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STAMFORD LIVING FOOD/FASHION/HEALTH & BEAUTY/HOME & GARDEN/LIFESTYLE

SHOPPING Which Wellies? LEARNING Try something new! BREAK TIME Jumbo Crossword

£1.50 JANUARY 2012

@LocalLivingUK

WWW.BESTLOCALLIVING.CO.UK

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9 771478 377017 SLJANCOVER.indd 1

NOW OPEN Enjoy 2 mains for £12 at your NEW ASK Italian in Stamford. See page 7 for voucher 15/12/11 17:34:42


St Martins, Stamford

£765,000

A superb recently refurbished 5 bedroom town house situated in the sought after area of St. Martins. Dating back to the early 18th Century the property is Grade II* listed. Spread over three floors and including a cellar the property is packed with original features which must be viewed. Amongst the many highlights there is a wonderful first floor drawing room with a library/ study, 3 further reception rooms, kitchen, approx 100 ft garden partially laid to lawn, with herb border and pergola. Garage.

Gresley Drive, Stamford

Well presented three bedroom town house within easy walking distance of the town centre. Briefly comprising: Entrance Hall, Kitchen and Breakfast Area, Sitting Room and Courtyard Garden. One Double Bedroom, One Large Single Bedroom, One Further Single Bedroom and newly fitted Bathroom. Allocated parking.

Red Lion House, Barnack

£640,000

Sitting in a delightful location with mature gardens overlooking fields beyond and including a large useful Barn and workshop. Dating back to 1844 and sympathetically extended over the years to provide a delightful family home with the additional benefit of a ground floor suite of sitting room, bedroom and shower room providing versatile living accommodation. The Kitchen has recently been refitted to a superb standard as have the bathrooms and cloakrooms. To the first floor are 4 double Bedrooms

£695 pcm

Main Street, Empingham

£475 pcm

Pretty detached cottage situated in this much sought-after village of Rutland with many local facilities. The property has been recently refurbished and comprises: Lounge with stairs leading to Mezzanine Bedroom. Kitchen and Shower Room. The property also benefits from parking and a lovely garden. Available now.

2/3 St Johns Street Stamford PE9 2DA

Sales: 01780 750000 Lettings: 01780 750001 2

Email: info@goodwinpropertyservices.co.uk www.goodwinpropertyservices.co.uk

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STAMFORD LIVING

JANUARY CONTENTS

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Farewell Father My father died last month, aged 87. He had moved to Stamford with my mother eight years ago, living next door to us; and in the last year he had been at Whitefriars Care Home in the Ryhall Rd. Although his health was already failing when they moved here, he very much enjoyed Stamford, and became a familiar figure on his ‘buggy’ in the market, and at All Saints’ at the Sunday morning service (the more traditional the better for him). And in his passing, we have all been immensely grateful for the sympathy and support of our friends and neighbours. More than ever at a time like this one feels grateful to be part of a loving and closeknit community. It really does make a big difference, Thanks to RJ Scholes for the funeral arrangements, Miss Pickering for exquisite flowers and to All Saints’ for the memorial service. And above all to the care that Whitefriars gave him in his final year, and all the medical support of the NHS. He would have said “Life is for the living – get on with it” – and so we shall! Feels like a good motto for 2012.

Nicholas Rudd-Jones Editor

@LocalLivingUK Editor Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 nicholas@bestlocalliving.co.uk Write to Stamford Living, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY www.bestlocallivingliving.co.uk Advertisement Manager Claudia Bayley 01780 480409 claudia.bayley@btinternet.com Advertisement Director Helen Walton 01780 754801 helen.stamford@btopenworld.com Advertising Copy Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 rachel@locallivingdesign.co.uk Head of Design Steven Handley steve@locallivingdesign.co.uk Senior Designer Nik Ellis nik@locallivingdesign.co.uk Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 nicholas@bestlocalliving.co.uk Published by Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford, Lincs. PE9 9FY nicholas@bestlocalliving.co.uk Printed by Warner’s of Bourne

Subscribe to Stamford Living

UPFRONT, SHOPPING 5 Upfront: Scarlet Sky, Queensgate winner, Thierry Daugeron winner, Stuy Porter Antiques FASHION, HEALTH & BEAUTY 6 Health & Beauty News: Advanced Skin Clinic, Essence of Beauty, Chrysalis Training 9 Fashion: January sales 12 Health & Beauty: Nutrition & Fitness 19 Shopping: Which Wellies? HOME, GARDEN & MOTORING 24 Shopping & Services: Scotgate feature 32 Design Interiors: The Falcon in Uppingham 51 Motoring: Vehicle thefts FOOD & DRINK 37 Food & Drink: Get involved in supporting local food producers 39 Eating Out News: Lunch for even less offer, Lord Nelson in Oakham, L’Oliveto. Riverside Bar & Bistro 40 Eating Out: The Cosy Club, Queen’s Head at Bulwick ACTIVITIES, LEARNING & BUSINESS 21 Local Business: Sovereign Solar panels; Buckles Solicitors 22 Writer’s spot: ‘Looking Back’ by Victoria Bullimore 28 Learning: Try out something new! 31 Local Business: NFU Mutual, Watson Mitchell, Oundle Travel focus on Paris 44 Activities: Learning to drive 47 Feature on accountants, solicitors and business services 51 Catching some winter sun 57 What’s On PERSPECTIVES 16 Countryfile: Ploughing 35 All about Stamford: Carrie’s Column; Jumbo Crossword 42 Countryfile: Dry Stone Walls 59 Ask Leo: Q&A on Stamford history 62 Stamford People: Thierry Daugeron, French caterer

Front cover image: Lyveden New Bield, Nr Oundle, in the snow. For opening times, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lyveden

For only £20 (UK only) you can subscribe to Stamford Living for a year (12 issues). Please send your name, address and a cheque made out to Local Living Ltd to: SL Subscriptions, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Or you can subscribe via the website at www.bestlocalliving.co.uk

STAMFORD Living JANUARY 2012

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LOCAL NEWS

UPFRONT What’s new this month

SCARLET SKY OPENS IN STAMFORD Camilla Golland opened her first children’s clothes shop Scarlet Sky in Oakham in June 2009. She has seen a steadily increasing turnover since, and has been keen to open a second shop in Stamford for some 18 months. Eventually Camilla found the ideal location on St Mary’s Street and the new shop opened its doors at the start of December. The double-fronted shop is very attractive; simply and tastefully fitted, with plenty of space to move around even with small children in tow. Here you will find a selection of beautifully designed children’s clothes (from age zero to 16 years) that are made to last. Scarlet Sky stocks well-loved brands such as Catimini, Hackett, Tommy Hilfiger, Busy Peas, No Added Sugar, Petit Bateau and many others, plus a rising British label ‘Mpenzi’ who produce environmentally and ethically friendly fashion for girls. On top of that there’s a wide range of affordable quality toys: British made Orchard toys, wooden toys, Science Museum and Natural History Museum sets, Trunki and loads more. On the first floor there’s ‘Team Sports’, a stylish, trendy area dedicated to sportswear and equipment for rugby (Canterbury & Gilbert), cricket (Gunn & Moore), football (Umbro, Mitre), racket sports (Wilson), hockey (Grays) and swimming (Zoggs). • Scarlet Sky, 5 St Mary’s Street, Stamford PE9 2DE Tel: 01780 238232 www.scarlet.sky.co.uk

A FITTING WINNER Stamford Resident Margot Walford was delighted when she heard the news that she had won a day’s cookery course after entering the Stamford Cookery Schools’ competition in last months Stamford Living Magazine. When Margot moved to Stamford to become the minister of the Salvation Army Church, her first job was to find a new meeting room for members. When this proved quite difficult, Denise Taylor (as Director of Store It) offered a short term solution namely Unit 1 Brownlow Street which in March 2011 became the Cookery School Kitchen. When Denise (also a Director of the Cookery School) discovered the happy co-incidence she said “I was delighted that Margot won – she’ll be able to experience the transformation of the building first hand. It somehow seems fitting” The Gift Voucher was presented to Margot by Thierry Daugeron the Schools Co-founder when Margot explained “I entered the competition after my friend told me she’d had a great time at her 40th birthday party at the school earlier this year and I really fancied trying it myself. Now I’ll be able to”

QUEENSGATE COMPETITION WINNER Queensgate Shopping Centre is thrilled to announce the winner of the ‘Win your Christmas’ competition - Sylvia Kavanagh of Stamford. With nearly 1,500 entries from across the Nene Valley, Rutland and Stamford areas, the competition proved to be a big hit with savvy shoppers keen on scooping a supersized sack of gifts just in time for Christmas. Sylvia’s amazing haul included a Christmas tree from John Lewis, along with a selection of dazzling decorations, designed to make any tree sparkle. In keeping with the festive fever, there was also a beautiful wreath from Queensgate’s resident florist Fleur.

Waitrose was on hand to provide a voucher for an array of food fit for a king and the lucky winner also received a £100 gift card courtesy of Queensgate – perfect for picking up those extra special presents. On top of that there was a jam-packed gift set from LUSH, a voucher from Schuh and to wrap it all up, Christmas cards and pretty paper from Paperchase. Phil Drinkwater, marketing manager for Queensgate comments: “We are thrilled to be spreading the Christmas cheer by offering such an amazing set of prizes to Sylvia. We would like to say thank you to everyone who entered and to the host of retailers who supported us.”

STUY PORTER ANTIQUES Stuy Porter Antiques is a fabulous new Antiques Centre at the far end of Broad St just beyond the Lord Burghley. It is the creation of Stuy Porter, who has had an interest in antiques all his life. He has taken over a delightful Georgian building which allows the antiques to be shown off to best effect. It feels more like a home than an antiques centre, and there is a charming ‘retro’ café at the back if you need refreshment or wish to pause to ponder a purchase. Take a look up as you are having your drinks and you will be amazed by the roof – painted out in the style of Rafael, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci – another bit of fun that delights in this most welcoming establishment. To add to this spirit of conviviality, a ‘social stitching’ room has also been set up. It’s a place you can come and do some stitching in a sociable, warm environment, with copious supplies of material and accessories if you need them, and sewing machines. One happy visitor remarked: “I discovered this room and never left it.” A chance to chat and to share stitching ideas. Brilliant. • Stuy Porter Antiques, 15 Broad St, Stamford, PE9 1PG

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HEALTH & BEAUTY

health & beauty notes The Advanced Skin Clinic

Sue Arnold has long been one of the region’s leading experts in podiatry, as Principal Podiatrist at the Instep Clinics in Stamford and Wansford. A couple of years she branched out into health & beauty treatment, setting up Harriet’s Beauty Room, but once again with a focus on practical rather than purely cosmetic benefits. Two years down the line she has become convinced by the effectiveness of the Environ range, which is exclusively supplied and stocked there. She told us: “The first two years have at the Beauty Room have far exceeded our expectations, with patients coming back again and again, telling their friends and getting great results. After two years of hard work and practical application, we have real evidence that the Environ and Jane Iredale products really do work.” The Environ product ranges were developed by a South African plastic surgeon, Dr Fernandez. It is scientific skincare that can really make a difference to all skin types, even problem and scarred skin. The entire range of professional only products contains a unique combination of active ingredients to protect the skin from environmental aggressors and combat the signs of ageing. It is best described as a cosmaceutical, with Sun Protection

Chrysalis Training

Factor (SPF) included as standard in all the products and also Vitamins A, C & E. It leaves complexions glowing, radiant and naturallooking. This is especially so when combined with our Jane Iredale Mineral Make Up range; all skin looks fantastic.

