Posts by Pam

Heading for the Coast?

It is unusual for to highlight any charity, other than village ones. However, this headline and poster, in their quarterly magazine, caught my attention. It seems very appropriate with the summer holidays fast approaching.

So I make no apologies for offering the advice that the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute) gives, concerning safety at, and near, the sea.

Elderflower Cordial

This week, if you have the time and inclination, is the right time to make Elderflower Cordial. It’s a delicious refreshing drink for a hot day and it’s so easy to make.

The flowers on an Elderflower bush don’t last very long, so take advantage now – leave it too long and it will be too late for this year.

25 Elderflower heads (white flowers only, although the more you have, the stronger the flavour)
50gms of Citric Acid (helps cordial last longer)
3 pints Water, boiled and cooled
3lbs Sugar
2 Lemons, large, wax-free, rind and juice

Mix all together and leave for 2 days, stirring occasionally.
Strain and bottle.
This will be strong enough to dilute to drink.

The flowers on an Elderflower bush don’t last very long, so take advantage now, leave it two weeks and it will, most likely, be too late for this year.

Make sure you pick Elderflowers from a bush and not Cow Parsley from the road side. There’s plenty of both about at the moment.

May 2020

May is usually the month that sees the start of the summer activities in Geddington – the cricket field in tip top condition, the bowling green looking even greener and smoother, flowers being chosen and grown on for the flower festivals and, of course, at the start of all these, the school has chosen its May Queen and her attendants for the all important May Day Festival.

Well, there was no ‘May Day Festival’ this year, so we thought that we would have a look at some of the previous May Days and recall the pleasure that this custom has given to so many parents, grandparents and the children, by the school.

The well-known ritual of the May Day Celebrations with May Queen, Consort and attendants, as we now know them, first took place in 1951. It commenced the Festival of Britain celebrations in the village. The event started with a church service conducted by the Revd Brodie, with the church filled to capacity by children, parents and friends. After the service, the children lead the way, by horse and carriage (or cart?) to the playground, in what is now the garden of The Old School. Margaret Cooper was the first May Queen and was crowned by the vicar.

Every year since has seen the same or similar scenes played out, usually under blue skies, although in 1952 it obviously rained and shelter was taken under the entrance to Home Farm in Grafton Road. By 1954, the May Queen, her attendants and many of the parents, then changed direction and paraded down to the Eleanor Cross.

The Eleanor Cross, The Star Inn and the Church of St Mary Magdalene, have provided the perfect setting for this nearly 70 year-old custom.

Finally, after weeks of practising, the various dances were performed by all the children.

To view the list of May Queens, click on the link below:

THE NEWSLETTER -Summer issue no 156

As promised earlier, The Newsletter twins with the website, with the Summer Issue produced online.

Just click on the link and away you go with the ‘Flippin Book’ version.

30 May 2020 UPDATE
A message from The Newsletter editor, Justin Brice: The trial period for the Flipping Book website has now ended and is no longer viewable online.

Instead please click on the http link below (then the image), to read the summer issue of The Newsletter
click on the image in the box below the link.

Parish Council meetings in May

The two meetings normally held in May, the Annual Meeting and the usual Monthly Meeting are both being held on Monday 11th May (the Clerk apologises for the late alert).

However, this WORDPRESS system will not allow two meetings on the same day – so the Annual Meeting Agenda is dated 11th May and the Monthly Meeting is dated 12th May. Click on either of the Agenda links in the Parish Council page (in Quick Links above) and you will find both Agenda.

The Annual Meeting starts at 6.30pm and the Monthly Meeting starts immediately afterwards at 7.30pm. Both are VIRTUAL meetings and instructions to join, via ZOOM, are given at the top of each agenda.

V.E. Anniversary request

Are you in this photograph of a street party in Wood Street?

Or are you a descendant of one of these people celebrating VE Day in 1945?

If so, you may be interested in the following request that we have had in an email from Charlotte Simpson, from BBC News.
Charlotte says: Hi Pam – I’m from the BBC. Trying to track down any relatives of the people in this picture who might live on Wood Street still. Are you aware of any? We’d love to try and speak to them and other residents living there now about their plans this year – even though they’ll be socially distant.
If you would like to contact Charlotte Simpson, her email address is:

The names of many of the people in the picture are as follows, but as the editors of The Newsletter said at the time of publishing it: “We don’t guarantee accuracy, but the following may be among those that were there.

