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LOCAL VOICES Community choirs ride high BEHIND CLOSED DOORS Inside Peterborough’s prison

Autumn adventures

Walks, food, crafts & more

£1.50 OCTOBER 2011




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W W W. B E S T L O C A L L I V I N G . C O . U K


r e b o ct O e u s s i s i h T 5


hen you’re young, it’s hard to appreciate that some of those extra curricular activities that your parents encourage you to take up will be a pleasure later in life. Music practice, sports clubs, swimming lessons…at the time they don’t always feel like fun, but looking back down the years, I’ll bet there are plenty of us who really appreciate sticking at it. When I got the chance to dust off my childhood horse riding skills this month for a ride at Lynch Farm Riding Centre in Peterborough, I couldn’t wait to get back in the saddle. And yes, those endless hours of trotting slowly round the indoor school with crossed stirrups had stayed with me. My muscles may not be quite what they were, but I enjoyed every minute of my pub ride (read more on page 12). Personally, I still don’t think anyone in their right mind would want to hear my oboe solos, perfected in the 1970s, but for those who played an instrument at school rather more successfully than I did, reader Hal McCrone’s Restart Orchestra might be just the nudge you need to pick it up again. “We’re a group for people who never thought they were good enough to get into an orchestra,” explains Hal. “People who got to grade four years ago and now wish they’d never given up are ideal for us.” The group meet informally at Bulwick Village Centre on Wednesdays, 7.30 -9.30pm during the autumn, and they put on two or three church concerts each year. If you’re interested, call Hal on 01780 450370. Our area is rich in music, cultural and sporting societies and enthusiastic groups, many costing very little to join, so whatever your hidden talent, now could be just the time to unleash it again!

Fion a Cu mberpatch Editor SUBSCRIBE TO Nene Valley Living

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Cover shot:

Seasonal scene by Lesley Anne Churchill

Editor’s Selection

Autumnal treats


A new antiques shop in Helpston


Find winter sunshine

11 Uplifting voices 11 COMMUNITY CHOIR

The rise and rise of the community choir

12 Food news A bracing pub ride

15 Our daily bread Tips for brilliant baking

17 Inside story

Exclusive interview with Peterborough’s prison governor

20 Health and beauty notes Burghley Academy and more


23 Getting fit at 50

Our intrepid reporter takes the challenge

27 Spotlight on Mark Elliot Seasonal looks from Mark Elliot, Stamford

28 Vintage revival 28 VINTAGE REVIVAL Editor Fiona Cumberpatch Write to Nene Valley Living, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Advertisement Manager Bridget Steele 01733 707538 Advertisement Director Helen Walton 01780 754801 Head of Design Steven Handley Senior Designer Nik Ellis Advertising Copy Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 Email: Published by Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford, Lincs. PE9 9FY Printed by Warner’s of Bourne

New sewing workshops at Chesterton

31 Insider Trading

Behind the scenes at the Courthouse Bookshop 34 NENE HARVEST

34 Nene harvest

Tales from a Fenland eelcatcher

37 Town in transition Oundle goes greener

38 Local walk

Stroll around Exton

41 Travelling right

Peterborough’s Travelchoice week

42 Motoring

How smaller car engines still pack a punch

45 Diary dates

The pick of October’s events

For £20 (£30 for overseas’ surface mail) you can subscribe to Nene Valley Living for 12 issues. Please send your name, address and a cheque made out to Local Living Ltd to: NVL Subscriptions, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY




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Free masterclass and advice centre Are you concerned about preserving your assets for retirement? Have you mitigated the impact of Inheritance Tax? Cave & Sons, Northamptonshire based stockbroking and financial advisory firm, is teaming up with Peterborough based Greenwoods Solicitors LLP to deliver a free Masterclass and Advice Centre at Oundle School on Wednesday, 19 October 2011. It is designed for people who are concerned to preserve their assets both for themselves and to avoid or mitigate inheritance tax for their families. The event will start with refreshments at 10am, followed by short focused presentations. The rest of the day will be dedicated to 15-minute one to one consultancy slots. Attendees are invited to book a free of charge appointment with the experts of their choice – these one to one appointments will run every 15 minutes from 11.30am to 3pm. To book your place ring or email Leah Pearson at Greenwoods Solicitors

on 01733 887817 -

Cave & Sons Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority FSA No 143715. Log on to for more details. Greenwoods Solicitors LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. For more information on the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct please access


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Editor’s selection Autumnal picks for October


Leaf pendant, £34, Reba

Cathedral Square, Peterborough PE1 1XH Tel: 01733 319606


Postcards featuring classic Penguin book cover, £14.99, Oundle Bookshop. Tel: 01832 273523


Boots, £185, Jacks, 20 Market Place, Oundle Tel: 01832 270033


Doormat, £38, John Lewis, Queensgate Centre, Peterborough


Tweed kilt, £55, Jacks, details as above


Harvest tea in Castor Village Hall, £10 per person. To book, contact Nicola Dudhill on 07917 095390 (advance booking only)



Frankenstein cake, £11, Marks and Spencer, Queensgate Centre, Peterborough

Storage jars, from a selection at Marks and Spencer, Queensgate Centre, Peterborough


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RIDGEWAY GARAGE DOORS Local family run business specialising in the supply and installation of manual & automatic garage doors.

Open frOm Oct 1St

at 1d mancetter Square, lincOln rOad, peterbOrOugh, pe4 6bx (OppOSite apex tYreS)

• Steel, Timber and Glass Reinforced Plastic Doors Also available Security Shutters, Spare Parts & Repair Service

Tel: 01733 772934

Email: ridgewaygaragedoors@

We pride ourselves on great customer service

01733 326091 SpecialiSt fOOt SOlutiOnS fOOt analYSiS, cuStOm OrthOticS, biO-mechanical aSSeSSmentS fOr Skiing, trekking, gOlf, running, all SpOrtS and everYdaY fOOtWear.

SpecialiStS in Ski and OutdOOr equipment 30 YearS experience Offering a prOfeSSiOnal and friendlY Service WinterSteiger Ski WOrkShOp With full range Of ServiceS Open mOn, tue, Wed, fri, Sat 9.30am - 5.30 pm, thurSdaY 10.00am - 7pm SundaY 11am - 4pm (december and JanuarY)

We have now opened our latest Antique Centre at 1c West Street, Helpston, PE6 7DU Valuation Days held every Wednesday Antiques Bought and Sold • Free Valuations Restoration Work Undertaken Gold & Silver Bought – Best Prices Given Please call to speak to one of our experts

07901 513404 01778 348865

or email


Valuations Given

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Upfront What’s new this month The Wright stuff Dave and Maggie Wright are familiar names to many local people who have an interest in outdoor pursuits. For the last 30 years, the couple have been offering professional and friendly service in the Eastern region, and for years, they ran a shop in Peterborough city centre. The good news is that they are back with a new retail business, which opens on October 1st. Wrights Ski and Foot Solutions Ltd is based at Mancetter Square, Peterborough. The business will offer a foot clinic, featuring state of the art technology to ensure the best and most comfortable fitting for all sports shoes, including ski boots, walking boots and golf shoes. The Wrights will also be selling ski wear and technical products for outdoor pursuits. Their popular ski and snowboard workshop will also be operating. “After we closed our city centre shop, we had a lot of pressure from our old customers to set up again,” says Maggie Wright. “With a change in shopping trends, we’ve decided to open in an out of town location with ample free parking. We look forward to welcoming customers of the past and, of course, offer a warm welcome to our future customers, too.” • 1D Mancetter Square, Lincoln Rd, Peterborough PE4 6BX Tel: 01733 326091

Garage door solutions Finding a small, family run business which offers a reliable service, without trying to sell you something you don’t want, sometimes feels impossible. But Ridgeway Garage Doors of Peterborough is one such business. Tracey Holdsworth and partner Mark Jackson supply and instal manual or automatic garage doors, and offer a comprehensive repair service. The doors come in a variety of materials, including steel, timber and reinforced plastic. They can also supply security shutters. “We will never try and sell you a new door if you just want a repair, and we will always do our very best to mend something if it is at all possible,” explains Tracey. “We treat people as we would wish to be treated ourselves, and our back up service is something we pride ourselves on. Nothing is too much trouble.” • To find out more, call Tracey on 01733 772934 or email

Plan your future

Join financial and legal experts for a free financial management master class at Oundle School on Wednesday 19th October, at 10am. A team from Cave and Sons, a Northantsbased stockbroking and finance firm, join representatives from Greenwoods Solicitors LLP at the event, aimed at the over 55s. There will be presentations and free 15 minute one-toone advice slots. Book on 01733 887817.

Stop press: The Kings Cliffe Players are performing Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw, October 12th-15th in Kings Cliffe Village Hall. Tickets available from or from the village post office.

Nene Valley People

Five minutes with Stuy Porter, of Stuy Porter Antiques, who has just opened a shop in West Street, Helpston Tell us about your background I trained as an electrician, and I have a well established lighting design business which has taken me all over the world, but I’ve been interested in antiques since I was 12. In my school holidays, I’d go to Wilfred’s auction house in Wellingborough to watch and learn. This was in the 1970s, when the only antiques programme on TV was Going for a Song. When I was 16, I spotted some interesting Japanese scrolls and asked my Dad to lend me £250 to buy them. He did and I resold them at Sothebys for £20,000. Antiques have been my hobby ever since. Why did you choose Helpston? I have a unit at St Martin’s Antiques Centre in Stamford, but every time I drove past this shop, I thought that it would be ideal. I’m so glad: the people in Helpston have been amazingly welcoming. Do you have any employees? My step-daughter Sophie Norris is running the shop. She has a real interest in antiques – this is her apprenticeship. Describe the stock We specialise in Georgian furniture, but we have small pieces of costume jewellery, pictures (I also have a framing service) and china: there’s something for everyone, and prices start at £5. What other services do you offer? We have a free valuation surgery every Wednesday. We held the first one recently, and had a great response. You can bring along antiques, not necessarily to sell, just to find out a bit more. We also buy gold and silver. Where do you live? Maxey Best place for eating and drinking locally? The Bluebell at Maxey - a proper pub with 10 real ales. No food, no music, no kids or TV… it’s packed all the time. We enjoy eating at The Golden Pheasant, Etton. Best thing about this area? The people. They’re fabulous. • Stuy Porter Antiques. 1c West St, Helpston, PE6 7DU. Tel: 01778 348865 or email The shop is open seven days a week.


