Latest News

Consultation into Local Government begins

The consultation by the Secretary of State (SoS) over plans to restructure local government in Northamptonshire has begun.

The Government consultation has launched the following proposals submitted by the county, district and borough councils back in August 2018.

SoS James Brokenshire has announced that he will consult with all principal councils in Northamptonshire, principal councils neighbouring Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, the Northamptonshire Police & Crime Commissioner, local health bodies, the University of Northampton and representatives of the voluntary sector. He also welcomes views from any interested people, including local residents and organisations.

The consultation period will run for eight weeks until 25 January 2019 and is available online.

Mr Brokenshire has also announced that following a request from the eight Northamptonshire councils, he will be postponing district and parish elections that were due to be held in May 2019 until May 2020. Should he decide to implement the proposal of two unitary authorities, it would have meant district and parish councillors serving only one year before unitary authority elections would be held in 2020. He explains:

Elections in such circumstances risk confusing voters and would involve significant costs that would be hard to justify. Accordingly, I have concluded that irrespective of whatever my future decision might be on the restructuring proposal, the right course is to postpone these elections.”

Friends of the Church – Mystery Murder result!

On behalf of the Friends Committee, I am pleased to report that a sum of over £950 was raised at our recent Murder Mystery evening held in the church. Thank you to all those who came along to enjoy the evening and support the event.

Everyone’s contributions to our fundraising efforts, such as achieved at this fun evening, are greatly appreciated and those funds will continue to be used in many ways for the upkeep of our beautiful church. For example, we will be donating a major contribution to the restoration of the ancient reredos screen. This is a fine example of where your generous contributions will be spent and more details of the project will be publicised in due course.

Meantime, the next major event on our agenda will be our Twelfth Night gathering on Saturday, 12th January 2019. There will be a theme based around Wassailing, a traditional seasonal festivity together with music and some light entertainment. We will be providing a three course meal and there will be a bar for wines, beers and soft drinks. So, meantime, please save the date and look out for posters and flyers around the village (as well as the 12th January 2019 Diary page on this site).

We look forward to seeing you all for a festive evening.

Vic Crouse
Secretary

The Samuel Lee Charity – Geddington’s own

The Samuel Lee Charity

A community fund for the Parish of Geddington & Newton.

It has been 10 years since the first Memorial Lunch was held to commemorate the Tercentenary of Samuel Lee’s death in 1708. Postponed from March this year due to inclement weather, 2018 saw the Lunch held on 28 October. A fitting time as it was the first anniversary of John Sutton’s death, John being the driving force behind so much of the Charity’s increase in its financial health and standing in the community. With a reception, a three-course meal followed by tea or coffee, two speakers this year, followed by an auction and a raffle, it’s always a very pleasant social event and, of course, the main fund-raiser for the Charity.

In complete contrast, the Christmas distribution is a tradition that has been held each year since the Charity was first created in 1717. The content of the distribution has changed significantly over the centuries, not least of which was the basic need for food in the 18th and 19th centuries for the poor of the village. These days, the distribution is a reflection of the instruction that Samuel Lee stated in his Will and while the ‘need’ is no longer there, we are grateful to the 50 or so people who help to keep this 300 year-old tradition alive. If you, or someone you know, is over 75, and would like to be part of this tradition, please get in touch with me or any Trustee. The 2018 distribution will take place on Saturday 22 December from 10am.

And finally, the Trustees would like to remind everybody in Geddington and Newton that they are always willing to consider applications for financial help, by grant or by loan, from residents who find themselves in difficulties or for student needs.

This year, the Charity has revised the Grant Application form – the last one was devised by Mick Alloway, chairman until 1992 – so revision was seriously needed. Guidance Notes have also been issued to comply with current regulations. Contact any of the Trustees or the secretary if you would like one. And please, be assured that any request is kept entirely confidential and the Trustees do not engage in means testing

As John Sutton said many times: “The Charity’s resources are not great, but a little help can make all the difference at a critical moment. If you think we could help you, or if you know someone who might need our help, please contact the secretary, on 742292 or speak to one of the other Trustees listed below.”

Trustees:
Nick Batchelor, 1 West Street (chairman)
Claire Buckseall, 7 Chase View Road
Jim Harker, Lyons Yard, Wood Street
Paul Hopkins, 9 Grafton Road (treasurer)
Rachel Newall, 21 New Road
Tony Slough, 2 Chase Farm
Keeley Tate, 42 Skeffington Close

Pam Hopkins Secretary, 9 Grafton Road, Geddington, tel: 742292, email: pamhopkins747@btinternet.com

Neighbourhood Alert

Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Watch have sent the following message on behalf of Northamptonshire Police:

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Police officers in Northamptonshire are issuing a warning to people across the county about a recent spate of handbag and purse thefts.

