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FESTA ITALIANO: City’s culture celebrated


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


Have a super September! SEPTEMBER 2017 £1.50 09

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Nene Living


INSIDE THIS ISSUE September 2017


UMMER may have been a wet and muddy affair, but that’s not going to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm for celebrating all that’s special about living locally… and with so many events to enjoy this September, there are still plenty of ways in which to do so. Some of the city’s cultural mainstays are celebrated early in the month – see our Out & About pages for details of a spectacular concert which celebrates the 80th birthday of the iconic Broadway Theatre, plus a preview of some of the highlights of the ever-popular Italian Festival. The latter coincides with the Heritage Open Days event, when we’re offered free admission to myriad marvellous properties that are often closed to the public or charge an entrance fee. Twenty-six venues in and around Peterborough will take part – read all about it on p31 and start planning your itinerary! If all that whets your appetite for more local exploration and enjoyment, be sure not to miss the Nene Valley Festival… nine days of events take place at venues from Northampton to Peterborough. There’s more about that on p7. Elsewhere in this issue we look at what makes some local family businesses so successful (p15), and suggest some great get-together ideas for all age groups… p21 is where to start if you’re planning a party sometime soon. Or, if you’re getting fit after a summer of over-indulgence (the rain did rather call for some comfort eating!), then the feature starting on p33 could be of interest. Along with author and artist interviews plus all our regular features on days out, food and drink, health and beauty, and home and garden, we hope this issue will keep you inspired and informed… whatever the weather!

Gillian Bendall Editor INCORPORATING


5 Upfront

Make the return to the classroom a little more colourful with our selection of locally-sourced accessories and essentials

7, 9, 10 News & Notes

Helping you make the most of living locally

13 Nene People

28 The storyteller

Kathryn Parsons, a rising star in our local art community

31 You are invited….

Meet the local business people who have ‘set up shop’ with relatives

How to check your trees are safe before the winter weather sets in

Take a peek behind the usually-closed (or payto-view) doors of some fascinating local places over the four days of this month’s Heritage Open Days event

Author Adam Begley on his latest literary masterpiece

15 We are family

45 Tree assessments

46 Food & Drink 33 Putting the fun into getting fit

New ways to exercise as a family, and local experts who can help you achieve a happier, healthier lifestyle

Feelgood food in an elegant setting, plus a tasty recipe from the Riverford farm

48 Into the Vale

A food- and fun-lovers tour of the Vale of Belvoir

37 Health & Beauty 21 Let’s party

Get-together ideas for all age groups

25 A walk around York

Exploring England’s bestpreserved medieval town on foot

The latest tips on looking good and feeling great… and where to go for help

43 Home & Garden

The GreenThumb experts explain how to lavish your lawn with some late-summer love

Editor Gillian Bendall Email neneliving@hotmail.com Write to Nene Living, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY www.neneliving.co.uk Advertisement Manager Bridget Steele 01733 707538 bridget.neneliving@ntlworld.com Head of Design Steven Handley steve@locallivingdesign.co.uk Designer Sarah Compton inkdesign@virginmedia.com Advertising Copy Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 rachel@locallivingdesign.co.uk Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 localliving@btopenworld.com Published by Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY www.locallivingltd.co.uk Printed by Warners of Bourne

GET IN TOUCH: neneliving.co.uk

51 Out & About

September events you simply mustn’t miss – including the city’s Italian Festival

Cover: Evening sun on the River Nene, by Tim Sandall. www.timsandall.com


Nene Living

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UPFRONT September heralds the start of a new term… and along with it,a long list of must-haves to be bought and labelled before that first school bell rings.Whether you’re a super-sorted early shopper or a last-minute bargain-bagger,we think you and your youngsters might like to make the return to the classroom a little more colourful with this selection of locally-sourced accessories and essentials

Unicorn coloured pencil set £10, Jollys Toys

Helix Oxford Maths Set £5.59, Colemans of Oundle

Scented ice-cream erasers £4, Jollys Toys Uniball handwriting pens £3.99, Colemans of Oundle

Dory lunch box £10, John Lewis

Academic diaries from £4.79, Colemans of Oundle Thinking Putty from £3.50, Jollys Toys

Monkey gym backpack £10, Paperchase

Tiger backpack £45, Accessorize Ice Velvet A5 lined notebooks £7.19 and matching pencil cases £6.39, Colemans of Oundle

Derwent graphic pencils £10.97, Colemans of Oundle

Wooden sewing tidy boxes £6, Hilly Horton Home

STOCKISTS Colemans of Oundle, 10 New Street, Oundle, PE8 4EA. 01832 272868. www.colemans-online.co.uk; Hilly Horton Home, 36a Goss Court, Thrapston NN14 4JH. 01832 358894. www.hillyhorton.co.uk; Jollys Toys, 28a High Street, Thrapston NN14 4JH. 01832 358915. www.jollystoys.co.uk; Accessorize, John Lewis, Paperchase all Queensgate Centre, Peterborough PE1 1NL. www.queensgate-shopping.co.uk.





Helping you make the most of Nene living

HE 2017 Nene Valley Festival takes place from 16-24 September, celebrating the natural and historic assets of our beautiful area. Nine days of events are hosted at venues from Northampton to Peterborough, with the programme designed to include cultural heritage, local history, archaeology, food and drink, the arts and leisure. Highlights include a Hidden Heritage Tour of Peterborough, discounted canoe and kayak hire at Ferry Meadows, a look at Lyveden New Bield’s historic graffiti, a guided walk around the nature reserve of Yarwell and Nassington and, on the final weekend of the festival, a ‘Thomas’ event at Nene Valley Railway plus a Victorian celebration at Stanwick Lakes. • For more information pop in to Peterborough’s Visitor Information Centre on Bridge Street or log on to www.nenevalley.net/festival-home

New owner for Oundle’s historic shoe shop


HERE’S a new name in Oundle’s Market Place, following the completion of a takeover deal between two businesses with a combined history of almost 300 years. Cottons of Oundle – a family shoe firm dating back to 1871 – has been bought by Lincolnshire-based North Shoes, whose own roots go back to 1876. Managing director Anne Cotton, the fourth generation at the head of R C Cotton and Sons Ltd, said: “We are a standalone independent shoe shop in a small but vibrant market town with a thriving business, amazing staff and hugely loyal Anne Cotton and James North seal customers. It feels their deal with a handshake outside the popular Oundle store right to hand it over to someone like James, whom I have known for some time… he shares my ideas about business. “We could have kept running the shop and then one day closed, but this way the town is going to be assured of a good quality independent shoe shop for many years to come. It’s amazing that two such old-established independent shoe shops should be coming together in this way.” James North, the fifth generation at the helm of Bourne-based North Shoes, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have acquired Cottons of Oundle. We have looked at it for some time. It is the right fit for us – a lovely, independent, long-established shoe business in a lovely market town. “We want to carry on offering what they have been offering as a quality family concern, including the links with Oundle School. We will continue to sell all of the brands they have offered and maintain the same high quality level of service, bringing the Society of Shoe Fitters expertise to the business.” The deal increases the North Shoes stable to five shops, with stores also in Peterborough, Stamford, Bourne and Cambridge. All six members of Cottons staff have been taken on as part of the deal.


EAUTIFUL Wadenhoe House (right) continues to receive favourable reviews as both a wedding venue and country manor hotel, and the recent addition of The Cabbage Patch Spa adds to its credentials as a destination for all seasons… and reasons. Featured in last month’s Nene Living spotlight on the village of Wadenhoe, the 17th-century house retains all the character and charm of a bygone era. • Find out more about Wadenhoe House with a visit: Wadenhoe, Peterborough PE8 5SR. 01832 720777. www.wadenhoe.com




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NEWS & NOTES The Peterborough branch of the national charity Parkinson’s UK is looking for people to join its fundraising Burghley House walk which takes place early next month. Participants can choose from a one, three or 10-mile route, and sponsorship funds raised will be split equally between Parkinson’s UK and the Peterborough branch to help continue funding exercise classes, events and outings for its members. The event takes place on October 1 at 10am; registration costs £10 for adults, £5 for under-16s and there’s a suggested minimum sponsorship of £50. • For more information see www. justgiving.com/fundraising/ peterboroughparkinsons

Rock legend to perform at Christmas concert


Could you rehome a farm cat?




AN Anderson, of Jethro Tull fame, will be performing a Christmas concert at Peterborough Cathedral in December. Famed as the man who brought the flute to rock music, Anderson maintains a busy international touring schedule, which in recent years has concluded in December with a short series of Christmas concerts in cathedrals, the proceeds of which go entirely to the cathedral concerned – a self-professed nonbeliever, Anderson nonetheless claims a huge affinity with the traditions of Christianity and says this is his way of showing his support. On 16 December he and his band will perform some of the more festive numbers from the prodigious Jethro Tull back catalogue, alongside other Christmas music and readings. There is also the promise of a surprise guest joining the line-up – guests at previous Christmas gigs have included the likes of Ade Edmondson, Marc Almond and Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden. Members of Peterborough Cathedral Choir will be making an appearance too. • Tickets, at £35 and £27.50, are already selling fast. To get yours call Peterborough Information Centre on 01733 452336, Oundle Box Office on 01832 274734, or buy online via www.peterboroughcathedral.org.uk/events.aspx



FARM cat is a domestic cat that primarily lives outdoors. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on a farm, but they do like to have the space and freedom to come and go as they please and not have too much interaction with humans unless they instigate it. As long as they have shelter, food and fresh water, they are happy to live the free life. Some prefer to live outside permanently, and some may wish to have a warm bed in the house to cuddle up in when they are due a cat nap. Having a farm cat can help with rodent problems and they will often be seen interacting with other animals too. Many people believe that cats will be more likely to hunt if they haven’t been fed, however this is a myth. To keep their energy levels high, it is important to feed them regularly. That way they will hunt out of play and for fun, not only when they have to. Here at Wood Green The Animals Charity, we currently have some cats looking for farm homes. A cattery environment can be a difficult time for these cats as they aren’t able to live the life they have become accustomed to in such an enclosed space. Although every measure is taken to make their stay at Wood Green as comfortable as possible, or they are sent out to one of our fabulous foster homes, they still desperately need the freedom that a farm home provides. Could you offer one of these cats their forever farm home?

Some prefer to live outside permanently, and some may wish to have a warm bed in the house to cuddle up in when they are due a cat nap Wood Green The Animals Charity offers a free advice service for dogs and cats. If you would like behaviour or training advice for your pet call 01480 830014 ext 1281.




Youth Choir is now recruiting


OOKING for an activity for the kids which will give them new skills, independence and self-confidence, not to mention new friendships and some once-in-a-lifetime experiences? Peterborough Youth Choir provides all this – and more – to children aged seven and upwards, and it’s completely free! The choir provides professional tuition and exceptional performance opportunities to over 60 members from schools across the city and beyond. It has collaborated with stellar musicians including the King’s Singers, The Band of the RAF Regiment and the BBC Concert Orchestra, among many others. In 2013 and 2015, in partnership with Bill Kenwright Ltd, members performed in the national tours of Evita starring Marti Pellow, Joseph and his Technicolour Dream Coat starring X Factor winner Joe McElderry and Dreamboats and Petticoats: The Christmas Party. Their performances are regularly broadcast on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and in 2016 they were featured on BBC One’s Songs of Praise. Several members have successfully auditioned for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, while others have gone on to specialist music schools and gained places with Durham Cathedral Choir and the choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Rehearsals are at All Saints Church Hall, All Saints Road, Peterborough PE1 2UL on Wednesdays during term time from 4-6.30pm, supervised by a team of enhanced DBS-checked chaperones. The choir is split into three groups so that singers can rehearse at their own level and progress through the choir as they develop musically. • For information call Jo on 01733 425194 or email admin@peterboroughmvchoir.org.uk

ANCY a go at something artistic this autumn? Nene Living’s Rachel Beecroft recommends a weekly class that has boosted her confidence… “It’s fair to say I’ve haven’t done any ‘art’ since my school days (a long time ago!). However, I used to enjoy drawing as a teenager and felt a dabble was long overdue, so signed up to a 12-week course with The Seasons Art Class held weekly at Yarwell Village Hall. “Yes, I was a little nervous… but it was unfounded! Chatting with my fellow artists on the course, I discovered some beginners like me. All the materials were provided and our delightful instructors Mike and Helen were full of encouragement, giving plenty of techniques and tips on a variety of media which included pencil drawing, watercolours, acrylics and oil pastels. “I’m now inspired by everything around me, noticing colours and shapes and thinking about how I can manifest these visions onto paper! My confidence has grown week by week as I attempt new pieces and I’m already looking forward to the next course starting in September so I can continue to develop my skills and create my own original art.” • For information on dates, course fees and bookings call 01832 273749.

