Spending the day in Oundle

Andy in Oundle 5On Friday, 22nd March, I spent most of the day in Oundle, listening to the local issues that people wanted to raise with me and visiting a range of organisations and businesses.

Members of the Oundle Transition Town Group (OTTG) explained the work that they were doing to support a sustainable community.

We braved the arctic winds on Glapthorn Road to discuss the peak-time traffic issues and OTTG’s proposals for a cycleway to encourage more local journeys by bicycle. It was great to share in the enthusiasm that OTTG clearly possesses to improve the quality of life for people in the town.

I popped into Prince William School to meet Interim Head, Marian Hobbs, and have a brief tour of some parts of the school.Andy in Oundle 4

Marian impressed on me the limited space that was available for the Sixth Form’s social area and the students showed me how much the existing facilities in the school are exploited – I saw that every PC was in use in the IT room and school library was virtually full. The school had a real buzz of energy and I look forward to returning to see more after the new head is in place.

I also called in on some local businesses. Norman’s is a great example of a longstanding family business – a greengrocers that seems to flourish, despite the competition from supermarkets, by emphasising the quality of the produce on sale there.

The Nene Valley Brewery continues this theme of seeking to provide the best to the customer – creating and retailing a range of beers to their own recipes. Whilst a newcomer to Oundle, co-owner Dick Simpson explained how they are maintaining the strong tradition of brewing in the area, naming one of their premium beers after Jim Irving, “the man who brewed the last pints at the former Smith’s Brewery some 50 years ago”.

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