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The world according

to Joan Healthy Food Tips for Over 50s

Hairy Bikers

Delicious Summer dishes




For theGuild perfect Christian hotelss break Abbot... Halland Hotel why not South Lakes, Cumbria provide the very bestgrandchildren the too! 015395 32896 in Christian hospitalityy Christian Guild have been welcoming guests for nearly years and our commitment to helping find the best break to suit you and your family in some ofyouthe most Christian Guild hotels has never changed. That’s why so many guests return year after year. Abbot Hall Hotel provide the very best South Lakes, Cumbria beautiful parts of We have a unique collection of five hotels - all set in gorgeous grounds Christian and of the highest standards. We strivein to make sure thathospitality your stay is 015395 32896 England. thoroughly relaxing in our superbly appointed hotels. in some of the most For those who prefer a more active holiday, we have used Lindors our extensive Country beautiful parts of Our tofive superb hotels experience produce a fantastic range of themed breaks. England. House Hotel Ouro themed combinewelcome a range of activities for all ages and for er abreaks warm


individuals or families. So if you have been a new hobby or Wye Valley Ourconsidering five superb hotels want to meet like-minded people during your stay, then our themed erhorizons. a warm welcome breaks are the ideal way of broadeningo your

Lindors Country and are perfect places Hotel 01594 530283House Wye Valley to get away from it all. and are perfect places

to get away from it all.

01594 530283

Sidholme Hotel

Sidholme Hotel Sidmouth, Devon Sidmouth, Devon

01395 51510401395 515104

Christian Guild is at its best during the school summer holidays. Watch your children or grandchildren swim in our delightful pools or play on the beaches, discover new destinations together, then relax over a family meal and discuss all the things you can do tomorrow.


Treloyhan Manor Hotel

St Ives, Cornwall Treloyhan Manor 01736 796240 to C E ER S P D S Hotel A E R E you’ll have access to everything During the Summer P I Rbreaks,


St Ives, Cornwall nd a s l e t o h Call the INSPIRE to 01736 796240Willersley Castle 3 1 G C e quotDISCOUNTS FAMILY iscount Hotel d % 0 1 a Derbyshire Dales e v We want everyone to enjoy their holiday, and we know that i e g why we offer special n i rec k o o your family holiday canrbe costly. That’s 01629 582270 you bditions apply discounts o fornfamilies: con that Christian Guild has to offer - like our four heated indoor swimming pools, arts and crafts, recreational facilities and plenty of themed breaks - as well as the perfect location for the family to explore.


rm *teyears: 0-4 FREE 5-10 years: 75% off 11-15 years: 50% off 16 & 17 years 25% off 18-21 in full-time education: 25% off if holiday taken with parents or grandparents.

Willersley Castle Hotel Whether you’re looking for a high quality hotel

Derbyshire Dales for a night, a weekend or longer, Christian Guild

One child per adult. For rates for additional children please contact the hotels. The general rule is that children share with accompanying adults. However, it may be possible to allocate separate rooms for older children, subject to availability.

IDEAL FOR holidays, short breaks, s, ays church weekends and group holidays

is ready to offer you a break to remember. 01629 582270

Head Office: Christian Guild, 2nd Floor, Building 10, Cromford Mills, Cromford, Derbyshire, DE4 3RQ. tel: 01629 826531 email:

Sidholme Hotel Sidmouth is an ideal base from which to tour some of Devon’s sights. It only takes a 5 minute drive to reach Peak Hill with its magnificent views over the town and seascape. The area abounds with lovely walks and strolls over hills into deep receding valleys. Further away are the delightful open spaces of Dartmoor and Exmoor with their quaint villages hidden amongst ever-changing scenery. Exeter, with its beautiful Cathedral and museums, is just 16 miles away.

The majestic Georgian mansion of Sidholme Hotel sits in idyllic grounds in the Regency seaside town of Sidmouth.


Inside the resplendent building is the jewel in the crown - a stunning Victorian music room, with fine chandeliers and Gothic-style organ.


As well as welcoming bedrooms and lounges, there is lots to do for the more active guests. There is a heated indoor swimming pool, a snooker room, table tennis and spacious landscaped grounds. Sidholme Hotel, with its proximity to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site and East Devon’s charming countryside, is perfect for short breaks and holidays.

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Jurassic Coastline World Heritage Site Crealy Adventure Park Norman Lockyer Observatory Exeter Cathedral and Underground Passages Seaton Tramway Beer Quarry Caves Forde Abbey & Gardens Powderham Castle Branscombe Old Bakery, Manor Mill & Forge.

REA OFFE DER R DISC 10% on a OUNT ny 2

Themed Breaks this Summer .... JULY Summer Walking 13th - 20th July (7 nights) During this week there will be a choice of a longer, 8 miles + walk, or a shorter 4-7 mile walk each walking day. An ideal opportunity to stretch your legs in the hilly local countryside. Package price: £510 Break code: 01148

Car Free & Care Free 22nd-26th July (4 nights) Get yourself to Sidholme Hotel and then let us take you out on one half-day and two full-day coach trips to exciting destinations in the local area, including Exeter Cathedral, Seaton Tramway and Montacute House. Package price: £342 Break code: 01149

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ay. te 50 Plus Swi when book ndon ing


JULY & AUGUST Family Fun Weeks Family Fun weeks are a fun mix of activities for all the family and with sports, quizzes, games and craft activities. As well as this there will be an evening kids club and bedtime story before the evening event. 27th Jul - 3rd Aug (7 nights) Package price: £425 Break code: 01150 3rd - 10th Aug (7 nights) Package price: £425 Break code: 01151

17th - 24th Aug (7 nights) Package price: £425 Break code: 01153

Bank Holiday Fun

10th -17th Aug (7 nights) Including Teen Zone. This week features similar activities to the other Family Fun weeks but there will also be a Teen Zone Time after evening prayers. Daytime activities like Go Ape, paintballing and canoeing will be offered off site at an extra cost.

23rd -27th August (4 nights) Make the most of the August Bank Holiday. There’ll be fun activities organised in house, an afternoon cream tea, entry to Bicton Park Botanical Gardens and a 6 mile guided walk.

Package price: £425 Break code: 01152

Package price: £290 Break code: 01154

For more details about any of these breaks enter the break codes at or contact the hotel on 01395 515104

Blunsdon Abbey Park A New Lifestyle for the over 50s



inside... 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.



Say ‘Aloha’ to Hawaii ... The ultimate dream destination

10-11 Holidays & Short Breaks by Coach ... From Barnes Coaches 12-13 The World According to Joan ... Joan Collins strolls through the highlights of her life

ine View Parks is a family run business with over four decades experience in operating residential parks.

16-17 Creating Space ... Ideas on storage solutions.

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.

34-36 The Hairy Dieters ... Delicious Summer Dishes!

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 £164,950. 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.


Getting Fit and So Much More ... Free 3 Day Village Life Membership


Win a 5 Night Break for Two... From Christian Guild

46-47 Dementia ... Making the Most out of Life. McGrath Media. Unit 6 | Moses Gate Workshops Gladys Street | Bolton | BL3 2QG. T: (01204) 796 494 | F: (01204) 791594 e:

We currently have two brand new stock homes available to view which are both stunning and encapture the beautiful views at Blunsdon Abbey Park. A series of open Saturdays are planned throughout Summer 2013. These dates are 15th, 22nd, 29th June and 30th July. TWO OTHER PARKS IN THE SURROUNDING AREA WITH HOMES FOR SALE WILDWOOD PARK, AT CIRENCESTER. ORCHARD PARK, NEAR NEWBURY.

For further information telephone:

01793 722100 4

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

Quality TGB garden buildings for any situation Bespoke sizes available Base laying &

installation available Stockists of

Graham Smith... TWITTERING ON Twittering Pope I could of course make some very irreverent remark about the fact that the Pope has opened a Twitter account. But he’s got something going for him for he picked up over 300,000 followers in the first 24 hours of tweeting putting Stephen Fry and others in the shade. I have a sneaking admiration for any 85-year-old who takes up social media but note that he has a new media department who will doubtless be handling his tweets before publication. It remains to be seen if congregations dwindle in the light of this innovation or whether many turn over in bed on Sunday morning and reach for their lap top!

The self-titled “bacontrepreneur” has also come up with other pork inspired products such as bacon roses, bacon lip balm and bacon baby formula. And, for those “who love bacon to death”, he has created a £2,000 bacon-wrapped coffin. Mr Esch added: “Bacon is delicious, people get excited when they smell it. When you walk into a room don’t you want people to be excited to see you?” I told you they weren’t all locked up.

Coffin therapy Next time you fancy a lie down try a little coffin therapy! A Ukrainian man is encouraging people to lie down for 15 minutes in one of his coffins to “prepare for the afterlife”. Now why would I want to do that? The coffin maker has been in business for ten years and says the feeling is just like being in a bed. It’s the same sheets and pillows with its own special aura. You can choose from one of ten coffins in a special room with birdsong, falling water and he says you go home in a completely different mood. Err, no thanks

Little lit up donkey! Hundreds of donkeys are to be fitted with glow-in-the-dark ear tags in Botswana to stop accidents on rural roads at night. About 500 of the animals will be fitted with the reflective tags in the north of the country where one in ten crashes is donkey-related. I think it’s a wonderful idea and also recommend the tags for those barmy joggers who tear around in pitch blackness. The UK-based Society For The Protection Of Animals Abroad is paying for the Maun Animal Welfare Society, in Botswana, to carry out the project.

Is your man a pig? A US company has created a gift for the man who has everything - bacon flavoured shaving scream. J&D’s new product is described as “high end, luxurious bacon-scented shaving cream” and is on sale for about £9. Inventor Justin Esch said: “There is nothing more powerful than the smell of bacon, nothing. Bacon is the smell of champions. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and bacon is the best part of breakfast. Why not smell like it and be the best?”

Laura Higham, outreach veterinary advisor for SPANA, said: “The people that own working donkeys are some of the very poorest in Botswana’s society and often have no choice other than to let their animals roam freely in search of food in the sparse desert environment. “This practice is essential, but obviously makes the donkeys vulnerable to accidents and we hope that this simple solution will help reduce the number of collisions caused by the animals every year.” The charities hope the project will be adopted in other parts of the country, and will be the first step towards making reflective tags a legal requirement for freely roaming livestock. Isn’t science wonderful?


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%HDWWKHQH[WWDULII V W FKDQJH -XO\ The benefits of SolarPV panels for generating your own electricity are still dramatic and a clear winner for anyone wishing to safeguard against future energy prices, while generating themselves a predictable income stream over the next 20 years. Although the Feed-in-Tariff for generating your own electricity has reduced to 15.5p per unit the overall cost of installing Solar Panels has come down by 60%, making it more affordable than ever for homeowners. The average age of a typical domestic solar-panel customer is 60 plus, which may not be so surprising when one considers this as one of the highest disposable income groups. With mortgages paid off any retirement savings are earning a pittance in ISAs and other traditional forms of investments. The advent of SolarPV and the Government Feed-in-Tariff scheme has offered a safe investment vehicle that now yields far more than can be currently earned elsewhere, as well as a way of making fuel savings and doing your bit for the environment. Of course the basic premise is that those looking for the benefits from generating their own electricity have capital to invest. The cost of installing SolarPV panels will vary according to the size of system but an optimum domestic size of 4kW (16 panels) will now cost around £6000 or £5000 for 2.5kW (10 panels). Investing in SolarPV should be considered a medium term investment that is tied to the value of your property rather like buying a new kitchen or a conservatory. But unlike other home improvements SolarPV will earn you money from the outset; generating electricity and a tax free income day after day, year after year. In the right conditions an installation can net savings and income in excess of £900 per year, effectively paying off the initial cost in around six to seven years, which stacks up to a very attractive 16% return on investment. Even if your roof is East or West facing, you only have a flat roof, space on a garage or barn then the sums can still stack up.

