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Local specialists with a love of all things vintage


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


Spring is here! Make Mum’s day Learn a new craft Spruce up your garden

MARCH 2017 £1.50 03

9 771740 052017



Nene Living




T’S felt like a long time coming, but there’s definitely a hint of spring in the air now and those few extra minutes of daylight we’re enjoying each evening are a great mood-enhancer – isn’t it lovely when March finally arrives! For a countrydweller like me this is the month when the winter hibernation ends: long, lazy nights by the woodburner are replaced with walks to a nearby farm where we‘ll coo over the newborn lambs, or through fields where we’ll watch hares behaving madly. Wherever you live, we hope to have harnessed some of that seasonal excitement. In this issue we’ve ideas on what to do in your garden (p31) and where to bag a vintage bargain (p13), plus the low-down on two courses which could reawaken your creative aspirations (p39). Our Out & About pages (p45-46) have lots of dates for your diary and, if you’re thinking it might be time to do something to help others, there’s food for thought on that subject starting on p19. Speaking of food, don’t miss our Eating Out guide on p23 – as it’s Mother’s Day at the end of the month, we’re taking a look at some local favourites for a Sunday roast that all the family can enjoy. As always, we aim to inspire, inform and entertain… to celebrate all that’s best about our Nene region!

Gillian Bendall Editor INCORPORATING


5 Upfront

Make Mum’s day with our guide to Mothering Sunday gifts

26 Food & Drink

Wine tasting, great value Chinese and a DIY Irish stew

The latest on looking good and feeling great

Helping you make the most of Nene living

13 Make it a vintage year 19 Helping hands

Spring lawncare tips from the GreenThumb specialists

36 Health & Beauty

7, 9, 10 News & Notes

Do you have a passion for the pre-loved? Here’s where to bag a bargain

34 Outdoor living

29 The write stuff

What’s on at Oundle’s Kid Lit Week – and how you can get involved

Meet the people who give their time and skills to help others

39 Have a go

Starting from scratch on a linocut course, and a chance to learn the art of floristry

42 Walk this way

Take a stroll along the route of the former Stamford canal

31 How does your garden grow? 23 A Sunday well spent… Our guide to where to take mum for a tasty roast

Expert advice on what to do in your garden this month, plus the latest must-have looks

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



45 Out & About

Dates to help you make the most of March – and beyond!

COVER: The joy of spring – daffodils by Tim Sandall.

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 MARCH 2017




She’s the lady whose love lasts a lifetime… so make an extra special effort to show your appreciation when Mothering Sunday comes around at the end of this month.Local retailers have some lovely gifts in store – go on, make Mum’s day!

Trinket dish, £5, Paperchase

Coral scarf, £22, John Lewis

Mora Flora umbrella, £16, Paperchase

Wicker heart, £8.95, Asha’s Attire

Set of two lunch boxes, £6, Next

Happy Jackson Mother’s Day card, £2.50, John Lewis

Magnetic notepad, £3.99, Oundle Bookshop

Vida Eau de Parfum, £35, Asha’s Attire

Olivia Burton watch, £80, John Lewis

Charbonnel et Walker milk chocolate Handbag & Heels set, £6.50, John Lewis

Bone china mug, £14.50, Stu-Pots

Patterned scarf, £20, Accessorize Book, £12.99, Oundle Bookshop

Necklace, £19.50, M&S

STOCKISTS Asha’s Attire, The Bazaar, West Street, Oundle PE8 4EJ. 01832 275605.; Stu-Pots, 36 Market Place, Oundle PE8 4BE. 01832 275414; Oundle Bookshop, 13 Market Place, Oundle PE8 4BA. 01832 273523.; Accessorize, John Lewis, M&S, Next, Paperchase all Queensgate Centre, Peterborough PE1 1NL.



Specialist in the manufacture, installation and care of natural stone. With our experience in materials such as Marble, Granite, Neolith and Quartz, we are able to create stunning kitchen worktops, bath surrounds, vanity units, staircases, fireplaces, flooring and wall coverings. We offer a personal and knowledgeable service with highly skilled craftsmen and pride ourselves on the quality of service, the quality of materials used and the workmanship of your finished product. We offer a full supply, template, manufacture and installation service Open Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm, Saturday 8am – 3pm Unit 14-15 Wainman Road, Woodston, Peterborough, PE2 7BU Tel: 01733 687414 or 01733 370941


The areas main KBSA member

The areas largest Siemens dealer


E M A I L : I N F O @ K U C H E N K R A F T. C O . U K T E L : 0 1 8 3 2 2 7 0 3 0 0

NEWS & NOTES Helping you make the most of Nene living

March opening for new ‘sanctuary’


LWALTON HALL, once home to the fourth and fifth Earl Fitzwilliam, as well as Perkins Engines’ founder Frank Perkins, is to open as a beauty and wellness sanctuary at the end of this month. A team of craftsmen, tradesmen and decorators has been busy re-configuring the interior of the Grade II listed building to create five specially themed treatment rooms, relaxation areas and Regency lounges for clients. The Georgian country house tucked away in Alwalton village is set in five acres of landscaped grounds and formal gardens. It will offer a wide range of beauty and wellness treatments including facials, waxing, pedicures, manicures, massage and specialist skincare including the latest CACI non-surgical anti-ageing treatment. There will also be a 15m outdoor swimming pool with dedicated changing rooms and a sun terrace available for clients on half- and full-day packages for much of the year. Promising a ‘wow’ experience for clients, Alwalton Hall will employ a team of therapists, led by Manager Jess Topping. “We have been inundated with applications for jobs and are delighted with the team we have assembled,” said Brian Jones, who owns Alwalton Hall with his wife Maggie. “We want to create a very different beauty and wellness experience for clients and feel that it will appeal to a wide cross-section from those wanting regular treatments in a wonderful setting to those who see this as an occasional pampering ‘treat’. It will also be popular for gifts and special occasions,” he added. •

A gym win-win


S part of its mission to inspire young lives, YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough has launched a new campaign that encourages young people to keep themselves fit and healthy, and at the same time help others through tough times. To create the win-win formula, YMCA has invested in a significant revamp of its gym and fitness classes, while maintaining some of the lowest and most flexible prices. Any surplus from memberships is passed immediately back into the charity to support programmes such as community counselling, supported accommodation, schools programmes, holiday clubs and access to employment. Julie Martin, Fitness and Training Manager commented: “We know people are put off gym membership by high prices and fixed contracts and we know too that many young people really want to look after themselves and to make a difference to their community. Along with our new facilities we’re offering low prices, flexible membership and a commitment to invest the money we raise on work that supports young people through tough times.” Monthly fees from £11.99 include access to exercise classes and free personal training sessions. The YMCA gym at The Cresset in Peterborough has over 70 gym and studio stations.

Longthorpe Bowls Club is recruiting new members ahead of the start of the summer bowling season next month. The club – officially founded in 1950 – has one of the best greens in the area plus a recently-opened clubroom and its teams play in a number of the Peterborough and District leagues. An active social programme includes quiz nights, plant sales and barbecues. The club’s AGM is on Friday 17 March and anyone interested in joining is invited to attend. • For more information, call Membership Secretary Jackie Knaggs on 01733 268328 or Chairman Dick Harrison on 01733 313263.



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HE number of Christmas gifts donated by the public for the Spurgeons Gift Tree in Queensgate Shopping Centre last December was even more than the previous record – an incredible 4,047 presents. “This is a truly remarkable number of gifts donated that I know made a huge difference to thousands of children over Christmas,” said Centre Director at Queensgate, Mark Broadhead. “On behalf of us all at Queensgate, I would like to thank everyone that gave to the Gift Tree; this is a wonderful show of community spirit and generosity that makes us very proud indeed.” Presents were distributed throughout Spurgeons’ network which includes Barnados, the Family Nurse Partnership and the East Anglia Children’s Hospice.

Healthy Homes project aids local households



Mad March


PRING is almost here – this month it feels like the whole country wakes up and everybody starts to spend more time outside. It’s a time when we dog walkers try new routes, or revisit old favourites that have been too muddy in the winter. We enjoy our walks and feel blessed if we have a dog that has a good recall and stays with us when out walking. Here at Wood Green we are often contacted by owners whose dogs chase joggers, cyclists, cars or horses. This behaviour can begin at any time but very often starts during adolescence. In this stage of development, activities such as chasing are very exciting and give dogs a thrill. If this is a long-established problem it is solvable, or at least can be manageable – but it can require lots of work, and everybody who walks your dog has to follow a strict pattern of retraining. Prevention is really quite simple; if you have a new or young dog it can be fun and also helps with his general recall training too. The first step is to find something that he likes – a food reward is best (ham, cheese, chicken, hot dog sausage, etc) but if food isn’t his thing, a favourite toy can work just as well. When walking, carry many small rewards or his toy with you. Every time you see someone, get your dog’s attention and give him a treat, or a quick game with the toy. As you progress through training he should be able to do this off-lead and you can ask him to sit and wait a few seconds for a treat. The more you do this, the more you are training him that you are more exciting than the things moving around him.