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Upfront Where to go for winter sun

Interior design workshops

Atelier Nest is an interior design studio run by experienced interior designer Angelique Wisse. She offers a range of interior design services, from a design for a single room to complete home refurbishment. She also loves to pass on her experience via inspiring one day interior design workshops. The Interior Design Day and Colour Your Home workshops will give you the tools you need to transform your home. • Workshops are running regularly in Stamford Arts Centre this autumn. Visit

If you didn’t manage a summer break, escape to warmer climes this winter, suggests Paula Cockcroft of Oundle Travel During the winter, you need to travel at least four hours to guarantee your sunshine. The Canary Islands are the warmest, closest destination and offer an affordable break. The Canaries do have a mass market image, but the handful of properties used by Oundle Travel are carefully selected and have been personally visited by Paula or one of her team. All holidays include private car transfers directly to your hotel. Here are some of Oundle Travel’s recommended hotels: The Princess Yaiza, Lanzarote, 4* Deluxe A superb beachfront location in the quieter resort of Playa Blanca. High quality dining is flexible, with a choice of three restaurants and two poolside bars. There’s a huge soft playroom area and a full entertainment programme for 3-16 year olds. Particularly good for families are the new Royal Kiko suites, which will accommodate up to three children and two adults: all are equipped with a PlayStation, DVD and include other little extras such as two hours free babysitting. From £1066 per adult, based on February half term departure La Hacienda, Gran Canaria, 3* Suited to a more independent traveller, this charming rural base is just 15 minutes drive from the beach and local villages. It’s ideal for leisurely walks and mountain biking. Visit the top of Mount Aracas for stunning views. A lovely restaurant for breakfast, light lunch and dinner, plus a small heated freshwater pool and a gym. Prices from £762 per adult, based on March departure Villas Heredad Kamezi, Lanzarote, 4* Delightful villas, 10km from the Timanfaya National Park. Pleasant beachfront location, ideal for families, fully equipped for a ‘home from home’ feel. Children’s playground and private swimming pool. Prices from £570 per adult based on a January 2012 departure The Abama, Tenerife, 5* Deluxe Highly recommended by Oundle Travel, it stands on a large private estate with its own golf course, spa and beach, around 40 minutes from the airport. Stunning views of La Gomera: ideal for a complete getaway. Contemporary, spacious accommodation, with superb family suites. Seven freshwater pools, all heated and a choice of 10 restaurants. Secluded private beach which offers casual all-day dining. The Spa has a wide selection of treatments. Prices from £1199 per adult, based on February 2012 departure • For details, call Oundle Travel on 01832 273600

DIY divorce Crafts from the maker

Merge Contemporary Craft Fair offers the chance to purchase original art works and original one off design classics direct from the maker. The fair takes place on October 29th at the Queen Victoria Hall, West Street, Oundle, PE8 4EF, from 9am-4pm. “Makers at Merge produce stand out statement pieces: come and buy something out of the ordinary,” says organiser Zoe Garner. • Contact http://www.


An expert view from Belinda Smith In these times of recession, the do-it-yourself divorce is increasingly popular. You can download the forms from the internet, or pick them up from the local County Court. But beware! Filing the divorce petition is one thing, sorting out the financial arrangements is another. Quantifying and sharing the matrimonial assets is a skilled and often complex task which a family law solicitor is best equipped to undertake. You may be thinking: “you would say that, wouldn’t you!” Fair enough, but the warning is genuine. Solicitors are frequently faced with the situation where a couple have already divided some of the assets – usually the family home – and filed for divorce, but left other aspects unresolved. Valuing a business, sharing pensions, assessing contributions to investments and debts can all be problematic and if done piecemeal (sometimes years apart) make it very difficult to reach a fair outcome when you have reached the point of wanting a clean break. And remember – although you may have the decree absolute in the divorce, a former spouse can still make an application for a share of the matrimonial assets (provided he or she hasn’t remarried) at any future date. So, it’s worth investing in professional advice from the early stages. It can save you a lot more at the end of the day! • For more information or any questions about family law, please contact Belinda Smith on 01733 267414 or visit


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Be Inspired! Be Inspired! On Saturday 8th October we are holding a stock clearance sale to make space for exciting new collections. Come and browse for amazing bargains!!

YaYa Collection New Luxury Knitwear at Non Luxury prices! Exciting new labels at Jacks.... B.yu - soft, chunky knits from Italy Elaine et Lena - French jersey wear with a twist Creenstone - Stylish and luxurious coats

Visit us Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, 8 St Mary’s Hill Stamford Lincs PE9 2DP

Esprit - one of Europe’s major fashion collections Elisa Cavaletti - Each piece a work of art to be worn and loved

Tel: 01780 767878

Visit us Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, 8 St Mary’s Hill Stamford Lincs PE9 2DP Tel: 01780 767878

16 Church Street, 20 Market Place, Market Harborough Oundle Tel: 01858 431396 Tel: 01832 270033 9

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Coles for Fires

• LaRgE SELEctioN of Wood, MULtifUEL, gaS, ELEctRic StovES & fiREpLacES oN diSpLay • fULL fittiNg aNd chiMNEy LiNiNg SERvicE avaiLabLE With hEtaS cERtificatE • chiMNEy SWEEp SERvicE • fULL cENtRaL hEatiNg iNStaLLatioN aNd SERvicE • LaNdLoRd cERtificatES

16a Montagu Street, Kettering, NN16 8RU

Tel: 01536 510522 Email:


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Uplifting voices

A community choir featuring TV star Bernie Nolan is hoping to sell out the 1200-seater Kingsgate Centre in Peterborough with a concert for Cancer Research UK this month. Sue Dobson meets the man behind the vision Above: Will coaches the Peterborough Male Voice Choir.


hen Will Prideaux put up posters around the city appealing for women to ‘come and sing’earlier this year, he was hoping to find 40 voices to create a choir for a fund-raising project he was planning for the autumn. A staggering 220 women responded and he saw every one of them. “The response was fantastic,” he says, “but as we haven’t a venue or the rehearsal space to accommodate so many people, regrettably I had to say no to about half of them.” Will is the young, enthusiastic and visionary Musical Director of the Peterborough Male Voice Choir (PMVC). Sing for Life, in aid of Cancer Research UK, takes place this month in the 1200-seater auditorium of the Kingsgate Centre in Peterborough. It will, he hopes, be a sell-out, just like their 2010 and 2011 Sing For Heroes concerts in aid of the charity Help for Heroes. “Forming a community choir from scratch is exciting,” he says. “It brings together people from all walks of life, all ages and backgrounds. We’ve named the women’s choir Peterborough Voices. Few of its members have had any previous experience but they are so keen to learn and develop skills, their progress is remarkable. There’s so much enthusiasm they want to continue after the big concert.” It was a similar story with his two Sing for Heroes projects, when he recruited 50 men to create new choirs and also formed the Peterborough Youth Choir, which now has 30 members aged from 7 to 17. “Over the weeks of rehearsals, a lot of the men who’d come in just for the concerts ‘got the bug’, enjoyed the camaraderie and stayed on with the main choir,” he recounts with obvious pleasure. When Will Prideaux became its Musical Director in January last year, PMVC had around 25 members; now there are 86. In May, it beat choirs from around the world to take third place at the Cornwall International Male Voice Choir Festival. Will received a special award from the judges, in recognition of his contribution to choral conducting. His success in Peterborough has not gone unnoticed – he’s now doing consulting for male voice choirs in other counties. PMVC, too, is spreading its wings, having recently recorded background tracks for Talk Sport’s Rugby World Cup coverage. Actor Brian Blessed is booked to do the voiceover.

Left: TV star and breast cancer survivor Bernie Nolan will be appearing at this month’s Sing for Life Concert. Below: Will Prideanx and Lesley Garrett at The Broadway Theatre, July 2011

Quality music

A Lay Clerk at the Cathedral, Will came to Peterborough via Liverpool University, the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College, Cambridge. His academic life in music spanned orchestration, editing, voice and choral direction while his singing engagements have covered “everything from jingles and backing stuff to opera, choral symphonies and Oklahoma!” “I don’t believe in slicing music up into a hierarchy of worth,” he says, “for example a Bach cantata being more valid than a pop song. Every music genre has some excellently crafted content. It’s the quality of the engagement that’s important.” In July, PMVC’s Sing for Heroes concert with opera star Lesley Garrett spanned Verdi opera choruses and 24 Hours from Tulsa. The singers and the audience loved it. The Sing for Life concert, involving the men’s, women’s and youth choirs, will include Grieg’s beautiful setting of Ave Maris Stella, folk songs and songs from the shows. For Will, his concert projects are “a different look at singing” and he’s very proud of the PMVC and what it is doing for Peterborough. “This is a very cultural city. There’s so much going on here, so many opportunities. It’s like a tray with a vast amount of fruit on it.” In aid of Cancer Research UK and featuring three choirs with over 200 voices, Sing For Life takes place on 15th October at 2.30pm and 7.30pm at the Kingsgate Centre Auditorium, 2 Staplee Way, Parnwell, PE1 4YT. Tickets ranging from £22 to £11 are available online at

Nassington voice Diane Ray auditioned for the choir because she wanted to do something challenging in memory of her three year old niece, Annie, who died from leukaemia. “I’d been singing with a local group for a couple of years, but prior to that I was just one of those people who like singing in the car,” she explains. “I love being part of this choir. Some of the songs we sing give me tingles down my spine – and it’s also helped to relieve my asthma!” She adds: “Will really gets the best out of us. This wouldn’t be happening without him.” NENE VALLEY LIVING October 2011

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news All the latest on local food and drink

