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Dolly Parton


Bulbs to Light-Up Spring


Kwoklyn Wan




Part of

Self-drive & coach inclusive breaks



£169 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 six of our group – Barrowfield, Daish’s, Devonshire, Bournemouth Sands, Claremont, Hotel Prince Regent – have been awarded the coveted TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award for 2020.

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:

G2 Pick-up: Rochdale, Royton, Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyme, 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











Somerset Hotel – Llandudno 




Devonshire Hotel – Torquay 




Imperial Hotel – Eastbourne 




Daish’s Blackpool Hotel - Blackpool 




Daish’s Hotel – Isle of Wight 




The County Hotel - Lake District 




Sands Hotel – Bournemouth 




Barrowfield Hotel – Newquay 




Russell Hotel – Weymouth 




Somerset Hotel – Llandudno 




Hotel Prince Regent – Weymouth 




Imperial Hotel – Eastbourne 




Imperial Hotel – Eastbourne 




Imperial Hotel – Eastbourne 




Abbey Lawn Hotel – Torquay 




Abbey Lawn Hotel – Torquay 




Imperial Hotel – Eastbourne 




 Tinsel & Turkey Christmas  New Year  Twixmas 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.

Call - 0800 083 9900

Quote - 50PlusRG2 or visit

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 0800 083 9900 or visit





TWITTERING ON BY ANGELA KELLY probably most of his temper - but he got there. As he points out: “Folklore depicts invention as a flash of brilliance. That eureka moment. But it rarely is, I’m afraid. It is more about failure than ultimate success.” He beavered away in his workshop every day, building cyclones, testing them for their effectiveness in collecting dust. Fortunately for James, he had a very supportive wife who believed in him and allowed him to put their home and home-life at risk to develop his dream. But if you look at crucial inventions all through history, they come at the price of consistent, dogged determination – and often health and wealth.

The real value of grandparents WHAT value on grandparents in 2021? Are we still useful and relevant in this age of Love Island and Tik Tok? I only ask because it was interesting to see that Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas, is reported to be considering going to court in order to be able to see his grandchildren Archie and Lilibet. I don’t want to go too deeply into personalities here. The Sussexes generally make me rather annoyed and disappointed and I don’t know what kind of father Thomas was. What I do know is the value of grandparents today and what they can mean to busy young parents and children who may not have many family members nearby. Grandparents have often got the time and willingness to spend on both caring for their grandchildren and being the patient listening ear that youngsters need. They have experience of life generally, and particularly of bringing up their own children, and have learned from the mistakes that we all make as parents. Grandparents offer children a second, different view of adults. Sometimes, one that is gentler and kinder partly because we’re not full-time carers or disciplinarians and we can always give them back! 4

This allows a special kind of freedom of loving and enjoyment of life with grandchildren that busy parents can’t always provide. Grandparents can supplement that caring basis in the home and take it in different directions. So I hope – for the sake of Archie and Lilibet and, oddly, for the sake of the Sussexes themselves – that they can all resolve this in some way and allow the generations to get to know each other better. It’s what can ultimately make real families. Going through trying times

There’s no doubting that Alexander Graham Bell didn’t just suddenly discover the telephone one day. It was the result of years of hard work. Or that Marie Curie happened on the power of radium by chance. Everything important since the advent of the wheel has been achieved by someone – or a group of someones – being prepared to put in the hard yards and keep going with an idea until it worked. It’s true that during that time there will also have been thousands for whom effort didn’t ultimately pay off. But the main thing is that they had a dream and they tried and didn’t just chuck in the towel when things got a bit tough.

IF there’s one life-lesson that should be passed through the generations it’s that simple saying “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.”

It would be unfair and unjust to say that there aren’t success stories today because of course there are. It’s just that this determination to succeed, to reach a goal, isn’t always given the kudos it deserves.

We seem to have moved away from that kind of “stick-at-ability” and often give up when faced with the first real hurdle in many things we’re doing today.

We might acknowledge the achievement in creating a clever idea and making it work but we seldom pay homage to the huge amounts of time and energy it took to reach that point.

One person to show just how this can work brilliantly positively for us, though, is inventor James Dyson.

In fact, having “stick-at-ability” isn’t necessarily something that’s admired in people today.

Talking about his life and inventions in a national newspaper recently, James recalled how it took 5,126 attempts before he successfully created his famous cyclone Hoover-type machine.

We praise the flexibility and vision of people prepared to move on from projects to something else if it doesn’t pan out.

That took out four years of his life - and

Granted, life doesn’t work out all the time but James Dyson’s kind of stoicism offers much to be admired. Fortunately for him, it’s also made his fortune.


Dolly Parton




ELLEN SMITH Door to door coach tours


FOOD & DRINK Chinese takeaway in 5 by Kwoklyn Wan

39-40 BULBS TO LIGHT-UP SPRING Plant spring bulbs now for a glorious display of colour next year

12-13 TRAVEL Walking in West Sussex 20-22 HOME Keeping Summer in your home all year 28 MOTORS Steve Howarth test drives the Kia

Bridgeman House 77 Bridgeman Street | Bolton | BL3 6BY. Sales Enquiries : T: (01204) 238180 E:

or email: 5

WELCOME TO YOUR LOCAL DEPARTMENT STORE If you haven’t visited us before, or you haven’t visited us for a while you’ll be in for a few surprises! Broadstone Mill Shopping Outlet is a family run business based on the Heaton Chapel/ Reddish border not far from Stockport town centre. Situated in an outstanding red brick building, which was once the largest Victorian cotton mill in the world (and previously double its current size), you’ll find 2 floors of shopping with a coffee shop on the ground floor and a tearoom on the first floor too. With the recent arrival of Wynsors World of Shoes, you’ll now find the ‘probably’ the largest shoe department in the area. There are hundreds of shoes, sandals, trainers (including well known sports brands), wellies & kids shoes too! The Works is a busy little hive of activity, always very well stocked (and nearly bursting at the seams) with books for the whole family, crafting materials, puzzles & games, toys, stationery and so much more.


Regatta Outdoors and Craghoppers have their own area upstairs. You’ll find a great selection of outdoor clothing, shoes, coats and accessories for the whole family with great savings off the RRP. Our Galleries area upstairs hosts local independent traders, including a health food shop, a wedding shop, beautician, and photographer to name just a few. Whether its fashion or footwear, garden or homewares, gifts or accessories, luggage or sweet treats you’ll definitely find something for everyone and every occasion. You’ll find friendly and helpful staff, a spacious and relaxed shopping environment where you can shop confidently in a socially distanced and safe environment, 7 days a week. Plus join our Loyalty Scheme for additional discounts. We hope to see you very soon!

DOOR TO DOOR COACH TOURS 2022 If you’ve never tried coach holidays before, why not let We’ve been established for over 120 years so we know a bit about coach holidays! 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.

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 Stockport.


WHAT ABOUT THE RETURN? It’s the same as the outward journey – but in reverse!

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




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.

Either call our office on 01706 648126 or visit our website where you can browse all our holidays and save £10 per person by booking on-line.

therefore everybody onboard pays the same price.


Join our facebook community by ‘liking’ our page to view latest offers, customer comments and various photographs.






w.e lle

LOOE, CORNWALL THE THE ENGLISH ENGLISH RIVIERA RIVIERA -- TORQUAY TORQUAY Portbyan Hotel ~ 3 Star The Belgrave Sands Hotel The Belgrave Sands Hotel & & Spa Spa ~ ~ 4 Star Looe is a picturesque fishing harbour situated 4 Star

in Southeast Cornwall, the dayAn award-winning resortfamous where for elegant An award-winning resort where elegant caught fish andawide sandy beach. Looe has a Victorian villas, bustling harbour and palmVictorian villas, bustling harbour andBridge palmrich history sucha give as the famous fringed beaches the RivieraLooe its fringed beaches give Riviera its and that joins thename. East andthe West towns well-earned well-earned name.including beautiful woodland hidden treasures and cobbled streets lined with independent boutiques and delicious restaurants.

| Days | £359 28th March 7th March 28th March || 55 5 Days Days || £329 £359

NORTH DEVON SCARBOROUGH NORTH DEVON & & CORNWALL CORNWALL The Durrant House 3 The Park Manor Hotel ~ 2~ The Durrant House Hotel Hotel ~Star 3 Star Star

Based in the port of Bideford, this position tour Scarborough enjoys an unrivalled as Based in the port of Bideford, this tour combines the best of Beautiful Cornwall and one of Britain’s premier coastal resorts, combines the best of Beautiful Cornwall yet and delightful North Devon. Bideford’s also lies tantalisingly close to Northnarrow Yorkshire’s delightful North Devon. Bideford’s narrow back streets and alleyways link holiday, the quay andcan rugged National Park. On this back streets and alleyways link the quayyou and the river, the old road has a lovelybridge enjoy theand golden beaches, superb parks and the river, and the old road has a lovelybridge that crosses river linking Bidefordto other gardens andthe wide range of leisure amenities that crosses the river linking Bidefordto other areas Devon. whichof have given Scarborough its justifiable areas of Devon. reputation.

