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Anton Du Beke


River Cruising ALONG THE LOIRE

Win a Holiday for up to 4 people with Eurocamp SEE 50 PLUS WEBSITE FOR DETAILS


OUT NOW - our 2019 ‘Door to Door’ brochure If you’ve not tried coach holidays before why not let Ellen Smith’s take you on your first coach experience. We’ve been established for over 120 years – so we know a bit about coaching holidays! We do things a bit differently than our rivals

All our tours include our ‘Door to Door’ service. That means that you are picked up by a taxi or small minibus right from your front door. No feeders, no interchanges, no changing coaches, no changing drivers and definitely no hassle!

How does it work?

On the morning of travel we pick you up at a prearranged time and take you to our waiting coach at Birch Services.

OR O D TO R O O urs D o T h Coac

We’re off on holiday then!

The same happens on the way back too, taxi back to your front door!

Within 30 minutes

We normally have everyone on board and we’re on our way. We often have a second pickup at Stockport, but again this is timed for minimal delay.

We are fully Financially Bonded

And use some excellent privately-owned hotels. All visits and excursions are included in the price. We use modern coaches and mature friendly drivers.

We never discount

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We charge the correct price in the first place – therefore everybody on board pays the same price.


If you can find the same or similar holiday for sale cheaper in the UK we’ll refund the difference to the whole coach!

Once you’ve gone the Ellen Smith way you’ll never go back!




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Paignton - The Palace Hotel

Tour Highlights: • Entertainment at the hotel • Breakfasts and Evening Meals at the hotel • Door to Door pick up service • Visits the coastal town of Looe • Travel over Dartmoor • Free time in the stannary & Market Town of Tavistock

Weymouth - Hotel Rex

Tour Highlights: • Beautiful Town of Sherbourne • Historic Market Town of Shaftsbury • Harbour Town of Poole • Coastal Town of Swanage • Free Day to explore Weymouth • 10 Single Rooms Available

Perthshire & The Angus Coastline - The Salutation Hotel

Tour Highlights: • Admission to The Scottish Crannog Centre • Attractive Town of Aberfeldy • Victorian Town of Pitlochry • Angus Coastline-visiting Montrose & Arbroath • Day at Leisure to explore Perth

11th March - 5 Days - £269

18th March - 5 Days - £289

17th June - 5 Days - £369

Tenby - The Giltar Hotel

Edinburgh Military Tattoo Winnock Hotel

Historic Wales & River Tales Holiday Inn Bristol-Filton

Tour Highlights: • The Ancient Town of Cardigan • Admission to The National Botanic Garden of Wales • Laugharne • Fishguard • Saundersfoot • Free Time in Tenby

Tour Highlights: • Free Time in Edinburgh • Ticket for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo • Excursion to the pretty conservation village of Luss • Free time in Bowness-on-Windermere

Tour Highlights: • Admission to Caerphilly Castle • Admission to Llancaiach Fawr Manor House • Visit to Caerleon Roman Fort • Guided Tour of Monmouth Shirehall • River Wye Cruise

30th June - 6 Days - £499

23rd August - 4 Days - £409

24th August - 4 Days - £329

The Causeway Coaster Inishowen Gateway Hotel

St Annes-on-Sea - St Ives Hotel

The Beautiful Lake District - The Cumbria Grand Hotel

Tour Highlights: • Outward Ferry, Holyhead to Dublin • Full Day Guided Tour of Inishowen & Derry • Scenic Rail Journey (Derry to Coleraine) • Giants Causeway Visitor Centre • Return Ferry, Larne to Cairnryan

8th September - 6 Days - £499

Tour Highlights: • Seaside Town of Southport • The Gateway to The Dales - Skipton • Some Entertainment at The Hotel

30th September - 5 Days - £299

Tour Highlights: • Breakfasts & Evening Meals at the hotel • 3 X Complimentary Drinks Vouchers • 2 X Soup & Sandwich Lunches • 2 X Packed Lunches • Minimum of Nights Entertainment

25th November - 5 Days - £279


Call our reservations office on 01706 648126 and request a copy of our 2019 brochure. You’ll be surprised at the variations of tours we operate. Visit our website at

Find us on facebook (search for ellensmithtours) Membership No: 10228



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CONTENTS ... 6-7 TWITTER By Angela Kelly

36 how different exercises Can help fight medical conditions

8-9 TRAVEL Royal River Cruising along the Loire with Croisieurope from Silver Travel Advisor





STRICTLY ANTON For the contented Anton du Beke the future is looking very rosy

14-15 HOME Make more space in your home 16

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Joanna Lumley Madamme Tussauds, UK 2018

Joanna and David are oldies but goldies


GE is a very subjective thing, isn’t it? Today, especially, when we’re very careful not to be ageist, it’s almost an untouchable subject.

The person who says of another “she’s really good for her age” may be mentally adding “since she’s obviously out without her carer” if he or she is younger by a matter of decades.

To someone closer in age, that person is merely “doing well”, although not to be stated to her or around her. I was thinking about the whole age thing watching Joanna Lumley in her latest Silk Road Adventure TV programme because she breaks the mould, as it were. At 73, she looks terrific – absolutely fabulous, in fact – still has those gorgeous plummy tones that captivate everyone every time she speaks and looks slim and fashionable. So there are a few lines around her lovely face, so what! She’s a great example of ignoring the years and simply getting on with a highprofile life. In fact, there are 50 year-olds that she puts to shame. The same is true of Sir David Attenborough. The famous naturalist is an unbelievable 92 and is as energetic and enthusiastic as ever about his subject – something which communicates so well to other people that he and his captivating photographed Blue Planet series are still world-beaters. Sir David shows no signs of slowing down or finishing making his remarkable TV programmes, thank goodness. His whole career has been built on his genuine keenness for all things Nature and it’s impossible to imagine anyone else presenting these series even half as well. How much, though, is this now down to the fact that with age comes wisdom? We accept everything he says – the same is true of Joanna Lumley – because they



have plainly not been on this earth for five minutes and have racked up some genuine knowledge and experience over the years. That is not to say that younger experts and presenters are not believable. Far from it. But, there is a kind of cachet in being older that is very underestimated by the young. People can heed what you are saying because the words are emanating from an older body. Mind you, my daughters still think I’m totally gaga and take more or less everything I say with a bucket of salt never mind a pinch. I really must practice the authority of Sir David and Joanna. They might take more notice then.

Strictly heralds the Winter – and fun! YOU know Autumn and Winter are coming and the days are drawing in when Strictly Come Dancing glitters its way onto the telly once more. The series has become such an iconic seasonal marker that there is almost a sigh of relief when it all kicks off once more – not the least because you know it’s going to be there until just before Christmas (sorry about using the C word without warning!) The appeal of this clever series which pairs celebrities with professional dancers (and may the Lord have mercy on their soles) is that, suddenly, becoming a proficient dancer seems eminently possible. And that is even though you have a long history of crippling dance partners and a sense of rhythm that makes you move after the beat every single time.

No matter how uncomfortable and ungainly the celebrities look initially on the dance floor, you just know that there will be some improvement that will leave them actually looking like passable dancers. Some will even become spectacular dancers. While you marvel at the patience and skills of the professional dancers as they hone quite often raw material to something quite admirable and certainly trimmer, you know that anything is possible. Give or take an Ann Widdecombe or two, of course.

Any magic tricks for opening packaging? THIS sounds like the ultimate trivia but have you ever struggled to open an Oxo cube? Apparently, you don’t have to wrestle with the clever silvery package and get brown stains on your fingers. The latest online “hack” is that you should actually squash it before opening. I know, so simple – and it works! So, can the clever clogs who came up with this smart trick now explain how to get into a packet of ham without slicing into. It’s not just a matter of saving the planet with better and more biodegradable packaging, there is also the small matter of actually accessing most food without involving (a) very bad language and (b) a pack of Elastoplasts.

