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COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS: the festive fun starts now


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 NOVEMBER 2017 £1.50

Winter is coming... Chill out with us this November!



Nene Living




T’S not often that we cover ‘current news’ in depth in Nene Living – we maintain watch, of course, but the deadlines associated with producing a monthly magazine mean we’d be at risk of publishing out of date information if we became too immersed in the quickly-changing landscape of local issues and controversies. We’ve received so many pleas for publicity, however, from readers and members of the group Protect Rural Peterborough that we thought it time to take a look at the proposal for a new ‘township’ on land close to the villages of Castor and Ailsworth, Marholm, Sutton and Upton. The ‘Great Kyne’ proposal – first mooted several decades ago, now considerably smaller than originally conceived and possibly about to be downsized even more – is part of a Local Plan currently in the hands of Peterborough City Council. The history behind the ‘Saga of Castor’ and what locals are doing to fight the proposed development are outlined on p17. We may only be at the start of November, but it’s certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas all around the Nene region… so I make no apologies for kicking off our own countdown to the festive season in this issue! City retailers report that savvy shoppers started snapping up the bargains as early as September (and if you’re in the market for more, ‘Black Friday’ is on November 24!), while the owners of some of our favourite Oundle stores tell me their festive offerings are flying off the shelves at a speed matched only by Santa’s sleigh. We’re delighted to lend a hand with your own seasonal to-do list, then, with features this month on Christmas gifts, foods, parties and shopping… there’ll be more in our next issue too!

Gillian Bendall Editor INCORPORATING


5 Upfront

Red is everywhere!

7, 9, 10 News & Notes

Helping you make the most of living locally

12 Print works

27 Back on Broadway!

Our city’s biggest entertainment venue is now fully open for business, thanks to a benefactor to the region’s arts and the vision of two men who are making it happen

Book your friends, family or colleagues onto one of our selection of fantastic, festive functions

23 Branching out

This is the time of year when business really gets cracking for Fotheringhay’s family of Christmas tree growers

31 Ready, steady… shop!

Struggling for Christmas gift ideas? Our carefully curated list of seasonal must-haves has been chosen specially for its locallycrafted or regionally-inspired credentials!

35 Interiors

A family business in every sense, Olympic Marble’s John Polychronidis talks about the origins of the Peterboroughbased company and the secrets of its success

Editor Gillian Bendall Email Write to Nene Living, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Advertisement Manager Bridget Steele 01733 707538 Head of Design Steven Handley Designer Sarah Compton Advertising Copy Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 Published by Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Printed by Warners of Bourne


39, 41 Health & Beauty 45 Festive feasts

17 City versus country

20 Get the party started!

Choosing art for your own home can be a daunting prospect… and if you get it wrong, an expensive mistake. We ask local experts for advice

The latest tips on looking good and feeling great

Artist John McGowan’s newest project pays homage to the decayed glory of a former local paper mill

As villagers and planners remain at loggerheads over a proposed new ‘township’, we look at the history behind the plan, and how locals are fighting back

37 Art at home

Start making your shopping list – we’ve sourced some seriously delicious seasonal recipes from our favourite local foodies

50 You & Yours

A catch-up on all things canine-related

53 Market leaders

Immerse yourself in the festive spirit by shopping at a Christmas market – there are plenty to choose from locally and further afield

57, 58 Out & About

Events this month you won’t want to miss

Cover: ... and relax! Photo courtesy of Bigstock


Nene Living

Subscribe to Nene Living For £25 (UK only) you can subscribe to Nene Living for 12 issues. Please send your name, address and a cheque made out to Local Living Ltd to: NL Subscriptions, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Or you can subscribe online – go to NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017


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UPFRONT It’s the colour of sensational sunsets,seasonal fruits,autumn leaves and – all year round – love. And this month,red is everywhere! Savvy fashionistas are all over the red fashions, footwear and accessories that fill our favourite local stores.‘Colourblock’is the byword for looking good,and a splash of red will complement any winter wardrobe staple. Make space at home,too,for the colour that’s long been associated with warmth and joy – just an accent of it will add cheer on a chilly winter day

Tunic jumper £99, striped jumper £65, both Asha’s Attire

Blanket £89, The Rounded House Bag £62, The Rounded House

Scarf £20, Accessorize

Brooch £12.95, Asha’s Attire Filofax £32, Colemans of Oundle

Men’s striped socks £6, Asha’s Male Room, Stag socks £11.50, Rather Gifted

Velvet boots £69, Monsoon

Hobbs trench coat £199, John Lewis

Sandwich scarf £29, Asha’s Attire

Hot Chocolat Port £4, Hotel Chocolat Jumper £35, M&S

Matches £9.75, The Rounded House

Scented candle £8.99, Rather Gifted

Claret stainless steel kettle £75, AGA Oundle

Drawers £39.99, Colemans of Oundle STOCKISTS Aga Oundle, Oundle Wharf, Station Road, Oundle PE8 4DE. 01832 275415.; Asha’s Attire, The Bazaar, West Street, Oundle PE8 4EJ. 01832 275605,; Asha’s Male Room, The Bazaar, West Street, Oundle PE8 4EJ. 01832 275605,; Colemans of Oundle, 10 New Street, Oundle PE8 4EA. 01932 272868.; Rather Gifted, 14 Market Place, Oundle PE8 4BQ. 01832 272165; The Rounded House, 10b West Street, Oundle PE8 4EF. 01832 274687.; Accessorize, Hotel Chocolat, M&S, Monsoon, John Lewis all Queensgate Centre, Peterborough PE1 1NL. NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017


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NEWS & NOTES Helping you make the most of Nene living All of us at Nene Living were so sorry to lose Sue Wilcox, who passed away in October after a long illness – she worked tirelessly delivering our magazines to local businesses in Peterborough and the Nene Valley over many years. Always a great ambassador for the magazine, Sue was well known to many of our readers and advertisers and always ready for a quick, friendly chat on her rounds. We will all miss her.

November highlights


ETERBOROUGH’S largest charity event, Firework Fiesta takes place at the East of England Showground on Saturday 4 November. The event is the biggest in East Anglia and ranks in the top 10 firework displays in the whole of the UK. As well as lighting up the sky, it also promises a massive funfair, live bands and food stalls. Gates open at 5pm and there’ll be free covered grandstand seating for 2,000-plus people. The event is organised by The Rotary Club of Peterborough Minster and The Round Table Club of Peterborough and all proceeds go to local charities in and around the city – more than £550,00 has been raised over previous years. Tickets are available at £7 for adults and £3 for children; on the night these prices rise to £10 and £5. For more information call 01733 452336 or see www.fireworkfiesta. com Next day, on Sunday 5 November, a themed bonfire will be set alight at Barnwell Village Hall near Oundle. Gates open at 5.30pm with parking available at the nearby recreation field from 5pm – allow plenty of time to view the installation, eat, drink and listen to music before the bonfire is lit at around 6.45pm. A firework display will follow. Admission is £5 for adults, £4 for children of school age.

Get ready to grab a Black Friday bargain


AVVY shoppers make a date: Black Friday is Friday 24 November, when the shutters at Queensgate Shopping Centre will go up at 8am! For the past few years the event has seen incredible bargains on offer, with up to 80 per cent off in some retail stores. Brands such as John Lewis, Topshop, River Island, Body Shop and more are expected to take part, though details of their discounts are kept a closely-guarded secret until nearer the date. Centre Director Mark Broadhead says: “We always prepare for a busy centre on Black Friday and, with the Christmas decorations up, there is a fun and festive atmosphere throughout the centre.”

Thrapston’s beautiful Hilly Horton Home store hosts some special shopping and showcase events this month. On Thursday 16 November there’s late night shopping from 5pm9pm and the launch of a new jewellery collection, ladies knitwear, accessories and Christmas gifts. Close by, Jollys Toys will also be opening its doors until 9pm, so it’s a great opportunity to shop for younger generations too! On Thursday 24 November there’s an exclusive evening with The Hare in The Sweater – Sam Purcell will be launching two new original pieces of art and Ema Corcoran will be showcasing 10 new embroideries. Prints, textiles cards and ceramics will also be available for sale – all from 6pm-9.30pm. Finally, there’s a further late night shopping event on Saturday 26 November (until 7pm) to coincide with Thrapston’s Christmas Lights event. • Hilly Horton Home, 36a Goss Court, Thrapston NN14 4JH. 01832 358894.

Toy event to determine city’s ‘top 10’


T’S the list that children will be talking about and parents eager to get their hands on… what will be this year’s top toys for Christmas at Queensgate? The shopping centre’s Toy Testing event returns for two fun-packed days when, on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 November, children in Peterborough can become Santa’s ‘testers’ as John Lewis, Menkind, Game, Argos, Tiger and other retailers bring out their new gadgets and gizmos for 2017. Located in a giant snow dome in North Square, the free event gives little ones the chance to try, test, play and score each toy, which will ultimately decide which ones make the top 10 for 2017. Alice Watkinson, Marketing Manager at Queensgate Shopping Centre, said: “This is a great chance to enjoy the countdown to Christmas, get in the festive spirit and bring the children in to try the hottest toys this year.” This event will be filmed and photographed and parents must remain with their children at all times. NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017

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NEWS & NOTES Kings Cliffe Active has bagged £1,000 from the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ funding initiative, which sees money raised from carrier bag sales being awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. Work will now begin on bringing the project to life, which for Kings Cliffe Active means grass cutting at its Station Road site and the village verges.


ETERBOROUGH’S pioneering boutique gallery and shop Art in the Heart launches its Christmas Collection on November 1, and this year its famous themed window is inspired by Harry Potter. A specially-commissioned piece by local printmaker John McGowan (who is featured on p12 of this issue) will take centre stage, while the works of other artists and makers also feature – look our for Hedwig in his cage, Dumbledore’s wand, Professor Snape with his potions and many more. Inside, Art in the Heart’s Christmas Collections are unique in the truest sense of the word – 60 creative and professional artists and makers offer a cornucopia of hand-crafted festive treasures, decorations and cards. In addition, the 2017 Sophie Allport Christmas range ‘Night Owl’ will be available, along with a large collection of carefully sourced gifts including organic fragranced candles. • Art in the Heart, 13 Westgate Arcade, Peterborough PE1 1PY. 07910 118148.


N award-winning chef is to breathe new life into the former Fitzwilliam Arms at Castor, which has stood empty for more than three years. Adebola Adeshina, who has worked under Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing, is opening The Chubby Castor at the historic, thatched former Fratelli restaurant. His arrival in the area follows a three-year stint at The Petersham Restaurant in Richmond, which has achieved two AA Rosettes for culinary excellence, a Michelin recommendation and a listing in the Good Food Guide. The Chubby Castor of The Fitzwilliam Arms is Ade’s first solo venture and is due to open in late November. Presented as ‘civilised dining with a focus on fresh and locally sourced produce, cooked in a modern British way’, diners can expect a relaxed atmosphere and a blend of modern and vintage design with exposed beams and Georgian wallpaper. Dishes will likely include fresh hand-picked steamed crab lasagna, toasted coconut flakes or beef tartare, quail egg and walnut home-made bread. The restaurant will serve a la carte, set lunch and dinner menus, Sunday roast, brunch, a bar menu and afternoon teas. Also on offer will be seasonal cooking demonstrations to be held with guest chefs, and three private rooms will be available for functions, with covers from six up to 24. • The Chubby Castor of The Fitzwilliam Arms, 34 Peterborough Road, Castor PE5 7AX.

Fletton Quays welcomes Hilton Garden Inn


ETERBOROUGH Investment Partnership has agreed a deal with Norlin Hotels to bring the Hilton Garden Inn brand to the city’s new Fletton Quays development. The nine-storey hotel will be a landmark feature of the regeneration project on the embankment of the River Nene. As well as 160 guestrooms, it will include a riverside restaurant, meeting rooms, a fitness centre and a rooftop bar with views over the river and Peterborough Cathedral. Confirmation of the Hilton Garden Inn is the latest milestone in the Fletton Quays development. Work started in late 2016, with construction now well under way on office accommodation alongside the restoration of the Grade II listed Engine Shed on the site. Weston Homes is also moving forward at a pace on its apartments, with a show home intended to be open in early 2018. The completed scheme will also include leisure and retail facilities, making use of outstanding views across the River Nene.

Concert Band celebrates


HE popular City of Peterborough Concert Band celebrates its 30th birthday with a special concert on Saturday 25 November at St Andrews Church, Ledbury Road, Netherton PE3 9RF. The concert starts at 7pm and tickets are £8 each, free for accompanied under-16s. For tickets contact Hilary Lewis on 01733 265877 or email petconcertband@gmail. com. Former band members are invited to join in an afternoon of relaxed music-making followed by a celebratory tea before the concert. If you‘d like to get involved see

A time to remember Peterborough Cathedral’s Remembrance Sunday service takes place on Sunday 12 November at 10.45am. All are invited to the service, which will be attended by representatives of the armed forces. NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017

➧ 9

NEWS & NOTES Quirky greetings


OT on the heels of being featured in last month’s Nene Living, Kings Cliffe illustrator Katie Cardew has introduced a range of new designs and products in time for Christmas. A range of premium cards offer Katie’s own quirky take on the classic 12 Days of Christmas theme, while three new giclé prints include ‘Dog Life’ – a collection of characterful pedigree breeds – and ‘Please Pour Me a…’, a celebration of the nation’s favourite tipples (pictured). There’s also a ‘Ballerinas’ print and lampshade, perfect for all young dance-lovers. Stocking fillers include luxury tea towels, tote bags and aprons, and for those who love our neighbouring town of Stamford, there’s a Christmas Box which features a range of Katie’s locally-inspired products. •

For more Christmas gifts with a local link, see p31

Countdown to Christmas



HE Christmas season is the busiest time of the year for Willow Brook Farm Shop – conveniently situated between Stamford and Peterborough – and that’s no surprise. Rosemary Morton explains: “Our field-to-fork ethic is as important at Christmas as it is at any time of the year and our customers value this. Provenance is at our heart people want to know what they’re buying and where it came from and our expert butchers are always pleased to help. Our suppliers are local where possible and we’re incredibly proud of our own home-reared beef.” In the run-up to Christmas, make the most of Willow Brook’s offers – place your order before 1 December and you win the chance to get it for free! The website has the details, along with other offers like the Christmas meat packs, recipes and pick up days. •

There’ll be a Christmas Craft Fair in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support on Saturday 25 November at The Woodman, Thorpe Wood, PE3 6SQ. The free-entry fair is from 11am-4pm and stalls will include cakes, gifts, jewellery, crafts and a tombola. Last year’s event raised £600. Earlier in the month and just a short trip up the A1, a Winter Fair takes place at Witham Hall School in the village of Witham on the Hill on Saturday 11 November from 10am-4pm. Entrance is free and over 50 stalls will provide great shopping opportunities and lots of ideas for Christmas presents.



