Stamford Living Sept 2017

Page 1

Loving where we live!


Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2017 August 31st – September 3rd

SEPTEMBER 2017 £1.50 09

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

Tel: 01780 654321 Email: 12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN 4


September Contents


Stamford, the 1st conservation area, a celebration


In 1967 Stamford became the country’s first Conservation Area, before even Bath or York. Why and how did this happen and why was it so important then? THE 1st CONSERVATION AREA 1967 As part of the ‘Stamford 50’ local celebrations Stamford Civic Society is holding an exhibition which aims to answer these questions and looks at why conservation is still important today. It will be held at the Stamford Arts Centre on 20-28 September. The exhibition will illustrate Stamford’s wonderful architectural heritage and highlight the role of national and local people in tackling the threats to historic environments, prevalent in the 1960s, of rapid development and heavy traffic. Memories of local people of the town before the Conservation Area came into being will be displayed. We owe so much to the men and women who fought for the town’s conservation half a century ago, and the exhibition is a chance not to be missed to learn, to give thanks and to celebrate. We could so easily have ended up ‘just like anywhere else’. Which, I think you will agree, we most certainly have not.


Nicholas Rudd-Jones Editor

@StamfordLiving1 Stamford Living Sincere apologies We are profoundly sorry for having given the wrong name to Tony Story’s wife in the August issue Stamford Living people profile. Her correct name is, of course, Val. 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 Designers Sarah Compton Calum Handley 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

44 7 Cover photo this month: Burghley Horse Trials

23 34

46 56 58 76

Burghley Horse Trials: general stands run by local businesses Burghley Horse Trials: food stands run by local businesses Updates: Bilingua Song, Healthy Hearing Open Day, Elysia Health & Beauty, Garie Nigel stylist Updates; Flower House, Rutland Historic Churches Day, Fotheringhay Furnishings Updates: Welland School of Dancing, Stamford Charity Golf Day, Seasons Art Classes Updates: UPP Property, Buckles Solicitors Stamford Dog Show, Stephenson Smart Updates: Westwood Stair Lifts, Great Casterton Primary, Charles & Dean Alwalton Hall, Ask us HR

FASHION, HEALTH & BEAUTY 7 Children’s clothing 26 Health & Beauty: Beauty for any budget 30 Health & Beauty Updates: Avicenna Clinic, Prestons Health 43 Getting fit: Fitbits

HOME & GARDEN 39 Outdoor Living 50 Storage for back to school clobber 54 Through the Keyhole: an Uffington stone cottage

FOOD & DRINK 64 Great Food Club: Stoney Ford Brewery 66 Chef profile: James Goss, King’s Arms in Wing 70 Eating Out: Lean Pantry, Alwalton Hall 73 Olive Branch recipe


Little Living: new series Makers: A world of stone Pet page The history of Fives Burghley Sculpture Exhibition Wildlife photography What’s On

PEOPLE & PLACES 36 People: Mark Todd 44 Stamford People: Dave Franciosy, Farming Photography 63 Victoria’s Top Table: A mix of culture, gastronomy and bon vivant 60 Ask Leo: Askers 85 Stamford People: the Tyers family at St Mary’s Books 90 Ask Leo: Stamford’s 50th conservation anniversary 102 Stamford People: Charles Welch, headmaster of Witham School



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When it comes to childrenswear it’s lovely to see the new Marcia May Mini shop has opened, offering beautiful, well priced children’s clothing from 0 – 12 years and with shoes, useful accessories and toys there’s something for all ages. Sally Stillingfleet went to find out what’s new for the Autumn before the return to school rush. Careful and skilled shoe fitting is essential and at Marcia May Mini great care is given to finding the right shoes by owner Sam and Manager Michelle and the team.

Amelia wears Hatley blue heart motif raincoat £38 and matching Hatley Heart wellingtons £24





Frank (left) wears Mayoral check shirt £17. Ricosta shoes from £47. Ned wears mustard jumper £20 over shirt £19 and trousers £18 all Mayoral. Shoes Geox from £42

Amelia wears navy check Mayoral dress £32 with patent Ricosta shoes from £46

Amelia tries on lace up shoes Goex from £46

Frank wears Kite jeans from £28 with his own T shirt



Molly wears Mayoral checked short and jersey top two piece set £31 with pink boots Ricosta from £44

Ned wears Hatley Dino raincoat £35 with matching wellingtons £24 over mustard jumper £20 over shirt £19 and trousers £18 all Mayoral

Molly wears Kite print jersey dress from £25 with navy Bobux boots £38

Frank wears Mayoral scooter jumper £22 with Kite jeans from £28

Frank wears Dino long sleeve t-shirt Kite From £19 with Kite jeans from £28

Amelia wears Mayoral floral print shorts £23 with zig-zag Kite blouse from £24 with pink short Ricosta boots from £54

Molly wears red classic Mayoral coat £38 with navy Bobux boots £38

Molly wears Kite striped cardigan from £26 over Kite dress from £25 from and red Aigle wellingtons from £25

Marcia May Mini - 42 St Mary’s St, Stamford 01780 754400 Many thanks to Amelia, Molly, Ned and Frank for modeling for me and to the Manager Michelle and her team for being so patient and kind Pictures by Elli Dean (07932 055548) STAMFORD LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017


Advertisement Feature

DAZZLING DISPLAY AT DENHAMS Celebrating 65 Years in Business


enhams of Stamford is much more than your usual jewellers - it’s run by gemologist, Sarah Stamp, who loves nothing more than remodelling an old piece of jewellery into a stunning, modern piece. Denhams, an independent jewellers, has been trading for 65 years and currently has shops in Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray and Stamford. “It’s a family business,” explains Sarah, who began working with the firm just before she turned 16 years old. “We pride ourselves in carrying out bespoke work and regularly take on commissions to rework jewellery. We specialise in diamonds and coloured stones.” “I come from a family of antique dealers and my uncle one day mentioned that we needed a gemologist in the family, so I went to work at Denhams in Leicester to learn the trade. By 21 I had become a Director and 15 years later I bought the business.”

“One of our customers was taken a back when I recognised them from serving them 25 years ago!” she exclaims. “One of my favourite recent commissions was having the opportunity to remodel an old Victorian brooch, which my customer said she would never wear, into two stunning pieces of jewellery - a cluster ring and a beautiful pendant to match - which she can wear any or all the time.” You don’t have to have a large budget to find something gorgeous to purchase at Denhams. A starter range of jewellery is designed to suit even the tightest budget, with prices starting from just £15. Under Sarah’s leadership, Denhams has evolved into a very established business, run by a superb team of managers and staff. “We are like one big family, we all muck in and help out. Everyone does everything here. We are all very proud of what we have achieved.”

A visit to the shop on St Mary’s Street reveals a whole new take on your usual jewellers. “Our customer service is the most important part of our job. We spend time with each customer helping them to select the right piece of jewellery to suit them and their lifestyle,” says Sarah. “Alongside a full repair service, we particularly love the bespoke work, often designing and creating a piece from scratch to match the customer’s dreams.” “It is really important to help and encourage our customers to find something that really works with their lifestyle. We don’t just try and sell any old piece, we pride ourselves in taking the time to guide and help everyone to find something they really get a lot of pleasure out of wearing.” With almost 30 years of experience in the industry, Sarah’s business has evolved over the decades - and two-and-a-half years ago Denhams arrived in Stamford. “I chose this location to open a third shop because Stamford is such a pretty market town and it felt the right place to be. Since we opened, we have built up a good relationship with many regulars.” With such an eye for detail, it stands to reason that Sarah’s got a good memory for faces.


Denhams 2 The Square, Market Harborough LE16 7PA 01858 410395 8 St. Mary’s Street, Stamford PE9 2DE 01780 757131 15 Sherrard Street, Melton Mowbray LE13 1XH 01664 500300


Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 31 August – 3 September 2017

Antonia Scott celebrates one of the highlights of the Stamford and equestrian year.


HE Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials encompasses a vast area of Stamford’s famous Burghley estate parkland. This annual international equestrian phenomenon now welcomes over 80 global competitors and an incredible 160,000 visitors, who come from all corners of the globe to enjoy this prestigious four-day event. As well as horses, there are plenty of canines at Burghley too – the dog agility classes are wonderful family fun to watch. There are over 600 trade exhibitors for shoppers to enjoy, all showcasing a vast array of country living homewares and produce. LOCAL EXHIBITORS Stamford and its surrounding area has a plethora of entrepreneurial talent, and this year many of these local businesses will be exhibiting at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Here, they can proudly display their wares and raise their profile to an international audience. Many local businesses consider Burghley “the place to be”, since it offers them the opportunity to showcase their products – the very best of British – to such a vast target audience.

Hunters Interiors

Contact:,, 01780 757946 Hunters Interiors haven’t exhibited at Burghley before and are very excited to be at one of the country’s most prestigious horse and shopping events this year. “We will be displaying a selection of what we can supply – sofas, chairs, occasional furniture, lighting, mirrors and decorative accessories, plus the latest ranges of fabrics, wallpapers and paints. We welcome people to come on to what will be a very comfortable stand to chat over their interior projects with us and see where we may be of help.”

Two Birds Spirits Butler Stewart

Contact:, info@, 07941 513650 Butler Stewart is an exclusive brand specialising in tailoring and tweed, creating understated British elegance for men and ladies. All garments are designed in-house using the finest British fabrics to create timeless, luxurious styles. “Our ready to wear collections and made to order service are available through our website, at shows and home/ office visits. Our popular made to order service allows customers to design a unique garment tailored to their individual tastes, choosing from hundreds of British fabrics and stunning trimmings. Visit our stand in the Lifestyle Pavilion near the celebrity chat zone.”



Contact:,, 01858 463758 “This is by far the best show event of the year. Visitors do come to spend money and also start their Christmas shopping. We will have five full-time staff on for the whole four days to meet customer demand. Shoppers can taste our complete range of spirits before they buy. We also offer a Picnic Bag containing a small bottle of gin, chilled tonic and two glasses. Shoppers can choose any of our four gins including our new Strawberry & Vanilla Gin. We also have a Chilled Countryside Cocktail in a 20cl bottle with a straw.”

James Gillick – Artist

Contact:,, 01507 600269 “My stand is one of the only places outside London where shoppers can get to meet and see the work of a top London artist. I also make all my own paints, canvasses, varnishes and mediums using 17th-century recipes. “We display a collection of still life, game and equestrian oil paintings in sizes ranging from the palm of your hand to the size of your living room wall! From £2,000 to £50,000.”

Robinsons of Stamford

Contact:,, 01780 755378 “We believe in supplying high-quality items at reasonable prices with a fantastic customer service. We’ll have the latest Country Clothing ranges from brands such as Barbour, Alan Paine and Aigle at Burghley, as well as a fantastic selection of footwear from Le Chameau, Zoo and Barbour, and a wide range of gifts, handbags and leather goods.”

Hill Farm Furniture

Contact:, 01636 626063 Hill Farm Furniture is a family-run business that specialises in creating bespoke, handcrafted kitchens and freestanding furniture to fit your home and your unique character. Prices start at £25,000 + VAT. “We display a mobile showroom full of handcrafted furniture, bespoke kitchens and Victorian glasshouses.”


Contact: www.heatsource-of-uppingham., 01572 829953 Heatsource is a retailer and installer of woodburners, fireplaces and renewable heating solutions. “We will be bringing the Arc stove designed and made by Charnwood and exclusive to Heatsource of Uppingham, as well as a complete new range of basketwares.”

Sophie Allport Homewares

Contact:,, 01778 560256 “We do a number of shows across the UK, but Burghley is always very special as it’s on ‘home turf!’ Our offices are just up the road, our first high street shop is now in Stamford, and we love seeing all our local customers and those from further afield at this annual event. We are launching four new collections, including ‘Cows’ and ‘Artichokes’, that will be on display. There’s also a wide range of new products including new home fragrances, new bags, pet products, additions to the children’s melamine collection and gorgeous knitted bobble hats and scarves.”

Peachy Belts

Contact:,, 01664 454994 “I love Burghley, as it is the one local event where we see all of our local customers – AND we launch our new autumn/winter range – and I am most excited about this year’s range, as we have a fantastic red cowhide belt in three different widths, a lovely sea-blue python, as well as leopard, which is always popular. “There are some great new buckles as well as our clutch bags and initialled key fobs. We will have a small sale of summer colours that are remaining and so it is a great chance to grab a seasonal reduced belt – something we rarely do!”

The Wool Room

Contact:,, 01780 461217 Burghley is a unique and special event for The Wool Room. It’s where potential customers are open minded and often looking for new and exciting products. “We will be presenting our new brand image this year along with one of our new chemical-free, British wool-upholstered bedsteads and mattress as the highlighted product. We will also be showing our luxury range of bedding, which is manufactured with 300TC organic cotton and a fine blend of British Alpaca and British wool.”




Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 31 August – 3 September 2017 Fitted Furniture Company

Contact: Racecourse Farm, Easton on the Hill, “Every piece of furniture is individually designed to the client’s own ideas and specific requirements. Our furniture is built to last using traditional methods of construction in conjunction with modern furniture technology such as softclose drawer runners, low-voltage LED lighting systems and energy-efficient appliances. We take great pride in delivering a truly personal service, working closely with the client to exceed expectations, presenting and inspiring new ideas to achieve superb results.”

Oakham Rugs

Contact:,, 01572 724441 “Burghley is a wonderful event for us. We love meeting customers old and new and showing them the latest collections in quality hand-knotted rugs. We have lots of interesting pieces, both contemporary and traditional, all with our money-back guarantee.”

Sinclairs of Stamford

“Sinclairs is a family-run, independent retailer, offering an unrivalled level of customer service. We are a major stockist of Hunter Boots, Barbour, Longchamp, Michael Kors, Portmeirion, Spode, Royal Worcester and Beswick with up to 40% off the RRP.”

Snuggle Sacs

Contact:,, 01603 881705 “Our products are unique, distinctive, high quality, fun, practical and utterly desirable from toddlers through to adults. There are now eight different adult-size Sacs – one of which has a horse-print lining!”

Country Traditionals

Contact:,, 01780 755409 “Burghley Horse Trials is a show we have been exhibiting at for many years now. We always have the same stand within the Rural craft marquee. It always feels like the start of our busy build up to the coming Christmas period. We have many customers who come back to us year on year to buy our wonderful Polish stoneware – they love the fact that it can go from oven/Aga to table and is microwave/ dishwasher/freezer safe. As we give customers such a massive selection to choose from, they always end up buying a mix of items from mugs through to larger baking dishes and more. Our stand is just like a pop-up version of our Stamford and Cambridge shops!”

Scotts of Thrapston

Contact:,, 01832 732366 “We exhibit at many shows throughout the year, yet Burghley is our favourite and the one show that all three generations of the Scotts family come together for. We love meeting new customers, but Burghley is also the place that keeps us in touch with our previous clients – where we have time to catch up with families and businesses to find out what life is like once their dream stables have been built. Our inhouse architectural team, led by Bryn Lee, has produced a stunning display showcasing the quality of build you can expect from Scotts stables. The bespoke equestrian building, on display at BHT 2017, incorporates a 12m2 loose box, secure tack room, feed room and wash-down area. Our stables will complement any home, whether a period property or new build. We will also have a 3.9m Sun Ray Garden Room and Burghley Summerhouse to view, so your garden doesn’t feel left out.”



The Rutland Bookshop

“We stock a unique and wide-ranging selection of books relating to equestrianism, including first editions and fine illustrations alongside practical manuals and personal reminiscences.” OTHER LOCAL TRADE STANDS: • Aga Shop at Pochin • Burghley House Gift Shop • Daniel Crane Sporting Art Ltd, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire • Dawson of Stamford • Joules Clothing • Legacy, Uppingham, Rutland • Please Shut the Gate, Oakham • Thomas Dainty Brogue Trader, Hambleton For full details:

Country Traditionals Traditionals Country Country Traditionals Country Traditionals See us at Burghley Horse Trials in the Rural Craft Marquee

Visitour ourshop shop Visit MaidenLane, Lane,Stamford Stamford Maiden Maiden Lane, Stamford Visit our shop -opp Maiden Lane, PE9 2AZ opp tourist info artsStamford, centre tourist info &&arts centre Maiden Lane, opp tourist info &Stamford arts centre opp tourist info & arts& centre Lane opposite Tourist Info Arts Centre OpenMon Mon---Sat Sat10am 10am---5pm 5pm Open Open Mon Sat 10am 5pm Open Mon Mon - Sat Sat 10am -- 5pm Open 10am 5pm Tel:01780 01780755 755409 409 Tel: Tel: 01780 755 409 Tel: 01780 01780 755 409 Tel: 755 409 Visit our shop oven/Aga/microwave/dishwasher/freezer proof Visit our shop


N O W AT 8 S T M A RY ' S H I L L , S TA M F O R D From amazing Toulouse-Lautrec lithographic posters, the bold Pop Ar t of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein to the innovative works of the YBA’s with Tracey Emin and Damien Hurst.

8 St Mary's Hill, Stamford PE9 2DP, 01780 762288 8 Bailgate, Lincoln LN1 3AE, 01522 589134



Walking the Food Walk at Burghley Horse Trials 31 August – 3 September 2017

Right in the centre of the trade-stand area of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, the Burghley Food Walk offers a vibrant atmosphere, with wonderful cooking aromas and a plethora of ingredients to satisfy even the most ardent foodie. Deborah Pennell relishes the chance to profile three local businesses who bring something extra to the Burghley Food Walk experience, and lists some other businesses that are definitely worth a visit.

FEN FARM VENISON Contact: Jane Wesley “We take pride and delight in producing our venison, all year round, to an extraordinary standard.” How many years have you had a stand on the Food Walk at Burghley Horse Trials? We have been on the Food Walk at Burghley since 2013. Is Fen Farm Venison a family-run business? We are very much a family-run business – there is myself, Jane Wesley, my husband Peter and father-in-law Brian who are all partners, and my mother-in-law Janet is also a member of the team. Our children, Alice and Tom, can frequently be found helping on our stall at farmers’ markets and shows. What percentage of your business is online sales, compared to farmers’ markets and shows? Online business is a small percentage of what we do at present, but it is an area we are keen to expand. We updated our website last year and that has helped us see a steady increase in sales. Otherwise we can be found at a huge number of farmers’ markets around the area, and also at many shows. Burghley Horse Trials is by far the largest event we take part in.



What hours do you tend to work during Burghley week? We work exceptionally long hours during Burghley, arriving on site by 7am, and it can be 6pm before we leave. Once we are home, we clean down, wash up and restock for the next day. The amount of product we take is based on the previous year, so hopefully we do not need to set to and make more burgers when we get home in the evening! Having four consecutive days makes it tough, and you are certainly ready to put your feet up at the end of the show! What products do you take to Burghley Horse Trials? We bring our complete range of fresh meat – burgers and sausages, casserole, mince, steaks, joints and fillets. On site, we cook our own home-cured bacon, venison burgers and venison steaks, offered in a white or wholemeal roll made for us by Pocklington’s, and we use the tasty, local Cote Hill “Yellow Belly” cheese – no Kraft slices here! We also cook wild boar sausages, purchased from a local game dealer. Our wild boar sausage and home-cured bacon breakfast bap is delicious, exceptional value and extremely popular. An interesting fact about your product. Venison is high in iron, low in cholesterol and lower in fat than skinned chicken, making it incredibly healthy. What is your favourite thing about Burghley Horse Trials? We just love everything about Burghley – it is such a prestigious event and we have built up quite a following over the years. We love to see all our customers year after year. The shopping is fantastic too! Have you a favourite event rider? It has to be William Fox-Pitt.

