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Loving where we live!


@StamfordLiving1 Stamford Living

Heavenly Chocolate

Valentine’s Special 20+ Valentine Gift ideas Dress to impress your Valentine FEBRUARY 2017 £1.50

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


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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

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Showroom Opening Times

01780 481 850

01780 753 343

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

22-23 Scotgate, Stamford, PE9 2YQ 2

1 Meadow View, Uffington Road Stamford, PE9 2EX

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Vernon explaining our unique service, video available on Youtube and our website.

HOUSING MARKET UPDATE WITH MOORES Sell Your Home With No Agency Fee and No Contract!?!?


oised to launch another record breaking year, Vernon of Moores Estate Agents and Country Equestrian Homes offers his advice to readers considering a move this year. With 0 week contracts available and buyers even paying sellers agency fees for off market introductions!

WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATE OF THE HOUSING MARKET IN RUTLAND AND STAMFORD? Currently a little frustrating! Many buyers on our data base have sold homes in London and are ready to view homes in Rutland and Stamford immediately. Vendors often feel they should wait until April or May to market their home but my advice is to act now to avoid joining an overcrowded market later in the spring.

IS THE LOCAL MARKET THRIVING? Most certainly. We are seeing a culture emerge where buyers are offering to pay the vendor’s agency fee as well as paying the full asking price or very close to it.

endorsed by TV presenter Hannah Patterson. The website showcases the region which is much in demand due to the fantastic lifestyle, great transport links and superb education. Being the only firm in the area that has set their stall out to deal with out of area buyers, with certain parts of the market having over 70% of the buyers coming from London and the South East. We use our London partners Douglas & Gordon – one of London’s largest independent estate agents – to link directly with buyers looking for rural properties of all kinds. These clients utilise our bespoke home search service which is now so popular we TO have a dedicated team matching homes to buyers. This is made easier for the buyers by having the offices at Grantham and Peterborough, it means buyers travelling up can be met at the stations and chauffeured around suitable properties. It also makes the area much more accessible with people able to travel up to view house and be back in an afternoon rather than taking days out travelling by car.

HOW DOES YOUR DISCREET MARKETING SERVICE WORK? Marketing discreetly means vendors can test the water without a ‘For Sale’ board, press or even internet marketing. This approach is reflected in a reduced agency fee too if the house is sold.

THE MOORES COUNTRY AND EQUESTRIAN BRAND IS TOP OF ANY RELATED INTERNET SEARCH – THAT’S A GREAT RESULT. We are very proud of our new specialist home search website www.countryequestrianhomes. com which was launched, presented and

WHAT DISTINGUISHES MOORES FROM OTHER AGENTS? I think we manage to combine a really traditional approach to customer service with cutting edge technology and innovative ideas. Our team are all highly motivated and incentivised but with courtesy, honesty and

One of the 19 London branches referring buyers.

communication prioritised within their training – I think that’s why customers use us time and time again and recommend us to others. Most importantly, my wife and co-director Jenny is a solicitor and it is thanks to her skills that our fall through rate is extremely low. Last year only 1 in 9 sales with Moores did not complete which is exceptional when compared with the national average of 1 in 3. Securing an offer on a property is only half the battle; steering the sale through to completion is what really counts for our clients.


A FINAL PIECE OF ADVICE FOR THIS YEAR? If you are considering a move, don’t delay. Call us now for free, no obligation advice on valuations and all aspects of buying property. We very much look forward to being of service. • Contact Moores Moores Estate Agency has offices in London, Oakham, Stamford, Melton, Uppingham, and the London platforms of Peterborough and Grantham Railway Stations. Oakham Office – Tel: 01572 757979 Stamford Office – Tel: 01780 484555 Uppingham Office – Tel: 01572 821935 Full contact details can be found at




February Contents Buy locally It’s simple, isn’t it? Why use a chain when you can buy local? But somehow it doesn’t always seem to work out like that. I was visiting a neighbouring town recently, and meeting a colleague in a delightful independent café. On my way there I passed Costa and it was heaving to the rafters; and yet we were the only people in the indie we went to – similar prices, much better home-made cakes, fabulous décor. Why?! I think we too often make the easy choice and go for the default setting – well, I made a note to myself that day to redouble my efforts not too. Always use indies when you can. We do our best to point you in the right direction - see our article on coffee this month on Page 56, for example. Don’t berate yourself when you don’t, but just keep the percentage of times you use indies rising. Rant over.

UPDATES, SHOPPING 4 28 32 49 50

FASHION, HEALTH & BEAUTY 8 Valentine’s Day Romance 12 Massages

Nicholas Rudd-Jones



12 Creating Kids’ Spaces 41 Pet Page: why I love my pet…

@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 Subscriptions; annual rate £25 (UK only). Please write to the Publisher at Local Living Ltd, with £25 cheque payable to Local Living, or go online to

Uppingham Easter revision courses; North Shoes accolade CCTV, Marty Wilde, Lumison Lighting, Stamford Roofing Valentine Gift ideas Avicenna Clinic, Exeter Arms in Barrowden UPP property, QKS re-branding



55 Profile: Barbara Farrow of Stamford Heavenly Chocolates 56 Coffee roasting 59 Food & drink: Tobie Norris, Bakehouse Cookery Demonstrations



20 23 35 42 46 65

In the Spotlight: Borderville Music: Pennyless & Monthly Gig Guide Stamford Welland Academy Local walk; Stamford Canal & Skyline Varten Ravenscroft What’s On

PEOPLE & PLACES 26 38 60 70

Phoebe Crowson Charity Makers: Fiona Cumberpatch Ask Leo: Stamford’s Carpenters & Builders Stamford People: Robert Loomes & co.


Cover photo this month: Uffington Bridge by Matty Graham




Private and NHS eye examinations

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

Glaucoma clinic

Contact lenses


• • • • • •

Coloured overlay assessment Dry eye assessment Retinal imaging Visual fields Wide range of frames and lenses to suit all budgets Orthokeratology contact lenses

Pirrie Optometrists | 7-8 Maiden Lane | Stamford PE9 2AZ t 01780 753488 |



New Easter GCSE Revision Course at Uppingham School U

PPINGHAM School is delighted to announce the launch of a brand-new course of intensive tutoring for students about to sit their IGCSE exams in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths. The course will take place during the Easter holidays, from Sunday 9th to Thursday 13th April, and is the ideal preparation for this important stage in every student’s life. Subjects will be taught by a team of highly qualified and experienced teachers, many of whom teach at Uppingham School, and students will receive three hours tutored revision per day for each of their chosen subjects. This will include reviewing core areas of the syllabus and improving understanding of key facts in order to boost confidence and motivate each student. Tutors will recommend different revision techniques, and students will practise past papers under exam conditions. They will be given additional set work each evening to prepare for the following day. Class sizes will be a maximum of 10 to ensure every student is given individual attention and directed tuition. Tuition will be offered in IGCSE Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths. The syllabus for both Edexcel and CIE IGCSE courses will be covered. Students studying for GCSE exams in any of these subjects are welcome on the course, since nearly all the topic areas covered are common to IGCSE and GCSE. A residential place will cost £950 which includes full board accommodation for five nights, six hours’ tuition per day covering two subjects, supervised prep time and use of Uppingham School Sports Centre. Non-residential places cost £375 per subject, which includes three hours’ tuition per day, either morning or afternoon. • For further information or to book, please see www.uppinghamsummerschool. or call 01572 820800.

North Shoes R

OSEMARY Gray, who works at the North Shoes store in Red Lion Street, takes the helm of the Society of Shoe Fitters in March – with her colleagues saluting her as ‘one of the finest shoe fitters in the country’. Rosemary is completing her second year as vice-president of an organisation pledged to upholding standards of footwear and fitting in the UK. She is looking forward to her two-year spell as president and will be installed at an SSF council meeting in London in March – after 40 years in the trade. Rosemary said: “I feel it’s an achievement in the shoe industry – recognition of the work the society does and a real honour for me.” In addition to working in Stamford, she manages the North Shoes store in Peterborough and also trains the full-time staff at the family firm’s shops in Peterborough, Stamford, North Street, Bourne, and Rose Crescent, Cambridge. On her days off Rosemary tutors and lectures up and down the country for the SSF, having trained literally hundreds of shoe store staff members over the past 27 years with the society. She champions the need for top quality shoe fitting and says: “The SSF is facing its

Foot sure – Rosemary Gray helps ensure youngster Callum Elms gets the right footwear.

biggest challenge – shoe fitting as a trade is dying. Shop staff are told to put money in tills and get shoes off the shelves - but very few of them know much about foot health. It’s so important – wrong fitting shoes can damage ankles, knees, backs and even cause migraine.” Laura West, secretary of the SSF, said: “Rosemary is quite simply one of the finest shoe fitters in the country. The Society are delighted she will become our President in 2017 and appreciate the many hundreds of students she has mentored over the years on behalf of the SSF, and the service she has provided freely to the public. “Before North Shoes bought the Peterborough shop it had closed for a few months. Rosemary is the only shoe fitter that has elicited phone calls from the public in desperation asking where she had gone. “Her work with some of the finest hospitals based in Cambridgeshire is testament to her skill and knowledge and we are proud to have

her as our ambassador.” And James North, Managing Director of North Shoes, added: “Rosemary is unique. Her job is a vocation – what she doesn’t know about orthotics and foot health isn’t worth knowing. “She has a huge list of customers who want to see her in Stamford. She has a wonderful way with customers, especially with children who have special needs. “She does it because she loves it. And she never shouts about herself – we found out about her presidency of the SSF by accident!”




Valentine’s Day Romance Sally Stillingfleet gets cosy for Valentine’s Day in the Delcor showroom with fabulous romantic Valentine’s lingerie and silk kimono wraps, modelled by Sarah Proctor

Marjolaine eau de nil silk chemise £325 Chameleon

Pretty shoe bags, locally made – lace £6 and printed £4 from Baubles and Bangles or Bagit’ngo

Happy Socks from £5 Energy



Lace Affair bra £46 with matching briefs £24 both Poze. Long silk charcoal wrap £175 Chameleon

B.Sultry red bra £33 with matching briefs. Silk cream wrap now £80 both Poze

Calvin Klein sporty red bralette £30, matching briefs £20 both Energy

CONTACTS Chameleon – 5 St Mary’s Hill, Stamford 01780 755405 Poze – 2 Star Lane, Stamford 01780 753886 Energy – 9 Ironmonger St 01780 765633 BAGIT’NGO 07541 685805 (contact Christina) Many thanks to Sarah from Chameleon who kindly did Sarah’s make-up for me. Using Chameleon’s new Delilah make-up range, she created a lovely natural look. Looking beautiful as always thank you to Sarah Proctor for agreeing to model. Thanks to Delcor, who agreed to let us use their showroom as our location. CORRECTION SL would like to apologise to Henri Tatton who runs an extensive range of Xtend Barre classes at the beautiful Welland School of Dancing Studios for getting her details wrong on the fashion pages last month. Contact her 07866 564827 STAMFORD LIVING FEBRUARY 2017


TAILOR & CUTTER Bespoke Tailors & Shirt Makers

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


Beautiful Interiors 27 Mill St, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6EA 01572 722 345


Kids’ Rooms; Stylish living for Kids! We can all underestimate what our children appreciate, value and are capable of? I am a strong believer that our environment plays an enormous part in our overall happiness whatever our age. Creating a child’s bedroom, playroom or garden that is smart, well organised and easy to navigate gives our children a sense of pride and ownership. It may help to teach them how to tidy (I dare to dream!) and it definitely gives them an understanding of style; what goes well together and that appreciating their surroundings is a good thing. Rannveig Stone. p, play zones; slee space into e th map out d de vi an di r SPACE; ut on pape yo la ea e th n Pla e of each ar and study. get the scal to l s al ne m S zo t e. the differen ving furnitur uce space-sa beds to free right. Introd om platform fr t fi to get ne be e kids love spaces may ed floor spac ed ne h uc up that m creative in! STORAGE; Giving possessions and toys a specific home means that on those rare occasions that they get put away the job is easy and not a chore, and hopefully something your child can master without you! Right: Magpie Vintage Crockery Hire; have a browse in the Sack Store or Nook for similar baskets. Right: Use the walls; a collection of Nerf guns is cleverly displayed in this bespoke wall rack – easy to access and easy to put back! M Falla at Splash Kitchens and Joinery



TOP TIPS! • Give everything a specific home to encourage your child to tidy with ease! • Create an inviting and inspiring space that your child will love to play in! • Invest in good task and ambient lighting for different times of day. • Make use of the nooks and crannies and create a cosy reading corner! • Be imaginative with furniture, it doesn’t have to come from a kids’ catalogue! • Invest in space saving pieces to keep floor space clear in small rooms.

