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W W W. 5 0 P L U S M A G A Z I N E . C O . U K FEBRUARY - APRIL 2017







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Single Supplements

André Rieu in Cologne

André Rieu’s concert really caught the imagination in 2015 when we offered this trip for the first time! And we are delighted to offer this opportunity to see him perform with Johann Strauss orchestra and soloists!

Thur 9th March - 4 Days - £369

4 star hotel name to be confirmed

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • André Rieu concert • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Single Supplements

Cosy Breaks in the English Riviera

Rolling Back The Years in Snowdonia

Fri 10th March - 4 Days - £229

Mon 20th March - 5 Days - £324

We have been operating these tours for many years now and they are always popular and often sell out. Entertainment every night at this fabulous hotel.

After a couple of years rest we return to this fabulous North Wales hotel for... Good company... Good food... Good old-fashioned fun with themed entertainment every night!

Palace Hotel, Paignton 3 star period hotel has fantastic unspoilt views across Torbay. • Spa • Sauna • Lift • Bar • Gym • Pool

The Lion Hotel 3 star hotel tastefully developed from an Olde Inn situated on Criccieth Green. • Lift • Bar

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

New Tour NO

Single Supplements

Cornwall plus a taste of Poldark

On the Trail of the Dambusters!

Isles of Scilly

Fri 24th March - 4 Days - £249

Mon 3rd April - 4 Days - £249

Sun 9th April - 7 Days - £799

Experience all that Cornwall has to offer whilst based in this lovely hotel in the unspoilt village of St Agnes. Nearby St Agnes Head is Nampara Valley in Poldark and we pass other sites.

We visit Coningsby Battle of Britain Museum where you have the opportunity to see the Flight’s Aircraft at close quarters and to observe technicians working to maintain them.

The Isles of Scilly are an archipegalo of five inhabited islands and numerous other small rocky islets 28 miles off Lands End. Scilly is a beautiful haven of peace and tranquillity.

Rosemundy House Hotel 3 star property set in 4 acres of woodland and gardens. In the evenings relax in the bar or cosy snug lounge. • Bar • Ground floor rooms

Best Western West Retford Hotel 3 star hotel in a 18th century Georgian manor walking distance to the historic town centre. • Satellite TV • Bar

The Atlantic Hotel, Scilly A delightful old inn which adjoins the harbour from which boats make daily trips to Tresco and other delightful islands.

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Ferry crossings • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

For full details visit


New Tour NO


Single Supplements

Bargain Mystery Tours

These are always popular and allow you to get away over Easter or any of the bank holiday weekends.

Fri 14th April - 4 Days - £319

Single Supplements

River and Rail in Ireland

This short break to the East Coast of Ireland is filled with treats including a guided rail your, a scenic river cruise plus more! This holiday has been full for the last 3 years so book early!

Sun 23rd April - 5 Days - £439

Call the Midwife, Canterbury and Kent

The historic Dockyard has recently been used for filming “Call the Midwife” as well as “Mr Selfridge” and is also a treat for people who like all things waterborne with its 400 year history.

Sun 21st May - 4 Days - £339

Your Hotel Obviously a secret but it will be of a good standard. There will also be interesting towns visited on the way to and back from the destination.

Royal Hotel, Bray 3 star hotel with leisure facilities. • Bar • Satellite TV • Gym • Pool • Spa • Sauna • Steam room

Bridgewood Manor Hotel 4 star hotel designed around a beautiful inner courtyard and full leisure facilities. • Bar • Satellite TV • Gym • Pool • Lift • Sauna • Steam room

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal (except last morning)

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

New Tour

New Tour

Royal Scotland

Proud Scotland was ruled by its own Kings and Queens until 1707. This fascinating heritage is combined with an enjoyable coach tour which also witnesses some of the best scenery in central Scotland.

Mon 22nd May - 6 Days - £479

New Tour

Manchester Ship Canal and Lancashire Landscapes

Trains of Saxony

Sun 28th May - 5 Days - £419

Fri 11th August - 7 Days - £675

The trip includes a 6 hour, 35 mile cruise from Salford Quays to Liverpool which is informative and awe inspiring. A day in Ribble Valley led by a local guide and the last day spent on the Lancashire coast.

Best Western Queens Hotel Dundee Situated in the bustling West End of Dundee.

Best Western Premier Leyland hotel 4 star hotel is modern and luxurious. • Bar • Satellite TV • Pool • Jacuzzi

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • 5 nights Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

This exclusive tour is a must for all train enthusiasts. Saxony offers a vast variety of little steam trains and you will travel on 3 of the best-known. Combined with cultural highlights such as the watercastle Moritzburg and Meissen Porcelain factory.

Hotel Merseburger Hof, Leipzig Centrally located 3 star hotel in a renovated neoclassical building. Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Ferry crossings • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal, 1 lunch

Book online or call: 01793 821303


It seems as though we are in luck. While surfing the realms of Twitter compiling this article for you lucky readers today, I came across some telling statistics. Now it is not my intention to bore you with mindless numbers and figures, although I have been called a ‘Statto’ numerous times over the years. Just this one will do;

failing to rise for Channel 4. When the nation’s favorite grandma, as she has been coined, announced her leave as well, Twitter and the nation went into meltdown. Just a note, if my Gran was known to party the night away on the isle of Ibiza, as Mary is known to do, I must admit I am not too sure how I would feel. As one Twitter user put it and many seemed to agree;

Literally no one is going to watch ‘Paul Hollywood’s Great British Bake Off’.

51% of adults aged between 5564 regularly use social media. This is according to the Office of National Statistics. So, at the conclusion of this article do not hold back your desire to post a Tweet on a topic of your choosing. Let your voice be heard, after all that is what Twitter is all about. Anyway, let us get into it.

Paul Hollywood & Mary Berry on the Great British Bake Off

shows. However, viewers have recently been handed a pie to the face. I imagine it failed to pass the majority of you by, that the BBC had sold the show to Channel 4. The uproar soon followed. And it soon became clear that Channel 4 had purchased a tent and a bread maker. By that, I mean the silver fox Paul Hollywood.

“Breadxit” Undoubtedly, many of you will recognize the two figures above. Indeed, for many a Brit they have become synonymous with Wednesday evenings. The Great British Bake Off or GBBO as commonly abbreviated (and hash tagged on Twitter) is one of the BBC’s most popular and well-watched

Co-Hosts, the commonly known Mel and Sue, soon after announced they would be departing from the show. I guess you could say the dough was

I for one will certainly view with interest the Channel 4 version of the show to see what they can squander together. If the show does become a dead loss, I will certainly miss 9pm in our house on a Wednesday evening when the cake goes in the oven, having spent the previous hour drooling over bake off wonders.

How to spot a Brit? It came to my attention that while writing this piece for you, Britain was celebrating the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. Now, due to my historical background I feel obliged to bring this up. So please do bear with

inside TRAVEL...






6th Floor | 120 Bark Street | Bolton | BL1 2AX Sales Enquiries : T: (01204) 860 194 E:



me. In case you did not know, the battle was fought between William of Normandy (the invader) against the English King Harold. Admittedly, I am not here to give you a history lesson, no doubt you already know this. And I am certain, even if I had not told you it was the 950th anniversary then you would know the year. Here lies the essence of how to spot a Brit. Twitter seems to be in unanimous agreement about this. Hastings Direct has long been advertising on our television screens with the catchy jingle and memorable phone number. If you are struggling to recall, it is the one with the seagull if I am not mistaken. The jingle goes, 0800… wait for it…1066. The point being calling out 0800, if one would reply with 1066 then you most certainly have found yourself a fellow Brit.

Together Again. I am sure, all of you will be familiar with the comedic and indeed, genius double act that was Morecambe and Wise. Now for the first time, they stand together again in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Begin your park home life at Blunsdon Abbey Park

The statue that has been unveiled just this month is the first of the two together while the two men, have their own individual statues respectably in Morecambe and Leeds. Blackpool is really the spiritual home of the pair. They performed numerous times at the seaside resort before their real shoot to fame. Myself being a massive fan of the pair, I feel I should take this opportunity to regale you with my own personal favorite sketch. I think it was the first clip I saw of the two and hence why it has stuck with me and I still find it hilarious to this day. ‘The Banana Boat song’, I would recommend a quick search on YouTube if you are failing to recall the sketch. A smile and a laugh I can guarantee.

Beautiful bungalow-style homes in North Swindon

Get yo’ Wellies Out.

Fully residential park � Low-maintenance homes Over-50s community � Downsize & release equity

Glastonbury, the famous British festival has sold out… again. Now do not get me wrong I understand the buzz of seeing your favorite music act up close and personal…but with Glastonbury it just is not that simple. Standard tickets for the festival, which holds 135,000 amongst its vast grassy plains, have all been snapped up. Although, many of them will now find their way upon the Internet black market selling for ludicrous amounts of money. So let us say, you were one of the lucky ones who managed to get tickets. Well currently, not one act has been announced. Oh, I do love a risk taker. Come that faithful weekend in June that band you have always wanted to see and quite possibly just sold half your material belongings for, just to get that Glastonbury golden ticket might not even be there.

exclusively for the over 50s VISIT US

ABBEY VIEW at Blunsdon Abbey Park, Blunsdon St Andrew, Swindon SN25 2DU


call us on 01793 722100

Here is the real risk though, relying on the Great British weather to provide the sort of sun and warmth of the likes of Costa Brava over a bunch of fields in Somerset. It very rarely happens. The festival campsite soon becomes a bog. You can keep the bikini and speedos in the draw for this weekend more often than not, a rain mac and a pair of wellies is usually the safest attire.






WHEN our children are younger, family holidays fall into very distinct categories – usually at some seaside venue or busy resort with enough to keep young minds and bodies occupied.

As we grow older, though, and our children become independent adults, possibly with families of their own – or as we simply opt to be a little more experimental in our choice of destinations – we start to look further afield at more adventurous and unusual holiday choices.

Exotic India For an exotic adventure, why not consider India by rail? Packed with beautiful landscapes, diverse architecture and amazing people – India truly offers something for everyone. The “Palace on Wheels” starts and ends its journey in Delhi and takes in Jaipur, Rathambore National Park, Udaipur ad Jodhpur, allowing passengers to experience the sights of India in a relaxed atmosphere. Or, you can climb aboard the Trans Siberian Express, the Eastern and Oriental Express, the Rocky Mountaineer or, closer to home, enjoy a short journey on the luxurious Venice Simplon Orient Express. If the train is not for you, though, and you would rather spend time on the high seas, there are several cruise lines that offer an all-inclusive luxury experience. And if you want to go somewhere different than the Mediterranean on your cruise, experience the splendour of Alaska or the South Pacific.