A Royal welcome

What a gem!


OOKING for a gift for someone who already has everything? PG Jewellery & Bygones in Cowgate, Peterborough might have just the thing. Proprietor Chris Fuller tells us: “My shops have traded in Peterborough for 30 years in jewellery, objet d’art and vertu. Our jewellery is antique with some second-user, as well as our own hand-finished items; 90 per cent of our silver is British. “We offer quality jewellery at low prices, inspected by our gemologist for authenticity, weeding out the fakes and heat-treated gemstones for artificial colour alteration.” The store has more than 1,000 gemstones in stock and offers a repair service too, alongside probate for local legal practitioners. Chris says: “A member of the National Association of Goldsmiths and Jewellers and the Federation of Small Businesses, our principles are simple: never lie, cheat or steal; 100 per cent honest.” • PG Jewellery & Bygones, 38 Cowgate, Peterborough PE1 1NA. 01733 555564,

ETERBOROUGH Royals, the city’s first women’s American football team, is extending a welcome to any ladies who’d like to try something new on a Saturday morning. The team, featured in the April issue of Nene Living, came together in the summer of 2016 and has since competed in its first ‘flag’ – a non-contact form of American football – and kitted (full-contact) tournaments against other more established women’s teams in the country. Now the ladies are looking to the future and developing their game from a five-a-side format to a seven-a-side format more commonly practiced by women’s teams in the UK. Currently, the Peterborough Royals has a core of about 15 dedicated players and three coaches, but says there is always room for more. It’s said that American football is so inclusive, there is a position for all shapes, sizes and abilities. And you don’t have to be an NFL fan to get involved either – some of the ladies still haven’t even watched a game of American football that they haven’t been playing in! – as the experienced coaches will teach you everything you need to know. Now is a perfect time to join the team as it is about to start practicing for its next tournament (January 2018), with the chance to play some development games against other teams in November. All kit is provided so there’s no big expense; the only thing ladies need is a positive attitude and suitable footwear. • You can find the Royals on the field at Stanground Academy on Saturday mornings from 10am until 1pm, or on Facebook: Peterborough Royals women’s American Football Team and Twitter: @ PtownRoyals. For more information send them a message on Facebook/Twitter or email:

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Print works

Printmaker John McGowan talks to Gillian Bendall about his latest project, which paints a fascinating portrait of a former local paper mill

John has self-published a photobook of his Arborfield Paper Mill photography and screen-prints “Look at the scale of the plant!” says John. “The apex of the triangle on the bottom right of the photo (1969) is the junction between road and rail: the Helpston Crossing”


USTY ironwork, flaking paint and distressed brickwork – they might not be everyone’s idea of beauty, but according to John McGowan they “have a lot of visual appeal to an artist”. “I remind you that it should not be hard for you to stop sometimes and look into the stains of walls, or the ashes of a fire, or clouds, or mud or like places, in which, if you consider them well, you may find really marvellous ideas,” wrote Leonardo da Vinci, John reminds me, as we discuss his latest (and my favourite!) printmaking project: a celebration of a former paper mill in all its crumbling, decay-ridden glory. Well known for his screen-prints cataloguing our industrial heritage – dockside buildings (now in the Museum of London’s collection), signal boxes and local street scenes all feature in his portfolio – former teacher John has for many years been pointing his eye and camera at both working and derelict factories and warehouses. Inspiration for this latest, collection, however, was found close to home – both literally and metaphorically. John explains: “I first travelled from Northampton, where I worked, to purchase paper from the Arborfield Paper Mill in Helpston many years ago, and I revisited the site after Budget Paper Supplies established itself there in the mid-‘80s. “Later, when I was teaching at a school in Glinton (he has also taught art at Oundle School), I took a series of photographs of the mill buildings and interiors as a demonstration for my art pupils of some of the interesting subjects that could be found locally. I knew little about the mill when I took the photographs, other than the particular kind of paper it produced. The subsequent photographic prints were mounted and displayed in the art department and then returned to my studio – but not forgotten. “Some years later still, in 2015 I completed a set of seven prints of the Rotherhithe Docks, using photos I took in the ‘70s. This gave me the momentum to use the Arborfield Paper Mill photographs as the basis for a suite of screen-prints. And on revisiting those images I became curious about the nature of the mill as a workplace and started to research online. There were few images available and little information, but two items gave impetus to my search: one was an aerial photograph of the mill in 1969, and the other an extract from an article by Eric West & George



Boyden giving, in brief, its history.” Apparently the mill was originally planned to be built in Stamford in the 1850s, but its directors changed their mind. “Perhaps it was the coming of the railway through Helpston that influenced them,” ponders John. The mill originally made paper and board from twitch, or couch grass, but the papers and boards produced were unfortunately affected by mildew so more traditional source materials had to be used. “The original company was wound up in 1861 and was bought by a Mr Towgood,” John explains. “In 1890 Helpston’s population was 600, and the mill employed some 200 workers. It produced brown paper for envelopes, coloured cartridge papers for ammunition firms and backing for sandpaper. The mill remained economically viable until the Second World War but continued producing papers afterwards, making a series of specialist items such as imitation bookcloth. “Sadly, by the late 1960s the mill was in financial trouble. A number of owners came and went, and finally Thomas and Green took it over and filter paper was the last product to be made on the site. Production ceased in 1984 and the machinery was sold.” Then, David Lovering – who had been employed as a manager for the business – started Budget Paper Supplies on part of the mill site. “It was on a visit to BPS that I took the photographs,” says John. “And after making the prints I decided to put photographs, prints and historical research together in a self-published book. “I had also thought to include some personal reminiscences of former mill workers but they seemed hard to find, until I contacted BPS and discovered that the then General Manager, Richard Aldiss, had been with Arborfield Paper Mill since 1978 and he agreed to talk to me. Shortly after that, Chief Engineer Roger Burfoot, who had interviewed Richard for his job at the mill, got in touch. He had been with the firm since 1962 and between them they gave me a picture of a typical working day at the mill. Richard also provided me with an introduction to Sylvia Dolby who had some photographs of her father and uncle who both worked in the mill, along with some of herself. “It’s a fascinating story that has largely vanished from local memory.”


A screen-printer uses a frame with a tightly-stretched porous mesh which is blocked out to allow ink to pass though open areas, when a squeegee is pressed over the surface of the screen, onto paper positioned beneath it. “I use a lot of lowtech home-made equipment and some hi-tech computers,” says John. “These allow me to translate old-fashioned film negative into high-contrast separations that make the images for some of my screen-prints. The prints are then built up from carefully calibrated tonal layers that are printed on top of one another. Hopefully you won’t be able to spot the layers.” John’s initial intention, in making the Arborfield print series, was to reference a Victorian photographic process called ‘cyanotype’ – also known as the ‘blueprint process’ – that was first introduced by John Herschel in 1842. “Sir John was an astronomer, trying to find a way of copying his notes,” explains John. “My ‘blue prints’ were to be framed with a ‘torn’ darker frame, very much like those on early Polaroid images. However, I decided to include a collaged printed border as well and also try out a sepia version. The projected four images turned into 12. Then, as I was working on the book, I included the collaged backgrounds on one page. I immediately saw that there was another potential print. That’s printmaking for you!”



Print works THE MILL-WORKERS’ TALES Former Chief Engineer, Roger Burfoot: “The Mill was almost a family concern with many fathers, brothers, sons, daughters and cousins on the payroll. It was a good time in that it was a very friendly environment and people were willing to give advice and help. “In my first couple of years at the Mill they were still buying in manila and hemp ship’s ropes that would be used in the production process. The ropes would be chopped into short fibres and then cooked in Digester tanks with steam and caustic. The resultant Liquor was then taken to Swaddywell Pit for dumping. “The Engineering stores was run very efficiently by an ex-Army Major (very highly decorated for bravery) and his assistant was an ex-RAF officer. Heaven help any engineer who removed an article from the stores without correct documentation!”



Former General Manager, Richard Aldiss: “I joined Brittains Arborfield Paper Mill on the 2nd January 1978, having just spent six years serving King and Country in the Army. I was employed as a shift engineering charge hand. We worked 12-hour shifts, in a week that covered six and a half days – we normally got Saturday afternoons off.”

Richard Aldiss just before he joined the mill staff Sylvia and Janet Dolby in the garden of their Mill Cottage – in the background are bales of old rope, or sisal

John McGowan has been making original prints for over 50 years and has amassed a striking body of work that will be celebrated in a retrospective exhibition this month. A Printmaker’s Retrospective marks John’s 70th birthday this year and will bring together some 90 prints and proofs from 1963 to the present. John’s early print work, in the 1970s, stemmed from a study of systematic colour relationships. Later in the decade a growing interest in photography led to experiments with photo-screen-printing. His renown today is testament to both John’s talent and tenacity, for his artistic ambitions were not always given the support he’d have liked. “For some reason known only to my form teacher, I ended up in his German class rather than my favourite art class,” he explains. “I became the ‘ghost’ in the art department, there at all hours – except the ones where they taught art! I caught the printmaking bug in that school art room helping another pupil to clean a lino block. I painted at home, I painted in my first job as a librarian and I wrapped my work in a copy of the Sunday Times and went for an interview at Bulmershe College of Education and asked to study art. Good move!” It was at Bulmershe that John was introduced to screen-printing. “It was an immediate epiphany,” he says. “We were working with paper-cut stencils with a hinged screen on a plain bench, I felt a connection with the process. The department’s technician made me a small portable screen-printing ensemble, complete with home-made squeegee, and I haven’t stopped printing since.” John spent several years working with master printer Peter Pretsell at Northampton College of Art and his own printmaking practice developed radically in 1979-80 when he began a series based on images of the Northampton arm of the Grand Union Canal. “I have gleaned techniques and information about print from every available source, visiting exhibitions and print workshops, joining printmaking classes, getting expert tuition and buying every book I can find on the subject,” John says. Prints are now produced in small editions in his studio in Northborough near Peterborough – one print can take up to two months to produce as he goes through an extensive process of proofing, and editions (which are rarely more than 25) are printed with acrylic-based inks on high quality mouldmade papers. “Since ‘retiring’ I have been busier than ever, working on the themes that have been a life’s interest,” he says. You can see John’s work at Art in the Heart in the city’s Westgate Arcade, and A Printmaker’s Perspective is at The Yarrow Gallery, Glapthorn Road, Oundle PE8 4GH from 4-18 November, Monday-Saturday 10.30am-1pm and 2.30pm-5pm, Sunday 2.30pm- 5pm. •

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City versus country Nene villagers and city planners remain at loggerheads over a proposed new ‘township’ on land close to the villages of Castor and Ailsworth, Marholm, Sutton and Upton. We look at the history behind the plan, and how locals are fighting back…


ORMED late last year, campaign group Protect Rural Peterborough (PRP) was set up by residents who believe that the proposal will change the local countryside forever and is the first step in the urbanisation of an important and historic rural area. First mooted several decades ago – and now much smaller than originally conceived – the ‘Great Kyne’ development could see the building of 2,500 new homes, plus sites for commercial and industrial use, on land owned by the Homes and Community Agency to the north of the A47, just a few miles west of the city. A country park is proposed for HCA land south of the bypass. The proposals are part of a Local Plan which could yet be amended further. Public consultations are expected to take place in a few months’ time, after which Peterborough City Council will load all representations onto its website (the ‘consultation portal’), summarise the key issues raised, publish all evidence base material and then ‘submit’ all to the Secretary of State (or, in practice, to the Planning Inspectorate). PRP’s concerns include the fact that the proposed development is four times the size of Castor and Ailsworth combined, and will house an estimated 6,250 people, including 1,000 school-age children – campaigners say the infrastructure required to support such a population will be huge. They fear it will pose a significant threat to nature – the site is very close to Castor Hanglands, a unique wildlife reserve and Site of Special

Scientific Interest – and will cut off wildlife corridors from Helpston to the River Nene. Additionally, they predict a decade of impact on the countryside – it will take around two years to put in infrastructure (electricity supply, roads, water, sewerage) followed by potentially six more years to build the housing, they say.



VER the last fifty years there have been a series of serious attempts to promote a major extension of Peterborough on farmland west of Milton Park. It all began in the early 1960s with the identification of Peterborough as a place for major expansion to help deal with the crisis of housing in London and the South East. The early plans had all major development northwards along the East Coast mainline, absorbing Marholm village and reaching almost as far as Glinton. Expansion towards Castor or Orton was not included. Planning consultants Hancock-Hawkes were appointed to report on the boundaries of the new town. Their Draft Basic Plan included the concept of ‘townships’ and ‘parkways’. Here the Castor Township was born. Peterborough’s New Town designation was confirmed in 1967 and the Development Corporation began work on a master plan to double the population of the city. Public exhibitions into the Interim Plan in

October 1969 gave rise to over 500 written comments, though at the public hearing, which lasted a mere eight hours, these objections had been whittled down to 11! The Master Plan, eventually adopted in 1971, contained a northern bypass of Castor hugging the Designated Area boundary and a township confined to the land between the bypass and the A47. The Castor Township was to accommodate about 8,000 homes and would be the third and final stage to be undertaken in 1980-85. To achieve the target of roughly doubling the population by 1985 meant one of the fastest house-building programmes of any previous New Town, at an average of 2,000 houses a year. When the time came for more detail to be added to the plan for Castor Township, construction of Peterborough’s first three townships was proceeding at a rapid rate and a number of factors meant that more land would be needed in the final township to achieve population targets. At Castor – or more precisely between Ailsworth and Sutton NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017


As reader Susan Magill told us: “I worry that councillors seem to be unaware of the history, nature and beautiful countryside that surround Castor and Ailsworth. I would like to think if they were aware of the beauty of this countryside, they would be proud of it and promote it positively for visitors to the city and for the people of Peterborough, to visit and enjoy. “This large development will be very near Castor Hanglands and Ailsworth Heath, Sites


City versus country of Special Scientific Interest dating back to the Doomsday Book. It has ancient historic sites that are in and all around the two villages, including the church of St Kynebugha’s built on the site of an ancient Roman palace. The poet John Clare’s footprints are all over this area; many of his poems were about the countryside around us.”