HE project Healthy Homes, run by independent charity Peterborough Environment City Trust, has helped 362 households Wood Green The Animals Charity offers a low-fee advice service for dogs and cats. save money by providing energy If you would like behaviour or training advice for your pet call 01480 830014 tips and advice on switching to ext 1281 cheaper tariffs. Launched in January 2016, the community-based project aims to help local residents save money and improve the energy efficiency of their homes in order to have a positive impact on the environment. Eligible residents received a free home visit plus information The Peterborough squadron of on the national £140 Warm Home Discount. In addition, referrals were made for fully-funded home the Air Training Corps is holding improvements, including an open evening for new recruits boiler replacements, on March 7. With a reputation for insulation and property providing exciting and challenging maintenance. opportunities for the youth of In total, households Peterborough, the ATC is saved £30,495 per community-based and open to annum through changing anyone aged between 12 and 17 energy tariffs and who is eligible. Amongst the many £29,498 per annum adventurous training opportunities through implementing on offer, the ATC is one of the largest simple behavioural operators of the Duke of Edinburgh’s changes such as turning Award Scheme. The open evening electronics off when starts at 7.30pm. not in use, rather than • For more information call putting them on stand-by. 01733 330830 either Monday or • Wednesday 7pm-9.30pm, or email HealthyHomes



NEWS & NOTES Family history book boosts hospice funds


NSPIRED by a school reunion, Margaret Brewster has published a family history book and is donating a portion of the profits to Thorpe Hall Hospice where she’s a volunteer. The book A Collection of Oundle Families is now being snapped off the shelves by local people keen to delve into their own past. Margaret (née Slote) grew up in Oundle and was a pupil at the town’s secondary modern school between 1962 and 1966. During the planning of a school reunion held in May 2014 Margaret put together census information and newspaper stories about the families of guests and school friend Susie Moore collected photos. “We put together displays for the evening about various Oundle families and the guests loved them,” said Margaret, who now lives in Peterborough. “They sparked all kinds of reminiscences and memories. “I have a real love of family history and, once the reunion was over, I wanted to make sure all the information we’d gathered wasn’t lost. That was the start of A Collection of Oundle Families.” Margaret spent hours trawling through census information, deciphering transcripts and searching newspaper archives. The book examines the facts and stories behind 46 Oundle families, some of whom have lived in the Northamptonshire town since the 18th century and beyond. The paperback book, priced at £10.99, runs to 264 pages and includes a section of stories from Oundle soldiers and a collection of unusual Oundle snippets. Margaret is donating part of the proceeds to Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, in Peterborough, where she has volunteered for more than a year, and Volunteer Action Oundle. • A Collection of Oundle Families is available from Peterborough Museum, Peterborough Information Centre, Peterborough Cathedral, Oundle Bookshop and Oundle Library. Copies can also be ordered direct by email:

The Groundcare Centre – Peterborough’s specialist in garden equipment – has moved to a new showroom at the RTC Group’s headquarters near Newborough. Managing Director Tom Calton says: “The move means we can improve customer service as we can now offer machine sales, hire, parts and service all from one location. We stock a wide selection of products from a range of suppliers and pride ourselves in giving good service. ” • The Groundcare Centre, Werrington Bridge Road, Milking Nook, Peterborough PE6 7PP. 01733 907060. www.thegroundcare



Help local children stay safe


SCHEME that empowers children to stay safe from abuse is looking for more volunteers. The NSPCC’s Speak Out Stay Safe programme has reached nearly 6,000 children in schools in the Peterborough area over the last three years. The initiative sees assemblies take place with reception and year one pupils, as well as more in-depth interactive talks and workshops with older students. The children are taught about different forms of child abuse and encouraged to speak out about any worries they have with the help of mascot Buddy.In some cases, the assemblies have even resulted in children reporting abuse, leading to offenders being prosecuted and convicted of their crimes. The NSPCC’s Lisa Hynes recently visited Farcet Church of England Primary School where pupils will also take part in a sporting activity to raise money for the charity. She said: “It is vital that young people know the trusted adults they can talk to; through this programme we can help protect a generation of children. Our team does a fantastic job in creating a fun atmosphere to educate young people, but in order to reach our goal of visiting every school in the Peterborough area we simply need more volunteers.” Volunteers will be given extensive training about the NSPCC’s work and the different forms of abuse children suffer, and will be required to visit two schools a month. • For more information contact Michelle Newton on 01163 665640 or email michelle. Lisa Hynes and Nathanael Robinson Teachers can also with Buddy and pupils at Farcet request a Speak Out Stay Safe visit to their Church of England Primary School school via


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Make it a


Do you have a passion for the pre-loved? Rebecca Downey reveals the places to shop locally for some vintage gems


IGHT against mass production, over-consumption, the growing problems of landfill, the issues surrounding sweatshops in developing countries and learn to love pre-loved items, clothes and accessories. You will discover unique treasures and find that the detailing, cut, quality and fabric of a vintage piece is often of much higher quality. Above all, vintage traders are passionate about their business, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and get their advice...

Jacqueline Crocker at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party wearing a vintage Christian Dior silk suit and a 1960s’ feather hat


Jacqueline Crocker’s Antique and Vintage Wardrobe is in fact a studio barn filled with frocks and accessories spanning the last century. It is a veritable treasure trove of couture and exquisite tailoring for anyone looking for something unique yet affordable with a designer label – be it your wedding, a garden party or a school prom. Clients range from A-list celebrities and stylists to vintage enthusiasts and local friends. The breadth of stock is superb, from items such as an Edwardian lace mourning dress to a Pucci-esque sixties wiggle dress, as well as coats, hats and bags for every occasion. All outfits are lovingly preserved, washed and restored where necessary. Jackie’s personal collection began at the age of 15 when she acquired a designer handbag. Her passion grew to the business she owns today, specialising in good quality, beautiful items that are iconic of their era. She takes a keen interest in the provenance of each garment and enjoys historical artefacts, photographs of the items by their original wearer and the story behind each piece. Jackie is always on the look-out for good quality vintage clothes to add to her collection and will offer a fair price to those wishing to sell. Buyers can visit Jackie’s collection based in Warmington by appointment only and prices start around £35, with most dresses costing between £75 to £150. There is no fusty jumble shopping experience here; stock is displayed thoughtfully, the feel is light and airy and there is plenty of room to inspect and try on clothing. Jackie offers great advice and has a deep knowledge of the designers and labels within her catalogue. She can source an entire outfit for any occasion. Or you can peruse her wares at the Stamford Vintage Fayre at the Stamford Arts Centre, or if you wish to venture further afield, at the Twinwood Festival based in Bedford each year or the Clerkenwell Vintage Fair. Jackie uses Instagram to This goldshowcase items and sells online coloured suit from her Etsy shop. Or you dates from the can visit the website: www. 1960s and came theantiqueandvintagewardrobe. from America com. To make an appointment for a vintage dressing-up experience email Jackie at but be warned – you will never want to leave! NENE LIVING MARCH 2017



Mary Green in her garden studio

Back Then Bags are made from vintage scarves

Make it a

E G A T VIN year

Mary’s business card and logo


The Vintage and Retro emporium on Peterborough’s Bridge Street is the flagship vintage store for Sue Ryder – the first of its kind and renowned for being the best in the region. Manager Sam and assistant manager, Beth, run the store with the help of 25 volunteers of all ages, which Beth describes as being like a family. The shop has a loyal clientele catering for men and women downstairs, with household wares, furniture, vinyl and upcycled goods upstairs. Stock is carefully processed – roughly 100 bags a week from the Sue Ryder warehouse, donated by the general public. Garments are sorted, steam-cleaned, and restored if necessary in the upstairs sewing room before being fairly priced. Some high-end specialist items are sold on Ebay, while a good deal is stored for another season.



The Vintage and Retro emporium is a flagship store for Sue Ryder

Beth’s charity shopping began as a teenager through lack of funds but has become an obsession, she admits. Clad in a ‘70s floral shift Beth, previously a make-up artist, wears and promotes vintage with style and aplomb. “The tailoring in vintage wear is the best… I have a dress with pennies sewn into the seam allowance so the hem hangs properly; the quality is always so much better,” she says.

Mary Green works from a studio in her garden in Orton Waterville, creating gorgeous bags and gifts from vintage scarves. After a 20-year career as a therapist specialising in anxiety and stress, Mary’s hobby and creative instinct gradually came to the fore. Realising Back Then Bags could become a viable venture, Mary set up the business two years ago and has not looked back since, developing ideas and moving into other accessories. Mary sources vintage scarves from antique fairs and sales, finding it necessary to touch the fabric and get a sense of the history, the previous owner and its potential transformation. Current stock consists of classic designers such as Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Richard Allen, Jacqmar, Liberty and Fiorucci though Mary enjoys the quirkiness of souvenir items and has made accessories from Norfolk Broads and Pontins scarves. Bags are lined with contemporary fabric and some are delicately embellished with Swarovski crystals, perhaps a vintage button, sequins or embroidery, and are sold for prices in the region of £35-£55 Not a scrap of vintage fabric is wasted with Mary’s prolific work ethic. As well as the classic ball clasp bag, Mary creates totes, dog bandanas, handbag mirrors, key fobs and lampshades. More recently, she has branched into mosaics and tiaras – the latter created from vintage brooches and pre-loved jewellery. It is no surprise that Mary won the Condé Nast bridal accessories designer of the year award at Art School. For a quirky, unique gift go to www.; items are also sold through Mary’s Etsy shop and app BackThenBags, or keep up to date with sales via the Facebook page: BackThenBags. You can also find her pitch at Lincoln and Doddington craft fairs as well as a seasonal pop-up shop at Peterborough railway station.

The Sue Ryder vintage stall now travels to several events and festivals in the area, including Ballroom Blitz, Shambala, Green Meadows, Secret Garden Party and the Life on the Holme Front 1940s weekend. The girls clearly enjoy selecting stock for such occasions, as well as having the chance to take part in the revelry. All the money raised from these events and the store goes to Sue Ryder’s Thorpe Hall hospice where, for example, the sale of a frock for £12 pays for one hour’s worth of bereavement counselling. The recycling ethic does not end there – the store prides itself on creating very little waste: unwanted clothes go to the rag merchant and are boiled up to become wadding and insulation. And a damaged garment can be upcycled to become a pinny, head scarf or even part of the scarf and remnant gift wrapping service.