Dai or night dining

Opus Dai Champagne Bar opened in Broad Street, Stamford, in April 2011. With chic black and white décor it has a sophisticated, minimalist feel that I’m sure is popular with its evening visitors, who can enjoy music from the bar’s resident DJ from Tuesday to Saturday evenings. But the Bar has a daytime life, too. It serves food from 12 -7pm (children are welcome). I visited one Friday lunchtime with a friend. We sat in the pretty outdoor area where many people were making the most of the autumn sunshine. The menu is comprehensive, and well priced, with appetising options such as pitta bread stuffed with a potato and chick pea curry, served with salad and yogurt, to paninis, or a ‘Dirty Fry Up’ – that’s a full English. I chose a Spicy King Prawn Salad, consisting of marinated king prawns in ginger, garlic and spring onions with a zesty chilli dressing. The prawns were plentiful, and the dressing had a nice kick. Debbie had the King Prawn Noodles: these were stir fried with vegetables, bamboo shoots, and hot chilli, with spring onions, lime juice, soy sauce and prawn crackers. The generous portion was sizzling, straight from the wok. Each main course was under £8, so good value, too. After my light main course, I went for the most indulgent dessert on the menu: a delicious sticky toffee pudding. Debbie’s Eton Mess, with strawberries, crisp meringue, whipped cream and a light strawberry mousse, was equally good. Booking is not necessary and service is quick and friendly. Opus Dai is an ideal place for meeting friends for lunch, afternoon tea, or in the evening for a different vibe. Bridget Steele Opus Dai, Broad Street, Stamford. Tel: 01780 481880

Back in the saddle

Riding to the pub on horseback is a great way to work up an appetite for lunch, says Fiona Cumberpatch It’s been so long since I sat on a horse that my ancient riding clothes are more Colonel Blimp than Zara Phillips, but when an invitation came from Duncan Brown at Lynch Farm Riding Centre in Peterborough to join a pub ride, I just couldn’t resist. Lynch Farm is a tranquil oasis in Orton Wistow, set amongst rolling fields, and with an extremely orderly stable yard. I’d requested a steady mount, and Spirit, a handsome seven year old chestnut, was ideal. For the first few minutes, I did feel as if a puff of wind might blow me off his back, but as we set off along a pretty track, flanked by berryheavy bushes and trees, I relaxed. The route through Nene Park was so attractive in the early autumn sunshine and we only glimpsed heavy traffic once when we rode beneath an underpass. Otherwise, you would barely have guessed that you were in the city. We rode through Ferry Meadows and Orton Mere, the horses happily tolerating the cyclists and scooters which occasionally shared the bridleways. There were six of us in the group, including two staff members, and this is the maximum number of riders allowed, so you’ll never find yourself in a long, plodding line. The horses were responsive and lively, but not dauntingly so, and I felt very safe. Care was taken to match riders to a suitable horse. “We want people to enjoy riding, to unwind and get rid of their stresses, we don’t want to add to them!” says Duncan. Our destination was the Botolph Arms, just off the Oundle Road, around an hour’s ride from our starting point. We dismounted and our horses were tied securely to a row of trees. Duncan brought hay nets by car, and with the horses happily munching their lunch, we ordered ours. The pub serves reasonably priced hearty home cooking (you don’t want to be messing about with lettuce leaves after a bracing ride), such as bangers and mash, hot quiche and fish and chips. My tuna melt was chunky and appetising, and set me up perfectly for the ride home. For me, the highlight of the three hour trip was a canter across a meadow just at the end of our ride. It brought a huge smile to my face, a host of happy memories and a resolution that I really must do this again…soon. A pub ride costs £39, excluding lunch. Some experience is necessary (returning riders very welcome). Riding lessons start at £24, for the first one hour lesson, £29 thereafter. To book, or for more information, call 01733 234445 or email club@ Spirit rated his haynet 4*


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A genuine pub serving authentic food from England and Spain

The Kings Arms P O L E B R O O K

01832 272 363





£5 LUNCH MENU (exc. Sundays) • • •




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T h E F i n EST E n g l i S h C u i S i n E AT


Cherry house Restaurant

“ The difference is in the detail...” Reservations Essential

• For Superb Food & Excellent Service in Delightful Surroundings • We offer fortnightly changed, fixed price menu • For all occasions inc birthday & anniversary celebrations, intimate weddings, wakes...

01733 571721 125 Church Street Werrington Peterborough, PE4 6QF

Next Live Music Fri 2 December

Christmas parties

bookings being taken now Open from 12 Tues-Sat for Lunch/Dinner & Sunday Lunch

The Bazaar, West Street Oundle, PE8 4EJ

01832 274730


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Food & Drink

“Give us this day our daily bread…” Sarah Lyon discovers that Marriage’s Flour can give you that extra incentive to get baking as it helps produce brilliant results


arriage’s, The Master Millers of Chelmsford, produce a consistent, reliable flour. Hannah Marriage joined the family business in 2009 and is working alongside her father, George. “The story starts in 1824,” says Hannah. “I am the 6th generation of the family to become involved in the business. My great, great grandfather William and his twin brother Henry founded W & H Marriage & Sons Ltd in 1824. The Marriage family had been farmers and millers in Essex since about 1650. The boys’ father died when they were only 17 years old; however he wanted them to continue the family farming and milling tradition. In 1836 the brothers had the foresight to introduce steam power into the milling process – up until then the stones could turn only at the whim of wind and water, whereas steam gave a steady production in all weathers, so it really was a big innovation.” Hannah adds: “I love to make bread at home – I find it really relaxing and you can’t beat the taste and smell of freshly baked bread!” Ian Whymark from Marriage’s flour is extremely passionate about the ethos and history of the family business and explains: “Marriage’s produce a premium quality wheat flour in 1.5kg bags, as well as supplying traditional independent artisan and craft bakers. Marriage’s mill a broad range of white brown and wholemeal flours; stoneground wholemeal flour is a speciality. Modern machinery produces the majority of the flour but they still mill stoneground wholemeal flour using traditional, horizontal French burr stones.” Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of River Cottage fame and new cookbook River Cottage Everyday endorses this method of production

and comments on the nutty flavour and special texture of the flour and the bread it produces. Long before organic farming was high profile, Sampson David Marriage (Hannah’s grandfather) became interested in organic production and his son George was instrumental in introducing organically certified flour varieties for Marriage’s in 1986. Ian sent me away with Marriage’s Strong Organic White and Organic Strong Wholemeal. Full of fibre, protein and the nutrition of the wheat grain these flours make a soft, light and fluffy loaf of bread. “I have had the marvellous opportunity of living in a number of countries, all of which have their own special breads,” says Linda Hewett of Stamford Cookery School. “Probably, my biggest influence has come from growing up in the Isle of Man and more recently living in Norway. Before moving to Lincolnshire I lived in Suffolk for three years, bordering Essex, and knew of Marriage’s Flours before taking up serious baking. Since becoming a committed bread-head I have used and encouraged others to use Marriage’s flours: Finest Strong White, Organic Strong Stoneground Wholemeal and Canadian Very Strong White (makes the best croissants). The reason I like Marriage’s flour is simple; it’s because of its guaranteed quality. It is milled with great integrity, has a wholesome creamy colour to indicate the lack of bleaching agents and is carefully graded to maintain a high protein content.” “My passion is to teach people how to make bread, in such a way as to ensure success in their own home. Good flour is the most important ingredient to achieving amazing bread. Whilst there are some delicious and exciting flours being milled by local windmills

– and I highly recommend all bread bakers to try all that they can – using Marriage’s for everyday bread does ensure success and it is Linda Hewett readily available. From a practical and domestic point of view this makes home bread making more accessible and more likely to become a regular habit.”

bread box

W & H Marriage & Sons Ltd, Chelmer Mills, New Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1PN – Tel: 01245 354455, floursales@marriagesmillers., Local Suppliers of Marriage’s Flours for home baking and bread making: T&J Fine Foods Ltd, Stamford – Tel: 01780 767777, Silver Lane Whole Foods, 2 Silver Lane, Stamford, PE9 2BT Askers Bakers, 5a Red Lion Street, Stamford, PE9 1RP Yeast available to buy from Askers, Mill Lane, Stamford Marriage’s Flour, Online from http://www. Stamford Cookery School & Bread making with Linda Hewett Wednesday, Oct 12 – 6pm -9pm and Wednesday, Nov 2 – 6pm -9pm To book contact Stamford Cookery School, Tel: 01780 752172 http://www.


The Largest Independent Lighting Showroom in Cambridgeshire

Opening Hours - Tues-Fri 9-5 Sat 9-4 The Lampshade Warehouse 10 Saville Road, Westwood, Peterborough, PE3 7PR

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The inside story Despite what you might read in certain newspapers, life in a 21st century prison is no holiday camp. Sue Dobson met the Director of HMP Peterborough, Nick Leader


Category B

Lock and key

HMP Peterborough is a Category B prison, housing ‘prisoners for whom the very highest conditions of security are not necessary but for whom escape must be made very difficult’. Well over half the adult male offenders come from around Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, so it is considered a ‘local’ prison. However, for the adult women and convicted female young offenders aged between 18 and 21, it serves courts from nine counties. Up to a third of those who enter the prison are on remand or not yet sentenced. The men’s induction area has had a busy morning but there’s one empty cell and I step inside. It is small, with just enough space to stand between the two bunk beds and the corner toilet and washbasin. Privacy has no place here. Television sets (not flat screen) are available for hire at £1 a week. Being locked up there, with a stranger, from 7pm to 7.15am, and even longer at weekends, would not be enjoyable. “With the deprivation of liberty and limited contact with family outside, prison is punishment,” says Nick. “Our aim is to provide basic education and life skills to help offenders lead constructive lives in the community on their release.”

