Kettering Civic Society
Newsletter 25 (Winter 2016)

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Celebrating our Success

Kettering Civic Society was delighted to welcome Isabel Carmichael (picture far right) the daughter of Geoff Perry, she gave a heart-warming talk on life with her father and a fascinating account of Kettering Grammar School’s satellite tracking achievements. A wonderful re-union took place as well as a welcome to new members and friends. Our guests included, Lady Jennifer Freeman our President, and Lord Freeman former MP for Kettering are pictured with Mayor Cll. Scott Edwards & Eve Edwards, Chairman Paul Ansell & Margaret Ansell and Secretary Monica Özdemir.

At the beginning of the year we announced that we would be making every effort to raise funds towards the Mosaic ‘s conservation and re-siting and to that end we organised two very different but equally amazing dinners at Kettering Park Hotel. The Park provided a great fundraising package as well as two first prizes of champagne weekend breaks for two. The first dinner had a Royal Ascot theme and the second a celebration of Kettering Grammar School‘s 50th Anniversary of their world renowned Sputnik tracking activities. Both occasions were made very special thanks to all of our guests.

During the Ascot themed dinner we were enlightened and entertained by Adrian McGlynn from Wetherby's. Also, amongst our guests was Kate- (Princess of Cambridge), royal look-alike Heidi Agan who certainly made some heads turn! Afterwards the auction, by professional auctioneer, Richard Barnwell was great fun and helped to boost our coffers with the two special prize draws.

We would like to thank EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED, whether by attending events, purchasing a prize draw ticket, donating a prize or making a donation. Together you helped to raise over Ł4,000.

A more detailed account of the total amount will be reported at our Annual General Meeting next March.

News from the Chairman

So many things have literally filled this year as this newsletter recalls. The special dinner at the Park Hotel, a four day visit to North Wales that included Liverpool, endless fundraising to see the Budd Mosaic at long last put up on a town centre building and the Blue Plaque Trail extended. We’ve begun to settle into our Time Travellers room and involved our local community through the Prince’s Trust, the Rotary Club and Kettering Council into our activities. The community involvement is an important part of our Lottery bid .
Town Planning is always being reviewed each week through applications made to the Council and where proposals either enhance the Civic Scene or are not complimentary, receive our views. A dense residential scheme to re-develop the SATRA* complex on Rockingham Road by McCarthy Stone was rejected to partly on account of its density but also the loss of the original old office building. The company’s flats at the top of Northampton Road and housing at Mc Kinley Court fitted comfortably into the town and it is hoped that the re-submission scheme will save the historic building and sit more comfortably in Rockingham Road.

The proposal to re-develop the old shops site at 11-12, Newland Street to a dense flatted scheme with two lock up shops was rejected by the Planning Committee partly on account of the re-development having 28 flats. A new scheme by Mr Odenia has just been submitted which we hope would be acceptable.

Hoping re-locate from the old Co-Operative Bank in Crown Street to a new site in Rockingham Road, the towns Sikh community is in discussion with the Planners to arrive at a design which would fit with the range of properties from Sainsbury’s to the old Poppies football ground.

A Planning Application has been made to re-locate the Births and Deaths Registry office from the Council building to the Library and it is our hope that the Marriages registry may be carried out in the Art Gallery. The trial run at the Crematorium was not in the best of taste!

With the closure of Mr Rays shop will bring a new face to the town centre scene presently adorned by lights and Christmas decorations. The re-developed Market Place is now well accepted which brings me to the end of my letter with the hope that every effort can go into saving and finding a new owner for the Royal Hotel. This with the Council is now our main aim!

We wish you all a very enjoyable Christmas and look forward to welcoming old and new members into 2017.

