Kettering Civic Society
Rose Bowl Awards

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This award is presented by the Civic Society in recognition of good design

2023 Rose Bowl went Ian Addis (Kettering Author and Historian)

This year’s Rose Bowl Award was presented to Ian Addis by the DeputyLieutenant of Northamptonshire, AirVice-Marshal Luck CB MBE on 16th September in the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul following the town’s inaugural Festival of Literature. The award recognised Ian’s valuable role in recording Northamptonshire’s history through his many publications.

Ian is a highly respected popular publicspeaker well known around the county; His contribution in recording Kettering’s past has been outstanding in the civic scene. He has written numerous local history books, many stimulated by his love of sport, literature and his native county.
Additionally, in 2020 Ian researched, wrote the script and appeared in ‘TheLost Mosaic’documentary which he co-presented withVictoria Wicks.
Born and raised in Kettering, Ianspent most of his life residing in the townbefore moving to Market Harborough in2013. However, he often returns to Kettering to give his well-attended and popular talks.

Ian pursued a career in education working as a class teacher, headteacher and teacher of teachers at Northampton University.
Kettering’s first Literary Festival provided a fitting opportunity for Ian to be presented with the Silver Rose Bowl in the presence of an esteemed audience for his many years of meticulousresearch and dedication to education.

2022 Rose Bowl went to the Wicksteed Park Volunteers

This year the Society has chosen to honour long-standing volunteers at Wicksteed Park with the Rose Bowl. The presentation took place in the newly restored Garden Room. Their dedication has been exceptional in helping to preserve the archives and in keeping the park inviting and attractive for the benefit of all. Their commitment is in keeping with the philanthropic ideals of Charles Wicksteed.

Ruth Rignall, the park’s Volunteer Organiser commented; Pat and Bernard Fensome – “are longstanding volunteers who are an invaluable source of knowledge and anecdotes about the park. They turn their hand to most things in the gardens including weeding and litter picking and are regulars helping with the daytime shows, greeting visitors, and letting them know more about the park”.

“Sandra Lewis tackles everything with energy and enthusiasm, she gives a warm welcome to new volunteers and is always willing to help out when there is tight deadline. We always make sure Sandra is on hand when a tent needs to go up. She is also an expert on vegetable growing and makes sure we keep the crops rotating.”

“Ivor Watson has been hugely important in developing the digital archive for over 10 years and must have seen more photos of Wicksteed Park than anyone else! The technology hasn’t always been easy, but Ivor has been very patient.”

“Rosalyn Stewart has volunteered in so many areas of the park’s activities, helping with education days, greeting visitors at daytime shows, collating newspaper clippings in the archive, and generally making sure things run smoothly in the volunteer cottage. She has a great eye for detail. Ros has also often used her sewing skills [as a volunteer] making, among other things, yards of bunting and some vintage aprons.

Present on the afternoon of 26th November were Oliver & Jane Wicksteed, Councillor Keli Watts Mayor of Kettering with Civic Society committee members and guests. The Society was honoured that the Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, James Sanders Watson made the presentations on the Society’s behalf.

Paul Ansell presents the award to Nigel and the Groundwork Team
2021 Annual Rose Bowl is awarded to The Green Patch

This year’s annual silver Rose Bowl Award was presented on 26th October to the Green Patch in Margaret Road, a vibrant and happy place that is enjoyed by many. Stuart Bonham, Chairman of Groundwork Northamptonshire and Society Chairman Paul Ansell talked about the importance of this space to the community and the progress that has been made since Groundwork took over the site in 2007. Manager Grey Lindley, Nigel and volunteers have created a welcome environment for many different groups who take pleasure here.
The once plain allotment plot on a 2.5-acre site has over the years been transformed into an environmental treasure where volunteers grow flowers, herbs, vegetables- and more. The emphasis being on ‘grow’- in every sense of the word!
A wide range of community events and workshops take place all year round which are open to all members of our diverse community. Green Patch offers something for everyone of all ages such as afterschool clubs, health and wellbeing activities, arts and crafts, the list goes on! Valuable new skills can be learned putting participants in touch with our environment. Whilst exploring the site we discovered an enchanting garden that took us on a journey of surprise. We found beehives near a bee friendly garden, wildlife ponds and wildlife corridors, orchards full of heritage apple and pear trees which led to a health and wellbeing garden, grass paddock and play areas. Rabbits, ducks and chickens (whose eggs are sold) are all lovingly cared for. Visitors and participants are always made to feel at home, it really is worth visiting.
The success of Green Patch can be attributed to the wonderful people who work, volunteer and play a part here. Congratulations to all!

2020 Award to Dr Peter McCormick for his humanitarian work with children

This year the Society presented the award to Dr Peter McCormick for his humanitarian work with children in Africa and his book, ‘To Be A Pilgrim, Memoirs of a Kettering Doctor’. The presentation to Dr Peter McCormick was made by Mayor Councillor Keli Watts, her last official engagement, took place on 5th September. It was witnessed by a small gathering, complying to Covid regulations of the time, in the beautiful setting of Warkton village. 