Here comes the bride …. with her bank account THERE has never been a more difficult time to be a wedding guest. It only seems five minutes ago that a fairly modest gift list was circulated by the happy couple – or registered with a local store – and then guests were invited to select their choice. That was actually considered quite pushy back then as previously guests had just chosen a gift and the result was usually five casserole dishes, two sets of bathroom scales and an unusual glass object for which no-one could find any possible use. Hen and stag nights were often boozy do’s in a local pub or club when things got a bit saucy but no-one died and everyone was still on speaking terms afterwards. Now, the hens and stags and their respective entourages are more likely to go off to Amsterdam or Prague for a long weekend of fun or even a week of sunshine and alcohol. Oh, and they still expect a wedding gift. Worse, we’ve got bridezillas cancelling the stag party so that the bridegroom “doesn’t meet any other girls” and another who demanded that guests fund her expensive wedding in Thailand. She threatened to defriend those on Facebook who didn’t want to, or didn’t even reply, and seemed shocked when she reduced the contribution figure from $3,000 to $2,000 each by shifting it to Hawaii when there were still few takers. You just dread what her married life is going to be like, don’t you? BY ANGELA KELLY

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Château d’Azay-le-Rideau


Royal River Cruising along the Loire with



e joined the Princesse for the appropriately-named Royal River cruise, relishing eight days of indulgence as we explored some of the gorgeous chateaux with regal links along the Val de Loire, with the occasional, almost obligatory wine tasting to prolong the pampered feeling. Once at the pontoon where the Princesse was moored, we were greeted by smartly-uniformed crewman Tony (an always-smiling, always-helpful matelot from Hungary who had worked in Manchester for a few years!) and he insisted on carrying all our baggage aboard - the sort of care and attention we became used to over the next week.  The sleek river cruiser can carry up to 96 passengers and has 48 outside-facing cabins on two decks, with ours featuring a small private balcony reached by sliding glass doors. We found it a great vantage point to take in the constantly-changing views if we weren’t already relaxing on

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the top sundeck; and it gave us stunning riverside vistas to wake up to, or to relax with after a long lunch. Given the fact that we were in the land of haute cuisine and most of the passengers were French, food was always going to be in focus, but few of us realised the standard for single-sitting dining with a set menu could be so high. The excellent food was such a feature that any attempt at being on a diet was a non-starter, with aromatic fresh-baked bread and croissants every morning being my immediate undoing, without even starting on the rest of the buffet or wide choice of cooked-toorder items. Complimentary wines or beer and barista-style coffee are included, as well as an open, free bar serving drinks from 10am. All drinks, except for champagne and wines from the boat’s special list, were included, and the ‘house’ choices were more than acceptable - the local 2016 Rosé de Loire was a delicious and

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refreshing accompaniment to most meals, we found! Our first dinner and a socialising nightcap over, we called it a night and didn’t feel the need to operate the retractable TV which folded down from the ceiling of our spotless cabin (except to check the weather), or even the free WiFi, but watched the stars for a while as Captain Sandro Amand started the engines, cast off and started the first leg of our cruise by heading downriver to the port of Saint-Nazaire.  To wake up and find we were moored in the dock basin within yards of the enormous concrete U-boat pens built by the Germans was an unexpected reward, followed by a trip inside the pens to the Escal’Atlantic museum, which explores the historic ocean liner experience, with the accent on the Blue Riband-earning Normandie, built in Saint-Nazaire in the 1930s and at one time the largest and fastest ship afloat. 

The next day, the Princess returned to Nantes, where local tourism guide Bernat Comas took us on a short tram ride to show us the heart of the old town, where we explored secret passages off tight cobbled streets, leading to hidden courtyards and historic multi-storey apartments built for the rich traders and merchants who made their fortunes when the city was one of the greatest ports in France. We had spotted the elephant on our first evening on board, before we sailed to Saint-Nazaire but didn’t really appreciate its sheer size — and then we had the chance to get up close and personal on a guided excursion when we returned to Nantes to begin our adventures upstream. And Le Grand Éléphant is the tour de force, carrying 50 people the height of a four-storey house on a slow, majestic tour of the site, giving great views of Nantes and another star attraction, the towering Carrousel des Mondes Marins.  Next day was a coach trip on the Muscadet Wine Route, taking in a refuelling stop at historic Château Cassemichère, where owner Philippe Ganichaud introduced us to some of his award-winning wines, including a cheeky little fizz, La Muse du Chai, which put a smile on my face, for a start. Monday was our first major château, the home of the Dukes of Brissac, still in private ownership and a taste of the châteaux grandeurs to come with its

imposing facade and showpiece rooms. Tuesday was a full day of regal splendour, taking our time to  visit three breathtaking châteaux, starting with the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, a French national monument built on a small island in the middle of the Indre River and lauded as one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in the whole of the Val de Loire, which rejoices in its UNESCO World Heritage status.  On to the Château de Villandry, famous for its manicured and quite magnificent ornamental and kitchen gardens, where we had a feast for the eyes as well as a very tasty lunch of local produce including, of course, excellent local Chinon wine, which pleased our table no end.  Last on the list was arguably the prettiest stately home of all, the Château d’Ussé, sounding even more pretty in its French  description as Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant — the Castle of the Sleeping Beauty. Rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries, this turreted gem is said to have fired the imagination of Charles Perrault, who wrote the famous fairytale, and it’s not hard to see why when you marvel at the architecture and interiors and climb the stairs to one of the picturesque towers.  Back on the river, dinner was an impressive Princesse buffet, cutting the hard-working staff a bit of slack (but not much!) before they presented an enthusiastic, fun cabaret in the lounge to show that they were even more hard-working and versatile than most passengers thought.  Our final excursion was from the quayside in Chalonnes along the Angevine Corniche, with its picturesque villages and many viewing points along the river. There’s nothing rustic about the HQ of the Fournier Longchamps family domaine at Rochefort sur Loire, for the proudly bio-dynamique winery itself is only seven years old… although the 30 hectare ‘terrroir’ of vineyards with five appellations has existed since the 12th

Nantes Elephant

century, and we were lucky enough to sample three signature wines. Back on board, we cruised along in stately fashion, with the engine barely audible and the side paddle wheels splashing soothingly as the sun shone fitfully and we sipped a drink and waved at locals along the banks —  the sleek white Loire Princesse is the only cruiser of any size on the river and still creates a stir as she glides past.  Taking stock of the past few days underlined the pleasure of river cruising, with the CroisiEurope approach echoing that of the best Loire winemakers, insisting on putting quality above quantity, with care and attention to detail ensuring that guests enjoy an almost individual experience and never get lost or feel neglected.  It was very much in focus on our last full day on the Loire, sitting back on the sundeck with a gala dinner in prospect after cocktails before sunset. Dress code over a week’s voyage is fairly relaxed and casual, as expected, but the final night is as good a reason as any to put on the glad rags a bit.  Scrubbed up, we duly enjoyed a spot of fizz in the bar lounge before the Loire Princesse signed off a magical week afloat with a formal farewell from captain and crew and a special blend of saucery from chef Sebastien Boss and his talented team in the kitchen. They served up another splendid tour de force, accompanied by specially-chosen wines.  It also happened to be our Golden Anniversary — and we couldn’t have wished for better. 

