Around Town Magazine Billericay October Edition 2017

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AY E R I C L L I B T I O N E D I 5 9

Mia’ s

First s Christma

Personalised

hristmas Merry Cummy M xx

Christmas Cards Wrapping Paper Christmas Clothing Canvas Prints

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20% diScount for StudentS & free eYe teStS for kidS! Your local independent optician

Stratton Opticians,14 The Pantiles, Billericay, Essex, CM12 0UA TEL: 01277 650584

• Now Registering new patients. • NHS work undertaken • Dyslexic visual assessment for adults/children available • We use Nikon spectacle lenses that come with a premium anti-glare/scratch uv coating as standard • All Contact lens work carried out • Free parking / wheelchair access • We accept prescriptions from other opticians We stock designer eyewear brands exclusive to us in Billericay including Bvlgari, Prada, Rayban, Ralph Polo, Tiffany & Co, Tom Ford, Silhouette and Hugo Boss, as well as a large range of spectacles to suit all requirements.

We take extreme pride in the care of all our patients and offer a very personalised service. Our reputation in the local community speaks for itself. We welcome enquiries from new patients. Please contact us on 01277 650584 for further assistance.

www.Strattonopticians.co.uk

We are welcoming new Private/ Denplan patients

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The Pantiles

15

The Pantiles Dental Practice

01277 658374

If you have any friends or family who would value our services, we’d be delighted to welcome them to the practice. Call now on 01277 658374 to arrange an appointment at our Dental Surgery in Billericay, Essex (near Stock).

Why Choose Us? • Experienced and a Friendly Team • Full discussion of your dental care • DEPPA risk assessment & report for dental health available • We offer same day emergency appointments • Nervous patients are welcome • Denplan Excel Accredited (Quality Assurance) • Wide range of treatment options • Disabled access all on ground floor • Ample free parking

Are you looking for a new Denplan dentist? Step in and ask us how we can help look after your smile.

www.pantilesdental.co.uk

New patient offer - your first check-up for £60 (inclusive of x-rays) - normally £90



CONTENTS

10

John Baron

12

Recipe

14

A View from the Church

16

Political Update

Parkin Cake

Rev. Paul Carr

Nature Notes EWT Volunteer Neil Sumner

33

Around Town Sports

38

Travel

Focuses on Netball

34

Rotary Club, Lions Club & Round Table

40

James Blower

36

What’s On

42

When and Where...

Deux Sevres, France

The Savings Guru

Useful Numbers

Copyright 2017. Around Town Billericay is an independent magazine and does not endorse the products or services that appear in the magazine. Opinions expressed in Around Town do not necessarily represent those of the editors of Around Town Magazines. Around Town Magazines are published by Black Square Print Media Ltd produced by Black Square Litho Ltd.

Around Town Magazines Graphic House, Radford Way, Billericay CM12 0DX

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The Coach & Horses

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We are a local business in Margaretting and have been supplying homes around Essex with quality fresh fish and seafood for over a year now. It was set up by Jason Sykes, who has over 30 years experience in the fresh food business.Not only has he worked as a butcher but also a Fishmonger and this is where his filleting skills can provide you with quality fresh fish prepared exactly how you would like it."I pride myself on providing a top class bespoke service" Jason says," The idea behind Plaice`n`order is service, choice and convenience for the customer".

Jason explains" Fresh fish is a perishable product, more so than meat, so we only source your fish when you order, hand picking only the best grade, ensuring you have the freshest fish possible, market to your plate same day, now that`s something the supermarkets can not offer." Plaice`n`order for the freshest catch in town, delivered to your door, at your convenience.

"We do not cold call or hard sell, the customer decides what they want, when they want. Delivery is always at a convenient time for the customer, who then only pays on delivery, we even have a GPS card machine to take payment by credit/ debit cards. Making the ordering and delivery hassle free, 6 days a week." Delivery can be next day, meaning that when you order, Jason is at Billingsgate Fish Market, at around 3:30 am, sourcing the best products for your order.