The incidents have taken place in Northampton, Kettering and Corby and have happened mostly in supermarkets with the criminals mainly targeting elderly women.

Paul Golley, Crime Prevention Team Leader, said: “It takes a real low-life to follow elderly people around a supermarket, waiting for the right moment to steal their handbag or purse.

Unfortunately these people do exist and they often use distraction techniques to get what they want. This can involve bumping into victims, something that causes them to be flustered and unaware someone has stolen from them. Or it can involve working in pairs, with one person distracting the victim while the other steals from them.

It’s worth making sure you read the tips below in order to best prevent yourself from becoming a victim and making sure any elderly people in your life are aware of these tips as well.

  • Beware of pickpockets.
  • Attach a bell to your handbag so you can hear if it is moved.
  • Never hang your handbag on pushchairs or shopping trolleys.
  • Keep your bag firmly closed and on your person at all times.
  • Wear shoulder bags with the flap against your body.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Only keep items in your bag that you need for that occasion.
  • Remember thieves can use cards to make contactless purchases.
  • Do not store your pin number in your handbag or purse.
  • If your purse is stolen, report the loss of your cards immediately to the card issuers.
  • Protect your pin when withdrawing cash from an ATM.
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Autumn – a season of colour and variety

The weather earlier this year – wet in winter and cold in spring – has lead to a huge variety of strong autumnal colours, both in the countryside and in our gardens. I believe the colours are more intense this year.

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I post a few images here to show this. If you have any you would like to share, we’d be delighted to see and post them.

Most of the fruit and berries are/were food for the birds – still some on the plants.

Then there were the mammals. We had a number of interesting visitors, some came briefly, others are regulars, but not all were welcome.

Can’t claim the Red Kite actually visits my garden, but he’s been flying over it ever since he fledged in July.

And finally, three of the cream of the village buildings in November weather conditions.

By the way, the holly berries at the top of this post are on the holly bush in the churchyard. When I took this image, I found something rather surprising.  If you walk up the path past the church towards Church Hill, you will see the bush and berries, which cover this side of the bush, but if you go to the rear of the bush, where it faces north, there are none! If you know why this is, please email me with an answer. Thanks, Pam

A village remembers the Armistice centenary and all those who serve

 

 

 

 

The Remembrance Service was held at St Mary Magdalene yesterday to remember all those who have served, died, were wounded or still serve.

The sun shone, the bells were rung and many families took part in the commemoration

The focus was on building peace and the role of the next generation.

 

Poppy wreaths were laid at the war memorial and children from the village laid a spray of poppies next to individually named crosses of those from the village who gave their lives in the Great War .

A two minute silence was observed.

 

Following the service the bellringers took part in the nationwide peal of bells.

In Flanders Fields…..Harold Walpole

Harold Edgar WALPOLE

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Picture of Harold Walpole

Harold Walpole

Rank: Able Seaman
Service No: R/6329
Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve – Anson Battalion, R.N. Divison
Date of Death: 11/11/1918 – Mons, Belgium. Died of wounds in 148th (RN) Field Ambulance, aged 19
Cemetery: Nouvelles Communal Cemetery, France – Grave: On the East side.
Memorial Inscription: ‘The Lord bless him and keep him and give him peace.’
War Office Information: Son of Henry Francis and Mary Ann Walpole, of 26, Wood St., Geddington, Northants.

Personal Information

Harry Walpole was the youngest of  Henry Francis & Mary Ann Walpole (nee Moore)’s children and with four older brothers he had plenty of male role models to follow. He was born on 19th July 1899, in Geddington and baptised in St Mary Magdalene on 27th August 1899. He later became a bellringer there and a member of the church choir like so many of his friends.

All five Walpole sons, the largest number from any family in Geddington, served during the war, but only Harry is listed as an Able Seaman. He enlisted on 11th September 1917 and was wounded twice and returned to the theatre of war for the third time on 2nd October 1918.

Francis William                4th East Surrey             Private                  07/09/14 – 02/10/14

Charles Henry                 1st Northants                Sergeant                30/11/14 – 24/02/19

John Wilfred                    4th Middlesex               Corporal                08/12/15 – 30/04/19

Samuel Jackson              Machine Gun Corps       Corporal               23/01/17 – 22/04/19

Harold Edgar                Anson Batt RNVR          Able Seaman           13/09/17 – 11/11/18

In his book ‘Geddington at War’ Melvyn Hopkins explains ‘At the outbreak of war in 1914 there was a vast surplus of naval reservists. To use this surplus the Royal Naval Division came into being with battalions named after famous admirals of the past – Anson being one of them. Then, in 1916 the RND went to the Western Front, the battalion names being retained, as were the naval ranks and customs. All ranks wore khaki.’