If you’re wanting to escape the often dreary UK Winter, where better to head than “Down Under” and experience the vibrant cities, beautiful beaches and awesome mountain vistas of Australia and New Zealand? Accommodation ranges from good-value motels and campgrounds to luxurious fivestar hotels or lodges.

The Orient or USA? Experience the Orient in Singapore, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur, kick back on a South Pacific island or visit San Francisco or LA. All these are possible these days and great destinations, with a great range of first-class airlines available. Looking for somewhere quite different? Many people favour the Green Season (May/June and November) when the seasons are changing. The land is verdant and the National Parks are quieter, giving you the opportunity to experience the forests, beaches and volcanoes without the crowds.

Far, Far Away? The Far East has also become a greater attraction to Western travellers with amazing tours available. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are popular for temples, beaches and the inspiring stories of human resilience. Experience the splendour of Angkor Wat and Siem Reap, the World Heritage site of Luang Prabang, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. Vietnam has some gorgeous beaches, too. Winters can be cold in Hanoi but further south the climate is kind throughout the year, although tropical downpours are common. The most popular time to visit is between November and April, with the heaviest rains between June and September. For a completely different culture, how about a private tour of China? Travel from Beijing and visit the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall before heading to Datong, Taiyan to marvel at the sandstone statues in the Yungang Caves. At Pingyao visit the walled Ming and Qing dynasty town before heading on to the Shaloin Temple and Xian to see the famous

TRAVEL Terracotta Warriors. Spring and Autumn are generally the favourites times for tours of China, avoiding the harsh Winter and searing Summer heat experienced in some of its regions.

Archaelogical Adventures Closer To Home It is said that travel broadens the mind, and especially when we explore the history and archaeology of the places we visit. The past, like a foreign country, is full of difference and interest. It underlies the character and identity of every destination, and yet it is also the wider story of humankind, and so holds familiarity and relevance for us all. This is why archaeological travel is so fascinating. It unites culture with adventure and adds value and meaning to our travels.

ARCHAEOLOGY & TRAVEL Perfect Combinations of Leisure and Interest • Minoan Crete & Santorini • Cyprus: North & South • Pompeii & Campania • Malta's Millennia • Ancient Greece

Hidden History Travel provide the opportunity for a richer travelling experience where history comes to life. The world’s historic and ancient sites are a ‘wonderbox’ of interesting things, and a veritable ark of profound insights, unsolved mysteries and great discoveries. They are often in beautiful locations too, and visiting them can get us off the beaten track to see more of the country. A useful starting point and source of inspiration are the country profiles by Hidden History Travel who describe the archaeological and historical interest of various travel destinations.

Ancient Greece Ancient Greece, for example, may seem like a distant, unfamiliar place but a tour of the ancient sites can be a profoundly satisfying experience. It’s not just the warm weather and good food; it’s an intellectual and emotional connection, a return to the cradle of our modern European world. A Greek temple, with marble columns rising into a clear blue sky, is an abiding symbol of western civilisation, and it is more than just the architecture that feels familiar; it’s the thoughts and actions of its creators, the people whose philosophy, science, art and politics laid the foundations of European culture. Well-conducted tours, offered by Hidden History Travel bring out these wider contexts for us all. It isn’t necessary to be a history buff; holidays are available which bring it all together for you, so you don’t have to do all the planning and research yourself. The best tours have a balance of leisure and interest, and knowledgeable guides who bring the sites to life. As someone once said; “a tour without a guide is like a movie without a soundtrack”. Everywhere has a story to tell, and the breadth of interest is endless; from simple everyday life to cultural beliefs, and the rise and fall of great civilisations.

Prehistoric Malta On the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta, there are Stone Age temples that predate the pyramids and which were expressions of prehistoric beliefs similar to those held by the builders of England’s famous Stonehenge. Whatever strange rituals were practised at such places, they still fascinate us today as reminders of the bigger picture; the human journey and our continuing attempts to understand life, death and the cosmos. Recent archaeological research has made fascinating inroads into our understanding of the prehistoric world of our ancestors.

• Informed Travel • Beautiful Locations • Bespoke Itineraries • Expert Guides • Local Airports

RESERVE YOUR PLACE FOR 2016 tel: (UK) 0121 444 1854 A great archaeological tour of Malta is available through Hidden History Travel.

The Real Atlantis The physical remains of the past create landscapes of memory that still resonate in our modern minds. Everyone has heard of the myth of Atlantis but how many people have actually visited the most likely site of the original city? Many scholars agree that the Aegean island of Santorini is the very place. This volcanic island erupted around 3500 years ago with devastating effects on the Bronze Age civilisation of the region, including the palaces of Minoan Crete. It is simply amazing to stand today on the rim of that volcanic crater and realise the scale of the event, and marvel at the antiquity of the island’s ancient city, incredibly preserved in ash like a prehistoric Pompeii. Then sail across to Knossos on Crete, home of King Minos and the Minotaur, to discover Europe’s earliest civilisation. Turn your next holiday into a worthwhile experience, and part of your personal journey through life. Take a tour with a specialist company like Hidden History Travel. Their expertise creates wonderful holidays that are surprisingly affordable. They have the right balance of leisure and interest, and the interest never ends when the tour ends.

To find out more about how Hidden History Travel can bring your next holiday to life with an archaeological adventure visit call them for a brochure on 0121 444 1854.





nclusive £159 holidays GREAT VALUE 5 DAY HALF BOARD BREAKS


per person

When it comes to inviting, relaxing breaks in the south, we have the ideal holiday for you. Whether you’re after family-friendly holidays, a romantic getaway or a group break with like-minded people, our eight hotels cover the nation’s finest locations. From the popular beaches of Cornwall to the cosy Isle of Wight, there’s something for everyone.

have our own fleet of executive Our coach inclusive option allows guests across the UK to travel in ches that usoffer totheoffer comfort, while enables our self-drive holidays freedom of having your own car. el from a selection of pick up Every break includes: nts across the UK. • Return coach travel (self-drive option available) • Comfy en suite accommodation

vehicle features air conditioning and on board • Breakfast & 3-course evening meal o make your journey as comfortable as possible. • Live nightly entertainment also boast friendly drivers who will warmly greet elp you settle into your pre-allotted seat and let Certificate of Excellence Awards now of any planned comfort breaks. We aim to We are proud to announce that five of our group – The Barrowfield, Devonshire,depending Daish’s, Bournemouth ou to your hotel between 3-5pm, on Sands and Claremont Hotels – have been awarded the coveted TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016. ngth of the journey. DHoalidisayhs’s

Seven fabulous locations, eight great hotels. Every break includes:

Llandudno Newquay

Isle of Wight

Torquay Weymouth






d Self-Drive

Coach an Price List






• Return coach travel (self-drive option


Isle of Wigh

Holiday &


• Comfy en suite accommodation

2017 02/12/2016



Request your new 2017 brochure now!

Daish’s Hotel

Devonshire Hotel

Bournemouth Sands Claremont Hotel • Breakfast & 3-courseTheevening meal

Don’t miss these coach inclusive breaks! Local pick up points from make it easy to get away. Price includes return coach travel from: Gloucester, Cheltenham, Swindon, Calne, Chippenham, Bristol. All offers are subject to availability and standard terms and conditions (see brochure or website for T&C’s). DATE



Daish’s Hotel – Isle of Wight


Sands Hotel – Bournemouth


Devonshire Hotel – Torquay















Hotel Prince Regent – Weymouth





Claremont Hotel – Eastbourne





Barrowfield Hotel – Newquay





Sands Hotel – Bournemouth





Russell Hotel – Weymouth





Barrowfield Hotel – Newquay





Daish’s Hotel – Isle of Wight





Sands Hotel – Bournemouth





Russell Hotel – Weymouth





Devonshire Hotel – Torquay





Hotel Prince Regent – Weymouth





Claremont Hotel – Eastbourne








Barrowfield Hotel – Newquay


Claremont Hotel – Eastbourne





Sands Hotel – Bournemouth





Russell Hotel – Weymouth





Devonshire Hotel – Torquay





Hotel Prince Regent – Weymouth





Claremont Hotel – Eastbourne





Russell Hotel – Weymouth





Devonshire Hotel – Torquay





Sands Hotel – Bournemouth





Russell Hotel – Weymouth




Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a Standard Room. Supplements apply on twin/ double rooms with sole occupancy. Optional local excursions can be booked at the hotel. Many more coach or self-drive holiday dates available in 2016. If you would prefer to self-drive, deduct £20 per person from prices shown.





n available)

Call 01202 638840 or visit quote 50PlusSWI

Somerset Hotel

Barrowfield Hotel

Hotel Prince Regent

Russell Hotel


50 Plus Travel

sponsored by just like you. There’s an extra bonus too – a tour manager who ensures that all the logistical hassles are taken care of and that the group ‘gels’ together. And then there are local guides, who share their inside knowledge and help bring destinations alive. On sporting trips, coaches are on hand to match up players, so you enjoy your games and improve too. Some of the major coach tour companies organise singles only trips around the UK and Europe too, which provides yet another option!

Beach and hotel holidays

Singles holidays by J ennie C arr f rom S ilv er T rav el A d v isor

If you’d like to flop and drop, with company when you choose, there is a wide range of places to go, around Europe or beyond. Singles’ specialists, Solos Holidays have an extensive range of places to get away to where the sun shines, the beach is glorious and the pool all yours. Quite often, the hotels they use are exclusively theirs, so everyone is a fellow solo traveller. And if activities are on offer, you’re free to join in or not. Sometimes a day on the sun lounger is just too tempting. In the UK, Solos Holidays, Warner Leisure Hotels offer hotel breaks with zero or limited supplements. Go on, why not spoil yourself?

Top Tips Singles travelling on holiday can celebrate! You are a fast-growing group of people and the options are getting more plentiful by the month. Tour operators and cruise lines are now vying to bring you the perfect trip. What could be better? We know it seems daunting when you think about taking your first trip alone – we’ve been in the same shoes. However, from all reports, once you’ve taken the first brave step, there is no looking back. You might even wonder what took you so long!