4th | £389 13th March|| 5 Days|| £289 4th April April 5| 5Days Days £289

BEAUTIFUL NORFOLK COAST & BEAUTIFUL NORFOLK DURHAM, BEAMISH & COAST BOWES& CITY CITY The Blackwell Grange HotelNorwich ~ Best Western Best Western Brook Brook Hotel, Hotel, Norwich 4 Star ~ ~3 3 Star Star The beauty of the Durham Dales offers a nice The East Anglia coast is starkly beautiful, with contrast stunning and historic The East with Anglia coast isBeamish starkly beautiful, with picture postcard fishing villages, and much Durham, including the Bowes Museum, home picture postcard fishing villages, and much more, creating an idyll of rural charm. As a of the creating famous ‘Silver The region more, an idyllSwan’. of rural charm. Ashas a contrast, we feature the lovely Cathedral City lots to offer matter time of year City you contrast, we no feature thewhat lovely Cathedral of Norwich, and the Norfolk Broads. of Norwich, and the Norfolk Broads. visit.

| Days || £389 18th April 18thMarch April | |5 55Days 21st Days |£389 £429

ENCHANTING SOMERSET TENBY TENBY & & PEMBROKESHIRE PEMBROKESHIRE The Wessex Hotel ~ 3 Star The Giltar Hotel, The Giltar Hotel, Tenby Tenby ~ ~3 3 Star Star

For holidays we stayhas in Tenby, its Be these enchanted, Somerset lots ofwith surprises For these holidays we stay in Tenby, with its pastel-coloured buildings, –narrow streets, waiting to be discovered stunning beaches, pastel-coloured buildings, narrow streets, fortified walls, and bustling atmosphere. green countryside, woodlands, lakes, and fortified walls, and bustling atmosphere. Tenby one of the prettiest resorts in South Tenby is one of the prettiest resorts in South Wales. Whether you take a stroll through the Wales. Whether you take a stroll through the town or along the beaches, or enjoy a ride town or along the beaches, or enjoy a ride along the Pembrokeshirecoast, Tenby is an along the Pembrokeshirecoast, Tenby is an ideal base. ideal base.

| | 5Days 3rd April | £289 7th Days|| £499 3rd March April | 6 6 Days £499

PERTHSHIRE, ST. ANDREWS SHREWSBURY, & & PERTHSHIRE, ST.LUDLOW ANDREWS & EDINBURGH IRONBRIDGE GORGE EDINBURGH Salutation Perth Star BuckatreeHotel, Hall Hotel Salutation Hotel, Perth~~ ~33 3Star Star

Perthshire a region of breath-taking Along theis reaches of the Rivervariety, Severn Perthshire isupper a region of breath-taking variety, from its serene glens and endless expanse of and the borders between England and Wales, from its serene glens and endless expanse of lush forest to its bleakly beautiful moors, the forest countryside of Shropshire shelters lush to its bleakly beautiful moors,some rushing rivers and tumbling waterfalls. of the most landscapes and unspoilt rushing riversbeautiful and tumbling waterfalls. towns that you can imagine.

|| 5| Days || £339 4th | £389 14th March 5 Days 4th April April 5 Days £339








20 22


OBAN, MULL & IONA BOURNEMOUTH BOURNEMOUTH Royal Hotel ~ 3 Star Mayfair Mayfair Hotel~ Hotel~ 3 Star

With seven miles of golden sands andof Oban, Based in the bustling seaside town With seven miles of golden sands and sparkling the vibrant cosmopolitan our toursea, explores the enchanting Innertown sparkling sea, the vibrant cosmopolitan town ofHebridean Bournemouth has of it all – aand vastancient variety Iona. of Islands Mull of Bournemouth has it all – a vast variety of shops and restaurants, We venture across theendless ‘Bridgecountryside over the shops and restaurants, endless countryside offering peace and relaxation andinbeautiful, Atlantic’ to Seil Island and take some offering peace and relaxation and beautiful, award-winning gardens. stunning scenery as we travel along loch-side award-winning gardens. roads with towering mountains.

|| 5| Days || £339 4th | £349 7th April March 5 Days 4th April 5 Days £339

SKEGNESS & LLANDUDNO SKEGNESS & THE THE BEST BEST OF OF LINCOLNSHIRE LINCOLNSHIRE Tynedale Hotel~ 4 Star The Royal ~ 3 Llandudno Wales’sSkegness largest resort, The Royal isHotel, Hotel, Skegness ~ uniquely 3 Star Star

Experience the bestthe of Lincolnshire with Ormes situated between Great and Little Experience the best of Lincolnshire with historic towns and villages, a thriving seaside with two wonderful beaches, the awardhistoric towns and villages, a thriving seaside resort andNorth ‘Bomber Country’ heritage. winning Shore, and the quiet, resort and ‘Bomber Country’ heritage. sand-duned West Shore.

|| 5| Days || £339 11th | £429 15th April March 5 Days 11th April 5 Days £339

WYE VALLEY WYE VALLEY & & THE THE ROYAL ROYAL EASTBOURNE FOREST OF DEAN FOREST OF DEAN The Haddon Hall Hotel ~ 3~Star Bells Bells Hotel Hotel & & Country Country Club Club ~ 3 3 Star Star

BLENHEIM, SEZINCOTE AND THE BLENHEIM, HEART OF SEZINCOTE ENGLAND AND THE KENNET & AVON CANAL KENNET & AVON CANAL TheWestern Abbey Hotel, Great Malvern ~ Best Blunsdon Western Blunsdon House House Eastbourne is a town with grace and elegance Best 4 Star Experience this magical borderland on a Hotel ~ 4 that has something for borderland everyone – on a a Experience this magical Hotel ~ sightseeing 4 Star Star tour with many things of A lovely scenic river cruise, a relaxing train ride and landscaped, pedestrianised townride centre, scenic river cruise, a relaxing train and visits to historic towns. This is a place where bordered by a large ofashops, a clean, visits to historic towns.range This is place where you can recharge your batteries, get off the well-managed beach seafront you can recharge your and batteries, getrenowned off the beaten track and escape the everyday. for its attractive decked level beaten track and three-tier escape theflower everyday. promenade.

| Days || £419 18th April 18th April | 5 5| 5Days | £299 21st March Days £419

Ainterest, lovely tour for the summer as wewith enjoy a based in Great Malvern the A lovely tour for the summer as we enjoy a visit to unique Sezincote, a 200-year-old beautiful Malvern Hills overlooking the town. visit to unique Sezincote, a 200-year-old Mogul Indian Palace. Spend a day exploring We feature ofSpend the best places the area Mogul Indian some Palace. a day exploring Blenheim Palace and relax with a horse-drawn has to offer. Blenheim Palace and relax with a horse-drawn barge trip on the Kennet & Avon Canal. barge trip on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

21st April || 5 Days || £449 21st | £389 28thApril March5| Days 5 Days£449

VISIT WEBSITE AND ON-LINE TO SAVE £10.00 PER VISIT OUR OUR WEBSITE AND BOOK BOOK ON-LINE SAVEand £10.00 PER PERSON PERSON INTERESTED? Call our reservations office on 01706 TO 648126 request our facebook community ‘liking’ our to Join our2022 facebook community bybe ‘liking’ our page page to view view a copyJoin of our brochure. You’llby surprised at the variations of tours ellensmithtours ellensmithtours latest offers, customer comments and various photographs. latest offers, customer comments and various photographs. we operate. Visit our website



R CD OO TO A O C O C HR TO TO DO AC U OR H T O R SD O 2 0O UR 2 R S 20 2 22


w.e llen smit w.e h.c llen smit .uk


THE ENGLISH RIVIERA - TORQUAY WINDSOR WINDSOR CASTLE CASTLE & & CRUISE CRUISE THE THE THAMES The Belgrave Sands Hotel & Spa ~ THAMES 4 The StarBull The Bull Hotel, Hotel, Gerrard’s Gerrard’s Cross Cross An~award-winning resort where elegant 4 Star ~ 4 Star

Victorian a bustling harbour and palm- of A lovelyvillas, tour as we discover the splendour A lovely tour as we discover theitssplendour of fringed the Riviera Royal beaches Windsor give and explore mighty Windsor Royal Windsor and explore mighty Windsor well-earned name. Castle. Offering a welcome contrast, we also Castle. Offering a welcome contrast, we also enjoy a relaxing cruise along the River Thames. enjoy a relaxing cruise along the River Thames.

| Days | £489 21st April 28th March 21st April || 55 5 Days Days || £359 £489

PICTURESQUE PEMBROKESHIRE NORTH DEVON & CORNWALL PICTURESQUE PEMBROKESHIRE & BEAUTIFUL GOWER & BEAUTIFUL GOWER The Durrant House Hotel ~ 3 Star The Ivy Bush Royal Based in the port of Bideford, this tour The Ivy Bush Royal Hotel, Hotel, Carmarthen Star combines the best~ Carmarthen ~of3 3Beautiful Star Cornwall and

TENBY & PEMBROKESHIRE SOUTHSEA SOUTHSEA & & CHICHESTER CHICHESTER HARBOUR CRUISE The Giltar Hotel, Tenby ~ 3 Star HARBOUR CRUISE For these holidays we stay in Tenby,Hotel with its Best Western Royal Beach Best Western Royal narrow Beachstreets, Hotel ~ ~ pastel-coloured buildings, 3 Star 3 Star fortified walls, and bustling atmosphere. A great tourof for theprettiest summer – strollinalong Tenby is one South A great tour forthe the summerresorts – stroll along Southsea seafront, visit the historic cathedral Wales. Whether you take a stroll through the Southsea seafront, visit the historic cathedral city of Chichester and enjoy a relaxing town or Chichester along the beaches, a ride city of and enjoyora enjoy relaxing harbour cruise and indulge with a gin tasting along the cruise Pembrokeshirecoast, an harbour and indulge withTenby a gin istasting at Bombay Sapphire. ideal base. Sapphire. at Bombay

|| 5Days || £459 25th April 3rd 25thApril April| 6 5 Days Days| £499 £459







BOURNEMOUTH SPRING, SPRING, SOUTH SOUTH SHIELDS SHIELDS & & THE DURHAM COAST Mayfair Hotel~ 3 Star THE DURHAM COAST With seven miles of golden sands and The The Little Little Haven Haven Hotel Hotel ~ ~3 3 Star Star

sparkling sea, the vibrant town A great Spring tour basedcosmopolitan in South Shields A Bournemouth great Spring tour Shields of hasbased itTyne all –in a South vast variety of overlooking the River and Little Haven overlooking the River Tyne and countryside Little Haven shops Beach.and Werestaurants, explore the endless scenic coastline before Beach. We explore the scenic and coastline before offering and enjoyingpeace time in therelaxation historic city ofbeautiful, Durham as enjoying time ingardens. the historic city of Durham as award-winning well as a visit to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. well as a visit to Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

| Days | £439 25th April 4th April 25th April| |55 5 Days Days| |£339 £439

KENT, GARDEN PERTHSHIRE, ST. ANDREWS & KENT, THE THE BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL GARDEN OF ENGLAND EDINBURGH OF ENGLAND Best Plus Burlington Hotel Salutation Hotel, Perth ~ 3 Star Best Western Western Plus Burlington Hotel ~ 4 Star Perthshire ~ 4 Staris a region of breath-taking variety,

