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Helmdon News

You are Invited to Poetry & A Slice Of Pie On Saturday 01 April - posted 26 February 2017

Join The Church Lent Courses Beginning 04 March - posted 25 February 2017

Important Message To Parents On Message Board  Re Dangerous Tree Branch - posted 24 February 2017

New Film Club Programme For The Next Six Months - posted 24 February 2017

Urgent Police Appeal For Help This Afternoon In Road Clearing Effort - posted 23 February 2017

Talk On Dream Gardens At Sulgrave On Monday 06 March - posted 23 February 2017

Don't Forget The Breakfast Pancakes - This Saturday 25 February - posted 22 February 2017

Players And Enthusiasts Of All Kinds Wanted For the Cricket Season - posted 21 February 2017

Towcester Relief Road Public Meeting Announced - posted 20 February 2017

Thank You Rex Jessett - posted 19 February 2017

Final Hurdle Approaches for Town's Replacement For Cottage Hospital (press cutting) - posted 18 February 2017

Acorns Food For Thought Quiz On Saturday 11 March - posted 17 February 2017

Talk On Anaethesia At The Women's Club Today Wednesday 15 February - posted 16 February 2017

New Pilates Class Begins Wednesday 22 February - posted 15 February 2017

New Messages On Message Board - posted 15 February 2017

February Family Service On Sunday 19th - posted 14 February 2017

Comedy/Romance Bread & Tulips Is The Film For Friday 17 February -  posted 13 February 2017

Pancake Breakfasts On Saturday 25 February: Get Your Tickets Now - posted 12 February 2017

Evenley Wood Visit On 22 February - posted 11 February 2017

New Medical Facility In Brackley? - posted 10 February 2017

Bridge Players' AGM & Summer Play Auditions On Tuesday 07 March - posted 10 February 2017

Women's Club February News - posted 09 February 2017

St Patrick's Day Celebration On Saturday 18 March: Limited Ticket Availability - posted 08 February 2017

Save The Horton - posted 07 February 2017

Are You Losing Out On An Excellent Lunch? Sign Up For The Next On Tuesday 21 February - posted 06 February 2017

Not Finding What You Want On The Village Website? - Help Is Here - posted 05 February 2017

Delving Into Helmdon's History: Helmdon Wills 1603-1760 (historical article no:3) - posted 03 February 2017

Car Boot Sale At Lois Weedon On Saturday 04 February - posted 02 February 2017

Check Out The Dates In The February Village Diary -  posted 01 February 2017

Minutes Of The Parish Council Meeting Held On 25 January 2017 -  posted 31 January 2017

WEA Membership Survey -  posted 31 January 2017

Holiday Photography At The WI On Wednesday 08 February -  posted 30 January 2017

(Helmdon) Competition Winner Hungry To Learn (press cutting) - posted 29 January 2017

Book For Gardening Club Visit To Evenley Wood -  posted 28 January 2017

SPLAT Holiday Activities For Half-Term - posted 26 January 2017

A Car Boot Sale To Look Forward To On Saturday 04 February - posted 26 January 2017

Amazon Spoof Emails - posted 25 January 2017

Thriller Eye In The Sky Is Film For Friday 27 January -  posted 24 January 2017

Are You A Winner? January 200 Club Draw Results - posted 23 January 2017

Don't Forget the Fellowship Coffee Morning This Coming Wednesday 25 January: All Welcome - posted 22 January 2017

Road Investment For South Northants - posted 21 January 2017

Helpers Needed For Rainbows - posted 20 January 2017

Agenda For The Parish Council Meeting To Be Held On 25.01.17 - posted 19 January 2017

Threats to The Horton Hospital: Brackley Public Meeting On Monday 30 January - posted 19 January 2017

Staff Vacancy Acorns - posted 18 January 2017

Fellowship Coffee Morning on Wednesday 25 January: All Welcome - posted 18 January 2017

Successional Planting At The Gardening Club On Thursday 19 January - posted 17 January 2017

Wednesday 18 January: Revd. Carole Peters Will Talk At Women's Club About Her Career - posted 16 January 2017

Gospel Choir At Syresham Next Saturday 21 January - posted 15 January 2017

Please Collect Your Used Stamps For Cancer Research UK - posted 14 January 2017

Starts Tuesday 17 January From Les Miserables To The Belle Epoque, The WEA (Adult Education) Spring Course - posted 12 January 2017