‘Sleep Easy’ and support the homeless YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough is calling on readers to take part in its annual ‘Sleep Easy’ event which aims to raise funds to support young, homeless people locally. The event will take place overnight on Friday 29 September; participants are provided with food, tea and coffee, entertainment to keep spirits up and cardboard boxes to make a shelter in which they’ll sleep within the grounds of Peterborough Cathedral. There is an entry fee of £10 and all are encouraged to seek sponsorship from friends and family. Children under 16 are free, accompanied by an adult 18-plus with parents’ permission. All funds raised go towards providing support packages for residents in YMCA-supported accommodation at The Cresset in Bretton. Last year’s event raised £6,500 towards providing such support packages. • To register yourself or a team visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for Sleep Easy 2017.

Panto opportunity for local youngsters


OUNG hopefuls are invited to audition for the chance to perform on one of the city’s biggest stages, as Premier Pantomimes bring the magical story of Snow White to The Cresset Theatre this Christmas. The annual Cresset pantomime takes place 9-30 December and production bosses are looking for some talented youngsters to star alongside a full all-star professional cast. With an exciting new director and West End choreographer this is a great opportunity for talented, passionate youngsters – whether they enjoy singing, dancing, acting or all three – to get involved. • Auditions take place at The Cresset on Sunday 3 September. Visit http://www.cresset. co.uk/pantomime/ for details.



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Adam Begley Rave reviews follow the author of the‘definitive’biography of John Updike and now The Great Nadar. Sue Dobson met him at his home in the countryside near Oundle


N 1995, Adam Begley went to an exhibition of photographs by Nadar, “a great artist I’d never heard of,” at the Metropolitan Museum in New York – a retrospective that had transferred from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The portraits left a deep impression on him. He still has the accompanying catalogue. “Then I read Levels of Life by Julian Barnes, in which Nadar, under his real name GaspardFélix Tournachon, is a character. Barnes was unbelievably charming about the man. My interest in him was further piqued by that excellent biographer, Richard Holmes, in Falling Upwards, his book about ballooning and the characters that took to the skies, Nadar among them.” Nadar was an extraordinary figure who knew everyone in the literary and arts scene of 19thcentury Paris. He was a writer, caricaturist, photographer and balloonist, an innovator, adventurer and pioneer, a self-promoter who understood ‘celebrity culture’ long before that phrase had been coined. When Adam discovered that the only books on Nadar were in French, he determined to write the first biography in English. Persuading his editor and agent of this took a while. “There was some reluctance,” he says with an ironic smile. After the success of Updike, published in 2014, they were keen that his next book would also be about someone familiar. Nadar was famous in France; would English-speaking readers buy a book on a 19th-century Parisian photographer? Adam prevailed, promising to write more commercially viable books in future but convinced that “once people heard of Nadar they’d fall for him”. After over two years of research and writing, The Great Nadar: The Man Behind the Camera was published in July and rave reviews from both sides of the Atlantic quickly followed. LETTERS FROM PARIS The research took Adam mainly to Paris, where the Bibliotheque Nationale de France holds the largest collection of Nadar’s photographs and an enormous trove of his correspondence. “Obsessed with celebrity and posterity, he wrote constantly, verging on graphomania, and he kept all the responses from family and friends. It was a huge thrill to find original letters to him from Baudelaire, Jules Verne and Victor Hugo.” Language was not a problem. Born in Boston (“but I’m really a New Yorker”), Adam’s stepmother was French and he spent time in France as a child, going to school there for a while.

As a portrait photographer, Nadar was concerned to capture the essence of his famous sitters, including writers, politicians, actors, musicians and composers, not all of whom approved of how he portrayed them. He took the first aerial photographs (from his balloon) and the first photographs underground, in the sewers and catacombs of Paris. “He was born not long after the French Revolution, before the invention of photography, and died, aged almost 90, in 1910. A bohemian, political radical and visionary, he left us a fascinating legacy.” Adam is an engaging speaker, passionate about his subject. He’ll be giving talks in New York in early September and in Boston and Philadelphia at the end of the month. In between you’ll find him on home ground in Oundle. • Adam Begley will be giving an illustrated talk on The Great Nadar: The Man Behind the Camera at St Peter’s Church, Oundle on Friday 15 September at 7.45pm. Tickets cost £8 (£6 concessions) – £1 off ‘early bird’ tickets bought before 8 September – from Oundle Box Office, 4 New Street, PE8 4ED; 01832 274734, or online at www.oundlefestival.org.uk

When Adam discovered that the only books on Nadar were in French, he determined to write the first biography in English. Persuading his editor and agent of this took a while... “Amazingly I also found treasure in Philadelphia,” he says. “Nadar kept ‘guestbooks’ in his studios in Paris. If you were famous and he liked you, he’d ask you to write a comment, draw a sketch or add a few bars of music. During a period of insolvency, he sold one of them. It was bought by Napoleon III’s dentist, an American called Evans, who when he died left his papers to the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dentistry. A few years ago they realised what they’d got and handed Nadar’s book over to the rare books library. “The appendix to my book consists of this livre d’or (visitors’ book). It was a thrilling discovery, opening a window on to Nadar’s world, a different window from that revealed by his caricatures and photographs.” NENE LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017




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We are family

Sharing a vision and enterprise with a family member creates a business based on a unique set of values – with commitment and passion top of the agenda. Rebecca Downey meets some local business people who have ‘set up shop’ with relatives…


HARED history, experience and knowledge usually mean that familyrun businesses present an authenticity to their offering unlike perhaps larger, more profit-driven firms. Upholding traditional values is key and the most successful appear to be those that strike a balance between professional management, responsible ownership and a healthy family dynamic. However, it is vital for such a familial collaboration to keep an eye on the long-term strategy, move with the times and stay relevant. Is it easy to separate home and work, or are the two indelibly interwoven?

The PickledVillage Founded by Camille Ortega McLean, The Pickled Village is Bulwick’s fine food shop selling internationally inspired, British-made chutneys, preserves, marmalades, curds and dressings – all with a twist. Having founded two successful pickle brands (Well Pickled, which was bought by Baxters, and Bulwick Preserves) and created several award-winning recipes, Camille enlisted the help of family members, chiefly daughters Camilla and Luisa, to develop the brand. The Pickled Village launched at the Real Food Fair in Earl’s Court in 2008, and with orders from Harvey Nichols and Waitrose in the bag, it was ready to fly. The Pickled Shop is the online offshoot recently launched by daughter Camilla, featuring a selection of goodie boxes tailored for different occasions such as ‘Chin Up’, ‘Birthday Hurrah’ and ‘Hey Hot Stuff’. Camilla has always done a spot of moonlighting on her mother’s projects, while working as a graduate at JWT advertising agency and later as a creative at Saatchi & Saatchi. “It wasn’t really a decision, it just happened,” says Camilla, “my contacts have helped her and we work well together. We both like to have the last word so it can get feisty! We laugh a lot and call each other several times a day.” Camilla has a huge amount of respect for her mother: “She is the face and story of the brand and I love seeing her entertain an audience at tasting events.” Camille runs the day-to-day business in the shop and the marketing for the product range (which is produced in a joint venture with Market Harborough Foods) while Camilla regards herself as a fresh pair of eyes – she’s not involved in the minutiae of the business but helps with PR and technical support.

Camilla and Camille

Camilla’s two brothers are less involved but connected to the business in that Angus, head of fine wines at Laithwaites, advises on wine selection and Dominic directs video content, “so it won’t be long before he gets roped in to help with our Facebook live streaming,” says Camilla. Meanwhile, her partner – interior designer and antique dealer, Matthew Cox – is responsible for the weathered zinc counters and the refurbished shop. “It would be wonderful to develop the brand and make Bulwick a destination for foodies. There’s Daylesford in the Cotswolds, Baileys in Herefordshire… if we could do something similar here, that would be a dream,” says Camille. • The Pickled Shop, Bulwick Village Stores, 15 Main Street, Bulwick NN17 3DY. 01780 450774. www.thepickledshop.com; www.thepickledvillage.co.uk NENE LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017



We are family The Rounded House

Sarah and Jo Parish

GreenThumb Peterborough

An interiors, lifestyle and gift business run by Samantha Harper and her mother Sue Herbert, The Rounded House launched as an online boutique in October 2013, quickly followed by its first shop on Oundle’s West Street in 2014. Setting up the business appeared to be the natural progression for what Sam describes as “a lifetime of discussing how much we would love to run a shop together; eventually we just decided to do it!” Their mutual passion for interiors became the obvious focus, as both ladies enjoy visiting trade fairs and sourcing inspirational items such as Love Molly ponchos and leather totes, creating their own brand of scented candles and diffusers and stocking a range of homewares and gifts. The business has proved popular with local shoppers and was recently voted a finalist for best interiors category by Muddy Stilettos (Northants), the ‘urban guide to the countryside’. Sam cites the generation gap as a positive aspect in their strategy as their products appeal across a wide demographic, catering for contemporary and more traditional tastes. Both mother and daughter are naturally creative types so when asked how their roles are defined within the business, Sam laughs and says: “I joke with my mum that she does the bits she likes and I pick up everything else! She has fabulous ideas and is more of a ‘bigger picture’ person, while I deal with the finer details.” Sam takes care of the day-to-day management of the shop, dealing with employees and the styling of products but her mother’s opinion is invaluable: “It is great to bounce ideas off each other and we always discuss potential suppliers before stocking them.”

Sisters Sarah and Jo Parish took on the GreenThumb Peterborough franchise when it came up for sale in 2014. With their extensive background in horticulture (Sarah has a degree in Applied Plant Science and was previously a director for the National Farmers Union, while Jo studied Agricultural Economics at University and spent 22 years in the potato industry, latterly as Tesco Account Director), the move to run a business together seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. Having both been customers of GreenThumb previously, they understood the business and knew they could make it work. As siblings with common interests, values and shared goals, the pair feel they understand each other on a deeper level than most colleagues might. Not concerned with ruining what is clearly a close relationship, Sarah and Jo use each other as a sounding board, sharing and discussing all aspects of the business but respecting each other’s opinions and areas of expertise. Sarah loves the science and Jo excels in IT but both co-manage the day-to-day running and currently employee three fantastic technicians, Jim, Richard and Dan to assist. “As an employer, you can put into practice all the best things you have learnt as an employee,” says Jo, and it’s clear top of their agenda is running a business that not only nurtures lawns, but grows and maintains good relationships with employees and customers alike. “When you run a micro business you’ve got to put your all into it – I think I could only do this with Jo,” says Sarah. This work ethic has proved fruitful as last year a customer satisfaction survey voted the team second out of 220 GreenThumb businesses nationwide. The girls were also put through a demanding vetting process and were successfully awarded a Which? Trusted trader endorsement to add to their credentials. But resting on their laurels they are not! With over 2,000 lawns to maintain, the team are running at full tilt and the sisters agree that neither is great at delegating; both take customer satisfaction very seriously and will often find themselves ungrudgingly helping those that may be elderly or in need of a chat. “There is not a one-stop solution to a healthy lawn, it takes time and perseverance,” says Sarah. “We enjoy the Business owner Peter Fierro social side of our business too and encourage our customers and his daughter Natasha run to phone us for advice. People are leaving the back gate open two successful businesses for us so trust is paramount,” she adds. I suggest that being on Peterborough’s Cowgate: female and siblings works in their favour on this front, “Oh estate agent City & County and yes, it’s a huge advantage, we’re like Ant and Dec and we really The Pizza Parlour & Music Café, enjoy the banter,” Jo laughs, having been told by a prospective which opened in September customer that they looked ‘like a wholesome and professional 2016 and has become a lively duo’! hub for authentic Italian food So is there a downside or is life really all rosy? The ladies and music lovers. admit it’s a struggle to holiday together – African safaris being Some might say the decision a shared passion in the past. Sometimes they have to make a to open the pizza parlour conscious decision to distance GreenThumb from weekends was an audacious move, Natasha Fierro and this is particularly difficult for Sarah who runs the office particularly so close to several from her home. But both are keen for the business to grow. Italian-themed restaurants in the city centre, but Peter feels there was no contest: “More customers means greater efficiency,” says Sarah, “and “You don’t go to an Indian restaurant for Chinese food and here we employ people when a lawn is looking good, this has a really positive effect on who know how to cook proper fresh Italian food from scratch.” Peter introduces me people’s relationship with their garden and environment.” One to Clemantina who is from the same Campania region as the Fierros and is known could say GreenThumb Peterborough really is a family-friendly as the ‘Nonna’, creating the base sauce for dishes – the recipe for which has been service investing in growth! passed down several generations. Proud that staffing has not changed since the • 01733 755028. launch, Peter explains that head chef Andrew Tedder has had plenty of experience www.greenthumb.co.uk/branch/peterborough