Walking through the men’s prison, as keys jangle and countless doors and metal gates are unlocked and locked again behind us, it’s obvious that Nick Leader inspires respect in his staff. He chats easily with the prison officers, but within this approachable and thoughtful man with a determination to do the best for everyone, I sense a core of steel. Looking at his career history, that’s not surprising. Before he came to Peterborough last year, he was Governor at the high security Whitemoor prison near March. He’s been Governor of Pentonville and Long Lartin, and Deputy Governor at Belmarsh and Glen Parva. When he finished his Applied Social Science degree in 1985, Nick was offered five jobs, one of them as a prison officer in Birmingham. “I chose the prison service because I wanted to work with people and hopefully make a bit of a difference.” After only a year as a prison officer, he was appointed Head of Residential and Personnel Manager at Olney young offender institution, a post he held for nearly five years. A clutch of management promotions followed. He has now spent 26 years in the prison service, 25 of them in the public sector. HMP Peterborough is his NENE VALLEY LIVING October 2011

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MP Peterborough is the UK’s only dual purpose-built prison for men and women, but they must be kept separate at all times. “If they even catch a sight of each other we get fined,” says the prison’s Director, Nick Leader. It is, he says, like running two prisons on one site. Tucked away at the back of a business park, the entrance building could be any modern office block. High surrounding walls topped with razor wire indicate otherwise. Security in the foyer is cheerful and friendly, but tight. Built on the site of the former Baker Perkins engineering works in Westwood, and run by Sodexo Justice Services on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, the prison and young offender institution opened in 2005. Housing over 1,000 offenders, the main buildings are situated at each end of the complex. Of a radial design, both have four levels. The men’s prison has four long wings leading off a central hub; the women’s prison has five shorter wings and includes a 12-place mother and baby unit. In both cases the accommodation, which consists mainly of single cells, occupies two levels of each wing. Facilities, from sports to health and education, are similar for the two prisons but tailored to gender needs. “It has been well designed, with a good use of space,” Nick tells me.


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“Today there is less respect and more violence.” first experience of running a women’s prison. “The ladies have quite distinct problems and needs,” he says. “The incidence of self-harm is much greater than with men.” I ask Nick what the main differences are now compared with when he started out on his career. “There’s less respect and more violence today than I remember,” he says, “and more abuse and mistreatment of young women. This contributes to them falling into lives of violence, drugs and early motherhood. It’s sad.”

Good facilities The noise level is high as the men leave their work or activities and file out to get lunch. I’m taken to see the well-equipped gym with a basketball court attached and a classroom where healthy lifestyle management courses take place and training for fitness qualifications is possible. Both sides of the prison have exercise and sports facilities. Literacy and numeracy classes are available and the library has a reasonable selection of reading matter. I’m impressed by the Barber Shop, built and run by prisoners, where barbering skills are taught (the women have a similar hairdressing facility) and by the large workshop that offers courses to BTEC Level 1 in carpentry, heating, plumbing, painting, decorating and electrical skills, run by an enthusiastic team from John Laing Training. The newly launched house magazine Wing Spread is produced in the small art room. From it, I learn that HMP Peterborough scooped three top prizes at the city’s Green Festival 2011 Trashion Show – for the most original use of recycled material (a ring made of pencil shavings), most wearable (a bubble wrap jacket) and most innovative design (a clutch bag made from J cloths). Under their Jail Birds brand, the women’s eco group makes greetings cards, Christmas decorations and theatre props, with profits going to charity. Outside, the meticulously kept garden is benefiting from a rain shower. The beds are filled with flowers and vegetables; tomato plants grow tall in the greenhouse alongside peppers and chillies, herbs have their own corner and the winter seedlings are coming along nicely. Built and planted by prisoners, 12 men are currently honing their horticultural skills and donating fresh vegetables to the kitchen.

No holiday camp Yet HMP Peterborough is no holiday camp. The regime is highly structured and restrictive, while high walls, heavy locks and watchful eyes are a constant reminder of being ‘inside’. Most of those confined have a history of unstable or violent family backgrounds, abusive relationships, poor mental health and


substance abuse. There’s wide-ranging support from professionals as well as from fellow prisoners, who are trained by Samaritans to be a listening ear and by St Giles Trust to offer guidance and advice on coming to terms with what they’ve done and to plan for the future. The practical work is helping offenders find a route out of crime. But turning their lives around won’t be easy. The majority are in for relatively short

periods and on their release most return to the environment that was the source of their problems, hence the cycle of re-offending that’s estimated to cost the UK around £11billion a year. “There’s no support on release for people serving sentences of under 12 months,” Nick Leader tells me, “which is why I’m delighted that Peterborough was chosen to pilot the Social Impact Bond scheme, (see box). I believe it can work and build on what we are trying to do here.”

The Social Impact Bond

For the past year, HMP Peterborough has been piloting a groundbreaking rehabilitation project for male ex-offenders who have served sentences of less than 12 months. Aimed at cutting re-offending (2010 figures from the National Audit Office showed 60 per cent of short sentence offenders re-offend within a year, at great cost to the public purse and society) and funded by charitable trusts and social investment groups, the Social Impact Bond scheme is a world first. Starting before, and continuing after their release, mentors support individual offenders with advice and practical assistance with housing, jobs, personal finances and health or drug-related issues. Over six years, a total of 3000 men leaving Peterborough prison will be offered help by organisations including offender charity St Giles Trust, which works to break the cycle of offending.


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Bridget Steele rounds up news and offers from local beauty and health businesses

health & beauty notes Pure bliss!

If you sit at a desk all day, you probably know that poor posture, work deadlines and inadequate screen breaks can take a toll on your body. When I was invited to try out some taster holistic treatments at Pure Health and Beauty I was keen to have a go. Firstly I was given a back, neck and shoulder massage. I opted for a firm massage, knowing there would be plenty of areas of tension. The therapist’s deft touch picked up knot after knot as she pummelled them out. The massage, whilst not relaxing, felt invigorating and effective. It was followed by an Indian Head Massage: this began with a relaxing shoulder and neck massage with geranium and lavender aromatherapy oils, which were then massaged into my head. At this point I dozed off, I was so totally relaxed. The final treatment was Hopi Ear Candle. This is a great winter treatment as it regulates pressure in the ear and is said to aid sinusitis, migraine and tinnitus – it is also a great alternative to ear syringing. I lay on my side as a cone shaped cylinder was inserted to the entrance of the ear canal. The candle was lit and gently burned with the therapist holding the end as it sent gentle heat through my ear. Apart from a slight crackling sound, it felt very comfortable. The salon offers massage treatments from £30 for a 30 minute treatment, Indian Head Massage at £35 and Hopi Ear Candling at £30. You can get £5 off holistic treatments this month. For more information contact Pure Health and Beauty, The Old Stables, Church Farm, Main Street, Glapthorn, Oundle, Peterborough, PE8 5BE Tel: 01832 272320

Turn back time? It is said to be the key to Brad Pitt and Nicole Kidman’s youthful looks. Now the Nu Skin Galvanic Spa System has arrived in Peterborough courtesy of an entrepreneurial dentist, who believes that a Dental Surgery is well placed to offer beauty aids, as well as looking after your teeth. This small, handheld machine, around the size of an electric razor, claims to help smooth out wrinkles, reduce the size of pores, dark spots and eye bags, and even help with acne and associated scarring. It can also be used on your body to smooth cellulite and work on ‘bingo wings.’ The kit costs £355.00 and includes 4 weeks’ worth of special facial gels. To book a free consultation, contact the Bushfield Dental Practice, Ortongate, tel: 01733 370 331 or visit the website www.peterboroughdentist.


New range at Burghley Academy

The Burghley Academy celebrates 22 years in Peterborough this year. Founded by Chris and Tina Parsons, it offers hairdressing and beauty treatments as well as the highly regarded training school which is headed up by Tina and daughter Alexa Hillier. The Academy offers NVQ qualifications and specialised beauty courses. At the peaceful treatment rooms in Cumbergate, a new range of mineral based make-up called Mii has just been introduced. Alexa explains: “the products are not only easy to apply and blend, they have great staying power, look natural and are beautifully packaged.” On Friday 7th October, to launch the Mii range, Alexa and her team are inviting readers to try the make-up. Tickets are limited and cost £10, which is redeemable against two or more products purchased at the event. It is a chance to have a consultation, learn more about mineral make up and learn how to apply make up with confidence. For more details contact Burghley Academy, 4 Cumbergate, Peterborough, PE1 1YR Tel: 01733 341878

Lose weight with LighterLife Julie Larrington has been running LighterLife in Elton since 2004. She lost over five stone herself with the programme, and she has since helped hundreds of people to achieve their goal weight. The programme uses the company’s own nutritionally balanced food packs, combined with healthy eating and sessions which help people to understand their relationship with food. On a first visit, Julie will offer a one to one consultation and explain how the LighterLife programme works. It is designed for people with a stone or more to lose. Small single sex groups meet each week with Julie and these are important as there is a lot of support and understanding, and lasting friendships are often made.The LighterLife programme has recently been in the news, as it has been used by Birds of a Feather star, Pauline Quirke, who has lost over seven stone. The programme is designed to be rapid, however support is offered to clients for as long as they need it. LighterLife has now moved to 84 Culley Court, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6WA and Julie Larrington can be contacted on 01733 367205.


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Esporta is now part of Virgin Active, with 122 clubs nationwide. You can take advantage of a range of flexible membership options, offering multi-club access and all-inclusive tennis options. Contact us for details and start living happily ever active. Thorpe Wood Business Park, Longthorpe, Peterborough, PE3 6SB, 01733 892 289.


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It took a big birthday to get Yasmin Bradley exercising regularly again… Photos: Dave Phillips

“Were classes called ‘Body Pump’ and ‘Viper and Kettle Bell’ really aimed at women of ‘a certain age’ like me? I had a mental flash of myself surrounded by huge macho hunks doing impossibly difficult things with heavy equipment resembling instruments of torture.”


t’s a bit of a cliché, I know, but it really did happen: I caught sight of a recent photo of myself! Much at the same time, after months of typing up a dissertation, my right arm seized up and on holiday in Madeira while dressing for dinner, I actually struggled to get my tights on. I am in my fifties, not my eighties. This was scary. Once upon a time I was an enthusiastic member of a gym in Bretton, attending advanced aerobics classes several times a week. I swam regularly until the local pool closed down, ran up two flights of stairs at work and I eat healthily. When exactly had the rot set in? I went to see my GP. “Well, what are you doing about it?” he asked. Good question. What exactly was I doing about it?

