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Helmdon News

June Gardening Club Visit To Two Lovely Gardens: Book Now - posted 28 April 2017

Lois Weedon & Weston May Day Fair - posted 27 April 2017

Alert! Van Broken Into Tonight - posted 26 April 2017

The Bell Thursday Special Is Back! - posted 26 April 2017

Banking Services At Our Post Office - posted 25 April 2017

Three Bicycles Discarded In School Grounds - posted 24 April 2017

Are You A Winner? April 200 Club Draw Results - posted 24 April 2017

Draft Agenda For Reading Room AGM - posted 23 April 2017

Summer Evening Walks Return - posted 22 April 2017

Charity Quiz At Syresham On Friday 28 April - posted 21 April 2017

Book Now! Trip To Spalding - Springfields Retail Outlet, Garden Centre & Gardens On Wednesday 03 May - posted 20 April 2017

The Pimlico Light Railway Starts Running On Sunday 23rd April: Chidlren Especially Welcome - posted 19 April 2017

Gardening Club Meets On Thursday 20th April - posted 18 April 2017

Private Visit To Historic Mapledurham House & Watermill On Monday 12 June - Sorry sold out - posted 17 April 2017

Police Contact Nos. - posted 16 April 2017

News Of This Year's Flower & Produce Show - posted 15 April 2017

Reminder: Tomorrow Is Blackpits Compost Shovel Day - posted 14 April 2017

Cafe Easter Raffle Raises Excellent Sum - posted 14 April 2017

STOP PRESS: £2m In Gold Bars Found In Kuwait Invasion Tank (local press cutting) - posted 13 April 2017

Gold Bullion Found In Iraki Tank In Helmdon (Mail Online posting) - posted 13 April 2017

Spring Coffee Morning 26 April: All Welcome - posted 13 April 2017

The Bell Opening Times - posted 12 April 2017

Talk On Beatrix Potter At WI Tomorrow 12 April - posted 11 April 2017

Blackpits Compost Shovel Day - posted 10 April 2017

Interesting Outings On The Fellowship Summer Programme - posted 10 April 2017

A Mel Gibson Easter Film This Tuesday 11 April - posted 09 April 2017

New Messages On Message Board - posted 08 April 2017

Some Places Left On WEA Niorthamptonshire Forum Summer Programme - posted 08 April 2017

Easter Bin Collection - posted 07 April 2017

Church Services In Holy Week - posted 06 April 2017

Scope House To House Collection - posted 05 April 2017

Cricket Club Meeting Thursday 06 April: Players, Volunteers & Enthusiasts Wanted for Summer Season - posted 05 April 2017

South Northants Challenges Hospital Consultation - posted 04 April 2017

Minutes Of The Parish Council Meeting Held On 22.03.17 - posted 04 April 2017

Easter Treasure Hunt - posted 03 April 2017

Queen Of Katwe Is The Film Club Choice For Friday 07 April - posted 03 April 2017

WEA Annual General Meeting This Coming Tuesday 04 April - posted 02 April 2017

What's Happening In The Village in April? Check Out The April Village Diary - posted 01 April 2017

Gardening Club's Outing To Swiss Garden & Steventon: Visitors Welcome - posted 31 March 2017

Village Litter Pick A Huge Success (press cutting) - posted 30 March 2017

Still Some Tickets Left For Poetry & A Slice Of Pie On Saturday 01 April: Support The Friends Of The Church - posted 29 March 2017

Are You A Winner? March 200 Club Draw Results - posted 28 March 2017

Booking Now - The WEA Summer Walks - posted 27 March 2017

Are You Up For The Challenge? Reading Room Steward Vacancy - posted 26 March 2017

Mothering Sunday - posted 25 March 2017

Bell Open Again Tomorrow Friday 24 March For Drinks - posted 24 March 2017

Booking Now: SNC Children's Easter Holiday Activities - posted 24 March 2017

Beware! Thieves About In Helmdon - posted 23 March 2017

Katharine House Hospice Gets Easter Novelties From The Stitichers - posted 23 March 2017

Youth Ambition Awards - posted 22 March 2017

The Fellowship Celebrate St Patrick's Day - posted 21 March 2017

The Radstone Chuch Bats & A Successful Bid To The Heritage Lottery Fund - posted 20 March 2017

Save The Horton Consultation Meeting This Coming Tuesday 21 March - posted 19 March 2017

"Your Computer Has A Virus" - posted 18 March 2017

Agenda For The Parish Council Meeting To Be Held On 22.03.17 - posted 17 March 2017