The Pizza Parlour and Music Café



Oundle Clock Shop & Green Man Antiques Oundle Clock Shop is a family business dating from 1929 when the present proprietor’s grandfather, Sydney George Dyson – whose name is preserved above Jo and Vicky the door of the shop front on West Street – began as a cabinetmaker and furniture retailer. Granddaughter Jo Elwood, who took over from her father, Emil Skiba, in 2002, now runs the business. It was Emil who adapted the business in 1952 as a clock/watchmaker and jeweller and this has continued with Jo and Garry, who together repair and restore the mechanical workings and casework of all timepieces. The business has evolved as it has passed down the generations. Jo has often felt torn between modernising and keeping the traditional values of the shop but when her father died in 2003, a full restoration of the building was undertaken and the décor and lighting was updated to illuminate Sue and Sam outside The Rounded House Jo with her father, Emil Skiba, in the clocks and antiques to their full 1985 potential. “People often don’t realise that antiques can look fabulous in a contemporary home,” says Jo as we discuss the idea of eclectic taste and how a period piece can enhance 21st century style. Jo learnt her trade watching her father and helping him in But the benefits don’t end there. Sam admits she couldn’t imagine the shop as a young girl. “This was the running a business with a non-family member: “The great thing is that you best apprenticeship I could have asked can disagree, but things soon return to normal because family is always for – if a child shows an aptitude and Jo’s Grandfather, Sydney George there for you. It wouldn’t be as easy to bounce back if I worked with a feel for it then it makes sense to guide Dyson friend.” And Sue picks up the slack during school holidays when priorities their future path,” she says. “There is inevitably shift for Sam. “In this respect, family and business life do become an unwritten sense of trust in sharing a business with your family which blurred – quite often we will be discussing stock levels, weekly takings and is a valuable thing.” This sentiment endures; opposite the clock shop is shop cover over the Sunday roast,” says Sam. Green Man Antiques, run by Jo’s daughter, Vicky, which offers a variety • 10b West Street, Oundle PE8 4EF. 01832 274687. of jewellery, collectables and 17th-19th century furniture. www.theroundedhouse.com Vicky was always intrigued by the shop and helped to clean the cabinets and cases as a child. Working for the family business seemed the natural path to take and her IT skills have improved the efficiency of in several prestigious restaurants but has the business. “I have more confidence through upped the ante to do it ‘our way’. this work, I enjoy the window dressing and “Hospitality and multi-generation styling and I see things quite differently to my socialising is an Italian way of life so working mum. Of course the downside is it’s hard to with family is the natural thing – it is in our call in sick!” Vicky laughs. For Jo, the downside Latin blood. Of course you can’t sack them,” is relinquishing control. “Sometimes it’s hard Peter laughs, “but we all understand each to let go and delegate,” she admits, but the other and if a member of the family didn’t job requires huge technical and artistic ability want to do it, they wouldn’t have to.” which keeps her satisfied, “and I like the social The clientele at the Pizza Parlour reflects side of my work; our good customers have this spirit. Visitors span all ages and all become friends.” music tastes are catered for: ‘60s rockabilly, Furniture restoration and upholstery work is soul, jazz and open mike sessions plus a salsa night on the first Wednesday of every month. Its undertaken at Green Man and the Clock Shop popularity has encouraged the Fierros to dim the lights, flip down the staging and transform specialises in vintage watches and longcases, the parlour into a wine and cocktail bar Thursday to Saturday from 10pm. The variety of acts which come fully restored and delivered free of showcased has even enticed scouts from BBC’s The Voice. charge within 50 miles. With two brothers also “Getting the food right was number one and that is why we installed a proper wood-fired oven in the business, Jo says ‘talking shop’ is par for and wouldn’t dream of putting in a microwave,” says Peter. Likewise no expense has been spared the course: “It’s our passion, it’s in our blood,” on the sound system, which boasts hi-tech speakers controlled from a mobile device. The menu is she says. “Being a custodian of a timepiece adapted on salsa nights offering Quesadillas accompanied by Pina Coladas or Blushing Cubans to that has marked time for over 200 years and quench thirsty dancers. The convivial vibe is encouraged with dishes such as the Bada-Bing pizza will continue for generations to come is a very ‘It’s not personal – it’s made for sharing!’ If a relaxed, authentic taste of Italy is what you’re after, it’s special thing.” advisable to book ahead. • Oundle Clock Shop, 51a West Street, • 5 Cowgate, Peterborough PE1 1LR. 01733 902233. www.thepizzaparlourpeterborough.co.uk Oundle PE8 4EJ. 01832 272099.

“The great thing is that you can disagree, but things soon return to normal because family is always there for you. It wouldn’t be as easy to bounce back if I worked with a friend”





Summer at Asha’s

Continental clothes, accessories and gifts for the discerning male

Unique furniture, Annie Sloan Paint, ceramics, lighting, soft furnishings, interior accessories, cards and gifts

Opening soon Asha's Nail Salon Hands and Feet

Sandwich, Thought, Mama b, Dansk jewellery, Butterfly Twists, Eden Rock, Blueberry, leather goods and accessories


Tea & Coffee, selection of Cakes and Afternoon Tea, the perfect place to take a break

The Bazaar, West Street, Oundle, PE8 4EJ (01832) 275 605 or 275 259 www.ashas.net

Let’s party! Planning a party and in need of inspiration? Sarah Chase has done the groundwork...



OW, some of us relish the thought of putting together a party, but for others it can quickly become a nightmare of trawling the internet in search of the perfect plan and becoming evermore confused in the process. If that sounds familiar, then good news: I’ve done the hard work for you – and believe me, l’ll be referring back to this article myself in the future! Here are some of the very best suggestions to get you started, with all the contact details you need…

I seem to remember roller disco parties being the very height of cool when I was young, but for most of us it was ‘pass the parcel’ or nothing. These days, the problem is more which activity to choose, when there are so many out there. Here are a few to start you off. If heights are what make your youngsters tick, then take them along to Jungle Parc Highropes at the wonderful Irchester Country Park, where they can swing through the trees like the monkeys they are. With two levels of course available there’s enough to challenge all ages, and they can run off any excess energy in the rest of the picturesque park. Places can be booked online at www.jungleparc.co.uk and cost from £14 per person. At Nene Extreme on Oundle Wharf, customers are invited to ‘build’ their own experience based around the myriad activities on offer – from canoeing and raft building to archery and bushcraft – or choose from one

of the gung-ho options on their website. The ‘Hunter Party’ will have your children learning to make and throw their own spears and boomerangs: awesome stuff! Party durations vary from two to three hours and cost from £20 per child. Go to the website, www.neneextreme. co.uk, for all the information and contact details. The UKs biggest Aquapark, at Rutland Water, has taken the area by storm over the past year, and is raved about for its challenging but fun inflatable obstacles – it’s a great choice if the weather isn’t too cold, although wetsuits are provided throughout the year as part of the £20 ticket price. This is only open to children aged eight and over (and only open from May to the end of September) and more information can be found at www.aquaparkrutland.co.uk.


Riding lesson: www.lynchfarmriding.co.uk Hamerton Zoo Park: www.hamertonzoopark.com Paintballing: www.paintballgames.co.uk


If the very idea of getting tired, wet and dirty is enough to make your children – like mine – run for the hills, then here are some ideas to keep them happy in an indoor way. For a seriously memorable party, how about nurturing your child’s singing talents by booking a session in a real recording studio? At £40 per person, and with a minimum of eight children needed, it’s not a cheap option, but this fantastic experience lasts for three and a half hours and all the children will receive their very first demo CD to take home. Book this through the website www.experiencedays.co.uk which will tell you your nearest venue. At Peterborough Martial Arts Academy, children can let off steam in a controlled and non-contact (!) way. Two fully qualified instructors will supervise and guide the children whilst they learn some simple martial arts kicks and play team games. Then it’s time for party food and an impressive demonstration by the instructor before the kids hit the bouncy castle… a good night’s sleep will be on the cards! A two-hour party for 20 children costs from £125, but packages vary, so check the website to make sure you get the one you want: www.evolutiontkd.co.uk.

Smelling sweet whilst getting messy is an irresistible combination – and at LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics in Peterborough that’s exactly what your children will enjoy when they choose from one of three party packages. For teenagers, there’s Beauty School which costs £25 per person and lasts for an hour and a half, whilst younger children can opt for the Happy Hour and Fun & Games packages... best of all, the price includes a £5-10 spend in-store, so party bags are sorted. Cool, hey? Call the store on 01733 569161 to book.


Pampered Princess: www.serenityloves.co.uk Cupcake decorating: www.celebrationspeterborough.co.uk Linocutting: www.sammarshallart.com Baking: www.lovely-loaves.co.uk NENE LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017



GROWN-UP CRAFT AND INFORMATIVE PARTIES At Celebrations Peterborough you can release your inner Mary Berry with a cupcake decorating, modelling and sugar craft class. Longer courses are available, but if you fancy a one-off party they can accommodate up to 25 people at a venue of your choice, or a maximum of 12 at their premises. Prices are from £25 per person – check out www. celebrationspeterborough.co.uk for details on how to book. Take a simple dinner party to a higher level by calling for The Wine Tasting Company: from £20 a head the experts will guide you through the basics in wine tasting, test your knowledge in a fun wine quiz and tickle your tastebuds with some blind tastings. You’ll be offered a minimum of six wines and can order more of those you like – perfect! The website www.thewinetastingcompany.co.uk has more information.

For an altogether more peaceful experience, gather a few friends and retreat to Sam Marshall’s idyllic art studio, hidden away in the Northamptonshire countryside. Sam is a printmaker and artist and offers courses and parties covering the basics in lino cutting or etching. Her rhubarb cake alone is worth the visit! From £50 per person for a day’s course, you can find out more about her work at www.sammarshallart.com.


