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Gardening Tips for February

Spring is well under way,

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Jane Clarke visits Kettering Library

Dr Kitty author, Jane E. Clarke, will be visiting Kettering Library to read a selection of animal stories for under 5s, to help celebrate National Storytelling Week.

Friday 1st February, 2.30 – 3pm


Could you be a Voluntary School Reader?


Can you spare an hour or two a week to listen to children read in a local primary school?  Schoolreaders is looking for more volunteers in Northamptonshire to carry out this important role.

Reading time for many children at home and at school is often insufficient and one in four children are now leaving primary school unable to read to the required standard. This can have a lifelong consequence.  No qualifications are necessary, just a good command of spoken and written English.

Schoolreaders is flexible and will match your availability to an appropriate, local school.  Our volunteers find the scheme incredibly rewarding, knowing that a few hours helping a child learn to read each week can have such a great impact on their life chances.

Please visit the website to join or
call 01234 924111 for further information.

Charity Number: 1159157


Community Awarded to Geddington’s Brickyard Garden

The directors of Geddington Brickyard Garden have sent news of a well deserved award.



“It’s with great delight that we let you know that Geddington Brickyard Garden (GBG) was awarded Joint 1st by CPRE (Northants) with their new Community Award 2018 and received a bright, shiny new plaque that we’ve placed with pride on our entrance gate post.”

“CPRE (Northants) is our regional group of the ‘Campaign To Protect Rural England’ whose aim states: ‘We work to protect the beauty, diversity and tranquility of the Northamptonshire countryside. We care deeply about the future of rural landscapes and townscapes in our county and the quality of life for the people who live there.’

Although a huge surprise, GBG want to acknowledge that this award is solely due to the help and support that we receive from our parish community, in all respect. So many folk have helped to transform this former ‘derelict space’ (in 2014) into the welcoming green space that it now is. And who knows how our community garden will continue to evolve with new ideas and fresh energy?

HUGE thanks to you all from the GBG founding directors, Brenda, Ian and Lynette.”

PS (from the editor) The GB Garden displayed the first snow of the season today, 17 January, with the snow caught on the overnight frost.  It arrived at approximately 7.15am, and only lasted 3-4 minutes, but enough to be noticed, especially if you had to scrape a car windscreen early this morning!

Volunteer Carers Wanted

Adam Wilson, Volunteer Co-ordinator of the Northamptonshire Carers Sitting Service, has sent this request for volunteers. The Service is based at Northamptonshire Carers, 123 Midlands Road, Wellingborougfh NN8 1LU, but to reply to Adam’s request, use his contact details at the bottom of this post.

Volunteers needed to give carers a break

  • Do you have a few hours to spare?
  • Would you like to help a worthwhile cause?
  • Use your skills and experience to help carers take a break

What’s involved?

  • The Carers Sitting Service provides support by giving a break to those who have a caring responsibility for a husband, wife, partner, parent, relative or friend.
  • Sitting sessions take the form of befriending and involve meeting the same person in their own home. As a volunteer befriender you would be visiting someone in your local area. Volunteers do not give personal care or cook meals, undertake cleaning or do shopping.
  • No qualifications are needed, we will provide induction training and on-going support. However, it is important that you are understanding, patient, non-judgmental, a good listener and open-minded.
  • You could use your spare time to help someone else, or gain experience while you search for paid employment. You could also gain a reference to use when you apply for jobs.
  • All volunteers have an informal interview, will need to complete an application form and provide two references. If you are successful we will request a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check, which we will pay for.
  • Travel expenses will be paid for any visits you make.

Interested? To find out more:

Call Adam Wilson on 01933 677837 or email him at

Gardening Tips for January

Although the garden seems dormant, new life is already stirring . . .

Christmas Tree Festival Report

Margaret Leaton and Vic Crouse wish to thank everyone who came along to support the Christmas Tree Festival held on the 8th and 9th December at the Church of St Mary Magdalene. We are very pleased to report that with your generosity, a grand sum of approximately £2000 was raised and this will be added to the funds for the upkeep of our church. That is a superb result and puts the topping on a brilliant week-end especially as we do not have any major sponsorships for this event.

Every club, society and individual who entered a tree is to be congratulated for providing a wonderful display with such a wide variety of themes and decorations, many of which were painstakingly hand made.  As a result, we wanted you to know that there has been a great deal of generous, complimentary and encouraging feedback for which we are most grateful. It was absolutely wonderful to see the church full to bursting with people most of the time.

Geddington Christmas Tree Festival

The Festival is one of the main fund raising events for the church and we hope that we can continue the tradition again next year. Anyone is free to take part and decorate a tree and it is important to have adequate numbers so that we can fill our beautiful church and put on a good show.

Huge thanks are also extended to the many volunteers who undertake a variety of tasks throughout the week-end including the non-stop catering, especially Jane Rowley and her team for the Sunday stint.

Thanks also to Jane Rowley for producing the Nativity Pantomime on the Friday evening – it was Fab-u-lous!!

Next year we will be welcoming our new vicar and we can look forward to new ideas and possible changes affecting our church events. However, we are sure that many of our traditions will continue and the more support that we have from all of you, the better and more enjoyable the events become.

A massive thanks to everyone and meantime, we hope you all had a lovely Christmas and wish you a very happy New Year.

Vic sent this report just prior to Christmas, so we apologise for the delay in publishing, but I’m sure the message of thanks will still be well received, and well deserved – Ed.

The Parish Council, Anglian Water & Pollution has received the following, seasonal, message from the Parish Council
– it’s well worth the read!

