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Loving where we live!


@StamfordLiving1 Stamford Living

In the Spotlight Performing Opportunities for Youngsters

Getting Sorted A guide to local accountants, solicitors and financial advisers

JANUARY 2017 ÂŁ1.50

Food/Fashion/Health & Beauty/Home & Garden/Lifestyle


9 771478 377017

Windows | Doors | Garden Rooms | Orangeries | Conservatories | Kitchens From the initial design consultation right through to the fitting of your windows, doors and kitchen, Orchard will ensure the quality of service you receive is second to none!

Visit one of our showrooms to see more‌ Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms

Windows, Doors & Conservatories

Showroom Opening Times

01780 481 850

01780 753 343

Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm Saturday: Windows 9am - 1pm Kitchens 9am - 3pm

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1 Meadow View, Uffington Road Stamford, PE9 2EX

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January Contents

The pleasure of mistaken beliefs These are some of the (mistaken) beliefs I had as a child: 1) The Aga would actually explode if the heat gauge went into the red zone. Could we get Colin Furze to test this one perhaps?! 2) Trespassers will be prosecuted…I always thought prosecuted meant electrocuted, hence to this day my avoidance of leaving the track on country walks 3) Window sill was actually spelt window still – it took me days to accept I was wrong when I was finally corrected 4) You could create thunder and lightning if you pushed a crowbar deep enough into the ground and swivelled it around vigorously (my brother’s idea, he was older than me) What mistaken beliefs did you have as a child? And do you miss them now you are (presumably) an adult? Let me know on

Nicholas Rudd-Jones Editor

UPDATES, SHOPPING 49 Ewe wool shop, Stephenson Smart, Artisan award 66 Country Traditionals, Lumen Lighting, the Revellers, Forbidden Nights


Active kit Gyms & trainers Ivy Lodge Get moving: Stamford Boot Camp, Nene School of Dancing, Sly Yoga

HOME & GARDEN 11 23 41 60

@StamfordLiving1 Stamford Living Editor and Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 Write to Stamford Living, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Advertisement Manager Claudia Bayley 01780 482828 Advertising Copy Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 Head of Design Steven Handley Designer Sarah Compton Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 Published by Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford, Lincs. PE9 9FY Printed by Warners of Bourne Cover photo this month: St George’s Church in the snow, picture by Kingsley Singleton www.



Creating a Home Office Property: Stukeley Court, Barnack Rd Property: Robert Goodwin lettings Property: UPP, Hegarty’s

FOOD & DRINK 53 Eating Out: Lunch for Less, Jackson Stops, Barnsdale Lodge food review 55 Eating Out: Mad Turk lunch and takeaway menu, No. 1 Kitchen 56 Cooking Game 59 Chef profile; Michael Laing, Stamford Garden Centre


ACTIVITIES, CULTURE, LEARNING & BUSINESS 20 In the Spotlight; Performing Opportunities for Youngsters 31 Feature on accountants, solicitors and financial advisers 36 Wilds Lodge School 38 Amnesty International; Rutland & Stamford branch 42 Pet page: New College, Stamford courses 46 Olsen Metrix marketing agency 50 Great winter walks along the coastline 68 Rightclick and Talent Dynamics, a business development pathway 75 What’s On

PEOPLE & PLACES 72 Ask Leo: History of Coachbuilders in Stamford 86 Stamford People: Nick Gallop, new head of Stamford School



Wishing you all a Happy New Year

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 Email: 12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN 6

Fit Fashion Fitness and fashion collide this month. Sally Stillingfleet persuaded fitness professionals in and around Stamford to model clothes in keeping with their specialism. You can feel comfortable and look the part in the latest fabrics and styles with stretch and comfort as standard. PHOTOGRAPHY: ELLI DEAN

Vicky wears Maison Scotch red coat £265 with floral leggings £30 and matching vest £27 all Adidas white Superstar trainers £95 Jon wears red and navy Track top £60 with T shirt £25, shorts and Gazelle trainers £78 all Adidas from Energy





OJO Fitness is about helping everyone enjoy, improve and progress their own fitness and health. If you feel totally intimidated by going to the gym then Jon and Vicky’s classes are a good place to start. With a comprehensive range of PT options and classes including Metafit© and Circuits “You get what you work for, not what you wish for!” Jon and Vicky are passionate about what they do and will share their extensive knowledge and prove that no matter what your fitness level, age, stage, lifestyle when you make a commitment to fitness, you will be happier and healthier for it. Jon – 07966 508651 Vicky – 07753 118477 MOJO – www. mojofitnesstraining.

Vicky wears Yellowstone leggings £49.95 with Wave long-sleeved top £37.95 both Sly. Plus, Fine blue jumper £90 Attic own trainers.

Henri wears Glamorous body £30 Energy with Marni net skirt £150 Arch




enri Tatton runs an extensive range of fast funky Xtend Barre© classes at the beautiful Welland School of Dancing Studios. We can all aspire to look as graceful as her and you don’t have to wear a Tu Tu! Fun classes for toning posture and fitness in amazing surroundings. Classes run most weekdays, alongside Adult Ballet and Tap classes 09866 564827 Welland School of Dancing – The Ballroom, Stamford Walk. 07921 213024 Maggie@

Henri wears grey lacey dress £92 Energy

Tara (centre) wears legging with side silver panel £54.95 Sly with Silvian Heach vest £42 Energy Nikki wears khaki Combo leggings £59.95 Sly with Adidas top £28 Energy. Jade (left) wears high rise leggings £54.95 Sly with sports bra from Poze. Postcard from Brighton top £45 Energy. All Adidas trainers Energy.

Sarah wears Postcard vest £36 over pink Bralette £25 Adidas red patterned leggings £35


arcus Parr-Black is a very experienced Yoga instructor and has the most beautiful studio in Broad Street. He also runs classes in Castor. He has one of the most accessible and diverse timetables of Yoga classes locally. Sarah has gained tremendous strength and fitness with her devotion to Yoga and what can be achieved is seen here in some challenging poses with clothing from Energy. 07738 272474

Mink Pink Leggings £59 with pink Bralette £25

CONTACTS POZE – 2 Star Lane, Stamford. 01780 753886 Sly – Mobile: 07939 667111 Email: Arch Label Agency – 43 St Paul’s Street. 01780 764746 Attic – 33 St. Mary’s St 01780 766667


ara Taylor is a real inspiration in the town and has a devoted following. Her two latest Body Challenge winners, Jade Gorman and Nikki Dawson, are modeling too. A great platform for finding that fitness can integrate into your lifestyle, achieved with a mixture of free fitness, running clubs and paid sessions. “ My passion is getting our community fitter and healthier! Any size, any shape, any ability, any age with zero Intimidation,” Tara enthuses. These two BC winners have not only got fitter and made friends through her Buggy Boots Camps, but also joining a wider community has given them both their confidence back. Tara’s Health and Fitness - join her Facebook Page 07749 473586

Tara wears legging with side silver panel £54.95 Sly with Silvian Heach vest £42 Energy, own trainers.

Energy – 9 Ironmonger St 01780 765633 Many thanks to Karen from Maples for doing Henri’s make-up so beautifully using Clarins. She can also tailor a make-up demo for ladies wanting to update their skills and be introduced to the latest Maples products. 01780 752725 STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2017


Stamford’s independent clothes shop for womenswear & menswear

SALE NOW ON 9 Ironmonger Street, Stamford, PE9 1PL 01780 765633 @energyclothingstamford

A Girl’s Best Friend Based in the heart of Stamford

T 07939 667111 E






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Also lots of wonderful promotions in store throughout January including 10% off all orders (exc. paint)

Gentlemen’s Suits, Jackets, Overcoats and Tuxedos all beautifully tailored from a choice of over 6000 fine cloths. Please telephone for an appointment.

63 High Street St Martin’s, Stamford 01780 762544 7 All Saint’s Passage, Cambridge 01223 300677

For more information contact us: 27 Mill St, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6EA 01572 722 345


NEW YEAR FITNESS Genevieve Potter takes a closer look at Stamford’s newest fitness facility, Fusion3 and some of the other talented professionals who can inspire you to reach your fitness goals this year.

Fusion3 ‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’. Emblazoned on the wall of Stamford’s newest fitness facility, Fusion3, this is an ethos that owners Tim Britton and Andy and Nicola Thomas clearly live and breathe. Born out of a brainstorm, the Fusion3 brand, situated in Cherry Holt Road on the former site of the Stamford Construction Academy, represents three complementary areas of expertise. Tim has a passion for Crossfit and functional fitness, Andy for nutrition, and

Nicola for bodybuilding and all fitness. Whilst this all might sound a bit daunting for anyone simply wishing to get a bit fitter or shed some weight post-Christmas, the great thing about Fusion3 is the supportive, communityled feel that the gym has developed since it opened its doors at the end of August. Members are encouraged to help and inspire each other and, whereas other gyms often carry out an induction and then leave clients to their own devices, there’s a focus on continuous care that’s really impressive when seen in action. The newly-expanded team are on hand to ensure that whether it’s a quick 30 minute lunchtime work out or a more concerted training programme building to an event or competition, all of their members are getting the most out of their time at Fusion3. Thoughtful touches like a mouth-wateringly fresh smoothie bar and an informal seating area work well alongside the high-tech facility that’s spread over two levels. Tim jokes about the ‘lovely but brutal’ new machinery that’s recently arrived, including a ‘Skierg’, Wattbike and scarily named ‘Assault bike’. There are a number of ‘functional fitness’ classes with a maximum of 10 participants, ensuring that the level of individual attention remains high, with plans to introduce new box fit, and metafit (otherwise known as high intensity fitness) and abdominals classes from early 2017. Popular onsite masseur Jonny Hands operates his ‘Inner Body Balance’ business from a

separate area of Fusion3 – more news on his services in Stamford Living’s February issue. With opening hours from 6 am to 9 pm Monday to Friday and 8 am to 4 pm at weekends, Fusion3 also offers practical membership/non membership options, such as a £20 weekly training pass. With membership levels surpassing expectations, it’s clear that 2017 is going to be an exciting year for Fusion3. Tim comments: “It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears for us to launch Fusion3 but seeing our clients achieving their fitness goals, with their confidence soaring in the process, convinces us that it’s all been worthwhile.” • Fusion3 Fitness, Cherryholt House, Cherryholt Road, Stamford, PE9 2EP Tel: 01780 764 600

Stamford Boot Camp Six years after launching, Stamford Boot Camp endures as the go-to programme for those who are 100% serious about getting and staying fit. Proprietor Rob Dulieu explains that consistency, rather than a ‘quick fix’ is key. Whilst January is traditionally a time when people look to ramp up their exercise, Rob helps his clients achieve and maintain optimum fitness all year round. Rob’s sessions are never the same and are brilliantly inclusive, with people (or as Rob fondly calls them ‘his campers’) of different abilities, ages and fitness levels feeling and seeing the benefits. ‘Campers’ even meet up socially, with new and lasting friendships being made. January sees some excellent value money saving offers, including six months of Boot Camp for the price of five. • To find out more, visit or call Rob on 01780 238 522.



Also loved by Stamford Living readers:

Westside rebooted Westside Health and Fitness Club have launched a new partnership with fitness class provider LES MILLS™. The launch will include classes in BODYPUMP™ and BODYCOMBAT™ from January, with a third offering, BODYATTACK coming through in March. Launch events for January will include taster sessions, mini workouts and large-scale workouts in bigger venues. Members and non-members alike can take part in the classes, with non-members attending on a pay-as-you-go basis. These classes are for anyone who is looking to get lean, toned and fit – fast. They are based on scientifically proven moves and techniques and instructors will pump out encouragement, motivation and great music. The venture is being overseen by Caz Dolby who said ‘I am excited to be working with Westside on this amazing project which will bring the Les Mills brand to Stamford and give new and exciting ways to keep fit. We look forward to announcing dates and times of launch events soon – book early to avoid disappointment!’ • Westside Health Club, West Street, Stamford PE9 2BN Tel: 01780 480651

A world-class winner Rhino’s Gymnasium is the largest and most diverse training facility in Stamford. Winner of the prestigious title of the UK’s best gym 2016 by Men’s Health magazine, it covers an expansive 14,000 square feet, with every style of training from cardio, resistance, functional, strongman and studio. It also has the longest opening hours around and offers exceptional value, with rates from as little as 79p a day! On top of these impressive credentials, Rhinos offer its clients a most welcoming, friendly, non-intimidating environment, and caters for all abilities, men and women alike. This January sees new studio classes such as ‘Bounce’ and ‘Metafit’ and the upgrading of all of the gym’s cardio equipment. • Rhinos 22 Gwash Way Industrial Estate, Ryhall Road, Stamford PE9 1XP Tel: 07554 219400

An elegant studio in heart of Stamford, Stamford Yoga offers Yoga and Pilates classes seven days a week for all levels with a variety of experienced teachers. Yoga is a philosophy that enhances physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and harmony. In keeping with this philosophy, the studio is exceptionally friendly and nurturing. Many regulars would say that Stamford Yoga has changed (and enhanced) their life! There’s an easy online booking system and a variety of money saving packages available. Private tuition and Thai Yoga massage are also available. • Stamford Yoga, 12 Broad Street, Stamford PE9 1PG 9 1PG Sam McGreevy GR8 Fitness Classes – Sam is quite possibly the most bubbly and enthusiastic instructor you will ever meet, and is passionate about helping people transform both physically and mentally through exercise. Sam understands the need to get maximum benefits from your workout and offers classes such as the Total Body Workout in just 45 minutes. Her classes are pay as you go and all equipment is provided. A member of the Register of Exercise Professionals, Sam constantly adds to her qualifications - the latest being ‘Clubbercise’. • Tel: 07887 802621 Bethany Ford Wellness. Bethany is a chartered physiotherapist who teaches yoga in the Stamford area. She is a specialist in women’s health and offers classes for all abilities. In January Bethany will be offering classes in Pregnancy Yoga, Yoga Basics (beginners) and Yoga Flow (intermediate). She will also be offering a new class, Gentle Yoga Flow, for the over 50s looking for an accessible, gentle pace. These classes are designed with your body’s unique individuality in mind and are suitable for men and women as well as those working with injuries. Yoga instruction is also available in small groups and private one to one sessions. • See for class details and to reserve your place. Henri Tatton is an ex-professional dancer who teaches XTEND BARRE at the Welland School of Dancing studio. It is the premier barre workout, an all-over body class that fuses Pilates and ballet with toning and stretching exercises. There’s no experience necessary and all fitness levels and body types are made very welcome. Classes are pay by the class (£7). Class times: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 9.30am and Friday 1pm. • Tel: 07866 564827 E: Mojo Fitness trainers Jon and Vicky are passionate about health and fitness. They offer a variety of classes and personal training in and around Stamford. Their classes include strength and conditioning, circuits and Metafit and are suitable for all abilities. Classes cost £7 pay as you go, or loyalty cards are available. Take a look at their website for further details. • Vicky of VP Personal Training is an experienced Personal Trainer who offers a bespoke training program for each client. She prides herself on motivating her clients to reach their full potential at a realistic and suitable pace. Vicky believes that fitness is an integral part of total wellbeing and no matter what age or gender there is some form of exercise to suit all. If you are looking for support, encouragement or inspiration then give Vicky a call or visit her website. • Tel: 07753 118477 Louise Mackrill of Stamford Pilates is a fully qualified Pilates, pre-and post-natal and fitness instructor, who runs Pilates and dance fit classes throughout the year at Great Casterton, Tinwell, Ketton, Empingham and Barnack, The classes are extremely relaxed and fun. New for 2017 – Louise is launching Mummy and Me Pilates and Mummy and Me Fitness classes, where your baby can come along to class too! • Tel: 07827 665916



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Working from home; successfully! My light bulb moment happened 20 years ago, when working in the psychiatric ward of a hospital as an assistant psychiatric nurse. Whilst chatting to the patients in ‘the smoking room’ (basically a yellow box with closed windows), I felt so miserable. The only thing I could think about was how I needed to give this room a makeover, for the sake of patient and staff well-being! It struck me then how important our environments are for success and happiness. Cue – Career change. So here; a few tips to create a welldesigned area that is relaxed, comfortable, organised, and most importantly a space that you look forward to working in. Rannveig Stone.

Anna Stone Design Ltd & Rick Holder Joinery

SPACE; it doesn’t matter how much of it you have; it’s how you use it that counts. All successful workspaces have the following in common; a sense of order, uncluttered surfaces, good lighting, and clever storage. Providing these are met then the way they are laid out is down to personal taste. STYLE; whatever the area, applying your own personal tastes is a must in creating a space that you enjoy working in and don’t want to leave. It needs to be easy to use and inspiring. Whilst planning, have a think about what makes you happy when you work? Is it an inspiring view; an uncluttered desk; a large space; a cosy corner; or the holidays it has helped pay for?! Whatever it is; incorporate it.

Anna Stone Design Ltd & Rick Holder Joinery

Odd niches or blocked up door ways can be a bit of an eyesore. We installed this beautiful bespoke dark oak shelving into a blocked-up doorway creating a cosy corner to sit and read.



