Village News


The Village Hall Annual Christmas Fair will be held on Saturday, 7 Dec 19.


About 60 people were present at this very successful social event which included the 56th annual Marston Pumpkin Club Show and Prize-Giving.  Thanks are due to Sybil Howard, Julia Metcalf and the other ladies of the WI for their assistance with the organisation and for preparing free pumpkin soup for all.  The soup was provided from a pumpkin grown in Marston.  Thanks also to Bill Emery (plants), Nigel Harris and Jo Wilson (bar), Paul Mann and John Crozier (raffle), and Simon Brown (game).  Finally, thanks to the pub committee for donating a barrel of beer which was surplus from the Hog Roast, and to Simon and Caroline Brown for donating several bottles of beer and soft drinks

This year, by popular demand, we were once again entertained by Prime Time, a group of four musicians whose age and musical repertoire seemed to match their audience.  Judging by the number of people who took to the floor to dance, they were a great success.

Nigel Harris retained the Bunny Cup for the heaviest pumpkin at 6 st 5 lbs; Blane Cross from Conningsby took the Titch Trophy for second heaviest at 4 st 4 lbs; and Mick Osborne was third with his 4 st 1 lb pumpkin.  Sheila Baker won best pair and John Crozier took the catch-weight prize.  The total number of pumpkins entered was 20 which was slightly up on last year; however, the total weight was 0.29 tons which was down on last year.

Sybil Howard judged the children’s Best Decorated Pumpkin competition.  There were five entries, all from Marston School.  First prize – Reception Class with ‘Mr. Fox’; second prize – Benji Ross and Eloise Godber with ‘A Witch’; and third prize - Year 1 with ‘The Bird’.  Ruth Toole won the Adult Best Decorated Pumpkin Competition with ‘Cinderella’s Coach’.

Donations will be made from the proceeds of the evening to the WI, Marston Church Fabric Fund, Hougham Church, the Save the Thorold Arms Campaign and the Village Hall.


With only 34 days now to our proposed opening day everyone on the committee is very busy and lots of progress is being made.

We're well into the process of recruiting the managing couple.  We have received some very promising applications and we hope to be concluding the process in the next week or two.

Installation of the professional kitchen and log burners are well underway and the new front door and manager's kitchen are scheduled to be fitted this week. Electrical works and heating and plumbing are reaching completion stages. Electrical equipment for the bar and shop are also being delivered this week and furniture will be delivered by 11th November.

Policies and procedures are in development. Cellar work is being finalised and drinks orders are in preparation.

We also have a very long to-do-list of items to be completed and finishing touches. Hopefully we can get everything done.

We have had a great response to our appeal for additional funding and have received a further £11,600 in share applications and £275 in donations. In addition, we heard late on Friday that we have been successful with a further grant application to Pub is The Hub for a £3,000 grant towards crockery and cutlery.  This means we still require another £15,000 to avoid the need of a further loan. Don't forget that if you are a tax payer you may qualify for 30% tax relief on your investment. HMRC gave us preliminary approval for both the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) schemes which is payable after we have been trading for a period of time.

For those who did not make it to the open day on 13th October there are some great photos on both the website (where share offer document etc are also stored) and on FaceBook

Sandra Allen on behalf of The Thorold Arms Community Benefit Society Limited Management Committee


The Village Fete was a great success yesterday. It was good see so many people there, enjoying afternoon tea in Val’s lovely garden. And the warm, sunny weather was a real bonus. 

£1074. 85 was raised for St Mary’s Church, Marston. This is a huge help towards our running costs. The insurance alone this year was over £2600, the electricity will be around £1000, as well as water rates, and the expenses associated with church services. And all this doesn’t include the essential maintenance that is ongoing – stonework on the spire needs fairly urgent attention, and we have leaks in the roof which will need expensive work in the near future.

 Marston Parochial Church Council are very grateful to several parishioners who make regular donations to the church. You don’t have to be a church goer to appreciate the architecture and history of our lovely church. If anyone feels able to make a regular donation, no matter how small, please contact me and I will let you have the details. This can be in the form of a standing order, or a cash or cheque payment via a church envelope. Using the correct stationery will enable us to claim Gift Aid if you are a tax payer and boost your donation by 25%.

Once again, thank you for supporting the Fete, whether you helped set up and clear away, ran a stall, or simply enjoyed the afternoon and spent a bit of money!
Caroline Brown


Mr. Chris Stephens of Main Street was co-opted onto the Parish Council at the meeting on 16 May.  He fills the one remaining vacancy following the local elections held on 2 May 19.