THE BROWNIE COMPANY Contact: Amanda Hamblin “Simply the gooiest, moistest, chocciest, yummiest Brownie you’ll find!” How many years have you had a stand on the Food Walk at Burghley Horse Trials? This will be our seventh year at Burghley, and I cannot believe how quickly that time has gone! We love Burghley, as customers come back to see us year after year. Is The Brownie Company a family-run business? The team is myself, Amanda Hamblin – I make all the brownies – and my husband, son and two daughters, and anyone else I can rope in to lend a hand on the stand! What hours do you work during Burghley? I’ve been known to be baking until 4am during past Burghleys. Although this is exhausting at the time, it does mean customers are choosing us, and that really keeps me going. Have you an interesting statistic about The Brownie Company relating to Burghley? I use roughly 1,000 free-range eggs and about 50kg of premium-quality Belgian dark chocolate for the four days at Burghley. Which is your most popular brownie? I will have eight flavours of brownie on the stand this year. As for a favourite type, you just never know from one show to the next which ones are going to sell out first, but personally I have a real soft spot for the Sour Cherry Brownie. I soak cherries in cherry brandy overnight to create an amazingly intense flavour. Any great memories of previous Burghley Horse Trials? I always wish we managed to see more horses and riders at Burghley, but we do not usually get the chance. As a family we are huge Leicester Tigers rugby fans, and one year two of our favourite players happened to be sitting in the seating area near our stand; I couldn’t resist giving them a free brownie each to give me a reason to say “hello”. To my delight, later that day they came back and bought a whole batch of brownies, as they said they had enjoyed them so much! That was a highlight.


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

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


OUT & ABOUT ideal for sweet and savoury dishes. Pure raw honey is a wonderful natural sweetener and sugar substitute. What is your rarest honey and where does it come from? Our Raw Zambezi Plains Organic Honey is a gold star award-winning rare organic honey, found in the remote Miombo forests, located at the head of the Zambezi River in Zambia. In Zambia they keep their bees in trees and harvest a very strong honey from the dense jungle pollen. My work with the local beekeepers in Zambia means I can offer this unusual and rare honey.

OGILVY’S HONEY Contact: Shamus Ogilvy “Ogilvy’s, awardwinning pure raw honey is known for great texture and quality, and above all, for truly great taste!” How many years have you had a stand on the Food Walk at Burghley Horse Trials (BHT)? This is Ogilvy’s fourth year at BHT and we are delighted to be here again. Is Ogilvy’s a family-run business? Yes, founded by myself, Shamus Ogilvy. I am also known as The Honey Hunter – my mission is to search the UK and worldwide for quintessential pure honeys. My team includes my right-hand man Emma, Penny who looks after PR, Nick the website guru and Steve on sales. What percentage of your business is online sales, compared to farmers’ markets and shows, etc? We sell across a number of retail platforms – online, supermarkets, Ocado and Amazon, farm shops, delis and health-food outlets. What hours do you tend to work during Burghley week? All day, and everyday throughout Burghley – it is great to meet our customers and get feedback, and it’s a fantastic event for introducing new honey and flavours. An interesting fact about the company. Ogilvy’s offer a Honey Subscription service, an easy way to discover delicious, pure raw honey monthly – perfect for honey lovers, foodies or as a gift. You choose your subscription – 3 months, 6 months or 12 months – and receive honey, a recipe and special offers. Each honey has a different amazing flavour,



Which is your most popular honey? Traditionally the Himalayan, but recently the Raw Australian Jarrah, our natural healing honey, is seeing an increase in popularity. Have you a favourite recipe using one of the honeys? Our favourite recipe at the moment is a Summer Berry Smoothie, using the naturally healing Jarrah honey. Jarrah has a wonderful smooth, syrupy flavour and is delicious with sharp berries and creamy yoghurt – a great combination. This smoothie will give you energy and a feelgood vibe. What is your favourite thing about Burghley Horse Trials? We love to meet our customers face to face and to talk honey! I have a complete passion for bees and honey and enjoy teaching people about the benefits of raw honey, and divulging tips on cooking with honey. Have you a favourite event rider? William Fox-Pitt.

DIRECTORY Some other local businesses who feature in the food walk at Burghley: Chocolate Alchemy Specialists in luxury artisan chocolates. Dickinson & Morris Traditional bakery, specialising in Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, plus sausages and English cheeses. Duck Fat Roasties Pop-up event caterers offering delicious Maris Piper roasties – their roasted potatoes with cheese and gravy come highly recommended. Hedgerow Cordials Exciting, award-winning cordials. Launde Farm Foods and The Marquess of Exeter This collaboration of talented chef and award-winning lamb produce flavourful wraps – a great lunchtime treat. Munchy Seeds A range of delicious toasted seed mixes. Pipers Crisp Co. Natural potato crisps using local potatoes in four flavours. Saint Valentines Liquorice All things liquorice. Two Birds Spirits A collection of great-tasting British spirits. The Whiskymouse A comprehensive selection of whiskies.


Is it time to re-discover your hearing?

Missing the odd word during the conversation? Having to turn the TV up? If these situations sound familiar you may benefit from a free hearing assessment. Healthy Hearing are your local hearing experts. With many years of experience we are dedicated to providing a comprehensive hearing healthcare service and finding the best solutions for your needs. Call us for: • Free expert hearing advice • Free lifestyle hearing assessments • Free trials of the latest digital hearing aid technology • Home visits available

Call us today for your FREE hearing assessment

01780 759133 Stamford Hearing Centre, No 1 The Old Police House, Cliff Road, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 1AB

With our help your hearing can only get better.


UPDATES Charity Fashion Show

Wednesday 11th October


ALLY Stillingfleet writes: Last year we did a feature on the Doctors and Nurses of the Thorpe Hall Hospice. Now in a town-wide event we are hoping to raise money for the Hospice by holding a fantastic charity Fashion Show celebrating the fantastic work done there. By joining forces together Stamford’s local independent shops will showcase their Autumn/ Winter Fashion in the ballroom of the Stamford Arts Centre. Come and see the Doctors and Nurses alongside local faces on the catwalk and enjoy a fun evening with amazing raffle prizes generously donated by the shops and their suppliers. They are all an inspiration, to the patients they care for, for their families and for the Peterborough area to have this special Hospice on our doorstep. Although the end journey is inevitable it is filled with compassion, care and commitment, so please join us in helping to raise as much money possible. Arch Label Agency, Attic, Energy, Gagliardi, Marcia May Shoes, Fizz generously kindly donated by Adnams, Canape’s by The Fine Food Store • Tickets are £20 each available from The Stamford Arts Centre – 27 St Mary’s Street, Stamford. Tel. 01780 763203; and from Energy – Ironmonger St, Stamford. Tel. 01780 765633

Hair in the future S

ALLY Stillingfleet writes: “I met hairstylist Laura Mackey at Garie Nigel’s. She has just achieved a fantastic result in a National Hair Awards competition in a new section called ‘Runway.’ A difficult category in that you are looking ahead (as in fashion) predicting hair trends and executing your best style on the day with a time-pressure slot into the mix, alongside the make-up she designed and the fashion too. “I think it’s great that salons encourage and support new burgeoning talent and recognise that inner confidence comes from putting yourself up against your peers in recognised awards such as this for Wella. She is thrilled to have got this far, and although she admitted she felt as if she was on autopilot she didn’t lose her cool. It also helps that her Garie Nigel family all went to Nottingham to support her, further emphasising her ability and new determination to make her mark on the hair world.” • Follow Laura’s work on Instagram – By Laura Jade. Model: Rosie King

BilinguaSing Bilingual singing and music classes for babies, toddlers and young children in Spanish or French. The first class is free - bring a friend too! Classes are in Stamford, Oakham and Bourne


ILINGUASING is an award-winning singing, music and movement class for parents, babies, toddlers and pre-school children to learn Spanish or French together in an entertaining and exciting way! The classes are designed to introduce young children to a second language in a natural and fun way - just as they learn their mother tongue. They sing popular rhymes and songs, accompanied by engaging, interactive props to stimulate the senses! No previous knowledge of languages is needed as we sing in English too. It is always amazing how quickly young children (and their parents!) are singing along in a foreign language. It really is infectious...come and join this action packed, bilingual singing adventure! • Contact details: or 07495 340726 or

Phonak’s ground-breaking Audeo B-R rechargeable hearing aids!


F you’re over 60 years old there’s a 25% chance you have a hearing loss; if you’re over 75 years there’s a 44% chance. Amazingly only a quarter of people with a hearing loss have ever done anything about it. Visit Healthy Hearing at their Open Day on Thursday 14th September and take advantage of a free hearing assessment and demonstration of the new ‘Audeo B-R’ from Swiss hearing aid designers Phonak. The ‘Audeo B-R’ is the first ever rechargeable hearing aid that provides 24 hours of hearing with one simple charge. In February 2017, Phonak ‘Audeo B-R’ won the prestigious iF DESIGN AWARD for outstanding product design.

Phonak rechargeable hearing aids are the quickest charging hearing aids on the market and come with a variety of easy-to-use smart charging options, to charge up wherever you are, without having to worry about running out of power. • Simply call 01780 759133 to book an appointment or call in on the day at Healthy Hearing Ltd, Stamford Hearing Centre, No 1 the Old Police House, Cliff Road, Stamford, PE9 1AB. Alternatively, a free home visit can be arranged at a convenient time to suit you. 9am–5pm.




UPDATES The Flower House goes online T

HE Flower House on St Mary’s Street has sadly just closed on St Mary’s St. However, Tracy Burr, the owner, told SL; “All aspects of the business will remain the same other than the high street presence. Orders for gift bouquets can be placed in the usual way via the same telephone number or website, with local deliveries as normal. Together with my silk flower collection, being available to order online. “My business is evolving in such a way, that I feel I no longer need a high street presence. It has been a fantastic 3 years; here at St Mary’s, I’ve met some amazing people, although it’s time to move on and take the business home, to free up my time form the constraints of running a high street shop and to pursue my wedding business together with my love of photography. I also plan to launch my new wedding planning and styling business in the autumn, plus become a stylist for Stella & Dot Jewellery, together with my existing floral business.” • Find the Flower House now at

Fotheringhay Furnishings F

OTHERINGHAY Furnishings is a new venture refurbishing, rejuvenating and up-cycling unloved pieces of furniture. It was founded by Darren Fountain, a former member of the Armed Forces and more recently a retired police officer who has decided that 50 is far too early to retire! Having always been in his element tinkering around in his ‘Man Cave’, he has decided to follow his ambition and start his own business doing something he really enjoys. Darren told SL: “Over the past year I have completed several woodworking courses and chalk painting design/technique workshops along with a traditional French Polishing course. I use the best materials available to me – Annie Sloan paints and waxes are my preferred mediums to create bespoke finishes. There really is no substitute for quality. I am willing to undertake commission works upon consultation, undertaking projects from my workshop, which is based in Tansor, just outside Oundle.” • If you would like to see some of Darren’s work, then call him on 07947 577825, visit or email

Flowers & photo by the Flower House

Ride and Stride in support of the Rutland Historic Churches Preservation Trust Saturday, September 9th


ICTURE a quaint English village in your mind and chances are there’ll be a church right at the heart of it. These wonderfully historic buildings are an intrinsic part of our landscape – we love to see them standing proud in our towns and villages, whether we worship in them or not. Most of us expect them to be there and available to us for some of the most important family days of our lives, be those weddings, christenings or sadly, funerals. However, we conveniently forget that churches cost a great deal of money to keep going and stay upright. Often, they fall into disrepair long before we realise we might lose them. Sometimes they are vandalised, their lead roofs ripped off by thieves

or they are just left to disintegrate. Rutland Historic Churches Preservation Trust (RHCPT) is doing something about this. The organisation raises money and distributes it to those churches most in need of major repair, or just some TLC. You can help and have some fun into the bargain. On Saturday, September 9th all – or nearly all – of Rutland’s 64 churches will be open to the public for the day during the biennial ‘Ride and Stride’ fund-raising event around the county’s villages. You can ride a bike, a horse or a cart. You can walk, run or hobble. You are welcome to get sponsorship for your efforts or simply donate to the cause and in return you get to enjoy some exercise in glorious countryside and visit churches you might not have been to before.

Alternatively, you can help by manning your local church for an hour or so during the day to welcome visitors. This year the Trust is also working with Anglian Water enabling you to do a special ‘Ride and Stride’ around Rutland Water – how beautiful is that? You can work out your own route using the specialist ‘Rutland Churches Create a Route’ software available on the Trust’s website (see below). Refreshments will be provided in nearly all of the Rutland churches and there will be someone at each one to sign your sponsorship form and dish out treats. There are prizes on offer too – for the person (or team) who visits the most churches and for the most outstanding walking achievement. • For more information and to print off your sponsorship form visit the website www. or check out the Trust’s Facebook page Ride and Stride Rutland STAMFORD LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017


A little eAting A little treat for my two is a lunch or dinner out and Cosy Club on Horseshoe Lane, Stamford offering a fail-safe yet inspiring kids menu with true child-friendly portions that don’t revolve around chips and nuggets. Classic favourites such as fish fingers and macaroni cheese sit alongside a tapas plate with hummus and meatballs and they provide plastic cutlery for toddlers and babies. There’s the added bonus of a toy box to keep the small ones entertained, colouring pencils and even a good background noise level so there are no problems if the children are a little loud! Cosy Club Stamford, 01780 767710

A little shopping

Toby adores anything animal and the latest zoo back pack range from Skip Hop (£20) is sure to top every child’s back-to-school wish list. The complementary insulated lunch bags (£14) and drinks bottles (£6) are a great addition. Loads of designs are in store now at Marcia May Mini. Marcia May Mini, St Mary’s Street, Stamford, 01780 754400

LittLe Living With the return to school there are still plenty of activities for all members of the family to enjoy as Louise Goss discovers with her two little helpers, Toby and Freya.

A little doing The Summer strawberries may all be over but with the onset of Autumn there are still lots of wonderful fruits and vegetables ready to harvest at Hill Farm Pick Your Own in Chesterton. Toby loved helping to find the juiciest blackberries and loaded up his punnet of gooseberries ready for us to take home for a baking session. Gooseberry crumble anyone? It was all followed by some swinging and climbing in the play area and topped off with a drink and slice of cake at the café. The farm has several fields full of fruit bushes and flowers, with plenty of space for little ones to explore; we even had no problem taking the pushchair up and down the rows. Treat yourself to a jar of home-made jam from the farm shop or pick enough to take away and make your own. Call in advance to see what’s ripe for picking: 01733 233270 Open until end of October


nother must for your diaries this month is Stamford’s Georgian Festival when the town comes alive with entertainment and tales from a bygone era. There is a packed timetable of free events down at The Meadows where children can experience all sorts from the galloping acrobatic display to meeting the highwaymen of the Great North Road. The traditional Punch and Judy shows are sure to delight or for something different, why not throw them into a bit of drill training with the Coldstream guards on the Saturday afternoon? There will be creative workshops at the Arts Centre and the Town Hall hosts some fun and educational family shows about life as a slave to the gory tales of the barber’s chair. The Saturday night bull run procession culminates in fireworks in Red Lion Square – not to be missed. Georgian Festival: 21 - 24 Sep Tickets to some events can be purchased online: www. 01780 763203,



A little playing Now term time has begun, The Yard in Stamford starts its new schedule of fun for the youngest members of the family. A firm favourite in our household; this is where parents can relax with a cake and cuppa while the kids let off steam in the safe soft play areas. Toby and Freya spent all their energy getting down to Boogie and Bounce with Molly as the children jumped, span, stomped and clapped their way through half an hour of music and games. The sessions run every Tuesday at 2.15pm during term time. For some creative play, you can let their imaginations run wild with crafts based on some classic children’s stories in Scribble and Dribble for 2-years and up on Thursday mornings at 10.30am. When everyone is exhausted from playing there are some child-friendly lunches and snacks available and a few little treats as well. The Yard, Stamford, 01780 480610

The latest laser and injectable cosmetic procedures performed by fully qualified GP or Nurse Practitioner Laser Treatments Include:


• Laser tattoo removal • IPL photo-rejuvenation asses s c onsul ment • Hair removal tation • Rosacea & facial redness • Facial & leg veins & vascular lesions • Pigmented skin lesions & sun damage

All in addition to our usual range of Medical Aesthetic Treatments:

• Muscle relaxing injections for lines & wrinkles • 8 point non-surgical face lift • Non-surgical 15 minute Rhinoplasty • Volite & Restylane Vital skin rejuvenation • Juvederm & Restylane dermal fillers • Silhouette Soft Thread lifts • Treatment for excessive underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis) • Minor surgical procedures including mole removal & non-scalpel vasectomy 01476 550056

The Market Cross Surgery, Bourne Road, Corby Glen, Lincs NG33 4BB



Best new beauty products and treatments Genevieve Potter tracks down the best new beauty products and treatments to try out this Autumn

An exciting new chapter for Renaissance After 23 years successful trading, Renaissance has moved to new premises at 15 Maiden Lane. The new, larger salon now incorporates hairdressing. Owner Fiona Hood comments: “ We’re continuing to offer our high tech treatments and cosmeceuticals like CACI IPL hair removal, Thermavein thread vein removal, electrolysis, needle-free mesotherapy, and semi-permanent make-up, but our change of location means that we now also offer sports therapy massage and hairdressing. “Andy Henson offers excellent sports massage and many of our clients know him from Westside Gym. Andy is passionate about health and fitness and will be able to help anyone with sports injuries or post workout muscle fatigue. “Hairdressing uses the Organic Colour Systems range. These products are the first ever range of permanent hair colours made from the maximum amount of certified organic ingredients, and the minimum amount of chemicals. They are ethically sourced, not tested on animals, vegetarian and vegan, and are free from ammonia. The brand’s carbon footprint is really low and all of the packaging is recyclable.” An official launch evening is being held at the salon on Thursday 28th September between 6 and 9pm.Existing and new clients will be made very welcome. • Renaissance, 15 Maiden Lane , Stamford, PE9 2AZ 01780 763768 PHOTO: ELLI DEAN

Venus Viva at Elysia LIPOFIRM PRO at Equilibrium If you’re determined to tone up this autumn, you can get a helping hand at Equilibrium with LIPOFIRM PRO. The system has won a raft of beauty industry awards for its effectiveness in inch loss, body sculpting and tightening and reducing the appearance of cellulite. It combines two technologies – TriLipo Radiofrequency (RF) and TriLipo Dynamic Muscle Activation (DMA). Working simultaneously using a single applicator, RF and DMA deliver non-invasive fat removal and lymphatic drainage, as well as skin tightening. The science is compelling; deep heating combined with internal muscle contraction and external mechanical force yield maximum fat removal and lymphatic drainage, as well as skin tightening. A visible difference can be seen from the first treatment with long term body shaping achieved in a course of eight treatments. Multiple body areas can be worked on at the same time – whether that’s bottom and legs, facial contouring or just about anything in between! Treatments take 30 minutes and there’s no recovery time. Stamford Living Reader Offer - Book in for a Lipofirm treatment before 30th September 2017 and pay just £75 (usually £100) for one body area and receive a second body area for £50 (usually £80). Both areas will be treated at the same appointment and this offer is subject to availability, and excludes Saturdays. • Equilibrium, 7 St Paul’s Street, Stamford, PE9 2BE 01780 757579



If you’re looking to invest in a treatment that will visibly improve your skin, Venus Viva should be at the top of your list. Salon owner Lisa has been seeing excellent results since she introduced this award-winning treatment to Elysia two years ago and explains why it’s so effective: “Venus Viva is based on two technologies. Firstly, precise and controlled needling, that causes the skin to produce lots of new plumping collagen and elastin. Secondly, radio frequency, that passes through to the deeper level of the dermis to tighten and tone. “The treatment is based on years of research and development and is completely safe. Clients love the fact that it has minimal downtime, although there may be some redness immediately after the treatment. “To achieve optimum results, a course of four is usually required. The frequency of treatments will be based on what we’re trying to achieve, whether that’s reducing the appearance of acne scarring, large pores or wrinkles, or even treating rosacea. My clients notice that the results get better and better throughout their course as skin renews and improves.” Autumn is an ideal time to start a course of Venus Viva to repair summer sun damage, and Lisa is offering an exclusive discount of £100 for a course of four treatments when you mention Stamford Living at the time of booking (offer is subject to availability). • Elysia Health & Beauty, Tansor, Oundle, PE8 5HP 01832 226328

Gorgeous hair and nails at Francesca Alexander

Revitalising oil at Ivy Lodge The Ivy Lodge is excited to introduce the newest addition to the Elemis range; ProCollagen Marine Oil (£65). Set to become a cult beauty product, it’s remarkable for its intensely nourishing properties that effectively target the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In trials, 87% of testers agreed that their skin looked revitalized after regular use. And if you purchase the new ProCollagen Marine Oil from The Ivy Lodge you’ll receive 10% off any Elemis facial, taken during September and October 2017 (subject to availability, please mention Stamford Living at the time of booking). • The Ivy Lodge, Stamford Garden Centre, Great Casterton, PE9 4BB 01780 766583

Laser hair removal at Flawless Body Flawless Body at Scotgate offer the most advanced Lumenis Lightsheer laser hair removal. The system is clinically proven to be more effective and less painful than other laser or light systems on the market and it utilises two different hand pieces so that each treatment is fully customised to the client. Flawless Body are happy to see new clients for a noobligation consultation and are offering 20% off all laser hair removal courses booked during September 2017 (subject to availability, please mention Stamford Living at the time of booking). • Flawless Body, 18a Scotgate, Stamford PE9 2YQ 01780 660301

Francesca Alexander’s beauty team have introduced a new nail service this autumn. Artistic Colour is a soft gel system for nails that applies like regular polish but can last two to three weeks. The products can be thinly applied for a natural look, layered for bold colour and even mixed for a customised shade. The polish wears without dulling and there are 140 shades to choose from, from classic, metallic, glitter and neon. When you’re ready for a change, the soak-off formulation is easily removed with Artistic Colour Product Remover in just 10-12 minutes and the soaking process means there is no damage to the nail. During September, Stamford Living readers can enjoy Artistic Colour application for fingers and toes for the special price of £50 (subject to availability, please mention Stamford Living at the time of booking). And there are some brilliant new hair products available at the salon, including bumble and bumble hair invisible oil cleansing crème duo. Perfect for very dry hair, it’s a low-foam cleanser and moisturising product designed in a dual chamber to give the gentlest of washes, leaving the hair’s natural oils intact. It’s formulated without sulfates, phthalates or parabens. To nourish post-Summer hair, during September 2017, Stamford Living readers can enjoy a conditioning treatment from the bumble and bumble treatment bar, plus a signature blow-dry, for £30 (subject to availability, please mention Stamford Living at the time of booking). • Francesca Alexander, 7 Ironmonger Street, Stamford, PE9 1PL 01780 482888

The launch of Chillkids Lynsey Saker of BeWell massage is launching Chillkids, a weekly evening session held over four weeks that’s designed to teach children to manage stress, in order to prepare for their lives as young adults, but more importantly, for their current well-being.

