Kettering Civic Society
Newsletter 23 (Summer 2016)

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A big thank you to our sponsors and to those who bought prize draw tickets and joined in the auction YOU raised Ł3,000 in 6 months!

In February we wrote to members promising, “2016 will be a Civic Society year like no other! Our determination to embrace the objects of the Society have never been so enthusiastically spurred on by the support and encouragement from our loyal members and friends” and so it has been.
From Saturday Coffee Mornings at Toller Meeting Rooms to a Fundraising Fashion Show by M&Co and a Quiz at The Star Inn Geddington, we thank all who made these events fun and such a success.

The Society’s new year began on 21st April when the Annual General Meeting took place, sponsored by The Wicksteed Trust, at the Celebration Suite Wicksteed Park. We welcomed new Committee members, Sandra Clipstone, Karen Davies, Philip Evans and David Rose.
The Annual General Meeting was followed by a talk by Ian Addis on J L Carr and what an enjoyable evening we all had. It is always a pleasure to hear Ian speak, made special with his personal knowledge of the subjects that he relates.

Fundraising Dinner

Heidi Agan, Barbara Cherry, Glenn Cherry, David Watson, Halina Watson & Adrian McGlynn   -   Mayor of Kettering Scott Edwards & Heidi Agan

The Fund Raising Dinner, with a Royal Ascot theme, at the Park Hotel on Friday 17th June really was full of pleasant surprises and very special! The venue was superb, the staff were most obliging and the menu delicious. Table decorations were carefully designed to mirror the Royal Ascot colours and the Jockey’s silks, thank you to Leanne Provenzano of Bella Fiori Florist. To say that the event was perfect would be an understatement, it was a right Royal affair and we must thank our guests for creating a great atmosphere in the presence of Councillor Scott Edwards, Mayor of Kettering.

Heidi Agan joined us, she really is the double of the Duchess of Cambridge, genuine, elegant and modest, such a pleasure to know, how fortunate to have her living so close, and thank you for her generosity. A special guest and coming directly from Royal Ascot, we were delighted to welcome and be entertained by Adrian McGlynn who gave a humorous and informative talk. Adrian is Company Secretary at Weatherbys Horseracing Administrators and he gave us an interesting insight and snippets into the world of horseracing, the sport of Kings! Adrian worked formerly at the Jockey’s Association in Newbury and the British Racing School in Newmarket.

Guests were all treated to Royal Ascot Programmes, kindly provided by Adrian plus a tip for the next day’s race. Those who took his advice would have been winners!

The evening continued with further fundraising in the form of an auction by professional auctioneer Richard Barnwell, a great raconteur. Richard’s family have lived in Kettering for many generations and he spends his time between Kettering and Wisbech where his business is. Richard was Mayor of Wisbech and High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire. We were especially thankful to Richard and his wife Beverly for their support. The auction raised an amazing Ł627!

Following this we were treated to music by Party Sounds until we all drifted off home at midnight, well some had the good idea to stay overnight at the hotel!

The backdrop of the dinner were scenes from Ascot and photos recording the evening were by courtesy of Roger Payne, our trustee web master.

Throughout the year we have been engaging with many community groups, delighted to be sharing resources and working together. Support for the evening came from representatives of Kettering Rotary, Tresham Rotary and the Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum. Other groups would have joined us but dairy dates clashed during a busy time of the year, however, we look forward to being together at our next dinner.

As the evening progressed, we gave a toast to Her Majesty the Queen honouring her 90th birthday. A beautifully written letter by Richard Makins on the Society’s behalf was sent congratulating Her Majesty.

Thank you to the following supporters of the Prize Draw & Auction at the Mosaic Fundraising Dinner at the Park Hotel on Friday 17th June 2016.
Shire Hotel:
Two night Champagne Break | Towcester Racecourse: afternoon tea & 4 course meal, Private facility & Race programme | Loake Shoemakers: Valet Box | Rockingham Castle: family entrance ticket | Odeon Cinema: Two Guest passes | Chimichanga Restaurant: Dinner for two | Sondes Arms, Rockingham: Dinner for two | Rushton Hall: Afternoon Tea | Mr Rays: Watch | Lakelands Day Care Hospice: Signed photograph of Patron and actor Brendan Coyle, as Mr Bates in Downton Abbey | Lighthouse Theatre: Friends voucher | Bosworths: Planted Arrangement | CS Photo Studio: Photo shoot voucher | Shires Cookery School: Master Class vouchers | Askews Hair and Beauty: Cut & Blow Dry | Saints RFC: Signed Rugby Football | Rockingham Speedway: Family ticket for British touring car championships | Aquascutum: Tie & handkerchief | Bear and Beignet: Coffee & Desert for 2 | Beckworth Emporium: Afternoon Tea | Zanart: Large Wall Art Print | Moira Personal Hair & Beauty Stylist: Blow dry | The Earth Works Cosmetics: Beauty Creams etc | East Midlands Trains:1st class return tickets | John Paul Construction | Creative Tops | AA Thornton: Dartington Glass Flower Bottle


