Oldham & Tameside Issue 66

Page 1


JUNE - JULY 2022

Bill Bailey


Value for Money Gardening


Maritime Canada A TALE OF TWO CITIES





Self-drive & coach inclusive breaks


£219 from

per person

When it comes to inviting, relaxing breaks, we have the ideal holiday for you.. Whether you’re looking for a romantic break for two, a family holiday or getting away with friends, Robinsons’s Holidays offers 12 hotels in 10 of the most popular UK destinations. Our fleet of 26 luxury Mercedes coaches provide return travel in comfort and style from your pick up point and will take you directly to your hotel, aiming to arrive between 3 – 5pm. If you’d like to get out and about to explore the local area on your holiday, then all of our breaks can also be booked on a self-drive basis so you’ve got the freedom of having your own car.

Request your brochure now!

Every break includes: Return coach travel (self-drive option available)

Comfy en suite accommodation

Breakfast & 3-course evening meal

Live nightly entertainment*

Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice We are proud to announce that five of our group – Bournemouth Sands, Daish’s, Devonshire, Abbey Lawn, County – have been awarded the coveted TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award for 2021.

Isle of Wight






Lake District




Don’t miss these coach inclusive breaks! Local pick up points from make it easy to get away. Price includes return coach travel from:

Rochdale, Royton, Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Hyde, Stockport, Cheadle, Lymm Services. All offers are subject to availability and standard terms and conditions (see brochure or website for T&C’s). DATE





Barrowfield Hotel – Newquay




Sands Hotel – Bournemouth




Imperial Hotel – Eastbourne




Russell Hotel – Weymouth




Daish’s Hotel – Isle of Wight




Abbey Lawn Hotel – Torquay




Devonshire Hotel – Torquay




Hotel Prince Regent – Weymouth




Esplanade Hotel – Scarborough




Barrowfield Hotel – Newquay




Russell Hotel – Weymouth




Daish’s Blackpool Hotel – Blackpool




Somerset Hotel – Llandudno




Imperial Hotel – Eastbourne




Abbey Lawn Hotel – Torquay




Sands Hotel – Bournemouth




Hotel Prince Regent – Weymouth




Esplanade Hotel – Scarborough







Call - 01254 889900 Quote - 50PlusME or visit daishs.com

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a Standard Room. Supplements apply on twin/double rooms with sole occupancy. Optional local excursions can be booked at the hotel. Many more coach or self-drive holiday dates available in 2021. If you would prefer to self-drive, deduct £20 per person from prices shown. Offer ends 30th June 2022

10 fabulous locations, 12 great hotels. Bournemouth






Bournemouth Sands

Somerset Hotel

Barrowfield Hotel

Hotel Prince Regent

Russell Hotel

Imperial Hotel

Isle of Wight





Lake District

Daish’s Hotel

Esplanade Hotel

Devonshire Hotel

Abbey Lawn Hotel

Daish’s Blackpool Hotel

County Hotel

Call 01254 889900 or visit daishs.com




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TRAVEL Maritime Canada




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HOME Living simpler and cheaper



VIBRANT SPRING RECIPES with a healthy twist

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Follow the boardwalk towards the centre of town and you will come to pop up food vendors offering the local delicacy ‘poutine’ (chips with curds and gravy) and the famous lobster rolls. I know which I prefer! In the summer you may come across an outdoor concert; our visit co-incided with the annual Mac n’Cheese Festival – quite an experience!

Maritime Canada by Sally Dowling

A Tale of Two Cities – Halifax & Montreal linked by VIA Rail ‘Ocean’ Service Having enjoyed many USA road trips, Canada seemed to be calling my husband and I. Our plan was a few nights in Halifax, Nova Scotia, followed by the overnight VIA Rail service to Montreal where we would stay for a further 2 nights. We were keen to discover two very different cities and enjoy the changing scenery through the region known as Maritime Canada. Halifax Just 6 hours flying time from London is the compact city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Not much bigger than a large UK town, Halifax is capital of Nova Scotia and Canada’s important Eastern gateway with an impressive harbour. As your plane prepares to land you may find yourself asking – ‘where is this city?’ Mile upon mile of tree covered wilderness, with no buildings in sight is a bit concerning. Never fear, at the last minute Stanfield International Airport appears - welcome to Nova Scotia where you will never be far from a pine forest. On arrival you will be relieved to find that it doesn’t take long to clear immigration, the bonus of a small airport. Pick up a rental car or take the airport shuttle bus and in about 30 minutes you will be downtown. Halifax has a laid back and relaxed atmosphere which appealed to us. It has a strong maritime history and all the main city hotels are within easy reach of the historic waterfront. This was by far my favourite part of town whatever time of day. The 4km boardwalk has fabulous views over the ocean with thoughtfully placed traditional Adirondack chairs and inviting hammocks available along the way. At the southern end is the Cruise Terminal where the visiting liners dock for a day or two of sightseeing. Here you will find the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. A fascinating place where you can follow the timeline of immigrants, arriving from all over the world, who helped make Canada the successful multi-cultural country that it is today. Halifax Seaport Farmers Market is just next door and a great place to pick up a coffee and locally baked cinnamon roll whilst browsing local crafts and produce.

Also on the waterfront is the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, a fascinating insight into the seafaring history of Halifax. Discover the emotional stories of both the Titanic Disaster, and the devastating Halifax Explosion of 1917 when nearly 2000 people lost their lives. Follow the part that Halifax played in WW2 as a major port for the North Atlantic Convoys and understand shipbuilding over the ages. A 2-day stopover doesn’t give you time for everything and Halifax boasts some great museums and galleries, immaculate Victorian Gardens and the Citadel – a national historic site. This star shaped fort is situated on the top of the hill overlooking the harbour and was built by the British to defend the city. The grounds inside the fort are open all year with guided tours available from May to October. Be prepared for the daily firing of the ‘noon day gun’, a tradition dating back to 1857. VIA Rail Canada From Halifax we took the VIA Rail overnight ‘Ocean Service’ train to Montreal. 24 hours on a train is quite an experience and made a change from driving. VIA Rail offers two main fare options – a reclining seat with access to a buffet car to buy snacks and light meals, or a sleeper cabin which includes meals and also gives access to a lounge with free WiFi and, of course, the iconic viewing car. Our cabin was bijou – I think that is the word to use! Swinging cats was not really an option but it did have full ensuite facilities and was very comfortable. We had been advised to check our suitcases into the luggage car and just take a small overnight bag on board, great advice. Our steward welcomed us on board at 1.00pm and explained how everything worked and we were soon feeling at home. Lunch was served within 15 minutes of us leaving Halifax, a full 3 courses including a rather delicious dessert! During the afternoon we joined fellow passengers in the viewing car, we swapped stories over complimentary snacks, coffee and tea, and enjoyed watching the countryside change from pine forests, across rivers, over vast plains and through small rural communities. Our route took us north


Visit heart us for y and refood a ales! l

THE STRINES INN Despite being within Sheffield's border, the Strines Inn could be a world away. Nestled amongst breathtaking moorland scenery, it is one of the local landmarks in the Peak District National Park.