Agenda For WEA AGM On Tuesday 04 April - posted 17 March 2017

Family Service & Alternative Harvest Service This Coming Sunday 19 March - posted 16 March 2017

"Distinctive Containers" At The Gardening Club Meeting Tomorrow Thursday 16 March - posted 15 March 2017

Irish Folk Musical  "Once" at The Film Club On Friday 17 March - Just Right For St Patrick's Day - posted 14 March 2017

Matisse Evening At The Women's Club On Wednesday 15 March - posted 12 March 2017

List Of Dvds Available To Borrow From The Film Club - posted 10 March 2017

New Researcher On Helmdon Researchers' List - posted 10 March 2017

For The Children This Sunday 12 March: Messy Church - posted 10 March 2017

Help Keep The Village Tidy: Litter Pick This Sunday 12 March - posted 09 March 2017

Join In With The Acorns Quiz This Saturday  11 March - posted 08 March 2017

Tuesday 21 March Date Of Next Horton Hospital Consultation Meeting - posted 07 March 2017

Handy To Have By You: The 2017 Recycling Map - posted 06 March 2017

A Day In The Life of Time Team With Paul Blinkhorn At Fellowship On Friday 10 March: All Over 60s & Retirees Welcome - posted 05 March 2017

First Aid Talk At The WI Next Wednesday 08 March - posted 04 March 2017

Screening Of Film Bruce Almighty Tomorrow Saturday 04 March - posted 03 March 2017

Don't Forget The Bridge Players' Summer Play Auditions On Tuesday 07 March - posted 02 March 2017

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

Spring Lambing Weekends - posted 28 February 2017

Are You A Winner? February 200 Club Draw Results - posted 27 February 2017

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 26 April 2017
Cash For Village Groups


 
Helmdon Parish Council's Small Grants Scheme 2016 was officially launched at the annual village meeting.

Small grants are available to any group or organisation that benefits the community of Helmdon and are typically in the order of £50 - £250 pounds (although there is no set limit).

Applications must be made using the form, which is available to download here in Word or PDF format.

The closing date for applications is 17 May 2017 and the grants will be awarded at the parish council meeting to be held on 24 May 2017.

If you have any questions about the Small Grants Scheme please contact the Clerk, Helen du Bois.

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Posted 20 April 2017

Annual Village Meeting - All Welcome


 
The 2017 Annual Village Meeting takes place on next week, on Wednesday 26 April 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Reading Room, Church Street, Helmdon. It is a public meeting and all residents of Helmdon are invited to attend.

The meeting is a great opportunity to hear about all that has happened in Helmdon over the past year, and all that is planned to happen in the coming year. Did you know there is going to be a flag pole in the village? Come along and hear all about it. Do you know what Helmdon Parish Council achieved in 2016/17 (and what it spent)? Come along and hear all about it.

The county councillor for Helmdon, Cllr Ian Morris (pictured above) will be in attendance to give a report and answer questions about roads, schools, the re-organisation of the county council and what the future holds.

Light refreshments will be available from 7:15 p.m. and all residents are very welcome.

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Posted 17 April 2017
Astwell Track Closed For A Day


 
The Astwell track will be closed to traffic on Tuesday 18 April 2017 from 9:15 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. for minor carriageway works.

The national road works web site warns that "delays are very likely", so to all the thousands of people that use that route on a daily basis, please allow extra time for your journey!!

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Posted 12 April 2017
Have An Eggcellent Weekend


 
It's Easter and a time to relax and unwind - unless you're a vicar!

The weather forecast for Helmdon is OK but not great; certainly nowhere near as warm as last weekend.

If you're out in the garden don't forget the offer of free compost from Blackpits.

If you're a church-goer you'll find details of all the weekend's services in the Village Diary.

Whatever you're doing the web site team wish you a hopping good time!

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Posted 10 April 2017
Community Fund Could Be Just The Ticket


 
HS2 Ltd has launched a £40 million fund to help offset the impact of the construction of HS2 from London to Birmingham.

There will be two funds available for local communities to help with the disruption that will be caused by the construction of Phase one of HS2. These are the Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF).

If your group, organisation or business will be impacted by HS2 then find out more on the fund website or you can meet Lydia Smith, Engagement Manager at HS2 Ltd, at a series of local meetings. The Next one is on Thursday 20 April 2017, 14.00 pm – 16.00 pm, Volunteer Centre, Whittons Lane, Towcester NN12 6YZ organised by SNVB.