50 Plus Travel

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SAY ‘ALOHA’ TO HAWAII By Sally Dowling from Silver Travel Advisor

Kauai © (HTA/Tor Johnson)

Palm trees swaying in the gentle trade winds of the Pacific Ocean, endless stretches of sandy coastline, volcanoes, rainforests and more – the Hawaiian Islands are the ultimate dream destination. The journey to Hawaii is not to be underestimated – it is a long way. So when you finally get there you need to make the most of this incredible group of diverse and beautiful islands strung out like pearls in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. There are countless itineraries and combinations with each island offering a different holiday experience and its own individual charm. Arriving into Honolulu on the island of Oahu immediately gives you a sense of anticipation. The warm air greets you as it wafts through the mainly open buildings and the atmosphere is laid back and relaxed. Honolulu is the centre of business and culture and the capital of Hawaii. It is a bustling city with a strong Polynesian influence and is home to museums, galleries and elegant public gardens all steeped in the history of the islands.


The world famous resort of Waikiki Beach is just a few miles along the coast. At first glance not quite the tranquil tropical resort you would expect but this is a town that welcomes a huge number of tourists each day. Modern skyscraper hotels front the pristine beach set against the magnificent backdrop of Diamond Head volcanic crater. At night Waikiki comes alive with Sunset Hula shows, street performers, lively bars and restaurants. A velvet breeze wafts in from the ocean, mixes with the soft sound of the Hawaiian guitar and beckons the crowds to linger amongst designer boutiques and street markets. As soon as dawn breaks the surfers take to the water to catch the waves that roll in throughout the year. Sit on the beach and be amazed by their prowess or take a lesson and have a go yourself, there are plenty of beach boys happy to give surfing classes and surfboards can be easily rented. When it is time to move on to another island, a great contrast to Oahu is Maui, known as the Magic Isle. Although it appears at first glance to be flat and uninteresting, travel away from the airport and you will find the dormant volcano of Haleakala Crater with its lunar landscape, or take the scenic road to the town of Hana through rainforest and waterfalls. The picturesque town of Lahaina was once the heart of the Hawaiian Islands where the whaling ships docked. Today the town attracts the tourists with quaint shops, galleries and restaurants housed in the old wooden shop fronts that were once the

saloons and brothels of times gone by. Set along a pretty coastline with a dramatic mountainous backdrop and with spectacular sunsets over the small offshore island of Lana’i - the town is picture postcard perfect. If it is adventure you are after then the island of Kuau’i beckons visitors with a host of exciting activities, watersports, 4x4 land tours, mountain tubing and zip line tours to name just a few. Take a helicopter tour to appreciate the awesome interior of Kaua’i. The imposing Waimea Canyon is more than 3,000 feet deep and known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’. The Waimea River flows through the canyon and is fed by cascading waterfalls swollen by the almost daily rainfall. When the sun shines through shimmering rainbows appear giving the area a truly magical feel. Hold onto your seat because the experienced pilots know how to get really up close and personal to some of the highest waterfalls and deepest valleys.

Hawaii Island © (HTA/Tor Johnson)

Maui © (HTA/Tor Johnson)

In common with the other islands, Kauai has its fair share of stunning beaches. Holiday makers flock to the eastern and western shores but only intrepid hikers or sailors can access the secluded hidden coves, nestling beneath the dramatic cliffs along the Na Pali Coast on the western side. With its lush, rainforest interior and above average rainfall Kaua’i is aptly named the Garden Isle and has been the setting for many famous movie locations over the years. The largest island is confusingly named Hawaii – or Big Island. You could easily spend your entire holiday here as it has an amazing diversity in geography and climate. Take a drive around the island and you will pass through tropical rain forests, lava fields, volcanic mountains and rolling hills. At Kona on the west coast and

you will be amazed by huge expanses of black lava stretching into the sea. The area is famed for diving and snorkelling and a visit to Kealakekua State Park is a must. Further along the coast the land is dotted with coffee plantations, each producing the world famous Kona Coffee and most are happy to give tours to visitors and sell the freshly roasted beans. The active volcanoes for which the island is so well known can be explored at fairly close quarters from the Volcanoes National Park. Check current conditions with the park rangers at the Kilauea Visitor Centre where you can also pick up maps and guides to the area. The island capital is Hilo, situated along the crescent shaped Hilo Bay on the East Coast where frequent and heavy rainfall has created a tropical environment of lush valleys and gushing waterfalls. Hilo is a commercial centre but does have an attractive ‘old town’ area full of shops, galleries and restaurants as well as museums, parks a cultural centre and a great programme of seasonal festivals and events. It makes a great base for exploring the Volcanoes National Park and the beaches along the coast.

So pick one or pick ‘em all, whichever islands you choose to visit, I guarantee you will want to return to see the rest. For more information on the Hawaiian Islands contact Hawaii Tourism Europe website or call 44 (0)207 6446 127. © (HTA/Tor Johnson)

GOING ON HOLIDAY and need NEW CLOTHES Whether it’s the local beach, walking or sunnier climes or even that long awaited CRUISE

WHEN YOU’RE READY, COME AND SEE US We sell branded clothing that you have heard of and are confident with: Tootal, Vyella, HJ Socks, Skopes, Brook Taverner, Gabicci, Kam, Peter England, Rael Brook, Gurteen. etc

Jensons of Gorse Hill Ltd | 124 Cricklade Road | Gorse Hill Tel: 01793 642211 |



barnes 2013 Holidays & Short Breaks by Coach FREE Home Pick Up on all tours 4 Days and Over Cornwall’s Best Harbour Towns & Villages Explore Cornwall’s Harbour Towns and Villages from the historic fishing port of Looe, where two rivers create a tidal harbour. The bustling harbour is the hub of the town and home to fishing vessels as well as pleasure craft.


Portbyhan Hotel

Unrivalled position overlooking the harbour. l




Sunday 16th June 6 Days £469

Pennines, Lakes & Hadrian’s Wall including South Tynedale Railway Our hotel sits 700 feet above sea level and commands spectacular views across the Cumbrian countryside. Always a popular tour full of contrasts and viewing wonderful scenery.

Gilsland Spa Hotel

In a beautiful location with 140 acres of park and woodland. l




Saturday 22nd June 8 Days £519

Eastbourne & Sussex Coast Eastbourne is one of England’s premier seaside resorts. There is a magnificent Victorian seafront and there are beautiful parks and gardens to enjoy.


Alexandra Hotel HH

Hotel with excellent sea views and cuisine. l




Sunday 23rd June 7 Days £439

Llandudno & Snowdonia Llandudno lies on a curving bay flanked by Great Orme, a 700ft high limestone headland, and Little Orme. The town retains considerable character through its wide promenade & main street.

Somerset Hotel

Ideally situated on the promenade with panoramic views of the bay. The main shopping area is directly behind. l LIFT l BAR

Monday 24th June 5 Days £319

Taste of Kent including Sissinghurst, Leeds Castle, Steam Train & Vineyard This holiday includes a tour of a vineyard, lunch and wine-tasting, plus a return journey on the Kent Sussex railway with a cream tea. There is also a visit to one of the country’s finest gardens at Sissinghurst and to “The Loveliest Castle in the World”; Leeds Castle.

Best Western Russell Hotel HHH

Hotel in a stunning Victorian building in Maidstone. l




Thursday 27th June 5 Days £389


Call: 01793 821303 for your 2013 brochure

York, Moors & Coast Few British cities offer the magical charm and beauty of York. Outstanding architecture and 2,000 years of history combine with bustling shopping streets and award winning attractions.


Wheatlands Lodge Hotel HH

Hotel set in a prime location, a 10 minute walk from the centre. l




Monday 8th July 5 Days £299

Switzerland, Austria & the Glacier Express

including Interlaken & Mainau Gardens on Lake Constance This year this tour is split between Austria and Switzerland to make the day on the Glacier Express even more special!

Hotel Weisses Kreuz, Feldkirk HHHH Hotel on the outskirts of historic Feldkirk.



Hotel Paxmontana, Flueli - Ranft HHH

Superior hotel in an entirely wooden building lovingly restored.



Sunday 14th July 8 Days £749

Moray Firth & the Highlands Elgin is Speyside’s smallest city nestling in the world famous whisky region. The tour offers a wide variety of excursions including a funicular rail trip to the top of the Cairngorms, a Loch Ness Cruise and a variety of Scottish producers.

Eight Acres Hotel & Leisure Club, Elgin

A hotel set in sprawling grounds with full leisure facilities. l










Sunday 14th July 7 Days £559

Titanic Ireland Belfast, County Mayo and Cobh 2012 marked the 100th Anniversary of the famous sinking of the Titanic and to commemorate its most famous icon a wonderful £100 million tourist attraction was opened in Belfast, to add to the already fascinating locations in the city associated with the ship. After travelling through South West Scotland we start where the Titanic was built, Belfast. We then head west to Co. Mayo from where many folk travelled to emigrate on Titanic. Our last stay is on Ireland’s coast with a visit to Cobh (Queenstown) where Titanic made her last ever port of call.

Saturday 20th July 9 Days £649

Northumbria on Film & TV Inc. Beamish, Alnwick Castle & Gardens Two characters put this beautiful region of Britain firmly on the film and TV map. The first was Catherine Cookson, who wrote so poignantly about life in the area, with many of her books the source of TV dramas. The second was Harry Potter who was seen flying around Alnwick Castle on a broomstick! Other films include Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Elizabeth and Get Carter.

Caledonian Hotel, Newcastle

Located in the heart of the leafy area of Jesmond








Sunday 21st July 5 Days £339

Scarborough & The Yorkshire Moors Including ride on North Yorks Moors Railway

Britain’s first holiday resort occupies a fine position on the Yorkshire coastline with two magnificent bays and a headland topped by a castle.

The Esplanade Hotel HHH

Hotel that holds a commanding position above the cliffs overlooking the sea. l




Saturday 27th July 7 Days £479


For full details visit


The World according to Joan

Joan Collins returned to the UK in April with her her sell-out show “One Night With Joan” and this stroll through the highlights of her life brings a touch of genuine glamour into our humdrum lives writes Angela Kelly. The British actress, writer and columnist who famously turned down Richard Burton and bested Joan Crawford may unbelievably now be 79 but - being Joan - she never misses an opportunity to show real Hollywood glitz at its best and most enduring. As she insists in her down-toearth way: “I’ve often been accused of over-egging the pudding in the costume and make-up department, but that’s one of the illusions that form a part of what this person called Joan Collins is all about.” To discover the real Joan Collins, though, it’s necessary to go back to her roots and trace her rise to fame and fortune. She was born in May, 1933 in London, to a former 12

nightclub hostess and a successful talent agent. She was one of three children – her sister Jackie is a successful novelist whose books have sold more than 400 million copies. Joan was a very pretty child and grew up into an attractive dark-haired beauty. She had her first theatre appearance at the age of nine and obviously developed a taste for acting through her teenage years. She became a Rank starlet and appeared in a host of relatively forgettable films, occasional TV appearances and pin-up shoots but, to improve her budding career, she moved to Hollywood in the 1950s. Her first film role was in 1951 in B-movie “Lady Godiva Rides Again.” For the next three decades, she became a Hollywood fixture, driving her signature pink Thunderbird and keeping the gossip columnists happy with a reported succession of high-profile liaisons with famous men including Dennis Hopper and Warren Beatty. She impressed, however, in the films “The Stud” and “The Bitch” which were both adapted from sister Jackie’s

INTERVIEW best-selling novels. In 1978 she published her first memoir, “Past Imperfect” about her life – unsurprisingly, also a best-seller. In 1981, she went for an audition for struggling primetime drama “Dynasty”, for a part that Sophia Loren had already turned down. Alexis Carrington Colby was the vicious, vengeful ex-wife of family patriarch Blake Carrington, played by John Forsythe. Joan got the part, and was absolutely brilliant in the role. Ratings immediately started to rise. As the show’s creator Aaron Spelling insisted: “We didn’t write Joan Collins. She played Joan Collins. We wrote a character, but the character could have been played by 50 people and 49 of them would have failed. She made it work.” In fact, she made it work so well that Alexis - with her seductive glamour, gorgeous clothes and make-up and great storylines - became the character with whom Joan has become enduringly associated. She was nominated six times for a Golden Globe before finally winning one in 1983. “Dynasty” ended its run in 1989 but Joan appeared as Alexis in the 1991 mini-series “Dynasty: The Reunion.” The original series, though, remains warm and familiar in the minds of the public and there are regularly calls for its revival. Speaking on TV’s “Loose Women” programme just recently, British actress Stephanie Beacham - who also went into the series - said she and Joan had been talking about just such a revival, and regular TV watchers know it’s “never say never” when it comes to bringing back successful soaps.

research, and remains a true celebrity in a sea of passing wannabes. She has always looked after her figure and continues to be as glamorous as ever, taking her own advice on everything from eating meals from a smaller plate to keep her weight down to avoiding sunshine on her face to protect her looks. Her outspoken and witty pronouncements on various subjects have helped keep her in the public eye and she has had a variety of regular opinion columns in newspapers and magazines. In her 2011 book “The World According to Joan”, she admits that she has “always been extremely frank, perhaps too much so. Often friends say to me sarcastically ‘Oh why don’t you say what you mean, Joanie!’ Well, I’m afraid I usually do which is why I have been called opinionated, stubborn, obdurate, headstrong, prejudiced and politically incorrect. “Perhaps I am, but I have now reached an age and a stage when I basically do what I like as much as I can, without trying to hurt anyone.” While being Joan Collins is much about a life lived in the spotlight, it’s plain that not only is she a clever actress and a genuine icon but that she’s discovered the secret of longevity when it comes to engaging with the public.

