nene local | helen dawson


Archive for: April 2017

May Day – Have a Wonderful Beltane!

Happy May Day!  This festival is also known as Beltane, the Celtic May Day. It officially begins at moonrise on May Day Eve, and marks the beginning of the third quarter or second half of the ancient Celtic year. It is celebrated as an early pastoral festival accompanying the first turning of the herds out to wild pasture. The rituals were held to promote fertility. The cattle were driven between the Belfires to protect them from ills. Contact with the fire was interpreted as symbolic contact with the sun.


In early Celtic times, the druids kindled the Beltane fires with specific incantations. Later the Christian church took over the Beltane observances, a service was held in the church, followed by a procession to the fields or hills, where the priest kindled the fire. The Rowan branch is hung over the house fire on May Day to preserve the fire itself from bewitchment (the house fire being symbolic of the luck of the house).


The image depicts Hawthorn Blossom – also known as ‘May’.  It’s long thought that bringing May into the house brings bad luck, but good fortune on May 1st….  Just remember to take it out before May 2nd!

‘I can remember as a child being forbidden to take hawthorn blooms (or May as we called it) into the house as it would bring bad luck.’


May Day

May Day has long been marked with feasts and rituals. May poles, supremely phallic symbols, were the focal point of old English village rituals. Many people arose at dawn to gather flowers and green branches from the fields and gardens, using them to decorate the village Maypoles.

The May Queen (and often King) is chosen from among the young people, and they go singing from door to door throughout the town carrying flowers or the May tree, soliciting donations for merrymaking in return for the “blessing of May”. This is symbolic of bestowing and sharing of the new creative power that is stirring in the world. As the kids go from door to door, the May Bride often sings to the effect that those who give will get of nature’s bounty through the year.

In parts of France, some jilted youth will lie in a field on May Day and pretend to sleep. If any village girl is willing to marry him, she goes and wakes him with a kiss; the pair then goes to the village inn together and lead the dance which announces their engagement. The boy is called “the betrothed of May.”


More information is at The White Goddess 

99,506 Trees Planted in Peterborough by Local Charity!

The city of Peterborough is showing its ‘green’ colours, as the project Forest for Peterborough is on a mission to plant one tree for every person living in Peterborough by 2030.



Forest for Peterborough, which is run by the charity Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) has so far planted a total of 99,506 trees, with just under 6,000 trees being planted this season, which ran from October 2016 through to March 2017.


This year, the planting season concluded with a successful tree giveaway at Serpentine Green in Hampton, as part of National Disability Awareness Month, which brought together a showcase of charities and community groups across the city. Residents of Peterborough could collect their free Crab Apple trees, with the aim of encouraging them to plant it in their gardens to increase tree coverage across Peterborough.


Throughout this season, the project has seen a range of people getting involved, from families and communities to a variety of business groups all joining in as volunteers.


Project Officer Simon Belham explains: “It has been a busy season but made so enjoyable by all the helpers we have had join us on event days. I would just like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to don a pair of gloves, grab a spade and a tree and help out with the planting. Our project can only be made possible with each and every person who volunteered.”


Next season brings with it exciting prospects, including the chance of reaching a milestone of planting the 100,000th tree! But for this to happen, the project is in need of land for these trees to grow.


The focus now turns to you. In readiness for the next tree planting season, starting in October 2017, Forest for Peterborough needs to secure new pockets of land where more trees can be planted.


If you have land or know anybody who has available space and an interest in creating a new woodland, forest, shelterbelt or wildlife copse, make sure to get in touch.


Please contact Simon Belham, Forest for Peterborough Project Officer, on 01733 882545, or mobile 07715 372432, or you can email For more information about PECT, visit


With thanks to Peterborough City Council for supporting the project’s 2016/17 season.

The ‘Banksy’ of Poetry Hits Northampton


Romantic poems signed ‘M Jones’ or ‘composer Mark Jones’ are being sent to hairdressers but nobody knows why.

