Kettering Civic Society
Newsletter 22 (Spring 2016)

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The Society has New Headquarters


The High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, Dr Ahmed Mukhtar, and Mayor Councillor June Derbyshire opened Kettering Civic Society’s new headquarters, “Time Travellers”, on platform 1 at Kettering Railway Station on Friday 26th February. Also celebrated was the work that Prince’s Trust Team 43 carried out by creating a garden and planting enhancing the station platform.

The Society has been looking for a base for several years to give it a presence in the community and to assist in fulfilling its objectives. In December 2015 Dan Eustace, East Midlands Trains Customer Experience Manager offered a room on platform 1 for Kettering Civic Society use. East Midlands Trains with the Society are planning to hold community activities at the station as well as offering career advice and work experience. Volunteers of all ages and experience will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities including environmental and conservation projects at the station.

The Time Travellers Room, although just big enough for 10 people to sit around a table, benefits from high walls making it ideal for exhibitions. It is suitable for use as a small workshop, and an Information point to promote the town and county. As yet no opening times have been decided but it is felt that activities which might take place in the room will evolve as new volunteers join in and through projects that will be undertaken under Heritage Lottery related activities. The room will form a good fundraising base aiming towards installing the Kettering Mosaic on the Newlands Shopping Centre above the car park entrance, an area of the town to be regenerated.

A team effort by Dan Eustace, David Rose and Monica Özdemir saw the room decorated, finishing touches were added with a new-image Time Travellers sign designed by Paul Ansell; display boards designed using Civic Society archive materials were produced by Brian Knott and the new Society logo for the window, designed by Rachael Aldridge make the room complete.
Ideas and volunteers are most welcome, please do get in touch if you would like to view the room!

The Society contacted Tresham College Team Leader of the Prince’s Trust Mark Williams to ask whether Team 43 students would be prepared to create a garden, restore a mail cart and provide a planting display at Kettering station. Students were delighted to take up this Community Project, an essential part of their 12 week personal development Team programme whereby the learners gain new skills to prepare them for the world of work. The seventeen students spent 10 very challenging days of heavy work which followed research, planning and sourcing materials and didn’t give up when the weather was cold and rainy. Each team member was presented with a Civic Society Environmental Award Certificate for their achievement by the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire. The garden was officially opened by Mayor Councillor June Derbyshire.
Sponsoring the planting were; Frosts Garden Centre, Denford Construction, Kettering Borough Council and Bosworth’s Garden Centre.

Kettering Civic Society Working with Prince’s Trust Team 43
In 1979 Kettering Civic Society won a Civic Trust Award for work on the station gardens and 37 years later Prince’s Trust students work on the same garden!

The Society contacted Tresham College Team Leader of the Prince’s Trust Mark Williams to ask whether Team 43 students would be prepared to create a garden, restore a mail cart and provide a planting display at Kettering station. Students were delighted to take up this Community Project, an essential part of their 12 week personal development Team programme whereby the learners gain new skills to prepare them for the world of work. The seventeen students spent 10 very challenging days of heavy work which followed research, planning and sourcing materials and didn’t give up when the weather was cold and rainy. Each team member was presented with a Civic Society Environmental Award Certificate for their achievement by the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire. The garden was officially opened by Mayor Councillor June Derbyshire.
Sponsoring the planting were; Frosts Garden Centre, Denford Construction, Kettering Borough Council and Bosworth’s Garden Centre.

Dr Mukhtar, High Sheriff of North
amptonshire, Mayor, Cll. June Derbyshire, Mark Williams Prince’s Trust Leader, Ezechi Egwu, on placement from the University of Northampton and Monica Özdemir, secretary.



KBC Ground Maintenance team, Richard Kibble, Sarah Parr and Emma Murphy with Mark Williams.                                                              Mark Williams, Team Leader with Francesca Scott & Elliot Coe.

Francesca Scott, student with Adele Shelford from Bosworth’s Garden Centre.


Civic Society AGM

Chairman’s Report 2015-2016

Rome wasn’t built in a day has become our maxim as we continue developing our National Lottery application. Whilst the ‘Lottery’ consider our need for the funds to have the Budd Mosaic put back on public display a worthy cause, they continue to require more and varied community involvement and participation. Two bids have so far been made and hopefully a third attempt this year could be successful? The Mosaic was gifted to the town and on the town’s behalf we are making every effort to have it back on display.

