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STAMFORD LIVING www.stamfordliving.co.uk
Interior design: Beautiful wallpaper
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New Eating & Drinking spots Single Cask & Aloha Foods
Anyone for Tennis? Stamford Tennis Club
A Lifetime of Weddings Matchmaker’s Margaret Butchart
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April Contents www.stamfordliving.co.uk
Rate hikes are tough to handle I was astonished chatting to a local restaurateur to discover that his business rates are about to more than double from £12,300 to £27,000 a year. That’s a huge increase to have to deal with and it will be hitting many of our shops and restaurants in the town, key to our local community. Maybe rates have to go up, but it is very hard indeed to plan around such a steep increase. And all at a time when the internet retailers are paying minimal tax and business rates. Their business model is smart enough already without having to give them further advantages still! If you feel strongly about this, write to our local MP Nick Boles at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicholas Rudd-Jones Editor
@StamfordLiving1 Stamford Living
14 Updates: Deepings Literary Festival, Julie Shaul Gardens, You & Beyond Pandora award 35 Updates: UPP Property, Shaw’s Coaches, Oundle Travel, Learn French & Spanish 38 Updates: Handelsbanken, Stephenson Smart 40 The Hub, Warner’s Motorhome Show 48 Updates: YMCA, Come & Sing, Noteables concert in Ryhall 53 Updates: QKS wins more awards, One Touch Football, Peterborough Northern Star Football Club 55 Scottish Dancing, Stamford Civic prayer breakfast, Alder Vets
FASHION, HEALTH & BEAUTY
7 New looks for spring and summer 22 Health & Beauty: Toe-Tally, Euphoria, Chameleon CLARIFICATION AND APOLOGY: In the article on Collyweston stone slating at Stamford railway station we indicated that 26 Health & Beauty Updates: Stamford Boot the roof was in a bad state and dangerous, too, with the risk of slates falling on passengers. Camp, Elysia, The Cosmetic Clinic, We would like to make it clear that this referred to the ticket office/waiting room end of the building, rather than to Alwalton Hall Station House, which Robert Humm & Co occupied. The company had all the pitched roofs of Station House stripped and re-slated in 1986 prior to moving in, and they remained in good order until their departure. We would like to apologise to Robert Humm & Co. Editor and Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 email@example.com Write to Stamford Living, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY www.bestlocallivingliving.co.uk Advertisement Manager Claudia Bayley 01780 482828 firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Copy Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 email@example.com Head of Design Steven Handley firstname.lastname@example.org Designer Sarah Compton email@example.com Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 firstname.lastname@example.org Published by Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford, Lincs. PE9 9FY email@example.com Printed by Warners of Bourne Subscriptions; annual rate £25 (UK only). Please write to the Publisher at Local Living Ltd, with £25 cheque payable to Local Living, or go online to www.bestlocalliving.co.uk Front cover styling, flowers and photography by Tracy Burr of the Stamford Flower House, St Mary’s St
HOME & GARDEN 12 18 46 50
Working with wallpaper De-cluttering Pet Page: Bunnies Perfect for the Home Pic’n’Pay
FOOD & DRINK
64 Lamb 67 Reviews: Lake Isle, The Spice Queen, BreadMeatCheese 68 Chef profile: Mimmo Fricha, Il Vicola 71 Reviews; Melbourn & Bro., Aloha Foods 72 Olive Branch recipe 74 Eating & Drinking: The Single Cask, the Exeter Arms at Easton
ACTIVITIES, CULTURE, LEARNING & BUSINESS 28 Get Active: Music Tuition, Stamford Tennis Club 32 Makers: silversmith Shannon O’Neill 36 North Norfolk walk: Weybourne circular 43 Out & About: Bennington Carriages 56 Matt Hampson talk 59 Join the Army Reserves 62 Makers: Stamford Pottery Exhibition 78 Ask Leo: Going by Bus 80 What’s On
PEOPLE & PLACES 44 Matchmaker’s Margaret Butchart 86 Stamford People: Louise Doughty
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
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In the pink
Ellie Stillingfleet, currently about to dip her toes into studying Fashion Design at the University of Brighton, selects and styles the wardrobe for this month’s Fashion pages. Pink is everywhere, cool tones and peachy shades, there’s bound to be a shade to suit every skin tone. Jess’s beautiful auburn hair looks amazing with the pale and the darker shades - she’s so pretty in pink!
Christopher Kane pale pink top £90 and Sergio Rossi heels £250 both Arch, worn with jeans from a selection Attic
➧ STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Stella McCartney dress £850 (was £3,000 ) worn with Jimmy Choo clutch bag £200 both Arch
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Pepe logo T shirt £45 worn with Pepe jeans from £90 over Glamorous tulle pale pink dress £27 all Energy
Emilia Wickstead contrast top £90, bright red Matthew Williamson shorts £50 both Arch
Jess’s beautiful auburn hair looks amazing with the pale and the darker shades - she’s so pretty in pink!
Many thanks to Jess Purchase from New College, Stamford for modelling for us. Ellie is currently studying Foundation Art and Design Diploma at New College Stamford (NCS) Come and see the work of Fashion students on the catwalk on May 3rd at the Borderville Sports Centre, Stamford Book tickets online - www.stamford.ac.uk
Arch Label Agency – 43 St. Paul’s St. 01780 764746 Attic – 33 St. Mary’s St. 01780 766667 Energy – Ironmonger St. 01780 765633 Glamorous pink floral dress £35 Energy
Pictures by Elli Dean (07932 055548) www.ellideanphotography.co.uk
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Why Wallpaper? I have to admit...I haven’t always been a fan of wallpaper. In my personal experience, it harbours smells of the past and the removal process can ruin walls. My dining room for years smelt of the previous owners’ Sunday roasts until I removed the wall paper. And a lot of the walls in my house had been painted (in the olden days) with lead-based paint. This bubbles and peels under a wallpaper steamer. Much back-breaking filling and sanding required! However, it is a medium I have grown to love. I now appreciate what it can do for a room or a crumbly wall. Designs now are so diverse and interesting that there is a paper for everyone and any space. If you are a passionate fan; enjoy! If you are a late bloomer like me or absolutely hate it, let me see if I can encourage you into the land of wallpaper! Rannveig Stone.
“People now see wallpaper as a form of art on walls. It can be used as a centrepiece to draw the eye. More abstract designs however can form a more understated backdrop”. Lorraine from J & L Ball
J and L Ball offer a service to make matching lampshades with a wall paper of your choice. Katie Cardew has also designed a beautiful set of matching lampshades to complement her new range wall papers. Made in Britain they are 14” diameter. RRP £60 + £5 P+P
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Q: What are the advantages of wallpaper? Patterned wallpaper can camouflage damaged walls, soften harsh architectural features and odd angles. Wallpaper also combines colours, patterns, and textures that would be very costly and time consuming to create with paint. Q: Is wallpaper more expensive than paint? Overall yes, it is. Therefore, you may consider wallpapering one accent wall; or introducing wall paper in picture frames, or papering the back of a piece of furniture to introduce that pattern and yet keep the costs down. But it is quite quick to apply and fume free. Q. Are there different types of wallpaper? The most popular papers tend to be vinyl and vinyl-coated as they are competitively priced, pretty durable, and relatively easy to hang. The more expensive specialist papers include foil, grass cloth, flocked, silk and embossed are more difficult to apply and may require a professional to so. Q: Can I clean wallpaper like I can a painted wall?
Lorraine at J & L Ball suggested wall art for a feature wall. This Harlequin; Standing Ovation Collection, Quintessence (111489) wall art comes in drops of 3m and literally takes your breath away! Prices start around £300
Check the specification before purchasing as high traffic areas will benefit from being ‘scrubable’. If it says washable, then this can only be wiped occasionally with a damp cloth. Q. Can I paper over any wall? You can pretty much wallpaper over any wall or panelling and non-porous surfaces such as tile or laminate. It’s not just for walls however. Consider papering the risers on your staircase or a door. Sometimes wrapping the paper onto the ceiling creates an amazing effect. Applying painted panelling to the lower section of the wall and papering above it in a bold paper is a lovely way to wrap the room, avoiding ‘the feature’ wall look, but still keeping costs down as the quantity of paper required will be less. Murals are very popular at the moment. I recently installed a world map mural paper into the family room of a client with two young children. It has proved very successful as a tool in educating the children and building a wish list of places to visit!
WHAT TO SHOP! New for Katie Cardew is a line of wall paper featuring the prominent buildings in Stamford and London. Retailing at £118.00 per roll these papers will make a quirky statement in any room. I’ve got my eye on the London Multi colour! You can find her designs at Hunters Interiors, Snow Design and Anna Stone Design.
Stocked at the Sack Store at SGC and Chez Soi, Farrow and Ball supply a large range of timeless wallpapers that work beautifully with the tonal paint colours. Try Wisteria BP 2202 RRP £112 per roll and paint the wood work in Light Grey no. 17
Local entrepreneur Annie Allison (Allison and Allison) designs hand drawn wallpaper using pen and ink. Colour is then digitally applied to make the design flamboyant or understated. These simple designs work beautifully as wallpaper and are currently bespoke designs that reflect you! Costs: £240 design fee which includes a finished sample and £135 per roll (min. 2 rolls).
Osbourne & Little with Matthew Williamson have created the Durbar Collection. The Menagerie in the cerise/teal is a vibrant and yet delicate design. The use of lime green on the back wall tones with the birds’ feathers allowing the paper to stand forward and be noticed. RRP £89 per roll
One Anna Stone favourite is the new range from Sanderson. Art of the Garden is a bold and detailed mix of nature inspired patterns. It comes with complimentary paint colours and fabrics making the design process a walk in the park! Shalimar RRP £79.20 per roll
TOP TIPS! • Try being bold and wrap the room • If papering accent walls use a paint that tones with the background colour • Apply paper to the back of book shelves and dressers to add interest. • A loft bedroom with sloped ceilings can become ultra luxurious if a textured wallpaper such as silk or grass is wrapped on walls and ceiling! • Use bold or pattered wallpaper in a room that isn’t over used so you don’t tire of the pattern too quickly. • Prep walls with a tinted primer to match the background colour of the paper therefore masking any gaps in the joins. • Choose with your heart, not because it is in vogue or your best friend has it. You have to love it to live with it! Right: A favourite at Hunters; Cole & Sons The Ardmore Collection, Savuti, in orange RRP £80 per roll. Here the picture rail above has been painted graphite black to pick out the black ink art work. A bold statement and possibly a paper for a garden room to create a tropical vibe?
CONTACTS J & L Ball www.jlball.co.uk 01780 481416 Katie Cardew www.kcillustrations.co.uk 07825333136 Hunters Interiors of Stamford www. huntersinteriorsofstamford.co.uk 01780 757946 Snow Design & Interiors www.snowdesignsandinteriors.com Allison and Allison www.allisonandallison.co.uk 07960 949423 Anna Stone Design Ltd www.annastonedesign.com 07900883117 The Sack Store @ Stamford Garden Centre www.stamfordgardencentre.co.uk 01780 765656 Chez Soi 01780 757446 STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Deepings 1st Literary Festival Afghanistan war veteran and People’s Strictly Come Dancing winner, Cassidy Little is wrapping up the Deepings Literary Festival (28-30 April) with a very special evening session of readings on Sunday 30th April.
ASSIDY, who now lives in the Deepings but is originally from Newfoundland, will be including the story of a B-176 Flying Fortress bomber which crashed 8th September 1944 with a letter written by tail gunner and sole survivor Don Holigan to his mother. The Royal Marine medic, who lost the lower half of his leg in an explosion, was a popular winner of the People’s Strictly for Comic Relief in 2015 - and described by Strictly judge Craig Revel-Horwood as ‘a true inspiration.’ The Lincolnshire Letters Aloud readings in the Priory Church, Deeping St James feature letters, cards and articles penned to and from Lincolnshire Yellowbellies with music from popular performers Intermezzo String Quartet. Eight Americans including the pilot were killed in the Fortress crash with serious damage to buildings at Crown Lodge Farm on Langtoft Fen and a lucky escape for the Sharpe family who lived there. Taking off from Polebrook Airfield near Oundle, the aircraft, a veteran of 64 combat missions, was soon in trouble. Don Holigan’s letter started ‘Dear Mom, you have wanted to hear what happened so here goes.’ There has been no shortage of material for this popular finale to the Festival; letters range from Margaret Thatcher to President Reagan, Bernie Taupin‘s (songwriter with Elton John) Saturday Nights Alright for Fighting, based on brawling rockers in the writer’s hometown of Market Raisen, to John Betjeman’s musing about his beloved Lincolnshire villages. Amidst a raft of sell-out festival events, tickets are still available for the family
storytelling show ‘A Family Audience with the Travelling Talesman’ with three shows on Saturday 29th April. Traditional storyteller Cliff Eastabrook has toured all over the UK with his performances of myths, legends and folktales aimed at eight years and over and perfect for family viewing. Also for families is the talk to be given by author Chris Vine whose ‘Peter’s Railway’ series of books delight children from 3 to 90 who love trains and engineering. Chris stages a picnic with a model railway which the children put together themselves. Food and drink is despatched up the line for children to eat at the other end. The event is further bought to life with a model railway layout supported by Market Deeping Model Railway Club and The Little Layout company of Deeping St James. Meanwhile at the Deepings Library a whole new take is to be given to the concept of Speed Dating with Read Dating, the biggest showcase for local authors in Lincolnshire. It follows the same format as its namesake but instead of couples getting to know one another, it will be authors and readers who chat for four minutes - long enough to find out about the book but not too long if the book turns out not to be your thing. For anyone curious about books and authors and looking to fall in love with their next great read the first Deepings Literary Festival is really a match made in heaven. • www.deepingsliteraryfesival.co.uk Enquiries@deepingsliteraryfestival.co.uk Tickets from www.stamfordartscentre.com/ whats-on/deepings-literary-festival/
PANDORA ‘Shop in Shop of the Year’ Y
OU & Beyond in St Mary’s St is delighted to have been named as the PANDORA ‘Shop in Shop of the Year’ for 2016. The award recognises exceptional levels of customer service and performance from members of staff and their knowledge of the products. This is judged through consumer experience in store and PANDORA store visits. Owner Ben Stevenson who was presented the award at the annual PANDORA conference said “I am extremely proud of my team for all their efforts, it’s a real honour to be given this award especially as it’s the first year it has been awarded. We would like to thank all of our loyal customers for their support over the last seven years we will now look to retain our title next year!” • www.youandbeyond.co.uk
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Julie Shaul Gardens As thoughts turn to gardens as the weather warms up, ever wish you could have your own personal ‘Monty Don’ to advise and help you in your garden?
HIS is exactly the service a local Garden designer and gardener provides. Julie offers a tutoring service, tailored to an individual’s knowledge and their own garden situation/ aspirations. These can either be regular sessions through the seasons to a one off visit to assist with a particular issue, or inspiration for design ideas. Julie is able to coach you in basic skills, how and when to prune particular plants, identify plants and weeds, what plants will work best in particular situations, helping with the minefield of what to choose in a garden centre. Julie also has many contacts with Wholesale plant nurseries and is able to source a wide variety of plants or trees if you are looking for something a little unusual or just a few plants to complete your own project. Julie gained an HND in Horticulture, after discovering a passion for gardening. She then worked for a large wholesale nursery before setting up her own business providing garden design, planting plans and high quality garden services 13 years ago. • Contact Julie on 01780 720708, www. julieshaulgardens.co.uk or email julie@ julieshaulgardens.co.uk
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Time for a change? Having too much ‘stuff’ around makes us stressed, but what if you haven’t the time or energy to get it sorted? Sue Dobson meets a lady who can help... a professional declutterer
ONCETTA Laquintana is a woman with a mission. “Our modern lives surround us with clutter,” she says, “and being surrounded by clutter makes us stressed. My aim is to help people simplify their lives by reorganising their living spaces and making them beautiful and stylish. Then they enjoy their homes so much more. A calm house is a happier place to live!” The former Head of Italian at Uppingham School, wife and mother of two teenagers, has an innate sense of style and a lifelong passion for colour and interior design. Having honed her skills of decluttering, revamping and styling rooms in her own homes, here and in Italy, and in projects for friends and family, she launched her business, Conchi the Home Coach, last spring. Since then she has gathered a raft of appreciative responses from clients. “I believe in ‘less is more’, but that doesn’t mean having an austere home, simply having the things around you that make you happy,” she says. “Decluttering isn’t only about discarding ‘stuff’, it’s about being organised and making the most of your time, space and belongings.” Concetta can help people sort out any space in their home, from a messy wardrobe to a chaotic kitchen or a spare room that’s become a dumping ground. She also styles houses to make them more appealing to potential buyers and works with people when they are moving home, helping them decide what to pack and what not to take with them, so they arrive with only the things they want and need.
TEEN SPACE Simple wooden cubes, thoughtfully arranged, store necessities and keep surfaces uncluttered in this small family bathroom
Shelves by design – an interesting way with shelving in a teenage girl’s bedroom gives space to display favourite objects and store books
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Stepped shelving for favourite possessions and mirror tiles are a focal point in a teenage boy’s bedroom
Most of us would shy away from the thought of sorting out a teenager’s bedroom, but Concetta is particularly good at it. “It’s not a case of getting them to tidy up,” she says. “By working with them to understand what they want from the room – their hobbies, the colours they like – and involving them in the process of revamping their space and working to a budget, it can be very productive and enjoyable. Then when they leave home for university or a job they’ll have learned the discipline of using space well and be more organised, which will make life easier for them.” One project for a girl’s bedroom entailed rethinking the layout and furnishing of the room. “She hated her traditional bed and wardrobe and as her hobby was art she needed a clear space to work on,” Concetta explains. “She liked the idea of a futon so we got some wooden pallets to make a base, which
Just the essentials – a planned work and study space in one corner of a teenage boy’s room
A pinboard displays a teenage girl’s current favourite postcards. Beauty basics are stored on a tray on an upcycled chest Inexpensive stacking storage keeps a teenage boy’s gear neat and tidy behind cupboard doors
she painted herself, and put the mattress on top of that. The new bed was moved away from the window and a desk – an old kitchen table upcycled to suit – was put in its place. “We created a hanging space for her clothes by putting in a partition, shelves now hold her books and she has a pinboard to display favourite postcards from museums and art exhibitions that she goes to. She didn’t want to hang pictures or have the room painted in one colour, so on white walls we painted panels in her favourite turquoise which brought the room to life.”
