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FAMILY FRIENDLY... Festivals for all to enjoy


P E T E R B O R O U G H , O U N D L E A N D T H E


Hello summer!

How to have your best-ever holiday at home JULY 2017 £1.50 07

9 771740 052017



Nene Living




CHOOL’S out (or soon will be!), the sun’s out (fingers firmly crossed!) and the scene is set for a summer full of fun and adventure. If you’re still stumped for ideas about how to spend the next month, we hope there’ll be plenty of inspiration inside this issue. This is the month of the Oundle International Festival, of course, (featured on p14) so festival fever is at full pitch. Excited at that prospect, we asked writer and local mum Rebecca Downey to put together a list of other local events that might appeal, and sum up her own experience of attending one with the family in tow… see how she fared on p13. And still on the subject of keeping the kids entertained, Sarah Chase offers suggestions for enjoying a holiday at home (p23) – as a mum of three, she knows only too well that putting the family first is the key to a happy time! Family values and a shared love of performing are very much front-of-mind for local lass Angel Sallai – read all about her amazing circus life on p34. Or if something a little more tranquil is more up your street, then may we suggest a nice garden visit this month? I spent a wonderful evening enjoying a private tour of the walled garden at Blatherwycke recently – it’s just one of several open to the public (which we feature on p37) and is a beautiful example of what a lot of hard work and dedication can achieve. Budding artists might also find inspiration in the drawing tours which take place at Peterborough Cathedral – see p27 and perhaps you’ll be tempted to sign up for the next one. Or, if you prefer simply to admire someone else’s work, make a note to pop along to Oundle’s Dolby Gallery for the new exhibition by Robert Hunter; details are on p41. There’s lots more to read in this July issue (and to enjoy in the Nene region) … enjoy!

Gillian Bendall Editor INCORPORATING


5 Upfront

Essentials and accessories for your summer garden party

7, 9, 10 News & Notes

Helping you make the most of living locally

13 Adventures in Utopia

Festival fun for all the family

17 Out with the New!

Celebrating 50 years since Peterborough was designated a New Town

27 Grand designs

Enjoy an afternoon of creative contemplation on a Cathedral drawing course

28 Health & Beauty

34 It’s the circus life for me

Meet the local lass who’s about to become the youngest ringmistress in the big top

The latest tips on looking good and feeling great

37 Walled Wonders 31 The Fox is tamed! 23 Holiday at Home

No need to head off into the sunset… there’s lots for the family to enjoy here this summer

How two city restaurateurs have transformed the famous Folksworth pub

32 Food & Drink

Ten tipples you must try this summer, plus a delicious salad recipe

Editor Gillian Bendall Write to Nene Living, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Advertisement Manager Bridget Steele 01733 707538 Head of Design Steven Handley Designer Sarah Compton Advertising Copy Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 Published by Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Printed by Warners of Bourne


Historic gardens worth a visit

41 Patterns in nature

Artist Robert Hunter on his life and work… and new Oundle exhibition

43 Out & About

July events you simply mustn’t miss

COVER: Summer’s a time for home-grown fun and entertainment. Photo courtesy of Bigstock


Nene Living

Subscribe to Nene Living For £25 (UK only) you can subscribe to Nene Living for 12 issues. Please send your name, address and a cheque made out to Local Living Ltd to: NL Subscriptions, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Or you can subscribe online – go to NENE LIVING JULY 2017


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UPFRONT It’s summer and time for the living to be easy – and for us, that means outside in the fresh air and sunshine! Whether you’re hosting a party,organising a family gathering or simply sitting in the garden while the children play, here are some ideas to help add fun and style to every al fresco event…

Light relief: pack of two lanterns, £45, Next

Sitting pretty: Lois coffee table, £99 and sofa, £149, both M&S

Fun for the kids: Handlebar Heroes turn a scooter or bike into a dragon, a unicorn or a pony! £12 each, Jollys Toys

With a twist: corkscrew, £14.95, Chapel Interiors

Pour more: rustic bronze pitcher, £24, Chapel Interiors

Floral refresher: Frida wine glass, £3.50, and tumbler, £3, both M&S

Have your cake: pineapple cake stand £28, Next

Sweet treats: old-fashioned sweeties, £5.99 per bottle, Romejo’s

See the light: candle lantern, £10.95, The Rounded House

Cook’s choice: Weber compact 57cm Kettle BBQ, £129, and fourburner deluxe gas BBQ with side burner, £399 (assembly £30), both John Lewis

Pretty useful: coasters (set of four), £12, The Rounded House

Moorish: cushion, £18, and floor cushion, £55, both Next

Dinner is served: hand-forged salad servers, £28.95, Chapel Interiors STOCKISTS Chapel Interiors, The Bazaar, West Street, Oundle PE8 4EJ. 01832 275605.; Jollys Toys, 28a High Street, Thrapston NN14 4JH. 01832 358915.; The Rounded House, 10b West Street, Oundle PE8 4EF. 01832 274687.; Romejo’s, 14 Market Place, Oundle PE8 4BQ. 01832 272165.; John Lewis, M&S and Next, Queensgate Centre, Peterborough PE1 1NL.



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NEWS & NOTES Helping you make the most of Nene living

Independent retailers celebrate


HE CITY’S unique Westgate Arcade is celebrating National Independent Retailer Month this July, with many of its 20 businesses offering exclusive discounts plus free samples and goodies for shoppers. Newly-opened vintage clothing shop Back to Life will join the party along with more established residents such as Style and P-Kai, who have been in the arcade for nearly 20 years between them. Gerry Sondh, owner of The Oculist says: “The urban mix of businesses and the independent feel brought me to Westgate Arcade. I have a vision of it being a niche independent hub for Peterborough. The soul of a city that is fast being engulfed by national brands. I love the multi-nationals, but the soul of Westgate Arcade should be the key attraction for the city. This should be the place where an eccentric mix of personalities gives you a memorable experience through their businesses.” Saf Saeed, right, owner of Back to Life says: “My shop has very much the Camden or Brick Lane feel to it. All my influences and ideas have come from the great shops in London; I’ve taken a little bit from each to make my own here in Peterborough.”

Shopping centre boost for local charity


UEENSGATE Shopping Centre has named Peterborough-based Anna’s Hope as its charity of the year for the next year. Anna’s Hope is the leading children’s brain tumour charity in the East Of England and is committed to giving hope to children and young people diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was inspired by Anna Olivia Hughes, who died from a brain tumour aged just three years and eight months, and was set up by her parents Rob and Carole Hughes and her Godparents in October 2006. “Talking to the team from Anna’s Hope is incredibly humbling and their work is completely selfless, which is why we’re delighted to be working with them to raise their profile and incremental funds for the next 12 months,” said Centre Director at Queensgate, Mark Broadhead. For the past year, Queensgate has worked with the YMCA Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to help raise funds and increase awareness of the work it’s doing locally through several events and activities. In total, the charity raised over £6,000. •

Don’t be beaten by the heat


EADING local home care provider Bluebird Care Peterborough & Rutland is warning that heat and sun exposure is serious and potentially life threatening – and is urging people in the area to stay hydrated and prepared for the hotter days, with some simple tips on staying safe in the sun. Due to the soaring temperatures, in July 2016 there were 1,661 deaths recorded in England and Wales, compared with a five-year average of 1,267 (ONS, 2016) – figures which highlight the danger of high temperatures and the importance of being prepared. Hydration is particularly essential for those in high risk groups such as babies, children and older people. Government recommendations suggest everyone should down six to eight glasses a day of water or sugarfree drinks. As part of Bluebird’s ‘Stay Hydrated this Summer’ campaign it’s giving tips across its website, social media and Facebook platforms, sharing links to national resources to help ensure everyone is prepared for the hotter weather. Nadine Wilmer, Care Manager of Bluebird Care Peterborough & Rutland said: “Many vulnerable people feel lonely and isolated and we are often unaware of the real threat to life that extreme weather can cause to at-risk groups. “Staying hydrated in the summer months is vital as the sun can often catch us off-guard, giving little time to take precautions against the heat. It’s important to plan for the hotter weather now by taking simple precautions like making sure you are aware of the weather forecast, finding an hour to keep cool, speaking to your neighbours about coping with extreme heat and making sure you are drinking enough fluids. “We’re reaching out to the local community to ask anyone at risk to keep in regular contact with friends and neighbours. If you have an elderly relative or neighbour, please check them in hot spells to make sure they’re coping.” • Bluebird offers further hot weather advice and information about summer homecare on 01780 480881. www.bluebirdcare.

Right: Here’s to a healthy summer – Director Tim Carey and Care Manager Nadine Wilmer with colleagues from the Bluebird Care team




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NEWS & NOTES Creating new legends and myths


OU may have heard tales of the Fen Tigers that once roamed the flatlands to the east of Peterborough; you might know of the legend of Robin Goodfellow; you may even have seen a giant black dog running through the peat fields in pitch black… but you probably haven’t ever heard of a folk tale from Hampton. Well, that’s about to change, as Eastern Angles and Peterborough’s Lamphouse Theatre join forces with the residents of Hampton to create their own folklore for the area. The newly-developed township is built on Peterborough’s old brick pits and is full of people from all walks of life. It has schools, shopping centres, churches, parks, even the Undercroft theatre, but it doesn’t have any folklore.

