Author Archives: Simon Browning

North Luffenham Bids Farewell to the Jubilee!

It may have rained overnight Saturday and in the morning of Sunday as heavily as many have seen in recent weeks, but that didn’t deter North Luffeham villagers from turning out in their droves for one last Jubilee Bash! The wet weather put paid to the planned Street Party, as was the case for many other events locally, but that didn’t dampen spirits, and the party was moved to The Fox where many gathered in the car park to listen to the brilliant Jubilee Jazz playing out the event through the afternoon – a big thank you to them, and generally sharing stories of the previous three days and looking forwards to planning for more events to come.

Prize giving saw prizes going to Peace Crawford for winning the Horseshoe Hunt, Molly the Springer Spaniel for winning the Judges Choice in the The Dog Show, and Pilton Road for winning the First North Luffenham Inter Street Tug O’ War. Congratulations to the winners, and a massive thank you to all who took part in all the competitions over the four days.

Earlier in the day the Good Companions supporters had assembled and delivered lunch boxes consisting of savouries and a cream tea for the members of The Good Companions. Given the poor weather conditions, it was not possible for many to attend the final event.

The event closed with a Jubilee Toast and a rousing rendition of The National Anthem. As people drifted away, the sounds of laughter and happiness could be heard resounding around the place. Truly a great four days!

The event started Thursday evening with the church bells being rung out across the village. This was such a great moment and the ringers said, at the time, they would dearly love it if some of us were to take up bell ringing so that we could ring our own bells in the future. I am really pleased to report that a good number of people said they would love to learn to ring the bells and so it is my intention to set up some lessons with the “professionals” so we can all learn. If you are also interested in learning to bell ring please do let me know (simonbrowning958@gmail.com). The more, the merrier! Watch this space for announcements. What a great legacy for the Jubilee Weekend that would be.

This whole weekend has been, in my opinion, a triumph for the village as a whole and it has been lovely to see so many people out and about around the village. I have given out so many thank you’s to all those who have contributed. But, at the risk of repeating myself I would like to say, one last time, a massive thank you to all the team who helped get this event up and running, and to the many volunteers who worked behind the scenes to keep things on track. As a village we put on one of the best Jubilee Celebrations in Rutland, and certainly one of the best attended so a huge thank you to you all for turning out and supporting all the events in such great numbers.

This is the last official news bulletin. It has been great fun keeping everyone up to date on what was happening. I hope you have enjoyed the reports. So, until the next event, stay well, stay safe, and see you all around the village!

North Luffenham Jubilee Street Party – Final Decision Made!

The street cleaners went on much longer than expected and have drenched everywhere. We have therefore changed the style of todays closing event. We will no longer hold a Street Party along Church Street as originally planned. (The street is now open to traffic again)

We will hold a final Jubilee festive get together at The Fox, in the car park in the same way as we did on Thursday night at the opening of celebrations. This will be from 2.00-4.00. Prize giving for the Tug O’ War, the Dog Show and the Horseshoe Hunt will take place at 3.45 followed by a final Jubilee Toast and the extinguishing of the Jubilee Flame, closing with the National Anthem.

I am really sorry we have had to curtail the final event but, from what I have seen of everyone in North Luffenham over the last three days I am sure you will all come out at 2.00 to enjoy the jazz, grab a drink from the bar, and generally send this final Jubilee event off with a massive festive hurrah!

Thank you all for making these four days such memorable ones for the village!

We are really looking forward to seeing you all at 2.00 at The Fox for one more bout of Jubilee merriment and laughter!

North Luffenham Platinum Jubilee Street Party – Street Cleaning Currently Taking Place!

As you wake and look out of your windows you may feel an air of despair at the state of the weather. But don’t panic – this is merely an episode of “Street Cleaning” that we ordered prior to the main event later in the day! Our only concern at the moment is that the contractors we have used to clean the streets are notoriously unreliable and have been known to overrun on their cleaning schedules. I have tried to ring their head office this morning to see when they will stop applying water to the Streets of North Luffenham but it would appear their offices are closed for the Bank Holiday and therefore I can not currently get any guarantee as to when the streets will dry out!