As a doctor, he served the community here in Kettering as a GP and Hospital Consultant. Like one of our Hollowell friends, he became a steam engine enthusiast. All of this learning and experience became a very special part of his and many people’s lives, working in Africa. His book which we recommend includes Gambia, Ghana and Cameroon. The many experiences include saving a three-week-old baby from a deep sewer where it had been dumped. The mother is still unknown but by fortune, the child has grown up safely.

Both playing and singing have helped play a part musically and in a religious way and the music score on Dr McCormick’s book summarise “To Be A Pilgrim”.

2019 Award to Wicksteed Charitable Trust for restoration work at the park

The Rose Bowl was presented to Oliver Wicksteed, chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, by Paul Ansell, on behalf of the Society, after the lunch on 16th June. Having attended the opening ceremony of The Historic Heart when the Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, David Laing unveiled a plaque, committee members thought the restoration outstanding. They considered the colour of paintwork, planting and outdoor furnishings particularly appropriate to all of the restoration. Throughout the years the high standard of care and maintenance of the park’s grounds and gardens, with never-ending beauty and colour, continues to bring a great deal of pleasure to all. 
The £2.5 million project to renovate and restore the original heart of the park has transformed its elegant Edwardian pavilion, central piazza and precinct. It is now complemented by the restored original park cottages which utilised a revolutionary form of prefabrication that now form an information centre, Wicksteed ice cream parlour, and a new purpose- built learning centre. The work was funded by the Wicksteed Charitable Trust and has rejuvenated the social hub of the park as well as providing an improved welcome to visitors.

The 2018 Award is for the Restoration of Walkton Village Hall

The Civic Society’s annual Rose Bowl Award took place on 17th July when by kind invitation the Duke of Buccleuch invited Civic Society members, community users of the hall with the villagers of Warkton to celebrate the completion of the £30,000 restoration project. The renovation was funded by the Duke’s Boughton Estate with some funding from Kettering Borough Council.
Dr Freeman, the Society’s President made the presentation to the Duke who commented, “This award is in recognition of the estate’s building team’s work for their attention to detail in sympathetically modernising the hall to a high standard whilst maintaining its character. This is not only a hub for the immediate community but the perfect venue for all manner of events and activities”.


The 2016 Award Winner is Katie Boyce

Kettering can also boast philanthropists, one of them being Sir Alfred East who bequeathed the art gallery to the people of Kettering. Wonderful exhibitions can be found here that are ever changing. The colours of the walls will be black for one exhibition, purple for another and even, for one exhibition, ‘Comics’, cartoons were drawn directly onto white walls. This, all due to the imagination of Katie Boyce the Gallery Manager. Needless to say that such inspiring work needed to be recognised and during the launch of Northamptonshire Open Studios the Society presented its Annual Silver Rose Bowl Award to Katie for her inspirational displays of artists’ work and the organisation of the Northants Open Studios Trail.


2015 Award winner was Averil Philips & Family Funeral Directors for Northampton House

The civic scene during the past 12 months has benefitted from the Grounds Maintenance team’s hard work and shown the town in a very good light. This isn’t the first time that comment has been made and, indeed, the Rose Bowl had been awarded in a previous year for that. By total contrast, the care shown by the Housing Department in having house insulation upgraded is again worth mentioning. In particular, the houses along Stamford Road at the junction of Naseby Road with little porch roofs, double glazing and exterior insulation well decorated, well illustrate that care.

The project which has attracted most of our attention has been the complete repair and refurbishment of Northampton House. Originally built by James Payne as management offices for his businesses being a link with the Railway Station. This was in 1890. Since then, the building has had a number of uses until it finally stood empty in anticipation that BB Developments would include it within their Station Road proposals. This of course never happened. It was during this time that it was vandalised, lead stolen, windows broken and it became a home for pigeons. A vagrant slept in the lower room. The Society campaigned to have the building saved.
Now beautifully restored, it has become a very special Funeral Parlour which Averil Philips and family carefully run. The buildings plan readily lent itself to the new use with only a garaging extension needed.

Northampton House is a special landmark in the Town and although not formally Listed, Societies like the Victorian Society have been very interested in it. It has a commanding position as it divided Northampton Road and Station Road. As such, Kettering Civic Society considers it well worthy of the Rose Bowl Award.

Presentation at Full Council Meeting - June Derbyshire Mayor, Averil Philips & John Coleman Vice Chair KCS


The 2014 Award winner was Barton Hall for their tasteful restorations. The Award was presented by the Mayor of Kettering, Councillor Duncan Bain, at the Society's Annual Dinner at the Vines, Barton Hall.


The Mayor, Duncan Baines
presenting the 2014 award 

Barton Hall viewed from the Orangery

Toni Huberman, speaker at the Annual Lunch
with the Society's Chairman & Secretary

2013 Award

Projects in the running this year included the borough council’s landscape and maintenance team for their hard work and the good quality of landscapes and gardens, especially during the Olympic torch visit, the new housing development in St Mary’s Road, which the Civic Society said was very sympathetic with the surrounding area, and the civic functions at Kettering Borough Council.

