nene local | helen dawson


Archive for: September 2016

Photography – The Value of Photography in Web Design

Photography information and advice is brought to you by Kenny & Sons.

Photography is one of the most important aspects of a website. It can also cause some of the biggest issues when it comes to designing a website. The Internet is a visual media, and visitors to your website judge with their eyes. Using strong, fit for purpose photography is just as important as good design and will greatly increase user experience on your site.

A word on stock photography.

There is no denying that stock photography has its place. There are an abundance of stock photography websites, such as Shutterstock and Alamy, with millions of photographs for you to choose from. But the fact is that the stock photography industry is still best suited to the market it was created for- newspapers and magazines.
It is generally best to avoid using stock images on your business’ website. One of the main reasons for this is that it’s pretty easy to spot stock images. This immediately reduces the authenticity of your website, and therefore your business, to visitors.

There is a lot of research showing the issue with trust when buying online, and this doesn’t just relate to eCommerce websites. If the stock photography on your site adds an element of doubt in a visitors mind, it may potentially lead them to look elsewhere. This leads us on nicely to our next point.

People buy from people.

While this isn’t completely true in today’s world- it’s still a relevant point. Particularly for small businesses. If you are a small, family run business, the photography on your site is a great opportunity to reinforce that and actually show visitors the people involved in the company. We recently shot a set of images for a Corby-based recycling company’s website and not a single photograph was taken without a member of the family behind the business in it.

Fit for purpose.

Many designers will tell you to ‘just buy stock’ images for your website. We can’t stress enough how much of a bad idea this is. You need photography that has been taken by a professional photographer, and that photographer should have been briefed by the client (you) and the designer. Designers are actually making their life a lot more difficult in recommending stock, as it makes fitting the images on to a web site a lot more difficult- if not impossible.

Website Photography Thrapston Kenny and Sons

An image shot for the University of Northampton Students’ Union.

Control over the shoot.

One of the biggest benefits of shooting photography for the purpose of your website design is being able to direct the shoot- both creatively and technically. A good professional photographer will most likely have their own input into any shoot, but the input from the designer is critical to ensure that the images will work in their design. Likewise, client input on how they would like their product portrayed is extremely important as the chances are, they know their product better than anyone.

Match the tone of your copy and the tone of your images.

Another major benefit of shooting specifically for your website is that you will be able to make the photography compliment the words. This might sound strange, but if the tone of the words on your site is relaxed and happy, the photography should be too. Likewise, if your site is very professional and corporate- the images should reinforce this.

Work with a professional.

Choose your photographer carefully- anyone can call themselves a ‘professional’ photographer these days (the same goes for web designers!). A professional photographer is not just someone with an expensive camera- they should ask questions about your business and the goals of the website

Thrapston Photographers

Strong photography can boost the over all success of a website, but it can also hinder it.


A website will be let down by its weakest link. Good photography can really boost a websites overall success, and it can also hinder it.

Thrapston-based Kenny & Sons are one of very few web design agencies that offer a photography service in house. Our photographer has over fifteen years’ experience and has worked all over the world shooting projects for brands such as Mercedes Benz, Barclays, Emirates and Ford to name a few.

Contact Kenny & Sons


Tyler Way, Thrapston, Northamptonshire, NN14 4UE

01832 420 010


Fly Tipping Frustration in East Northants

Fly tipping is hugely problematic in East Northants.

Investigations by East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) resulted in two people being fined hundreds in court this month for fly tipping.

On 5 September, Richard Johnson of Stanwick was found guilty of fly tipping in Midland Road, Rushden.

ENC’s waste team found rubbish scattered along the street in February 2016.  Evidence pointed to Mr Johnson who had allowed it to fall from an unsecured skip.

Mr Johnson had the chance to pay a fixed penalty notice for the offence, but declined.  He was ordered to pay nearly £500 at Northampton Magistrate Court instead.

The next day Corby’s Laura Ramaj was ordered to pay over £700 after she was found guilty of fly tipping in the north of the district.

In February 2016, ENC officers found household waste and furniture dumped on the Gretton Brook Road in Deene.

