Registered charity number 1188652
Charity News
We hope you enjoyed last months newsletter and found the history of local support of interest. If you missed it here is a link:
Click here to see

1st Saturday of the month, 11:00 am get your pen, paper and coffee ready. 
Join the Zoom Meeting 

Val Hamlin
Val Hamblin, who has been such a shining light for local people with Parkinson’s has not been very well recently and I’m sure you will all join us in wishing Val a speedy recovery xxx 

As we are now registered as a Charity we are busy making plans for your future support and putting processes into place to allow us to work efficiently – oh get us sounding all professional! 
So, what we need from you is to please join us and become a member, this is a very simple process. When you join, we can then get in touch with you and ask you how we can best support you. We will also be looking at members locations to map out our activities. You can join for free or you can make a donation when you join. Here is the link: Join Us
Thank you xxx

Live and Let Live Meat Raffle Raises £200 for Us!
Very many thanks to everyone who organises the Harpole Live and Let Live Meat Raffle and to everyone who buys a ticket. This raffle is organised every week in
Harpole and raises money for local charities – what a great idea and what a great village. They have donated a smashing £200 to us to help us support everyone affected by Parkinson’s in Northamptonshire.

Activity Planning
The Committee is looking forward to organising activities for when we are safe to get back together – and we really would like to match the activities to your needs.
Our idea’s so far are:
  • Monthly Lunch Groups – meeting at various venues around Northants to lunch and chat
  • Monthly Support Meetings – Exercise for PWP and a separate group for ‘other half’s’, then lunch and chat
  • Outings to the Theatre/ Historic Towns or Houses/ Seaside /Racing / Theme Parks – anyone fancy a rollercoaster ride?
Do people need support with transport?
Perhaps adapted transport is required to accommodate wheelchairs or scooters?
Perhaps you would join us if you were assured physical assistance would be provided for the less able?

We don’t know what you need if you don’t let us know so we are waiting to hear from you
Our contact details are
Current Activities
Fit&nFab Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30 am Virtual sessions via Zoom. Angela puts you through your paces in the safety of your own home. Seated exercise only if you are on your own. 
Wednesday Walkies and Friday Frolics – up and running – well walking with poles to be more accurate! Please join us if you want. We are wishing to get back to some normality and we want to see friends we haven't for so long - so we have decided to make walks a permanent fixture..... (unless the rules change!)
Wednesday and Fridays Walkies at 10:30 am meeting at Racecourse Pavillion - Kettering road. plenty of free parking next to the pavilion. We are observing social distancing by keeping 2 metres apart and wearing our masks during any
closer exposure - such as when Sylvia sells her plants, delicious jam and AMAZING CARDS - made by Pat Warren - from the boot of her car!!! Fools and Horses style
(all proceeds going to Northants Parkinson's People)
PLUS when there are more than six of us, we split into two groups - which is what we usually do anyway.
If you would like to join us, please bring your camping chairs and a flask so we can all sit and have a catch up after the walk. It would be nice to see a few old friends but….
Please only consider joining us if you can confirm you are COVID-19 symptom-free and/or outside the infection isolation period if you have had symptoms or contact with an infected person.

Virtual Pub Quiz   Every 1st Saturday of the month. 11:00 am Zoom in with the in-crowd. Several rounds of General Knowledge, Music and Pictures. A bit of a social at the end. Use any of the contact methods above to get your invite.
Council Tax Reduction
Many people are confused about this benefit because someone on TV said that people with Parkinson’s are automatically eligible for a reduction in council tax – unfortunately, this is not true! There are two types of benefits you could apply for as you MAY be eligible….
Disabled Residents Relief
NBC will grant a reduction on Council Tax if a resident at the property is disabled, and there is an extra room, or an extra bathroom or kitchen to meet the special needs of the disability, or if you use a wheelchair indoors. The council will reduce the bill by putting the home in the valuation band below the one it currently is in. If the property is in band A, the charge will be reduced by the equivalent of one-ninth of band D charge. Council Tax law defines a “disabled resident” as someone who is substantially and permanently disabled, whether by illness, injury, congenital deformity or otherwise.

