Category Archives: COVID-19

Parish Council Covid-19 Update

Re-Opening of Village Facilities

In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, all Council facilities were closed in the latter part of March 2020 as a safety precaution during the pandemic.

The Government has recently advised that, at the discretion of local councils, village facilities may be reopened after ensuring that they are as Covid secure as is reasonable.

At its meeting on the 14 July 2020, the Parish Council appointed a Councillor task force to oversee the re-opening of all Council facilities. The Council’s next meeting is on the 11 August 2020 at which time it is planned to approve the recommendations of the Task Force so that facilites may be opened shortly afterwards. In the meantime, some essential maintenance work and painting is being undertaken, taking advantage of the closedown.

All hall bookings for later in August & beyond should be addressed to the bookingclerk@woodfordcummembris-pc.orghowever, bookings can only be tentative at this stage.

Parish Council Logo


Grant Funding For Local Businesses

Small businesses urged to apply for Covid-19 support funds

Daventry District Council has announced the availability of grants for Covid-hit small businesses.

Small businesses in Daventry District are encouraged to apply for grants of up to £10,000 in the latest round of Government funding aimed at easing the impact of Covid-19.

Daventry District Council (DDC) is inviting small businesses that were not eligible for the Government’s other coronavirus support schemes to make applications to the new Discretionary Grant Fund.

The funding is aimed at businesses with under 50 employees that have seen a significant drop in income due to coronavirus, such as those in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, bed and breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of Business Rates, some eligible charity properties and those who spend less than £51,000 a year renting or mortgaging a property.

The deadline for applications to the Council is the end of Sunday, 14 June 2020 and businesses can check the eligibility criteria and apply online via the DDC website at Daventry District Council’s Discretionary Grant Fund

DDC has already distributed £13.41m of Government funding to 1,138 local businesses during the coronavirus pandemic – including grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, plus a series of small business rate relief grants.

Councillor Colin Morgan, Resource Portfolio Holder at Daventry District Council said: “Our staff have been working hard to ensure that local businesses receive the Government funding support that they are entitled to during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The Discretionary Grant Fund is aimed at those small businesses struggling significantly during these difficult times that aren’t eligible for the other government grant support schemes. I would urge any small local businesses who think they may qualify to visit our website to check the criteria and then apply online.”

05/20 Woods Committee Meeting

No Meeting This May

The May meeting of the great Central Woodland Management Team was scheduled to take place on Wednesday 27th May 2020.

Because of the Coronavirus outbreak lockdown, very little work has been possible in the Woodland and as, a result, the decision has been taken to cancel this meeting.

We now expect the next meeting of the Woodland Management Team to take place on Wednesday 24th June 2020. This will be confirmed by a posting here and a notice on parish noticeboards in the week before the event.

If you have any issues to raise regarding the Woodland in the meantime please email the Committee’s secretary:

Parish Council meetings are open to the public. All are welcome to attend.

About Your Woodland Management Team

The Great Central Woodland Management Team was set up by the Parish Council to manage the woodland on behalf of the village. Meetings usually take place on the last Wednesday of each month. Details of the Woodland and links to the work of the Woodland Management Team can be found here. Agendas and minutes of meeting and the latest Woodland news  are here.

Tips are for “essential rubbish” only

.. and ID will be need to be shown

(Full article in the Daventry Express)

Councillor Jason Smithers, county council cabinet member for highways and place has revealed staff will be checking for “essential rubbish only” when the gates at Northamptonshire’s rubbish tips open next week. And residents will need ID to prove they are not “waste tourists” as the local authority braces itself for a rush to the tips.

He said “We are putting countless measures in place such as one-way systems and reducing the number of vehicles allowed in at one time. If it’s not essential then don’t come because we just want essential waste that can cause hazards to health.

“Police will be patrolling approach roads and we have deployed some of our traffic warden officers to help with the queueing outside because we are expecting to be quite busy.

“Only one person will be allowed out of vehicles and the guys there will not be able to physically help by carrying rubbish as they would normally do.”

“We’re going for a sort of business as usual to start with, but if it does become an issue we will close the centres down for an hour or two hours to clear the backlog and if we go to an online booking system then that is something we will relay via our messaging systems and website.

“Nothing is out of bounds, will do whatever it takes to make sure these centres operate safely.”

The Daventry household waste recycling centres will reopen on Monday (May 18) after closing for eight weeks during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Integration Plans For Councils Re-designed.

Plans undergo major changes as Covid crisis continues

With tackling the Coronavirus everyone’s top priority, plans for creating two new councils in Northamptonshire will be scaled down, with a new approach called ‘Safe and Legal Plus’.