Cruises I recently spoke to a single lady in her 60s who told me she loved cruising because it is safe, she knows that the ship is secure and that should anything happen, she’ll be missed. More and more cruise lines are re-fitting or building with single cabins, all just as comfortable as doubles! And what’s more, coffee mornings and activities are organised for those travelling alone, so you can meet others in the same


situation. At dinner, singles’ dining tables are allocated, so if you’d like to be sociable, you can be. Excursion companions and dancing partners are often available too. So you can cruise around the UK coast, voyage to Antarctica or visit sites around the Mediterranean, comfortable in the certainty that you’ll be included in all the activities and well looked after. Saga Holidays have now started offering river cruises just for singles too!

Escorted tours and activities holidays These are a real joy for the solo traveller. You’re joining a friendly group, all who have a similar interest, whether it be going to historic British houses and gardens, playing tennis, walking on islands, visiting ancient Greek ruins or meeting pandas in China. There really is a holiday for everyone. And interestingly, many tour companies tell us that between a third and a half of everyone travelling this way are holidaying on their own, which means that you’ll meet others

We are frequently asked about single supplements, which can be a barrier to those travelling alone. Several cruise lines, escorted touring companies and activities holiday specialists offer same sex sharing to avoid the supplement. Just ask when booking, and if no else wants to share, you then have the room to yourself. However, many companies have great offers with no or low supplements, it’s just a question of enquiring. Always be willing to request the best price or the latest deals – you may be surprised at what’s available. These are sometimes missing from websites and brochures. Ask and you just may receive!

Fact Box: Silver Travel Advisor has produced a useful mini guide for the Solo Silver Traveller, with advice, recommended companies and contact details. To receive your free copy, go to and type ‘Guide solo’ into the search box, top right hand side. We’ll post a one out to you, or it can be downloaded electronically.


Travelling through airports by Jennie Carr from Silver Travel Advisor Airports can be heaven or can be hell, so Silver Travel Advisor have teamed up with Your Service Centre Gatwick in partnership with Sky Break, to make life just that little bit easier. You can receive a printed copy of The Silver Travellers’ Guide to Gatwick Airport, free of charge through the post or electronically, by going to www. and typing Gatwick guide into the search box, top right hand side. If you are flying from another UK airport and wish to familiarise yourself with the lie of the land, you can find real maps and terminal diagrams at www. or by visiting the airport’s own website. From Aberdeen to Southend, with many in between, this information can really help you plan your airport experience. And this is particularly helpful if you prefer to use a lift instead of the escalators, or require an accessible toilet. Many special features of the airports are

clearly marked so when you do arrive, you can confidently get to where you need to go. And should you be spending time in transit, it’s a good idea to take a look at the facilities at this airport too. It’s always worth remembering that you are entitled to special assistance, should you need it, from the door of the airport to the foot of the aircraft steps, and this should be provided by the airport. You can call well in advance to advise of your mobility requirements, talk to the airline or travel agent if you can’t find the airport number on line. You might also decide to take advantage of a ‘Meet and Assist’ service which will make certain you are well looked after, on arrival and departure.

medication in your suitcase for the hold, so you have extra in case of an emergency. And remember not to exceed the maximum of 100ml for any liquids otherwise they will be confiscated as you pass through security, which would not be a good start to your journey.

Should you need to take medication in your hand luggage, it’s worth having a doctor’s letter explaining what this is and what it is for so there is no misunderstanding in a foreign country. It is also worth packing spare

And our absolute top tip, is to leave yourself plenty of time to clear security and the find the departure gate. Having an extra 20 minutes for a cup of tea is so much better than getting stressed whilst you rush through the terminal.






Provide protection from the causes of hearing damage such as loud and harmful noises like machinery.

Identify hearing problems correctly. Many people do not know what an immensely complex system the human ear is and that it is responsible for both your hearing and your balance.

Provide relief from some cases of Tinnitus using hearing aids that balance out the vibrations in the ear.

Provide the correct hearing aid to bring back your quality of life. The advancements in hearing aid design and development provide hearing solutions tailored to you.

Hearing impairment affects 1 in 6 people Reeds Hearing Care Ltd is a family business, who advice on hearing difficulties and hearing protection. Reeds consists of David and Gillian Reed who together provide a combined experience of over 70 years giving excellent advise on hearing, as well as supplying the most popular hearing aids, along with batteries, wax guards and other equipment. 01793 692815 4 Raglan Close, Lawn, Swindon, Wiltshire SN3 1JR


| 11

Plan for your future… …To enjoy today!

When you have spent all your life taking care of your loved ones the last thing you want to worry about is leaving them in financial difficulties. Wills experts, Pooleys Solicitors, recently spoke to us to explain how their bespoke over 50’s packages are designed to meet the demands and needs of people aged 50 + who want to protect themselves and their loved ones during their lifetime and when they die. There are many ways you can plan for the future for you and your family and we often get asked ‘What are my options to help my family?’ ‘How can I ensure my loved ones are protected?’ and ‘Is it simple to do?’ The answer is yes and by using a professional solicitor you can rest


assured you have planned properly for your and their futures.

So what are your options? ۥ Making a Will: the staple to any effective future planning. Every person with assets and/or family should have a valid Will yet a staggering 2/3 people have still not made one. A Will is a powerful, legal document enabling you to let those who you love and care about benefit from your estate. It also allows you to

build trusts into it to safeguard children, grandchildren and others and can be used to minimise inheritance tax charges. • Power of Attorney: is arguably the most important document you will ever make. The lifeblood of planning for your future. A power of attorney will not only give you peace of mind that, should anything happen to you, you will be looked after and your affairs will be dealt with but it also removes some of the stress from your family at what is already a difficult time.


Think of a Power of Attorney as the most important insurance document you can have; most people don’t realise that if you lose the ability to make financial or welfare decisions for yourself, due to a disease such as dementia or Alzheimers, your partner or family do not automatically have the right to make decisions on your behalf. If you fail to plan ahead you will have no say at all in who helps with your finances and welfare. FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS, SPOUSES, PARTNERS AND CIVIL PARTNERS ARE ALL EXAMPLES OF INDIVIDUALS WHO CAN BE CHOSEN.

• Inheritance Tax Planning: the sensible way to plan. Inheritance Tax planning can seem like a long, drawn out process, but it really doesn’t have to be. By speaking to a solicitor about the exemptions and reliefs that are available, you can easily save you and your family time and money. Of course there are other ways to plan for the future including trusts for children and other vulnerable relatives, funeral plans and succession planning and it is our job to make the process easy and straightforward. Yes, it may take a bit of planning now! Yes, you may think you can put it off until a later date! And Yes, you may think it will be upsetting to discuss such issues with your family, but what can be done in a matter of hours now, can save you time, effort and stress later down the line. With 2017 upon us, now is the time to plan for your future so that you can enjoy and make the most of today with your family, friends and loved ones.

To discuss a Power of Attorney or any aspect of lifetime planning contact Pooleys Solicitors on 01793 488848; e-mail or visit our website

Pooleys Solicitors LLP will be pleased to help you with l

Conveyancing & Energy Performance Certificates




Probate & Trusts


Tax Planning


Matrimonial & Family Law


Lasting Power of Attorney

10-15 Regent Circus Swindon SN1 1PP.

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


| 13


Rod Stewart

THAT rich raspy voice, the little red rooster haircut and the cheeky grin – you immediately know it’s Rod Stewart. The enduringly popular singer at 71 is still pulling in the crowds, the hits and the accolades.

In fact, he’s just been knighted! 14 | WWW.50PLUSMAGAZINE.CO.UK

CELEBRITY INTERVIEW Sir Rod is in the middle of of a major sell-out world tour that started at the Liverpool Echo Arena and takes in major venues from Belfast to Birmingham, including London’s O2 Arena and ends in Israel. And if you thought that decades of touring had made him jaded, you’d be wrong. “What a great line-up of venues!” he stated. “These are some of my favourite buildings in my favourite cities. “I give you fair warning – fasten your seat belts. I’ma pulling out all the stops!” It’s fair to say, though, that the singer’s career has always involved pulling out all the stops. He was born in Highgate, London, the youngest of five children of a Scottish father. Young Rod had a happy childhood; there was a household interest in football and it spawned a love of the game, and a love of Scottish football specifically, that has been a hallmark of Rod’s life.

The following year was pivotal in his career. The Faces released their second album, Long Player, which did better than the first, and Rod released his third solo album, Every Picture Tells A Story, which made him a household name. The track Reason to Believe was taken from the album and became a minor hit in both counties but when DJs started playing the B side, Maggie May, the fun really started. It became No.1 in both the UK and the US. By the time Rod released his fourth solo album, it looked like his time with the Faces was coming to a close and he later moved to America. In the intervening years since those early heady years, his music has evolved much like the man himself and his hits are equally legends.

As fate would have it, along came the Small Faces and at the same time, Rod signed a solo record contract. The Faces, as they became, built a solid fan base in the UK and America, releasing an album in 1970. In the meantime, Rod released his second solo album, Gasoline Alley, and supported it with an American tour.

His love life has been almost as famous as his music, and certainly as flamboyant as his appearance. He has been married three times, previously to Alana Stewart and Rachel Hunter, and is currently married to Penny Lancaster. He has eight children.

“I think it’s absolutely marvellous being famous. I love it. I like walking down the street and being recognised. I don’t go out of my way to be recognised.”

Fortunately, music was another love in his life and he was influenced by top soul singers then like Otis Redding and Sam Cook. This was the early ‘60s and pop music was sweeping the nation. Rod joined Birmingham-based rhythm and blues group Jimmy Powell and the Five Dimensions and toured the UK.

Early in 1966, the group disbanded and Rod joined Shotgun Express, before becoming a member of better known the Jeff Back Group. This heralded a rise to stardom and where he honed his style as a dynamic, sexy lead singer. Hit records followed but, sadly, the group began to fall apart.

Rod recognises that people have certain sartorial expectations of him. As he commented: “I don’t think people expect Bruce Springsteen to come out in a pink satin jacket but Rod Stewart they do. And I like doing it, I don’t wear it just because I think I have to. I’m a very flamboyant person.”

He has never shrunk from publicity, but never particularly courted it, either. His philosophy on this is simple: “I don’t know anybody that doesn’t like being famous in the first place.

He was talented in the sport, too, and had trials at Brentford FC, in the Third Division at the time, but he was never signed.

Back in London again, he then joined Long John Baldry’s band, the Hoochie Coochie Men, which later became Steampacket and toured as support for The Rolling Stones and the Walker Brothers.

Mod clothes to the tight tartan trousers and often eye-popping fashions that helped establish his sense of style.

