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Give your wardrobe a fresh new look for Spring...

NENE LIVING C OV E R I N G

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

N E N E VA L L E Y

Happy Easter! How to: Keep the kids busy Help a garden grow Declutter your home Bag a footwear bargain ...and much more

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE April 2017

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HEW… April’s here! I always think that this fourth month is when the feelgoodfactor kicks in, and even more so this year with Easter falling mid-way through. Whether you view the holiday as an excuse to over-indulge, a chance to catch up with family and friends or, perhaps, an opportunity to contemplate and plan the rest of the year ahead, we’ve endeavoured to offer plenty of inspiration in this month’s magazine. If you have children to entertain, mum-of-three Sarah Chase serves up some fabulous ideas for Easter holiday activities starting on p11, whilst there are plenty of suggestions for filling your own spare time elsewhere too – how about helping out with an historic garden renovation (p19), joining the city’s Civic Society (p15), getting involved with an exciting new sports team (p40) or discovering the heritage behind some of our best-known footwear brands (p43)? Maybe your house needs a bit of a Spring clean? We know just the lady to help – see p33. And if it’s your wardrobe that’s in want of a refresh, Sally Stillingfleet has some fab fashion ideas on p27. You’ll find all this and so much more within the pages of our April issue. Enjoy… and have a very happy Easter!

Gillian Bendall Editor PS: Excitement is already mounting for the Oundle International Festival, and this year we’re delighted to be sponsoring the hugely popular Bach Walk, scheduled for July 11. For full details, see www.oundlefestival.org.uk INCORPORATING

NENE VALLEY LIVING

5 Upfront

Easter

Gorgeous gifts and home accessories to get you ready for Easter

7, 9 News & Notes

Helping you make the most of Nene living

40 Royals set up in Peterborough

Behind the scenes with our city’s newest sporting team

23 Nene People

Meet the talented family behind theatre company Telling Tales

27 Spring chic 11 Easter fun for families

Keep the kids busy… because it’s not only about the eggs!

15 Pride of place

A look at the work of Peterborough’s Civic Society

19 Have a go

How you could help a special garden grow

20 Outdoor living

Your lawncare questions answered

Refresh your seasonal wardrobe

30 Health & Beauty

43 Day Out: Factory Shopping

33 Time for a change

47 Martinis, music and muses

The latest on looking good and feeling great

How a professional declutterer could help you change your home

36 Food & Drink

The Black Horse at Elton is put to the taste test… plus a delicious cupcake recipe

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

GET IN TOUCH: neneliving.co.uk

Bag a footwear bargain

Ahead of a special Queensgate event, we give some stars of stage and screen a fresh Spring look

51 Out & About

So much to do, see and enjoy this April

COVER: The colours of Easter. Photo: Bigstock

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UPFRONT Egg-cellent news:Easter is almost here! At last we can look forward to a long holiday weekend,one in which we’re allowed an over-indulgence of chocolate,cakes and bakes and – most important of all – can plan some quality time with family and friends.Get yourself and your home in celebratory mood with our selection of seasonal goodies,all available from a store near you now… Grey and white hanging eggs £3.95 each, The Rounded House

Blue and white hanging decorations £3.50 each, The Rounded House

Ostrich egg £27, Hotel Chocolat

Bunny tealight holder £46,50, Romejo’s

Easter Egg Hunt sign £4, Paperchase

Hen jug £20, The Rounded House Happy bunnies £28.50 each, Romejo’s

Spring shoots £7.50 per stem, The Rounded House

Butlers giant milk chocolate egg with milk chocolate truffles £20, John Lewis

Sitting chicken £16.95, Romejo’s

Pot holder £5.95, Romejo’s

Bunny bag £3.75, The Rounded House

Bunny decorations £1.95 each, The Rounded House

Single origin dark chocolate Quirky Bunny £10, M&S

Chocolate Fudge Brownie egg £10, Thorntons

Alice in Wonderland egg cup and saucer with ‘sugar cube’ salt and pepper shakers £12.50, Romejo’s

Wooden egg cup and spoon £12.95, Romejo’s

STOCKISTS Romejo’s, 14 Market Place, Oundle PE8 4BQ. 01832 272165. www.romejos.co.uk; The Rounded House, 10b West Street, Oundle PE8 4EF. 01832 274687. www.theroundedhouse.com. John Lewis, Paperchase, M&S, Hotel Chocolat and Thorntons, all Queensgate Centre, Peterborough PE1 1NL. www.queensgate-shopping.co.uk.

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NEWS & NOTES Helping you make the most of Nene living

Grass roots football at its best

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ETERBOROUGH’S Northern Star Football Club is creating something different in grass roots football, with an unwavering dedication to investing in and providing the best possible player and coaching pathway. The club caters for players from three and four years old to senior level, and is always looking for volunteers, coaches, managers, supporters and sponsors. • To find out more visit www.pnsfc.co.uk or email contact@pnsfc.co.uk

Positive about Parkinson’s

On your marks…

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HE race is on to get a team together for the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival which takes place on Saturday 10 June on Peterborough Rowing Lake in aid of the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. There are spaces for up to 52 crews to battle it out over the 200m course. Each team will race a minimum of three times, the dragon boats and all equipment are provided and no previous experience is needed. There will also be a host of bankside activity to entertain teams and spectators between races. There is a great incentive for teams to raise as much sponsorship as possible, as the top fundraisers will win a private race-view suite, finger buffet and sponsored race package worth £600, donated by Peterborough Greyhound Stadium. • For information and an entry form call organisers Gable Events on 01780 470718 or visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/peterborough

Weather prediction app goes national

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GROUP of expert organisations which trialled a new phone app to provide accurate local rainfall predictions in Peterborough has now made it available nationally. ARKINSON’S Awareness Week is from 10-16 The project team – consisting of environmental charity April and the following week, on Friday 21, PECT, Meniscus, Anglia Ruskin University and Loughborough University – joined forces to the Peterborough branch of Parkinson’s UK is launch Hyperlocal Rainfall, funded by Innovate UK, the government’s technology agency. hosting its biggest event, Positively Parkinson’s. The aim of the app is to enable people to obtain accurate short-term rainfall predictions Chairman Ruth Brinkler-Long says: “There are specific to their journey or location, which can be planned, viewed and saved within the over 800 people in the Peterborough area who app. The project is the first of its kind and will allow people to plan their trips and outdoor have Parkinson’s and we currently have over activities whilst taking the weather into account. 150 members. We are very aware that some of After being successfully trialled in Peterborough, the app is now being launched the other 650 people may not know that there nationally, and at the moment is free to download. Every participant who downloads the is a branch in Peterborough offering help and app for free now will always retain unpaid support, as well as friendship and guidance.” access to it. • The Positively Parkinson’s event is being Need help with business finances? Wright • For more information see www.pect. sponsored by The Worshipful Master and Books provides affordable and professional org.uk/HyperlocalRainfall. The app can Brethren of The Fitzwilliam Lodge 2533 and is bookkeeping and payroll services and be downloaded for free from Google Play being held at the Masonic Hall in Bretton. For has particular expertise in looking after – search for ‘Hyperlocal Rainfall’. information call Ruth on 07752 014998. small- to medium-sized enterprises and charities. David Wright says: “We take particular interest in helping new start-up businesses get set up and record their financial transactions correctly from the OCAL company Shaws Coaches has launched its new day very beginning. We have some incredibly tour programme which features a whole host of outings good value software which we can offer for all the family to enjoy. Highlights include The Emmerdale for as little as £1 per month and we are Studio Experience (9 May), Star Wars Exhibition at the 02 happy to set it up for you, train you how (1 June), Buckingham Palace and State Apartments with to use it and be there if you have any Champagne tea at the Waldorf Hilton (15 August), the new queries. Alternatively, we can do all your Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace (22 August) bookkeeping for you. We can also produce and The Art of the Brick – Lego Exhibition at London’s South regular management reports so that Bank (30 August). you know exactly how your business is New West End musical productions featured include performing, enabling you to make informed Stepping Out, 42nd Street, An American in Paris and Wind in decisions around your finances.” the Willows. And, ideal for a Father’s Day gift, there’ll be trips • For a free consultation contact David on to The Great Central Railway Event (18 June), Tram Sunday 07930 929701 or see at Fleetwood (16 July), The De Havilland Museum www.wrightbooks.co.uk (3 October) and a Guided Tour and Afternoon Tea at the Oval (17 October). • For more information call 01778 342224 or see www.shawscoaches.co.uk

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Fun for all the family

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NEWS & NOTES Watch out for late tax return penalties

A N I M A L A D V O C AT E S

Kerry Hilliard of Stephenson Smart Chartered Accountants explains what to do if you are required to complete a selfassessment tax return and you do not meet the deadline for submitting your return to HMRC…

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HERE can often be some delay before a taxpayer becomes aware of a penalty and the additional penalties that can be charged are often overlooked – tax returns for 2015/16 should have been filed by 31 January 2017 and a £100 penalty will be applied if the return is late, even if there is no tax outstanding. If you have missed the initial January cutoff it is important that you submit your tax return to HMRC as soon as possible. There are additional penalties that can be charged for persistent delay and these can be very high – penalties of £1,600 or more accrue in the first 12 months from the filing deadline. If you feel you have a ‘reasonable excuse’ for missing the deadline then the penalty can be cancelled. HMRC considers this to be something outside of your control, such as the death of a close relative or an unexpected stay in hospital. HMRC is unlikely to class reasons such as ‘pressure of work’ or ‘a lack of reminders’ as a reasonable excuse – each year it publishes a list of the ‘top 10’ worst excuses for late filing, including: • My tax papers were left in the shed and a rat ate them • I was up a mountain in Wales and couldn’t find a postbox or get an internet signal • I live in a campervan in a supermarket car park • My return was on my yacht, which caught fire. Needless to say, it is not always easy to appeal against these penalties once they have been issued. • If you would like any assistance or advice regarding the completion of your tax return please contact Stephenson Smart on 01733 343275 or visit www.stephensonsmart.com

The great outdoors PRING is in the air and with Easter approaching we enjoy spending more time outside. At this time of year, families often consider getting outdoor pets such as guinea pigs, rabbits, goats and chickens. Single pet rabbits are often purchased from pet shops, but they can become bored and lonely on their own – they like the company of other rabbits. Often they are sold with small hutches; however rabbits need lots of space to run around. Did you know that rabbits require as much exercise as a small dog and it costs on average £9,000 to keep them healthy and happy over their lifetime? Chickens are usually purchased from hatching companies as chicks. The chick either turns in to a hen or a cockerel. A single hen should be kept with at least two other hen friends, in a spacious coop and a large run to explore in. Alternatively, your chick may turn into a cockerel. Cockerels need a group of hens to look after, the same space to live and explore as hens, and will express themselves vocally throughout the day, starting from early morning. At Wood Green we are able to help you assess what your pet will need and what to expect from it. We can also help you to gradually mix your rabbit with a suitable mate. So why not treat someone to a trip to Wood Green this Easter? This would be the first and most important step to acquiring a new healthy and happy pet. Wood Green The Animals Charity offers a low-fee advice service for dogs and cats. If you would like behaviour or training advice for your pet call 01480 830014 ext 1281

Holiday help Planning a trip? We asked the experts at Oundle Travel for their top five holiday destinations for 2017… • Relaxation Croatia and the Dalmatian coast – outstandingly beautiful, the newest star of the Mediterranean. Beautiful coastline, unspoilt towns, medieval walled cities, churches and palaces. • Tailor-made adventure Argentina – visit Buenos Aires, classic architecture and a cosmopolitan feel, take in a tango show in a traditional theatre then combine with Iguazu Falls and end with a stay at an Estancia and experience Gaucho life! • Weekend away Tallinn – one of Northern Europe’s bestpreserved medieval towns. Founded in the early 13th century, Tallin has been influenced by periods of Danish, Swedish and Russian rule. • Activity Cuba – why not take one of our cycling tours

Croatia and the Dalmatian coast

and combine with sightseeing on this historical island? Ride into the Sierra Maetra mountain range and enjoy staying in small Casas with local guides. • Family Paxos – one of the smallest and leastdeveloped islands in the Ionian, Paxos has it all: turquoise waters, picturesque villages and fantastic beaches. Villas are a firm favourite with families. • For more information on these destinations, or for further inspiration, contact Oundle Travel, Market Place, Oundle PE8 4EA. 01832 273600; www.oundletravel.co.uk

Peterborough Jazz Club celebrates its 25th anniversary this month with a milestone concert on Sunday 23 April at The Great Northern Hotel. On stage will be one of the finest young bands to emerge in recent years from the UK, the Alexandra Ridout Quintet, whose members are all aged 18 years or under. The Club’s founder Laurie Jacobs and his Quartet will be playing a support set, with the doors opening at 6.45pm. Tickets are available on the door, priced £14.

