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The Old 'Nibble and Clink'

Helmdon in Northamptonshire can proudly boast being one of the best villages in the region - it won the county's Village of the Year in 1966, 1999 and 2002.

About 800 people live in Helmdon which, in years gone by, depended greatly on farming and was able to support many of its own needs. The village also has a railway history having been home to a station on the long abandoned Great Central Railway.

The line which ran through the village, is known locally as the 'nibble and clink'.

Although this closed in 1966 a rail viaduct built in the 1890s, crosses Helmdon brook providing spectacular views.

Welsh lane runs across the south of the village providing access to the town of Brackley.

Helmdon Primary School currently has about 100 pupils, many from outside the village, and is well regarded.

The only remaining pub in the village is the Bell, so named because in days gone by it was the nearest hostelry to the church of St Mary Magdalene.

The church has sat on the highest ground in the village for many hundreds of years.

There are six bells in the church tower, the earliest of which dates back to 1679.

Another building which plays a key part in community life is the Reading Room, which hosts many village activities.

On the village green, which overlooks the viaduct, a war memorial can be found.

The Banbury Guardian - 24th December 2003

Ed Note: In fact, the information above is not accurate. The Great Central Railway has never been called the 'nibble and clink'.

The line called the 'nibble and clink' was the Northampton & Banbury Junction railway, later the LMS line, which ran under the Great Central viaduct. Along this small valley line went the cattle and coal that went to Banbury and Northampton markets.

For more information refer to the Village Trail, or go straight to the article "The Railways of Helmdon".

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