That Scottish heritage also makes him canny about cash. “I don’t mind buying one round of drinks,” he stated, “but I am b****y well not going to buy another.

“I’m a very flamboyant person.” The days of raw rock like Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? gave way to a smoother, very different repertoire and in the early 2000s he released a series of successful albums interpreting the Great American Songbook. In spite of changes in musical fashion, Rod has always had his fans and been a major star, probably because he has been able to adapt. And it’s worked - he’s sold more than 200 million records worldwide and is viewed as being able to sing virtually any type of song. He has always been a snazzy and contemporary dresser, from his early trademark upright hairdo - kept in place by hairspray and determination - and his

“I don’t miss a penny. I get a daily statement about where every penny is going and every investment. I wouldn’t say I worry about money, but you never know what’s around the corner. “I worry more about my children’s views on money sometimes. They’ve grown up privileged and it’s an ongoing battle they know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” His great, deserved success might have meant a lessening of his enthusiasm for getting onstage. But, as the tickets leap from the box-office for this latest tour, From Gasoline Alley to Another Country – the title of his latest album - Rod is as enthusiastic as ever about performing for the fans, who can expect plenty of his chart-toppers. Generously, though, while he is always honest about his talent, he insists that he is not the main man. “Elvis was the king,” he stated. “No doubt about it. People like myself, Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his footsteps.”

For more details about Rod Stewart’s latest tour go to WWW.50PLUSMAGAZINE.CO.UK

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HOME fortune to get wallpaper for a feature wall,” she says. “But good wallpaper often comes in wider sizes than the average roll which means it will have fewer joins and look better overall. “The average wallpaper lasts around four years in most homes before you want to replace it but really good wallpaper is still there in 10 years time, and you will probably still like the way it looks.”

How to give your home that contemporary look WHENEVER we see those posh glossy magazines showing upmarket homes and interiors or watch TV programmes featuring fabulous houses most of us wonder “how can I give my home that contemporary look?” Actually adapting the latest home interior ideas when you’re working on a realistic budget is not as impossible as it might first appear. And it’s completely possible to create a new look for your home to bring it completely up to date.

and drapes for your home, you may well be better off getting them made than buying them off the shelf,” adds Allyson. “They will fit better and last much longer, and you will be getting exactly the design you want.” The same principle applies to wallpaper. “You don’t need to invest a

Shop around for smaller items of furniture like bedside tables. “You can pick up cheaper copies in high street stores,” she says. The same applies to cut-glass drawer and door handles. “Often, just changing the handles on furniture or buying new window poles can update the room. “Clearance light fittings can be painted or sprayed, and you can add diamantes or beads on lampshades. Also, if you have throws on furniture already, invest in some really smart cushion covers and trim the existing throws with the same material.” While it’s always possible to get bargains on the internet, Allyson advises that it’s always best “to see and feel” soft furnishing items in particular. “Colours and textures aren’t always right when items arrive in the post,” she

As interior designer Allyson Houghton of Ideas Interior explains: “There are always alternative ways and tricks to get the style you want.” Unusually, though, sometimes buying bespoke rather than opting for readymade chain-store items can work out cheaper. “For example, if you want gorgeous pelmets


Cover an existing headboard in fabric to match curtains to update the room.

concludes. “Shop local – you can see everything yourself and still get plenty of bargains.” If you are updating your home interior, Allyson suggests one clever way –

“Add an oversized mirror – it creates a statement and enhances the light in your room.”

Fireplace Solutions in Swindon are an established and specialist retailer of fireplaces, stoves and central heating products. They supply a broad range of fireplaces and stoves in many kinds of materials The huge choice and distinctive styles on offer are second to none. They can also offer a bespoke solution for those who truly want something different. Fireplace Solutions are situated in Gorse Hill, Swindon. Pop in to their showroom and speak to one of the friendly helpful and knowledgable showroom assistants.

And she points to one range, Gallery Direct’s, fresh and exciting new range of accent mirrors “that will transform any room into a 1920s dance hall.” Other bang on trend ideas that can be replicated at home include turning alcoves in your lounge or living room into stylish additions. While made-to-measure bookcases installed either side of a fireplace in a traditional lounge will really enhance it, you could instead group pictures on shelves for an elegant display. Tuck away the TV, music system and other media in an alcove to add to available space and integrate them with modern cube units or fitted cabinets. And if you have an alcove space in your home-office, they’re a great place for built-in cupboards for your files and stationery.

Transform your conservatory from a unusable space to a beautiful room in just one day.... Conservatories are usually constructed to add extra living space to a home, often in the hope that they will become an extra lounge, a dining room or area to relax. It’s a common complaint through from conservatory owners that their room is often unbearably cold in the winter and stiflingly hot in the summer.

Make your fireplace the focal point. The main function of a fireplace is to provide warmth, but it can also add to the rooms style.


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HOME So what’s the answer? In 2010 the planning laws were relaxed and in the majority of cases, you can now fit a solid roof to your conservatory without planning permission. This means better insulation, keeping the room warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, and a room that you can use all year round. There are a few different options to fitting a solid roof on your conservatory, most of which require major upheaval and disruption however a Thermotec roof will transform your conservatory to a beautiful room in less than one day! Supplied by Green Space, Thermotec panels are lightweight and offer eight times better insulation than a polycarbonate roof. With U-values of 0.29, they will keep your conservatory at a comfortable temperature all year round. What’s more, the panels are manufactured to measure off site, so installation generally takes less than a day, so your roof conversion is as non-disruptive as possible. Green Space Ltd are the sole supplier of this system in the South, Southeast

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and Midlands. The system is compatible with most conservatories, old and new - plus it comes with a ten year guarantee. For more information visit Green Space Ltd online at or contact them today on 01793 208 002 and see for yourself, what a difference a day makes. Kitchens are often the heart of the home so if you’re looking to update yours consider making it into a kitchen-diner. Providing the space to cook, eat and entertain together as a family or with friends makes for a more relaxing atmosphere. In some homes, taking out a downstairs wall frees up much-needed kitchen space to provide open-plan layouts and a place to socialise all year round. Go for a more streamlined look in the kitchen with handleless kitchen units and stainless steel worktops. Add clever lighting for a touch of drama and colourful chairs to soften a contemporary colours-scheme. Consider deep blues, white and grey in the kitchen and add low-hung pendant lighting over a central island. nuimage is a Swindon based family run business with years of experience offering good old fashioned customer service. They can remove your existing kitchen and design, fit and install a new kitchen that matches your own tastes and practical requirements. Choose from a wide range of styles and appliances. All their services are fully insured and guaranteed. Book your free no obligation site visit today, call 01793 644600. Bathrooms can be updated and improved with more efficient use of space. In a small bathroom, use neutral colours that run along the floor, up the walls and even

continue onto the bath and toilet to give a feeling of never-ending space.

Fireplaces expertly installed. Warm smiles guaranteed!

Add depth to a narrow bathroom by creating a feature wall with one block colour or exposed brick. Dark colours can work well in a bathroom and can add an elegant and opulent touch. Consider adding a skylight to open up your bathroom and create a light and airy space. White furnishings may help to bounce light around this room, allowing you to inject more personality with the addition of interesting accessories. Lighting is particularly important here, too, especially next to mirrors. For a retro look in your bathroom, try hanging clever storage areas on walls and add pale pastel hues to bring the bathroom to life. If you prefer a hotel-style bathroom, try a black and white colour-scheme inter-mingled with soft grey for a fresh and modern style. Remember, too, that wet rooms are currently very popular and if you’ve got the space they can be a boon to easier living. The latest looks in bedrooms include large patterns on the walls, even if you have a small bedroom. Invest in good bed linen in the sales to make your bed look extraspecial, and look out for headboards which can really tie a bedroom together. Cover an existing headboard in fabric to match curtains to update the room.

Visit our showroom for some amazing deals!

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8 reasons you need hardwood floors in your home If you’re looking to replace an old carpet but are in need of modern, functional and aesthetically-pleasing ideas,

100 Cricklade Road - Gorse Hill - Swindon SN2 8AF Opening hours: Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm Saturday 10am to 4pm

HOME allergens – unlike carpets which are not recommended for people with eczema, asthma and other skin and respiratory ailments. 7. Durable and easy to maintain While there are many styles of hardwood flooring available, they all have one thing in common: durability. Designed to stand the test of time, hardwood will be able to cope with the traffic of your house and is also easy to maintain.

why not consider hardwood flooring? With an array of styles to choose from including engineered wood floors and solid hardwood floors you’re sure to be able to find something to suit your needs – so here are eight reasons why you should make the change.

4. They naturally complement existing décor The great thing about hardwood floors is that you won’t have to change the colour of your suite or soft furnishing as the hues and shades available tend to work perfectly with existing décor.

1. Hardwood floors look fantastic Hardwood floors have a classy, elegant and sophisticated appearance that can totally revive and revamp any room. Whether you opt for natural earthy shades of brown or prefer more neutral whites and greys, you can achieve the interior design of your dreams.

5. They’re easy to clean Hardwood floors are easy to clean. They can be swept, mopped, hoovered, polished and don’t hold onto dirt and dust like carpets do.

2. They can increase the value of your home Believe it or not, many appraisers take hardwood floors into account when valuing your property potentially adding value to the selling price. For this reason, hardwood flooring is often seen as a worthwhile investment, particularly if you want to relocate at some point down the line. 3. They can make your property easier to sell There are many things you can do to help your property sell such as increasing curb appeal but in terms of internal improvements, laying wooden floors will give your abode that sharp, fresh, buy-me-now appearance it desperately needs for a quick sale.


6. They’re great for allergy sufferers The fact hardwood floors can be kept so sparkling is great news for allergy sufferers as they provide a hostile environment for dust mites and other

8. Hardwood flooring gives you options Hardwood flooring is extremely versatile and suitable for use throughout your home, so whether you want to renovate the hallway or give your living room a facelift, this could be the right option for you. Similarly, laying hardwood in the kitchen, conservatory or other areas of the house where spillages are common can be a good idea seeing as hardwood is notoriously easy to clean. If your carpet or rug is looking a bit shabby, or you simply fancy a change, hardwood could be the right option for you. Flooring of this kind has many benefits as you can see above, but it’s also relatively inexpensive to buy and, as you can order what you need based on careful measurements, there shouldn’t be any waste.

Transform your kitchen!

With our made to measure replacement doors HUGE CHOICE Our Range of replacement doors and drawer fronts are available in vinyl wrapped, acrylic, solid woods, painted and made to any size.