And audiences from Manchester’s Lowry to London’s Leicester Square Theatre discovered that “One Night With Joan” is also a unique and memorable experience.

Of course, much of Joan Collins’ fame has come from her life away from the film and TV cameras. She married her first husband, Irish actor Maxwell Reed, in 1952 and divorced him three years later. She married British actor Anthony Newley in 1963 and they had two children before she divorced him in 1970. Joan was married for 11 years to Apple Records’ president Ron Kass, with whom she had daughter Katy. Her fourth marriage was to Swedish pop singer Peter Holm, which ended after just 13 months with a messy divorce. Then in 2003 she married her fifth husband, theatre company manager Percy Gibson, who is 32 years her junior. Here, finally, Joan seems to have found her soul-mate and the couple renewed their marriage vows in 2009. She says that today’s “metrosexual-looking” actors don’t compare with the stars of yesteryear although she believes that Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jude Law are “wonderful actors.” Joan makes the exception “on the macho front” for George Clooney and she also likes Bradley Cooper and Robert Downey Jr. Her all-time sexiest star, though, is Marlon Brando – “unforgettable” is her verdict. After “Dynasty” helped give Joan the highest profile of her career, she continued to act and write both romance novels and self-help beauty and lifestyle books. She’s become involved in a variety of charity work, mostly linked to children with disabilities and aiding breast cancer

For more information on Joan Collins’ go to


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! 14

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. A few years ago, 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, 1.11.2 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, a few years ago 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 2013 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 an eco-friendly room with up to £2,000 Free* Why move when you can improve? 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.

towards any combination of: l Cane - Rattan - Laminated Wood Furniture l Tiled Floors l Ceiling Fans l Electric Heaters l Lights Low cost finance available through subject to status Check out our website

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Manor Garden Centre Cheney Manor Swindon SN2 2QJ. 01793 526691

Registered Company Market leaders in conservatory technology

*Terms & conditions apply 15

Creating Space... Why on earth is it that we never seem to have enough space in the home – however big or small our property? Space is always at a premium. When the family is young we seem to accumulate cupboards full of toys and games, when they’re teens – if you can get them to put anything in a wardrobe – hangers and drawers are crammed with clothes and the latest fad. Even as we get older, the space problems don’t seem to diminish as we hoard a lifetime of happy memories and items we just can’t bear to throw away. So before you start taking an objective look at potential new storage space around your home, take a long, hard look at your current cupboards, shelves and wardrobes and de-clutter. It’s quite cathartic to free up space, and local charity shops will definitely benefit from items you no longer use. To house the rest, and as a temporary solution, there are plenty of clever storage systems around - from clear plastic boxes and wicker baskets to racking and wooden chests. There are even mobile baskets that can house items you may need in the kitchen. But 16

for longer term ideas, examine all those corners, walls and open areas in your home for possibilities involving new shelves or permanent storage units. Interior designer Arvin Rodrigues says: “Most houses have under-stair cupboards and these provide useful space for storing the vacuum cleaner, suitcases and other small items. If these spaces are tall, shelves could be placed at higher levels to make the most of this space. Small under-stair cupboards could be transformed into drawers for all sorts of things.” He also suggests high-level shelving for narrow hallways which don’t encroach on floor space. And these sentiments are echoed by chartered architectural technologist Gary Willis. “When lack of storage becomes an issue, the automatic response is to box up the items and attempt to hide them away, but let’s think out of the box for a moment. Most people will consider what is directly in front of them on a horizontal plane; look upwards for your storage needs.” Gary also says that garages and sheds often provide ample storage already “but just require some organisation. Very cheap, heavy duty racking or spur shelving in a garage or shed can generate substantial storage space.

Just ensure that brackets and racking are securely fixed to the walls first.” In the kitchen, why not free up space by putting your microwave on a glass shelf above the work surface? Hang sharp knives inside a high cabinet to save drawer space and keep them out of children’s reach, or store wooden spoons and other utensils bouquet-style in a handsome pitcher or canister. “Kitchens are typically built to a fixed height,” states Gary, “leaving at least 300mm (12”) of space above wall cupboards that could be used for storage. Exploit this space by placing charming storage boxes to hide away items like old cook books, sewing kits etc.” Take a fresh look at living room furniture. “Coffee tables that have storage for magazines and bric a brac are useful, as are sofas with storage in the armrest,” suggests Arvin. Consider furniture you can buy relatively cheaply that you can improve. Arvin’s own home boasts cost-effective but beautifully restored second-hand chests of drawers which add to storage space and also create much-admired pieces of furniture. He states: “Shelves around doors and windows and even beside radiators,

if safe, could provide storage and look nice, too. A coat cupboard in the entrance is really handy and doesn’t need to be very big or deep. It could also function as a shoe cupboard at the lower level, and the sides employed to hang keys, scarves and hats.” Gary looks to unusual areas for help with storage: “The bay window area in a living room is another great place that often has under-used space. Rather than use loose furniture that is often set into the room, consider a bay window seat with integral storage.” Bathrooms again offer more storage potential. “Consider shelves over the toilet water tank, cupboards under the wash basin and even a shelf over the bathtub,” advises Arvin. “Bigger cabinets could be hung from the wall above mirrors or even over the entrance door.” Utilise under-bed storage in bedrooms or consider buying a bed with builtin storage space. A bed headboard can be built for additional bedding storage, plus somewhere to put books, lamps or a radio on top. An ottoman or upholstered cube can double as a dressing table chair and offers extra space, and an artistic pile of pretty, unusual hat-boxes can complement the bedroom décor and provide further storage solutions. Lofts are often under-used areas in our homes but can be altered at reasonable cost to become an effective storage room by boarding out. “Floorboards also help to insulate the house, preventing heat loss and reducing your heating bills,” explains loft expert Chris Waldron.

“We’re not looking at making the loft habitable and so needing Building Regulations’ approval,” he adds. “Just comfortable enough to sit in for an hour now and again with plenty of light and an absence of spiders hanging from the rafters!” Aluminium loft ladders or a folding wooden ladder make access easy and fitting a light in the loft – “a pendant light with an energy saving bulb and pull switch is ideal” – makes this an easy, accessible area that can add substantially to your house storage space. And an added bonus is that floor boarding helps insulate the house, preventing heat loss and reducing your heating bills. So you get much more storage space and kinder heating bills as well! Whatever you decide about storage, it’s worth

acknowledging that you don’t always need to hide items away to keep them stored tidily. Sometimes – as with books, ornaments or lamps – it’s worth putting them somewhere where their “storage” actually creates an attractive room feature. Now that’s thinking outside the box!

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

New 2013 Collection



Huge range Over 250 fabrics Cane, Rattan, Laminated wood combinations Free local delivery

CONTACT THE EXPERTS: Arvin Rodrigues, Transform Interior Designs go to Gary Willis, Novensus architectural design services go to Chris Waldron, Bolton Joinery go to


The Problems and Pitfalls of DIY probate In these times of austerity dealing with a probate yourself might seem like a good way to maximise your inheritance but beware. Here we set out some of the pitfalls of administering an estate which may make you think again about going it alone. The Basics When someone passes away, with or without leaving a Will, their money, property and belongings need to be dealt with according to law and accounted to the beneficiaries. Normally you need to obtain probate if the value of the deceased’s estate (after paying the funeral account) is over £5,000.

The Will A problem that usually only comes to light after a person has passed away is the issue of whether or not the deceased left a Will and, if they did, is it valid. A Will must be executed according to strict criteria for it to be legally valid. The executors must be sure that the Grant of Probate they are extracting is based on the last Will of the deceased and there are no issues surrounding the mental capacity of the testator which may mean an earlier Will is still valid. Wills can often set up trusts, sometimes on purpose as part of tax planning and sometimes inadvertently because of the wording used. Further complications can arise when beneficiaries to a Will have already died. Where there isn’t a Will or one cannot be found, the estate passes according to the Intestacy Rules which do not necessarily follow the order that relatives might expect and sometimes a professional opinion is required.

Inheritance Tax (IHT) As part of the application to obtain a Grant of Probate an Inland Revenue Return needs to be submitted. If the estate is relatively straightforward with no lifetime gifts and does not exceed the IHT threshold, then the ‘short form’( IHT205) may be used. As it is only a few pages long, the short form doesn’t seem too daunting, however guidance notes that stretch to around 40 pages show that it is not as straightforward as it seems. 18

Where estates exceed the IHT threshold or the estate has business or agricultural property within it then a full Inland Revenue account needs to be submitted and this can prove a very time consuming and complicated affair for lay executors. If the account has been submitted incorrectly and the Revenue determine that this has been done negligently, they are likely to issue penalties which can be severe.

Claiming Reliefs There are many different reliefs and exemptions that can be claimed in respect of IHT. If you do not claim them you will lose them as the Revenue will not point them out to you so a professional opinion is recommended.

The main ones are: • • • • • • •

Spouse exemption Transferable IHT nil rate band Annual exemption Normal expenditure out of income Gifts in consideration of marriage Charity exemption Business Property Relief and Agricultural Property Relief

Paying Tax Whilst an Inland Revenue Account does not have to be submitted by the Personal Representatives until 12 months after the end of the month in which the death occurs, the IHT (or at least the tax that is due on the deceased’s personal estate e.g. personal effects, cash, investments etc) must be paid 6 months before that. Accordingly if the estate is taxable the Account should normally be submitted within 6 months of the end of the month of death to prevent interest running.

Payment by instalments over 10 years is permitted in respect of certain assets which include: • • •

Land and buildings wherever situated Some quoted or unquoted shares or securities of a company A business or an interest in a business

The first instalment is due 6 months after the end of the month of death and thereafter annually by equal instalments. However, notwithstanding the making of an election to pay by instalments, the whole amount of the IHT due becomes payable forthwith if, at any time before the end of the 10 years, the property in question is sold. Interest is generally chargeable on any overdue IHT but there are exceptions that need consideration. The current rate is 3%.