STORAGE; is key! In smaller spaces consider stacked and vertically arranged storage, using the full height of the room. Install pendant task lighting above the desk area to free up desk and floor space and try to incorporate storage into most of the furnishings. Larger spaces may be easier to furnish but will often breed more clutter and a lack of excuse to put stuff away. So even in these spaces, give the room the wellplanned storage it needs.

LIGHTING; introduce attractive floor or table lamps for focused task lighting, and position the overhead pendant above the task area. If this is not possible, install complimentary directional spot lights and position where needed. Lighting plays a very important role in the success of the office space and requires careful planning. If the lighting is wrong, you will find yourself migrating to another part of the house to work.

BUDGET; whatever the budget your office can be interesting. If affording bespoke storage is not on the radar, consider installing IKEA shelving at a fraction of the cost.

OPEN PLAN LIVING; in these areas shelving, doesn’t need to be up against the walls. Instead use mid height room dividers to maintain the open sight line and provide storage. Wireless technology removes the mess of tangled leads and allows flexibility. A floating desk, suspended on chunky chains creates an instant wow! Painting the back wall in black board paint makes use of the wall for to do lists and messages. COLOUR; there is no right colour for a work space. It must be right for you. Before designing I recommend attending a House of Colour workshop to better understand the colours and style that make you feel great. It is then up to you whether you opt for a light and bright version of your palette to keep the space open and airy, or darker stronger shades to create atmosphere and that cosy nook. TEXTURE; goes hand in hand with colour. It is important to incorporate different textures to add subtle interest. For example, a polished concrete grey work top works beautifully on top of weathered grey oak cabinets.

B I G B U D G E T vs S M A L L B U D G E T Bespoke dark oak storage was designed to complement the original partners’ desk and house a collection of valuable books. Anna Stone Design Ltd

TOP TIPS! • Introduce clever storage to keep clutter at bay! • Your work space must inspire you, accessorise and layer texture! • Invest in good task and ambient lighting • Make use of the nooks and crannies! • Create charm with painted furniture • Use mirrors to create more light.

By installing the grey Liatorp book case from IKEA and arranging smart boxes and folders within the shelves, the office clutter was kept under control. Anna Stone Design Ltd

CONTACTS Anna Stone Design Ltd; Web; Tel; 07900 883117 House of Colour; Web; Rick Holder Joinery; Web; The Sack Store @ Stamford Garden Centre; Web; Tel; 01780 765656 Knob and Knotts; Tel; 07503210333 CJ Carpets & Lighting; Web; Tel; 01780 754825 Fenland Carpets; Web; Tel; 01780 755331 NGI Design; Web;; Tel; 01780 766899 Hunters Interiors of Stamford; Tel; 01780 757946 Web; Sally Longden Interiors; Web;

REPURPOSING; you may have fallen out of love with an old dresser or book case but feel it is too useful to get rid of. Re-thinking how you can use these pieces and giving them a lick of paint will breathe new life into your home.



Here we painted an unloved Moroccan dresser in fresh Parisian grey and added new crystal handles to use as the main storage piece. Teamed with a fabulous leather desk and chair positioned in front of a picture window, a bespoke silk and wool rug and an antique crystal pendant repositioned above the desk, this home office was transformed from an uninspiring space into an ultra elegant and cosy place to work. Anna Stone Design Ltd For a cosy nook choose warm tones and dark woods. For an airy open space keep colours light and bright. Whatever you taste, create a work space that you don’t want to leave!





INTERIORS ARE FOR LIVING, LOVING AND INSPIRING – LET YOUR HOME TELL YOUR STORY. SUPPLIERS OF Paint | Wallpaper | Lighting | Home Accessories | Furniture | Curtains & Blinds | Flooring | Interior Design Visit our showroom six days a week including Saturdays:

A16 Uffington, Stamford PE9 4TD or telephone: 01780 757 946 18



In the spotlight It’s a well-known fact that treading the boards and performing to an audience can help build confidence and, apparently, improve academic studies. Stamford’s stage-struck youngsters are simply spoilt for choice when it comes to searching for a spotlight. Kate Cadman takes a trip theatrical ...

Josie and Elsa Maria Cockburn


Nine-year-old twins, Josie and Elsa Maria Cockburn, just love to dance. Every week, without fail, Josie has danced at the Welland School of Dancing since she started there at just threeyears-old. “Josie has mild cerebral palsy but despite many obstacles she has managed to take her Grade 1 ballet exam recently and gains so much from her dancing classes,” explains Maggie Purr, Principal at the Welland School of Dancing. However, it was no easy task getting Josie to put on a pair of ballet shoes initially. “It took me seven weeks to get Josie to dance at the Welland,” explains mum Claudi, a former PE teacher. “Josie’s cerebral palsy means that she is a bit wobbly and has poor core stability; her balance and agility are affected. I knew that dancing was a great form of physiotherapy for both girls and that ballet was the best discipline. I wanted to get Josie doing something which she could do regularly and that she enjoyed and which would really help her physically.” “The first week I took Josie along to a class, she sat on my lap and cried. The second week she sat on my knee and watched and then cried. After several weeks, and with me at her side, we both danced until eventually she managed a whole session on her own. Since then she’s never looked back and never misses a class unless she’s ill or we’re on holiday.” The twins love to dance together at home and at school, despite Elsa Maria not being able to walk. “The girls recently performed together at their school, St Mary and St John, in North Luffenham, to the song ‘You are the Universe’. Elsa Maria used her walking frame and Josie danced with her. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The two girls continue to dance together at every opportunity at home and especially when their friends come over and join in. Claudi continues: ““In spite of her disability you can see that Josie is ballet trained and that the Welland have had her for six years by the way she carries herself when she dances.” “Dancing is for all ages,” says Maggie. “We have people dance at our school from the age of 2 and others that come who are in their 80s. We have been holding classes in Stamford for 52 years; teaching the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabus for ballet and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) syllabus for tap and modern theatre. “The school offers something for everyone. Some dancers come once a week to learn a new skill, have fun and gain confidence in moving their bodies and interpreting music. At the other end, we have pre-vocational students who we train to audition standard for dance college. Our students have danced their way into some of the highest profile performance art schools in the country such as the Northern Ballet School, Bird College of Dance and Tiffany Theatre College. “Dancing is a great way for someone, particularly youngsters, to express themselves,” adds Maggie. “We like to keep our prices low so that it remains affordable for the majority who want to dance.” Despite the low fees, the professional dance studio, based in the Ballroom complex of the former Stamford Hotel, has its own pianist, ballet barres, mirrors and sprung floors. It’s here where dancers of all ages come together to hone their craft. The whole school performs one big show each March and during the rest of the year pupils entertain at fetes and festivals all over the locality. “We can be performing pretty much each weekend, we’re virtually the Welland Touring Company!” jokes Maggie. Anyone can go along and join a class, the main requirement is a love of music and movement. Whilst there are boys that dance regularly at the school, Maggie says they are always looking for more male dancers, like 15-year-old Matthew King.




Matthew started his dancing career at the age of four. Initially he did contemporary dance including tap and jazz. At nine years old Matthew took up ballet. He is currently celebrating making it into a senior dance troupe (usually you have to be 16 to join) and is busy rehearsing for this year’s pantomime at The Cresset in Peterborough. Being on stage is no new thing for Matthew who has already notched up performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre, twice, the 02 Arena and the Royal Albert Hall. “During Year 6 Matthew was severely bullied,” explains Matthew’s mum, Karen. Yet despite this, Matthew’s determination and desire to dance has never wavered. “He has danced with Jamie Bell, the dancer who plays Billy Elliott in the West End musical of the same name.” In addition to dancing Matthew has gained his Grade Matthew King 5 LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) exam. What’s exceptional is that Matthew’s enthusiasm and passion to perform drives him on and helps him overcome his dyslexia which makes it very difficult for him to retain information. Learning lines, dance moves and music scores are all done through sheer hard work and repetition. Alongside his dancing, Matthew has spent many years honing his musical theatre skills via Stamford-based Wildcats Academy, a fully inclusive theatre school offering classes, full-time accredited courses and educational holiday workshops. He is planning to continue his education and his links with Wildcats Theatre School by pursuing a BTEC Extended Diploma in Dance. Wildcats founder, Caz Dolby, explains the school’s philosophy: “At Wildcats every child is an individual. We work to build confidence and self-esteem as well as performing arts skills. Wildcats is all about having fun, making friends and being part of an amazing team of children, young people and adults. Currently we have over 450 students.” “Students come from every possible performing arts background. Whilst some have experience on the stage, others have enjoyed singing, dance or drama at home - but for some, it is their first taste of the world of performing arts. Whatever a child’s ability or experience they are welcome. We work with each child to help them develop and achieve their own potential.” “We also welcome children who are looking for new ways to help increase confidence in school and everyday life. We have lots of girls and boys who have developed huge improvements in confidence through attendance at classes and this can be a great boost in terms of academic achievement in school,” adds Caz. 18-year-old Teeya Jackson from Stamford joined Wildcats at 10 years old. She rose through the junior classes to the West End Wildcats where she had the opportunity to perform in London several times a year. More recently Teeya graduated from the Wildcats post 16 performing arts academy, the Eastern School of Arts (ESPA), with a distinction in her BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre). She is now enjoying her studies at Liverpool Theatre School.

OTHER PERFORMING ARTS GROUPS INCLUDE: Stamford Shakespeare Company: Stages performances at Tolethorpe Hall - one of the finest open air theatres in Europe. Every summer more than 34,500 people from throughout the UK and overseas attend the amateur Stamford Shakespeare Company’s acclaimed summer season of plays at Rutland Open Air Theatre. Shoestring Theatre: Resident theatre company at Stamford Arts Centre. Stages four productions a year with occasional roadshows, workshops and play readings. Stamford Arts Centre: Provides the perfect venue to experience and participate in art forms from theatre, music and film to sculpture, dance and drawing.

CONTACTS: Welland School of Dance: Wildcats: Stamford Shakespeare Company: Stamford Shoestring Theatre: Stamford Arts Centre:

Teeya Jackson



m am - 3p ry 11, Linc Februa ay 5th Sundville olnshire PE9 1US ford Stam d, Roa Sports Centre, Ryhall AT: Border


01780 481416

New And Existing Customers Are All Welcome Join us on the day to browse individual stands, explore a vast array of holiday possibilities and find your dream destination. Come and meet our travel experts who specialise in every type of holiday and will be on hand to help you find and plan your dream escape. Ranging from River Cruises, Ocean Cruises, Tall Ship Cruising, Coach Tours, Fully Escorted Tours, Luxury Hotels, Attraction Tickets, Tailor-made Itineraries and much, much more.

PLUS: • Light Refreshments • Raffle • Expert Holiday Advice • Free Parking

44 St Paul’s Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2BH Tel: 01780 763030 Email:



Retirement Living at Stukeley Court, Stamford Savills invited us to take a look around Stukeley Court, a stunning development of 35 premium luxury apartments recently built close to town along the Barnack Rd


HE first thing we noticed arriving on foot is just what a good location this is in Barnack Rd, just across the road from the vast expanse of Burghley Park and a 5-minute walk to the town centre, via the charming Albert Footbridge across the Welland. We went along for the regular Thursday morning coffee morning where residents meet in the lounge, socialise, and are updated on any development issues. Immediately we walked in, the atmosphere felt like a bunch of good friends catching up with each other – and with good coffee and cakes thrown in we just didn’t feel like leaving. Convivial, yet independent The lounge and patio/garden beyond is at the heart of what this development offers – top quality style, and sociability. Simply put, it’s a fun place to be and you are still a homeowner with your own front door and complete privacy. We got to talk to the residents and found that they were typically drawn to the area because they had offspring living nearby, and the location and proximity to both shops and green spaces appealed strongly to them. Ranging in age from early 60s to 80s, perhaps more importantly they all shared the same attitude – a desire to explore, meet people and enjoy life. Looking around the lounge, with the sound of laughter and conversation ringing out,

really felt like being at home or in a hotel. And this impression is re-enforced by the décor – immaculately appointed, including good pictures and a sprinkling of antiques, making it feel like the smartest of homes or country hotels. All the public areas are very well appointed. The apartments A limited selection of one bedroom apartments remains. These apartments are well laid out and superbly appointed. Our first impression when entering was ‘I’d like to live here’. There is a sense in the design that someone has thought hard about how to maximise its utility and comfort. Featuring underfloor heating, oak veneered doors, chrome door furniture and high-spec kitchens, the apartments reflect all the attention to detail that has seen McCarthy & Stone (the builders) awarded a 5-star rating for customer satisfaction 10 years in a row. Features at Stukeley Court Lounge for socialising; Lift to all floors; Landscaped garden; Mobility scooter charging point; Car parking available on site to resident permit holders Double glazing; Walk in wardrobe to main bedroom; Telephone and television point in living room and bedroom; Sky/Sky+ connection point in living room; Washer dryers in each apartment Bathroom Fitted and tiled shower room; Slip-

resistant flooring; Fitted mirror; Electric shaver socket; Heated towel rail; Extractor ventilation Kitchen Fitted kitchen with integrated fridge, freezer and ceramic hob; Single oven; Cooker hood; Stainless steel sink with lever taps; Under pelmet lighting Heating and finishes Underfloor heating; Walls painted in neutral colour emulsion; Oak veneered doors; Chrome door furniture Living at Stukeley Court gives you more than just a beautiful new home. You can relax, knowing that there’s a House Manager on hand during office hours as well as the added benefit of having security features. These include a 24 hour emergency call system, should you require assistance, and a camera door entry system linked to your TV, so that you can see who’s calling for you before letting them in. There’s no need to worry about being weighed down by maintenance costs either as the service charge covers the cost of all external maintenance, gardening and landscaping, window cleaning, buildings insurance, water rates, security and energy costs for the homeowners’ and other communal areas. Enjoy peace of mind When you come to make your move, there’s no need to worry as Savills can assist you in selling your existing home and deal with much of the paperwork. You can sit back and let them do some of the hard work for you. Find Out more • Visit the on-site Show Home which is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10.30am – 5.30pm at Stukeley Court, Barnack Road, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2NQ Or contact Savills Stamford at 9 High Street St Martin’s, Stamford PE9 2L Tel: 01780 484696



Advertisement Feature

THE OCULIST: A SPECTACULAR EXPERIENCE The Oculist owner and optometrist Gerry Sondh has created a unique shopping experience which will make anyone with twenty-twenty vision wish they had a need for spectacles!


rom the vibrant interior walls and parquet floor to the central statement chandelier and the bespoke display cabinets, the boutique is more like an art gallery than an optician – providing customers with a service that is a cut above the rest. The strapline ‘Changing faces since 2007’ describes the ethos of the business, which is celebrating its ninth birthday at 24 Westgate Arcade in Peterborough. Situated within Queensgate’s parade of independent shops, The Oculist draws in a range of clientele who are looking for a distinctive style in their choice of eyewear whether they are children, students or business professionals. Customers are given expert advice with the support of state-of-theart technology coupled with progressive design. “Your eyes are the most engaging part of your body,” says Gerry, “so why not have spectacles for different occasions, depending on how you want to feel and dress? Eyewear can be personality-changing and confidence-building. Our glasses give people an identity.” Acknowledging that your glasses express who you are is key to The Oculist’s service, which has developed something of a cult following. “We are really proud of our products,” says practice manager Rob Gilbert. “Face shape is not so important but proportion and fit is key, sometimes we have to reign people in but we will always be honest if the look doesn’t suit; we will always do what is best for the customer.” The clientele are loyal to the point where some customers return each season, buying several


pairs for various aspects of their lifestyle, with sports eyewear, sunglasses and children’s spectacles also on offer.

are held each week and all three are involved in the buying aspect of niche eye wear and are able to offer expert advice as well as clinical excellence.

Rather than being ‘on trend’ the product here is unique with a twist. Alongside high-end designers such as Tom Ford, Dior and Prada, The Oculist offers a range of avant garde designers specialising in frame technology for the more adventurous, such as FEB31st, Mykita, Theo and Face a Face whose neon pop colours and quirky hand-made frames will delight the wearer and onlooker alike. Frames are lightweight and durable, many with screwless hinges giving the wearer comfort as well as radical design. Customers can create bespoke spectacles from a variety of lens shapes with frames in a spectrum of colours.

Gerry conducts eye examinations by appointment only, running three clinics a week. Consultations last around 40 minutes and will be tailored to your needs depending on your occupation, working set-up and literacy requirements.