New lashes at Natalie Dams Natalie Dams is renowned for brows but now also have their own in-house lash specialist, who is available every Friday. Kim offers individual, natural lashes or more dramatic Russian lashes that last around 2-3 weeks. A patch test is required 48 hours ahead of appointments. Natalie and the team have also switched their ‘lash lift’ system, explaining that the original ‘LVL’ lashes formula had changed and wasn’t offering clients sufficient lift and definition.The new system gives superior results, with lashes appearing longer, curlier and more defined. Pop in for a patch test and more details. • Natalie Dams Beauty, 13a St Paul’s Street, Stamford PE9 2BE 01780 238639

Lynsey explains: “Children have to cope with homework, after school activities, social media, and sometimes too many classmates and too much noise. Ultimately this can lead to them feeling overwhelmed. However, since many parents struggle with this type of stress themselves, who can teach their kids to deal with the increased pace of life in a healthy way? I believe Chillkids can play an important role. “At a basic level, there are many ways to stimulate the secretion of oxytocin by physical contact, like hugging a friend or family member. As well as this respectful and consensual touch, many cultures also have some form of massage as a way to benefit children and young people. “Chillkids will build on this ethos, giving young participants effective tools for coping with modern life; including correct breathing, stretching, massage and relaxing, all presented in a fun and interactive way.” Classes run weekly over four weeks and are suitable for children aged 4-12. Participants will receive a certificate at the end of the course. At Ryhall Village Hall, the Chillkids course starts on Thursday 7th September, from 430-515pm. At Nene Valley Community Centre, Candy Street, Peterborough, the Chillkids course starts on Tuesday 12th September, from 430 -515pm. Spaces are limited and booking is essential – please contact Lynsey to find out more. • 07861 732792 STAMFORD LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017


RenaissanceHealth Hair, & Health and Beauty Therapy Therapy Health & Beauty Beauty Therapy 15allory MaIden, Slane, StaMford. 22M Malloryllane ane, StaMford taMford t tel el.. 01780 01780763768 763768 tel. 01780 763768 Some names in WE HAVE Some of of the the most most trusted trusted namesMOVED in beauty... beauty... all all under under one one roof. roof. Come and visit our beautiful new hair and beauty salon at 15 Maiden Lane, Stamford.

Established for 22 years we are specialists in CACI, Needle-free Mesotherapy, Microdermabrasion, Chemical peels, Dermaroller, Cosmeceuticals, IPL hair removal, Electrolysis and Thread vein, Skin tag and milia removal, all aspects of beauty therapy available. Also now available, sports therapy massage, semi permanent makeup and microblading.

New hair salon now open using Organic Colour Systems products and colour which are organic, vegan and ammonia free.

Specialist in high tec & aesthetic treatments and cosmeceutical products for exceptional results.

Specialists Specialists in in hi hi tech tech treatments treatments and and cosmeceuticals cosmeceuticalsELVAEUNNCH ThursdayING Septemb2e8th r 6-9 renaissancestamford



UPDATES Get back to what you love doing… I

T’S that heart stopping moment. You bend, twist, lunge or lift and feel that all-familiar pain return. Be it an old injury that’s come back to haunt you or a new injury that still catches you when you least expect it – it’s a feeling we all desperately want to avoid. Fortunately, most injuries are minor – accompanied by a little pain and discomfort that lasts a day or so. Others can be debilitating. Back pain, in particular, can see sufferers’ entire lives change as they look for ways to manage their discomfort and avoid scenarios that make it worse; forcing changes to their social lives, families and careers. “One of the greatest issues I see with patients,” says Dr Hany Elmadbouh, founder and lead consultant at Avicenna Clinic based in central Peterborough, “is the amount of time that has passed before they receive treatment. Some of this is because of waiting lists. Other times it is due to their own delays in seeking a referral in the first place. “What perhaps started as a relatively minor niggle a few weeks previous can quickly escalate to complete immobility. “I recently treated a patient who was in complete agony. Having felt a slight niggle in the weeks leading up to his injury, he had been feeling the tell-tale signs of a previous injury; a bulged disk he had suffered from 8 years previous. Without significant discomfort, he simply went about his life as normal, making the slightest and unconscious changes to his normal movement. So, when he was rendered completely immobile having bent down to pick up his shampoo in the shower, it was a big shock. “Luckily, following a referral from his Osteopath, I was able to see him very quickly. We carried out a diagnostic MRI Scan. He was a text book case of someone who was in a pain cycle. Unable to stand up straight or carry out normal movement, the only way his condition was going to

Older Persons’ Day – Oct 1st Prestons Health, now based within David Lloyd Club in Thorpe Wood (Peterborough) and Oundle Surgery, is working with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to help promote Older Persons Day on 1st October.


RESTONS Health offers bespoke Physiotherapy and/or Podiatry assessment to help the Older Person. This helps ensure they maintain or regain their fitness levels to do all the valued activities that they wish to do: whether it be in the garden, walking, housework or more vigorous pursuits. Too many people



improve was if we could reduce his pain significantly enough for him to resume normal movement again. “We performed a selective nerve root injection, as a first course of treatment, after which he could be referred to a spinal surgeon if it did not work. And I’m pleased to say that the procedure was successful enough that he has staved off the need for any surgery for the time being. “There were two factors in play with this case that serve as a good example for the level of success we saw. First – due to his busy schedule he sought treatment quickly and didn’t allow the pain cycle to fully take hold. Secondly, the treatment we were able to deliver off the back of a very clear diagnosis – courtesy of the MRI Scan meant that we were both alleviating the symptoms and enabling him to get back to his usual movement patterns.” My advice to patients suffering from any sort of pain is to seek treatment as quickly as you can. The improvement in results you will see and reduction in longer-term associated issues are not to be underestimated.” Avicenna Clinic, which recently opened the doors to its flagship purpose-renovated building in Peterborough city centre, is an independent, consultant-led private healthcare practice offering personalised health care to self-pay and insured patients. Patients attending the clinic can often make a same day appointment, see a consultant, begin diagnostics and receive a treatment plan all in a single visit. The difference that makes to their mind-set, sense of wellbeing and longer-term prognosis can’t be underestimated. • To find out more or book an appointment, call the Avicenna Clinic on 0330 202 0597 or visit

believe that ageing means inevitable pain and restriction of mobility and Prestons Health are on a mission to help change those beliefs! Getting older can be and should be a stimulus to getting stronger and moving more in order to fully enjoy life! The initial physiotherapy assessment lasts up

to an hour, where one of the team will assess their individual issue by first taking a good history and then by having a detailed look at their problem. This normally involves looking at their lifestyle and home circumstances, physical activity levels, pain history, beliefs about their condition, sleep and medical issues and then formulating an agreed treatment plan to address the holistic factors that surface during the assessment. One of the most significant feedback that Prestons receives from patients who have been through the treatment programme is how their mindset has changed into their condition which focuses on all the things that they can do (and building from there), rather than those that they cannot. In addition, the podiatry team at Prestons can also offer advice around any feet issues that may be preventing them from good mobility and walking potential. • For more information, or to have a chat with one of the team, please call 01733565911 or visit www.prestonshealth., where online booking is available.

Exclusive to Stamford Living readers. Please mention offer when booking.

See how we are applying emerging evidence and deep industry knowledge in the successful management of low back pain here: our-specialities/low-back-pain Call today on 01733 565911 or visit us at


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OMETIMES you’re enveloped in someone’s story so much it feels as if you’ve seen the beauty they’ve seen in the world, heard the songs that made them fall in love with music, held the objects they’ve touched or tasted the exotic dishes they’ve savoured. And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, you meet more than one person who makes you feel like that. At the same time. And so it came to be that I found myself in The Cosy Club on a Friday morning as the warm breeze ushered in the lazy brunchers and the coffee drinking couples. And among them was Ana Ruiz and husband Regis Chaperon (“like Lyme Regis”, he enunciates as I pause with my pen over the page). First setting eyes on each other while they studied in Italy, sculptor Ana and stonemason Regis had already travelled some distance before their meeting, but we bound by their love of stone – its texture, form and patina. Ana was born in Spain and Regis, in France. And now, they’re happily settled in Stamford with their daughters. You probably walk past their work everyday but have no idea that their hands touched that stone. The Eleanor Cross spireshaped sculpture outside the Golden Fleece was commissioned by Lincolnshire County Council who wanted to restore the memorial that had originally been there in the 1290s (one of 12 that were erected across the country as a tribute to the wife of King Edward I, Eleanor of Castile). By 2009, all that remained of the monument was a carved stone rose and lead artist Wolfgang Buttress asked Pierre Bidaud and the couple for their help. Perhaps too, you’ve seen the engraved Milestone made of Clipsham stone that sits on Red Lion Street in front of All Saints “We love the town,” says Ana with a beautiful Spanish lilt that makes me think of holidays, “We’ve only been here a year but we feel more connected here, to the traditions of stone, than we’ve ever done anywhere else.” High praise indeed considering the couple worked and lived in Carrara, known for its exquisite white marble which featured heavily in ancient Rome’s most famous sculptures and was the material for Michelangelo’s Pieta, which has spent its days in St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City since its

Ana and Regis on Tempus Fugit: “Tempus Fugit” is a street furniture project by The Stone Carving Company. Two armchairs in massive blocks of travertine made to contemplate the sunset in the sea of San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy.

inception in 1499. Further afield even, is a marble cloister in an Orthodox church in the US. They’ve even sent a podium all the way to Hong Kong. “We travelled the world meeting other makers and learning about their craft and Italy opened our eyes to the possibilities,” says Regis as he pauses to finish off his espresso, “We had expected very traditional pieces but found modern sculptures and yes, we were surprised.” Creating work for art’s sake and working to commission, in 2007 they worked with Barnack-based garden designer Adam Frost on his Chelsea Flower Show including one of their sculptures. It won gold. Currently on the lookout for a new studio, their private commissions are growing as more people seek a unique piece for their homes and gardens and this is part of the work they love the most. “We’d love to work closely people to make their ideas come to life. There’s a great history of calligraphy here too and we’ve worked on letter carvings for house names and plaques,” says Regis. Some of Ana’s sculptures are on show at Stamford Garden Centre if you want a closer look but there’s no substitute for meeting the couple themselves and seeing stone though their eyes. As material that will only become more beautiful as it becomes part of the landscape of your life. • To find out more or discuss a commission, visit:




Stamford Welland School of Dancing T

HE Stamford Welland School of Dancing (WSD) is one of Stamford’s oldest cultural institutions, having taught three generations of families in the Stamford area. First founded in 1964 by Mrs Susan Mitchell Smith, the school quickly rose to become one of the oldest and largest dance schools in the UK under the expertise of Anne Desbruslais and her husband David and latterly Miss Maggie Purr and her husband James. So, it came as a huge shock to the entire community when earlier this year they discovered that their beautiful ballroom studio, home for the past 22 years was going to be turned into luxury residential apartments. The ballroom studio makes up what is part of the Stamford Walk premises, formerly the Stamford Hotel. Principal Maggie Purr admitted: “We were absolutely shocked and devastated when we found out the news. It felt like our heart had been ripped out. But I could not believe the positivity of the responses and support that flowed in from all the families. Everybody kept telling me to stay positive and that something better will come of this”. And they were right, the Welland School of Dancing has managed to find an even bigger and even better home in Broad Street, at the former Stamford Museum. Work started in August refurbing the reception, creating a dance shop, and new downstairs studio ready to open their doors this month. “We are so excited,” says Maggie. “We are going to have

two studios, so we can pretty much double our current timetable.” Alongside offering RAD ballet, ISTD tap and modern and Hip Hop, WSD will be opening new acro classes, pointework classes for beginners up to advanced level, character and national classes, ballet based stretch and conditioning, and ‘mini -groovers’, a pre-school tap and modern class for 3-4-year olds. For adults, Harri Green from Core Performance Pilates starts Pilates; Jon Sheehan and Vicky Player from Stamford Tri Club are opening some exciting new fitness classes; Glenn Roberts from TMP Training Made Personal will be introducing Stamford Squat; and Stamford Stretch, a fusion of Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga. Alongside opening evening classes

for her ever popular Xtend barre classes, Henri Tatton is bringing Darcey Bussell’s new dance class Diverse Dance. • For further details on all the classes on offer at Welland School of Dancing and to enrol for the new term visit their website If you run a health, fitness or wellbeing class in the Stamford area and are interested in piloting your classes at WSD new premises then get in touch

The Seasons Art Class R

ACHEL Beecroft writes; “It’s fair to say I’ve haven’t done any ‘art’ since my school days (which is a long time ago!) However, I used to enjoy drawing as a teenager and felt a dabble was long overdue, so signed up to a 12-week course with The Seasons Art Class held at Yarwell Village Hall each week. “Yes, I was a little nervous… but it was unfounded! Chatting with my fellow artists on the course, I discovered some beginners like me. All the materials were provided and our delightful instructors Mike and Helen were full of encouragement, giving plenty of techniques and tips on a variety of media, which included pencil drawing, watercolours, acrylics and oil pastels. “I’m now inspired by everything around me, noticing colours and shapes and thinking how I can manifest these visions onto paper! My confidence has grown week by week as I attempt new pieces and I’m already looking forward to the next course starting this month so I can continue to develop my skills and create my own original art. For absolute beginners or improvers, just like me… you will love this course!” • For information on dates, course fees and bookings call now on 01832 273749



The Stamford Festival Charity Golf Tournament T

HE Stamford Festival Charity Golf Tournament was held at Burghley Park on Friday 30 June 2017 with 20 teams (4 balls) competing this year. Over £2,000 was raised on the day and it will be distributed to local charities. The course was in pristine condition and the organisers would like to thank the golf club for their generosity. They would also like to thank the Seniors Captain and his assistants for all their hard work on the day. The 2017 winners were “Crestwood” with 112 points; Martin Bust, James Bust, Barry Dawson and Stuart Ward. • The event was organised by Duncan & Toplis Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers in Stamford. Next year’s event will be held on Friday 29 June 2018 and if you would like details please email

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Sir Mark Todd returns to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials – 38 years after his first visit Antonia Scott caught up with one of her childhood equestrian heroes


Why the return to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials? The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials has always been my favourite event. It comes at the end of the season and everyone looks forward to it. I first competed there in 1979 and I’ve been lucky enough to have won it five times. I’m returning this year to see if I can make it six. I’ll also be there in my new role as a Land Rover ambassador, which I am really looking forward to. Tell me a bit about the horse you will be riding? At the moment, I’m not sure which horses I’ll be taking to Burghley. It could be Leonidas II or NZB Campino, who have both competed there before. I also have a couple of younger horses who are moving well up the ranks and they might be ready for a crack at Burghley this year. What makes this event so special? Burghley House is like a fairy-tale castle and the park is simply glorious. It’s a beautiful part of the world and the fact that we can ride around there is just incredible. The atmosphere is always brilliant and it has an end-of-the-season celebration feel to it. Out of all the four-stars around the world, it is definitely the one I enjoy the most. How has it changed since 1987 – your first win there? It’s been great to watch how the event has grown over the years. In the early days, we’d be competing in front of crowds of about 20,000; now it is one of the most popular sporting events in the UK with over 160,000 spectators. When I first started competing,




Burghley used to be the event you competed at before attempting Badminton the following spring, but these days Burghley is the stronger of the two. With a horse stepping up to fourstar for the first time, I would always attempt one of the other four-star events before taking on Burghley. What makes someone a good three-day event rider? A good event rider must possess patience and calmness. It is not always going to go your way, which can be frustrating at times, but the worst thing you can do is loose your rag. You also need to be dedicated and maintain a positive attitude. Natural balance also helps. What qualities do you look for in an event horse? I like them to be at least 60% thoroughbred and have a good eye. They need to be reasonably correct in conformation and naturally balanced (so that I don’t have to work too hard). Most importantly they need to have a good attitude. How old were you when you started riding? I was six years old. My grandfather, who had a farm, got me a little white pony called Shamrock who I used to ride around his farm. One day my parents thought I probably should wear a hat and got me a policeman’s helmet to wear which they borrowed from a friend! I just used to ride Shamrock around the farm in my policeman’s helmet and that is how I learnt to ride. When did you know you wanted to do this for a living? In the early days, I always thought of it as a

hobby and that I would ride for a few years and then return to farming as a real job. In 1981 I’d been over in the UK, won Badminton, sold the horses and returned to farming. Then two years later I got a call from someone whose horse I had been riding in the UK asking if I would fly back over and ride it at Badminton. It was the moment that I realised I wanted to be doing this full time. What do you do when you’re not riding?! I love skiing. This year we went to Austria for the first time, which was fantastic. I try and hit the slopes for a week every year. Is 2017 your last year competing on the world stage, or are you aiming for another Olympics in 2020? I am just taking it one year at a time and seeing how I feel. I’d like to do the World Championships in 2018, and that is my main aim at the moment. After that, I’m going to see how I feel. Do you have fond memories of Stamford? I have many fond memories of great nights at The George. Every year I have competed at Burghley, I have always tried to go for one night at The George. It’s been run by the same people ever since I can remember – Mary and Lawrence Hoskins, who are wonderful people. No trip to Burghley is complete without a visit to The George. • Sir Mark Todd is a Land Rover ambassador. Land Rover has been at the heart of equestrian sport for over 30 years. For more information, visit


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As the season turns and plants start to die back, the bare bones of the garden start to appear again. It’s a good time to think about the hard landscaping and decide if your plot could do with some extra features. One easy project is a simple path. It provides a focal point and adds extra interest with texture. At this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, I spotted a number of attractive examples, from a beachy gravel and wooden path to a chic dark paved example in Charlie Bloom’s attractive Colour Box show garden. Gravel is the easiest and cheapest way to add a path and it’s a relatively straightforward DIY project. All you need is some gravel, weed suppressing membrane and some edging to prevent the stones from spilling out (try Jacksons Building Centre, 01780 764782). Small gravel is easier to walk on than large, but if you go too small with the stones, you may sink in. Mark out the length and shape of your path with wooden pegs and string or spray paint, then dig it out to a depth of about 6cm. Lay some weed-suppressing membrane and trim to fit. Pour the gravel in and rake it level. You may wish to add some more in a few weeks, after it has settled and the level drops. When planning your path, don’t forget that it needs to lead somewhere. You can make an end point by careful placing of an attractive garden bench, for example, flanked by two small trees in a pot.

