Reading Room Fundraising 2009-2011

Cafe's Donations To The Reading Room Exceed Expectations - posted 17 August 2011

The Village Cafe has donated £700 to The Reading Room in just four and a half months. The Reading Room Fund Raising Committee is delighted with The Cafe's success. The money will help enormously with the general running of the hall and will help meet those unexpected bills which any household can face.

Our thanks to The Village Cafe Committee and to all of The Cafe's customers who enjoy their weekly indulgence of tea and cakes. (If you haven't already been, then do pay The Cafe a visit. It opens from 10 - 12 am every Tuesday morning in The Reading Room).

Caroline King
Secretary to The Reading Room Fund Raising Committee

Helmdonites Take Afternoon Tea With Bill And Doreen England - posted 14 August 2011

The sun shone down on a typically English (sorry about the pun!) event on Saturday the 6th August 2011. Bill and Doreen England's huge tea party in their pretty garden attracted a lot of Helmdonites with all of the proceeds going to The Reading Room.

The busy stalls (right: Colin Oakey)

Not only was tea and home made cakes on offer, but there were various stalls including bric a brac, locally grown vegetables, a tombola stall, a raffle and a cake stall.

Bill and Doreen would like to thank all those who helped out on the day and also everybody who donated prizes for the raffle, cakes for the tea, bric a brac etc. Most of all they would like to thank those who came to their big tea party and are delighted to tell you that they raised about £415 … a magnificent amount.

Caroline King

Two New Cookers For The Reading Room - posted 10 August 2011

Catering will be much easier in The Reading Room now that we have two new cookers. These were bought with money from a grant given to us by Councillor Andrew Grant from Northants County Council. It's surprising just how often the cookers are used and we will all benefit from this latest addition to the Reading Room's refurbishment plan. The Tuesday Lunches, under Wiggy Smith's leadership, will benefit more than most. Cooking for up to thirty people once a month is no easy task - especially with the very high standard that Wiggy demands. Diners are offered a choice of two main courses and two puddings and only the best food is used! So Wiggy is a very happy lady.

Our thanks go to Andrew Grant for this generous contribution to The Reading Room's continuing refurbishment project.

Caroline King
Secretary to the Reading Room Fund Raising Committee

Have Your Cake - And Eat It - posted 03 June 2011

Helmdon's 'Village Cafe' is proving to be not only a very popular Tuesday morning venue, but a valuable support to the Reading Room with its regular donations of money.

In just three months the Cafe has contributed approximately £400 to the Reading Room, so it looks as though the Reading Room will receive in excess of £1,200 a year from the Village Cafe.

Our grateful thanks go to Chairman Lynn Walmsley, the Cafe Committee, the cake-makers and the 23 fantastic volunteers who work so hard every Tuesday and provide us with not only a wonderful meeting place, but this permanent fund-raiser for the Reading Room.

Caroline King
Secretary to The Reading Room Fund Raising Committee

Tea Dance - posted 05 May 2011
Stop Press: Unfortunately cancelled due to lack of ticket sales.

A TEA DANCE is to be held in the Reading Room, Helmdon on Saturday 21st May from 3.30 – 5.30 pm.Join the latest craze to sweep Britain and dance the afternoon away in our beautifully refurbished Reading Room. After a delicious tea (sandwiches, savouries, scones with cream and jam and home made cakes) you can take to the dance floor. If you didn't come to the Tea Dance last year, you missed a treat! This year's will be even better but please buy your ticket early. We sold out quickly last year and numbers are limited due to the space. There will be no tickets available on the door on the day. Tickets cost just £5 and you can buy them from the Bell Inn, the Tuesday Lunches, the Village Cafe or from me.

Caroline King
Secretary to the Reading Room Fund Raising Committee

The Reading Gets Its First Contribution From The Village Cafe - posted 28 April 2011

The Reading Room Management Committee was delighted to receive its first contribution from 'The Village Cafe' recently. These regular donations will help the Reading Room with its day to day running costs.

The idea of running a cafe in the village had two main aims: firstly, to provide a much needed day time meeting place where friends could meet, catch up on the gossip and enjoy an excellent cup of tea or coffee and cake in very pleasant surroundings. Secondly, the money raised from such a cafe could go towards the Reading Room's ongoing expenses. You might think that a village hall doesn't need much money to run, but you'd be surprised! The usual utility bills, insurance, building works and coping with the unexpected expense all adds up ... as in any household.

