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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.”

Too much on our plate!

Boughton House is looking for staff for their tearoom. Here are the details.

We require a:
Seasonal Tearoom Assistant to join the catering staff for the following dates:
11th, 12th & 13th April and 1st – 31st August.

– Do you enjoy welcoming and serving customers?
– Can you demonstrate a love of food and an eye for detail?
– Would you be happy to assist in both the preparation and service of food?
– Are you a good team player?

The position requires you to be flexible, hard-working and able to multi-task.
If this sounds like you and you are passionate about delivering the highest standard of customer service, then we want to hear from you.
Apply now: Send a copy of your CV and covering letter to Lisa Brack, Operations Manager,

Meet the Commissioners

Spring Clean 2020

KBC Local Plan Consultation

A consultation evening of two hours, from 5-7pm, was held on 14 January in the Village Hall. The ‘Local Plan’ was set out, not on large paper screens to easily see what we should have been looking at, but in several 1/2″ thick manuals, covering the whole Borough. The pages concerning Geddington covered 7 pages. Three KBC staff were on hand to answer questions.

The Post that was put on this site last week didn’t make it very clear how to reach these pages online, so we have brought them to this Post for ease of reading. Whilst Grafton Road, Grange Road and Kettering Road are heavily featured and will be affected directly, there is no doubt that the centre and south of the village will also be heavily affected. Do please spare some time to look at the pages featured here. But if you want to go online, here is the link:
Any comments you may wish to make, have to be received by KBC by 5.30pm on Wednesday 12 February 2020.

Rural Area General policies

Click on each image to enlarge where necessary.

KBC & Civil Parking

Emails received today from Kettering Borough Council, alert us to the change in enforcement of parking regulations. If you haven’t received these emails, then here they are.

Click on these two images to enlarge.

The Squirt 2019

Never too late to see an
up-to-date take on a
village tradition.

Many thanks to Grant Lester for his drone-view video of the Battle between the Geddington Volunter Fire Brigade and Kettering Fire & Rescue Service on 26 December 2019.

And well done Geddington, for this result!
Although I thought it was usually the best out of three? Just asking.

Geddington Amazing Millennium Experience

1999, and the year 2000 could have been just another year in our lives. Except it wasn’t. Concerns were being raised worldwide that the computer industry would not be able to cope with the change from 1999 to 2000. Y2K was the shorthand term for “the year 2000”. It referred to a widespread computer programming shortcut that was expected to cause extensive havoc as the year changed from 1999 to 2000. Instead of allowing four digits for the year, many computer programs only allowed two digits (e.g. 99 instead of 1999). As a result, there was immense panic that computers would be unable to operate when the date descended from “99” to “00”. Would it all come crashing down?

Well, it obviously didn’t. But this was not achieved without a great deal of work done by major companies, who decided to resolve the problems by upgrading their systems and business processes. The smaller businesses were pressurised to do the same so that the supply chain was not interrupted. Needless to say there was an enormous increase in sales of new hard and software in the last years of the 1990s.

Was Geddington worried? Well, not that you would have noticed, instead they decided to celebrate the new New Year, and new century, with a massive party. (At this stage it’s probably best to mention the view that some people had, that the new century actually started on 1 January 2001. The same view holds that the new decade starts, not on 31.12.2019, but 31.12.2020. The argument? That Anno Domini began with year one, not year zero.)

One person had had the foresight to book the Village Hall for Friday 31st December 1999. Then he had the generosity to hand the booking over for a village event which was then organised and which eventually became known as the Geddington Amazing Millennium Experience.

After public meetings in 1998 and 1999, a committee was formed (of course!). The Minutes of the first meeting, 26 February 1999, showed the newly formed committee officers as: Chairman Lloyd Marlow, treasurer Pam Dennis (now Hopkins) and secretary Jane Rowley. Other members were: Kay Marlow, Joy Tingle, John Hughes, Paul Hopkins and Kristi Marshall. During the year, other committee members included Hartley Plumb, Paul Richardson, Richard Paragreen, Nicola O’Brian, Mr & Mrs Chew, Jane Tysoe, Jackie & Gordon Binley and David Featherstone. In addition there were many other residents who gave their help in a huge variety of ways. Over the following months the general layout and programme were set out, and supplies ordered.