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• daytime classes Tuesdays or Thursdays

In aid of Multiple Sclerosis I £10 per ticket (£15 on the night)

• evening class on Mondays

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• for complete beginners or improvers • drawing, pastels, watercolours, acrylics • all materials included • next 12 week course starts soon • held at Yarwell Village Hall

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• Design and fabrication of bespoke cook-fires, braziers and firepits

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EASTER It’s not only about the eggs! Sarah Chase suggests some activities to keep children of all ages occupied during the holidays

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OR some parents the longer school holidays beckon invitingly. They offer up an idyllic image of sun-lit picnics, joyful children engaged in wholesome activities and, of course, a well-earned break from the hectic routine of school runs, sports fixtures and homework. For others, they loom large on the horizon, filled with squabbling siblings and seemingly endless requests for food, entertainment and screen-time… or is that just me? It’s not reasonable to assume that every day of these Easter holidays can be filled with laughter, but we can give ourselves and our children the best chance by getting organised. Boredom in children is underrated – they need space and time to be able to create their own fun – but having a few local options for days out will give just enough structure to stop the whingeing when it reaches maximum volume. Here are some of the best our area can offer…

With a later Easter this year we should be able to enjoy being outside... head for a country park or farm with your youngsters

Pre-schoolers It’s all about variety at this age – exposing your children to all sorts of different interests will give them the foundation they need to discover what it is they love in later life. With a late Easter this year, we may well be able to enjoy being outside! We are lucky enough to have a wealth of outdoor areas which can capture the imagination and encourage exercise without them suspecting they’re being healthy. The country parks around Peterborough, Oundle and Corby always offer amazing value for money in a nature-filled environment, and this Easter is no exception. Fermyn Woods is offering its perennially popular Easter Egg Quiz Trail, which allows you to combine a brisk walk with chocolate and prizes – always a winner. It runs daily from 1 April to 18 April; see www. northamptonshireparks.co.uk/fermyn-woodscountry-park for times. Barnwell Country Park, meanwhile, has dared to be different, embracing all that is crafty with a wonderful Bendy Beasts workshop on Monday 3 April. Encourage your children to investigate the weird and wonderful life of bugs by making a slithering snake or a dancing dragonfly, and then take them off with some of the bug hunting equipment that is available to borrow. There are two sessions, morning and afternoon; check out their website, www. northamptonshireparks.co.uk/barnwellcountry-park for times.

Both country parks charge for parking, but this is a cost which goes towards the upkeep of these wonderful spaces. The activities are also charged for, but at a nominal fee. Easter at Sacrewell Farm is always a special time, with lambs and new life all around. A tractor ride and Easter Egg Hunt will complete the picture, and there’s always the soft play barn and café to ensure you can make a day of it. For details of what’s on offer this holiday, see www.sacrewell.org.uk. Nene Park Trust is another favourite for getting the kids excited about being outdoors, and there’s always something going on that will appeal. Look out for an Easter Egg Hunt with clues taking you around the beautiful green spaces of Ferry Meadows, and a Teddy Bear Hunt, where children will take part in craft activities and story time before searching for Barney Bear who is hiding out in the wilds… www.neneparktrust.org.uk has further information. We all know the British weather doesn’t always play ball, though – and if it is really too much to contend with, you’ll need a few ideas for indoor alternatives.

There’s bound to be something on at the various cinemas we have in our area, but why not stretch your children’s imaginations in a different way by introducing them to some theatre and even ballet? The Key Theatre in Peterborough has plenty of events aimed specifically at pre-school children. This Easter you could take your little one to see Chester Tuffnut – a ‘treemole’ who adores adventures and being outdoors. Chester’s mission in this original and entertaining piece of theatre is to remind his bored friends how to have fun and, with a running time of 50 minutes, it’s the perfect introduction for youngsters to the joys of live performance. The highly-acclaimed Northern Ballet is also at the Key this Easter, with an adaptation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The ballet company’s Short Ballets for Small People have proven hugely successful for CBeebies, and this performance lasts just 40 minutes: no time for legs to get restless. Such cultural experiences will leave a memory to be treasured. Visit www.vivacitypeterborough.com for further information and tickets to both of these shows.

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EASTER It’s not only about the eggs! Try a Treasure Trail... you set your own pace and will learn more about the local area

Primary age

Try a Treasure Trail as an alternative to a chocolate-fuelled hunt this Easter. This business operates nationwide, and aims to encourage families to learn more about their local area by sending them off on a self-guided trail. Simply download and print out a trail from the website (www. treasuretrails.co.uk, cost £6.99) and set off with your best detective’s hat on. You’ll need to search high and low for answers to the clues, but the joy is that you are always in control of how often you stop for refreshments, and you can take the trail entirely at your own (or your child’s) pace. There are two really close to home, in Oundle and Peterborough, with the latter trail taking the theme of a Murder Mystery. Alternatively, if the older children in your group enjoy being spooked, you could take them on a tour of Priestgate Vaults (pictured above right) which runs daily… see www. vivacity-peterborough.org.uk for details on tickets, prices and age recommendations. For construction-crazy kids, get along to Corby Library where there are a couple of different interactive activity sessions aimed at developing literacy and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) skills – all through the wonderful medium of LEGO. On Saturday 25 March children can make a comic book using LEGO and iPads – how great is that! It’s absolutely free, with no booking required, as is the LEGO Mindstorm session on Saturday 1 April where they are invited to build fun robots and learn how to program them to drive around. Awesome!

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The Inflatable 5k is no April Fool’s joke... Or perhaps your teens would like the chance to volunteer?


Teenagers

Now, be prepared: some of these activities may involve you rediscovering the teenager in yourself… why should the youngsters have all the fun? Get your very best running shoes on, prise your teenager out of bed, and get down to the East of England Showground in Peterborough for 9am on Saturday 1 April: it’s time for the Inflatable 5k. If running 5k isn’t enough of a challenge for you then this will be your thing. With 10 gigantic inflatable obstacles around the course, you are invited to ‘flip, bunch and boing’ your way round in your fastest time. Healthy competition in families is good, right? Perhaps after all that running around you might be ready for a sit down – in which case, you should take the kids to Adrenaline Alley in Corby, and give them a chance to find their own limits. It describes itself as ‘a fun, urban sports park for all the family’ and offers enormous and challenging indoor and outdoor spaces for skateboards, scooters and bikes, complete with ramps and jumps. Oh, and there’s a café, so you can catch your breath while they show off their skills… www.adrenalinealley.co.uk has all the details you need to book your slot. Is it the limelight that’s needed to make your grumpy teenager shine? Then book them into the Telling Tales Easter workshop: Louise and Simon will help them to achieve their true potential in a fun and supportive environment. See p23 or www.tellingtalestheatre.com for more info. If your child is open to new experiences, then why not offer them the chance to volunteer? Vivacity Peterborough, an independent organisation which runs many of the city’s cultural, leisure and sports activities, relies on the support it receives from volunteers, and is unusual in that it will accept youngsters from 14 years of age. There are opportunities in the libraries, Museum and with Club Viva, the holiday sports club, as well as many more, so visit www.vivacity-peterborough. com and discover how fulfilling (and fun) volunteering can be.

Themed ‘escape rooms’ are a fun family activity...

The great escape

As a final gift, I give you Escape Peterborough, our local puzzlesolving game with a twist. Part of the latest craze to be sweeping the country, the team at Escape asks you to use your powers of observation and problem-solving in order to beat the clock: in teams of two to five, you will be locked in one of three rooms with just an hour to solve a series of puzzles and escape. It sounds like a long time, but take it from me, those minutes tick by fast! Everything you need to escape is in the room, but solving the riddles is another matter. Help is on hand if you are struggling, so no one is left confused for too long – it’s a great one for the family to do together, and will leave you wanting to try out the other rooms, too. Visit www.escape-peterborough.co.uk for details.

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More than care

Call today to find out more

01733 459 907

01780 480 881

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HERITAGE

Pride of place

As Peterborough continues to be one of the fastest-growing places in the UK, the Civic Society strives to make sure it’s a city in which present and future generations can be proud to live, work and socialise. Kem Mehmed explains how you can get involved… Peterborough Civic Society strives to promote pride of place. It’s about respecting our heritage and encouraging good design in balanced, sustainable growth

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N short, that’s how I would describe the Civic Society! A voluntary, membershipbased organisation, a charity funded by its members, the Society campaigns to influence the public authorities and other agents of change to: • Promote good design • Encourage an imaginative approach to the city’s future • Value and care for the local heritage of buildings and other features • Promote local knowledge and pride of place And we meet monthly to: • Hear speakers on planning, design, regeneration, environmental issues and the history and culture of Peterborough • Visit places of interest during the summer • Participate in events throughout the year • Publish articles and leaflets and other information BEGINNINGS The Peterborough Society, as it was originally called, was founded in 1952. Until then, late ‘40s historic buildings had nothing like the protection they are now afforded. It was the loss of historic buildings which motivated the Society’s founders. Their aim, agreed at a launch meeting in the Writing Room of the Angel Hotel in Bridge Street, was to ‘work for the preservation of the few remaining old buildings left in the City of Peterborough and the surrounding district’. The city centre, particularly, had lost many old Here’s where it all started, back in 1952 buildings to redevelopment since the turn of the century. “This process of robbing Peterborough Gayhurst on Lincoln Road of its historical past is going on unnoticed by was saved from the many and uncared for by most,” wrote the demolition first chairman, Harry Paten, who was the driving thanks to local force behind the launch of the Society. He had opposition served in the RAF in WWII and returned to take over the family concern, Paten and Co Ltd. He intended the Society to have clout, however its membership in 1953 was a mere 160. As he unabashedly reported, they “represented quality rather than quantity.” Earl Fitzwilliam was prevailed upon to be president and members included almost every familiar business or professional Peterborough name including Baker, Brassey, Buckle, Clarke, Craig, Crisp, Crowden, Dickens, Farrow, Hartley, Horrell, Jellings, Jolliffe, Harmer Nicholls, Percival, Ruddle, Sharman, Westcombe, Wilkinson and Wright. Membership did grow and in the late ‘60s reached well over 400. In 1979 Mr J Betjeman of London EC1 was listed as an honorary member.