West Town Records is a little shop with a big heart – owner Damian McAlinden and colleague Terry Grant describe themselves as “Vinyl record vendors, raconteurs and idlers for the love of it”. The shop opened in the autumn of 2015 and is a must for all vinyl enthusiasts. The vast collection comprises mainly soul, funk, two-tone, ska and reggae but there is a large collection of punk, rock as well as house and dance music. Damian describes his business as “the perfect antidote to Amazon” and enjoys the niche aspect of his business which makes it ”a bit more bandwagon-proof”. Vinyl record sales have doubled in the last year and are set to increase further with the format becoming once again desirable for its sleeve artwork as well as sound quality. Terry (right), has been collecting records since the age of 15, and agrees it’s great that vinyl is back in fashion, but says the general public don’t realise that re-issued records are sometimes more than double the cost of the original. The lads acquire well-preserved stock from various trade fairs, charity shops and individual dealers. Clients include DJs, club-oriented businesses and loyal individual enthusiasts. The bijou, bay-windowed shop is a short journey from Peterborough railway station at 81 Mayor’s Walk – here you will find a friendly welcome and can enjoy flipping through the collection while listening to some tunes on the turntable. Follow events and information on their facebook page:

Sue Ryder’s Holme Front stall

Bethany Saunders and Sam Weir

West Town Records is a must for all vinyl enthusiasts

Vintage bottles and china ware are displayed on pretty painted shelves

Style like no other...


The shop’s quirky interior

The quirky barn shop and florist on Oundle’s South Road is an essential for anyone looking for a gift or a decorative one off-piece for the home or garden. Tracey Mathieson sources vintage containers and unique furniture items from antique fairs locally and abroad, and will often hold pop-up seasonal events and brocantes. Among the display of succulents and seasonal flowers, Foxtail Lilly also sells Marseilles soap in a spectrum of colours, artisan gifts, candles and handmade cards by local artists. Not surprisingly, Tracey trained as an art student, and just glancing around the courtyard, it is clear she has a keen eye for putting items of curiosity together. Her informal style of bouquets are mostly grown and cut from her own garden. While specialising in wedding flowers and wreaths, there is always an array of seasonal blooms and hand-tied posies for sale in the barn shop, which exudes vintage country style like no other business in the region. The garden has evolved over two decades and has featured in ITV’s Love Your Garden with Alan Titchmarsh as well as receiving accolades in Country Living magazine and the RHS publication The Garden. With its naturalistic planting incorporating a cutting meadow, the garden blends into the countryside beyond. Enthusiasts may have a meander through the space when Tracey opens her garden to the public in June. Foxtail Lilly takes pride in the fact that it is a resourceful family-run business that uses its natural surroundings to create something beautiful and unique. The shop is open from Wednesday to Saturday 10-5pm and you can keep up to date with events at Foxtail Lilly through Facebook and Instagram. NENE LIVING MARCH 2017



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Helping hands Volunteers often cite ‘giving something back’ as the reason for offering their time. Sue Dobson meets three people in our area who are using their skills to help others


T was only when she retired from full-time work that Carol was able to act on her long-held wish to become a volunteer for the Samaritans. Five years on she is both a Listener and a Trustee involved in the selection of new volunteers. “A Listener’s role is to do just that – listen,” she says. “We don’t give advice or judge, we’re there to give emotional support.” Although the initial intention of the charity’s founder, Chad Varah, back in 1953, was to be a “999 for the suicidal,” he soon realised the importance of providing a safe space so people could talk and be listened to, without judgement. Today only a small percentage of callers have suicide in mind and the UK-wide Samaritans service still operates on his guiding principles of confidential, non-judgemental support. Calls can come in from anywhere in the UK, and cover all sorts of topics, from relationship breakdown, financial difficulties, abuse, drug problems, depression and bereavement to loneliness and the need to talk to someone in complete confidentiality. “Often people feel they can’t talk to family or friends about what’s worrying them,” Carol says. “By listening you are helping someone. Talking everything through often helps a person to find his or her own solution. It’s very rewarding at the end of a call when someone tells you ‘I feel much better, I know what I’m going to do now’.” Being a Samaritan Listener isn’t easy – “You do need a bit of patience,” Carol smiles – and requires commitment, first through the intensive training, covered one day a week over several months, and then being available to do shifts which, as Samaritans is a 24-hour, year-round service, include some unsocial hours. There are always two Listeners on duty at any one time. “We have a rota and ask Listeners to be available for 18 hours a month, six of those hours to be a night shift. Many of the 80 volunteers

“By listening you are helping someone. Talking everything through often helps a person to find his or her own solution. It’s very rewarding at the end of a call when someone tells you ‘I feel much better, I know what I’m going to do now’.” at Peterborough have full-time jobs and I’m always amazed at how they fit everything into their lives, but being a Samaritan is something they really want to do.” The Listeners never tell callers anything about themselves and cannot share what they have heard with anyone in their home, family or wider circle. “After every shift we debrief to a volunteer leader and discuss anything that may be worrying us. We can call on support from other Samaritans, too, if we need it. That’s very important because we do hear some upsetting things.” Samaritan volunteers are not only found at the end of a phone line (or text or email). They help at shopping centres, at railway stations, at festivals, and train and support Listeners in both wings of Peterborough Prison. “We’ve got a terrific team, adults of all ages and from all walks of life,” Carol says. “There’s great camaraderie among the volunteers. I’ve made some very good friends here.” • NENE LIVING MARCH 2017



Helping hands W

HEN Simon Miles visited the migrant camp at Calais in October 2015, at the invitation of friend Dan from Haddon who was working in the warehouse there, he was deeply shocked by what he saw. “I’d grown up watching the news and seeing so many dreadful things happening around the world, but coming face-to-face with the reality of the fall-out on people’s lives, what they’d been through and how they were surviving, hit me very hard.” Back home Simon, a podiatrist practising in Wansford, Peterborough and London, put out a message on social media asking if any other podiatrists would be interested in offering foot care to the inhabitants of ‘the Jungle’. “I was amazed when over 40 people responded,” he says, “professionals and students from all over Britain, all keen to volunteer and help.” Thus The Foot Project was born. Three months later he was back in France, this time with a team of six podiatrists. “It was wet, muddy and cold, the conditions were terrible,” he says. Working inside a battered first aid caravan the team treated lower limb and foot problems from ingrown toenails to ulcerated blisters, fungal infections to deep cuts, sprains, fractures and muscular injuries. Initially the plan was to do one trip but the need was obviously great and over the year they made five more, usually over long weekends and public holidays to fit in around their work commitments. On one visit they were joined by a podiatric surgeon and a physiotherapist and ran a clinic at the women’s and children’s centre.

It has been, he admits, physically and emotionally draining. “People there had endured unbelievable hardship and were living in appalling conditions. I won’t forget the boy in his early teens who’d spent months on the road, walking from Afghanistan to escape from the Taliban after they’d killed his family.” Funding for the trips came mainly from the team members themselves, their families and friends as well as fundraising efforts that included Simon doing 12km sponsored swims at Rutland Water, some crowdfunding and companies donating medical disposables. The weekend that ‘the Jungle’ was being demolished they went to the purpose-built Grand Synthe refugee camp near Dunkirk, which houses about 2,000 people. “It is much better organised than the chaotic Calais camp. We saw many more families there and treated mainly women and children.” Their experience in France motivated them to go further afield and after Christmas Simon and a team of volunteer podiatrists headed to northern Greece for 10 days to hold clinics in six refugee camps in the mountains near the Algerian border. “These are legal camps with strict access conditions and we worked with the Médecins du Monde team, in bitter cold weather, seeing about 100 patients in all. People there had fled from warn-torn countries, often in little more than flip-flops, and foot infections, deep cuts, musculoskeletal discorders and verrucae were common problems. We were able to help in many ways, and plan to return to Greece in March.” •


OHN Weeks has been a volunteer driver and befriender with Volunteer Action Oundle for over three years. A former mechanical engineer with a passion for books, railways, football – he’s been Chairman of United Counties Football League since 2003 – local history, maps and memorabilia, John has lived and worked in the Peterborough and Nene Valley area all his life and “with the spare time and a comfortable vehicle, it seemed a good way to give something back to the community.” His regular commitment as a driver is one day a week and his journeys include taking elderly people shopping and to appointments ranging from the doctor’s, dentist’s, clinics and hospitals to the hairdresser’s or visiting friends or relatives who are in hospital or residential care homes. “So many people find themselves alone as they get older,” he says. “Often they have had to give up driving and are too incapacitated to cope with public transport, assuming it’s even available, so being able to go out shopping, as well as the chance to have a conversation with someone during the day, is much appreciated. Hospital appointments can be lengthy and it’s reassuring for people to know that you’ll be there waiting for them in the foyer to take them home.”



As a befriender he visits an elderly, housebound gentleman twice a month. “He enjoys chatting and reminiscing. I’ve been visiting him now for a couple of years and his smile when he opens the door to me never dims.” In 2016, Volunteer Action Oundle celebrated 21 years of service to communities in Oundle,

Thrapston and the surrounding villages, from Easton-on-the-Hill to Titchmarsh. A local charity, it supports people who are elderly, unwell, disadvantaged and those with disabilities, with the aim of helping them to keep their independence and remain an active part of the community. •


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A Sunday well spent brings a week of content Nothing beats your Mum’s Sunday roast, but don’t let her sweat over a stove on Mothering Sunday! Rebecca Downey offers suggestions on where to go to let someone else take the strain, and Lucy Banwell puts three of her foodie favourites to the taste test…


E’RE so lucky to have a glut of gastronomical and historical pubs in our region, not to mention the odd stately home or hotel offering some fabulous family treats. So this Mother’s Day, gather the family, set off for a spring walk, marvel at the bulbs emerging, rejoice in the birdsong and then retire to a warm country pub, roaring fire and a delicious Sunday roast. It’s a real treat to be cooked for, and the added bonus of no pots and pans to scrub means there’s time to catch up on some muchneeded relaxation afterwards too!

