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Rick Stein




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Blunsdon Abbey Park

A New Lifestyle for the over 50s

Are you retiring, or looking to downsize yet do not wish to compromise on your high standard of living? A park home lifestyle could be your solution, 50 Plus finds out. Blunsdon Abbey Park retains its rural


ine View Parks is a family run business with over four decades experience in operating residential parks. Prestigious Blunsdon Abbey to the north of Swindon is an exclusive development in the tranquil grounds of Blunsdon Abbey House. Set within their own private cul-de-sac, the new park homes benefit from brand new utilities infrastructure and on-site management. The current development has remained popular, even in these difficult economic times, local customers are selling their houses and being able to change their lifestyle so that they can either, free up some hard earned cash, boost their pension or even stop work earlier with out the worry of a mortgage.


Apart from this, the community of like minded people at Blunsdon Abbey, offers customers a friendly, safe and cost effective lifestyle that is becoming increasingly popular as towns expand to meet the housing needs of young families and the chaos that goes with them. Our residents are very friendly and more than happy to talk to prospective buyers about park home life at Blunsdon Abbey and how the lifestyle change worked for them. A typical new park home comes with 2 double bedrooms, fully fitted kitchen with integrated appliances, garage with electric door, block paved drive and turfed and hedged garden from ÂŁ159,950.

feel, with mature trees, spectacular views and many original features of the historic estate, yet it is also within easy reach of high quality shops, pubs and library facilities. There are many footpaths and cycle routes on the doorstep of the park, as well as bus services to Swindon and elsewhere. The locality offers an abundance of sport and leisure amenities and Pine View can also offer residents storage for motorhomes and touring caravans within the park. We would be very proud to show anyone around our current development and answer any questions about the park or the home options that can be chosen.

For further information telephone: 01793 722100

This beautifully equipped home now available This Park Home has been fully refurbished and is situated on one of the most outstanding plots on the park with views across to the Wiltshire Downs. The home comprises of:l Lounge l Kitchen/Diner l Bathroom l Two double bedrooms l Airing cupboard l Hallway and Porch This home has been finished to the highest standard and includes l 3 New Bay windows l New Mains Gas Valliant combi boiler and central heating system l New wiring and fuse-board l New fitted kitchen with integrated dishwasher and fridge/freezer


MOVE IN FROM £159,950 Reserve your plot whilst you sell your house, and then live RENT FREE at Blunsdon Abbey whilst your new park home is built.

New Décor throughout New carpet underlay and curtains throughout l New Beds and 3 piece suite l New Fitted shower room with large 1500 shower and drencher shower head l New gutters and Fascias l New skirt, steps and exterior paint l Complete new landscaped garden with 2 patio areas l Adjacent parking l l


T: 01793 722100


Graham Smith has a Tweet But what is he twittering about? There was the Swansea lady who decked out her living room ceiling with 1,700 Christmas baubles. She starts decorating at the end of September and doesn’t usually finish until Christmas Day! You couldn’t make it up could you? Our beleaguered country can always throw up a laugh. Did you see the one about the internet dating sight which was auctioning a date with a busty Virgin Mary or a hunky Joseph! Dogs are always good for a laugh too. A Chinese man, whose name I cannot possibly spell and you couldn’t say it if I did, has a four-year-old Pekingese dog which walks backwards on its hind legs for two kilometres a day. What is the point of that I ask and what does it do when it wants to spend a penny? The mind boggles.

When is it Christmas? If it’s June when you read this don’t worry Christmas isn’t coming any time soon. Astronomers have calculated that Christmas should be in June by charting the “Christmas Star” which the Bible says led the Three Wise Men to Jesus. The have decided that the bright star pinpoints Jesus’ birthday as June 17th rather than December 25th. Well that’s just going to upset a few turkey farmers and artificial snow manufacturers isn’t it?

Lost pussy causes a headache! Those of us of a certain age will remember Mrs Slocombe of the BBC sitcom “Are You Being Served” having various problems with her pussy. They were nothing compared to those of a small village where residents spent the best part of three days digging to rescue a cat whose meowing could be heard clearly. Everyone turned out to help and eventually the animal was found. A large orange plastic moggy with a tape recorded cry which was permanently switched on! Stories like this warm my heart in troubled times. Half the population can’t afford a can of cat food but they will dig for three days to rescue what they thought was a genuine animal in distress.

He should have ducked! An American duck hunter had to be taken to hospital after being shot in the buttocks by his dog!

And what a mess they’ve made of the carol service. How can “snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even”, and what about the poor old beggar bringing in his winter fuel? There’s no holly and ivy, the shepherds can’t be watching their flocks because it’s still day light and I just cannot listen to Bing Crosby in June! Which silly old goat with a white beard and a red suit is going to traipse reindeer and a sleigh about in 20 degrees of heat? I don’t eat sprouts in December so I’m surely not about to in June. “All is calm, all is bright”, well it will be in June, new legislation could mean it’s daylight until four in the morning so the poor little beggar will be throwing his swaddling clothes off and tipping the sheepdog out of the manger.

Why can’t they leave things as they are? I’m dreaming of a White Easter. 4

The hunter was climbing out of his boat to place decoys in nearby marsh when his “excited” dog trod on a shotgun firing 27 pellets into his backside from ten feet. The man managed to walk to a nearby road and call an ambulance and was not seriously injured. He should have ducked.

11th Sept 7 Days £499

FORESIGHT WILLS Will Writers & LPA Specialists

Inside this issue ... Sorrento & Pompeii

6-7 21st Sept 10 Days £849

Are you guilty of Intestacy?


for your copy!

1793 821303





TRAVEL & LEISURE 6-7 Dubrovnik A Timeless Beauty

Intestacy is dying without having a legally valid Will. This means that the State writes a Will for you; your assets are then distributed according to these rules. Most people wrongly assume that their possessions pass on to their husband, wife or other family member. If your spouse or partner marries after your death, your children could receive nothing.

10-11 Getting Fit & So Much More At the Village Leisure Club, Swindon

If you have children from a previous relationship they could end up with nothing.

14-15 Playing the Senior's Favourite Game

Many families often face immediate financial hardship simply because no Will has been written.

16-17 Places to Visit ... and How to Get There and maybe take the Grandkids too!

HOME 22-23 An additional Room to Enjoy all Year Round with up to £2000 FREE 24 Reader Offer 20% Off A Range of Kitchen, Bathroom & Bedroom Furniture 28-29 What Will your Garden Grow this Year? Gardening Tips. McGrath Regional Media. Unit 6 | Moses Gate Workshops | Gladys Street Bolton | BL3 2QG. T: (01204) 796 494 | F: (01204) 791594 e:

Your family home can be sold to pay for Long Term Care. A Professional Will can avoid all this.

Home visits, weekend & out of hours appointments available


% off


For a free, no obligation consultation contact us

Tel: 01793 433705




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

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

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

you wave furiously otherwise the driver may not stop! The main bus station is in Kantafig, near Port Gruz and the Tudjman Bridge, 2.5 km northwest of the Old Town. Local bus 7 operates between this station and Babin kuk, and bus 1 serves the Old Town. On buses you pay a separate fee of 10 Kn to the driver for luggage, so keep some change handy. Taxis in Dubrovnik are available around the clock and you can easily pick one up at one of the many taxi stops. The good news is that a taxi service will never cost you more than 100 Kn (approx. £11) in any direction within Dubrovnik city limits! If you are planning to drive a car in Dubrovnik, be aware that lots of streets are one way. If in doubt, passersby will gladly direct you. Dubrovnik is easy to cover on foot; in fact it will take the averagely fit person less than 1.5 hours to walk from the historical centre to the very end of Lapad peninsula. Climate: The climate along the Dubrovnik Region is a typical Mediterranean one, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. However, it is perhaps distinct from other Mediterranean climates because of the unusual winds and frequency of thunderstorms. The Bura wind blows cold gusts down the Adriatic coast between October and April. The air temperatures can slightly vary, depending on the area or region. Typically, in July and August daytime maximum temperatures reach 29°C (84°F), and at night drop to around 21°C (70°F). More comfortable perhaps, is the climate in Spring and Autumn when maximum temperatures are typically between 20°C (68°F) and 28°C (82°F). Language: Croatian is the official language spoken in Dubrovnik. English is taught as a second language in schools however, and other international languages are also fluently spoken. Currency: Kuna (Kn.) £1 British pound is worth approx. 8 Kuna. The word “Kuna” means “marten” in Croatian since it is based on the use of marten pelts as units of value in medieval trading. 7

Ring for your copy

21st Sept 10 Days £849

esbarnes Ring for your copy!

01793 821303

01793 82130

FREE HOME PICKUP ON ALL TOURS - 4 DAYS AND OVER THROUGHOUT SWINDON AND LARGE SURROUNDING AREA Bembridge Coast Hotel - Isle of Wight £299pp 1st June - Friday to Monday - 3 Nights Bembridge Coast Hotel is situated on a secluded eastern shore with stunning views of the Solent. With its 23 acres of grounds, its famously landscaped Spanish Gardens and its marvellous sea views, Bembridge Coast is the ideal place from which to explore the Isle of Wight’s Royal history.The Isle of Wight is known as the ‘Garden Isle’ because in itself it holds vast amounts of beautiful landscapes and views which are home to all sorts of wildlife. l There will be a lunch time stop of interest on the way to and from your Warners destination plus 1 day out with Barnes Coach whilst you are there.

Sinah Warren Hotel - Hayling Island £379pp 2nd July - Monday to Friday - 4 Nights Delicately poised at the tip of Hampshire’s Hayling Island, with views overlooking Langstone Harbour, Sinah Warren is a beautiful, well appointed and comfortable hotel with as many amenities as you could wish for. The Hotel is perfectly based for enjoying some of the English south coast’s finest attractions, from the handsome city and boatyard of Chichester to the historic harbour at Portsmouth. l There will be a lunch time stop of interest on the way to and from your Warners destination plus 2 days out with Barnes Coach whilst you are there.

Nidd Hall Hotel - Harrogate £429pp 6th August - Monday to Friday - 4 Nights Set on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, this elegantly preserved historic Grade II listed stately home is set within 45 acres of Victorian and Edwardian parkland, sculpted lawns, stepped terraces and a magnificent fishing lake. The original bow fronted lawn of the east wing is the perfect place for the box hedge maze and gravel planting. Other points of interest include the beautiful grafted Azalea, copper beach, and Japanese azaleas. l There will be a lunch time stop of interest on the way to and from your Warners destination plus 2 days out with Barnes Coach whilst you are Dthere.