The Fletton Quays development will continue to be a focus of the Civic Society’s attention...

Proposals for the Whitworth Mill (right) will be put forward this year

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HERITAGE EARLY PROJECTS The 1947 Planning Act had introduced the modern planning system, including the power to have lists made of all buildings of architectural interest, which afforded them a large degree of protection. Although listing didn’t prevent a building decaying, it was clearly an important step. The government ministry welcomed the contribution of knowledgeable people who could assist in drawing up the lists. In 1952 there was no Peterborough list. The Society’s first report became ‘Buildings of Historic and Architectural Interest in and around the City’, a list which, in its short factual and authoritative style, is little different in style from the current Statutory List. Its assessments of buildings of historic interest in villages extended well away from urban Peterborough. Following its survey of Peterborough’s historic buildings, it prepared lists for Castor in 1954, Sutton, Fotheringhay, Kings Cliffe and Elton in 1955. The Society campaigned to protect individual threatened buildings. Early successes included 108 Bridge Street and the interior walls of Thorpe Hall. The Society was an advocate for threatened buildings as far afield as Wakerley, Barrowden, Kettering, St Ives and Warmington, as well as the local villages. In the 1950s many village cottages and small houses, previously tenanted, had been left to decay as demand for labour on the land declined. The Society was keen to prove that restoration and a return to beneficial use was financially feasible. The Elizabethan Cottage in Upton was one such, and it would have been fascinating to have overheard the conversations between the owner, Lord Fitzwilliam (president of the Society) and Harry Paten which led to Mr Paten and the Society acquiring this, renovating it, and selling it on in 1958. The Priest’s House at Easton on the Hill is a significant example of direct action. Here the 15th-century parsonage was reduced to being used as an animal shelter. It was offered to the Society by the Diocesan Dilapidations Board, renovated and handed over to The National Trust. In 1967 it was opened to the public. MODERN TIMES From about 1970 the escalation in property prices, particularly in rural areas, ruled out any direct building action. Activities undertaken moved with the times and have been largely focused on raising public awareness of heritage assets and of development proposals which continued apace following the rapid growth of the Development Corporation era. Amongst the achievements are • Thorpe Hall: regular campaigns over three decades resisting development and encouraging retention. • Plaques scheme: installing information plaques on 30 buildings with trail leaflets 1985 to 2012. Big changes are about to happen with a brand new Blue Plaque Scheme. • Lobbying on development proposals: The Gables, Thorpe Road (add to Statutory List); 80 Lincoln Road, (to retain); Memorial Hospital frontage; Fletton Quays development (the fight for a new bridge goes on!); and the Broadway

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Blue Plaques highlight places of historical importance around the city... a printed guide, website and, eventually, an app will explain more

The Priest’s House was renovated and then handed over to the National Trust

“This process of robbing Peterborough of its historical past is going on unnoticed by the many and uncared for by most” First chairman, Harry Paten

Published in conjunction with Peterborough Photographic Society, this book has had great success in spreading news of our local heritage around the world...

Theatre (retention). • Peterborough In Detail: publication with partners Peterborough Photographic Society of hardback book of architectural character of the area. This has been a great success in spreading the word locally and worldwide, with one recent sale to an address in Australia. • Buildings of Local Importance: assisting City Council in drawing up a list of buildings which contribute to the character of the area which are not on the Statutory List. • Westwood Airfield Video: ‘midwife role’ in enabling story of the airfield to be told. • Cathedral views: a study of every viewpoint of the cathedral and analysis to identify ‘protection zones’. • Heritage Open Days: we took a major part in organising this popular event in 2016, achieving an increase in visitor numbers and properties open to view. • Guildhall Walk: a legal procedure instigated by the society to oppose the overnight closure of the right of way is current. TO COME… Peterborough’s Blue Plaques have just been installed. A total of 20 plaques have been created, some replacing existing plaques in the city centre. They are beautiful blue circular plaques similar to those in London and their launch includes publication of a comprehensive printed guide, website and, eventually, an app. We will be kept busy with work on the challenges we know are coming. The Peterborough Local Plan, which sets out the direction and pace of growth for the next 20 years, is being reviewed and we have made extensive comments. The Fletton Quays development will continue to require our attention and proposals for the retained Whitworth Mill and railway warehouse will be coming forward during 2017. Once these development schemes are fully under way, proposals for other large sites owned by the City Council will, we expect, be brought forward and need our attention. As Peterborough continues to be one of the fastest-growing places in the UK there will be a need to help all involved in producing a place where we can all be proud to live. BECOMING A MEMBER OF PETERBOROUGH CIVIC SOCIETY GIVES YOU: • A free copy of our Annual Report and Newsletters • The opportunity to attend regular meetings, summer visits and other Society events. • The opportunity to get involved in special projects. Membership fees (annual January to December): Individual Member £11 Junior Member/ Senior Citizen £6 Couple or Family including children under 18 £17 Senior Citizen (Couple) £10 • www.peterboroughcivicsociety.org.uk


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Visit The Barn for all your garden needs

• Trees, Conifers & Shrubs • Perennials & Alpines • Bedding & Seasonal Plants • Fruit, Veg & Herbs • Roses & Climbers • Grasses & Ferns The Barn Garden Centre, Barnwell Road, Oundle. PE8 5PB 01832 273310 - www.thebarngardencentre.co.uk Find us on facebook

Great Plants, Great Choice, Great Value

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HAVE A GO

Watch this space grow Beyond the scrolls of a grand wrought iron gate at the back of Elton’s Victorian Walled Garden, something wonderful is emerging – an exciting new venture for owners Nick and Christine Smith and head gardener, Diane Ray. Rebecca Downey reports…

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EFT as nature intended for the last 50 years, the ‘secret garden’ was a wilderness of grass and nettles, but plans are under way to transform the space to its former glory. The revitalised kitchen garden will eventually provide produce for the tearoom and become a place which, Diane hopes, will attract the likes of garden enthusiasts, school children, artist groups and those desiring a therapeutic, contemplative environment. Volunteers will do a good deal of the work and the task ahead is huge, but as we discuss the plans from Diane’s office headquarters (a rather cosy blue shed on site) it’s apparent her enthusiasm and joie de vivre have no bounds. The garden will be divided into sections comprising three large vegetable plots; a gravelled potting area with greenhouse, toolshed and seating; a large cut flower border with a central feature; possibly chickens too – all surrounded by espaliered fruit trees. Twometre-wide pathways will provide wheelchair access and give onlookers the space to observe and walk together. Even the approach to the secret garden will be getting a makeover, with herringbone beds laid out either side of the path towards peach and apricot espaliers along the south-facing wall. Having worked at Elton Walled Garden for the last three years and as a self-employed gardener prior to that, Diane’s knowledge is extensive but her first love is flowers. “So this is a bit of a learning curve for me,” she confesses, “we hope to grow a diverse mix of modern and heritage varieties of fruit and veg so I’m constantly researching and learning so much about pest control, crop rotation, companion planting, worms and so on.” So far, with the help of enthusiastic volunteers, the area has been strimmed, plots marked, ivy prised from the walls, four compost bins built and weed suppressants laid down. The latter has been an experiment using sacking, cardboard and plastic on the three vegetable plots to discover which is the most effective. The original arbor has been restored and will provide shade on sunny days for workers and visitors alike. The budget for this project is not huge so Diane has had to be resourceful, gleaning materials for free where possible, recycling and purchasing second-hand, such as the greenhouse, which came from eBay. Ironwork supports along the southern side, which sheltered the original wallgrowing trees, will remain as part of the planting scheme and provide protection for the northern European varieties such as greengage plums.

The volunteers

Diane Ray, head gardener

Completion is set for five years’ time but Diane has the task of growing something by the end of the spring for the café. “They may have to serve cress sandwiches but I’m determined to do it,” she chuckles. “The plan is to have all the veg up and running by year three and then move on to the flower border.” Each vegetable plot will be sub-divided so that workers can focus on specific areas and a particular vegetable – hopefully making the task ahead seem less daunting but also creating an atmosphere of gentle competition. Diane has hopes that the space will eventually host seasonal events for the community such as scarecrow building, willow weaving workshops and pumpkin carving, for example. She is also adamant that there will be no waste and is looking into partnerships with local soup kitchens and food banks to make use of any surplus produce. As we looked over the drawings and discussed the potential for the space, the rain began to fall and the workers joined us in the shed for a well-earned tea break. Roy, a volunteer from Orton Brimbles, who has worked on his own allotment since 2007, says he gets enormous pleasure from working outdoors and simply breathing in the fresh air. “Gardening keeps me healthy and happy,” he beams. Jill, also an allotment grower from Woodnewton, volunteered because she retired last June and really wanted to get involved in something on her own terms: “I wanted to keep busy but I can do as much or as a little as I am able – there is no pressure.” All the volunteers agree it is exciting to be part of a project from its conception, and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the fruits of your labour literally grow before your eyes. Perhaps you have skills to share and time on your hands, or maybe you are retired and have the desire to get involved in a new venture? All are welcome and no experience is necessary; there will be lighter duties for those with less physical ability. This would be a fantastic opportunity for youths hoping to earn their Duke of Edinburgh Award voluntary credentials or anyone suffering from mental health issues who is unable to work full-time but would like to breathe some fresh air and get back in touch with the natural environment. So, drag yourself away from that device, pull on your wellies and get stuck in. • If you are interested in volunteering, call Diane or Nick at Elton Walled Garden on 01832 280058. www.eltonwalledgarden.co.uk NENE LIVING APRIL 2017

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OUTDOOR LIVING For a lovely lawn – it’s simple! If you’re thinking of heading out into the garden over the Easter break and dread the thought of a tired,weedy and mossy-looking lawn then don’t worry... help is at hand

Sisters Sarah and Jo Parish

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ISTERS Sarah and Jo Parish, who run the award-winning Peterborough-based GreenThumb lawn care business, can soon get your lawn into great shape for summer. Here they answer some frequently asked questions. Is my lawn beyond repair? In most cases the answer is no! If you’ve got a very weedy and tired-looking lawn, even after our first visit you’ll notice a huge difference. Depending on the weather conditions you’ll start to see the weeds begin to brown and curl up within 10 days and we aim to remove at least 50 per cent of weeds after our first visit. The fertiliser we apply will start to feed the lawn and you’ll notice a change in colour and growth as we begin to transform your lawn. How do I start? It’s simple: just contact the office to arrange for one of us to come out and do a free, no obligation lawn analysis. On this visit we’ll do a thorough health check of your lawn, measure it up and let you know the price options. Prices depend on your lawn size and start at just £15 per treatment for a lawn that’s 40 square metres or less – cheaper than DIY and hassle-free! How frequently would you treat my lawn? We provide four seasonal treatments

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designed to give you a beautiful lawn throughout the year. Many of our customers also ask us to hollow-tine aerate and scarify their lawns annually. This machine work is the proven way to having a healthy lawn and to keep moss at bay. We also provide a range of other treatments such as pest and disease management and our Oasis water conserver helps keep lawns greener for longer over the dry summer months. How does the service work? It’s easy. We always let you know at least a week in advance of our planned visit, either by letter, phone, text or email – whichever is your preference. If the date’s not convenient we can always change it. We’ve got three great lawn care technicians, Jim, Richard and Dan, who apply the treatments and all of us hold the National Proficiency Training Council (NPTC) licence for the safe use of pesticides. Do I have to be at home? The majority of customers aren’t at home when we call. Our technicians are totally selfsufficient and will carry out the treatment as long as we have access to your lawns. We always leave our invoice through your letterbox and close any gates securely after finishing. If you’d prefer to be in when we treat your lawn we always do our best to accommodate your request.

