Village news December 18

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BRIGSTOCK

Are you following the Advent windows throughout the village? Every night reveals yet another amazing idea. By December 24 all windows will have been revealed and you can walk the village to see some amazing scenes. Maps are available. You can also see it on the facebook page which is updated each day by Jane Jones with pictures and commentaries. There is also a Just Giving page should anybody wish to donate to Crisis which is a charity for the homeless. Well done Brigstock!

Some of you may already be aware we only have two weeks left of Brownies with Vanessa as the Brown Owl. If we cannot find a replacement we will not have a Brigstock Brownie pack.

We are hoping we can suggest a suitable replacement who can be trained up in the first few weeks of the year. Ideally it would be someone who can commit each week but an alternative may be that several volunteers are trained up who can share the workload? Please get back to Vanessa if you are interested or have any ideas on how our brownies can continue.

The WI 200 club has extra winners for December - no 60, Lesley Blakeley £30. No 18 Alan Godson, £20 and no 35 Joe Darcy £10. No 64 Bill Simon £30. No 32, Lillian Griffiths £20 and no 50, Avis Young £10.

Brigstock United Reformed Church is looking for an organist/pianist. If you can play regularly, occasionally or even just once, contact Sheila on 373225 or Helen on 373712.

From early to mid December the United Reformed Church Village will be offering Christmas post in Brigstock – we’ll post your cards for you! Contact Paula Addison-Pettit at paula@stab.demon.co.uk or 373035.

Friday, December 19, at Brigstock Village Hall. A great evening of dance music from the 40s to 90s including rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, country rock and some great sounds from the 8os and 90s. Admission £5. Bring your own drinks and snacks. Details 267031.

On Saturday, December 20, from 2.30pm to 3.30pm a carol service will be held in the kitchen of the New Bield. Wrap up warm and bring a torch or lantern.

Sunday, December 21, a carol service will be held at the United Reform Church at 3pm.

Wednesday, December 24, St Andrews Church Crib Service and Chrsistingle at 6pm and First mass of Christmas at 11.30pm.

Thursday, December 25, All Age Worship at United Reformed Church at 10.30am.

Sunday, December 28, St Andrews Holy Communion at 9.30am.

Sunday, December 28, United Reformed Church Christmas carol singalong 10.30am.

BURTON LATIMER

Carol singing accompanied by Gretton Silver Band will take place outside Sainsbury’s Burton Latimer on Saturday at 10am until 11am. Proceeds in aid of Spurgeons Childcare.

The first Farmers Market of 2015 will be held in the Millennium Garden on Saturday, January 3. Stalls selling local produce will open for business from 9am until 1pm.

The Friends of St Mary’s will sell hot drinks and home-made cakes, books and CDs.

Isham Division Trefoil Guild will host the coffee morning taking place at the Guiding Centre on Saturday, January 3. Bacon butties, cakes, tea and coffee will be on sale and there will be a variety of stalls. All proceeds for the upkeep and maintenance of the building. Doors will open at 9.30am.

Barton Seagrave Horticultural Society will meet at 2pm in the Community Centre, Pioneer Avenue, on Tuesday, January 6. The speaker for the afternoon will be Howard Drury who will talk about Gardens of Dublin and County Wicklow. There will be a raffle and refreshments. All inquiries to Maureen (01536 723059).

Countdown Cares will be at the bowls club from 10am to 4pm on Thursday, January 8.

Services at St Mary’s Church

Sunday, December 21:

8am Parish Advent Communion

10am Parish Eucharist and crèche

10am St Mary’s Young Disciples (aged 4 to 10)

6pm Nine lessons and carols by candlelight

There will be no Holy Communion or SMUFs on December 23

Wednesday, December 24:

3pm Family crib service

7.30pm Christmas Eve Mass

Thursday, December 25:

10am Christmas Day Communion

Sunday, December 28:

9am Holy Communion

Please note there will be no Holy Communion of SMUFs on Tuesday, December 30

Services at the Baptist Church

Sunday, December 21:

10.45am Morning Worship

10.45am Junior Church and crèche

6pm Family Carol Service led by the Junior Church

Thursday, December 25:

10am Combined Christmas Day Service at the Methodist Chapel

Sunday, December 28:

10.45am Morning Worship

10.45am Junior Church and crèche

Please note there will be no Evening Service

Services at the Methodist Chapel

Sunday, December 21:

10.45am Morning Worship

Thursday, December 25:

10am Combined Christmas Day Service with the Baptist Church

CALDECOTT

The November 100 Club was well attended and first number drawn, 104 belonging to Tate Winter won him the first prize of £45. Other winners were Dawn Petrie (£15), Katy Young (£10) and Robert Sharman (£5). Profit made helps with the annual fete expenses.

Denis Owens, chairman of the village hall committee, was pleased with the high standard of goods on display at the recent Craft Fair. Lots of Christmas gifts were purchased by visitors who were able to enjoy mulled wine, tea/coffee and mince pies. First prize winner in a raffle was Ian Bottreill.

The December meeting of the Women’s Institute, which was also the AGM, was opened by president Jenny Betts, who welcomed 28 members and supplied a raffle prize which was won by Dean Hawkins.

Jenny also presented birthday plants to Doreen Brown, Lindy Ashton & Hazel Pitt whose birthday fell on the day of the meeting. Jenny then presented the coveted rose bowl for the highest marks in the monthly competitions to June Gower. The committee was re-elected en bloc with the exception of Betty Owens who stepped down after many years service.

Jenny Betts, Aileen Ward and Lindy Ashton retain their positions as president, treasurer and secretary respectively, Maggie Garrett remains as outing secretary and other members are Sheena Girvan, Dianne Maycock, and Mary Brown. Frances Britnall was thanked for looking after the completion table, a position now passed on to Sue Murrant.

A good year was reported with some excellent speakers and events. Four new members had enrolled, making a membership of 31.

Some members had attended the group carol service at Little Bowden, also the group meeting and some had presented the Caldecott centenary banner at Foxton Locks.

The treasurer reported a healthy bank balance, much the same as last year, and thanked everyone for their help in fund raising. On behalf of non-committee members the longest-standing member, Rene Wells, thanked the committee for their hard work in making the group run smoothly and for a most enjoyable year.

Delicious refreshments supplied by the committee were enjoyed. Then an exchange of Christmas gifts took place from a nicely decorated table organised by Sheena, Mary and Aileen, when each member provided a gift and received one in return. The next meeting will be later than usual on January 15.

The Christmas Carols and Readings service at St John’s Church will be held on Sunday, December 21, at 4pm, the Carols around the Crib will take place on Christmas Eve at 3pm. And the Christmas Day service will commence at 9.30am. The Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve will be held at Harringworth Church commencing at 11.30pm.

A special Christmas progressive whist drive in the village hall was organised by Jackie Chapman and Margaret Deadman. Refreshments were served by Robert Sharman whose number was first drawn for the many raffle prizes. Holding the highest scoring hand in the room was Mavis Patrick and following were, ladies, Anne Sherwin, Lily Cordwell, Fay Moonie, Stella Ward and Beryl Saville and men or playing as man were Kathryn Kelly, Michael Bailey, Ray Patrick, Jack Moonie and Patricia Fountain. Highest half scores were held by Christine Cox and Alan Sherwin and consolation prizes were awarded to Shirley Fursdon and John Claypole. The next whist drive will be held on January 17.

COTTINGHAM

The Valley Voice choir will be out and about at hostelries in the villages on Friday, December 19. Come along and get yourselves in the spirit of Christmas. Join in with your best loved Yuletide tunes or just enjoy Valley Voice doing their thing. More details to follow.

On Sunday, December 21, at 6pm there will be a carol service led by Superintendent Minister the Rev Martin Swann at the Methodist Church in Corby Road, Cottingham.

Join Mary and Joseph on their journey through Cottingham and Middleton to the stable for the birth of Christ. The journey starts at 4pm on Christmas Eve outside the Red Lion in Middleton, stopping at various points on the journey for readings and carols, and ending at St Mary Magdalene Church where light refreshments will be available. Please wrap up warmly and bring a lantern or torch, and you are welcome to dress as nativity characters.

Midnight Mass will be held this year at St Leonard’s Church, Rockingham. Please be there on December 24 at 11.30pm.

There will be a Christmas Morning service with Communion at St Mary Magdalene Church, Cottingham, at 10.30am.