STYLE; allow your children to be part of the design process. This will encourage ownership and a sense of pride in their rooms that they will want to share with friends. UPCYCLING; painting up old furniture to tie it in with your scheme is not only cost effective but also a quick and easy solution compared with scouring the internet for that perfect piece! Adding new handles to drawers and doors gives it that unique touch. Right: Anna Stone Designs Ltd. Visit Chalk Interiors for inspiration, to attend a work shop or simply purchase the Annie Sloan chalk paint. COSY CORNERS; be it a bean bag; a beautifully upholstered armchair; or a battered but much loved comfy old chair covered in fluffy sheep skin…a cosy reading nook is a great addition to a kid’s bedroom if space allows. Anna Stone Designs Ltd. Delcor supply miniature armchairs upholstered in a fabric of your choice; perfect for smaller bedrooms. LIGHTING; overhead lighting is very useful in kids’ zones to encourage play on dark days but remember to add cosy lamps and night time glow for that all important unwind time. There are many attractive yet inexpensive light fittings out there, and inexpensive is what I would recommend; Nerf gun bullets are a reality these days! ART WORK; encourage your child to make or choose the artwork for their room and help to hang it. For the dreaded poster; the insides of wardrobe doors are great! This way heroes and heroines are admired, as let’s face it, wardrobe doors tend to stay open but when shut the room becomes serene again and the walls are blu-tack free! Displaying all the art work that comes home from school can be a headache; consider a wire stretched across the width of a wall adorned with pegs to display the latest Picassos in style! Magpie Vintage Crockery Hire

COLOUR; taking the time to think about what colours suit your child and what colours they love to wear will help you enormously in designing a room that they will enjoy and feel proud to show off. Don’t forget to mix textures to create layers of interest. Right: Anna Stone Designs Ltd. Consider treating your child to a colour consultation with The House of Colour, then browse the beautiful designer paint palettes supplied by Hunters & the Sack Store to pick the perfect hue. CURTAINS; this can be an expensive outlay and one that needs to last so don’t be afraid to go classic with the curtains and blinds as doing so could take the bedroom into their teenage years quite comfortably. Anna Stone Designs Ltd. SLEEPING SPACE; truckles are invaluable for those inevitable sleepovers! Invest in a complementary bed throw to hide the hideous Barbie or Batman duvet cover, keeping the bed neat and in harmony with the décor. Upholstered headboards can be transformed easily with fabric and a staple gun when tastes change / mature. Metal beds however are great for kids’ rooms. Easy to keep clean, take apart, store and manoeuvre they are also great for displaying the array of cuddly toys, medals and fairy lights that appeal to our mini-me! Anna Stone Designs Ltd.

inative with NG; be imag REPURPOSI by chic ab stunning sh furniture. A its home in s ha w no r se kitchen dres . It is used ’s bedroom my daughter use and toy ho zed dolls as an oversi e loves it! cupboard. Sh Scour Designs Ltd. e on St a nn A Martins St or s an tem Chez Soi, Ba ece pi ue iq r that un Antiques fo

CONTACTS: Anna Stone Design Ltd; 07900 883117 Hunters Interiors of Stamford; 01780 757946 Delcor; 01780 762579 The Sack Store @ Stamford Garden Centre; 01780 765656 Chez Soi; 01780 757446 Nook Furniture; 01780 751029 Batemans; 01780 766466 St Martins Antiques; 01780 481158 CJ Carpets & Lighting; www.cjcarpetsandlighting. com 01780 754825 Fenland Carpets; www.fenlandcarpetsandflooring. 01780 755331 J & L Ball; 01780 481416 Callyco; 01780 753409 Email; Strawberry Fields Fabrics; 07961 154948 Chalk Interiors; 01780 752414 Magpie Vintage Crockery Hire; 07775 708900 Harrison and Dunn; 01780 762088 House of Colour; Knob and Knotts; 07503 210333 M Falla; Kitchens and Joinery Photography by Elli Dean Photography 07932 055548 STAMFORD LIVING FEBRUARY 2017



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

Tel: 01780 654321 Email: 12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN 14

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With our help your hearing can only get better. 15


Massage and holistic therapies Genevieve Potter explores a diverse range of massage and holistic therapies and experiences a high tech facial


HAT aids good digestion, a sound night’s sleep, and has cellulite running for the hills? Massage. It’s the most basic and fundamental form of therapy, available in many guises, and whilst you could consider it a luxury, pound for pound it’s cheaper than an evening out, with long-term benefits for the mind and body.

HOT STONE THERAPY AT EQUILIBRIUM FEELING REJUVENATED AT THE REFLEXOLOGY STUDIO Laura Donaldson came to reflexology as a patient, to help treat acute stress at a point in her life when, in her own words, ‘I realised I wasn’t invincible’. Reflexology has been practiced for thousands of years, with ‘zone therapy’ emerging in the 1900s when scientists acknowledged that the feet have thousands of nerve endings that relate to every part of the body. When the feet are stimulated by reflexology, the body can begin to heal itself. Laura is a lady who doesn’t believe in doing things by halves and, having decided to pursue a career in this ancient science, gained a level 5 Centralia Mastership – the highest qualification available. She now operates The Reflexology Studio from a tranquil location just outside Stamford’s town centre, where she clearly relishes working with patients to treat everything from anxiety, depression, hormone imbalance, poor digestion, fluid retention, infertility and sleep disorders. Laura explained that reflexology is also a great maintenance treatment, to improve wellbeing and quieten a busy mind. I recently experienced an hour’s reflexology with Laura and was highly impressed by her intuitive skill as a reflexologist and her perceptive, calming manner. Treatments are by appointment only and cost from £35 (£180 for a course of six). • The Reflexology Studio Tinwell Road Lane, Stamford Tel: 07584 901949



Stones have been used in massage treatments for centuries and the molten lava stones used at Equilibrium take massage to another level. I experienced the hot stones’ back massage treatment with therapist Hannah who explained that the heat from the stones increases blood flow and warms the muscles, allowing a much deeper massage. This was a gloriously relaxing treatment and the stones themselves seemed to act as an extra pair of hands. Highly recommended as the ideal remedy for the winter blues! • Equilibrium, 7 St Paul’s Street, Stamford, PE9 2BE Tel: 01780 757579


WINTER WARMER OFFER book in with Hannah for a hot stones back massage during February (£40) and receive a complimentary express facial worth £30. Offer valid until 28th February 2017 and is subject to availability – please mention Stamford Living at the time of booking.

Jonny is one of Stamford’s most talked about massage therapists and I recently went along to his modern new studio at Stamford’s Fusion 3 Fitness to find out more about what he does. Jonny has clearly found his calling in life, and having enjoyed sports and fitness from a young age, he made the decision to train full time as a Sports and Remedial massage therapist in Australia, believing that this would give him the very best education to begin his practice. Jonny doesn’t just treat ‘gym bunnies’ – he works with a wide range of patients who may have strains or sports injuries or are just looking to improve their overall health and mobility. I was very impressed with his practical advice on everything from diet and hydration, to getting the right sleeping position, and he certainly lived up to his reputation as a great masseur. My aching shoulders and neck are feeling considerably ‘freer’ after a single massage appointment with Jonny and two sporty friends who are regular clients report that he’s ‘the best massage therapist we’ve ever been to’. • Jonny Hands M: 07879 368074 E:

Venus Viva at Elysia


This relaxing treatment helps to prevent headaches, migraines and back pain and also promotes energy and detoxification. It even promotes natural hair growth by increasing circulation to the scalp. A 45-minute treatment usually costs £30, but throughout February Stamford Living readers can enjoy 20% discount off this and all other massage treatments. This exclusive offer is subject to availability – please quote Stamford Living at the time of booking. • The Ivy Lodge, Stamford Garden Centre, Great Casterton, PE9 4BB Tel: 01780 766583

Lisa at Elysia in Tansor has pioneered a raft of high tech face and body treatments in this region and she’s a lady who gets a real buzz from helping her clients to feel great about themselves. Occasionally a treatment comes along that redefines what is possible and Venus Viva at Elysia fits into that category. Venus Viva takes needling technology to the next level in a very precise and refined way, working with radio frequency to deliver safe, controlled ‘trauma’ to the skin on the face or body, initiating the skin to change, rebuilding collagen and improving tightness, texture and tone.


Maples are offering Stamford Living readers an Elemis deep tissue full body massage suitable for men and women for £38 during the month of February 2017 (subject to availability, please quote Stamford Living at the time of booking). This is a vigorous workout for the body, that helps to increase circulation, release endorphins and alleviate stress. Maples also stock Clarins’ Body Lift Cellulite control – a patented formula that effectively smoothes, firms and refines problem areas (£38 for 200ml). • Maples, 24 St Mary’s St, Stamford PE9 2DJ 01780 752725


Lynsey Saker is something of a massage ‘guru’ and offers a variety of effective treatments, including an invigorating yet deeply relaxing Thai foot and leg massage, combining Shiatsu, Reflexology and Chinese massage. It’s perfect for the cold winter months and improves circulation and lymphatic drainage, boosts the immune system and reduces stiffness in the lower legs and feet. And for Stamford Living readers, receive one hour’s Thai foot and leg massage for £35 during February 2017 (normally £45) or a 15 minute express foot soak and massage for just £10 – subject to availability, please mention Stamford Living at the time of booking. Lynsey also offers some wonderful facial massages using all organic Neal’s Yard products, try her brilliant signature ‘natural face lift’ treatment. • Be-Well Massage, The Loft Hair Boutique, 10A St Paul’s Street, Stamford PE9 2BE Tel: 01780 757781/ 07861 732792


Scan shows ‘before and after’ Venus Viva treatments for a client’s rosacea

I was eager to try Venus Viva given its promise of a ‘mini facelift’ without surgery, injections or toxins. Lisa tailors the treatment for each client - it can be used on any part of the body for everything from acne scarring, loss of firmness, hyperpigmentation and even rosacea. She used the hand held Venus Viva machine, moving it carefully over my face and décolleté. It’s certainly not a relaxing treatment (it feels like small pin pricks), but it’s not painful, and one of the big benefits is that it only takes around 30 minutes. You will feel and look red and blotchy for an hour or two after treatment and cannot wear any make up or get your skin wet for 12 hours afterwards. My skin felt a little tender and much drier than usual for a couple of days afterwards, but the results are significant. A few weeks on, there’s a clearly noticeable improvement in my skin’s tone, texture and brightness and I’m excited to see how much better it gets – optimum results are seen after 12 weeks. At £250 per session (£900 for a course of four), this is a treatment that’s definitely worth saving up for! • Elysia Health & Beauty, Tansor, Oundle, PE8 5HP Tel: 01832 22632

Elysia offer an extensive menu of massage treatments from a full body massage (£45), to holistic treatments like Indian Head Massage and reflexology. Jonny Hands is the visiting Sports Massage Therapist at Elysia and the team offer luxurious ‘Spa Find’ treatments, like the comforting Lomi Lomi Hawaiian massage (£60). • Elysia Health & Beauty, Tansor, Oundle, PE8 5HP Tel: 01832 226328

HOLISTIC EXCELLENCE AT EMMA LANNIGAN Emma Lannigan is a talented coach, Reiki and holistic massage therapist based in Market Deeping who truly understands the benefits of massage. She comments: “The sense of natural relaxation and the physical and emotional benefits of touch, go far beyond a treat or pamper time. “In a relaxed, resting space the mind and body begin to repair. Holistic massage helps to stimulate the release of our physical waste created by over-exercise, injury, illness or stress and anxiety.” Emma offers a menu of options from a 20-minute neck and shoulder treatment to 75 minutes of massage including scalp, face and feet. Treatments can be successfully combined with Reiki and Emma offers special ‘self care’ packages, with discounts for regular sessions. • Emma Lannigan, belifehappy Tel: 07508 246266


Laura Thomson-Dunne of LTD beauty has launched a ‘Liver Detox’ treatment this spring. Costing £35 for 30 minutes, this is a perfect treatment if you have indulged in too much wheat, dairy, refined sugar and alcohol, putting a strain on your liver as it works to process and eliminate waste. To kick start liver detoxification, castor oil is placed on a cloth on the abdomen with a heat pack, whilst clients relax with a therapeutic scalp massage. Just what the doctor ordered for a spring detox! • LTD Beauty Tel: 07399 591 343


ASC’s Holistic therapist Steph offers a wonderfully relaxing 75 minute ‘Cloud 9’ treatment, (£42), comprising a relaxing foot soak and exfoliation, reflexology treatment and foot massage, luxury foot mask with heated booties and Reiki to complete the package. And during February 2017 you can take advantage of 20% off hot stone, Swedish and Indian Head massage, when you mention Stamford Living at the time of booking. • The Advanced Skin Clinic, 8 High Street St Martins, Stamford, PE9 2LF Telephone: 01780 481155 STAMFORD LIVING FEBRUARY 2017



Clinical Reflexology

• Low self-esteem and loss of confidence • Low mood, depression, self-harm and suicidal thinking • Anxieties, phobias, obsessions and ruminations • Significant life events, trauma, nightmares, flashbacks • Attachment and relationship difficulties • Abuse (physical, emotional and sexual) • Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Restore your body’s balance naturally. Conditions that reflexology can help with are: • Anxiety • IBS • MS • Asthma • Infertility • Sleep disorders • Depression • Lymphoedema • Stress And many more... • Hormone imbalances • Migraines

Not sure if reflexology is for you? For February only, book a 20 minute taster session

Tinwell Road Lane, Stamford, by appointment only m: 07584 901 949 e:

Adult Speciality

Johan Truter

HealthHealth & BeautyBeauty Therapy Health & & Beauty Therapy Therapy

Tel: 01780 758556

2 Mallory lane, StaMford 22M Mallory allory l lane ane,, SStaMford taMford t tel el.. 01780 01780763768 763768 tel. 01780 763768

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STAMFORD YOGA Classical Hatha Yoga

Calm your mind,

Beginner Level Yoga

relieve anxiety.

Power Yoga Slow Flow Yoga Yoga for Stress Relief

Gain greater flexibility,

Yoga For Abs


Aerobic Yoga

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Yoga With The Ball ‘Long & Lean’ Power Stretch Pilates Workshops / Intensives & much more !

Finding stillness in a fast paced world…

stamina & focus 12 Broad Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 1PG Mob: 07738 272474 Website: Email:


Valentines Offer Couples massage for £60 (normally £80) Or treat your loved one to a gift voucher, they truly deserve it! Choose any 2 treatments for £40 File & Gel • Half Hour Massage Express Manicure or Pedicure Mini Facial • Eyebrow Shape & Tint

Hair Offer 1/2 price cut with hair colour (Month of Feb only)

Go on, spoil them, they deserve it

Tel: 01780 752725 24 St. Mary’s Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2DJ



Borderville’s buzzing with diversity

It’s almost two-and-a-half years ago since the £6.8m purpose-built, state-of-the-art Borderville Sports Centre first opened its doors to the public. Since then thousands of people have enjoyed many states of high emotion at the facilities. Kate Cadman finds out more ...


