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Richmond Letcombe Regis Award-winning retirement village

Richmond Letcombe Regis is an award-winning Retirement Village situated in a stunning setting in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside – and has the kind of luxury facilities most people dream of. Why not come along and see all that we have to offer…

Plus breathtaking facilities and a wealth of activities… • One- and two-bedroom apartments • Wellness Spa with Pool & Gym • Bowling Green

• • • • •

Restaurant & Bar Hair & Beauty Salon Library I.T. and Craft Room Village Shop and Café

• Lakeside Gardens and Nature Reserve • Full social programme • Staff on site 24 hrs a day

• Registered Care Home at the heart of the Village • Respite and convalescent care available

For more information, call 01235 773970 or go to

EVERYONE DESERVES A BREAK… We all need a change of scene sometimes, where we can enjoy a little rest and relaxation. A holiday usually does the trick, but what if you need the sort of environment and access to care and support services that traditional high-end hotels just can’t provide? To meet this requirement award-winning retirement village operators, Richmond Villages, has created Richmond Retreats, where holidays with care are the focus.

Holidays with care at beautiful locations 2

The Cotswolds, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire


LIVING THE DREAM IN LATER LIFE By Fiona Broster Elisabeth Parker, Village Manager at Richmond Letcombe Regis, invited 50 Plus Magazine to look round the fabulous new purpose-built retirement village located in the heart of rural Oxfordshire. Local advertisements abound promoting this newest and largest example of a unique kind of community, so we were keen to take up Lis’s offer to meet her on site for a guided tour and take a look at it. We were not disappointed – it has to be seen to be believed. On arrival we were struck by the simply stunning surroundings. Set in a naturally beautiful location next to Letcombe Brook, the Richmond Village faithfully reproduces local Oxfordshire architecture and features breathtaking landscaped gardens. The village centre is a tranquil but vibrant environment boasting a waterside restaurant, bar, library, and wellness spa with gym, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and pool. The bowling green is so perfectly maintained we barely dared breathe near it! There are treatment rooms for sessions with therapists or practitioners, and a well-equipped hairdressing and beauty salon. Weekly programmes schedule an extensive range of activities from book clubs and music appreciation to wine tasting and country walks.

always did, with access to gardens, countryside, and a wide range of social and leisure activities, without the day-today responsibilities and chores. “Since we can take care of any service, you can choose to do as much or as little, according to you your needs or choice. Should you or your partner need increased assistance later on, this can be accommodated within the village, with minimum upheaval.” Next we viewed the Village Apartments which offer the ultimate in comfort, style and modern functionality, with fully equipped kitchens, en-suite bathrooms, all fitted to top standards and specifications. Within the main building are more apartments. These are slightly smaller, predominately one bedroom apartments which come with an independent living package which includes all food, cleaning, laundry and utilities. At the heart of the Village is a Care Home providing nursing and dementia care. This certainly changed my perception of a care home, and anyone thinking of care for a relative really should visit this establishment.

“This is like living in a five star hotel,” we told Lis. “That’s the idea!” she responded with enthusiasm. As she showed us around the exceptional facilities, Lis had a smile and a word for every staff member and resident we encountered. Lis explained how the village was designed so retired people could continue the same independent lifestyle they

Allocated parking spaces are available, but with a transport service for shopping trips and outings, car ownership is optional. A ‘try before you buy’ option allows you to live in the village for a period, while guest accommodation makes it easy for family and friends to stay.

Richmond is anyone’s dream of a retirement home. You can enjoy luxurious living, an active social life, lots of leisure, and the one thing we all wish for at any age – peace of mind.

Arrange to see Richmond Letcombe Regis for yourself – call 01235 773970.


TRAVEL & LEISURE 5 Marston Vale Line View wonderful countryside at your leisure.

Life is just a tweet!

6-7 Discover Dubrovnik A Timeless Beauty.

Do you tweet? Twitter seems to have become all the rage but don’t some people make themselves look twits by what they say?

8-9 Drury Holidays Door to door coach and air holidays. 26-27 Out & About What’s going on in and around your local area.


Even David Cameron is tweeting, and for once it’s not about Nick Clegg. As I write he’s just popped up to announce that Prime Minister’s Question Time is about to start. A sure cue for everyone to switch off their computers and phones and hide in a darkened corner before this adult version of Children’s Playtime starts. Does the Queen tweet? Well not officially but someone assuming her name, @Queen_UK, and claiming to be Elizabeth Windsor, gives me many a chuckle with irreverent comments and quips at various member of the Royal Family and the government.

22-23 Rick Steins' Recipe Pages Rick's favourite recipes.


14-15ALI There’s STEFAN Money Up On The Roof BOOTH BASTIAN Solar Energy and its benefits.


10-11 Bernie Nolan Bounces Back


6 -7

Her catchphrase is “gin o’clock” and he or she has an astonishing 646,553 followers and counting. The latest tweet,“ Camilla on the phone, worried that “the interweb has gone”. The DoE (Prince Philip) thinks she’s trying to find Ceefax”. Then there was this little gem, “Alvin and the Chipmunks (Mr Cameron and Co) are back from their Burma holiday. The poor Burmese still have no idea who they are”. Or “Bungle (Boris Johnson) on the phone. Not really sure what he’s saying, partly due to one having hung up”. She creases me!



The Sleeping Beauty





017 *


N - SAT, 9AM - 10PM. SUN, 10AM - 8PM) McGrath Regional Media.

Unit 6 | Moses Gate Workshops | Gladys Street Bolton | BL3 2QG. T: (01204) 796 494 | F: (01204) 791594

The “gin o’clock” bit comes in when our supposed monarch announces at 5pm each day that it’s home time and “gin o’clock”. And one of my favourites, “Just been out with the dogs. The DoE is trying to dry Linnet the corgi off with a hairdryer”. To me this is great humour and I am an avid follower. Others make me laugh for other reasons. They tweet before they’re out of bed and I even know the flavour of one southern lady’s toothpaste thanks to her being retweeted by one of my followers. Then there are the dodgy ones. I sat at my machine one morning and discovered I was being followed by three brothels in San Diego and a dispensing chemist for some very suspect stuff in India, duly deleted. Be very careful if you click any links to these kind of people or you will find your computer or mobile phone infected with something which spreads like mumps and ruins any social standing you ever had. Last word with the Queen after the budget, “Text from Nick Clegg: “I didn’t agree with the tax on fruit machines. People shouldn’t pay tax on their apples and bananas”.

e: 4

Discover the Marston Vale Line! Bedford - Bletchley by rail, the scenic route The Marston Vale Line between Bedford and Bletchley offers an opportunity to view some wonderful countryside at your leisure and there is plenty of history along the way. In Bedford take a walk along the River Great Ouse or discover its wide range of shops. In the heart of Bedford there is the John Bunyan Museum and also fantastic markets most days of the week. The John Bunyan Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday until 26th October 2012. Free entry. Groups are welcome throughout the open and closed season by prior arrangement, tours can be daytime or evening and a range of refreshments can be organised. Millbrook is the ideal place to explore the spectacular Millenium County Park at the heart of the Forest of Marston Vale. It’s a pleasant walk or cycle ride on surfaced paths to the Forest Centre with it’s superb shop and restaurant. Cycles can be hired from here to explore the Forest or the nearby Route 51 of the National Cycle Network. Aspley Guise is the home of HULA Animal Rescue, just a few minutes walk from the railway station, open six days a week. There are a number of resident animals such as pigs, cows and sheep, in addition to pets waiting for new homes. Light refreshments on sale. Meals available at the Anchor in the village centre. Woburn Sands is an attractive town with two large garden centres a short walk from the station. The Grand Union Canal passes through Fenny Stratford, also the home of MK Dons FC. Also the Tecton Gallery - a new independent, non-profit, contemporary art gallery showcasing original work by local artists just a few minutes walk from the station. Free entry! Bletchley, at the other end of the Marston Vale Line, is a real enigma, but with Bletchley Park on the doorstep of the station you will easily break the code! Change trains at Bletchley for the short journey to the new city of Milton Keynes where there is a wealth of shops and attractions, including some impressive urban park lands, interesting architecture and sculptures. Also change at Bletchley for the short journey to Leighton Buzzard, a traditional market town with a large number of independent shops.

Bedfordshire concessiona ry travel pass holders trave l at half price!

The Line has an exciting programme of events and activities throughout the year. Be the first to receive details by signing up to our FREE e-bulletin or postal bulletin; simply visit or call GroupS 01234 832645 to sign up. Up to 4 ave Ticket ad price o ults for the Marston Vale Railway Walks Guide f 2 (off pe plus up A series of seven walks suitable for all abilities to 4 ch ak) ildre for only through beautiful countryside, each £1 eac n h. U n der 5s starting and finishing at a Marston go free

Vale Line station. Contact us for your FREE copy.

e Forest Centr Offer!

