news and updates

Police drop in surgery


Our local constabulary are going to be holding a drop in surgery in the Reading Room between 11:00 and 13:00 this Saturday, 9th July, and they would love to see as many of us there as possible. Please pop in to see you there.

Helmdon Summer festival results


The Helmdon festival has been a great success with well over 300 people join us and the sun blessed us with a glorious (if windy) summers day. A big thank you to all those involved in planning and executing a fantastic day of fun, food and music for all the family. 

The count up of money taken on the day has now been completed and we are super pleased to announce that £1,078 profit was raised! A massive thank you to everyone who attended. We are donating £75 to Acorns, £75 to Helmdon School and £100 to the Helmdon Sports club and keeping the rest ready to pay deposits for the Summer Ball which is planned to return in its full glory next year. Watch this space for updates.


Three new HCF trustees appointed

Please join the existing trustees in welcoming Gary Turner, Andy Harris and Kayleigh Clare to the HCF board. With these excellent additions, the charity management team is now at full strength. Check out the trustees and constitution page for more information about the board members.

hcf annual general meeting agenda

15/06/2022 Helmdon Community Foundation CIO Meeting to be held on Thursday 16th June 2022 at 7.45pm in the Reading Room


  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting held on 2nd September 2021
  3. Matters arising from the minutes
  4. Chairman’s annual report
  5. Treasurer’s annual report
  6. Update on constitution
  7. Discussion re Architects ideas for updating the Reading Room and consideration of energy saving ideas.
  8. Discussion re adding the sale of alcohol to our Premises Licence
  9. Any other business

HCF - trustees needed for the reading room

The Reading Room is a great asset to Helmdon. Keeping it in good condition and making sure it can met our changing needs requires a dedicated team with a range of experience and interests. We need people who understand how to manage and update buildings, people in touch with different age groups, or those with marketing and communication skills.

If you think you have something you can offer to help the Reading Room continue to provide what the village needs, please get in touch by emailing [email protected] or contacting Morag Underwood before 24 June.

If you are not sure, please come along to the Trustees AGM on 16 June at 19:45 – where we will be discussing updating the Reading Room, you can meet the existing Trustees and ask any questions you may have.


helmdon community foundation (HCF) -
annual general meeting

The trustees of the charitable foundation responsible for looking after and running the Reading Room will be holding their annual general meeting on the 16th June starting at 19:45. Please do come along to find out how the foundation is performing, details on investments made into the building over the last year and what plans are in progress for the coming year.

On a related note, the foundation currently has vacancies for three trustees which we are anxious to fill. If you would like to find out more about what being a trustee entails, or already know and would like to put forward your official application, then please get in touch with us at [email protected] or call us on 07521 953972. We’d be delighted to hear from you.

Reading Room Update Ideas - Architect consultation

The Reading Room is a cherished old building but the needs it has to meet and what people expect of it are changing.

The Trustees asked a local architect with a lot of experience in updating community buildings to take a good look at the Reading Room and make suggestions for how it could be changed to make it more welcoming and practical.

There is now a display in the Reading Room showing the process she went through and the ideas she came up with. We are now looking to see what Helmdon residents and users of the Reading Room think of her suggestions and since we may not be able to afford to do all of them, which ones you would give priority to.

In addition to her ideas, the Trustees are considering other suggestions like replacing the back fire door with a modern door that can be opened from the outside to give level access for wheelchairs, buggies and those who can’t manage steps. We are also looking at ways to make the Reading Room more energy efficient so that we can keep the cost of running it manageable for the future. As well as physical changes we are looking for ways we can have the Reading Room open more often for casual use.

Please have a look at the display or let us know what you think about any of the suggestions and any other ideas you have by emailing [email protected] or by leaving your ideas in the box in the Reading Room.

new course starting soon - book now!

A new course is going to be starting on the 15th Feb and will be running fortnightly between until the 12th April 2022.

Looking at the earliest evidence of the arts, through to more recent times. We will mainly be considering art and architecture, bit will also touch on literature and music, listening to Spanish composers at the beginning and end of each session.

Course fees of £41 may apply. To enrol call 03003033464 and quote course reference: C2346545

Helmdon Festival Grand Draw Winners

01/09/2021 Congratulations to our Helmdon Festival Grand Draw prize winners:
  • Nigel Hughes
  • Vanessa Vicars
  • Hugh Walmsley
  • Stuart Turner
Emails have been sent to let you know you have won a £25 cash prize, if you have not already collected it, please contact us and we’ll arrange to get it to you.

Supporting Local companies

Thanks to all the local companies who came to run stands and provide free services at the festival. Below are their names and links to their respective websites should you wish to contact any of them.

DogBox Fitness 07496 432835

The Festival is finally here!