TRIP to Borderville Sports Centre can be enough to make grown men laugh, cry or jump for joy. Whilst a significant win of the town’s football team, The Daniels, might engender some display of high excitement, a touching best man’s speech at a wedding reception can just as quickly bring on the tears. Alternatively, maybe the unrelenting pace of the local Stamford Striders running club (which meets regularly at the ground) unleashes some deep-seated emotion from the depths of the soul. Personally speaking, I have encountered a couple of memorable experiences at the Ryhall Road site; a magnificent mid-summer family wedding reception held in the large function room and some tough pre-run training with The Striders - the combination of which serve to reflect the breadth of activities on offer. “The Borderville Sports Centre is one facility with two businesses,” explains Adrian Bidwell, Borderville Development Manager. “New College Stamford’s (NCS) ‘Borderville Sports Centre’ and Stamford Association Football Club’s (SAFC) outdoor pitches and function room. It is this partnership which gives the



facility its diversity.” Borderville boasts a football stadium, named the Zeeco Stadium, graded as a Category C ground with high spec floodlights and the capacity for 2,500 fans. Behind the main pitch is one enormous all weather games pitch (referred to as ‘3G’). This pitch combines cutting-edge synthetic surface technology (artificial grass blades, sand and an infill of rubber crumbs) designed especially for sport at both competitive and recreational levels. Paul Pepper, Borderville’s Commercial/ Function Manager comments: “Because the facilities are so good here, the FA regularly come and use the Centre for on-site training for their coaches - it’s a real coup for us.” The 3G pitch is used by many local football clubs and really comes into its own when poor weather would otherwise stop play. “When many of the local pitches were flooded in the Peterborough League, our 3G pitch was used to play all local

matches. On one day alone we managed to play three league games, which would otherwise have had to be cancelled, running right through from 11am - 6pm.” All pitches are viewable from the main function room which is hired out by SAFC. This flexible facility is ideal for conferencing/ seminar facilities and special occasions and can host up to 160 guests at any one time, just by opening one or two sets of folding doors. The Centre serves food (it has its own chef) and has a licensed bar which serves a very special pint of ale which can only be bought on site called Hanson’s Field (the beer was named using the original name of the old Wothorpe Road football ground site). Building plans for the Centre began when the lease ran out on the town’s old football ground. The choice was to either redevelop the existing site on Wothorpe Road or relocate to a brand new facility. Simultaneously, NCS were looking

to relocate their sports facilities and a decision to amalgamate the two was taken. Funding for the project was mainly via the Football Association, Burghley Estate and NCS. The new facility, which took just under a year to build, has invigorated the town’s football community and given The Daniels an excellent home ground which has, in turn, drawn in large crowds. The biggest gate to date was at the end of last year when 1,500 fans swarmed into the Zeeco Stadium to watch The Daniels play Wrexham in the FA Cup. The match ended in a draw with Stamford going on to beat Wrexham at their home ground. Integral to Borderville are the NCS Sports Science students who buzz around the Centre on a daily basis working towards their BTEC Level 1-4 qualifications. The students enjoy the full run of facilities which also includes several classrooms and a Sports Injury Clinic. Alongside their studies, students are encouraged to become involved with the community aspect of the Centre and participate in sporting competitions, provide marshals for the Great Eastern Run and host themed children’s parties. Some parties are related to the surroundings and follow football or other sporting themes, however, other events include discos and ‘Frozen’ parties. “The students here are absolutely first class - a great credit to us,” adds Adrian. In addition to NCS students, pupils from Welland School Academy (WSA) benefit from regular sessions in the Sports Hall, Fitness Suite and 3G pitches. WSA Vice Principal, Julie Chong, explains why the gym sessions she supervises are so important. “Each year, three groups of Year 10 and 11 students get the opportunity to spend two terms engaging with fitness. The aim of these sessions is to equip students with the ability to work independently in a gym, to become body aware and enjoy fitness. By motivating and engaging, the students gain the confidence to go into a gym on their own and work with other people

respectfully and with maturity.” Chloe Walsham (15) said: “I felt pretty nervous when I first came here as I had never been in a gym before. I am enjoying the work and it’s a fun environment. The trainer is nice and it’s a pretty comfortable space.” Fellow student, 16-year-old Elodie Hoppe (16), adds that she’s been inspired to come again particularly because “the trainer is making sure that we are all working to our own level of fitness.”


further 22 pupils attend Stamford Football Academy which is based at the Borderville Centre. This Academy is a joint venture led by NCS in partnership with SAFC and headed up by Emma Hemmings. Guy Walton, Chairman of Young Daniels, explains: “This is the first year of running the Academy; it’s a 2-year BTEC course in Sport and Leisure which comprises 60% education and 40% sport. Pupils train daily and play football in the National College League, but they have to be prepared to study hard too. So far we’ve had a really good start to the course.” Out of curriculum hours and in school holidays, the highly energy-efficient Centre takes on a ‘community’ feel. The list of activities available is constantly growing. “We are open for all types of community use,” says Adrian, “including: aerobics, yoga, indoor football, short tennis, basketball, badminton, clubbercise, volleyball, table tennis, martial arts, athletics and running, children’s parties, conferencing, rollerblading and more. We have plans to start spinning, trampolining and dance classes, as well as offering childcare provision.” “The Centre has become so popular, we haven’t got enough days in the week!” adds Adrian, who explains that the Centre has recently been rebranded to tie in with NCS and to help promote the importance of fitness within the local community. “Customers can come here and have a good time whilst meeting their weekly requirement for exercise. We all know what we need to do

to keep fit - national guidelines suggest 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week - e.g. walking the dog or cleaning the car with a bit of vigour! Our aim here at Borderville is to provide products and services to encourage the community to come along, have fun and make lifestyle changes. We invite our customers to bring along a training partner or to become part of a group, because even hard things are more fun when done with someone you know. Our main intention is to provide bespoke wellbeing services at exceptional value for money.” “With regards to the community activity at Borderville, there is always a lot going on, however we can always accommodate more. So, watch this space,” adds Adrian enthusiastically. Alongside individuals using the Centre, many local businesses use the facility regularly too. Stamford Rotary Club, the Royal British Legion, Stamford Lace Club and 2049 Motor Club all use the site as their HQ. The Centre is also proud to host a number of other local clubs including: The Young Daniels, Borderville Brawlers, Stamford Pickup Basketball, BCKA Kick Boxing, The Skaters Club, The Badminton Club, Stamford SkatesCool and Knit and Chat. Borderville Sports Centre is open for community use from 5pm - 11pm week nights and from 8am - midnight on Saturdays and Sundays. All activities need to be booked. For more information about the Borderville Sports Centre contact: Adrian Bidwell on 01780 484300 ext. 448 For information on Function Room Hire contact: Paul Pepper on 07849 629991 For information on Stamford Football Academy contact: Emma Hemmings on: emma.hemmings@ For information about using the outside pitches or Young Daniels contact: Guy Walton on STAMFORD LIVING FEBRUARY 2017




Band Spotlight:

Pennyless Matt Moody meets Pennyless, the acclaimed folk band in residence at Mama Liz’s


ENNYLESS in its earliest form began around 2009, as an unnamed duo performing English folk songs on the streets of Stamford. The band was not christened until the following year when, after a few drinks, a Stamford bar-goer slurred the names of the two founding members, Penny Stevens and Les Woods, together to form Pennyless. The next piece of the puzzle came in the form of multi-instrumentalist Graham Dale, who the duo met busking and invited to join the fold. As the band became more interested in recording and creating their own material, fourth member and bassist Colin Benton was added in 2014. The four members bring a diverse range of influences and talents to the band. Of the original duo, Penny’s classical training pedigree contrasts with Les’s song writing experience and rock-based influence. Of the later additions, Graham’s passion for world and fusion music (along with his ability to play ‘pretty much anything wind-based’, according to Penny) brings a slightly experimental, psychedelic edge to the group’s music, while Colin’s experience playing in high-quality function bands gives their sound a professional, cohesive feel. Despite their varied musical backgrounds, the band make music that’s singular and distinctly their own. One reason for this is their shared interest in all things folklore and fairy tale, informing a sound that’s mystical, pastoral, and unmistakably English. Although she had always been interested in English folk tradition, it was living in the small village of Dyke (near Bourne) that brought a new appreciation of nature for Penny. “There’s really not much there, so we would spend quite a lot of time walking through

the surrounding area away from civilisation. You can definitely hear that closeness to nature in the music”. The band’s most recent record, ‘In The Park’, is by far their most musically ambitious, with prog-rock influences added to the mix both lyrically and instrumentally. The lyrics take inspiration from near and far: opening with the sound of birdsong, the bucolic ‘In The Park’ was inspired by Bourne’s Memorial Gardens. The lyrics to ‘The Gathering’, meanwhile, Les wrote at Stonehenge during the Winter Solstice. Over an upbeat rhythm section and jazz-inflected saxophone, the lyrics of ‘Grimes Times’ take inspiration from the nearby Neolithic flint mine ‘Grimes Graves’ in Norfolk, thought to be over 5,000 years old. Album closer ‘Grendel’ is similarly subversive, with lyrics referencing the Old English poem Beowulf, but taking the perspective of one of its beastly antagonists, rather than the hero of the tale. This variety of composition and strong live showing has earned the band a dedicated following in Stamford and the surrounding area - nowhere more so than Stamford’s own Mama Liz’s. “What began as a temporary winter residency is still going strong seven years later. We started playing a two-hour set every other Sunday for the winter months - so twelve dates in all”. The success of the shows has continued each year, and especially now that they’ve cut down to one show per month this year, you’ll need to book if you want to catch them. “It fills up every time we play, and what’s great is it’s as much new people in the audience as it is old supporters”. Elsewhere in Stamford, the band has played an acoustic set in the historic 15th century Browne’s Hospital on Broad Street, as

This Month’s Musical Highlights Money for Nothing: The UK’s number one Dire Straits tribute band 11th February, Stamford Corn Exchange Tickets £17.50 Pennyless: 12th February, Mama Liz’s Free admission, but table booking advised! Frumenty: An eclectic mix of traditional folk and original material 26th February, Mama Liz’s Free admission, but table booking advised! The Hut People: Folk meets world music at Stamford Ballroom 22nd February, Stamford Ballroom Tickets £12 Angela Hewitt: One of the world’s leading pianists performs J.S. Bach, Scarlatti and more 18th February, Stamford Ballroom Tickets £18

well as regular dates in Bourne, Peterborough and the surrounding area. So, what’s next for Pennyless? Although ‘In The Park’ was only released last year, is another record in the works? “It’s like having a baby,” says Les on the topic of making an album, “Each of our albums has been funded by the success of the previous one, and generally by the time we’ve raised the money to make another record, we’ve gathered enough ideas for one too. I’m sure we’ll do another at some point.” What about live dates? After a busy festive period that included a New Year’s Eve appearance at Smiths of Bourne, the band continue their residency at Mama Liz’s on February 12th and March 12th. There’s also a special date planned for April, with a performance in Langham Church near Oakham on the 22nd. • A full list of upcoming dates, as well as photos, videos and music, can be found on the band’s website: STAMFORD LIVING FEBRUARY 2017



LIGHTING YOUR WAY Visit The Largest Independent Lighting Showroom in Cambridgeshire 10 Saville Road, Westwood, Peterborough, PE3 7PR (next door to The Party Place) T: 01733 264391 E:


Free car park Opening times Tuesday to Friday 9am to 5pm Saturday 9am to 4pm



Child Friendly

Stamford Antonia Scott speaks to Zoe, mother of Phoebe Crowson, who suffers with a rare genetic disorder RDEB (Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa)


HEN Phoebe was born on the 11th September 2009 I had no idea that she has Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. She was born ‘intact’, which I later discovered is quite unusual given that she was so fragile, both externally to the touch and internally. “Three days after she was born, a midwife did the routine ‘heel prick test’ and an agonising three layers of skin came away with the plasters. Her mouth also started to blister including her tongue. Peterborough Hospital contacted Great Ormond Street Hospital and within 24 hrs three nurses came to the hospital to take a biopsy from Phoebe’s hip. I still remember the screams as they were doing this, all I could remember was feeling completely numb with fear that something terrible was going on with Phoebe and nobody knew what. “The hospital results came back confirming that she had RDEB - Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa which meant that Phoebe’s skin blisters and shears at contact, causing three layers to come away - which is the equivalent of a third-degree burn. It also meant that Phoebe’s skin blisters internally, meaning it is also life limiting. The medics explained that Phoebe’s life would be extremely different to other people and they were not exaggerating. I spent the next year feeling isolated, with zero support not knowing what to do other than just get through each day. I asked myself, why my baby? What did I do wrong? The guilt consumed me, and I did my best to simply look after my baby that quite frankly scared me. I carried Phoebe around on a pillow case and covered her delicate hands with socks as she would scratch her skin off. The overwhelming responsibility of caring for Phoebe on a day to day basis, was nothing short of horrendous. “As the months passed Phoebe started to learn to walk. This is probably the worst time for a child with such a devastating condition as she spent many months with no skin on her knees, hands and feet. The constant pain that she was in was unbearable; when she was in pain, so was I watching her.

“Phoebe started eating solid food like most toddlers, but alarmingly started to display signs of choking and coughing up blood. I asked the hospital to do a barium swallow test which they carried out but it came back ok. Upon our return from hospital Phoebe was still choking when eating, only now it was serious, as she stopped breathing. I remember lifting her fragile body over my knee and gave her back slaps, as she was starting to go blue. I ran to the phone but knew it was pointless calling an ambulance as there just wasn’t time. I continued giving Phoebe back slaps until eventually the food had dislodged itself from her throat, but I then looked at her back and it was red raw and Phoebe was in the most awful pain. I booked another hospital appointment having explained to them that she nearly died and we went to Great Ormond Street. Phoebe was booked in for a ‘throat stretch’ and to my absolute horror, it was found to be just 1mm wide, the worst the hospital had ever seen. I then had to take Phoebe for another throat stretch just three months later as her throat was still so narrow. Following the surgery, she was re-categorised by the hospital as she was found to be more severely affected than they had initially diagnosed. “Phoebe’s intestines and bowels have also become more affected and she struggles going to the toilet every day, resulting in a cocktail of medication to keep her body working. Her blisters have to be lanced every few hours as they can get bigger if they are not drained and her skin shears at the slightest touch. “When Phoebe’s condition was recategorised at Great Ormond Street hospital, and I realised that she will require regular surgery, I started to think about what I could do. So, in 2015 I made the decision to set up a charity called The Phoebe Research Fund with 100% of the profits going into RDEB research for an eventual cure. This Research is currently being carried out by Professor John McGrath at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London. Phoebe and I are extremely well supported within the local Stamford community and to date, we have raised over £40,000.” • For more information: or email:

“In 2015 I made the decision to set up a charity called The Phoebe Research Fund with 100% of the profits going into RDEB research for an eventual cure. Phoebe and I are extremely well supported within the local Stamford community and to date, we have raised over £40,000.”