Originally a manor house, it was built in 1275 for the Worrall family, although most of the present day structure is 16th Century. After becoming an Inn in 1771 when John Morton leased the property from the Worrall's, it got its name from an Olde English word meaning the meeting of water, quite appropriate as nowadays it overlooks the Strines Reservoir. In the height of Summer the Inn attracts hundreds of visitors on a daily basis. The glorious sunshine and stunning views perfectly compliment the excellent food and drink available, with many dishes being homemade. The Strines Inn is also famous for its numerous peacocks, the previous Landlord having introduced several pairs twenty years ago, there are now over thirty of them. There is also accommodation available for those people looking to escape for a few days to relax. Our rooms all feature four-poster beds, en-suite bathrooms, hot drinks facilities and colour televisions. Each has a dining table where breakfast will be served to you, offering you comfort and privacy. Two of our rooms have fantastic views across the reservoir, so please ask if you would like a room with a view. • • •

Four-poster bed En-suite facilities Breakfast included

THE STRINES INN BRADFIELD DALE, SHEFFIELD S6 6JE TEL: 01142 851247 www.thestrinesinn.co.uk 10

through Nova Scotia, into New Brunswick and finally Quebec. A 10 minute stop in Moncton gave us the chance to stretch our legs, then back on board for a delicious 3 course dinner. Meanwhile our cabin was being expertly transformed into bunk beds, complete with complimentary chocolate on the pillow. We drew straws for the top bunk (he won) and were soon rocked to sleep as the train sped through the night. Breakfast was early as many passengers disembarked at Quebec. Freshly cooked eggs, bacon and all the usual fare plus fruit, pastries and lots of coffee. All too soon Montreal came into sight as we left the countryside behind and headed for the high rise buildings on the horizon. Train travel is a really great experience especially in Canada, and VIA Rail didn’t disappoint.You have total relaxation for 24 hours, WiFi is available if needed but it was a treat to just ‘switch off’. Montreal This is one sassy city where French is spoken almost exclusively, and that includes signage and public announcements. Montreal is a complete contrast to Halifax with its streets shaded by towering skyscrapers in the downtown area, and an atmosphere of hustle and bustle. Suddenly we were back in the land of the big brand stores, designer boutiques and familiar restaurants. With just 2 days at our disposal we soon worked out how the Metro worked, it is very straightforward and great value at just CAD10 for a 24-hour ticket. We hit the ground running and after dropping our bags at our very central hotel our first stop was Montreal’s historic old town and a ride on La Grande Roué, Montreal’s big observation wheel. It was a perfect late summer day with a clear blue sky, and we enjoyed views in every direction. Having just arrived it was a good way to orientate ourselves with the different parts of the city. From the wheel we walked into Vieux Montreal, the old city, an area of cobbled streets, bars and cafes bedecked with flowers. The elegant and historical building that houses the Bonsecours Market showcases the best artisan shops and galleries with original artwork and crafts on sale. The following day, with the skies still blue, we took the Metro to the Olympic Park, much of it is currently closed for renovation but we did enjoy a ride the funicular to the top of the observation tower. Famous for its 45-degree tilt, it is the tallest inclined tower in the world. A short walk away are the Botanic Gardens and this for me was the highlight of Montreal. There is so much to see that you need to put aside plenty of time and pace yourself.You will find seats hidden away that entice you to rest for a while, overlooking lakes or gardens or just in quiet corners. Explore the expertly maintained specimen gardens, the gloriously colourful Chinese Garden or sit by the lake and watch the many species of birds that make the gardens their home. Planting changes with the seasons so there is always something new to enjoy. Our last morning we explored Mount Royal, originally a small extinct volcano and now a sprawling area of parkland overlooking the city. In summer the park is host to open air concerts, picnicking families, hikers and cyclists and in the winter it becomes a winter sports playground. We were just content to sit and admire yet more views from the massive terrace in front of the Mount Royal Chalet. The long walk back downhill was just what we needed before setting off for the airport and the flight home. Silver Travel Advisor recommends Frontier Canada silvertraveladvisor.com/travel_partners/frontiercanada/ Or call 0800 412 5678 for further information, quotes and to book your Canadian holiday.



All the excursions below operate via D O OR Ashton, Oldham, Royton and Rochdale.



28 May

202 1

13 June

KESWICK IT’S MARKET DAY! www.ellensmith.co.uk


Though only a small town, Keswick has a range of shops both in the Market Square and down every alley and side street. The Cumberland Pencil Museum documents the history of pencils, and the Keswick Museum & Art Gallery displays local artefacts.

We travel to Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock for some free time to explore. stunning parkland and a thriving community. Be sure to save some room as this afternoon we board the Floating Grace for an entertaining cruise around the Albert Dock whilst enjoying a delicious Afternoon Tea before returning home.

Price £19.50 | Book online £17.55

Price £38.50 | Book online £34.65

30 May

19 June



Today is free to explore the popular seaside resort of Blackpool. Why not visit the world-famous Blackpool Tower, one of the most loved and recognised landmarks in the world, and home to the famous Tower Ballroom, the Tower Circus, Blackpool Tower Dungeons and the Blackpool Tower Eye.

We travel to Hebden Bridge, spectacular scenery and quirky, independent shops, galleries and cafes in Hebden Bridge, make for a great family day out. After some free time we then move on to Haworth. Haworth village is home to the Bronte Parsonage Museum, the former home of the literary Bronte sisters.

Price £18.50 | Book online £16.65

Price £18.50 | Book online £16.65

01 June

21 June



With over 15,000 animals in 125 acres of awardwinning zoological gardens, there’s plenty to keep you busy for the day.For those not wanting to visit the Zoo, our coach will continue to Cheshire Oaks for the ultimate shopping experience and then continue to the Roman city of Chester for free time.

This morning we travel to Whaley Bridge where we board The Judith Mary II, a family run 72-foot-long canal boat which has been running for 36 years. On board we enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea style lunch. After our cruise, we travel the short distance to the spa town of Buxton for a little free time.

Price £18.50 | Book online £16.65

Price £35.50 | Book online £31.95

Membership No: 10228

23 June

08 June


021 BROCHURE.indd 1

Llandudno’s immaculate seafront, gracefully framed by two headlands, is a seaside classic. Plus arty and other modern attractions that add the perfect contemporary touch. You’ll find sandy beaches, excellent shopping and lots of pubs, cafés & restaurants to suit every taste.

A memorable visit to England’s largest village, Whalley and Oswaldtwistle Mills Home & Lifestyle Centre in Lancashire has something to amaze, charm and intrigue visitors of all ages.

Price £19.50 | Book online £17.55

Price £19.50 | Book online £17.55

10 June

24 June


This morning we travel to Harrogate, a Victorian Spa town in the heart of Yorkshire. The reputation of the shopping streets for exquisite retail opportunities is well deserved and its spa heritage is evident to this day with spa treatments new and old available. Harrogate is renowned for its smart little tearooms and classy cafes.

PORT SUNLIGHT Port Sunlight, the village founded by ‘Soap King’ William Hesketh Lever in 1888. The village was built to house Lever’s ‘Sunlight Soap’ factory workers, but today is home to a fascinating museum, beautiful architecture, a world-class art gallery, stunning parkland and a thriving community.

Price £18.50 | Book online £16.65

Price £27.50 | Book online £24.75

12 June

29 June

PORTMEIRION (ADMISSION INC.) We travel to Portmeirion Village where we spend the day. Aside from its iconic architecture, scenic surroundings and vast woodland gardens, Portmeirion is home to hip hotels, a huddle of historic cottages, a spa and award-winning restaurants.

Price £31.50 | Book online £28.35

How to Book

01/02/2021 10:53


Ellen Smith Tours Ltd Tel: 01706 648126


We board our train for the single journey from Settle to Carlisle. Running through some of the most attractive scenery in the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbrian Fells, the Settle-Carlisle Railway is world famous for its Victorian architecture long tunnels and remote wayside station buildings.

Price £45.50 | Book online £40.95

Book online: www.ellensmith.co.uk Full details can be found on the website.