Are the treatments safe for children? Yes. We do recommend however that children (and cats and dogs) are kept off the lawn for one to two hours to give any products that are applied time to dry. And what if my lawn is truly beyond repair? That’s not a problem. We can offer a full lawn renovation service where we aerate and deep-scarify the old lawn to remove all the thatch and moss. We then overseed using GreenThumb-approved lawn seed and cover with 100 per cent peat-free, organic top dressing. It’s a fraction of the cost of re-turfing and with some warm weather, water and sunshine the new lawn will be establishing itself from about four weeks onwards.

If you’d like a lovely lawn, start by booking your free lawn analysis now and get expert help from GreenThumb. Contact Sarah or Jo on 01733 755028 or email them at peterborough@greenthumb.co.uk. www.greenthumb.co.uk


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

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NENE PEOPLE

A theatrical family: Simon, Louise and son Oscar

It’s showtime! Telling Tales theatre company founders and directors Louise Russell and Simon Aylin discuss their diverse and exciting programme of courses and events with Sarah Chase

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AN you imagine learning, rehearsing and performing twelve plays in twelve weeks? Now imagine not being put off the acting profession for life by such pressure! Add to that heady pressure-cooker of tension a summer romance, and it’s showtime… When, in 2004, the original actor dropped out of the Lyceum Theatre in Crewe’s gruelling weekly rep due to stress, Simon Aylin stepped in to the roles and the stage was set for him and his newfound repertory colleague, Louise Russell. Thirteen years on they are still together, in life and work, and are busier than ever. Their company, Telling Tales, is now in its fourth year, bringing a taste of the West End to the Nene Valley, and has been responsible for sell-out Christmas pantomimes at Oundle’s Stahl Theatre, along with holiday workshops and Saturday schools. Having moved to Oundle originally to be nearer to Simon’s parents,

who were ill at the time, they decided to stay. Both had taught for other institutions and, as Simon says: “we wanted to do it our way. “Starting Telling Tales seemed like the obvious way to put down some roots where we live; we really aim to benefit the community that we love by doing what we know best,” he says. “We focus on children’s development, sense of self-worth and confidence – to us, this is the most important role of our company, although it helps if the students feel they’re taking part in good quality, fun shows!” Simon and Louise have careers that have spanned a variety of disciplines over the years, giving them both experience and contacts that many would envy. Having left Leeds University with a degree in Theatre Arts, Simon started writing and directing children’s theatre and, whilst he was a performer for much of his 20s, it was as a writer that he found most success. NENE LIVING APRIL 2017

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It’s showtime! Louise, meanwhile, attended the prestigious Italia Conti (training alongside Martine McCutcheon and Louise Redknapp) and spent many years performing in a variety of plays and musicals, most notably Blood Brothers in the West End. Their combined experience is brought to bear in Telling Tales, which offers Saturday schools for students aged four to 16. Each week, pupils are coached in acting, dancing and singing by individuals who have all worked as professional performers and are now professional teachers. Simon is justifiably proud of the set-up: “Our dance teacher, Pippa Higgs, performed in Wicked in the West End,” he explains: “Our drama teacher, Tina Doyle, was a star of musicals, pantomimes and plays for years before she became Head of Drama at Peterborough High, and our singing teacher, Lewis Hall, has worked extensively as an musical director and musician.” The students of the senior school (those in school years two and above) work towards a summer showcase, in which they are the stars, and also the Christmas pantomime, where they are included as part of a professional company. Whether they are considering a career on the stage or just enjoy the buzz of amateur dramatics, the experience is immensely fulfilling. Christina Locke, whose daughters attend the Saturday school and often take part in the Easter and Summer schools too, is full of praise for the team: “I wouldn’t have described my girls as natural performers,” she says “and they were very shy during their first time at the Telling Tales workshops. Louise and Simon, along with their team, are so great with the kids, though, that they soon overcame any fears. “They’ve made such progress over the past couple of years that, much to my disbelief, my eldest now loves to get on stage and is even game for singing a solo – something I would never have expected of my shy pre-schooler! “I had the pleasure, at Christmas, of going to see them in Cinderella – performing confidently with professional actors. What a proud moment!” Simon writes all the pantomimes himself, and he collaborates on the music – this year with Owen Parker, who has written and recorded

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SIMON’S TOP TIPS FOR PUTTING ON A SUCCESSFUL PANTO: • Never forget that the story is at the very heart of your show • Remember that panto is part of the British psyche, and respect that! • Always appeal to the children – for some, it will be their first experience of theatre, and they are the audience of your future. Give them the show they deserve, and everything else will fall into place

for, and played with, Girls Aloud, Simple Minds, the Pet Shop Boys, Billy Bragg and is currently writing songs for Robbie William’s forthcoming Christmas album. Humour is the key to success in a panto, and Simon knows exactly how to appeal to adults and children alike. He is already writing pantomimes for other venues for Christmas 2017 although he says, “star names are yet to be decided and there will no doubt be lots of rewriting required later in the year!” Simon has written as many as five pantos in a year, to be produced and performed by other professional companies, and many are written specifically for individual stars: Nigel Havers, Linda Robson and Louie Spence have all been given the Simon ‘treatment’ on the panto stage. “I really enjoy creating a role with a particular star in mind,” he says. “It’s always fun to find their peccadilloes and bring out the idiosyncrasies that have made them so wellloved in the first place – and then work these into the script to give the audience exactly what they want.” It’s a family affair, too, with the couple’s son Oscar appearing on stage with them wherever they go. “I love being part of what my mum and dad are doing,” Oscar says. “I’ve been brought up with performing and I wouldn’t want to miss out!” Oscar has proven his talents in other arenas, too – he is a chorister at King’s School in Peterborough and performs weekly in Peterborough Cathedral, as

well as at other venues around the country. And, if running their own theatre company and writing for multiple venues around the country weren’t enough to pass the time, both Simon and Louise also teach throughout the week: Louise in a number of schools, principally tutoring students through London Academy of Music and Drama Arts (LAMDA); and Simon lecturing at Goldsmiths University, London, teaching Performance Arts to students studying other disciplines – using story telling and physical theatre to help generate ideas with design students, for instance. “It’s a challenge keeping all the plates spinning,” admits Simon, “but, hey – who wants life to be boring?”

• Telling Tales is close to capacity, but there are a few spaces left, and names can always be added to the waiting list. For further information see www.tellingtales.co.uk • Details of the pantomime for Christmas 2017 are still under wraps, but you will know about it when it comes! Look out for banners, posters and advertising nearer the time.


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Summer Arrives at Asha’s

Stocking continental clothes, accessories and gifts for the discerning male

Collection of unique furniture, Annie Sloan Paint, ceramics, lighting, soft furnishings, interior accessories, cards and gifts

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

Coffee & Tea, Afternoon Teas Selection of Cakes The perfect place to take a break

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


Spring chic FASHION

Spring’s a great time to give your wardrobe a refresh… Sally Stillingfleet suggests some new styles and colours to help you keep up with the latest trends

I d eve -sle igan t r sho g card d n ars we ith lo 9, an y e 2 is w lb Lou £59, ings £ 39, al tch a top , legg ps £ nto w oured l m 9 e £11 n pu . Tim ld-co sha’s w o bro dwich ose g , all A r 5 n Sa and 18.9 £ 5 £3 klace nec ire. Att

F you buy one colour, make it pink – there’s a shade to suit every skin tone! On p29 we have also chosen a top with frills, which works well to add interest and is soft and feminine. Frills are on a lot of tops and sleeves and are especially good for balancing proportions. The ‘cold shoulder’ is not just an attitude, it’s a cut-away top detail and it’s so flattering. The Max Studio (new to John Lewis) khaki top on p28 is particularly pretty and looks great on Louise with the maxi skirt. A bomber jacket is a wardrobe staple and I am pleased this look has continued into Spring with printed styles – so much nicer than a cardigan and looks great when worn with a maxi dress or jeans. Footwear is so much more casual this season. Anne at Cottons says styles are comfortable and less formal, with ‘flatforms’ (anything with a chunky heel or wedge, in white!), great trainer styles and chunky slip-ons to add interest to every outfit.

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ink long Blush p , hirt £65 s d e v e sle wn soft bro h it w worn ers s u o tr d croppe cket mber ja £95, bo £29, rf a c s d £119 an at h ic andw all by S e. ir tt A ’s Asha

s -up urn t rt , ith 9 s w sho ean print irt £5 linen j m tik h t i f s n De , Ba lue T- ter so ich; a’s 5 w sh £9 ved b -quar Sand m A en e e sle thre 9, all ll fro l Gre 1 u a and et £1 £35, de Pa . k s jac klace d sue tton o e nec ire. R 30, C 1 Att ps £ pum

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Kha k sho i print ‘ ul co with der’ top ld j £40 ersey m £45, w or , excl both M axi skir n a u t Bro sive to x Studi nz o, J £32 e-colo ohn Le ur w , Crea Asha’s ed cho is. ker Atti mc re h pum ps £ unky C . la 60, Cot rks tons .


STOCKISTS Asha’s Attire, The Bazaar, West Street, Oundle PE8 4EJ. 01832 275605; www.ashas.net. Cottons, 7 Market Place, Oundle PE8 4BA. 01832 272534; www.cottons-oundle.com. John Lewis, Queensgate Centre, Peterborough PE1 1NL. 01733 344644. www.johnlewis.com Thanks to: • Barbara, owner of Asha’s Attire, and Fay and Karen for allowing us to photograph in the beautiful shop and café there. Many thanks, too, to Louise Passam for modelling for us – she also makes the amazing cakes at Asha’s. email: louisepassam@gmail.co.uk • Personal stylists Lorraine and Alison at John Lewis.

Fresh gre en linen Mama B top £55, worn wit h Sandw ich jeans as before. Necklace £35 and bracelet £9.95, a ll Asha’s A ttire. Glo bo striped es padrilles £65, Cott ons.

