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MARCH - MAY 2020


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6-7 TRAVEL John Suchet takes a Danube River Cruise with Uniworld 10-11

SIR CLIFF RICHARD Celebrating his 80th birthday

12-13 FINANCE A secure future with equity release 15-16 HOME Adapting 2020 ideas to brighten your home



WHAT'S ON A guide to what's happening in your region


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Sir Cliff Richard

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TWITTERING ON BY ANGELA KELLY “mockumentary” which will take what they see as gospel. They will, wrongly, assume that this is true history being played out by actors and definitely happened. In fact, as in The Crown, there are some scenes “imagined” – in other words, they made it up. Although accepting that it can be used by those with an agenda to shape public opinion, it’s not necessarily always a damaging ploy. In the hit 2017 film Darkest Hour set in May, 1940, and about Winston Churchill winning the hearts and minds of both Parliament and the public during World War Two, there is a scene on the London underground which is pivotal.

Do film and TV dramas really tell the truth? VETERAN broadcaster John Sergeant raised an interesting point about how fictionalised versions of history may fool people into believing this is actually what happened. He was concerned about the Netflix hit series The Crown. He felt the way it depicted the Royal Family might not be “appropriate” and that timelines and events were “massaged and altered” to assist the drama. This comes after the Queen’s ex-press secretary called imagined scenes “distasteful.” However accurate or otherwise such dramatised versions of real-life are, there is definitely a concern there about how near the truth such versions may be. They are, after all, created for entertainment and perhaps some periods of history, some lives, are just not that interesting for quite a large part of them. When there are occurrences (and, goodness me, the Royal Family had a year packed with them in 2019) then they tend to be the ones on which, quite naturally, dramatists focus. More worrying – which I think is John Sergeant’s point – is that there will be a large portion of any audience of this kind of 4

Churchill meets and chats to Londoners who give their opinion about the war which alters, or possibly cements, his own views. As a result, he makes an inspirational speech to Parliament.

However, researchers who observed people meeting in local government, public organisations, the police and health bodies found decision-making is actually very limited. These findings will be balm to all those harassed souls forced to attend endless meetings with their job. Furthermore, the researchers say that these meetings are often more like “therapy”, allowing people to air complaints, justify their job or clarify their own status. Brilliant! Some decisions are best taken by a very small number of purpose-driven individuals who will get on with what’s important. Ready for my 10 o’clock meeting? Sorry, it’s just not productive enough.

Apparently, there is no evidence that this ever happened. We don’t mind, though, because it is artistic licence and adds to the points being made about Churchill which were historically accurate. I suppose the problem is that most of us have either forgotten what we’ve learned of some specific period or event in history or are simply too lazy to find out the truth. We go with the version that entertains us, happily accepting that this “seems right” so it must be true, which is possibly dangerous naivety.

When meetings really take us nowhere I LOVE the latest findings about business meetings: that they may be more about status and showing off than actually getting anything done. According to academics from Malmo University and Lund University in Sweden, some managers spend more than half their working week in meetings.

YouTube is the go-to place for practical skills ARE you a Bake Off fan? I watch it sometimes but it always leaves me feeling hungry. I do love, though, Junior Bake Off because it’s not only inspirational but fascinating to witness the skills that these youngsters display with so much confidence. The latest winner was 13 year-old Finley Woodward. Far from having to be prised off his X-box, Finley plainly loved to cook and was absolutely amazing at it.

He learned his skills from his grandmother and from watching YouTube videos and, while the former seems so logical, us older types have had to come to terms with how people pick up new talents these days. In fact,YouTube is a fantastic tool. I’ve learned how to put my hair up in quite an enviable style, can now re-wire a plug and regularly watch “how to massage” videos purely for the relaxation. OK, it’s not Bake Off, but what other clip can make your eyelids shut and you feel totally relaxed. Oh, sorry, forgot Newsnight.

Cheers to the wine tasters – and good luck! I DON’T know about you but I’ve always been in awe of those wine buffs who really understand their subject. You know the type: they study the bottle before it’s even opened, pronounce on the year or the region in some knowledgeable way, swill the first mouthful lovingly around before swallowing and then talk about its nose or undertones.

Walliams’ wicked humour makes him top author DAVID Walliams may be a comedian but he is definitely laughing all the way to the bank as the writer of children’s books. The creator of Mr Stink, The Boy in the Dress and Gangsta Granny has notched up sales of £100 million. This puts the Britain’s Got Talent judge into an exclusive bracket of children’s authors. Since he first started writing children’s literature in 2008, the former Little Britain star has written 25 books including seven picture books and four short story collections. Perhaps what helps the talented Walliams is that he now has a six year-old son but I’m sure what is equally important is his own quirky personality and lack of fear when it comes to performing in public. He’s worth a book in himself.

Now, research suggests that many so-called wine connoisseurs cannot tell one bottle from another. Food scientists at Oxford University had experienced tasters convinced they were sampling a delicious rose when they actually drinking a white wine – made from an entirely different grape but dyed pink with food colouring. Now, there is concern that wine snobs may not actually be able to distinguish one tipple from another by taste and aroma but are primarily driven by colour. In that case, minesh a red!

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might like a glass of champagne.” We hadn’t ordered any. She had read our minds.

JOHN SUCHET TAKES A DANUBE RIVER CRUISE WITH UNIWORLD I was a great fan of river cruises before I ever took one. There must be something to see every day. Was I right? There was only one way to find out, and the opportunity presented itself last October - a Danube River Cruise with Uniworld, on which I would give talks about Vienna, City of Music, also describe how the waltz came to Vienna, and introduce a concert in an ornate Viennese palace.

It got better. We went up on to the sundeck and sat round a table admiring the beautiful city of Budapest from the river. I spotted a waitress climbing the steps, one hand on the handrail, the other balancing a tray with six glasses of champagne. I wonder if she’d bring some for us, I thought. Smiling, she put the tray down and said: “I thought you

I decided to combine pleasure with business. For the last decade or so, every October I have had a reunion with my oldest friends in the world, fellow students I graduated with over half a century ago. We were at university in Dundee, so in past years bottles have been opened and consumed in Scotland’s great cities. This time, why not make it extra special, and toast our friendship aboard S.S. Maria Theresa, gliding gently along the Danube, surrounded by exquisite scenery you might almost be able to reach out and touch? It took a masterpiece of planning. Let me tell you how it began. My wife Nula and I had barely unpacked in our state room (cabins are so passé), when I received a text message: ‘We’re in the Habsburg salon.’ 6

Boat Exterior in Budapest

That was a hallmark of the trip. Impeccable service on a truly beautiful ship. The captain addressed us all on the first evening, and it was evident how proud he was of her. The S.S. Maria Theresa is done out in the style of the Empress she is named after. Luxurious, splendid, glass doors and walls, gilded mirrors and chandeliers. He acknowledged, in his welcome speech, that the state rooms were not large. How could they be on a river cruise ship which needed to negotiate some narrow passages of river and many locks? “But have you noticed the space underneath the bed?” There was a collective intake of breath. Bed coverings are so luxurious they reach the floor. It had not occurred to us to lift them up, to reveal a vast space underneath specially designed to take your suitcases. Clever.

Uniworld Lobby Our cruise began in Budapest and travelled west, via Bratislava and Vienna to Passau in Germany. Over the course of a week you see more variety than you could ever predict. Big city life in Budapest and Vienna. Small city life in Bratislava and Passau. Country life as you cruise down the Wachau Valley, Austria’s wine growing area. You want activity? Every day excursions were available - from city tours to walking tours and bike rides, from a visit to a winery to an exclusive visit to a saffron workshop. You want to stay nice and quiet? Just lounge on the sundeck or in your state room. You might want to join some of the more energetic tours, if only to work off the weight you put on in the restaurant. The food was exceptional, and just as the ship itself reflects life in the historic Habsburg Empire, so the food brings you a taste of the area the ship is in on that particular day. There is no doubt about it. Uniworld river cruises - from Portugal in the west to Russia in the east - are the height of luxury. Several experienced river cruisers told us they always travel Uniworld - with a knowing look and a comment along the lines of “You get what you pay for.” Yes, they are not cheap, but everything is included, and I mean everything. That means all food and drink. Not just wine

and soft drinks, but all drinks. That first tray of champagne is already paid for - so is very other drink you consume on the trip. Experienced Uniworld travellers know to pace themselves. Tips too are all included.You are not expected to tip, but several discreet handshakes were given for exceptional service.You really could leave your credit card at home. So was I right about river cruises? In a word yes, and now I really can speak from experience. The only problem: much as I love the cities of Scotland, next year’s reunion will have a lot to live up to.