Easton on The Hill

Richardson Thompson Leach 164_Layout 1 26/01/2016 13:42 Page 1

Price £237,500

Situated in this popular village with its wide range of facilities and just a short distance away from Stamford this modernised Grade II Listed stone cottage offers a wealth of charm & character combined with the modern day convenience of gas central heating, refitted kitchen with built in appliances and refitted bathroom to the first floor. Purpose built shutters to windows and enclosed south facing courtyard with out buildings.

The Hayloft - Essendine £850,000

The Hayloft a family homeisextending to approximately 3,775 sqft. This superb conversion offers a fantastic layout with a bedroom wing comprising of 4 double bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities, The isproperty offered with as well as a further double bedroom to the first floor with en-suite shower room. It features an impressive kitchen breakfast room with walk in pantry and large utility room. Bi folding doors from the kitchen breakfast give access to an enclosed courtyard ideal for al fresco dining. The Hayloft is complete and ready to move into.

no chain.

North Luffenham Guide Price £600,000

The Hayloft - Essendine £850,000

A rare to to develop these The Hayloft is a opportunity family home extending approximately 3,775 sqft. This superb conversion offers a fantastic layout with a bedroom wing comprising of 4 double bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities, as well as a further double bedroom to the first floor with en-suite shower room. It features an impressive kitchen breakfast room with walk in pantry and large utility room. Bi folding doors from the kitchen breakfast give access to former an enclosedAncaster courtyard ideal for al fresco dining. The Hayloft is complete and ready to move into. most attractive Estate Barns situated in the heart of Rutland. Situated approximately two miles from Rutland Water, The Barns are in open countryside with views over the Chater Valley towards North Luffenham. The nearby A47 trunk road provides excellent access to Peterborough and Leicester. Also close at hand are a highly regarded Primary School, Public Houses and local

Rosewood – North Luffenham £515,000

Rosewood – Built by the highly regarded FrancisaJackson Churches. Brick built with tiledHomes, this detached family home comprises of a large Kitchen/Family Room with double doors onto the garden, Utility Room, Separate Dining Room, Downstairs WC, Living Room with multi fuel burner and double doors onto the garden. Master bedroom with en suite & Bedroom 2 with en suite, Two further bedrooms and family roof bathroom. Garage. theDouble Barns are arranged in

an traditional U-shape around a large south facing courtyard. The layout of the Barns offers great flexibility as to their use: current planning permission provides for two residential dwellings and two

Rosewood – North Luffenham £515,000

Rosewood – Built by the highly regarded Francis Jackson Homes, this detached family home comprises of a large Kitchen/Family Room with double doors onto the garden, Utility Room, Separate cottages. Diningholiday Room, Downstairs WC, Living Room with multi fuel burner and double doors onto the garden. Master bedroom with en suite & Bedroom 2 with en suite, Two further bedrooms and family bathroom. Double Garage.



Lumison Lighting J

AMES and Pippa set up Lumison Lighting in January 2014, primarily as a lighting design consultancy. While specifying lighting on various projects, it became apparent very quickly the need for a showroom so clients could view fittings at close hand. With Pippa’s creativity and James’s knowledge of both technical and decorative lighting, setting up a stylish showroom showcasing interesting and inspiring lighting was the logical way forward and it opened in 2015. About the company: “Not only do we offer a huge selection of lighting, but we provide a design consultancy service. Clients come to us not only for advice on selecting a new fitting, but also to instruct us to design complete lighting schemes, whether one room or a complete property. Our design consultancy also covers commercial projects

such as retail, offices, factories and even churches. We’re able to provide our customers with the complete package – advice, design consultancy, light fittings and installation.” About the area: “We love living in Rutland and the surrounding area, not only for the beautiful countryside but also for the community spirit that is ever present in the towns and villages. Think about what lighting you might need and what light bulbs you require. Remember lighting done well will completely transform a room, more than just a lick of paint! • Lumison Lighting Design, 1 South Street, Oakham, LE15 6BG. 01572 724600.

CCTV home systems E

NJOY peace of mind when you’re away from home by installing a CCTV system. Hampton-based Ace 4 CCTV says home systems are becoming increasingly popular as a cost-effective way of protecting homes, driveways and gardens against intrusion and other crimes, with the latest technology offering remote monitoring that can be viewed on smart phones and tablets. And, should the worst happen, CCTV systems can also be used to obtain images and recordings of suspects that could serve as evidence in any criminal investigation. “CCTV systems have come a long way from being cumbersome, expensive and complex systems requiring expert help to simple, easy-to-use systems that are easy to configure, easy to maintain and reasonably priced,” says the company’s Chris Christophi. “At Ace 4 CCTV we are professional and affordable, with prices for a fully fitted CCTV camera and recorder system in full HD starting from just £495.” • 01733 552048,,

Marty Wilde comes to the Cresset Peterborough


0s and 60s music icon Marty Wilde will be appearing at The Cresset Peterborough on Friday 17th Feb with his band The Wild Cats and a massive line up of 60s stars all on the same show! Marty Wilde is the original rocker having started his career on the hit TVs show Oh Boy! He was always in charts in the late 50s and 60s, and to this day remains one of the most exciting acts on the theatre circuit. Joining Marty will be 60s heart-throb Billie Davies who had hits with Tell Him and Angel of The Morning. Cupids Inspiration had a global hit with Yesterday Has Gone - and lead singer Terry Rice Milton makes a rare guest appearance. The Hollies were a sixties favourite with so many hits and original founder member Eric Haydock also joins the show. Other bands include from Top of The Pops, Gidea Park…and from The Cavern Club....Sounds Force 5. If you like 60s music you will just love this all-star show with hit after hit! • Tickets are available from The Cresset: 01733 265705,

Stamford Roofing C

ONTINUING on from another successful year, Stamford Roofing enters its 41st year of trading as one of Stamford’s leading roofing contractors. Over those 41 years the business has seen numerous changes and challenging times in the industry, and an ever-increasing range of new products and systems. “There have been some rather big changes in recent years with the introduction of the dry-fix systems becoming more a requirement (BS5534) than an option. The dry-fix systems are designed to minimise and eliminate the storm damage that all property owners suffer from. “More improvements in current roof systems available for troublesome flat roofs sees the increasing popularity of Grp fibreglass systems overtaking the bitumen roof systems. We have been a main flat roof contractor to Stamford and the surrounding area for over 35 years and offer all options available to suit all projects, all with long life guarantees. “Our advice is that when purchasing a flat



roof system you choose one that carries a manufacturer’s and installer’s guarantee - these normally have a minimum 20 years and provide a comprehensive cover for that period. “Away from this, with the current building boom there is a current waiting time of 8-12 weeks on all new roof tile orders from manufacturers, basically any orders made in February will not be making sites till April/ May, again advice here is to keep projects moving to place orders well in advance. To help protect property owners we are “price fixing” all quotations from point of order, so that no nasty price increases hit the property owner as

many need to save up to fund a project. Early indications are that wait times will increase throughout the year. “Having just completed the new St. George’s Church offices opposite M&S, Stamford Roofing are currently involved on the old Riverside Nightclub project with Ross Thain & Co. architects, this being another exciting prime project.” • Stamford Roofing, Domestic & Commercial Roofing 01780 754498, 07930 529905,

Stamford Roofing Company Ltd Strawsons Farmhouse Main Street Great Casterton Stamford Lincs PE9 4AP With over 40 years experience in the industry, our

Commercial / Domestic / Difficult Access team of professionals have been trained to give you Flat / Glass / Slating & Tiling the best Roofs service from start toRoofs finish and can guarantee Maintenance Contracts results to be proud of, whether you are in need of


Tel/Fax: 01780 754498 Mobile: 07930 529905 Email: Web:

roof repairs or a full roof replacement. • Roof refurbishment, restoration and renovation -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------• Blue slating • Tiling • Flat roof construction • GRP Fibreglass • Chimney rebuilds • Upvc fascia line • Flat to pitch conversions • Purchasers survey reports • Maintenance contracts

Hi Claudia hopefully this will all work for the small advert at the back of the magazine


Obviously your art person may rejig things, our colours are in the logo additional info if it can be added to the list under our logo is Stamford’s leading flat roof Grp fibreglass roof contractors, estate agent maintenance contractor for 40yrs, fitting the best products at a price that reflects the lifespan and quality of the product.

We are Also celebrating 40yrs of trade if your art person can thinks up “Your company’s commitment something nice for the advert to quality was evident from the

Natural blue slate roof

start, with the thorough on site review of the work needed to my flatroof. Following on the discussion of work schedule and comprehensive breakdown of different options available to me was highly appreciated and refreshing to be able to discuss the materials used. I valued your feedback on progress and subsequently the guarantees issued”

We are also on Facebook so that logo will need adding. Looking through your latest edition I like the layout and style of the hunter Steven limited advert and the wright feet advert Grp fibreglass



Dorma conversions

Stamford Roofing Company Ltd, Strawsons Farmhouse, Main St, Great Casterton, Stamford. PE9 4AP








Contact us on: Tel/Fax: 01780 754498 Mob: 07930 529905




Advertisement Feature


The specialist lighting company, Lighting Styles, have been operating in Stamford for over 12 years.


tarting with a design studio in Chelmsford the husband and wife team, David and Diane Styles, moved their company in order to gain larger premises and now have offices, a large warehouse and plenty of space to expand their lighting displays. Every month new products are added to their studio and with a newly extended space for 2017 it has allowed them to showcase yet more of their most popular products. Divided into three areas with exterior, bathroom and pendant lighting plus downlights and top designer products from Flos, Selletti and Astro (to name just a few) there is a fantastic selection of the most interesting and innovative lighting. When asked about customer’s expectation when visiting the studio, Diane Styles made the following comment: “Many visitors know what styles and look they want but do not know how to achieve this. With the extensive range of light


fixtures available we cannot display everything but we can use our studio to demonstrate design principles and showcase interesting light fixtures. We stock thousands of products so we can quickly put our hand on a light fixture from our warehouse and talk through its features and benefits and discuss how it would work in a space, examining both the finish and quality. In addition, items not held in stock are often available quickly from our suppliers. Team this product range with our employee’s experience of lighting and knowledge of the products, and our customers leave knowing they’ve chosen the right lighting for their space.” By working with customers Lighting Styles can provide advice on new builds ensuring lighting output is right from first fix through to final installation. Many customers make use of this free advice and return year after year (or build after build!) knowing they are in good hands.

David Styles explained more about their business “I think when people visit they see our studio and don’t realise what’s going on behind the scenes. The website is a massive selling tool for us and brings us the majority of our customers, however visitors to the studio are also very important and it’s good to get a feel of what a customer needs first-hand. We’ve provided lighting to large hotel groups, architects and designers and our knowledge is second-to-none. With our many years of lighting experience and product knowledge there aren’t many people we cannot help. We can assist our customers in one of two ways; either to a budget, still ensuring the right products are sourced, or to a particular design – either way functionality and style are always paramount. The service does not stop there however, we pride ourselves on our aftercare service and if a customer has a lighting issue (for whatever reason) a few months into

their new build or installation we are always willing to assist. It’s important to us that our customers can tell their family and friends how well they were looked after and that a product is fit for its intended use.” The studio is open Monday to Friday and parking is readily available. Pop in and see the team and if you mention the Stamford Living advert during February and March you will receive a 10% discount on all products purchased via the studio.

• Contact Lighting Styles Ltd Unit 9 & 11 Glen Industrial Estate, Essendine, Stamford, PE9 4LE. Tel: 01780 767617 Fax: 01780 767651 Visit the website at


SHOPPING With only two weeks left to find the perfect gift for your Valentine don’t leave it to the last minute! There is something for everyone on our local high-street. We picked some of our favourites but do go and explore...


Perfect Gift

ARCH LABEL AGENCY A stunning Lulu Frost Larkspur bracelet, £55 (normally retails at £130)

for Someone Special

RENAISSANCE Micheline Arcier bath and body oils

COUNTRY TRADITIONALS Love heart mugs, from £9.95



DENHAMS Cath Kidston watch, £60

POZE LINGERIE Fantasie chemise (£68) and string (£24)

POZE LINGERIE Carven perfume £42 for 30ml bottle.

THE FLOWER HOUSE Valentine roses in bouquets of 12, 18 or 24. Delivered within the Stamford area.

CHAMELEON Mey Club boxers

RUSSELL & JONES Heart Cushions by Helen Moore. Faux fur heart cushions and small boudoir hearts in a range of luxurious soft fabrics.

DAWSONS 18ct yellow gold heart pendant with a brilliant cut diamond, £220 with optional 18ct yellow gold chain starting from £180. Also available in 18ct white and rose gold and different sizes.

CHAMELEON PrimaDonna Bra (£34 ) and briefs (£75) set.

BAUBLES & BANGLES 6 in 1! Interchangeable bracelet - twist top to change coloured gems, £16

ELIZABETH STANHOPE, OAKHAM Hand made luxury scented candle (£24.99) and a luxury diffuser (£24.99)




Perfect Gift

for Someone Special

SNOW DESIGNS Natural hand caved agate crystal ring. Stunning metallic finishes available – rosegold, gold and silver (small, large and medium sizes), £72

SNOW DESIGNS Damn Handsome Kit - features all things for handsome beard grooming, £25

ENERGY Calvin Klein boxer set, £36

ENERGY Gift Vouchers, from £5 to spend in the shop as you wish!

BODY MATTERS This Revitalash Gift set is a beautiful present for a friend or loved one. After a few months of daily use your lashes are revitalised, conditioned and will be naturally enhanced to longer, thicker luscious lashes! With the first two gift sets they are giving away a full size Revitalash mascara – long lasting, smudge proof and lengthening! ATTIC Gorgeous and soft American Vintage pink Jumper, £130

YOU & BEYOND Swarovski Crystal Wishes Heart Pendant Set, £85

GAGLIARDI Men’s red belt, £30

ATTIC American Vintage long red cardigan, £145



YOU, LIVING & GIVING Variety of scented candles by Peppermint Grove, Australia, from £14

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Stamford Welland forges ahead It’s been just over two years since Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) took to the helm of the town’s only comprehensive school, and what a different course is now being charted. Under the Principalship of Anthony Partington, the rebranded Stamford Welland Academy has already been placed fourth in the county’s list of non-selective secondary schools and has been ranked second best comprehensive school in the constituency of Stamford, Bourne and Grantham.