Lamphouse Theatre is inviting people from all over Hampton and Peterborough to join puppet-makers, theatre-makers, song writers, visual artists and storytellers for free workshops and activity days. Together they will create mythical characters, new legends and folk stories for Hampton. Workshops take place until August and offer residents the chance to join artists Tom Fox, Kerry Devine, Luke Payn, Rosa Douglas, Tom Davies and Becky Owen-Fisher. Events this month include: • Sunday 2 July, 1-3pm – Puppet Building Workshop for eight years and over • Saturday 8 July, 1-3pm – Writing Folk Tales Workshop for those aged 14 and over • Saturday 15 July, 7-8.30pm – Peterborough Folklore Seminar with Francis Young, for those aged 14 and over • Sunday 16 July, 1-3pm – Creative Walk for Photographers for those aged 14 and over • Saturday 22 July, 1-3pm – Song Creation Workshop for ages 11 years and over • Sunday 23 July, 1-3pm – Creative Walk for Storytellers suitable for families and children aged four and over In August there’ll be a Summer School and the project culminates in the Hampton Festival in mid-September. All workshops and events are free of charge (except the Summer School) and you can sign up at


Growing food for your small pets


F you own rabbits or guinea pigs you will know that their appetite and need for hay, fresh grass, plants and vegetables is huge and can become costly Adapting your garden or outside space slightly to enable you to grow edible plants for your pets can not only save you lots of money, but will also provide yourself with fresh food and some beautiful plants. Below is a list of plants that are safe for both rabbits and guinea pigs to enjoy. • Roses are a firm favourite for rabbits and guinea pigs, and it’s always safest to grow your own to avoid the risk of chemicals. All parts of the plant are safe including the leaves, stems and flowers. The flowers are also great for drying out and mixing in with hay during the winter months as a little treat when forage is harder to come by. • Bramble and blackberry leaves can be grown in the garden or picked along hedgerows where chemical and other pollutant risks are low. These are such beneficial plants, especially to rabbits to aid their digestive system. They may look scary with all those thorns, but these pose no risk to your pets; they happily graze the bark off the bramble around the thorns. • Garden herbs such as mint, lemon balm, lavender, thyme and rosemary are easy plants to grow and can be enjoyed by both you and your pets. Lemon balm and mint can grow excessively, though, so whilst they provide ample food for your pets, they may take over in the garden. Plant in pots to help maintain control. • Wild geranium – not to be mistaken for the brightly coloured geranium often grown indoors or used in containers outside – grows in large clump formations and can spread quite wide. This plant is especially enjoyed by rabbits or guinea pigs who are recovering from surgery or stressful situations; very few can resist its tasty leaves and flowers. • Willow or apple tree branches are excellent for your pet’s teeth and digestive system. They can be provided in log, branch or twig form to add interest to their enclosure. Wood Green The Animals Charity offers a low-fee advice service for dogs and cats. If you would like behaviour or training advice for your pet call 01480 830014 ext 1281


RTIST-in-Residence Charron Pugsley-Hill plays a key role in an Art Week at the Nene Park this month. Charron – well known for a vibrant use of colour and the engagement of people in her work – has been creating a range of installations and paintings inspired by the seasons in the Park since last September. From 22-28 July Ferry Meadows will host a series of events for all ages to enjoy, including workshops in wet-felting, muralmaking and log painting. For further details, log on to www. • We’ll have an interview with Charron and more on her work as Nene Park Artist-inResidence in next month’s Nene Living.

Peters’ Cleaners in Mayor’s Walk has launched a new office pick-up and drop-off service for dry cleaning and laundry in Lynchwood, The Hamptons, Fengate, Peterborough Hospital, Market Deeping and Thorpe Wood. Owner Vicky Whiter says: “I wanted to bring the business up to date while continuing to retain the wonderful service that Peters’ Cleaners is renowned for in the area. But I also wanted to cater to the busy lifestyles that people now lead, so a pick-up and delivery service from the office seemed the ideal thing to do. All you have to do once you have registered is log in, book your pick-up time and we’ll do the rest.” •




Family law: Can I obtain a ‘no fault divorce’?


HERE can be many reasons for a marriage to end, but not every marriage breakdown is acrimonious and some couples decide mutually to get divorced without attributing the responsibility for the breakdown to either party. Placing blame on one party as the cause of the marital breakdown can make deciding to get a divorce particularly difficult. At present, it is not possible to obtain a ‘no fault divorce’ within the UK. There is only one legal ground for divorce: “the marriage has broken down irretrievably”. A person can petition for a divorce after one year of marriage and the facts they can rely upon are “adultery” or allegations of “unreasonable behaviour” against a spouse. The alternative is waiting two or five years before being able to issue for a divorce based upon separation for the same length of time. The recent case of Owens-v-Owens highlights the need for a ‘no fault divorce’. In this case the court dismissed the wife’s petition, which was based upon allegations of unreasonable behaviour against her husband. Her allegations of unreasonable behaviour were described as ‘exaggerated’ and ‘of a kind to be expected in a marriage’. The case has now been referred to the Court of Appeal. This case demonstrates the need to change our family legal system and establish a divorce that allows for no blame to be attributed to either party. If a marriage has broken down many couples feel they should be allowed to end the marriage without having to make allegations against a spouse or wait two or five years respectively. There is a growing support in the UK for a ‘no fault divorce’.

• If you have been affected by this issue or require further advice, contact Pavinder Khela, an experienced family solicitor at Hegarty Solicitors on 01780 752066 or email




IMON Allen’s dream of creating a wildlife rescue centre, hospital and sanctuary for captive-bred birds of prey, together with educational facilities and exhibits for schools and a flying display arena, at Hill Farm in Chesterton has taken an important step forward. He’s received full planning permission from Huntingdonshire District Council – now all he needs are the funds to make it happen! Simon and his rescued captive-bred birds of prey are a popular sight at the ‘pick your own’ farm, where Simon likes nothing more than to share his knowledge of the birds with visitors young and old. He’s been rescuing birds and wildlife from an early age, nursing injured creatures back to health and returning them to the wild. For years his expertise in falconry took him around the world, but back home in Chesterton he has become the busiest independent wildlife rescue centre in the region. “I get several calls for help every day but at the moment I’m limited on space and facilities,” he says. “That’s why I’m so keen to get the rescue centre, sanctuary and hospital under way.” Support for his project has come from many sources, from vets to local schools and the offer of help to build the aviaries and wildlife rehabilitation pens as part of the work experience programme at Huntingdonshire Regional College. Avian specialist vets have volunteered to work in the hospital.“I’m trying to build the centre through sponsorship and to make it a community project,” Simon explains, adding that he’d very much appreciate offers of help from people with fundraising, IT and social media skills. You can meet Simon and his birds at Hill Farm PYO, Oundle Road, Chesterton, Peterborough PE7 3UA, which is open Tuesday to Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm until the end of October and find out more at HillFarmBird/ • Simon can be contacted by email: and on 07910 443388

Rockblok Summer Adventure Club 2017


UT some fun into your child’s school holiday with Rockblok Summer Adventure Club at Whitwell, Rutland Water. The carefully planned programmes aim to offer low-cost activity days so, if you’re juggling work with summer fun, looking for one day or need to book consecutive days for your child, the Rockblok team are there to help! A warm welcome is guaranteed, with a shared desire within the team to make this an exciting and memorable experience for children from age eight. Rockblok instructors will guide adventurers in hands-on outdoor activities including awareness games and challenges, natural crafts, shelter building, fire-making, abseiling, high ropes, storytelling and more, as well as fostering a vision of community, fun and friendship. Rockblok Summer Adventure Club 2017 will run Monday to Friday from 24 July to 18 August, 8.30 am–4.30pm (pick up 5pm). • Cost £30 per day - discounts available for early booking or booking three days or more. Contact Rockblok for more information: 01780 460060,

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SALE STARTS Saturday 22nd July for 2 weeks.


Fancy going to a festival with the family this summer? Rebecca Downey reports on her own

Adventures in Utopia Festival line-up

FLASHPOINT 14-16 JULY Rockingham Castle Estate, LE16 8TH Set in the picturesque grounds of Rockingham Castle, this festival has a line-up of fabulous artists including Trevor Nelson, Deacon Blue, OMD, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Katie Tunstall. Grab your headphones and throw some shapes at the silent disco or enjoy the many themed bars and food stalls. Adult weekend pass with camping £105, child with camping £22. Day tickets also available.


HE last big festival I attended was in my 20s, so it was high time I ventured back into the world of music and mayhem – but this time accompanied by my husband and sons, aged 11 and 8. Shambala seemed the obvious choice – billed as family-friendly, it’s within half an hour’s drive of our home in Nassington. What I wasn’t expecting was the wealth of creativity and drama that makes the Shambala ‘village’. Musical and theatrical acts aside, there were art installations everywhere, workshops for every waking moment, countless crafting stalls, artists, teachers and healers. If you have forgotten to bring your top hat, beard or mermaid costume, there are even shops for you to acquire your fancy dress. Each day has a theme and by the way, you will stick out like a sore thumb if you don’t join in! Son number two purchased a tail and immediately began shimmying to the Police Rave Unit; son number one took a little more coaxing, preferring the Caravan of Curiosities – an exquisite display of fossils, bones, mechanical toys and the like. Shambala prides itself on being a meat- and fish-free zone (there is a Bacon Lovers Anonymous group for those alarmed by this) but delicious international cuisine is abundant and you will be spoilt for choice. My favourite was the ‘Buddha box’, a meze of delicious veggie treats. The boys loved the wood-fired oven pizzas and ‘strumpets with crumpets’. The headline act was Sister Sledge, no less (possibly one of their last UK gigs before the death of Joni Sledge) – they wowed the crowd with all their disco classics. But perhaps our favourite adventure was a walk through the enchanted wood at dusk, where trees became musical instruments, artworks, lightshows and films took on a life of their own, and stumbling upon a flash mob made for a really spooky encounter. Despite a rainstorm of biblical proportions the following day, the fun continued and the downpour merely set the stage for some naked mud surfing (not me I hasten to add; I was just a gleeful onlooker!). Shambala’s tagline is ‘Adventures in Utopia’, and no matter what age you are, there will be eye-popping acts and performers to delight and amuse. Returning home, everything seemed a little dull after the glorious technicolour of the festival.

PARTY AT THE WHARF 25 JULY Oundle Wharf, Station Road, Oundle PE8 4DE Oundle’s nine-day international festival ends with this party, set to rock the night away with headline acts Absolute Bowie and The Houndogs plus local band Disarray. Food stalls are available or you can bring your own. Beer will be on sale from Nene Valley Brewery and wine from Amps. Tickets cost £20 in advance or £25 on the gate, £15 for under 18s, under 12s free. THURNING FEAST 25 JULY Hall Close, Clopton Road, Thurning PE8 5RE Celebrating St James’ Feast, this vibrant village festival grows year on year. Headlining is Liverpool band Drive. Alongside great live music, crafts and a vintage funfair, the Feast also offers a variety of multi-national foods plus cakes and teas. Book tickets in advance through the Oundle box office ( uk) £5, or £6 on the gate (under 15s free). NENE LIVING JULY 2017


Adventures in Utopia PETERBOROUGH SAUSAGE AND CIDER MUSIC FESTIVAL 28-30 JULY Elton Hall Estate, PE8 6SH There are bangers galore at this festival including gluten-free and vegetarian, plus a variety of other foods. If you can’t afford the real deal then here you can experience the tribute acts for Beyoncé, Robbie Williams, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, One Direction and Kings of Leon – to name a few. Adult weekend camping £44.95, child weekend camping £29.95. Day tickets available.

