Packington’s Community Choir brings fun and laughter

May 2023 – Our newly formed community choir is enjoying welcoming new participants each week, and with around 30 attending, looks set to stay!

So far, we’ve had an awful lot of fun and lots of laughter whilst learning a wide range of pieces – from popular classics, gospel, and traditional tunes.

Despite being a newly formed group, the choir is already singing some wonderful harmonies, and looking forward to what we can achieve in the coming months.

If you enjoy singing, give us a go; there’s no audition or necessity to read music.

We’re an informal group that focusses on the joy of coming together to share a love of singing. We meet at 7pm on Thursdays, at the back of the village church.

First session completely free – book your free session with

Aimee on 07967 316645 or email: aimeemusic at live dot co dot uk

Village Open Afternoon at our Memorial Hall – Saturday 17th June 2pm – 4pm

FREE hot drink or glass of Prosecco.. Pop in for 5 minutes, or stay for longer. Our Bar will be Open!

Information on Village Groups, Clubs, Societies, events, and activities will be on display at Memorial Hall starting at 2pm on Saturday 17th June 2023.  Plus you can MEET the PEOPLE behind all these !

We haven’t staged an event of this size since an Open Evening in 2019. Back then seemed to be a major success, with many village people commenting on how they “..just didn’t know..” about all the different activities and societies that take place in Packington.

Some new to our village may never have seen inside our vibrant village hall – here is their chance to see what goes on. They can check us out on our website, at

Also four years on from 2019, we estimate one-quarter of the village population were not here then.  New to Packington? So were we, once. Please come along and say hello, or just observe, us and the inside of the Hall. We’d LOVE to see you, and offer you that FREE drink!

Four years further on, there are many thriving village Groups that YOU might enjoy being part of, like the table-tennis club shown above. The groups would welcome YOU to come and see what they are and what they do. This is YOUR chance to look around with zero commitment needed. 

Organised by Packington Memorial Hall Management Committee, in conjunction with our village Groups and Societies..

YOUR (second) chance to become a Parish Councillor: action by Friday 12th May 2023

There were only 5 applicants to be Councillors in the new Parish Council in April, and all 5 were elected uncontested.

Our council really needs 6, not just 5 – they need one more, and YOU can be that one, NOW, without any fuss of election, using the official “Co-Option” mechanism.

To apply, just write a short letter saying who you are and why you should be considered. You need this to be received by Friday 12th May 2023.

Full details are in the official notice below. You can click at the botom to download a pdf copy.

PLEASE APPLY – our village needs YOU

Aldi Ashby 20 Race 2023 – feedback, and thanks from the organisers to us in Packington

1500 Runners ‘Spring Forward ‘ – March 26th, 2023

With a spring in their step, 1500 runners descended upon Ashby to take part in the annual Aldi Ashby 20. This 20-mile ‘BARR Gold’ road race is organised by runners, for runners.

After 12 months preparation by Ivanhoe Runners, the ‘not for profit’ event took place on Sunday 26th March 2023, the day the clocks went forward. Changing the clocks the night before, runners started arriving first thing Sunday morning, congregating around the streets of Ashby and in cafes before assembling on Upper Packington Road. The mass start at 10am resembled streets of London during the marathon, rather than the Market Town of Ashby de la Zouch. 

With the early rain easing, the runners headed towards Packington over the A42 bridge, turning down Mill Street towards Measham Road before commencing a 2-lap scenic country road course, taking them past Champneys Springs, through Heather via Swepstone, and heading towards Packington again after visiting Normanton Le Heath. 

The roads were lined with volunteers from Ivanhoe Runners, Conkers parkrun and Ashby Castle Rotary, cheering on the runners who join the race from all four corners of UK. Medical cover was managed by Leicestershire Search and Rescue.

After completing the 2 lap course, the runners headed back towards Ashby before crossing the finish line on the Bath Grounds, earning their special edition Ashby 20 famous hoodie, orange this year. Ivanhoe Runner, Abigail Halcarz came in at 2:07:53, taking first female place, whilst Daniel Bagley, Mansfield Harriers, finished in 1:47:36 as first place male.

As aways runners all had their individual challenges and stories, some to beat their time, others simply to complete the distance. Many ran for their chosen charity with Wishes 4 Kids, Hospice Hope, and Teenage Cancer Trust all benefiting. The latter saw 3 Aldi employees running as Cuthbert the caterpillar,  in preparation for the London Marathon:

Earlier, on the Bath Grounds, around 100 children took part in two separate fun runs, organised by Ivanhoe Robins each being twice around the perimeter of the Bath Grounds. This was the first time since the pandemic, and each child earned a fabulous medal to show off to their friends and family.