The Village Cafe is well advertised with a pavement sign which is put out every Tuesday morning on the corner of Church Street and Station Road. This sign was very kindly supplied by McIntyres estate agents. It is heartening to see local businesses supporting this kind of village initiative.

The popularity of The Village Cafe has exceeded all expectations and will become an extremely important part of the Reading Room's income.

Our heartfelt thanks go to the team of volunteers who man the kettles and provide all those delicious cakes as well as to the Cafe's customers - ranging in age from eight weeks old to... well, let's say eighty years plus!

Please do drop in any Tuesday morning (10 - 12 am). The Cafe is held in The Reading Room Church Street.

Caroline King
Secretary to The Reading Room Fund Raising Committee

Fashion Show Raises £475 Towards New Reading Room Curtains - posted 29 March 2011

Some of the models who showed the clothes

The Fashion Show was, as usual, a very entertaining evening with Ellie and her lovely models.

With ticket sales and the raffle the evening raised £475, which will go a long way towards the cost of the new Reading Room curtains.

Thanks to all who bought raffle tickets, came and supported and hopefully went home with some purchases – I know we did!

Vanessa Vicars & Sue Lidgley.

Fashion Show Will Boost Funds - posted 9 February 2011

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The Dick Francis Night Was A Sell Out - posted 20 November 2010

Felix Francis

The last Reading Room fund raising event for 2010 was the very popular 'Dick Francis' night which was held on the 11th November.

The audience enjoyed a hot supper in the attractively decorated Reading Room before listening to author, Felix Francis, talking about his father, Champion Jockey and best-selling writer, Dick Francis. Felix is a very accomplished speaker and delighted us with tales of his father's early life as the Queen Mother's jockey, the ill-fated Grand National runner Devon Loch, and how Dick started to write for the national newspapers which was a great training for his later life as an author.

Bill England (left) Chairman of the Reading Room, talking to Felix Francis

Felix started to co-write the books with Dick a little while ago and now, after his father's death earlier this year, he explained how he copes with writing alone and the big responsibility he feels in assuming his father's mantle. For aspiring authors it became apparent that writing books is not an easy option! Felix explained how he sets about the process of trying to produce another best seller and he then read the very poignant first two pages of the latest Francis book ' Crossfire'.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening to which Felix contributed not only his time, but generously made a donation to the Reading Room with every book that he sold on the night. The evening made a wonderful £393.50.

Our thanks go to Felix Francis and to all those who worked so hard behind the scenes to make sure the evening went without a hitch.

Caroline King
Secretary to The Reading Room Fund Raising Committee

Wonderful Donation To The Reading Room From The Young Husbands - posted 10 November 2010

The Reading Room Fund Raising Committee was delighted when it learnt that the Young Husbands intends to donate a large sum to their refurbishment campaign.

It must be extremely difficult for the HyHo's to divide up, between the different village organisations, the proceeds of the wonderful events they stage but they certainly didn't forget the Reading Room! This extremely generous contribution to the Reading Room refurbishment fund raising campaign will do a great deal to help us complete all the work in a timely fashion and then we will all enjoy the new chairs, better lighting, a sound system, new curtains, repainting etc. etc.

Many, many thanks Young Husbands for all you have done for the Reading Room - and the rest of the village. Not only do we get to enjoy the events you put on, but we benefit from the proceeds of those same events. Can't be bad!

Caroline King

New Fundraising 200 Club - posted 4 November 2010

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Talk By Felix Francis - posted 15 October 2010

There will be a talk by Felix Francis, author, on 11 November in the Reading Room at 7 for 7.30 prompt start.

Felix Francis will be talking about his father, Dick Francis (champion jockey and best selling author), writing the last few books with him and now 'going it alone'. Tickets (£6), available from the Bell, Bill England and Caroline King from mid-0ctober, will include a hot supper. Wine & soft drinks will be available. Mr Francis wil be selling and signing his recent book which came out in October 2010.

Caroline King

Ernie's Fun Afternoon Entertained On Bank Holiday Saturday - posted 7 September 2010

Children's scarecrow competition

You missed a treat if you didn't go to 'Ernie's Fun Afternoon' on Saturday 28th August! The event was organised to raise money for the Reading refurbishment campaign. The weather was kind to us at first, tailing off rapidly towards the end! Ernie Cline's garden look absolutely lovely ... the perfect setting for this kind of event.

