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ALE AND HEARTY The rise and rise of local beers HORSES FOR COURSES Learn to ride

£1.50 SEPTEMBER 2012




9 771740 052017

A Homemade Home Thrifty interiors ideas NVLSEPTCOVER.indd 1

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A 1 7 T H C E N T U RY H OT E L W I T H A 2 1 S T C E N T U RY T W I S T



t The Talbot we offer something for everyone - enjoy family friendly meals in our light filled Garden Room, a quiet lunch in The Oak Room, coffee in the relaxing Sun Room or lazy days with sumptuous afternoon tea in The Pantry. From coffee to cocktails, eat what you like, when you like and where you like. • Delicious food, real ales and a selection of fine wines • Garden and outside paved seating for alfresco dining • Stylish and comfortable accommodation

The perfect location for your wedding ceremony and reception. From an individually designed wedding breakfast to a five course dinner, our team have a wealth of professional knowledge and experience to create your perfect day.

• Private dining • Meeting rooms with all the latest conference facilities.

We look forward to seeing you….

The Talbot Hotel, New Street, Oundle, Northamptonshire, PE8 4EA 2

Telephone: 01832 273621 - Email: -

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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 m e t p e S e This issu I

f you’ve been feeling more active since the incredible summer of sport, we have several features that could be of interest this month. The popular Perkins Great Eastern Run takes place in October, and it’s not too late to sign up. We asked one of last year’s runners, Ronnie Haydon, to sum up her experience of the route, which snakes all around Peterborough, and you can read her impressions on page 27. Or perhaps you prefer to take up a different kind of challenge? Learning to ride is incredibly rewarding, and it’s never too late to have a go. There are some excellent stables and hacking country in our region. Turn to page 37 to find out more about that. September is a great month for getting out and about, with the countryside just touched by autumn, and hopefully, the monsoon season is now firmly in the past. We’ve reintroduced our popular walk series, too, so what ever speed you choose to travel, and by two legs or four, there’s no excuse not to enjoy the great outdoors. Enjoy the month.

Fion a Cu mberpatch Editor SUBSCRIBE TO Nene Valley Living


Cover shot:

A Northamptonshire home, by Lesley Anne Churchill. Flowers by Foxtail Lilly, Oundle, tel: 01832 274593.


Editor’s selection





Wild about animals

Holiday cottages near Aldwincle

Autumn sun seekers alert

11 Upfront

The Talbot Hotel reviewed

12 Upfront

Take a canoe trip

14 Ale and hearty

The Microbreweries’ moment


17 Food news

The Crown, Elton reviewed

18 The homemade home Stylish ways to recycle

20 Keep the home fires burning Cost effective ways to keep warm this winter

25 Invest in a holiday home Advice from the experts

37 LEARN TO RIDE LOCALLY 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

27 Eastern promise

What’s it like to do the Perkins Great Eastern run?

28 An oasis of care

The work of Thorpe Hall Hospice

31 Health and beauty notes All the latest from local businesses

32 Rick ‘n’ Roll

Meet car dealer Rick Hall

35 An eye for Eyebrook A day trip to the reservoir

37 Ride on!

Learn to ride locally

41 Local walk

A route around Polebrook

42 Motoring news

Land Rover’s latest luxury 4x4

45 Diary dates

What’s on this month

For £20 (UK only) 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 Or you can subscribe online – go to




23/8/12 15:32:21

2012 edition out now! ESSENTIAL LIVING 2012

ESSENTIAL 2012 LIVING & garden/lifestyle food/fashion/health & beauty/home S TA m F O R D





T K’ H A WHAT WE OFFER NOW Evening Menu Tues – Sat 6:00pm – 9:30pm and Traditional Sunday Lunch served 12:00 – 2:30pm 2 courses £14.95 – 3 courses £17.95

£3.00 where sold




C F S th N

12:00 – 5:00pm B    


Bookings made before Nov 1st recieve a free glass of mulled cider for each guest. Christmas Menu 2 courses £16.95/3 courses £19.95 Please call us to have a Christmas menu sent to your door. For more info, or to book a stall, simply give us a call on 01780 470 627

Thursday 27th September



Come and enjoy a buffet from Greece. £15.95/person from 6.30pm. Call for more details. 16/5/12 10:26:43

EL2011COVER copy.indd 1

Order online at:



Spare Room

Dining Room Lounge




If you have a spare room and an interest in caring for a child, become a foster carer.

The Kings Head, Apethorpe, Peterborough PE8 5DG 01780 470 627

Room to Spare...

Foster Care?

Peterborough urgently needs 40 people from all walks of life to provide safe and happy homes to over 300 local children who are unable to live with their own families. If you think you can make a positive impact on a child’s life please contact us. Telephone: (01733) 317427 Email: Website: PeterboroughFostering


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Editor’s selection Favourite finds with an animal theme


Black Labrador oven gloves by local designer Sophie Allport, £13,


Donna Wilson ‘Wolfie’ cushion, £39 from John Lewis, Queensgate Centre, Peterborough


Cox & Cox friendship birds, £9.50, to order from



Wildlife in Printmaking by local artist Carry Akroyd from www.carryakroyd. See her solo show at The Dolby Gallery, Oundle, from September 29th

Equestrian charm bracelet by Scarlett, selling in the Country Living marquee at Burghley Horse Trials, 30th August – 2nd September. Special offer for NVL readers: choose a free charm (worth £34) when you purchase a silver charm bracelet at the show.


Watercolour painting of a horse by Jane Catherine Sanders, a local artist taking part in this month’s Northamptonshire Open Studios event, from September 5th. For details of artists and studios, visit www. A central exhibition will run at Oundle’s Dolby Gallery, September 15th-16th


Daschund print chair, £899. John Lewis, Queensgate Centre, Peterborough


Kissing rabbits towel, from £4 - £35, John Lewis, Queensgate Centre, Peterborough NENE VALLEY LIVING SEPTEMBER 2012

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Grow your love of food.

As gardening experts since 1865 you’d be right to think that Dobbies know a bit about quality produce. Right now our Farm Foodhall is brimming with delicious seasonal produce from local suppliers, who share our passion for naturally good food. You’ll find everything from quality local meats to freshly baked bread, scones and cakes, not to mention our delicious artisan cheeses and delicatessen selection. In fact, everything a foodie would love.

Bakery | Quality Fresh Produce | Cheese Counter | Butcher | Delicatessen | Wines & Ales Dobbies Garden World | Serpentine Green | Cygnet Park | Hampton | Peterborough PE7 8NY | Tel: 01733 898 640 6

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UPFRONT What’s new this month

Metal aims to engage more people with the arts

ART ATTACK A move to boost the engagement of Peterborough’s population with the arts is underway. Nationally acclaimed organisation Metal has taken up residence in Chauffeurs Cottage (the former parking fines office) in St Peter’s Road, Peterborough with the aim of instigating some large scale cultural experiences designed to involve a cross section of the community. Metal has already established similar projects in Southend and Liverpool. “It’s not just about visual art,” explains Colette Bailey, of Metal. “In Southend, we commissioned a song in which a choir of 2,000 people sang to accompany the Olympic torch procession, and we also broke the record for making the longest line of bunting!” Metal was founded in 2002 by theatre director Jude Kelly, OBE, and was created as an artistic laboratory to champion the need for continual investment in artistic investigation and the development of innovative ideas. It has been brought to Peterborough for at least a year by Peterborough City Council, Vivacity and Arts Council England. “There is a lot of activity in the arts in Peterborough, but it is not so well networked and visible as it perhaps might be,” says Colette. Metal’s first event, a pop up arts venue and café took place in July. Members of the public were invited to try a drawing workshop, contribute keepsakes to a temporary exhibition, and drop into a café serving coffee, tea and cakes. A programme of talks, poetry and comedy evenings also took place. For more details about Metal, visit


Author and TV personality Ben Fogle will be at the John Clare Theatre, Peterborough at 1pm on September 3rd to talk about his new book, The Accidental Naturalist. Tickets cost £3 (£2 concessions) from the Central Library or Waterstones, Bridge Street, Peterborough.


Bev and Tim Hankins have just opened two spacious holiday cottages in a very peaceful spot surrounded by fields and overlooking the Elinor Trout Lake near the village of Aldwincle. The couple, who also have a farmhouse bed and breakfast business and run the popular Pear Tree Tea Room, have converted two former farm buildings which have been beautifully restored to include wood and stone floors, well equipped kitchens with solid wooden worktops, luxurious bathrooms and gas central heating. “The project has taken four years from our original idea,” explains Tim. “We have achieved it with the help of an EU grant, and in partnership with our landlord.” One cottage, Kingfisher, sleeps five, and the other, Dragonfly, sleeps four. Cots are also available. With years of experience in the tourism industry, as well as running a 470 acre farm, Tim and Bev saw the holiday cottages as a logical step forward. “We always say that we like to treat people as we would wish to be treated,” says Bev. “So we’ve ensured that the kitchens have a freezer, microwave, toaster, and dishwasher, there are flat screen televisions and DVD players and everything has been done to a high spec.” One of the cottages is suitable for the disabled, with a wet room, wide corridors and easy access to each room. There is also a disabled friendly boat at the lake, just a stone’s throw away, over grassy pastures filled with grazing sheep. “This is beautiful countryside and the cottages have spectacular views” says Tim. “The area has been described as the ‘undiscovered Cotswolds.” The couple are working with local businesses to put together tailor made packages, with canoeing, fishing and walking available to visitors. Tim and Bev are very happy to help with holiday requests, and they offer short and longer stays. • For more details, visit the website, or call 01832 720614 or 077985 18453

EDWARD’S ENTERPRISE Teenage entrepreneur Edward Howard, 18, has launched LUHPO, a multi brand clothing website, selling a range of smart and casual clothing online. Edward, who struggled with dyslexia at school and left aged 16, discovered a passion for fashion after working for a local tailoring company, and decided to launch his own clothing business. He sells brands such as Oliver Brown, Maude & Fox, Jack Russell Clothing and Henry Hunt. Visit the website at NENE VALLEY LIVING SEPTEMBER 2012

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Flowers and nostalgia

Visit St Michael’s Church, Chesterton, for a flower festival, entitled Snapshots of Our Queen’s Reign. Open 2pm-5pm Friday and Sunday, 10am-5pm, Saturday, on September 7th, 8th and 9th. Refreshments available.