Richard Bebbington, the Race Director said, “Each year ceases to amaze me. Despite the early wet conditions, all the runners eagerly awaited the start on Upper Packington Road, Ashby, whilst volunteers wrapped up well to support the athletes. As always their feedback was simply amazing. It really is an absolute pleasure to be part of Ivanhoe Runners who spend hours of their own time to put on such a well-reputed race, with participants from throughout the UK. Many thanks to all our volunteers,  the runners, our sponsors, and most importantly the support from the local community and Packington village“.

Preparations are already in place for next years event, which takes place on Sunday 17th March 2024. Follow us on Facebook, and on our website

Richard Bebbington, Race Director, Aldi Ashby 20

Big Breakfast 2023 – Saturday 4th March

Our village special 2023 Big Breakfast charity event this year followed the familiar pattern of previous years. Organiser Debbie Hamilton supported teams of volunteers, mainly from our village but also welcoming some from Ashby and surrounding areas. A fuller set of images by our Packington Post photographer are here on Facebook

Packington Post Photographer Karn Turnbull captured this scene of Happy Munching at Memorial Hall

From 9am to 1pm a steady stream of customers donated to the Hospice Hope charity and received their full breakfast, or breakfast bap, along with trimmings – orange juice, hot drinks, toast, and friendly service from volunteers.

A total of 240 breakfasts were served, and with donations from villagers we raised more than £1500 for our nominated local charity, Hospice Hope.

We hope that just a few more of our photos below can capture the essence of the event:

A busy Memorial Hall, with customers about to start their breakfasts
A view of the full breakfast product

Ashby Rotary volunteers in blue, standing..
The frontage of our village Memorial Hall

August Bank Holiday Monday Open Gardens 2022

Our village Open Gardens has been running for 30 years, and this year was led by High Street residents Nick and Joy Gravestock – who also provided live music for much of the afternoon at their venue, as seen below with Joy on violin and Nick on guitar:

Again this year our Open Gardens was a success, benefitting from nice weather with the tiniest hint of a few spots of very light rain ( – a shame, perhaps, because after two weeks of drought, there wasn’t enough water in the brook at Mill Street to later stage the Annual Packington Duck Race.)

Packington Post is delighted to publish these excellent photos by star village photographer Karn Turnbull – click on an image for full definition:

See you next year, on August Bank Holiday Monday 2023 ?

Platinum Jubilee Review – Sunday 5th June 2022 – Church Service and Street Party

Church Service

Another two events on this day. A well- attended Church Service (Songs of Praise) commenced at 10.30am with songs chosen by those present, and accompanied by Chris Miles on the organ. The service was led by Lesley Birtwistle who gave a short message.

Hymns ranged from the quiet and reflective to the rousing and powerful. For example, “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”, “Jerusalem”, “I Vow to Thee My Country” and “How Great Thou Art”. In all, eleven songs were sung including the National Anthem at the end of the Service.

Packington says “Thank you, Lesley” for organising this service.

Street Party

The dry weather left us on the day we most needed it. Organisers pulled the plug on the street part of the event the night before and let as many as possible know via social media that it would be a children and parent event in the Memorial Hall starting at 2pm. It proved a good decision as the drizzle and cold persisted all day.

All children had a seat at tables and were served food and drink, whilst the bar was open for the adults. The Balloon Man was in demand, and he managed to fashion some amazing requests from the young people. His hands and fingers were moving incredibly fast, and he worked throughout the afternoon. Just brilliant!

A fancy-dress parade took place in the centre of the hall and the winners were presented with a prize from Bev from Poochies Café, who not only sponsored this event but also made all ninety food boxes. Thank you, Bev.

Platinum Jubilee Review – Saturday 4th June 2022 – Party in the Park

Party Time! at the evening Packington Platinum Jubilee Party in the Park – camouflaged village residents pose for a photo..

The evening Packington Platinum Jubilee Party in the Park on Saturday 4th June 2022 was another major village event. The wind was a little wearing, with blankets and thick coats in evidence, but a large circle of gazebos and tented windbreaks had quickly sprung up in a ring, focussed on the live music in the trailer from a very special local Ashby group of musicians. Much fancy dress was evident, and folk were seen enjoying themselves from 6pm until almost dark at ten pm.

In case the picture albums below give the impression of the Party in the Park as a sedentary evening, there was plenty of energetic activity to take part in as well!

Tap or Click on an image in the gallery below for higher-definition !