GREEN MEADOWS 11-14 AUGUST Elton Hall Estate, PE8 6SH Now in its sixth year, this family-friendly festival offers a fantastic line-up of acts including Sugar Hill Gang ft Melle Mel & Scorpio, Stereo MCs and Shades of Rhythm plus the fantastic Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer. Activities for the kids include ‘Bugtopia’ and Professor Pumpernickel’s science show. Saturday is fancy dress. Adult weekend £85, 13-17 years £25, 4-12 years £10. Day tickets available. SHAMBALA 24-27 AUGUST Secret location at a country estate in Northamptonshire A four-day explosion of music, theatre and artistry. As well as the 200-plus diverse musical acts over several stages there is cabaret, stand-up comedy, puppetry and acrobatics. The festival hosts a variety of workshops in dance, healing therapies, permaculture and crafts. Imaginative cuisine abounds and all food traders are meat- and fish-free. A large area is designated for children and there is a crèche. Tickets are already sold out, but there is a waiting list for returns. If you are over 18, stewarding is a great way to enjoy the festival for free.



It’s all happening in Oundle…

Oundle International Festival takes place this month, and presents an exciting range of events with broad appeal. The fun begins on Friday 7 July with The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars appearing at the Stahl Theatre and ends on Saturday 15 July with Party at the Wharf. In between there’s a huge selection of musical and theatrical performances to entertain (Nene Living is proud to sponsor The Bach Walk, top, on 11 July!) plus, on 8-9 July, a unique opportunity to visit some of the town’s private gardens (organised by Transition Oundle) and enjoy a wealth of home-grown local talent in Oundle on Show. In the week before the International Festival, Oundle Fringe Festival fills the town with entertainers of all kinds and on Saturday 8 July an Outdoor Cinema at Oundle Wharf presents this year’s smash hit, Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. • Full details at and

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On 21 July 1967 the cathedral city of Peterborough was designated a New Town. It’s quite possible that hardly anyone outside the inner circles of local council offices noticed – but this was a momentous day in the development of the city. Kem Mehmed from Peterborough Civic Society explains why...

Sunningdale at Orton Waterville was a design competition winner


HE designation was a result of decades of deliberation about how to deal with a housing crisis. London and its region was enjoying rapid and consistent growth in jobs but also had a housing stock in seriously poor condition. Plans to address this culminated in the ‘South-East Study’ (1964), which identified three new cities and six other big new expansions. Bletchley became the New Town of Milton Keynes and of the others, only Northampton and Peterborough achieved such status. At the same time a preliminary study of Peterborough had been commissioned. Henry Wells submitted his reported in 1964, noting: “Peterborough has a tradition of progressive local government… both the left and right are moderate and forward thinking.” Within a few months of designation the Peterborough Development Corporation (PDC) was set up. New Town status gave wide powers to PDC regarding planning and urban development. Its task was to provide homes, workplaces and the full range of facilities and services for an additional 70,000 people. Early work on a draft master plan was done by consultants Hancock Hawkes. The plan was based on a series of residential ‘townships’ at low densities connected by free-flowing roads with employment areas distributed about the city close to, but separate from, the townships. An innovative feature was a large park running through the area alongside the River Nene. The use of trees, parkland and greenery was to become a trademark of expansion. Although some of the details changed, this draft plan became the basis of the Greater Peterborough Master Plan, prepared by PDC and approved after extensive local public debate in 1971. This plan identified Bretton, Orton and Werrington as the townships, with a major rounding-off at Paston that we know today.

A PDC publicity brochure

Whist all this town planning was going on the first bricks, mortar and tarmac were making an appearance. A housing development based on rounding-off a mixed private/council estate at Westwood was designed. This scheme, named Ravensthorpe by PDC, was begun in 1970 and the first house was occupied a year later. Popular with tenants but creating a storm of controversy with the locals, the estate was one of modest two-storey terraces in a modern, nofrills style. The pace soon picked up and by June 1973 PDC had completed its 1,000th house. Private house builders, too, continued as they had before designation, and some were building on land provided by the PDC. A New Town was meant to have a balanced population with an even mix of houses for rent and sale. Land was allocated in each of the townships to achieve this, but the need for speed in providing for growth meant that in the first decade or so, many more houses for rent were built and it was not until the end of PDC’s life that an approximate balance was reached. HOUSING AND ARCHITECTURAL TRENDS The early rented schemes at Bretton were, like Ravensthorpe, based on a layout principle known as ‘Radburn’, where there was a separation of vehicle and pedestrian access to each house. Houses were arranged in short terraces around courtyards and along footpaths with roads to the back garden side. Radburn did not work well with the higher densities necessary – in the USA, where it originated, houses were built at four per acre whereas in Peterborough there had to be at least 12. Other pressures came into play, particularly one from central government to reduce costs. PDC houses were generous space-wise, often providing more internal space than equivalent private sector houses. No compromises were

made on the size of rented houses and costs were shaved by not providing garages and by employing large contracts, extensive timber framing and in one case the Wimpey ‘no-fines concrete’ wall system. The PDC never built high, as many local authorities had done in the ‘60s. There was a great variety in the layout types and house styles of the individual townships, given an overriding philosophy leaning towards domestic scale, house and garden and saleability. “This approach kept at bay such adventures in architectural wonderland as flat roofs and plastic cladding,” is a quote from the book The Peterborough Effect by Terence Bendixson. Possibly as a result, the PDC won few design awards but was not devoid of innovations which have lasted. One award went to a small group of solar-heated houses in Orton Brimbles. The three townships have a degree of individuality through housing design; Bretton has a great variety of materials in walls and roofs, in Orton the predominant brick colour is golden with Scandinavian-style coloured vertical timber making an impact, and Werrington has much more red brick and roof tiles. However, the distinguishing features are in the landscape of each township. Bretton has a very large open space with the character of an informal traditional urban park. Orton has a huge number of smaller open spaces in all its neighbourhoods and interlinked tree belts. The central spine bus route is also a strong feature. In Werrington, the straight lines of the Fen landscape have been employed and a large lake bordered by housing adds character. PDC completed over 9,000 houses by 1980 with a final total at its closure of 10,000. About one-third had been sold to tenants by 1988. All unsold stock was transferred before the winding-up date to the City Council (now Cross Keys HA) and other local housing associations. NENE LIVING JULY 2017




‘Starter-plus’ houses by Equity Homes in Orton Brimbles were aimed at first-time buyers


Homebuyer newsletters (above) kept the community abreast of the latest developments

Selling Peterborough to London commuters at Euston Station (right)

PDC housing for rent at Orton Malborne

Bucolic bliss: Botolph Green today

Solar houses in Orton Brimbles

Wimpey ‘no-fines concrete’ housing in Paston



CHANGE OF POLICY The Peterborough New Town, created under a Labour government, survived a change of power at Westminster but was held back during a further spell under Labour in the late 1970s. Inner cities’ problems culminating in urban rioting led to a change of direction in housing investment policy. Resources were switched from New Towns to the inner cities and target populations in Milton Keynes, Northampton and Peterborough were reduced in total by 120,000. This put an end to a massive development proposed at Castor but still left a need for land for 4-5,000 houses to be built there. Following the election of the Conservatives in 1979, investment in new rented housing was halted and New Towns were instructed to sell their houses. Efforts to attract house builders to the city took on a new dimension. Every trick in the book was used to make it easy to build and sell houses to a willing public. To keep a lid on prices developers were allowed to build under licence. They could not buy sites and sit on them. The housing market was lubricated by improved promotion and information through a ‘Homebuyer Centre’ where details of every new house for sale was displayed in a shop in the city centre. At its peak over 30 developers were using it, and in 1987 about 1,100 houses were built in a single year. Innovation in design, marketing and homebuyer finance was encouraged through the use of competitions, finance schemes and by careful selection of developers. Competitions were held to produce affordable houses, won by Barratt Homes, on a site in Orton Wistow. At the other end of the price scale a site called The Hill was chosen for prestige homes overlooking Orton Meadows golf course. The winners, Monsell Youell, and

July 1967: designation of Peterborough New Town February 1968: establishment of Peterborough Development Corporation 1969: publication of Greater Peterborough Master Plan (approved 1971) 1970: first house built at Ravensthorpe 1971: Bretton Township, work on site begins 1972: Soke Parkway opened City Centre Plan approved 1974: Orton Township, start on site 1974: new bridge over River Nene opens 1976: Fletton Parkway and Orton Parkway open 1977: Thomas Cook moves into new headquarters Population target reduced by 20,000 Nene Valley Railway opens 1978: Ferry Meadows opens 1979: Government instructs New Towns to sell their houses 1981: 50-minute service to King’s Cross 1982: Queensgate opens to customers Homebuyer Centre opens 1983: Queensgate awarded European Shopping Centre of the Year 1984: 20,000th house completed 1985: Frank Perkins Parkway and Nene Bridge opens 1986: Svenskaby houses constructed and sold 1988: Queen opens Lynch Wood Business Park 10,000th private house completed Showcase Cinema opens Ferry Meadows judged in top ten country parks in UK Rivergate shopping centre under construction

two runners-up were offered sites and produced some outstanding developments. At Thorpe Meadows a site with an inlet created off the Nene provided houses with private moorings. Plots of land for self-builders, laid out with roads and landscaping, proved very popular. The first major development of Swedish component houses in the UK was built at Svenskaby in Orton Wistow. First-time buyers were offered ‘Starter-plus’ homes by Equity Homes in Orton Brimbles, where the first floor of a chalet bungalow could be left to be fitted out at a later date, turning a one-bed house into a three-bed house. PDC was a pioneer in helping first-time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder; schemes involving shared ownership, equity share, Private Sector Shared Ownership and one called Homeshare were available at various times. At the very end of its life PDC embarked on one of its most successful housing-for-sale ventures on one of the last areas of pastureland within the built-up area. At Botolph Green about 300 houses by 10 developers are arranged around a large village green complete with pond and market cross. THE END PDC was officially wound-up in September 1988, the Peterborough Development Agency already established as its successor. All remaining assets and liabilities were transferred to the Commission for the New Towns, which was absorbed into English Partnerships and then into the Homes and Communities Agency. The largest remnant of PDC is the several hundred acres of farmland north of Castor on either side of the A47 which is currently proposed as a development allocation in the Peterborough Local Plan Replacement.




