Welcome to the First ever Newsletter
from us.

The Northants Parkinson's People bulletin is produced by people affected by Parkinson's. We wish to extend the hand of friendship and support to others affected by Parkinson's within Northamptonshire. Our group includes people with Parkinson's, carers, ex carers, friends and family. We hope you enjoy the contents of this first edition, we have enjoyed putting it together for you. Please let us know what you think and what you would like to see in future editions. 




Day one of Doug's  memories of his Army Service days

Laying in bed in a "bloody" Parkinson's induced state of wakefulness I recalled the day, 14th April 1959. Harold MacMillan was PM, Elizabeth II was on the throne, Buddy Holly was at number one and yours truly joined the Army as a boy at 15 years 288 days old.

In 1957 the term 'Boy Soldier' was causing the army a problem. It was discouraging enlistment. So the term 'Boy Soldier' was replaced with 'Junior Leader'. This had the desired effect, enlistment doubled. In 1959 a further change, Junior leaders school became Junior Leaders Battalion.

At nine o'clock on Northampton station after a few tears from mum I was off to London (never been before) arriving at Euston I was amazed at the cacophony of sound. I negotiated the tube (also a first) to Waterloo and boarded the train to Brookwood even further into the deep south.  Arriving at my destination I approached a rather large formidable looking sergeant and noticed that there were several other guys waiting, we were whisked of to a camp which had the notice 'Junior Leader's battalion, RAOC, Dettingen barracks'. We had arrived. 

After a mug of tea and a sandwich there was by now 26 of us. We all had to stand and introduce ourselves. Then we were taken to our barracks where we were allocated bed-spaces. By now it was mid afternoon. The sergeant then escorted us to the mess hall where we had our first army meal, which personally I thought was not bad (but then my mum was not the best cook in the world), but there were a few comments about the food.

Dettingen Barracks were part of DEEPCUT Military camp. The barracks were named after the battle of Dettingen in 1743 which is famous for being the last battle a British monarch led his troops in the field. (King George II, and he won!)

Afterwards we were given directions to the WVS rooms where we could watch the TV or play snooker or just chat. We returned to our block in dribs and drabs. At 9pm the sergeant announced that it was lights out at 10pm and reveille was at 6am, this produced a lot of moans and groans.  Promptly at 10 o'clock the lights were switched out even though some of the guys were not undressed and in bed. The chap in the next bed asked what I thought so far. I replied so far good but tomorrow is another day let's see what happens. I little realized that this was my home for the next two years and that most of the guys in that room were going to become good friends and that we would share great memories, but that as they say is another story. 

Doug will be reminiscing about more of his Army days either in future newsletters or on our website at www.northantsparkinsonspeople.uk 

Walking Football

Those of us of a certain vintage will perhaps recall the sheer joy of playing football in the 1970’s, 1980’s and 90’s. Somewhat predictably perhaps, my total dedication to ‘footie’ suffered like so many other things in life with the onset of Parkinson’s disease.

No longer able to ‘cut-the-mustard’ I thought I’d hung up my boots for good many years ago…but no! I’ve always said that if I ever stopped wanting to kick a football Peter Kaye style (Av It!) then I’d have let this blasted disease beat me. Little did I know that a whole new opportunity to play the beautiful game was just around the corner. 

 I’m the first to admit that despite having tried a variety of different activities thought to improve your ability to ease the symptoms of the disease, none of them had the lure of footie. So, when I sat watching the rerun of Match-of-the-day one Sunday morning shortly after New Year I instantly became hooked when they previewed the game of ‘Walking Football’. 

 Essentially, the game is for the disabled or over 50’s and caters for all abilities. Moreover, it’s very much a total workout in a controlled and friendly environment. It’s important to note at this stage, you will be physically tested. I still finish the session a physical wreck but it’s really enjoyable.

 Please don’t think that it isn’t a competitive game though, a bunch of enthusiastic older gentlemen reliving their glory days on the football field always has the potential to become noisy, but always friendly. 

For further details contact [email protected]

Matthew Yates Community Sports, Health & Wellbeing Co-ordinator 01536 410333

Let's Get Quizical
  1. What is the name of the aristocratic detective in novels by Dorothy L Sayers? 
  2. Who's the author of the long running play The Mousetrap? 
  3. Which British boxer was nicknamed "the Dark Destroyer"?
  4. In which novel do the March sisters appear?
  5. On what day of the week did Japan attack Pearl Harbour?
  6. What is the meaning of the word reniform, is it...
     A) Disparate.  B) Maverick. C) Kidney shaped 

Quiz by Doug.  Answers are below


Good for the body,
Good for the mind.

Sylvia's mantra will get us all out in the garden,
and feeling better for it.


As far back as I can remember I have always ‘dabbled’ in the garden. My Dad was a keen gardener (well initially of necessity to help feed us). But his love of gardening was passed on from his Dad.

So, yes, gardening and its powers of good have always been present in my life. However, only since losing my beloved husband last year have I realised the full benefit of its healing properties. Anxiety and low self esteem were trying to take over. Fortunately my love of gardening took control and lifted me up so to speak and as a consequence is helping to heal my mind. Along with all my Fit & Fab friends.

You don’t have to be an expert, just get out there and have a go. Plant a few spuds in an old compost bag. Sow a few carrot seeds in an old bucket. Remembering to make a few holes in the bottom of the containers first for drainage.