“If whatever is on the surface stops you doing things in an efficient matter, that is clutter,” says Concetta. Clear surfaces are also much easier and less time-consuming to dust and clean. So where do you put all the things you’ve decided to keep? Concetta is skilled at sourcing the most effective storage solutions for the space available. To keep a teenage boy’s shirts, sweaters and sports gear tidy, she used an inexpensive stacking system from Ikea, which hides behind cupboard doors. “Having a label on each basket to show its contents is a reminder of what goes where,” she smiles. “Many people have a spice and herb rack in the kitchen which they seldom use and is just gathering dust. I’ve found some clear plastic containers to hold bottles and jars that fit perfectly into an average-sized cupboard in one single layer. “If you keep all the things you use together in
each container, clearly labelled if there’s more than one cook in the house, it’s not a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ but you know where they are when you need them. Simple things like that can free up working and preparation space in the kitchen.” She’s a great believer in putting things you like on display, but being realistic about how much is too much. She suggests that if you have a collection of, for example, candlesticks, you pick out the ones you really love, then group them together by colour or style. “Whatever you collect, display only the things that give you joy when you look at them. Make a feature of the collection, a focal point. “It can be hard to throw out the children’s drawings that you’ve kept for years, but ask yourself, when did you last look at them? Best to select a few, maybe frame them and enjoy them, rather than having them hidden away in a drawer. You can always take digital photographs of some of the others to keep as memories.” A selection of family photos can also make a feature on one wall. “Frame and display the ones you love and that make you happy.” She’s keen, too, on recycling and upcycling wherever possible, and is always conscious of a client’s budget. “I can help and give advice, but I never tell anyone what to do, don’t make judgements and always respect a person’s wishes.”
It drains our energy when we have things around us that we do not love, want, need or use. “By removing distractions, simplifying what
we have and where we keep it, we feel much more positive, not only about our living space but about ourselves, too. It feels very good to be in control, to know what you’ve got and where to find it!” she says. “It saves you money, too. We’ve all bought something we thought we needed, only to find, much later, that we had it all the time.” With living spaces getting ever smaller, rooms often have to be multifunctional. It’s not ideal to have an office in the living room or bedroom, but there may be nowhere else for a desk and computer to go. Concetta has an answer. “I’m very keen on using screens to separate off an area you don’t want to look at all the time,” she says. “You can make a feature of a screen – use it to hang photos, pin postcards or display jewellery – so it looks good and hides things at the same time!” Organised, practical, supportive and fun, Concetta is keen for everyone to simplify their life and enjoy their surroundings, however small or grand. “Decluttering revitalises your living space. A home should be functional and beautiful – you exist, or you live!” she says with a smile and a flash of Italian philosophy. • A member of the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers, Concetta visits clients in Peterborough, Stamford, Uppingham, Oakham and Rutland. She offers a free 30-minute consultation on the phone or by Skype and her decluttering and organising services cost from £35 an hour. www.conchithehomecoach.co.uk STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
CONSERVATORY TOO HOT IN THE SUMMER AND TOO COLD IN WINTER?
NEW COLLECTIONS BY JOHN WATERHOUSE NOW AVAILABLE
Join us at Trent Galleries and Indulge yourself in our Wonderful new collections by some of the UK’s most sought after and collectable artists. Call us now on 01572 722790 for more information on other artists releasing this month, or if you would like to reserve your own collectable piece of art.
11 Mill Street, Oakham LE15 6EA - 01572 722790 firstname.lastname@example.org 3 Chain Lane, Newark, NG24 1AU - 01636 646426 email@example.com
Classic have the answer to this problem and you do not even have to change the existing windows or doors, although you can. Fantastic low U-Value of 0.18 and structurally very very strong which means your new sun room meets full Building Regulation Approval. Plastered ceiling, LED lighting, Velux roof vents and choice of tile type and colour.
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call today for a free no obligation Quote on: 01780 529621 or 07849 508188 Or visit our website for more information:
Wonderful Easter Gifts in Store
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Visit our shop Visit ourMaiden shop - Maiden Lane, Stamford Visit our shop Maiden Lane, Stamford Lane, Stamford Maiden Lane, Stamford Maiden Lane, Stamford OpenMon Mon---Sat Sat10am 10am---5pm 5pm Open Open Mon Sat 10am 5pm Tel: 01780 755 409- 5pm OpenTel: Mon Sat 10am Tel:01780 01780755 755409 409 Tel: 01780 755 409 www.countrytraditionals.co.uk Tel: 01780 755 409 www.countrytraditionals.co.uk www.countrytraditionals.co.uk Lane opposite Tourist Arts Centre opptourist tourist info&Info &arts arts& centre opp info centre opp tourist info & arts centre Open opp Mon - info Sat& 10am tourist arts centre- 5pm
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HEALTH & BEAUTY
Genevieve Potter meets Holly Skelton from Stamford’s Euphoria Fitness and discovers that her truly personal approach to fitness is taking off in a big way
“I’d always felt like personal training wasn’t really that personal and knew I could offer something better.” PHOTOS: ELLI DEAN
ON’T be fooled by Holly Skelton’s youthfulness – she has already built up a huge amount of experience in the world of fitness, having worked in gyms ranging from Powerbase at Loughborough University, Oundle School, Barnsdale and Stamford’s Rhinos. Launching Euphoria Fitness at Newgate Gallery on the corner of Stamford’s Elm Street last September was driven by her desire to create a space where everyone would feel comfortable. She comments: “Previously I’d always felt like personal training wasn’t really that personal and knew I could offer something better. In order to really motivate a client you need to get to know them and what makes them tick and seeing them get more and more motivated and confident is so rewarding.” Kettlercise, indoor cycling, boxercise, legs, bums and tums classes and classic ‘boot camp’ sessions are all on offer in the intimate and friendly surroundings. Holly offers a range of flexible memberships – currently £40 a month buys you unlimited classes, or you can book single or multiple packages to suit. Sessions are always undertaken in small groups to ensure that each participant is given the exact level of instruction that they need. Holly is constantly improving and adding to
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
her qualifications and has just taken delivery of some state of the art new spin bikes that are already proving extremely popular. As one client sums up: “Holly is fun, motivational, creative and always greets you with a smile. Euphoria Fitness is a real find in busy Stamford that I can highly recommend to everyone, but secretly want to keep a little bit quiet so I can still get a place on the classes!” • Euphoria Fitness Newgate Gallery, Stamford, PE9 1PG 07713 986403 Book online https://euphoriafitness.ptminder. com
“I can honestly say that by the end of the following day, I was able to move more freely.”
Toe Tally launches EMS Genevieve Potter investigates a new way to reduce muscle pain and improve recovery
Chameleon spring update Genevieve Potter gets the latest news on the cult beauty brands that are available at Stamford’s premier beauty retailer, Chameleon.
’VE long been a fan of French beauty brand Caudalie, so was intrigued to find out more about a new range, Vine Activ, that’s available now at Chameleon. Powerful, naturally antioxidant ingredients derived from grape vines are at the heart of all Caudalie products and the brand complies to a strict code of ethics that exclude parabens, animal ingredients and mineral oils. Vine Activ is the newest range of four smart products that act as a weightless, protective veil to help the skin to defend itself against external aggressions; vital when you realise that 80% of the signs of aging are linked to environmental factors like pollution and UV rays. The products combat oxidative stress, using natural anti-oxidants like vitamins C and E, plus a patented combination of grape-seed polyphenols and spruce extract. The science behind the range is compelling and for women aged 30 plus who are often busy and tired, this is a range that will conserve and protect the skin, to help hold on to a fresh complexion, from a brand that really does deliver on its promises. Priced from £27.50 please call in for samples (subject to availability) Also at Chameleon, award-winning UK brand Delilah cosmetics are causing a stir in the beauty world. Delilah is a capsule collection of carefully formulated cosmetics that are beautifully packaged, haven’t been tested on animals and are paraben free. A firm favourite of mine is the skin illuminating powder compact (£36) – it’s brilliant for giving the complexion a subtle natural glow without the harsh ‘stripes’ often associated with applying a skin highlighter. Resident make-up artist Laura Thomson-Dunne is available for makeup tutorials every Thursday and Friday at Chameleon, so you can pop in for expert, hands-on advice, try the range and update your look. • Chameleon 5 St Mary’s Hill, Stamford PE9 2DP 01780 755405 www.chameleonboutique.co.uk
N addition to a full range of chiropody services, Julia at Toe Tally has introduced a new EMS (electrical muscle simulation) system as an effective and convenient way to reduce clients’ muscle pain. Designed in Switzerland and backed by clinical trials, the ‘Compex’ system was originally designed to enhance athletic performance, but it’s also extremely beneficial for the treatment of muscle pain, either from sporting injuries or repetitive strain. Julia is seeing good results when using the EMS system to treat muscular issues in the legs and feet, like plantar fasciitis (acute heel pain). Toe Tally client and farmer Robin Purser comments: “I have been undergoing physio treatment for the last six months and whilst it was amazing, it seemed we had got to a point and could go no further. I used Julia’s EMS machine and monitored my pain for 24 hours. I can honestly say that by the end of the following day, I was able to move more freely. I can’t say it has cured me completely, but I can get around much better and in a lot less pain which in my job is crucial.” The treatment takes around 20 minutes and the intensity of the machine is adjusted to provide maximum benefit and minimum discomfort. Clients can make a weekly booking (for £40) allowing them to pop in and use the machine several times throughout the week. Julia is also planning to launch a mobile hire service for the EMS system machine later in 2017. • Toe Tally Clinic 10 High Street St Martin’s (opposite The George Hotel) Stamford PE9 2LF 01780 766991 STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
STAMFORD YOGA Classical Hatha Yoga
Calm your mind,
Beginner Level Yoga
Power Yoga Slow Flow Yoga Yoga for Stress Relief
Gain greater ﬂexibility,
Yoga For Abs
Yoga With The Ball ‘Long & Lean’ Power Stretch Pilates Workshops / Intensives & much more !
Finding stillness in a fast paced world…
stamina & focus 12 Broad Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 1PG Mob: 07738 272474 Website: www.stamfordyoga.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapel Yard Hair & Beauty We are looking for friendly and professional stylists/barbers to work full or part time on a self employed basis. We also have a therapy room available to rent two to three days a week, suitable for beauty work and holistic therapies. Reasonable rates and flexible hours. For more info please contact Hollie 01780 489200/07762771966 Or email email@example.com
North St. Stamford, pe9 1eh Tel 01780 489200
HEALTH & BEAUTY UPDATES
Beach Body Boot Camp Fitness Offer I
F you have a sunshine holiday booked this year, wouldn’t it be nice to feel body confident and look sizzling hot when you hit the beach this summer?! If you are one of those people who lacks the energy or motivation to improve your physique, there couldn’t be a better time to get started. Stamford Boot Camp are offering you the chance to sign up this month and GET A WHOLE MONTH FREE! If you shudder at the thought of Boot Camp or think you need to be fit to begin – fear not. Rob Dulieu (proprietor) says: “I currently train people from 15-63 years of age, 4’6”- 6’3” tall, 7-17 stones in weight, and even those with two left feet or seemingly three! Any of my Campers will tell you that what sets my classes apart from so many others is the support and respect we give one another, the buzz and the atmosphere in class, the unrivalled variety and the amazing results they achieve whilst having fun. I take on new people all the time and they love the warm welcome they receive. What’s more, each programme is adapted to work at all levels so everyone feels at home.” So, if want to look great and feel fabulous on your summer holidays, grab this offer now! Places are limited so hurry to avoid disappointment. For further details of Rob’s Beach Body Boot Camp Fitness Offer, call now on 07846 457959. • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.stamfordbootcamp.co.uk
Ultherapy - See the beauty of Sound at The Cosmetic Clinic T
HIS amazing treatment lifts and sculpts the skin non-invasively gradually from the inside out - without surgery or downtime. The treatment zones for Ultherapy are the upper face, lower face, neck and décolletage. The micro-focused ultrasound energy is delivered to three skin depths including the layer targeted by surgeons during a surgical facelift. This triggers a natural regenerative response which stimulates the growth of new collagen and elastin. Book a consultation with the clinic’s doctor to see what it can do for you. • Cosmetic Clinic, 226 Dogsthorpe Rd, Peterborough PE1 3PB 01733 310090 www.ukcosmeticclinic.co.uk
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Book a relaxing beauty treatment at Alwalton Hall A
LWALTON Hall has opened its doors to the public and is now taking bookings for treatments. The Georgian grade II listed manor house is a stunning location of peace and tranquillity – the perfect environment to enjoy a wide range of beauty and wellness treatments designed to destress, rejuvenate and relax both body and soul. In addition to beautiful relaxation areas and Regency lounges, clients can enjoy five specially themed treatment rooms, plus the former three-room guest suite which has been adapted for the ultimate in pampering. The room themes are all very different and designed to transport clients from their everyday lives to a new, restful and rejuvenating experience. Themes are based around Morocco, India, Japan, Kenya and Cleopatra. The Hall is set in five acres of landscaped grounds and formal gardens. It offers a wide range of individual beauty and wellness treatments including facials, waxing, pedicures, manicures, massage and specialist skincare including the latest CACI non-surgical anti-ageing treatments. There is a 15m outdoor heated swimming pool and spa pool with dedicated changing rooms and sun terrace available for clients on half and full day packages for much of the year. “We want clients to use Alwalton Hall for their regular beauty maintenance treatments but also consider us for special packages with friends or family,” said Hall owner Maggie Jones. “We believe that our individual treatments in such a lovely environment will prove restorative and relaxing to clients,” she added. • To book an appointment or to buy gift vouchers please visit www.alwaltonhall.com or call 01733 391166
Youthful Eyes T
he Exilis Elite is a non-invasive face and body treatment, used to tighten the skin, reduce lines and wrinkles, double chins and eye bags on the face. As a body treatment, you can treat all areas for permanent fat reduction, skin tightening and circumference reduction. It uses a combination of Monopolar radio frequency and ultrasound. Salon owner Lisa Claypole adds: “Exilis Elite is an ideal treatment for the eyes, often an area that people feel conscious of and this advanced treatment provides ultimate and lasting results for a more youthful lifted and toned appearance with impressive results without any discomfort, downtime or side effects”. • If you would like to hear more about the Exilis Elite eye treatments contact Lisa at Elysia Health and Beauty on 01832 226328 or 07879 620196.
THE TRAMPOLINE SCHOOL STAMFORD
EASTER HOLIDAY COURSE
Monday 10th-Thursday 13th April 2017, 1.30pm-4.30pm
at Stamford Endowed Schools Sports Centre, Conduit Road, Stamford PE9 1QQ Learn how to trampoline safely - Practice key skills following award scheme 12 hours of coached and fully supervised activity - a term's worth of lessons in a week!
Restore your body’s balance naturally. Conditions that reflexology can help with are: • Anxiety • Asthma • Depression • Hormone imbalances
• IBS • Infertility • Lymphoedema • Migraines
• MS • Sleep disorders • Stress And many more...
Tinwell Road Lane, Stamford, by appointment only m: 07584 901 949 e: Laura@TheReflexologyStudio.co.uk www.TheReflexologyStudio.co.uk
Ace club for tennis fans There’s a semi-hidden precious gem nestling just off Conduit Road in the form of the Stamford Tennis Club. Its sparkling track record has recently been enhanced after the receipt of a top level, national accreditation by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). Kate Cadman holds court ...
TAMFORD Tennis Club set up 24 years ago and just this year it has been awarded a top level accreditation from the LTA for being one of the best managed clubs in the country. Only 60 clubs in the UK have achieved this accolade. “We are a really well run, sociable Club,” explains Susie Archer, tennis fanatic and Stamford Tennis Club (STC) volunteer. “The accreditation has been awarded to us not only for the way the Club is managed but it also reflects the depth of our tennis programme,” adds Susie proudly. Currently the Club boasts 300 members who play on seven recently refurbished, floodlit, all-weather courts. An extensive programme of tennis is on offer to members ranging from 5 85 years young! “We have a well-designed coaching programme for adults and juniors, social matches, tournaments and league matches. Our coaching partners are R2R Tennis: Ralph Clarke and Carole Wilson head up a great coaching team and keep us all entertained with a raft of activities throughout the year.” “STC is competitive and we like to win! Currently we are one of the top clubs for league participation and performance; we have 15 teams at all levels in two local leagues Huntingdon & Peterborough Tennis League and the Peterborough & District Tennis League. We have an enviable track record in both leagues.” The Club also has a very active junior section with over 120 players. From aged 5, mini tennis is on offer, followed by a very sociable junior section which runs up to 18 years. Over 40 junior players regularly compete in external competitions and the Club boasts a number of county players and champions within its ranks. Mostly, though, keen youngsters see the Club as a place to play some tennis and have fun
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
after school, at weekends and in their holidays. “We are a very friendly, welcoming and inclusive Club and are always looking for new members to join us. So whether you are a total beginner or a seasoned player, STC has something for you. Come and give us a try one of the coaches or members will happily have a hit with you,” adds Susie. Annual membership costs from £50 (for a junior); £140 (single adult) £240 (two adults) and £270 for a family (two adults and up to three children). These costs include all court costs and members can join in open tennis sessions which run on Sunday and Tuesday mornings between 10am and midday. Other sessions can be booked online via the Club’s website or booked via the coaches. “Stamford is incredibly lucky to have this facility. The Club gives us all the opportunity to play in a good team. It’s a relatively inexpensive sport and all you need is a pair of trainers for your first visit. Since joining - I’ve become tennis mad!” adds Susie. • Stamford Tennis Club: www.stamfordtennis.co.uk
The Future of Music Tuition M
USIC lessons have always been popular with children and it’s great to see them develop into young musicians. However, finding tuition for their chosen instrument isn’t always easy. A new, local business has seen a gap in the market for easily accessible, high quality music tuition and has officially got on the road to filling it. FuTuition is a new music tutoring agency, offering tuition in a wide range of instruments, set up by Jack and Anna, a couple from Bourne. Jack is a secondary school music teacher and realised there was a real call for more music tuition in the area and for it to be standardised. What sets FuTuition apart from other music tuition is that all the tutors are themselves young musicians aged 1625. Jack knows the huge talent held by musicians of this age group, with many on their way to becoming professional musicians. They are also able to relate well to the students they are tutoring. Their tutees look up to them, feel comfortable with them and can share more recent experience of exams and grades. If you are interested in your child learning an instrument with FuTuition then please contact Anna on 07590282005 or email email@example.com www.futuition.co.uk. They are also always interested in hearing from anyone who would like to be a tutor
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PROPERTY MARKET UPDATE WITH Are you ready to find out exactly what your home could be worth? DON’T MISS THE CHANCE TO SELL THROUGH THE COUNTRY LIFE ‘MOVE TO THE COUNTRY’ SHOW WITH MOORES. Early next month, Managing Director Vernon Moore will showcase an expansive portfolio of homes in Rutland and Stamford at the ‘Move to the Country’ Show in Chelsea. The show offers the perfect opportunity to place your home in front of buyers without having to enter into a full marketing package. With no ‘For Sale’ board and no local press required, why not let Moores test the London market on your behalf to see what potential your home could achieve?