The Lady Rothschild Dairy



hree luxury self-catering holiday houses located on the famous Ashton Estate surrounded by wildflower meadows, rolling farmland and magical woodlands – the perfect country retreat. The houses are finished with an emphasis on quality, in a style that is both comfortable and elegantly modern. The solid oak finishes and natural features make each house individual. The Lady Rothschild Dairy is of exceptional architectural interest and has been awarded Grade II* listed status.

The Constable House – Sleeps 9 + 3 The Turner House – Sleeps 8 + 2 The Gainsborough House – Sleeps 8

Website: Email: Tel: 01832 272264 / 07831 855206


From virtual reality to medieval monuments, Sarah Chase finds some reasons to

Holiday at home H

OLIDAYS: we all look forward to them, and with good reason. But the build-up of stress in the days before leaving the house can leave many people wondering whether going abroad, or even just away, is really worth it! Whilst the benefits of getting away from it all are well documented, and visiting new destinations will undoubtedly broaden the mind, there are times when a holiday at home could be the answer. Don’t let the peace and quiet of our beautiful locality fool you: there is plenty to see and do here, just as you would elsewhere on your well-earned break...



How many times have you promised yourself a visit to one of our local landmarks, only to get sidetracked by something exciting that’s further afield? All too often we overlook the treasures that are on our doorstep! At over a kilometre in length, and with an impressive 82 arches, the Harringworth Viaduct (above, also known as the Seaton or Welland Viaduct) has been a magnificent feature of the landscape around Harringworth and Seaton since its completion in 1878. Trains still run across it, so pack a picnic and venture out on a train-spotting expedition: the countryside around it is stunning, and there are pubs in both villages should the weather falter. If you’re city-bound, then Peterborough has many wonderful sightseeing opportunities on offer, with plenty for all ages to enjoy. Your starting point could be the Cathedral, at the very heart of the city (above right): at nearly 900 years old, it’s brimming with history and atmosphere and has lots to offer families who enjoy exploring our cultural heritage. New for this summer, and designed by children’s illustrator Emma Metcalfe, is a kids’ activity guide – intriguingly entitled Monks, Mischief and Marauders, it costs £2 per copy.

Later in the summer, be sure to look out for the Cathedral’s new Explorer’s Backpack: available for a returnable deposit of £5, and created especially for the under-sevens, the backpack will include all the equipment needed to help your child follow an interactive trail. Backpacks and activity guides have both been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. For info see Food, drink and that holiday staple, ice cream, are all available at the new Becket’s Tea Room, which includes a children’s menu. Once you’ve sampled the ice creams, why not stretch your legs whilst challenging the spotters in your family? Most people are familiar with the nationwide Blue Plaques which allow passers-by to instantly recognise a building’s place in history – Peterborough Civic Society has just finished a major project of installing 20

of them around the city. Challenge your family to find as many as they can by downloading the free map and guide available from Whilst enjoying the history of our area, be sure not to miss Longthorpe Tower, on the outskirts of the city. This beautiful medieval building is reckoned to be one of the 100 most important historical sites in the country, and is an example of upward-mobility to beat all – built, as it was, by Robert Thorpe, whose family had risen from peasants to nobility in just three generations. Described as featuring ‘the finest set of domestic medieval wall paintings anywhere in Western Europe’, the beautifully decorated interior walls are well worth a visit. www. has more information. NENE LIVING JULY 2017


Holiday at home MUSEUMS

The unpredictable British weather means it’s a good idea to have a rainy day option up your sleeve – and museums are always a winner. Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery is a wonderful place to while away a morning. Children are particularly well catered for, with dressing up and interactive exhibits


galore, not to mention the fantastic café. It’s worth checking the website,, to see what’s on, as events are updated regularly. Oundle Museum ( uk) may be on a smaller scale, but it still offers a fascinating insight into the life of the market town which has been continuously occupied since the Iron Age. A children’s room here is kept stocked with craft activities and dressing up regalia, to keep even the youngest ones interested! Another hidden gem is John Clare Cottage, in Helpston village. It was restored by the John Clare Trust in 2005, with the aim of celebrating the life of this extraordinary man, who died in an asylum but is widely regarded as one of our country’s greatest poets. His poems are a

Extending over 42 acres of ancient woodland, the Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre invites visitors to get up close to the residents it protects – owls, hawks, buzzards, falcons, eagles and vultures. Whilst some of the larger species prefer to be admired from afar, other birds are happy to be held, making this a really hands-on experience for children. The Centre’s aim has, from its beginnings in 1999, been to conserve and protect native woodland birds, animals and plants, resulting in a very special woodland environment for the family to explore. And if birds just aren’t enough for you, it’s now home to some rather larger inhabitants: a total of nine big cats, including four of the critically-endangered species, Amur Leopards. These stunning creatures can only be seen on scheduled Big Cat Open Days, and numbers are limited, so make sure you book ahead. See www. for times and prices. In the unassuming village of Winwick, deep in the countryside, an animal encounter with a difference awaits courtesy of Winwick Barn Alpacas. Owner Jay Allgood says: “Meeting and walking our alpacas on a gentle country group stroll is a truly memorable experience. We would love to welcome you for a two-hour visit, introducing you to the herd and any new babies and explaining all about alpacas and their fabulous fleece.” Children aged 13 years and over are able to lead their own alpaca,



paean to the countryside around him and the cottage is an evocative memorial to a slower pace of life. has details.

whilst those of six years and above are welcome to accompany an adult. You have been warned: this could be the start of a lifelong obsession with these gentle and incredibly cute animals! Opening times for the summer holidays are available on the website, Just down the road from Winwick is Hamerton Zoo Park, which reopened last month following May’s tragic incident in which one of its keepers was killed when a tiger entered the enclosure in which she was working. The decision to re-open was supported by keeper Rosa King’s family and greeted with joy by the venue’s loyal fans... along with its ever-increasing collection of animals from across the world it has a fantastic children’s play area, covered picnic space and coffee shop. has opening times and details of events throughout the summer. For a more ‘domestic’ type of animal encounter, Sacrewell Farm offers plenty of things to do and see in a very picturesque setting. Youngsters can feed the rabbits and guinea pigs, explore the historic watermill, enjoy the sheep racing and, if the British summer weather sets in, head for the Playbarn where the fun continues under cover. This year, you can also book tickets to see Immersion Theatre’s open air production of The Wind in the Willows, set next to the mill stream, beneath the willow trees. It’s on 29 July – go to for more information.


For many parents, part of the joy of a holiday lies in handing over chores such as cooking to a professional… so why should your holiday at home be any different? Nothing conjures up the Continental vibe more than eating al fresco. Try Fotheringhay’s renowned gastro-pub, The Falcon, (www. for its wonderful Sunday barbecue and pizza evenings (booking essential); or The Olive Grove near Polebrook (, where you can sit amongst the olive trees and enjoy live musical entertainment at weekends throughout the summer, whilst sampling a delicious Mediterranean-inspired menu. The Tap and Kitchen in Oundle (www. and Lakeside Kitchen & Bar at Ferry Meadows (www.lakesidekitchenandbar. com) both offer outside seating on the waterfront, with spot-on menus to boot. Or, for the ultimate in luxury, it may just be worth booking a private chef for the night. La Belle Assiette is a nationwide company offering the services of local chefs: simply choose your menu and your chef will shop, cook, serve and

wash up for you. It’s not the cheapest way to do things, and the minimum number of guests is six, but for a special treat it could be just the thing. will give all the details needed. If you must cook for yourself, then our wonderful outside spaces offer all the room

and resources you’ll require to fire up a BBQ: all you need to bring is the charcoal and your choice of favourite food. Try Barnwell Country Park ( or Nene Park ( for some seasonal burnt-sausage cuisine… always a family favourite!


Sometimes, holidays should be about once-in-a-lifetime experiences – the kind of things you’d never do day-to-day. Taking to the skies in that most magical of flying contraptions, the hot air balloon, would be something the whole family remembers forever. Virgin Balloon Flights operates one of its centres out of Peterborough’s Ferry Meadows, so arranging this jaw-droppingly dramatic adventure couldn’t be simpler: go to www.virginballoonflights. to find out more. Children over the age of seven are welcome. If your legs aren’t too wobbly on landing, perhaps a bit of horse-riding at nearby Lynch Farm would get the adrenaline going. Children as young as four are able to try out their skills in a variety of sessions timed to suit their level of experience: a 20-minute lead rein session requires no booking on a Saturday or Sunday – just turn up at 3pm. For all other times and sessions, booking is necessary. Visit www. for further info and contact details. If it’s raining, or you want to escape from it all, head to Colossal Escape in Peterborough for a new and immersive experience. Up to four people can book a room for an hour, and explore different virtual worlds – not your everyday kind of thing! Children must be at least 10 to take part; find out more at


It wouldn’t be a holiday without a beach, right? It took 400 tonnes of imported sand to create an inland beach at Sykes Lane, Rutland Water. Adults and children alike can enjoy some wild swimming – or at least a bit of sandcastle fun – at this wonderful reservoir. Lifeguards are on duty for much of the time, but children must be supervised by parents or guardians, especially when swimming. Swim shoes are also advisable, as it’s pebbly in the water. Visit for details and safety advice. With less sand but still plenty of water, head off on your own canoeing adventure – surely the most tranquil way to escape the relentless pace of our everyday life. Richard and Ian at Canoe2, based in Rushden, rent boats for anything from two hours to five days, and offer all the equipment and advice you’ll need – visit for prices and options. Nene Extreme, at Oundle Wharf, also offers kayaks and canoes by the hour, and if you decide you want to invest in one for the long term, you’ll get the price of your hire back. www. gives more info. Peterborough’s Lido, with its large outdoor pool and sunbathing areas, takes a normal swim and gives it a Continental twist: pack a picnic and stay for the day! will have opening times.

