Rushden’s Christmas Tree Festival and Christmas Gift Fair

The Christmas Tree Festival took place on 1 and 2 December 2012 in St Mary’s Church, Rushden. There were nearly 20 trees, decorated and lit by their sponsors for all to see. On Sunday there was a Christmas Gift Fair in Rushden Village Hall with a range of visiting stalls for the perfect Christmas gifts for family and friends.


Click here to see some photos with thanks to John Dingemans and Gil Gilson

From Rags to Royal Rags


Eddie Rowland’s talk to Village Link proved a real hit, from his tales of his father’s POW boat being torpedoed to his name dropping of the rich and famous he has dressed. Starting with the Beatles and ending with our country’s leaders, he never ceased to amuse and inform.

Rushden Carol Singing

Carol singing this year was in aid of Headway Herts, a charity for helping people with brain injury in Hertfordshire. The singers started at Southern Green House and finished at the Moon and Stars. 

We would like to thank all those who braved the weather. Particular thanks must go to Chris and Eva Whitton for providing pre singing mulled wine and mince pies and to Carol Littlechild for her wonderful warming and very much needed half way mince pies and to all those who donated so generously.

Finally an enormous thank you to Judy at the Moon and Stars for actually wanting to hear us sing more than one carol and for her generous round of drinks for the singers. We could not have had a friendlier welcome.

Here are a couple of photographs of the brave carol singer who visited us last night. It was really nice to have them come to our door.



With thanks to John Dingemans and Alan Nesbitt  for the photos. Click on photo for larger image.

For those who missed Thursday 22nd November's Independent newspaper, John and Sarah Lever appear in it after being interviewed about their long connection with Host which provides weekend, Christmas and Easter stays for
foreign students studying in Britain. John and Sarah have hosted for about 20 years and had over one hundred students stay with them from all over the world. Next year they hope to visit a former student in India and have plans to visit more. If you want to make the world a little smaller and a lot friendlier why not try Hosting. Phone Sarah and John on 01763 288393 to find out more about the Hosting Experience.

click here to see the Independent article

 Villagers will be pleased to hear that Lauren has been granted her visa and is now resident with Peter Lever in Southampton .

Calender Boys was a real fun evening in aid of fund raising for the village hall on Saturday 13th October 2012. There is now official planning permission to replace the damp wall and high window at the end of the hall with French doors, as well as replacing the front windows.

Click here for some photos with thanks to John Dingemans

The Jubilee Singers Reunion meal on Sunday 23rd September was a great success thanks to Kay Hawthorne. A wonderful selection of tasty treats were on offer and it was so good to see friends from past and present. Chris Thomas, our former leader, came and Jane Launder all the way from Worcestershire.

Click here for some photos with thanks to John Dingemans

Rushden Christmas Tree Festival

Sunday 2nd December

Sponsor and decorate a tree for Rushden’s Tree Festival at St. Mary’s Church

Encourage your family, school, business or local group to sponsor and decorate a tree for Rushden’s Tree Festival to be held at St. Mary’s in conjunction with the village Gift Fair.

Help to illuminate the church with light and colour this Christmas and decorate your own tree in the style of your business, family or group. The one judged to be the most inventive and spectacular will win a prize!

Viewings and judging of the trees takes place on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December along with the sale of homemade cakes and teas, mince pies and mulled wine.  

Trees can be taken home after the event or donated to be sold.

For details please ring Debs on 01763 288062

or Ellen on 01763 288231

Sponsor a tree NOW and let’s light up Rushden!

John and Sarah Lever would like to thank all those who helped to make their Ruby Wedding celebration so perfect and for all the wonderful gifts received.

Particular thanks must go to Wendy Amy, JoAnne and Chris Garrett and Shiela and Matthew Greer for help with parking; Chris Whitton for lending us his gazebos and helping with setting up; Kate Jackman without whom there may never have been a party; Jenny Barlow, Jane Warner, Sue Austin and Kay Hawthorne for helping to clear up and to The Orpheus Choir for their wonderful concert led by Ann Marie Hetherington and also to Martin Leadbetter for composing a piece of music especially for us. Thanks to all of you, we had a simply fantastic time and only hope that you all enjoyed yourselves as much as we did.

Click here for some photos

Click here for some more photos with thanks to John Dingemans


Click here for some photos thanks to John Dingemans

Another great fete! So far the fete has raised £4473. The new attractions at this year’s summer fete proved very popular.  Chris Hill’s Green Goddess fire engine drew young and old alike as it trundled through the village, while the human juke box performers, Doug Wood, Dave Manchester, Simon Collis and Ian Roper kept the crowds entertained with their repertoire of songs. In the meantime, children disappeared into the hall and emerged later as animals & superheros after visiting the face painting stall.

The BBQ, ploughmans' lunches, cream teas & bar ensured that nobody left hungry or thirsty after a long afternoon browsing  and shopping at the different stalls and trying out all the different games.