A total of three hair salons in Northampton Muse, Beauty Within and Kingsley Health and Beauty Solarium have now received the poems by the mysterious man who has been hitting headlines since at least 2016 .

They all appear to be love and happines stories. They all include the phrase ‘Keep your chin up, keep smiling”.  All are hand written and displayed with silver ink on black.  They all arrive in a hand written envelope and all posted from Lancashire.

All three local salons have received a number of these poems and are delighted but intrigued by the mysterious sender and all three believe they are the lucky three that have received them in Northampton.

The Muse salon located in Sol Central, Northapton, The owner Erica  commented:

“A couple of weeks ago I received the first poem which I read and ashamed to say threw away as I wasn’t sure about why I had received it.  Another came in the post which I kept and put to the side and then today another one!

I was so intrigued about who this composer Mark Jones was that I googled his name and came across various articles from around the UK. Surprisingly they were all Hairdressers or Beauticians.  With that I took to Instagram and Facebook to find out who else had received any in the area or knew about him.

Why he has chosen our profession and in particularly our salon to send these beautiful poems to, is a great mystery but the “Banksy Poet” has really got my attention, and I look forward to seeing what comes next!”

Natalie Faulkner from Beauty Withinn located in Harlestone Road, Northampton has also received these mysterious poems and is delighted that her salon has been one of the chosen few and commented

“at first they were spooked out and then they googled him and felt very privileged. They are putting them in a frame for the wall and reading them to customers. She said that she finds the words inspiring”

Planning Applications: 26 April 2017 WEEKLY LIST

To add your comments to any planning applications – click on the ENC website and search for the application number.


Notice is given that the following applications have been received together with the last date for making representations:


17/00556/FUL (27/05/2017)


1.5 storey extension to side of existing house to form new garage with family room on the first floor.

at Danebury Lodge 1 Fuller Close Aldwincle NN14 3UU


17/00751/FUL and 17/00752/LBC  (27/05/2017)(LB/CA) (LBRegs)

Reconstruction of collapsed garden wall, new swimming pool , tennis court and new pond at Green Farm 21 The Green Ashton PE8 5LD


17/00785/LBC (27/05/2017)


Erection of first floor partitions and doors and fitting out of en suite shower room at 2 Mill Lane

Brigstock NN14 3HG


17/00668/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Change of use from Agricultural building to Pet Supplies Shop. No alterations to either exterior or

interior (retrospective) at The Granary Bulwick Lodge Southwick Road Bulwick


17/00784/FUL (27/05/2017)


Construction of a 20MW energy storage facility incorporating battery storage, and associated

transformers, security fencing, and hardstanding at Chelveston Renewable Energy Park The

Airfield Chelveston NN9 6AR


17/00731/FUL (20/05/2017)


Two storey extension to rear of house with room in roof at 59 Deenethorpe NN17


17/00691/LBC (27/05/2017)


Fit kitchen in existing reception room and establish reception room in lieu of kitchen. Interior

alterations include: Removal of fire place surround and making good wall (fire place, flue and

chimney will not be disturbed); Create 2 openings for pipes through wall to existing wastes in

Conservatory; Create openings for existing electrical cables from existing kitchen into new kitchen;

Move radiator to new position using existing pipework. at Debdale Cottage Church Lane Denford


17/00666/LBC (27/05/2017)


Strengthening works – Parapet construction joint cut and seal to arches, circular plates installation

around spans to Grade II Listed structure at Harringworth Viaduct Gretton Road Harringworth


17/00702/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Replacement dwelling house at Fieldfare Main Street Laxton NN17 3AT

Higham Ferrers

17/00669/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Proposed conversion of existing garage into habitable accommodation and erection of side lean-to brick extension used as storage at 70 Windermere Drive Higham Ferrers NN10


17/00741/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

To convert the integral garage into habitable room (retrospective) at 12 Turnbrook Close

Irthlingborough NN9 5GB


17/00775/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

To convert a detached garage building into a separate dwelling (retrospective) at 120A Addington

