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YOUR Village Magazine

Rea more p d by Earls B eople in a any ot rton than her ‘lo cal public ation. ’

March 2011

Here’s looking at you kid The ultimate Mother’s Day gift from fine art photographer, Wendy Grant

Ahoy shipmates!

Lee Berrill and his team celebrating 30 years in Broad Street

Featuring: Your Letters - Local News - Motoring Today and MORE



Fancy some family time on the water?

Saying it with flowers

Talk to your local property consultant For a refreshingly different, personal service…

More properties wanted I have buyers ready and waiting for the right home to come up in Earls Barton. So before you do anything else, give me a call!

Queen Street, Earls Barton

Station Road

Building Plot, Earls Barton

18 Sunnyside


£239,950 A brand new dormer bungalow offering flexible living. Two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, large lounge and kitchen with good size garden. Also comes with separate off road parking.

Offers in the region of £300,000


A spacious three bedroom, Victorian, end of terrace property with separate lounge and dining room, large kitchen and courtyard garden with rear access.

A unique opportunity to own a personally designed, three bedroom detached bungalow in the sought after village of Earls Barton.

Stunning and spacious four bedroom detached house with large rear garden. Ample parking with a double garage. Large lounge, separate dining room, kitchen and utility.

Mears Ashby

Churchill Road, Earls Barton

Leys Road

£349,950 (price reduced)



A fantastic stone built, four bedroom, mews barn conversion on the outskirts of Mears Ashby, overlooking open fields. Master bedroom has walk through dressing area and en-suite spa bath. Property also benefits from a large single garage and gravel driveway.

A spacious, four bedroom, well maintained and tastefully extended detached property with large lounge, separate dining room, fully fitted modern kitchen and versatile utility room/office/playroom. Gravel driveway with parking for two vehicles and a garage.

A fantastic six bedroom family home with a fully enclosed, large rear garden. Boasting large lounge, dining room, kitchen and conservatory. Six bedrooms, master with large ensuite and family bathroom. Also comes with a double garage. The property is located in a private lane.

Raising funds for the NCTLC Trust - Supporting families living with childhood cancers when it matters most For any house that I take on in March, and then sell, I will be donating 10% of my sales commission to the NCTLC Trust, one of our favourite local charities.

Meet your local property consultant Welcome. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Steve and I am your local Horts’ property consultant. Living in the village means I am well qualified to talk to buyers here and in the surrounding area. You have my promise that I will always: 1) Do my utmost to get the best price for your property (over 75% success rate to date); 2) Make sure it is marketed through all the possible channels that Horts offers; 3) Give you honest, regular feed back, usually within 24 hours of a viewing.

Call 01604

813854 today!



Your local property consultant

But don’t just take my word for it… “Steve was a huge help. We found his advice both realistic and straightforward. He kept us up to date with all the progress and developments in our house sale. And him living here was definitely a bonus when it came to answering any viewers’ questions.” Pete and Jenny Hibberd

Steve Dodds


Welcome Can you believe March is here already? No, nor can I. But at least we can look forward to spring and all that it brings. New buds, new flowers, blue skies and sunshine … let’s hope we get lots of it this year. But first, I must apologise for the late delivery of Barton Today last month. We were let down by our (now previous) printer, who gave us lots of false promises. But I did get a lot of positive feedback when it finally landed on your doorsteps, so thank you for that (as well as your patience). This month, we’re in a celebratory mood. And it’s no wonder, there’s so much to celebrate starting with Earls Barton’s own Lee Berrill, our award-winning florist who first opened his doors for business on 2nd March 1981. Does that make it a pearl anniversary for him? Then of course, we’re in the run up to Mothers’ Day. You can’t fail to notice this, as the shops are full of gift ideas for the special lady in your life. And we’ve our own idea for you on that one. Take a look at our interview with Wendy Grant, a fine art photographer living in the village, who specialises in maternity, newborns, babies and children. She’ll create you your very own masterpiece to treasure forever.

Red Nose Day is just around the corner with the big event being on 18th March (straight after St Patrick’s Day). It’s when Lenny Henry invites us to ‘do something funny for money’. Many of you will no doubt be doing your bit but don’t forget to look out for our local ‘postie’ Les and drop any loose change you have in his bucket. He certainly put a smile on our faces when he called in to have his photograph taken recently! If you are doing something for Comic Relief – either as an individual, company, group or school, why not send us your photos. We’ll publish the best ones next month. I don’t think you can beat Earls Barton, in terms of community spirit. There is so much going on here; there really is something for everyone. Hopefully we’ve managed to provide a little of that in Barton Today too.

Regular contributors James Neal Magazine designer

Susan Taylor Business expert from Elsby & Co based in Sywell

Enjoy! Lynne Lynne Dickens Editor - Barton Today

Graeme Hall aka ‘The Dogfather’ from nearby Overstone

PS. We’ve a racy feature for you guys this month – turn to page 50 for more details!

Barton Today


Sheila Smith Wordsmith extraordinaire and BBN regular

The return of the

GIANT STRAWBERRY No, not a film or stage show, but local postman Les Dodd raising valuable funds once again for Comic Relief. During the course of the day (on 18th March), you’ll find him outside the newsagents in Doddington Road in the morning, in Great Doddington at lunchtime and outside Jeyes Chemist in the afternoon. Do say “hello” if you come across him and donate what you can. Two years ago he wore this fantastic costume (courtesy

of Blackadder Costume Hire) and raised £929, which bought 180 malaria nets in Africa. That’s potentially 180 lives saved from this dreadful disease. For more information, check out This year, he is also doing ‘Quote me a note’ and asking local companies to pledge him a note of any size that they will donate. So come on all you Barton businesses, show him how generous you can be!

March 2011



In this issue… 6

Saying it with flowers. Lee Berrill 30 years down the line


Smart enough? We discover (at least) five generations in our special Barton Yesterday feature


Pet’s Corner, incorporating expert advice from the Dogfather


Looking good baby! Celebrate your mother’s day with a truly special gift

34 38 42 46 50

Barton does fiction! Local author Miriam Cox introduces us to ‘The World’s End’, the new Barton comedy-thriller serial Health matters. Atrial fibrillation, a common cause of strokes. Find out more Juggle your way to success! Susan Taylor gives invaluable advice for your business Your parish council minutes. Keep on top of what’s happening here Motoring today. Take a crash course in Motorsport with Mark Leabon

Barton Today is a community magazine with over 6,000 readers. Delivered FREE to every home and business in Earls Barton, every month, as well as made available through various outlets around the county. We are not controlled by, or affiliated to, any political, religious, social or commercial group. Tel: 01604 812797 Web: EDITOR Lynne Dickens Mob: 07504 955654 PRODUCTION James Neal ADVERTISING SALES Lynne Dickens CONTRIBUTORS Graeme Hall Sheila Smith PUBLISHED BY Barton Today Ltd Reg. No. 5801713 Farm Studios, London End, Earls Barton, Northants NN6 0EZ PRINTED BY CRN Print Limited in Northampton Special thanks to everyone who has contributed to this issue of Barton Today and to all kind distributors who ensure it lands on your doorstep each month. SUBSCRIPTIONS If you live outside Earls Barton but in mainland UK and would like to receive a copy, a year’s subscription costs £13 to cover postage and packing. Please make your cheque payable to ‘Barton Today’ and remember to give us the address to send it to. We can also send it overseas – contact the editor for more information.


Trekking to Macchu Piccu with Crazy Hats supporter Tracey Coldwell


Put the heat up and the bills down. Invest in a log burner!


Mind your language! Regular columnist Sheila Smith talks about ‘the crimes of Tautologies and Pleonasms’. Do you commit them every day?






Kerry Provenzano’s youthful take on the trials and tribulations of sixth form Colin’s Retirement Challenge: this month he’s been learning how to become ‘an urban survivor’


March 2011

Sports today. From sailing to football and a special cricket invitation, it’s all here The arts: music and drama. Take part or simply enjoy! Coming up – various events for your calendar

DEADLINES Normally 1st the of the preceding month for articles and information (or the first working day thereafter if the 1st is a bank holiday or weekend). Advertisements should be booked by 1st also but you will normally have until 10th to supply finished artwork. Please refer to the media pack for advertisement sizes and formats accepted. Disclaimer All rights reserved. Except for normal review purposes, no part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publishers. All views expressed in this magazine are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the publishers. Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine but the contents are only meant as a guide to readers. The proprietors of this magazine are publishers not agents or sub-agents of those who advertise therein. They cannot be held liable for any loss suffered as a result of information gained from the publication. The publishers of Barton Today would always recommend readers obtain reliable professional advice before signing any documents or making any payments to anyone hitherto unknown to themselves. Copyright 2010 Barton Today Ltd.


Cover Story

A real ‘gem’ celebrates his pearl anniversary Lee Berrill’s reflects on 30 years in Earls Barton It seems a lifetime ago since 2nd March 1981 when Lee Berrill first opened the doors to his florist shop in Broad Street. Well for some people it would be! But in the last three decades, Lee has certainly packed a lot in. “Back then, I drove to London twice a week to get fresh stock from Covent Garden,” Lee told us. “There were no ‘flying Dutchmen’, as we have today. We’d leave around one o’clock in the morning to get there early, and be back in time for the shop to open at nine.”

“You can get virtually any flower, any time of the year, from all over the world” Of course, buying British meant only seasonal blooms were available. A lot were grown in the Channel Islands but that is as close to the continent as it went. Today, things couldn’t be more different. You can get virtually any flower, any time of the year, from all over the world. “At a premium,” Lee added. “I’m currently sourcing a particular rose that a customer has chosen for her wedding. It’s only available in Kenya but should arrive within 10 days of ordering. That’s how much the world of floristry has changed.” Lee, who has lived in the village since he was five, grew up around flowers. His mother Jenny’s main hobby was flower arranging and that must have sparked his interest in flowers. After finishing school, he went to study ‘Floristry and Flower Production’ at the Welsh College of Horticulture (one of only three places that offered the course on a full-time basis).


March 2011

After finishing that he managed a florist shop in Luton before hearing on the grapevine that the shop in Barton was going to become available. Previously it was a children’s clothes shop. “And before that Mr Lack’s DIY shop,” Lee remembered. The rest is history as they say! When asked what have been his main highlights, Lee said he had many. He is proud to have been involved with NAFAS (the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies) since he first qualified. That has taken him to many places around the UK and overseas as a professional demonstrator. “I do enjoy that. You can be doing a large flower arrangement in front of around 300-400 people, whilst talking about your experiences over the years. You have to keep them entertained while you work. And I’ve been lucky enough to visit places I might never have known existed without the involvement of NAFAS.”


Lee with his two talented and dedicated assistants, Andrea who’s worked in the shop for over 20 years and Katy for the last eight.

“Flowers have developed so much over the years,” Lee shows us, “many varieties have stronger stems nowadays, bigger flowers and more vivid colours. Loss of perfume has been a consequence but it is only a matter of time before they improve that too.” This year alone, he is booked to do 60 demonstrations in the UK from Scotland to Hampshire and various points in between – and he’s actually taking bookings as far ahead as 2013.

“If he hasn’t taken on enough already, he’s also involved in an even more ambitious project for 2012” If he hasn’t taken on enough already, he’s also involved in an even more ambitious project for 2012. Entitled ‘Dreams of Gold’, it is a celebration of the London Olympics taking place at Lincoln Cathedral. There will be up to 500 exhibits, some of which will take five or six people to make. “It’s a huge commitment, and it will take meticulous planning by all the teams involved.” That shouldn’t faze our Lee though. He’s also no stranger to pressure. You may or may not be aware that at one stage in his career, well 1994 to be precise, Lee was crowned ‘British Teleflorist of the Year’ and went on to represent the country at the world championships in New Zealand the following year. He wasn’t a one-hit wonder though, “You weren’t allowed to re-enter after you’d won,” he said with that familiar smile.

So what’s planned for the future? we asked. “Probably more of the same,” exclaimed Lee, “I’ve done most of what I set out to do already. I’ve run my own business, competed at the top level, taught for several years (first at Moulton College and then at Lincolnshire College of Horticulture), and I’ve travelled with my work, so there’s much not else that springs to mind.” That said he is off to the World Show in Boston, USA in June – one of three members of the Earls Barton Floral Society who is competing there. Reminiscing about his time here, Lee reckons not a lot has changed really (unlike flower trends). He says he loves the community spirit in the village. “Only last year when I was off work for two months with pneumonia, people really rallied round. Some offering to come in and sweep up, others to help with deliveries. There really isn’t a better place to be.” So if you want to ‘say it flowers’, look no further than our award-winning florist. Pop in between 9 and 5, Monday to Friday, 9 and 4 on Saturdays. Or call 01604 811905.

March 2011



Barton Yesterday

Five generations of smart men in the village And three of them painting the ‘town’ red, white, blue, magnolia… We all know the old saying ‘keep it in the family’ but the Smart’s have really taken that to heart! Three generations in a row – Alan, Martin and Sam – all becoming painters and decorators. But they didn’t leave it at that; Martin married into a family of painters and decorators and so has Sam. And naturally, Alan’s cousin Ray (Smart) was also a painter and decorator who just happened to work for Jill (Martin’s wife)’s father. Still following? “Well actually we were plumbers and decorators’ initially,” Alan informed us. “I started the company back in 1962, having done my apprenticeship with Bob Horne (C R Horne) and a spell of national service in the Royal Air Force.” And he’s never looked back since (although officially Alan is retired now).

“I didn’t get my first van for quite a few years.”

Actually Alan was able to fill us in on quite a few things we didn’t know. His wife Jean used to work at the very large Co-op store we had back then. He remembers glorious outings each year where the whole staff would go to the seaside for the day. Several buses would turn up early in the morning to collect the happy crew. (You might just spot Jean in the front row, she’s the one in the smart coat nearest to the left.) And did you know there even used to be a dance hall on the third floor of the building? Many a Barton wedding reception or party took place there over the years. He also remembers the many evacuees (and their teachers) that stayed in the village during the war. Sadly no school photos were taken during this time, so we can’t introduce you to these. There were also a lot of Canadian allies living in New Barton, in the Pyghtle. After they left, the council houses went up and Alan recalls working on most of those.

“Glorious seaside outings for all the staff” Alan has fond memories of that time. Initially, there were no vehicles to get around in. “It was all bikes and handcarts,” he said. “I didn’t get my first van for quite a few years.” Looking at the photo of it, it’s a far cry from the one you’ll see nipping round the village today.


March 2011

Life was much slower back then. “If someone wanted their house decorated, they sent you a letter,” Alan told us. “You then went to see them to discuss it.” After the war, there was a lot of work but wallpaper was still rationed and there was a limited range of colours – mainly cream, green and brown for the outside. Inside, brush graining was all the rage (it gave a hardwood effect). And there was no emulsion paint either, just whitewash for the ceilings.


By the time Martin came on board in 1970 the fashion was more towards different papers, and a lot were from London. “We were working on some of the larger houses by then and we put up quite a few Cole’s papers,” he recalled. (He is referring to the hand printed wallpapers made by Cole & Son, and the preferred choice of the upper and upper middle classes.) That’s before woodchip came in and brought a whole lot of new challenges!

