Do you know Bernard…

A local business in Towcester is calling out to the people of Northants to ask if they know a very generous customer who visited them last week.

Towcester Tearooms is fundraising for both The Alzheimer’s Society and MacMillan Cancer Support this year, culminating in this summer’s challenge where 8 local men, including the Tearooms owner, Tony McMurray will attempt to cycle the full length of the British Isles, from Lands End to John-O-Groats.

Last Wednesday a customer approached Tony’s wife, Sharon McMurray, and offered the services of his band for free as part of this year’s fundraising efforts.

Sharon said, “We are often complimented on the various charitable events we run and on this occasion the gentlemen kindly offered the services of his band for an event of our choice. He wrote down his details but during what was a very busy day in the Tearooms these details were misplaced and we are now very keen to contact him through the local press”

The details of this kind Samaritan are as follows:

  • His name is Bernard
  • He is from Northampton
  • He was in Towcester on Wednesday April 1st and was joined at the Tearooms by a female colleague
  • He is part of a four piece band
  • Bernard told Sharon that his band had done charitable work in the past.

If you recognise Bernard or the band from the description given you are encouraged to contact Sharon at the Towcester Tearooms on 01327 358200 or

Tony added, “The LEJOG team (Lands End to John-O-Groats) met last week and we all agreed that we would invite Bernard’s band to perform at a final fundraising event to be held locally. It would be a great way to close off our year of fundraising and a final opportunity to add to our total funds raised”


Crime Down

CRIME in Northamptonshire fell by 5.9 per cent during 2008/09, the fifth successive year that crime has come down in the county.

During the last year, between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009, offences dropped from 63,567 to 59,904 – 3,753 fewer than in the previous year.

This year there were 15,000 fewer victims of crime in Northamptonshire than there were in 2003/04, a decrease of 19 per cent.

Chief Constable Peter Maddison said: “Northamptonshire Police is committed to delivering the best possible quality of policing services to the people of this county and I am very proud of my police officers and staff, who have worked tirelessly with partner agencies to ensure that we have brought crime in the county down for the fifth year in a row.

“It is very encouraging to see nearly 4,000 fewer victims of crime compared to last year. But be in no doubt, our endeavours will continue with vigour as we work to reduce crime further and build public confidence, through listening to our communities and responding to their needs.

“My staff are determined to tackle the increases of domestic burglary and robbery we have seen in the north of the county, and I am particularly pleased to see the positive results already coming through in combating these peaks.

“Initiatives such as Smartwater and Operation Tiger have made significant impacts on burglary offences and vehicle crime throughout Northamptonshire, and we will be keeping the pressure on criminals throughout 2009.

“The challenges facing us in the longer term are also significant. As a region we have to deal with one of the fastest rates of population growth in the country, with all the demands for policing and public service that this necessitates.

“I and my colleagues in the local authorities and NHS continue to keep this on the government’s agenda, to ensure the county is adequately funded to deliver the service we would all wish to.”

The headline figures are as follows:-

Violent crime – DOWN 8.7 per cent
Commercial burglary – DOWN 8.7 per cent
Vehicle crime – DOWN 4 per cent
Theft and handling – DOWN 8.9 per cent
Criminal damage – DOWN 7.8 per cent

Sexual offences – UP 8.2 per cent
House burglary – UP 7.1 per cent

Deirdre Newham, the Chair of the Police Authority, commented: “It is heartening to see that crime is down again for the fifth consecutive year.

“At the Police Authority, we are acutely aware that the concerns of members of the public by and large centre around criminal damage, juvenile nuisance and anti-social behaviour, so the fall in criminal damage is especially welcome.

“Hopefully the reduction in crime will in turn lead to an increase in public confidence in the Force.

“The Authority has made a commitment to providing the Force with 40 additional front-line officers and hopefully this will re-enforce the good work that is being done to tackle criminal activity in this county.”


In the south and west of the county, crime has fallen by 9.4 per cent over the last year.

This equates to 3,375 fewer victims of crime in the Northampton, Daventry and South Northamptonshire areas.

Significant reductions have been recorded in violence offences (12.2 per cent), commercial burglaries (17.4 per cent), theft from motor vehicles (11.5 per cent), theft of motor vehicles (14.5 per cent), vehicle interference (22 per cent), theft and handling (10.8 per cent) and criminal damage (10 per cent).

But increases have been recorded in sexual offences (9.5 per cent) and fraud and forgery (21.1 per cent).

Chief Superintendent Paul Phillips, Area Commander for Northamptonshire West, said: “I am really pleased with the crime reduction on this side of the county, with nearly 3,500 fewer victims of crime this year than last.

“The significant results are in relation to vehicle crime, with more than a 12 per cent reduction in vehicle crime in Daventry, Northampton and South Northants.

“We’ve continued to reduce street robbery offences. There were only a small number anyway, but we’ve seen a six per cent reduction in Northampton town, which amounts to 32 fewer victims.

