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County Elections May 2021

Local Government Reform and what is happening in Northamptonshire.

And will there be elections in the County this year?

Under government proposals laid before Parliament, two new unitary councils are due to be created in Northamptonshire to provide all local government services in the county. Subject to this parliamentary legislation being approved, the new unitary authorities will come into being on 1 April 2021 and Northamptonshire’s current eight councils will cease to exist.

The North Northamptonshire unitary will cover Corby, East Northants, Kettering and Wellingborough, and the West Northamptonshire unitary will cover Daventry District, Northampton and South Northamptonshire.
The existing district and borough councils and Northamptonshire County Council will all be abolished.

Before Parliament was dissolved for the December 2019 General Election, a Structural Changes Order 2019 (SCO) – which sets out how the two new unitary authorities will be formed to replace the existing eight councils on 1 April 2021 – was laid before Parliament.

The Order was considered by the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee and it has now been noted as an ‘instrument of interest’. It will now lay dormant until after the General Election, when it will then be considered by the new Government.

Work on the Future Northants programme will continue at the same pace, working to the go live date of 1 April 2021.

For more information and FAQs, go to asked questions.

In the meantime, will there be local elections on 6th May this year? It seems likely that this is a question that only the results of the Corona virus vaccination programme can answer.

Welcome to 2021

2020 – 2021

Help Us, Help You Campaign

Think NHS 111 First

NHS England and NHS Improvement has launched the next phase of the latest ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign which focuses on the NHS 111 service as a new way to access A&E.

If you have an urgent but not life-threatening medical need, make sure you contact NHS 111 first rather than going straight to A&E. If you do need urgent care, then NHS 111 can now book you in to be seen quickly and safely in A&E. 

As well as this, NHS 111 is also able to direct to or book an appointment at Urgent Treatment Centres, access to Out of Hours GP Services, pharmacies, emergency dental services and walk-in clinics.

Contacting 111 first will also help the NHS to keep you safe by maintaining social distancing and ensure that you receive the right care in the right place, in a more timely and safe way.

If you or your loved one have a life-threatening illness or injury then you should always use 999 and if you do arrive at A&E without contacting NHS 111 you will still receive medical care, with emergency treatments prioritised. 

Just think 111 first.
When you think you need A&E, contact NHS 111 by phone or online at

Further information about NHS 111 First, is available at

Information on this Post came from:

NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group
Corby Enterprise Centre
Priors Hall
Corby NN17 5EU

Francis Crick House
Summerhouse Road
Northampton NN3 6BF

A Carol whose title we wish for our world

Joy to the World

This popular Carol has words written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748) who was an English Christian minister hymn writer, theologian, and logician. He was a prolific and popular hymn writer and is credited with some 750 hymns. He is recognized as the “Godfather of English Hymnody”; many of his hymns remain in use today and have been translated into numerous languages.

Here, at, we wish you a very happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.

Santa’s Mail

Each year thousands of children write letters and cards to Santa who supposedly lives at various fictitious addresses such as Reindeer Land, Snow Land, Santa’s Grotto, North Pole, etc.

In 1963 for the first time the Post Office acknowledged the “existence” of Father Christmas. From this date every child writing to Santa had the chance of receiving a full colour Christmas card and message, thanks to the kindness of the British Post Office.

It is Santa’s policy to try and ensure that every child receives a reply in time for Christmas Day. If this is not possible different design cards are sent out in January.

However, Santa has a wonderful knack of spotting mail from adults. You can be assured that a letter addressed to Father Christmas, care of the Philatelic Bureau will remain unanswered.

Within five years over 50,000 cards were being sent out annually and this had increased to 100,000 by 1971, doubling to over 200,000 by 1982. In 1988, the last year that the total was supplied, 400,000 lucky children received a reply from Santa.

There are also variations in Welsh, cards for letters received too late for a reply and special bulk issue cards to schools. Despite the huge volumes issued these cards are extremely hard to find. I have to assume that the majority are thrown away or recycled each January.

I started writing to Santa a few years back, but as mentioned, he is very good at spotting adult philatelic collectors and for the first two years I received no reply. My sister eventually faked a letter good enough to pass for a child’s and a card duly arrived in 2019. As a sign of the modern age this depicted a sELFie taken by Santa’s little helpers.

Father Christmas does of course now have a proper address, so for anyone who fancies trying to obtain a card, please address your letter to Santa, Santa’s 3 Grotto, Reindeer Land, XM4 5HQ.

Permission for this article to be printed here has been granted by
the Kettering Philatelic Society.