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Call 01793 644600 now for a FREE At Nuimage, Unit 109 Cheney Manor, Industrial Estate, Swindon computerised design & quotation SN2 2DS SHOWROOM OPEN: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm Sat: 10am-4 pm

What a difference a day makes Transform your conservatory in less than a day with our insulated roof panels Before



“I’ve already turned the underfloor heating down. Lovely job guys, thank you!” Anne Bird, Bristol.

Warmer in winter. Cooler in summer. Quieter in bad weather. Usable all year. 10 year Guarantee.

Top 10 reasons why people install our roofs Cooler in Summer - Wave goodbye to your sauna and watch your plants thrive! Warmer in Winter - Allowing you to get much more use during the winter months without wearing the Christmas jumper. Eliminates glare - Protect against faded furniture whilst keeping your conservatory light & airy. Only excess light is eliminated with the solid conservatory roof panels. Quieter in bad weather – Excellent insulation properties also gives superb sound proofing against the elements. Usable all year round - Come rain or shine you can enjoy sitting in your conservatory Mould & condensation - Cleaner, nicer and better for your health. Reduces energy bills - The solid conservatory roof panels include 75mm rigid foam insulation which will save you money on both heating and cooling. Installed in 1 day – Less disruption, less mess, less inconvenience. As seen at Grand Designs – Listed on the Grand Designs suppliers directory. 10 year warranty - Includes additional insurance backed guarantee giving you complete peace of mind.

For more information call:

01793 208002 *Orders placed by end of March 17. Applies to orders over 8 panels. Smaller orders receive calculated discount. Not valid for use with any other offer.

U-value figure, the lower the heat loss. Remember! for an energy efficient conservatory, compare U-values and GO FOR LOW. With our latest range of intelligent Smart Glass for roofs in active blue, aqua, neutral or bronze tints and our 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.

The Conservatory Centre’s Large Showroom at Cheney Manor

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. 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! 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 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! The higher the U-value figure, the greater the heat loss will be; conversely, the lower the

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 ‘Rustique’ 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, 1.1-1.2 centre pane u value glass is the norm (Austria, for example is 100% 1.1-1.2 U-value glass). Taking into account the close proximity of the glass to the frame, this clear disparity in u values presented a problem for the more responsible PVCu frame designers. Moisture in the air is attracted to the coolest surface (the frame) forming condensation, just one reason why frames and glass should have similar U-values. The ideal conservatory will have 1.4 U-value frames 1.2 U-value glass. As a major European manufacturer, selling

frames across Europe, Bowater Group Laboratories accepted the challenge to match the frame and glass U-values, a few years ago Bowater announced the development of it’s top of the range ‘Rustique’ - 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 2017) 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 2017 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’.

The Conservatory Centre attain Which? Trusted Trader status The Conservatory Centre based at Manor Garden Centre at Cheney Manor was recently endorsed as a prestigious WHICH? Trusted Trader. Much like the successful WHICH? Best Buy Scheme, WHICH? Trusted Traders can use the icon. Each Trader is put through a rigorous assessment meaning that consumers get the best service and WHICH? Trusted Traders get the business and recognition they deserve. The Conservatory Centre is one of a very exclusive section of their industry to achieve this award.

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.

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Conservatory Centre

Show site at: Manor Garden Centre Cheney Manor, Swindon SN2 2QJ.

Telephone 01793 526691 - OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK email:


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How to maintain a perfect garden the whole year round It is always hard to maintain a thriving garden all year round, especially with the ever changing British weather. The key is to be organised in each season to make sure your garden is well-equipped to deal with the challenges it faces. Below, the horticultural team at Sopwell House - an enchanting country estate in St Albans - have provided their fool proof tips for how to look after your garden to ensure it is the envy of your neighbours. Winter Before spring arrives, tidy up your garden by removing any excess leaves and debris from your lawn and flowerbeds. It is also important to remove any garden pests ahead of the warmer months. This ensures that the new plants have a clean space to grow. Store your garden furniture in the shed as it will mean it will look its best come the warmer months. Spring This is the time to plant your summer-flowering bulbs and seeds, such as gladiolus and freesias, to ensure

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



Stockists of


Conservatory Centre

Manor Garden Centre Cheney Manor, Swindon SN2 2QJ. Telephone 01793 526691 - OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK


your garden is in full bloom by summer. Trick friends and family into thinking you have a new patio by jetwashing and cleaning away the moss from between your paving stones at the start of spring. Summer Your plants will need plenty of water during the summer months, especially if it is warm and dry. Adding organic matter and mulch to the soil will help to develop the soil’s retention of water by ensuring it does not evaporate. Keep your potted plants cool by moving them to the shade in order to prevent them drying out. Once your plants are thriving and competing for space you may need to cut back the lower priority plants. Autumn Your lawn will need some TLC before the cold weather strikes. Do so by clearing it of all dead leaves and mowing it for the last time in late October. Autumn is also a good time to plant bulbs, such as daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips, so that they can germinate and will be ready to bloom in the spring. Nestled deep within the rolling Hertfordshire hills sits Sopwell House, located in the picturesque city of St Albans. The dazzling white Georgian manor house, surrounded by acres of charming countryside, stands proudly at the end of a meandering driveway lined with blossom trees. Sopwell House’s eye-catching gardens are designed by Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medallist, Ann-Marie Powell and are a talking point for guests all year round.

Gas and electricity bills increase again! Council-backed gas and electricity tariff comparison and switching service enables households to easily check if they are getting a good deal from their energy supplier, and if not can help them to switch to a better tariff. The service is powered by energyhelpline who are Ofgem Confidence Code accredited and compare all UK suppliers. You could also get a cashback of up to £15 per fuel if you end up switching to another supplier. With potential savings of up to £616 a year, can you afford not to have a look?

The start of 2017 has seen yet more price rise announcements from the majority of gas and electricity suppliers. Unless you are on a “fixed” tariff, one where you have fixed your prices for a period of time, this will affect you. Did you know that around 20 million energy customers (mainly those with larger companies) in Britain are on a “standard variable” tariff though, which is an energy supplier’s basic offer. All these customers will be affected by the price rises. To help Swindon households combat these rising bills, Swindon Energy Matters has been set up. This

The advert below has contact details for Swindon Energy Matters. You can switch via our website or over the phone. If you have particular barriers to switching suppliers such as an existing debt to your energy supplier then please contact David Miles to find out your options. We may also be able to help you switch from a pre-payment meter to a credit meter if you wish. For more information about Swindon Energy Matters, contact:

David Miles Affordable Warmth Coordinator Swindon Borough Council 01793 463679

£££££££££££££££££££££££ £ £ £ £ £ £Swindon £ £ £ £ £ £ £Energy £ £ £ £ £Matters £££££ £££££££££££££££££££££££ When did you last compare your gas and electricity tariffs? Chances are you are paying more than you should be if you haven't checked in the last year Swindon Energy Matters is your new one-stop-shop service for taking control of your energy bills. Why not try our new on-line and telephone switching service, provided by energyhelpline, to find the cheapest deals?

w: t: 0800 093 3218 Have a recent bill or statement handy when you enquire. If you can't find one an idea of who supplies your energy, how much you pay and how often would do. Try it today and see what you could save!

It's free, it's impartial, and there is no obligation to switch. But if you do customers save an average of £300 a year, plus you could receive up to £30 cashback. WWW.50PLUSMAGAZINE.CO.UK

| 25


Out & About A guide to the amazing events around Swindon for 2017 On site there’s also a barber a florist, watch repair stall, key cutting station, tattoo artist and numerous clothing stalls. Abbey Stadium, Swindon, Every Friday, 9am - 12pm

Every Saturday, 8am - 2.30pm

Swindon Country Market

Highworth Market

Come along for an array of home

Traders sell freshly baked bread

baking, preserves, home grown

and cakes, seasonal vegetables,

fruit & veg, flowers, plants & crafts

free-range meat, plants for

on offer for you to browse.

the garden, fish, pastries and

St Aldhelm’s Hall, off Regent



Highworth Market Square,



Every Wednesday,

The 4th Saturday of the month,

Saturday and Sunday, 9am - 3pm

9am - 1.30pm

Blunsdon Market

Royal Wootton Bassett Farmer’s Market

Blunsdon Indoor Market is Swindon’s premier destination

The market has a wide range of

for bargain hunters. The market

produce from cakes, preserves,

boasts over 100 different stalls,

organic vegetables, Artisan breads,

selling anything and everything

herbs and flowers as well as quality

from domestic appliances to cuts

meats, sausage rolls, pies and

of meat, seasonal vegetables,


cakes and baked goods.

and gourmet snacks throughout the day and exclusive VIP masterclasses, along with priority entry to all other food and drink masterclasses, and a tote goody bag to take home. Enter for the chance to win a pair of VIP tickets worth up to £48 per ticket, to include a glass of fizz, red carpet welcome, access to the luxury VIP area with refreshments

Visit: www.50plusmagazine. for a chance to win this fantastic opportunity at any of our events around the UK!


A selection of stalls also caters to vegetarians. There are also local artists selling prints of animals and nearby landscapes. Royal Wootton Bassett High Street, 25th Feb - 7pm

Swindon Park Run A 5km run with you against the clock, it welcomes every one of different abilities! Running for your own enjoyment don’t worry about how fast your pace is, just come along have a go and have some fun! Reward yourself at the end of the run by heading to the Lydiard Park Café in the Visitor Centre to grab a coffee. Lydiard Park, Swindon, 26th March, 2pm - 4pm

Awakening Woods Beautiful 2 mile stroll through Swindon’s lesser know woods,

waking after winter. As soon as it begins to get warmer, plants start sprouting and trees begin to grow buds discover two of Swindon’s lesser known woods as they start to awake after their winter dormancy. Croft Sports Centre, Swindon, 29th March - 1st July

Eating out or visiting the cinema?

Celebrating modern art and design from Swindon and Wiltshire This exhibition celebrates the creativity of artists, designers and writers from this area and the influence the landscape and culture of Wiltshire has on their work. Bath Road, Swindon, Tel: 01793 466556 22nd April - 23rd April

St. George’s Day Medieval Faire Two day Medieval Faire with living history, court jester, kids kingdom, knights in armour battling, ferret racing, dancing in the evening, banquet on Saturday evening must be prebooked. Calne, Wiltshire, st-georges-day-medievalfaire-p2183673 1st May - 13th May

Swindon Festival of Literature In Swindon, during the first fortnight of May, let’s celebrate things well thought, well written, and well said! Swindon, 3rd May - 7pm

New College Variety Showcase New College are delighted to present their Variety Showcase in the Phoenix Theatre at New College. Come along to support the BTEC Performing Arts students who will be showcasing their talents to the general public to help raise money for the Performing Arts Children’s Charity. Variety refers to any type of performance that an audience may find interesting and past students have performed magic acts, musical medleys, drag acts, stand-up comedy, singing, poetry, dance and much more! It is sure to be an evening of entertainment!

