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Congratulations to Dan Refik and Lottie Morrell who married in Hollowell in July.

Lottie grew up in the villageand the couple escaped London during Lockdown One to take refuge in Hollowell with Lottie's parents, Claire and Ron.

The Covid situation meant the wedding nuptials had to be cancelled no less than three times, but on July 24th they married in the garden at Jasmine Cottage, with Lottie's two brothers, James and George "officiating"; the official splicing having taken place in Marylebone registry office a short time before.The party that followed was truly joyous and Hollowell Village Hall looked beautiful as the setting for the wedding dinner.

After such a long and frustrating wait, endured during historic and testing times, the whole village was delighted to toast the happy couple.

We wish Lottie and Dan a wonderful future together.

Please contact Becky Gane if you would like to take part:  beckyjgane@gmail.com .

Numbers are £10 each. Participation is not confined to residents of Hollowell & Teeton.

All funds raised will go towards the maintenance of the Village Hall.

Penny Bell

Claire Morrell

Rachel Cook

Barry Wendon

Sarah Draper

Roger Partington

Sean Cooksley

Jacquie Hampton

Graham Leah




With its traditional English name ‘Firetail’, the beautiful Common Redstart is named for its orange/red tail, which it frequently vibrates, especially when alarmed, excited or agitated. The male bird is particularly striking, with red/orange underparts, slate-grey back, wings and crown, and a black face with a silvery stripe above the eye. The female has a more subtle but, in my opinion, equally beautiful appearance, being a warm greyish brown above and orange below. Both birds possess the orange/red tail and black legs and bill. They feed on caterpillars, insects and other invertebrates.

Rather like a Robin in shape and size, the Redstart was, like the Robin, previously viewed as a member of the chat family, but is now classed as an Old World flycatcher. Its scientific name Phoenicurus is derived from the Greek words phoinix (‘red’) and ouros (‘tailed’).

Formerly widespread as a breeding bird in Britain, their breeding range has contracted and with a few exceptions is now confined to north and west of the country, mostly favouring upland areas. In Northamptonshire they are an uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant, with most birds usually seen in August and September. The Redstart was known as a breeding bird to the poet John Clare, with one poem ‘The Firetail’s Nest’ dedicated to the species. There are currently thought to be 100,000 breeding pairs in Britain; for comparison, Robins number 6.7 million pairs. Redstarts nest in holes in trees and very occasionally man-made structures such as old stone walls. The last recorded breeding record was from Badby Wood, where a pair nested in damaged masonry in an ornamental stone gateway.

By late September, most Common Redstarts will have flown south to their wintering grounds in sub-Saharan Africa. If you are very lucky you may still encounter its much rarer cousin the Black Redstart, which has an unusual pattern of migration, with birds dispersing in several directions from their breeding grounds in Central Europe and occasionally reaching the British Isles. Black Redstarts tend to favour coastal and urban habitats: after the Second World War a small number of breeding pairs colonised derelict, bomb-damaged parts of London and other cities.

By next April though, Common Redstarts should be back, and they will be a very welcome sight when they again start passing through the county. It took me many years to see a Redstart in Northamptonshire, but I’ve recently been fortunate to see a good number of birds in several locations not far from home. Good places to search are the hilly areas around Cold Ashby and Elkington, along the Brampton Valley around Blueberry Farm, at Harrington airfield and around Stanford on Avon. In late summer, birds may linger in one location for several weeks, often in small groups. In my experience they often favour old, mature hedgerows, usually with some gaps at ground level, often adjoining sheep pastures. They can often be seen perched on fence posts or wires running along these hedgerows. They can sometimes be very hard to see, skulking in cover, drawing attention to themselves only with a repetitive ‘hweet’ call (caution: this sounds very similar to the contact calls of the Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler). If you are patient though, and use some fieldcraft, you may be lucky enough to see one darting along a hedgerow before vanishing into cover; or even better, perched on a fence post or in an old hawthorn, enchanting you with its tail-shivering behaviour.

Jon Cook, September 2021



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The Hollowell Steam & Heavy Horse Show Committee are very sorry to announce that this year's Bonfire Party has been cancelled due to the ongoing uncertainties posed by the coronavirus situation.  We know that many people will be disappointed that we have taken this decision, but we will now be concentrating all our efforts on next year's events.



During the Hollowell FAFF the organisers, gardeners and stall holders found it very quick and convenient to communicate with each other via a specially created Village WhatsApp group.

For those of you who haven’t come across it, WhatsApp is a free, private messaging service a bit like texting. The set up proved so useful that we decided to keep it going after the FAFF and to open it up to all residents of Hollowell and Teeton. This shouldn’t be confused with “NextDoor” community messaging which some of you may use.  

If you would like to join the Hollowell WhatsApp group please text your number to Emily Curtis on 07957 123619 and she will hook you up with the group.

In April 1966 on our way home after two years of language study in Japan, Chrystal and I visited Afghanistan. Getting there should have been straightforward. Ariana Afghan Airlines operated three flights a week from Delhi on DC 6 aircraft. We only later discovered that the experience was described by some locals as “three frights a week” to Kabul.

The Indian Government enforced strict exchange controls so when we checked in for departure, we had to sign a form confirming that we would not be taking rupees out of India. Having done so and handed in our bags, Ariana suddenly announced that there would be no flight to Kabul that day. It turned out the King needed our aircraft (Ariana only had two at the time) for a trip with the President of Yugoslavia.

Having solemnly declared that we had no rupees, we had to rely entirely on Ariana’s hospitality until the flight next day, not wanting to change travellers cheques into rupees. Next morning we all signed the same declaration affirming that we had no rupees, and the ‘plane took off successfully.

