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Archive: a collection of records of a place
Action: the process of doing something

 In July, we asked if we could borrow, scan, photo or otherwise copy, any photographs, documents or artefacts that would represent Geddington’s history over the centuries.

Our aim is to create an online archive of our village.

We have divided all the wonderful material we’ve received into categories and for our second weekly article, the category is:


MAY DAY. The origin of the May Day festival was the celebration of the return of spring, probably originating in ancient agricultural rituals. It eventually became the custom to gather wildflowers and green branches, the setting up of a decorated May tree, or Maypole, around which people danced, and to crown a May queen and king.

Many parts of this custom are celebrated today by Geddington School. It is not clear when the school took on the custom, but it has been doing so for over 130 years. Some of the 1950s photos show the extent of the floral decoration which took place, including horses and carts.

The 21st century custom starts with schoolchildren bringing bunches of flowers to the school and, in recent years, dressed in Victorian costume, taking them around the village and giving them to people of pensionable age. (As I’m one of those on the receiving end, I’m not about to say ‘old people’!).  Each group then sings the May Day Song to the recipient.

The Eleanor Cross is the natural gathering point for the afternoon’s event and, after a church service, the school parade down to the Cross, where parents and visitors are gathered. The May Queen has a Consort these days and several attendants, the number of which has varied over time. All look perfectly sweet in their especially made matching costumes, whatever their age. The crowning of the May Queen has always been performed by a lady and has included the Duchess of Buccleuch, the Mayoress of Kettering Borough Council, a number of school teachers, and ladies from the village.

The Maypole is the central figure in the afternoon’s proceedings and dancing around it either results in a beautiful plaited pattern of ribbons or a tangled cat’s cradle, depending on how much rehearsing has been done beforehand.


If you have any information, documents or pictures relating to the May Day custom in Geddington, please get in touch as we would like to have a record of each year’s May Day.

The Exhibition on Saturday 1st November is not the end of our Archive Project, most definitely not, it is just the start of what we hope will be an ongoing project over the next few years, that grows and grows as more material, and more research, bring fascinating facts to light.


Geddington Brickyard Garden – update

 GEDDINGTONGBG watering can bird only




GBG Launch Day,
which was planned for
Sunday 21st September,

has been POSTPONED until Spring 2015,
due to recent work at the site.

GBG volunteers will be continuing to work towards creating
our community garden over Autumn and Winter.

If interested to support or help us, please contact by emailing

or find us on Facebook to follow progress.

GBG watering can



Archive: a collection of records of a place
Action: the process of doing something

In July, we asked if we could borrow, scan, photo or otherwise copy, any photographs, documents or artefacts that would represent Geddington’s history over the centuries.

Our aim: to create an online archive of our village.

We have been amazed with your response and we have many people to thank for all the material that we have received so far. In fact we have enough material to have a very interesting Archive Exhibition, which is taking place on Saturday 1st November in the Village Hall. We will be starting our time line from the Domesday Book, working forward to 2014, so plenty of scope!

We have divided the material into categories and, as a means of catching your attention, we will be putting a weekly article here to show the sort of thing that you will see at the Exhibition.

Our first article will come from the category of:

41 Queen Street 2014

41 Queen Street 2014

41 (and 43) Queen Street,
also known as Apple Tree Cottage.

The build date is not known exactly, but could be around 1837 and it was thought to have been built by Boughton Estates (this is to be confirmed, see our comment in the last paragraph concerning research!). What is known is:

  1. 30 June 1933 the land, comprising 2 roods and 7 perches and all the 4 cottages, 1,2 3 and 4 Queen Street, erected on that land, shown on the plan in pink, was sold to Edmund John Pycraft for £500. The conveyance was made by John Charles Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry KT, Lord George Scott and Lord William Scott, and Boughton Estates Ltd. (The 1901 census shows Edmund living in this cottage with his father, mother and two sisters, Florence & Ivy. Edmund was 10 years old at that time. In 1911, their neighbours were a family by the name of Raby.)
  2. On 12th October 1934, Edmund Pycraft took out a mortgage from the Nottingham Imperial Order of Oddfellows Friendly Society. The Trustees’ names on the Conveyance Deed are Alfred Salsbury, Factory Manager of the Derby Lace Company and George Reeder, a Colliery Deputy. The amount borrowed was £250, for a period of 10 years and was paid off by 15 July 1944.
  3. 12th August 1968 Edmund Pycraft died and the property was granted to his sister, Florence Lily Freeman of Weldon, by Letters of Administration as Emund Pycraft had died intestate. By now the numbers had been changed to 41, 43, 45 and 47 Queen Street.
  4. 2nd January 1969 the property was conveyed to John Albert Francis Ambery and Margaret Jean Ambery of Long Barn Geddington by Florence Freeman and in the document, she was called the Donor.
  5. 27th August 1969, the two cottages numbered 41 and 42, (the crosshatch shown on the plan) were sold by Mr Ambery to William David Wolstenholme of 9 Grafton Road Geddington for £1750.
  6. 20th February 1980, 41 and 43 now being one household, was sold to Michael Ian Spencer and Helen Christine Spencer for £35,000.
  7. 1998 the property was sold to Kristi Marshall (now Nicholls, née Dennis), formally of 9 Grafton Road, and who is the current owner and occupier.

