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Rutland Covering Rutland, Market Harborough and the surrounding area

LIVING August 2018 ÂŁ1.50

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Saxon Gardens

Penn Street, Oakham, LE15 6DF Our second development in Oakham in recent years, Saxon Gardens is ideally situated in the heart of town. Within easy reach of many boutique shops, local amenities and transport links, this stunning development will provide the perfect location in which to live retirement to the full. Launching in late 2018, Saxon Gardens will feature a collection of 56 one and two bedroom apartments, many with patios or balconies overlooking the extensive gardens.

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Retirement Living PLUS

Rockingham Road, Market Harborough, LE16 7XQ Set on the outskirts of this beautiful market town, our brand new Retirement Living PLUS development will be within easy reach of transport links into the heart of town. With a bistro serving delicious food & drink throughout the day and extensive facilities including tailored domestic assistance, the development will offer all you need to enjoy an independent retirement.

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Contents August 2018


FASHION, HEALTH & BEAUTY 16 Fashionably Fit! 20 Spas and Retreats

HOME & GARDEN 26 Outdoor Living

FOOD & DRINK Cover images this month: RL: Kayleigh Waterman as Salerina and Joy Osborne as Solania in the Stamford Shakespeare Company’s production of The Merchant of Venice at Tolethorpe Hall in Rutland, 2018. MHL: iStock Editor Clare Peel Advertisement Manager, Rutland and Market Harborough Tracy Watkinson 01572 813187 Advertising Copy and Subscriptions Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 Head of Design Steven Handley Designer (Editorial) Calum Handley Designer (Advertising) Sarah Patterson Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 Printed by Warners of Bourne Subscriptions: annual rate £25 (UK only). Please write to the Publisher at Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford PE9 9FY, with a cheque payable to Local Living, or go online to

34 The Olive Branch: Fishy Business 36 Food News & Reviews: The Cross Keys, King’s Cliffe; Exeter Arms, Barrowden 38 Life’s a Picnic!


Local Walk: King’s Cliffe and Blatherwycke The Back to School ABC Little Living Out & About

PEOPLE & PLACES 8 12 24 31 44 48 66


Artist of the Month: Alastair Adams Rutland Hero: Paul Stammers Allan Grey: Bhutan Travelogue Wynn Ganly Rutland Scouts Wicksteed Park History: Kelmarsh Hall


50 Scallywags Nursery and Pre-School, Urban Movement Primary, Brooke Weston Trust 52 Leicestershire County Show, Ink Design, Nevill Holt Opera 55 UPP Property, Movies Under the Stars, Housegoods4U 56 Woolroom, Stamford Shakespeare Company, Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Giveaway

Box office 01780 756133 For 10% off ticket price use code TOLERUTLIVAU when booking RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING AUGUST 2018




As I write, our schools have either already broken up for the summer or they’re just about to do so. Time flies, though, and by the time you read this, we’ll be into the swing of the vacation, counting down the days to the new term – check out our feature on pages 42–43 for tips on how to make this as smooth as possible. I’m absolutely delighted that we showcase the work of local artist Alastair Adams this month (pages 8–10) – what an incredible ambassador for our region; similarly, photographer Allan Grey (pages 24–25). We’ve also got an engaging article on picnicking (pages 38–39), plus the regular local walk (King’s Cliffe and Blatherwycke this month, on pages 28–29). That should give you quite a bit to get through, but if you need additional reading matter, there are some ideas below – all available from local bookshops (remember you can order any that are not yet in stock). Finally, a note to say that the beautiful photograph of a hare featured on page 10 of our July issue was by Ian Jones – many apologies for the incorrect original credit.




Editor’s selection

Summer reading recommendations Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey, Viking

Emma Healey received great acclaim for her first debut novel, Elizabeth is Missing, and her next book certainly does not disappoint. When 15-year-old Lana Maddox is found after going missing for four days, she refuses to tell anyone what happened, but all is most definitely not well. Lana and her family struggle to cope with the aftermath. The novel is told from the point of view of Lana’s mother, Jen. A totally gripping read.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, Doubleday

Four male friends move to New York to chase big careers after university, but one has a dark and tragic secret that will affect them all. Harrowing but gripping.

Girl with Dove by Sally Bayley, Harper Collins

Weaving literary classics with a young girl’s coming-of-age story, this is a book that testifies to the transformative power of reading and the literary imagination. Mixing fairy tale, literary classics, nursery rhymes and folklore, it is the story of a child’s adventure in wonderland and the search for truth in an adult world often cast in deep shadow.



Life in the Garden by Penelope Lively, Penguin

This book is partly a memoir of gardener Penelope Lively’s own life in gardens and partly a wise, engaging exploration of gardens in literature, from Paradise Lost to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and of writers and their gardens from Virginia Woolf to Philip Larkin.

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Thériault, Oneworld Publications

Selected for Radio 2’s Book Club, this book tells the story of Bilodo, who secretly steams open envelopes and reads the letters inside to escape his lonely existence. When one day he comes across a mysterious letter containing a single haiku, he finds himself caught up in the relationship between a long-distance couple who correspond using only beautiful poetry. “Quirky and charming”, according to The Guardian.

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson, Two Roads

A New York Times bestseller and now a major film starring Emily Mortimer, Cynthia Swanson’s debut novel is perfect summer reading. Provocative, hauntingly powerful and reminiscent of Sliding Doors, it follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.






Alastair Adams Portrait Artist

Alastair Adams is a Rutland-based artist with an impressive international portfolio. He has travelled the globe producing portraits of senior politicians, academics, captains of industry and celebrities. Amander Meade finds out more about the county’s most understated talent



IVING quietly in Rutland with his wife, Amy, and their children Lucy and Luke, Alastair Adams is an astonishing talent. Almost reluctant to discuss his burgeoning success, he is prompted by an obviously proud Amy to tell me about his achievements. Having met aged 11, the couple both hail from the North West and studied for their degrees – his in illustration and hers in fashion and textiles – at De Montfort University. After graduation Alastair spent three years trying to break into illustration for publishing before a life-size portrait of a friend was accepted into the prestigious BP Portrait Award at London’s National Portrait Gallery. This became a catalyst for a change of direction. “Acceptance of that first portrait meant I began to receive commissions, which in turn led to me exhibiting at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, and in 2002 I was invited to become a member.” Alastair went on to become President of the Society – the youngest ever. With more and more commissions, Alastair was still working full time as a senior Lecturer at Loughborough University, and it was at this time he was approached by the National Portrait Gallery to paint former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, for their permanent collection. “Tony was not keen at all to be painted, but, traditionally, all former Prime Ministers have been represented in the permanent collection, so I persevered and eventually enlisted the help of his wife, Cherie, to pin down some sitting sessions, which took place at their home. He was very guarded, but eventually a trust was established, and my family joined the Blairs at a simple dinner to celebrate the unveiling. The portrait received a lot of attention from the press at the time, which was interesting for me; I learned that the trick is to create a touchstone – something the haters can hate and the admirers can love.” The Blair portrait exposed Alastair’s work to a US audience, and he has since established an ongoing relationship with Yale University, following the successful completion of a number of commemorative portraits. The most recent is of Professor Marvin Chun, the outgoing master of Berkeley College, and is on permanent display alongside his predecessors in Berkeley dining hall. “We were lucky enough to be invited as a family to the US to see the unveiling, and I took my mother along, which was very special for her,” says Alastair. Back in the UK, Alastair’s work was shown in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ annual exhibition last May, including his portrait of Dr Sarah Furness, now Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, in her previous role as High Sheriff. With a satisfying waiting list for his work, Alastair now paints full time and has found an interval to paint a noncommissioned portrait, which again has been selected for exhibition at this year’s BP Portrait Award. The subject this time is director, screenwriter, novelist and actor, Bruce Robinson. Bruce is best known for writing and directing the cult classic “Withnail and I” and writing the screenplay ➧

Above: Alastair Adams with his portrait of former PM, Tony Blair which now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery Opposite: Bruce Robinson



Alastair Adams Portrait Artist “The Killing Fields”. “I’m delighted, as 2,667 portraits were submitted, and only 48 were chosen to take part in the exhibition, which runs between 14 June and 23 September before touring additional locations nationally.” Working from his studio at home in Rutland and having made the decision to take a break from lecturing, Alastair is relishing the opportunity to explore things that interest him and to move his own discipline forward. “I’ve always enjoyed producing work that satisfies people, and I have some work in the pipeline that will help me continue to do that as well as providing some travel opportunities for the family too, which is a brilliant bonus.” Commissioning a portrait: An initial chat with Alastair includes an insight into the production process as well as negotiating a budget and timeline. Alastair aims to book between four and six sittings with photographic reference used to reduce sitting time. Alastair also offers his own bespoke framing and transportation service. For more information call Alastair on 07808 585366 or visit

Right: Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Sarah Furness, painted whilst High Sheriff

Above: Richard Harman Left: John Timpson




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Now as deeply embedded in Rutland tradition as horseshoes and acorns, the worldfamous Rutland Water ospreys have reinvigorated interest in the county and brought tens of thousands of tourists here over the last two decades. Anglian Water’s Osprey Information Officer Paul Stammers – part of the team that helped establish the osprey population here – tells Amander Meade how it all began…

Paul Stammers





LTHOUGH there had been no osprey breeding in England since 1854, a pair of birds visited Rutland Water en route to their home in Scotland in 1996. Their visit planted a seed of an idea in the minds of colleagues Roy Dennis, Stephen Bolt and former Head Warden, Tim Appleton. “Male ospreys return annually to the place of their hatching,” explains Paul. “With no ospreys at all in England, the challenge was to liaise with Scottish Heritage, who ran a successful project north of the border, and to acquire some chicks young enough to be fooled into believing they were born here in Rutland.” Scottish Heritage was keen to spread and strengthen the population outside Scotland, so Rutland Water was the perfect location. In 1996 some chicks were selected from nests in Scotland, where there had been multiple hatchings. The five-and-a-half-weekold chicks made the journey by road from Edinburgh to Rutland, being hand fed every hour. “We slid fish down a pipe a bit like a drain pipe, which we had chopped and painted to look a bit like a beak,” remembers Paul. “It was nerve-wracking, as translocation of ospreys had never been attempted before anywhere in the world, but at seven weeks old, the chicks


were ready to fly and were released. Just a few weeks later they began their first migration to West Africa – a perilous journey of three-and-ahalf thousand miles.” This process was repeated each year for the next five years, and 64 young ospreys left Rutland Water with their human “parents” left to wait patiently and hope for their return. In 1999 the first of the Rutland-raised chicks returned but failed to breed – more patience required. In 2001 a chick from the same batch went on to breed successfully, and a single chick was raised – the first to be born in the Midlands for 150 years. Known as “Mr Rutland”, that first breeding male returned each spring for an incredible 15 seasons, fathering 32 chicks. The project has snowballed, contributing to the success of Birdfair, this month’s internationally renowned event, as well as being recognised as the flagship osprey project on which others are modelled. Today there is a network of osprey breeding worldwide originating from Rutland, which makes the team incredibly proud. The positive effects continue to ripple out, with former head of the project, Tim Mackrill, working on a reintroduction project based in Poole Harbour. “Tim and I have set up a charity


called the Osprey Leadership Foundation,” explains Paul. “We travel to West Africa annually with the joint objective of seeing some of our ospreys in their migratory habitat and to educate young people in Gambia about the value of the osprey to the African tourism economy – in fact, representatives from the Gambian Tourist Board will be at Birdfair this year, which is wonderful. We have arranged skype link ups between Rutland primary schools and African children, all based around conservation education.” The osprey project continues to thrive, now using high-tech nest cameras to allow wildlife lovers to share the magic of these incredible birds. It’s all a far cry from dropping fish down a plastic pipe, but Paul and his colleagues remain as excited by the ospreys as ever. “We never tire of telling people the story of the ospreys and look forward to watching the sky each spring to see our birds come home.” To find out more about the project visit the Lyndon Visitor Centre at the Egleton Nature Reserve, tel: 01572 770651 or rutlandwater. To donate to the Osprey Leadership Foundation, contact Paul on 07986 219488 or find out more at



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From left: Jamie Rigby, Dan Cragg and Simon Casey

FASHIONABLY FIT! Fashion stylist Sally Stillingfleet went to find out what Grantham’s new state-of-the-art Equilibrium Gym + Fitness has to offer and put together this month’s shoot with the help of the professionals there WORDS: SALLY STILLINGFLEET PHOTOGRAPHY: ELLI DEAN


INDING sportswear could not be easier at Rutland Sports in Oakham and Bourne – a classic sports shop with a really friendly approach and a comprehensive selection of quick-drying sportswear using scientific fabric technology, so that you stay cool and comfortable while you are

put through your paces! The boys loved their trip to Energy, in Stamford, where Sarah and Clare found the perfect jeans for them, and to Marcia May Shoes where they selected casual summer shoes, many of which are now on sale.

Tom, Jamie, Dan and Simon



Simon wears turquoise Canterbury T-shirt, £17.99, and grey shorts, £20.99, both Rutland Sports.

Dan wears Canterbury black T-shirt with Canterbury shorts, £22.99, both Rutland Sports. Tom in his normal workwear.