Photography by Elli Dean, 07932 055548; www.ellideanphotography.co.uk

Pal e £4 pink 5 wit , Max frilled h cul Fren Stud top o i Lew ttes ch Co o wor £ n n As is. Sc 75, f nect h i r fla a’s A arf £2 om J on t o t Cot form tire. G 9, fro hn ton san abo m d s. als r £8 9.9 9,

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

New city sanctuary opens Alwalton Hall, the city’s newest beauty and wellness sanctuary, has opened its doors to the public and is now taking bookings for treatments. The Georgian Grade II listed manor house is the perfect environment to enjoy a wide range of beauty and wellness treatments designed to de-stress, rejuvenate and relax both body and soul. In addition to beautiful relaxation areas and Regency lounges, clients can enjoy five specially-themed treatment rooms, plus the former three-room guest suite which has been adapted for the ultimate in pampering. The room themes are all very different and designed to transport clients from their everyday lives to a new, restful and rejuvenating experience. Themes are based around Morocco, India, Japan, Kenya and Cleopatra. Outside, there is a 15m heated swimming pool and spa pool with dedicated changing rooms and sun terrace available for clients on half- and full-day packages for much of the year. “We want clients to use Alwalton Hall for their regular beauty maintenance treatments but also to consider us for special packages with friends or family,” said owner Maggie Jones. • To book an appointment or to buy gift vouchers call 01733 391166 or see www.alwaltonhall.com

Reach your full fitness potential More and more of us are running, cycling and keeping fit, and taking part in events in a bid to become fitter, stronger and faster as we compete or to reach our own personal goals. Vincet Pro – opened this year by Stefan Taylor and Rachel Banks at Oundle Wharf – aims to help athletes achieve their full potential. Stefan, who has 20 years’ experience of fitness training ‘in the military and beyond’ says: “We offer a variety of tests such as measuring aerobic capacity, lactate threshold and metabolic levels, plus blood

biomarker analysis, all identifying weak areas where training needs to be focused, suggesting a bespoke plan to give athletes quicker recovery and avoid injury.” Stefan offers personal training, injury rehabilitation, low-level laser treatment, sports massage and nutritional advice, and is keen to point out that the service offered is not just for endurance athletes – anyone who wants to improve their fitness levels can benefit. • Vincet Pro is at Oundle Wharf, Station Road, Oundle PE8 4DE. 01832 274440.

The Old Forge Hair and Beauty Salon in Farcet first opened its doors in February 2012 and has evolved over the past five years to offer more advanced skin and hair techniques. Staff regularly attend training courses and update their skills, and the salon offers a selection of Environ skincare treatments, a range recognised for its focus on Vitamin A, an essential vitamin that promotes healthy, younger skin for all. The Old Forge is a Wella professional salon and specialises in colour treatments. Stylists Pauline and Dorothy offer special occasion hair styling, and between them have helped lots of bridal parties look amazing! • The Old Forge Hair and Beauty, 12 Cross Street, Farcet PE7 3DE. 01733 245392.

No more nail pain Why live with the pain from ingrown toe nails or, even worse, the pain you cause during a bout of bathroom surgery as you try to solve the problem yourself? “Ingrown nails can be incredibly painful; so much so, that even the weight of just a bed sheet can be agony,” says Sue Arnold, principal podiatrist at InStep Foot Clinic, Wansford. There are several causes of ingrown nails. But for those who find that their toe nails are chronically painful, debilitating or frequently infected, nail surgery is the perfect long term and permanent solution. Sue is an experienced nail surgeon, having carried out hundreds of procedures over more than 10 years. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic, so is pain-free and takes under an hour. Sue explains that the majority of the nail is preserved in over 99 per cent of cases, and the end result is a very neat but slightly narrower nail. The side of the nail bed is destroyed with a chemical called phenol to prevent the problem from recurring at any time in the future. Patients walk in and walk out of clinic – no incisions are made in the skin, nor any sutures needed. This means that full, normal activities can be resumed within a couple of days. The treatment is offered as a full care package costing £550 which includes anaesthetic, surgery, follow-up appointments, a full after-care service and all the dressings required. • Patients can self-refer to InStep Foot Clinic, 19 Elton Road, Wansford PE8 6JD. There is no waiting list and surgery can often be carried out on a Saturday. For an appointment to assess your suitability for nail surgery, call 01780 783982.

Youthful eyes Exilis Elite is a non-invasive face and body treatment used to tighten the skin, reduce lines and wrinkles, double chins and eye bags on the face. As a body treatment it uses a combination of monopolar radio frequency and ultrasound to treat all areas for permanent fat reduction, skin tightening and circumference reduction. Local salon owner Lisa Claypole says: “Exilis Elite is an ideal treatment for the eyes – often an area where people feel conscious – and provides ultimate and lasting results for a more youthful, lifted and toned appearance with impressive results without any discomfort,

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down-time or side effects”. • If you would like to hear more about Exilis Elite eye treatments contact Lisa at Elysia Health and Beauty on 01832 226328 or 07879 620196.


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physiology testing, personal training, weightloss & nutritional advice and sports therapy.

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INTERIORS

Time for a change? Having too much ‘stuff’ around makes us stressed, but what if you haven’t the time or energy to get it sorted? Sue Dobson meets a lady who can help... a professional declutterer

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ONCETTA Laquintana is a woman with a mission. “Our modern lives surround us with clutter,” she says, “and being surrounded by clutter makes us stressed. My aim is to help people simplify their lives by reorganising their living spaces and making them beautiful and stylish. Then they enjoy their homes so much more. A calm house is a happier place to live!” The former Head of Italian at Uppingham School, wife and mother of two teenagers, has an innate sense of style and a lifelong passion for colour and interior design. Having honed her skills of decluttering, revamping and styling rooms in her own homes, here and in Italy, and in projects for friends and family, she launched her business, Conchi the Home Coach, last spring. Since then she has gathered a raft of appreciative responses from clients. “I believe in ‘less is more’, but that doesn’t mean having an austere home, simply having the things around you that make you happy,” she says. “Decluttering isn’t only about discarding ‘stuff’, it’s about being organised and making the most of your time, space and belongings.” Concetta can help people sort out any space in their home, from a messy wardrobe to a chaotic kitchen or a spare room that’s become a dumping ground. She also styles houses to make them more appealing to potential buyers and works with people when they are moving home, helping them decide what to pack and what not to take with them, so they arrive with only the things they want and need.

TEEN SPACE Simple wooden cubes, thoughtfully arranged, store necessities and keep surfaces uncluttered in this small family bathroom

Shelves by design – an interesting way with shelving in a teenage girl’s bedroom gives space to display favourite objects and store books

Stepped shelving for favourite possessions and mirror tiles are a focal point in a teenage boy’s bedroom

Most of us would shy away from the thought of sorting out a teenager’s bedroom, but Concetta is particularly good at it. “It’s not a case of getting them to tidy up,” she says. “By working with them to understand what they want from the room – their hobbies, the colours they like – and involving them in the process of revamping their space and working to a budget, it can be very productive and enjoyable. Then when they leave home for university or a job they’ll have learned the discipline of using space well and be more organised, which will make life easier for them.” One project for a girl’s bedroom entailed rethinking the layout and furnishing of the room. “She hated her traditional bed and wardrobe and as her hobby was art she needed a clear space to work on,” Concetta explains. “She liked the idea of a futon so we got some wooden pallets to make a base, which NENE LIVING APRIL 2017

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INTERIORS Just the essentials – a planned work and study space in one corner of a teenage boy’s room

A pinboard displays a teenage girl’s current favourite postcards. Beauty basics are stored on a tray on an upcycled chest Inexpensive stacking storage keeps a teenage boy’s gear neat and tidy behind cupboard doors

she painted herself, and put the mattress on top of that. The new bed was moved away from the window and a desk – an old kitchen table upcycled to suit – was put in its place. “We created a hanging space for her clothes by putting in a partition, shelves now hold her books and she has a pinboard to display favourite postcards from museums and art exhibitions that she goes to. She didn’t want to hang pictures or have the room painted in one colour, so on white walls we painted panels in her favourite turquoise which brought the room to life.”

CLEVER STORAGE

“If whatever is on the surface stops you doing things in an efficient matter, that is clutter,” says Concetta. Clear surfaces are also much easier and less time-consuming to dust and clean. So where do you put all the things you’ve decided to keep? Concetta is skilled at sourcing the most effective storage solutions for the space available. To keep a teenage boy’s shirts, sweaters and sports gear tidy, she used an inexpensive stacking system from Ikea, which hides behind cupboard doors. “Having a label on each basket to show its contents is a reminder of what goes where,” she smiles. “Many people have a spice and herb rack in the kitchen which they seldom use and is just gathering dust. I’ve found some clear plastic containers to hold bottles and jars that fit perfectly into an average-sized cupboard in one single layer. “If you keep all the things you use together in

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each container, clearly labelled if there’s more than one cook in the house, it’s not a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ but you know where they are when you need them. Simple things like that can free up working and preparation space in the kitchen.” She’s a great believer in putting things you like on display, but being realistic about how much is too much. She suggests that if you have a collection of, for example, candlesticks, you pick out the ones you really love, then group them together by colour or style. “Whatever you collect, display only the things that give you joy when you look at them. Make a feature of the collection, a focal point. “It can be hard to throw out the children’s drawings that you’ve kept for years, but ask yourself, when did you last look at them? Best to select a few, maybe frame them and enjoy them, rather than having them hidden away in a drawer. You can always take digital photographs of some of the others to keep as memories.” A selection of family photos can also make a feature on one wall. “Frame and display the ones you love and that make you happy.” She’s keen, too, on recycling and upcycling wherever possible, and is always conscious of a client’s budget. “I can help and give advice, but I never tell anyone what to do, don’t make judgements and always respect a person’s wishes.”

FEELING BETTER

It drains our energy when we have things around us that we do not love, want, need or use. “By removing distractions, simplifying what

we have and where we keep it, we feel much more positive, not only about our living space but about ourselves, too. It feels very good to be in control, to know what you’ve got and where to find it!” she says. “It saves you money, too. We’ve all bought something we thought we needed, only to find, much later, that we had it all the time.” With living spaces getting ever smaller, rooms often have to be multifunctional. It’s not ideal to have an office in the living room or bedroom, but there may be nowhere else for a desk and computer to go. Concetta has an answer. “I’m very keen on using screens to separate off an area you don’t want to look at all the time,” she says. “You can make a feature of a screen – use it to hang photos, pin postcards or display jewellery – so it looks good and hides things at the same time!” Organised, practical, supportive and fun, Concetta is keen for everyone to simplify their life and enjoy their surroundings, however small or grand. “Decluttering revitalises your living space. A home should be functional and beautiful – you exist, or you live!” she says with a smile and a flash of Italian philosophy. • A member of the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers, Concetta visits clients in Peterborough, Stamford, Uppingham, Oakham and Rutland. She offers a free 30-minute consultation on the phone or by Skype and her decluttering and organising services cost from £35 an hour. www.conchithehomecoach.co.uk


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

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or visit us at www.prestonshealth.co.uk OUR NEW BESPOKE CLINIC NOW OPEN AT VIRGIN ACTIVE HEALTH AND RACQUETS CLUB IN THORPE WOOD, PETERBOROUGH AND ALSO WITHIN OUNDLE GP SURGERY

