nene local | helen dawson


Archive for: July 2015

Awards Celebrate Best of Northamptonshire’s Heritage

Northamptonshire Heritage Awards announce the winners

Heritage organisations from Northamptonshire were recognised last night at the Northamptonshire Museum and Historic Houses Forum’s Heritage Awards which celebrate the County’s outstanding heritage through the work of almost 50 museums, historic houses and other historic organisations. Northamptonshire has the highest concentration of historic houses in England as well as almost 50 museums most of which are run by passionate volunteers. This sector plays a vital role in attracting visitors to the County each year.

At the ceremony, held at St. Peter’s Church, Oundle on Thursday 16th July, winners included Oundle Museum who won Best Exhibition and Kettering Museum and Art Gallery who won Heritage Site of the year. Desborough Heritage Centre scooped the People’s Choice Award, a publicly voted category reflecting the population of Northamptonshire’s favourite heritage destination supported by the BBC Radio Northampton.

The awards are organised by a sub-committee of the Northamptonshire Museums and Historic Houses Forum (NMHHF) a network, run by a volunteer committee, dedicated to supporting and developing heritage organisations in the county. The Awards ceremony was hosted by BBC Radio Northampton’s John Griff and was also attended by many VIP’s including Councillor Heather Smith and the Mayor of Oundle Councillor Paul King. The awards were sponsored by Museum Development East Midlands, the County Council, the Northamptonshire Community Foundation and supported by BBC Radio Northampton.

The winners of the 2015 Northamptonshire Heritage Awards are:

Best Exhibition: Highly Commended Kettering Museum and Art Gallery for #selfies exhibition, WINNER Oundle Museum for ‘Oundle 1851’ Exhibition
Best event: WINNER Canon’s Ashby (National Trust) for A Victorian Christmas at Canon’s Ashby.
Community Award: Highly Commended Desborough Heritage Centre for ‘Exchanging Museums’ WINNER Kettering Museum and Art Gallery for ‘Kettering Faces of the First World War’.
Best Volunteer project: Highly Commended Rushden Museum for ‘Rushden’s journey through the First World War’
WINNER – Towcester Museum for ‘Volunteers celebrating the history of Towcester’
Best special Project: Highly Commended – Kettering Museum and Art Gallery for ‘On the Wagon; Kettering’s Temperance Portraits’
WINNER Canon’s Ashby for the ‘Brew House Bookshop’.
People’s Choice award: Desborough Heritage Centre
Heritage Site of the year: Kettering Museum and Art Gallery

Stanton Cross residents by ‘next year’

People could be living in homes at the new Stanton Cross development by the “middle of 2016”, according to the developer.

Bovis has started work on the development near the railway station on the east of the town, which is set to deliver 3,200 homes and 7,500 new jobs within 15 years. PTlUYv7YY9YaUU9NNPq1hKJLQWaAYq8qkyF2orxyg0c

The station will be enhanced and there will also be a country park, schools, a doctor’s surgery and shopping facilities as part of the largest growth the town will see since the 1960s.

Bovis’ Managing Director for the South Midlands Region John Lougher gave an update on the project at the latest in Wellingborough Chamber of Commerce’s series of Business Briefing events held on Friday, May 8.

He said: “We are looking forward to really getting it moving now as it’s taken a long time to get to the starting line. We are working towards people starting to buy the homes at Stanton Cross by the middle of 2016 which will also mean further employment opportunities.”

Responding to a question by Simon Toseland – director of commercial property agents Prop-Search, which has an office in the town – about how many houses would be built each year, Mr Lougher said: “On the rate of delivery on the private housing, we will look to be building 250 units per year as a long-term plan.

“In 2016 we are looking to build 100 units and then will be aiming to step this up to 250 by 2017. It’s very hard to look forward 15 years, it might be if the economy further strengthens the building rate will increase.”
More than 50 business representatives from the area attended the event at Weatherbys Limited, Sanders Road, on the outskirts of the town.

David Cross, chamber president, said: “The business community of Wellingborough is starting to realise that this might be our time. Major developments are finally starting to happen, which will not boost the local economy and create jobs but also enhance Wellingborough’s position on the map.”

Wellingborough East/Stanton Cross has been in the planning stage for over a decade.

Celebrate Peterborough’s Ancient Woodlands with a Family Craft and Conservation Day

Enjoy a fun day out for the whole family at the FREE Woodland Heritage Conservation and Craft Day on Saturday 29 August. This drop-in event will be held between 10am-4pm at Pocock’s Wood, accessed from Peterborough Crematorium car park, Bretton PE6 7JE.