OutDoOr LIviNg September: Make the most of your garden this season



Now is the time to prune late flowering summer shrubs to keep them vigorous and flowering well next year. Hedge trimmers can be heavy and difficult to wield but Stihl’s lightweight cordless model (HSA 45) with integral lithium-ion battery is a doddle to lift and weighs only just over 2kg. It has a 40-minute run time, so no frustrating enforced breaks. It costs £99 from approved Stihl stockists, including Peterborough Grass Machinery, Ivatt Way, PE3 7PG.


As the leaves start to turn, capture their beauty on fabric LEAF PRINTS You will need: A selection of leaves A sheet of soft foam or lino Biro (for soft foam) or sharp gouge tool (for the lino) Fabric printing ink A length of fabric (I used natural linen from Strawberry Fields fabric stall on Stamford market) Small roller An old towel • Making fabric inspired by the garden is so simple to do. All you need is a sheet of printing foam or lino (available from Colemans). Take some leaves, and draw around them on to a sheet of tracing paper. Transfer the shape to the lino or foam. Create some veins by gouging very lightly. Now cut out the entire shape so you have a small leaf-shaped stamp. • Apply a small blob of printing ink to a glass sheet (the inside of an old photo frame works well for small projects). Roll the ink with the roller until it forms an even coating. Apply to the stamp. Place your fabric on an old towel, and press the stamp on to the surface. Use a spoon to firmly press it down, using small circular motions to get an even coverage. Carefully peel away, and repeat.


As well as some classic late summer beauties such as Echinacea, with their glorious golden-brown flowers, I am enjoying the wild plants which always seem to be on the point of invading our plot from the field next to our garden. The pale pink blooms of the wild rose are long gone, but I look forward to the appearance of the scarlet rosehips around this time of the year. I put them in a vase with some travellers-joy (also called old man’s beard) and any berries that I can find in the surrounding hedgerows to make a seasonal display.


BRigHt IdeAs To BorRow Need some vegetable growing ideas to get you started? Join in a Riverford Farm Walk at Sacrewell Farm and see how the experts do it organically. You can also taste the veg in some freshly prepared dishes afterwards. Tickets cost £6 and the next walk takes place on September 20. For more information, email





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Post pedometer If you’re concerned about keeping healthy but don’t want to jog, cycle or swim, why not don a wristband that nags you to keep moving throughout your day! Kate Cadman tests which of the latest fitness trackers tick the right boxes Fitbit Charge 2 Heart rate monitor: Yes GPS: No Battery life: Up to 5 days Pros: Monitors strength exercises, lots of exercises Cons: No waterproofing or GPS Price: £119.99 This is a great tracker which has multi-sport modes, guided breathing sessions and interchangeable coloured wristbands. Samsung GearFit 2 Heart rate monitor: Yes GPS: Yes Battery life: 4 days Pros: Bright touchscreen, can alert a contact in a crisis Cons: Short battery life, not waterproof Price: £179.99 Samsung’s GearFit 2 has a stylish look with a touch screen and internal storage, meaning you can save music and can leave your smartphone at home.

Apple Watch Series 2 Heart rate monitor: Yes GPS: Yes Battery life: Up to 2 days Pros: Water-resistant Cons: Short battery life Price: £399 This watch is a phone, fitness tracker and watch all rolled into one.


HESE days we’re all told to take more responsibility for our wellbeing; “eat five-a day”, “avoid nasty fats and preservatives”, “do more exercise” - we’re constantly reminded. Now there is a relatively new wave of electronic trackers that will boss you into guilt-ridden walks around the block to achieve a certain predetermined number of steps - per hour and per day tracking your every move day and night! Fitness trackers of old counted steps and then estimated the distance you had travelled and the calories you had burned. Some of the latest iterations do so much more, monitoring heart rate, sleep patterns, altitude changes and sync this with an app on your smartphone, tablet or PC, allowing you to drill deeper into your activity. Many trackers have alarms and one tracker will even alert a predetermined contact if you get into trouble whilst out and about! Many have built-in GPS, but that is reflected in the price tag and drains the battery quickly. Oh, and of course, they often tell the time too! Only a minority of trackers are completely waterproof, but virtually all can withstand sweat and rain. Battery life ranges enormously from a few days to several months depending on the type you opt for. As well as the tracker itself, the app it uses is crucial; the software provides extra features, such as the ability to compete with friends, track food and drink intake, monitor your weight and much more. So which fitness tracker is right for you and how much should you pay? Each brand offers a range of trackers, for example, Fitbit makes seven different trackers ranging in complexity and price. Here’s a small selection of some of the best in range on the market today ...

Jawbones UP3 Heart rate monitor: Yes GPS: No Battery life: 5-7 days Pros: Good sleep tracking, comes in six colour options Cons: Awkward to charge, not waterproof, no display Price: Under £50 The UP3 looks sleek but can be uncomfortable to wear. Most of the trackers controls are managed via the app on your smartphone which can seem a little frustrating.

Moov Now Heart rate monitor: No GPS: No Battery life: 2-3 months Pros: Flexible design to wear on wrist or ankle. Cons: No watch face or heart rate sensor Price: £59.99 The Moov Now can be attached to your wrists or ankles. It measures activities from running to cycling, swimming to boxing. Garmin Forerunner 235 Heart rate monitor: Yes GPS: Yes Battery life: Up to 9 days Pros: Customisable watch face, excellent software (Garmin Connect) for detailed exercise analysis, waterproof to 50m Cons: Lacks support for extra smartwatch apps Price: £299.99 This is a serious fitness device for those who want more than a bit of encouragement to keep active.

Misfit Ray Heart rate monitor: No GPS: No Battery life: 4 months Pros: Unique design, waterproof Cons: No watch face Price: £49.99 The Misfit Ray comes in the form of a sleek metal tube which can be worn as an accessory on a chain round your neck or as a classic fitness band. A coloured LED shows daily progress.




Seeing things from a different perspective


Georgie Fenn chats to Stamford’s farming photographer on how he’s showcasing farming in a whole new light

T always astounds me who we have hiding away in Stamford, there are all sorts of interesting people about, it’s usually just a case of finding them. Recently, a few farming fellows of mine sent over some screenshots of a popular Instagram profile called Farming Photography. This page has over sixty thousand followers and the Facebook page was closer to one hundred thousand, and there in the info section was the address for Stamford. Being the curious cat that I am (I’m nosy) I got in touch with Dave Franciosy, the Director and Founder of Farming Photography to see if he’d tell me his story, and he did. My first question to Dave was how he’d become so talented at photography and whether he had any tips for people like me who just try their hand at it every now and then. He chuckled, turns out he is one of those annoying people who is entirely self-taught or in other words, supremely naturally skilled. “I learnt out of necessity around 10 years ago,” Dave tells me. “I’d started a mountain biking website with my brother and we needed some good imagery for the website without it costing us a fortune.” And so Dave and his trusty Canon started capturing moments of skill, focusing on riders and tech in the mountain biking world. A couple of years on and Dave has sold that website and moved onto a downhill series for British cycling which again, required some new and refreshing photography. Unlike in farming, Dave’s knowledge of mountain biking was limited, making his images often unusual; he wanted to do something different. That’s the feeling I get from Dave; no matter what he points a lens at he isn’t going to settle for a photo that’s been seen hundreds of times before. In 2011, Dave’s father sadly passed during harvest at the farm he worked on in County Durham. “After that, I decided that I needed to be single, and I needed to change a few things so I moved home for a bit,” he tells me. What started as a necessity and then lent its hand as emotional relief is now Dave’s full-time career. “I started talking to local farmers, and taking a bit of imagery for them and in 2013 the hobby rocketed.” This is often the case for people with that spark and you often hear famous YouTube bloggers saying that one-day, things just took off. The first big signing was with JCB in 2014 and now Dave works all over Europe. His thanks are as much to the power of the Internet as it is



to his raw talent because his images spread across such a wide farming community. When I was chatting to Dave he had just returned from Romania, “People don’t understand when I tell them I’ve been shooting carrot harvesting at two in the morning,” Dave laughs, “you can’t do that, they say, and I say, why not?” With such a creative personality and some serious thinking outside the box, Dave captures images that you wouldn’t think possible and somehow, he makes farming sexy. I went back to my original question about tips (because I really wanted some tips) and he said you’ve just got to get out there. “Never be afraid of the delete button, it’s your friend and one day you’ll nail the perfect shot but you have to put the time in.” And as for technology, it has been Canon from day one. For our Stamford fans, I also asked Dave how he has managed to end up here, “it’s got the fastest Internet,” he said. I was shocked too, and he wasn’t even joking. Entertainingly, after living in Collyweston and suffering from shocking Internet, Dave researched where the fastest fibres was and it just so happened Stamford was the answer. He also mentioned that it’s a fantastic central location, “you can get anywhere very quickly and as long as I make sure I’m away when Burghley Horse Trials are on, I love it here.” Dave doesn’t just stop at farming photography, he works in marketing and editorial too, “every day is a hobby day because I am doing what was my hobby,” he says and that’s what self-employment is all about, no annoying people to deal with in an office but your hobbies become your job and your time becomes very much about money. “Often the marketers at these big companies need a new angle on things,” Dave says, “I can go in and give them the confidence they need and help them understand how to best showcase their machinery or product.” It’s a busy lifestyle, especially now harvest is in full swing and if you know any farmers, you know how excited they get about their toys. Farming Photography is proof that passion can be a full-time career, and if you take a leaf out of Dave’s book, give it all you’ve got and always, always, help people and go that extra mile then you will succeed. • You can see more of Dave’s work on his website:

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The Stamford Property Market and 50-year mortgages This month, our local property advisor David Crooke, owner of UPP Property Agents examines lengthy mortgages and their impact on the Stamford property market. 50 years ago, the average value of a Stamford property was £4,197 and interest rates were at 5.5%. I have recently been doing some research on the current attitude of Stamford first-time buyers. First-time buyers are so important for both landlords and homeowners. If first-time buyers aren’t buying, they still need a roof over their heads, so they rent (good news for landlords). If they buy, demand for Stamford property goes up for starter homes and that enables other Stamford homeowners to

move up the property ladder. First-time buyers are the lifeblood of the property market. They are, however the most susceptible to interest rate rises and the affordability of mortgages. An average Stamford property is currently £316,501 and UK interest rates 0.25%. As each year goes by, it appears the age of the everlasting mortgage has started to emerge, prompted by these first-time buyers, eager to get a foot on the housing ladder. In a recent report I have read, some mortgage companies confessed that the battle to gain big returns from the property market has led to mortgages that will take considerably longer than the customary 25 years to pay off. Recently, it has been commonplace for first-time buyer mortgages to be 30 and 35 years in length, as the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ have been helping with the deposit. This means first-time buyers could be paying until their mid-60s. So, a 50-year mortgage does not seem as far-fetched now as it would have been back in the 1970s. After all, life expectancy for a male then was exactly 69 years and today its 79 years! Over the last 10 years, Stamford property prices have continued to rise more than wages, therefore, first-time buyers are looking for bigger loans. If this development continues, the only way repayments can remain reasonable is by increasing the term of the loan. What if interest rates rise? Well looking at historic UK interest rates, the current rate of 0.25% is at a 300-year low. Mortgages will never be cheaper. I would however, seriously consider fixing the rate to cushion any future potential interest rate rises (since they can only go in one direction when they do change). If Stamford first-time buyers see buying a home as a long-term decision, based on the last 50 years, they should be just fine! •

What’s yours is mine – or is it? A guide to the law and ‘common law marriage’ Beverley Harrison, Chartered Legal Executive at Buckles Solicitors LLP, looks at legal issues around co-habitation


FTER practising family law for over seven years I have encountered many clients who live with partners for years without marrying, seeking advice on their financial entitlement upon the breakdown of their relationship. All too often, they refer to ‘common law marriage’ believing that, after a certain period living with someone, they automatically acquire the same rights as a married couple. In fact, research by One Plus One has shown that 47% of the people interviewed believed in the notion of common law marriage. This is unfortunately not true. Recent figures published by the Office of National Statistics reveal there are now 3.3 million cohabiting couples in the UK, with the number more than doubling over the last 20 years. Some of those relationships will end, and current cohabitation law does not give those couples the rights they think they have. Resolution (a national organisation of family lawyers and professionals who are committed to the constructive resolution of family



disputes) have been campaigning for a change in the law to protect cohabiting couples. They consider that, as modern society and the way people live changes, the law needs to catch up. However, this doesn’t appear to be happening any time soon. Legal issues to consider if you do, or intend to, cohabit: • Draw up what is known as a ‘Cohabitation Agreement’ - a contract between you and your partner which sets out how you will deal with property, bank accounts, debts and so on, and what should happen in the event of a relationship breakdown. A Cohabitation Agreement may seem unromantic and an unnecessary outlay when you are happy in a relationship. However, if your relationship ends, the expense, stress and heartache of going to court will be far more significant. • If you own property, or plan to purchase a property jointly, it may be that you and your partner have or intend to make unequal contributions. A ‘Declaration of Trust’ can be

drawn up, which will set out the contributions you have both made, so that if the property is sold you will both be able to recover what you put in. This is especially important when couples enter into new relationships and may have a lump sum, e.g. from a divorce, that they have spent a lot of time and money to secure. These documents need to be drafted and prepared properly, with both parties obtaining independent legal advice in order for them to be legally binding. • For more information contact Buckles Solicitors LLP on 01780 484579.

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Back to School Storage Solutions

As the summer holidays draw to a close and we prepare for the kids to go back to school, the amount of equipment they need to take with them seems to grow with every passing week. The right storage solutions can really streamline everyone’s morning routine, by eliminating those pesky ‘Where did I put my…?!’ panics. It’s just as important for those without school-age house mates to find a home for all of life’s necessary clutter; doing so can dramatically improve the start of your day and ultimately how much you enjoy living in your home. There are all sorts of options on the market, so it’s definitely worth considering, whatever your budget. Rannveig Stone.


ADLY, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ secret when it comes to storage because every household is unique. We all have different interests and hobbies and often opposing ideas as to how the associated equipment should be accommodated. Parents often feel as if the volume of sporting equipment, musical instruments and general outdoor paraphernalia required by their offspring seems to increase with every passing week. With that in mind, we explored some of our favourite suppliers’ stock, to see how they can solve storage problems of all shapes and sizes.

Make a feature of high-traffic areas

Using timber cladding in high-traffic areas will not only make an attractive feature of the space, it will minimise the scuffing which can be caused by the regular lugging of school bags and sporting equipment through the area. If you can’t afford solid timber cladding, you can

create the effect of a wood panelling yourself, using batons and paint.

Purpose-built boot room

A beautifully crafted boot room is the perfect place for us to shed our coats, shoes, bags, briefcases and umbrellas; so that we can relax into the hygge of our home. At The Old Dairy on the Burghley Estate, a cattle feeding trough was cleverly converted into a boot storage seat. If you’re short of usable space in your entrance hall, why not consider using part of your garage as a boot room; who keeps their car there anyway?! It’s important to make it a comfortable and appealing area – not a cold and unwelcoming space. By maximising the storage space in your garage, you’ll effectively be freeing your home of clutter and making it feel bigger and lighter.

Under-stairs storage

The cavernous space underneath your stairs is often wasted, or worse – it becomes a magnet for mess. You can maximise every square inch of the space available by commissioning a carpenter/joiner to create bespoke cupboards like those shown here. You’ll need at least one home visit and likely a few follow-up visits to confirm exact measurements, the finish you’d like and the component parts that will best suit your household’s lifestyle (space for a safe, shoe racks, boot storage, sporting equipment, musical instruments and/or a wine rack) so it’s definitely not a cheap option. When planned properly, with the high-quality finish shown here, it’s an investment that will undoubtedly improve your quality of life and add value to your home, so it’s worth considering.

Boot room. Designed by Anna Stone Design and created by Rick Holder Carpentry



Budget/DIY solutions

With any DIY project, it’s essential to have a decent plan to begin with. Work out exactly what needs storing and where. If you’re on a really tight budget, make sure you have enough storage to house the everyday essentials in an attractive, user-friendly way and store less frequently used items in plastic crates or cardboard boxes out of sight in the garage or loft. Look at Pinterest and IKEA for ideas (such as those shown below), then head to your local hardware store (e.g. Harrison & Dunn, Stamford) to purchase equivalent components and create your own tailor-made storage solution like this pegboard. Just think of it as playing with grown up Meccano!

IKEA: The parts in the ALGOT series can be combined in many different ways and so can easily be adapted to needs and space. Wall upright/shelves/rod £145

Inspirational ideas: You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a quirky and attractive storage zone. Here are just a few ideas of things you might like to try:

• Install numbered or named pegs; encourage kids to pick a number and that peg is theirs! • Store waterproof items such as Wellington boots outside on a boot stand • Personalise the kids’ storage zone with displays of their artwork, mementoes, photos and certificates that they’re proud of

• A clearly named zone for clobber leaves no illusion of where to hang your hat! • Use attractive woven baskets and/ or umbrella stands to store hockey sticks, riding crops and umbrellas (of course!)

IKEA: With SKÅDIS pegboard it’s easy to organise all the rooms of the home and quickly find what you need. White Pegboard combination £30.50

Key storage secrets:

• Keep it simple, user-friendly and practical at the same time • Browse websites like Pinterest and IKEA for ideas; cherry pick the elements you like, ignore the ones you don’t • Don’t let a lack of budget deter you; there are all sorts of low-cost DIY options available if you look hard enough • Make it FUNctional – never forget the FUN! These areas are essentially where we make our physical and mental transition from our lives in the outside world through to the sanctuary of our home, so it’s definitely worth investing some thought into how you’d like that transition to happen at the beginning and end of each day.

SUPPLIERS/CONTACTS: Richard Holder Joinery, The Little House, Green Lane, Duddington, Stamford, PE9 3QH Harrison & Dunn Stamford, 3 All Saints’ Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2PA;; 01780 762088 Delcor - Lincolnshire, 30 Bath Row, Rear of St Marys Hill, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2QX;; 01780 762 579; Nook Furniture Co Ltd, 3 Sheep Market, Stamford, PE9 2RB; 01780 751029 Sackstore, Stamford Garden Centre, Road End Farm,

Great Casterton Road, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 4BB; Paul Barnett, Kings Oak Kitchens, 48 Bergen Way, North Lynn Industrial Estate, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 2JG;; 01553 762749; Magpie Vintage Crockery Hire; 07775 708900 Rannveig Stone is Director of interior design firm Anna Stone Design Ltd, based at the Stamford Garden Centre, Great Casterton, PE9 4BB.; 07900883117. STAMFORD LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017



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Room to grow When Elli Stoneham and Steve Demagalski were looking to extend their stone cottage in Uffington, they insisted on local suppliers to help them create their dream home.