There was much to amuse and entertain including a Putting Tournament supervised by Philip. The winner in the Senior Section was Mark Stubbings and the Junior Section was won by young Alfie Adhemar. Those feeling peckish went to the BBQ stall overseen by Curly and Eddie and those with a sweet tooth went to the Cream Tea tent where Sally and Patricia served up delicious scones, cream and jam. We had a beer tent which Dave and Bill looked after and there was also a raffle with Philippa selling tickets (the first prize was a round of golf for two at Silverstone Golf Course). At times there was quite a queue for the face painting table while parents browsed through the bric a brac, sampled the sweets on the homemade sweet stall, bought jewellery and home made cards.

Caroline King, secretary to the Reading Room Refurbishment
Enthusiastic and tireless, she has been
co-ordinating the highly successful campaign from the start

The centrepiece of the garden were the scarecrows made for the Scarecrow Competition. Great job kids ... thank you for taking the time to make your scarecrows ... they all looked fantastic. The icing on the cake was an anonymous donation of £200 given by a generous individual which resulted in the total profits from the afternoon reaching approximately £450. Not a bad afternoon's work! Ernie's 'Fun Afternoon' was yet another innovation for the Bank Holiday weekend and one we hope to repeat next year. Our grateful thanks go to Ernie Cline for lending us his lovely garden. Thanks also go to the stall holders for generously contributing donations from their hard earned profits and, most of all, thanks to all of you for coming and supporting this fund raising effort for the Reading Room. There can't be many villages that would back this campaign as loyally as Helmdon does!

Caroline King
Secretary to the Reading Room Fund Raising Committee

A New Bank Holiday Attraction For Helmdon - posted 4 September 2010

Although, sadly, there was no traditional Helmdon Carnival on the 30th August a new attraction kept us all entertained.

On a glorious morning about 28 walkers took part in the Helmdon Fun Walk (in aid of the Reading Room). Taking part were the very young and not so young. We were led by Roger Miles who took us via beautiful footpaths to Weston. We stopped there for much needed refreshments (chocolate cake included!) and then we went back to Helmdon following a different path. We started our walk at 10.00 a.m. and finished back in The Bell at about 12.40 p.m. where we all fell upon a glass of something nice and a delicious BBQ.

The Reading Room Fund Raising committee was delighted that our Fun Walk was complemented by the Helmdon Hurlers – a proper athletic race which attracted more than 100 runners. The two events seemed to go together very well. A race for the truly young and fit and a walk for the rest of us!

The ensuing party at The Bell (with much talk of time, routes, sore feet, etc.,) was great fun and there must have been at least 150 people there.

The Fun Walk raised about £180 for the Reading Room and concluded a fantastically successful weekend in which we raised over £680.

Many, many thanks to all the organisers, helpers and participants. Especial thanks to Roger Miles for leading us bravely through the wilderness. I think we all made it back! Let's hope this hugely enjoyable day will be repeated next year.

Caroline King

A Thank You From The Reading Room Committee - posted17 August 2010

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Fantastic Result From Garden Fete - posted 11 August 2010

Bric-a-brac aplenty

Enjoying a cream tea

A fete was held in the garden of Doreen and Bill England on Saturday. We thought we were in for a bad day, when the heavens opened up just as we had set everything in place, but with quick action by all (and a few expletives from Bill) the day was saved. After the panic, the weather changed for the better and a great day was had by all.

Cream teas were available for anyone feeling a bit peckish. The children's corner proved to be very popular, especially when an impromptu visit from a ferret and a very small tortoise called Charlie arrived on the scene.

The face painting was good fun, especially among the much, much, much, older children (one ended up as a strawberry, or was it just sunburn?) and if you fancied a bit of the old mystique, Sally was there with her Tarot Cards.

The raffle, tombola, cake/produce, books, homemade cards, and the bric/a/brac stalls were soon doing a brisk trade, and thanks to all those involved in making the day a success, a fantastic total of £676 was raised for YOUR READING ROOM.

Bill England

Family Fun Afternoon: August Bank Holiday Saturday - posted 10 August 2010

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Helmdon to Weston Fun Walk On 30 August - posted 19 July 2010

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Summer Fete On 7 August - poste16 July 2010

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Helmdon Dips Into The World Of Ballroom Dancing At Tea Dance - posted 30 June 2010

Everybody on the floor

Helmdon's first Tea Dance took place on Saturday 26 June in the Reading Room and was a roaring success!