Visitors will have the opportunity to try hands-on crafts, learn about local woodlands, and take part in a guided walk. In addition to this you can discover more about the history and management of Peterborough’s woods, plus see the rare Wild Service Tree and hear about how it is being protected.

“This event is a fantastic opportunity for families to get involved with our local woodlands,” explains Project Officer Matthew Robinson. “It’s a chance to try some woodland crafts and have some fun in the great outdoors!”

Lunch will be provided. Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear. Children are welcome but will require parental supervision and may not be able to take part in all activities. Please be aware that the event is accessed from the Crematorium car park, and that the Crematorium is open to the public. Please respect other visitors to the Crematorium when attending the open day.

Bretton’s Ancient Woods, to the East of Peterborough and once part of William the Conqueror’s Royal Rockingham Forest, are being made more accessible to the public thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.DSC04369

Woodland Heritage in Action, a project run by the independent charity Peterborough Environment City Trust in partnership with Peterborough City Council, will see this ancient urban woodland restored and made fully accessible for the first time in over 75 years.

For more information, call Matthew Robinson on 01733 568408, 07736 308475 or visit

50 New Homes Planned next to Golf Course

Property specialists Andrew Granger & Co have submitted plans for 50 new homes in Staverton, Northamptonshire, adjacent to Staverton Park Golf Course.


The firm’s Planning & Development team worked closely with Staverton Parish Council and the local primary school before submitting the application, which includes allocating land to facilitate the school expansion.
Planning experts at Andrew Granger & Co’s Market Harborough office identified the site and worked with the landowner and developer Avant Homes to bring forward the scheme, which if successful, will be built by Ben Bailey Homes, part of the Avant group.

Stephen Mair, a Planner at Andrew Granger & Co, said: “We believe that in working with the local community and Primary School we have drawn up a scheme, which will assist in delivering new homes in a sustainable location where local people have identified a strong need for bungalows and starter homes. As a result of the nationwide shortage of rural housing, we are of the opinion that there would be strong demand for these homes if plans are successful, especially when you factor in the popularity of living near golf courses.”

As part of the process in preparing the planning application for submission to Daventry District Council, the Planning & Development team at Andrew Granger & Co worked alongside Node Urban Design to produce the Illustrative Layout and various other consultants concerning archaeology, drainage, ecology and highways.

With offices in Leicester, Loughborough, Market Harborough and London, the firm is also a land agent and provides a range of property services including estate agency, lettings and valuations. The firm’s 50 staff and directors include chartered surveyors and other qualified property professionals, providing rural, commercial and residential property expertise and services.

People order Nando’s for Town Centre

Chicken restaurant Nando’s has been chosen as the favourite eatery to replace McDonald’s in Wellingborough town centre, according to a poll.

The fast food outlet, in Market Street, is closing with a new bigger McDonald’s set to open in the town’s London Road in October.McDonald's in Wellingborough's Market Street

So far 258 people have voted in an online poll by Wellingborough Chamber of Commerce launched to gauge opinion on what eatery should replace the restaurant.

A total of 56 per cent have voted for the popular chicken chain to open in the prime town centre position.

A further 27 per cent want another burger restaurant to replace the famous golden arches with the remaining 17 per cent saying there were in a favour of an Italian restaurant.

Chamber president David Cross said: “The people of Wellingborough have spoken – they want a Nando’s in the town centre.

“The position in Market Street is such a visible location in the town centre, so as a Chamber of Commerce we are keen to ensure the premises does not remain empty for long, if at all.”

If you would like to have your say, you can continue to vote online here until the end of August.

The property is available to let on a new lease through chamber member and commercial property consultants Prop-Search. Call 01933 223300 or visit

Summer time and the parking is free in East Northants

The summer holidays are here, which can be an expensive time for those with children to entertain. But if you’re visiting East Northamptonshire, parking is one cost you don’t have to worry about.

East Northamptonshire boasts 11 free car parks with generous time allowances, so families can take their time exploring the district.

Steven North, East Northamptonshire Council Leader, says: “We want to encourage families and visitors to enjoy our towns in the summer time without parking costs hitting their pocket. So, whether you’re following the H.E Bates trail in Rushden or exploring George Washington’s ancestry in Thrapston, a parking fee is something you don’t have to factor in to your day.”

Residents and visitors may also be interested to know that five of our car parks have received the prestigious Park Mark award which is given by the Police to car parks that have achieved the standards of the Safer Parking Scheme. The scheme aims to reduce crime and the fear of crime in car parks.