New legislation that came into effect on 8 May, as expected confirms the new North and West Northamptonshire Councils will start on 1 April 2021. This follows the postponement of this spring’s scheduled unitary elections due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

future northants logoThe North and West Shadow Councils’ Executives at their first meetings in late June will be considering proposals to prioritise work to ensure all services are set up safely and legally for day one of the two new authorities, whilst still working hard to bring together and improve as many existing services as possible.

Preparations will continue towards setting up the new countywide Children’s Trust by 1 April next year, with the timescale dependent on the ongoing pandemic response.

The priorities of the proposed revised Safe and Legal Plus programme include:

  • Ensuring all services for the new councils are ready to go next April so residents continue to access services as they usually would.
  • Setting up the new North and West shadow authorities, which are made up of the existing district, borough and county councillors. They will meet in June and replace the West and North Northants Joint Committees.
  • Ensuring budgets are set for each new council, and developing plans for equalising Council Tax rates across each unitary area.
  • Bringing together the existing district and borough services into the new North and West unitary councils and splitting county council services across the two areas.
  • Even better joint working in Adults Services and Health and Social Care, with improved ways of working to improve services for residents and deliver significant savings.

Cllr Russell Roberts, Leader of the new North Northamptonshire Shadow Authority said: “Our councils and services are facing unprecedented challenges in responding to the Covid pandemic and the health and welfare of our residents is at the forefront of everything we are doing.

“We’re working on the assumption that safe and legal is deliverable by 1 April 2021 but due to the uncertainty that exists at the moment, we will continually review what is possible to achieve and by when as we move through the next few months.

“We’ve had to re-think our ambitions as to what we can achieve by Go Live Day, but while the focus is on Safe and Legal we’ll be doing what we can between now and April.”

Councillor Ian McCord, Leader of the new West Northamptonshire Shadow Authority, said: “Providing essential public services to residents and businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic has rightly been our top priority, with work on the new councils put on the back burner. As a result, we’ve had to scale back how much we can do before launch of the two new councils next April.

“We’ll certainly have each new council up and running on time, but will complete much of the behind-the-scenes work of integrating staff from the previous councils later on. What’s most important is that residents relying on public services continue to see them run smoothly.”

To view the vision document, ‘Prospectus for Change – the next chapter’ and to find out more about the new Safe and Legal Plus approach for the unitary preparations visit Future Northants West (the authority including Daventry District) and Future Northants North.

Church News – May 2020

A Message from the Rector, Reverend Stevie Cross

Hello everyone

There is a lot of contradictory information in the media and in discussions about when our churches will be open.  I would like to share with you the latest information I have from the Bishop of Peterborough following the guidelines from the House of Bishops last Friday.

The first thing to state is that not every church / benefice will be moving forward at the same rate. Individual bishops, who know their dioceses, have some flexibility. Also, there may be differences between town and country churches, large and small congregations.  The overriding consideration is safety and not risking spreading the virus.

The present thinking is that there will be 3 steps. The bishop says:-

The first step

“As from today, clergy or licensed lay ministers in this diocese may enter their church buildings for private prayer, or to record or livestream services. Anyone doing so must first read the document on the Church of England Coronavirus web page entitled “Advice for Clergy on Re-entering Closed Church Buildings”, and follow that advice.

“Only members of the minister’s household may accompany him or her into the church building. This is not permission for any sort of public meeting or worship.

“Please note that this is only permission. You don’t have to do this. If you prefer to await permission for lay people to join you for worship, that is perfectly alright too. Purely personally, I would choose that latter course, but you are free to follow your head and your heart on this.”

(As it will not be easy to try and livestream services from any of our churches, I will not be going into church. The guidance for multi-parish benefices is that I should only use the nearest church. I will continue daily prayer at home)

In the longer term

“Further stages of return to our buildings will follow, depending on government advice and regulations. It is likely that in a few weeks, small-scale services such as baptisms, weddings and funerals, with family only present, will be possible. Social distancing, and strict conditions around access and cleaning, will have to apply.

Further down the line

“Further down the line, I hope to be able to authorise Sunday worship on an appropriate scale. This will depend on how many people can conveniently be in the building with appropriate social distancing (which is likely to remain in force for months at least). Please note that it is very unlikely that we will be able to permit singing in the coming months, as the medical advice is that this would require social distancing of five metres, and that no books or service sheets can be used: these are a good way of passing germs from hand to hand.

“There are no timings on this plan. These will depend on government advice, on other advice I receive, and on local conditions. It is possible that relaxations to the lockdown will have to be reversed, and even new restrictions imposed, if there is a new wave of infections nationally or locally. Please be patient. I want our churches open, but only when that is safe.