Our aim is, therefore, to remain as flexible as possible this morning with a belief that we will stage the street party in some form at a venue to be confirmed as the morning pans out. So please do keep watching the website for updates as to where and when we will hold todays event.

Various weather apps do show this is a weather front passing through northwards and that drier weather is following behind so optimism is definitely still at the forefront of our planning. I know the good people of North Luffenham will not be deterred by cloud based street cleaning fluid!

Returning to drier times, yesterdays Horseshoe Hunt was a big hit and thank you all for turning out to explore North Luffenham and find out a little more about its history. In particular, a big thank you to Claire Barrett who organised the event and researched the various history plaques that appeared around the village. The tie breaker statement at the end of the entry forms threw up some really brilliant responses. The winning response was as follows: Not Only Remarkable Treasure Hunts (but) Lovely, Unique, Fabulous, Fantastic, Extraordinary, Nurturing, Homely, Amazing, Mother nature at its finest! A great effort which the Organising Group felt caught the real aura of the village whilst also demonstrating real originality in its creation. So, once again congratulations to the winner, Peace Crawford, and thank you all again for taking part.

I am positive that todays event, in whatever form it takes, will be a fitting one to close out this great weekend of fun and festivities. Please keep watching the website for updates. To take a line from the wonderful Dame Vera Lynn, I know we will all meet again later today I just “don’t know where, don’t know when! but I know we’ll meet again”

North Luffenham Jubilee Street Party Update

After a trawl through every weather app existing (and thanks to all of you who have given me new apps to check out) and a personal phone call to the weather gods (which didn’t really help!) it is now certain that the situation is uncertain! For this reason we have made the following decision. Everyone has had such a brilliant time that there is no way we will not hold a final “street party” to celebrate the Jubilee and everything that is wonderful about North Luffenham. So the plan, as of now, is that we will hold the Street Party from a revised time of 2.00pm until 4.00pm. It is hoped we will still hold this in Church Street, but only at the top end, near to The Fox, so please plan for that. If the weather gods have a bad night and decide to change their forecast we will move the venue so please watch this website for an update tomorrow around mid morning. Church Street will be closed from 9.00 am as planned to prepare for the celebrations. If the weather closes in we will still hold the final prize giving and Jubilee Toast at 4.00pm at The Fox.

One thing I have learned whilst trying to organise this Jubilee Celebration, is how brilliant and adaptable everyone is in this village and so we, as an organising group, will make this last celebration happen no matter what, and it will be an occasion to remember until the next Platinum Jubilee!

Please keep watching tomorrow for last minute updates.

And finally today the result of the Horseshoe Hunt: As ever the villagers within North Luffenham surpassed all expectations. I walked around the village several times during the day and met loads of people and had a great chat with them, allowing me to learn things about the village that I never knew before. I hope everyone that took part was able to glean something new about the village as well.

And so to the winner. The organising group met this evening and reviewed all the results sheets in an atmosphere of sombre reverence probably only seen before in The Vatican when choosing a new Pope. The first thing to say is a huge thank you to all those who took part. The number of entries far exceeded our expectations. After much deliberation we decided the winner was, ……….. Peace Crawford. More of that tomorrow in the North Luffenham Jubilee Sunday Times.

Sleep well. Only one more day of celebrations left, and I know we will all have a brilliant time. Keep watching the website for updates tomorrow morning!

North Luffenham Parties on in the Sun!