Baking: www.lovely-loaves.co.uk Pamper party: www.beautyroomoundle.co.uk Escape party: www.escape-peterborough.co.uk



We’re not short of wonderful eateries around these parts, so take the pressure off yourself and book one of their private dining areas for a really grown-up treat. The Falcon at Fotheringhay (above left) offers everything from pizza parties and light buffets to full carvery options (www. thefalcon-inn.co.uk). Its private dining room, The Cottage, can seat up to 36 but you can book out the whole inn if you want to go bigger! Just a few years ago, if you wanted a gin and tonic, it was Gordon’s with a slice of lemon, but as Wadenhoe House (www. wadenhoe.com) is demonstrating with its Gin Dinners, the times, they are a-changing. Book your table at one of their evenings throughout the year and enjoy a five-course gin-inspired supper with hand-selected tipples to accompany each dish. At £29.95 per person, it’s fantastic value and there is accommodation available should your new-found enthusiasm for gin take over… For more dining in style, take a look at Werrington’s renowned restaurant, The Cherry House (www.cherryhouserestaurant.co.uk). It accommodates up to 40 guests, offering fine British dining in a charming thatched cottage venue, and aims for great service and a friendly atmosphere whilst serving up delicious and locally-sourced food. Available for private hire, the exclusive nature of Lee Clarke’s Peterborough restaurant, Prévost (www.prevostpeterborough.co.uk), means that it’s very flexible when it comes to entertainment. Previous events have featured a jazz band or quartet playing throughout the meal, making it a great choice for fine dining without the formality. If you’ve ever tried a Murder Mystery evening, you’ll know how much fun they can be, especially with a crowd of your best friends. The Queen’s Head at Nassington (www.queensheadnassington. co.uk) invites you to enjoy an evening of murder, mystery, intrigue and suspense in its atmospheric restaurant – look out for dates throughout the year.


Christmas doesn’t have to be the only time extended family get together – but if the idea of putting up multiple in-laws, nieces and nephews (along with all the cooking and cleaning that will create) is just too much, then duck the responsibility and book a local cottage instead. That way, everyone is a guest and no-one is in charge! Oundle’s stunning Ashton Estate has recently seen the renovation of The Lady Rothschild Dairy (left), comprising three houses which together form three sides of a square. They sleep 30 between them – so, enough room for plenty of cousins. Later this year a large, detached farmhouse, Morland Manor, will be added; described as “bursting with original artworks and antiques”, this will be open for tours when not in use. Visit www. ashtonestatecountryholidays.co.uk. Burghley House, in Stamford, is also offering a repurposed dairy, which consists of two wings – Exeter Cottage and Cecil Cottage. Perfect for family groups, it sleeps up to 20, and welcomes dogs, too – well, with acres of incredible grounds to wander through, it would be a shame to leave them at home. It is available to rent through www. airbnb.co.uk And now, go forth... plan parties. I look forward to receiving my invitation!

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A walk aroundYork York is England’s best-preserved medieval town and with an early start, within reach for a day trip – though there’s so much to see,you’ll probably want to stay longer (or go back several times)! Nicholas Rudd-Jones explores on foot...


Distance: 6.4km (4 miles); Millennium Bridge loop is an extra 2.4km (1.5 miles) Typical time: 13/4 hours; or 21/4 hours with extra loop Height change: 16 metres Start & Finish: York Railway Station (YO24 1AB) Terrain: All on pavement; lots of steps


The city walls are the most complete example of medieval city walls still standing in England today. They were first built by the Romans out of stone, then buried under an earth bank and topped with a palisade by the Vikings, then rebuilt in stone in the 13th and 14th centuries, then intermittently repaired until the 19th century when they were given a complete make-over to make them more accessible and appealing, with re-built battlements, extra mediaeval ‘features’ and walkways added. You can walk all the way around, about 2.6 miles. They are open each day from 8am to dusk. The Museum Gardens are a splendid place to relax. They were designed as botanical gardens in a ‘gardenesque style’ by landscape architect Sir John Murray Naysmith. In the summer, they are York office workers’ outdoor lunch spot of choice. York Minster, as Richard Carr-Archer observes, “is much more than the largest building in the city, the largest cathedral by area north of the Alps, a beacon for the surrounding Yorkshire countryside, and the destination for hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. It has numerous other claims to fame: it is the most consistent and complete story of Gothic styles in England, with its many special features, such as the octagonal Chapter House without a middle pier, and the Great West Door, whose recent renewal is one of the finest cathedral stonework achievements of the last century”. Finally, mention must be made of the ‘Snickelways’. It sounds like an ancient term, but it was in fact coined by local author Mark Jones in 1983 in his book A Walk Around the Snickelways of York, and is a portmanteau of the words ‘snicket’, meaning a passageway between walls or fences, ‘ginnel’, a narrow passageway between or through buildings, and ‘alleyway’, a narrow street or lane. This walk will take you down many of these.



You can find a full map and directions at: http://urbanrambles.org/walks/york-5640. If you are in York, and pop into Waterstone’s or the Tourist Office, look out for the brilliant York City Centre map created by Andrew Taylor.


Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, Museum St, YO1 7FR (01904 687687, www.yorkshiremuseum. org.uk) Houses four permanent collections, covering biology, geology, archaeology and astronomy. York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, YO1 7EW (01904 687687, www.yorkartgallery.org.uk) The gallery has the largest collection of works by William Etty. York Minster – entrance is £10, £15 to include the Tower; the ticket lasts for a year, so hang on to it, you will be back! Mon-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 12.45pm – 5pm. Barley Hall, 2, Coffee Yard, YO1 8AR (01904 615505, www. barleyhall.co.uk). Mansion House St Helen’s Square, YO1 9QL (01904 552036, www.mansionhouseyork.com) – the Lord Mayor’s residence. Richard III Museum, 6 Goodramgate, YO1 7LQ (01904 615505, www.richardiiiexperience.com). Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Fossgate, YO1 9XD (01904 654818, www.theyorkcompany.co.uk). Fairfax House, Castlegate, YO1 9RN (01904 655543, www.fairfaxhouse.co.uk) a fabulous Georgian townhouse designed by John Carr. Yorvik Viking Centre, Coppergate Shopping Centre, 19 Coppergate YO1 9WT (01904 615505, www.jorvikviking-centre.co.uk). York Castle Museum, Eye of York, Tower St YO1 9RY (01904 687687, www.yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk) – looks at York’s social and military past. National Railway Museum, Leeman Rd YO26 4XJ (0844 815 3139, www.nrm.org.uk). You should make the time to go even if you are only vaguely interested in railways. The Mallard steam engine is a splendid example of art deco art!




Perky Peacock Café, North Street Postern Tower, Under Lendal Bridge YO1 7DJ (01904 689778, www.perkypeacockcoffee.co.uk). Betty’s Stonegate, 46 Stonegate YO1 8AS (01904 622865, www.bettys.co.uk/tearooms/locations/stonegate-york). Cosy café and local institution with an English menu, antique dressers, wooden beams and open fire. Spring Espresso, 45 Fossgate,YO1 9TF (07779 294149, www.springespresso.co.uk). Artisan coffee, Chinese tea and home-made cakes served in a cosy café. Rowntree Park Reading Café You can borrow from a selection of more than 1,000 books, including the latest fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. Your Bike Shed, 148 Micklegate York YO1 6JX (01904 633777, www.yourbikeshed.co.uk). Skosh York, 98 Micklegate, YO1 6JX (01904 634849, www.skoshyork.co.uk). Skosh means ‘a small amount, a little’... eat as little or as much as you want at this inspirational establishment; each portion is very modest.

URBAN RAMBLES: If this walk has given you an appetite for urban rambles that focus on going through green spaces, you can find many more at www.urbanrambles.org


“I enjoy the challenge of creating very intricate, small-scale treasures”




The storyteller Sarah Chase chats to Kathryn Parsons, a rising star in our local art community


HEN I first met Kathryn Parsons, five years ago, it was at one of Peterborough Regional College’s print-making classes. I was new to the craft, whilst Kathryn – clearly! – was no beginner. She was quietly friendly, gentle, and modest about her obvious talents in all areas of craft, whilst being happy to share her knowledge and tips with anyone who asked. In the intervening years, Kathryn’s work has gathered momentum, and she has made the leap from hobbyist to career artist – one of a cohort of talented men and women in our area. This year she has taken part in an exhibition at the National Centre for Craft & Design (NCCD), and, recently, at Oundle’s Yarrow Gallery, so it seemed like a good time to find out more about her story so far. Born in Saffron Walden, Kathryn moved to Peterborough 25 years ago to pursue her first job in teaching, following her degree in Education and Geography. Creativity has always been of huge importance to her, though: “Since childhood, I have always enjoyed experimenting with lots of different techniques and materials, finding out what they can do,” she says, “from lacemaking to silversmithing, printmaking to cyanotype photography.” Her extraordinary creativity was evident during our print-making sessions, as she took unlikely and seemingly uninspiring objects – bubble wrap, plastic bags, bits of string – and elevated them to things of beauty in her works. She was endlessly exploring new media, eager to see what was possible from these ‘found’ things, and the results were often simply stunning.


Whilst many artists are bound by their chosen media, Kathryn takes an alternative approach, preferring to consciously select the material according to the story to be told, a process perfectly illustrated by her ‘breakthrough’ moment. In 2013, she was picked as one of six artists to take part in an innovative exhibition at Burghley House, called Fresh Take at Burghley, in which installation pieces reflecting life through the ages at that most magnificent of Tudor houses were exhibited alongside original antiques and works of art. Kathryn explains: “My background in working with sugar as an artistic medium and the skills I had built up in this area led to me becoming very interested in exploring the link between sugar and the architecture of the house – the Tudor turrets on the roof of Burghley were specifically built as places to sit and eat sugar! It was an expensive commodity back then, and taking important visitors up to the turrets on the roof, to enjoy the view and eat wonderful sugar confections, was the height of fashion. “I made two life-sized pairs of sugar shoes that told the tales of two women who lived at Burghley, while also weaving in references to

historical uses of sugar. I modelled and sculpted sugar modelling pastes by hand, to create the shoes themselves and the flowers. I was delighted when I discovered that one of the recipes I used was practically unchanged since Tudor times!”


Telling a story is at the heart of Kathryn’s work, and her part in the NCCD’s June 2017 exhibition, The Collectors: Made in the East Midlands, was no exception. Her focus here was on British corals, and research carried out over the first half of the year led her to porcelain clay as the perfect medium. “It felt appropriate, because porcelain’s preciousness and fragility connect with how I perceive these beautiful creatures and the increasing threats to their environment,” she says. “There’s a strength to porcelain too, though – think of the centuries-old shipwrecks that are sometimes found with cargoes of porcelain dishes still intact – and that’s also part of the story: the resilience of some parts of the natural world and my hopes for the corals’ survival.” A wonderful opportunity was offered to Kathryn during her research, to visit the London’s Natural History Museum and view its coral collection. She describes the old cardboard storage boxes with tiny and precious coral specimens nestled inside, and corals that had been found growing on an old bottle. Scouring antiques shops and fairs for similar boxes and tins became something of an obsession, as Kathryn looked for objects in which her porcelain coral could ‘grow’. Visitors to the John Clare Cottage in Helpston may well be familiar with this blended approach to art favoured by Kathryn. UnEarthed: John Clare was a group exhibition that marked 150

years since the death of the poet, and Kathryn’s wonderful installation pieces could be found in the form of porcelain ‘fungi’ and ‘lichen’ artfully attached to stone walls in the garden – an ingenious and utterly charming interpretation of the nature in which John Clare so delighted. When asked about artists who have inspired her, Kathryn stays close to home. “The artists that have had the greatest impact on me are those that have encouraged and worked with me, helping me to grow as an artist, especially Prue Pye and Sam Roddan. I’m hugely indebted to them both. “It was through Prue’s encouragement that I first took part in Peterborough Artists Open Studios about seven years ago. Then, in 2013, I met Sam Roddan of Art Pop-Up (an innovative contemporary arts organisation based in Stamford), when I applied to be part of their Fresh Take at Burghley project. My selection for this project was a dream opportunity that threw me straight into working as an artist on a project that perfectly fitted my areas of interest. I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Sam again since then, and to be mentored by her.” Kathryn cites an eclectic range of inspiration sources for her work: reading and research, chance conversations, antiques fairs, talking with specialists, visiting museums and historical places. It is the natural world, though, that offers up most creative stimulation and Kathryn’s powers of observation – her ability to notice the smallest details of the places she finds herself in – bear remarkable fruit. “I enjoy the challenge of creating very intricate, small-scale treasures… perhaps that’s because small details are what always tend to catch my eye in a place, so I guess that feeds through to my work,” she considers.


