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Fellowship of Retired People Fills an Important Role

One of the organisations of which Helmdon is proud is its Fellowship of Retired People. The unusual title results from objections to such names as old People's Welfare Organisation, a reminder of Helmdon folks independence. Mr Harold Seckington is chairman of the Fellowship, Mrs Seckington secretary, with Miss Nichols, a good worker for both old and young, as treasurer.

The Fellowship holds "get-togethers" in the Reading Room, engages speakers, arranges games afternoons, runs several outings during the year, a party at Christmas and so on.

Fellowship committee meetings are held at Magpie Cottage by courtesy of Mrs Sally Townley, whose husband Mr J.W Townley is vice-chairman.

Magpie cottage is so called because within living memory it was the Cock and Magpie public house. It was bought by Mr and Mrs Townley after it had been reconditioned some 10 years ago, with a view to their retirement.

Mr Townley, who was born at West Haddon, lived in Coventry for 42 years, finishing as maintenance engineer for Standard Triumph.

Mrs Townley and his wife, a native of Woodford Halse, moved to Magpie Cottage on Mr Townley's retirement some six years ago.

He has served on the parish council, resigning this year. Four years ago he became a churchwarden, his colleague being Mr John Shiel, and he is a trustee of the Village Hall.

Helmdon's senior citizens include Miss A Salmon, who has lived at Stoneleigh since her father the late Mr John Salmon moved there on his retirement from Home Farm in 1919. For many years she was a Sunday School teacher, secretary of the Parochial Church Council and worker for good causes.

For six years Mrs VFL Wilson was president of Helmdon's Women's Institute, an office now held by Mrs A Smith, of Falcutt Hall. Mrs Wilson moved to Helmdon 30 years ago, when her husband, the late Mr EH Wilson, went there to branch out from his father's business at Wood End as builder, decorator and undertaker. Mrs Wilson is noted for the floral decoration she does for the church each week and on special occasions.

Eight members of Helmdon WI belong to Brackley and District WI choir and are practising for "The Brilliant and the Dark" which is to be presented in Northampton on November 8th.

Helmdon WI won the group 1967 and 1969 handicrafts cup, the crafts including painting, lampshades, sewing, knitting and toy making.

In 958, Mr RJ Jeffs started in business at Helmdon with one vehicle. Two years later he was joined by his son, Mr JV Jeffs and today RJ Jeffs Coaches have 19 vehicles, including minibuses. They have four vehicles based on a London depot for use by American tourists in London and they cater for local schools and youth organisations on Continental holidays.

(Probably) Northampton Chronicle and Echo - Almost certainly 1970

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