Category: Northampton & Earls Barton

East Northamptonshire Council Crack Down on Illegal Alcohol Sales

The Licensing Enforcement team from East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) has been working with Northamptonshire Police Licensing department to cut down on illegal alcohol age-restricted product sales across East Northamptonshire by conducting test purchasing.

cheers-alcohol sales

A test purchase is when the Police, local authority or Trading Standards employs a child aged between 15 and 16 to visit a bar or shop and tries to purchase age-restricted goods, in this case alcohol, to check that the law is being complied with. Test purchases can happen at any time that a premises is open and if a business fails a test purchase, it is likely they’ll receive another within three months.


Between 15 April and 30 October 2019, 28 test purchases were conducted across East Northamptonshire, with nine businesses failing. All the sellers who failed were issued with a Penalty Notice for Disorder fine for £90.


This operation has also resulted in three reviews of premises licences and one premises surrendering its licence prior to formal action being taken, meaning no alcohol sales can take place and conditions being added to the licence.


Cllr Steven North, Leader of East Northamptonshire Council said:

“These figures show, sadly, how common illegal alcohol age-restricted sales are in East Northamptonshire and we will continue to work with Northamptonshire Police to keep residents and, in particular, young people, safe.


“Unfortunately if a seller is found to have sold an age-restricted product to an underage customer, the individual is fined and may have to appear in court, rather than the business owner.”


PC David Bryan, Northamptonshire Police Licensing Officer added:

“We would always recommend that Challenge 21 or 25 is adopted by businesses – this means that if the customer does not look 21 or 25, then the seller must ask for a valid form of ID to prove the person is over 18.


“In addition it is always useful to have an ID policy, detailing which ID you and your employees are going to accept. Typical ID accepted includes photo driving licences, passports, HM Forces ID cards and ID cards with the PASS hologram.”


To find out more about licensing in East Northamptonshire and to report any illegal activity, please contact East Northamptonshire Council’s Licensing Enforcement Officer, Rita Groves on 01832 742241 or rgroves@east-northamptonshire.gov.uk

Local Law Firm spreads Christmas Cheer at Kettering General Hospital

Christmas came a week early for children on the Skylark Ward at Kettering General Hospital thanks to a toy donation drive led by local law firm, Bray & Bray.

Bray & Bray’s Natalie Aldrich and Andrew Hitchon with a selection of the toys and gifts.

Bray & Bray’s Natalie Aldrich and Andrew Hitchon with a selection of the toys and gifts.

Staff at Bray & Bray’s offices in Hinckley, Market Harborough and Corby and clients of the firm donated new toys and gifts to children on the Ward, in response to a wishlist of items compiled by staff and children and released last month.


The Skylark Ward is the purpose-built Children’s Ward at Kettering General Hospital and provides modern and comfortable facilities for children and their parents or carers.


This week, Andrew Hitchon, Partner and Head of the Wills, Trusts and Probate Department at Bray & Bray visited the Skylark Ward to hand deliver the Christmas gifts to the children, amongst them games, puzzles, colouring books, soft toys, arts and crafts supplies and Lego.


“We really wanted to support our local community and help spread some cheer this festive season,” explains Andrew Hitchon. “Thanks to the generosity of the Bray & Bray team and our clients, we were able to donate toys and gifts to the Skylark Ward. We hope the toys will bring joy to the children and a little Christmas cheer at what is a difficult time for them.”


Trisha Bridgen, Play Coordinator at the Skylark Ward added: “At this time of year, the Skylark Ward is extremely busy and so we appreciate each and every donation from our local community. The kindness of amazing donors like Bray & Bray means that every child on the Ward, from newborns to teenagers, will receive a gift this Christmas.”


For more information about Bray & Bray, visit: www.braybray.co.uk

Northamptonshire Traditional English Country Pub Scoops Top Food and Drink Award

A family-run pub known for its outdoor dining and welcoming atmosphere has won a major award, recognising its excellent service and high-quality menu.