NEW L US Bodelwyddan Castle - Hotel North £379pp ION NO EAFLERTWales 8th October - Monday to Friday W 4 Nights AY E




Set in 200 acres of parkland, with breathtaking views of the Clwydian Hills and the Snowdonia National Park, which is less that an hour away, the Grade II listed Bodelwyddan Castle with its ivyclad turrets and commanding hilltop position offers a truly unforgettable experience. Bodelwyddan Castle is also home to the National Portrait Gallery’s Victorian Collection. The gardens were designed by Thomas Mawson in 1910. The garden wall was built in the 1830’s and was heated to encourage the growth of fruit trees.The grounds include formal gardens, woodland walks, historical sites and even a maze to negotiate. l There will be a lunch time stop of interest on the way to and from your Warners destination plus 2 days out with Barnes Coach whilst you are there.

CALL 01793 821303


Isle of Man                         6 days 10th May and 26th Sept £449

West Coast Islands                         8 days 10th June £549

Lake Garda                        8 days 13th May £549

Orkney & Shetland Mini Cruise                         8 days 22nd June £699

Three Scottish Castles                       6 days 27th May £419

Railways of Wales                         5 days 30th July £399

Loch Tay & Falls of Drochart                     5 days 4th June £329

The Austrian Tyrol                         8 days 11th August £599

Gardens of Normandy                      5 days 4th June £429

Brussels & Bruges 5M                         3 days 17th August £189.95

PLUS MANY, MANY MORE! Please contact us for your free brochure and more information on listed tours.


Getting Fit & So Much MORE!!! At The VILLAGE LEISURE CLUB, SWINDON Are you over 55 and looking to get some of that old sparkle back. We can help!!! If it's just building on your own activities or taking a fresh look at getting healthier we can offer you the perfect environment. ● ● ●

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

● ●

Full air-conditioned GYMNASIUM Extensive Group Fitness Timetable Plus Aqua Aerobics Heated indoor leisure pool with spa facilities 60+ group exercise classes Spacious changing facilities Free Parking Reciprocal use of all other Village Leisure Clubs Discount in all Hotel facilities.

All this is yours for just £34 a Month Come Try Our Exclusive VILLAGE LIFE Membership

FIVE DAY FREE TRIAL Village Leisure Club, Swindon Village Hotel, Shaw Ridge Leisure Park, Whitehill Way, Swindon SN5 7DW.

t: 01793 889305

Keep active – keep healthy! As we get older and certainly when we reach our 50s, some of us will lead a more sedentary lifestyle than we have done up until now. For a start, if you do not take up another fulltime job in retirement, you will not have to get out of bed in the morning and rush around getting ready for work and then travelling. If you have little to do, many of us eat and drink out of boredom, so there is a danger that we shall eat and drink more than we should, especially if it is combined with a more sedentary life. You might have a drink at lunchtime as you do, perhaps, on holiday. So it is worth keeping an eye on our exercise levels and our diet. Putting on extra weight as we get older can be harmful because we naturally get less supple anyway, so if we can take a bit of care it will do us good and help us to maintain an active lifestyle.

Why Keep Physically Active? We naturally want to enjoy our later life and, in order to do this, we need to be moderately fit; fit so that we can do all those things that we want to do such as play with the grandchildren, walk around those tourist attractions on holiday, go for country walks and so on. Recent guidance from the Chief Medical Officer confirms that older adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits, including the maintenance of good physical and mental health. Some physical activity is better than none and more physical activity provides greater health benefits.

The benefits of being active include: l helping

to maintain an active and alert mind l reducing the risk of heart disease l helping to maintain the ability to carry out daily living activities l improving mood and self‑confidence l reducing the risk of falls l increasing sociability when undertaken with other people

Older adults should aim to be active every day, adding up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) a week of moderate intensity activity. A good way to approach this is to do thirty minutes activity on at least five days a week. For those who are already regularly physically active at moderate intensity, similar benefits can be achieved through 75 additional minutes of more vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. It is also advised that older adults undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week and that those older adults at risk of falls should incorporate physical activity to improve balance and co‑ordination on at least two days a week, every week.

Nobody is too old to benefit from physical activity. The Village Hotel at Shaw Ridge Leisure Park offer an extensive health and fitness club, with a large heated indoor pool and fully air conditioned gym. Over 50s are well catered for with group exercise classes specific for the age group and aqua aerobics feature in the timetable everyday.

It is a very sociable Hotel with a Starbucks Coffee Shop and Village Pub both inviting after a leisurely swim or more energetic hour in the gym. The Village are offering readers of 50 Plus Magazine a complimentary five day membership, just present the voucher to the leisure reception on arrival.

Healthy Lives A 7-week Pulmonary/Heart failure Rehabilitation programme for people living with Congestive Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) consisting of 2 sessions per week – each session includes both education and exercise and are held at the Haydon Centre. Patients must be referred to this programme via a Health Professional. For more information contact Carole Jones on 01793 864934 or email


50 Plus Magazine Reader Offer FREE 5 DAY VILLAGE LIFE MEMBERSHIP Offer to all 50 Plus Magazine readers – Come and find out for yourself how the Village Life membership can help you achieve your health and fitness goals as well as improve your health and well-being with a complimentary 5 day membership. Offer on for limited time, so get in touch today. Name .............................................................................................. Tel No .................................................. Address .......................................................................................................................................................

Send your details to the address oppostite, or alternatively call and reserve your place on 01793 889305, or just simply come in and see us today.

Steps to Health has encouraged many people to Start Feeling Healthier, Be More Active, Meet New People and Have Fun… here is some feedback from those who have joined Steps to Health. ‘Motivational support has encouraged me to exercise. Financially the scheme has helped too.’ ‘I have made some new friends.’ ‘I have enjoyed the gym so far and I have dropped a dress size.’ ‘Everyone has been helpful and supportive. I feel that exercise has done me good.’ ‘Steps to Health has helped me with my stamina and confidence.’

Specialised Gym Sessions at Broome Manor

Dietbusters/Adult Weight Management

A range of gym-based activity sessions on an individual or group basis, for people with specific health conditions, disabilities, exercise rehabilitation, or those recovering from a stroke. All sessions are fully supervised and include an initial 1-1 assessment. These sessions are run on both a selfreferral and GP/Health Professional referral basis.

Swindon Borough Council also run 12-week weight management courses in partnership with the PCT on a GP/ Health Professional referral basis. This programme includes both education and exercise. The exercises can be adapted to suit most ability levels. Daytime and evening courses are available.

The Rec, Highworth

Oasis Leisure Centre

Moredon Golf *

Link Centre

Highworth Golf *

Health Hydro

Haydon Centre

Dorcan Rec. Complex

Delta Tennis Centre

Croft Sports Centre

County Ground **

Fun for all the family!

Coate Water *

Leisure in Swindon

Broome Manor Golf

For more information call Keith Bell, Health Improvement Team Specialist Gym Instructor on 01793 864934 or email

For more information contact Debbie Mitchell on 01793 864934 or email

Badminton Basketball Bowls - Indoor Climbing Fitness Classes Football Golf Gym Ice Skating Running Track Sauna & Steam Holiday Activities Snooker Sports Courses Squash Swimming Tennis Turkish Baths * Contact Broome Manor Golf Complex for further information. ** County Ground activities are bookable through Croft Sports Centre. 495761










Walk Swindon -


Leisurely Group Walks


Keep Active, Stay Healthy! Socialise, exercise and explore local green spaces with these free volunteerled leisure walks, some of which take place during the Swindon Festival of Walking (14 – 25 May)*. Please note: all walks are around 3 miles (1 to 1.5 miles) unless otherwise stated, and all are walked at a leisurely pace. Sunday 29th April – ‘Light & Leisurely’ with Ramblers volunteers, meet at Croft Leisure Centre at 10.30am *Tuesday 15th May – ‘Sociable Stroll’, meet at Stanton Park Rangers station at 2.00pm *Saturday 19th May – River Ray Wildlife Walk with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust 10.00am – 12.00pm. Booking essential, phone 01793 616558. Meet at end of Barnfield Road, follow path towards Rivermead & meet on bridge over River Ray. *Sunday 20th May – ‘Light & Leisurely’ with Ramblers volunteers, meet at Pinetrees Community Centre at 10.30am *Monday 21st May – Guided Sculpture Walk, meet at The Link Centre (library entrance) at 1.00pm Tuesday 19th June – ‘Sociable Stroll’, meet at Barbury Castle (car park) at 2.00pm Sunday 24th June – ‘Light & Leisurely’ with Ramblers volunteers, meet at Stratton Leisure Centre at 10.30am Tuesday 17th July – ‘Sociable Stroll’, meet at Broome Manor Golf complex at 2.00pm Sunday 29th July – ‘Light & Leisurely’ with Ramblers volunteers, meet at the Oasis Leisure Centre at 10.30am Tuesday 21st August – ‘Sociable Stroll’, meet at Nightingale Wood (car park) at 2.00pm For more information on these walks, walking groups, walking routes or the Swindon Festival of Walking, phone 01793 465413 or visit

Whether you want to keep active or if you want to try something new, Swindon Borough Council Health Improvement team are here to help. If you want to Feel Healthier, Be More Active, Meet New People and have Fun then why not join our Steps to Health Programme?

What is it? • • • • •

A GP Exercise Referral Scheme 12 weeks of Discounted Leisure Activities For all Ages, for Everybody! Free Support from trained lifestyle consultants Walking Groups, Specialist Gym Sessions, Cycle Rides, Master’s Fitness Classes, Dance Classes and Much More!

How does it work? • You must be referred by your GP. • Your GP must complete an Activity Recommendation Form, sign it and stamp it with the surgery’s details (which you bring to your 1st appointment). • You then phone Danielle Miche on 01793 465407 to book an appointment with a lifestyle consultant • You can access Discounted Leisure for 12 weeks, with phone and face to face support. • At the end of 12 weeks you have a consultation to discuss how you can keep active!