Road Irthlingborough NN9 5UP


17/00736/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Proposed side and rear single storey extension to existing dwelling incorporating existing flat roof extension, with proposed single Garage to side with new roof providing canopy over existing front door at 73 Lowick Road Islip NN14 3JY

Kings Cliffe

17/00772/FUL (27/05/2017)


Carport, new vehicular access and reinstate piers/walls with gates for access at 59 West Street Kings

Cliffe PE8 6XB


17/00580/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Chalet bungalow to rear garden with off road parking at 5 Cotterstock Road Oundle PE8 4PN


17/00708/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Two storey side and rear extensions at 14 St Peters Road Oundle


17/00671/FUL (27/05/2017)


Replacement of flat roof extension and garden room with single storey extension to east elevation;

Erection of first floor extension over existing garage and new garage door arrangement;

Replacement of windows; New shed and greenhouse; Reposition of oil tank and septic tank at Ivy

House Main Street Pilton PE8 5SN


17/00672/LBC (27/05/2017)


Replacement of flat roof extension and garden room with single storey extension to east elevation;

Erection of first floor extension over existing garage and new garage door arrangement;

Alterations to rear entrance, bathroom layout and en-suites; Replacement of windows at Ivy House Main Street Pilton PE8 5SN


17/00748/FUL and 17/00749/LBC (27/05/2017)(LB/CA)(LBRegs)

Single Storey rear extension (resubmission of 16/02451/FUL) and 16/02452/LBC at Pole Cottage Lutton Road

Polebrook PE8 5LX


17/00760/FUL (27/05/2017) (Art8)

Over-cladding the existing warehouse external envelope with new insulated cladding at

Warehouse 1 Sanders Lodge Industrial Estate Rushden NN10 6BQ


17/00768/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Second floor extension with rear dormer window at 80 Park Avenue Rushden


17/00776/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Proposed Conservatory (Retrospective) at 8 Saxonlea Close Rushden NN10 6BF


17/00782/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Attached garage at 4 The Laurels Gravely Street Rushden NN10 9FF


17/00783/FUL (27/05/2017)


Change of use of part of the ground floor from A1 retail use to D2 leisure (gymnasium) use at Unit 5 7 High Street Rushden NN10 9JR


17/00693/FUL (27/05/2017)


Demolition of existing storage structure and erection of a single storey bin store and storage area.

New covered pergola and landscaped seating area including pizza oven at The Duke Of

Wellington Church Street Stanwick NN9 6PS


17/00738/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Replacement of a single storey conservatory to the rear of the property at 7 Needham Road

Stanwick NN9 6QU


17/00703/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Single storey rear/side extension at 14 De Vere Road Thrapston NN14


17/00797/VAR (27/05/2017)


Removal of condition 4 Pursuant to Application Number 17/00279/FUL Date of Decision:

18/04/2017 Change of use from storage to self-contained dwelling, insertion of rooflights,

replacement of windows and doors and installation of new flue pipe at The Old Rectory Winwick

Road Thurning PE8 5RF


17/00790/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Single storey rear extension and first floor extension over existing single storey rear extension at 1

Woodwell Cottages Twywell NN14 3AN


17/00746/FUL (20/05/2017) (Info)

Single storey side extension linking house to detached garage at The Granary Pound Lane

Woodnewton PE8 5DY

The Bell Inn, Little Addington Serves a Birthday Surprise!

As some of you may know, it was my birthday yesterday and so The Bell Inn in Little Addington decided to invite us along for the evening.

The Bell Inn is run by husband and wife team, Radu and Nela Constantin, who have had many years’ experience in hospitality (and it shows!)

On entering the Bell Inn, on what only be described as a very chilly April evening, we were shown to the sofas by a roaring log fire and introduced to our waiter, Alex.


He took our drinks order and left us to peruse the menu, and specials board.  We were left cosy by the fire until our food was ready.


The pub has an ‘olde worlde’ charm, it’s cosy and welcoming, with both tables and high backed chairs or low, squidgy sofas for you to choose from.

