Posts by Janet

Geddington – a life in words and memories – May

The year is 1930 and the Holding sisters, Daisy and Carrie, like many others were finding it difficult to make ends meet and rural poverty was accentuated because of increasing industrialisation and in many villages poor housing. In 1930 most homes in Geddington had no running water or electricity.

There are three stories from Daisy Holding’s diary for this month, each showing a different aspect of life in the village in May 1930.

Part 1:  May 1stMay Day pole for Janet v1

This has been a perfect May Day. Hope Auntie spent a Happy Birthday – her 79th!

Big Sister has spent her second birthday in the ‘hand that is fairer than day’ .We took our flowers early this morning and found her resting place beautifully cared for… How she loved the violas and forget-me-nots; primroses and polyanthas; lad’s love and ribbon grass; wall flowers and doroniciums; pansies and daisies; we took them all.

Passing through Barton Seagrave we saw the village children with their garland and May Queen singing at the cottage doors.

After lunch we ‘sided up’ the place and walked to the library. Miss Wise chided us for being late. She will press ‘tomes’ upon me. Two bags of sticks we picked up and oh! the delicious crackle under our tea kettle. So quickly they boil up ‘Susan’

Part 2 : May 2nd       Cousin Rose pays a call

I am enjoying Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen. I find that life is much the same in all ages, it is only the ‘trimmings’ that alter. The young girl in her ‘sedan’ or ‘Bath’ chair has just the same ideas of love and life as the girl of today in her smart two seater car. He and her would-be-lovers address each other as ‘Mr’ and ‘Miss’ instead of ‘old bean’ and ‘old girl’, otherwise their conversation amounts to the same thing!

As little sister was clinking the tea cups (most delicious sound) Cousin Rose called. She is down on her luck and had walked to town and back in search of work. Her husband has been ill and his employer has reduced his wages to 26 shillings per week. Not enough to keep two people these days. We felt so sorry for her. I walked some of the distance across the meadows with her and carried part of her load. We gave her the eggs we had packed up for the CA men. I expect she needs them more.

During supper we have discussed asking her to come one day a week to help me through with the chores. I get so behindhand now I am poorly.

Part 3: Saturday May 3rd    Another Lame Dog

This time we were able to give a cup of tea and sympathy! Harry is not a favourite. Somehow he always rubs us up the wrong way. Still! he comes and we bid him welcome.

Heavy showers fell as Little Sister set out to take home her sewing. The Hon. Hughie gave her a lift and some amusing experiences with his car. We laughed during luncheon at the stories he told her.

Coffee and biscuits were another appreciable blessing when she reached Blandford Avenue.

As we were tripping along the New Road before crossing the stile to Newton, Frank asked us to call in to see Mabel. We felt sorry for them both. Betty is a really naughty unmanageable child. Their kindly gift of greens was most welcome. Cousin Rose seemed glad of my offer of a day or two’s work and is to be down at nine o’clock on Monday ready for the fray.

Muffie (the cat) is not herself and has gone away. We are anxious about her and Sister spends a long time hunting around the wood yard calling her. It is dark, eerie and still all night.




Geddington – A life in words and memories – April

Dallington House

Dallington House

John and George Holding were brothers and timber merchants running their yard in Grange Road, Geddington in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. George was the businessman and was successful enough to be able to build Dallington House on Kettering Road for his family. He moved in with his wife, Esther nee Farmer, and daughters Margaret and Caroline in 1908.

Margaret, known as Daisy, was at one point a teacher and Caroline, referred to as Carrie was a dressmaker. It seems that neither sister married and when they no longer required Dallington House as a home, they moved into The Bungalow and supported each other throughout their lives.

Daisy wrote several journals over a period of 30 years. The contents draw a delightful, whimsical and honest view of life in Geddington; a community they, and generations of their family before them, knew well.

We hope you enjoy the selection of extracts we have chosen. Our thanks go to David Valentine who has treasured the letters and journals from the family and whose memories of life in the village in the next generation intertwine with those of Daisy.

***********************************************************************  April 1925 – Extract from Daisy Holding’s journal

23rd Tonight we have had the first soft warm April shower.

24th Oh! What a glorious warm spring day. Bumble bees and butterflies haunt the aubretia … The swallows have come. Mrs Biddy and her five chicks have been placed outside the fence in the big wide world. The chicks are a wee bit frightened. Not so ma! She is kept busy fighting off all the other hens and guarding her precious family.

We have commenced tying up the leafs of the bulbs that have finished flowering. I always think they look like little girls ready for bed with their hair in curl papers.

25th What pleasure it gives one to re-arrange one’s rooms at Spring Cleaning. The floors and furniture polished, the windows and china shining, the brass and copper burnished then the posys of sweet spring flowers. It’s worth all the labour.