NB During the war years, an Anderson shelter was built in the garden and is there to this day. In 13 May 1975 an extension was built on the back of the property and in 1983 planning permission was given for change of use to a retail shop, which many will remember as The Pot Shop and run by Helen Spencer.

If you have any documents relating to your executive home/house/cottage/hovel, whatever its age, please get in touch as, eventually, we hope to have interesting facts on many of the homes in every street of the village.

The Exhibition is not the end of our Archive Project, most definitely not, it is just the start of what we hope will be an on-going project over the next few years, that grows and grows as more material, and more research, bring fascinating facts to light. will unveil its Archive area on November 1st.

The GVFB Trundle

How could we forget this event with advertising like this ?

Holy Trundle

If you can’t read the small print, click on the poster for full size.


A New Clerk for the Parish Council

Anita Curtis

Geddington, Newton & Little Oakley Parish Council
welcomes a new Clerk to the Council.
Anita Curtis takes up her place in the Council Chamber for the first time on Monday 8th September at 7.30pm.

Anita kindly responded to a request from for some personal details and gave us her reasons for taking on this very responsible job.

I have lived in Geddington with my husband Clive since 1984.  My children, Adam and Adele, attended several of the village organisations including the Playgroup, Geddington Primary School, Beavers, Cubs & Scouts and the Youth Club.  I was involved in helping with some of the village activities whilst the children were young, but unfortunately, as often seems to happen, a return to full time work then took priority and although I continued to take an interest in what was happening in the village, and supported a lot of its many activities, I was not involved in giving ‘hands on’ support to them.  Although I still work full time, I now have more time to spare and I was pleased to be given the opportunity to give something back to the village, by supporting the Parish Council. 

For the last 16 years I have worked in local government in a variety of posts.  These include within an Audit department, Customer Services, Housing, Neighbourhood Management and Children & Young People Complaints.

Hobbies and interests include reading, walking, gardening, swimming, gym and I really want to start cycling more, but just can’t fit it in!

I hope that both living in and taking a strong interest in the village, as well as working within local government for several years and having a lot of different job experiences, will help me to help the Parish Council to continue to improve how it delivers its democratic functions.”






Geddington Brickyard Garden

The Geddington Brickyard Garden

– a new community garden project for Geddington

In the summer issue of The Newsletter, the quarterly village magazine, a new community project was announced – that of creating a garden, in what was once a brickmaking area.


Whilst the 19th century brickmaking industry has long gone, there is a chance that a type of ‘bricklet’ may well be made in the near future.


Lynette Litman, organiser and project leader, has given an update on the progress of the garden.

  • “The Geddington Brickyard Garden (GBG) received a Certificate of Incorporation as a Community Interest Company (CIC) on 4th July.
  • We now have a core volunteer team of Geddington residents, who are willing to undertake the initial hard work of clearing the site and preparing for the GBG Launch Day on Sunday 21st September.
  • Lynette & Ian getting 'dug in'

    Lynette & Ian getting dug in

  • GBG has organised Weekend Work mornings at the site through August (Sat/Sun 10am-12noon). We always welcome more help. Please note that access to the site is currently limited to those authorised by GBG and, due to the potential hazards at the site, there are GBG Volunteer Rule & Guidelines, which need to be read and understood. Our work is currently well away from the derelict barns.
  • Priority work at the site involves clearing the reading circle area (see map), surface debris, making a woodland trail, building deadwood screen hedges along the boundary with Clay Dick . . . and more.”

Proposed layout of garden

GBG now has a Facebook page. Please visit to keep in touch with our progress.


We have made our first experimental Geddington ‘bricklets’ from clay dug up at the site in preparation for our “Come & Make a Brick Launch Day” – possibly the first ‘bricklets’ made from Geddington clay for over 100 years! Very exciting  . . .”



Our email address is for any new volunteers wishing to be involved in our GBG project or kept up to date with GBG progress.