For further information please contact: Stephen Sleight Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity The Old School, Cardington, Bedford MK44 3SX.

coffee & a 10% off tea, e piece of cak r

E-mail Web: Train Operator London Midland Tel. 0845 602 4277


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embe til 30th Sept Offer valid un pt) on Se d t 1st & 2n 2012 (excep ket for tic lid va a of production ations. Millbrook st Stewartby or se ha rc ed pu One discount . on rs pe per

01234 832645

Bletchley ! Park Offaersrton Vale

hleypark. www.bletc 04 90 01 8 6404 valid ion of a ct u d ro p n O ticket. until 31st Offer valid 2012. er Decemb



Follow us @marstonvalecrp LEIGHTON BUZZARD LONDON





Sitting proudly on the calm blue waters of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik is one of the world’s most magnificent fortified cities. Today a UNESCO world heritage site and Croatia’s most upmarket destination, it was once the capital of the wealthy seafaring Republic of Ragusa (1358-1808). During its Golden Age in the 16th century, it had one of the largest merchant naval fleets in the world. Dubrovnik is clearly special. Lord Byron was not overstating the matter when he proclaimed Dubrovnik ‘the pearl of the Adriatic’. Magnificent curtains of walls surround marble streets and baroque buildings that exude a pearly light in the Adriatic sun. The main pedestrian thoroughfare, Placa, is a melange of cafés and shops with outstanding monuments at either end. Churches, monasteries and museums ornamented with finely carved stone recall an eventful history and a vibrant artistic tradition. As the sun rises over the terracotta roofs the square awakens to the sound of barrow loads of fruit and vegetables bouncing over the stone cobbles. The ‘green market‘, as the locals call it, offers freshly picked produce as well as jars of homemade jams, pickles and spices. However, Dubrovnik shows her true magnificent colours during the winter months as well as the city looks wonderful “out of season.” True beauty is ageless and timeless. Beyond the city is a heavenly landscape of beaches, wooded peninsulas and a sea strewn with lush islands. Rector’s Palace: Right off Luza Square is the Rector’s Palace. It was the seat of the Ragusan government, where the Rector lived and worked. After Napoleon’s army dissolved the Dubrovnik Republic the Rector’s position was reduced. The original palace was modelled after the Roman imperial palace, with some influences from Venetian palaces. In 1435 there was a gunpowder explosion that demolished the structure. It was rebuilt in a late-gothic style. There was another explosion in 1463, and a an earthquake in 1667 that severally damaged the city. What you see now is the final redo that took place at the 6

end of the 17 century. The central portico features beautiful archways and a second story mezzanine. Pile Gate: This is the north gate into the city. It features a stone bridge with two gothic arches. If you exit towards the outside you can get to Tower Loverjenac. On entering, the outer draw bridge is met by an internal bridge that leads into the city. Some great shots are to be had with your camera from Pile Gate. War Photo Limited: Dubrovnik’s sturdy fortifications have been put to the test several times during the centuries, most recently during the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia. This modern gallery is dedicated to stunning photojournalism from war zones around the world, and attempts to offer unbiased reporting with a human element. Antuninska 6. Daily 9am-9pm (JunSep); Tue-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 10am-2pm (May and Oct); closed (Nov-Apr). Entry is 30Kn. Dubrovnik Cable Car: The best views of Dubrovnik and the surrounding area are seen from the top of the Srd Hill where the Dubrovnik Cable Car was built back in 1969 and boasts the most beautiful panoramic view. On a clear day, you can see up to 60 km (37 miles)! For this reason the neighbouring Fort Imperial was strategically built on this privileged spot way back in the early 19th century. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival ( runs from mid-Jul to mid-Aug, staging concerts, theatre and opera at various open-air venues in the old town. Pat line-ups have included the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra, Mexican tenor Ramon Vargas, and Australian-born British classical guitarist John Williams. Nearby places worth visiting include the Renaissance gardens of Trsteno arboretum, the vineyards of Peljeac peninsular, the seaside resort of Cavtat, the tiny car-free Elafiti islands ,

the island of Mljet (one-third of which is a national park), and neighbouring Montenegro. EATING/DRINKING There is a wide range of restaurants in the Old Town, mostly offering a very similar menu of local seafood and some meat dishes. The cuisine may not be very imaginative, but it is usually of good quality and very fresh. Restaurants can be crudely separated into (slightly) cheaper tourist-trap haunts, and more expensive but first class gastronomic restaurants. There are a few pizzerias, mostly wood-fired and acceptable. The Kraš chocolate sold at stores is delicious too! Note that in the off peak season of November to March nearly all the top-end restaurants close, leaving only a handful of desperate tourist trap enterprises operating and still charging high prices. You can however still eat well and best of all, discounts can be negotiated. Dubrovnik cuisine is characteristically not very spicy and is famous for traditionalism. Many popular meals are characteristic of Dubrovnik such as zelena menestra (it is the name for many sorts of cabbages and other vegetables with meat), pasticada and the famous delicacy dubrovacka rozata. The most popular alcohol in Croatia is homemade rakija. This is a very strong distilled tipple made from a variety of fruits. Examples include sljivovica, made from plums, loza, made from grapes, and orahovica, made with walnuts. There are many excellent local wines from both the Peljesac Peninsula and Konavle and it is often less expensive than soft drinks. However, be careful when purchasing wine from unlicensed dealers as it can sometimes be of low quality! SLEEPING Hotels in Dubrovnik include two, three, four and five-star hotels. Private rooms are a good option for those on a budget; the downside is that they may be far from the Old Town, so make sure to check the location. Owners letting out these rooms accost buses at the bus station, so you can ask around and even bargain a little. DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT VISITING… Cafe Buza: This place is little known but definitely the find in Dubrovnik. Indeed, you will have to wander down an alleyway along the main western wall where you’ll find a nondescript door. Enter it to find the most amazing bar you might ever enjoy a beer in. The cafe is built on the side of the rocky cliffs, hiding inside the Dubrovnik wall. Relax and enjoy the view as the dramatic wall rises above your head; or, as you are so near the small beach why not dip your toes in the water! Fact file: Dubrovnik has an international airport, located approximately 20 km (12 miles) from Dubrovnik city centre. There is no train to Dubrovnik. A narrow gauge line used to link Dubrovnik to Sarajevo but was closed in 1976; however, buses connect the airport with the Dubrovnik old main bus station in Gruž and Croatia Airlines even operates buses between the airport and the main bus station in Kantafig (takes approx. 45 minutes), which is 2.5 km northwest of the Old Town. Taxis from the airport to the centre will cost 220 kn. The bus passes close to the Old Town en-route to the airport; you can board the bus at the stop on Petra Kresimira 4 just above the Old Town, by the lower cable car station. Make sure you wave furiously otherwise the driver may not stop!

The main bus station is in Kantafig, near Port Gruz and the Tudjman Bridge, 2.5 km northwest of the Old Town. Local bus 7 operates between this station and Babin kuk, and bus 1 serves the Old Town. On buses you pay a separate fee of 10 Kn to the driver for luggage, so keep some change handy. Taxis in Dubrovnik are available around the clock and you can easily pick one up at one of the many taxi stops. The good news is that a taxi service will never cost you more than 100 Kn (approx. £11) in any direction within Dubrovnik city limits! If you are planning to drive a car in Dubrovnik, be aware that lots of streets are one way. If in doubt, passersby will gladly direct you. Dubrovnik is easy to cover on foot; in fact it will take the averagely fit person less than 1.5 hours to walk from the historical centre to the very end of Lapad peninsula. Climate: The climate along the Dubrovnik Region is a typical Mediterranean one, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. However, it is perhaps distinct from other Mediterranean climates because of the unusual winds and frequency of thunderstorms. The Bura wind blows cold gusts down the Adriatic coast between October and April. The air temperatures can slightly vary, depending on the area or region. Typically, in July and August daytime maximum temperatures reach 29°C (84°F), and at night drop to around 21°C (70°F). More comfortable perhaps, is the climate in Spring and Autumn when maximum temperatures are typically between 20°C (68°F) and 28°C (82°F). Language: Croatian is the official language spoken in Dubrovnik. English is taught as a second language in schools however, and other international languages are also fluently spoken. Currency: Kuna (Kn.) £1 British pound is worth approx. 8 Kuna. The word “Kuna” means “marten” in Croatian since it is based on the use of marten pelts as units of value in medieval trading.