She concluded: “The villagers and many people who live in the city of Peterborough are devastated at the proposed destruction of the countryside, history, nature, walking routes, the bridleways and rights of way in constant use by ramblers, horse riders and cyclists. The beauty of the villages and the surrounding countryside is, to many, special and magical.” • Website www.protect-rural-peterborough. catalogues the campaign group’s actions and concerns

By 1975, the Western Sector Outline Plan showed that this new township had grown to 9,600 homes

Planning consultants Hancock-Hawkes introduced the concept of ‘townships’ and ‘parkways’ to Peterborough, and the Castor Township was born

Above: Castor Hanglands Photo: Lily Hill Photography Right: Bridleways cross the proposed development Photo: Lily Hill Photography

By 1978 all New Town corporations had been told to slow down or stop building. Peterborough Development Corporation history proposed a smaller, phased development with 4,000 houses

The Local Plan is under review once more but currently proposes 2,500 new homes

‘THE SAGA OF CASTOR’… – there was an area earmarked for ‘post-expansion development.’ The Corporation planners put this land into its planning application for the township in what was called the ‘Western Sector Outline Plan’ (WSOP). The township had grown to 9,600 homes. The storm of protest from parish councillors and local residents became a hurricane to which was added objection to the proposal from the County Council. By the time the WSOP was presented to the Ministry for approval, concern over inner city strife led the Labour government to review the whole New Town programme. In 1977 all New Town corporations were told to slow down or stop building altogether: it was a watershed moment in Peterborough Development Corporation history. It responded immediately with a smaller phased development at Castor with a plan for a township of 4,000 houses on land north of the village and capable of future expansion on land to the west of Ailsworth. This plan was caught up in another change at Whitehall when a Conservative government was elected in 1979. The death knell for the Castor Township came when an area of reclaimed brick



workings south of Orton was allocated in the Cambridgeshire County Structure Plan as a replacement for Castor. This was to become Hampton. All went quiet until the Local Plan for the period 2016-2036 was published, which showed a site for 2,500 homes north of the A47 at Castor. This was called Great Kyne. The Submission Local Plan was about to be approved by the City Council in September when, at the last minute, it was put on hold – new guidance from Whitehall, when applied to Peterborough, would result in a requirement for fewer homes than calculated in the Plan. The reduction of 1,000 to 2,000 homes necessitates a reappraisal of the sites allocated, which will mean a delay of a few months before the Local Plan can be submitted to the Secretary of State who will appoint an Inspector to hold a Hearing in Public, likely in late 2018. Will the saga end there? Will history repeat itself, yet again, with a rejection of the Castor proposal or will its fate be sealed with a thumbs-up from the Inspector? It’s never over ‘til it’s over…




Get the party started! What’s that you say – a Christmas party is far too much bother? Well then, take the hassle out of this busiest of times and book your friends, family or colleagues onto one of these fantastic, festive functions… Sarah Chase picks the best


HRISTMAS: it’s the time of year when parties are virtually obligatory, and no-one minds a bit of excessiveness, be it in food, drink or outfits. Whether your idea of a fab time is sitting down to a jolly good meal in your Santa hat, or donning your highest of heels and attempting to dance, there will be a party in our local area to suit you – simply take your pick from our choicest of choices. The Black Horse at Elton is getting into the spirit of things with an organised Christmas party every Friday evening in December. For £32.50 per person you’ll get the full festive fare, following which the tables will be cleared away to make room for dancing to live bands. You can come as a couple or a small group and join the crowd, or you can book out the whole shebang – up to 60 people can be accommodated downstairs, and a further 30 upstairs. Go to the website, or call 01832 280591 for more details or to book your table. Views across icy lakes and log burners a-plenty create a festive atmosphere at a Lakeside Kitchen & Bar Christmas party. The Ferry Meadows-based restaurant is offering evening parties throughout December – smaller groups are welcome, with a minimum of eight people needed to make a table, or you can pay for exclusive use of the venue. The Christmas party package includes a choice of three different starters, mains and desserts, and prices start at £39.50 per person. Once you’ve found room for your Salted Caramel Brownie you’ll be invited to dance off the calories to music provided by a DJ – get yourself a group and book in at For a city-centre vibe, head to Peterborough’s historic four-star hotel, The Bull, where a traditional Christmas party night awaits you. Arrive at 6.30pm for drinks before sitting down to dinner in the Brasserie Restaurant at The Talbot



Bull Hotel

7.30pm. Christmas crackers, party poppers and streamers will abound, and dancing to music provided by a DJ will take you through til 1am – all this is from £43 per person. If you’re looking for a more low-key way to celebrate with your family – perhaps something that can involve children – then The Bull is also offering a wonderful Family Brunch with Santa option. On Saturday 23 December, you can enjoy a delicious buffet brunch and meet the man himself; have your family portrait taken with him and your children will receive a gift, too. Prices are £16.95 per adult and £10.95 per child under 10. Check The Bull’s website for availability: Perhaps you’d rather save the traditional turkey dinner for Christmas day – in which case a trip to the fabulous East restaurant might be just what you’re after. Situated on the upper Black Horse

deck of a converted floating Dutch barge, this pan-Asian restaurant will be offering an alternative take on the traditional festive menu throughout December. It’s able to seat up to a hundred guests and, with Charters Bar on the deck below, gives a great night out from start to finish: live music will be plentiful, too, every Friday in December, so check out your options on the websites: and Oundle’s stunning coaching inn, The Talbot, is offering private parties on selected dates in November or December. With a three-course meal followed by coffee and mince pies, all hosted in the Westgate or Whitwell Suite, you can also enjoy a boogie with music from a resident DJ until midnight. Tables of eight are available and tickets are £30 per person. Or, if you fancy making a real break of it, why The Falcon

The Falcon

Bull Hotel


EW Year’s Eve can be tricky to get right, and people are often reluctant to commit before they see what everyone else is doing. Why not take the lead and get your friends organised this year, by taking advantage of the events being hosted by local pubs and restaurants? Just don’t forget to book your taxi and your babysitter well ahead of time!

Cherry House

Bull Hotel


The Bull Hotel in Peterborough has the whole thing covered, and is offering a really special treat. Start the fun by checking into your room from 2pm before indulging in Afternoon Tea with sandwiches and cakes from 2.30pm-4pm. Three hours should give you plenty of time, in the luxury of your own room, to ready yourself for the serious work ahead (relaxing bath: check; power nap: check!) before you make your grand entrance at the predinner Champagne Reception. This will be followed by a sumptuous four-course New Year’s Eve Dinner served promptly at 8pm, allowing plenty of time for dancing to the appropriately-named live band, Boogie Shoes. With no taxi needed, you can crash when you want to, safe in the knowledge that next day’s all-important full English breakfast will be available up until midday. Tickets for this fabulous event are £170 per person.

Elton Furze

The Talbot

not take advantage of The Talbot’s two-night package? Kick off the festivities with drinks and a three-course meal on Christmas Eve followed by an optional nightcap or two in the cosy bar. The big day itself will start with a leisurely breakfast between 8am-10am, before the splendid Christmas Lunch at 12.30pm. You’ll have a chance to catch your breath and maybe walk off a little of the Christmas pud before you start all over again with an evening platter buffet at 7pm. A lazy Boxing Day breakfast will finish off your experience and you’ll be able to return home with none of the washing up to worry about. Prices are from £235 per person: go to to view more information. For an evening of glamour and dancing, book your friends and colleagues into an Elton Furze Golf Club Christmas Party Night. Every Friday and Saturday night in December will see the transformation of the venue into a festive party place where guests can enjoy freshly cooked food before dancing the night away at their disco. Tables of 10 are available, or you can book the

whole venue for larger parties with catering for up to 130 people a possibility. Bespoke evenings are also offered for these private functions – choose what drinks you’d like on arrival, specify menu options and opt for alternative entertainment if you like. More details can be found on the website, If a measured pace is more your cup of tea, then try The Cherry House at Werrington, where the emphasis is more on fine dining than disco dancing. Its three-course Christmas Party Dinners are £28.95 and a mouthwatering menu is available – see www. for the full rundown. Finally, families always love getting together at the Falcon Inn at Fotheringhay, and the festive season provides a perfect opportunity – book out the Cottage for parties for up to 36 people and enjoy the real Christmas tree and beautiful decorations: it will feel like home, only better! Menus are from £19.50 for a three course festive meal. The website www. has further details.

If the taxi-free option sounds like the perfect solution to you, then The Talbot in Oundle is another local hotel offering sophisticated New Year’s Eve fun. It invites you to welcome in 2018 with a black tie event, beginning at 7pm with Champagne and canapés and followed by a six-course meal and entertainment until late. Tickets for the party are £100 per person, or you can opt to stay over and enjoy breakfast the next day for an extra £55 – sounds like a no-brainer to me! The Black Horse at Elton is hosting a Rock Star-themed fancy dress party – dress up as your favourite musical icon and dance the night away with live music from The Lazoons. No sit-down meal here; instead you can enjoy fizz and canapés on arrival followed by a rolling buffet from 8pm. Anyone wilting will be revived by bacon rolls at 12.30am to welcome in the New Year! The price for this fun-filled night is £39.50 per person – book your places early, as it’s certain to sell out. The Falcon Inn at Fotheringhay is always a favourite for group bookings, and this year it’s offering tables for an all-inclusive party at £65 per person. The ticket includes all you can eat and drink from 8pm until 1am, with a disco starting at 9.30pm to dance the night away.



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Branching out This is the time of year when business really gets cracking for Bill and Jenny Martin. Sarah Chase meets Fotheringhay’s family of Christmas tree growers


IVERSIFICATION has been a watchword for farmers for many years. Finding innovative ways to use their land and resources has seen farm shops, cafés and children’s animal encounter experiences popping up all over the countryside! For Walcot Lodge Farm in Fotheringhay, home to the Martin family since 1974, the answer to the diversification question was Christmas trees. “We planted a couple of hundred firs 20 years ago, which we sold to friends and family,” says Jenny Martin who, together with husband Bill, runs the family farm these days, “so when we realised we needed to branch out, we were pretty clear which way we wanted the business to go. “Bill comes from a long line of farmers, and Walcot Lodge had been farmed by his parents for over 30 years: now it’s Bill and me who run things, ably assisted at weekends and during holidays by our son, Tom, who is studying agriculture at Moulton College.” Having seen the potential in this seasonal crop, Bill and Jen pursued the venture seriously four years back, planting 2,000 trees: “We’re arable farmers, principally growing wheat, barley, oil-seed rape and beans, so trees were really a natural step,” explains Jen. The family has seen sales rise from 200 trees in their first year to 850 trees last Christmas – a scaling-up of demand that means a further 3,000 trees will be planted this year, ready for the coming winters. When it comes to choosing a tree, the more traditional among us would probably consider the Norway Spruce to be the ultimate festive decoration. It has the most amazing smell but the needles tend to drop fairly fast, so it’s best bought close to Christmas Day. Nordmann Firs, on the other hand, retain their needles exceptionally well but are slowgrowing, so in these early years, whilst the Fotheringhay specimens are still growing, the Martins buy some in, freshly cut to order, from local Christmas tree growers in Lincolnshire and Leicestershire. Encouraged by the success of the fir trees, Jen saw an opportunity to offer even more from a visit to the farm and, each December, transforms one of the grain stores into a magical Christmas grotto, with baubles, crackers, gifts and decorations to buy. The store is so large that it can also accommodate the farm’s combine harvester and one of the Martin’s tractors – providing a perfect opportunity to make many children’s Christmas wish come true immediately! “The big machinery is a hit with children and parents alike!” says Jen, “and we have some small pedal tractors to keep little ones occupied whilst their parents browse in the shop and choose the tree.” Father Christmas has promised a visit this year; children will be invited to have their photo taken with him and will receive a baby Christmas tree to take home and plant, whilst their parents enjoy complimentary mulled wine and mince pies to enhance that festive glow.

“We don’t charge anything for children to come and see Father Christmas,” Jen says, “ but we do have a donations box, the proceeds of which will be going to a couple of charities close to our hearts.” This year the doors of Walcot Lodge Farm will be open daily from Friday 1 December, from 9.30am to 4pm with Father Christmas appearing between 2pm and 3pm on Sunday 10 and Sunday 17 December. “We’ll stay open until either the trees run out or people stop coming – whichever happens first!” laughs Jen. • Visit the Facebook page at Walcot Lodge Farms Christmas Trees or call Jen on 07753 607332 to find out more.

Jen offers her tips to make the most of your tree once you’ve got it home: • Treat it as you would cut flowers. For the tree to take up water, and to keep it as fresh as possible, the bottom inch must be taken off: this allows it to unseal itself and ‘drink’. Make sure you keep it topped up throughout the Christmas period. • Never put trees into a hot room – by an open fire or next to a radiator, for example – because come Christmas Day you could well have a bald tree!




Jen and Bill Martin found a festive way to make more of their land and farm resources

New from Walcot Lodge Farm this Christmas is a collection service: in January, for a couple of pounds, Bill and Jenny will pick up and dispose of any old trees – saving your car from that annual covering of needles! This is in addition to the free delivery service they offer within a five-mile radius of Fotheringhay.

Angel Fair heralds the start of the festive shopping season For the last two days of this month the grounds of Elton Hall will be transformed into a winter wonderland, hosting a wide variety of highend Christmas stalls to inspire your seasonal shopping list. The Angel Fair 2017 will take place on 29 and 30 November in the grounds of the gothic house that was built in the 12th century and has been owned by the Proby family since 1660. Organised by Burghley’s Lady Victoria Leatham (pictured right) for the second year running, the event promises to be the place to buy everything you need for the festive period, including gifts from international sellers ranging from luxury jewellery to stocking fillers, children’s toys and decorations. There’ll also be numerous foods to feast on, from French paté to pork pies, and bottles of something special to wash it all down with. All profits from the Angel Fair will be split between three charities: The British Heart Foundation, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) and Sue Ryder, Thorpe Hall Hospice where the first Angel Christmas Fair was held last year. • Admission will be £5 per person, children under 12 get in free. Opening times are 11am-8pm on Wednesday 29 November, 10am3pm on Thursday 30 November and parking is free. For more information visit Each December one of the grain stores is transformed into a magical Christmas grotto



Fancy visiting a Christmas market this festive season? See p53 for our round-up of some of the best!



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Peterborough’s back on Broadway! Our city’s biggest entertainment venue has now fully re-opened, thanks to a benefactor to the region’s arts and the vision of two men who are making it happen. Jonathan Craymer went to meet them


T’S the only venue within 40 miles or so capable of seating over 1,200 people and housing up to 1,550 for events like rock concerts, yet it’s been only occasionally used for years. Now The Broadway, to give it its proper title, is fully up and running – once again giving the city kind of large town-centre venue it deserves. I guess many of us have good memories of this lovely venue; one of mine is of seeing the late, great Glen Campbell on this very stage (still can’t believe that… Glen Campbell was here in Peterborough!). Fittingly, The Broadway flung open its doors for entertainment business on September 2, exactly 80 years to the day since the building first began functioning in 1937 as an Odeon cinema. In a nice touch, some of the Odeon’s former staff attended. Getting the theatre going again was the brainchild of Mark Ringer who is the new Managing Director and Alex Geairns, Marketing Director, as well as Dr Peter Dawe. Peter, a wellknown technology entrepreneur and former candidate for Mayor of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire was keen to get the theatre re-opened. Mark had been his running mate in the contest, and after it was over he’d asked Mark what single thing he could do to benefit Peterborough. “I told him how wonderful it would be to get The Broadway going again. The Dawe Charitable Trust leased the theatre for 20 years, and here we are!” said Mark, spreading his arms atop the massive stage.

