Our Christmas trips always seem very popular and as so many people enjoyed the trip to Waddesdon a few years ago, we have decided to repeat it. It is very close, so a short journey, masses to do besides the light trails. There is a Christmas Market with 60 or more booths to visit, the house is open to see the Christmas decorations inside and there are plenty of places to find food and drinks. Best of all, if you are a National Trust Member as so many of us are, it is very cheap to enter.

We have booked a visit for Friday 18th November,  (they won't accept group bookings at weekends). See below for more information about Waddesdon and details of the outing.

Christmas Market

 Soak up the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas with hand-selected stalls all housed in charming wooden chalets, surrounded by twinkling trees.

 Waddesdon Manor House Decorations

Follow a new route through the East Wing with festive displays, sparkling trees and sumptuous decorations inspired by the Manor’s many treasures, from famous portraits to exquisite porcelain. Light installations will add a touch of Winter Light magic.

 Immersed in Light, display in the Coach House at the Stables

Walk through the Coach House at the Stables and experience a new interactive exhibition featuring multiple light installations to captivate and delight the senses.

 Garden light trail

From dusk, enjoy dramatic colour and playful installations as you stroll beneath magically illuminated tree canopies. Look out for interactives at Tay Bridge, Daffodil Valley transformed with 5,000 orbs creating a glittering blanket and walk through a tunnel of twinkling.



Visit to: Waddesdon Manor Christmas Lights(NT)

Date: Friday 18th  November


Pick up: Church Way (opposite Rectory, Weston Favell

Departure time: 1.00 pm

Arrive Waddesdon approx 2.30 pm

Depart Waddesdon 7.00 pm

ETA Home: 8.15/30 pm

Ticket Prices:

WFGS with NT £20

Non WFGS with NT £22

WFGS without NT £45

Non WFGS without NT £47

Contact number for tickets:

Sue Wray :01604 412126

Mob: 07704358700


Leave here 1.00 pm

Arrive Waddesdon 2.30pm approx

Christmas market and refreshments

House Tour 4.00pm 

4.30- 4.45pm Garden trails

6.30 pm start catching buses back to coach to leave by 7.00pm or 20 min walk along lighted path

House tour takes 30-45 mins

Light trails (1inside the coach house) 1 ½ hrs

Please remember your NT card and a torch might be a good idea!



The Village Show was a great success, with lots of entries in the fruit and vegetable classes, a surprisingly large amount from Weston Favell Allotments in the end, after allotment holders spending weeks telling me they had nothing growing because of the extraordinary hot, dry weather!!

We had lots more entries than usual for the Children's classes which everybody so enjoys seeing but a disappointing three entries  only over all three of the adult flower arranging classes, though again the children did us proud with lots from them, thank you children.

Both Handicrafts and Baking and Preserves were rather low on entries too, but lots of beautiful flowers and plants in their classes, though everyone struggled to find many roses and dahlias.

Barbara Bream has written the article below about her impressions on the day. 

Thanks to Sue Wray and her amazing team, we had another very successful  Village  Show. Not only is it a great occasion for so many to get together but the variety of exhibits and the breadth of talent and skills is truly breathtaking.
The exceptionally hot summer may have limited the flower entries but there was no sign of it deterring the vegetable growers. It is always a joy to see the display of vegetables, not only for the glorious colours of red, green, yellow, purple, orange, cream and maroon, but the variety. I counted 21 in one basket alone.  Skirret, never heard of it!  A precursor of the potato apparently, the fine roots were eaten in Europe. The houseplants made a wonderful display and the flowers and beautifully scented roses that the more noble among us had managed to rescue from scorched gardens. And there is always the buzz of excitement when exhibitors see the rosettes!
The bakers and preserve makers delighted us with perfect sponges, scones, bread, unusual combinations in the chutneys, sparklingly clear apple jellies, creamy lemon curds and an assortment of jams..
With the environment uppermost in our mind, the children showed wonderful imagination with their exhibits both in recycled materials and cooking skills. Heads with painted faces and fancy hairdos made from plastic milk containers and wool. A fruit snake, rocket, a panda and a cress heads of all varieties and one in half an egg shell, hedgehog biscuits, and beautifully decorated cup cakes.
Who would have thought you could capture a baby hedgehog in the dark on camera or a red squirrel, grandma snapped by her granddaughter and a very stylish selfie, along with lakes and craggy scenes of of our precious British landscape.
As we crossed the road to see the arts and crafts another whole set of talents! I love to hear people’s comments and one lady said “it looks as if it has been lifted straight out of Harrods  and dropped into the church” yes, you guessed it, she was talking about the beautifully crafted rocking horse. The battleship also caught many people’s attention, the sugared flowers, and a Celtic Cross.  Embroidery, crochet, patchwork, knitting, a snowman, his child and dog, a hare and a beautiful framed work of handwork of a cat snuggled up on a rocking chair. Fine woodwork, exquisitely crafted wooden spoons, I was longing to pick one up but signs of “do not touch” deterred me! A wall lined with the work of our local artists. The Queen smiling with approval on it all!
All this and tea and cakes! Packed to the rafters people spilling outside with their tea and cake, and enjoying the company of friends, neighbours and people they were meeting for the first time. Truly a real community event and thank you again Sue and all your team who must have been exhausted, but no doubt happy, at the end of the day for the pleasure you had given to so many in your endeavours. But wait,  it was not quite the end. An auction to raise money for Restore rounded off the afternoon, with a very amusing  Graham Stoppani as the auctioneer, cajoling people to spend their money and support this very worthy cause. Congratulations to everyone who helped to make the day such an enjoyable and welcoming occasion as summer still lingered on.