Uniworld’s (uniworld.com / 0808 301 2705) eight day Enchanting Danube cruise from Budapest to Passau is priced from £2,499 per person, twin share, for departures between March – November 2020. All-inclusive price includes luxury onboard accommodation in a riverview stateroom onboard the S.S. Maria Theresa, all meals and unlimited beverages onboard; onshore excursions, all transfers on arrival and departure days and return flights from the UK. Offers are regularly available, check www.uniworld.com/uk/current-offers/ for details.



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& T R AV E L


2020 Door to Door Quality British and European Holidays, Short Breaks & Day Excursions

Date Tour

04 Oct


09 Oct

LAKE DISTRICT - CUMBRIA - LINE DANCE WEEKEND Gilsland Hall Hotel | 3 Days FB | £239 | SS £12

09 Oct


11 Oct

JERSEY BY AIR Mayfair Hotel | 6 Days HB





06 March

BLACKPOOL - FREE AND EASY WEEKEND Park House Hotel | 4 Days HB | £189 | SS NOA

06 Nov

TAUNTON - BRIDGWATER CARNIVAL Holiday Inn | 4 Days HB | £279 | SS £60

29 March

BABBACOMBE - BAR PROMOTION Anchorage Hotel | 6 Days HB | £269

09 Nov

LAKE DISTRICT - CUMBRIA -TURKEY & TINSEL Gilsland Hall Hotel | 5 Days HB | £319 | SS £24

30 March


09 Nov

BOURNEMOUTH - TURKEY & TINSEL Suncliff Hotel | 5 Days HB | £355 | SS NOA

20 April

LAKE DISTRICT - CUMBRIA Gilsland Hall Hotel | 5 Days HB

SS £25

20 Nov


06 May

ISLE OF WIGHT Channel View Hotel


23 Nov

TORQUAY - TURKEY & TINSEL Belgrave Sands Hotel | 5 Days HB

06 May

JERSEY BY AIR Mayfair Hotel | 6 Days HB


27 Nov


12 May

CORNISH SPLENDOR Rosemundy House Hotel

6 Days HB

23 Dec

LAKE DISTRICT - CUMBRIA - CHRISTMAS PACKAGE Gilsland Hall Hotel | 5 Days SMA | £440 | SS £40

15 June

30 Dec LAKE DISTRICT - CUMBRIA - HOGMANAY PACKAGE TORQUAY Gilsland Hall Hotel | 4 Days SMA | £459 | SS £20 Belgrave Sands Hotel | 8 Days HB | £595 | SS NOA

22 June

BLACKPOOL Park House Hotel

28 June

BOURNEMOUTH Suncliff Hotel | 6 Days HB





02 July

ISLE OF MAN Rutland Hotel | 6 Days HB




SS £62

13 July

NORTHUMBERLAND EXPLORER - DINER TOUR Copthorne Hotel | 5 Days HB | £396 | SS £80

17 July

GRANGE OVER SANDS - DISCOVER THE WESTERN LAKES Cumbria Grand Hotel | 4 Days HB | £319 | SS £48

09 Aug


09 Aug

CORNISH SPLENDOR Rosemundy House Hotel

23 Aug

EASTBOURNE BW Lansdowne Hotel

28 Aug

DURHAM - KYNREN, EPIC TALE OF ENGLAND Holiday Inn, Washington | 4 Days HB | £299 | SS £64

14 Sept

BLACKPOOL Park House Hotel


5 Days HB


£319 | SS NIL

20 Sept

COLCHESTER Five Lakes Resort


5 Days HB










5 Days HB





6 Days HB






SS £48




6 Days HB

6 Days HB























SS £100

25 May

WARNER - HEREFORD Holme Lacy Hotel | 5 Days HB | £436 | SS NOA

08 June

WARNER - SOMERSET Cricket St Thomas | 5 Days HB

03 Aug

WARNER - ISLE OF WIGHT Bembridge | 5 Days HB | £459

26 Oct

WARNER - NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Thorsby Hall Hotel | 5 Days HB | £449








A full list of day excursions are available, call into the office for details or visit our website www.memorylanetravel.co.uk

Memory Lane Holidays & Travel | Heath Street | Golborne | Warrington WA3 3AD

2020 Day Excursions

Scotland 05 March


10 April

NEW TOUR EASTER WEEKEND SPECIAL Cairndale Hotel | 3 Days HB | £169 | SS £40

11 May

SCOTTISH ISLANDS & AYRSHIRE Riverside Lodge Irvine/Best Western Kinloch Hotel 8 Days HB | £689 | SS £60

14 Aug

Our day starts with pick ups close to home and then a scenic drive through North Wales arriving at the Queens Hotel around 10:30. A coffee in the hotel (not included) and then maybe a stroll down the EDINBURGH TATTOO - MIDWEEK BREAK seafront or some shopping. At 13:00 we return to the Queens to settle | | | BW Kings Manor Hotel 3 Days HB £345 SS £70 down for lunch at around 13:30. Lunch includes a starter and main DRYMEN BY LOCH LOMOND - REGAL THEME course, desserts are available for a small additional cost paid on the day. Winnock Hotel | 5 Days ALL INCLUSIVE | £499 | SS £72 After lunch how about a stroll down the pier or if the weather is bad the hotel will arrange a small social event. DRYMEN BY LOCH LOMOND -

25 Aug 03 Sept 18 Dec

EDINBURGH TATTOO - WEEKEND BREAK BW Kings Manor Hotel | 3 Days HB | £356

Saturday 14th March Springtime in York

8.30am A: £17.90

Today we travel direct to the famous city and arrive by 10.30am. We depart for home at 4.30pm.

Sunday 22nd March Mothering Sunday Lunch - Llandudno

SS £70


EDINBURGH CHRISTMAS MARKETS Saturday 28th March Winnock Hotel | 4 Days ALL INCLUSIVE | £269 | SS £48

23 Dec

DUMFRIES - CHRISTMAS PACKAGE Cairndale Hotel | 5 Days FB | £430 | SS £100

30 Dec

DUMFRIES - HOGMANAY PACKAGE Cairndale Hotel | 4 Days HB (plus extras)


10.30am A: £29.95

Nantwich & Bridgemere Garden Centre

8.30am A: £16.75

Today we journey through Cheshire to this attractive town where it’s the Farmers Market today. We depart at 1.30pm to Bridgemere Garden Centre, departing for home at 5pm.



SS £90


Thursday 9th April Ormskirk Market & Southport

8.30am A: £13.95

Our day starts with a visit to this famous street market in Ormskirk, departing here at 12.30 where we head to Southport for the afternoon. We leave for home at 4.30pm.

26 April

IRELAND - KILLARNEY Killarney Towers Hotel | 6 Days HB

24 May

IRELAND - WESTPORT The home of William Shakespeare and the pretty River Avon there is so Castlecourt Hotel | 6 Days HB | £569 | SS £100




Easter Saturday 11th April Stratford Upon Avon

SS £100

8.00am A: £22.50

much to do in the town centre, a really good day out.

Easter Sunday 12th April Whitby


8.00am A: £22.75 C: £16.30

This very attractive fishing town where the local fish and chips are the order of the day. There is Whitby Abbey above the town, or the harbour area and Captain Cooks’ replica ship to sail out to sea. It was also the home of Bram Stoker of Dracula fame.

15 March

TENBY WITH BAR PROMOTION Belgrave Hotel | 5 Days HB | £289



03 May

TENBY WITH BAR PROMOTION Belgrave Hotel | 6 Days HB | £369



08 May


26 June

CRICCIETH - WEEKEND PACKAGE Lion Hotel | 4 Days HB | £329 | SS NOA

23 July

CARMARTHEN Ivy Bush Hotel | 5 Days HB

06 Sept

LLANDUDNO Queens Hotel | 6 Days HB

18 Oct

TENBY WITH BAR PROMOTION Belgrave Hotel | 6 Days HB | £369

02 Nov

LLANDUDNO - TURKEY & TINSEL the town really comes alive this weekend and is packed full of Queens Hotel | 5 Days HB | £299 | SS £20 entertainers, side shows, victorian fair, steam engines and vintage



£399 £399


SS £80 SS £20




Saturday 25th April Caernarfon & The Welsh Highland Railway

8.30am A: £46.00 C: £32.00

We have a scenic drive along the North Wales coast to the town where Prince Charles was invested as the The Prince of Wales back in 1969. There is a small market here, and plenty of cafés for lunch. Around 2pm we board the famous Welsh Highland Railway service to Porthmadoc. The journey time is around 2 hours. On arrival in Porthmadoc there is about a 30min break before we start our journey home through the Crimea Pass.