Peace of Mind As you will have ascertained from this article, the administration of an estate can present issues and traps for the unwary. They can be particularly hazardous for those acting as Personal Representatives as they will be held personally liable by the beneficiaries if exemptions or reliefs are not claimed in full or penalties are imposed by the Revenue for the negligent completion of an Inland Revenue Account. By ensuring that proper advice is obtained the executor can avoid personal liability. And there are other advantages. A professional advisor will produce a set of estate accounts so that all the beneficiaries can see the value of the estate and be certain that they have received the correct entitlement. They can also, where necessary, arrange specific types of insurance, for example Missing Beneficiaries insurance and Unoccupied Property insurance, and prior to distribution of the estate will be able to conduct bankruptcy searches on the beneficiaries to ensure that they are entitled to the monies rather than their Trustee in Bankruptcy. In addition, a solicitor will be able to advise on the appropriate application of a Deed of Variation, a method of changing the terms of a Will within 2 years of the date of death. A Deed of Variation can be used to improve the Inheritance Tax position of a beneficiary or to resolve disputes or potential problems with the Will.

Pooleys Solicitors LLP will be pleased to help you with l

Conveyancing & Energy Performance Certificates




Probate & Trusts


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Instructing a Solicitor Many people are tempted to obtain probate themselves because they are concerned about the potential costs of instructing a professional, particularly on an hourly rate basis. However, more firms like ours now offer a fixed fee service so that the client knows exactly what to expect. Remember, you can seek assistance from a professional at any stage and a review of the Inland Revenue Tax Return is particularly advisable. If you are thinking of instructing a firm of solicitors then try to find one that specialises in this type of work – it will be quicker and cheaper in the long run. Beware of probate specialists who may use sales tactics or apply pressure to sign up there and then to get a “good deal”.

10-15 Regent Circus Swindon SN1 1PP.

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

If you would like more information on probate administration please contact Pooleys Solicitors.


SUGGS - MY LIFE STORY I’VE JUST TURNED 50, THE KIDS HAVE LEFT HOME, AND MY CAT JUST DIED Suggs – still best known as the legendary frontman of feelgood band Madness – was 50 last January. He was lying in the bath on his birthday, nursing an epic hangover from the celebrations the night before when there was the most almighty crash. ‘I jumped out of the water,’ he says, ‘and there, lying amid shards of broken glass, was our four-year-old cat, a British blue called Mamba. I’d put up the glass shelf myself and it must have given way. I knew he was dead from the strange angle of his body. I couldn’t believe it. I loved that cat. ‘I was 50. My kids had recently left home and now the cat was dead. I was really upset. It triggered a deluge of emotion, an event that somehow tipped me over the edge. I began to consider my own mortality and, out of that, the idea for exploring my own past somehow crystallised.’ The result was a fantastic stage show that delighted audiences up and down the UK. Speaking before the show launched, Suggs says ‘It’s a memoir, It’s not stand-up. It’s not An Evening With… I toyed with calling it Mad-Life

Crisis. In the end, though, having gone all round the houses, I’ve called it My Life Story which won’t win any prizes for originality but does at least tell you what you can expect, the good bits and the darker moments.’ It turns out there have been plenty of both. Born Graham McPherson in Hastings, he’s the only child of a jazz singer called Edith and a father, William – but everyone called him Mac – who worked for a photographic developers but whose life was increasingly overtaken by drugs. ‘Dad left home when I was about three. I have no recollection of him and he never featured in my life. My mum later told me she’d come home and found him with needles sticking out of his hands. Heroin was his drug of choice and it’s a one-way street that takes you further and further away from real life. In the end, it did for the marriage.’ Mother and son then moved to Liverpool where Edith sang in the clubs, winning the accolade of Melody Maker’s Jazz Newcomer of the Year in the mid-60s. She performed regularly at the Blue Angel to where The Beatles and Cilla Black would repair after sessions at The Cavern. Moving south to London, Suggs’ life was unstructured, to say the least. Soho was his mother’s stomping ground where she both sang and worked in bars for extra money. They lived in a succession of rented rooms, the young lad trailing around after her when she went drinking in famous watering holes like the Colony. ‘I’ll never forget it,’ says Suggs. ‘You’d walk up this rickety green staircase and enter a room full of artists and actors and various hangers-on, all drinking and smoking. But, amid all the booze, it was a creative hotbed. Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, George Melly, Jeffrey Bernard – they were all regulars. ‘Was it an unsuitable place for a young child? Absolutely. I clearly remember staring up through the thick fog of tobacco smoke, the occasional hand ruffling my hair or giving me a florin, sometimes even a ten bob note. I couldn’t really understand what was going on at an adult level which was probably all for the best. But there was a feeling of community and I was never in any danger.’ Even so, in time Edith decided that her son would do better living out of London in Pembrokeshire with her sister, Diana, and her three children. ‘It was nice to have other kids around but I missed Mum. She was doing what she thought was the right thing. She was finding it difficult to find the two of us somewhere stable to live so she thought I’d be better off in Haverfordwest.’ Three years later, Suggs was back in London, living with Edith, and about to go to secondary in Swiss Cottage. It’s where he acquired his nickname. ‘The other kids used to call me Gray or Mac and I wanted something a bit more


INTERVIEW distinctive. I was looking through a book of my mum’s about jazz musicians. ‘I took a pin and, eyes closed, stuck it into the middle of a page. It went through the name Peter which didn’t seem especially memorable and then I noticed his second name was Suggs which somehow resonated with me. He was the drummer in an obscure jazz band in Kentucky. Graffiti was becoming popular and people had these amazing names – or tags, as they were called. Now I had mine.’ Had he known it, this was the moment when his estranged father was on the point of bowing it. ‘I didn’t find this out until many years later when I was researching the new show. It’s a tragic story. My father started injecting himself with paraffin and was then sectioned under the Mental Health Act. ‘When he was eventually released, he moved to Birmingham where he married again. He died aged 40 from a whole variety of drug-related conditions, his wife following him, probably from a drug overdose, a year later. So just as I was getting together with the band that became Madness, my father’s time was up. I’ve always found that rather poignant.’ These revelations prompted him recently to ask his mother about his father. ‘She told me he was a very nice man. “Just like you,” she said. That was the most shocking thing she could have said in many ways. I’d had him down in my mind as some sort of wayward old wastrel who’d just pushed off. The fact that he was really nice upset me. But then heroin is an unforgiving mistress.’

Given his colourful upbringing, it is perhaps not too surprising that Suggs married young. By 21, he had a wife, a baby daughter and a mews house in Camden bought with the money he’d made from Madness’s regular appearances in the Top 10. ‘To some extent, I think it’s true to say that I deliberately created Fortress Suggs to give my life a bit of structure. Having said that, I’d fallen in love with Anne. I wanted to be married to her.’ A professional singer who works under the name Bette Bright, the two are still together three decades later. They have two daughters – Scarlett, 29 and Viva, 25 – who now sing as a duo under their own names. ‘My mother, my wife, my daughters – I’m surrounded by women who sing,’ says Suggs. Nor has he hung up his own microphone. ‘2012 was an extraordinary year for us. You wouldn’t have anticipated the Queen was going to invite us on her roof to play or that we were going to play at the Olympic closing ceremony. Like any human being we were insecure but we realise now we’re pretty good.’ The band have just release their tenth album Oui Oui, Si Si, Ja Ja, Da Da and have planned a series of gigs in the UK this summer. ‘Madness have always been about accentuating the positive,’ says Suggs. ‘It’s no accident our songs are still played, still enjoyed 30 years down the line. They’re upbeat, timeless, a clear-eyed celebration of life as it’s lived. And we’re still together, still making music. For me, the band has always been a bit like a surrogate family. We’re all a bit dysfunctional, all a bit stronger for being together.’

including the hit songs:



Here are some great ideas for places to visit, all just an easy bus ride away from Swindon Oxford


Travel time 75 mins


Travel time 52 mins

Route 66

This beautiful city of dreaming spires, colleges and quadrangles can be explored on themed walking tours and boasts museums, gardens and a cosmopolitan mix of shops, pubs, restaurants and clubs.


Discover the remains of Ancient Britain and browse among the many individual shops from the wide High Street which sweeps through this market town. Markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Cheltenham Spa


Chris Talbot

Travel time 100 mins

Cheltenham Gloucester



Cheltenham has been welcoming visitors for nearly three hundred years, since the discovery of the first natural spring. Visitors can enjoy an impressive range of stylish shops, restaurants, award-winning gardens and festivals of horse racing, music and literature.

Kidlington Burford

















51 Highworth



Latton Fernham

7 Malmesbury

Royal Wootton Bassett





Chippenham Calne


Melksham Bradford on Avon






Swindon 71 Chiseldon

70 49 Marlborough Downs Avebury




Cirencester Travel time 55 mins


51 53

The ancient capital of the Cotswolds and second largest city in Roman Britain is now a busy country town, with a good market on Mondays and Fridays and interesting shops.

Routes in & around Swindon Newbury

80 to Ludgershall

Whatever the journey...

We’ve got just the ticket! Travelling around Swindon? For unlimited travel within the inner circle...

For unlimited travel anywhere on the map...

dayrider £3.20 travelpass

uni rider day uni pass travel

7 days



28 days

uni £16 uni


7 days


28 days


Latton Haresfield Roundabout

r oute


Travel time 28 mins



Gaze in wonder at the magnificent Avebury Stone Circles, thought to have been constructed in Neolithic times between 2500 and 2000BC. Avebury also hosts a museum with one of the finest prehistoric archeological collections in Britain.

Kingsdown South Marston Park

West Swindon Centre Freshbrook Spittleborough


South Marston Stratton Park

Swindon Town Centre

Acorn Bridge

Wroughton Common Head Chiseldon

Royal Wootton Bassett

Chippenham Travel time 60 mins Famous for the combination of old and new building styles, including the 15th Century Yelde Hall, now home to the Tourist Information Centre. You can also enjoy a stroll along the banks of the River Avon. Markets are held on Fridays and Saturdays.

Draycot Foliat

Chippenham Rail Station Chippenham Town Centre London Road (Pewsham Estate)

Travelling around Chippenham?

Studley Calne Town Centre Calne Town Estate

Avon Valley day rider £3.50 Avon Valley megarider 7 days


28 days


Going further afield?

day Calls to the Traveline telephone number 0871 200 22 33 cost 10p per minute plus 6p connection fee from a BT land line, other networks may be higher and mobiles may be significantly more.

For unlimited travel anywhere on the map...


£6.50 Child/Senior £4.70 Family £13 Group £15


Up to 2 adults with up to 3 children

Up to 4 adults

Unlimited travel on all Stagecoach services in Southern England and Wales plus all Wilts & Dorset services.

mega rider 7 days

£20 28 days £76

Unlimited travel on all Stagecoach West services plus Stagecoach services in South Wales and Oxford City.

All the tickets above can be bought from your Stagecoach bus driver. Travelpasses and dayriders are also valid on Thamesdown services. Unlimited travel tickets are not valid on night buses. Longer term megariders are available online. Prices correct at time of print.

Main picture: Avebury Stone Circles tickets:


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 12 Market OPENS FROM 9AM TILL 3PM WED, SAT, SUN CAR BOOT OPEN FROM 6AM TILL 2PM WED, SAT, SUN

Coate Water Country Park Marlborough Road, Swindon. Bus Routes 12, 13, 14 Coate Water is a fantastic community resource providing a perfect setting for a simple and enjoyable family day out. Facilities include a café, children’s play area, barbeque and picnic areas, cycle hire, children’s paddling pool, pitch & putt golf, mini golf, model railway and bird hides. The park also provides a peaceful oasis for walking and cycling and can be enjoyed by everyone.

SWINDON DESIGNER OUTLET. Bus Routes 1, 1A, 19, 19A The Designer Outlet is housed in the beautifully renovated Grade II listed buildings of the former Great Western Railway Works. Shoppers will find their favourite High Street and designer labels with big price reductions, as well as a large food court, information desk and children’s play area.

Hungerford is a small historic town located in the midst of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Bus Routes 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.

Promoting Leisu

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 Link Centre Whitehill Way Westlea Swindon. Bus Routes 1, 1A, 19, 19A, 22. The Link Centre houses an ice rink, swimming pool, climbing facility, 5-a-side outdoor football pitches, gym, multi-purpose sports hall, health suite and much more to keep you active.