Silver Factbox CroisiEurope offer 6-day and 8-day Loire cruises from £1,166 pp and £1,522 pp respectively. Price includes all meals and drinks, onboard entertainment and port fees. Call CroisiEurope on 020 8328 1281 or visit Flybe operates flights to Nantes from Birmingham, Manchester and Southampton, with fares starting from £29.99 one way including taxes and charges. Book at




50 plus magazine

Sensations of Southern France

with Emerald Waterways by Jennie Carr of Silver Travel Advisor


eaving Arles, with the light dancing on the river Rhône, there’s an air of gentle excitement onboard Emerald Liberté as we head to Avignon. What delights me, in addition to the spacious, modern cabin, with its panorama balcony windows, is the utter ease of the river cruise experience. The guest is gloriously pampered, in that the floating hotel, for this is what the ship is, takes care of everything. Excellent meals appear like clockwork, with many choices, in the bright restaurant and lounge. We took lunch onto the sundeck several times, a splendid treat. Good wine, beer and soft drinks are all included at mealtimes; tea (exceptionally good for Europe) and coffee are available 24/7! A rather charming local, celebrity chef created a delicious Provençal meal one evening – all part of the EmeraldPLUS programme, giving authentic extras that are relevant to the region. The staff are pleasantly attentive, lightly humorous and unfailingly helpful, particularly with older guests who needed time to disembark, foregather for excursions or work out the nifty earpieces for guided tours. Talking of which, these devices are

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Tournon Castle wonderful, they allow you to hear the guide individually, without having to move as a herd the whole time. We had included walking tours at every stop – Arles (home to Van Gogh in his later years), Avignon (where we sang the song beside the bridge), Tournon, Mâcon, Beaune (more Michelin starred restaurants than I thought possible) and in Lyon – all of which were informative and enjoyable. The pace of the tours is leisurely as befits the old, elegant towns.

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My partner and I are used to a pretty busy lifestyle, so we took out the onboard bikes on a couple of afternoons to explore the area more fully. The EmeraldACTIVE programme offered a 22 kilometre guided ride along river cycle paths at Tournon, lycra not needed: it was really good fun, with a witty leader, who ensured we were back to the ship in time to partake of the EmeraldPLUS wine tasting. Our North American cycling shipmates were 100% determined not to miss this! We loved Lyon, our final stop. We wandered around after the tour quite happily, taking the funicular up to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière to enjoy glorious views and the marvellous interior of the church. We strolled through a Saturday morning food market, all bustle and hustle with artistic food displays, happy in the knowledge that we could be back on Emerald Liberté in but a few minutes, where we were sure of a warm welcome ‘home’. That’s the joy of river cruising: the chance to visit new, interesting places, from a safe, secure ship, certain that you’ll be marvellously looked after.

Silver Facts: Emerald Waterways offer cruises on many European rivers, as well as Russia, southeast Asia, Egypt and Jordan. Jennie travelled on the Sensations of Southern France cruise from Marseilles to Lyon, currently from £2,095 per person for 8 days / 7 nights including flights or rail travel. You can reverse the cruise from Lyon to Marseilles as well. Visit www.emeraldwaterways. call 0808 163 5851, or go to www.silvertraveladvisor. com and type Emerald Waterways into the search box. You’ll find plenty of reviews to read too!

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CELEBRITY interview


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NTON du Beke only made a brief appearance in Strictly Come Dancing this year but he was in a philosophical mood, "They always try to make the production better and better and the professional dancers always try to do something different and exciting.” Talking to Anton, who has been in the extremely popular BBC One show since it began in 2004, is just as you would expect from what you see of him on TV. He’s pleasant, chatty, genuine and completely charming. He is also multi-talented. Apart from being very funny, he has a pleasant singing voice and brought out an album of songs last Christmas - and, of course, he’s quite handy when it comes to dancing as well. Born and brought up in Kent as Anthony Paul Beke, he was a sporty youngster who excelled at boxing, played county football and enjoyed golf.


But when, at 14, he was sent to a local dance class to meet his sister one evening, he found a new interest. The dance classes soon tempted him in and, before long, he realised that this was the direction in which he wanted his life to go. He left school at 16 and worked in a number of day-jobs to fund his dance training, taking dance lessons at night. At 17 he was specialising in ballroom dancing and already competing as an amateur. His favourite dance was, and still is, the foxtrot – the classy, stylish romantic dance steeped in the golden era of Hollywood and his idol Fred Astaire. In 1997, Anton met dancer Erin Boag and their magical chemistry on the dancefloor soon became apparent. They began competing professionally and won many national and international awards. As fate would have it, they also came to the attention of the BBC producers planning

a new programme called Strictly Come Dancing. Soon, the two dancers became an established part of what turned into one of the most popular shows on TV. Although Erin left Strictly after Series 10 (the latest is Series 16) it’s a tribute to both their skills and wonderful partnership that they tour successfully around the country with their own show. Over the years, Anton has proved to be a patient partner and talented teacher with many of the Strictly celebrities. Ask him who has been his favourite celebrity partner and he is far too diplomatic to highlight just one. But viewers well remember him dancing with politician Ann Widdecombe who was not the most, ahem, natural dancer. Together, however, they provided some remarkably entertaining television and each remains very complimentary about the other.

He also partnered opera singer Lesley Garrett, Esther Rantzen, Gillian Taylforth, Laila Rouass, Nancy Dell’Olio, Jerry Hall, Kate Garraway, Judy Murray and BBC Proms’ queen Katie Derham with whom he reached the final. Anton’s own talents are seldom eclipsed by his celebrity partners but he always seems to bring out the best in them. “That’s what I try for,” he explained. “I just want people to be the best they can and to have a lovely time. It would upset me if they weren’t happy or enjoying themselves.” Anton keeps himself very fit – “just by eating the right kind of things and looking after myself generally”. At 52, he doesn’t do anything special and thinks he has been “lucky” to avoid major injuries over the years. “If something hurts, I don’t do it any more,” he insisted with a great laugh. For relaxation, he still plays golf – “and I quite like going out on my own. I love that feeling of space and having some time to myself.” His life is certainly more hectic at home these days. Early last year, he married Hannah Summers and the couple now have one year-old twins, George and Henrietta. It’s plain that Anton is a beautifully besotted Dad. “I love being with them,” he stated. “I could look at them for hours, just watching what they’re doing.” For all his easygoing charm, though, Anton’s current schedule is a hectic one. The Saturday after we spoke he was taking part in the first show of the new Strictly series – the prelude to tough rehearsals and shows in an absorbing schedule until midDecember’s final. “It’s not like getting up and going to a job you hate, though,” he said. “I still love doing Strictly.” He also has a new book out in October. He has already written two books: Anton’s Dance Class, a step-by-step guide to ballroom and Latin dances, and B is for Ballroom, focussing on his favourite style of dance. The new book is rather different. It’s fiction, entitled One Enchanted Evening and is set in London’s Buckingham Hotel early in the first half of the 20th century. “This is a time that appeals to me a lot,”

added Anton. “I love the style, the clothes, the music - everything about it.” The thrust of the book is intrigue and romance and Anton has used characters he has met during his career along with stories from dance instructors and “lots of my favourite things.” Also on the horizon is his next tour with Erin, called Dance Those Magical Musicals, which kicks off in Northampton in January and takes in 29 venues right across the UK and Ireland. As you might expect now from Anton and Erin, it’s a production of stunning costumes, glorious music and breathtaking choreography.

“We have the orchestra on stage with us and there’s a wonderful feeling of timeless theatre,” added Anton. The music is from iconic shows from Mary Poppins and Top Hat to Hairspray and Jersey Boys and Lance Ellington – a favourite Strictly singer – is also performing. So, for the contented Anton du Beke, the future is looking very rosy.

* For more information about Anton and Erin’s new tour go to or the national ticket hotline 0844 847 2319. One Enchanted evening is published by Zaffre in hardback and ebook at £18.99.