Membership No: 10228


THE TENBY BOURNEMOUTH THE ENGLISH ENGLISH RIVIERA RIVIERA -- TORQUAY TORQUAY SCARBOROUGH TENBY & & PEMBROKESHIRE PEMBROKESHIRE BOURNEMOUTH ANNES-ON-SEA BLACKPOOL & HISTORIC YORK ST The Belgrave Sands Hotel & Spa ~ The Giltar Hotel, Tenby ~ 3 Star Mayfair Hotel~ St. Ives Imperial Hotel Park Manor Hotel The Belgrave Sands Hotel & Spa ~ The Giltar Hotel, Tenby ~ 3 Star MayfairHotel Hotel~ 3 3 Star Star 4 Star For these holidays we stay in Tenby, with its With seven miles of golden St. Annes-on-Sea, Fyldesands coast, and offers a A holiday in Blackpool will leave you feeling Scarborough enjoys anwe unrivalled as one 4 Star For these holidays stay in position Tenby, with its With seven mileson ofthe golden sands and pastel-coloured buildings, narrow streets, sparkling sea, the vibrant cosmopolitan town An award-winning resort where elegant refreshed, relaxed and recharged – even if you are An award-winning resort where elegant Victorian villas,aaday! bustling harbour palmon the go 25 hours Perhaps it’s theand resort’s Victorian villas, a bustling harbour and palminfectious zest for life, give or maybe it’s just its that, fringed beaches the Riviera fringed beaches give the Riviera its can offer uniquely, whatever your routine, Blackpool well-earned name. well-earned name. a perfect break from it.

13th June | 5| Days | £369 | 28th 28th March March | 5 5 Days Days | £359 £359

NORTH & NORTH DEVON DEVON & CORNWALL CORNWALL HIGHLANDS, RAILWAYS & The Durrant House Hotel DOLPHINS The Durrant House Hotel ~ ~3 3 Star Star Based in the port of Bideford, this tour The Priory Hotel Based in the port of Bideford, this tour

combines the best of Beautiful Cornwall and

combines the best of Beautiful Cornwall and A wonderful Scottish tour with delightful North Highlands Devon. Bideford’s narrow delightful NorthaDevon. Bideford’s narrow spectacular scenery, memorable rail the journey back streets and alleyways link quay and streetsanand alleyways boat link the quay andback experience unforgettable cruise on and the river, and the old road has a lovelybridge the Moray Firth to see most northerly the river, and the the oldworld’s road has a lovelybridge that crosses the riverDolphins, linking Bidefordto other population of Bottlenose along with other that crosses the river linking Bidefordto other areas of Devon. marine wildlife, including seals and otters. areas of Devon.

30th 4th June April || 55 Days Days| |£499 £289

4th April | 5 Days | £289

of pastel-coloured Britain’s premier coastal resorts, yet also lies buildings, narrow streets, fortified walls, bustling atmosphere. tantalisingly close and to North Yorkshire’s rugged fortified walls, and bustling atmosphere. Tenby Park. is one ofthis the prettiest resorts in South National you can enjoy the Tenby is oneOn of theholiday, prettiest resorts in South Wales. Whether you parks take aand stroll through golden beaches, superb gardens and the Wales. Whether you take a stroll through the town or along theamenities beaches,which or enjoy ride wide range of leisure haveagiven town or along the beaches, or enjoy a ride Scarborough its justifiable reputation.Tenby is an along the Pembrokeshirecoast,

along the Pembrokeshirecoast, Tenby is an ideal base. ideal base.

13th June | |65Days Days || £519 3rd 3rd April April | 6 Days | £499 £499

PERTHSHIRE, ST. & PERTHSHIRE, ST. ANDREWS ANDREWS NORFOLK BROADS STEAM & EDINBURGH EDINBURGH CRUISE Salutation Hotel, Perth Holiday Inn Hotel, Salutation Hotel, Norwich Perth ~ ~3 3 Star Star

Perthshire is a region of breath-taking variety,

What better way experience Norfolk thanvariety, with Perthshire is a to region of breath-taking from itsCruise, serene glens andrailway, endless expanse a Broads a nostalgic and a visit toof from its serene glens and endless expanse of lush forest to its bleakly beautifulNorfolk moors, Sandringham Estate, the much-loved lush forest to its bleakly beautiful moors,retreat rushing rivers and tumbling waterfalls. of rushing Her Majesty the Queen. The magnificent rivers and tumbling waterfalls. stately house is set in stunning landscaped gardens and remains very much as it was in Edwardian times.

3rd July || 5 Days | |£429 4th 4th April April | 5 5 Days Days | £339 £339

BEAUTIFUL NORFOLK COAST & WYE & BEAUTIFUL NORFOLK & WYE VALLEY VALLEY & THE THE ROYAL ROYAL WESTON SUPER MARE COAST & SUFFOLK GARDENS, CASTLE & CITY FOREST OF DEAN CITY FOREST OF DEAN SOMERSET SPLENDOUR WILDLIFE Bells Hotel Country Club 3 Best Western Brook Bells Hotel & &Brome Country Club ~ ~ 3 Star Star BestAtlantic WesternHotel Brook Hotel, Hotel, Norwich Norwich Best Grand Western Grange Hotel Experience this magical borderland on a ~ 3 Star Experience this magical borderland on a 3 Star Our~ tour is based in the popular seaside resort of Suffolk a county with many charming andand scenicis river cruise, a relaxing train ride The East Anglia coast is starkly beautiful, with Weston-Super-Mare. Somerset has lots of surprises The East Anglia coast is starkly beautiful, with picture postcard fishing villages, and much waiting to be discovered – stunning beaches, green picture postcard fishing villages, and much more, creating an idyll of &rural charm. As a countryside, woodlands lakes more. more, creating an idyll of rural charm. As a contrast, we feature the lovely Cathedral City contrast, we feature the lovely Cathedral City of Norwich, and the Norfolk Broads. of Norwich, and the Norfolk Broads.

11th July | 5| Days | £399 | 18th 18th April April | 5 5 Days Days | £389 £389

scenic river cruise, a relaxing train rideresorts, and redeeming features - picturesque visits to historic towns. This is aseaside place where agricultural landscapes of wheat thatched visits to historic towns. This is fields, a place where you can recharge your batteries, get off the cottages rural villages attractive you caninrecharge yourand batteries, getmarket off the beaten track andexplore escape thenatural everyday. towns. Join us and beauty of beaten track and escapethe the everyday. Suffolk.

11th July | |55Days | £409 | 18th 18th April April | 5 Days Days | £419 £419

gentle and sea, peaceful way of life. St. Annes boasts sparkling the vibrant cosmopolitan towna of Bournemouth it all –Pier, a vast variety ofwith beautifully restoredhas Victorian promenade of Bournemouth has it all – a vast variety of shopsacross and restaurants, endless views to North Wales, multi countryside award-winning shops and restaurants, endless countryside offering peace and relaxation and beautiful, beach huts, a wide-open sandy beach, plenty of offering peace and relaxation and beautiful, places to eat andgardens. wonderful seaside charm. award-winning

award-winning gardens.

20th June Days| | £359 | | 5Days 4th 4th April April | 5 5 Days | £339 £339

SKEGNESS SKEGNESS & & THE THE BEST BEST OF OF PAIGNTON LINCOLNSHIRE LINCOLNSHIRE The Queens Hotel The Hotel, Skegness ~ Welcome to Paignton, of the stunning English The Royal Royal Hotel,part Skegness ~3 3 Star Star

Experience the on best ofSouth Lincolnshire with Riviera, situated the Devon coastline in Experience the best of Lincolnshire withdotted sheltered Torbay. palm trees that are historic towns andThe villages, a thriving seaside historic towns and villages, a thriving seaside about give the impression that you’re on resortthe andcentre ‘Bomber Country’ heritage. and ‘Bomber aresort continental holiday Country’ and whenheritage. the sun shines you can imagine yourself being almost anywhere in the world.

