Remembrance Sunday and the Kindness of Strangers in 2023

How do two acts of kindness in 2023 connect with two brothers who were killed during World War One ? As we approach Remembrance Sunday, we would like to especially remember two brothers from East Farndon who lost their lives during World War One: Alfred Owen Allen (known as Owen) and David Clifford Allen. 

The Allen family lived on Harborough Road, East Farndon and then at Church Cottage, Main Street. When war was declared in 1914, Owen joined the 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, who landed in Le Havre in August that year. Shortly after this, on 15th September 1914, Owen was killed in action, aged 21. He is buried at the Vendresse British Cemetery in France.

David had joined the Coldstream Guards Gun Regiment, and he died in Leicester on 1st November 1919, aged 24. The family thinks he died from the effects of mustard gas poisoning during the war. He is buried in East Farndon churchyard.

The great-niece of Owen and David, Sue Grant, lives in East Farndon. In October 2023, she contacted a Facebook group connected with the Battle of the Somme, asking if anyone would be visiting the Vendresse British Cemetery. A service veteran replied, saying that he was visiting the area and would find Owen’s headstone and take a photograph. He also offered to place a wooden cross next to it asking Sue what words she would like him to write. The kindness of this stranger was very much appreciated by Sue and her family.

At around the same time, a volunteer working for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission visited the graveyard at St John the Baptist Church, East Farndon to clean the headstone of David Allen. The volunteer has a full-time job and cleans war graves across the Midlands in his lunch breaks. Again, this kindness is appreciated by Sue and her family.

For the full article regarding the men from the village who both fought and lost their lives during World War One please visit the village history page on the East Farndon website: East Farndon in World War One

Alfred Owen Allen - WW1
Alfred Owen Allen – WW1
The grave of Owen Allen – Vendresse British Cemetery
David Clifford Allen - WW1
David Clifford Allen – WW1
The grave of David Allen – East Farndon Churchyard

Free eBooks, eAudiobooks & more with a virtual library membership

Did you know that you can download free eBooks, eAudiobooks, eNewspapers and eMagazines with virtual library membership?

You can download free eBooks and eAudiobooks using the BorrowBox app ( or the Libby app (

Further, the PressReader app ( provides same-day access to thousands of newspapers and magazines worldwide, including UK national daily and weekend titles – all free as part of your library membership.

To get access to these services, you need to apply for virtual library membership via this link:

Bench Under the Beech Tree

New Footpath Warden for the East Farndon Parish

After many years of excellent work, Alan Langley is standing down as the Footpath Warden for the East Farndon Parish. Huge thanks to Alan for giving his time to walk our large network of paths identifying issues that need to be rectified in order that everyone can enjoy our stunning rural community at all times of the year. We are pleased to announce that Jonny Dargie is taking over from Alan and will officially become our new Footpath Warden from September 1st 2023. If you have any questions or need to report any problems with our footpaths, please email our Parish Clerk, Caroline Burton and she will pass the details to Jonny. Thank you Alan and welcome Jonny!

In Memoriam – Dr Mark Biggin

Dr Mark Biggin

18th May 1935 to 14th August 2023

It is with great sadness that the family of Dr Mark Biggin announces his death at the age of 88. Moving to East Farndon in 1965, Mark was resident here for 58 years and made many friends in the village.

Born in Leeds in 1935, Mark trained at Guy’s Hospital as a Doctor later working in Burton-upon-Trent and various places in England. He moved to Market Harborough in 1964, working initially at Bowden House on the Northampton Road and then at Market Harborough Medical Centre on the Coventry Road.

Mark met Shirley at Guy’s when she was training as a Nurse. They went on to have 3 children: Andrew, Alison and Helen; and 6 grandchildren: Oliver, Duncan, Ashleigh, Ella, Oscar and Matias. As well as enjoying campervan holidays, Mark loved photography, woodturning and growing sweet peas.