Holiday rules Be warned: strict rules must apply to make this a holiday to remember for the right reasons! • Whether you live by yourself, with a partner, or as part of a larger family, you must all agree that essential everyday household tasks are kept to a minimum, and shared where possible. • A holiday at home is not a time for performing the DIY jobs that have been building up over the year – save the screwdriver for a rainy weekend. • Make a pact to experience the best your area has to offer, just as you would if you were visiting somewhere for the first time. • Research and plan your time off – keep a list of all the sights you haven’t got around to seeing. • Treat yourself: takeaways, meals out, ice creams and ‘souvenirs’ are definitely on the menu! NENE LIVING JULY 2017




Grand designs Rebecca Downey discovers a challenging but rewarding afternoon of creative contemplation at Peterborough Cathedral

Sign up for the next drawing course which takes place on 12 August 2017 at 1pm. Tickets cost £8 (£6 concessions) and you’ll need to take your own drawing materials. Book via Peterborough Visitor Centre on 01733 452336 or online at


TEPPING out of the hustle and bustle of Peterborough’s Cathedral Square on a busy Bank Holiday into the venerated calm of the Cathedral itself was a welcome reprieve. In 2018, the current Cathedral building will be 900 years old and so the Peterborough 900 Campaign is aiming to raise £10m in funds to develop new facilities for education, visitors, music and worship. A drawing tour, led by trained guide and local artist, Lynne Collins, is a great opportunity for drawing enthusiasts as well as those curious to discover more about the fascinating history of the city’s central edifice. I was a little nervous, having last opened my sketchbook in the ‘90s, but Lynne’s gentle encouragement was reassuring and after a brief introduction about the techniques she uses and a glance through some of her work, we set about putting pencil to paper. Lynne illustrates life as she sees it and is known for her urban sketches from bench viewpoints all over Peterborough. More recently she has created and exhibited a series of silk hangings inspired by the Cathedral’s 13thcentury painted ceiling. She encouraged us to dispel with any notions we might have about our ability: “Individuals who say they can’t draw are the ones that have preconceptions. If we merely focus on the shapes – a circle here, a line there – we are creating what we see without any intention of what the end result might be. Once you name something it becomes much

harder to draw.” Wise words indeed, and it really does seem that deconstructing the subject in this way makes drawing more accessible. Lynne’s aim is to help individuals who request guidance and leave alone those who are happy to get on with it. She points out: “The most important thing is the ‘doing’ and this is how art evolves.” Lynne explained that her own sketches often arise from simply looking at something for five minutes then sketching from memory, or alternatively focusing on the subject and drawing without looking down at one’s work. It is surprising and exciting what can be achieved using this less intuitive approach. SHIFTING PERSPECTIVE Drawn to the light and space of The New Building with its impressive fan-vaulted ceiling, I began sketching the view westwards – a little ambitious I realised, so my second attempt focused on a stonework cherub sculpture wielding a skull. Lynne urged us to keep moving and change our perspective – for example the Nave ceiling depicts a menagerie of interesting creatures in each rebus and a mirrored table allows you to focus on these without straining your neck. The lozenges around the outer wall provide carved examples of flora and fauna in stone relief and of course the stained

Book a Tower Tour and explore the areas usually off limits: climb the narrow staircases, admire the architecture and stained glass close-up from the Triforium and then ascend further to the roof.

glass windows display a wealth of religious iconography, shape and pattern. Two hours, it seems, is not enough! Fellow course members agreed it was delightful to spend time in creative contemplation away from screens, work and the frenetic pace of life today. Grace, who as luck would have it is studying the theme of ‘architecture’ for her art GCSE, succinctly described the process: “Drawing makes you see things you wouldn’t normally observe.” Certainly, the mind relaxes and develops when it is given time to focus without distraction. Sketching as a group helps you to lose your inhibitions; there were no onlookers or cringing comparisons made and we were left to explore and share as much or as little as we wished. So for those of us who hadn’t picked up a pencil for a while it was an edifying and uplifting experience, but whether you are studying art, an experienced draftsman or an absolute beginner, this course is accessible to all and very reasonably priced. How lucky we are to have this rich heritage and extraordinary construction on our doorstep, and how often do we bypass its splendour when we are busy devoting our energy to the world of consumption that surrounds it! NENE LIVING JULY 2017


HEALTH & BEAUTY Bridget Steele has the latest on looking good and feeling great

Gemstone treatment will have you red carpet-ready The Black Diamond Facial treatment is the latest on the menu at Pure Health and Beauty in Glapthorn. The products used contain black diamonds, gemstones, pure oxygen and high-performance peptides that illuminate and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, bringing youthfulness and luminosity to the skin. I was invited to try one and find out why this luxury facial has been received so favourably in the celebrity world. The treatment lasts an hour and the first thing that struck me was the beautiful aroma of the products – not at all overpowering, just gently soothing and gliding over the skin. Because the products are applied with the therapist’s fingertips, the treatment is also very relaxing without any beeps or sensors prodding the skin. After the usual cleansing and toning, the dermabrasion products are applied to remove dead skin cells, followed by a pyruvic acid gel that stimulates collagen production and promotes a smooth texture. A black diamond and ruby mask is then applied to condition the skin and relieve any irritation – while the mask was working, the therapist massaged my hands; this was where I had to try and keep myself awake and enjoy every moment! The facial ends with an eye serum and hydrating moisturiser that contains a natural non-chemical sunscreen and antioxidants. The Black Diamond Facial was a real treat and left my skin feeling fresh, tight, clean and ready for the red carpet… • For more information contact Jayne at Pure Health and Beauty, The Old Stables, Church Farm, Glapthorn, Near Oundle PE8 5BE. 07714 627043.

A magnet for health Everyone knows those copper bands people wear to help with aches, pains and arthritis – but did you know how much they’ve improved, with modern ranges of beautiful jewellery and accessories suitable for men, women, children and even pets? Accessories now available include ‘power hearts’ – very strong 2000 gauss magnets which are applied directly to a problem area on the body such as your back or shoulder – as well as water sticks which magnetise your drinking water to take out the limescale and make it taste better. It’s claimed that magnets help 94 per cent of the population and it is recommended that pieces are worn for at least eight hours every day. Samantha McHugh of Magnetix Wellness has had very positive feedback from customers. She said: “Magnets have helped with headaches and migraines, night sweats, tiredness/low energy, period pain, difficulty in sleeping, night terrors in children, even colitis. One of my colleagues has also been working with the MS Society and had positive results in making people feel more comfortable and pain-free. Wearing a magnet also helps you recover from gym workouts quicker. You can’t wear magnets if you have a pacemaker, though.” • For more details on the range contact Samantha McHugh on 07834 659402 or log on to www.sammchugh.

Room to rent Pure Health and Beauty has a large, heated treatment room available for rent at its Glapthorn salon. There’s plenty of natural light, an electric couch, sink, and on-site parking. For details call Jayne on 07714 627043.



Regain body confidence It’s a proven fact that if you look better, you feel better, and Elysia Health and Beauty has led the way with Lipoform Pro since it was launched a couple of years ago. The consistent results have made it hugely popular, not to mention a celebrity favourite. Owner Lisa said: “The results speak for themselves and clients have regained their body confidence without the need for surgery.” Whether you’re looking to lose a few inches, target stubborn areas of fat that are resistant to exercise, tighten skin, work on your arms so you needn’t worry about your choice of outfit, effectively reduce cellulite or regain your shape after pregnancy, Lipoform Pro will deliver. “We can also treat the face and neck and eye area with advance radio frequency to reduce wrinkles, tighten and tone loose and lax skin,” says Lisa. Lipofirm Pro is medically certified and suitable for men and women; it’s ideal for multiple body areas and no post-treatment down-time is needed. Lisa recommends a course of treatments for the best of results and has an extensive portfolio of the results that can be achieved. • Elysia Health and Beauty, Tansor, PE8 5HP. 01832 226328 or 07879 620196.

Not only does it look gorgeous It helps reduce hot sweats, menopausal symptoms, stress and anxiety. Reduces Symptoms of arthritis, and so much more. Take a look at my webshop or contact me on 07834 659402

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BLACK DIAMOND FACIAL £10 OFF DURING JULY The facial is a luxurious, glamourising treatment, which is very popular amongst the A-List Celebrities because of its instant, fantastic results. Rare black diamonds encapsulates white diamonds and antiageing peptides to instantly illuminate, plump, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, while bringing youthfulness to the skin. It is deeply relaxing but very effective. This is the perfect facial for a special occasion as it gives an instant luminous lift.

1hour 15mins £85 but £75 for July Valid until 31st July 2017

To book your appointment or for further information please ring 01832 272310, text 07807 879459, or Email: The Old Stables, Church Farm, Glapthorne, Nr Oundle PE8 5BE



The Fox at Folksworth C A S U A L F I N E D I N I N G 7 D AY S A W E E K Family friendly seasonal food I Selection of real ales and beers I Children's menu I Specials board Bar menu I Sun room I Functions catered for and outside catering Marquee available for larger events Monthly tasting at the chefs table with wines matched to courses

T H E F OX AT F O L K S W O RT H 34 Manor Road, Folksworth, Peterborough PE7 3SU t 01733 242867 w 30

FOOD & DRINK The Fox is tamed! Bridget Steele reports on how two city restaurateurs and their team have transformed the famous Folksworth pub

A team of six chefs work closely to produce an innovative and exciting menu, using local produce wherever possible