Having consumed vast quantities of tea and cake (not to mention sandwiches, sausage rolls and scones with cream and jam!) we attempted to take to the dance floor. Most of us were a bit nervous at first but inspiration and encouragement came in the form of Gill Locket who runs a series of local dance classes and who got us all up on the floor.

We may not have been quite as polished as Strictly Come Dancing, but we had a great time all the same and the Reading Room looked lovely with sparkly lights, potted palms and glamorous decorations.

Margaret Reardon (facing) and Pauline Payne enjoy a joke

Even better, the event raised over £200 for the Reading Room refurbishment campaign (that's enough to buy at least another four chairs). The Fund Raising Team hope to hold another Tea Dance before the end of the year and if you couldn't come last time, make sure you come to the next one. I think ballroom dancing is about to hit Helmdon big time.

For those of us who have two left feet, Gill Locket is interested in running a dance/fitness class in Helmdon. Look out for details and get yourself into training for our next Tea Dance!

Caroline King,
Secretary to The Reading Room Fund Raising Committee

Reading Room Refurbishment Campaign Raises £980 In Just A Few Weeks - posted 1 June 2010

  • The Reading Room Fund Raising Committee is delighted that the Helmdon Parish Council will be generously donating £300 towards the on-going refurbishment campaign. This is yet another example of the wonderful village support the Reading Room is receiving.
  • Also, Helmdon Presents have promised us the proceeds from their very popular Indian Evening held a few weeks ago. They are donating a fantastic £273 towards the campaign for which we thank them very much.
  • The Pub Quiz and Meat Raffle held in The Bell on Sunday 30th May raised a staggering £207; thank you so much for supporting this great evening.
  • Last but absolutely not least, we are about to be given a personal cheque for £200 by somebody living in Helmdon who wishes to remain anonymous. This is a large amount of money to receive from an individual and we are extremely grateful.

We think this proves that calling our campaign 'Are You Up For It? couldn't be more appropriate! Helmdon certainly is up for it. Thank you so very much.

The Reading Room Fund Raising Comittee

Magnificent 'Awards For All' Lottery Grant For The Reading Room - posted18 May 2010

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More Donations for the Reading Room Refurbishment Campaign - posted 22 April 2010

The Reading Room Management Committee is delighted to have received more donations to its fund from individuals. Money was raised by:

Mrs. Joan Hadfield who sold some of her garden produce

Mrs. Lesley Kinghorn who donated the money she would normally have spent on Christmas cards

The Helmdon Walkers who buy homemade cakes in the Reading Room after their weekly walks (is this really what 'health' walks are all about?!)

These simple fund-raising schemes are greatly appreciated and once again show how the people of Helmdon are not only thinking of the refurbishment scheme, but are coming up with ways to help.

The Fund Raising Committee has come up with a whole host of enjoyable events for 2010 so have a look on the Village Diary section of the Helmdon website and make a note in your diary.

Many thanks,
C. King
Secretary to The Reading Room Management Committee
April 2010

Reading Room Refurbishment Campaign Races Ahead! - posted 14 April 2010

The Reading Room's 'ARE YOU UP FOR IT?' campaign is still doing brilliantly well. In the last few weeks alone we have received almost £400 from local organisations and a private donor (details to be announced later!) has promised us a further £200. We are just about to hear from Awards For All (Big Lottery) who might – fingers crossed – give us a £10,000 grant and Northants Council have promised us nearly £1,000. It's all happening! Meanwhile the newly formed Grants Sub Committee is actively seeking further funding ... not an easy task.

So our special thanks for their recent, generous donations go to:
The Drop In Centre
The Fellowship
Helmdon Presents

Caroline King
Secretary to The Reading Room Management Committee

Grants Sub Committee - posted 27 March 2010

A Grants Sub Committee has been formed to help with the complex task of searching for grants for the Reading Room's refurbishment project. The Committee consists of:
Richard Foster
Judy Cairns
Jan Harrold

Special Pub Quiz - How Clever Are You - posted March 2010

On Saturday 13th March at 7.45 p.m. in The Bell Inn, Helmdon, there will be a special pub quiz. This is part of the Reading Room's fund-raising campaign. If you can't answer the tricky questions, you might just win a wonderful raffle prize instead! Please come along and enjoy a great evening and support the Reading Room. All welcome.