The Duck Street, John Street, Rectory Road (Orchard Place) and Station Road (Splash Pool) car parks in Rushden and the Sackville Street car park in Thrapston have met strict criteria demonstrating a safe, clean, quality parking environment – an important assurance for many families and visitors.

For more information about car parks in East Northamptonshire visit

Home Instead Leading the way for Dementia Action Alliance

Local at-home care company, Home Instead Senior Care in East Northants, delivers free training workshops for local families, community groups, and those who care for people affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Furthermore, the care company recently hosted the quarterly meeting for the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA). The event was attended by Chairwoman Veronica Male of Tollers, Vice Chairwoman Kirsty Frost, and Gill Collins, the Dementia Action Alliance Regional Coordinator for the East Midlands. DAA 1 (1024x768)
The Dementia Friends initiative, which is backed by the government, aims to increase dementia awareness and change the way the nation thinks. A Dementia Friend is someone who has attended an hour long information session and has committed to an action that will make the lives of people living with dementia a little bit better.

Speaking about dementia workshops, Mark Darnell, owner of Home Instead of said, “The free information sessions are really useful for anyone interested in understanding a little more about dementia. By delivering these sessions to community groups we can help make our community more dementia aware.

“As specialists in at-home care for older people, a number of our clients are diagnosed with, or have symptoms of, Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, and it is important that we can do as much as possible to improve their quality of life.

He continues: “We often hold open afternoons at our office where family, friends and caregivers are invited to come and have a drink and a piece of cake, talk openly to each other and swap stories and ideas on how to help with their family members with are living with dementia. Home Instead are leading the way in supporting families of people with dementia.”
The sessions provided by Home Instead emphasise the fact that you can still live well with dementia and continue to do things that you loved to do, with the right support in place and a helping hand.

To find out more about the information sessions or becoming a Dementia Friend, please contact Louise on 01933 678775 or visit

Young business brains take on the dragons

East Northamptonshire’s finest young business brains put their skills to the test last week at the final of the 9th Business Dragons event, hosted by East Northamptonshire Council.

The competition, organised by The East Northamptonshire College, saw teams of entrepreneurs from four local schools (Rushden Academy, The Ferrers School, Huxlow Science College and Manor School) pitch their ideas and business plans to a panel of local Business Dragons.

The ‘Dragons’ included Peter Waddup (Director of Scotts of Thrapston), James Maziak (Managing Director of Maziak Compressor Services Limited), Katherine Dillon (Director of Seeds of Change) and Emily Carrington (Solicitor of Borneo Martell Turner Coulston).dragon

The final, which was held in the Council Chamber on 17 July, gave the young people the opportunity to present their original business ideas to the panel, having considered the design of the product, finance, staffing, manufacture, competition and profitability.

The Business Dragons then tested the knowledge and professionalism of each team with rigorous questioning about the benefit and effectiveness of their ideas.

The best overall winner trophy (supplied by East Northamptonshire Council and presented by the Chairman) went to Pillihod, Rushden Academy. Their idea is to produce a contact lens featuring transitional technology that would replace the need for sunglasses and could be used by companies to give to their employees to prevent glare while driving.

The best presentation trophy (supplied by Scotts of Thrapston) was awarded to Easy Roll, Huxlow Science College, for their pitch of having a contraption that aids with putting up wallpaper to make redecorating easier.

LEGC, Rushden Academy, won the best innovation trophy (supplied by Maziak Compressor Services Limited). Their idea is for a smart date sticker that can is put on food packaging and changes colour to represent the best before date, use by date and when the food item is out of date.

Chairman of East Northamptonshire Council, Marika Hillson, said:

“I never expected such a high standard of business ideas to be offered to the Dragons at this event. Each and every student should be very proud of themselves. The teams certainly gave the Dragons a run for their money, each offering a product that was useful, marketable and one I would certainly consider buying. It was a joy to see the budding entrepreneurs of the future blooming in our district. Well done to everyone.”

Julz Therapy – New to Islip

Last week we met Julie Millington of Julz Therapy in Islip, and we’re delighted to say we’re going again on Monday!

Speaking to Julz you can hear a lovely ‘Aussie lilt’ to her voice and her roots remain tied to Australia where she spent most of her childhood, immigrating back to the UK with her parents many years ago.

She has bought up a large family in conjunction with successfully operating a children’s entertainment business for 12 of those years in partnership with her close friend.

Julz has over 15 year’s personal professional experience in business, providing a quality service to corporate and private clients alike and many years working on frontline public customer services. Expanding on this business knowledge and experience, she gained further qualifications in 2011 which has enabled her to successfully provide professional complementary healthcare services such as massage therapy, reflexology and other holistic services in her private practice therapy room Islip Nr Thrapston Kettering.