 The Brampton Halt, located in Chapel Brampton, has scooped the Food and Drink prize at the prestigious Northamptonshire Business Awards (NBA).

The glittering ceremony was hosted by comedian Stephen K. Amos and took place on Thursday, November 7, at Northampton’s County Ground.

 The pub, part of the McManus Pub Company, was purchased in 2003. It fast became popular for its outdoor space and beautiful views, which prompted the McManus family to inject more than £1m into restoring and renovating the venue.the brampton halt

It has been run by husband and wife team Tim and Donna Leah for more than 15 years.

 Landlord Tim said: “We’re hugely honoured to have picked up the Food and Drink Award at the NBAs this year. But running a public house is truly a team effort and we would not have been winners without every single person who works here, either front of house or out the back.

“Over the years we’ve really grown the business into a place that caters for all ages. In the day we’re a family-run pub that welcomes kids of all ages. In the evenings we get lots of young people visiting, keen to meet their mates and have a few pints, as well as older people who might seek a quiet corner and a read of the paper.

“We’ve also become a popular venue for weddings and parties after we had our outdoor kitchen fitted. Our newly renovated patio has opened the space up, so we can cater for even more people who wish to visit us over the course of the summer. If you haven’t been to visit us before, then you’re missing out!”

More than 50 people are employed at the Brampton Halt and many of them have been extensively trained to ensure customer service goes above and beyond.

Gary McManus, who has been at the helm of the family business since 1989, added: “The Brampton Halt represents the epitome of traditional English country pubs. We have a passion for excellence, coupled with constant investment. We pride ourselves in serving quality, locally-sourced food and beverages, combined with first-class service.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure in the winter months, the Halt is the go-to public house to visit because of its cosy interior, which we’ve recently renovated. In the summer, we throw open the windows and crank up the BBQ as thousands flock to us, happy to take advantage of the country views, the beautiful lake and the huge outdoor patio space we’ve created.

“This award is hugely deserved for the Brampton Halt team and we will continue to ensure it remains one of the most popular pubs in the county during all seasons.”

The NBAs are an annual awards programme which recognises exceptional businesses and business people across the county. All the winners are determined by an independent judging panel and they are scored against set criteria and marked through a bespoke software-based scoring system. On the night a total of 12 trophies were handed out.

Steeped in history, the Brampton Halt is located on the Brampton Way, the old railway line which ran through Northampton. The building is the former old stationmaster’s house and provides the perfect setting for fabulous BBQs, fireworks and family events.

The McManus Pub Company owns an estate of traditional pubs, country inns, sport bars and gastro pub restaurants in Northampton, Middlesex and Leigh-on-Sea.

Grub Club Leicestershire-Northants to launch at Warner’s Distillery

Grub Club Events is launching a new group – Grub Club Northants-Leicestershire. The new group will hold its first event on Tuesday 3 December, at the multi-award-winning Warner’s distillery in Harrington, Northants.

Falls Farm Botanical Garden

Falls Farm Botanical Garden

The new group is an expansion of the existing Grub Club Cambridge – a business networking group for foodies, and movers and shakers in the food industry. Its first Leicestershire-Northants event will include a delicious dinner and the chance to network with others in the food industry.


Grub Club was founded by Vhari Russell and Cat New of The Food Marketing Expert. Vhari said: “This is our first event in this area, and we can’t wait to connect more food and drink businesses, as great things happen over great food and drink.”

Cat New and Vhari Russell

Cat New and Vhari Russell

As well as dinner, the event will include a tour of the distillery, allowing visitors to sample some of the innovative gins that have made Warner’s one of the most successful of the country’s many up-and-coming gin distillers. Warner’s was founded on the family farm in 2012, since when it has forged a reputation for creating novel and great-tasting gins as part of its mission of “Saving the world from mediocre gin”.


Tickets for the event are available from Eventbrite [LINK: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/distillery-tour-and-networking-tickets-79972829887] or visit grubclubcambridge.co.uk for more information.