MOORES’ PROPERTY MATCHING SERVICE MAKES BUYING SO EASY… It couldn’t be easier to register your home as one of those shown to hundreds of buyers from London and the South East – Vernon explains how. “Douglas & Gordon are our sister agency in London and have invited all their clients seeking a move to this region to visit the Moores stand at the show. We will show buyers the wealth of homes available in Rutland and Stamford as well as offering them our bespoke property matching service at no extra cost. Visitors to the Moores stand will be invited to take a train to one of our platform offices at Peterborough or Grantham – both under an hour’s journey from Kings Cross. These potential buyers will then be chauffeured to viewings around a selection of suitable homes. Property matching ensures the maximum number of hand-picked properties can be shown to buyers who are ready to move and have the finance in place to do so. On one
occasion, we spoke with a couple at the show on a Friday; they visited homes in the region over the same weekend and were ready to make an offer by Monday morning. Thanks to the skill of our property matching team, finding the right buyer can be as straightforward as that.”
PERFECT TIMING… Moores’ presence at the show makes it easy for buyers to find out first-hand about the high standard of living in this region including key information on schools, transport links and lifestyle opportunities. “The show is an important event for us as the timing is perfect. Moving in spring and early summer is ideal for families wanting to be settled before the new school term begins in September and many buyers visiting the stand have already made the decision to move to this region – we simply use our local knowledge to match them up with the right home.”
early signs are pointing towards a significant increase in house sales across the board this year. If vendors have been waiting for the right time to bring their homes to market – now is the time. We are finding that buyers are willing to pay a premium to be first through the door and we need more local homes on our data base to satisfy that demand. Contact us to have your home included in our ‘Move to the Country’ Show portfolio or seek advice on how best to market your home this spring.”
MOVE FAST… Moores need to hear from vendors in Rutland and Stamford swiftly in order to have details ready to present at the show and with just a simple floor plan and some photographs, your home could be one of those snapped up next month. “Even if properties are currently on the market with other agencies, it is still possible for us to include them in our portfolio,” adds Vernon. “The show is such a prestigious event in the property calendar and a destination event for buyers ready to move that we always have great success in converting clients visiting the stand into completed sales. Everything we do and all our bespoke services are geared towards making it easy for our London buyers to select, view and buy their perfect home.”
LOCAL OVERVIEW… As far as the local market is concerned, Vernon is just as positive. “Compared with the same period in 2016, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit has settled and all the
Moores Estate Agency has offices in London, Oakham, Stamford, Melton, Uppingham, and the London platforms of Peterborough and Grantham Railway Stations. Oakham Office – Tel: 01572 757979 Stamford Office – Tel: 01780 484555 Full contact details can be found at www.mooresestateagents.com
MEET THE MAKER Clare Kelly meets silversmith Shannon O’Neill and discovers that the secret to success is saying yes.
ALL BETS ARE OFF
HE fog is dense – pea soup dense – as I make my way up the drive of Burghley House, over the cattle grid, following the row of lights as they curve around and then I take a left into the Stable Courtyard. There’s a light on the corner and I’m told that’s where I’m expected. The fountain in the middle bubbles and I wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d heard the clip clop of hooves on the stones. Before I get carried away with myself, I knock on the door and am beckoned inside. Into a place where ideas come to life. It’s fitting to be in an old stable block given what I am about to see. I’m in the studio of Shannon O’Neill, a silversmith and many more things beside. Two years ago, she moved into the workshop alongside master silversmith Barry Witmond. That might not sound that unusual but let me explain. When Shannon speaks, she captivates you and you follow her narrative like a delicate silver thread – weaving in and out of stories of farflung destinations and characters you’ll never meet but are entranced by. I ask, why here, why now? Her accent suggests, as you might say, she’s not from round here. There’s a Mancunian lilt and something else, something softer: “I grew up in Liverpool but I’ve spent a few years in the States and returned a couple of years ago, I got a call from a friend who said that Barry was keen to share his studio with someone else, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to return to what I loved, to being a silversmith.” Shannon is the living manifestation of what
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
can happen when you breathe out and say the word yes instead of no. She left the UK first at 18 to study sculpture in India (I’d like to tell you about that, another time perhaps) then she hopped back on a plane to Manchester to study 3D design working in wood and ceramics. In year three, something happened and she felt drawn towards silver, entering a competition that would see her win the coveted title of The Goldsmiths’ Young Designer of the Year award. With this, she was given the opportunity to go and make her piece at the Crown Jewellers – Naylers Brothers, and was the first woman to go and do so. It’s a silver jug with fluid lines, curving gracefully. It’s a timeless piece and one that would lead onto the very thing I’m yet to tell you about, what I’ve come to see. On Shannon’s journey, she started to work with stop-motion animation companies including Mackinnon & Saunders. It was here she created puppets for Tim Burton’s film Corpse Bride – namely the head mechanics for Victoria (voiced by Emily Watson). At this point, I am trying to find what bridges this work with her silversmithing. “Soldering,” she reveals, “I got the job because I could solder.” This – and many other talents took her to Portland, Oregon to work for Laika – a company
that fuses science and art, turning dreams into cinematic masterpieces such as Kubo and the Two Strings. Shannon was over one side of the Atlantic, but the jug she made all those years ago, was having a life of its own, in the private collection of Goldsmiths. In a cabinet here, it attracted the attention of the sponsors of this year’s Grand National – Randox Health, who invited Shannon to design the new trophy. And she has and that’s why I’m here. We’ve been chatting for an hour and there’s no sign of it yet. We’ve had quite a run up to it now, I feel that I needed to hear all these stories to fully understand Shannon’s way of working, her processes and her inspiration. Unpeeling the layers it is protected by, it shines out and it is at once beautiful and full of surprises. Horses and riders chase their way around the trophy, there are tiny little stars too, and hidden underneath, there’s a little secret. Something that strikes me as a mark of genius but also the touch of someone that likes to be just that little bit unexpected. Would you like to know what it is? Look really closely when this year’s winner raises it up. And if you can’t see it, ask Shannon. •For more information or to commission Shannon, visit http://www.shannon-oneill. co.uk
Windows • Warm Roof • Bi-Folding Doors • Garage Doors If you are considering any home improvements please contact us for advice and for a competitive quote JUST A SMALL TASTER OF WHAT IS ON DISPLAY IN OUR STAMFORD SHOWROOM • 7 Display Kitchens’ • 15 Composite Front/Back Doors • French Doors/Patio Doors/Bi-Folding Doors • 1 Working Display Model of Electric Roller Garage Door • Windows in Cream, Black, Irish Oak, Golden Oak, Rosewood, White & Grey • English Heritage Approved Sliding Sash Window • Large Rubber Covered Flat Roofing Display Model • Full size roof corner showing Fascia’s Soffits and Guttering • White and coloured Cladding • Warm Roof with Velux
Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm
Tel: 01780 654321 www.classicstamford.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN 33
Louvred and Solid Window Shutters
£2.28 Billion – Total Value of Stamford’s Property Market
This month, our local buy-to-let expert and property investment adviser, David Crooke, owner of UPP Property Agents, analyses Stamford’s property values and property types
OCAL company Shaw’s coaches are proud winners of holiday programme of the year 2016 “easy to read brochure with eye catching illustrations, a comprehensive range of holiday destinations and that something special.” Award-winning trips include Neil Diamond, Kensington Palace, Good Mourning Mrs Brown, Hampton Court Flower Show plus lots more amazing days out. Gift vouchers are available – the perfect present for any occasion! • Contact their friendly & experienced team today for a brochure or to book 01778 342224 email@example.com www.shawscoaches.co.uk
N the last 11 years, since the autumn of 2005, the total value of Stamford property has increased by 34% or £579.5 million to a total of £2.28 billion. Truly thought-provoking data when you consider the FTSE100 has only risen by 30.78% and inflation (i.e. the UK Retail Price Index) rose by 37% during the same 11 years. Analysing the numbers further, the average price currently being paid by Stamford households stands at £264,044.… but for more relevance the information can be broken down into individual property types: Stamford Property Market • Average Value of a Detached Property: £390,778 • Average Value of a Semi-Detached Property: £205,772 • Average Value of a Terraced/Town House Property: £278,272 • Average Value of an Apartment: £115,200
The new spring/summer day trip & 2017 door2door holiday brochures are out now.
London property market, the outlook in our region remains relatively good, as over the last five years the local property market was a lot more sensible than central London’s. Local house values will remain resilient for several reasons. Firstly, demand for rental property remains strong with continued immigration and population growth. Secondly, with 0.25 per cent interest rates, borrowing has never been so cheap and finally, the simple lack of new house building lagging behind current demand, let alone eating into years and years of under investment means only one thing – there may be uncertainty over the next 12 to 24 months but, in the medium term, property ownership and property investment has always, and will always, ride out the storm. • UPP Property Agents, Sales & Lettings Stamford 01780 484554 and Rutland 01572 725825
It got even more fascinating when the total number of each type of property is multiplied by the average value. Even though detached houses are so expensive (when compared with the cheaper terraced/town houses), it can be seen that detached properties don’t actually fare any better in terms of total pound note value then the terraced/town houses and apartments. So, what does this all mean for Stamford and Rutland? Even though property values are already declining in certain parts of the central
Shows London l Top ry & Count l Coast Shopping eeing & tions l Sights Visitor Attrac l Top & Events ainment l Entert
Clocking up the miles since 1922
Learn a language On Monday: Lessons in Stamford (Stamford Brass Centre near the cricket club). £65 for 10 lessons including a coffee French for Intermediate Learners: 10.15 am11.30 am French Beginners: 1 pm-2.15 pm Spanish Beginners: 7.15 pm-8.30 pm
On Wednesday: Parisian Clubs in Stamford: French conversation for Advanced Learners: 11 am-12 at Café au Chocolat (£10 pounds including a coffee and a croissant) French lesson conversation Intermediate learners at the Tobie Norris (£10 including a coffee and a mini brownie 1 pm-2 pm) • To find out more or reserve a space, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Top Five Holiday Destinations for 2017 Relaxation… Croatia and The Dalmatian Coast – Outstandingly beautiful, the newest star of the Mediterranean…. Beautiful coastline, unspoilt towns, medieval walled cities, churches and palaces. Tailor Made Adventure… Argentina – Visit Buenos Aires, classic architecture and a cosmopolitan feel, take in a Tango show in a traditional theatre then combine with Iguazu Falls and end with a stay at a Estancia and experience Gaucho life ! Weekend Away… Tallinn – One of Northern Europe’s best preserved medieval towns, founded in the early 13th century Tallin has been influenced by periods of Danish, Swedish and Russian rule.
convenient With a more than of points! choice departure 35 local
t lmatian Coas
e Da Activity… Croatia and Th Cuba – Why not take one of our cycling tours and combine with sightseeing on this historical island – Ride into the Sierra Maetra Mountain Range enjoy staying in small Casas with local guides.
Family… Paxos – One of the smallest and least developed islands in the Ionian, Paxos has it all, turquoise waters, picturesque villages and fantastic beaches, Villas are a firm favourite with families. • For more information on the above destinations or for further inspiration please contact Oundle Travel – 01832 273600 – sales@ oundletravel.co.uk
Cuba STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Special Oﬀer Fares from
NORTH NORFOLK WALK
Weybourne Weybourne Hope – Sheringham Park
This walk gives you a riot of sea, parkland and woods – and an incredible view of the coast from a viewing tower
POINTS OF INTEREST
Weybourne is a beautiful North Norfolk village with delightful flint and brick cottages. There are the remains of an old Augustinian priory founded around 1200 AD. Sheringham Park is a National Trust property famous for its vast collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, the work of the famous landscape designer Humphry Repton, dating back to 1812. Climb The Gazebo in Sheringham Park, a tower at treetop height from which you have incredibly good views all round. The North Norfolk Railway is a preserved steam railway connecting the town of Sheringham to Holt. To view train times, visit www.nnrailway.co.uk. There is a small buffet at the station too. The Muckleburgh Military Collection, 1km W of Weybourne, is the UK’s largest privately-owned military collection, housing over 150 tanks, guns and vehicles in addition to thousands of other items. Worth a visit, you can find out more at www.muckleburgh.co.uk
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Distance: 8.5 kms (5.3 miles) Typical time: 2 1/4 hrs Height gain: 50 metres Map: OS Landranger 133 NE Norfolk Start & finish: Coasthopper Bus Stop, Weybourne: Church (E) & Ship Inn (W) Terrain: very straightforward; sturdy footwear needed
©Crown copyright 2015 Ordnance Survey. Media 048/15
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From the bus stop, head W a few metres through the village and turn right up Beach Lane towards the sea; there is a good path for most of the way Bear right (E) when you reach the coast, which you follow for 2.4kms; at one point you kink round the Coast Guard Cottages, a tiny terrace of houses right on the cliff Turn R (S) at a marker point away from the coast towards the woods of Sheringham Park and shortly you cross the steam railway line over a bridge, with a barn on your right On reaching the road, bear right 100 metres along a track, and then cross over, through a gate on the other side and follow the woods up on the W side; towards the end of the wood you will see a sign to the gazebo, well worth the small detour and climb providing you have a (reasonable) head for heights At the end of the woods bear left (E) through a wooden gate, then right at the next crossroads right in front of Sheringham Hall, heading S; bear right at the next junction i.e. SW, and shortly you will reach two little lakes Bear right (NW) here along the red waymarked ramblers route. Go right at the National Trust sign for Weybourne Heath, pass a pond on the right, then turn left and come out of the woods with Weybourne Station to your left (W) Walk on, past the shed, then leave the red marker post route and go left through the gate to the station. Go either over the footbridge, if the station is open, or up onto the road and over the railway bridge. Continue along the road N back towards Weybourne; there’s a good footpath all the way. Return to the bus stop.
The Ship Inn, Weybourne (NR25 7SZ, Tel: 01263 588721) Good local ales and locally-sourced menu. BunTeas Tea-Room, Beach Lane, Weybourne. Teas, coffees, sandwiches, dressed crab and all day breakfast. The Village Store, Weybourne includes a well-stocked deli counter that will tempt you.
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Walk along the coast and catch the bus back! Tel: 01553 776980 www.coasthopper.co.uk STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Welcome to Handelsbanken You may have heard the name and now you can find out a little more about this relationship-led bank with an office based in Peterborough for the last 6 years. Stamford Living caught up with Julian Turner, Branch Manager. Who are Handelsbanken? Handelsbanken is a local relationship bank founded in Sweden in 1871. Since opening in Peterborough in 2010 it has steadily made a name for itself amongst local customers looking for a more personal or business long term relationship with their bank. Our distinctive approach is based on the belief that experienced local bankers are best placed to understand the customers that live, work and trade in their community. Where are your customers based? With over 200 branches in the UK, each Handelsbanken branch is responsible for an area in which their customers live and operate. The Peterborough branch looks after customers from Oundle to King’s Lynn, Stamford to Downham Market and all the villages and towns in between. We call this local focus the ‘Church Spire’ principle. By taking care of those closest to us we can provide a tailored banking solution and a personal customer service to suit their individual requirements. What is Handelsbanken’s appeal? At Handelsbanken, relationship banking still lives up to its name. You only ever deal with
people you know by name and decisions are made locally by us at the branch. Our simple aim is to provide the best possible service to our customers. How is Handelsbanken different? We are free from sales targets, mass marketing campaigns and bonus incentives - everything we do stems from our core values, to build longterm customer relationships. For customers, the branch is the bank. Not only are employees empowered to make credit decisions and create tailored solutions locally but they are also available to handle a customer’s day to day banking requirements in person. Handelsbanken is one of the world’s safest banks*, with over 800 branches in more than 20 countries worldwide. Customer satisfaction is a priority at Handelsbanken In October 2016, Handelsbanken was rated top for customer satisfaction and loyalty for the eighth year running, in an independent survey of British banks’ personal and business customers, conducted by EPSI Rating (www. epsi-rating.com).
What type of banking services do you offer? In addition to our everyday banking services, Handelsbanken offers a range of personal and business services including mortgages, loans, savings accounts and wealth management advice, as well as asset finance, trade finance, invoice discounting and currency solutions. Customers can also do their banking in a way that suits them, whether through online and mobile banking or with our Handelsbanken 2417 telephone support. *Handelsbanken was named the world’s fourth safest commercial bank by Global Finance magazine, November 2016.
If you would like to find out more about Handelsbanken’s different way of doing banking, any of the team would be delighted to meet you over a coffee. • Please contact: Julian Turner, Branch Manager Handelsbanken Peterborough First Floor, Futura House, 4 Axon, Peterborough, PE2 6LR 01733 238 068 or 07530 094225 email@example.com
Watch out for late tax return penalties Kerry Hilliard of Stephenson Smart Chartered Accountants explains what to do if you are required to complete a selfassessment tax return and you do not meet the deadline for submitting your return to HMRC.
missing the deadline, then the penalty can be cancelled. HMRC consider this to be something outside of your control such as the death of a close relative or an unexpected stay in hospital. HMRC are unlikely to class reasons such as ‘pressure of work’ or ‘a lack of reminders’ as a reasonable excuse – each year they publish their top ten worst excuses for late filing including:
• My tax papers were left in the shed and a rat ate them • I was up a mountain in Wales and couldn’t find a post-box or get an internet signal • I live in a campervan in a supermarket car park • My return was on my yacht, which caught fire
HERE can often be some delay before a taxpayer becomes aware of a penalty and the additional penalties that can be charged are often overlooked - Tax returns for 2015/16 should have been filed by 31 January 2017 and a £100 penalty will be applied if the return is late, even if there is no tax outstanding. If you have missed the initial January cut-off it is important that you submit your tax return to HMRC as soon as possible. There are additional penalties that can be charged for persistent delay and these can be very high – penalties of £1,600 or more accrue in the first 12 months from the filing deadline. If you feel you have a ‘reasonable excuse’ for
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Needless to say, it is not always easy to appeal against these penalties once they have been issued.