Church services:

St Mary Magdalene, Church Street, Cottingham

Family Praise - every first Sunday of the month at 10am

Holy Communion – 9.30am every second and third Sunday of the month

Coffee with Hymns – every fourth Sunday of the month at 10am

Methodist Church, Corby Road, Cottingham - every Sunday at 6pm.

DENFORD

On Sunday, December 21, there is no Morning Service but at 4pm in Holy Trinity Church in Denford there is a Candlelit Christingle Service where the collection is in aid of The Children’s Society.

On Monday, December 22, there will be carol singing around Denford. Meeting at the Village vall at 6pm. The collection is in aid of Cransley Hospice.

In Holy Trinity Church in Denford on Christmas Day there is a Service of Holy Communion at 11am.

On Sunday, December 28, in Holy Trinity Church in Denford there is no service, but you are invited to join the United Churches Service at Thrapston Methodist Church at 10.30am.

On Sunday, January 4, in Holy Trinity Church in Denford there is a Service of Morning Worship at 11am.

DESBOROUGH

Friends of Desborough Library held a Christmas coffee morning on Thursday, December 4, with stalls full of jewellery, cards, gifts, toys, cakes and refreshments as usual with a prized raffle draw. They raised £65.44. Also, on the evening of Thursday, December 4, actor James Hornsby performed A Christmas Carol. It was an absolutely enchanting evening. James was superb in all his characters. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.

The final visiting speaker for the Desborough and Rothwell Photographic Society’s 2014 season was Richard Adams from Oakham. On Friday, December 5, Richard presented an evening of audio-visual sequences under the heading A Seasonal Camera.

Chairman Geoff Oliver thanked Richard for a relaxing but really interesting evening.

Braybrook Morris Dancers put hankies and sticks away for the winter after a fantastic night at Market Harborough Christmas Fayre on Friday, December 5. They performed outside Starbucks and then drifted around the corner to the bottom of Church Street for another session entertaining the crowds. There was something to please everyone on a dry frosty night. The kit won’t be away for too long as they have a demonstration booked at East Fardon in February and the 2015 season of dancing out starts at The Swan, Braybrooke, on Thursday, April 23, for St George’s Day. Braybrooke Morris Dancers are still looking for new dancers. If you’re interested in trying out something new for 2015, contact Bill Hewitt on 07799 131 350.

Come and listen to the Christmas Story on Wednesday, December 17, at 11am at Revive Coffee Shop in Station Road. Also, come and join in some Christmas carols on Thursday, December 18, at 11.30am.

Desborough Town Football Club’s first 100 years from 1896 to 1996 have been chronicled in a superb book, written by John Lee. This publication, priced £5, would make an ideal Christmas present for a local football enthusiast. To obtain a copy, telephone John Clark on 01536 761367.

Desborough Library is holding many fun activities for children over the Christmas period and more. There will be a Christmas Hunt running from Wednesday, December 17, to Wednesday, December 24, from 9am to 6pm for all ages. The next drop in any time events listed are for all age groups: Firstly, on Saturday, December 21, join in the Christmas Colouring and Drawing Competition, from 1pm to 4pm. Secondly, on Tuesday, December 23, there is Christmas Rhymetime from 11am to 11.45am, for all ages. From 1pm to 4pm, join in the New Year Colouring and Drawing Competition on Sunday, December 28. Take part in the Wii Games Session on Tuesday, December 30 from 2pm to 4pm. On Wednesday, December 31, get involved in family games, bowling, hopscotch and more from 10am to midday. Animal Colouring and Drawing Competition will be taking place on Sunday, January 4, from 1pm to 4pm. All the following drop in sessions are suitable for Under 5 years: Firstly, Christmas Rhymetime will be held at 2.15pm to 3pm, on Thursday, December 18, and another session of Rhymetime will be held in the new year on Friday, January 2. Same time, same place. Secondly, Baby and Toddler Time, Stay and Play will be on Saturday, December 20, and on Saturday, December 27, from 11am to 11.30am. Don’t forget to take part in the Desborough Library Children and Adult Christmas Quiz, available till Saturday, December 20. For more information, pop into your local Desborough Library. You can email on: deslib@northamptonshire.gov.uk Twitter: @Library_Plus P interest: libplus

The Snow Queen (adapted by Sarah Nelson with original music by James Atherson) will be performed by Little Pixie Productions at United Reformed Church in Desborough on Saturday, December 20, at 7.30pm. Doors will be open at 6.45pm. Tickets are £7.50 for adults, £5 for concessions and children under 16. £20 for families (2 adults and 2 children). To obtain a tickets call the box office on 01536 761641 or 07867 504996. It is a musical performance suitable for all the family and there will be refreshments on sale in the interval. View www.littlepixieproductions.co.uk.

Desborough Town Council will meet tonight, Thursday, December 18, at Desborough Library. Please view the Desborough Town Plan website on the following www.desboroughnp.org.uk/Welcome.html.

All are invited to Desborough Baptist Church in Station Road, on Sunday, December 21, for all age Carol Service at 10.30am; Carols by Candlelight ‘Light in the Darkness’ at 6pm and on Christmas Day there is an all age service at 10am to 10.45am. On Sunday, December 21, Desborough United Reformed Church, Union Street, are holding Nine Lessons and Carols by Candlelight at 4pm. Also, there will be a Christmas Morning worship at 9am on Christmas Day and Morning Worship including Holy Communion at 10.30am on Sunday, December 28. St Giles Church on Lower Street in Desborough will be having a Nativity Service on Sunday, December 21 at 10am and Carols by Candlelight at 6pm. On Christmas Eve, Wednesday, December 24, there will be Christingle Service at 4pm and 6pm, then Holy Communion on 11.30pm. On Christmas Day, St Giles Church will be holding their Holy Communion at 8am and Family Service with ‘Joy’ Balloons at 10am. Lastly, Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, on Victoria Street in Desborough, invite you to Christmas Mass at 9am on Christmas Day.

Desborough Twinning Association and the Desborough Charter Group are looking for delegates to attend the following Charter meetings: In year 2015, from Thursday, July 16, to Sunday, July 19, in Zagare, Lithuania, four youngsters and two adults are needed. In 2016, from Thursday, April 14, to Sunday, April 17, in Polva, Estonia, four youngsters are needed. In 2016, from Thursday, May 26, to Sunday, May 29, in Moravce, Slovenia, four adults are needed. In 2016, from Thursday, July 14, to Sunday, July 17, in Medzev, Slovakia, four youngsters and six adults is required. In Desborough, will be hosting a meeting of two adults from each Charter community from Thursday, September 15, to Sunday, September 18, in 2016. If you are interested in attending any of the above or are willing to host participants from other countries when the meeting is here, call 01536 761681.

FINEDON

St Mary’s Thursday Club will be holding their annual Christingle Service on Sunday, December 21, at 4pm. The service will be held at the St Mary’s Church in Finedon. This is a special service for children and all proceeds will be given to the Children’s Society.

The Wellingborough Sugarcraft Guild will hold their next meeting on January 21 at the Mission Room in Well Street, Finedon, when “Mini Dems” by members will be the demonstrations.

The classes will be restarting on January 14 when they will be holding another beginners class this time making flowers and placing into a spray. The Intermediate class will be making a cutie model. For more information call 01933 680099 or www.wellingboroughsugarcraftguild.com or email wboro4scraft@gmail.com.

After the amazing success of the Finedon Buffs’ Christmas Fayre last year, we are going to be holding the event again this year on the Green in Finedon. It will be on Saturday, December 20, from 2pm to 6pm. We will be having our Magical Grotto again this year and we have already been lucky enough to have a local company sponsor the free gift that will be given to every child who visits Santa. There will be entertainment throughout the afternoon from a range of organisations, Kettering Silver Band, a living nativity by the children from the church and chapel, Jonathan and James Reynolds, plus many others and finishing off with a communal carol sing along. We will also be holding our grand draw again this year with a fantastic Wheelbarrow of Booze as first prize and shopping trolley full of Christmas goodies for second prize, plus many other great prizes. The Rev Richard Coles will turn the Christmas lights on at 5pm. There are more than 30 stalls with a range of items available. Refreshments, mulled wine and mince pies, roast chestnuts, burgers and hotdogs etc will also be available.