UN streams through the windows on a Tuesday afternoon at the newly opened Fox at Folksworth; bifold doors open at the back to overlook pastureland, showing off the beautifully decorated light and welcoming interior. It’s all such a far cry from the dark, derelict pub I had been shown when owners Prafulla Gorania and brother Dinesh Odedra first got the keys in September 2016! Prafulla and Dinesh have become familiar faces on the Peterborough food scene in the last few years, with experience running Clarkes Restaurant, Café Clarkes and the Banyan Tree. Buying an old village pub that closed nearly four years ago has been their most ambitious project. Prafulla’s enthusiasm was infectious though, and I could see that her vision – of a country pub serving great food, welcoming to locals and those from farther afield, catering for weddings and parties, and offering a spacious outdoor area – would be a success. The extensive renovations began in October, planning for an early 2017 opening, and Clarkes Restaurant and Café Clarkes closed at the end of the year in anticipation. After Christmas it was a case of all hands on deck as the restaurant team joined in with preparations, turning their hands to decorating and working alongside the builders. As Head Chef Kenny Bradford explained: “It was a real team effort to get everything ready;

we knew it was going to be special and we all wanted to be part of it.” Finally in April, The Fox opened its doors and already diners are returning – one thing that was most important to Prafulla was that the locals liked it. She says: “The people of Folksworth have been so supportive right from the start and we have strived to involve them in all our plans – we want people to bring their families in and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, even if just having a drink, where incidentally there is a good selection of draught and beers on tap. The menu will change every six weeks and will aim to use local produce where possible, and Kenny is very excited about plans to include a tasting table for up to 24 people. “Every few weeks we want to encourage people to try new dishes before they’re offered on the standard menu, and it’s an ideal opportunity for our enthusiastic chefs to explain the food and include a bit of theatre in the evening,” says Kenny. Other plans include a vintage tea shop and, eventually, selling chutneys, jams, bread and cakes. The Fox is open seven days a week and has a bar and à la carte menu with children’s specials and seating for a hundred diners. On Sundays it is open from 12-5pm and will offer standard Sunday lunches with a choice of four roasts. The team of six chefs work closely together

to produce an innovative and exciting menu. I chose the poached hen’s egg with a haricot bean salad and saffron onion for my starter – the bean salad arrived in a little jar with a perfectly poached egg on top. It was colourful, flavoursome and the ideal appetiser for what was to follow. My husband chose the smoked fishcake with tartar and pea – this was perfectly cooked with a crispy coating and soft middle. For mains I chose the pan-seared sea bass with a smoked fishcake. This arrived with a generous portion of the greenest, freshest samphire – every mouthful was savoured. Tim chose the pork belly with puy lentils and celeriac with crispy cod cheeks and apple. He devoured it and loved the combination of fish and meat. We shared a delicate dessert of rhubarb and custard, all beautifully presented and a treat to eat. Prices are reasonable, with a great choice and innovative menu, and the staff are welcoming – all in all this is a pub that we look forward to watching develop. It’s sure to become a favourite in the area. • The Fox at Folksworth is at 34 Manor Road, Folksworth, Peterborough PE7 3SU. 01733 242867. For more information or to make a reservation, email: bookings@



FOOD & DRINK Raise your glasses! Toni Pratt, manager of Majestic Wine, suggests ten tipples you’ve probably never heard of but should be drinking this summer Whites Tipped to be the wine trend for 2017, dry Tokaji (Tok-eye) is fresh, crisp and interesting. Although Tokaji is well known for producing world famous dessert wines, dry styles from the region are becoming more popular thanks to their flavours of fresh apple and pleasant minerality. A great alternative to a classic Chablis! Try Royal Tokaji Dry Tokaji. Sauvignon Blanc is the most popular grape in the UK at the minute and it’s those from Marlborough, New Zealand that are dominating sales. If you want to be a step ahead of the trend, head to one of the lesser-known wine-growing countries in Europe, Slovenia! Full of classic Sauvignon freshness but with a more delicate rounded finish thanks to the addition of an Italian grape, Ribolla Gialla, known for its floral flavours. Try Krasno Sauvignon Blanc. With grape bunches in triangles, reminiscent of the shape of sheep heads, Pecorino has flavours of intense citrus fruits, and a subtle hint of orange blossom. I’m obviously not talking about the cheese, but like the cheese they both come from the Italian word ‘Pecora’, meaning sheep. Try Contesa Pecorino. Supposedly dating back to Roman times, Grüner Veltliner may be an old grape but the wine is as fresh as they come. With bursts of lime zest and lemon freshness, it’s a refreshing alternative to usual selections, even for hardened Sauvignon drinkers. Try the brand new Majestic Loves Grüner Veltliner.



With the grape being named after the Roman God of wine you’re expecting big things. Bacchus is crisp, clean and fresh, with bundles of gooseberry flavour – great for Sancerre drinkers and best of all, it’s English! Try Chapel Down Bacchus.

Reds Ever heard of Bobal? Me neither until fairly recently, which is surprising considering it’s the third most planted grape variety in Spain. It is a ‘bull-like’ rich and smooth with bags of forest fruit character; a perfect match for BBQ meats. Try Vox Populi Bobal. Okay, you may have heard of Zinfandel, a name synonymous with sweet and fruity rosés, but this beautiful grape produces some absolutely corking reds too! Typically chocolatey-rich, they are a great alternative for lovers of big Aussie Shiraz and they pair perfectly with a burger! Try Ravenswood. I know you might be thinking French wine when you hear ‘Pinot Noir’, but don’t. Romanian Pinot Noir is light and fruity; great for drinking in the sunshine. It is a perfect wine for summer with its soft and juicy cherry and raspberry notes. Even try it slightly chilled for a refreshing wine with lunch. Try Incanta Pinot Noir. Nero d’Avola is Sicily’s most important red grape and its answer to the now world famous Malbec! This is a wine to wow those big heavy red drinkers! Full and fruity with a touch of pepper, definitely worth a try with a big flame grilled meal. Try Corolla Nero d’Avola.

Chermoula halloumi with giant couscous, tomato, honey & date salad Serves 4, preparation 10 minutes, cook 20 minutes Ingredients • 150g giant wholegrain couscous (ordinary will be fine if you can’t find the giant variety! • 1tbsp honey • 2tbsp lemon juice • 3tbsp olive oil 250g cherry tomatoes, halved crossways 8 medjool dates, pitted and cut into strips • Large handful chopped parsley and coriander For the chermoula halloumi: • 1 pack Riverford halloumi, cut into 5mm slices • 1tsp cumin seeds • 1tsp coriander seeds • 1 tsp fennel seeds • 1/2tsp sumac • Put the couscous in a large saucepan and toast for a couple of minutes, without adding any oil.

Sparkling If, like me, you live a Champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget you need to know about Cap Classique! It is South Africa’s equivalent of Champagne, made in the exact same way, with the same grapes, just without the price tag. My favourite

• Cover with three times the volume of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and leave to cool. • Whisk the honey, lemon, oil and salt and pepper in a large bowl. • Mix in the couscous, tomatoes, dates and herbs. Leave at room temperature while you make the halloumi. • Toast all the seeds until you can just smell their aroma, approx one minute. Grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder, then mix with the sumac in a shallow dish. • Press in the halloumi slices to coat on both sides. • Heat a non-stick frying pan without adding any oil. • Dry fry the slices for a minute or so on each side until lightly browned. Don’t let them burn. • Cut into smaller pieces and toss with the couscous.

has to be the Graham Beck Brut; complex, creamy and rich, it knocks the socks off most sub-£20 Champagne! • Majestic Wine is at 68 Albert Place, Bourges Boulevard, Peterborough PE1 1DD. 01733 319608;


It’s the circus life for me Angel Sallai is about to become the youngest ringmistress in the big top PHOTOGRAPHY: DAVE PHILLIPS AND SALLAI FAMILY


T used to be every child’s dream to join a circus. Perhaps that’s why Angel Sallai reckons she is the luckiest girl in the world. The 18-year-old from Polebrook is soon to become the youngest female ringmistress in the business – and fortune certainly smiled on her from a very early age. “I was born in a small hospital near Rhyll, in Wales,” she says. “Mum had a terrible labour and had to have an emergency caesarean. I came out dead, but the doctors worked on me frantically and finally got a heartbeat. The midwife turned to my mum and said: ‘This one must have been touched by an Angel’. That’s how I got my name! “I grew up in the circus. I’m the seventh generation of my family in the business. The circus life is in my blood. My dad was from a Hungarian acrobatic troupe family and was a juggler who also did amazing balancing acts, and my mum was from the Roberts circus family. “I had an idyllic childhood, spending March to November on the road, then winters in Polebrook. There is a big circus community here. My grandad has lived in the village for 66 years. “I never missed my schooling: my mum made sure of that. I may have missed out on a few school trips, but who cares when most of the time you are on the road visiting new places and meeting amazing, fascinating people? Every winter I went first to Polebrook village school, then Oundle Middle School and finally Prince William School. When I left, I went to college in Kettering to do business studies. I loved college, but it made me realise how much circus life means to me. I had the opportunity to go to university, but my heart wasn’t in it.” Angel is known to locals as the smiling face behind the bar of the village pub, the King’s Arms, but although she is adept at pulling pints and enjoying the banter and gossip, her heart is under the big top. And when the Circus Sallai hits the road next spring, Angel will have a very special new role – as ringmistress. “A circus ringmistress is like a ringmaster, only female,” she explains with a laugh. “It is a big job, because you have to know what is going on at all times and be good at improvisation, because things seldom go exactly to plan! I speak clearly and never get flustered, so it’s the ideal job for me. “I spent last summer working in a small circus in Southwold as ringmistress and I loved it. It is a huge honour to be doing the job in the family circus.” The Circus Sallai really is a family affair. It



Angel honing her ringmistress skills

Miracle baby Angel with her dad Right: Angel’s grandmother, who performed archery as Princess Moira

An aerial view of the family circus

they are still absolutely hilarious. includes mum Kitty, dad Istvan, I have a cousin, Mooky the Clown, Angel’s elder sister Summer, 24, who works at the Blackpool Tower and brothers Robert, 16, and Nevis, circus. He is huge fun in and out of 11, as well as Summer’s husband, the ring and has me in stitches. Salvatore Samvito, an Italian “Although I am from a circus performer who specialises in highfamily, I am part of a bigger family wire and escapologist acts. The every year. When you hit the couple met when Summer toured road, you are all one big family. Europe as a low-wire performer. You get to spend your time with “I don’t have any special circus amazing people, from all sorts of skills, although I have been Angel works at the King’s cultures. When I was growing up, practising foot juggling,” says Angel. Arms, Polebrook my best friend was a little girl called “But everybody does more than Namuna, who was from a Mongolian family of one job in a circus and my business skills mean acrobats, although her father was a strongman. I can get involved in the admin side and do We still keep in touch, through Facebook. the bookings and venues. There is a massive “The future? Who knows, one day I might run amount of planning involved in hitting the road my own circus. I could return to college – I enjoy with a big circus. It’s not just a case of turning studying – but I don’t think I will. People ask if up and putting up a tent!” I’ll ever meet someone and settle down, but Apart from the family, there will also be a that’s not part of the plan. I love this area, which host of other performers – including clowns, of has always had circus connections. Polebrook course. And according to Angel, there’s no such and Kings Cliffe are both associated with circus thing as a sad clown behind the painted smile, people and one of the most famous performers even off-duty. of all, Coco the Clown, is buried at Woodnewton. “Clowns really are the funniest people “Polebrook will always be my home when I’m you’ll ever meet,” she says. “They often have not on the road, but it’s the circus life for me.” a different personality outside the ring, but Angel with her sister Summer

