Thursday, August 13, 2009

Things to do in Northamptonshire - Village Connect

This post isn't so much about something to do as just another place to find things to do in and around North Northamptonshire. First, some history:

The Village Connect magazine was launched in 2005 to help local businesses advertise themselves to local people, specifically targeting residents in rural North Northamptonshire. It is hand-delivered on a monthly basis (apart from the July and August issues, which are consolidated into one summer edition) free of charge to homes and businesses in around 40 villages in the area.

Whilst the local advertising is the main focus of the magazine (one testimonial describes it as a "‘Yellow Pages’ for rural products and services"), the aspect of the Village Connect that I'd like to comment on is the fact that it also includes details of many events held in and around its delivery area. Each edition is introduced with a round-up of the previous month and a taster of what's included in the current magazine. Whilst most pages are wall-to-wall business advertisements (as is the focus of the publication), these are interspersed with full- page features on venues such as village tea shops and restaurants, events such as street fairs and farmers' markets, and information, advice and historical notes about exploring some of the villages themselves. From time to time there are historical and human interest features, and Vivi (the editor) was kind enough a couple of years ago to include a feature on the AMEF project and music festival, of which I was both a participant and volunteer (more on AMEF and related activities in future blog updates). There is usually a section of the magazine devoted to art-related events (including exhibitions, workshops etc) and another highlighting some seasonal family events. The final pages in each edition include a detailed 'what's on' diary and a list of useful telephone numbers.

When I'm at a loss for something to do, I quite often reach for a copy of the Village Connect. My one complaint about the publication is that I have to travel to my parents' or grandparents' house to do so as it is not delivered where I live! This is easily mitigated by the fact that each episode of the Village Connect is available to view in its entirety on the website which is itself free to use and features a number of useful details such as an integrated events calendar.

Delivery area
(Map from

The Village Connect is delivered to households and businesses in the following Northamptonshire villages:

Achurch, Aldwincle, Brigstock, Broughton, Cranford St Andrew, Cranford St John, Denford, Geddington, Grafton Underwood, Great Addington, Great Cransley, Harrington, Isham, Islip, Lilford, Little Addington, Little Cransley, Little Oakley, Stanion, Loddington, Lowick, Mawsley, Newton, Orlingbury, Pilton, Pipewell, Pytchley, Ringstead, Rushton, Slipton, Stanion, Sudborough, Thorpe Malsor, Thorpe Underwood, Thorpe Waterville, Titchmarsh, Twywell, Wadenhoe, Warkton, Weekley and Woodford.

More information