Delving Into Helmdon's History: Cross Lane Reminiscences Article No: 49 -  posted 12 January 2017

Agenda For Meeting Of Parish Council Finance Committee To Be Held On 16.01.17 -  posted 10 January 2017

Acorns Pre-School September Reservations -  posted 10 January 2017

Christmas Tree Recycling - posted 09 January 2017

WI Programme For 2017 -  posted 08 January 2017

M&S Or Sainsbury's Will Take Your Old Christmas Cards - posted 07 January 2017

'Monte Carlo Or Bust' At WI On Wednesday 11 January - posted 07 January 2017

Be Alert! Message Re Church Street Car Break-in - posted 06 January 2017

Help Needed For The Brackley Dippers - posted 06 January 2017

Minutes Of The Reading Room General Management Committee Held On 13/12/16 -  posted 05 January 2017

Energy Advice Essentials From The Citizens Advice Bureau - posted 04 January 2017

Check Out The New 2017 Village Diary:  Have you Any Dates To Add? -  posted 03 January 2017

The Comedy Dean Spanley With Peter O'Toole Is Film For Friday 06 January -  posted 02 January 2017

Happy New Year ... Now Get Fit For Free In January - posted 01 January 2017

MU Programme For 2017 Published - posted 31 December 2016

Silverstone Plans Set To Supercharge South Northants Economy - posted 29 December 2016

Don't Forget The Waste Collection Arrangements For The Holidays - posted 28 December 2016

Christmas Eve Services: All Welcome - posted 23 December 2016

'Tuesday Lunches' Serve Up A Very Enjoyable Christmas Meal - posted 22 December 2016

Boxing Day Brackley Morris Men - posted 21 December 2016

Rotary Young Musician Competition - posted 20 December 2016

Are You A Winner? December 200 Club Draw Results - posted 19 December 2016

From Les Miserables To The Belle Epoque: Title Of WEA Spring Course - posted 18 December 2016

Christmas Volunteers Still Wanted - posted 17 December 2016

Christmas Arrangements For The Village Cafe & Post Office - posted 16 December 2016

New Messages On The Messageboard - posted 15 December 2016

This Coming Weekend: Candlelit Service & Messy Christingle - posted 15 December 2016

Gardening Club Tomorrow: Talk  On Madeira Garden of the Atlantic To Go With The Mulled Wine & Mince Pies - posted 14 December 2016

Christmas Drink Drive Campaign - posted 14 December 2016

Still Available In The Village: Christmas Trees, Wreaths & Mistletoe - posted 13 December 2016

Women's Club Party Tomorrow 14 December - posted 13 December 2016

Bridge Players' Christmas Panto Report & Photos - posted 12 December 2016

Christmas Novelties Knitted Once Again For The Katherine House Hospice - posted 12 December 2016

Course Members Were "entertained and informed"  At The WEA Course The History Behind The Musicals - posted 11 December 2016

Minutes of The Parish Council Meeting Held On 23.11.16 - posted 10 December 2016

Gardening Club Programme For 2017 - posted 10 December 2016

Nativity In The Barn Tomorrow 10 December: All Welcome - posted 09 December 2016

Carol Singing Round Village For The Children's Society On Monday 12 December: Singers & Collectors Urgently Required - posted 08 December 2016

Helmdon's Favourite Carols: Your Choice - posted 08 December 2016

The Bell Christmas Opening Times - posted 07 December 2016

Acorns Staff Vacancy - posted 06 December 2016

Put Out Bins In Time This Christmas - posted 06 December 2016

Excellent Results For The Quiz And Christmas Bazaar - posted 05 December 2016

Hurry! Tickets For Dick Whittington Selling Fast: Thursday & Saturday Evening Sold Out - posted 05 December 2016

The Reading Room General Management Committee Meeting Is On Tuesday 13 December - posted 04 December 2016

An Extra Recycling Bin Is Not Just For Christmas - posted 03 December 2016

Just  Time To Choose Your Favourite Carols For Sunday 04 December - posted 02 December 2016

