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Helmdon Historical Articles

Snippets From Talkabout

(The Village Newsletter)

1984 -86


(The First One)    Talkabout Spring 1984  

Here at last, your very own Newsletter of happenings in and about Helmdon.  We welcome you to the magazine and hope that you will find it if interest and look forward to its issue which we envisage, initially, to be in the Spring and Autumn…..   AD Brookhouse (Chairman Parish Council) 

Helmdon Parish Council News

The Parish Council rents the school field from the Northampton County Council and it is the responsibility of the parish council outside school hours.  The playing equipment is the responsibility of the Parish Council and is maintained by ratepayers’ money……

Over the last 12 months the parish council have produced a village map containing footpaths which are all clearly marked. It costs 15p. ………

The bus token scheme which is jointly financed by the parish council and the South Northants District Council has been running successfully for several years.  It is used by over 60 people in the village and we greatly appreciate the help with distribution of the tokens by the Helmdon Fellowship of Retired People…..

The Carnival

As a result of the success of last year’s event, it has been decided to organize another Carnival along similar lines on September 8.  This will consist of a procession of carnival floats through the village to various stalls and activities on the sports field, Wappenham Road……

Helmdon Sports Club

At present we run 3 cricket teams, with 2 in the South Northants league and one in the Brackley mid-week league….

If there is anyone interested in playing please contact Geoff Gulliver.

Radio Northampton

Your agent for Radio Northampton is Mr Collett, so if there is are any items of interest or functions which you think he should know about, please contact him on Sulgrave 590……

Scouting is Service

Many parts of the Scout training programme involve service to others outside our movement.  Various projects have been undertaken in the past including litter clearance, gardening for old or disabled people, helping with various charity fund raising activities e.g. Christian Aid Walk, Helmdon Carnival etc) and combined activities with other youth organisations…….      Dr J A Holden GSL  (1st Helmdon Scouts)

Snippets from TALKABOUT, Autumn 1984

News from the Parish Council

Unfortunately it has been brought to the attention of the Parish Council that tenants of the allotments have been losing their vegetables……

Arrangements are going ahead with the laying up of the British Legion Standard…..

We has had many complaints about traffic speeding through the village as well as parking in the village.  The Parish Council have organized an open meeting where the police have been invited to offer sensible suggestions to prevent these problems……


1984 is our Silver Jubilee year.  The Helmdon branch has been organizing classes within the village for the last 25 years – a great achievement in a small community, and all by voluntary effort ….

Helmdon Village School

A new school year begins with a roll of 49 children. ….. We are indeed fortunate in being able to retain 3 members of teaching staff.  The children are divided into 3 classes according to each child’s date of birth.   This year Mrs Nightingale teaches the infants, Mrs Ramm teaches the lower juniors in addition to the eldest of the top infants due to the large number of infants.  Mrs Nicholas (Head teacher) teaches the upper juniors.


Snippets from TALKABOUT, Spring 1985 

Helmdon Wives and Mothers Club

If you are young, old with it or without it, you are given a wonderful welcome at Helmdon Young Wives and Mothers Club.  We encourage everyone from 18 to 80.  Our meeting place is in the Reading Room every fourth Wednesday of the month.  Speakers of all shapes and sizes touch on all kinds of subjects ..……

(Forthcoming events include a beer and skittles evening, a visit to the musical “Annie” and a fascinating talk from Mollie Harris (Martha Woodford of “the Archers”).

Judy Upstone – Sulgrave 767   Sue Lidgley Sulgrave 8170   Lee Alfandary Sulgrave 599

Girls’ Brigade

The Girls’ Brigade meet each Wednesday in the Baptist Capel Schoolroom.  At present we have 30 girls in the company between the ages of 5 and 12 years. The activities are based on a fourfold programme – spiritual, physical, educational and service ……  This year has been a particularly busy one for our company.  In December we   held our annual carol service in the chapel and sang carols and played some on our hand chimes.  Our pantomime was held in March in aid of the Ethiopian Appeal.  All the girls had a part in this production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the company played to a full house on each occasion.  The beautiful costumes were all made by Mrs J Saunders, and we were fortunate to be lent the Helmdon School stage.  During the summer we have outdoor activities and swimming when it is warm enough ……

Captain Mrs D Law   Helpers:  Mrs J Saunders and Mrs L Wyles

Helmdon Carnival

Once again the Reading Room committee and Sports Club have got together to organize the Carnival ….

There will be a parade of floats through the village accompanied by a band, majorettes, etc. finishing up at the Sports field, Wappenham Road, where there will be lots of stalls, activities and entertainment.

Snippets from TALKABOUT, Autumn 1985

Parish council news

British Legion The parish council was well represented for the laying-up of the Branch Standard in June.  It was a very pleasant service followed by refreshments afterwards.  Mr Bazeley carried the standard for the last time – a very emotional moment…..

Extension to the churchyard   The parish council would like to convey their deepest thanks to Messrs Humphrey for their very generous offer to fence the proposed extension to the churchyard which will be completed in the near future…..

Helmdon country scene   In 1983 we lost about 25 trees out of 50 planted.  This year, the majority of the 45 planted are growing well.  Since 1979 (when the effect of Dutch elm disease around the village was obvious) approximately 200 native trees have been planted with the guidance of the  Parish tree committee…..

Helmdon Youth Club

The Club is open to all young people aged 11 years and over.  Membership is 50p plus 10p subs each week.  Activities include table tennis snooker, pool, listening to records, swingball, plus various others that may be organized during the year.