The Abama on Tenerife

Autumn escapes

Oundle Travel has compiled a list of destinations, all with guaranteed sunshine… Oman Perfect for anyone wanting a guaranteed week of sunshine in world class hotels. Direct flights on Oman Air operate from Heathrow daily taking you into the capital Muscat. The Shangri La offers three hotels, The Al Waha, The Al Bandar and the exclusive adults-only Al Husn, offering complimentary afternoon tea and cocktails and canapés every evening. Prices from £1499 per person, travelling November 2012 Maldives Turquoise lagoons and romantic over-water bungalows have traditionally attracted honeymooners to the Maldives, but winter sun seekers are choosing to escape to the Indian Ocean without special occasion. Deals from Sri Lankan Airlines, Emirates and British Airways have boosted sales with the islands offering a tropical climate from November to May, plus world class diving and snorkelling. Be warned, standards vary enormously on the islands, and a good value half board is often a better bet than a cheap All Inclusive deal. Prices from £1500 per person for seven nights on the island of Vessalaru, including breakfast and dinner. The Canaries The Canary Islands have a handful of good quality hotels, and offer a mild, temperate climate during the winter months. For 5* luxury The Abama on Tenerife is suitable for couples and families alike, whilst for February and Easter holidays, book early for The Princess

Yaiza, Lanzarote, a 4* hotel, ideal for families with young children. The Gran Melia Salinas in Gran Canaria is highly recommended by the Oundle Travel team for warm sunshine in October and November. The food and service are superb, at prices which won’t break the bank. A quieter option, the Parador Conde de la Gomera on La Gomera offers beautiful views, positioned 250 ft over the little town of San Sebastian, the island’s tiny capital. Prices from £1295 pp for 10 nights in December 2012. Sri Lanka Sri Lanka has never achieved the tourist volume it deserves due to its long running civil war. But fighting has now ceased and business is booming. Lofty jungle fortress Sigiriya and the cave temples at nearby Dambulla, Kandy and the southern city of Galle offer interesting stopovers whilst tea plantations and National parks offer reliable sightings of elephants and leopards. Negombo is the most popular west coast resort, but quieter, more upmarket beaches are found further south, where Sri Lanka’s new move into boutique accommodation includes Serene Pavillions and Aditya. Combine with The Maldives for a two-week getaway, or let Oundle Travel create a tour and relax on a Sri Lankan beach afterwards. Price from £1498 per person. Based on a private tour and three day beach extension in Sri Lanka, travelling March 2013.

New design showroom for Brigstock

Susie Wooster will be showcasing her new soft furnishings showroom when she officially opens her 1,000 square foot converted barn on Wednesday 26th September. The Barn at 6 Sudborough Road, Brigstock, will be open from 10am-4pm, and Susie is inviting everyone to come along, have a browse and enjoy some refreshments. There will be something to suit everybody’s pocket, with fabrics starting at just £14 a metre. Wooster Interiors offers much more than soft furnishings, customers can now choose a whole design scheme, including bespoke furniture, rugs, footstools and lighting. To mark the opening, there will be 10 per cent off all fabrics and wallpapers. Wooster Interiors stocks a superb range of fabrics, from traditional to contemporary designs, and including names such as Colefax and Fowler, Jane Churchill, Osbourne and Little, Harlequin, and many more collections available to view. Susie has worked alongside Wychwood English Interiors from Woodford, who made the beautiful oak display cabinets and furniture for the showroom. Susie has her workroom attached to the new showroom, so customers can see the work in progress. Wooster Interiors provides a full make up service, and all curtains and blinds are hand sewn to the highest standards and are made locally in the village. A full fitting service is available. • Wooster Interiors, The Barn, 6 Sudborough Rd, Brigstock, Northants NN14 3HP www. Tel: 01536 373747

On the river Elton Boat Club’s annual open day is a treat. Take a scenic boat trip between the clubhouse at Warmington Mill to Fotheringhay Castle mound or relax with a Pimm’s while listening to the Fortissimo Swing Band. Cream teas, tombola, book stall, and children’s activities, too. September 16th, 12 -5pm at Warmington Mill. Proceeds to the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.



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Our experience makes yours Caribbean


The Americas


Indian Ocean


Middle East


South Africa


Far East



Find your perfect holiday with your local, independent & friendly travel experts




• Professional, Unbiased Advice • Experts in Tailor Made & Bespoke Itineraries • Australian & New Zealand Specialists

Market Place, Oundle, Peterborough, PE8 4EA 01832 273600 Email: Website:

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A Tradition Restored New brewery opening 21st September check website for details On-site Shop · Direct Sales · Tours

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

Foxtail Lilly V Vintage Day at Foxtail Lilly September 8th 11am - 3pm

Stalls with lots of vintage stock - Tea and yummy cakes available too

41, South Road, Oundle


Wo o s t e r


26th September 2012 from 10am to 4pm All enquiries on the day receive


off all fabrics and wallpapers

Everyone welcome to browse. Refreshments provided. To book your appointment, please call 01536 373747 or 07884 430321 The Barn, 6 Sudborough Road, Brigstock, Northants, NN14 3HP

Call 01778 34 7000


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Nene Valley Living


The Talbot Hotel, Eatery & Coffee House, Oundle


ince it reopened in June, after seven months of major building work, The Talbot Hotel Eatery & Coffee House is once again a landmark in Oundle town centre. The once tired furnishings are a distant memory, as the refurbishment cleverly blends the historic fabric of the building with modern design which has transformed the space. We were keen to try the food, and booked a table for four one sunny Saturday evening. We had drinks and browsed the menus on the open terrace, just outside the new glass extension and dining room. The place was buzzing, with parties of all ages. When we were ready, we were taken into the modern, rather formal dining room, which overlooks a pretty garden and our main courses arrived quickly. Jo had opted for the baked butternut torte with a feta, cherry tomato and mange tout salad, with olive dressing.

It sounded unusual, but she said it tasted absolutely delicious. It’s refreshing to find such an imaginative vegetarian option on a menu, too. Mark greatly enjoyed the roasted breast of chicken, stuffed with ricotta and wrapped in pancetta, with deep fried courgettes and garlic and thyme roasted new potatoes, while Perry’s fish in beer batter, with chips and pea and mint puree was a well-executed classic. My smoked haddock and salmon fishcakes with sun blushed tomato, green bean and summer leaf salad with caper dressing was hearty, with strong flavours. We accompanied the meal with a well priced bottle of Pinot Grigio. For dessert, Jo and I shared the Raspberry Three Ways, a rectangular platter with a wedge of gorgeous baked white chocolate and raspberry cheese cake, a scoop of raspberry ripple ice cream, and a satisfyingly wobbly fresh raspberry jelly. Perry was very pleased with

his classic dessert: sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. The dining room had emptied by the time we finished chatting and eating, but there were still lots of people in the cosier bar areas. We had heard a couple of reports of inexperienced service at the restaurant during the day, but that wasn’t the case on the evening we visited. There were plenty of young staff, but they were attentive and pleasant. This is a great place for dining out with friends. There are less formal areas to eat if you wish, and, above all, a real sense that the hotel is firmly back at the heart of the town. Fiona Cumberpatch • The Talbot Hotel Eatery & Coffee House, New Street, Oundle, PE8 4EA Tel: 01832 273621 email www.

Contemporary living in Peterborough


he launch of Mosaic, a brand new development, sees contemporary style and living paying homage to our historic city Launching last month and taking its name from Peterborough’s Roman heritage, but with a view to contemporary living is Mosaic, a brand new development of three, four and five bedroom family houses by Bellway Homes, which are for sale through the local office of national property consultancy Carter Jonas. Mosaic is on Itter Crescent, one of the city’s most sought-after residential areas, adjacent to the award-winning Itter Park, a flagship open space in the city as Peterborough works towards becoming the UK’s environmental capital. Just three miles north of the city’s historic core, Mosaic is well placed to take advantage of direct transport links to the city centre and onwards by road or rail to all compass points. Yet Mosaic is also conveniently located for a large supermarket and nearby retail park. There are five house styles available in the mix of homes at Mosaic. All are detached and are offered for sale with garages. The Ashby is the three bedroomed home house style; there are four four-bedroom designs

called The Drayton, The Walton, The Orton and The Kibworth. The largest of the homes, with five bedrooms, are The Cadeby and The Beauchamp. While the quality of each specification in each home is high in terms of build, layout and internal features, fixtures and fittings, selected plots are being offered for sale with photovoltaic solar panels on the roofs as standard. There’s also Bellway’s Bespoke Additions, a service and package which offers purchasers the opportunity to personalise their new home further before moving in, subject to build stage and requirements. The convenience of Peterborough, the desirability of this part of the city as well as the attraction of living in a contemporary brand new home means that Mosaic offers a winning combination, according to Carter Jonas, whose New Homes Commuting Index recently ranked Peterborough as first out of seven cities in its offering to London commuters looking to move out of the capital. • Guide price on plots available now at Mosaic start from £249,950 for a four bedroom home. For more information, contact Louise Fox at Carter Jonas. Tel: 01733 588600, or on or see for further details. NENE VALLEY LIVING SEPTEMBER 2012

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his year, Travelchoice Week will take place between Monday 17th September and Sunday 23rd September. The event, which is held annually, is organised by Peterborough City Council and its partners specifically with the aim of raising awareness about sustainable travel and the associated benefits. As a fast growing city with a strong focus on the environment, it is essential to ensure people have the information necessary to make informed decisions about the way that they travel and the impact decisions can have on people’s pockets, health and the environment. During the week there will be a series of open air cycle cinemas at venues across the city. The films will be entirely pedal powered for families and members of the public to come along and enjoy, hopefully taking a turn to pedal and power the show. The week will finish with a family charity cycle ride in Ferry Meadows, where participants will be able to enjoy a leisurely route and a free lunch, all for a good cause. • For more information about the events please visit the website:, alternatively call the Travelchoice Team on 01733 747474 or email:


On September 29th and 30th, John Lewis Peterborough will be holding an Experts on Hand event. It’s an opportunity to meet the store’s experts in all areas. If you’re looking for advice for a special outfit, looking to renew your insurance, or planning a new kitchen, there will be someone on hand to help you make an informed decision. There will also be chance to see inspiring merchandise, new products and new brands.


The family law department based at Hegarty Solictors is offering a range of fixed fee packages as part of the Hegarty Helping Hand Scheme. Clients can now see an experienced family lawyer for an initial appointment and advice for £75, plus VAT, ideal for anyone who isn’t sure if they want to take further action. Divorce packages range from £300, to £500, (both plus VAT), and any court fees. Parental responsibility agreements (which give unmarried fathers legal parental responsibility for their children) are £150, plus VAT. There are packages on offer to suit all situations. For details, visit Family_FeesPackages.htm or ring Debra Ford (Peterborough branch) on 01733 295627 or Wendy Grey (Stamford office) on 01780 750957.

BULWICK GETS A GOLD! Congratulations to the Queens Head, Bulwick, for gaining the prestigious gold award from CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), 2012.