Lydiard House and Park Lydiard Park, Lydiard Tregoze, Swindon. Bus Routes 1, 1A Lydiard House and Park is a Swindon treasure. Lots to see, lots to do Lydiard House has a wealth of history - beautifully restored state rooms, original furnishings and family portraits. Take a stroll around the walled garden and parkland, calling into the nearby St. Mary’s Church or the children’s play area - there’s something for all members of the family.

The STEAM Story - Museum of the Great Western Railway Kemble Drive, Swindon. Bus Routes 1, 1A, 19, 19A Experience the sights and sounds of the GWR works at Swindon and hear the stories of the men and women who worked there. Steam brings to life the exploits of Isambard Kingdom Brunel the flamboyant engineer, and acknowledged genius, behind the creation of the GWR.

Town Gardens Quarry Road Old Town, Swindon. Bus Route 22 Picturesque town park, with formal gardens, aviary, play area, tennis courts and café. 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 places of interest are Aldbourne: Bus Routes 46, 46A, 48, 48A Marlborough: Bus Routes 48, 48A Oasis Leisure Centre: Bus Routes 15, 15A For details of bus times contact Traveline on 0871 200 22 33.

re Travel by Bus

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:



Starts at Pinetrees Community Centre, Swindon Every Friday, 10am GET FIT: FREE guided walk by a trained Volunteer Walk Leader Guided walk by a trained Volunteer Walk Leader. Walk for 40-45 minutes (2-3 miles) at your own pace, followed by socialising and refreshments. Open to all ages and abilities. For more information phone (01793) 465413 or email:


Ken Parker: - publicity for Coate Water Miniature Railway T 07710515507 The long awaited extension to the Coate Water Miniature Railway has begun. The railway will be operating as normal during the extension Mobility-SAMPLE[3].pdf


work. We will be open on the First, Second, Fourth Saturday and every Sunday each month. From 11.30 am till 5.00 pm, weather and volunteers permitting. The railway is operated by volunteers from North Wilts Model Engineering Society. The money raised form fares (£1 per person of any age per ride) is used to run, maintain and improve the railway for all. For further information go to


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Saturday 17th August 10.00 am to 3.00pm New College Sports Centre, Swindon, Queens Drive, Swindon, SN3 1AH









You are responsible for your own, and other people’s safety. A mobility scooter could cause considerable A mobility scooter damage to the user or other people if it collided considerable damage to with someone or something.

could cause the user or other people if it collided with someone or We have written a highway code to protect the something.

safety of people who use electric mobility scooters A highway has been written to protect and the safety of other road users and code pedestrians. If you ride a scooter, youthe must follow of thepeople highway who use electric mobility safety code whether ridesafety on scooters andyou the of other road users the pavement, footpath and pedestrians. If you ride a scooter, you or on the road.

must follow the highway code whether you ride on the pavement, footpath or on theofroad. For a free copy the publication please

contact the Road Safety Unit For a free copy of the publication please contact the Road Safety Unit 01793 466399

01793 466399 email email:

The day offers information and advice on driving and mobility related matters. We have the West of England Mobility and Driving Centre on hand to carry out a short familiarisation assessment and the opportunity to view various cars with hoists and ramps. There will also be various trade stands, health and eyesight checks and members of the ‘Safer Swindon Team’ and Fire and Rescue will be on hand to give advice on personal safety and much more. Bring the family along.

For more information contact Margaret Tester, Road Safety Manager or 01793 466399.


WALKLEY MIDNIGHT WALK 2013 Saturday 15 June 2013 at Red Lion, Avebury Rotary Club of Swindon, Thamesdown T: 01793 430776 From 11.00pm Price: Free

The Rotary Club of Swindon Thamesdown has been organising this annual fundraising event on a twenty mile section of the Wiltshire Ridgeway for the last twenty five years. To date the ‘Walkley Midnight Walk’ has raised in excess of £220,000.00 for Local, National and International Charities. The walk starts at 11.00pm at the Red Lion Pub in Avebury after a courtesy coach transfer from the finish point at the Bishopstone Village Hall at 1030pm - cars can be parked free of charge safely during the night in the village. The Club will provide marshalls, at all major junctions and road crossings and will also provide a ‘4 Wheel Drive Tail-end Charlie’ vehicle complete with qualified first aider where any walker unable to complete the walk can be returned to their vehicle by a Marshall. Along the route walk refreshment areas will be provided with free snacks and hot and cold drinks for the walkers.   At the finishing point in Bishopstone the Village Hall will be open for Breakfast and hot drinks.

Do you have a spare room? Have you ever considered giving a disabled child a wonderful, new and positive experience? We have a scheme that could be just right for you called HOME & AWAY! Home & Away is a scheme that supports children with disabilities to live at home with their own family by providing regular away breaks. Each child stays with a Home & Away foster carer, in the carer’s home, usually one weekend a month. Home & Away carers give parents a much needed rest from caring for their child and an opportunity for the child to gain independence, build new relationships and widen their horizons. Home & Away short breaks allow carers to forge long term relationships with not only the child but his or her family. Disabilities can range from learning difficulties and autism to physical impairments. Overnight breaks usually start out with just a few hours and move into overnight stays. Carers do not need to have experience working with disabilities as a comprehensive training and support programme is available. All Carers receive an allowance. “It’s been incredible. The Home & Away team are brilliant, there is so much support and training, plus I’ve made so many friends along the way. It makes you see the world through a different perspective; it really opens up your eyes to new things. (The young person) has enriched our lives and brings so much happiness. I’d recommend looking into becoming a short-break carer to anybody.” Paula, single parent and Home & Away Carer.

01793 465700

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SWINDON DRAGON BOAT RACE 2013 Sunday 30 June 2013 at Coate Water Country Park T: 01793 490150 From 9.00am to 5.00pm

Rotary Club of Swindon Pheonix’s fantastic FUN-draising event for all the family provides an opportunity for local organisations, companies and even teams of friends to take part and paddle their heart out over the 250m course. The sport dates back more than 2000 years to China’s Mi-Lo river about 400BC. Today, with over one million teams competing worldwide, it is the second most popular sport on the planet! Dragon Boats: Dragon boats are long, elaborately decorated canoes with a dragon’s head and tail attached, and are provided by Dragon Boat Events Ltd who also provide a helmsman for each boat, team tents, electronic timing, a scoreboard, plus race commentaries and jingles. Racing: The races will comprise a series of heats over a course of approximately 250 metres. Each team will race in at least three heats and the fastest teams will go through into the finals stage. Depending on the number of teams who enter, races will take place every 6 –10 minutes.


Saturday & Sunday 10th & 11th August Swindon & Cricklade Railway This year’s Steam & Vintage Weekend will be on Saturday & Sunday 10th & 11th August. It will almost certainly be arranged to a new format, so please return to this website for more information later in the year. No event was held last year because of severe limitations to access caused by major roadworks.

barnes Day Trips 2013

Sun Jul 21

Bournemouth Poole

Tue Jul 30

Cotswolds Wildlife Park, Burford Moreton in the Marsh (market day) & Bourton on the Water

Fri Aug 2

British Museum (Pompeli & Herculaneum Exhibition)

Sat Aug 3

Buckingham Palace & Runnymede

Tue Aug 6

Cotswolds Wildlife Park, Burford Moreton in the Marsh (market day) & Bourton on the Water

Wed Aug 7

Houses of Parliament Tour & free time in London

Fri Aug 9

Buckingham Palace & Runnymede Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter

Sun Aug 11

Festival of Quilts, NEC

Mon Aug 12

Buckingham Palace & Runnymede

Tue Aug 13

Cotswolds Wildlife Park, Burford Moreton in the Marsh (market day) & Bourton on the Water

Sat Aug 17

Buckingham Palace & Runnymede Ladies Day & Party in the Paddock with Meat Loaf

Tue Aug 20

Cotswolds Wildlife Park, Burford Moreton in the Marsh (market day) & Bourton on the Water

Wed Aug 21

Buckingham Palace & Runnymede

Sat Aug 24

Houses of Parliament Tour & free time in London

Sun Aug 25

Buckingham Palace & Runnymede

Tue Aug 27

Cotswolds Wildlife Park, Burford Moreton in the Marsh (market day) & Bourton on the Water

Sat Aug 10

Hairspray UK Tour - Bristol Hippodrome

Sat Aug 24

Peter Pan - The Never Ending Story, Wembley Arena

Fri Sept 13

The Lion King - Lyceum Theatre Mamma Mia - Novello Theatre

Sat Sept 14

Ghost - Bristol Hippodrome

Fri Sept 20

We Will Rock You - Dominion Theatre

Fri Sept 20

Once - Pheonix Theatre

Thu Sept 26

Les Miserables - Queen’s Theatre

Thu Sept 26

The Phantom of the Opera - Her Majesty’s Theatre

Sat Oct 5

Thriller Live - Bristol Hippodrome

Sat Oct 5

Wicked - Apollo Victoria Theatre

Sat Oct 5

Billy Elliot - Victoria Palace

Theatre Trips 2013

Call: 01793 821303

or visit 29



PUZZLE PAGE Word Ladder Move from the word at the top of the box to the word at the bottom using the exact number of rungs provided by changing one letter at a time (but not the position of any letter).











































20 21




With the help of the Across clues only, can you fit the pieces into their correct positions in the grid?

ACROSS 1 Pendant containing a picture 2 Sixtieth part of a minute 3 Japanese paper‑folding art 30

ACROSS 8 Geographical group including Yell and Unst (9) 9 World’s second‑largest bird (3) 10 US city associated with Al Capone (7) 11 Aircraft location system (5) 12 Main division of geological time (3) 14 Engineer Brunel’s first name (8) 16 Car’s starting mechanism (8) 18 Outward motion of the tide (3) 21 Famous 1836 battle in Texas (5) 23 White‑faced clown (7) 25 Hawaiian garland of flowers (3) 26 Spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism (5,4)

DOWN 1 Mind, as distinguished from 5 Old Russian emperor (4) 6 French police officer (8) the body (6) 2 Legendary creature of the 7 Liquid measure of two Himalayas (4) pints (5) 3 Horse Bob Champion 13 Sprinkled with cheese and rode to win the Grand browned (2,6) National (8) 4 Variety of wool from a goat 15 Britain’s highest or a rabbit (6) mountain (3,5)



Try our general knowledge crossword

17 Slender reddish‑brown antelope of South and East Africa (6) 19 Comic‑book hero whose real name is Bruce Wayne (6) 20 Golf score of two under par (5) 22 Racing probability (4) 24 Five hundred sheets of paper (4)


Fill the grid with the numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and 3x3 block contains the numbers 1 to 9.

2 3



8 4

5 1 5 6 7 2 4 1 7 8 4 7 3 5 2 7 8 7 8 3 1 5 6

5 6

8 9

11 12

4 Make disappear 5 Giving for a limited time 6 Low area between hills 7 Less warm

8 9 10 11 12

High female voice Not talked about About to weep Church officer Scribble aimlessly

Solutions on page 45

All puzzles © Puzzler Media Ltd ‑

Thameswood Veterinary Clinics first Vets in Swindon to offer class 4 therapeutic laser therapy Here at Thameswood Veterinary Clinics we have added a new form of complimentary therapy to the services that we can offer your pets. Our new class 4 therapeutic laser can be used to help treat a variety of different problems including speeding up wound healing times and reducing pain in arthritic patients.

osteoarthritis or joint problems, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, as laser therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. It has also been shown to potentially reduce the need for long term drug use in certain cases. Laser therapy can be performed on conscious patients in a normal consultation appointment – as long as we can get them to stand still long enough! Each session lasts approximately 2-8 minutes, unless multiple areas are being treated. It has been likened to the equivalent of a deep massage for the patient. We have yet to find a patient who will not tolerate it!