Private worship

“One area which is particularly complicated, and on which I am regularly lobbied by laypeople, is the question of opening churches for private prayer. It might seem that this is a relatively easy win, but I am afraid that it is not. If churches are left open, they will need to be hygienically cleaned after each use. Remember that each person who enters the church might be a carrier of the disease, or might be particularly vulnerable to it. We are responsible for keeping our people as safe as we can, especially in our church buildings. I know that this will not be popular, but for the time being our church buildings cannot be opened for private prayer or other visits. Perhaps counter-intuitively, this is likely to be the very last point on any roadmap towards re-opening.”

I am sorry that I cannot be more positive about the way forward in the short term and when our beautiful churches will be open again. I know that we all are longing for the time when we can gather together and I will be doing my best to bring this about as soon as we can.

As soon as I have any more information I will share it.

Thank you for all you are doing to support one another and the wider community at this time.  I thank God for you in my prayers and pray that you stay safe and healthy

Every blessing



Domestic Abuse Support

An Update From Northants Together

Sadly, domestic abuse cases have seen a rise since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Northants Together has compiled a list of key agencies and support groups should you need to pass this information on. Also available is this Domestic Abuse flyer.

Please see the link below to some useful resources from Women’s Aid:

Women’s Aid Covid-19 Safety & Support

Also, as of 30 April 2020, any woman who needs to travel to find refuge from domestic violence can do so for free on any UK train. Email to access.

National support lines for victims of domestic abuse include:

  • The National Domestic Abuse HelpLine on 0808 2000 247 (24 Hours a Day).
  • Women’s Aid also offers victims a live web chat service.
  • Male victims can call Respect – 0808 8010 327 (during their office hours)
  • For LGBT victims, they can call the GALOP phone line on 0800 999 5428

Locally, the following sources of support are available:

In addition, Boots shops are now dedicating space for victims to access support:

Boots Pharmacy Consultation Rooms

Daventry Recycling Centre

Re-opening May 18th for Essential Waste

Northamptonshire County Council announced its tips will reopen from May 18th for essential waste only.

In line with guidance from the Government the council is asking the public to make only essential journeys to recycling centres and only if waste or recycling cannot be stored safely at home without causing injury, harm or risk to health.

The council is expecting the sites to be very busy and as they will be operating at reduced capacity to comply with social distancing rules, long queues are expected.

Social distancing measures also mean that site staff will not be able to assist members of the public with carrying any waste, as they usually would do.

Social distancing measures will also apply for members of the public, which will mean that the number of vehicles on site at any one time will be restricted. It will also mean that usual parking bays may not be available, and each site will have one-way systems in place for vehicles and pedestrians. On entering the site, council staff will give clear instructions.

With the anticipated traffic queues, officers will be on hand to help marshal traffic to ensure that no obstructions are caused.

As is usual at busy times, sites may have to close temporarily throughout the day if demand becomes too high, to enable safe operations and allow traffic to disperse from the highway.

Opening times for the Daventry centre are:-

Daventry, Browns Road, NN11 4NS: Mon/Tue/Fr/Sat/Sun, 10am -6pm

Keep up to date with any changes here: Daventry Recycling Centre

Colour A Cop

Northants Police Kid’s Creative Colouring Challenge

To show their support to parents and children across the county, and as a thank you for continuing to stay at home and save lives, Northamptonshire Police has shared a number of pictures to help keep children entertained at this difficult time.

One of their officers has hand-drawn three pictures to help keep children entertained – all that is missing is some colour and a little artistic magic. We’re sure you can do better than this….

cop colouredThe pictures are available to download on the Northamptonshire Police website. Once they are coloured in, children are encouraged to hang them in the windows of homes to support those working to keeping you safe.

Officers will take photos of any pictures they see whilst out on patrol and tweet them. Parents with social media accounts can also take photos of their children with their picture and tag us on Twitter @NorthantsPolice.

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Blatchly, who is leading the Northamptonshire Police response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said: “With many of us parents ourselves and facing similar struggles, we can appreciate the difficulties which parents and carers face at this time.

“We would appreciate seeing the final pictures, so families are encouraged to put the pictures up in their windows to show support for Northamptonshire Police, the NHS and our keyworker colleagues.

“Our officers on patrol will keep an eye out for the pictures, taking photos and tweeting them to our social media channels to recognise your children’s artistry – or if you’d like to tweet us your photo, we’d love that too!

“We just wanted to take a moment to say thanks and that we’re all in this together. We hope you and they enjoy this and please stay home and save lives.”

The pictures can be downloaded here opens in a new windowChildrens Creative Colouring Challenge.

Local Walks

Since lock-down started and we’ve had to limit our exercise to once a day, near where we live, almost 500 people have viewed the Woodford Walks page on the Signpost.