So who was Sam’s namesake? Sam Smart Snr was actually Alan’s grandfather, so Sam’s great, great grandfather, shown here sitting outside The Stag (middle right in the front row). He is sitting next to Jack Houghton (middle left) who used to have the barbers shop, now Linda’s Hair Salon in the High Street.

You may be interested to know that today, the Cole & Son archive consists of approximately 1,800 block print designs, 350 screenprint designs and a huge quantity of original drawings and wallpapers, representing all the styles from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Amongst these are some of the most important historic wallpaper designs in the world. One of the biggest jobs they’ve done together was at Castle Ashby House. “We’ve actually done a lot of work there and for the estate over the years,” Martin explained. “Both inside and out.” “Yes, and once in the middle of summer when it was bitingly cold!” added Alan. Like his father, Sam also joined the fam ily firm straight from school (in 1996). A keen footballer since the age of eight, many of you will know him from the Earls Barton Saxons (youth team) and more recently the Earls Barton Men’s. A team captain and ‘man of the match’ on many occasions, he could have chosen to give David Beckham a run for his money. But no, there was only one career choice for him. “It just seemed the natural thing to do!” he exclaimed.

That just leaves Alan’s father. Was he a painter and decorator we asked. “No, his name was Sydney Smart and he was a foreman at John White’s in Higham Ferrers.” Ah yes, the boot and shoe industry … but that’s another story, for another time!

Earls Barton Under 16’s Cup Final 1996 at Rushden & Diamonds

What are your memories? If you’d like to share them with us, then please contact the editor. We’d really like to create a ‘village archive’ for future generations to enjoy. March 2011



Churches Today

A message from All Saints Church What do you think? This month I will be distributing a leaflet inviting members of All Saints to dream about the future of our church here in Earls Barton. But because I know that God is active within the hearts and minds of all people, I will be seeking to ensure that every household in the village also receives one of these leaflets – and I would like to encourage everyone to let me know what they think, and what their dreams are. I want you to dream of what All Saints could be like in five years’ time. Imagine what the future could be like. What do you dream and hope for in the life of our church. Imagine – it’s 2016 and you’ve just walked into All Saints before a service… • • • • • •

What does it feel like to walk into the church in 2016? What does it look like? Who else is here? What is the church busy doing? What is the current project? What is All Saints doing to reach out into Earls Barton?

Remember that this is five years ahead, not next year, and don’t worry about the practicalities – the ‘how’ of your dreams. Now imagine you want to write your ideas on a postcard to a friend – but send it to me instead.

This is a way of trying to discern what we feel God is asking of us for the future. During the coming months I am keen to listen to what you think and to share with you some of my own ideas. So I would be really grateful if you could begin to reflect and think about these questions – and then, when you receive the leaflet, put some of your thoughts and ideas down on the postcard and return it to me (signed or anonymously) at either: • The Vicarage, 7 High Street, Earls Barton NN6 0JG • All Saints Church • Earls Barton Post Office If you prefer, please feel free to email me at vicar@ After Easter we will hold several open meetings to discuss the issues, and so begin together to build a vision for the future. Who knows what may come our way in the years ahead: sometimes that can be quite a frightening thought not knowing what may be around the corner, and at other times it can be exciting looking forward to the unfolding of life around us. But whatever the future holds we can be certain that God is with us. I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord…to give you a future with hope. Jeremiah 29:11 Rev’d Miranda Hayes All Saints Church

10. March 2011



Pets Corner

Expert dog advice from Graeme Hall, ‘The Dogfather’

Does My Dog Have ADHD? As awareness increases of attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD) in children, I’m sometimes asked if an overactive and easily distracted dog is suffering from something similar. The answer is almost certainly not, although there are rare cases when evidence does seem to support this diagnosis. However many common conditions can be confused with combined hyperactivity and lack of attention, such as:

Normal puppy behaviour Many puppies seem overactive, disobedient and uncontrolled. That’s because they are! Puppies take a while to learn voice commands. They have so much energy and exuberance they can barely contain themselves during training. Make sure training is short and fun and always end on a ‘high’.

Overactive adult dogs Certain breeds, especially those developed for fieldwork, seem as if they’re always on the go. Collies, Spaniels and German Shepherds spring to mind (quite literally!). They’re displaying high activity levels, for which they were originally developed. Everyday life is sometimes not enough for these highly-strung individuals. Owners often find that high-energy doggy hobbies like fly ball or agility training help them to blow off steam.

Highly reactive dogs Certain breeds are more reactive than others. Reactive dogs, as opposed to hyperactive dogs, react to every minuscule event around them with extraordinary bursts of energy. If a leaf blows or footsteps are heard outside, they go berserk, running around the house, bouncing off the sofa or barking like a mad thing. Have you ever seen a Border Collie obsessed with chasing reflections and shadows on a carpet? That’s a reactive dog (possibly overactive as well).

12. March 2011

Attention-seeking behaviour Dogs learn to behave in almost any conceivable way if they are rewarded for it. If you pay attention to a dog only when he is barking, jumping, or otherwise being a nuisance, that’s the behaviour you’ll encourage. Inadvertently, you are reinforcing unwanted behaviours. Any attention is better than no attention for some dogs, even when you think you’re telling them off. As a starting point, make sure you pay attention to your dog only when he is being good and ignore him when he is misbehaving. Interestingly, the true test of ADHD is to give the dog a prescribed stimulant, under controlled clinical conditions, whilst observing changes in heart rate, respiratory rate, and behaviour. For a dog with ADHD, these parameters are reduced. (Yes, you did read that right: paradoxically, a stimulant can calm them down, for reasons that we don’t have space for here.) Almost certainly then, your dog doesn’t have ADHD. It’s probably something much simpler that can be significantly improved, and quite quickly, if you get the right help. On a lighter note, my mate recently told me he’s been diagnosed with a new disorder called ADOLAB. Apparently it’s short for ‘Attention Deficit... Oh Look A Butterfly!’ At least, that’s what I think he said...

Graeme Hall ‘The Dogfather’ Tel: 01604 493007 Mob: 07710 581007


Reg. Charity no: 1000412

Summer Leys Find us by following the brown road signs. Hardwater Road, Near Wollaston

A Living Landscape scheme in Northamptonshire Concentrating on the Nene Valley, the Wildlife Trust is prioritising the scheme to conserve and improve our local and internationally important wildlife. We would like to welcome you to our indoor meeting to find out all about the Nene Valley, its history and current management needs. You will also have the chance to ask any questions and share anything you may know about the Nene Valley. Heather, an ecologist, is now specifically working in the Nene Valley following working as the Conservation Officer in the county for the Trust.

On 15th March The Nene Valley Vision Illustrated talk by Heather Ball The Memorial Hall, 42b High Street, Gt Doddington, NN29 7QT Tuesday, 7.30 to 9pm. £2 including tea/coffee and a biscuit All money received will be used to fund improvements at Summer Leys and to encourage interest and enjoyment in nature.

NEXT MONTH: Details of our Easter Event at Summer Leys on 24th April For help on anything ‘Summer Leys’, contact The Friends of Summer Leys on 01604 471431 or email


Cover Story

Looking good baby! The 3rd April of this year it is a very important day. The day we celebrate mothers everywhere. New mums, older mums, mums-to-be, mother figures, grandmothers, even sisters … special women who have (or have had) a profound effect on our lives. Want to give a gift that is really precious, something that will be truly appreciated for many years to come? Then perhaps you should talk to local fine art photographer, Wendy Grant. She’ll create beautiful timeless images that will become part of your family’s history. Although living in Earls Barton, Wendy’s work takes her all over the UK. She receives most of it through word of mouth (always the sign of a good photographer), and is regularly commissioned to work in London. So why is she is so in demand? Perhaps it’s because she approaches things in a completely different way to most portrait photographers. She looks at things from a fine art perspective first and foremost. Always looking to achieve something completely bespoke and personal for her subjects. The photography is almost secondary. “My style is contemporary and creative, working from a fine art background to give you images that have a special edge,” she informed us recently. “I’m also best known for my nostalgic sepia photographs and work almost exclusively in this format.”

Celebrate your mother’s day with a truly special gift She also prefers to work just with babies and children. “I have a rule to focus on those under 21 normally,” she says. But she does often get invited back to do pictures of the same families at different periods of their lives. Another speciality is ‘bump and baby’. “In this instance, I will do two sittings. One when the lady is pregnant, with or without her partner, whatever the client prefers. Then I’ll return to take shots of the baby with the proud parents. This is very popular. “On each occasion, I’ll spend around 2 ½ hours in the client’s home, getting to know them and their environment. This allows me to achieve some really natural shots, organically. They tend to just evolve during the session.” Now looking at her work displayed here, you might think she has been doing this all her life. But we were quite surprised to learn that actually, although photography has always been a passion for Wendy, she only trained professionally in the last decade. As her children grew up (in fact whilst helping her son with his A level studies), she got the urge to study herself. After completing an open arts distance-learning course, she did a part-time foundation course in fine art, whilst working in the research department at Milton Keynes General Hospital.

On each occasion, I’ll spend around 2 ½ hours in the client’s home, getting to know them and their environment. 14. March 2011

She then went on to Northampton University to complete a Fine Art degree, channelling all her energies into what she really wanted to do. “I did combine the studies with a spot of ‘flash and dash’ in the second year,” she added (that’s event photography to you and me).

Wendy offers her clients a choice of mounted prints or storyboards (unframed or framed) or fine art leather bound or animal-friendly books that can be personalised with text. She tends to use Gallery West 24 for her framing, as she reckons John’s attention to detail is second to none and would highly recommend him for all your artworks (a real example of local businesses supporting each other!). She’s recently done two storyboards for newborn twins in Northampton that she is particular proud of (and we have showcased here with the parents’ permission). We can see why they decided to order one for each of their gorgeous daughters, as well as two mini books and several other portraits. They’re fabulous Wendy!


My style is contemporary and creative, working from a fine art background to give you images that have a special edge.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER TO BT READERS Book a session with Wendy (for you or as a gift to someone you love) before the end of March and you’ll receive a complimentary mounted 14” x 14” storyboard. The session must take place within three months of booking - and remember to quote BARTON TODAY when contacting her. Enjoy! Sessions cost from just £100 (bump and baby from £150). For more information, go to Or call 01604 779020

March 2011 15.


Churches Today

A message from our Baptist Church During this month of March begins the period in the Christian calendar known as Lent. It starts on Ash Wednesday, the day after Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) and leads up to Holy Week and Easter. During Lent there will be, as usual, the Churches Together Bible Studies to which anyone and everyone is welcome – look for the ‘advertisement’ elsewhere in the magazine. Lent is the period which links with the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness – modern versions of the Bible say desert but it was not a desert as we understand the word today, although it was certainly deserted – where he was tested before he started his teaching, preaching, miracle-working ministry. During this time in the wilderness, Jesus was tempted to show himself to be the Son of God by performing a series of miracles which would bring him glory in human terms – turning stones into bread, jumping from a high place and being saved – or by taking glory for himself rather than giving the honour to God. In all these ways Jesus showed that he was keen to do God the Father’s will, keen to serve people rather than ‘lord it’ over them. By doing this he was showing the way that God loves us, not necessarily by some wonder working power but being there in the midst of our needs. “Greater love has no-one than this that he lay down his life for his friends” (John’s gospel chapter 15 verse 13). Lent leads us to that point where we remember again that on the cross Jesus gave up his life for us. By doing that God the Father honoured him, as we know from Easter when we remember that Jesus rose from the grave.

16. March 2011

Jesus showed us that we need to be servants of one another, servants of God, rather than ‘lording it’ over one another. He said, “The greatest among you will be your servant” (Matthew’s gospel chapter 23 verse 11). Sometimes, even today, being a servant of others means giving up your life for someone. It is a sign of how much we love that other person; in just the same way that Jesus showed his love for us. Among the horrific stories of death and devastation in the floods in Australia one story for me has stood out. It is the story of Jordan Rice, a thirteen-year-old boy who could not swim and drowned after telling rescuers to save his younger brother Blake first. Blake survived. We can see the heroism and sacrifice that Jordan made. Blake will always be aware, for as long as he lives, that it was his brother’s sacrifice that gave him that life. Through Lent may you remember that it was Jesus’ sacrifice that gives you life, real life, if you will accept his sacrifice for you. Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John’s gospel chapter 10 verse 10). That’s life now and eternal/everlasting life into the future. Brian Moderator of the Baptist Church

Preachers for March: Sunday Sunday Sunday Sunday

6th 13th 20th 27th

Margaret Smith Jonathan Thompson Philip Jenkins John Hutcherson


Give Us Your Support

Nice one Fred! It’s that time of year again!  Please collect Sainsbury’s Active Kids Vouchers for the 1st Earls Barton Brownies. We hope to use them to obtain more sports equipment to play with. Last year over 4,000 vouchers were generously donated to us by people in the village. We were able to purchase a soft croquet set, hoops, balls, Frisbees ... and an activity day for the girls. Vouchers can be left in the box in All Saints Church or posted through the door of 7 Park Street. Many thanks. Barn Owl (Catherine Johnson) and all the girls of the 1st Earls Barton Brownies

Need help with the switchover?

Help one young man from Earls Barton reach his fundraising target and you’ll be benefiting those less fortunate than you in the southern hemisphere at the same time. Let’s explain…

16-year-old Fred Clues, a pupil at the Northampton School For Boys, has been selected to be part of the school’s August 2012 expedition to Bolivia and Peru. But he’s been tasked with raising an enormous £3,500 to cover the cost of the month long trip. “It’s not a holiday,” he assured us, “but an opportunity to get involved with individual projects there, such as forest conservation, working with street kids, teaching English in schools, painting walls, constructing buildings, digging wells and farming the land.” Entrepreneurial Fred has already got off to a good start and he’s organised two events for March that you can get involved with or come along to. Kicking off with a Race Night at Earls Barton Working Men’s Club on 18th and an all-day Pool Tournament at the Barratt Snooker Club in Northampton on 19th. For the event on 18th, he’s looking for race sponsors and in return offers to put your business cards, leaflets and/or flyers with the race programs. “It’ll cost you just £10 per race – a small price given the amount of publicity you might receive,” he reckons. If you wish to enter the pool tournament the next day, it will cost you a mere £5. The aim is to get 64 players involved and the winner will receive £70 (not a bad return!) and there’s a runners-up prize and raffle on the night. For more information on any of these events (or to sponsor him in any way), contact Fred by email in the first instance:

Is your TV still OK? It’s not too late to get help. TV is switching to digital all over the UK and soon the traditional TV signal will be switched off in this area. If you don’t have digital TV by 13 April 2011, you will lose your TV channels. But you don’t need to worry; the Help Scheme is here to help. The Switchover Help Scheme is being run by the BBC, under an agreement with the Government. It is providing thousands of people with everything they need to switch one of their TV’s to digital. They’re helping people who: • • • •

Are aged 75 or over, or Have lived in a care home for six months or more, or Are registered blind or partially sighted, or Can get certain disability allowances.

Come on folks, let’s get behind this young man and we’ll be helping several people in the long run.

Good luck, Fred!

If you need help with the switchover, or you know of somebody who may need help with the switchover in your area, please contact Margaret Docker on 01933 665035 or email:

March 2011 17.