The thrill of digging down and pulling out a few new potatoes, like a rabbit out of a magic hat, is so rewarding and so nice to eat too. Imagine also pulling a few baby carrots too. Lovely with the new potatoes—that’s if the carrots get as far as the kitchen! There is nothing quite so nice as a newly pulled carrot just eaten raw!

Plant some pansies in a pot near the back door where you can see them from the window in bad weather they lift the spirits. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Get cuttings from friends and any extra plants they might not need. Bought containers are lovely but you would be surprised what you can recycle to contain a few plants.

Thought of the day

A little bit of history inspired by Sylvia's Gardening article
God's Garden is usually found on plaques made of wood or stone or plaster, sometimes held up by garden gnomes and sold in garden centres, Stately home gift shops and good charity shops everywhere. The four lines scratched or engraved are from the 4th verse of a poem by the same name written by Dorothy Frances Gurney (1858 – 1932) an English Poet and Hymn writer. She wrote the original in Lord Ronald Gower's visitors book sometime just before 1913. Lord Gower had what was described as an Exquisite garden at Hammerfield Penshurst. Reading Sylvia's piece on her garden and how it lifts her spirit just reminded me of the plaque I saw many years ago and luckily took this picture.

The full poem is here

God's Garden

THE Lord God planted a garden
In the first white days of the world,
And He set there an angel warden
In a garment of light enfurled.
So near to the peace of Heaven,
That the hawk might nest with the wren,
For there in the cool of the even
God walked with the first of men.
And I dream that these garden-closes
With their shade and their sun-flecked sod
And their lilies and bowers of roses,
Were laid by the hand of God.
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,--
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
For He broke it for us in a garden
Under the olive-trees
Where the angel of strength was the warden
And the soul of the world found ease.
Dorothy Frances Gurney

Bath Hoist For Sale

Oxford Mermaid Manual Bath Hoist. Carer operated. Easy wind-up mechanism Last used with 99 year old lady. Needs installing safely to wood or stone floor. by a professional installer at approximate cost to new owner: £250 ex VAT for fitting

New one would cost £1065 plus fitting. See website


If anyone is interested please call Angela

Poles in the Park - every Friday (well almost) 

Why not come along to a session of poles in the park. Every Friday 10:30 We meet near the bowling greens in Abington Park (Christchurch Road Entrance). After a brief warm up, take either the long or short route before ending up at the Park cafe for a coffee and a chat. Get your exercise and fresh air fix with us. If its blowing a gale, chucking it down with rain or snow we'll give it a miss.  You don't need poles to start but you will get more out of the walk if you do use them. Don't fancy the walk? Just meet us at 11:30 in the café.
 More information call Angela: 07954 099 537

Recipe of the Month
This month we have 2 recipes,  sent in by a husband and wife team of chef's!
Give them a go                                   Thanks go to Christine and John
Fridge cake
 Makes 16. Prep approx. 25 mins, plus chilling time.

100g unsalted butter (plus a little extra for greasing the tin)
125g amaretti  biscuits
  200g white chocolate
 4 tbsp golden syrup
  100g glace cherries, roughly chopped
  80g shelled pistachio nuts, roughly chopped. Other nuts can be used.
  100g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks
  A few raisins or sultanas or mini marshmallows may be added
Grease an 8-inch tin and line with baking parchment. Crush the biscuits Into small pieces and place in a bowl.
Gently melt the white chocolate with the butter and golden syrup. Leave  to cool slightly, then add the biscuits, cherries, nuts, dark chocolate, dried fruit and  marshmallows. Mix well to coat.
Spoon the mixture into the tin, pushing down with the spoon. Cover with cling film or greaseproof paper and put in the fridge until hard.
Gently pull the cake out of the tin using the baking paper—you may need to run a knife along the sides of the cake to help release it from the tin.
Cut into small pieces.                                                                  
(serves two)
Can be made with chicken, quorn  or no meat at all.      

110 g (4 oz) long grain rice
4 tsp Sunflower oil
225 g  (8 oz ) Frying steak (fat removed, & sliced into thin pieces)
1 Garlic clove (peeled and crushed)
4 Spring onions  (trimmed & thinly sliced)
1 Celery stick (small diced)
2 tbsp peas (frozen)
2 tbsp sweetcorn (frozen)
2 medium eggs (beaten)
2 tbsp  soy sauce

Cook rice in a saucepan until just tender.
Beat eggs & fry in a little oil  in a frying pan making a small omelette. Remove from pan & set aside.
Cook the steak until just browned.
Add all the vegetables into the remaining oil & stir well until just cooked.
Add the cooked rice until well heated through.
Chop the omelette into small pieces & add to the mixture.
Serve immediately with the soy sauce sprinkled over the dish.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    


We aim to...

We aim to be an inclusive group so if you have an idea for an article that you think would be of interest then get your idea to us. You don't have to be a journalist, and if you find trouble getting your idea onto paper or email we'll give you a helping hand

Answers to this months quiz
1) Lord Peter Wimsey.     2) Agatha Christie.  3) Nigel Benn. 4) Little Women. 5) Sunday 
6) C- kidney shaped 

We have a community facebook page, here is the link please like and share:  https://www.facebook.com/northantsparkinsonspeople/

And Finally... We are getting a website

Well, we've got one actually but there is not much to see at the moment. We hope to fill it with interesting stuff to keep you informed between newsletters. Also it will allow us to offer longer articles on a variety of subjects and also in due course provide a  forum for discussions and allow people to post questions.
As soon as we have some content on there we will send out an announcement

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