Northants Count Council has published the following to remind users of public footpaths to be considerate of landowners and others exercising during the current coronavirus outbreak.

Footpath & Right of Way Warning

Kid’s Police Q&A On Lockdown

Northants Police Special Session For Children Worried about Lockdown

Police officers leading the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Northamptonshire are planning to hold a special Facebook Live Q&A session for children on Thursday, April 30, at 4.30pm.

Since the country was locked down over a month ago, the Force has been holding weekly live Q&A sessions on Facebook which have given people of all ages an opportunity to engage with their local police officers and ask questions about the COVID-19 policing operation.

The sessions, fronted by Chief Constable Nick Adderley and Superintendents Sarah Johnson and Elliot Foskett, have proven popular with users of the social media platform, with thousands of people tuning in at a time and lots of questions posed to the officers live.

Now the Force is turning its attention specifically to children and Assistant Chief Constable Simon Blatchly and Superintendents Johnson and Foskett will hold a one-off session this Thursday to give young people worried about the lockdown an opportunity to air their concerns and ask their local police force a question.

facebook live logo

Superintendent Sarah Johnson, said: “Our live Facebook Q&As have proven popular with the local community and I think that’s because they’re unscripted – people can pose questions live, we don’t know what questions are coming, and I think that brings a level of authenticity to the process which the public in Northamptonshire have appreciated. We want to be accessible, approachable and willing to give the public the interaction they deserve and these sessions have been a great way for is to do that.

“This is a strange time for everyone at the moment as so much has changed in our day-to-day lives and this level of change can be quite scary for children who can’t go to nursery or school, play outside with their friends, or visit their grandparents.

“We recognise this and hope that a Q&A session with their local police officers may go some way in relieving any anxiety they may be feeling.

“If your child has a question, please join us at 4.30pm on Facebook on Thursday, or if you can’t make it – please submit your question to us in advance by emailing your child’s name, age and their question to

“Although this session will focus on the lockdown, we are very much willing to answer other burning questions about the police your children may have – whether that’s how the blue lights work on our cars or how many police dogs we have – we’re happy to take questions on anything that will help your child feel connected to their local police officers.”

You can find Northants police on Facebook here.

Humpty’s Tribute

Humpty Dumpty’s Baby & Toddler Group

Tribute to the NHS & Key Workers

Many thanks to Suzi Hazleton for suggesting this as a post. Something to cheer us all up….

Or as just one picture…….

Humpty's NHS Tribute Pictures

Village Meats

New Opening Time

Janet has posted on the door of the shop (Village Meats, aka “Janet the Butchers”) that she will be opening at 8:30am from now on instead of from 8:00am.

I’m guessing this is just for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak.



Northants County Council Covid-19 Update

Northamptonshire County Council is responsible for co-ordinating actions across the county to support local communities. This Newsletter covers such important issues as:-

      • The County-wide support telephone line
      • Advice on Covid-19 related scams
      • The Northants Together initiative
      • Useful links
COVID19 Northants Comm Res update 17.04.2020


Download your copy here.

Parsons Street Trio & Ozzy’s Music

Celebrating The NHS & Key Workers

Thursday 16/04/20  8:00pm: Just one way Woodford is celebrating those who are looking after us…….

And also ….     Iain (Ozzy) Osborne’s Mobile Music Machine

First Council On-Line Meeting

Managing Local Services Carries On Under Lockdown

As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak it is not sensible for the Parish Council to meet face-to-face as it usually does but the Government’s Coronavirus Regulations allow the Council to run its meetings electronically. This allows the Council to continue with the essential business of running local services and carrying out its legal obligations.

The first of these meetings took place (as advertised in the agenda posted last week) on Tuesday 14th April. Councillors joined the meeting from their own homes, using laptops or computers with microphones and cameras to allow them to see and hear and be seen and heard. The Signpost editor joined the meeting to listen in as any member of the public can using a PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone together with the Zoom application recommended by the Northamptonshire local council support group, NCALC.

Discussions included the impact of the Cornonavirus outbreak on council services and the support Council is giving to the Woodford Halse Community Support Group. Council also noted the delays to the Council’s annual meeting, the elector’s meeting and the planned elections that would have put in place the new combined local authority for West Northamptonshire. The details of the meeting will be reported in the minutes to be published later.

The system used for the meeting allowed the public to see and hear each of the councillors and their contributions. With ten councillors in the meeting, the Council had enough attendees (known as a “quorum”) to conduct business. Minutes of the previous meeting were approved, declarations of interest made and votes taken on points at issue in exactly the same way as when meetings take place in the Memorial Hall.