• If you would like any assistance or advice regarding the completion of your tax return, please contact Stephenson Smart on 01733 343275 or visit www.stephensonsmart.com
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The Hub S
INCE opening its doors to local start-ups and businesses The Hub has steadily been growing its own business network and has now evolved into a hive of diversified industry. Kate Cadman tries out a day’s hot-desking. As a freelance writer, I often spend my days working from home searching for inspiration. Unfortunately, only too often, distractions in the guise of coffee catch ups, shopping or even - in a particularly uninspiring moment - housework can lead me away from my laptop even as deadlines are looming. When I heard about Stamford’s newest ‘cool co-working space’, I decided to hot-foot it to Blackfriars Street, to see exactly what was on offer behind those enormous walls. For just £20 per day (or £300 for one month) which includes: power, wired and wireless internet, free tea and coffee, you get to work in a chic, collaborative commercial environment. Spaces are really simple to book online and the availability is good. At the door, I meet Fred
Sonaya, co-founder of Haatch, an investment business which also owns the building. “The Hub is our cool co-working space in the heart of Stamford. Start-ups, contractors, businesses and freelancers from all industries call The Hub their home. We offer both hotdesking and permanent, full-time desks for hire and meeting room rental. The co-working aspect provides an incredible networking opportunity both personally and professionally. We’ve seen many of our hot-deskers collaborate on projects!” explains Fred. In addition to three rows of substantial desk space there are other break-out and meeting spaces perfect for all commercial requirements. There’s even a row of ‘egg’ chairs which are ideal for making private calls in. “There’s everything I need here at The Hub; there’s a good space to crack on with my work, spots to hide out in when I need to be on a conference call and a good atmosphere,” explains Dan McLaren, founder of DigitalSport. “The great thing about The Hub is that you can just book single days online and not weeks in advance and without monthly or even
yearly commitment like most serviced offices,” explains Sophie Harker, EweMove Estate Agents. “It suits us perfectly because we run our business as personably as possible, we are often out and about visiting clients so paying for an office space every day would be wasted. It’s a very casual yet professional environment, everyone is there to get their head down and work, yet it’s got a good networking vibe so you’re able to meet all sorts of people.” There’s no doubt that The Hub is a great addition to Stamford’s business community and is definitely worth a visit for anyone searching for a super chic, productive working environment with a friendly and fun atmosphere. During my hot-desking day I watched two individuals play a quick game of darts during their lunch break. I quite fancied a quick shot at the baseball hoop on the wall, whilst my 8-year-old son (who was only in the building for about 10 minutes) immediately honed in on a Playstation console that was there for all to use! • For more information contact: www.haatch.com
Choose from over 500 models on display at Peterborough M
OTORHOMES and Campervans will fill the East of England Showground as the National Motorhome Show returns to Peterborough later this month. Taking place on 21-23 April, the show can make those dreams of a more relaxed lifestyle a reality. Whether you’re looking for a vehicle upgrade or considering your first purchase, you can expect a large choice of new and used stock from over 45 local and national dealers. The event will provide a huge selection of accessories from 300+ exhibitors, an insight into all the different layouts and vehicle types available on the market, and the opportunity to learn more about the hobby in a series of free seminars hosted by MMM magazine (Friday & Saturday only). Those specifically interested
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
in campervans should head straight to campervan corner where a selection of the latest conversions will be waiting. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a base when not touring the open road, there will be a showcase of park homes and luxury lodges on site to browse. With over 27 years under its belt, each year over 3,000 camping pitches are filled by those after a great value weekend break with four nights of evening entertainment included. Visiting entertainers this year include comic legend Jethro (separate ticket required), The Amazing Blues Brothers and tributes to Neil Diamond and Cilla Black. Thursday – Monday
camping pitches are £60 on the gate. Day admission is payable on arrival. Adult tickets are just £8 each with children, parking and showguides free! The show opens from 9.30am – 5.00pm (4.30pm Sunday). • To find out more about coming for the day or camping head to www.showgoer.co.uk or call 01778 391123 for more details.
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Your local appointed Sheraton dealer. T H E A R E A’ S L A R G E S T I N D E P E N D E N T K I T C H E N S H O W R O O M The Maltings, Barnack Road, Stamford, PE9 2NA T: 01780 756514 or 755855 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.qksstamford.co.uk
Richardson Thompson Leach 164_Layout 1 26/01/2016 13:42 Page 1
Positioned in the heart of this popular village can be found this attractive double fronted Grade II Listed cottage which is well maintained and presented by the current vendor. A small entrance hall gives access to 2 reception rooms with the sitting room having a exposed inglenook fireplace, modern kitchen with built in appliances with white goods, and a small sun room. To the first floor there are 2 double bedrooms and a 3 piece bathroom. The property benefits from gas central The Hayloft - Essendine £850,000 heating and a totally private walled The Hayloft is a family home extending to approximately 3,775 sqft. This superb conversion oﬀers a fantastic layout with a bedroom wing comprising of 4 double bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities, as wellcourtyard as a further double bedroom to the ﬁrst ﬂoor with en-suite shower room. It features an impressive kitchen breakfast room with walk in pantry and large utility room. Bi folding doors from the garden, with private kitchen breakfast give access to an enclosed courtyard ideal for al fresco dining. The Hayloft is complete and ready to move into. passage way useful for storage and giving access to the front.
Easton on the Hill Price £480,000
The Hayloft - Essendine £850,000
Positioned in aextending small enclave The Hayloft is a family home to approximately 3,775 sqft. This superb conversion oﬀers a fantastic layout with a bedroom wing comprising of 4 double bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities, as well as a further double bedroom to the ﬁrst ﬂoor with en-suite shower room. It features an impressive kitchen breakfast room with walk in pantry and large utility room. Bi folding doors from the this detached family home is ideal for al fresco dining. The Hayloft is complete and ready to move into. kitchen breakfast give access to an enclosed courtyard
on a corner plot with gardens to 3 sides. The feeling of space is evident upon entering with a large reception hall with a walk around galley landing to the first floor. To the ground floor there is a study with bay window, family room, sitting room with open fire, kitchen dining room with built in appliances, utility & cloakroom. To the first floor the master suite has a vaulted ceiling to the bedroom area, walk in wardrobes Rosewood – North Luffenham £515,000 Rosewood – Built by the highly regarded Francis Jackson Homes, this detached family home comprises of a large Kitchen/Family Room with double doors onto the garden, Utility Room, Separate ensuite. Guest bedroom with Dining& Room, Downstairs WC, Living Room with multi fuel burner and double doors onto the garden. Master bedroom with en suite & Bedroom 2 with en suite, Two further bedrooms and family bathroom. Double Garage. ensuite, further bedroom and family bathroom. To the top floor 2 further bedrooms and further bathroom. The property has double glazing and gas fired central heating, with under floor heating to the ground floor. Driveway to the side Rosewood – North Luffenham £515,000 Rosewood – Built by the highly regardedleading Francis Jackson this detached family home comprises of a large Kitchen/Family Room with double doors onto the garden, Utility Room, Separate for additional parking to Homes, a Dining Room, Downstairs WC, Living Room with multi fuel burner and double doors onto the garden. Master bedroom with en suite & Bedroom 2 with en suite, Two further bedrooms and familydetached bathroom. Double Garage. garage.
OUT & ABOUT
Keeping the skill alive Georgie Fenn takes a ride in British made driving carriages just 30 minutes from Stamford
F you’ve ever seen HM The Queen alongside the Duke of Edinburgh in a horse and carriage, chances are it will have been made only 30 minutes up the A1 from Stamford, at Bennington Carriages. In fact, you can still find 95 year old Prince Philip, speeding along in his custom made carriage with all the experience of someone who has been doing it since 1971. Bennington Carriages were awarded their Royal Warrant in 1979 and have been making carriages for the Royals and carriage drivers worldwide for over fifty years now. You can visit the factory and see this all going on if you make the short trip to Long Bennington. The craftsmanship and sheer skill that goes in to every carriage is remarkable. As with any design, the carriages are constantly evolving to suit their purpose. The competition carriages are getting lighter with aluminium wheels and lighter spokes (a bit like in bicycles) but the exceptional British quality remains the same. Bennington Carriages is still run under the watchful eye of Sue Mart, daughter of founder Michael Mart. Sue competes herself so she knows what they need to do to keep up with the sport, a sport that still doesn’t have enough coverage here in the UK. Competing in the sport of Horse Driving Trials is sort of similar to the Burghley Horse Trials. The events run over with one or two or three days depending on the level you’re competing at. There is a dressage test performed in an arena sized 80x40 or 100x40 just like in British
Eventing, it depends how advanced the test is. The dressage phase consists of movements that a rider would normally perform from a saddle, things like leg yielding, extended trot and canter, so it’s amazing that the ponies and carriages are nimble enough to do this in a relatively small arena without a rider telling them what to do. Sue explains how the carriages are evolving, “we have to keep changing the design of the competition carriages to keep up with the performance of the horses,” she says. “At the end of the day, the performance of the carriage can give you that winning edge and the lighter the carriage is, then the better the horses can perform.” As well as the dressage phase, in the Horse Driving Trials competitors still have to do roads and tracks (something that has been abolished from British Eventing for being too dangerous) a cross country phase, a veterinary inspection and then the obstacle course which is the final phase. Sue explained that the competition is really popular in Europe, and definitely gaining more popularity here in the UK. Bennington Carriages produce bespoke competition carriages for competitors worldwide, even the American drivers travel over here to have their carriages made. “Our American clients often stay at The George in Stamford,” says Sue, “they make a bit of a trip out of it while getting their design finalised and then we ship the finished result directly to America for them, it’s a big industry.” So how can you get involved? Well you can
visit the factory and take a look around at the mechanical side of putting a carriage together including the upholstery, painting and building work. Then you could give carriage driving a go! Sue offers lessons, gift vouchers and training for absolutely anyone, no prior horse experience is necessary. They’re open all year round so if you’ve been looking for an exciting gift or a new hobby then this is definitely something you should look into. A young chap called James Baker will be starting at Bennington Carriages as an apprentice after buying his mother a day driving for her birthday and becoming really interested in the company. Sue explained how Bennington Carriages is starting to take on apprentices. As part of the government scheme to teach young people new skills, Bennington will be taking on apprentices who will hopefully learn all aspects of building a carriage to then hopefully pass these skills onto the next generation. James will be learning at Bennington Carriages as well as spending one day a week at Lincoln College gaining his qualifications. If you’re more interested in watching the sport that Prince Philip is so famously fond of then you can see it all in action at Belvoir Castle Two Day Trial on the 10th June. It’s free entry and there will be plenty for you to watch and get involved in. • For more information visit www.benningtoncarriages.co.uk and www.midlandscarriagedriving.co.uk STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
End of an era!
One of town’s long-serving businesses will be closing its doors to the public in May after gowning thousands of its customers in wedding finery. Matchmaker of Stamford on Broad Street has been making dreams come true for its brides for well over 30 years. Kate Cadman takes a look back.
“Margaret is and has been an inspiration - putting her heart and soul into her business - always with a smile and a wicked sense of humour!” 44
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
T really is the end of an era for Margaret Butchart and Jo Williamson who have been working together at one of the town’s best known independent bridal boutiques, Matchmaker of Stamford for three decades. The shop has been successfully dressing literally thousands of discerning brides and bridesmaids for their special day since 1983. However, now approaching 90, Margaret has decided it’s time to take early retirement! Over the years many of the bridal gowns have been handmade from scratch, often incorporating a sleeve from one design, a skirt from another and different top or neckline. Both Margaret and Jo are both highly experienced seamstresses who can mould dresses to any bespoke design and to fit every body shape and personal taste. “We have often worked with ladies who try on many dresses and decide which bits from each they like. Margaret would then sketch the whole design and between us we’d make it up,” explains Jo who has worked for Margaret since leaving school. We’ve always stocked a good variety of award-winning dress designs including ranges from: Romantica, Ellis, Victoria Jane and Ronald Joyce. We supply a range of dress sizes from size 6 to a size 32. Wedding dress prices start from around £350 and can go up to about £2,000. “We are always honest with our customers and tell them if we think their design choices don’t suit them. We are never hurtful - we always suggest other styles for them to try. We are very good at picking out the features of a dress that do look good. We’ve always been happy for our prospective brides to take pictures of their dress choices so they can make sure they get it completely right. We are here to make dreams come true and that’s what we do!” adds Jo. Over the decades both Margaret and Jo have got to know several generations of brides within the same family. “We quite often have daughters coming to us for bridal wear, whose mother’s we dressed 20 years or so ago. We also have women coming to see us who, as little girls, walked past our shop and said to themselves that they would come here when it
was their turn to get married.” Matchmaker began when Margaret, a keen designer and former Wimbledon School of Art student decided that, on her husband’s retirement, she would like to use her skills to earn some money. “I went to the Registrar to find out how many weddings there were in the area and decided that making bridal dresses was something people would be prepared to pay more for as they were quite expensive compared to other items of handmade clothing. Prior to launching her shop, Margaret had worked in theatre school as a wardrobe mistress. It was in this role, whilst preparing many pairs of men’s boots for a production, that she met her future husband, Roy. Apparently, after their first meeting, Roy walked out of the room and said that he’d just met the woman he was going to marry! Margaret’s pragmatic approach was apparent even on their own wedding day, when they both took the bus to Newcastle, got married in a Registry office, had lunch, before Margaret went back off to work again! “I’ve always been amazed at all the fuss people make about their weddings,” she chuckles. Once married, Roy decided to retrain as a teacher and the couple moved to Baston. Roy worked as an art teacher at Arthur Mellows School in Glinton for 30 years and it was when Roy took retirement that Margaret began her own business, initially supplying silk lingerie to a shop on the High Street. “I liked Stamford as a place to start a business as it had lots of families based here, with many of the young women leaving to work in London, but returning home for their weddings. Initially we were based above what is now Superdrug on the High Street, moving to a small premises on Red Lion Street which was three storeys and had a spiral staircase which nearly finished us off! When we grew too big for this site, we moved the shop to the current premises which was about 29 years ago.” Over the years, Margaret and Jo have become good friends with many of their customers - some returning to the shop for their 2nd, 3rd, 4th and even 5th wedding! “These days first-time brides do tend to be a
argaret, Jo and the staff at Matchmakers have been wonderful neighbours. In the 21 years we’ve had the practice there has never been a cross word - just lovely gossip and biscuits! It will be strange and sad to say goodbye. Margaret is and has been an inspiration - putting her heart and soul into her business - always with a smile and a wicked sense of humour! When Perry and I got married in 1997, just under a year after starting the practice, when we were on our knees with debt from our training and the costs of starting the business, Margaret, as a wedding gift to us both, altered and fitted my mother’s beautiful wedding dress for me and created a delightful bridesmaid dress for Kamilla, my stepdaughter then five, and waistcoats each for our pageboys. Her kindness and generosity in this gesture has never been forgotten and reflects her spirit. We’re going to miss having her next door!
Anthea Westbrook, Broad Street Practice Owner
little bit older. Many like to go off to university and to work before getting married. We have clothed, and often counselled in the process, all types of women and their families and the one thing however that all brides have in common is that they are superstitious! Never tell a bride that a dress she is about to wear has never been worn because the wedding never went ahead.
URING the years, Matchmaker has seen all kinds of outcomes regarding the weddings they have been involved in. There have been cases of men jilting their woman; ladies getting cold feet, weddings involving many different cultures, gay weddings, traveller weddings and so on. Each wedding party has a different set of requirements and sensitivities. However, as a general rule of thumb, Jo offers the following advice for anyone planning to tie the knot: • Start planning early. On average, it takes six months to order a wedding dress. • Make sure if you are marrying into a different culture that you are aware of anything that may upset the groom’s family - for example showing too much flesh. • Don’t be frightened of trying on something you wouldn’t automatically have thought about wearing. • Say ‘no’ to a dress if it isn’t right. Saying ‘no’ isn’t always a bad idea. Over the years, wedding dress styles have changed and have gone through phases of being more colourful. Margaret and Jo have hundreds of photographs of their gowns, some made up in ruby red silk fabrics others with tartan detailing, however, these days bridal gown colours tend to be more muted and styles are often simpler with straighter edges. “Gowns used to be more Lady Di-like with frills and puffs.”
Sewing skills have been an important part of the service offered. “We’ve made christening gowns out of wedding dresses; altered many mother’s or grandmother’s dresses; incorporated parts of old wedding gowns into new ones; we’ve even matched a wedding dress to a little blue VW Beetle which was used as the wedding car - dying the lace in a matching blue colour!” At times the sewing team, which has included many helpers over the years, have had to make bridal gowns in just days when brides have been let down at the last minute by another dress supplier. Flicking through the hundreds of photographs depicting Matchmaker brides proudly wearing their gowns and looking radiant gives both Margaret and Jo a great sense of achievement and pride. “It’s always rewarding when customers say things like: ‘it’s the first time I’ve felt just like a princess’,” says Jo. There’s no doubt that Matchmaker customers have valued the support and help given over the years, with one future bride flying back from Japan for a fitting!
A grand sale of the final stock of will take place soon. Outstanding stock will include: wedding dresses, flower girl dresses, individual bridesmaid’s dresses, evening and prom gowns plus a variety of headdresses, tiaras, combs, veils and jackets. Keep an eye out for forthcoming details of the sale which will be coming soon or contact Matchmaker of Stamford: 01780 753466 • www.matchmakerofstamford.co.uk STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
It’s all about the Easter Bunny It seems appropriate this month to write about rabbits, with the Easter Bunny playing such a large role in our Easter celebrations. Deborah Pennell.
S the proud owner of two rather beautiful rabbits, I can vouch for the enjoyment they bring to the children but I can also play devil’s advocate and say they are costly to keep, and another thing they require looking after when you go away on holiday, so think carefully before making the move into fluffy bunny ownership. Rabbits make great pets, they are happy living indoors or outside but you do have to devote time to them as they easily become feral when devoid of attention, and can scratch and bite if left unhandled. When buying a rabbit do remember, a captive rabbit is likely to live for around eight years, so make sure someone in the family is happy to be responsible for them for this period of time. They are also very social animals and prefer to be kept in pairs or a community.
Basic costs to consider before buying a Rabbit Equipment – you will need a hutch or indoor cage, a separate run for outdoors, food bowl, water bottle and enrichment toys. Feed – a constant supply of grass or hay, as well as a good quality rabbit food from your local pet shop. In addition a rabbit will need to be fed vegetables such as carrots, spinach, watercress, broccoli, and they are particularly partial to dandelion leaves. Bedding – wood shavings needs to be replaced regularly to ensure general well-being. Vets’ Fees and Insurance – Rabbits need to be vaccinated regularly against VHD (Viral haemorrhagic disease – a highly contagious disease that only affects rabbits) and Myxomatosis. Some people also insure against extra vets fees in case of ill health.