In her spare time she undertakes voluntary work in an advisory role for a local charity.


We are having a regular Reflexology treatment – but let’s see what else Julz Therapy can offer;

Reflexology is a great all round therapy which aims to improve general balance, relaxation and wellbeing of the person as a whole by working on reflexes of the feet or hands. It can support a person through illness, life events and general health, which in turn offers a very relaxing therapeutic treatment of the person for anyone.

Pre conception, Pregnancy and Postnatal Reflexology is a branch of reflexology for which extra specialist training is undertaken. It supports women or couples through their maternity journey. Regular reflexology can help balance and relax the person in preparation for conception, pregnancy, help prepare the body for labour / birth and post natal recovery.

Julz says…

“Reflexology can provide an overall sense of wellness, a feeling of relaxation, harmony and re- balance”.

Deep tissue remedial massage therapy works on releasing muscle tension in the back neck and shoulder areas.slide-1

Julz says….

“This therapy may provide immediate relief of muscle tension after just one visit and significant improvement in movement and mobility after a course of just 4 – 6 weekly sessions”

Therapeutic & General massage In all types of massage therapy, the intention is to relax the soft tissues, increase delivery of blood and oxygen to the massaged areas, warm them, and help the body to relax.

Julz says…

“Relaxing and calming – a good sleep aid, so you may have a good nights sleep after therapy. Its time out and encourages wellbeing of the person”.

Pregnancy massage is a branch of massage for which specialist training is undertaken. Designed for ladies 12 weeks plus this is a fantastic therapy which can naturally aid relaxation and wellbeing in pregnancy.  

Julz says…

“Its good to trust in the knowledge clients have an experienced, qualified, professional therapist working with them who will always puts their needs first.  Also having someone share their journey who has also had personal experience of pregnancy and childbirth is reassuring”. She adds

“I feel it is always a great honour to work with my ladies in waiting.”  

Remember every “body” matters so don’t leave it to chance. Always look for the CNHC, FHT or AOR registered mark when booking a therapist. It’s “Your guarantee of professional standards”

92. CNHC NEW Quality_Mark_web version

 Julz Therapy

Julie Millington

Islip Nr Thrapston Kettering Northants NN14

Call – 07968 693550

Email –

The Great Thrapston Wedding Challenge Concludes

It’s been a few weeks since The Great Thrapston Wedding Challenge came to its conclusion, and what a day we had!

A year of planning saw us try to use as many Thrapston businesses as we could, our challenge was ‘Anything we buy for the wedding MUST come from Thrapston’.

Why do that? You may ask… In running the Facebook page Welcome to Thrapston we come across people who say “There’s nothing in Thrapston, it’s a dead town” and we wanted to prove them wrong. We love the vibrant little town we chose to make our home and enjoyed using local companies very much.

Our story began in Tasty Bite Thrapston. Owner, Sarah Whiteside was only too delighted to accommodate our wishes. We married in TBT courtyard garden and our reception was an afternoon tea party in the café itself. The Tasty Bite Café is one of the rare remaining cast iron fronted Victorian buildings in the UK, and is a listed building. We loved the fact it had a good history behind it (with the painting behind the counter, we even had Miss Goss at the wedding who we’re sure many of you know!)tbt

On the morning of our wedding, we’d decorated the garden and inside Tasty Bite with hanging hearts, rose garlands, jam jars with flowers and ribbons. The ribbons were bought for us my Lindsey Burch who’d followed the story and enjoyed our updates on Welcome to Thrapston. The hanging flowers and lanterns we had bought from AmbaScarlett, a little company that sells from the shelves in Tasty Bite!

ambascarlett copy

Sarah planned our wedding banquet, I was able to have some tastings beforehand but all the work fell onto Sarah and her team. Our guests gave them a resounding cheer and all said they would return at their soonest opportunity to Tasty Bite Thrapston.tbt

One of our guests is gluten free and Sarah organised with Farmer’s Market regular DonnaLulu Cooks a platter especially for her…. Michelle is a social media guru and proceeded to Instagram and Tweet her DonnaLulu Cooks plate of goodies as she was so impressed!