Meetings (including Woodland Management Committee and Estates Management Committee) will continue using the Zoom service until the current restrictions are lifted.

Covid-19 Rules

Police Reporting Online

Northamptonshire Police LogoNorthamptonshire Police report that they are receiving a high number of reports of suspected breaches of the Covid19 restrictions.

They have asked for reports to be made online to help them to manage reports and balance the demand for police response.

Suspected breaches of Covid19 can now be reported online through the following link: Northants Police Corona Virus Breach Reporting

Closed Business Premises & Homeworkers

A Police Guide From Northants Police

To support businesses manage their security during the coronavirus pandemic, Secured by Design, the Police Digital Security Centre and the National Counter Terrorism Security Office have put together a leaflet containing the Top 10 Security Tips for Closed Business Premises, the Top 10 Cyber Security Tips for Working at Home and the latest Counter Terrorism advice.

The leaflet is aimed at those who have either been instructed by the government to close in line with the Covid-19 guidance or have chosen to close, and provides advice and guidance to assist them review both their physical and cyber security to reduce the chances of falling victim to criminals.



Or download a copy here.

If you require any further advice around security for your business, please visit Northamptonshire Police Crime Prevention page for further information contact the Crime Prevention department at

Easter Bus Services

Service 200 to Banbury & Daventry

Stagecoach BusStagecoach advise that the Service 200 bus to Banbury & Daventry will not run on Friday April 10th , Sunday 12th and Monday 13th.

The current Saturday timetable applies on the 11th. Bus times return to the current restricted timetable on Tuesday 14th.


Co-op Updated Opening April

The Co-op store in Phipps Road has announced that they are reducing their opening hours on a temporary basis from Sunday 5th April.

Mid Councties Co-op LogoOpening times will now be:-

07:00am until 8:00pm Monday to Saturday

08:00am until 8:00pm Sunday

To help senior citizens and those who are most vulnerable or at risk the Co-op has introduced a ‘Priority Shopping Hour’ from 9.30 to 10.30 every day in all their Food stores. Whilst the Co-op appreciate that we all have a need to shop at particular times, they would be grateful if you could help us preserve this period for senior citizens, their carers, the infirm and those with underlying health issues to complete their shopping.


Volunteer For Good Neighbours

You can now volunteer for Woodford’s Good Neighbour scheme on-line.

Click here to find the form….

The scheme needs more volunteers and you can volunteer for what you can help with and when you can spare time by ticking boxes on the application.

Daventry Covid-19 Hotline

Support Co-ordinated By Local Councils

If you’re in need of extra support during the coronavirus pandemic, or know someone in your local community who is, please get in touch on a new hotline that has been set up to help residents.

DDC LogoThe new support line number is 0300 126 1000 (option 5) and allows those who cannot leave their homes under current restrictions and those who have nobody to call upon for help, to request support in getting access to food, prescriptions and other vital services that they require.

Daventry District Council is working with Northamptonshire County Council and other partners to co-ordinate local efforts to get people the help they need during these difficult times.

Each call will be triaged so that individuals receive the care and support appropriate to their needs. Requests will be mapped and linked up with local community groups, volunteers and voluntary organisations who have pledged their support.

You can also request help by completing this online form.

Find out more about the range of support on offer during this time on the DDC Coronavirus advice pages


Social Distancing & Footpaths

Please Take Care

A message from the Parish Council….

“A resident has raised with me the number of people using footpath FN19 from Station Road / Hinton Road through to Woodford Mill  and Dairy Farm. Although we are all allowed to take one exercise session a day, those using public footpaths are particularly asked to observe social distancing and to be conscious of the risks of bringing the virus onto the properties besides the paths.”

Kay Coles, Chair, Woodford cum Membris Parish Council

Local Help During The COVID-19 Outbreak

Daventry District & Local Partners Supporting Those In Need Of Help.

Are you in need of extra support during the coronavirus pandemic? Or do you know someone in your local community who might need some help?

ddc logoDaventry District Council is working with a range of partner organisations to co-ordinate local efforts to get people the help they need during these difficult times.

An army of volunteers has come forward to offer their help with everything from collecting prescriptions or shopping for people who cannot leave their home, to offering a friendly ear to those who might be feeling a bit lonely.

So if you are in need of any support, or know anyone who might need help, please get in touch.

Help that can be arranged includes:

  • Collecting prescriptions
  • Help with shopping/emergency supplies
  • Telephone befriending

If you are in need of help and support please go to this page on Daventry District Council’s website and complete the online form.

Once you have completed the form, we will match you with a community group of volunteers who will contact you as soon as they can to arrange the support you need. Please be aware we are experiencing huge demand for these services at the moment, so you may not get a response straight away.