On Sunday March 24, once again, Karl Lidgley and Simon Alfandary put on their running shoes to take part in another orienteering event, this time at Badby Wood.   The course was 3.2 km with 12 control points.  They did very well and finished in fourth position with a time of 43 minutes.  This was 5 places higher than their previous best……

The Monthly Walks

A year ago the Footpaths Committee undertook to lead monthly walks on Helmdon’s paths and tracks.  Since then some half-dozen of us have planned, advertised and led these walks – and enjoyed  them.  Apart from other members of the committee, Helmdon people and their friends , of all ages from 9 to the early eighties , have come too, some of them regularly, besides the family parties for whom Graham Martin planned the July walk………..

Snippets from TALKABOUT, Spring 1986

Parish Council news 

The parish council will have to probably pay a rent of £100 to  the Northants County Council for the use of the playing field. 

Helmdon Fellowship of Retired People

The Fellowship continues to grow and our membership now numbers 83 …  Membership is open to all retired people living in the village and anyone wishing to join will be made welcome……

The winter programme of  whist drives were again well attended and members enjoyed an interesting series of speakers and entertainment at the “Get-Togethers”.   The Christmas programme again included the concert given by the school children, by kind permission of Mrs Nicholas; and a party given by Helmdon Wives and Mothers Club to the over 60’s …….

The Spring lunch in on Saturday 15 February was attended by 53 members.

The shopping bus to Brackley on the third Friday of each momth continues to be well supported.  Tis facility is not restricted to retired people, it is available to anyone wishing to use it.

The Fellowship will again provide refreshments as their contribution to the Carnival on September 6.

Eileen Collett

Friends of Helmdon School

The committee of “The Friends of Helmdon School” welcome this opportunity to thank everyone for their continual support of the   paper round and other fund raising activities.  Through these events we have been able to purchase for the school, bookends, a disc-drive and software for the computer, blinds for the  school hall, material for netball skirts, flower tubs, a television stand and licence, woodwork tools and materials for a guinea pig run…….

We hope to redecorate the infant classroom during the summer holidays with paint provided by Northants County Council, so if you have a brush, a roller and some decorating skill please contact the school.

Snippets from TALKABOUT, Autumn 1986

Parish Council News

Street Lighting

We must apologize for the length of time that the lights were out in the village but the fault was entirely due to the EMEB who seem to be incompetent.

Helmdon School

The children and staff have settled well into the new school year.  There are now 67 on the roll……  There are three classes.  Mrs Nicholas teaches the upper juniors.  Miss Ramm teaches the older infants and lower juniors and Mrs Worrall teaches the infant class.

Helmdon Country Scene

…..bats roosting in the porch in Church Street, a colony of toads in Field Way and woodpeckers at the Sewage Farm.  Obviously the village abounds in wildlife ….

There were more than 40 species of bird nest around the village in my recent survey ..…. Many people enjoyed the wild flowers on Jenners Hill, the result of dedicated work of several people.  Plants now recorded there include cranesbill, hop foot trefoil, ox-eye daisy, fox glove, evening primrose, sweet violet, Whitsun gillies, cinque foil, cowslips, jacob’s ladder and others.

….. many of the younger people in the village are very knowledgeable, as the results of the Carnival Wildlife competition proved.  Congratulations to all those who entered – overall the standard was very high.  In particular,  well done all these winners:  Fergus Pomeroy in the 3-4 year olds. Chloe Wardle, David Dunkley and Susan Bowman in the 5–7 year olds Reorganize the Animal”.   Matthew Mantle in the 8-10 year olds “Wordsearch”, and Tom and Daniel Webb in the 11- 14 year olds “20  Questions”.

Adrian Duke

Helmdon Youth Club

Due to other commitments, John Woodhams, who has been associated with the Club for 12 years (11 years as Leader), has had to give up his work with the Club.  His wife Pat and Mr and Mrs Seckington have also relinquished their positions as Chairman and Helpers.  They would like to thank everyone who has helped with the Club over the years and to all the members who have taken part in the activities such as 11-a-side football, 5-a-side soccer, boys’ and girls’ netball, roller skating, ice skating, ten pin bowling, fishing, orienteering and many more including trips on a narrow boat, visits to other clubs and entering many competitions.  Since the beginning the club has donated over £1,000 to different charities and organizations ……

Helmdon Walking

It has been a chequered summer of grey rain, wild wind and still sunshine; a perfect August Sunday was followed by a bank holiday drowned from mid-day in ceaseless pouring rain …..   However the churchyard has had it walls repaired and seat replaced at hardly any cost to the parish …..  a stile has been set up over a sheep fence at Falcutt  …..  many public corners of Helmdon this year have been trimmed , or planted with flowers ……

Helmdon Fellowship of Retired People

At Christmas …. Each member of the Fellowship received a gift of a diary and pen and for those that use it, 1 cwt of coal was delivered.      …… Age Concern asked the Fellowship to undertake the task of distributing the EEC bitter, cheese and milk in Helmdon ….. thanks to the committee members who helped deliver our own EEC butter mountain to the eligible people in the village  ….  Bus tokens have been collected from Bridge House on 25 March.  Once again we thank Miss N Nicholls for allowing her home to be used as the collecting point ….. Don’t forget the Brackley bus continues to run on the third Friday of every month, leaving Helmdon at 9.45 and returning from Brackley at ll.30 am.

Olive Holton  (Honorary Secretary)            










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