To apply you can download a form from here:
- a healthcare professional will need to sign this form to confirm the details

Council Tax Exemption
If a person living at a property is classed as 'severely mentally impaired' and they live with other people, that person is 'disregarded' from Council Tax. This means we do not count them when calculating the number of people living in the house. If, by not counting that person, the number of people living in the property is just one, a 25% discount may be granted.
To qualify for this benefit you have to receive Attendance Allowance or the Care Component of DLA or PIP.

What is the definition of 'severely mentally impaired'?
Severely mentally impaired, means a person who has a severe impairment of intelligence and social
functioning (however caused), which appears to be permanent.

To apply you can download a form from here:
- a Doctor will need to sign this form to confirm the details

From my experience with both of these benefits, the outcomes are not always consistent. Sometimes the “disabled resident’s relief” will be granted on the evidence of a separate bedroom alone, sometimes this will not be enough. With the council tax exemption for “severely mentally impaired” the outcomes seem to be equally as inconsistent. Parkinson’s does not cause severe mental impairment per se. I know of individuals who do not have severe mental health problems but do have Parkinson’s and have applied, and been granted this benefit. So either is worth applying for.
East Northants link:
Sylvia's Gardening Tips
There is a sense in the garden that winter is on its way. Some flowers and plants are dying back and the recent weather is certainly letting us know that the season is changing

Things to do in the garden this month
  • Some plants are putting on a final burst of flowers before the cold gets them. Keep dead heading as some will carry on flowering right up to the first frosts. Geraniums and dahlias to name but two.
  • Give hedges a final trim. If like me you have a conifer hedge them October is the best time to trim it back. There won't be any birds nests to disturb. I find a good cut back once a year sufficient.
Over the past couple of years, I have developed quite a passion for fruit trees. I think the seeds were first sown in my mind when I watched an Alan Titchmarsh programme on growing fruit trees in the smallest garden either directly in the ground or in pots. In particular, Mr Titchmarsh was extolling the merits of growing a lemon tree. That was it! I became hooked on the idea of growing my own lemon and sitting with a gin and tonic with a large slice of same in it! You can imagine my delight when in November 2016 my husband gave me a small potted lemon tree with an actual lemon on it. it was placed in the conservatory and cosseted and admired by me. I can see Bob’s face now rolling his eyes as I checked on the status of the lemon every morning. The following year I potted it on to a slightly larger pot. Then Monty Don popped up on tv saying to put potted lemon trees out in the garden in summer. So that’s what I did. Then in the autumn, it was repotted into a bigger pot. Monty had advised moving the tree into a greenhouse for winter which we did with a bit of difficulty because it was now quite heavy. The following spring out came the tree and it was tended with loving care. I think I went a bit too far with the attention as all the tiny lemons (size of a thumbnail) turned black and dropped off. Overwatering was the culprit. I was upset, to say the least. All too soon winter 2019 was nearly upon us and it was time to protect the tree. However, it had grown so much that I decided it would have to take its chances outside. I bought a large fleece bag with a drawstring tie. Then trimmed the top branches back by a foot and popped the bag over and pushed the pot against the fence for shelter. I watered it once a month throughout the winter.
Spring 2020 arrived along with an unwelcome visitor (I mention no names but suffice to say it ends with the number 19), and, as a consequence, many of us have spent more time in the garden than previous years. The lemon tree cover was removed, a few browned leaves trimmed off and a good drink of water. Special citrus food was purchased and administered with its weekly watering. The result is that at the moment I have about 20 lemons nestling in amongst the branches. I am amazed it is still producing flowers. Lemon trees do not have a season they can flower any time. I’m not sure how long before I can pick one but I will check weekly when the cover is on.
It has been a bumper year for fruit. Most of you already know about the number of plums I had this year on my semi-dwarf Victoria. Many of my friends and neighbours have had a bumper crop too. I'm wondering if it is anything to do with the lack of pollution over the last six months? I have also had quite a lot of cox’s pippin apples from a dwarf tree. My next addition will be in November when I will be planting two pear trees against the fence, remember… the one I painted green.
I've posted a recipe for Chilli Jam this month.  See the recipe section
Huge Thanks to our own ‘Pocket Rocket Sylvia’ 
As well as contributing to the newsletter, Sylvia has been growing and potting plants, Jam making and selling all these to raise funds for Northants Parkinson's People. She has raised well over £150  from Jam and plants this year.  If you want to know why Sylvia volunteers  for us please check out the Volunteer page on the website