Carols? Yes please

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree !

Sung in German, the lyrics were written in 1824 by the Leipzig organist, teacher and composer, Ernst Anschultz. Here we present the English translation.
A Tannenbaum, mentioned in the original German lyrics, is a fir tree. The custom of the Christmas tree developed in the course of the 19th century – history telling us that Prince Albert’s pleasure in decorating trees made the ritual so popular.

“Christmas, I always look upon as a most dear happy time, also for Albert, who enjoyed it naturally still more in his happy home, which mine, certainly, as a child, was not. It is a pleasure to have this blessed festival associated with one’s happiest days. The very smell of the Christmas Trees of pleasant memories.” Entry from Queen Victoria’s journal on 24 December 1841

A Caroling we will go, but not this year . . .

The Twelve Days of Christmas.

This song has French origins and was published in a children’s book called ‘Mirth without Mischief‘ around 1780. Most people believe it began as a memory game sung at Twelfth Night parties.

The GVFB & the Walk to Westminster Abbey

We’ll be missing the Geddington Volunteer Fire Brigade’s Squirt on this year’s Boxing Day, but there’s no need to miss out on watching the GVFB members doing what they do best – celebrating an event in style!

In 1994 the event took the form of a walk from Lincoln to Westminster Abbey. It took months of planning and just 3 days to complete, but what a three days!

Join them on the walk by watching Fire Brigade member, Vic Crouse’s amazing video. You can see it on our Post entitled “For the Love of Eleanor“. Lots of information to look at as well, but scroll down to the bottom to watch the ‘lads’ have the walk of their lives!

While you’re on that page, look for John Sutton’s poem, typed on green paper, an unusual and rather special take on the Walk.

For the Love of Eleanor – 1994

Following on from the Post of last week – the 30th Anniversary of the Pageant celebrating 700 years since Queen Eleanor lay in St Mary Magdalene – the village celebrated, in some style, the building of the Eleanor Cross 700 years earlier in 1294. Again, it was the enthusiastic Revd Richard Dorrington who took up the challenge and appealed to the village for help and ideas. Support came in buckets and the first thing they did was to form a committee (of course!), with Richard as Chairman and Angie Cooksley as Secretary.

It’s worth noting here, that the images and documents are of a great variety of sizes and legibility. However, by clicking on each one, it will enlarge, and then clicking on the return arrow, should get you back to this post.

Ideas poured in and eventually a programme of events, covering 6 months, from June to December, was produced, including a walk from Lincoln to Westminster Abbey by the GVFB, but more about that later. The beautiful drawing of Queen Eleanor on the programme, was drawn by Gussie Woods, who was inspired by a visit to the Queen’s tomb in Westminster Abbey.

The celebrations took off on 26 June when the Street party was launched.

30 June saw the Geddington Volunter Fire Brigade start their largest adventure to date, and they had plenty of them in those years. Incredibly well organised by the Adjutant, John Hughes, the members set off from Harby with the Queen Eleanor Fire Engine and two support vehicles, stopping at every place that an Eleanor Cross had been built.  A list of all those who took part is included in the video (see bottom of Post) – I can count 30, plus Richard Dorrington in spirit! No better description can be had than that of John’s report in the 1994 summer issue of The Newsletter, which can be seen below. In addition, we’ve added a poem, written by John Sutton, which has a slightly different take on the Walk.

16-17 July saw the annual Flower Festival, whose theme that year was “Scenes from Village History” – a prelude to the pageant to be held in September.
On the 17th July, an organ recital was held in the church by Paul Knappet ARCO, LTCL on a Copeman Hart Electronic Organ. Paul was organist of Kettering Parish Church. Tickets were £2 including coffee.

24 September and the church held a concert of “700 Years of Music” by The Empty Pocket musicians. Tickets for this were £2.50, also including coffee.

21-22 October brought the “The Spirit of Eleanor” pageant to the church, celebrating 700 years of village history. It was brought to life by Geddington residents and local actor, David Neal.

6 December saw the celebrations come to a close with a Commemoration Service in the church with High Mass on the anniversary of the day that Queen Eleanor’s body lay at rest in Geddington on the way to Westminster Abbey.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
But the duties of the 700 Committee weren’t quite finished yet.

PS As a postscript, you may be interested in the following Historic England’s Inspector’s 1981 report on our National Monument, the Eleanor Cross.

All that remains for me to finish this Post, is to present to you the video of the GVFB Walk from Lincoln to Westminster Abbey. As is commonly said these days – ENJOY – the walkers obviously did!

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