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FOOD & DRINK

A rural idyll

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E may have been sitting in the old jailhouse, but the dining experience and ambience could not have been further from its former purpose. The Black Horse at Elton is celebrating its first anniversary under new ownership. “It’s been really exciting – we opened in April last year, and hit the ground running,” says front-of-house manager, Andrew. Situated in an idyllic rural setting overlooking the church and fields beyond, chef patron and director David Simms was not daunted by the task of reinvigorating this pub. His previous experience at The Talbot in Oundle and Wansford’s Paper Mills, among several others, have put him in good stead to produce quality food in a slick and stylish environment. “No expense was spared on the kitchen and the equipment, as the focus really is on the quality of the food,” David enthuses. I began with Portland crab linguine, lemon, dill, chilli and crème fraiche with slivers of parmesan (unbeknown to me, the chef’s signature dish) and it really was a delectable treat. We chose rump of lamb, dauphinoise potato and cauliflower cheese puree from the a la carte menu and a chicken, leek and mushroom pie with winter greens and baked root vegetables from the ‘Black Horse classic’ menu. The lamb was cooked to pink perfection and the cauliflower cheese purée was an imaginative twist from its usual format. Topped

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with a sublime shortcrust pastry, the pie was positively piping and wholesomely tasty, accompanied by a small jug of pan gravy (to be administered exactly as you wish) and a medley of jewel-coloured, salt-baked seasonal vegetables. Short of licking the platter clean, it’s fair to say we thoroughly enjoyed the food. Though sated, the dessert menu appeared and I was compelled to clear my palate with a pear and almond tart, ice cream and crème anglaise. Fairly priced between £12-£16 for a main and £5-£6 for a starter, portions are generous and the service is impeccable. All meals are freshly prepared and cooked in the kitchen. Provenance is of huge importance here; pheasant comes from the local shoot while vegetables, meat and dairy are locally sourced where possible. The menu changes regularly, focusing on seasonal produce and the daytime offering includes pub classics and artisan sandwiches in the region of £7-£12. Exposed beams, cream and blue painted walls, glowing filament lightbulbs hanging from thick ropes create a warm atmosphere with a nod to the past – the old jailhouse door remains as a decorative relic. Come the summer, diners can eat al fresco and enjoy service from the horsebox bar, while little ones can run free in the vast garden where there is plenty of space for the party marquee. It’s a good job there is ample private parking! • Rebecca Downey plus one dined at the Black Horse, 14 Overend, Elton PE8 6RU. 01832 280591; www.theblackhorseatelton.co.uk

Banana and giant chocolate button cupcakes You’ll need cupcake cases and enthusiastic children to help make these. Make sure your butter is really soft or it will be too hard to beat – keep it out at room temperature for a good while before you want to use it Makes 20-24 cupcakes • 125g unsalted butter, cut into small dice and softened • 125g caster sugar • 3 eggs • 50ml milk • 250g self-raising flour • 1 level tsp baking powder • 1 level tsp ground cinnamon • 3 ripe bananas, mashed well (or blitz to a purée in a food processor) • 150g unsalted butter, cut into small dice and very soft • 350g icing sugar • 50g cocoa • 2-4tbsp warm water • Montezuma giant chocolate buttons, to decorate • Line a couple of muffin tins with the cupcake cases. Preheat the oven to 190°C. • In a bowl, use a wooden spoon to cream the butter and sugar together until pale, light and fluffy.

• Gently fold in the eggs one by one. • Sift in the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. • Fold in the bananas until just combined. • Share the mixture between the cupcake cases. • Bake for approximately 25 minutes until just cooked through and turning golden. • Leave in the tin to cool for a few minutes, then transfer the cases to a wire rack to cool completely. • To make the topping, beat the butter until pale and creamy. Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa. Add 2tbsp water and stir together. You may need a little more water (add carefully). • Spoon into an icing bag and pipe onto the cakes, or use a pallet knife to smooth it on freestyle. Decorate with the chocolate buttons.


We bake a selection of delicious breads, savouries, cakes & desserts. Using traditional techniques and the finest ingredients we develop the real taste of our products, full of flavour with no preservatives or enhancers.

Shops: Exton Bakery, Oundle, Market Harborough, Oakham, Stamford & West Bridgford

www.hambletonbakery.co.uk 37


The Fox at Folksworth

OP E IN N AP RIL

Easter Sunday Menu

Sunday 16th April 2017 Starters

Crayfish and salmon salad with lemon Chicken liver and port parfait with home made chutney Lightly spiced cauliflower soup with an apple salsa Beetroot, goat’s cheese and pear with toasted pumpkin seeds Crispy ham hock with textures of pea

Mains

Traditional roasted topside of Beef with horseradish Slow roasted leg of lamb with mint sauce Home baked honey and mustard glazed ham Herb crusted hake with forestiere potatoes and a butter sauce Hand picked nettle risotto with goats cheese and pine nuts All Roasts will be accompanied with fondant potato, Yorkshire pudding, roast parsnips and home made meat jus.

Desserts

Warm pear and almond tart with vanilla bean ice cream Milk chocolate and blood orange cheesecake Rhubarb and elderflower panna cotta with white chocolate shortbread Sticky toffee pudding with caramelised banana Exotic fruit fool with home made biscuits

Two Course £18.50 Three Course £22 If you have any food allergies, Please make us aware as our food may contain allergens.

T H E F OX AT F O L K S W O RT H 34 Manor Road, Folksworth, Peterborough PE7 3SU 38

t 01733 242867 w bookings@clarkesrestaurant.co.uk


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Pboro Royals squad, with coaches Jamie left, Ian right and Mark, centre

ROYALS SET UP IN PETERBOROUGH! No, the residents of Buckingham Palace aren’t moving lock stock and barrel to our fair city… but for those keen on promoting sporting diversity and inclusivity in Peterborough, the establishment of an all-women American football team from scratch is causing a lot of excitement. Jonathan Craymer reports

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HEN the editor mentioned shortly before Christmas that a team of women were aiming to play American Football, with much of the razzmatazz of an NFL game, right on our doorsteps, I couldn’t help wondering if she’d had a seasonal sip too many. It was one thing to have reported on the wonderful Peterborough Phantoms sledge ice hockey team (NL November 2016) – but this? Wind on a couple of months and I’m squelching round a muddy sports ground at Stanground Academy on a biting cold day, trying to keep up with an extremely enthusiastic bunch of ladies. They’re wearing stateof-the-art American football helmets, shoulder pads and something akin to oversized police vests, while getting ready to start playing matches this spring. They seem to be learning how to knock their opponents over, in the nicest possible way of course. Amazingly all this – including getting a grant of £10,000 from government-backed Sport England – has come about since last September. The idea was the brainchild of marketeer Mark Kerr, who’s played American football since his teens in Boston (Lincs) then in Peterborough. Eventually becoming manager of the team (which became known as the Peterborough Saxons) he moved it closer to home, and stayed connected until 2011. The new women’s team - the Peterborough Royals – evolved from that club. “I was happily retired and glad to have my weekends back, but then I heard about the boom in the women’s game,” said Mark. “There was an item on the BBC’s The One Show about a British Women’s American football team. I couldn’t believe my ears. Then it occurred to me that starting a women’s team right here might be an interesting challenge. The women’s game has grown about 80 per cent in the UK in just 12 months, so we’re part of an explosion in women’s American football in the UK. It’s an exciting thing to be involved in.”

associations with our region. Catherine of Aragon was buried in Peterborough and we have the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. We didn’t want anything too aggressive. “Then in July we decided to go ahead and the response has been overwhelming. We held our first training session with a squad of 18 just two months later, so you can see we’ve managed to get things together very quickly. We were playing competitive games within six weeks, albeit non-contact at that stage. To give our players credit, it’s been a steep learning curve – particularly as many of them hadn’t played any competitive sport before! “We used social media, and I still had lots contacts within the local press. Twenty minutes after we announced what we were planning, I had three phone calls from people saying they were interested. Then in the first few months a total of 60 women enquired. We’ve ended up with a core of 12 to 13 girls coming every week for training, even though it’s now getting a bit more physical.”

“Every one has a position on the field which suits their body type and particular skill set – so it’s far more accessible than playing, say, soccer”

WHERE DID THE NAME COME FROM? “We bandied several names about. The term Royal has a lot of

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WHAT DO WOMEN GET OUT OF THIS SPORT? “The great thing about American football is that there’s no particular type of player required. We’ve got big, we’ve got small, we’ve got fast, we’ve got slow. Every one of them has a position on the field which suits their body type and particular skill set – so it’s far more accessible than playing, say, soccer. We’re also lucky to have found coaches used to working with inexperienced players.” Head coach Benita Grant-Booker hails from the States and helped establish American football for women in Atlanta, so has plenty of useful experience at starting teams. In American football players are divided into either offensive or defensive roles. Today Graham Fryer is teaching attacking play, while Jamie Ewen shows another part of the squad how to defend. “Our message was if you want to get active and try something new, here’s an opportunity,” added Mark. “So here today we have a couple of distance runners, some experienced rugby players, and yet another


Genevieve Morley was one of the first to sign up

Peterborough Royals players practice their moves

Lynsey Holding, left, and Lydia Kibaara

STOP PRESS: THE SCORES SO FAR…

with a martial arts background – but virtually everyone is totally new to American football.” The women’s game is played on a smaller scale than the men’s, where there are typically 11 players per side. Women often start with five a side, before moving up to seven a side. However, there are 11 a side regional games towards the end of the season that the Royals may be able to take part in. Amazingly even though this team is so new, it already has talent scouts keeping an eye on some of its players for the GB squad. Mark hopes as the sport grows, a Midlands all-star team will evolve. “I think it’s flattering to be honest, that even though we’re so young as a team, scouts are already watching. That says a lot about our coaches and their ability to bring players up to speed. “The other thing that’s so exciting is the way everyone’s working together. Players are organising promotional events. They’re doing things like driving miles to pick up kit and equipment. It’s wonderful how we’ve become a real team. “What’s driving this is the huge growth in interest in American football in the UK. Five years ago, there was one game at Wembley Stadium. This year I believe there’ll be four. There are now 60 men’s teams in the UK and about 25 women’s teams.” Having seen the film Concussion, how safe is playing American football? “The technology has advanced hugely,” Mark reassured me. “If you look inside one of these helmets, you can see the protection is far more sophisticated than it used to be. As with any contact sport, there’s an element of risk. But with the level of coaching and skilled professional referees, we’re confident this is safe.” Players contribute £80 a year to the club, which Mark points out in terms of burning calories per pound spent isn’t bad value compared to going to a gym. Lydia Kibaara, who works by day for the NHS 101 service is one of the newcomers, as is Lynsey Holding, though they’re not helmeted-up. “I’ve always been interested in American football – I watch it a lot,” said Lydia. “However, my friends think I’m crazy coming along to something like this as they think it’s dangerous. “But from what I’ve seen so far, I don’t think it’s any more dangerous

Peterborough Royals entered the history books with a resounding 40-0 victory over the Iceni Spears in the club’s first ever competitive kitted game. The city team made the three-hour trip to Petersfield for round one of the national Sapphire Series, getting their campaign off to the best possible start, recording six offensive scores and a defensive shut-out over their more seasoned opponents. Star of the show was Royals’ Running Back, Michelle Bark. The Great Britain prospect has formed a prolific backfield partnership with rookie talent Charlotte Fox which accounted for all of the club’s points. Not content with a starring role in Offence, Fox proved a threat on both sides of the ball, combining with the returning Tanya Brown to record the club’s first sacks and forced fumbles. The Royals followed the result with an equally impressive display, holding Wembley Stallions, who finished second in last year’s competition, to within two scores – a result which is sure to have raised eyebrows throughout the division. Reflecting on the performance, Defensive Coordinator Jamie Ewen said: “I’m so proud of our players, all their hard work and dedication is paying off.”