Alex added: “We’re looking to do things differently, aiming for a very broad programme, featuring everything from comedy nights with a buffet meal to tribute acts and wrestling. The first Funhouse Comedy dinner event hit the ground running just five days after we opened, featuring headliner Hal Cruttenden. It was a great success. “We also have the Broadway Suite which can be completely isolated, with all its own facilities, making it perfect for everything from weddings to business and social events. In addition there’s the all-new Walter’s Bar and Eatery, open here from 9am every day, named after Peterborough’s famous strongman and charity fundraiser Walter Cornelius.” But that’s not all. A new TV, video and internet training company, Hereward Media, is housed here too. “Being able to create video content for companies’ own websites will make a lot of people in the city far more employable, and we’ve made the Job Centre down the road aware that they can send people to us to acquire these skills,” added Alex, who is also Station Director. This side of The Broadway’s new range of activities is something Peter Dawe is particularly keen on. He was the originator of the famous Pipex company, the UK’s first commercial internet service provider, and he also set up local TV station Cambridge Television. He added: “Hereward Media has a very different business model to other local TV

stations, and as was the case with Cambridge TV, is very much geared to becoming a valuable resource for the community. I’m delighted that we can help bring their plans, which also include a local news website with citizen journalists, to fruition.” As we’re speaking, the phones are ringing and The Broadway’s programme is filling up fast. Local country music promoter Jed Ford had just announced that The Penny Jayne Black Band, Boxcar Kelly and The Railroaders, Tennessee Stud, and Knoxville Highway are to play here on 29 October, MC’d by CMR Nashville’s Lee Williams in another of Jed’s country music spectaculars. Meanwhile a production company discusses its plans for staging Aladdin. Oh, and R&B legend Alexander O’Neal has agreed to do a show on 9 December. Then in the Broadway Suite there’s to be, amongst other things, a record fair, and The Revellers’ 70th anniversary fundraising ball. It’s all happening! “We secured full access to the building a lot later than we had hoped, so we’re working hard to sign up and bring in as many acts as we can in the run-up to Christmas,” Mark explained. “However, we’re in the excellent position that agents and managers are now contacting us directly, to see if we can fit in those they represent into our calendar. “So, the word is out – not only do the paying public want reasons to visit The Broadway, we also have those who take to the stage wanting to savour our unique atmosphere.” • NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017


CELEBRATING OUR 50 YEAR HERITAGE SOFAS | BEDS | MATTRESSES Visit our Stamford showroom on Bath Row opposite Adnam’s Wine Store 01780 762579 28


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Fine an handcrafted gifts, decorations and cards byi artists and makers, jewellery,perience Pa world class art, sculpture glass and textiles. iEconomy Frames. i ss Sophie Allport Christmas ranges. Christmas workshops. Ha Textiles e er an cra e r n s ar s cu raming ng Major stockist for Sophie Allport and Culinary Concepts

28a High Street, Thrapston, NN14 4JH (01832) 358915

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Christmas 2017 at..........Hilly Horton 36a Goss Court, Thrapston, NN14 4JH 01832 358894 Open until 5pm Monday to Saturday

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Two oors of beautiful items for you, your home and the festive


Annual wreath making classes 30th November to 9th December Late night shopping events 16th & 24th November until 9.30pm


Butterfly picture made in Thrapston by Magpie & the Tambourine £35, The Rounded House

Storage box £39.95, Chapel Interiors

Rabbit dome made in Thrapston by Magpie & the Tambourine £39, The Rounded House




Ready, steady... shop! Struggling for Christmas gift ideas already? Allow us to help: every item on our carefully curated seasonal wish-list has been chosen specially for its local credentials! Photo picture £64.95, Chapel Interiors

Signed limited edition print Pheasant Fight by artist James Green £49.95, Art in the Heart

Biography of The Great Nadar by local author Adam Begley £18.99, Oundle Bookshop

Uppingham-made candle £18.50 and room spray £23, The Rounded House

Tray £32.95, mats £34.50, tea towel £12.50 Rather Gifted

Vintage fork wall hooks, crafted by Chris & Sarah in Stamford £35, Hilly Horton Home NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017



Ready, steady... shop!

Metalwork bird by Juniper House of Whittlesey from £14, Hilly Horton Home

Cushion, £49.99, Rather Gifted

Sam Wilson Studio ‘Fast Dog’ linocut print, linen cosmetic bags, from £17 and linocut print China jugs from £16, Hilly Horton Home

The 50 Greatest Churches and Cathedrals of the World by Nene Living contributor Sue Dobson £8.99, Oundle Bookshop Registration plate £29.99, Rather Gifted

Recycled silver-plated cutlery bracelets crafted in Stamford by Chris & Sarah from £20, Hilly Horton Home

Beautifully illiustrated coffee table book by Northants artist Carry Akroyd £29.95, Oundle Bookshop

Unique Liberty fabric pocket mirrors by Indigostitch £4, made for Hilly Horton Home Fine silver and gold star studs hand-crafted by Lesley Adolphson £25, Art in the Heart

Framed print of Hugo Hare by Sam Purcell at The Hare in The Sweater £30, Hilly Horton Home Twelve Days of Christmas cards £19.50 pack of 12, Katie Cardew Illustrations Sign by Cheari-Dais of Desborough £9, Hilly Horton Home

Bergamot & Rose candle, hand-made in Huntingdon £18, Hilly Horton Home



Snowy Owl by ceramicist Rosemarie Cooke £220, Art in the Heart

Angel by ceramicist Christin Withall £79, Art in the Heart

Large art canvas print Glistening Grasses at Rutland by Gillian Durno £395, Art in the Heart

Tealight holder by ceramicist Ewa Pandera £25, Art in the Heart

Three-fold Robin card by printmaker Mark Hearld £3.99, Art in the Heart

Night Owl jug £16, Sophie Allport

Scented candles £19.95, Oundle Candles

There’ll be more Xmas Gifts ideas in our December issue!

Northants-made Winton Willow small platter £20, coasters £12 for set of two, Chapel Interiors Poinsettia framed print £30, cards £2, pack of 5 £9, Art in the Heart

Heartstrings by digital artist Jason Duckmanton, £85, Art in the Heart

STOCKISTS Art in the Heart, 13 Westgate Arcade, Peterborough PE1 1PY. 07910 118148.; Chapel Interiors, The Bazaar, West Street, Oundle PE8 4EJ. 01832 275605,; Hilly Horton Home, 36a Goss Court, Thrapston NN14 4JH. 01832 358894.; Katie Cardew Illustrations,; Oundle Bookshop, 13 Market Place, Oundle PE8 4BA. 01832 273523.; Rather Gifted, 14 Market Place, Oundle PE8 4BQ. 01832 272165; The Rounded House, 10b West Street, Oundle PE8 4EF. 01832 274687.; Sophie Allport, 26-27 High Street, Stamford PE9 2AY, 01780 751044, NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017


Curtains, Blinds, Shutters & Awnings A local, family-run business with excellent service values

• ROMAN BLINDS • VENETIAN, ROLLER & VERTICAL BLINDS • WALLCOVERINGS • WOODEN SHUTTERS • AWNINGS • CONSERVATORY BLIND SPECIALIST (perfect fit system) • CUSTOM MADE CURTAINS (pencil, pinch, eyelets, valances, pelmet boards, swags & tails)

Book a free home visit to measure and discuss your requirements and receive a no-obligation quotation. Harlequin, Prestigious, Blendworth, Villa Nova and many more! Showroom at: 30 Phorpres Close, Hampton, Peterborough, PE7 8FZ - Email: Opening times: Mon - Fri 10 - 4, Sat 10 - 1; Closed Sun. Free parking - Telephone: 01733 558864 - (Behind Dobbies Garden World)

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 34

Olympic Marble Olympic Marble is a family business in every sense. Here, John Polychronidis tells Rannveig Stone about the origins of the Peterborough-based company and the secrets of its success PHOTOGRAPHY: ELLI DEAN

You’ve built up a very successful business here; where did it all start? Marble has been the family business for three generations back in Greece, where Olympic Marble has its origins. My cousin Van Mavrogenis has worked with marble all his life; it’s in his blood. When the downturn hit the Greek economy, Van and his wife Bev established Olympic Marble 12 years ago and helped me to get the business off the ground. We gave the craftsmen from Van’s marble business back in Greece another start here in the UK. All of our craftsmen came over from Greece; even the Polish guys came over from Greece! They’re incredibly experienced, having done lots of work on the Olympics and on the Presidential Suite at the Hilton in Athens. All of them know their craft and take huge pride in it. At the start, the language barrier was a problem for them, so we helped with practical things like finding them places to live; we’re only a small team of 11 here, so we look after each other like family. We started off very small, but have grown so much that we had to move to much larger premises. How do you explain the universal appeal of marble? People have loved marble since Greek and Roman times, it will never go out of style. At the moment, our customers are very keen on marble bathrooms; they appreciate the opulence and luxury it brings to the room. You can’t find light colours in granite – which is far too slippery when polished to use on floors. Marble is very practical; unlike porcelain, you can sand and polish out cracks. We do a lot of granite kitchens, but the amount of marble kitchens we’re installing these days is growing too. What is the secret of your success? The guys we have, our stonemasons, they are artists; they could carve statues if they wanted to. No-one else can do what they do; they are masters of their craft. The guys who go out on the project jobs, doing the installations and fittings, they’re craftsmen too. Through years of experience and hard work, they know exactly what they’re doing! Reputation goes a very long way. Our customers know that we use the very best materials and techniques to achieve the best possible results. You can’t cut corners with this kind of work – even when it comes to the things that nobody else sees, you should use the very best. For example, the adhesive we use is very expensive but we know that it’s the best. It’s like anything in life; you get what you pay for.

“The guys we have, our stonemasons, they are artists; they could carve statues if they wanted to. No-one else can do what they do; they are masters of their craft” Where do you get your marble and granite? We go out to Italy four or five times a year to see our suppliers and also attend the Verona stone show, where you can see stones from all over the world. Over many years, we’ve built up a great relationship with our suppliers in Italy, which means that we can get materials that no-one else can. Sometimes, we’ll take a client and their architect to Italy or Greece, so that they can select the slab of marble they want to use in their home. How do you attract new business? We get a lot of repeat business from architects, who know that we can achieve breathtaking results with marble – techniques like ‘bookmarking’ for instance. We’ve built up a reputation for outstanding artistry and impeccable craftsmanship. We’re also very flexible, our attitude is ‘Nothing is a problem – we’ll find a solution’.

We always welcome customers to our showroom to see our extensive range of stock and guide them through the selection process. We’re here to advise and guide them throughout the process, from start to finish and pride ourselves on an unbeatable level of after-sales service. We really look after our customers, which is why I think a lot of our business comes through word of mouth; for example, a lady phoned in a panic, because she’d dropped a bottle of olive oil and chipped the sink we’d installed in her kitchen six years ago. Our guys went over to her house and sorted it out at no charge. She couldn’t believe it and must have told all her friends how well we looked after her, because we got three new customers through her! • Olympic Marble, 15 Wainman Rd, Peterborough PE2 7BU. 01733 687414; NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017


Clock & Watch Restoration and Repair Robert Loomes FBHI FRSA 4, St Mary’s Hill, Stamford PE9 2DP 01780 481319

Member of The British Watch and Clock Maker’s Guild (Founded 1907)

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House visits, all domestic clocks repaired, high grade repairs to all makes of watches. Insured, qualified, guaranteed


36 Market Place Oundle 01832 275414 Special Offer on Global Knife Set See in-store for details

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Art at home Choosing art for your own home can be a daunting prospect... and if you get it wrong, an expensive mistake. Sarah Chase asked some experts for advice


“Hanging a piece of art can be great fun,” says Polly Dolby, of Oundle’s Dolby Art Gallery. “Look to match colours with other objects, textiles and furniture in your house. Pairing pieces can often add more drama. It is all about experimenting and creating your own personal touch!” She adds: “Framing is almost as important as the artwork itself. Choosing a bespoke, quality picture frame should enhance your artwork and increase its value.” The Dolby Gallery sells works of art in many different media, and offers a bespoke framing service too: go to for contact details.


Commissioning a work of art can be a wonderful way to get exactly what you want, and is a fantastic gift idea, too. Local artist Anna Sanderson creates drypoint etchings from the photos given to her by clients. “Producing personalised art reinforces a memory, and one that is so pertinent to those that commission it,” she says. “We all live in a world where instant digital photography is at our fingertips – but a one-off piece of original artwork, being unique, is incredibly special.” You can contact Anna at annacsanderson@ Look for local art fairs and exhibitions; events take place throughout the year, offering great opportunities to buy directly from the artist. is Peterborough’s Open Studios’ website. Local auction houses can offer up untold treasures, too – and the bargain-hunting element gives an added thrill! Go to www. to find out when the next auction is coming to town. For maximum impact, consider the lighting of your art – if it’s hung or displayed in a gloomy corner, it will be less of a talking point than you might have hoped, and while spotlights may be perfect for a sculpture, they may reflect off the glass of framed pieces. Lumison Lighting ( in Oakham specialises in recommending and installing bespoke lighting solutions for clients’ homes, whilst in Peterborough we have the largest independent lighting showroom in Cambridgeshire, The Lampshade Warehouse Lighting Outlet. Visit the showroom at Saville Road, Westwood, or take a look at and you’ll find hundreds of ways to illuminate your home and your prized collections.


Posters are a cheap and flexible way of bringing your own sense of identity to a space, and they don’t have to be the ‘80s Athena classics! Next time you’re at a concert, art exhibition, museum or even the cinema, have a look through the selection of merchandise: once it’s framed a poster, album cover, postcard or even a tea towel can create a very personal memory.