Angel as ringmistress last year in Southwold

BIG TOP? SMALL CHANCE! Want to take your family to the circus? It isn’t as easy as you’d think... In the past you probably didn’t know there was a circus in town until the trucks arrived and they started erecting the big top on the local park. Astonishingly, in this era of social media, it is pretty much the same today. True, many circuses do have websites and Facebook pages. Unfortunately, most range from bewilderingly incomprehensible to hopelessly out of date: I found one that hadn’t been updated since 2014! And the vast majority of those that do supply information on forthcoming dates and venues appear reluctant to mention any performances more than a week or two ahead. The best way to check out the latest information on circus tours in the UK is by going to, which lists all the big circuses, as well as the smaller and edgier ones. These days, many combine circus skills with dance and theatre and there are also some interactive troupes that both perform and hold workshops to teach youngsters how to juggle and clown around. If you’re too impatient to wait until the day a circus suddenly parks up on the local rec, here are some that have confirmed they are coming to town (or nearby!) in the coming weeks: CIRCUS PAZAZ Billed as the best little big top circus in town, Circus PaZaz offers classis circus entertainment for all the family, plus circus skills workshops for children. It’ll be at Kimbolton School Fete on June 24. CIRCUS ACROJOU Formed in 2006, Acrojou’s performers combine circus, visual art, theatre, dance and engineering disciplines to ‘create narrative at the rich meeting point of bodies, structures and materials’. It’ll be in Peterborough on September 2. CIRCUS OF HORRORS A new wave Gothic-style circus billed as ‘an amazing amalgamation of bizarre, brave and beautiful acts woven into a sensational shockhorror story’, this one contains adult language and is unsuitable for under-16s. See why on November 24 at Corby Cube and November 25 at Thomas Clarkson Academy, Wisbech.



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Walled Wonders

Walled gardens feature in many grand country estates. We take a look at their history and suggest some local examples worth a visit this summer


ALLED enclosures for privacy and plant protection go back as far as history. Some of the earliest identified belonged to monasteries, by nature enclosed, where there were gardens for medicinal plants, produce and exercise. Illustrated manuscripts show devotional and pleasure gardens including flowers, turf seats, arbours and trellises in both monasteries and castles. As private houses became more sophisticated, gardens were created to be viewed from the living quarters, a terrace or ‘mount’. The Tudors and Stuarts created large walled gardens with covered galleries, topiary, painted heraldic beasts and later knot gardens. There were famous gardens at Cardinal Wolsey’s Hampton Court and Lord Burghley’s Theobalds. During the 17th century the import of new plants and exotic fruits gave the impetus for technological innovations, protective walls and glasshouses. When landscape gardens became the order of the day kitchen gardens, carefully sited, were built well away from grand houses. By the 19th century such kitchen gardens, with their glasshouses, supplied every need including bedding and cut flowers. These Continued on page 38

BLATHERWYCKE HALL, PE8 6YW Open 11am-4pm, 23 July Georgian Blatherwycke Hall, just off the A43 between Stamford and Corby, was demolished in the 1940s and its four-acre kitchen garden left derelict. In 2011 Joe (who’s had a lifelong love of walled gardens) and Helen Whitehead took on its restoration alongside setting up their Gardenwise business – today they look after the walled garden as well as offering bespoke design and maintenance services to local garden owners and running a successful plant nursery of their own. Within the tall, red-brick walls trees, rubble, rubbish and ivy have been cleared; a crinkle-crankle wall (above) is being expertly repaired, new paths have been laid and it’s now home to fruit, wild flowers, herbaceous perennial borders, vegetables, a parterre, wildflower

meadows and pleached lime hedges. The pair’s passion for the project is evident – see for yourself when the walled garden at Blatherwycke Hall is open under the National Garden Scheme. Find out more at or contact Gardenwise at NENE LIVING JULY 2017


WalledWonders became objects of pride to be displayed to visitors, with the head gardener’s job carrying responsibility and prestige. Not just stately homes but smaller country houses, manor houses and rectories had smaller versions. Up to 1914 garden technology continued to develop and new walled pleasure gardens were becoming popular again. Sadly, WWI put an end to this – taking away gardeners, killing young heirs and heralding a long decline hastened by WW2. But it wasn’t the end of walled gardens. Some survived as market gardens, but their first revival came in the 1960s with an interest in garden history. Queen Eleanor’s Garden at Winchester and the gardens of Hatfield House were historical recreations by charismatic enthusiasts, Sylvia Landsberg and the Marchioness of Salisbury. They inspired others and have been followed by numerous historical restorations, the most famous being Heligan. History and education provided the motivation for many walled gardens to come alive again and they have now lent themselves to many other uses. They have proved good sites for garden centres; they are home to wedding venues, mazes, camping, glamping, vineyards and even tea production. Several have charitable uses for horticultural therapy and although full production is rare, some have been brought back into use as shared allotments or to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers for sale.

ELTON WALLED GARDEN CENTRE, PE8 6SH Open 9am-5.30pm Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm Sunday The Elton Walled Garden centre occupies much of the old walled kitchen garden of Elton Hall and retains many features of its former use. Head gardener Diane Ray is working with owners Nick and Christine Smith and a team of volunteers to revitalise the plot so that it provides produce for the tearoom and a therapeutic, contemplative environment for visitors. If you’re interested in getting involved, call Diane or Nick on 01832 280058 or see

BURGHLEY HOUSE, PE9 3JY House and Gardens of Surprise open daily to 29 October, 11am5pm (closed 31 August-3 September 2017 for the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials) In 1689 joint monarchs William and Mary created their six-acre kitchen garden at Hampton Court. Fifteen years later a garden that was to be twice that size was installed by the 6th Earl of Exeter at Burghley House. It was a good mile from the house and, at its full extent, contained six compartments surrounded by brick walls and an adjoining orchard. Sheds, glasshouses, an irrigation system and a head gardener’s house were added. The latter survives and other buildings remaining include an apple store with mushroom sheds underneath. The garden was last used for for production before WWI when up to 18 gardeners were employed. The estate has recently undertaken a magnificent restoration of the garden – the walls have all been repaired and the whole area landscaped. All the wooden gates have been replaced. Some old fruit trees have been retained and new ones added in the orchard, espaliered on the walls and along an arched fruit walk. Many of these are old varieties. Within one compartment a nuttery with cob, hazel and walnut trees has been planted. Now the work is complete, the estate is considering various options for the use of the walled garden. EASTON WALLED GARDENS, NEAR GRANTHAM, NG33 5AP Wednesday-Sunday, March to October Work on restoration of this unusual survivor from the Tudor and Jacobean periods began in 2001. At that time the enclosed area was completely overgrown and the hard structure in a very poor condition. Since then “family members and their gardeners have created parkland, moved a river, built bridges, walls and ornamental outbuildings”. The garden was sited so that it could be viewed from the house which formerly stood on the slope above. It can still be viewed from above and explored on the ground. It is fascinating to see its revival, with old features sometimes given a modern twist. For more information see



OPEN THIS SUMMER - MORE WALLED GARDENS WITHIN EASY REACH Boughton House, NN14 1BJ Open 12noon-5pm, 1-31 August This extensive landscape garden near Kettering has a walled garden with herbaceous borders and sensory area. Kirby Hall near Corby, NN17 3EN Open daily 10am-6pm, WednesdaySunday Like Easton, this garden was intended to be viewed from the Long Gallery above. Once described as the finest garden in England, the part nearest the Hall was re-created a few years ago. kirby-hall Kelmarsh Hall, NN6 9LY Open 11am-5pm Sunday, TuesdayThursday & Bank Holiday Mondays Lovely gardens surround a triangular walled garden. Dahlias are a summer speciality.

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Patterns in nature Rebecca Downey discusses life and work with local artist Robert Hunter Towards Stamford School – pastel on paper Left: Oundle Marina – watercolour on paper Below left: Lilford Bridge – conte and charcoal on paper


INE artist Robert Hunter is a local lad born and bred; he grew up in Stamford where his father was blacksmith to the Burghley Estate, and he attended Stamford School for boys, as his uncle had done before him. He has always felt a strong connection with the extraordinary townscape of Stamford and the diverse countryside surrounding it. Now residing in Oundle with his wife, Lisa (Principal of the Oundle School of Ballet) and two daughters, Robert has latterly set his sights on the Northamptonshire landscape, capturing scenes of Oundle and the Nene Valley region – all of which is the subject of his inaugural exhibition at The Dolby Gallery this summer. Many years of observing and participating in country life have equipped Robert with a profound visual knowledge: bird watching and fishing expeditions with his uncle affirmed his connection with the local wildlife and waterways, and Robert distinctly recalls the effect of the smell and light on his senses when he was a youngster helping his parents in the garden. This sensibility towards his surroundings is apparent throughout his artwork but Robert is unrestricted by medium or subject matter, always evolving his style, exploring new techniques and investigating alternative aspects to pursue. IN PROPORTION Following his university education in Fine Art, Robert began a career working for a video production company, most notably on a project in partnership with the British Council and The Tate Gallery Sculpture Restoration Department about surrealist pop and collage artist Eduardo Paolozzi. The film focused on the restoration of Paolozzi’s sculpture Hamlet in a Japanese Manner for the retrospective of 20th century British sculpture in the Tuilleries Garden in the Louvre, Paris. This involved working personally with the artist and on the sculpture itself, which he describes as a thrilling and enlightening experience. But realising he preferred practical art-making, Robert set up a studio in London with a sculptor friend, which resulted in an exciting and dynamic period of creativity. He worked on a short film entitled Life Lesson which was screened at the Institute of Contemporary Art; he also exhibited in the Watercolour For The 21st Century exhibition at The Royal