Re-branding - Open Day To mark the success of the first two years and to take the venture to the next stage Sue is now re-branding the beauty business as ‘The Advanced Skin Clinic’. To celebrate this development, there will be an Open Day on Thu Jan 19 from 11am-8pm. The day will feature: • A tour of the salon • 8 Environ skin analyses sessions from 1pm • 4 individual Jane Iredale make-up sessions • An audience with a make-up artist • Advanced Electrolysis demonstration • A prize draw • A goody bag to take away • A chance to shop for home care products from 7-8pm • Buck’s Fizz Specialists from Environ skincare and Jane Iredale make-up will also be on hand during the day. Limited places are available so early booking is essential. • The Advanced Skin Clinic, 11a High St St Martin’s, Stamford, PE9 2LF Tel: 01780 481155

OPI, the world leader in Professional Nail Care, has been educating students and therapists in Nail technology and the business of professional nail salon services for over twenty years. With the OPI programme behind you every step of the way you know you'll receive the best technical and business training to jumpstart your career, which is why when Equilibrium’s salon owner Samantha Hiseman was approached by OPI to become their East Midlands training centre she was extremely flattered. The training process lasted most of last year. “As an OPI stockist we have always believed in the premier nail brand and feel privileged that we have been given this opportunity," said Sam. “Gwen, our Senior Therapist, has been with Equilibrium for five years is a highly qualified and experienced nail technician and therapist with a very loyal client base. The new training premises is just a few doors up from the salon on St Paul’s Street and once again in a lovely old building with lots of character. They have refurbished the premises to feel very homely and comfortable, both Gwen and Samantha said: "We have both been on enough training courses in the past that were held in places we just couldn't wait to get out of and didn't want that to be the case here. We want all our students, whether here for a foundation course or simply a workshop to feel at home". • Chrysalis Training Stamford the new business will begin their OPI training courses this month, with all courses and dates available on line at www. chrysalistrainingstamford.co.uk or call 01780 757579, other beauty courses will follow.

Essence of Beauty If you’re going to set up another health & beauty outlet in Stamford it needs to offer something different – and Essence of Beauty certainly does. Firstly, it is a beautifully appointed space – immaculately renovated and one of the most relaxing treatment rooms that I have seen. Secondly, they are the exclusive suppliers in the region of the ‘Darphin Paris’ brand, 98% botanical and floral-based. And thirdly, they offer a very personal service. Tracy Chambers runs the retail side and her daughter Lauren is the health & beauty therapist. Lauren was trained at the Burley Academy ion Peterborough and then worked in Rutland. Their focus all the time is on top quality service and the personal touch – you will feel welcomed and professionally looked after from the moment you enter. Other brands stocked include NEOM, Jane Iredale, Dr Hauschka, Leighton Denny nails • Essence of Beauty, 15 St Mary’s St, Stamford, PE9 2DF Tel: 01780 763564 www.essenceofbeauty.co.uk

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STAMFORD Living january 2012

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NOW OPEN new

YO U R

IN

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SIMPLY FILL IN YOUR DETAILS AND BRING THIS VOUCHER TO ASK ITALIAN, STAMFORD. NAME:

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BATH RO W

Terms and conditions: This voucher entitles the bearer to 2 main courses for £12 from our range of pastas, pizzas, mains and salads in ASK Italian, Stamford. Sorry, this offer does not include any dishes from our specials menu. This offer is valid Sunday to Thursday from 3rd January until 26th January 2012. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or set menu and has no monetary value. No cash or meal alternative will be offered in lieu of a specific meal not being available. Please present this voucher to your waiter/waitress when ordering your meal. Only one voucher per party (up to 6 people) per transaction. Promoter: ASK Restaurants Ltd, 5th Floor, 2 Balcombe Street, London NW1 6NW.

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www.barnack.co.uk

&

SALE NOW ON Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sundays & Bank Holidays 11am - 4pm

After Hours Shopping by Appointment top brands to warm your toes and beat the winter chill !

Telephone: 01780 754413

Visit our shop in Barnack

www.IshouldCocoStamford.co.uk

for an extensive range of clothes & wellies Barnack, Stamford. PE9 3DY

tel: 01780 740115

2 miles from Burghley House

WINTER SALE

STARTS WEDNESDAY 28 TH DECEMBER 2011 PLEASE NOTE THAT WE WILL BE CLOSED ON TUESDAY 27TH DECEMBER IN PREPARATION FOR THE SALE 20 Market Place, Oundle Tel: 01832 270033 16 Church St, Market Harborough Tel: 01858 431396

Webshop opening soon 2 - 4 George Hotel Mews, Stamford. PE9 2LB

Massive

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Starts Friday 30th December

www.energy-clothing.com 9 Ironmonger St. Stamford - Tel 01780 765633 Mon – Sat 9.30-5.30 Sun 11.00-4.00

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FASHION

SAVVY The January sales are fast approaching or are already here to tempt us. Savvy shoppers can make wise purchases, which can either make useful additions to next Autumn’s wardrobe or even save money for ‘careful carrythrough’ to Spring or Summer. Sally Stillingfleet has rounded up the very best offers TRENDS Buy classics - a lovely coat from Jaeger, which won’t date, a lovely fun party dress with 50% off from Energy to wear in the New Year! Buy colour – this spring is colourful, colours we have not seen make a return – pinks, cobalt blue, jade and yellow and melon. Try Phase Eight and Cavells Buy the right size - only buy if everything fits – you won’t lose weight, so don’t kid yourself you can slim to fit! SALE DATES • Green Circle’s Magenta wool coat from Braintree is now £70 reduced from £110 - Sale starts on Tuesday 27th December • Attic sale starts Tuesday 27th December with 50% off selected Autumn Winter stock • Cavells sale starts on Tuesday 27th December with 30% off this Odd Molly dress chosen by Rosie from Cavell’s. This is a piece that could be carried over into spring as this could be layered with a t-shirt underneath or alternatively worn with a denim jacket, now £69.30 • Sale starts 28th December at Sly for all your shoes and boots and handbags • Phase Eight end of season sale starts Tuesday 3rd January • The Energy sale starts on Friday 30th December – perfect opportunity to buy party wear for New Year’s Eve.

SOME ADVICE from Genevieve Potter (www.ihaven’tgotathingtowear.com) • Don’t buy “things” – build outfits – and keep lists/digital prints of what works most successfully (including accessories) • Only buy something if it makes you want to dance around the changing room and similarly, you shouldn’t buy it unless you want to wear it today or tomorrow! • Natural fabrics always look better • Clear out your wardrobe at the beginning of every season and identify where the gaps are and what needs replacing (e.g. White shirts, T shirts.) This way you can be more focused when sale shopping. All those bargains tantalising you can lead to a wardrobe full of clothes that, come next Autumn, you won't want to be seen dead in! From Belinda Sly: • A quality cashmere coat is an ideal sale purchase - it lasts a lifetime and you will look forward to wearing it every year! • Invest in a fabulous quality pair of leather boots and a handbag that you will adore whenever you open your wardrobe doors! • Finally I advise you make your sale purchases by mid January as Spring/Summer will start filling the stores!

SHOPS DIRECTORY

Abi Golightly – 4, Silver Lane, Stamford. Tel: 01780 238002 Attic – 33 St. Mary’s Street, Stamford. Tel.01780 766667 Cavells – 16 Mill Street, Oakham. Tel. 01572 770372 Energy – Ironmonger Street, Stamford. Tel. 01780 765633 Fenn Wright Manson - 72/73 High Street, Stamford. Tel: 01780 765 484 Green Circle – 15 St Mary’s Hill, Stamford. Tel. 01780 757496 Jaeger - St.Mary’s Street, Stamford. Tel. 01780 753611 LULU – 43 St. Paul’s Street, Stamford Tel. 01780 766675www.luvlulu.co.uk Marcia May Shoes – 41 St. Mary’s St. Stamford. Tel. 01780 766608 Phase Eight – 11 Ironmonger Street, Stamford. Tel. 01780 482573 Ruby Loves – 3&4 Stamford Walk, Stamford. Tel. 01780 764626 So – 7 Ironmonger Street, Stamford Sly - 4 St. Mary’s Passage, Stamford. Tel. 01780 482870 9a St. Georges Square, Stamford Tel. 01780 757660 I Should Coco – The George Mews, Stamford. Tel. 01780 754413 9a St. Georges Square, Stamford. Tel. 01780 757660 White Stuff – 5 High Street, Stamford. Tel. 01780 752057 STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2012

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• SL January ADS.indd 10

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Chimney Lining & Stoves

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HEALTH AND FITNESS

GOING BACK TO BASICS WITH FOOD Genevieve Potter discovers a simpler way of eating that could benefit us all

T

his time of year sees us bombarded with the latest diets that promise a ‘new year, new you’. However, nutritionist Sophie Driver feels that the importance of good, honest nutrition as a building block to good health is often overlooked. Sophie recently came across an old and interesting booklet, which landed unexpectedly on her doormat. She says: “A villager gave me a booklet that he’d found at the Helpston Village Gala. ‘Notes for Health Lessons – All for Health’ appears to have been published in the 1930s or 40s to help educate people in the importance of eating well. The wonderfully illustrated cover caught his attention and knowing that I’m a Nutritional Therapist he thought I’d be interested to have a look. “The information given is simple and straightforward. This 70 year-old booklet provides common sense advice that we may have lost sight of in our hectic modern lives. The booklet dates from an age when there were no supermarkets and many people grew their own food so there were fewer ingredients and recipes available.” The essence of the booklet can be summarised by Lesson VII – “General Points about Food”: 1. Learn to eat simple, wholesome food 2. Eat your meals every day at the same time 3. Eat slowly 4. Eat when rested. If you have been (busy) rest quietly for thirty minutes before the meal 5. Chew your food thoroughly 6. Always try to be cheerful at mealtimes 7. Every day have some fruit, some leafy vegetable, and some whole grain cereals 8. Never eat between meals 9. Eat sweets only at the end of the meal With our food prices today increasing at a similar pace to our waistlines, perhaps it might be useful to look back to a time when food wasn’t so readily available and people made do with a lot less. During World War II, although there was less food available, the food rationing system gave people the opportunity to achieve a balanced diet and the nation’s health, in general, improved. People were encouraged to provide their own food. The government’s ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign called for every man and woman to keep an allotment: lawns and flower beds were turned into vegetable gardens; chickens, rabbits, goats and pigs were reared in town gardens. This is a trend that has re-emerged over the last five years and it can only be a good thing! With Christmas over for another year and a large number of people following New Year’s resolutions and perhaps trying to lose the extra layer of insulation accumulated over the festive season, the down to earth, back to basic advice offered in this booklet is worth remembering and may be a realistic and sustainable plan to follow in the coming year. If you would like to discuss this article or indeed your own health, please call Sophie Driver at the Broad Street Practice, Stamford on 01780 480889. (thanks also to Eric West for such a fascinating glimpse back in time)

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Here is a nutritious and affordable wartime recipe to inspire you:

Woolton Pie Take 1 lb each of diced potatoes, cauliflower, swedes and carrots; Three or Four spring onions or some chopped plain onion; One teaspoonful of vegetable extract and One teaspoonful of oatmeal. Method Cook all together for ten minutes with just enough water to cover. Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking. Allow to cool; put into a pie dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley and cover with a crust of potatoes or wholemeal pastry. Bake in a moderate oven until the pastry is nicely brown and serve hot with brown gravy.