A Service of Thanksgiving will be held on Friday, 1st September at 2.30pm at St John the Baptist’s Church, East Farndon. This will be followed by refreshments at the Village Hall. All are welcome.

Bench Under the Beech Tree

Warning – Police will ticket vehicles that obstruct pavements in East Farndon

Despite repeated requests and warnings, the issue of parking on pavements in East Farndon continues to be a problem. Our local Police are now going to keep a close watch and everyone should be aware that they will ticket vehices if they are found to be parking in a manner that obstructs pavements. The Police will follow a 2 step process,

Step 1 – a leaflet / letter will be left on the offending vehicle(s) warning drivers not to obstruct / park on pavement.

Step 2 – if no improvement – Fixed Penalty Notice by post AND removal of the vehicle (not one or the other).

The Parish Council has previously contacted the Police to resolve this issue which obstructs pedestrians, in particular buggies and mobility scooters. The Police advised that streets in East Farndon have no parking restrictions so vehicles can park on the road, but in any event, a space 1 METRE WIDE on the pavement should be left so people can get past safely. In addition, if a vehicle is parked on the road, especially on Main Street / Harborough Road, drivers must ensure that it is not parked on a blind bend so that traffic has good visibility in both directions. Thank you everyone!

If you have any questions, please email our Parish Clerk, Caroline Burton

New bench in memory of Mark Ellis

There is now a new bench on the footpath in Hall Close, the field behind Redbrick Cottage. The bench was kindly donated to the Parish Council by Sue Ellis, in memory of her late husband, Mark, who lived in East Farndon and loved walking in the parish. The Parish Council extends its thanks to Sue, and Tom & Alice Joule for allowing the bench to be placed there. We hope residents will enjoy the views afforded from the bench.

Lighting Bonfires – please act responsibly

Unfortunately, East Farndon suffers from people lighting bonfires on a regular basis, particularly on warm and sunny days, when residents look forward to enjoying their gardens and the surrounding countryside. The Parish Council is asking everyone to be aware of the following guidelines and act responsibly when considering whether or not to have a bonfire.

It is not illegal to light bonfires, and there are no official restrictions on when or how often they can be burned. The main concerns with bonfires in general however are safety, environmental damage, mainly from excessive smoke, any nuisance caused to neighbours or the public, and any danger to wildlife.

If you decide that lighting a bonfire is necessary then please follow these guidelines:

  • When lighting a bonfire, only burn dry material. Damp vegetation does not burn well as it produces large volumes of smoke and smoulders for long periods of time. The burning of this type of waste causes the most complaints and so it should be disposed of in other ways.
  • Before having a bonfire, let your neighbours know. This gives them an opportunity to shut their windows and bring any washing indoors.
  • Never burn household rubbish, rubber tyres, anything containing plastic, painted materials, plywood and chipboard, foam or paint.
  • Never use old engine oil, meths or petrol to light the fire or encourage it.
  • Avoid lighting a fire in unsuitable weather conditions – smoke hangs in the air on damp, still days and in the evening. If it is windy, smoke may be blown into neighbours gardens and across roads.
  • Never leave the fire unattended or leave it to smoulder – put it out.
  • If a bonfire held on commercial or industrial premises gives rise to dark smoke an offence is committed. The occupier of the land and the person who caused or permitted the smoke can be taken to court and may be fined.

If a bonfire gets out of hand and becomes dangerous call 999 and ask for the Fire Service immediately.

Please be very careful about lighting fires after prolonged perios of warm, dry weather (when surrounding foliage is dry) – fires can spread extremely quickly in those conditions and quickly get out of control.

If the fire is going to be large and a ‘controlled’ burn, fire control should be notified as a courtesy on 01604 797123. Farmers, as a rule, generally do this as it means that a well intended 999 call from someone a mile away will not be responded to. (Fun Fact. If the fire service are called out by anyone to an unattended fire, they must extinguish it.)

West Northamptonshire Council have powers to deal with smoke nuisance from any bonfire and for dark smoke offences on commercial and industrial premises.