Taking action

diary and was given a bespoke programme of exercises on the machines, which Leone, one of the team of qualified instructors, ran through with me. ‘Of course,’ said Leone sympathetically, ‘you could always replace the machines with a suitable class,’ which did seem so much nicer, but the many classes on offer were dauntingly unrecognisable. Whatever had happened to old-fashioned aerobics? Were classes called ‘Body Pump’ and ‘Viper and Kettle Bell’ really aimed at women of ‘a certain age’ like me? I had a mental flash of myself surrounded by huge macho hunks doing impossibly difficult things with heavy equipment resembling instruments of torture. And no, it was not a good image.

Continued on page 25 ▲

In Queensgate, at a stall offering health and fitness advice, I discovered what was on offer locally; I liked the idea of the pool at the Thorpe Wood Health and Racquets Club, and I had friends who had joined. But surely it would be prohibitively expensive? Not the case. There were various special rates including one for socalled ‘heroes’: health workers, teachers and the like. As a teacher, I had never thought of myself as a hero, but the weekly cost would be less than an average round of drinks and be competitive with individual classes - provided I attended three times a week. I decided to give it a go. In the first week my health and fitness levels were assessed; I completed a week’s diet


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“You improve your individual performance, not by relentlessly pushing yourself, but by allowing the body to ease itself a little more into place.”

However, I was going to have get out of my comfort zone, simply because there was nothing familiar. And hey, this was a chance to try something new!

Getting to grips with a viper The viper, I discovered later, is (unsurprisingly) a rubber, pipe-like exercise aid; the kettlebells are weights that look a bit like a Victorian steam iron: the 16 kilo ones in the main gym I cannot actually lift. I plumped for Yoga, Zumba and Body Pump - all bookable online. Yoga might have been a good first class, but it was no easy option. I watched in wonder as one participant more or less my age did the splits! “We have all been coming for ages,” she kindly told me afterwards. “The only competition is with yourself.” You improve your individual performance, not by relentlessly pushing yourself, but by allowing the body to ease itself a little more into place. From week one, the sense of muscular release though was incredible – the sort of ‘good pain’ you feel during an intense massage as all the tension held in body is allowed to dissipate. I tried a number of different yoga classes: one teacher focuses more on balance, another

on relaxation; Ashtanga concentrates more on breathing and includes a spiritual, almost philosophical, element: just as with the yoga moves themselves, you find the class that is right for you.

Zumba or spinning? “It is important to balance out the different aspects of fitness,” explains Leone, so the next stop was Zumba, led by the lady herself. Zumba is the latest exercise trend, and most definitely an amazing aerobic workout with the heart pumping to the upbeat rhythms of Salsa. It would take the stiffest of Anglo-Saxon – or any other – upper lips not to be, literally, moved by this music, but the steps are fast and frenetic. Not the best of dancers in any case, I felt I was two steps behind everyone else most of the time. However, as with yoga, you are not going to get the hang of it immediately and you need at least a couple of classes to learn the choreography. I learned that spinning is nothing to do with wool or whirling dervishes: it is basically fast indoor cycling and another good cardiac but non-weight bearing work-out. To maintain strong bones, shape up, lose weight and

develop strength, however, you need weights and this is what Bodypump will do for you. Just as I had been surprised by the number of men doing yoga, I hadn’t expected Bodypump to be mainly attended by women. “Without the use of steroids,’ explains Louise, our instructor, “only a tiny minority of women have enough testosterone to build up huge muscle. Look around - you will see the leanest women lift the heaviest weights. Build up gradually and concentrate on technique.” So I did. And I love it - the way it makes you aware of your own physical power and strengthens arms, legs and core making them feel firm for the first time in a long time. And this class gives me that elusive buzz! I have a long way to go, but I have only been attending a few weeks. Leone was right: you do need about two months to start feeling the difference. But different: happier, stronger and more confident is how I feel. It is never too late to ignore stereotypes, start getting fitter and try something new … Now, when was that Viper and Kettlebell class? • Thorpe Wood Health and Racquets Club. Thorpe Wood Business Park. Longthorpe. Peterborough PE3 6SB Tel: 01733 892289 NENE VALLEY LIVING October 2011

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A vintage


ine months ago Karen The vintage workshops she Tibbett made the decision runs teach basic sewing, crochet to give up her demanding job and patchwork amongst other working with children with special things and have a strong green needs due to ill health. But it theme throughout. Her fashion gave her the chance to try out recycling workshops are especially something she’d always dreamed popular. of: she has just opened up her own Individual Peterborough designer Karen Tibbett has just opened a craft workshop, under the name of creativity Tilly Rose. craft workshop at Chesterton which reflects her love of “I tell people to think outside “I’d been looking for a while vintage textiles and traditional skills. Emily Bull reports. of the box when it comes to and the empty shops I’d seen felt Photos: Lesley Anne Churchill finding materials. Go to a a bit naff. When I saw that this charity shop and look at a shirt, barn at Hill Farm, Chesterton, had but don’t see it as a shirt, see it as some lovely fabric, quickly things have snowballed. become available, it just seemed like fate. I took it on buttons and perhaps a bit of lace or ribbon. I have a She been designing for years and put together a officially in June and we opened at the end of July,” hatred of those hanging tags, the bits of ribbon they collection, which she started to write about online in explains Karen. sew into your tops to help keep them on the hanger, a blog, which soon attracted a host of loyal followers. The barn has been transformed. Comfy sofas and so I chop them all out and use them too.” Karen’s talent is now starting to be recognised, long work tables are surrounded by stacks of vintage “I love teaching, I love giving the same lesson and too, and her creations have been picked up by two fabric, reels of colourful cotton, trims, old buttons, the same materials to three people and seeing three boutiques in Paris as well as a couple of independent treadle sewing machines - and plenty of beautiful individual pieces come from it. It’s just amazing to shops in America. works in progress. There are also little gifts to buy, give people the basic skills of sewing and see them It’s a dream come true but her feet are still firmly crafted by Karen, such as needle cases, embroidered run with it.” on the ground. “Someone said to me that I could table cloths and bags of vintage buttons. Her collection of old fabric and lace is always be the next Laura Ashley but to be honest, I don’t Peterborough to Paris think I ever want to be that big. My thrill is from just growing. “I love the idea that some one sat and spent Her passion for making things started when she was hours and hours on a bit of lace by candlelight and sitting and making.” 11 and she taught herself crochet, spending all her it was just an everyday item to them. Now I think “I’ve been really happy with how positive people pocket money on Stitch by Stitch Magazine. But it we need to treasure these things,” Karen muses as she are about the barn. The ladies say that they love it wasn’t until this year that she was finally able to make because you just kick your shoes off and help yourself talks of a recent vintage find, a beautiful piece of lace, it into a business and the softly spoken Karen can dumped in the corner of a charity shop for the crime to tea and cake. It’s like getting to your granny’s hardly contain her excitement as she tells me how of having a small tea stain on it. house and just feeling at home.” 28


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Bulgarian orphanages

Karen hasn’t given up her work with schools, either, and she’s putting together a course at the Phoenix School that can be taught to teachers. In turn, they can then create sensory and tactile objects that will help children with disabilities to learn. “The cellophane that comes wrapped around flowers makes a wonderful noise and you can make a really simple crochet cushion, stuff a load of it inside and you have an object that’s perfect for blind children to explore with their hands. I’ve been talking to a local charity that works with Bulgarian orphanages. They say the teachers out there would love designs for things like that as they have nothing at the moment and no money.” Karen enthuses about her plans with a gentle passion: “I’ve got so many things buzzing around my head but I’m very aware I have to learn to walk before I can run. Having said that, where I’ll be in 12 months, who knows?” Tilly’s Vintage Workshop & Craft Studio, The Barn, Hill Farm, Chesterton, Peterborough, PE7 3UA Email: NENE VALLEY LIVING October 2011

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Trading For two years Jason Potter ran a secondhand book stall, but now he owns the Courthouse Bookshop in Oundle, where Dave Phillips caught up with him

“A special feature of the shop is that all books are affordable, with prices at £5 or less.”

BUY THE BOOK Tell us about yourself I’m 46 and married to Jana. We live in Oundle. I am a scientist by profession, with a degree in applied physics and a Ph.D in a very obscure subject. What made you decide to open a bookshop? I have always read books both for enjoyment and as a source of knowledge. I started by running a bookstall at the Sunday car boot sales in Oundle and talked about one day opening a book shop. I then thought a bit more about it and started to plan it out on paper. I spoke to a Business Link advisor and showed him my plans and eventually opened my shop in January this year. How did you choose the location? Oundle has an annual literature festival and a first-rate book shop run by Colemans that attracts visitors interested in books, so it’s the ideal location. I couldn’t afford premises in the town centre, but I made enquiries with the town council and discovered they had a small business unit in their courtyard that was available for a reasonable rent. Have local people been supportive? Very. Many visit the shop on a weekly basis and come in for a chat. But some of my customers are from as far afield as London, Newcastle, Gloucester and Manchester (my home town). What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned? I have learned a lot about running a business and I improve my knowledge of books on a daily basis. I keep costs to a minimum – I clean the floor in the morning and manage the website and database myself. What books are you asked for most often? Requests for local history books top the list. I have a large stock of paperback fiction and receive requests for books by authors such as Peter Robinson, Michael Connelly, Dick Francis, P. D. James, Ruth Rendell, Agatha Christie, Bernard Cornwell and Jon Clery, to name a few. In addition, I receive requests for classics and children’s books. Have you always loved books? Yes. Although books in an electronic format are becoming more and more popular, I prefer books made from paper. The electronic books will have a hard job replacing a paper book with an illustrated dust jacket and an inscription from the author inside. Books are a form of art, they require study, commitment and imagination to create them and that’s why I like them. What are your favourite books? I mostly read fiction and books about exploration. I read regularly and usually have about four books on the go at any one time. My favourite author is Alistair Maclean and I collect first editions of his books.