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studio and offer classes ranging from spinning on Tomahawk cycles to Zumba. Looking ahead, kettle bells are undergoing something of a renaissance and I think there’s a growing movement towards multi-functional training which is ideal for building muscle tone.” The gym also has power plates (originally developed in the 1950s for astronauts to build bone density before going in to space, they are brilliant for toning and massaging specific muscle groups) a friendly coffee bar and even an in-house beauty salon, Body Matters. I recently went along to Westside for an induction with Mike, one of the team of fitness professionals. It was a cold winter’s evening so after a long day at work it took quite an effort to drag myself away from a night in front of the fire, but I am really pleased I did. Mike put me at ease immediately and we chatted about what my fitness goals were and how best to attain them. I was pleasantly surprised to understand that many people make the mistake of exercising too intensely; for example I didn’t realise that if you train at maximum capacity you can actually end up burning muscle ow isalso the ideal time to start as well as fat. Mike gave your fitness program and healthy Our me some goodnew tips forlifestyle. outdoor programmes are personalised running for those times thatYou I and non-competitive... at your own pace and couldn’t get toprogress the gym (setting not someone else’s... We make it easy forisn’t you toa look and feel off at full pelt really smart your best no matter what kind of shape you’re in when you start! idea). One of the things that surprised JOIN NOW AND ENJOY me most was the weight training ALL THESE BENEFITS: aspect of the gym routine that Air conditioned facility supervised gym with Mike devised forFully me. I was fully friendly personal trainers prepared to do some cardioThe latest Cardio and Resistance equipment and vascular and possibly some Large Free Weight Area exercise on the mat Aerobic working studio with superb range classes to suit everyone, from my abdominals, ofStep, but before my Boxer- Circuit & Yoga Tomahawk indoor group cycling induction I tended to view weight Studio & full timetable training as something that Sauna & Steam roomshuge Stand updid. or lay down sunbeds muscle-bound men It was Luxurious locker rooms with good to finally realise that the complimentary toiletries Private members Car Park right sort of weight training, done Members lounge correctly, is the most effective way Weight Management Programme Minding facility to elongate and Child tone the problem The friendliest atmosphere areas that mostanywhere of us have. The very best staff around I really enjoyed my induction – Atespecially Wes we guar tside Everything youMike want was antee the weight training – and you wonextremely t becom e ju from a health club st anothe fa patient when Iand forgot what I was doing ce in th r or so much more! crowd e giggly, poor co-ordination set in. A week on and I have been for two further To book anincluding informal clubatour sessions at Westside, Zumba class Tel: way 01780 480651 which was a great to start the day on money back guarantee on all memberships for your peace of mind! Sunday (after21adaylie in, of course). I’m looking West other Street, Stamford PE9 2PN forward to trying classes Lincolnshire too; at Westside e-mail: info@westsideclub.demon.co.uk www.westsideclub.co.uk they encourage you to mix things up and the fitness professionals keep an eye on all of their members to ensure that over-repetition and ultimately boredom are not allowed to set in. As Duncan aptly put it: “Joining a gym like Westside really is the best way to get motivated and stay motivated. Sure, you can buy a piece of equipment to use at home, but it often ends up being somewhere to dry your clothes!” Westside Health Club West Street, Stamford PE9 2PN Tel: 01780 480651 www.westsideclub.co.uk

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Making your new year’s resolutions last with Westside

Genevieve Potter puts her preconceptions of joining a gym aside and discovers that you can’t get more welcoming than Westside

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tamford’s Westside gym is coming of age in 2012, celebrating 16 years since opening in the town in March 1996. From relatively small beginnings, it’s now a health club that’s brilliantly equipped to serve its 1,500 members and offers state of the art gym equipment alongside a diverse range of fitness classes (and once you’ve done the hard work, there’s even a sauna and steam room). Duncan Mcsporran is the man in charge and he’s nurtured a team of twenty staff, who, I soon realised genuinely care about helping their clients to get fit and make an effort to get to know them. The atmosphere is relaxed and non-intimidating and apart from trainers, a towel and water bottle, you don’t need to wear anything fancy; tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt are routine. The club’s members range from mums with young children (there’s a crèche facility which

operates Monday-Thursday from 9.30 to 11.30 am), to over-worked professionals (the club’s opening hours provide real flexibility; 6.45 am to 9.45 pm Monday to Friday, 8-4 on Saturdays and 9-4 on Sundays), to teenagers looking to get fit and improve their sporting performance. Duncan comments:“So many people sit behind a desk all day and end up feeling unfit and lethargic. Our opening hours allow our members to make their fitness a priority, alongside their home and working life.” Something that I’ve always found off-putting about joining a gym is the feeling of being “tied” to a membership, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Westside offer flexible membership packages, including offpeak, pay as you go and even the opportunity to simply buy a block of visits. You can also join online with the minimum of fuss. Staying ahead of the latest trends and developments in fitness is something that Duncan and the team take very seriously, and he comments:“We have recently re-vamped our aerobic

STAMFORD Living JANUARY 2012

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• SL January ADS.indd 14

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• SL January ADS.indd 15

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countryfile

SPEED THE PLOUGH In January, the month when Plough Monday is celebrated, Sue Lee and Jean Orpin look at the history of this important agricultural activity.

Ploughing in the Past There are examples of ploughing in cave paintings and Egyptian hieroglyphics long before our own recorded history. The plough developed from a simple stick to today’s complex piece of machinery. The power to draw the plough was initially a pair of oxen (still used in the third world) then a pair of horses, possibly as they are more amenable than the oxen. It was only in the 20th century that tractors and machines took their place. Improvements in plough design date from the 18th century when the first iron plough was developed. This was subsequently improved and then produced in a factory rather than made by a local blacksmith. Perhaps the most famous name associated with ploughs is Robert Ransome who, in the late 18th century, improved the plough share by making it out of chilled steel. This plough had replacement parts and was the most widely used for the next hundred years. Steam ploughs were introduced by John Fowler in 1858 – a stationary engine pulled the plough back and forward – but they never really became widely used due to the cost and our small fields. They had an advantage in that ploughing could be undertaken in all weathers and may have developed if the economic conditions had been more favourable. An agricultural depression began in 1875 due to the high level of imports from America. Ploughing with Tractors Fordson tractors were introduced in 1917 and originally pulled the old horse drawn machinery behind them. Harry Ferguson designed a light weight tractor with a mounted plough in 1926 which was later used all over the world. Due to

16

two world wars the use of tractors in Europe was delayed and most farmers were ploughing with horses until the 1950s. In 1942 there were 100,000 tractors and 585,000 horses: by 1952 there were 325,000 tractors and only 254,000 horses. Ploughing has always been recommended for destroying weeds and loosening the top layer of soil before planting a crop and in the last 50 years, tractors and ploughs have increased in size and efficiency. Now however there is a change of attitude with recent research suggesting that water retention is greater and there is less erosion if ploughing is less intensive. Some farmers today practice minimum tillage but plenty are not convinced. Ploughing Matches The best place to see ploughs old and new in action is to visit a Ploughing Match. It’s an enjoyable occasion attracting spectators as well as participants. There is an opportunity to see teams of horses ploughing in the old way, classic Fordson and Ferguson tractors and huge modern machines with six furrowed ploughs. At Ketton this November where all our pictures were taken there were 90 ploughmen and six teams of horses on a pleasant November Day. Contestants come from near and far, some working farmers and some enthusiasts who take part as a hobby. There are several ploughing matches in the Stamford area – for dates this year see www.ploughmen.co.uk Plough Monday From pagan days there was a period of midwinter festivities later associated with the twelve days of Christmas. On Plough Monday agricultural work was resumed after this winter

break: in medieval times the Monday after Twelfth Night. The plough would be blessed in church on the previous Sunday then carried around the village by members of a Plough Guild, collecting funds to maintain ‘plough lights’ in the parish church. These candles were lit in memory of past members. The day would still end with traditional singing, dancing and mummers’ plays. From the middle of the 16thC these guilds and lights were banned by the church but people are loath to give up their traditions so carried on to the financial advantage of the plough boys. As the ploughboys processed around the locality, they would perform ‘Molly Dances’ and collect money to provide for a feast and some extra income for the winter. They often darkened their faces as a disguise because those who didn’t pay up would be likely to find their doorsteps or gardens ploughed up! Today some traditions survive or have been revived but they are more likely to be held at a weekend. At Whittlesey old customs were revived in 1980 resulting in a whole weekend of entertainment – this year 13th -15th January. A full sized bear costume made of straw is worn and taken round the village by ‘plough witches’. They dance and collect money then on the Sunday the costumes are burnt on a massive bonfire. Also revived in the 1980s were the Hinckley Plough Bullockers in Leicestershire where they process and dance around local villages on the Saturday before Plough Monday. Churches services to bless the plough have also been revived and Common Worship, the Church of England’s prayer book includes prayers for Plough Sunday.