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advertorial

Cloudy2Clear Announce Trusted Trader Partnership Consumer champions Which? have now joined the thousands of customers who recognise that Cloudy2Clear Windows really are a business that you can TRUST. The company which specialises in repairing windows which are steamed up, broken or damaged by replacing the panes – not the frames has received the coveted ‘Which Trusted Trader’ status after going through a rigorous accreditation process entirely focussed on customer service. Group Managing Director Marcus McGee believes that Which? have endorsed Cloudy2Clear’s long standing company

policy of delivering the highest standards possible at all times. ‘Our service is simple. If your double glazing has misted up we can replace the glass at a fraction of the cost of a new window, in any type of frame, and with a new 25 year guarantee. But it’s not just about saving people money, although that obviously helps. Whilst a number of tradespeople perhaps don’t focus on customer care as much as they should do, we make sure we turn up when we say we will, do the job the customer requires and leave their house as clean as a whistle. Locally Cloudy2Clear service Billericay, Ingatestone, Ramsden &

Stock and manager Chris Miller agrees that this approach is a major factor in his success. ‘The truth is that it’s not just the personal satisfaction that I get from doing a good job but also it makes good business sense. I get a huge amount of business from friends and family of people I’ve done work for, which just goes to show how much a little bit of effort is appreciated as both my customers and, obviously a body as nationally important as Which? now recognise.’ So, if your windows are steamed up, broken or damaged give Chris a call for a free quotation on 0800 61 21 118 and he’ll be happy to help!

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process, repealing the 1972 Act which took us into the EU and which incorporates existing EU law into UK domestic law. This ensures a smooth transition for individuals and businesses, providing legal continuity after we leave the EU.

For Basildon and Billericay

However, unlike existing EU law, over the coming years these laws can be changed, amended and repealed as Parliament wishes. By removing the supremacy of EU law, we will return full control to Westminster. This is precisely what over 17 million people, including myself, voted for in last year’s referendum.

I am pleased the EU Withdrawal Bill cleared its first Commons stage with a healthy majority of 36. The legislation is an essential part of the Brexit

Those remainers in the Labour and Opposition parties who have chosen to oppose the Withdrawal Bill on the grounds of a Government ‘power grab’

John Baron Conservative Parliamentary MP

via so-called ‘Henry VIII’ clauses are very recent converts to the importance of Parliamentary sovereignty. These clauses are a normal part of legislation, and were used when we joined the EU in the first place. Crucially, they can be repealed by Parliament at any time, and in this case the Bill makes clear their provisions are time-limited. Furthermore, the 1972 Act is arguably the biggest ‘Henry VIII’ clause in history, as it is through this legislation that EU laws and measures take effect in Britain. Critical comments about the size and scope of the Bill only serve to confirm how much sovereignty has been parcelled off to Brussels over the last 40 years, and underline why we are absolutely right to be leaving the EU.

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Come and join us for an

80’s DISCO NIGHT 4th November 2017 • 7pm till 1am Fancy dress (everyone needs an excuse to dress up now and then)!!! Prize awarded to the best dressed male and female.

£25.00 per person

which will include a hot and cold buffet Contact us for a ticket on 01268 544417

Christmas

PARTY NIGHTS @ THE OLD RECTORY 4 COURSE MENU To start

Rustic roasted red pepper and tomato soup with mini loaf bread Pork and chicken liver pate with crusty bread and spiced apple chutney Salad of warm garlic and herb prawns

For mains

Roast Norfolk turkey with homemade stuffing, chipolatas wrapped in bacon and rich gravy Fillet of salmon coated with chili and pesto breadcrumbs, and Mediterranean sauce Fruit, nut and brie wellington All served with roast potatoes and parsnips, carrots and peas

To finish

Rich gluten free chocolate torte with crème fraiche and berries Fresh fruit cocktail with champagne sorbet Baked vanilla cheesecake with berry compote Followed by tea, coffee and mini mince pies

£65.00 per person Friday and Saturday 4 course meal with all inclusive bar from 7pm-12am, live entertainment tba and DJ

£45.00 per person Sunday-Thursday 4 course meal with all inclusive bar from 7pm-12am plus DJ**

7pm till 12am Call one of the team on 01268 544417 ** house wine, beers, spirits and soft drinks only

Join us for fun and laughter with one of the country’s leading Only Fools and Horses tribute acts

10th November 2017

Two course meal followed by DJ till 1am

£25.00 per head

MAINS Slow roasted belly of pork with bubble and squeak and cider sauce Grilled fillet of Thai spiced salmon with rice and a chilli and coconut sauce All served with steamed vegetables DESSERT Sticky toffee pudding and custard Baked New York cheesecake with berry compote Doors open at 7pm - 1st act 8pm

For tickets please contact 01268 544417

New Year’s

CELEBRATION @ THE OLD RECTORY COME CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY, IN THE PARTY ATMOSPHERE AT THE OLD RECTORY. We will be putting on a sumptuous hot and cold buffet, with a selection of different hot and cold dishes to tantalize your taste buds. As well as a late night disco and some bubbles to toast in the New Year!