A special pleasure had been the Council’s invitation to name the new roads in the West Hill Development. Art has long been a part of Kettering and we chose to name the roads after six lady artists principally working in the last century and the roads will be ‘Fosters Way’, ‘Hodge Court’, ‘Pryor Road’, ‘Wollacott’, ‘Shortland Road’ and ‘Nina Carroll Way’.

The new Eastern Development of five and a half thousand houses, schools, shops, church, community centre and play areas is slowly emerging and following the approval of the West Hill name choices, we were invited to provide over thirty names for the new roads in this development. As this new area is some way from the town centre, we provided the names of past town centre traders as a positive link with the town.

We have long been concerned with the Royal Hotel, a special place in the refurbished Market Place. As a hotel, it has not been successful for many years now and parts of it are falling down particularly at the rear. Attempts have been made to involve Kettering Borough Council through its Leader and Deputy Chief Executive to introduce the United Kingdom Association of Building Trusts to both restore the building and bring a new type of owner such at the English Heritage Trust.

As a link with Lottery Funding and the Montagu Monuments in Warkton Church, some of our Committee attended the preservation meetings and talks by the preservation overseer from Boughton House. The finished restoration is now available for viewing.

Northampton House in Station Road has been of interest to us for several years as it fell into disrepair and we were pleased that the new owner had been found. It is not a Listed Building but has been a special landmark as we reported at last year’s Annual General Meeting. The new owners, Averil Phillips and Family have beautifully restored the building and it is now in full use by the Family Funeral Directors. The restoration was special and our Rose Bowl was awarded to the family and their building and a presentation by the Mayor, Councillor June Derbyshire was made at a Full Council Meeting.

Soan’s Yard which originally included the Fire Station and later the Community Services Centre and Citizens Advice Offices had been marketed for a long time by the Council and as reported at the last AGM has a new owner. Some demolition has now taken place and the other parts of the building converted to a range of shops, stalls and bar all decorated in the fashionable “shabby chic” style and has taken on a new commercial life.

Funding had been secured for Phase Four of the Town Centre Redevelopment which principally involved High Street and Gold Street. A major part of the scheme included excluding vehicles from those roads by installing bollards. We had long argued that if Exhibition Road near London’s Royal Albert Hall could be restyled to include landscaping, new lighting, free pedestrian use and retaining its vehicular use, why couldn’t our two roads be the same? Bollards won the day!

Whilst Northampton House was well received, the building next door at 6 Station Road remained as a vandals resort. Our approach to the Council with an offer of a quarter of a million pounds was turned down as the Council planned one day to develop it!

We continue to monitor the weekly list of Planning Applications and comment wherever necessary. Sixteen/ Seventeen Newland Street is a property of interest with plans to convert it into 32 flats and two shops. The Application has been withdrawn.

The Town Centre Forum is also regularly attended although our drive to get the Police Commissioner to come to a meeting has failed. If I was Chief Constable, I would be saddened to have someone telling me how to do my job and the County Council Police Committee being patronised!

Social events have remained popular and included four days in Northumberland visiting Alnwick Castle scene of Downton Abbey and Armstrong’s House at Cragside. We stopped in York on the way up, spent a day in Newcastle, and stopped in Durham on the return. The coming year’s trip will include Chester, Liverpool and Portmeirian. Our Secretary’s Report includes all the other excursions including the annual Proms visit.

The Civic Society has been able to hold committee meetings at a range of places but never anywhere of their own. Our Society has had long links with the Railway Station starting with our preservation drive and we have now been offered the use of a room at the station. This has been beautifully redecorated by Monica, David Rose (a new Society member) with support from the station master, Dan Eustace. The room was officially opened by the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, Dr Mukhtar and the associated garden converted by students from the Prince’s Trust by the Mayor, Councillor June Derbyshire. The room will now be “our home” whilst records will continue to be stored at Bletsoe Brown.

Finally a special thanks to our loyal Committee. We were sorry that Rachael Aldridge stepped down after being very helpful in many ways. John Coleman will be standing down, thank you for having been Vice Chairman, and we are grateful for his support.

Secretary’s Report 2015-2016

Considering we are a voluntary society we have achieved great success over the year made possible through a great team effort.Following comments made at the last Annual General Meeting questioning the Society’s aims and objectives it is evident that we have ticked almost all the boxes in our Constitution and have paved the way for all of our aims to be achieved in the future.