How many books do you have in stock? The shop contains about 3,000 books and I have a similar number in storage. How do you manage to find so many secondhand books? The majority of the books are provided by local people for sale on commission. I also receive many donated books and trawl through books that are for sale at auctions and car boot sales. What are your plans for the future? My ambition is to move the bookshop to the centre of the town. For the present, it’s important to establish a reputation, improve the quality of books for sale and to learn and enjoy the business of secondhand books. Finally, how would you sum up your business? I sell secondhand books in paperback and hardback. I try to cover as many general subject categories as possible in a small shop space. There’s a large collection of paperback fiction, classics and children’s fiction. Other subjects covered include Art & Photography, Astronomy, Automobiles, Aviation, Biographies, Cinema, Countryside, Crafts, English & American History, Military History, Myths and Legends, Natural History, Railways, Reference Books, Shipping, Sport - Cricket/Football/Golf, Travel Writing and Wildlife. There is also a collectable book section containing hard back first editions & collectable books and the majority of these have good dust jackets. Paperback fiction is priced at £1 each. A special feature of the shop is that all books are affordable with prices at £5 or less, with the exception of some collectable and first edition books. • The Courthouse bookshop is at Workshop Unit 3, The Courthouse, Mill Road, Oundle PE8 4BW. (located in the Museum Courtyard) Opening times 10am to 5.30pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Website: NENE VALLEY LIVING October 2011

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£37.50 per person No charge for private room hire. At the end of the evening why not stay the night. Our bedrooms are from £245.00 per night, based on 2 people sharing one of our standard bedrooms, this includes full Hambleton breakfast & vat.

Menu Tian of Smoked Salmon & Caviar *** Free Range Turkey cooked in salt crust pastry with traditional accompaniments *** Prune & Armagnac Soufflé *** Coffee & homemade Chocolates All menus are subject to a discretionary service charge of 12.5% Excluding the Christmas, New Year period. Subject to availability. For larger parties, hotel accommodation may be required.

Aaron Patterson, head chef, specialises in top seasonal local ingredients to create modern British cuisine, with an award winning wine list full of delicious bottles. For more details about our Special Breaks and Events please visit our website

hambleton, oakham, Rutland, le15 8th tel: 01572 756991 FaX: 01572 724721 email: Web: 32

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at Burghley

The stunning and exquisite Regional Wedding Show returns to Burghley House

Sunday 6th November 2011 - 10am - 4.30pm Tickets: £5 in advance or £6 on the day Group booking - 4 tickets for the price of 3 (In advance only)

online at: www.

Box Office:

01780 765320 • • • •

Complimentary glass of bubbly & canapés Beautiful goodie bag for registered brides Fabulous fireworks to close show Stunning designer catwalk

alk' w t a c K U a erford ner Kate Sh er seen on


ritish desig B y b g in w o ie Welton h s n l n a A n r o e s h r p e a p r * Stunning brity photog le e c m o fr n o * Presentati Please enclose a cheque for £5 per ticket, or group booking £15 (includes p&p) made payable to Local Living Ltd Name: ................................................................................................................................................................................................. .............. Address: ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Post Code: ........................................

For further show information call

01780 766543 email:

Amount of tickets: ........... Send to Rachel Beecroft, Willoughby House, 2 Broad Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 1PB -

The Essential Wedding Show is part of the Essential Media Events Ltd and Local Living Magazines


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A NENE HARVEST Britain’s last traditional eel trapper lives and works on the River Nene. Dave Phillips ventures into Fen country to meet him… Photos: Dave Phillips


here’s barely a ripple to disturb the surface as the battered boat makes its way along the Old River Nene. Peter Carter is on his way to work, doing the same job that his ancestors have done for over 500 years. But today it’s a job that’s in danger of disappearing, for Peter is Britain’s last traditional eel trapper. “We’ve traced the family tree back to 1475 and we’ve all lived off the Fens,” says Peter, 46, who, like all those previous generations, has lived in and worked in the endlessly flat landscape east of Peterborough. There used to be scores of eel catchers, trapping the mysterious, serpent-like migratory fish – many of which were sent to the capital to feed Londoners’ voracious appetite for jellied eels. But in recent decades eel stocks declined and eel catching was no longer so lucrative. Gradually the old eel catchers faded away and weren’t replaced by a new generation. Except for Peter, that is. The stretch of the Nene where Peter plies his trade bears little relation to the wide reaches that flow through Peterborough, for this is the old course of the river, abandoned more than two centuries ago when the main river was diverted down a straight new channel to hasten floodwater down to the sea. Today, the Old Nene is a quiet backwater, but it is the perfect environment for scavenging eels, which thrive in the sluggish, stagnant waters, where they seek out their food – dead fish and animals – by smell. Peter baits his home-made wicker traps with road kill – dead animals he picks up from the side of the road. The traps are left overnight in the river until Peter returns the next day.

Traditional skills Just like his ancestors, Peter uses punts and boats to bait and check his traps. But he does so in a very different landscape. The Fens were impenetrable watery wilderness until the 17th Century when Dutch experts were called in to begin the long process of draining them. It was a tough life for the Fen men of old – malaria was rampant in the steaming swamps – but at least there was food a-plenty. Millions of ducks and wild geese were there for the taking, while the waterways teemed with fish – especially eels. “Eels were the currency of the Fens in those days,” says Peter. “Villages would pay their taxes in eels. The stone that was used to build Ely Cathedral was bought with eels. There was water everywhere and every drop had eels in it.”

Those rivers and drains were the highways of the day in the Fens, where proper roads didn’t exist until the drainage efforts were stepped up in the 19th Century by Victorians, who used powerful drainage pumps to turn the damp meadows into arable land. Wheat and barley grew where generations of Fen people had earned a living from catching fish and fowl. As the water dwindled, so did the eels – and the eel catchers. Most of the wildfowlers and fishermen turned to agriculture for employment instead, although the Carter family pressed on, keeping the old traditions alive. “My grandfather was one of 21 children. They all had to do their bit to put food on the table and eels were free and nutritious. Grandad was a successful eel fisherman and he did it all his life – and he passed his secrets down to me.” As a young boy, Peter hated school. “I was dyslexic, hated lessons and was always skiving off to escape into the Fens and be with granddad, catching eels. When I left school it seemed natural to be an eel fisherman and I’ve done it ever since.”

A changing world But although he appears to have a very traditional lifestyle, Peter’s life has changed a great deal. When he started his career as professional fisherman 30 years ago, eel stocks were plentiful. But they have plummeted by 80 per cent since the 1980s. Peter believes this is due to the modernisation of the drainage sluices across the Fens, with leaky old wooden lock gates replaced by efficient steel ones. Peter explains: “Eels are migratory. They are born thousands of miles away in an area of the Atlantic Ocean known as the Sargasso Sea and the baby eels, known as elvers, are carried to Europe on the Gulf Stream. They then enter the river estuaries and swim upstream. There used to be lots of gaps in the old wooden gates for the elvers to squeeze through, but very few can get through now. When I began eel fishing, I could catch 200 in a night, easy. These days it’s a very good night if I get 40 or 50.” The decline was enough to see off the few remaining eel fishermen – apart from

Peter, that is. Like the countless generations of Carters before him, he trusted to luck in times of change and carried on regardless, looking for new waters in which to place his traditional traps.

TV stardom Ironically, it was the modern age of technology that came to his rescue – namely the electronic media and its thirst for good stories. Five years ago he agreed to give a demonstration on eel catching at an exhibition at the Wetland Centre at nearby Welney. It was attended by HM the Queen, as well as the television cameras, and after that his phone hardly stopped ringing. Since then, he has appeared on Countryfile, Time Team, Escape to the Country, Flog It! and even the One Show, where he turned up at BBC Television centre in London with a bucketful of eels and a repertoire of anecdotes. The small shop and workshop in which he sells eels and makes traditional willow traps, nets, baskets and other traditional country goods attracts visitors from all over the world. He’s also in demand to give talks to schools, colleges and WI groups, as well as country shows. His life has changed in many ways, but he loves every moment. “I love meeting people and talking to them,” says Peter. “It also helps me keep eel trapping alive. People wouldn’t know about this traditional way of life otherwise.” The future that looks brighter than it did a decade ago. The Environment Agency is now installing ingenious “eel ladders” at lock gates across the Fens to allow the migrating fish to clamber through the locks, so stocks should improve in the coming years. Peter is determined to continue with his traditional lifestyle. “I haven’t got a son to continue the family tradition, but my 13-year-old daughter, Rhianna, loves coming out with me in the boat,” he says. “Her ambition is to be a zoologist and if she decides to do that I’ll support her all the way, but if she eventually wants to be an eel catcher I’ll be just as proud of her. As for me, I’ll never retire – why should I? I don’t see this as a job, I love every moment of it.”

Peter Carter’s shop and workshop is at 8-9 Church Terrace, Outwell, near Wisbech PE14 8RQ. Tel: 01945 772157. Besides selling eels and traps, Peter also weaves baskets from willow that he grows himself – anything from a picnic hamper to a willow coffin. “I’m open every day apart from Thursday from about 10am to 5pm… but phone first to make sure I’m not out in the Fens,” says Peter.


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Think globally, act locally: Sue Dobson discovers how Oundle is responding to the challenges of climate change and the end of cheap oil


ransition Town is a grass roots movement that is spreading nationally and globally. Started in Totnes five years ago in the belief that as life with less energy is inevitable, it’s better to plan for it than be taken by surprise, the initiative has captured the imagination of people in cities, towns and villages as they work together to become more resilient, find ways to move away from an energy-hungry, oildependent lifestyle and build a more skilled and resourceful future. The seeds of Oundle Transition Town were sown by Tony Hodgson. Brought up on a market garden in Hampshire, Tony has always believed in the importance of living off the land as much as possible. In 1972, he and his wife Judith bought a property at Little Gidding for a small community to farm organically and be self-sufficient. Supportive of Transition Town initiatives, when they moved to Oundle they began asking around to see if other people in the town and surrounding villages were also interested. After an initial meeting in 2009, a voluntary steering group was formed and the Oundle Transition Town Group (OTTG) burst into life. Interest groups began exploring ideas for small-scale initiatives in food, energy and transport. The first public meeting was held in February 2010. Since then OTTG has had a presence at various events in the town, including the farmers’ market and two Oundle Food Fairs.