THE QUEEN’S HEAD INN, NASSINGTON Backing onto the River Nene, this charming village pub is the perfect end point for ramblers. This Mother’s Day, it is offering a fantastic three-course meal beginning with a glass of pink fizz, a wide choice of starters followed by roast sirloin of beef and Yorkshire pudding, slow roast leg of lamb or loin of Warwickshire pork. All are served with the usual trimmings plus duck fat-roasted and new potatoes. The price is set at £29.50 per adult and £14.25 for children under 12. On a typical Sunday, there is always roast beef (dry-aged for 28 days) and one other option available at £12.50 per person. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in the bar area. 01780 784006

THE BULL HOTEL, WESTGATE, PETERBOROUGH The Brasserie at the Bull Hotel offers a mix of traditional and contemporary dishes with some daring combinations of flavours and textures cooked up by head chef Mark Tomeo. This Mother’s Day, The Bull is taking bookings from 12-2.30pm. Diners can enjoy a glass of bucks fizz served with canapés in the Broadway Suite followed by a three-course meal priced at £26 per adult and £14 per child under 10. There is a roast for everyone with Shorthorn topside, Dingley Dell leg of pork, leg of English lamb, grilled salmon fillet and chargrilled Mediterranean vegetables all on the menu. All mothers receive a gift. 01733 561364

WADENHOE HOUSE, WADENHOE The Grade II-listed Jacobean manor house run by Peter and Bb Hall is a stunning family home that has been welcoming visitors since 1617. Surrounded by eight acres of landscaped garden and woodland, this peaceful setting would make a sublime backdrop for a really special Mothering Sunday treat. On this day there are three packages to choose from: two courses for £21.95, three courses for £24.95 or a sparkling afternoon tea for £19.95. All mums receive a gift. The menu changes weekly but traditional Sunday roast beef is always available, served between 12.30-6pm. Produce is of the highest quality and is sourced locally where possible, and all seasonal fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown in the kitchen garden. 01832 720777 NENE LIVING MARCH 2017




THE CHERRY HOUSE, WERRINGTON THE BLACK HORSE, ELTON The Black Horse at Elton serves top-notch food from 12-6pm on Sundays alongside a range of wine and cask ales. The pub boasts a large car park and beer garden for al fresco dining when the weather is clement. Roast rump of lamb, dauphinoise potato, minted pea, spinach, chantennay carrots and charred shallot red currant jus will set you back £17 with other choices costing between £12-15. Friendly staff and a roaring fire make this an ideal stop for a family meal. 01832 280591

The Cherry House offers visitors fine British dining with a respectful nod to classic French cuisine in the setting of a 400-year-old English country cottage. Chef and patron Andrew Corrick, formerly head chef at The Park Lane Hotel in Mayfair, uses locally produced ingredients and ethically sourced fish. The menu changes fortnightly and the Sunday lunch menu monthly. The Cherry House places great emphasis on traditional hospitality, excellent service and a relaxed friendly atmosphere. This spring, The Cherry House will be serving roast rump of spring lamb with sweet potato and stilton gratin with a rich rosemary jus. Sunday roast costs £24.50 per person. 01733 571721

THE CHEQUERED SKIPPER, ASHTON Settling in for Sunday lunch at the Chequered Skipper is always a pleasurable affair, not least because the welcome is warm and undeniably genuine. This is a proper local – the pub lies at the heart of the pretty village of Ashton – but there’s none of that rubbernecking you get when you walk into less friendly establishments. Instead, we were ushered to our table for two in front of the fire and our drinks were quickly brought over – a pint of Hophead for him opposite (£3.40) and a half of Aspalls cider for me (£1.70). Neither of us usually choose roast pork when faced with the option of other meaty treats, but for the sake of research (we did it for you, dear reader!) we ordered both the beef (£14.95) and the pork (£12.95). The slow-roasted rib of beef, supplied by Oundle butcher Seven Wells, was a sight to behold – a bountiful plate of food which pleased both the eye and the taste buds with its glistening slices of pink meat. And the pork was an absolute revelation. My view of roast pork as a dry old bit of chewy slipper went firmly out the window when our plate of porcine heaven arrived! The slices of loin of pork were unbelievably tender and tasty, teamed with a vibrant apple sauce and salty strips of crackling. A selection of vegetables served alongside included savoy cabbage, leeks, broccoli and carrots and the huge Yorkshire pudding looked almost too good to eat. An all-round delicious experience. We will be back! 01832 273494

Tried & Tasted



Nestled in the heart of the historic village of Elton, The Crown Inn offers the perfect environment for a relaxed Sunday lunch with a roaring log fire in the winter and a restaurant that opens out on to a spacious deck in the summer. Sunday lunch is served between 12-3pm, offering fresh, locally sourced and expertly roasted meat, by head chef and owner Marcus Lamb. A smaller roast dinner is available for children. Dogs are welcome in the bar and terraced dining area. A two-course meal costs £16.95, three courses are £19.95. Children can choose between roast beef or pork followed by two scoops of ice cream for £9.50. The pub offers a wide range of craft ales and wine. This Mother’s Day, every mum will receive a free glass of fizz. 01832 280232.


Tried & Tasted

On a chilly day there are few finer places to sit than by the fire in The Kings Arms in Polebrook. With a drink in hand and the knowledge that a lovingly-prepared dish of roast dinner is on its way, all seems right with the world. When the roast beef (£12.50) arrived, the grin on my face only widened as I looked upon the piledup slices of meat doused in a dark, glistening gravy and surrounded by chunky carrot batons and some seriously good roast potatoes. An accompanying dish of cauliflower and broccoli cheese was pleasingly moreish. Him opposite went off piste from the roast remit, tempted as he was by the age-old lure of gammon, egg & chips. I’d like to be able to describe the appearance of the huge piece of juicy, charred ham but to be honest with you, it didn’t hang around for long! Pudding had to be The Kings Arms’ legendary churros (£5) – doughnut-like fingers showered with sugar and dipped greedily into the accompanying chocolateorange sauce. The whole thing left me good for nothing but a lie down. And with no washing up to do, that’s exactly what I did when I got home! 01832 272363

THE TALBOT HOTEL, OUNDLE I’ve always been a big fan of the Talbot. The food is reliably good, the setting in this sixteenthcentury former coaching inn is superb, but the service? Let’s just say it left something to be desired. But all that is set to change because the place is now in the capable hands of new manager Tom Reeve. Fresh from Belton Woods Hotel near Grantham, Tom looks set to shake things up a bit and in his first ace move he’s lowered the price of the Sunday lunch menu. At £16.50 for two courses, lunch at the Talbot now represents great value and is on a par, price-wise, with the other Sunday offerings in the area. We chose the roast beef and roast lamb and both meats were top-notch. The beef was thinly sliced with a melt-in-the-mouth tenderness. The lamb was more on the chunky side but still juicily delicious, especially when paired with its tangy mint sauce accompaniment. The roast potatoes wiped the floor with the competition, such were their firm, crunchy outsides and oh-so-soft innards. A bowl of accompanying veg included perfectly cooked kale, carrots, peas and the cutest looking little Brussels sprouts I’ve ever seen. There was also cauliflower cheese and an extra jug of gravy – a really nice touch. Dessert was a truly exceptional sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream and him opposite happily tucked into a generous cheese board. The mystery of the afternoon was how I ate so much and yet didn’t feel uncomfortably full. I like to think this is a testament to the quality of the ingredients used and the very warm welcome we received, nestled by the fire in the Talbot bar. 01832 273621

Tried & Tasted



FOOD & DRINK The taste of success


LANNING a dinner party with a difference, or having problems choosing the right tipple for a big event? Peterborough wine expert Charlotte Hingston is on hand to help, with a new venture which offers tasting and testing sessions in the comfort of your own home or venue of choice. Charlotte has worked in the hospitality industry since the age of 16, starting at the Marriott Hotel, Peterborough. After graduating from Nottingham Trent University with a 2.1 in Law with Business she worked at the La Manga Club Resort in Spain, before making the move back to Peterborough just over a year ago. “A visit to Australia in 2013 gave me an introduction to the ‘Cellar Door’ experience, which is what I want to try and bring to people’s homes. The idea for The Wine Tasting Company developed when I wanted to arrange a Prosecco tasting for a friend’s hen do,” she explains. “I was looking for someone to come to a cottage we had rented and teach us about the drink, but I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for.” Now armed with a Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits with WSET (the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust) and a personal licence to sell alcohol, Charlotte is offering wine tasting experiences in clients’ homes, with prices starting at £20 per person for a taste of a minimum of six wines. Glassware and tasting notes are included, and all wines are available to buy. “The Introduction to Wine Tasting experience highlights the key features of the most popular grape varieties, distinguishing between ‘old world’ and ‘new world’ wine,” says Charlotte. “Alternatively, the Dinner Party Favourite includes the basics in wine tasting, a fun quiz, some blind tastings and an evening full of laughs.” A second strand to the business, The Wine Planner, aims to provide more choice and value for couples who are picking their wedding wines. Ideal for those who have a corkage fee option available at their venue, packages start from £69 and include a consultation with the couple plus a pre-wedding tasting for up to six people. Tastings can be arranged in Peterborough and the surrounding area, and deliveries are to Cambridgeshire, Rutland, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. • 07875 374032.