About an hour into the journey, passengers, previously quite silent, became animated. A money market had suddenly developed. Rupees, dollars and other currencies were everywhere, produced from baggy trousers, from turbans, belts and sleeves. Ours, lurking in our shoes, stayed put. So much for Indian exchange control.

True to form, our landing at Kabul airport gave us a fright when the aircraft dived steeply down from the mountains to the airport’s runway, causing a load of crockery to fall with a crash from a cupboard in the galley.

While watching this fun we fell into conversation with a woman in the seat behind. She turned out to be British and working for UNICEF, the UN agency for disadvantaged children. She very kindly invited us to stay, which helped a lot, as unwisely we had no hotel booked.

After lunch, we decided to explore Kabul. We had the address of our new friend’s house written down and, rashly as it turned out, decided that we would find our own way back when the time came. Gradually it became darker and much colder: and it also became clear that we were lost.

We tried asking a policemen but the language barrier prevented dialogue and it appeared that policemen and bystanders, all by now eyeing us curiously, could not read our address written in Roman letters. Fortunately, I spotted a sign nailed to a gate. It said, ‘Hocksbergen’. We opened the gate, crossed a pretty courtyard and rang a bell. The door was opened by a lady in a long evening dress who welcomed us in an American accent.

It rapidly became clear that she thought we were her dinner guests, even though Chrystal was wearing wellingtons and I was clearly not dressed for dinner. We explained our plight. She did not know our friend from UNICEF but she was sure the British Council’s man, whom she phoned, would know her. He did and took us back to her place. The only other thing I remember about that eventful day is that our hostess handed us a concoction of boiled water and white wine with which to clean our teeth, the local water being dangerously polluted. After that we slept well.


The Village Hall is now open once again for hire. The hall, kitchen, bar area and toilets were extensively refurbished a couple of years ago and it makes a lovely venue for classes, talks, family events, parties, and meetings.  It holds up to 100 people (60 for seated dining) and costs £12 per hour to book or £10 per hour for village residents.

Please contact Lee Gane on778861 or fill in the booking form on the Parish Council website: www.hollowellandteeton.org.uk/village-hall.    Booking fees may be paid by card or bank transfer.  



The village hall will be hosting a family Halloween party with pumpkins, party games and costumes.


Thank you to everyone who came to our Fête, Flower Festival and Open Gardens. The weather was almost too kind, with visitors and volunteers battling through the heat wave on the second day.

About 380 visitors came along to see the wonders of the "Incredible Human Fruit Machine", to spin the Wheel of Fortune, and to grapple with the Smartie Challenge. The flowers in the church were magnificent, the refreshments and cakes were splendid and the Bric-a-brac had to be seen to be believed! Our secondhand bike stall was a particular favourite with all the ladies bikes being snapped up in a trice.

Thank you to everyone who donated goodies and gave their time so generously. It was truly fantastic to be able to socialise with friends and neighbours once again.


The Winner of the Guess the Weight of the Cake was Viv Reeves from Ravensthorpe. The cake weighed 1lb 13 oz.

The Winners of Guess the Name of the Sheep were Ian and Kate Willson of Hollowell. The sheep was called Terry - of course!

The Winner of the Bear Hunt was Thomas Letts. There were 55 bears actually in the Jetty. Bears obviously live there naturally, as some people counted more than had been placed there by the Bear Team.

The Winner of Guess the Number of Sweets in the Jar was lovely Trisha from Buckby Wharf who guessed 501. There were actually 556 sweets.  After a day in the sunshine Trisha collected the jar with one huge sweet in it, but she did so with a smile.

There are lots of lovely pictures from the weekend, click on a thumbnail

image to see it enlarged.

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Hollowell residents have become accustomed over the last couple of years to the throaty roar of a secret new prototype sports car motoring through the village.

The Wells Vertige (French for Vertigo) is the creation of Robin Wells, a Hollowell-born entrepreneur who divides his time between Dubai and the UK.

 Robin decided that he wanted to build his dream sports car five years ago after failing to find a car he wanted to buy.  “I had a pretty wide choice,” he told Autocar magazine,  “but nothing appealed so, in the end, I decided to make my own car. It has been a long journey, but I’ve loved it.”   Over the next five years Robin poured himself into the design  using “old-school” methods and working with Warwickshire based engineer Robin Hall of Hall Engineering and Design.

The Vertige made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year; the car was described by the online motoring publication DriveTribe as “a gorgeous and brilliantly quirky piece of machinery”.   It is an incredibly lightweight and compact vehicle with luscious curves based on the Fibonacci golden ratio and McLaren-style dihedral doors that a modern day Emma Peel of the Avengers might drive.

The car will have a base price of £40,000. Robin says he plans to build seven vehicles in time for next spring and then will manufacture about 25 cars a year from a compact, new, carbon neutral plant, in Bishop’s Itchington, in Warwickshire.

Lockdown Poetry Competition . . . . These prize winning poems inspired by the lockdown were written for the FAFF by:

Winner: Amelia Green aged 8 (below), Runners up: Noah Cooksley aged 13 (right) and Theo Cooksley aged 10 (bottom right)


 Lockdown wasn’t great to be honest,

Everyone stuck inside and bored really.

Not many things happening,

With the only communication texts or letters that end yours sincerely.

Sport, socializing, holidays all stopped,

With nothing to do but stay inside all day.

Bike rides and playing out in your garden became an often thing,

And many people struggled to celebrate their birthday.

Facetime and zoom was what everyone used,

With no other way to see them or for them to see you.

Social distancing and online shopping,

And many, many more things became the normal even though this was new.



Local news from the Northamptonshire villages of Cold Ashby, Cottesbrooke, Creaton, Guilsborough, Hollowell & Teeton and Thornby.

Last updated Friday, October 1, 2021

Copy deadline for next printed edition: Monday 1st November 2021