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Dear Reader

The longest and warmest summer on record has made it harder to acknowledge that the festive season will soon be upon us.  After a glorious display of autumn colours, it is now time for bonfire nights and fireworks displays.  Remember, remember…

‘Remember’ has an even greater significance this year, as November also marks the centenary of Armistice Day - the end of the Great War.  In these times of global unsettlement, it is essential that we commemorate those who laid down their lives for us in order that we can live in peace and freedom and never forget.  Turn to pages 40-42 to see some of the centenary events taking place in our towns and villages for the fallen.

As we get closer to Christmas, previews and late-night shopping will be on the agenda in many of our towns, and our glorious country houses will play host to festive fairs and celebrations.  Most villages will have their own Christmas fairs and Christmas tree festivals – a chance to get a head-start on shopping for family and friends.  We are lucky to have such an abundance of independent, family-run businesses right on our doorstep, but they need our support to thrive, as also stated in Helen Bach’s article on page 48, so remember to shop locally this year.  Just look to the pages ahead for inspiration for your presents and to see the excellent selection of local pubs and restaurants offering fine foods and a welcoming fire as you get ready for the big day.

The true spirit of Christmas is about charity and giving what you can.  Several charities are looking for volunteers: Youth Works, see page 36; Contact the Elderly, see page 80; and Northamptonshire Carers, see page 88, would love to hear from you if you have an hour or two to spare.  Connecting with your community is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have, so share your love with your family, friends and neighbours this season.

With my warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas





Vivi Sant Cole

Village Connect

Hillcrest House

Church Hill



NN14 1AH

Tel: 01536 744700