Raffle Winners
Sponsors & Prize, Ticket number, winner details
Two-Night Champagne Break at any Shire Hotel, 1892, Scott Edwards
An Afternoon at Towcester Racecourse for Two People (4-Course Meal, Private Viewing Balcony), 95, Stella Benford  
Weekend Family Ticket for Rockingham Speedway British Touring Car Championships in August, 641, W Rebben
Beauty Creams etc. from The Earth Works, Rothwell, 2535, Debbie Silsby
Afternoon Tea at Rushton Hall, 304, PJC Darren
Family Ticket for Rockingham Castle, 902, Rev. R Coles
Dinner for Two at Chimechanga Restaurant, 232, Ann Evans
Dartington Glass Flower Bottle from AA Thornton, 322, PJC Darren
Blow Dry from Askew’s Hairdresser, 17, Pam Ashton
Voucher for Afternoon Tea from Beckworth Emporium, 1787, Kevin HDL
Ladies or Gents Cut & Blow Dry by Moira Hair & Beauty Mobile, 1921, Karen Davies
Dinner for Two at Sondes Arms, Rockingham, 1726, Jim Mc Namen
Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering – Friends Membership, 1538, Richard Sinclair
Large Wall Art Print from Zanart, 390, D Stephen
Voucher for Two for Coffee and Cake at The Bear and Beignet, 454, Richard Makins
Expanding Bracelet Watch from Mister Ray, 89, Peter Taylor
Auction Winners
Victoria & Albert Teaset by Creative Tops, Titu Nguyan, 52
Wooden Shoe Valet Box by Loake, Mete Ozdemir, 85
Aquascutum Tie and Handkerchief, Halina Watson, 55
Voucher for Shires Cookery School, East Haddon, Richard Barnwell, 20
Voucher for CS Photo Studio, Northampton, Barbara Cherry, 55
Signed Saints Rugby Football, Mete Ozdemir, 55
Signed Photograph of Brendan Coyle as Mr Bates (Downton Abbey), Richard Barnwell 22
Plant Arrangement by Bosworth’s, Richard Barnwell, 28
dinner table decoration, Barbara Cherry, 10
dinner table decoration, Mete Ozdemir 20
dinner table decoration, Totan Nguyan 22
dinner table decoration, Scott Edwards 15
dinner table decoration, Dr Muhktar 18
Midland Mainline Two First Class Return Tickets, Barbara Cherry, 170

Kettering Railway Station & Time Travellers

We are delighted to be working in partnership with East Midlands Rail & Kettering Rotary in adding some colour to Kettering Railway station in the form of planting. The area photographed now has shrubs and is looking attractive. As the summer months continue the plants will certainly flourish with all the rain that we have been experiencing.


Prince’s Trust students have now moved on, but their garden, beautifully planted, courtesy of Kettering Borough Council is becoming well established and the roses are lovely. Volunteer gardeners are most welcome; no great effort or even knowledge is required, except an ability to fill a watering can and dead-head some flowers. Although expertise is also most welcome!

The great thing about having Time Travellers room is that it provides an ideal opportunity to meet so many different people and groups. Sometimes we are short of volunteers and when the Flying Scotsman visited Kettering on 4th June, Tresham Rotary were able to help out. It was good to meet Bobbie Chase and we look forward to meeting other members on 25th August when we have been invited to talk at their meeting. We hope to work with other groups, together we are stronger and we learn how vibrant Kettering is with it’s many different clubs and societies.