Nicholas Rudd-Jones and his boys saw a side of the Nene valley hidden to any road-bound traveller Our two day trip began in Thrapston where we picked up our canoe from Canoe 2, who arranged the whole trip for us. After a thorough briefing, we set off and immediately found ourselves navigating the narrow span of a bridge and then a lock, where we dragged the canoe out, rolled it across the grass and then popped it back in again. Simples. And that’s the great joy of this trip. You feel like an adventurer, but it requires absolutely no previous experience. On the first day, our paddle took us from Thrapston, via a great pub lunch in the King’s Head, Wadenhoe (you can moor at the bottom of their beer garden) to a field just by the river at Barnwell at the end of the day. There we disembarked and walked a short distance to our yurt supplied by Dan and Carol at Indigo Camping. And what a splendid construction! It has its own front door, very comfortable futons to sleep on, and a separate kitchen under an awning, which was stocked with all the ingredients for a full English breakfast the next morning. Oh, and delightful


wooden stove should the night get chilly. And there was a glorious view over the Nene valley. Next day, after a leisurely start, we took the side tributary at Oundle Mill, which was one of our favourite moments of the break. So quiet and so much wildlife, including three herons, scores of swans, swallows and butterflies. By the second day, we’d fully mastered (in our opinion at least) how to canoe in a straight line, so we made very good progress. By mid afternoon, we reached Fotheringhay, our final destination. After a quick drink in the Falcon pub, and a run up the old castle mound, Canoe 2 transported us back to our start point, where we’d left the car. All in all, a great two day break, which felt much longer. And being separated from our technology, we found there was much to chat and laugh about, and it turned out to be great family bonding time. Thoroughly recommended, either as an overnighter (there are many different places to stay) or a day trip. • Call Canoe 2 on 01604 832115 or visit


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Your local Oundle branch is at:

4 West Street, Oundle, Peterborough, PE8 4EF Tel: 01832 274273 We are proud to be Independent Financial Advisers and our allegiance is to our clients. Whilst our primary focus is to provide independent to private individuals and smaller businesses, we all aspects of pensions, investments, insurance Why not call us now for a complimentary initial

wealth creation and management services are authorised and qualified to advise on and mortgages including equity release. meeting to see how we may help you?

What you will receive: • Personal, professional and courteous service • Advice upon which you may rely • Reassurance, as we take responsibility for our advice



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Food and drink

Ale and hearty This month, the Nene Valley Brewery moves to large new premises in Oundle, continuing a tradition of successful Northamptonshire microbreweries. Dave Phillips toasts a local success story that has brought cheer to the area’s beer drinkers

Digfield Ales at Lilford Lodge


Bill had been head brewer at the famous eer drinkers have never had it so good – Phipps brewery in Northampton, which had particularly in the Nene valley, which is been taken over by Watneys in the 1960s particularly well blessed with microbreweries, and had ceased producing real ales in 1968. where dedicated brewsters produce local ales Rather than become part of a giant company for local palates, on a small scale. But that producing bland keg beers, Bill decided to go it shouldn’t come as a surprise, as you’ll see… alone and open his own brewery in outbuildings The microbrewery phenomenon has been at his home. a modern success story. There are over 700 The first pints of Northamptonshire Bitter small breweries in the UK – four times as were served at the nearby George Inn at many as there were 25 years ago. That’s 700 Maidwell in July 1974. It was based on Phipps’ times as many as there were back in 1974, popular IPA beer and went down a treat with when beer aficionado Bill Urquhart siphoned thirsty customers. Within a year off his first barrels of a brew it was available at free houses all he named Northamptonshire over the area. Bitter. It was an appropriate Bill retired in 1978 and sold name for a beer that would go his brewery to a former British down in history, for it was in the Leyland executive, who opened Northamptonshire hamlet of new premises on an industrial Litchborough, near Towcester, estate in Daventry. But even in that Bill created the world’s first retirement Bill was a legendary microbrewery. Not that Bill knew name in real ale circles and acted that at the time, of course. He as a consultant to the dozens of just wanted to create proper real other microbreweries that were ale, the traditional way. How was Bill Urquhart at starting out in the late 1970s and he to know he was sparking a Litchborough 1980s. revolution in our drinking habits?


The beer revolution By now CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) was on the scene, demanding the return of proper beers. The big breweries at the time were reluctant to supply the ales that drinkers wanted, leaving a vacuum that microbreweries were only too happy to fill – and nowhere more so than in Peterborough and the Nene valley, where our own breweries have gone from strength to strength. In 1995, Paul Hook, owner of Charters floating bar and restaurant on the River Nene by the Town Bridge in Peterborough bought Oakham Ales, a small Rutland-based brewery, which he moved into a former unemployment office in Westgate, which was renamed the Brewery Tap. The brewery plant was visible from behind a giant glass wall, through which discerning customers could see their tipples being brewed. Oakham’s brews included a light, hoppy bitter named JHB, which won national fame in 2001 by being crowned Champion Beer of Britain at CAMRA’s national beer festival. Eventually the brewery was forced to expand into bigger premises on at industrial estate in Woodston, capable of producing 35,000 barrels a year.


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Ales from Nene Valley Brewery

It has been a success story for Digfield Ales, too. It began life in February 2006 in a converted farm building near Barnwell, run by partners Fred Roughton, Mike Cohrs and Paul Waring. This year they too moved to bigger premises, a couple of miles away at Lilford Lodge. Here they have created a custombuilt microbrewery which also features an environmentally-friendly effluent plant, where all liquid waste is treated naturally in a giant reedbed filter. “We had to move because we couldn’t cope with demand. We were running out of beer during our busy periods in the summer and at Christmas time,” explains Mike. “We have tripled in size in seven years.”the move went almost without a hitch. “Our first batch of Fool’s Nook bitter ended up a bit stronger than it should have been, but everybody seemed happy with it!” laughed Mike. Like Oakham Ales, Digfield’s beers have been multi award-winners at beer festivals, with their Shacklebush brew winning Best Strong Ale at the Peterborough Beer Festival an unprecedented two years running. They have won over 20 awards in seven years and now

supply over 30 pubs within a 20-mile radius. But they stick to just five regular brews. ”It’s important to keep the consistency,” explains Paul. “Beer drinkers don’t want change. They want their favourite beer to taste the same every time they drink it.”

Nene Valley Brewery Another local microbrewery that has gone from strength to strength is Nene Valley Brewery, which only opened a year ago but is already moving to bigger premises with an increased capacity. NVB was started by Oundle beer lovers Richard Simpson, Rupert Farnsworth and David Burnett. From early beginnings in an outbuilding at the rear of Richard’s house in West Street, they have expanded to a custom-built brewery at Oundle Wharf, close to the town bridge. “Fifty pubs have taken our beer so far, but the number is growing ,” says Richard. “The new brewery has eight times more capacity, meaning we can produce up to 60 nine-gallon casks a day when it is up and running.” The new brewery is due to open on September 21 – almost exactly 50 years since

the town’s previous brewery, Smiths, brewed its last pint. It is therefore fitting that the official opening of the new premises will be conducted by 96-year-old Oundle resident Jim Irving, who used to work at Smiths. “Beer sales in the UK are in decline, but microbreweries are on the increase. People like local products and drinkers like more interesting beers,” says Richard. “We love beer and we run a business to make a quality product that people like and we can be proud of.” Roger Protz, editor of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide, agrees with the sentiment. He says: “Microbreweries sprout like mushrooms at dawn. The main reason is a simple one – craft brewers are responding to genuine consumer demand. Beer in pubs may be expensive compared to cheap supermarkets but drinkers are prepared to pay a bit extra for beer with taste and quality.”


Oakham Ales: Digfield Ales: Nene Valley Brewery: NENE VALLEY LIVING SEPTEMBER 2012

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23/8/12 16:44:33

crisp fresh tasty tangy Some of the lovely things people have been saying about both the freshly prepared food at East and the locally crafted ales served ‘belowdecks’ at Charters - pop in and experience the relaxed surroundings and great


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• NVL Sept ADS.indd 16

22/8/12 15:11:03



news All the latest on local food and drink

CALIFORNIA: GOOD VINEBRATIONS Danielle Freer of Amps Fine Wines in Oundle introduces tastes of the sunshine state


id you know that 90 per cent of the wine produced in the USA is made in California? A mosaic of different climates and landscapes creates a diverse range of wine styles which proves there’s so much more to the Golden State than just white Zinfandel.

THE REGIONS Napa Valley, North Coast Famed for its wealth of fine wines, glamorous buildings and slick lifestyle, this is the glitzy wine region of California that’s blessed with an incredible reputation. In fact more people visit Napa Valley each year than Disneyland! If you love Bordeaux, you’ll love Napa Valley wines. Sonoma County, North Coast Home to predominantly family owned wineries, this region has a cool climate with maritime fog flowing through from San Francisco Bay. This defines the region and helps produce phenomenal Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. If you love Burgundy, you’ll love the tastes of Sonoma County. Lodi, Inland Valley An inland area, experiencing hot daytime temperatures (so hot they can cause pavements to melt!) and cooler evenings which together create balanced wines. If you love fruity wines, you’ll love Lodi. Monterey County, Central Coast Even if you aren’t familiar with Monterey, you may have heard about the world class Pebble Beach Golf Club, situated in this county. Monterey produces cool and seriously classy wines with wonderful complexity. If you love sophisticated wines, you’ll love Monterey County. California has something to offer every palate and pocket. Visit Amps Fine Wines during September to experience Californian wines for yourself. We’ll be opening our California Wine Lounge featuring a new state of the art tasting machine and if we’re blessed enough to have some Californian style sunshine then a seating area will be open outside too. Check our website for details of other events showcasing Californian wines too. • Market Place, Oundle PE8 4BQ



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eautifully situated overlooking a green in Elton, The Crown Inn is run by chef owner Marcus Lamb, and it has recently been extensively refurbished to incorporate bespoke hand made furniture, antiques and a fresh new look. There are five tastefully decorated en suite rooms for bed and breakfast, which have a five star rating from the AA. We visited on a warm and sunny Saturday evening for dinner. We sat outside to peruse the menus, and there were some tantalising choices with five starters, five mains, plus five daily specials. There were four of us dining, and we were all keen to try something different. Tim chose the ham hock and gherkin terrine with homemade piccalilli: great texture and flavours. David went for a perfect goats cheese, apple and walnut salad with honey mustard dressing. Mel had the chicken liver pate with home made chutney, and I chose the crayfish, strawberry and crouton salad with passion fruit dressing. I loved the combination of fish and fruit, the salad was light, and tickled the tastebuds for what was yet to come. For our mains, David chose fish and chips. They looked very appealing, with hand cut chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce, a real hit. Mel had the pan fried hake from the specials list. It came with a roulade of plaice and king prawns, herb crushed new potatoes, shellfish bisque, asparagus, mange tout and garden peas, a perfect summer dish. Tim opted for home made sausages, with cider, apple and caramelised red onion with a shallot jus and smoked bacon mash, all sprinkled with crunchy parsnip crisps. The dish was excellent. I tucked into pan fried calves liver, with bubble and squeak, buttered summer cabbage, shallot jus and bacon crisp. It was cooked perfectly, a little pink and just melted in the mouth. Home made ice creams were popular with our party. We tried a selection of flavours, such as malteser and salted caramel, served in brandy snap baskets. David and I had apple tarte tatin with cinnamon ice cream, just delicious. Our meals were perfect, beautifully presented with attention to detail, and the staff were friendly and efficient. The last thing we did before we left was book a table for a return visit. The Crown has a separate bar menu with pub favourites, baguettes and omelettes. Sunday lunches start at £13 and children’s specials are available. Booking is advisable. Bridget Steele • The Crown Inn, 8 Duck St, Elton, Peterborough PE8 6RQ Tel: 01832 280232




The Crown is offering NVL readers 25 per cent off food orders until September 28th. To take advantage of the offer, you must book ahead and mention NVL at the time of booking. The offer excludes Saturday night dining and Sunday lunch times. It is not valid with any other offer and does not include drinks. NENE VALLEY LIVING SEPTEMBER 2012


23/8/12 15:43:46


A homemade home Create a fresh, budget-friendly interior with upcycled and repurposed items, as seen in this family house in Northamptonshire Words: Fiona Cumberpatch Photos: Lesley Anne Churchill


intage style shows no sign of falling out of favour and it’s no wonder: inexpensive and accessible to all, it’s the perfect way to recycle and personalise even the most bland of interiors. This 1960s chalet-style house was unloved, with some ugly 1970s features and outdated colours when the owners moved in 15 years ago. But a passion for collecting and repainting has worked a radical change on the interior.