N addition to improving academic results, the site itself has benefitted from many physical up-grades including a new, fully equipped school hall complete with performance stage and full tech-nical back up including lighting and sound equipment. The public areas of the building have been opened up helping avoid any potential bullying hotspots. The school has had a major internal re-furbishment, with freshly painted walls and newly carpeted interiors. Continued investment is planned for the science blocks and design and technology areas. The new drive and fresh perspective has had a significant impact. “School numbers in Year 7 when CMAT arrived were 39 in total in September and now we have over 100 who have made Stamford Welland Academy their school of choice for 2017, which could see the school full in Year 7,” ex-plains Mr Partington. “When the school joined CMAT in 2014 we aimed to make Stamford Welland Academy a school of which Stamford can be proud. We’ve focused on ensuring that our students are known, valued and supported to achieve in all areas. The increases in examination results and student numbers are also matched in the life-changing opportunities that our students have been involved in and the contribution that they have made to the town, extending the boundaries of their learning,” added Mr Partington. At present the school caters for 11-16 year olds but there are plans to extend and open a sixth form within the next few years. A recently introduced house system enables individual progress to be monitored much more closely and the House is the key focus of the relationship between the Academy and families, with siblings joining the same House. “Being run by CMAT enables us to outsource generic functions such as human resources and fi-nance, allowing teachers to focus on teaching,” explains Louise Warren, Transition Manager. “Our focus is all about equipping our students with additional skills, it’s not just about achieving top grades. Stamford Welland Academy runs a parallel curriculum with ‘Pledge’ awards which can be attained through from Bronze to Gold level. Students can get



involved throughout their time at the School and pledges can be earned for Participation, Leadership, Environmental, Diversity, Giving, Excellence and Service. “We now run Session 6, an additional session which extends the school day. During this time, pupils are encouraged to get involved in projects which can include, for example, working with the community and planting daffodils with the local Council or supporting neighbouring primary school events. Other sessions focus on sporting achievements such as horse-riding or rowing (both indoor and on water). We have excellent access to facilities which we access via our local links, such as Burghley Estates who let us use their lake and the Stamford Endowed Schools who allow Alex Singer us to use their gymnasium and swimming areas. Another great venue for us is the astro turf and gym facilities at Borderville Stadium.” These important community links have been built up over years and have significantly

What is CMAT?

Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) was formed in 2011 with a clear vision ‘to provide high quality and dynamic education for all at the heart of our communities’. As members of the CMAT family, Trust Academies aim to unite their pupils, families and other local stakeholders around a common purpose to share experience and resources, to improve standards and to maximise their contribution to wider communities. CMAT Mission: To deliver, promote and inspire high quality educational provision in schools at the heart of their local communities so that: • Every child is a successful learner, confident individual and responsible and employable citizen; • Every school is a hub for community activities, a centre for extended services and a source of immense pride for students, their families and other local stakeholders. CMAT Values: • Pursuit of excellence • Value our people • Achievement for all • High quality learning environment • Extending the boundaries of learning

benefitted a group of 15 Stamford Welland students when they embarked on raising funds for a school trip abroad. Pupils worked with local businesses to help fund a Moroccan adventure, the first overseas travel undertaken by students at the School. The trip to Marrakech took almost two years in the planning and was led by Stamford Welland’s, PE Teacher, Parallel Curriculum Leader, and Session 6 Co-ordinator, Dominic Brister. “The children didn’t really know each other and hadn’t come together as a group before we all met at the airport. Every child had their own agenda and set of challenges; for some it was the first time they had flown whilst for others they were nervous of speaking to people they didn’t know or anx-ious about being so far away from home.” “We organised the trip in conjunction with expedition experts, Far Frontiers. The trip had a tight itinerary and the pupils had many new experiences such as: sleeping in the desert, helping reno-vate a local school; working alongside the locals in the fields (none of whom spoke any English so communication was mainly via hand gestures), trekking in the desert and much more. The children saw incredible sunrises, sunsets and landscapes, donated t-shirts and toys to the children, made friends, became role models, learned how to barter in the souks and saw how others lived their lives. One thing that really stood out was that our pupils saw how little some of the African kids had and yet how happy they were.” “Words cannot express how amazing my experience to Morocco was,” explains Year 11 student, Alex Singer. “Having never flown, experienced different cultures, been away from home or tried new foods, it was a big challenge. But thanks to Mr Brister, Miss Nolan and my fellow explorers it has changed my life forever. I am now more confident, more driven and I have the ability to step back and think ‘I climbed up a 97m dune - I can do this’,” she added. “The trip was an absolute success,” concluded Mr Brister. Students came back as more rounded individuals with an acceptance and tolerance of each other that wasn’t there before. Each child re-turned with their confidence boosted, having learned valuable life and leadership skills.”

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

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Tel: 01780 654321 Email: 12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN 37

MEET THE MAKER Never without her watercolours, local resident Fiona Cumberpatch loves to capture the hidden details in the countryside around Stamford. Clare Howcutt-Kelly meets up with her for a chat.



ITH a gentle voice and calming energy, Fiona sees beauty in the delicate–brittle seed heads, fragile pieces of china, dainty jars and petite petals. From her brush, leaping hares and hurrying hedgehogs appear as if chasing the moon. A collage of a dresser shows off some of Fiona’s best-loved finds – a blue and white tea caddy, a small pot of rich cream, a yellowstriped vintage jug and many more pieces of treasure jostle for attention. Working mainly in watercolour, she incorporates collage elements into her creations painting individual items and then sticking them onto a base painting. “Painting is incredibly calming,” says Fiona, “you have to concentrate on the object in front of you and the pen or paintbrush in your hand, and nothing else. I suppose it’s a bit like mindfulness, focussing on the moment and not allowing anything else to intrude. I often play records or CDs while I’m painting, or maybe listen to a podcast or two. It’s a total relaxation zone.” Fiona’s father is also an artist and so she has grown up surrounded by paper and paints and when it came to A Levels, she headed to Arthur Meadows Village College in Glinton. “I learned to screen print, and I would spend



hours drawing flowers and plants for various exam projects, but I wanted to be a journalist, so I did English at university, and my painting and drawing fell by the wayside for a few years, although I always had a box of watercolours and would occasionally do a bit here and there.” As a magazine editor, Fiona is often busy during the days but when she has time she loves exploring Burghley Park. “I love the trees in all seasons, and the rolling landscape.” When it comes to sourcing vintage china, there’s a couple of local places you might find her: “I’m a collector, and I love to pop in at St Martin’s Antiques Centre, or the Field Dog Antiques Fairs on Stamford Meadows where I like to pick up colourful pieces of china and vintage fabric which I use in my paintings. Vintage fairs in the Arts Centre are good for this too. The flower stalls in Stamford Market are another favourite destination: I always come home from the Friday market with a bag full of things to eat, drink - and draw. I like the Stamford Deli, the town library, afternoon tea at The George, and coffee at the Castle Tea Room in Oakham.” During the darker months, lunchtime is often spent foraging in the woods beside the River Nene close to where Fiona works. In fact, it’s not uncommon for Fiona to indulge in a little hunter-gathering and leave the office with leaves and twigs.

And for those considering picking up paints for the first time, what advice would she give? “Just do it. Don’t worry about being ‘good.’ Don’t think about how you felt when you did art at school. I was lucky with my teachers, but some people have a bad experience which puts them off. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. You don’t have to show anyone. All you need is a cheap box of paints and paper. Start with something small, a jug or a cup, really look at it, as if you were seeing it for the first time, and see how it goes.” She credits Instagram as being a really supportive community: “I started putting a few of my pictures on there and I really recommend it. It has had such a positive effect on me. I’ve had messages asking if people can buy pictures, and one lovely woman even asked if I’d like to illustrate her book!” If you’re inspired to start painting, maybe this year is the one to start looking that little bit closer at what is around you and pick up a brush. Don’t forget to show us your creations too! • Fiona is available for commissions and can be contacted on: • Colemans’ Art Shop can help get you started with materials: 39 High St, Stamford PE9 2BB




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12 St Leonards Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN Tel 01780 654321 • Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm





For the Love of Pets It has recently been written that 1 in 5 people would rather cuddle their pooch than their partner. In a month with romantic associations, Deborah Pennell meets a few Stamford people whose pets are a very big part of their lives…

Amelia owns a Bearded Dragon Name: Garfield Age: 3 years old Favourite treat: red peppers and crickets “I love my Bearded Dragon because he makes me laugh. He climbs the glass door on his tank and looks like Beyoncé dancing, which drives the dogs mad!” Ana owns some Easy Care Sheep Pictured is Goggles (because of the black markings around her eyes) Age: 11/2 years old Favourite Treat: Apples “I love my sheep because they are very friendly, they are always pleased to see me and greet me with a bleat. They like to follow me around the field”. Paula owns a Ferret Name: Waxie Age: nearly 3 years old Favourite Treat: To come in the house for a cuddle and a snooze in the tea towel drawer. He

Julie owns a Rescue Piebald Cob Pony Name: Tulip Age: 2 Favourite Treat: Apples and Carrots “I love my pony because she follows me everywhere, and makes me laugh out loud, when she jumps around for her feed”.

Raj and Milan own a Californian Corn Snake Name: Lily Age: 5 years old Favourite Treat: Mice – we keep them in the freezer and defrost them when needed. She only needs feeding every 2-4 weeks. “I love my Californian Corn Snake because she is long and wriggly”.

loves to steal a drink of tea, and yogurt is his absolute favourite thing. “I love my ferret because he is mischievous and makes me giggle watching his crazy antics”

Ella owns a Rhodesian Ridgeback Name: Dunla (loosely translates to mean brown girl in old Irish). Age: 9 Favourite Treat: Pigs’ Ears “I love my dog because she loves me, but barks at strangers. She gives me big licks and is always happy to see me when I come home from school”. Ted owns a Light Sussex Chicken Name: Cheeky Age: 71/2 years old Favourite treat: Grapes “I love my chicken because she is very gentle and she lets me pick her up.” Jacqui owns a Rescue Tortoise Shell Cat Name: Lulu Age: 13 years this week Favourite Treat: chicken “I love my cat because she was a rescue cat, so has had a hard life and even though she suffers from a kidney disease she always greets me with a purr and a cuddle.

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

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Mon – Fri 8.30am to 6.30pm Sat 8.30am to 12 noon. Free Parking STAMFORD LIVING FEBRUARY 2017



Stamford Canal and Skyline


Distance: 10 kms (6.25 miles) Typical time: 2 1/2 hours Height gain: 25 metres Map: OS Explorer 234 Start & Finish: Morrison’s Car Park (PE9 2FT; check any parking restrictions) Terrain: muddy in parts, especially in winter months

This walk takes you along the old Stamford Canal, through the delightful village of Uffington and along a ridge giving you a great skyline view of Stamford, including Burghley House; then back down across the gurgling Gwash River.




Stamford Canal, disused and without any water in it but still easy to spot; it’s one of the earliest post-Roman canals in England. It opened in 1670, around 100 years before most of the canal network. It ran from Stamford to Market Deeping and had 12 locks. It contributed to the wealth of Stamford, allowing barley to be transported to the town for malting. It closed in 1863, soon after the arrival of the Midland Railway in the area. The River Gwash has its source in Knossington and is the main feeder river to Rutland Water, which was formed by damming its valley at Empingham. From the reservoir, a controlled flow is released to maintain the flow around Tolethorpe Hall and Stamford and into the River Welland. The river feeds the millpond at Newstead before entering the Welland at Newstead Bridge. Uffington Manor was a glorious post-Restoration country house that tragically was burnt down in 1904. Our walk takes you past the original main entrance gates (shown left).


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Set out from Morrison’s car park along Uffington Rd; turn right down the track to Hudds Mill just after the bridge At Hudds Mill turn left, and follow the track E across a meadow; at the stile, cross over the Gwash and soon you reach the bed of the canal Take a right here through the kissing gate and follow the old tow path on the S side of the canal bed for 2 km until you reach the Uffington Bridge Turn left (N) up the hill past Copthill School and at the main road turn right (E) along the pavement towards Tallington. After 200 metres cross the main road carefully to head N along a footpath; this heads left, then right, then left again through a gate and then right over a stile into a garden On entering the garden walk straight ahead past the pond, then around to the right between pond and hedge until you reach a stile Over the stile, turn right along the Bertie Lane footpath. After 200 metres turn left into Casewick Lane and right into School Lane, entering Uffington churchyard through a gate Walk around the church, up the yew tree avenue to the main road and turn right. Follow the pavement W for 500 metres until, just before a bungalow, you turn right through 2 metal gates onto a public footpath Now it’s plain sailing for a while as the footpath heads N for 1.7kms, following the field boundaries. Eventually you reach a bridle way, where you turn left and soon meet the road Head S along the road for 200 metres, before crossing a style in a wooded area on the right and heading down the hill on the Macmillan Way towards Stamford; the path then crosses the River Gwash and heads across Gypsy Meadows before eventually exiting via the disused railway bridge On reaching the Ryhall Rd, turn left towards town; just before the Ryhall Rd Post office turn left to enter Morrison’s through the back (green) gate Skirt round the left of the building once through the gate and you will soon find yourself passing the Morrison’s Café.



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©Crown copyright 2015 Ordnance Survey. Media 048/15


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PIT STOPS The Old Fire Engine, 25 St Mary’s St, Ely CB7 4ER (01353 66258 www.theoldfireenginehouse. ) I love this restaurant. It’s not fine dining, rather very fine home cooking. The setting is unparalleled, just by the Cathedral Close. An old Georgian house that incorporates an art gallery. Special atmosphere, book ahead. And in the same ownership since the mid-60s! Peacocks Teahouse, 65 Waterside, Ely CB7 4AU (just alongside Babylon footbridge) Samovar Tea House, 23 Fore Hill, Ely CB7 4AA. Every type of tea you can imagine!


Ye Olde Bertie Arms, Uffington (01780 763834, www. bertiearms. Traditional pub, with outside area. Due to re-open in the summer under new ownership. Morrison’s Café Always convivial, and exceptional value STAMFORD LIVING FEBRUARY 2017





Making the most of your investments in times of uncertainty Headlines about fluctuating stock markets and share price volatility seem to be a weekly occurrence – but what was 2016 like for investors and what will this year bring?