DEVONSHIRE & SKEGNESS & THE BEST OF DEVONSHIRE & ILFRACOMBE ILFRACOMBE LINCOLNSHIRE The Royal & Fortescue The Royal & Fortescue Hotel Hotel ~ ~ 3 Star The Royal Hotel, Skegness ~ 3 Star 3 Star

| Days | £419 1st May 4th 1stApril May| |55 5 Days Days| |£289 £419

| Days | £399 2nd May 4th 2ndApril May| |55 5 Days Days | | £339 £399

8th 11th April|| |5 Days|| |£479 £339 8th May May 55Days Days £479

THE CITY WORCESTER THE HISTORIC HISTORIC CITY OF OFCOAST WORCESTER BEAUTIFUL NORFOLK & & STRATFORD-UPON-AVON & STRATFORD-UPON-AVON CITY Fownes Hotel ~ Fownes Hotel ~3 3 Star Star Best Western Brook Hotel, Norwich This is an area of literary greats, of culinary is an area of literary greats, of culinary ~ This 3 Star brilliance and iconic heritage. We enjoy the

BLACKPOOL BLACKPOOL WYE VALLEY & THE ROYAL The ~ FOREST OFHotel DEAN The Doric Doric Hotel ~3 3 Star Star A holiday in Blackpool will leave you feeling A holiday in Blackpool will leave you feeling Bells Hotel & Country Club 3 Star refreshed, relaxed and recharged –~ even if

BEAUTIFUL CORNWALL BEAUTIFUL SEZINCOTE CORNWALL AND THE BLENHEIM, Rosemundy House Hotel KENNET & AVON Rosemundy House CANAL Hotel AA AA ~ ~ 4 Star 4 Star Best Western Blunsdon House Cornwall is in the far west of Great Britain on Cornwall the far west of Great Britain on Hotel ~is4intumbling Star a peninsula into the vast Atlantic

delightful North Devon. Bideford’s narrow coast from The natural beauty of the Pembrokeshire Known as the Garden of endless England, Kent boasts its serene glens and of Thestreets naturaland beauty of the Pembrokeshire coast Known as the Garden of England,expanse Kent boasts back alleyways quay and the Gower Peninsula link are the famed all and over beautiful beaches, stunning castles, exciting lush forest to its bleakly beautiful moors, theand Gower areafamed all over beautiful beaches, stunning castles, exciting theand river, the Peninsula old road lovelybridge the world. Glorious sandyhas beaches and rugged rushing culture, and delicious food waterfalls. & drink. Our tour and tumbling thecrosses world. the Glorious sandy beaches andother rugged culture,rivers and delicious food & drink. Our tour that riverto linking Bidefordto coastline give way the Preseli Hills, historic is ideally based in Folkestone, and we include coastline give way to the Preseli Hills, historic is ideally based in Folkestone, and we include areas of Devon. towns, and little villages. visits to some lovely coastal and inland towns towns, and little villages. visits to some lovely coastal and inland towns

brilliance and iconic heritage. We enjoy with the The East Anglia coast is starkly beautiful, birthplace of William Shakespeare and a birthplace of William Shakespeare and a picture postcard fishingthe villages, relaxing river cruise, historicand citymuch of relaxing river an cruise, the historic city As of a more, creating idyllbeautiful of rural charm. Worcester, and the scenic Cotswolds. Worcester, and the beautiful scenic Cotswolds. contrast, we feature the lovely Cathedral City

refreshed, this relaxed and recharged – on even Experience borderland a if it’s you are on the magical go 25 hours a day! Perhaps you are oncruise, the goa25 hours atrain day! Perhaps scenic river relaxing and it’s the resort’s infectious zest for life,ride or maybe the resort’s infectious for or maybe visits to historic towns. zest This is alife, place it’s just that, uniquely, whatever your where routine, it’s just that, uniquely, whatever your routine, you can recharge your batteries, get from off the Blackpool can offer a perfect break it. Blackpool offer a perfect break from it. beaten trackcan and escape the everyday.

| Days || £439 8th May 8thApril May || 55 5 Days Days | £389 £439 18th

| Days || £299 9th May 9th April May || 5 55 Days 18th Days | £299 £419

of Norwich, and the Norfolk Broads.

A short break to interest Experience thewith bestexcursions of Lincolnshire with A short break with excursions to interest everyone. We and takevillages, in NorthaDevon throughout historic towns thriving seaside everyone. We take in North Devon throughout with visits interesting attractions which, resort and to ‘Bomber Country’ heritage. 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.

a peninsula tumbling into the vast Atlantic surrounded by a AOcean, lovely almost tour forcompletely the summer as we enjoy Ocean, almost completely surrounded by the sea. Cornwall is lovedafor its dramatic visit to unique Sezincote, 200-year-old the sea. Cornwall is loved for its dramatic coastline, captivating fishing aharbours and of Mogul Indian Palace. Spend day exploring coastline, captivating fishing harbours and of course, itsPalace pastiesand andrelax cream teas! Blenheim with a horse-drawn course, its pasties and cream teas! barge trip on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

| Days || £519 13th May 13thApril May || 6 6 21st 5 Days Days | £519 £449

INTERESTED? Call our office 01706 648126 request INTERESTED? Call WEBSITE our reservations reservations office on on 01706 TO 648126 and request VISIT OUR AND BOOK ON-LINE SAVEand £10.00 PER PERSON a of our 2022 brochure. You’ll be surprised at the variations of tours a copy copy of our 2022 brochure. You’ll be surprised at the variations of tours Join our facebook community by ‘liking’ our page to view we ellensmithtours we operate. operate. Visit Visit our our website website latest offers, customer comments and various photographs.




50 Plus Travel

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choice of walks and the sociability of other guests, but this time I decided to opt for the flexibility of a self-guided break, travelling with my regular walking companion from home. Friends since school and both only children, Liz and I have been ‘surrogate sisters’ to each other for over 50 years, always up for a new experience, and never short of things to talk about! Set in large grounds with a lake, Abingworth House is tucked into the rolling South Downs and offers a wide variety of walking options. Independent hikers enjoy the same full-board deal as guided walkers, including cooked breakfast, copious picnic lunch, and a threecourse dinner with three choices per course.


Gillian Thornton has been keen to stride out after months of staying close to home, she heads off to Sussex for a selfguided walking holiday. whilst ahead, the unmistakeable outline of the Seven Sisters rippled towards the horizon, my walking route for the next couple of hours. This famous stretch of coastline was a geological wonder I’d long wanted to see but never somehow got around to, despite living just a couple of hours away beyond the capital. But I’d always been too busy going to other places until Covid travel restrictions made me take a closer look at UK options. Now I was finally here, it was every bit as good as I’d hoped.

Standing on the clifftop above Beachy Head lighthouse, warm sun on my face and flowersplashed grass beneath my feet, I felt I had finally ticked a long overdue box. Far below me, the azure water of the English Channel was retreating from the gleaming chalk cliffs, 12

I’ve loved walking my local area during the pandemic, but I always love exploring someone else’s backyard too, and West Sussex ticked all my boxes for an active short break within easy reach of home. So I booked a Monday-to-Friday stay at Abingworth Hall in Thakeham, one of 17 country houses across the UK run by walking specialists HF Holidays. I have joined guided groups at a number of HF properties and always enjoyed the daily

I’ve always enjoyed HF food, but the young chef at Abingworth ticked all my boxes for both interesting dishes and attractive presentation. HF have long prided themselves on their choice of Gluten Free fare, and have now added additional Vegetarian and Vegan options to the mix. Monday is Local Food Night and Friday, Chef’s Tasting Menu. Abingworth also offers a wide choice of walking routes, from short strolls – great for those who want to combine walking with local heritage visits – to full day legstretchers. But whilst guided walkers have transport provided at either end of a linear walk, independent walkers must either go for circular trails (from the property itself if you don’t have a car) or be prepared to take public transport at some point. We tried both options. On day one, we set off from the front door for a delightful circular route of 8.6 miles, passing through rolling farmland to the RSPB reserve at Pulborough Brooks before winding through villages and vineyards. We dropped in at quaint country churches, stopped to snack on scenic benches, and even made friends with an alpaca farmer. RSPB Pulborough The laminated note cards were easy to follow with strategic photos accompanying written directions, and including an OS map section with the trail clearly marked. But having OS maps on a smartphone also enables you to zoom in for even greater accuracy. A chance conversation with one of the HF group leaders at dinner that night sent us off next day to explore nearby Knepp Wildland. This former farm was taken out of

production in February 2000 and is now grazed by traditional livestock such as longhorn cattle, Exmoor ponies and Tamworth pigs. We even saw nesting storks.

for the chance to experience Beachy Head too. With a soundtrack of meadow birds and 360° views at almost every step, it was a spectacular finish to a packed but relaxing short break.

Four colour-coded trails wind through the estate on public footpaths and permissive trails, and you can also book onto themed nature safaris. We chose the longest loop, the 6-mile Red route, which left the afternoon free for the spectacular gardens of Parham House near Pulborough, and the vineyard trail at Nutbourne Vineyards. What better way to end an active outdoor day than with a glass of crisp English wine and a bottle or three to take home?

By the time we checked out on Friday morning, Liz and I had covered around 35 miles on foot, averaging 25,000 steps on each of our three full days. And with only a modest homeward journey ahead of us, we had time to enjoy a last morning in Arundel, just 25 minutes by car from Abingworth – pre-booking essential at time of writing for the castle and fabulous formal gardens.

After a spell of changeable weather, the settled forecast for our third and final day was perfect for the coastal section of the South Downs Way (SDW). Everyone at Abingworth seemed to be heading the same way – the guided walkers for their daily walk and the small group tackling the last leg of their SDW adventure. Once again, the note cards we borrowed from HF were impeccable, advising independent ramblers to park at the end of the walk and then catch one of the regular buses towards Eastbourne to pick up the SDW and walk back. A six-mile loop picks up the SDW west of Beachy Head at Birling Gap, but we opted for the nine-mile circuit over National Trust downland

So would we do another self-guided walking break through HF? Most definitely. We loved the flexibility to combine walking with heritage and garden visits at our own pace, whilst based in a relaxed hotel that is totally geared up for outdoor adventurers. And you can, of course, still be sociable with other guests around the property. Liz and I talked all the way home – no surprise there – reliving our fun-filled break and planning the next one. Uplands or lowlands? Coast or countryside? Britain has so much to offer, and we fully intend to put some more ticks against our To-Do list.