Old suitcases and leather trunks make great storage solutions and are a clever way to hide ga mes consoles and DVDs.

Create small ‘still life’ arrangements to avoid piles of random clutter. These little la mps were car boot sale finds for just a few pounds.


Scour charity shops, auctions and antiques fairs for colourful trimmings, lace and cottons to create your own soft furnishings. If you can’t sew, consider enrolling on a beginners course, or try a social stitching group to share ideas with like-minded folk. Stuy Porter’s Antiques Centre in Stamford hosts classes.


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23/8/12 16:05:37

Build your own unique tea set by collecting pretty cups and saucers when ever you see them. Mix vintage and new for an eclectic look. All you need to go with it is a home made cake and a pot of tea…

Instead of a coffee table, a sturdy old tin trunk does the job just as well. This one has been repainted and waxed.

Fabric remnants can be tracked down inexpensively in charity shops and at the area’s many antiques fairs (try Lincoln Antiques and Home Show for a vast selection). Making a an envelope backed cushion is simple to do - even if you can only tackle the easiest sewing projects. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns, just stick to the same colour tones.

Where to find vintage Foxtail Lilly, 41 South Rd, Oundle. Tel: 01832 274593 Owner Tracey Mathieson always stocks hand picked country style furniture and accessories, but on September 8th, she is having a Vintage Day, with stalls from different dealers. Open 11am-3pm, tea and home made cake available. St Martins Antiques Centre, 23a High St, St Martin’s, Stamford PE9 2LF Worth browsing on a regular basis for furniture, pictures and curios.

Vintage Fair, Oundle on October 21st, Victoria Hall, West St, 11-3. Tea and cake served on vintage china. Affordable prices and plenty of stalls with clothes, collectables, linens, books etc. Peterborough Festival of Antiques www.bobevansfairs. October 5th and 6th at Peterborough Exec (showground). Don’t miss this vast antiques fair on our doorstep. There is something for all tastes and pockets.


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23/8/12 16:45:38



There’s never been a greater choice when it comes to heating your home. Dave Phillips guides you through the options


ith oil, gas and electricity prices rising fast at a time when incomes are static or falling, it’s more important than ever that we heat our homes in the most efficient way. We all want to use less energy, not just to save money but because most of us also want to do so in a sustainable way. Happily there are solutions on hand and, as always, this area is blessed with professional companies that understand our heating needs – and have the solutions. We can spend a lot less on energy without living in cold, dark homes.

But how do we achieve that? If your house is connected to mains gas, you could get a gas-fired central heating system, and this is usually the cheapest option. But not if you live in many of the villages in the Nene valley, which are among the 3.6 million households in the UK not connected to the gas grid and instead rely on other forms of fuel to heat their homes: oil, electricity, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), solid fuel and wood. Happily, renewable technologies are increasingly providing ways of generating your own energy at home from low or zerocarbon technology, such as solar energy and wood burners. Making your own energy reduces your carbon footprint and means you’re less dependent on fossil fuels that are in short supply and increasingly subject to global demand (with prices likely to soar higher in the future).


Let’s look at the costs of the various forms of heating. Gas central heating This is the cheapest form of central heating. According to consumer champions Which?, the annual cost of heating and hot water for a three-bedroom semi-detached house is about £770 for a modern condensing boiler. The cost goes up to around £947 for an old non-condensing boiler, so it obviously pays to have the most efficient modern boiler installed. Electric central heating Night storage heaters are the most effective way of heating your home with electricity, but it isn’t cheap, with average fuel cost rising to £1,700 (although an Economy 7 tariff can bring this down). LPG central heating Cheaper than electricity at £1,300 a year, but you’ll need an LPG tank in your garden and have supplies delivered by lorry. Oil central heating Popular in villages with no mains gas, and cheaper than electricity and LPG, costing £1,100 a year. But again you’ll need an unsightly oil tank in the garden and supplies delivered by lorry.

Wood heating systems Wood heating systems (technically known as biomass systems) burn organic materials – usually logs or wood pellets – in a boiler or stove to provide heat and hot water. Stoves are generally used as standalone room heaters, although they can be fitted with a back boiler to provide hot water through your taps. On the other hand, biomass boilers can be connected to an existing central heating and hot water system. The main drawback is the initial cost of installation, which can range from less than £2,000 for a wood burning stove (including flue and chimney lining) to over £10,000 for an automatic-feed pellet boiler. But set against this, a grant of £950 is currently available for biomass boilers through the Government’s Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme. Also, running costs are cheap. The fuel cost of running a wood-burning system for central heating and hot water is less than £500 a year in this area, where the cost of logs tends to be cheap. If you cut your own, it is obviously cheaper still! Biomass is considered a carbon-neutral source of energy. Although it produces carbon dioxide when it’s burnt, it only releases roughly the same amount it absorbs while growing. Locally-produced biomass is even better in terms of carbon. 


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We promise you the warmest of welcomes! 37 Market Street, Whittlesey, Peterborough, Cambs PE7 1BA Tel/Fax 01733 202220 Email: Opening Times: Mon – Fri 9am-1pm & 2pm-5pm, Sat 10am-2pm CLOSED Thursdays, Sundays & Bank Holidays

Your local stove and fireplace specialist Heatsource of Uppingham provides an extensive range of premier stoves, fireplaces and traditional designer cast iron radiators. Fantastic ranges of products & services Whatever your style needs and design requirements, Heatsource has a whole range of products to suit: • High quality stoves including brands such as: Clearview (as pictured), Scan, Chesneys, Charnwood, Jotul, Morso and many more. • Designer and traditional cast iron radiators • Handmade stone fireplaces and surrounds • Complete installation service provided by HETAS qualified engineers and builders • Superb range of spares and accessories to accommodate our customers needs Come and see us at our stunning showroom in Uppingham or call us on 01572 829953. Opening Hours: Tue-Fri 9.45am - 5pm, Sat 9.30am - 4pm

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• NVL Sept ADS.indd 22

01536 410777

Unit 7 Orion Way, The Constellations, Kettering Business Park NN15 6NL Email: 22/8/12 15:11:32


 Solar energy Solar energy became hugely popular a couple of years ago when the Government gave householders a huge financial encouragement to install solar panels on their home by paying them 43.3p per kilowatt hour to produce their own electricity via solar power. But this subsidy fell to 21p in December 2011 and just 16p on August 1 this year.

Panel power However, even at the lower feed-in tariffs, solar energy experts say that solar panels are still a good investment, as the cost of installing the systems has fallen dramatically in the last year. A typical 3kWp system now costs less than £7,000 – half the cost a year ago. It would pay for itself in less than ten years. Solar panels are now a common feature on the roofs of properties throughout the area, not just because they save money but because they are sustainable. People like to get involved in all forms of renewable energy to heat their homes and become less reliant on fossil fuels.

“Fuel prices for fossil fuels has been a real motivator of the past, especially with people now starting to be more energy aware,” confirms Nathan Welham of Heatsource, Uppingham (below), who specialise in wood burners.

“We are on a very exciting cusp in the heating industry, with renewables being the way forward. In the last few years, fossil fuels have increased an average of 20 per cent a year, and this will only continue – and possibly escalate. “A wood burning stove can dramatically reduce heating bills. We have also seen a difference in the way people now use their properties by heating just one area with a wood burning stove rather than the whole house with central heating. “Also, with the increase of sales in this sector, there has also been an increase of investment into research of obtaining the maximum efficiencies of the appliances. Some pellet boilers that can give 98 percent efficiency. “With gas and oil being phased out of new build properties from 2016, we predict that pellet boilers and wood chip heaters will be the future.”

Local suppliers Aspect Fires, Whittlesey: Tel: 01733 202220. Website: Coles for Fires, Kettering: Tel: 01536 410777. Website: Sovereign Installation Services, Peterborough: Tel: 0774 703 1613. Website: Page Renewable Energy, Peterborough: Tel: 01733 898592. Heatsource of Uppingham: Tel: 01572 829953. Website:


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• NVL Sept ADS.indd 24

22/8/12 15:11:52


Location, looks, pubs and parking… Our panel of North Norfolk holiday cottage experts share their top tips to help identify the perfect holiday cottage. By Amanda Loose


hoosing the right property for you can be tricky, but it’s trickier still if you’ve also got to bear in mind what’s right for scores of people you’ve never met, and often not just right, but perfectly right. If you are thinking of buying a holiday home which you also plan to let out, then this is your predicament – what works for you and also for would-be tenants? What’s on the holiday wish lists of many visitors to our area? So what do the experts say? “If you want to buy a holiday home that generates you income as well as being used for your own family holidays, it needs careful thought,” says Hetti Simpson at Norfolk Hideaways: “Buying a home right on the coast will be a bigger financial investment but you will maximise your letting potential. Guests do like to be ‘right on the coast’ as their first choice. A sea view (a bit like hen’s teeth in Norfolk) can give you a fabulous advantage but it is not known as the million pound view for nothing. The villages slightly more inland, although much more peaceful in August, tend to let after the coastal properties. Having said that, once guests have experienced life away from the coast road, they usually love it.” Andrea Sowerby at Sowerbys Holiday Cottages says: “We find that the very best locations for holiday letting are in Burnham Market, Thornham, Brancaster, Brancaster Staithe, Overy Staithe and Wells. However all villages within 15 minutes’ drive of the coast are a good buy, particularly those with a good pub within walking distance.” Inland hotspots include Holt, the

