This week’s headlines include:
- Sea Cadets send out urgent call for adult volunteers
- Saints dominate – but have to share the points
- Brackley Morris invite you to open try-outs
- Brackley Panto Tickets Now Available
Don’t forget to check out the Diary Dates Listing at the bottom of this page
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Happy New Year to all our readers and contributors
Real Christmas trees (without decorations) will be collected
with the green bins in January.
This all-singing, all-dancing production is sure to entertain adults and children alike and audiences will be transported to the streets of Old Peking on a magical adventure to discover hidden treasures.
It’s the right time, and the right place…
Brackley Methodist Church (High Street, Brackley, NN13 7DT) is the venue for Brackley U3A group’s next meeting. Speaker Tricia Thompson will be talking about the life and times of songwriter Cole Porter, with another Porter song, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, as the title. The meeting starts at 10am on Thursday, 17 January.
• All sorts of interests are catered for, so come along if you are semi-retired or retired and find out what U3A is all about. For more information, visit the U3A website.
Sea Cadets send out a call for volunteers
Brackley’s Sea Cadets need more adult volunteers – or the group may face closure in the New Year. Town-based Training Ship Tidespring opened in 2015 and has become one of the town’s most popular youth organisations but leaders are struggling to find volunteers to help run the unit.
Since opening, the group has provided a wide variety of opportunities and experiences for the young people of Brackley; cadets are able to complete Duke of Edinburgh Awards, learn about teamwork and leadership and complete water sports qualifications. The Sea Cadet Corps is a national charity funded by donations and supported by volunteers. Leading Junior Cadet Robert Knight, aged 11, said he would be really sad if it closed: “It would be like something was missing. I really enjoy going and would miss learning about new things and all the fun stuff too. My favourite thing is kayaking – it’s really fun to get out on the water. I also went on Junior Summer Camp which was the best week ever, I didn’t even miss home.”
Lieutenant Chris Read, Commanding Officer of Northampton Sea Cadets, who is currently supporting the Brackley unit, said: “Without more adult volunteers the unit is set to struggle and possibly close in 2019, which is a real shame because the Sea Cadet experience helps equip young people with the skills and experiences they need to be successful in adult life.
“All that is required is a commitment to get stuck in, a willingness to learn and a desire to make a positive difference in young people’s lives. No experience is required as all necessary training will be provided by the organisation. There are also a lot of great opportunities for personal development in the Sea Cadets.”
Adult volunteers are able to complete nationally recognised courses in leadership and management as well as becoming qualified instructors in activities like yachting and kayaking.
• Brackley Sea Cadets meet every Friday at their headquarters in the town from 7pm to 9pm. To find out more about becoming a volunteer with the Sea Cadets email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07955 896890.
History society gets ready for AGM
Brackley History Society will hold its annual general meeting on Wednesday 6 February.
Nominees for Committee Membership and items for inclusion in the agenda should be with the Minutes Secretary by 30 January. After the AGM there will be a talk by Gerald Lesinski entitled The Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick. For more information, email email@example.com, phone 01280 703166, or post to: Chapel Cottage, Hill Street, Brackley, NN13 6AL.
New Year treats as NT Live returns to Stowe
Arts at Stowe are delighted to confirm that National Theatre Live is returning to “The Roxy”. The first is Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III, starring Mark Gatiss on Wednesday 9 January, starting at 7pm; Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of King Richard the Second is on Tuesday 15 January (7pm) and, on Thursday 31 January (7pm), David Hare’s explosive new play I’m Not Running.
• For more information and ticket details, visit arts-at-stowe.co.uk
Brackley Morris offer open invitation to ‘have a go’
If you saw Brackley Morris during their Boxing Day events, you might have thought: “I wouldn’t mind having ago at that…” Well, you can. Open taster evenings are being held in January, February and March. All the practice evenings from 10 January to 28 March are ‘open tasters‘. These sessions are open to anyone, though youngish men are particularly welcome, as it is they that enable the custom to thrive. Call Stephen Ferneyhough for details 07764 799947. Details are also on the website.
• Brackley Morris practise at Brackley Junior School, Manor Road, Brackley, every Thursday evening (term times only) from 8pm. Do come along, though it’s best to call Stephen first to ensure there is not an outing that evening.
Young musicians get their chance to shine…
Brackley Rotary Club is making an early call for young musicians to register for their Young Musician Competition. Students within the general catchment areas of Brackley and Middleton Cheney are eligible for the Brackley round of Rotary’s competition. This is an opportunity for young musicians, who must be under 18, to gain experience performing in public and to showcase their vocal or instrumental skills, modern or classical. The deadline for entries is 11 January and the event will be held at Waynflete Hall, Brackley, on Saturday 26 January starting at 2pm. Entry forms and competition rules can be obtained by contacting Rotarian David Fuller: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leamington 0-0 Brackley Town (New Year’s Day)
The goal-less score-line does not begin to tell the story, writes Tim Carroll. After the Boxing Day draw at St James Park, another draw was harsh on a Brackley Town side that dominated the first half and was on top for much of the second period putting in an impressive display lacking only the finishing touch in front of goal.