Soon we went into the restaurant, directed by Alex.  We ate quite early as I’m not great at eating too late into the evening, so we did end up with the restaurant to ourselves.  As you can see, the restaurant seats quite a few and large parties can be catered for.


Our starters were Tempura Prawns, which I loved.  The sauces we decided were a fruity (maybe raspberry?) based one and a teriyaki type, with lots of ginger.  Yum Yum!  There was not much left on either plate, as a compliment to the chef…IMG_1091


Main course was steak, well it was my birthday!  Steak and chips, plus side dishes of onion rings and mushrooms.  The steaks were cooked just as we liked them and Alex popped over just enough times to check everything was OK, but not to make us feel he was over powering.

The sautéed mushrooms had a hint of garlic and the onion rings were hand battered in a tempura style batter.  Both side dishes where lovely and enough for both of us.



Then for dessert it was surprise time!  Radu and Alex came out to our table both singing happy birthday, with a selection of mini dessert tasters on two plates – complete with birthday candle for me to blow out.



The desserts we tasted were meringue, chocolate and sorbet based. The Mango Sorbet is just divine, the Raspberry one was lovely but Mango was definitely a favourite!


The menu at The Bell Inn is quite varied, with lots to choose from, but we could both recommend what we ate last night.


We finished our meal with coffees, and a little homemade biscuit.



Our evening at The Bell Inn could not be faulted, from the wonderful food, excellent service and warm welcome.  Not just because we are Nene Local Magazine either, if you talk to the regulars, this IS the welcome and service you get.


Whether you want to eat in the restaurant, bar, have a Sunday carvery or afternoon tea.  If it’s a meal for two or a large party The Bell Inn can cater for this and more…


Speaking to Radu about his food; “Here at The Bell Inn we are so passionate about our food that we could sing about it from the rooftops. Ahhh, food…we love to eat it but even more so we love to make it! And we want YOU to love eating our freshly prepared, made to order food too. We think you will.

Wherever possible I use locally sourced organic produce and only the freshest and finest of ingredients goes into my culinary creations. All of the items on the menus are freshly prepared in our shiny newly refurbished kitchen by me and my talented team.

We have dishes on offer to suit all tastes from the traditional with a hint of gastronomic twist to the more exotic and range from delicate parfait to a belt-loosening 12oz slab of juicy Rib-eye steak! Whatever your appetite we have you covered so we would love you to join us for a meal.”



High Street

Little Addington

NN14 4BDbell a

To book call – (01933) 651700



Opening Hours

Monday : Closed (Open on Bank Holidays)

Tuesday : 12:00 – 15:00 | 18:00 – 21:00

Wednesday : 12:00 – 15:00 | 18:00 – 21:00

Thursday : 12:00 – 15:00 | 18:00 – 21:00

Friday : 12:00 – 15:00 | 18:00 – 21:30

Saturday : 12:00 – 15:00 | 18:00 – 21:30

Sunday : 12:00 – 17:00


Infections Monitoring across the County

Northamptonshire Carers are a county wide charity based in Wellingborough supporting unpaid carers. We are currently running a new service in which participants are taught to monitor breathing, temperature, urine and pulse in order to catch signs of infections early and provide intervention before the infection fully takes holds. The aim is to prevent hospital admissions particularly in older people and those with COPD.

New dates will become available every quarter.

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Northamptonshire Community Foundation awards £1.2 Million to Groups

Northamptonshire Community Foundation awards £1.2 million to groups across the cou£1.2 Million Grants Awardednty in their most successful year to date.

This financial year (April 2016 to March 2017), Northamptonshire Community Foundation has awarded up to £1.2 million to 299 groups, charities and individuals on behalf of a range of donors across Northamptonshire.

Grants Director and Deputy CEO of the Foundation, Rachel McGrath said “I am delighted that the Foundation has had its most successful year yet in awarding grants to local community groups and charities on behalf of a range of donors. The impact that small groups have on our communities is absolutely huge and vital tackling a range of issues and improving the lives of local people. We’d like to say a huge thank you to our generous donors for their kind support.”