Yet again the village of North Luffenham proved what a great village this is. As people poured into the wonderfully prepared Oval for a great day of fun and frollicks, it was apparent immediately this was going to be another fun packed day. With meticulous preparation led by Liz Caffarelli and Jane Roche the Oval was transformed into Fun City early in the day awaiting the arrival of everyone. And arrive you did! It was so wonderful walking round meeting people and seeing so many happy faces throughout the day. Quickly queues formed for the sausage sizzles and the bar, and a huge thank you to the teams running those. Some of the longest queues were for the crown decorating and the face painting, another huge thank you to those teams.

Everywhere you looked there was fun and games, with a great effort by the 1st North Luffenham Scouts. The frying pan rounders also attracted a good turnout with fierce competition all round! The marshmallow golf and the welly wanging proved popular with James Munro winning the Open Marshmallow Golf competition, and Nicholas winning the U.15 and Toby, the U.10. Modesty prevents me from announcing the Open wellie wanging winner but the U.15 was won by James and the U.10 by Toby so well done all! Coconuts were in evidence across the Oval so the Coconut shy was obviously hugely popular as well.

2.00 saw the start of The Dog Show. A massive thanks to Sarah for judging this and also supplying some of the prizes. Also a big thank you to Rutland Pet Supplies for their very generous donation of prizes. The Dog Show saw an assembly of canine pulchritude the like of which may never have been seen before. The overall winner, selected by Sarah, was indeed worthy. A beautiful 1 year old liver and white springer spaniel by the name of Molly. Very well done Molly and you win a grooming session at Rigby and Rover Dog Grooming. Well done to all other winners and runners up. In reality all the dogs were so lovely they were all winners!

3.00 came and the 1st ever Inter Street Tug O’ War . The surround of the arena was packed and tension was at fever pitch! Six streets entered and the arena filled with fine gladiatorial specimens from in and around those various streets all giving everything they could for the honour of their Street, along with some additional help in the case of Glebe Road when their secret weapon Milly the Labrador joined the team! The gladiators heaved and the crowd roared with the eventual winners being Pilton Road so congratulations to them.

There then followed one of the spectacles of the day. An event never to be missed again. The Children’s Tug O’ War. In so many people’s eyes this was the event of the day! Hundreds of children emerged from every corner of The Oval to show the adults how it should be done. Such energy, vigour and determination on so many faces! The children enjoyed themselves hugely and provided a spectacle that will live in the memory for years to come. Pilton Road may have won the Adult Tug O’ War but it was truly the Children who won the overall event with their totally brilliant display. Well done to them.

Finally on yesterday, I would like to thank you all very much for leaving the Oval in such a clean state. This was a wonderful site to see at the end of a long day, and testament to how everyone cares so much for this village. Truly amazing!

Today sees a slightly quieter day. This is the day of The Horseshoe Hunt. A competition with an excellent prize of a voucher towards a meal at The Fox. This is a walk of discovery around North Luffenham. You will find posters in different locations with Horseshoes on them. The idea is to take a leisurely walk around the village finding the Horseshoes. On each one is a nations flag which you need to identify as well, and there is a tie breaker question at the end to complete. The forms you need to complete will be found outside The Fox, and there is also a post box there to pop your completed forms in. The competition runs from 10.00 until 5.00. There is also a fascinating Village Walk Information Sheet which you are welcome to take round with you explaining some of the intriguing history of this great village. I found this a wonderfully informative piece of writing and it really makes the walk well worth doing. Please return these to the tray after your walk so others can use and benefit from them, and don’t forget to fill in and post your competition sheets. As you make your way around the village why not stop and chat to others to find out even more about the village. At the end why not meet up again at The Fox for a rejuvenating glass of something other!

Then on to tomorrow! As so often at these major events, the weather Gods are still ruminating! Whilst there is little chance of sun stroke at tomorrow’s events there is optimism for the afternoon despite what may be a wet morning. Whatever happens I know, from what I have seen of the people of this village, that a little dampness will not deter us from having a great time and finishing this weekend with a great celebration. Given the weather status at this time we will review the start and finish times later today and I will post the final timings early this evening after we have met to judge the Horseshoe Hunt Competition. So please do check back early this evening for final details for tomorrow’s big Street Party and prize giving ceremony, and then pass the word around the village. I know we will all be there because I know that’s what you all want. I just don’t know when yet!