Wish List - posted 13 February 2010

Main Hall

  1. Install new lighting hidden behind new woodwork
  2. Install regulation fire alarm
  3. Install audio/visual unit
  4. Replace curtains, to latest fire regulations
  5. Replace sliding doors
  6. Replace funiture
  7. Hide majority of electric wiring
  8. Redecorate


  1. Box in all surface pipe work
  2. Redecorate

Other Works To Be Considered

Remedial and energy efficiency as laid out in a paper composed by Mr Neil Buckley

Bill England
Helmdon Reading Room

Thank You Waitrose And Thank You Waitrose Shoppers - posted 4 February 2010

Waitrose in Brackley are about to send a cheque to the Helmdon Reading Room Refurbishment Fund for £244 after we entered their 'Community Matters' campaign last December. Godwin Court pipped us to the post by getting the most number of green tokens and we came second. Many thanks to those of you who went out of your way to shop at Waitrose. Our grand total of money raised now stands at a magnificent £4,525.

Up-dated Results for Reading Room 2009 Fund Raising Campaign - posted 3 February 2010

The Reading Room Management Committee is delighted to tell you that YOU have raised (in just six months in 2009) a magnificent £4,525.54

This wouldn't have been possible without your amazing hard work, organisation, generosity and time. Now that we have raised a substantial amount of money, the Reading Room Secretary can begin to apply for grants because we can prove that Helmdon supports the renovation plans and sees the Reading Room as a vital part of its community.

We have listed below the names of those who have made a big difference to our campaign but we are certainly not forgetting all of you who contributed in your own invaluable way with your time, generosity and skill. Thank you everybody.

The Drop In Centre
Conservative Club (local branch)
Helmdon Fellowship
Doreen England's card sales
The Bell Inn BBQ
Caroline King's cake sale
Alex Corrin's bread sale
Bill and Doreen England's summer fete
Pamper Me Party
Thursday Health Walkers
Helmdon Studies Group
The Fashion Show
The Oktoberfest
Church sale for the Reading room
Bill England's party donation
Womens Club 'Greek Night'
Garden Club's 'Gardeners' Question Time'
Helmdon Presents
Philippa Lloyd's Christmas Sale donation
Waitrose tokens

We hope you felt that most of the events held in 2009 were not only for a good cause, but FUN! The Fund Raising Committee is busy planning an enjoyable schedule for 2010 so watch this space and, of course,


Shop At Waitrose To Get Tokens - 1st December 2009


Waitrose (Brackley) are dedicating one of their charity boxes to the Reading Room for the month of December.

Every time you shop in Waitrose (Brackley) you will receive a green token. Perhaps you would be kind enough to put this into the box dedicated to the Reading Room refurbishment campaign.

The more tokens we receive in 'our' box, the larger the share of the £1000 we will receive at the end of the month.


And The Total So Far Is... - 6th November 2009

As of 6th November 2009 the money raised for the Reading Room refurbishment fund stands at a very commendable £3,445.

With extremely generous contributions from the Women's Club and HYHOs, topped up with an excellent £370 from the Gardener's Question Time event held on 4th November the total is just shy of £3.5k just six months after the fund raising campaign was launched.

Every single pound is important because if match-funding can be secured every pound raised locally could count double eventually.

The Reading Room Management Committee is hoping to raise approximately £40,000 and would like for at least a quarter of that amount to come from local fundraising - so to look at it another way, we're already over a third of the way there!

There are lots more events to support in the coming months so please give generously!
click for report of Gardeners' Question Time (9th November) (on

HYHO'S Wonderful Contribution & A Thankyou To The Women's Club - 27th October 2009

The Reading Room's 'Are You Up For It?' campaign received a wonderful donation of £200 from Helmdon Young Husbands today. Their many fund-raising events always raise a substantial amount of money which they distribute to village causes; this time it was the Barn Dance in the summer which was a great evening. The Management Committee of the Reading Room are extremely grateful for this contribution and would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the Young Husbands.