Drury holidays UK & Continental Tours * Private Hire * Corporate

Door to Door Coach and Air Holidays 2012 COCHEM & MOSEL VALLEY Germany

6 DAYS £585

5th - 10th

August 2012

Two amazing holiday offers in Europe. Take in the beautiful vistas of the Mosel Valley and the amazing views of the Austrian Alps. Always popular destinations so book now to avoid disappointment.


AUSTRIA St Anton Alpine Explorer

£635 24th - 31st


in a g r Ba ks B re a 2 201

Please contact us for your free brochure and more information on all listed Tours or visit our website:

01234 711318

Drury Holidays is a well established, family run, holiday and coach company based in Emberton, Bucks. Set up over 50 years ago by Alan Drury, the company is now in the hands of Alan’s son Mike. The company philosophy has always been to offer the very best levels of Customer Service. Our staff have all been hand picked and have many years experience in the touring industry. Our 2012 programme includes a wide range of tours in the UK and the Continent, representing great value for money. For your comfort, our tour coaches are air-conditioned and fitted with reclining seats. Toilet and washroom facilities come as standard and hot and cold drinks are also available. For more information on all our holidays and day trips, and to obtain your free copy of our new 2012 brochure Call us on: 01234 711318 or just log onto

ISLE of MAN Manx Madness

6 DAYS £445

7th - 12th


After many requests we have put together a tour for this interesting Island. We will be located in Douglas where we can enjoy the rich folklore and unique culture of the Island. Our tour includes the services of a local guide to enhance the experience.

SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT £65 TRAVEL INSURANCE £27 THE RUTLAND HOTEL, DOUGLAS*** enjoys a prime location on the sea front at the northern end of Douglas promenade. It provides contemporary bedroom accommodation and a bright and airy restaurant. Unfortunately the hotel is not suitable for those with extreme walking difficulties due to steep steps leading to the entrance. The hotel does have a lift to all floors. PRICE INCLUDES: Door to Door service: Air Conditioned Coach travel: Ferry Crossings: 5 nights Half Board Accommodation: Excursions as listed above (entrances included) Luggage porterage from start to finish: Complimentary pint of milk and a loaf of bread on your return. All details may be subject to alterations & Booking Conditions

DAY EXCURSIONS We have put together a full and extensive 2012 day trip program, please call for your free day trip brochure or go on line at for more information. Drury holidays Established 1959

Alan Drury





ernie Nolan has taken on the pivotal role of Mama Morton in multi award-winning musical ‘Chicago’ this year.

In 2009, the singer and actress played the fairy godmother at Manchester Opera House, following on The Nolans’ reunion tour which proved a spectacular success and filled arenas around the UK. But between then and now, Bernie, aged 51, has fought a dramatic battle against breast cancer which saw her having to have a mastectomy and six months of chemotherapy. In true showbiz style, Bernie has bounced back from this traumatic time to entertain us once more. All of which is no surprise when you consider her strong family background, and the way she has lived much of her life in the spotlight. Bernadette Therese Nolan came from an Irish family, the second youngest of eight children, and was brought up in Blackpool. Showbiz was in her blood and her sisters, brothers and parents would often perform in clubs and pubs around the resort. It was when Bernie teamed up with four of her sisters, however, as The Nolans that fame and success finally came their way. The pretty, harmonious pop group sold millions of records worldwide in the ‘80s and ‘90s including more than nine million albums. They had chart hits like ‘I’m in the Mood for Dancing’ and were regular guests on some of the top TV shows of the time. Their appeal – apart from singable, danceable hits – was their wholesome niceness and visual charm, which proved a pleasant antidote to the extreme vagaries of the pop scene.


Bernie had one of the strongest voices in the group, but when she first tried her hand at acting she showed that she also had talent in this direction. She became a presenter on BBC Saturday morning children’s show ‘On The Waterfront’ , and pleasantly surprised critics by her gift for comedy and the ability to laugh at herself. In 1993, she appeared in the stage play ‘The Devil Rides Out’, and left The Nolans in 1994 to pursue a solo career, scoring solo hits and an album ‘All By Myself.’ She also had noteable success in the Willy Russell musical ‘Blood Brothers’ which brought her to the attention of TV bosses, and in 2000 she joined the cast of popular Liverpool soap ‘Brookside’ as Diane Murray. Bernie played this role successfully for two years before leaving to play Sheelagh Murphy in ITV’s iconic police drama series ‘The Bill’ where she was given several strong storylines. Her character proved popular and, although she left in 2005, the door was left open for her character’s return. In 2006, she took part in the Channel 4 series ‘The Games, raising funds for Alzheimer’s and children’s charities, and the following year starred in the play ‘Mum’s The Word’. During the summer, she appeared at Blackpool’s North Pier Theatre in ‘Soap Queens’ , enhancing her reputation as a reliable stage star when she went on to play Hannah Owens in ‘Flashdance The Musical.’ The Nolan family had already been affected by cancer previously: sister Anne had breast cancer in 2000 and Linda suffered from the disease in 2006. However, little could really have prepared Bernie for her own breast cancer diagnosis in April, 2010.

As she recalls: “The day I found out, I cried my eyes out for about two or three minutes with my husband, Steve. After that, I didn’t cry again the whole way through my treatment. “ At the very beginning, though, it’s important to let out every feeling you’ve got. Cry, scream, shout, do whatever you want because it’s one of the biggest things that will ever happen to you.”


positive attitude. “I thought ‘ there’s no way I’m going to die from AINMENT TAINMENT this’. Once you make that decision, you can get on with beating it. From the start, it’s a case of taking things one day at a time.


Don’t worry about what’s coming up in two weeks’ time. Deal with today, ©© you’ve got enough on your plate.”



Inevitably, though, there were terrible times. One of the worst for Bernie was telling her children. “I was diagnosed a week before my daughter Erin’s 11th birthday and we didn’t want to tell her until that was over. But kids aren’t daft – she knew something wasn’t quite right,” she recalls. ‘So we just sat her down and told her the truth. She knew about cancer because of Anne’s and Linda’s experience and she knew they were OK, which helped. Erin asked if I was going to die. I told her no and then she asked me if the lump was big. Again, I said no, and explained they’d found it early. One little tear ran down her cheek and she accepted it.’


Bernie had great support from her large family, and especially from her husband Steve in spite of the understandable initial shock and fears for the future. Much of the optimism surrounding Bernie, however, emanated from herself. When her hair fell out from the treatment, she didn’t hide but spoke out publicly about the problem and campaigned for early diagnosis and better understanding of the disease.


She believes in check-ups and self-awareness in the battle against cancer, and has a practical approach to the disease itself. “You’ve got to take every bit of support you’re offered, whether that’s from the doctors, your family or friends,” she insists. “And, STARRING take it from me, none of it is as scarySTARRING as it sounds. I wouldn’t lie.”

VINCENT SIMONE VINCENT SIMONE Given that strength and determination, it’s logical that she has &FLAVIA CACACE FLAVIA CACACE now returned to the stage &and performing, and is reportedly “excited” about her role in one of the most enduringly successful

SAT 2 JUN MON 25 & TUE 26 JUN AT 2 JUN MON 25 & TUE 26 JUN hit musicals of recent times.

In fact, Bernie has followed the advice of one of The Nolans’ biggest hits “Gotta Pull Myself Together”. And in 2012 she is certainly one together lady!




3rd, 6th and 7th July Liverpool Empire Theatre Book Tickets * * 0844 871 7627

0844 871 3017 0844 871 3017


Angela Kelly


You’re unique. So are we. At Acacia Lodge Care Home, we make sure we put personal relationships first. You’re one of a kind and we want it to stay that way. We believe a care home should be a home first and foremost. Acacia Lodge offers exceptional care and support, in beautiful and comfortable surroundings. So you can feel well and truly at home.

Acacia Lodge Care Home, in Henley-onThames is a purpose built home offering nursing, residential and dementia care. It has been furnished throughout by our professional team to exceptionally high standards, providing elegance and comfort but above all a warm, homely and welcoming environment. You decide what you do and when you want to do it and friends and family can visit any time.

count. Acacia Lodge Care Home offers a range of services for long and short stays.

At Acacia Lodge our highly trained staff are leading the way in nursing and dementia care and making a real difference to the lives of our residents and their families.

For more information or to arrange a visit please call 01491 430 093 or email

It’s through understanding each individual, their likes and dislikes and their life story that our specialist teams can provide personal care with a real difference. Our staff are trained to make every moment

Acacia Lodge Care Home

“For me and the family, having the trust and confidence in the home has taken away all the worry and given us the peace of mind that we needed.”