Geddington Parish Council is working in partnership with Anglian Water to remind residents that we all need to play our part to help look after our loos, sinks and the environment.

Around 80 per cent of blockages in sewer pipes and pumps are avoidable, as they are caused by fats, oils, grease and unflushable items like wipes, which may also contain hidden plastics.

Four out of five sewer floodings in homes, and pollution incidents, are caused by a blockage, so it’s in all of our interests to minimise the risk by putting unflushable items in the bin and only flushing the 3Ps – pee, poo and (toilet) paper.

Wipes, sanitary waste, fats, oil and grease all build up over time and cause blocked pumps – as well as pipes – stopping water flowing freely. At Christmas, there is also an additional risk from extra cooking with people tempted to pour used cooking oil down the sink instead of waiting until it is cool and recycling it or binning it.

Over the coming months, the Parish Council will be working more closely with Anglian Water on how we can all play a part to bin waste appropriately, help safeguard our pumps and the role they play in protecting the environment from potential flooding and pollution.

Here in Geddington, residents are reminded that if a downstairs toilet won’t flush properly, or if they suspect any pollution issues, please contact the Anglian Water 24-hour helpline on 03457 145145 – lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, calls free from BT landline.

Anglian Water suggest that to enhance information gathering, a note is made of time, date, visual record and weather conditions in the following way:

What have you seen?
Can you describe it?
Is it flowing?
How big is it?
When did you notice it?
Where is it?
Is it near a landmark?
Is it near or in a watercourse?
What are the weather conditions?

Report from Geddington, Newton & Little Oakley Parish Council

The Parish Council & Anglian Water

The River Ise and the (sewage) Pumping Station have been a source of concern for some years as raw sewage had been seen in the River, particularly after heavy rain.

The Parish Council have been in discussions with Anglian Water who then made a visit.  At a recent Parish Council meeting, a report had been received from Anglian Water with its findings, and its proposals to deal with the problems it found.

Commitments made at the Parish Council meeting and the written response to the Parish Council following the meeting.

  • The main sewer to the Pumping Station and the wet well clean will be carried out every 6 months. It was confirmed the wet well clean would change to six monthly. The sewer has been on a 12 monthly clean for sometime.
  • The pumping station will be checked every two months to include testing of the equipment on site, as well as inspection and removal of debris and non flushables from the pumps and non return valves. This has been set up for 2 monthly visits (dovetails in with the wet well clean, ie if no debris found, wet well clean will not be necessary). Planned visits were completed on 7th September 2018 and 26th October 2018. Forthcoming checks have an internal level of service of within 1 month of the planned date to allow for efficient scheduling of resources.

Photos of visit on 26th October 2018 below:

Both non returnable valves  were cleaned and both pumps inspected. Pictures show evidence of wipes and unflushables which should not be in the system.

(AW note: Share with Council and discuss awareness.)

On a planned service basis, the visits are currently based on the type of asset, for example a small wet well submersible may be used on a 3 yearly basis and for others yearly. In this case it was a yearly frequency.This has changed recently to predictive/condition-based service, so there is no fixed frequency.

  • The alarm code has been set to the highest priority to enable a quicker response. (AW note: Completed)

We have also reviewed the alarm code index and the pumping station appears to be working well, with a single alarm in July.

The other Pumping station in Geddington is GEOCSP Orchard Close. AW responded to a high alarm call in October and as part of their review, changed the two pumps in this pumping station.

Anglian Water Pollution Watch
– Spot it, Report it, Stop it.

If you see any sewage in the river then take the following steps:

Report to Anglian Water immediately on 03457 145145. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, calls free from BT landline.

The most obvious sign of sewage pollution of a stream or river is the presence of sewage solids in the water, but there may be other indications. These include toilet debris such as wipes and sanitary products, soap suds of a milky-looking discharge in the water, grey coloured water (see images above) and/or a noticeable sewage smell in the air.

Anglian Water suggest that to enhance information gathering, a note is made of time, date, visual record and weather conditions in the following way:

What have you seen?
Can you describe it?
Is it flowing?
How big is it?
When did you notice it?
Where is it?
Is it near a landmark?
Is it near or in a watercourse?
What are the weather conditions?

What Anglian Water will do:

Take immediate action.
Inform the Environment Agency if there is any risk of environmental impact.
If Anglian Water is responsible, we will stop the discharge as soon as we can, clean up any affected area of watercourse or land and investigate the causes of the discharge to prevent re-occurrence.

The Newsletter lives on!

A personal view of The Newsletter’s AGM
by Pam Hopkins

There were 18 people at The Newsletter’s AGM on Thursday 29 November, which included 13 members of the public and 5 committee members. At the end of the meeting there were 9 ‘public’ and 9 committee members.

So The Newsletter continues, much to the relief of many residents who value the quarterly magazine, including myself, a former editor (1994 – 2012).

The magazine has always provided an insight into a 20th and 21st century English village. It includes, amongst so many subjects: local clubs and pub news, comments from the four political layers, advertising by local tradesmen, village charities, historical articles, religious comments, sporting achievements, the school’s progress and massive amounts of information of what’s happening, or going to happen, or has happened, in the village’s social calendar.

The new committee consists of:

Chair: Jane Tysoe
Secretary: Joy Wilson
Treasurer: Sylvia Pitts
Distribution: Brenda McCraith
Advertising: Lynette Litman
Submissions Co-ordinator: Paul Johnson
Layout Editor: Charlotte Mackay
Members: Sandie Allott, Terry Teale

Contact information for individual members will be available in the next issue – publication mid-February – in the meantime, The Newsletter’s email address is:

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