For a bonfire to be a legal nuisance WNC would consider the following:

  • how much smoke is being created and does it affect nearby properties?
  • what is being burnt? – the type of material being burned affects how much smoke is being produced / how noxious the fumes from the smoke are
  • how often do the bonfires occur? A single bonfire is unlikely to be a nuisance even though it may cause annoyance to one or more neighbours

You can read more and also raise a compliant to WNC by clicking this link,

They did it! – East Farndon 100 mile cycle challenge – see photos & videos

What an achievement! On Sunday 14th May 2023, the East Farndon Racers completed their 100 miles cycle challenge from the Centotaph in London to the East Farndon War Memorial. The team left London at 7am and arrived in East Farndon just before 5pm, a massive 10 hours in the saddle, navigating a pretty countryside 100 mile route, with a 4,592 foot elevation gain.

Huge thanks and congratulations to the team. The riders were Scott Harrison, Tom Oakden, Paul Hodgetts, John Parker and David Hancock. The team was supported en-route by Neil Beesley and Mervyn Curtis.

Also, a big shout out to Philip Prew and Jonanthan Crifo Garton who both trained hard to ride in the event, but unfortunately they could not take part due to recent surgery and injury.

Many thanks to everyone who turned out to welcome the team home in style and to the Village Hall Committee for laying on refreshments. Please see below some photos that help to tell the story of the challenge on the day.

Scott has been interviewed by HFM News. Click this link to hear Scott and see photos and a video of the team arriving back into East Farndon,

Also John Parker has put togther a must watch, special ride video, taken from his GoPro camera and set to his own fantastic music mix! Click this link to view on YouTube,

As most will know, the challenge was organised to raise much needed funds to repair, refurbish and improve our East Farndon War Memorial. Huge thanks to everyone who has supported us with a donation, it is very much appreciated. Even though the cycle challenge is now complete, there is still time to recognise the massive effort put in by the team.

If you would like to support the team and the restoration fund, please make a donation using this link:

Thank you,

Scott Harrison

Early Start at the Cenotaph in London
First Stop at Studham
On The Road
Lunch at Turvey
On the Road – keeping it going!
Last Stop at the Tolley
Big Finish at the East Farndon War Memorial

If you would like to support the team and the restoration fund, please make a donation using this link:

East Farndon LED streetlights and result of partial dark skies trial

East Farndon Parish Council (EFPC) announced in early February 2023 the completion of the upgrade to all 16 of our streetlights to run on modern, warm LED lamps. This change is generating major cost and environmental benefits.

At the same time as the LED upgrade, EFPC launched a trial of a partial dark skies initiative. This involves all streetlights being operated with part night sensors that switch the lights off between the hours of midnight and 5.30am. This allows all residents to enjoy the benefits of a dark sky as well as generating further energy usage savings.

It was agreed to seek feedback from residents in relation to the dark skies trial and formally review the results at the May 2023 EFPC meeting.

A total of fourteen East Farndon households have given their comments on the trial; thirteen of the responses were in support of the partial dark skies initiative with one against. Councillor Fallon reported that the Speed Indication Device (SID) statistics showed that the partial dark skies initiative had no impact on vehicle speeds at night.

In addition to the feedback from residents, EFPC has also considered the potential impacts of the adoption of a dark skies approach and has taken advice from a number of sources in terms of the reasoning for or against such a change.

From this analysis and taking into account the resident feedback, at the May 2023 meeting, EFPC unanimously agreed to continue with the current partial dark skies approach and formally mark the EFPC streetlighting upgrade project as complete.

Summary of Advice Received

EFPC are pleased to share the advice received in relation to part night streetlighting and its impact on road safety, crime and the environment.

NCALC – Legal and Process Advisers to Northamptonshire Parish Councils

NCALC have confirmed that the Parish Council is the Lighting Authority and thus the Parish Council is free to make its own decisions in relation to how streetlighting is delivered. They also confirmed that there is no legal duty to perform a formal safety audit prior to any changes being made. EFPC have of course considered the streetlighting changes very carefully, this including undertaking research, performing a simplified local risk assessment and taking advice from our local suppliers, Police and road safety contacts.

Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Team

“Following our conversation, I can confirm that we are not aware of any safety implications with your plan to turn off the street lights. There are many villages throughout the county who do not have street lights and their roads are restricted by speed limit repeater signs. The only thing that would need to remain lit is if you had any physical traffic calming such as a priority working or chicane. I found an old study on the switching off of lights and the effect on safety Switching off street lights does not affect safety (

The study mentioned above concluded that “Switching off street lights at night has had no adverse effect on road casualties, public health or crime levels” You can read the full report published in the British Medical Journal by clicking the link below.

BMJ Streetlight Study

Views of Local Police Contacts

“There is always a small risk of residents being a victim of crime, when an area is completely dark, especially a small rural location like East Farndon My advice would be to try and retain some of the street lighting at night. I take it, the reason for turning lights off is a financial reason? If need be, we would be more than happy to hold a residents crime prevention evening in the village.”

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) – Dark Skies

The CPRE has published a survey of local authority approaches to lighting in England. This report can be read using the links below. It details the relationship between streetlights and light pollution and references the impacts on road safety and crime.

CPRE Shedding Light – Summary

CRPRE Shedding Light – Full Report

You can use this link to access the CPRE website directly.

The Natural History Museum – Dark Skies Impact on Wildlife

The Natural History Museum has published an article entitled ‘Bye-bye dark sky: is light pollution costing us more than just the night-time?’ Please click the link below to read.

East Farndon Streetlight Locations
  1. Harborough Road / Lubenham Lane Corner – Steel Column
  2. Lealand Corner – Sleeved Concrete Column
  3. Lealand outside No. 8 – Steel Column
  4. Top of Lealand – Steel Column
  5. Harborough Road – Steel Column
  6. Main Street by Spring – Steel Column
  7. Main Street on Beauchamp House – Wall Bracket
  8. Main Street by Village Hall – Steel Column
  9. Main Street on Hillside Farm – Wall Bracket
  10. Back Lane by Home Farm Close – Steel Column
  11. Back Lane on Hillview – Wall Bracket
  12. Back Lane by Farndon Hall – Steel Column
  13. Main Street on Horseshoe Cottage – Wall Bracket
  14. Main Street on Greywalls – Wall Bracket
  15. Main Street by Farrer Cottages – Steel Column
  16. Main Street by Church Cottage – Sleeved Concrete Column

In Memoriam – Jean Westwood

Jean Westwood
September 1931 – March 2023

The village is sad to announce the passing of Jean Westwood on March 29th, aged 91. 

Jean hailed from Birmingham and she and her husband Eric moved to East Farndon from the West Midlands in January 1982 during heavy snow. Later that same evening, they battled their way up Marston Lane to attend the pantomime in the village hall!

As soon as Jean moved to the village she joined East Farndon Women’s Institute, volunteering to stand on the committee in September 1983. She took over as President on 4th November 1986, switching to Treasurer for several years, then she took over as President again until the group folded in 2021.

She is remembered by W I members as being strong, capable, kind and immensely considerate. She always put others’ needs before her own and had the tact and diplomacy of a politician! She kept a sensible head when those around her were losing theirs and she had a thirst and appreciation of history that surprised you!

She was an exceptional cook and baker; her shortbread was to die for and she frequently used these skills to produce a token of thanks for others or as a donation to the local hospice. In the photograph above, Jean is receiving an embroidery of W I members’ names on behalf of East Farndon W I. This is on permanent display in the village hall.

Jean worked tirelessly for the village, cleaning the church and the village hall amongst many other things. She also worked hard to raise money for good causes through her baking, organising of rummage sales and volunteering for Age Concern. 

Jean supported every village event, and she will be sadly missed, not only for all her hard work but also for the twinkle in her eye!

The village sends its condolences to her husband Eric.