The perfect exclusive £49.95 per adult wedding venue in Essex £10 per child (over 5 years old)

• Stunning surroundings, set in 4 acres of rolling countryside, Please callperfect the team at the Old Rectory•on offering photo opportunities 01268 544417 book • Elegant and Stylishand decor for your your tickets! perfect day • • Seating up to 150 at their main meal • Theguests Old Rectory • Fully stocked bar open Essex until CM13 1am •3SW Lower Dunton Road, Brentwood, info@theoldrectoryvenue.com • Exclusive hotel accommodation for your guests •

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RECIPE Parkin Cake (Makes 16 Squares) Ingredients: 200g butter, plus extra for greasing 1 large egg 4 tbsp milk 200g golden syrup 85g treacle 85g light soft brown sugar 100g medium oatmeal 250g self-raising flour 1 tbsp ground ginger

Method: 1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/ gas 3. Grease a deep 22cm/9in square cake tin and line with baking parchment. Beat the egg and milk together with a fork. 2. Gently melt the syrup, treacle, sugar and butter together in a large pan until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Mix together the oatmeal, flour and ginger and stir into the

syrup mixture, followed by the egg and milk. 3. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50 mins - 1 hr until the cake feels firm and a little crusty on top. Cool in the tin then wrap in more parchment and foil and keep for 3-5 days before eating if you can – it’ll become softer and stickier the longer you leave it, up to 2 weeks.

If you would like your recipe to appear in Around Town Magazines then contact our sales team on: 01277 658444 or email: sales@aroundtownmagazines.co.uk


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hn Lennon seem to be everywhere this time of year: “So this is Christmas ne?” I’d like to change this slightly: “So this is Christmas and what will rate that Jesus was born to be our Saviour? It is, after all, what makes ating and, just like those amazing events in the summer, it can be life but only if you make the time to enjoy the celebration.

Billericay’ extend an invitation to worship s season. Why not put a date in your o miss out on the greatest Christmas

rr

Operation

Christmas Child:

ricay & Little Burstead Team Ministry)

2017 Shoebox Appeal

of the local Church Services over the Christmas period.

This is a reminder, a month earlier than usual, that the annual Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoebox appeal is starting to gather momentum 2nd December - ‘Annual Toy at 10.30am here in Billericay. I’veService’ been greatly encouraged by the wayService schools, community December - ‘Carol by churches Candlelight’and at 7.00pm groups have supported OCC since my arrival in 19th December - ‘Lunchtime Carol Service’ at 12.30pm over Magdalen 4500 shoeboxes at2008 Saint-Mary Church have passed through Emmanuel since then and 2197 were filled and ay 23rdsent December - ‘FamilyBillericay Nativity’ atlast 10.30am from across year. Can I say on behalf of OCC and the children, ristmasthank Eve - you, ‘Christingle Service’ at 4.00pm young people who receive your gifts, for your ‘Communion by Candlelight’ at 11.15pm continued support. The first Communion of Christmas.

Emmanuel Church

stmas OCC Day - ‘Family Communion’ at 10.00am is the largest children’s charity in the world and shoeboxes have been delivered to 157 countries - and counting. Since 1990, over 125 million children and young people, worldwide, have been able to receive a Christmas gift that they would not have received because they live in extreme poverty, are orphaned or are the victims of war. Sending a shoebox is a very practical way of showing God’s love to others and I know, from firsthand experience, the difference a simple gift makes to children, young people, families and whole communities. I have helped lead shoebox distribution teams to Belarus, Crimea and the Ukraine and I’d be happy to come and speak with your group, show some slides and tell some stories.

Might I please ask if you and your family, your place of work, school, club, group, organisation or business might be able to collect the following items for the 2017 shoebox appeal? • Something Fun: Small Football; Dominoes; Whistles; Toy Car; Harmonica. • Something To Love: Cuddly Toy; Teddies; Barbie Doll; Finger Puppet; Wind Up Toy. • Something Creative: Chalk; Crayons; Colouring Books; Play Doh; Small Sewing Kit. • Something To Keep Clean: Toothbrushes; Toothpaste; Soap; Flannels; Combs; Brushes.