My Macchu Piccu Story by Tracey Coldwell After 18 months preparation, including several fundraising events, some great (village hall ball and quiz evening), others not so successful (wet and windy car boots, raising £5 after hours in the cold), I had reached my target of £3,800. I had trained by walking miles and miles of our beautiful Northamptonshire countryside, with 3-kilo weights on my ankles and heavy rucksack on my back. My charity trek to Macchu Piccu, Peru had finally arrived raising funds for Crazy Hats Breast Cancer Appeal.

Just in time to check in

Friday 24th September 2010, I was off to South America. But to get there was a mammoth journey. My friend Diana and I drove from Spratton to Luton, to then pick up a coach to Heathrow. Upon hearing the traffic news we decided at the last minute to catch a train to St Pancras, instead. So with heavy rucksacks, each the size of a large child, loaded with sleeping bags, clothes and essential supplies, ie, chocolate and diarrhea tablets, we faced the rush hour commuters. We arrived at the airport flushed and exhausted, and met our fellow trekkers just in time to check in for the first of three flights and the start of a 36-hour journey.

18. March 2011

We flew with TAM airlines from London to Sao Paulo, Brazil, 11 hours, then another five hours to Lima, Peru. We stayed there for 12 hours till the next morning, and then caught a smaller aircraft to Cusco. The last flight took us just above the clouds and into the bright blue sky where we saw the tips of the Andes, majestically rising from the white, swirling mist that surrounded them. As soon as we arrived at our destination, 3,200m above sea level, some of our party felt unwell due to the change in altitude. I felt exuberant that I was really here, the start of my adventure.

Big boots and walking poles

We were transported to our hotel, where we were given breakfast. Then it was a quick briefing before donning our walking boots for an acclimatization trek. We started just above the ancient Peruvian capital city of Cusco and took a leisurely 4-hour walk downhill passing a rock strewn football pitch, where stray dogs roamed and a couple of donkeys grazed. The local people just stared as our party of 50, passed by. Although not hostile, they weren’t over friendly either – more reserved and unsure of these foreigners trekking in winter gear, big boots and walking poles, whilst they ran round in shorts and bare feet. We were treated to a fabulous meal al fresco, where a Peruvian Pan Pipe band entertained us and we tried alpaca meat as llamas grazed nearby.

Relieved to arrive safely

Refreshed and raring to go, we boarded the coaches to take us to a wonderful archaeological site called Pachamama (Mother Earth). The Incas used the tiered rings to grow all their food because it recreated the different climates needed to grow all year round. It was a steep descent to the lowest plateau, where it is believed if you lay spread eagle on the ground, you will have a spiritual awakening! That afternoon we found our first campsite, a disused football pitch. Toilet facilities were the nearest hedge. The 2-hour walk took us past primitive, mud houses, where one family was celebrating with the local liquor and warmly invited us to join in.

“We were pleasantly surprised to bump into the ‘celebrities’ who were reported to be in Peru, the same time as us.”

“It was a humbling experience listening to why so many people were walking for charities...”

Sleeping was made very uncomfortable, as our Peruvian porters had erected the tents unknowingly on a natural spring. 3am the next morning when we were due to wake, most of us found ourselves floating. Our bags and equipment had to be packed up soaking wet! The reason for our early rise was so we could take the mountain pass before the construction workers started to repair it.

I was starting to get a headache, which after the next emotional hour turned into a raging migraine. Our expedition leader invited anyone who was willing to tell us why they were on this charity walk. It was a humbling experience listening to why so many people were walking for charities that had supported themselves through difficulties or their loved ones. After several pain killers I slept for 12 hours that night!

The next five hours were like being on a terrifying rollercoaster that had no health and safety checks. The road was cut out of the mountainside and the surface was rubble with a sheer drop and no barriers. We were all very relieved to arrive safely at our destination. We were pleasantly surprised to bump into the ‘celebrities’ who were reported to be in Peru, the same time as us.

BartonToday We started our uphill trek and passed Denise Van Outen and Fearne Cotton and the others several times, but they weren’t particularly friendly, being instructed by their production team to keep their heads down and not to communicate. The weather was superb, warm, clear and dry. Walking shorts and T-shirts attire. That afternoon, after five hours trekking we spied our camp down in a valley by a river. It was a scramble to get first pick of the best tents. The local children surrounded us looking for gifts. We had been forewarned this might happen, so we were prepared with bubbles, notepads, pencils and toothbrushes.

Another early start, 5am. The porters brought tea and hot water to our tents to wake us. By 7am we were off – another glorious sunny start. But the weather in the mountains can change quickly. In our backpacks we always carried warm clothes and waterproofs. By 11am we were wearing everything we owned as it was sleeting. The day’s trek was also hampered by a couple of illnesses.

Altitude sickness

One fellow trekker, a very fit, slim, young woman suffered from altitude sickness and had to have medical treatment and then ride a mule. Another person was given oxygen as he was very short of breath. We climbed higher and higher up through cloud and mist, really struggling to see the person in front. The walking party spread for nearly a mile, from the leader in front to the guides and doctors at the back.

“To our disbelief, the fit porters had made camp ahead of us and were now running back to serve us hot drinks and snacks on the mountaintop!” We all met up at the summit where previous walkers had erected a prayer wall from stone lying around. It was a very special place and emotional for most of us. The mist suddenly lifted and a lake below us was revealed. We could see tiny, colourful figures zigzagging up towards us. To our disbelief, the fit porters had made camp ahead of us and were now running back to serve us hot drinks and snacks on the mountaintop!

Everyone was exhausted

Our great Peruvian team cooked and served another tasty meal, amazing considering the basic facilities. Bedtime was early, around 8pm, as everyone was exhausted and it got dark by 5.30pm, so it was difficult to do much else.

After four hours it was a welcome sight to arrive in a village with roads! Our buses were waiting for us to take us to the train station at Ollyantambo. We boarded a modern tourist train for the 30-minute ride, following the rushing river. Aguas Calientas is the town at the foot of the historical site. It was very busy, as you can imagine it would be at one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Even so it was a little disappointing to be one of thousands. We then took a bus ride for an hour, our driver expertly manoeuvring around hairpin bends.

We camped for lunch the other side of the lake to the celebrities, who had taken a different route. The novelty of having TV stars within sight had worn off quickly, as everyone was too shattered to care. Another three hours trekking led us to our overnight camp. The third and last night under canvas, ended with a singsong round a campfire. The next morning with full bellies and carrying packed lunches, we bade a fond farewell to our local porters who had looked after us marvelously. Everyone had donated and the Peruvian guides and our English tour leaders shared out the money to the boys and the men. It was now all downhill. Past a glacier and through a sparse forest of straggly trees with flaking bark. You have to watch your footing more carefully, descending than climbing up.

Rewarded with satisfaction

Our arrival at Macchu Piccu was magical but the 18 months journey to get there was even more worthwhile. I am a 43 year old, single mum of two boys, part-time Teaching Assistant and caterer but I recommend to everyone to get involved with a charity close to your own heart, and you to could be rewarded with the satisfaction of climbing your own personal mountain. Thank you to Glennis and Marilyn at Crazy Hats for all their fundraising ideas and support. Huge thanks to all my family and friends who donated time and money to help me achieve my goal. Those of you who come to Barton Business Network will know Tracey well. She does the catering for our fabulous breakfasts each month. And it’s always something special. Maybe why it’s called Ad Fab Food? Ed

March 2011 19.



Homes and Gardens

OLD FASHIONED WARMTH IN A MODERN WORLD Helping keep the heat up and the costs down… 1.

There is something quite hypnotic about staring into flames. A bit like looking out to sea, you can really relax just gazing at the movement – your thoughts just drifting away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.

And when you consider how expensive our gas and electric supplies are these days, there’s another good reason to turn to a wood burner or stove – it could save you a pretty penny on heating bills too! After all, it’s no coincidence that more and more people are having them installed in their homes. Logs and coal are making a come back all over the UK but a stove is much cleaner and safer, as well as more efficient and practical than an open fire.

Variety of makes and models Like anything though, as demand increases, so does supply – you hardly know where to start. That is unless you’ve discovered UK Stoves, up on the Industrial Estate in Earls Barton. We met up with Lorraine Roberts recently at their warehouse and showroom in Mallard Close, to take a look for ourselves at the variety of makes and models on offer. 2.

“We stock at least a dozen different brands,” she told us, “offering everything from traditional cast iron models to modern steel designs. Most people know of AGA at the top end of the market – and we do order these in for customers – but nowadays you’ve so much more choice particularly with mid-range models that are slightly lighter on the pocket. And that’s what a lot of people seem to want now we’re all having to tighten our belts.”

UK Stoves, in conjunction with K G Smith and Son, also offer a range of top quality multi-fuel products for the trade and to the public. With new innovative eco-friendly solutions, they aim to provide carbon neutral, clean, renewable alternative fuels at competitive prices. 3.

There’s single door, double door and inset models. Straightforward room heaters or multi-fuel boilers. So it’s not just down to style. It also depends whether you want to heat up just your room or the whole house.

“There are models that can heat up all your radiators from top to bottom, and provide you with clean, hot water, efficiently and reliably.” Most people that have one will tell you the heat from a wood burner or stove spreads around the home anyway but there are models that can heat up all your radiators from top to bottom, and provide you with clean, hot water, efficiently and reliably.

But what about the impact on the environment? According to the ‘Energy Saving Community’ online, “Wood is, clearly, one of the most sustainable of all fuels; growing trees in Britain is scarcely hard. In choosing and using it to heat our homes we pick as near perfectly carbon neutral a source of energy as it’s possible to find, while at the same time helping to ensure the long-term future of forests and the animals and plants that thrive in them. As impacts go, that surely has to be a pretty good outcome!”

1. The Devon woodburning and multifuel stove offers an impressive heat output of up to 9kW whether burning logs, anthracite or smokeless fuels. 2. The Herald 5 inset model provides a convenient solution to converting an inefficient open fire into a stunning, high performance fireplace. 3. The Lilyking 629 is a medium-sized, traditionally styled stove with a 70% efficiency rating. UK Stoves is the sole UK distributor for this cost-effective range.

The showroom is open Monday to Friday from 9 to 5, Saturdays 9 to 12.30. Do drop in next time you’re passing. Or call Lorraine and her team on 01604 811749.

March 2011 21.


Mind Your Language! Expert language advice with regular ‘words’ columnist, Sheila Smith

YOU SAID WHAT…? I just can’t help it … every now and then (well actually it’s getting more and more) I hear someone use an innocent word or phrase and there I am translating it on-the-spot, to work out what they really mean.

Yeah, at the end of the day...

, Don t take this the wrong way but...

Have your say Contact Sheila, call her on her Gemini Supplies mobile 07809 635181

22. March 2011

My head says ‘this really has to stop, it’s none of your business’ and in response my heart says ‘go on, go on, it’s so delicious!’ So, if you’ve never tried it, here are few morsels to start you off:


I don’t believe any of this


I know this isn’t true

People think

But I don’t know what I think

The point I’m trying to make

Is anyone listening to me?

Reportedly This will add gravitas to my words Recently I overheard my adorable husband describe me as, “Ah, Sheila, why use one word when you can use 27, that’s her.” Well, Mr Smith, now you’re busted! Unless of course, you were referring to the crimes of Tautologies and Pleonasms, and we commit them every day. Known also as convolution and repetition, it’s the needless reiteration of words that add nothing to the statement, so can therefore be classed as rhetoric. And just as soon as they appear on this page, I know you’ll start screaming your own examples back at me!



I saw it with my own eyes

I saw it

A large proportion of


Admission of responsibility


At this moment in time


By virtue of the fact


Was of the opinion that


New innovation


There, you’re off like a rocket! Just a friendly word of warning, it’s addictive and it can be irritating to others, but huge fun all the same. Go on, follow your heart, you know you want to…



A Younger Perspective

A lesson in self-discipline is needed, me thinks! More wise words from Kerry Provenzano I’ve been hit. Before I started sixth form, it was drummed into me just how much of a change it was going to be from A levels to GCSE’s. But, like every other teenager, I spent my time enjoying summer and not pondering what sixth form was going to be like. Well, summer’s long gone and it’s safe to say sixth form is more lethal than the alcohol intake of the girl I witnessed spend New Year’s Eve with her head in the toilet. Now I’ve been hit full force in the face with masses of completed work, research, coursework, further reading and detailed notes. Not my own, might I add, but Exhibit A’s (the one person in every school who has everything done three weeks before its set). As I glare at him across the library, pen in hand, scribbling away while I tap my pen on the desk, I remind myself why I’m doing all this work. University.

“As long as you have self-discipline, you have nothing to worry about.”

Ultimately, that’s where I want to be. As far as being in education is concerned, sixth form is great. There’s a lot more freedom with your study and you develop a genuine interest in the subjects you take. As long as you have self-discipline, you have nothing to worry about.

Me, personally? Before summer, if I brought anyone chocolates for their birthday what they’d actually get would be me handing them a card with a guilty chocolate-smudged smile. But sixth form teaches you how to take control. You have to organise yourself, a concept practically non-existent for me before September. I’m not saying I don’t occasionally leave my work ‘til the last minute but I’m well on my way to being … *deep breath* well organised. I’m not sure if this will continue to develop until I could be Exhibit A’s study partner. Or if when I get to uni, I’ll develop a haphazard learning style of ‘do work with my feet up and a cup of tea with Top Gear on’. I know teachers go on and on about finding a quiet area to work in, but it’s not a crime to take the more relaxed approach every now and again. After all, as long as the work’s done on time, does it really matter? And anyway, I can’t help but imagine uni work to be done on a little table in a kitchen filled with pot noodles (or in my boyfriend’s case instant mash).

24. March 2011

“You find a good balance somewhere between the cinema and reading ‘Pride and Prejudice’.” The truth is that sixth form is so much better than Years 7 to 11. It’s a lot of work, there’s no denying that, but the good outweighs the bad. You find a good balance somewhere between the cinema and reading ‘Pride and Prejudice’. But when you think of the end result (good grades and possibly a uni placement) it’s all worth it – ten times over. That said after waving friends away back to uni after Christmas, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of impatience. And without wishing to sound childish – why can’t I go nowwwwww? *Throws dummy out of pram*.


A word from your MP Chris Heaton-Harris I know there is a controversial planning application causing some concern in Earls Barton at the moment, and I also know that a number of residents feel quite helpless about being able to influence the decision. Hopefully some of this frustration will disappear when the ‘Localism Bill’ becomes law. Currently going through Parliament at the moment, the Bill pretty much turns the planning regime on its head. No longer will local councils have housing targets that they must hit, meaning new houses being foisted on communities where they are inappropriate! This Bill brings in a completely new process that gives you (yes you!) and your Parish Council a huge amount of power in the process. In a nutshell, local people draw up a ‘neighbourhood plan’, where you determine where any new housing or business should go and this goes into a Borough Local Plan. If someone wants to build houses, they can if they are in this local plan, but can’t otherwise. To ‘incentivise’ the building of homes, the Government will give ‘Neighbourhoods’ (in Barton that would be the Parish Council, I’d imagine) a good sum of money ON TOP of what is currently called ‘section 106’ money that builds infrastructure. Thus you have a complete change – if someone wants to build houses, they have to sell them to the local community first. Because if they can’t do that, they won’t get permission to build them.