ICHARD Allen, Portfolio Manager at Vartan Ravenscroft Stockbroking & Investment Management, which is based in the Precincts of Peterborough Cathedral, says 2016 will be remembered as the year of great political upsets. The first six months of last year saw markets dominated by the Brexit referendum and in June we got the answer: the UK public voted for dramatic change – leaving the European Union. “Markets, as they usually do, reacted emotionally but soon calmed down. In economic terms, the key assumption from some economists was that the UK would quickly fall into recession. Given the recent success of political and economic commentators to forecast short term outcomes, we took this message with a ‘large pinch of salt’.” Mr Allen says there will undoubtedly be winners and losers in the UK’s new relationship with the EU and it was important for investors not to get too caught up with domestic politics. The second half of 2016 saw investors’ attention cross the Atlantic to another bitterly contested political event - the US presidential election. “The initial reaction in stock markets was somewhat muted. Indeed, as the year drew to a close, developed markets were able to end the year on a high note with investors buoyed by the potential of a change in US economic policy towards one of tax cuts and increased spending on Infrastructure.”


urning to 2017, the year started with the global economy seeing steady levels of growth and an expectation of higher corporate profits. “Past worries over the negative impact of China’s slowdown have been largely overcome and the Chinese economy continues to avoid the hard landing that many pessimists had predicted. However, the Chinese authorities’ habit of throwing money at problems may be storing up trouble for the future, so we continue to adopt an overall defensive slant.” Looking further ahead, Mr Allen says that politics will undoubtedly continue to make the headlines with Trump’s unpredictability, elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany and Brexit negotiations moving up a gear with the triggering of Article 50. “From an investors’ viewpoint as the range of potential outcomes is too wide to predict, we firmly believe that the focus should be on valuations and ultimately knowing what you own in your portfolio,” he said. “Domestically in the UK, the weakness in sterling and the increase in commodity prices suggest that there may be an uptick in inflation. With interest rates at a low level, this will make it even more important for investors to seek out assets that are capable of delivering a real return. “Whatever happens, one of the most important factors in protecting your investments will be to ensure you have the right advice. We know from our own clients that long-standing family firms like Vartan Ravenscroft provide them with the comfort of knowing that they can pick up Vartan Ravenscroft is a long-standing and the phone and speak to one of the team who experienced stockbroker and investment will know who they are, where their investments management firm based in Peterborough. are and what their risk appetite is. Our clients Their highly professional and personal aren’t simply numbers, they are people who have service is at the heart of the company, worked hard to build up their savings and we and that, combined with their passion for want to find the right opportunities for them.” finding opportunities that others do not see, truly sets the apart from the rest.


• Please remember that the value of investments and any income derived from them can fall and your capital is at risk meaning that you may get back less than you originally invested.



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New clinic puts patients first Patient care and comfort are paramount at a new consultant-led private group practice in Peterborough city centre.


HE Avicenna Clinic has opened in a Grade II listed building on North Street, adjacent to the Westgate entrance of Queensgate Shopping Centre and Lead Consultant Dr Hany Elmadbouh says: “Being a consultant-owned practice helps the clinic to focus on providing patients with the very highest level of medical care. Avicenna clinic is a centre of excellence specialising in minimally invasive surgery, imaging and image-guided intervention techniques. Combining state-of-the art facilities with the highest level of expertise, we offer personalised, responsive care within a serene and relaxing environment.” An ‘open’ MRI scanner – the region’s first, which will be particularly useful for patients who suffer from claustrophobia or obesity – is among the clinic’s cutting-edge facilities. It will also have a top-of-the-range ultrasound machine and a digital X-ray machine so patients can easily view their results online. Patients can book their own consultations or ask their GP for a referral to the clinic, and a same-day online booking and treatment management system creates a new experience in health care. Dr Elmadbouh says: “The open MRI scanner will be a very in-demand service as it is the first one of its kind in the region. However, the clinic offers a whole host of services that can be viewed online, with top specialisms

including pain management and anesthesia, plastic and general surgery, gynaecology and obstetrics, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, oral, maxillofacial and dental care and vascular surgery. “At Avicenna Clinic, patients will find a variety of conventional and complementary practitioners involved. The consultants are leaders in their fields and appear on the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register.” • The clinic offers appointments Mondays 8am8pm, Tuesdays and Fridays 2pm-8pm and Wednesdays and Thursdays 5pm-8pm. 0330 202 0597.

Exeter Arms, Barrowden T

HE Wade Family will be celebrating their first full year at the Exeter Arms this spring, and as always have many exciting plans for further developing the offering. “The first year has been intense, exhilarating and enjoyable in equal measure,” Joanne told me. “What we love is that every day is different, you never know who is going to come through the door. Our aim is always to be very customerfocused and keep the pub very warm and friendly.” Since September last year, they have had a new Head Chef, Fred Trenwith, locally born and bred, who has transformed the food offering. Joanne feels he has made all the difference. “He is a first-class chef, very consistent and he aims to make everything on site – even special mayonnaises, including lemon and roasted sweet pepper versions!” The menu is sensibly priced, so you feel you can afford to come back regularly, but still brilliantly cooked, always freshly prepared and with a regularly changing menu. “We like to be as flexible as possible to accommodate customers’ wishes,” Joanne told me. “If people book a table, it’s theirs for the evening, to chat and linger as long as they want. If a customer requires gluten-free, that’s rarely a problem as most of our dishes already are. And if a couple would like to share a starter and dessert, but have their own mains, we are more than happy to oblige with extra cutlery and just charge the standard two-course. We try and approach things as if we were a customer ourselves, and put ourselves into their shoes.”

Lunch Time Special Available Wednesday to Friday 12noon till 2pm Two courses for £12.50 Steak Night Available every Wednesday evening Two Steaks including Ribeye, Gammon and Fish - Any combination AND Two 175ml glasses of house wine for only £25 Quiz Nights First Thursday of the month – next one Feb 2nd £5 per team of four About 8pm, so come and have meal first, from 6.30pm Live Music – open mic night, with local musicians who run the evening… Third Thursday of the Month from 8:30pm – next one Feb 16th Also, pub is available for weddings, birthdays, christenings…. Special events are planned for Valentine’s Day, Mothering Sunday, Easter Egg Hunts - just call for more details. • 28 Main St, Barrowden, Rutland, LE15 8EQ 01572 747365 STAMFORD LIVING FEBRUARY 2017



Average Value of Stamford Home Now £324,700 This month, our local buy-to-let expert and property investment advisor, David Crooke owner of UPP Property Agents, reflects on the performance of Stamford’s property market in 2016.


T the end of 2016, Stamford property values dropped by just 0.8%, leaving them, year on year 7.7% higher. Whilst interestingly, Stamford asking prices were down 1.3% month on month. This shows the Stamford property market recovered well after the summer lull, which was worsened by the uncertainty surrounding the EU vote back in June. Irrespective of all the issues, the average value of a Stamford home now stands at £324,700.

Generally, Stamford asking prices continued to hold up well, as asking prices were 4.7% higher year on year. Typically, asking prices tend to drop in the run up to Christmas and locally they dropped by 1.3% in November 2016, although this still compared well with last year’s

drop in Stamford’s asking prices, as we saw asking prices drop by 0.6% in November 2015. Now it’s true to say, after chatting with fellow property professionals in the area, all of us saw the number of property sales fall slightly towards the end of last year, suggesting a slowing market, but that could be attributed to the winter season. Also, the numbers available were limited, so it’s interesting to take note from a recent survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, stating new buyer enquiries and new instructions were falling at the same rate, suggesting that there will not be a downward pressure on property values. Looking at the figures for the UK (as we can’t just look at Stamford in isolation), property values were generally rising more slowly than a few years ago, but on a positive note, there’s still growth across the UK. Slowing property value growth isn’t solely Brexit related, but after several years of double digit rises in property values, affordability has weakened and cooling price growth is widely seen to be a natural correction of the market. Conversely, interest rates being at a record low of 0.25% helped the property market. The cut in interest rates in the late summer was the medicine for the post-Brexit worry and will, as a consequence, ensure that the UK economy continues to be underpinned by buoyant

QKS re-branding Q

KS Homes has just re- branded its business, using the strapline ‘inspirational spaces’ in recognition of the vast increase in the array of options open to you these days as you extend your home. It used to be ‘let’s add on a conservatory for those sunny days’ to ‘let’s do something that will transform our leisure lifestyle’. Pop down to the showroom in the spring to see some amazing new installations, including one where the ‘wall’ can be pushed back into a recess in hot weather. Along with the re-branding, the showroom and all corporate marketing material will be re-branded. “We haven’t done this for a generation,” Nick Clipston, the owner, told SL “and now there is so much more opportunity in terms of what can be achieved, we felt it was a good time to reflect this. We always aim to be at the forefront of innovation in the market and we always look for the most creative, stunning solutions for our clients.” The re-design was carried out by MB Creative, based at Orion House in Barn Hill (www.


STAMFORD LIVING FEBRUARY 2017, 01780 753313). Their sister company Fluid Signs will be producing and installing the new signage at QKS’s showroom and also changing the livery on the QKS fleet of vehicles over the coming weeks. • QKS Homes, Unit 4, Priory Industries, Cherryholt Lane, Stamford, PE9 2EQ 01780 756666,

property prices. So, what will happen in 2017 in the Stamford and Rutland property market? Some say until we know what type of exit the UK will make from the EU it is hard to evaluate the outcome. Although, the whole Brexit issue may be considered a sideshow to the main issue in the UK housing market as a whole. The biggest issue is demand outstripping supply when it comes to the number of households required. The country has an evergrowing population; with immigration (we still have at least 2 years of free movement from EU members into the UK), people living longer and the fact we need thousands of additional households as the country has nearly 115,000 divorces a year (where 1 household becomes 2 households). These are interesting times ahead! UPP Property Agents • 01780 484 554


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Neil & Louise Hitchen welcome you to

Award Winning Country Pub

Find us in the latest editions of The Michelin Guide, Hardens Food Guide, Waitrose Good Food Guide and Alistair Sawdays Pubs & Inns.

59 Main Street, Wymondham, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 2AG 01572 787587



Barbara Farrow: Owner and Chocolatier of Stamford Heavenly Chocolates

Deborah Pennell chats to Barbara Farrow, the lady with every chocoholic’s dream job! Tell me a little bit about yourself? I am originally from Norfolk and moved to Stamford with my husband David in 2008, when he came to work as a Manager for Velcourt Farms, running the contract for Burghley Estate. When did you set up Stamford Heavenly Chocolates? It is almost a year since I set up the business, as we began making our first chocolates in March 2016. What inspired you to set up a business in chocolate? I have always loved baking and originally started The Stamford Cupcake Company in the farmhouse kitchen, with the help of my mother. Sadly, my mum passed away in 2012 and with part of her legacy I decided I would convert some of the disused outbuildings into a specially designed studio/bakery. I felt this would be a fitting tribute to her. As the trend for cupcakes dwindled, I decided to diversify into chocolate making and named the new business Stamford Heavenly Chocolates, in memory of my mum. I always feel she is watching over me from her little part of Heaven. Are there great differences in the quality of chocolate? There are great differences in the quality of chocolate you can buy, but from the very beginning I decided to use the finest Belgian chocolate, as it would reflect well in the end product. Towards the end of last year, I began experimenting with Origin chocolates for smaller product ranges and this has been really interesting. Origin chocolate takes on the flavour of the soil, so depending where you are

sourcing it from it has a different and unique flavour. I have also started using MooFree chocolate – this is very popular due to the increased demand for dairy free products but is slightly more difficult to work with. What is your favourite chocolate indulgence? Oooh it has to be the Baileys Truffles or the Baileys Chocolate Bar – I really struggle to resist eating these when I’m making them! I gather you can print on chocolate. How do you do this? Yes, it is really quite easy to do. I can print anything you like on an individual chocolate, bar of chocolate or chocolate product and its completely edible. I do lots of individual chocolates with company logos on them, bespoke wedding chocolates, chocolate lollipops for children’s birthday parties with pictures on them, it’s even possible to take your favourite photograph and print it on chocolate! Would you expect February to be one of the busiest months of the year for you? February is always going to be a busy month due to Valentine’s Day, but there are so many events during the year where chocolate is given as a gift – Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Weddings and the list goes on. I personally think, there is never a day when people should not have the excuse to eat some really good quality chocolate! Tell me about your Chocolate Workshops. Our chocolate workshops are designed for any age from toddlers to those in their 90s. It is a fun couple of hours getting covered in

chocolate and creating anything from colourful chocolate lollipops, to delicious chocolate truffles or for, the more adventurous, moulded chocolates. I can offer bespoke workshops for individuals and companies too. How much chocolate would you expect to go through in one year? Well we are just coming up to our first anniversary and we have already gone through a ton of chocolate. Quite an amazing quantity! What is the weirdest thing you have been requested to make in chocolate? Barbara laughed at this question, and I thought for one moment she might come out with something unsuitable for printing in Stamford Living magazine, so I was relieved to hear her answer was a Chocolate Kangaroo! A slightly random request, but as a leaving present for someone who was emigrating to Australia. What are your interests outside of work? Quite simply, family. We love to have our 2 grandchildren to stay and we normally end up in the studio baking or making chocolates – they each have their own special drawer with their bakery stuff in it. • For chocolate workshops, birthday parties, hen parties, corporate chocolate events or simply just to buy some of Barbara’s incredible chocolate creations contact her on: Stamford Heavenly Chocolates George Farm, London Road, Stamford PE9 3JP 01780 489364 Gift vouchers available STAMFORD LIVING FEBRUARY 2017



Following the Coffee Craze Why are we so obsessed with using the well-known high street coffee shops when we have such excellent independent cafes in Stamford? Do we neglect superior quality just to walk down the high street with a trendy label on our cup? Deborah Pennell muses over a cup or two of Stamford’s finest Espresso, Americano and Salted Caramel Latte’s and chats with café owners who care about the quality of the coffee they serve, and are knowledgeable about its origins.