4th July | |55 Days Days || £449 11th 11th April April | 5 Days | £339 £339

BLENHEIM, SEZINCOTE AND THE BLENHEIM, HOUSE SEZINCOTE AND THE DUMFRIES & THE DEVIL’S KENNET & AVON CANAL KENNET & AVON CANAL PORRIDGE Best Western House BestCairndale Western Blunsdon Blunsdon House Club The Hotel & Leisure Hotel ~ 4 The first ~ thing you’ll notice about Dumfries & Hotel 4 Star Star

A lovely tour for thebeautiful summer as we enjoy a Galloway is just how part of lowland A lovely tour for the summerthis as we enjoy a visit to unique a 200-year-old Scotland is, withSezincote, an undulating coastline of rocky visit to unique Sezincote, a 200-year-old Mogul Indian Palace. Spend whilst a day inland exploring shoreline and sandy beaches, there are Mogul Indian Palace. Spend a day exploring acres of forest andand green spaces. Blenheim Palace relax with a horse-drawn Blenheim Palace and relax with a horse-drawn barge trip on the Kennet & Avon Canal. barge trip on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

17th July| |55Days Days || £439 21st 21st April April | 5 Days | £449 £449



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WINDSOR & SOUTHSEA CHICHESTER SPRING, SOUTH & & ANGUS WINDSOR CASTLE CASTLE & CRUISE CRUISE THE THE PICTURESQUE SOUTHSEA & &PEMBROKESHIRE CHICHESTER SPRING,SECRET SOUTH SHIELDS SHIELDS & & COASTLINE EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES THAMES HARBOUR CRUISE THE DURHAM COAST THAMES HARBOUR CRUISE THE DURHAM COAST BEAUTIFUL GOWER GLAMIS CASTLE IN THE HOME COUNTIES Cross The Hotel, Western Royal The Little Hotel IvyBest Bush Royal Hotel The Bull Bull Hotel, Gerrard’s Gerrard’s Cross Montrose Best Western Royal Beach Beach Hotel Hotel ~ ~ Park The Hotel, Little Haven Haven Hotel ~ ~3 3 Star Star Mercure Letchworth Hall Hotel ~ 4 Star A great Spring tour based in South Shields 3 Star The3natural 4 Star AA tour delving intotour Scotland’s takingShields in some fine great Spring basedpast in South Delve~deeper into the affectionately known ‘home Starbeauty of the Pembrokeshire coast and overlooking the River Tyne and Little Haven A lovely tour as we discover the splendour of the Gower peninsula are famed all over the world. A great tour for the summer – stroll along counties’ as wetour uncover the eccentric estates and of A lovely as we discover the splendour A great tour for theand summer – stroll along Glorious sandy beaches endless Royal andhome explore Southsea seafront, visit seemingly the historic cathedral villages thatWindsor have played andmighty host to Windsor many Royal Windsor and explore mighty Windsor Southsea seafront, visit the historicHills, cathedral rugged coastline give way to the Preseli Castle. Offering a welcome contrast, we also city of Chichester and enjoy a relaxing historic unusual residents, from rock-stars to royalty. Castle. Offering a welcome contrast, we also towns of Chichester relaxing and little villages.and Forenjoy theseatours we stay in enjoy a relaxing cruise along the River Thames. city harbour cruise and indulge with a gin tasting enjoy a relaxing cruise along the River Thames.Carmarthen, ideal for visiting this with delightful of harbour cruise and indulge a gincorner tasting at Bombay Sapphire. Wales. at Bombay Sapphire.

21st | 5 |Days | £479 | £489 21stJuly April 5 Days

24th July | |55Days | £439 | 25th 25th April April | 5 Days Days | £459 £459

21st April | 5 Days | £489

places includingthe theRiver 13th century Glamis the overlooking Tyne and LittleCastle, Haven Beach. Weand explore scenicand coastline before new Victoria Albertthe Museum a visit to see Beach. We explore the scenic coastline before enjoying time in the historic of Durham as “the finest regiment in the world”.city enjoying time in the historic city of Durham as

well as a visit to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. well as a visit to Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

25th July || 5 5 Days ||£419 25th 25th April April | 5 Days Days | £439 £439

PICTURESQUE PEMBROKESHIRE KENT, DEVONSHIRE & PICTURESQUE PEMBROKESHIRE EASTBOURNE KENT, THE THE BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL GARDEN GARDEN DEVONSHIRE & ILFRACOMBE ILFRACOMBE THE LIVING HISTORY OF THE GARDENS OF CORNWALL & BEAUTIFUL GOWER OF ENGLAND The Royal & Fortescue Hotel BEAUTIFULHouse GOWER OF ENGLAND The&Rosemundy Hotel The Burlington Hotel SOUTHEAST The Royal & Fortescue Hotel ~ ~ 3 Star The Ivy Bush Royal Hotel, Best Western Plus Burlington Hotel Cornwall is in the far west of Great Britain on a Eastbourne is a town with grace and elegance Hilton The Ivy Bush Royal Hotel, Best Western Plus Burlington Hotel 3 StarSt. Annes Manor A short break with excursions to interest Carmarthen Star Star peninsula tumbling into~the Atlantic Ocean, that~has for everyone – a landscaped, Step back break in timewith on this lovely tour the Southeast A short excursions totointerest Carmarthen ~3 3 vast Star ~4 4 something Star everyone. We take in North Devon throughout almost completely surrounded by the sea. Cornwall pedestrianised town centre, bordered by a large The natural beauty of the Pembrokeshire coast

Known as the Garden of England, Kent boasts

coastline give way to the Preseli Hills, historic coastline give way to the Preseli Hills, historic towns, and little villages. towns, and little villages.

is ideally based in Folkestone, and we include is ideally based in Folkestone, and we include visits to some lovely coastal and inland towns visits to some lovely coastal and inland towns

31st | £559 | £419 1stJuly May| 6| 5Days Days

1st August 5 Days 2nd May || 5 Days| |£399 £399

Thefornatural beauty of the Pembrokeshire coast Known as the Garden of England, Kentand boasts is loved its Gower dramatic coastline, captivating fishing of shops, a clean, well-managed beach and the Peninsula are famed all over range beautiful beaches, stunning castles, exciting and and the of Gower Peninsula are famed all over seafront beautiful beaches, stunning castles, exciting harbours course, its pasties and cream teas! renowned for its attractive three-tier flower the world. Glorious sandy beaches and rugged culture, and delicious food & drink. Our tour the world. Glorious sandy beaches and ruggeddecked culture, delicious food & drink. Our tour leveland promenade.

1st May | 5 Days | £419

2nd May | 5 Days | £399

ofeveryone. England. We selection of visits with Weinclude take inaNorth Devon throughout with visitsfortoeveryone interesting attractions which, something to enjoy. with visits to interesting attractions which,

when combined with our excellent hotel, when combined with our excellent hotel, makes this an enjoyable break. makes this an enjoyable break.

4th 5 Days| £479 | £479 8thAugust May | 5| Days

8th May | 5 Days | £479

THE CITY WORCESTER BLACKPOOL BEAUTIFUL CORNWALL THE HISTORIC HISTORIC CITY OF OF WORCESTER BLACKPOOL BEAUTIFUL CORNWALL ISLE OF WIGHT DEVON & SOMERSET STEAM & HEART OF ENGLAND & STRATFORD-UPON-AVON The Doric Hotel ~ 3 Star Rosemundy House & STRATFORD-UPON-AVON The Trouville House Hotel Hotel The Abbey The DoricHotel Hotel ~ 3 Star CRUISE Rosemundy Hotel AA AA ~ ~ A holiday in Blackpool will leave you feeling Fownes Hotel ~ 3 Star 4 Star A lovely sightseeing tour with many things of interest, Boasting award-winning beaches, unspoilt and A holiday in Blackpool will leave you feeling Hotel ~ 3 Star 4 Star BestFownes Western Tiverton Hotel refreshed, relaxed and recharged – even if This is an area of literary greats, of culinary

Thisof is the an area literaryand greats, of counties culinary in Visit two mostof beautiful scenic brilliance and iconic heritage. We enjoy the Britain, whilst relaxing on cruises and We a steam brilliance and iconic heritage. enjoytrain. the

based in Great Malvern beautiful–Malvern refreshed, relaxed with and the recharged even if are on the 25 hours a day!some Perhaps Hillsyou overlooking thego town. We feature of theit’s you are on the go 25 hours a day! Perhaps it’s the resort’s infectious zest for life, or maybe bestthe places the area has to offer. resort’s infectious zest for life, or maybe

birthplace of William Shakespeare and a birthplace of William Shakespeare and a relaxing river cruise, the historic city of relaxing river cruise, the historic city of Worcester, and the beautiful scenic Cotswolds. Worcester, and the beautiful scenic Cotswolds.