So, what next for Kathryn Parsons, artist? The sheer variety within Kathryn’s work make second-guessing the future futile: her love of experimentation and diversity means she is open to all art forms, and will be telling the stories she needs to tell, in different ways in different places. “At the heart of what I do is hand-modelling,” she says. “My fingers are happiest when they are sculpting, often in miniature. “While working on the corals, I found myself wishing that I had the skills to create parts of the sculptures in glass – to capture the translucent, fragile tendrils of living corals – so that’s something I’d like to experiment with in the future.” Otherwise, she is clear that working with museum and historic locations, sharing their stories, is important to her, whilst collaboration with a botanical or historical garden is on her ‘dream list’ too, to “tell the tales of plants’ historic uses and the people who used them.” • Find out more at www.kathrynparsons.co.uk NENE LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017


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You are invited...

Heritage Open Days offer an opportunity to take a peek behind the usually-closed (or pay-toview) doors of some fascinating local places.Here’s what you can expect this year


NGLAND’S largest and most diverse festival of history, Heritage Open Days celebrates the fantastic architecture and culture that surrounds us, offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or charge an entrance fee. Twenty-six venues in and around Peterborough will take part over the four days of celebration, from 7-10 September, which is supported by Peterborough Cathedral, Vivacity Peterborough, Peterborough City Council and Peterborough Civic Society. Full details of all properties open for the Heritage Open Days weekend can be found at www.heritageopendays.org.uk or at www. peterboroughcivicsociety.org.uk/heritage-opendays – here are a few to whet your appetite!

London Brick exhibition St John’s Church, Cathedral Square, Peterborough PE1 1XB The London Brick Company for many decades produced millions of bricks for house building and employed hundreds of local people. Andrew Mortlock, Archivist for London Brick, has created this exhibition which explains the company’s history and the great impact it had on the city.

Norman Cross Prison Depot Norman Cross Art Gallery, Norman House, Norman Cross, Peterborough PE7 3TB Norman Cross Prison was a Napoleonic War Prison in use from 1797 until 1814, and could house up to 7,000 French prisoners of war. It was the first purpose-built war prison, and the major industry in the area during this period, with a population twice that of nearby Peterborough. Visitors will be told the story of the prison and the men held there, and shown what remains of the site. Re-enactors will be present to demonstrate the life of soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars.

Explore Hidden Spaces Peterborough Cathedral, Minster Precincts, Peterborough PE1 1XS Dr Fenwick Skrimshire’s House Thorpe Road, Peterborough PE3 6AB The Regency house built in 1817 for Dr Fenwick Skrimshire – the first hospital doctor in Peterborough – has also been occupied by Dr Haydn Keeting, organist at Peterborough Cathedral who gave piano lessons in the house to a young Sir Malcolm Sargent. The house was built on former Abbey grounds and is the last house built in the late Georgian era in Peterborough that has remained as a family house and not converted into flats or offices.

Former wartime RAF Officers’ Mess Axiom House, Cottesmore Close, Peterborough PE3 9TP Built in 1931, the old RAF Officers’ Mess is now the main offices for Axiom Housing Association. Used as a training base, it became Number 7 Service Flying Training School in 1935. In 1948 British European Airways operated flying trials using helicopters to deliver mail. In 1952 emergency homes were erected on the site. In 1964 the airbase closed and the building was used as a training centre by Peterborough Development Corporation and Peterborough City Council. It was purchased by Axiom Housing Association in 2013.

The city’s ‘jewel’ is opening up some of its buildings for you to explore free of charge, with guides on hand to answer any questions. • Explore the medieval Almonry and find out about the role the Abbey played in caring for the poor of Peterborough. • Tucked away above the Cathedral’s 14thcentury porch is a remarkable and unseen library! • Inside the Cathedral’s Visitor Centre is the 13th -century Knights’ Chamber, a recently restored medieval hall. Costumed guides will be on hand to chat to visitors. • In a special guided tour, discover the remains of the Abbey’s Hospital, including a rare chance to go inside the 15th-century Table Hall. • Find out about the people, events and stories that are connected to the Cathedral, a centre for Christian worship for over 1300 years, on a free taster tour. • Booking is essential for many of the Cathedral events as numbers are strictly limited… see Heritage Open Days under ‘Events’ at www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk

Peterborough Greyhound Stadium Fengate, Peterborough PE1 5BP Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium that’s been a family-run business since it began over 70 years ago. It has a fascinating history including a fire burning out the Stadium in 1999 and an extension that doubled capacity in 2003. The tour will include watching the greyhound trials alongside some facts from the family themselves.

St Pega’s Church Chestnut Close, Peakirk, Peterborough PE6 7NW St Pega’s Church is remarkable mainly for its extensive 14thcentury wall paintings which include vivid representations of popular morality tales. NENE LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017


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Putting the fun into getting fit Rebecca Downey discovers new ways to exercise as a family and meets the local fitness experts who can help you achieve a happier, healthier lifestyle

Parkrun with it



Peterborough Parkrun is organised by volunteers, open to all ages and takes place every Saturday at 9am in Ferry Meadows Country Park. It’s free to take part in the 5km circuit but you must register before your first run and bring a printed copy of your barcode, or you won’t get a time. Runners with buggies and dogs are welcome, but the latter must be on a short harness and owners should review the published guidelines. Age grading helps athletes compare results and regular runners can earn milestone T-shirts. Event Director Gordon says: “It’s about bringing adults and children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities together. It doesn’t matter if they have run for 50 years or five minutes. The beauty of parkrun is in the building of friendships and the sense of community.” The new runners’ briefing is at 8.50am outside the café, where many participants return on completion for a chat and a coffee – your barcode will get you a 10 per cent discount. • Ferry Meadows Country Park, Ham Lane, Peterborough PE2 5UU. Facebook: Peterborough parkrun or follow on Twitter @pboroparkrun. www.parkrun.org.uk/peterborough/

Reboot at Bounce Peterborough NASA studies have discovered that rebound activity is three times more beneficial than stationary exercise (and quite possibly three times more fun!); exercising on a trampoline for one hour can burn 600 calories. Reboot fitness classes combine a cardio and resistance workout suitable for all fitness levels. Structured like a ‘bootcamp’ session, coach Mike Stephens gets you working both on and off individual trampolines. I attended a free trial session, which I would describe as a hugely exhilarating workout and I will definitely be returning with the family in tow. Kelly, a regular attendee, lost an astonishing 10kg in two months and is thrilled she has finally found the exercise for her. Classes can be purchased on a pay-as-you-go basis or booked as session packs. The Reboot Family Fitness on Mondays 7-8pm is for anyone aged seven upwards and is designed for the whole family to have fun and break a sweat together. • www.bouncegbcom


ITNESS is in fashion but there seems to be a dichotomy between the lycraclad runners, cyclists and gym-goers and those that feel too busy, lack the inclination or fear their knees might fall off if they step on a treadmill. Getting fit should not feel like a chore – after all, exercise releases endorphins that lift your mood and increase your sense of well-being. Streamlining your shape will build confidence, while meeting new people and making friends are all part and parcel of the benefits of sporting activity. It’s just a case of finding the right pursuit for you. With childhood obesity on the rise and the lure of screens being stronger than ever, it’s worth considering the increasing number of ways you can exercise as a family. Alternatively, meet the local experts who can provide a fitness regime tailored to your personal requirements and, more importantly, one that is achievable!

Ground control to Planet Ice Peterborough’s ice rink is offering three- and five-day courses for those wishing to learn to skate or hone their skills. Courses for little ones aged 18 months to five years use penguin skating aids to assist stability and increase the fun. Coaches teach through play using colours, shapes and visual aids. Parents are welcome and encouraged to join in. Hockey Excellence courses are for those wishing to learn the fundamentals of ice hockey, focusing on puck and stick control with an emphasis on skating skills. Or for a high-octane skating session, try Sub Zero disco night on Fridays from 8-10pm. This session is not suitable for under-12s or adult beginners due to reduced visibility. Children aged 8-12 can attend the Junior Disco, which runs from 4.15-6.15pm on Fridays and is more suitable for the younger and less experienced skater. • www.planet-ice.co.uk/arena/Peterborough

David Lloyd, Peterborough Situated near Thorpe Wood golf course and Overton Lake, David Lloyd caters for the whole family. A crèche and ‘DL Kids’ activities mean you can enjoy a fitness class such as spinning, yoga, pilates, circuit training and body combat or have a swim, in the knowledge your children are expounding energy whilst being cared for. The café bar, monthly quiz nights, family Fridays, childrens’ discos and six outdoor tennis courts create a thriving social community at the club. The gym houses the latest exercise equipment to keep your workouts varied and interesting. • www.davidlloyd.co.uk/clubs/peterborough NENE LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017


Putting the fun into getting fit Nene Extreme adventures Spend the day larking about on the river and you won’t even feel like you’re doing exercise. Single kayaks can be hired from Oundle Wharf for £10 an hour or £50 a day, double kayaks and open canoes for up to four people can be hired for £20 per hour or £90 a day. Nene Extreme also offers climbing, archery, bushcraft and raft building and can organise overnight camping and a whole weekend paddling on the Nene for those wanting a real Swallows and Amazons experience. • www.neneextreme.co.uk



TEFAN Taylor, director and co-founder at Vincit Pro Fitness which opened at Oundle Wharf in January says: “We are nothing like other gyms, which tend to be quite generic; we come from a scientific background offering a range of physiological testing. We are passionate about providing something that delivers results for clients of all levels of fitness. Our aim is to help people exercise intelligently using metabolic, lactate threshold and blood biomarker analysis to create a programme which suits the calorie intake each individual needs and enables clients to strengthen weaknesses and improve body composition.” Stefan’s 10 years in the RAF taught him motivational and coaching techniques that transfer easily to personal training. “All one-to-one sessions involve nutrition and weight management but we also provide sports massage, cold- and trigger-point therapy and injury rehabilitation. Our clients vary from the housewife looking for weight loss to endurance athletes seeking to achieve their goals quicker through external expertise. For example we have one client aiming to run the Marathon des Sables – so here the psychological training is as vital as the physical.” A PT session is £45 an hour, £400 for a block of 10. • 07811 284292. www.vincitprofitness.co.uk


Oundle Fitness

Situated in the Nene Valley Business Park off the A605 between Oundle and Barnwell, this gym, which opened in 2012, offers motivational fitness classes in everything from spinning to yoga, and houses over 20 stations providing the latest technology in cardiovascular equipment including a vibration plate to tone muscle and help fight the flab. Qualified and experienced staff can offer one-to-one personal training, nutrition advice and boot camp training that is both indoors moving around the various stations and outdoors using tyres, battle ropes and so on. PT sessions cost £25 per hour and a pay-as-you-go class starts at £5.50. • www.oundlefitness.com


The city’s independent, not-for-profit organisation offers flexible gym membership across several sites including Hampton, Bushfield and Werrington leisure centres, and the Peterborough Lido, with packages starting from as little as £27 a month. Vivacity Voyage provides a bespoke health and fitness programme for individuals. The Regional Fitness & Swimming Centre is home to a Nordic sauna and Turkish steam room and members can enjoy discounts on health and beauty treatments. With over 200 classes each week, there is something for everyone. • www.vivacity-peterborough.com



ELLEY Karey of Pure Personal Training says: “Gyms can be quite intimidating, largely due to a lack of knowledge about the equipment; many stick to the cardio areas and are then disappointed when they don’t achieve the desired results and often give up all together. Employing a PT helps to build confidence while knowing you are doing effective workouts. Often clients lack motivation, so being there to keep them on track is essential to making positive and sustainable diet, exercise and lifestyle changes – they not only look better, but feel better too.” “I have a client with a lower limb amputation, and over the last year we’ve worked on improving her core strength, stability and diet. She’s now deadlifting and squatting, has far less pain and has also lost weight. I’m incredibly proud of her and what she’s achieved. I also have a number of post-pregnancy clients, who want to lose their ‘mummy tummy’, so I help them to make dietary changes while supporting their energy levels. These ladies need to regain strength in their abdominals, so we spend time retraining the deep core muscles and improving postural issues. Once those foundations are in place, we can start more intensive exercises to improve their fitness levels. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach; everybody has different goals and it’s important for me to address each individual’s needs. Along with PT sessions and nutritional support, I give clients programmes to do in their own time to ensure they get the best results. As a freelance trainer I use a number of locations depending on my clients’ requirements: in Peterborough I’m based at Hybrid Performance Training; the Crossfit gym in Woodston; and Fusion 3 in Stamford. Pricing is from £37.50 an hour depending on the number of sessions booked.” • 07782 218996. www.facebook.com/Pure Personal Training