Simon wears turquoise Canterbury T-shirt, £17.99, and grey shorts, £20.99, Dan wears Canterbury black T-shirt with Canterbury shorts, £22.99, and Jamie wears mid-blue Canterbury T-shirt, £17.99, and shorts, £22.99; all Rutland Sports.



From left: Jamie wears pink Scotch & Soda shirt, was £90, now £45, with the blue “Hyperflex’ jean by Replay, £145, both Energy, and Joseph Seibel casual trainers, were £75, now £50, Marcia May Shoes. Tom wears Guide fitted blue shirt, £70, with grey “Hyperflex” jean by Replay, £145, both Energy, and Sketchers trainers, £69, Marcia May Shoes. Simon wears “Hyperflex” jean by Replay, £145, and bright Scotch & Soda logo T-shirt, was £98, now £50, both from Energy. Dan wears Replay Hawaiian shirt, £95, with Scotch & Soda “Ralston” fit jean, £125, both Energy, and navy Chatham loafers, were £75, now £45, Marcia May Shoes.

FASHIONABLY FIT! THANKS Equilibrium Gym owners Simon, Dan and Jamie and Personal Trainer Tom agreed to model for me to highlight the launch of their new premises. Huge thanks to them all! The ethos at their gym is very much on personal attention, with training programmes tailored to the individual, based on working at the member’s own pace and aiming towards individual goals. In designing the stylish new facility to the highest possible standard, Equilibrium worked closely with Grantham-based designer David Lyon at Shift Branding & Design ( The result looks amazing and is highly functional, with smart changing rooms. The gym, which is very much growing by word of mouth, focuses on personal training but also offers a range of classes. You can find it at Unit 19, Springfield Business Park, Caunt Road, Grantham, Lincs NG31 7FZ. Call on 01476 575551 or check out the website – – for more details, the class timetable and booking options. Many thanks to our lovely photographer, Elli Dean. See more of Elli’s work at ellideanphotography. and contact her on 07932 055548.

Jamie in his work kit, and Dan, as before. 18


SHOPPING DIRECTORY Energy 9 Ironmonger Street, Stamford 01780 765633, Marcia May Shoes 36 St Mary’s Street, Stamford, 01780 766608, and 17 Mill Street, Oakham, 01572 759313 Rutland Sports 20–22 Catmos Street, Oakham, 01572 722675, and 26–28 North Street, Bourne, 01778 426482,


Whether you’re looking for time out to enjoy beauty treats, relax the mind and body or enjoy time out with friends, Bridget Steele explores what the region has to offer

s t a e r t e r d Spas an INNER PEACE


When Ragdale Hall near Melton Mowbray first opened its doors in 1973, it had been purchased by Slimming Magazine to open as a retreat for their thriving slimming-club business. It’s now one of the country’s top spas, employing hundreds of people and run like a well-oiled machine. Over the years it has evolved, enjoying significant investment, and is now a beautiful retreat offering every beauty treatment you could wish for, with a plethora of activities too – you really can get away from it all, whether you are a day visitor or staying for a week. Despite its size Ragdale Hall never feels crowded, there are plenty of quiet spaces to read a book, take a nap or enjoy the many sensory experiences, with extensive pool areas offering space to swim or just to relax. Breakfast in bed is a luxury that is actively encouraged, and the choice is enticing. In addition, there’s a daily changing buffet lunch and waiter-service dinner served in the oak-panelled dining room, where there is a delectable menu on offer to suit all diets and tastes. Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa, Ragdale Village, Melton Mowbray LE14 3PB, 01664 433000,



You don’t have to be a Buddhist or follow any religious faith to take part in the meditation and mindfulness workshops offered by the Drolma Buddhist Centre across the region. Courses and retreats are organised for complete beginners to experienced meditators discovering the power of meditation giving inner peace, health and happiness and encouraging us to make time for meaningful space in the day. Everyone is welcome. Courses include “Learning to let go”, “Empowerment” and “Dealing with Change and Loss”, and they help participants to meditate with practical advice on replacing worry and uncertainties with positive, constructive attitudes to encourage a balanced and peaceful mind. Drolma Buddhist Centre, 260 Dogsthorpe Road, Peterborough PE1 3PG, 01733 755444,

ONE-STOP SPA A favourite for bridal parties, groups and individuals looking for a bit of time out, the beautifully located Rutland Barnsdale Spa, based in Barnsdale Hall Hotel, is well placed to offer an extensive range of beauty treatments including CACI and luxury skincare brand ESPA face and body treatments. Packages and treatments are endless, with Jessica Nail treatments, Mii make-up and hairdressing services making it a perfect one-stop spa destination. Bridal packages include a trial session, manicure, pedicure, hair styling, a relaxing back, neck and shoulder massage and wedding day make-up, ensuring that all members of the bridal party enjoy peace of mind. Groom packages are offered, and hen parties are welcomed, with private dining available for groups, and special activities laid on as part of the service, if required. Barnsdale Hall Hotel, Barnsdale, Oakham LE15 8AB, 01572 757901,


Nestled within 23 acres of beautiful Northamptonshire countryside in the village of Rushton, Homefield Grange offers the ultimate retreat, and you really do feel you’ve left everyday life behind. This dedicated day and residential retreat offers packages for weight loss, detoxing, fitness, beauty, aesthetics and well-being. Owner Suzanne Peck tells us: “the tranquil setting here allows you to concentrate on yourself with the experienced hands of health professionals. Live blood analysis, dietary intolerance testing, nutritional consultation and colonic irrigation are

some of the treatments on offer.” Treatment programmes are tailor made for individuals, and experts in their field work with you to achieve optimum results. This retreat offers a scientific approach to health and gives a thorough personal analysis. For anyone preferring a holistic wellbeing programme there are plenty of treatments offered, too, such as Indian head massage and reflexology. Amazing smoothies (above), too. Homefield Grange, Manor Road, Rushton NN14 1RH, 01536 712219,

HALF-DAY ESCAPE Rushton Hall Stableyard Spa in Rushton offers a great-value half-day getaway (£40 for four hours), which includes use of the fitness suite, pool area, steam room and sauna, complimentary tea or coffee on arrival, bathrobe, towels and a manicure or pedicure. Further treatments can be added, and overnight packages, with a three-course dinner and breakfast, are also available. Rushton Hall, Desborough Road, Rushton, Kettering NN14 1RR, 01536 713001,

COUNTRY HOUSE CHIC Situated just off the A1 on the outskirts of Peterborough, Alwalton Hall (above) opened its doors in spring 2017 and has since become a favourite beauty retreat. It has a country-house feel and offers sumptuous, spacious, themed treatment rooms and a hair salon. In summer guests can enjoy the 15-metre outdoor pool and sun terrace, while in winter there are log fires in the drawing room. Year round, there’s a wide range of beauty and wellness packages on offer, such as a half day with lunch or an afternoon package with afternoon tea. Treatments include the latest CACI Synergy anti-ageing facials, Decléor face and body treatments, and OPI manicures, pedicures, massage and holistic therapies. A Saturday “Superstart” (£100) begins at 9am and ends at 1pm and includes a Decléor 30-minute facial, an OPI file and paint, a wash and blow dry, plus a delicious brunch prepared by the Alwalton Hall chef. On Thursday evenings in summer (4–8pm) clients can enjoy a package including a 60-minute neck, shoulder, and décolleté massage, plus facial and barbecue supper, for £90. Alwalton Hall, Church Street, Alwalton, Peterborough, PE7 3UN, 01733 391166, alwalton

SOUL HAPPY Soul Happy is a non-profit-making wellbeing centre in the heart of Peterborough since 2017. Owner Kim Coley explains: “the centre aims to help people find more of their best selves and work towards sustainable well-being.” There are three treatment rooms, where qualified therapists offer individual treatments such as massage, reflexology, reiki, etc, plus a large space for groups and workshops on topics such as confidence and empowerment building, mindfulness and yoga. There are also vegetarian and vegan evenings, with participants invited to bring food to share. Soul Happy has recently received the Peterborough Small Business Award and the Peterborough Small Business Owner accolade. Soul Happy, Cowgate, Peterborough PE1 1NA, 07814 393099,








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Much happiness in Bhutan A travelogue by Rutland adventurer, Allan Grey



RESIDENT of Rutland for 40 years, Allan has travelled far and wide over the last 15 years and has five continents and 95 countries to his credit. He recently visited Bhutan, a remote Himalayan kingdom, sandwiched between India and China, and known primarily for measuring its progress not by GDP, but by GNH – Gross National Happiness The grace and beauty of Bhutan Not unlike Nepal, Bhutan is an independent sovereign nation roughly the size of Switzerland, sandwiched between India to the south, and separated from Tibet to the north by the eastern end of the Himalayas. Tourism in Bhutan began in 1974, when the government opened this isolated country to foreign tourists but with restrictions to control the environmental impact. If you wish to travel to Bhutan, your trip needs to cost a minimum of $250 per day. This excludes most backpackers but encourages ageing Western tourists such as myself. Virtually all Bhutanese people wear national costume on a daily basis.



The view from our aeroplane window Pilot: “If you look to your right you’ll notice… Mount Everest!” There can be few more spectacular flights anywhere in the world than the 250 miles between Kathmandu and Paro, which sits 7,000 feet above sea level and is one of the most challenging airports anywhere in the world for pilots to take off and land. Only 20 pilots are qualified to fly in and out of Paro, but fortunately a number of them are on duty the day we fly in.

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery As we climb the well-maintained but very steep trail over ever more vertical switchbacks, the monastery seems to appear and disappear, in and out of the trees and the mists. After two hours we arrive at the beginning of the entrance to the Tiger’s Nest, a rocky outcrop overlooking a vast chasm, with the monastery on the other side. We marvel at the precarious location and wonder just how it was built here over 300 years ago. We wonder how it would be erected now!

A very peaceful start to our day Having descended from the Tiger’s Nest fairly quickly, we drive to Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan. It’s a day of sightseeing, the two main attractions in Thimphu being The National Memorial Chorten (pictured below), and The Giant Buddha Dordenma. We visit the Memorial Chorten early in the day, and young and old alike have arrived to do their daily devotions, as all good Bhutanese people do. Prayers are chanted, as the devotees circle the Chorten multiple times, always in a clockwise direction.

Serious sport I’m never quite sure whether I’m a traveller or a tourist, but, whichever, what we all crave is to find authenticity, to get somewhere where others haven’t been, or haven’t arrived yet. We were fortunate to experience just such an occasion. We find out that the national sport of Bhutan is archery on our way to Shana. Our guide Kencho spies a competition in progress; he guesses two village teams competing against one another. To complement the competition, food and entertainment are included. Whilst we watch the archers, a group of dancing girls also performs. We are the only visitors at the event, and I am absolutely enchanted by the whole experience. Home from home The terrain eases a little as we near Jomolhari base camp. Our overnight camps consist of two two-man tents, a dining tent and a kitchen tent, where magic is performed by our cook Wangchuck Dorji, who is 40 years old and was respectfully referred to as WD40. Breakfast alfresco was a feast, starting with tea and coffee, cereal and then eggs, beans, eggy bread and toast – a great way to start the day. WD40 was truly special, and his culinary skill on a couple of rings surpasses anything I imagined we might find on this trip, making up for one or two of the other shortcomings.

Saying Goodbye On our final night at the incredible Jomolhari basecamp, we say farewell to the caretaker and his cheeky granddaughter.

Allan has captured his Bhutan visit in words and stunning photographs, which he presents in exchange for a donation to Make a Wish, a charity that creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. To book Allan for a talk, contact him on 01572 755863/07919 993038 or read more at RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING AUGUST 2018


Garden party at Walcot Hall Walcot Hall, near Barnack (just south of Stamford), is opening its elegant gates for a garden party on Sunday 26 August from 12–5pm, in aid of the MS Society’s “Stop MS Appeal 2018”. Walcot is a private family home, rarely open to the public, and the glorious grounds make the ideal setting for a summer party. The Carolean house, built to celebrate the restoration of Charles II, has passed through several families over the years. It was the Deardens, who owned it in the late 19th and early 20th century, who planted and laid out the garden as it exists today, including the unusual handkerchief tree and swamp cypress, as well as creating the stone follies that are dotted through the landscape. During World War II the US air force were barracked at the house and the gardens were filled with Nissen huts. When the Dennis family made it their home in the 1960s, the bones of the old garden were there, but the land was overgrown and the trees were running wild. The next phase of the garden’s history began. Owner Catherine Dennis says: “we’re not gardeners by nature, but we’ve inherited this wonderful place, and the family have really enjoyed breathing life back into it over the last 60 years.” Walcot is a magical domain with lots of areas to explore. There are tree-lined walkways, terraces and a walled garden, as well as an original, formal canal with a view of the house. The Dennis family have made new

additions too, including the rose garden designed by Bunny Guinness over 20 years ago, laid out with a spreading Mulberry tree at its heart. Bring a picnic, enjoy the steel band and children’s entertainments. Bar available. Tickets £15. Children free. Available from Min Pumphrey at


Shed heaven

• Family driving you nuts? Make a sanctuary in your own backyard where you can take a book, or use it as a craft room during the warmer months. TV presenter Sophie Robinson designed the sheshed below from a plain wood summerhouse from Waltons Garden Buildings (waltons. Man caves work equally well!