7th8th August May || 55 Days Days| |£459 £439

8th May | 5 Days | £439

it’s just that, uniquely, whatever your routine, it’s just that, uniquely, whatever your routine, Blackpool can offer a perfect break from it. Blackpool can offer a perfect break from it.

8th August Days || £299 £389 9th May | |55Days

9th May | 5 Days | £299

Cornwall isscenery in the far of historical Great Britain on spectacular andwest a rich, heritage, Cornwall is in the far west of Great Britain on a peninsula tumbling into the for vasteveryone Atlanticto the Isle of Wight has something a peninsula tumbling into villages, the vast spectacular Atlantic enjoy. Discover Ocean, almostpicturesque completely surrounded by Ocean, completely surrounded by cliffs, and almost sandy beaches. Our is Sandown, the sea. Cornwall is loved forbase its dramatic sea. Cornwall lovedwith for long its dramatic a the traditional seaside is resort stretches of coastline, captivating fishing harbours and of coastline, fishing harbours and of beach andits acaptivating Victorian pier. course, pasties and cream teas! course, its pasties and cream teas!

8th August| 6 | 7 Days|| £519 £569 13th 13th May May | 6 Days Days | £519

INTERESTED? INTERESTED? Call Call our our reservations reservations office office on on 01706 01706 648126 648126 and and request request a a copy copy of of our our 2022 2022 brochure. brochure. You’ll You’ll be be surprised surprised at at the the variations variations of of tours tours we operate. Visit our website www.ellensmith.co.uk we operate. Visit our website www.ellensmith.co.uk






It is, though, wonderful to see the honed talents competing, whether in exciting Luge and ice-hockey, soaring ski-jumping or elegant ice-dance. It all seems like another world, really, and it is. Only the Scots, who have the weather and the resilience, seem to be able to make their mark on any of the Winter Olympics. Thank goodness they’re an important part of Team GB! Just love Roy Orbison’s hit Only Baloney! IT’S something we’ve all done at one time or another – singing the wrong words to a popular song with all the quiet confidence of someone who believes they’ve got it absolutely right. Winter Olympic fun warms up British audiences UNTIL just a month or two ago I don’t think many of us knew a wick from a wobbler or a bone from a butter. But after the Winter Olympics from Beijing, we’ve learned a lot about curling and snowboarding, which respectively boast these moves. Of course, one of the things we’ve definitely learned is that there are a large number of other countries which are much better at everything from bobsleigh to biathlon than we are.

This may be in the shower or, if we’re particularly brave, in the pub or another public place, probably joining in with others who may possibly be equally deluded. Watching the Kathryn Heigel film 27 Dresses on TV the other day brought home to me the delights of singing completely the wrong lyrics with real gusto. She totally mangled the Elton John song Benny and the Jets during a drunken evening in a bar but the results proved so entertaining.

Well, they’ve probably got both the snow and the resources to plough into such natural sports for them.

Checking on this general phenomenon, I discovered a book by Martin Toseland called The Ants Are My Friends: Misheard Lyrics, Malapropisms, Eggcorns and other Linguistic Gaffes.

They can’t take the curling from the UK, though. Our girls, lead by Eve Muirhead, took gold in the final against Japan – going one better than our men’s team which took a valiant silver.

This is just a delight. For example, he discovered that some Adam and the Ants’ fans were happily singing “Stab in the liver, your mummy or your wife” in Stand and Deliver instead of “Stand and deliver, your money or your life.”

The odd thing is that, for just a matter of a very few short weeks early in the year, we all become quite knowledgeable about Winter sports most of us will probably never think about for at least another 12 months.

Elvis’s Suspicious Minds apparently had the line “We’re courting a trout, I can’t walk out” instead of “We’re caught in a trap, I can’t walk out.”

After all, we don’t go out each Saturday afternoon with our mates to watch our favourite team in the biathlon or speed skating, do we?

Roberta Flack’s magnificent song Tonight, I Celebrate My Love To You translated to “Tonight, I sellotape my glove to you” by some poor souls with hearing problems.

Apart from those keen skiers and snowboarders who go to resorts to enjoy their sport, many of us never ski or skate.

And Dusty Springfield’s ever-popular Son of a Preacher Man never boasted “The only boy who could ever reach me was the son of a pizza man.”

The last time I went skating, my youngest daughter (now 38) fell and ended up in A & E with a suspected fractured elbow. It was a birthday treat and she and her pals (giddy eight year-olds) thought the best bit was sitting having their McDonalds’ happy meals as increasingly grisly injuries trooped past. I digress. 14

Even soulful hits like Crystal Gale’s Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue are not exempt from lyric problems. I really don’t think she meant “Doughnuts make my brown eyes blue”, although you never know.

And Queen’s mega-hit Bohemian Rhapsody definitely didn’t include “Beelzebub has a devil for a sideboard”. Actually, it was Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me” but who cares?

Judges have selected five inspiring UK dogs as finalists to go forward for a public vote to find the winner but, really, any one of them could take the title.

Never mind, one of my favourite all-time songs is Michael Jackson’s Ben - and I only found out last week that it’s all about a boy and his pet rat!

There’s three year-old Golden Retriever Milo who has given his owner a new lease of life after he started losing his sight. Milo has prevented him from being injured including stopping him from crossing a road during a dangerous police car chase, thus saving his life. Then there’s Chewie, a five year-old rescue dog, who saved his owner’s life when he alerted his wife to the fact that he was having a cardiac arrest. Newfoundland dogs Storm, Sonar, Bob and Walker provide water therapy as a form of suicide prevention. These natural water rescue dogs offer a wonderful calming influence for people considering suicide, swimming happily with them.

Hero dogs come in all shapes and sizes DOGS are truly remarkable, aren’t they? Anyone who owns one will attest to that. Today, though, they seem even cleverer. So it’s great to see that the famous Kennel club has a Hero Dog Award which is announced at Curfts 2022.

Four year-old Golden Retriever Ruby works as a therapy job for her owner who has cerebral palsy. Springer Spaniel Simba can quickly detect a variety of ignitable substances. He helps his handler to work out the cause of fires set deliberately and bring murderers to justice. I know such training takes long and dedicated hours by humans but, we have to admit, there is something special about dogs that allow their talents to be honed like this. However, don’t tell our mad Jack Russell, Ollie, that he’s any more special than he already thinks he is. He knows he’s top dog in our house.

or email: help@aamail.org 15




BILL BAILEY THE MULTI-TALENTED ENTERTAINER WHEN comedian Bill Bailey waltzed, quick-stepped and hiphopped his way to the glitterball trophy in December, 2020, he became the oldest celebrity contestant to win Strictly Come Dancing. He was probably also the unlikeliest winner because the smart money would not have been on a balding 55 year-old with no track record of dancing. However, the gambling sceptics would have been badly wrong. Our Bill proved to be a light-footed, athletic dancer, a quick learner with dance partner Oti Mabuse and a delight to watch. Not to mention a poster-boy for all males over 50 who believed they could never be a dance hero. Yet, a quick look at Bill Bailey’s background – and a seat at any of his many sell-out shows – would reveal a multi-talented entertainer with daredevil inclinations when it comes to tackling new challenges. Born Mark Robert Bailey in Bath, Somerset his father was a GP. Bill recalls: “He taught me patience. It sounds like a terrible pun but it’s true. He has an immense ability to listen.” 16

Bill was educated at the independent King Edwards School and was highly academic until around the age of 15 when the thrill of performance as a member of the school band distracted him. He did, though, take his music A level (which he passed with an A grade) and later became a classically trained musician at the London College of Music. He was also a keen – and talented – cricketer, often leading the singing on the long coach journey back from away fixtures. He was given the nickname Bill by his music teacher for being able to play the song Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey so well on the guitar. Recalled Bill: “None of the kids knew what he was on about, but it stuck.” Bill started his studies for an English degree at the University of London but left after a year. He performed with a boy band called The Famous Five and also got early acting roles – including a part in the Workers’ Revolutionary Party’s stage production of The Printers which also featured Vanessa Redgrave.