Those desiring a touch of bling will be pleased to hear that The Oculist exclusively hold the Lindberg Precious collection. Frames made of 18 carat gold, platinum and horn can be combined with diamonds to create an individual opulent look. As with Lindberg’s regular collection the frames boast medical silicone nose pads with no welding, rivets or screws. The ranges are artfully displayed on bespoke shelving and in slick cabinet drawers. They give the shop a welcoming luxurious feel, though the atmosphere itself is relaxed and informal. All staff are qualified opticians with no pushy sales agenda. Alongside Gerry and Rob, Hannah Castle is the third member of the team and describes herself as a ‘kid in a candy shop’ working for a truly independent optician. Dedicated training sessions

The business boasts the latest technology in retinal scanning, having invested in the Heidelberg Eye Explorer, (also used by NASA to test the eye health of astronauts) which examines ocular activity down to cell level, producing high quality images in 4D – the fourth dimension being time progression which will be apparent at your next review. Gerry also uses the latest technology for the eye pressure test; gone is the great big puff of air. The new device is hand held and compact – you won’t flinch! The Oculist’s ad campaigns challenge customers to ‘improve your spex appeal’ and perhaps one can ‘see clearly now the frames are on’, reflecting the quirky, fun-loving nature of the business. The eyewear experience need no longer be a grudge purchase… set your sights high and pay a visit to The Oculist. Call 01733 555621 to make a consultation appointment or to book an eye examination. 24 Westgate Arcade, Queensgate Centre, Peterborough

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New Year, New Look! New You!

• Elemis & Clarins Mini Detox Facials £26 Upgrade with a back massage for £40 • Clarins Beauty School for 2-10 people! £35 each Enjoy a Prosecco whilst having fun learning beauty and make-up routines! Great fun for hen party’s, work do’s or just a social get together with the girls!

Welcome back from maternity leave, our Creative Hair Stylist Jess. Call us now to book your appointment.

Go on, spoil yourself, you deserve it Tel: 01780 752725 24 St. Mary’s Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2DJ



The Ivy Lodge

Genevieve Potter discovers why The Ivy Lodge is set to become a destination for those who appreciate spa grade pampering in a serene, out of town location


MMA Sheehan, the owner of The Ivy Lodge is positively brimming with enthusiasm as she talks me through her plans for the business (formerly Emma Cannings). Situated alongside the Stamford Garden Centre at Great Casterton, the immediate advantage of the salon is the ease of parking and seven day a week opening, with Sundays already proving hugely popular for time-poor clients. The salon is also open until 9 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings and Emma acknowledges that after having a facial or massage, it’s nice to just jump in your car and go home! Emma has built a team of highly experienced therapists, plus front of house receptionist Mandy, all of whom are great at welcoming clients (old and new) and putting them at ease. Manager Michelle and therapists Vivienne and Hannah have a wealth of experience from wellknown salons in the Stamford area and further afield. Aesthetic nurse Karen Hayes also visits



the salon every six weeks and has built a loyal following for her dermal and sub dermal fillers, wrinkle relaxing treatments, peels and skin needling. The salon itself has undergone a significant refresh, with opulent touches including an extensive new Elemis mini-shop and elegantly refurbished treatment rooms. The salon ‘menu’ is extensive and Emma has gone to great lengths to research the brands and treatments on offer, including Elemis, Jessica GELeration and Phenom nails, Lycon specialist waxing, St Tropez tanning, Crystal Clear facial microdermabrasion and LVL lashes. Massage is another speciality and well suited to the stress free, luxurious surroundings. I recently enjoyed a wonderful 90-minute power massage, in the experienced hands of Vivienne. After long working days hunched over a laptop, my ‘crunchy’ neck and shoulders were in need of some urgent help and the deep tissue massage was hugely beneficial, leaving me

feeling limber, supple and deeply relaxed. As well as seasonal offers (such as the immensely popular two treatments for £40 that ran during Autumn), the team can offer bespoke pamper packages that are perfect for celebrating a special occasion with a group of friends or simply taking time out for a treat. Delicious lunches and refreshments from the renowned Garden Centre restaurant can be incorporated within the package (please get in touch to find out more). And for Stamford Living readers, The Ivy Lodge are offering 20% off any Elemis facial experienced during the month of January 2017 – the perfect winter pick me up! Please quote Stamford Living at the time of booking. • The Ivy Lodge Stamford Garden Centre Great Casterton PE9 4BB Tel: 01780 766583 Book online at



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WHICH WILL YOU CHOOSE AS YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN FOR 2017? Mr A Jones and Mrs B Jones Landmark Financial Planning Report Jan 2017

1st Floor, Rock House, Scotgate, Stamford, PE9 2YQ

Telephone: 01780 761314



Landmark IFA Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 225538.

Working in partnership with our clients to achieve tax efficiency & business growth

• Personal Tax • Corporation Tax • Statutory Accounts • Partnership Accounts • Sole Trade Accounts • Business & Tax Planning • Payroll Bureau • VAT services • Bookkeeping & Management Accounts Contact: Lucinda Cracknell T: 01780 483807 E:

Willoughby House, 2 Broad Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 1PB



Get your affairs ship shape - 2017 With the Christmas season over and the decorations packed away, it’s time to get around to some practical decisions getting an accountant to sort out your finances, a solicitor to sort out a legal problem that’s been bothering you for ages or a financial advisor to help you plan for the future.

ACCOUNTANTS BRAYSHAW MOREY Fraser Ross House, 24 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PJ Tel: 01780 750840 Looking for down-to-earth local business advice and no-nonsense accounting? Brayshaw Morey has 30 years’ experience in working with businesses of all sizes – from start-ups to substantial privately-owned businesses. Ross Clephane, business founder, says: “We work with you to fully understand your business and build lasting relationships between our team and your business. This insight and trust allows us to support your business growth and help you to save money. “We provide a full range of accounting, taxation and business support services across the entire lifecycle of a business – from start-up through to disposal.” BULLEY DAVEY LIMITED 2 St Mary’s Hill, Stamford, PE9 2DW Tel: 01780 769303 The Complete Business & Financial Support Service. Bulley Davey is a successful, forward thinking provider of accounting, tax and business advice services. Operating through a number of local offices, they work closely to ensure the service they provide is a costeffective, high value solution to meet all of your financial needs. Bulley Davey works hard to get to know you in order to deliver timely, individual advice on how to improve your business and personal wealth. The service they provide will give

you the peace of mind that you are receiving accurate advice specific to your personal objectives. Whether advising on the efficient management of your tax affairs to creating opportunities for you to minimise your tax liabilities, guiding you through the current capital gains tax legislation or completing and filing income tax returns on your behalf, the Bulley Davey team is here to assist. The firm also has a number of dedicated specialist departments dealing with a range of matters such as tax planning, corporate finance, wealth management, insolvency and business recovery. CRACKNELL & CO. Chartered Management Accountants & Tax Advisors Tel: 01780 483807 Lucinda Cracknell has a background at one of the ‘Big 4’ accounting firms in London, and also in a commercial financial role in a large multi-national, so she brings substantial and practical experience to bear. She set up Cracknell and Co fourteen years ago, with her aim being to help her clients achieve their business goals and tax efficiency. She takes a close interest in the business side of things as well as being leading edge in terms of accounting practices. She typically serves the SME businesses range in a wide range of commercial markets as well as servicing Charities, Trusts and Individuals. The practice is a diverse one. It offers a range of services including a fully outsourced finance department, management accounts

for SMEs, business planning and commercial advice for both start-ups and established companies. It offers corporate and individual tax advice and planning together with HMRC company and VAT returns plus annual accounts formation. Having already embraced autoenrolment enabling smooth and cost effective implementation for clients, the practice offers a number of cloud solutions for Financial Reporting and is currently preparing clients for a smooth transition to “Making Tax Digital”. DUNCAN AND TOPLIS 14 All Saints’ Street, Stamford PE9 2PA Tel: 01780 750888 Duncan & Toplis was established in 1925 and is one of the largest independent firms of chartered accountants in the region. They have an unrivalled knowledge of local business issues and wide experience across many commercial fields. They are also very efficient if you only need to use them for tax returns. The Stamford partners are Tom Hindmarch and Richard Hardy, who know the local community and its businesses very well. MICHELLE FEASEY & CO Chartered Accountants and Chartered Tax Advisors Unit 1, West Street Business Park, Stamford, PE9 2PL Tel: 01780 751115 Michelle Feasey & Co specialises in small businesses based in the area, including Local Living Magazines. Michelle Feasey commented: “We aim to provide a very customer-focused value-for money package; smaller companies can lose out by paying for things that aren’t necessary.” And she has a sound business head which means that she can give advice, if asked for, on a range of business decisions. STEPHENSON SMART & CO 36 Tyndall Court, Commerce Road, Lynchwood, Peterborough, PE2 6LR Tel: 01733 343275 www.stephensonsmart. com Stephenson Smart was established over 100 years ago. They continue to build on their reputation for providing excellent advice and first class service to business and personal clients alike. As well as general accountancy, audit and tax skills, their partners also have individual specialist skills which enable the firm to provide clients with a first-class service as and when required. In addition to traditional auditing, accounting and tax services they also provide advice on how to improve and develop your business. Whether you need an integrated business strategy, access to corporate finance or specialist tax advice they are ready to help you achieve your goals STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2017


BUSINESS SOLICITORS BUCKLES SOLICITORS LLP Peterborough office: Grant House, 101 Bourges Boulevard, Peterborough PE1 1NG Tel: 01733 888888 Stamford office: 3 St Mary’s Hill, Stamford, PE9 2DW Tel: 01780 484570 Buckles Solicitors LLP provides a comprehensive range of legal solutions to individuals and businesses across the Midlands, East Anglia and the UK and internationally. They pride themselves on being approachable, friendly and easy to work with whether you are facing business or personal issues. Buckles has had an office in Stamford since 2000, and have been in their current St Mary’s Hill location since 2007. It used to be an old brewery and you will discover a blend of the new and the old when you visit. The office focuses mainly on private clients and has specialists in Wills, Powers of Attorney, Inheritance Tax Planning, Care Home Funding, Family Law and Property (commercial as well as residential) as well as other areas. There is even a lawyer who specialises in French law, which could be useful in helping you to realise a French property dream! Specialists can also be drawn upon from elsewhere in the extensive Buckles network. Sarah Westwood, the head of the Stamford

office, told SL what makes Buckles different. “As well as having the legal expertise, we pride ourselves on being very approachable, we don’t want clients to be daunted!” CHATTERTONS SOLICITORS & WEALTH MANAGEMENT 9 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PY Tel 01780 764145 Chattertons is a leading firm of solicitors and provider of wealth management services in Lincolnshire and across the East Midlands. The firm provides a comprehensive range of services delivering first class, client focused and trusted advice to individuals and businesses from its offices in Boston, Grantham, Horncastle, Lincoln, London, Newark, Sleaford, Spalding and Stamford. HEGARTY LLP SOLICITORS 10 Ironmonger Street, Stamford PE9 1PL Tel: 01780 752 066

Hegarty LLP Solicitors provide a wide range of business and private client legal services across Stamford, Peterborough and Oakham. With eight specialist legal departments and over 40 years of experience, their accomplished team of Solicitors offer practical legal advice and support you can count on. Hegarty LLP Solicitors offer private client services in Conveyancing, Wills, Trusts & Probate, Family Law, Personal Injury, Personal Disputes and Criminal Defence. Business services include Corporate Law, Commercial Property, Litigation, Debt & Insolvency and Employment Law. They also specialise in providing legal support and advice for the rural sector. Hegarty LLP Solicitors – for business, for you, for life. STAPLETON & SON 1 Broad St, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 1PD Tel: 01780 751226 Stapletons includes amongst its number Nick Fluck, who previosly held the position of President of the Law Society. In his words “In keeping with the nature of Stapletons as a general practice High Street Solicitors I cover the full span of work, from property; both commercial and residential, through wills and trusts. The enduring benefit to dealing with ‘High Street’ solicitors, such as ourselves, is that we are able to help our clients with all aspects of their needs. We get to know our clients and ➧ they can build up a trust in us.”

• Has once again qualified for the rigorously externally assessed Conveyancing Quality Scheme run by the Law Society. • Along with our outstanding personal support for all our clients at reasonable prices, this Quality Mark confirms we offer an excellent residential conveyancing service. • In addition we have vast experience, proven ability and extensive local knowledge and contacts in all Commercial and Landlord and Tenant matters. Don’t forget the wide range of other legal services we offer which include: WILLS & PROBATE • ELDERLY CLIENT CARE & SERVICES MATRIMONIAL & FAMILY LAW • EDUCATION & CHARITIES LAW AGRICULTURAL • EMPLOYMENT & GENERAL BUSINESS ADVICE. With the advantage of our Fusion Law Membership, we provide for our clients a complete range of legal services.

1 Broad Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 1PD Tel: 01780 751226 Fax: 01780 766407 Email: 32


PUTTING YOU AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING WE DO From property and probate to family law, Lasting Powers of Attorney and care home fee planning - Buckles Solicitors in Stamford can guide you smoothly and professionally through life’s legal essentials. Our, dedicated, friendly and approachable lawyers put you, the client, at the heart of everything they do – providing a first class service with a less formal style. Wills, trusts and probate

French and Spanish law

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Wealth preservation

Family and divorce


Care home fee planning

Buckles Solicitors LLP 3 St Mary’s Hill Stamford PE9 2DW

We also provide legal services for businesses

T: 01780 484570 E: W:

legally focused, relationship driven





2017 and beyond with great confidence in our ability to deliver highly- valued, bespoke financial planning advice to our existing and future clients. “Whilst the investment markets have been rather challenging, seeing the FTSE 100 move between 5536 (March 2016) and 7097 (October 2016), they’ve so far withstood the shocks of Brexit and the surprise result in the American presidential race, despite predictions of gigantic falls on world markets. We hope that 2017 may be somewhat ‘quieter’ than last year!”

CHARLES & DEAN Willoughby House, 2 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PB Tel: 01780 763836

CONSILIUM LTD Orion House, 14 Barn Hill, Stamford, PE9 2AE Tel: 01780 758523 Email:

Charles & Dean take pleasure in making vehicle and asset finance more personal, as well as more straightforward. As an independent finance broker, they specialise in providing their customers with easy access to competitive and suitable finance through a transparent and forward thinking approach. Why use a broker? It’s simple really...Charles & Dean have immediate access to a wide source of funds providing both businesses and private individuals the most affordable and suitable finance. Whether you are a business looking for support with your company’s growth or a private individual looking to finance a new or used car, Charles & Dean can tailor a financial package to suit your needs. Winner of Stamford Mercury’s Small Business of the Year and Customer Service awards, Charles & Dean’s philosophy remains consistent in providing their customers with the most suitable finance product whilst delivering outstanding service.

Consilium Wealth Limited is an Independent Financial Advice practice based in Stamford. Director, Sean Hook new to the town but not the county arrives with a wealth of experience gathered during his 25-year career in financial services specialising in pensions and investments. Their expertise lies in pension advice, detailed analysis on final salary pension transfers, pensions as flexible tax planning and intergenerational wealth management vehicles and pensions in divorce. They also offer advice on retirement planning, investments, trust and/ or estate planning allied with a structured IHT approach if required, protection and long term care planning. Initial consultations are free of charge.

LANDMARK IFA LTD 1st Floor, Rock House, 30 Scotgate, Stamford, PE9 2YQ Tel: 01780 761313 Kevin Mullins, Founder and Director of Landmark IFA, Ltd says: “2016 has been a very positive year for Landmark, as we’ve made several key appointments to the senior management and board, which means that we look forward to

clients, with bespoke face-to-face advice that they can really trust. “My philosophy focuses on building and maintaining long-term trusted relationships with my clients, showing distinct quality, integrity, and excellence. I take the time to really get to know my clients before offering advice and work with them to help secure the financial future that they are looking for. This is achieved through careful planning and drawing from my many years’ experience in this field to ensure that my clients have tailored financial plans to achieve their financial goals” VARTAN RAVENSCROFT The Singing Men’s Chambers, 19, Minster Precincts, Peterborough, PE1 1XX Tel: 01733 315155 Vartan Ravenscroft is a successful stockbroking and investment management firm which has built up an enviable reputation over the last 23 years based on the professional and personal service which is at the heart of the company. Passionate about finding opportunities that others do not see, Vartan Ravenscroft manages more than £300m of assets for private clients and entities such as companies, charities, and educational funds, to name but a few. Vartan Ravenscroft manages portfolios on a discretionary, advisory and execution only basis. The firm believes in ‘hands-on’ management, close communication with clients, and in employing portfolio managers that have high standards of ethics and are dedicated to the best possible service. Vartan Ravenscroft is a trading name of A Vartan Limited (“AVL”) (FCA number 609277) whose registered office address is at The Singing Men’s Chambers, 19 Minster Precincts, Peterborough, PE1 1XX. AVL is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

ST. JAMES’S PLACE WEALTH MANAGEMENT Abbey-Gail Goddard Dip. PFS Associate Partner Abbey-Gail is Director of Abbey Wealth Management Ltd, an Associate Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, having over 14 years’ experience in the wealth management industry. She looks after individuals and business owners and specialises in many areas including tax efficient investments and retirement planning. She has acquired a wealth of knowledge and prides herself in providing an invaluable service to her




Changing children’s lives Help for youngsters with social, emotional and mental health issues can be hard to find especially when you really need it. Kate Cadman visits Wilds Lodge School, an independent school on our doorstep dedicated to supporting boys for whom mainstream education is no longer an option

From left: Becky McSharry, Kirsty Lamb, Alice Lee and Emma Mills.