As I am sure you will have seen on the Helmdon website, the Women's Club 'Greek Evening' have made an outstanding contribution to the Reading Room's 'Are You Up For It?' campaign. Well, they certainly were up for it and raised a magnificent £802! This was not achieved without an enormous amount of hard work. The Reading Room Management Committee have written to the Women's Club Chair, Kate Moody, asking her to thank all her members for this wonderful result which will boost the funds considerably.

A huge "thank you" to all concerned.
Caroline King, Secretary to The Reading Room Fund Raising Committee

The Reading Room looked splendid

Magnificent Result For Greek Evening - 26th October 2009

The Women's Club raised the magnificent sum of £802 for the Reading Room fund raising appeal on Saturday October 24th.

Their Greek evening, attended by over eighty guests, was a great success, and many thanks must go to Richard Farquharson for setting up the film 'Mamma Mia', Sue Lidgley, who organized us on the evening in her own inimitable way, and Jan Harrold and all the members of the committee who put in so much effort to make sure the evening ran smoothly. A good time was had by all.

Judy Porter

Successful Oktoberfest - 24th October 2009

Demonstration of cidermaking by the
Helmdon Heritage Cider Club

Sampling the brew

Thank you to so many people for making the Helmdon Oktoberfestsuch a success. We raised £400 for the Reading Room's 'Are You Up For It' campaign.

Thank you to all you kind ladies who donated delicious cakes and puddings to be sold, thank you to all you stall holders and raffle ticket sellers who gave up a precious Sunday to help us out – and who made a huge financial contribution, thank you to the Helmdon Heritage Cider Club (for having the idea in the first place), thank you to the BBQ team, thank you to the marquee erection team & the Carnival Committee, thank you to the raffle prize doners for being so generous and thank you very much to Richard and Sally Phillips for allowing us to use The Bell as our venue.

THANK YOU to everybody who came and spent so generously... and, I hope, had a good time.

So really just a huge ...

Caroline King

Result Coffee Morning - 11th October 2009

£152 was raised by members of the Church on Tuesday 6th October for the Reading Room refurbishment campaign. This all took place in The Reading Room during a Drop-In Centre session. Home made cakes, videos, CDs, books and bric a brac all sold out and a raffle helped boost the total amount of money made.

The Reading Room Management Committee are delighted at yet another example of the generosity of the people of Helmdon. The 'Are You Up For It?' campaign is a huge success; there will be just a few more events over the coming months but after that things will quieten down a little to allow other charities and groups to do fund-raising for their own causes.

The Reading Room Committee would like to say a huge "thank you" to the Church for their wonderful efforts and to everyone who supported the coffee morning and spent so generously.

C. King

Gardeners' Question Time - 8th October 2009

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Oktoberfest - 5th October 2009

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Coffee Morning - 1st October 2009

Church members are hosting a coffee morning in the Reading Room, during Post Office Hours (10 am to 12 noon), on Tuesday 6th October, with a bring and buy stall and raffle, in aid of the Reading Room renovation fund. Do come and support this excellent cause.

Fashion Show - 30th September 2009

An evening for the 'fashion followers' amongst us was held in the Reading Room on Friday 11th September as Ellie presented the fashion show while her models 'walked the walk' in their elegant clothes and hats. Most of us could see ourselves in at least one of the costumes and we had just that opportunity as after the show finished the clothes rails were wheeled in and everyone could 'shop' to see if they could find something they fancied in their size to buy - and many did! The evening raised £385 towards the Reading Room refurbishment costs so our thanks to all those who supported this enjoyable evening.

Vanessa Vicars & Sue Lidgley

Greek Evening - 24th September 2009

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Oh Yes It's Eighties Night And The Feelin's Right - 14th September 2009

Please note: Due to a clash of dates, this event has been postponed from November 14th until 13th February, 2010. More details nearer the time.

Who shot J.R.?, Pacman, Charles and Di's wedding, MTV, Roland Rat, the end of the £1 note, Coke, battery-powered cars, Sam Fox and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

If the above list has you sighing in reminiscence then this is the event for you. Joe Adhemar is organising an Eighties Night in the Reading Room, Helmdon on Saturday November 14th from 8:00 p.m. to midnight.

Tickets are just £5 each and you can book in advance by e-mailing Joe. All proceeds to the Reading Room refurbishment fund.

Waitrose 'Community Matters' & Reading Room Refurbishment Fundraising Scheme - 13th September 2009

Those of you who shop in Brackley's Waitrose will know that when you pay for your goods you are given a green token which you can put into one of three boxes – each box is dedicated to a local charity and each month these change. The green tokens are counted up each month and Waitrose give a proportionate amount of money to each charity.

