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Rachel’s Farm Newsletter
Game pies and glazed hams are going down a storm at the various Christmas Fairs with lots of compliments and orders.
Looking forward to seeing you here for our Christmas Tasting next Saturday, 28 November, 8.30-6pm to take you on a gastronomic journey from the Middle East to Brackley.
We’ve got baklava – a rich sweet pastry with chopped nuts and syrup – from Turkey, stollen – a German fruit bread – Spanish fig and almond wedges. There is, of course, the best of English Christmas fare – mince pies, our own wonderful beef, and your old favourite Jersey Black Butter. We’d like you to try black pudding from Stornaway and introduce you to some of our own cheaper cuts of meat like lamb breast and pork hock as well as our delicious new meat balls.
Tony will be here with advice on cooking and order quantities to help you create your own wonderful Christmas.
Alcohol will be on the menu as well – local Gawcott wine, Towcester Mill beer, Welton cider and Cotswold liqueurs, so you can decide what to team with some wonderful new cheeses you may not have tasted before.
We’ve had our very own immaculate conception in the rabbit pen. In theory born to two females. And we’re still not sure which one gave birth since neither seems to be taking any notice of them.
The cattle have finally started tucking into their hay this week. Up to now they’ve been happy with the late crop of grass which is unheard of this late in the year. Lucky old ram is now in with the ewes which should give us lambs early April.
No need to go further than Rachel’s for your Christmas Tree this year. They’re really good value too I’m told. Click here for the price list. This is actually a Spruce (I’m becoming an expert) but most of them will be Nordmans which don’t drop their needles.
As usual we’ve got lots of beautifully packaged foodie gifts. Spend £30 on contents and you get a free hamper box and packaging (or £20 for a small one).
Rachels Farm Shop
Brackley, Northamptonshire NN13 5JY
Brackley Library in December
Throughout December Brackley Library are sponsoring a Best Dressed Christmas Window Competition for our local businesses. Pick up a voting slip between November 29th and December 17th and vote for your favourite window. The winner will be announced during the Carols on the Piazza on 20th December
Saturday 5th December 2015
Brackley Library. 10:00-4:00
Craft stalls, adult crafting, tombolas, children’s crafting in Santa’s workshop, tea and cake and we also have Father Christmas himself!
Saturday 12th December 2015
A Christmas Carol
Brackley Library. Doors open at 6:30, perfrmance starts at 7:00
The brilliant James Hornsby returns as Charles Dickens with his one man performance of the Christmas classic tale.
Tickets cost £6.50 per person (available from the library) which includes interval nibbles and drink.
Thursday 17th December 2015
Cinema Club- A Miracle on 34th Street (1947 version)
Brackley Library. Doors open at 7:00 viewing from 7:30
Enjoy this Christmas classic at the library. Tickets cost £5 per adult (available from the library)
Refreshments available on the night.
Saturday 19th December 2015
A Christmas Carol
Brackley Library. Doors open at 7:00, perfrmance starts at 7:30
A second chance to see the brilliant James Hornsby as Charles Dickens with his one man performance of the Christmas classic tale.
Tickets cost £6.50 per person (available from the library)which includes interval nibbles and drink.
Monday 21st December 2015
Cinema Club- A Muppet Christmas Carol
Brackley Library. Doors open at 5:00 viewing from 5:30
One for the families – Christmas isn’t the same without this great film! Tickets cost £5 per adult and £3 per child (available from the library)
Catherine Parry Bridal Collection on display at Sugar and Spice
The brand new Spring 2016 collection will be available in boutiques in January, but the entire collection will be in the boutique from Friday 27 November to Monday 30 November. This gives Spring/Early Summer brides the chance of choosing a new-season style that would usually be out of their reach! The shop will also be offering a 10 per cent discount on any Catherine Parry gown ordered during the event. To book your appointment email email@example.com or give us a call on 01280 308169.” www.catherineparrybridal.com/collection
Brackley & District U3A
The recently formed Brackley & District U3A held its second meeting on Thursday 19th November 2015 at the Methodist Church. Despite the rain, 118 members attended, 23 new members signed up and 8 guests joined us.