HOME & garden


50 plus magazine

Check with a good builder before you start knocking down walls, however. Although planning permission is not usually needed for removing or altering internal walls unless your home is listed - you must still adhere to building regulations to ensure that any supporting structures are up to the job. So you will need to ask your local building control department or an independent building control inspector to issue a completion certificate on this kind of work.


home If there is one constant complaint about our homes it’s that we never seem to have enough space.


owever big or small your property and if you have all the family at home or it is just simply you and a partner or just you, we could always do with more space – for living and storage. First of all, it’s worth deciding if you want space in a particular area – like an extra bedroom or another downstairs room. These are big projects so the whole subject of making more space is really about making major or minor adjustments. For the major projects, you will probably need a realistic budget and recommended expert help. If you don’t know any local builders well enough then consult the Federation of Master Builders at or the National Federation of Builders at http://www. A CONSERVATORY or ORANGERIE can offer an extra room downstairs that will really transform a property, bringing in


plenty of light as well as that much-needed space. Adding a roof to your conservatory can make it an all year round room. If you have extra rooms you could create a UTILITY ROOM with direct access from outside – and somewhere to put those muddy boots or store bicycles. Convert your GARAGE, if it is just a dumping ground for all kinds of unused household items. Not everyone uses their garage for their car and it is wasted space if you fail to do something practical with it. You can either make it a separate room – a dining room or workroom, for example – or you might want to extend your KITCHEN to offer extra space. Whether you do this or not, your kitchen is often the heart of the home and a place where people gravitate to do all kinds of activities. So making this bigger could benefit the whole house, especially if you open it up by knocking down a wall into an adjacent dining room to make it open-plan.

On the simplest level in your kitchen, why not put your microwave on a glass shelf above your units to free up space? Hang sharp knives inside a high cabinet to create more drawer space and keep them out of children’s way and store wooden spoons and other utensils bouquet-style in a handsome pitcher or canister. Converting your LOFT offers another area probably currently just used for storage as an extra living space. Lofts can make excellent extra bedrooms and there may still be room there for an eaves’ bathroom. For smaller projects, create space start with one simple trick: DECLUTTERING.You will be amazed at the amount of possessions and household items you have accumulated. We all know that the majority will never be of use again so get rid of them. Sell anything decent on ebay or give items away to local charities. Emmaus and the British Heart Foundation are two charities that can collect furniture items

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from your home. And you will be supporting worthwhile causes at the same time. To maximise space in the HALLWAY, don’t let it become a dumping ground for coats, shoes and bags. Choose a sleek unit and use every part of it. By adding a bench with a lift-up lid you will quickly add to your storage. And if you re-decorate with horizontal stripes in a crisp white and fresh Spring shades you’ll make the most of available space and light. It will feel bigger! The area under the STAIRCASE can just be an awkward corner. But this is a good place to put up extra fitted shelves and pull-out drawers for additional storage. If the area is quite deep, it may make an OFFICE space for you and a place to put a desk and your computer. Just add a little light. In fact, LIGHT plays an important part in making areas at home seem bigger. So it’s worth reviewing all your domestic lighting this Winter and seeing if you can’t shed some light into normally dark corners of your living room or hallway. We all know you can make a room much cosier by dimming the lights but, conversely, you can make it seem bigger and more airy by using brighter lights. The same is true of DOORS. It’s surprising the difference swapping wooden doors for sliding doors or bi-folding doors can make. Rooms seem just as cosy but the amount of light coming in is far greater – and it looks much more modern. Consider whether you need a bigger BATHROOM and look at the balance of the house. If you have a four bedroomed house for two of you and your bathroom is quite small, especially if it doesn’t have a separate shower, it might be worth looking at converting a larger bedroom into a bathroom or even adding a dedicated shower-room. Adding an EN SUITE to a master bedroom not only gives you extra space and facilities but adds value to your home. If you have an awkward set of rooms, this can be an excellent way of re-purposing them. If you’re thinking of investing in a new BED, go for one with under-bed storage drawers. This a great place for bedding and big blankets. If you have a BAY WINDOW in the living room, it’s definitely worth considering having a curved seat made with additional storage. And get more storage in your garden from a SHED or SUMMERHOUSE. As well as being ideal for bikes, you can use it for all kinds of other secure storage – and that will free up your home for what it’s really meant for: providing space for humans and pets.

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f so, then a resin drive is well-worth considering. Resin bound surfacing is a porous paving material made from a mixture of aggregate stones and resin. It combines the best attributes of other surfaces – the appearance of loose gravel, the strength of concrete and the flexibility of tarmac – whilst being easier to maintain than all three! It’s environmentally friendly too – unlike bonded systems, a resin bound surface allows water to drain through just as Mother Nature intended, so you can minimise the impact on the environment and avoid puddles at the same time. Resin bound surfacing comes in a choice of over 40 unique colours and is suitable for all types of properties and projects including driveways, patios, paths, terraces and roof gardens.

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50 plus magazine




impson Furniture opened the doors of their brand new showroom in Heywood in June of this year. Their modus operandi was to take the retail furniture business right back to basics and offer good oldfashioned quality and service with absolutely no high-pressure sales. They pride themselves on offering a full personal service from giving the customer all the information they need in order to make an informed decision, to removing and disposing of their existing suite on delivery if required. ‘We wanted to take the stress out of purchasing furniture,’ said Karen Simpson, ‘but our primary aim was to take the fear away from popping in and having a browse. All our staff are trained to give our customers the freedom to have a look around without fear of being ‘hounded’ or pushed into a purchase. It’s important to us that our customers ‘buy’ from us, rather than us having to ‘sell’ to them.’ And it seems to be working. The showroom has been really well received by the people of Heywood, and now the word is spreading to Rochdale and surrounding areas.

Simpson Furniture has been established for well over a year now in Bury Market Hall, where Angela heads the team and is on hand to offer advice and information on any of their products. ‘The business has grown rapidly since our early days on Bury Market,’ says Karen, ‘We initially set out to revolutionise the mobility chair market by offering the largest selection of top quality, British made, Rise-and-Recline chairs in the UK. We wanted to keep our prices at a level that was affordable for your average family, but more than that, we wanted to be able to deliver any chair held in stock within a couple of days of purchase, sooner if necessary. The business just grew from there, initially evolving to include matching sofas and additional chairs, and then to incorporate Italian leather suites. We were soon outgrowing the market stall and so took on the additional premises and opened our large showroom in Heywood. It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride over the past 18


months, and has involved a lot of hard work and long, long hours, but it’s paying off. The showroom has enabled Karen and Gary to expand their product range and they are now able to offer a wide range of accessories including occasional tables, an extensive collection of unique mirrors, mirror art, lamps, vases, candle holders, and picture frames, and very soon they will be trialling a range of dining room products. ‘We are a small family business,’ said Karen, ‘so in order to compete with the bigger stores we need to offer something a bit different. We keep our prices as keen as we can, and most of our suites are more compact than the very modern ones commonly on sale. Our products are changing and evolving all the time, so it’s always worth popping in for a browse.’ So take a trip to either Heywood or Bury where customers are guaranteed a warm and friendly welcome and have a look for yourselves.

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Rochdale Council is looking for more foster carers just like Tim and Sarah

can you give childhood a chance? Tim Woods, 66, and Sarah Woods, 62, who have been fostering with Rochdale Borough Council for over 17 years! How long have you been foster carers? We started respite fostering in 2002- almost 17 years! We started just doing respite fostering as we worked full time but Tim became a full time Foster Carer in 2003.

What made you want to be foster carers? We had talked about fostering over 20 years ago but careers really precluded this at the time. However, we never gave up the idea as we both felt we had the experience and skills to be a positive influence to young people.

What do you enjoy most about fostering? The challenge of helping develop the lives and skills of young people! We have gained huge experience in helping children with attachment disorder understand family structures and develop life skills. We have had, and still have, the good fortune to have young people from the age of 18 months to over 18 years. They continue to keep us ‘current’ and watching them develop in all ways.

What is a typical day like? There is no such thing as a typical day! In exactly the same way as birth children, fostered children present challenges of behavior, health school – we thought we’d given up homework years ago!

What support do you get from Rochdale Council? We have excellent relations with both our Supervising Social Worker(s), the Childrens Social Worker(s) and Rochdale


Council, as well as schools and health professionals; all very much providing wrap around care and support. A generally broad range of training opportunities are provided on an ongoing basis and support in accessing specialist therapeutic services where required as well linked educational support. Rochdale Council are very supportive, they allow us to care for and develop the children without onerous oversight, it’s a great balance.  