Mrs Patrick’s yellow jonquils and pheasant eye breathe out their delightful fragrance. They are so dainty and star like.

Little Sister’s off to weed her strawberry bed.


Holding's timber yard Geddington c 1910

Holding’s timber yard circa 1910

26th As we saw the timber carters loading up the noble trees it brought memories to our minds of childhood’s days, as did also the farmer in his little cart driving over the ‘bumps’


If you have any memories of the timber yard, Dallington House or the Holding family and would like to share them, please add a comment or send an email to the Editor at

An email received recently by has revealed the following information.

“The probable reason that Margaret never married, is that her fiancé was killed during the First World War.

Margaret (Daisy) was engaged to Stanley Davis of Station  Road, Kettering, who was in business with his father at the Northampton Rubber Co, in Gold Street.

Stanley volunteered within a month of the outbreak of war and served with the 6th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment.  He was killed in action on 13th April 1916, during a German raid on the British line near Fricourt on the Somme. He lies buried in Carmoy Military Cemetery

This was reported in the Kettering Leader of 21st April 1916. His betrothed, Miss Margaret Holding is mentioned in the article.

Margaret served in the Voluntary Aid Detachment during the War and was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Red Cross in May 1920.”

From our Archive project – A new series of articles on life in Geddington

Bygone Geddington – a view of life in the 1920s

Over the next year we will be publishing extracts from the journals of Margaret Holding, daughter of George Holding and originally resident of Dallington House, Kettering Road and later of The Bungalow.

Dallington House

Dallington House

With the permission of the current owner of the journals, Mr David Valentine, we are able to take a step back into the past and revisit aspects of life in the village over 90 years ago. Margaret Holding clearly loved the village, the countryside and the characters she lived amongst. She paints a detailed, often humorous picture of a slower, but in many ways harder, way of life that had existed for centuries but which was changing rapidly following WW1.

Geddington Church circa 1924

Geddington Church circa 1924


We hope you enjoy the monthly reports and a glimpse back at an earlier Geddington. All the articles will move to the History section on the website in due course so that they can be read at any time.

The first article will appear later this month.



A big thank you to all our sponsors

Yes, another year in the life of has come to a close. The website committee would like to say a big thank you to those organisations and individuals who have sponsored or continued to sponsor us over the past year. We have been able to add to our archive, continue with the reporting and recording of life in Geddington and, of course, provide you with all those important snippets of news that keep everyone in touch. With over 15,000 hits already this year, we know the website is well used in the village and in the wider community!

We hope that many will offer us their sponsorship again this year. The full subscription is only £18 and this gives your organisation  high profile visibility on the website pages and, if needed, a link back to your own website. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor please get in touch via the website and we will be happy to give you more details.

The website committee has still to finalise its plans for the coming year but it is likely to include a mini series on key buildings in the village such as  Harden’s the butchers, Arnold’s grocer’s shop and extracts of the Geddington year from a diary kept by one of the residents in the 1920s, a short extract from which is included below.

Do keep checking your website and give us some feedback if you like (or perhaps don’t like) what you see.

Just a taste of things to come…

April : All smiles and tears.

Do not think I spend all my time walking in Boughton Park and attending Meets! It is so hard to refuse when one’s friends come en bloc to invite one out and the sun is shining and oh! it’s Easter and April!

Woodland-Pytchley Meet 1924Their Graces of Boughton and family held court in front of their grand old home. It is a sight almost beyond description!If you have never seen a meet of hounds on a golden morning you can never imagine it.

There in the background is Boughton House, palatial in size,… surrounded on all sides by stately spreading trees…’
11th April 1924

What an amazing year for your website

Yes, we have come to the end of the second year of our re-launched website. How quickly the time has gone and what a busy twelve months it has been!

Our aim over the past year was to raise the profile of the website across the village community, particularly with our older residents, and to reach  many families outside the village who have connections to it.

We wanted to put our sponsorship to use in a way that contributed positively to village life and encourage lots of you to work with us in recording life in Geddington.

As a result the Archive Project was born.

Contributions of documents, images, artefacts and personal histories gave our Archive Exhibition in November a breadth we had not dreamed of and so much material for the web -based archive that it has taken us months to set it up and make it available for all. What a remarkable picture of village life it has drawn for us and that picture is still growing as we work through the remaining material.

Over the year the small website team has published about 30 articles providing information, recording events and creating opportunities for feedback from the village. If you are a website user it is a constant reference source for all things Geddington. Perhaps you know someone who isn’t yet ‘tuned in’ – do please encourage them to have a go.

Our hits have also reached an all time high of 70,600 over the year which is good news for us all – we know we are reaching people with the right kind of articles; our sponsors get great exposure and it raises awareness of the village and its attractions amongst others outside the immediate community.