The laser was invented in the 1960’s and it was soon discovered that laser therapy could have therapeutic effects. Since the 1970’s doctors, nurses and physical therapists have been using lasers to aid their patients. Their use in Veterinary practices is a fairly recent thing and Thameswood Veterinary Clinics is currently the only Veterinary clinic in Swindon to offer this service to our patients. Laser therapy uses red and near-infrared wavelengths of light to stimulate the body’s cells. It has been shown to increase cell energy by increasing production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and increase blood flow, oxygenation and the transfer of nutrients to the cells, creating an optimal healing environment. We are currently using our laser to speed up healing of wounds, soft tissue injuries and in animal’s recovering from fractures or orthopaedic surgery. We also offer this service to patients who suffer from

As a general rule patients start off on a course of laser therapies, usually 2-3 times a week for 2 or 3 weeks. Results are not expected to be seen until after the 4th of 5th treatment as effects are cumulative. After this treatments may be reduced to once a week, once a month or even less frequently depending on the individual case. Prices vary according to the type of treatment plan required but start from £54 for the initial k-laser session with subsequent single therapy sessions at £30. If a longer treatment is required a 6 session course costs £183.60. Laser therapy can also be used at the time of surgery, a

Morgan the Dalmation receiving laser treatment on to an open wound on his pad perioperative k-laser session costs £24.00. However the k-laser is now being used for all routine neutering cases at the main clinic to help aid the healing process; this is carried out free of charge for all registered clients. All laser therapy must be prescribed by one of our Veterinary Surgeons so if you feel your pet may benefit from this new service please contact the practice to book a consultation with your vet. Alternatively if you would like more information feel free to speak to a member of staff or collect some K-Laser literature from us. More information can also be found on our website or facebook page as well as the K-Laser website

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


Your CONSULTATION FEE with this advert

Are you taking any of these? If yes, did you know that • • •

24% of all victims in fatal road accidents had drugs in their system some prescription drugs and over 100 over-the-counter remedies i.e. cough mixtures, pain killers and allergy treatments can cause drowsiness, affect your concentration, reduce your reaction times and impair your overall driving ability if you drive under the influence of drugs or medicine, legal or illegal, you will be breaking the law and will be liable for prosecution.

Always check with your pharmacist or doctor to ensure that your medication will not adversely affect your driving. If you require any further information on driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs please contact Swindon Borough Council Road Safety Unit on:

(01793) 466399

Email: or visit our website at:

Drinking & Driving wrecks lives It's never worth it!

A re you taking

time to look

Take your time and cross safely There are many contributing factors to senior pedestrian injuries on our roads but there are a few things you can do to help keep yourself safe ... l

Get your eyesight and hearing checked regularly so you are confident that you can see and hear any danger coming.


Wear flat-heeled, securely-fastened shoes with non-slip soles.


Exercise, like walking or water aerobics, is good to help you keep fit and supple - you could even try something like tai-chi.

Always remember - there is no rush. Take your time to be careful when crossing the road.

and taking care when crossing the road



Healthy Food Tips For Over 50s 1. Chili peppers may be small but are mighty in terms of health benefits. They contain capsaicin, an analgesic compound which helps with a variety of health issues including pain, cancers and high cholesterol. Add a bit of spice to your suppers and reap the rewards. 2. Adding vegetables like broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts to your diet can have great brain health benefits. They all contain antioxidants which help protect the brain. 3. Make sure your diet contains plenty of calcium which can help prevent osteoporosis. If you’re over 50 you need 1,200 mg of calcium each day. Good sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yoghurt, almonds and pulses. Try and have three servings of calcium rich foods or drinks each day. 4. Yoghurt is not only a great source of calcium, but is also beneficial in maintaining a healthy gut. Your body needs to have a healthy amount of ‘good’ bacteria, so look out for probiotic yoghurt which contains those precious living organisms. 5. Turmeric contains curcumin which has antiinflammatory properties. Turmeric has been used as a cleanser for thousands of years and is believed to help relieve pain and prevent the build of up amyloid beta plaque which is a major cause of Alzheimer’s. Turmeric is found in many curries and other Asian dishes. 6. Fish is a great source of omega-3 fats which are important for brain function. Having a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to improved memory and preventing the build up of cholesterol. It can also lover the risks of dementia, stroke and age related macular degeneration. Try and eat two fish dishes per week. 7. Other types of spices also provide great health benefits. Cinnamon is anti-microbial and antiinflammatory, and may help boost brain function and control blood sugar levels. Cumin is rich in iron and can aid digestion. Coriander has antiinflammatory properties and can help lower cholesterol. So reach for your spice rack when you cook and pack these health benefits into your meals. 8. Strawberries are not only delicious, but each serving contains lots of vitamin C which could help ward off wrinkles and age related dry skin. Treat yourself to some strawberries and cream for your vitamin C and calcium needs all at once!

9. Ginger has lots of anti-inflammatory properties which can be useful in fighting heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. It is also high in antioxidants which help fight other diseases, and the gingerol in it is commonly used as a digestive aid. Ginger can add delicious flavour and heat to all kinds of dishes. 10. Tofu and other soy foods can help preserve the skin firming protein collagen as they are rich in the compounds ‘isoflavones’. Try adding some tofu to your diet and your skin may stay smoother for longer. 11. Treat yourself to a bit of chocolate. Yes! The cocoa used in making chocolate is rich in flavanols which can help preserve the healthy function of blood vessels. Healthy blood vessels can lower the risk of high blood pressure and dementia as we get older. Look out for dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. 12. Blueberries contain a diverse range of micronutrients which can provide great health benefits as we get older. They can reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol. Try sprinkling blueberries on your cereals or add them to your yoghurt for some delicious variety in everyday foods.

Kavita Pal is the Managing Director of the Tree Hotel Group.


delicious summer dishes

MUSHROOM, FETA AND TOMATO BAKED PEPPERS It’s always important for food to look good, whether you’re dieting or not, and these peppers are a delight to the eye as well as the tastebuds. A great vegetarian recipe, this has lots of strong flavours that come together in a beautifully colouful and well-balanced dish.

SERVES 2 4 sun-dried tomato pieces in oil, drained well 2 tsp sunflower oil 175g chestnut mushrooms, wiped and diced 20g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed 50g dry white breadcrumbs 1/2 small bunch of parsley, leaves finely chopped 1 tsp dried chilli flakes 100g feta or soft goat’s cheese, drained 2 smallish peppers, red or yellow freshly ground black pepper 401 calories per portion Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7. Roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and stir-fry the mushrooms over a high heat for 4 minutes. Add the roughly chopped hazelnuts and fry for a further minute until the nuts are lightly toasted. Season with a good grind of black pepper and remove from the heat. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley and chilli flakes until thoroughly combined. Break the cheese into small chunks and toss them through the stuffing lightly. Cut the peppers in half from top to bottom and carefully remove the seeds and membrane. Place the peppers in a small foil-lined roasting tin, cut side up, and fill each half with the mushroom and feta stuffing. Cover the surface of the stuffing with a small piece of foil. Bake for 35 minutes until tender, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes of the cooking time. Serve warm with a lightly dressed mixed salad. 34

MAKES 8 KEBABS 700g lean lamb leg (or leg steaks) 2 small yellow peppers 2 small red peppers 2 small red onions 150m1 low-fat natural yoghurt 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint or 1 tsp mint sauce 6 pitta breads 1 romaine lettuce heart, shredded 1 medium carrot, finely grated 3 ripe vine tomatoes, sliced 15cm piece of cucumber, thinly sliced flaked sea salt freshly ground black pepper lemon wedges and hot chilli sauce, to serve Marinade 2 tsp cumin seeds 2 tsp coriander seeds 203 calories per portion 381 calories per portion (with pitta)

LEMONY LAMB KEBABS There’s nothing better than the scent of lemony, herby lamb cooking on the barbecue. It’s a healthy way of cooking too, as much of the fat drips away. We like to eat these kebabs tucked into warm pitta bread, but you can also enjoy them with just a side salad or some vegetables.

1 tsp fennel seeds 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp fine sea salt freshly ground black pepper

To make the marinade, put the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar and pound to a coarse powder. You can use 11/2 teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander if you prefer, but the flavour won’t be quite as good as freshly ground spices. Add the thyme leaves and crush them into the spices for a few seconds. Tip the spices and thyme into a large non-metallic bowl and stir in the lemon zest and juice, garlic, oil, salt and lots of black pepper. Trim as much fat as possible off the lamb, then cut the meat into rough 3cm chunks — you should have about 40 chunks. Add the lamb to the marinade and toss until well coated. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking. While the lamb is marinating, prepare the vegetables for the kebabs. Deseed the peppers and cut them into 3cm chunks. Cut each onion into 8 wedges with the root intact. Remove the lamb from the fridge and thread the meat on to 8 metal skewers — these should be about 25cm long — alternating with the pieces of pepper and onion. Season with a little more salt and pepper. Cook over a hot barbecue or under a preheated hot grill (close to the element) for 6-8 minutes. Turn once or twice until the lamb and vegetables are lightly charred — the meat should be pink in the middle. Mix the yoghurt, garlic and chopped mint or mint sauce together in a small bowl to make the yoghurt sauce. Warm the pitta bread on the barbecue, in the toaster or under a grill and carefully cut down one side with a sharp knife. Pull the bread open and stuff with shredded lettuce leaves, grated carrot, tomatoes and cucumber. Slide the meat and vegetables off the skewers and into the pittas using a fork. Drizzle a little of the minty yoghurt sauce and serve with some chilli sauce and lemon wedges too if you fancy.


BEACHSIDE PAELLA We cooked this on a beach in Northumberland and some said it was the best paella they’d ever tasted — dieting or not. You know what? We have to agree. Heat the oil in a 38cm paella pan — ideally non-stick. A paella pan is best, but if you don’t have one, use a very wide, shallow non-stick saucepan, flameproof casserole dish or saute pan. Place the pan over a medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper and fry them for about 5 minutes, turning every now and then until lightly coloured. Add the chorizo and cook for 30 seconds more, turning once. Transfer the chicken and chorizo to a large heatproof bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the onions to the pan and fry gently for 4-5 minutes until softened and very lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add the peppers and green beans to the onions and cook for 2 minutes until they are beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic, smoked paprika, saffron, bay leaf and rice and cook for 1-2 minutes until the rice is glistening all over. Return the chicken and chorizo to the pan, along with any juices. Stir well, then pour in the chicken stock and season with black pepper. Stir once or twice and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Tip the mussels into the partly cooked rice mixture and stir once more, making sure they are well tucked into the hot rice and steaming liquid. Return to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes or until most of the mussels have opened, stirring occasionally. Scatter the squid and prawns over the top of the paella and stir well. Continue cooking for 4-5 minutes until the squid and prawns are cooked, the rice is tender and almost all the liquid has been absorbed. The prawns should be completely pink when cooked. It’s important not to keep stirring after the squid and prawns are added — you want the rice to become lightly browned and a bit sticky at the sides of the pan as this adds flavour. Keep an eye on the heat though, as you don’t want the rice to burn. Add a splash more water if the paella begins to look very dry before the rice is ready. Pick out any mussels that haven’t opened by the end of the cooking time and chuck them away. Serve hot with lemon wedges for squeezing.


358 calories per portion

I tbsp olive oil 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half 75g chorizo (we like picante) skinned and cut into 5mm slices 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped 1 red pepper, quartered, deseeded and sliced 1 yellow pepper, quartered, deseeded and sliced 150g green beans, trimmed and cut into 2cm lengths 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 2 tsp smoked paprika 2 good pinches of saffron threads 1 bay leaf 175g paella rice (medium-grain rice) 1 litre hot chicken stock, made with 1 chicken stock cube 500g live mussels, well scrubbed and beards removed 1 medium squid, cleaned and sliced into rings or 225g prepared squid rings 12 raw king prawns, peeled or shells on, thawed if frozen flaked sea salt freshly ground black pepper lemon wedges, for squeezing



Subscription Form To receive the next two issues of 50 Plus Magazine hot off the press, either for yourself or to treat a friend, please fill in the form below and post with a cheque for £3.40 made payable to McGrath Regional Media: Unit 6, Moses Gate Workshops, Gladys Street, Bolton BL3 2QG.