Fact box: recommends HF Holidays for walking holidays in the UK staying at their sociable country house hotels, where activities such as yoga, art, bridge, cycling, cooking and photography are also offered.



“We love the consistently high standards.With HPB we never fail to get what we expect – and much more.” Sir David and Lady Davies

Bondholders holidaying at HPB’s La Reserva de Biniorella in Majorca

Enjoy a lifetime of holidays in beautiful places

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This advertisement is issued by HPB Management Limited (HPBM) registered at HPB House, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EH. HPBM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is the main UK agent and the property manager for HPB, issued by HPB Assurance Limited (HPBA) registered in the Isle of Man and authorised by the Financial Services Authority there. The Trustee of HPB is Equiom (Isle of Man) Limited, registered at Jubilee Buildings, Victoria Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2SH. The Securities Manager is Stanhope Capital LLP of 35 Portman Square, London, W1H 6LR. No medical examination required. HPB is available exclusively through HPBM. HPBM promotes only HPB and is not independent of HPBA. Holders of policies issued by HPBA will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if the company becomes unable to meet its liabilities to them but Isle of Man compensation arrangements apply to new policies.

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magine being able to enjoy fantastic holidays in some of the world’s most breathtaking places. Imagine relaxing in a choice of over 1,400 stunning properties in over 30 locations including cosy cottages in the Cotswolds, a castle on the Pembrokeshire coast, a French chateau, luxury villas in Spain and even a picture-perfect palazzo in Tuscany.

That’s exactly what over 42,000 discerning investors in the Holiday Property Bond (HPB), like Sir David and Lady Davies, have already done. With HPB, the Davieses have discovered a new approach to the way they plan and enjoy their holidays. “We bumped into a friend, who was a Bondholder,” Sir David recalls. “He told us about the Holiday Property Bond, the places he’d visited with it, the fabulous holidays he’d enjoyed; it sounded very attractive. I had a timeshare at the time, but I could see immediately the additional advantages of HPB, both in terms of choice of locations and flexibility of dates.” In the decade-and-a-half since becoming becoming Bondholders themselves, the Davieses have visited, by their reckoning, “at least half” of HPB’s diverse locations across the UK and Europe.

It’s never been easier to experience the Holiday Property Bond for yourself, free and without obligation. Please read “Exclusive holidays for life” below to understand the risks as well as the benefits of an

investment and then request your free Information Pack today. We’ll send you all you need to decide whether the Bond is right for you. You’ll find details of our Bond holiday locations together with information about how you can book a private tour of one of our UK sites or arrange a meeting with a representative – either in person or virtually via an online video call.

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TV presenter and Bondholder holidaying at HPB’s Buckland Court in the Cotswolds

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Exclusive holidays for life An initial payment from £5,000 and a quarterly fee of just over £30 (that is around £125 a year),

linked to RPI, gives you access to all HPB’s holiday homes. For each HPB holiday, you will pay a no-profit user charge covering only property running and maintenance costs and use of on-site facilities. The charge is level throughout the year – there are no high season premiums. For a studio for two the charge averages about £300 a week, for a 2-bedroom property sleeping up to six around £460 a week. Larger properties are also available. After an initial charge of 25% your money is invested in a fund of holiday properties and securities. The fund itself meets annual charges of 2.5%. Your investment return is purely in the form of holidays and, as with most investments, your capital is at risk. You can surrender your investment to the company after two years or more (subject to deferral in exceptional circumstances) but you will get back less than you invested because of the charges referred to above, as well as other overheads and changes in the value of the fund’s properties and securities.




FROM RAGS TO RHINESTONES DOLLY Parton’s life is a rags to rhinestones story worthy of any feelgood film and with plenty of traumas and triumphs along the way. But, the singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, actress, businesswoman, author and philanthropist with the down-to-earth approach would probably categorise her own life dismissively with something like “honey, you get out of life what you put in.” Dolly was born on January 19, 1946, the fourth of 12 children. Most of her cherished memories are around the oneroom cabin in Locust Ridge nestling in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee where the Partons lived. Life must have been hard there with her daddy running his own small tobacco farm. But young Dolly learned a lot about music from her mother, whose family had originally come from Wales to Southern Appalachia a century earlier and still sang the old songs.


They were a churchgoing family and the life and surroundings later figured in the songs that Dolly wrote including My Tennessee Mountain Home. The status she always described as “dirt poor” was revealed in Coat of Many Colors and In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad.)

for performers like Skeeter Davis and Hank Williams Jr.

Dolly began performing as a child, singing on local radio and TV programmes and by 13 was recording the single Puppy Love and appeared at the Grand Ole Opry – a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville. There, she first met Jonny Cash who encouraged her musical career.

Fortunately, the record company eventually recognised Dolly’s country music potential. Her first country single Dumb Blonde reached No.24 on the country chart followed by Something Fishy which made No.17. Both songs appeared on her first full-length album Hello, I’m Dolly.

After she graduated from Sevier County High School, Dolly moved to Nashville and her first success was as a songwriter. Her songwriting partnership with her uncle, Bill Owens, resulted in several chart hits

But it was when musician and country music entertainer Porter Wagoner invited her to have a regular spot on his weekly syndicated TV programme that Dolly really broke through.

Dolly signed a record deal at the age of 19 and was categorised then as a singer of bubblegum pop. Her single Happy, Happy Birthday Baby charted during this time.

She signed with RCA and her first single was a remake of Tom Paxton’s The Last Thing on My Mind as a duet with Wagoner. This not only reached the country Top Ten but began a six-year run of basically uninterrupted Top Ten singles for the pair. Her first solo single was Just Because I’m a Woman, released in 1968, which became a moderate hit but by 1970, solo success was still eluding her. The canny Wagoner persuaded Dolly to record Jimmie Rodgers’ Mule Skinner Blues which caught the public imagination and catapulted her to No,.3 in the charts. This was closely followed by her No.1 single Joshua and kicked off a string of solo hits for the next two years including her signature song Coat of Many Colors. Her biggest hit during this period was Jolene in 1973. It topped the country chart early the next year and reached the Hot 100 as well as later charting in the UK at No.7. Dolly decided to leave Wagoner’s organisation to pursue her solo career. Possibly her best-known song, I Will Always Love You – later a huge hit for Whitney Houston - was written about her professional break from him. This went to No.1 on the country chart and about the same time, Elvis Presley said he would like to record it. Elvis’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, tried to get Dolly to sign over half of the publishing rights as “standard” but the feisty gal refused – a decision credited with making her millions of dollars in subsequent royalties. Dolly had three solo singles reach No.1 on the country chart in 1974 – Jolene, I Will Always Love You and Love is Like a Butterfly. She again topped the singles chart in 1975 with The Bargain Store. Her transition into a pop princess happened between 1974 and 1980 when she had a series of country hits. Her songs crossed over into mainstream music through performers like Olivia Newton John, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt who covered them. In 1977, Here You Come Again became her first million-seller album, winning a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance the following year.

The petite blonde with the remarkable figure was a natural for TV and her unique personality and voice endeared her to millions across the world. She wrote the song 9 to 5 for the feature film of the same name, starring in it with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. This also gave her a country and mainstream hit. Then in 1982, Dolly was in the film “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”, earning her a Golden Globes’ nomination. Her screen career also included an impressive role in Steel Magnolias. Also in 1982, she got into the mainstream Top 50 with what became an enduring favourite, Islands in the Stream with Kenny Rogers. Since then, in spite of times when her star has dimmed slightly in the entertainment firmament, Dolly has continued to write and record songs for herself and other famous singers. She is always eminently quotable and honest. She once stated: “I’m not offended by dumb blonde jokes. I know that I’m not dumb. I also know I’m not blonde.”

And of her personal style, she famously said:

It takes a lot of money to make a person look this cheap! Alongside her singing and songwriting career, Dolly – now 75 - has also proved herself a naturally astute businesswoman. Her Dollywood Company operates the Dollywood theme park, a dinner theatre called Dolly Parton’s Stampede, waterpark Dollywood’s Splash Country and the Dream More Resort and Spa. She is also a long-term supporter of many charities, particularly relating to literacy, and created the Dollywood Foundation. This mails thousands of books to children each month and works across the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and the Republic of Ireland. Her list of awards and national honours is enormous but it is Dolly herself who has been taken into the hearts of millions around the world. And, being a warm Southerner, that probably means the most.


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Once in a decade something new comes along that will have a positive impact on the lives of the people they serve. Where high pressure sales are forbidden, service is the norm and quality products at a fair price is guaranteed. These are the foundation stones of a new company called GKS Interiors Limited.

When asked about these principles and the reason for them, Steve Mockl, the companies Commercial Director was clear ‘We are putting the customer first in everything we do. We place a premium on gaining the trust and confidence of our customers and we believe these principles are a clear statement of our Many years ago, Gary and Karen Simpson identified an intent to treat our customers correctly and deliver what we say opportunity to sell Lift and Tilt Chairs to people who needed we will.’ them at a working persons price. This worked well and they moved initially to Bury and then expanded to Heywood and Karen explained, ‘delivery flexibility is fundamental for us; we Buxton. facilitate all customers to the best of our ability. To ensure we With many years’ experience in creating beautiful homes, meet your expectations, we have a dedicated professional ‘we wanted to offer our quality products to new customers’ delivery team that provide our clients with a premium or ‘white according to Gary. In an age of on-line retailing, corporate glove’ service. They will work with you to ensure your furniture a high-powered selling, we are putting the customer back as placed exactly where you want it to be and remove of existing first priority. We are proud to go the extra mile in order to furniture (if necessary)’. facilitate a happy customer. And as Karen says, ‘we abhor high-pressure sales tactics and would much prefer for you to buy from us, rather than us sell to you’. Our simple aim: ‘to help create beautiful homes’ at affordable prices.