ELICITY Thistlethwaite of Kings Cliffe-based framers Effeljay critiques a couple of her own commissions… “In this piece by Egon Schiele (right), the colours the artist chose for the picture are echoed in the mount and frame,” she says. “Then, the mount bevel has been hand-painted in black: this provides a border to visually separate the picture from the mount, even though the colours blend so well. “For Anne Gilbert’s Owl, the frame is oversized when compared to the picture, making a statement in its own right. The muted tones of the distressed frame, together with its texture, echo those of the owl and reflect the natural habitat of the subject.” Felicity can be reached at


Artist and garden designer Jeni Cairns creates many of her metal sculptural artworks specifically for use outdoors: “An interesting object at the end of a path instantly creates a focal point,” she explains, “and collections of everyday objects soon become art if arranged artfully. “Decide what look you want – witty character, rustic charm, or sleek elegance, perhaps – and keep your eyes open for objects which will help you to achieve that look, whether they are pieces you have bought or found.” You can see Jeni’s work at


How many times have you been handed the precious works that your children, nieces and nephews or grandchildren have painted or drawn especially for you? Give those beauties the professional treatment they deserve with a proper mount and frame – you’ll be surprised at just how good they look! NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017




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Flawless Body . 18a Scotgate . Stamford . PE9 2YQ

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

Getting well with water Hydrotherapy has been used for many centuries – it has been recorded in ancient Japanese, Greek, Roman and Egyptian cultures, and still holds importance in modern medicine and physiotherapy today. Prestons Health (located within David Lloyd, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough) has the luxury of the use of two swimming pools for patients – each is a different temperature (cold and hot) and has different effects on the body. The pools are used to help facilitate patients’ recovery from a variety of conditions including aching knees, sore backs, fractures and post-surgical rehabilitation. Hydrotherapy allows patients to exercise where they otherwise couldn’t, speeding up the recovery process and getting the body moving before it would otherwise be possible. Clinic Owner Helen Preston explains: “The therapeutic benefits of immersion in a pool improve and maintain the range of joint movement, help muscles to relax (therefore relieving pain) and reduce pressure on weight-bearing joints, facilitating rehabilitation.” An aquatic programme can also help the wellbeing of those with a disability: learning to enjoy the water and to move about without assistance can enhance selfesteem and self-awareness. Hydrotherapy sessions with Prestons Health are one-on-one, with specialist physiotherapists closely guiding and supporting you through a personal and focused rehab programme. The focus of the exercises is adjusted to help your range of movement, strength, balance and confidence depending on your symptoms and goals. • 01733 565911,

Pilates at Balance Enter Balance in Oundle and you might wonder what all the imposing machines are for: metal construction covered with black leather, straps and robes – they look a little like a medieval torture machine! But when you see a person performing Pilates on them you see elegant, mobile moves with grace, flexibility, ease and control. I went along to meet Sasha Stanton-King and attend one of her lunchtime classes – although I was keen to use the machines, the first step involves her checking your body alignment, then practising the basics to ensure breathing and technique is correct. I really enjoyed the session and felt my tight muscles really benefited from the movements; afterwards I was a lot more aware of my posture and the need to sit and stand properly. Sasha explains: “Everyone who practices Pilates benefits; it makes your body strong, flexible and healthy, lengthening muscles making them leaner without injury or building bulk. Pilates develops flexibility, mobility, strength in a safe and effective manner without stress and strain on your joints and spine.” By teaching in small groups Sasha keeps a close eye on clients and picks up on incorrect technique, patiently explaining and demonstrating movements throughout the hour-long session. Pilates offers relief from stress, back, neck, shoulder, hip and knee pain; it enhances athletic performance and encourages better posture and is suitable for all ages and levels. Classes are taught in groups of three to four people or one-to-one. Times are flexible but there are group sessions in the mornings between 9am and 10am, lunchtimes at 1pm and evening classes at 6pm. A package of 10 classes is £110, or £15 per lesson. On 25 November Balance celebrates its first anniversary with an Open Day from 10am-5pm. It’s a great opportunity to try out free Pilates and yoga classes and there will be talks on the Bowen Technique and herbal medicine. • Balance Pilates, 36A Market Place, Oundle PE8 4AJ. 01832 272927.

Protect yourself from flu



Bye bye bumps! Want to have those irritating and annoying little ‘lumps and bumps’ permanently removed from your face and body in one session? Most of the time the procedure can be done at the same time as a consultation at the Peterborough Cosmetic Clinic – it’s a fast and comfortable one-off treatment undertaken by a doctor. • For a consultation or more information call 01733 310090 at the Peterborough Cosmetic clinic or 01553 692531 at its sister site in King’s Lynn.

Flu, a highly infectious illness, spreads rapidly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are carrying the virus. Anyone can get ‘flu and for most people it is an unpleasant self-limiting illness lasting about a week. However, for those considered ‘at risk’, it can be very serious and can give rise to complications such as pneumonia and lead to hospitalisation and even death. Thankfully, ‘flu vaccination protects those at risk. You are eligible to receive a free vaccine if you: • are aged 65 years and over • are pregnant (at any stage of pregnancy) • are living in a long-stay residential care home/facility • are a carer • are Health and Social Care staff • are a child aged two to four (using a nasal vaccine) • are a child in school years one, two and three (using a nasal vaccine) • are aged six months to 65 years with a longterm (chronic) health condition (respiratory

disease, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, neurological disease, diabetes, immunosuppression) The vaccine is changed each year to take account of the latest circulating strains of influenza virus and, as ‘flu usually circulates during the winter, the earlier you can have the vaccine the better. Vaccination is available through GP practices for all those at risk. For adults in the ‘at risk’ groups it is also available from pharmacies, whilst eligible schoolchildren will receive the nasal vaccine in school. For front-line Health and Social Care workers it is the employer’s responsibility to arrange and pay for the vaccine. • For further guidance, see NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017


Seize The Moment Don’t Seize Up Ease those aches and pains with Hip and Knee Surgery at Fitzwilliam Hospital in Peterborough • • • • •

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HEALTH & BEAUTY Detox your way to health Homefield Grange lies in the historic village of Rushton, nestled in 23 acres of beautiful Northamptonshire countryside. It’s a small, dedicated venue offering a completely holistic approach to anyone wanting to lose weight and improve their general health and wellbeing. It offers detox treatments, therapies and residential packages. Co-Director and co-founder Suzanne Peck was forced to step back and look at her own diet after a personal health experience in her 30s. After experiencing for herself the benefits of a powerful detox programme, she realised the important role that nutrition plays in health. Suzanne explains: “Back then detoxing was still in its infancy in the UK. I couldn’t believe the difference after seven days at a detox retreat.” Suzanne concentrated on learning about nutrition, gaining as many qualifications as possible in the subject and in holistic and naturopathic remedies. She says: “I want to help people make positive changes to how they look and feel about themselves. Your health is your greatest investment.” Guests see great results – which is the main reason for Homefield’s success and reputation. Staff are seasoned professionals who have access to state-ofthe-art equipment and technology, and are trained in all fields of naturopathy, nutritional therapy, personal fitness, life coaching, mindfulness, live blood analysis and intolerance testing. Offering a high standard of personal, attentive service, Homefield has 13 bedrooms and a maximum of 15 residential guests per week. A Day Spa opening in March 2018 will focus on health benefits, and specific ‘wellness support days’ are coming up such as Cancer and Diabetic Days which will be informative and guide guests to better understanding of managing nutrition in respect to their health. • Homefield Grange, Manor Road, Rushton, Northants NN1 1RH. 01536 712219,


New you The buzzword going into 2018 is to look ‘natural’, says Mr Anthony Barabas, a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Peterborough’s Fitzwilliam Hospital… “The trend for a more natural appearance started a number of years back with facial cosmetic surgery. The original Hollywood facelifts of the ‘80s (where the face was pulled back towards the ears) have been replaced with techniques that lift the facial tissues upward, reversing the natural descent of tissue that occurs with age. “In eyelid surgery, there has been a shift away from the removal of fat from around the eye, which often gave a sunken, skeletal appearance. Instead, fat is sculpted, repositioned or even added at the same time as removing excess eyelid skin and tightening the eyelids. “Most of my lower eyelid treatments remain non-surgical, especially using fillers to reduce the look of tired eyes from bulging lower lid eyebags, often combined with Botox to the crow’s feet. However, I have seen an increase in my patients converting to lower eyelid surgery as the changes are more profound. “Breast augmentation requests are generally for smaller implants, with the average implant size reducing from around 500cc to between 300-400cc in my clinics. More ladies are asking for implants to be placed under the muscles (dual-plane) to disguise the upper edge of the implant, and there is even an increasing trend towards teardrop-shaped ‘anatomical’ implants. “Body contouring procedures are possibly the exception to the ‘less is more’ trend. Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is now frequently combined with liposuction to the flanks and other areas. In fact, the increasingly popular Brazilian tummy tuck puts an emphasis on recontouring the whole abdomen through liposuction before removing excess tissue and skin tightening. Liposuction alone still remains a popular procedure. “I also expect to see a continued increase in men requesting cosmetic surgery in 2018. Increasing numbers approach me for facial rejuvenating procedures, in particular eyelid surgery and neck contouring procedures. Treatment of man boobs (gynaecomastia) is now commonplace, and is no longer a taboo subject.” • Fitzwilliam Hospital, Milton Way, Peterborough PE3 9AQ. 01733 261717,


An end to unsightly nails If you are embarrassed by your nails, In Step Foot Clinic has the perfect solution. As Sue Arnold, principal podiatrist explains: “Lots of people have unsightly nails because of an accident, fungal nail infection or a sports injury. “In the past we would remove as much of the nail as we could and clients would have to wait up to a year for the nail to regrow. Now the waiting is over. We can reconstruct your nail using LCN Wilde Pedique, giving an instant cosmetic solution to a medical problem.” Sue is highly skilled at creating a bespoke, cosmetically-

reconstructive nail which will look so natural, only you will know it is not real. A choice of neutral shades is available to make your new nails look as natural as possible or they can be finished with the Dr’s Remedy polish of your choice. The treatment, which should last between six and 12 weeks, is suitable for men and women and costs from £25 for a single nail through to £85 for a full set of nails. • InStep Foot Clinic, Elton Road, Wansford PE8 6JD. 01780 783982, email: NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017


01733 247138

10 The High Street. Stilton Peterborough. PE7 3RA

. Hairdressing . Barbering . Beauty Therapy . Gentlemen, take a seat! For the ultimate male styling and grooming experience. A manly space for gents to sharpen up and find their style! Precision cuts . Side parts . Fades and Blends . Pompadours Hot Towel shaves . Brow work . Facial waxing . Beard grooming. 10% discount with Kerry for November


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With only 8 weeks to Christmas, Elysia Health & Beauty can get you all set to sparkle for the festive season. Set in the beautiful village of Tansor (only 2 miles from Oundle and 11 miles from Stamford) aesthetician Lisa Claypole offers an impressive range of treatments guaranteed to get you looking and feeling fabulous. The salon is very private and discreet so no matter what you’ve had done, you can walk out and get straight into your car without the worry of a busy town or parking. The majority of treatments are non-invasive with no downtime and Elysia are passionate about giving clients the best results. Keeping up to date with the latest developments in the industry, all the treatments give outstanding results. As they have many different technologies available, Lisa believes in a bespoke treatment as everyone’s skin is different and combination therapy is so important.

CACI Lisa has worked with CACI for over 10 years. CACI have decades of industry expertise and is famous for the non-surgical facelift. It started as a medical treatment restoring loss of muscle tone and has crossed into the aesthetic market as a favourite anti-ageing treatment. “I always describe to clients that it’s like a gym workout on your face and neck” says Lisa. It has lots of loyal celebrity followers too, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna and Jennifer Aniston to name a few. Whether it’s just the lifting and toning you want or the ULTIMATE, which covers the latest orbital microdermabrasion, wrinkle comb and ultrasonic peeling, light therapy, hydratone collagen mask, CACI EYE treatment and lymphatic drainage, Lisa can make the treatment bespoke. “TO REALLY CUSTOMISE IT TO “YOU” WE HAVE MANY CLIENTS WHO ADD IN A STIMULATOR PEEL OR RADIO FREQUENCY. IT’S THE ULTIMATE MUSCLE AND SKIN WORKOUT.”

Lisa Claypole - Elysia Health & Beauty.

ZO MEDICAL AND SKIN HEALTH BY DR ZEIN OBAGI. This outstanding range really delivers results. “It’s so rewarding to effectively treat pigmentation, sun damage, acne and rosacea - to name but a few concerns. If you only try one treatment make it the ZO RED CARPET STIMULATOR PEEL. Clients generally are a little nervous when you mention the word ‘peel’ but this treatment and range of products are amazing. You’ll get the instant wow factor that will last. Trust us and try if for yourself,” says Lisa.

ENVIRON Developed by a South African dermatologist to stimulate collagen and repair damaged skin this popular range harnesses the powers of vitamin A, vitamins and anti-oxidants. Combine with an in salon treatment and you get amazing skin penetration. If you want results and healthy skin contact Elysia now.

COLLAGEN WAVE LIPOFIRM PRO and EXILIS ELITE provide fabulous radio frequency treatments. Also with the added benefit of ultrasound on the EXILIS, it can give a focused treatment with deeper penetration depths. Radio frequency heats deeper into the skin tissue to stimulate collagen production so it’s also perfect to improve skin texture and lift and is very comfortable with no downtime. This is a popular treatment either on its own or in combination with other technology. KYLIE MINOGUE is a fan of the COLLAGEN WAVE TREATMENT. BEFORE


LASER SKIN REJUVENATION Harnessing all of the benefits of the light. To put it simply LIGHT has amazing benefits on all of us. Just think how much better your skin is when you are on holiday. Unfortunately though, too much sun is very ageing and can have more serious effects. Elysia use safe light at controlled wavelengths and these treatments are wonderful for acne sufferers. It’s also one of very few treatments that can clear the skin reducing vascular and pigmentation concerns. It evens out the skin, reducing lumps, bumps, lines and wrinkles. A more youthful complexion guaranteed!


This is a wonder treatment! Always consistent and works to treat anti-ageing, lines and wrinkles, reduce pore size and acne scarring. “We have some wonderful before and after’s in our portfolio where you see great lifting and natural collagen stimulation – it’s also fabulous for rosacea.” A little downtime with this treatment – but only 12 hours maximum and definitely worth it.

ELYSIA HEALTH & BEAUTY REALLY LOVE WHAT THEY DO AND ARE COMMITTED TO HELPING YOU ACHIEVE GREAT SKIN FOR A LIFETIME Elysia Health & Beauty, Tansor, Oundle, PE8 5HP Tel: 01832 226328 or 07879 620196 Follow us: elysiahealthandbeauty


Greater Peterborough

GP Hub

Boroughbury Medical Centre Craig Street Peterborough PE1 2EJ





Festive feasts Start making your shopping list – Rebecca Downey has sourced some seriously delicious seasonal recipes from our favourite local foodies!