Looking ahead At How Green is Your Oundle? held during the town’s 2011 Festival of Literature, the group invited visitors to take up the twin challenges of finding alternatives to carbon fuels while preparing for the impact of global warming. It showcased renewable energy and energy saving options, put food miles in the spotlight and offered displays and seminars on green technology. Local residents talked about the various renewable energy technologies they’d

Alan Rayden is impressed that in six months, PV panels have generated 80 per cent of the family’s annual electricity use

energy consumption, cut their carbon and save money. With spiralling fuel bills, their free advice should be welcome. “We’re hoping to find funding for an infra-red camera, which would be a great visual aid in winter to show where heat is leaking out of a home and being wasted,” Alan says. The Transport project is also working hard. Lobbying by OTTG founder member and East Northamptonshire Councillor David Bateman has resulted in Stagecoach once again running bus services into Peterborough railway station (although it has cut other services to some outlying villages completely). The group is also exploring the possibility of introducing cycle ways. The newest initiative is Oundle Local Exchange, a network of residents who will exchange skills and services using a local ‘currency,’ the nene. One hour’s work is worth six nenes and members list their ‘offers’ and Free advice ‘wants’ in a directory. “You could, for example, Thanks to a grant from Groundwork East earn nenes for reading to a visually impaired Midlands, ten OTTG members are training as person and use them to pay someone else for Voluntary Energy Assessors. From October help in the garden,” says Tony Hodgson. they’ll be available to visit local homes, by As Oundle moves towards becoming a more invitation, to help people assess their energy sustainable society, OTTG is keen to welcome use and decide how they might reduce their more members. Alan Rayden says: “We each have special talents that often we undervalue; for example how many people know how to mend things now? Idea seeds can be turned into practical solutions for everyday living.” • Find out more by visiting http://www.oundletransition. and http://www. For information on energy efficiency An increasing number of homes in and around and generating your own Oundle are using PV panels to provide electricity electricity see http://www. and solar thermal panels for hot water installed in their homes and representatives from nearby Transition Towns described their wide-ranging activities. “In June 2010, there were only two houses in Oundle generating electricity with photovoltaic (PV) roof panels, now there are at least 15 and the number is growing rapidly,” says Alan Rayden, the group’s Secretary. “OTTG is encouraging residents to consider such installations and make use of the generous Feed in Tariff (FIT) currently on offer from electricity companies. The payback on the investment is eight to ten years. There are also over a dozen houses fitted with solar thermal panels, which provide free hot water during the summer and reduce fuel demand in winter.” For anyone thinking of installing a renewable energy system, OTTG has a list of people ready to share their experience.


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EXTON AND FORT HENRY Exton has a rich history, some attractive countryside around it and an excellent pub to enjoy

Distance: Typical time: Height gain: OS map: Start & finish From Stamford

10 kms (6.25 miles) 2 1/2 - 3 hours None Explorer 234 The Green, Exton 11 kms (6.9 miles): A606 west to Empingham, then North West on Exton Road



Park at The Green. Head out on the NW side, past lovely thatched cottages; after about a 100 metres turn left, then shortly after that right, passing Exton Estate Farm on your left; on crossing a cattle grid bear right and follow a metalled track for about a kilometre. Take a left at this point (another path continues straight ahead); follow this new track round a field, down a small dip; shortly after you have regained the height there is a farm track to the right, which runs dead straight due east, with old ironstone workings to your right; follow this track for 2kms. Shortly after entering a wood, descend some wooden steps to your right, leading down to North Brook (a tributary of the Gwash). After a few minutes the splendid Fort Henry will come into view; continue to head south, past another smaller lake, following the line of North Brook; about 1km after the second lake, the path crosses the brook and leads up to the road, past a trout hatchery on your left. At the road, turn right and follow the road for about 1/2 km; then take a path leading off to the right, which takes you down to a tributary of North Brook; follow this stream west for about 1 1/2 kms. Just after a stile you have a choice of path; the path to the right involves less road, passing by the school; turn right on regaining the road, then next left back to The Green.

2 3


The Church (south of The Green, along a small road) The present building dates from the 13th and 14th centuries. Much restoration was carried out in the Victorian era in 1850 following the spire being struck by lightning, destroying much of the roof. The church is famous for its monuments. Pevsner declared: “There are no churches in Rutland and few in England in which English sculpture from the 16th to the 18th centuries can be studied so profitably and enjoyed so much as at Exton.”

Refreshments Fox and Hounds The Green, Tel: 01572 812403 Continues to get good review for its Italian/ English mix. A recent blogger, Lisa Batty commented: “Good quality and locally-sourced ingredients are turned into superb dishes by Valter, an extremely accomplished chef, making the Fox & Hounds one of Rutland’s best eateries.” • See the full review at: the-fox-hounds-exton/

Fort Henry This unusual building (“a pleasurehouse of the most refined and elegant late eighteenth-century Gothick” as one earlier visitor described it) was built in the 1780s as a boathouse and picnic place. It was designed by William Legg of Stamford, masonry was executed by George Beaver, plasterwork by John Tillson and decoration by Joseph Everard. The craftsmen were also from Stamford. The building was painstakingly restored in 1981.

Fort Henry








POINTS OF INTEREST Exton Exton – meaning ‘ox farm’ is mentioned in 1185 as Exton Park - ‘a wooded farm, enclosed for hunting deer’. It was Rutland’s largest park, at one time covering 1,500 acres and with a herd of 500 deer. Exton Hall was re-built in the nineteenth century and there are many fine estate houses from this era in the village.







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Can you spot the person who cycles to work?

They all do...

Isn’t it time you joined them? • NVL October ADS.indd 40

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Travelling right Getting around by greener means is the focus of Peterborough City Council’s Travelchoice Week, which runs from October 3rd-7th


tewing in a queue of traffic on the school run or the daily work commute can make your blood pressure soar – literally. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Making a few simple changes to the way you travel locally is not as complicated as you might think, and it could boost your health, your social life and your sense of wellbeing. Swapping your car keys for a cycle ride, joining with co-workers to car share, setting aside one day to walk your route, or taking a bus might initially seem like extra hassle, but if we all made one small switch, even just once a week, we could help to ease congestion and restrict carbon emissions in our city. FACT Travelchoice week aims to encourage FLASH: us all to adopt healthier, greener and By 2016, without more sustainable travel options, the Travelchoice such as walking, cycling or using scheme, the time we public transport, instead of opting spend on local car for the car. The City Council’s journeys could increase dedicated Travelchoice team will be by as much as 10 per inspiring change by running activities cent and challenges at local schools and businesses, with some great prizes up for grabs. Peterborough City Council’s Sustainable Travel Officer Matthew Barber explains: “I hope as many people as possible take a few minutes to look at how they are travelling and consider the benefits of changing their travel behaviour, In April 2004 Peterborough was one of only three cities in the UK to be awarded £3.24 million even if it is just for one journey per week.” by the Department for Transport to create a Sustainable Travel Demonstration Town. The The results speak for themselves: since project centred on a comprehensive package of measures to help reduce car use. the Travelchoice scheme was pioneered in The project was named Travelchoice to reflect the importance of individual travel choices Peterborough in April 2004, there has been a across Peterborough. Travelchoice has delivered various schemes including the introduction of 14 per cent increase in walking, a 12 per cent an online car share scheme, school and business travel plans, infrastructure improvements for increase in cycling, and a 35 per cent increase cyclists and pedestrians, real time passenger information, mapping, solar lighting, a city-wide in public transport use. At the same time, car personalised travel planning programme, Text&Go, information materials and a whole host of use fell by an impressive nine per cent. events and awareness raising activities. Councillor Samamtha Dalton, Cabinet The Travelchoice programme was heralded nationally as a success story. In 2011, it Member for Environment Capital, said: developed further, following another successful bid to the Department for Transport, which “Travelchoice Week could be the kick start will deliver £5 million of funding over the next four years to deliver sustainable transport options people need to leave their cars at home and to the people of Peterborough. try out more sustainable ways of exploring Peterborough City Council’s bid includes sustainable transport improvements, both soft our city. Cycling, walking and using the bus are measures and infrastructure, and aims to increasingly integrate sustainable travel into our all better for the environment and build upon mainstream travel planning. The bid is grouped under four headings: our growing national reputation as the UK’s 1. Working with individuals, communities and neighbourhoods environment capital.” 2. Workplace travel planning • Regular updates and more information 3. Primary care and public health about Travelchoice Week will be available 4. Young people’s travel at People can also It all looks set to guarantee Peterborough a brighter, greener and healthier future. keep up-to-date by following Travelchoice on Twitter @pcctravelchoice.