Any advice to those who are thinking about fostering? Think very carefully about the affect it will have on your lifestyle and extended family. Talk to your birth children and close friends. Their support will be vital in developing the young people in your care. It will change your life positively but you must be prepared to accept that they will challenge, frustrate and confound you…but the positives are so rewarding for them and you! Fostering is life changing, life affirming and life positive. It’s hard work sometimes but the highs far outweigh the occasional low. Don’t go into it lightly but don’t be afraid of it. It is one of the greatest things you can do.

Can you sum up fostering with Rochdale Council in 3 words?

Fun, varied, positive.

Our cared for children need you We need more foster carers to fulfil the dreams of our children and provide a loving and supportive home

Foster with us today 0300 303 1000 23



50 plus magazine

posh sandwiches

by Reubens to banh mi


umour has it that the sandwich was less the invention of the 4th Earl of Sandwich, but more of an accidental brainwave, when he became peckish during a game of cards and asked for some meat to be placed between a couple of slices of bread. The magic that happened became the sandwich. The sandwich is so many things to so many people: breakfast, elevenses, packed lunch al desko… A portable, hand-held lunch on the go, a sit-down dinner, end of dinner wiper-upper of all the good stuff left over on your plate after a meal; latenight. There aren’t many ingredients that can’t be worked into a sandwich to delicious effect. Start by making the piccalilli. In a medium pan, add the cider vinegar, garlic, chilli, ginger, turmeric, salt and sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for 2 minutes more. Mix the mustard and flour in a small heatproof bowl with 3 tablespoons of the hot brine from the pan. Stir to form a smooth paste, then add a further 5 tablespoons of cooking liquid and mix well. Stir the mustard mixture into the brine pan, then cook on a high heat for 2 minutes, or until thickened and glossy. Remove from the heat, then stir in the pickled onions, turnip, carrot and cucumber, and allow to cool completely, about 2–3 hours (or overnight if possible). Ladle into a couple of sealable and sterilized glass jars, or store in a lidded plastic container in the fridge for up to two weeks. (Be warned – the turmeric may dye your chosen container yellow...) Piccalilli is a British version of an Indian pickle. The crunchy vegetable pickle, lightly spiced in sweet and salty brine, has a punchy flavour that will cut through the richness of any meat or cheese. When you’re ready to assemble your sandwich, lay four slices of crusty bread on a board, spread generously with butter, and then layer over the ham and cheese. Geneously spoon some of your home-made piccalilli over the ham and cheese then pop the remaining slices of bread on top. Serve with crunchy celery sticks, cherry tomatoes and an apple on the side. The perfect lunchtime snack for a walk in the British countryside.



PLOUGHMAN’S Serves 4 and takes 20 minutes plus 2 hours cooling For the piccalilli 350ml (12fl oz) cider vinegar 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced 1 small red chilli, finely sliced 1.5-cm (1/2-in) piece ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks 2 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp salt 5 tbsp granulated sugar 1/2 small cauliflower (about 150g/51/2oz), broken into small florets 11/2 tsp English mustard 1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour

10 small silverskin pickled onions 1 turnip, cut into 1-cm (3/8-in) cubes 1/2 carrot, cut into 1-cm (3/8-in) cubes 1/3 cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded and roughly diced Sandwich 8 slices crusty wholemeal bread butter, for spreading 200g (7oz) thick-cut ham 150g (5.oz) mature Cheddar cheese, sliced celery sticks, cherry tomatoes and apples, to serve



Bolton’s Award Winning Market Bolton market has over 200 stalls including a bustling food court serving food from all over the world, cafés complement our food offer, and we even have a licensed bar.



Bolton Council

Green goddess sauce, given a creamy addition with ripe avocado, complements the salty slightly sharp halloumi wonderfully. Serves 4 and takes 20 minutes For the green goddess sauce 1 ripe avocado, stoned and peeled juice 1/2 lemon 2 tbsp Greek yogurt 1 mild green chilli, roughly chopped 1/2 garlic clove, crushed handful coriander (cilantro) salt and black pepper 250g (9oz) block halloumi cheese 8 baby plum tomatoes drizzle olive oil 8 slices sourdough bread


tart by making the green goddess sauce. Roughly chop the avocado and put it into the bowl of a food processor with the lemon juice, yogurt, chilli and garlic. Roughly chop most of the coriander and add it to the bowl, reserving a few leaves. Season and pulse until almost smooth. Cover and set aside.

Heat a griddle pan to high. Cut the halloumi into eight slices and cook for 5 minutes, turning halfway through until charred and soft. Add the tomatoes to the pan. Griddle the tomatoes for 2–3 minutes – you just want them to begin to soften and the skins to pop. Remove, halve the tomatoes and season with a little salt and a drizzle of oil. Griddle the bread on both sides until warm and a lightly toasted. Spread four slices with green goddess sauce, then lay a couple of slices of halloumi and some tomato halves on top. Finish with a sprinkle of the reserved coriander leaves and sandwich with the remaining bread. Green goddess sauce, given a creamy addition with ripe avocado, complements the salty, slightly sharp halloumi wonderfully.

You can buy everything from fresh fish, meat and game, locally sourced and exotic fruit and vegetables with speciality stalls selling deli meats and a huge selection of cheeses, plus there is a whole host of traditional stalls selling everything from furniture to flowers, bedding to broomsticks and much more.

Well worth a visit!

Bolton Market has it all. Opening Times; Open every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 9am-5pm. How To Find Us Bolton Market, Ashburner Street, Bolton BL1 1TQ. Contact: 01204 336825


Visit our website for a list of special events and activities that we are running at the Market.


the voice of markets

WINNER BEST FOOD market 2017

“For Bolton’s Food & Drink Festival




50 plus magazine

Bury Market has a well deserved reputation for friendly service, fantastic produce and great value. As one of our customers recently said ‘Traditional market with great atmosphere and great product choices. Fish, meat and veg is second to none. You can be sure of a bargain. I recommend it to - family and friends. Too good to keep to myself'


KOFTA PITTA These fragrant lamb patties work brilliantly as part of a modern mezze meal.The sweet and sour salad cuts through the richness of the lamb, making these pittas totally moreish. Serves 4 and takes 30 minutes 500g (1lb 2oz) lamb mince 2 tsp ground cinnamon 2 tsp cumin

Bury Market Hall: Open every day except Sunday

2 tsp ground coriander

Full Markets Open: Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays

bunch mint, finely chopped

“Winner National Coach Tourism Awards” Coach Friendly Shopping Destination of the Year “Winner NABMA’s” Best Market Attraction

Bury Market Management: Tel: 0161 253 6520 Email: Web:

2 tsp paprika bunch coriander (cilantro), finely chopped 1 tbsp vegetable oil, for greasing For the salad 1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1 red chilli 1 large carrot, grated juice 1/2 lemon 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses salt and black pepper 4 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise 2 tbsp harissa 8 mini pittas



ut the lamb mince into a large bowl, add the spices, most of the mint and most of the coriander, reserving about 1 tablespoon of each for the salad. Massage together with your hands for 2 minutes; this will combine the ingredients and help the patties stay together as they cook. Divide the lamb mixture into eight equal portions. Using damp hands, shape the meat into rugby ballshaped patties. Grease a baking sheet with a little oil and lay the patties on top. Set aside. To make the salad, mix the onion, chilli and carrot with the lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Gently stir in the reserved herbs and some seasoning. In a small bowl, mix the mayo with the harissa and set aside. Heat the grill to high. Cook the patties for 8 minutes, turning frequently, until golden and cooked through. To serve, split the pittas and heat under the hot grill. When warmed, spread with the harissa mayo, sit a kofta inside and top with salad.