We continue to spread the word about the Society’s aims through publicity on our Facebook site, Roger Payne continues to update our website, 4Locals and Village Connect have kindly given us free space in their publications and of course we keep members informed in a variety of ways. We have been interviewed on several occasions by BBC Radio Northampton. In May we will be exhibiting in the Community Corner at Kettering Museum.

A variety of groups have invited us to give talks including Year 5 pupils at Greenfields School (formerly Highfields School) to the Millennium Group who meet at Season’s in School Lane, Rothwell Methodist Ladies Club and Kettering Huxloe Rotary. Further talks will take place at St Botolph’s Luncheon Club in September and to the Pensioner’s Parliament in February2017. We look forward to continuing spreading the news of our work thereby encouraging new members and volunteers.

In our crusade to gain Heritage Lottery Funding we have benefited from valuable meetings with experts who have widened our knowledge. Through our links with Warkton and the Montagu Monument restoration programme we were invited to a seminar, Heritage in the Economy organised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership when useful contacts were made resulting in us attending a HLF workshop in Nottingham.
Ideas gained in Nottingham introduced us to Steve Williams, of the Oasis Centre in Worksop who with his community, produced a wonderful children’s magazine which we intend to emulate working with Ian Addis, Cindy Wrighting and students from Youthworks.

A follow-up meeting organised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership at Althorpe House further enlightened us as to how we could move forward and this ultimately reinforced and encouraged us to embark on acquiring our own premises to use as a base to promote the town and county as well as achieve our own aims.

We learned that we could have the free use of the room on Platform 1, at the end of November. Decoration of the room began on 1st December, with Dan Eustance of Midland Mainline, David Rose of Network Rail and Monica Ozdemir working together. The decoration was finished on 13th December. On 12th January we made contact through the Volunteer Network with Tresham Collage Prince's Trust Team Leader Mark Williams enquiring if they would be interested in a project to create a garden at the station. On 8th February the students began planning, raising funds and gathering materials for their project. They began work at the station on 16th February creating a garden and restoring a mail cart and an herb box to enhance the area on the platform. David Rose from Network Rail has become a keen member of the Society helping with his colleague Steve Howkins collecting stones donated by Denford Construction for the rock garden. On Monday 22nd February Bosworth’s Garden Centre donated soil and plants as did Kettering Borough Council gardeners who delivered plants and designed a planting scheme. The students completed their project on 24th February ready for the opening on 26th! This was a fine example of team work with the community showing enormous good will in working together. Kensigns produced signage designed by the students, Time Traveller’s sign designed by Paul Ansell and Rachael Aldridge’s new Civic Society logo. Barry Knott produced display boards for the Time Travellers room.

We were delighted that Dr Mukhtar, High Sheriff of Northamptonshire and Cll. Mayor June Derbyshire opened our new base “Time Travellers” and the Prince’s Trust garden. Team 43 students each received a Civic Society Environmental Achievement Certificate which was presented to them by the High Sheriff.

Further links have been made with Tresham Collage HND Graphics students whose assignment exercise was to re-brand the Society and in so doing they learned about the work of the Society and touched on the history of Kettering. The Society presented each student with a voucher from Coleman’s to acknowledge their work.

Through the Montagu Monuments project we met with Lynnette Hewitson, artist in residence at Buccleuch Academy who invited the committee to view the amazing interior and clever artwork that she designed. She created a truly magnificent and motivating environment for all who work in and visit the building.

Joining forces with the Friends of The Alfred East Art Gallery brought us closer to the community when we jointly took on a stand in the Newlands Shopping Centre and at the Naseby Battlefield re-enactment weekend in June. We shared the planning and organising of a successful trip to Stow-on-the-Wold.

Close links continue with Wicksteed Park who generously offer the use of the Celebration Suite for our Annual General Meetings. We were invited to the opening of the lake restoration project and we support the Wicksteed Trust in their Heritage Lottery applications. The Wicksteed Charitable Trust’s Centenary Masquerade Ball was a great success and we were delighted to have joined in the celebrations in January.

Our Toller Coffee mornings continue with loyal support offered by our committee team, Eleanor Patrick, Rachael Aldridge and Erika Beecher as we look forward to meeting members and potential new members.

Other social events that were well supported and thoroughly enjoyed were to Kathy Brown’s garden in Bedford, to Cromford Mills, our annual visit to the Proms and another successful and most enjoyable four day coach tour to Northumberland.