Evidence lead to Ms Ramaj, who was contacted by the waste team to find out how the material came to be left at the tipping

Ms Ramaj failed to return the request for information, committing a further offence. He was formally prosecuted by Northampton Magistrates Court on 6 September.

Leader of ENC, Steven North, is concerned that people still think it’s acceptable to fly tip in East Northamptonshire and beyond. “Fly tipping is completely unnecessary and costs us all.” he said.

“Not only does it blight our district, items left on the roadside could contain any number of unknown hazards to passing vehicles, pedestrians or animals.

“Our waste team works tirelessly to ensure any incidents are dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible, but it is frustrating that their time and tax payers money is having to be spent clearing up other people’s mess.

“We hope the recent increase in on-the-spot fines will help further reduce fly tipping.”

How can You Help?

You can help in the fight against fly tipping by reporting any offences online at or by calling 01832 742026.

To get rid of unwanted waste responsibly, please visit one of Northamptonshire County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres. Or visit to find out about ENC’s bulky waste collection service.


Unique Clothing from Captain Tortue, here in Thrapston

Do you love unique clothing and individual style?

unique clothing captain tortue thrapston

Captain Tortue is a French company offering unique clothing to ladies by booking home shopping parties. The collections can also be seen at local events.

This French designer brand has a complete capsule wardrobe is sizes 6-22.  Captain Tortue clothes help ladies look and feel fabulous whatever their age or body shape.  The AmbaScarlett Boutique is your local specialist for Captain Tortue clothing. Do you love to look elegant and stylish with your own style of unique clothing?  Then book ‘home style show’.  Each season the clothes change, always keeping up with ‘on trend’ colours and styles.

Hosting a home style show isn’t as scary as it sounds.  A home style show can be made up of just three ladies (or a few more if you wish). The hostess can invite her friends along, supply tea and coffee – or a glass of wine.  During the show she can sit back and enjoy an evening of style advice, a mini fashion show plus lots of unique clothing to try before they buy!

Ladies who love clothes but hate to shop, really adore Captain Tortue home shows.  Just think, no more full, communal changing rooms, showing your undies to everyone as you get changed!

If you’d like to find out more about hosting a home show, then either look at The AmbaScarlett Boutique  Facebook page. Also call Helen on 07799 627789 to book your chosen date.

Each hostess will get a lovely hostess gift just to say thank you. There are also generous money off discounts to spend on clothes!

ambascarlett boutique

Thrapston Garage say “It’s MOT time!”

This time of year is very busy in the garage. Not only do we have the season change upon us, but it is MOT time. Whether this is your first MOT (cars registered in September which are coming up for their 3rd birthday will now enter the MOT cycle) or if your seasoned four wheeled friend is an old hand at MOT’s, we thought you would appreciate a reminder of the things to check to prevent your vehicle failing the MOT due to easily rectifiable faults.

Front, rear, brake, fog, indicator and registration plate lights and reflectors work.

Must be in working order.

Tread depth must not be below the legal limit of 1.6mm You can use a 20 pence piece to check that tread depth is at least the required 1.6mm.

Wiper and Washers
Before your test, it is worth checking that your wiper blades are in good working order and your screen wash is topped up.

Top Tip: Clean your wiper blades with newspaper and vinegar, the vinegar gets rid of all the grease and grime.

Is your pride and joy due an MOT?

Call 01604 491011 or email to book!


All Roads Lead to Ferry Meadows

There’s still time to enjoy the 2016 Nene Valley Festival as events continue until 25 September where all are welcome to join the finale event at Ferry Meadows Country Park.

Featuring over 85 events at key locations along the Nene Valley, from Northampton to Peterborough, the festival is a must for wildlife and culture lovers of all ages looking for inspiration, tranquility and new experiences. Check out the programme at

The closing event is being held on Sunday, 25 September 11am-3pm at the well-known Ferry Meadows country park in Peterborough with a Roman re-enactment, archaeological finds and dig plans, canoeing, kayaking and much more!

The Nene Valley Festival is being organised through the Destination Nene Valley project, which aims to promote the Nene Valley as a competitive, sustainable destination offering wildlife and heritage to a mixture of local, national and international audiences.

Visit the and follow @_NeneValley on twitter for up to date information on the festival programme.