Christmas Trees For Sale In The Village From Today - posted 01 December 2016

Check Up On Dates In The December Village Diary - posted 01 December 2016

Father Christmas Will Be At The Christmas Bazaar On Saturday 03 December - posted 30 November 2016

Christmas Shopping Evening At The School On Thursday 01 December - posted 29 November 2016

Are You A Winner? November 200 Club Draw Results - posted 28 November 2016

Take Advantage Of The School Christmas  Shopping Evening And The Church Bazaar This Week To Get Toys/Gifts For Bulgarian Children - posted 27 November 2016

WEA Spring Walks Programme Published - posted 25 November 2016

County Connect Buses: Use Them Or Lose Them - posted 24 November 2016

Stay Safe This Black Friday - posted 23 November 2016

Nativity In The Barn: Saturday 10 December - posted 22 November 2016

Hurry To Get Your Tickets: The Saturday Pantomime Performance Is Sold Out - posted 21 November 2016

The School Christmas Shopping Evening Is On Thursday 01 December - posted 20 November 2016

Give The Gift Of Christmas - posted 19 November 2016

Christmas Shopping Event Saturday 26 November - posted 18 November 2016

Agenda For Parish Council Meeting To Be Held On 23.11.16 - posted 17 November 2016

Posted 25 February 2017
School Report

Helmdon Primary School has maintained its position as an Ofsted-rated good school according to a report published on 24 February 2017.

Schools in England can be judged "outstanding", "good", "requires improvement", or "inadequate".

The Ofsted Inspector's Report which is addressed to the Headteacher, Julie Crouch, says "The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. You and your staff have ensured that Helmdon continues to be a very happy school where everyone gets along together and the pupils work hard. Parents value the school highly and every one of the 66 parents who responded to the Ofsted questionnaire indicated that they would recommend the school to other parents. The pupils I met were utterly delightful; polite, welcoming and keen to tell me about all the things they love about their school."

The school is a real asset to the community and it is wonderful to hear that it is doing so well. Well done to all staff, pupils and parents!

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Posted 22 February 2017
A Date For Your Diary

Helmdon Parish Council is organising a Community Litter Pick on Sunday 12 March 2017, and everyone's welcome!

South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) will provide bags and litter pickers and will collect all the rubbish from the school car park on the Monday.

Thankfully Helmdon is not a bad village for litter - but it's surprising how much there is lurking in hedgerows and roadsides.

The event kicks off at 2:30 p.m. at Helmdon Primary School, and refreshments will be provided for litter pickers in return for a bag of rubbish!

Many hands make light work, so please get into the community spirit and help out. It will be a lot of fun and will make a big difference!

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Posted 19 February 2017
Keep It Going!


The people of South Northamptonshire are leading the way in recycling, with January 2017 setting new records for the amount of blue bin and food bin waste collected.

The recycling rate is just over 60 per cent so far for 2016/17 compared to a national average of 43%. In 2015/16 SNC was 12th out of 351 recycling authorities in the UK with a 59 per cent recycling rate, so it looks like South Northants is on track to climb even higher up the league tables this year!

If anyone in Helmdon needs a second blue bin to recycle even more then please contact South Northants Council on 01327 322344 and get an extra bin for a one-off cost of just £30.

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Posted 12 February 2017
What Is Going On Up Grange Lane?

There may be some disruption this week as works continue in Grange Lane, Helmdon. The activity is all to do with reducing the likelihood of flooding in the centre of the village.

There is a very large water catchment area in the fields above Helmdon, and when it rains the surface water funnels down to a point just beyond the Grange Lane tunnel. The idea of the works is to prevent the water from coming down Grange Lane and through the village, and instead divert it into the brook and away from houses.

The works include tree removal, ditching, clearing of culverts and the construction of a bituminous bund (a bit like a sleeping policeman) to encourage surface water to go in the right direction.

Grange Lane is due to be closed entirely on Thursday 16 February 2017 and there may be other minor disruption at other times whilst the works are ongoing.

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Posted 09 February 2017
Demystifying Home Computing

Almost every household in Helmdon has a computer and access to the Internet, but using a computer effectively is still a daunting or confusing task for some people.

Through the Village Networks project, funded by The Big Lottery, snvb (South Northants. Volunteer Bureau) is able to offer a limited number of free 1-2 hour sessions of basic computer training in your own home.