Saturday 9th May Llandudno Extravaganza

10.30am A: £18.95 C: £12.00

We have an early start to arrive in Llandudno by around 10.30am,

13 Nov

vehicles. Departure home is around 5pm. Book early for this one as it LLANDUDNO - TURKEY & TINSEL always popular. Queens Hotel | 4 Days HB | £239 | SS £15

23 Dec

LLANDUDNO - CHRISTMAS PACKAGE Queens Hotel | 5 Days FB | £636 | SS £20 All excursions are pick up and set down on main roads close to your home

30 Dec 23 Dec 30 Dec

as practical within our normal area. All pick ups and drop offs are normally LLANDUDNO - HOGMANAY PACKAGE completed within 1 hour subject to traffic conditions. Some pick ups are by Queens Hotel | 4 Days FB | £399 | SS £20 a feeder vehicle, and where the route allows passengers will be first on first CRICCIETH - CHRISTMAS HOUSE PARTY off basis. The base time is at Golborne, so some times will be before this Lion Hotel | 5 Days HB (plus Christmas lunch) | £499 | SS NOA time and some will be after depending on the destination. TO BOOK,ring 01942 728 960 and pay with your debit card, at no extra CRICCIETH - HOGMANAY PACKAGE charge OR email us your details and we will call you back in office hours. Lion Hotel | 4 Days HB (plus extras | £399 | SS NOA HB - Half Board Accommodation

FB - Full Board Accommodation

SS - Single Room Supplement

Booking Hotline 01942 728 960 www.memorylanetravel.co.uk




SIR CLIFF RICHARD CELEBRATING HIS 80TH BIRTHDAY FEW artists can lay claim to the kind of stellar career that Sir Cliff Richard has enjoyed – and even fewer can say they are still touring successfully.

been there for him for several decades. But the reality is that Sir Cliff has managed to keep in tune with the times very astutely throughout his long career.

He is, though, amazingly celebrating his 80th birthday this year (2020). And it’s probably no surprise that this celebration involves a new tour.

He is the only singer in the history of music to have a No.1 hit in the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and 1990s. He is the third artist, after Elvis Presley and The Beatles, with the highest number of No.1 hits in the UK and more Top Ten hits than any other artist.

It is certainly a tribute to the man and his music that demand for The Great 80 Tour means that two shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall have already been added and ticket demand is likely to be extremely high. It would be very easy to dismiss the bulk of those fans as being older – and he certainly has a great many loyal followers who have


In 1989, he became the first British recording artist to release 100 singles with The Best of Me. Behind all the statistics, however, lies a genuine home-grown music legend who helped to build the UK’s music reputation over all those decades and since. The man

has musicality running right through his veins. That was all obvious to fans even when the young Cliff burst onto the rock ‘n roll world of the 1950s. Music was just moving away from the Sinatra crooning years and offered exciting possibilities to young fans across the world who were, finally, getting music that belonged just to them. Cliff Richard was young, good-looking and considered the UK’s answer to America’s Elvis. His first hit single Move It in 1958 appeared to confirm that and Cliff - with his quiffed hair, moody looks and sexy moves - soon became a screamable star at home and abroad.

He had a good voice and savvy management as he quickly moved into films in 1959 with Serious Charge in which he played a young tearaway, adding to his then “bad boy” image. He also sang Living Doll in this film, creating just one of his popular classics. The same year, he appeared in another film, Expresso Bongo, in which he prosaically, played a young singer at the start of his career. The Young Ones followed in 1961 and then in 1963 he and his backing group, The Shadows, made Summer Holiday. The wealth of hits from this feelgood film really helped cement his reputation in the home market and across the world. He made three more films – Finders Keepers in 1966, Two a Penny in 1967 and Take Me High in 1973 – which also pleased fans but by then Cliff was box-office gold wherever he went. Interestingly, Cliff was a great admirer of Elvis. “He was my idol from the beginning,” he has said. “Even today, when I’m alone, I’ll often put on the King Creole album. He’s produced the most exciting pop music sounds of all time.” For Cliff, We Don’t Talk Anymore in 1979 proved to be his best-selling single, notching up more than five million sales worldwide. Private Collection in 1988 was his best-selling album with almost two million copies sold. His reputation now settled into being a wholesome entertainer with fans across the age divide. Cliff was chosen to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1968 with Congratulations and in 1973 with Power To All Our Friends. With the former, Cliff was beaten to the title by just one point when the Spanish entry – long forgotten – won. Ironically, Congratulations has endured to enjoy the same international popularity as Happy Birthday as a celebratory song. His long popularity has been underlined by a whole clutch of awards over the years. He won the British Record Industry Award for British Male Solo Artist n 1977,

the British Phonographic Industry Award for British Male Solo Artist in 1982 and a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution in 1989. In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to British music and as an integral part of British music culture. He is still recording and in October, 2019, collaborated on a duet, Samstag Nacht, with Howard Carpendale, and the album Symphonie Meines Lebens was released physically and digitally worldwide. Cliff Richard and the Shadows: The Best of the Rock ‘n Roll Pioneers was also released in November last year, focusing solely on Cliff’s output with The Shadows and featuring many of his top hits. Born in Lucknow, India, as Harry Rodger Webb, Sir Cliff always had a strong family with three sisters. He has never made a secret of the fact that he is a Christian and has been perceived by all, not just his fans, to have lived a wholesome life. This may explain the outcry in 2014 when his home was very publicly searched by

police following an historic allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Sir Cliff was questioned by police but not arrested and the allegation was subsequently dropped. His many fans were never in doubt of his innocence and his popularity remains undimmed. Although he has always been generous in praise of his pop peers throughout the decades, Sir Cliff’s own remarkable, record-breaking success has not always been acknowledged. As he stated himself: “My only gripe is when critics writing the history of rock ‘n roll leave me out altogether.

“I don’t subscribe to the view that if you’re not No.1 , it’s a failure. Maybe that’s why people disappear so quickly these days, because they have that attitude.” For Sir Cliff, entering his eighth decade still on-song and still entertaining the fans, longevity in the notoriously fickle world of pop is obviously just not an issue.

* For details of The Great 80 Tour go to www.cliffrichard.org/latest-tour/ 11




Also check whether you have the right to remain in your property for life or until you need to move to long-term care, provided the property remains your main residence and you abide by the terms and conditions of your contract. It’s worth checking whether you have the right to move to another property, subject to the new property being acceptable to your product provider as continuing security for your equity release loan and whether the product has a “no negative equity guarantee”.You will also need to know what level of maintenance you’ll be expected to carry out and how often your property will be inspected – this could be every few years.


EQUITY RELEASE? THESE days we have to look at a variety of ways to raise cash and ensure that our future will be secure and one popular way for anyone over 55 to do just that is via equity release, with research carried out by the Equity Release Council showing that 72% of homeowners over 45 questioned wanted to stay in their property for as long as possible, with 41% also looking to invest in home improvements. Equity release offers the chance to access the cash – the equity – tied up in your home, which can be released either as a lump sum or in several small amounts, or a combination of both. There are two equity release options: a home reversion and a lifetime mortgage. A HOME REVERSION involves you selling part or all of your home to a home reversion provider in return for a lump sum or regular payments.You have the right to continue living in the property until you die, rent-free, but you have to agree to maintain and insure it.


You can ring-fence a percentage of your property for later use, possibly for inheritance - the percentage you retain will always remain the same, regardless of the change in property values, unless you decide to take further cash releases. At the end of the plan, your property is sold and the sale proceeds are shared according to the remaining proportions of ownership. You will get a lump sum or regular payments – normally between 20 per cent and 60 per cent of the market value of your home, or the part you sell. With home reversions, it’s worth checking whether or not you can release equity in several payments or in one lump sum and the minimum age at which you can take out a home reversion plan. Some providers insist you’re at least 60 or 65 before you can apply. Keep in mind the percentage of the market value you will receive. This will increase the older you are when you take out the plan but might vary from provider to provider.