www.billericaychurches.org

• Something To Put On: Hats; Scarves; Gloves; Head Bands; Small Bag. • Something To Learn With: Pens; Pencils; Sharpeners; Paper; Solar Calculator. • Something Homemade: Letter/Card or Photograph from the person/group who fill the shoebox. • Something To Put Your Items In: A shoebox wrapped in Christmas Paper. • Something For Postage: Each shoebox costs £3 to deliver. • Something NOT to include: Chocolate; Damaged items; War related toys; Anything of a Political or Racial nature; Sharp objects; Glass or Fragile items; Liquids; Playing Cards of the 4 suit variety. It’s so simple to get involved with OCC and I know how much pleasure many people in Billericay get from collecting the above items, knitting scarves and hats and putting a shoebox together. Your contribution, however small, is greatly appreciated. You can bring your collected items/ shoeboxes to Emmanuel Church (Laindon Road, CM12 9LD) on Friday 17 November from 19.00 21.00 or Saturday 18 November from 9.30 - 13.00 and stay for our ‘Shoebox Filling Extravaganza’ - coffee and doughnuts provided! We also invite you to our ‘Shoebox Celebration Service’ on Sunday 19 November at 10.o0 am. Leaflets are available from me/ Emmanuel and you can find more information and downloads on our website at emmanuel-church.info This is a prayer we often use as we gather the shoeboxes together at our Sunday ‘Shoebox Celebration Service’: Heavenly Father, We thank you for the fun we’ve had in getting these shoeboxes ready: they are a sign of the many good things you have given us. We offer them to you with our thanks and our love. Be with the children and young people who receive these gifts. Shower them with your love; fill their lives with hope; and may the joy of Jesus be made real to them this Christmas time. In your precious name we pray. Amen. Thank you for your continued support.

revpacman.wordpress.com paul@billericaychurches.org @revPACman


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Nature Notes Written by Neil Sumner

Neilsumner123@aol.com twitter.com/neilsumner123 My first view of a live badger was late one evening in autumn from the bedroom window. It was lolloping purposefully from the neighbouring nature reserve towards the side of our house, heading for the back garden. We learnt that badgers have regular foraging routes and this was probably one.

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Badgers are sociable animals, living in underground setts in large family groups. Some setts are used for many generations with new entrances and chambers being dug and old ones becoming disused. They will create other smaller setts away from the main sett, perhaps due to family clashes or human disturbance. There has been an unusual rise in new setts within Billericay recently; one I found is under a hedge we planted a few years ago. It was no easy task getting the plants into the hard and heavy clay which is a testament to the strength of the badgers’ claws.

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If a badgers’ sett appears in your garden and you need advice then please check the Essex Badger Protection Group web site http://www.ebpg.co.uk/. There are also contact details for you to ring for advice on minimising badger damage in the garden or to report an incident. Badgers are protected by law so it is illegal to harm or disturb them. Badger’s main food is earthworms. They also eat insects, grubs, nuts, slugs, fruit, roots, small mammals, amphibians and reptiles. They occasionally eat hedgehogs and ground-nesting birds’ eggs and young which makes them sometimes unpopular even though these species have lived with badgers for thousands of years. Today the badger has adapted to the man-made modern environment whilst the habitat for those species is shrinking. The solution is to create more, bigger, wilder and joinedup nature reserves. The greatest conflict is with the spread of Bovine TB, which is disastrous and deeply upsetting when it is found in a herd of cattle. One supposed remedy for this is the highly controversial Badger Cull. Essex Wildlife Trust are completely opposed to this cull and have issued a position statement explaining why http://www.essexwt.org.uk/news/2017/09/16/ badger-cull-position-statement. The Trust had intended to trial a badger vaccination campaign but this was blocked by Natural England. Many scientists state that The Cull is risky, costly and inhumane and after 3 years of culling there is still no evidence that it is reducing bTB. Let’s hope that the evidence will soon prevail and that more effective ways of control of bTB will be deployed without killing this endearing animal.

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NETBALL

One of the most played sports in the UK and yet Netball for some reason doesn’t receive the glory and attention it deserves when it comes to the media in this country. Locally however, Netball is booming every night during the week and on a Saturday and Sunday morning, rivalling Football, Rugby and any other sports that run parallel to its season. Hannakins Farm in Billericay, after school matches at the local schools and Basildon Sporting Village are just 3 of the local venues that are guaranteed to have multiple competitive league matches taking place almost daily.

Such a fast paced game which is great for fitness as well as providing a release for the competitor in you, it is easy to see the attraction in Netball as a popular sport. Surprisingly, Netball is yet to be made an Olympic sport, and perhaps London 2012 would have been the boost needed for the public to start tuning in and ultimately help the national league players push for their sport to be a profession like it is in Australia and New Zealand. I have been speaking to local netball enthusiasts, one of them being Amber Sudbury who plays for Galaxy N.C. They play in the Basildon District Netball league which has a staggering twelve divisions. This all takes place at the Basildon Sporting Village and they play on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday nights. Galaxy is a club with 18 teams! That is over 160 players playing for the club as a whole. I asked Amber a couple questions about Netball locally and how that relates to the bigger picture. How did you get playing for a local Netball Club and how would you suggest new people to join a team? “I knew someone who played and my Mum has always