The chairman welcomed everyone, introduced the hard working steering committee members and explained the progress that they had made since the last meeting.
The speaker for the morning was none other than Norman Dutton, Chairman of Banbury U3A who is also one of our members. He gave a most interesting talk on William Smith, The Father of English Geology. One highlight was the explanation of the strata under our feet in Brackley. From the top layer at Halse to much older layers at the Tesco roundabout.
Group coordinators then gave an up to date report on the formation of groups and the progress that had been made.
Up and running groups include Basic IT, Book Club, Craft, Family History 1 & 2, Long Mat Bowls, Science & Technology, Sunday Fun day and Traditional Dancing.
Italian and Singing for Fun now have convenors and have arranged their first meeting.
Convenors are still sought for Bridge, French, Gardening, History of Art, Local History, Painting, Photography for Fun, Spanish and Theatre & Trips.
The last meeting for this year will be held on Thursday 17th December 2015 at 10.00am in the Methodist Church Hall. It will take the form of a social gathering which will enable a discussion about the groups that are already up and running and the progress being made with others. The Steering Committee will be in attendance for questions and refreshments will be provided.
May we take this opportunity to wish everyone in Brackley & District a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Alison Simmonds, Publicity Officer.
Culworth Film Night, featuring Helen Mirren
The next offering at Culworth Film Night, on Friday 11 December is The Hundred-Foot Journey, starring Helen Mirren and Om Puri. Mirren stars as the owner of a Michelin-starred restaurant in a small French town who faces a challenge when an Indian family opens a restaurant across the street. It has a PG rating and the screening starts at 8pm.
Rugby Friendly – Report by Neale Hutchinson
Brackley 43, Deepings 19
When their opponents declared themselves short of players to fulfil a scheduled league fixture, Brackley were awarded a home walkover on Saturday. Nevertheless, Deepings gamely offered to play a friendly, making the 70-mile journey to Brackley with just 13 players.
With four wins under their belt and sitting four places above Brackley in Midlands 4 East (South), the South Lincolnshire outfit gave the home side a good run for their money for much of the match, eventually running out of steam in the last quarter as Brackley cruised home by seven tries and four conversion to three tries and two conversions.
Winger Dan Cooper was first on the scoreboard for Brackley, scorching down the tramlines for an unconverted try after 10 minutes’ play. Second-rower Jonny Morris crashed over soon after, fullback Gareth Harvey adding the conversion. Still keeping the ball in the forwards, Brackley had flanker Chris Goodall across the whitewash on the half-hour, but were quickly brought back to earth as Deepings responded with a try and conversion.
Brackley’s pack restored a measure of self-respect when second-rower Tim Carter barrelled over from close range deep into injury time, Harvey’s successful kick at goal taking the score at the break to 24-7.
Yet, against all the odds, the third quarter belonged to Deepings. Playing an expansive game, they were over for an unconverted try soon after the restart and rocked Brackley by crossing their line again at the end of the quarter. With the conversion narrowing the score to 24-19, Brackley were facing the unthinkable.
Mercifully, Harvey slammed the door on that vision, bursting down the left wing and touching down behind the posts for Brackley’s fifth try. No sooner had his conversion put Brackley 12 points in front than centre Nathan Archer was racing between the sticks, with Harvey adding another two points from the kicking tee. And in a welcome return to form, it was Harvey who completed the scoring with an unconverted try shortly before the final whistle.
League action resumes for Brackley on 5 December, when they travel the short distance to Ashton to meet Northampton Men’s Own. Having lost only once in the current campaign, the league leaders are likely to prove a stern test on their home patch.
Brackley and District History Society – Christmas in khaki
The next meeting of the society will be on Wednesday 2 December 2015 at 7.30 pm. Katherine Wills will be talking about Christmas in Khaki 1914-1918. Refreshments will be served after the talk.
Members free. Visitors (£3) are always welcome.