The Money Advice Service explains that a LIFETIME MORTGAGE means that you take out a mortgage secured on your property, provided it is your main residence, while retaining ownership. You may be able to ring-fence some of the value of your property as an inheritance for your family or you can choose to make repayments or let the interest roll-up. The loan amount and any accrued interest is paid back when you die or when you move into long-term care. Most people who take out equity release use a lifetime mortgage. Usually you don’t have to make any repayments while you’re alive and interest “rolls up” (unpaid interest is added to the loan), meaning the debt can increase quite quickly over a period of time. However, some lifetime mortgages do now offer the option to pay all or some of the interest. Some will let you pay off the interest and the capital. In the same way ordinary mortgages vary from lender to lender, so do lifetime mortgages, and if you’re looking at this option it’s worth knowing that the minimum age for this is usually 55. As we’re now all living longer, the earlier you start the more this is likely to cost in the long run.

The average borrower in their late 60s can usually borrow around 35% of the value of their home, but how much can be released is dependent on your age and the value of your property. The percentage typically increases according to your age when you take out the lifetime mortgage, while some providers might offer larger sums to those with certain past or present medical conditions. Many lenders offer interest rates which are fixed or, if they are variable, have a “cap” or upper limit which is fixed for the loan’s duration. Check whether the product has a “no negative equity guarantee” This means that, when your property is sold and agents’ and solicitors’ fees have been paid, even if the amount left is not enough to repay the outstanding loan to your provider neither you nor your estate will be liable to pay any more. Again, it’s also worth finding out if you have the right to move to another

property, subject to the new property being acceptable to your product provider as continuing security for your equity release loan, as different lifetime mortgage providers might have slightly different thresholds. Consider whether you can pay none, some or all of the interest. If you can make repayments, the mortgage will be less costly. However, with a lifetime mortgage where you can make monthly payments, the amount you can repay might be based on your income. Providers will have to check you can afford these regular payments. Look at whether you can withdraw the equity you’re releasing in small amounts, as and when you need it, or whether you have to take it as one lump sum. The advantage of being able to take money out in smaller amounts is you only pay the interest on the amount you’ve withdrawn. If you can take smaller lump sums, check if there is a minimum amount.

Overall, equity release might seem like a good option if you want some extra money and don’t want to move house, but it’s worth bearing in mind that equity release can be more expensive in comparison to an ordinary mortgage. In addition, it’s worth considering any additional changes taking out equity release could make to existing arrangements, with the potential to lose means-tested benefits being key among them. It’s also worth considering involving your family throughout the process, as any equity taken out of the home will impact their inheritance later down the line.

Speak to an independent financial adviser to find out if equity release is right for you, and whether it could help in supporting your financial future.

Unlock tax-free cash from your home



with the UK’s No.1 equity release advisor *

No monthly repayments required Maintain 100% home ownership1


Speak to one of our advisors for your free, no obligation quotation and to find out how much tax-free cash you can access to spend as you wish. They will explain how equity release could affect the amount of inheritance you can leave and if your entitlement to means-tested benefits could be affected now or in the future. Equity release may involve a home reversion plan or a lifetime mortgage which is secured against your property. To understand the features and risks ask for your personalised illustration. Equity release requires paying off any existing mortgage. Any money released, plus accrued interest, would be repaid upon death or moving into long-term care. Only if your case completes would a typical fee of 1.95% of the amount released be payable (minimum £1,495). 1 You only continue to own your own home with a lifetime mortgage. *UK’s No1, based on volume of plans, source: Touchstone data Jan 2018 - Sept 2019.

To find out how much money you could release and to request your FREE guide call

Freephone 0800 141 3628 Age Partnership Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA registered number 425432. Company registered in England and Wales No. 5265969. Company address: Age Partnership Limited, 2200 Century Way, Thorpe Park, Leeds, LS15 8ZB. VAT registration number 162 9355 92.

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Bill Pender’s short term rental became his long term home

Bill Pender, 84, has been renting his home in Townfoot Court in Brampton, Cumbria for twenty years. The move was originally supposed to be temporary. Bill and his wife, Margaret were living in a small rural village between Penrith and Carlisle when Bill was told he needed a triple heart bypass. Margaret didn’t drive so the couple decided to move somewhere with easy access to shops and local amenities to make life easier following the operation. They chose Brampton because Bill’s brother and sister-in-law lived nearby and they liked the area. They went to view a bungalow they were considering buying but it needed a lot of work and Bill wasn’t well enough to tackle such a big renovation

job. However, the estate agent told them she had another property on her books which might be suitable although it was a rental and not for sale. They decided to take a look. Townfoot Court is an old farmstead which was converted into twenty-eight individual properties in the early 1990s. The property Bill and his wife viewed was a small two bedroom cottage with a garden which was essential as the couple had a pet dog at the time. They liked the cottage and its location a few minutes walk from the town centre so decided to rent it for the short term while Bill recovered from his operation. Thankfully the operation went well and within six months Bill was fully recovered, but the couple decided to stay put. Bill explains, “Although we hadn’t planned to stay long term we enjoyed living in the cottage. We had everything we needed, no responsibility for the maintenance or upkeep and we could rent on an assured (lifetime) tenancy with Girlings Retirement Rentals giving us security of tenure, so we thought, why move again? “Twenty years down the line and I still enjoy living here. There’s a nice community which is important, especially since I sadly lost my wife a few years ago. Many of us have lived here a long time and we all get on well. We don’t live in each other’s pockets, but we look out for each other and that suits us all.” Bill has thrown himself into Brampton life. He volunteers for Brampton’s Visitor Centre which he enjoys immensely. The centre is completely manned by volunteers and the team have a lot of fun together while advising over ten thousand visitors a year about the local area. Bill still gets out dog walking too, he no longer has a dog of his own but walks his neighbour’s West Highland Terrier several times a week which suits them both as his neighbour can no longer walk

very far and Bill enjoys getting out and about. He says, “I’d certainly recommend renting, it takes all my worries away - if anything needs fixing I just have to pick up the phone and it’s put right. As you get older you don’t want to be worrying about maintaining a home and garden. “Some people are concerned that renting is dead money but I think I’m better off financially. When my wife and I sold our previous home we were able to use some of the capital from the house sale to enjoy ourselves and do things we’d been looking forward to in retirement like taking holidays abroad.”

Twenty years down the line and I still enjoy living here. Bill Pender

Bill’s children asked if he would consider moving nearer them as he got older but he is very happy and settled in his life at Townfoot Court. Renting on an assured tenancy gives him the reassurance he can stay in his home for as long as he wishes, and Bill has absolutely no intention of moving anywhere else.

Discover retirement living with the freedom of renting... Retirement living offers welcoming communal lounges and maintained gardens for socialising & relaxing. Often designed for easy access, including lifts, to help you continue to live independently plus the 24 hour emergency care line for additional peace of mind. On-site managers take care of the day to day running of the building and guest suites are available for visiting friends and family. Development services are included in the rent so you don’t pay any more for these lifestyle extras. As the UK’s leading specialist in renting retirement properties Girlings can help you find the ideal home for your next move, leaving you to enjoy the independence and freedom of renting in later life.

Register with us to find your new home today. We have properties available to rent nationwide.

Why RENT?: • Added security to rent your home for as long as you wish with our assured ‘lifetime’ tenancies. • No service charges or event fees • No property ownership responsibilities

Start living your retirement to the full!

0800 525 184 www.girlings.co.uk

• All the benefits of retirement living • Landlord is responsible for maintenance • Flexibility to choose to live and move where and when you want





so why not choose a colourful front door? Flank it with tall planters, a big quality doormat (well worth the investment) and luxury lighting overhead for a big welcome. De-clutter areas like this as much as possible: stow coats, umbrellas and shoes away so they don’t detract from this welcoming space. Getting rid of boxes, ugly cupboards or just piles of items in any room will really allow you to appreciate your home space and improve it. Ditch dated FURNITURE. If your old sofa in your living room makes you wince every time you look at it, invest in something new – or just new to you. The same for LIGHTING throughout the home. Nothing detracts from anywhere more than poor or old-fashioned lighting. New ones aren’t necessarily expensive but they can bring a room alive!