Why not go by bus?

OUT & ABOUT The Phenonix Theatre, New

and recording TV shows in England


and Germany. Tours of Brazil and

Holland, Belgium and Monaco


have kept the band at the top of the big band world .

12th May - 7.30pm

The Syd Lawrence Orchestra

Come and join this wonderful

In 1967 Syd Lawrence formed

years of swing!

what was to become the UK’s most

Wyvern Theatre, Swindon

successful and longest running

Orchestra to celebrate 50 glorious

and no registration needed Sign up for Race For Life! THIS IS BEATING CANCER.

all over Europe and regularly

13th May - 21st May

featuring on many TV shows such

Devizes Food Festival

as Les Dawson, Morecambe and

Devizes hosts it’s annual food and

Wise, Pebble Mill, Wheel Tappers

drink festival. For a full programme

and Shunters and a Royal Variety

of events will be announced soon.


Please visit website for more

Lydiard Park, Swindon,

And this wonderful Orchestra


hasn’t slowed down! For the

last 20 years the Orchestra has 21st May

Chris Dean and has continued to fill theatres around the country,

Swindon Race For Life 5K and 10K

making 14 albums under his baton

Adult entry (Women aged 16+):


Half Page.indd 1

Sunny Afternoon 11/03/17 Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol Ticket & Coach: £67

Les Miserables 25/03/17 Queen’s Theatre, London Ticket & Coach: £116



Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival Each year Ageas Salisbury

been lead by virtuoso trombonist

Stepping Out 25/03/17 Vaudeville Theatre, London Ticket & Coach: £99

26th May - 10th June


Wicked 09/03/17 Apollo Victoria, London Ticket & Coach: £64

& boys aged 12 or under): £10.00 Under 6 entry (Girls and boys): free

Big Band, performing in theatres

School of Rock 09/03/17 New London Theatre, London Ticket & Coach: £69

£14.99 Child entry (Girls aged 6-15

International Arts Festival offers an exciting and varied programme of circus, music, film, comedy,

01793 821303 Unit E, Woodside Road, South Marston Park, Swindon, SN3 4AQ


Aladdin 18/03/17 Prince Edward Theatre, London Ticket & Coach: £116

Frankly Sinatra 26/03/17 Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol Ticket & Coach: £49

The Phantom of the Opera 18/03/17 Her Majesty’s Theatre, London Ticket & Coach: £73

Blood Brothers 22/04/17 Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol Ticket & Coach: £59

The Lion King 23/03/17 Lyceum Theatre, London Ticket & Coach: £79

An American in Paris 29/04/17 Dominion Theatre, Bristol Ticket & Coach: £116

09/02/2017 13:40

theatre, dance, literature and visual arts, plus a family programme for all ages. 27th May - 5th August

Iford Arts Festival The internationally renowned Iford Arts Festival (opera,

Shopping in Swindon?

picnic proms and classical cloister concerts) takes place in the exquisite performing spaces of the Cloister and Casita in the Grade 1 Listed Peto garden of Iford Manor, 6 miles outside Bath. Bradford-on-Avon, 27th May - 29th May

Real Ale and Cider Festival The festival is held at Blunsdon Station, Wiltshire’s only standard gauge Heritage Railway, and attracts beer and railway lovers alike. Blunsdon, Swindon, 2nd June - 4th June

Vintage Nostalgia Festival The Vintage Nostalgia Show is the festival to be at this year! In an area of outstanding natural beauty its the perfect place to relax and “Live Life Through Rose Tinted Spectacles for the weekend”. Warminster

Cheltenham 26th Apr - 1st May

Music - Cheltenham Jazz Festival Headlining The Big Top on Sunday 30 April is The Chick Corea Trio. A 22-time Grammy-winning jazz legend, pianist and composer Chick Corea is a tirelessly creative spirit who has touched an astonishing number of musical bases throughout his illustrious career. He has attained living legend status after five decades of unparalleled creativity, with many of his compositions now considered jazz standards. He will share the stage with bass virtuoso Eddie Gomez and drum titan Brian Blade. Other names confirmed for 2017 are acclaimed jazz/funk collective Snarky Puppy fresh from their second Grammy-win, and the genre-defying multiinstrumentalist Meshell Ndegeocello. Cheltenham

Why not go by bus?


Food Festivals

Prospect Hospice

Thursday 20th April 2017 1pm-4:30pm

Friends of Prospect, Marlborough

Prospect Hospice Easter Raffle 2017

12th May - 14st May

Foodies Festival - Bristol

Join in the fun at Bristol’s favourite food festival. Watch Michelin star chefs and MasterChef winners cooking their favourite recipes and giving you top tips. Taste new flavours at the artisan food market. Enjoy baking with Great British Bake Off winners and top chocolatiers. Feast on Street Food from around the world. Join champagne, wine, beer and cocktail masterclasses. Try signature dishes from a selection of top restaurants. Enjoy live music and a fun day out with family and friends. Bristol, bristol-food-festival/

Open afternoon, Prospect Hospice, Out Reach Centre, Savernake Hospital, Marlborough. Prospect Hospice are looking for local friends to come together to support our work, by organising their own events and activities in the community, with the support from our events and community fundraiser. Our friends groups are a great way to get involved in your community, meet new people, develop your events and organising skills all while making a difference to

Would you like to win £5,000 worth of cash prizes? Well you could be in with a chance if you play Prospect Hospice Raffle this Easter. Play online today at easterraffle or call 01793 816161. Please note the closing date is midnight on Sunday 9 April. The draw date is Thursday 13 April. Winners will be notified by post.

Join your local hospice lottery

Every week someone wins £1,000 Plus many more prizes to be won

27th May - 29st May

Foodies Festival London

Feast in the Street Food Avenue; learn to bake in the Cake and Bake Theatre; enjoy afternoon tea in the Vintage Tea Tent; taste wine, champagne and craft beer in the Drinks Theatre; buy from local producers in the Artisan Market; kids enjoy the Childrens Cookery Theatre; live music on the Unsigned Music Awards Stage; enter the Chilli Eating Competition; refreshing cocktails from the Bar Bus and Pimms Teapot, and have a fun day out in the Deco Noir VIP experience. Syon Park, London,

30 | WWW.50PLUSMAGAZINE.CO.UK to join or call 01793 816190 for more information



Pr spect Hospice

L t te ry 4


A chance to win, a way to care


to p l



Registered with the Gambling Commission

Registered Charity Number: 280093

local people. We look forward to welcoming you. Throughout 2017

Open Gardens Would you like to open your garden for Prospect Hospice? Whether it’s to host friends and family, or to welcome the local community, we would be delighted to hear from you. Visit opengardens call 01793 816161 or email fundraisingandevents@ Saturday 27th – Monday 29th May 2017

5th March and 2nd July

Parachute for Prospect Registration fee £50 Minimum Sponsorship £395 For fear-conquerors and adrenalin junkies alike - take part in one of our tandem skydives and you can experience jumping out of a plane at 10,000 or even 15,000 feet, whilst raising invaluable funds for Prospect Hospice. After 30-60 seconds of complete freefall your parachute will open and you can enjoy a bird's eye view of the beautiful Wiltshire countryside below you. Find out more at

the illuminated surprises along the way. To register or for more information please visit

Pop in for Prospect Coffee Morning, Highworth The second Wednesday of every month 2-4pm Stop in to St Michael’s Church room on the second Wednesday of every month for tea, coffee and cakes and help support your local hospice. First Monday of every month 8pm start

Source to Sea Challenge

Saturday 24th June

Registration Fee £50 Minimum Sponsorship £400. A three day challenge for Prospect Hospice that follows the river dart from its source in the heart of Dartmoor, to where it meets the sea. Trek for 2 days across the rugged terrain of the moors and canoe 11 miles down river to meet the English channel on the third day. Find out more at

Starlight Walk, Swindon

Pub Quiz at the Calley Arms, Hodson

Help Prospect Hospice celebrate 10 years of the Starlight Walk! Walkers have been supporting the hospice nursing care and helping light up the night for 10 years – this year’s walk will be a great party to celebrate everyone’s hard work. Take part in either 10km or 15km routes around Swindon and enjoy

Come along to this well attended quiz in aid of Prospect Hospice. With multiple rounds of general knowledge questions, the fee to take part is only £2 per player with half the money collected being awarded to the winning team as a cash prize. The other half is donated to Prospect Hospice.


| 31

CELEBRATING COLOUR IN ACTIVE AGEING Have you ever considered the impact of colour as we age? Helen Venables, Managing Director of House of Colour does; every day with her clients and 100-person team in fact.

COLOUR - THE POWER OF BEING POSITIVE “Colour is key to every part of our lives and we see every day how what you wear can affect how you feel. For example, the right colours make us feel positive and full of vitality whilst the wrong ones drain us and can alter our moods negatively. This becomes increasingly obvious in how we dress as we age and in my view the more we embrace our true colours, the more we can influence how we feel and how others feel about us. “Given that, whether we like it or not, we make decisions about someone and the way they look within seconds of meeting them, we need to consider what message we want to give others - perhaps that we are stylish, fun or professional? Many clients come to us because they are on emotional journeys, perhaps they are having a milestone birthday, have lost their style confidence or something significant has happened in their lives such as divorce or retirement. “Whilst most of us know being active is important to combat heart disease, diabetes, and dementia, how many of us think about the link between positive emotional stimulation and good ageing? Our levels of dopamine and serotonin naturally increase when we are happy and energised, and cortisol is suppressed. In fact, a positive outlook in life is thought to be able to add up to eight years to a life, so if we know colour affects our moods and outlook, then we know that colour is important as we age.” So how else do we know colour is important in ageing? Psychologists have documented that colour does more than appeal to the senses. It also boosts memory by helping us to process and store images more efficiently than black and white would. People suffering from dementia may have visuo-perceptual difficulties, for example they may mistake a blue coloured floor as water or may


have problems telling the difference between blue and purple.