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Posted 02 April 2017
Two Men Went To Mow


 
The mowing season has started so yesterday there was a working party at the churchyard; the first of 2017. Unfortunately only two men were able to attend this time.

To keep on top of it requires a lot of work, and churchyard stalwart Rex Jesset (pictured above) hung up his mowing boots last year, so new blood is needed.

The churchyard is a wonderful place to work (great views!) and when it is kept on top of it is a great place for wildlife, both flora and fauna.

If you would like to get involved and can spare a few hours a month please contact the Friends of Helmdon Churchyard. You would be most welcome!

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Posted 26 March 2017
Project Brings Village To Its Knees


 
If you've ever been to St Mary Magdalene Church in Helmdon you will have noticed a wonderful collection of well over one hundred hand-stitched kneelers.

The Kneeler Project started in 1993 and many of the kneelers commemorate the village and its people.

In 2014 the mammoth task of researching, recording and photographing each one began and this work has now been completed.

A hard-copy list and photographs will soon be available in the church, but the entire collection is also available on this web site. You can search for your family, your house, or why not simply browse through the kneelers and choose a favourite?!

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Posted 23 March 2017
It's All Go


 
At the meeting of Helmdon Parish Council held last night in the Reading Room several updates on current projects were provided.

A grant for repairs to the war memorial is almost secured, a grant for a makeover of the Pump Garden on Church Street has been received and works will soon commence, graffiti on the bench in the school field has been sanded off, the flooding alleviation works on Grange Lane have been completed and certificates have been presented to the school children who helped with the village litter pick.

The council also gave the go ahead to two more projects: the purchase of a village flag pole and the transfer of land on Station Road and at The Green from South Northants Homes to the parish council. These projects will be implemented in the coming months.

To keep up with all that the parish council is doing, and to contribute your thoughts, ideas and opinions, please see the parish council section for all the latest news, agendas and minutes.

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Posted 16 March 2017
It Must Be A Sign


 
The entry sign coming into the village from Wappenham has received a makeover, courtesy of Helmdon Parish Council.

The sign, which is the old-fashioned stamped-metal type, has been completely refurbished and restored to its former glory.

The sign was cracked and bent (see bottom photo above) and the only other option was to replace it with a printed plastic one.

The standard of the refurbishment is amazing; you wouldn't believe it was the same sign! Having seen the standard of the work, which cost around £100, the parish council will now look to see if the one on the way in to the village from Sulgrave can be similarly restored. The ones from Brackley and Falcutt are the plastic type, so they just need an annual clean.

The village is rightly proud of its achievements in the Best Village competition, and now the village entry signs will look the part too.

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Posted 12 March 2017
How Did It Go? Rubbish!


 
The Community Litter Pick 2017 was a huge success, thanks to all the volunteers who gave up some of their Sunday afternoon to help out.

Over forty people turned out, and many hands made light work. Around twenty bags of litter were collected, plus a few bits of car bumper, an old sand bag and the obligatory traffic cone!

Thanks go to the village school for providing a meeting and collection point and to Dianne Thorpe and her sister (and husbands) for putting on a lovely tea for all the pickers.

Helmdon is not a bad village for litter thankfully, but now it is even better than usual!

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Posted 11 March 2017
Calling All Wombles


 
Just one day to go until the Community Litter Pick 2017.

All volunteers should meet at 2:30 p.m. at Helmdon Primary School for instructions and to collect equipment. Refreshments will be served for litter pickers in the school hall 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 07 March 2017
What Are Your Values And Principles?


 
Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) is putting a process in place to help it make decisions about what to prioritise – that is, how it shares out resources to achieve the best outcomes for residents.

To do this NCC needs to be clearer what it, residents and partners think is important to bear in mind when deciding between competing priorities. NCC needs your help to clarify its values and principles, which will then be used to develop a framework for prioritising.

You can help in two ways – by completing a survey and/or by attending one of four workshops being held between 13 and 20 March 2017.

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Posted 04 March 2017
An Extra Fiver Per Year


 
The share of council tax that goes to South Northants Council (SNC) is going up by £5 per year for a Band D property.

SNC met on 27 February 2017 and approved a budget of £12.4 million to deliver services to the district. That equates to an annual charge of £180.37 for the average band D household, up from £175.37 last year.

Cllr Peter Rawlinson said "We want to make it clear that SNC is in a sound financial position and continues to deliver quality services. The budget and business plan sit hand in hand to ensure we keep up that track record of quality services, while laying a fertile territory for existing and new businesses to grow."

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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
Wassail!


 
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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