1) In which decade of the 20th century did P.A.Y.E. tax begin.  A)1930s               B) 1940s         C) 1950s

2) Which state of the USA was bought by the USA from RUSSIA  in 1867. 

3) Which state of the USA is nicknamed the "BLUEGRASS" state 

4) "HOUSTON WE HAVE PROBLEM" is a line from which film 

5) Who was shot in DEADWOOD South Dakota in 1876, whilst playing Poker. The hand he was holding has since been  known as "THE DEADMANS HAND" (Aces over, eights)

6) Where is the world's largest CASINO.

7) In English folklore, which is known as "MR. BROCK"

8) Which WAR was known, at the time it was fought, as the COUSINS WAR"
(a clue red and white.)

9) What nationality is HERCULE POIROT

10) Which ORIENTAL fictional detective, has 13 children, and addresses them by number for example No. 1 son etc. 
This month Doug regales us with a tale from his childhood. And as all childhood adventures require a cover illustration we have dug up (no pun intended) an old photo of Bridge St Station in Northampton where Dougs adventure started.
Dear Readers,
This ìs a tale of (in my mind at least) daring-do and grown-up adventure. The start of the school holidays was upon us or would be in two weeks. This was the new Elizabethan era or so everyone kept calling it. It seemed to imbue all with new confidence particularly with the young. So, on a bright July morning in 1952 (just after my 9th birthday). I was taken to the railway station in Northampton by my mother, where she spoke to a friend of my Dad, who was the guard of the train to Peterborough.
Yes, people, I was going on my own to spend 6 weeks with my aunt and uncle in a little coastal village called Titchwell, near Hunstanton, Norfolk. As the train pulled out I saw my mother waving and I duly waved back. I then started to look around me, it was one of the old corridor steam trains.
After a while, as we approached Earls Barton the guard came by, enquiring if I was alright and I told him that I was marking of each stop as we passed through them. The journey was going to plan as Wellingborough, Oundle went by and we arrived at Peterborough. I knew that I would have to change trains then. So picking up my suitcase and making sure that I had everything, ticket, money, suitcase, backpack, sandwiches, comic and my raincoat thus encumbered with this load I alighted on Peterborough station.
I now had to wait about 45 minutes for a train to Hunstanton. As I sat on a breezy station I heard on a crackly tannoy: “the 12.45 to Hunstanton via March and Wisbech is now leaving at 12.58. from platform 6. Well, that meant that my train was now late and going from a different platform. I promptly went in search of a porter or someone in charge after I finally found one and he snootily said that ‘yes young man the train for Lynn and Hunstanton is running late and is from platform 6, but you’ll have to hurry’, thankfully the chap who the snooty man had been speaking to, just took my suitcase said ‘come on sunshine I’m going that way I’ll make sure you catch it’. So we hurried off and I did indeed catch the right train.
So I continued on my journey, thinking about this event now it must have had some effect on me as I have always been independent and looked after myself. But back to the tale. My journey carried on through March, Wisbech and Kings Lynn past the Royal residence of Sandringham, finally arriving at Hunstanton and there waiting for me was my Aunty Poppy, waiting in her mode of transport: a pony and trap. I kid you not, that was her transport, and we arrived at my aunt’s house which was the cottage next to the Forge. This was because my uncle (Philip) was the local blacksmith. I had a great holiday there in the village of Titchwell.
About 6 years ago I went to see if the place had changed. I found that the village is still there on the coast road, about 4 miles out of Hunstanton and just before you get to Brancaster. I also found that the old forge has gone and has been converted and extended with the old cottage.
But it was indeed a great holiday and a grand adventure when I, a 9-year-old lad, was allowed to set forth and travel over a hundred miles across the country on my own. Heaven only knows what Social Services would make such an occurrence happening today. I should imagine that my mother would now at this time be severely castigated for allowing such a thing, but my mother was a kind and a loving mum, it was just that in the world at that time, it was considered to be a more understanding place and I think was better for it.
Editors Note:
Bridge St Station closed in 1965, all traces of the crossing have now disappeared. When the Npton to Peterborough Rail line was active all traffic (All Northbound traffic! remember no M1) stopped every time a train came through. Long traffic jams were very common.
Recipes Of the Month
We have TWO recipes this month both will, in their own way warm you up 
Brioche and Jaffa cake Pudding
This recipe is a great winter treat. I'm definitely going to experiment with this and will be adding some Baileys in the egg custard sometime.