Stop the Drop Campaign Earls Barton Litter Pick 2011 We need your help on Friday Saturday Sunday Monday

25th March 26th March 27th March 28th March

4.00 pm 10.30 am 2.30 pm 5.30 pm

With your help we can do better this year Please contact Peter Wright on 01604 810094



Latest update on Tuppence and Sandy We were all thrilled to hear just before Christmas that Tuppence is now a fully qualified Guide Dog. She is working with a lady in South Devon, who has had guide dogs previously, and has been kind enough to let us know that Tuppence has settled in with her and is working very well. We are hoping we hear from her again and will share any news with you. Also we will put in the photo of Tuppence when she qualified, as soon as we get it. We are all so proud of her. Would you believe that Sandy was one year old on 7th February? The time has flown by, and it won’t be long until she moves on to the next stage of training, and we start again with the new pitter-patter of tiny paws. She is quite a big girl, and has such a character. She loves having her tummy rubbed, and will collapse in a silly heap to let you know that this is what she wants. And you should see her facial expressions. They are amazing - her eyebrows dance around all over the place. She really could be on the Cadbury’s adverts! Nothing seems to bother her, although she did have quite a scare when she first saw the lion statues in Northampton marketplace just before Christmas. Gary had to take a huge detour around them but the next time we went in, she happily went up to them as if they were her best friends. Funny girl!

Just lately, she is getting distracted by other dogs - but that’s just her age. Also, if we see her tail wagging madly when we are out, we know she has spotted one of her favourite human friends. She loves children and is always so very gentle with them; I think this must be a special trait of these dogs as Tuppence was the same. She is still an early riser, preferring me to be up by 6:30, but I’m well used to being up early now, and when we get a new little one, it will probably be handy to be in that routine. Talking of little pups - Guide Dogs are looking for new puppy walkers, as there is a real need for new Guide Dogs. If you are interested in finding out more, you could contact Guide Dogs on 0870 600 2323 or look on, or speak to us if you see us in the village. It’s a real joy to look after them with lots of support given. Food is provided (for the dog obviously, not you - but you do have the excuse to go out for meals more often - to help the pup of course! Our social life has never been so good). And even though the parting is really hard, it helps to know they are going on to be such a wonderful support to someone. Here’s a recent picture of Sandy - who, as you can see, adores our Springer Skye’s bed! Elaine and Gary Horne



ON THE BEAT WITH THE WELLINGBOROUGH RURAL POLICE TEAM PC Hayley Lythgoe launches the first round of the Year 6’s competition at Earls Barton Junior School Last month, we touched on how the rural police are working with schools under the Safer Schools Partnership agreement. Now here’s a real example of it in action. On 16th February, PC Hayley Lythgoe and some of her colleagues went into the Junior School to talk to year 6 pupils about the role of the police and their responsibilities. This was followed by a 20-minute ‘question and answer’ session, which as you can probably imagine brought out a whole host of interesting thoughts and ideas from the children.

“Young people are so much freer in the way they think, you’ll be surprised how much you can learn from them.” But that’s not all. There will be prizes for the best entries (donated by Barton Today). The winner will scoop up a £10 voucher to spend in ‘Barton Sweets’ and there are two runners-up prizes of £5 vouchers too. (Sorry parents, we’re not trying to increase the dentist’s business – just giving them a treat!) If the competition proves to be a success, then it will be rolled out across other schools in the Wellingborough sector. Good luck Year 6!

Taking things one step further, PC Lythgoe then set the youngsters a challenge. During their literacy lesson, each is going to be writing a short piece on what they would do if they were a police officer.

On a final note

“I’m really looking forward to seeing their ideas,” PC Lythgoe informed us.

Can we please remind people that parking outside the school is still a problem – it’s like waiting for an accident to happen. So please, stop and think before pulling up. No one wants that.

Time banking is coming to a town near you – what about the village? What do you need help with? Shopping, ironing, sewing, fixing things in the home, decorating, gardening, basic car maintenance, computing, pet care, transport, accepting delivery of a parcel - or anything else at all?

On January 19th we joined a group of people at the Tithe Barn, Wellingborough, for a workshop about ‘Time banking’. This is a means of exchanging time, expertise and effort between people making use of their spare time, enabling us all to share skills we enjoy using, with others in our community and being rewarded for it – in time (not money). We can then spend our time by paying others – in time (not money).

Free information packs can be obtained from Grapevine Timebank, Red Dog, Kettering, Northants NN16 8JB. There is also a website you can look up:

Each participant has his or her hours of work, given and received, recorded on computer; a bit like a bank statement. Anyone can participate because everyone has something to give. The currency is time and each hour worked is worth one hour in credit, whatever the task. Time bank schemes have already been set up in Kettering and Corby, and one is about to start in Wellingborough. There are about 150 such schemes in operation throughout the country with more in the pipeline, and also many others worldwide.

Liz Rees E: T: 01604 812839 Jean Halliday E:

We wonder if people would be interested in taking part if such a scheme were set up in Earls Barton. If you are interested please contact:

Pam & Colin Knowlton E:

If there is sufficient interest, we will organise a workshop in the village. March 2011 27.


Earls Barton WI Corner

Never a dull moment with the ladies of Earls Barton WI The New Year began with a very interesting meeting in January when one of our members, Pat Watts, treated us to a demonstration of flower arranging. She made it all look very easy; the finished results were beautiful and taken home by some very lucky winners in the raffle.

Knit and Natter

Our ‘Knit and Natter’ group continues to meet each month to make articles for the Premature Baby Unit at Northampton General Hospital.

EARLS BARTON ‘MILLENNIUM’ WI If you can’t make a daytime meeting (or would like a double helping of WI), you can always get involved with the Millennium WI group. The next meeting is on Wednesday 16th March at the Methodist Church Hall at 7.45pm. The speaker will be David Price on ‘The French Can Can’.

Tales from a Farmer’s Wife

In March our meeting will be on Wednesday 9th at 1.30pm in All Saints Parish Church Hall. Here Jane Barnes will be giving us a talk entitled ‘Tales from a Farmer’s Wife: Workings of a Dairy Farm’. Why not come along. For further details of all our activities, please contact the secretary, Jenny Flower, on 01604 810316.

For more information, contact Lesley Smith on 01604 466823.


Churches Today

A word from our Methodist Church I well remember, in my late teens, visiting the cinema in Kettering with a group of young Christians, to see the film ‘Jesus of Nazareth’. It was a very powerful story, dealing particularly with the crucifixion, and it had a profound effect upon my life. I tried to hide the tears, as everyone filed out at the close of the film. And people were very quiet, obviously moved by the scenes on the cross. The power of this story changes lives in every age, and no one has been able to put out the light of God that shines on the pathway of all who follow Jesus Christ. On the day of Pentecost, St Peter stands up before 3,000 people and preaches his very first sermon. At its heart, Peter simply tells people of the things he has seen and experienced.

“It is a tragedy that many young people are growing up in our country without knowing even the basic facts about his life and ministry.” Peter is telling two stories: the first about Jesus and the second about himself. Both stories are important and precious. People need to know the story of Jesus. It is a tragedy that many young people are growing up in our country without knowing even the basic facts about his life and ministry. After all, you cannot really understand the culture in which we live – its art, music and literature – without knowing something about the faith that inspired it. The work of Christian witness must always point to Jesus, for it is through Jesus that God tells the story of his love.

“The work of Christian witness must always point to Jesus, for it is through Jesus that God tells the story of his love.” We live in challenging times. Some people are suspicious of all claims to universal truth. Many are cynical about anyone who offers optimism or hope. But we’re all interested in what makes other people tick. Personal experience is something that cannot be contradicted or disproved. The Christian faith was a set of stories, before it was a set of statements. When Jesus taught great crowds who came to listen to him, he did so, often through the power of story. He knew this was the best way to communicate the sorts of truths that couldn’t easily be pinned down. The sort of truths you had to learn, inhabit and embody for yourself. The Rev’d Inderjit Bhogal, past President of the Methodist Church said, “Each faith has a special and unique gift to share. Christians have the life-giving, life-transforming story of Jesus Christ to live by. We are called to share this special story without arrogance, in our world of many faiths.” Good news is always worth hearing and the good news today is that God loves, forgives and heals all who will come to him. God bless and be with you. Jonathan

Preachers for March: 6th 13th 20th 27th

Jonathan Thompson John Palmer John Armitage Rev’d Lynwode

March 2011 29.



Give Us Your Support

Dione’s running the distance again for a cause that’s very close to her heart… Imagine you meet your perfect man, get married, have two wonderful daughters (not necessarily in that order), and life feels like it just can’t get any better. Then fast-forward four years and your husband and soul mate begins to act differently. You can’t quite put your finger on it but something is clearly not right. He is not happy anymore. Reading is becoming a bit of a challenge, as is writing. His work colleagues are noticing a change in him. He isn’t doing as much as he used to. He forgets things. The doctor thinks he might be suffering from ‘depression’. But it doesn’t quite add up.

That’s pretty much what happened to BT reader Dione Priddy. She met her fun-loving, estate agent husband Mark at a circuit training class in July 1995. Both keen on health and fitness, they were soon spending huge amounts of time together – cycling, running and walking. After just five weeks he moved in. Their first child Eleanor arrived the following September. They got married in January 1997. Second daughter Bethany made her appearance in May 1998. And their fairytale was complete. Or it should have been…

be that patient without even knowing he was ill?),” Dione told us. But eventually, it became apparent that something was seriously wrong. His boss, who had previous experience of mental health, wrote to his doctor outlining his concerns. When he was finally diagnosed with pre-senile dementia (following tests at Northampton and Oxford), Mark was just 36 years of age. And if that seems hard to digest, it seems the younger the sufferer, the quicker the illness progresses. “One thing I am so pleased about is how impulsive we were; it gave us our two wonderful children,” Dione told us. “And I’m also grateful to Mark’s boss, as his intervention speeded up the diagnosis and gave us a whole year together before Mark went into care. “We were able to go on holiday and we even renewed our vows. It was a wonderful day that all our friends and family enjoyed together. Eleanor and Bethany were bridesmaids; they looked like princesses in their lovely dresses and tiaras. And Mark smiled from ear to ear the whole time.”

Since then, Dione has become a ‘champion’ for Alzheimer’s Research UK; there are about 10 in the country helping raise awareness of the disease. “It is a cruel, devastating disease that robs people of their personalities, affecting their memory, thinking and behaviour, whilst families helplessly watch the sufferer slip away,” she says. But with the charity being desperately underfunded (they rely solely on donations, charitable trusts and gifts left in people’s wills), Dione feels compelled to do more to help raise funds. So on Sunday 17 April, she’ll be on the starting line once again alongside the other 36,000 or so participants in the 2011 Virgin London Marathon.

After Mark had been living at St Matthews for around three years, Dione made the decision to run the Virgin London Marathon in 2010 with a ‘Golden Bond’ place for Alzheimer’s Research UK (the UK’s leading dementia research charity).

Why not help her match (or even exceed) her last year’s total? Offer your support by sponsoring her. It’s really simple, just go to: DionePriddy or contact Sharon Manison at Alzheimer’s Research UK on 01223 843899.

In 1999, they moved to Northants to be close to Dione’s family in Earls Barton. Everything was fine at first but before long Mark had started to withdraw. Dione realised later that he was trying to hide his inability to cope with everyday things. Fast-forward another four or five years and Mark has now lost a series of jobs in short succession and finally manages to get a job at a warehouse in Northampton. “They took him on as a packer but as his ‘illness’ progressed they changed his role to suit his ability (how many companies would

Naturally Dione found the marathon a real battle, “I could have easily given up but I knew Mark would have been so proud and I kept thinking of all the generous donations I had received – I raised over £14,000, funding over 140 days of vital research to help prevent, treat and ultimately find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.”

“I felt I needed to get something positive out of a very tragic situation, by raising money to offer some hope to sufferers and their families,” she said. Sadly, Mark passed away 12 days before the marathon (aged 41) and his funeral took place just two days before.

Remember using the official site means 100% of the money you donate will go to the charity. £1 or £100, it doesn’t matter. Every penny counts!

March 2011 31.


Colin’s Retirement Challenge

The Urban Survivor Last issue, Colin rediscovered the art of wine making. This time, at the behest of Barton Today reader Sue Sexton, he’s learning to be an Urban Survivor after he discovers that we are all ‘Nine Meals from Anarchy’…

“On March 19th, 1989 a solar flare hit the earth’s atmosphere over northern parts of America. Within minutes, power generation in various Canadian cities failed. With an external temperature of minus Six Degrees Centigrade the citizens of Montreal began to freeze.” Mike Heager pauses, his accent is American with a touch of the south and he sounds like a disaster movie voice-over, but his mission is deadly serious.

Camouflage fatigues

I’d always assumed that urban survivalists were all loony fundamentalists, but gazing around the room I note that apart from the two experts dressed in camouflage fatigues training us, the rest of the fifteen strong group look pretty normal to me. It consists of schoolteachers, secretaries and one Old Age Perisher – me. Mike continues: “Half a day later most of the utilities were working again, but that was twenty years ago and it was a tiny flare. It would be worse now. Today everything is controlled by a computer system: from power supplies, phones – landline as well as mobiles TV, radio, even Barton Today… Mike points to the water tower that looms over New Barton: “Once the power for pumping to the top of that goes, you’ve got, what, maybe a day’s supply of clean water in your village?” Urban Survival is not simply preparation against war or an act of terrorism. Even a series of unusual weather patterns such as the heavy snow we had last year could precipitate major problems if it lasted long enough. Imagine: power lines down, lorries unable to deliver food to the shops…

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“You are just three days away from chaos,” says Mike, “nine meals and then - anarchy. You Brits are too civilised. You rely on the government and the forces of Law and Order to maintain control, but as society becomes more complex and interdependent, so it is more likely to go wrong and break down.”

The image of an Urban Warrior is a Mad Max style of character shooting his way to survival. “Not so” says Heager, “co-operation is the key. Set up a control system under a recognised authority – the Parish Council is the most likely. Only in an advanced state of anarchy would you need street defences.”

Imagine. Both TV and radio down. You have no idea what is happening. Water runs out by the second day. Petrol pumps are unable to fill cars or lorries as they also rely on electricity. The Powers That Be declare a State of Emergency and call in the army but they too are relying on sophisticated equipment. In any case their first concern would be with the Inner Cities. Earls Barton would be way down their list of priorities.

Catching rainwater

So what are we to do? “Have you ever had any military training?” I shake my head. I was a Boy Scout once, I ventured. “Youth Organisations teach self-discipline and confidence. If you’ve ever been camping under canvas you already have a few ideas on how to survive. You can build on those.” The Key factors in an emergency are: water, food, defence, energy, retreat, medical items, and networking. “To survive, you need a litre of water a day, so for each person in your household, you’ll need to have access to three litres minimum. If the tap water becomes contaminated you’ll need some method of catching rainwater or obtaining it from a safe source and purifying it. Most homes have enough food for a week.”

“Have you ever had any military training?” I shake my head. I was a Boy Scout once.


“The image of an Urban Warrior is a Mad Max style of character shooting his way to survival...Not so”

Street defence consists of banding together with your neighbours. Maybe blocking off part of your road with vehicles and guarding the perimeter. “If all order has collapsed you’d have to seriously think of this.” Work together and help each other in small groups. For example, the food in a freezer will last a few days even with the power off. So you could get the food out of your freezer and arrange a fire/barbecue in your garden for all the neighbours, then move on to the next door’s freezer contents and so on until all the food was used up or had gone bad. You could pool tinned and dry foods.