ICECREAM How to make chewy chocolate chip cookies even better: sandwich them together with ice cream. Go uberchocolatey and use good-quality chocolate ice cream or go with a classic vanilla. Serves 8 Takes 25 minutes plus chilling and cooling. 125g (41/2oz) unsalted butter 100g (31/2oz) caster (superfine) sugar 150g (51/2oz) soft light brown sugar 1 large egg 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp salt 225g (8oz) plain (all-purpose) flour 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 100g (31/2oz) dark chocolate chips 50g (13/4oz) milk chocolate chips good-quality ice cream


reheat the oven to 1800C/3500F/ gas 4. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside. Melt the butter in a small pan or in the microwave, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add both types of sugar, the egg, vanilla and salt, and stir until the mixture is fully combined and smooth. Tip in the flour and bicarbonate of soda, gently folding into the wet in gredients and being careful not to overmix, then stir in the chocolate chips. Use a couple of dessertspoons to scoop the mixture onto the prepared trays; you should get 16 cookies. Leave plenty of

room for the cookies to spread during cooking. Bake for 12–15 minutes until the edges are light golden. Leave to cool and set on the tray for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Sandwich two cookies together with a scoop of your favourite ice cream. Eat immediately.

Posh Sandwiches (Quadrille, £12.99) Photography © Faith Mason


11th February 2019 In between


A Guide to what's happening in your region ... 18th & 19th January 2019 MOSCOW CITY BALLET - SWAN LAKE

29th January to 16th February 2019 JERSEY BOYs

Moscow City Ballet returns with two of Tchaikovsky’s most beautiful ballets, each presented in splendid Russian style with full orchestra. The world’s most romantic ballet is magnificently brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s familiar, beautiful and haunting score.

This smash hit musical has won 57 major awards worldwide, including the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Jersey Boys tells the true life story of four boys from the wrong side of the tracks who wrote their own songs, invented their own unique sound, and sold 100 million records worldwide. Featuring hit after legendary hit including Beggin’, December 1963 (Oh What A Night), Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Walk Like A Man, Bye Bye Baby, Big Girls Don’t Cry and many more.

Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester. M1 6FT

Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester. M1 6FT

2nd to 9th february Playhouse Creatures

22nd to 26th January 2019 SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER

The fever is back! In a big new production! You’ve never felt like this before... Saturday Night Fever tells the iconic story of Tony Manero, & his reckless, yet thrilling road to dancing success. Featuring the Bee Gees’ greatest hits Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Tragedy, More Than a Woman & many more. Palace Theatre, Oxford Street, Manchester. M1 6FT


The year is 1669 a bawdy and troublesome time. Theatres have just reopened after seventeen years of Puritan suppression. There is a surge in dramatic writing and the first English actresses appear on stage. Playhouse Creatures focuses on five of the most famous (Nell Gwyn, Elizabeth Farley, Rebecca Marshall, Doll Common and Mary Betterton) to provide a moving and often comic account of the precarious lives of Restoration actresses. Millgate Arts Centre, Stoneswood Road, Delph, OL3 5DY T: 01457 874644

In Between follows the lives of three strong, independent minded IsraeliPalestinian women who find themselves ‘in between’ the free and unfettered lives they’re aspiring to lead and the restrictions imposed on them by their country and families. Millgate Arts Centre, Stoneswood Road, Delph, OL3 5DY T: 01457 874644

13th February 2019 Trio Volent

Trio Volant was formed in 2010 whilst all the members were studying at the Royal Northern College of Music. The Trio regularly give formal recitals and lunchtime concerts in and around Manchester and the North West as well as further afield from Wales to Essex! Past engagements have included recitals for Buxton Festival and more! Millgate Arts Centre, Stoneswood Road, Delph, OL3 5DY T: 01457 874644

1st March 2019 in loyal company

In Loyal Company is the incredible true story of missing World War II soldier and prisoner of War Arthur Robinson, written and performed by his great-nephew, David William Bryan. May 1941. Hitler’s bombs rain on Liverpool. Local packer, Arthur Robinson, joins up becoming a private in the 18th reconnaissance division. Deployed to Singapore, his ship is destroyed by Japanese dive bombers on arrival. Arthur is declared missing. This extraordinary true story of survival is a tour-de-force war epic. Millgate Arts Centre, Stoneswood Road, Delph, OL3 5DY T: 01457 874644


13th March 2019 Kosmos ensemble

15th March 2019 Dr Kevin Jones

Kosmos Ensemble, music performed with: “telepathic rapport, dazzling virtuosity, serious scholarship, intellectual curiosity and impeccable musicianship.” - Richard Morrison, The Times. An inspirational combination of Tango, Gypsy, Balkan and Japanese music referencing Classical composers, with fearless improvisation and impeccable technique. Prepare to be intoxicated by entrancing dance rhythms, soulful improvisation and gypsy passion delivered with inimitable panache and virtuoso technique.

Dr Kevin Jones is a practising consultant physician who has been on the comedy and after-dinner circuit for 30 years. His one-man show, a huge, sell-out hit at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, celebrates the dark humour inherent in hospital medicine - frightening, illuminating and very, very funny. It is poignant, insightful, bizarre and gutwrenchingly funny. Trust him, he’s a doctor, but you may die laughing!

Millgate Arts Centre, Stoneswood Road, Delph, OL3 5DY T: 01457 874644

Millgate Arts Centre, Stoneswood Road, Delph, OL3 5DY T: 01457 874644


50 plus magazine

18th march 2019 Lady Bird

Christine “Lady Bird” MacPherson is a high school senior from the “wrong side of the tracks.” She longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Sacramento Catholic high school. LADY BIRD follows the title character’s senior year in high school, including her first romance, her participation in the school play, and most importantly, her applying for college. Millgate Arts Centre, Stoneswood Road, Delph, OL3 5DY T: 01457 874644


30th march - 6th april 2019 the thrill of love

Thursday 18th April 2019 Go Wild in Spring

Ruth Ellis was the last woman to be hanged in Britain, in 1955, after being convicted of shooting her lover, David Blakely, in cold blood. The Thrill of Love dramatises this infamous true story and takes a closer look at the woman behind the headlines. Millgate Arts Centre, Stoneswood Road, Delph, OL3 5DY T: 01457 874644

A chance for the whole family to get outdoors and ‘Go Wild’ in Cowbury Dale. You can try den building, have a go at a nature craft and see what secret life lurks in the stream. 4th April 2019 WILLNE AND STEPHEN TRIES LIVE

For the first time ever,YouTube personalities and friends (sort of) WillNE and Stephen Tries are going on a tour of the UK. Opera House, Quay Street Manchester. M3 3HP

Opera House, Quay Street Manchester. M3 3HP

Lower Higham Visitor Centre, Higham Lane Gee Cross, Hyde. SK14 5LR

6th April 2019 Steve Steinman’s Vampires Rock

This rock-tastic, hilarious, musical concert lives up to its rocking reputation. A tongue-in-cheek storyline, spellbinding cast, guitar gods and sexy vampettes take you on a ride through some of the greatest classic rock anthems ever! Including tracks from Queen, AC/DC, Meat Loaf, Journey, Guns n Roses and many more. Opera House, Quay Street Manchester. M3 3HP

Wednesday 10th April 2019 It’s a Small (and wiggly) World

3rd April 2019 Rhod Gilbert - The Book of John

It has been a while, but the multi-awardwinning Welsh comedian is back, with a brand new live show. In a six-year break from stand-up, a lot has happened to Rhod. And just when he thought he’d hit rock bottom, he met a bloke...called John. This show sees Rhod as funny as ever, but like never before. Raw, personal and brutally honest; no more lies, no more nonsense. Opera House, Quay Street Manchester. M3 3HP


Easter Sunday 21st April 2019 Easter Egg Hunt

An egg – stravaganza for younger children. As well as the hunt there will be competitions for best dressed Easter egg and bonnet.