So after nearly 5 months of planning, a complete reschedule and several changes to the events team, the Helmdon Festival has finally happened! Whilst the weather did not turn in its finest performance, we were spared any rain and the day proceeded as planned. A great time seemed to be had by all, with a really good turn out. Thanks to everyone who helped to make the day a total success and to all who came along to enjoy it. Below are a selection of photos submitted by various people who were there. If anyone has more pictures from the day that they would like to share, please email them in to [email protected] – we’d love to add them to the album.

Helmdon Festival - final preparations

With the weather looking promisingly good on Monday, final preparations are now underway for the festival (screen shot courtesy of BBC Weather).

The photo booth will feature fairy forest and space ship backdrops with plenty of dressing up outfits and props for the kids.

Drinks for the evening’s adult disco will now be available from the Fat Landlord all evening.


Helmdon Festival - programme of events

The programme of events and stalls for the day of the festival is now available. Subject to last minute changes, this is what you can expect to find on the absolutely-guaranteed-to-be-nice-weather* bank holiday Monday.

* except if it rains

Helmdon Festival - new headline act

Announcing the new headline act to open the Helmdon Festival in the Reading Room on August 29th @ 19:30 – The Joanna Eden Band

Joanna Eden’s band combines the energy and rhythmic virtuosity of Latin music with the intimacy and honesty of Eden’s original songs. They have supported The Buena Vista Social Club, Omara Portundo, Jamie Cullum and Van Morrison.

Bassist – Andres Lafone (Airto Moriera, Snowboy, Matt Bianco)
Percussionist – Carlos Fuentes (John Williams, Juan De Marcos Gonzalez)
Multi-Instrumentalist – Gerry Hunt (Loose Tubes, King Salsa, Robert Pia)

Tickets are £16 and selling fast, so contact the booking office on 01295 768922, or contact us to request yours today.

“Melody, mystery& bite” Mojo, “Seek her out!” Sir Michael Parkinson,”The reason I sing” Sam Smith, “Seriously talented vocalist” Jazz Journal

Helmdon Festival - full steam ahead

Planning for the Helmdon Festival on August Bank Holiday, Monday 3oth is full steam ahead, with new bands being sourced for the evening of the 29th August and during the day of the 30th and a larger number of stalls than previously planned. Good weather is, again, on pre-order.

To date, we have received very few entries into the free prize draw, so if you want to join those who currently have a 50% chance of winning £25, please visit the Helmdon Festival page to sign up for entry. Not only do you stand to win a prize, but having your contact details enables us to help the Reading Room thrive by notifying you of up and coming events and classes.

Budapest cAFE oRCHESTRA - streaming live


The concert by the Budapest Cafe Orchestra on 2 July will now also be available as a live streamed event. Tickets are on sale for the reduced price of £10 – please email us at [email protected] to request tickets.

Helmdon Festival - date change

The date of the HELMDON FESTIVAL has had to be changed following the extension of the CoVid rules. Some of what was planned could have gone ahead but key parts of the plans would not have been possible. The new date will be August Bank Holiday, Monday 3oth. Please make a note in your diary.

The concert by the Budapest Cafe Orchestra on 2 July does seem to be allowed – with proper precautions- and will go ahead as planned.

Also, if you’ve not done so already, please do visit the Helmdon Festival page to sign up for entry to our free prize draw. You’ve got to be in it to win it!

Trustee needed

The Helmdon Community Foundation are now looking for someone to become a trustee alongside the existing 5 members. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact us.

Helmdon presents... the budapest cafe orchestra

On Friday 2nd July at 19:30, the Budapest Cafe Orchestra will kick off the Helmdon Festival with an evening of eclectic music. They are a four-piece band touring extensively around Great Britain and we are the second venue on their tour! The BCO redeliver Balkan and Russian traditional gypsy and folk music in their own fresh surprising way. Admired for their artful distillations of masterpieces by the great Romantic composers.
“The music is magic in their hands.” Sean Rafferty, BBC Radio 3.

Tickets are £16 each and can be purchased by emailing [email protected] or by submitting a contact form with your ticket requests.

Helmdon Festival plans are full steam head

Plans for the forthcoming Helmdon Festival to be held on the 3rd July are coming along well with the Fat Landlord, Acorns, the Friends of the Church and WI all on board to provide entertainments and stalls.

Arrangements for bands for during the day and in the evening of the festival are still in progress, so check back regularly for updates…

new website under development

In preparation for the ‘relaunch’ of the Reading Room once the current Covid restrictions start to lift, the newly formed Helmdon Community Foundation are launching several initiatives to raise its profile and usage, including building a brand new website. Watch this space for new features, upcoming events and news

The Remarkable Arts of Spain
19:00 – 20:00 fortnightly – running from 15 Feb 2022 to 12th April 2022

Course Reference: C2346545

Looking at the earliest evidence of the arts, through to more recent times. We will mainly be considering art and architecture, bit will also touch on literature and music, listening to Spanish composers at the beginning and end of each session.

Course fees of £41 may apply. To enrol call 03003033464 and quote the course reference.