Your garden shed might well be the biggest outdoor feature you’ve got. Just because it’s functional doesn’t mean it has to look dull. There are so many inspiring ways to customise a bogstandard garden shed at no great expense, and it will make an attractive focal point in your garden. Here are some ideas for you to try: • Paint the shed in two complementary colours. Country cream combined with willow green, for example, as in the photograph above, elevates the ordinary into something special. Add a couple of hanging baskets on hooks to the front, and even if it’s a junk store inside, it will look like a mini summerhouse on the exterior. Cuprinol Shades is my top choice for exterior paint. Try Harrison & Dunn in Stamford and D Norton and Son in Uppingham.

Before 26

• Fix a trellis to a wall of your shed and train climbing plants to grow there. A clematis ‘Prince George’ with its big white petals would look beautiful planted against a shed painted in Cuprinol’s Black Ash (a dark charcoal grey). You can plant a clematis in a pot or in the ground. For a selection of sheds, try: • Rutland Sheds, Oakham, • Cherry Lane – Peterborough Barn, • Helpston Garden Centre,



Growing in my garden now Sunflowers are so cheerful and easy to grow. You don’t have to stick to the classic yellow – there are many different types, including tawny brown ones and dwarf varieties. They flower from July to October, a time when other flowers may be going over, so they’re useful for revitalising a tiredlooking border. Grow them in full sun, and add slow-release fertiliser pellets to the area in which they’re planted, as they are always hungry for nutrients. When the flowers have gone over, leave the seedheads on for the birds to enjoy.

We love!

If you don’t want to grow your own vegetables, hang some on the wall instead. This beautiful antiquestyle botanical print costs £19.95 from Chez Soi, 16 St Mary’s Street, Stamford PE9 2DF,



King’s Cliffe & Blatherwycke Wait for a crisp, blue sky day and set out on this wonderful walk, traversing a varied landscape from deep woodland to sheep-grazing pastures and a path alongside a babbling brook



Park at the Post Office in the centre of King’s Cliffe. Head west along the main village street, then cross the Blatherwycke Road up a track called Wood Lane over the disused railway line. Almost immediately after the railway line, turn left over a stile and follow the path across open access land in a westerly direction; at the start of the second field keep to the right along the edge of the wood and follow this path until you cross a stile and enter the woods. The path through the woods is reasonably well marked, but keep your eyes peeled; it briefly follows the route of the disused railway line and then passes behind a derelict footbridge. Shortly you come out into a field; turn right, following the line of the woods, and, where the field edge bears sharply round to the right, strike out across the field to a stile you can just see on the far side of the field. Follow the path through the wood; in a few minutes you will come out on a metalled track; follow this to the right and go through a gate. There is then a steepish descent down towards a small brook, keeping Fineshade Abbey on your right. On reaching the brook, turn left, keeping this side of it, passing through a sheep pen and along a field; after a couple of hundred yards start to climb in a southerly direction. Once over the brow of the hill you will get a view of Blatherwycke Park Farm; follow the path through a further four fields until you reach it. Walk through Blatherwycke village along the road until it turns sharp right; at this point turn left in a northeasterly direction, passing by the church; the path at this stage is easy to follow.

2 3

4 5

6 7


Distance: 6 miles (9.6km) Typical time: 2.5–3 hours OS map: Explorer 234, Landranger 141 Start & finish: Post Office, King’s Cliffe, PE8 6XB Terrain: Easy-going Stiles: About half a dozen Getting there: 5 miles west of Wansford along A47, then 3 miles south along minor road


The Cross Keys, King’s Cliffe, PE8 6XA, tel: 01780 470276,, a welcoming pub under new management. The Post Office, 1 West Street, PE8 6XB. General store with lots of useful things, including several pamphlets on local walks in the area. 28







of the walk and a good spot for a picnic. After a mile, cross a footbridge over the brook and you will soon find yourselves approaching King’s Cliffe. Cross a stile into a field (beware of the bull sign) and then another. Pass the allotments into Orchard Lane – follow this straight ahead towards the church, through the lovely back ways of the village; you come out on to Hall Yard. Turn left and you will be back at the Post Office.






About three quarters of a mile after the church there is a little gap in the fence on your left; one path goes towards a footbridge over Willow Brook, but you need to take the path that turns immediately right after going through the gap, heading towards Alders Farm. At the other side of the farmyard, walk on the right of the fence and fairly soon you will come alongside the brook; this is a charming part


© Crown copyright 2018 Ordnance Survey. Media 020/18

POINTS OF INTEREST King’s Cliffe The Domesday Book records that the village comprised more than a square mile of woodland in 1086 with only a small amount of cultivated land. Successive kings visited the area to hunt, notably King John and Henry II. Blatherwycke Blatherwycke’s Holy Trinity Church is in the former grounds of Blatherwycke Hall, built by the Stafford family in 1713 in Grecian style but sold for £1,600 in 1948 and demolished for building materials. The garden is being restored. So far, a large kitchen garden, wall-trained fruit trees, extensive herbaceous borders, seasonal beds, parterre, orchard and wild-flower meadows have been created. Garden occasionally open to the public.




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The Royal Air Force commemorates its centenary this year, and with it the women of the service celebrate their part. Wynn Ganly served in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force between 1947 and 1952 – a decision that shaped her life. She shares her memories with Amander Meade

Wynn Ganly "Serving with the men who flew"


GED just 17 and living with her parents and seven siblings in Birmingham, Wynn Ganly (née Jones) spotted a recruitment poster for applicants to the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (known as WAAFs). With a yen to travel and an adventurous spirit, she applied at once and was soon on her way to basic training in Wilmslow, in Cheshire. “I came from a service family; my father served as a soldier in both world wars, two of my brothers were in the Navy and two more in the Army,” Wynn explains. “On the platform at New Street Station I met a group of girls who were also on their way to Wilmslow, so we shared a carriage. We never stopped laughing all the way, and that’s where my RAF life began. I loved every single moment.” Although WAAFs did not serve as aircrew, they worked at military installations, performing meteorology, radar, aircraft maintenance, transport and communications duties. They worked with codes and ciphers, analysed reconnaissance photographs, and performed intelligence operations. To her great disappointment, after basic training, Wynn was posted to Withall, near Birmingham, to train as an administrator – a little too close to home for her liking. After a second posting to Gloucestershire, her dreams of travel finally materialised but would not prove straightforward at all. “I was thrilled to get a posting abroad and joined the others in my group for vaccinations before setting sail from Southampton en route to RAF Habbaniya, about 55 miles west of Baghdad, in modern-day Iraq. Unfortunately, I was so severely seasick I had to be removed from the ship by ambulance at Port Said in Egypt and hospitalised. Another WAAF took my place on the ship, and my friends sailed on without me.” The story has a happy ending, however, as it was at RAF El Hamra in

Egypt that Wynn met her engineer husband, Peter, and the couple married in the church at RAF Kasfareet with a honeymoon in the legendary National Hotel in Cairo. “The rules at the time stated I had to resign from the WAAF, but I spent the next 22 years travelling with Pete, who remained serving. We had a wonderful time and travelled the world before returning to the UK and settling in Rutland with our two daughters. Pete worked at the RAF bases at Cottesmore and Wittering, and I worked for the Ambulance Service in Oakham, driving patients to Leicester for emergency treatment. Pete used to ride his motorbike through the countryside, which is now Rutland Water. At the time no one in Oakham wanted the flooding for the reservoir, which has now become such a jewel in Rutland’s crown.” Wynn says her time with the RAF shaped her life, giving her a thirst for education as well as teaching her many valuable lessons along the way. “We moved so often I soon learned that ‘things’ are not important. Our travels also taught me to adapt quickly to new people and situations. I hold all my memories close to my heart and still feel very much part of the RAF family. Pete and I were married for almost 70 years, and, when I lost him four years ago, the RAF sent a standard bearer to his funeral, which was such a dignified tribute to a former serviceman.” Now aged 89, Wynn says she would recommend service life to anyone. “You can continue education, learn all kinds of skills and become the person you want to be. I have nothing but happy memories of wonderful adventures and the great people we met who truly enriched my life.” Many thanks to Allan Grey of Hidden Treasure Photography for assistance with photography restoration. You can contact Allan on 01572 755863 or 07919 993038 and read more about him on p24–5. RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING AUGUST 2018


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Smile with conďŹ dence Local dentist Catherine Cousley and Richard Cousley (Consultant Orthodontist) are delighted to announce the opening of The Priestgate Clinic in the centre of Peterborough.

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IT’S TIME TO START THINKING SMART Growing and protecting your estate for the benefit of your loved ones is a key aim of the majority of our clients. Working together, we help to formulate strategies that will provide your family with financial security and freedom for the rest of their lives. But are you confident that they will do the same for the generations to come? Or even worse, will they squander the money because they don’t know how to look after it?


ne of my bug-bears with education is the lack of focus on ‘real life skills’. Anyone who has gone through the British education system will have sat through hours of quadratic equations, Shakespearean quotes and learning how to decipher an igneous rock from its sedimentary counterpart, but how useful were these lessons? Yes, some of your teachings may have helped you land your dream job, but will knowing the dates of the Stuart Kings and Queens help you manage your finances? I left an amazing school not having even heard of a pension, a mortgage or a credit card.

financially free enough to stop work and live out their hopes and dreams. For younger generations, or for anyone who is yet to start their financial journey, ‘SMART Money’ teaches you how to develop a ‘savings psychology’, so that you can fill your life with what you love and gives you all of the tools you need to build, manage and protect your wealth.

If you are looking to start saving for your future and want to make sure that you can retire early enough to enjoy amazing experiences with your friends and family rather than I am a firm believer that schools listening to their should be educating children on the stories of freedom real ‘truths’ of life: why it’s important while you are still to save money, how to afford your first at work, this book home and how to reduce the risk you is for you. take with your money. It’s something Passing on this information to your that I’m fanatical about, so much so that I’ve written a book on the topic. children and grandchildren could be pivotal to their future financial In September 2017, ‘SMART Money: success, so it’s not just importantHow to Create Financial Freedom’ it’s crucial! was published. Written for those just starting out on their financial journey, The book is usually sold for £9.99, this book empowers people to become but, as a way of celebrating our

arrival onto Oakham’s High Street, and I feel so passionately about sharing this knowledge with the younger generations, I’m going to be generous and give away electronic versions of this book for free! Whether you chose to give the book to your children, grandchildren, friends, or even read it yourself, SMART Money could be the most beneficial gift you give. It isn’t a long book, and it is easily digestible for a younger less financially savvy reader, so we think they and you, will enjoy it. I hope everyone enjoys it and I look forward to hearing your feedback and stories about how it’s helped to educate those around you.

To obtain your fre e copy, visit www.efficientportf oney or simply contact Ch arlotte Colton on charlotte@effici uk or 01572 898060 .


The Olive Branch team show their passion for seafood and share a delicious cod recipe


Fishy business

UR new Kitchen Masterclasses at The Olive Branch are Preparing going nicely! We’re really enjoying showing customers a lobster around the pub kitchen during our regular butchery, fish, on a recent Olive Branch pasta and bread workshops. The fish class is proving Masterclass particularly popular because lots of people shy away from preparing and cooking it at home. Learning the skills to allow you to create some wonderful fish and seafood dishes can really transform your cooking. For lots of people, though, the best bit about our masterclasses is lunch! After being a fishmonger (or butcher, baker or pasta maker) for the morning, guests sit down to a hard-earned meal, sampling some of the food they’ve created that morning! Here are the recipes for a couple of dishes we served recently. We hope you enjoy recreating them at home!

Baked cod, with tomato, herb crust, crushed new potatoes and wilted spinach Serves 4 • 4 x cod fillets • 200g tomato fondu • Herb crust • 12–15 new potatoes • Mint • Parsley • 200g spinach (washed) Tomato fondu • 1 onion, diced • 1 carrot, chopped • 300g vine tomatoes, chopped • 50g tomato puree • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped • A few sprigs of thyme • 1 bay leaf • 1 tbsp oil • Salt and pepper 1. Boil onions and carrots until soft. 2. Add the rest of the ingredients. 3. Bring to the boil. 4. Simmer until you have a condensed tomato mix. 5. Blend and season. Herb crust • 170g fresh breadcrumbs • 90g Parmesan cheese • 56g fresh chopped parsley • 14g fresh chopped thyme • 56g soft butter • 56g sun-dried tomatoes • Salt and pepper 1. Blend all ingredients to form a paste. 2. Roll out in between greaseproof paper. 3. Put in fridge until needed. New potatoes 1. Place the potatoes in lightly salted water with some mint. 2. Simmer for 10–15 minutes until tender. 3. Strain off the water.


Cooking of the cod and assembly 1. Cover a metal tray with tin foil and lightly grease with a little vegetable oil. 2. Place on the cod fillets and season the fish. 3. Cover the top of the fish with a couple of spoons of tomato fondu. 4. Top each fillet of fish with a square of herb crust. 5. Place fish in a pre-heated oven at 200ºC (Gas Mark 6) for 15 minutes. 6. While the cod is cooking, lightly crush the new potatoes, season and add chopped parsley. Keep the potatoes hot. 7. Wilt the spinach in a hot pan with butter, then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. 8. Place the spinach in the bottom of the bowl, place the crushed new potatoes on top and then add the fish. Serve.