Time for you this September


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

Shiatsu for you

Stylish and tranquil Alwalton Hall, a stunning Grade II listed Regency manor house on the outskirts of Peterborough, opened its doors as a beauty and wellness sanctuary at the end of March and is already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors alike. The sumptuous reception rooms maintain a period theme, whilst designer-inspired treatment rooms offer the ultimate combination of country house comfort with state-of-the art treatment couches and equipment. Clients can book for treatments only, get away from it all on various flexible packages, or simply visit for lunch or afternoon tea. Package guests are able to use the facilities as well as the main lounges. These include their own dedicated quiet lounge, while more seasonal facilities include an outdoor heated swimming pool (April-September only), Arctic Spa pool, outdoor day-beds and ‘snuggle pods’ all set in the beautiful five-acre grounds. For those simply seeking a one-off treatment or somewhere that can provide the full range of beauty and wellness treatments under one roof, a range of massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and other beauty treatments are on offer, including non-surgical anti-ageing treatments. All the therapists are highly qualified, employed exclusively by the Hall, and fully trained by partners Decléor, OPI and CACI to provide the ultimate in client care. Alwalton Hall has five individually-themed treatment rooms upstairs in the former servants’ area – including Morocco, which can cater for two, three, or four people undergoing simultaneous treatments, while the three-room Cleopatra Suite can accommodate two people in the height of luxury. The other three beautifully appointed single rooms are themed to reflect the culture of Kenya, Japan and India respectively. The Hall is now fully licensed with a simple and approachable cocktail and wine list. Guests can choose lunch from an imaginative menu and enjoy lovely views of the grounds from the drawing room. Afternoon tea is a sumptuous affair, with scones with clotted cream and jam, a range of savoury sandwiches, cakes, macarons and a choice of teas. The Hall is for day-time guests only and has reciprocal arrangements with high-quality local providers for out-of-towners who want to combine their visit with an overnight stay. • Alwalton Hall, Church Street, Alwalton, Peterborough PE7 3UN. 01733 391166. www.alwaltonhall.com

September is Shiatsu Awareness Month, and one of very few salons offering this unique form of massage therapy locally is and so beautiful…, which has premises in Peterborough and Woodnewton. Shiatsu (‘shi’ meaning finger and ‘atsu’ meaning pressure) was first developed in Japan in the 1920s. It is closely linked to acupuncture, as both practices have the same theoretical roots in Oriental medicine and both aim to affect the body’s ‘Ki’ (energy) patterns. A form of therapeutic bodywork that is deeply relaxing, Shiatsu supports the idea that the body and mind are interconnected. This form of therapy can work on all four layers of the body: physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual. A Shiatsu treatment can be beneficial to everyone as it seeks to promote balance and harmony within the body’s natural energy channels. Benefits include increased energy levels, a reduction of stress, anxiety and tension within the body, relieved aches and pains, improved sleep patterns and insomnia and an easing of headaches and migraines. During a treatment, therapist Sara will use stretches, pressure points and rocking to move and rebalance the client’s body. Shiatsu works at floor level on a futon and the client is required to wear loose-fitting clothing that covers the arms and legs. Sara, who works at both salons for and so beautiful... studied the art of shiatsu at degree level, so is highly qualified, experienced and extremely passionate about this holistic approach to massage therapy. • If you have any questions or would like to discover more about the art of shiatsu, call Rebecca on 07905 926902 or Sara on 07753 400025. Or book online at www.andsobeautiful.co.uk

Meditation workshops The Drolma Kadampa Buddhist Centre in Peterborough has retreats and workshops this autumn covering topics such as ‘Freedom from Stress and Worry’, ‘Keep Karma and Carry On’, ‘Kindness and Compassion’, and ‘Mindfulness in Daily Life’. For information contact The Drolma Kadampa Buddhist Centre, 260 Dogsthorpe Road, Peterborough PE1 3PG. 01733 755444. www.drolmacentre.org.uk



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

Prestons supports Older Persons Day Prestons Health, now based within the David Lloyd Club in Thorpe Wood (Peterborough) and Oundle Surgery, is working with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to help promote Older Persons Day on 1 October. Prestons Health offers bespoke physiotherapy and/or podiatry assessments to help older people. This helps ensure they maintain or regain their fitness levels to do all the valued activities that they wish to do – whether that’s gardening, walking, housework or more vigorous pursuits. Too many people believe that ageing means inevitable pain and restriction of mobility and Prestons Health is on a mission to help change those beliefs: getting older can and should be a stimulus to getting stronger and moving more to fully enjoy life! An initial physiotherapy assessment lasts up to an hour, where one of the team will assess individual issues by first taking a good history and then by having a detailed look at the client’s problem. This normally involves looking at lifestyle and home circumstances, physical activity levels, pain history, beliefs about their condition, sleep and medical issues and then formulating an agreed treatment plan to address the holistic factors that surface during the assessment. Proprietor Helen Preston comments: “Among the most significant feedback that we receive from patients who have been through the treatment programme is how their mind-set has changed – which focuses on all the things that they can do (and building from there), rather than those that they cannot.” In addition, the podiatry team at Prestons can also offer advice around any feet issues that may be preventing clients from good mobility and walking potential. Prestons moved from Alexandra Road, Peterborough in May 2016 and the new clinic within David Lloyd at Thorpe Wood (formerly Virgin) is the ideal place in which to achieve a patient’s potential. There are private treatment rooms in which patients can be assessed and treated but, when indicated, therapists can take patients into the fully equipped gym to use the equipment and space there. The physiotherapists can also accompany patients into the pool to offer them hydrotherapy which is proving popular, particularly for those post-surgery (for example joint replacement), following trauma (such as post-fracture or road traffic accident) and for those who are fearful or experiencing pain when exercising on land. • Prestons Health, David Lloyd Health Club, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough PE3 6SB. For more information, or to have a chat with one of the team, call 01733 565911 or visit www.prestonshealth.co.uk, where online booking is available.

A new way to detox

Vitalise your life

If the summer hols have taken their toll, then spend a bit of ‘me time’ in the relaxing surroundings of Homefield Grange. This stunning spa retreat set in 23 acres of Northamptonshire countryside offers a variety of weight loss and detox packages designed to revive, invigorate and re-charge anyone feeling run-down and sluggish from the daily grind (that’s all of us then!) From the one-day kick-starter plan which is designed to help you eat well, think well, move well and feel well – fast, to the residential options, there is something for all lifestyles and budgets. If you’re fortunate enough to have more time, a four-night Intensive package is the perfect kick-start for weight loss, cleansing, breaking bad habits and simply escaping from daily life. Including treatments such as infra-red sauna therapy and relaxing massages, with diet options including juicing, protein smoothies, or a blood sugar balancing food plan, you’ll leave brighter and lighter in just five days. • Homefield Grange, Manor Road, Rushton, Kettering NN14 1RH. 01536 712219. www.homefieldgrangeretreat.co.uk

Vitalise4life is run by Lesley Anwar and Jane Sedgley from their studio overlooking the Welland Valley just outside Stamford. The business was born from a passion to help clients transform their health by taking a holistic and educational approach towards exercise, nutrition, mind-set and relaxation. As well as working on a one-to-one basis with clients they also run healthy breakfast events, Time4Me days, evening talks and a variety of bespoke programmes tailored to individuals’ needs. Forthcoming events include on 7 September a free Healthy Breakfast event; on 14 September a Time4MeDay and evening event (7-9pm) ‘Health of your Microbiome/Is Your Gut Making You Fat?’; and on 18 September a three-week fully supported programme to ‘reset’ your gut. • Contact Jane on 07810 485541 or Lesley 07725 984804 or see www.vitalise4life.com



Time for some skin stimulation Venus Viva featured as one of the ‘must have’ treatments in the Tatler Cosmetic Surgery Guide. This FDA-approved treatment offers visible results for skin tightening, wrinkle reduction, facial rejuvenation, textural improvement, acne scarring and rosacea – all with proven results and minimal down-time. The theory behind the treatment has been used medically for many years, according to Lisa Claypole from Tansor’s Elysia Health & Beauty clinic. “We have worked with this treatment for a couple of years and we have a portfolio of proven results. It really is a favourite as it delivers consistent results – it also makes your skin do the work!” she says. Venus Viva works on the dermis, stimulating fibroblast activity to initiate skin change and resulting in tissue remodelling, improved collagen and elastin and an overall skin enhancement. The process aids the reduction of large pores, tightens the skin and diminishes lines and wrinkles, giving skin a youthful appearance – perfect at any time of year but, after a summer of sun, a great way to get your skin on track. A course of four treatments is recommended and results will improve throughout the course. • Contact Lisa at Elysia Health & Beauty Tansor, Oundle PE8 5HP. 01832 226328 or 07879 620196. www.elysiahealthandbeauty.com


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HOME & GARDEN Lavish your lawn with some late-summer love As we move into late summer and autumn there’s plenty of work to be done on lawns to keep moss at bay and to help them look great in the months to come. Sisters Sarah and Jo,who run GreenThumb Peterborough and Oundle,offer some top tips…


This core sample shows a layer of thatch and moss

Head technician Jim clears thatch from a lawn

GreenThumb uses bladed scarifiers to remove thatch


AWNS are recovering from a season of really challenging weather. Sarah, a qualified plant scientist who’s had a long career in horticulture and agriculture, says: “We might not all realise it, but April and May this year were terribly dry, with rainfall levels well below average – lovely for us but not if you’re a grass plant. This had a lingering impact on lawns; lots quickly turned golden from drought stress and some lawns still have nasty brown scars on them, even after plenty of rain, from the common disorder called ‘Dry Patch’.” Over the last months the GreenThumb team have been out and about giving lots of help and advice to customers and this, coupled with a late summer fertiliser and weedkill treatment, means local lawns are getting back to their lush green colour. With cooler, damper weather around the corner we need to start planning for moss control. To create a moss-free lawn you have to work on removing or reducing the damp environment that moss thrives in. Here are Sarah and Jo’s top tips for keeping lawns moss-free and in great condition over the autumn/winter. • Rake up falling leaves A carpet of leaves left on the lawn will smother the lawn and starve it of light. The grass will weaken and disease and moss can invade. It may be a chore to rake them up but doing so will be well worth the effort. • Continue to mow your lawn Over the autumn and winter keep your lawn

cut regularly, aiming for between 2.5cm and 5cm. It really is a myth not to cut your grass over the winter months, especially in mild winters when it continues to grow. Seize the opportunity on a dry day as grass left to get too long will become weak and will be slow to dry, which then attracts moss. • Hollow-tine aerate and scarify your lawn Moss thrives on hard, compacted ground that’s damp and slow to drain. “Hollow-tine aeration is where we use a heavy machine to puncture out thousands of cores from the lawn to help relieve ground compaction. We do a huge amount of this over the winter in the Peterborough and Oundle areas because we’re on such heavy clay soil. Aerating the ground means nutrients, water and oxygen can reach the grass root zone, making for a much healthier lawn,” says Sarah. Moss also loves the accumulation of ‘thatch’ in the lawn and scarification is the name given to removing this matted layer from the lawn. Thatch is an accumulation of grass clippings, leaves, dead stems and roots, mixed up with other decaying or partially decayed organic matter. It acts as a damp sponge in the grass and moss loves it. Sarah says: “This year we’ve seen lawns that haven’t been scarified dry off and turn brown much quicker. They’re always more prone to fungal attack as well. At GreenThumb, when we scarify we rake up and bag all the rubbish that comes out of the lawn and for a small charge we can even take it away. ”

• Apply a feed and moss control As we head into autumn, with cooler temperatures the grass growth will slow down. Sarah says: “Over the autumn/winter we apply a micronutrient feed that doesn’t encourage growth but instead, it’s designed to stimulate chlorophyll activity to give a stronger, greener, more robust lawn that’s better able to cope with the rigours of winter. Also, the treatment dehydrates any moss that may have built up, helping to control it by slowing down its activity and keeping moss spores at a low level. This treatment is best planned around scarification work.” Finally… it’s not too late to sort those weeds. It’s a never-ending battle to keep your lawn weed-free as seeds lie dormant and others are constantly being blown in from neighbouring locations. This time of year weeds are still actively growing, so if you want to get on top of them before next spring now is the time.