A golden opportunity We’re well into the Chinese New Year now, and the Golden House restaurant on Peterborough’s Eastfield Road is offering some great value Peking and Cantonese cuisine to usher in the Year of the Rooster. Two ‘eat as much as you like’ buffet menus are available for lunch and dinner, priced at £14.90 and £16.90 per person. Or there’s a special two-course ‘set lunch’ for £7.80 a head. The restaurant is open on Tuesdays 4.30pm-11pm, Wednesdays to Sundays 12 noon- 2pm and 4.30pm11pm. It’s closed on Mondays, though open on all Bank Holidays. • 343 Eastfield Road, Peterborough PE1 4RA. 01733 344888.



Irish stew with herb dumplings Celebrate St Patrick’s Day on March 17 with this tasty dish! You can make the stew in advance up to the dumpling stage and then reheat, adding the dumplings to steam. Serves 4 Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 2 hours 20 minutes Ingredients: • 700g diced lamb • 2tbsp plain flour • 2 large onions, sliced • 4 medium-large potatoes, sliced • 4 carrots, sliced • 100g pearl barley • Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme • 1.2l veg stock • 180g self-raising flour • 90g suet • Handful chopped fresh parsley • Toss the lamb with the flour and season well. • Layer the lamb, veg, barley and thyme in a large heavy-based flameproof casserole dish. • Pour over the stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and skim off any scum. • Cover and simmer very gently for two hours. • To make the dumplings, mix the flour and suet in a large bowl. • Season and stir in the parsley. • Gradually add just enough cold water (a few tbsp) and make a dough with your hands. Roll into eight similar-sized balls and pop them on top of the stew. • Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.


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N important part of Oundle’s year-round Festival of Literature, this year’s Kid Lit Week takes place from March 6. With Oundle School’s Great Hall as the venue, a different author visits each day to talk to different school years from reception to year six. “These events are advertised directly to schools in the area and we have many returning each year from Oundle, Corby, Peterborough, Kettering, Stamford and many villages,” says Festival Manager Helen Shair. If your youngsters are booked in, here’s a preview of what they’ll be enjoying…

MONDAY MARCH 6 Philip Womack is a journalist and novelist who has written six children’s books. His latest, The Double Axe, is a re-imagining of the Minotaur myth. Dark forces are at work in the House of the Double Axe. Stephan, the 13-year-old son of King Minos of Crete, stumbles across a terrifying conspiracy. Is the Minotaur, a halfman half-bull who eats human flesh, real? Or is something even more dangerous threatening to engulf both the palace and the world? Stephan must race to save his family from a terrible fate and

THE WRITE STUFF Oundle’s Kid Lit Week returns this month – a chance for local schoolchildren to meet a different author each day and two finale events for all the family to enjoy

find out what really lurks inside the labyrinth... TUESDAY 7 MARCH AF Harrold is an English poet and story writer, author of the Fizzlebert Stump series and the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal-longlisted The Imaginary, illustrated by Emily Gravett.

Fizzlebert Stump lives in a travelling circus. He hangs around with acrobats, plays the fool with clowns, and puts his head in a lion’s mouth every night. But it can be a bit lonely being the only kid in the circus. So one day Fizz decides to join a library – and that’s when it all goes terribly wrong… WEDNESDAY 8 MARCH Swapna Haddow is the author of the Dave Pigeon books which chart the adventures and mishaps of Dave Pigeon and his sidekick Skipper and contain brilliant

FOR ALL THE FAMILY… A writing competition runs alongside Kid Lit Week and this year, for the first time, the visiting authors have set the theme. On Saturday 11 March the awards for this competition are handed out at two special author events, and members of the public are also invited to attend. At 2.30pm there’s a chance to meet Miriam Halahmy, author of The Emergency Zoo which is recommended for 7- to 12-year-olds and inspired by real events during the Second World War, when around 750,000 pets were destroyed. It is a touching tale of courage, resourcefulness and camaraderie in desperate times, as well as a stirring defence of animal welfare. It is 1939 and Britain is about to go to war. Twelve-year-old Tilly and her friend Rosy spend

laugh-out-loud black and white illustrations on every page by the superbly talented Sheena Dempsey. Dave Pigeon has been shortlisted for the Surrey Libraries’ Children’s Book Award 2017 and the BookTrust has selected it to be part of their Great Books Guide 2016. In the second book Dave Pigeon (Nuggets), when their Human Lady leaves to go on a holiday Dave and Skipper are horrified to find that their food supply quickly runs dry. With delicious biscuits on their minds, they set off in search of a new owner – but is Reginald Grimster all he seems? Why is he so keen on feeding them? And why does he have so many books about cooking...? THURSDAY 9 MARCH After years of teaching English to secondary school students, Emma Carroll now writes full time. Her latest book Strange Star is a

the school summer holidays making a secret den and playing with their beloved pets. To their horror, the Ministry of Home Security advises people to have their pets destroyed, fearing they will not be able to cope if Britain is bombed. Desperate to save their pets, and defying their parents, Tilly and Rosy hide them in the den. Word gets around and other children bring their pets to the hut, and the Emergency Zoo is born. But the zoo brings its own problems…

At 7.30pm, enjoy an Evening with Matt Dickinson, award-winning writer and filmmaker. Matt was one of the climbers caught in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster when, in the pre-monsoon season and amid the worst weather conditions on record, he made a successful ascent of the notorious

cleverly told storywithin-a story that draws together true stories with an original adventure. Italy, 1816, Felix works as a servant to the Lord Byron and soon finds himself intrigued by the exciting and dangerous ideas of Lord Byron’s friends and visitors, the Shelleys. During an evening devoted to the telling of ghost stories, Mary Shelley brings a young girl to life despite her seeming dead on her unexpected arrival. Find out what happens next if you dare!

FRIDAY 10 MARCH Timothy Knapman has written the words for songs, plays and picture books. His new book, Time Now to Dream, is illustrated by the legendary Helen Oxenbury, whose work is loved and treasured by children all over the world. It was chosen as the Times’ Children’s Book of the Week. Alice and Jack hear a mysterious noise coming from the forest. Jack is worried that it might be the wicked wolf, but Alice knows they must be brave, so into the forest they go...

North Face with Alan Hinkes, Britain’s foremost high-altitude climber. This route is one of the most technically-demanding climbs on the world’s highest peak, beating hurricaneforce winds and temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius. Three of the eight deaths on Everest that day were on the North Face. Matt became one of the first British film-makers to film on the summit and return alive, and his film Summit Fever has now been seen by more than 20 million people worldwide. It is acclaimed as a compelling story of human triumph and disaster. His written account of the same expedition, The Death Zone, has been published to critical acclaim in more than 15 countries. Recently Matt has started writing fiction for teenage readers. His debut thriller series Mortal Chaos was followed by The Everest Files, a dramatic and popular trilogy set on the world’s highest mountain. Lie Kill Walk Away is his latest teen thriller. • Both these events take place at The Great Hall, Oundle School, New Street, Oundle PE8 4GH. Tickets are available from the Oundle Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle. 01832 274734.



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How does your garden grow? Spring is almost upon us so it’s time to head out into the garden and get going on those vital, spruce-up jobs. But where to start? We’ve spoken to some local gardening experts to get their top tips…


T last! The evenings are getting lighter and winter is almost behind us – what better time to sort out your garden ready for the arrival of brighter weather? If you’re not sure which task to tackle first, follow our guide to get your garden ready for a long summer in the great outdoors. OUT WITH THE OLD The first task is have a good tidy up of the garden, removing as many old weeds and fallen leaves as you can. “It’s particularly important to remove any perennial weeds such as dandelions,” says Sally Killick from Cornflower Blue Gardens. “Then you need to cover beds with a thick layer of mulch of composted material while the soil is damp. The mulch will help to retain moisture, improve the soil structure and suppress weeds.” Rupert Farnsworth from the Garden Cookhouse Company agrees that a spring clean is your first course of action at this time of year. “The hard features in the garden - paving, brickwork, stone walls and edgings - all suffer in the prolonged cold, wet weather,” he says.