THE PIZZA PARLOUR AND MUSIC CAFÉ The Pizza Parlour & Music Café on Peterborough’s Cowgate is a lively hub for authentic Italian food (delicious pizzas are all made in a wood-fired oven) and music lovers. If you fancy a bit of Italian flavour this Christmas, try this indulgent festive cocktail, while the antipasti board would make an excellent aperitivo. • www.thepizzaparlour CHOCOLATE AND RASPBERRY MARTINI • 1 shot raspberry vodka • 1 shot of dark creme de mure • 1 shot double cream • 1/2 shot of Tia Maria shake Serve in a Martini glass and sprinkle with cocoa powder ANTIPASTI BOARD WITH CRANBERRY FOCACCIA • 4 slices Napoli salami • 4 slices Milano salami • 4 slices of Parma ham • 4 slices pecorino piccante • 4 slices provolone marinated vegetables For the cranberry focaccia: • 500g strong bread flour • 2tbsp salt • 2 sachets of dried easy blend yeast • 2tbsp olive oil • 250g fresh cranberries

• 2tbsp cinnamon • 1tbsp sugar • Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil, 300ml water, cranberries, sugar and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. Stir by hand or wooden spoon to form a dough and knead for 5 minutes. • Gradually add the remaining water, stretch the dough by hand in the bowl, folding into the centre for a further 5 minutes. • Tip the dough onto an oiled surface, continue kneading for 5 minutes, return to the bowl, cover and let it prove until it has doubled in size. • Line a large baking tray with baking paper, stretching the dough to all corners. Leave to prove for another hour. • Pre-heat the oven to 220°C. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes, slice and serve on a wooden board with the cheeses and meats.

THE CHERRY HOUSE Few restaurants can boast two decades of continuous ownership, but The Cherry House in Werrington is unique in many ways, offering visitors fine British dining with a respectful nod to classic French cuisine in the setting of a 400-year-old English thatched cottage. The kitchen uses locally produced ingredients and ethically-sourced fish, placing great emphasis on traditional hospitality, excellent service and a relaxed friendly atmosphere. Though Christmas Day is fully booked, chef patron Andrew Corrick offers readers this seasonal recipe to impress guests over the festive holiday. • FILLET OF GRASMERE FARM PORK ROLLED IN SAGE, SERVED WITH A PARSNIP MASH AND A RICH CALVADOS JUS Serves 4. Recommended wine: Grayson Cellars Zinfandel (California) • 4 x 150g fully trimmed centre cut pork fillets • 16 leaves of finely chopped sage • seasoning • 25ml olive oil • 10g butter Parsnip mash: • 1kg medium sized parsnips • 60g butter • 50ml double cream • seasoning Garnish: • 12 baby carrots peeled and trimmed, cooked al dente • 12 asparagus tips, blanched • 20g butter • 1/4 punnet amaranth micro-cress Parsnip crisps: • 1 medium parsnip • oil for frying • salt Sauce: • 1 banana shallot finely chopped • 25ml calvados • 275ml dry cider • 8 leaves finely chopped sage • 1 clove crushed garlic • 1500ml veal stock • 50g unsalted butter • seasoning • Season the pork fillet and roll in chopped sage, wrap tightly in Cling Film and refrigerate. • Parsnip crisps: peel parsnip and slice on a mandolin, dry on a clean tea towel. Heat vegetable oil to 180°C, deep fry parsnip slices for 2-3 minutes until coloured. Remove and place on kitchen paper, season with salt.

• Sauce: In a medium sauté pan place half the butter, chopped shallots, sage and garlic. Sweat over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Flame with calvados and add cider, reducing to a glaze. Add veal stock and reduce to a third. Season, sieve and set aside. • Parsnip mash: Peel and core parsnips, place in salted water and boil. At boiling point turn down to simmer. When cooked, remove from heat and drain. Return to pan and place on a low heat to evaporate moisture. Mash to a smooth consistency, add butter, cream and seasoning. Keep warm. • Place frying pan over a medium heat then add butter and olive oil. Remove fillet from Cling Film and place in the pan, turning for an even light colour. Place pan in a preheated oven at 200°C for 10-12 minutes until cooked. Rest for two minutes. • Reheat sauce. Toss carrots and asparagus in a pan with the butter, and season. Plate the parsnip mash, slice the pork fillet and arrange on top. Garnish with asparagus and carrots, place crisps on the back of plate. Whisk a knob of butter into sauce, check seasoning and dress on the side of pork. Sprinkle with amaranth micro-cress. NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017


Festive feasts

THE OLD BARN AT WADENHOE Set amid beautiful countryside, The Old Barn at Wadenhoe is a delightful tea room and gift shop selling an array of locally hand-made gifts, crafts and plants. It is the ideal stop-off point for ramblers and bike riders needing sustenance, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and tea with sweet and savoury options, home-made soups and a wide choice of freshly baked cakes as well as gluten-free dishes. It also hosts regular themed evenings and is available for private party bookings, comfortably seating up to 46. • CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN BRÛLÉE PIE • 50g cocoa • 175g plain flour • 2tbsp icing sugar • 115g butter cubed chilled • 1 egg yolk • 100g dark chocolate melted • 50g granulated sugar For the pumpkin filling: • 425g tin of puréed pumpkin • 2tbsp plain flour • 1 orange grated zest • 1 punch of ground clover • 1/2 tsp ground ginger • tsp ground cinnamon • 1/4 grated nutmeg • 100g soft brown sugar • 300ml creme fraiche beaten • 2 large free-range eggs plus 3 large egg yolks • Sift the cocoa powder, flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt into a food processor, add the butter and process until it resembles fine crumbs. In a bowl mix the egg yolk with 2tbsp water and gradually pulse it into the mixture until you have a rough dough.



• Place the dough on a clean surface and knead for 30 seconds or until smooth then wrap in Cling Film and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough and place in a 23cm pie tin. Allow some overhang so you can crimp the top with your fingers. Prick the base with a fork pop in the fridge for a further 30 minutes. • Heat the oven to 200ºC, line the pie crust with baking paper and dried baking beans then bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, take off the baking beans and parchment and put back in the oven for 5 minutes. Allow the pie crust to cool then poor the melted chocolate into the base and allow to set. • For the filling combine all the ingredients in a bowl then pour the mixture into the pie crust. Reduce the oven to 180ºC and bake for 40-50 minutes until filling is just set. Once cool, leave in the fridge overnight to chill. To serve, sprinkle the pie with granulated sugar and caramelise surface with either a blow torch or under a grill.

HILLY HORTON HOME Known for its scrumptious cakes, this Thrapston favourite has come up with an alternative Christmas celebration – an easy-bake, show-stopper cake that the family will love to create. Hilly Horton Home is situated down a little snicket (Goss Court) off the High Street and sells all manner of gardenia, kitchenalia, storage and home accessories. The shop also plays host to various workshops including wreath making and willow weaving, so why not book a place and deck the halls with boughs of holly? •

NAKED GINGERBREAD CELEBRATION CAKE WITH CINNAMON AND CREAM CHEESE FROSTING For the cake: • 350g plain flour • 350g dark brown sugar • 2tsp ground ginger • 2tsp ground cinnamon • 1tsp ground cloves • 1tbsp baking powder • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda • 1/2 tsp salt • 3 large eggs • 2tsp treacle • 200g unsalted butter (cubed at room temperature) • 200ml whole milk • 1tbsp fresh orange juice • 1tsp vanilla extract • zest of one orange • 3tbsp finely diced candied ginger For the frosting: • 300g full-fat cream cheese • 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon • 400ml double cream whipped to soft peaks • 200g icing sugar • Preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease and line three, 8in cake tins. Sift all the dry cake ingredients and add them into the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on a low speed until all the dry ingredients are well combined. Add the cubed butter and mix the contents on a low speed until it resembles a sandy texture. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl in between to ensure all are combined. Mix in the treacle.

• In a jug, add the orange juice to the milk and then add the vanilla extract and orange zest and beat together. Slowly add the contents of the jug to the main mixture, with the mixer on a low speed. Stop to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixture and continue mixing on a medium speed until the batter is smooth. Fold the chopped candied ginger into the batter by hand and then divide into the three prepared cake tins. Gently bang your tins onto a sturdy work surface to ensure they are evenly filled and level. Bake the cakes for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. • To make the frosting, whip the double cream and icing sugar until you have soft peaks. Transfer to another bowl. Add the cream cheese and ground cinnamon and whip until you have achieved a soft and fluffy mixture. Slowly add the whipped cream mixture and whip together for a short time until combined. Be careful not to over-whip; you should achieve a light, spreadable frosting. Take your cooled cake layers and spread the bottom layer with a generous amount of frosting. Top with the second layer and repeat. Add the third layer and then smooth some of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. • This cake is known as a ‘naked’ cake so you are not aiming to achieve complete coverage – some of the sponge layering should be visible through the frosting. Pop the cake in the fridge to chill. Top the cake with meringue kisses and/or gingerbread cookies. As an added festive touch you could add silver or coppercoloured sugar balls.

AGA OUNDLE If an AGA is top of your Christmas wish list, perhaps it’s time to get yourself to the showroom at Oundle Wharf, where manager Alison Winbolt and team will be happy to advise you on the range of flexible new models and extensive collection of cookware in store. And if you’re unsure whether an AGA is for you, or would like some useful tips, then book an ‘An AGA can do it all’ demonstration which takes you through the versatility of the appliance from breakfast to dinner in under two hours, or contact the store to arrange a one-to-one tutorial. This seasonal recipe, designed by AGA specialist Dawn Roads Marketing by Food, is sure to tempt the tastebuds; conventional oven temperatures are supplied too for those without an AGA! •; where-to-buy-an-aga/aga-oundle PROSECCO-SPIKED FESTIVE CAKES Makes 6. Requires an AGA Portmeirion Yorkshire pudding tray • 115g butter, softened • 115g caster sugar • 2 eggs, beaten • 115g self-raising flour

Buttercream: • 200g softened butter • 200g sieved icing sugar • 1-2tbsp Prosecco

Prosecco syrup: • 50ml Prosecco • 50g caster sugar • Pink food colouring

Decoration: • Gold stars • Gold dust, edible

• Place the butter, caster sugar, eggs and flour into a large bowl and beat together. Place muffin cake cases into the tray and divide the cake mixture equally between them. 3, 4 and 5 oven AGA: Slide the Portmeirion tray onto the second set of runners down in the baking oven and bake for 20 minutes, turn the tray around and return to the oven for another 3-5 minutes until cooked and golden. 2 oven AGA: Slide the Portmeirion tray onto the lowest set of runners

down in the roasting oven and slide the cold plain shelf above, on the second runners down and bake for 15-20 minutes, turn the tray around and return to the oven for another 3-5 minutes until cooked and golden. • Meanwhile make the syrup by placing the Prosecco and sugar into an AGA saucepan, place on the simmering plate to dissolve the sugar

then bring to the boil for one minute, when it will have thickened. Add pink colouring to an intensity of your liking. Pour syrup into a jug. • When the cakes are cooked, remove from the oven. Using a thick skewer, make five or six holes in the warm cakes then pour the warm syrup down each hole. Leave to cool and carefully remove the cakes.

• Make up the buttercream by mixing the butter and icing sugar, add enough Prosecco to make piping manageable and pipe swirls onto each cake. Sprinkle with edible gold dust and/or gold stars. • Conventional cooking: Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC, (fan 160ºC) and bake in the centre for 20-25 minutes, until risen, cooked and golden.

COOKSMART WITH RACHEL CookSmart with Rachel is a new venture based in and around Oundle, offering tailored cookery tuition in the relaxed environment of your own home or the CookSmart kitchen. If you’re looking for fresh ideas or would like to learn how to make specific things like preserves, breads or baby food, CookSmart with Rachel can create a session that’s completely tailored to your needs. • For details about how to book a session or buy vouchers as a gift, go to Facebook: @cooksmartwithrachel, email or call 07913 514702. CHRISTMAS TURKEY ROULADE This Prosciutto wrapped turkey roulade filled with cranberry sauce and a porcini and chestnut stuffing serves 6. • 8 turkey breast steaks (approx 600g) • 12-16 slices Prosciutto • 100g sausage meat • 75g cooked chestnuts, chopped • 25g dried porcini mushrooms • 6tbsp cranberry sauce • 1 chicken stock cube • salt & pepper • 1-2tsp arrowroot • 6-8 cocktail sticks Braised red cabbage: • 4 red onions • 2 apples • 1 red cabbage • 4 cloves garlic • 4 heaped tsp dark muscovado sugar • 1 tsp ground cloves • 1/2 a nutmeg, grated • 1tsp ginger (freshly grated or powder) • 4-6tbsp cider vinegar • Put the porcini mushrooms in a heat-proof bowl or jug and cover with about 200ml boiling water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes. On a long piece of oiled and seasoned Cling Film, lay out four of the turkey steaks side by side with a few centimetres between them. Oil

and season the steaks, and cover with another long length of Cling Film. • Using a rolling pin, bash and roll the steaks until they are about double the size (but still smaller than the prosciutto). On another piece of oiled Cling Film, lay out the prosciutto so that they are completely overlapping. Lay the turkey steaks on top so that they too are overlapping a little. Spread 2tbsp of cranberry sauce on each line of turkey steaks leaving a small border all round the edge. • In a small bowl, combine the sausage meat, chopped chestnuts and half the mushrooms (finely chopped, keeping the rest and the porcini liquor for the sauce). Divide this mixture between the two laid out turkey steaks and spread fairly thinly staying within the cranberry sauce covered area. • For each roulade, fold the short edges in a little so that the filling will not come out of the sides when cooked, and then, using the Cling Film to help you, tightly roll the whole ensemble along the long edge, into a sausage shape. Peeling the Cling Film back, secure with some cocktail sticks and then wrap again in the Cling Film and chill in the fridge for an hour or overnight. • Peel, halve and finely slice two red onions. Quarter the red cabbage, take out the core and shred. In a large lidded pan, fry the onion in a little melted butter with oil, or goose fat until softened. Crush in the garlic and stir. Stir in the spices and fry for a minute to release the flavours. Stir in the red cabbage, pour over the cider vinegar and sprinkle in the sugar. Stir to combine, put the lid on and leave to cook on a low

temperature for 1-2 hours, stirring from time to time and adding a little water if you feel it starting to stick. If you prefer, you can cook the cabbage mixture in a very low oven for a very long time (3 hours at 150ºC). • Preheat some oil or goose fat in a large frying pan, unwrap roulades and place in pan. Brown on all sides and then pour the porcini liquor and the same amount of water into the pan. Add the remaining chopped mushrooms, crumble in a chicken stock cube and stir in 2tbsp cranberry sauce. Turn the temperature down to low-medium and leave to cook for an hour, turning the roulades every now and then (topping up with water if necessary). After an hour, remove the roulades from the pan to rest. Either leave the sauce as it is and thicken with arrowroot or for a smooth sauce, pass through a sieve. • Slice the roulades (about 2-3cm thick) so each person has three or four slices. Spoon over the sauce and serve with the red cabbage and some goose fatroasted potatoes. NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017


Festive feasts RIVERFORD Organic farm Riverford delivers delicious organic produce to households all over the Nene region from its picturesque and super-productive site at Sacrewell. Give this simple side dish a go – it works particularly well with roast pork as both honey and fennel are great partners for the pig. If you are a fennel fan, rub crushed fennel seeds into the scored pork skin (with the salt) to make fantastic, aniseed crackling. • ROAST CARROTS WITH HONEY AND FENNEL • 1kg carrots, peeled • 2–3tbsp olive or rapeseed oil • 1 1/2tsp fennel seeds • 4tbsp honey • A good pinch of salt • Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. • Cut the carrots into long wedges or roll-cut them into angular pieces. If they are small and slender, leave them whole or cut them in half lengthways. Toss with the oil, fennel seeds, honey and salt. Spread the carrots in a single layer over a roasting pan lined with baking paper. Roast for around 30 minutes until cooked through and caramelising in places – check after 20 minutes and turn over to ensure even roasting. Serve hot. • As an alternative, swap carrots for beetroot or celeriac – or use a combination of root veg. And instead of fennel seeds, try cumin seeds or lightly bashed coriander seeds.