AGEING STYLISHLY Venables argues every decade or so, we change the way we dress because the psychological drivers to keep us feeling attractive and healthy change with age. “For women in their 50’s in particular, there is often a stark realisation that weight, skin and physical appearance are changing. For those in their 60’s, many will be coming to the end of a career. In our 70’s plus we may feel most positive through the gift of grandchildren.” Our skin also changes, intrinsically because it may become more dry and atrophied, with loss of elasticity and new fine wrinkling because of hormonal changes and a decline in tissue function; and extrinsically because of exposure to ultraviolet light including altering pigmentation and collagen degeneration. Whilst we don’t change so much as we age that our colour seasons alter, we can apparently shift within our season. “We suggest that clients get re-rated every five to seven years to check that their wow colours haven’t shifted slightly because, as we age, we lose some of the contrast in our natural colouring which fade with time. The right coloured make-up is a good way of adding the contrast back into natural colouring. “Essentially wearing the right colours, feeling great about ourselves, and shining rather than becoming increasingly invisible is a vital part of active and positive ageing.”

THE PROCESS OF COLOUR ANALYSIS House of Colour personal stylists use a selection of either yellow or blue based colours to test what suits each client. Fabric drapes are held against the face to determine the most appropriate range of colours, aptly labelled: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Accessories and make-up are also discussed as part of the programme to assess what really suits the client and what makes them look healthy. The process consists of wearing a white cloak, facing the mirror with hair tied

back in natural daylight to stop any distractions. Colours are compared with the pigments that sit underneath someone’s skin to determine which colours of clothing and accessories lift the face, and which ones are more unflattering. HISTORY OF COLOUR ANALYSIS In the 20th century the Swiss artist Johannes Itten, who worked and taught at the Bauhaus School of Art in Germany, is attributed with being the first person to associate colours with four types of people and the twelve point colour wheel which is widely used today on paint charts for home decorators, in dyeing kits and in hairdressers' colour charts. Itten and others, through their involvement with colour, established that each individual has a basic skin pigment which falls into one of four groupings which are defined by the unique combination of depth, hue and tone; in colour analysis these have become known as Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter because of the pattern of colours found in each group. Two of these groups reflect warm-based colours which complement Spring and Autumn; the other two reflect cool-based colours which enhance Summer and Winter. Robert Dorr, an artist who knew of Itten's theories of colour groupings, questioned his medical friends who confirmed that the make-up of the skin's layers can be tinged slightly blue or yellow. The base colour or undertone gives the hue while the surface colour is known as the overtone hence someone can be blue-based with yellowish overtones or yellow-based with a bluish look. The 'Image Consultant' was born.

FASHION KNOW YOUR NEUTRALS It is always sensible to ground most of your core investment pieces (suit, skirt, trousers, jacket) in a darker neutral and add your best colours for impact through your tops, jewellery, bags, lipstick, shoes or other accessories. Don’t be shy. Neutrals are a wonderful foundation for work but colour is likely to make you more memorable than if you were in just black and white. Psychologists reckon you are up to 10 per cent more memorable if you pick a colour, even in its neutral tone. If you’re a winter palette, consider silver, charcoal, indigo, navy, mole and stone. They are a simple but a fun variation to the typical black, white and grey. If you’re a summer colour theme, pink beige, mushroom, rose brown, winter white, french navy, dark blue grey, light blue grey, airforce blue and burgundy. Burgundy also works wonders as a bold lipstick or can be blended into a smokyeye for a change to typically bare-faced, work make-up look. For those with an autumnal palette, pick dark brown, tan, oyster, coffee, camel, beige, khaki, lizard grey, dark olive, bronze and a marine navy. Particularly for accessories like shoes, belts and coats. This will add diversity to a classic work wardrobe and help to make you stand out and increase your confidence at work. Spring colour themes can be made neutral with choices like chocolate, beige, dove grey, light dove grey, bright navy, oxford blue, tan, honey, oatmeal and cream. Blues work well as flattering skirts or trousers and creams look lovely on top as a blouse, jumper or cardigan. Don’t be afraid to mix in current colour and fabric trends with traditional business wear as long as they fit within your style. It’s all about adding your own twist to your outfit. Be confident and comfortable and be visible for all the right reasons. When you want to add colour and make your outfit more memorable, a bright scarf or tie can add a pop of colour to a predominantly neutral outfit. A great way to inject colour and add impact is to wear your neutral seasonal colours but carry a statement colour tote handbag or bag. See what reaction you get. At work, perhaps wear a bold colour or pattern in just one item of your outfit. For example, without being over-the-top or flashy, you could pair a red dress with a neutral cardigan, tights and shoes.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WINTER COAT 1. See a coat as an investment rather than a typical clothing purchase; you will be wearing it more than any other item during the cooler months. Take your time to find exactly the right one. 2. A classic coat in your seasonal neutral colour never goes out of style and you can create different looks with scarves, boots, or an amazing hat and of course a fabulous handbag! Accessorising is an easy way to change the look of your coat in an instant. If you are a warm coloured person for example, try a pop of the right shade of orange as a scarf with a dark brown coat or lift a grey coat with a splash of red if you are a cool palette! 3. Choose a colour that lights up or adds warmth to your face and do not be afraid of patterned fabrics that include more than one colour. Winter coats do not need necessarily need to be dark. If you can afford it, I recommend having one classic neutral coloured coat from your seasonal palette, perhaps chocolate, camel, grey or dark blue, depending on your season and a second coat in red or another of your brighter wow colours. Match the coat to your mood, outfit and where you are going. 4. Be practical rather than being overly concerned with trends when buying a coat. The weather at this time of year is why you need a coat in the first place so

you need one that can put up with most varied conditions. Will you be swishing around elegantly at Christmas parties or doing the school run and supermarket sweep? 5. What shape suits you? If you have a tall, narrow frame you are likely to be able to pull off a long, tailored coat with button detail. If you’re smaller than average, a knee-length coat will suit you perfectly and is great for showing off your legs too. 6. There are no set rules of course, but if you have a larger frame, opt for smooth, less bulky fabrics that offer lots of movement and hang well. 7. If you find the perfect coat but you don’t like the buttons, simply change them to something that better suits your style. 8. Don’t forget, you could be wearing layers and chunky knitted jumpers under your coat so make sure there is enough room – especially in the sleeves. 9. Colourful winter wear can lift your mood and energise you when its dull and dark outside. To help you find the right colour, do an online search for your favourite coloured coat but make sure you go in to the shop to try it on. 10. Think about how it makes you feel. If you look fabulous and feel a million dollars when it’s wrapped around your body, then it’s the right coat. Now for a matching handbag…!


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TOM KiTCHiN - KiTCHiN SUPPERS This is one of my favourite Sunday roasts. You can’t get much more British than a leg of lamb, but serving it in this way gives a certain Mediterranean feel and flavour, which makes the dish seem light and fresh. Infusing the lamb with flavourings like rosemary and fennel seeds makes it deliciously tasty. Most side dishes work with lamb, so choose your vegetables according to the season. You might also like to serve new potatoes alongside here, or a potato gratin.

ROASTED LEG OF LAMB WITH RATATOUILLE-STUFFED TOMATOES SERVES 4 1.2kg boned and rolled leg of lamb 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped handful of rosemary sprigs, leaves only, roughly chopped 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon fennel seeds sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 250ml lamb stock or chicken stock 50g butter STUFFED TOMATOES 4 large tomatoes on the vine olive oil for cooking 1 onion, peeled and diced 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 1 tablespoon dried herbs de Provence 1 courgette, diced 1 aubergine, diced 1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and diced

Place the lamb on a board. In a bowl, mix together the garlic, rosemary, cumin and fennel seeds. Using a sharp knife, pierce little slits all over the surface of the lamb. Using your fingers, push the rosemary and spice mixture into the cuts. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Put to one side. To prepare the tomatoes, snip them off the vine, but leave the stalks intact. Cut a slice off the top off the tomatoes, removing about a quarter, and reserve these lids. Using a teaspoon, carefully scoop out the juice and seeds from inside, leaving the shells intact; set aside, along with the tops.

will absorb quite a lot. Add the red pepper and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the seasoning and take off the heat. To cook the lamb, heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Heat a heavy-based ovenproof pan over a medium-high heat and add a little olive oil. Add the lamb joint and colour on all sides, allowing 3–4 minutes. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, fill the tomatoes with the ratatouille and put the lids back on. Stand the stuffed tomatoes in a small roasting tray. Add the stock, butter and a drizzle of olive oil to the tray.

For the ratatouille stuffing, heat a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add a little olive oil. Add the onion and cook slowly for 3–4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and dried herbs.

When the meat has been roasting for 15 minutes, turn the setting down to 160°C/Gas 3 and put the stuffed tomatoes into the oven. Roast the meat for a further 20 minutes, along with the tomatoes, basting these with the pan juices from time to time.

Now turn up the heat and add the courgette, aubergine and some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for a further 3–4 minutes; you may need to add more olive oil as the aubergine

Rest the lamb in a warm place for 10 minutes. Slice the meat and serve with the stuffed tomatoes, spooning over all the pan juices.


SMOKED SALMON & SPINACH LASAGNE This comforting pasta bake is easy to prepare and always popular. The recipe is based on a Scandinavian dish that my wife Michaela has been making for years. It’s absolutely delicious and has the added advantage that it can be prepared in advance, ready to bake and serve when required.

Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 1–2 minutes. Slowly stir in the milk and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. For the lasagne, melt half the butter in a heavy-based pan over a medium-low heat. Add the leek strips, season with salt and pepper and sweat gently for 2–3 minutes. Add the spinach leaves, a handful at a time, along with the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Drain off the excess liquid. Use the rest of the butter to grease a large square or rectangular ovenproof dish. Cut the smoked salmon into small pieces, roughly 2cm square.

Serves 4–6 Béchamel sauce 75g butter 75g plain flour 850ml milk sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Lasagne 25g butter

1 leek, trimmed, washed and cut into strips 400g baby spinach 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 400g smoked salmon 300g Cheddar, grated 8–10 lasagne sheets 4 dill sprigs, roughly chopped, to garnish

Spoon a layer of the béchamel sauce over the bottom of the dish and layer a third of the lasagne sheets on top. Spoon half of the leek and spinach mixture over the lasagne, followed by a good third of the smoked salmon, then cover with a third of the remaining béchamel and sprinkle some cheese over the surface. Repeat the layers of lasagne, leek and spinach, smoked salmon, béchamel and cheese, then cover with a top layer of lasagne. Spoon the rest of the béchamel sauce on top and scatter over the remaining smoked salmon and grated cheese. Bake for about 45 minutes until the top is a deep golden colour. To check that the lasagne is cooked, insert a knife in the middle; it should meet with minimal resistance. Scatter the chopped dill on top of the lasagne and serve, with a crisp green salad on the side.