Lynette Litman

A4300 Safer Roads Team Traffic Survey

The Northamptonshire Police

Safer Roads Team


The Safer Roads Team has given permission to publish the results of a traffic survey that it carried out in June.

This was an automatic survey done by a fixed recorder to the lamppost outside the White Lion entrance off the A4300, for a period of 10 days. It recorded the number of vehicles and their speeds.

To see the breakdown of the Report, click on the link below.

Traffic Survey Report for A4300

PSL stands for Permitted Speed Limit.  85% of the 96,657 vehicles recorded, were travelling at or below this speed.

Please note the maximum speed of one or more vehicles was at 86mph.

If you have any queries concerning this report, either contact the Department at the top of the Survey Report, or your local councillors.




Lights Out 10pm -11pm 4th August



LIGHTS OUT is part of 14-18 NOW WWI Centenary Art Commissions, which is a major cultural programme taking place this summer across the United Kingdom to mark the centenary of the First World War.


The large-scale event, 100 years after Britain declared war on Germany on 4th August 1914, is aiming to echo the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey’s famous epitaph:

The lamps are going out all over Europe:

we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”


“It will be a national shared moment of reflection.”

The Lights Out Team,

Lights out v2

Parish Council Co-options

Geddington, Newton & Little Oakley Parish Council


In the July meeting of the Parish Council, it was confirmed that two new Parish Councillors had been co-opted onto the Council.


They are:

Nick Batchelor of West Street


David Rushton of Wood Street.


Each Councillor has kindly supplied a brief introduction for and these are set out below.


Nick 2Nick Batchelor

I moved to the village with my wife, Jana and our children (plus rabbit and two chickens!), in March of this year, after many visits and getting to know the village history and, of course, some of the very friendly people. We moved from Reading to be nearer family members and to compliment a new role within my company.  Jana and I are both interested in history, property and the great outdoors, so there’s no better place to be, in our book!


I am a devoted family man, with a strong belief in mutual respect and community values. It’s been great for myself and Jana to feel so welcomed, particularly at St Mary Magdalene’s Church, where our 2-year old son, Jake, is happy to participate noisily on Sunday mornings!


After graduating in Law at university, I have worked in various senior management roles with operational, financial and business development responsibilities and have recently gained a postgraduate qualification in Business & Leadership. I hope to bring some of this experience to use on the Parish Council, being unrestrained by any political persuasion.


Geddington is a  unique village with a great church, fine school, numerous clubs and things to do and overall bonded by a strong community spirit. I feel honoured to be allowed to contribute to preserving the historical and cultural spirit of the village, as well a representing the common interests of all its residents, new and old.


David Rushton 2David Rushton

Over the past few years, I have developed a keen interest in politics at all levels. I decided to step forward and join the Students’ Union at Tresham College.


The Students’ Union Executive Team consisted of a few dozen trustworthy students that had a passion to better the college.


Each executive team member had special duties including:

Building links with other colleges

Interviewing staff (including the new Principle)

Attending Board of Studies meetings and

Promoting student voice (helping students raise issues about the college)

An example of the latter was where I managed to restore IrnBru back in the cafeteria the day after it had come to my attention that this popular drink was off the shelves.


My efforts throughout the years were recognised and I was invited to an annual awards evening to receive a certificate demonstrating my hard work by making the collage a better place.


Using these skills I learnt from the Union, I believe that I can help make a difference in Geddington and the surrounding villages, by dealing with local issues that impact on people’s lives, ranging from phone signals, potholes, dog mess and anything else that occurs in the meantime.


The Parish Council has now got a full complement of members and the village is fortunate in having a Council with such diverse experience and skills.

Sue Spooner – A fond farewell

33 years at one school is an impressive record


1981 was the year that Sue Spooner took up the post of Deputy Head Teacher at Geddington Primary School, six years later she was promoted to Head Teacher – and she has been there ever since.


Sue has seen many changes in that time – the size of the school buildings, the content of the classrooms and the numbers of pupils, being just three of the most obvious ones.


But it’s now time to hang up the ‘mortar-board’ and put away the ‘blackboard’ for the very last time, as today, Wednesday 23 July 2014, is the day that the school says farewell to a well-loved teacher, who is off for a well-earned retirement.


Actually, ‘retirement’ is quite the wrong word. Sue was keen to stress that: “I am gaining access to freedom.  I’m going to carve out a new life and start by moving to somewhere large and busy.”


Sue continued by saying, “It’s been a wonderful place to work and a delight to work in this community.  I’ve had support from so many people and wish to thank them all.  To my successor, I can only say that I hope he is able to carry on the good work started by my teaching staff and colleagues.”


Sue Spooner

Sue Spooner

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