New fish dishes

Here are four fantastic new fish dishes that we’re now serving at The Olive Branch. Pan-fried sea bream, Rutland Water asparagus, herb gnocchi

Roast tronçon of Scottish halibut, champ mash, morel mushrooms, Burgundy red wine sauce

Grilled smoked haddock, bubble and squeak and quail egg fritter, parsley sauce

Cookery demonstrations

We also hold regular cookery demos at The Olive Branch. Watch, ask questions and pick up tips as we demonstrate how to cook three seasonal dishes. Then sit down and relax as we serve you all three courses! The day starts with coffee at 10am, the demo begins at 10.30am, and you’ll sit down for lunch at approximately 12.30pm. Recipe sheets are also included. Upcoming demo dates (all Tuesdays) 11 and 18 September 6 and 13 November 4 and 11 December

To book a place on an Olive Branch masterclass or cookery demonstration, or to find out more, call the pub on 01780 410355. You can also visit


Hand-dived scallop, samphire, peashoots and asparagus



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Two pubs in great walking areas

Food & Drink News

The Cross Keys, King’s Cliffe Bridget Steele visits a quaint pub in a charming village


ALKING in to The Cross Keys at King’s Cliffe on a summer evening, I was struck by the relaxed atmosphere of drinkers and diners mixed together, some watching the football, others chatting in the bar or away from screens in the snug. Ian Cartmell took over the pub earlier this year and has swiftly worked on making it welcoming and friendly. The pub offers six rooms for Bed and Breakfast, and there is a separate function room that Ian is keen to promote for private parties – they can cater for 50–60 people. He’s also keen for The Cross Keys to be a welcome stop for the many walkers and cyclists in the area. With a new chef, Germaine Ellis, on board, the dining options include plenty of favourite pub classics as well as an £11.95 two-course set-price menu (£15.95 for three courses). Food is on offer every day. Tuesday is Curry Night with a curry (chicken, lamb or veg), served with naan, rice and salad, wine or beer for £10.95; Wednesday night, meanwhile, is Steak Night, with a choice of rib eyes or sirloin steak with a bottle of red or white wine for two at £30. There’s a great selection of regularly alternating beers too – we enjoyed The Cross Keys Beer, brewed by the King’s Cliffe Brewery. See also our King’s Cliffe walk in this issue. The Cross Keys, 2 West Street, King’s Cliffe, Peterborough PE8 6XA, 01780 470276,

Exeter Arms, Barrowden Clare Peel visits one of the region’s best located pubs


T’S been two years since the Wades took over the Exeter Arms in Barrowden, Rutland. Tom and Joanne began their new venture with their daughter Jessica back in 2016, opening the doors to the public at the end of April after four intensive weeks of restoration. The couple knew the pub from when they moved to Barrowden 14 years ago and had been certain that one day they would like the opportunity to run it. Looking back, they acknowledge that as first-time pub owners the first six months were very challenging with much to learn so quickly. They are very proud to say that two years down the line they feel they have now created their vision of a characterful, relaxed, warm and welcoming environment for all customers new and old to enjoy. Stamford Living editor, Nicholas, and I went on a beautiful late June lunchtime – the village was looking incredible, with its golden-hued architecture, archetypal English village green and classic duck pond and glorious countryside views as far as the eye can see. We were wonderfully warmly received by Joanne, who was happy to help with recommendations from the menu – dishes are all home cooked, with local produce used where possible, and there’s a really great range at competitive prices from soups and sandwiches to pub classics to more elaborate à la carte creations. I started with the confit duck parcels (£5.50), which came with hoi sin sauce and elegant, palate-cleansing strips of cucumber and a scattering of sesame seeds; it had a lovely sweetness that got the meal going nicely. Nicholas’s starter, skewers of grilled salmon and colourful peppers served on a bed of asparagus and with a honey dressing (£6.95), looked



the part and definitely passed the asparagus test – correctly cooked with a lovely crunch, that is. For the main course I had the naturally smoked haddock with a silky-smooth carrot purée, new potatoes and a creamy lemon caper sauce (£12.95) that had just the right tang, while Nick opted for the lamb cutlets (£16.95), a beautifully presented dish served with seasonal vegetables, new potatoes and a rich mint gravy. It was delightful to enjoy our meal looking over the village green – a real treat year-round. The portions were very generous, and we didn’t quite have room for dessert, opting for coffee instead, but we admired the trail of sweets such as trio of ice cream and the summer pudding heading for the next table. Over the past two years Joanne and Tom have developed a lively programme of events including: Take-Out Tuesdays, Wicked-Wednesday Steak Nights, Thirsty Thursday Happy Hours, Family Fridays, a monthly Quiz Night and, every third Thursday of the month, an Open Mic Night. The pub also supports a variety of village groups and events including a pétanque team, book clubs, the annual village fete and a collection of vintage classic car meets throughout the spring and summer. The pub is also a great venue for bespoke wedding celebrations and birthday or anniversary parties – these can be held both inside and outside in the large beer garden at the rear (a nice space for children to play in). Additionally, there are three B&B rooms. Sunday lunch is extremely popular here too. “This quintessential country pub has so much to offer, with greatquality food, fine local ales and delicious wines all at great value,” Tom told us. “You won’t be disappointed.” An extra attraction is the great walking country all around – there’s a lovely walk from here along the valley to Harringworth, then back round via Wakerley Woods. See

M NEW EN U! Lorraine Roxburgh, new General Manger of The Old Plough at Braunston-in-Rutland near Oakham, and new Head Chef Karl Johnstone (previously of an award-winning inn) are putting this historic pub back on the map, making it a destination for food lovers. Using an abundance of fresh produce – much sourced from local farmers – they aim to provide sophisticated comfort in an inviting, friendly-family environment. The food is all lovingly and freshly prepared in house, and there’s a great selection of beverages, including local beers, to complement it. In addition to the classic, cosy bar, there’s an attractive 40-seater glass conservatory and a relaxing, generously sized beer garden, plus five recently renovated rooms if you’re staying overnight or longer. Lorraine and Karl look forward to welcoming you soon!

Bar Mon - Sun, 12noon - 11pm Food Mon - Sat, 12noon - 2pm, 6pm - 9pm Food Sunday, 12noon - 3pm Breakfast Mon - Sun, 8am - 10am Happy Hour Mon - Thurs, 3pm - 7pm - £3.90 Draught Beer, £6.75 250ml House Wine

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Cooking made simple Country Inn and Restaurant A warm welcome is assured at our quintessential old English county pub, bringing you the best of British home cooked meals and a choice of well kept Real Ales.

Why not join us for Sunday Lunch? Choice of 3 roasts all served with the traditional trimmings £9.95 for one course up to £15.95 for three courses

Friendly, fun and supportive courses in our purpose built kitchen. “The course was inspiring, educational and great fun!.” “I was sorely disappointed when it was over!.” “Robin is patient and makes you feel as though you can cook anything.” With over 40 full and half day workshops from Pasta to Patisserie, Fish to French classics, Macarons to Middle Eastern, and Italian to Indian Street Food we have something for everyone.

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LIFE’S A PICNIC… you just cannot plan the weather! A picnic is described in the Concise Oxford Dictionary as “an outing or excursion, including a packed meal eaten out of doors”. Expanding on this, you could say that it should ideally take place in scenic surroundings or in conjunction with a public event, and usually during the summer months. August, therefore, has to be one of the most popular months of the year for picnicking. Deborah Pennell discovers some great picnic locations and suggests local businesses who could help fill your hampers with deliciously different goodies.

Picnic in the woods There are several beautiful woods in the area with excellent picnicking facilities. Among the largest is Rockingham Forest, just off the A47. You can also enjoy a family picnic in Fineshade Woods, where the Forestry Commission have placed picnic benches around the woodland trails. Alternatively, base yourself by Top Lodge, next to the main car parks or at the children’s adventure playground nearby, where there are plenty of picnic benches for your use. Walk on well-maintained forest paths, suitable for wheelchairs, or meander off the track down woodland glades to get away from it all. This is a perfect spot to take dogs too; water dishes are provided around the picnic benches in the courtyard at Top Lodge, and the majority of tables are fitted with clasps to attach leads to, keeping your pooch safe whilst you devour your pack up. And there is no need for your dog to feel left out either, as you can treat them to their own sausage ice cream, served up at the cafe! Children’s activities include a fantastic adventure playground close to the car park, a fun Highway Rat Activity trail, a Gruffalo orienteering course, bicycle hire, and a bird observation hide a short walk into the woods. On the opposite side of the A47 lie the historic ancient Wakerley Great Woods, a more untamed setting, popular with mountain bikers for the marked trails and challenging terrain. The car park here is set amongst majestic larch trees and includes a grassed area for games and picnicking.


Picnic on the beach Despite being around 50 miles from the nearest sea, we do have a beach in Rutland. Travel to the Sykes Lane car park on the north side of Rutland Water and find golden sands littered with sandcastles. Due to the size of this manmade beach you may struggle to park more than a small rug on the sand, but adjacent to the beach there is a large area of grass that offers more space to sit and avoids the inevitability of getting sand in your sandwiches! Sykes Lane also boasts a children’s adventure playground, mini golf, a designated dog-walking area, an interactive visitor centre and the locally renowned, Bugtopia, where you can get up close and personal with large lizards, some cheeky meerkats and a 9-ft-long boa constrictor!


Picnic by the water

Picnic in the gardens We are lucky to have a plethora of historic houses and estates in this area with gardens open to the public. Some allow you to picnic, most notably Grimsthorpe Castle, Burghley House and Easton Walled Gardens. Each offers a completely different experience. Visit the Burghley Sculpture Garden, where it is possible to picnic amongst the contemporary sculptures, on the side of the picturesque lake. This is a beautiful place to dine alfresco, with neatly mown grass pathways winding their way amongst ancient trees and shrubs, which are tamed to form archways and outdoor rooms where the sculptures are nestled. The 2018 exhibition (“Otherwordly”) runs until October and includes a life size 17-m-long depiction of Kylo Ren’s Star Wars TIE Silencer, by eccentric local inventor and YouTube sensation, Colin Furze. On a hot, sunny day there is even the chance to cool off in the Garden of Surprises, but do not set up your picnic in this area, as no food or drink is allowed.

Picnic at The Burghley Land Rover Horse Trials

As touched upon opposite (under Picnic on the beach) there is no end of places to picnic around Rutland Water, with picnic tables found in many sites, but also large grassy areas to lay down a rug and open up the hamper. Some of the grass areas off the car parks have barbecue stands, so if you are considering halloumi skewers, hot sausages, or marinated chicken, there are endless opportunities. For peace and quiet, and to get away from the madding crowd, park at the Barnsdale car park and walk into the beautiful beech woods to the east. Here you will find a bird-watching hide and several places to picnic by the water’s edge. Alternatively, base yourself below Barnsdale Hall Hotel and enjoy the stunning views across to Hambleton whilst you munch on your cheese and chutney sandwich. For fun and entertainment, head for the Whitwell entrance to Rutland Water. Here you will find large areas of grass beside the water, picnic tables and barbecue stands, as a well as entertainment for all. The ever-expanding Aqua Park is a great place to build up an appetite, and also makes fantastic spectator sport! Paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking and other water sports are also available from this site. A pre-picnic workout on the popular outdoor gym comes highly recommended. For a more peaceful setting the Normanton car park offers a large grassy area leading down to the water with barbecue stands, and within a short walk of the car park you can picnic in the lee of the historic Normanton church, and watch the boats from nearby Rutland Water Sailing Club on the water. And do not forget the River Welland, which runs through a large stretch of the county with footpaths along its banks – this is a great place to unwrap a sandwich, and while away some hours listening to birdsong and the mesmerising flow of running water.

If you have been lucky enough to scoop one of the much sortafter Picnic Parking tickets for the Saturday of Burghley Horse Trials, then you may well be aware that a hotly contested “Tailgate Picnic” competition runs throughout this car park. People go completely over the top, and it is worth just walking around this area to witness full bars with water features, silver candelabra, best linen, the finest glassware and, of course, the swankiest picnics you may ever set eyes on. This competition is just for the people who have purchased Picnic Parking, and as in previous years will be judged by a Land Rover ambassador. Land Rover, the main sponsors of Burghley Horse Trials, have in the past coerced Land Rover ambassadors such as Adam Henson and Zara Tindall to award the coveted prize of “Best Tailgate Picnic”, but the identity of this year’s judge is yet to be announced. This is a hotly fought contest, showcasing picnicking at another level!

Picnic at an outdoor event Whether it be Nevill Holt Opera, Tolethorpe (for the Stamford Shakespeare Co.), Battle Proms, a live music concert, Bird Fair or a country show, there is a multitude of occasions over the summer when there is a chance to pack up a picnic, chairs and a rug. At Tolethorpe, for example, you can enjoy a relaxed picnic in the beautiful gardens with the exquisite backdrop of Tolethorpe Hall, before heading into the auditorium to enjoy one of the many excellent plays put on here. The grounds open well in advance of the performances, so all those choosing to picnic are well accommodated. Ready-prepared picnics can be ordered in advance for evening performances through their website.