Now, they have once again identified the need to expand this service. Gary explained ‘Customers are asking for furniture from reputable sources at a fair price, but travel can be difficult’. The events of the recent past have made big changes in most people’s lives and ‘it is our aim to respond to this’. Karen says ‘over the past year we have invested significantly on research into changing market and customer needs’. Collaborating with people within the furniture industry, as well as with our customers and professionals within the care industry led to the creation of GKS Interiors Limited.

Building on our strong relationship with key suppliers within the industry, GKS has decided to become a one-stop-partner for a wide variety of furniture and accessories. GKS will provide a wide range of Sofas and Chairs, Lift & Tilt and recliner Chairs all in either genuine leather or fabric finish, assorted wood furniture including; dining suites, beds and bedroom furniture as well as a wide range of quirky and traditional lamps, wall art and accessories. Assorted furniture to furnish an entire house or apartment in accordance to our customer needs and desires. GKS Interiors will operate to seven key principles with all our customers. Our seven principles are: ✓ Value for money,

✓ Quality products and services ✓ Fantastic customer service ✓ Something that is NEW ✓ Saving you money ✓ Great variety & choice ✓ Complete reliability


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And as Steve explained, ‘GKS Interiors has trained service engineers will deliver all motorised products ensuring each unit is working correctly on delivery. They will also carry out demonstrations with customer to make sure you are happy before they leave’. In line with current market trends, GKS has a comprehensive website to allow our customers view what we have on offer and to engage with us. As Tom Grannell, the company’s business development manager and IT guru explained, “it is vital to give people accurate information and easy ways to get in contact with us”. By logging on to our customer will be able to see the complete range of furniture available. Tom highlighted the installation of a QR Code to book home visits. Tom explained ‘by scanning the QR code below *(on any smartphone), it will only take moments to book a home visit’. As Karen concluded, “All of this shows the service we undertake to provide to all our customers above. This is what everyone at GKS Interiors will work to and deliver for each customer we serve. We want to give you a quality product and service you will be proud of. We hope you agree with the importance of these values and support us by giving us an opportunity to speak with you and allow us to show you what we can offer”.

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When you are ready to speak to us, give us a call on 01706 346372 or visit to get a view of the fantastic range of products we have to offer. You can also book a FREE home visit over the phone or through our website. We will be happy to speak with you and arrange your visit.





more light flood in and retain your home’s warmth. Tame your CURTAINS! They often partially block out light without you even realising it. It may be time for new curtains – something brighter and less gloomy that can soon transform a room and help maximise available light. Consider blinds as a modern option. Bright, well-planned blinds can really open up window areas offering extra space and enhancing the amount of rays coming through. Ask your local supplier about the best type to let in the most light.

KEEPING SUMMER IN YOUR HOME ALL YEAR WHEN the sun is shining outside and our homes are filled with light and warmth it makes us want to keep that sunny feeling indoors all year round. Unfortunately, the British weather has other ideas. Don’t give up, though, because there are plenty of ways to keep that Summer feeling in your home all year round – and they don’t even have to cost a fortune. Some are very simple and involve that route the sunshine takes into our homes: WINDOWS. It may sound over-simple but just cleaning your windows can put a different aspect on a room. We can get used to the marks and blemishes and, let’s face it, the grime that can build up without us even noticing. A good “springclean” any time of the year allows the windows to do their “job” properly and us to better appreciate the space in which we live.


If you’re having any RENOVATIONS done at home, it’s worth considering adding extra windows, maybe into the ceiling. Infinity roof lights or fixed flat rooflights are also good options to let

Go for SHINY home fittings as they reflect light. Mirrors, glass or shiny metal bounce light and brighten up rooms. Putting a large mirror opposite your biggest window will also really open up that space. The hall, too, will benefit from mirrors especially teamed with paler walls, lighter flooring and good lighting. Try strong CONTRAST in a room, especially your main living rom. A black picture frame, for example, emphasises the lightness of everything around it to reveal bright areas you didn’t even know you had.

kitchen, bringing it up to date and even giving it a Mediterranean feeling if that’s what you want. However, if you don’t want such a drastic change, consider colourful stick-on splashbacks to give this area a lift. PLANTS can definitely give a home that airy Summer feeling, bringing Nature indoors. Choosing the right ones, though, and maintaining them are especially important in living areas.

Take a closer look at your FURNITURE. Is it gloomy and past its sell-by date? Light furniture brightens up a room instantly. Accessorising cleverly with cushions and throws in pale but warmlooking materials also promotes light and that sunny feeling that Summer brings.

If you can’t afford new furniture currently, paint some existing items with white paint or a bright colour. Perhaps use this opportunity to alter the colour scheme and go for shades that lift your mood. While you’re re-decorating, it’s worth checking what shape your kitchen TILES are in. Re-tiling can change the look of a

If your current plants are dragging them down or – more importantly – blocking out light – either re-pot them elsewhere or invest in new ones. Fake plants are also much nicer and more realistic these days so it’s worth a look at the best. Try to have three different LIGHT SOURCES in any one room. A lounge might need a central ceiling light – especially a crystal chandelier which is literally brilliant at reflecting light around – and two table lamps.



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Remember that uplighting can work best in main general living areas and LED lights or strips under kitchen cabinets can get rid of shadows. LED lights are a real friend as they can cut your bills and, by selecting the type carefully, can cheer up any area with their warm looks. Nothing makes a room look darker than CLUTTER so now is a great time to just get rid of all the things you don’t need or that you’ve just not put away. Invest in more cupboards and storage spaces if you must keep them and use those odd corners for shelves to open up areas. FLOORING can cheer you up if it’s warm and uplifting or depress you if it’s just too drab. A light-coloured runner or rug on dark flooring lifts a room. Re-painting floors or opting for light wooden floors is another way to get more of that important Summer feeling. Vibrant ARTWORK can brighten any room or busy space. How about a fabulous beach view or vista of sun-kissed mountains to take you back to super Summer holidays? A large picture can soon become a pleasing focal point and remind you of blue skies and warm days even on the most miserable day. Remember that painting any space with sunshine shades like yellows, reds and oranges will also give you that glowing feeling Or, paint your ceiling light blue! High-gloss paint reflects light well and adds a special element to any room.

If your BEDROOM is in need of renovation a local company has been established for over 20 years, Barwoods Fitted Bedrooms are a genuine family business thriving through dedication and passion. Personal customer service, patience and charm are the bywords for the locally developed thriving family business. Innovators in design; Barwoods have spent the last 7 years investing in the latest technology allowing them to live up to the title of specialists in made to measure furniture and they have made a prominent impact on the bespoke furniture industry. Known for a refreshing ‘no pressure’ sales approach, their expert design team are dedicated to providing a truly unique service. Give them the opportunity and I have no doubt they will impress you. FREE HOME DESIGN SERVICE – Mottram 01457 764 052 Stockport 0161 419 9888. There’s no point in changes within your home to make it feel more like Summer all year round, though, without addressing your HEATING. Is your boiler working properly or does it need a service or attention? Have you got sufficient radiators for individual rooms? Wood burners have become very popular in the last decade and part of their appeal is that they look cosy. They’re also very contemporary so can give tired rooms and furnishings a more up to date look It may sound obvious but simply trimming the TREES AND BUSHES outside your windows makes a difference to the amount of light and sunshine that’s allowed indoors. Some garden experts recommend never planting trees on the southern side of your home as the sun will be too high for the trees to provide shade in the Summer and can block windows, limiting solar warmth and light in the Winter. And if there’s a way of bringing the outside in – like bifolding doors in your kitchen or lounge area - this may be one investment that makes sense all year round.



Part One The Beginning; Brierlow Bar Garage Long ago, in a land far, far away (Buxton) there lived four eccentric gentlemen by the name of Bagshawe. They owned an olde garage, oft frequented by the locals for fuel and repairs, and were well known around those parts as the Bagshawe Brothers of Brierlow Bar Garage. Now, one snowy winter’s night in the year 2000, another eccentric gentleman (oft referred to as ‘the Man in the Hat’, for he has scarce been seen without his chapeau) ventured past the olde garage and happened to notice that it was available to purchase. Being an entrepreneurial type of fellow, he could see that the ugly olde building in the middle of nowhere had potential to become a place of literary worth and, the very next day, hastened himself to the sellers of said building to enquire of its monetary worth. Part Two The Transformation; Bookstore Brierlow Bar By the beginning of the year 2001 the garage had undergone a transformation and was now


known, not as Brierlow Bar Garage, but as Bookstore Brierlow Bar. The Man in the Hat had realised his dream and filled the building with books galore. Many people said it would never work, that an ugly old garage in the middle of nowhere could never succeed, but the Man in the Hat believed in his dream and forged on with his plans regardless. By the end of the decade, the Bookstore had become a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, providing a place to browse for an hour or two and purchase books at exceedingly good prices. The Man in the Hat’s vision was a success, and he was happy.

Part Three The Here and Now; High Peak Bookstore and Café As the Man in the Hat reached retirement age, he began to think about what he would do with the Bookstore. Meanwhile, his daughter, a teacher by trade, began thinking about what other jobs she could transfer her skills to, as she no longer loved her profession as she once had. Serendipitously, the Man in the Hat called his daughter and asked her if she would like to work at the Bookstore. She jumped at the chance and wondered if she might also open a café there? The Man in the Hat, being a gracious sort of fellow, said she could do whatever she pleased! With the opening of the café in 2016 came the change of name to High Peak Bookstore and Café and today, twenty years since first becoming a bookshop and five years since the opening of the cafe, the old garage is barely recognisable. Although the building still isn’t too pretty on the outside and there are always improvements to be made, it’s getting there slowly but surely. Covid has obviously set things back a little for them, from car park improvements having to be put on hold to

makers and, hoping to expand on that support of local talent, a stage area now furnishes one corner of the café. Next year High Peak Bookstore and Café will host storytelling nights, theatre, poetry, comedy, music of all genres and talks by interesting local characters from all walks of life. To kick things off and in celebration of the last twenty years at the Bookstore, there will be a one-off event in November; a showcase of local talent and a taste of what’s to come next year. There will always be something to do with a big old building (walls to paint, leaks to fix, carpet to rip out, car parks to sort out) especially one that was built to be a garage and ended up as a bookshop and café, but the most important thing at High Peak Bookstore and Café is that you will always get a warm welcome, whoever you may be. evening events all having to be cancelled, but a challenge never gets them down at High Peak Bookstore and Café. A visit today would typically involve a browse of the extensive range of books (almost all at less than half price) and local artisan products, followed by a relaxing hour or so having a freshly made lunch and a locally roasted coffee expertly prepared by one of their excellent baristas. Then perhaps another browse of the other offerings around the Bookstore; greeting cards, jigsaw puzzles, bird food, games, toys and gifts, then there’s always homemade cake and a cup of loose leaf tea to be had whilst you peruse your purchases.