• If you’d like GreenThumb Peterborough and Oundle to look after your lawn for you, or for a free lawn analysis, contact Sarah or Jo on 01733 755028 or email peterborough@greenthumb.co.uk. www.greenthumb.co.uk NENE LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017


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HOME & GARDEN Keep your trees in check this autumn Before the weather takes a turn for the worse,it’s sensible to check whether the trees you own are in good health.We asked Andrew Stone from Nene Valley Tree Services for some top tips to help put your mind at ease


N the professional arboricultural world, when checking a tree’s health we perform what is known as a Visual Tree Assessment or a VTA; this is what we carry out during every quote that we do on your trees,” says Andrew. “This is why you must never accept a quote from someone on the basis of them solely seeing a photograph of your tree(s). They cannot possibly undertake a full VTA from a photograph and that should always make you question their credibility as a professional tree surgeon.” A proper VTA will: • Always start from the ground and work upwards. It’s a good idea to check your tree regularly and in different seasons so you know what changes may have occurred to the tree over time. • Check for any signs of root plate movement around the base of the tree. Are the roots suddenly visible but they’ve always been hidden before? Or perhaps they have been damaged by building works? If anything major has changed consider calling in a professional to take a look, as root plate failure can be a serious condition for a tree! • Have a look for any signs of potential fruiting bodies from fungus... do you see mushrooms growing anywhere? Fungi can cause disease so it’s always a good idea to get this checked out by a professional tree surgeon. • Check the stem – are there any visible cracks, cavities, or changes in the bark? • Check the crown for any snapped or hanging branches. • Check for dead wood – this is where the tree will have no greenery on a certain branch or an entire area. It means that part of the tree is dying and needs to be carefully removed if it poses risk to human life or property. In general, a small amount of dead wood is ok, but large bits aren’t and you should seek professional advice. • Check for dieback in the branches of the tree – the progressive death of twigs and branches which generally starts at the tips and could indicate the tree is in decline. Symptoms are often subtle, and usually uniform throughout the crown. A tree or shrub in the dieback stage may have localised symptoms such as apparently healthy twigs and branches adjacent to dead or dying twigs and branches. Dieback usually begins in the top of a plant and progresses downward, but it may start on the lower branches, especially with conifers. • Check for discolouration in the leaves. Pale

green or yellow leaves could indicate a problem if they are noticeably paler than in previous years. • Although most trees are hardy plants that can live for hundreds of years, some common factors can cause decline and dieback – we’ve listed the primary causes to make you aware of issues that may have affected your tree over the years: Poor soil structure and drainage, soil fill, or removal. Herbicide injury to foliage, roots, or other parts of the tree. Poor transplanting procedure and lack of proper maintenance after transplanting. Construction damage – cutting and removal of roots. Significant damage to trunk or major limbs (mechanical injury from lawn mowers, vandalism, vehicles, squirrels and other rodents, livestock, etc). Repeated defoliation by insects or diseases, especially such leaf disorders as scorch, anthracnose, rust, and leaf spot or needle blight. An extended drought in combination with high temperatures and strong southerly wind. Vascular diseases such as Verticillium wilt, oak wilt, or Dutch elm disease. Insect bore injury to the trunk or branches. Canker disease. Excessive soil moisture. Extremely low winter temperatures or a rapid change in temperatures. Poorly formed or girdling roots. Soil compaction from vehicles or heavy construction equipment. Fungal root and trunk decays. Lightning injury. Andrew’s final tip is to not leave consulting with a tree surgeon until it’s too late. “Many of our customers call with concerns that their tree may fall over in high winds or that branches may snap due to heavy snow,” he says. “Whatever your concern, it is always good to consult a certified arborist as soon as you notice any changes to your tree. A good tree surgery firm will be busy all year round, so bear that in mind when making contact.” • Andrew is the lead arborist for Nene Valley Tree Services, a family-run business based in Warmington which, for your peace of mind, is registered with Safe Local Trades. He and his team can be reached on 01832 281275 or 07729 664927 or you can find them online at www.nenevalleytreeservices.com NENE LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017


FOOD & DRINK Feelgood food Bridget Steele acquires a taste for elegant dining at Alwalton Hall


LWALTON Hall opened to the public as a beauty and wellness centre this year, with a focus on high quality treatments in a relaxed country house setting. Owners Maggie and Brian Jones invited me along to meet their chef Ben Maddison and sample the lunch and afternoon tea offerings. These are available not only to clients having treatments or on spa packages, but also to people looking for a light lunch or afternoon tea in a relaxed, friendly and welcoming setting. The elegant drawing and dining rooms overlook extensive gardens which add to the feeling of calm. We were able to sample a few things from the menu such as Eggs Benedict (exquisite with a poached duck egg and roasted ham coated in a perfectly-made Hollandaise) and the salmon and ginger fishcake dressed with wild rocket and lime served with a Wasabi dressing – a great combination with a welcome punch. We tried the Champagne and oyster mushroom risotto that was beautifully cooked: hearty flavours and comfort food at its best. And I particularly loved the twice-baked cheese soufflé – light and fluffy with a warm, runny cheese centre. Main courses are served with a choice of five side salads; we tried the roast beetroot, rocket and spiced halloumi salad, which was very tasty and I loved the addition of roasted seeds adding to the flavour. The lunch menu also includes a variety of sorbets and ices to choose from. Delightful from start



to finish, lunch is £20 per person. Afternoon tea is presented on a traditional three-tier cake stand – it includes a selection of home-made finger sandwiches, dainty and delicious with a selection of fillings. There are plenty of sweet things to try; the customary scone was light and fluffy – always what I judge a good afternoon tea on! – and the cakes were irresistible too (they included raspberry and elderflower, lemon and poppy seed, chocolate brownie, macaroons and almond sponge with a lemon confit). Ben will also cater for special diets and afternoon tea is £15. • Booking is essential. Call 01733 391166 or email info@ alwaltonhall.com. Alwalton Hall, Church Street, Alwalton PE7 3UN. www.alwaltonhall.com

Smoky quinoa-stuffed peppers with sheep’s cheese Serves 2 • 2 large or 3 smaller red peppers, cut in half lengthways, seeds and membranes removed • 3tbsp sunflower or light olive oil, for roasting and frying • 1 onion, finely chopped • 100g quinoa • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed • 1/4–1/2 tsp smoked paprika • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes, or use ripe, diced fresh tomatoes, peeled if you prefer • 150g Wootton White or other salty vegetarian sheep’s cheese • Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped • Salt and pepper • Heat the oven to 200˚C/Gas 6. • Put the peppers in a baking dish, toss with a little oil to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20–30 minutes, depending on size, while you make the filling. • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion. Fry on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring now and then to stop it catching. • Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa well in a sieve under cold water. • After 10 minutes, add the garlic and quinoa to the onion. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the smoked paprika, tomatoes and half a tinful of water. • Season with salt and pepper. Bring the pan to a low boil, then cook for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Keep a good eye on the liquid and the heat; you want the quinoa to absorb the liquid so you’re left at the end with a risotto-like consistency, but not for the pan to boil dry – add a splash more water if needed. • Once the quinoa has cooked, remove from the heat. Take the peppers out of the oven, fill their cavities with the quinoa mixture and return them to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through. • Remove the dish from the oven. Divide the peppers between serving plates, crumble over some of the cheese and scatter over the parsley.

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Into theVale...

The Vale of Belvoir – pronounced ‘beaver’ , but you knew that! – is just a short trip up the A1. The area, which stretches west from Grantham towards Nottingham and south to Melton Mowbray, is famous for Belvoir Castle and the local production of Stilton cheese. Rebecca Chatterton discovers that the area is more than just a foodie’s paradise, (although most of her trip does involve eating)...


RAB your bike, walking boots or a child as cover and head north to the Vale of Belvoir. Named in Norman times for its pretty views, the villages, woods and sheep fields on its ridge still feel sleepy and unspoilt – the sort of place where perfecting cheese, pies and cordials has been the work of centuries. Dominated as it is by Belvoir Castle, the countryside provides lots of opportunity for unexpectedly diverse walks and some beautiful cycle routes whether up on the crest around the Castle or down in the Vale itself along the Grantham Canal. THE CAKE HOLE Surely one of the joys of any day out is the pit stop? Between walking, cycling or general touring it’s a comfort to know that you’re never far from somewhere to loll about with a drink in hand as you scrutinise a menu. With this sensible approach in mind and to fortify myself before my adventure, I nip into The Cake Hole in Barrowby, a village conveniently situated as I turn off the A1. The place is busy from the moment it opens in the morning and everyone is welcomed like a local. Owned by Kirk Stubbs for the last three and a half years it’s a café and deli by day and a bistro on Friday and Saturday nights. While I’m there good things – steaming and smelling delicious! – just keep on emerging from the kitchen; the Red Velvet cake is the most popular treat although I buy some brownies to take away. Kirk trained in the RAF, cooking for VIPs, and his Friday and Saturday bistro nights are booked up months in advance.



THE JUBILEE WAY, THE CASTLE AND CANAL From Barrowby I wind my way through the back lanes to Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir, a little village in the shadow of the castle and a perfect spot for exploring the Jubilee Way. The walk starts 20 miles off to the west but is at its prettiest here at its finish. This section of the Jubilee Way provides sweeping views and a wonderful contrast – the family seat of the Duke of Rutland dominates the landscape on one side of your path through woods and parkland where time stands still. But look north as you walk and time fast-forwards. The panorama of the Vale below reaches towards Newark and even on a dull day reveals the distant chimneystacks and meandering of industry along the Trent. All around the castle the chocolate-box villages have pubs to explore such as The Wheel at Branston or the Manners Arms in Knipton. At Woolsthorpe you can retreat to the Chequers Inn for a civilised pint or if you have children to amuse, the spruced up Dirty Duck is just the place for a fizzy pop before exploring the Grantham Canal. This once essential waterway, which winds its way between Grantham and Nottingham, is now impassable by boat but is a busy place for moorhens, coots and swans and makes a perfect walk or leisurely cycle for all ages of the family. Travelling beside the canal down in the Vale you look up to Belvoir Castle. The castle and gardens are open to the public from March to October (the mid-August Firework Championship was spectacular – worth putting in next year’s diary). See www.belvoircastle.com.

DICKIES BUTCHERY Explaining to a child how a canal lock works is bound to make you hungry, so set off for Plungar where Dickies Butchery, open for barely a year, is becoming famous around the Vale. I bought steaks for the bbq and can confirm they were delicious. Dickies is open from Thursday to Sunday with a wonderfully eccentric cattle ranch vibe. At the weekend the pop-up Cowshed Coffee Bar means you can taste the home-reared products. As customers try to choose their Sunday roast at the butcher’s counter, they’re rendered helpless with temptation by the smells of meat cooking in the open kitchen. Before they know it, they find themselves ordering something for Saturday brunch too before plonking themselves on one of the long wooden benches under canvas to drink coffee from enamel mugs! DOVE COTTAGE HOSPICE Dove Cottage Hospice in the next village of Stathern (just wander over the bridge from the canal) has situated itself here to make the most of the area’s tranquility. To help raise funds it’s built a separate country tearoom with a great playground for children and the place is always buzzing. They’ve thought of every convenience for passing visitors – there’s even a place to tie up your horse if you’ve arrived on four legs! After you’ve tried one of their home-made scones in the tearoom, upstairs the charity shop is a well stocked little gem and it seems rude not to have a mooch and make a purchase.