Spaying and Neutering – if keeping mixed sex rabbits together spaying and neutering prevents the obvious; many more rabbits, but if you have two male rabbits together it can prevent them fighting. It can also benefit health and temperament Microchipping – this is not a legal requirement but a safety net in case your rabbit escapes. A daily routine for your rabbit • check twice a day • feed a good balanced diet • refresh water daily • provide clean, dry housing • do not subject to extreme changes in temperature • provide gnawing blocks and chew toys to wear their continually growing teeth • groom regularly • handle as much as possible
Meet the proud owners of six rabbits However, as their experience shows – always beware when buying rabbits to get their sex checked out by a vet – rabbits breed prolifically, hence the proverbial saying “breeding like rabbits”!
The Scott family have two rabbits from the same litter – the grey mummy Flopsy and the multi-coloured one Cottontail that was meant to be her ‘sister’ – but turned out to be her brother! Their third rabbit, Liono is from another litter as Sofia just fell in love with ‘her’ only to discover she was a ‘he’! The resulting confusion is three new baby bunnies! - which they all seem delighted about.
I asked the children, what is the best thing about keeping rabbits? Jack said, “I just love how brave they are if they trust you. My rabbit Cottontail hops around our sitting room and onto my knee – he doesn’t even mind our dogs! He hates being grabbed though, so you have to be gentle when picking him up.” Sofia said, “I love how high they leap when they are in our outside run, they can jump and twist as if they are dancing, which makes us all laugh! They look really happy to be in the fresh air eating grass and dandelions’. Rafferty said, “I love my rabbit Flopsy as she has had three babies and looks so sweet washing them. We
didn’t realise that she had made a secret nest and protected them from the other rabbits. We got a shock when we discovered three bundles of fluff under a pile of hay – three baby bunnies! The vet said they were probably born on Valentine’s Day, so we have called them Romeo, Juliet and Valentino!”
32 Main Street, Great Casterton, Stamford, Lincs. PE9 4AA
A VETERINARY PRACTICE WITH A DIFFERENCE Tel: 01780 763180 www.stamfordvets.co.uk 46
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
The Noteables present Give your child an adventure in the school ‘Spring, Songs & Sonnets’ holidays with YMCA at Ryhall Church, Sat 22 April, 7.30pm
MCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough has announced the launch of its Holiday Club programme for 2017 following a successful pilot last year. Jonathan Martin, Chief Executive of the charity commented: “Research from thinkmoney shows that nearly half of parents can have problems arranging childcare over the summer holidays alone – that equates to around 7 million people in the UK. Our US colleagues have seen huge success with Holiday Clubs over the years and this is slowly trickling through to the UK.” Taking place at Rutland Water, the Holiday Clubs are running in partnership with Anglian Water and Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, and will be open from 8.30am – 5.30pm during the school holidays at a cost of just £40 per child per day. WIN A FREE PLACE! To celebrate the launch of YMCA’s 2017 Holiday Clubs, the charity is offering 2 free slots for a 1 day place in either Easter or May half term. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is answer the following question: What is your child’s favourite sport? Email your answer to email@example.com with your contact details and a winner will be selected at random. Entries close on 6 April 2017 and the winners will be notified by 7 April 2017. • Visit www.theymca.org.uk/holiday-club for more information.
ARKET Deepingbased choir the Noteables will visit Ryhall Church on Saturday, 22nd April to welcome the new spring season, with its first concert of 2017, ‘Spring, Songs & Sonnets’. The concert will include a number of items based on the changing seasons, with a special performance of George Shearing’s Songs and Sonnets which includes arrangements of Shakespeare songs, including ‘When daisies pied’, ‘When daffodils begin to peer’ and ‘Who is Sylvia?’ Other composers featured in the concert will include Gilbert and Sullivan, Eric Whitacre and Rogers and Hammerstein. There will also be a number of solos performed by members of the choir. Tickets for the concert will be £8 for adults and £1 for children to the age of 16. These will be available from the church, from choir members or at the door. The Noteables choir was formed in November 2014 when it performed a concert with ‘The Deepings Remember’ to mark the outbreak of World War I. Since then it has performed throughout the local area, singing works by a wide range of composers, including John Rutter and Howards Goodall. The choir’s conductor is Sara Woolhouse, an experienced choral director who has sung with many local choirs.
Come and Sing
“Come & Sing” takes place at Stamford Methodist Church Barn Hill on Palm Sunday (April 9th), led by the Stamford Singers.
ESLEY Kirby told SL: “In April last year we attracted a large crowd of singers to “Come & Sing” Faure’s Requiem and we hope that Stainer’s Crucifixion will prove as popular this year. The “story” is about our two soloists; we are delighted that Andy Fyall, Minister at Barn Hill, has agreed to sing the bass part, and our tenor is the wonderful Toby Ward who, while a choral scholar at King’s College Cambridge, sang as a member of the close-harmony group “The King’s Men”. Toby is currently Musicianin-Residence at Uppingham School and among his many freelance activities he co-directs “Ensemble Pro Victoria” a Cambridge-based early music consort. Rehearsal: 2pm to 5pm Tea for singers: 5pm to 6pm Performance: 7pm, introduced by prayers Tickets in advance from Stamford Arts Centre 01780 763 203, or on the door: SINGERS £10, Students £5, under 18s free Admission for the “audience” will be free, but a collection will be made afterwards in aid of “Music at St Martin’s” (registered charity no.1124920)
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Please complete the following:
Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies For Cancer Research UK invite you to an Evening of Antiques & Anecdotes, with Marc Allum of Antiques Roadshow fame, to be held in the Marquee at The William Cecil Hotel Stamford on Tuesday 2nd May 6-30pm for 7-00pm
Voice: (Please circle) Soprano
Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies fundraising group
Valuations available after the talk for £5-00 donation Tickets £10-00, from Annette Beeton 01733 232521
Can you bring your own vocal score? Yes/ No If not, we will provide
Please return Registration Form to: Lesley Kirby, 37 Uffington Road, Barnack, Stamford PE9 3DU email: firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively, you may register on-line: www. musicatstmartins.com where you will also find links to CPDL rehearsal files
Annette Beeton, Chairman of Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies fundraising group, told SL: “Each year we raise money for Cancer Research UK through collections and events around the local area. “Since our group started over 40 years ago, we have raised over £900,000 for Cancer Research UK. Our donations go towards the life-saving research which takes place at the charity’s Research Institute in Cambridge and in the past 3 years the money has been restricted to specific research into liquid biopsies. The project is looking at the possibility of some cancers being diagnosed from a simple blood test instead of invasive procedures.
Eight ways that wardrobes can totally transform your bedroom 1
1. Traditional 2. Wall to Wall Mirrors 3. Sloping Ceilings 4. Modular German Designs 5. Freestanding Sliding Door 6. Overbed Fitment 7. Modern 8. Dressing Room
EDROOMS no matter how big or small are home to a lot of ‘stuff’. Decent bedroom wardrobes are essential for keeping clutter at bay; and good quality bedroom storage will only make your busy, stressful mornings easier to roll out of bed and start your day! Think about the style and shape of your bedroom when looking for wardrobes. Built-in wardrobes are a game changer for storage as they can be fitted into any space/shape. Bespoke bedrooms can be designed by the perfect at Home team to suit all your needs. Perfect for the Home offers various different solutions to wardrobes to suit
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
everyone’s budget. They have a great range of German freestanding bedroom furniture that is offered in lots of sizes and colours including Rauch, Nolte and Wiemann brands. They also do made-to-measure sliding door wardrobes where they can supply fully carcassed wardrobes, just doors over alcoves etc; or why not even just replace existing doors with some new up to date ones? The ‘bespoke fitted bedroom’ is where they can design and create a bedroom perfect to all your needs. The team will come along and measure your bedroom, discuss your needs then design and quote your dream bedroom. Perfect for the Home have a showroom
open 7 days a week in Bourne 10am-5pm Mon-Sat and 11am-4pm on Sun. There is a great range of wardrobes on display in the showroom, that can give you ideas and enable you to see the quality and options that are available. They are a small, family-run business and thrive to achieve excellent customer service. • Please feel free to give the Sales Team a call to arrange for one of the team to pop out, or call into our showroom. • Perfect for the Home Pic’n’Pay, 6 Hereward Ind. Est, Cherry Holt Rd, Bourne, Lincs, PE10 9LA 01778 420700 www.picnpay.co.uk email@example.com
QKS Home wins two more awards
HE FIT Show is the primary focus for the UK window, door and conservatory industry, forging a bridge between the manufacturers and distributors of products, components and services and the companies and individuals that fabricate and install them. Their ‘Installation of the Year’ competition is one of the industry’s highlights, comprising six monthly winners put forward for the overall ‘Installation of the Year’ prize, which will be decided by public vote from the six shortlisted via the FIT Show website - voting opens on Monday 8th May through to Friday 12th May at www.fitshow.co.uk/installationof-the-year. The overall winner will be announced at the FIT Show 2017 Gala Dinner on 24th May. The great news is that QKS has already won in two months, so we wish them very well for the final. In January, QKS was declared the monthly winner for a beautiful orangery with two Atlas lanterns, with great elegance and strong vertical lines. In February, QKS won again, this time
with a Sepele Hardwood Orangery with Single Hardwood Lantern roof. The judge commented; “The project shows how to extend a property with a ‘garden room’ – which is in keeping with the original structure.” If you’d like to transform your home like these two clients have been able to do, just get in touch and the QKS team is always there to help. • QKS Home, Unit 4 Priory Industries, Cherryholt Lane, Stamford, PE9 2EQ 01780 756666 www.qks-ltd.co.uk
One Touch Football (OTF) Courses O
TF is offering football development courses during the Easter Half Term. The days will be packed full of learning new skills, knock out games, fun & games! Sessions are open to Boys & Girls from ages 4 to 14 years and are suitable for participants of all abilities – from complete beginners to experienced players! Individuals will learn new skills in a fun, relaxed environment and players may even be invited to attend a Players Development Class. Times & Costs All courses run from 9.00 till 15.00 and cost £12.00 per day. Kings Cliffe KC Active, Kingsmead, Station Road, Kings Cliffe, PE8 6YH 6th / 7th April Stamford Stamford Junior School, PE9 2LR 10th / 11th / 12th April Oakham Oakham UTD FC, Main Road, Barleythorpe, LE15 7EE 18th / 19th April Wittering Wittering Football Club, Townsend Rd, PE8 6BD 20th / 21st April • To book please visit www.onetouchfootball.co.uk
Peterborough Northern Star Football Club – A Different Approach R
ICHARD Bayley writes: “We believe we are well on the way toward creating something different in grassroots football. Our club’s unwavering dedication to investing in and providing the best possible Player and Coaching pathway, and our “footballfamily” FUN environment, generates a feeling of loyalty and commitment in return from our players and their supporting family members. “The Club’s appeal is an attainable, relevant pathway from 3/4 years old to senior football, and to help introduce new players to PNSFC we run a Saturday Morning FUN Club All Year Round for children in Pre-Reception through to Year 2s, a number of “drop in” FUTSAL sessions on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings for advanced children in Year 2 through to Year 5, and we will repeat our SUMMER Saturday Morning FUN Club from mid-April for children in
years 2 to 5 for those who want to engage with us, see what we have to offer, and hopefully join into our regular minis teams. “At the top end of the spectrum we have a two-year scholarship for players leaving school and a reserves and senior men’s team playing in the United Counties Premier League (step 5). Our grass pitches are arguably the best in the district for grassroots football, immaculately maintained and often used to host Cup Finals and showcase matches. In addition, we have an indoor FUTSAL hall, complimented by a café and Club Room with our own licenced bar showing Sky Sports on big Screens. “The facilities are ours and we have full unrestricted control of them; this enables us to invest more in coaching, and affords opportunities for extra sessions and development fixtures home and away with
Academies at a fraction of the costs requested by many soccer schools in the area. Our reputation for providing appropriate challenge fixtures with the academies means our teams are being invited to play more and more fixtures of this nature all the time. “PNSFC is a safe, positive and enjoyable environment for all our players. A place that they can call their home of football, and where they will be challenged by great coaches to develop themselves to be all they can be. “WE are always looking for volunteers, coaches, managers, supporters and sponsors.” • If you would like to know more, please visit our Website www.pnsfc.co.uk or enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @ PNSFC_OFFICIAL or on Facebook search for Peterborough Northern Star Football Club. STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
SPECIAL OFFERS DOGS:
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Castrate (normally £85 - £190) £63.39 - £97.51 Castrate (normally £31.60) Spay (normally £114 - £270) £87.77 - £179.28 Spay (normally £43.50)
NOW OPEN IN STAMFORD Are you looking for an experienced and personable veterinary team who’ll put your pet’s health and happiness first, no matter what they require or when they might need it? You need look no further.
Booster with L2 (normally £27) Booster with L4 (normally £36)
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First vaccine course with Lepto 2 £19.50 Flu & Enteritis (normally £30.70) £15.35 (normal price £39) incl Leukaemia (normally £52.40) £26.20 First vaccine course with L4 £26.72 (normal price £53.45)
At the Alder Veterinary Practice, we always give the three C’s… Care for your pets Communication with you Compassion for both …all at affordable prices. Uffington Road, Stamford, Lincs, PE9 2BF Tel: 01780 322333 Email: email@example.com
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First Stamford Civic Prayer Breakfast ‘W
E would like to pray for Stamford, its people, its businesses and its activities’. That is the message from ‘Churches Together’ in Stamford. And that is why a Civic Prayer Breakfast is planned for Friday 26th May, to be held in the Town Hall. This initiative from ‘Churches Together’ follows on from the ‘Faith Action Audit’ in 2015 which demonstrated what a powerful impact all Christian organisations across Stamford have on our community. It is also part of the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ national prayer initiative, which was initiated by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and culminates in a wave of prayer across our country from 25th May to 4th June. Martin Fox, one of the event’s organisers, explains: “It will be a gathering where leaders and representatives from business, education, health, media, politics, police and community groups will be invited to come together with leaders from our faith organisations and churches. It will be a time to understand the different needs of our community…. and to pray for them. “More than that we would like to pray for the specific needs that individuals, businesses and organisations in Stamford have. So, we would like to invite the people of Stamford to submit their prayer requests before the event, and we will undertake to pray for you, privately. After all, Jesus invites us to ask for what we need. And prayer changes things. We also guarantee the confidentiality of everyone who writes in.” • So, please send your prayer requests to prayer@ churchestogetherinstamford.org.uk Thykingdomcome.global churchestogetherinstamford.org.uk
New Veterinary Practice for Stamford Vets Vicky Lees and Wayne Smith have recently opened Alder Vets in Stamford
HE practice began in Spalding, then expanded to Bourne a couple of years ago and has now opened in Stamford. Vicky explains: “We had wanted to start up for some time in Stamford as we already have lots of clients this way. But it took a while to find the right premises – we have found a spot here on the east side of the town that is spacious and has ample parking.” The practice is bright, spacious and immaculately kept. It has excellent facilities including full surgical facilities. And what makes Alder Vets distinctive? “We all love pets,” Vicky told SL (the two vets both have vast menageries at their respective homes) “and we always aim to provide value for money. We encourage open visiting, we are happy for owners to sit with their pets and we offer both flexible health plans and payment plans to spread the cost of looking after your beloved pet.” • Alder Vets Stamford, Uffington Road, Stamford, PE9 2BF 01780 322333 www.alder-vets.co.uk
Stamford Scottish Country Dance Club 1967-2017 T
HE club evolved from a group of adults led by Jim Michelson, a teacher at Stamford School. A succession of dedicated teachers over the years include Heather Lawrence, Christine Wilson, Jon Wilson and now Amanda Peart. For many years, classes were held at the then Queen Eleanor School, but have recently moved to Ryhall Village Hall. Practices lead to biannual dances at the Malcolm Sargent School when the Stamford club is joined by members of groups from up to 15 local clubs including Oakham, Waltham, Corby, Leicester, Peterborough and Market Harborough. The dances are mainly accompanied by Ian Slater each March and recorded music in November. In 1995 the then secretary, Joan Green, received a letter beginning “you are no doubt aware of the internet”. Mr. Paul Bond from Sheffield Royal Scottish Dance Society (RSCDS) proposed setting up a website providing a list of forthcoming functions even though he “recognised that most dancers would not have
access to the information”. Today, the RSCDS fields a comprehensive website. www. rscds.org Although Scottish Country Dancing has its roots in Scotland, it is danced in many places in Europe, USA, Canada, New Zealand etc. Many of the modern dances were written outside Scotland and have contributed to the development of this form of dance. Most commonly, dancers line up in sets of four couples. ‘Country’, the name of this style of dance is a corruption of ‘contra’ meaning partners face each other and are thus less likely to tread on each other’s toes. Dances come in three tempos: reels - fast, flowing and probably the most energetic; jigs - jolly and bouncy strathspeys - stately and elegant. This is an enjoyable social activity for couples
and singles, incorporating exercise for both mind and body and providing the joy of moving to music in the company of others who are similarly enthused. • The club (www.stamfordscottish.org.uk) meets Monday nights, 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm, September to May at Ryhall Village Hall. Weekly subscription £4, first evening no charge. Soft, low-heeled shoes are recommended. ‘Phone Liz 01780 752706 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mike 01778 343299 STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Matt Hampson Talk at Stamford Town Hall Deborah Pennell
HE 15th March 2005 was a life changing day for Matt Hampson, a former England U21’s Rugby Union prop. Following a freak accident during scrummaging practice he was destined to become a tetraplegic. Last month saw over one hundred people pack the Courtroom at Stamford Town Hall to listen to him speak. The event hosted by Robina Hill, Managing Director of Loomes & Co, raised nearly £4,000 toward The Matt Hampson Foundation. Matt gave a short talk titled “Get Busy Living” – mapping out his life achievements before the accident, and then going on to describe how his life dramatically changed that fateful day. During his talk Matt related to the time he was lying in his bed questioning “Why me?” – a question that most of us ask ourselves at one point in our lives – but for why? Do we have reason to question the cards we are dealt in life? Everything is for a reason, and as Matt explains, sometimes we should just ask ourselves “Why not me?” And that is Matt’s mantra, “Get Busy Living” – pick up the pieces and accept the new challenge life has presented you. Matt delivers his talk “Get Busy Living”, as
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
part of many fundraising incentives. Robert Loomes said, “having spent a wonderful day at the Stamford Endowed Schools Sports Bash last summer, Robina decided to bid for the Matt Hampson talk, when it came up in the auction. Loomes & Co are great supporters of local charities, and we had heard about how inspirational Matt is and have seen how his charity has helped some of our local youngsters
over the last few years. We managed to persuade Matt to talk to a larger audience, and with the help of the Town Hall, put together a super evening.” Another guest said, “it would be fantastic to see more things like this happening in Stamford, well done to Loomes for putting on such a great event. Matt is an inspirational speaker and you feel humbled when you listen to him talking – as a race we are very good at feeling sorry for ourselves, but meeting Matt and listening to him
describe what he has been through, and how he has used this incredibly tragic experience to help others, is just so humbling. It immediately puts everything in your life into perspective and makes you think twice about questioning your own small inconveniences.” And what is in store in the future? - there are exciting times ahead for The Matt Hampson Foundation, with the start of their £1 million rehabilitation centre build in November 2016. The Get Busy Living Centre in Burrough on the Hill, Leicestershire is a pioneering rehabilitation centre designed for the Foundation’s beneficiaries - those who have suffered life altering and catastrophic sporting injuries. The centre will house state of the art equipment and offer its beneficiaries a chance to sample life-changing technology without having the astronomical costs of specialist equipment. The Get Busy Living centre is due to open its doors in 2017. • Should you wish to support Matt in his amazing work with The Matt Hampson Foundation, please contact: www.matthampsonfoundation.org Tel: 01664 454742 Email: email@example.com
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Join the Army Reserves The 1st Military Working Dog Regiment is based at St George’s Barracks in Rutland. It provides the only deployable military working dog and veterinary capability within the whole of the British Army. The Regiment consists of three Regular and one Reserve Military Working Dog Squadrons. Major Christopher Ham MBE RAVC who commands the Regiment’s Reserves, 101 MWD Squadron, speaks to Amander Meade about the role of the Reservist.