“To minimise the damage, make a real effort to clear up any wet leaves and rotten vegetation lurking in these areas. If you get these jobs done now, then when the fair weather arrives you will be able to sit out and enjoy it rather than waste time slaving away!” GRASS ROOTS It’s time to start mowing the lawn again and there really is a right way and a wrong way to do it! “Correct mowing can make a vast difference to how your lawn looks,” says Sarah Parish from our local GreenThumb lawn treatment service – see p34 for some expert tips on getting it right. POT POWER Placing pots filled with colourful flowers is a quick and easy way to update your garden. “A large pot of lilies on your terrace looks stunning and gives wonderful summer scent,” says garden designer Kate Wyer-Roberts. “Order lily bulbs and other summer-flowering bulbs now, ready to plant in early April. “Make sure you choose the largest pots

you can afford - you’ll need to water them far less than smaller pots. Use a good loam-based compost to help with water retention.” GET PLANTING Trees and shrubs can be planted at this time of year and some bedding plant seeds can also be sown now. “March is a good time to plant broadleaved evergreen shrubs such as viburnums,” says Kate Wyer-Roberts. “These are good backdrop plants for flowering ornamental plants which then need to be planted in April and May. So now is a good time to rethink any borders you’d like to change and to start the first phase of planting.” NENE LIVING MARCH 2017



What’s hot for 2017? The lowdown on the latest gardening trends…


HOSE in the know in the horticultural world say it’s all about a more natural, cottage garden look this year. Gone are hard edges and straight lines; instead we should be opting for a softer feel for planting and landscaping. “Where polished stone has been used previously for landscaping, we might now see winding gravel or cobbled paths, with plants rambling over the edges to give a homely, informal look,” says garden designer Kate Wyer-Roberts. “Colour blocking is also back, used in borders with single colour planting and with garden furnishings and walls. Think a single painted wall or fence as a backdrop for a border planted with the samecoloured flowering plants.” Some of the trends we’ve seen in interiors will also be making their way into the garden for 2017. “Our love of copper and rose gold has moved into the garden with some beautiful flowers,” says Sally Killick. “In spring, the beautiful tulips ‘La Belle Epoque’, ‘Prinses Irene’ and ‘Brown Sugar’ light up any part of the garden. The roses ‘Roald Dahl’ and ‘Crown Princess Margareta’ are stunning in mid-summer, and dahlias ‘Labyrinth’, ‘Nicholas’ and ‘Henriette’ are highlights in late summer.” A softer look extends to the lawn in 2017 too. Jo Parish at GreenThumb says: “This year without doubt the move to low-maintenance gardens with the ‘wow’ factor will continue. The on-trend look is to banish the straight edges of the lawn and create a more curvy, organic lawn shape – kept beautifully green and weed-free this makes a real showpiece. We’re also seeing a big increase in customers asking for our Oasis treatment which is designed to solve the problem of dry-looking lawns over the summer months. Oasis dramatically reduces the need for watering and saves money for customers who are on a water meter.” Bringing the inside outside is always on-trend. This means making your seating areas as comfy and welcoming as possible – think outdoor sofas and bean bags - and even introducing an outdoor kitchen. Rupert Farnsworth from The Garden Cookhouse Company says this doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think. “One of our pizza ovens or barbecues can be built into the hard landscaping surrounding your seating area to create the perfect outdoor entertaining space,” he explains. “We can create a bespoke package to meet your budget and requirements. Our barbecue designs also work really well as a brasier once you’ve finished cooking. So if the weather isn’t quite as warm as you might like, you can huddle around the fire with a glass of wine well into the evening!”

Get the right balance between landscaping and plants... this year it’s all about a natural look

Above: A garden design by Vanessa Perry. Right: ‘Crown Princess Margareta’ is stunning in midsummer. Left: Introduce an outdoor kitchen for al fresco feasts.

Green guidance Need help to revamp your garden this spring? Try these suppliers of gardening products and services… KATE WYER-ROBERTS GARDEN DESIGN Nassington-based Kate Wyer-Roberts creates amazing garden designs. Her first Chelsea Flower Show garden last year saw her pick up a four star award and she will be exhibiting again this year alongside local sculptor Nicolas Moreton. 07748 853858 THE GARDEN COOKHOUSE COMPANY Specialists in outdoor cooking and entertaining, The Garden Cookhouse Company can create anything from a straightforward pizza oven to a full-blown outdoor kitchen. Beautiful bespoke garden buildings such as summerhouses, home offices and pool houses are also undertaken. 07950 234497 MATT BETTISON GARDEN DESIGN Customers have been wowed by the service and attention to detail shown by



Matt Bettison Garden Design. Offering everything from full garden design and landscaping to regular garden maintenance, this small firm prides itself on its reliability, quality and creativity. 01832 733328

CORNFLOWER BLUE GARDENS Sally Killick offers a range of garden design services, from full garden designs and planting plans to one-on-one garden coaching and garden consultancy. 07799 064565

GARDENWISE A friendly garden design and consultancy business based at the Blatherwycke Estate walled garden. Garden design services are on offer as well as gardening workshops and tuition from Joe Whitehead, who is a regular on BBC Cambridge’s Sunday Gardener’s Question Time. 01780 450420

GREENTHUMB LAWN TREATMENT SERVICE Sisters Sarah and Jo Parish offer a range of weed and feed treatments to keep your lawn in tip top condition. 01733 755028

PERRY GARDEN DESIGN Vanessa Perry is a passionate and creative gardening expert who can create a new look for your garden using landscaping software to create 3D visuals. 07769 892864

THE WALLED GARDEN AT ELTON HALL Plants, gifts and gardening equipment are all on offer at this welcoming garden centre. 01832 280058 THE OLD BARN This charming tea room and gift shop set

in a converted barn in Wadenhoe offers a good range of plants for sale in its pretty nursery area. 01832 721129 OLIVE GROVE OUNDLE Nursery in Polebrook specialising in Mediterranean plants and olive trees – arriving next month is the oldest and largest olive tree in the UK! There is also a lovely café on site. 01832 275660 THE BARN GARDEN CENTRE This well-established independent garden centre with sites in Peterborough and Oundle prides itself on its friendly service and comprehensive range of goods. A handy one-stop shop for plants, seeds, bulbs, garden tools, pots and garden furniture. 01733 320134 (Peterborough); 01832 273310 (Oundle)


OUTDOOR LIVING Your green piece of perfection Spring is all about new growth and rejuvenation, so as your grass wakes up from its dormant state some early care and attention will reap real rewards

Sisters Sarah and Jo Parish


ARCH weather can be unpredictable but if it improves and soil temperatures begin to rise, feeding the lawn with a spring fertiliser and controlling weeds can commence,“ says GreenThumb’s Sarah Parish. Sisters Sarah and Jo and their three lawn care technicians look after around 2,000 lawns in our area. With their long careers in horticulture they’re always on hand to give advice on how to achieve a greatlooking lawn. Sarah and Jo’s three top tips for looking after lawns are: There really is a right and a wrong way to mow! Correct mowing can make a vast difference to how good your lawn looks. It’s essential to ensure your mower has a sharp blade, don’t cut too short (no lower than 25mm/1inch), never remove more than one third of the total height in any one cut, and always remove the grass clippings. Cut your lawn regularly at the correct height and you’ll encourage healthy roots, transforming an ordinary lawn into a real showpiece. Regularly feed the grass and control weeds Grass is a tender plant that has to cope with the rigours of home life. Weed seed will continually germinate as seed blows in from neighbouring locations, so keep on top of weeds and regularly feed the lawn. At Green Thumb our four seasonal treatments are specially customised for the time of year. These target weeds, feed the lawn and control moss – a hassle-free way to a green, lush and weed-free lawn. Keep out moss Moss thrives in damp conditions and unless you tackle what’s causing it you won’t reduce it in the long run. In the Peterborough and Oundle area our main causes of moss are heavy and compacted soil which

restricts water drainage. Also, lawns that have a lot of dead matter in them, called ‘thatch’, are also very susceptible. The best way to tackle moss is to hollow-tine aerate and scarify the lawn every year. It’s energetic work so if you don’t want to do it, just call us!

GreenThumb endorsed by Which? Trusted Trader Sarah and Jo’s GreenThumb business has been endorsed as a Which? Trusted Trader, highlighting the high level of service provided to customers. The endorsement followed a rigorous and demanding assessment process which covered all areas of the business including customer service and compliance. Which? is the largest, independent



consumer body in the UK and the Which? Trusted Trader scheme assesses and recognises reputable traders for the benefit of consumers looking for both trusted and local services. “We’re delighted to be recognised by the scheme and proud to represent the lawn care and gardening industry as a trustworthy and dependable business. Our customers can have confidence that they’ll receive a level of service that meets the highest and strictest industry standards. This endorsement gives customers peace of mind that they’re dealing

with a trusted and expert lawn care brand that has been thoroughly and independently assessed,” says Jo. • Book your free lawn analysis now and get expert help from GreenThumb – contact Sarah or Jo on 01733 755028 or email them at


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

The healing power of herbs Herbal medicine combines the ancient tradition of plantbased medicine with conventional medical understanding and scientific research. It successfully treats most conditions and is particularly well suited to chronic and recurring problems, digestive disorders, hormonal imbalances, allergies, stress and emotional issues. I met Helen Shardlow (left), a fully qualified medical herbalist at the Balance Mind and Body Therapy Centre which recently opened in Oundle. She took me through an initial consultation that was a very thorough medical history, identifying any health concerns. Consultations include a blood pressure and pulse check. A tincture is then prescribed, and a follow-up consultation takes place after two or three weeks, with Helen offering continued support as required. I particularly iked the way that herbal medicine has a holistic approach, treating root causes and not just symptoms. Helen has a particular interest in metabolic and hormonal conditions, as well as children’s health. An initial consultation takes about an hour and costs £50 (for a child it’s £30 and the consultation usually takes half an hour). The tinctures prescribed are £8 per 100ml. • Helen Shardlow, Balance, 36a Market Place, Oundle PE8 4AJ. 01832 272927.

Water for wellbeing Peterborough-based holistic practitioner Nina Heaton has incorporated a new element into her treatments. “I’m always motivated to find new ways of enhancing my treatments, so clients can enjoy an increased sense of wellbeing,” she told me. “I’ve recently introduced ‘structured water’, an innovative way to increase hydration. Clients usually drink a glass of water during or after a session which helps to flush out toxins and hydrate the body.” So what is structured water? “Normal tap water or filtered water is low in energy (photons) and the molecules are in large clusters. Structured water contains high energy and very small clusters of molecules which are instantly

Save money on laser skin rejuvenation The skin rejuvenation treatment at the Cosmetic Clinic safely restores youthful and healthy-looking skin with the innovative Syneron-Candela laser and award-winning Elos gold-standard technology. Carried out by a fully trained and skilled laser technician it precisely, safely and comfortably fades the



absorbed into the cells,” Nina explains. “You know that feeling when you’ve had a glass of water but still feel really thirsty? That’s because the water hasn’t been able to travel in to the cell to do its job.” Nina says that structured water has low surface tension and therefore has a better hydrating action. “This means that when I blend the structured water with a skin care product in a facial treatment, the whole treatment is enhanced, partly by the photons but also by the harmonising effect it has. One client said recently ‘the Harmony facial isn’t just a facial; my whole body feels clear and replenished’.” • Book a Harmony facial before 1 April 2017 to receive a complimentary Relaxation With Colour MP3 to help continue the relaxation. 01733 236476.

appearance of skin imperfections and uneven tones, leaving skin restored and rejuvenated after three to four monthly treatments. The end results are clear, healthy, fresh, glowing skin that looks lifted, firmer and younger. This treatment usually costs £150 for the full face but for the winter three treatments are offered at the reduced price of £250. • Peterborough Cosmetic Clinic, 226 Dogsthorpe Road, Peterborough PE1 3PB. 01733 310090.