Ease back into exercise gently - try tai chi in Finedon Mission Room on Thursday, January 15 and 22 from 7.30pm to 9pm. The cost is £18 for two sessions. Beginners are welcome. To book call Amanda 07835 453286, email amandaegan@btinternet.com or visit www.wellspringtaiji.co.uk.

GEDDINGTON

Come along to the United Reformed Church in Queen Street to the carol service tonight at 7pm. Lovely hot mince pies afterwards.

Geddington Christmas Tree Festival was started with a hilarious performance of the nativity pantomime on the Friday evening. Special mentions of outstanding performances by the vicar, Rob, Mark Byers, John Padwick, Lisa Wilkinson and Jane Rowley with her daughter Emily! Well done to all those who made the evening a great success. Following on, the Christmas Tree Festival was wonderful, the many trees having been decorated by various organisations in the village with an exciting display of ingenuity and colour.

Special mention must go to Esther Gordon for Christmas Delights and Margaret Leaton for Santa.com, a lovely display of Santa’s workshop! The favourite one of all is Vic Crouses’ trees, showing The Tree Little Pigs. It was beautifully decorated and cleverly constructed. Well done to you all!

Why not join us for a tour of carols around the village, on Friday, December 19. Meet at 5pm at the church and finish up at 6.30pm at the Star.

For the last two years, Geddington Church has organised a Christmas trail around the village in the two weeks before Christmas, looking for sheep and, last year, angels. Families and children have taken part in this and so this year we will be looking for stars and their names. Residents have volunteered to have a star in their window and we will name it. It can be a simple one, or if you would like to be more creative, more ornate!

Follow the Star will conclude on Sunday, December 21, at 9.45am in Geddington Church, when there will be a simple service to assemble the stars.

Later, the traditional Christmas Carol Service of readings and carols will take place at 4pm on Sunday, December 21, in Geddington Parish Church.

On Christmas Eve there will be a Christingale Service at 4pm and 5.30pm at Geddington Parish Church.

Midnight Mass will be at 11.30pm.

On Christmas Day, there will be a Family Eucharist at 9.45am.

Geddington Volunteer Fire Brigade will be having their Boxing Day Squirt. GVFB will be joined by Kettering and Corby Fire Brigades and/or Burton Latimer for the annual parade from the Fire Station in Grafton Road to the Eleanor Cross at about 11am. They will sing the Geddington Fire song around the Cross and then will march down to the ford at around midday. A hawser will be suspended over the river Ise, with a beer barrel hung over it. Each team will try to push the barrel with their hoses, powered by their engines, over the heads of the opposition. The winner is the team who successfully squirts the barrel in a battle of three attempts. After the event, money will be raised for charity. I warn you, there will be a lot of laughter, fun and water!

Would you be interested in joining the pantomime group who are performing Puss In Boots from February 18 to 21? If you are interested, call Paul Johnson on 07540 124365 for details.

John Padwick brings Little Pixie Production with a new adaptation of The Snow Queen with original music, story telling and song in a captivating production of a timeless tale that will captivate the whole family. This performance is on January 15 in the village hall at 7.30pm.

GREAT ADDINGTON

On Friday, December 19, schoolchildren will be transported to the Lighthouse Theatre in Kettering for the pantomime.

Return to school is at 12.45pm when they will be ready to be collected for the start of the Christmas break (no lunches or bookbags needed). Children in receipt of a free school meal will bring their bags home with them. School uniform must be worn.

The new term will commence on Tuesday, January 6.

Mrs Waters has asked if the children could please bring in some boxes to use on the first day back in January – ideally cereal boxes/shoe box size boxes would be good, as well as any smaller boxes.

St Mary’s Church in Little Addington will present Little Addington Living Nativity on Saturday, December 20, at 2pm.

Everyone is invited to meet in the church at 2pm where we’ll sing a carol before walking through the village singing carols at selected spots - finally arriving at the stable (the Bell Hotel).

Don’t be surprised if you see ‘hosts’ of angels and ‘ groups’ of shepherds appearing all over Little Addington – who knows, there might even be a ‘baby’!

This year’s Christingle Service will take place at All Saints Church, Great Addington, on Christmas Eve at 4pm.

On Christmas Eve in St Mary’s Church in Little Addington there is the First Communion at 10pm.

On Christmas Day the service in All Saints Church in Great Addington will be Holy Communion at 9.30am. Also in St Mary’s Church in Little Addington there is a Family Service at 9.30am.

On Sunday, December 28, there is a Benefice Covenant Service in All Saints Church in Great Addington at 10am.

On Sunday, January 4, in All Saints Church, Great Addington, there is a Family Service at 9.30am. Also there is Service of Holy Communion in St. Mary’s Church in Little Addington at 9.30am.

GRENDON

Morning prayer will be said at 9.30am each Wednesday with a Holy Communion on the first Wednesday of each month. For more details go to www.yardleyhastingsbenefice.org.uk.

Bins! Black this week.

On Sunday, December 21, at 5pm carols at Grendon Hall, with a collection of dry/tinned foods and warm clothing in good condition for the Daylight Centre in Wellingborough. Ring 01933 663332 if you would like your contribution collected.

Wednesday, December 24, at 4pm crib service at St Mary’s, please ring Deborah on 01933 663918 if you would like your child to take part in the nativity play.

Christmas Day, 10am, Communion at Grendon.

Grendon walking group meets on the second Sunday and last Thursday of each month. Walks start at 10.30am from outside the school in Main Road and vary in length, up to five miles. There will be no walks in December but the January dates are January 11 and 29. Call Trevor or Pauline Higgs on 01933 663706.

GRETTON

St James Church in Gretton is holding a candlelit Crib service on Christmas Eve starting at 4pm. All children are invited to dress up as a nativity character to come and help tell the story of the birth of Jesus through readings and carols. Further details on 01536 770237.

Gretton Silver Band’s annual Christmas concert will take place in the Gretton Village Hall, Kirby Road, Gretton, on Saturday, December 20. The concert will start at 7.30pm, with admission at the door priced £4 (concessions £3). This will include light refreshments. There will be a raffle with good prizes.

This year all proceeds of the evening will go towards the appeal by the Friends of Gretton Recreation Field to provide a defibrillator to be situated at the Recreation Field. Band chairman Peter Weston said: “Just a few weeks ago one of our band members collapsed in the car park after band practice and, despite the efforts of band members and the paramedics, he very sadly died.”

Band members had given assistance to another person, not a member of the band, who had collapsed in the changing rooms a few months earlier, this time with a happier ending, with the man making a full recovery.

Mr Weston said: “The whole of our band was devastated by the loss of our member, Scottie, and in contributing to the defibrillator fund through our Christmas concert we hope that this may help to save the life of other people. We ask that people come along and join us on the evening”.

For more information contact Peter Weston on 01536 713234 or email glendaandpete@aol.com.

A party of 114 passengers from Gretton, Weldon, Corby and Kettering went on the last Wondertours Community Transport excursion of the year on December 6 when a visit was made to Birmingham to coincide with the Frankfurt market and craft market. David Fursdon organised the trip assisted by Carole and Mick Browett. Nigel and Tim did an excellent job driving the two coaches. Everyone is looking forward to next year’s excursion programme which will be available in early January. Send a stamped addressed envelope now to reserve a copy to WTCT 2015, 9 Southfield Road, Gretton, Northants, NN17 3BX.

David and Elaine Clements turned on their Christmas lights on December 6 in Clay Lane. So please do consider popping along any evening and supporting the Clements family as they have worked hard to put on their fabulous display.

Donations can be made to the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance. A secure box for donations is located and the end of the Clements family driveway.

Wednesday, December 10, was Christmas party night for members of Gretton WI. Members began by chatting over a drink and then settled down for their Christmas meal, catered for by Gloria of Classic Catering, Corby.

Recent outings had gone very well and the programme for 2015 is now complete.

Arrangements for joining Ashley WI for the screening of the National AGM will be finalized in January and next year’s resolutions are already published.

Visitor Elizabeth Robinson soon had members taking part in Family Fortunes which turned out to be a closely-fought contest, won with what may have been a record score! The fun continued with Secret Santa gifts all round and a Christmas raffle.

The next meeting will be on the second Tuesday evening in January.

HIGHAM FERRERS

The town carol service will be held at 6pm on Sunday, December 21, in St Mary’s Church.

The Christmas farmers market will be held on the Square from 9am on Saturday, December 20. The Rushden Town Band will be providing entertainment and Father Christmas will be handing out free sweets to the children. Free parking in Midland Road, Saffron Road car park and surrounding area.