Paul Ansell

* SATRA has a long history and is considered a leading technical authority for footwear & leather. It's first AGM was held May 26th 1919. SATRA settled in Kettering in 1946 when it purchased Avenue House later called SATRA House in Rockingham Road. In 1949 HRH The Duke of Gloucester visited SATRA to open new laboratories to be known as the Gloucester Block. SATRA received a novel request in 1952 to produce 35 pairs of boots to meet the requirements of the 1953 British Expedition attempting to conquer Mount Everest. Sir Edmund Hilary visited the SATRA team after conquering Everest 1953. HM the Queen visited SATRA in 1965 and in 1969 SATRA received the Queen's Award for Industry, for its moist heat setting process, seen as one of the most significant technological contributions to shoemaking. In 2007 Wyndham Way was completed - an integrated state-of-the-art technology centre offering unrivalled research and testing for a wide range of consumer products industries. Then in 2012 SATRA officially opened the new office and laboratory facility of SATRA Technology Services (Dongguan) Ltd, a wholly foreign owned enterprise (WFOE) in China.

Society Funding

It has only been two months since our last newsletter and it seems that so much has happened since then especially as we are such a small Society. Our fundraising efforts have not waned as the year has progressed and we have offered a variety of different events to whet the appetites of all and to encourage new members. Coffee mornings continue to offer the opportunity for members to gather together and we are ever grateful to Toller Church for providing us with this wonderful opportunity as well as being able to earn a bit towards the Society’s administration costs.
With thanks to Penny and Roger Payne we enjoyed a brilliant multi-media, entertaining quiz evening which we all felt should be repeated. The quiz took place at the Police Social Club and most of us had never been there before, indeed we did not know that it existed, but then as we do not work in the police service, why should we? We were made to feel most welcome but now sadly just as we have discovered a brilliant venue we find that the future of the facility, just off Church Walk, is uncertain due to the new police buildings opening in the near future along Rockingham Road. In the New Year, we hope to have a beer tasting evening which is being organised.

Prince's Trust Team 43 Celebrate Success

In November we were privileged to be invited to the Prince’s Trust Awards in Derby in the magnificent Round House. The young people on Team 43 had experienced failure at school, lacked motivation and a sense of purpose in their lives. Some of them had turned to drink and drugs to cope with their problems, some had been involved in offending behaviour.

As part of their Prince’s Trust programme they chose to enhance Kettering station and were chosen from over 1,000 students to be finalists in the Woodhead Group Community Impact Award. Their project showed determination to give something back to the community and helped them to become strong and motivated in their team efforts and capable of achieving their goals. Subsequently, every member moved on to find employment, a college course of to do voluntary work.

Their garden and planting continues to give pleasure to commuters.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in Time Travellers

The Society is changing with the times whilst still keeping it’s aims and objectives strongly in mind. We are working with other voluntary community groups and have good links with the Prince’s Trust team. Our links with Wicksteed Park were formed many years ago, and continue to be strong. This year we have entered into the spirit of the Park’s Christmas Enchanted Illuminations festivities by decorating a Christmas Tree which will be displayed along with other groups over the Christmas period. A visit to the park to view the new Heritage space is greatly recommended as is a visit with the family during the evenings up to Christmas to see the Illuminations.

Time Travellers room at Kettering Station has proven to be a wonderful asset in that it has enabled us to hold meetings and events there. However, decorating and setting the room up did and does cost the Society some money.

As well as holding Civic Society meetings in Time Travellers, the U3A French group uses the room and Carole Miles has taken a group there for a Mindfulness session.
There is much more planned for the future and our partnership with Network Rail and East Midlands Trains is becoming stronger as ideas develop. We should be able to give you more details about new plans in our next newsletter.

In order to carry out the Society’s objectives funds are required to begin new projects, keep members informed and encourage new members and volunteers.
We hope that as many members, friends and those whose hearts lie in Kettering will support the Society in fundraising for the benefit of the town. We have a brochure illustrating the opportunities available for contributing and even gaining from a flutter in the 100 Club, Kettering’s own lottery! Please do join, the more the merrier and invite friends, neighbours and family to have a flutter too!