Walsinghams and the Creakes says Simon Barclay at Kett Country Cottages: “For people who do not know the county the coast is the obvious place to head but there is real value to be had from being just inland.” So that’s location, what about the style of property? Andrea advises “It’s so important to have somewhere that looks attractive from the outside, ideally a quintessential Norfolk brick and flint cottage which may be new or old. The property doesn’t need a big garden, just somewhere private to sit and enjoy alfresco dining. You don’t have to have off-street parking but this will help in places like Wells.” Most people have an idea in mind of somewhere quaint, high spec, quiet and well equipped, says Simon: “I’d say the ‘must haves’ in no particular order are parking, near a pub and shop, having a shower room and bathroom if it sleeps more than four, open fire and broadband. It needs to have a bit of character and certainly some outside space.” Irene Alexander at Norfolk Country Cottages

says: “The right let could be self-funding. Lots of owners want to use the property themselves and see it as helping towards costs rather than as an investment. They may not make a huge profit annually but will (hopefully) see a return on their capital investment.” So does size matter? Irene says: “Larger, family sized properties are popular during school holidays and for special occasions, and those sleeping two or four do well on the shoulder weeks. The traditional holiday ‘season’ extends from Easter to the end of October half term but customers visit Norfolk all year round and we’ve noticed that the season is extending.” Kett Country Cottages 01328 856853 Norfolk Country Cottages 01263 715779 Norfolk Hideaways 01485 211022 Sowerbys Holiday Cottages 01328 730880

The Holiday Godmother

Whether you’re visiting your second home, or renting a cottage, the final magical holiday ingredients for many of us would be someone to do some of the cooking and cleaning, mind the children, and arrange a few indulgences. Cue, The Holiday Godmother, set up by Sarah Butikofer, offers catering using local produce where possible, cleaning services and music to many parents’ ears, child care with CRB checked child minders and baby sitters.

They will also arrange special occasions, from fireworks or private boat excursions, to candle lit dinners and beach hut hire. Sarah says “Self catering holidays shouldn’t just be about a change of location, they should be about providing yourself with a private environment in which to enjoy all the benefits a hotel can offer you… at least for some of the time.” • The Holiday Godmother, 01263 838306/ 07884160853. NENE VALLEY LIVING SEPTEMBER 2012

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On your marks...

EASTERN PROMISE If you’re choosing your first ever half marathon, put the Perkins Great Eastern Run at the top of your list, advises Ronnie Haydon


unners who have been round the block a few times recommend the Perkins Great Eastern Run, citing its perfect PB (personal best) potential. It’s a famously flat 13.1 mile course, well organised and it attracts a healthy number of famous names. You may not line up at the start alongside the elites, but knowing they are up there gives you a bit of a buzz. There’s no need to feel intimidated, however, the fun runners are many and various. Last year, I met giant cockroaches, burly chaps in mankinis and the odd superhero powering through Peterborough’s suburbs. Another reason this race attracts so many runners is ease of access. Peterborough’s excellent rail connections mean that you don’t have to bring the car, and the start is near the station. If you decide to motor in, the Race organisers give all entrants a parking permit. It pays to arrive early, however; the popularity of this race means those parking spaces don’t remain free for long. It’s always a good idea to arrive an hour or so before the gun, in any case. You have time to loosen up with a warm up jog, admire Peterborough’s handsome cathedral, down a coffee, check the portaloo situation and soak up the atmosphere. BBC Radio Cambridgeshire is up with the lark pumping up the runners with inspirational music and making much of the celebrity athletes, who last year included Liz Yelling and legends Ron Hill and Sally Gunning, who sent the runners on their way. The size of the field means that ordinary mortals have a bit of walking and trotting before they get through the start gantry. If you’re not bothered about setting a new PB there’s no point in choosing a specific place in the line up. People who intend running under a certain time should foregather in their preferred zone in the race pen (e.g sub 1:45). Pacemakers flag these up so sticking with them throughout the race means you don’t have to keep consulting your sports watch. The route takes a broad sweep around residential roads. Runners pick up speed as they leave the city centre behind them and find their rhythm. People who want inspirational views and a spot of sightseeing thrown in with their run probably wouldn’t choose the Great Eastern, but there is an upside to running the ‘burbs: the supporters. The good people of Peterborough stand at their garden gates, waving and cheering, dispensing jelly babies and custard creams. At various points along the

way, there’s more organised support, with musical refreshment as well as the sugary snacks. I particularly enjoyed exchanging pleasantries with a bunch of locals dressed up in 1940s fashions and dispensing tea and cake at around mile eight. If you’re of a more hard-core disposition and don’t like to make a meal of your race, there are four official water stations along the way. For 2012, the organisers have remapped the route a bit to lose some dreary underpasses and include a final run back through the city centre, which is much more convenient for supporters waiting for their loved one to sprint joyously over the finish line. Experienced runners find the end comes gratifyingly soon. So swift and flat is this half marathon that it has earned itself runbritain Grand Prix race status. There are five races in the Grand Prix series, the other four being the Mizuno Reading Half, the Bristol Half, the Bupa London 10k and the Admiral Swansea Bay 10k. They award more than £55,000 to the British runners in prize money, which is why elite runners will be making a beeline for Peterborough this October. The rest of us, not looking to clock up points and cash prizes, can take comfort in the rather good goody bag. Last year I landed a cotton bag, a T-shirt in wicking fabric, a water bottle and, of course, a medal. Compared to other big-name races, this is generous, and for an extremely reasonable entry fee (see below). The organisers’ largesse extends to free bananas, cakes, rehydration drinks as well as clobber stalls and other entertainments. When it’s all over the Perkins Great Eastern Run just keeps on giving. You can check your chip time online the next day and revel in some super nerdy facts and figures about your split times (whether you ran the first half of the race faster than the second, for example) and your position according to age and gender. For an old bird like me, this is especially comforting. I may have been disappointed with my time over the shamingly flat course, but was not so bad for my age. Next time, I’ll be better. THE PERKINS GREAT EASTERN RUN takes place on October 14th at 10.30am. Fun run at 10am. Entry: Half marathon (affiliated) £21. Unaffiliated, £23. Fun Run and Junior Challenge. Over 16s, £8. 16 and under £5. There’s a £2 late entry fee for all entries made after 25th September. Visit for info about training, prizes and breaking news.




23/8/12 15:49:48


An oasis of care The Sue Ryder hospice, currently housed in Peterborough’s landmark Thorpe Hall, is an essential part of the local community. Sue Dobson reports


nly the distant hum of traffic on the parkway tells of a world beyond the parkland, trees and lovely gardens that stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s hard to believe that Peterborough’s busy city centre is a short distance away from Thorpe Hall, the stately landmark building that has stood firmly in Longthorpe for over 350 years and for 21 years has been home to the Sue Ryder hospice. Inside the grand Hall there’s friendly and welcoming atmosphere amid the mix of bustling activity and gentle tranquillity. I meet Philip Ball, the Palliative Care Services Manager, in his third floor office with what must be the best view in Peterborough. A nurse with over 20 years’ experience of hospice and palliative care, he is responsible for the clinical and support services at Thorpe Hall. “We have 20 beds here with a big team of specialist doctors and nurses providing personalised, short-term care for people who have incurable illnesses, including cancer and heart and kidney failure,” he explains. For some it is end of life care; many more will return home after their stay. It’s not only the patients who receive loving care here. Support is on hand for their families and carers, too. For children who have lost a parent there’s the Charlie Chimp club. “A big toy chimpanzee, Charlie is a mascot. Children talk to him. He’s a very good listener. The club is a way for children to meet others going through the experience of loss and to talk about their feelings, so they feel less isolated.” There’s also Wayfinders, a friendly walking group that encourages bereaved adults to


get some fresh air in Ferry Meadows, with the opportunity to talk to bereavement support volunteers if they wish. “We have a day centre in the west wing that’s attended by people from the local community with long term neurological conditions,” Philip continues. “It offers a range of personalised activities from creative crafts, music sessions and aromatherapy to days out swimming, sailing, shopping and socialising in a pub.” Philip talks of how much he values the contribution of the 180 volunteers at Thorpe Hall. It’s a theme I hear time and again from everyone I meet there.

Future plans In-patient accommodation spans two floors of the Hall, with a mix of two- and three-bed rooms. They are light, airy and well equipped, there are lovely lounges and nicely furnished quiet rooms, but it’s clear that the layout of the old building is not ideal and its listed status limits changes. So plans are afoot to build a new in-patient unit on unused land behind the west wing. Planning permission has been granted for a single storey building with 20 rooms in four L-shaped areas. Each room will be en-suite and have doors opening onto a patio garden; there’ll be a new chapel and workspace for the doctors and nurses. Building work is due to begin early in 2014. Now all they have to do is raise £6 million! It currently costs £2.2million a year to run Thorpe Hall and at least £1million of that has to come from fundraising. “The Starlight Hike (on

September 8th this year), previously known as the Midnight Walk, is our biggest event of the year,” says event fundraiser Alison Toomey. “It’s a 10km walk around the east of the city and it’s a really good night out. We’re expecting around 1000 men and women to join us this year.” Other big events include the black-tie Beef and Beer evening, Glamour Galore pamper party, the Jail Break challenge and Lights of Love at Christmas. Sponsored group walks include the Jurassic Coast, Great Wall of China and the Peru Inca Trail. “We get wonderful support from local businesses,” Alison tells me, “ranging from making us their charity of the year to gifts in kind and corporate volunteering.” I see the results of some of these team-building volunteer activities, from refurbished quiet rooms to the garden created so all the flowerbeds are at wheelchair height. Individual giving is important, too. “We value every £1,” says fundraiser Julie Laithwaite. “Local people support us in so many ways. They’ve kept us going for 21 years!” Thorpe Hall is a special place. The magnificent gardens are open to everyone during working hours, the cheerful coffee shop with its sunny courtyard is great for a relaxing break or light lunch and there’s a plant stall and shop to visit. The Hall is even licensed for civil weddings. • Thorpe Hall Hospice, Thorpe Road, Peterborough PE3 6LW. Tel: 01733 330060.


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THE PRACTICE INDEPENDENT boutique opticians in Peterborough’s Westgate Arcade. A fantastic collection of frames from mainstream brands and specialist engineered frame designers. Rimless, lightweight, retro, geek sheek you decide. The Oculist specialises in wrap-around prescription eyewear and has a fantastic range for children.

OPTOMETRIST GERRY - Spends 40 minutes examining your eyes. He caters the eye test to address your needs. The test includes digital retinal photography, glaucoma pressure check, visual field examination as standard. Gerry concludes the examination by giving advice about the most suitable eyewear. DISPENSING OPTICIAN EMMA - Helps you find the “perfect “ pair of glasses. Emma analyses your prescription and finds the perfect frame to compliment your face and personality. She also designs bespoke frames in almost any colour, style and shape. She can provide lens thicknesses and weight for your chosen frame. The Oculist uses spectacle lenses from all suppliers but benefits from being the only SEIKO lens specialist opticians in Peterborough.