Nursing, Residential & Dementia Care Quebec Road Henley-on-Thames Oxfordshire, RG9 1EY

There’s money up on the roof! Solar energy has become big business and looks like it’s going through the roof for many more years to come. Solar Panels transform daylight into electricity, which homeowners can then turn in to earnings and energy savings thanks to Feed-In Tariffs (FITs). The sun’s energy is absorbed by solar cells in photovoltaic (PV) panels before being converted into electricity. This can then be used in the home or fed back into the national grid.

the Feed in Tariff payments, an average household using half of the electricity produced can expect to save over £121 per year on their bills.

Daylight causes an electric field across layers of silicon in the cells, creating an electric current. Within seconds of reaching the earth’s surface, photons from the sun have become electrons and they are then powering devices in homes across the country.

Anyone generating electricity from solar PV panels is eligible for the FITs, providing no more than 5 Megawatts is being generated per year. Very few households are likely to exceed that limit, considering that 5 Megawatts is enough to power a large factory!

Home Solar panel systems are hooked up to the national grid so that any extra electricity created by a Solar panel system can be passed through to the national grid. A fee is then paid by the electricity company for every kWh supplied.

Solar PV panels can be installed without planning permission, except for homeowners in conservation areas or in listed buildings. In which case, advice should be sought from local councils before going any further.

In the UK, an increasing number of households are switching on to the advantages of Renewable Energy and investing in their own Solar photovoltaic panels.

Properties will need at least 8m2 of South, South East or South West facing roof space to fit Solar panels which is free from shading by trees, buildings, etc.

Buoyed by financial incentives set up by the Government and supported by energy suppliers, many see an investment in Solar Energy in the UK as a great way to cut bills and make money.

Once connected to the grid, systems need very little maintenance.

Once a reputable company has installed solar panels, a small device called an inverter will convert the DC into AC power. Solar PV Feed In Tariff Summary Available to anyone generating electricity. Eligible if producing up to 5 megawatts. Payments for 25 years after system installation. Earn from Generating, Exporting and Saving 9% to 11% Return on your Investment. A 2kWp system can earn over £500 per year. Your home will also be fitted with a monitoring device to keep track of the total amount of electricity generated by your PV panel Solar system. Solar panels do not need direct sunlight to function and, even on a cloudy day, will generate some electricity. And so, as the daylight hours pass, your earnings will increase. The FITs scheme allows households with solar PV panels to earn money in three ways. Firstly there is the generation tariff, which pays up to 21p for every unit of electricity produced, regardless of whether it is used or exported. Then there is the export tariff – an additional 3.1p paid for every unit exported to the national grid. Finally there is the added bonus of cheaper electricity bills because you will be using power at the source. In addition to 14

FITs are paid for by the energy companies and are driven by the Government’s desire to create a sustainable energy mix and reduce climate change effects. The ultimate goal is to increase the total percentage of energy that comes from renewable sources from 2% (in 2009) to at least 15% by 2020. It’s little wonder that Governments all over the world have placed their faith in Solar power to create a sustainable future. Power from PV panels is emission-free, renewable and easy and cheap to generate. In fact, it’s just about the perfect energy source. But even better for homeowners and families in the UK – it can make money and deliver huge returns on investment. Thanks to the UK’s drive to cut carbon emissions and move away from using dwindling fossil fuels, long-term financial incentives have been put in place for those who invest in solar. The Government must meet targets set out by the Kyoto Protocol and are willing to reward those who help deliver the environmental promises the nation has made to the world. By aiding the country in its bid to reduce carbon emissions, you could make money for years to come and also significantly cut your energy bills. Don’t just take the Government’s word for it that investing in PV panels is a wise decision. Take a look at the numbers for yourself and you’ll see exactly how you can cash in on PV Solar power.

Installing PV panels on your roof will cost between £5,000 and £7,000, for a typical 2kWp photovoltaic electricity system. Taking into account the three ways to earn money from PV Feed-in Tariffs (FITs), this initial sum is likely to pay for itself within a decade of the installation of your photovoltaic Solar system. Given that FITs payments are guaranteed for 25 years, there can be few investments which offer such risk-free, rewarding long-term stability. With almost every sector facing economic uncertainty, even the shrewdest market investor would struggle to find an investment matching this level of security. These figures will likely increase over time as the Feed in Tariff rates are linked to inflation which typically goes up each year, leading to significant savings on energy bills. Larger systems will also produce much bigger returns. Then there is the value a PV Solar system adds to your property. Panels are built to last beyond the 25 year FIT period, meaning the PV panels cost and reward should be factored into the value of your home when you come to sell it on in the future. Other benefits include the fact that Solar panels are noisefree, need little maintenance and can be attached to almost any type of roof surface.

You may have read in the press that there are free Solar Panels available that allow you to enjoy some of the benefits of Solar for free. However, they work in favour of the installers rather than households and their financial rewards are limited. By allowing a company to put Solar Panels on your property for free, you are effectively depriving yourself of the financial advantages of Solar Energy, namely the Feed-in Tariff. While Solar companies take the payments from the power you have generated, you will only make savings on your electricity bills of anything up to 50%. Keith Christian, head system designer for Radley Solar Systems, says “we are experiencing high levels of enquiries from people aged between 50 and 65, desperate to either future proof themselves from every increasing energy costs or quite simply to achieve a far higher level of return on the money they have invested, typically between 8 and 14%, its far better than anything available from the banks”. Experts are warning that energy bills are set to soar to more than £5000 a year within the next decade - forcing thousands of families in to fuel poverty. Analysts at the price comparison website have said “average annual bills have doubled from £580 five years ago to £1243 today and by 2020 they are expected to quadruple – this is a wake up call for us all”.

RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR LIFE Fully accredited MCS Company Future proof yourself from ever increasing energy costs l Generate substantial income from the ‘Feed In Tariff’ l Payments are guaranteed for 25 years and tax free l Energy performance certificates provided l l

Specialist supplier / installer of Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Hot Water Systems. Accredited Company with an enviable reputation of offering first class workmanship and customer service - we continually strive to exceed the expectations of all our Clients. All work is guaranteed and comes with option of full insurance backing for your added piece of mind. Our fully trained and knowledgeable staff can offer efficient and effective solutions to all your Solar Energy needs.

Call today for a FREE survey on 01235 861167

185e Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4SR.

Flexible Home Improvement Loan can now offer you the ultimate

Flexible Home Improvement Loan Would you like to improve the warmth, comfort, safety and security of your home? Are you a homeowner aged 60 or over? If the answer is YES, then you could be in for some good news ...


Call us to find out more

01295 227001 Or email:

This property came to the attention of Cherwell District Council as a result of its somewhat neglected appearance. When one of the Council’s Housing Inspectors contacted the owner, Mr B, they found that he had inherited the house and, although he had equity in his home, he was on a low income and couldn’t afford to maintain or improve it. Mr B had been struggling with various issues; several of the windows had been broken and were boarded up, the porch roof leaked and the electric lighting downstairs wasn’t working. Other windows were single glazed and in poor condition. There was only a coal-fired back boiler to provide the heating, which was inefficient and expensive to run. The Council was able to help Mr B make much needed improvements by providing a Flexible Home Improvement Loan and helping him through the process. With the Council’s assistance, Mr B used the loan to replace the doors, increasing his security; the old windows were replaced with double-glazed ones; and the porch roof was repaired. The problems with the electrics were fixed and new Economy-7 storage heaters were installed, which Mr B felt was the most appropriate type of heating for him. New fascias and guttering were also fitted. Cherwell District Council is one of a group of local authorities who can offer Flexible Home Improvement Loans. They are specifically aimed at home-owners aged 60 or over who, like Mr B, have equity in their homes but little spare money to make improvements or even carry out basic maintenance. Loans can be used to undertake all sorts of work including new kitchens and bathrooms, improvements to heating, roof or structural works and other essential repairs. The loan is provided at a lower rate of interest than many commercial loans. It is flexible because, although it can be paid back in either regular or occasional instalments, it doesn’t have to be repaid until the property is sold or transferred. Mr B is now able to enjoy his home and is very pleased with the improvements made. He said ‘I don’t know how I would have managed without this loan from the Council. It has taken a weight off my mind.’

If you think a Flexible Home Improvement Loan could help you make your home warmer, safer or more secure, please contact Cherwell District Council on 01295 227001.

In partnership with Flexible Home Improvement Loans Ltd and 16 other local authorities in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey. Initial funding from The South East Regional Housing Board.