HOME décor is very much about personal taste but we all like to feel we are keeping up with contemporary trends, don’t we?

These are available online or in the shops and show how various shades complement and enhance each other.

So, our homes tend to be a blend of what we’ve always liked and what is currently available in the shops, stores and online. If something is promoted well as “this year’s trend” then we probably evaluate it.

Before you start any changes – even to buying major new items of furniture – it’s worth taking a holistic look at your home.

In other words, we look at whether it’s right for us and whether or not we feel we can comfortably live with it.

Start where a visitor would with the ENTRANCE. This should be a focal point

Opt for CLASSIC interiors that don’t just pander to the latest fads but offer a minimalist palette that gives a high-end feel. Abstracts are going to be major force in the interior design world this season. Work with bold geometrics, hand-drawn sketches and blocks of colour around the home in décor that expresses your personality. If you don’t think that this trend will fit entirely with your decor, try a taster with cushion covers in one room or a sketch you

However, style is very subjective and it’s always useful to know what is a New Year will bring to the market. For 2020, there are plenty of new ideas to appeal – and if you haven’t the finances for expensive items or makeovers, there are always ways to adapt them to your budget. The good news in 2020 is that there are plenty of styles to choose from, and plenty of shortcuts to take to achieve them. Devising a completely new COLOUR CODE for any room – or for your whole home – can be costly and may be hit and miss if you are simply trying to match up shades. Investing in a colour wheel can help.


like in a quirky frame you might pick up in a charity shop. Stripped back style will continue from 2019 as a popular trend this year to give a happy, chilled-out space for relaxing and regenerating. The new neutral colours are warming and calm to offer understated style with unfussy pieces. So take a serious look at that shelf of knick-knacks and decide whether you really want to look at them for another year! There is a shift away from cool grey with warmer neutrals like oatmeal and natural buff and beige to the fore. Natural pigments are also likely to be popular this year. Layer up comforting CUSHIONS, throws, knits and faux furs to ensure any space is more inviting and cosy. The Winter is the ideal time for this look as you feel instant warmth here, however cold outside, and then this space is still fashionable for Spring. TEXTURES are big in 2020 – whether that’s a rich velvet, handsome leather or a warm wood. Go for furniture with rounded curves and fluid shapes to ensure a pleasant flow and use them centre-stage as a feature. Or go for a plush statement sofa to anchor your interior design theme around. Accessories need to be tactile, whether in natural wood, weaves or sculptured forms.


Oriental prints are still popular for walls and echoed in soft furnishings. Keep the colour palettes soft though with that feeling of wellbeing and mindfulness coming through. After all, your home is a place where you want to feel good. Keep NATURAL LIGHT in mind wherever you are around the home but especially in the living room and kitchen. Look where it falls and see how the sun moves around your home. This will affect how the colours you use are perceived and can help you divide up your space for the various activities you want – watching TV, reading, socialising and relaxing. Create SOCIABLE SPACES where people can actually talk to each other happily. Two sofas facing each other, for example, offer a sociable space but keep the room scale in mind.You don’t want this to dominate or to look lost in a room. Have statement walls in contrasting colours to more neutral areas to make them stand out. And take a proper look at all your flooring. Does it enhance the room? Is it in a matching style or completely at odds? Does it offer flow from one room to the next? Is it comfortable?

There are lots of reasonably priced floorings to be had, especially in natural woods, that provide a complete change for any room. Invest in cosy rugs if you feel this is too cold a look but make sure they are the right size and don’t upset the proportions of the room. Bear in mind though, that wood’s warm tones can easily provide an impressive backdrop for furniture and fittings. CURTAINS can bring a fresh design feel to any room but you may feel in need of a change to BLINDS. The latest looks are created to complement the contemporary home interior styles and well worth investigating. Updating INTERIOR DOORS is a simple way to give a modern look to the whole property. Dated BATHROOM accessories do the same here and don’t cost a fortune; new soft white towels and a few imaginative accessories will brighten the look here. The same applies to BEDROOMS. The latest calming colours and rich textures work well in here and promote deep sleep. So get rid of any clashing colours, buy a dimmer switch and prepare to enjoy your home for another year.

Celebrating Life Sutton Grange is more than a care home. It’s a family home. A friendly home. Your home. A home that provides tailored care, beautiful environments and choice in every meal or activity. A place that celebrates the little things that mean everything – morning, noon and night. Visit us anytime for friendly advice and to look around.

Call: 01704 741 943 Greaves Hall Avenue, Banks, Southport, Lancashire, PR9 8BL www.barchester.com

Residential care • Nursing Care • Dementia care • Respite care & short breaks En-suite rooms • Landscaped garden • Hairdressing salon • Wi-fi


Here’s a few more ideas to give your outdoor space a lift in 2020.

Create a window in a boundary wall

NEW YEAR, NEW LOOK Gardening writer Julia Heaton looks at ways of making the most of your outdoor space in 2020. It’s a new year. Time to start afresh in the garden and turn those ideas you’ve been dreaming about over winter into reality. Whether a major transformation or simply disguising an ugly drain cover, making plans and acting on them is exciting and rejuvenating for

you and your outdoor space. One of the best moves I made last year was to give my wooden panel fencing a facelift. The dark protective coating had done its job but really made the garden feel much smaller and enclosed than it needed to be. Admittedly the lighter paint finish I chose required a few coats to mask what was underneath but the difference it made justified all the hard work – not only has the fencing receded from view but the paler backdrop really sets off plants growing against it.

Field scabious is a magnet for bees


Borrow the view Is there a view or attractive feature beyond your garden that you could focus the eye on to make your plot feel bigger than it actually is? It could be a church spire, a group of trees or perhaps some hills on the horizon. Trimming an opening in a hedge will frame the scene and draw the eye to what lies outside as will creating a ‘window’ in a boundary wall. Some rustic screening or trellising with an archway in it can have the same effect. Alternatively, use a simple pair of trees in pots or two attractive tall urns either side of a feature to direct attention to it. Grow wild Many modern flowers offer wildlife little or no nectar or have such large and intricate flower heads that insects can’t find a way inside to reach it. Provide a helping hand by planting a native wildflower patch that will offer food, in the form of pollen, seeds, fruits, nectar and foliage to feast on, as well as shelter and nesting sites. Go for plants like common knapweed (Centaurea nigra) and oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgar). Field scabious (Knautia arvensis) has lovely lilac flowers, shaped like a pin cushion on tall upright stems and flowers between July and September. For scent try chamomile with its apple-like aroma in June to August. Wildflowers are not only easy to grow but fairly pest resistant too. Devise a plan Grab a diary or calendar in the new year sales or programme your phone to remind you about jobs, like pruning and sowing, that need to be done at a particular time. If it’s major design work you’re considering then don’t underestimate the importance of planning before digging. It’ll save time and stop you from making costly mistakes when you’re tempted to buy at the garden centre. Knowledge is key so get to know everything about your plot from soil type to which areas are in sun and shade. Are there large trees that will affect plant growth or structures, like a bin store, that you’d like to disguise. Know what you want to use your garden for and how much time and resources you can devote to it.

succulents. If you’ve got a large expanse of patio that you want to keep for entertaining, it’s a simple way of softening the look of it and makes the space much more inviting and individual. In the same way see a broken slab as a planting opportunity rather than an eyesore. Choose drought tolerant types that are happy with limited root space like Thymus serpyllum, houseleeks and aubretia. Less hard landscaping is good for the environment too.