No Need For Abuse

An appeal from Byfield Medical Centre….

“This is a post we did not think we would have to make – could we please ask in these difficult times for our patients to think about what they are doing and saying.

“The staff here are working under enormous pressure and are staying at work risking their health and that of their families to ensure we are able to provide care to those that need it. We are receiving abuse daily from patients and it is not acceptable, we have staff in tears after being abused over the phone or in person, please think about the effect you are having on these people who are here to help you.

“Yes, appointments are being limited; that is not for our benefit but we are following government guidance and triaging patients over the phone and only bringing in those that are deemed to be urgent.

“Medication is now not available until 72 hours after ordering; this is because people are ordering more than they ever have and the dispensary staff are overwhelmed, also stocks are taking longer to be delivered to us. We are also now delivering medication, again to protect you.

“The NHS has a zero tolerance policy which we will be adopting, the team here are working extremely hard in very testing times and as their employer we will do all we can to protect them.”

Prescriptions from Byfield GP Practice


This message is from Tracey Rhymer, Practice Manager at Byfield Medical Centre….

NHS LogoTo try to limit the number of people visiting the practice we are going to start to deliver medications to the villages as follows: –

  • Byfield Good Neighbour scheme will deliver to Byfield Patients,
  • Woodford patients to continue to collect from Popsons,
  • All other villages will have deliveries made by staff members.

You will receive a text the night before your delivery if you are not going to be at home please text back stating this.

If you pay for your prescriptions please have the correct money available.

Good Neighbours Scheme

Covid-19 Support Group

A group has been set up to support those self-isolating in Woodford Halse.

If you have been advised to self-isolate and are elderly, vulnerable or with a serious medical condition the group can help with:-


Please allow time to complete, collect and deliver orders & requests; wherever possible allow a minimum of 48hrs.

To contact the group call 07725 543065 (11:00am to 3:00pm) or 07492 703703 (4:00pm to 8:00pm), email or via the contact form on their web site (see below).

The group has a web site here

New Bus Timetable

Two Hourly Service from 23rd March 2020

Stagecoach have published a new temporary timetable to operate during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The 200 bus through the village will follow an approximately two hourly timetable  with a first bus to Banbury at 08:00am and to Daventry at 07:10am.

The full timetable can be seen here:-


Download it here: Service 200 Covid-19 Timetable.

Details of other services from Banbury can be found here.

Although we will try to keep the Signpost up to date, it is obviously best to follow the Stagecoach service web site or twitter feed for the latest data.

Church Services

A Message From the Vicar

Stevie Cross, the vicar, has passed on this message regarding local services and a call to light a candle in solidarity with all on Sunday 22nd March at 7:30pm.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have asked for public services to be put on hold.

Although Sunday services will not happen, Revd. Stevie Cross will be in the churches on Sundays saying daily prayer with emphasis on praying for the community.  This Sunday she will be at St Marys Woodford Halse at 10am and then Holy Cross Byfield at 11am.  If anyone wishes to join her and sit at a safe distance they are welcome.

A Day of Prayer

At the end of the Archbishops’ letter, they ask for this Sunday 22nd to be a Day of prayer especially remembering the health service.

candleAs one action, this Sunday we are calling on everyone to place a lighted candle in their window at 7.00 p.m. as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished.

Stevie is encouraging everyone to take part and to ask friends and neighbours to join in.

This is a very difficult time for everyone, so please feel free to phone her for a chat at anytime. She will be phoning many of parishioners to keep in touch by but please let her know if there is anyone who you think would welcome a call.

Canons Ashby & Covid-19

The National Trust has decided to shut the buildings of Canons Ashby, gardens and grounds,

Canons Ashby House

Canons Ashby – the home of the Dryden family.

For updates on our opening and current situation, please see our website.

Also, upcoming events until the end of May will be cancelled. This includes the Growing Green Trail and the Easter Egg Trail events listed in April edition of WOW.

CV-19 Support Group

Village Volunteer Support Plan

Members of the Woodford Halse community are currently working towards a plan to support those in need, who have no support and may have to self-isolate over the coming weeks or months.

This may be for essential shopping. collection of prescriptions and so on (all to be confirmed).

This group is working together alongside Iain Osborne’s aim to create a “Good Neighbours” support network for Woodford Halse.

Can You Volunteer?

Please Contact Carol Justice Gray, mobile : 0735 980007 (text or WhatsApp is best due to poor signal) or email:


The Woodford Halse Coronavirus Volunteer Support Group is collecting ziplock freezer bags (any size up to A4).

If you have some that you would be willing to donate as we work towards supporting those who are self-isolating, then please drop them off at Cobweb Cottage, 11 High Street (side lane just past school) Woodford NN11 3RQ on SUNDAY (22nd) or MONDAY (23rd).