The sessions can help you with using word processing (letters, invitations, greetings cards, etc.), sending, receiving and managing emails, online shopping, using a webcam (Skype), and much, much more.

So if you need help – or you know someone locally who might need help – phone Nick King at the Towcester Volunteer Centre on 01327 358264 and grab the opportunity!

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Posted 04 February 2017
Parish Council Puts On Less Than Two Pounds

Helmdon Parish Council has set a precept of £17,074 for 2017/18.

The council’s budgeted expenditure for 2017/18 is £24,724. The difference will be made up from income from grants for specific projects and earned income, e.g. allotment rents.

The parish council provides ongoing services such as street lighting and grass cutting but is also working on a number of projects, including the installation of a Speed Indicator Device (SID), repairs to the war memorial, flood protection measures and the provision of extra bins for dog waste.

The precept is collected through the council tax and is equivalent to £42.87 per Band D property per year. This year's increase is less than two pounds (£1.84) per property per year.

To find out who the councillors are and to follow all the council’s activities please visit the parish council pages on the web site.

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Posted 31 January 2017
Grave Matters

A project to refresh and update the list of memorial inscriptions in the village has been completed.

Every headstone in the churchyard at St Mary Magdalene, Helmdon has been recorded and the information put online.

The old part of the churchyard was first recorded in 1997/98 but now this work has been updated to include all the burials in the past twenty years. A new plan has been made of the churchyard to show the location of the headstones.

The project has been a labour of love and has taken many, many hours of painstaking work, both in looking at old headstones and in going through the archive records matching names and dates. It is now a wonderful local history and genealogical resource.

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Posted 26 January 2017
Extra Money To Be Poured Into Potholes

The Department for Transport has found an extra £1 million from the Pothole Action Fund to be spent in South Northamptonshire.

It sounds like a lot of money but it won't go far, and certainly won't mean that all the roads in South Northamptonshire are repaired.

Do you know of a pothole in South Northamptonshire that really needs attention? Report it via Street Doctor.

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Posted 21 January 2017
What's On The Agenda?

The next meeting of Helmdon Parish Council takes place on Wednesday 25 January 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Reading Room.

The January meeting is the one where the budget is agreed and the precept is set for the following financial year.

Members of the public are welcome to attend and to have a say in the open forum part of the meeting.

To see the full agenda click here.

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Posted 18 January 2017
Consultation On Local Hospital Services

Image from http://www.banburyguardian.co.uk/news/health/a-e-overload-at-banbury-s-horton-hospital-1-7735838
Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched a consultation on the future of Oxfordshire's healthcare services, which includes the Horton hospital.

The consultation is part of the Oxfordshire Transformation Programme and will look specifically at critical care services at the Horton.

Meanwhile the Keep the Horton General campaign group is organising petitions and marches to protest against any proposed cuts and a Save Our Horton Facebook page has been set up where members of the public can find out about the latest activities.

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Posted 14 January 2017
It's Bin A While

There seems to have been more confusion than usual this year regarding the Christmas tree recycling arrangements, with several trees left out for collection on 6 January and again on 13 January.

There were no green bin collections over Christmas, although blue bin and food caddy waste was collected as normal on 6 January.

The first green bin collection of 2017 is this coming Friday, 20 January 2017 and real Christmas trees (without decorations) can be chopped up and left inside or beside the green bins for recycling.

The recycling calendar for the year was sent by SNC to every household and the collection arrangements were posted twice on the web site in the run up to Christmas and again on Monday last. We do try our best to keep you informed!

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Posted 10 January 2017
Verging On The Rediculous

At this time of year the road verges are very soft. It's not warm enough to dry them out or cold enough to freeze them solid. Consequently any vehicle driving over them will cause damage.

The images above were taken on the Falcutt road between the church and the Welsh Lane. This area seems particularly badly affected.

Cars mounting the verges is bad enough, but vans, lorries and agricultural machinery can cause a lot of damage. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but often damage can be avoided by vehicles waiting in a passing place for oncoming vehicles to pass without having to go on the verge.

Light damage does recover remarkably well in the spring, but deep ruts such as the ones shown above will not repair, so it just gets worse over time.

The message is simple: Please keep off the grass!