Nutrition and personal training at Elysia Lisa Claypole, owner of Elysia Health and Beauty in Tansor, keeps a close eye on new technologies in face and body treatments, thoroughly researching and bringing the best and most effective treatments to her salon. She says: “We are passionate about achieving results for our clients and have a portfolio of excellent results. We have now added nutrition and exercise support as an option, alongside advanced technology. We understand how challenging it can be losing weight and keeping it off. Many clients have tried various diets and failed, feel uncomfortable in a gym or have injuries that prevent them from exercising. We want clients to achieve the very best results, and support them with a healthy, sustainable approach to eating and exercise. Elysia aims to help clients achieve their body goals without extreme or invasive surgical procedures. All its technology – for cellulite improvement, inch loss, skin tightening and fat reduction – is FDAapproved and award-winning. Meal planning, body toning and weight loss advice is offered alongside a prescribed treatment course which is tailored specifically for each client. • Elysia Health and Beauty, Tansor, Oundle PE8 5HP. 01832 226328 or 07879 620196.


Is pain restricting your lifestyle? We can help you get the best out of life with our fabulous Physiotherapy, Podiatry and Sports Massage Team!

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Starting from scratch

Rebecca Downey discovers the therapeutic benefits of linocut printmaking with artist Sam Marshall


HERE is nothing more rewarding than allowing yourself time to learn a new skill, and I simply cannot recommend Sam Marshall’s linocut workshop enough. Sam’s studio is situated in her garden in the idyllic Northamptonshire village of Laxton and provides a warm, inspirational setting to really allow your creative juices to flow. No previous experience is necessary – Sam will guide you through the techniques and tools used in linocut, and at the end of the day you will have produced several prints from two or three images. As well as sharing her expertise, Sam provides tea and cake throughout the day and you may even be lucky enough to get a cuddle from her assistant Miss Marple, the most adorable miniature dachshund. A CUT ABOVE THE REST Sam began her training at the Slade School of Fine Art and went on to further her studies at the Royal Drawing School, graduating with an MA diploma in drawing. As well as exhibiting and selling her own works, Sam divides her time between the countryside and the city, teaching printmaking to foundation students at the Royal Drawing School in Shoreditch and Working Men’s College in Camden, as well as running workshops for the Queen’s Gallery and here from her countryside studio. Sam’s work is all around to guide and inspire; framed prints of hogs, otters, foxes and many more animals adorn the walls of the studio along with several reference books and picture cuttings. Her inspiration is the landscape and wildlife around her, and daily walks with Miss Marple enable Sam to observe rural life at close quarters. However, she also enjoys producing images of creatures from her imagination, to my mind reminiscent of the children’s classics Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and Pat Hutchins’ Rosie’s Walk. Our workshop began with a scratch test square, on which we experimented with various tools to create different marks on the Japanese vinyl lino. This medium can be worked both sides so we put our new-found skills to the test with a quick sketch and several proofs printed from the flipside. After a break for lunch we began designing and carving our final project. It may be useful at this stage to have brought along some sketches, illustrations or ideas you would like to pursue. It is vital to remember that linocuts work in relief and everything you are cutting away will appear white. A proof print indicates where more cutting needs to be done but remember there is no going back. It is also important to realise that your image will be reversed when printed.

Sam with Miss Marple, her adorable miniature dachshund


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Starting from scratch HOT OFF THE PRESS As the afternoon progressed, the studio became a hive of activity. We produced prints on all types of paper from newsprint to ‘Somerset satin’ to ‘Japanese Shoji’. We experimented with burnishing using the pressure of a bamboo baren, moving on to the wooden hand lever press, and finally the large iron roller press. The thrill of peeling the print from the lino really is up there with popping bubble-wrap! Pegging our creations on a wire to dry, it became evident that our afternoon had been a great success. Workshops are run as small groups of no more than five, allowing Sam time to impart her knowledge and assistance to each participant. The workshop is ideal for those wanting to try something new; those searching for some therapeutic creativity; or would make an excellent experiential gift for a friend or loved one. Sam regularly participates in open studio weekends. Etchings, wood engravings and linocuts with screen prints are all part of her extensive portfolio, with cards and framed prints available to buy. • For Sam’s shop and website visit or you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Sam’s spring course dates are Saturday 25 February and Saturday 25 March. Courses run from 10am-4pm and cost £50 per day. Sam provides all the equipment and materials you will need for the workshop and participants come away with detailed instructions and advice on tools, paper, inks, stockists and suppliers. • For more on future course dates go to or contact her at:



Workshops are run as small groups so Sam has plenty of time to impart her knowledge and assist each student. No experience is necessary – she’ll talk you through all the necessary tools and techniques


HRAPSTON furnishings and homeware specialist Hilly Horton is offering a number of workshops this month in the art of floristry. On Friday 17 March there’s a chance to celebrate the arrival of spring with two opportunities to learn how to make beautiful, lasting door wreaths with accents of nature and notes of Easter. The workshops are 10am-1pm and 7pm10pm and cost £35 per person. On Saturday 25 March little ones from the age of six can join in the fun and learn how to create a very special floral arrangement for Mother’s Day! The workshop is from 11am-12.30pm and costs £22 per child. Also on the same day, an adult workshop from 1.30pm-3pm will give older participants the chance to create a stunning hand-tied arrangement for Mother’s Day. All workshop fees include materials and tuition, with light refreshments served. Advance booking is essential and early booking is advisable. • The workshops will take place in the first floor studio room at Hilly Horton Home, 36a Goss Court, High Street, Thrapston NN14 4JH. 01832 358894.

Danielle O ‘Connor Akiyama

has become one of the World’s most sought after and Highly acclaimed contemporary artists.

Trent Galleries

11 Mill St Oakham Invites you to come and view the beautiful new exhibition…


11 - 18th March We will be celebrating the launch of a mesmerising array of limited editions including a collector’s piece created exclusively for guests at this event, alongside a collection of stunning original paintings. Call 01572 722790 for further information, or if you would like to be put on our guest list. 11 Mill Street, Oakham LE15 6EA - 01572 722790 3 Chain Lane, Newark, NG24 1AU - 01636 646426 41


Stamford Canal and skyline


Distance: 10km (6.25 miles) Typical time: 2 1/2 hours Height gain: 25m Map: OS Explorer 234 Start & Finish: Morrison’s Car Park (PE9 2FT; check any parking restrictions) Terrain: muddy in parts, especially in the winter months

This walk takes you along the old Stamford Canal, through the delightful village of Uffington and along a ridge giving you a great skyline view of Stamford, including Burghley House; then back down across the gurgling Gwash River...




Stamford Canal, disused and without any water in it but still easy to spot; it’s one of the earliest post-Roman canals in England. It opened in 1670, around 100 years before most of the canal network. Running from Stamford to Market Deeping, it had 12 locks and contributed to the wealth of Stamford, allowing barley to be transported to the town for malting. It closed in 1863, soon after the arrival of the Midland Railway in the area. The River Gwash has its source in Knossington and is the main feeder river to Rutland Water, which was formed by damming its valley at Empingham. From the reservoir, a controlled flow is released to maintain the flow around Tolethorpe Hall and Stamford and into the River Welland. The river feeds the millpond at Newstead before entering the Welland at Newstead Bridge. Uffington Manor was a glorious post-Restoration country house which burnt down in 1904. Our walk takes you past the original main entrance gates (left).


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Set out from Morrison’s car park along Uffington Rd; turn right down the track to Hudds Mill just after the bridge At Hudds Mill turn left, and follow the track E across a meadow; at the stile, cross over the Gwash and soon you reach the bed of the canal Take a right here through the kissing gate and follow the old tow path on the S side of the canal bed for 2km until you reach the Uffington Bridge Turn left (N) up the hill past Copthill School and at the main road turn right (E) along the pavement towards Tallington. After 200m cross the main road carefully to head N along a footpath; this heads left, then right, then left again through a gate and then right over a stile into a garden On entering the garden walk straight ahead past the pond, then around to the right between pond and hedge until you reach a stile Over the stile, turn right along the Bertie Lane footpath. After 200m turn left into Casewick Lane and right into School Lane, entering Uffington churchyard through a gate Walk around the church, up the yew tree avenue to the main road and turn right. Follow the pavement W for 500m until, just before a bungalow, you turn right through two metal gates onto a public footpath Now it’s plain sailing for a while as the footpath heads N for 1.7km, following the field boundaries. Eventually you reach a bridleway, where you turn left and soon meet the road Head S along the road for 200m, before crossing a style in a wooded area on the right and heading down the hill on the Macmillan Way towards Stamford; the path then crosses the River Gwash and heads across Gypsy Meadows before eventually exiting via the disused railway bridge On reaching the Ryhall Rd, turn left towards town; just before the Ryhall Rd Post office turn left to enter Morrison’s through the back (green) gate Skirt round the left of the building once through the gate and you will soon find yourself at the Morrison’s Café.