I’ve seen all the zombie movies “Take care of the very young and the elderly. They are the ones who will suffer most.” The church would play a major role, simply because the bells can be used as a communication device to call people to a meeting or to act as a warning. Evidence shows that those with a religious faith also survive longer… I like the idea that is being put forward. I’ve seen all the zombie movies and had images of what to do, but it’s easier for Americans. They can get armed to the teeth in an instant and ‘head off to the woods’. In England, survival would mean co-operation and caring for each other in the village, while we waited for civilisation to re-establish itself in weeks … or months.

Survival involves a lot of common sense and planning. Mike tells us that whenever a few days of snow are forecast, he always places a shovel, boots and an old piece of carpet in his car boot, along with one of those metal foil blankets that reflect heat back onto your body. He charges up his mobile phone every night during the snow so that the power does not run out. “That’s just plain common sense. Urban Survival takes the idea one step further.” On my two-day course, I learn about having a ‘Bug-Out-Bag’, known as a ‘BOB’, which contains survival objects ranging from a wind-up radio (£4.50 from your nearest supermarket) to bottles of water and a First Aid kit. In a short article it is impossible to cover a whole two-day programme, but much of what I learned is actually available on the Internet or in many ‘Survival’ books. The most important thing is to run a series of ‘What If?’ scenarios through your head and to use common sense. Oh yes, and to re-learn how to stand on your own two feet without relying on the council, the police, or the army to solve your problems. As Gloria Gaynor put it:

I Will Survive!

Colin’s next Challenge

Colin has already been challenged by Nigel Austin to try his hand at sailing. We’ll see how he gets on in a future issue. If you’d like to challenge him to do something, just email editor@

March 2011 33.


A taste of what’s to come Look out readers, the first edition of Barton Today’s very first fiction series is starting in April: Oh yes, you are going to be thrilled, chilled and filled with excitement by this fast-paced thriller, The World’s End, written by local fiction writer Miriam Cox.

Set in the rural idyll of Earls Barton, the story unfolds as forty-year-old Davin McCormick finds himself in the possession of the blue print of a plan that has far reaching implications for our planet, as we know it. How could his life change so radically, in the matter of one moment on a train journey home from Leeds? (Davin did later reflect on what would have happened had he taken the job he’d been offered in Birmingham instead). Anyway, in that one moment, after he asks the clearly distressed Sabina Haas, the middle aged stranger who sits beside him on the busy commuter train, if he can help in any way, she presses a memory stick into his hand and tells him to guard it with his life.

She’s in no doubt her own is very much in danger. Could the content of the memory stick (which Sabina strictly forbids Davin from looking at, on any account) have anything to do with the worldwide media frenzy being caused by thousands of people going missing each day?

The daily papers are full of the mysterious disappearances from practically every country around the globe: no clues, no motives, no ransom! It’s all very strange, but stranger still is how the very attractive (apart from her habit of snorting when she laughs) Hope Honeydew happened to ‘connect’ with Davin at the same time as the memory stick. Is she really a Midwife from York, moving to Northampton to tend her pregnant twin sister? Can she be trusted? And if not, how dangerous is she? From his routine life as a Corporate Mediator, Davin suddenly finds his life anything but routine. With the help of his dizzy sister, Bridie (Brid), his unofficial live-in housekeeper who has a dedicated penchant for rescue animals, along with his bohemian, globe-trotting Great Uncle Gibson, Davin sets out to put a spoke in the wheel of destiny to ensure that the blueprint on the memory stick that he was told on no account to read, but did anyway, never comes to fruition. Davin intends to prevent The

Bet you can’t wait till April, eh? About Miriam Cox The Writer Miriam Cox is a writer of all genres of fiction and poetry, for adults and children. She started writing at the age of eight, when she produced plays for her classmates at school. Having had many articles and short stories published over the years, Miriam is now embarking on her first novel. Once published, she won’t be sitting idle as she already has four more lined up, including one poetic and two children’s fantasy novels. She lives in nearby Wollaston with her husband, two dogs and a cat, and is well known by those of us who attend Barton Business Network.

34. March 2011

World’s End!

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Current Affairs

A word from our MEP Roger Helmer

Euro-Luvvies eat their words

It is sad, and funny, and incredibly poignant, to go back and read what promoters of the ‘Single Currency’ were saying in the old days. And to save us doing the research, Open Europe have done it for us, and published a booklet called “They Said it: How the EU élite got it wrong on the euro”. Nick Clegg: “The single currency, far from being an agent of continental-style corporatism, is probably the greatest export vehicle of Anglo-Saxon economics … it has done more to enforce budgetary discipline than the IMF, the OECD, or the editors of The Economist.” Ken Clarke: “The reality of the euro has exposed the absurdity of anti-European scares. Opponents of the euro have been disheartened as their predictions of chaos and disaster have failed to materialise.” European Council, 2001: “The euro area now represents a pole of stability for those countries participating in it by protecting them from speculation and financial turmoil.” Tell that to the Greeks. Or the Portuguese! But some are starting to see the light.

Nick Clegg: “I don’t think the euro is for now … I accept that eurozone interest rates over the last few years would have been wrong for Britain.” Editorial, Die Welt: “In the end, Germany will transfer its billions over to Greece.” Karel de Gucht, EU Trade Commissioner: “We knew that Greece was cheating. It was clear as soon as they joined that there was something wrong (with their figures).” Greek Finance Minister, 2010: “We are in a terrible mess”. Wolfgang Munchau, FT Journalist: “The experiment of a monetary union without political union has failed. The EU is about to confront a choice between integration and disintegration.” I take Munchau’s challenge, and I choose disintegration. I despair of a Conservative-led government taking us out of Europe, or repatriating powers, or even stopping the rot. Perhaps the only way we’ll get out from under, and recover our freedom and democracy and sanity, is to wait for the EU project to disintegrate, as Yugoslavia and the USSR disintegrated before it.



Health Matters Current health issues covered by health professionals

Keeping our finger on the pulse! by Stephen Blackman Atrial fibrillation (AF) not a term familiar to most people despite it being the most common type of heart rhythm disturbance (arrhythmia), is a common cause of stroke and all of us have a one in four risk of developing it in our lifetime, according to Stephen Blackman of Earls Barton Medical Centre.

The most common symptom of atrial fibrillation is a fast and irregular heartbeat, usually over 140 beats a minute. However, other symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, light headedness, fainting or fatigue. Many people may not recognise these symptoms of AF as a serious health problem, resulting in them not being diagnosed and leaving them at risk of stroke. For example, some people may just assume that symptoms are due to stress.

The way the heart beats in AF means that there is a risk of blood clots forming in the heart chambers. If these get into the bloodstream, they can cause a stroke. 150,000 people have a stroke in the UK and it’s the UK’s third biggest killer. In a recent survey conducted for The Stroke Association, over two thirds of the public were unable to identify the symptoms of AF as a possible warning sign of a future stroke. Steve Benveniste, Campaigns Officer at The Stroke Association said, “Atrial fibrillation is a major risk factor for stroke. It accounts for 14 per cent of all strokes and 12,500 strokes a year are thought to be directly linked to the condition. The majority of people recognise factors such as smoking and high blood pressure as risk factors for stroke, yet as this research highlights, public awareness of AF as a risk factor is incredibly low.”

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assessing your symptoms, they will ask you to have an electrocardiogram (ECG) to record the rhythm and electrical activity of your heart. If you have the test during an attack of AF, the ECG will record your abnormal heart rate and a diagnosis of AF can be confirmed (and other conditions ruled out). However, it may be difficult to capture an attack. With support from Kettering and District Charitable Medical Trust, we have purchased small single channel ECG monitors (see image) that can be easily used by patients when they have symptoms to help us diagnose AF more easily. Atrial fibrillation itself is generally not life threatening, but it can be uncomfortable and often needs treating. Treatment may involve medication to control heart rate and/or rhythm, and medication to prevent stroke.

A normal heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats a minute at rest. You can measure your heart rate by feeling the pulse in your wrist or neck. In atrial fibrillation, the heart rate may be over 140 beats a minute. If your pulse is irregular and/or considerably above the norm when you are resting, you should seek advice from your GP. Feeling your pulse can give a strong indication of whether you have AF, but a complete diagnosis requires a full medical investigation. If your GP thinks you have AF after

A healthy lifestyle, regular blood pressure checks and treatment for raised blood pressure can reduce the chances of developing the heart problems that cause AF.

The Stroke Helpline provides information on stroke to the general public and is open between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday on 0303 303 3100.


Alternative Health

Wednesday 9th March 2011

‘National No Smoking Day’ Every year we are encouraged to stop smoking with ‘National No Smoking Day’. Just one day that’s designed to focus our attention on quitting this habit.

So what drives us to continue smoking? Every smoker is fully aware of the health risks to themselves and others; the rising cost of cigarettes to fund the habit; the effect smoking has on the environment they smoke in … and because of this awareness, nearly every smoker has spent times when they’ve planned quitting, set dates to quit, maybe stopped for a short period … and then gone back to smoking again. As with any habit or addiction, however you like to think of it, it’s not all about the cigarette! As a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, the majority of smoking clients that I see find it calms them down, helping them unwind and relax after a stressful day.

It might be a social thing for them – feeling part of a group of others who smoke (partners/friends/colleagues), or they might enjoy the ritual side of rolling their own.

Support and help for stopping smoking can be found on www.nosmokingday. and where many helpful tips and advice can be found; then the rest is down to you.

However you look at it, you also need to be fully aware of the ‘downside’ of smoking, the long term health effects it has on the lungs, throat and body. There are more positive, healthy ways of relaxing and de-stressing, such as learning deep breathing techniques, yoga, tai chi, exercising or meditation to name but a few.

Alongside these support networks you might like to consider the benefits of Hypnotherapy techniques, which help reduce cravings, lessen the withdrawal symptoms, change habits – making it an easier journey for you to make!

So if you’ve started your year with a resolution to stop smoking, then there’s no time like the present. Tomorrow never comes! It just prolongs the point.

Lori Curbishley-Brown is a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and Master Practitioner of NLP. For more information, visit or call 07941 841 485.


READ – A GOOD STORY and HELP FOR TANZANIA by Julia Smith I grew up in Earls Barton and graduated from Sunderland University in 2010, and wanted to share something with you about the READ International project I have been involved in over the last few months. READ International was founded by a group of socially entrepreneurial students following a gap year teaching in Tanzania, with the aim of sending surplus books from the UK to help education programmes in East Africa. Traditionally we have focused our efforts on collecting textbooks and children’s literature from secondary schools; but now we want to collect any book from anyone! We sort the books and send the most relevant, up-to-date, and high quality books to schools in Tanzania and Uganda. Any books collected that are not relevant or appropriate to send are sold online or recycled to generate funding. We have successfully established some exciting partnerships to keep our costs low and efficiency high through the support of various storage, transport and airline companies. So it never costs READ more than 50 pence to move one book from a UK classroom into the hands of a Tanzanian school child or teacher.

Need a wheelchair? Or know someone who does? We were approached recently by Fred Middleton to see if we could help find a new home for his late wife’s folding wheelchair. Many of you will have known Mary, who sadly passed away in January – she was a home help for around 17 years, who enjoyed looking after people. Fred doesn’t want any payment for the lightweight aluminium chair, which he reckons is in very good condition (and costs around £200 new). However, being a keen supporter of the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA), he will be more than happy for someone to take it in exchange it for a ‘reasonable’ donation to the charity. “You never know when you might need this. It benefits everyone,” Fred told us about the air ambulance service and we couldn’t agree more. If you are interested, please call Fred on 01604 811694 (evenings).

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Help us reach our targets The READ project based at Sunderland University is working towards collecting a total of 4,500 books to send to schools in East Africa. In the summer, we will be personally delivering the books to Tanzania, and if we reach our stretch fundraising target of £2,500, we will be building a library for a school there too. We are setting up ‘book bins’ to collect your book donations - there will be two in Earls Barton, so please bring books in good condition to the porch in All Saints church or The Tower Home and Garden Co. Alternatively ring my parents Bob and Nicky Smith on 07891 413890 or 07812 686944 to arrange dropping them off. But hurry – the deadline for collection is 31st March. We have also set up a JustGiving page where anyone can donate money to help us to obtain enough to send all the books out to Tanzania. The website address for this is Any donations for the JustGiving page; please put your name and my name in the message so that we know where it has come from! If you feel you would be able to contribute anything to our project, whether it be books or a donation of money, we would be extremely grateful. Julia Smith Contact our project:

Latest news from the Earls Barton & District Historical Society from Frank Batten The Society held its annual lunch in January when around thirty members and friends had an enjoyable meal at Earls Barton’s Stag’s Head pub.

On Friday 18th March we

will welcome Mr Paul Sharpling from Kettering who will be giving an illustrated talk about stained glass in English churches.

Future talks during this season will focus on Kettering seen through photographs, the little known story of Caroline Chisholm, born in Northampton but who went on to adorn Australian banknotes and the development of the English language and dialects. Do come and join us Our meetings are held at the St John Ambulance building on Manor Road and start at 7.30pm. Visitors are more than welcome, so why not come along? For further details of the Society or our future programme, please contact Frank Batten on: 01604 810618


In Business

Expert business advice from Susan Taylor of Elsby & Co Chartered Accountants (‘refreshingly different’)

Juggle your way to success… At the start of the year our thoughts turned to resolutions and getting your business into shape for 2011. Last month we stressed the importance of understanding your numbers and assuming you have taken our advice and written your business plans; we can now look at promoting your business. A co-ordinated marketing strategy is vital in ensuring you continually build your business. However, it is often one of the first things sidelined when a financial situation arises or when there is a clink in the supply chain or staffing problem but be warned, this could be a costly mistake.

Avoid thinking marketing is all about glossy brochures, flyers, leaflets and promotions. There are many low cost options available to market your business; here are a few examples for you to try: • Talk to your customers – taking the time to ask your customers what they need to make their business more effective or profitable can generate results. Your customers may not know you can provide that particular service. • Ask for referrals from existing customers – if your clients and customers are happy, why not ask them to refer other people to you?

Developing a marketing plan for your small business really could be the key to expansion, growth and control. Without a marketing plan you are in danger of undertaking a set of uncoordinated actions, which can waste time, money and energy.

• Give better service – if your customers are happy with your service, they will talk about you and there’s nothing better than word of mouth marketing, and it’s free.

Tips on how you can review, and potentially improve your marketing:

• Speak in public – this is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate you are an expert in your field and raise your business profile.

• Objectively review your marketing materials – put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Ask yourself, what are you trying to achieve? Have you managed to get your message across in a clear and simple way? Rewrite and restructure the materials – following your review you may decide you need to alter your marketing material. Remember, be clear who will read your material and ensure you address whether you are writing to a technical expert or a novice. Focus on benefits rather than features, and most importantly, leave the reader in no doubt what they should do next. Ie, give them a ‘call to action’.

• Network – go and talk to people. See networking as an investment in the future success of your business. You will meet useful business contacts, strategic partners and trusted suppliers.