If you are looking for ideas and ingredients to enliven your picnic, try one of our many local businesses who stock wonderful freshly prepared delicacies to fill your hampers to the brim: Baines Bakery 3–5 High Street West, Uppingham, Oakham LE15 9QB The Courtyard Deli 1 Printers Yard, Uppingham LE15 9RA The Fine Food Store 37 St Mary’s Street, Stamford PE9 2DS Hambleton Bakery 2 Cottesmore Road, Exton LE15 8AN; Gaol Street, Oakham, LE15 6AL; 1 Ironmonger Street, Stamford, PE9 1PL; 12 Church Street, Market Harborough LE16 7AA Hambletons (Fine Foods) 2–3 Gaol Street, Oakham LE15 6AQ Just so Italian 35 St Mary’s Street, Stamford PE9 2DS Otters 19 Mill Street, Oakham LE15 6EA The Stamford Cheese Cellar 17 St Mary’s Street, Stamford PE9 2DG The Stamford Delicatessen 39 High Street, Stamford PE9 2BB





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It’s never too early to start planning for the autumn return to school. Clare Peel, mum of Ned (6) and Frank (9), gives some pointers for a stress-free approach to the new term…

is for apple For the teacher, of course… Market days to stock up on these are Wednesday and Saturday (Oakham), Friday (Uppingham), Friday (Stamford) and Tuesday to Saturday (Indoor Market, Harborough). Always best to get teacher on side right from the start!

is for book Walkers Bookshops have a great selection of books for younger readers, including fiction, study guides and set texts. Other excellent local bookshops include Uppingham’s Sports and Books, Market Harborough’s Quinns, and The Bookshop Kibworth, which has a lovely children’s range. A little further afield, it’s always a pleasure to browse the informed selection at The Oundle Bookshop.


is for coat

If you’re thinking ahead to the chillier autumn weather, check out the range at Marcia May Mini for younger children – sensible enough for parents, cool enough for kids! If your school requires a regulation coat, head for Kids and More or the school’s uniform shop.

is for diary Always a treat when you get to fill in a brand new one of these. The Stamford Notebook Company does a lovely line in academic ones (starting in September). Colemans stocks Moleskin diaries that run from September.



Getting the kids looking all neat and tidy with a trim at one of our great local hairdressers is another classic entry on the back-to-school checklist. Many salons offer a lolly or a sticker at the end as a reward for sitting still for a few minutes! Recommendations include Creme, Thomas Hairdressing and William Wheelwright in Oakham, Thomas in Uppingham and Head Candy in Market Harborough.

is for Inset Day Just when you were expecting the kids to go back to school on the Monday, they tag one or two of these on to the end of the holiday. Double check your term dates carefully, so you don’t turn up a day or two earlier than everyone else, wondering why the car park is so nice and quiet!

is for jet lag For those of you fortunate to be jetting abroad this summer, j is for jet lag. Make sure your little charges are well rested before the first day back, as the new term is always tiring.

is early morning Enjoy the holiday lie-ins while you can, because very soon that 6am alarm call will be ringing in your ears again.

is for footwear


Rutland Sports is wonderful for sportswear of all kinds, from swimming gear (including an excellent range of goggles) to football and rugby kits. Kids and More supplies PE items for local schools in the Rutland area. MDH Sports is a good option in Market Harborough.

is for Haircuts

Marcia May Shoes, on Mill Street in Oakham, and sister branch Marcia May Mini, on St Mary’s Street in Stamford, are great places to get your children’s feet measured and kitted out for the new term. The ever-patient staff are experts at dealing with temperamental young customers, who are sometimes in the mood for shoe shopping and sometimes not, if our experience is anything to go by! The range includes school shoes, sports shoes, plimsolls and wellies. In Market Harborough, try Christians on Abbey Street for school shoes and MDH sports for trainers.


is for gym kit


is for kagoule

Every child needs a rain coat in autumn, when the weather can be a little unpredictable. Marcia May Mini has lovely ones for younger children with brands including Hatley. For plainer ones, a trip to John Lewis in the Queensgate centre in Peterborough should do the trick – handy for all basic uniform needs.


is for lunch Unless your kids are opting for school dinners, they’ll need a lunch bag to put all those tasty treats in. Recommendations for these locally include Fords, Marcia May Mini and Sophie Allport (flamingo bag, below).


is for music If your children are musical, stock up on sheet music, instruments and accessories at MH Music in Market Harborough or Stamford Music Shop. And don’t forget to keep practising those scales over the summer!

is for notebooks As with brand new diaries (see opposite), new notebooks are another highlight of the new school term. Colemans (Pukka Pads, below) and Walkers have lots. Fords stock Orla Kiely designs, for kids who love the retro look.




A classic for secondary school pupils, this iconic box of mathematical delights is able to provoke strong feelings of nostalgia in anyone over a certain age. Find them at Colemans.


is for pencil case

Buying a new one of these at the start of the school year is an age-old tradition and a highlight of every stationery-lover’s year. Colemans is stationery heaven – in addition to pencil cases (below is a range of theirs), you’ll find plenty to pack them with: pencils of every kind, rubbers, pens (including a super-cool selection of Lamy fountain ones, if you are in the market for those), sharpeners, etc. Tinc, in Stamford, does funky multi-layered pencil cases, too – although not cheap, they are very hardwearing.


is for uniform

Just what you need to keep the kids’ brains sharp during the long summer break and avoid the infamous summer “brain drain”. My two love Dorling Kindersley’s DK Quiz app, which covers topics from geography to food and science to history, making learning fun.

is for rugby

If your children are set to play rugby in the autumn term, but you need a little help with understanding the rules, check out “Rugby tackled: a mothers’ translation” (£8.99), a handy little book by Local Living writer Rebecca Chatterton and Annabel Buik. It’s informative and an engaging read.

S is for Oxford Maths Set

is for quiz

is for schoolbag

Unless your kids are given bags from school, they’ll need their own bag. Marcia May Mini has a nice range for younger children, while Sophie Allport and Tinc do cool ones for slightly older kids.

Kids and More on Crown Walk, Oakham, stocks uniform for local schools including Brooke Hill, Catmose Primary/College, English Martyrs, Edith Weston Primary and Uppingham Community College.

is for vision It’s really important that your child has regular eye checks, so that any issues are picked up as early as possible. The summer is an ideal time to schedule in an eye test.

is for water bottle Every child needs one of these to keep hydration levels up during the busy school day. Fords, Marcia May Mini, Tinc and The Kitchen Range Cookshop stock on-trend brands from Chilly’s to Skip Hop.

is for fingers crossed… … that they’ll enjoy their first day back. No one wants tears on the first morning! Lots of reassuring hugs and kisses (our letter again) should send them happily along.

is for year


is for timetable Take the old one down from your noticeboard or wherever you usually keep it. It’ll soon be time to proudly display a new one of these to keep you on track.

DIRECTORY The Bookshop Kibworth 52 High Street, Kibworth, 0116 2791121, Colemans 46 High Street, Oakham, 01572 770883, and 1–2 Church Square, Market Harborough, 01858 322028, Creme Hair and Beauty The Old Church, 8 Mill Street, Oakham, 01572 723823, Farndon Fields Farm Shop Farndon Road, Market Harborough, 01858 464838, Fords of Oakham 8 Church Street, Oakham, 01572 722654, Head Candy 26 Church Street, Market Harborough, 01858 464395, Kids and More 9 Crown Walk, Oakham, 01572 771775, Kitchen Range Cookshop 5 Church Street, 01858 433533 Marcia May 17 Mill Street, Oakham, 01572 759313 Marcia May Mini 43 St Mary’s Street, Stamford, 01780 754400 MH Music 7 St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough, 01858 463144,

My oh my, how they fly! It’s time to get used to a new number again: years 2 and 5 now for my boys. The higher up the school they go, the faster the years zoom by, and, before you know it, life as an empty nester beckons!

is for zzzzzz Precisely what you’ll need once you’ve sorted out all of the above! And what you can hopefully look forward to once the vacation is over!

The Oundle Bookshop 13 Market Place, Oundle, 01832 273523, Quinns Three Crowns Yard, Market Harborough Rutland Sports 20–22 Catmos Street, 01572 722675, Sophie Allport 26–27 High Street, Stamford, 01780 751044, Stamford Music Shop 11 St Mary’s Hill, Stamford, 01780 751265, Thomas Hairdressing 16 The Maltings, Mill Street, Oakham, 01572 756561, and 7 Market Place, Uppingham, 01572 822555, Tinc 29 High Street, Stamford, 01780 754359, Uppingham Sports & Books 9 High Street East, Uppingham, 01572 822211, Walkers 27 High Street, Oakham, 01572 723957, and 10 High Street, Stamford, 01780 764405, William Wheelwright 42 High Street, Oakham 01572 724221,



Fifteen-year-old Will and Dan Law are part of a unit of Explorer Scouts who will fly the flag for Rutland at the World Scout Jamboree in Virginia, US. Amander Meade finds out more about the event and what Scouting means to the boys

Rutland Scouts represent Rutland at the World Scouts Jamboree


“I have always enjoyed Scouting and would recommend it to others as a way to learn new skills, meet new people here and abroad, and to improve confidence,”


DENTICAL twins Will and Dan Law from Oakham have been raised with Scouting, as their dad, Keith, has volunteered as a Scout Leader for many years, and their mum, Chris, is a former Beaver Scout Leader. Beginning in the junior ranks as Beavers and now aged 15 and part of the Explorer group at All Saints, Oakham, the boys have been selected to represent Leicestershire and Rutland along with other Rutland scouts at the World Scouts Jamboree next year. All participants have to raise around £3,800 to attend the event in North America, with some of that amount used to ensure Scouts from poorer nations around the world are able to attend as well as covering their own fare and expenses. “It’s a lot of money, but the ethos represents the true spirit of Scouting,” says Chris, the twins’ mum. No easy fundraising task… the boys will use their wages from delivering Rutland Living magazine in the Oakham area as well as undertaking many other activities to raise


the money to travel both individually and as a Rutland group effort. “It is a fantastic opportunity as well as an honour to be selected,” explains Dan, who (along with his brother) is a student at Catmose College. “I have always enjoyed Scouting and would recommend it to others as a way to learn new skills, meet new people here and abroad, and to improve confidence,” he adds. Will goes on to say that the brothers have benefitted from many extraordinary experiences as Scouts, including flying light aircraft at Sywell, swimming with sharks at an aquarium on the East Coast, camping, and travelling including trips to Norway and Belgium. “There have been lots of brilliant times, but I expect the trip to the US to be a real highlight of our Scouting memories,” says Will. The 24th World Scout Jamboree will take place at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia and will be an adventure beyond anything the boys have experienced so far. Hosted jointly between


Boy Scouts of America, Scouts Canada and the Scout Association of Mexico, the jamboree will involve around 50,000 Scouts. The UK contingent will be made up of participants, their Unit Leaders, an International Service Team and a Contingent Management and Support Team. The UK Contingent Management Team will deliver a unique international adventure and hope that their work on youth engagement and personal development will filter back into local Scouting for the wider movement to benefit in years to come. Members of Dan and Will’s group are fundraising both individually and as a team with a concert, film night, car washing and odd jobs all on the agenda. Any team activity funds raised will be split equally among participants. If you have any ideas on how the team can fundraise by helping you or your organisation or to donate to the group, please contact: Kieron Stewart on 07480 142061. For details of your local Scouting group, see









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WAlkIng anD cYclIng

Foxton Locks

There are many lovely locations to go for a stroll or bike ride with the kids on those long summer days. Foxton Locks is always a great choice because families can help to open the locks, take a look round the museum or grab a bite to eat at one of the local pubs. There is ample parking, or you can walk, run or cycle along the canal from The Wharf in Market Harborough. If you are looking for a more daring challenge, then nothing quite beats the tunnels along the Brampton Valley Way. Head out of Little Bowden park along the footpath for a couple of miles and you will reach the first one. This won’t be for every child, but many love the thrill of entering the black tunnels with nothing more than the distant light at the end to guide them. Another exciting quest is the Wistow Maze, which this year marks the 70th anniversary of the NHS and is formed in the shape of an ambulance. Get lost in the maize maze and spend ages answering clues and finding your way around the award-winning attraction. Another great place for walking and cycling, as well as bird spotting, is Brixworth Country Park, about 12 miles south of Market Harborough. Here you can hire a bike to cycle around Pitsford Reservoir, take a stroll across the dam or even do a spot of fishing.