A room with a view... 3 for 2 Get

Conservatory blinds aren’t just about making your room look good. They also do a very real job in the conservatory environment where outside temperatures can dramatically affect the room.


ith summer around the corner it’s time to sit back and relax, and take pleasure in the new life appearing in your garden, and your conservatory is the perfect place in which to enjoy your green space. Thomas Sanderson can provide a whole host of solar reflective fabrics that will help keep you and your conservatory cool in the summer and warm in winter. Unique fabric coatings cleverly reflect the heat and glare, keeping the room cool and comfortable or cosy and warm. The unique shape and structure of a pleated blind also means that it will fit perfectly into every shape and size of window or door panel.

Thomas Sanderson have been manufacturing blinds in Britain for over 20 years and their specialist installation techniques ensure each blind is fitted precisely into the recess of the window or roof frame, leaving little opportunity for light to filter through. Unlike many other blind options, each Thomas Sanderson blind fits snugly into the window frame, so you have the flexibility to open your windows even when the blinds are down. Combine all this with the exclusive Platinum Power System and you can control your comfort at the touch of a button. . . the perfect finishing touch to any conservatory.

Unique fabric coatings cleverly reflect the heat and glare, keeping the room cool and comfortable or cosy and warm.

Many conservatory owners make the mistake of leaving their roof panels bare and this is where the exposure to the heat and glare of the sun can be at its greatest. With coordinating roof and window blinds available you can transform your entire conservatory and create a blissfully cool room.

Exclusive Reader Offer

Take advantage of Thomas Sanderson’s extended sale and 3 for 2 on a set of conservatory blinds, plus exclusive to 50+ readers, you can look forward to enjoying your garden this summer with a set of luxurious garden furniture. To claim this exclusive offer just call 0800 220 603 and quote reference D410B or visit Offer must end 30th June 2012. *Terms and conditions apply. Limited period only.

Complete your details below for your FREE brochure and to get 3 for 2, plus a FREE luxury set of garden furniture. Send to: Thomas Sanderson, FREEPOST, Hants PO7 7UW Name: Tel No: Address: Post Code:

To take advantage of this exclusive offer...

Call 0800 220 603 or visit

plus, exclusively for 50+ readers, a set of luxury garden furniture.*

Quoting reference D410B

Quote Ref: D410B

Bedford International Kite Festival Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd June, Russell Park Battle of the Bands Final Monday 4th June, Russell Park Diamond Jubilee Celebrations & It’s A Knockout Community Day Tuesday 5th June, Russell Park Olympic Torch Relay Sunday 8th July, through Bedford & Cotton End Bedford River Festival 2012 Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd July, The Embankment & Russell Park

Free Fun for ! y l i m a F e l o h the W

Olympic Live Site Friday 3rd to Wednesday 8th August, Bedford International Athletic Stadium

For more information, call 01234 718617

visit or 18

or scan the code with your smart phone EVENTS012_12

The Embankment/Russell Pa rk

01234 2 21955 Web: w ww.bed fordeve Ema il: event s@ k



Dragon Boats • Raft Races • Food & Drink • Music Stages • Carnival Parade • Sports Village Heritage Village • Arts & Craft • Extreme Sports • Fireworks • Funfair, Rides & much more! EVENTS000_12

More than 860,000 men and women in Britain will celebrate their 50th Birthday this year. A Record!


A 4-Step process to becoming financially secure enough to retire I am looking for people aged 45-55 to take you through our proven process of planning for retirement. You should be earning a minimum of £50,000 per annum and have a desire to plan for life after work, which will not only benefit you but the future welfare of your family too! Your generation is being faced with a whole new set of challenges. Instead of planning for retirement, research shows that paying off your mortgage and your children’s university fees are your main priorities. The cost of continuing to look after your adult children* and uncertainty around the current economic climate are key barriers to saving for retirement. I imagine many of you feel your pensions are actually worth less now than years ago? All of this means you will either have to work for longer, or reduce your expectations. In addition, as you are working long hours, when will you get time to see a Financial Adviser and one whom you can trust? * Research shows that 3.3 million Britons are financially supporting adult children (aged 21 and over), costing an average of £254 per month. The research also shows that what you really need at this time is face to face Independent Financial advice to help guide you in the right direction. It is so important to take action now before it’s too late!

I provide a fee-based Financial Planning Service using our unique 4-step process 1. Complete a full fact finding session, including income and expenditure, both now and in retirement. 2. Fully understand what retirement looks like to you. In the ideal scenario, at what age would you like to retire and how would you spend those years?

“Retirement is black and white, you’ll either have enough money or you won’t!” We know how to make sure you have enough money - simple as that!

Discovery Session I have helped hundreds of clients over the years to allay their fears and put in place a proper strategy that is reviewed regularly to ensure you keep on track. If you are serious about planning for retirement, meet the criteria and think the Retirement Certainty Solution is right for you, then please contact my office (details below) to arrange a ‘Discovery’ meeting.

Why attend a ‘Discovery’ session? 1. It gives you a chance to meet the team and get a feel for the way we do things. 2. Opportunity to discuss you retirement goals and what obstacles are stopping you from achieving them. 3. Get a preview of our fantastic software program, that actually tells you how much you need in order to retire, and how long it will last.

3. Collate all this information together and, using award winning cash-flow planning software, we actually tell you how much you will have at your chosen retirement age and how long it will last. We then identify any shortfalls and implement a strategy to reduce or remove them completely.

4. Discuss joining criteria and payment options.

4. On-going monitoring and review meetings to make sure you stay on track!

I look forward to hearing from you.

These sessions normally cost £199, however, if you call quoting 50 plus magazine then we will cover this for you. There is no obligation to go any further, this really is just a ‘get to know each other’ session.

Mike Pimm DipPFS

Director 20

“How can we be sure we are fully prepared for Retirement?” Call Cotswold Financial Planning for advice on:

• Pensions • Investments • ISAs • Equity Release • Wealth Management • Lifestyle Planning • Cash-flow Forecasting

Cotswold Financial Planning Ltd 10a Astley House, Cromwell Park, Banbury Road, Chipping Norton, Oxon, OX7 5SR. Tel: 01608 651608 Fax: 01608 643096 Email: Registered in England No. 6674605. Authorised by The Financial Services Authority FSA No. 487893.




Rick Stein's French Odyssey Rick Stein’s passion for fresh well-sourced food has taken him from continent to continent, across magnificent shorelines and to the very best produce the coast has to offer. Rick remarks “My greatest enthusiasm in life has been finding dishes that change my perception of cooking, that reveal a whole new vista of flavour combination. I think we all enjoy that. I’m just someone with an enthusiasm for food and a curiosity that’s sent me sniffing around all over the place looking for lovely dishes in all corners of the globe” Taken from his book ‘French Odyssey’ (BBC Books, £25) here are some of Rick’s favourite recipes inspired by flavours from France.


French Onion Soup

60 g butter

Heat the butter in a large, heavy-based pan. Add the onions, garlic and sugar and cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, for 2530 minutes until the onions are really soft and well caramelized.

1 kg onions, halved and thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 teaspoons caster sugar 300 ml dry white wine 1.5 litres Beef stock, browned Bouquest garni of bay leaves, thyme and parsley stalks 4 x 2.5-cm-thick slices French bread 225 g Gruyére or Comté cheese, coarsely grated Salt and freshly ground black pepper 22

Add the wine and leave to simmer rapidly until it has reduced by half. Add the beef stock and bouquet garni, cover and leave the soup to simmer for at least another 30 minutes. Then remove and discard the bouquet garni, and season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, preheat the over to 150oC/Gas Mark 2. Place the slices of bread onto a baking tray and leave them for 30 minutes to dry out but not get at all brown. Then remove the tray and increase the oven temperature to 220oC/Gas Mark 7. To serve, place a slice of bread into the bottom of each of 4 deep ovenproof soup bowls and ladle the soup on top, making sure the onions and stock are distributed evenly. Cover the top of the soup thickly with the grated cheese, place the bowls onto a sturdy baking tray and bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling. You can also place them under a hot grill for 5 minutes if you prefer or are short of time. This soup should be served scalding hot.