A coffee morning, organised by Higham Tourism, will be held in the Bede House with many stalls to browse, delicious refreshments and music by the Paul Needle Trio. At 11.30am the NN10 Voice Choir will give a half hour concert in St Mary’s Church with free admission.

The next Towards a Safer Higham meeting will be held on Thursday, January 15, at 7.30pm in the Town Hall.

Members of the Higham Chichele Society meet at 9.30am on Friday, January 30, in the Green Dragon Hotel in College Street. The special guest will be David Wicks and his subject will be A Pantomime Dame. Admission is £3 for visitors, details from Doreen Holyoak on 01933 314157.

Higham Town Hall will close for Christmas at 2pm Christmas Eve and re-open on Monday, January 5.

The annual Bedesmen’s Day will be held on Monday, December 22, when the Bedesmen process from the Town Hall to church for a short service led by Canon Richard Stainer. This will be followed by a meal together in the Green Dragon Hotel.

Higham Ferrers Business Forum meets in Chichele College at 12.30pm on Thursday, January 8. To ensure there are enough sandwiches please confirm attendance to Tracey on 01933 410000.

Rushden Classical Music Society meets from 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Wednesday, January 14, in the library in Midland Road. The special guest will be Judy Smith presenting her choice of music.

A Winter Solstice Lantern Walk will be held at Stanwick Lakes on Sunday, December 21, from 5pm to 7pm. The shortest day walk will be around the visitor centre lake followed by carols in the outdoor theatre. Those taking part are urged to wrap up warm and bring a lantern or torch to light the way. Please book on 01933 625522.

St Mary’s Church services for Sunday, December 21, are: All Sorts at 9.15am in the Bede House, Family Mass at 10.15am followed by tea/coffee and biscuits and the town carol service at 6pm.

At the Parish Church of St John the Baptist Chelveston Family Mass will be at 9am.

At the Hope Methodist Church – meeting in St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church Hall Hayway - Morning Worship to include the Junior Nativity will be at 10.45am.

Evening Service will be held at 6pm in the Gospel Hall Milton Street.

Higham Footpath Group are going on a six-mile circular walk from Upper Dean – Swineshead on Sunday, December 21. Walkers are asked to meet at 9.30am on the Saffron Road car park or 10am at the United Reformed Chapel in High Street Upper Dean. The group will be led by Walter Burbidge on 01536 483687.

On New Year’s Day the group will be walking around Grendon. Walkers are asked to meet at 9.30am on the Saffron Road car park or 10am in front of Grendon Hall. The group will be led by Roy Dexter on 01933 418983.

On Sunday, January 11, the group will be going on a circular walk in the Sudborough area. Walkers are asked to meet at 9.25am on the Saffron Road car park or 10am by the Snooty Fox pub in Lowick. The group will be led by Walter Burbidge on 01536 483687. See website www.highamferrersfg.webspace.virginmedia.com/

Stanwick Lakes Santa will be in his magical grotto from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, December 20, and Sunday, December 21. Youngsters will receive a present from Santa and also have the chance to explore the playground or make some Christmas crafts in the visitor centre. For further details see www.stanwicklakes.org.uk.

The Trustees of United Charities invite applications from single men or women living in Higham for the tenancy of 60 College Street Higham Ferrers. There is an opportunity to view the property before application.

This compact home offers a lounge, kitchen, one bedroom, bathroom/toilet and outside communal garden. The weekly rent is very reasonable. For further details or application forms please contact Suzanne Browne at Wilson Brown Solicitors on the Market Square 01933 410000. Applications should now be submitted by Friday, January 16, at latest.

Members of Chelveston Women’s Institute meet at 7.30pm on Wednesday, January 14, when Douglas Pope will talk about the history of the boot and shoe trade in Northamptonshire. Details from Wendy Williams on 01933 624585.

Christmas services in our local churches are as follows: at St Mary’s a children’s crib service will be held at 4pm on Christmas Eve to which all families are welcome; Midnight Mass will be at 11pm and on Christmas Day there will be a Family Mass and Celebration Service at 10.15am.

At the Hope Methodist Church, meeting in St Peter’s Church Hall on Hayway, a Christmas Eve Service to include Holy Communion will be held at 8pm on Wednesday, December 24. On Christmas Day an All Age Worship service will be held at 10am.

At the Parish Church of St John in Chelveston Family Mass will be at 9am.

The Rushden Town Bowls Club on Northampton Road are organising a New Year’s Eve dance starting at 8pm. Music will be provided by New Vintage – The Mike Clarke Big Band – and there will be a supporting disco. Guests are invited to bring their own food but to use the bar facilities. Tickets are £15 each and available by ringing the Bowls Club 312680.

IRCHESTER

Christmas celebrations for Irchester WI began on December 9 with the Christmas buffet supper and entertainment. Following the business meeting, a delicious buffet supper was enjoyed by members, who were then entertained by St Katharine’s Morris.

This group, who were formed in 2005, then treated members to a display of Morris Dancing, explaining its history, how it differed in various parts of the country and how, through the years, religious differences in England had impacted upon its popularity. Much laughter was caused by some members joining in and finding that it was not as easy as they thought! The group was thanked by president Mavis Kelland.

Some members took part in the Federation Group Carol Service at Wellingborough. The next meeting will be held in the village hall on Tuesday, January 13, when the WI National Resolutions will be considered and there will be an evening of quizzes etc. For details call 01933 315636.

Services at the Methodist Church include a carol service at 6pm on Sunday, December 21, Christmas Communion on Wednesday, December 24, and a Christmas Morning service for all the family at 10am.

There will be a Service of Favourite Carols in St Katharine’s Church at 10am on Sunday, December 21. On December 24 at 6pm there is a Christingle Service, take the family. Midnight Mass follows at 11.30pm. There is no Christmas Day service at St Katharine’s but services start again on December 28 at 10am.

Father Christmas will completing his visits to the streets of Irchester on Friday, December 19. He will be in Station Road/Arkwright Road areas. Look out for him and his helpers who will be collecting for Irchester 2015 Gala.

Tickets for Irchester Coulon Link’s New Year’s Eve Disco are available from Brian on 01933 311754. This will start at 8pm and continue until late in the Village Hall. The optional fancy dress theme is characters from books. Tickets cost £8, take your own food and drink.

The first Parsons Hall Barn Dance of 2015 will be on January 3, from 8pm to 10.30pm. Dancing to live music from Hobson’s Choice.

Tickets £5 payable on the door, includes tea/coffee. St Katharine’s Morris dancers will be at this event. Full details can be obtained fron Jane Edmett 01933 401349.

IRTHLINGBOROUGH

There will be a Christmas Day Service at Irthlingborough Methodist Church, College Street, at 10am.

There will be a Christmas Day Holy Communion Service at St Peter’s Church at 9.30am.

Irthlingborough Little Bugs Club will be meeting at Irthlingborough Library on January 15 from 1.30pm to 3pm.

The Carol Service at the Methodist Church will take place on Sunday, December 21, beginning at 10.30am.

A Christmas Holy Communion will take place on Wednesday, December 24, at 4pm and the Christmas Day service will begin at 10am. (Please note earlier time on Christmas Day).

KETTERING

On Friday, January 2, the Kettering & District Locomotive Society meets at the Corn Market Hall, London Road, at 7.45pm when they will be going back to the first meetings of the Society. Roger West and Mick Dix will be showing examples of the images shown during the early days, so expect nostalgic views of ‘real’ steam at work, including some taken locally.

On Saturday, December 20, from 10am to midday at Toller Church, Gold Street, there will be a coffee morning given by Bosom Friends, a local breast cancer support group. There will also be a Christmas table sale.

On Friday, December 19, at Carey Baptist Church, Nelson Street, the 1st Kettering Company of the Boys Brigade are holding a Snowman Drive starting at 6.30pm. Refreshments will be served, including mince pies and jam tarts. Cost £1.50.

The following events will take place at The Salvation Army, Rockingham Road Entrance:

Sunday, December 21 – Sunday Worship 10am, 4th Advent. Led by Major Paul Doust and 2.30pm/4.30pm/6.30pm Carol Services – open to all.

Wednesday, December 24 – 9am to midday SA Band Carol Playing at Tesco’s. Christmas Day: Christmas Day celebration 10am for everyone.

December 28: 10am Thanksgiving for God’s Blessings in 2014 - led by Major Paul Doust.