Born with a lively sense of humour and a vivid imagination, Bill began touring with comedians like Mark Lamarr and in 1984 formed a double act, the Rubber Bishops, with Toby Longworth. Here he began developing his own style, mixing musical parodies with a personal take on traditional jokes and humour. He combined his theatrical talents and comedy in 1993 when he performed in Rock at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Sean Lock. The show was about an ageing rockstar and his roadie and was later serialised for the Mark Radcliffe show on BBC Radio 1. Bill’s career at this stage was not yet soaring so he went solo the next year with a one-man show Bill Bailey’s Cosmic Jam. This led to a recording at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London which was broadcast in 1997 on Channel 4 as a one-hour special called Bill Bailey Live. This was the first time that Bill’s trademark combination of music, post-modern gags and funny ramblings came together to create the style that would make him famous. In 1998, the BBC gave him his own TV show Is It Bill Bailey? and he won the Best Live Stand-Up award at the British Comedy Awards the following year. Bill Bailey had arrived. Guest appearances on radio and TV shows like Have I Got News For You and Room 101 introduced Bill to a wider audience. His quick wits made him a regular on intellectual panel game QI and he had several acting roles on TV programmes including E4 teenage series Skins, the BBC show Hustle, Jonathan Creek, Midsomer Murders and Worzel Gummidge. He also starred in cult comedies Spaced and Black Books. It is, however, his stage shows which have consolidated his fan base and earned him new followers all over the world. Last year, he took his new touring show En Route To Normal to venues across the UK and Ireland and this year he is off further afield to Europe and later in the year to Australia. Bill is an accomplished musician and plays a variety of instruments including piano, guitar and keyboards. He is a big fan of progressive rock and heavy metal and presented Peter Gabriel with the Prog God award at the 2014 Progressive Music Awards. He is plainly an admirer of Gabriel whom he has described as “perhaps the most ambitious, influential and innovative musical wizard on the planet.” He is an avid Star Trek fan and in 2003 named his son after the Star Trek: Deep Space 9 character Dax. In fact, he often refers to himself as a Klingon and claimed, during his Part Troll tour, that his ear-mounted microphone made him look like “a wizard in a call centre and “a Klingon motivational speaker.” Bill keeps an open mind about all new areas of music. He once said: “I don’t reject popular culture – I’m not the sort of grumpy old man who says ‘Well, I actually switched off after 1982.’

“Good music is being made all the time; you just have to filter out the chaff. And there is a lot of chaff, unfortunately.” Bill Bailey is not your ordinary Joe to behold, either. He auditioned for the role of Gimli the dwarf in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001 and his nickname is Bilbo. The long, untidy hair, the beard and the piercing eyes are now immediately recognisable. “I first grew a beard out of terror,” he reported.

“About 20 years ago, my friend and I were staying in a very heavy area off Times Square in NewYork. People would stick drugs in your pocket and then say you owed them money.We grew emergency beards and affected the hobo look to protect ourselves.” And it looks very much like this eccentric image has helped Bill Bailey win hearts and minds ever since. Oh, and that glitterball trophy.

• For details of Bill Bailey’s 2022 appearances go to https://billbailey.co.uk/live/ 17


Downsizing also means less space for possessions so you will probably have to do some radical de-cluttering. The best way to do this is to go room by room and be realistic about what you can take with you. List what you want to keep, throw out or give away to charity and try and keep to your plan because there will be plenty of temptations to keep items for sentimental reasons. Charities like Emmaus contact@emmaus.org. uk and the British Heart Foundation https:// www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/hearthelpline will take unwanted furniture.

LIVING SIMPLER AND CHEAPER AFTER a Winter of Discontent when energy prices have rocketed and food prices have soared alongside them if there’s one thing we want to do this year it’s to live cheaper and simpler. We learned much about what style of living we wanted during lockdown. And for many people what they had was not what they wanted long-term. As a result, some house prices – especially those with space and a garden – have gone much higher as people vote to change their lifestyle by packing their bags and bringing in the estate agents. Certainly, what has happened is that we have all assessed whether we’re happy with our current accommodation and the lifestyle we have with many looking for ways to change them in 2022. While you may have a wish-list of things you want in your new home, what you might simply want is to downsize – thus giving you not only the place but the cheaper lifestyle you want. The children might have left home.Your health might mean you need easier or supported accommodation.You might just want to slash domestic bills by living in a smaller home like an apartment. It may be that the maintenance on your current home is too difficult or that you need to raise funds for your retirement or care. There are many alternative options including a smaller house or flat, a bungalow or other single storey accommodation, a retirement home or village or a park home. While your planned new property may well be easier to manage and much cheaper, it’s worth researching your new area for facilities and transport. Charity Age UK has plenty of advice to help here. Go to https:// www.ageuk.org.uk


Local hospices and the Salvation Army may also take furniture. They will certainly take household items at local charity shops along with unwanted, good-condition clothes, shoes etc. If you really don’t want to move house but need to cut your bills, consumer experts Which? provide a good place to start. Go to https://www.which.co.uk Which? Switch may be useful if you need to switch ENERGY SUPPLIERS. They also advise choosing paperless bills and managing your account online as some companies charge extra for paper bills. Paying by direct debit is also usually cheaper and sending regular meter readings can keep your bill accurate. Question any direct debit increases that seem too high as your energy company should be able to explain the changes.Your usage and payments should balance out over a year. When replacing an appliance, Which? points out that you can cut your electricity bills by choosing the most energy-efficient model. The most visual indication of a product’s energy efficiency is its EU energy-efficiency rating. Which? also tests items like washing machines so it could be worth a look. LOFT and CAVITY WALL INSULATION can save you a large amount each year. If you have it already, it might be worth topping it up as this can also help reduce heat loss. You can also reduce heat loss by replacing WINDOWS with single and double glazing. Heating is responsible for more than half of your energy bill each year so replacing an old, inefficient gas BOILER with a modern energy-efficient one could make a big difference. Energy-saving LIGHTBULBS can also help cut your energy bills and if you don’t already have a room thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves, installing them and using them well could provide another useful saving. If you only need to heat one room in your home, it can be cheaper to use a portable electric heater and keep the thermostat turned down.

not only add more areas in which to live daily but also add to your insulation – along with the value of your home. Take a real look at the way your life is at home and work out whether you could use space better and more efficiently.You might need an office space, a workout area, somewhere for the children to study or just better utilisation of the rooms and areas there already. Sometimes, by re-configuring the rooms you have – whether by internal building work or just by usage – you can streamline the way you live.

For anyone living alone or working from home, investing in an electric heater could save on heating bills over time as you’re not heating the whole home unnecessarily. However, be careful with your electric heater as electricity is much pricier than gas per hour. Stop heat from escaping through unwanted gaps around DOORS and windows with effective draught-proofing. Use draughtproofing strips around the windows; brush strips work better for sash windows. On doors, use draught-proofing strips around the edges and brush or hinged-flap draught excluders at the bottom.


If you don’t use a CHIMNEY or fireplace, put an inflatable pillow inside to block the chimney or fit a cap over the chimney pot. For loft hatches, use draught-proofing foam strips to keep the heat in, Keep rooms you don’t use closed and well-insulated and keep heating down to a minimum. Many of us spend a lot more time in the kitchen or central living areas over the colder months so these are areas to concentrate on. Lined CURTAINS help with insulation and making your home heating work better – they’re also cosy, even on chilly Summer evenings. BLINDS on bare windows not only feel cosier but also brighten up rooms and so make us feel better all year round. If you need more living space rather than less, CONSERVATORIES and ORANGERIES

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STEVE HOWARTH’S TEST DRIVE Tip trips were no problem as the S-Cross has 665 litres of load lugging capacity but the car show was a bigger challenge as my passengers were more used to travelling in Porsches and Ferraris than a Suzuki! However, initial lack of enthusiasm from my classic car comrades turned to respect for the very capable S-Cross with its mild hybrid powertrain set up giving up to a shade over 54mpg while 0 to 60 takes 10.2 seconds and it boasts a top speed of 121mph. It was also comfortable even with four on board and made short work of the 200-mile plus round trip.