But the winner was a new double roundabout which has improved the flow of traffic in Kettering.
Kettering Borough council was presented with the society’s prestigious Rose Bowl for its work on the project, which was carried out in 2011. Town mayor James Hakewill accepted the Rose Bowl at a council meeting held last Wednesday (December 12). “Congratulations to Kettering Borough Council for the way it has developed the town’s road networks to improve access to town and the flow of traffic, the twin roundabouts in Northampton Road make an excellent contribution to this.” “We urge them to now consider putting another roundabout on the other side of the railway line to encompass the Leisure Village, bring in the Conference Centre, theatre and the International Volley Ball headquarters.”

Alex Jelley, economic and regeneration manager at the borough council, said: “The construction of the new double roundabout was a partnership project delivered by Kettering Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council, utilising central government challenge funding. Before the works. The Northampton Road/Northfield Avenue junction was one of the most congested in the county, now the flow of traffic is much-improved.

In 2012 the following achievements were considered. Firstly, we commend the Council landscape and maintenance team for their hard work and the quality of the landscape and gardens which were at their peak when the Olympic torch came through the town and remained for the summer. Secondly, the new housing development in St Mary’s Road, the choice of materials make it fit perfectly into the town’s colour character and echoes the houses around.

Congratulations to Kettering Borough Council for the way it has included into the Council Offices a whole selection of Civic Functions, including the Registrar, Customs and Excise, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Blood Testing, Accommodation Concern and the Kettering Tourist Information Centre. The 2012 Rose Bowl winner was presented on 12th December, at a Full Kettering Borough Council Meeting. for the development of the town’s road networks to improve access to town and the flow of traffic, the twin roundabouts in Northampton Road make an excellent contribution to this.

The 2011 winner Avery Health care for the restoration and development of Elm Bank

Deputy Lord Lieutenant Dr Ahmed Mukhtar presented the Rose Bowl to Avery Health care on behalf of the Society for the restoration and development of Elm Bank in Northampton Road Kettering.








The 2010 winner - artist Chris Prout for the illustrations that he has provided around the town.
Chris Prout with Chairman Paul Ansell  - Chris Prout presented Kettering Civic Society with this impression of how the Alfred East Art Gallery might be extended.

The committee felt that his illustrations gave the town character.

The Rose Bowl was presented at the Executive Council Meeting in December by Mayor Councillor Shirley Lynch.



The 2009 winner - Chesham House

PRESENTATION by Dr Mukhtar Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire - 25th November 2009
Councillor Ruth Groome Mayor of Kettering Received the Award on behalf of Kettering Borough Council

The Civic Society was impressed by the restoration of Chesham House. Its history is important within Kettering as the home for very many years of the Gotch family who over time played a big part in the town’s life.

Looking at the building now, it is not possible to see the role it played as a part of the family tanning business, a key part of the towns boot and shoe industry. Little more than two years ago, it stood empty and in need of serious restoration. Through the good auspices of Kettering Council and Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited, they were able to buy the property and with generous funding, and refurbished it.






The 2008 winner - Dave Atkinson and Eric Atkinson

presented by the Duke of Buccleuch on behalf of Kettering Civic Society


The 2007 Rose Bowl was not awarded



The 2006 winner - Toller Church Rooms - Meeting Lane (formerly Toller Church Schoolrooms)

The 2005 winner

Award to Ron Greenall for his services to the community, for inspiring a curiosity in local history, and for the books that he has written, particularly for his book "The History of Kettering".







The 2004 winner (left)

Awarded to the William Knibb Mosaic in the Newland Centre by EKTA



The 2003 winner (right)

Restoration of 29 Bowling Green Road by David McKay




The 2002 winner (left)

The Darby Building Company, Wellington Works



The 2001 winner (right)

The Quaker Meeting House in Northall Street




Previous winners

2000. KBC Improvement to Townscape of Horsemarket
1999. The Chapel, Pytchley
1998. Not awarded
1997. Not awarded
1996. East Midlands Housing Association Conversion and Extension of Westfield Museum to Provide Homes
1995. AA Thornton Jeweller No 1 High Street
1994. Restoration of Sawyer's Almshouse by KBC & Orbit Housing.
1993. 'Old Kettering A View From The Thirties' by Tony Ireson
1992. Kettering Parish Church Restoration of Tower and Spire
1991. Kettering Borough Council Gardeners
1990. British Rail Booking Hall
1989. Lawes Cycles Market Street Mews Kettering
1988. KBC Cornmarket Hall Extension
1987. Kettering Library Extension - Smith & Taylor Limited (Builders) Gotch Saunders & Surridge(Architects)
1986. HB Pearce (Developments Ltd)
1985. Kettering Borough Council
1984. Lockley's Kettering
1983. JM O'Halloran & F O'Reilly
1982. Kettering Scouts, Army Cadets & Manpower Services Commission