Many thanks for your help at this challenging time!

Update from Byfield Medical Centre

Tracey Rymer, Practice Manager at the Byfield Medical Centre, has asked us to relay this message …..

COVID 19 – Latest update from NHS England

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection. If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (a new continuous cough and / or high temperature), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

DO NOT go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

NHS England LogoPeople who are self-isolating with minor symptoms are not being tested. Priority for testing is being given to those in critical care for pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), other hospitalised patients with pneumonia or ARDS, or where there is an outbreak in a residential or care setting, for example long-term care facility or prison. We are anticipating updated guidance on expansion of testing.

People who remain well are advised to limit social contact where possible – including using less public transport, working at home and considering avoiding pubs, restaurants, theatres and bars. Those over 70 or have an underlying health condition or are pregnant are strongly advised against these activities and should also significantly limit face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible.

The public has a crucial role to play in containing the spread of the virus. Washing your hands more often. For 20 seconds. Use soap and water or a hand sanitiser when you: get home or into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food. Protect yourself and others.

Co-op Updated Opening Times

The Co-op store in Phipps Road has announced that they are reducing their opening hours on a temporary basis from Wednesday 18th March.

Mid Councties Co-op LogoOpening times will now be:-

07:00am until 8:00pm Monday to Saturday

08:00am until 8:00pm Sunday

To help senior citizens and those who are most vulnerable or at risk the Co-op has introduced a ‘Priority Shopping Hour’ from 9.30 to 10.30 every day in all their Food stores. Whilst the Co-op appreciate that we all have a need to shop at particular times, they would be grateful if you could help us preserve this period for senior citizens, their carers, the infirm and those with underlying health issues to complete their shopping.


Garden Club Events Cancelled

A message from the Garden Club Committee….

garden club“In light of the government’s latest advice regarding Coronavirus and avoiding social contacts , the Garden Club Committee have decided to cancel our planned meetings in April and May. We hope that we will still be able to do planned visits from June onwards, but will contact you nearer the time. In the mean time we hope that you all stay fit and well.

Best Wishes, Garden Club Committee”

And in addition…

If anybody needs any help if unable to get out for shopping etc. then please get in touch with Rebecca and Paul Hymers who will be pleased to assist if they can.

Library Closed

Until Further Notice.

Message From Patricia Darby regarding Woodford cum Membris Community Library…

“I have to inform you that the Woodford Halse library will be closed until further notice due to the guidelines for safeguarding the health of the volunteers and of those people who use the library. This decision has been made as a result of new directives from the NCC and as from yesterday it was decided that all NCC libraries would suspend all volunteering. ‘This decision was made in the light of the situation and with the welfare of volunteers at the forefront.’

Woodford Halse Library“You will be still able to renew library books on-line and access to Daventry and Towcester libraries will remain. All NCC books can be exchanged at these libraries but donated books can only be brought back to Woodford Halse library when we reopen.

“There will be no items due during any closed periods. Please do not post books through the letterbox.

“Thank you to all volunteers and I will notify you of any changes.

“We realise that libraries provide a wonderful service for the community and we will reopen as soon as as we can. We hope that you will all keep well. ”

Patricia Darby

Old School Cafe & The Virus

Still Open

Old School Cafe has decided to remain open for the time being.

We have taken this decision because we are able to provide all of our food to takeaway – so, if you prefer, there is no need to sit in the cafe – and remember, you can ring and pre-order so even less time in the company of others.

If you do not want to come into the cafe, knock on the window which faces the carpark and we can serve you through our temporary “drive thru”!!

Call 07845 430577

We can even provide you with a frozen/chilled meal to take home and reheat at your convenience.

To commemorate St Patrick’s Day we have a lovely Irish Stew as a special this week – served with a hot bread roll! 🍀🍀🍀

We are doing our best to stay safe and support the community at the same time. We use approved cleaning products and have hand sanitizer available for customers in addition to our usual handwashing products.

We have a number of events scheduled in the days and weeks ahead – keep an eye on this page for updates. The flower arranging scheduled for 2 April has been cancelled.

Library Events

A notice from Patricia Darby regarding the Community Library…

“From today all EVENTS in libraries will be CLOSED This includes RhymeTime and baby sessions.

We are following government guidelines in order to keep people safe for health reasons with regard to the Corona virus.

I will be giving further updates regarding the library this week.”

Please note that the Old School Cafe remains open, including for take away orders.

Byfield Medical Centre : Appointments

From the Byfield Medical Centre’s Facebook feed…


Following guidance around possible cases of COVID-19, all patients will be triaged by a doctor over the phone before any face to face appointments are offered at the practice.