Funding from the Foundation has helped to support a variety of community projects across the county, this year, including those tackling issues such as poverty, social isolation, domestic violence and unemployment in the county.

Phoenix Community Cinema was awarded £9,500 to provide affordable cinema screenings to rural areas in Northamptonshire, bringing isolated communities together for an evening of film.

Home Start Wellingborough and District were awarded £8,765 to develop their WISH project enabling fragile families to improve their sense of wellbeing, decrease isolation, increase self-esteem and improve health.

Great Oxendon Village Hall was awarded £1,760 to provide maintenance work to the village hall to produce a good community space for all group activities.

Citizens Advice Services Corby and Kettering (CASCK) were awarded £10,000 to provide a Personal Independence Payment Support service to disabled people who are applying for personal independence Payments (formally Disability Living Allowance).

Sikh Community Centre and Youth Club were awarded £19,850 to develop their Mind, Body and Soul programme improving the emotional, physical and social wellbeing of vulnerable and isolated individuals in the community.

Singing for Breathing, a singing group set up to help people diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), were awarded £3,000 to provide a transport service for their members during the winter.

Tackle the Irresponsible Dog Owner!

Have your say on tackling irresponsible dog ownership and antisocial behaviour in East Northamptonshire.

Residents and businesses in East Northamptonshire are being asked for their views on whether or not Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) should be put in place to tackle irresponsible dog ownership and antisocial behaviour in the district. The consultation will run from Friday, 21 April until 16 June and encourages comments on the terms of the PSPOs use, alternative options and thoughts against the proposals.


PSPOs were introduced in October 2014 by the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and are designed to deal with a particular nuisance or problem in a particular area (a public space) that is detrimental to the local community’s quality of life, by imposing conditions on the use of that area which apply to everyone.


PSPOs also replace some of the powers that are currently being used in East Northamptonshire, including Dog Control Orders. The current requirements around Dog Control Orders can be included in a new PSPO to address irresponsible dog ownership. Dog Control Orders in East Northamptonshire currently cover the following behaviours:


  • failing to remove faeces
  • not keeping a dog on a lead
  • not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer
  • permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded

At present, the failure to remove faeces and failing to put and keep a dog on lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer cover the entire district on any public land that is open to the air. The exclusion zone and dogs on leads orders are specific to certain areas where issues have been noted but also cover a number of sites across the district. For example, Hall Park, Rushden has a dogs on leads Dog Control Order in place. This means that if a dog is exercised in Hall Park it must be on a lead at all times. The only exemption is in the off-lead area.


Mike Deacon, Head of Environmental Services at East Northamptonshire Council, explains: “This consultation is an opportunity for people to have their say on where and how we can use PSPOs to improve the district making it safer and nicer for all to enjoy.


“Firstly, the consultation asks for public opinion on the current Dog Control Orders – should they be continued, altered or removed. Secondly, we’re asking for public opinion on restricting the number of dogs any one person can walk at one time. Thirdly, we want to know what people think of a district-wide exclusion order on all fenced children’s play areas. Finally, the questionnaire raises a broader question concerning any other anti-social behaviour in the district that is of concern to them. Take a look at the information available on our website and let us know your thoughts on this important opportunity.”


To find out more and to have your say, visit




Planning Applications: 21 April 2017 WEEKLY LIST

To add your comments to any planning applications – click on the ENC website and search for the application number.


Notice is given that the following applications have been received together with the last date for making representations:

What are You Worth at Work?

Your monthly Business Mentoring… from Elizabeth Toogood Critical Friend

It is April. The days are getting longer – we are going to work in the light and coming home in the light. The spring flowers are wonderful, the tree blossom is fantastic and we are all looking forward to Easter Eggs and Easter Bunnies. The children are already on holiday and if you are a working Mum you are juggling all the usual chores, all the pressures of a new tax year and child care. Or maybe you are a working Dad taking your share of this busy three weeks.

businessman working with laptop

So, with all these different roles; all these different skills you are exercising; all the business demands you are meeting how do you value your time?