The award-winning artisan bakery continues to receive accolades for its top quality breads, cakes, savouries and tea-time Julian Carter treats. Hambleton Bakery products are stocked in over 100 eateries in the region, while the unit at Oundle Wharf is the sixth retail outlet for the business. The bakery will take orders in the run-up to Christmas for all your festive fancies from mince pies to Yule logs. Nene Living readers now have the chance to make the bakery’s prized Christmas pudding as head baker, Julian Carter, reveals its provenance and divulges the secret recipe which dates back to 1856 and came from a butcher in Yorkshire – Julian’s great-grandad liked it so much he stole it and set about making it every Christmas! The secret to its success lies in the length of time you boil it, (six hours) which helps to caramelise the sugars. Sourdough breadcrumbs are used instead of the usual white loaf, this creates a better texture and unique flavour. The bakery makes the puddings three months in advance, allowing the flavour to mature. The following recipe is enough for three 2lb puddings. •



HAMBLETON BAKERY CHRISTMAS PUDDING • 340g raisins • 340g currants • 230g sultanas • 450g muscovado sugar • 400g eggs • 450g suet • 80g mixed peel • zest from 1 lemon • 14g nutmeg • 14g cinnamon • 7g bitter almonds

• 142ml brandy • 450g sourdough breadcrumbs • pinch of salt • Soak fruit in brandy overnight. Mix the breadcrumbs with egg, almond, oils, salt and spices. • Add the fruit, sugar, suet (cold from fridge). Mix until combined together. Fill the pots and Cling Film over to seal. Simmer for 6 hours then

allow to cool. Remove Cling Film and clean the pot. ReCling Film the pot and leave in a cool area. Remove outer wrapping, retaining bowl and leave the Cling Film on. Place the bowl with the lid attached in a steamer. Check water level regularly, topping up with boiling water as required. After two hours turn off the heat and leave to stand for five minutes before serving.

Willow brook farm shop Traditional Butchers & The Granary Tea Room

Now taking orders  for your Christmas feast

Scotsman's Lodge Helpston Heath Peterborough PE6 7EL Telephone Orders Welcome 01780 740261

For all your Christmas Food Needs O rd ch er b an y ce 1s to t D ge ece ti m t f be or r fr for ee !



Last Day to Order 13th December

• Prime local Beef from Seven Wells Farm • Traditionally reared local Turkeys • Geese from Seldom Seen Farm • Farm Cockerels from Aldwincle • Home cooked Ham & Gammon joints • Free Range Chicken & Ducks from Suffolk • Local wild Vension & Game • Traditional hand raised Pork Pies • Home cooked pies • Finest “Inverawe” Smoked Salmon

and much more in store…. GREAT FOOD Traditionally home reared beef and locally sourced meat & poultry. Why go anywhere else for Christmas?


Come celebrate with us in the run up to Christmas with a party or seasonal Afternoon Teas In the Granary Tea Room (booking required) Alternatively,  if you're hosting a party or function why not have an hog or ox roast? Speak to Jo for details 01780 749483

8 West Street, Oundle 01832 273522


Got a foodie in the family? Our hampers are stuffed full of goodies. Alternatively treat them to a pork pie or sausage making night at the Granary! For up to date info on the run up to Christmas visit our website  or follow us on Facebook

Grill. Bake. Steam. Boil. Stir-fry. Simmer. Fry. Roast. Slow-cook. Griddle. Toast. An AGA can do it all. As anyone who owns an AGA cooker will tell you, the food it produces just tastes better. This is because the AGA cast-iron ovens cook using gentle, radiant heat to retain the food’s natural goodness and flavour.


AGA Oundle


Visit the Oundle Wharf Wonderland on: Saturday 25th November, 10am – 4pm. Come and see Santa and our real Reindeer from 11am, plus lots of Christmas gift stalls, mulled wine, food and entertainment. AGA Oundle, 4 – 5 Oundle Wharf, Oundle, PE8 4DE 01832 275415 |

YOU & YOURS A catch-up on all things canine-related

Walk this way…


Grooming goes mobile


ETFACE, a six-year-old design-led company that specialises in pet accessories and treats, has launched Petface Parlour, a new mobile pet grooming franchise. The firm’s first stand-alone powered pet grooming parlour van is based in Oundle and is fully equipped to offer everything from dog washes to full grooming at the customer’s home, making the experience comfortable, safe and hassle-free for pets and their owners. Fully-qualified Head Groomer Clare Roberts says: “Petface has the sole goal of delivering great products and services and we have now extended that to mobile pet grooming. We want to inject our passion and enthusiasm for pets by creating and offering a new exciting franchise that offers a business with immense satisfaction and great reward. Who would not love the opportunity to work with pets all day and then be paid for it!” • Give Petface Parlour a try and receive a free introductory toy worth £4.99 – contact Clare on 07415 896081 or email

LL good dog owners know that responsible pet ownership involves walking your dog at least once every day. As winter approaches parents often see the sense in including the family dog or dogs on the school run. However, this practice can be fraught with hidden dangers. Some children are calm and very sensible when near dogs they don’t live with; other children, however, can be over-confident, and some can be very scared. More often than not, children are excited to see a dog, and this is where it can get tricky for the dog – many find the noise and exuberance of lots of children and adults very stressful and just because they are comfortable at home with your children and their friends, it doesn’t automatically mean they’ll be fine outside the school. Tying your dog up and leaving him unattended will be seen by many as irresponsible. Dogs respond to a fearful situation in one of four ways: freeze, fight, flight, or a displacement activity, which looks like the dog is just fidgeting. Fight or flight are the two the most common choices dogs opt for. Tethering your dog tells him that flight isn’t an option, so if his fear/stress level is high enough he may well feel forced into the fight option, possibly resulting in a child or adult being bitten. Walks are the highlight of your dog’s day! Walking the dog is referenced as one of the main reasons that we own dogs. There are obvious health benefits to walking too. So make time to have a relaxing and enjoyable dog walk, away from family pressures… it will be time well spent. Wood Green The Animals Charity offers a free advice service for dogs and cats. If you would like behaviour or training advice for your pet call 01480 830014 ext 1281.

Pugs of Peterborough unite!


OG lover Gemma Luxford has launched a new group for fellow local pug enthusiasts. Set up as a Facebook page, Pugs of Peterborough aims to organise doggie play-dates and raise some funds for welfare charities. Gemma says: “The nation’s love for pugs at the moment is huge and there is a wide group of people who, like me, treat their pugs like their babies! “There are a couple of groups around the country where pug owners and lovers meet up together for mass group walks and events. There are also a couple of pug welfare charities – I get involved with these and am looking into becoming a foster-carer for one of the charities in the upcoming months. “What I can’t help but notice is just how far away all of these events are. The closest pug group is in Cambridge – myself and my granny regularly travel



there and to places further away to meet other owners. But I have spoken to a few pug owners in the local area who would love one of these groups in Peterborough, so I have created one myself and plan to organise monthly meet-ups as well as arranging some fundraising events too.” Gemma lives in the heart of the city along with her beloved dog Rupert, and adds: “A recent Pugtown Carnival in Milton Keynes was hugely successful and I am hoping to bring some of this spirit to Peterborough. I’d love to get more people involved and hopefully raise a bit of money for our charities of choice at the same time.” • The first official Pugs of Peterborough walk takes place at Ferry Meadows on Sunday 29 October at 11.30am. Meet in the main car park; donations of £1 are invited and will be passed on to the charity MuffinPug Rescue (www. Search for Pugs of Peterborough at for more information.



Comprehensive small animal service including intricate, but worthwhile and valid surgeries: Plus management of difficult eye cases, both local and referred from further afield.

Vision and eye services

NEW PUPPY PACK DEAL General health and wellbeing • • • • • •

Diagnostics – including ECG, Ultrasound, Digital X-Ray and Endoscopy Surgery including more complex orthopedic and soft tissue procedures Dentistry, Neutering and Micro chipping Routine vaccinations for your cat, dog and rabbit BVA Hip and Elbow Scoring (very competitive rates) Nurse advice and puppy classes

• Veterinary Ophthalmology – for the best in eye care and treatment • Eye examinations (including BVA exams for hereditary conditions) and referrals • Ocular/Eye surgery including cataract & corneal surgery • Other procedures such as complex eyelid surgery, foreign body removal, glaucoma evaluation and treatment, ERG

New clients are awarded a FREE initial consultation

56 Napier Place, Orton Wistow, Peterborough, PE2 6XN. Tel: 01733 230000 Also our surgery at Stamford. Please call 01780 764333 51

Day Spa Packages

Want to live life feeling lighter and brighter? Homefield’s day spa packages offer more than just a pamper – they’re designed to offer the perfect kick start to better ways of eating, thinking and living. Running every day, seven days per week from 10am to 2pm, just a few hours at our discreet and stylish boutique spa venue will help you feel relaxed, recharged and rejuvenated – ready to take on your world. Our friendly co-ordinators will be happy to help you make the right choice for you, ring us on 01536 712219, Monday to Sunday, 9am to 6pm daily.

The ‘DETOX ME’ package

Get yourself a brand new body and try out our ‘DETOX ME’ package with two hours of detoxing therapies: full body brush, back scrub, G5 lymphatic massage and a wonderful Decleor Aromatherapy massage, which will leave you feeling clean, inside and out. Why not get a head start with better ways of

eating with our 2 course detox lunch and take a break from the caffeine, sugar and alcohol? Use our gym, infra red sauna, enjoy our beautiful countryside venue and chill out for a few hours. Enjoy unlimited herbal teas, purified water, curl up in your fluffy gown and take time to remember what’s important in life – you!

The ‘TREAT ME’ package And exhale… How about some precious “me time” that helps you refocus on yourself and your body. Enjoy a few hours of a ‘temptation free’ day that offers the perfect kick start to putting yourself first for a change. Two wonderful treatments are included:

a Decleor Aromatherapy massage and a Decleor Vitamin Glow facial. Plus a super cleansing two course lunch, infra red sauna, herbal teas, purified water, curl up and snooze in a fluffy dressing gown and slippers… It’s the perfect gift to yourself.

The ‘SHRINK ME’ package

Kick start your weight loss regime with some weight loss included treatments, including a G5 Lymphatic Cellulite treatment, a massage to improved toxin removal and an intolerance test to identify what foods may be holding you back from weight loss.

Use our gym if you like, or simply chill out, (lowering stress levels helps the body lose weight faster). Use of dressing gowns, 2 course lunch, slippers, towels, toiletries, hairdryers all provided.

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Market leaders Immerse yourself in the festive spirit by shopping at a Christmas market – as Sue Parslow finds out, there are plenty to choose from locally and further afield


Oundle Town Council’s annual Christmas market takes place on Saturday 2 December from 12noon until 7pm. It is set to be even bigger this year with a funfair and 70 stalls extending from the Market Place along New Street, and in Queen Victoria Hall too. Expect a wide selection of gifts and seasonal goodies as well as mulled wine, plus foodie delicacies from puddings and chocolate to cheese and gin. There will be street food including noodles, wood-fired pizza and even paella served from a horsebox! Visitors will hear carol singing and a brass band playing festive tunes, and to top off the excitement, the town’s Christmas lights will be switched on at 5.30pm. To make it a complete shopping event, the town’s independent shops and cafés will stay open for late night shopping – and car parking is free! •

Traditional Stamford

The popular traditional Stamford Christmas Festival returns to the heart of Stamford on Sunday November 26. Staged in the town’s central streets including the High Street, Ironmonger Street, Broad Street, Red Lion Square and Sheep Market, there will be attractive craft stalls offering a wide range of popular and stylish gifts. To add to the festive spirit there’ll be entertainment galore throughout the day including festive Punch and Judy shows, school choirs, Santa’s Grotto, real reindeer, and a children’s fun fair. The event runs from 10am to 5pm. The Christmas lights switch-on will take place in the evening. Stamford is of course well known for its exclusive and independent traders and, with Sunday free car parking, it’s a great opportunity to tick off your Christmas shopping list. •

Lincoln Christmas Market

Peterborough firsts

For the first time this year Peterborough Cathedral is hosting its own Christmas market. It’ll be staged in the Nave which will be lined with decorated Christmas trees with stalls selling hand-made crafts, ceramics, poinsettias, Christmas cards and more, accompanied by the sound of school choirs singing. Refreshments including hot chocolate and freshly-made mince pies will be served. A preview with mulled wine will be held on Friday 1 December, from 6.30pm to 9pm (£5 per person). The market opens at 10am on Saturday 2 December, £2 per person, children free. • Another first in Peterborough is a German-style Christmas market promising a winter wonderland shopping experience in the Guildhall Square from Friday December 8. Boasting 14 chalets and around 30 traders from the UK and abroad, it’ll be a source of a wide selection of festive gifts. An aroma of mulled wine, sugared almonds, churros and German Bratwurst specialities is likely to fill the air! The market will run until Saturday 23 December, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9.30am to 8pm; Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9.30am to 8pm; Sunday 9.30am to 5pm. •

Lincoln brought the first traditional German Christmas market to the UK as part of its friendship and twinning with the town of Neustadt. The market grows annually, adding new attractions each year. It takes over most of the cultural quarter of the city, with well over 200 stalls. The medieval square between the Norman castle and gothic cathedral is the perfect backdrop for the Christmas Market. The German link remains strong, with stallholders from Neustadt bringing crafts, food and drink to the market. Shoppers will find hand-crafted and unique Christmas presents including hand-made jewellery, hand- poured candles, wooden toys, hand-painted glass, ceramics, photographs and locally created art, as well as local fresh produce. It takes place from Thursday December 7 to Sunday 10 December (Thursday, Friday and Saturday 12noon to 9:30pm, Sunday 10am to 7pm). A Park and Ride Scheme operates from the Lincolnshire Showground on the A15 just north of Lincoln as there is no parking in the vicinity of the Christmas Market. •