LLI and Steve had been living in their cottage for five years when they discovered they were expecting their first baby. An expanding family gave them the impetus to get started on phase one of their expansion plan to turn a small two up two down property into a more flexible family home. A huge driveway large enough to accommodate six cars was deemed a vast waste of space so the couple enlisted the help of local Architectural Consultant Jonathon Hartley to formalise Elli’s vision to expand the existing living area with an orangery style extension to the side and rear of the cottage. “We wanted a much larger, open living space and an extra bedroom,” explains Elli. “Jonathon could immediately see the potential and designed a set of plans for us which were passed for planning permission with no trouble at all.” Jonathon collaborates with Stamford based company, Orchard on many of his projects and highly recommended them to Elli and Steve. “We found it reassuring to have a team on board that knew and worked together closely and who respected our budgetary constraints,” says Elli. “We knew Orchard had an excellent reputation for bringing a project to conclusion

About Orchard…

More than doubling the original living space, the extension incorporates a roomy dining area as well as a cosy zone for relaxing together plus a corner dedicated to a home office too. Additionally, the couple have added a guest suite with ensuite bathroom for visitors. efficiently and within budget and being a local firm we felt completely comfortable with them from the start.” Groundwork began last January with the initial moving of three drains which was labour intensive and complicated, before the building of the new extension could begin. “We remained living on site throughout the work and the building team were fantastic,” Elli reports. “At no time were we inconvenienced and the team afforded us every courtesy as well as being clean and tidy during the process which

With two showrooms in Stamford, Orchard provide a complete design and installation service for all kinds of interiors projects including replacement doors, windows, conservatories, orangeries, bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms including lighting, electrics, plumbing and heating. Managing Director Mark Atkinson was delighted with the results of Elli and Steve’s project. “An orangery is a bespoke solution for adding light and space to your home. It is a new take on a traditional atrium-style conservatory and this stunning extension floods the adjoining rooms with light. The bright and airy interior adds a new dimension to Elli and Steve’s home as well as providing a seamless link between their home and garden.” To explore ideas for doors, windows, orangeries and conservatories visit Orchard’s showrooms at: 1 & 2 Meadow View Business Units, Uffington Road, Stamford PE9 2EX Tel: 01780 753 343 For Orchard’s expertise in kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms you can find their showroom at: 22-23 Scotgate, Stamford PE9 2YQ Tel: 01780 481850

was important in those early winter months. As I was pregnant too, it was helpful that the Orchard team kept everything stress free for me,” she adds. The resulting extension is a beautiful, contemporary open plan room where Elli and Steve, now proud parents to baby Finn, spend most of their time. More than doubling the original living space, the extension incorporates a roomy dining area as well as a cosy zone for relaxing together plus a corner dedicated to a home office too. Additionally, the couple have added a guest suite with ensuite bathroom for visitors. “We are expecting Steve’s sister and her family to visit next year from New Zealand and the guest suite will mean they can be really comfortable during their stay.” Next, the couple have plans to remove the existing kitchen wall and open up the whole of the ground floor and will certainly be asking Orchard to help them with phase two of their renovation. “We couldn’t recommend the team at Orchard enough – they have all been back to visit Finn and we are looking forward to using their expertise to help us with the kitchen project – it will be exciting to see what we can do next.”

Above: This area is where the family relaxes together. The sofa is from Furniture Village. The wall colour is Orchid White by Dulux and the flooring is an oak laminate by Camaro Flooring. Right: Elli and Steve have plenty of room to entertain around this contemporary, industrial style dining table by Chez Soi, Stamford Opposite page: The L shape of the extension allows plenty of room for clearly defined areas for dining, relaxing plus an area allocated to a work station. The atrium style roof allows the room to be flooded with natural light.




Fitness in the Field JODIE writes: ITNESS in the Field is exactly what it says on the tin…. we are exercising in the great outdoors – and it’s awesome!! I’ve never been a fan of traditional gyms – I agree they have their place, but I found them intimidating places and I never quite fitted in. So, since qualifying as a Personal Trainer I decided to embrace what I like doing the most, which is training in the fresh air with plenty of space to charge about – and sometimes get wet and muddy! “These sessions currently run on a Wednesday evening 7-8pm at Witham on the Hill. The sessions are a combination of cardio work and strength training, and can incorporate simple circuits, boxercise, HIIT, kettlebells, bodyweight training and occasionally we set people loose on the cargo net, wall and monkey bars for an extra challenge. The class is intentionally kept quite small, as technique is a priority and I do take that aspect seriously. That said – we laugh a lot, and fun is also highly important! “All abilities are welcome – whilst the sessions are designed to be challenging, they are also achievable by all, and adaptions can be made to exercises, so each person can work to their personal best. The team spirit and camaraderie at the classes will always get you through - and you will always leave tired but happy with a new sense of achievement.” • Want to know more – check out the website and blog at or email


Automatic enrolment pensions continue to roll out P

HASING in of the auto enrolment pensions regime for employers has been taking place since 2012 with many small and ‘micro’ employers reaching their staging date in recent months and more to come until 2018. New employers who establish a PAYE scheme from 1 October 2017 will have an immediate responsibility to provide a pension scheme for their employees and to contribute to it. Data from the Pensions Regulator reveals that they have started to use enforcement action against businesses that are failing to meet the requirements. Significant penalties are being imposed and details of those who remain non-compliant are being published. Spot checks are also taking place nationwide, with inspection teams visiting businesses to check that employers are complying with the rules and giving staff the pension that they’re due. The challenges imposed by auto-enrolment are a real concern to small businesses, and many employers are not prepared for the impact both financially and administratively. With the minimum contributions set to increase in two phases starting in April 2018, it is essential that small businesses plan early to ensure that they are able to meet their duties on time. • If you are looking to set up a PAYE scheme or require further information or assistance please contact Stephenson Smart on 01733 343275 or go to



Stamford Dog Show, Stamford Meadows Sunday 10th September 10:30am Open Air Church Service 11:00am Dog Registration opens


HE 12th Stamford Dog Show is one of the biggest family events in Stamford and is jointly organised by Stamford Methodist Church, Stamford Veterinary Centre and Pets Korner. The show has Pedigree and Novelty Classes. The Agility Ring is very popular and a lot of fun - have a go yourself! There will also be displays by Malamutes and Huskies, meet an Alpaca and talk with a dog behavioural specialist. There are many different stalls selling all sorts of goodies for dogs and their owners. The Reptile Tent houses many unusual creatures with experts on hand and, if you are brave enough, you may be able to handle some of them. Children can enjoy the fairground rides, the land train or the Activity Tent and there’s always plenty of choice for food for lunch or afternoon tea. The show raises awareness and funds for Stamford Methodist Church’s Mission Projects. Nixon Memorial Hospital (Sierra Leone) lost doctors, nurses and members of their community to Ebola. The conditions are very basic and donations help the hospital become fully functioning again. Dementia Support South Lincs helps local families to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and their carers to reduce their sense of social isolation. Stamford Methodist Church Youth Outreach Programme provides a Youth Outreach Worker to work with young people across Stamford in our schools, New College Stamford and in the Street Pastors team. Phoenix Children’s Foundation raises funds to provide disabled, special needs and terminally ill children with specialist equipment and therapeutic activities.

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

The Hayloft - Essendine £850,000

The Hayloft is a family home extending to approximately 3,775 sqft. This superb conversion offers a fantastic layout with a bedroom wing comprising of 4 double bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities, as 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.

Park Walk House,

Church Street, Easton on the Hill

The Hayloft - Essendine £850,000

The Hayloft is a family home extending to approximately 3,775 sqft. This superb conversion offers a fantastic layout with a bedroom wing comprising of 4 double bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities, as 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.

Originally converted from part of the former coach house and stabling of Easton House, this superb stone built property under a Collyweston roof is in a tucked away location accessed off Park Walk within the conservation area of this sought-after village. It has its own private driveway providing hard standing for several vehicles as well as an over-sized garage. The property has been well maintained and is extremely well presented by the current vendors and offers spacious accommodation over two floors. A lovely sitting room with fireplace and fitted wood burning stove, large dining hall with oak flooring, well-appointed breakfast/kitchen with a range of built Rosewood – North Luffenham £515,000 in appliances and a cloakroom. To the floor there Rosewood – Built by the highly regarded Francis Jackson Homes, thisfirst 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 a re-fitted family bathroom as well as three double family is bathroom. Double Garage. bedrooms and a master bedroom benefiting from an en-suite shower room. The property has gas fired central heating and replacement double glazed windows. Park Walk House is positioned in a quiet location with well-maintained gardens and a “Summer House” Rosewood – North Luffenham £515,000 Rosewood – Built by the highly regarded Francis Homes, this detached family home comprises of a large Kitchen/Family Room with double doors onto the garden, Utility Room, Separate backing onto a spinney. AnJackson inspection is strongly 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 familyrecommended bathroom. Double Garage. to appreciate this home.


UPDATES finance to our portfolio of products, enabling us to support more customers. We’re dedicated to the learning and development of our employees and have been on a variety of training and audit programmes over the last few months, strengthening our knowledge and expertise of finance.

Stamford Living catch up with the team at Charles & Dean Tell us more about what Charles & Dean do? We are an independent finance broker with the aim of making finance personal and altogether more straightforward. When looking to purchase an asset, whether it be a high-end sports car, a country loving 4x4, agriculture machinery or business equipment and needing the best financial agreement, flexible terms and an exceptional service, Charles & Dean can help you. What makes Charles & Dean different? Combined, we have over 20 years experience in the industry and we pride ourselves on giving professional and friendly advice to everyone who contacts us. Many of our lenders refer to us as ‘The breakthrough broker’ and we couldn’t agree more! We’re determined to put our stamp on the industry and redefine people’s perception of a broker. We’re extremely proud of our positive customer feedback and five star reviews. What have you been up to? We’re now a team of ten and still growing! We’ve introduced personal and business loans, caravan and motorhome finance and invoice

What’s the most interesting asset you have financed? We were able to fund a €35,000 Geo-Konzept drone for a new start up business who were using the drone to survey toxic land! Asset finance truly does come in all shapes and sizes! What’s the best part about working for Charles & Dean? There are plenty of traditions upheld in the Charles & Dean office at Willoughby House. Colin the Caterpillar Cake on birthdays and our collection of sweetie jars to be enjoyed when we think no one’s looking! Every day brings a new challenge but we roll with the punches and always finish the day with a smile. What’s an interesting fact about Charles & Dean? Our co-owner & director Tom Perkins used to play Ice Hockey for Great Britain! We hear the Charles & Dean team have a ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude. Tell us more… Part of our unparalleled culture is to bring the team together and celebrate our victories and we’re lucky to have so many wonderful places on our doorstep. We’ve enjoyed team get togethers in The Wine Bar, lunches at Lamberts and more recently enjoyed an afternoon whisky tasting at The Single Cask.

“Stairlift – I wish I’d got one sooner!” T

HAT is what Westwood Stairlifts hears so often. Being an independent stairlift installer, they offer a wide range of stairlifts from the leading national brands. Long warranties and complete after-care packages are available, as they understand the importance that the lifts function reliably and safely on a daily basis. All their packages are available at a highly competitive price and guaranteed to be cheaper than the big nationals. Their in-house installers are all manufacturer-trained to install, service and maintain various lifts, so even if you already have a lift they will be able to help service or repair it for you. They offer rental packages and reconditioned stairlifts too. So, if you’re thinking of a stairlift for yourself, or a family member, make sure you give Westwood Stairlifts a call today. “Just to let you know how much the stairlift has helped with Mum’s’ quality of life. Installation was quicker than I expected and did not disrupt in any way – and no mess. I really appreciated that you took time to speak to Mum in a sensitive manner and I was very happy with your professional approach.”. PC – D St James • info@ 01733 609777 or Freephone 0800 246 1016

What’s on the radar for the next few months? Autumn is an excited time for us, we sponsored this year’s Stamford Car Show, we’ve been preparing for Burghley Horse Trials and we’re excited to arrange finance for our customers following September’s 67 number plate release. • 01780 763836

Empingham and Great Casterton CE Primary Schools A

T Empingham and Great Casterton CE primary schools, inspiring teaching benefits all pupils. Children are supported in acquiring and applying lifelong skills and qualities, becoming enthusiastic and confident learners, ready for their next steps and challenges. Encouraging children to be aspiring individuals leads them to make good choices regarding their health, safety and welfare. Strong Christian values and family-centred, nurturing environments at both schools enable children to be the best they can be. Strong and close links with children’s families and the local community promote positive contributions locally, nationally and internationally. The schools offer before-and after-school care and a wide range of exciting after-school extra-curricular clubs. Children can join in activities from the sporty – football, gymnastics, rounders, fencing, dodgeball and



archery – to dance, art and languages (Spanish). New additions from this month include drama for all year groups, plus Mad Science workshops and sewing classes. • The schools would welcome you and your children to visit. There will be an Open Day on Thursday 9 November 2017 at Empingham and on Thursday 16 November 2017 at Great Casterton, both from 9.00am. Empingham CE Primary School, School Lane, Empingham LE15 8PQ. 01780 460246. • Great Casterton CE Primary School, Pickworth Road, Great Casterton, Stamford, Lincs PE9 4AU. 01780 762417. www.

Rutland Primary Partners OPEN MORNINGS

Thursday November 9th from 9.00am Empingham CE Primary School

01780 460246,

“Where pupils make good progress in their learning and are achieving well” Ofsted July 2016

Spaces still available for September Thursday November 16th from 9.00am Great Casterton CE Primary School

01780 762417,

“The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is outstanding. This has lifted achievement to the excellent standard now seen across the school.” Ofsted June 2016



Askers 90th Birthday A true family business, Askers have been baking on King’s Mill Lane since 1927. Sue Lee and Jean Orpin celebrate their 90th birthday this month by telling their story. The Beginnings In November 1915 Augustus Asker married Florrie Hill in Stamford. He was 23yrs old and had already been working as a baker for several years in Norfolk where he was born. The newly married couple lived at 15 All Saints’ St. This was wartime and a month after the marriage Augustus signed up for service in the Army Service Corps as a baker. Their eldest child, Raymond Alger, was born in September 1916, then in February the next year he was mobilised and posted to Ireland for the rest of the war. On his return, the family continued to live at 15 All Saints’ Street and two more children were born. Augustus worked for the Co-op bakery. In 1926 Mr Chambers, who had a grocery shop at 9a St Peter’s St died. The shop also had a bakehouse down King’s Mill Lane. Augustus went to help Mrs Chambers out in the bakehouse and when she decided to sell the business, in 1927, he purchased the bakery from her. (The shop was sold separately.)

King’s Mill Lane Bakehouse When Augustus bought the bakehouse, there were cobbles on the floor, bare stone walls and a steep ladder stair to the loft. There were doorways providing access to the grocery shop and there were stables across the lane. The coal-fired oven was made by London oven builders, Kemp & Sons (see next page). It had most probably been installed soon after Herbert Andrews opened the premises at 9a St Peter’s St as a grocery and bakery in 1879. It was a large oven which could bake 220 tin loaves and used a sophisticated method of distributing the heat. The doorways may have been blocked, the cobbles replaced with tiles and the walls covered but Augustus would probably still recognise the bakehouse if he returned today. He would certainly recognise the oven still in use 90 years on!



Kerry emptying the oven.

Early Days Augustus having bought his own bakery moved with his wife Florrie (and by now 3 children) from All Saints’ St to 51 Broad St. They lived upstairs and had a confectionary shop downstairs. In due course, all the younger members of the family were involved in the business. Raymond joined his father in the bakery, Ruby ran the confectionary shop and later the sweet shop and Terence (who also had a job with the Electricity Board) kept the books. In the 1930s they also cooked Sunday dinners for local people. People would bring their roast down about 11am and collect it later when it was ready. In these early days, the bread was delivered using their own horse and cart. The stables and cart shed were down King’s Mill lane near the shop. Quite soon they acquired a motor van and they were able to carry on using the van during World War 2 as bakeries were considered essential for the country and had a petrol allowance. In the 1950s another shop was opened at 5a Red Lion St. A wide range of confectionary, bread and sweets were now available in the two shops in the centre of town.

was set to move into the business. In due course Stuart took charge and trained his son, Kerry - the 4th generation of bakers. Currently Stuart is still often to be found helping in the bakery in King’s Mill Lane and does the book keeping while Kerry is in charge of the baking. Kerry is helped by his son, Callum, who is learning the trade.

5 Generations of Askers Augustus and Florrie died within three weeks of each other in 1965 however by this time Raymond’s son, Stuart,

Callum with the loaves.


SKERS are one of only 5 bakeries in the country using the old style of coal ovens. The same Kemp oven is still fired up at 5.30am each morning. The old cart shed is used to store the flour and the stables have been converted into living accommodation. In the past they would have only made white or brown bread but today they have a large variety of different breads. If customers request the latest trends they try baking a small batch and if it sells well, it becomes a regular product. They have also added pizza slices and savoury rolls for lunchtime snacks. Askers continue to make a wide selection of cakes using old

family recipes. Popular specialities are lardy cakes, swiss rolls and iced buns but different customers no doubt have their own favourites. They cook all the cakes in a flatbed oven which is at least 60 years old. It was bought from a firm in Stilton and transported here and heaved upstairs. They did try a fan assisted oven but did not find it satisfactory. Another interesting machine they use is a 30yr old Baker Perkins which forms the rolls prior to baking. In the not-so-distant past virtually all their bread and cakes were sold in their shop in Red Lion Street but as people now shop in supermarkets and few do their daily shopping in town, they also supply several villages. Their bread can be bought in village shops in Ryhall, Empingham, Ketton and Baston and it can also be bought at Hindmarch and Casterton petrol stations. They have supplied the George Hotel for the last 45 years. Nowadays they also supply the Crown and the Shakespeare Season at Tolethorpe. Individual Sunday roasts are no longer brought to the bakery but Askers now provide an alternative, but not on Sundays! The oven makes excellent hog roasts - perfect for a party.

Kemp and Sons John Kemp started a business in Stepney in the 1830s or 1840s and developed new types of ovens for private use and for bakeries. Kemps was based at 127 Stepney Green East from 1871 and as John’s sons joined the business the name was changed to Kemp & Sons in 1878. The eldest son, John Dewson Kemp (1842-1900) became known as an expert on the building and care of bakery ovens.

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




Victoria’s Top Table A mix of culture, gastronomy and bon vivant, by Victoria Magnall

Café au Chocolat

After attending a superb coffee and chocolate evening last year, Café au Chocolat on Ironmonger Street comes highly recommended for any fans of French crêpes and speciality coffee. Serving the most delicious array of sweet and savoury crêpes, there is something for every palate. If your preference veers to the sweet, then you will thoroughly enjoy the extensive chocolate selection available, sold both individually or in beautiful gift boxes! However, if you enjoy savoury dishes, you must try the duck and hoisin sauce crêpe, served with spring onions, a superb take on a spring roll and even more delicious. It is a great venue for an after school tea as you never have to persuade your child to ‘eat up’. A recent blog by @ milliemeandtea confirms that Café au Chocolat is a favoured venue for all ages!


HE ‘back to school’ feeling is very much like that ‘Friday feeling’, for parents! A fresh term and an anticipation of what the next academic year will bring. It’s time for Stamford to adjust to school drop off and pick up times and for shoppers to find available tables in cafés after the busy summer months.

Stamford Beauty Before the after-school clubs and playdates start again, why not take some time out and unwind with a well-deserved beauty treatment. There are some outstanding beauty and wellbeing salons in town, and a firm favourite is established Stamford Beauty on St Mary’s Hill. Vivacious owner, Sarah Taylor has created the most welcoming salon for her clients to enjoy treatments. Her team of professional beauticians ensure that each customer feels comfortable and are attended to from the moment they arrive until the time they leave. Offering every imaginable treatment available (using the on trend Gelish polish and the revitalising Dermalogica skin range) you emerge from the salon feeling truly spoilt! Vouchers are available and make an ideal gift to treat someone that is longing for some pamper time.