STAMFORD Living january 2012

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• SL January ADS.indd 17

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• SL January ADS.indd 18

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FASHION

WELLIES FOR WINTER With the weather now set to be ‘wet underfoot’, everyone should have a decent pair of wellies. Charlotte Newby finds something to suit all needs and all budgets BASIC, FUNCTIONAL AND GREEN If you want a simple welly to wear for gardening, snow clearing, lousy winter weather or even the odd marshy summer festival, then the Dunlop Adults Wellington Boot is a good boot to start with. It’s reliable, comfortable and durable. Priced from £11.99-£14.99 (George Alan, Barnack Country Clothes), it’s also not going to break the bank. FUN AND FUNKY You’re never too old to jump in puddles, so if that sounds like you, then the Lunar Pink Spot Wellington Boots will be just up your street. Trendy, comfortable and colourful, they’re bound to put a smile on your face and may even co-ordinate with your wardrobe. At £19.99 (Barnack Country Clothes), you are getting a lot of boot for your buck here. There are several other colours too. If guaranteeing a height advantage over your flat wellywearing friends is your game, the WedgeWelly Man Eater Unique Wellington Boot is perfect for you. Here is a fashionable boot with a 2.5inch heel and a stylish print that will give you nothing but envious looks. It’s a welly, but it doesn’t look like a welly and would look great with leggings or tight jeans. Ideal for urban walks in the rain and doing the school run, it comes in a smooth black and a bright pink finish too. (£33.99 Barnack Country Clothes). WORKING & AGRICULTURAL Do you like a boot that’s rough and tough but as comfy as your slippers? This will be your dream boot. The Muckboot is renowned for being hardwearing, warm (even in snow) and super comfortable. Muckboots are lined with Neoprene so they keep your feet toasty whilst cushioning the inside of the boot for added comfort. They’re all-rounders: popular for farming, shooting and dog-walking. They’re 100% waterproof, and have reinforced toes and heels. There is nothing delicate about these boots.

They are serious footwear for filthy weather. They’re priced at £55.50£66.00 (C&M Tractors, Barnack Country Clothes). For a similarly heavy duty and tough boot, there’s the Hunter Argyle Wellington Boot, which comes in short or full knee length. It’s a reinforced work boot with agricultural use in mind. Constructed from heavy-duty rubber, it offers excellent protection with firm grip and support. Waterproof and leak-proof (guaranteed), it’s a reliable boot for all-round working use. From £39.99 (George Alan, Barnack Country Clothes).

STYLISH AND FUNCTIONAL The original Hunter Green Wellington Boots have been around for over half a century and have always been popular for equestrian and farm use. Now, they are the ultimate boot for the fashionista too, combining style and functionality. The Hunter Original Wellington boots now come in a range of tasteful colours: black, red, navy, aubergine and more - for women, and lots of manly colours for men. There are various different shapes, some with adjustable upper legs for a more generous fit. They’re super comfortable but they’re also very hard wearing and 100% waterproof. Prices around £59.99 (Barnack Country Clothes, George Alan, North Shoes, T&C Robinson). For a slightly smaller sum, Joules boots fit the fashion and function bill very well too. The designs

change by the season, but frequently feature spots, stripes, dogs and floral patterns. They’re the boot for low-key outdoor pursuits and never fail to grab attention wherever they go. £36.95 (Joules, Barnack Country Clothes). DOG WALKING & COUNTRY PURSUITS The Aigle Parcours Vario Wellington Boot is popular for dog walking, country walks and outdoor recreations, offering comfort and practicality with an adjustable leg for extra flexibility on the calf. It has a fitted ankle to support your foot, a shockabsorbing sole and is 100% waterproof. It’s no beauty queen, but it is a hardwearing boot you can rely on. Suitable for men and women (£89.99, Barnack Country Clothes). CHILDREN When I was small, children had a choice of well, green or green. Not so now, as there’s every colour and shape under the sun. And some with crocodile faces on and stickyouty shapes. Head to Joules for gorgeous colours, or Barnack Country Clothes for a massive range to suit all ages and all budgets. Thanks to Barnack Country Clothes for supplying all the photos.

STOCKISTS Barnack Country Clothes, Manor Farm, Barnack, PE9 3DY, 01780 740115, www.wellieboots.com C&M Tractors Ltd, Station Approach, Oakham LE15 6QT, 01572 722355 George Alan, 1 Red Lion Square, Stamford PE9 2AQ, 01780 763327, www.georgealan. co.uk Joules, 9a St Marys Hill, Stamford, PE9 2DP, 01780 766544, www.joules.com North Shoes, 2 Red Lion Square, Stamford PE9 2AH, 01780 755400, www.northshoes. co.uk, T&C Robinson, 4 St Mary’s Street, Stamford PE9 2DE, 01780 755378, www.tandcrobinson.co.uk STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2012

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• SL January ADS.indd 20

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NEWS

LOCAL BUSINESS Solar Power – Still A Great Investment In The Future

Tony Dell, Managing Director at Sovereign Solar Power, gives us his views on why solar power is still a great investment for the future Recent proposals by the Government to reduce the earning potential from solar power by up to 50%, are leading to inevitable questions about whether it’s still going to be a worthwhile investment for homeowners in the future. The proposal currently under consideration applies to all solar power installations brought into service after 12 December 2011, and would reduce the Feedin Tariffs from 43.3p per kilowatt hour to just 21p from 12th December 2011. So, if the proposal is agreed and you’ve missed the mid-December deadline, is it still worth considering investing in a solar power system? The short answer is yes, definitely yes! Naturally, you’ll still enjoy the benefit of generating free electricity for your own use – nothing changes there. And it’s also worth remembering that even with the proposed reduction in earnings from the solar power feed-in incentive, there’s still index-linked tax free money to be made for a generous period of 25 years, starting from the installation date. The earning potential over such a long period will still be significant, and is still expected to provide around 5-10% return on the initial investment. Added to that, current industry predictions are that the purchase cost of solar panels will actually come down in early 2012, reducing the initial outlay required to install solar power in the first place.

The other thing to bear in mind is that with all the current talk of proposed changes to the solar power feed-in tariff, it’s easy to overlook all the other important reasons why it’s still a great idea to generate your own electricity using solar panels. Firstly, solar power is a constant, reliable and fully renewable resource, unlike oil, which is the other main source of power currently used to produce most of the domestic energy used throughout the world. As solar panels contain no moving parts whatsoever, solar power systems are very robust and require little or no maintenance, as they beaver away efficiently and reliably, year after year. Long warranties come as standard with all solar panels and other system components, which is further proof of their reliability and durability. The systems are also remarkably simple to install, and most solar power installation projects can be completed and busy generating electricity within just a few days. So, with all the current hype and publicity surrounding the proposed reduction in the Government feed-in tariff, don’t lose sight of the many other compelling reasons to choose solar power as a great renewable way to cut your carbon footprint and run your home for less. • For a no obligation quote and to understand more, call us on 01733 551329, e-mail info@ sovereignsolarpower.co.uk or visit our website for more information www. sovereignsolarpower.co.uk

Splitting heirs

Buckles Solicitors consider the legal issues around separation Making the decision to get divorced is a difficult one and dealing with the splitting of finances and assets can be very distressing. When negotiating a financial agreement or settlement various elements from the needs of children, duration of marriage, pensions, property and the needs of the spouse are taken into consideration. But it’s not always easy to decide who gets what. In one very recent divorce case, a porter claimed half of his wife’s £500,000 lottery win, after the marriage broke down. The wife had bought the lottery ticket with a friend and paid for it out of her own money. She then bought the family home in her name for £275,000 where they both lived for four years. In court, the judge held that the lottery winnings were not matrimonial property. However, he declared that the matrimonial home was a matrimonial asset no matter whose name it was in, which entitled the husband to a share. The judge concluded that the husband should be awarded £85,000 out of property to provide for his pension – well short of half. At the other end of the property scale, a husband’s £12 million fortune (mostly from inherited wealth) was treated as family assets. The court determined to the wife’s reasonable needs (she was 55 with one of their five children still at school). It awarded her with the nine bedroom family home with 40 acres, plus £75,000 for restoration, a £1.65 million pension and £75,000 a year for child maintenance. The husband appealed, but the ruling was upheld – leaving the husband with around two thirds of his ancestral wealth. “The outcome in financial relief cases is very unpredictable. The ratio in which the money is divided is not consistent. In both cases, neither received a fifty per cent share – they had what was judged as ‘fair’ in the circumstances,” says Lyn Brisley, Partner and Head of Family Law at Buckles Solicitors LLP. For the majority of families going through divorce, the financial division has to be carefully considered, a balance is struck between the needs of the separating spouses and their children in the context of overall financial resources. • Buckles Solicitors LLP is committed to getting clients through the process of separation and divorce in one piece. If you would like advice on the separation process or if you have any questions about this, please contact Beverley Harrison at Buckles on 01780 484570. STAMFORD Living January 2012

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WRITER’S SPOT

Looking Back This month Victoria Bullimore spins a tale of how a victim of childhood bullying turned the tables

‘T

his is where I got into a fight with Petra Pert,’ I tell Mark, who looks up at the enormous weeping willow marking the spot where the river Welland splits itself it two. I have brought him here to share my memories of my High School days, having persuaded him to deviate off the A1 as we make our way up north to see his parents. We’ve had lunch in The George and I’ve shown him Quayhole Kate’s. I’ve taken him down St Mary’s Passage where I used to snog my Stamford School boyfriends, and I’ve given him a fascinating account of how the shops have changed since I left here ten years ago. ‘That used be Woolies, that was Harwayes an underwear shop…’ Naturally he’s been riveted. We’ve ended up here on the Meadows, scene of my infamous fight with Petra Pert. I begin to describe how I pinned her against willow tree and pinched her nipple so hard she screamed, but Mark’s phone rings, rescuing him. He mouths ‘sorry’ to me as moves away to talk amongst the Canada geese and the ducks. I look around me at the familiar scenery. I remember it all so clearly… I was under the willow tree with five or six of my friends. It was a warm spring day and we were trying to revise for our A levels when we spotted Petra Pert walking back from Gino’s ice-cream van, which was often parked on Bath Row. We started to bitch about her as usual (I cringe at our cruelty as I look back now), and I called out to her. ‘HEY, PETRA PERT!’ She turned round. ‘Omg, she’s coming over.’ We watched, giggling, as she approached. ‘Have you been chatting up Marco again?’ I taunted her. Marco was Gino’s drop-dead gorgeous son. Petra’s cheeks flushed pink. ‘Marco’s asked me to marry him,’ she said. ‘You what?’ ‘We’re running away together.’ We laughed. One of the things that made Petra Pert so unpopular was that she was a habitual liar. ‘You and Marco? Yeah, right.’ ‘We’re getting married in Florence just as soon as the exams are over...’ ‘Petra,’ I said, with mock patience, ‘you’re a liar. You lie about everything.’ ‘I do not!’