By August, the main details of the party had been pretty well finalised. So what were they? First of all the layout: there were 3 connected marquees set up in the Village Hall car park, with a covered scaffold which led to the Hall’s entrance. Inside the Hall was a Disco, a huge TV with a connection to the BBC and the Big Ben countdown, a play area for children with ‘goodie’ bags for each child, balloons and a net (to be released at midnight). In the marquees: 400 chairs and 26 x 5′ x 2.6″ tables had been allocated spaces, one blower heater, rolls of white polystyrene sheeting to line the marquees (kept the heating in a treat!), red cord carpet, paper tablecloths, a quiz, thousands of fairy lights and dozens of extension cables. Outside there was Herries fencing stretching from the changing rooms to the brick wall and across to the VH entrance, this in order to secure the site (there were 3 volunteers on site for security detail, for the 3 nights up to 31 December), there was event insurance and a skip for later use! And finally, fireworks of course! Over £2000 worth. Viewing for guests was done from the Tennis Courts, although many non-paying residents could see them from the bridge, well, why not, it was that sort of night!

The very rough layout below shows how the guests could access the marquees and Village Hall. The public entrance lead into the 1st marquee (tent 1), which was attached to the 2nd marquee (tent 2), which was attached at right angles to the 3rd marquee (Scouts), and then guests could walk through a covered scaffolding into the Village Hall. Due to the very tightness of space, tables 15, 16 and 17 (shown on the Table Plan) couldn’t be set up until the guests at all the other tables were seated! To put it succinctly once in, it was extremely difficult to move around, or get out. Just as well everyone had brought their own food and drink. (Click on each image to enlarge.)

It was never meant to be a fund-raising event, but such were the skills, the enthusiasm, the generosity of so many people and businesses, plus the euphoria of this special night, that over £600 was left after expenses. This was divided between The Newsletter, the St Magdalene Church, the Samuel Lee Charity, Age Concern (local branch), Mums & Tots, but the largest proportion went to the Village Hall, who had offered it free of charge! A letter of thanks and a commemorative badge (do you still have yours?) were sent to a list of people, organisations and businesses who willingly gave their help to one of the biggest parties this village has seen in living memory.
The list included:
Mr & Mrs Chew, Geddington Parish Council, Village Hall Committee, Stryder Publishing, Lynsey, Glen Armer, Rob Bye, Andrew Plumb, Philip & Paul Sant, Leonara, Burwells, John Wilkinson, John Cole, Pete Rowney, Kettering Scouts, Geddington Scouts, G.A.M.E., G.S.S., G.V.F.B., Sealed Air and Steve Crane.

I started off this post with the words: “1999, and the year 2000 could have been just another year in our lives. Except it wasn’t.” Well it certainly wasn’t. It’s difficult to describe the enormous importance that this date meant to people at that time. Not only was it not just another year, not only not just another century, but this date put the world, as we know it, into another Millennium. There aren’t that many people alive today who will see in another century, let alone another Millennium! Just saying.

KBC Local Plan Consultation

On 18 December, Kettering Borough Council published its ‘Site Specific Part 2 Local Plan’ for the Borough.

Your specific attention is drawn to the section for ‘Rural Area / Geddington’, which will affect those living on Grafton Road, Queen Street, Kettering Road and Grange Road in particular, and to the village in general.

Follow the link below for the details:

On reaching this site, click on: 

Read and comment on document

Then: Rural Area General Policies
Then: scroll down to Geddington

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A consultation evening is to be held on
Tuesday 14 January 2020
in the Village Hall
from 5pm – 7pm

The consultation period is from
18 December 2019 to 12 February 2020.

Thank you to the Parish Council,
and to Councillor Peter Goode,
who has brought this to the village’s attention.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Up And Coming

Whilst we are all doing our preparations ready for Christmas, we thought it might be an idea to remind ourselves of two traditional events happening post-Christmas.

Fire engines primed and ready to go!

First, is the GVFB’s Annual Squirt.

This has been running for at least 25 years. And for those not in the know, it is a friendly, but very wet, contest between Kettering Fire & Rescue Service and Geddington Volunteer Fire Brigade. Their water hoses are used to get an empty barrel across the River Ise to their opponent’s side. Onlookers can use the 12th century bridge to watch proceedings and, if the wind is in the right direction (or wrong, depending on your point of view!) you can get thoroughly drenched by the spray. So waterproofs definitely recommended. Starts approximately at 12 noon at the Eleanor Cross, then moves down to the ford.

Next up is the 12th Night Mask Supper.

How long has 12th night been celebrated in Geddington? Who knows? But I remember going to one in the Village Hall in the early 1990s. Perhaps the village’s celebrations of this date started after the Village Hall was built in the 1930s. Again, who knows? And if you do, please let me know.

The full details are in this beautiful poster.

FINALLY, we wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas, from the team

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