SERVES 4 4 trout, each weighing about 300g 40g butter 60g rindless streaky bacon, chopped 175g fresh ceps, trimmed and cut into 4-mm-thick slices 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley 25g plain flour 2 tablespoons sunflower oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper FOR THE BEURRE NOISETTE: 75g unsalted butter 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 heaped tablespoon chopped parsley

Fried trout stuffed with sliced ceps, garlic and diced bacon First you need to remove the bones from the fish. To do this, remove the head of each one, and then, working with one fish at a time, start to cut the top fillet away from the bones until you can get the whole blade underneath the fillet. Then rest a hand on top of the fish and cut the rest of the fillet away from the bones until you are about 2.5cm away from the tail. Turn the fish over and repeat on the other side. Then pull back the top fillet and snip out the backbone, close to the tail, with scissors. The fillets will still be attached at the tail. Repeat with the remaining fish. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and as soon as it is foaming, add the bacon and fry briefly until lightly coloured. Add the sliced ceps and the garlic and toss over a medium-high heat for 1 minute until lightly cooked. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Lay the prepared trout on a chopping board and pull back the top fillet of each one. Season the outside of each fish with a little more salt and pepper, then dredge with the flour and pat off the excess. Heat the sunflower oil in one very large or 2 slightly smaller frying pans over a moderate heat. Add the fish and fry for 21/2 minutes without moving them until nicely golden. Carefully turn the fish over and cook for another 21/2 minutes, until golden brown on the second side and cooked through. Lift the fish onto warmed plates. Discard the frying oil (from one of the pans if using two) and wipe the pan clean. Add the butter for the beurre noisette and allow it to melt over a moderate heat. As soon as the butter starts to smell nutty and turns light brown, add the lemon juice, parsley and some seasoning. Pour some of the butter over each fish and serve.


If you are having trouble hearing clearly, why not do something about it? The Banbury Hearing Centre are able to test and examine your ears and prescribe the very latest technology hearing instruments. They can offer you an unrivalled service and the results can be life-changing! To find out more, why not call them or call in to their established Hearing Centre in Banbury. The service is also available around the Banbury area through our Home Visit service. The centre is operated by Hearcentres Limited, a small group of established, local hearing centres manned by experienced hearing care professionals.

To improve your hearing, call the Banbury Hearing Centre on 01295 268333.

Exclusive suppliers of

 Clinical Earcare (wax removal)  Comprehensive Ear Examinations and Hearing Tests  Complete range of the latest Hearing instruments  All makes and models supplied and serviced  Complete range of batteries and accessories  Hearing protection and communication products  Comprehensive aftercare and support service  Home visit service available across the area

Banbury Hearing Centre 3 White Lion Walk Banbury Oxfordshire OX16 5UD

T: 01295 268333

WHETHER WE ARE AWARE OF IT OR NOT MANY LOCAL SERVICES THAT UNDERPIN DAILY LIFE IN THE COUNTRY’S COMMUNITIES KEEP GOING THANKS TO VOLUNTEERS. How many organisations rely on volunteers to keep going? A great number. In fact, the volunteers are very often vital, for their skills and willingness. Some are encouraged to take vocational training and enhance their c.v. as a stepping stone to permanent work.

So what do these volunteers do? Mostly they listen, to callers, who have worries, concerns and problems, some of which may lead to suicide. These calls number nearly 3million each year, which averages at about 25,000 per branch. Almost uniquely, Samaritans have a 24 hour per day service, so calls can be made at any time, any day of the year – including Christmas Day! Methods of contact include telephone, email, text, and even visiting a branch in person. The volunteers come from all sorts of backgrounds, but are willing to help.

our callers. Nothing is disclosed outside the Samaritans. It’s a very important part of the trust our callers have in us!”

As we become older, we may not only be reliant on volunteers at different times and for a variety of help, but also may discover that becoming a volunteer ourselves is a simple way to enrich our own lives and make us valuable once more.

What do they get out of it? Maurice, a volunteer in Banbury, said, ”I never know what the next caller will be concerned about, so it is always a challenge, but we always try to help, and if we manage to ease someone’s worries, it is very satisfying, and we know that someone may be a little less likely to commit suicide. Even if we cannot ease their troubles, at least we have listened to them, and given them time, when they may have been ignored elsewhere.” Another volunteers commented, “Though we may deal with distressing matters, like abuse, bereavement, relationship issues, even mental health problems, we have a great support system within the organisation, to help us deal with the concerns raised.” Maurice added, “Though we have the support, we also maintain a total confidentiality for

The training given is very good, and the extra support when volunteers start taking calls is high quality, which gives new volunteers confidence in themselves and in what they are offering. Why do so many continue to give their time? Maybe because it works.

Charities large and small both benefit from and encourage volunteering. You may well find that your local hospice, for example, can gratefully use even a small amount of your spare time in some practical way. This may be with fundraising, making small items to sell, driving, donating your time in charity shops or even arranging flowers for the wards. Special skills may also be very welcome to organisations which have little spare cash and look to donated help to improve their services and aid patients in practical ways. And schools regularly welcome in volunteers to help youngsters with reading skills. One organisation that is very dependent on volunteers is the Samaritans. 201 branches throughout the country are staffed almost entirely by volunteers. The ‘headquarters’ has permanent staff. Overall there are over 15,000 volunteers, and over 3,000 are recruited each year. This means a lot of willing people, giving their time and skills, and the Samaritans are well known as a worthwhile and respected organisation.

The volunteers are all ages, from 18 to 80, and through the shared work have a great camararderie, friendship and trust in each other. This comes in useful when learning new skills such as dealing with new technology, to answer emails and texts, and still giving the support that callers need. Working together in the dark hours of the night does bring out the best in people!

Volunteering could change a life - yours!

Contact 08457 90 90 90 33 Albert Street, Banbury, Oxon, OX16 5DG. 25


THE OLYMPIC TORCH IN OXFORDSHIRE The Olympic Torch Relay will pass though Oxfordshire on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 July, before moving on to Berkshire. The BBC have an excellent guide to times and locations at An evening celebration of the Olympic flame’s arrival will take place in South Park, Oxford on the Monday. A fun-filled family event, including a performance of the Tree of Light, is being planned. Oxford is one of 66 locations across the country hosting an evening event to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Torch.

For more information please visit TD_BEDFORD.pdf




SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AT HENLEY FESTIVAL |4-8 JULY Henley Festival is an extraordinary and elegant mix of music, art, culture, dining and location - the most magical summer event in the United Kingdom. Coming the week after the Regatta and lasting 5 nights, audiences are treated to an event full of contrasting performances on whichever night they attend - the best in classical music, jazz, opera, comedy, dance, street theatre, rock and firework spectaculars like you’ve never experienced them before. As always, one ticket gives access to up to six timetabled events each night (as well as the visual art galleries and ad hoc street theatre fun) and access to a choice of bars, eateries and a wide range of top quality catering concessions. Sipping champagne overlooking the water whilst enjoying the Festival’s sights and sounds - designer evening wear, banks of flowers, extraordinary sculptures, swirling lights and the sight of a hundred candle lit dinner parties taking place on the boats on the river will provide lasting memories. Taking place between 4 and 8 July 2012, this glorious Black Tie event is now one of the biggest, best-established and best-loved Arts Festivals in the country.









Enjoy the lifestyle you’ve worked for... With 20 superb rural and coastal locations to choose from Tingdene Park home living is all about quality of life with a traditional village feel. For more information call 0845 337 0332 or visit

With its wonderful range of entertainment in a breathtaking setting on the banks of the River Thames and with some of the best wining and dining seen at any Festival, Henley Festival makes for a highly glamorous party not to be missed, with stars on stage and in the audience, too!

For more information please visit

Introducing Cherwell District Council’s Small Repairs Service

BEDFORDSHIRE COUNTRY SHOW SAT 14TH & SUN 15TH JULY Held in the beautiful grounds of Old Warden Park, Shuttleworth the Bedfordshire Country Show is a show case of town meets country. Attracting more than 15,000 visitors a year the Bedfordshire Country Show combines entertainment and fun with the opportuntiy to try different sports and activities. The show boasts a wealth of attractions designed to cater for the whole family. Organisers of the show are now busy planning for an action packed event for 2012. As ever a busy main ring schedule will aim to deliver exciting and thrilling acts as well as show casing some of Bedfordshires local acts. Country lovers will get their chance to try thier hand at clay shooting, archery, falconry, air rifles, have a go at the gun dog scurry and much more. Food lovers looking for tasty treats won’t be disapointed with our NEW food hall which show cases the very best in local, regional and national produce. Visit the craft fair, enter your family furry friend in our dog show, take a walk around the vast selection of trade stands, watch the donkey and shetland pony show, take the kids on the fun fair plus much more.