2nd April 2019 Julian clary - born to mince

Are you ready for some filth? I know I am. It’s been a while since I sallied forth to pleasure the provinces with my particular brand of saucy innuendo. Let me at them!’ In this outrageously camp new show, (that he was going to call Bed Knobs and Knee Pads but was advised might not sell too well in Harrogate), renowned homosexual Julian Clary will bare his soul as never before in the interests of light entertainment.

Castle Clough car park, Carrbrook, Stalybridge. SK15 3PJ

Join us on a bug hunt and nature walk, taking a close look at the tiny creatures that live around us. Let’s try some ‘worm charming’ and then create your very own miniature world. Lymefield Broad Mills, off Lower Market Street

Sunday 14th April 2019 Spring in your Step

Explore the Tame Valley to see whether spring has sprung. Bluebells just flowering, vibrant green leaves and the first songbirds will all be there for your enjoyment on this six mile walk. Hyde Central Station car park, Great Norbury Street, Hyde. SK14 1BW

Sunday 28th April 2019 Chadkirk Chapel Ramble

A 10 mile walk across wild, windswept Werneth Low to the historic delights of Chadkirk Chapel and back via Etherow Country Park. Lower Higham Visitor Centre, Higham Lane Gee Cross, Hyde. SK14 5LR

Sunday 28th April 2019 Spring Family Fun Day

Celebrate Spring with a family funday. Lots of mostly free entertainment; face painting, craft workshops, climbing wall, music, sports activities, stalls and street theatre amidst a carpet of spring flowers. Stamford Park, Stalybridge, SK15 1NJ

17th may 2019 60s special

A special 60s night raising funds for Dr. Kershaw, Springhill & Willow Wood Hospice.Featuring some of the biggest names of the 60s: • Mike Pender (original voice of The Searchers • The merseybeats • The Fourmost Tickets are only £22 plus booking fee! Queen Elizabeth Hall, Radcliffe Street Oldham, Lancs OL1 1NL


FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY… Thu 31 Jan – Sat 9 Feb An Oldham Coliseum Theatre production

A DIFFERENT WAY HOME By Jimmie Chinn In this deeply moving, funny and astutely observed play, two monologues from a brother and sister living on the outskirts of Manchester tell a powerful story from two wildly different perspectives.

Thu 18 Apr – Sat 4 May An Oldham Coliseum Theatre production

Wed 13 Feb, 2.30pm & 7.30pm Sing-a-Long-a The Greatest Showman

VISITORS By Barney Norris In a rural farmhouse, a family is falling apart. Stephen can’t afford to put his mother into care. Arthur can’t afford to stop working and look after his wife. Tender, acute and wryly funny, Visitors is a story about ageing, care and families, but most of all an ode to life-long love.

Thu 14 Feb, 7.30pm Romance at the Opera Fri 15 Feb, 8.00pm Justin Moorhouse: Northern Joker Sat 16 Feb, 7.30pm Beyond the Barricade

Fri 22 Feb – Sat 9 Mar An Oldham Coliseum Theatre production

A SKULL IN CONNEMARA By Martin McDonagh A black comedy which unveils the murky mysteries of an Irish village by BAFTA and Academy Award-winning writer Martin McDonagh, best known for his films In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Tue 14 May – Sat 1 Jun An Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Wiltshire Creative and York Theatre Royal production

HANDBAGGED By Moira Buffini With great theatricality, Handbagged imagines what may have happened at the Queen’s infamous weekly meetings with Margaret Thatcher. A funny, sharp and mischievous play which was nominated for Best Comedy at the 2015 Olivier Awards.

Wed 20 Mar, 7.30pm Fastlove: A Tribute to George Michael Sat 23 Mar, 7.30pm Thank You For the Music: The Ultimate Tribute to ABBA Wed 8 May, 7.30pm The Cavern Beatles Tue 4 Jun, 7.30pm Hello Again: The Story of Neil Diamond

Tue 2 – Sat 6 Apr A London Classic Theatre production

MY MOTHER SAID I NEVER SHOULD By Charlotte Keatley A poignant, bittersweet story about love, jealousy and the price of freedom, My Mother Said I Never Should details the lives of four generations of women from the same family through the immense social changes of the 21st century.

Thu 20 Jun – Sat 6 July A Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Hull Truck Theatre production in association with Oldham Coliseum Theatre

THE HIRED MAN Book by Melvyn Bragg. Music and Lyrics by Howard Goodall The best British musical in 40 years. Set in Cumbria in 1898, The Hired Man is an epic and heroic tale of love, betrayal and loyalty, set against a backdrop of English country traditions being swept away as a new century faces the gathering storm of war. Box Office: 0161 624 2829

Thu 6 Jun, 7.30pm Big Girls Don’t Cry Fri 7 Jun, 7.30pm Sing-a-Long-a Grease Sat 8 Jun, 7.30pm The Lancashire Hotpots: The Love Tour

Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Fairbottom Street, Oldham OL1 3SW

we see when families come to us for help when a loved one has died.” “I would always urge people no matter what age to make a simple Will, it’s not expensive and helps your loved one and means on your death your wishes are respected. In some cases it’s also useful to consider Lasting Powers of Attorney to make life easier for our families as we age and need more help,” added Joanne.

FAMous FACes WIThouT A WIll

Making a Will Is Good For The soul


ot making a Will can have an effect on all the family – as shown recently when it was revealed that Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, died intestate. She died at the age of 76 but did not leave a will. Her four sons and other family members are now left to find out how much she was worth and to divide it up. The process could take years and is likely to play out in the public domain and is a timely reminder to anyone to get their house in order, make arrangements for family members and put making a Will at the top of your agenda. We often find people put off making a Will, for a variety of reasons, or simply have a head in the sand attitude that it will not happen to them: • I’ll do it another day • I don’t want to do one yet • I’m not about to die sometime soon • My family won’t argue over my estate • I won’t qualify for Inheritance Tax “Yet again we see a famous individual dying intestate and leaving millions to be divided up between the family after their death,” said Joanne Jones, Private Client Solicitor at Pearson. “Although she died in the US and the laws surrounding estate administration


are different, the practical problems and headaches caused by not being prepared are the same.” “Many people don’t make wills, usually because they are private about their finances, or simply worry it will “tempt fate”, but the reality for the people left behind is that the process is then far more complicated than it has to be,” she added. “In most cases when people die without a Will it can take much longer to sort out the estate, quite why someone who has had cancer for some months and is surrounded by professional people all the time would not get around to making a Will is a mystery, reports say she just didn’t get around to it and that is what

What do Picasso, Prince and Amy Winehouse all have in common? They all died intestate—which means, they died without having a will. They’re in good company as many famous faces seem to believe in their own immortality – however only the music lives on and their families are left picking up the pieces locked in legalities for years. • Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 but estate battles went on for 30 years • Bob Marley’s estate continues to generate significant revenue despite the fact that Marley died in 1981. • Prince’s unexpected death in 2016 revealed once again the lack of a celebrity Will and a long legal battle is expected. • Amy Winehouse died without a valid will stating what to do with her £5 million plus estate. Her assets went to her closest living relatives, her parents Mitch and Janis. • Stieg Larsson who wrote The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo died in 2004 without a will his lifelong partner of 32 years received nothing. • Picasso died intestate and it took 6 years to settle his estate. Every year our solicitors donate their time for free taking part in Will Weeks for The Christie, Mahdlo and Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, see our website for more information, but whatever the time of year it’s always a good time to call 0161 785 3500 for advice on making your Will.