The website team will meet this month to plan for this year. We would like to develop our partnership with the Newsletter; we would welcome a few new committee members and there is a suggestion of another exhibition and an ‘Open Website’ Day to give practical advice about accessing the material on the website.

Thank you for all your support over the year; please consider

  • becoming a sponsor or renewing your sponsorship – just £18pa
  • offering a little of your time to work with us
  • offering us the chance to record your family mementos for our Archive
  • using our Directory if you are a village organisation – listing is free!

Please use the Contact Us button on the website homepage for any or all of these.

Enjoy your website!


An Open Letter to Current & Future Sponsors

An Open Letter to current and future sponsors.

Dear All,

It really is now a full year since we re-launched the Geddington Community Website. Over that time the site has developed and expanded, with ‘hits’ increasing dramatically, not only from within our community, but worldwide.

In our first year we have posted 103 articles at a rate, on average, of 2 a week; we have an average viewing of around 180 hits each day, with a running total now of over 55,800 hits. We are delighted that the website has proved such a user friendly tool in keeping people up to date and in helping to alleviate the problems around major events like road closures.

The highlight of the year in many ways was the recognition the village received when we were awarded ‘Best Overall Community Website’ from Northamptonshire County Council. The range of pages, the up to date input and the lively focus on village life was, and remains, the attraction of the website for its users.

We could not have achieved this without your support and the skill of the design team who provide the expertise to deliver what we need. Thank you all.

Inevitably there are costs and as well as thanking our current supporters we would like to offer the opportunity to others to sponsor our website for the coming year and help us develop a programme of events in the village to raise awareness of what the website can offer and broaden the use of the site across all age groups.

Would you be willing to continue as a sponsor or offer new sponsorship?

The cost is £15 p.a. which includes:

·                     a listing in the Directory for village organisations

·                     a highlighted display on our key pages and

·                     a link to your own website if needed.

The small website team remains committed to its original vision of ‘ by villagers, for villagers’ and relies on its supporters to help deliver that vision. If you would be interested in joining the team do let us know.

Please e-mail me at the website address(, if you are happy to write a cheque, please make it payable to Geddington Community Website and send to
1 West StreetHappy Birthday
NN14 1BD.

Thank you.

Janet Jones
Website Treasurer

Traffic management strategy makes Geddington a safer village

It may have taken 18 months, hours of discussion, many meetings and individual and organisational commitment, but we are now at the point where
the final piece of the traffic management strategy is being put in place – our illuminated signs at the points of entry from the A43, will be operational from the end of the month.20 + 7

Those of you involved from the beginning will remember the high levels of concern amongst residents about safety in the village because of the speed and weight of many vehicles travelling down our  streets.  Parked cars were being damaged by oversize vehicles, roads and sewers were giving way under the repeated weight of traffic; much to the concern of English Heritage, the Cross became vulnerable to the continual vibration from traffic and there were several near misses where vehicles mounted the pavements without thought for the pedestrians walking there.  Nobody wanted speed bumps or the loss of parking near homes, but nor did we want to feel that it was not safe for our children to walk to school.

Through questionnaires and consultation across many residents’ groups, it became clear that the issues needed to be tackled across the village as a whole. Residents, the Parish Council, the Borough Council, the County Council, Boughton Estates, Northamptonshire police and Geddington school all contributed to the debate as we looked at ways to improve safety within a realistic budget. Thank you to all of you who gave your time, your ideas or your expertise, as we searched for a solution.

The result was a ‘limited’ area where speed bumps would not be used as a traffic calming measure.

However there  would be:

  • new controls to ensure a reduction in overweight vehicles using West Street, Grafton Road and Queen Street.
  • improved lining as a safety measure for the narrowest part of West Street, the area around the school and at the junction of Grange Road.
  • a 20mph speed limit, given the consensus  that reduced speeds around the village would minimise the risk of fatal accidents for pedestrians.

As discussions got underway it was clear  there needed to be compromises or adaptations to plans to avoid unnecessary costs.  However our new illuminated, combined speed and weight restriction signs mean a reduction in street furniture and a very effective reminder of the need for care on our narrow streets, particularly where footpaths too are narrow or non-existant.  By being prepared to see  the bigger picture, we have succeeded in implementing a strategy to improve conditions for all of us, wherever we live in the village.

Support for the changes has been overwhelming. On behalf of the residents who raised the issue initially, thank you to our councillors, the police, the bus companies, the parents, the headteacher and school pupils (especially class 6 who posted a 20 sign in their window), the Boughton Estates team, the brewery drivers,the post office, those of you who felt strongly enough to display interim ’20’ signs and, most of all, thank you to those of you who daily drive with care through the village.


really is plenty and will help us keep people and places safe for the future. Thank you all.

Janet Jones

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