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John Riches our Village Correspondent writes weekly reports about the village for the local media.  We are pleased to place them on our web site in order that those interested in Abthorpe can access the latest village news from anywhere in the world.

This page will keep the latest 3 or 4 reports.

On the Archive page we will store past articles and other pieces of particular interest.

Also, our newsletters can be downloaded on the Newsletters page.



17th March
Abthorpe blue tits live.

It’s Spring when once again the natural world thinks about procreation.  The Master of the Abthorpe Blue Tits reports that for the past few years a small TV camera connected to the Internet located in a nest box somewhere in the village allows local people; and indeed the whole world judging by the comments we receive; to watch a pair of blue tits build their nest, lay their eggs, hatch the chicks, feed them and then watch them fledge and fly off into the big wild world.

Sadly last year the Master reflects, the grim reality was that all the fledglings in an apparently healthy family died – causing the web cam to be switched off. This year our web cam is just about to be switched on again. A family of blue tits has already claimed the nest box and is starting to build its nest. We would be very pleased if your readers could click on our web site www.abthorpe.net , click on the blue tit icon, watch the birds’ progress and alert us when the first eggs are laid.


March 3rd
TVB Workshop and AGM.

“Drop in for coffee and a biscuit or two and talk to the experts about anything broadband.” That was the invitation that was sent on-line to all the members of our local Tove Valley Broadband network to attend a workshop in The Old School that preceded our little not-for-profit company’s Annual General Meeting.

And they came – not only from the company’s core areas like Wappenham and Abthorpe, but also from places further afield such as Whittlebury, Canons Ashby and Moreton Pinkney. As the company is aiming to ensure that some of its members receive broadband via a fibre-optic cable directly into their premises, encouragement was given to get them to co-operate with neighbours and take advantage of the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme that is available to help defray the costs. In all 52 members attended the drop-in workshop and many stayed for the ensuing AGM.

There, David Symmers the Treasurer presented the Annual Financial Statement that showed a healthy surplus. In answer to a question from a concerned member, David assured everyone that our little not-for-profit company operated entirely by unpaid volunteers, is exempt from paying tax.

The Directors each reported on their area of responsibility – Keith Fenwick on Operations; Richard Tomalin on Communications, Phil Berry on Publicity and Peter Watkins on Network Systems.

Eric Malcomson the Chairman in his report stated that the company now had 658 members. He thanked all the volunteers who continually work hard to keep the network going and for dealing with problems with very little delay. Currently the 1,000Mbps connection is using about 90% of its capacity reflecting  increasing use of the Internet for streaming TV and films. As a result the company’s team has already looked into installing additional links to the Internet and is planning its installation after the end of the financial year.

Eric was pleased to report that all loans have now been repaid. This milestone in the company’s progress signals the end of his time as Chairman and the Board of Directors will shortly appoint someone else who will steer the company into the next phase of its development.

Our local area owes Eric a great debt of gratitude. Back in 2003 when it all started he had the vision, enthusiasm, tenacity and persuasive powers to ensure that TVB was a huge success. Thank you to a true broadband visionary!

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