Take it easy

Take it easy Having a gorgeous garden doesn’t mean you have to be a slave to it. Keep things low maintenance by growing plants that are reliable, easy to care for and offer a long flowering season. Evergreen shrubs like viburnums, mahonia and camellias have attractive flowers, provide year-round interest and need little pruning. And don’t forget bulbs will come back year after year. In spring snowdrops (galanthus) look wonderful planted in drifts under trees or brightening up bare space between border shrubs. Crocuses inject much needed colour at this time too. Choose perennials like Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that just need deadheading to encourage more flowers and go for trees like acers that will add height but need little to no pruning. Get the seasons covered Whatever the season you can never predict the weather. A veranda or gazebo will take all the guesswork out of the equation, leaving you free to entertain outdoors whenever you want or just relax and enjoy the garden year-round under cover from rain or full-on sun. Add water Tap into the relaxing sound of running water. These days we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to designs and size of water features. From traditional ponds with built in electrics for larger plots to solar fountains for smaller ones, water adds an extra

Create a stylish office Exchange the rush of your daily commute for a stroll across the lawn. Having a dedicated space for work or hobbies, where you can spread out rather than be confined to a corner of a spare room, is life-changing. And the beauty is that you get to look out onto your garden every day. Make it an inviting space year-round by choosing designs made from energy efficient structured insulated panels, which are also tougher than timber-framed buildings. Look for a professional firm working with these materials who can provide a free survey and advice on any planning restrictions. dimension to your outdoor space and also encourages wildlife. Make it a focal point or use it in amongst planting or a quiet corner for added interest. A still water feature, hidden from view ready to be discovered, is effective too as it provides an element of surprise. Love your lawn If you don’t have time to do anything else then the quickest and best way of giving your garden a lift is to make sure lawn edges are looking neat and tidy. It’s amazing what a difference a trim can make. Well-defined edges against paving show you care and look really stylish. Do it at least once every other cut using long-handled edging shears or a special half-moon edging iron. A powered nylon-line trimmer will make quick work of a larger lawn. Think outside the border Don’t confine plants to borders and patio pots. Create extra space for them to grow in by lifting slabs and planting up the gaps with tough rock plants, low growing herbs and

Make your garden glow Experiment with mains powered lighting, solar and battery-operated lights to emphasise the best features of your garden and turn it into a useable space after dark. When angled correctly spotlights will help show off a specimen plant or sculpture or the beautiful peeling bark of trees like that of Tibetan cherry. At the other end of the spectrum the portability of battery-operated lanterns makes them ideal for special events – use them to guide party guests along a garden path or to make an alfresco dining table glow. Going for one colour type – either a warm or cool white – will help unify the scheme.








Strictly Come Dancing professional Graziano Di Prima is preparing to dazzle and delight audiences with stunning new dance show Havana Nights which tours the UK in Spring 2020. Twenty-five-year-old Graziano will be joined by fellow Strictly professional and fiancée Giada Lini on this first solo UK tour. Havana Nights promises an exciting mix of Latin dances with individual performances from Graziano and Giada, as well as entertaining group numbers with their supporting dancers. The show will be fantastic and fast paced and is guaranteed to be fresh and innovative with amazing routines to dazzle and wow its audience. The Atkinson, Southport T: 01704 533333 https://www.theatkinson.co.uk www.havananightstour.co.uk


The much-loved ABBA tribute cruise celebrate all things disco on the iconic Mersey Ferry, so grab your platforms, flares and glitter and say 'Thank You For The Music' by being your very own 'Dancing Queen' for the night! Acclaimed ABBA tribute band, Born to be Live, will take you back to a time of world phenomenon ABBA - one of the bestselling music artists of all time! Come and join us on the Mersey as we get our groove on to your favourite ABBA classics like Dancing Queen, Super Trouper, Fernando, SOS, Money, Money, Money, Mamma Mia and many more. See you on the dance floor! Ticket Price: £20 per person Pier Head Ferry Terminal, Liverpool L3 1DP 0151 330 1003 www.merseyferies.co.uk


Join us in the Great Hall on St George's Day, for a rousing, 'Best of British' celebration of some of the finest music composed on these shores. St George's Hall, St George's Place, Liverpool L1 1JJ www.stgeorgeshallliverpool.co.uk

Much loved concert series 'Music for the Mind & Soul' returns to Liverpool in a brand new format! Inspired by Milap's 35 year history, the new festival day will offer both loyal and new audiences a fresh and holistic experience of Indian Arts and Culture through a newly conceptualised day of performance, talks, workshops, yoga and Indian food. The day will start with an early morning yoga session with a beautiful live Sitar accompaniment, followed by an Indian Classical Morning Raga Performance. There will be two headline musical shows – afternoon and evening – featuring some of the biggest names alongside the very best rising talent in Indian Arts. A special late-morning children's performance will offer the perfect way to introduce the younger members of your family to Indian classical music, plus talks and workshops will introduce enthusiasts to Hindustani music and Indian vocal techniques. Authentic Indian Food will be available throughout the day! These 'festivals-in-a-day' have been designed to cater to all age groups and interests – you don't need to know or understand Indian music – it just needs to be experienced! People can stay for the entire day, or just drop in for specific events. Liverpool Hope University, 17 Shaw Street, Liverpool L6 1HP T: 0151 291 3949 www. visitliverpool.com


The Wirral Walking Festival takes place throughout the month of May with a series of exciting and varied walks in the Parks, Countryside, Coast and Heritage Sites in Wirral. Visit liverpool.com/wirral website for further details. Various locations, Wirral CH41 4HY 0151 648 4371 www.visitliverpool.com


Come and see the wonderful blooms and colours of the world of orchids, thousands of different types of orchids from all parts of the world on display, with lots of orchid traders to buy an orchid or two from, every visitor can enter a free draw for the chance to have a new variety of orchid named after them. On the door £5.00 per ticket. Southport Theatre & Convention Centre, The Promenade, Southport PR9 0DZ Tel: 01942 810958


If you love food, then you need to add this event to your diary! Stimulate your senses and try food from different cultures – you can enjoy crepes, gourmet burgers, hot wings, churros, spiral potatoes, paella and curry from the Street Food stalls. Tantalise the taste buds by sampling the different produce around the event handmade cheeses, sausages, sweet and savoury pies, chutneys and pickles are just a few of the delights that can be taken home. Throughout the weekend the entertainment arena will host local bands and musicians, you can shade from the sushine (hopefully!) and tuck into the amazing food and drink. Sit back, relax, enjoy good food, admire the surroundings and soak up the atmosphere of the Southport Food and Drink Festival. Victoria Park, Rotten Row, Southport PR8 2BZ

Book now and enjoy our Warm Afternoon Tea

£15pp or £20pp including a glass of Prosecco Minimum 2 people


If it is the wonderful tonic of laughter that you are looking for, then you have come to the right place! Cannon and Ball bring their own magical and unique brand of humour to your theatre in 2020. Opening the show with 45 minutes of unforgettable “Cannon & Ball” they will perform some of their legendary sketches and routines before the interval. Tommy and Bobby open Act Two with a song and then into storytelling of their career after which they will open the Mike to the audience for Q & A’s. This magical and intimate “Close and Upfront!” evening is a treat for all comedy fans of all ages! Adult tickets £21.00 The Atkinson, Southport T: 01704 533333 https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/ cannon-and-ball-2020


Held annually at Salesbury Hall in Ribchester, the Royal Lancashire Agricultural Show is packed full to the brim of Showjumping, Livestock Displays, The Return of the Black Stallion, Incredible Falconry Shows, A Children’s Village and so much more. Salesbury Hall, Salesbury Hall Road Ribchester PR3 3XR Tel 01254 814712 info@royallancashireshow.co.uk

The world’s premier show in celebration of ‘The Velvet Voice’ experience all the hits from his amazing career, culminating over 40 million album sales and eight Grammy awards including many of the greatest dance anthems and love songs ever written, fronted by international Luther Vandross tribute Harry Cambridge and his 10 piece band. Liverpool Empire, 1 Lime Street Liverpool L1 1JE. www.atgtickets.com


Southport Flower Show is the largest independent flower show in the country. Renowned for its spectacular show gardens and grand floral marquee, it also features the largest amateur' growers and floral art competitions. There an abundance of entertainment such as themed arena displays, music, celebrity presentations and so much more. The Food Festival has live cooking demonstrations in the cookery theatre and then head over to the gourmet producers to sample and buy products. Shopping is also on offer at the show with over 350 trade exhibitors selling everything you could want for your home and garden. There's lots for children too. Best part? Kids go free… so you can bring as many budding gardeners as you like, and you’ll only need to buy tickets for Mum, Dad, Gran, Grandad – or whoever else wants to come along! Tickets £17.50. Victoria Park, Rotten Row, Southport PR8 2BZ www.southportflowershow.co.uk

Situated in the historical village of Halsall, nestled in the beautiful Lancashire countryside, perched alongside the banks of the Leeds/ Liverpool canal. The venue itself is over 100 hundred years old and is renowned throughout the Northwest for its idyllic picture postcard setting. Our quality seasonal menu showcases the best of local produce, sourced from around the county! Matched with a vast selection of award-winning wines, speciality craft beers and community favourite cask ales, we will treat you to an experience to remember!​