For more information please visit

The Small Repairs Service can help Cherwell residents who are homeowners or tenants who are: • aged 60 or over, or • registered disabled, or • suffering from long-term ill health. We can do a range of jobs including • home safety (eg fitting smoke detectors, key safes, grab rails and removing trip hazards) • home security (eg security locks, chains and door viewers) • minor electrical works (eg wiring plugs, replacing fuses) • Minor plumbing work (eg replacing tap washers) But we cannot tackle work involving • Gas appliances or pipes • Electrical work (except those set out above) • Unblocking drains or toilets • Insulation • Cleaning, decorating or gardening How much does it cost? We charge £15 for work taking up to one hour and a further £15 for a second hour. You can either provide materials yourself or pay our technician for them. Our charges may be waived if you are in receipt of a means-tested benefit. How do I get a job done? Call Cherwell District Council on 0844 833 0310 and we will check your eligibility with you and then make all the arrangements.

ARE YOU ONE OF THE SANDWICH GENERATION? In 1957, Harold McMillan told the British public ‘we’d never had it so good’ and it was true we were enjoying better health and prosperity. Inevitably, this led to longer life spans, and the phenomena of the sandwich generation. At the beginning of the 20th century, around 6% of people in their sixties still had one parent living. Today the figure is around 50%. At the same time, in 2000, 52% of young adults were living with their parents, and this figure is still rising. This has led to a situation where couples coming up to retirement are caring for ageing parents, while still supporting their adult children. This is the sandwich generation, worrying about financing their own retirement, their parents and their children. While many 80 year olds are still hale and hearty, there are many who need constant care and attention, resulting in huge stress levels for those responsible for them. If you’re one of these, it’s time to take stock and explore all avenues. which could help.

Plan Ahead Difficult as it may be, you need to discuss issues with your parents. Discuss their assets, check with them where they want to live, and who should make legal and medical decisions if they are no longer capable of handling their affairs. The decision of where they wish to live may be taken out of your hands, if they reach a stage when they need full time care. At this stage, it’s important to find a nursing home with staff who treat their elderly residents with respect, and which provides a pleasant environment for your parents to live out their remaining years. This is easier said than done. First you need to research available government help to fund care, and ensure that your parents are correctly assessed to ensure they’re getting all the funding they are entitled to. Age Concern provides a number of detailed booklets on this issue. Take full advantage of your computer. Search websites for ratings, send for brochures, and most importantly of all, pay several visits to possible nursing homes. In


an effort to help families looking for nursing homes, a new online system is planned, to be published on a website which will also disclose official inspection reports. Nursing homes will be graded according to star ratings, Trip Advisor style.

Organisations To Explore NHS Choices provides a comprehensive health information service on finding and using NHS services in England. The Directgov website contains information about public services all in one place. Age Concern and Help the Aged have combined to become Age UK, which provides a huge body of information and advice to older people and their relatives.

Care In The Home It may be that care in the home is the preferred option, and this is where you need to spend time making sure that all available help from your local council is fully explored, and a correct assessment of necessary care is arrived at. Check out the Care Quality Commission. This is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. It registers care services that meet standards and make constant inspections to check that these standards are kept and take action if standards fall.

CARE Direct Payments are a Government initiative designed to give people the freedom to purchase their own care and support, so since 2002 all Social Services departments offer the option of a Direct Payment to people who receive a social care and support service. Following an assessment by their local Social Services the person receiving the direct payments can use the money for different types of services.

These include: • Personal care and support • Day care (including domestic help) • ‘Mixed’ packages of support • Short-term residential care • Items of equipment

Preserve Your Assets

Living Independently at Home

The affordable alternative to a residential home Christies Care is one of the UK’s largest specialist providers of live-in care throughout the country. Our service introduces capable, trained care assistants who live with you in your own home. You may just want to enjoy the companionship and reassurance of a care assistant who is there for you when you need support, or you may have more complex health and physical needs. Our award winning training is extremely comprehensive. We have a purpose built Training Centre with six qualified trainers. All our care assistants complete a 5 day induction training course.

The only person who can save for your retirement is you. To avoid many sandwich generation problems - and help your parents and your children - you first have to keep your own financial house in order. Try not to raid your own retirement savings to pay for your children’s college education or your parents’ long-term care. Students should take out student loans if necessary, and you should use your parents own assets to finance their care for as long as possible.

We offer a professional and dedicated service, which can be tailored to suit your individual requirements.

And finally, remember you’re all in this together. Don’t be a martyr. Take control and get the whole family on board to help. Getting stressed is counter productive, so make sure you get some time for yourself. Young adults still at home can occasionally take over household duties and visit their grandparents. They could accompany them on hospital visits or doctors’ appointments, and gain enormously from increased contact with an older generation.

Distress? Despair? Upset?

This is a time in your life when your parents and your children are dependent on you, so look after your health, take time out to keep up with your friends, and keep your sense of humour.

It may help to talk about it. We listen in confidence.

Nothing lasts forever, and sooner or later, your children will find their independence and fly the nest. You’ll miss them when they go. Make the most of your time with them. Cherish your parents. They won’t be with you forever, so while you’re coping with their problems, remember how they once helped you with yours, and give them a hug from time to time.

Christies Care Ltd The Old Post Office High Street, Saxmundham Suffolk IP17 1AB

0844 847 9412

Telephone 08457 90 90 90 or visit 33 Albert Street, Banbury, Oxon, OX16 5DG. 29

Personalised Care at Home for You and Your Family Do you care for a loved one? ‘Caring for Carers Since 1979’

Busy Lives

Most of us juggle busy lives, but if you also look after a relative or friend who is ill, frail or disabled, you probably find it extremely difficult to have a full life of your own. Crossroads Care Oxfordshire offers a full range of services, from 1 to 24 hours, for all age groups, disabilities or health conditions, at any time, day or night, and of any frequency or duration. As a carer, or someone with care needs, you may be entitled to support funded by local government or you can choose to pay direct for Crossroads Care services or top-up state entitlements. We are also expert brokers, who are happy to help you source all your care needs.

We care!

Contact us…

If you’re going to have someone come into your home and step into your shoes, you may want some reassurance. Crossroads Care Oxfordshire has over 30 years of experience. We’re well known for the quality of our service and try hard to fit into your life and not the other way round. We will help with all aspects of social and personal care, including helping those recovering from stroke or those living with dementia.

Whatever your care need, if you think Crossroads Care may be able to help, we will visit you at home for a free care needs assessment. Together, with the person you care for, we will design a service that meets your respective needs, or simply phone us for a chat about your needs.

Tel: 01865 260 280 Fax: 01865 260 290 Email:

We also cover the West Berkshire area; call our Newbury office for details: 01635 30008

3 Hurst Street Cowley, Oxford, OX4 1EZ 30

ARE YOU AT A TIME IN YOUR LIFE WHERE YOU COULD HELP TO SUPPORT AN ADOPTED CHILD WITHIN YOUR FAMILY? St Francis’ Children’s Society, a specialist adoption agency serving the Milton Keynes and Beds region, are looking to place children in a loving and supportive family. We are keen to dispel some of the popular adoption myths: I’m not married: Single parents have as much potential to build supportive homes as couples, therefore you do not need to be married or in a relationship to adopt. I am too old: Our open-door policy means that nobody is automatically ruled out just for being a certain age. As long as you are over 21, we want to hear about the ways you think you could support a child. I am gay: It’s not just heterosexual couples who can adopt – we welcome inquiries from LGBT individuals and couples too. I don’t own my home: Owning your home, or being rich, are not prerequisites to adopting. As long as you can provide a safe and stable environment, you could change a child’s life. I am disabled: Being disabled is not necessarily an obstacle to adopting. In fact, in some cases, having experience with a disability could make you an ideal candidate for adoption. Adoption is a wonderful thing to do, and a new member of the family will enrich the lives of the whole extended family.

Our information events take place on the first Wednesday of every month, between 6.30pm and 8.00pm, at our welcoming offices in Woolstone, Milton Keynes.

If you would like to find out more about adoption call us on 01908 572700, or visit our website at

Children need families Have you thought about adoption? Information Events

FIRST WEDNESDAY of every month

6.30 to 8pm Contact

01908 572700 Venue

St Francis’ Children’s Society Collis House 48 Newport Road Woolstone Milton Keynes MK15 0AA

Registered Charity Number 211670


Energy for a

September Snowstorms! Normally, as the nights get longer and cooler, our thoughts turn back to heating our homes properly. Due to the fact Sunflow heaters are made in Germany, demand from Russia, Northern Scandinavia and Eastern Europe is driven by hard frosts and September snowfalls. Sounds cold and it is. Therefore, in order not to miss out on warm weather installation, the time to prepare is now.   Do you want to continue with oil, lpg, gas or night storage heaters? Or, do you want to consider a different type of heating, one with a massive pedigree in Europe and rapidly growing in popularity in Britain. Sunflow radiators are  slim, economical and extremely efficient. A real alternative with no maintenance and a full twelve year guarantee.   Built to suit your home, they can form an impressive energy management system that individually controls the temperature and timing of every room. Sunflow offers expertise to combat cold exposed locations so your living areas will never be uncomfortable, even if temperatures drop significantly.   Our surveyors are located where you are and will give you all the advice you need to plan a warm and comfortable future. Our secret is simple, we do the mathematical equations that guarantee the heat you require in living areas. By calling now, you have time to obtain a quotation and book a summer/autumn installation.   For further details call Suzanne on 0800 158 8272.



