nene local | helen dawson


Archive for: August 2020

Unique Belvoir Blue Summerhouse Steals the Show at Retail Village

A Northamptonshire timber product manufacturer has created a special Belvoir Blue summerhouse for the Duchess of Rutland who is acting as an agent for the company.

Scotts of Thrapston created the bespoke Burghley summerhouse in the historic colour, which features heavily throughout Belvoir Castle.  Duchess of Rutland

The summerhouse, along with two other models, are on display at The Engine Yard retail village in Leicestershire.

Scotts of Thrapston is celebrating its centenary this year and is delighted to have a presence in such an historic location. Restored from Victorian buildings, the Engine Yard provides a distinctive selection of shops.

The three summerhouse models on display are a 3.9m Sun Ray Garden Room, a 2.2m Newhaven Corner Summerhouse and the 2.4m Burghley.

The Duchess of Rutland first approached Scotts during the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The company has exhibited at the world-famous horticultural event since the 1960s.

Scotts recently filmed the Duchess talking about the summerhouses and what they bring to the Engine Yard retail experience.  She said: “The thing I love is how beautifully the Scotts summerhouses fit into this location. Everything at The Engine Yard is about outdoor space and there is nothing else on the market that touches the quality, design and style of these amazing buildings.

“Having these summerhouses on display in this natural setting, with various colour and interior options, helps visitors visualise how they may look in their own gardens.

“We worked very closely with Scotts to create the Belvoir Blue for the Burghley summerhouse and it really is a showstopper. The family has been here since 1066 and the family flag features this extraordinary blue. It is part of our signage and branding – blue is our colour!”

Scotts of Thrapston managing director James Scott said: “When the Duchess of Rutland approached us, there was only one answer we could give. It is an absolute privilege to be chosen to be part of the Engine Yard and the amazing heritage that comes with it.”

Scotts of Thrapston is now a prominent part of the community hub where locals and tourists can shop, seven days a week, for quality plants, clothing, accessories, gifts, and food, focusing on the best of British produce.

Originally constructed in 1850, the Engine Yard is a series of buildings originally used as workshops by the specialist tradesmen who were brought in to produce furniture, windows, and doors during the construction of the present castle.

To watch the video in full, visit:

Unusual Mix of Products Lead Rise in Heatwave Sales at Central England Co-op

Central England Co-op has revealed some of the unusual items customers have been stocking up on during the current heatwave.

As temperatures across the country reached over 35C in some places, people looking to take advantage of the hot weather visited the retailer to pick up a range of items from soft drinks to snacks.

Some of the most standout or unusual findings included a spike in the sales of banana flavoured milk, Greek natural yoghurt, Galia melons and even trifle!

Sales since last Friday revealed that:

  • Soft drinks rose by 1% while squash sales leapt by 43% compared to the same weekend last year
  • Mixers were also on the up with tonic water rising by 16%, but the biggest growth came in ginger ale up 46%
  • More unusual rises saw Co-op Banana Flavoured Milk jump by 29%, salted peanuts 13%, Co-op Chocolate Trifle 42% and Co-op Galia Melon by 329% – four times as many as this time in 2019
  • A rise in people making smoothies saw fruit sales jump by 3.4%, including two times as many strawberry punnets being snapped up, and salads were the biggest growing category overall compared to last year with Co-op Cocktail On The Vine Tomatoes jumping a whopping 177%
  • People looking for something to go with their salads stocked up on artisan breads such as sourdough roasted tomato and basil, with sales up by 412%
  • Beers, wines and spirits saw large growth with typical summer drinks such as Pimms (+217%) and Aperol (+170%) nearly tripling in sales

Marta Foley, Customer Analytics Manager, said: “These findings show how customers react during a heatwave by not only going for the things they love but also items that are a little out of the ordinary.

“Salad, fruit, drink, beers, wines and spirits would all normally form part of a shopping basket at this time of year, but we were surprised to see people picking up everything from trifles to banana flavoured milk.

“This just goes to show that no matter what people want Central England Co-op stores are at the heart of the community for all shopping needs.”



Council Services to Reopen in Rushden Town Centre

East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) is set to re-open its doors at The Rushden Centre following the coronavirus pandemic. Customer service representatives will return on Monday, 17 August, with visitors requiring a face-to-face meeting being ask to make an appointment via a booking system.


Anyone requesting a face-to-face service will be asked a series of questions to identify how staff can best help with their request, and minimise visits to The Rushden Centre where possible. If residents require an appointment, officers will book this for a convenient date and time and advise of the process for visiting the office.