With new headquarters we felt confident in our quest to start a huge fundraising campaign and publicity materials were designed and printed advertising intensive fundraising events for 2016. The launch was made in January when details of sponsorship for the mosaic accompanied details of a special Ascot themed Dinner were sent to members and friends. A successful Fashion Show by M&Co in the presence of Cll June Derbyshire Mayor of Kettering, raised £300 in March and a Quiz night at the Star Inn in Geddington would further raise funds. A big Prize Draw and auction will take place at the Dinner in June and many thanks are extended to Sandra Clipstone who has raise over £1,000 worth of prizes from generous sponsors to date.

The Cytringanians have pledged £1,000 towards the Mosaic campaign and through this link we were introduced to Bob Christy former Grammar School student who was in the original Satellite Group. We have arranged for Bob to talk after a Dinner at the Park Hotel on Friday 14th October on the 50 year anniversary of Sputnik discovery. It is hoped that this topical theme will be developed further throughout the year. Naming our base Time Travellers gives a taste of the diversity of topics and years past present and future that interest the Society.

We have had amongst our loyal committee the invaluable contribution of Rachael Aldridge and as Secretary I alone could not have achieved and progressed the Society’s aims without her valuable contribution.Not only has Rachael provided a big input to the Heritage Lottery applications but she has designed 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 new logo and adorns the window of the Time Travellers room, a fresh new image has been created. Rachael also set up our Facebook page and helped to set up a new bank account that can be adapted for internet banking accepting PayPal transactions. She has truly helped to modernise the Society and her support has been unstinting.

We are grateful to member John Peck for prompting and helping us to register for Gift Aid and we were delighted to receive a payment that went towards the cost of decorating Time Travellers room.

I would like to thank all our loyal committee members and also our new recruits, Sandra Clipstone, Philip Evans and Davis Rose for the enormous support that they have given in 2015 and this year to progress the Society in such an exciting way.

It's Fun Fundraising

A big THANK YOU to M&Co and and all who helped to raise £300 for the Kettering Mosaic Appeal

Kettering Civic Society would like to thank M&Co for supporting the Mosaic Appeal with a Fashion Show. A thank-you to the Mayor of Kettering Councillor June Derbyshire, for supporting the event.

Thanks especially to Melanie Newman, Andrea Coleman and the team at M&Co, to Tresham College Hairdressing Department for styling the models, the models, Toller Church and Fuller Church for kindly lending and transporting their chairs and to all who attended. A most enjoyable evening was had by all.

We’re Exploring Again This Year!
12th-15th September 2016

A four day coach tour to North Wales staying for three nights at Beaufort Park Hotel in Mold., with visits to Port Sunlight, Liverpool, Portmeirion and Chester

Click here for full details


To be drawn at the Mosaic FUNDRAISING Dinner on Friday 17th June 2016 at the Park Hotel Kettering

ODEON CINEMA, 2 guest passes. CHIMICHANGA RESTAURANT, Dinner for 2. SONDES ARMS, Dinner for 2. MISTER RAY, Watch. TOWCESTER RACECOURSE, Race day for 2. RUSHTON HALL, Afternoon Tea for 2.ROCKINGHAM CASTLE, Family Ticket for 4. LOAKE SHOES, Shoe Valet Box. LIGHTHOUSE THEATRE, Friends Voucher BOSWORTHS, Planted Arrangement. CS PHOTO STUDIO, Photo Shoot Voucher. SHIRES COOKERY SCHOOL, Master Class Vouchers. ASKEWS HAIR AND BEAUTY, Cut and Blow Dry. THE SAINTS R.F.C. Signed Rugby Football. ROCKINGHAM SPEEDWAY, Family Ticket for British Touring Car Championship. AQUASCUTUM, Tie and Handkerchief. BEAR AND BEIGNET – Coffee and Desserts for 2. CREATIVE TOPS ,VICTORIA & ALBERT TEA-SET. ZANART, Large Wall Art Print. MOIRA HAIR & BEAUTY MOBILE, £25 voucher. BECKWORTH Emporium, Afternoon Tea for Two. HARRINGTON HATS, Voucher for Hat Hire…..AND MORE
Prizes totalling £1,000+ Draw Tickets can be obtained prior to the event from the Secretary

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 Vice Chairman: John Coleman Secretary Monica Özdemir
Committee: Erika Beecher, Barbara Lewis, Eleanor Patrick, Andrea Pettingale

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