Name: ...................................................................................... Address: .................................................................................. .................................................................................................. Postcode: ................................................................................. Title: 50 Plus Magazine in ....................................................... .................................................................................................. Issue Numbers: ....................................................................... Tel:............................................................................................


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 THREE DAY FREE TRIAL Village Leisure Club, Swindon. Telephone: 01793 889305 Village Hotel, Shaw Ridge Leisure Park, Whitehill Way, Swindon SN5 7DW.


Birmingham issue BIRMINGHAM & SOLIHULL 30.indd 16 ISSUE 30.indd 19

27/06/2011 08:51 08:50

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 3 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.

Visit our website

You’ve been out for the evening. It’s cold, it’s wet, you’re tired and you just want to get home. But have you ever stopped to think whether the driver that you have flagged down will get you to your destination? No matter how keen you are to get home at the end of the evening, you should never be tempted to get into an unlicensed taxi.

Swindon Borough Council licence two types of vehicles: n l

All drivers must have the appropriate licence to drive licensed vehicles i.e. a driver of a Hackney Carriage (black cab) must hold a hackney carriage driver licence and a driver of a private hire vehicle, must hold a private driver licence.

Taxis (Hackney Carriage/Black Cabs)

are London-style cabs, and are all wheelchair accessible can be flagged down on the street or at an authorised rank, or pre-booked

l display white rear taxi licence plates and a smaller plate in the passenger compartment visible to the passenger l charge metered fares that are regulated by the Council.

n l

Private Hire Vehicles (saloon type vehicle)

display yellow rear taxi licence plates and a small vehicle plate positioned on the passenger side of the front window screen

display stickers with the name of the private hire company l


charge fares set by the private hire companies

can only be pre-booked through a private hire company.

All drivers must wear their licence badge. For your safety, ONLY use a licensed vehicle. Licensed drivers have been fully vetted and are passed as medically fit.


All operators, who control firms (taxi bases) where private hire bookings are accepted or invited, must also be licensed by Swindon Borough Council. In order to obtain an Operators licence, the prospective operator must satisfy the Council criteria, making sure she/he is aware of his/her responsibilities.


You must always ensure you travel in a licensed taxi and private hire vehicle by checking the vehicle’s signage or plate and the driver’s badge. NEVER get into a private hire vehicle you haven’t pre-booked – it WON’T be insured to carry you and may not even be licensed.

Here are our top tips for staying safe when travelling by taxi:

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 The time taken to complete the journey l The length of journey l

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: l


Don’t go alone. Travel with a friend and leave the vehicle together.


Call home (or pretend) on the way. Give the registration number and driver description or badge number. If the driver is legitimate, they won’t mind.


Ask the name of the driver when you book and make sure it’s that driver that picks you up.

4. If you chat with the driver, don’t give out personal details. Sit in the back of the taxi. 5.

Carry a personal safety alarm and know how to use it.

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.

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

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.

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



Learning to relax in today’s rushabout, hi-tech, highly stressed world has never been more important. As heart attack rates soar and stress-related illness becomes common, we owe it to ourselves to factor relaxation into our weekly routine. Even retirement can be stressful. How often do we pack the day with things we “simply must do” and not leave enough time to just chill out and do nothing? Sometimes we can relax in a hobby – lose ourselves in model-making or crafts, or help our bodies de-stress with a game of badminton, a session of Tai Chi, going swimming or taking a lovely long walk in the fresh air, away from phones and computers. MASSAGE is a great way to undo those knots in your shoulders and really relax your body. There are many different types of massage available including aromatherapy massage when warmed essential oils are used on the body with a variety of stroking, rubbing and kneading movements. Marie Hurst from Body Harmony, who specialises in aromatherapy and Bowen Therapy – a very gentle massage for specific problems – says that stress can be a killer. “The Japanese have an officially recognised condition called Karoshi – death from stress caused by too much work,” she stated Stress is also believed to be responsible for a variety of symptoms and illnesses from high blood pressure and heart problems to insomnia and skin conditions. “A regular massage is an excellent way of alleviating stress and promoting relaxation,” she states.


SPA DAYS AND BREAKS are a wonderful way to combine treatments with total relaxation. Usually, they are offered in hotel spas or fitness centres and involve a preplanned day or weekend of treatments like body massage, facials and Indian head massage, with the opportunity to use gym and swimming pool facilities whenever you want. A light meal at lunchtime is often included in the price.

YOGA, the ancient spiritual, physical and mental philosophy is another useful way to combat stressful lifestyles and promote wellbeing. As yoga teacher Linda Obertelli Roden from Wellbeing For Life explains: “Living with the mind and body relaxed is a natural state for us. It is only the pace of our lives that makes us forget this. “Yoga is particularly beneficial for relaxation as there are many relaxing breaths to learn as well as postures (asanas). The word yoga means union, a union of mind and body.” Linda runs vitality and wellbeing workshops and classes, often in wellknown fitness centres like David Lloyd and Virgin, She adds: “Many of my clients say they have the best night’s sleep after a yoga or Pilates class.”

MEDITATION has been practised for thousands of years and was originally meant to help deepen our understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. Today it’s more commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction. It can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind as you focus your attention and eliminate the many jumbled thoughts that tend to crowd in. Meditation can enhance physical and emotional wellbeing, offering a sense of calm, peace and balance that helps overall health. Margaret Walton, who runs meditation and relaxation courses, says that focusing on the body and on our breathing can help to focus the mind, “to bring us to the present moment, to calm us and help us find a sense of inner stillness and peace.” Margaret points out that we can be so habitually tense, almost without realising it, “that we gradually become accustomed to the sensation of living in a tense state and just think of it as ‘normal.’” She offers some clues that may help you to spot undue levels of tension, including: tense muscles, heart racing or pounding, hyperventilating or feeling light-headed, persistent tiredness or exhaustion, aches and pains, difficulty with sleeping or gritting your teeth at night, waking up tired, loss of appetite or not eating well, minor ailments like headaches, and a sense of rush and pressure. She suggests simple exercises for each area of the body. “Tense up and then relax muscle groups,” she states. “Do each exercise three times. As you get better with time at relaxing these areas, use less tension before relaxing.” Hands – Hands are commonly one of the first parts of our body to show tension. When they tense up, they tend to either clench up into a fist or to hold tight onto something. Instead, stretch out your hands so that your fingers are straight and spread out. Hold that position for a moment and feel the tension across your palms and the back of your hands. Then let your hands relax and flop beside you, or on your lap. Resist the urge to hold onto something; just let them hang loosely beside you or let them rest on your lap. Shoulders – When we are tense our shoulders are commonly raised or hunched. Instead, pull your shoulders

down, feel the tension down your arms and up your neck. Hold that position for a moment. Then let them relax and return to a natural position, not hunched. Head and neck - The neck muscles can only relax when they are not supporting the weight of your head. That is, if you are lying comfortably with your head supported in a straight line with your spine, or if you are standing or sitting with your head balanced and looking straight ahead – neither angled to one side nor looking up or down. Many of us tend to spend a lot of time holding our head in one position whilst working, for example. Rotate your head to the extent of its movement in each direction, then allow your head to return to the straight ahead, balanced position. Face – There are many muscles in our face – used, of course, for speaking eating and for facial expression, but this is one of the areas most likely to show tension. As with other muscle groups, it is possible to ten se up and then relax these muscles. You can also let all expression go from your face: let your forehead become smooth, your jaw sag with your teeth just apart (though your lips may still be closed), your eyes looking straight ahead and into the distance and not squinting. Breathing – When you are tense, your breathing tends to become faster and shallower. So, allow your breathing to come from lower down in your abdomen (this doesn’t mean inhaling a lot of air, rather just a little air but from low down). This will help you to slow your breathing down a little, but don’t actually hold your breath. Let it become gentle, easy and regular. Once it is comfortable, you may be able to slow your breathing a little more. Relaxing thoughts – Although this physical relaxation method doesn’t aim for deep relaxation it should still help you to relax mentally, too. Adds Margaret: “It isn’t possible to be really relaxed physically while being tense mentally, or vice versa.” For more details about: • Linda Obertelli Roden and Wellbeing for Life go to www. • Margaret Walton’s courses at The Wellbeing Farm go to • Body Harmony email • The General Council for Massage • The British Meditation Society 41

The Importance of Dentures quite often a dental technician must combine their technical expertise and anatomical understanding with a pinch of artistic judgement.

Choice of Removable Dentures Acrylic, Chrome and Implant Retained Acrylic dentures are typically the most affordable type of denture, being constructed entirely from rigid acrylic. There are two types of acrylic used for dentures: Standard and high impact. The standard acrylic has good strength and wear resistance with its tightly packed polymetric chains and the high impact acrylic has thinner, longer polymetric strands that knit tightly together giving a higher tensile strength. Problems associated with acrylic-only dentures are their size and thickness. Another type of denture is that of flexible plastic. These tend to be very strong and are much thinner than acrylic, but they are not suitable for all applications and can also be problematic with tooth bonding, meaning that the acrylic teeth may not always connect properly to the acrylic. The flexible denture needs to rely on a mechanical bond to the acrylic teeth and if this fails the denture cannot be repaired and needs to be remade. The eyes, nose and teeth are the focal points of the face; they give the first impressions of our personalities and also enable us to express ourselves. Natural teeth grow in proportion and in harmony with other facial features, and any set of dentures should be made accordingly to represent this natural process. Of course, aesthetics are not the only consideration. Our teeth - and, by extension, our dentures - have numerous important functions: To support your facial features, to help you to formulate speech, and most importantly to chew food and start the digestive process. This is imperative: poorly chewed food can take longer to digest, which can be particularly problematic for the elderly who could risk problems in the digestive system.

Difficulties in Constructing a Good Set of Dentures Our mouths are not designed to wear dentures, so dentures have to be designed for each and every mouth that requires them. Our mouths are as different as our faces and while some people have anatomy that is conducive to wearing dentures, some regrettably do not, so it is absolutely mandatory that great care and attention is taken during the construction process. Constructing a functional, aesthetically pleasing set of dentures is one of the most difficult tasks in the field of dentistry. Not only should the acrylic teeth be of the correct size, colour and position, but they should also be in perfect balance with opposing dentures and any natural teeth. They should be comfortable when resting on soft gum tissues and need to be retentive so that they stay in place. They need to be strong enough to withstand the huge amount of force that is put upon them whilst eating and they need to be made of safe dental materials. Our teeth and dental tissues are constantly changing shape as we grow, and the way our dentures look on the surface or the way they uphold our facial structure is also going to change. To that end, it is not always possible to translate the appearance of our natural teeth onto a dental appliance, so


Chrome dentures still employ the use of acrylic teeth and gums, but the functioning areas of the denture that are concealed are cast as either a thin frame that hugs the contour of the teeth and gums, or is simply the plate section or an integral strengthening structure. This is determined by the shape of the mouth and the position of any remaining natural teeth. A chrome denture is usually the most suitable type of denture for most people by far, but they do tend to be a little more expensive than acrylic-only dentures. Not only are chrome dentures strong but they are thin too, and it can take a moment or two to get used to not having a mouth full of acrylic. Due to the nature of a chrome denture many people also find that food tastes better, and this is because of the chrome’s ability to conduct heat and stimulate the saliva glands and taste buds. This is even more evident in some partial dentures as the palate can be completely free of any material as the retention is reliant only on the existing natural teeth. Implants are another very good alternative to an acrylic denture and they give much better retention than any other method, but implants also have their draw backs. Not everyone can have implants due to bone density or thickness and they cost considerably more than a denture without implants. The benefits of implants can be huge and in some cases, life changing. An implant retained denture works on the principle of a small metal implant (about one third the size of a natural tooth) which sits just above gum level. The corresponding denture has the attachment part embedded into it and this then clicks in to place to hold the denture firmly, but still allows it to be removed from the mouth at will.

How long should dentures last? Dentures can last for twenty years or more, but many lose their function to some extent after about five years. This doesn’t always necessitate a new set, and there are processes that can assist the fit and functionality. You should have your dentures checked at least once every twelve months to make sure they are functioning correctly. A denture that is not fitting or functioning correctly can be damaging to any natural teeth or the underlying bone structure. This particularly applies to dentures that rock back and forth in the mouth.