HE overwhelming sense of calm that emanates from the meandering driveway on the approach to Wilds Lodge School feels ironic. I know from the conversations I have had that parents bringing their child here are often ‘broken’; feeling isolated and desperate as they journey down this impressively long driveway past a picturesque duckpond and roaming livestock. Maybe that’s precisely why, on my arrival, I feel as if I have reached my holiday destination. Nestling neatly between Stamford and Empingham the school radiates a sense of calm. It’s one of three Wilds Lodge sites, all of which are dedicated to educating boys between 5 and 18 years old for whom mainstream education is no longer viable. Wilds Lodge School has 90 such boys, the majority are weekly boarders and all have a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). “Many of the boys here have some level of autism or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and moderate learning difficulties,” explains Becky McSharry, Autism Co-ordinator and Team Leader for the Bungalow House Group (one of the five residential houses). “They often arrive with lots of questions about who they are because they feel they don’t fit within a mainstream school setting. Our students also have additional needs resulting from social,



emotional and behavioural difficulties. Our work is to build them back up.” 18-year-old Ollie Wilson has been at Wilds Lodge for three years and the experience has been life-changing. After studying at Casterton College and missing a total of two years’ study due to mental health issues, Ollie, who has OCD, found he couldn’t cope with the hectic, strict, and loud environment in a mainstream setting. “I couldn’t keep up with my mind. It was like a sensory overload. If I ever had to sit an exam I would suffer with facial tics and headaches. I was always judged in mainstream school and seen as being stupid.” “Here at Wilds Lodge I get the support I need but I am not pressurised so I can keep up. I never thought I would be able to sit and pass an exam but with the right support I have just got an A* in my maths GCSE and passed five other GCSEs. I just needed people to understand me.” In addition, Ollie has recently completed his Bronze Level Duke of Edinburgh Award and is currently training hard physically and mentally in order to fulfil his (and his coach’s) dream of being picked to represent Great Britain at American Football. “I have been playing for a couple of years and it’s always been like a dream for me to represent this country. It’s now a reality.” “We work as a therapeutic school linking care seamlessly with education and therapy.

The staff here work holistically in a counselling role, placing equal emphasis on the educational, social, and psychological development of their students. All staff, including kitchen and grounds, who come into daily contact with the boys undergo a basic level of special needs training and have Level One Autism Education Trust training and the majority also have a Level 2,” explains Becky. This inclusive philosophy is driven by Principal and Head Teacher, Robin Lee, who is keen to ensure all members of staff attend regular training on child protection, mental health and multi-agency working. The key to the success of the school, he believes, is a strong ethos, developed by a highly experienced and capable staff and the strength of the relationships between staff and students. “Everyone here pulls together for the boys, we are like one huge family. We really do change children’s lives,” adds Becky. There is tangible feel of progression at the school borne out by a team of groundsmen beavering away on the construction of an eco-building which is scheduled to open as the school’s theatre by September 2017. “The boys don’t like change so we promote change here so that they learn how to cope with it. We don’t isolate ourselves here either, in fact we welcome visitors with open arms. We like to encourage people to come in and see how we are doing.

Ollie Wilson

We hold a music and arts festival annually and invite the locals to come and watch our band perform,” says Becky. During its 10-year history, the school has notched up some impressive awards including an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’, an International Eco School Award and a very recent reaccreditation by the National Autistic Society which lasts for three years. Currently Wilds Lodge is shortlisted for two Times Educational Supplement (TES) Awards which are for Healthy School of the Year and Special Needs Initiative School. This joined-up education, care and therapy provision is in short supply and the school’s catchment area reflects this, stretching from Sussex to Norfolk and including students from London. “We have a tight curriculum during the day and the evenings are used to develop social interaction skills and play,” explains Emma Mills, Head of Education. Key Stage 2 students look forward to their beloved Lego club which, whilst building ‘cool’ models, also serves as an opportunity to enhance social skills such as team building, turn taking and general communication. Becky explains: “We begin by building a small, simple model which can be finished in one session. As time goes by the group progresses and the tasks grow in size and complexity. We assign roles so one student will be the engineer, one becomes the supplier and the other is the

“Here at Wilds Lodge I get the support I need but I am not pressurised so I can keep up. I never thought I would be able to sit and pass an exam but with the right support I have just got an A* in my maths GCSE and passed five other GCSEs. I just needed people to understand me.” builder. Using the instructions, the engineer has to describe, using words only, the piece he requires to the supplier. Once the supplier has found it, he hands it to the builder and, once again, it’s down to the engineer to explain (without any hand gestures) to the builder where that piece should be placed.” This intense, yet fun, and rewarding group work combined with a routine of daily sensory circuits aids students in a holistic way which in turn helps concentrations levels. At Crossroads, another of the school’s sites, situated just outside Empingham, students have the space to pursue a wide variety of vocational pursuits such as motor vehicle studies, construction, catering, health and physical fitness and equine studies. In addition, the constant drive to reinvest funds and improve facilities has resulted in the

installation of a state-of-the-art 4D room which allows the user to recreate any scenario. Using an iPad, the room can simulate, for example, an airport building or an air raid shelter, complete with sound track and imagery. This equipment can be used in many different ways and is very useful for recreating a particularly difficult situation for a student and then used to help desensitise them to that particular circumstance. A sensory garden is also under construction in the grounds which is due to be completed next summer. At the top end of the school is Rock Lodge, the third site to make up the School’s campus, and the one which houses mainly post 16s. Students here are encouraged to develop independent living skills and can walk into town on their own and take public transport on a visit home. The boys are well managed and are supported in daily tasks such as supermarket shopping, budgeting and cooking their own evening meals. All the students that wish to, get to go on a school holiday each year. In the past, the younger boys have travelled to the east coast and holidayed in Norfolk whilst the older boys took a trip to Spain last year. “We like to give all the students lots of new experiences. Every year we take the whole school to Hunstanton for the day and eat chips on the green which is always great fun,” adds Emma. STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2017



Going local with Amnesty International Stamford Living is pleased to share what this very local group get up to

Did you know?: Amnesty International (AI) is a global movement of over 7 million people investigating and exposing abuses; educating and mobilising the public; and helping to transform societies to create a safer, more just world; and they are about people just like you - because Amnesty is all about men, women and children, from whatever walk of life, taking a stand in their own way – wherever there are human rights concerns.

How did it all begin?: Back in 1960 a Londonbased barrister, Peter Benenson, opened his newspaper and read an article about two students in Portugal who had been imprisoned for seven years after raising their glasses in a toast to freedom. Sounds uneventful, but this was to become one of the most significant moments in the global movement for human rights. Benenson’s outrage at the imprisonment led to the birth of Amnesty International (AI). Now, over 50 years and a Nobel Peace Prize later, AI continues to campaign for justice wherever it has been denied. AI protects people, defending their right to freedom, to truth, and to dignity, by investigating and exposing abuses where they happen. They galvanise the global movement to intervene where individuals are at risk; and by educating future generations, to work towards the dream of human rights for all becoming a reality. What are human rights?: We often take them for granted, because they are based on principles that are intuitive – dignity, fairness, equality, respect and autonomy. The Human

Rights Act protects the fundamental rights we all have as human beings and allows us to challenge the authorities if they violate them. It’s an invisible safety net for all of us and a crucial protection for the most vulnerable: from women fleeing domestic violence to older people in care homes. Often, it is only when our rights are being violated that we stand up and take notice. A key human right, much supported by Amnesty’s work, is the right to freedom of expression. Just speaking out, in many parts of the world, can result in imprisonment and other punishments, such as the public flogging of Raef Badawi in Saudi Arabia, for standing up for human rights on his blog. Amnesty asks that people join them in lobbying MP, Liz Truss, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, to save the Human Rights Act. STAMFORD AND RUTLAND AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL GROUP Who are they & what do they do? They are a small, friendly and active group, working to make a difference both here in the UK and across the globe. As one of 285 local groups across the UK, they meet every month and work to support global human rights through a range of social activities. Their most recent initiative has been sending greetings’ cards to prisoners of conscience around the world, including Eren Keskin, a lawyer from Turkey, who is facing a life sentence for writing about human rights. She has been arrested over 100 times and after the attempted coup in July 2016 was again imprisoned, as the Kurdish newspaper she writes for was declared a ‘terrorist organisation’. This month they will be writing to authorities

to appeal for clemency and the upholding of human rights. One of this year’s appeals is for 11 year old Annie Alfred, from Malawi, whose life is in constant danger because of the colour of her skin. Annie has the genetic condition albinism, which makes her susceptible to abduction, mutilation and murder, linked to superstitious beliefs and witchcraft. They are asking the President of Malawi to protect people with this condition and to ensure the prosecution of their attackers. One of the exciting aspects of Amnesty’s work is that they make it very easy for an individual to make a difference: through emails, signing petitions, writing letters, all of which can make a positive impact on someone’s life. Think of the person in solitary confinement in a cell, who suddenly receives hundreds of greetings from around the world and the reaction of their imprisoners! Stamford and Rutland AI Group carries out a wide range of activities from campaigning for individuals, to raising money for human rights: • Letter writing and other forms of action on behalf of individuals whose rights have been abused. • Local fundraising through organising events, stalls and linking in with local activities, for example: Stamford market cake stalls, ‘Amnestea’ events, plant sales, second hand book stalls, Arts Centre Reception and film nights • Lobbying MPs and MEPs to hold the government to account on human rights – they have recently written to the Rt. Hon. Sir Alan Duncan, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, about the situation in Turkey. • Raising awareness about human rights through the local press and their new Facebook page.

How can you get involved?: Stamford and Rutland Amnesty International Group are keen to attract new members and supporters; and hope that perhaps New Year Resolutions will spur some readers to consider joining them, to help in their local and international activities. • You can contact them by email: stamfordandrutlandamnesty@outlook. com or visit their Facebook page: Stamford and Rutland Amnesty International Group For information on AI UK: https://www.




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My lavatory seat is cracked, where do I stand? Robert Goodwin a Partner in Goodwin Property Services takes a look at the role of a letting agent


ESPERATE housewives, bitter divorcees and rampant rodents may sound like the cast of a saucy Channel 4 drama series, but they’re all characters in the real life soap opera of a Lettings Agent, so this is an article celebrating all that is (or can be) good about using a letting agent, and why they are a good idea for many landlords. However, perhaps the principal role of a Letting agent is not only to manage your investment but to deal with the human problems of dealing with and managing the expectations of the tenant. What you are actually buying is a form of reputational insurance in the form of reassurance. The letting agent is the local man who remains in place to be vulnerable to reputational and legal redress. We are the ‘skin in the game’ having invested in our own business. To understand this, you have to understand an idea that fundamentally there are only two kinds of industry. There is the insurance industry, to protect us against something going horribly wrong, and there is the entertainment industry, which distracts us from the fact something will soon go horribly wrong. ‘Hope for the best, plan for the worst’ as that well know ‘philosopher’ Jack Reacher says! Everything else is just an elaborate variant of one or both of these two businesses. So, why should you (if you are a landlord) use a letting agent? 1. We will help you prepare your property for letting As professionals, we know the standards your property needs to meet and will help you put things right. Often an agent will be able to help you make those small changes that make all the difference. 2. We will help you meet your legal obligations A properly trained letting agent will know all the legal requirements and will be able to advise you. Often we can take the burden of getting, say the gas certificate or the energy performance certificate (EPC) saving you the bother. The authorities are getting stricter about these things, plus new rules are coming into force all the time so if you are not an experienced landlord you will need professional help. 3. We can let your property quicker than you can Well, in most cases we can. We will have access to online advertising sites such as Rightmove, and On The Market, we have our own website too. We also use social media such as Facebook. Not to mention our shop front in a prime town centre location where people looking for accommodation can browse for their new home. 4. We can often get you a better rent Many letting agents are used by relocation agents and companies willing to pay high prices for the right property. Usually these companies will

only use professional agents for sourcing property for their clients. 5. We will get a proper inventory done and deal with the deposit for you A really good inventory is absolutely essential nowadays and landlords who are taken to adjudication by their tenants will have little chance of winning without one. We have staff specially trained to do this work and will usually be able to do a much better job than you can. There is also the advantage that if the matter ever does go to arbitration, the fact that the inventory was drafted up by your agent will often mean that it is given greater weight by an adjudicator than one that was drafted up by you, the landlord. We will also deal with protecting the deposit properly, making sure that all the proper information is given to the tenant within the time limits.

Robert Goodwin

6. We will deal with checking and referencing your tenant A good agent will carefully screen and reference all prospective tenants as a matter of course. This does not always mean that there are no problems later, but it certainly reduces the chances of this

happening. We may also be able to recognise known bad tenants, and also recognise the signs of a bad or criminal tenant (for example one who is thinking of converting your property into a cannabis factory!). 7. We will deal with any problems that arise during the tenancy There is a lot of work involved in renting property and it is not all just about finding the tenant. Often problems arise at the property – for example minor repairs that need doing. Tenants also sometimes lock themselves out and need helping. We will also carry out regular inspections to make sure that the tenant is looking after the property properly and that all is well there. And finally Finally of course there is the fact that most landlords really don’t want to be bothered with the tedious business of dealing with tenants, and agents take the burden of this away from them. A really good agent can be a blessing to a landlord. I do feel strongly that agents SHOULD be regulated, here at Goodwin Property Services we are members of both ARLA and the NAEA offering you peace of mind and protection. You’ll only hear about the ones that don’t do their job properly and run off with all the money! • Goodwin Property Services 2-3 St Johns Street, Stamford, Lincs, PE9 2DA Tel: 01780 750000 STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2017



Did you know a family of Meerkats lives in Stamford? Amazingly, these and 74 other species reside happily at New College Stamford. Deborah Pennell went along to meet the animals, and to unveil a whole world of fascinatingly weird and wonderful creatures


OT everyone is cut out for A levels, so BTEC qualifications provide a good, alternative. Level 3 Diplomas are equivalent to 3 A Levels and amount to the same number of UCAS points. Their vocational nature allows students to progress into careers/employment they are passionate about. The courses prepare students to enter the workplace, and each year many students are employed locally and further afield, due to the qualifications they have gained at New College. Keen to know more, I was invited by Chris Lewis, Animal Unit Co-ordinator to take a look. Following a degree in Biology and Animal Behaviour at Exeter University, Chris was awarded an internship at Chester Zoo, moving then to a 3-year stint at Moulton College. More recently, he joined New College Stamford’s team, as Animal Unit Co-ordinator/Curator. Filled with a huge amount of knowledge and bottomless enthusiasm, Chris, a real-life Dr Doolittle, showed me around this amazing facility and nearly managed to persuade me to re-think my career!

75 different species With 75 different species on site, it is easy to lose count of the number of animals New College’s Animal Department has to care for. With some incredibly rare breeds and a few I have never even heard of, such as Banded Uromastyx, Tiger Leg Monkey Frog, Axolott, Whip Scorpion and Sugar Glides, it’s like walking onto the set of an Attenborough documentary. The Unit is set up in a logical manner with rooms for Exotics, Amphibians, Nocturnal creatures, and so on.



Chris, by his own admission, runs a very tight ship. The unit is spotlessly clean, and everything is housed in its rightful place. He says “When it comes to dealing with animals, learning to be organised and spotlessly clean is all part of good practice, and I’m a stickler for this.” Each animal’s tank, pen or enclosure has a label on the outside with the animal’s Common and Latin name, the temperature and humidity for reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates; and for mammals a note of where they originate from, a lifespan chart and gestation period. Also, included on the label is a traffic light system of red, green and orange dots depending on their ease of care, speed or fragility. All this information assists the students and staff, but also provides interesting reading for anyone visiting the Unit.

The layout of the unit Chris is at present in the middle of an ongoing project to upgrade areas of the Unit and has a number of exciting ideas to move the unit forward – a new Mixed Species Forest Exhibit and a Desert Exhibit are just two of his projects, and students will be involved in helping to design and construct the new enclosures. All the tanks and enclosures in which the animals are kept are themed to imitate their natural environment and, have modern, industrystandard enclosures. Students are set tasks to create enrichment zones for the animals, to encourage play and to stimulate their inquisitive nature.

To keep students up to date with the wellbeing of the animals there is a board on the wall in each room, detailing medication required, extra feeding regimes and any health concerns of the animals based in that particular room. A separate food preparation room has walls covered with lists detailing the feeding requirements, on a daily basis, for each individual species. Colourful pictures of the more exotic fruit and vegetables required to feed some animals are also on the walls,

the colleges and zoos.

to provide students with a reference point. A good-sized room, there is a bank of fridges for storage of fruit and veg, freezers for other foodstuffs and several boxes of live food. Moving through the unit you pass by an Isolation/Quarantine room – where animals go when they first arrive at the unit, and where they are subsequently tested for any diseases they might be carrying. Once test results are cleared, they enter the main unit. A light and airy practical classroom houses the tortoises and another project for the future, a large aquarium. This classroom is where students can practice grooming, nail clipping and health checking the animals. At the rear of the building, outside, there are enclosures with rabbits, guinea pigs, tortoises, marmosets, chickens, and its here we find our family of 11 endearing meerkats. They are such wonderfully amusing animals to watch; but I am told they are not as sweet as they look, they have incredibly sharp teeth and are prone to give you a nip! The Meerkats are one of the few creatures not handled by the students, for that reason alone, but they do provide the students with the experience of a zoo kept animal.

