Review of 2016 - July to December

Welton Soapbox Derby. NNL-161007-234144009
Welton Soapbox Derby. NNL-161007-234144009

The past year has been another busy one for the Daventry area.

We’ve had floods, fires, crime, new schools and colleges, new community facilities opening, and protest marches – and that’s before you get into the national stories like the Brexit referendum. Here’s our take on the bigger stories from the final six months of 2016.

Daventry annual Mop Fair NNL-160919-075538009

Daventry annual Mop Fair NNL-160919-075538009


Daventry’s MP Chris Heaton-Harris threw his weight behind South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom in the Tory leadership contest. Mrs Leadsom later withdrew from the race to leave Theresa May as the last person standing. Mrs May appointed Mrs Leadsom as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in her new government.

Soap box racers took to the streets of Welton once more in the village’s annual competition.

Mario Forgione saved the life of a man by helping him out of a burning flat opposite his chip shop on the town’s Headlands estate.

Pep and Mario Forgione

Pep and Mario Forgione

Hundreds of families went along to Daventry Country Park to watch Back To The Future and Minions at the outdoor cinema event.

While residents of the Southbrook met to discuss problems surrounding anti-social behaviour and crime, police said a group of around 100 people was involved in a fight just a few hundred yards away.


A suspected knife attacker was on the run in Daventry. A man was stabbed in the street on the Grange and police descended to try and track down their suspect. When a resident reported seeing the person the police sent in armed officers, and their helicopter.

Train exhibition in Daventry

Train exhibition in Daventry

Figures from the police showed a nine per cent rise in crime in the Daventry district. But the same figures placed the district as one of the safest in the whole of Northamptonshire.

A drunk gang went ‘on the rampage’ in Daventry town centre, throwing tables in pubs, blocking vehicles from leaving car parks and demanding to be sold alcohol in supermarkets. Northamptonshire Police said the group came from an illegal traveller encampment on Eastern Way which up to that point had caused no real trouble.


Archaeologists uncovered the skeleton of what may have been one of the first ‘English’ person to live in the area. The Anglo-Saxon burial was found at a site near Nether Heyford, and the type of burial they received implied they were likely to be from the ‘English’ Mercia region, moving into a part of the country where many of the Celtic inhabitants had vacated.

Daventry Town Fireworks 2016'The Parker E-ACT Academy, Ashby Road, Daventry. NNL-160611-165646009

Daventry Town Fireworks 2016'The Parker E-ACT Academy, Ashby Road, Daventry. NNL-160611-165646009

Long Buckby’s feast returned, but this year it found a new home on the village’s sports fields. The feast fair had previously been held in the village’s Market Square but had outgrown the small site.

Claire Riley and her mother Susan Aucott were jailed for their part in the death of Ms Riley’s six-month-old daughter Molly-Mae Wotherspoon. Molly-Mar died at her home in Daventry in 2014 after being attacked by a family dog, which later emerged to be an American pit bull – a banned breed. Riley and Aucott were both sentenced to two years in jail and banned from keeping a dog for 10 years.

Mario Forgione and his brother Pep hit the headlines for saving another life. The pair leapt into action after their employee Beth Nicholls suffered a cardiac arrest while working in the chip shop. By carrying out CPR the pair ensured Beth got to hospital in time to begin her recovery.

The Mop Fair returned to Daventry once more, drawing in crowds of people for its rides.


The developers behind a 4,000 home extension to the town started asking residents for their views on the masterplan for the development. The new estate is planned to stretch along the B4036 to the east of Daventry Country Park.

Train enthusiasts from across the UK arrived in Daventry to the annual exhibition by the Daventry Model Railway Club.

It was announced that Northampton’s Errol Flynn Picturehouse was lined up to open a new cinema in Daventry with up to three screens. The picturehouse said the new cinema would so a mix of mainstream and other films.


Thousands of people turned out to watch the free fireworks display put on by Daventry Town Council at the Parker E-ACT Academy.

Officers from Northamptonshire Police and the National Crime Agency raided a house in Daventry as part of a nation-wide operation to tackle what they said was using malicious software installed on unwitting people’s computers to steal bank details, and commit fraud.


Sarah Thomas from Weedon saved a man’s life by performing CPR on him after he collapsed while she was signing him up to donate to the Red Cross. It was the Red Cross that taught Sarah CPR in the first place.

The festive season kicked off in the town with the Spirit of Christmas event organised by Daventry Town Council and featuring a lantern parade through the town centre.

The new campus for Northampton College in Daventry opened for students and staff. The new building off Badby Road West replaced the old college building which had its origins at the Grange Comprehensive School and was becoming too expensive to maintain, and unsuitable for modern college courses. The old college will be demolished to make way for homes which are being used to pay for part of the cost of the new college campus.