INCE the middle of the 15th Century, coffee has been roasted and brewed, in the same fashion as it is today. Over the years the production of coffee has been refined to create an instant beverage; but gone are the days when people who go out for a coffee are happy with a teaspoon of instant granules, and a dash of milk. These days we don’t seem to be able to walk down the high street, into the supermarket, or go on a car journey without clutching a large disposable cup, full of freshly ground coffee, complete with frothy milk, maybe a shot of hazelnut, and the must have sprinkles. Is our coffee addiction becoming obsessive? Do we really need to be carrying around a cup of this caffeine-rich beverage, simply to get through the chores of the day? And what about the environmental impacts; the litter problem in this country, and the land clearance and water issues in the coffee producing countries. As I understand it, the coffee revolution is a positive trend for our dwindling dairy farmers who have seen a growth in milk sales due to the increased demand for speciality coffees. Sadly I do not believe they are any the better off, as statistics say, milk consumption in other areas of our diet, has reduced. One wonders who is the richer for our forward marching coffee culture, hopefully a few of the developing countries where coffee beans are now a major export commodity. An important part of the journey from green coffee bean to exquisite cup of coffee is the roasting process. Roasting coffee is now a popular pastime with micro roasteries popping up all over the place.

SILVER OAK COFFEE, POP UP CAFÉ AND SHOP Bruce Garside and his wife, Susanne run Silver Oak Coffee, a busy pop up café and shop on Stamford‘s Friday market, basing themselves halfway down Broad Street. Tell me a little about how you got into the coffee business. Both my wife and I are huge fans of coffee. I had retired from the police force and was looking for a new career; one in which I would be able to control my work hours. We launched Silver Oak Coffee over three years ago now, and we are thrilled with how the business has taken off. These days I’m disappointed if one person a day doesn’t say, that our coffee is the best coffee they have ever tasted! Why do you roast your own coffee beans? I am fascinated by the technical and scientific side of roasting coffee. Hence the reason I chose to roast my own. Where is your coffee roaster based? Originally we started with a micro roastery in the double garage next to our house in Thorney. As the business grew we needed more space, so in 2016 we moved into a bigger premises on the outskirts of Ely. Are people more aware of a good coffee these days? As a nation who previously drunk a lot of instant coffee I suppose Starbucks and Costa helped introduce us to premium coffee. However, people are definitely demanding a better quality coffee these days, and have become more aware of what is available. Is coffee like a good wine? A flavour wheel is used to describe

We regularly buy from single Estate Farms and this means their harvest of beans may be as low as a ton. We might buy the whole crop, so once it’s gone it’s gone. We source from many countries - Ethiopia, Guatemala, Rwanda and Columbia, to name a few.

the complexity of flavours in both wine and coffee, the latter having more flavour segments. You can find flavour notes of lemon, oranges, figs, chocolate and cherry as well as floral notes. There is such subtlety in the coffee flavour spectrum – that’s what makes it exciting. Where do most of your coffee beans come from? We use a specialist importer from London who really knows his coffees. It is important to us that our beans come from a farm that is managed ecologically, where the workers are treated well and that the farmers earn a proper living. We can guarantee some of the finest, most ethically grown coffee available.

How long have you been coming to Stamford market with your pop-up shop and café? Its just over three years now. We started off just selling about 20 bags of coffee a week and we are now selling much larger quantities. These days we have a good local following. Is it better to have full fat or semi skimmed milk, or even cream, in your coffee? No milk at all! The reason being, milk disguises the flavour of the coffee. What quantity of coffee beans are you likely to import this year? With all the different types of coffee beans we have on offer; I expect to import at least six tonnes of green coffee beans this year.

What is your favourite coffee ever? Finca Margaritas, a Columbian coffee that is sweet and balanced in flavour, with intense notes of dates and dried fig.

Have you ever served anyone famous a coffee? Dr Pixie from the television programme, Embarrassing Bodies, and we have a regular visit from Catherine Faux, a world class triathlete, who loves our coffee.

You regularly stock small producer coffees. Where do these come from and why do you only showcase them for a short time?

• For further details about Silver Oak Coffee, visit their website



To influence the taste of the coffee, the green coffee beans are roasted to reduce the amount of moisture in the bean, which causes it to become less dense. The density of the bean, in turn influences the strength of the coffee. By roasting the coffee beans, caramelisation occurs, aromatic oils and acids weaken, and caffeol is created which is largely responsible for the aroma and end flavour. The coffee is then graded by professional tasters or coffee cuppers, and labelled depending on the colour of the roasted beans. Like most things in Stamford we do coffee well. Our independent coffee shops are thriving, and Silver Oak Coffee, based on Stamford’s Friday Market, is proving an extremely popular pop-up café.

21 High Street, PE9 2AL This popular café on the corner of High Street and Ironmonger Street was awarded a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence in 2016. Definitely worth a visit, for a wide variety of coffees, great homemade cakes, and excellent service.

website has a fascinating section all about the origins of the coffee beans they use. A Coffee Club, with loyalty card, enables regular customers to earn points, which can be redeemed against food or drinks at a future visit.


37, St Mary’s Street, PE9 2DS This Gastro Café is well known for producing a fantastic afternoon tea and amazing cakes, but they also make an excellent cup of coffee.

5, Cheyne Lane, PE9 2AX A good selection of specialist coffees. Before 10.30am they offer a free hot beverage with any meal ordered from the Brunch menu (excluding extra shots of coffee and deluxe hot chocolate). A loyalty card is available. Guaranteed good coffee and high quality service.




12, Ironmonger St, PE9 1PL This family run coffee shop offers breakfast, light lunches, afternoon tea and a great selection of delicious coffees.


72, High Street, PE9 2AW Dedicated to serving really good coffee, their

39b High Street, PE9 2BB Although this popular deli does not have any seating, it is a regular haunt for premium coffee lovers. Kelly Combes, the owner, sources high quality single estate roasted coffee beans, which are ground on site. Now this is a cup of coffee worth walking down the high street for. STAMFORD LIVING FEBRUARY 2017



Valentine’s Day Tuesday 14th February

Wednesday to Friday. Two Courses for £12.50

STEAK NIGHT EVERY WEDNESDAY Two Steaks (Ribeye, Fish or Gammon) & Two glasses of house wine for £25

Free Glass of Bubbly with every main meal ordered

Mother’s Day Sunday 26th March


1st Thursday of the month £5 per Team of Four. Prize for the winning team (Funds from ticket sales go to Rutland Air Ambulance)

Free Glass of Bubbly for every Mother when a main meal is ordered


3rd Thursday of the month. Talented local musicians playing Live Music from 8pm

Book Early to avoid disappointment


A Warm Welcome I A Selection of Real Ales I Premium Lagers and Quality Wines Seasonal and Varied Menu I Roaring Log Fire I Large Garden I Parties and Functions Overnight Accommodation I Children and Dogs Welcome

More information and our current menu on our website



Tuesday 6pm - 10.30pm Wednesday & Thursday 12 noon - 3pm, 6pm - 10.30pm Friday & Saturday 12 noon - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm Sunday 12 noon - 6pm Monday Closed

T: 01572 747365 E:


The Tobie Norris Some pubs ooze character and in Stamford, they are in abundance. However, in Victoria Magnall’s view, one particular pub stands out for more than just its unique charm and sets itself apart with the most enticing offering.


ORE a thinkers’ pub than a drinkers’ pub, the Tobie Norris (modestly located alongside the Mad Turk and The Wine Bar on St Paul’s Street) ticks every point on a wish list for the ultimate cosy pub experience. Often called the Tobie or the Norris, and part of the recognised Knead group, this unique establishment is a welcoming hub, sprawling from one beamed room to another. Dried hops, Chanel dispensers and historical newspaper cuttings adorn the walls and indicate that if the walls could talk you would never leave!

Each room at the Tobie has a different feel and because of this you can have an alternative yet complementary experience with each visit. What is consistent is the outstanding service and legendary great food. The eclectic team are diverse, interesting and interested! A lone diner will happily find invigorating conversation with any one of the Tobie team who are the heartbeat of the notable warm atmosphere. A collective of friendly, regular customers (and their array of charismatic dogs!) endorses the Tobie...many a friendship has started in the

beer garden over an Aspall or sharing a shot of salted caramel gin for the first time. The delicious and varied menu served at the Tobie is so sought after that those in the know arrive ‘early doors’ to ensure a great table and first food order. Catering for vegetarians and specialising in alternative pizzas & luxury roasts it is no wonder that there is such recognition of the Tobie. Holding events throughout the year, including a bank holiday gin bar, and a sold out New Year’s Eve party, February at the Tobie is sure to be the go to place for cosy corner catch-ups over a Malbec or two. Where else would you want to be when the cold nights are upon us!

Kate Cadman rolls up her shirt sleeves and gets prepping ...


TAMFORD-BASED bespoke kitchen designers, Bakehouse, has been busy cooking up a delicious menu of interactive cookery masterclasses designed to inspire culinary creativity whilst exciting your taste buds simultaneously. The ingredients required include: an exquisite cooking environment (Bakehouse’s showroom on St Mary’s Street), a handful of experienced, local and well-known chefs, a variety of cuisine from across the globe and, of course, a willing group of participants. The programme of evening classes is scheduled to run approximately twice a month throughout the year. “Our showroom is a great environment - we wanted to use the facilities to offer a luxury evening for people wanting to come and learn how to cook good food, make new friends and, of course, eat and drink a bit too,” explains Bakehouse owner, Alan Ramm. The next masterclass scheduled is on February 10th and will be hosted by celebrity chef, Joe Remblance. The evening will consist of a very special, and timely, demonstration entitled ‘Cupid’s Kitchen’. “We are going to have loads of fun in this beautiful kitchen where I

shall be cooking a three-course meal based around foods that are aphrodisiacs - and all in time for Valentine’s Day! Couples can come cuisine. With an audience of approximately 15 and learn together, or you can eager participants, Myrna prepped and cooked come along on your own and learn three delicious and flavoursome dishes: Lumpia how you might impress a suitor!” (spring rolls); Pork Adobo (popular Filipino stew explains Joe, the on-air chef for made with pork cubes simmered in vinegar, Ideal World TV shopping channel. soy sauce, garlic and onions) and Pancit (stir Organiser, Eveline Verdegaal, fried rice noodles fresh vegetables and meat). explains that the masterclass idea During the evening the audience got a chance has wide appeal: “The classes to get involved with the cooking processes and are suitable for novice cooks and the atmosphere was one of fun and inclusivity. experts alike. Each month we will The overall experience can only be described be featuring super-talented chefs as a delicious sensory overload; the smells of who will come along and share the dishes cooking were exquisite, the tastes their expertise with an exclusive out of this world - and the camaraderie around audience. Anyone interested should get in the room was palpable. This was all topped touch quickly as there are limited off nicely by the superb kitchen to The Neff spaces on each course and cook in with state-of-the-art Home Economist, Sharon tickets get booked up quickly.” equipment and gadgets that Dodsworth, will visit the showroom Eveline initially organised left us all wanting. We all on Saturday, 4th February 2017. She a trial cookery evening were encouraged to try will be showcasing a rolling programme of to test out the idea. She the dishes and even take cookery during the day, where visitors will enlisted the help of her home the remains! have the opportunity to ask her questions Mother, Myrna Verdegaal, regarding the use or features of their own Neff a renowned local chef • Tickets start at £50 cooking appliances or about ones they are who has previously and include drinks and considering having installed. This is a worked at The George an apron. “Drop – in” event and so there is no Hotel, to come and cook To book email: cook@ need to book a space up a feast of fresh Filipino STAMFORD LIVING FEBRUARY 2017



Master classes serve up a sensory overload


Dixons & Pilkingtons - Stamford Carpenters and Builders The Dixons and the Pilkingtons – two families involved in Stamford’s building trade in the 18thC and up to the middle of the 19thC. Sue Lee and Jean Orpin have investigated.


OR most of the 18th and early 19th centuries building outside Stamford’s town walls was prohibited and the area within the walls (mostly owned by charities or the Exeter estate) was already crowded. This meant that building work was often limited to repairs and rebuilds and there was little work for architects. Instead, masons and carpenter-joiners acted as designers. Individual skilled workers later developed family businesses with interests in all branches of the building trade expanding into the local area and beyond. These are two such families – in both cases they rise and fall with considerable similarity.

Snowden’s Hospital

DIXONS Joseph Dixon, a Master Carpenter, became a Freeman of Stamford in 1722. The carpenter’s trade was probably already well-established in his family and certainly he was well regarded locally. One of his apprentices was Vincent Wing from a noted family of astronomers and mathematicians whose grandfather had written a text book for masons, carpenters and glaziers. Joseph worked for both the Town and for Browne’s Hospital and was probably involved in rebuilding 9 Barn Hill for Henry Tatum. He established himself in St Peter’s St, taking a life lease on No 34, a substantial property.

London Joseph had three sons; John, Richard and Joseph. Joseph served his apprenticeship as a mason in London and both he and Richard worked for the Exeter estate in Stamford and in London where they were based in Pimlico. In 1775 Joseph designed and the brothers together built St Mary’s Church, Battersea (where William Blake was married a few years later). Possibly they overstretched themselves with this contract, because both were declared bankrupt in 1778.

St Peter’s John, the eldest son, carried on the main business in Stamford. He had served his apprenticeship with his father and became a Freeman in 1748. He married in 1751 and moved to live next to his father at 33 St Peter’s St, a property he was able to buy after his father’s retirement ten years later. When his father



St Mary’s Battersea

died in 1777, John took over the lease of No. 34 also. Later in his career he worked for the Town designing and making the sheep pens for the sheep-market and he was commissioned to make the wainscoting and court benches for the Town Hall. He died in 1782 and an auction was held to sell off his wood so this was presumably the end of the business in St Peter’s St.

St George’s Samuel Dixon was born about 1760 and served his apprenticeship as a carpenter with John (of St Peter’s) however he was probably from another branch of the family. By the 1790s he had established a large building business with premises in the St George’s area.

33 & 34 St Peter’s St

He advertised for joiners, carpenters, masons, brick and tile makers in local newspapers and also took out an auctioneer’s license in 1813. When Snowden’s Hospital was rebuilt in 1822/3 Samuel gained the contract for the building work. Samuel’s eldest son, another Samuel, possibly served his apprenticeship in London because he moved there and the business in St George’s was taken over by another son. Elijah served his apprenticeship with his father but he seems to have had a somewhat chequered career. In his youth he was prosecuted for an attack on a watchman and then in the 1840s he was in constant trouble with the authorities for causing a nuisance by leaving timber around in St George’s. In 1854 he was briefly imprisoned for debt although this was discharged. He died shortly afterwards. One of his sons did carry on the family tradition working as a journeyman carpenter possibly for his uncle in London.