FAQ’s 1. Will I be able to do the exercise - surely gyms are full of people who are young and covered in spandex? Answer: We have a variety of activities on everyday, specifically designed for the over 50’s. They encourage you to go at your own pace and the instructors will go out of their way to make you feel welcome. The spandex is strictly optional! 2. Help! My GP has never heard of Steps to Health! Answer: Ask them (or anyone from the surgery) to call/email Danielle Miche on 01793 465407 or and a pack containing all you need to know will be sent out. Alternatively you can call Danielle yourself for more information or details. You can also look online for more tips on staying active

Playing the Senior’s Favourite Game The advancing years, it used to be said, bring wisdom. Now they bring golf. If not already members extra disposable time is increasingly spent at their local golf club. Why? Well, what else can they do to fill the livelong day that used to be occupied by work? Furthermore, as pronounced in a once-popular lyric, the best things in life are illegal, immoral or they make you fat, and golf is the exception that proves this rule. Golf is good exercise, stimulating competitive sport and warm companionship, and it is inevitably staged in a wonderful scenic setting, be it undulating parkland, broken woodland, or waterfringed links with gorse and dunes and ups and downs. At the same time, big prize money has made the professional game a great spectator sport, too, commanding audiences of millions on TV and adding universal appeal to the game. During an average game of golf you are likely to walk five miles. Can you remember the last time you did that? It has all the right things to promote good health. Cardio vascular workout, exercising the limbs and promoting social mixing both on and off the course. If you haven’t undertaken regular exercise for some time you’d be well advised to have a medical check before starting to play golf. You don’t have to plunge in and play 18 holes immediately. Try a gentle stroll around a couple of holes and ease yourself into it is the experts’ advice. Being 50 plus you do need to be aware of the dangers of playing golf if they have an existing back problem. If you have not exercised your lower and middle back muscles for some time the exertion of swinging a club could cause discomfort. It is important to seek medical advice and follow it. It may be that a gentle introduction, building up to full participation over an extended period is the answer for you. Build up your muscles by regular strength training, e.g. in a fitness centre. Golf is probably one of the most social sports where you will meet people from most walks of life on the same level. If you get the bug you can engage the services of a club professional to teach you the finer points but it is equally suited to the amateur who just enjoys the exercise and the company. We hear much of the degeneration of our mental health as we age. Golf is not only physically beneficial but has been proved to stimulate mental health by improving hand to eye co-ordination and mental agility through the scoring system. Coupled with club selection and observational exercise it is an all round game to keep seniors on the ball for many years to come. Like many thousands, I started on semi retirement, proceeding from rabbit to veteran without middle-aged mastery in-between, inspired by the late eminent Seve Ballesteros who gave me a demonstration on a Press trip to La Manga Club in Spain. My wife also started then. The number of women refusing to be golf widows and insisting on playing, too, is exploding, limited only by the discrimination against them at some clubs. Variety is the spice of golf as it is of life, and the 2,000-odd clubs in Britain offer every kind of challenge, helped by the ingenious handicap system by which every player has a points rating which subtracts from the lesser player's score according to his or her established status, so that even a beginner can tackle a champion. Incidentally, the days when only golf club members could acquire an official handicap are over. The English Golf Union's Associate Members Scheme was devised specifically for the estimated one million or so golfers who are not members of a club but would like an official handicap. The EGU, which administers the scheme, will send you a list of over 400 participating professionals, 14

with any of whom you will need to arrange a preliminary assessment.

The 18-hole course features water hazards and provides a challenge for all standards of golfer, from beginner to international –standard players.

Provided he is satisfied you are more whacker than hacker and you can demonstrate a basic knowledge of the rules of golf and, of course, its etiquette, you will then just have to submit three signed cards recording your performance in separate games.

Whilst our 9-hole par 33 course, without water hazards is popular with all golfers, ideal for those who do not have the time for 18 holes.

There are certain stipulations: the three rounds must be played on one or more of the 400 participating courses; before playing a qualifying round, the professional at the course must be notified; the three cards must be signed by a different playing partner each time and endorsed by the professional before submission to the EGU; the associate member will then be sent an official handicap certificate. Members should continue to submit properly marked and signed cards to the EGU on the basis of which their handicap will be adjusted. The importance of this innovation is that, at a stroke, it solves the old catch 22 problem of needing a handicap to join a club but only being able to obtain a handicap as a club member. This is a major factor in making the game accessible to all. Another factor is the control of costs. While it's true that the equipment available can be as expensive as it is extensive in materials, design and price, the beginner could obtain a basic seven clubs and bag for under £200 and a second-hand set at substantially lower cost. Locally Broome Manor Golf Complex is a well designed 18-and 9-hole golf course set in parkland with views of the wonderful Wiltshire countryside.

Golf in Swindon

Turn up and play at one of four courses! All age s and abilitie s welcom e!

Save money with a G olf Passpor t

Broome Manor offers one of the best practice driving range facilities open to the public in the area, with 26 covered floodlit bays. The range is set up with bays to cater for both left and right handed players, and for specialist coaching sessions, plus 7 open air bays. The bays are carpeted and customers are welcome to wear spikes. Ideal for both short game practise and iron practise, a number of different targets are available to keep your session interesting. Ball dispensing units are now on the driving range itself. Broome Manor is also home to Swindon Premier Golf Academy, our PGA qualified teaching professionals. They are on hand for coaching advice, private one on one lesson’s, group lessons including beginner and improver courses for both juniors and adults. There is something for every golfer at Broome Manor. Broome Manor Golf Complex is part of Swindon Borough Councils Leisure Service provision, to enjoy discounted golf at Broome it may be worthwhile investing in our discount leisure card, known as the SwindonCard, this allows holders to benefit from reduced rates at all our leisure facilities for a small yearly payment. The more you use it, the more you save.

• Broome Manor Golf Complex 9 & 18 Hole, Driving Range, Shop and Restaurant • Highworth Golf Centre 9 Hole, Pitch & Putt, Putting Green and Shop • Coate Water Pitch & Putt and Mini Golf • Moredon Par 3 9 Hole

w w f Call 01793 495761


Places to Visit How to Get There

and maybe take the Grandkids too! Hundreds of Bargains for all the Family at Blunsdon Indoor Market, Abbey Stadium, Lady Lane, Swindon - Bus Route 24 Market OPENS FROM 9AM TILL 3PM WED, SAT, SUN CAR BOOT OPEN FROM 6AM TILL 2PM WED, SAT, SUN

Get to know Cricklade Bus route 53

Whatever you want to find around Cricklade, there are shops, businesses, hotels, pubs, restaurants, clubs, cinemas, theatres, etc.

Coate Water Country Park Marlborough Road, Swindon. Bus Route 13, 14, 18, 24, 30 Country Park/Nature Reserve A wonderful country park whose centre piece is a magnificent lake (originally built as a reservoir for the Wilts & Berks Canal) which is a haven for wildlife. The park also has a children’s play area, pitch & putt and mini golf, cafe, bird hides and nature reserve. The park provides a perfect environment for walking, cycling & relaxing. The park rangers offer educational talks, walks & various other activities through the year. Paddling Pool tel. 01793 610507. Some features such as the paddling pool are seasonal.


We’re conveniently located near to Swindon town centre only 90 minutes from London. Kemble Drive, Swindon To make your visit easy and comfortable, there is a wide range of amenities – including a Customer Information Desk, special needs services, a children’s play area, baby-changing rooms and ample parking. Please note that only guide dogs are admitted.

Hungerford is a small historic town located in the midst of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Bus Route 46, 46A

The town’s historic market status is retained by the significant number of small independent retail and commercial businesses providing visitors and residents alike with personal service across a wide range of products. Hungerford has an excellent variety of eating places. The town today is surrounded by open common land, five minutes walk from its centre where visitors may enjoy a relaxed walk and an abundance of flora and fauna. The Town hosts a number of unique annual events, including Tutti Day, a 3 week Arts Festival (including Carnival Day) and a late night Victorian Extravaganza in December.

Lambourn - Valley of the Race Horse. Bus Route 47

Lambourn Church was a Saxon Minster, and Lambourn Minster is still its official title. It is first mentioned as such in 1032, but is known from documentary evidence dated 1017. It is thought it dates from the reign of King Alfred who mentions the village in his will. The present building is mostly Norman in origin. In fact the street plan around the church is circular and shows the line of the old enclosure around the building. Circular enclosures, called Llans, are associated with early Celtic churches and possibly former Pagan Celtic Shrines. The dedication of the church to St. Michael who overcame the Devil (ie. Pagan Religion) makes this quite likely. It lies on the so called ‘St. Michael Line,’ a supposed ley-line crossing places associated with the saint, and stretching across the country from St. Michael’s Mount (Cornwall) all the way into East Anglia.

The Link Centre Whitehill Way Westlea Swindon Bus Route 1, 1A, 19, 19A, 22, 53

Lydiard House and Park Lydiard Park, Lydiard Tregoze Swindon. Bus Route 1, 1A Lydiard House and Park is a Swindon treasure. Lots to see, lots to do Lydiard House, the delightful yet little-known ancestral home of the Viscounts Bollingbroke, lies in beautiful 18th Century parkland. Fantastic childrens’ play areas, a lake and woodland, along with the 18th Century ornamental Walled Garden, make it a perfect place to relax and enjoy yourself.

The STEAM Story - Museum of the Great Western Railway Kemble Drive Swindon. Bus Route 1, 1A, 19, 19A STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway is housed in a beautifully restored Grade II railway building in the heart of the former Swindon railway works. The Museum tells the story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western Railway - ‘God’s Wonderful Railway’ - a railway network that, through the pioneering vision and genius of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was regarded as the most advanced in the world.

Town Gardens Quarry Road Old Town Swindon. Bus Route 22 Picturesque town park, with formal gardens, aviary, play area, tennis courts and cafe. Concerts take place in the bowl and bandstand during the Summer, as well as the annual Asian Mela Festival. The Town Gardens are open dawn to dusk daily.

Other place of interest are Aldbourne: Bus Route 46, 46A, 48, 48A Marlborough: Bus Route 48, 48A Oasis Leisure Centre: Bus Route 15, 15A Purton. Bus route 53.

For details of bus times contact Traveline on 0871 200 22 33.

Calendar Girl RUTH Madoc had just been having lunch with her five year-old grand-daughter in St Albans when she broke off from encouraging her to eat pizza for a chat with Angela Kelly about the theatre and life after Gladys Pugh. “I’m in the South for two weeks with ‘Calendar Girls’,” she explains in those familiar warm, now-muted Welsh tones. “So I’m staying with the family here and love being out for lunch with Seren (Welsh for “star”) because this little girl and I have a real connection.”

After she graduated, Ruth – a talented singer and performer as well as an actress – spent three years with the “Black and White Minstrel Show” and various summer seasons with Lesley Crowther, Max Wall and Bruch Forsyth in the final days of provincial variety.

Ruth, now 68, has five grandchildren under the age of five (“hard work sometimes, although lovely”). Three of them live in Gibraltar and it’s plain that Ruth thoroughly enjoys being a grandma.

She became a theatrical favourite appearing in leading roles in musicals like “West Side Story and “Man of La Mancha” and appeared in both the stage and screen versions of “Under Milk Wood.”

It may be hard to see her in this role as, for many TV viewers, she remains fondly in the memory as the manhungry Maplins’ Yellowcoat and the mere mention of her name has usually restrained people shouting out “Hi-De-Hi!”.

After her high-profile success in “Hi-De-Hi!”, Ruth was in the stage version of the show which enjoyed

This wonderful portrayal in the enduringly popular BBC 1 comedy series revealed her comic talents to thousands at home. But her career, even by then, had already covered a startling variety of theatre. Although Ruth is well known for her Welsh roots she was, in fact, born in Norwich because her parents consistently travelled around Britain. However, she spent much of her childhood with her maternal grandmother in Llansamlet in Swansea. From the little mining village she made the unlikely but determined leap to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, guided in this by the man who became an early mentor, Sir Harry Secombe. “I was in East Yorkshire with my parents and the head of drama at school sent a tape of me to Harry Secombe’s agent with the intention of interesting Huw Weldon who used to have a BBC children’s talent programme called ‘All Your Own,’ she states. Instead, the agent showed it to the famous singer and comedian, and he began helping the young Ruth, offering practical advice on her career.