22

‘You so do! You lied about your Dad having an Aston Martin. We all saw him turn up on speech day in a Ford Mondeo estate.’ ‘The Aston was at home….’ ‘Yeah yeah, whatever. AND you lied about your Mum being a Russian ballerina.’ ‘She was!’ ‘O come ON! We saw her too! Talk about a hippo in a tutu!’ We laughed some more. Poor Petra. We were vicious. I guess that day she’d just had enough. ‘Take that back,’ she said, her voice a threatening hiss. I told her to get stuffed, and that’s when she grabbed hold of my hair. I seized her arms and managed to pull myself to my feet. The two of us did a short, ungainly dance, locked in mutual hatred, until I kneed her in the stomach. She gasped. I pinned her against the willow tree by her neck and pinched her left nipple. Hard. They were poking through her school summer dress, just asking for it. She screamed. I let go. The victor. As we watched her run away we laughed in cruel triumph. She told the head teacher and I was suspended immediately. The happy jingle of an ice-cream van brings me back to the present just as Mark finishes his call. It’s Gino! He is parking the van just where he always did and I tell Mark we simply must go and get a couple of 99s and say hi. Gino looks just the same. ‘I used to come here when I was at the girls’ school,’ I tell Gino, who charms me by pretending to remember me. ‘And how is Marco, your gorgeous son?’ I enquire, as he and Mark exchange ice-creams and money, ‘we were all hopelessly in love with him you know!’ Gino proudly tells me Marco is married now and has three daughters. He gets out his wallet and shows us a picture of three adorable little girls. I exclaim in delight at their prettiness as I lick my 99. ‘Ah, it’s because they have very beautiful mother,’ says Gino, turning the photo over to reveal another one. ‘See. Here. Marco’s wife. Bellisima. Her mother danced for the Bolshoi many year ago, and her father turn up at the wedding in an Aston Martin! You know her? She go to school here too.’ My jaw has dropped. Smiling out at me is the unmistakeable, triumphant face of Petra Pert. The ice cream slips coldly down my throat. ‘No, I don’t know her...’ I’m glad Gino doesn’t recognise me. I’m glad he doesn’t know my name. My cheeks burn with shame.

• If you love writing and have an 800-word (max) piece that you would like to submit to Nicholas@bestlocalliving.com, then we will consider it for publication (fiction or nonfiction, local angles especially appreciated)

STAMFORD Living JANUARY 2012

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  

     

   

        

         

  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦ 

♦ 

♦      ♦     

        23

• SL January ADS.indd 23

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Focus On Sco tgat

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Harjit Gammon takes to her feet to discover the astonishing but often overlooked range of shops and businesses on Scotgate and its environs

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01780 765151 tgukwindows@live.co.uk www.tgukwindows.com Showroom located at 62-63 Scotgate, Stamford PE9 2YB

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Shades

m : en - 5p Op m 9am o ro ay ow rid ay Sh – F turd 4pm y a Sa m – nd a Mo 10

S

tarting at the cross roads and progressing north, first stop is CJ Carpets & Lighting. Firmly established as the carpet shop in Stamford, Simon Cahill, the owner, is helpful, knowledgeable (he’s also a wood floor fitter) and competitive in his pricing. He carries a wide range of flooring, ranging from vinyls, carpets, laminates and natural flooring such as coir and seagrass. Some years ago he added lighting to this mix. This is displayed on the first floor of the extensive showroom at the corner of Scotgate and West Street. Next door is a ceramic studio called Pots of Fun; now in its fourth year of trading. Cathy, the owner, runs pot decorating activities for children’s parties, hen parties and corporate events as well as a service which allows you to create individual plates to commemorate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, christenings & weddings, and gifts for occasions such as Christmas, Easter and Valentines. To the pot decorating service Cathy has added a popular plaster and mould offering, which allows parents to make keepsakes of their children’s hands and feet for posterity. On the day I visited two mums and their year old babies were happily occupied making Christmas presents for grandparents and daddies. Next up on this side of the street is Shades, a contender probably for one of the longest established businesses in this area, now approaching the end of its second decade in the area. Ran by Angela Adams, assisted by Lorraine, Shades make all manner of curtains and blinds (verticals, romans, rollers and pleated) on site; with fitting by her husband Nigel. They also specialise in canopies and awnings. The Punchbowl has undergone a wonderful transformation into a welcoming and friendly small pub under landlord Jonathan Groves. According to regulars it offers an intimate and individual atmosphere, in quiet, friendly surroundings. A free house, with real ale (Woodforde’s Wherry plus guest beers) and an extensive selection of quality wine; it is in essence a village pub in town. There are regular events such as a Pie and Pint on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and for those with a more adventurous palate, moules on Fridays. There are also regular quiz nights

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o tgate Corner SpecialiSed SportS Shop

Squash • Tennis • Rugby Running • Swimming • Badminton Football • Hockey • Cricket

Marisa’s

CuSTomeR PaRking availaBle

01780 757818

sales@precision-sports.co.uk

9 North Street, Stamford

ACR every month. Marisa’s salon has to be the biggest surprise. From an unassuming shared entrance one emerges into a lavish gilt and creamy yellow world of opulence. Another long timer in this district Marisa is dedicated to attending to her customers’ every need with a focus on old fashioned attention to service. Little wonder then that, like so many of the businesses in this under recognised shopping area, she has a band of loyal long-term customers. Crossing the road and heading south back into town, next stop is Jacksons kitchens and bathroom showroom. Extensively refurbished; Jacksons offers expert advice on everything from an individual component to whole kitchen and bathroom refits. Look out for the much talked about Elica star extractors, which look like chandeliers, as featured in Grand Designs and Homes & Gardens magazine. From a Bath & kitchen showroom to a place to eat, next up is the Bombay Cottage restaurant. Established in 1993 this well known little Indian restaurant boasts a seating capacity of 65. A popular restaurant, it serves all the usual Indian restaurant favourites in an updated interior. Priding themselves on service, their motto is, ‘Our taste is simple. We like the best’. Slightly further along, ACR is a boon for anyone requiring computer maintenance and repairs. A small, friendly and handy outfit; the individuals at ACR, Ian Jarvis, Rob Hill, Terry Enderson and Sue Crow, are both helpful and quick in my experience. A great asset to a small town, by way of a business that actually fixes things. ACR provide a service to both businesses and homes in Stamford and the surrounding areas. A small diversion up North Street brings you to Precision Sports, specialists in rugby, running, hockey, tennis, badminton and squash kit, alongside a personalised embroidery and printing service for team wear, work wear and hen parties. And, a great line in Wacky socks; sport/ training socks in a huge range of patterns and colours for a unique and distinctive sports look.

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Focus On Sco tg Simon Twiddy, TGUK

GRA’S MODELS Corgi Gold Star Stockist. Many Corgi items stocked from the last five years, also other well known new and S/H brands stocked.

Alex Drury Photography

65 Scotgate, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 2YB Tel 01780 751826 Fax 01780 751826

STAMFORD MOBILITY SCOOTERS 9 Scotgate Stamford PE9 2YB

Large range of mobility equipment - for use in the home and on the move  Bath lifts and stair lifts  Walking frames, sticks, walkers  Wheelchairs, scooters, power chairs  Specially designed household items for an easier life

SALES - MAINTENANCE - REPAIRS Call and try a brand new or smart second hand scooter Enjoy freedom and independence 01780 763276

For all your new PC and Laptop requirements

All types of PC and Laptop repairs and upgrades undertaken Broadband & wireless installation Data recovery • Hardware sales info@acrcomputers.co.uk www.acrcomputers.co.uk TeL: 01780 753477 SCoTgATe – STAmford 26

Back to the crossroads and heading into town, next to the traffic lights is the TGUK Windows showroom. Established in 1999 by Simon Twiddy, the company offers a range of services covering conservatories, windows, doors and panoramic bi-fold doors, soffits and fascias from their extensive showroom on Scotgate. Simon also has a Solar Sunroof Energy company at the premises. A second TGUK showroom will open early this year in Cambridge city centre. Alex Drury Photography is another independent business on this stretch of Scotgate; ran by the eponymously named Alex. From his studio, Alex carries out a wide and innovative range of work from the familiar - family, baby and pet portraits, through maternity shoots and parentsto-be, highly popular fashion makeover shoots (in conjunction with a professional make-up artist) of individuals, mum & daughter, friends, dad & son - to the bang up to date and novel burlesque style boudoir shoots, with the assistance of photographer Rachel Williams. Versatile and friendly, Alex is a firm believer in the need to establish a relaxed rapport with clients to achieve the best results. GRA’s Models is a tiny little shop, crammed to the ceiling with die-cast models. The hobby turned business of Graydon Forsyth, this little shop has provided an over the counter model service to countless enthusiasts from far afield. Graydon told me that what started as a childhood love of dinky and Corgi cars as a child, his father owned the Vauxhall garage on the site of the current BP garage, has, “been in my blood ever since”. Not a conventional toy shop, it attracts men and increasingly women with an interest in die-cast models, from all over the country. On the opposite side of the road, next to Scotgate car park is Stamford Mobility Scooters. Owned by Peter Seamer for 20 years; in the past seven he has specialised in products designed to help the elderly and disabled get the most out of life. He has everything from big button telephones, talking watches and clocks to aids for daily living; including bathing and feeding, as well as a wide range of mobility scooters. Peter offers a repair service for these as well advice on stair lifts. A little further down the street, on the same side is Brazilyana, a small slice of Brazil in Stamford - all green and yellow and South American music, from the owner Yana’s homeland. Yana, an ex-nurse, specialises in Brazilian waxing, using her own brand of products. She has also recently started stocking a range of Brazilian ladies sportswear called Rolamoca at the salon.

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o tgate Corner experience the benefits

A selection of treatments we offer:

• Cosmetic facial acupuncture • Fertility and pregnancy acupuncture • Acupuncture for pain relief • Insomnia acupuncture • Acupuncture for stress and well-being • Stop smoking acupuncture • Acupressure massage • Acupuncture for back pain • Acupuncture for stomach issues lianne_leaflet A5 landscape_Layout 1 11/11/2011 10:39 Page 1 • Tennis elbow acupuncture • Allergy acupuncture • Acupressure for babies

How acupu can help yo

We are a professional specialist acupuncture clinic offering a highly personal and advanced service. Our practitioners are hand picked for their high qualifications and outstanding performance.

There is no place quite like it.

GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE Finally on the corner of Scotgate Mews is Lianne Aquilina’s business, The Acupuncture Clinic. Established 6 years ago, Lianne provides one to one care, in a small clinic that is well located in the town centre, with parking in the nearby Scotgate car park. Catering for local people, as well as clients from Peterborough, Rutland and Cambridge, Lianne runs a general acupuncture practice together with two highly qualified & experienced colleagues, Sally and Corinne. Lianne, who also treats IVF & fertility patients, also teaches acupuncture at Lincoln University and lianne_leaflet A5 landscape_Layout 1 11/11/2011 10:39 lectures widely.