John Abrahams; the late Mrs Banwell, Mrs Bateman & Mrs Berridge; Barbara & Sheila Bishop; June, Frieda & Michael Blanchard; Anne Brooks; the late Mrs Brown; John Bumpus (reputed to be the last evacuee in Northamptonshire to return home); Mrs E Chamberlain, Loris, Susan and Brenis, and the late Olive Chamberlain; Mrs E Chamberlain; Mrs E Chapman; the late Mrs Clipstone, Mavis & Jean Clipstone; R Coleman; Mrs Daisy Coles and Sylvia (now Proctor); Michael Coombs (evacuee); the late Mrs Cooper, David (Chick) & June (now Flecknor); Mrs L Crick, Barbara & Iris; Jill Dart; the Late Mrs Freeman; Mrs B Howes & Betty (now Toseland); Mrs Daisy Hyde & Colin; the late Mrs Johnson & Chris Johnson; Mrs E Julyans; Terry & Vincent Kirkman (evacuees); the late Tommy Lane; David Marlow; Mrs Iris Masterton & Rachel; Mrs Doll Moreton & Donald (evacuees); Mrs Perkins; Mrs Nancy Rowney & Peter (in high chair); Margaret Rich (now Pearson); the late Bill Sharp (of The Royal George) & Janet; Mrs Slough and the late Malcolm (Dick) Slough; Millie Staines (now Ferguson) & Rodney; A Thompson; Pauline Tracy & the late Ivan Tracey; the late Mrs Ada Toseland, Jayne & Bernard; Mr & Mrs Fred Ward; Mrs Rene Weekley & Anne; Joannie Wilding (evacuee); and Bill Wood junior.

Mixed Media

This summer will see a first for both and The Geddington, Newton & Little Oakley Newsletter, usually known as:
The Newsletter.

Social distancing is still very much in force in Gt Britain at this time (late April, early May), which means that the usual get-togethers by The Newsletter committee are not possible. However, that doesn’t stop our village news gatherers or their ability of producing a magazine for the summer of 2020.

The editor and his team are asking for
articles, news and cheerful copy by
Friday 1st May.

Send to:

and don’t forget to send .jpg images
separate from your documents.

Friday 15 May is the proposed publication date, but instead of through your letterboxes, it will come via your village website,
here at!

Hats Galore!

Keep calm and carry on, is exactly what the Knitting Club members are doing at the moment, although with the obvious precautions, as recommended by health officials.

Earlier this year, the Geddington Volunteer Fire Brigade had requested from the Club, some warm and woolly hats that would complement the Brigade’s uniform. Members were delighted to oblige and some 25 of the burgundy and gold hats were speedily knitted in two different patterns and three different knitting styles. For the sake of accuracy, they are made in Stocking Stitch, Double Rib and Fisherman’s Rib. Pom Poms were not requested!

Friday the 13th March saw a number of members gathered on their usual meeting day, time and place (Friday, 10am, Cafe Oak) to present the hats to GVFB representative James McLean, Community Officer of the GVFB.

If your club or organisation has an important or significant event/fund-raiser/concert/sport coming up soon, why not take some images, put a few words together and contact your website,, who will be delighted to raise awareness of your event and club, by posting online. The number of words are not restricted, nor the number of images – just no libellous comments or ‘naughty’ pictures!

Knitting Club’s 1st Anniversary coming up

The Knitting Club celebrates its first anniversary in March, but we started the New Year on 10th January, with a 20+ get-together at our usual meeting place, Café Oak – its first Friday opening after the Christmas break.

The year had passed with several completed community projects under our needles. The three blankets made from 6” squares went to care homes that had a connection to Geddington – all had former village residents. All blankets had beautifully crocheted edges, thanks to Georgie Ward. (We’re not just knitters – we have other skills!)

The Club had been asked to make hats for the three children in ‘The Railway Children’ the autumn production from Geddington Amateur Dramatic Society. This was not a club-wide project, in fact it was just one member, Jean Gingell, who produced several draft samples, before the exact size and colouring were achieved. So well did they look, that Jean has received several commissions for the beret-style hats!