The society meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church, Brackley. Further information from 01280 703166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southfield Looking for New Governors from Business World
Southfield Primary Academy, have a very committed but small governing body, however mostly are parents of pupils. They would very much like to have at least one governor who isn’t a parent of a pupil, but someone who could use their business acumen to strengthen our governing body. If you’re interested in finding out more then please contact Lee Marland email@example.com
Brackley Town 2-3 Stalybridge Celtic Sat 21 Nov 2015
Poor defending leaves Saints red-faced
This was a see-saw game of goals and goal chances as Stalybridge Celtic claimed a first win over their hosts in seven encounters.
Stalybridge took an early lead as Adam Farrell was afforded too much time to turn before firing in off the cross-bar. Saints spurned three golden first half chances to level as David Moyo twice headed over when well placed and saw keeper Tony McMillan save with his legs one on one.
But two goals in the first 5 minutes of the second period deservedly put the home side in front. Moyo found the target having rounded McMillan and coolly picked his spot before Steve Diggin hit the net after a corner was not cleared. Diggin’s first shot was charged down but he made no mistake following up to find the back of the net through a crowd of players for his 11th goal of the season.
Stalybridge were behind for only a few minutes though as poor defending again allowed Jack Higgins to meet a corner with a crashing header to equalise.
On 68 minutes a long ball caused all sorts of problems in the Saints’ defence with Luke Graham fouling Chris Simm to concede a penalty and receive a straight red card. Bohan Dixon calmly scored from the spot to put the visitors ahead again and try as they might ten-man Brackley could not conjure a third goal thus slipping to a home defeat and dropping into deeper trouble at the foot of the league table.
Manager Kevin Wilkin did not hide his consternation at the flaws in his side’s performance. “We took the game to them and passed the ball well creating some gilt-edged chances. But games are won at both ends of the pitch and we were poor today in both boxes,” he lamented. “They were awful goals to give away. You cannot ship goals like that and expect to get anything out of a game.”
Brackley Town: Hornby, Hawtin, McDonald, Clarke, Graham, Mills, Odhiambo, Walker, Moyo (Smith 81), Diggin, Batchelor (Winters 83). Subs unused: Morley, Whittall.
Stalybridge Celtic: McMillan, Crowley, Chippendale, Hughes, Higgins, Chalmers, Dixon (Wright 70), Farrell, Simm, Johnson (Tames 81), Mudimu (Wylie 83). Subs unused: Lingouba, Osei.
Referee: Michael D’Aguilar Assistants: Matt Bond and Tim Donnellan
Free Christmas parking bonus for shoppers
If you find you can’t complete your Christmas shopping in Brackley, Cherwell Council-owned car parks are offering free parking sessions over the Christmas period.
From 28 November until 10 January inclusive parking will be free every day from 3pm in specified car parks.
Cllr George Reynolds, Cherwell’s deputy leader said: “We have in the past offered free car parking schemes over the Christmas and New Year period both as a convenience for festive shoppers and as a boost to the town traders.
“We’re pleased to announce now that the scheme will return for 2015. And this year we’re starting the scheme from an earlier date so that in Banbury it will be in operation before the Christmas lights turn-on event.
“Additionally it will prove a boost for Small Business Day on 5 December which the council is supporting.”
Participating Cherwell District Council car parks will be clearly signed. Council-operated parking which is not included in the free offer will be clearly marked at the payment machines. All other regulations remain in force and between 8am and 3pm usual parking charges apply.
District householders once again have the chance to permanently boost their recycling capacity as South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) holds a Christmas blue bin sale.
Starting this week SNC will host a month-long sale of the blue recycling bins which will be on sale for £20, saving residents £10 on the usual price.
Hundreds of extra blue bins have been sold since SNC launched the scheme, but with Christmas looming the Council wants to give residents more capacity to recycle paper, plastic, glass and cans.
The sale takes place between Monday, 23 November and Thursday, 31 December 2015, during which time it is expected the district will produce 30 per cent more recycling.
Councillor Dermot Bambridge, SNC’s portfolio holder for environmental services said: “Recyclable items that go in the blue bins means less goes into the black one. What goes in the black bin goes to landfill.
“This is not only bad for the environment but also is expensive. Using the blue bin for dry recyclable items, the green bins for garden waste and the caddy for food waste, helps us to keep down the district’s costs as well as benefit the environment.”