The building will never be grand or beautiful to look at, you wouldn’t look twice at it as you drive past and yet, when you take the time to pull up in the pot-holed car park and open the front door to the Bookstore, you will be transported to a relaxing, quirky, charming and welcoming world in which to while away a few hours; you never know what you might discover. Remember, you must never judge a book by its cover. The End (for now)…

High Peak Bookstore and Café has a quirky charm, an eclectic mix of products for every taste and a cosy and popular café. The whole place oozes character, warmth and fun, and that includes the wonderful people who work there. Part Four The Future; What next for High Peak Bookstore and Café? Looking forward to the next twenty years the ultimate dream is to evolve into a creative hub for local talent. Already the Bookstore sells books by local authors, cards from local artists and crafts from local

a place for everyone call 01298 71017 visit





A statement piece like a grandfather or grandmother clock can transform any interior look without adding other pieces to them. But be careful to note the difference between grandfather and grandmother clocks to be sure you’re choosing the right one for your home. Decorate with vintage textiles

SIMPLE WAYS TO ADD A TOUCH OF ANTIQUITY TO YOUR HOME DECOR Decorating your home with vintage collections is a beautiful way to connect with the past while sprucing up your home. Granted, making your home look gracefully gorgeous with antique findings isn’t the easiest thing to pull off, especially if you have a modernthemed home. So, do you love collecting antiques? Do you want to know how best to incorporate them into your home without messing up the overall theme? Here are a few tips you can use. Choose items you truly love The truth is, you want to spend money on antique items you are proud to own. You want your interior design to make you feel comfortable and happy, and you can do this by buying only the antique items you love. This way, you can never go wrong with your design – at least from your perspective. Not everyone will appreciate your choice of antique design pieces, but as they say, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. And as long as you’re happy with your items, it shouldn’t matter what others think


about it. So, go ahead and buy items you truly love. Statement pieces Antiques are pretty powerful design elements, as most of them can stand out on their own. That means you don’t necessarily need to have loads of antique pieces to create the desired effect. Of course, if you are a collector, you can have a space in your home dedicated to your collection. But if you want to incorporate some of your pieces into your interior decor, it’s best not to do too much, especially if your home interior doesn’t have an antique theme.

You can use vintage textiles to transform any interior space from the perfect pillow covers to beautiful wall hangings. Vintage scarves and old quilts, for example, can serve as excellent hanging artwork, while antique blankets and curtains can replace some of the modern ones you have.You can also find other creative ways to decorate with vintage textiles, like using the smaller ones as coffee or centre table covers. Accent pieces Not every antique item needs to be a statement piece. And this is especially true for furniture pieces. Also, not every antique item needs to be inside your home. For example, if you already have a modern interior design in your home, you can try incorporating your antique pieces into your exterior living space instead. Places like your balcony and garden can look truly unique with the right pieces.You can also use accent pieces to give your interior space a more subtle character without making them the centre of your design. For example, you will find various accessories, accent tables, rugs, and smaller pieces to enhance any living space.





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For a no obligation quotation contact 07799 803117 or 01706 508729




STEVE HOWARTH’S TEST DRIVE As with all Kias these days build quality is good as are the materials used throughout and then there is the manufacturer’s much lauded 7 year warranty to fall back on in the unlikely event of a problem. From there it was into the totally electric world of motoring with the e-Niro. I tried the ‘4+’ spec range topping model which is £39,395 on the road (e-Nero prices start from £30,345).

KIA DRIVING DAY A DRIVING day featuring almost their whole car range highlighted just what a motoring force Kia have become in the UK. Yours truly was one of the northern journalists invited to try out the Kia range at the recent event near Skipton – from the diminutive Picanto up to the fire-breathing new Stinger – nearly all models were on show. They each have their own merits but I chose to put two in the spotlight, the all electric Kia e-Niro and XCeed PHEV as hybrid and electric cars are very much in buyers’ minds at the moment.

That battery system can be charged up in just a few hours so as the average commute in this country is less than 25 miles, providing you can also plug in at work, driving almost completely on environmentally-friendly electric is possible. For an on-the-road price of £34,905 this XCeed is mid-range (prices start from £31,805 for the PHEV models) and comes with 18” alloys, panorama sunroof, leather seats (memory, heated and cooled in the front), heated steering wheel, smart cruise control, 10.25” infotainment central touch screen, park assist with reversing camera, digital dashboard and a whole heap of safety systems.

That all-important electric range is up to 282 on a full charge in mixed driving and Kia say the car will fully charge from zero on a domestic socket in 29 hours, but that drops dramatically if you use a 100kW commercial charge point to just 54 minutes. In reality topping up the charge overnight at home will be feasible if no long journeys are planned. What also changes is performance as this car’s 64kWh motor can get it from 0 to 60 in just 7.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 104. Again the quality in both build and materials is evident and a long spec list includes such essentials as heated leather seats (again memory and cooled in the front), big central infotainment touch screen with sat nav, wireless phone charger, smart cruise control and the usual comprehensive line up of safety systems and driver aids.

First up was the XCeed, which I tried out in 1.6 GDi ‘First Edition’ spec. As the name suggests there is a 1,580cc conventional internal combustion engine doing most of the work but this is mated-up with an electric motor to give 104bhp on tap.

Kia has just picked up two category wins at the annual What Car? Electric Car Awards for their EV6 and the e-Niro. The EV6 has won the ‘Readers’ choice’ award and the e-Niro earned the title of ‘Best electric small SUV’ for the second year running.

The first figure everyone wants to know is the electric only range – around 33 miles – while the combined mpg is a claimed 167.

So you don’t have to just take my work for the quality of their cars. Kia’s growing trophy cabinet is also testimony to their products and services.

What is impressive is the seamless way the car switches between power plants or employs both together under hard acceleration. It is comfortable and fast enough for most with a 10.6 0 to 60 time and top speed of 99mph.


For all the latest car tests see the motoring section of our website at

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DISPLAY OF 2022 CARAVANS IN THE UK S P EC TAC U L A R R A N G E , S E N SAT I O N A L M O D E L S R E A DY TO V I E W AT G LO S S O P C A R AVA N S MAIN DEALERS FOR Elddis Buccaneer Opulent, Unique, Innovative. The 2022 models feature a new contoured front panel with a wider panoramic SkyScape sunroof. Swift Elegance Beautifully Luxurious – new for 2022 Alde underfloor heating with radiator central heating and hot water. Coachman Lusso Next Level Luxury – Stunningly spacious L shaped lounge seating, upholstered in premium quality fabric, is a new feature for 2022.

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THE SNAKE DAVIS BAND Wednesday 20 & 21 October 8:00pm


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Try these classic Chinese dishes from Kwoklyn Wan that use only five ingredients. Alongside a basic store cupboard of five essentials - salt, pepper, soy sauce, sugar and oil - you can make a feast of easy dishes using the bare minimum.

SINGAPORE CHOW MEIN Indo-Chinese flavours have become increasingly popular in the UK over the last 10 years, thanks to the explosion of street food markets in most major cities. This dish is a classic Indo-Chinese creation mixing ingredients from China with spices from India.

Ingredients • 2 chicken breasts or 300g (10oz) shredded char siu pork • 1 nest of dried egg noodles • 1 red (bell) pepper, cut into strips • 175g (3½ cups) beansprouts • 1 tbsp mild curry powder • 3 tbsp vegetable oil • ½ tsp salt • ¼ tsp white pepper • ½ tsp sugar


Method • Bring 800ml (3½ cups) water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Add the chicken breasts, bring back to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 12–15 minutes. Drain and set to one side. Once the chicken has cooled, cut into thin strips. • Meanwhile bring another 800ml (3½ cups) water to the boil in another saucepan. Add the dried egg noodle nest and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Drain and set to one side. • Place a wok over a medium heat; once it begins to smoke add the vegetable oil along with the red pepper strips and cook for 1 minute, then add the beansprouts and cook for a further minute. Add the curry powder and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and sugar and mix well. • Add the cooled sliced chicken (or pork, if using) and drained noodles to the wok and continue to cook for a further 5–8 minutes, making sure all of the ingredients are well combined and heated all the way through, allowing the noodles to catch some colour in the wok.


Even I was surprised at just how quick this dish was to cook; no sooner had I started the dish, than it was on my plate and being scoffed. Washing up consisted of just my wok and the wooden spoon I used. Chewy noodles, juicy chicken, crunchy onions and peppers smothered in a rich spicy satay sauce. Lovely! Ingredients • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces • 1 white onion, cut into strips • 1 green (bell) pepper, cut into strips • 4 tbsp satay dipping sauce (or use 2–3 tbsp satay paste, to taste) • 300g (10oz) straight-to-wok udon noodles • 2 tbsp oil (vegetable, groundnut or coconut) • 1 tsp salt • pinch of white pepper Tip: Add a sprinkle of crushed salted peanuts just before serving to add a lovely crunch.

Method • Heat a large non-stick wok over a medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the chicken and allow to brown on one side, then stir in the onion and green pepper for 1–2 minutes to soften. • Season with the salt and pepper, then stir in the satay dipping sauce, along with 250ml (1 cup) water. Once all of the ingredients are well combined in the sauce, add the noodles and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to separate the noodles. Serve immediately.