The Salvation Army, Kettering - Regent Street Entrance: Phone 01536 513883 for further information.

Sunday, December 21: All age carol services at 9am and 11am and Carols by Candlelight at 5pm and 7.30pm at Church of Christ the King, Deeble Road. Traditional Salvation Army Carol Services at 2.30pm, 4.30pm and 5.30pm.

On Monday, December 22, Comedians and Carols at 8pm at Kettering Arts Centre, St Andrew’s Church, Rockingham Road. Tickets from Waterstones, www.wegottickets.com/location/4560 or www.ketteringartscentre.com.

Wednesday, December 24, Carols round the Crib at 4.30pm at Church of Christ the King, Deeble Road. Children of all ages enjoying the final build-up to Christmas – come early for refreshments served from 4pm. Holy Communion at 11pm.

Christmas Day Family Service (all-age communion) at 9.30am at All Saints Church, Kettering.

Christmas Communion for all ages at 9am and 10.30am at Church of Christ the King, Deeble Road.

December 28, All-age worship at 10am at Church of Christ the King, Deeble Road. No service at 6.30pm.

Wednesday, December 31, see in the New Year with Big Bopper Entertainment disco and live music at Wicksteed Park. Tickets £38 per person and can be booked at www.wicksteedpark.org or from the box office on 01536 512475.

LITTLE HARROWDEN

Last Saturday about 60 villagers enjoyed a lovely tea, entertainment, singing and dancing at the village hall. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this event a happy and very enjoyable evening.

Tomorrow night it’s Nativity Night at St Mary’s Church, Little Harrowden – all are invited to begin your Christmas Celebrations on Friday, December 19, starting at 6pm. Visit from Father Christmas, Carol singing, hot dogs, mince pies and hot drinks available.

Little Harrowden WMC - Saturday artists –Saturday, December 20, will be the children’s Christmas disco 7pm to 9pm followed by adult disco 9pm till closing. December 24 - Reelin’ & Rockin,’ December 27 - Jamie Neile, December 31 - Robbo.

Monday, December 22, at 8pm – Christmas Raffle, December 21 and 28 – Added Bonus Bingo. December 29 - 6pm to 8pm children’s Fun, music and games.

Christmas Services - Sunday, December 21 - 11am HC or Family at Great Harrowden, 4pm Carols in Church and village at Orlingbury, 6pm Carols at Little Harrowden.

Christmas Eve 4pm Family Crib Service at Little Harrowden, 4pm Family Service at Orlingbury. 6pm Lessons and Carols at Great Harrowden, 11.30pm Midnight Mass at Orlingbury. Christmas Day 9.15am Holy Communion at Little Harrowden.

The Harrowdens with Isham, Orlingbury and Pytchley Mothers’ Union. The next meeting will be on Thursday, January 15, at 2pm in Little Harrowden Church for Tea and Fellowship.

On Sunday, December 21, at 10am a Children’s Carol Service will be held at St Peter’s Church, Newton Bromswold with a puppet show from the Parable Puppets.

NEWTON BROMSWOLD

On Monday, December 22, St Peter’s Church will be Carol Singing in The Swan starting at 7.30pm.

On Christmas Eve a Carol Service will be held at 6pm at St Peter’s Church, Newton Bromswold and on Christmas Day a service of Christmas Communion will be held at 9am.

On Sunday, December 28, a Christmas Family Service will be held at 10am at St Peter’s Church, Newton Bromswold.

ORLINGBURY

At the Queen’s Arms tonight there are carols in the pub, Wollaston Salvation Army Band – join in for mulled wine, mince pies and carols from 7.30pm. Big Quiz of the year is on Sunday, December 28, £2 entry includes food and starts at 7pm. Quiz nights December 18, January 8 and 22. Thursday nights from 9pm, charity donations to air ambulance. For any further information call 01933 679110.

Enjoy carol singing around Orlingbury village on Sunday, December 21. Meet outside the church following the 4pm Nativity. Mulled wine stops along the way with hot supper provided by The Robinson family. Everyone is welcome; don’t forget warm clothes and torches!

Orlingbury Family Circle, Orlingbury Village Hall, on Sunday, December 21, Nativity 9.30am to 10.30am. For further information call Shelley on 07790 393913.

St Mary’s Church Christmas Eve Party Service, celebrating Jesus’ Birthday! Biggest cracker pull in Orlingbury! Christmas games and quizzes wonderful music by Zoe, sweets to share and prayers by candlelight. December 24 at 4pm.

The Harrowdens with Isham, Orlingbury and Pytchley Mothers’ Union next meets on Thursday, January 15, at 2pm in Little Harrowden Church.

Christmas Services - Sunday, December 21 - 11am HC or Family at Great Harrowden, 4pm Carols in Church and village at Orlingbury, 6pm Carols at Little Harrowden.

Christmas Eve 4pm Family Crib Service at Little Harrowden, 4pm Family Service at Orlingbury. 6pm Lessons and Carols at Great Harrowden, 11.30pm Midnight Mass at Orlingbury. Christmas Day 9.15am Holy Communion at Little Harrowden.

OAKLEY VALE

The Oakley Vale Christmas event last week at the community centre was wonderful – thank you to both the local primary schools for their contribution with lovely singing and a lively interpretation of the nativity led by ‘Nic The Vic’ with his guitar and ‘awesome’ commentary.

This is the centre’s first Christmas event and I hope it becomes an annual treat. Thanks for the mince pies and hot drinks to Nick Stevenson and Adam Boud of St Benedict’s and Hope Church.

Apologies for the delay in distribution of the Corby Council Landscape Management Plan for Oakley Vale – I will try to get the plans out this week. This is a 25-page document with detailed maps. If you would like a hard copy please contact me, I have four copies left but can get more if necessary. Once we have had time to assess the information we will address the council’s Stacey Poole and Iain Smith at our meeting on January 28. Landscape management includes grass cutting and wildlife conservation and tries to strike a workable balance.

We were also being asked to comment on the placement of three nature information boards to be installed around Oakley Vale.

Cllr Caine has been the only one to comment to the council regarding the locations and so these are being finalised this week at the locations indicated in Tesco. Once we have an installation date from Midwest I will update you.

Oakley Vale WI next meets in January. Contact Janet Smith on 01536 743152.

Cllrs Caine and Rahman’s first Saturday of the Month Surgeries will take place in the community centre from 10.30am to midday. No appointment necessary.

Contact judy.caine@corby.gov.uk or mohammed.Rahman@corby.gov.uk, or via letter c/o CBC at the Cube.

Cllr Sims continues his surgeries also at Harpers Brook on the third Saturday of each month from 9.30am to 11am, no appointment necessary. He will not be available in December but back as usual in January. His email is david@oakleyvaleconservatives.co.uk.

RAUNDS

The RSPB Mid-Nene Local Group will be holding its AGM, with mince pies and members’ slides, at 7.30pm today, December 18, at the Saxon Hall, Raunds. Admission is free. For more information call Graham on 01536 725924.

The Raunds Ukulele Orchestra will be holding their last meeting of 2014 at St Peter’s Community Enterprise Centre at 7.30pm tonight, Thursday, December 18.

The first meeting of 2015 will be held on Thursday, January 8. For more information about the group please visit their website at www.raundsukulele.co.uk.

The Candocare Day Centre is holding a Christmas party in the Saxon Hall, Raunds, on Friday, December 19, between 1.30pm and 3pm. There will be entertainment and a raffle. Admission is £2 per head to the public, which includes cake and tea or coffee. Candocare Day centre for elderly and vulnerable adults is based at the Saxon Hall, Raunds, from Monday to Friday, between 10am and 2.30pm. For details, call Jilly or Kath on 07741 651170.

Coffee will be served on Friday, December 19, between 10am and midday at St Peter’s Community Enterprise Centre, and you are invited to a Christian Coffee Morning between 10am and 11am on Monday, January 5. If you would like more information, call Peter Lane on 01933 460259. On Wednesday, January 7, you can take Tea with Friends at the centre between 2.30pm and 4pm.

Church services: Sunday, December 21: St Peter’s Church, Raunds: 10.30am Lessons and Carols.

Christmas Eve: St Peter’s Church, Raunds. 6pm Candlelight Carol Service; 11.15pm Midnight Mass.

Christmas Day: Benefice Holy Communion. 10am St Mary’s Church, Ringstead.