F your children are finding it hard to dive back in to their books after the summer holidays, a great place to start is David Walliam’s hilarious book ‘The World’s Worst Children 2’, available from Walker’s Bookshop and illustrated by acclaimed local resident, Tony Ross. Tony and fellow author Wendy Finney, brought their books to life this summer as my family and I spent time with them at their home, learning about life behind their creative process. Tony and Wendy bring fun and laughter to their work, which is surely why their books and illustrations are so fondly adored by the masses. If your children are looking for inspiration for writing or reading new material, I recommend a book given to my son by Tony, ‘The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook’. It is a terrific book which provides guidance and direction to any budding literary creative! STAMFORD LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017



“Stamford Spruce-ter” and other fine creations Stoney Ford’s latest brew brings Stamford and Alaska together via one refreshing ale, discovers Matt Wright


TONEY Ford Brew Co. in Ryhall is brewing some great beers. Alongside Baker’s Dozen Brewing Co. of Ketton (aka Dean Baker who runs The Jolly Brewer), the firm is helping to revive Stamford’s strong historic link to commercial brewing. It’s a shame that neither brewery has yet been able to find suitable brewing premises in Stamford itself, but maybe this will change in the future (although with town property at such a premium, this will be easier said than done). It would also be good to see more pubs in Stamford and the surrounding villages always stocking Stoney Ford and Baker’s Dozen beers. In the case of Stoney Ford, The George, The Jolly Brewer, The Lord Burghley, the Kings Head, Mama Liz’s, The London Inn, The Tobie Norris, The Green Man, The Cellar Bar and The



Bull & Swan already do, but it would be great if even more places supported local brewers. I recently revisited Stoney Ford’s small brewery on Crown Street in Ryhall to see Tim Nicol and head brewer Simon Watson brew their latest exciting creation: “Stamford Spruce-ter”. The surprise addition to this 4.5% ABV pale-coloured brew is young sitka spruce tips, which – like all of Stoney Ford’s brewing ingredients – are sourced in the UK. Simon came across a beer brewed with sitka spruce while living in Alaska a few years back and wanted to make his own version. After much searching, he eventually tracked down a source of sitka spruce tips in Scotland, and later in Yorkshire, which currently appears to be the most local source. If anyone knows differently, I’m sure Simon would be keen to hear from you!

The spruce tips are downy and soft and they give off a wonderfully fresh lemony aroma. There’s none of the strong piney smell to them that you sometimes associate with older pine needles. The idea is to create a beer with intriguing aromas and flavours, and Simon added the young spruce tips to the brew late in the brewing process – in just the same way that brewers usually add aroma hops. Handpicking these tips is labour intensive, so making this beer is not cheap, but both Tim and Simon were keen to brew it. I’m pleased they did!

The first test batch Tim and Simon made was apparently dominated too much by the sitka, so for batch two Simon added the tips later in the brewing process, thereby releasing slightly less of their flavour. It has done the trick. I tried a glass of the second batch and the result is a highly refreshing and really drinkable lager-like ale. The sitka adds a very subtle and unique fragrant dryness. It’s the perfect summer drop, and I recommend you seek Stamford Spruce-ter out. It should be available at Peterborough Beer Festival (22–26 August) and The Jolly Brewer Beer Festival (31 August–3 September). The question is: which unusual ingredient will Stoney Ford brew with next?

Get the 2017 Handbook The Great Food Club Handbook 2017 is out now. With over 100 pages, the new Handbook is a handbagor glovebox-sized publication with one simple aim: to guide you to some of the best independent restaurants, pubs, farm shops, breweries, food producers, delis and cafes. It is available to buy now for £4.95 including postage. Go to www., scroll to the bottom of the home page and click ‘Buy the Handbook’.

Other Stamford brews St Mary’s Sundowner and Meadows Moondance are two more recent Stoney Ford brews that have been going down well. Another on the horizon is their Commemoration Ale, a brown porter that Tim and Simon are brewing specially for the “Stamford 50” celebrations. These are to mark Stamford’s designation as the UK’s first conservation town in 1967 and will tie in with Stamford Georgian Festival 2017 (21–24 September). Tim and Simon also tell me they have been picking blackberries ready for their next batch of Broad Street Blackout Stout.

The quest for ancient Stamford yeast Back in January Stoney Ford appealed for old bottles of Stamford ale in a quest to reactivate ancient yeast strains. They received three old bottles: two old Melbourns IPA bottles with lids and contents intact, and one very old almost empty bottle of Lowe, Son and Cobbold “A.K. Stamford Ale”, which could be over 100 years old. They delivered the bottles to the laboratories of Nottingham’s Murphy & Son, who provide ingredients and testing services for the brewing industry. However, none of the yeast turned out to be salvageable. The quest continues…

A few places where you can try Stoney Ford beers (A–Z) Blackstones Sports & Social Club, Stamford The Blue Bell, Easton on the Hill The Bluebell, Helpston The Bull & Swan, Stamford The Cellar Bar, Stamford The Coach House Inn, South Luffenham Empingham Cricket Club The Exeter Arms, Easton on the Hill The Fox, North Luffenham The George, Stamford The Golden Pheasant, Etton The Green Dragon, Ryhall The Green Man, Stamford The Hare and Hounds, Greatford The Jolly Brewer, Stamford Kings Head, Stamford The London Inn, Stamford The Lord Burghley, Stamford

The Lord Nelson, Oakham Mama Liz’s, Stamford The Olive Branch, Clipsham The Red Lion, Bourne The Six Bells, Witham

Smith’s of Bourne The Tobie Norris, Stamford Stamford Shakespeare Company, Tolethorpe The White Horse, Baston

Join Great Food Club With its new editing team, Great Food Club is on a mission to unearth brilliant food and drink gems in your area and beyond. We currently recommend around 320 pubs, restaurants, producers and food shops, and around 200 of them run exclusive offers for Great Food Club members. Offers include 10% off at Stamford Cheese Cellar, 10% off at The Tobie Norris, a complimentary cocktail when you dine from the a la carte menu at The Olive Branch, 10% off at The King’s Arms in Wing, and 25% off at The Fox & Hounds in Exton. It is completely free to join and get a membership card – no catches – and we never share your data – sign up at

About the writer Matt Wright founded and runs, a Leicestershire-based website that celebrates and promotes local food and drink. His Great Food Club Handbook 2017 is out now




James Goss Head Chef and Partner at one of our most exciting local pub/restaurants, The Kings Arms at Wing, only 15 minutes drive from Stamford. Deborah Pennell talks squirrel and smoking, with a man whose love of the countryside leads to true provenance in his wonderfully creative menus. Have you always lived in the Rutland area? My family were based in the Grantham area for many years, as my father was in the air force and based at RAF Cottesmore. My wife, Kate and I returned to Rutland in May 2004, when we took on the pub, partnered with my father. What is your background in food? I have a passion for food, and especially utilising ‘wild’ food. When you live in the countryside, you have wonderful produce to work with which has been reared right on your doorstep. From the age of 14 I worked in a pub helping produce high quality homemade food and then moved to work in a family restaurant in Germany. A slight change of tack resulted in a Sports Science degree from Staffordshire University but after putting forward nearly 150 job applications in this field, I ended up as a travel rep with Thomson Holidays. This was the start of my foray into world travel and subsequently my return to a career as a chef. What jobs have you had since working as a Chef? I worked in Zermatt for a ski company for seven years and went on to run a Mexican food and Sushi business in the same resort. In the summer months I could be found shepherding in the mountains and learning incredible skills, such as air drying meats. I then moved to Denmark where I spent four years as Head Chef in a game and fish restaurant, before returning to the UK with the desire to run my own kitchen here. Tell me a little about the smokehouse? What do you smoke? I have always run my restaurants with one important ethos; to use produce which is plentiful, and in season, and not to have waste. Cold curing food and then smoking, gives flavour and is a great way of preserving foods when there is a seasonal glut. At the pub I decided I would use some of the skills I had learnt in Switzerland, and started to cold smoke produce. These days we also hot smoke too.



Our produce can be purchased online, but I would always recommend people pop into the pub to see what we have on offer. The staples of bacon and black pudding are available all year round, with pheasant and partridge during the shooting season, large quantities of trout, and extras such as smoked nuts, which make great bar nibbles. Where do you source your ingredients? Wing is central to an abundance of ingredients. We are surrounded by beautiful countryside and have Rutland Water just over the fields. We have licenced crayfish pots on one of the rivers nearby, and local people often bring me foraged foods; extra fish they have caught, game birds they have shot, or a basket full of mushrooms, as they know I will use them in one of my dishes. Squirrel arrives from a friend in Northumberland who is Chairman of a Red Squirrel preservation charity. As they are vermin, and a great danger to the Red Squirrel population, she traps them. Whenever she is heading south I get a delivery. It tastes delicious and makes a great addition to the menu for a few days. Without exception, all the produce used in the pub has true provenance. Give me an interesting fact about the kitchens at The Kings Arms We probably smoke between 800 to 1,000 trout a year, which are served cold smoked, hot smoked and as pâté.

Do you have a favourite celebrity Chef and where do you get inspiration for your dishes from? I quite enjoy The Great British Menu, when I get chance to watch it. Tom Aitkin, Mark Hix and Anthony Bourdain are all inspirations. Have you ever cooked for anyone famous? In Switzerland I cooked for Elton John, Phil Collins and Chris Evans, among others. In Denmark, the Queen of Denmark, and in the pub here we often see a number of well known rugby players. What are your interests outside of work? I really enjoy shooting, bringing the game back to the pub to cook it, and foraging, turning hedgerow offerings into wonderful jams, chutneys and spirits. Climbing and Skiing are also keen interests of mine. • To sample some of James’s exceptional food, head to The Kings Arms at Wing The Kings Arms Inn 13 Top Street Wing LE15 8SE 01572 737634




Enjoy an alfresco lunch in the sunshine or in the evening with the heat lamps. Whether you are enjoying our courtyard menu or just having cocktails, it’s the perfect summer setting.

Modern British food, cocktails, local beers and a wide selection of wines, all served in our beautiful restaurant with sunlit courtyard tucked away in the centre of Stamford. See website for all our available menus. No.3 The Yard, Ironmonger Street, Stamford, PE9 1PL 01780 756080 -

Homestyle Turkish Cypriot Food Lunch | Alfresco Dining Reservations 01780 238001 Takeaways 01780 238282 8/9 St Paul’s Street, Stamford, PE9 2BE 68


Christmas Parties 2017

‘The Study’ – one of Hambleton’s fabulous private dining rooms is perfect for Christmas parties of 6 to 16 guests. We are offering parties a Special Limited Choice Menu, Sunday to Thursday, £65.00 per person for 3 courses. (£80 per person for 4 courses) Hambleton Hall is one of Britain’s finest country house hotels, overlooking Rutland Water the hotel provides the most wonderful setting for a Christmas Party. Log fires, a beautiful Christmas tree, sensational Christmas

decorations and lovely bedrooms to rest your weary head.

At the end of the evening why not stay the night?

If you would like to stay after your Christmas Party and book two or more bedrooms on a Sunday to Thursday, we are offering a special rate of £240.00 per night, based on 2 people sharing one of our Standard double bedrooms, including full Hambleton breakfast & vat.

Terrine of Sea Bass & Artichoke Foie Gras Chicken Liver Parfait with Fig Wild Mushroom Risotto, Parmesan & Tarragon *** Middle Course Offer - the best fish catch of the day *** Fillet of Turbot, Cockle, Clams & Cucumber Merryfield Duck, Caramelised Endive, Cucumber & Plum Jacobs Ladder, Smoked Potato, Horseradish & Red Wine Jus *** Prune & Armagnac Soufflé Golden Chocolate, Passion Fruit Sorbet Lime Meringue Pie & Lime Leaf Ice Cream *** Coffee, Chocolates All menus are subject to a discretionary service charge of 12.5%


LUNCH SPECIAL OFFER Wednesday to Friday. Two Courses for £12.50 STEAK NIGHT EVERY WEDNESDAY Two Steaks (Ribeye, Fish or Gammon) & Two glasses of house wine for £30 QUIZ NIGHT First Thursday of the month £5 per team of four. Prize for the winning team. All funds from ticket sales go to the Rutland Air Ambulance.

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

More information and our current menu on our website

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


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: 69


Hang on, is Stamford getting even healthier? Georgie Fenn visits The Lean Pantry


S it bad to judge a place by its brownies? I think it’s a real teller, if the brownie is good you’d even be safe with something risky like oysters, but you won’t find anything like that in Stamford’s latest hangout. The Lean Pantry Company has done so well in Oakham, that it’s brought its lovely aroma to our dearest Stamford. The sign outside proudly states; ‘Dairy free, Gluten free, Refined sugars free, Wheat free,’ finally a safe place for coeliacs I thought. I was even a little frightened when they asked me which milk I’d like my hot chocolate to be conjured from, I chose coconut and took a seat. As I gazed longingly at the various cakes and chocolatey delights in the counter from the safety of the other side of the pantry, I couldn’t quite get my head around how they could be free of all things naughty. For people with less of an addiction to sugar, there are lots of delicious and creative options for lunch and breakfast, mostly bright coloured vegetables with quinoa and some specials too. On the day I visited there was a Smoked Salmon & Vegetable Frittata served with a Seasonal Salad - at only £7.50 I thought it that was great value for something so delicious. What really jumps out at me is the after effects of food from The Lean Pantry Co, I was full all day and absolutely buzzing off it! Oh and if you were wondering, the brownie was unbelievable, the coconut milk hot chocolate frothy and reassuring and all of the staff were most amicable. I’m so glad that the space (opposite HSBC, previously Javawocky) has remained a coffee shop of sorts, it’s the perfect space to spy on passers-by without being spotted yourself and if you want to be really exclusive, you can hide upstairs. Definitely worth a visit, I think the Lean Pantry Co. is here to stay. • Lean Pantry, 72 High St, Stamford PE9 2AW

Alwalton Hall Bridget Steele discovered that Alwalton Hall has a good food offering as well as its beauty & wellness centre


LWALTON Hall, just of the A1 at Peterborough, opened to the public as a beauty and wellness centre this year with a focus on high quality treatments in a relaxed country house setting. Owners, Maggie and Brian Jones invited me along to meet their chef Ben Maddison and sample the lunch and afternoon tea offerings. These are available not only to clients having treatments or on spa packages, but also to people looking for a light lunch or afternoon tea in a relaxed, friendly and welcoming setting. The elegant drawing and dining rooms overlook the extensive gardens, which add to the feeling of calm. We were able to sample a few things from the menu such as their Eggs Benedict – this was exquisite, with a poached duck egg and roasted ham coated in a perfectly made Hollandaise; the salmon and ginger fishcake dressed with wild rocket and lime served with a Wasabi dressing was a great combination with a welcome punch from the Wasabi. We tried the Champagne and oyster mushroom risotto that was beautifully cooked, hearty flavours and comfort food at its best. I particularly loved the twice baked cheese soufflé – light



and fluffy with a warm runny cheese centre. The main courses are served with a choice of five side salads; we tried the roast beetroot, rocket and spiced Halloumi salad, which was very tasty and I loved the addition of roasted seeds adding to the flavour. The lunch menu also includes a variety of Sorbets and Ices to choose from. Lunch at Alwalton Hall is £20 and booking is essential. The afternoon tea is presented on a traditional three tier cake stand – it includes a selection of homemade finger sandwiches – dainty and delicious with a selection of fillings. There’s plenty of sweet things to try, the customary scone was light and fluffy – always what I judge a good afternoon tea on! The cakes were irresistible too and included raspberry & elderflower, lemon and poppy seed, chocolate brownie, macaroons and almond sponge with a lemon confit. Ben will also cater for special diets. Afternoon tea is £15 and again booking is essential. • For bookings call 01733 391166 or e-mail





Your Guide to the very best the region has to offer Essential Living is our stunning annual publication that covers Stamford, Rutland, Market Harborough, Oundle & Peterborough.

We bake a selection of delicious breads, savouries, cakes & desserts. Using traditional techniques and the finest ingredients we develop the real taste of our products, full of flavour with no preservatives or enhancers.

It inspires people to get the most out of the region - to explore new places, to try out new things, to shop locally, to enjoy the best. You will find it free at high visibility footfall places across the region – hotels, cafés, health clubs, hairdressers, libraries and meeting places. Or read it online at

It includes sections on:

Shops: Exton Bakery, Oundle, Market Harborough, Oakham, Stamford & West Bridgford 72

Shopping Discoveries Fashion, Health & Beauty Home & Garden Food & Drink Eating Out Out & About Kids’ Learning & Activities Education


Perfect steak! The Olive Branch’s co-owner and head chef Sean Hope reveals how to cook the perfect steak, served with his own mustard béarnaise


VERY carnivorous chef needs to know how to make the perfect steak. It’s not rocket science but we’ve all eaten steaks – whether sirloin, rump, bavette or whatever – that don’t quite cut the mustard. The first thing to say is that you need a good supplier. Look for cuts of beef that have a rich, deep-red colour with even marbling. Stay away from bright red cuts and buy local where possible. At The Olive Branch we love to use English longhorn beef. Once you’ve got your steak, remove it from the fridge around 20 minutes before cooking and pat dry with kitchen paper. Allow it to come to room temperature. Next, get your griddle or frying pan to a really high temperature – hot enough to hear the sizzle when you place the meat into the pan. A pan that’s too cool can result in toughness. Add a knob of butter to the pan and sprinkle the steak with black pepper and sea salt flakes. Then gently place the steak in the pan. To take a 170g (6oz) steak to medium rare, cook for 2-3 minutes each side. Turn your steak gently and just once to avoid losing precious juices and drying out the meat. Be careful not to overcook. Then remove and rest for the same amount of time each side. The resting is crucial because it allows the juices to move evenly throughout the whole steak. This develops its flavour and tenderness. Enjoy your steak! And why not serve it with this mustard béarnaise?

SEAN HOPE’S ENGLISH MUSTARD BÉARNAISE Serves 4-6 • 2 egg yolks • 1 shallot, finely diced • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped • 1 level tsp English mustard • 200g fresh, unsalted, melted butter 1 Combine shallot, egg yolks, tarragon and vinegar into a round-bottom bowl. 2 Whisk over a bain-marie (hot-water bath), so the heat from the steam causes egg yolk to go fluffy. 3 Take melted butter and very gradually pour into bowl, whisking ingredients all the time until mixture starts to thicken up. If it gets too thick, dilute with hot water. 4 At last minute, add the mustard and season to taste. Serve with your steak. A FASCINATING ADVENTURE INTO THE UNKNOWN On October 11 at The Olive Branch we’re really looking forward to being joined for dinner by a chap The Telegraph describes as “the man with the amazing palate” . Wine expert Steve Daniel has a knack for discovering amazing, often radical hidden gems and he’ll be in Clipsham on October 11 to host a seven-course wine dinner. Steve is credited as the person who first brought Chilean wines to the UK and as the pioneer who showed us that Greek wines could be amazing. We’re in for a real treat and it’s going to be a fascinating adventure into the unknown! If you’re interested, please visit our website – – or call 01780 410355.


If you are passionate about local food and drink then you might like to join Great Food Club. • Sign up at, free of charge.