Watercolour Society Bankside Gallery alongside the likes of ‘land artist’ Andy Goldsworthy and David Hockney; and sold an exhibited piece to a prominent Cork Street gallery owner. Returning to this area, marriage and family life has not held Robert back. He is involved in the community as art and photography judge for Oundle’s Horticultural Society show, along with fellow artist and gallery owner Simon Dolby. As a keen photographer himself, Robert captures the local terrain often focusing on the movement of the Nene, the swirling branches and the natural habitat that surrounds it. He is constantly looking for other ways to explore an idea and enjoys acquiring skills in various disciplines. His intuitive reworking of a subject, whether it is deer in Burghley Park or a more architectural landscape, belies his mathematical approach. We discuss the importance of the ‘golden ratio’ and how the geometrical sequence is apparent in nature – most obviously in the spiral arrangement of a flower’s centre or snail shell, for example – and more importantly how this proportional arrangement is aesthetically pleasing to the audience. PERSONAL RESONANCE Robert’s latest project returns to the place of his formative years: exploring the architectural details of Stamford School’s buildings – things which would be familiar and resonate on a personal level with those who attended the school, rather than the familiar view of the Chapel and School House. Robert has focused on the school’s 1532 foundation date and is in the process of creating a triptych using the traditional methods of monotype and block printing with an overlay of gold leaf. So where to next? He has set his sights on exploring the setting of Cambridge and possibly studying that of Edinburgh thereafter. But a family holiday planned this summer will take him to central rural France, where he is sure inspiration will occur and new ideas will form. • To view Robert’s work and for other information visit the Facebook page Hunter Fine Art. Robert Hunter will be exhibiting at the Dolby Gallery from 30 June to 29 July, where all artworks will be available as originals and prints. 30 West Street, Oundle PE8 4EF; 01832 273801. NENE LIVING JULY 2017


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OUT & ABOUT So much to do,see and enjoy this July...

Saturday 1 July The music of John Williams Stamford Brass perform a handful of superb orchestrations and legendary melodies from the most Oscarnominated man alive, John Williams, including some of his works from fabled films such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, ET, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Jaws, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse and many more. 7.30pm. £11, concessions £10. Stamford Corn Exchange, Broad Street, Stamford PE9 1PX. 01780 766455. www. stamfordcornexchange. Sunday 2 July Fun Family Dog Show Go along to Yarwell Playing Field for a funfilled afternoon for all ages. In addition to the

Sunday 9 July Moving Dreams Over the last few months an inter-generational group of participants led by Ida Casilli has unveiled a number of stories of Italian migrants to Peterborough, collating them together into a piece of devised theatre with filmed interactions led by Victor Rios. Mysterious Italian characters from 1930-1960s Peterborough are visiting British Italian student Angela’s dreams. Can Angela fulfill their legacy by telling their stories? A stereotype-breaking tale of love, dedication, hope, bricks and icecreams: all the things you should know about good-willed migrants told by an intergenerational community cast and professional actor Nadia Ostacchini. 12noon and 2pm. Free admission. Italian Community Association, The Fleet, Fleet Way, Peterborough PE2 8DL. Monday 10 July What The Thunder Said Open mic night for

all spoken word performances with a £10 bar tab prize awarded to the audience’s favourite act. 8pm. Charters, Town Bridge, Peterborough PE1 1FP. Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July Abbots Ripton & Wennington Open Gardens More than 10 open gardens, plus a flower display in the lovely St Andrews Church, with all proceeds going towards restoration of the church tower. £6, children free and dogs welcome on leads. 12noon5pm. Entry passports and parking at the village hall: PE28 2LT.

Friday 14 and Saturday 15 July Richard III Following their much acclaimed performance of Henry V at Peterborough Cathedral last year, Antic Disposition stage a thrilling new production of Shakespeare’s darkly comic drama. 7.30pm. Peterborough Cathedral. Tickets from £15-£25 (unreserved) or £25-£35 (reserved). www.

John Bancroft

Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July, Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July Peterborough Artists’ Open Studios Inspirational art and crafts in homes and studios throughout the city and surrounding villages.

dog show – which includes an agility course and fun competitions – there’ll be an arts and crafts tent for all ages; plants, books, cakes and jewellery for sale; also pet portraits, a raffle, tombola and BBQ. 2-5pm. Entry fee gives you free car parking; the entrance is adjacent to the Village Hall in Main Street. And all funds raised will to be used to buy dog waste bins for the village.

Sunday 9 July TS Eliot Festival An inspirational day of talks, readings, conversation and debate, lovely food and music in a tranquil country garden. Guests include celebrated novelist Ali Smith and biographers Adam Begley and Robert Crawford, An annual tradition continues: My Favourite Eliot with contributions from the audience. 11am-6pm. £40 (concessions available) includes morning coffee, a two-course buffet lunch and afternoon tea. Ferrar House, Little Gidding, PE28 5RJ.;

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July Thomas Branch Line Weekend One for all Thomas fans! Travel to see him from any Nene Valley Railway station – just jump on board the big steam train hauled by one of his ‘friends’, buy a one-day ticket and that will include everything including travel up and down the whole of the line, entertainment and an all-important ride behind the star of the show, Thomas, between Wansford and Yarwell! Adult £18, senior £16, child £12, family £48, under one, free.

Saturday 15 July The Trials of Mary Following the 2015 ‘mystery play’ Mary and the Midwives, Eastern Angles return to Peterborough Cathedral, this time with a freshly

written, 21st century take on the story of Mary and Joseph (left). 12noon and 2.30pm on the Cathedral Green. Tickets are free, but book on 01473 211498 or via NENE LIVING JULY 2017

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OUT & ABOUT So much to do,see and enjoy this July... Sunday 16 July Creative Walk for Photographers Tom Davies, photographer, will take participants to Hampton’s best beauty spots to capture some creative shots. Just bring your camera and look for the unexpected. Suitable for all levels of experience and any type of camera. 1pm. The Undercroft, Serpentine Green Shopping Centre, Hargate Way, Hampton, Peterborough PE7 8BE. whats-on

Friday 21 July Forbidden Nights – Circus Just Got Sexy tour Forbidden are skilled and professionallytrained performers, hand-picked from around the UK with charisma, undeniable talent, sparkling personalities and honed physiques in equal measure – they can

sing, they can dance and they are easy on the eye! Featuring a vocalist, aerial artist, pole performer and fire act, all delivered with an element of naughtiness, the evening is suitable for ages 18 to 80. 8pm. £20/£18. Stamford Corn Exchange, Broad Street, Stamford PE9 1PX. 01780 766455. www. stamfordcornexchange. Wednesday 19 July Riverford Farm Walk Organic farm Riverford opens its gates to the public for a walk at its Sacrewell site. Summer is the one time of year when crops are planted, picked and sown all at once – it’s quite a sight! And visitors will also have a chance to see the diversity of wildlife on display at the farm. 5pm and 7pm, the walks will be followed by a picnic-style meal of pies and salads, freshly made by a Riverford chef. Tickets are priced at £6

Following its phenomenal success last year, the Sing for Life charity project is back for 2017, looking for 40 local women to perform in a concert supporting Sue Ryder’s Thorpe Hall Hospice. Now in its fifth season, Sing for Life has introduced hundreds of local women to the joys of singing while raising thousands of pounds for charity, both for Cancer Research UK and for Thorpe Hall – over £5,000 was raised for the hospice last year alone. “The project is not about finding the next Adele; it’s about helping ordinary women find their voice,” says Will Prideaux, Sing for Life’s director. “So many people lack confidence

per person, for guidelines and to book call 01803 227426, email help@ or visit

N Friday 28 July The Wind in the Willows Head to the magical open-air setting of the Peterborough Cathedral Cloisters to enjoy the beloved tale of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad, performed by Boxtree Productions. 7pm. £12 adults (on the day, £15), £9 children under 16 (on the day, £11), £33 family, (on the day, £40). Book online via uk or at Peterborough Information Centre, Bridge Street, Peterborough. 01733 452336.

or genuinely believe they can’t sing, but deep down just about everyone secretly has a favourite karaoke number and – we promise – our very experienced music team will have you singing in no time!” Sing for Life launches with introduction sessions on Wednesday 12 July, (7-9pm), Friday 14 July (6-9pm) and Saturday 15 July (10.30am12.30pm). Absolutely no previous singing experience is necessary, just a willingness to step out of your comfort zone, get stuck in and give it a go! For information call 07714 017046 or email info@peterboroughmvchoir.

OW in its fourth year, the Great Bowden Music Fest continues to present a feast for its audiences. This year six stunning concerts will be crammed into four days (July 6-9) and there’ll be something for everyone – the principle aim is to present a high quality concert series by supporting and showcasing young talent, and by blending the music-making skills of professional musicians with international standing with talented local groups. The festival opens with Mostly Mozart, an evening of (mostly) Mozart chamber works, including his well-loved Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Schubert’s A Major Rondo, which will feature young violinist Vanessa White as soloist. On Friday there’s a change of style. Musicals take centre stage and pieces from Miss Saigon, Chicago, The Lion King and Les Miserables will be performed by the Great Bowden Recital Trust Choir in an evening entitled From Stage and Screen. Saturday sees All that Jazz, boasting some of the top names in the UK’s jazz scene – Bill Coleman with Brian Dee, Bruce Adams, Alex Garnett and Clark Tracey– in an evening of mainstream jazz classics and more. This year there are two free coffee concerts, Coffee and Chamber Music on Saturday morning at 11.30am and Coffee and Piano on Sunday at 12 noon. The festival finale is English Summer Serenade on Sunday at 5.30pm. Performed by the Great Bowden Camerata with the Harborough Singers it includes English favourites including The Lark Ascending (violinist and artistic director, Christopher White), Handel’s Coronation anthems, The King Shall Rejoice and Zadok the Priest, and works by Purcell, Elgar and Warlock. All concerts are held in Great Bowden Parish Church, Great Bowden, 10 Dingley Road, Great Bowden, Market Harborough LE16 7ET.

Website IDEA1 is a great place to find out what’s going on in Peterborough:






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Nene Living Magazine July 2017  
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