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
Also, our newsletters can be downloaded on the Newsletters
wedding, one dog, two cakes!
date is the first Saturday in August, the time is early in the
morning, the setting is Oxbridge Meadows. Enter one man,
Bunny Hutchings, and his dog. Bunny has arisen early in
order to begin roasting the hog ready for a wedding celebration.
The marquee has been erected some days before, the tables laid
out, the decorations complete. Bunny sets about his work
aware that everything must be perfect for this special day.
Elsewhere the bride Jessica Townsend and her groom Chris Davies
are beginning to make their final preparations for their big day
unaware of the drama that is about to unfold.....
the hog roasting nicely on the spit, Bunny takes a moment to look
around. Where is his canine companion? Bunny whistles
and calls. No dog appears. With rising alarm, Bunny
shouts louder. Still no dog. Now seriously concerned,
Bunny pops his head into the marquee and a look of horror crosses
his face. A sheepish doggy face, covered in butter icing and
cake crumbs, turns slowly to look at his master – he has found
the wedding cake and, boy, does it taste good.
no-one was around to hear and record what Bunny said at this
point, but we can guess he did not say “Bother”. Taking
a deep breath he phones Katie, Jess’s mum, and breaks the news.
She does not say “Bother” either. However, a rescue plan
is necessary and what a rescue it was! In the space of just
3 hours Elise, a friend of our New Inn chef Paul’s wife, became
the heroine of the day baking and fully decorating a replica cake,
and there it is sitting on its stand when the newly married couple
and their guests arrive – blissfully unaware yet of the drama
that had been playing out while the wedding service had been
Hendrik ten Bruggencate was a Dutchman who, during the
1970’s and 1980’s lived with his family in a cottage opposite
our pub in Silver Street. Rick as we called him used the old shoe
factory next to his home as his workshop where he was very skilled
at designing and making beautiful church organs.
wife Joyce who admired Rick’s workmanship, asked him to design
and make a dresser for our dining room. He duly obliged and in
1981 his dresser became part of our home where it was immediately
adorned with china ware. Sadly both Rick and my wife have died and
I am in the unenviable position of having to down-size into a much
smaller property where there is certainly no room for Rick’s
A couple of weeks ago I was
round our pub enjoying a pint of Hooky when across the bar
I noticed a lady whose features were vaguely familiar. She
realised that I was looking at her somewhat quizzically, came over
and introduced herself. It was Rick’s daughter Anna who was only
a child in 1981 when the dresser was made. I explained my
conundrum to her and asked if she would like the dresser her Dad
made. “How could I refuse?” she retorted.
Anna came to look at the
dresser and she was delighted. A few days later she and her
husband arrived with a horsebox and after photographs and
examining the carved lettering on the back that says “Made in
Abthorpe 1981” with Rick’s initials; the dresser was
taken away. I have just received a thank-you note from Anna
telling me that the dresser is already in their conservatory and
they are delighted.
Could the person who made contact a week or so ago about
Canterbury, please call again? There’s a good story there.
Cobblers Classic Sportive.
on Saturday a steady stream totalling over 800 cyclists descended
the hill on our Silverstone Road and at Abthorpe Crossroads a
marshal directed some to the right and others to the left to pass
through our village. All were taking part in the Cobbler Classic
Sportive – a ride organised by Cycling Events UK that starts and
finishes at Turweston Aerodrome. Three categories of a riding
challenge were available for entrants. “Short” where riders
are asked to pedal 26 miles, “Standard” 61 and “Epic” 103
miles that is a serious day’s cycling with entrants pedalling as
far west as Napton-on-the-Hill in Warwickshire.
The entrants were young and
old, female and male, very fit and less so. But all looked capable
of achieving their goal. It is emphasised that the event is
non-competitive, but as people like to know how well they had
ridden, each carries a chip in their compulsory helmet.
The entrants in the short
event completed their ride in 1 ˝ to 2 hours. Those going for
Standard took up to 5 hours whilst in the Epic section the very
fit managed the 103 miles in 6 ˝ hours although some took up to 9
hours or longer. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and the
event was very well organised with clear signage, and help
available from the company’s support vans and paramedic
The Cobbler Classic Sportive
seems to have become an annual event for Abthorpe and the
surrounding villages. Long may it continue.