The bin sale will include the standard 240 litre size or the smaller 140 litre size for those with a shortage of space. However these can be swapped for the larger or smaller size at any point in the future if circumstances should change.
Any replacements and repairs to the extra bin will also be carried out free of charge.
All orders placed before Friday, 11 December, are guaranteed to be delivered before Christmas Day.
Bins can be ordered over the phone by calling 01327 322344 weekdays between 9am and 5pm.
Council celebrates five years of food hygiene rating
South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) is celebrating five years of driving up food hygiene standards, with almost 60 per cent of food outlets across the district now scoring the top mark.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS), which is adopted by SNC, helps consumers make informed choices about where to buy food and has been a huge success since it started five years ago.
In south Northamptonshire alone there are 776 premises that take part in the scheme, of which 93 per cent have received a hygiene rating of three or above, and 82 per cent received a rating of four or above.
Since joining the scheme, SNC has also seen a steady increase in food businesses awarded the highest hygiene rating score. In 2011, 50.2 per cent of food businesses in the scheme scored five which has increased to 59.1 per cent in 2015.
The Food Standards Agency, which operates the scheme nationally, wants to build on this success to reduce consumer risk even further. They are looking to encourage more people to look before they book and check the rating before choosing.
There are over 455,000 ratings available to view online and it’s really easy to check the hygiene rating of a food business – just go to the Food Standards Agency website at www.food.gov.uk/ratings
If you’re out and about you can use mobile phone apps or look for the green and black sticker on display. If you can’t see one, just ask the staff. By checking the rating you can be reassured that you’ve chosen a business where they take food safety as seriously as you. You don’t know how good or clean a food business is until you check their food hygiene rating.
Councillor Dermot Bambridge, portfolio holder for public protection, said: “South Northamptonshire Council is proud to be a part of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and has found that it has made a real difference across the district. We have seen a great improvement in standards as more businesses are able to show their customers that they take food hygiene seriously.”
“More and more customers are making informed choices by voting with their feet so I would like to encourage all businesses to display their rating. Food businesses work hard to achieve a good rating and it is something to be proud of.”
There are six hygiene ratings ranging from zero (urgent improvement required) at the bottom to five (very good) at the top. In south Northamptonshire the ratings are determined by the Council’s health protection team.
Nationally, around 93 per cent of food businesses are rated three or better so there are plenty of places you can choose with good standards and it’s easy to avoid those not meeting the grade.
The scheme covers businesses supplying or serving food direct to consumers such as restaurants, takeaways, cafés, pubs, hotels, schools, hospitals, care homes, supermarkets and other retailers.
Injunction served on those illegally occupying land
An injunction has been served on people illegally occupying a field near Nether Heyford by enforcement officers at South Northamptonshire Council (SNC).
On Monday, 23 November the occupants were given 28 days to vacate the land following the injunction, sought by SNC, being granted by the Planning Court at The High Court in Birmingham.
The half-acre site known as Sheepcott, first came to the Council’s attention in 2010 when several mobile homes were moved on to the field which is surrounded by a working farm.
An Enforcement Notice was issued in 2011 requiring the removal of the mobile homes.
The site was vacated, but at the same time a planning application was lodged for retrospective permission for the mobile homes.
That planning application attracted 300 letters of objection including one from the Parish Council.
Permission was turned down by the SNC Development Control Committee on the basis that the site is in the open countryside and that it is adjacent to a working farm.
If allowed to become a domestic site future residents would be in a position to object to planning applications submitted by the farm, thereby restricting its growth.
That decision was upheld by a planning inspector.
Since then the site was re-occupied and SNC is obliged to pursue the initial enforcement notice to have the site cleared.
Councillor Rebecca Breese, SNC’s portfolio holder for planning the environment said: “We regret having to spend public resources on pursuing an action through the courts, however there was a clear disregard of our planning policies and decisions.
“One of our key priorities as a Council is the preservation of what makes our district special and where appropriate we will take the action required to achieve that aim.”
If you suspect a breach of planning control visit – http://www.southnorthants.gov.uk/Servicepage1158.htm – or call the SNC planning enforcement team on 01327 322237.