100 Summerwood Lane, Halsall, Ormskirk L39 8RH T: 01704 840204 email: thesaracensheadhalsall.co.uk www.thesaracensheadhalsall.co.uk


Williamson Open Exhibition 28th March - 26th April

2019 Photographic prizewinner: George Evans The Gatklettur Arch Rock at Arnarstapi, Iceland Williamson Open

Della Robbia Collection

Portraits of people of Oxton

Slatey Road, Birkenhead, CH43 4UE 0151 666 3537 www.williamsonartgallery.org Open Wednesday to Sunday 10am until 5pm

Cafe, art supply shop, book shop and gift shop

Workshops with independent craftspeople and artists

Adult art classes and drop in family art sessions

Free car park and free wiďŹ


The The Chapterhouse Chapter House

The Chapel The Conway Conway Chapel

The TheUndercroft Undercroft

Birkenhead Priory & St Mary’s Tower

Priory Street, Birkenhead CH41 5JH 0151 666 1249 or 0151 666 3537

www.thebirkenheadpriory.org Opening hours from 1st April Wednesday – Friday 1pm - 5pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am-5pm

Car park at end of Church Street CH41 5EQ

The oldest standing building in Merseyside, a scheduled monument with history museum and Friends of the Conway museum. St Mary’s Tower gives unrivalled views over the River Mersey to Liverpool and Cammell Laird shipyard. Guided tours available from our knowledgeable Priory Volunteers. 23




Gennaro Contaldo

Italian chef and restauranteur known for his association with his British protégé Jamie Oliver and his partnership with fellow Italian chef Antonio Carluccio and their television series 'Two Greedy Italians'. Here we present recipes from his new book 'Gennaro's Pasta Perfecto'.

RIGATONI ALLA ZOZZANA This robust Roman recipe takes its name from zozza, which in Roman dialect usually means ‘dirty’, but in the case of this recipe means ‘rich’, because all sorts of ingredients are added. It’s a cross between the other classic Roman pasta dishes cacio e pepe and carbonara, and uses up all the typical leftovers, making it a substantial but extremely delicious dish. Serves 4 300 g/101/2 oz rigatoni pasta 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 100 g/31/2 oz pancetta, finely chopped 100 g/31/2 oz Italian pork sausage, skinned and crumbled 1 egg yolk 30 g/1 oz/scant 1/2 cup grated Pecorino, plus extra for sprinkling 2 tbsp single (light) cream sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente (check the instructions on your packet for cooking time). Heat the olive oil in a frying pan (skillet) set over a medium heat, add the onion and sweat for 1 minute. Add the pancetta and sausage meat, and sauté for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolk, grated Pecorino and cream, along with some salt and pepper, in a small bowl. Drain the cooked pasta, add to the pan with the pancetta and sausage meat, mix well and cook for 1 minute over a high heat. Remove from the heat and mix in the creamy mixture. Serve immediately, with an extra sprinkling of black pepper and Pecorino. 24

PEPERONI RIPIENI DI PASTA Filled vegetables are very common throughout Italy and started off as a cucina povera dish to make the veggies go further, adding whatever ingredients were available. Commonly, (bell) peppers are baked and then filled and the addition of pasta makes this dish a very different and enjoyable way to eat our favourite Italian staple.When you first roast the peppers, make sure you do not overcook them – they need to be sturdy to be filled with the pasta mixture. I have used red and yellow peppers as they are sweeter, but you could use the green variety too, if you prefer.

Serves 4-6 6 mixed (bell) peppers (yellow and red) 300 g/10 ½oz sedanini pasta or pennette (small penne) 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling 1 garlic clove, left whole and squashed 4 anchovy fillets 20 black pitted olives 2 tsp capers 300 g/101/2oz baby plum tomatoes, halved 10 basil leaves, roughly torn 125 g/41/2oz mozzarella, cut into small cubes sea salt Preheat the oven to 200oC fan/220oC/425oF/gas mark 7.

Slice the tops off the peppers and scoop out the seeds inside with a spoon. Replace the tops on the peppers to resemble little hats. Put them into a baking dish or onto a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes, until the peppers soften but are not mushy. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente (check the instructions on your packet for cooking time). Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the garlic and anchovies, and sweat until the anchovies have melted. Add the olives, capers, tomatoes and basil, cover with a lid and cook over a medium–low heat for about 7 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Discard the garlic. Drain the pasta and add to the tomato sauce, mixing well to combine over a high heat for a minute or so. Remove from the heat, then stir in the mozzarella. Reduce the oven temperature to 180oC fan/200oC/400oF/gas mark 6. Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil into a baking dish. Place the peppers in the dish and fill them with the pasta mixture, covering them with their little ‘hats’. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave to rest for a couple of minutes, then serve. 25

LINGUINE AL CARTOCCIO CON GAMBERI E PESTO This light pasta, steam-baked with king prawns (jumbo shrimp), will surely delight your guests as they open their parcels of delicious goodness! Steam-baking is not only a feast for the eyes, but a lovely light way of cooking that locks all the flavours in. I have used ready-foiled parchment paper, but if you can’t find it, use a sheet of parchment paper inside a sheet of foil and make sure you wrap tightly so that none of the juices can escape during cooking.

Serves 4 150 ml/5 fl oz/ 2/3 cup Basil Pesto extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling 8 raw king prawns (jumbo shrimp), cleaned

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for half of the cooking time stated on the packet. Drain well, mix with half of the pesto sauce and set aside.

125 ml/4 floz/½ cup white wine

Spread 4 x foil-lined parchment paper sheets out on your work surface (foil-side down) and drizzle each with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Divide the linguine into 4 portions and place a portion on each sheet, top each with 2 king prawns, followed by the remaining pesto and a little salt and pepper.

4 slices of lemon and a few basil leaves, to garnish Preheat the oven to 180oC fan/200oC/400oF/gas mark 6.

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Drizzle white wine over each portion and a little extra-virgin olive oil. Wrap the parcels well, place on a baking sheet and bake in the hot oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve each parcel on an individual plate with a slice of lemon each and a few basil leaves to garnish.

Extracted from Gennaro’s Pasta Perfecto by Gennaro Contaldo. Photography Adriana Contaldo.


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| 50 PLUS MAGAZINE Know what style suits you from the length to the neckline to belted or not, from cosy shearing to wool capes to tailored belted coatigans, we have never had more choice. Check which length and style suit your body shape. Consider changing buttons as this kind of detail can make all the difference in showing our style and character. Explore the huge variety of textures and materials to choose from this season from features to faux fur to cashmere and velvet. Retro Fair Isle and Argyle patterns are in and look cosy and chic paired with a sleek skirt and boots or perfectly proportioned trousers if they suit your style personality. Exaggerated sleeves are, excuse the pun, huge this season. Curved and billowy, feathered and textured, or chunky knit; they make a big statement, but are best for those with Natural or Dramatic in their style. Have fun standing out. Jumper or cardigan - which suits you best? Belted cardigans are flattering for hourglass figures because they show off the small waist. Pear-shapes suit shorter jumpers, rather than longer ones finishing across the hips.

THE SWEATER By Helen Venables, MD of House of Colour In the winter we are greeted by mother nature with ice-grey skies and frosty HELEN VENABLES Managing Director mornings, which www.houseofcolour.co.uk means snuggling up in cosy knitwear is a must, so here are our ten top style tips for this season’s knitwear. Look out for strong, distinctive colours in your seasonal palette and be colour confident. Jumpers and cardigans are a great way to give your look a colour boost


and if you get it right, because the colours are close to your face, they will give you a radiant complexion and brightness to your eyes. Choose colours that don’t suit you and you will look drained. Make sure you know if you suit rich, earthy colours; warm, clear hues; cool bright colours; or cool, subtle tones. Mélange knitwear is in all the shops, many with a twist of two or more colours. Look out for knitwear in one of your favourite wow colours with neutral harmonising colours, great for Autumns and summers or a bold contrasting colour from your colour palette, fantastic for Springs and Winters to really stand out. Alternatively let a scarf in your colours lift your knitwear look.