played, so it was quite easy for me to join a team through contacts, and that is how most people get into playing again or for the first time. However, we do have people contact us through our website and through Facebook. The Basildon District Netball league are always welcoming of people contacting them and they will contact certain teams who will be the best fit for them, both in ability and to suit their timetable. Why do you think that Netball is so popular on our local courts, but does not get the viewers when it comes to the international team and national league club fixtures? “Football, Cricket, Rugby and Tennis have been established as the main sports for many years now and it is hard to penetrate that popularity on the big sporting television channels. I do think a lot of it is due to the girls and women alike playing netball as a pastime rather than the die-hard passion of winning, therefore following the individual clubs and the national team on the television isn’t number one priority, especially as it is such an effort to find out when it is on and what channel is showing it. However, I personally, think that is the beauty of local sports in general, the balance of competitiveness, enjoyment, exercise and socialising, Netball is the epitome of this. Having said that it is growing.” Netball is going from strength to strength locally and let’s hope that feeds through to the national profile of the sport. I certainly feel that a sport that has such a presence in our schools and on the courts of our local leisure centres should be close to the top of the list of our national sports. Watch this space!

Please check out the below links if interested. www.basildon-netball.org.uk http://www.galaxynetballclub.co.uk/

Put the spotlight on your local sports team, contact Zaki Hasan, via email, zaki@aroundtownmagazines.co.uk


BILLERICAY ROTARY CLUB To show that Rotary extends beyond just the local community, in September we joined Basildon Rotary Club in co-hosting an international visit from 41 Rotarians from Alba and Ovada (Italy), Beausoleil (France) and Karlshamn (Sweden). They were treated by volunteer members to some typically British entertainment – croquet and football and a display of Morris dancing ( in which they gleefully joined in _ “the highlight of our day”) on the lawns of one of our members in Stock, a guided tour day in Cambridge, punting on the river and seeing the famous colleges and lunch at the historic Eagle pub and another guided tour of London which included sightseeing, visit to the Houses of Parliament and shopping. All followed by a Gala Dinner at the County Hotel, Chelmsford where each president made a short speech before, the following day, we transported them back to their various airports of departure. Our new RotaKids Club at Buttsbury Junior School, in their first year of major charity targets raised the sum of £1, 200 80 to donate to their agreed charity, Great Ormand Street Hospital and we attended their signing of the cheque to GHOSH. Club agreed to donate the following: £2,000 to the Hurricane Irma appeal, £1,000 to Aquabox to aid the Nepal and Bangladesh flooding and £200 each to district 1240 initiatives, Mercy Ships and Build Aid. Plus we raised a total of £1,800 from John Baron’s Fun Walk with a bonus pot sum of £671 added to the £1,200 sponsorship raised from member Patrick Rothon taking part. We welcome all new members: We meet every Monday lunch-time in the month at Reids restaurant, Laindon Road, Billericay. See us on our website: www.billericayrotary.org; on twitter: www.twitter.com/BillericyRotary and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BillericayRotary

BILLERICAY LIONS CLUB

After the annual Billericay Lions Senior Citizens’ Concert at Emmanuel Church on 23rd September, where 3 acts, Denyse Donald (singer), Daisy Bowlers (quirky band) and award winning Ali James (comedian / singer) entertained the whole audience (and the Lions). Our next event will be a fantastic Race Night on Saturday 21 October at 7pm for 7.30 at Mayflower School, so if you would like to fulfil your fantasies of owning a winning horse, sponsoring a race or just backing a winner, call Robin Howell on 01277 634485 or email lions@billericaylions.com for tickets at £10 each. Tea and coffee will be available on the night, but please bring any other drinks and nibbles you like.

The Lions Centenary Project at Barrow Farm is progressing, as is our new sleigh for Santa. And thinking of Christmas, Billericay Lions will as usual be helping Santa with the switch on of the Christmas lights on Sunday 19th November. And in the new year, we will have a Barn Dance on 24th February and our famous Taste of Scandinavia quiz on 17th March. For details of Lions events or if you are interested in joining, please have a look at our website www.billericaylions.com

What a great summer our guys have had in Round Table. We had a full race team and gate staff at the Soap-box derby back in May and then June included a visit to some of our RT colleagues in Romania over a long weekend. One of the great things about being part of a global club is that there is always a warm offer of hospitality pretty much anywhere in Europe and well beyond. We had a great time at the annual Summerfest where we had a bungee trampoline setup and offered free go’s for all the local kids. We also made visits to the inland RNLI station at Southend to present £1000 donation, to Barrow Farm to see some of the RDA riders we sponsored in action and to Basildon hospital radio with our £3000 for new equipment. Another long weekend messing about on the river at Brampton Mill saw a close to the summer and now we are knuckling down on our Fireworks preparations for November. Having said that, we still have plenty of the fun stuff planned! We have had a number of new guys come along recently to check out our goings-on and we are always very happy to meet ordinary fellas looking to do extraordinary things, so please check us out at www.facebook.com/billericayroundtable and www. billericayroundtable.co.uk or contact us directly on bepartofit@billericayroundtable.co.uk Lastly, we invite members of our community to make a donation request for a special person or special group within the Billericay area via www.billericayroundtable.co.uk/funding