1-4 Blackfriars St

St Mary’s

PILKINGTONS At least five generations of this family worked in the building trade in Stamford, first as carpenters, then builders and finally architects. It was an extensive family with other members in a variety of trades such as plumbing, baking, shoemaking and cabinetmaking. With the exception of an occasional George, those in the building trade were all called Robert or Thomas and this makes identifying which was which rather difficult!

Carpenters Robert Pilkington was working as a carpenter for the Town in the late 17thC. At least two of his sons followed him into the trade and some of their sons likewise, with the two branches of the family sometimes working together. A carpenters’ yard on Scotgate was acquired and members of the family were employed by Lord Exeter who rebuilt some of his properties in the town in the second half of the 18thC. George, one of Robert’s grandsons, was paid a substantial sum - half the total cost of the building – for Lord Exeter’s terrace on St Mary’s Hill (Nos 14-16) and St Mary’s Street (Nos 31-32). He would have been responsible for the roof structure as well as providing window frames, doors and stairs. He was clearly esteemed by Exeter as he also worked at Burghley House, but unfortunately he died aged only 42yrs. His widow, Alice, had a large family to care for, however she also managed to keep the business going very successfully. At this time Pilkingtons were involved in various works at the George Inn, including the new south range, and continued to work on St Mary’s St and at Burghley. It is not clear which member of the family established a wood-yard and workshop at the

end of St Peter’s Street but it would have been before Rutland Terrace was built in the 1820s and it is likely that it was during this time of prosperity.

Builders and Architects In the next generation, Thomas Pilkington became a freeman in 1797 and by the early years of the 19thC styled himself ‘builder’ and then ‘architect and builder’. Was he the son of Robert, Thomas or George Pilkington? They all had sons called Thomas within a few years of each other! From this time on it is difficult to disentangle one Mr Pilkington from another. By the 1820s Thomas was in partnership with his own son – another Thomas – who had trained in London and generally gave his occupation as architect. They built some of the earliest red brick buildings in Stamford: the terrace at 1-4 Blackfriars St and the three houses No 10-12 on St George’s Square. The elder Thomas died in 1831 and the younger had serious setbacks in the 1830s. In 1832 he had the job of demolishing the collapsed tower of St Michael’s Church but his plans for a replacement were rejected and then in 1838 a disastrous fire demolished the St Peter’s St yard, part of the family business. It was not rebuilt and the land was sold for the Rutland Iron Works a few years later. The younger Thomas lived for a while on Barn Hill, but he later spent time in Scotland and lived in Bourne. He was probably the Thomas Pilkington who worked with Richardson building the Union Workhouse later in the 1840s but there were others of the same name who it could have been!

8-12 St George’s Sq

From the Stamford Mercury March 1838 The most alarming visitation which has occurred in Stamford for nearly 50yrs was experienced on Tuesday last. Soon after two o’clock in the afternoon, whilst the wind was very high, a fire broke out in the wood-yard of Mr Pilkington, builder, situate at the West end of the town, near Rutland-terrace... A large work-shop for carpenters was consumed in a very short time … By five o’clock it was hoped that the dreadful element was mastered; the premises destroyed at that time being Mr Pilkington’s valuable work-shops and woodsheds … We regret to say that Mr Pilkinton’s loss in workshops and stock of wood (including much mahogany) is estimated by him as £2000., of which only £500. was insured; Messrs Simpson’s loss, in straw etc., does not exceed £100., which an insurance fully covers. The damage to Lord Exeter’s property is about £300., not insured.

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

Snowdrop Week runs from 11 to 19 February, 11am to 4pm EVENT: Snowdrop Week As well as viewing the snowdrops independently, galanthophiles can book an exclusive preview tour and guided walk during Snowdrop week with expert, Jackie Murray. The tour features close up studies of rare and unusual plants before the gardens open to the general public. Ursula Cholmeley who has restored the twelve acre garden near Grantham says “It’s a chance to walk the gardens with an expert, picking up tips on how to grow your own, and how to spot new varieties.” Tours are £20 each to include tea/coffee and a slice of homemade cake, entrance to the gardens and photography exhibition plus a comprehensive Easton Walled Gardens guide book and some snowdrop bulbs from the gardens to take home. Discounted tickets are available for RHS and Easton Walled Gardens members. General admission prices are £7 for adults and £3 for children. Friends of Easton Walled Gardens have free entry, and discounted tickets for the tours. Booking at or Tel: 01476 530063 Thursday 9 February, 7pm for 7.30pm TALK: Malcolm Sargent Penny Rowley will present a talk to the Stamford & District Local History Society on Malcolm Sargent. Methodist Church Rooms at Barn Hill Entry for members is £3 and non-members £5. Ticket price includes refreshments Wednesday 15 February, 7.30pm CONCERT: Gordon Haskell Gordon’s career spans many years and during the late 1960s he shared a flat with Jimi Hendrix, playing supporting stints with Cliff Richard and Tim Hardin. His single ‘How Wonderful You Are’ surpassed the Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ and Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ to become the most requested song on BBC Radio 2. Whissendine Village Hall Tickets £10 from Tracey Tel: 01664 474437 / 07771 333212

the poor and the old? Philippa Massey looks from monastery care, alms houses and workhouses, to the welfare state and hospital trusts. Stamford Theatre Tickets for reserved seating, £5 (£4.50 concessions) available from the box office Tel: 01780 763203 www. Saturday 25 February, 7.30pm MUSIC: The Castalian Quartet This very special concert opens the Music in St Martin’s season for 2017 and features the exceptional Castalian Quartet. The

musicians have just been accepted by YCAT (Young Artists Classical Trust) for promotion worldwide so this is a prime chance to see them locally. Sini Simonen and Daniel Roberts (violins), Charlotte Bonneton (viola), and Christopher Graves (cello) will perform Haydn’s String Quartet in B flat, Op.76 No.4 the Sunrise; Thomas Ades’ The Four Quarters; Beethoven’s String Quartet in F, and Op.59 No.1 Rasumovsky. Stamford Arts Centre Tickets: £12/£10, Students £5, under 18s are admitted free Tel: 01780 763203 or on the door.

Wednesday 22 February, 7.30pm MUSIC: The Hut People Taking the audience on a musical journey around the world, English instrumental duo The Hut People (Sam Pirt and Gary Hammond) have firmly established themselves as one of the most unique, entertaining and best-loved acts on the UK folk scene today. Mixing global rhythms with folk tunes from Quebec to Spain, Scandinavia to Sussex and everywhere in between, this is a quirky celebration of our rich musical heritage – and it works so well. Expect feel-good dancing tunes, audience participation, step dancing, Quebecois footpercussion (whilst playing the accordion) and humour aplenty. The duo will be supported by local musician, Dan Poole. Stamford Theatre Tickets £12 (£10 concession) Tel: 01780 763203

Tuesday 21 February, 7.30pm TALK: Care in the Stamford Community How has the area cared for the sick, the injured,



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

IDEAS FOR HALF TERM FUN THIS MONTH…. Saturday 11 February, 10am to 12pm FAMILY EVENT: Nest Box Challenge It’s National Nest Box Week so will you help the birds by building them a home this February? Families are invited to the Nest Box Challenge where they will learn about the breeding garden birds, build a box to take home, and make a bird feeder as an extra treat for the garden birds. There will also be the chance to make a bat box, bug box or hedgehog box. (Hedgehog box has a £5 supplement) Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre, Egleton Places are £10 per person. Book at www.rutlandwater. org Wednesday 15 February, 11am and 2pm FAMILY SHOW: The Colour of Me – Wriggle Dance Join in a magical world of colour. Can you feel the excitement of the deep blue sea, the green peacefulness of nature, or bravely go where no child has ever been… inside an orange? But do watch out for Red, who is sometimes very cross. Experience the beautiful rainbow of emotions that lives inside each and every one of us. What colour are you today? With live music and projection this interactive dance theatre performance promises to delight, tickle and inspire young audiences. Stamford Theatre Tickets £6 Tel: 01780 763203

Stamford Arts Centre More information Tel: 01780 763203


Friday 17 and Saturday 18 March, 10am to 6pm each day EVENT: Sustainable Stamford - The Bright Green Energy Show 2017 Now in its second year, the show combines an exhibition and evening events looking at energy saving measures and renewable technologies. Specialist local businesses will be on hand to help you with all your energy needs. Find out how to use less energy, save money, live more sustainably and help to improve your environment. Evening events include A Time to Choose, a film by Charles Ferguson, in the cinema on Wednesday 15th March, the launch and opening reception in the Gallery at 7pm on Thursday 16 March and illustrated talks on energy matters, also in the Gallery at 7m on Friday 17 March. Everyone is welcome to all the events which are free. Stamford Arts Centre

Friday 17 February, from 10.30am EVENT: Family Open Day Crafts, singing, music, face painting and film. What more could you want during half term? Take the family along to join in the fun with most activities free. There will be a special screening of the hit film Minions at 3pm.


Monday 13 to Friday 17 February, daily from 9.30am to 4pm (early drop off and later pick up available) WORKSHOPS: A Week of Wildcats Choose from the week’s selection or book a whole week of fun at Wildcats Theatre School. Themed days include Circus Skills, Art Attack Valentines Special, Street Dance, Aladdin the Musical, Spy Kids and Musical Theatre Dance. Wildcats Theatre School, Castle Hill, Stamford All workshops are £23.50 per day with booking and further information Tel: 01780 762000 or visit


Tuesday 14 February, 2pm FAMILY SHOW: Alice in Wonderland Imagination runs wild and logic is abandoned in this fantastical, larger-thanlife musical brimming with nonsensical fun and excitement for the entire family. Follow Alice and the White Rabbit as they set off on a colourful, topsy-turvy adventure like no other and meet a host of outlandish characters including the troublesome twins, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, the notorious Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire cat and of course, the Mad Hatter. Families are invited to join in the hilarity of seeing this classic story brought vividly to life before having the opportunity to meet the characters after the show; why not go dressed up? Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre Tickets £9.50 or £34 for a family ticket Tel: 01780 766455

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The clockmakers who proudly fly the flag for Stamford

A small Stamford family business is creating quite a stir after producing the first watch made from entirely English components for more than 50 years. Nick Rennie visited Robert Loomes & Co in St Mary’s Hill to meet some of the people behind this highly-skilled operation.


HEN you stroll over the town bridge in Stamford from the direction of the George Hotel, glance to the left and you will see a building which has stood there for 429 years. It was once the town’s jailhouse but today you will find a team of highly-skilled clockmakers there, putting together some of the world’s finest timepieces. These are exciting times for small family firm Robert Loomes & Co because it has just brought out the first all-English watch to be made for more than half-a-century. Fittingly, it is called the Stamford Original and if you have the budget it will set you back a cool £28,500. It caused a huge stir when it was unveiled to the public for the first time at the prestigious SalonQP luxury watch exhibition in London just before Christmas. “We’re proud to say it is the first watch to have a 100 per cent English movement since 1962,” said Robert Loomes, who runs the business with his wife Robina.“It was driven by our own customers. We told them it would be more expensive to make but they said they didn’t mind.” It’s a real treat to wander around the four floors of the Loomes workplace. In tiny rooms there is a team of around a dozen staff who are either helping to make watches and clocks or involved in restoring and repairing them. At the heart of the operation is Robert Loomes, who served an apprenticeship under his father in the business before taking it over. He will spend hours and hours crafting handmade watches using traditional skills and his passion for the work is as strong as ever. “It’s like a form of Zen Buddhism,” said Robert. “You focus on something for hours and hours under the microscope and you forget about everything else. “You can breathe life into it. You can transform this piece of metal into this lovely ticking object.” It wasn’t a given that Robert would follow his father Brian into the family business. He had a short stint in the army and also went to study English at university for a few terms. His father, a renowned author of technical books about clockmaking, had a love of British clocks from the 17th century but Robert soon developed a different interest. He recalled: “I would go with him to auctions and then take the clocks to restorers, who were little individual guys who often worked from home. I found what they were doing was far more interesting than what we were doing. I started learning how clocks worked by seeing the restorers at work.” The business was originally based in North Yorkshire before relocating



to an old building in St Leonard’s Street in Stamford for a decade. They moved to their present home in 2009 because more space was needed. Robert has been married to business partner Robina for 23 years. How they met reads like a plot from a James Bond film. Both had checked into a hotel in Bolivia in South America in 1991. Robert was staying there en route to Peru where he was due to visit a relative. Robina was a director of the English Theatre and had just finished a contract in Argentina. She takes up the story: “I ran out of money in Chile and got a bus over the Andes to La Paz, which took 23 hours. I booked into a hotel and went down to the bar for dinner on the Saturday night and Robert was there. He came over and said ‘hello’ and we’ve been together practically ever since. I had been planning to go off to a commune in Holland but ended up in the business with Robert.” The workforce at Robert Loomes & Co is multicultural and includes staff from Spain, Poland and Scotland. Two work on dial restoration, a discipline Robert believes they are the best in the world at, while others make enamel watch dials. Another employee is an ex-Army serviceman, who worked as an armourer and has now transferred his engineering skills to the clock trade. One of the most important rooms contains the all-important milling machine, affectionately known as ‘Barry’, which makes all of the components for the watches and clocks. Steel is used for some parts and brass with high nickel content so it doesn’t tarnish. Around 80 per cent of each new watch is made in-house, with leather straps provided by a supplier in Melton Mowbray. Robert said: “We’re fortunate that people want to come and work for us and also that we are based in such a lovely town as Stamford.” Some timepieces brought in for repair or restoration cost more to do the work than they are worth but they have a sentimental value. The oldest repair job was on a clock dating back to 1615 and they can be tricky jobs with some components only measuring fractions of millimetres. “I say to the staff ‘don’t be frightened of breaking it’,” said Robert, who believes he is related to eminent 17th century London clock and watchmaker Thomas Loomes. “We are now such a developed business that we will have someone who can fix it in-house so it isn’t a problem.” As I finish my tour of this fascinating premises I am aware of a faint ‘tick tock’ sound ringing in my ears from the legions of old and new watches and clocks scattered everywhere. Robert added, with a chuckle: “We don’t notice that until someone visits and points it out.”





Stamford Living February 2017  
Stamford Living February 2017