I N T E RV I E W huge success in Bournemouth, Blackpool and at the Victoria Palace in London.

career on programmes like “Some of these Days,” “Woman’s Hour” and “This Family Business.”

“I never felt, though, that I was going to be typecast by Gladys,” she says. “I’d already done so much in the theatre I knew that I would go on to do many other, different roles.”

Other TV roles over the years have included guest appearances with Morecambe and Wise, Bob Monkhouse and Les Dawson. And, more recently, she was the mother of the infamous Daffyd (the only gay in the village) in the Bafta award-winning comedy series “Little Britain.”.

And indeed she did. She has been in a large number of stage productions including “A Taste of Honey” and “A Murder is Announced”, and in West End musicals like “Niteclub Confidential” and “Bless the Bride.” Ruth had great personal success with her portrayal of the indomitable Mama Rose in the musical “Gypsy”, toured Japan and the Far East as Madame Giry in “Phantom of the Opera” and was a wonderful Mrs Bardell to Harry Secombe’s “Pickwick” at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Sadlers Wells Theatre and on an extended national tour. She was also Dorothy Brock in the hit musical “42nd Street”, Miss Hannigan in “Annie”, and Maria in “Twelfth Night” at Regent’s Park Theatre in London. Her film appearances vary from “Fiddler on the Roof” to “The Prince and the Pauper” and “Very Annie Mary”, and she has also enjoyed an extensive radio

Ruth has appeared in more than 30 pantomimes in every major city in the UK – as everything from principal boy in “Robin Hood” and “Dick Whittington” to Cinderella’s fairy godmother and the Wicked Queen in “Snow White.” For the past 18 months, she has been touring in “Calendar Girls” as Marie – the WI protagonist who tries to stop the nude calendar – “and I love it!” she declares with a throaty laugh. “I think I enjoy playing not so nice people because it’s more interesting. But I really love this play and Tim Firth (the writer) is so clever. While the humour is Northern it works on so many levels and is a great piece of writing.” Ruth will remain in the production until May, 2012, when, she says, she and her manager husband John will go to Spain to visit their grandchildren. She states that she “won’t do theatre after I’m 75” because she doesn’t want to spend time learning lines. “I think when you get older there is a great pressure in learning lines. I’ve seen this happen to many other people, and I don’t want that,” she insists. “I keep my mind sharp now by doing crosswords each day and, although I’ve got lines in ‘Calendar Girls’, I still learn pieces of poetry.” Her only career regret is that she didn’t take the “Under Milk Wood” role she was offered at the National Theatre “because I was with Harry in ‘Pickwick’ and didn’t want to let him down.” Ruth would, though, still love to play the part of Madam Horrible in the hit musical “Wicked!” which re-imagines the Land of Oz. And that inquiring, lively mind, she suspects, will continue until her deathbed. “I think my final words will probably be ‘Eureka!,” she laughs again.

Then it’s back to life as grandma, and that perennial dilemma of how to get small children to eat their lunch.


Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre 10 Market Place, Chippenham, SN15 3HF. Tel 01249 705020

Open Monday - Saturday 10am - 4pm Bank Holidays except Christmas Admission Free. Disabled Access/toilets. Chippenham Museum tells the story of this historic town. The ground floor includes displays on Saxon Chippenham, Alfred the Great and Brunel’s railway. The first floor galleries feature a working model of a flourmill, temporary exhibition area, historic street panoramas, costumes and a children’s activity table.

The Yelde Hall The historic grade I listed Yelde Hall and historic tableaux will be open on Thursdays and Fridays from April 5th 2012 (closed Bank Holidays) 10.00am-4.00pm or can be viewed by appointment by ringing or calling in at the museum.

The Fabulous 50s - 24th April – 21st July 2012 The museum is celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a special 1950s themed exhibition. This will showcase everyday life in Chippenham and the surrounding villages during the decade that welcomed Elizabeth as Queen. Themes will include ‘the home’, ‘at work’ ‘leisure time’ and of course ‘the Coronation’. The 1950s were exciting times. New look fashions, mod cons in the home and nights out jiving or at the cinema. No more rationing or austerity. Sweet rationing ended in time for the coronation in 1953 and cakes could be made at last with real eggs. The first televisions entered our households changing forever the way families enjoyed time together. You may remember Dixon of Dock Green, Ivanhoe, I love Lucy and Blue Peter.   The Festival of Britain showcased new ideas and it was a decade of firsts. From the first organ transplant to the first playboy magazine and credit cards. The 4 minute mile was run and the McDonald’s Corporation was formed.   Come along to our exhibition, find out more, and enjoy seeing original photographs and objects from the 1950s.


An additional room to enjoy all year round One of the fundamental requirements and first requests made by people contemplating a conservatory or glazed garden room is that they wish to us it THROUGH THE YEAR, not solely a glazed room for grey Summer days.

The higher the U-value figure, the greater the heat loss will be; conversely, the lower the U-value figure, the lower the heat loss. Remember! for an energy efficient conservatory, compare U-values and GO FOR LOW.

Those familiar with well designed glazed sun rooms, may suggest they are not really suitable for that purpose. However, the many thousands of people who have such buildings and find them to be by far their most popular and well used room, thoroughly wish to disagree!

Wall Glass: Total 1.1-1.2 U-Value crystal clear ‘planitherm’, argon gas filled cavity double glazed units. Europe’s top selling solar controlled ‘Low E’ glass made in Britain.

Many enjoyable evenings are spent well into the early hours, comfortably enjoying the unique opportunity of dining and being entertained in a conservatory. The temperature outside was well below freezing and often snow on the ground. Heating was of course required - but not much more than will be required within your home if the conservatory is designed and constructed to a suitably high specification. If you’re pushed for space, and have considered moving to a larger home, think again. For a fraction of the cost of moving, you could install a conservatory. You’ve acquired a new room, full of light. A fabulous place to have your morning coffee and enjoy views into the garden. You can also reflect on the cheering thought that you’ve added around 15% to the value of your house.

The Conservatory Centre’s Large Showroom at Cheney Manor

The Conservatory Centre based at Cheney Manor have a large showroom displaying a wide range of styles and finishes. They provide a full conservatory package including tiling and furniture all under one roof, using specialist professional teams of surveyors and fitters. The whole project from initial design to completion usually takes only six to eight weeks.

Can a Conservatory be energy efficient?

Stephen Wright site manager of The Conservatory Centre explains: “A conservatory which is cold and expensive to heat in winter and unbearably hot in summer would represent poor value whatever the price paid. We all would like a room that we can enjoy in the cold winter months and hot summer days. So how do we achieve this? How do we compare what’s on offer? Quite simply the term ‘U-value’ is used as a measure of heat transfer through a given material. The huge area of glass, and maybe polycarbonate in the roof of a conservatory, if not in line with the very latest technology can reduce your investment to little more than a glorified greenhouse! 22

This glass really does make a difference to the all year round comfort of the conservatory. Our customers who have experienced the difference tell us this! Ordinary Pilkington double glazed units have a U value of 1.9 and will lose 2 times more heat through the glass. Another type of heat retaining glass, sometimes called low e glass or Pilkington K has a U-value of 1.6 which, although better will still let in 50% more heat than ‘Planitherm’. Furthermore, crystal clear Planitherm Total 1.1-1.2 does not suffer the hazy sheen often associated with Pilkington K glass. As an added bonus, Planitherm Total 1.1-1.2 glass reduces 70% of harmful radiation passing through the glass, protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful effects, and reducing fabric fading. In summer this amazing glass technology with a .74% solar factor and a .85 shading coefficient keeps your conservatory comfortably cool. (g ISO905 M1) Frames: Bowater ‘Esthetique’ 1.1 U-value, 5 chamber PVCu frames. Before the year 2000, virtually all the PVCu frames systems incorporated 3 lateral internal insulating

chambers, which gave the frames a U-value of around 1.8 Advances in glass technology resulted in a glass centre pain U- value as low as 1.1-1.2 a clear gap between the energy efficiency of glass and PVCu frames. In many European countries, 1.1-1.2 centre pane u value glass is the norm (Austria, for example is 100% 1.1-1.2 U-value glass). Taking into account the close proximity of the glass to the frame, this clear disparity in u values presented a problem for the more responsible PVCu frame designers. Moisture in the air is attracted to the coolest surface (the frame) forming condensation, just one reason why frames and glass should have similar U-values. The ideal conservatory will have 1.4 U-value frames 1.2 U-value glass. As a major European manufacturer, selling frames across Europe, Bowater Group Laboratories accepted the challenge to match the frame and glass U-values, and in the year 2000 Bowater announced the development of it’s top of the range ‘esthetique’ - Europe’s first fully sculptured 5 chamber frame, driving down the U-value to just 1.4 with zero air leakage, an incredible achievement. The majority of PVCu frames (even those of many leading brands still being sold in the summer of 2012) still incorporate the old 3 chamber design, with a U-value of 1.8, losing 60% more heat through the frame, creating dreaded condensation! Many rival companies who copied the 5 chamber design have still only achieved U-values of around 1.4-1.5 illustrating the technological superiority of the Bowater Group testing laboratories. Our ultraframe roofs with vented eaves and ridge beam : 1.2 U-value polycarbonate, 35mm thick 7 wall construction comprising of 6 insulating compartments with optional ‘sunshield’ Cheaper typical 25mm thick polycarbonate, made up of 5 layered frame walls, with just 4 insulating compartments, has a U-value of just 1.6, losing 33% more heat, straight through the roof. Should you be concerned about overheating in direct summer sun, The Conservatory Centre will install SUNSHIELD protection free of charge. SUNSHIELD prevents most of the sun’s heat passing through the roof. Now as standard for 2011 secure ventilation can be achieved through your roof ridge and around the perimeter.Both create thermal air flows in the conservatory, cooling and relieving stuffiness in hot weather, these may be closed as required. Remember - Compare U-values and ‘GO FOR LOW’. One of the many testimonials from The Conservatory Centre, Swindon. “Both Joanne and I had to write and let you know how happy we are with our new conservatory and are very pleased we decided to go with The Conservatory Centre. Martin and Joanne Buck.

Buy a conservatory and get up towards any combination of:

Why move when you can improve?

to £2000


Cane - Rattan - Hardwood Furniture


Tiled Floors


Ceiling Fans

l l

With over 50 years experience we can project manage your new conservatory from start to finish creating an additional room for you to enjoy all year round. Tailor made to suit your needs.

Don't Forget! We also sell cane furniture, timber garden buildings, doors & windows.

Electric Heaters Visit our show site at:

Manor Garden Centre Cheney Manor Swindon SN2 2QJ. Open 7 Days Market leaders in conservatory technology Finance available, subject to status.