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Basildon & District Ramblers Club The group meets every Saturday at 2.00pm. The Saturday walks are 4-5 miles with a rest halfway, we have some longer walks on other days. New members are welcome and membership is only £6 per year which includes all walks. See our website www. basildonanddistrictrambling club.btck.co.uk for full details Billericay Community Garden - Digging Day (28/10/17) Come and join our friendly welcoming group of volunteers in the garden for as little or as long as you like from 9.30am to 2.30pm. There is always something to do on our digging days, whatever your ability, age or gardening experience, we’d love to see you. Take a look at our facebook or twitter pages for more information or email us on billericaycommunitygarden @gmail.com Billericay Ladies Probus Club The Club meets for lunch at 12.00 on the second Monday of each month at the Mount Avenue Banqueting Suite, Hutton

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CM13 2NS. Where a three course lunch is served. New members are always welcome, come along and make new friends. If you would like any further information please contact. Jenny: 01277 633115 Billericay Men’s Probus Club Have you heard of us we are a group of men who get to-gether for lunch on the last thursday of each month. Come and enjoy a three course lunch, usually followed by a speaker, we also have coach trips and special events. Why not come along and join us at The Banqueting Suite, Mount Avenue, Hutton CM13 2NS If you are interested Call ron on: 01277 633115 firefighterrpm@btinternet.com Chelmsford & District Welsh Society Membership is open to anyone with Welsh origins or connections, or to anyone with an appreciation of Welsh heritage and traditions. Visitors and guests are warmly welcomed to attend our meetings. The Society’s monthly meeting is held in St Cedd’s Hall,

Cathedral Chapter House, Chelmsford, CM1 1NX, and is usually on the fourth Thursday of every month. All new members are welcome, come along to our meeting for a fun and sociable evening. For more details please contact Gwenno on 07724144432 www.chelmsfordwelsh.org. uk/home www.facebook.com/ chelmsfordwelsh Chelmsford Jazz Club Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford Doors open: 11.45am Gig starts: 12.15pm Advance booking: 01245 606505 £12 / £16 1st October: - Buster meets Buster featuring Jo Fooks, Pete Ringrace, Neil Casey and Buster Birch 5th November - Denise King with John Pearce and Simon Woolf (drummer TBA) 3rd December - TBA Downham Village Hall & Ziggy Zoo (children’s entertainer & DJ) present our first ever POPCORN PARTY Friday 20th October 2017 in Downham

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Village Hall, School Rd, Downham CM11 1QN 6pm - 7.30pm recommended for age 4+ (children to be accompanied by a responsible adult) 8pm 10pm recommended for age 10+ Tickets £5 per child to include cold drinks, adults free For tickets please visit Facebook pages for either Downham Village Hall or Ziggy Zoo or call Ziggy Zoo on 07875 004863 Essex Wildlife Trust FUND RAISING CONCERT 28 OCTOBER 2017 A very entertaining performance by the highly regarded Frog Island Jazz Band will be held at Shenfield Parish Hall (CM15 8LB) on Saturday 28th October. Tickets are £15.00 each and include a fish or chicken and chips supper. Please arrive at 7.00 pm for a 7.30 pm start and bring your own drinks and glasses. For tickets please telephone either Mick Hedges (01277 231367) or Bob Dawson (01277 262011). All proceeds will support local Wildlife Trust projects to protect wildlife and the environment. FREE Football for 4 to 6 year olds Do you know a child who

loves football? Would you like them to play in a safe, fun environment organised by FA licensed coaches?

See our website at www. greenwayramblers.org.uk or phone Joe Lawton on 01277 631119

FC Redwing’s academy has spaces available for children in school years Reception/ Year One. Training every Saturday over at Barleylands, the emphasis is on the kids having fun.

Mayflower Wine (and social) Club We meet on the first Wednesday of each month at the Chantry Way Centre, Chantry Way, Billericay at 8.00.p.m.

For more information on how to claim a free place in this academy please email Head of Academy Clive Ashdown at clive@cwgrain.com.

We have talks, musical evenings, wine tastings, quizzes etc. and also social occasions in between. New members are always welcome. Please phone Paulette Nicholls on 01277 652001.