November 1918 saw the signing of the Armistice; the church bells were rung and most workers were given a holiday. A service of thanksgiving was held in the church. However, in the first week of December Harry’s parents received the news from the Admiralty that he had died on 11th November 1918, a day after being wounded.  It must have been devastating news and 26 Wood Street must have been a home of very mixed emotions at that time.

Harry is buried in the cemetery at Nouvelles, near Mons. There are just 8 named graves there.

1901 Census: 13, Wood Street, Geddington
Henry F Walpole (father); Aged 34; bricklayer’s labourer; b. Geddington
Mary A Walpole (mother); Aged 41; b. Geddington
Amy C Walpole (sister); Aged 13; b. Geddington
Francis W Walpole (brother); Aged 11; b. Geddington
John W Walpole (brother); Aged 9; b. Geddington
Samuel J Walpole (brother); Aged 7; b. Geddington
Charles H Walpole (brother); Aged 5; b. Geddington
Harold E Walpole; Aged 1; b. Geddington

1911 Census: Wood Street, Geddington
Henry Walpole (father); Aged 44; bricklayer – married 24 years
Mary Ann Walpole (mother); Aged 51 – 6 children, all living
Francis Walpole (brother); Aged 21; bricklayers labourer
Jackson Walpole (brother); Aged 19; general labourer
Charles Walpole (brother); Aged 15; assistant porter & gardener
Harold Walpole; Aged 11

Military: Entered 11/9/17; Draft for BEF 5/4/18, joined Anson Bn. 8/4/18-22/5/18 wounded, returned to duty 23/5/18-25/8/18 GSW right leg, rejoined Anson Bn. 2/10/18-10/11/18 wounded.

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The website team wish to acknowledge the invaluable resources from ‘Geddington at War’ by Melvyn Hopkins and ‘Geddington as it was’ by Monica Rayne. Other source material has been taken from public records, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission and local newspaper reports.

We hope all the information is accurate. Please let us know if you find any errors.

In recognising the men named on the war memorial we also want to remember those others from the 170 men from the village who saw it as their duty to fight for a freedom they valued. They could not have known at what cost it would come.

To paraphrase Harry’s inscription:

The Lord bless them and keep them and give them peace

In Flanders Fields……William White

Today’s post takes a small liberty with the conventional alphabetical order of the names of the fallen. We hope you will understand the poignancy of this decision when you read tomorrow’s final tribute to the men of the village.

 

William Turner WHITE

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Amara War Cemetery

Amara War Cemetery, Mesopotamia

Rank: Private
Service No: 20172
Regiment/Service: Norfolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion
Date of Death: 26/02/1917, Died of wounds, aged 37
Cemetery: Amara War Cemetery, Mesopotamia (Iraq) – Grave: XXIX. B. 57/66.

Personal Information

William was born in Geddington to his mother Mary Elizabeth White and was christened in the church on 24th April 1880. He lived with his grandparents as he was growing up but, by 1911, he lived as a boarder with the Patrick family on Wood Street.

William married Lilian Annie Elliot in 1915, to whom his effects of £2.7s 10d were sent after his death. With a further £3 in 1919.

William enlisted on 8th June 1916. His death in Mesopotamia, now modern day Iraq, and listed as the ‘Asiatic Theatre’, just over 6 months later, shows how far from home he had travelled in the service of his country. His grave, one of 4,000, lies in the cemetery on the banks of the Tigris some 520 miles from the sea.

Like his comrades, he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Census 1881: Queen Street, Geddington
Joseph White (grandfather), Aged 48, agricultural labourer, b. Geddington
Mary E White (mother), Aged 20, b. Geddington
Frederic J White (uncle), Aged 9, b. Geddington
Amy Reb. White (aunt), Aged 7, b. Geddington
Charles Hubert White (uncle), Aged 3, b. Geddington
William T White, Aged 1, b. Geddington.

Census 1891: Malting Lane, Geddington
Joseph White (grandfather), Aged 58; agricultural labourer
Rebecca White (grandmother), Aged 52; c. Caldecoat, Rutland
Frederic J White (uncle); Aged 19; labourer carter
Charles H White (uncle); Aged 13; agricultural labourer
William T White; Aged 11

Census 1901: Malting Lane, Geddington
Joseph White (grandfather); Aged 68; on Parish Relief
Rebecca White (grandmother); Aged 62
Frederick White (uncle); Aged 29; labourer on a Farm
Charles White (uncle); Aged 22; ironstone labourer
William White; Aged 21; leather dresser

Census 1911: Wood Street, Geddington (boarder)
William Turner White; Aged 31, ironstone labourer

In Flanders Fields….. Frederick Townley

Frederick TOWNLEY

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Picture of Frederick Townley

Frederick Townley

Rank: Private
Service No: G/25267
Regiment/Service: The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) – 1st Battalion
Date of Death: 14/04/1918 – Killed in action, aged 19
Memorial: Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium – Panel 1 and 2.
War Office Information: Son of Ruth Townley, of Wood Street, Geddington, Kettering, Northants, and the late Samuel Lee Townley.