From 27th August  to 30th September Kettering Civic Society is delighted to exhibit the art of JAMIE POOLE In Time Travellers. Jamie takes a great deal of his inspiration from walking down the many hidden pathways of the English landscapes and enjoys depicting the tranquillity and beauty of the English countryside. Coastal views, riverside walks and changing weather, lead him to use a variety of materials including pressed foliage, textured card, papers and fabric that add tactile qualities to his paintings. Jamie is constantly in search of the moment, memories and the stories that we associate  with our ancient land. Using his fingers, palette knives, brushes and rich colours in acrylic paint he connects to the landscape in a very physical way which can be seen in his work. If you would like to volunteer to staff the exhibition please get in touch or if you would like to visit please phone 01536 723682 to make an appointment for a private viewing.

We are going to give the area around the station along from the Northampton Road bridge to the station some colour and we have ordered over 400 daffodil, bluebell and snowdrop bulbs from Kettering Borough Council for planting in October. We are asking you and community groups to join in and help with planting, the more there are of us the quicker, an hour or less should be sufficient and the results in springtime will be stunning. Please do get in touch with us if you would like to help generally, once a week/month for an hour would be great.



A pair of the towns older shops in Newland Street with a long history stood empty for a considerable time. They had recently been a jewellers and the Button Boutique. Plans have been prepared for re-developing the site to include 32 flats and two shop units. Whilst it was encouraging to see the building have a new life through re-development, the new design unfortunately would have caused over development and a revised design for 28 flats was submitted for Planning Approval. The old building has been sold but we strongly object to the new proposal as we do to the adjacent Planning Application for flats overlooking Eden Street.

By contrast, the re-alignment of the Bowling Green Road, Headlands and Northampton Road junction which initially caused concerns is now becoming accepted. The actual quality of the construction work is of high quality and continues the improvement which the roundabouts at the bottom of Northampton Road have made.

It was sad to see that a Planning Application was made to demolish the Primitive Methodist Church in Bath Road now occupied by Timson Engineering. Since the church use ended some fifty years ago, the building has begun to decay. The Primitive Methodist Chapel was erected in Bath Road in 1906, a very large impressive red brick structure with architectural detailing at the front. Many ideas for its re-use other than a car park have come forward but finding the considerable funds needed to buy, restore and re-model it have not been possible to find.

The same concerns apply to the Royal Hotel which is now being boarded up. We have suggested that it could become a regional base for organisations such as English Heritage and National Trust being placed neatly in this historic part of our county. Sadly, it requires a large financial input to restore what was once a very fine Hotel but now disused.

Paul Ansell 


Vice Chairman retires from the Committee
John Coleman, a stalwart of the Society has retired after many years on the committee and as Vice Chairman. We shall miss his sound judgement and knowledge of the town as well as his support when promoting our events. Trudging through knee deep mud with display boards and with Lilian close behind to exhibit during the Rushden Cavalcade in 2002 to advertise the Union of South Africa steam train trip that we organised for 2003 will not be forgotten!
Last year when visiting Northampton House with a view to presenting the Annual Silver Rose Bowl Award to Averil Philips, John spotted the lectern that he had made many years before, it was a great moment and wonderful to know that his craftsmanship is in a worthy place for all to appreciate.

Rachael Aldridge stands down from the Committee
We have had amongst our loyal committee the invaluable contribution of Rachael Aldridge without whose valuable contribution we could not have achieved and progressed the Society’s aims. Not only has Rachael provided a big input to the Heritage Lottery applications but she has designed children’s worksheets and newsletters. Her expertise in her work with glass saw a wonderful window designed for a flower show at the Parish Church of SS Peter and Paul a few years ago. The Civic Society logo that she incorporated in the glass has now been adopted as our logo at the Time Travellers room, a fresh new image for the Society. Rachael also set up our Facebook account and helped to set up a new bank account that can be adapted for internet banking. She has truly helped to modernise the Society and her support has been unstinting

Click here for details of our full 2016 programme

Shopping on the internet?
If you shop on the internet please register at our fundraising site A percentage will be donated to the Society at no cost to you.

President: Dr J M Freeman OBE Chairman: Paul Ansell Dip Arch RIBA Secretary Monica Özdemir
Committee: Erika Beecher, Sandra Clipstone, Karen Davies, Philip Evans, Barbara Lewis, Eleanor Patrick, Andrea Pettingale, David Rose

If you would like to know more about membership of the Society email the secretary or download a membership form