A coatigan is lovely for those milder, inbetween days or to pop on in the office if you feel chilly. Snug yet stylish coatigans on the right body architecture are extremely flattering. They can be worn oversized for the tall and pulled in at the waist to flatter an hourglass figure. Invest in sumptuous cashmere because it is now the modern autumn and winter musthaves; sustainable, wearable and durable, and an excellent investment with longevity in mind. Cashmere is around eight times warmer than sheep’s wool. Cashmere comes in a much wider choice of styles, sizes, patterns and beautiful colour selections than ever before. Look out for cashmere blends for smaller budgets. Buy a blanket scarf or wrap to update your winter wardrobe – Update a classic or neutral jumper with a chunky wrap with a fur collar or soft blanket scarf in a striking wow colour. There is something for everyone from tiger orange, sleek pistachio green to burgundy or vibrant pinks. Capes are a big style trend this season for a bourgeois French look. Perfect, if you are tall, with a rectangle frame, plus capes are so comfortable.


ee ti Fr lta su on



Is anyone in YOUR family paying for Care Home Fees? Are you entitled to to a REFUND?

As soon as you get home, take your dry-cleaned garments out of the plastic bag to allow the fabric to breathe freely and put the clothes on good quality hangers. Recycle the hangers from the cleaners.

Get back £10,000s in wrongly paid Care Home and Nursing Home Fees!

Hang your trousers full-length, from the hem if you have the vertical space, using a sturdy hanger with the little clamps. Keep knitwear folded on shelves, never hung on hangers to avoid those horrible little stretched triangles they create. Folding leather items will create creases and wrinkles which you should never iron or steam out! Roll your clothes into three sausages for packing to avoid creased clothes. Lay out your tops and dresses, one inside the other, with the most crushable fabrics on the outside and roll them into a sausage. Trousers and skirts go in the second sausage. Everything else goes in the third from swimwear, sarongs and pashminas in your wow colours of course! Turning jackets inside out will help avoid creases, but if space is limited, wear your jacket while travelling. Don’t tumble dry your bras! Lie them flat to dry. Don’t stuff them in a drawer as bending the cups will damage them long term. Stack bras inside of each other like you see in the shops. Make sure that you wash your garments as instructed on the label to preserve them for longer. Washing your coloured clothes inside-out will help maintain dark colours. Try not to wash your clothes needlessly and reduce trips to the dry cleaners to make clothes that need dry-cleaning last longer. Wringing your swimsuits by twisting them and tumble drying them will damage the elasticity! Lie the swimsuit flat between towels, press and roll the water out and then let it dry flat. Address spills and stains as soon as you can – If you spill or drop liquid or food on your clothes dab with soda water or iced water immediately to make sure that the stain does not set. Dab the stain instead of rubbing it to avoid spreading the stain or damaging the surface of the fabric and before washing, spray the area with a stain pre-treatment. Always dress after you have put on your make up and done your hair to prevent lipstick, eyeshadow and hairspray ruining your clothes. www.houseofcolour.co.uk


Many people and their families in England and Wales who have paid for private care could reclaim £10,000s. The myth of having to pay for care just because you have money/assets is incorrect. l

3 out of 4 people have been wrongly assessed Have you had to sell your family home? l Reclaim back to April 2012 l Estate of deceased patients can claim l

Care should have been FREE if the reason for care was HEALTH. Many people have paid for care over the past few years when they didn’t need to. If you or a relative stumped up cash to pay for care - either at home or in a specialist care home - then you may have done so unnecessarily. That’s because, since April 2012 if you received care ANYWHERE in England and Wales of a “Primary Health Need”, the NHS must pay the entire cost, without means - testing. This is regardless of how old you were when care was received or how many assets and savings you may have. The people most likely to have missed out on FREE CARE are:

Those people discharged from hospital straight into a care home l Anyone who was assessed for the full care benefit and rejected l Anyone, regardless of their savings/assets who assumed help would not be available. This is NOT means-tested so if you qualify for health reasons, you get it. l



01254 404 566

B1 Business First Centre, Davyfield Road, Blackburn BB1 2QY.

www.carefees4u.co.uk e: info@carefees4u.co.uk



Call 01704 578 209

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Are your Dentures causing you teething troubles? What is a Clinical Dental Technician? A Clinical Dental Technician (CDT) is a qualified dental technician that has under gone further Education and Training in areas such as Medical Emergencies, Cross Infection Control and Oral Pathology (cancers and anomalies) to name just a few sections that make up the Diploma in Clinical Dental Technology as Awarded by the Royal Collage of Surgeons (RCS). It is this qualification that allows the clinician at Denture Solutions to be able to be registered and regulated with the General Dental Council (the official body for protecting the public with regards to dentistry) and carry indemnity insurance. It is this qualification, which means that only Dentists and Clinical Dental Technicians are the only Dental Professionals permitted to supply dentures direct to the public. A dental technician is not qualified to supply a denture directly to the public. However, despite this being an act of Mal practice many technicians will still practice illegally without informing the patient that they are not qualified. If you are unsure if your denture provider is qualified; ask them for their GDC registration number, then contact the GDC to see if they are registered not just as a dental technician but as a CDT. Dentures, like most things, have a limited lifespan; usually around 5-7 years. After this period of time the denture can start to offer inadequate facial support, which can leave cheeks looking sunken and withered as well as lips appearing excessively wrinkled. New dentures can reduce these age related features by supporting the facial tissues without making the teeth looking large and protruded.

Dentures on Implants An implant-supported denture is a type of overdenture that is supported by and attached to implants. A regular denture rests on the gums, and is not supported by implants. An implant-supported denture is used when a person doesn't have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants. An implant-supported denture has special attachments that snap onto attachments on the implants. Implant-supported dentures usually are made for the lower jaw because regular dentures tend to be less stable there. Usually, a regular denture made to fit an upper jaw is quite stable on its own and doesn't need the extra support offered by implants. However, you can receive an implant-supported denture in either the upper or lower jaw.





DENTURE Solutions fully understands the daily problems that wearing a denture can create. Its clinical technician, Andrew Corlett (CDT, RCS (Eng)) and nurse Adele aim to provide a complete professional denture service, with discreet care and understanding of what your needs and expectations are.

“When I first saw Mr Corlett’s ad, regarding his dental clinic, I was interested, but also anxious, as I had not heard of him before. However at my BEFORE

first consultation I realised my anxiety was not necessary. We discussed what I needed and what would be best for me. The end result is a perfect set of the most comfortable dentures I have ever had.”


Using its onsite laboratory enables Andrew to combine clinical and technical skills together to design and create beautifully handcrafted dentures focusing on comfort, fit and appearance. Andrew’s passion and enthusiasm for natural lifelike dentures has helped him create a denture clinic where the finest detail and care are delivered in a relaxed atmosphere.

Mrs Graham from Waterloo


Natural looking dentures designed and created just for you. l l l l

Emergency repairs & relines Implant & flexible dentures Free consultation with discreet care Home visits by appointment

At your free initial consultation Denture Solutions will take time to discuss your individual needs and the choices that are available to you, be it complete or partial dentures, flexible dentures, implant dentures as well as denture repairs, adjustments and relines.

Fully qualified, registered and insured clinical dental technician with 25 years experience.

It’s friendly, professional staff will guide you through the whole process making your experience a relaxing and enjoyable one.

Find us on: 104 Station Road, Ainsdale Southport PR8 3HL

Let Denture Solutions solve your denture problems with our friendly, personal and confidential service. We provide natural looking Dentures designed and created just for you.

Tel: 01704 578209

Thank you to our patients who kindly allowed us to use their testimonial and images. Email: manager@denturesolutionsuk.com Website: www.denturesolutionsuk.com 31

Swing into Spring ...


Celebrating 10 years of success this Spring Come and celebrate with us on the 2nd & 3rd of May at our traditional Country Fair

Crafts, Gifts, Clothing, Prom & Occasion Wear, Food, Butchers, as well as Bathroom Showroom, Aquastyle Waterbeds, Stove Shop, Pottery Cafe, Babywear, Personalised Gifts, Music Shop, Bespoke Jewellery and much more.

Plus much more, including the nationally acclaimed Hepplestone Fine Art Gallery.


We look forward to seeing you!

OPENING TIMES Mon - Closed Tue - Sat 10am - 5pm Sun 10.30am - 4.30pm Bank Holidays 11am - 4pm Wood Lane








T: 01257 451464


Profile for 50 Plus Magazine


Local magazine for the over 50s, includes leisure, lifestyle, travel


Local magazine for the over 50s, includes leisure, lifestyle, travel


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