Platinum Jubilee Review – Saturday 4th June 2022 – Strawberry Cream Tea afternoon: 2 – 4pm

Calm before the storm – hours of work and preparation by the volunteer team have ensured that Memorial Hall tables are now beautifully decked and laid, ready for the expected 70 Jubilee Cream Tea customers
Strawberries ready too – volunteer picked, transported, washed, cored, plated, for those 70 people
Village Stalwarts – octogenarians Sylvie and Mike Coke – leave The Grange for their Strawberry Cream Tea at Memorial Hall. Mike is Editor of the bi-monthly village magazine. Packington Post, delivered FREE to all 405 village dwellings
Robin Boucher, chair of the village History Group PVHG, beside the group’s static display of 1950s-related Jubilee memorabilia, coins, and exhibits
Strawberry time – volunteer Pam from Century Drive serves cream and strawberries for Babelake Street residents Ginny and Bob Miller
Amazing volunteer Betty from Normanton Road serving strawberries to Faun from The Grange
Nicola Watson teaches music, as well as playing delightfully in the background, flanked by projected slides of 1950s magazine adverts. This was her second Jubilee appearance, after the Friday Musical Extravaganza
Just some of the fabulous team of Volunteers, organised by Debbie Hamilton, at far Right.
At the conclusion of the event, the volunteers receive a hearty round of applause and cheers from the very satisfied and satiated cream-tea customers

Platinum Jubilee Review – Friday 3rd June 2022 – Musical Extravaganza Evening

7 pm for 7:30 – Villagers assembled in the Memorial Hall await their evening meal

The Fish & Chip Van arrives

The Fish and Chip Van was brilliant. They served ninety meals within the hour, and everyone thought they were delicious.

Fish and chips with forks .. £7 with or without mushy peas.. Mmm .. conversation has ceased as folk tuck in..

Towards the end of the meal, Packington’s resident saxophonist, Nicola, played some terrific well-known tunes. By the end of her show many of her audience were humming or singing along

Nicola Watson plays familiar tunes – as the food was consumed, we were able to join-in with them
Robin Boucher, chair of Packington Village History Group PVHG

Robin gave without notes a word-perfect, rhyming monologue with recollections of times in the early years of her Majesty’s reign. It was amazing content, funny, poignant and for some of us triggering memories of days long past, such as: “.. and Dennis Compton, free from care, rubs more Brylcreem in his hair..”

Platinum Jubilee Review – Friday 3rd June 2022 – Packington Tree-planting

A small gathering of thirty people saw the Platinum Jubilee Oak planted in the new North-West graveyard, together with a commemorative plaque. This marked the start of what the village hopes will be the first of many trees planted in this Jubilee year. It will form a response to the Queen’s wish for a Green Canopy.

Chris Miles, Robert Martin, and Lesley Birtwistle prior to the planting
The Reverend Lesley Birtwistle has served our village for decades, now is a retired priest at the village church

Lesley quoted “The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.” (Rabindranath Tagore)

Chris Miles, Chair of our Parish Council for decades, holds the new oak tree ready

Lesley Birtwhistle presided over the proceedings while Chris Miles, the Chairman of the Parish Council, added a few words. Then with the help of Councillor Robert Martin the oak tree was in place, and we hope it will be present for many, many years.

The memorial plaque unveiled

Platinum Jubilee Review – Thursday 2nd June 2022 – Packington Rounders & Beacon Lighting

Over forty participants played a Rounders Tournament from 7 pm – and really enjoyed this typically English game. Each game lasted 30 minutes. Teams with a mixture of youth and experience played, some slogged the ball for miles, others put in massive amounts of energy but missed completely!

A sizeable crowd supported the games. Encouraging words were shouted, giving the event a real feel-good factor. “We should do more of this” was said by many. The winning team, “The Golden Oldies won all their matches. The team included

  • Bailey Baker,
  • Tom Dallow,
  • Olivia Dallow,
  • Samuel Sharpe,
  • Joe Tebbett,
  • Fin Brown,
  • Lucas Brown and
  • Anthony Brown, plus three or four more players shying away from media coverage.
The beacon being prepared

As the daylight began to fade the tractor making final preparations to the beacon arrived. Matt, our newly crowned “Fire Master”, balanced the final sections of the beacon in place and with the aid of his “Cherry Picker” he began preparations to light the beacon.

The beacon has just been lit

Bang on 9.45pm, when all the beacons in the country were lit, so was Packington’s. With the aid of the Cherry Picker, the eight metre-tall wooden construction was lit at the top and within seconds it was a mass of flames, licking further upwards towards the sky:

A brilliant job; “more like a beacon than a beacon”, “wow!”, “What a sight!” said viewers. Phones were out taking pictures and in a few short minutes the whole structure was alight. Well done to Matt, Bob and Dave, who had helped with this successful project.

and – Well done everybody. A great evening!