WHAT DOES THE ROLE OF ARMY RESERVIST AT THE REGIMENT ENTAIL? Dog handlers are skilled soldiers who work with military working dogs wherever the Army is deployed. The regiment plays a key role in supporting counter insurgency operations, detecting improvised explosive devices, supporting the search of routes, buildings and vehicles, enhancing security and patrolling key installations. Reservists joining the squadron are trained as protection military working dog handlers, looking after the security and safety of military assets and their bases. Part of the soldiers’ initial training includes teaching them how to look after their canine colleagues. Later on in the Reservists’ career, there is an opportunity to undertake specialist dog handler courses including vehicle search. WHAT ARE THE APPLICATION CRITERIA? You can apply to become a Reservist soldier (male or female) at 17 years and 9 months ready to start when you turn 18. You can join until 49 years and 11 months of age. DO YOU HAVE TO LIVE IN RUTLAND? No, you can live anywhere in the UK as the Regiment recruits its Reserves nationally. However, if long distances are involved it may
be more practical to train at a local Reservist unit and then come to us for instruction with military working dogs. WHAT KIND OF COMMITMENT IS INVOLVED? The minimum commitment is 19 days a year. Reservists are paid for their training time plus training bonuses annually. Pay is based on the same scale as a regular soldier for the same job and rank, increasing with promotion. The tax-free bonuses increase each year and there are currently financial incentives for joining too, plus a daily rate of pay and travel expenses. WHAT KIND OF TRAINING IS OFFERED? Reservists with no prior veterinary or military experience will complete 22 days’ basic soldier training. Training to become a protection dog handler includes the opportunity to achieve a National Association of Security Dog Users qualification. Reservists come from all walks of life with no specific background knowledge required – all we ask is that potential recruits are willing to work with animals in all weathers, as being a soldier and handler is very much an outdoor vocation. Qualified veterinary officers and veterinary nurses are also in demand to help maintain the health of our busy working dogs.
WHAT ABOUT ACTIVE SERVICE? Reserves can volunteer for operations and, in exceptional circumstances, Reserves may be compulsorily mobilised. However, this is very rare. WHAT QUALITIES DOES THE IDEAL APPLICANT POSSESS? Some spare time along with a genuine desire to work with animals, a willingness to learn and an eagerness to embrace new challenges. The Army will invest in individuals, nurturing your talents to bring out the very best in you. There are plenty of opportunities open to Reservists, including the chance to travel, take part in sports, adventure, social activities and achieving promotion. The transferable skills gained from the experience such as management and organisation, communication and team building can also be beneficial in many civilian careers. HOW CAN THOSE INTERESTED FIND OUT MORE? • For more information contact 1 MWD Regt directly on Tel: 01780 727698 or email 1MWD-101Sqn-PSAO@mod.uk
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Touch of the hand Clare Howcutt-Kelly catches up with potters Pam Orme and Katherine Winfrey ahead of the annual Stamford Pottery Market.
AKING is hot right now, sewing has become sexy and knitting is hip. If we are not keeping our hands occupied consulting the weather app on our phones or searching for cheap holidays on Google, we are it seems, keeping our digits nimble with craft. And I for one, know the benefits that can only be achieved by making something with my hands and being creative. So it’s only right that pottery too, is given a taste of the limelight and it’s in part thanks to the success of the BBC programme The Great British Throw Down says Pam: “The programme has really caught the imagination of the general public and has led to a surge of interest in learning about ceramics. Through watching the programme people are able to see the effort and expertise that goes into making individual pieces and the fun that can be had in the making process. Also the disappointment and heartache when pieces go wrong or are broken. There are many descriptions about the phrase but as a ceramicist I’d say it’s pot luck what comes out of the kiln as it’s often nothing like you imagined it would be!” Katherine adds: “It’s never not been popular but does come in and out of fashion at intervals. The Great British Throw Down has had a big effect, inspiring people and reminding them how they enjoyed it as a child. Ties in with general craft renaissance – lots of new making magazines, craft TV channels, knitting clubs. So much of today’s internet world is about the intangible. With pottery you have a visceral making experience and have something tangible at the end.” Certainly tangible, what is created by the potter ends up not only in our hands but in our
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
homes too, “in bricks, tiles, sinks and lavatories, cookers, heaters, all our crockery”, notes Katherine, and a special piece of pottery really makes us stop and stare. We might for example, find comfort in a special mug that fits snugly in one hand while we balance a book in another or marvel at a miniature masterpiece – an ornament that becomes an heirloom or a pretty little pot that stores our secret treasures. And should you be looking for a particular story-telling piece, where better to find it then here in Stamford? The upcoming pottery market at the Arts Centre will provide not only the opportunity to browse and buy but perhaps more importantly, you’ll have the chance to meet some of the area’s most talented potters – around 25 of them. “Talk to any potter and they will give you the story behind their work – what inspired them to chose a certain theme or decoration – how that may have changed over the years and why,” says Pam, “and some potters create stories through the decoration on their pots – painting pictures to denote an event or place.” In a world where we shun wonky veg and seek faces without lines, handmade products offer some much needed respite, a chance to reconnect with what makes us human – tiny quirks and differences. Katherine believes: “Manufactured goods have to please the populace in general. A handmade piece might appeal to very few people but will be cherished by them for its unique qualities.” Pottery is no doubt therapeutic and it’s clear from looking at Katherine’s pieces of work (I was lucky enough to interview her last year for Stamford Living) that there’s a great sense of fun and humour too. It’s an extremely exciting
medium to work with and if you’re thinking of having a go yourself, what’s the best bit about working with clay? Pam says: “If you don’t like what you have made – you can just squidge it all together – and start again!” Once a creation is made, it’s in the firing that its new life really begins. Pam explains that “stoneware clay is fired to a high temperature to ensure that it is completely waterproof whether glazed or not. While earthenware is fired to a lower temperature and the glaze provides the waterproof coat if needed. And porcelain is very delicate but strong even when it is very thin. It is fired to the highest temperature and can be beautifully translucent. There are many variations to these basic clays when other materials like sand, grit or flax are added to give texture or strength.” Once of course the piece is fired then it’s onto the decoration which anyone who loves baking will be able to identify with – this is where the imagination can really run wild, says Pam: “The scope for decoration is huge – either during the making stage – by making marks in the clay – or adding extra pieces. And by the use of slip (watered down clay that can be coloured). Glazes come in many different types and colours. Oxides are a natural product like copper for green and cobalt for blue. Some ceramicists will mix their own glazes to achieve a unique look. And there are a range of manmade glazes now that pretty much provide every colour combination you can think of.” So if you’re thinking pink, toying with turquoise or considering cobalt, you know where you’ll find that perfect piece you’ll treasure forever. MORE INFO Stamford Pottery Market will be held at The Arts Centre, Stamford on Sunday 30 April and Monday 1 May 10am–4.30pm. Find out more at: www.stamfordpotterymarket.co.uk, entrance is free.
FOOD & DRINK
Mint Sauce, Redcurrant Jelly and all the Trimmings! Deborah Pennell checks out new season lamb; meets a local farmer/producer, and sneaks a fantastic recipe from a great friend who now runs an international catering company and can be found most weeks in a different part of the globe
PHOTO: TIM SCRIVENER
PRIL is here, the countryside is a wonderful green, with trees bursting into life, the dawn chorus has reached a crescendo not experienced for many months and a field full of lambs skipping and playing epitomises spring’s arrival. It is my favourite time of year. After a busy time with my children helping a local farmer lamb his sheep last year, it brought home to me the importance of knowing the provenance of the meat we consume. Seeing a happy, healthy flock of sheep, well managed and with a good quality of life, is of paramount importance, and the UK’s farmers remain top of the league when it comes to animal welfare. I do, however, understand the ethical issues of people not choosing to eat meat and, undoubtedly there are some health benefits, but to coin a phrase ‘everything in moderation’. If I am going to be a carnivore, I have come to the conclusion that provenance is important and traceability is key. Since an ever-growing number of celebrity chefs began their ‘march’ for us to source our food locally, most restaurants have taken on board the necessity to give the customer key information about the provenance of the ingredients used in their meals. Often menus state the name of the Farm/Estate where the meat has been produced, and generally staff are drilled with this information, just in case the customer asks - an idea The Garden Kitchen at The Stamford Garden Centre has embraced. An enormous chalkboard on the restaurant wall details the source of all their key produce, on a hand drawn map of the local area. The ‘Farm to Fork’ movement is rapidly gaining momentum.
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Meet the Farmer
With just over 250 ewes, the West family are one of a number of small local producers whose meat can be found in local butchers, or can be bought direct from the farm. Fourth generation Robert West, is a multi-award winning producer of local lamb, with numerous prizes to his name. Born into a family who has farmed sheep for over 100 years, Robert is obsessed in getting the best out of his flock, and that doesn’t mean cutting corners. Following on from successes in previous years at Uppingham Fatstock Show, 2016 turned into a prizewinning bonanza for The West family and their sheep. Maintaining their unbeaten run as Champions for the last three years at The Melton & Belvoir Fatstock Show, they quickly followed this success with Reserve Champion at Uppingham and Thrapston Fatstock Shows, and finished off the season with Reserve Champion (Native) at the East of England Smithfield Show. Results any farmer/producer could be very proud of.
A Day on the Farm during Lambing Wake up: 5am Check around the sheep, feed sheep nuts (a compacted pellet which is formulated to provide sheep, nutritionally everything they need). Check water and haylage (a wrapped naturally fermented hay). The cade/sock lambs (lambs whose mothers have died or rejected them) are given the first of four bottle feeds. Lambs that have been born overnight will have their tails, and where necessary their testicles ringed - a pastime our youngest daughter revelled in; God help any future boyfriend who doesn’t toe the line! Each new lamb will be sprayed with a number that correlates to the same number as the ewe - this number helps the farmer when checking over the sheep to reunite separated lambs with their mothers, and also to check the ewes are caring for their young. Iodine solution is dabbed onto new-borns’ navels to dry up the umbilical cord and prevent infection. Breakfast is a moveable feast – timings change depending on the overnight activity. Following breakfast, newly born lambs are moved with their mothers into small individual pens. They will be given an injection to protect them against various diseases. Lambs tend to stay inside for at least 24 hours from birth, to give them a good start, and to check that the mother has accepted them, and they are feeding well. Mid-morning, all lambs that have been in for between 24 – 48 hours will be turned out with their mothers. Robert has designed a special turnout trailer, which makes it very easy to transport ewes with their young
Moroccan Spiced Lamb Fillet with Jeweled Couscous
Serves 4 2-3 Lamb Fillets 1tsp ground cumin 1 tsp paprika 3 cloves garlic, crushed 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp dark soft brown sugar 1/2 tsp harissa 2 tblsp lemon juice 2 tblsp olive oil
to fields around the farm. If the weather is inclement then the ewes and lambs are placed in covered indoor yards until a drier period. Cade lambs are given their second bottle feed of the day. During the weeks of lambing there is a continuous stream of ewes giving birth. Some manage themselves but Robert adds that “9 out of 10 need a little assistance, so we are kept very busy”. Lunch is at 1pm ish After lunch another walk around the flock to check for any signs of ewes giving birth and to check on ‘poor’ lambs, who might require extra attention. Vacated pens are cleaned out and fresh straw is laid down ready for the next arrival. More ewes and lambs are turned out or put into indoor yards until better weather allows them to be put in the field. All the lambing pens are checked regularly throughout the day for haylage and water, and topped up where necessary. Hopefully there is time for a quick cup of tea and a sugar boosting piece of cake, before late afternoon checks; another feed of sheep nuts, third bottle feed for the cade lambs and more numbering and ringing of older lambs, ready for turn out the following morning. Around 6.30pm, a well-deserved supper for Robert and the family gives time to discuss the days highs and lows, followed by several further walk rounds of the pens and barns. A final bottle feed for the cade lambs, before the lights are turned out at between midnight and 1am. Time for a quick nap! • Trim the lamb fillets to remove any excess fat. • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the lamb fillets. Coat each fillet well with the marinade, cover and leave in a fridge for several hours. • Heat a little olive oil in a skillet or nonstick frying pan – add the lamb fillets and brown on all sides. • Place in a preheated oven 220°C, for approximately 5-7 minutes (time depends on the thickness of the fillet). • Remove lamb from the pan and pour in any excess marinade to deglaze the pan. Place lamb back in the pan and leave to rest for 5 minutes. • Slice thickly and served with couscous and a good dollop of natural yogurt mixed with chopped fresh mint.
A Sheep Farmer’s Year in brief Bi-annually in August The Wests attend a Beltex Sheep sale in Cumbria to acquire a new Tup (ram or male sheep). As Robert explains “it is important to add fresh blood lines into the flock, and this cuts out the chance of interbreeding”. The ewes are brought in for a health check and given a mineral supplement bolus (like a very large vitamin and mineral tablet for sheep), which is slow release and lasts about six months in the gut. They are then put onto pasture with abundant lush grass. In mid-October, the Tups are put in with the ewes and they remain with them for around 5-6 weeks. Each Tup wears a raddle harness, which holds a coloured crayon - this is distributed onto the rear of the ewe when she has been covered. The gestation of a sheep is 147 days. In December – the ewes are left quietly to graze and build up their condition. At the beginning of January – All ewes are scanned. Any ewes showing to be carrying triplets are brought in and put onto additional feed to maintain the well being of both the ewe and unborn lambs. In February/early March – Three weeks before lambing, all other ewes are brought in and given an injection against kidney diseases amongst other things. In Mid March – lambing begins and will continue for 4/5 weeks Other significant months include: June – all the ewes are sheared And full circle to August – the 5-month-old lambs are weaned Add in worming, careful monitoring for fly strike and general day to day care of 250 ewes and up to 500 lambs, after March, and you realise what a busy life a farmer leads. Animals need constant attention and when running a flock of any size there are many jobs to be done.
Couscous with Pomegranate and Mint 200g Couscous 9 fl oz. water or vegetable stock 2tblsp extra virgin olive oil 3 tblsp red wine vinegar 1/2 tsp sea salt 1 tblsp freshly chopped mint 1 tblsp za’atar 1 good size pomegranate cut in half and seeds removed (cheat by buying pre prepared pomegranate) • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, sea salt, fresh mint, fresh coriander and the za’atar. • Meanwhile in a saucepan bring the water or vegetable stock to the
boil. Once boiling, add the couscous and remove from the heat. Stir well and cover tightly with the pan lid or cling film. Leave for 5-8 minutes and then get a fork and fluff up the couscous to separate the grains. • Add the dressing and pomegranate seeds and mix in. Check the seasoning and add more olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Serve
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Learning together through faith, hope and love
Easton Garford Endowed CE School Part of the Peterborough Diocese Education Academy Trust
This term at Easton Garford School…
Class 1 have been to visit Warwick Castle to learn about Medieval England and the whole school had a fantastic day on World Book Day dressing up as their favourite book characters.
Easton Garford School has undergone many recent positive changes: • Academy Conversion in July 2015 • New catering contract with ABM Catering • £100,000 of redevelopment • Executive Partnership with Polebrook School
• • • •
Small class sizes High academic standards Specialist music provision Spacious sports field
• Range of extra-curricular sport and art based activities • Fully equipped library • Residential experiences at KS2
Places Available Now
Come along to meet us and see what we can offer your child! Easton Garford Endowed C. of E. School New Road, Easton on the Hill, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 3NN 01780 763025 www.eastongarford.org
Specialist in the manufacture, installation and care of natural stone. With our experience in materials such as Marble, Granite, Neolith and Quartz, we are able to create stunning kitchen worktops, bath surrounds, vanity units, staircases, fireplaces, flooring and wall coverings. We offer a personal and knowledgeable service with highly skilled craftsmen and pride ourselves on the quality of service, the quality of materials used and the workmanship of your finished product. We offer a full supply, template, manufacture and installation service Open Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm, Saturday 8am – 3pm Unit 14-15 Wainman Road, Woodston, Peterborough, PE2 7BU Tel: 01733 687414 or 01733 370941 firstname.lastname@example.org www.olympic-marble.co.uk 66
We bake a selection of delicious breads, savouries, cakes & desserts. Using traditional techniques and the finest ingredients we develop the real taste of our products, full of flavour with no preservatives or enhancers.