FIND YOUR PERFECT RETIREMENT HOME WITH QUICK MOVE PROPERTIES • Do you dream of owning a low maintenance property? • Are you looking to downsize upon retirement? • Can’t find the perfect property? We know that finding your dream home isn’t easy and the whole process of buying and selling a home can be stressful and time consuming. With over 18 years experience, Quick Move Properties have access to a wide range of retirement properties around the UK. We can help you find your perfect next home and you can even use the capital from your existing home to secure your move! Just tell us your requirements and leave the hard work to us, it really is that simple! Call:

01793 840917 or visit:


| 35


MUSHROOM BRIOCHES The idea for this savoury brioche came from one of the legendary chefs I once worked for in Paris, Guy Savoy. I love its earthy mushroom flavour, especially with pâté or alongside a soup. Served slightly warm or toasted, it is just heavenly.

Makes 10–12 mini brioches 180ml lukewarm milk 1½ sachets active dried yeast (10g) 4 free-range medium eggs 560g plain flour 15g salt 50g sugar 340g unsalted butter, softened Mushroom duxelle 400g button mushrooms, cleaned 20g butter 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Eggwash 2 egg yolks beaten with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt

Pour the milk into a jug, sprinkle on the dried yeast and leave for 10–15 minutes, until the yeast is fully dissolved and the liquid begins to froth. Add the eggs to the yeast liquid, beating lightly to break them down. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix briefly. Now, with the motor running, slowly pour in the yeast, milk and egg mix. Continue to work on a medium speed for 5–7 minutes. Once the dough appears smooth and elastic, begin adding the butter, little by little, until it is all incorporated. Continue mixing for a further 5 minutes. When ready, the dough should appear very smooth and shiny. Turn the dough out into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size; this should take about an hour. In the meantime, prepare the mushroom duxelle. Chop the mushrooms into small dices. Heat a heavy-based pan over a medium-low heat. Add the butter and, once melted and foaming, add the mushrooms, shallot, garlic, dried herbs and some seasoning. Cook for 3–4 minutes to soften and release

Kitchin Suppers by Tom Kitchin (Quadrille £12.99) Photography: Laura Edwards



all the liquid from the mushrooms. Then increase the heat to drive off the liquid; the pan should be quite dry. Set aside to cool. Lightly grease and flour 10–12 metal rings, 7.5cm in diameter, and stand on a baking sheet. Turn the risen dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a rectangle, about 40 x 20cm and 1cm thick. Spread the mushroom duxelle on top of the two sheets of dough, leaving a 1cm margin along the edges. Starting at a long edge, roll each rectangle of dough up like a Swiss roll, finishing with the seam underneath. Cut into 7.5cm lengths and place in the prepared rings. Cover with lightly oiled cling film and allow to prove until they have almost reached the top of the rings. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Brush the brioches with eggwash and bake for 15 minutes until deep golden. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve while still slightly warm.


The Mobility Store The Mobility Store is pleased to announce their arrival in Old Town Swindon. You will find Swindon’s largest range of walking sticks and mobility aids at the new store on Devizes Road, as well as a wide range of scooters, rise and recline chairs, daily living aids and all the warm and friendly expert advice you’ve come to expect from The Mobility Store. If you aren’t local to Old Town you can always head to one of The Mobility Store’s other branches, they have stores on Cricklade Road (Clive Parade), The Ellendune Centre in Wroughton, Marlborough or Bourton-on-the-Water. You’ll find an extensive range of quality, British made Sherborne Rise and Recline Chairs at any of their four sites. With 72 different models and over 160 quality fabrics or 25 quality leathers to choose from there is bound to be a Sherborne Care Recliner suited to your needs.

If you like to stay on the move then come in and view the range of mobility scooters from Pride, Kymco & most leading manufacturers. Prices start from £495 with a range of brand new and second hand scooters available. If you’re visiting family or just out for a day trip we also hire out scooters and if your own scooter is in need of a repair or maintenance get in touch.

MAKE LIFE EASIER On the move: Mobility scooters Footcare: Mobility scooter repairs shoes and slippers Large range of mobility aids Footcare appointments Hire services FREE Hearing health Stairlifts The Mobility Store 7 Clive Parade Cricklade Road Swindon SN2 1AJ

01793 701313

THE MOBILITY STORE 54 Devizes Road Old Town Swindon SN1 4BG

01793 436800

Rise and recline furniture Adjustable beds



01672 511550



Unit 9A Ellendune Shopping Centre Wroughton SN4 9LN

Lansdowne Bourton on the Water GL54 2AR

01793 815083

01451 810088



| 37

All staff should be fully trained on using equipment such as a hoist, to help bear your weight safely, if needed.

Keeping you safe and secure in your own home

How to choose the right Home Care Whether you’re choosing a home care company for a family member or starting to plan for your own future, there are several important things that you should consider. Here are a few useful pointers to help you along the way.

It’s the job of the home care company staff to make sure that you are safe and secure in your own home when they are working with you. Every home care company must have procedures in place to protect those using home care services, to reduce the risk of accidents, and protect people from any form of abuse including physical, emotional and financial abuse. This will also include an agreement about gaining access to your home. Care workers should have ID cards to show their photograph, their name, the company’s name and contact details. Home care companies must also have a policy in place that sets out how staff should handle money, if you ask them to buy things, or to pay a bill for you.

Paying for home care It’s important to know the cost of home care and you should always be provided with a clear idea of costs for home care services. In most cases, companies will charge different rates for home care on weekday, evenings and weekends. There is also often a higher rate on Bank Holidays. Remember to ask if there will be any additional costs that you need to know about.

Your chosen home care provider is there to look after you. They should help you to make your own decisions and support you in maintaining your own independence. That also means treating you with respect, valuing you as a person and respecting your privacy. If you need assistance with tasks such as dressing, bathing and toileting, you have the right to choose your carer, whenever possible. Remember, it’s your care and you have the right to be involved in every aspect of your care. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for a family member or friend to be kept informed about your home care too.

Before your home care starts

Home care company standards

So you’re thinking about using a company to provide home care? But how can you make sure that the home care provider you choose treats and cares for you in the right way?

If you have been assessed by Social Services as being eligible for care and support at home, and Social Services have agreed to, fully or part fund your care (dependant on your financial assessment), you can choose to have the Care Company Social Services appoint, or you can choose to have Social Services provide the money to buy, some or all of, the support you need using something called a “Direct Payment”. The Direct Payment option allows you greater flexibility and freedom in how your care is provided. You can choose to employ your own ‘personal assistant’ or decide to work with the care provider of your choice. Your local Social Services team will be able to advise you further.

Initial home visit by a home care company

Check what you are being charged

During the initial home visit by the home care company, they will carry out a detailed risk assessment of your home, as well as a manual handling assessment. This is important, as it will identify how the company staff will move you safely around your home, if assistance is required.

All costs should be written into the contract between you and the company and you should be invoiced at regular intervals for the previous months’ service. In most cases, the home care company will keep timesheets that you will need to sign. Always check that they have logged the correct length of visits. It may seem

All companies have a ‘Statement of Purpose’ that sets out their aims and objectives and the type of the services they offer. If you’re employing a company, they should give you a contract explaining all terms and conditions. This will include things such as their confidentiality policy – for example, how they will hold and use personal data. All home care company employees should also have clear written guidelines and follow robust procedures on how to administer and assist with any medication needs.


It’s important to always make sure that the home care company you choose visits you at home, before care starts. This will give you the chance to discuss your requirements in detail to ensure that you’re happy with your choice of provider. A good home care company will answer any questions you may have during this visit. The visit will also give the company the opportunity to see the environment in which they will be working. If possible, arrange for a family member or friend to be there when the home care company visits.

CARE easier to sign only once a week but if you do this you may be charged the incorrect amount and it will prove difficult to prove otherwise.

Automated care worker monitoring Some home care companies have electronic monitoring so care workers can ‘check in’ using their mobile phone or put a pin number into your landline phone.

There is no cost to you when they use this system and it records the exact length of time that your care provider has been with you. This system also helps the home care company to highlight any missed calls by the care worker, reducing the risk of you not getting a call.

Top 10 key questions to ask when choosing a Home Care company

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Can the company provide the care needed, and have they provided care before for someone with similar needs? How will the company and staff respect your privacy and dignity? Have they taken the time to understand your personal likes and dislikes?

How do they match the most suitable care worker to your needs? Will they arrive at the time you have requested. Will you always have the same person caring for you. What happens if they are sick or go on holiday? What charges will you be expected to pay (Is there a minimum charge)? And how you will be invoiced? Is the company insured to protect your safety and interests? Do all care workers undergo a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check before being employed? And what ongoing training do they receive? Does the company have a copy of its latest inspection report available for you to look at? Can the company be contacted outside office hours or in an emergency? Will the company give you a copy of their standard contract to read before signing?

How can Bluebird Care Help? Bluebird Care is a national provider of care in the home. We specialise in working with customers and their families that require care in their own homes. We offer a unique service of tailored care visits from 15 minutes to full live-in support. The ethos of Bluebird Care is Good Old-Fashioned Service with a “can do” attitude, which has been built around a passion to deliver high quality care and an excellent level of service. Our aim is to allow our customers to maintain their independence and dignity by putting together a bespoke care package which allows them to remain in their own homes safely and holistically. For those customers not wishing to approach Social Services regarding their own care of that of a loved one, our Care Manger will visit the person in their own home (or hospital) to better understand the person’s requirements, answer any questions (including the 10 mentioned), discuss funding options and put in place a care plan to ensure the person remains safe and as independent as possible in their own home.

CARE VISITS AT HOME We care passionately Bluebird Care (Swindon)

Suite E6, Gemini House, Groundwell Industrial Estate, Swindon SN25 5AJ

Telephone: 01793 239499 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.

Alternative Bluebird Care offers a realistic cost effective alternative to residential care. With familiar friends, relatives and possessions around, Bluebird Care ‘just happens’.

Our staff Our staff are caring, trained to give medication and police checked. WWW.50PLUSMAGAZINE.CO.UK

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Swindon issue 32  

Local magazine for the over 50s includes travel, lifestyle, health, home

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