Cleaning and denture servicing

Dentures need attention

Being in almost constant use, the average denture is in a somewhat hostile environment. Strong acids and bacteria, either from food or simply produced by the mouth, can apply themselves to a set of dentures and seriously affect their functionality, strength and appearance. Care must be taken to properly clean and maintain a dental appliance to ensure longevity and efficiency.

A loose partial denture poses a risk to the dental health of its wearer. Loose partial dentures move around in the mouth, irritating the delicate gum tissues to the point of ulceration and pushing against the teeth, the latter of which can even cause tooth loss and denture breakage. In the event of a fracture in the dental prosthetic, your local clinical technician can remove the acrylic where the fracture has occurred and replace it with new acrylic.

Daily cleaning is imperative for a healthy denture and mouth. There are a wide range of denture creams available, and these are preferred over regular toothpaste as they are less abrasive and will not scratch the denture. A medium bristled tooth brush should be used, and preferably an electric one due to its highly enhanced ability to clean thoroughly between the teeth and other awkward areas on the denture. Even if you have no teeth you should also be brushing the denture-bearing gum tissues, and a soft bristled brush is ideal for this task. This will stimulate the blood flow and remove any dead cells. Your gums, natural teeth and dentures should be brushed twice a day. Disinfecting your denture should be done at least twice a week to keep your dentures clean and healthy, but overuse of some bleach based disinfection tablets can damage your denture so care should be taken. Clinical dental technicians also advise the frequent use of ultrasonic units as these can clean on a level that is unachievable with brushing alone. The more often an ultra sonic unit is used, the cleaner your denture will remain. You can test the effectiveness of an ultrasonic unit by placing a strip of aluminium foil into the water for a few seconds: A good quality unit will make micro perforations in the foil. This is called cavitation, and it is an excellent cleaning method. For this reason it is a legal requirement for all dental care professionals to use ultrasonic units as part of their decontamination process for instruments and devices.

Full denture wearers experiencing looseness can also be detrimental to dental health. The facial features and muscles supported by the presence of a denture can suffer by becoming strained and tense, which can cause headaches. Rocking motion of the denture can cause bone loss and beyond this, loose full dentures are often accompanied by difficulties chewing food and eating. Treating an ill-fitting set of loose dentures is typically done by re-lining the fitting surface with brand new acrylic. The fitting surface is lined adequately with soft impression material and placed back inside the mouth, whereupon the correct bite and tooth position is confirmed by the clinical technician. The denture is then removed bearing an exact impression of the surface of the mouth, from which a new dental model can be made.

The Clinical Dental Technician Clinical Dental Technicians are dental technicians that have been clinically trained so that they can provide dentures directly to the public, rather than having them provided by a dentist who may send the dental impressions to a denture technician outside of the practice. Many people prefer this method as it removes communication issues between the patient and a remote dental technician. You may need a prescription from a dentist before dentures can be supplied and you local clinical dental technician can advise you on this. For the best denture advice, contact your local Clinical Dental Technician.

01793 200048


Mobility .... helping you to keep going Mobility is one of the most prized faculties of every age group, but particularly to those of advancing years, and maintaining it in all its forms has become big business. Causes of immobility can be many and varied but the range of equipment on the market today is amazing. A problem that may have caused a life-changing situation years ago may now be solved by an appliance or equipment from the vast array on offer. Loss of mobility can be just as much of a mental shock as a physical one, so good advice for anyone suffering such a situation is to speak to someone who has experienced it for some time. This can alleviate some of the potential trauma and help the gradual change in lifestyle which may have been caused by accident, illness or simply advancing years. The high streets have many mobility shops, some better than others, and a good one should be able to advise you on what aids are available to you, how to get the best out of them and the costs involved in purchase and maintenance.

Early loss of mobility may require the use of a walking aid. Once of a day this would probably have been a conventional walking stick cut to length. Today there is a whole range of appliances, each designed for a particular kind of mobility loss.

There are many electrically propelled ones on the market so choose wisely.

You will all have seen the automated shopping trolleys available at many supermarkets and the motorised scooter type vehicles. Correctly supplied these are a boon to the disabled, and many have been cleverly designed to fold A simple fold up walking stick can be a easily into vehicles. Automatic vehicle boon to those who only feel the need lifts often come with them and there of occasional support and reassurance. Taking things a step further, if you need a is now even a person lift for helping permanent walking stick, make sure you someone into a car seat. The clever design usually has three pivotal points are shown which one is best for you. to get you into the car and can often The wooden one with the brass handle be operated by the disabled person and metal ferrule may look attractive themself without third party assistance. but is probably totally impractical for most needs. A stick rubber is usually Bathing is often a problem for disabled a necessity for safety and if you are particularly infirm you might be advised people but there are numerous aids available to assist. From shower stools to go for a three-legged end to a stick to walk in baths, you should be able to which gives additional peace of mind. find something that makes life easier. Again, take advice on what is best for Wheelchairs are a subject by you, and don’t forget that you may be themselves. If you need one I would eligible for grants to help with purchase strongly recommend that you take the and installation. advice of a physiotherapist, doctor or good mobility supplier before making a decision. Will you always have someone The greatest gift to a disabled person to push your chair, remember the strain is that of being able to get around as much as possible. of propelling yourself is considerable and may exacerbate your problems. by Graham Smith.

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DEMENTIA – Making the Most out of Life Sufferers of Dementia can still enjoy their later years and can take active steps to lessen the effects of their illnesses with help urges cognitive neuroscientist and ageing specialist Dr Lynda Shaw.

Dementia is an age-related syndrome that affects nearly 600,000 people in the UK, and is now the most common disease in the elderly. Living with Dementia is very difficult for both sufferers and their friends and families, but Dr Lynda Shaw believes it doesn’t have to spell the end of a happy and meaningful life. She strongly upholds that there are steps you can take to help Dementia sufferers enjoy everyday activities and make the most of their later years, despite their illness: “It is a common misconception that once Dementia has been diagnosed and begins to affect a person’s life, there is little that can be done to help the person. Whilst Dementia can of course at times be frightening, confusing and upsetting for both the sufferer and their carers, many of those with even advanced Dementia can still take great enjoyment from life, and it is a huge mistake to think otherwise.   “As Dementia worsens this will obviously mean a lot of changes in life, and what the sufferer can cope with will undoubtedly change over time. Try varying activities to find what works and what doesn’t, and tailor things to an appropriate level of ability so the person doesn’t get frustrated. Even simple pleasures such as a walk in the park or listening to music can help increase the quality of life of a person with Dementia, so stay flexible in your planning and be creative in thinking of activities the person will enjoy. Most importantly, always focus on the positives.”   Dementia affects people differently and can have several causes, the most common of which being Alzheimer’s Disease; its symptoms can affect memory, perception, understanding, judgement, emotions and even personality. Dr Lynda Shaw admits that there is no standard formula for how to deal with Dementia, as it depends hugely on the individual and the stage of their illness, but advises carers to invest time in activities that the person once enjoyed, and incorporate socialisation into daily routine wherever possible.    “When dealing with severe Dementia, it’s often easy to focus on the illness and lose sight of the individual. Whenever you see the person with Dementia treat them with respect and dignity to help them feel confident and valued, however advanced their Dementia may be. Equally, it is important to communicate in a clear and reassuring way to help the Dementia sufferer feel at ease. Even if the person doesn’t understand what you’re saying they may pick up on non46

verbal communication, so ensure your tone is warm and that your body language is open and friendly to avoid unintentionally coming across as stressed or irritated.” Furthermore, Dr Lynda Shaw urges there are active steps that people can take to slow the rate of mental decline from Dementia, and even to avoid succumbing to the illness altogether. Most types of Dementia are degenerative, but some causes can be stopped or reversed if they are found soon enough, and Dr Shaw believes there are many things you can do to protect yourself;   “Spotting the early signs of Dementia is crucial to being able to reduce the rate of deterioration. With the right lifestyle and guidance, we can help those suffering with Dementia in its early stages – and even those who aren’t – retain their independence and prolong their lives, and live as normally and happily as possible.”  

Tips to improve your chances at keeping Dementia at bay:

1. Keeping your brain active brain active is the most important way to avoid succumbing to Dementia. Challenge your brain daily with crosswords, sudokus, maths puzzles, or even a game of hangman, noughts and crosses or Pictionary with a friend.   2. Use your hands. Gardening, knitting, writing a diary will help improve your coordination and boost brain activity – even practice writing with your other hand to exercise the opposite side of your brain to challenge yourself!

3. Exercise regularly. Even just 10-20 minutes of walking daily can reduce the risk of Dementia through improving cardiovascular health to maintain blood flow to the brain. Not to mention the benefits of some fresh air and a change of scene! 4. Keep socialising. Arrange a weekly coffee date or phone call with friend or family member, join a book club, take up a new hobby, or volunteer for a charity in your local area. 5. Control high blood pressure by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, cutting back on alcohol intake and quitting smoking.

Tips to help those with Dementia 1. Find out as much as you can about Dementia and how it is affecting the particular person involved. That way when you talk to other family and friends about it, you are in the best position to be understanding and offer the right kind of support. 2. Let them and their family know you are there for them by making sure you stay in touch. Arrange regular meet-ups or just pop round for a cup of tea and a chat – even a quick text or phone call to let the family know you’re thinking of them can make a huge difference. 3. Be a good listener – those supporting the person suffering with Dementia often need someone to talk through things with, so ask thoughtful questions and listen carefully, and give them time to explore their feelings freely without judgment. 4. Organise a treat or outing to include the person with Dementia. Think of an appropriate activity for everyone to do together, such as a walk in the park or a trip to the seaside, and give everybody a fun day out. 5. Offer practical tips for how to make life easier for the Dementia sufferer. Small suggestions like placing useful telephone numbers by the phone or labeling cupboards and drawers can make a huge difference to daily life.

Helping Families of those with Dementia 1. Caring for a person with AD can have physical, emotional and financial costs. The demands of day to day care, changing family roles, and difficult decisions about placement in a care facility can be hard to handle. 2. Becoming well informed is really important. 3. Developing good coping skills 4. Having a strong network of family and friends also are important 5. Staying physically active helps us cope emotionally to being a carer 6. Getting support groups for respite and expression of concerns Supporting people with dementia is part of the everyday tasks for the carers at Bluebird Care Swindon. One woman in her eighties became a customer when her son was no longer able to cope with caring for his mother alone. He was having to take time off work to care for her and was at a loss to know what funding, if any, was available to help with her care. With Bluebird Care Swindon’s support, he was able to have his mother assessed and a package was put in place to contribute towards the cost of her care at home. The team now see this lady every day for six hours while her son is at work. They sit with her, talk to her, and let her reminisce about the past, as well as help her with practical, everyday tasks. He said: “As an only son and single, caring for my 85-yearold mother who has severe dementia and balancing this with full-time work eventually proved impossible for me alone and support was urgently required. Since entering our lives, Bluebird Care Swindon has made a tremendous difference for both my mother and me. They have brought a high standard of care, stability and reassurance for my mother and much-needed peace of mind for me while also providing an opportunity for me to build a life for myself without breaking the close bond with my mother. The support and advice we receive enhances our quality of life and I am, and will remain, extremely grateful.”

Call our professional team on 01793 698033 What we offer We offer everything from personal care to shopping, cleaning or social visits. In fact everything you need to stay in the comfort of your own home.


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NEW Showroom for

A family business run by David, Wendy and Oliver Dukes offering 30 years experience in kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms. We specialise in standard and made to measure kitchens, together with the largest range of made to measure replacement cabinet doors in Wiltshire. Our bathroom range is extensive, from cloakrooms to walk in showers and wet rooms. Bedrooms from Daval & Bella, with a range of sliders. We provide a fully project managed installation service to take all the hassle away.



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Swindon issue 21  
Swindon issue 21  

Local magazine for the over 50s