The Reading Room's 'Are You Up For It?' campaign might well be a candidate for one of Waitrose's boxes. To get a box dedicated to the Reading Room fund-raising campaign, customers have to fill in a very short form in which they specify the charity (i.e. The Reading Room) they wish to benefit from Waitrose's scheme – and the reasons why. I have a lot of these forms and if anybody would like one, please either ring me or ask for a form from Waitrose when you next go there.

It would be far more effective if we all deliver our forms (or I can do this for you) to the Brackley Waitrose over the course of one month and I think that we should do this in October. The more forms they receive, the better chance we stand of having a box. We need to use the Brackley Waitrose because that covers the Helmdon area.

Many thanks and fingers crossed we get a box and then lots of money for the Reading Room refurbishment!

Caroline King, Secretary to The Reading Room Fund Raising Committee

Over A Thousand Already - 2nd September 2009

The funds raised so far for the Reading Room refurbishment stand at a very commendable £1,416.53 just two months after the launch of the fundraising campaign. Chairman of the Reading Room Management Committee says "The total is fantastic. I think this is a superb achievement after only 2 months, and there is plenty to come."

A happy day on one of this summer's rare sunny days...
Cream teas, a tombola, cake stall, bric-a-brac stall,
children's games and face-painting, handmade cards, plants...
all helped to raise a fantastic sum.

'England's Fete' A Thundering Success - 24th August 2009

Doreen and Bill England's fete on Saturday 22nd August was a thundering success. It was great fun and raised a massive £600 for the Reading Room's "ARE YOU UP FOR IT' campaign. It was wonderful to see so many Helmdonites turn up – all ready to spend their money and then sit back and sample a cream tea ... the wasps had a good time too! The sun was shining and everybody enjoyed a thoroughly English fete.

Doreen and Bill were overwhelmed by the amount of bric a brac, cakes, raffle prizes and produce they received and would like to say a big "thank you" to all who so kindly donated anything. Also thanks go to all the stall holders and helpers who gave up their Saturday to make the fete such a success.

The Reading Room fund-raising campaign is going remarkably well thanks to all the hard work, time and effort that people are putting into it. Bill's fete was just another example of the true generosity of Helmdon people. Thank you!

Caroline King
Secretary to The Reading Room

Garden Fete Announced - 9th August 2009

Garden Fete, in the Gardens of 2 Hintons Close, in Aid of the Reading Room Fundraising, Saturday 22nd August at 2 pm

Anyone wishing to donate a bottle, etc., for the tombola, plants, produce, bric-a-brac, raffle or bake a cake, or wishing to help, please ring Bill or Doreen. Any donation will be gratefully received.

Come along and enjoy yourselves and help raise funds for your hall

There will be a barbecue, all sorts of bits and pieces to win or buy, and hopefully, ferret racing.

If the weather is not kind to us the event will be in the Reading Room

Are you up for it?

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Two New Committee Members - 4th August 2009

We have two new committee members on the fund raising committee, which now consists of the following members:

Bill England, Chairman
Caroline King, Secretary
Eddie Garner, Treasurer
Dave Dyndor
Doreen England
Sally Phillips
Sarah Valentine
Steve Waterworth

Bell Raises Magnificent £317 - 28th July 2009

Richard & Sally Phillips organised a fundraising event for the Reading Room on Sunday 26th July at the Bell Inn. The event went very well even though a few raindrops were felt, but this didn't deter anyone. Outside there was a Barbeque, Tombola, Raffle, Bouncy castle, and Face painting, while inside there were Tarot cards, a Manicure, Pamper Chef, Jewellery, a Card stall, and of course the chance to sample a variety of fine ales. In all everyone had an enjoyable afternoon, and an overwhelming £317 was raised for the refurbishment fund.

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone involved in this event, and for all the other events that have taken place over the last few months, and for all the kind donations and offers of help we have received. Watch this space for the funds raised up to date.

Bill England.

WI Raises £150 for Renovation Fund - 20th July 2009

A salad lunch with strawberries was on offer recently when six members of the Women's Institute catered for a coach group of forty seniors from Yardley Hastings. This is the third time that the group have been to Helmdon so they must enjoy Helmdon WI food!

