Posts by Pam

Northamptonshire County Council News

Adult Learning Courses.

The summer programme for adult learning courses, scheduled for April – July, can now be booked online. There are hundreds of courses covering dozens of subjects taking place at venues throughout Northamptonshire.

Go to: and search for ‘Adult Learning Courses.



“Boudicca in a Cottage”

“Boudicca in a Cottage”

A tribute to Angie Cooksley 1937–2017

On Wednesday 15 February, friends and family gathered at Geddington Church to celebrate the life of Angie Cooksley, who died peacefully on 2 February aged 80. This is the family eulogy that we would like to share with those who were unable to attend the service, or for those present who requested to read it again. Please do feel free to share with anyone who would like to read it. It was read at the funeral by Angie’s granddaughter.

– –  –  –  –  –  –

Please click on this link to read the eulogy:
Boudicca in a Cottage A Tribute to Angie Cooksley

And Now For Something Different – Part 2

Here is something else we don’t see very often, even though we live in a rural county, more 4-legged beasts, but this time SHEEP!

Watch out for the shepherd’s crook.

Many thanks, again, to Frank Harding, for being in the right place, at the right time, and having the right equipment!

Buccleuch Meadows Wildlife Pond

A seriously interested group of eight people met on a very wet evening, to discuss the next step in the revival and renewal of the wildlife pond in the Meadows.

Chaired by Nick Batchelor, Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council, the discussion first covered the reprise of the Wildlife Trust’s recommendations and then an update on the site clearance by the GVFB during January – considering some of the weather that we had in January, the members of the GVFB who did this work should be highly commended for their efforts!

The meeting then went on to discuss the planting of the areas that needed this most and it was decided that the sloping bank should be addressed first.

The sloped bank and log piles

The plants that were to be used would all have to be native species, as suggested by the Wildlife Trust, some of which could be transplanted in small quantities from other areas of the Meadows. Other plants can be purchased at a reasonable cost, but it was made plain that these plants must be suitable for wildlife ponds – not all the plants used in garden ponds are suitable, or native *.

The Wildlife Trust recommended that this work should be carried out during February, weather permitting, as some wildlife would be making its way to wet areas by then.

The course of the old river. Fed by natural springs, so still used by nature if not by man.

However, the whole of the Meadows is a designated flood plain and although it’s been a particularly dry winter so far, there are still lots of damp and wet places in the Meadows, not to mention the River Ise and the old river bed near the path,

However, in order to give a home to those insects and mammals that would be attracted to the pond, a date was set for the first plantings to take place on 18 February. If the weather is not suitable, then an alternative date of 25 February was suggested.  Who will be doing the transplanting? Several members of the group offered their services, well, we did start this post with the words: “seriously interested people”.

Other useful suggestions that cropped up during the meeting included contacting:
– Brigstock Country Park as a source of information and possibly plants, if they are doing a partial pond clearance at any time,
– Boughton Estates, for the same reasons,
– Asking for donations of plants from village residents, subject to the proviso mentioned above *.
The Wildlife Trust recommend the following plants for wetlands and water margins: Water Mint, Gypsywort, Greater Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Water Chickweed and Water Forget-me-not, as well as less common species such as Mare’s-tail, Bur-marigold, Golden and Marsh Dock. By no means a complete list, but the pond isn’t a very large one, by any measure.

Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre

Finally, the subject of recording wildlife was touched on. When (and not if) wildlife is seen not only in the pond, but throughout any part of the village, then the following organisation is the one to go to, to record the sightings:


One last comment: any work in the Meadows, donated by the Duke of Buccleuch to the village, are subject to the approval and permission of the Parish Council. Nick will take a report of the meeting back to the February PC Meeting on Monday 13 February, where it is hoped, the suggestions and decisions will be ratified.


Wildlife Pond, Walter Buccleuch Meadows

Wildlife Pond Meeting

Our last article on the Wildlife Pond in the Meadows, published on 24 December, mentioned a meeting that would be held in January, to consider the next steps.

Parish Councillor Nick Batchelor has announced the date and venue of this meeting and sent out the invitations. Nick has said,

“The invitees are:

Representatives from the Parish Council
Residents who have shown interest from the outset and throughout
Representatives from the GVFB
We are hoping for at least one or two residents with experience of ponds and identifying water species, as transplanting some species from the immediate vicinity is the key and main item to be discussed.

Nick stressed that, “We will only be discussing the next steps and not events to date.”

The meeting is to be held on
Tuesday 31st January at 7.30 in the Village Hall.


  1. Welcome and scene set
  2. Confirmation and reprise of WT Recommendations
  3. Update on side-project – clearance works
  4. Next steps – the transplanting
    i.  Extraneous works in addition to transplanting
    ii. Identifying the species to plant
    iii. Identifying the ‘right time’ regards weather and thus, timescale.
    iv. Agreeing the work party
    v. Method statement and approvals
  5. Registering endangered species
  6. AOB

Nick finally commented, “Whilst the meeting is open to the public, participation will be limited to invitees with vested interest/expertise, and on the planned work party, so we can expedite matters.”


Now for something a little different!

A visitor to the website has sent us a puzzle. He has a silver medallion with the word Geddington on it, so naturally sent it to Geddington’s website to see if anyone can identify it.


Actually, it might not be Geddington as only the letters GEDD  are shown, but it’s worth asking the village .