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Tone your body We all know that a good diet, regular exercise and sun protection is the best way to maintain a slim figure and slow the advance of wrinkles, but sometimes we need a helping hand. Lipofirm Plus is a non invasive treatment using ultrasound cavitation and radiofrequency to reduce fat, improve cellulite and tighten skin on the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, bra strap bulge, back and arms. Lipofirm Plus also uses radiofrequency on the face and neck and decollete to reduce lines and wrinkles and tighten the skin by stimulating collagen and strengthening the skin’s structure. Endermologie is a non invasive anti cellulite, slimming and toning treatment approved by the FDA that uses a combination of gentle suction and rolling of the skin to target stubborn and trapped fat where diet and exercise leave off. If you are looking to smooth cellulite, define and sculpt your silhouette, reduce stubborn fat and tighten the skin, these treatments could be of help to you. A course of treatments is required for best results. • For more information, contact Maria at The Limes Therapies, 8 College Park, Peterborough PE1 4AW Tel: 01733 311554

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

HEALTH & BEAUTY NOTES Designs on your eyes “Professionalism, expertise and personal attention from qualified staff. When it comes to looking after your eyes, nothing less will do.” That’s the motto of Henry Smith & Hamylton (HSH), a family based opticians, established in 1887, and providing professional eyecare for over 125 years. Registered with the General Optical Council, Harley Street, London, the Company has practices in central Peterborough and throughout Leicestershire. All HSH professional staff are fully qualified and expertly trained. Each practice incorporates the latest sight test and screening equipment as well as an impressive selection of designer and fashion eyewear, many of which are exclusive to the Leicestershire and Peterborough practices. Eye examinations are detailed and thorough, performed by fully qualified registered Ophthalmic opticians. Each of the company’s eight practices have a dispensing manager, reception staff and stylists, with modern equipment reinforcing the ethos of service, expertise and professionalism. Selling luxury designer brands reinforces the excellent standard of service which is reflected in the Peterborough practice, a previous winner of the Chanel ‘Best Independent Practice’ award. The Peterborough practice opened in 1986, offering luxury designer and fashion brands. As well as Chanel, a wide range of designer and luxury brands are stocked,

Try Pilates With its combination of controlled breathing and repeated gentle, toning mat-based exercises, Pilates helps to tone and sculpt your body, and offers an effective way to target aches and pains. I started going to Angela Bradshaw’s classes nine months ago to try and relieve a painful shoulder. The exercises and the breathing take a while to get used to, but each week builds on the last, and you slowly gain momentum and confidence. My shoulder is infinitely better, and I look forward to the hour each week. Fiona Cumberpatch • Angela runs the following classes: Nassington Village Hall, 7.00-8.00pm Mondays (from September 3rd) and Wednesdays, 9.30-10.30 (from September 5th) Wansford Christie Hall, Wednesday 11.30-12.30 (from September 5th) Hampton Vale, Fridays, 10.00-11.00 (from September 7th) Contact Angela on 01832 275390 or 07710 780854

including Chanel (exclusive to Henry Smith & Hamylton Peterborough), Tag Heuer, Bvlgari, Tiffany, Pro Design, Persol, and Oakley. Henry Smith & Hamylton Opticians are celebrating their 125th anniversary of local independent family run eyecare. As part of this celebration, HSH Peterborough hosts a Chanel event on 11th October 2012 (10.30am – late). Champagne and nibbles will be served whilst guests are invited to view the latest full Chanel exclusive collection. • If you would like to receive an invitation to this exclusive event, please RSVP to Henry Smith + Hamylton Peterborough, 1 Cumbergate, PE1 1YR or phone: 0800 0851821

The no-fuss blow dry treatment The Keratin Hair Smoothing Blow dry treatment is Formaldehyde - free, and leaves hair beautifully conditioned, easy to manage and the effect lasts for up to five months. Karen Pugh, a mobile hairdresser and beauty therapist, demonstrated the treatment for me at home, and it took about two hours. Each section of hair has to be coated in Keratin which is the main protein in the hair. It is then dried thoroughly and straightened with irons, locking the conditioning treatment each strand of hair. I was able to wash my hair after 24 hours. To prolong the life of the treatment it is advisable to use a sodium free shampoo. The results are instant and impressive, my hair looks and feels better and has a lustrous shine it is great for my busy life style as I do not have to wash my hair as much and it cuts styling time down to a minimum. • The treatment starts at £45, depending on hair length, and Karen uses L`Kerabelle products. For more information contact Karen Pugh on 07711 636478 NENE VALLEY LIVING SEPTEMBER 2012

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Rick ’n’ roll Rick Hall is a very special sort of car dealer with a classic racing pedigree of his own. Victoria Bullimore met him

Rick Hall


magine that you had several million US dollars to spend. Hmm…what to buy? Well, if you wander on down to Hall & Hall in Bourne you could treat yourself to a 1939 Auto Union D-Type racing car. When I ask Rick Hall, talented racing driver, specialist mechanic and car dealer extraordinaire, what makes the Auto Union so valuable he explains that only five of them were ever made and now only three remain. He describes all the cars he deals with as “works of art,” and their value can go up or down, depending on a number of factors that influence the market. I managed to catch the incredibly busy Rick on his return from a motor show in Paris and just before whizzing off again to Switzerland. He has the charming, unassuming manner of a man whose head can’t be turned by all the money and famous names that come in and out of his family run business, but although he tries humbly to deny it, there’s no doubt the world of historic racing cars is coloured by glamour. In the workshop I get the whiff of tyre rubber, engine oil and by-gone thrills from an era when motor racing was truly dangerous, no one had ever heard of on-board computers and wings were just for birds. Rick was born in 1948 in Bourne. As a teenager, he began working as a mechanic in his father’s garage in the village of Morton, Lincolnshire. He then moved to BRM, who were based in Bourne, where he started as an engine shop engineer, progressing to race mechanic


with the works BRM team. Rick always had a burning desire to race, and started karting when he was 14. I could fill a whole page with a list of his racing achievements, but here’s just a few – in 1989, driving a pre-71 McLaren M10B F5000, he broke five lap records, won seven races and ultimately the championship, and in 1990 he raced a pre-71 Surtees TS8 F5000 to win the same championship for the second year running. In 2006 he raced a Ferrari 750 to victory in the Le Mans Classic, and over the years has taken first place at Silverstone, Melbourne, Monterey, Donington Park amongst many others, driving a variety of cars including AC Cobras, Aston Martins, Lotuses and BRMs (not glamorous, eh Rick?). He founded the business in 1977 with ex-BRM worker Rob Fowler, calling it Hall & Fowler and then Hall & Hall as he moved into partnership with his son Rob, who has inherited all of his skills as mechanic and driver. Now the company has a respected international reputation in historic single seater and sports racing car restoration and sales. Rick says it’s not all just about the cars; he also loves meeting the people who share his passion. “I love enthusiasm,” he says, “and I could talk for hours with people who have a real love and understanding of racing cars.” “Like who? Anyone I should know?” I ask, hoping to catch some names as they drop. “We sold a Ferrari 250 Lussso to Jay Kay, and recently we were working on a clutch job for Chris Evans, and have worked on several

projects with Sir Stirling Moss.” “And a little bird told me you’re running a car for Mark Knopfler?” “Yes, and we know Chris Rea, as well as Nick Mason and Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd.” What is it with ageing rockers and racing cars? I am pondering this as I scribble my notes, when Rick starts to tell the story of how he sold an ERA to the King of Thailand. Wow! I ask him if he had to walk out of the room backwards (Rick, not the King of Thailand) but His Majesty did business via three of his delegates, who wanted to call the AA for a second opinion because it had no mudguards. The car is now in the Imperial Palace in Bangkok. Just another day at the office for Rick.

The forthcoming BRM Day in Bourne Damon Hill will be coming to the town to drive his father’s racing car through the streets as part of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of BRM’s World Grand Prix Championship win, and Rick is one of the organisers. It takes place on the Sunday 7th October and more information can be found on the following link http://www.brmday.


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EYEBROOK RESERVOIR Jean Orpin and Sue Lee recommend a visit to Eyebrook. It was made by damming the Eye Brook, a tributary of the River Welland, and was the largest stretch of water in Rutland before Rutland Water was created History Eyebrook was built for Stewarts and Lloyds who moved the headquarters of their iron and steel company to Corby from Scotland in 1932, to enable them to take advantage of the ironstone of the area. Many of their Scottish workforce came and there is still a strong Scottish presence in Corby. Stewarts and Lloyds was nationalised in 1967 and closed in 1980. During this time they produced 2.5 million tons of steel. The company produced pipes that carried fuel under the sea for the D Day landings. Steel is still produced in Corby by Corus who manage the reservoir today. The reservoir was built between 1937 and 1940 to supply water to the steel works. Six million gallons of water were required each day for the steel works. The capacity was increased in 1955 and it now covers 400 acres. The new reservoir played a part in the Second World War when it was used by 617 Squadron, known colloquially as The Dambusters, to practise low-level bombing by the Lancasters prior to the raids on the Eder and Mohne dams in Germany in 1943. There are plaques on the wall of the dam to record this event and a display in the Fishing Lodge. Fishing Eyebrook is an attractive venue for fishermen as it is quiet and peaceful with no other water-based activities and is well stocked with trout. It is restricted to fly fishing. Over 20,000 trout are caught annually, which are reared in the fishponds nearby. Fishermen compete with kingfishers, ospreys and otters for their catch. The wildlife societies monitor and record sightings of all wildlife including birds, insects and flowers. Birds As soon as it was built the reservoir became a haven for wildlife and by 1956 was declared to be a Site of Special Scientific Interest which means that it is now managed within Natural England guidelines for all wild life. Eye Brook is a wonderful place to see migrating birds as they stop off to feed and rest on the journey north in the spring and south in the autumn. When they are travelling south they tend to stop off

for longer, and have their young with them, so from the end of August onwards through the winter there are birds to see. The water is quite close to the road with grazing between the two so you can see widgeons a stone’s throw away. During the winter thousands of waders like golden plovers can be seen on the muddy edges near the bridge, where the Eye Brook flows into the reservoir. The gull roosts are famous and songbirds like wheatears and yellow wagtails drop in on their journey from Africa. Ospreys are fairly regular visitors and little owls nest in the trees near the bridge. The birds have been monitored by the Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society since the reservoir was formed and various projects carried out to encourage birds. Rutland Natural History Society also carries out some recording. Stoke Dry Stoke Dry is the small, attractive village that sits above the reservoir. It was the property of the Digby family closely implicated in the Gunpowder Plot – it has been said the plot was hatched here. Whether or not this was so, the church has many interesting features worth visiting. Access The reservoir lies on the boundary between Leicestershire and Rutland, two miles south of Uppingham. Take the A6003 south out of Uppingham, then turn right onto the minor road to Stoke Dry after a mile and a half. This road continues down the hill and round the northwest half of the reservoir. There is also a small parking area so that you can take a walk but as it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest it is not a good choice for taking the dog for a walk. You can park carefully anywhere along the road, taking care not to block field gateways or obstruct other traffic. There is a road round the reservoir that enables you to see the wildlife from the car. If you are a member of the Rutland Natural History Society or the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust you can receive permission to enter the private areas of the Eyebrook which are closed to the public.