Shops: Exton Bakery, Oundle, Market Harborough, Oakham, Stamford & West Bridgford
FOOD & DRINK
Lake Isle Fine Dining Nicholas Rudd-Jones thoroughly enjoys Uppingham’s premier eating establishment
AKE Isle is a proper restaurant for those evenings when you are done with the hit-and-miss of pub grub and want a meal that you know will deliver three interesting and well-cooked courses. Our evening began with a very enlivening gin & tonic, complimentary nibbles and a gentle perusal of the menu in the lounge area - a convivial space with some good paintings on the wall. We were then taken to our table when the meal was ready to be served. For starters, my partner chose the ‘Steamed Brae mussels with cider, smoked bacon, spring onion and clotted cream, Somerset brie on toast’ – one of the most flavourful sauces imaginable and a real treat. I chose the ‘Crispy Panko scallops, pulled beef brisket, with roasted cauliflower and satay crème’ – a little bit out of the ordinary flavour-wise and absolutely delicious. For mains, my partner went for the ‘Jerk spiced vegetables, coconut rice and peas, chilli cheese and green onion fritters, avocado and lime ketchup.’ To me, it’s a sign of confidence and commitment that the chef puts the vegetarian options first on the menu, a refreshing change from the afterthought that the vegetarian option so often is. But that in no way means they don’t do great meat dishes too, as I was soon to discover. I opted for the ‘Bacon wrapped fillet of pork, apple and hash browns, with white stilton creamed leeks and black pudding purée’. Rich, powerful, delicious and, above all, good ingredients well cooked. For dessert, we shared the mightily indulgent Millionaire’s Shortbread – a chocolate crème with toffee jelly shortbread and caramelised white chocolate ice cream. The wine list is seriously good too – with a leaning to the classics, a great showing of French and one or two interesting twists… If you haven’t been recently, set sail for the Lake Isle once again, you will not be disappointed. • 16 High St E, Uppingham, Oakham, LE15 9PZ 01572 822951 www.lakeisle.co.uk
The Spice Queen Book
Bread Meat Cheese 1st Birthday
Bridget Steele reviews this new book from local chef Parveen Ashraf
RETURNED from holiday to find a package with a copy of the Spice Queen Book by local author, Parveen Ashraf with two spice mixes and a request for a book review – what an invitation! Firstly, I adore cookery books and devour any new recipes - this is Parveen’s first cookery book influenced by her mother’s authentic family recipes that have been passed down the generations based on Kashmiri/Northern and Pakistani style food. Whilst I love Indian food, I admit to becoming a little bored with my standard shop bought curry pastes that I use for family weeknight curries. The recipes are very easy to follow, demystifying the art of Indian cooking with simple step by step instructions. Parveen includes top tips on how to get the best results from each recipe and adds plenty of personal anecdotes giving a wonderful insight into her family life and Asian culture. My spice mixes were to make a pan fried Tandoori Chicken and Cumin roast potatoes – this couldn’t have been easier and with a little marinating just adding natural yogurt to the spices I produced a flavoursome and healthy main course that was quick and easy and heartily approved by my fellow diners. I am looking forward to trying many more of Parveen’s recipes – the dishes are ones that Indian food fans will recognise such as Jalfrezi, Bhuna, Paratha and Naan – there is a section on starters, main courses, side dishes and desserts as well as menu ideas and preparation. • For information on purchasing the Spice Queen book and Parveen’s spice mixes go to www.the-spicequeen. com or available on Amazon UK for £12.44 where you can also take a peek inside.
ESTINATION sandwich shop’ Bread Meat Cheese is celebrating its first birthday with a number of new taste bud temptations. The deli-style sandwich shop in Red Lion Street has received rave reviews in the press and online, sitting in the top three places to eat as voted for by members of The Great Food Club in their Top 100 which includes restaurants, pubs, hotels and a humble little sandwich shop. The menu has continued to evolve week on week, with regular sandwiches such as “The Poacher” (three cheeses grilled with a hint of the onion family) and “What’s Your Beef” (salt beef on sourdough from Hambleton Bakery served with American mustard & dill pickles) being joined by specials like “The Macho Burrito” and “The Festive Pho”. Bread Meat Cheese has continued to challenge traditional expectations of the humble sandwich and turn it into something far more celebratory, using local ingredients, local bread from Hambleton and local cheese producers too, all made fresh to order in front of your eyes. With intriguing new sandwiches like “The Bouncing Czech” and “Get Your Goat You’ve Pulled” lined up for coming months, perhaps the days of the tuna mayo or the chicken and sweetcorn are numbered. • Bread Meat Cheese, 8/9 Red Lion Street, Stamford, PE9 1PA 01780 752500 www.breadmeatcheese.co.uk STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Mimmo Fricha, Il Vicola Head Chef
MIMMO’S TOP 3 TIPS FOR MAKING PASTA: 1. Use good quality 00 Flour 2. Add 25% semolina 3. Use non-pasteurised free range eggs
Deborah Pennell meets Mimmo Fricha Head Chef and Owner of award-winning Italian restaurant, Il Vicolo, in Cheyne Lane, Stamford Where are you originally from? I was born in the city of Ancona, a seaport in the Marche region of Italy. How long have you been based in this area? I used to have a restaurant in Oakham and before that in Melton Mowbray. I was always drawn toward Stamford because of its beauty and I was lucky enough to find the present premises in Cheyne Lane early in 2015. Where did you train to become a chef? In Italy food is part of the family’s social structure. From an early age children are encouraged to cook and learn to make basic Italian staples like pasta. I started to cook as a profession aged fourteen and at seventeen and a half I went to catering college. What jobs have you had since working as a Chef? After leaving catering college I spent the next few years travelling around Europe cooking in places like France and Switzerland, before taking a job on a cruise ship.
What is the most popular dish on the menu and how often do you change the menu? It is so difficult to say. All the pasta dishes on our menu are very popular. I try and use seasonal ingredients and regularly add regional dishes from all over Italy.
How long have you owned and run Il Vicolo, and what are your plans for the future? I opened Il Vicolo in Stamford in 2015. I have been thinking about opening another place, but one that is more informal and serves café style food. I am just trying to find the perfect venue for this.
Who are your influences when it comes to Chefs? My mother and grandmother. I am also still in touch with the first chef I ever worked with. I was working in a hotel in Rimini, which had a large restaurant – he was a very tough chef, but I learned a huge amount from him, and he is still my friend.
Last year you won an award as Finalist in the English Italian Awards 2016 - Best Restaurant – Under 50 seats (Midlands) Tell me a little about this award. This came as a complete surprise! It all came about because we were nominated by our customers. I feel incredibly grateful for their amazing support. Mimmo is keen to re-iterate however, that none of this could have happened without his staff – “they are like family”, he says “I have taken the ‘boys’ from restaurant to restaurant, they are my friends and this is a team effort. They have the same values and standards as me and we all work well together”.
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
Have you ever cooked for anyone famous? Not that I am aware of. Anyway, I just want to share my food with regular people, not necessarily celebrities. Ask any Italian and they will say Italians ‘live to eat’. We spend our lives thinking about food and what we are going to prepare for the next meal, and we love to share this experience. If you could choose your favourite dish what would it be? A traditional dish from my home city called Ciavattoni allo scoglio – a delicious seafood
pasta dish with a type of tubular pasta, much like a cannelloni but shorter. Give me an interesting food fact about Il Vicolo We use around 50 litres of Extra Virgin Olive Oil every week, which equates to 2,600 litres a year! The bulk of our products are imported directly from Italy, including the wines, which are all brought in from single estate vineyards. We do however, buy meat from Nelsons butchers, fish from the local Saturday market and vegetables from the Tuesday and Friday market. What are your interests outside of work? Spending time with my family is incredibly important to me. I also enjoy go-karting. Every fortnight I meet up with a team of Italian restaurant owners and chefs at a kart track in Leicester and we have some great competition. • To experience Mimmo’s delicious, awardwinning dishes head to: Il Vicolo, 2-3 Cheyne Lane, Stamford, PE9 2AX 01780 480048 Open Monday to Saturday Lunch 12noon – 2pm, Dinner 6pm – 10.30pm Booking advised
Easter Weekend Sunday 16th & Monday 17th April Children’s Free Easter Egg Hunt
LUNCH SPECIAL OFFER Wednesday to Friday. Two Courses for £12.50
STEAK NIGHT EVERY WEDNESDAY Two Steaks (Ribeye, Fish or Gammon) & Two glasses of house wine for £25
OPEN MIC NIGHT
3rd Thursday of the month. Talented local musicians playing Live Music from 8pm WE OFFER A Warm Welcome I A Selection of Real Ales Premium Lagers and Quality Wines Seasonal and Varied Menu I Roaring Log Fire Large Garden I Parties and Functions Overnight Accommodation I Children and Dogs Welcome
More information and our current menu on our website
Tuesday 6pm - 10.30pm Wednesday & Thursday 12 noon - 3pm, 6pm - 10.30pm Friday & Saturday 12 noon - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm Sunday 12 noon - 6pm Monday Closed
T: 01572 747365 E: email@example.com 69
Neil & Louise Hitchen welcome you to
Award Winning Country Pub
Find us in the latest editions of The Michelin Guide, Hardens Food Guide, Waitrose Good Food Guide and Alistair Sawdays Pubs & Inns.
59 Main Street, Wymondham, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 2AG www.theberkeleyarms.co.uk 01572 787587
Melbourn Brothers With over 10 years experience of working with some of the UK’s most distinguished breweries, Victoria Magnall feels qualified in recognising the ingredients that create a great pub!
OME pubs scream personality and theme; others sit back, casual and unassuming…whilst nonetheless being just as welcoming. Under the new management, of friends Katie Smith and Georgie Smith, Melbourn Brothers is just that. The picture perfect exterior could easily make the cover of a Thomas Hardy novel, with its honey coloured stone walls and gas lamp light enticing curious passers-by. It instantly presents itself as a relaxing hostelry for the traveller seeking hearty food and a much needed ale.
Once inside, you are spoilt for choice as to where to sit as it is an Aladdin’s cave of cosy rooms and intimate corners. A favourite spot for my friends and I is the ‘play room’, where you can enjoy all manner of traditional board games reminicent of your childhood. Guests of all ages can be found deep in discussion over a Trivial Pursuit debate or annoyed as they have landed on a competitor player’s heavily occupied Park Lane during an intense game of Monopoly. The heart of the pub has always reminded me of an Alpine lodge, with its light beams and ornate tapestries with locals engaging with newcomers, creating an authentically warm atmosphere. The jewel in the crown is the adorable ‘bird’s nest’, something you do not see in many pubs - hosting three or four tables it is a terrific vantage point for people watching! Throughout the year, it is a reliable pit stop for those walking with dogs and children…wellies and slightly muddy paws have never been tutted at. During the warmer months, the large courtyard beer garden is a very popular ‘after work’ spot, for those wishing to soak up the last of the evening sunshine and enjoy one of the delicious fruit beers on tap. Tourists are always left with happy memories after experiencing the ever popular All Saints’ Brewery tour…pre-booking is essential. There is so much to love about the All Saints’ offering…but the ‘pièce de résistance’ is surely their insanely tasty pies! The menu has always been varied and popular, however, the spectacular pies served really need to win major recognition, they are outstanding and would certainly get my vote as Lincolnshire’s finest! • 22 All Saints’ St, Stamford PE9 2PA 01780 752186 www.allsaintsbrewery.co.uk
Aloha healthy food Stamford’s getting healthy with an exciting new food joint in town. Georgie Fenn tries it out
P the hill from the London Inn, on 12 St John’s Street, is an exciting new healthy food restaurant called Aloha Foods. The Worthington brothers, Nathan and Grant, have been planning their venture for some time and it’s finally come to life. Let me ask you this, how often do you plan your lunches in the week only to get sick of what you’re cooking? Bored of the sandwiches and salads on offer in the shops and the worst...throw food away at the end of the week that simply hasn’t been eaten. I imagine a lot of us are guilty, and if you aren’t...well you should be proud that you’ve got it all together. Aloha Foods is filling that gap in the market for lunchtime, evening and hopefully in the future breakfasts that are healthy, full of excellent nutrition and damn right delicious too. Their menu is simple and straightforward, and all of the ingredients arrive fresh each day from local Stamford suppliers. You pick a protein, followed by a base and then you can choose your sides. For example, I went for King Prawns with Sweet Mash and Home Slaw with a sweet chilli and garlic dressing – it was ridiculously good but most importantly it really filled me up. Unusually for me, I didn’t crave something sweet afterwards and I definitely managed to not snack for a good two hours (I’m usually a continuous grazer.) If you do fancy something sweet, there are health Protein Brownies and nibbles to choose from too. The tasty food and excellent idea comes from the two ex Stamfordians.
Both Grant and Nathan went through Stamford School, then off to University where Grant studied Nutritional Health and Nathan went on to chef in various restaurants including round here for the past six years. After a couple of years of travelling, the brothers decided to combine their passions for scrumptious but healthy food and out sprung Aloha Foods. As well as the wholesome meals, Aloha Foods offers sweet treats, smoothies and healthy drinks and snacks. What is most important about this restaurant is that it caters for absolutely everyone; and with Grant’s qualifications, they can offer nutritional advice to people with special dietary requirements. Whether you’re a celiac, diabetic, lactose intolerant, vegetarian, vegan or anything else – they’ve got you covered. • 12 St John’s St, Stamford PE9 2DB 10.30-6.30 Mon-Sat 12-5 Sunday STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
FOOD & DRINK AT THE OLIVE BRANCH
A taste of the unexpected! Sean Hope names the 10 most unusual food and drink items ever served at The Olive Branch… PHOTO: HTTPS://TEMPEREDSPIRITS.COM
2. Crème de Violette
3. Plum Saké
E’VE run The Olive Branch since 1999 and in that time we’ve served some pretty interesting things: Stamford Truffles, Marmite Bloody Marys, Seaweed Meringues… you name it! So, inspired by our very recent flirtation with the amazing Finger Lime (see below), we thought it’d be good fun to list the top ten most intriguing things we’ve served.
We bought this especially for one of our Gourmet Dinners and it has become incredibly popular at The Olive Branch ever since – so much so that our wine suppliers now import it especially for us. Saké originates from Japan and is made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran.
We didn’t serve them raw, straight out of the shell like they do in the Far East. However, sea urchin (“urchin” is an old word for “hedgehog”, apparently) roe is delicious when mixed into wonderfully creamy scrambled eggs.
7. Black-Headed Gulls Eggs
These were a special request by one of our regulars at a party we were catering for at his home. Blackheaded gulls eggs have been described as having “the creamiest, richest flavour imaginable, with a subtle lingering aftertaste”. The gull’s egg season is short – April 1 to May 15 – and collectors (or “eggers” as they are known) must hold a government licence. There are only 25 or so licence holders in the world!
8. Seaweed Meringue This is currently on the menu and being served with scallops.
4. Stamford Truffles
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
This wine was discovered in a secret cellar in the Chateau in 1989 and is said to have been hidden away from the Nazis and only discovered by accident during building work. The casks weren’t dated so the wine could have been from any date prior to then. We bought two bottles. The wine is very dark in colour due to the length of time it spent in a cask. The flavour consists of raisins and dried fruit, with a great length of finish.
10. Kopi Luwak (a.k.a. cat poo coffee!)
1. Finger Limes
9. 1943 Chateau Le Caillou Monbazillac
5. Marmite Bloody Mary
What can we say? It seemed a good idea at the time!
Kopi Luwak are coffee beans that contain partdigested coffee cherries eaten and then pooed out by the Asian palm civet! And actually we have never tried this – it just seems to be going too far! However, if any guests out there would like to request some, we would be happy to source it for you!
Ssshhh. Yes, once upon a time someone arrived at our back door with a wonderful black, earthy, nobbly fungus about the size of a golf ball. “I think this is a truffle,” he said, “I found it while digging up a tree in my field just down the road. What do you think?” There have been more since but we are not spilling the beans on the location!
We used these in a recent spring scallop dish and someone described them as a “zesty explosion”, which is a good choice of words. Originating from Australia, the finger lime – or the ‘distinctly ocker fruit’ as it is known (citrus Australasica) – is a long, slender, gherkin-shaped fruit that contains what can only be described as “lime caviar” – fishegg-like globules that release a lime punch when they burst in your mouth.
This liqueur is made with violet flowers and was requested by one of our guests to make a great cocktail with Champagne. It’s a floral, sweet liqueur and yes, it does remind you a bit of those Parma Violet sweets. Apparently: “Its known production dates back to the early 19th century when it was served with dry vermouth or alone as a cordial.”
6. Sea Urchin
The Single Cask Georgie Fenn discovers a fancy new whisky bar where Stamford meets Singapore
HERE is a new bar in town, and an exciting one at that. The Single Cask has opened on 16 St Mary’s Hill (where Milano’s used to be) and is a joyous little bar specialising in whiskies with character. I went along on one of its first open evenings to see what it was all about. Despite being a whisky bar, The Single Cask offers a whole lot more than just your average scotch. My friend Lydia and I were slightly apprehensive as we’re hardly seasoned professionals when it comes to whisky but we’re always keen to try new things. We were greeted by an enthusiastic chap called Tom who showed us the drinks menu that contains over 300 whiskies and a few cocktails and gins too. Tom was able to recommend whiskies judging on what tastes you usually go for, but on this occasion we thought we’d give the cocktails a go. Tom suggested we try the cocktails Stillman’s Dogwatch and the Forbidden Flower; and both were exceptional with tastes you normally only find in an edgy bar in Shoreditch. The secret behind this menu of exciting whiskies is the owner of the bar, Ben Curtis. Ben has a back history in wine trading all over the world, eventually ending up trading whisky into South East Asia. He soon realised that he was missing a trick with the whisky casks and began bottling up single casks in his own distillery and experimenting with the different flavours. The name, ‘The Single Cask’, comes from the whiskies literally coming from a single cask, there aren’t many blends on the shelves. As the popularity of these unique whiskies grew, Ben decided to set up a bar in Singapore so that more people could become aware of the inimitable taste of individual whisky casks. It was in Singapore that Ben’s outstanding cocktail menu was created, by real connoisseurs with a depth of knowledge in the spirit world; and you can really taste that passion, especially in the Stillman’s Dogwatch (definitely my favourite.) Ben decided to return to Stamford last year, his mother has lived here for over 20 years and like most people who have lived in Stamford before, they all end up coming back. He has transformed the space into a whisky hub, even the bar is made from the wood of the original casks. The Single Cask also offers an array of different gourmet burgers, made from local Grasmere Farm mince and with wholesome homemade sauces that pair with the chips and brioche buns perfectly – I recommend the Brie burger, delicious! • The Single Cask, 16 St Mary’s Hill, Stamford, PE9 2WE
Exeter Arms, Easton on the Hill The Exeter Arms is now under the management of Peter Lane and his wife Sarah. Nicholas Rudd-Jones went to try it out
OU know those evenings where you want something decent to eat but you still want it to be informal, maybe even not go to the table at all but have your food served by the fire or at the pub (depending on what you are most in need of…) Well, that was the sort of evening that we decided to try out the Exeter Arms and it absolutely hit the spot. As it happened, we were planning a holiday and wanted to lay a map of the Outer Hebrides on the table. An unexpected bonus was a running commentary of helpful tips from people passing by to the bar – “Don’t go in July, too many midges….” “A friend went camping there for a fortnight and it rained everyday”, “you must stop off on the way at the Llama Karma Kafé on the A66”, that sort of useful advice. We were invited in due course to our table in the very agreeable restaurant area (part of the main body of the pub, full of
STAMFORD LIVING APRIL 2017
beams, eclectic furniture, lovely windows seats and a generally agreeable feel); but we declined (no problem) and decided to stay where we were, planning routes by the table wedged between the bar and the fire (we needed both). And the food is spot on, at the top end of great pub grub I would say. For starters, my partner had the ‘Pan seared Pigeon breast served with Morello Cherry chutney’ – well put together and with really generous portions of pigeon meat. I had the ‘Toasted goat’s cheese, beetroot fondant, pea shoots and beetroot crisps, which was very filling and delicious (you need a big appetite for this one). For mains, my partner chose very well, the ‘Monkfish wrapped in parma Ham, vegetable Linguini with Champagne and Pink peppercorn sauce’. Again, a generous portion of monkfish well-presented and perfectly cooked. I had the classic ‘Steak & Kidney Pie with Vegetables and a choice of mash potatoes and chips’…which was indeed classic, with a very rich gravy and good meat. I would heartily recommend this establishment if you want somewhere good to really relax; it would also make an ideal stop of Sunday lunch mid-way through the Stamford to Easton and back walk circuit. If there’s a group of you, grab one of the window tables and enjoy the sunshine pouring in. • Exeter Arms, 21 Stamford Rd, Easton on the Hill, Stamford PE9 3NS 01780 756321 www.theexeterarms.net
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Lunch for Less Seasonal 2 Course Menu £12.95 3rd Course £3.95 (excludes Sat & Sun lunch times)
T h e Ya r d TOWN CENTRE DINING
Modern British food, great value set priced and a la carte menu and now introducing our new courtyard menu. So whether you are wanting an express lunch or simply a more relaxing three courses, we will cater for all. Beautiful restaurant and sunlit courtyard setting, tucked away in the centre of Stamford. We cater for parties, small weddings or just dinner for two.