than other sport. You can injure yourself playing anything if you’re not careful. Currently I do a lot of running but am not playing any other sport. I wanted to do something in a team, and this is only my second training session. The Royals’ coaches have been very helpful in showing me the ropes. I’m really enjoying it.” Lynsey added: “A friend mentioned on Facebook she’d had a try-out for the team, so I rang them and they told me to come down today. It’s really, really good. I just wish I had pads on so I could try some of the contact moves. My dad used to play American football in the UK and I’ve wanted to play for a long time, but the nearest team was a long way away. So having the Peterborough Royals start up in the city is great.” Genevieve Morley was one of the first to join up several months ago. “This is the only team sport I’ve tried, though I’ve done show-jumping before. However, some of my family have played American football, so I’m really glad this team has started here.” One of the coaches today, Ian works for a mobile phone company by day and has played American football for 30 years. “This is a different experience,” he enthused. “They’re very, very good, judging by the ladies here today. They’re extremely keen to learn and pay a lot more attention than some of the men do! The speed with which this team has come together is utterly amazing.” • Visit www.getready.org.uk or see the Peterborough Royals original YouTube video www.youtube.com/watch?v=7twhqG38NDs NENE LIVING APRIL 2017

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• 25 large room settings in our showroom

NEFF SALE Some available from stock 63 appliances on show

• Contemporary, modern, traditional & handmade bespoke kitchens • Affordable, quality kitchens and the latest designs on display The best quality, best value & best service from a company fitting kitchens since 1981

Your local appointed Sheraton dealer. T H E A R E A’ S L A R G E S T I N D E P E N D E N T K I T C H E N S H O W R O O M The Maltings, Barnack Road, Stamford, PE9 2NA T: 01780 756514 or 755855 E: sales@qksstamford.co.uk www.qksstamford.co.uk

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One of around 200 different processes involved in making the shoes. Image courtesy NPS Shoes

Smart shoes from the NPS City range. Image courtesy NPS Shoes

DAY OUT

The shoe room foreman ensures that every shoe and boot meets the company’s high standards. Image courtesy NPS Shoes

TAKE A TRIP TO THE FACTORY Everyone loves a bargain, and it’s even better when it’s been beautifully made and boasts a traditional local heritage, as Sue Parslow discovers

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T’S good to visit and support companies that are part of our country’s manufacturing heritage. As consumers we should really value the skills of craftsmen in producing excellent quality products. Renowned for producing fine English shoes for 136 years, NPS (the Northamptonshire Productive Society) is standing up for itself in challenging times in the fashion industry. More than that, it’s pushing forward with its own brand and styles, having been an ‘invisible’ manufacturer working with other names including, for many years, the iconic Dr Martens brand. Recently shoe fans have been flocking to the shop to pick up classically styled footwear at very reasonable prices – savings of up to 40 per cent on the usual high street retail price. Ardent followers of the brand have travelled from as far afield as Bristol and even Denmark, quick off the mark after the shop opened for the first time last October. As well as the top-notch styling and finish, it’s the Goodyear welting that set the Solovair and NPS footwear ranges apart and each boot or shoe is constructed to ensure longlasting durability. For the customer, the added benefit of this is that after time, if the soles do start to show wear, the company can supply a replacement sole which a local cobbler can fit, rendering the shoes good as new.

A SELECTION OF STYLES

The shop is decorated to echo the factory’s heritage, with exposed brickwork and wooden floors. Highly polished men’s shoes and boots are displayed on rustic-style shelves under the NPS Classic, Premium and Lifestyle brands.

Shoemakers in the NPS factory at the turn of the last century. Image courtesy NPS Shoes

Manufacturing heritage NPS is one of Northamptonshire’s oldest footwear manufacturers. The co-operative was established in 1881 by five craftsmen who won a contract to make footwear for the British Army. For over 30 years NPS produced Solovair (Sole-of-Air) boots and shoes under licence for AirWair under the title ‘Dr Martens made by Solovair’. Today the business is thriving under the ownership of a local family who’ve had a footwear-linked business for generations.

A sewing machine and other artefacts offer a sense of the world of the craftsman. Step through into an adjoining small room to find ladies’ and gents’ shoes made as samples for other brands; names including John Lewis,

Jack Wills, Jones, and Marks & Spencer. There’s a selection of styles including brogues and Chelsea boots, suede and multi-coloured finishes – a joy to those who like a bargain that might even be a one-off. The seconds have faults that are barely detectable even to the trained eye. There are even ‘vegetarian’ nonleather fashion boots made with the same soles in a quality microfibre leather-look finish. A look at the company website will give you an idea of the styles on offer. The shop mainly stocks shoes and boots for men, although there are some unisex styles that go down to a size three. There are more sizes and widths than are out on display, so do ask for what you need. I am told more ladies’ styles will be on offer later in the year. The shop is easy to find and there’s a small car park right in front of it. Buzz the doorbell if the door is closed. Staff will give you as much information as you need. Depending on when you go and the time of day, you might even find you have the shop to yourself. Saturdays are busiest, as are lunchtimes, but Sundays and weekdays are often quieter.

SEE HOW THEY’RE MADE

As you browse the shop, look out for black and white photographs of the gentlemen who established the business. You’ll notice the traditional factory building on your left on South Street as you approach the shop. It’s here that the sheets of pre-dyed leather arrive and, up to 200 skilled processes later, emerge as stitched and polished footwear to be sold and worn around the world. The best way to find out how it’s done is to go and see for yourself. The first factory tour NENE LIVING APRIL 2017

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DAY OUT A selection of shoes from the NPS Heritage range. Image courtesy NPS Shoes

The all-important welt being sewn onto a pair of shoes. Image courtesy NPS Shoes

NPS factory shop facts

was launched just after Christmas and proved to be very popular. Now tours are run once a month on Sundays when the machinery is at a standstill. (Check the NPS website to register for forthcoming dates – tours are free of charge.) Most tours will find that their guide is managing director Christian Castle who has an overwhelming passion for the business. “The feedback has been really positive,” he told me. At the start visitors inhale the unmistakable fragrance as they peer into the leather store before seeing cut sections of leather stacked and ready to be stitched. Visitors are shown all the shoe production technologies in the ‘clicking’ or cutting room, closing room, making room, and finally shoe room. Gradually the pieces of leather begin to resemble footwear

as they move from workstation to workstation, before meeting heavy foot-shaped lasts that will help shape and form the individual shoe as it receives its sole (be it rubber or leather), parting company once fully formed on the outside, ready to take their insoles. Polish and shine are added by hand. Then, buffed up and ready to go, they are closely inspected by a quality controller who checks the finish, inside and out, before they are enveloped in tissue paper and placed in their own box, destined for a retailer’s shelf. There is a sense of stepping back in time as you explore a factory whose layout and processes have changed little in over 100 years. Original machinery, some of which dates back to the early 20th century, is still working hard. Connoisseurs of the brand have been keen

Factory shop opening times: Monday to Friday: 10am to 4pm; Saturday: 10am to 4pm*, Sunday: 11am to 4pm*. *Occasionally, the shop may not be open at the weekend, so check before travelling on 01933 664207. Where is it: 2 Holyoake Road, Wollaston, (near Wellingborough), Northants NN29 7RZ (Approximately 45 minutes’ drive from Oundle.) Parking: Free in car park in front of shop • www.nps-solovair.co.uk

to understand the technical details of the construction of their favourite styles. Christian will go into as much detail as individuals wish on the tour that lasts around 45 minutes. Children are welcome along, providing parents keep them carefully under control. Once you’ve completed your factory tour you’ll without doubt look at the shoes and boots in the shop in a new light. And, if you make a purchase, you’ll have a story to tell those who pass compliments on your shiny new shoes!

MORE FACTORY SHOPS FOR BARGAIN FINDS • Doc Shop, the Dr Martens shoe factory shop, stocks ranges for men, women and children with big discounts. 71 High Street, Wollaston NN29 7QE. Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. 01933 664851. www.drmartens.com/uk • Wacoal Europe’s Factory Shop sells lingerie brands Freya, Fantasie, Fauve, Elomi, b.tempt’d, Huit and Goddess as well as Fantasie and Freya bra-sized swimwear at discounted prices. It’s at Rothwell Road, Desborough NN14 2PG. Monday to Saturday, 9am to 4pm. 01536

Shop Sophie Allport for everything stylish, from dog beds to Aga accessories

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761252. www.wacoal-europe.com/factory-shop • British designer Sophie Allport produces a beautiful wide range of homewares including fine bone china, kitchen textiles, tinware, melamine, bags, fragrance and more! Buy current stock at her shop: King Street Industrial Estate, Langtoft PE6 9NF. Open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. Nip upstairs and pick up a bargain in the ‘Seconds Shop’ where everything is half price. 01778 5602560. www.sophieallport.co.uk


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Metcalfe Copeman & Pettefar LLP Family Law Department

Our specialist lawyers are able to assist in relation to any issue that may affect you on the breakdown of your relationship. We also offer the first appointment and divorce at competitive fixed fee prices. Contact Baljit Bem on 01733 865883 or email baljit.bem@mcp-law.co.uk for more information. Convenient town centre location.

• Business • Crime • Dispute Resolution • Employment • Family • Property • Wills and Probate

18 Priestgate, Peterborough, PE1 1JN www.mcp-law.co.uk - 01733 865880

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Martinis, music and muses Put on your gladrags and head to Queensgate later this month when our popular shopping centre hosts an evening of martinis, music and muses. In anticipation of the big event on April 27, we asked city stores to come up with a fresh spring look for four of our favourites of stage and screen…

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ULTI AWARD-winning actor Colin Firth secured his place in the so-called ‘Brit Pack’ of home-grown talent when he played Mr Darcy in the 1995 TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Films such as The English Patient, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Shakespeare in Love, Love Actually, Mamma Mia and A Single Man have followed.

Limited Edition tie, £15, M&S

Jigsaw Bloomsbury shirt, £79, John Lewis Jaeger Waffle suit chinos, £99, John Lewis

E

NGLISH ROSE Rosamund Pike is the daughter of opera singers and has starred in numerous must-see movies including The Libertine, Pride and Prejudice and 2014 thriller Gone Girl.

Jaeger Waffle suit jacket, £239, John Lewis

Leather loafers, £105, Office

O

LIVIERAWARDED actress Juliet Stevenson CBE has starred in numerous Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre productions, along with the hit movie Truly, Madly, Deeply.