And finally, a couple of questions….

Where do all the animals come from? Chris Lewis is in contact with a number of zoos and colleges, and from time to time they exchange animals, or add animals to their ever, growing collection. A small in-house breeding programme sees certain species bred on site, or in conjunction with other establishments, but all breeding programmes are carefully monitored and information is shared between

And who looks after all these animals if they are sick? Sarah Pellet, a vet who specialises in exotics, from Animates in Thurlby, is charged with the veterinary responsibility of overseeing the unit, prescribing and administering medication and looking at any health issues. Popping into the unit once every couple of months she offers advise on treating ailments, answers any questions and deals with any concerns. In the event of an animal requiring emergency medical treatment, one of the Animal Unit staff takes the animal directly to the veterinary surgery.

Courses available: Animal Studies - Diploma Level 1 (1-year course) Animal Care Diploma Level 2 (1-year course) Animal Management Diploma/Extended Diploma Level 3 (2-year course) HNC and HND in Animal Management Careers as RSPCA inspectors, Animal Care Technicians Veterinary Nurses, Kennel Managers and Pet Shop Assistants are all achievable following a course at New College Stamford. • For more information on courses, please contact the College on: 01780 484311

Open Evening An Open Evening is being held on Tuesday 24th January from 5-8pm. This is open to students interested in taking a course in Animal Management in the future, and is a chance to chat with the tutors, look around the unit, and ask any questions. I would highly recommend it.

What are past students up to now? ROSIE DREW From receiving her first breeding incubator at only 11 years old, Rosie has always been keen to care for animals. Following a course at New College Stamford she now has a career in something she loves. Former Animal Management student Rosie Drew has been jetting off on internships across the globe, from Italy to New Orleans, working with endangered birds such as whooping cranes, as well as the more common flamingos and penguins; and more recently with hummingbirds, in Northern Italy. Rosie said “I feel the experience with the hummingbirds and cranes, both of which are extremely difficult to keep in captivity, alongside the broad experiences gained at College have made me a top candidate when being considered for internships.” As well as gaining amazing internships abroad, Rosie has also spent time travelling Europe exploring different zoos. “My future plans are to visit an American Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and then I hope to go to Australia to work on organic farms.”

NICOLE JACKSON Nikki studied an HND in Animal Management at New College Stamford, which included work experience at Hydropets in Market Deeping. Always passionate about animal welfare and devoted to the care and rehabilitation of dogs, for her, canine hydrotherapy ticks all the boxes. Having completed her course Nikki was offered a full-time job with Hydropets and has since gone on to qualify as a Canine Hydrotherapist. Nikki said, “Thanks to these opportunities I have been able to fulfil my passion of working in canine hydrotherapy and rehabilitation.”

Tel: 01780 763180 32 Main Street, Great Casterton, Stamford, Lincs. PE9 4AA

A Veterinar y Practice with a Difference Email:


Mon – Fri 8.30am to 6.30pm Sat 8.30am to 12 noon. Free Parking



VISIT OUR SHOWROOM Wishing you all a Happy New Year

Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm

Tel: 01780 654321 Email: 12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN 44

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Make a new start with Moores – the region’s premier estate agency. Managing Director, Vernon Moore appraises opportunities for local vendors and offers some key advice for those thinking of buying or selling in 2017.

THE RIGHT TIME? RIGHT NOW. With almost three decades of experience in the local property market, Vernon has witnessed his fair share of market uncertainty over the years and has some straightforward advice for property owners thinking of selling this year; “Sell your house when it is the right time for you – simple as that. There will always be speculation around political activity or unusual circumstances such as the Brexit vote which can lead to some vendors being overly cautious. Buyers however usually remain enthusiastic despite any level of uncertainty.”

70% OF BUYERS OVER £500,000 ARE COMING FROM THE SOUTH EAST Moore’s experience the most new registrations from potential buyers during the period over Christmas and the New Year with many cash buyers among them. “It’s frustrating to hear that some vendors feel they need to wait until spring before marketing their home which is simply not the case at all. The early months of the year are the ideal time to capture the attention of our newly registered buyers.” With growing demand from buyers in London and the South East who are prepared to pay up to 10% more than many local vendors are expecting, Vernon’s message is simple – “If the time is right for you to sell, we have buyers ready to move.”

THE RIGHT PLATFORM? GRANTHAM AND VERY SOON… PETERBOROUGH Last year Moores launched an experimental London Platform Office at Grantham railway station and the results have been extraordinary.

Created to cater for those seeking a Country and Commuting home, the office swiftly became the primary showcase for the finest rural homes available in the Vale of Belvoir. “Resembling a First Class lounge, the platform office is an easy and practical information hub for buyers considering a move out of London, seeking prestigious family homes within an easy commute to the capital,” explains Vernon. The Grantham Platform Office has been such a swift and emphatic success that further offices will appear on the London platforms of regional railway stations over the next few weeks, beginning with Peterborough Station.


LOOKING FORWARD OVER 40% OF OUR SALES ARE BY DISCREET INTRODUCTIONS “As we enter 2017, each specialist area of agency has its own in-house expert at Moores. Whether it is residential sales, commercial property, mortgages and finance, country rentals or large equestrian properties, we are ready to take on this year’s challenges and our team has never looked stronger. We are happy to discuss discreetly marketing your property for a reduced fee during the early new year, this is a great way to dip your toe in the water when it comes to selling your property without the obligations of you being on the market.” • Contact Moores The team at Moores are delighted to offer valuations and advice on all aspects of buying, selling and letting property. They are available to contact via branch offices in Oakham, Stamford, Melton, Uppingham and London as well as the London Platform at Grantham Railway Station. Oakham Office – Tel: 01572 757979 Stamford Office – Tel: 01780 484555 Uppingham Office – Tel: 01572 821935 Full contact details can be found at

“We are thrilled with the response from buyers and the demand it creates for Country and Commuting homes across Stamford and Rutland. The Peterborough Platform Office will showcase the best homes for sale as well as offer expert advice from the dedicated team based there,” says Vernon. “We also offer our clients an individual home sourcing service and last year made many successful matches. Our specialist insight into the local market means we are always the first to be ‘in the know’ so many matches were made between London clients and properties that never appeared in the press or on the internet,” he adds.



OlsenMetrix Marketing Nicholas Rudd-Jones paid a visit to this impressive Ketton-based marketing company to find out more about the business


HE first thing that struck me as I entered the OlsenMetrix offices in a stone-built building in the heart of Ketton is the sheer energy level of the team – driving through a quaint, rural Rutland village to discover this – a den of creative exuberance. I was met by Richard and Sasha Olsen, Managing Director and Creative Director, and Mike Holland, Communications Director. Their respective companies combined eighteen months ago to form OlsenMetrix and you sense straight away there is a good fit - professionalism laced with humour and finishing each other’s sentences. Mike has been in the marketing business for over 30 years, initially as a founding partner at Smye Holland Associates and then Metrix. Metrix was a PR & Communication services business and built its reputation on demonstrating measurable returns to its clients. Richard and Sasha formed Olsen as a merger of their two businesses some years ago, where Richard already operated a marketing services company, Sasha brought additional marketing and creative expertise into the mix. Both have active interests in multiple businesses and are passionate about business growth. Having run Olsen for just over a decade, focusing on digital and design, bringing the two established businesses together in the summer of 2015 seemed a natural fit; and, so it has proved. There is now a team of nine altogether offering the full range of marketing services. With all skills being in-house, they are poised to serve their clients with a level of cohesiveness and control that seldom comes with outsourcing, and indeed gets the required results. Although each team member has a speciality, they typically work on projects together to brainstorm original and different ideas that will make a genuine difference for the client. According to Mike “the best ideas are often as a result of team collaboration, and once the idea has been hatched the excitement created during the process is carried right through the execution and the feedback loop”. Sasha took up the story: “We spend a lot of time getting to know our clients. It is a truly immersive process, particularly in the early days; and once a client relationship is well established, they tend to look for our help across a huge range of issues”. Richard adds in that “Ultimately we aspire to be regarded as a ‘sounding board’ and a ‘trusted friend’.”



Marketing services offered include; marketing strategy and planning, communications and media relations, content creation and management, brand identity design and management, web design and development, social media, SEO, website management, marketing automation, and advertising. Most services by their very nature are combined as an integrated solution to meet the clients objectives. But undoubtedly, it is satisfied clients who speak most eloquently of the quality of service provided: TESTIMONIALS “Thanks for all your support with this campaign

which adopted a radically new approach. It’s been a great pleasure working with you.” Greg Hutton-Squire, Peterborough City Council. “In my first meeting with OlsenMetrix, they made a simple suggestion which revolutionised my thinking around our service proposition and who does what. I was simply too close and conditioned to see it.” Andy Brooks, MD, Brooks Wealth Management “We have worked with the agency team since 2006. They are confident and professional marketing communications specialists who consistently deliver results. Their experience and expertise have been central to our continuing commercial success.” Karl Hick, The Larkfleet Group of Companies

CASE STUDIES Clients range across many sectors including design, food & drink, household services, industrial, engineering, educational, regional investment, housebuilding, healthcare, IT and telecoms. Client: Larkfleet Homes Brief: Plan and implement a marketing communications programme to deliver a quantified flow of visitors to show homes (because Larkfleet can predict the conversion ratio of visitors to sales). Approach: OlsenMetrix (OM) have helped Larkfleet Homes to put in place a multi-channel communications programme which includes online and offline promotion, public relations, advertising and many other things. Importantly, OM has also put in place a marketing metrics reporting system which allows expenditure to be measured against the number of site visitors and house sales on a monthly basis. Results: The metrics system provides monthly figures that show how much each house sale and each visitor to site is costing through marketing communications activity. It is helping Larkfleet to drive down marcomms cost, and drive up return on investment, on a year-byyear basis. Services: Campaign Management, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Creative Concepts + Ideas, Marketing Strategy, Media Relations, Newsletters, Public Relations, Website Design + Development, Website Hosting Client: Yamato Brief: To redesign the UK website of leading industrial

weighing equipment manufacturer Yamato, making it easier for customers to navigate and to find the solutions most relevant to their needs. Approach: The site incorporates permissions-based content allowing the customer to access information specific to them alone. It features product by industry sector; with an interactive timeline and streaming videos to demonstrate the company’s machines in operation. The website was built with a user-friendly content management system so that news, articles, and product pages could be updated regularly by the client. As the build progressed, additional features were requested including animating static CAD drawings and an interactive world map. The website is about to go through a further redevelopment to refresh the user interface, incorporate new and exciting graphics and user functionality, and most importantly, since the site is now 6 years old, to make it responsive and mobile device friendly. Results: Website traffic and conversion rates are significantly higher than with the previous website. Services: Advertising, Artistic Direction, Campaign Management, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Creative Concepts + Ideas, Design, Email Marketing, Media Relations, Public Relations, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Social Media, Website Design + Development,

Examples of recent work completed by OlsenMetrix is shown here. If you would like to explore any marketing issues you may have, then just get in touch with Richard, Mike or Sasha. OlsenMetrix Marketing, The Annexe, 63 High St, Ketton, Stamford PE9 3TE Tel: 0333 101 0075



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Ewe make me happy! D

ID you know that picking up a pair of knitting needles and crafting a woollen item is said to help ward off dementia and help ease anxiety and depression? Owner of the Ewe Wool Shop in Stamford Walk, Rachel Parry-Arch, agrees that knitting is indeed therapeutic. “I’ve had customers referred to me from a local hospital with hand problems,” says Rachel. “They knit to improve their mobility and find that in addition to the physical benefits it is a great mental stimulator - apparently, it makes you happier, calmer and more energetic the day after you’ve been knitting.” It’s no wonder, as these days there’s something called ‘extreme knitting’, using massive needles and chunky wool, meaning you can knit a snood or a cushion cover in under an hour which gives a great sense of almost instantaneous achievement. “People think that knitting is expensive but the results you achieve for example, a 100% cashmere cardigan or jumper, make it much cheaper to knit yourself than buy readymade,” explains Rachel. “We stock yarn to suit everyone’s budget; from luxury, high end wools costing up to £46 per ball, to wools that sell for 95p per ball which are ideal for charity knitters.” It really is worth a visit to this beautifully tactile shop where you have the opportunity to browse, buy and then sit and knit - in situ with expert help from Rachel on hand. “We can have a four-way conversation with complete strangers who all come in to buy some yarn, sit down and get chatting about their common interest - knitting! It’s very sociable.”

Tax Free Childcare T

Woolly Weimaraner, Freddie, loves a good yarn!

Ewe Wool Shop runs regular knitting and crocheting (which is according to Rachel the latest crafting trend) courses for both beginners and experienced makers. Regular customers can join a loyalty scheme where they earn monetary vouchers via their purchases to put towards more wool. A raffle for regulars offers a prize of £50-£60 of wool for one lucky customer per month. • To find out more contact Rachel at Ewe Wool Shop, Stamford walk on: 01780 763838; (e):; (w):

AX-FREE Childcare is a new government initiative which is due to be slowly rolled out from early 2017, and will replace the existing Childcare Voucher Scheme which closes to new entrants from April 2018. Kerry Hilliard of Stephenson Smart Chartered Accountants explains how it will provide working parents with another option for tax savings on their childcare direct through the Government, and will also be available to self-employed workers who are unable to benefit from the existing scheme. The proposed scheme will only be open to some working parents (where both parents are working or single parents) where the parent is not already getting support through the existing Childcare Voucher scheme. To be eligible, parents must be earning less than £100,000 annually, working a minimum of 16 hours per week and not be receiving support through tax credits. For eligible families, Tax-Free Childcare offers to cover 20% of childcare costs for children up to the age of 12.

Stamford-based Marketing Agency scoops National Awards A

CYBER Safety campaign designed by local creative agency, Artisan Creative for Anglian Water, has won the ‘Best Internal Communications’ award at this year’s” CorpComms” awards for 2016. The creative campaign features six internet monsters, targets internal employees to improve awareness of Cyber security and encourages people to make sure they don’t compromise the company’s security. Digital and conventional marketing material at the Anglian Water headquarters push the “Don’t Let Them In” message. In a survey, 79 per cent of Anglian water employees said they better understood the risks to the company, while 43 per cent said they would use IT differently in the workplace. Up against some industry giants with enormous marketing budgets the team really proved you don’t need a big fat budget and a London agency to produce award-winning campaigns. The judges described the initiative as a ‘smart strategy with a real understanding of both challenges and solutions’ adding ‘Great result, great logic, great creativity’. Artisan Creative are not just experts in internal communications they are a full-service agency providing marketing support for some of the UK’s leading brands including Hotpoint, British Sugar, Barbour, KitchenAid, Cummins, Berghaus and many more. • Want to find out more. Tel: Annie Nurse 01780 484450.

You’ll be able to open an online account, where you can pay in to cover the cost of childcare with a registered provider. This will be done through the government website, GOV. UK. The government will top up the account with 20% of childcare costs up to a total of £10,000 - the equivalent of up to £2,000 support per child per year. For every 80p you or someone else pays in, the government will pay an extra 20p. Parents will be able to use the vouchers with any Ofsted regulated childcare provider in England and the equivalent bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, just as they can with the current Childcare Vouchers. • For more information contact Stephenson Smart Tel: 01733 343275 or visit www.




Best Places to Walk the Coast Many of us think of a trip to the beach as something to do when the weather gets warmer, but there is no need to save the seaside for the summer. In fact, winter can be the best time to experience the wild splendour of the coast, with foaming seas, dramatic skies, and deserted sands. Here are three places along the Norfolk coast which show off their best features during the winter months.

Sea Palling (NE of Norwich) Snettisham Beach

It’s easy to miss Snettisham Beach, and most people heading for the coast whizz past on their way to the more familiar coastal resorts of Hunstanton, Wells, or Cromer. But, in fact, Snettisham is the closest beach to Stamford, and is well worth a visit, especially in the winter when the holiday parks are closed and the place is practically empty. As you approach the signs to Snettisham village, turn left onto a little beach road. Either park in the RSPB car park, which is free, or carry on to the car park right next to the beach. From there it’s only a short climb over a low line of dunes to the shingle bank and the beach below. If the tide is in, the waves will be lapping right up to the shingle. If the tide is low, you will have a stretch of unspoilt beach of sand and pebbles, perfect for a bracing walk and a great place to take your dog for a run. Turn to the right, and you can walk northwards all the way to Hunstanton, but be prepared for a ten-mile round hike. Walk out along the beach, and return via the inland bank, depending on the tides. Better still, turn to your left and enjoy a circular walk. Follow the path along the top of the beach, with wonderful vistas over the broad expanse of the Wash, and then continue walking around a series of inland lakes. This is an RSPB reserve and is usually teeming with birds. Take your binoculars. Snettisham village is only a few minutes’ drive away on the other side of the A149. It is a typical Norfolk village with a number of cosy teashops, a couple of pubs, and an impressive 14th century church, also well worth a visit.