LIttLe livIng Finding new activities to fill each day can sometimes feel like mission impossible in the school holidays. To help keep you sane Lily Canter has rounded up some great days out in the Harborough area where she lives and in neighbouring counties a short drive away too

PArkS aNd PlaYgrOunDs

SPlaShiNg Out

Welland Park play area in the centre of Market Harborough is a brilliant adventure playground with multiple climbing frames, swings and sandpits. There is also the river nearby to play Poohsticks in and the lush cafe next to the rose gardens. Also in Market Harborough is the play area at Ashley Way, known locally as The Rock Park; it has groups of rocks and nets instead of traditional play equipment and is perfect for aspiring rock climbers. My two boys also adore Great Bowden Park due to its proximity to the railway line. There is a small playground, but the highlight for them is standing on the train bridge waving at passing trains and being hooted at by train drivers. There is also a small brook surrounded by shrubs and trees, which is great for hiding and foraging in. A little further afield is East Carlton Park, just outside Corby, which has a medium-sized playground, a cafe and pathways through the wood and around a large duck pond. There are lots of dens in the trees, making it a great place for a make-believe Gruffalo hunt. Towards Leicester, Abbey Park on the River Soar has a fantastic boating lake where you can hire a pedalo before taking a walk around the remains of the 12th-century abbey and 17th-century mansion. In Rutland, the village of Lyddington has a lovely children’s playground with sunken trampoline, while The Lodge, in Market Overton, has a super cafe and loads of parking, plus the marvellous village playground (great zipwire) adjacent.

My boys love any excuse to get their bathers on and get wet, so we take full advantage of the days out that involve any kind of water feature. The water park at Twin Lakes, near Melton Mowbray, has a fantastic range of slides in its outdoor lido. The temperature is on the cool side, but this doesn’t stop my two from taking the plunge, whatever the weather. Over to the south east of Harborough are Stanwick Lakes, with a brilliant playground with a small stream and water wheels plus a large sand area, climbing towers, stepping stones and a sunken ship. After a walk around the nature reserve, kids love nothing more than an ice cream at the cafe and a cool down in the playground stream. Our best water-themed find this year, however PHOTO: RACHEL BARNES (a favourite already, no doubt, with many Rutland readers), has to be the Garden of Surprises at Burghley House. This creative network of mazes, installations and fountains that children are encouraged to play in as long as they are clothed (this includes swimsuits) and wear suitable footwear is perfect for children of the age of my boys. Beyond this enclosed garden is the expansive Sculpture Garden, which until Sunday 28 October (daily 11am–5pm) is hosting the “Otherworldly” exhibition with a display of surreal, magical and cosmic wonders. Children can run around all day, taking in Stamford inventor Colin Furze’s life-size Star Wars TIE Silencer, Jim Unsworth’s Tolkien-inspired, fairytalelike The Delights of Eden (pictured left) and Andy Hazell’s Interplanetary Taxi, amongst much more. It is the perfect place to let them be noisy, roll around in the grass and have a picnic (see pages 38–39), all whilst taking in some art.



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Day Nursery and Pre-School

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01572 723 810 47

The place where play was invented Wicksteed Park, Kettering, is opening the world’s first heritage playground with National Lottery funding. Dave Phillips finds out more about the fascinating history of a local landmark


F you thought Disneyland was the world’s first theme park, think again. That famous attraction didn’t open until 1955. Donald Duck hadn’t even hatched when Wicksteed Park opened its gates in 1921 – and those gates have been open for generations of delighted children ever since. Now, with the help of National Lottery funding, Wicksteed Park is bringing back the oldfashioned swings, roundabouts and slides and opening the world’s first heritage playground. And that would have brought a playful smile to the face of its founder, Charles Wicksteed. There used to be a time when children were supposed to be seen and not heard, but that probably didn’t apply to the family Charles Wicksteed was born into. He was one of 21 children and you can be sure that this was one Victorian family that had a lot of fun. Charles grew up to become a talented engineer, who invented, among other things, the world’s first automatic gearbox. He owned a successful manufacturing company in Kettering, but he never forgot his joyful childhood, and, when the First World War ended, he celebrated by building and selling the world’s first swings and slides for children. A hundred years ago, there were plenty of public parks, but most were formal areas, where children were warned to keep off the grass. The creation of new playgrounds built specifically for children were an instant success, and Charles set up a new factory, Wicksteed Playscapes, to manufacture more exciting new rides. Better still, he bought 147 acres of meadowland on the outskirts of town and he transformed them into a huge play space, which he bequeathed to children everywhere.

Changing tastes

Of course, play equipment has changed a lot in the last century, and many of the rides that Charles Wicksteed invented and installed in the park have disappeared. But now, the park that calls itself “The place where play was invented” has launched a global search to find the iconic top ten attractions that graced the first playgrounds. The top ten has been drawn up by the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, which was formed to ensure Charles’s work and his park continued long after his death. They are keen for people with any heritage items of Wicksteed play equipment to get in touch. The restored pieces of play equipment will take pride of place in the world’s first Heritage 48

Play Area, being created at the park and featuring original Wicksteed play equipment. The Heritage Play Area already has a replica of the park’s first wooden slide and an old playground rocking horse, which was restored to its former glory after being rescued from a ditch near Margate, where it had been abandoned and left to rust. The top ten favourites are: 1) Wooden slide 2) Swing 3) See-saw 4) All metal slide 5) Giant stride 6) Merry-go-round 7) Metal rocking horse/boat 8) Ocean wave/Witches Hat 9) Gymnasium (with trapeze rings) 10) Plank swing/Jazz/See-saw swing

A new era

Oliver Wicksteed, great-grandson of Charles Wicksteed and chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, says: “All the exciting work we have planned for the park builds on the extraordinary legacy of Charles Wicksteed. The play equipment that he devised and created has been enjoyed by children across the world for generations - not only the slides and swings but things like the gymnasium, the merry-go-round and the ocean wave are fondly remembered by many and were the predecessors of the modern playground equipment we know today. “Whenever you talk to people they all have fond memories of playing in playgrounds when they were younger, and the chances are the things they were playing on were made by Wicksteed.


The appeal is for any old play equipment from 40, 50 or 60 years ago or even older. “We are going to bring them home to the park and allow families and children in particular to enjoy them once more and learn about the history of play, in what will be the only heritage playground of its kind in the world. “Our aim is to rediscover these attractions and interpret them in a way that is exciting and challenging for children, but is also safe and educates people about the origins of modern playgrounds.” “Of course safety is paramount, but Charles would have fought tooth and nail against any regulations that he perceived to be unnecessary and too restrictive because he wanted children to enjoy themselves. “Old photographs of the original equipment are full of people doing things that they may not be allowed to do today, but risk is a part of life, and they were all having great fun. “We have to be careful that modern play doesn’t become too sanitised because of the modern claims culture and over-protective parents preventing their children doing anything stimulating or exciting.” The @Play project will showcase the park’s heritage, and enhance the enjoyment of play in line with the original vision of its founder. The restorations are being funded by a grant of £1.89 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with the majority of the remaining investment coming from the Wicksteed Charitable Trust itself, supported by smaller donations from Northamptonshire County Council and Kettering Borough Council. The park will now reach its full potential as a heritage and learning resource for the local community and the large number of visitors who use the park, and it is hoped that it will now be restored to its former glory. Among the other exciting changes at the park, a new Activity Plan programme will build on the park’s current educational and community work; incorporating new staff posts, training, an expanded volunteer programme, enhanced archive project and further engagement of the community. There will also be an annual Festival of Play for the local community. Volunteers will serve as Park Ambassadors to provide information on the park and its history, which will be told using traditional and digital methods of interpretation.

Charles Wicksteed

Nicky and Matthew Lyttelton and their dog


• Wicksteed Park is located two miles from the A14 (Junction 10) at Kettering. • Open all year round, the children’s playground is the largest free facility of its kind in Europe. • Entrance to the park and the playground is free, but you do have to pay for parking and rides such as the Rocky River Falls, Ladybird Coaster, Carousel and Paratrooper, as well as other attractions including the ever-popular Meerkats Burrows. • There is also a retail area with a good range of restaurants and food outlets, including the legendary Wicksteed Ice Cream, which is made from goats’ milk. • Of historical interest is the Water Chute, which was built in 1926. Having undergone major renovation in 2002, it is the oldest working ride in the UK. The Park has a narrow gauge railway, which runs around the lake. • There are hills to roll down, a lake to paddle in and trees to climb. It is a great place for children to explore – which is just what its founder intended! • RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING AUGUST 2018


News & Notes


Helping you to make the most of Rutland and Market Harborough living

Scallywags Day Nursery & Pre-School


AKHAM’S Scallywags Day Nursery & PreSchool are rated “good” by Ofsted and enjoy being active with local initiatives in the community. One initiative is the Many Years Project, an inspiring inter-generational project that involved a small group of children from the Pre-School visiting Brambles Social Centre at Rutland Care Village, spending quality time and carrying out planned activities with a small group of residents aged between 71 and 90 years. The project has been a great success, with positive benefits being observed for everyone involved. A parent of a pre-school participant said: “Being encouraged to make bonds and friendships with other people is a major part of growing up, so being given the opportunity to make relationships with the older generation and to be a part of their lives and history is something very special.” Plans are currently being put in place to repeat the project with another group of children. Scallywags Day Nursery, which includes a state-of-the-art Pre-School with a large outside play area is committed to maintaining high-quality early education year round, ensuring all children reach their potential and are well prepared for school. Places are currently available at the nursery from September 2018. For more details, visit or tel 01572 723810

Urban Movement Primary – Delivering Sporting Edge


URRENT guidelines state that children should spend at least 60 minutes per day doing physical activity, and all under-fives should be as active as possible, yet children are spending an increasingly large amount of time on electronic devices. Urban Movement Primary is a locally based company helping primary school staff improve levels of physical development in pupils. Leading the initiative are Ineke Ward and Kat Plimmer. Ineke graduated from Leeds Met with a degree in sports and recreation leadership and has worked in sports development for various local authorities as well as for the voluntary sector. Kat is a keen footballer and level 2 coach in a number of sports. “Urban Movement Primary is a social enterprise, which means that we have no shareholders, and our directors do not take dividends. This means a large percentage of our profits are used for the good of sport and community,” explains Ineke. “We know that time and resources are stretched in many primary settings, and often there is no trained PE teacher, so our skilled staff work with schools to add depth to their existing PE offering. Sessions improve children’s health and confidence whilst developing their physical skills and abilities.” Ineke and Kat are keen advocates of fundamental movement and teach this through the use of physical literacy in around 80 sessions per week in Leicestershire and Rutland, delivering PE sessions to more than 2,000 pupils per week. Working with children from the Early Years Foundation Stage to Key Stage 2, the team provide lessons that meet Department of Education and OFSTED standards. “Our sessions build an enjoyment of physical activity by encouraging and developing children at whatever level of confidence they are at. Every child has a different physical marker, which we will establish and help them to reach, whether it is to balance across a beam without faltering, to ride a bike successfully or to lead their team at dodgeball. We know that if a child has learnt to succeed at a sport or an activity, they are more likely to develop as selfconfident individuals.” To find out more about the work of Urban Movement Primary, call Ineke on 07515 934893 or visit



Want to excel at the creative and performing arts?


HE Brooke Weston Trust, based in Corby, Northamptonshire, is thrilled to have forged a partnership with the nationally renowned BRIT School to offer a tailored package of creative and performing arts classes for students aged 8 to 15. The exciting programme runs on Saturday mornings, and students can attend as many sessions as they want from a wide range, including dance, singing, theatre, art club, fashion, textiles and film-making. Inspirational teachers will deliver the classes at Corby Business Academy, which has excellent art, music and theatre facilities, and students’ work will be regularly showcased in performances and exhibitions. It is the first time that The BRIT school in South London, whose alumni include such globally recognised names as Adele, Loyle Carner, Jessie J, Katie Melua, Leona Lewis and Tom Holland, is rolling out its well-established performing arts programme in conjunction with another Trust. Its Programme Director, Tobi Deeson, said: “BRIT Kids is different to other Saturday schools on many different levels. Firstly, we cater for all the creative arts from theatre to art club, street dance to film-making. This unique mix of classes offered really does mean there is something for everyone. Alongside this, we are proud to be part of The BRIT School, following its ethos for creativity, challenging our students with bespoke plays, contemporary art classes and high teaching levels with specialist equipment.” Autumn Term: 29 September to 15 December 2018 Spring Term: 12 January to 30 March 2019 Summer Term: 27 April to 13 July 2019 Classes are one-hour long and run between 9.30am and 12.30pm. If you need more information, or want to sign up, please telephone 01536 203120 or email

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News & Notes Review of Powder Her Face, Nevill Holt Opera 2018 Sam Rudd-Jones