Sunglasses, £12, Accessorize Boots, £84, Office

A

MILLION hearts were broken when Dan Stevens left Downton Abbey, but he’s back on our (big) screens now in Disney’s new live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. Suede boots, £79, M&S

Block heels, £29.50, M&S Classic skinny jeans, £40, Oasis

White T-shirt, £12, Topshop

Trousers, £35, M&S

Coat, £85, Warehouse

Bag, £20, Next

Sweater, £32, Next Long-sleeved Oxford shirt, £19.50, M&S

Jumper, £32, Warehouse

Jaeger leather jacket, £350, John Lewis

Signature leather bag, £120, Next

For information on stores and the April 27 event, see www.queensgate-shopping.co.uk NENE LIVING APRIL 2017

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THE OLD BARN WADENHOE Come and celebrate the Mad Hatters Tea Party with Alice in Wonderland waitresses ideal for girlie birthday parties, hen parties and baby showers. Daytime & evenings can be catered for. (Minimum of 10 for evening bookings)

SOME OF THE DELIGHTS TO INCLUDE: • Mad Hatters Pinwheel Salmon Sandwiches • Magic Mushroom Tartlets  • Alice Secret Cheese Muffin  • Chocolate Clock Macaroon  • Raspberry Meringue  • Queen of Heart Tarts  • Champagne Rose Jelly  • Strawberry Heart Scones, Jam & Clotted Cream 

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OUT & ABOUT So much to do,see and enjoy this April... 21 April St George’s Day Concert Fifteen-year-old King’s School, Peterborough pupil Hattie Arnold has organised a charity concert featuring Yarwell & Nassington Britannia Band. The event will help Hattie, who plays in the band, to raise funds for two causes: #hattiegoingtomadeira, a school expedition in July for which she has already raised £1,100 towards a target of £1750; and Cancer Research UK, in memory of her grandfather who died from cancer in October last year aged 83. Hattie says: “It costs £17 to fund one hour of research. My aim is to raise enough money to pay for one hour of research for every year of his life.” The concert takes place at Nassington Church, PE8 6QG at 7.45pm (doors open 7pm) on Friday 21 April and tickets are available from local stores or via 01780 782200.

April 28-30 Deepings Literary Festival The first-ever Deepings Literary Festival takes place on 28-30 April, offering something for everyone who enjoys words and hosting a stellar cast of writers of both fiction and non-fiction, storytellers and folk singers. Among the speakers will be Alison Weir, (below right) acclaimed British novelist and historian, who will speak about Fotheringhay and the fall of Mary Queen of Scots. Fans of Erica James will have a chance to have lunch with the popular author, and aspiring authors can attend a workshop with novelist Louise Doughty (above right), whose psychological thriller Apple Tree Yard was recently adapted for TV. The star event is a black tie gala dinner with writer, broadcaster and former MP, Gyles Brandreth.Events take place at various venues throughout the Deepings and tickets can be purchased from www.stamfordartscentre.com/whatson/deepings-literary-festival • www.deepingsliteraryfestival.co.uk Saturday 1 April Baroque Masterworks Peterborough Cathedral Choir, Youth Choir and Festival Chorus, with Instruments of Time and

Truth, directed by Steven Grahl, perform two uplifting pieces of 18th century music: Handel’s Coronation Anthem and Vivaldi’s Gloria.

7.30pm. £20, £15 (under 18s half price). Peterborough Cathedral. Tickets available online via www.peterboroughcathedral.org.uk or from Oundle Box Office on 01832 274734, www. oundlefestival.org.uk Saturday 1 April Peterborough Photowalk Professional photographer Paul David Smith hosts a group gettogether, searching out Peterborough’s hidden gems to photograph and laying on a number of surprises along the way: fancy photographing professional models at the cathedral? How about fire eaters by the embankment, or free runners through the city centre? All skill levels are welcome to join in. Paul will be available to offer advice and suggestions, or you can take advantage of the photo opportunities organised and do your own thing. 10am-12noon. £10. www.pauldavidsmith. co.uk/peterboroughphotowalk Saturday 1 April Chocolate, Wine & Cheese Historic Wadenhoe House hosts a flavourfilled evening… enjoy five different servings of specifically-matched wine, cheese and chocolate, all in a sumptuous setting. £39.95. 01832 720777. www.wadenhoe.com/ upcoming-events Monday 3 April Peter Barker RI MA Peterborough Art Society presents an evening on the subject of oils, with a particular emphasis on the landscapes of the Norfolk coast. 7.30pm. Members £2, visitors £4. 7.30pm. St Mark’s Hall, Lincoln

April 21-23 National Motorhome Show Motorhomes and campervans will fill the East of England Showground when the National Motorhome Show returns to Peterborough on 21-23 April. Whether you’re looking for a vehicle upgrade or considering your first purchase, you can expect a large choice of new and used stock from over 45 local and national dealers. The event will also provide a huge selection of accessories from 300-plus exhibitors, an insight into all the different layouts and vehicle types available on the market, and the opportunity to learn more about the hobby in a series of free seminars hosted by MMM magazine on the Friday and Saturday of the show. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a base when not touring the open road, there will be a showcase of park homes and luxury lodges too. With over 27 years under its belt, each year over 3,000 camping pitches are filled by those after a great value weekend break with four nights of evening entertainment included. Visiting entertainers this year include comic legend Jethro (separate ticket required), The Amazing Blues Brothers and tributes to Neil Diamond and Cilla Black. Thursday-Monday camping pitches are £60 on the gate. Day admission is payable on arrival. Adult tickets are £8 each with children, parking and show guides free The show is open 9.30am-5pm (4.30pm Sunday). To find out more call 01778 391123 or see www.showgoer.co.uk Road, Peterborough PE1 2SN. www. peterboroughartsociety. org.uk

Saturday 8 April Charity Soul Night Local eight-piece soul covers band Motor City Vipers host their sixth annual charity soul night at The Brewery Tap, in association with Randall Rootz Community Music, to help raise funds and awareness for Sue Ryder

Care at Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough. Playing the best of Motown and Northern Soul floor-fillers, The Vipers’ repertoire is like a who’s who of classic soul from the ‘60s and ‘70s – with a few modern gems thrown in. The event also includes support from top soul DJs and Brewery Tap regulars Julz and Uncle Funk who’ll be mixing the tunes into the early hours. 7pm. £10. The Brewery Tap, Westgate, Peterborough PE1 2AA. Tickets on 01733 358500. www.MotorCityVipers. co.uk

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

➧ NENE LIVING APRIL 2017

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OUT & ABOUT So much to do,see and enjoy this April... Friday 28 April How to Read Water: An Evening with Tristan Gooley, The Natural Navigator A must-have book for walkers, sailors, anglers, swimmers, photographers, artists and everyone interested in the natural world, How to Read Water unlocks the hidden secrets of water. Tristan shares knowledge, skills, tips and useful observations from his experiences of wild swimming in Sussex to canoeing in Borneo to reveal the secrets of ponds, puddles, oceans and more to help you enjoy the landscape, and gives you the skills, tips and observations to help you understand the water around you. Tristan set up his natural navigation school in 2008 and is the author of the award-winning and bestselling books, The Natural Navigator (2010), The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues & Signs (2014) and How to Read Water (2016), three of the world’s only books covering natural navigation. He has appeared on TV and radio programmes in the UK and internationally, led expeditions in five continents and climbed mountains in Europe, Africa and Asia. He is the only living person to have both flown solo and sailed single-handed across the Atlantic and is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and the Royal Geographical Society. And now he’s making his way to the Nene region, for an evening hosted by the Oundle Festival of Literature… 7.45-8.45pm. St Peter’s Church, Oundle PE8 4AL. Tickets £8 (£6), £1 off early bird tickets bought before 21 April, available from the Oundle Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle. www.oundlefestival.org.uk

Monday 10 April Recollections from protecting our Royals David Reeve, the former head of Norfolk Police’s Royalty Protection Squad, shares his memories of Sandringham duties with members and guests of the Peterborough Civic Society. 7.30pm. St Mark’s Hall, Lincoln Road, Peterborough PE1 2SN. www. peterboroughcivicsociety. org.uk Friday 14 April-Saturday 15 April Festival of Antiques

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NENE LIVING APRIL 2017

Buyers and sellers from all over Europe will be looking for a real deal at what’s said to be the largest showground antiques fair in the country – more than 1,700 stalls promise to offer something for everyone. The fair opens for early trade from 7-10am on Friday and to the general public from 10am-4:30pm on Friday and from 9am4.30pm on Saturday. Admission for early trade is £15 and public entrance is £5. East of England Showground, PE2 6XE. www.festivalofantiques. co.uk/fairs/1491

MAKE A DATE...

Monday 17, Tuesday 18, Thursday 20 and Friday 21 April Exploring Easter Family Activities Families with children of all ages are invited to drop into Peterborough Cathedral on four days during the holidays to discover the Easter story and have fun making some colourful crafts to take home. There will be a route around the cathedral with various stopping points to prompt thinking about Easter. 11am-4pm at Peterborough Cathedral. The trail is free, and the crafts £3 per person. No need to book. Wednesday 19 April Goldilocks & the Three Bears With sell-out performances and hugely successful CBeebies adaptations, Northern Ballet’s Short Ballets for Small People are not to be missed. Bringing this classic children’s story to life, Goldilocks & the Three Bears is the perfect opportunity for your little ones to enjoy live ballet, music and theatre for the first time – this childfriendly performance lasts approximately 40 minutes. 2pm, 4pm, 6pm. £10, £32 family, under 25s £7.50. Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough PE1 1EF. 01733 207239. www. vivacity-peterborough. com Thursday 27 April Lunchtime concert Market Days in Oundle are enhanced by a

Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies For Cancer Research UK host An Evening of Antiques & Anecdotes with Marc Allum of Antiques Roadshow fame at The William Cecil Hotel, Stamford on Tuesday 2 May 2017. Tickets are £10 and valuations will be available after the talk in return for a £5 donation. Contact Annette Beeton on 01733 232521, Ann Hanson on 01778 344234 or Lyn Storey on 01780 751516.

programme of neatly presented and diverse concerts at the historic St Peter’s Church. Lunch is offered in the form of home-made soup and bread rolls provided by Rachael Kelley of The Little Soup Kitchen. Good company, wholesome food, delightful music – on this date, it’s percussion directed by Rhys Matthews. 1:15pm (lunch at 1pm), St Peter’s Church. Admission free, optional lunch £3.50. Friday 28 April Cuban Night A fantastic night of live music and dance, with London’s premier Cuban band, Son Yambu. Doors open at 7pm, with an optional dance class with Leandro Charanga and Jessica Guastella, before the band perform from 8.30pm. Radius (above the Solstice), Northminster, Peterborough PE1 1YN. www.facebook.com/ events/365683177122265 Saturday 29 April The Drawing Tour A must for anyone who loves to draw but is also curious to find out more about Peterborough Cathedral and its history. Beginners and more experienced artists are welcome – bring your drawing materials! 1pm. £8 (£6 concessions). www.peterboroughcathedral.org.uk

Saturday 29 April to Saturday 13 May Laxton Junior School: Thirteen Techniques a Child Should Know… The children from Laxton Junior School show how their artwork reflects and responds to an understanding of the world around them. They have experienced 13 key techniques in art which will be clearly displayed, from simple pencil drawing to mosaic and installation. Pupils aged between four and 11 will be showing collaborative projects in addition to more personal, individual pieces. The Yarrow Gallery, Glapthorn Road, Oundle PE8 4PS. www. oundleschool.org.uk/TheYarrow-Gallery Sunday 30 April and Monday 1 May Stamford Pottery Market Over 25 local potters will be exhibiting their work – pots and sculptures for all tastes and pockets, ceramic themed films to watch and a charity potluck tombola in aid of Sue Ryder. 10am to 4-30pm. Free entry. Stamford Arts Centre, 27 St Mary’s Street, Stamford PE9 2DL. www.stamfordartscentre. com


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Nene Living Magazine April 2017  
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