CONTACTS Fishing Lodge 01536 772930 Rutland Natural History Society Membership Secretary Tel: 01572 747302 Leic & Rutland Ornithological Society: NENE VALLEY LIVING SEPTEMBER 2012



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his old adage has been severely tested with more cautious assets providing stronger returns over quite significant time periods. Although more cautious assets have provided strong returns over the past few years we believe that the argument for including equities remains valid. The economic situation is requiring strong responses from central banks and to help increase money supply there is increasing pressure for quantitative easing, or money printing, in many Western economies. This could well result in inflation and if so, fixed interest holdings including cash, corporate bonds and gilts which do not provide an inflation hedge could suffer. This outcome is by no means certain but the argument for a well diversified portfolio remains strong and this includes some equity exposure. It has often been the case that people chase investment bubbles whether this relates to housing, commodities or equities and rather than maintaining a long term asset allocation strategy, significant short term changes are made which can be detrimental.

Investment need not be complicated, take the long term view, spread your risk across asset classes and investment wrappers and do not have too much exposure to more volatile assets if you do not need to, cannot afford to or if this will create significant worry and stress. Waveney McKenna are holding an investment seminar at the Holiday Inn West, Thorpe Wood in Peterborough on the 20th September to start at 5.30pm. Speakers will include Brooks Macdonald Asset Management, a National

firm of investment advisers and Buckles Solicitors who will provide some estate planning information. An overview of investment options and the economic situation will be provided together with estate planning advice from Buckles. If you would like to attend then do call Neil Munro on 01733 425818 to book your place for what will be a very informative talk from industry experts.


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Ride on!

Inspired by the outstanding Olympics equestrian medals and the return of Burghley Horse Trials right on our doorstep this month? If you’d like to give riding a go, here’s the local guide to getting involved. By Charlotte Newby

Starting out: Riding lessons and livery There are two organisations that set the standards for riding schools: the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) and the British Horse Society (BHS). Riding schools are inspected every year, so annual approval by one or both of these organisations ensures that a riding school meets the standards required by them. Both bodies also set riding instruction examinations. Here are four local stables to explore: Grasslands Equestrian Centre is a well-equipped stables set in the peaceful village of Helpston. It is BHS and ABRS approved and RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) members. Lessons are offered daily, weekly and at weekends on either a private or group basis, catering for all ages and abilities. There are two outdoor floodlit all-weather rubber and silica sand surface schools. Hacking is available for competent riders. Full livery facilities are also offered. Set in the beautiful Leicestershire countryside, Somerby Equestrian Centre has been established for over 20 years and is a busy

and friendly equestrian centre. Approved by both the ABRS and the BHS, it has an indoor and outdoor school and welcomes complete beginners and experienced competition riders alike. The centre offers a range of services including lessons, a quality livery facility in peaceful surroundings, hacking and corporate events. During the school holidays there are children’s courses, from pony days to five-day residential summer camps. There’s a pony club for youngsters wishing to get involved in looking after horses and you can even hold children’s parties there with various exciting riding-based activities for children of four years and above. Close to Stamford, Uffington Riding Stables is a welcoming and unpretentious stables. They specialise in group and private lessons for children, giving them the opportunity to ride and enjoy the company of horses in a safe and friendly environment. All the staff there are experienced and work hard to make lessons both fun and educational using safe ponies and one-to-one assistance when required. Kate Burton who works at the stables explains that they strive to improve confidence in even the

most nervous of beginners. With their crew of experienced schoolmasters, they cater for a wide range of riders from young children to Grade A show jumpers. During holidays they offer activity days for children of mixed ages and abilities. They learn how to wash and groom their horses, play games and improve their riding technique. Speaking to parents of children who have attended the sessions, it’s clear that the children have tons of fun and get a lot out of their day. Activity days cost around £33 for a 10am-3pm day; there’s also a two-day course that’s a bit more technical and competitive. Call Lisa or Kate for more information. Lynch Farm Riding Centre, Orton Wistow, Peterborough is a peaceful oasis, set among rolling fields and just a short distance from Ferry Meadows. We tried this last year, and were impressed by the horses and the orderly yard. Adults and children’s lessons are given separately, and as well as instruction, you can hack into Ferry Meadows and Orton Mere, barely touching a road, despite the proximity to the city. The pub rides are recommended. Riding lessons start at £29 for the first one hour, and £24 thereafter. To book, or for more information, call 01733 234445 or visit the website  NENE VALLEY LIVING SEPTEMBER 2012

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Clothing It really isn’t necessary to dash to the shops to kit yourself out until you’re sure riding is for you. A good riding school will have a variety of riding hats in different sizes for beginners to hire for lessons. Comfy trousers are a must – too tight and they’ll restrict movement, while baggy trousers could flap around. Boots or shoes should have a small heel and a not-toochunky grip. If you decide to commit, for comfort and safety specialist clothing is recommended. T&C Robinson on St Mary’s Street, Stamford is a family run firm that’s been in the business of saddlery and bridle work since 1905. The shop stocks a range of riding wear, ranging from velvet and skull hats, jackets and body protectors, jodhpurs, breeches and boots. The staff are knowledgeable and will help kit you out with the items you need. They can source saddles/tack etc from their Billinghay store. You’ll also find equestrian wear at Chandlers country store in Barnack. They stock the complete range from casual and competition clothing, hats, body protection, boots and boot bags, gloves and hairnets, plus equestrian tack and rugs, and feed supplements. If you’re looking for outdoor clothing and gear that’ll keep you warm through the autumn and winter months, whether you’re mucking out stables or watching your children ride, Barnack Country Clothes stocks everything from jackets and coats, fleeces, leather boots, wellies and socks. Finally, if you thought that CWG on Uffington Road (near Morrisons) Stamford was just for farmers, think again. They stock a great line in equestrian clothing and horse-ware. There are jodhpurs, jackets, gilets and hats, plus lined turnout rugs, horse feed and horse-care products. The products are well priced and staff are always helpful.

Cross country trails Want to take your horse on an adventure? Try this! Ketton Park Cross Country Course has been run by Janet Mills for more than 30 years. It’s set within the picturesque Chater Valley, a quarter mile west of Ketton village. It’s a 1.6 mile cross country course for riders of all skills, mainly over old turf and woodland, and comprises thirty obstacles – a water complex, coffin, trakhener, ditches, banks, steps, corner and fences of 2’9” and 3’3”. Call Janet for details on 01780 460226.

TAKE BACK THE REIGNS You may have enjoyed riding as a youngster but now feel too daunted to get back in the saddle. In which case a new initiative supported by Sport

Equestrian clothing by Jack Murphy from T&C Robinson England and the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) to encourage new and returner adult riders back into the sport might be just the incentive you need. It’s a series of riding lessons specifically designed to develop your skill and confidence, improve fitness and make sure you have fun in the process. Take Back The Reigns offers special places in specific approved riding schools, and Somerby Equestrian Centre is one of those. Call them direct for more information or see the BEF’s ‘Hoof’ website:

DIRECTORY Barnack Country Clothes, Barnack, Stamford, PE9 3DY, 01780 740115, Chandlers Country Stores, Station Road, Barnack, Stamford PE9 3DW, 01780 740000, and CWG, Uffington Road, Stamford PE9 2HD, 0845 6780518, Grasslands, West Street, Helpston, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE6 7DU, 01733 254254, Ketton Park Cross Country Course, Woodside Farm, Ketton Road, Empingham, Oakham LE15 8QD, 01780 460226 Somerby Equestrian Centre, Newbold Lane, Somerby, Leicestershire LE14 2PP, 01664 454838 T&C Robinson, 4 St Mary’s Street, Stamford PE9 2DE, 01780 755378, www.tandcrobinson. Uffington Riding Stables, Essendine Road, Uffington, Stamford PE9 4SR, 01780 754044 Lynch Farm Riding Centre, Orton Wistow, Peterborough PE2 6XA Tel: 01733 234445 NENE VALLEY LIVING SEPTEMBER 2012

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POLEBROOK AND BARNWELL Two picture postcard villages, two delightful pubs and lots of rolling countryside make this a splendid walk POINTS OF INTEREST Polebrook: Polebrook is an ancient village mentioned in the Domesday Book. The church dates back to the 12th century and has a clock of particular note. Two miles E is the disused Polebrook Airfield, which was a US base in WWII. For some time Clark Gable was based there as an air gunner, and he made morale-boosting visits to the neighbourhood. Barnwell: The remains of Barnwell Castle can be seen in the distance beside Barnwell Manor on the walk. It is believed to have been built around 1266, and was described by Pevsner as 'the first example in Britain of the most monumental type of castle architecture’. The site is private property.

Polebrook 1

Armston 2




Park outside the King’s Head in Polebrook and proceed south along a small road, then a footpath which crosses a footbridge and then reaches a dirt track. Take this track, which soon becomes tarmac-ed, south, which then swings west into Armston, just a farm and a couple of houses Just opposite the last house the path takes off left across a field in a SW direction, hugging the edge of Armston Grove, going past a house in the wood, and soon coming out on a field and meadow with lovely views towards Barnwell Manor and the ruined castle When the path reaches the road, turn right into Barnwell and then left alongside the stream, marked the Nene Way. It is simplest then to stay on the road, which becomes a track, all the way out of the village, until it reaches a footbridge over a little stream where you re-connect with the footpath Follow this well-marked path upwards across a field, until you reach a metalled track. Turn left (SE) and follow this until you reach the far end of Bull Nose Coppice. Here, where you will see two paths, take the one turning sharp left and head north. A good point on the horizon that you will start to see at this stage is a water tower and the path continues to head towards it, first past South Lodge Farm and then across a road, and circling to the east of North Lodge Farm (when we did the walk, this part of the path was very indistinct across the field and we had to follow the tractor tracks) As you draw almost level with the water tower a few hundred yards to your right, you cross another road; keep heading N and then W at the next field boundary (the path is not too clear at this stage). At the next field boundary you turn right again (N) and soon you will see a well-marked path cutting diagonally across a field into a wood, which you take Coming out of the wood, you have a stile in a locked gate to cross, and then straight down across a field back towards Polebrook and the pub.