RAF Falcon. Photo: ©Crown

Leicestershire County Show returns this August Bank Holiday


HE hugely popular Leicestershire County Show is back for a third year at its 85-acre custom-built site beside the Airfield Business Park in Market Harborough on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August. Building on the unprecedented success of last year’s show, which attracted around 13,000 visitors, this year’s event will be even bigger and better, with spectacular displays from the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team on both days being just one highlight. Also new for 2018 is the Mounted Games Association of Great Britain, who will bring 28 teams of riders to the show to compete over the two days in a series of high-speed relay and obstacle races to decide who will be crowned 2018 champions of this thrilling and highly athletic equestrian event. Even more high-octane thrills will come in the form of jousting from the Knights of Nottingham, Guinness World Record-breaking quad bike stunt daredevil, the Kangaroo Kid, and the chance to kick for goal with the Leicester Tigers. Visitors will also be treated to classic attractions including hounds from the Fernie, Westerby Basset, Cottesmore and Quorn hunts, ladies’ side saddle, Fernie Pony Club and a carriage-driving display. The traditional agricultural events will culminate in a grand parade of prizewinning sheep and cattle. “We are thrilled to be offering such an exciting and varied programme of events this year,” says David Young, Leicestershire County Show Director. “The Market Harborough site with its generous proportions and ample parking facilities is the ideal setting to attract the many thousands of visitors who enjoy our fantastic combination of traditional and modern events, designed to keep the whole family entertained.” Organised by the Leicestershire Agricultural Society, which was founded in 1833, the Leicestershire County Show will also have over 100 craft stalls and a selection of trade shows. The show weekend will begin in style on the evening of Friday 24 August with the County Show Dinner in the Members’ Marquee. For more information on events, sponsorship, exhibiting and to buy tickets, please visit

HEN Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face premiered at the Cheltenham Festival in 1995, it caused a minor sensation. Audiences and critics were amazed that a 24-year-old could produce such dazzling music and they were shocked by the Duchess’s graphic – now infamous – aria in Scene Four. It has been performed regularly ever since (nearly 300 times), making it by far the most successful British contemporary opera. This production, directed by Anthony McDonald, toured Northern Ireland last year to great acclaim and was approved by the composer and by the Photo courtesy of Robert Workman librettist, Philip Hensher. The opera is based on the life of the socialite Duchess of Argyll, created here by Mary Plazas, with Adrian Dwyer, Stephen Richardson and Daire Halpin multi-rolling as the other characters. It reaches its climax with the historic divorce trial from 1965, during which the full extent of the Duchess’s scandalous love life was revealed. The outraged judge gives a merciless verdict in the opening scene of Act 2, performed with huge power by Richardson. Ian Ryan conducted the Britten Sinfonia, who realised the score stylishly and with precision. They were aided by the fantastic acoustic of the new theatre, which resolved every detail whilst maintaining balance between the orchestra and the singers. It’s a stunning venue, built to designs by Stirling Prize-winning architects Witherford Watson Mann and acousticians Sound Space Vision. Marrying the original stone courtyard walls with a new steel and wood structure, it seats 400 under a strikingly large skylight and has an intimate, upmarket feel. Country house opera is booming. The appeal is that it offers not just the production itself, but a whole experience, and Nevill Holt Opera excels at this. The setting is outstandingly beautiful, and there’s plenty of time to enjoy it, with guests free to roam around the exquisitely manicured gardens dotted with David Ross’s extraordinary contemporary sculpture collection. We picnicked in the gardens, though there were various dining options available during the 90-minute interval too. With the flawless weather it proved to be a perfect evening. This hugely successful bold staging shows that Nevill Holt can afford to programme challenging modern repertoire and still sell out. Long may it continue to do so.

Ink. A passion for design


ITH over 17 years’ experience in the design industry and a plethora of clients (Center Parcs, BMW and The National Trust, to name a few) local designer Sarah Patterson took the step a little over 7 years ago to start Ink. With expertise in design for print and a passion for typography, she was excited to see how Ink would advance. Many clients have worked with Ink since the beginning, and Sarah is honoured that quite a number of them regard Ink as an extension of their team. Good design is all about great communication, so Sarah likes to work directly with clients, ensuring that they receive clear instructions and feedback from her throughout the design process. This has definitely been a USP for Ink and has achieved fantastic results. Sarah is looking forward to what the future has in store, both for Ink and for the firm’s client base. Contact Sarah at Ink on 07766 753986 or visit Ink’s FB page ( for more information 52


© CROWN 2018







25&26 AUGUST 2018

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News & Notes Rutland baby boom adds pressure to local housing market This month, our local property advisor and owner of UPP Property, David Crooke, analyses the Rutland property market and its future.


EARLY five babies are born for every new home built in the past five years in Rutland! This discovery is an important foundation for my concerns about the future of the local property market – when you consider the battle that today’s 20- and 30-somethings face in order to get on the property ladder. This is particularly ironic, as these youngsters are being born in an age when the number of new babies born to new homes is far lower than in previous generations. The first-time buyers of the future will come up against even bigger competition from a greater number of their peers, unless we move to long-term fixes to the housing market instead of the short-term ones that successive governments have offered since the 1980s. In 2016, 11.2 babies were born in Rutland for every home that had been built in the five years to the end of 2016 (latest data). Interestingly, that ratio nationally was 2.9 babies to every home built in the 1950s and 2.4 in the 1970s. I have seen the unaudited 2017 statistics, and the picture isn’t any better! (I will share those, when they are released later in the year.) Our children and grandchildren will be placed in an unbelievably difficult position when buying their first home, unless decisive action is taken. With life expectancy growing year on year, this too is putting pressure on the availability of homes in which to live, with normal population growth nationally (the number of babies born less the number of people passing away) accumulative by two people for every home built since the start of this decade. Owning one’s home is a measure to which many Brits to aspire. The only long-term measure that will help is the building of more new homes on a scale not seen since the 1950s and 1960s, which means we would need to aim to at least double the number of homes we build annually. The demand for rental properties in Stamford and Rutland in the short term will remain high, and, until the rate of building grows substantially, this means rents will remain strong and, correspondingly, property values will remain robust. For professional advice on buying, selling, renting and managing your homes and property investments, please call UPP Property Sales & Lettings on 01572 725825. See also

Movies under the stars at Oakham Castle


T the end of August/beginning of September, The Star & Mouse Picture Show is heading over to Oakham Castle to screen two well-loved movies: The Greatest Showman (Friday 31 August) and Notting Hill (Saturday 1 September). Arrive early to drink in the atmosphere, raise a glass with friends at the bar, and grab a bite before the film begins (note that picnics are not permitted). And for the playful, why not get stuck in with all the garden games on offer. Live music will be programmed before each event too! All you’ve got to do is bring a blanket to snuggle under and dress warmly. (Note that hot-water bottles will be available to hire for an additional fee.) The entry price is £15 (includes an unreserved seat and a headset), and doors open at 7.30pm – this is 1.5 hours prior to the scheduled start time of the film. Note that the start time may shift, if it’s not yet dark enough for a clear image to be projected. These screenings are dog friendly but do pack something cosy for your four-legged friend to snuggle down on. Children are welcome, but do bear in mind the late start time. In the event of severe rain or wind, the screenings will go ahead indoors.

Furnish your home from Housegoods4u!


RE you looking for stylish, good-value furniture to refresh a room? Got a student son or daughter with a flat to kit out? Maybe you’re renting out a space and need to make it look good, or perhaps you’d just like some fresh interiors ideas? With a wide range of furniture from top brands, all available at discount prices, Housegoods4u is an Aladdin’s cave of unique and unusual pieces based in a huge warehouse at Fengate, Peterborough, and there is something to suit all tastes. Choose from a selection of new beds and mattresses, sofas and sofa beds, chests of drawers and bedroom furniture. If you are struggling to know how to update your interior, bring in photos of your home and let the knowledgeable staff make suggestions. If you are looking for a full room scheme, there is a service that allows you to design a complete furniture system, selecting everything from the size of the bedside tables, to wardrobes, chests of drawers and storage, with your own choice of pattern, colour and handles. There’s also a great rug selection in store: simply choose the one you like, order, and it will take just three days to arrive. All other stock displayed on the shop floor can be taken the same day. The company, which is family run, also offers a package to landlords, who can choose to have one room or a complete house furnished. Pop in regularly, as stock changes every week, and you never know what you will find. Units 1–2 St David Square, Fengate, Peterborough PE1 5QA (next to Screwfix), 01733 343777



News & Notes Woolroom


OCATED in Rutland, Woolroom is passionate about changing people’s lives through delivering the very best natural, healthy sleep. The firm has launched its Babywool brand, which now uses the same technology as its machine-washable adult wool bedding but has been adapted and launched into a range of products that will allow your little one to have the best night’s sleep. At heart of the range are the world’s first Baby sleeping bags filled with local Rutland wool (rather than the usual polyester) – these are machine washable and yet 100 per cent natural and are the only baby sleeping bags to hold the Allergy UK Seal of Approval. Babywool has undertaken research with University of Leeds proving that its wool-filled sleeping bags (available in 0–6 and 6–18 months sizes) deliver 25 per cent better heat regulation than the current polyester-filled versions and will bring baby up to the optimum sleeping temperature significantly quicker. Completing the total sleep system is the new UK-made organic nursery mattress range, using materials sourced within 35 miles of Manchester. For children a touch older, the Woolroom Junior Mattress is available too. For little ones over 12 months, Babywool has also relaunched its natural cot bedding range with machine-washable mattress protectors, duvets and pillows, using local machine-washable wool and now with organic cotton covers. The range also holds the Allergy UK seal of Approval. Babywool is available at the Woolroom store in Stamford and at Woolroom, 8–9 Star Lane, Stamford PE9 1PH, 01780 767927

50 years of the Stamford Shakespeare Company


ESCRIBED by The Stage as “one of England’s premier alfresco theatre venues”, Tolethorpe Hall is the home of the Stamford Shakespeare Company, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018. Founded in 1968 by RADA graduate Jean Harley, the company produced plays in the garden of The George hotel, initially to raise money for the creation of the Stamford Arts Centre and restoration of the Georgian theatre in St Mary’s Street. In 1977, it acquired the near-derelict Tolethorpe Hall. Concrete steps were laid, turning a natural bank of grass and weeds into a raked auditorium; a canvas canopy was purchased to protect the auditorium from the elements. The hall is in Rutland, although right by the Lincolnshire border, so the new theatre was named Rutland Open-Air Theatre. It was decided, however, to keep the name Stamford Shakespeare Company for the troupe, since by then (1977), it was well established. Following a major refit for 1993, the theatre’s capacity increased to 600 seats, with a permanent canopy erected over the auditorium. The new theatre was opened by Sam Wanamaker, a regular visitor. In 2002, a 30ft-high gantry was erected to enable actors to fly across the stage, while in 2005 a trap room was built beneath the stage. In 2012, restoration of the hall’s roof took place, and in 2017 a revolve was built, making possible the creation of multiple settings on the same stage. The 2018 anniversary is being commemorated with a major revamp of the bar, orangery and restaurant. The three productions being staged this season – which runs until 1 September – are Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Merchant of Venice and Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The School for Scandal. Tickets are £11–19 (note the discount code on p5). So far we’ve seen The Merchant of Venice and The School for Scandal and loved both! For more details and to book tickets, call the box office on 01780 756133 or visit Tolethorpe Hall, Little Casterton, Stamford PE9 4BH 56


WIN! WIN! WIN! Tickets to Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials


HE Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, held within the magnificent parkland of Burghley House, always have an international flavour with the world’s best competitors including British team riders, Olympic medal winners as well as top-class future talents all heading to Stamford for the four days of competition (30 August– 2 September in 2018). The Horse Trials start with two days of dressage in the main arena. Saturday is cross country day, when competitors test their nerve around Burghley’s famously demanding course. The competition then comes to a climax with show jumping on Sunday to determine who will carry home the Land Rover Perpetual Challenge Trophy and the £90k first prize. Burghley’s retail village will host more than 600 trade stands, purveying all manner of things from handmade cheeses, artisan breads and rare breed meats to luxury goods such as fine jewellery, contemporary fashion and exotic holidays. For the equestrian enthusiast, every possible type of horse-related paraphernalia is on sale, from stabling and feed and tack, to riding clothing. We’re offering readers the chance to win a pair of season tickets and car pass to this year’s event, worth £150. Winners will be able to enjoy all four days of the competition. To enter, tell us the answer to the following question: how many tradestands are at Land Rover Burghley? Email your answer to competition@ by midday on Monday 13 August 2018. The winner will be notified by email. Don’t worry if you don’t win, though – advance admission ticket prices start at £16. For further information and to book, visit:

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ith the summer holidays well under way make sure you’re looking after your pets in the hotter temperatures. Every year vets and animal charities champion numerous campaigns to raise awareness of how lifethreatening it can be if your pet is left in a car on a hot day, yet it still happens. At only 22°C the inside of a car can reach 47°C within the hour. If dogs are too hot and are unable to reduce their body temperature they will develop heatstroke, which can be fatal. Signs that a dog might be suffering from heatstroke include: panting heavily; drooling excessively; lethargic/drowsiness or uncoordinated behaviour and possibly vomiting. Their body temperature needs to be lowered gradually by moving them to a shaded area and dousing them with cool (not cold) water. Do not cover them with towels or blankets, even if wet. Allow them small amounts of cool water to drink if they are able to, then take them to a vet as a matter of urgency. Our Small Animal First Aid Kits are ideal to carry around in your car when you’re out and about with your pets this summer. At only £20 they are fantastic value for money, containing

bandages, scissors, tape, antiseptic scrub, a foil blanket and tick remover. They have all the necessary equipment for you to deal with a minor injury until you’re able to get your dog to the vets. These can be purchased from our Small Animal reception while stocks last. The fantastic weather we’ve had in the early summer means that days out to the beach are a must. Always check before you travel that the beach you want to visit is dog friendly all year round; some of the busy ones may not be. Provide plenty of opportunities for them to drink fresh, cold water from a travel bowl rather than salty sea water which could make them poorly. When you leave the beach or get home it’s a good idea to wash your dog with warm water and dog shampoo to remove salt and sand from their coat, which may irritate them. The milder temperatures also provide parasites like fleas and ticks with the perfect conditions to survive and reproduce. Fleas feed on your pets’ blood then mate and produce more eggs. Flea bites can cause irritation and result in skin allergies; they can also transmit parasites such as tapeworm. Ticks are particularly good at transmitting diseases via feeding on our pets’

blood and that of other animals. The best way to prevent them is to use a certified, vet-strength product on a regular basis (dependent on the product). Flea and tick prevention treatments have an instant and a residual effect. We offer one of the leading flea & tick treatments for cats and dogs in both a chewable tablet or spot-on form. It is proven to kill 98% of fleas on dogs within 12 hours and 100% of fleas on cats in 8 hours. It also kills 100% of ticks on dogs within 12 hours and 94% of ticks on cats after 48 hours. The effect lasts for 12 weeks when another dose is then needed. Please ask our reception team for our Bravecto® flea and tick loyalty card which entitles you to four doses for the price of three. These must be for the same animal who needs to have been seen by a vet in the last year but don’t have to be purchased all together.