• Consider your message – ensure your message is consistent. Having a logo, product image or slogan that appears consistently on all your marketing creates the right image. Prospective clients will recognise your business and be more receptive to your marketing. Think about all large supermarkets or food brands, you instantly recognise them for the branding and messages they consistently give out. The only difference is they have invested to get their message to a larger proportion of the market place than you. • Understand your market and how to target your best prospects – the clearer picture you have of your target customer the more likely you are to attract them. • Set measurable objectives for all marketing activity – make sure you can set targets and review these often. This will ensure you can respond and revisit any areas that are not working. • Think about where your material is going to appear. Is your potential target market going to see and read your material?

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• Create the news – often difficult but come up with a newsworthy story about your business and get the local newspaper or radio interested. Marketing really is all about juggling ... keep things fresh’, constantly review progress and you will juggle your way to business success.


Barton Business Network Barton blazes the business trail to … Moulton Village! Since its inception in 2008, Barton Business Networking has successfully harnessed local business people with the wider business community in the county. The group is fully committed to building true business partnerships and has an enviable track record to boot. Alex Harper from CRE8 Website Design said, “Networking is a great way to generate new business. Here at Barton we all act as a sales force and try to help each other where we can.” And the word is out! Two active Barton associates, Sheila Smith of Gemini Supplies and Graeme Hall ‘The Dogfather’ are to join forces and launch Moulton Business Networking at 8am on 8th March 2011 at The Cardigan Arms, Stocks Hill in Moulton (put NN3 7TB into your Sat Nav).

“We look forward to encouraging the same energy and team spirit in Moulton.” “The meetings at Barton have flourished and it became clear that it was time to branch out,” said Graeme, “we look forward to encouraging the same energy and team spirit in Moulton.” Want to be a part of it? To book your place, either contact Sheila or Graeme: Graeme Hall – 07710 581007 – Sheila Smith – 07809 635181 – Or visit, where you’ll find the ‘invite’ button and you can add yourself to the meeting. The Barton Business Network meets the last Tuesday of every month (except December) at Earls Barton Bowls and Tennis Club, in the heart of the village. We are an informal, not-for-profit networking group, enjoying relaxed and supportive meetings from 8am-10am, costing just £10 on the door.

Directions and a map can be found on the website, where you can also book yourself in. The contact for Earls Barton is Alex Harper – 0845 458 1417


The Big Breakfast Margaret’s family invite you to the ‘Big Breakfast’ for Cancer Research UK at the Methodist Chapel in Earls Barton.

March 19th - 8.30 to 11.30am You’ll enjoy a sumptuous repast of cereal, toast and bacon rolls, served with fruit juice, tea or coffee.

Please come and give us your support.


Fairtrade News

Fairtrade News Earls Barton Celebrates Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 with a Big Brew on Saturday 12th March FAIRTRADE COFFEE MORNING ON 12TH MARCH from 10am - 1pm Help us create a buzz for fair-trade! We’ll have honey recipes and homemade cakes, honey quizzes and games. And we’ll also be making bees and decorating some fair-trade bunting to hang around the hall and the church, which will eventually be joining up with others from all over the country to break the record for the longest piece of bunting ever. So please come and help…

Traidcraft Sweet Justice Fair Trade Honey – A popular honey from Chile Apicoop. “Apicoop gives us a permanent market for our products and this helps us develop. Before we kept bees we had no jobs and now we have been able to develop ourselves as people and the bees have become a social thing as they are helping the community grow and develop in a harmonious way,” say Sonia and Celia.

Traidcraft Wild Blossom Fair Trade Honey Sonia Chicao and Celia Gonzales are two women beekeepers who sell through Traidcraft’s Chilean honey supplier Apicoop. They jointly manage about 30 hives, as business partners, on Sonia’s land. Both Sonia and Celia have been elected to the board of the co-op. They live in Calcurrupe, which is in the Lago Ranco general area

Traidcraft Fair Trade Guatamalan Squeezy Honey Traidcraft has launched its first Fairtrade squeezy honey which, as well as being high quality and delicious, is helping beekeepers in Guatemala to improve their lives and fairly. A silky liquid honey, it has a rich amber colour and a vanilla flavour. Sales of the honey will benefit members of Cipac, a cooperative of beekeepers in the North West of Guatemala, one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Traidcraft began working with Cipac in 2007, helping members to improve the quality of their honey and increase production - as well as learn to deal with the impact of climate change, such as changing rain patterns.

This year’s Big Brew theme is based on honey so here is how Traidcraft is helping beekeepers in the developing world to become fair trade certified. Traidcraft has been trading honey fairly for over 15 years, working in Chile, Tanzania and Guatemala to help beekeepers grow and diversify. Beekeeping works well in developing countries because it has low start-up costs; it’s good for the environment and encourages traditional skills too.

Fairtrade honey sales will help Cipac to develop even more, as beekeeper Aurelio Cruz explained: “Our honey is good, but there are many areas we need to improve, such as having a better understanding of how to deal with bees’ illness or too much rain at the wrong time. Thanks to fair trade we are getting a good price for the honey and other supports that are helping to address some of these areas of concern.”

If you enjoy Word searching then find the 15 orange highlighted words, which are associated with Fairtrade Fortnight information and Honey. Bring this along to our Fairtrade Fortnight coffee morning event on 12th March 2011 to win a prize!

































































































March 2011 45.


Your Parish Council

Minutes of the Meeting held at St John Ambulance HQ Monday 14 February 2011 Present: Cllrs P Verden (Chair), I Abbott, G Blackwell, J Bond, M Cahill, P Hadman, M Higham, J Mallard, P Morrall, L Payne, P Wright. Public Time Approximately 30 members of the public attended the meeting to express their concerns over the BCW Site Specific Proposal Document, specifically relating to proposals to allocate land on High Street for housing and failings in the consultation process. A resident of Doddington Road attended to make the Parish Council aware of resident’s objections to the County Council’s proposal to extend double yellow lines on Doddington Road. 017/11 Apologies for Absence It was resolved to accept apologies for absence from Cllrs Page and Perkins. Cllr Morrall apologised as he had to leave at 8pm on Borough Council business. 018/11 Declarations of Interest Cllr Bond declared an interest in agenda no 021/11 (d). Cllr Verden declared a personal and prejudicial interest in 023/11. Cllr Payne declared an interest in 030/11 and 036/11(a). Cllr Wright declared a personal interest in planning application WP/11/0021/F. Cllr Mallard declared an interest in planning application WP/11/0044/HR. Cllrs Abbott and Mallard declared an interest in agenda item no 039/11. 019/11 Minutes of the Meeting of 10 January 2011 It was noted that Cllr Blackwell did not arrive late for January’s meeting and attended the whole meeting. With this amendment noted, it was resolved to adopt the minutes as a correct record. 020/11 Accounts Accounts approved for payment were: 3097 E-on – Chapel Electricity £31.48 3098 E-on – Pioneer Electricity £151.35 3099 NCALC – BDO Audit Training £29.00 3100 All Saints Church – Church Lighting £180.77 3101 R&G – Grounds Maintenance £164.41 3102 R&G – Grounds Maintenance £513.56 3103 R&G – Grounds Maintenance £83.94 3104 R&G – Grounds Maintenance £283.92 3105 R&G – Grounds Maintenance £371.60 3106 R&G – Grounds Maintenance £125.91 3107 C Jackson – Mole Monitoring £359.00 3108 Sublime Media – Website £217.38 3109 Park Landscapes – Grounds Maintenance £342.00 3110 Salcey Arborcare – Tree Survey £969.38 3111 M&K Gardening – Grounds Maintenance £1004.17 3112 W S Howe & Co – Repairs at Pioneer Sports Field £509.95 3113 Viking Direct – Stationery £51.31 3114 Anglian Water – Cemetery £14.67

46. March 2011

3115 Clerk – Salary/Expenses £983.18 3116 Youth Club Leader – Salary £76.83 3117 Youth Club Assistant Leader – Salary £57.26 3118 Inland Revenue – Tax/NI £386.10 Wdl from Skipton B/S Sports Fund – R Entwistle – Lead Project Co-ordinator £700.00 021/11 Finance and Projects (a) Treeworks Survey – it was agreed to invite Salcey, Midland Tree Specialists, Kirk Thompson and Treeworx to tender for the priority 1 treeworks identified in the survey. (b) Asset Register – this was deferred to March’s meeting as the Clerk is awaiting advice from auditor. (c) Item in Nat West safe – it was agreed that the item deposited with Nat West in 1952 be withdrawn. (d) Grant Request from All Saints Church – Tower Clock Restoration – as the deadline for grants has passed and the budget set, this will have to be held until financial year 2012/13. The Clerk will enquire as to the rents from Clock Close allotment which are meant to be for maintenance of clock. (e) Grant Request for Churches Together – as the deadline for grants has passed and the budget set, this request for an increase in the current grant will be held until financial year 2012/13. It was resolved that the clerk look into the cost of the Parish Council covering the insurance for the firework display at the Christmas Eve Carol Service. This expense would then be taken from the current grant allocated to the event. 022/11 Police/Community Safety (a) PCSO Halling attended and advised that 14 crimes were reported in January. The 3 priorities for the sector for the next 3-month period are Anti-Social Behaviour in Finedon, Anti-Social Behaviour and Criminal Damage in Wollaston and Speeding across the rural sector. Cllr Cahill will attend the next panel meeting on 20 April, 7.30pm, at Mears Ashby village hall. 023/11 BCW Site Specific Proposal Development Plan – Preferred Option 68 Cllr Verden declared a personal and prejudicial interest in this item and took no part in discussion. Taking on board the comments made during public time, it was noted that there is some confusion regarding the allocation of housing on the land situated on the High Street, brought about by the actions of the Borough Council of Wellingborough. The Clerk will write to the Borough Council to seek clarification on this point. The Parish Council will also express concerns over the consultation process. 024/11 Royal Wedding – 29 April 2011 Anyone wishing to organise a street party to celebrate the Royal wedding should contact the Clerk for further details. Please note that you need to give at least 4-6 weeks’ notice to the relevant authorities of the event.


025/11 Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge Details of the challenge were discussed and it was decided not to nominate any land in Earls Barton. 026/11 Localism Bill The Clerk will attend a training course on 14 April to learn about the effect of the Localism Bill on planning.

035/11 BCW Correspondence (a) BCW 2011/12 Budget Consultation – it was agreed to respond and express concerns over the loss or reduction in quality of front line services and how these will be re-instated in the future. (b) International Waendal Walk – this will take place on 13-15 May.

027/11 Sustainable Communities Act Update The Clerk updated the Parish Council and holds details of websites for further information.

036/11 NCC Correspondence (a) Proposed reduction in Trading Standards Budget – a statement was read out by the Clerk.

028/11 Exercise Watermark Details of Exercise Watermark were noted.

037/11 Other Correspondence (a) SLCC Training Events Guide – it was agreed that the Clerk will attend the Press and Public Relation Training on 29 March. (b) BTCV information – held by Clerk.

029/11 Great Poppy Party Weekend – 10-12 June 2011 Pass details to Festival organisers. 030/11 Bus Shelter – Northampton Road Cllr Payne declared an interest and left the room, taking no part in discussions. The bus shelter has been ordered and the works order put in to NCC. The Parish Council decided to accept threed communications quote for groundworks and installation. 031/11 Parish Council Elections – 5 May 2011 Anyone interested in standing as a Parish Councillor for Earls Barton should contact Election Services at The Borough Council of Wellingborough at for nomination forms. These should be returned between 25 March and noon on 4 April 2011. 032/11 Community Speedwatch Update Cllr Wright presented a schedule for Community Speedwatch activity in 2011. This was approved for press release. It should be noted that this schedule is subject to withdrawal if funding is not approved in the County Council’s budget at the end of February. 033/11 Highways and Maintenance (a) Update from Debbie Thorne on Parking Restriction Review and crossing patrol – no update received but Ms Thorne has been invited to March’s meeting. (b) VAS update – Cllr Wright to look into installing VAS. (c) Update on Mears Ashby Rd gateway and works on Main Road – NCC have been advised that the hedge on Mears Ashby Rd has been cut back so work on the gateway can proceed. Repair works have been carried out on Main Rd and Clerk will monitor removal of signs and sandbags and report if necessary. Clerk to contact NCC regarding larger hood for Mears Ashby Rd filter lane light. (d) Area 7 Managing Agent Contract – A45 Doddington Rd Bridge – members were advised on works progress. (e) Request for bollards from resident – Doddington Road – to be referred to NCC. (f) Barkers Meeting – update – Cllr Blackwell advised that the meeting was productive. At Barker’s request, the notes from the meeting are to be kept confidential. (g) Maintenance work to Garden of Remembrance, Earls Barton Cemetery – Cllr Abbott reported that some kind of screening is required behind the Garden of Remembrance. It was resolved to delegate powers to the Grounds Maintenance Committee, who will meet at the Cemetery to discuss options.

038/11 Planning Applications Received WP/10/0567/F – rear extension and move front door to side of drive. Also demolish existing garage and car port – 132 Wellingborough Rd – Mr H Wright. WP/11/0021/F – erection of white PVCU conservatory to rear extension – amended plan – 20 Dowthorpe End – Mr Cushing. WP/11/0040/TX – application for a new planning permission to replace an extant planning permission in order to extend the time limit for implementation for WP/08/0008/F – application for single storey dining room, wet room and utility – 16 Dowthorpe Hill – Mr I Dally. WP/11/0042/RVC – variation of condition 3 of planning permission BW/1983/0137 to allow the opening hours as follows: 11:00-23:00 Monday to Saturday and 17:00-22:00 on Sunday – 44 High St – Mr C Lee. WP/11/0044/HR – removal and replacement of 6m hedgerow – field at Gr Doddington – Mr G Whittle, Anglian Water Services Ltd. Planning Decisions WP/10/0464/F – 11 Grange Cl – Mrs C Dunsby – PERMISSION GRANTED WP/10/0462/F – 30a King St – Mr T Dawson – PERMISSION GRANTED No comments were required on the applications received. 116/11 Sports and Leisure Development This section of the meeting was held in confidence under Section 4 of the Code of Conduct. Cllrs Abbott and Mallard declared an interest and left the room, along with any members of the public. (a) Update and Lead Project Co-ordinators report and contract – CONFIDENTIAL - deferred to March’s meeting.

Date of Next Meeting Monday 14 March 2011 – 7.15pm It should be noted that these minutes are subject to the approval of Earls Barton Parish Council Rosemary Smart – Clerk to the Council 01604 812850 –

034/11 NCALC/ACRE Correspondence (a) NCALC – Update – held by Clerk.

March 2011 47.


Wine Club

r e v o c s Di r u o v a l f the

with Rodney Hogg, our resident wine expert

Carignan, an easy drinking

wine in tune with a relaxed life style I have over the last few weeks enjoyed a grape varietal that is not so well known in the UK as a single variety. It is has been used over the years as a grape to blend with others, notably with the Cabernet Sauvignon grape to give a Ruby Cabernet wine, which you may have come across.

When tasting the Mont Rocher, Carignan, Vieilles Vignes, 2009 at 12.5% vol, your senses really come to life. Your eyes are delighted with deep crimson red colour, and you can breath in wonderful floral aromas and spiciness. On the palate, your senses are awakened by soft dry, red berry fruit.