Directory

FREE RELAXING 15 MINUTES ORIENTAL CONSULTATION MASSAGES

(ON REQUEST) Who has acupuncture?

Many people come to acupuncture to help relieve spe acupuncture simply to enhance their feeling of wellbei suitable for all ages. It can be used effectively alongsid Page 1

What can it do for me?

Because traditional acupuncture aims to treat the who symptoms in isolation, it can be effective for a range o conditions. The national institute of clinical excellence Gift pain. for the effective treatment of back

How acupuncture can help you?

CJ Carpets & Lighting Scotgate Corner Stamford, PE9 2YN 01780 754825 www.cahillcpts.com Shades, Blinds & Curtains 19 Scotgate, Stamford, PE9 2YQ. Vouchers 01780 765550, www.shadesblindscurtains.co.uk We are a professional specialist acupuncture clinic off Available Pots of Fun 17-18 Scotgate, Stamford, PE9 2YQ 01780 751537 www.potsoffunstamford.co.uk advanced service. Our practitioners are hand picked f Who2YQ has acupuncture? The Punchbowl 21 Scotgate, Stamford, PE9 01780 767981 and Others outstanding performance. There is no place qui choose www.thepunchbowlofstamford.co.uk Many people come to acupuncture to help relieve specific pains. relaxing acupuncture simply to enhance their feeling of wellbeing. Acupuncture is considered Marisa’s 27B Scotgate, Stamford, PE9 2YQ 01780 753791 suitable for all ages. It can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine. oriental GRA’s Models 65 Scotgate, Stamford, PE9 2YB 01780 751826 massages TGUK 62-63 Scotgate, Stamford, PE9 2YB 01780 765151 What can it do for me? www.tgukwindows.com Because traditional acupuncture aims to treat the whole person rather than specific Stamford Mobility Scooters 9 Scotgate, Stamford PE9 2YB 01780 symptoms in isolation, it can be effective for a range of medically diagnosed 763276 www.stamfordmobilityscooters.co.uk conditions. The national institute of clinical excellence recommends acupuncture Brazilyana Health & Beauty 6 Scotgate, PE9 2YB 01780 forStamford the effective treatment of back pain. 15 minutes 752779 www.brazilyana.com We are a professional specialist acupuncture clinic offering a highly personal and consultation The Acupuncture Clinic 2 Scotgate Mews, Scotgate, Stamford PE9 2FX advanced service. Our practitioners are hand picked for their high qualifications (on request) 01780 763465 www.aquilinaacupuncture.co.uk and outstanding performance. There is no place quite like it. Precision Sports Leisure 9 North Street, Stamford PE9 1EH 01780 757818 www.precision-sports.net Bombay Cottage 52 Scotgate, Stamford PE9 2YQ 01780 480138 First Class Service www.thebombaycottage.com The Acupunture Clinic British Award Winning Acupuncturist Alex Drury Photography 63-64 Scotgate, Stamford PE9 2YB 01780 2, Scotgate Mews, Stamford, Acupuncture Registered with The British Acupuncture Council 754777 www.alexdruryphotography.com Lincolnshire, PE9 2FX Council ACR Computers 57 Scotgate, Stamford PE9 2YQ 01780 753477 Established Specialist Clinic t. 01780763465 m. 07903725316 www.acrcomputers.co.uk Evening Appointments Available

w. aquilinaacupuncture.co.uk The Acupunture Clinic FREE 2, Scotgate Mews, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2FX t. 01780763465 m. 07903725316

Brit Acu Cou

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ACTIVITIES

In with the new As another year begins, Alysia Anderson is inspired to learn new things

ell, January has arrived again and I find myself making plans for the coming year. My New Year’s resolution is, however, not to make any resolutions, since my last one – to learn Italian – has singularly failed to come good. However, learning a new skill, whether it’s Italian or ice skating, is worth considering whatever the season. After all, hobbies are evidence of how civilised the human race has become. Having invented all sorts of time-saving devices to produce food and perform household tasks, we now possess that precious commodity called leisure time. Where the laundry once had a whole day allocated to it per week, it now takes five minutes to load the machine. A few clicks of the mouse and the week’s grocery shopping can be done without setting foot in a supermarket. Of course, many of us simply spend more time in the office as a result, but even workaholics usually squeeze in a trip to the gym or golf course. Perhaps because there is so much on the doorstep, I’ve taken up several new hobbies since moving to Stamford. I’m improving my serves at the Stamford Tennis Club (www.stamfordtennis.co.uk) and am mastering riffs and ripples with tap classes at the Welland School of Dancing (www.wellandschoolofdancing.co.uk). Instead of just watching Strictly Come Dancing, I prised myself off the sofa and began ballroom and Latin classes with the twinkletoed Ann Gibbons at the Arts Centre (www.stamfordartscentre.com). Indeed, the Arts Centre is a wonderful local resource, offering classes and workshops covering everything from stained glass painting, life drawing and sculpture to belly dancing, sewing and playing the harmonica. On a musical note, we recently bought a piano and found a teacher from the list helpfully supplied by the Stamford Music Shop (www. stamfordmusicshop.co.uk). Discussing the subject of learning new skills, the teacher, Helen, revealed she was off to her bellringing lesson in Castor. “Once you get over the fear of the bell falling on top of you, it’s great!” she said. My husband rashly expressed a desire to learn the guitar so guess what he got for his birthday? Again, the music shop came in handy

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and supplied not only the instrument but also teach-yourself flash cards, book and CD. Whatever you fancy learning, chances are there is a teacher in the vicinity ready to show you the ropes. A fellow tennis player told me she wanted to learn swing dancing so I directed her to the Local Living website (www.bestlocalliving.co.uk). Here she found details of a class in her own village of Wansford, no less. New College Stamford runs courses in subjects as diverse as Indian Head Massage, Business Spanish and cookery (www.stamford.ac.uk). Or you could improve your soufflé-making skills at the Stamford Cookery School (www.stamfordcookeryschool.co.uk). If you’d rather burn calories instead of creating them, head to Rutland Water for tuition in golf, windsurfing, kayaking, fishing or sailing (www. rutlandwater.org.uk). A friend just discovered the ‘Ladies who Launch’ sailing sessions on a Friday morning. She is now addicted and has just purchased a dry suit so she can carry on through the winter. Another friend, Charlotte, began tennis lessons recently as it was always something she wanted to do. She explained: “When you’re younger, everything is about learning but you don’t appreciate the opportunities surrounding you and how exciting it all is. When you get older, you realise just how much you still haven’t done yet. This year I set myself three small learning challenges: to attempt waterskiing; learn to play tennis; do a proper cartwheel. I’ve done them all (to a degree). It’s been very satisfying.” One consequence of doing something new is that you often discover something new about yourself. I never thought I’d be able to run 10km without stopping, yet at last year’s Race for Life at Burghley Park, I surprised myself and managed it. My husband went on a skydiving course a few years ago and says it affected his way of looking at life. “There’s not much that fazes me now, because nothing compares to leaping out of a plane at 11,000 feet. You learn a lot about yourself at that moment.” So go on, try something new this year. You might learn more than you expect.

PHOTO: William Kirstein

W

STAMFORD Living JANUARY 2012

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NEWS

LOCAL BUSINESS LETTINGS AGENTS HOLD THE KEY AS HOME OWNERSHIP BECOMES A DREAM News that it now takes an average 16 years for people to save a deposit for a house means it is more important than ever to raise standards in the private rental sector, says Richard Watson from Stamford’s lettings specialist Watson Mitchell. “The UK is desperately short of housing. Coupled with other sociodemographic trends, house prices are up, knocking millions of people off the property ladder into privately rented accommodation. Put simply, with 3.4 million such households, renting has become a way of life. The onus is now on the private lettings sector to protect a generation of landlords and tenants. While The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), the industry’s only professional, but voluntary, regulatory body, is improving a very poorly regulated sector, too many landlords and tenants are still falling foul of unregulated agents. Most buy-to-let mortgage lenders will insist on using ARLA agents. ARLA is the only sign that they are competent to advise on tenancies and handle your rental income. Not only will poor management obliterate cheap fees but a worrying number of agents have actually gone bankrupt mismanaging landlords’ and tenants’ money. Good agents will make sure your property is filled with paying tenants for the longest possible period of time. Properties standing empty, or occupied with tenants who can’t or won’t pay up, are costly. Good agents ensure compliance with the Tenancy Deposit legislation and pay painstaking attention to your inventory. Non-compliance can result in landlords being unable to repossess a property or facing a hefty penalty. The scheme also helps to resolve disputes over dilapidations, with professional, comprehensive inventories providing core evidence. Contact Richard Watson at Watson Mitchell on 01780 765100. Visit www.wmlet.com or email info@wmlet.com Call into the office at 2 Gooches Court, Bath Row, Stamford, PE9 2RE

SPOTLIGHT ON PARIS!

Paris is one of the great cities of the world and whatever your interest you are sure to find it here. From the buzzing Latin quarter on the left bank famous for its literacy legacy and wide range of bars and restaurants to the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower with its graceful, filigreed metal tower, to the unforgettable Paris cabaret shows and of course the world famous Moulin Rouge. The best way to see Paris is on foot, it is surprisingly compact and we guarantee you will see so much more! Paris is a wonderful place to shop; the Parisians value their clutch of independent traders, vibrant markets, flea markets and lavish department stores. Food shopping is taken very seriously in Paris with cheese, bread, wine, meat and chocolate all excellent buys. Fauchon’s superb complex of food counters and cafés is a delight as is Boulangerie Poilane, one of the best bakeries in the city. Wine lovers should seek out Les Caves Taillevent while those in search of strong (or delicate) cheeses should visit Marie Anne Cantins’ shop - the best in the city! Oundle Travel recommends the centrally situated 3* Victor Hugo, a three night break starts from as little as £396.00 per person – Low Season - Including 2nd Class Eurostar tickets. For something a little more special with private car transfers from Gare du Nord to the Sydney Opera Hotel from £599.00 per person with First Class Eurostar tickets. For a family break why not combine your sightseeing with a break to Disneyland Paris ? Oundle Travel offers the full selection of hotels either in Disneyland Paris and have offers of up to 40% discount for the spring months. For more details contact Oundle Travel on 01832 273600 www.oundletravel.co.uk

NFU MUTUAL – A LOCAL SUCCESS STORY Nowadays, there are not many towns that can boast about direct access to their very own insurance company who have expert knowledge of the local area. NFU Mutual in Stamford does just that with staff that offer a wide range of expertise in the key aspects of insurance. Louise Glassey, Account Executive at the office who specialises in providing insurance for large houses with valuable and unique possessions commented: “We find clients prefer talking to us face-to-face in the office or their home, and if they contact us by telephone they know they can speak to a member of the team who is familiar with their policy.” This attention to customer service helps to explain why over 95% of customers renewed their policies last year. And in July 2011 NFU Mutual achieved Which? Recommended Provider status for both home and car insurance. Whatever your insurance needs, why not pop into their office and have a chat with a member of the experienced team? You will find the traditional approach to modern business is a refreshing change, particularly when your visit begins might well begin with a simple question, such as “would you like a cup of tea or coffee?” Ed comment: I use the NFU both for my personal and business insurance – 100% happy with their service, very personal and efficient NFU Stamford, 14 Sheep Market, Stamford PE9 2RB. Tel: 01780 762421 www.nfumutual.co.uk/stamford Agent of The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited JANUARY 2012 STAMFORD LIVING

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DESIGN INTERIORS

What’s New in Uppingham? The Falcon Hotel The locals in Uppingham are harbouring a closely guarded secret. Unless you are a regular visitor to the town and connected to the community you will probably not know that The Falcon Hotel has changed. You may have heard some months ago that it had been sold, but probably gave it no more than a passing thought; yesterday’s papers, today’s chip wrappers and all that. Well think again...