  • Brioche bread (I used 7 slices cut diagonally
  • Butter
  • Jaffa Cakes (20)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100 g/7 oz granulated sugar
  • 500 milk, will work with skimmed but use full fat for special
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Butter the bread and stack upright in a buttered dish
  • Insert jaffa cakes between the bread
  • Any leftover biscuits can be crumbled over the top
  • Mix the milk, eggs and sugar, pour over the pudding.
  • Preheat oven to 325F/160C. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the custard has set and the top is golden brown. If the top is browning too fast, cover loosely with aluminium foil. Don’t over bake or the bread will be dry. Let the pudding cool slightly before serving.
  • Serve with Custard or Icecream or cream.

Chilli Jam
Sylvia's recipe for this month is super easy and very tasty! Chilli Jam! So delicious with cheese and biscuits. The quantities given do not make very much (about a pound and a half) but it is well worth the effort.

  • 4 red peppers deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 5 red finger size chillies, medium hot…de seeded and roughly chopped
  • A two-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Tin tomatoes 400g
  • 375g golden caster sugar
  • 125ml red wine or cider vinegar
Put all ingredients in saucepan EXCEPT for the sugar. Using a stick blender or similar blitz everything down to a pulp. (Or it can be put through a blender) Now add the sugar and bring to a simmer stirring constantly. Keep stirring until the mixture is gloopy a bit like molten lava! This will probably take about 45 minutes. Pot into sterilised jam jars. Enjoy!

Quiz Answers

  1.  B   (1944 )       
  2.  ALASKA       
  4.  APOLLO  13         
  5. WILD BILL HICKOCK        
  7. BADGER              
  9. BELGIAN              
And Finally
As I type this paragraph people are fighting in the isles for the last toilet roll - Again. The supermarkets announced there will be no shortages so long as no one panic buys, this has triggered panic buying so there are shortages. you couldn't make it up, could you?
I am now in the billionaire tax bracket, well I pay about the same as Donald Trump. That reminds me, a rat Image of Ratty with Medalhas just been awarded a gold medal for bravery (good for him) for detecting landmines in Cambodia. 
And if all this news is too much for you, Radio Northampton DJ's were discussing AND TRYING Cannabis tea this morning, I was driving at the time but a quick google just now shows it is made in Northamptonshire and is by all accounts very relaxing.  
Don't Forget!  check out our new website
and please become a member
Northants Parkinson's People is registered in England as a charitable incorporated organisation,
Registered office: 31 Winston Close, Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire. NN7 3JX
Registered charity number 1188652
Copyright © 2020 Northants Parkinson's People

Our email address is: [email protected] 
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