£150 has been handed to the Reading Room Renovation Fund.

Reiki, Massage, Facials, Manicures, Crystal Mud treatments
and much, much more.

Pamper-Me-Party - 14th July 2009

On Saturday the 11th July the Reading Room's fundraising began with a very successful Pamper event organised by Sally Gordon of Countryside Holistic Therapies. The event was very well attended with both stall holders and ladies from the village and their contribution raised £120!

The Pamper event had lots of fabulous treatments on offer including Reiki, Massage, Facials, Manicures, Crystal Mud treatments and much, much more. Stallholders included Renee from Urban Angel Jewellery and Helen E cosmetics, Kim from Forever Living, Sharon from Rainbow Readings, Beautiful Handmade Cards by Doreen England, Anne-Marie from Mini IQ and Sally had a stall selling Likisma Products. We also had a raffle with prizes being donated by the stallholders and a lovely bowl of fruit from Pat at Seckington's.

We would like to thank everyone for their support and attendance at this event and we look forward to the events of the future!!

Sally and Renee are co-directors of Pamper-Me-Party, an events company that specialises in all things pampered from small house parties, including children's, up to large fundraisers and corporate events. For further details please visit their website.

Are You Up For It?: Encouraging Early Results - 2nd July 2009

Although the fund raising campaign for the Reading Room's refurbishment has only been going for a few weeks we are beginning to see a wonderful response ... but then what else would you expect in Helmdon?!

Not only are we receiving actual cash in hand, we have had countless offers of help from village organisations who have kindly donated money and who are planning various events over the next few months. Apart from this we have had wonderful suggestions (nearly all of them quite printable) from people ... anything from letting us use their big gardens for mini fetes, garden parties etc. to people actually volunteering to go on the Fund Raising Committee (not always a bundle of laughs).

By now, or very soon, you will have received the flyer asking for your individual help to raise some money for the refurbishment project. Don't by shy; why don't you become the first person in Helmdon to raise some money on your own? If you want help with a venue we can offer you free use of the Reading Room for a big event, or I can put you in touch with those kind people who offered us the use of their gardens. But smaller things are just as good; if every household in Helmdon could raise just £20 each, we could reach our initial target of £10,000 within a couple of months! But it's boring and painful giving money, so why not have a little fun and make some instead. The internet is full of ideas for fund-raising and as we have no Carnival this year, we can have all sorts of things going on all over the village instead.

Please don't hesitate to call me or Bill England for any practical help or advice. We also have our Fund Raising Committee who would lend a hand if you are planning something big.

All we can say is a massive "thank you" to everyone and make sure you're the first individual to hand us that money you've made. (Might just get your name in the Banbury Guardian!!).

Caroline King, Secretary to the Reading Room Committee
Bill England, Chairman, The Reading Room

Pamper Evening In July To Raise Funds - 27th June 2009

Reiki, Handmade Jewellery, Massages, Facials, a Clairvoyant, Indian Head Massage, Fairtrade Clothing and Handbags, Mini IQ Books and much, much more. Saturday 11th July from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. in the Reading Room. Call Sally for details.

Download the poster here (on

Summer Of Fund Raising Launched - 19th June 2009

We have established a fund raising committee which consists of:

Bill England, Chairman
Caroline King, Secretary
Eddie Garner, Treasurer
Sarah Valentine
Doreen England
Sally Phillips

Summer Of Fund Raising Launched - 18th June 2009

The Reading Room Management Committee (RRMC) are asking "Are You Up For It?"!

We are about to launch one of the biggest fund-raisers Helmdon has seen for a long time because the Reading Room is about to get a makeover and we need lots of money! We need to spend about £40,000 on the refurb and it would be wonderful if our village could contribute up to a quarter of that amount. And we can!

What can you do: Anything that is fun and makes money at the same time. Why don't you fill those warm summer months organising your own: bbq, street party, coffee morning, cheese and wine party, garden party, sponsored walk or swim.

Beg borrow or steal £5 and see how much money you can raise from that (perhaps don't 'steal' it!) call Bill England or Caroline King for advice, consideration of free hire of the hall for big events and who will also gladly receive all that lovely money you will make!

The RRMC will be organising lots of great entertainment itself over the next few months – keep an eye open for advertising posters. It's going to be a busy summer! this is going to be massive - be part of it. Are You Up For It?