Quite why I have enjoyed the Carignan (KA Re nyan) is very simple, the sheer pleasure comes from the older vines (Vieilles Vignes). These display purity of flavour from small parcels of terroir which penetrate deep, drawing the maximum flavour possible, in the warm Pays D’Herault region of the South of France.

Another reason to enjoy this Carignan wine is the sheer range of food dishes it accompanies, such as beef stew, stir fry beef, Tandoori chicken, Thai green chicken curry or with just a selection of cheeses and dry biscuits. I did try it slightly chilled, but much preferred a warmer temperature around 57f/14c. It would be just fine, of course to drink on its own without food.

“On the palate, your senses are awakened by soft dry, red berry fruit.”

As with most pleasures in life, it is better to share. I hope it works for you. Rodney Hogg has been a well-known figure in the wine industry for over 30 years, particularly in Northamptonshire. He is available for tastings and consultations with both restaurant and corporate clients. He is also on hand to advise private clients on case or mixed case purchases for their home use.

Carignan is currently available direct from Amps Fine Wines at just £6.29 when you buy a box of 12. Or £6.99 individually. To get yours, call Rodney on 07850 791452 and he’ll arrange for it to be delivered direct to your door at no extra charge. Email

48. March 2011



Motoring Today


A Crash Course! I am often asked how I got into racing at the ripe old age of 44. It was a mixture of deception, pressure and life long ambition.

Something I had always wanted to do

I was deceived by a BMW magazine that said I could build a race car for £1,000. I was pressured by my son William to build the car after I mentioned the magazine article three years earlier. And racing was something I had always wanted to do … so I decided to enter the Production BMW Championship (PBMWC). The PBMWC is a one-make race series specifically designed to provide close, friendly and relatively cheap racing for any driver from beginner to advanced. The racing is entertaining for spectators due to the closeness of the cars and the frequent place changes. Forty-five BMW’s barrelling into Copse Corner at Silverstone is a sight to behold. There is inevitably the odd crash but drivers tend to walk away from these, and it is probably safer than being on the road once you take into account all the safety gear a driver wears during a race.

“I didn’t have the heart to tell the owner what we were going to do to the car…” 50. March 2011

Race car preparation

To make our race car project affordable, Will (my son) and I, had to do most of the work ourselves and in July 2008 we found a suitable car: a silver 1989 320i BMW Coupe. One owner from new. 70,000 miles. We picked the car up from Staffordshire and parted with £800. I didn’t have the heart to tell the owner what we were going to do to the car… Race car preparation wasn’t something I had ever done before but it wasn’t too difficult. It does take up a lot of time though. We started by stripping out the interior, most of which we sold on ebay. We then had to weld the sunroof shut, which was done locally by AES Services. (Thanks AES!) Most of the money then goes on safety items such as the roll cage, the racing seat and harness, and the plumbed in fire extinguisher system. The most important of these items (roll cage, harness fixing) I left to the professionals. The rest William and I did ourselves. All the cars in the Championship run on the same tyres and with the same engines, to keep all the cars roughly the same in performance terms. This then provides close racing where driver skill is more important than having lots of money. That’s the theory anyway. I wouldn’t like to say how much we spent on the car in the first season but it was considerably more than £1,000 … but still less than you could buy a new reasonably priced car for. What’s more, the car is road legal and MOT’d and is driven to and from each race.



Most men think they can drive fast. I did too until I went out to qualify for my first race at Silverstone. There were 43 cars on what is a fairly small circuit. It was very aggressive with cars coming from all angles. I survived qualifying and lined up for my first race at the back of grid.

Thanks for the advice

I am lucky to be able to race and for that I need to thank my wife and family who come to nearly every meeting. Sarah provides tea, food and encouragement. Will has become an accomplished pit mechanic looking after the car between races. Hannah just loves to watch and has been known occasionally to clean the car between races. I could probably race without them but it wouldn’t be as much fun.

I am also grateful to all the old friends, new friends, neighbours, workmates and family who have either come to watch, help with the car, offer advice or just to have a chat when I am outside in the middle of winter working on the car. The race was easier than the qualifying session, as the fast boys were safely out of the way at the front of the grid. I finished near the back but it was tremendous fun. The grids are so big that there is always someone nearby to tussle with.

For the future, I am looking forward to my 3rd season, which starts at Snetterton on 19th March. I hope that this coming one sees my first top ten race finish and also a top 15 Championship finish.

In the second race I finished 35th out of 40, which I was happy with but I now knew I had a long way to go. Racing is much harder than it looks. Imagine trying to overtake someone on the road who is driving flat out - that’s a bit like racing. The first season passed without mishap and was a season of learning. My results slowly improved but I was still near the back. It didn’t matter though I was just feeling very lucky that I was able to race. Off the track the social life in the paddock was great. BBQ’s, beer, help and advice are all freely available and I have made a lot of new friends. Overall I finished 50th out of 70 drivers in the first season. This was followed with 25th out of 75 in my second season.

“Most men think they can drive fast. I did too until I went out to qualify for my first race at Silverstone.”

If any local companies are interested in advertising on the car in 2011, then please email me at and I will get back to you.

Mark Leabon Further details of the series and everything you need to know about getting started yourself can be found on the official website

March 2011 51.


Sports Today

Howzat! Re-uniting Cricket Club members, young and old Earls Barton Cricket Club would like to invite all former and present players, as well as tea ladies, scorers and umpires. Bring your partner and/or family too, as it is bound to be a direct hit.


Earls Barton 1st Team 1980 (Division 2 winners)

Back row (L-R): Ian Tyrer, Robert Blackwell (scorer), Trevor Denny, Graham Wright, Bernie Hunt, Barry Curry, David Braun, Sam Cotter Middle row: Glyn Pepper, David Pick, Barry Buck, Andy Kearns, Richard Knight, Dave O’Sullivan. Front row: Pat Barron, Ray Waite, Barry Smith (capt), Peter Owen, Clive Pickford, Mark Barratt

Saturday 25th June 2011 from 6pm onwards. That gives us a good length of time to catch up with old friends and reminisce. There’s no entry fee and there will be a buffet supper – but we do need to know numbers in advance to ensure we cater for everyone. So call Jayne Bond on 01604 811948 (or 07850 629872) to put your name(s) down.

Earls Barton 2nd Team 1968 (League champions)

Make a day of it

Back row (L-R): Ken Sherwood, Paul Biggs, David Braun, Alan James, Alan Smith, Ian Thompson, Pat Barron, Bert Davis Front row: Sid Brown, Ray Smart, George Blackwell (capt), Richard Dalton, Mick Hearn

Why not join us in the afternoon too? The 1st team just happen to be playing at home that day against Thrapston CC 1st XI. Arrive from 1.30pm to give us the edge!

52. March 2011



Sports Today

Ahoy shipmates! 15 minutes drive from Earls Barton is a corner of Northamptonshire that most people do not know about and even if they did they may not be able to find it… Hidden in two flooded valleys, this former reservoir is about as secluded and picturesque as you get for around here. (A bit like Sywell but without the cars, dogs - just wind powered sailing boats!).

It is also a great way to spend an afternoon - totally a different world and no phones, television - just wind, water and you (either on your own or with 1-3 others).

Cransley Sailing Club is a small family orientated club with a big emphasis towards teaching (it is a RYA Volvo Champion Club, which means its not bad at it!), as well as racing and just cruising around. We sail from the beginning of March to the end of November at weekends and Tuesday and Thursday nights although you can at other times by arrangement. We even have a fully functional clubhouse on stilts with a magnificent view of the 100-acre lake. You can either own a boat, or as members you are allowed to use one of the many club boats for a small donation. Last year we were lucky enough to be awarded grants enabling us to get 10 new training boats for all ages.

“Sailing is a sport that anyone can do (we have children as young as 5 up to 80 on the water” Sailing is a sport that anyone can do (we have children as young as 5 up to 80 on the water) - and is probably one of the greenest sports out, where you can get a great buzz out of harnessing nature. Even on a beautiful seemingly windless day you can move a little!

We have an Open Day on Sunday 8th May (11am to 5pm) where you are all welcome to have a go for free or just come along for an afternoon out. Our website ( has lots of further details about us, but please feel free to ring me if you can’t wait until May! Nigel Austin - 07713 214 583 PS. I throw down the challenge to Colin (Suter) to have a go and report back!

F mem amily bers arou – a g nd £110 hip is reat per y w e a y time to sp ar toge ther end

54. March 2011


Earls Barton United Football Club c/o Anne Cleaver (Secretary) 8 Cordon Crescent, Earls Barton, Northampton NN6 0PW - Tel: 01604 466366

Meet the Under12 Boys

EBUFC Managers & Committee 2010/11

Ah don’t they look sweet ... like butter wouldn’t melt! The Under 12’s squad consists of: Dan Talbot, Dan Webb, Lewis Carvell, Harry McNeill, James Perry, Charlie Lawrence, Luke Booker, Nikhil Khatri, Alex Woodruff, Sam Fidelia, Jake Channer, William Dodwell and missing from the photo Jonathan Ashworth, Jake Lay and Jack Smart. The team is managed by Darren Booker and Assisted by Dave Dodwell.


Not one of the biggest squads at Earls Barton Football Club but the boys all get on very well on and off the pitch. And although go to no less than eight different schools, they still manage to communicate during the week, even if it is on the xbox or playstation. At the start of the season it was decided that it would be good for the boys to embark on a new challenge, so the decision was taken to move from the Kettering Weetabix League over to the Northants John Henry League. With three divisions, the team were entered into the U12C league. Unfortunately, although coming across some really friendly opposition, the majority of games have been won with ease for most of the season, hence they are proud to be sitting at the top of their league - having scored 80 goals and letting in just 8 in their first 10 games so far. The team have done extremely well and are due to play Nether Heyford in the quarter-finals of the League Cup and by the time you read this article they will either be disappointed or on their way to the semi-finals! Training for the U12’s is on a Wednesday night at the Pioneer Sportsground 6.30pm - 8.00pm. If you are player that can add something to our team, please dont hesitate to join us at one of our training sessions.

Tesco for Schools & Clubs Voucher Scheme is back for 2011 !!! Vouchers will be available in store and with online grocery orders from Monday 28th February until Sunday 8th May, so get collecting! Last year went well but let’s make it a record collection this year! The more vouchers we collect, the more equipment we can get for the club.

If you collect the vouchers and would like to donate them to EBUFC, please contact anyone on the General Committee - where they will be gratefully received! If you would like a collection box and poster to put in your workplace, please email us at

Under 7 Contact Club Secretary Under 8 Mick McGuckin

07876 778872

Under 9 Matt Parsons

01604 812273

Under 11 James Cameron

07774 711171

Under 12 Darren Booker

01604 811650

Under 13 Steve Biggs

01604 810266

Under 14 Graham Pinney

07411 522262

Under 15 Dave Archer

07532 113155

Under 16 Scott Bromwich

01604 510979

Under 17 Keith Lawrence

01604 812517

Under 13 Girls Cliff Elliott

07815 543455

Ladies Angie Foster

01604 466265

Sat 1st Team Antony Owen

01604 811645

Sat Reserves Ian Clark (Temp) Sunday

COMMITTEE President Chris Heaton-Harris Chairman Antony Owen 01604 811645 Vice Chairman Steve Biggs 01604 810266 Secretary Anne Cleaver 01604 466366 Treasurer (Temp) Antony Owen 01604 811645 Club Welfare Officer Angie Foster 01604 466265 Manager’s Rep Geoff Cleaver 01604 466366 General Committee Michelle Biggs 01604 810266 Andrea Nolan 01604 811591 Victoria Starmer 07896 214392 Graham Pinney 07411 522262

EBUFC are always looking for new Players, Coaches & Volunteers. If interested, please call the club secretary Anne Cleaver on: 01604 466366 or visit: March 2011



Current Affairs

Referendum? What Referendum? Asks Andrew Gunn, a Labour Party member writing in a personal capacity On Thursday 5 May, all Earls Barton electors will have the opportunity to vote for a change in the way MPs are elected. At the same time Earls Barton electors will vote to appoint three Borough Councillors to serve the village for the next four years. This Referendum will offer the opportunity to vote to replace the present ‘first past the post’ (FPP) system, with the ‘alternative vote’ (AV) system. Why is it important to vote in this historic Referendum, and why is it important to vote to replace FPP? In this article, I hope to persuade you.

The present FPP system has damaging consequences for our democracy: •

 PP is unfair. The two largest parties get more than their F fair share of seats. In last year’s General Election the Conservatives and Labour Parties got 65% of the vote between them, and yet they ended up with 87% of the MPs. On average, the Conservative and Labour gained a seat for every 34,000 votes they received, while the Liberal Democrats only gained a seat for every 120,000 votes, the Greens got only one seat for 120,000 votes and UKIP won no seats with 920,000 votes!

 afe seats. FPP produces ‘safe seats’, where the same S Party always wins. For example, the Conservatives have held our constituency of Daventry for at least the last 65 years. During that time, 100,000s of voters in this constituency have never voted for the winning candidate, and have thus felt unrepresented. In the UK, nearly 60% of all seats are safe, where sitting MPs have been effectively ‘elected for life’ and have little incentive to represent constituents well. Fewer seats would be safe under AV.

 ow voter turnout. In ‘safe seats’, there is no incentive for L many electors to vote. This is not apathy; these electors know that their vote is useless. Not since 1951 has the UK turnout been greater than 80%. The turnout in 2010 was only 65% - 16 million electors in the UK decided not to vote.

 nrepresentative government. No single Party has received U more than 50% of the national vote since 1931. Since then fewer electors have voted for the government than have voted for all other Parties. Nevertheless, the winning Party has often had a commanding majority in Parliament, allowing it to push through its policies without real debate – a form of ‘elective dictatorship’. This can result in contentious decisions made without proper scrutiny or effective challenge – the Poll Tax, the centralisation of government, the Iraq War, ID Cards, deregulation of the financial sector, endless destabilising reform of the heath and education services, etc. A change to AV would help make parliament more representative and the government more accountable.

So what is the alternative? The Referendum will offer the AV, a system that ensures the winning candidate has the support of at least 50% of voters through a process to be described in next month’s Barton Today.

56. March 2011



The Arts - Theatre

Robert Daws stars in hilarious comedy of manners As part of the Made in Northampton 2011 Subscription Season, Robert Daws – best known as Dr Gordon Ormerod in ITV’s The Royal – stars in the world premiere of Diary of a Nobody. This frenetically funny re-telling of the farcical classic novel takes to the Royal stage from Friday 4 to Saturday 19 March. The diarist of the piece, one Charles Pooter of Upper Holloway, a really very ordinary middle class clerk with lofty aspirations, has decided that the world deserves to hear his diary – whether they like it or not.

“toe-curling social gaffes make it impossible not to warm to this hapless everyman.” He has one night, three actors and an empty stage to impart dubious anecdotes of his humdrum existence to anyone who will listen. He may be overly uppity and terribly hoity toity, but Pooter’s relentless stream of unwitting, toe-curling social gaffes make it impossible not to warm to this hapless everyman. Adapted by Hugh Osborne from the hilarious comedy of manners by George and Weedon Grossmith, this world premiere sees four men uproariously recreate the trials and tribulations of Pooter’s monotonous marriage and daily grind in Victorian London, resulting in a riotously energetic and physical tour de force.