Finally a brilliant picture of the Village Community from yesterdays Fun Day.

Have a great day and keep watching this site for the latest news.

North Luffenham Celebrates – and then some!

Wow! what a start to the weekend. The church bells rang out yesterday at 6.30 for over half an hour to signal the start of this joyous long weekend and the village was bathed in the glory of a quintessential English Summer’s evening. As swathes of villagers turned out at The Fox, the Jubilee Firework signalled the start of the Beacon lighting. Then, onlookers in the packed car park at The Fox watched as our great new village Beacon, designed and created by Jason and his father, was lit for the first time by Tim Smith, chairman of the Parish Council. That was not only a symbolic moment in all of this weekends celebrations, it was also the signal for North Luffenham to party! Sue and I have lived here for nearly a year now and we both said that, of all the places we have lived, North Luffenham is the place that knows how to party the best! What a great evening at The Fox. I now understand where the National Opera gets all it’s talent from!

So day one over. Here we go with day 2, The North Luffenham Jubilee Fun Day. The weather looks to be fine again and so a big turnout is forecast for the start of this day, from 12 noon onwards. There is just so much to do. Sadly, the Bouncy Castle will not make an appearance, but if that leaves you feeling deflated fear not, we have replaced it with the new hit from all the Festivals this year, Marshmallow Golf! Who can launch a giant marshmallow the furthest is the big question of the day! But that is just a small part of it. Judging by the number of dogs on parade last night the Dog Show, starting at 2.00 in the Main Arena, will be a hotly contested event. Just turn up with your canine colleague at the far end of the arena at 2.00 and then let the fun begin!

3.00 will see the start of the Tug O’ War. Now a hot topic of conversation in the Village, competition looks fierce with still a chance of some late entries. This has to be a spectacle to both watch and cheer on. If your street is represented make sure you fill your lungs and cheer them to ever greater feats of Olympian endeavour.

There are so many other games and activities to join in with that I know everyone will have a fine time. Please remember to bring along your own drinking vessel for the refreshments that will be available, and also remember there will be a barbecue as well as ice creams. There will be a small charge for all of these, but the charge will be to cover costs and is not designed to make a profit. The catering team have asked me to ask you to bring along lower denominations of cash to aid them if possible.

And then when that is all over it’s back to The Fox for another fun packed evening. The karaoke is stowed away tonight and in its place, at 8.00pm, the brilliant Dan Hughes is back by huge demand for another evening of revelry and songs that, tonight, will be sung in tune!!

The village looks brilliant, all of the villagers look brilliant and I just know another day of “Jubileeing” lies ahead of us. It is going to be another great day for North Luffenham!

See you there at noon!!

Jubilee Celebrations are here!

The village is decked out in all its finery and we are ready for the off! Beacon lighting is tonight at 9.45 at The Fox. The karaoke is set up and ready to go so why not come along earlier in time for the Tug O’ War draw and take to the stage to serenade the Queen and your fellow villagers! Don’t forget to look skyward for The Big Bang prior to the Beacon Lighting.

My road caught by a spy camera in training last night

Please log in to the website each day to find more details about events for the that day. Those of you who have not booked a slot at the dog groomers yet I am advised there are limited spaces left at all local ones! For the Dog Show you just need to pitch up at the main arena at the start and you can enter your dog in any or all of the categories. Crufts will have nothing on us according to my furry friend.

Two last pleas; we have had a couple of the Face Painters drop out for unforeseen circumstances for the Fun Day on Friday so if you would like to help out with a bit of face painting please let me know as this would help us no end. You can contact me on the number or email below.