OTHER ACTIVITIES All this and more in a day out in the Vale of Belvoir! I haven’t mentioned activities such as the skydiving at Langar or the go-karting centre – it really wasn’t the day for those sorts of activities. I plan to visit again but this time with an occasion in mind and to treat myself to supper at Langar Hall – the timeless country house hotel known for its delectable menu and often delightfully idiosyncratic dining experience. PIT STOP PLACES: The Cakehole Barrowby Store and Deli: www.barrowbycakehole.co.uk The Jubilee Way: www.gps-routes.co.uk The Grantham Canal Society: www.granthamcanal.org The Chequers Inn, Woolsthorpe by Belvoir: www.chequersinn.net The Wheel, Branston: www.thewheelinnbranston.co.uk The Manners Arms, Knipton: www.mannersarms.com The Dirty Duck, Woolsthorpe by Belvoir: 01476 870111

CHEESE! The Vale is famous for the Long Clawson, Colston Basset and Cropwell Bishop dairies, all of which produce Stilton within miles of each other and have shops on-site. There are, however, other great cheeses being produced in the area. Go up the hill to the Eastwell crossroads and you’ll discover the Belvoir Ridge Creamery making Colwick Cheese from its own Poll cows. In these days when consumers demand to know the provenance of the things they buy, what could be more ingenious than an on-farm fresh milk dispenser? Just park up in the yard at the Creamery, take out your clean litre bottle, follow the instructions for filling up and taste fresh milk as it should be!

Dickies Butchery, Plungar: www.dickiesbutchers.co.uk Dove Cottage Hospice Tearoom and Shop: www.dovecottage.org Long Clawson Dairy: www.clawson.co.uk Colston Bassett Dairy: www.colstonbassetdairy.com Cropwell Bishop Creamery: www.cropwellbishopstilton.com Belvoir Ridge Creamery: www.belvoirridgecreamery.com Langar Hall: www.langarhall.com

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Join us for a 3 course sit down dinner and dance the night away with some of the greatest rock stars of all time Saturday 23rd September 7 o’clock arrival for a 7:30pm sit down £45 per person To make a reservation or for more information call 01733 561364 events@bull-hotel-peterborough.com www.peelhotels.co.uk

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



HE city’s iconic Broadway Theatre celebrates its 80th birthday this year and to mark the occasion the BBC Concert Orchestra will perform in a spectacular musical salute to Hollywood’s greatest composers. Eighty years to the day since the theatre opened as Peterborough’s first custombuilt cinema – the ODEON on 2 September 1937, with the exotically titled and very popular Hollywood romantic comedy Theodora Goes Wild – the concert will pay tribute to the long heritage of the building which operated as a cinema for over 50 years and continues to be an important landmark in the city’s cultural landscape. Showcasing music from Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, James Bond and many more, and featuring performances from the city’s awardwinning Peterborough Male Voice Choir, Peterborough Voices and Peterborough Youth Choir, Film Music Gala has something for everyone, young and old. • Film Music Gala will be at the Broadway Theatre Peterborough at 7.30pm on Saturday 2 September. Tickets from £18 available at Peterborough Visitor Information Centre, online at www.peterboroughsings. org.uk or via 0333 666 3366.

Sunday 3 September Footprints Memory Walk 2017 Every year Peterborough Cruse organises a memorial walk for people to remember loved ones… enjoy a gentle walk of either 5km or 10km around Ferry Meadows. Recent disasters in Manchester and London have meant a busy time for the national bereavement charity, and this event will help replenish the coffers locally – a registration fee of £5 per person includes refreshments. 10am, The Woodman

Pub, Thorpe Wood, PE3 6SQ. 01733 348439 or email admin@ peterboroughcruse.net for more information. Monday 4 September Watercolour – Drama and Mood Peterborough Art Society presents an evening on the subject of drama and mood in watercolour, led by Anne Burnham. 7.30pm. Members £2, visitors £4. 7.30pm. St Mark’s Hall, Lincoln Road, Peterborough PE1 2SN. www. peterboroughartsociety. org.uk

Tuesday 5 September A Night of Dirty Dancing No film has captured the hearts of a generation like Dirty Dancing. Relive the passion, the romance and the joy of the cult classic and celebrate the music of one of the greatest movie soundtracks of all time. 7.30pm. £23.50 The Cresset. Rightwell, Bretton, Peterborough PE3 8DX. 01733 265705. www.cresset.co.uk Thursday 7 September John Le Carré Broadcast live from London’s Royal Festival Hall, one of the world’s greatest writers discusses the breadth of his career and reflects on the continuing story of his most famous creation, the tubby, bespectacled spy George Smiley. Coinciding with the publication date of his new novel, A Legacy of Spies, the event will include readings from the book which sees the return of some of le Carré’s most iconic Cold War characters as their past catches up with them. With a rare question and answer session, this will be an unmissable opportunity to experience one of the foremost chroniclers of our age, direct and in his own words. 7.45pm. £11. Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough PE1 1EF. 01733 207239. www. vivacity-peterborough. com

USIC, dance and theatre will add an extra cultural twist to this year’s Peterborough Italian Festival which – now in its ninth year – takes place on September 9 and 10 in Cathedral Square. Organised by Peterborough’s Italian Community Association and supported by the city council, the annual celebration of all things Italian continues to grow in popularity with celebrity chef and restaurateur Aldo Zilli confirmed to appear on the Sunday. Aldo, famed for his TV appearances and string of Zilli-themed restaurants, will share his culinary expertise in a not-to-be-missed Q&A and book signing for Italian food lovers. Other new additions to the line-up of entertainment includes music and dance from Laboratorio Orafolk, who are coming from Deliceto in the province of Foggia, and classic pieces from Italian opera sung by Davide Sorrentino, Giuseppe Barile and Teresa De Roberto. The Mediterranean extravaganza will include an Italian market, confectionery, ice-cream, pasta, football and boxing demonstrations, classic Italian cars, motorcycles and scooters and lots more.

Also featured is the captivating Shakespeare in Italy project, inspired by an Italian Community Association publication, Aliens Order, which took its name from the certificate of registration and identity card that people arriving in the UK had to sign up to in the 1950s if they wanted to work in the country. The lively, colourful fun pop-up performances with a nod to Commedia Dell Arte, has reference to Shakespeare’s Italian plays including Romeo and Juliet, Othello and The Merchant of Venice. The festival coincides with Heritage Open Days weekend and there will be an exhibition celebrating Peterborough’s London Brick heritage at St John the Baptist Church in Church Street on the Saturday. The festival runs from 12noon to 5pm each day.




So much to do,see and enjoy this September...

Saturday 9 to Sunday 10 September Scampton Airshow Visitors to the inaugural Scampton Airshow will be treated to a rarelyperformed flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight to mark its 60th anniversary… the event will be only one of three airshows in the UK to host the ‘Thompson Display’, named after BBMF co-founder Wing Commander Peter Thompson. Featuring a range of historic warbirds including a P-51D Mustang, Scampton Airshow will offer visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves not only in the county’s rich aviation heritage but also that of RAF Scampton, home of the legendary 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron. The close relationship the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) enjoyed with Lincolnshire during the Second World War will be represented by the presence of an RCAF CF-18 Hornet while other notable aircraft taking part include a Catalina flying boat, an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the Royal Netherlands Air Force, a French Alpha Jet, the Breitling Wingwalkers and, of course, the RAF Red Arrows. Tickets can only be purchased in advance at www.scamptonairshow. com. They are priced at £39, with under 16s free when accompanied by an adult ticket-holder.



Sunday 10 September Little Puffers Open Day 2017 Up to six engines will be running and there’ll be refreshments and an auction of home-made cakes, plus facilities for wheelchair users. 2-5pm, £5 adults, £3 children, £10 family. 13 Apsley Way, Longthorpe, Peterborough PE3 9NE. For information contact Keith Richardson, 01733 262749. Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 September Strictly Murder Provence. April 1939. English couple Peter and Suzy are living in idyllic isolation; far, it seems from the rumblings of the oncoming war… until their peace is shattered by a stranger from Peter’s past. In a world where the Third Reich is emerging as a dangerous regime, deceit, lies and subterfuge make this fast-paced thriller a dark and nailbiting rollercoaster. 7.30pm. £16, concessions £15. Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough PE1 1EF. 01733 207239. www. vivacity-peterborough. com

Sunday 17 September Lion Oundle Cinema & dOCs+ Autumn Season starts with Lion, a beautifullyshot film featuring Dev Patel as an Indian orphan who wants to retrace his roots and reconnect with his family many years after they were accidentally separated. 7.15pm. £6, under 18s £3. Stahl Theatre, West Street, Oundle PE8 4EJ. Tickets at www. oundlecinema.org.uk, on 01832 274734 or from the Oundle Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle. Tuesday 19 September Jimmy Carr The Best Of, Gold, Ultimate, Greatest Hits Tour Jimmy Carr makes his fourth visit to The Cresset with a selection of his very best jokes along with brand new material.

Thursday 14 September David Ford Grammy winning singer-songwriter and multiinstrumentalist David Ford bring his two-man show to Peterborough for the first time. With four critically-acclaimed studio albums and an ‘unmissable’ live show, David’s songs combine Americana, English melodicism and a touch of rock ‘n’ roll, tied together with finely-crafted lyrics. Think Tom Waits, Neil Young and Randy Newman. 7.30pm. £10. The Met Lounge, 59 Bridge Street, Peterborough PE1 1HA. 01733 566100. Tickets available from the venue, Facebook @ TheMetLounge and www.davidfordmusic.com

A man who has devoted his life to crafting perfect jokes and has left a trail of laughter in his wake, Jimmy Carr’s new tour will distil everything we love to laugh at and be shocked by, into one incredible night of entertainment. 8pm. £29. The Cresset. Rightwell, Bretton, Peterborough PE3 8DX. 01733 265705. www.cresset.co.uk Thursday 21 September Ian Waite and Camilla Dallerup – Strictly Theatre Company Up Close and Personal Join Ian Waite and Camilla Dallerup from Strictly Come Dancing plus professional singer Paul Amer and guests for a spectacular evening of dance, singing and stories from their time on the BBC hit show. 7.30pm. £26, concessions £24. Stamford Corn Exchange, Broad Street, Stamford PE9 1PX. 01780 766455. www. stamfordcornexchange. co.uk Friday 22 September Salsa & Sangria Night Watch the professionals then have a go yourself and work up an appetite! 7pm. £20. Queens Head Inn, 54 Station Road, Nassington PE8 6QB. 01780 784006. www. queensheadnassington. co.uk

Friday 22 to Sunday 24 September The Great Stamford Brush Off 2017 Members of Welland Valley Art Society will be out and about on the streets of Stamford capturing the experience of Stamford’s Georgian Festival and recording the sights in sketch and paint. Watch them at work, chat to the artists and see the results of their efforts at the accompanying exhibition which runs from Monday 25 September for a week at Stamford Arts Centre, 22 St Mary’s Street, Stamford PE9 2DL. Entry is free. www. wellandvalleyartsociety. co.uk

Sunday 24 September Hidden Figures Based on a bestselling book by Margot Shetterley, this movie tells the story of three black women in America and their stunning contributions to the ‘60s Space Race. Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst support, but the three leads steal the show. 7.45pm. £6, under 18s £3. Stahl Theatre, West Street, Oundle PE8 4EJ. Tickets at www. oundlecinema.org.uk, on 01832 274734 or from the Oundle Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle.

Website IDEA1 is a great place to find out what’s going on in Peterborough: www.idea1.org.uk.

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www.kenrawsongardendesigns.co.uk Easton-on-the-Hill, Stamford. Established 1986



Profile for Best Local Living

Nene Living Sept 2017  

Nene Living Sept 2017