Giant Family Fun Day November 19th 10.00/15.00 Giant Family Fun Day Bazaar Come and see Father Christmas & Minnie Mouse. Loads of stalls with gifts, crafts & sand making - face painting, tombola - lots of games to play - free craft table. Homemade cakes - tea. A great day out come rain or shine, for young & old a like.

Norsey Wood Society. Norsey Wood Society will be holding our next free open meeting on Monday 30th October in The Chantry Way Centre, Billericay starting at 7.45pm.

Funds to G.O.S.H in memory of Chloe. Hannakins Farm, Rosebay Ave, Billericay CM12 0SY

Dougal Urquhart, Ranger, Cudmore Grove Country Park, Mersea Island will present an illustrated talk, ‘Managing for Butterflies ideas for increasing their numbers and our enjoyment’.

Greenway Ramblers The group meets at 10am every Tuesday (5-6 miles) and Sunday (longer walks of 10+ miles with a break for lunch) New members are welcome.

Everyone welcome. E-mail our new address norseywoodsociety1977@ gmail.com or telephone Ken on 01277-651125 if more detail required.

If you would like to promote your club or event then please email a maximum of 70 words to:

admin@aroundtownmagazines.co.uk Please ensure that all contact details are included.

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TRAVEL The DEux SEVRES, FRAncE

return I understand why because the three tolls we pass through total 40 euros. Bear in mind that a tank of

By Tim Saunders – www.travelwriter.biz Vous or tu? The polite and informal ways of saying ‘you’ that can cause social difficulties in France. In English we just have to contend with a simple ‘you’ and do not need to worry about offending anyone. But it’s different in France and we debate this after our game of boules with Tim and Ellen Weir at Les Hiboux in Crezieres, Poitou-Charentes. “Basically I stick to ‘vous’ unless with close friends or family,” says Ellen, adding: “Some French people prefer to use ‘tu’ after only a few meetings. When we’re invited to a meal Tim and I like to compare notes as to whether the hosts both refer to us as ‘vous’ or ‘tu’ and sometimes ‘tu’ will be used for me and ‘vous’ for Tim,” she smirks. It’s a good way of meeting our hosts during our week’s stay at La Vieille Maison, a charming three bedroom stone cottage that is one of three at Les Hiboux. It’s a luxurious break in an extremely peaceful part of the country and one where guests feel privileged to stay. With its three acres of gardens that include a sunken trampoline, swings, a slide and playhouse, our children, Harriett (3) and Heidi (1) are in their element. There are two boule or petanque pitches (“boules and petanque are one of the same, much like soccer and football,” says Tim) and a swimming pool. “So what brought you to this part of France?” I ask Tim. “I was a scientist in London and wanted a challenge,” he replies, adding that his father has lived in the country for many years. “He doesn’t get as much sun though and greater amounts of sunlight drew us to the Deux-Sevres region, which is famous for its melons, sunflowers and wine. It’s five hours from Cherbourg so within easy reach of the UK and five hours from the Alps so we can enjoy skiing in the winter.” It takes us a little longer, closer to seven hours in fact, to travel from Cherbourg, because the sat nav in the Kia Sorento I am driving refuses to take us on the toll roads. On our

(Photo by Kevin Mitchell) fuel is 60 euros (gazole is just 1.29 euros a litre) it makes more sense and is far more enjoyable to avoid the toll roads, if you’ve got the time to spare. It is far more sensible to stop half-way and stay in a gite overnight for the same price. On our arrival we are shattered and it is a joy to be met by really comfortable beds and we all enjoy an extremely good night’s sleep. There are six of us in total because Caroline’s mum and dad, Lin and John, join us. That first night we spy a baby owl in one of the trees and later learn that Les Hiboux means Owls. That first day we all enjoy a meal in ChefBoutonne, a place that we find ourselves returning to throughout the course of our break. An evening stroll there introduces us to Chateau Javarzay with its large lake and pleasant grounds. We find that the French bread tastes nicer from a boulangerie than a supermarket and this is often enjoyed with Camembert for lunch. Good French drinking wine is available from under three euros upwards. We enjoy a lovely bottle or so of Chardonnay for just four euros that would have easily cost three or four times that in the UK. For more information visit: www.leshiboux.com

Tim Saunders is an author, journalist and businessman. He meets celebrities, goes on holiday and road tests cars.


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IS NOW A GOOD TIME TO CHOOSE

A FIX RATE SAVINGS BOND? One of the questions I am asked most regularly is whether the time is right to put money in to a fixed rate bond. Human nature being that nobody wants to lock their money up in a fixed rate, only to find a better offer comes along just after you’ve locked yourself in.

financial crisis of 2008, savings rates have largely decoupled from this. To give an example, in 2007 when the base rate was 5.75%, savers could earn 6.05% on a 1 Year Fixed Rate Bond with Birmingham Midshires and 5.70% on instant access – heady days!