Sunday, December 28: Benefice Holy Communion. 10am. St Peter’s Church, Raunds.

Sunday, January 4: St Peter’s Church, Raunds. 10.30am. Holy Communion.

Wednesday, January 7: Holy Communion. 10am St Laurence Church, Stanwick.

Raunds WI will next meet on Thursday, January 8, at 7.30pm at the Saxon Hall, when they will be holding their usual auction of unwanted presents. Call Mary on 01933 624271 for more information.

Members of the Raunds and District History Society will be holding their Members 12th Night party on Saturday, January 10. Those attending must pay £6, which is due before Christmas.

The group meet on the first Thursday of each month between 7.30pm until 9pm at the Saxon Hall, Raunds. Visitors are welcome with an admission fee of £3, which includes refreshments. Call 01933 461480 for more information, or email raundshistory@btinternet.com.

The Raunds Local Focus Group will be exploring new areas of East Northants, North Bedfordshire and the Huntingdon area. They meet mainly on Wednesdays and Fridays, and other days when an event may be on. It is free to join The maps used are £2.50 each and are unique, weatherproof, and multi-use, for longer hikes, cycling, car and bus trips. For details call Susan on 01933 461480.

New for January are group ‘bus walks’ from January 20 to 23. A small amount of walking is required and everyone is welcome. They will also be exploring Market Town areas, where most routes are on solid surfaces, and between one and four miles, sharing cars or using the local bus service to and from the venues.

RINGSTEAD

The Thursday Club meets in the Shared Church between 2.30pm and 4pm and on Thursday, December 18. The topic will be Carols For All (with mince pies). Call Peter and Angela on 01933 622316 or Paul 01933 623844.

On Saturday, December 20, at 8pm, Soul Intention play live at the Ringstead Village Social Club. Tickets are £3 or two for £5 from Ringstead Post Office or the social club on 01933 622127. 

On Sunday, December 21, there is no morning service in St Mary’s Church but at 6pm there is the village carol service and nativity play.

On Christmas Eve in St Mary’s Church there is a Christingle Service at 3.30pm.

At 10pm on Christmas Eve in St Mary’s Church there will a service of the First Communion of Christmas.

On Christmas Day there is a Family Service with Communion by Extension in St Mary’s Church at 10am.

On Sunday, December 28, all are invited to attend the Benefice Service at St Peter’s Church in Raunds 10am. There is no Morning Service in St Mary’s Church.

On Friday, January 2, there is Compline at St Mary’s Church in Ringstead at 7pm.

The next coffee morning at St Mary’s Church in Ringstead is on Saturday, January 3, between 10am and midday.

On Sunday, January 4, there is a Service of All-Age Worship at 9.30am at St Mary’s Church.

On Sunday 21st December 2014 in Ringstead Shared Church the Services are: At 10.30am Family Carol Service.

On Christmas Day there is Worship for all the Family at 10am.

On Sunday, December 28, in the Shared Church is a Cafe-Style Service at 10.30am.

On Sunday, January 4, in the Shared Church there is a Communion Service with Pastor Patrick Barker at 10.30am and at 6pm there is an Evening Service with Paul Greenaway.

On Friday, January 9, in Ringstead Village Social Club they will be showing Saving Mr Banks(PG). The disabled access is at rear car park. Doors open at 7.30pm, film starts at 7.45pm. Bar available. Tickets are £4. Contact 01933 460373 for details.

RISELEY

At the recent annual presentation awards the bowls club and friends enjoyed a very pleasant meal. Competition had been fierce but the following were presented with trophies. Russell Woods – shield as winner for the men’s singles, Philip Cocks – The Manhattan cup, Alison Keating – The ladies singles, Beryl Wallis – The Captains cup and Richard Morgan – The Pam Short memorial trophy. The mixed pairs award went to David Foster and Beryl Wallis, the pairs award to Pat Coombs and Trevor Staniforth, the triples to Richard Morgan, Russell Woods and Maureen Allen and the fours to Pauline Morgan, Mick Kerrigan, David Shaw and Alan Constant.

Services over Christmas at All Saints will be as follows: All Dads and Me on Saturday, December 20, at 9am with breakfast, crafts and fun. Carols by candlelight on Sunday, December 21, at 6pm followed by mince pies and mulled wine. Christingles on Christmas Eve at 4.30pm. Christmas Eve Holy Communion on December 24 at 11pm. Christmas Day Holy Communion at 8am and Christmas day service for all ages at 10.45am. There will be a joint years end service at Bletsoe on Sunday, December 28, at 11am with refreshments and a walk to follow. The 2015 new year service will take place on Sunday, January 4, at 11am.

ROCKINGHAM

The annual Fur & Feather Whist Drive is scheduled for Saturday, December 20, from 7.30pm in the village hall. £2 entry per person, which includes refreshments. A great selection of prizes to be won.

The following day, December 21, there is a Christmas Carol Concert at St Leonard’s Church featuring the lovely people from Gretton Silver Band. This was a great success last year and we are hoping for a good turnout again. Tickets are £5 each with proceeds going to the church building fund. Refreshments available.

ROTHWELL

More than 50 Christmas trees decorated Holy Trinity church for its tree festival over the weekend of Friday, December 5, to Monday, December 8. The festival also attracted a large number of visitors, and organiser Brenda Austin described the turnout as “excellent”. Visitors were asked to vote for their favourite tree in two categories. The overall winner was ‘Top Quali-tree’ by Frogthorns, Amanda Frogley of Rushton, while the children’s section was won by the 2nd Rothwell SA Beavers with their tree, ‘Merry Tweet-mas’. Both winners receive a £25 prize for their efforts.

Christmas events and services at Rothwell Methodist church, Market Hill include a family fellowship meal from 6pm to 8.30pm on Saturday, December 20, with entertainment to follow. Everyone is welcome to join in sharing the food and fun, with no charge, although donations from those who enjoy the evening are welcome. On Saturday, December 21, at 10.30am, the church has carols and readings, led by Pat Basson. On Christmas Eve at 11.30pm, communion service is led by Mr Swan. And on Christmas morning, a celebration service for Christmas Day starts at 10am and is led by Pat Basson.

Christmas services at Holy Trinity church, Rothwell include: Saturday, December 20, from 2pm to 4pm – children’s holiday club. Names need to given to Amanda in advance on 07729 412453 as places are limited. Sunday, December 21, at 6pm – festival of nine lessons and carols. Christmas Eve, 4pm – crib service; 11.30pm – midnight mass. Christmas Day, 8am – holy communion; 10am – family communion.

Services at Rothwell United Reformed church, Fox Street include: Sunday, December 21, at 10.30am – Gordon Johnson and John Adams lead lessons and carols. Christmas Day from 10am to 10.30am – service led by the Rev Nancy Babarinde.

Three local calendars for 2015 are currently on sale in the town. The one from Rothwell Arts and Heritage Centre, Bridge Street features inns and pubs from the past and is priced at £5. The Women and Men of the Wooly calendars are now on sale from the Woolpack pub, Market Hill, priced £10 with all profits going to Kettering Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

The difficulty of finding players regularly available to turn out for Rothwell Town Cricket Club was highlighted at its annual meeting, held at its Desborough Road headquarters on Monday, December 8. The situation was emphasised by the fact that 30 individuals had represented the first XI during the season, 28 the second XI and 25 the Sunday XI, although it was stated that the problem affects many clubs in the area, not just Rothwell. Jack Parker with 521 runs, Marvin Hill (301 runs) and Paul Budworth (288) were the leading runscorers for the first XI, with William Short (303), Philip Cross (283), James Swingler (231) and Adam Coley (212) heading the list for the second XI. Adam Casson and Richard Panter both collected 31 wickets for the first XI, with David Craig (30), Ryan Spreadbury (28) and Dean Spreadbury (26) taking the most for the second XI. The Sunday XI completed only 11 out of the scheduled 18 fixtures. The Under-18 league was won by Rothwell, with William Short leading the way with 129 runs and Liam Spreadbury topping the bowling averages. Financially, the club had a sound year, but a warning note was sounded over the potential cost of replacing the covers in the future. Officers elected included: president, Clive Cross; chairman, Sam Swingler; secretary, Chris Jones; treasurer, William Swingler. Captains for the 2015 season were also elected: first XI, Richard Panter; second XI, James Swingler; Sunday XI, Kye Panter. It was hoped to continue the youth side. But a change in the age groups made it difficult to be certain.