With public health at the forefront of the changes to service provision, this interim process is designed to ensure maximum safety of both the public and frontline staff at ENC. Customers will be asked to adhere to safety measures in line with Government guidance and must wear a mask when visiting any East Northamptonshire Council location, including The Rushden Centre.


Cllr Steven North, Leader of East Northamptonshire Council said:


“Following the successful re-opening of our Cedar Drive offices, its great news to see that The Rushden Centre will be open again for the residents and businesses of the local area.


“The project team set up to ensure ENC’s offices are as COVID safe as they can be, have worked incredibly hard to get The Rushden Centre open as quickly as possible and on behalf of the residents and business in the town, I’d like to thank them.”


Council services at Fletton House in Oundle will remain closed for the time being and ENC will let everyone know when they have a definite re-opening date.


Customers are encouraged to contact the council using one of the following options to access our services while staying in the safety and comfort of their home:



Customers who require a face-to-face appointment should visit or call 01832 742000 for further details and guidance on what is expected of them when visiting the offices.

Planning Applications: 11 August 2020 WEEKLY LIST

To add your comments to any planning applications – click on the ENC website or click the link below to go directly to the article you require.


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




(15 September 2020) (CA) Demolition of the Old Factory (workshop/warehouse) and construction of three dwellings

1 Spencer Street Ringstead Applicant: Spencer Street Developments – Mr Benham



(15 September 2020) (CA) Single storey rear orangery extension; internal alterations and addition of two window openings to first floor South elevation Islip Grange 31 High Street Islip Applicant: Matthew Sinclair



(15 September 2020) (CA) New link extension and access gates 43 South Road Oundle Applicant: Mr Martin  ickens

Duddington With Fineshade


(15 September 2020) (CA)(ART 15)

Conversion of the existing Coach House to a single dwelling Garages Stables Premises And Paddock High Street Duddington Applicant: Mr M Constant



(15 September 2020) (CA) Change of use from Hairdressers to a Tattoo Studio 36A High Street Thrapston Applicant: Max Kemp



(15 September 2020) (ART15) Change of use from an unrestricted class A1 shop and retail outlet to a class B1(a) office. Warmington Mill Eaglethorpe Warmington Applicant: Mrs Alexandra Proby

Duddington With Fineshade


(15 September 2020) (CA) Erection of a wooden Summerhouse Todds Barn Church Lane Duddington Applicant: Mr Peter Kerr



(15 September 2020) (CA) Erection of rear extension linking existing outbuilding and house Barn Cottage New Road Easton On The Hill Applicant: Dr And Mrs Pool




(15 September 2020) (LB) Internal Structural Alterations to extant planning and listed building consent 96 West Street Oundle Applicant: Mr And Mrs A White



(15 September 2020) (CA) Single Storey Rear Extension 68 Market Road Thrapston Applicant: Mr And Mrs M Bettison

Duddington With Fineshade


(15 September 2020) (CA) Two storey extension and new carport/store; replacement windows and roof and door

alterations to existing dwelling Todds Hill Cottage Todds Hill Duddington Applicant: Mrs L Gilman



(15 September 2020) (CA) Variation of condition 3 – Substitution  of revised plans for approved plans pursuant to planning permission 19/01495/FUL dated2.3.20  -Erection of single storey dwelling (re  submission of 19/00597/FUL) 57 Church Street Warmington Applicant: OCS Developments – Mrs S Bateman


Nene Valley SUP Encourage Fun on the River

Nene Valley SUP loaned Nene Local Magazine a couple of paddle boards – here’s how we got on.

This July I attended a Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) evening of SUP and meditation.  I was nervous but excited to try SUP but found I loved it!  Living by the River Nene, I soon found there is quite a few small businesses set up for SUP around here.

One such business is Nene Valley SUP, who contacted Nene Local Magazine to see if we’d like to take a look at what they offer.

We booked August 6th as our date try out Nene Valley SUP.  They do SUP lessons and group paddles, but we tried the board hire.  I was told I could pick up my board between 8-9am, they do deliver but as I only lived in the next town, I came out to pick up our two boards.

Nene Valley SUP

Board collection in progress…

The two very large bags contained all we needed.  Inflatable paddleboard, detachable fins, collapsible paddle, repair kit – just in case, strap to tie you to the board (so it can’t float away if you fall off), plus a full manual.  the manual not only has full instructions on how to inflate and how to get started, it also has things like safety advice and river etiquette for if you see a boat.  Nene Valley SUP also supply buoyancy aids which should be worn.

I was meeting my friend at 2pm, so I thought I would try pumping up a board this morning just to see how it was, for this article.  The instructions are good and easy to follow.  The pump is a very good pump, as it’s quite tricky to pump the last bits of air into the board to make it sturdy – a good pump is essential.