Suzuki S-Cross REGULAR readers will know we went on the recent launch of the new Suzuki S-Cross and were suitably impressed - but what is the company’s flagship SUV like to live with? Well those lovely people at Suzuki let us try out a range-topping Ultra Allgrip version for a week where it was put to some very different uses. These ranged from trips to the tip to four very adult sized middleaged classic car fans travelling to Birmingham’s NEC for the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show.

The 2022 S-Cross is more economical than major competitors, well equipped and competitively priced, starting from £24,999 for two wheel drive versions up to £29,799 for our range topping 4×4, which went on sale in January. All versions have 48V mild hybrid technology and there are now just two trim levels – Motion and Ultra. All versions also have the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with Suzuki’s Boosterjet technology. ALLGRIP ‘Select’ four wheel drive is available as standard on Ultra grade while automated emergency braking, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition and Adaptive Cruise Control are standard across the range.

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Standard specification also includes Apple CarPlay & Android Auto smartphone link, keyless entry and start, dual-zone auto air conditioning, heated front seats plus front and rear parking sensors. Move up to Ultra specification and it adds a 360 view camera, leather upholstery, on-board navigation and a large sliding panoramic sunroof. Six-speed automatic transmission is available on both grades for £1,350. Suzuki say the new S-Cross has a more ‘bold and muscular’ design and this theme continues with a more spacious and versatile interior and an even higher standard and safety specification than the previous model. Similar to the 12V Hybrid system that Suzuki has fitted to all Ignis and Swift 1.2-litre models, the 48V Hybrid Powertrain for new S-Cross is lightweight as it adds less than 15kg to the overall weight of the vehicle. The system has a lithium-ion battery with integrated starter generator which acts as both a generator and starter motor, is belt driven and assists the petrol engine during acceleration. The battery stores energy recovered from deceleration and braking and incorporates an idle/stop function. And while they are not the biggest car manufacturer by sales in the UK in many ways Suzuki are officially the best. The Japanese

manufacturer has between one and two per cent of new car sales here but is repeatedly voted ‘most trusted’ brand as their dealers continue to get a big thumbs up from customers. And I can also thoroughly recommend the Classic Car and Restoration show where almost every vehicle from the past 50 years was represented in various stages of rebuilding or as completed show stunners. So many cars so little time… More info at www.suzuki.co.uk and www.necrestorationshow.com

For all the latest car tests see the motoring section of our website at www.50plusmagazine.co.uk/motors/

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ROASTED PARSNIPS WITH GIANT COUSCOUS SALAD, ROASTED RED ONIONS, FETA AND PARSLEY Parsnips are healthy and good for the body, providing plenty of vitamins, minerals and healthy fibre. They are also low in fat and are packed full of flavour. As a root vegetable they serve themselves well when roasted and this delicious salad is a great way of adding them into your diet.

Ingredients • 200g Giant couscous • 4 Tbsp olive oil • 6 Parsnips • 3 Red onions, thinly sliced • 25g Golden sultanas • 25g Parsley, finely chopped • 50g Feta, crumbled • 20g Pomegranate seeds, to garnish • Pomegranate molasses, to garnish • Maldon Salt • Cracked black pepper


Method Begin my preheating the oven to 180C. Prepare the parsnips by simply cutting the larger ones in half lengthways but keeping any small one’s whole. Place them into a roasting tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, some Maldon salt and cracked black pepper. Toss them so they are well coated and then place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. They should be golden brown and crispy on the edges. While the parsnips are cooking, prepare the couscous. In a saucepan, cook the couscous according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, drain and remove from the heat. Add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, plenty of Maldon salt and cracked black pepper. Allow the couscous to cool. Once the couscous has cooled and the parsnips are out of the oven (and also cooled). Stir the finely sliced red onion, chopped parsley, sultanas and crumbled feta into the couscous. Check the season and adjust if needed. Pile the couscous onto a serving platter and top with the roasted parsnips. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds, a little textra parsley and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.


This recipe shows you how easy it is to make butternut squash spaghetti by spiralizing the squash, which makes a great and healthy alternative to pasta. You can make different sauces for your squash spaghetti; however, this is a lighter alternative which uses burrata, courgette, mint and lemon. Method Begin my peeling and deseeding the butternut squash. Then cut into sections and using a spiralizer, create long ribbons which look like spaghetti. Place a large frying pan on the heat and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the butternut squash spaghetti and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes until softened and golden. Remove from the heat. While the butternut squash is cooking, place a second small frying pan onto the heat and drizzle in 1 tbsp olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the slices of courgette and fry for a few minutes on each side so they are golden and toasty – you made need to do this in batches. Remove them from the heat. Now you can plate up – pile a golden heap of butternut squash spaghetti onto two plates. Top with some burrata, fried courgette slices, diced chilli, fresh mint leaves and some lemon zest. Finish each plate with a final pinch of Maldon salt, some cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Ingredients • Half butternut squash, spiralized • 1 Green courgette, thinly sliced • 1 Yellow courgette, thinly sliced • 15g Fresh mint, leaves picked • Half red chilli, deseeded and finely diced • 2 Tbsp olive oil • 100g Burrata • Maldon Salt • Cracked black pepper • pinch of nutmeg, grated • pinch of sea salt



BLOOD ORANGE OLIVE OIL CAKE The Blood Orange Olive Oil cake combines beautiful seasonal Blood Oranges and the use of Olive oil makes it wonderfully moist and flavoursome without being too sweet. It is topped with Blood Orange slices for a real showstopper dessert. Ingredients • 5 Blood oranges • 250g Golden caster sugar • 150g Plain flour • 80g Semolina • 2 Tsp baking powder • Pinch of Maldon Salt • 1 Orange, zested and juiced • 1 Tsp vanilla extract • 3 Large eggs • 250ml Extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing • Creme fraiche, to serve


Method Grease a 20cm round cake tin with olive oil and line the base with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 190C. Take the blood oranges and carefully cut into thin rounds (as thin as you can go!). Start by sprinkling 30g of the golden caster sugar on the bottom of the cake tin, over the paper. Then arrange the slices on top of the in a nice circular pattern. Use the end pieces of the blood oranges to squeeze over any remaining juice and then set aside while you make the cake batter. In a large mixing bowl mix together the plain flour, semolina, baking powder and Maldon salt. Adding salt to your baking helps balance and enhance flavours, it balances sweetness and acidity. Next in a smaller bowl mix together the orange juice and zest, vanilla extract and olive oil. Place the eggs and sugar into a stand mixer – or you can use an electric whisk – and beat them together until they are pale and fluffy. Next add the dry ingredients, followed by the wet ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour the cake batter into the tin on top of the orange slices and smooth over the top. Place the cake tin into the preheated oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown on top and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove from the cake tin before turning it upside down onto a plate and peeling off the baking paper. Allow the cake to then cool completely before slicing and serving with crème fraiche.

Is Your Wardrobe Summer Ready? With the weather starting to finally give us a bit of warmth, many of you will be thinking of adding new pieces to your wardrobe to get Summer ready. Whether you’re planning on jetting off to sunnier climes this year or simply fancying a new outfit to drink gin in the garden on a sunny afternoon, there is plenty of choice here at Broadstone Mill Shopping Outlet.

when you want to wear them. They generally come in two lengths, a shorter crop and a slightly longer ankle grazer length, so whether you’re petite or long and leggy, there will be a cut to suit you. Pair with an easy-breezy t-shirt or blouse and a pair of sandals, and voila, you’re summer ready!