Children under 10 eat free this Easter Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday. Sunday Lunchtime service. Visit our website for hours, menus and how to become a member and receive monthly offers and up dates No.3 The Yard, Ironmonger Street, Stamford, PE9 1PL 01780 756080 - www.no3theyard.co.uk
21 Stamford Road, Easton on the Hill, Stamford, PE9 3NS T: 01780 756321 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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GOING BY BUS AGAIN – Spires & Villages of Rutland Jean Orpin and Sue Lee have taken to the buses again suggesting that April is a good month to travel the No 12 route to Uppingham stopping off along the way. After Easter churches are likely to be beautifully decorated too.
NORTH LUFFENHAM Church From the bus stop follow the path past the school to the church. As you approach, you will get a good view of the broach spire but it is worth going to the south side from where you can appreciate the length of the chancel and see what an imposing building it is. In this area there are also over 30 graves maintained by the Commonwealth Graves commission. Just inside the church door, on the left, is a leaflet which will guide you to the interesting features. Don’t miss the plaque commemorating Archdeacon Robert Johnson, founder of Oakham and Uppingham Schools, who was Rector here from 1574 to 1625. Village At the time of the Domesday Book, North Luffenham was owned by William the Conqueror. An important village at times, fragments only remain of its colourful history. An information board near the school tells the story of the Siege of Luffenham Hall in 1643 during the Civil War. Part of the 16thC Digby Manor House (now called Luffenham Hall) can be seen to the left of the path down to the church and the Fox is an 18th inn. Practicalities: • Church open daily • Bus journey 23mins. Alight near the School. Further bus stops on Digby Drive and Pinfold Lane, near the bungalows. • Buses allow just under an hour, long enough to see the church or then return 2 hourly after that (and one at 4pm) allowing time for a leisurely visit and lunch. • The Fox, 1 Pinfold Lane, open at lunchtimes except Monday
CENTREBUS Centrebus, founded in 2001, now operates all over the centre of the country from Hertfordshire to Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire to Lincolnshire. The company slogan is “It’s a bus that takes you into the Centre” but in our area, there are more rural routes. Most travellers are regulars and know the stops but drivers are helpful so ask for further directions when you get on. The No 12 travels between Stamford and Uppingham winding through the countryside. The journey goes through Ketton to the south shore of Rutland Water, past the former Thor missile site (early 1960s) near Edith Weston then south to the Luffenhams and Barrowden. It is only a two-hourly service. Timetables are clearly displayed at main stops. The service does not run on Sundays or Bank Holidays.
BARROWDEN Church From the bus stop you need to head past the pond towards the spire and you will find the church! The earliest parts are 13thC and its very attractive 14thC tower is topped by a broach spire. This spire was struck by lightning in 1915 and the rebuilding also involved the recasting and rehanging of bells. The interior is simple and peaceful: don’t miss the ancient door hinges as you enter nor the unusual charitable donation of 1833 detailed on a plaque near the font. There is a fine war memorial altar, a 16C monument and if you want to discover the complexities of change ringing, look at diagrams under the tower. Village Barrowden can justly call itself ‘picturesque’. It is a large rambling village on the northern banks of the Welland valley and probably has an Anglo-Saxon origin. Streets criss-cross around open village greens dotted with trees. Choose a fine day in spring and just wander around noting the street names which tell you much about the village’s past. Even the ducks have superb accommodation! Practicalities: • Church open daily • Bus journey 30mins. Main stop Bus Shelter near Exeter Arms. • Any bus allows 40 mins, just long enough to walk to the church, spend
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20 mins and catch the bus as it returns. For a longer visit take 9.30am have coffee at the Shop and return on the 12.43pm or take 11.30am, include lunch, and return at 14.23pm • Barrowden Community Shop, 22 Wakerley Rd open all day - serves drinks, cakes & light lunches Mon-Fri. • Exeter Arms - serves food 12-2pm Wed & Thurs, 12-3pm Fri & Sat. Great pub grub and a friendly welcome.
SOUTH LUFFENHAM KETTON Church From the Fountain (erected to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee), the church is reached taking Redmile Lane and turning right into Chapel Lane which passes the former Congregational Chapel (1829) now the Church Hall. Built of Barnack stone, the exterior is pleasing to the eye from all directions. Its two particular glories are the 12thC West front and the 14thC spire. Much of the building is 13thC and in the 19thC the notable architects George Gilbert Scott and T G Jackson were commissioned to restore it. In the 20th Century Ninian Comper was responsible for designing several features. The churchyard has a good collection of gravestones including one near the gate illustrating mason’s tools in memory of Hibbins, a local stonemason. A later member of the family constructed the War Memorial to Comper’s design. Village Ketton - originally three settlements Ketton, Aldgate and Geeston - is attractive as you drive past but worth exploring further on foot. From the church continue south to the River Chater. Bear left to Aldgate. From Aldgate, follow another path back to the river, cross the foot-bridge and return on Bull Lane past the Methodist Church to the main road. Alternatively, return past the church. Follow the road, instead of Chapel Lane, to the crossroads to see the Hibbins’ House, clearly advertising his work as a stonemason. On the left as you return to the bus, just visible over a wall, is the former St Mary’s Home (for unmarried mothers) which ran from 1892 to 1944.
Church From the bus stop cross the road and take Hall Lane past the fine 17th Hall then turn left past the pub. The spire which can be seen above the trees has fancy stone decorations (crockets) on all its angles making it an attractive feature. Take care entering because the door opens onto steps. There is a leaflet available (donation requested) describing items of interest and outlining the development of the building. It is a text book example of church history. The 1860s restoration of the church was by G E Street who designed the Royal Courts of Justice and one of whose apprentices was William Morris. Don’t miss the 14thC Culpepper tomb or the slab commemorating Rose Boswell (d1794) daughter of the ‘king of the gypsies’. Village To see more of the village keep turning left from the church. Next door is the old Tithe Barn then pass houses, old and new, until you reach the Rectory on the main road. Maud Royden, a suffragist who wrote The Threefold Cord, lived here, so did the Revd Richards who took in pupils and one of them was Hermann Goering. The Coach House, formerly The Halfway House was a staging post for coaches travelling to Stamford. Alternatively, turn right from the church and you will pass the former National School, built 1846. The Boot and Shoe had a bakehouse until 1935, where people had their Sunday dinners cooked for 2d. There
are many other paths to follow around the village including one across the fields to the level crossing where the bus stops. Ask locally for directions! Practicalities: • Church open daily • Bus journey 27mins. Bus stops on both sides of the main road (A6121) and also on Station Road (I min later) between level crossing and bridge. • 50mins is long enough to walk to church, have a look and return on next bus. Catch 9.30am, returning 10.57am or 1.30pm returning 2.47pm. Alternatively take 11.30am, explore more of the village, have lunch and return at 2.57pm. • Coach House open 12-2pm Tues to Sat. Boot & Shoe open 12-2.30pm Wed to Sat
Practicalities: • Ketton Church (for good reasons) cannot currently be left unlocked but will be opened by request – ring 01780 720306 before you set out. • Bus journey 8 mins. Alight at Fountain, return from Village Shop. • To visit church only, 9.30am returning 11.06am or 1.30pm retuning 3.06pm. To explore the village take 11.30am returning 3.06pm or 1.30pm returning 4.16pm • Village Shop serves hot drinks as well as selling pasties etc. Neither pub open weekday lunchtimes. Railway Inn open from midday Saturday - good beers but no meals.
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OUT & ABOUT Amander Meade selects the best entertainment in the region this month Monday 3 to Thursday 13 April, 9.30am to 4pm CHILDREN’S WORKSHOPS: Wildcats Theatre School Dungeons and Dragons, Trolls, Disney and Cheerleading are some of the themes for holiday workshops this Easter with Wildcats. You can opt for the whole two weeks of daily sessions or choose the themes you like the sound of. All workshops are £23.50 per day with early drop off and later collection available at a small charge. Workshops take place at Castle House, St Peter’s Hill To book or for more information Tel: 01780 762000 or visit www. wildcatstheatreschool. co.uk Thursday 6 April, 11am and 3.30pm CHILDRENS THEATRE: The Three Little Pigs A brand new adaptation of this classic fairy tale. The Three Little Pigs set off into the big wide world to seek their fortune but news soon spreads of a Big Bad Wolf on the loose. Will their houses of straw, twigs and bricks be left standing or will the wolf huff and puff and blow them all down? Filled with humour and toe tapping tunes. Recommended for 3 years plus, 50 minutes duration. Stamford Arts Centre Tickets £8/£7 or £28 for a family of four. Tuesday 11 April to Saturday 29 April EXHIBITION: Ray Sheldon – Still Life Ray Sheldon trained working for the ceramics industry culminating as Art Director of Minton. In this new exhibition he explores the dynamics of still life creating involving perspective by using a visual language
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embedded in the paintings. Colour mass and negative space, are treated with equal amounts of thought. His understanding of still life painting is confident, understated and profound. Rob Fogell Gallery Admission is free. Further information Tel: 01780 762099 www.robfogell.co.uk Rob Fogell Gallery
Thursday 13 April, 7.30pm TALK: John Clare Roger Rowe will be the guest of Stamford & District Local History Society and will give a talk on the poet, John Clare. Methodist Church Rooms, Barn Hill Members £3, nonmembers £5. Saturday 15 April, 9.30am to 11.30am EVENT: Paralympian Triathlete Meet and Greet Gold medal winning Paralympic athletes Andy J Lewis and Clare Cunningham will take part in an informal meet and greet session. The visit has been
Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 April, 10am to 4pm EVENT: Fine Food Market The chance to meet and sample the wares of around 30 local suppliers in a celebration of local produce with handmade cheeses, artisan breads, organic vegetables, luxury sweet treats and rare breed meats. The Courtyard, Burghley House Free admission.
arranged by Dr Mary Hardwick of Inspire2Tri fitness training and young triathletes and disability athletes of any age are particularly welcome. Open to all, the event is free but Mary would appreciate an email on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend to assess numbers. Meet Andy and Clare at The Barn Fitness Studio, St Mary’s Road, Manton LE15 8SU
Tuesday 11 April, 7.30pm COMEDY: One for the Road with Seann Walsh The Lie-in King returns with a brand-new show. Described by The Guardian as “unquestionably the best observational comic of his generation”. One of the best comics in the country with a keen observational mind, Seann can spot the absurdity in everything and convert it to perfectly delivered stand-up comedy. Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre Tickets £15 Tel: 01780 766455 www.stamfordcornexchange.co.uk
Wednesday 19 April, 1.30pm CHILDRENS THEATRE: Shark in the Park When Timothy Pope receives a brand new telescope for his birthday he is excited to test it out at the park. But wait... is that really a shark he can see? Join Timothy and his Elvis loving Dad on their adventures, meeting lots of other fun characters along the way. A highly talented cast, audience
participation and fantastic songs bring Nick Sharatt’s books to life for all the family. Suitable for age 2 years upwards. Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre Tickets £10/£9 with a family ticket at £36 Tel: 01780 766455 www. stamfordcornexchange. co.uk Thursday 20 April, 7.30PM TALK: From West Street to East Street A virtual walk along one of Stamford’s main arterial roads, tracing the line of the medieval town walls. Renowned historian Philippa Massey investigates its buildings and industry, and looks at how it has changed. Stamford Theatre Tickets for reserved seating, £5 (£4.50 concessions) available from the box office Tel: 01780 763203 www. stamfordartscentre.com
• daytime classes Tuesdays or Thursdays • evening class on Mondays • for complete beginners or improvers • drawing, pastels, watercolours, acrylics • all materials included • next 12 week course starts soon • held at Yarwell Village Hall
OUT & ABOUT Amander Meade selects the best entertainment in the region this month Friday 28 to Sunday 30 April EVENT: The Deepings Literary Festival During this inaugural festival, an impressive line- up of authors and musicians appear at events taking place at various locations during the weekend. Inspired by ‘The Library That Would Not Die’ the campaign to keep the Deepings library open, a weekend of fantastic words is guaranteed. Friday starts with an impressive line-up of authors in schools including Chloe Inkpen, Malorie Blackman, Louise Doughty and Alison Bruce who are all appearing in Market Deeping. On Saturday Karen Maitland, Martin Davies and Lynn Knight will speak and visitors will have the chance to chat to Erica James Author Louise Doughty
Join the Easter Family Fun around the region…
in Lillis Tea Room. The Travelling Talesman will entertain with myths, legends and folk tales and Gyles Brandreth will host a black tie dinner. There will be special guided tours of John Clare Cottage before the festival finale which will be a performance of Lincolnshire Letters Aloud! - carefully selected words from Lincolnshire heroes and legends. Tickets available from www.stamfordartscentre. com with information on all appearances and events at www. deepingsliteraryfestival. co.uk
Saturday 8 April, 1pm Pysanka Workshop Do not miss the opportunity to learn about the ancient tradition of Pysanka. This unique egg decorative workshop is tailored for parent and child to design and make a unique Easter gift. Stamford Arts Centre Tickets £15 (children aged 6-12 years must be accompanied by an adult.) Tel: 01780 763203 www. stamfordartscentre. com
Sunday 23 April, 11am to 3pm EVENT: Stamford Quality Market A traditionally styled market with a range of goods on sale by artisan makers including jewellery, home ware, gifts, fashion accessories and art. Stamford Arts Centre Admission is free
Friday 14 to Monday 17 April, 9am to 5pm Easter at Barnsdale Gardens Easter Egg painting 12pm – 4pm on Saturday with an Easter Hunt every day. Everyone can paint an egg to help decorate the special Easter Tree and youngsters can have a cracking good time hunting for tokens to swap for a chocolatey Easter treat. www.barnsdalegardens. co.uk
Sunday 16 April, 11am to 5pm Easter Egg Hunt Follow the treasure hunt around the Gardens of Surprise and solve the riddle to claim your full size chocolate egg from the Easter Bunny. Parents are also asked to test their Easter knowledge to try and win a family Season Card. All entries will go in to the prize draw for a giant chocolate Easter Bunny. Admittance is free of charge with a House and Gardens or Gardens only ticket. Burghley House www.burghley.co.uk Monday 17 April, 11am to 4pm Easter Trail Join the Easter trail, search for the letters hidden in the wren boxes around the garden and discover the Easter themed word to win a prize and a certificate. Easton Walled Gardens www.visiteaston.co.uk
Easter Bunny at Burghley House
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Louise Doughty grew up in Rutland and is the highly acclaimed author of eight best-selling novels, including the recently published ‘Black Water’. Her previous book was ‘Apple Tree Yard’, which has been translated into 28 languages and was recently adapted for television. Louise tells Amander Meade about her work.
The TV adaptation of Apple Tree Yard has been a major success – were you pleased with how your characters and story were portrayed? I was delighted with the adaptation – I think the programme makers did a terrific job. It’s a nerve-wracking business, handing your novel over, but Kudos TV who made it for the BBC were very good at consulting me and I went on set about once a week. It was fascinating to watch. What is your advice to other young writers hoping to emulate your success? There are three words that every aspiring writer should have tattooed on their foreheads. ‘Keep your nerve’. The most important quality any writer needs – after raw talent of course – is stamina. It takes years and years to train yourself to write and often years after that to break through. My first novel was published in 1995 but I only started earning a full-time living from writing alone with ‘Apple Tree Yard’, my seventh novel, published in 2013. You have received so many illustrious awards and endorsements by other highly acclaimed writers – how important are these to you? It’s very rewarding to have the approval of your peer group, certainly, but a reader dropping you a line to say how much they enjoyed your book means more than anything. You are often asked to judge others’ work – do you enjoy that process? Judging literary prizes is a great cure for worrying about whether or not you’ll ever win one. I do enjoy it but it’s a great responsibility – particularly with a prize like the Man Booker, which I judged in 2008. You’re anointing
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someone for the rest of their career – and the corollary of that is you’re not anointing the ones you don’t choose. Winning an award can, for some writers, mean the difference between getting their next book published or disappearing into obscurity, so it’s a serious business. Do you have fond memories of Rutland? I grew up in Oakham so have very fond memories of the countryside especially the drive over to Melton Mowbray, where I was born, to visit my grandparents in Nether Broughton. I’m old enough to remember Rutland Water being created, all the controversy over it at the time, and how it became, very rapidly, part of Rutland life You are appearing this month at the Deepings Literary Festival – do you enjoy this kind of event? Very much so. There is nothing better than meeting people who still love reading books and are reading and writing enthusiasts. It’s important to get away from your desk and remind yourself that you have readers; otherwise you can get quite stale as a writer. Nothing makes me happier than talking about books to people outside that strange literary bubble. I’m a huge believer in a vibrant library culture. I doubt I would have become a writer if it wasn’t for the access I had to free books in Oakham Library when I was young – I spent hours and hours there and credit it with giving me the chance to discover literature, so I will always try and do any event in support of a library if I can. • ‘Black Water’ and ‘Apple Tree Yard’ by Louise Doughty are both out in paperback now. (Faber & Faber, £7.99). Tickets for ‘An Afternoon Conversation and Workshop with Louise Doughty’ at Deepings Library on Friday 28 April are available at www.stamfordartscentre.com
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