Our wedding was carried out by Danetree Ceremonies. Rachel of Danetree Ceremonies worked very closely with us to plan our bespoke ceremony. We wrote our own vows with her help and even had a vow for the wedding guest to say I DO to. It was such a personal ceremony, using Danetree as our wedding celebrant was the right choice.IMG_0841

Walking down the ‘aisle’ in the courtyard garden I wore my Gowns & Garters ‘Sorella Vita’ gown. The ladies in Gowns & Garters were amazing, they recommended the size of gown to order. I was a size 16 at the time (well 18 and in denial actually!) so they ordered a size 16 dress. Both knew I planned to diet but said how it was easier to take a dress in than let one out and having my real size meant I was under no pressure to diet.

By the time the dress arrived I’d had a few sessions with Caroline at Inspired to Change Hypnotherapy to understand more about my weight gain. I’d used her CD each evening and it had begun to work……

I then joined Jo Leeson at Slimming World Thrapston. Gowns & Garters wrote to ask me to book a try on session so that any alterations could be made and Julie performed absolute magic turning a size 16 dress into a made to measure 12, removing 5 inches from the dress but still keeping the lines and shape of the dress, no one would ever know it had been altered – again I was seeing an expert at work in Thrapston!

I had planned to look in Frocks for my dress too, but fell in love with the Sorella Vita one, so I recommended Frocks to Mother of the Groom and my Best Woman, and even some of the guests, who all popped in to have a look and try on some suitable attire. The service they received in Frocks they loved! Advice on style and suitability, with just the right amount of ‘leaving you to try and decide’ were all comments we received about them.300x415_NENE_LOCAL_ONLINE

On our special day I carried a gorgeous bouquet of pink and burgundy roses. Florae Foray a freelance florist on Huntingdon Road made the button holes and bouquet. They often to the window dressings in Frocks too. Becky knows her stuff! She used Pinterest to recommend various roses plus Stocks and St John’s Wort berries for me to comment on and choose from, telling me the various costs of each one. I ended up with the most beautiful bouquet, which smelled divine and was within budget. I was so sad when it eventually died.


Our wedding favours were little bags of sweets. The fabric was bought from Inspired Interiors on Thrapston High Street, they were made by Rachel at Bygone Days and filled with handmade sweets made by Dave Paiyne at Keraiyne Sweets, now sadly passed away.

Two little girls were at our wedding aged 7 and 10 and so Charlotte at Jollys Toys & Games put together a fabulous gift bag for each of them so boredom was never an issue as the adults were chatting!11401100_414497548752796_902126937752792599_n

Before the wedding we had spoken to Simpsons – the local estate agents about using their cars to drive me and my bridesmaids to the wedding from The Bridge Hotel where we’d got married.


We wanted something funky and different, so they ribboned up their Fiat 500’s and they even provided a photographer – it made everyone smile!

Shopping for the wedding ring was of course at Victoria’s Emporium and each time I look at it I recall our special day and my experience in her shop. The advice given was great, Victoria took so much time going through all the options, ensuring we were in budget but had the look I wanted – My ring was made for me and I truly love it.

…and of course, the surprise for my groom was his Star Trek Wedding Cake from Cindy Alderman Cake Design!


We did have an emergency on the day, as no wedding is complete without an emergency is it? My sister in law was doing my hair on the day, plus the flower girl and my sister’s hair. The Sunday before her sciatic nerve got trapped and the poor lamb was in agony. We all had a bit of a panic, but most importantly we ensured she could get to the wedding! I rang Sue from Flair by Sue at home on the Monday (knowing they were closed but in a panic) Apologising profusely for calling her at home. Sue simply said that she could not see the diary until Tuesday ( I needed the appointment on the Wednesday) but rest assured they would fit us all in, no matter what, they would fit us in and not to worry a second longer. Using local businesses and getting to know everyone really does mean better service – what chain of hairdressers would say that – and on their day off….?

The girls and I all got ready in The Bridge Hotel and our poorly hairdresser did manage to do my hair in the end, Thrapston mobile hairdresser Jasmine York stepped up to the mark to do my sisters hair.

We completed our wedding day at The Bridge Hotel. We all walked from Tasty Bite across Thrapston (seeing a few friends to wave to along the way!) to The Bridge Hotel, where it was such a warm evening we sat outside chatting and laughing into the night.


Our day was so special. We’ve got to know so many Thrapston businesses throughout our year working on our day, no one can ever say “There is nothing in Thrapston” we’d always say ‘You just have to look’. The service we received from every local business was so much better than using a faceless chain of shops plus the cost was no more using smaller businesses and in some cases less.

What’s more, we’ve made a whole host of new friends along the way, so many cards were delivered to Tasty Bite for us from people who had heard about The Great Thrapston Wedding Challenge!

crowdThanks to all of Thrapston for making our day so special!