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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 (Christian Aid Walk, Helmdon Carnival etc) and combined activities with other youth organisations.         

Dr J A Holden GSL – 1st Helmdon Scouts

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……

My First Impressions of Helmdon

I was not over enthusiastic about moving from the North to the South but since my arrival in Helmdon I have had no cause to regret our move.  From the day we moved in the village everybody has been so tremendously friendly.  This brings me to the conclusion that the people of Helmdon have a warmth that is hard to discover in many other areas.  There is an amazing community atmosphere.  The village intends to make every occasion lively and of course different.

The village is kept extremely tidy with some of the most beautiful gardens to be discovered in any region.  Every crevice of Helmdon has something new and delightful.  Its little streets with quaint little cottages provide a true English village of atmosphere.

A wonderful little church is situated on the hill which is decorated with an array of beautiful flower arrangements.  It is indeed a church to be proud of.

Although I have lived in many village in Britain, never have I found such a village and never have I been so happy.

Sara Jane Trumper


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 teach 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.

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 buy 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

The Signalman’s Lament

The Marples axe has fallen and Beeching’s rammed it home, Brackley signal box is finished, the GC line is doomed.

Tis the 13th day of June now and the signals are crashing down.  Whoever would have thought it, that this would be my lot? My reference book is clean and I haven’t got a blot.  If this day is what they call progressing, then I am glad I’m getting old.  Why then for the next generation, Oh Lord, what will unfold?

Len H Wills, redundant signalman (who lived in Church Street)

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.


TALKABOUT, Autumn 1985

Parish council news

Vibroseis Seismic Survey

We have heard nothing as yet concerning The National Coal Board’s intention to search for deposits of coal and natural gas in Helmdon.


The Parish Council  are still considerably concerned about vandalism through the village.

Who  Pays?  ….. for broken street lamps and slashed swing seats?  From 1 April 1984 to 31 March 1985, the parish council paid the EMRB £21 .52 for replacing light fittings, and spent £526.27 replacing damaged swing seats in the school whose money is it?  It is your money, paid by all householders.  If the money had not been needed for such replacements it could have been spending it on something else.

Helmdon Scout Group

The usual peace and calm of Helmdon was broken on July 24 by the arrival of 50 scouts, leaders and supporters from Trivero in Italy.  Helmdon Scouts together with another group from Harpole, were responsible for hosting the Italians prior to our at the “Northamptonshire Nailer”, the international scout camp held at Easton Neston Park, Towcester.

Helmdon Country Scene

One of the few only good things that can be said about the rain we’ve had this year is that the young trees planted around the village last autumn have got off to a much better start than the 1985 planting.  During that hot summer 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 British native trees have been planted with guidance from the Parish council tree committee.

Another feature of Helmdon’s scene is the church and the churchyard.  Apart from the famous yew, did you know that our churchyard is one of the most interesting in Northamptonshire in terms of variety of wild flowers and other plants?  A survey of the churchyard in 1083 with the help of Mrs Wheeler recorded over 80 different species.  These included some species that are quite scarce now in much of Northamptonshire because of the widespread use of chemical sprays, plants such as sweet woodruff goldilocks (or wood buttercup) and rue-leaved saxifrage.  In the older part of the churchyard the grass is ow cut infrequently to maintain the richness of wild plants for us to enjoy.

Adrian Duke -  Sulgrave 508


TALKABOUT, Spring 1986

Parish Council News                                                                                              

The Parish Council will probably have to pay a rent of £100 per annum 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

TALKABOUT, Autumn 1986

Missing at present.  Have you got a copy we can borrow?


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