We have produced an FAQ section with help and advice on Wills, LPAs and Probate – or how to administer an estate after death probate - Check out


Family, conveyancing, personal and medical law Business, corporate and employment law Financial and tax advice


0161 785 3500

E. 33

BROMLEYS CROWNED AT PRIDE OF TAMESIDE BUSINESS AWARDS Law firm Bromleys has been crowned professional services business of the year at the Pride of Tameside Business Awards. The trophy was presented at a gala dinner at Dukinfield Town Hall attended by more than 300 people and hosted by radio and TV presenter Andy Crane. Councillor Brenda Warrington, executive leader of Tameside Council, opened the event and praised businesses across the borough. She said this year’s awards had received more entries than ever. The professional services business honour is the second accolade for Bromleys in consecutive years at the awards. In 2017, the firm won the corporate social responsibility prize. Bromleys’ latest honour also follows its success at the 2018 Manchester Legal Awards, where it was named small law firm of the year. During the past 12 months, the firm has also retained Investors in People Gold status and the Law Society’s Lexcel quality mark and Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation. Bromleys is a threepartner firm based in Ashton-under-Lyne which provides legal services to individuals, families and businesses across Tameside and Greater Manchester. It has a 57-strong team which has been boosted by a series of key appointments to cater for a growing number of instructions. Bromleys has also launched the Tameside Women in Business networking forum and has increased its sponsorship of Curzon Ashton FC for this season. The judging panel said: “Bromleys Solicitors are a consistent, excellent performer who have this year shown exceptional growth while achieving the Investors in People Gold award. They are a beacon of the borough.” Bromleys’ senior partner Mark Hirst said: “It’s a real honour to be recognised for the excellence of our service in a highly-competitive field. This accolade acknowledges the expertise, dedication and commitment of our team to the business and wider Tameside communities. “Awards such as this make everyone at Bromleys realise just how much their efforts are appreciated and how they make a difference for all of our clients. It is a real boost for everyone at the firm.”









Family & Divorce Divorce and separation can be a stressful and traumatic time for all parties and it’s reassuring to know that here at Bromleys you’ll find a sympathetic approach to the break-up of your relationship or marriage. Our experts can help you take the difficult step of starting divorce proceedings or advise you when your spouse has issued proceedings against you already. We can advise you on all aspects of the divorce procedure, obtaining a Decree Absolute, and deal with all financial aspects, including what is to happen to the matrimonial home, children and family finances. To find out more about our free legal surgeries and appointments contact us on:

0161 330 6821 Visit to find out about our services and how Bromleys can help. Bromleys Solicitors LLP - Clear, concise legal advice T: 0161 330 6821



50 Wellington Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 6XL Bromleys Solicitors LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority




50 plus magazine



vidence of the benefits of exercising is overwhelming these days. With most medical conditions, it is still important that you continue to exercise but it is essential that you do exercises that are appropriate to you; remember even walking, stretching or housework helps. To follow are ten suggestions of how to use exercise to feel better, but make sure that you first get advice from your GP if you have any injuries or illnesses. DEPRESSION - The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that people with mild to moderate depression do 45 minutes to one hour of exercise three times a week. Exercise helps release feel positive brain chemicals including neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids. Increases body temperature which may have a calming effect, helps us gain confidence, takes our mind off our worries and encourages social interaction and a way of coping healthily. DEMENTIA - To help reduce the symptoms of dementia, activity such gentle gardening helps to keep us strong and gives sufferers

some independence back which may have been lost. DIABETES - To lower your risk of diabetes, reducing weight by trying swimming or a water aerobics class can help to keep blood glucose well controlled and blood pressure on target and improve blood circulation. CANCER – One in every two people will be affected by cancer but the survival rate has doubled over the past 40 years. Exercising can help prevent cancer but can also reduce the side effects of treatment, decrease the risk of re-occurring cancer and can enhance quality of life during and after cancer treatments OSTEOPOROSIS - It’s important to keep your joints moving and to do strengthening exercises such as walking, swimming and cycling. Exercising can increase bone mineral density which helps to maintain strong bones. From your twenties onwards you can help prevent bone loss by exercising regularly (women are particularly at risk after the menopause). HEART DISEASE - Those suffering from heart disease should take it easy and not do

any exercise that causes pain or dizziness. but make sure you warm-up and cool-down before any form of light workout to avoid feeling lightheaded. STROKE - As recovery improves, repetitive tasks like stretching and gripping movements can encourage normal function. Ask your specialist or GP for guidance. BACK PAIN – Your back may be strained from sitting down too much. Make sure you get up from your chair and move around every 45 minutes. Any form of suitable exercise will send endorphins to the problem area and help to promote pain relief, but don’t do anything that makes your symptoms feel worse. STRESS - To alleviate stress, if appropriate try a vigorous activity such as fast skipping or kick boxing. Exercise reduces cortisol and norepinephrine associated with stress. At the same time endorphins that are responsible for the feeling of elation and positive well-being are released, as are dopamine and serotonin which give a feeling of safety and security that may offset feelings of anxiety and negative selftalk.

National Helpline 0800 917 7650

Alcoholics Anonymous has over 4,400 groups throughout Great Britain dedicated to helping those with a serious alcohol problem learn how to stay sober. Groups are made up of people from all walks of life and all age groups. Through friendship and mutual support, members assist each other in coping which is made easier by meeting others with the same problem. There are no dues or fees for membership and anonymity is carefully preserved. Anyone who believes they have a drink problem can contact Alcoholics Anonymous by using the helpline number above or email; Further information may be obtained from the web site above or from the General Service Office at the address below. For information: P.O. Box 1, 10 Toft Green, York. YO1 7NJ Tel: 01904 644 026 36

It’s important. If you’re aged 60-74 and registered with a GP, the kit arrives by post every 2 years.

The free NHS bowel screening kit is quick and easy to do. The kit takes a few minutes to complete and could reduce the risk of more serious illness. Then you can just get on with life.

0800 707 6060 (Call free)

Visit our website for tips on how to complete the kit.

Call for any advice, or to request a replacement kit.



50 plus magazine

Know if someone in your family has a pre-existing eye condition because you may be more vulnerable to developing that same disease in the future, but something may be able to be done in advance to help you. Regular exercise and physical activity will help all aspects of your health including your eyes. For example, people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have issues with their eyesight which can include damaged retinas (retinopathy). High blood pressure and medications ie steroids can also affect your eye health. For those of you who wear contact lenses, don’t ever use out of date solution, give your eyes a regular break, avoid swimming and showering with them in and if you have a particularly bad cold, avoid wearing them altogether.



our eyes rarely hurt when there’s a problem so it’s important to have regular checks not only to see if you need glasses but also to ensure your eyes remain healthy. If you’re a regular smoker you could be causing severe damage to your vision. Smoking increases the chances of developing a cataract which occurs when the lens of the eye becomes progressively cloudy resulting in blurred vision.

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You can keep your eyes healthy by ensuring you are eating omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein and vitamins C and E. These minerals can help ward off age-related vision problems, cataracts and general deterioration. Food that are thought to contribute towards good eye health are oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna, and green leafy vegetables including kale and spinach. Never look at the sun directly as you could cause irreversible damage to your eyesight. Too much sunlight exposure is a risk factor for cataracts. Wearing the right pair of sunglasses in bright weather will help shield your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Choose a pair of sunglasses that blocks out 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Use professional safety eyewear if you work in a hazardous environment, particularly when involving airborne materials. The majority of workplace eye injuries are caused by flying, falling or sparking small particles or objects such as metal slivers, wood chips or dust which strike or scrape the eye. Nearly three-fifths of these objects are thought to be smaller than a pinhead.

Have an annual eye exam – Visit your nearest optometrist for regular checkups especially if you are concerned about your vision deteriorating or have symptoms such as a flickering eye lid. Don’t leave it to get worse. Spending a lot of time watching television or staring at the computer screen for long lengths of time can cause eye irritation which can lead to greater problems with the eyes. Limit your screen time and take breaks. Be careful when using chemicals such as oven cleaners, bleach, weed killers and fertilisers as they can cause severe harm to your eyes. Lock harmful chemicals away from infants.


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Profile for 50 Plus Magazine

Oldham & Tameside 50 Plus Magazine  

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

Oldham & Tameside 50 Plus Magazine  

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