Terms & conditions apply

Tel: 01793 526691


Swindon’s Showroom of Excellence Nuimage recently won an award for ‘showroom of excellence’ for Customer service, Installation and Customer Satisfaction by the Door Manufacturer; Bella. They are now hoping to continue their success with the newly extended bathroom showroom. This family run business owned by David and Wendy Dukes, has over 20 years experience and prides itself on meeting the customer’s needs for their kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, “whatever the budget we always strive to get the personalised kitchen, bedroom or bathroom that the customer dreams of” states Wendy. David and Wendy look after the design, while son Oliver is in charge of installations with a team of qualified Plumbing & Heating Engineers, Electricians, Tilers, Plasterers, and Decorators. When a customer has visited the Nuimage showroom and seen our now extended range of products, we arrange a home survey where we discuss with them their requirements and Measurements. Once back in the Showroom we design their project using our CAD system, producing 3-D graphics on how their proposed room will look. We then invite the customer back to discuss with them. “We offer a complete 3-D design, supply and project - managed installation service, including electrical surveys, and we use an experienced team of plumbing and heating specialists to overcome

David and Wendy Dukes pride themselves on meeting their customer’s needs any problems the customer may have experienced with their heating system or boiler” said David. Nuimage continues to provide replacement frontals and are now exclusive agents in Swindon for Chippendale Kitchens, and Daval Bedroom and Bathroom furniture. For supply only projects Nuimage offers free delivery and gives any advice needed.



Unit 39 BSS House, Cheney Manor Ind Estate SN2 2PJ. SHOWROOM OPEN : MONDAY - FRIDAY 9.00am - 5.00pm SATURDAY 10.00am - 3.00pm For a FREE computerised design and quotation without obligation call 01793



It’s here! The new improved

£1.5m investment in your service 9 new buses Striking new livery Still running up to every 20 minutes (Monday–Saturday)

there’s more to see in...

Chippenham • Calne • Lyneham • Royal Wootton Bassett Swindon Designer Outlet • Swindon website megarider ticket sales 25

Ageing Dogs One of the sad realities of being a dog owner is that your dog will probably reach old age long before you do. Ageing dogs will need a little more attention but can still have a healthy, enjoyable and fulfilling life in their final years. The most important thing you can do for your dog is take good care of them before they get old. Regular visits to the vet will help catch any medical conditions early that could become pronounced in old age. Good dental care throughout your dog’s life will mean that your dog will be much less likely to suffer from gingivitis and gum disease. Few people realise how quickly plaque and tartar can build up on a dog’s teeth so a good dental regime is vital. Regular exercise will ensure your dog is still in good shape as he begins to age and is less likely to become overweight.

Age related ailments In old age, dogs suffer from many of the same ailments that people do, so many

older dogs will be prone to arthritis or general muscle stiffness. You can help by giving them a little time to loosen up before they take their walk. Providing your dog with a nice soft dog bed will also make getting up and lying down a little easier. A dog bed will also provide your dog with some extra warmth when asleep. As dog’s age they lose some ability to control their body temperature. Be mindful of leaving your dog anywhere that they could overheat or be too cold.

Regular grooming Your dog’s skin and hair may suffer as his body produces less of the natural oils that help keep it supple and moisturised. Continuing to brush your dog will help stimulate the skin to produce it’s own oily secretion. You should also talk to your vet about a shampoo or skin treatment that will help moisturise the skin and soothe any irritation . A dog’s hearing or sight may start to fail with old age. At first, this can be hard to detect. All dogs is familiarise themselves with their surroundings and will adjust gradually as they lose the use of their

senses. If your dog is losing his sight, avoid making any radical changes to the layout of the house. An old dog can be quite adept at finding his way around by smell and memory. You may want to restrict your dog’s access to stairs because these can be dangerous if he can’t see well.

Hard of hearing If your dog is losing his hearing you may have to start communicating with hand signals instead of voice commands. If this wasn’t part of your dog’s initial training it may be time for a little refresher course. Contrary to popular belief, old dogs can learn new tricks and they’ll enjoy the attention and mental stimulation. As your dog’s muscles weaken he may become incontinent. Pay extra attention to your dog because he will need to be let out a little more promptly and frequently. As dogs age they require less calories to be well nourished and they are more susceptible to gaining weight because of their decreased physical activity. Talk to your vet about finding a dog food that is appropriate for your senior dog and will help him to age gracefully.

Thameswood Vets

"Making life better for you and your pet" We are a family run practice providing a caring and professional service within hospital standard facilities. Come meet our staff. 62-64 Purton Road, Swindon SN2 2LZ. Tel: 01793 526780 1A Oppenheimer, Greenbridge Road, Swindon SN3 3LH. Tel: 01793 511267

10% OFF 26

! vaccines, wormer and flea control with this voucher at Thameswood Vets.

you are invited to experience Route 66... Swindon to Oxford

Enjoy a more luxurious travel experience. A brand new fleet of high-specification buses are now coming to a bus stop near you. Complete with stylish, comfortable Lazzarini Transito Italian-designed, high-back leather seats and a cleaner, greener engine.

To find out more, visit: or call: 0800 917 7103 (lines open 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri)


The vivid blue of cornflowers goes well with marigolds for a later summer display.

What will you grow this year? The beginning of the gardener’s year is always a challenge. There are decisions to make. More vegetables or a new planting scheme? Minimum maintenance or a whole new layout? And what about the lawn?

hand, or with an electric scarifyer sometimes helps, as does spiking and incorporating sand, but if the moss persists, then you may need to get more professional advice.

Vegetables Even the smallest plot can provide a plentiful supply of salads. A newcomer on the scene includes Suttons multigreen lettuce, which has a short crown and no wastage. Sow seeds little and often at fortnightly intervals from March to July, and you’re guaranteed a regular supply, and while you’re sowing your lettuce, find a space for a succession of plantings of radishes from March to September. Sew these in a cool position, and thin early. Water well in dry weather.

The Lawn Nothing sets off a well tended garden as effectively as a lush green lawn, or detracts from the effect if it’s patchy and sparse. Particularly at the start of the year, the lawn needs a lot of attention and unfortunately, it’s not always enough to mow regularly and feed correctly. Shaggy edges should be kept neatly clipped. Worn areas lightly forked over and re-seeded, then covered with a fine layer of compost. Creeping buttercup and field daisies may need the use of a selective weed killer. Moss is another problem, and generally means the drainage is poor. Raking out the moss by


No salad is complete without  the sharp refreshing taste of radishes  

For variety in your salads, a welcome addition is spinach. Sow from March to mid April, thin early, and use these baby leaves in your mix. Rocket is another easily grown plant, to add that wonderful peppery taste to a

green leaf mixture, spring onions give salad rolls an extra zing, and chives are a must with scrambled eggs. 2011 was a bad year for tomatoes, so this year, take extra precautions by siting French marigolds in pots around them. Planting basil nearby also helps, as it’s natural repellent to flies.

Soft Fruit in pots We all love soft fruit, and I’ve just discovered a new range which have a more upright habit, so gooseberries and blackcurrants can be potted up and sited on the patio. Try blackcurrant Noiroma, which is a very sweet, large fruited variety, and gooseberry Lady Sun, an almost thornless yellow variety, both available from Suttons Seeds.

The Flower Garden

Manor Garden Centre Cheney Manor, Swindon SN2 2QJ. 01793 526691 Open 7 Days a week

Dahlias are making a big comeback. Grown as part of the general planting scheme, Quality TGB garden the canny gardener buildings for any situation knows that when Bespoke sizes available perennials such as Base laying & delphiniums and lupins are past their installation available best, dahlias will be coming into their Stockists of own, continuing to flower at full pitch until the first frost. The tall varieties can provide dramatic accents of colour at the back of the flower beds, and the smaller And finally, don’t forget the pleasure of varieties add interest throughout the growing flowers from seed. As soon as the garden, and provide plenty of cut soil has warmed up, rake over odd bare flowers for the house. Taller dahlias patches and scatter a mixture of marigolds need to be staked, so position these and cornflowers. Surround the sown area before planting the tubers, to avoid with a drizzle of sand, to remind yourself of any accidental damage. I’ve found where they were planted, and be rewarded that although the large flowered with a wonderful splash of colour later in pompom varieties look sensational, the summer. This works in pots as well. in a wet summer the flower heads Love in the Mist seeds scattered amongst retain too much rain and become the geraniums, candytuft in troughs, and too heavy for the stems, which bend nasturtiums amongst the tomatoes. All under the weight. I generally go for you need is a packet of seeds and a little the single flowering varieties, which imagination, and sometimes, the results are also look more at home in a mixed spectacular. herbaceous planting. Gardening can be hard work, but consider Dahlias grow in almost any location, the rewards. All those seeds producing food and on any soil, although, for best to eat, and beauty to enjoy. Is there anything results, good drainage is essential. that comes close? They can be obtained in almost any colour and any height, as singles, doubles, cactus or dwarf, and at the end of the year, the tubers can be lifted and stored for next year so   they’re very economical to grow.

Happy gardening.


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Buy With Confidence – Questions and Answers Q: We hear so many horror stories about rogue traders, conmen and bodge jobs. Are there any traders out there we can trust? A: Yes. We might hear more about the rogues but there are plenty of good, reliable, honest tradesmen around. The Buy With Confidence scheme has been set up to help consumers find those good traders.

Q: But I’m not on the internet – how can I find a trader? A: Just give us a call. Call Trading Standards on 01793 466155. Tell us what kind of business you’re looking for. We’ll check the system for you and give you the details of the approved traders in your local area.

Q: So what is Buy With Confidence? A: Buy With Confidence is an approved traders scheme which promotes fair trading by focusing on the businesses that get it right. Buy With Confidence gives consumers the confidence to pick an approved trader they can trust.

Q: But most reputable traders are only interested in big projects. How can I find a trader will to do a small job? A: Businesses that are happy to do jobs for under £75 are clearly marked on the Buy With Confidence website as ‘small job friendly’. The majority of Swindon Buy With Confidence members are happy to take on small jobs.

Q: Who runs the scheme? A: The Buy With Confidence scheme is run locally by Swindon Trading Standards Service. Many other local areas also have a Buy With Confidence scheme which is the largest local authority trader scheme in England. Buy With Confidence take the guess work out of choosing a trader as we have approved the traders on the scheme.

Q: What if I have a complaint about a business who is a member of Buy With Confidence? A: Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are required to deal with complaints in a fair and equitable manner. If you have a complaint you should complain in the first instance to the business using their complaints procedure.

Q: What type of businesses are included in the scheme? A: There are all sorts of traders and businesses in our Buy With Confidence scheme: Plumbers, electricians, builders, garages, cleaners, window fitters. And the list goes on…

If the matter is still not resolved contact us – we offer a mediation service to help try to resolve complaints between Buy With Confidence members and their customers.

Q: What checks are carried out on Buy With Confidence members? A: In order to become a member of Buy With Confidence, businesses are checked for their commitment to customer service and compliance with consumer protection law. We do this by carrying out the following checks: • Review of local and national Trading Standards databases for complaints. • Credit checks • Criminal Record Bureau checks • Audit of paperwork, terms and conditions and websites • Checking of references Q: How do I find a trader through the Buy With Confidence Scheme? A: If you’re on the internet you can log on to Type in your home postcode and the type of business you are looking for (e.g. plumber) You will then be given details of local Buy With Confidence members based near to you.