Like Snettisham, Sea Palling is another overlooked resort. Busy in summer, with crowded holiday parks, the best time to visit this section of the coast is out of season. What makes Sea Palling special? A line of offshore reefs, designed to hold back tidal flooding, has created a series of delightful sandy coves. On either side stretch miles and miles of unspoilt beach, and the resort won the Blue Flag award, in 2016. Turn left and walk along the shore towards the doomed village of Happisburg, with its crumbling cliffs and sea defences. This sight is always a humbling experience and a reminder of the power of the waves. Alternatively, turn right and walk towards the National Nature Reserve of Winterton Dunes. On the way, keep your eyes open for seals, as this section of Norfolk beach is a good place to spot them Sea Palling is a two and a half hours’ drive away from Stamford and so, if you are planning a day trip, an early start is essential. Remember, winter is a great time to visit the Norfolk coast, and to experience wonderful seascapes and empty beaches. But be prepared for wild weather and shorter days. Set your alarm for an early start, wrap up warm in a windproof and waterproof jacket, and don’t forget to take your camera and a pair of binoculars.


Hunstanton is famous for being the only major resort on the Norfolk coast that faces west, and for its dramatic, multi-layered and multi-coloured cliffs. In the summer, Hunstanton is a bustling place, but out of season you can avoid the crowds and really appreciate the special nature of the resort. If the tide is low, walk along the beach and stroll beneath the splendid cliffs. Once you get round past Old Hunstanton the scenery changes, from shingle and cliffs, to sandy beach and dunes. Walk back towards Hunstanton along the top of the cliffs, passing the old lighthouse. Or, if you prefer, continue walking eastwards until you reach Thornham, five miles further along the coast. From there, you can catch the Coasthopper bus back to Hunstanton if you wish. It runs hourly on most days, and two-hourly on Sunday. Don’t forget to take your camera. Check the tides and time your walk to get the most from the views. Late afternoon, when the sun slants in from the west, is the best time to photograph the cliffs. • Ruth Livingstone is a retired GP and long-distance coastal walker. Her recently published book, Walking the English Coast, a Beginner’s Guide, is available from Amazon.



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Lunch for even Less 2017

As has happened for many years now in this region, eight restaurants have teamed up to offer a fine lunch at an especially low price during the first part of the year. This is a great chance to try out new eating spots and to return to old favourites.


HE offer is valid Monday to Friday or Saturday, and is variable to each restaurant. To make your reservation, please call the restaurant of your choice and quote the ‘Lunch for Even Less’ offer. Subject to availability. The Berkeley Arms, Wymondham 2 Courses for £13.95 (3rd Course for £4.00) Offer Valid – Wednesday, 18th January to Friday, 31st March Closed on Mondays – Excluding Valentine’s Day 01572 787587 Hambleton Hall, Nr. Oakham 2 Courses for £28.00 (3rd Course for £7.00) (including 12.5% discretionary service) Offer Valid – Monday, 16th January to Friday, 3rd March Excluding Saturdays & Valentine’s Day 01572 756991 www. Hart’s, Nottingham 2 Courses for £17.00 (3rd Course for £4.50) (excluding service) Offer Valid – Tuesday, 3rd January to Tuesday, 28th February, Including Valentine’s Day 0115 9881900 Langar Hall, Langar 2 Courses for £18.50 (3rd Course for £5.00) Offer Valid – Wednesday, 11th January to Friday, 31st March Excluding Saturdays & Valentine’s Day 01949 860559 The Marquess of Exeter, Lyddington 2 Courses for £13.50 (3rd Course for £3.00) Offer Valid – Monday, 9th January to Friday, 31st March Including Valentine’s Day 01572 822477 The Olive Branch, Clipsham 2 Courses for £17.50 (3rd Course for £4.00) Offer Valid – Monday, 16th January to Friday, 31st March Excluding Valentine’s Day 01780 410355 The Wicked Witch, Ryhall 2 Courses for £14.95 (3rd Course for £3.00) Offer Valid – Tuesday, 17th January to Saturday, 15th April Closed on Mondays, including Valentine’s Day 01780 763649 The Wheatsheaf, Greetham 2 Courses for £14.50 (3rd Course £2.50) Offer Valid - Tuesday 24th January to Friday, 31st March Closed on Mondays & early January Including Valentine’s Day 01572 812325


Jackson Stops, Stretton (01780 410237) The Jackson Stops has a Michelin recommendation for 2017 (5th time running) and in our latest food review (Dec issue) we were delighted by the food. Lunch for Less: Tuesday – Friday: £12.95 (2 courses) Dine for Less: Tuesday – Friday - Two courses £15.95, extra course £3.95 New for January is ‘Pub classics night’ every Wednesday evening, a selection of retro pub classic main courses for £8.95!




RRIVING unannounced to do a restaurant review on a busy Friday lunchtime could have caused some upset, but as Barnsdale Lodge is such a professionally run establishment, it means whenever you turn up you are going to be treated to the same degree of excellent service and high standard of food. My mother and I were not to be disappointed. Since Executive Head Chef, David Bukowicki joined the team last year, the food at Barnsdale Lodge has been of a consistently high quality with the ethos of turning locally sourced produce into simple, elegant and delicious dishes. I started with Sauté Foraged Mushrooms & Colston Basset on Brioche toast, Crispy Barnsdale Duck Egg. What a brilliantly executed dish – a multitude of wild mushrooms, tasty local cheese, sitting on lightly toasted brioche topped with a perfectly cooked crispy duck egg. My mother chose the Confit Gressingham Duck & Pistachio Terrine with Armagnac Prunes – a rich and flavoursome, duck terrine with great textures and even housing a sneaky bit of foie gras; all wrapped neatly in wafer thin Italian ham. The prunes were an excellent accompaniment and cut through the richness. For main I chose Roasted Guinea Fowl breast, Cepes Mousse, Roasted Salsify, Game chips and Madeira cream - succulent meat sitting on roasted salsify with a subtle cepe mousse, and crunchy latticed game chips. I always think Guinea fowl is an under-utilised bird. It has as much to offer as chicken, in fact more, but is not as readily available. A superb dish. A risotto connoisseur, my mother opted for the Roasted Pumpkin and Sage Risotto with a chestnut and watercress salad – it was well cooked and full of winter flavours. We both finished with something off their irresistible pudding menu. I could not resist the Black Forest Baked Alaska, a harp back to my childhood but with so much more finesse. A black cherry ice-cream sits atop a thin chocolate cake base with a mountain of fluffy meringue encasing it all. Torched to give the most wonderful showstopper pudding – it tasted as good as it looked. Chocolate and Hazelnut Mousse with vanilla ice-cream proved a good choice for my mother – a light mousse coated in finely chopped golden hazelnuts – it would have satisfied the most discerning pudding critic. A great dining experience; attentive service and excellent food. • Barnsdale Lodge, The Avenue, Exton, LE15 8AH 01572 724678




Lunch & Takeaway Menus

The Mad Turk Authentic, Home-Style Turkish Cypriot Food

Reservations 01780 238001 Takeaway Order Line 01780 238282

Open all day Saturdays from 12pm 8/9 St Paul’s St, Stamford, PE9 2BE

For more information on opening times and to see our menus visit or see our Facebook page



The Mad Turk: new lunch and takeaway menus Nicholas Rudd-Jones met with Shelly and Kaz to discuss their new lunchtime and take-away menus


LOVE everything about the Mad Turk; the generous portions, the ambience, the friendliness of the staff (few ever leave) and, in the summer, the glorious garden. And now there are two completely new offerings, the lunchtime menu and the take-away menu. The lunchtime menu, available from 12 noon on Saturdays initially, is lighter and bursting with flavours and healthy ingredients, and is not separated into starters and main courses. In Kaz’s words: “To me Turkish food is in essence a great big meze and best enjoyed this way. Choose a selection of dishes from the menu, order separately or share, add some sides and you have a varied, healthy lunch bursting with Mediterranean flavours.” The takeaway menu has been up and running for a few weeks now and is proving incredibly popular already, as the girls from Energy can testify. It comes in meal boxes and is available from 6pm onwards, pickup only. The menu looks absolutely fabulous, here’s a couple of examples; In a flat bread – Chicken Shish with Middle Eastern potato & courgette salad, red onion, pomegranate and a minty citrus dressing; In a meal box – Lamb Shish with tomato bulgur, Mediterranean salad and a yoghurt dressing. 2017 looks like being another great year for the Mad Turk. • 8-9 St Paul’s St, Stamford PE9 2BE Restaurant: 01780 238001 Takeaway: 01780 238282

No 1 Kitchen Victoria Magnell writes:


ITH so much choice in Stamford it is easy to forget about some reliable favourites, however, No1 Kitchen is anything but forgettable and for all the right reasons. Nestled on the corner of St Mary’s Street and Castle Street, this cosy yet modern venue is the perfect place for all ages, any day of the week. The team are incredibly personable and welcoming, working together to ensure the customer has the best dining experience possible. The menu is varied, catering for children, vegetarians as well as traditional burger and steak fans. My ‘go to’ dish is the salmon skewers, served with sweet chilli mayo although I always have food envy as I see what everyone else has ordered as every dish looks as delicious as the next. The drinks menu is just as enticing, and is the perfect place to go for a milkshake after the Arts Centre Cinema on a Sunday. At weekends, afternoons are full of shoppers

recharging and later on it is buzzing with groups of friends and couples starting their evenings off with a bite to eat before venturing on to other Stamford venues. During warmer months, the pretty garden is a great place to people watch whilst enjoying a pitcher of Pimms overlooking the meadows. It is a favourite for office parties, birthdays and get togethers as there is really is something for everyone at No1. The team are attentive but not too much, allowing you to enjoy your meal, company and of course the terrific music that is played. On a recent visit a superb Motown album was the CD of choice which most of the restaurant were singing along to! It is no surprise that No1 Kitchen is a firm favourite with most Stamford families, when you see the smile on the children’s (and adults’) faces when the bill comes accompanied by a selection of retro sweets including the legendary flying saucer! The challenge is to see who can politely bagsie the most sought-after treat! No1 Kitchen, 1 Castle St, Stamford PE9 2RA 01780 766522 STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2017



A Healthy Alternative As the shooting season draws to a close, Deborah Pennell looks at Game as an alternative to our everyday meat; ably assisted by Phil Kent, Game Chef of the Year, and local gamekeeper David Frisby, who offer advice on preparation and cooking


N my mind, there is nothing better, in the winter months, than sitting down to a warming Game Pie, served with mountains of creamy mash and masses of delicious green vegetables. With a richness in flavour, only achievable by a wild animal feasting on nature’s larder, this is my ultimate comfort food. Statistics say that sales of Game have grown over a third in the last five years, and it would appear there are several reasons why: Game has become a fashionable ingredient and food trends mean Celebrity chefs are using it more and more. It freezes well, has great flavour because it is wild, natural and free range. And most importantly of all, it is low in cholesterol and high in protein. Venison especially, has a great taste, and its lean meat is brilliant for anyone on a low-fat diet. It also contains higher levels of iron than any other red meat.

Game falls into 2 categories: • feathered game or game birds, including pheasant, partridge, wood pigeon, wild duck and grouse • furred game including hare, rabbit, venison and wild boar Although there are many more meats classed as Game, the ones most commonly found in local butchers, or at the local farmers’ markets are pheasant, rabbit and venison.



David Frisby has been Head Game Keeper at Burghley Estate for the past 15 years. With a plethora of game at this time of year, he quite regularly finds himself preparing something for his supper, with roasted Wild Mallard top on his list of favourites. He shares his recipe for Venison Loins wrapped in Pancetta, as a simple and quick dish to prepare: Take 2 Venison loins and wrap in pancetta and then tightly in cling film. Put in the fridge for half an hour. In the meantime, prepare and cook some sweet potato chips, seasoned with sea salt and black pepper. Heat a frying pan with a small amount of olive oil, unwrap the loin and place in the hot pan until golden and sealed on

all sides. Place in an oven tray, and cook at 180°C, for 10 minutes. Take the venison out and leave to rest. For the accompanying sauce add blackberries, a couple of juniper berries and finely diced onion into the pan used to seal the meat. Add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, port and salt and pepper and reduce until the blackberries are mushy. Pass the sauce through a sieve and serve. Another quick supper recipe: Take a couple of pheasant breasts, cut a slit down the middle of each of them, fill the opening with cream cheese and chives, season with salt and pepper and wrap in pancetta. Seal and cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Serve with sautéed cabbage and butter glazed Chantenay carrots.

10 TOP TIPS FOR PREPARING AND COOKING GAME: Pheasant, Partridge, Wild Duck and all Feathered Game • use a reputable local butcher or buy from farmers’ markets or direct from a local Estate • when buying Game birds, make sure they are oven ready, unless you want to spend time plucking them • always gauge the cooking time according to the weight of the individual bird


UR recipe from Phil Kent, Head Chef at The William Cecil and Game Chef of the Year 2016; takes a little more preparation, but is a wonderful winter dinner party dish to wow your friends. Roasted Breast & Confit leg of Pheasant, Thyme pressed potatoes, Roasted carrot & Maple syrup puree, buttered curly kale, madeira reduction Ingredients for two

Confit leg of pheasant 2 Pheasant legs 300ml good quality olive oil 1 Dried bay leaf 1 Clove 1/2 Star anise Breast of pheasant 2 Breast of pheasant Knob of butter Pinch of freshly chopped thyme Thyme pressed potatoes 3 Large potatoes 1 Clove of garlic 1 Banana shallot 250gm Unsalted butter 10gm Freshly chopped thyme


Venison/Rabbit/Muntjac and all Furred Game • Cook venison loin medium rare • Make sure you know what type of cut you have and whether you should cook it hot and fast or long and slow – if you do not get the cooking time right you could end up with a piece of meat which is inedible • Marinade joints overnight – using a red wine or similar acidic liquid to marinade the meat in, will help to tenderise. Phil Kent suggests marinating the meat in red wine, rosemary, garlic and juniper overnight. • For roasting – Remove the meat from the marinade. Always seal the meat to keep in the juices before roasting in a very hot frying pan. Remove meat and sit on some onion and root vegetables to cook roast. Using a small amount of the marinade deglaze the pan and add the juices around the roast. • For stews – seal the meat to add colour and extra flavour to the stew and to seal in the juices, place meat in an appropriate size casserole dish, deglaze the pan and add the rest of the marinade to cook. Once cooked through if your sauce is too thin then just pop it on a very high heat and bubble to reduce the volume of liquid, this will also thicken the sauce at the same time. • Use the marinating liquor for the sauce • In all cases use as much of the animal as possible – don’t forget the carcass will make you very good stock, once you have removed all the meat off the bones and the offal can be used to make faggots. Traditional accompaniments to Game include bread sauce, fried breadcrumbs, game chips, watercress and redcurrant jelly.

Roasted carrot & maple syrup puree 250gm Carrots 1 Banana shallot 1 Clove garlic 100ml Double cream 100ml Vegetable stock Maple syrup & sea salt to taste Madeira reduction 50ml Madeira 300ml Game stock 100gm Mirepoix (diced carrots, leeks, onions & celery) METHOD Breast of pheasant Season both breasts with salt and pepper. Place a large pan on heat until very hot. Add a knob of butter and fresh thyme before searing both sides of the breast for no more than two minutes. Place in the oven at 170c for 10-15 so the breast is lightly pink.

and sweat off in a frying pan before adding to your clarified butter. Layer the potatoes evenly and clockwise around your deep pan (remembering the base of the pan will be the top of your presented potatoes). Continue building the layers adding a small amount of clarified butter between each layer. Lightly season every layer. Finish with a second Cartouche. Place a heavy bottom frying pan on top of the Cartouche to keep the potatoes tightly pressed whilst cooking. Place in the oven at 170C for around 4050 minutes or until you can run a cocktail stick through the centre of the potatoes. Remove from the oven and place a weight on top of the pan resting on the potatoes and place everything in the fridge until fully set. Remove from fridge and cut to desired shape before reheating to serve. Roasted carrot & maple syrup puree Peel your carrots and roast in the oven alongside butter and thyme until al dente. Sweat off your diced shallots & garlic in frying pan before then adding your carrots and vegetable stock to the mixture. Reduce mixture by half, finish with double cream, maple syrup and season to taste. Liquidise mixture and pass through a sieve to a fine purée.

Confit leg Place oil & all aromatics into a deep pan. Place pheasant legs into oil and cook in an oven on a low heat of 100C for 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender and breaks to touch.

Madeira reduction Shallow fry your mirepoix and add the Madeira before reducing by half. Add your game stock and reduce to your liking.