Pumping the inflatable SUP is easy and quick, until you get to almost done. Of course, it needs the maximum amount of air in it for it to be solid enough and not give under your weight.  A solid board is nice and stable.

On the pump there’s a gauge to show how pumped up it needs to be.

We met at The Woolpack Inn in Thrapston, where there is an EA 48 hour mooring with a shallow enough edge to get in.  Caroline and I pumped up our boards.  To get to the correct Psi (on the gauge on the pump) was tough, I think with practise we would improve, but it took us around an half an hour to blow them up.  It was a muggy, hot day so we had quite a workout before we started.

Nene Valley SUP

A workout in itself!

Both of us had previously been on paddleboards in the group paddle, so knew a little about what we were doing.  Although, the manual fully explains how to launch your paddle board.

Our paddle took us from the Woolpack to Denford Lock and back.  Around 2.4 miles.  You can take your paddle boards and go wherever you wish on your days hire. The ideal, especially for beginners, is to paddle up stream first, as on your return you’re more tired and so it’s helpful to have the addition of the current to take you along.

We negotiated the fishermen in the reeds, all were good natured, and we could chat as we paddled by.  There were also four narrowboats coming along at various intervals, we tended to stop and hold the reeds while they passed, but as we get more experienced, I’m sure we’ll just keep going along.

As you paddle, it’s so lovely and peaceful.  Watching fish jumping in the water, dragonflies hitching a cheeky ride on the board, swans regally floating by at eye level…sometimes you’re close enough to your buddy to chat and other times you’re floating and paddling ahead.  I’m sure I speak for Caroline too when I say I didn’t once think of anything other than what I was doing.  At this present time with all that’s on the news and going on in the world I was amazed at my own mindful thoughts.

Nene Valley SUP

Our paddle took us back to the Woolpack Inn, as we’d locked everything we didn’t need in our car, that was parked there.  We returned to the place we’d launched and attempted to get out.  Our arms and legs were pretty tired at this point, and I would warn that getting out can be tricky for a beginner.  Of course, getting out with a great lack of elegance made us laugh, and this in turn made it even more difficult to get out.  We must have looked quite a site!

Nene Valley SUP

Tired yet grinning!

We wiped our boards dry, rolled them up and popped them back in the bag, with all the other equipment ready for me to return them to Nene Valley SUP.

We were hugely tired but grinning from ear to ear after a brilliant afternoon!  If you’re a different fitness level you can paddle further or less far accordingly, so you don’t have to wear yourself out if you don’t want to.

Nene Valley SUP is a relaxed company, having fun is top priority.  They supply all you need for a fabulous day out, the instruction manual is easy to follow, and everything is quite straightforward.  They’ll even supply a ‘dry bag’ if you want to take a picnic out with you.  We took water, which I would highly recommend!Nene Valley SUP


For More Information




Weetabix Delivers a Big Cheque to Cransley Hospice

Weetabix delivers a big cheque for £10,000 along with hampers, goody bags and product to the hard-working nurses and staff at Cransley Hospice.Weetabix donates to Cransley Hospice

To fundraise the incredible £10,000 over the past year, the staff at Weetabix held baking competitions, flash mobs, treasure hunts, bingo evenings and even a summer fundraising event with a giant Weetabix. Representatives from Cransley Hospice Trust also joined in with some of the events, including judging the baking competition.

The money raised by the staff was matched with £5,000 from Weetabix Food Company to bring the total to just over £10,000, making Weetabix one of Cransley Hospices most successful Charity of the Year Partnerships.

Stuart Branch, Group People and IT Director at Weetabix, said, “Giving back to the local Northamptonshire community is an important part of our charity ethos here at Weetabix and we’re very proud to have worked with Cransley Hospice. The staff have had a lot of fun raising the money, especially throwing wet sponges at each other during the Summer Fundraising Day and we are delighted to be able to donate £10,000 to Cransley, alongside hampers and goody bags for the staff at the hospice.”

Weetabix donates to Cransley Hospice Cransley Hospice has continued to provide specialist palliative care for patients with complex needs throughout the nationwide lockdown as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. It would be most welcome if there are more companies like Weetabix who could reach out and offer their support, especially as the fundraising events have been unable to continue, leaving the charity short by around £500k from income that would usually come from the community, the events, the retail and coffee shop.

Louise Preedy, Community Fundraising Manager at Cransley Hospice, said, “We are incredibly grateful to Weetabix and all the staff involved for choosing to support Cransley as their charity of the year.  We know too well the hard work and effort that goes into raising money and would like to thank everyone that has been involved. The money raised is more important than ever right now as it costs around £1.4M a year to run the hospice and during the lockdown many of our usual fundraising activities and events have had to stop.”