There are two images – front and back (or to be numismatically correct – obverse and reverse) and as you can see, it is not much bigger than a 20p piece. The engraved letters read, from the top:

(it might have another letter in front, but it is worn at that point,

At the bottom, the engraving is: C.U. followed by an assay mark – the middle mark is a Lion, denoting silver, but the other two marks are illegible.

The obverse side shows a copper-coloured shield, surrounded by a belt and buckle, topped with a crown.

It’s been mounted on a key-ring, although it is not known if this was the original idea.

If you have any information, please get in touch with us via our email, which is:, and I’ll pass the information on to our enquirer.


The Woodland Pytchley Hunt

A Hunt is an iconic scene that we see less often these days, but in January the ford was the place to be if you wished to see this once typical countryside scene.

Our thanks to Frank Harding
for all the images and the video.


The Precept

The Facts
The Whole Facts
And Nothing But The Facts

Actually, the ‘Whole Facts’ might be a bit difficult, unless we allow this Post to fill the website with gigabytes of information, so let’s just say, the ‘Basic Facts’.

For many years, Kettering Borough Council gave the Parish a sum of money in the form of a grant. This was for the Parish Council to spend on the general running of the three Parishes – Geddington, Newton and Little Oakley. In 2007, KBC announced that they would stop giving the grant, at that time £10,900, but to help Parishes come to terms with this, the grant amount be reduced over a number of years. The difference would have to be made up by the villages’ rates payers and it would appear on the annual Northamptonshire County Council Tax Demand, that we all receive in March. This, then, is the precept. The amount that each of us rate payers pay, depends on which Rate Band we are in.

As the grant was reduced, so the Parish Council has gradually increased the precept from the original £3000 to £9000 in 2015.

At the January 2017 Parish Council meeting, a proposal to increase the precept from £9000 to £20,000 was made and passed.

This raises two basic questions:
1. Why now?
2. Why this amount?

The simple answer to question one, is ‘Capping’. All tiers of government have a cap on their spending, and the amount they can ask their rate payers. All tiers except Parish Councils: they have no cap.

A Private Members’ Bill to introduce Parish Council capping at 2% was raised in Parliament in 2013, but it failed to get through. However, it is seen by many that it will passed in the near future.

What happens when a cap is in place? If there is not enough money in the Parish Council’s bank accounts, the Parish Council would have to seek funds to pay for any projects that the village would like them to undertake. There are a number of ways to deal with this, amongst them:

  • Grants aids, from businesses etc
  • Borrow the money
  • Ask the villages if they can raise the precept (this would be done via a referendum)
  • Reduce the number of projects
  • Proceed with smaller projects

This brings us to question 2: why this amount?
The Parish Council have used the information passed on to them from the Parish Plan committee, in which there were three projects proposed for the immediate/long term future (to see these read the Minutes on the Parish Council page.) Although there are no costings for these projects in the Minutes, the precept increase would help to increase the Council’s reserves, so that future projects can be successfully completed.

In a Freedom of Information Request, concerning the proposed precept increase, the Parish Council said:

“The current thinking (of the Parish Council) is that we increase the precept from £9000 to £20,000. This will give the Council the funds over time to complete the projects without putting an unnecessary burden on residents to complete the work in one year.”

January’s News from the County Council

The Northampton County Council have produced the following guidelines during the winter weather, with appropriate links

School closures
Schools have in place arrangements to keep parents informed should they need to close due to the weather. Please check the website of your child’s school for further information.

Staying safe
Safety is the priority – to watch our video and find useful links for information and advice on staying safe in winter, visit our Emergency Planning section.

For advice on how to stay healthy during the cold weather, visit the Stay Well This Winter website.

Adult learning
If adult learning courses are disrupted, we will update the adult learning page.

On the road
Take care when driving during wintry conditions. To report a hazard or problem on the roads or highways, use our Street Doctor website.

For information about gritting and grit bins, see the Northamptonshire Highways gritting the county’s roads page.

Keep up to date
You can also check Twitter for updates to our services.

A Call for Actors

Here’s an unusual call for help – for actors who need only read the script! But I won’t give too much away, just read John Padwick’s plea.


 Captain Pouch’s Dream

In 1607 a series of riots led by John Reynolds, known as ‘Captain Pouch,’ exploded across Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire. The cause was the enclosure of land which resulted in many people being evicted from their homes and losing their land and animals. ‘Pouch’ was a charismatic and strange figure who inspired the angry peasants to take things into their own hands by digging up the hedges and throwing down the fences which the new landowners had erected. The riots affected many local villages such as Cotesbach, Haselbech and Withybrook and culminated in a huge battle at Newton in which over 50 people were massacred.

‘Captain Pouch’s Dream’ is a play written by local author Len Holden and is based on the real historical events, which we commemorated by the pageant in Newton in June 2007.  The Cotesbach Educational Trust – based at Cotesbach, Leicestershire, at the junction of the A14/M6/M1, and where another of the riots took place that summer – is hosting these performances.

The play is to be performed as a reading, in that there is no need to learn lines but will be performed reading from the prepared script.

The performance will take place in Cotesbach Stable Yard on

Friday 9th and Saturday 10th June

and hopefully later that month in Geddington or Newton.

Actors both men and women are needed:
you do not have to have wide acting experience,
and enthusiastic amateurs are welcomed.

If you are interested contact for a chat:
John Padwick – Tel: 0758 121 0454/ email:
Len Holden – Tel: 01858 446067/ email:
Sophy Newton – Tel: 07720 761285/ email:

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