A Roman Army marches on the Nene Valley Festival finale

A Roman Army marches on the Nene Valley Festival finale


Why have a Contact Form on your Website?

There are over 1 billion websites on the world wide web today, and you’d be surprised how many of these sites make it difficult for their visitors to make contact with them. Simply listing your contact details is a good start, but you will increase the number of leads your website generates dramatically by using a simple contact form. Below are a few pointers from Kenny & Sons on why you should have a contact form on your site, and how to make the most of it.

1: You need a contact form, not just an email address.

Having your contact details listed on your website is a given (although you may be surprised at how many web designers will leave this out). Listing your telephone number and email address is a start, but to make more visitors contact you, you really need to use a contact form. Many sites choose to just list their telephone number and an email address with a ‘mailto:’  link. This will work fine, but what if the user hasn’t set up their email account on the device they are visiting on? A contact form is an easy way for visitors to contact you without having to leave your site.

2: Make sure you get the information you need.

Most of us at some point will have sent an email and forgotten to attach the file we were supposed to include with the mail. Similarly, it’s easy to forget to put your telephone number in an enquiry. Receiving an enquiry from John Smith who is looking to buy your product is a great start to making a sale, but what if he forgot to include his contact details when he sent his enquiry? There’s a lot of John Smiths out there- so you can either start hitting the phone book, or keep your fingers crossed and hope that he gets in touch again. A contact form can eliminate this with ‘required’ fields. This means that people won’t be able to submit the form until they have included all of the information you require.

3: Keep it simple…

People will be much less likely to complete your contact form if it looks like an application for a passport. Keep it simple. We recommend having around 5 fields- name, email address, number, company (if you’re a B2B business) are usually enough.

4: But it doesn’t have to be TOO simple.

While it’s important that your contact form straightforward and easy to fill in, it’s also an opportunity for you to help filter your enquiries. If you offer more than one service, you could give users the option to select which service they are interested in. This would mean you could make sure that the most suitable member of staff deals with that enquiry. If your website receives a lot of enquiries, you could also ask the visitor what their budget is- this will help you to filter out enquiries that are below your price point and help prioritise who to contact first.

5: Make sure it works!

This sounds obvious, but contact forms are actually quite complex, and there’s a lot that can go wrong. Make sure your contact form is working by testing it yourself. If your site is built on the WordPress platform, occasionally retest your contact form, as plugins can occasionally stop working after your CMS has been updated.

6: To CAPTCHA or not to CAPTCHA?

We generally advise that you never use a CAPTCHA (those annoying parts on a contact form where you have to squint to read a squiggly bit of text and type it out). They are a great way to stop spam, but unless you receive an ENORMOUS amount of spam, to the extent that you are missing genuine enquiries, we recommend you give them a wide birth. Like we said above, it’s important to keep your contact form simple and easy to use, and a CAPTCHA adds a bit of friction to the process.

7: Ok, I’ve made a contact form, now where should I put it?

In as many places as possible. A well designed, functioning contact form should fit in to your website in as many places as possible. We generally tend to place them at the bottom of every single page on a website. If the contact form itself isn’t on every page, at least make sure there is a link to it.

8: Act fast.

So, now you have your contact form up and running, and you’ve received your first enquiry. This might sound a little patronising to business owners, but it’s important that you act immediately. A user who has submitted an enquiry through an online contact form has most likely contacted other suppliers. Be the first to get back to them, and you already have a head start in getting the sale.

9: Need help setting up your contact form?

If you are not sure where to start when it comes to adding a contact form to your site, give us a call on 01832 420 010 or click here to contact us on our very own contact form! We’d be happy to help.



Properties wanted – Fuss Free Renting & Guaranteed Rental Income…

We are a not for profit landlord looking for two or three bedroomed properties in the East Northamptonshire area to lease through our private sector leasing scheme.

RFL private sector leasing scheme offers the following benefits:

  • GUARANTEED rental income for the entire period of the lease
  • Professional property management
  • Quarterly property inspections
  • Repairs service
  • Peace of mind for landlords
  • Property returned to you at the end of the lease in the same condition, less fair wear & tear

Properties must be in a good state of repair, and are subject to mortgage lenders and building insurance approval.