Points Cup week for Rothborough Table Tennis Club saw four teams through to the next round. Arrows beat Higham 478-409 while Comets defeated Kettering B 397-369. Exocets were victorious against Burton C 453-414, and Dakotas also progressed as Harriers could not raise a team. Buccaneers faced a stiff task against Burton E and lost 420-446.

Desborough and Rothwell Photographic Society’s final meeting of 2014 will be at 8pm on Friday, December 19, when it holds its Christmas social for members and guests. Meetings restart in 2015 with a men versus women print battle on Friday, January 2. All meetings are at Marlow House, Gold Street, Desborough, and visitors are welcome, admission £1.50. For more information, visit www.drpsphoto.co.uk, phone Geoff Oliver on 01536 505442 or go to Facebook.

RUSHDEN

Rushden Serve – door to door transport is provided at a cost of £5 for all trips – there is no service next week. It resumes with a lunch trip to The Old Friar, Twywell, on Tuesday, January 6, and to Vesuvio’s, Sharnbrook, on Thursday, January 8, with a shopping trip to Waitrose on Friday, January 9. Book the trip to the matinee performance of Rats panto on Saturday, January 10 (£12). Details from Diane on 315555.

Rushden History Society – the December edition of Risdene Echo is now available from the usual stockists, Osborne’s Toy Shop and Mark Bird Carpets – price £1.20.

Rushden Historical Transport Society is running its Mince Pie Special trains from 11am to 4pm on Sunday, December 28. Adults £4, children £2.

Rushden Pensioners’ Forum had its Christmas turkey lunch on Wednesday, December 17, at John White’s Golf Club courtesy of a Royal Mail donation disbursed by Age UK.

St Cecilia Singers invite you to their carol concert on Saturday, December 20, at 2pm in St Peter’s Church, Midland Road. Tickets (including refreshments) are £6 for adults, children with adults free, from members or by calling 356546.

St Mary’s Church – On Sunday, December 21, at 9.30am All Age Nativity Service led by Sue Merrifield with the Rev Steve Prior followed at 11.15am by Morning Prayer. Evening Service is Lessons and Carols at 6pm led by the Rev Prior with Preacher Rev Taylor. Christmas Eve Service is at 4pm with Holy Communion at 11pm. Christmas Day Service is at 10.30am with Holy Communion at 8am both led by the Rev Prior. December 28 at 10.30am is an All Age Carol service led by Sue Merrifield and Tony Smith.

The Salvation Army service on December 21 is at 10am led by Major Richard Crowe with Family Carol Service at 6pm. Christmas Eve Carols by Candlelight is at 6pm with Service on Christmas Day at 10.30am.

Whitefriars’ Church service this Sunday is at 10.15am – a community celebration of Christmas for all the Family followed by cake. Service on Christmas Day is at 10.15am including Holy Communion.

The Hope Methodist Church, at St Peter’s Catholic Church Hall – service this Sunday is at 10.45am includes Junior Church Nativity. This will be followed by tea / coffee in the Hall. Christmas Eve Service at 8pm including Holy Communion with the Christmas Day All Age Service at 10am .

Rushden Spiritualist Church – on Sunday the service at 3pm is led by Richard Skinner of Higham Ferrers. The following Service is at 3pm on January 4 with Jackie Gooch from Higham Ferrers.

Heritage Church and Halls – Service this Sunday is at 10.30am led by the Rev Mark Lees and will include ‘Snapshots of Christmas’ and Christmas craft table for children. Christmas Eve Communion Service is at 11.30pm with Rev Lees and Christmas Day Service is from 10am to 10.30am led by Rev David Womersley. December 28, the service at 10.30am is led by Gill Crow County Ecumenical Officer. January 4 Covenant Service is at 10.30am.

St Peter’s Church, Midland Road, Holy Communion is at 8am with the Rev Linnet Smith followed by Nativity Service at 10am led by Victoria Shane and the Young Stars. Carol Service is at 6pm with Garry Johnson. Christmas Eve Service ia at 4pm with Holy Communion at 11.30pm taken by the Rev Graham Bell. Christmas Day Service is at 10am with the Rev Linnet Smith.

Rushden Independent Wesleyan Church – Saturday morning coffee in the church hall is from 10am. Sunday Morning Nativity Service is at 10.45am with Christmas Tea at 4pm followed by a Service of Lessons and Carols. Christmas Eve Christingle Service is at 4pm followed by a Service at 11.30pm. Christmas Day Service is at 10.45am. December 28 Morning Service only with Richard Keech.

Rushden Mission Church – this Sunday’s Nativity Service is at 10.45am with a Service of Lessons and Carols at 4.30pm with the Mission Band. Christmas Eve Service is at 4pm and Christmas Day Service is a joint celebration at 10.30am at the Independent Wesleyan Church, High St. On December 28 the Morning Worship is at 10.45am with the Music Group and Pastor Ian Fall. No Evening Service.

Highfield Community Baptist Church have their Sunday Morning Life Link Service at 10.30am.

Rushden Amateur Theatrical Society presents its pantomime Mother Goose from January 3 to 10 at the Pemberton Centre. Tickets are adults £10, concessions £8, a family ticket £30. Available from Jans Floral Boutique in High Street or email bookings@rushden-rats.co.uk.

Swivel Club invite you to their Party Night featuring Soul Shaka on Saturday, December 20, at 8pm in the Bowls Club. Tickets £10.00 from Walt on 07984 266649. On Saturday, December 27, they present Queen B with tickets at £15.

Rushden Rambling Club Tortoise Group meets next on Saturday, January 3, for ‘Denton Mark3’. Leave Duck Street car park at 9.30am. Call leader Ian Raby on 356049 for details.

STANWICK

It is with much regret and sadness that I have to report on the death of Scott Bradbury, our postman in Stanwick, at the age of 40 years. Scott, who lived in Wellingborough, had become a valued and respected part of the community here in Stanwick during the past six years or so, and will be greatly missed by everyone. The news of his untimely death on December 9 was greeted with a mixture of disbelief, shock and sadness throughout the whole village. He touched so many people’s lives during his time here. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and loved ones at this very difficult time.

We should all know by now just how important the Neighbourhood Plan is, and the sooner it is completed the better it will be for Stanwick. The plan will be taken into account when decisions are made about Stanwick regarding future development, and when applying for grants to fund projects in the village.

Last month, as part of its preparation, more than 150 businesses, including self-employed traders operating in Stanwick, were sent a questionnaire to complete. The responses received will help the Neighbourhood Plan project committee to put together a statement of what is important to the businesses in Stanwick.

The deadline has now passed, and due to the extremely poor response, has now been extended to Friday, January 23. If you have received one of these questionnaires, it is very important that you complete it and return it before this date. Collection boxes can be found in the Village Hall and the shop@stanwick.

The Neighbourhood Plan project committee is independent from the parish council. The process is being taken forward for, and by, the residents and businesses of Stanwick, including members of the council.

The Stanwick Pocket Park Group is holding a quiz night and raffle, hosted by Stanwick Club, at 8pm tomorrow, Friday, December 19. Everyone is welcome to take part at £1 per team member.

Santa will be visiting Stanwick Lakes for one final weekend on Saturday, December 20, and Sunday, December 21. You will find him in his magical grotto between 11am and 4pm, and you are also invited to take along your letter for him to hang in his workshop. Entry is £3.95 per child, including a present. Normal car parking charges apply.

Church services :

Sunday, December 21: St Laurence Church, Stanwick. 4pm Lessons and Carols.

Christmas Eve: St Laurence Church, Stanwick. 11.15pm Midnight Mass.

Christmas Day: Benefice Service of Communion by Extension, 10am St Mary’s Church, Ringstead.

Sunday, December 28: Benefice Holy Communion, 10am, St Peter’s Church, Raunds.

Wednesday, December 31: Holy Communion, 10am. All Hallows Church, Hargrave.

Sunday, January 4: St Laurence Church, Stanwick. 9.30am Priceless; 11am Morning Worship; Evening Prayer, 6pm. St Peter’s Church, Raunds.

Wednesday, January 7: St Laurence Church, Stanwick. 10am Holy Communion.

Stanwick Club:

Saturday, December 20: Live band The Others.

Christmas Eve: Disco

Boxing Day: Disco

Saturday, December 27. Club panto Sleeping Beauty. 1pm for 2pm start. Free to members and children under 14. £3 for guests. Ticket only, available from club.