Market leaders

Christmas fun in Huntingdon Huntingdon’s Christmas Market will be staged over three days in the town’s Market Square, from Friday 1 to Sunday December 3. Expect an array of up to 50 stalls offering a range of Christmas gift ideas with clothing and jewellery, and fun stocking fillers, as well as Christmas garlands, wreaths and table decorations in the Market Square, plus smaller craft stalls inside the Town Hall. Shop for grocery foods and hamper collections, with food and drink gifts including an English-made rum, then treat yourself to hot foods, mulled wine, spiced cider or hot chocolate. Entertainment will be provided by street entertainers, carol singers, and a variety of live acts on a stage in the Market Square. Children will enjoy their own play area, and of course Santa’s Grotto! Opening hours are Friday 12noon to 9pm; Saturday 9am to 7pm; Sunday 10am to 5pm. Christmas light switch-on is on Friday evening. •

Melton Mowbray will be transformed back to Dickensian times on the first weekend in December with Victorian-style stalls, street urchins, stilt walkers, Punch and Judy and brass bands. Each stallholder will be in Victorian dress while Queen Victoria, street beggars, Victorian dancers, ‘living statues’, Morris Men and many more entertain the crowds. A stage will host live performances throughout both days, December 1 and 2, 10am to 4pm. Don’t miss the St Mary’s Christmas Tree Festival and the Festival of Cribs too. •

Victorian style in Nottingham This ‘Old England’ themed event features a market with hundreds of Christmas trees, decked walkways and snow dressing, and a nativity scene, along with an ice rink, themed winter bars, a bandstand, and rides. Staged in Old Market Square, Nottingham (in front of the Council House) The popular ice rink on the market will feature Nottingham’s Old Market Square over 50 Victorian-style cabins selling a wide range of quality crafts, gifts and food from the city’s independent businesses and designers. With both unique and hand-made gifts on offer, there will be lots to choose from. Expect ladies’ fashions, luxury leather goods, bespoke jewellery, quality confectionery, homemade cakes, hand-made gifts and more. Plus there will be Lego-themed decorations, hand-made winter woollies, wooden handicrafts, silk shawls, plants, and a selection of Fairtrade gifts. The real ice rink is a big attraction and organisers encourage visitors to book their skating session in advance to avoid disappointment. Foodies will enjoy artisan cheeses, chutneys and chocolates, along with traditional roasts through to chilli inspired goodies, stews, home-made olives and an assortment of sweets and treats for the young ones. The Christmas Market runs from 10am until 6pm (8pm late night shopping) Friday November 17 to Sunday December 24. •



If you fancy venturing further afield, local coach operators can take you to colourful festive markets in the UK and Europe. Peterborough-based Impressions Holidays is running a trip taking guests to three Christmas Markets – Aachen and Monschau in Germany and Maastricht in Holland on Friday 1 December. You’ll travel by coach (via the Eurotunnel) and stay for three nights in the Post Hotel in Liège in Belgium from £229 per person. • 01733 267025, Monschau has been a favourite with guests travelling with Shaws Coaches of Maxey for many years. A short distance from the Belgian border, this medieval German town is said to come alive at Christmas. Garlands, illuminated trees and fairy lights decorate the market place and trumpeters in historical costume and alpenhorn trios provide musical accompaniment. An enchanting ‘living’ Nativity Monschau in Germany is a favourite scene in a straw-thatched festive destination for Shaws stable is staged beneath the towers of the castle, while a musical shepherd features in the landscaped Nativity scene at St Michael’s Church. Shaws also runs shopping trips to numerous UK Christmas markets including Bath and York. The firm’s four-day trip to Monschau begins on Friday 1 December and includes either Aachen or Valkenburg market. It is priced from £425. •

Birmingham’s German Market

The Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham is said to be the largest authentic German market held outside Germany and Austria. Visitors can soak up what is described as a village atmosphere in Victoria Square while enjoying German fare from mulled wine and beers to meats and pastries. The Christmas Craft Fair next door extends onto Chamberlain Square, with 120 stalls featuring a wide selection of hand-made gifts from local artists and there’ll be live music to entertain too. Thursday November 16 to Sunday December 24, 10am to 9pm daily. •

The National Trust’s Wimpole Hall, near Royston, will be hosting a Christmas Craft marquee plus a dedicated food area on Saturday and Sunday 11 and 12 November, 10am to 5pm. Entry is £4, under-14s go free. Expect unusual and unique presents from an exciting selection of new stalls, along with some old favourites. •


Victorian Christmas Fayre

Shopping & sightseeing

Oundle Christmas MARKET

Saturday 2nd December 12noon - 7pm MARKET

The beautiful town of Oundle will hold its annual Christmas Market on Saturday 2nd December from 12 noon until 7pm. Oundle Town Council will fill the town and Queen Victoria Hall with a traditional Christmas Market selling a wonderful array of food, gifts and goodies. There will also be carols, a brass band, santa’s grotto, mulled wine and a fun fair. To top off all the festive fun the town’s Christmas lights will be turned on at 5.30pm. There is free parking and the town’s fabulous independent shops and cafes will be open.

Christmas light switch on 5.30pm Over 70 stalls on the market place and in Queen Victoria Hall

Oundle Town Council

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OUT & ABOUT So much to do,see and enjoy this November... with a glass of wine or soft drink. The Cathedral is beautiful in daylight, but even more so by candlelight. 7pm. £12, concessions £10. 01733 452336, http://shop. peterborough-cathedral. Thursday 2 November I Had a Black Dog… His Name Was Depression Small Nose Productions bring a moving and playful adaptation of Matthew Johnstone’s international bestseller I Had a Black Dog: a darkly comedic and sensitive look at one man’s life with depression. 7.45pm. £12 adults, £10 concessions. The Stahl Theatre, West Street, Oundle. 01832 273930,

Saturday 4 November Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert Are we spoiled? Ed Byrne takes this question, turns it upside down and shakes it until the funny falls out. £25.50. 8pm. The Cresset. Rightwell, Bretton, Peterborough PE3 8DX. 01733 265705. Thursday 2, 16, 23 and 30 November Lunchtime Concerts Join musicians from Oundle School on Market Days for neatly presented and diverse concerts in a beautiful church setting. 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 – the perfect line-up. Free (optional lunch £3.50). 1:15pm (lunch at 1pm). St Peter’s Church, Oundle PE8 4EE.

Sunday 5 November British Trombone Society Oundle School hosts the 13th annual East Anglian British Trombone Society Day which includes the customary line-up of the Massed Trombone Choir, rehearsals and a short end-of-day performance, along with a guest appearance at Evensong in Chapel at 5.45pm. There is a small fee for people wishing to join in and play whilst the general public are invited to watch any part of the day without charge, although the British Trombone Society (a registered charity) would appreciate donations to help to cover travelling and admin expenses. 10am to 5pm. The Great Hall, Oundle School, PE8 4GH. www. britishtrombonesociety. org Wednesday 8 and Saturday 11 November Cathedral by Candlelight Tours As the nights draw in, enjoy an atmospheric after-hours tour with a trained guide, ending

Wednesday 8 to Sunday 12 November A Festival of Theatre for Peterborough Season 3 of Platform8, Jumped Up Theatre’s theatre festival, has exciting events full of music, laughter, tears, dreams and tall-tales popping up across the city. In The Undercroft Theatre in Serpentine Green, Hampton will be the Edinburgh Festival smashhit Castle Builder, packed with stories and songs about people who don’t wait for permission to do crazy things, like building castles in the Colorado desert, or the postman who wanted a palace on his veg patch. Kid Carpet creates one of his anarchic family shows, Super Mega Rockin’ Rock Show, in The Undercroft – show your little ones how to rock-out in a fun afternoon event described as ‘The Mighty Boosh for kids’. In Almost Always Muddy at The Pyramid Centre in Bretton Likely Story Theatre and Kirsty Harris will open up a junkyard of treasure for children to build a daring world of adventure and play, on which a play about courage and risk is created with the young audience. And don’t miss Ross & Rachel by James Fritz at The Key Theatre – another award-winning show described by Time Out as “shockingly good … a tale about relationships and

Saturday 11 November Will Pound and Eddy Jay Three-time nominee for BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year, harmonica player Will Pound and talented accordion player Eddy Jay appear as part of Oundle’s Music in Special Places series. 7.30pm. £14 adults, £12 concessions, £4 under-18s. St James Church, Oundle Road, Thrapston NN14 4NP. Oundle Festival Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle PE8 4ED. 01832 274734,

their dark side”. The home-grown project this season is The Dreamcatcher, a digital arts project by OneTo-One Development Trust which has been capturing the dreams and aspirations of the people of Peterborough using film, audio and Virtual Reality. The Dream Catcher will be installed in The Undercroft Theatre at Serpentine Green. There are also workshops and a launch night to sign-up for. www.jumpeduptheatre. com Sunday 12 November Family Volunteering Make a difference by helping the Nene Park rangers. All tools and training provided – you just need to dress for the outdoors and bring bags of enthusiasm. Free entry. 10am to 12 noon. Ferry Meadows, Ham Lane, Peterborough PE2 5UU. www. Thursday 16 November Marriages Are Made in Bond Street: True Stories from a 1940s Marriage Bureau In the spring of 1939, with the Second World War looming, two determined 24-year-olds, Heather Jenner and

Mary Oliver, decided to open a marriage bureau. They found a tiny office on London’s Bond Street and set about the delicate business of match-making. From shop girls to debutantes, widowers to war veterans, clients came in search of security, social acceptance, or simply love. Oundle Festival of Literature presents author Penrose Halson (below), who drew on the bureau’s extensive archives to tell Heather and Mary’s story, and those of their clients.

£8 (£6), £1 off early bird tickets bought before 9 November. 7.45pm. St Peter’s Church, Oundle. Oundle Festival Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle PE8 4ED. 01832 274734, www. Thursday 16 November A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Story Over 50 years since his first hit single and with sales of over 100 million NENE LIVING NOVEMBER 2017

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OUT & ABOUT So much to do,see and enjoy this November... records, Neil Diamond is without doubt one of the greatest performers and best-selling artists of all time. A Beautiful Noise, performed by Fisher Stevens and his band, is Europe’s leading Neil Diamond show, charting the story of Neil’s fantastic career and telling the story of the man behind the songs. £21.50. 7.30pm. The Cresset. Rightwell, Bretton, Peterborough PE3 8DX. 01733 265705. Friday 17 to Saturday 18 November Gin Festival The UK’s biggest and oldest Gin Festival visits Peterborough, bringing new and exclusive gins, masterclasses, the opportunity to meet distillers, a cocktail bar, live music and food. Peterborough Cathedral. Friday 6.30pm to 11pm, Saturday 12.30pm to 5pm and 6.30pm to 11pm

Friday 17 November Tenors Unlimited Operatic trio Tenors Unlimited, the ‘Rat Pack of Opera’, perform with local choir KYGlee as part of their nationwide tour From Venice To Vegas. The trio have performed alongside such notables as Sting, Lionel Richie, Beyoncé, Hayley Westenra, Simply Red and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and have a repertoire that includes popular classics La Donna E Mobile, The Pearl Fishers Duet and Nessun Dorma interspersed with pop favourites such as Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, Sting’s Fragile



and Freddie Mercury’s Barcelona. 7.30pm. Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough PE1 1EF. 01733 207239, www. vivacity-peterborough. com

Monday 20 November The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde A thrilling adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s dark psychological fantasy transports you to 19th-century London’s fog-bound streets. 7.45pm. £12 adults, £10 concessions. The Stahl Theatre, West Street, Oundle. 01832 273930, Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 November Burghley Christmas Fair An opportunity to meet some of Britain’s most talented makers and purchase inspirational gifts – the Burghley Fine

Food Market takes place in the Stable Courtyard on all four days too. Free entry. Thursday to Saturday 9am-5pm. Sunday 9am to 4pm. The Chestnut Courtyard & Brewhouse, Burghley House, Stamford PE9 3JY Thursday 23 November A Stitch in Time – Costume Through the Ages From doublets to duffle coats, corsets and crinolines to flapper dresses and mini-skirts – have you ever wondered where fashion comes from? Join Oundle School for a history of theatre told through costume, an evening of music, theatre and fashion all in aid of The Proud Trust. 7.45pm. £10. The Stahl Theatre, West Street, Oundle. 01832 273930, Sunday 26 November DSLR Photography Workshop Want to turn your DSLR camera off auto? This beginners’ one-day masterclass in Stamford offers a mix of practical and theory tuition to show you how. £75. www.dslrlearning.

Saturday 25 November to Sunday 24 December It’s the most wonderful – and the busiest! – time of year for the Nene Valley Railway! In 2016 the NVR welcomed 20,0000 wonder-filled visitors on its Santa Specials and had to close bookings early as they had filled all the trains! This year an extra carriage has been laid on to give extra capacity, but customers are still being urged to book early to secure their seats and claim their share of the 25,000 mince pies, 2,500 mini bottles of Baileys and 8,000 chocolate bars that will be served this Santa Specials season. •



CTOR and raconteur Brian Blessed OBE will be the after-dinner speaker at a Christmas Banquet at Peterborough Cathedral on Thursday 7 December. The black tie, candlelit dinner will be a glittering occasion at which guests can enjoy a fourcourse meal surrounded by the stunning 12th century architecture of the Cathedral. The evening will start with a Prosecco reception under the tower and members of the Cathedral Choir will sing carols and festive music. Brian will speak at the end of the evening, sharing larger-than-life stories from his hugely eventful career. He is not only an actor on stage, film and TV, but has also climbed Mount Everest three times, survived a plane crash in the Venezuelan jungle and written six books including his autobiography, Absolute Pandemonium, published in 2015. In 2016 he received an OBE from the Queen in recognition of his services to the arts and charity. For full details visit the Cathedral website at aspx/142/nave-banquet R&B and soul legend Alexander O’Neal, famed for Top 40 chart singles including If You Were Here Tonight, Fake and Criticize appears at The Broadway in Peterborough on Saturday 9 December. The concert is seated and tickets range from £20 to £35. They’re on sale from The Visitor Information Centre on Bridge Street, 01733 452336 or at The Broadway, On Sunday 10 December Burghley Park is the venue for the Rotary Club of Stamford Burghley’s annual Santa Fun Run. Last year 750 runners, including 190 children, entered the event: 64 teams took part, raising important funds for their own selected charities or good causes. Teams get to keep all the sponsorship money they raise as a group. Alternatively, enter as an individual and raise sponsorship money for the Rotary Club-selected local good causes; this year they are MIND in Memory of Wendy, the mental health charity, Team George at the Stamford Endowed Schools and Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance. For full information and to sign up, see

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Nene Living November 2017