T

he couple behind local firm Arnold Wills, and their dedicated crew (consisting of the builders and related trades, together with their young, hardworking and extremely loyal staff), have been quietly and doggedly beavering away, lovingly resuscitating this local landmark. Gone is the grime. Gone are the grubby bedrooms (clean if not yet all fully refurbished). Gone, in short, are all the things that marred this Uppingham gem, in its commanding

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position at the heart of the town’s Market Square. Determinedly inclusive, but without any skimping in style or quality, change is firmly on the agenda. A total shutdown of a week to get the drains sorted and the entire place deep cleaned, was accompanied by a revamp of the Tap Bar. Cast off any thoughts of razzle-dazzle finery and stuffiness and think deeply and genuinely welcoming. Imagine a place with a real bar,

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with real fires (which are lit), fresh flowers, and comfortable tweed upholstered chairs and people who are genuinely pleased to see you. It’s no wonder that many of the customers arrive for a mid-morning coffee, drift over to Don Paddy’s, their café, bar, restaurant, for a spot of lunch, back for afternoon tea at the Falcon and then on for a convivial drink at The Vaults, their pub on another side of the Market Square. Each has its own individual character, the same great staff and the same dedication to making your experience as enjoyable as possible. Nothing is too much hassle, and it’s all so incredibly relaxed. Carol Wills, the joint owner with her husband Robert (Uppingham champion born and bred), are the embodiment of their ethos for the businesses. Unfailingly open and approachable, to young and old, whether you’re there for a pint or to stay, she is refreshingly welcoming in a low key but unmistakeably generous way. “We want the hotel to be classically stylish and good value for money. A place people want to come to, and not to be there just because they

need to be. We want it to be at the heart of Uppingham’s community, and a destination for those visiting because of that. An experience that is more than just the hotel alone.” First on her agenda, together with fixing the roof and chimneys, and sorting the bar was getting the toilets done. As they say, you can tell a lot about a place by the toilets. These now definitely say there is a commitment to the customer, in every detail, whether small or large. Success is not magical or mysterious. It is the natural consequence of getting the basic fundamentals right. This thinking ‘what would I want?’ has also led to putting the Lounge facing the Square so that you can see what is going on and feel a part of it. Upstairs in the light-soaked refurbished bedrooms, the same care and personal touch have gone into the details. The duvets are generously sized, doubles on single beds, kings on doubles, you get my drift. The mattresses have been replaced with those designed to ensure a deep and restful sleep, pillows are down like and the well designed bathrooms filled with The White Company toiletries. As for the baths and showers, each set of four rooms now has their own hot water cylinder, replacing the single hot water cylinder that served the whole hotel previously. All 50 guests can now shower and bathe at the same time in the secure knowledge that neither the hot water nor the pressure will be compromised. Outside the garden has been given an overhaul and made a wonderful place to retire to, to enjoy the sun or simply to sit on the veranda with a drink. The food from the newly re-fitted kitchen (it was closed for a month for a complete overhaul) is really good. In a way it sums up what the Falcon is, which is good quality and wholesome. It is not fancy or over

the top, just very, very good. Generosity of spirit is married to a commitment to quality. Nothing is done half heartedly or by cutting corners. The outstanding service delivers what you need, simply and efficiently, frequently before you know you need it. A breast feeding guest at a recent wedding was given use of a nearby room at no extra cost and, offered tea as and when she wanted it. Unsolicited acts of hospitality such as these speak volumes about the consideration and attitude of the staff and owners. If you haven’t already been, go and experience it for yourself - you won’t be disappointed. • The Falcon Hotel, 7 High Street East, Uppingham, Oakham LE15 9PY, Tel: 01572 823535 - info@falcon-hotel.co.uk, www.falcon-hotel.co.uk

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Let us take the hassle out of buying your new kitchen. We offer a free design and quotation service, have expert installers, together with all the choices of appliances, sinks and accessories you could ever need, and at fantastic prices… so why not call in and see the specialists? Full range of worktops and appliances

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PERSPECTIVES

ALL ABOUT STAMFORD Jumbo Crossword Clues across

1 See 21D 3 SKY scores high in old pub on site of much missed Hawley’s (5,4) 6 A sampling at Adnams with tats and gin, perhaps (7) 8 On the Scottish estate a road on which one might have a cow? (5) 10 In phases, what to expect from Richardsons on North Street? (6) 11 Leering I change garb from Chameleon (8) 12 With which Mr Walker has set out to scare? (5,7) 16 A trawl turned stormy where one can learn to fly fish? (7,5) 18 Stamford School staff quaffing Highland Cream? (8) 19 Fashionable disorder and chaos on St Mary’s Street? (6) 22 Baffle and bemuse in Boston? (5) 23 Debatably calmed by the Red Lion Square overhaul (7) 24 Made famous by Mr Hamilton through sheds and valley (9) 25 See 7D Clues down 1 A present from Pets Korner for Polly? (8) 2 Where cash is found on TV, or fashion on St Mary’s Street (5) 3 Stylish, innate to French, ici (4) 4 For 13Ds and the like a holiday home in Longacre, Belmesthorpe? (7) 5 To Guy if awkward get presents at …s (3,4) 7 & 25A Hopefully played mellifluously in St Mary’s Hill shop? (5,5) 9 Relax in the sun - win dollars too (6) 13 Crossword compiler may also be well Red? (6) 14 Fragrant with a shop on High Street St Martin’s? (8) 15 Guitar pluckers for sale in Stamford 25A Shop? (7) 16 A wealthy chap buying red trousers on St Mary’s Street? (7) 17 Local dock road? (5) 20 Horse rides for pleasure require throat lozenges (5) 21 & 1A Face off with noir-ish outlet on High Street (4,5) Across - 1 Black, 3 Cross Keys, 6 Tasting, 8 Angus, 10 Cycles, 11 Lingerie, 12 Ghost Stories, 16 Rutland Water, 18 Teachers, 19 Mayhem, 22 Stump, 23 Traffic, 24 Barnsdale, 25 Music Down - 1 Birdcage, 2 Attic, 3 Chic, 4 Kennels, 5 You Gift, 7 Sweet, 9 Unwind, 13 Setter, 14 Aromatic, 15 Plectra, 16 Richman, 17 Wharf, 20 Hacks, 21 Cafe

A personal ‘take’ on Stamford

Tired of the car crash TV ‘reality’ shows? Are you screaming at your TV sets when the best philosophical questions between two people are whether the moon and the sun are the same planet? Made in Chelsea, The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) and now, Desperate Scousewives. Might I make a suggestion of showing the REAL life of the British people? Welcome to my new TV pitch ‘Stamford: Amid Its Ancient Charm’. Where tweed becomes the new spray tan and the jagerbomb is changed for a 1975 bottle of Chateau Neuf du Pape. The series would involve real trauma – a domestic breakout over an incorrect answer at Trivial Pursuit. The only love triangle would involve two Mallard ducks and a guinea pig named Lorenzo. A typical day would begin with a coffee shop crawl x15, a dog walk, followed by a quick jaunt to Burghley House to take a frosty photo of our beloved stately home. Off to an antiques centre for a quick valuation on the same ring you bought from there a week earlier. A small but stoic fight over a parking space. Then afternoon tea, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm (we have a lot of friends). A quick shuffle into another antiques centre – ‘did they value that ring correctly?’. Quick Tweed change. We’d pretend to work at some point, but this will of course require a latte, the Daily Telegraph (not Heat) and perhaps a round of golf. Followed by a quick file and paint in one of 236 beauty salons. Dinner, at one of our fine restaurants, serenaded by someone who can actually sing. Another kerfuffle over a

Jan 2012 Crossword Answers:

Carrie’s Column

Get in touch with Carrie at future.perfect@btinternet.com or tweet her @carriegracey

parking space (the tension mounts). To find our inner sanctum, we tell a couple of youths on the meadows to ‘go scuttle off somewhere else’. Fourth meal of the day - a picnic in sub-sub zero temperatures, at Tolethorpe – carrying of course our 15 tog duvets, sorrel boots, Canadian goose jackets, heated hand warmers, hip flasks and our hot water bottles. Sitting in the open air theatre, we see our fellow thespians – Ted, Jack, a small dog called Hamlet and the theatre resident – the 14th century ghost – probably also called Hamlet. During Act II someone will say ‘sorry about all the feathers’ after fluffing their duck down onto the person in front of them. All this, whilst the actors are battling against the noise from the bleating sheep in the surrounding fields. Don’t tell me ITV, this isn’t real life, because it is. This stuff throws your 20 something females into small screen oblivion. Whilst the characters of TOWIE are fighting an inner battle to get out a constructive sentence, we’re reciting Chaucer, Chekhov and Joe Orton. E4 – whilst you give us a battle of lovers, curious glances of someone’s Nan and incredible hair extensions; we give you architecture, the English language (not ‘nuh-uh’) and gold-framed pictures of Daniel Lambert - Maybe the above isn’t the reality of Stamford, but secretly we all want it to be. If TOWIE won a BAFTA – then I’ve just won ‘Amid Its Ancient Charm’ 10 Oscars. Surely?