New Year’s Eve: Disco, with fancy dress. Ticket only.

After the Christmas period you can ease yourself back into exercise gently by trying tai chi in Stanwick Village Hall on Thursday, January 8, between 8pm and 9.30pm. Admission is £10 and beginners are welcome. To book your place, call Amanda on 07835 453 286.

Number 8 was drawn as the bonus ball in the Lotto on Saturday, December 6, making Judy Clayton the winner of the weekly £30 prize with St Laurence Church’s 49 Club.

WELDON

Weldon residents made up the party of 114 passengers on the latest Wondertour outing on Saturday, December 6, to Birmingham which coincided with the Frankfurt and crafts markets. David Fursdon arranged the trip assisted by Carole and Mick Browett with Nigel and Tim doing the driving. To obtain a copy of next year’s programme send a stamped address envelope to WTCT 2015 9 Southfields Road, Gretton NN 17 3BK.

The Shoulder of Mutton welcomes regulars and visitors to enjoy the Christmas party on Saturday, December 20, from 7.30pm. The best Christmas jumper or onesie will win a free drink. A new seasonal beer will be unveiled made with some festive ingredients that already has customers eagerly waiting to try it. Recently John Temple from the Peterborough branch of the campaign for real ale visited the Shoulder of Mutton to see the new craft brewery and sample the real ales and was delighted with the set up. The quiz nights every Friday at 8pm are creating a lot of interest with more teams welcome.

Dance the night away at Weldon’s Christmas dance in the village hall on Saturday, December 20, between 8pm and 11pm. Evening wear is optional. Entrance is £5 including raffle tickets. You are welcome to bring your own drinks and nibbles. For details call Joan on 07718 519480.

On Friday, December 19, there will be a concert in St Mary’s Church given by the String of Pearls Choir and friends at 6pm. Refreshments and mulled wine are to be served.

Tickets cost £5 per adult and children tickets are to be £2.50. Available from Sandra or Carol Stevens.

The church will be open the same day from 9am to 4pm to decorate the memory tree with golden labels which are available from Sandra or you may pick one up at the church. Refreshments will be available.

At the church on December 21, All age Nativity at 9.30am followed at 5pm with lessons and carols. Christmas Eve at 6pm will be the Christingle Service and at 11pm Midnight Communion with the blessing of the crib. Christmas Day an all age service at 9.30am and December 28 Holy Communion at 8am.

Congregational Church on Sunday, December 21, Paul and Linda Kerfoot will be leading the service at 10.30am.

Weldon WI held their Christmas party on Tuesday, December 9, in Weldon Village Hall. On a cold and stormy evening 24 members braved the weather. The hall had been decorated by members of the village hall committee and was very festive with a large tree in the corner and decorations around the room. The tables had been decorated by Penny and her team of helpers. The centre pieces were the work of Liz Boswell and later a lucky member from each table was able to take the decoration home. They were given a very warm welcome by the president Penny Tighe. The food was prepared by Jean and Marlene who did a wonderful job – all home-made. Entertainment was co-ordinated by Liz Boswell assisted by Carol Stevens and Dot Willocks. Christmas jokes were told seasonable poetry and stories were told along with a sketch by Carol and Dot depicting how a meeting of Weldon WI might have been in the 1940s. The evening ended with the singing of carols with Sue Lawson on the keyboard. Almost everyone went home with a raffle prize which was organised by Carol. Instead of exchanging presents members donated food for the Corby Food Bank and money donations were collected for a local charity.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 13, at 7.15pm in the village hall when Camille from the Pickle Village Shop will be telling her story. Subscriptions are also due on that evening.

WELLINGBOROUGH

All Hallows Church hall coffee shop will be open on Christmas Eve, but will close on December 26 and 27 and reopen on Tuesday, December 30.

St Barnabas Church will be holding a carol-singing session in the church hall on Sunday, December 21, at 4pm. On Christmas Eve Holy Communion is at 10am, the Crib Service will begin at 4pm for the Young and Young at heart and at 11.30pm Midnight Mass will begin. On Christmas Day the Family Holy Communion begins at 10am.

On Sunday, December 28, Holy Communion begins at 8am and Family Holy Communion at 10am.

Every evening until December 24, somewhere in the town a door opens. Beyond the door will be 15 minutes of entertainment and special treats. All free.

December 18, 6.15pm – The Castle

December 19, 6.15pm – Swansgate Shopping Centre

December 20, 5pm – Wellingborough Library

December 21, 5pm – Hindu Community Centre, Highfield Road

December 22, 6.15pm – St Mark’s Church hall, assemble at door in Brickhill Road

December 23, 6.15pm – Wellingborough Fire Station, assemble at metal gates at east end of buildings. Wear warm clothing!

December 24, 6.15pm – Salvation Army, Salem Lane

Supported by the BID and organised by the Rotary Club of Wellingborough in support of local charities.

Wellingborough and District Walking Group meets on Saturday, December 20, at 10am for a 6.5m circular from Billing Mill, Northampton. The meeting place is the Causeway car park, Billing Mill. Call Rose on 07740 995707 for details.

Wellingborough Museum is holding a special Christmas film show by the Northamptonshire Film Archive Trust on real projectors and celluloid film. On Saturday, December 20, at 11am and 2pm. It’s free to enter but children must be accompanied by an adult for the whole performance. The films to be shown are Jack and The Beanstalk, Merry Christmas, Santa Claus Workshop and Mickey’s Christmas Carol.

Northamptonshire Family History Society’s next genealogy surgeries at the museum will take place on Saturday, January 17, and February 21 from 10am to 1pm.

The museum will close at 4.30pm on December 24 and reopen on Saturday, January 3.

WILBARSTON

A great night was enjoyed by everyone who attended the Wilbarston & Stoke Albany Over-60s Christmas party at Wilbarston Village Hall last friday night.

A four-course meal cooked by members of the committee and served by the local Girl Guides was delicious.

Stewart Hamersley once again did a great job as MC, making sure everything ran smoothly.

Guests were then entertained by the very funny musical comedy duo Fingers & Fumbs and enjoyed music from a local bands.

Following the success of previous years, the Christmas greetings without cards scheme will be running this year.

Donations from any individuals, family or business who would like to give a one-off donation to the Wilbarston Church fund, in exchange for which you have the opportunity to express your Christmas greeting to friends, neighbours and family, would be welcome.

Put your donation in an envelope, include your name and address on the envelope and state whether you are a UK taxpayer wishing to donate Gift Aid. If you do not wish your name to be included on the published list of greeters, please also state clearly on the envelope.

Envelopes can be handed into Libby, 23a Rushton Road, Wilbarston, or Julia, Windmill Farmhouse, Carlton Road, Wilbarston. The PCC will display and update lists of participants wishing a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year in The Village shop, in the Church Porch and in the Village Hall. The amount of each donation will remain anonymous.

Funds raised will go towards providing level access into the church.

Communion will be at All Saints Church on Sunday, December 21, at 9am.

On Christmas Eve in neighbouring Stoke Albany, in St Botolph’s Church at 4pm, there will be Service round the Crib.

Midnight Mass will be at All Saints Church on Christmas Eve at 11.30pm.

Wilbarston Church is holding the very popular Curry by Candlelight in All Saints Church on Saturday, January 10. Entry will be from 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets are £10 from Hilary on 01536 771465,

Julia on 01536 772265 or the village shop.

WOODFORD

The Christmas fair held on the village green was a huge success bright sunshine brought the crowds out. There was a great variety of stalls and a carousel for the children and much more. Coffee, tea and mulled wine were also served.

At dusk the Christmas tree lights were switched on. The tree and the surrounding houses around the Green and the High Street look lovely all lit up.

On Saturday, December 20, at Woodford Club it is the Mind Christmas party at 8pm. Tickets are £5 including buffet and singer Jeff Judge. Call 01832 7326000.

The services for Sunday, December 21, at the Chapel are 11am Family service, 3pm carol service followed by tea, coffee and mince pies in the Chapel schoolroom.

Christmas morning 10.30am short service of worship.

There are no Wednesday evening fellowship until March.

Christmas services at the churches are carol service on December 21 at St Mary’s Church, Woodford.

Christingle Services – St Mary’s, Woodford, on Christmas Eve at 4pm, and All Saints, Great Addington, on Christmas Eve at 4pm.