Specialist in the manufacture, installation and care of natural stone. With our experience in materials such as Marble, Granite, Neolith and Quartz, we are able to create stunning kitchen worktops, bath surrounds, vanity units, staircases, fireplaces, flooring and wall coverings. We offer a personal and knowledgeable service with highly skilled craftsmen and pride ourselves on the quality of service, the quality of materials used and the workmanship of your finished product. We offer a full supply, template, manufacture and installation service Open Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm, Saturday 8am – 3pm Unit 14-15 Wainman Road, Woodston, Peterborough, PE2 7BU Tel: 01733 687414 or 01733 370941 74



Alwalton Hall – Tranquillity with Style


LWALTON Hall – a stunning Grade II listed Regency manor house on the outskirts of Peterborough – opened its doors as a beauty and wellness sanctuary at the end of March and is already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors alike. Once home to the 4th and 5th Earls Fitzwilliam and former Perkins Engines founder Frank Perkins, owners Brian and Maggie Jones have transformed the magnificent building into a rejuvenating place of peace, tranquillity, wellness and calm. The sumptuous reception rooms maintain the period theme, whilst designer-inspired treatment rooms offer the ultimate combination of country-house comfort with state-of-the art treatment couches and equipment. Clients can book for treatments only, or get away from it all on various flexible packages, or simply book for lunch or afternoon tea (see our article on Page 70). In winter, the three downstairs reception rooms sport roaring log fires. Sofas and

Ask us HR A

SK us HR Limited is a small, boutique consultancy based in Stamford offering expert and personalised HR support and advice. People are at the heart of all they do; be that engaging and motivating your workforce, guiding employees to be the best they can be or dealing with challenging situations in a fair and reasonable way. Sometimes it’s as simple as helping you make the right decisions or ensuring you have the relevant policies and procedures in place. Flexible, pragmatic and candid, Ask us HR always tailors its work to the specifics of the HR challenges you face and always has your best interests at heart. Whether you seek a one-off piece of work, an outsourced HR department or on-going support for your in-house team, you can be assured of a collaborative and



armchairs, and antique furnishings are arranged tastefully on Persian rugs over original wood floors, with oil paintings and prints adorning the walls. Package guests are entitled to use the facilities as well as the main lounges. These include their own dedicated quiet lounge, whilst more seasonal facilities include an outdoor heated swimming pool (April-September only), Arctic Spa pool, outdoor day-beds and “snuggle pods” all set in the beautiful 5-acre grounds. For those simply seeking a one-off treatment or somewhere that can provide the full range of beauty and wellness treatments under one roof, a range of massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and other beauty treatments are on offer, including non-surgical anti-ageing treatments. All the therapists are highly qualified, employed exclusively by the Hall, and fully trained by partners Decléor, OPI, and CACI, to provide the ultimate in client care. The Hall has five individually-themed treatment rooms upstairs in the former

servants’ range – including Morocco, which can cater for two, three, or four people undergoing simultaneous treatments, while the threeroom Cleopatra Suite can accommodate two people in the height of luxury. The other three beautifully appointed single rooms are themed to reflect the culture of Kenya, Japan and India respectively. The Hall is now fully licensed with a simple and approachable cocktail and wine list. Guests can choose their lunch from an imaginative menu and enjoy the lovely views of the grounds from the Drawing Room. Afternoon tea is a sumptuous affair, with scones with clotted cream and jam, a range of savoury sandwiches, cakes, macarons, and a choice of teas. The Hall is for daytime guests only and has reciprocal arrangements with high-quality local providers for out-of-towners who want to combine their visit with an overnight stay. • Consult the website or phone 01733 391166 for more information or to book.

straightforward approach delivered with integrity. Kate Saunders is a CIPD qualified professional. She has a successful track record as a business partner in multiple industries including financial services and Kate Saunders travel. Alicia Coates has 20+ years HR experience and Chartered MCIPD status. Her approach to providing HR solutions is always pragmatic and effective. They offer HR Support; for example; Alicia Coates employee relations advice such as discipline and grievance, absence management, managing poor performance,

managing redundancy, mediation, and personal counselling. Also, they offer support with HR Projects such as; developing a contract of employment and appropriate people policies, facilitating a change in culture and values, introducing a new appraisal system, designing and delivering an employee engagement programme, team building events, management training, or designing a well-being programme etc. What could be particularly useful to a small business is that they also offer a range of retained HR department packages to suit the size and type of business. This includes: • An HR ‘health check’ followed by a pro-active HR service from either Kate/ Alicia, including attendance on site • Telephone/email/skype contact between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday included • Get in touch with Kate on 07879 622046 or Alicia on 07866 723125 to find out more.



Reduced Price Neutering

(Formerly Alder Veterinary Practice)

Spay up to 10kg (was £114)

The only thing that is changing is our name.

Spay 20-30kg (was £159)

Same ownership-we remain an independent family run practice Our values remain the same providing the best level of Veterinary Care at a sensible price. The same trusted familiar faces will deliver the personal service and excellent standard of care we are recognised for.

Stockists of


Reduced Price Neutering

£87.77 Spay (was £43.50)

Spay 10-20kg (was £137)

£102.39 Castrate (was £31.60)

Spay 30-40kg (was £191)


Spay 40-60kg (was £220) Spay 60kg+ (was £270)


£146.27 £179.28

Castrate up to 10kg (was £85)


Castrate 20-30kg (was £106)


Castrate 10-20kg (was £97)

Castrate 30-40kg (was £118)

Castrate 40-60kg (was £150) Castrate 60kg+ (was £190)

£73.13 £82.90

Introducing our new

£29.26 £20.48

‘Health Care For Life

all professional fees are FREE and medication discounted for LIFE! For a full range of benefits and to discuss joining the plan pleas e call the practice on 01780 32 2333.

£87.76 £97.51

at low prices

Uffington Road, Stamford, Lincs, PE9 2BF Tel: 01780 322333 Email:



Managing your pet’s weight Have you thought about checking your pet recently to see if they are overweight? Recent statistics indicate that 40% of cats and 50% of dogs are overweight or obese. It’s a national problem - as a race - we humans are increasing our girth size and it follows that our pets are doing the same.


HE rise in weight gain in pets has prompted Stamford Veterinary Centre to set up its own Obesity Clinics which are basically a Pet Weight Watchers Club! Head Nurse and Pet Health Counsellor, Jess explains: “If your pet’s weight is not kept under control and it becomes overweight or obese, this can cause conditions such as: Orthopaedic problems (such as arthritis) Diabetes Breathing difficulties Heart and skin disorders Exercise intolerance Heat stroke Urinary tract disease Overweight pets (and these can include rabbits, guinea pigs etc too) can be less comfortable, less able to cope in higher temperatures and less able to play. You will be surprised at just how much more active your pet is likely to become once their weight has reduced to the correct level. Many people worry that their pet is hungry or needs regular treats. As your pet gets used to eating less (once on a recommended weight loss plan), it will only be natural for them to get a little hungry at first. However, they will soon get used to their new portion sizes. Specialist diet food is specially formulated with plenty of protein and fibre to help them feel more satisfied. You can also split their daily ration into three or four separate meals a day to make them feel more fulfilled. If you are desperate to keep giving your pet treats, you can use some of their daily portion of food. Your pet will be just as happy with this. How can I tell if my pet is overweight? The easiest way to tell if your pet is carrying a few extra pounds is to carry out a ‘Body Condition Score’. “If you are worried about your pet’s weight, book in to see one of the nurses and they can arrange to carry out a check to determine the Body Condition Score of your animal. Once this has been done, the results will determine the action needed to be taken (if any). “It may be that small tweaks to the



daily routine will reduce weight. For example, maybe a little extra exercise or a few less treats. However, for those animals that are considerably overweight, they may need to be put on to a calorie-controlled diet with special food. It’s usually better to give animals properly balanced specialist food, rather than just reduce their normal diet,” adds Jess. “We recommend that an ideal weight will have a body condition score of 3 out of 5, when a 5-point scale is used. An overweight animal would be classed as a score of 4 and an obese animal would be a 5.” What do I do if I think my pet is overweight? “If you think your pet maybe overweight then make an appointment with one of our nurses who will help and will guide you through the weight loss process. Together you will develop a weight loss programme that will allow your pet to lose weight safely. We will weigh your pet and calculate how much they need to lose to stay healthy. We will then discuss with you the best diet and exercise regime to achieve this. You will get your very own weight watchers pack with weight record charts and handy tips.” Contact: Stamford Veterinary Centre: T: 01780 763180 E: W:

Top weight loss tips: • When measuring your pet’s daily ration of food, try to use food weighing scales as there can be a large discrepancy when using measuring cups. • Why not weigh out your pet’s daily ration of food and put it into plastic take away tubs. Label each tub from Monday – Sunday. By doing this all members of the family will know that your pet is only allowed what’s in that tub labelled for that specific day and therefore they will not get any additional food/extra calories. • If your pet is elderly or very overweight, be sure to increase their daily exercise regime very, very gradually (maybe consider hydrotherapy sessions for dogs). • Encourage your cat to move around more by committing to 10 minutes play time per day. Cats love toys that mimic animals they would naturally hunt, so choose toys and activities that will engage them such as laser pens and catnip toys.

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Anyone for Fives

One of the oldest court games in the world is witnessing a renaissance, no more so than in the East of England, as Nick Preston discovers


OT often is the smallest county in England credited with being the catalyst for a sporting revolution, but in 1850 Rutland was the county that spear-headed the introduction of a brand new ‘revolutionary’ sport across the country. The sport was called ‘Eton Fives’. Indeed, Uppingham and its school was the first location after Eton to introduce the game as an important and radical idea to place sport into pupils’ otherwise classical and religious curriculum. Over time Rutland had more Fives Courts per capita of population than any other county; 36 at its peak all hidden away behind closed doors, gardens and walls. It’s also remarkable that the vast majority of Uppingham’s population had absolutely no idea about the existence of the sport or the mere fact that hundreds of boys were playing it right under their noses! But given the fact that in those days the town and school rarely mixed this is perhaps not so surprising. What a pity that so many people were excluded from what was soon becoming a very popular sport throughout the country and indeed across many parts of the Empire including India, Nigeria, Malaysia, Singapore and there was even a court built within the grounds of the Forbidden City in Beijing. Once established at Uppingham, the game was transported by its Masters to Shrewsbury and as far afield as Dover College where one court still exists. 165 years later, a game which today many people have still never heard of, is expanding around the country and no more so than in East Anglia with the game witnessing a resurgence at both Uppingham and Oakham, while Cambridge has recently built 3 state-of– the art brand new indoor Courts and Ipswich has a community of over 100 regular Fives players. So what exactly is Eton Fives? No prizes



for guessing its origin; in fact it’s the only game that Eton itself managed to ‘transport’ into the wider community. It started on the entrance steps to Eton’s Chapel when boys relieved their boredom by throwing a roundlike object against the Chapel’s walls and its buttress before entering Chapel. The antics became popular and a ‘replica’ purpose built court was constructed featuring the ‘buttress’, the Chapel’s walls, ledges and steps as key components of the Court. Not surprisingly the game is often described as a game of ‘hazards’ – as the small ball, made out of rubber and cork,

is hit around the court by hand (with padded gloves), ricochets off ledges and the buttress at all angles and speeds – causing both laughter and surprise, but necessitating a large degree of concentration, fleet of foot and hand eye coordination. Eton Fives is a surprisingly versatile sport; it suits both old and young, fit and not so fit, is a sport where men and women, boys and girls can play on equal terms – (it doesn’t rely on brute strength!), is one of the few sports that is completely ambidextrous and in this day and age, is unusual in that it has no referee or umpire. It is entirely self-regulatory between the four people on court where lets are offered and not asked for and a serve is exactly what it means, a ‘service’ to your opponent…not a

means to smash the ball as hard as possible! And, it’s cheap. No expensive equipment, merely a pair of Fives gloves and a ball and probably no more than £1 to play! Despite the game transcending three centuries, it remains largely unknown to the vast majority of the population. Unlike Squash, which Eton Fives predates by 100 years and Tennis, Fives was never established as a community sport. It remained entirely within Schools. Yet now, for the first time, the game is expanding beyond its ‘public school’ mantra. The first ever community courts have been built at Westway in West London and another inner city centre is opening in Hackney next year. But here in East Anglia, Cambridge aims to become the leading centre for Fives outside of London. Its courts have already attracted visits from Dutch Schools as well as visiting teams from Switzerland. And now its doors are wide open to anyone who wishes to come and experience this extraordinary game. Its aim is to attract as many from the local community to at least try their ‘hand’. From September, the brand-new Cambridge University Sports Centre on the Madingley Road is offering introductory sessions for both Adults, Children and Schools. Fives is witnessing a resurgence at both Uppingham and Oakham and is attracting a brand-new audience in Cambridge. Across the country, there is a thriving Fives community in and around London, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton Newbury and even courts in Colwyn Bay and St Bees School on the Cumbrian coast. There are immediate plans to establish over 60 new courts across the country over the next 7 years which should ensure the game survives for future generations. • Madingley Road is offering introductory sessions for both Adults, Children and Schools (visit tryetonfives to find out more).




Patricia Tyers, Owner St Mary’s Antiquarian Books Thirty years since the iconic St Mary’s Books opened in Stamford, Louise Goss meets owner Patricia Tyers and discovers she has many of her own stories to tell


INCE the 1970s, Patricia Tyers and her late husband, Godfrey, have been somewhat pioneers in the bookselling field. From running a newsagents with second-hand books in Leicester, the couple “started the concept of book sales”, hiring halls around the country and selling remaining unsold stock from publishers. “It was pre-internet and we did very well,” says Pat. Today, Pat’s shop on St Mary’s Hill, once described as an “Alice in Wonderland warren” of rooms is one of the area’s leading bookshops, housing over 40,000 volumes and with a global client base. The couple bought the shop in 1987 after seeing it advertised in the Stamford Mercury. “Godfrey said, ‘What do you think of that?’ We came over, stood across the road and I liked the look of it.” Many in Stamford may remember the shop as a newsagents but within a decade they switched the focus back to book selling. “Godfrey was the inspiration,” Pat says. “Books were his life; he lived for books and music.” She explains how the room we are stood in, now filled with books, used to be a tiny kitchen at the back of the shop where they lived. It is now dedicated to her husband’s memory. With the help of her son, Marcus, who now does the day to day running of the shop, they became one of the first bookshops to go online. By 1997 they had already sold their first book over the internet. GOOD READS Filling almost one room in the shop is their latest acquisition, over 8,000 books on aviation and military history, a topic they deal with a lot, along with Wisdens Cricketers’ Almanacks, rare first editions and collectible children’s books. Pat has handled some very precious books over the years including first editions of Jane Austen novels, a signed version of a Beatrix Potter and most recently the original proof copy of the first Harry Potter book. “You have to detach yourself from these books,” she says. “I’ve been selling them for forty-seven years. You can’t be attached to them.”

The books can sell for thousands of pounds but Pat leaves the buying to Marcus. “He’s more my business partner and he runs the whole shop now and I deal with the finances. He does a lot of probate… We get called out to a lot of private libraries, institutions, big country estates…” Viewing collections to buy is one of the more exciting, if at times dangerous parts of the job. Pat says of one house, “We went upstairs and there were nearly a hundred ammunition cases filled with books, and in the next room, an unexploded bomb. We had to call the bomb disposal team.” Their new venture is “sumo-size books”, giant modern volumes on art and photography by publisher, Taschen. “We always said we’d never go into new books,” Pat says but “these are the best.” They also plan to “expand on maps and atlases” and open up a map room. FAME AND FOOTBALL The shop has attracted many famous names over the years. Dame Judi Dench, Keira Knightley and Andrew Lloyd Webber have been known to browse the shelves. “He actually bought a first edition of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” Pat laughs. As a self-confessed royalist, Pat is proud of her own famous encounter, meeting Princess Diana while staying at a hotel near Sandringham one Christmas. “On Christmas Eve morning, she walked in with the boys and we were in the pool. She taught my youngest daughter how to swim… Godfrey used to say she looked up at you with those amazing eyes.” Pat admits she is more of a “leisure reader”, tending to “read novels while on holiday.” Her main passions are ballroom dancing and football. “I’m a massive Leicester City Fan,” she says. “My dad took me when I was three so I’ve been a lifelong fan. I’m fanatical. When we won the Premier League last year I had 4,000 blue and white lights and blue and white flags all around my house.” Her other love is sequence dancing, which she enjoys in Peterborough and Market Deeping, but there is no question which comes first: “Football comes first. If there’s a dance and a football match, the football wins…” St Mary’s books: 01780 763033 STAMFORD LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017



Burghley Sculpture Exhibition 2017 Michael Shaw, curator, describes this year’s visually startling sculpture exhibition

Robert Fung, From Far Away Great Changes Come as Forms You Thought You Knew


ATURALLY Sculpture is an adventurous exploration of natural materials and forms at Burghley Sculpture Garden. Massive sculptures abound, including a life-size tank and a humongous Trojan Horse. These are complemented by wondrous kinetic wind sculptures that depict the flight of birds and movement of fish. Various floral tributes bloom, including a swathe of waist-high snowdrops and a triffid-like allium. Fauna emerges in the guise of a groovy mole, giant spider’s web, oversize crab claw and a surprisingly elephantine sculpture. Natural forms result from man-made materials including electrical cables, iron, stainless steel, highly reflective plastics and even fake grass! The humour in Lucy Strachan’s Grassfall is deadpan and on first viewing prompts a doubletake and wry smile. Cascading over the top of the wall comes not a torrent of water, but fake grass, its tufted artificiality channelled into rivulets and drips of liquid green. The elephant in the room, or shall we say garden, belongs to artist Jim Unsworth. Another Surprise for Fabrics Lucius is by no means shy, it bursts out like a ‘Jack in the Box’. Half tame, half wild. His muscular sculpture is both striking, dynamic and jocular. Other intrigues include Jenny Pickford’s triffid-like Stargazer Allium. The sculpture’s title also alludes to the experience it induces which, given its scale, means one must look up to the flower head. Doing so fully enlivens the glass flowers as their translucency and coloration is revealed and intensified by sunlight. Some sculptors have taken materials from the natural world and transformed them into man-made objects of an immense scale. A life-size American tank has been sliced, spliced and slotted back together through a process of digital manipulation and computer-controlled cutting of plywood. The Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Army Tank by



Peter Mountain is enriched by attentive detailing all over, be it the mud flaps, tracks or turret. The blackened charring of the tracks heightens the sense of a sculpture on manoeuvres. The war footing continues at a gargantuan scale with Robert Fung, his sculpture clad in a veneer of oak slab offcuts. Of course, the notion of cladding to finalise appearance is central to the conceptual undertow of his convincing Trojan Horse. Potentially a gift to the city of Troy, Fung’s From Far Away Great Changes Come As Forms You Thought You Knew is replete with a trapdoor, mane of sticks and tail of brushwood. It has even been assaulted by a flurry of arrows! Way below the aerial, another sculpture has literally tunnelled up into view. Fatkin the Mole, by Marjan Wouda, pierces the earth and proudly surveys his work, with his powerful broad legs and feet splayed in a ta-da pose. The sculpture relates to an abandoned mine, where, Fatkin was the nickname of the last working miner. The mole’s normally velvety surface has been impregnated with the tools of the colliery trade. Look closely and you can see bits of rope, cogs and chains. Its final intrigue; coal dust impregnated into the mole’s skin. Fatkin the Mole is a somewhat cheeky sculpture, but dig deeper and layers of meaning can be excavated. Overall, Naturally Sculpture reveals how sculptors can modulate the form of materials to depict nature and natural phenomena; as well as transforming natural materials into man-made forms. This dialogue between three-dimensional form and the natural world may remind us of the beauties and fragilities of nature; as well as our dependence upon it. So, why not come to Burghley and take a walk on the wild side to find your own pathway between nature and sculpture. The Sculpture Garden at Burghley is open daily from 11-5, excepting Aug 31st-Sept 3rd. The exhibition continues until the end of October.

Marjan Wouda, Fatkin, The Mole

Peter Mountain, The Deconstruction, and Reconstruction of An Army Tank

Lucy Strachan, Grassfall

Jenny Pickford, Stargazer Allium

Jim Unsworth, Another Surprise for Fabricius Luscinus STAMFORD LIVING SEPTEMBER 2017


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Stamford Civic Society This month Stamford Civic Society are mounting a special exhibition at the Arts Centre from September 20th to 28th. Jean Orpin and Sue Lee provide an introduction to the Society and the Exhibition.