Reversible dresses are a great place to start if you’re looking for a new addition to your wardrobe. With a choice of lengths and prints there’s a style to suit everyone. Plus, these dresses are fully reversible, meaning that you get 2 dresses for the price of one! The fabric doesn’t crease easily so you can roll them up in your case and it’ll be ready to wear as soon as you check in.

The flowing floral midi and maxi dresses are on trend and still very popular. Perfect if you are going to a summer wedding or formal event or equally great to wear to your friend’s garden BBQ. You’re bound to find a gorgeous piece that is flattering and comfortable and that will look just as good with strappy stilettos as it will with flats or trainers for that dressed up or dressed down look.

You can’t go wrong with gorgeous linens this season, and they are great at keeping you cool when the temperature ramps up! Natural, breathable, and so wearable, linen dresses and separates are the way to go if you want to nail that chic but laid-back summer style. Cropped trousers are a great summer wardrobe staple, can be dressed up or down depending on

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No-Fault Divorces could lead to future Pension Poverty as Financial Arrangements are often overlooked, warn solicitors. ‘No-fault’ divorce rules came into effect on 6th April 2022, allowing separating couples to bring their marriage to an end without the need for a ‘blame game’ situation. This hopefully leads to an amicable separation and, if applicable, both parties can focus on other priorities such as arrangements over the children, living arrangements and the potential sale of the matrimonial home. We would always advise that you seek legal advice when finalising these arrangements so that everything is above board. A DIVORCE ONLY ENDS THE MARRIAGE There is a general misconception that once the Final Order (formerly known as a Decree Absolute) has been issued, this naturally severs any financial ties such as bank accounts, loans, maintenance, and pensions. This is not the case and comes with a word of warning. A divorce only ends the marriage. It is a Financial Order that brings closure to any financial ties as without such, an ex-spouse can legally make a claim against your finances further down the line as they are deemed a matrimonial asset. Another misconception is the value of the matrimonial home which is often seen as the biggest asset however, many divorcing

couples underestimate the true value of pension wealth. It is fair to say that many people may not want to ‘rock the boat’ or feel they are too young to be looking at an effective way of sharing pensions which is why you should seek legal advice to ensure you are getting what is due. In many cases, the pension value could be significantly higher than the matrimonial home. As Former Pensions Minister Steve Webb warns: “One group currently at high risk of retirement poverty is divorced women. In large part, this is because relatively little attention is often given at the time of divorce to a financial settlement, which gives proper weight to pension wealth.” Finance and Divorce specialist Lucinda McWatt at Pearson advises: “The divorce side of matters is now easier and we have reduced our fees to reflect the simplified process. We would however advise against going it alone online, your solicitor has experience and a knowledge of the timelines and final dates for submitting the Financial Order which must be satisfied by the court for it to become legally binding.” “Regardless of gender, I advise my clients to go through individual and joint finances so that a Financial Order can be drawn up to avoid any future claims against their finances, these can include future lottery wins and inheritances, but my goal is to ensure a fair distribution of pension wealth to avoid pension poverty in the future.”

Why Choose Pearson? Our experienced divorce and family law solicitors will ensure you receive the best legal advice no matter how complicated your case may be. Family Law Solicitor Lucinda McWatt is an accredited Resolution specialist in Complex Financial Provision on Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnerships who will guide you through the process and ensure you get the clean break you need.





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Viburnum opulus ‘Compactum’

Create more plants Division is just one way of propagating your plants. Depending on the plant type you could propagate by taking cuttings, sowing saved seeds or using a layering technique (encouraging a branch or shoot to root by bending it down to soil level). Whichever way it’s not difficult to stock a whole garden with plants for free. If that sounds like too much bother you could always invest in a few self-seeders to do the work for you. Left to their own devices plants like eryngium, verbascum and alliums will simply shoot up again from where their seed has fallen to the ground. Just don’t be surprised when they pop up elsewhere too when carried and dropped by the wind or birds.

VALUE FOR MONEY GARDENING You can create a great garden without spending a fortune on it. Gardening writer Julia Heaton tells how. The soaring cost of living needn’t be a barrier to creating a gorgeous outdoor space. With a little forward planning, tips, tricks and gardening know-how you can get far more out of your garden than you would think. All without having to dig deep in your pockets for the pleasure and satisfaction it brings.

Plant choice Amelanchier lamarckii Go for plants that work hard for you in the garden like those that provide more than one season of interest. If you have a small space this makes even more sense. Why have a plant that blooms for a couple of weeks in summer, then that’s it for the rest of the year? For instance Viburnum opulus ‘Compactum’ has clusters of white flowers in spring and red berries in autumn. And while heucheras offer up tiny summer flowers they also have interesting year-round foliage (except in the worst winters). For a delightful small tree you can’t better Amelanchier lamarckii with coppery coloured leaves in spring followed by an abundance of white flowers. In autumn its leaves turn orange and red and it even has black fruits – what a winner.

Money well spent If you’ve spent lots of money in the past on planting, only to have some die when you haven’t been able to provide the care and attention needed, then have no fear. There are tough types that actually thrive on neglect so you can be assured your money is being well spent. For foliage interest go for variegated zebra grass. Or for architectural form and spikes of scented yellow flowers there’s Mahonia Charity. How about daylilies? These produce robust clumps of leaves and a succession of trumpet-shaped flowers that are often scented. Peonies are long-lived cottage garden favourites, one of which is Paeonia Officinalis ‘Rubra Plena’. Growing to a height of 30in (75cm) it’s one of the earliest to flower and survives on neglect. And, of course, a wildflower seed mix scattered over prepared soil can be left to do its own thing while also being great for wildlife. Low maintenance types will pretty much take care of themselves but you’ll still have to ensure they are properly established to begin with. Supermarket savings Growing fruit and veg makes sound financial sense too given rising supermarket prices. Choose edibles that you not only like to eat but will also give you a high yield in a small space. And there’s no smaller space than a hanging basket. Tomato ‘Tumbler’ will produce a steady cascade of cherry tomatoes. Just make sure they get enough water. And cut-and-come-again salad mixes in containers are so much better than the expensive bagged baby leaves in store. Simply sow your own every few weeks from late spring onwards, then snip, eat and wait for a new crop to grow.


Wherever possible choose perennial plants that will come back year after year. They may look small and cost a bit more to begin with but they’ll grow bigger and better, unlike bedding plants that give their all in one season and then are gone. Perennials also have another major point in their favour and that’s the fact that most can (and should) be divided after three or four years. Lifting and separating the root mass not only keeps the plant healthy but provides you with new ones – only this time it’s for free.



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Don’t forget to establish a patch for your favourite herbs and go for fruits like damsons that can be frozen for use all year round. Prunus Insititia ‘Farleigh Damson’ is a regular cropper and makes a good jam too as well as having attractive spring blossom.

Losing a loved one can be one of life's most upsetting and distressing times. We go out of our way to help ease the worries where funeral arrangements are concerned. Not only involved with losing a loved one is the emotional upset, but it can also be a time of financial worry and strain. We are here to offer a sympathetic ear and an affordable funeral service too. Whether you want to keep things simple or require something more elaborate we will cater for all your needs.

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Water wisely Installing a water butt will allow you to store rainfall via guttering and save money on your water bills in the long term. Buy one now to capture any of those pre summer showers and to have it ready for winter rainfall. Think too about reusing bath water. Because of what it is likely to contain this ‘grey water’ is best applied direct to the soil, not foliage, using special syphon kits to empty straight into the garden or water butt. Try to use eco-friendly soaps and bubble bath as part of this process. Use water retaining granules when potting up plants so you don’t have to water as often. Similarly a 3in (7.5cm) layer of bark or compost, applied as a mulch around the base of plants, will help to conserve moisture in the soil. Water your garden in the hours before and after sunset or in the morning before 10am. Any other time and it is likely that water will be lost through evaporation.

It all goes to prove that having a garden you can be proud of doesn’t need to involve spending lots of money. Choose the right plants, make the most of gardening techniques and you’ll not only save pounds but also gain a satisfaction that money just can’t buy.



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