In the first instance, please contact our Residential Lettings Team

Telephone: 01933411400




RFH, St Peters House

101 Wellingborough Rd,



NN10 9YL

Recycle the ‘Unusual Suspects’ from Around your Home

As it’s Recycle Week (12 – 18 September), East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) would like to thank residents for all the great recycling that’s being done throughout the district.

Residents are recycling more than ever! 4,760 tons was collected in the last 12 months, which is up by 5%!

You may already know that you can recycle plastic drinks bottles, food and drink cans, jam jars, cardboard boxes and newspapers but items such as foil trays, beauty crème jars, toilet roll tubes and aerosol cans are often missed.

If everyone in the UK recycled one aluminum deodorant aerosol can, enough energy could be saved to vacuum over 480,000 homes for a year!

Councillor Steven North, Leader of ENC, says: “Recycling is already making a big difference, thanks to the dedication of East Northamptonshire residents. We all know how important it is to recycle, it’s much better than the waste going to landfill.

“Recycle Week is an ideal time for us all to really take a fresh look at our recycling habits, and to see if there are any opportunities to recycle even more items. There are lots of items that can be recycled, but some are lesser known or more ‘unusual’ than others, and so that’s what we’re trying to raise awareness of.”

To remind yourself what can be recycled in your green lidded bin, head to

Please make sure your recycling is clean and not mixed with anything that can’t be recycled, otherwise it will be classed as ‘contaminated’ and go to waste.

If you find you’ve got more recycling than will fit in your bin, please leave the extra in clear sacks placed next to your bin on recycling collection week.

Recycle Week is brought to you by WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme). To find out more visit and/or follow #RecycleWeek on Twitter.

For more information about recycling, rubbish and waste in East Northamptonshire, please visit or call 01832 742026.

Blackberry Flapjacks – I’ve been Foraging for some Free Food!

This easy recipe is great to make and a great addition to any lunchbox or a mid-morning treat! With freshly foraged for seasonal blackberries, it’s almost good for you too!  ….and all those calories I used blackberry picking, well they count too don’t they?


You will need;

150g soft light brown sugarblackberry-flapjack-nene-local-sept-2016-issue

150g unsalted butter

1 tbsp. golden syrup

300g porridge oats

120g fresh blackberries

1 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)

Pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 150C/gas mark 2. Lightly grease a square or round 7 inch cake tin.


Place the sugar, butter and golden syrup in a large pan and melt together on a low – medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Turn off the heat and add the oats, spice, salt and stir until all the ingredients are well combined. Gently stir in the blackberries making sure not to break them up too much. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and press down firmly and evenly with the back of a metal spoon. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown on top and bubbling at the edges. Leave to cool in the tin and then tip it out and cut into generous pieces.


Recipe by Donna Thomas


Facebook: DonnaLulu Cooks

Twitter: @DonnaLuluThomas







Got a Job Interview Coming Up?

Kate at FTRE Recruitment gives some top tips…Kate says;

‘Do you find you are getting the interviews due to a great CV and skills but not quite “clinching the deal”.  This could be down to your interview technique:

  1. Go prepared – do your research on the company – find out about them and go with some questions to ask.
  2. Simple – arrive in time to allow for finding car parking, the company and to compose yourself. (BUT Not too early you should be in the company 5 minutes before your interview).
  4. Be smart – dress to impress – wear appropriate clothing – look smart and clean, brush your hair, clean your teeth and ensure your hands and nails are clean.
  5. Be positive, look the interviewer in the eye when talking – if unsure ask them to repeat a question and if you don’t know or haven’t done something SAY SO you can always offer to learn a new skill – shows ambition.
  6. Don’t just give Yes and No answers – expand to support your answer – try to give examples (where appropriate)
  7. Shake hands firmly (but not so tight you feel their bones crunching) at the end of the interview and say how much you enjoyed it and are looking forward to hearing from them again.

Good luck…..

You can call FTRE Recruitment on  01536 525039 for some further information or follow them on Facebook here


Smart, yet approachable with a little individuality - she's interview ready!

Smart, yet approachable with a little individuality – she’s interview ready!