Dear Reader

While the hottest September on record is cause for serious concerns on the climate front, when combined with the rather wet start to October, it makes for the most spectacular burst of purple, orange, red and yellow hues - the fireworks of nature. Given that, with current Covid-19 restrictions, it may sadly also be the only fireworks display we’ll see for bonfire night, I urge you to go for a restorative walk amongst crunchy autumn leaves to enjoy this explosion of colour.

Putting together the Christmas issue of Village Connect is usually the most joyful of activities; November and December always jam-packed with craft fairs, Christmas concerts and markets as well as Christmas tree festivals in many of our villages. Not surprisingly, festive events for this year are rather sparse; however, there are some on the pages ahead and together we’re finding other inventive and virtual ways of celebrating the season with warmth in our hearts.

Spanhoe Lodge (see page 16) will still sell its amazing Christmas lights in aid of Lakeland Hospice; Boughton House (see page 20) will still display Christmas trees and gifts in its historic stableyard; and Delapré Abbey (see page 36) will still be dressed for the season, telling stories of Christmas through the ages with wreath making and fairs. Kettering’s Christmas Light Switch On with a special Christmas message turns to You Tube this year (see page 19), yet the Market Place will still host festive markets and be the venue for Santa’s Lapland Lodge.

This Christmas, more than ever, it is crucial to support our local shops and businesses as they try to stay afloat or recover from lockdown or the effects of the pandemic. We have such an array of wonderful independent and family-run businesses on our doorstep, where you will find anything you could wish for when you are present shopping for family and friends. Many also offer online or delivery service locally, as well as gift vouchers for future purchases. Arts and cultural charities will be suffering at the moment and, along with our independent businesses, these form the very core of our community, so please support whenever you can so we can retain them in future.

In the spirit of the season, support our local community and share your love, in person when allowed or virtually when not, with your family, friends and neighbours.

With my warmest wishes for Christmas.



Vivi Sant Cole

Village Connect

Hillcrest House

Church Hill



NN14 1AH

Tel: 01536 744700