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Posted 08 January 2017
Flying The Flag For Helmdon

Have you thought of getting involved in something new and different for 2017. Perhaps doing something community minded?

Helmdon Parish Council is looking at the possibility of having a flag pole for the village and is searching for a small team of volunteer Flag Masters.

According to the Department for Culture and Media and Sport, there are 17 occasions in the year when the Union Flag is flown for formal occasions. It can also be flown at half mast to mark events such as the death of a monarch.

The parish council will likely purchase a range of flags to mark different occasions, and there may even be an opportunity to design a very special Helmdon flag.

Being first or reserve Flag Master is not intended to be an onerous job. You will look after the flags and flag pole and will operate according to a policy that has been agreed by the parish council. It is an opportunity to do something very visual for the village and maybe even bring a smile to peoples' faces (who remembers the birthday flags at Leedon Tye?!).

If you are interested in being Helmdon's first official Flag Master, or you would just like more details, please contact the Clerk to Helmdon Parish Council, Helen du Bois, by e-mail at parishcouncil@helmdon.com.

The council will be discussing the project at its next meeting on 25 January 2017.

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Posted 05 January 2017
Be First For Wellbeing

Have you made a raft of New Year's resolutions? Are you determined that 2017 will be the year that you really make a difference to your health and fitness?

From stopping smoking or cutting down on alcohol, First for Wellbeing can help.

At this time of year lots of us think about getting healthier and making a few changes to our lifestyles. First for Wellbeing offers a wide range of support to help improve your wellbeing, including quitting smoking, losing weight, drinking less alcohol, managing anxiety and stress and much more.

Get 2017 off to a great start by visiting the First for Wellbeing website and filling in their free online assessment.

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Posted 02 January 2017
Happy New Year!

Image from Google Street View https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.0877918,-1.1415498,3a,75y,25.55h,81.12t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s4JJDShEAM4gY8T87zWAUcg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
Happy New Year to Helmdonites past and present. Out with 2016 and in with 2017 and all that she may bring!

It's going to be a dynamite year in politics, with the inauguration on 20 January 2017 of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, and the likely triggering of Article 50 by the end of March 2017.

It's another big milestone too for HM The Queen, who on 6 February 2017 celebrates the 65th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

For sports fans it's going to be another massive year. The 2017 Lions Tour kicks off on 3 June 2017 with a warm up match ahead of the 1st Test on 24 June. And for cricket lovers the majority of next Christmas will be spent watching the 2017-18 Ashes Series, with the 1st Test starting on 23 November at The Gabba, and the 4th Test starting on Boxing Day at the MCG.

In local politics the Reading Room will be your polling station once again when Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) holds all-out elections on 4 May 2017.

Who knows what 2017 has in store for us, but what better place to live through it than in Helmdon!

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Posted 27 December 2016
How Safe Is Bricks n' Mortar in Helmdon?

Image from Google Street View https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.0877918,-1.1415498,3a,75y,25.55h,81.12t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s4JJDShEAM4gY8T87zWAUcg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
House values in Helmdon increased 4.51% in 2016 according to property web site Zoopla.

There were thirteen house sales in the year and the average price paid was £341,996. The current "average" home in Helmdon (all properties) will set you back £487,764.

Estimated house values in a village like Helmdon are always to be taken with a pinch of salt because of the variety of stock, from multi-million pound grand mansions, to terraced cottages for a much more "modest" £250k. In fact, terraced houses in the village increased in value relatively more than detached houses over the past twelve months (11.39% v 3.69%).

The houses that are sold most frequently are on Bell Close, where nearly 60% of houses have been sold at some point in the past five years. The average figure for Helmdon is just under 20%.

With its primary school that performs in the top 10% of schools in the country and its central location in the heart of England with excellent road links, Helmdon continues to be a "very desirable and sought-after village", as the estate agents would say!

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Posted 24 December 2016

Here's wishing everyone a very merry Christmas. The web site team hopes you have a warm and safe Christmas with plenty of festive cheer to keep you going.

Have you seen the Advent Windows? You can see all the windows on the online Advent Calendar. We hope you have enjoyed seeing the windows, whether on your travels around the village or on the web site, and well done to all the window makers who put on a really splendid show this year!

Merry Christmas Helmdon!

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