The short answer to this question is that nobody really knows! That might sound strange coming from someone who is supposed to be an expert in this area! The reality is that if you, I or anyone could predict or know with certainty what was going to happen in the financial markets then we’d have more than enough money to be doing something else with our time as we’d be extremely wealthy.

Roll forward a decade and with base rate at 0.25%, this would imply a top rate instant access account of just under 0.25% and a best buy 1 Year Fixed Rate Bond of 0.55%. The actual best buy rates in our tables are 1.26% on Charter Savings Easy Access account and 2% on 1 Year from Bank of London & The Middle East. The intervening period has seen a break of this historic trend of savings rates to broadly follow base rate.

The good news is that there are factors we can use which give us a good indication. The main ones historically being: 1) What is happening to the Bank of England Base Rate 2) Regulatory or political intervention in the markets 3) What competition is there in the market Taking the first one, just as there has been a correlation between the price you pay on your mortgage in relation to what the Bank of England Base Rate is, a similar trend has followed in the savings market. Interest rates on savings have broadly followed (up or down) the base rate. However, since the

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squeezed. Therefore, it is likely that any increase in base rate will be used by many banks to increase their net interest margin by passing on the increase to borrowers but not savers. Are there likely to be any political or regulatory interventions in the market? In recent years, we have seen several changes in the savings market with new types of ISA (individual savings accounts), increase ISA allowances (you can now save £20,000 this tax year in ISAs) changes to taxation of savings interest (the new personal savings allowance) and the governments Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) which has provided banks with substantial sums to lend.

Will we see a Bank of England Base Rate rise this year? The financial markets and many media commentators are expecting to see an increase in the base rate this year with the consensus being for this to be in November. While this will be of interest to all of us that have mortgages to pay, for the reasons outlined above, it is unlikely to have any positive impact on savings rates - if it happens.

This is a large amount of change and with the work going on to prepare the UK for Brexit and the fact we have a government with a small majority, it is unlikely we will see any real changes to the savings market that may impact on interest rates for savers.

Mortgage rates are at record lows and savings rates are close too. This means that many banks are seeing their net interest margin (the difference between what they pay in interest to savers and what they charge in interest to borrowers)

What has the competition done for savings rates in 2017? Competition has had a significant impact on the savings market in 2017. Since the financial crisis of 2008, we have seen over 40 new entrants to the savings market in

So, this leaves us with competition as the hope for an improvement in savings rates.


the UK. This is a mixture of new UK banks, European Banks entering the UK market and some existing banks entering the savings market for the first time. Our best buy tables have been dominated by many of these new banks who have competed hard to attract new savers. At the start of 2017, the best instant savings rate was 1.10% from RCI Bank (owned by French car giant Renault) whereas today it is 1.26% from Charter Savings Bank (up 15%). Atom Bank was paying 1.40% on a 1 Year Bond where today Bank of London & Middle East pay 2% (43% up). Ikano paid 2.05% for 5 Years in January and Bank of London and Middle East pay 2.50% now (22% up). What has driven this change is the competition from these new entrants in the market. 2017 has also seen an influx of new entrants with the likes of Ford Money, PCF Bank, Wyelands Bank and Redwood Bank all join the competition for savings. There are believed to be over 20 new banks in the regulatory process of applying for a licence so competition is only likely to increase. So, is now a good time to lock in to a Fixed Rate Bond? At the turn of this year, I was asked by the Daily Mail to predict what would happen this year to rates and I said that I expected savings rates to rise by 0.25 – 0.50% and 10 months in to the year that’s broadly in line with where we are. Given that it is competition, rather than other factors currently driving the market, future increases are likely to be determined by what the existing banks do and the growth in new entrants. Given the increasing competition in the market now, and likelihood of seeing more newcomers, I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar increases in the region of 0.50% in the next 12 months. If you share my view, now is perhaps not the time to be locking away in long term fixed rate bonds. With the best 1 Year rates paying 1.80% – 2.00%, there’s a significant premium on the best instant savings rate of 1.26% so this may be a good option for those seeing to get a better return now but not wanting to miss out if rates rise in the future.

James Blower Founder Savings Guru Ltd

www.thesavings.guru hello@thesavings.guru @SavingsGuruUK

Competition Time – win a £50 restaurant voucher For your chance to win a £50 restaurant voucher, send your answers to the following questions (which can be found on our website) to hello@thesavings.guru by Wednesday 18th October: 1) Which university do we support with scholarship funding? 2) Which financial advice site interviewed us on 27th September 2017 The winner will be announced in next month’s edition!

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