Q: Can I recommend a tradesman or business? A: Yes please! The scheme in Swindon is steadily growing but we are always looking for more goods traders to be invited to join Buy With Confidence. If you know a good trader please contact us to recommend them . We will then contact the business and invite them to apply. Q: Is Buy With Confidence free? A: It is free to use Buy With Confidence and find an approved trader. Members pay an annual fee which is put towards the cost of running the scheme. Q: What if a trader knocks on my door saying he is Trading Standards approved? A: Be very suspiscious! Trading Standards advice is never to buy from or agree to have work done by anyone who calls at the door. Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are not allowed to cold call at the door. If a trader claims to be member of Buy With Confidence you can check via our website or by calling us on 01793 466155.

CONMEN TELL PENSIONER THEY’RE FROM TRADING STANDARDS A Swindon pensioner has been targeted by a doorstep conman pretending to be from Trading Standards, who she gave her telephone number and name to. Later that day she received a telephone call from another man claiming to be from Scambusters, working with Trading Standards, and who asked for her bank and savings details. She did not give the information and contacted Trading Standards to check. The attempted scam last week came 18 months after the woman, who is in her 80s and lives in Old Town, had some block paving and patio work done by someone who knocked at her door. It cost her £4500 and was substandard. The doorstep caller who was posing as a Trading Standards officer knew about this previous work and claimed she was owed money as she had been overcharged for it. Cllr Colin Lovell, Swindon Borough Council cabinet member for Customer Services said: “No-one from Trading Standards or Scambusters would ever call at the door unannounced or ask for personal details over the phone. “Fortunately in this case the intended victim realised what was going on before she handed over her bank details, but it shows how rogue traders who rip people off often pass their details to other criminals who will try to con them again. “If residents have any doubts at all, they should simply refuse to give personal information or allow any caller into their home, even if that person appears to be from Trading Standards. They should then check with the police or the council’s Trading Standards team.” The doorstep caller is described as being in his 30s, white, of medium height and build, and with black hair and glasses. He was wearing a green jumper with a logo on it and was carrying a clipboard. The telephone caller spoke with an Irish accent. The details have been passed to the police. Trading Standards advice is never to have work done by anyone who knocks at the door. Reputable trades people who are vetted and approved by Trading Standards are registered with the Buy with Confidence scheme. Information is available at www.buywithconfidence. or by calling (01793) 466155.

Then no you further! Looking for look a business can trust? Then look no further! Plumber?













If you are a consumer or a business and interested If you arescheme a consumer or a466155 business in the call us on 01793

and interested in the scheme call us on 01793 466155

A new era for consumers and businesses is only a click away ....

A new era for consumers and

Trading Standards Service




Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes Recipes Rick Stein’s passion for fresh well-sourced food has taken him from continent to continent, across magnificent shorelines and to the very best produce the coast has to offer. Rick remarks “My greatest enthusiasm in life has been finding dishes that change my perception of cooking, that reveal a whole new vista of flavour combination. I think we all enjoy that. I’m just someone with an enthusiasm for food and a curiosity that’s sent me sniffing around all over the place looking for lovely dishes in all corners of the globe” Taken from his book ‘Mediterranean Escapes’ (BBC Books, £20) here are three of Rick’s favourite recipes inspired by flavours of the Med.

SERVES 8-10 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving 1 large onion, chopped 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 large leek, cleaned and cut into similar-sized pieces 250g dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight 450g waxy potatoes, such as Charlotte, peeled and cut into 1- cm dice 250g peeled carrots, cut into 1-cm dice 2 celery sticks, cut into 1- cm dice 1 ripe beef tomato, skinned and chopped Leaves from 1 small rosemary sprig, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1.2kg smoked ham hock 250g green beans, trimmed and cut into 1- cm pieces 2 medium-sized courgettes, topped and tailed and cut into 1- cm dice 1/2 small cabbage (about 500g), core removed, thinly sliced 75g dried tagliatelle, broken into 5-cm pieces 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano A small handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper 32

Minestra: Corsican Vegetable Soup with Smoked Ham, Cabbage and Borlotti Beans Heat the oil in a really large pan, add the onion, garlic and leek, and cook gently for 3-4 minutes. Drain the soaked beans and add to the pan with the potatoes, carrots, celery, tomato, rosemary, dried oregano and 2 litres of water. Cut the ham hock in half lengthways to one side of the bone, add to the pan and press the pieces down well into the soup so they are totally submerged. Bring everything to a simmer and leave to cook, uncovered, for 1 hour. Then add the green beans, courgettes, cabbage, tagliatelle pieces and fresh oregano and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes until the soup is thick. Remove the pieces of ham hock, pull the meat off the bone, and pull it into small chunks. Discard the skin and bone. Stir the ham back into the soup with the parsley and approximately 500 ml more hot water to loosen it slightly and season with salt and pepper. Service in large warmed soup bowls, drizzled with a little more olive oil.

SERVES 4 400g dried spaghetti 175-g piece smoked pancetta, rind removed 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped A handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped 3 large eggs, beaten 50g finely grated pecorino sardo maturo Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara: Pasta with Pecorino Sardo, Pancetta, Parsley and Eggs Bring 4.5 litres water to the boil in a large saucepan with 8 teaspoons salt. Add the spaghetti and cook for 9 minutes or until al dente. Meanwhile, cut the pancetta into lardons (short little strips), about 6mm wide. Heat a large, deep frying pan over a mediumhigh heat, add the oil and the pancetta and allow it to fry until lightly golden. Add the garlic and parsley and cook for a few seconds, then remove from the heat and set to one side. Drain the spaghetti well, tip into the frying pan with the pancetta, garlic and parsley, add the beaten eggs and half the grated pecorino cheese and toss together well. Season to taste with a little salt and black pepper. The heat from the spaghetti will be sufficient to partly cook the egg but still leave it moist and creamy. Take to the table and serve in warmed pasta bowls, sprinkled with the rest of the cheese.

SERVES 6-8 2 x 1-kg shoulders of lamb, each one cut into 3 large chunks through the bone (get your butcher to do this) 2kg waxy maincrop potatoes, such as Desiree, peeled and cut into 5-6cm chunks 1 head of garlic, outside papery skins removed, cut in half through the middle 1 tablespoon dried oregano, Greek if possible 3-6 fresh bay leaves 2 tablespoons fresh oregano or marjoram leaves 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling Juice of 2 large lemons Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Kleftiko: Slow-cooked Lamb with Garlic, Oregano, Lemon and Potatoes Preheat the oven to 1900C/Gas Mark 5. Combine the meat, potatoes and garlic in a large ovenproof casserole dish. Sprinkle with the dried and fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, 100ml water, 2 teaspoons of salt and plenty of black pepper and mix together well, then nestle the pieces of meat down in among the potatoes. Drizzle with a little more oil. Cover the casserole tightly with foil and a well-fitting lid and bake for 3 hours until the meat is falling off the bone. However, check after a couple of hours to make sure it doesn’t need a little more water.


PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE Everyone should consider some basic legal planning to make sure that their families and loved ones are protected in case of future events which can affect anyone. Here we consider the “essentials” of making a Will, Lasting Power of Attorney and Gift of Property into Trust.

Children are another reason why it is important to make a Will. If something was to happen to you and your children were still minors or disabled, you can appoint Guardians to look after them. It is also important if you are married for a second time and have children from a previous relationship. If you were to die first and your estate was below the ‘Statutory Legacy’ your whole estate would pass to your second spouse and your children would have no absolute right to anything. If you are legally separated the ‘Statutory Legacy’ will still apply until the divorce is finalised so if you want your estate to pass to someone else then you must make a Will.


You should have your Will prepared by an experienced Lawyer who will make sure all the relevant points are covered especially if your Will is complicated and Tax Planning Advice may be required.

Making a Will is important, particularly when you realise that without a Will the Government will decide who will receive your money and possessions after you die. Unfortunately this can cause many difficulties for your surviving family and relatives at an already distressing time. By making a Will you can help alleviate additional pressures on your family. The myth that ‘my wife will receive everything anyway’ is not true. Your estate would be shared out in accordance with the ‘Statutory Legacy’ rules and your wife would receive the first £250,000 with the rest going into trust. This might not be enough to enable your wife to keep the matrimonial home. When it comes to ‘common law husband or wife’, there is no such thing. Only people who are legally married or have formed a civil partnership will be classed as husband, wife or civil partner and only they can enjoy the benefits of automatically inheriting part of their spouse’s estate. You would have to go to Court to claim part of the estate which will come with the usual costs and expenses.

LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY Most people know they should have a Will, but have you considered what would happen if you were to become unable to manage your own affairs during your lifetime? Who would make difficult financial and personal decisions on your behalf? You can protect yourself by making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). The LPA is a legal document in which you can appoint another person or persons as Attorney(s) to act on your behalf in relation to your financial affairs and/or personal welfare if you become unable to do so for yourself. The LPA was introduced under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and must be registered with the Court of Protection before it can be used. It is useful if you are ill or in hospital or residential care when it is difficult for you to look after your personal finances or welfare. There is one type of LPA dealing with your financial affairs i.e. managing your Bank Accounts and Investments and also selling your property if required. There is also an LPA dealing with your personal welfare i.e. issues relating to your personal care and where you should live and also giving or refusing consent to certain medical treatment. It is important to note that you can only make an LPA if you have sufficient mental capacity and this has to be confirmed by a Certificate Provider. In some cases it may be necessary to obtain a Doctor’s opinion if there is any doubt. It is also important to note that it does not take away your independence as one of the main principles of the Act is that capacity is decision specific and Attorneys should assist people to make their own decisions wherever possible. If you should lose capacity without having an LPA in place then it will be necessary for someone to apply to the Court of Protection for authority to deal with your affairs which can be a very slow and expensive process.


FINANCE An LPA is an important legal document which should be properly prepared and explained to you by an experienced Lawyer.

GIFT OF PROPERTY INTO TRUST Most people are concerned about the costs of long term residential care. Currently if your assets exceed £23,250 including the value of your property then you will be self funding and have to pay for the cost of your care yourself. The biggest concern for most people is that you may have to sell your property to pay for the care. However it is possible to avoid this by giving your property away during your lifetime, usually to your children. The gift however must be made in good time and not simply with the intention of avoiding future care fees otherwise it may be caught by the Local Authority’s anti-avoidance measures. You could simply make an outright gift to your children but as you will probably wish to continue to live in your property this could cause problems if you were to fall out with them or if they were to experience matrimonial problems or bankruptcy it could lead to someone else making a claim against their share of your property. Additionally, it could also cause problems for your children in owning a share of a second property and could give rise to possible Capital Gains Tax implications on the eventual sale of the property. We would therefore always recommend that a gift of property should be a gift into Trust which would protect you and your children from most of these potential difficulties. The Trust would provide for you to remain living in the property for as long as you wish on the basis that you continue to be responsible for all the outgoings as at present. The Trust can also provide for the property to be sold and a replacement property purchased for you to live in if you so wished. When you no longer live in the property for whatever reason, the trust would come to an end and the property could be sold with the proceeds divided between your children. In this way you would no longer be treated as the legal owner of the property if you were to be assessed for long-term care fees and also as you are occupying the property which is held in trust, this usually means that main residence exemption from Capital Gains Tax can be claimed although this is decided by the Revenue on a case by case basis. Obviously giving away your property is a major irrevocable decision which requires specialist legal advice.