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PIT STOPS The Old Fire Engine, 25 St Mary’s St, Ely CB7 4ER (01353 66258 www.theoldfireenginehouse. ) I love this restaurant. It’s not fine dining, rather very fine home cooking. The setting is unparalleled, just by the Cathedral Close. An old Georgian house that incorporates an art gallery. Special atmosphere, book ahead. And in the same ownership since the mid-60s! Peacocks Teahouse, 65 Waterside, Ely CB7 4AU (just alongside Babylon footbridge) Samovar Tea House, 23 Fore Hill, Ely CB7 4AA. Every type of tea you can imagine!


Ye Olde Bertie Arms, Uffington (01780 763834, www. bertiearms. Traditional pub, with outside area. Due to re-open in the summer under new ownership. Morrison’s Café Always convivial, and exceptional value NENE LIVING MARCH 2017



OUT & ABOUT Helping you make the most of March... and more… last year Peterborough Trades Union Council organised an event to coincide with International Women’s Day and it was such a great success, it’s happening again. The theme for the 2017 event is Women and Education. Find out more at www. peterborough-womensfestival-2017-women-andeducation/


he snowdrops that burst into bloom in February are a sure sign that sunnier days are on the way. If you’re quick off the mark you’ll still be able to catch them at their best... Opening for the first time in 2017 on Sunday 26 February, the gardens at Deene Park (off the A43 between Stamford and Corby) are home to a spectacular show of snowdrops. Open from 12pm-4pm (last entry 3pm). 01780 450278. In Oundle, the delightful walled garden at Jericho (just off the Market Place) is also open on Sunday 26 February under the National Gardens Scheme. Jericho is open from 12 noon-5pm and is at 42 Market Place, Oundle PE8 4AJ. 01832 275416.

Thursday 2 March Henry VIII: The quest for an Heir Producing an heir obsessed all the Tudor monarchs, for the future of a fragile dynasty was at stake. In the case of Henry VIII we usually focus on

the pregnancy history of his wives, but not on Henry’s own issues with fertility. This lecture by Dr Peter Jones will look at Henry’s anxieties and the resources – medical, religious, political – on which he drew to secure a male heir. 7.30pm. Adults £5, concessions £4. Peterborough Museum Priestgate, Peterborough PE1 1LF. 01733 864663. whatson Saturday 4 March Peterborough Women’s Festival Workshops, poetry, music

Sunday 5 March Opera Gala The City of Peterborough Symphony Orchestra and stars of Peterborough Opera come together in a lively Opera Gala which will feature Wagner’s Mastersingers, Bizet’s Carmen (including the popular Toreador’s Song) and Verdi’s Aida, Rigoletto, Il Travatore and La Traviata. 3-5pm. Adults £12.50, concessions £10.50, under-16s free. Voyager Academy, Mountsteven Avenue, Peterborough PE4 6HX. Monday 6 March Colour in grey/grey in colour Peterborough Art Society explores colour and tone, led by Bernard Singer. 7.30pm. Members £2, visitors £4. St Mark’s Hall, Lincoln Road, Peterborough PE1 2SN. www.peterborough Thursday 9 March Peterborough Arts Cinema: Embrace of the Serpent The story of an Amazonian shaman and two scientists who

Saturday 11-Friday 24 March DRAW An exhibition which brings together a body of work started in the spring of 2015. Artists Maxine Greer and Jane Hindmarch developed Kombisketchtour, a mobile artist’s studio travelling around Rutland and the surrounding counties capturing the seasonal highlights through observational drawings in 2D and 3D. The artists are passionate about drawing from observation, being out in the landscape and responding directly to the environment and what it has to offer. Often using the natural materials found on location, their work can take many twists and turns: a giant totem made from hundreds of teasels is wrapped with Black Medic, a rambling weed which is vibrant and yellow in the height of summer and then becomes a wonderful binding material in the autumn. Discover the blue pillows of flax sitting next door to a fizz of red poppies on the A47 between Stamford and Morcott, and a field margin laden with wild geraniums near Lyndon. Monday-Saturday 10.30am-1pm and 2.30pm-5pm, Sundays 2.30pm -5pm. Free admission. The Yarrow Gallery, Glapthorn Road, Oundle PE8 4PS.

together search for a sacred healing plant. 7.30pm. £6, concessions £5, members £4. John Clare Theatre, Peterborough Central Library, Broadway, Peterborough PE1 1RX. www.peterborougharts Monday 13 March Talk: The Natural History of the

Whittlesey Brick Pits Environmental Consultant Philip Parker shares his in-depth knowledge of the area’s brick pits, from their Jurassic fauna to their current wildlife value. 7.30pm. St Mark’s Hall, Lincoln Road, Peterborough PE1 2SN. www. peterboroughcivicsociety.

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



OUT & ABOUT Helping you make the most of March... Friday 17 March Opening of Once Upon A Time Following a 12-day visual arts residency at Stamford Arts Centre Gallery, Art Pop-Up presents Once Upon a Time, a collaborative exhibition including work by artists Sue Shields, Sheelah Mahalath Bewley, Sam Roddan, Anu-Laura Tuttelberg and Laura Barnard. Exploring themes of fairytales and folklore, the work delves into narratives and symbolism, touching upon stories by the Grimms and ancient mythologies. Twisting the conventions of renowned fables, the artists address contemporary issues of environmental damage, shifting perceptions of good and evil and revising views on consumption and mass production. As with every tale there is a moral to the story and truth beyond the surface. 6pm. Free entry. City Gallery, Peterborough Museum, Priestgate, Peterborough PE1 1LF.

Saturday 18 March Mercury: The Ultimate Queen Tribute Established as one of the world’s most authentic tributes to Freddie Mercury and Queen, this dynamic stage show fully emulates the charismatic appeal of rock’s most flamboyant front man, backed up by superblycrafted harmonies and intricate guitar work. 7.30pm. £17.50. Stamford Corn Exchange, Broad Street, Stamford PE9 1PX. 01780 766455. www.stamford



Saturday 18 March Kathryn Tickell and Amy Thatcher Folk performer, Northumbrian piper and composer Kathryn Tickell and accordion player and clog dancer Amy Thatcher launch the Oundle International Festival’s Music in Special Places 2017 concert series. Held in St Peter’s Church, their programme includes evocative slow airs that could break your heart and upbeat jigs and reels to get your toes tapping. Amy’s clog steps provide a joyous percussive element. Oundle Festival Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle PE8 4EA. 01832 274734.

Saturday 18 March Brighouse and Rastrick Band With an established track record of collaborating with some of the world’s foremost brass bands, the Peterborough Male Voice Choir, Peterborough Voices and Peterborough Youth Choir bring the Brighouse and Rastrick Band to perform with them. 7.30pm. From £15. Broadway Theatre, Broadway, Peterborough PE1 1RT. www.peterborough

Sunday 19 March Willow Workshop Learn how to make an egret, heron, sandpiper or goose with local basketmaker Sue Kirk. Each bird sculpture has a 6mm/8mm metal frame over which you will weave, adding texture to complete your chosen bird. 10am. £60 to include steel frame. Stibbington Centre, Church Lane, Stibbington, Peterborough PE8 6LP.

SAVE THE DATE Dig out your stilettos, get your glam on and grab your friends as Queensgate Shopping Centre introduces an evening of Martinis, Music and Muses on Thursday 27 April from 5pm. Headlined by celebrity DJ Lauren Pope (right), the event is free to attend. Celebrity blogger Megan Gilbride (below) will be on hand to give her leading fashion advice and tips for the new season, and there’ll be exclusive discounts from Queensgate and Westgate Arcade’s shops – some of which will also be holding their own in-store parties. Further details will be posted on Queensgate’s Facebook page:

01780 782386, email: cees.stibbington@ Sunday 19 March Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards, 70 years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. 6pm. Adults £5, under-18s £3. Stahl Theatre, West Street, Oundle. 01832 273930. Tickets from Oundle Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle PE8 4ED. 01832 274734 or Tuesday 21 March Fish Eye – Confessions of a Super Snooper Pam’s already got a low opinion of her neighbours, so when someone pinches her Elizabethan sideboard, it’s all-out war: she becomes a onewoman MI6, ramping up her operation from curtain twitching to spy cameras hidden in handknitted novelties. Join Pam as she lets you in on her covert operations. Let her amuse, intrigue and bewilder you as she shares her tale of nosiness gone wild, in a

production which features original live music and film projection. 7.45pm. Adults £12, concessions £10. Stahl Theatre, West Street, Oundle. 01832 273930. Tuesday 21-Saturday 25 March 9 to 5 Celebrating its 117th birthday this year, Peterborough Operatic and Dramatic Society returns with a regional premiere of the Broadway smash-hit musical comedy 9 To 5. 7.30pm, plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee. Adults £15, concessions £12.50, opening night £10. The Cresset, Bretton Centre, Rightwell E, Peterborough PE3 8DX. 01733 2665705. Wednesday 29-Friday 31 March Men United in Song

introduction sessions Looking for a fresh challenge which takes you out of your comfort zone but has a great social scene to boot? Then look no further… following its phenomenal success last year, Men United in Song is back for 2017, once again raising money for Prostate Cancer UK. The project will sign up a minimum of 40 local men with a range of previous singing experience (including none!) to rehearse over 12 weeks for a gala charity concert which will take place on Saturday 24 June. 7-9pm. Broadway Theatre, Broadway, Peterborough PE1 1RT. For information call Jo on 01733 425194 or email info@peterborough





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