Over the last year the club has enjoyed a number of garden visits and attended talks organised by Maidford in the Garden in Maidford village hall. A very friendly and welcoming group and some very interesting and entertaining talks. They also put on a Christmas Wreath making evening with mince pies and mulled wine which was lovely. Since our report last year we have visited the Oxford Botanic Gardens, Hidcote National Trust Arts and Crafts inspired garden and the fascinating Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens. We had planned to visit lots of interesting and beautiful gardens this year but so far none have been possible due to the coronavirus. Currently scheduled are Thenford Arboretum (July), Waterperry Gardens (July), the Wisley Flower show (September) and Westonbirt Arboretum (October). We’ll provide updates directly to members and through the monthly village newsletter. One of our challenges is transport to gardens. It makes for a more relaxed and sociable outing if we can hire a minibus. Our grant from the Parish Council enables us to do this perhaps once annually as well as enabling us to afford our RHS affiliation and public liability insurance and to pay for speakers in our own village hall. Our membership fee is £10 per annum and we have around 12 members. New members (and visitors) are always welcome. There is a charge of £3.50 per talk. Garden visits are charged at cost (travel may be subsidised if funds permit).
Litchborough Playing Field
The Litchborough Playing Field continues to be a valued and much loved village asset, used by all ages of people in the village and the surrounding local areas. 2019 has been no different, and the hot summer of 2019 resulted in many picnics, parties and informal get togethers enjoyed in the quiet and well maintained surroundings of the playing field. Many people comment how lovely the play area is, in that it is self contained, well maintained and generally a nice place to be.
The area is approaching 9 years old in age and, whilst the equipment is still very much useable, general wear and tear is starting to show. At some point, the area will need more investment to maintain and, in some cases, replace existing equipment and also the surface upon which the equipment stands in order for the area to meet safety requirements. Quotes have been obtained on the costs of replacement items such as surfaces surrounding the swing and spinner and also on costings of equipment to give the committee an idea of the level of funding it needs to raise. Some of the more urgent maintenance and repairs are due to take place shortly.
The committee is very grateful to have received a grant of £900 in November 2019 to put towards the costs of maintenance of the area for mowing, hedge trimming and ROSPA inspection. The committee also held a fete in July 2019 raising further much needed funds for the play area. Unfortunately, the fete for Summer 2020 has been cancelled as a result of the Coronavirus crisis that has affected many large and small events across the country.
The grant received for the rent of the village hall has been invaluable in the success of the playgroup and we have seen a new set of volunteers step in to help with the running of the group. User numbers remain high and it is lovely to see new parents, grandparents and young children attend the weekly group and it remains a valuable resource to the local community.
Come September when the group is hopefully back up and running again (post covid-19) we will be utilising the new storage space in a manner that is more efficient for everyone and more importantly the safety of all.
The newsletter continues to be delivered to every house in the village and posted to other houses and farms within the Parish boundary. During Lock down it is now printed in house in the village.
It is noticeable how many positive comments are made, particularly by newcomers to the village, who are not only welcomed by name but also provided with local information on events and activities within the village.
The V.E Day celebration options and ideas were all in the newsletter. These included links for Festival Packs, recipe ideas, learning dances and songs, making flags and poppies and sowing seeds. This resulted in a terrific response in the village with bunting on many houses and gardens, round the war memorial, union jacks in windows , on the church tower, war time pictures of planes and Winston Churchill and huge paper poppies.
Families having picnics in their gardens and calling out to neighbours – who needed a street party! We had a village one taking place in every road in the village. Perhaps because of lock down there was time to read the newsletter !!
Also during lockdown there has been an innovative Holly’s Hobbies for the young people to try,a village quiz, information on local suppliers who deliver, volunteer opportunities for those who are able to participate and contacts for those who need assistance. Perhaps the best means of communication to all the villagers especially at this very strange time.
A mix of services were held regularly throughout 2019 Holy Communion, Matins and Family Service, as well as Compline through the period of Lent. There were also monthly Benefice services which were held in the different churches. St Martin’s was the venue for the Remembrance Day Service, this was attended over 100 people and included the laying of wreaths on the Village War Memorial.
The major Christian Festivals were celebrated 43 people attended the Easter service and 53 attended the Christmas Midnight Mass service.
The Benefice choir sang at the Carol Service and the Benefice Remembrance Service.
There was 1 baptism and 1 funeral during the year but sadly no weddings.
Our church is like a well-oiled machine that works well because all of its parts work well together. Without the many people who work quietly in the background, this would not be possible.
We are grateful to all of those who support the work of the church in our village.
Badby & Farthingstone Cricket Club
Good to report on a successful 2019 season for Badby & Farthingstone CC – a full schedule of fixtures meant the club played almost every weekend from May through until early September.
The fine summer saw only a couple of matches fall foul to the weather and amongst the now traditional contests against local Towcester area village sides there were also matches against new opposition (Buckingham Town, Castle Ashby and Maids Moreton).
The club is still hopeful of some match action this summer. Nets and outfield are now being used for practice as part of daily exercise with social distancing rules in place.