Make sure you carry out your legal planning in good time with the benefit of specialist legal advice from a Lawyer who is experienced in such matters.

Pooleys Solicitors LLP will be pleased to help you with l

Conveyancing & Energy Performance Certificates




Probate & Trusts


Tax Planning


Matrimonial & Family Law


Lasting Power of Attorney

10-15 Regent Circus Swindon SN1 1PP.

Tel: 01793 488848 Fax: 01793 511209 email: www.


They say you don’t know until you ask. Meet Albert - he asked. Hundreds of Swindon residents of state pension age, like Albert, asked the question “can I claim Housing or Council Tax Benefit?” The answer was ‘Yes!” and they ended up, on average, with £20 a week extra money they didn’t know they could get.

You might too.

Make one phone call and our specially trained benefits staff will contact you and work out whether you qualify, then you too could be up to £20 per week better off.

So just ask. If you’re entitled . . . . why miss out? Contact us ... If you need any help, advice or have questions about claiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit you can contact us by Telephone on:

0345 302 2316 Writing to us at: The Benefit Service Swindon Borough Council Admail 4144 Swindon Wiltshire SN3 5ZR. Visiting us in person at: Swindon Direct Wat Tyler House Beckhampton Street Swindon SN1 2JH.

If you wish to visit us to make a claim or discuss your claim in person please make an appointment by calling us on:

0345 302 2316 We also offer a Home Visit service for people who have recently been bereaved; have a disability; have learning difficulties; have young children under five years; have a young baby; or if you are of pensionable age. To arrange an appointment for a Home Visiting Officer please call us on:

0345 302 2316

Worried about your bill? Having difficulty paying? The sooner you contact us the quicker we can help. Phone us on 0345 302 2316 to discuss your problem.

Can I get a reduction in my bill? l

We can reduce your council tax bill in the following situations:


If you live alone;


If you are being cared for somewhere other than your main home;


In some cases people with disabilities can get a reduction.

If you think any of these may apply to you and a reduction is not already shown on your bill, please contact us on 0345 302 2316 for more information or an application form.

How to pay your Council Tax Direct Debit the easier way to pay If you have a bank or building society account, then Direct Debit is an easy and convenient way to pay your Council Tax. If you choose this method, we will let you know how much we will ask your bank for and let you know if there are any changes to this amount.To make it easier for you there is a choice of payment days. For a form please call 0345 302 2316 or visit www.

On the internet Just visit the Council’s website at and select Online Payments.

By Debit Card Just phone us on 0845 603 5058 (automated phone service) and have the following information ready: l

Your Council Tax account number; and

Your debit card number, expiry date and name on the card. l

NEWS & EVENTS The Toy Hearts

September Snowstorms!

Saturday 09 June 2012 Arts Centre 8.00pm

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

The Toy Hearts play country, bluegrass and western swing music with the kind of style, passion and absolute commitment that has made them one of the country’s finest live bands. Led by three members of the Johnson family The Toy Hearts are completely immersed in the magical music of the American south, so much so, in fact, that they recorded their most recent CD in Nashville under the watchful eye of Grammy nominated producer David Mayfield. It’s a triumph but doesn’t really prepare you for the full-on experience of a Toy Hearts show. Brilliant musicianship and stunning stagecraft combine to leave audiences gasping for more. Ticket Prices: £12.00, Concessions £10.00, Multi Book £10.00 How to Book: Book online at Tickets are available from the Arts Centre Box Office: The Arts Centre, Devizes Road, Old Town, Swindon SN1 4BJ. Tel: 01793 614837. Opening times: Monday - Friday: 12noon - 5.00pm Saturday: 10.00am - 1.00pm. On nights when there are shows the Box Office will remain open until the start of the performance.

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

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

Over 200 beautiful colours On feet, castors or wall mounted

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

A ReAl AlteRnAtive 38


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

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

Questions? Call Suzanne on 0800 158 8272

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oil/GAs HeAtinG - Ask About ouR ReplAcement seRvice

Old Town Festival 2012 Old Town’s big weekend of family events, featuring street performers, live music & more Old Town, Swindon Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 June 2012 The Old Town Festival is back for 2012, and it’s set to bring out even bigger crowds than before! Featuring fantastic street performers, top live music, Carnival Queen & Princess competitions, as well as a broad range of Swindon’s finest talent, you’re sure to find something that excites and entertains. The highlight of the weekend is always the parade that takes performers of all ages through the heart of Old Town - not one to miss!

Bags of Musical Magic Friday 29 June 2012 Saturday 30 June 2012 Arts Centre A night of musical magic, including a wonderful mix of solos, duets and group numbers from the most popular musicals around. A chance to here songs from so many musicals and the popular show Glee. This fantastic show is a great way to see some spectacular talent that many of you may have not seen before. There will be songs from such musicals as We Will Rock You, Wicked, Crazy For You, Chicago, The Rocky Horror Show and Legally Blonde. That is just a few to name, there will be many more for you to enjoy throughout the evening.

Fostering with Swindon Borough Council offers a range of fostering options Temporary: Providing care for children with the goal of returning them to their family.  

Permanent: Where the plan is for children to remain in care until moving to independence. Crisis/Emergency: Very short-term care provided for families in crisis.  This includes “crash pads” in a range of circumstances.

Therapeutic: Specialised care for children with acute behavioural issues. Parent/Child Assessment: Time limited foster care to model appropriate parenting and assess parent’s ability to safely care for  their young children.

Home & Away: Overnight short breaks for children with disabilities. Supported Lodgings: Providing support within a family setting to young people aged 16 – 21 transitioning from foster care to independent living.   You look after them – We’ll look after you!   Foster care is a team effort. Carers are allocated their own Supervising Social Worker, who guide them throughout the process, provide ongoing support and supervision. We offer an extensive and ongoing comprehensive training programme. There is someone available to talk with 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are regular support groups and activities, including an active group for sons and daughters of fostering families. Carers receive financial support.  Rates depend on the age of the child.

“I get total support from Swindon Family Placement Team. They are always on the end of a phone. I would encourage others to give it a go because I enjoy it so much” Lorraine, Foster Carer. Contact the Family Placement Team for more information 01793 465700  

Foster for Swindon iding a Home v ro P ou Y e ik People L

Ticket Prices: £10.00 How to Book: Book online at Tickets are available from the Arts Centre Box Office or by calling 01793 524109 The Arts Centre Devizes Road Old Town Swindon SN1 4BJ Tel: 01793 614837 Opening times Monday Friday: 12noon - 5.00pm Saturday: 10.00am-1.00pm On nights when there are shows the Box Office will remain open until the start of the performance.

Make a big difference to children and young people in Swindon. Foster. 01793 465700

Be safe - Do not get into an For your information the types of vehicle licence plates attached to vehicles are shown below:

A rear fixed Private Hire Plate:

Check it has a licence plate attached to the rear Swindon Borough Council is responsible for the licensing of Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles in Swindon, together with the drivers and operators. Hackney Carriages ply for hire at taxi ranks and are available for immediate hire in the street. Maximum fares are set by the Council. Private Hire vehicles can only be booked in advance through a licensed Private Hire operator. They cannot be hailed in the street or use taxi ranks. Fares are not controlled by the Council.

Private Hire Drivers Badge:

The primary role of the Council as the licensing authority is to protect the safety and comfort of the travelling public. We undertake to ensure that all drivers have been examined medically to ensure their fitness, have a good knowledge of the English language, a thorough knowledge of Swindon and are “fit and proper� persons to hold a licence. Vehicles are rigorously examined at least annually to ensure they are mechanically sound and safe. Each licensed vehicle is issued with a licence plate (hackney carriages are white, private hire vehicles are yellow) which must be firmly fixed to the rear of the vehicle. All licensed drivers are issued with a photographic ID badge which must be worn at all times while acting as the driver of a licensed vehicle.

A rear fixed Hackney Carriage Plate:

Safety Advice

Only use a licensed Hackney Carriage, or book in advance through a licensed Private Hire operator. Ask who your driver will be and what sort of vehicle he or she will be driving. Make sure the vehicle is licensed – it will have a licence plate, with the Swindon Borough Council logo, attached to the rear of the vehicle.


Hackney Carriage Drivers Badge:

unmarked Taxi If approaching a vehicle on a taxi rank, make sure it is a licensed Hackney Carriage (there will be a white plate on the rear of the vehicle) and ask the driver to show you his ID badge. If he is unable to produce it, do not get in.

Other Useful Advice

Please do not phone several companies and take the first car to arrive. This only makes the situation worse for everyone, including the drivers who have made a wasted journey. Most operators now have caller-ID and you may have difficulty in the future in getting a booking accepted. Do not take a car booked by someone else – they want to get home safely too! If you get into a private hire vehicle without pre-booking it (i.e. if you stop it or find it in the street) you may not be insured. Private hire drivers call this ‘flying’ and they know they are breaking the law. If the vehicle is involved in an accident you will experience difficulty in claiming for any injuries sustained. Have respect for the driver and his vehicle – do not eat, drink or smoke in the vehicle. And finally – do not forget to pay the driver. He has rendered a service and is entitled to the fare. If you do not pay you may end up in court Hackney Carriage fares are set by the Council and a Fare Chart should be carried in each licensed Hackney Carriage. Fares are based on three elements: l

The time of day l The time taken to complete the journey l The length of journey Fares charged by Private Hire vehicles are not controlled by the Council and you are advised to agree a fare with the Operator when booking your journey. Please remember a Hackney Carriage can be flagged down and booked in the street or at a taxi rank. Private Hire Vehicles must be pre-booked through an Operators base. If the journey is not pre-booked, the insurance cover on the vehicle will be invalid.

If you wish to make a complaint about your journey in a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle please try to obtain the following information: Driver’s badge details Vehicle Plate number l Vehicle registration number l Details of journey (from and to) l The name of the Operator you booked the journey through l Your contact details l l

PLEASE CONTACT US TO OBTAIN A COMPLAINT FORM In writing: Taxi Licensing & Contracts Team Leader Passenger Transport Services Swindon Borough Council Wat Tyler House, Beckhampton Street, Swindon SN1 2JH.