Barnwell 3


Water Tower •

2 3 4 5 6 7


Bull Nose Coppice 5

Bull Nose Coppice


8 miles 3 hours Explorer 227 or Landranger 141 & 142 Start & finish Polebrook Terrain Easy going, but the paths are poorly maintained across some fields Stiles Mainly gates Dog friendly Just one tricky stile How to get there 2 miles SE of Oundle Refreshments The King’s Head, Polebrook (01832 272363) A delightful pub, with good food and a highly individual style. Montague Arms, Barnwell (01832 273726) Another lovely pub with real ales and good food Distance Typical time OS map


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New Range Rover: leaner and meaner Land Rover has unveiled the latest incarnation of its best-selling luxury 4x4 – and it’s the best so far, says Dave Phillips


hen Land Rover launched the original Range Rover back in June 1970, the British company little realised what a monster it had unleashed on the world. The original model was aimed at the British farmer and came with vinyl seats, hose-down interiors and rubber mats. But its popularity extended beyond mere class and geographical boundaries: the world couldn’t get enough of the new luxury 4x4 and, as the years passed, the Range Rover got more and more luxurious. Soon the rubber mats were replaced by plush carpet and the vinyl seats with leather. By the time the third-generation Range Rover was launched in 2002, each electronically-controlled seat contained more miles of wiring than the original vehicle had in 1970. Today it is sold in over 100 countries worldwide. It is particularly popular in China, which is now the Range Rover’s second-biggest market – after the UK, of course. Four decades on, we love the luxurious Range Rover as much as ever. But all that luxury came at a cost. The Range Rover grew ever bigger and heavier. The current model weighs in at over 3,000 kg. And big, heavy cars tend to be thirsty and produce too much CO2. Could the Range Rover’s days be numbered in these austere times? Not a bit of it! Land Rover’s engineers and designers have reinvented the brand and have just unveiled the fourth-generation Range Rover, which is much leaner and meaner than


any of its illustrious predecessors. The all-new model has been developed from the ground up, capturing the innovative spirit and iconic design of the original model which changed the world of motoring when it was launched 42 years ago. It boasts a revolutionary lightweight all-aluminium monocoque body structure that is 39 per cent lighter than the steel body in the outgoing model – 420 kg lighter, in fact. The lightweight aluminium platform has delivered significant enhancements in performance and agility, along with a transformation in fuel economy and CO2 emissions. The stiff aluminium chassis architecture and four-corner air suspension make the Range Rover’s legendary ride qualities better than ever, on and off-road. For although the majority of Range Rovers won’t see too much action off the beaten track, the capability is there if you want it. That gleaming 4x4 standing on your drive could transport you across deserts, through jungles and up mountains, if you felt so inclined. All Land Rovers are designed to be best in class off-road, and this is no exception. The new model has been subjected to Land Rover’s punishing test and development regime, with a fleet of development vehicles covering millions of miles over 18 months of arduous tests in more than 20 countries with extremes of climate and road surfaces. Within the cabin, the all-new Range Rover

provides occupants with a sensation of serene isolation, meeting the highest luxury car standards for refinement. The optimised body structure and acoustic lamination of the windscreen and side door glass have significantly reduced noise levels. The sumptuous interior enjoys a very contemporary treatment, with clean, elegant surfaces flawlessly presented using the finest leathers and veneers. With over 118mm more legroom than its predecessor, the new model ensures that rear passengers benefit from increased space and comfort. To deliver the model’s characteristic effortless performance, customers have the choice of a refined supercharged V8 petrol engine, TDV6 and SDV8 diesel engines combining responsive performance with outstanding CO2 emissions. The all-new Range Rover has been engineered with the latest developments in vehicle technologies, from interior luxury features such as exclusive Meridian surround sound music systems and power upper and lower tailgates, to advanced chassis and driver assistance technologies. Land Rover has confirmed that the new Range Rover will be officially launched at the Paris Motor Show, which opens its doors on September 29. Franchise dealers will be taking orders this month, with deliveries scheduled to start from early 2013. For more information about the all-new Range Rover – including pricing and specification – visit Marshall Land Rover at Mallory Road, Boongate, Peterborough PE1 5AU. Tel: 0844 334 9070. Email: salesmanager@landrover-peterborough. Website: www.marshall.peterborough.


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23/8/12 15:54:33

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We pride ourselves on great customer service


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To Sunday 16 September Faith in the Environment Exhibition Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 12 – 4pm Last chance to see the work of people of five faiths following a Peterborough Environment Trust project on the impact of lifestyle choices on climate change. • Free. Peterborough Museum, Priestgate, Peterborough, PE1 1LF. 01733 864663.

Friday 7 September Teddy Bears’ Picnic at Ferry Meadows Country Park 12 noon – 2pm Picnic with Barney the Bear and Ranger, Rachel Storey.

Diary dates

Yasmin Bradley picks some great events for September







Tuesday 18 September Dangerous Liaisons 7.45pm An original adaption of Choderlos de Laclos’ infamous story of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, rivals and ex-lovers, who use sex as a weapon to humiliate and manipulate others… • Tickets: £9.50. The Stahl Theatre, West Street, Oundle, PE8 4FJ. 01832 273930. http://oscar01.

Monday 24 September at 7.30pm

• Free. Booking essential. Nene Park Trust, Ham Farm House, Ham Lane, Peterborough, PE2 5UU. 01733 234193


Friday 7 – Sunday 9 September


Kathryn Tickell: Northumbrian Voices A year after her breath-taking preProm performance at Oundle International Festival, Kathryn Tickell returns here to weave her own particular brand of folk magic based on collected Northumbrian music and reminiscences. • £14.50 (£13). Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough, PE1 1EF. 01733 207239. key.


Thursday 27 – Saturday 29 September






Titchmarsh Arts & Crafts Exhibition Various times Modern and traditional painting, jewellery and work in other mediums with demonstrations by RHS Gold Medallist botanical artist Norma Gregory at 2.30pm. • Tickets: £1–£7.50.Children free. St Mary the Virgin, Church Street, Titchmarsh, NN14 3DB. Jackie Rowe. 01832 734435. www.titchmarsh.

Saturday 8 September Northamptonshire Historic Churches Trust Cycle Ride Cycle to beautiful local churches and fundraise to repair and restore them. • Details and sponsorship forms in most churches or on Contact Jackie Rowe. 01832 734435;

Wednesday 9 September Ferry Meadows Country Park Wild Food Forage 6:00pm – 7:15 pm Get tips on foraging and identify wild food with the rangers. • Booking essential. 01733 234193. Nene Park Trust, Ham Farm House, Ham Lane, Peterborough PE2 5UU. 01733 234193

Monday 17 – Friday 21 September Key Shorts - International Festival of Short Film 7.30pm Peterborough’s first international short film festival featuring 40 brilliant short films from 20 countries around the world. • Tickets: £4.00 (Weekly: £12.00. Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough, PE1 1EF. 01733 207239.



I Peterborough 7.30pm Catch Joel Horwood’s cutting-edge new play fresh the Edinburgh Fringe en route to London’s Soho Theatre: drag artist Lulu and his keyboard-playing son Hew perform their darkly comic cabaret act and reveal a no-holds barred account of growing up Peterborough. • £10. Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough, PE1 1EF. 01733 207239. www.

Tuesday 25 September An Evening with Gervase Phinn 7pm The former Yorkshire school inspector talks about his new novel ‘Trouble at the Little Village School.’ • Tickets £5 (£3). St John the Baptist Church, Cathedral Square, Peterborough, PE1 1XE from Peterborough Central Library, Broadway, Peterborough, PE1 1RX or Waterstones. 38-40 Bridge Street. Peterborough, PE1 1DT. 0843 290 8545.


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November 4th 10am - 4.30pm THE ONLY REGIONAL WEDDING SHOW TOP UK DESIGNERS CHOOSE TO PREVIEW COLLECTIONS. See our 2011 show video on to see how stunning this wedding event truly is. The Preview & Designer Interviews running in-between the main catwalk shows this year will be: SAMANTHA DICKINSON - One of the UK’s up and coming vintage jewellery designers - recently featured in Tatler, Vogue and with Erin O’Connor at London Fashion Week. KATE HALFPENNY OF BOND STREET LONDON - Famed for her Vintage and Classical designs - for the first time appearing on a regional wedding show catwalk SASSI HOLFORD - Stunning preview collection from one of our better known British bridal designers - This collection is straight from the national trade show and will not be available until 2013. TERRY FOX - Unmistakeable Couture designs from one of the UK’s top bridal designers. Personal appearance on the catwalk MARTIN CHARLES COUTURE - A fabulous regional designer based in Oundle - Martin will be designing a collection exclusively for Burghley.

Main catwalk show will run at 10.30am 12.30pm 2pm & 3.30pm Featuring Bridal, Mother of the Bride & Groom, Bridesmaids, Pageboy, Groom & Wedding Guest.

95 exquisite exhibitors have been hand picked to exhibit at the show ensuring we maintain the high standard required by our brides. To purchase tickets (£5 per ticket, or 4 for 3 if booked in advance) please book online with or or by telephoning 01780 765320 Please note that the 4 for 3 ticket price offer is46 not available through the Burghley website.

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Teamwork and success – can we help? Do come and talk to us... We work closely with individuals and businesses alike, to provide not only a wide range of accountancy and taxation services specific to their requirements but also financial and business advice geared to them achieving their objectives. 5-6 Maiden Lane, Stamford, PE9 2AZ Tel: +44 (0) 1780 761920 Email:

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HILL FARM, CHESTERTON, PETERBOROUGH PE7 3UA (on Oundle road, 200 yards west of Alwalton A1 flyover)

open june - oct

farm shop and pick your own Strawberries. Raspberries. Gooseberries. Plums. Black & Redcurrants. Blackberries. Tayberries. Seasonable vegetables. Locally produced beef & lamb.

refreshments available.

Facilities for Disabled Visitors. Picnic Area. Children's Play Area. Caravan Club C.L. Site Tue-Fri 9am - 6pm Sat/Sun 9am - 5pm closed Mondays except bank holidays Please ring for up to date crop information or to order ready picked produce

teL & faX 01733 233270

For all your Garden ideas “affordable garden designs”

For information or appointment contact

Francesca Farino 07746 835 153



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to deliver Nene Valley Living in the following areas:

• Orton Wistow • Orton Northgate • Orton Southgate • Werrington • Oundle • Warmington • Polebrook Please email:

with your name, address and a contact number, plus the area you would like to distribute. Applicants must be13 years old or over

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Lift depression Reduce anxiety Prevent panic attacks Overcome fears & phobias Cope with stress Enhance self-esteem


Human Givens therapy provides fast and effective help to:


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Telephone 01733 768839 Peterborough Hypnotherapy Clinic, 26 Priestgate, Peterborough City Centre. Free initial consultation


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For more information, call our main clinic in Peterborough on

Barnsdale Hall Hotel COUNTRY CLUB

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23/8/12 12:26:35





Over 90 stores for food, fashion and inspiration. Open till 8pm Thursdays with free parking after 5.30pm.

coming soon...



13458-IC QGATE ESP 48 FASHION AD.indd 1 • NVL Sept ADS.indd

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Nene Valley Living September 2012  

Nene Valley Living September 2012

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