Here is an article written for the Parish Magazine, Cornerstone, about a garden which was open for Open Gardens, ("Gardens Unlocked"), which has been completely transformed in the last five years, written in their own words.

Click on the word transformed in the previous paragraph, highlighted in blue, to read this article.


Trevor started this method last year as a good way to water his Alpine sinks. His are planted with a mound of soil and dressing stones well over the level of the top of the sink which makes watering difficult as it tends to run off before it gets a chance to soak in, but does look good, as those of you who have seen his talk on 'Sinks and Troughs' may remember

Trevor took 4 pint plastic milk bottles and pierced a small hole in the bottom. These were then filled with water, the tops screwed on and balanced, often rather precariously on top of preferably stones or rocks in the sinks but sometimes on the actual plants and then left to drip through slowly over an hour or more. Not a drop ran away as it soaked in slowly drop by drop. Mind you your feet can get quite wet as you carry them to wherever you want to position them. I've got round that by carrying a few at a time upside down in a bucket so you don't lose any water before you get there. You may need to loosen the cap a little if the water doesn't run through.

I then found some special spiked tops with two holes at the end of the 6" spike which fit onto either 1 litre plastic bottles straight away or using an extra screw top would fit a larger bottle. These are easier as you carry them the right way up and you don't lose any water until you push the spike into the pot, trough or sink you want to water, and even better they can be pushed down to the roots of special plants to give them a whole litre of water around the root and not a drop wasted. Unfortunately I can't remember where I bought mine, possibly at Workbridge, but they have some at 'Neat Ideas' Water Spikes 6 pack for £6.99 and of course they will last for many years once bought.

Both very successful. Look for pictures in Members' Photos under Watering.

Gardens Unlocked

Sunday 11th July 2021


Well what a day! 

We were packed out solidly from 1.15 pm to 4.45 pm. We have done this four times now and I don't think  we have ever had so many people round our garden It never stopped for a moment. So much for the COVID and Wimbledon effect!

Everybody just seemed so delighted to be out and about, not only seeing some lovely gardens but actually meeting and greeting people and stopping for a chat. One group must have sat by our pond for at least an hour talking, but were really interested in the garden, the cacti and the hedgehogs!

As we were unable to use the church hall, Jackie who runs a hedgehog charity, caring for sick and injured hedgehogs, set up a stall on our front drive in Ridgeway selling hedgehog items to raise money towards caring for them. She did quite well too, and her baby hedgehogs were adorable! They spent the afternoon in my utility room to keep them at an even temperature, but about eight children managed to see them being fed over the two sessions!

Several of the gardens have been open before and we can see how it is true that a garden is never ‘finished’. Some had only minor changes of different plantings, a new archway, a lost tree, but others had had a  complete makeover. Lovely to see the different styles and atmospheres in the gardens.

One of the houses in Church Way put out some photos of what their garden looked like in 2015 and goodness how it has changed! As they have been open three times now, we could also see the many changes they had made over the last six years after the arrival of their son

And how they have made it child friendly.

The church was open and visited by many people who enjoyed the calm and quiet, the flowers and the lovely music provided by some of our young musicians.

The Allotments too proved popular, with lots of people popping in, some going for a full tour and as usual, new visitors were amazed at such a huge, open space, with fantastic views across the valley tucked away behind the houses in this lovely village.

We raised just over £1400, a fantastic amount when we were unable to provide the usual teas and delicious home made cakes, or run a tombola or raffle, all of which are usually good sources of income.

The money will be given to Northamptonshire Carers and Young Carers, a wonderful charity providing help and support to the many, many carers in Northants. They have been able to use it as a pledge in the Big Give Pledge, which could see money raised this weekend quadrupled.

A huge thank you to all the gardeners who, like us, must have spent hours trying to make their gardens look their best, and to all the other people involved, on the various committees, stewarding the church and the allotments, arranging flowers and music in church and selling programmes on the day.

A lovely day, bringing us all together again after a very strange sixteen months.


There is an item on Weston Favell Village Residents Association website displaying some of the comments made on various social media about the day.


Sue Wray