It has been mentioned by a couple of people that they would love to be at the street party on the Sunday but feel they are not able to carry all they want to the event such as table, chair and of course their food and drink. Please do not let that put you off. If you need help getting stuff to and from the street party please let me know either via this site or by contacting me direct on 07774456788 or email, simonbrowning958@gmail.com and I will sort out someone to assist you in both directions. We always wanted this to be a weekend for the whole village and so we want as many people to join in and be part of the fun and camaraderie as possible.

I will let you get back to the throat spray and the singing exercises!! Keep watching this website for more information!

See you tonight at The Fox

North Luffenham Dresses for The Jubilee!

Today saw Church Street and surrounds, as well as The Pavilion, dress for The Jubilee Celebrations starting on 2nd June. A big thank you to all who helped and to those villagers who stopped for a chat and to comment on how great everything looked! Also a big thank you to those who came out and decorated the fronts of their houses at the same time. North Luffenham looks really festive. Please do decorate your house as well if you can and make North Luffenham look truly joyous.

I have also been talking to several people who have not yet managed to join a Tug O’ War team. If you are in the same boat let me know and we will put extra teams together. You will be able to do this right up until the start of the Dog Show prior to the Tug O’ War on Friday. Why not pop along on the day to the Pavilion to register your Olympian hopes!

Thursday night will see the start of festivities. Why not pop along to The Fox early evening where the fun will start prior to the lighting of the Beacon. Before the lighting don’t forget to look skyward as or after the sun sets to see the weekend start with a bang!

That’s all for now, but keep reading as updates will surely appear!

Jubilee Weekend Update

I know many of you will be hard into your training regimes for the Tug O’ War by now. However it may just be that you would like to be in a team but your street has not managed to put a team together. Fear not! Let me know if you want to join a team (simonbrowning 958@gmail.com) as a “guest resident” or even put a “wanderers” team together. Whilst we already have a number of teams, we have decided that we will accept entries right up to the time of the draw on Thursday night at The Fox to ensure everyone who wants to take part gets a chance.

Thank you to the person who donated their frying pan for the frying pan rounders. If you have found an old frying pan you could donate to help out please do drop it off in the porch at 3 Glebe Road. The same goes for old wellies we could use for the welly wanging. Again thank you to the person who dropped a set off already.

You will start to see the bunting being put up around the village from early next week (Tuesday onwards) If you would like to help out please do stop by and lend a hand, even if only for few minutes. Let’s make North Luffenham look the cheeriest village for this coming week. Also why not come out and decorate the front of your house whilst we decorate the streets? The more the merrier!

We have decided to adopt a “save the environment” approach during the Fun Day and so it has been suggested that in order not to create waste unduly we would ask you to bring along your own drinking vessels to the Fun Day. There will be refreshments, beer and Pimms and soft drinks etc. but we are hoping you will bring along your own vessels. We are keen, however, to point out that the measures served will be strictly according to correct legal amounts and so even if you bring a bucket along for your Pimms you will only get the correct legal measure!

That’s all for now, but do keep watching for last minute alerts. The next bulletin will outline how we intend to kick things off with a bang on Thursday evening amongst other things.

4 days and counting!

North Luffenham Platinum Jubilee Celebrations – One week to go!

So, just seven days until the great 4 days of celebration. As always there are some last minute preparations and I am asking everyone in the village if you can help out in any small way. We have a list of small “asks”.

  1. Do you have an old frying pan that could be used on the Friday for the Frying Pan rounders on The Oval? If so please could you drop it off in the Porch of 3 Glebe Road. If you would like it returned after the event please leave your name and address with your pan.
  2. Do you have any old wellies that could be used on the Friday for the Welly Wanging on The Oval? If so please could you drop them off in the Porch of 3 Glebe Road. If you would like them returned after the event please leave your name and address with your pan.
  3. We also have a new event for The Oval – Marshmallow Golf!! Therefore if you have an old golf Driver club that we could use on the Friday for this on The Oval please could you drop it off in the Porch of 3 Glebe Road. If you would like it returned after the event please leave your name and address with your driver.