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Ingredients • • • • • • • • • •

4 tbsp fermented Chinese black beans 340g (12oz) firm tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated 1 bag of ready-prepared stir-fry vegetables 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 2 tbsp water 2 tbsp vegetable oil ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp white pepper 1 tsp sugar 2 tbsp light soy sauce

Tofu has been used in China for well over 2,000 years. As a staple ingredient for vegetarian Buddhist monks, Buddhist chefs often shape and cook the tofu to resemble meat. Black bean fried tofu can be found on many Cantonese restaurant menus and is still one of the top ordered vegetarian dishes. Method • Soak the fermented black beans in 120ml (½ cup) water for 10 minutes, then drain in a sieve and set to one side. • Heat the oil in a wok over a medium-high heat and fry the tofu for 6–8 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper and set to one side. • Reheat the oiled wok over a medium heat and gently fry the garlic and black beans for 45 seconds until fragrant. Add the stir-fry vegetables, increase the heat to medium-high and fry for 2 minutes. • Then add 120ml (½ cup) water, the salt, pepper, sugar, soy sauce and fried tofu and bring to the boil. • Give the cornflour mixture a stir and slowly pour into the sauce, stirring constantly, to thicken. Serve immediately.

Chinese Takeaway in 5 by Kwoklyn Wan (Quadrille, £15) Photography ©Sam Folan 34

MASTERCHEF CONTESTANT SHARES HER TAPAS RECIPES Michele is a creative and innovative designer by trade whose passion for food, family and design all stem from her warm Spanish heritage. Having grown up with creative parents, Michele has experienced different cultures and worlds and applied all of those to her exquisite repertoire of dishes. Michele’s passion for food, wine, hotels and restaurants is something she grew up with. Her parents came from the hotel and restaurant industry, running their own restaurant for over 30 years in Valencia, Spain where her elderly mother still lives today! More recently, Michele appeared on Series 17 of MasterChef where she battled the competition to make it to the quarter finals. Her dishes were loved by many, with TV personality, Greg Wallace stating “It’s a very brave thing to do, and in that I’m quite impressed” following Michele’s first ever attempt at a Thai curry without using curry paste. Having five daughters and two dogs, Michele understands and appreciates how a home needs to function and integrate in order to satisfy the needs of the individual and the broader family.

Ingredients • 1 Whole pork fillet, 1 cm slices. • 2 tbs olive oil • 1 Large French Baguette • 12 Padron Peppers • 2 Cloves of garlic crushed • 300 gms Manchego Cheese or Mature Cheddar (grated or thinly sliced) • Salt & Pepper • Pimenton Dulce (Spanish Sweet Paprika) for Garnish

METHOD 1. Take off any white sinue from fillet and slice into 1 cm slices. Sprinkle sliced pork with salt and little black pepper.

8. Quickly remove from grill pan and arrange on long serving dish or large round dish. Add one patron pepper on top and secure with cocktail stick.

2. In a medium non-stick frying pan, heat oil to medium to high heat. Add pork slices, you may need to do this in two batches.

9. Lightly sprinkle Pimenton over Montaditos and dish.

3. Fry pork on medium heat until browned nicely, turning frequently for approximately 3 - 4mins. 4. Turn heat down and add garlic and stir until light golden brown. Leave pork to rest in pan. 5. Add tablespoon of oil to a separate frying pan bring to medium to high heat and add patron peppers, fry for approximately 2 mins turning constantly. The skin will turn opaque/ brown this shows they are ready. Remove from pan with slotted spoon onto piece of kitchen roll. 6. Slice Baguette into 1/2cm slices. Gently toast either on griddle or grill until lightly golden. 7. Bring grill up to medium heat, arrange toasted bread onto grill or oven tray. On top of the toasted bread add slice of pork fillet, then cheese on top of pork. Pop under grill until cheese has melted / gently bubbling.

Winter Warm-Up at Bolton Steam Museum. Saturday 28th December, Sunday 29th December: 10.00am - 4.00 pm. Bolton Steam Museum, Mornington Road, off Chorley Old Road, Bolton, BL1 4EU. Free admission (and free unlimited parking on Morrison’s supermarket car park site) Contact Tel. 01204 846490 Website: Information: Our volunteers have rescued and restored 30 old stationary steam engines - some of the engines which once powered the cotton mills and woollen mills of the North of England. Our oldest engine is now 180 years old, and most engines are well over 100 years old. Some of our engines are now unique - the only one of its kind to survive anywhere in the world! Most will be running in steam on these 2 days only.





CLAMS WITH WHITE RIOJA WINE AND SERRANO HAM Ingredients • 1 Kilo of Clams (Preferably Fresh) if not frozen (thaw before cooking) • 100 ml of Olive Oil • Small white Spanish onion or Shallot finely chopped • 4 Large Garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped • 150 ml of White Rioja Wine (or dry white wine)

METHOD 1. If you are lucky enough to get fresh clams (these can be purchased from supermarket or fishmonger and now online) Soak fresh clams in a large bowl for approximately 20 mins in cold water so that all the grit can be released. Rinse thoroughly in cold water. Please discard any that don’t close after tapping firmly with a metal spoon or and that are broken. 2. In a large deep-frying pan with lid, heat oil on a medium heat and fry the finely chopped onion, garlic for approx 5 mins. Please ensure they are not over cooked and brown; onions should be transparent.

When cooked add chopped ham. Approx 6 mins. 3. Keeping it at a medium heat add your pimenton spices and the flour and stir constantly for approximately 30 seconds. Now add your white wine ensuring you are stirring all the time. The wine will fizz keep stirring until all ingredients come together. 4. Drain clams and add, turn up your heat and stir or shake the clams vigorously making sure they have been mixed in well. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, don’t add to much as your clams are naturally salted and the salt from the

• 6 Slices of Serrano Ham. (One small packet.) • 1/2 tsp of Hot Pimenton (Spanish spice normally in small tin) or Paprika • 1/2 tsp of Sweet Pimenton • 1 tsp of plain flour • Salt & Pepper to Taste • Garnish with small handful of Chopped Flat leaf Parsley

ham adds an amazing flavour. The clams will release beautiful juices which will add to the sauce. 5. Add your chopped parsley to the pan and then place tight fitting lid and cook on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes or until all your clams have opened. If using frozen clams may only need 2 mins. (If you see any clams that have not opened, please throw away)! 6. Give it a last stir and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve into small bowls or individual dishes with some lovely crusty fresh bread and a fresh glass of chilled white wine.

Comedy / Drama Sunny Side Up Tuesday 19 - Saturday 23 October 2021 Tickets £7 - £22

Drama The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Tuesday 26 - Saturday 30 October 2021 Tickets £7 - £22.50

The hilarious and moving account of a struggling Yorkshire coast B&B and the people who run it. Join down to earth proprietors Barney, Cath and Tina as they share their stories of awkward clients, snooty relatives and eggs over easy, in this seaside feel good rollercoaster which digs into what ‘staycations’ are all about.

Welcome to Sleepy Hollow. Population 436. May you never leave! With Hallowmas celebrations fast approaching, the residents of Sleepy Hollow spin tall tales of legends and unsightly entities. But who can tell truth from nightmare? Coronation Street legends Wendi Peters and Bill Ward lead an incredible ensemble in this thrilling new adaptation.

Pantomime Aladdin Saturday 13 November 2021 - Saturday 8 January 2022 Tickets £13.50 - £22.50

Music The Greatest Hits of Motown: How Sweet It Is Friday 28 - Saturday 29 January 2022 Tickets £27.50

Music ABBA: Thank You For The Music Friday 11 February 2022 Tickets £27

Looking for the perfect Christmas treat? Your wish is our command! The Coliseum is famous for bringing the festive family fun every year with the North West’s favourite traditional pantomime and Aladdin flies into Oldham on a magic carpet in 2021. With hit songs, silliness and plenty of festive magic, this long-established and much-loved pantomime is perfect for all the family.

The ultimate celebration of the sweet sound of Motown is back. This stunning 100% live show combines first class music together with slick choreography, and an amazing band. You’ll be Dancing On The Ceiling, with songs from Lionel Richie, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson Five, The Isley Brothers and many more.

Calling all Dancing Queens, this is your night to say, Thank You For the Music! You can dance, you can jive, and have the time of your life as we bring you all the hits, including Waterloo, Dancing Queen, Super Trouper, Mamma Mia, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, The Winner Takes It All and many many more!

Fairbottom Street Oldham OL1 3SW

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Ingredients • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil, or as needed • 4 Medium, potatoes, or equivalent in New Potatoes. Approx 2 lb. (1 kg) total weight, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices. If using large potatoes cut into quarters. • 8 oz. (250 g) Spanish chorizo sausage sliced approx I/2 cm slices. • 1 white onion, chopped • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into strips. Or roasted red peppers in jar, sliced into strips. • 3 Cloves of garlic cloves, minced • 1 tsp. Pimentón dulce (sweet Spanish smoked pepper) (Paprika) • 1/2 tsp of dried chillies. • 120 ml or 4 fl.oz tomato passata or chopped tomato. • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper • 4 Eggs, 1 Fried Egg per person if serving in large dish, alternatively 1 quail egg for small tapas dish • 2 tbs / Handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

METHOD 1. In a large frying pan heat olive oil for minute or two Add the sliced potatoes and sauté, stirring often, until pale gold, 10 to 15 minutes. Should be soft in middle. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a dish. 2. Add the chorizo to the pan and fry on medium heat stirring and turning often, until crisp and brown, about 3 / 4 minutes, if the mixtures is a little dry add a little more oil. Using slotted spoon or tongs, transfer to a dish. 3. Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 mins, garlic, pimentos, dried chilli and sauté until the onion has absorbed all the spices, then add tomatoes and simmer for approximately about 8 minutes. 4. Return the potato and chorizo to the pan and bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 -15 minutes. 5. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large serving dish or individual dishes. 6. Fry eggs leaving yolk runny. Serve one per person or portion. 7. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve warm. Serves 8.