Thank you to everybody who donated to the stalls and the army of helpers who contributed their time and efforts to making the day such a success. At the time of going to print, the proceeds are still being counted, but the total raised will be confirmed on and in next month’s Gazette.

Rushden Jubilee Celebrations 

CLICK HERE FOR SOME PHOTOS with thanks to John Dingemans and Alan Nesbitt

The Big Lunch 

Everyone agreed that Rushden celebrated the Jubilee in grand style? It began with Chris Whitton taking a very patriotic Matins. Then people made their way down to the Village Hall where a Royal Trivia Quiz and A Village Treasure Hunt were available. The British rain put several people off participating in the latter.

A wonderful lunch, made and served by members of The Jubilee and Village Committee was enjoyed by everyone followed by the magnificent puddings produced by villagers as part of The Right Royal Bake Off! Chris Whitton won best tasting pudding and Debs Collis best presented.

Villagers were able to read and comment on the beautifully presented 60 Years of Rushden Exhibition put together by Andrew Whiting.

After several helpings of everything, Jo Bryant and Sarah Lever sang their new versions of The National Anthem along to the Archers’ theme tune. Jo Bryant won the Trivia Quiz and Lindsay Jones won a special prize for his spoof answers.

Thank you to everyone who made this event possible. Once again the village has shown itself to be a wonderful community to live in.  


The weather was not kind, but nothing dampened the communal village spirit for Rushden’s Jubilee celebrations. The bravest undertook the Treasure Hunt around the soggy village, whilst others stayed dry & mingled merrily, taking the opportunity to look at the superb display of 60 Years of Rushden History prepared by Andrew Whiting, before tucking into a plentiful  feast. The Right Royal Bake-Off clearly caught the imagination of the village cooks as there was a vast array of cakes and tarts in red, white & blue or otherwise royally decorated. Chris Whitton won the “Best Taste” award and Debs Collis won the “Best Presented”  prize in the Baking competition. Sarah Lever & Jo Bryant sang their alternative National Anthems to the theme tune of The Archers.  Jo Bryant won the Royal Trivia quiz, with a special award going to Lindsay Jones for his “alternative” answers.

Thanks go to the Jubilee Committee & members of the Village Hall Committee who devised and ran the event, everybody who came along in spite of the weather and took part in the competitions. The day was funded by the Parish Council and a grant of £100 from our North Herts District Councillor, Steve Jarvis, for which we are very grateful.

 The American Wedding of the Year has now taken place and Peter and Lauren are well and truly married. All went well, the bride was beautiful, the groom handsome and the groom's mother cried- of course! We danced the night away and learned many new bridal customs! Click here for some more photos

click on photo for larger image


The Bistro meal in the Village Hall on Saturday 28 April 2012 saw a packed room and some wonderful food. Everyone was fulsome in their praise and probably overstayed their welcome! It was good to see so many children at the lunchtime serving.

Thank you to all the wonderful cooks, waitresses, washer uppers and Ellen with her cheese trolley! You had very appreciative customers.

Click here for some photos with thanks to John Dingemans

The Grand Rushden Jubilee Quiz was held on Saturday 3rd March at Rushden Village Hall. The Quiz raised a staggering £600. Thanks must go to our dedicated helpers- Ilse, Sue,Vicky, Jing and Jinru.

Chris Whitton has kindly taken a couple of photos for us. Click on the photo for a larger image.



 Friends of Peter Lever will be happy to learn he will be marrying his fiancée Lauren Houck in May in New Jersey . They will then live in Southampton where he has recently got a job working for The Prince’s Trust.

click on photo for larger image

Snow has arrived in Rushden and Southern Green again and John Dingemans has been out with his camera taking some photographs. Click here

Villagers will be saddened to hear of the death of Jim McNally of Treacle Lane . Jim’s wife Ruth died several years ago but he continued to live in his bungalow until last year and was frequently to be seen gardening by those who used the footpath next to his house.  

The inaugural meeting to discuss the setting up of Village Link saw a respectable turn out. It was decided that there would be 4 meetings a year at a cost per member of £10 or £4 for individual meetings. These would consist of a talk by a good speaker and a chance to discuss what is happening in the villages and share information about events and anything else of interest.

Everyone is welcome.

The first speaker led meeting will be on Wednesday 23rd May at 8pm at Rushden Village Hall. The subject will be announced in a future Gazette.

Please phone 288393 if you are interested in joining us.


Check out our latest monthly newsletter

Highlights include:

  • Details about our Campfire Weekend THIS WEEKEND
  • The FANTASTIC feedback from our Farm Box customer survey
  • Details of the new salads in the café
  • New tips on ridding your garden of slugs

We hope you enjoy the read.

CLICK HERE: Church Farm Newsletter – MAY 2012


We look forward to seeing you at the farm very soon!


Best Wishes,

Church Farm, Ardeley,  Stevenage , Hertfordshire SG2 7AH

T: 01438 861 447