By Email: l

By Phone: l

01793 466208

WHEN WE RECEIVE YOUR FORM Your complaint will be allocated to an Enforcement Officer who will make contact with you. The Enforcement Officer will fully investigate your complaint and consider all evidence available before making a decision on the action that needs to be taken. You will be kept informed of the progress of the enquiry and any subsequent action taken and the reasons for that action.

Mobility Vouchers As part of the Concessionary Travel Scheme Swindon Borough Council offers mobility vouchers for people who are unable to access public transport. The vouchers can be used on Dial a Ride Services and Community Transport. People who are wheelchair dependent are able to use their vouchers in some Private Hire and Hackney Carriage vehicles. Vouchers are issued on a yearly basis and each person receives £80 a year (pro rata for new applicants). People who require help to travel on Dial a Ride or Community Transport can also request companion vouchers for their helper to use. These are issued in the same way as the mobility vouchers. If you have any queries about Concessionary travel bus passes or mobility vouchers please telephone Swindon Direct Contact Centre 01793 445500 (Mon - Fri 8am to 8pm) or in person at Swindon Direct One Stop Shop, Beckhampton Street, Swindon (Mon - Fri 8.30am to 6pm).


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You are responsible for your own, and other people’s safety. A mobility scooter could cause considerable A mobility scooter could cause considerable damage to the user ordamage other people collided toif itthe user or other people if it with someone or something. collided with someone or something. We have written a highway code to protect the A highway code has been written to protect safety of people who use electric mobility scooters ofpedestrians. people who use electric mobility and the safety of other the road safety users and If you ride a scooter, you must follow thethe highway scooters and safety of other road users and code whetherIfyou ride ride on pedestrians. you a scooter, you must the pavement, footpathcode whether you ride on follow the highway or on the road.

the pavement, footpath or on the road.

For a free copy of the publication please contact the Road Safety Unit of the publication please

For a free copy contact the Road Safety Unit 01793 466399 email 01793 466399 email:

Remember your grandchildren are precious so:









Care for them; Care for where they play; Protect them; Use reins; Hold their hands; Protect them in the car; Set a good example Email: Tel: 01793 466399 Web:

A Guide to Dentures .... The Importance of Dentures

Choice of Dentures

The eyes, nose and teeth are the focal points of every face; they give the first impressions of your personality.

There are three main quality standards in denture materials:

Natural teeth grow in proportion and in harmony with your facial features and your dentures should be made accordingly. Your teeth, or your dentures, have many important functions: to support your facial muscles, to help formulate your speech, and most importantly to chew your food and start the digestive process. It is very important to chew food properly, as poorly chewed food will take longer to digest, especially for the elderly who could risk problems in the digestive system.

Difficulties in Constructing a Good Set of Dentures

Denture Base Acrylics: standard quality, high impact much stronger non brittle and the latest thermoplastic. Denture Teeth: 2-layer acrylic very basic and cheap, 3-layer acrylic re-enforced much harder, 4-layer composite extra hard and natural looking. However, good materials on their own will not make good dentures. A skilful and experienced clinician and technician are required. The best results are achieved when the whole job is done by the same person.

Removal Partial Dentures It was long thought that removable partial dentures had to be rigid to be effective. The innovation of the Valpast flexible partial denture allows the appliance to adapt to the constant movement and flexibility in your mouth.

Constructing a functional and aesthetically pleasing set of dentures is the most difficult task in dentistry. We are not only replacing lost teeth, but also lost tissue matter and bone. In other words, we have to re-create your facial features as they were before the loss of your natural teeth.

The preparation is relatively simple as your natural teeth don’t need to be altered. The Valpast flexible partial denture is virtually invisible, no telltale metal clasps and the material itself blends with the tissue in your mouth so that the only thing that shows is your beautiful smile.

In most cases we do not know what your teeth looked like, what size they were or what position they were in originally. We have a few indications but mostly we have to rely on our visual and artistic judgement.

How Long Should Dentures Last?

At the same time we have to use our technical expertise in order to make the denture stable and functional. Denture construction is more art than science.

The question we should ask is, how long will my dentures be functional for? Dentures can last twenty or more years, but will lose their function (chewing ability, proper fit etc.) probably after two years. This will depend on many factors:

1. 2. 3. 4.

Quality of dentures. Age of Patient. General health of patient. Any drastic change in weight.

Dentures Need Regular Servicing Dentures are in constant use almost 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are also in a pretty hostile environment in the mouth, being attacked by strong acid, bacteria, hot, cold and spicy food. Denture material absorbs liquids and food odour. Daily cleaning is essential as well as professional ultrasonic cleaning in a dental laboratory at least once a year. Due to constant bone resorbtion dentures will become loose sooner or later. Loose dentures will increase damage to the gums and bone structure, and increase the risk of breakage. Have them re-lined as soon as possible to get a good fit. It only takes a day or two.


Have your dentures inspected by a dentist or denturist at least every two years, or more frequently if necessary.

Your Dentures need Attention 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

When they become loose. When teeth or denture base discolours. When tooth surfaces become flat. When denture base does not fit around natural teeth (in partial dentures). When you develop deep lines around your mouth. When your chin sticks out, and the corners of your lips are constantly wet, developing sores. When you stop smiling and feel embarrassed.

WD Edwards Dental Technician


Loose Dentures Can be re-lined by adding a thin layer of the new acrylic to fit the surface of the dentures, making them fit better (takes one or two days).

Dentures with worn down teeth Teeth can be replaced with a new set.

Major improvements in Facial Features Padding dentures to reduce lines and fill up sunken cheeks will require a new set of dentures. It is advisable to have a new set of dentures made every 5 to 10 years.

Should I have a spare set of Dentures made? Yes, it is very important to have a spare set of dentures for emergencies in case of breakage.

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Where do I go to have a good set of Dentures made? Every dentist can make dentures, but not all of them will specialise in denture making. Denturists will take the greatest care to make your dentures look natural and fit properly. They can give you and your dentures the time and attention you deserve.

Summary 1. Clean your dentures daily with a denture brush and denture cream. 2. Have your dentures inspected every two years, and re-lined or ultra-sonically cleaned. 3. Have a new set made every 5 years if possible. 4. Keep a spare set for emergencies. 5. Remember, dentures do not have to hurt and do not need to be uncomfortable. 6. With a new set of dentures, you should receive a written guarantee, a detailed prescription of the materials used in your dentures, cleaning and servicing instructions, and a cleaning kit. 7. Dentures so life-like you’d think they were real.

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Dentures Prostheses Repairs Copy Dentures Gum Shields Friendly Service

Professional Toothwhitening Solutions No appointment Needed All work Guaranteed 7 DAY EMERGENCY SERVICE Competitive Rates

Denture Repairs & Re-lines

While you wait or shop (waiting time approx. 30 mins) Dentures Strengthened or Remodelled by a Qualified Technician

Telephone:01793 853203 Mobile: 07919 622741 BRAND NEW PREMISES

Units 15 & 16 Apsley House Arcade, 48 High Street, Wootton Bassett SN4 7AQ. 45

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


The Directgov website contains information about public services all in one place.

Difficult as it may be, you need to discuss issues with your parents. Discuss their assets, check with them where they want to live, and who should make legal and medical decisions if they are no longer capable of handling their affairs.

Age Concern and Help the Aged have combined to become Age UK, which provides a huge body of information and advice to older people and their relatives.

The decision of where they wish to live may be taken out of your hands, if they reach a stage when they need full time care. At this stage, it’s important to find a nursing home with staff who treat their elderly residents with respect, and which provides a pleasant environment for your parents to live out their remaining years. This is easier said than done. First you need to research available government help to fund care, and ensure that your parents are correctly assessed to ensure they’re getting all the funding they are entitled to. Age Concern provides a number of detailed booklets on this issue. Take full advantage of your computer. Search websites for ratings, send for brochures, and most importantly of all, pay several visits to possible nursing homes. In an effort to help families looking for nursing homes, a new online system is planned, to be published on a website which will also disclose official inspection reports. Nursing homes will be graded according to star ratings, Trip Advisor style.

ORGANISATIONS TO EXPLORE NHS Choices provides a comprehensive health information service on finding and using NHS services in England. 46

CARE IN THE HOME It may be that care in the home is the preferred option, and this is where you need to spend time making sure that all available help from your local council is fully explored, and a correct assessment of necessary care is arrived at. Check out the Care Quality Commission. This is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. It registers care services that meet standards and make constant inspections to check that these standards are kept and take action if standards fall. Direct Payments are a Government initiative designed to give people the freedom to purchase their own care and support, so since 2002 all Social Services departments offer the option of a Direct Payment to people who receive a social care and support service. Following an assessment by their local Social Services the person receiving the direct payments can use the money for different types of services. These include: • Personal care and support • Day care (including domestic help) • ‘Mixed’ packages of support • Short-term residential care • Items of equipment

CARE Direct Payments can also be used for employing a ‘personal assistant’ or arranging care from a private agency. Your local Social Services team will be able to advise you further. There are many benefits to Direct Payments – they allow a greater level of flexibility and freedom for the person who needs the care and support. By employing a care and support worker directly, there is greater choice as to whom the person has looking after them; what times they come and what tasks they perform. People who are eligible to receive a Direct Payment, instead of their ‘usual’ support include:


• • • • •

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

Older People who need social care services People with physical disability who are over 16 People with a learning disability who are over 16 Disabled Parents would receive payments for the needs of their children (non educational) Carers over 16

How can Carewatch help? Direct Payments allow such a variety of choice that in some cases the chosen personal assistant may even be someone that the person already knows, or a relative who does not live with them. Greater choice, however, may come with greater employment responsibility. Social Services departments provide care managers or advocates to help someone recruit a personal assistant. Carewatch can assist people who receive a Direct Payment, either by using it to purchase your care and support directly from Carewatch or by employing a personal assistant on your behalf.

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

This is a time in your life when your parents and your children are dependent on you, so look after your health, take time out to keep up with your friends, and keep your sense of humour. Nothing lasts forever, and sooner or later, your children will find their independence and fly the nest. You’ll miss them when they go. Make the most of your time with them. Cherish your parents. They won’t be with you forever, so while you’re coping with their problems, remember how they once helped you with yours, and give them a hug from time to time.

Y ou r Home, Y ou r Choice Getting older doesn’t have to mean becoming less active, less involved within the community, or with friends and family; if you need a little help and support to do what you want, Carewatch has the answer. We are here to understand and provide you with the type of support you want, when you want it. With bespoke solutions to help people remain independent within the comfort of their own home, Carewatch can give you the support you need so that you can get the best out of life. Carewatch Swindon can provide you or a loved one with: • Light domestic duties such as shopping and cleaning • Providing friendship, reassurance and companionship • Personal support • Respite care • Help and advice with direct payments and personal budgets

For more information please call:

01793 432666


Do you live with: • Diabetes

• Hypertension

• Haemophilia

• Heart Disease

• Osteoarthritis

• Depression

• And Many Others

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

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

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The local magazine for the over 50s

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