If you work for someone else, it is easy, they assess the value of the job; they assess your skills and make a bargain to pay you £X. Ever thought how much that is an hour? Go on do the maths: divide your annual salary by 52 and then by 5 and then by 8. Then plus that figure up by 15% to cover NI, employee benefits, pension contributions, office costs etc. 15% might not be enough!

Now ask yourself are you delivering the results to justify that figure? Are you giving a full hour’s work in return for that pay?  How would you improve yourself to be worth more? Do it and then renegotiate!

This is all quite straight forward if you are an employee – just do it every year to check out where you are.

What if you work for yourself? I find my clients can do the maths so far but then when it comes to putting that value on their time to invoice it they have a real blockage. It is more like find a number and then half it and take off a further 10%. Yes, I can bring myself to ask for that and the client might pay it.

So, when I ask why were you/are you worth that to someone else but not now you work for yourself I hear all sorts of answers. Like:

  • It’s what the industry pays
  • It’s what the competition pays
  • It’s the rate for the job
  • It is laid down by the trades union
  • It is laid down by the professional association
  • It is what the margins justify
  • I am not the one doing the asking
  • My skills were quite rare and my boss knows that
  • I was quite good at what I did

Now put your previous hourly rate alongside the level of experience you currently have. Experience means that you work faster than an apprentice, a trainee or someone newly qualified. You solve problems differently because you have solved them before; you avoid expensive mistakes and pitfalls. You are a seasoned professional so you can find answers and create solutions that a newbie cannot. Clients pay more for creative solutions whether it is the design of a building, an elegant website or a gorgeously iced cake. And maybe because you work for yourself you work more consistently – for more of the 60 minutes in that hour.

So, be objective, these are the factors that dictate how you value a person’s time. Put a value on your working hour. I doubt very much that it is less than £50.

The next task and the most difficult one is to believe it. What happens if you don’t believe it – you undercharge. And what happens then? It becomes easy to find customers; they are pleased with your (bargain) work and your (rock bottom) prices so you get very busy; but you do not make any real money. You are then trapped: you think if you put your prices up you will no longer be busy but if you do not take the risk you will never make decent money. So, what do you do?


My job is to get you to think about this. And to get you to believe that you are worth the right figure and then to use it as you calculate your prices. This can be quite tricky as most self-employed business people think that other business people buy only on price. The truth is we do not. When we buy, we evaluate:

  • Will this do what I want?
  • The quality of the product – how durable is it? How long will it last? How robust is it? How much maintenance will it need?
  • Is this good value?
  • How creative is it? Is it ahead of the game or behind it?
  • Does it give me more features than I originally thought I wanted?
  • Will I get delivery when I want it and how I want it?
  • How will it make me feel? Do I feel this is quality or bargain basement?
  • Am I forming a long-term relationship with this supplier? And if so, is this an outfit with whom I want a long-term relationship.

If we only bought on price why did Woolworth fold and why are John Lewis a huge success?

And what makes your business any different? Only how you feel about it. Often my job is to help clients believe in themselves and what they do. Once you believe you can ask for your price confidently and get it

So, this April ask yourself whether you would employ you? Are you good at what you do? If yes, why undersell yourself? Give your clients an opportunity to understand how good you are and what a great bargain they are getting for their money. Remember clients are as suspicious of something that is too cheap as they would be if something is too expensive.


None of this is original.  We instinctively know about worth. We are good at putting a price on a product until it comes to ourselves. Do not fall into the trap of undervaluing yourself – your work is good quality and worthy of a good price. Good work is never expensive; but always good value.

If this has been interesting, please share it. If you are thinking of working with a mentor, please chat with me about what you are hoping to achieve. I might be the right person for you or I can help you find someone who is. In the meantime, life is good; let’s live it to the full and be the best we can be.