Thyme pressed potatoes Line a deep pan with a knob of butter & a Cartouche (round piece of greaseproof paper). In another pan bring your butter to a low heat so that the fat and cream separate. Using a ladle, skim the cream from the mixture and place to one side. Finely dice your garlic, shallot and thyme

To serve Place potatoes and confit legs back in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove breasts from oven and leave to rest. Place all other ingredients on the plate along with some sautéed curly kale before finishing with your halved breast, confit leg and thyme pressed

LOCAL STOCKISTS OF GAME: • Grasmere, 34, High Street, PE9 2BB • Nelsons, 8 Red Lion Square, PE9 2AJ • Simpsons at The Stamford Garden Centre, Casterton Road, PE9 4BB All the Butchers generally stock a small quantity of game during the season, but advise customers to pre-order to guarantee availability. STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2017




MICHAEL LAING HEAD CHEF OF THE KITCHEN GARDEN, AT THE STAMFORD GARDEN CENTRE Debs Pennell caught up with Michael, who these days is kept very busy heading up this popular restaurant/café

always recommend booking a table, to avoid disappointment. We now employ 4 Chefs and 3 Kitchen Porters. Sue continues to manage front of house, with her fantastic team.

Are you originally from Stamford? I was born in Ely, but have lived in Stamford since I was 8 years old, so I think that nearly makes me a Stamford local?!

What is the most popular dish on the menu and how often do you change the menu? We offer a daily soup and quiche, both are extremely popular; alternatively, the menu changes fortnightly and we have a Special’s blackboard, with additional seasonal dishes. We like to think there is something to suit all tastes.

What jobs have you had since working as a Chef? After College, I went to work in the Oakhouse Restaurant (where Prezzo now resides) and subsequently at Finnans Brasserie, and the Garden House Hotel. How long have you worked at the The Kitchen and how has it changed over the years? I have been Head Chef at the SGC for 6 years. When I began work here we used to cater for 30/40 covers a day, during the week, and maybe 80/90 on a busy weekend. Since Chris and Emma Isaac took over in January 2014, the Garden Centre has undergone quite a transformation. These days we can expect to do a minimum of 100 covers a day during the week, and up to 190/200 on a busy weekend. It’s a massive success story. I would

You hold regular monthly dinners – tell me a little bit about these. On the first Friday of every month we offer, reservations only, evening dining. This gives us the chance to showcase more expensive seasonal ingredients in a dinner party style. In addition to this, the restaurant is available to book for private parties. I see from the map on the wall that you are very keen on the provenance of your ingredients. Why is this important to you? The important thing to me is the interaction with the local producers. If we have a problem with an ingredient I know who to speak to, because I have built a good relationship with the supplier. We are incredibly lucky to have Simpsons Butchers on site who have been awarded Butchers of the Year; local bakery Askers make all our bread and Venison comes from the Burghley Estate, when in season. I think it’s really important to reduce our carbon footprint. Who are your influences when it comes to Chefs? I like to think I do my own thing, but I do admire Gordon Ramsey and James Martin. I take ideas from everywhere, be it celebrity chefs, other dining experiences or

“We are incredibly lucky to have Simpsons Butchers on site who have been awarded Butchers of the Year; local bakery Askers make all our bread and Venison comes from the Burghley Estate.”


Where did you train to become a Chef and what qualifications did you gain? I trained at New College Stamford gaining NVQ levels 1-3 in Food Preparation and Cooking, NVQ level 2 in Food and Beverages and a Diploma in Pastry. During my time at College I was fortunate enough to be chosen, as one of two students, to spend time in the pastry kitchen at The Ritz. Our tutor had been a former pastry chef at Claridges and she managed to persuade a friend, who was a chef at the Ritz, to give us a placement. It was an incredible experience.

even family. My wife might make something for supper at home, and I will think, ‘that would be great on the menu at The Garden Centre’. Have you ever cooked for anyone famous? I cooked for the Conservative Party Conference one year, and BBC Springwatch presenter, Chris Packham, ate with us during Rutland Water Birdfair. If you could choose your favourite ingredient what would it be, and what would you cook with it? I really enjoy cooking seasonal Game. For lunchtime dining I would create a delicious casserole or pie, or perhaps pan fry a pheasant breast and braise the leg. For the dinner menu, I might use pigeon breast and serve it with a white onion purée. I also love creating Mediterranean Salads; this might have something to do with having an Italian stepfather!

Give me an interesting food fact about The Stamford Garden Centre Because of our extremely popular Breakfasts, we go through more than 600 eggs a week. What are your interests outside of work? Cycling – I rode from London to Paris last year and hope to cycle Land’s End to John O’Groats next year. Otherwise playing snooker, supporting Manchester United and reading. Family time is also incredibly important to me. • The Kitchen Garden at The Stamford Garden Centre, Great Casterton Road, PE9 4BB 01780 765656 The café/restaurant is open from 8.30-5.30pm 7 days a week. Breakfast is served MondaySaturday 8.30-11.30am and Sunday 9-11am A full menu is served all day, with coffees, teas and cakes also available. STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2017



Stamford Property Values Increase by 1.49% towards the end of 2016 This month, our local buy-to-let expert and property investment adviser, David Crooke, owner of UPP Property Agents, explains the reasons behind the confidence experienced in Stamford’s resilient property market.


OT even last year’s Brexit vote hindered Stamford’s steady rise in property values, as property values went up 1.49% in the last few weeks of 2016 - leaving Stamford values 8.12% higher than a year ago. An increase in demand from buyers and an uninspiring level of supply (i.e. the number of properties on the market) has driven up Stamford’s house values, and the Stamford property market has remained strong, still 15.6% higher than just under 2 years ago. The housing market as a whole is built on the foundations of basic economic rules that any GCSE Economics student should understand. However, at a time when as a country we seem eager to uncouple ourselves from all manner of proven facts, anything is up for grabs. Even the wary Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said most of its chartered surveyors anticipated UK house prices to increase in the next 6 months, which seems contradictory given economic cautions from HM Treasury. Even though inflation will rise to around 2% to 3% this year and perhaps a little more in 2018 because of the pound’s devaluation, together with a high probability of a decelerating GDP and a slight rise in unemployment, how can the RICS and most landlords and sellers remain so confident about house values? Nationally, we have a solid base of low unemployment, low inflation and preposterously low interest rates, and here in Stamford the local economy is doing quite well for itself. Confidence also plays a part. Confidence can supersede basic economic

facts for a short time at least, which is why actual property market changes tend to be more exaggerated, as confidence can turn both positive and negative very quickly. The fact is, there is a long-term relationship between property values, wages and unemployment. For example, looking at the following graph, you can quite clearly see the ratio of property values to earnings is nowhere near as high as it reached in 2008 and currently is in the middle of the range for the last 30 years. As a country, we are in a strong position.

Property values might drop slightly this year, but based on what we know of the UK economy now, values are not projected to move that much over 2017 or 2018. Going into the next 2 years, we are in much better financial shape as a country compared to the last 2 crashes of 1987 and 2008. Confidence will continue to be the key player in the housing market for a while longer, and this may spur some much needed second-hand market activity. • For professional advice on buying, selling, renting and managing your homes and property investments, please call David Crooke, UPP Property Sales & Lettings on 01780 484 554.

Are your legal affairs in order? Y

OU cannot predict what will happen in life, however you can plan for both the best and the worst circumstances that may arise. ‘We provide legal advice and guidance around protecting your estate and assets as you get older as well as managing changes that can happen in your family life.’ says Jo Wild, Trusts and Probate Associate Solicitor at Hegarty Solicitors. The Hegarty Solicitors Trusts and Probate department can advise on the creation of trusts, the preparation of wills as well as probate applications and the administration of estates. They look at all aspects of safeguarding your future which includes areas such as inheritance planning, later life planning and the granting of Lasting Powers of Attorney where you can appoint trusted people to make



decisions on your behalf. Jo says, ‘Many people think it is just about creating a will but it is much more. It is still surprising how many people have not made the time to prepare a will with a Solicitor – there are many misconceptions about the intestacy rules that apply when there is no will – especially in these days of blended and extended families and even more so with those who own and run a business.’ ‘Legal planning is a responsibility that can easily be put off until another day, and concerns weigh heavily on elderly clients but also on families who also want to protect them.’ ‘There is a sense of relief for my clients who have made provision for the future. Some families feel it is a difficult subject to broach, but it actually takes a lot of thought and

consideration and I think it shows how much people care.’ • For more information call Jo at Hegarty Solicitors on 01780 750 952 or email See more at


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Reboot Your Health with Stamford Boot Camp’s Special Offers

Rob Dulieu


N the world of health and fitness, crazes often come and go in a heartbeat. So why is it that six years on, Stamford Boot Camp is now more popular than ever? Proprietor Rob Dulieu explains: “For fitness genres to be enduring they must be exciting, effective and multi-dimensional. They must also be based on helping people adopt regular exercise and good nutrition as a lifestyle, rather than seeking a quick fix whenever they lose their motivation. “What makes my particular group fitness experience so enduring is the innovative nature of the exercises and unparalleled variety of its programmes; no two sessions are the same and the training incorporates many genres of fitness. It is also very inclusive as I take people of differing abilities, ages and fitness levels. “You can be guaranteed to be motivated every time you train in one of my sessions. What’s more, my classes are ongoing throughout the year so you are encouraged not to fall off the wagon or waste money by giving up. “While we have a lot of fun together, we also work hard and get the job done. Right from the get go, newcomers can be assured of a friendly welcome, with support from me and the existing participants. Regardless of age, ability, or fitness, everyone inspires each other to excel. As a result, we witness some astonishing transformations and my Campers cannot wait for their next session. All sessions are interactive and create a unique sense of community that bonds people together. In fact, we even up socially; it’s a great way to make new and lasting friendships. You see, Stamford Boot Camp is more than just a fitness class – it’s a lifestyle!” To help reboot your health, Rob has the following money saving offers:

1) 6 Boot Camp sessions for the price of 5. 2) 6 months Boot Camp sessions for the price of 5. • For more information and to take advantage of these special offers, visit www.stamfordbootcamp. or call Rob on 01780 238 522.

Sly Yoga Nene School of Dancing J

ANINA Mossman, who has over forty years of experience teaching Ballroom and Latin dance to all abilities and ages, is the Principal of the Nene School of Dancing and a qualified IDTA examiner. Her classes in Stamford have become very popular with a 12 week course becoming a life changing hobby helping fitness and mental stimulation. You may have seen Ed Balls enjoying the experience on ‘Strictly’! Join the new 12 week Absolute Beginners course starting on Thursday January 19th from 6pm – 7pm if you wish to learn the basics of the Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive, Rock n’Roll, Waltz and Quickstep. By being able to join others on the dance floor you will make your cruise or Warners break even more enjoyable. Perhaps you would simply like to learn to dance to enjoy the sociable, fun elements of the hobby. If you are not an absolute beginner and would like to take dance up again there are several other classes available so please enquire to discuss which is the most suitable. Learning is great fun; if you enjoy music you will enjoy dancing. The school holds regular Saturday evening social and Sunday afternoon tea dances in the ballroom at the Stamford Arts Centre. This gives you the opportunity to practise your new skills and enjoy social time with your class members. Take a minute to have a look at the website,, to read about all the events and classes . • To enrol for the new class or to discuss what Janina can offer please contact her on 01778 590655, 07931214211 or via email

Belinda Sly writes: “Taking up yoga last year was tremendous and the benefits have been amazing! I began retailing yoga/active wear in 2015 so I definitely had to start practicing this ancient form of exercise! I had no idea it would be such so wonderful. It has helped me sleep, lose weight, my body loves it and most of all I love it! So if these few words convince anyone reading this who has been thinking about taking up yoga – go for it! “It is important to enjoy whatever your choice of exercise so that you look forward to it. Wearing the right clothing for yoga is imperative so you can be flexible and comfortable. I source the range from three companies based in California and Australia. They only manufacture yoga/active wear so are 100% specialists in their field. Sly Leggings are high waisted, ensuring you are confidently covered the whole class! Made with amazing fabric that is definitely not see-through and looks great all year round, winter with knitwear and boots, summer with lightweight tops and sneakers. They are like a second skin, totally addictive, allowing you need to go straight to or from your class to meetings, school run and all day long. Start the New Year with a Yoga class to suit you and the kit to make you look and feel great! • 07939 667111 STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2017


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Turning up the heat this winter with the Forbidden Nights’ stunt-orientated variety show

Country Traditionals C

OUNTRY Traditionals has recently opened in Cambridge, taking over the Baska shop at 18 Magdalene Street in early December. Country Traditionals is the UK’s largest, most established importer of the distinctive blue & white stoneware pottery, hand-made at the world-famous Ceramika Artystyczna pottery works in Boleslawiec, Poland. This will be Country Traditionals’ third shop; their first in Forest Row, East Sussex has been trading for 20 years and the second shop in Stamford opened its doors in 2014. The company also attends various country events throughout the UK including Burghley & Badminton Horse Trials, Hampton Court Flower Show and the Country Living Magazine shows. All of the pottery is oven/Aga/microwave/dishwasher/freezer proof and is designed for everyday use. The patterns, including florals, spots, stars and hearts, look their best when mixed together and are perfect in traditional and modern settings alike. Nicola and Simon, who own the business, are excited to finally be opening in Cambridge, thereby fulfilling a longstanding plan, but it was just a case of finding the right shop in the right location! They feel it has been well worth the wait and very much hope you will come along and judge for yourselves. Country Traditionals will be open 7 days a week.

The Revellers are back in town! A

FTER their successful performances of Bonnie and Clyde the musical at Stamford’s Corn Exchange Theatre, the Peterborough Revellers are returning to the Peterborough Indoor Bowls Club in Burton Street for their next ‘something completely different’ production. Set in the middle of nowhere, in the foothills of the Welsh mountains, it’s a comedy called Phoenix Tours, which, as the title implies could be a bus trip which ends with disastrous consequences. The play, written by local playwrights Clive and Sue Read, will be performed ‘in the round’. Clive Read, who will also be directing, says: “We are always trying to come up with something different, as is the bowls club venue which we use for most of our ‘smaller’ productions. Since we performed our first production in its hundred seats capacity Leisure Suite we have built up a regular following who appreciate the friendly atmosphere, the excellent stocked bar and free car parking facilities. Also, all our shows performed here are ‘Supper Theatres’, fish and chips in the interval”. • Phoenix Tours runs from Wednesday the 18th to Saturday 21st January at 7.30. Book your seats now for this premier showing and Peterborough’s first ever theatre in the round production. Tickets cost £12.50 each, which includes the fish and chip supper. Tel: 01778 349534




ORBIDDEN Nights have got something special lined up with their 2017 tour. The Forbidden Cast with their superhero talents have created a new genre of entertainment, the all-male variety show is a cocktail of stuntorientated circus performances mixed with honed physiques and tease to giving fantasy and forbidden thoughts at every turn. The show will bring you a two-hour production with explosive group routines and a chance for each member of the Forbidden cast to win you over as they solo their Forbidden tricks to get your pulse racing. Acts include fire and pole routines, a male vocalist, an aerial act and the forbidden dancers to keep you on the edge of your seat. • The one and only Forbidden Cast will be coming to the Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre on the 13th January 2017, with tickets starting from £21.50 on sale now.

From international fashion photographer to lighting guru! C

ELEB model snapper James Brown has recently launched a design company inspired by the style, chic and flare of the catwalk. James’ new business - called Lusin Lighting Design - creates bespoke lighting designs specialising in homes, hotels, restaurants and bars. They not only create stunning lighting designs but also want to have a positive impact on the environment using the latest lighting technology. Who says fashion photography is all about the clothes? Without the right knowledge of lighting even the most impressive clothes can look dull and lifeless when printed in a magazine or showcased online. And it’s the same for homes and offices when it comes to lighting. Without a well-planned lighting design, even the most styled and lavish room can lack that certain feeling of comfort or wow effect. Lighting is a very important factor in our lives and it effects everyone. It’s not only used to make a space look inviting, it can also enhance your mood, save energy and money. Trained by world famous photographer Rankin, James enjoyed a successful career as an international fashion photographer working with celebrities and traveling the world before moving in to lighting design. James has a vast amount of technical knowledge and an amazing eye for detail. • You can find out more information on their website

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Creating a Business Development Pathway

Simon Selkirk

The Stamford Living team spent the morning with RightClick Recruitment undertaking their Talent Dynamics programme, which helps a team to operate better together by understanding how each of them works best. Nicholas Rudd-Jones looks at what they learnt. RightClick is a multi-sector recruitment specialist founded by Simon Selkirk. The offices of ten staff are located near Uffington.


For me, what makes them stand out as recruitment specialists is that they believe passionately in strategies for retention of client staff so that a company can grow to its greatest advantage. To this end, they offer a product called Talent Dynamics, which each member of a team can be assessed against, which then helps the team to ‘grow trust and flow’.