N 1957 Duncan Sandys founded the Civic Trust bringing together voluntary groups concerned about planning and conservation in the light of post-war urban changes. In 1961, Stamford celebrated the Quincentenary of its Town Charter with numerous events and a royal visit. Both these things drew the attention of a small group of enthusiasts who valued Stamford’s heritage and were worried by the threats to it. They got together and in 1962 founded a Civic Society for Stamford. Lord Exeter became the first President and Basil Deed, who had been Headmaster of Stamford School for fifteen years, the first Chairman. Early concerns were the demolition of medieval buildings in the town, the control of traffic and inappropriate advertising signs. A campaign to save the Albert Hall (at the eastern end of High St) sadly failed but it raised awareness and by the time the Conservation Area was established, the Civic Society was poised to play an important part in preserving the heritage of Stamford. Basil Deed was succeeded as Chairman by Dr Eric Till, a local GP who had become an expert on the history of Stamford and Burghley House. Subsequent Chairmen and Committees have been equally zealous in their work for the Society. As well as monitoring planning within the Conservation Area they have been involved in many projects in the town such as the pedestrianisation of High St, the installation of interpretative boards and the introduction of a heavy lorry ban. To celebrate the Queen’s 60th Jubilee they worked with young people on the restoration of the old sundial on All Saints’ Church and the installation of a new one.

The Society Today The serious conservation work of the Society continues today in close co-operation with SKDC. The Committee reviews planning applications within the Conservation Area and with the help of their architectural advisors comments on them all. They are happy to advise owners of listed properties and have guidance for them on their website. They keep a watching brief on housing developments, transport, infrastructure and signage. The Society co-operates with other interested groups in the town and will join campaigns if they feel there is a necessity to do so. The current Chairman, Gwyneth Gibbs, is keen to point out that the Society is ‘not stuck in aspic’ nor just concerned with the oldest and most impressive buildings of the town. The Conservation Area includes all ages and styles of building and recognises that modern life requires development and that development can be positive. As an example, the Society worked closely with the planners



and the architect on the renovation of a derelict warehouse on Bath Row. A special award was given by the Society for this scheme and other awards have been given for craftsmanship, contributions to green spaces, care of shop fronts and to Society Members who have spearheaded special projects. A full list is on the website. The Society also has its social side. Through the winter months there are talks held in Browne’s Hospital and in the summer visits, both local and distant, and a party at St Leonard’s Priory. An annual members’ evening around the fire at Browne’s Hospital provides an excellent opportunity for discussion about current issues. The Urban Group as part of the society has initiated several projects, most recently the changes to St Michael’s Churchyard, and the Society works closely with schools in the town. This year the Society’s main project is their Exhibition from 20th to 28th September and they have assisted schools in preparing films for Heritage Lincolnshire’s Film Festival.

Civic Society Logo This was designed by founder member, Stephen Hart, who served on the Society’s Committee for over 45yrs. At the top is a keystone, a characteristic of so many Stamford windows and doors. Beneath is a representation of a quatrefoil, a decoration found on all Stamford’s churches. Together they symbolise the heritage the Society seeks to protect.

Stamford Civic Society welcomes new members Are you interested in the beauty, history and character of Stamford? Do you care about maintaining good standards of architecture and planning? Would you enjoy meeting and partaking in activities with others who share these interests? To find out more or join online visit www. or contact Stamford Civic Society, 16 Phillips Court, PE9 2EE Membership £10, two people at one address £15.

STAMFORD: 50 YEARS A CONSERVATION TOWN This year is a very special one for Stamford. Fifty years ago central Stamford was designated the first conservation town. “An Act to make further provision for the protection and improvement of buildings of architectural or historic interest and the character of areas of such interest. For the preservation and planting of trees.” Civic Amenity Act 27th July 1967 The Reasons

In the 1950s towns were changing mainly as a result of the motor car. Streets were widened; roundabouts, ring roads, flyovers, multi-storey car parks and shopping centres appeared. Many properties were demolished and people were concerned about the changes. Here in Stamford the deputy planning officer for Kesteven, Dr K R Fennell, produced two reports in the 1960s about the many buildings of architectural and historical interest in the town. Houses had been listed since 1950 and half of Lincolnshire’s listed buildings were in Stamford. Fennell felt they were important nationally as well as locally and should be maintained. His main recommendation was to establish a heritage area including all properties within the boundaries of the old medieval walls. Other towns were also drawing attention to the need to care for whole streets. Richard Crossman, the Labour Minister of Housing and Local Government was impressed with this idea

and wanted to bring in legislation. In 1965 he managed to reorganise the listing of buildings, and then the following January he attended a conference which aimed to work out a good policy for historic towns.

Civic Amenity Act 1967. In May 1966 Crossman had a meeting with Duncan Sandys a Conservative MP who had drawn first place in the ballot for Private Members’ Bills. Crossman convinced him of the need for a Bill to strengthen the powers to prevent demolition of listed buildings. Sandys also agreed with Crossman’s idea of townscapes not just individual buildings. The Bill became Law in 1967. The government of the day decided to undertake four pilot studies of historic towns. They chose Bath, York, Chichester and King’s Lynn. However, all the preparatory work had been done in Stamford and so Dr Fennell commended it to the Ministry. They jumped at the idea and central Stamford, within the old town walls, was designated the first Conservation Area in England in 1967.

What did this mean? • Demolition within Conservation Areas required consent • Development must preserve or enhance the historic character of the area • Trees were given additional protection • Regulations on advertising were tightened • Notice of planning applications had to be advertised in a local newspaper • Copies of planning applications were to be available for public inspection for 21 days and any representations from the public had to be considered The onus was put on local planning authorities to pay special attention to preserving or enhancing the character or



appearance of Conservation Areas while undertaking their planning duties. They were given additional powers to control changes that might be allowed without planning permission in other locations, for example changing the appearance of windows or adding external cladding.

Conservation Town The Act was not passed soon enough to save the Albert Hall from demolition and replacement with an unsympathetic building in the modernist style but after the Act was passed, the Town Council had more powers. They were able to refuse an application by the International Stores to build a new shop front at 8, High Street including a white mosaic fascia 4ft high. Some houses that had been declared unfit, such as 3 St Peter’s Street and Exeter Court became the subject of building preservation orders and were saved. (3 St Peter’s Street is now a Grade2* listed building) Over the years, Stamford has benefitted greatly from becoming a Conservation Town. Not just individual buildings but street views have been preserved and new buildings inserted sympathetically. Visitors continue to appreciate ‘the finest stone town in England’. Without vigilance however, much could be lost. Proximity to Peterborough has resulted in a large increase in population and housing development on green field sites. As a result, although the historic centre continues to be monitored, its infrastructure is suffering. Roads are unsuitable for the volume of traffic and car parks are inadequate, deterring visitors. Developers are required to pay a charge to the council and in these days of austerity, they are not surprisingly sometimes more concerned about cash than heritage. Perhaps a campaign for the future by someone as enlightened as Dr Fennell would be a good idea?

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

September 20th - 28th





‘The black depth’ Photographing Rutland Water’s cormorants Bird photographer Michael Taylor explains how the unmistakable cormorant bird might not be as welcomed as the famous osprey, but can nonetheless provide fantastic photographic opportunities at Rutland Water.

Occurrence and breeding Cormorants are fairly widespread throughout the UK and can be seen all year round. Recent estimates indicate that some 9000 breeding pairs exist, of which around 1600 nest inland mainly in England and Wales. During the breeding season cormorants build nests close to their neighbours. At inland sites, they’re built in trees from twigs which can end up quite bulky. The laying of three to four eggs and subsequent raising of young takes place between April and May. Nesting colonies are very distinct, even long after the young have fledged some 50 days from hatching. The host trees end up with an almost white appearance and can die after 3-4 years of annual use. The catalyst for the tree’s eventual demise is the cormorant’s droppings, which are very acidic.

Hunting reputation Cormorants are large birds with an overall length that can reach up to 1m and a wingspan approaching 1.6m. They have a predominantly black appearance and possess a fearsome looking bill, with a hook at the end, which is used to devastating effect when hunting for their mainstay diet of fish.

Unfortunately, for the angling fraternity in particular, the cormorant is a near perfect underwater killing machine. It can swim beneath the surface for about two minutes and, if necessary, dive to depths greater than 20m. Moreover, they’re not fussy in terms of which fish is on the menu and as such they’ll take a wide species reflecting whatever’s available, including game fish such as trout and salmon. Consequently, birds located inland inevitably come into conflict with fishing groups. Given their appearance and, more importantly, the impact that cormorants can have on fish stocks, anglers commonly refer to them as “the black depth”. It’s easy to see why these birds are categorised as ruthless fish killers, no matter what the intended meal is. During one particular photo shoot at Rutland I was fortunate to witness a quite rare, and not very often photographed, battle between a huge pike, the apex underwater predator, and a cormorant. After a considerable amount of time a single bird landed on the water. It soon started diving repeatedly for a meal. Five minutes or so passed as I patiently watched the black predator dive yet again, then suddenly, dozens of bubbles appeared on the surface in front of the hide, quickly followed by the cormorant erupting from the water with an enormous pike in its bill. I fired off a number of frames as the battle continued, the pike escaping to the water twice but each time it was recaptured and eventually, after a long struggle, ended up inside the cormorant. Images from the battle

sequence can be seen on my website at




Michael’s top tips for bird photography Rutland Water offers the wildlife photographer a variety of great locations. Among my favourites is the reserve at Egleton, managed by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust in partnership with Anglian Water. Visit for details. Here’s my five top tips for bird photography:



When framing your shot, always consider the format for the given scene, landscape or portrait.

Always try to use a hide if possible, your subjects will be more confident if they can’t see you.

I took this photo from a hide. The cormorant was totally unaware of my presence.


To get frame filling shots, ideally a focal length of 300-500mm is needed. Where possible, always use a tripod - or a beanbag if you’re in a hide, to help reduce camera and lens shake.

‘This cormorant’s position ideally suits a portrait format.’


Wildlife photography requires a lot of patience. Avoid making loud noises or sudden movements, settle down and eventually the birds will come to you.

I used a tripod for this bird in flight shot to eliminate camera shake.


If your camera has the function continuous AF mode (also called AI-servo, or AF-C), use it for action shots and you’ll be able to fire off a burst of 5-10 frames in a second, depending on the camera model.

This shot was taken after spending 2 hours in the same hide anticipating some activity.

• Michael Taylor has been photographing wildlife for over 20 years. You can see more of his work at

Continuous auto focus mode was used for this action shot.




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

Thursday 31 August to Sunday 3 September EVENT: Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Recognised as the premier equestrian and social event in the international sporting calendar and a focus for the best horses and riders in the world, the parkland of Burghley provides a stunning location for the popular shopping village of more than 600 exhibitors – making sure Burghley is now almost as famous for the fabulous shopping as for the equine action. Burghley Park, Stamford For tickets and all information visit

Friday 8 September, 7pm to 11pm EVENT: Barn Dance To celebrate another successful osprey season at Rutland Water a barn dance will be held with music provided by the Navigation Band. The ticket price includes a hog roast and bar plus a raffle and games. Manton Village Hall Tickets £20 each Tel: 01572 737378 or visit Tuesday 12 to Saturday 16 September THEATRE: The Memory of Water Presented by Stamford Shoestring Theatre and written by Shelagh Stephenson, this life affirming play won the Laurence Olivier Award for best comedy in 2000. A reunion occurs

when three estranged sisters and their partners gather at the home of their recently deceased mother. As the sisters relive the past, it becomes apparent that despite synchronicities of time and place, each has a very different memory of events. Stamford Theatre Tickets £10/8 Tel: 01780 763203 or Tuesday 19 September, 7.30pm TALK: Stamford Photographers Stamford and its inhabitants were recorded from the earliest days of photography. Philippa Massey looks at the photographers who have left such a useful archive showing Stamford’s development

Thursday 21 September, 7.30pm DANCE: Ian and Camilla Up Close and Personal Join Ian Waite and Camilla Dallerup from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing for an intimate evening of dance, songs and stories from their time on the show. This will be the couple’s last professional tour together as Camilla is retiring from dance this year. The couple will perform some amazing Latin and ballroom routines and tell their inside stories. Corn Exchange Theatre, Stamford Tickets £26/£24 Tel: 01780 766455

Stamford Theatre Tickets £5 Tel: 01780 763203 Friday 29 September TRIBUTE BAND: The Stones Bringing to the stage all the energy and excitement of a live Rolling Stones concert, this is not a tongue in cheek approach, but a serious tribute to the music of the greatest rock and roll band in the world, in a show so close to the original that you will simply not believe your eyes or your ears. Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre Tickets £17/16 Tel: 01780 766455 or visit stamfordcornexchange.

Friday 8 September, 8pm MUSIC: Sounds of the Sixties Experience the Sixties show that’s wowing audiences around the world, selling out and headlining venues from the Palladium to Old Trafford courtesy of The Zoots as they perform legendary numbers by The Beatles, The Stones, The Monkees and dozens of sixties legends. Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre Tickets £15/£14 Tel: 01780 766455



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OUT & ABOUT Amander Meade selects some of the best entertainment in the region this month. SPECIAL EVENT Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 September

Stamford Georgian Festival

The waiting is over – this month sees the return of the magnificent bi-annual Georgian Festival. Street theatre, colourful markets, celebrity speakers, Georgian science and even tumbling horseback acrobats create a spectacle in Stamford not to be missed. For the full programme of events, venues, booking and pricing information visit stamfordgeorgianfestival. or Tel: 01780 763203. Some of the daily highlights include: Thursday 21 September Dan Cruickshank – Renowned art historian and TV presenter Dan makes a welcome return to the Arts Centre. Ghost Walks - Soak up Stamford’s haunting atmosphere with plenty of scary fun along the way.

Friday 22 September Town Hall Tours See ancient regalia, the Malcom Sargent room and the old jail cells in this special tour. Historic Tree Tour Visit the historic trees on the Burghley Estate accompanied by the estate’s Head of Forestry, Peter Glassey. The Great Georgian Science show Join Sir Isaac Newton, James Watt and esteemed colleagues as they take you on an incredible journey revealing how their amazing discoveries and inventions changed the world. The show is at the Arts Centre and is suitable for all but schools especially welcome. Georgian Costume Workshop Stitchers of all abilities are welcome to take part in this Georgian sewing workshop. Drop in sessions take place at Stamford Library.

Georgian Costume Ball One of the highlights of the whole weekend, a period ball in authentic surroundings in the ballroom at the Arts Centre. Join in Georgian costume to dances called by the dance mistress accompanied by authentic live music and card games from the era. All levels of dancers welcome for a superb evening of entertainment Tickets £40 to include supper. Saturday 23 September Street Market (and Sunday) Peruse the various goods on sale at this lively street market. Tower Tours (and Sunday) Enjoy an unrivalled view of Stamford from All Saints Church - 120 feet up. Heritage Skills Fair Meet the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and Heritage Lincolnshire to see traditional skills on display and chat to crafts people at the Sheep Market/Eleanor Cross. Omnibus Carriage Rides (and Sunday) Take a trip back in time on an authentic horse drawn

ride around the centre of Stamford or take the Mail coach around Burghley Park. Entertainment on the Meadows (and Sunday) Traders and the Coldstream 1815 Regiment of Foot Guards, French soldiers and other re-enactment characters will be based on the Meadows along with free entertainment, Punch & Judy and a traditional fun-fair.

HMS Welland Local vocal group HMS Welland join the festival again this year with their renditions of shanties from the Georgian era in Browne’s Hospital Gardens. Georgian Children’s Fashions Costumier Lindsey Holmes talks and demonstrates how this period changed the way children were dressed forever. Stamford Arts Centre.

The Galloping Acrobatics Roll up roll up for some equestrian razzle dazzle as you watch some mesmerising feats of balance and equestrian skill on the Meadows. Austentatious An entirely improvised, entirely brilliant Regency comedy extravaganza in the Arts Centre. Sunday 24 September Coffee and Chocolate Treat your taste buds to a tasting and get an insight into the start of a modern retail phenomenon at Café Au Chocolat, Ironmonger Street. Love and War, Sherry and Tripe Historical novelist

Peter looks beyond the uniforms and bonnets to see how people lived during a period of almost constant conflict with the French. Arts Centre.

Afternoon Tea Dance Period dance troupe Regency Re-jigged perform Georgian dances to watch or join i n with as you enjoy tea and cake 12 – 1pm at Burghley House and 3pm to 4.30pm in the Arts Centre. An Evening With Austen Finishing in style with top TV faces. A magical evening in the company of Jane Austen’s most memorable characters in the Arts Centre.






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Charles Welch Charles Welch has been Head of Witham Hall School for 8 years. Ambitious for the school, he has succeeded in putting Witham on the map but he insists that being a headmaster is a great leveller. By Rebecca Chatterton How did you become a teacher? I thought I was going to be a farmer! My academic choices were geared towards that but then at University sport kicked in and I caught the beginning of professional rugby and teaching followed that. The opportunity to give something back to children and the team ethic is what I found in education. Witham is built on it and is in everything we do here. I started teaching at a school in Yorkshire and then before Witham was at Oakham where I became Director of Sport and where I met my wife Jo. What motivates you about being a Head? I still get motivated by what I’ll call the grassroots things. You walk into school in the morning knowing the framework of your day but I love the difference that each day brings. You can’t do anything about what happened yesterday – I’m a perfectionist at heart but being an educationalist, a headmaster, is a great leveller. The best advice I was ever given was by Tony Little (then Headmaster of Oakham and latterly of Eton before retiring in 2015). He said, “Don’t get too excited by the highs but then don’t get too downhearted by the lows”. I’ll keep doing this job for as long as I walk into school in the morning with that excitement in the face of what the day might hold. Tatler has crowned you ‘Headmaster of the Year’ and Witham Hall ‘Runner-up Prep of the Year’ – wonderful accolades but what effect does it have? It’s undoubtedly had an impact on how Witham is seen from the outside but internally it’s a lovely reflection of everything that everybody here is trying to do on a regular basis. Who sends their children to school at Witham? This has changed hugely during my time here. We’re still very much a local school but we also have parents who drive for nearly an hour each way and more people moving to the area from London. What does the Prep school model continue to offer in modern life? We look carefully at the things that make us different to other schools locally. You have to keep evolving – you can’t just suggest that the prep school model is going to survive. We have Saturday school and a healthy diet of arts, sports, music and drama, which will become more and



more important moving forward. Our system has a flexibility and particular quirks which are loved by parents – homework is done at school and tea is available for anyone and activities are fulfilled throughout the week. Flexiboarding is a huge part of the Witham experience and complements all that we do here. Moving to senior school at 13 rather than 11 better suits many children. What is Witham’s place in the wider community? It’s very easy for the children to walk through the Witham campus and have no clue about what goes on in the outside world. We don’t want that so being part of the local community is really, really important. And I think our kids are great out there. But it’s not just about us going out- we bring a lot of the local community in to help educate the children. We ’ve strengthened our links with the village and church enormously. We have strong connections with 2 primary schools that we bus in weekly to be taught by our teachers and the village and wider community enjoy using our facilities. We have a new sports centre and this too will bring further opportunities. How would you define a Witham child? I’m very proud of the fact that when our children go out and meet people they’re able to have good conversations with anybody. I think we build this from things that we do here on a daily basis – we sit down and have lunch with the children and they know that they’re expected to start the conversation. This comes from confidence, though I stress not arrogance. I like that phrase “confidence brings ambition and ambition brings confidence” you can’t have one without the other. Witham children’s confidence doesn’t stem from only doing things that they’re good at - good breadths of interest are also key, be it at school or home. Our children are the best way we market ourselves. What continues to inspire you? My drive is always for Witham to be the best place it can be and I’ve never had a day where I feel I’ve achieved it.

Sincere apologies: We are profoundly sorry for having given the wrong name to Tony Story’s wife in the August issue Stamford Living people profile. Her correct name is, of course, Val.

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