Out & About

Amander Meade selects some of the best entertainment in the region this month

Wednesdays 1 and 8 and Saturdays 11 and 25 August (times vary – refer to website) Osprey Cruises Guests are invited to spot Rutland Water’s ospreys on a 90-minute cruise around the reservoir (departing from Whitwell) on board the Rutland Belle with guidance from members of the Rutland Osprey project team. A dawn cruise takes place on Saturday 4 August, departing at 6am and finishing with a cooked breakfast at the Egleton Reserve. Tickets from £22 per person (£13 for below 16 years). Info on 01572 653024 and at

food stalls, licensed bars and a children’s area. The event is in aid of East Midlands Air Ambulance. Admission from £10–35 (day/weekend tickets) with children under 12 years free. Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August, 9am to 5pm The Leicestershire County Show Organised by the Leicestershire Agricultural Society, the show celebrates rural life with livestock and equine classes and a range of family-friendly entertainment including a spectacular motocross freestyle stunt team, a classic car and tractor rally plus a traditional fun fair with dodgems and a Ferris wheel as well as a wide range of trade shows and over 50 craft stands. Tickets are £8 in advance and £10 on the day, with children under 14 years free of charge. Parking is also free. Showground is just outside Market Harborough, next to the Airfield Business Park For tickets and more information, visit

Saturday 11 August, doors 6pm, music from 7pm Summer Winds Concert A wind quintet formed of flute (Sally Jane Palmer), oboe (Emily Stephens), horn (Elliott Howley), bassoon (Olivia Palmer-Baker) and clarinet (Sam Gillespie), all students from the Royal Academy of Music, will perform an outdoor concert with works by Nielsen, Malcolm Arnold, Ligeti, Ibert and Danzi. Food and drink available to purchase throughout. The Windmill at Wymondham Tickets £20 (family), £7.50 (adult), £5 (child) from Melinda Designs at Wymondham Windmill or at Friday 17 to Sunday 19 August, 9am–5pm Birdfair Join the thousands of wildlife lovers who flock to Birdfair each year to support conservation projects worldwide. Organisers will be celebrating 30 years of Birdfair this month with special events, lectures, household names from the world of conservation and trade stalls from around the world. This year the celebrity conservationists will include Bill Oddie, Chris Packham, Simon King and Mark Carwardine.


Egleton Nature Reserve For tickets or to enquire about volunteering, visit Friday 24, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August Hallatonfest 2018 A three-day family music festival with camping in the beautiful village of Hallaton. Featuring Queen, Bowie, Beyoncé, Robbie Williams and Oasis tributes alongside over 40 other artists. Craft, festival and


Sunday 26 August, 11am to 4pm Wing Summer Festival A full day of family entertainment with Victorian side stalls, a farmers’ market, a fun dog show sponsored by Fish4Dogs, competitions and exhibitions throughout the village for all age groups with a local food court and music. Lots to see and do including Wingledon tennis, art, flower and quilting exhibitions, and children’s entertainment and zorbs. Join in the Evening Feast, which is a ticket-only event including an aperitif, canapés, a hog roast (vegan option), a fully licensed bar and musical entertainment by The Top Banana Band. Tickets for the feast are £15 per person (under 16s free) and are available from Lindsay O’Connor:

WING SUMMER FEST - A full day of family fun -

Sunday 26 August 2018, 11 am - 4 pm in Wing Village, Rutland Free Admission Free Parking

• Wing Pilates/Yoga Stretch Class at Wing Hall -10am to 10.45am all levels welcome bring a towel • Fun Dog Show – registration on the day from 11am. Show starts 1pm • Farmers Market and Artisan Stalls • Victorian Side Stalls • Wingledon Tennis Championship all levels welcome • History of Wing, Flower Festival & Art Exhibition • Children’s Activities • Oxen Cart Rides • Zorbes • Food Court & Beer Tent • Live Music • Wing Evening Feast. Ticket only event £15.00 pp/children under 16 free. Pay Bar & Live Music

Stall holders who wish to take part in the Farmer's and Artisan Market please contact Sarah O'Boyle on   To pre-book tickets for the evening feast contact Lindsay O'Connor on  If you wish to help out or would   like to take part in any way please contact Sally Cox ( 

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These theory courses are aimed at drivers who would like to update their knowledge as well as learn how to driveresidents more safely efficiently. Theretheir will knowledge be a short break These courses are for whoand would liketo toupdate update their knowledge These courses are for Rutland Rutland residents who would like asas foras refreshments. are and currently FREEThere for Rutland residents andfor cost well drive more and efficiently. ciently. There willbe bean an opportunity fora a well aslearn learnhow howto toThe drivecourses more safely safely effi will opportunity practical driving at date. £30 for non-residents. consist practical drivingsession sessionThey at aa later later date.of a 2 1/2 hour theory discussion and a voucher for a one-hour practical session with a local driving instructor at a later date.

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Out & About

Amander Meade selects some of the best entertainment in the region this month.

Monday 27 August, from 11am Langham Street Market On Bank Holiday Monday, there’ll be some 100 stalls on Church Street plus food all day, tombola, raffle, family games, classic vehicles, live music etc. Parking will be signposted. Pitches from £15 (in aid of the Village Hall) must be booked in advance on 01572 771115 or via and Thursday 30 August to Sunday 2 September Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is the premier equestrian and social event in the international sporting calendar and a focus for the best horses and riders in the world. The parkland of Burghley provides a perfect setting for the Four-Day Event competition and a stunning location for the popular shopping village of more than 600 exhibitors. Burghley Park, Stamford Tickets and all information visit

to the scheduled start time of the film – note that the start time may shift, if it’s not yet dark enough for a clear image to be projected). Wrap up warmly. Book early for Tony Hadley… Performing songs from his first album in a decade and the greatest hits of Spandau Ballet Tuesday 9 October, 7pm Following the announcement of his new solo album, “Talking To The Moon”, the former front man of Spandau Ballet is appearing in Leicester in October. Fans will hear tracks from Tony Hadley’s new album and some of the greatest hits of Spandau Ballet. De Montfort Hall, Leicester Tickets from £26.50 on 0116 233 3111 or

Throughout August at Barnsdale Gardens Barnsdale is the place to be this summer, with courses and events for garden lovers young and old throughout the summer holidays. There is a “Garden Landscapes”-themed photography workshop, Croquet and Pimm’s on the Lawn, or join Vic Arnold for a breakfast and to learn all about moths and other insects in the garden. Gardening in Shade and Summer Vegetables are two of the topics to learn about this month or take a tour of the gardens with Radio 4’s Matthew Biggs. All courses and events take place at Barnsdale Gardens, Exton Course pre-booking is essential on 01572 813200 or visit for further details of these and all the other events at Barnsdale Gardens this month.

Friday 31 August and Saturday 1 September Movies under the stars at Oakham Castle The Star & Mouse Picture Show is screening The Greatest Showman (Friday) and Notting Hill (Saturday) at Oakham Castle, with garden games and live music beforehand. For full details, see p55. Tickets are £15 (includes an unreserved seat and a headset) and doors open at 7.30pm (1.5 hours prior




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(Est 1970)


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ROOFING Stamford Roofing Company Ltd Strawsons Farmhouse Main Street Great Casterton Stamford Lincs PE9 4AP

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Kelmarsh Hall “A perfect, extremely reticent design… done in impeccable taste” – such was architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner’s opinion of Kelmarsh Hall, near Market Harborough. And a glimpse at its history reveals that it was once home to a taste trendsetter of international importance WORDS: CAROLINE ASTON


HE Hall was originally built for William Hanbury Esq. to a design by eminent architect James Gibbs and was completed in 1732, when Hanbury was just 28 years old. His fortune had been bolstered by marriage to a rich wife, and the elegant Hall bears witness to his “no expense spared” attitude to architecture. The year 1864 saw Kelmarsh and its land sold to Richard Christopher Naylor, a Liverpudlian cotton trader, banker and horse racing enthusiast. In fact, the year before he purchased the Hall, his horse “Macaroni” had won the Derby, making owner RC Naylor a multi-millionaire: he’d bet £10,000 at 10-1 on his own runner and won £100,000 (over 10 million pounds today)! He died in 1898, and the imposing pink granite cover of his family vault can be seen in the churchyard of the nearby St Denys’s. In 1902 George Granville Lancaster bought the estate, and his son Claude inherited it in 1924 – and at this point one of the most influential figures in interior design history is about to enter the scene. Kelmarsh had become somewhat rundown and in need of renovation and repair by this time, so in 1928 Ronald Tree and his wife Nancy took a 10-year “repairing lease” on the Hall. Such a lease requires the tenant to undertake full responsibility for the repair and restoration of the property concerned, something that Mrs Tree was to tackle with amazing results. Born on 10 September 1897 Nancy Keene Perkins was the niece of Lady Nancy Astor, and her cousin was comic immortal Joyce Grenfell. Her background was one of extreme wealth and luxury, but there was tragedy too: in 1917 she wed Henry Field, heir to the Chicago Marshall


Field department store fortune, but he was dead 5 months later. In 1920 she married Henry’s cousin Ronald Tree, a (bisexual) journalist and investor: Tree’s parents had divorced in 1901, and his mother married her British lover Captain David Beatty, eventually to become 1st Earl Beatty and First Sea Lord. The Trees had three children: two boys, and a little girl who died at birth in 1922. Whilst in the US Nancy cut her design teeth by restoring her grandfather’s home, the hauntingly lovely “Mirador”, near Charlottesville, Virginia, which her husband had bought for her. The year 1927 saw the family move to Britain, and Kelmarsh became their next project. In 1933 Ronald became Conservative MP for Market Harborough, and the couple bought Ditchley Park in Oxfordshire. The house there was described as “a vast Palladian pile”, set in 3,000 neglected acres. Former owner Viscount Dillon had been reduced to washing in a zinc bath in front of a fire in the Great Hall, so bad was the dilapidation. Ditchley was utterly transformed into a luxurious, comfortable home, its heritage respected but with glowing room settings, central heating… and ensuite bathrooms! During World War II Churchill often weekended there when bombing stopped him staying at Chequers or Chartwell. Patriotically, Nancy took British citizenship too. Nancy Tree came into her own when she started to work with budding designer, John Fowler, a man nine years her junior. Trained by London firm Thornton Smith (where he’d learnt to paint stunning Chinese-style wallpapers), Fowler had run his own business out of premises in London’s King’s Road, but in 1938 joined forces with Lady Sibyl Colefax, a wealthy socialite and


acclaimed interior designer, whose impressive list of clients and contacts boosted Fowler’s career. In 1947 Nancy divorced Ronald Tree and the following year bought the Colefax & Fowler business in Brook Street, Mayfair. She also remarried: her second husband was Lt-Col Claude Lancaster, owner of Kelmarsh! They soon separated, but her professional marriage with Fowler proved enormously successful and lucrative, though the Tree/Fowler partnership was not altogether an easy one. Much of their time was spent bickering over taste, and Lady Astor described them as “the unhappiest unmarried couple” she had ever known. But gradually they developed what became known as the “English country house style” – uncluttered, romantic and classic. Nancy Lancaster, as she was now known, fitted effortlessly into the interiors she helped create: chic, stylish and witty, she once instructed a decorator to “paint it the colour of an elephant’s breath”. She and Fowler created their own language of colours – “Mouse’s Back”, “Dead Salmon” and “Vomitesse de la Reine” are typical examples. Her houses were a style distillation of all that was best in English country life. John Fowler died of cancer in 1977. Described as “the prince of decorators”, this confirmed bachelor had worked on many of England’s great country houses, doing much for The National Trust. Nancy Lancaster died in 1994, aged 97 and insisting that she “didn’t want a eulogy”. And Ronald? He had remarried in 1947 to American socialite Marietta Peabody, and their daughter was Sixties’ supermodel Penelope Tree. Living apart from his wife, Ronald died of a stroke in London in July 1976.

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Rutland Living August 2018  
Rutland Living August 2018