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you have heavy soil you can improve drainage by digging in some horticultural grit before planting. After that the main thing to get right is the planting depth. Bulb planting depths vary As a general rule plant at a depth of up to two to three times their height and two to three bulb widths apart. The pointed tip should always be facing upwards and the flat root end down. But if you really can’t be sure you can always plant them on their sides – the stem and roots will grow in the right directions. A trowel is all you need for this but there are specialist bulb planters available with depth gauges.

BULBS TO LIGHTUP SPRING Plant spring bulbs now for a glorious display of colour next year says gardening writer Julia Heaton After the depths of winter there’s no better sign that the garden is beginning to stir into life than the sight of the first snowdrops or daffodils raising their heads above ground in a rallying cry of colour. Spring flowering bulbs can be so uplifting. They look good in informal and formal borders and are great gap-fillers until the rest of the garden comes into flower. They also look lovely in lawns and are excellent value for money when planted in containers. If you want a slice of this action then now is the time to set the wheels in motion for a stunning display next year.You can plant them all the way through to November, as long as it’s before the risk of frost, so that they can become acclimatised and start sending out roots. Tulips are an exception and can be planted right up until Christmas as they need cold temperatures to reduce the risk of disease and help them root. Don’t forget that there are lots of hardy summer flowering bulbs like lilies and alliums that can be planted in October too. Planting out in borders Make sure you plant with the pointed tip facing up. Plant in drifts, groups or individually, depending on the effect you want to achieve. It could be that you’d like to add some height to the border or create a focal point with a large group. As long as the soil isn’t waterlogged bulbs will grow in most soil types. Break up the earth so there are no clods but if

Gently fill in the hole and firm down with your hands. Then mark up a plant label and place it in the centre of the area planted – it’ll act as a reminder of what’s in there and not to get too close when digging nearby. Planting in lawns Crocus do well in lawns. Bulbs like narcissi, crocus, snowdrops, grape hyacinth, winter aconite and cammassia are great for bringing colour to a lawn that you’re not fussy about mowing. This is important because the grass can’t be cut from when the first bulb leaves appear until the flowers have gone and the foliage has died back. Wait until you’ve done your final cut of the season before planting. Then start by making sure the soil is moist and weed free. For a natural drift formation simply throw a handful of bulbs in the air and plant them where they fall. Using a sharp-edged trowel dig out a plug of turf that’s three times the depth of the bulb you’re planting. Then add some good compost or grit if the soil is heavy. After planting break up some of the earth belonging to the plug and place it back on top of the bulb. Replace the remainder of the turf plug and gently firm it in so that it’s level with the rest of the lawn. Alternatively, for the smallest bulbs, try cutting into the turf, peeling it back, forking over the surface and adding some grit before planting as before. A bulb planter, which will lift out an individual plug, can also be used for larger single bulbs. Left in position your bulbs will naturalise, propagating across the lawn to bring even bigger displays. Try this method in a wildflower area to add some different interest in the spring. Bulbs in pots To get the most out of pot displays go for the layering technique that’s become known as lasagne planting. Just by planting layers of bulbs that flower at different times you can get a fantastic display that will last for months. Choose a pot that’s deep enough to accommodate bulbs that need the deepest planting depth and line the bottom with crocks for drainage. Then add a layer of bulb compost or multi-purpose with added grit for drainage. Plant the largest and latest flowering bulbs first at the correct depth then add another layer of compost followed






by an earlier flowering group of smaller bulbs. For a third, top layer, add more compost followed by the smallest and earliest flowering bulbs.

- Chinodoxa: Also known as ‘Glory of the Snow’, these star-shaped flowers do good in well-drained soil in full sun. Try planting under deciduous trees;

Finish with a layer of compost, stand the container on pot feet for drainage and water it well. For a three-layered treat go for something like daffodils on the bottom layer, hyacinths on the middle and crocus on the top.

Hardy summer flowering bulbs:

Bulbs can also be placed closer together than if they were growing in the soil and don’t worry about them being directly on top of one another – the shoots of those at the bottom will just bend around the smaller ones.

- Lilies: Ideal for containers and borders in full sun or partial shade;

Tips for better displays- Snowdrops establish better when planted in leaf or ‘in the green’ in early spring. Winter aconites and lily of the valley benefit from this too.

- Crocosmia: Plant from corms in sun or partial shade. Good on most soil types but ideally moisture retentive in summer;


Plan ahead for next summer by planting these in September and October:

- Allium: Flowers best in a sheltered but sunny site in well drained soil;

- Bearded Iris: Grow in full sun in well-drained soil.

When buying go for the largest bulb you can find in that variety. Smaller ones are more likely not to flower in the first year or produce weaker blooms. Check for mould and discard any that feel soft.

- Insulate pots against freezing winter weather by wrapping with bubble wrap. - Protect newly planted bulbs from squirrels by laying chicken wire over the top and covering with a layer of soil or compost. Five spring flowerers to plant now - Crocus: Grows from a corm in full sun or partial shade. Plant in natural flowing groups for maximum effect; - Snakes head fritillary: Nodding bell-shaped mauve flowers are happy in full sun or partial shade; - Daffodil: Plant in sun or light shade. Dwarf daffodils do well in lawns, pots and even rockeries; - Bluebells: Best grown in partial or dappled shade around trees or under shrubs; 40

The vibrant colour of crocosmia in summer.


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Bankfield House is an independent, privately owned care home. Situated in a quiet corner of Woodley.


ankfield House is an independent privately owned care home situated in a quiet corner of Woodley, in the tranquillity of its own attractive landscape gardens consisting of a pond, barbecue and pergola.

We also hold our annual barbecue, together with bring & buys and raffles to raise money for our resident’s fund, to help purchase theatre tickets and entrance fees on their outings.

Our ethos is to assist our Residents in continuing to live their lives as independently as their specific needs determine by providing holistic care and support conductive to those needs.

High Dependency Residential Care

Permanent, Short Term, Respite and Day Care

We offer dedicated care, providing each individual resident with security, dignity and peace of mind in a homely family environment. Our extensive person-centred activities itinerary is coordinated by our full-time member of staff five days per week. Activities take place within the care home and in the community through Start Point Coffee Shop, Communiversity, local Churches, Nursery Schools and allotments. You will also find us on our Facebook page ‘Bankfield Bellbows’ which has been invaluable during COVID-19 for families and friends to connect with their loved ones and interact remotely in their individual activity. During the summer months Bankfield House Residents are able to enjoy our gardens, planting herbs and tomatoes etc, in the raised garden beds.

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Organised activities by our full time Activities Coordinator Minibus Outings, Theatre, Canal Boat Trips etc. Links to the local community through Start Point Coffee Shop, Communiversity and Churches

CCTV within the home and grounds

Accommodates 30 residents

Located in private grounds with landscape gardens, pergola, stone barbecue and pond Hairdresser, Chiropodist, Ophthalmic and Dental Services, Church Services Resident Relative Meetings


Bankfield House Care Home, Bankfield Road, Woodley, Stockport, Cheshire SK16 1RQ. Tel: 0161 406 6468




2. You will be required to read some letters or numbers from a board. To assess your prescription needs, your eye doctor will ask you to read letters and numbers from a board, as well as ask you to look at red and green boards. This will help them to determine what you need going forward. 3. Completing your prescription. Once the optometrist has determined the correct prescription for you, you will be required to choose your glasses frames if you desire. If you don’t find any you like, you can order prescription glasses online from to find the perfect fit for you! Getting Used To Your Prescription & Health Tips

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU GET YOUR EYES TESTED AT 50? As we age, our bodies change, and its needs and requirements shift with it. If you are reaching the fifty mark, or you have already gone past it, you may have noticed a change in your eyesight over the years. This is a totally natural change, but it might need your special attention in order to keep your eyes feeling healthy and comfortable. In this article you will find helpful advice on seeking eye care at 50+. Let’s get started! Symptoms of Strained Eyes Without taking care of your eyes, you can strain them and further damage your eyesight. You can experience negative symptoms that cause you stress and even pain. These include: • Headaches. Not wearing glasses when you need them, or wearing glasses or contacts that have the wrong prescription for you, can cause terrible headaches. These headaches are referred to as ‘vision headaches’ and mostly occur across the brow line and forehead. • Fatigue and poor concentration. If your concentration span has decreased, it could be down to straining your eyes. •

Itchy and sore eyes.

Blurred vision.


If you experience these symptoms, it is important that you book an eye test to see how your symptoms can be alleviated through prescription glasses or contacts. Eye Care At 50 According to healthcare experts, having an eye test every two years is important once you reach the age of 50-60. This does not sound very frequent, but is an increase in recommended eye tests compared to the proposed once-a-decade between the ages of 20-29. At the age of fifty and over, most people are likely to need some kind of eye support when reading or driving. What To Expect From An Eye Test If you have never had your eyes tested and don’t know what to expect, here is what will happen at your first eye test! 1. Your eye doctor will ask questions about your general health. There are myriad things that can affect your eyesight, such as the amount of time you spend looking at a screen, your diet, other health issues or medications. Before examining your eyes closely, your eye doctor will likely ask questions about these aspects of your routine.

Now that you have the right glasses or contact lenses for your eyes, you might continue to experience your previous symptoms for a while – or indeed, brand new ones.Your eyes will have become accustomed to their previous range of vision, meaning that the interruption of prescription lenses might cause you some headaches or other symptoms like nausea. In order to combat these, make sure to take breaks when wearing your new glasses. Wear them for an hour, then remove them for an hour, and build up this time until you can wear them full-time if needed. If they still give you grief after a few weeks, contact your optometrist to discuss this further. Here are some health tips to assist your eyes as you get older! • Eating healthily. Eating healthy, natural foods, such as fruit and veg, is hugely important for keeping your eyes healthy. The eyes respond to healthy foods just like any other body part, so ensuring that your diet is as best as it can be is a great way to take care of them. • Taking screen breaks. At any age, staring at a screen for hours at a time is unhealthy for many reasons. If you are required to be on a computer all day for work, make sure to take regular mini-breaks without a screen to protect your eyes. • Glasses with blue light filters. When having your eye test, speak with your optometrist about blue light filters. These are special lenses that help reduce your eyes’ exposure to blue light from computer screens. • Overall, taking care of your eyes as a mature person is vital. Use this guide to help you care for your eyes at 50+!


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