nene local | helen dawson


Category: Thrapston & Oundle

Tirastan Graffix Tells You all About Their New Business


Prince William School Celebrates Fifty Years with Fifty Tales

During the first pandemic lockdown last year former Prince William School, Oundle headteacher, Chris Lowe, wrote a tale-a-day about life and goings-on in schools. Now, ex-students and staff are publishing a book of fifty of his tales. Called ‘Telling Tales Out of School’ the book will mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the school in September 1971.

Chris Lowe, 84, who was the founder head of the school, set himself the task of writing 100 stories about school life, one every day for 101 days.

Chris explained, ‘I took Good Friday off, to give both myself and the readers a bit of a rest,’ ‘I have ended up writing 140 tales… and the readership has grown to more than 500. It is now time to watch our rhubarb grow.’

Chris Lowe has donated the proceeds from the sale of the book to charity. The first one to benefit will be the Oundle-based ‘James Rutterford Trust’.

Pat Rutterford, who with her late husband set up ‘The James Rutterford Trust’ in 1993 in memory of their son, James, who was a student at Prince William School, said:

‘The tales are delightful and I am so grateful to Chris for donating them to raise money for our trust which supports students of Prince William School.

We are fortunate, too, to have a professional editor, illustrators and business experts, who like Chris are members of the Prince William School community. They have all given their services free of charge.’

Jenny Blount, who is leading the publishing project said:

‘The tales are a chronicle of the funny side of school life in the second half of the twentieth century, but what they tell us about growing up and living in a community is timeless. Every reader, whichever school they attended, will recognise with a smile something that is familiar… I defy anyone not to laugh aloud at some of the hilarious shenanigans!’

The book, ‘Telling Tales out of School’ will be launched in September 2021 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the school in 1971.

A reunion for present and past students is planned at the school for Saturday 4th September 2021. Further details of the event are available from the website “

‘Already nearly three thousand former students have accessed the information set out in the group post ‘PWS 50th Anniversary Reunion 2021’ on Facebook,’ said Jenny Blount. ‘So long as the country can weather the restrictions of the pandemic we are going to have a really memorable event, a real ‘Party on the Park’. Chris Lowe’s book will be a major fund-raiser on the day. We are expecting hundreds of ex-students and staff to meet up again, and enjoy the attractions we are planning.’

The chief guest at the event will be ex-student Nev Fountain, who is now a member of staff of ‘Private Eye’, a lead writer on Radio 4’s ‘Dead Ringers’, a ‘Dr Who’ writer  and humorous detective novelist writing under the pseudonym Mervyn Stone.

telling tales out of school

‘Telling Tales out of School’ by Chris Lowe can be pre-ordered now for delivery at the beginning of September at  or will be available from  the Oundle School Bookshop from the beginning of September


It’s Competition Time – with a Fabulous £500 Prize to Grab!

Free entry for everyone – you could WIN a prize worth over £500!!!

win our prize

To Enter

To validate your entry you MUST like and follow the Nene Local page at and make a nice comment on one of the posts on the page.

Then check out the massive prize list below, and for further entries, LIKE each of the pages and make a nice comment.  The more entries you make, the more chance of winning!  Entry is FREE

The Prize….

ONE lucky winner will win….


True Wish Fabrics will give you a £20 voucher to spend in their shop true wish fabrics

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Tirastan Graffix will offer the winner  FREE business cards worth £20 when they purchase her Sapling Package hasaw

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Remember extra entries go in the hat for each page you like…..


prizeThrapston based Lizzie Loves will send you a beauty and well-being pamper box full of amazing goodies – LIKE her page here


Cleaning Angels are giving the winner a cleaning hamper containing ten of their favourite products, like them here


Jack Manning Ltd is offering £100 off any approved quote over £500, or £200 off any approved quote over £1000.  Find them here


Thrapston Farm & Garden will offer £15 voucher to spend in store including, chainsaw sharpening, shear sharpening and watch batteries, LIKE them at


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Remember to validate your entry you must LIKE AND FOLLOW the Nene Local Magazine page



The competition is run by Nene Local Magazine and promoted on (but not in association with) Facebook.

The give way will be drawn on JUNE 1st 2021 and the winner will be messaged on Facebook.  Means of entry is LIKING facebook pages and the winner will be drawn purely at random.  No monetary alternatives are offered.

Thrapston War Memorial gets Makeover after being Vandalised

In November Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the community of Thrapston for responding ‘magnificently’ to the ‘awful vandalism’ against the Silent Soldier war memorial.

The new and improved memorial area will be unveiled at 11am tomorrow, Tuesday 27th April 2021, at Coronation Gardens, Oundle Road, Thrapston, Northamptonshire NN14 4PA

The heart-breaking vandalism to Thrapston’s Silent Soldier statue happened during November’s national lockdown. The news triggered an incredible outpouring of local and national support.

A replacement soldier was loaned to the town by Grange Primary Academy Kettering. Local resident Sophie Starsmore set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money to permanently replace the statue. Donations rolled in from across the country, totalling £4,750.

Thrapston will now have not just one but three Silent Soldiers standing guard over the memorial stone. A fourth Silent Soldier will be mobile, to be positioned around the town as needed for Remembrance events.

Incredibly, the funding pot was left untouched thanks to generous donations of Silent Soldiers from;

Sheila and Mike of Southern Acrylics, Old Weston, who made and donated a replacement statue free of charge.
Will Gadsby, Spirotech Group, Sawtry, who made and donated a replacement statue free of charge.
Hugh Burns, a member of the public who privately donated a statue.
Ernie Keating, a member of the public who privately donated a statue.

What’s the donation money being spent on?

Due to the generous donations of statues, the money raised by Mrs Starsmore’s Go Fund Me page has instead been used towards a stunning new permanent outdoor memorial displaying the names of Thrapston’s war dead.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) the soldiers and memorial to the war dead will be unveiled by a small group including Mayor of Thrapston Cllr Karen Draycott and Mrs Starsmore. The ceremony will be filmed and broadcast on the Town Council’s Facebook page. Members of the public are asked not to attend in person due to restrictions on gatherings.

Clerk to the Town Council Linda Marshall said, “The nation cares very deeply about honouring those who fought for our freedom; this has been shown by the overwhelming response to the fundraising page and the offers of replacement statues. Thrapston is eternally grateful to all who donated statues and gave towards the fundraising page. This has allowed us to erect a permanent outdoor memorial displaying the names of the war dead. The improved memorial area is the physical result of people coming together virtually from far and wide, with the common goal of honouring our veterans. We will remember them.”


The Royal British Legion Silent Soldier (affectionately known by some as ‘Tommy’) represents the thousands of servicemen who walked across the country’s fields and hills on their way back from The Great War. Thrapston Town Council installed a soldier silhouette by the War Memorial in 2018 to mark 100 years since the end of the conflict.

The damage to the Silent Soldier was caused in the evening of 12th November 2020, in Remembrance Week, as the nation marked 75 years since VE Day.

Thrapston Town Council is also carrying out significant improvements to the Peace Memorial Park, close to Coronation Gardens. The Park celebrated its Centenary year in 2020 and the improvements mark 100 years since the area was dedicated as a War Memorial following the Great War. A poppy shaped meeting area, rose garden, sensory garden, accessible paths and ‘Lest We Forget’ and poppy decorated bins bring together the strong Remembrance theme.