This is what the four of us – myself (publisher), Steve (designer), Claudia (ad mgr) and Rachel (production manager) came together to discuss with Simon and Claire (key account manager). We met in the meeting room of the Hub on Wharf Rd, a location and ambience I would recommend to anyone. Each of us had previously responded to a series of Talent Dynamic Questions and had been assessed in terms of how each of us sat on the Talent Dynamics graph. The principle behind Talent Dynamics is that individuals, teams and companies are at their best when they are in ‘flow’. Put simply, flow is



your path of least resistance. While many profiling tools exist, Talent Dynamics provides an explicit path to building trust and flow. When you understand your profile, you can reorganise your time to focus on what you love most and do best. You can know what to say no to. When you do this, your fulfilment and effectiveness goes up, and your stress and struggle goes down. We were also re-assured to learn that our profile is not intended as a box to get stuck in, but a path to follow and a game to play. Each of the eight profiles has different ‘playgrounds’ and different rules to the game. By knowing your natural path, you can know what role models to follow, what advice to take, and what advice to ignore.


Creator Creators are the best initiators, and although they can be quick to create chaos, they can also be surprisingly innovative at finding ways out of chaos. Always put them in charge of new projects, but move them on to the next creation once their job is done. Star Stars are the best promoters, but need to lead from the front. Give them the chance to shine, and give them the space to deliver results without tying them down. Give them the systems and support to enable them to focus on building new business. Supporter Supporters are the best leaders, but don’t expect them to come up with the plan. Build a plan and set the goals with a Supporter, and then let them lead the team towards the plan. Let them set their own management style, and their own agenda. Deal Maker Deal Makers are the best peacemakers, and will leave everyone feeling good. Don’t expect them to go out cold calling, as they thrive on building the relationships they have. Work with Deal Makers to nurture the customer and relationships you have. Trader Traders are your best negotiators. They will always get you the best price, in both what you buy and what you sell. They want to be given the parameters in which to work. Traders will have their ear to the ground in your market and your team. Accumulator Accumulators are your best ambassadors. They are reliable, get things done on time, and are not prone to making rash decisions. Accumulators make the best project managers, when a specific task needs to be delivered reliably. Lord Lords are your best analysts. Give them the space to study the detail, and to deliver the data. Don’t ask them to go out and network, as they are strongest when focused behind the scenes. Mechanic Mechanics are your best completers. They will wrap up the process and find smart ways to do it better next time. Don’t ask a mechanic to start from scratch, but do give them an existing process or product to improve on. When we place a team member out of their flow, we really only have ourselves to blame. When others are not in their flow, it is only a matter of time before you are pulled out of your flow as well.

SO WHAT WERE OUR PROFILES? Name: Nicholas Rudd-Jones Primary Profile: Lord Secondary Profiles: Accumulator, Mechanic

Steve (designer) came out as a Mechanic, with a Creator and Lord as secondary profiles; Claudia (ad mgr) as a Deal Maker, with Supporter and Trader as secondaries and Rachel (production manager) as an Accumulator, with Trader and Lord as secondaries.

SO, WHAT DID WE TAKE AWAY FROM THE DAY? Lots and lots. First of all and perhaps most importantly, a better appreciation of other people’s unique talents and what makes them tick i.e. what is important to them to get in ‘flow’. There is no right or wrong answer, although I was rather thrilled to be described as having a set of skills like a ‘Swiss Army Penknife (did Simon know that’s my favourite product?! I think in the olden days they called that a jack of all trades…) Second, a reminder, especially as we all work from home, that we need to find regular ways of meeting up and communicating better to increase the Blaze energy within our team. Third that, whilst, the existing business runs really well, we are not giving ourselves enough space or allowing the ‘creator’ voices enough hearing – we need to be more alert to new ideas. Fourth, all of us left the workshop feeling positive and brimful with ideas for getting still more in ‘flow’…. we would all highly recommend such a workshop to anyone. And after the meeting, Simon sent me a recommendation for an Ideas Life Cycle, which is extremely helpful and I fully intend to implement. So, real value added for our business. As it clearly has been to one of Stamford’s most successful growth businesses, Tots to Travel: Through their use of Talent Dynamics to help us focus on our staff on-boarding and retention, RightClick have essentially been ‘promoted’ from being our recruiter to something much more important…that’s an extraordinary shift!” Wendy Shand, co-founder

TO FIND OUT MORE, GET IN TOUCH WITH: Simon Selkirk, Director or Claire Glencross, Key Account Manager RightClick Recruitment, The Stables, Copthill Farm, Deeping Road, Uffington, Stamford PE9 4TD Call 01780 437 027

The Hub

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Stamford Carriage and Coachbuilders It is hard to imagine that Stamford, now a commuter, tourist and retirement town once had a number of manufacturing businesses providing employment for the majority of the townspeople. This month Jean Orpin and Sue Lee have been investigating the carriage and coachbuilding industries in the town. THE COACHING TRADE The first stagecoach route began in 1610. There was a regular coach route between York and London as the roads improved in 1730 when the maintenance passed from the parish councils to the turnpike trusts. 18th century London became the commercial capital of the world and attracted visitors from all over the country. Long distance coach travel became common. Stamford was ideally situated on the Great North Road, halfway between York and London and it became an important staging stop. The journey times were reduced by changing horses frequently.

STAMFORD COACHING INNS Travellers needed accommodation and many of the inns become coaching inns, providing stabling for the horses as well as accommodation for the travellers. The George was largely rebuilt in the 18th century to cater for the coaching trade and became one of the greatest inns on the Great North Road. It had stabling for 86 horses. The Royal York Mail, the Edinburgh Mail, the Glasgow Mail and the Carlisle Mail all stopped here. The entrance for coaches was on the north side – now Station Road leading to the courtyard. The Black Bull in St Mary’s Street was also altered to cater for the new trade providing an entrance for coaches and a courtyard for passengers. The George and Angel, situated at the top of St Mary’s Hill, was another large medieval inn which catered for travellers. Many coaches stopped here including the Cambridge coach, the Leicester coach, the Norwich coach and the Leeds coach. The inn was bought in 1848 by Richard Newcomb owner of the Stamford Mercury who demolished it intending to build a street to join up with the High Street. (13-14 St Mary’s Street}.

EFFECTS ON THE TOWN The whole town benefitted and businesses grew up to cater for the travellers. Shops traded from the ground floors of houses selling



chocolates, silks, damask and brandy as well as more basic items for the passing trade. Workshops manufactured watches, clocks and furniture. There were coffee houses established as Stamford became an important social and economic centre as well as an important market town. Other trades benefited from the coaching business. There was a need for carriers to take goods to the villages and outlying places. Blacksmiths were needed to shoe horses, wheelwrights repaired coaches and some started to make coaches and other vehicles.


this business Spencers traded in the High Street but the stock was put up for sale in 1840. (This was bought by Hayes.) Benjamin Clow, born in 1841, lived at 28 Scotgate. He started his working life as a blacksmith and became a coach builder, and a wheelwright. His business was sold by auction including his workshops in Rock Road in 1878. He was declared bankrupt in May 1885, a fate that befell coachbuilders as rail and then motor vehicles took over. Hayes was the most successful coachbuilding business in Stamford manufacturing an enormous variety of horse drawn vehicles from dogcarts to carriages and surviving until 1924.

In December 1797 Thomas Chamberlayne, coachmaker, was granted a building lease by the 10th Earl of Exeter for 23 and 23A St Martin’s. The next occupants were the Robertson brothers whose family occupied the premises until 1872 when John Hibbins and Thomas Paine took over the business. They made a state carriage for the Marquess of Exeter in 1874. Hayes took over Picture: Youngs Groceries cart made by Hayes Include caption please

He was an Alderman and a Magistrate and twice served as Mayor in 1882 and 1893. He died in 1915 aged 93yrs, outliving all of his three sons. John’s son Albert took over the business from his father in 1894. In keeping with his social status he too moved up the housing ladder. He had married in 1879, first living at 3 Rock Terrace but by 1891 he lived at 10 St Peter’s Hill. Finally he moved to 38 St Peter’s Street with his large family where he died in 1910. Of the other two sons, William died young and John moved to London.

The Business Expands

John Hayes 1884

HAYES COACH BUILDERS 1825-1924 The Family The founder of the business was Henry Hayes, who was born in 1798 in Stibbington. He was a wheelwright and had a workshop in Wansford in 1825. In 1835 he was a publican at the ‘Shepherd and Shepherdess’ in Castle Street, but his main trade was a wheelwright. By 1841 he was living in Scotgate practising this trade. He lived on the corner of West Street and Scotgate: this house was later demolished for the St John’s School. It was the start of an association with this area lasting 100 years. He was joined by his son John in 1842 and they formed a very successful partnership. By 1861 they were employing 35 men and boys. Henry died in 1871 aged 73 and John carried on the business. John was living at 9 North Street in 1861 with his wife and 3 children, later moving to 2 West Street. By 1881 he had moved to 4 Rutland Terrace moving on again to 33 St Peter’s Street.

Hayes made an enormous variety of carts and waggons in the West Street works. They were firm believers in advertising, not only in catalogues and newspapers but by attending shows all over the country using the railway. The firm received many prizes, being praised for their excellent workmanship. They needed to expand and bought more premises in Chapel Street Peterborough. They also bought Spencer’s coach business in the High Street in 1869. The business received a number of contacts from the government starting in 1854 with a contract to su xt to the site was demolished and an impressive showroom built. From 1884 they also had a showroom in City Road London. When the long established coach works in 23 High Street St Martin’s closed, Hayes bought that too.

Later Years Albert did not have the business expertise of his father, neither did he and his brother John work together successfully. John moved to London to look after the City Road business and resigned his share of the partnership in 1901. This period proved to be a turning point for the business as the motor industry was flourishing and the need for Hayes products had reduced. Albert’s sons had little interest in the business and after his death in 1910 the firm had no driving force. There was a brief respite

as the firm provided carts and wagons for the First World War. Then to add to the problems, in 1921 there was a huge fire. In 1924 the business finally closed. The West Street premises were sold to George Wheatley and later became Cascelloids. The showroom at the front was sold to Stamford Borough for a Fire Station. You can find out more about Hayes from Michael Key’s excellent booklet, A Century of Stamford Coachbuilding, unfortunately out of print but available at the Stamford Library.

Ask Leo would like to hear from you. Email them at




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

Saturday 7 January, 7.30pm MUSIC: Limehouse Lizzy – The Boys are Back in Town Renowned for an action-packed, pyrotechnic fuelled explosion of a show, Limehouse Lizzy continue to keep the spirit of Celtic rock icon Philip Lynott and his band Thin Lizzy alive and dominating stages worldwide. Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre Tickets £16.50 Tel: 01780 766455

Friday 6 and Saturday 7 January – multiple performance times PANTOMIME: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Polka Dot Pantomimes return with their usual brand of witty, sparkly and truly fabulous pantomime. This much loved family classic is suitable for all the family, so get ready for a wonderful show. Stamford Arts Centre Tickets £12 or £42 for a family of four Tel: 01780 763203 www.stamfordartscentre. com Saturday 21 January, 7.30pm EVENT: Burns Night Dinner Enjoy a four course meal, traditional piper, readings

of Robert Burns’ famous poems and Ceilidh dancing. Special accommodation rates available. Barnsdale Lodge Hotel £29.50 per person Tel: 01572 724678 Saturday 28 January, 2pm FILM: Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism Georgia Byng’s delightful children’s book is turned into a film where the smart Molly Moon and her special book become rich and famous until a crook forces her to share its secrets. Stamford Arts Centre Tickets £5.50 Tel: 01780 763203 www.stamfordartscentre. com

Looking forward to….. Annual Good And New Clothes Sale 2017 This hugely popular and much anticipated annual sale will be once again opening its doors to the public on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 March at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel near Oakham. Donations of high quality clothing and accessories would be much appreciated. The sale begins with a ticketed event priced £15 to include a glass of champagne and gourmet canapés. Saturday’s half-price sale event runs between 8.30am and 1pm and admission is free. Shoppers can expect over seventy rails of high quality nearly new or never worn clothing and accessories including designer wear, children’s wear, men’s clothing, accessories and much more. Tickets and further information regarding donations from Trish Ruddle Tel: 01572 724400 or Elizabeth Mills 07801 319222.

Saturday 21 January, 7.30pm TRIBUTE CONCERT: T.Rextasy T.Rextasy have been performing all over the world for 25 years, returning to Stamford for the Marc Bolan 40th commemorative anniversary tour. Accepted as the world’s only official live tribute band dedicated to Marc Bolan & T.Rex, endorsed and approved by Marc Bolan’s family, this full-on concert showcases all of the hits and more, with both electric and acoustic performances, faithfully recreating the energy and performance of Marc Bolan and T.Rex. Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre Tickets £19.50 Tel: 01780 766455

Saturday 14 January, 9am to 4pm EVENT: Winter Wildfowl Day Ornithology expert Terry Mitcham will accompany a small group across Rutland Water Nature Reserve in search of some of the unusual wildfowl overwintering in Rutland. Previous highlights have included the American Wigeon, Scaup, Eider and Great Northern Divers. A packed lunch is required. Beginning at the Anglian Water Visitors Centre at Lyndon, places are £12 each with booking at www. where you can find details of all the events planned for this year, or Tel: 01572 770651.

Sunday 29 January, 2.30pm WORKSHOP: Detox Your Mind Discover the power of meditation and mindfulness to reduce stress and tension and to increase positivity and inner good qualities. Buddhist nun Gen Nyingpo has taught meditation internationally for over 20 years. The emphasis of these courses is to gain a practical experience of meditation that will bring benefit to everyday life. Everyone is welcome. Stamford Arts Centre Places are £15 per person Tel: 01780 763203





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Nick Gallop Antonia Scott catches up with Nick Gallop – the new Headmaster of Stamford School

Where were you before joining Stamford Endowed School?

Nick Gallop was brought up in Derbyshire and lived there for many years. Straight after leaving school he moved abroad to spend a year in central Brazil doing aid work in local shanty towns and orphanages; and, did some English language teaching. “I think the seeds of a career in education might have been sown in South America, although I didn’t know it at the time. After university, I joined an international firm of accountants and on the very first day I knew it wasn’t for me, but gave it a couple of years before retraining as a teacher. Over the last twenty years I have taught in state and independent schools, boarding and day schools and have loved the hugely varied nature of the job.”

What do you most enjoy most about your current role? “Firstly, seeing the pupils surprise themselves with how great they can be: with the right attitude and hard work, the results – a dramatic production, a team performance, a piece of artwork or an examination result – can be incredible. Secondly, I thoroughly enjoy watching teachers do what they love doing – teaching, coaching, mentoring: it’s inspirational.”

What are the most challenging parts to your role?

“I am immensely lucky to be working in such a great and supportive school; it means that some of the challenges of the role are made just a little bit easier. Being a Head itself is so varied and diverse – you never want to let people down.”

Can you describe a ‘typical day’ in your life at Stamford School?

“I am always trying to find ways to meet and to chat to pupils. I might see a tutor group for just a few minutes first thing in the morning – a few words of encouragement and support can go a long way. It’s also a chance for them to share some ideas and thoughts on the school too. There might then be some meetings with other members of staff – about academic initiatives, pastoral concerns, or some planning for events later in the term. I am really lucky to still teach a little, so spending some time in front of my Year 8 History classes – we’re trying to establish how great a monarch Henry VIII was at the moment – is a highlight. Lunch with staff and pupils is usually followed by a short service in the school’s beautiful chapel, which is one of the oldest buildings in Stamford. If I’m lucky there will be a concert, lecture or other event such as a pupil debate or presentation to enjoy in the evening.”



What makes Stamford School such a special place and what lies ahead for 2017?

“One aspect that struck me straight away is the hugely dedicated community of staff. People often don’t realise it when they are going about their busy days, but the environment is so purposeful – from teachers to coaches, to those who work behind the scenes in administration, admissions, finance, marketing, catering or estates – everyone is engaged in the common aim of making this great school even better.”

What interests outside of your role do you have? “With a young family, exploring some of the local parks and historic sites has been fun – as has coming in to town for pizzas. Having mainly taught Politics over the last two decades I still enjoy writing magazine articles and textbooks on political ideas, people and processes – it has certainly been a diverse and unexpected few months in this area.”

What are your favourite places in Stamford?

“I enjoyed staying in the The Crown Hotel when visiting the school – they do a great breakfast. I had my first Stamford haircut in Beyond The Fringe on Broad Street and I’ll be going back; browsing in Walkers bookshop; snacks in the Arts Centre Coffee Shop; a takeaway lunch from the Stamford Deli. My daughters would spend all their pocket money on stationery in Colemans if they could. A mention also to Miss Pickering Flowers who has supplied us with some magnificent floral arrangements.

We would like to wish all our customers a Happy New Year 7KH0DOWLQJV%DUQDFN5RDG6WDPIRUG3(1$7HO



Top Selling Agent

72 Sales agreed report for PE9 3 | PE9 1 | PE9 2 | PE9 4 | PE8 | LE15 8 The information is based on the following filters: Date range: 4th December 2015 to 4th December 2016

We have sold almost double our nea rest competing a gent.


Stamford Living January 2017  
Stamford Living January 2017