Nurse appointments are being scaled back and things like health checks are being postponed please call to check – 01327 265841.

Estates Committe & Election Cancellations

Please note that with regard to the current & changing Coronavirus circumstances, the Estate Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday 17 March 2020 is postponed. In case of doubt or query regarding any Estate Committee matter Robyn Davison would be pleased to hear from you.

The conduct and scheduling of Parish Council business is being kept under constant review and according to County Association advice, Parish Council policy and legal obligations.

In addition the local elections scheduled for 07 May 2020 have now been postponed until May 2021. The parish of Woodford cum Membris Parish Council is not affected because we have no scheduled election this year but the effect on the composition of the new unitary authority is not yet clear.

Lunch Club Cancelled

The Lunch Club has asked the Signpost to pass on the following notice…..

“We regret to inform you that the Lunch Club for March 26th at the Memorial Hall has been cancelled in respect of the Corona Virus guidelines. As we have a duty of care to our members and the volunteers who run the event we will not be running our lunch club until further notice.We hope you all keep safe and look forward to re-opening soon. Regards Irene and team.”

History Society Meetings Postponed

COVID-19 Precautionary Measure

To comply with the CORONAVIRUS precautions and advice received the future meetings and proposed outing of the Woodford Halse History Society are now ALL POSTPONED.

New dates will be arranged when it is possible and free of virus “threats”.

Keep well, look out for the new dates and remember the new programme year will commence on the 15th September 2020.

Byfield Medical Centre Appointments

Online Appointment Booking

Byfield Medical Centre has  temporarily suspended the online appointment booking service following guidance from NHS England.

All appointments must be booked on the phone where you will be asked a series of questions from our reception staff regarding COVID 19 symptoms.

You are still able to order repeat medication online

Byfield Medical Centre Re-opens

Byfield Medical Centre advises that it will re-open at 2:00pm today.

If you need to collect medication the centre is open this afternoon. If you have a medical condition where you feel you need to be seen today please call.

The centre is open again tomorrow as normal please call from 8.00am to book an appointment.

Thank you for your patience

Woodford Branch GP Surgery & COVID-19

Important Information On Woodford Medical Services

The following information has been provided by Byfield Medical Centre, the Patient Participation Group and Woodford cum Membris Parish Council….

The branch GP surgery that was held in the Memorial Hall has been closed since the middle of last year due to IT problems. It will re-open shortly, possibly within the next two weeks or so.

At the same time, an isolation room, to support any local needs for dealing with suspected Corona Virus cases will be set up.

Village groups and individual hall hirers may wish to reconsider their use of the Memorial Hall for meetings as the level of risk for hall users will be higher than it previously was.

(We’ve added a page to collect up posts related to the Covid-19 outbreak. You  can find them here:  COVID-19 News page)

Corona Virus Open Church

At Hinton Methodist Chapel

Anti Corona Virus SymbolHinton Methodist Chapel will be open tomorrow (Thursday 12th March) from 10.30am – 12.30pm for anyone who would like to spend some time praying, either privately or with others, for those affected by or fearful of the Corona Virus.


The Signpost & Corona Virus

During the present Corona Virus outbreak there will be information available from many different sources. At last night’s Parish Council meeting it was agreed that news posts here on on the Signpost will focus on only those issues of immediate local concern to the village (for  example, today’s post concerning the Byfield Surgery).

We will, of course, also carry any information that local government channels such as Daventry District Council and the County Council, ask us to publicise.

Your best sources of information on the virus are the NHS web site, the information available from Public Health England  and of course, Byfield Medical Centre.

Byfield Surgery Closed

Bulletin From The Surgery

This morning Byfield Surgery had a patient who had some of the symptoms of Corona Virus, this has not been tested or confirmed, however as a precaution following NHS protocol they have closed the building until a full deep clean can be carried out. This is, repeat, a suspected not confirmed case. The surgery will update with any further news.

You will not be able to come and collect your prescriptions or see a healthcare professional.

If you need medication issued please call the surgery and they will make the necessary arrangements.

PLEASE DO NOT PANIC. This is just a precautionary measure.

Cross Country Postponed

From Ed Newton, Head Teacher, Woodford Halse Primary Academy ….

In light of the current situation in the UK regarding COVID-19 we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Cross Country event this Wednesday 11th March 2020.

We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause and are only too aware of the work that has gone into this event from both our perspective and yours as teachers and parents. This decision has not been taken lightly however, I do not feel bringing over 1400 people together into one space is the right thing to do at this stage, for an event that can be rescheduled to another time.

We thank you all for your continued support of this event and we will look to re-schedule once the situation has settled down. We will be in touch as soon as possible with a date.