A Northamptonshire village

Big John's News Page

| Archive | Newsletters |

Notice Board
Parish Council
The Church
The Old School

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.


14th January
Invitation to Broadband Workshop – Tuesday 23rd January 2018 between 5:00 & 7:30pm.

If you have a query concerning WiFi, e-mails, websites or anything to do with broadband , you are cordially invited to chat with our experts over a cuppa at Abthorpe Old School between 5:00 & 7:30pm on Tuesday 23rd January. The hall will be nice and warm due to the recent installation of heat-pump technology connected to the Internet so that members of the Old School Committee can switch it on using their mobile phones even when tucked up in bed.

The workshop is organised by Abthorpe Broadband Association Ltd, that now trades as Tove Valley Broadband. It’s a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee that has been delivering broadband to local people since 2003. It now brings a superfast 1,000Mbs symmetrical fibre optic service into local homes and businesses. The company’s Annual General Meeting will follow the workshop at 7:30pm. Visitors are welcome to attend but of course only members will be able to vote.

In a new year message to members thanks were given to the unpaid enthusiastic volunteers who manage the company. Membership continues to grow and is currently 607. Seventy people joined during 2017. Eric Malcomson the company Chairman said don’t leave chatting until after the AGM or you might have to follow us to the pub!


8th January
From Oz to Ab at Christmastide.

“In the deep mid-winter, frosty wind made moan. Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone. Snow had fallen............” Well that’s enough of the old carol, but isn’t that how we idyllically imagine our Christmas time with a few red breasted robins chirping away on some ivy added on - lit up homes to brighten the gloaming of our wintry nights, Christmas trees emblazoned with lights and cherubic choristers tramping round the darkened streets carrying lanterns to sing carols in aid of local charities?  But this December here in Abthorpe we had an Australian family staying who experienced their very first northern hemisphere Christmas. They are used to searing hot temperatures at this time of the year but found our Christmas magical and didn’t want to go home.

Sarah Scoble, her two daughters Maia (14) and Sian (12) plus grandmother Gillian all come from the Melbourne area of Victoria. Sarah explained that she should have had a gap year when she finished university because she had always wanted to have an extended trip to Europe. But there was always a reason why it wasn’t the right time – horses – mortgage and children. As time seemed to be running out to achieve her ambition she talked to her daughters and her mother and they were all keen to make their trip of a lifetime together.

Sarah’s aunt had worked as a nanny for the Smith’s at nearby Slapton Manor Farm many years ago and loved the area, its gorgeous villages and friendly people. Barbara Smith from Slapton Manor helped them to find the White Cottage here in Abthorpe which they rented for four months. Sarah is an accountant and one of her private clients in Australia asked if she could undertake some work for them via the Internet whilst she was away. She had previously heard about very slow broadband speeds in rural England and couldn’t believe her luck when she discovered that here in Abthorpe she was able to use our local Tove Valley Broadband that she found to be stable, reliable and really fast. The girls went to school here and Grandma Gillian continued with her ‘off-campus’ degree studies again using TVB.

They travelled to many parts of Britain and in mainland Europe marvelled at the Christmas markets in Strasbourg and Basel.   Back here in Abthorpe they enthused about their experience at the official turning on of our Christmas tree lights on the snow bedecked village green, enjoyed the candle-lit Christingle service in church plus other local festivities.

They returned to Australia a few days after Christmas and were back in Melbourne that experienced a heat wave just before new year. Sarah said that we loved our time in Abthorpe – we loved the community spirit and particularly the lead-up to Christmas with so many people getting involved in the various events. The girls made some great friends that they will keep in touch with and hope to see  again in the future.

Home ] Notice Board ] Parish Council ] [ News ] The Church ] Broadband ] Businesses ] The Old School ]

Copyright - Abthorpe Broadband Association Ltd