“And violent crime has fallen by 10 per cent thanks to lots of partnership work around the night economy and initiatives focused on domestic abuse.

“Anti-social behaviour has continued to fall this year with more than 4,000 fewer incidents on this side of the county.

“A great deal of the credit for this goes to the Safer Community Teams who have provided greater visibility, reassurance and local knowledge.

“Our focus in the new policing year will be to continue to increase public confidence in the police service, continue to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour with our partners, and to seek feedback from the public as to what is important to them for us to work on and to respond to their needs.”

Tiny Tows Succeed at Waitrose in Towcester

Paul Buddin presents the cheque for £410 to representatives from Tiny Tows Pre SchoolPaul Buddin presents the cheque for £410 to representatives from Tiny Tows Pre School

Paul Buddin presents the cheque for £410 to representatives from Tiny Tows Pre SchoolPaul Buddin presents the cheque for £410 to representatives from Tiny Tows Pre School

Each month, Waitrose Partners choose three causes to benefit from a share of the supermarket’s £1,000 regular donation.

Shoppers at the checkout are each handed a green token which they can place into one of three labelled boxes at the store exit, allowing them to learn about and vote for the cause they would like to support. The more nominations a cause gets, the greater the share of the donation they will receive.

The other results were:

* Tiny Tows Pre School £410
* Weston £229
* Towcester Museum £361

Grafton Scout District is Thriving

Grafton Scout District is Thriving. The numbers of members are increasing rapidly across South Northants.

There are 4 Scout sections that young people can become members of :-

Beaver Scouts – 6 – 8 years old
Cub Scouts – 8 – 10 1/2 years old
Scouts – 10 1/2 – 14 years old
Explorer Scouts 14 – 18 years old.

All sections enjoy a wide range of activities that are designed to help the young person build self esteem, gain confidence, learn new skills, meet friends, and most importantly have fun !

But you don’t need to be under 18 to get involved. Adults are also more than welcome to join, whether you want to become a weekly leader, help out occasionally or support the group by being on the Exec Committee. There is a job for anyone that is interested in volunteering. All Adult positions are subject to CRB clearance.
Grafton District includes the following groups

* 1st Blisworth
* 5th Brackley
* 1st Cogenhoe
* 1st Collingtree & Milton Malsor
* 2nd Deanshanger
* Grange Park
* Greens Norton
* 1st Hackleton
* 1st Hartwell
* 1st Houghton
* 1st Middleton Chenney
* 1st Pattishall
* 1st Roade
* 1st Towcester
* Whistley 2000
* 1st Yardley Gobion

To get involved visit or call 0845 300 1818

Northants Police Good at Turning Up for Work

OFFICERS and staff at Northamptonshire Police have posted some of the best attendance figures in the country.

The latest annual statistics show that the Force had the fifth highest attendance figures for officers and sixth highest for staff members across the whole of the UK.

And Northamptonshire Police finished top of the pile among its Most Similar Forces (MSF) – for both staff and officers.

The figures, which measure the 12-month period from December 2007 to December 2008, show that just 2.9 per cent of officers’ hours and 3.8 per cent of staff members’ hours were lost due to sickness.

The national average for officers was 3.8 per cent and that for staff members was 4.5 per cent.

Assistant Chief Constable Derek Talbot said: “We are proud that the Force has posted attendance figures that are amongst the best in the United Kingdom.

“This means that local communities are getting the maximum value for their tax contributions to policing.

“And the amount of time spent patrolling by our safer community teams is the best it has been for a long time.”

The news comes after it was revealed that Northamptonshire Police only lost six days as a result of officers being assaulted during 2007-8(Financial Year).

First day of Spring

Daffodils blooming in Alderton near Towcester

Daffodils blooming in Alderton near Towcester

Today Friday 20th March is officially the first day of spring – somehow it seems to have been a long and cold winter.

Time Capsule in Towcester Rural Village

A new garden room is being built at Pear Tree Cottage in Alderton and our builder Malcolm Southern suggested putting a time capsule in the walls.  So it doesn’t get lost, details of the location and contents are going to be held with the house deeds with the instruction that it should be opened in 100 years time – March 2109.
Everyday items have been included such as coins, a Tesco schools voucher, an old lace bobbin found at the house and some photos and account of daily life in 2009.  We have also included James Lovelock’s article on the Gaia theory which predicts that human kind will be much depleted in 100 years time due to global warming and we ask the finders if he was correct! (assuming there are enough people around to find it of course!)  It has all been placed in a stainless steel vacuum flask which hopefully will keep the contents safe until it is opened.

The photo shows Merryn placing the capsule with Malcolm and Alan (builders) and of course Tolly looking on.

The photo shows Merryn placing the capsule with Malcolm and Alan (builders) and of course Tolly looking on.

The photo shows Merryn placing the capsule with Malcolm and Alan (builders) and of course Tolly looking on.