“The way we went about it today and our work-rate were terrific,” Kevin Wilkin said. “Leamington have been in good form and this is a tough place to come. We were dominant in that first half and it then opened up a bit more in the second half, they gave us more to think about, but they have hardly created a chance against us today. We had some gilt-edged chances but didn’t make them count.”
In Connor Hall’s absence Saints played with Glenn Walker and Connor Franklin joining Gaz Dean as a back three in a re-worked line-up with Shaun Jeffers paired with Lee Ndlovu up front. Defensively the performance was composed, the team’s passing was cohesive and incisive, the tackling tenacious and, in attack, questions were asked of Leamington’s defenders throughout.
Shaun Jeffers was unable to capitalise on a fine opening after just five minutes, bringing a close-range save from Tony Breeden and after 12 minutes Jeffers was fouled, earning a penalty. Glenn Walker stepped up but saw his kick graze the outside of the post in another early let-off for the hosts. The goal threat came from all directions but somehow The Brakes made it to the break all square.
On the hour, on-loan striker Jordan Murphy brought a sharp save from Danny Lewis low to his left in almost Leamington’s first goal attempt of the game. Meanwhile Brackley continued to probe and threaten with Matt Lowe and Shep Murombedzi always dangerous. Breeden clung on well to Glenn Walker’s inswinging corner and Jimmy Armson’s header drifted just wide from Matt Lowe’s fine cross. As the final whistle neared, Shane Byrne’s first-time pass found Jeffers through on goal getting his shot away but bringing a game-saving stop from Breeden.
“We’ve not found too many clean sheets before today so there are lots of positives from this performance,” an up-beat Wilkin added. “Obviously we’d like to have won the game but it really pleased me the way we knuckled down to it. I could not fault any player today. We had those losses just before Christmas, which was unusual for us, and it’s been an intense period just now; but sometimes if you can show that bit of resolve to get through it you do come out the other side and things can turn for you. It was great to see so many Brackley fans here getting behind the team today and it would have been terrific if we’d got that goal to reward them. However, today’s performance gives plenty of reason to be optimistic for the future.”
Brackley Town: Lewis, Lowe, Franklin, Byrne, G.Walker, Dean, Murombedzi, Armson (McAlinden 87), Ndlovu, Jeffers, A.Walker. Subs unused: Morgan, Myles, Nti, Fairlamb.
Leamington: Breeden, Mace, Gudger (Bowen 76), Flanagan (Clarke 83), Hood, Lane, Dunbar (Obeng 81), Gittings, Bishop, Edwards, Murphy. Subs unused: Taylor, Dwyer.
Referee: Ben Speedie; assistants Reubyn Ricardo and Jacob Lehane.
Home win brings welcome relief for Saints
Brackley Town 3-1 Nuneaton Borough (29 December)
Brackley won a first home game since mid-October in a match of forgettable quality but nevertheless plenty of incident and goal chances. After a scrappy start, bottom of the table Nuneaton went ahead as Saints’ defence failed to clear, allowing Ryan Edmunds to finish with ease after 28 minutes. This galvanised Brackley, who responded with two quick goals to take a lead into the interval.
Matt Lowe drove down the right and found a fine finish between keeper Cam Belford and near post. Four minutes later loan striker Liam McAlinden headed in the simplest of chances from close range after Lee Ndlovu had lobbed Belford, the ball falling kindly for McAlinden.
The second half was very open with chances at both ends. Dior Angus saw Danny Lewis tip his fine effort on to the crossbar while the home side went close to extending the lead as Gaz Dean could not connect with a corner at the far post and further opportunities were spurned.
The crucial third goal came in the 73rd minute. Top scorer Jimmy Armson was on hand to apply the finishing touch to Shane Byrne’s deep corner and this proved to be the telling moment. Nuneaton stuck at their task, bringing a late close-range save by Lewis from Angus and Saints could not capitalise on good chances to extend the lead.
Brackley Town: Lewis, Lowe, Morgan (Murombedzi 65), Byrne, Dean, Hall (Fairlamb 27), G.Walker, Armson, Ndlovu, McAlinden (Nti 79), A.Walker. Subs unused: Myles, Jeffers.
Nuneaton: Belford, Obeng, Lyne, Calveley, Addison, Hildreth, Baker, Kelly-Evans, Angus, Edmunds (Jennings 77), Leek (Morrison 74). Subs unused: Panayiotoyu, Basso.
Referee: Dean Watson; assistants, Jack Shepherd and Mark Pearson.