Thank you so much for helping out with these requests.

More updates later!

North Luffenham Jubilee Update -There’s a buzz in the air!

This time next week you will start to see the village transform as we start to put up the bunting around the village. We would love it if you all joined in and added any flags and bunting to the fronts of your properties as well. Let’s make North Luffenham the best looking Jubilee venue in Rutland!

Many of you will have received your official Programme of Events over the weekend outlining the full list of activities over the whole event. I hope you will agree it looks as if we are all in for a great time!

As I delivered my set of Programmes yesterday it was great to hear villagers talking about the whole event and some early claims being made as to the feats their streets would be performing in the Tug O’ War! It is so heartening to hear people coming together like this which is just what we hoped for. If your street hasn’t got a team together yet why not knock on a few doors and see who you can drum up. If you are lost for a team please do contact me and we will see what we can do about creating some “joint street teams” as well.

No doubt the dog groomers will be getting booked up as well, as our canine friends build up to the dog show. I know our dog has been following a strict dietary regime for the last few weeks now. (If its food I’ll eat it!!)

Finally, for this update, I am sure you will all agree the new Beacon looks fantastic. Many many thanks to Jason and his dad for their brilliant efforts. It will burn bright next Thursday alongside all the other beacons across the nation.

The North Luffenham Beacon

More news as it happens!! Keep watching

North Luffenham Platinum Jubilee Latest News – Programme of Events and Horseshoe Hunt

Over the next few days every house in North Luffenham should receive an official Programme of Events. In it you will find dates and times of all the events over the four days. You will also find rules and an entry form for the Tug O’ War.

The Village Fun Day on the Friday is looking spectacular. Please do try and come along as there are many activities to join in and have fun with. Lots of prizes to be won. If you don’t want to try your hand at any of the games why not have your face painted instead! There will be light refreshments and an informal bar.

The Horseshoe Hunt on the Saturday is now finalised. You will see posters of horseshoes dotted around the village, some of which will be accompanied by fascinating historical facts about the village. There is a competition attached and to enter this you will just need to pick up a competition sheet from outside The Fox. Find the Horseshoes, identify the flag associated with that horseshoe and then, when you have them all, complete a short tie breaker question and return the form to The Fox.

You will also find copies of the official North Luffenham Village Walk Information Sheet. Please fell free to take one round with you and identify each of the places mentioned. The information about the history of this village contained in this guide is absolutely fascinating and confirms what a brilliant village we all live in.

Please return the guides after your walk so that others may enjoy them.

The competition sheets and guides will be available from 11.00 onwards.

Why not stop and chat with your fellow villagers on your way round? Then meet again in The Fox afterwards for a well earned drink to share your new found knowledge of North Luffenham!

North Luffenham Jubilee Celebrations – Update

Things are now beginning to take their final shape for the coming celebrations. The Beacon, which will be lit on Thursday night at 9.45 at The Fox, is now completed and will be a credit to the Village both on that night and at future occasions. The Friday Fun Day preparations are now almost completed. This day promises to be such great fun with loads of activities for all age groups to join in with. The Dog Show looks to be a great hit but surely the highlight of the day with be the first North Luffenham Inter Street Tug O’ War! The trophy has been hand made and is a spectacular piece of work which will be displayed in The Fox with the winning street’s name proudly engraved on it through the whole year. Have you got your team together yet?? We would love this to be a real fun competition, and would encourage as many streets to get involved as possible. Even if you don’t have enough people from your street this year why not “borrow” some from other streets?! Saturday’s horseshoe hunt is now completed and will be available for all to join in throughout Saturday. Finally Sunday’s Street Party is also nearly finalised. What a day that will be. Make sure you come along and join in all the festive celebrations. This really will be a Jubilee to remember!

The North Luffenham Tug O’ War Trophy