Personal Information

Frederick was born in late  1898 in Geddington, the younger of Samuel and Ruth’s sons. He was baptised at St Mary Magdalene on New Year’s Day 1899.

From an early age the evidence would suggest that Frederick was full of life and not one to be constrained by rules. His name appears (amongst many others of his friends) several times in the school punishment book for being ‘idle and disorderly’ and for ‘stonethrowing at playtime’. The headteacher ‘Tuggy’ Wilkins could not have known then what a brave and honourable boy he had in his school.

At the end of his school days he worked in the offices of the ‘Kettering Leader’ and ‘Telegraph’.

He was not eligible to enlist because he was too young, but that did not deter Frederick who went to enlist at the Kettering station on 18 Oct 1915 to the Royal Field Artillery.  Three weeks later on 9th November 1915 he was discharged when his true age came to light. When he rejoined it was to the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment.

His military record shows that ‘death was assumed’ on 14th April 1918, but his parents did not know he was missing until the end of May 1918. He has no known grave, but is remembered at Ploegsteert. He was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War medal posthumously.

1901 Census: Wood Road [sic], Geddington
Samuel Townley (father); Aged 37; carpenter; b. Geddington
Ruth Townley (mother); Aged 37; b. Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire
Charles Townley; Aged 6; b. Geddington
Mabel (Isobel)Townley (sister); Aged 5; b. Geddington
Frederick Townley (brother); Aged 2; b. Geddington
Dinah Townley (grandmother); Aged 83; b. Geddington

1911 Census: Wood Street, Geddington
Sidney Townley (father); Aged 47; estate carpenter – married 17 years
Ruth Townley (mother); Aged 47 – 3 children (all living)
Charles Townley; Aged 16; farm labourer
Isobel Townley (sister); Aged 15
Fred Townley (brother); Aged 12

In Flanders Fields….Charles Townley

Charles TOWNLEY

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Picture of Charles Townley

Charles Townley

Rank: Driver
Service No: 234526
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery – 210th Brigade – H.Q.
Date of Death: 09/11/1918 – Died of pneumonia following wounds, aged 24
Cemetery: Geddington (St. Mary Magdalene) Churchyard – Grave: North of church Ref: C70
Memorial Inscription: 234526 Driver CHARLES TOWNLEY, Royal Field Artillery, 9th November 1918 aged 24.
‘He fought the fight, The victory won, And entered into rest.’
War Office Information: Son of Samuel and Ruth Townley, of Wood Street, Geddington.

Personal Information

Charles died just before the Armistice was agreed, having been sent home to England following wounds received in the ‘great advance’. He died in York Military Hospital. For his parents Samuel Lee and Ruth Townley (nee Mace) it was the second loss in the year as Charles’ brother Frederick had died in April 1918

His father Samuel Lee Townley, was a carpenter and worked on the Boughton Estate. He was  born in 1864 in Geddington and died 1921 as the memorial to his two sons was being erected.

Siblings: Isabel (Mabel) Townley 1896-1943
Frederick (see his entry)

Charles was born in 1894 in Geddington and was baptised there on 24 June 1894. He later became a member of the church choir and was the third one from that choir to give his life for his country. The choir at the time was so good that people would walk from Kettering on a Sunday evening just to hear the singing. In her book ‘Geddington as it was’ Monica Rayne describes Bill Hopkins’ recollection of Charlie, ‘his old mate’ :

‘He used to sing the Magnificat solo and when Charlie got up (to sing) you could hear a pin drop’

1901 Census: Wood Road [sic], Geddington
Samuel Townley (father); Aged 37; carpenter; b. Geddington
Ruth Townley (mother); Aged 37; b. Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire
Charles Townley; Aged 6; b. Geddington
Mabel (Isobel)Townley (sister); Aged 5; b. Geddington
Frederick Townley (brother); Aged 2; b. Geddington
Dinah Townley (grandmother); Aged 83; b. Geddington

1911 Census: Wood Street, Geddington
Sidney Townley (father); Aged 47; estate carpenter – married 17 years
Ruth Townley (mother); Aged 47 – 3 children (all living)
Charles Townley; Aged 16; farm labourer
Isobel Townley (sister); Aged 15
Fred Townley (brother); Aged 12

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