58. March 2011

Following last year’s critically acclaimed production of Travels With My Aunt, Gary Sefton returns to Royal & Derngate to direct Diary of a Nobody. In addition to Robert Daws, the cast features Steven Blakeley best known for his role as PC Geoff Younger in ITV’s Heartbeat, Peter Forbes who was in the National Theatre of Scotland’s multi-award-winning production of Black Watch and was last seen in Northampton in Travels With My Aunt, and William Oxborrow who is also Musical Director for the play, a role he recently undertook for The Core at Corby Cube’s first Christmas Show, Hansel and Gretel. Diary from a Nobody – a co-production between Royal & Derngate and Under the Radar Partnership – can be seen at Royal & Derngate from 4 to 19 March, with tickets priced from £27 to £12. Audience members booking for the show as part of the subscription season can enjoy significant savings on ticket prices. To find out more or to book, call the Box Office on 01604 624811 or visit


The Arts - Theatre

Acting up!

What to look out for at the theatre this season

“Hun, I’ll be right beside you. And together we’ll claw our way to the top”

Not To Miss At Your Local Theatres

Edna – Hairspray

FIREMAN SAM – PONTYPANDY ROCKS! – The Castle Theatre – Saturday 5th March £13 (£11)

My theatre world by Gary L Johnson This weekend has been mad, just finished RYTF 2011 (Regional Youth Theatre Festival) and what a weekend it was. We had groups all over the East Midlands come to The Castle to take part. I had great fun meeting up with my old colleges and friends, and being part of something really cool (I even got to sing a bit). Today I have been told some very exciting news … step aside John Travolta and Michael Ball, there is a new EDNA in town. Yes I’ve been cast in a musical production of ‘Hairspray’ at the Upper Brown Street Theatre in Leicester. Gosh this is a show that you are not going to want to miss. (Well unless you don’t want to see me in drag. Oh dear what have I let myself in for!) Next month I’ll have more information about how my latest production is going. Until then enjoy your local performances.

LEAPIN’ LIZARDS, it’s Annie!

With a memorable score including ‘It’s A Hard Knock Life’, ‘Easy Street’ and of course the legendary ‘Tomorrow’, along with brilliantly visual choreography and a side-splittingly funny script, you find Annie as warm and funny as the first time you ever saw it!

Theatre reviews by you: Jack Bull reviews The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre, London) “It is easy to see why Phantom has become one of the most popular musicals of all time; it’s spectacular from start to finish. Set in the Paris Opera House, the show revolves around Christine Daae, a young chorus girl who is being taught by the ‘Angel of Music’ aka the Phantom. The Phantom then pursues the owners of the Opera House to allow Christine to play the lead in every opera, but they vow war against him therefore ignoring his request, leading to fatal consequences.

The heart-warming rags-to-riches musical, Annie, will be at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton, for one week only from Tuesday 29 March till Saturday 2 April. Annie’s adventures from Miss Hannigan’s orphanage to the luxurious home of Oliver Warbucks is a story that has been told all over the world for decades. First seen on stage in 1976, the show really does deserve its reputation as one of the best loved family musicals of all time!

“Everything about this show is stunning: the set, the lighting design, costumes (230 per show, in fact), not to mention the cast and crew (all 130 of them!). Credit must go to John Owen-Jones who led the cast as the Phantom - the power and passion he brought to the role in my opinion was incredible. So if you are not one of the 80 million to have already watched Phantom, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.”

Star of stage and screen, Su Pollard (Hi-De-Hi) reprises her role as the dastardly Miss Hannigan and David McAlister (Hollyoaks, Eastenders, Mike Bassett TV and Brideshead Revisited) makes a welcome return as the billionaire businessman, Oliver Warbucks.

I want to hear about what you have seen recently at the theatre. It could be anything from a dance show to a fullscale musical performance. Let us know what you think (email garyljohnson@live. and you could see it in the arts section, in the next Barton today.

Join Fireman Sam and all his friends, as Pontypandy hosts its first ever music festival. Station Officer Steele has booked a surprise guest star to perform but it’s a big secret. STEPHEN K AMOS – The Derngate Theatre – Wednesday 9th March £18.50 Fresh from a busy year filming his own BBC2 comedy series, Stephen is back on tour with more melt in the middle, heartfelt humour to warm the very cockles of your heart. THE GLEEK CLUB – Lighthouse Theatre Kettering – Friday 11th March £15 (£13) The UK’s number 1 Glee tribute show. See the gang perform all your favourite songs from the hit TV show ‘Glee’. With a west-end cast sure to blow your mind with dazzling costumes, amazing choreography and stunning vocals, this show is not to be missed. RICHARD DURANT – The Royal Theatre – Friday 25th March £15 (£13) There is no other guitar concert on tour anywhere in the world quite like Richard Durant’s Guitar Whisperer. “EXTRAORDINARY VIRTUOSITY… A SIMPLY UNMISSABLE TREAT” CLASSIC FM MAGAZINE Local theatre information The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough: (BOX OFFICE: 01933 270007) The Royal and Derngate, Northampton: (BOX OFFICE: 01604 624811) The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering: (BOX OFFICE: 01536 414141)

March 2011 59.


The Arts - Music

BaRTon NOTes

From Laura Dickens

Giving you the low-down on local music Welcome to the Second Edition of Barton Notes. It’s been a busy time for Music, with the BRIT awards just gone and tours kicking off. As always, I’d like to hear about your bands and any music that might be coming up in the area. Email Here’s what I have for you this month:

Rachel Furner 18-year old Rachel from Northampton has got great things ahead of her. Signed to Mercury/Universal records, she has already toured or performed with Paolo Nutini, Pixie Lott and Justin Bieber. She even attended this year’s BRIT AWARDS. This summer she will be playing a host of the major UK festivals including Glastonbury and V as well as getting ready for her very own headline tour. She’s finished recording her stunning debut album with world-acclaimed record producer ‘Youth’, and has just released ‘Sticks and Stones’ - a song I’m sure that most people can relate to. You can find the video for on her facebook page: 

She says

“My life is music, and I hope you can hear that through my songs.”

OPen mic Nights Quite a lovely and regular thing here in Wales, and it seems so in Northampton. The Roadmender is hosting on one 27th March, so take your guitars, drums and gongs down and make some music! I did hear it through the grapevine that the Barton pubs hold Open Mic Nights from time to time. Want me to review it? Drop me an email.

March Music 5th Boxer Rebellion at the Roadmender 5th Pagan Altar at the Racehorse 5th Beyond The Barricade at the Royal & Derngate 6tt Zed Lepp at the King Billy 7th Sing Up Celebration at the Royal & Derngate 10th Scott Mills DJs Sk!NT Disco at the Roadmender 10th The Soldiers at the Royal & Derngate 10th Mary Wilson of the Supremes and the Chilites at the at the Royal & Derngate 14th Rockin Roadrunner at the Roadmender 15th Sing-a-long-a-Abba at the Royal & Derngate 16th Flashguns at the Roadmender 16th Steeleye Span at the Royal & Derngate 17th Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club® at the Royal & Derngate 21st Kate Nash at the Roadmender 24th Me Vs. Hero at the Soundhouse 25th Richard Durant at the Royal & Derngate 26th UK Pink Floyd Experience at the Royal & Derngate 27th OPEN MIC at the Roadmender 27th A Night At The Opera at the Royal & Derngate

Tickets King Billy - or 01604 621325 Racehorse - or 07921 237232 Roadmender - or 01604 231688 Royal & Derngate - or 01604 624811 Soundhouse - or 07532 403821

Lastly, on a more National Stage, my recommendation for this month is The Blanks. If you’re a Scrubs fan, you’d know them as Ted’s band. They’re an ‘a cappella’ band, singing covers such as ‘Hey Ya!’ (a favourite of mine) and ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’. It’s refreshing to hear a cappella on the scene again. They recently toured the UK, including my Students Union and it was a blast! They’ve announced more dates for summer, so I reckon you should get down to a show.

Laura is a resident of Earls Barton, currently studying at Aberystwyth University. She also sings in a band and attends lots of live gigs both here and in Wales. She’s been into live music since a very young age, and has quite an eclectic taste. Don’t forget to email her if you think you know ‘the

60. March 2011

next big thing’ on the music scene!


The Arts - Music

Earls Barton Music

Spring Concert 2011 Earls Barton Music will be performing a selection of songs from the following hit West End musicals:

• • • • •

Cabaret Les Miserables Blood Brothers West Side Story The Lion King

Tickets are £8 and £6

for concessions.

They will be on sale from Londis (Dylans) on Station Road in Earls Barton and Refreshments available. Check out Earls Barton music website or follow Earls Barton Music on Facebook for more details.

The concert will be performed on:

Technical crew wanted

Saturday 26th of March at 7:00pm

Earls Barton Music is also currently looking for new members to join their existing technical crew. So if you are interested in learning more about all areas of concert lighting and sound, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Earls Barton Methodist Church, Broad Street, NN6 0ND

Sunday 27th of March at 3:30pm

Finedon Community Centre, Wellingborough Road, Finedon NN9 5LG


What’s On

Earls Barton

Village Festival

Churches Together in Earls Barton and District invite you to join one of the Lent Bible Studies.

Once again we would like to invite any and all village organisations to participate in the third annual Village Festival in June 2011. The aim of the festival is, and has always been, to provide opportunities for you to showcase your club or society, or to promote an activity to take place at the festival. By doing this in a festival atmosphere many more people are likely to be able to see just what a huge range of skills and talents the village possesses and celebrate what a great community this is. The festival team will publicise all events under the festival banner. We do this purely as volunteers and any money you make for your groups is yours to keep, although a small donation towards the cost of publicity would be welcome.

The churches are working through ‘essential’ Bible passages and come together to share during Lent.

In the past, we have received grant funding and have put on some events of our own with a marquee on the recreation ground, which we have used for some paying and some free events. This is an expensive item however and, without the certainty of any grants this year, we cannot continue to provide it. Instead this year we will utilise as many village buildings as we can and this will help us stage some events of our own at low cost or for free.

March 12th 11am Methodist Church: Introduction

Also this year we are looking to make it a ‘Festival Fortnight’ starting on June 4th and ending on Sat 18th, Carnival day, as usual. We feel that a fortnight gives more opportunities for organisations to take part without everything being too close together and making sure that things don’t clash. We are hopeful that the fortnight will get off to a musical start, with a long weekend of events staged by Earls Barton Music. So please let the festival team know as soon as possible if you are planning to stage any events (no matter how big or small) in that fortnight, so we can show everyone just how talented the folk of Earls Barton are. Please contact Bridget or Nick Chapman on 01604 810989 to register your event or email us at Keep an eye on our website for updates, and watch out for more information in future issues of Barton Today.


SPRING BAZAAR 10.00am until 12.00 noon

THE USUAL STALLS & great Ideas for Mother’s Day and Easter Presents!

FREE ENTRY 62. March 2011

March 23rd 2pm or 8pm: The Prophets March 30th 2pm or 8pm: The Living Word April 6th 2pm or 8pm: The teachings of Jesus April 13th 2pm or 8pm: The miracles of Jesus Wednesday afternoons at All Saints Wednesday Evenings at 2 The Dell

You’ll be very welcome at any or all of them!

Children’s Society Coffee morning

One voice prayer room

19th March from 10am to noon All Saints Church Hall

We will have a ‘One Voice’ prayer room set up for anyone to use as a space to think and pray about what we are doing, and what we can do to help end global poverty. We’ll have lots of pictures and ideas for you to read about, things to watch, make or you can of course just be still. We’ll also have an interactive global prayer map set up by Tearfund as part of their 2011 Global poverty Prayer Movement. Hope you can join us.



March 16th 2pm or 8pm: Psalms and Proverbs

During this event we would be very pleased if all collection box holders would bring their boxes to the hall. This would be an excellent opportunity for us to personally thank everyone who has helped or participated in this fundraising. Gill Metcalfe, Roger and Margaret Manfield

Come and try something different on Saturday 12th March in All Saints church hall between 10am and 12 noon.

One Voice Lit up. Together. Around the world. Global Poverty Prayer Movement 2011



Station Road, Earls Barton

Park Close, Earls Barton

A well presented and spacious three-storey terraced property with three bedrooms and double off-road parking in the popular village of Earls Barton. Situated in a unique row of late Victorian terraces, the property benefits from period features and a 160ft rear garden backing onto open countryside. Upvc double-glazed and gas fired central heating. This type of property is rarely available in Earls Barton and viewing is highly recommended.

Situated at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac is this well presented two bedroom terraced home, which has been well maintained and improved by the current owners. The property benefits from both the boiler and windows and doors having been replaced in the past eighteen months, with redecoration in neutral tones throughout. Outside there are front and rear gardens, and allocated off-road parking for two cars. An ideal first time buy or investment property.


Not when you consider your property will be featured across our 11 branch network, in our much viewed window, on our website and, and in two newspapers. What’s more, all our viewings are accompanied, so you know your property is in safe hands with us.


Victoria Street, Earls Barton

Oxford Close, Earls Barton

An extended and improved Victorian terrace property offering contemporary style living with some character features. The property comprises an entrance porch, open plan lounge/dining room, with an archway into the extended and refitted kitchen, this then opens on to an area which the current vendor uses as a home office but would lend itself to a variety of uses. To the first floor two double bedrooms and a bathroom with a refitted four-piece white suite. Outside there is a small front garden enclosed by brick walling, to the rear there is a courtyard garden which is wider than average. Offered with no upper chain.

An established and welcoming four bedroom detached home on the ever-popular Dowthorpe Hill area of this desirable village. The ground floor commences with an entrance hall, cloakroom/wc, lounge/dining room in excess of 19ft, fitted kitchen, and an upvc double glazed conservatory addition. On the first floor there are four bedrooms and a family bathroom. Externally, there is a driveway to the front providing off-road parking. The garage has been partially converted with power and light connected, to offer a home office/study or playroom, with the remainder being kept to provide storage via the up and over door.


No other local agent can match our marketing.


Victoria Street, Earls Barton

West Street, Earls Barton

An attractive two double bedroom terraced house situated within half a mile of the village centre. The property benefits from hardwood windows and gas central heating. Accommodation comprises entrance hall, lounge with bow window, dining room, fitted kitchen and a breakfast room. To the first floor are two double bedrooms and a bathroom. Outside is a small courtyard front garden and a low maintenance paved rear garden enjoying a southerly aspect.

A lovely grade II listed stone built, three storey, four bedroom cottage dating back to the 18th century, offering a wealth of character and has retained many of its original features including exposed beams, oak flooring and open fireplaces. Outside there is a generously sized private rear garden and off-road parking for two cars. There is potential for a ground floor extension (subject to all necessary planning consents). The cottage benefits from gas radiator heating and is available with no upper chain. Viewing is highly recommended.

Supporting local community initiatives When you sell your home through Jackson Grundy, we give 5% of our fee (upon completion) to a local community group of your choice*, including: • Saxon Day Nursery • EB Cricket Club • Hokey Cokey Club • EB United Under 11’s • EB Infant School • EB Scouts and Explorers • Under The Tower Drama • All Saints Church • Starfruit Youth Theatre

Let’s work together and everyone wins! * All other local groups considered

Don’t gamble with the odds Call Jackson Grundy on 01604 810933 today!

Barton Today - March 2011 issue  
Barton Today - March 2011 issue  

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