It was suggested in August, that we enter the Christmas Tree Festival. A pattern was fairly easily found for 4inch high knitted angels. The choice of colour, white/silver, was quickly made and each knitter (and there were several) put their own stamp on the angels with different faces. And so, ‘Angels from the Skeins of Glory’, were created. The Festival competition hadn’t entered our heads, but even so, we were delighted to achieve third place. Thank you to all those who voted for our tree. We had decided to sell the Angels after the Festival and the Café Oak offered to do so for us. The following Monday saw one of the trees being trundled down to Queen Street and four of us spent a pleasant hour or so, decorating the tree – again! Café Oak closed for Christmas, so the tree, and its Angels, were transferred to the church. We had talked about prices, but couldn’t agree on one, so decided that a donation for each angel was probably the best way. Again, thank you to all those who donated, a wonderful £197.65 was raised and given to the church for their funds.

A host of angels.

So what next? A number of projects have been suggested, but we want to keep to the original philosophy, which is that of contributing to our community.  But whatever it is, we can be found every Friday morning, 10 – 11.30am, at Café Oak, doing what we do best, knitting and nattering!

The Queen Eleanor Cross

There have been many hundreds, if not many hundreds of thousands of photographs taken of Geddington’s Queen Eleanor Cross, but none so precise and in such depth, as those taken by Paul Bryan and David Andrews of Historic England.

To start at the beginning, in 2015, English Heritage was divided into two parts:
1) Historic England, which inherited the statuary and protection functions of the old organisation and
2) the new English Heritage Trust, a charity that would operate the historic properties. The British government gave the new charity an £80 million grant to help establish it as an independent trust, although the historic properties remained in the ownership of the state. English Heritage is tasked with protecting the historic environment of England by preserving and listing historic buildings, scheduling ancient monuments and registering historic Parks and Gardens.

It is the protection role that Paul and Bryan were involved with on 30th and 31st January this year. They were tasked with creating 3D images of the Cross using two methods:
1) Laser Scanning and
2) Photo Grammetry.

What is Laser Scanning? Briefly, laser scanning combines controlled steering of laser beams with a laser rangefinder. By taking a distance measurement at every direction the scanner rapidly captures the surface shape of objects, buildings and landscapes. Construction of a full 3D model involves combining multiple surface models obtained from different viewing angles. 

What is Photo Grammetry? Briefly, it is the art, science and technology of obtaining reliable information about physical objects and the environment through the process of recording, measuring and interpreting photographic images and patterns of electromagnetic radiant imagery and other phenomena. One example is the extraction of three-dimensional measurements from two-dimensional data, such as images.

Paul Bryan and
David Andrews at work

In the accompanying photos, images are being taken from bottom to top with an extending pole, to gain the necessary height. Without the use of a ‘cherry-picker’, they were unable to take images from above the Cross. However, thanks to residents Vic Crouse, John Hughes and a team of volunteers in the late 1990s, images were taken all round the Cross, and one from above.’s editor was fortunate in having a copy of this one and, with their permission, it was sent to Paul Bryan. The resulting 3D images that will be obtained, will be compared with images taken a decade ago to check for any changes.

Historic England’s brief origins of the Cross says: “When Eleanor of Castile, the first wife of Edward l, died at Harby, near Lincoln, in 1290, the grief-stricken king was driven to create the most elaborate series of funerary monuments to any queen of England. He ordered the building of 12 elegant crosses to mark each of the resting places of his wife’s funeral procession as it travelled from Lincoln to her burial place at Westminster Abbey, London. The best-preserved of these lies at the centre of the little village of Geddington”.

It’s equally brief description says: “The Geddington cross is different from the typical stone crosses that once stood in nearly every city, town and village in England. These took various forms and served many social and religious functions. Many were destroyed during or after the Reformation. Spire-shaped crosses, of which the Eleanor Crosses are the most famous, are unusual. With its subtle geometry and rich decoration, the Eleanor Cross is an outstanding example of late 13th century stone carving.
It was built in the new, highly ornamental English Decorated style, using local limestone. Intricately carved with floral patterns, the slender cross is triangular in plan and stands nearly 12.8 metres (42 feet) tall. It is built in three tiers. Below the tapering pinnacle at the top are three canopied niches, each containing a Caen stone figure of Eleanor. Beneath these figures are six shields, two on each face, bearing the arms of Castile, Leon, England and Ponthieu in France, of which Eleanor was countess, Originally the pinnacle was crowned by a cross.”

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