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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.



23rd September
Another Sgt Andrew Malsbury mystery.

A message from the Northamptonshire village of Denton explained that a group there is working on a project to remember the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. The group has “a bit of a mystery on their hands.”

Sergeant Andrew Malsbury is listed on the Denton village Roll of Honour but his name does not appear on their war memorial. As he is listed as coming from Abthorpe could we shed any light on this they asked? Well – this is the second mystery surrounding Sgt Malsbury. Back in 2014 Claire West a member of the Malsbury family came to Abthorpe and explained at a Remembrance Day service that he had died on 3rd March 1919 almost four months after the end of that war and records show that he was in fact a casualty of the Irish War of Independence between the Irish Republican Army and British security forces. Claire stated then that the family story is that he died near the River Liffey in Dublin although his death was registered in Dundalk. He is buried in a war grave in Abthorpe’s Main Street cemetery and his name appears on our war memorial.

Notes provided by Claire West in 2014 showed that Andrew Malsbury, a Sergeant in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps was a groom and spent a number of years working in Church Brampton and Sywell. He married his wife Ellen Eva Rose in the Hardingstone District in July 1913 – a the year before the war started. Perhaps at that time Denton was in the Hardingstone District and Sgt Malsbury’s widow wished to have him commemorated in her home village.

For more information see here and here 


17th September
The Old School.

Jane Leeson the spinster who in 1642 gave money for a free school to be built in our village would surely be very proud of the way that the Old School Committee is refurbishing her historic building. £33,146.63 has been raised and already the toilets, committee room and kitchen have been refurbished to a very high standard indeed.

The committee is very excited that work on the big room will be commencing soon. The renovation proposals have yet to be made public but we are assured that they are innovative and will make the hall an excellent function venue.

The committee has organised three functions for the near future. On Saturday 29th September cream teas will be served from 3:00 to 5:00pm. On Sunday 30th September from 10:00 to 12:00noon breakfasts will be served whilst on Saturday 20th October from 6:30pm there will be a wine tasting quiz. It should be fun. Why not come along? Tickets are available from oldschool@abthorpe.net


9th September
What’s the white stuff?

In many parts of the countryside here in South Northamptonshire, as farmers prepare their land for next year’s crops, huge piles of white powder appear at the side of fields close to the roads. What are they? What do they consist of? One local farmer kindly agreed to provide an answer.

The white powder is gypsum that is used as a soil conditioner in both arable fields and pasture land. Where does the gypsum come from? It’s actually recycled plasterboard from buildings. When plasterboard is removed from buildings it is not just dumped in landfill, but taken to specialist units that isolate and pulverise the white centre. The thick paper on the outside of the plasterboard is shredded thoroughly and is used for animal bedding. This shredded paper has to have an A1 certificate of cleanliness to ensure that animals will not be harmed in any way. Eventually the ensuing dung will be spread on the fields to improve fertility.

It’s interesting to see this example of how the building industry is helping British farmers.

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