Building a green travel tradition


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SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL Logic dictates that the bigger the car engine, the more power is produced and on-road performance is greater. But that’s not necessarily the case any more, reports Ashley Martin


otor manufacturers are turning logic on its head and downsizing engines while giving drivers the power and performance traditionally associated with larger engines and also, in some cases, harnessing Formula One technology. Driving the transformation are tough new European Union (EU) carbon dioxide (CO2) vehicle emission standards. Manufacturers have been set individual CO2 targets by the EU. Those that fail to meet the targets by 2015 will face fines potentially running into millions of Euros linked to the number of new cars they sell. Meanwhile, with household and business budgets under the cosh, those in the market for new cars will save cash as a result of the smaller engine trend. Small engines mean lower emissions, which means savings on all motoring taxes - including Vehicle Excise Duty and company car tax which are directly linked to CO2 emissions - and a product of reduced emissions is improved MPG, which means savings at the pumps. Volvo announced at last month’s Frankfurt International Motor Show that it was developing a new engine range consisting solely of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. The manufacturer confidently said that the move would allow it ‘to be on a par or even beat’ competitors in crucial areas such as driving dynamics and fuel efficiency. Commonsense approach Promising fuel economy improvements of up to 35% and enhanced performance, Peter Mertens, senior vice president research and development at Volvo, said: “it is time to stop


counting cylinders. Focusing on four-cylinder engines is the perfect way to quickly reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption without compromising customer expectations on driving pleasure and performance. “We’re aiming to develop four-cylinder engines with higher performance than today’s six-cylinder units, along with lower fuel consumption than the current generation of four-cylinder engines.” Next year Ford will introduce a three-cylinder 1.0 litre petrol engine in its best-selling Focus that promises to deliver the performance of a 1.6 litre engine with CO2 emissions below 120 g/ km. The engine - part of Ford’s low-emission, fuel-sipping EcoBoost range - with power outputs of 100PS and 120PS will also appear in the C-Max in 2012 followed by the B-Max. Ford’s downsized engines feature turbocharging, direct injection and other technologies and replace larger engines with no loss of performance and with lower fuel consumption. Economy and performance Graham Hoare, executive director, powertrain, Ford of Europe, said: “By offering the Focus with a small-displacement petrol engine Ford is making a major statement on how serious we are about engine downsizing. To produce a 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine with such impressive performance and fuel economy is a clear example of our commitment to be classleading in fuel economy.” Renault already ranks among Europe’s top three car manufacturers for the lowest CO2

emissions, and its sights are now set on moving to the number one position as engineers work on a new generation of petrol and diesel engines. The French marque says its Energy engine range, which utilises technology first used in Formula One cars, is a case study in how innovation can work not only for performance, but also for low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and reduced running costs. Revealed at Frankfurt were the the Energy TCe 1.2 litre 115 bhp petrol engine and the Energy dCi 110 bhp, an extensively enhanced version of the current 1.5 dCi diesel unit. The 1.2 unit, which will be followed by a threecylinder 900cc 90 bhp engine, will initially feature in Renault’s Megane and Scenic models next year. It will replace the existing 1.6 16v 110 bhp powerplant and promises a 30% emissions reductions, a 25% MPG improvement as well as 5 bhp more power despite its 25% smaller cubic capacity. Meanwhile, the reworked dCi 110 bhp engine will also debut in the Megane and Scenic next year and promises emissions below 100 g/km. It is a sister powerplant to the 115 g/km 1.6 litre dCi 130 bhp 64.2 mpg unit launched earlier this year in the Scenic, which is the most powerful engine of its size on sale today and replaced a 1.9 dCi 130 bhp unit. Despite the race to bring electric, hybrid and ultimately hydrogen cars to market, pundits still expect 90% of new cars to be powered by the internal combustion engine by 2020. The big difference is that powerplants will be smaller, cleaner and more fuel efficient than today.


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MARSHALL VOLVO OUTSTANDING SERVICE AS STANDARD. Our highly trained and skilled team looks forward to welcoming you to our state of the art dealership, where we will be on hand to look after your every need. All our cars are handled with the utmost care and attention as we pride ourselves on offering the best deals on the latest range of New Volvo and piece of mind on quality approved used vehicles. From the new Volvo range, to Approved used vehicles right through to service and repairs, visit Marshall Volvo and expect nothing less than a first class service as standard.


Volvo. For life.



Situated in Peterborough, our dealership is equipped to deal with all your Jaguar needs. From the exciting new Jaguar range featuring groundbreaking technology and industry firsts, to Approved used vehicles maintained to the standards set by the engineers who built them. Enjoy all the expertise and knowledge of our Jaguar Academy trained technicians and with a range of exhilarating accessories to enhance the feeling of owning a Jaguar, make sure that you visit Marshall Jaguar Peterborough. MARSHALL JAGUAR PETERBOROUGH 7 Mallory Road, Boongate, Peterborough PE1 5AU 0844 334 0635



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Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 October PLAY: Run for Your Wife 7.45 pm One man, two wives, two coppers and a taxi – a great farce staged here in a new production. • Tickets: £5.00.The Stahl Theatre, West Street, Oundle, PE8 4EJ. Box Office: 01832 273930.

Diary dates

Yasmin Bradley selects autumnal events for October


Saturday 8 October - Saturday 29 October







Sunday 9 and 23 October EVENT: Great Ouse Kite Flyers – Club Fly-In 10.00am – 4.00pm Up, up and away! Kite flying galore! • Free. Meet at Coney Meadow, Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough, PE2 5UU. Booking essential. Contact the Great Ouse Kite Flyers on

Monday 10 – Wednesday 12 October PLAY: Equus 7.30pm Revived for the first time since its première in 1973 in a critically-acclaimed production starring Daniel Radcliffe, Peter Shaffer’s tense psychological thriller explores the complex relationships between worship, myth and sexuality in a true story about a boy who horrifically blinds six horses. • Tickets: £8.00 - £11.00. Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough, PE1 1EF. Book on http://www. or 01733 207239.

Saturday 22 – Sunday 30 October EVENT: Halloween Trail 11.00am – 3.00pm Collect a sheet from the visitor centre and return to claim your prize on finishing. • Cost: £0.50. Meet at the Visitor Centre, Ferry Meadow Country Park, Peterborough, PE2 5UU. Contact 01733 234193 or






Thursday 13 & Friday 14 October Saturday 15 October 2011


EVENT: St Kyneburgha Country Fayre 10.00am - 5.30pm Displays of traditional crafts and beautiful music from The Beauville Ensemble in St Kyneburgha (of Time Team fame); floral and cooking demonstrations, including a winner of the Junior Masterchef; locally produced preserves and unusual decorative items on sale. • Castor Village, Peterborough, PE5 7AY. Contact 01733 380303;


EVENT: Fireworks and Bonfire at Woodnewton A village tradition for over 40 years. • For times and prices contact lizholland23@ Woodnewton, PE8 5EE.


Saturday 15 - 16 October







EXHIBITION: The National Festival of Railway Modelling 10.00am - 4.30pm/5.00pm Over 30 working model railway layouts, over 80 quality exhibitors, a specialist modelling hall and much, much more. • Tickets: £4.00 - £29.00. East of England Showground, Peterborough, PE2 6XE. https://www. Festival_of_Railway_Modelling/15_October_2011/ Ticket_Booking/.Information line (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm): 01778 391123.



Sunday 30 October

EXHIBITION: City Treasures at Harriet’s Art Gallery Weekdays: 9.30am-5.30pm; Saturday 9am5.30pm; Sunday 10.30am-4.30pm Open Evening Friday 7 October 5.30pm - 8.30pm ‘A celebration of who we are and where we live’; this exhibition responds to renewed economic and cultural aspirations for Peterborough and shows new work by local artists. • Opening evening: £6 on http://www. on 01733 567500 or at Harriet’s Café and Tearooms. Otherwise free. Contact Dawn Birch-James on dawn@ or 07986 609141.

Wednesday 26 - Saturday 29 October OPERA: The Merry Widow 7.30pm Peterborough Opera at a new venue! • Tickets: £12 (£11); under 16’s: £6 from the box office - call 01780 766455. Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre, Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PQ NENE VALLEY LIVING October 2011

45 DIARY DATES.indd 1


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01832 730411/07920 133229


Refreshments available.

Facilities for Disabled Visitors. Picnic Area. Children's Play Area. Caravan Club C.L. Site Tue-Fri 10am - 6pm Sat/Sun 10am - 5pm closed Mondays except bank holidays Please ring for up to date crop information or to order ready picked produce Unit 1 The Bazaar West Street Oundle PE8 4EJ - 01832 272444

References available


Kay Elizabeth Interiors

Curtains & Soft Furnishings


Full design, make up & fitting service FREE home measuring

TEL & FAX 01733 233270

Open Monday to Saturday 9:00am till 5:30pm

Please contact Simon or Sue on

FARM SHOP AND PICK YOUR OWN Raspberries. Blackberries. Sweetcorn, Pumpkins & Squash. Seasonable vegetables. Locally produced beef & lamb.

R M Williams •Katie Mosa Ness • Le Chameau Lyn Antley • Seasalt • Barbour Really Wild

Retired couple will stay whilst you go away for a day to a month. We can ensure the security & care of your home, walk dogs & perform light duties.

(on Oundle road, 200 yards west of Alwalton A1 flyover)

Men and Women’s Country Clothing & Accessories

• Curtains • Blinds • Pelmets • Cushions • Lampshades

T: 07958 559525

Veronica’s Fine Indian Foods Planning a Christmas Party, or any special occasion?

Then call on my chef for the evening service, Where I prepare freshly cooked Indian food at your premises. Together with a live cookery demonstration and an evening filled with entertainment. Gift vouchers available for Indian cookery lessons for Christmas presents. Also provide meals suitable for freezing for busy working people

For more information please ring Veronica on 07805667804




Jazz and Classical music for all occasions Live music from professional musicians

To place an advert in next month’s magazine please call Bridget on 01733 707538

• NVL September Directory.indd 47

Contact the band on

07742087283 or email

FREE local collection & delivery! FREE courtesy car available!

01733 333623

FREE ESSENTIALS GIFT PACK WHEN YOU BOOK A SERIVCE WITH THIS FLYER! Free gift available whilst stocks last! Unit C, Peartree Business Centre Enterprise Way Off Bretton Way Bretton Peterborough

Don’t break down, call Owen Brown!

22/9/11 15:15:22

THE NEW AGA TOTAL CONTROL COOKER With a programmable state-of-the-art touch-screen control panel and independently controllable hotplates and ovens, the new AGA Total Control cooker offers complete flexibility for 21st century living. Available now at your local AGA shop.

AGA Warmington Eaglethorpe, Warmington, Peterborough PE8 6TJ

01832 280855


• NVL October ADS.indd 48

22/9/11 11:23:57

Nene Valley Living October 2011  

Nene Valley Living October 2011

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