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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 August

Gigantomos.

At the end of February we popped into a local garden centre to buy our garden seeds for 2017. We selected the packets from the displays and casually lobbed them into our basket. Carrots, leeks, three types of beans, beetroots, three types of tomato – small, medium and large, maize and so on. After we arrived home and sat down to sort out our seeds over a cup of tea, I noticed we had inadvertently popped a packet into our basket where each seed cost 66p.

“Gigantomo – the world’s largest tomato,” the packet proclaimed. “Feed your family with just one tomato. This incredible new ‘beefsteak’ tomato is the world’s largest variety, full of flavoursome meaty flesh. Produce tomatoes weighing one to three pounds each.” Pull the other one – it’s got bells on it I thought after having read that promotional material.

In early March we cut open the sealed sachet inside the packet and discovered that there were actually eight seeds. We planted them im three inch pots and left them on the bedroom window sill. They all quickly germinated and grew rapidly. In order to find the best location for our giants to grow we planted four in the greenhouse and four in large pots filled with home-made compost at the front of the house in a sheltered south facing spot. They obviously preferred the outside location. Despite a panic at the end of May when we rapidly took the pots indoors as a severe late frost threatened to wipe them out. Fortunately they survived, thrived and had their flowers germinated by the bees from our neighbour’s hives.

Some of the fruits have now ripened. We certainly haven’t picked any weighing 3 lbs, but three of ours placed on the scales weigh-in at just over 1kg – 2¼  lbs.  We’re chuffed with that. They don’t look as pristine as those on the seed packet but they taste great and cook well. Perhaps next year ............................ ?

 
13th August

Samuel and the four doctors.

Villagers Jill and Mike Greenhalgh are absolutely delighted that their daughter Kate has given birth to their first grandchild – Samuel Michael Cockcroft.

Jill and Mike, before their retirement, were part of the team of doctors based in the surgery at nearby Greens Norton. Kate and her husband James Cockcroft are also doctors.

We send them all our congratulations, love and best wishes.

 

6th August
Millennium disc.

Back in the year 2000 our village had a number of Millennium Projects that included restoring the church clock and distributing a computer disc about the village’s history to every home in the parish. Remember that back then – 17 years ago – broadband as we know it did not exist and access to what most people then considered to be the new-fangled Internet was through a dial-up system via the telephone lines. Now that disc is available on the Internet for the whole world to see. It makes fascinating reading.

The introduction is by journalist Mark Lawson who gives a resume of the disc’s contents and invites the viewer to indulge in a bit of time travel to see what Abthorpe was like in yesteryear. Jane Leeson’s will is shown in which she bequeaths money to build a school in the village and help the poor. There is an early photograph taken in about 1860 showing our church minus its tower. There’s weddings, village school photographs, our brass band and the 1906 football team. More recently there are local newspaper cuttings of the 1979 Country Fayre when £2,000 was raised. Perhaps best of all is a photograph taken on 5th September 1999 from a cherry-picker parked on the green of most people in the village. It’s possible to hover the mouse over the head of each person to reveal their identity.

The disc is truly fascinating and well worth spending half an hour exploring the Abthorpe of yesteryear.

To see the disc click on www.abthorpe.net/2000cd  . It will be possible to access the disc via the Abthorpe village web site www.abthorpe.net .

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