Think solar

and save MCS accredited for both solar thermal and PV Ring us for a FREE no obligation quote

Tel: 01865 880722

CONSIDER GERMAN HEATING NOW - WARM WEATHER INSTALLATION Simple to install, Powerful, and no more servicing - EVER!

A lifetime of heating, amazingly efficient, fully controllable, slim and attractive. Heating is a major purchase in our life. Not just the cost of buying a system but the cost of the energy to run it and, just as importantly, the costs to maintain it. Maintenance - get rid of the maintenance costs all together. A Sunflow guarantee of 12 years will do the trick - nobody inspecting every year - with heating that has a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years! A Sunflow heater is well made and hand finished in Germany. So if you add maintenance and depreciation prevalent in other systems this could easily be a 30% reduction in costs in the first 12 years. That’s just the start!

Over 200 beautiful colours On feet, castors or wall mounted

Energy Management - often called modular heating, Sunflow German built electric heaters allow total control of heating costs. Every room can be time and temperature controlled, far more accurately than any form of wet system. We have a range of controls from simple manual thermostats and timers, to switching on your heat from remote locations. Ask for advice. Whatever controls you choose you will be able to decide where and when to use energy.

A ReAl AlteRnAtive


Efficiency - the reason a Sunflow heater is incredibly efficient is the naturally occurring refractory clay core. Called chamotte, we embed a pure tungsten element into the clay and this combination allows us to heat large surface areas with a comparatively low electrical input, thus making our heaters very economic to run. It all sounds very scientific but to the sceptical we offer a simple demonstration. (See our brochure).

Get your FREE brochure by calling our 24hr Brochure Line on: 0800 158 8270 or email:

Questions? Call Suzanne on 0800 158 8272

Hea ^t

oil/GAs HeAtinG - Ask About ouR ReplAcement seRvice


Top tips on energy use

If you have a water cylinder you should turn it to 60oC. This is

Home energy monitoring meters measure energy as you use it. This way you can see quite clearly just how much any of your household appliances and equipment is costing you.

hot enough to kill any harmful bacteria, and heat your water sufficiently for household use. If the temperature is any higher it is a waste of energy and there is an increased risk of scalding. When you are cooking, always use the right size pan for the job, and the right sized hob ring for each pan. Remember to use a lid. Consider taking a shower instead of a bath.

Top tips on water Use less hot water with a lower temperature setting for the washing machine, dishwasher and shower. Don't overfill the kettle, boil only as much water as you need. If you boil your kettle with only a cupful of water it will cost you about 1/3p, but make sure you cover the element Over a full year this will cost you £5.61 If you boil a full kettle it will cost you 11/2p Over a full year this will cost you £29.08.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average household could save around £250 through energy efficiency measures, such as closing the curtains once it has gone dark, or closing windows if it's cold outside.

Using the sunshine to power your home If you are lucky enough to have a photo-volatic system fitted to your roof, you will be able to make the most of the green electricity generated. Things to remember:l The low cost energy is generated during daylight hours, and must be used during the same day, as it cannot be stored overnight l Use your washing machine and other fuel hungry appliances during the day l Think differently, using your washing-line, if you have one, Current instead your NEW_Layout tumble dryer.1 14/03/2012 13:20 Page 1 HIAofAdvert

Top tips on appliances If you are buying new, always chose A rated or A+ rated equipment which use less energy and reduces emissions. Defrost your freezer regularly, an iced-up freezer costs more to run. Washing machines use a surprising amount of energy Always fill the drum with laundry to get the most value from the water and energy you're using. l Avoid using the extra rinse as this is a water waster. o o l Switch to a 30 C wash instead of 40 C which can save you around £9 a year. l

Switch to low energy or LED bulbs These are a great and easy way to save energy. They plug straight into any lighting unit and use less energy. Some are even brighter than standard light bulbs but consume a lot less energy. Low energy bulbs last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs and using one can save you around £45 over the lifetime of the bulb. If you have a garden, consider buying some solar lights which use the natural energy of the sun. As the lighting is mainly for decorative purposes, all the more reason to use this renewable source of energy.

If you live in Oxford, find out if the

Home Improvement Agency can help you If you are 60 and over or on a low income, perhaps with a long term health condition or disability, help is available to improve the safety, security and comfort of your home through:  Disabled Facilities Grants  Essential Repair Grants  Flexible Home Improvement Loans  Small Repairs Service.

Top tips on light bulbs Turn off any lights you don't need, but do make sure you have enough lighting on the stairs and hallway.

Contact us

Avoid switching lights on and off regularly. The bulb will use more energy when first switched on.

visit: E:

Leave your curtains open during the day to make the most of any natural light, but close them as soon as it goes dark, to keep the room warm.

T: 01865 249811 Home Improvement Agency Environmental Development, Oxford City Council, St. Aldate’s Chambers, St. Aldates, Oxford OX1 1DS

Building a world-class city for everyone


Thurs-Sat 12-14 July 2012 Opening Hours: 9.30am - 4.30pm

REGISTER NOW for free tickets!

Bring a


3 ways to register: Online via:

Call the free ticket hotline on: 01372 8409 63 / 68

• Including The 50+ Travel Show • ROCK CHOIR (14 July) • Cookery demonstrations • Gardening • Fashion show • Park & holiday homes • Have-a-go dancing • Seminars & information • Financial tips & advice • Health checks • Holidays & travel • Craft zone • T’ai chi & Yoga • Prize quiz • Climbing wall • Motor Zone • Free 50+ Show Magazine & visitor bag while stocks last!

On-site registration* (*On-the-door is £10 without on-site registration)

The 50+ Show:

out A fantastic day ne for ever yo d who loves life an e th e ak m to s want most of it!

REGISTER ONLINE FOR FREE TICKETS For exhibiting enquiries, please call 01372 8409 58








LARGE SHOWROOM 13 Union Street, Bedford MK40 2SF t: 01234 270278 Mon-Sat 8am-6pm 34





trade in working or not

Do you live with: • Diabetes

• Hypertension

• Haemophilia

• Heart Disease

• Osteoarthritis

• Depression

• And Many Others

Your Opinion Matters Leadopinion is a rapidly growing internet community for people living with illnesses or disabilities. We want you to share your care experiences with us. We work with medical industry, government

agencies and pharmaceutical companies to determine the best way to deliver healthcare. The number one way to do so is by speaking to the people that know best - people who live or care for someone with an illness. Take part by joining our health panel.

You will be rewarded for your time and your opinion will make a difference. 0800 012 8888 Quote 30074

*Network charges may apply

It's free to join. Visit and start helping today.

A well insulated home will help keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.

er st e: emb LaancSept n ch i


s nd re fe of

Be cool and insulate...

Home insulatio installedn fo


Cavity wall or loft insulation* installed FREE in Cherwell Visit or call 0800 80 48 777 *loft insulation is free for people aged 70+, who receive certain benefits and in homes which have less than 60mm of insulation at the moment. We are working on a great deal with Cocoon which could make loft insulation free for everyone so do check with us.

FISHER FUTURE HEAT BEDFORD.pdf 1 10/05/2012 09:10

Providing a warm future

Controllable Heat

50 years of industry experience

The future of modern, instant heat Beat the rising energy costs: ACT NOW! The unique fischer 40mm chamotte clay core for extended storage, saving you even more in energy...



Y Call 0116 216 6186






• High quality German engineering • Economical 40mm fire clay • Heatwise, Economy 7, Solar PV compatible

Fischer-Future Heat UK, 1st floor, Gateway House, 4 Penman Way, Grove Business Park, Enderby, Leicester LE19 1SY

Request your free catalogue now!

• Easy to install – uses 13 amp

Please complete your details below, cut out and pop into an envelope with this address: FREEPOST FISCHER FUTURE HEAT No stamp or address required. Or call us on 0116 216 6186, quoting 50PLUSBEDJUN

• Instant heating for one room or the whole house


• Modern 110mm slimline design


• Wireless, Intelligent Room Temperature control system


*Refers to energy savings possible compared to night storage, if installed with our programmable electronic controls.

Your information will not be sold or exchanged with any other party.

Post Code:


The local magazine for the over 50s