Hit and miss of spot-kicks decides the points
Brackley Town 2-2 Leamington (Boxing Day)
Saints reversed an early set-back to lead at the break but could not find a crucial third goal, missed a penalty, and Leamington levelled so that this festive fixture finished all square as it did twice last season. The first half was a rugged and tight encounter of few chances but three goals. Leamington went ahead with a 17th minute penalty by Colby Bishop before Jimmy Armson levelled after 33 minutes. Strong work by Lee Ndlovu to win the ball and put Adam Walker away set up Armson to finish from close range.
Within five minutes Saints’ noses were in front as Gaz Dean struck his shot from 20 yards and more to find the top corner and turn the tables on The Brakes. The second half was altogether more open. Lee Ndlovu was tripped and awarded a 51st minute penalty. Ndlovu himself stepped up to take the spot-kick only to see Tony Breeden save to his left.
Dean’s goal-line clearance from Junior English’s fierce shot kept his side in front as Brackley piled on the pressure searching for a third goal. Matt Lowe’s fine run and shot was thwarted by Breeden before the officials got themselves in a tangle as Ndlovu was bowled over inside the penalty area, only for a free-kick to be awarded.
With 75 minutes played, Kieran Dunbar’s shot found the back of the net after Dean had blocked a first shot in a goalmouth scramble, bringing the sides level again. Despite great endeavour by both teams neither could create the clear opening that would ultimately win the game.
Brackley Town: Lewis, Myles (Jeffers 84), G.Walker, Byrne, Dean, Hall, Lowe, Armson, Ndlovu (Nti 82), McAlinden (Fairlamb 59), A.Walker. Subs unused: Morgan, Murombedzi.
Leamington: Breeden, English, Gudger, Clarke, Mace, Lane, Dunbar (Obeng 88), Gittings (Flanagan 67), Bishop, Edwards, Taylor (Murphy 59). Subs unused: Hood, Bowen.
Referee: Barry Lamb; assistants Ryan Williams and Alan Cox.
Little festive cheer for Saints on last York trip
York City 2-1 Brackley Town (22 December)
Brackley’s final ever visit to York City’s Bootham Crescent brought a narrow defeat after a closely contested but very open game between two sides battling for an up-turn in recent form. City went ahead through Adriano Moke’s stunning strike from 20 yards after 16 minutes. Recalled to the City side, Moke struck the loose ball with venom, keeping it low and finding the net just inside Danny Lewis’ left-hand post.
But Saints hit back well and found the equaliser in the 26th minute as Gaz Dean headed in from Shane Byrne’s corner – the captain’s first goal of the season. York struck a blow early in the second half, going ahead for a second time as Dean was penalised for hand-ball and Jordan Burrow neatly converted the penalty kick with just 48 minutes played.
Loan striker Liam McAlinden tested Adam Bartlett from close range, bringing a fine one-handed save from City’s keeper, and it was the visitors who threatened the next goal. Despite pressure on Bartlett’s goal, however, the home team held out as Brackley failed to carve out the clear-cut opening to level again, falling instead to a third successive league defeat with three losses from three visits.
Brackley Town: Lewis, Myles (Jeffers 81), G.Walker, Byrne, Dean, Hall, Lowe, Fairlamb (Murombedzi 73), Nti (Armson 64), McAlinden, A.Walker. Subs unused: Morgan, Franklin.
York City: Bartlett, Dyer, Ferguson, Parslow, Tait, Bray (Langstaff 91), Moke, Law, Burrow, Ironside (Wright 64), York. Subs unused: Davis, Bencherif, Parkin.
Referee: Paul Brown; assistants, Kieron Salmons and Duncan Robertson
• For more club info – including fixtures, players and special events, Click Here.
Download South Northants Council Arts Events Calendar (PDF – 645KB)
Regular events in Brackley
Third Saturday of each month, 4pm to 6pm: St Peter’s Church, Brackley: MESSY CHURCH – A two-hour session of Bible story, craft activities, informal worship and light meal for the whole family. Details of this and lots of other activities on the St Peter’s Church website.
– – – – Special Events At Brackley Library – – – –
Every Monday and Thursday, 2-4pm: Knit and Natter.
Every Thursday 1.30-3.30pm: Jigsaw Club.
Every Thursday 3.30-4.30: Craft Club with Sue.
• Subject to change over holiday season, so please check the library’s Facebook page.
Please check our Facebook page for extra events!!
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Thursday 17 January, 7.30pm: Brackley Inbetweeners Group at St Peter’s Church Hall, Old Town, Brackley. ‘Do it for Defib’ CPR education and defibrillator awareness session, £10. Numbers are limited, so pre-booking is essential. For more information, email Catherine, email@example.com
Thursday 21 February, 7.30pm: Brackley Inbetweeners Group at St Peter’s Church Hall, Old Town, Brackley. A brief introduction to traditional Chinese medicine, talk and demonstration, £3. For more information, email Catherine, firstname.lastname@example.org