain anonymous

Jez Wilson – November 2020

Remembrance Day – Sunday 8th November 2020

Nether Heyford Remembrance Day 2020

Remembrance Sunday

Sunday 8th November 2020

Nether Heyford War Memorial

10:40 am Arrival of Major Thorneycroft MBE and those wishing to share the ceremony of remembrance.

10:45 am British Legion Wreath laid. Any other parties wreath laying may proceed, one group at a time, maintaining social distancing.

10:55 am Major Thorneycroft MBE reading names of the fallen “We will remember them……”

11:00 am Two minute silence

The opportunity to reflect on the bravery and sacrifice of the heroes of our village, to Remember and honour the fallen, is slightly different this year.

Please ensure that when you attend you observe social distancing guidelines

  • Personal moments of reflection and/or to leave a memory or flowers around the memorial are welcome throughout the day.
  • British Legion in attendance (within household group)
  • Cubs and Scouts in attendance in uniform (within household group)
  • The short road closure should be in place as usual.
  • There is no parade and military band this year.
  • There are no Church or Chapel services this year.
  • A virtual online Church service and blessing by Rev Stephen Burrow is at 10:30 am on the Benefice Facebook Page

Photo credit – Tony Boutle – November 2020

Photo Gallery Credit – Liam Reeve – November 2020

Watch the 2020 video:

Video credit – Liam Reeve – November 2020

Roll of Honour:

The Heyford and Stowe Roll of Honour details the lives of the 28 men on Heyford and Stowe village war memorials.

First published in 1993 by Celia and Brian Caucutt – Updated with new photographs and recently released census family information in 2018 by Jez Wilson

Heyford and Stowe – Roll of Honour – 1993

Heyford and Stowe – Roll of Honour – 2018

All the new research and new photographs discovered during the centenary 2018 project were sent to the Imperial War Museum and the men of Heyford and Stowe are now documented in the museums digital online archive “Lives of the First World War”


HEYFORD AND STOWE – ROLL OF HONOURA tribute to the servicemen commemorated on the Nether Heyford and Stowe Memorials

Nether Heyford War Memorial:

Church Stowe War Memorial:


Photo credit – Mick Parker – November 2019