Coach Tour to Cheshire, Mersyside & North Wales
September 12-14th 2016

Following successful 4-day trips to Scotland and Northumberland in 2014 and 2015, the Society decided this year to venture less far afield and Committee Member, Phil Evans, prepared an itinerary based on places which he knew. As in previous years Taurus Holidays, Pytchley, provided the transport and this time arranged for accommodation at the Beaufort Park Hotel at Mold in Flintshire which is about 10 miles from Chester.

After leaving Kettering at 8.30 a.m. on Monday 12 September, we arrived at the village of Port Sunlight around midday. The village was created by William Hesketh Lever, a soap manufacturer and founder of the now world renowned Unilever group. He wanted to build homes for the people who would work in his new factory and created a wonderful informal and picturesque Garden Village. More than 30 Architects, including Sir Edwin Lutyens, were used to create his vision which included not only the houses but a Church and a range of other buildings including Shops, an Inn, a Theatre, a Fire Station and as a memorial to his wife, the Lady Lever Art Gallery. This contains a most magnificent range of well-known Pre-Raphaelite paintings and many from other eras. Of particular interest to us from Kettering was an Alfred East painting of Lever’s Estate near Bolton. We went on a walking tour of the village conducted by our personal guide, Tony Vaughan.

Tuesday was our Liverpool day and, having viewed the iconic historic waterfront from the Birkenhead side of the river, we crossed to Liverpool on the famous ‘Ferry ’Cross the Mersey’ with its on board commentary. We then went on an open topped bus tour around the city centre and viewed many important buildings including the two Cathedrals. Tony again provided the commentary on both well-known and less familiar features.

Our party then split, as individuals and small groups explored locations of particular interest to them including the Walker Art Gallery, the Cathedrals and the Albert Dock. Some of us went on a walking tour with our guide and viewed the impressive marbled Departure Foyer of the Cunard Building and the high domed Entrance Hall of the Port of Liverpool Building.

Our return was via one of the road tunnels under the river and a good night’s sleep was followed by a trip into Wales to visit the Italianate village of Portmeirion, the dream of the Welsh Architect Sir Clough Williams Ellis. This was built between 1925 & 1972 as his ideal village on a romantic coastal site. Famously, this was the location of the 1960’s television series ‘The Prisoner’. Our day was blessed by beautiful weather and our route to Port Merion had been via Betws-y-Coed and spectacular, if tortuous, roads across Snowdonia. We returned to Mold via an alternative route passing on the way the picturesque Lake Bala.

That evening many of the party visited the Theatre Clwyd in Mold to see the first performance of the National tour of the play ‘Be My Baby’ which featured in the principle roles Ruth Madoc and the Coronation Street actress Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster).

Our final day, Thursday, began with a morning visit to Chester where our guide took us on a walking tour around the City Centre on the City Walls, past the Roman Amphitheatre and culminating in a visit to the Cathedral. We continued our journey home via the historic Moreton Hall near Congleton in Cheshire. This spectacular half-timbered moated Tudor Manor House marked a fascinating end to our trip and we arrived back in Kettering quite tired but enthralled by the range of places and architecturally inspiring buildings we had been able to visit in such a short time.



We look forward to our continuing our WORK IN PARTNERSHIP with East Midlands Trains, Rail Network, The Friends of the Alfred East Art Gallery & Museum,
The Friends of Kettering Library, Kettering Borough Council, Princes Trust, Wicksteed Park, Rotary & Lions, Community Groups & Schools and many more.

Wednesday 8th March 7pm
Annual General Meeting
Celebration Suite Wicksteed Park
Sponsored by The Wicksteed Trust

Toller Coffee Mornings
1st April, 15th July, 26th August, 28th October - 10-12 noon
Click here for our 2017 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 Treasurer Karen Davies
Committee: Erika Beecher, Sandra Clipstone, 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