STAMFORD Living january 2012

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Pie and a pint for only £11* Available Monday to Saturday lunch and Monday to Thursday dinner throughout January and February* Choice of a pie from the pie menu, served with potatoes and vegetables, along with a pint** (or a soft drink or 175ml glass of house wine). *Starts from 2nd January 2012 and excludes Valentine’s Day night. **Adnams or Carlsberg.

t. 01780 763136

All Saints’ Place, Stamford, PE9 2AG

reservations@thecrownhotelstamford.co.uk www.thecrownhotelstamford.co.uk

t. 01780 756321

t. 01780 740 250

21 Stamford Road, Easton on the Hill, PE9 3NS reservations@theexeterarms.net www.theexeterarms.net

Main Street Ufford, Stamford, PE9 3BH info@whitehartufford.co.uk www.whitehartufford.co.uk

For all enquiries contact Sally Rouse on 01780 763136 or email sally@thecrownhotelstamford.co.uk All Saints’ Hotels Ltd. All Saints’ Place, Stamford, PE9 2AG t. 01780 763136

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FOOD & DRINK

Reap what you sow in 2012 A VIP Year – Sarah Lyon proposes that you make a conscious decision to get involved in one of these Very Important Projects and help to sustain and support your local food and farming community Virtuous Bread; Become a Bread Angel – Home baking course and social enterprise Virtuous….Virtue, says Jane Mason of Virtuous Bread, “is lived out in the set of behaviours we use when we are building and maintaining positive relationships. Because nobody is perfect, the cycle of apology and forgiveness is central to virtue. This requires that we see from someone else’s point of view.” Bread…Jane adds, “when we eat well we are more patient, tolerant and kind and more likely to think clearly and act respectfully.” “There is nothing that builds angelic camaraderie quite like kneading together or your first attempt at shaping a loaf.” Improve your bread-making skills and learn more about running a small home-based food business. A three day course that combines amazing steps in developing bread-making confidence with clear, practical and up-to-date information about the business of baking bread at home and delivering it locally to your neighbours, local cafés, delis, day centres, schools and farmers’ markets. After the course when you have your ‘bread wings’ you have the option of continuing your relationship with virtuousbread.com, for business and moral support. Consider becoming a Bread Angel Trainer and teach others to become a part of this ‘host of angels’. London courses with Jane Mason (Tel: 07711 267 278); Leicester and Norfolk courses with Rosie Clark (Tel: 07894 232543), rosie@virtuousbread.com, www.virtuousbread.com

Capers Caterers Gives Back! Sally Birrell of Capers is a caterer who provides a bespoke catering service nurturing and guiding her clients every step of the way. “Capers can encompass any theme and create any style. We believe that every meal is our only meal and in doing so we take full responsibility for the event and venue. The A1 motorway is a fantastic corridor for us. Our fleet of five refrigerated vans ensures that food travels in the safest environment.” After a trip to Northern Mozambique Sally has chosen to focus on and support NEMA’s School Feeding project whose aim is to reduce child malnutrition, to improve school attendance and to improve concentration levels at school. Sally invites clients to make a donation through their invoice of just 20 pence per head which in return gives NEMA the ability to feed one child for one day, providing that child with a full belly. Capers Catering, Sandy, Bedfordshire – Tel: 01767 631700 www.nemafoundation.org

Chater Valley Farm Rent-a-Porker Scheme “The pigs are born free range and woodland reared. All the animals, both pigs and cattle, are produced in an environment that focuses on their welfare.” The animal breeds are also chosen for their docility and good temperament. This is important for another reason; future plans include the provision of an educational and support environment for children and families including those who are living with autism. The Rent-a-Porker Scheme is for those who would like to have a pig for their freezer but don’t have their own land. At £45 a month for six months, it’s more expensive that supermarket meat, but you can follow your pig’s progress with visits to the farm and you finish up with delicious rare breed pork and sausages from a trustworthy source. If a whole pig is too much, consider going halves or thirds with friends. Chater Valley Farm – Pinfold Lane, Pilton, Oakham, Rutland LE15 9PA, Tel: 01780 720660

Follow the Herd Sponsor a Cow Scheme with The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust where Shetland and Longhorn cattle are grazing life back into our nature reserves Careful grazing is a critical part of grassland management, creating the right conditions for wildlife to flourish by keeping down coarse vegetation which would overwhelm rarer, more delicate plants. The trust manages a variety of important grassland sites including heath land and wild flower rich meadows. Your sponsorship helps care for the cattle that graze the land. Simply choose which breed of cow you would like to sponsor and complete a form. In return you will be rich in the knowledge that you are helping to sustain and preserve our nature reserves, you will receive a sponsorship certificate for your cow, a soft toy ring, two newsletters updating you on your cow’s progress and an invitation to meet the cattle at one of the trust’s nature reserves. Go to www.lrwt.org.uk/support-us/sponsor-cow STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2012

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T he W illiam C eC il

at Stamford

New Year! New You!

• Introducing new Speedy Cecil Lunches - only £17.95 for 3 courses

• Book now for your Valentine’s Dinner - only £40/person with a glass of fizz!

Call reservations for more information on 01780 750070

The William Cecil St Martins, Stamford. PE9 2LJ E: enquiries@thewilliamcecil.co.uk

01780 750070

www.thewilliamcecil.co.uk

L’Oliveto Restaurante Italiano

Authentic Italian & Mediterranean Cuisine Visit us for:

Morning Coffee, Lunch & Dinner All Restaurants Available for Weddings, Christenings & Parties

L’Oliveto Uno 14 Church Street Oakham, Rutland LE15 6AA Tel: 01572 759656

L’Oliveto Due

Fisher Lodge, Normanton Road, South Shore Rutland Water, LE15 8HD Tel: 01780 721599

NOW OPEN IN STAMFORD

L’Oliveto Tré

Old Barn Passage, St Mary’s Street Stamford, PE9 2HG Tel: 01780 489169/Mob: 07818 417610 38

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FOOD & DRINK

EATING OUT UPDATES Lunch For Even Less 2012 The ever popular Lunch for Less promotion runs across our area in the next three months. Grab a great meal at a bargain price – the six restaurants are amongst the best in the region, you will enjoy them all (now there’s an idea) To make your reservation, please call the restaurant of your choice and quote the ‘Lunch for Even Less’ offer. Subject to availability.

Hambleton Hall, Nr. Oakham 2 courses for £20.00 (3rd course for £5.25) (inclusive of 12.5% service charge) Offer valid - Monday, 16th January to Saturday, 3rd March 2012 (excluding Valentine’s Day) Tel: 01572 756991 www.hambletonhall.com Langar Hall, Langar 2 courses for £16.50 (3rd course for £5.00) Offer valid - Monday, 16th January to Saturday, 31st March 2012 Tel: 01949 860559 www.langarhall.co.uk The Marquess of Exeter, Lyddington 2 courses for £12.00 (3rd course for £3.00) Offer valid - Monday, 16th January to Saturday, 31st March 2012 (excluding Valentine’s Day) Tel: 01572 822477 www.marquessexeter.co.uk The Olive Branch, Clipsham 2 courses for £15.50 (3rd course for £4.00) Offer valid - Monday, 16th January to Saturday, 31st March 2012 (excluding Valentine’s Day) Tel: 01780 410355 www.theolivebranchpub.com The Red Lion Inn, Stathern 2 courses for £12.50 (3rd course for £3.00) Offer valid - Monday, 16th January to Saturday, 31st March 2012 (excluding Valentine’s Day) Tel: 01949 860868 www.theredlioninn.co.uk

PHOTOS: LESLEY ANNE- CHURCHILL

The Berkeley Arms, Wymondham 2 courses for £11.95 (3rd course for £3.00) Offer valid - Tuesday, 24th January to Saturday, 31st March 2012 (closed on Monday Lunchtime, excluding Valentine’s Day) Tel: 01572 787587 www.theberkeleyarms.co.uk

The Lord Nelson reopens in Oakham Charlotte Newby

December saw the re-opening of the Lord Nelson in Oakham’s Market Place. The timber framed building has been lovingly restored, the bedrooms of the former hotel turned into drinking and eating rooms and the restaurant changed into a bar area with open fireplace and original features. We popped in early on a Saturday night. It was buzzing and welcoming. The layout of the rooms makes for very relaxed socialising. It’s warm, comfortable and unpretentious. There’s a fine range of real ales - two pumps dedicated to Ufford Ales and two to guest beers. There’s an impressive wine list featuring old and new world wines. The food menu has a choice of antipasto, snacks, mains and daily and seasonal specials using locally sourced ingredients. They also serve exceptionally good stone baked pizzas. Oakham was desperate for a place like this. I highly recommend a visit. The Lord Nelson, 11 Market Place, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6DT, 01572 868340, www.thelordnelsonoakham.com

Riverside Wine Bar & Bistro

The building on the bridge looking over the river, formerly Quayhole Kate’s, is a truly amazing space. Although it’s currently being used as an Antique and Decorative Arts shop, plans are now well advanced to transform it into a wine bar and bistro, with an aim to open by the end of January. The rooms are spacious and characterful and there are stunning views over the river (they hope to add a decking area outside for the spring). The aim is to create a wine bar and Frenchstyle bistro – informal food well cooked. David Waycott, an established restaurateur, will be the manager, so we expect great things.

L’Oliveto 3

The popular Italian restaurant L’Oliveto has recently opened its doors in Old Barn Passage on the site of the former Barn Restaurant. They have created a classic Italian ambience and brought the pazzaz of an all-Italian team to a classic menu and warm, friendly service. L’Oliveto, Old Barn Passage, St Mary’s Street, Stamford PE9 2HG Tel: 01780 489169 STAMFORD Living JANUARY 2012

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FOOD & DRINK

The Cosy Club, Stamford Harjit Gammon finds much to delight in Stamford’s newest establishment

love the Cosy Club. And, it seems I’m not alone; so does Stamford. That’s the short review. And now to the more nuanced. In the month since it opened, I’ve been there a handful of times; for coffee, lunch with the family, a bite to eat in the evening with the girls, a drink with friends...and so have many of my acquaintance. The verdict is a definite resounding yes. The Cosy Club is a fantastic addition to Stamford. Vital, invigorating and metropolitan, it has reenergised this part of town and re-focused it as the heart of Stamford. An outstanding conversion of the former Post Office Sorting Office, it is a homage to modern vintage style; all eclectic mismatched tables and chairs, deep leather sofas for lounging, fringed Victorian lampshade and antler abounding, edged with industrial factory lighting, teamed with a gloriously punchy, glossy pillar box red gilt bar. What’s not to like? It’s wonderfully easy going, fabulously flexible and cosily casual. The night of this review it was full to capacity - a fitting test of its mettle. And boy did they pull it off. The food was good - burger, slow braised beef with morelle mushrooms, battered cod, and a rare steak - and the service great (they seem to have got through their early teething problems) - quick, friendly and attentive. Good wine and freshly squeezed orange juice for the non-drinkers kept us

WWW.ADJUSTEDPERSPECTIVE.COM

I

happily occupied while we waited briefly for the food and enjoyed the buzz. The place throbbed with the palpable sound of people, young and old, enjoying each other’s company. The staff balanced magnificently the needs of various large groups and the clusters of 2s and 4s. Let’s support this fabulous addition to our lovely town. Another thread, if you will, in the rich tapestry that is Stamford. This wonderful

life-infused, welcoming place is sure to please. Go for a coffee, admire the transformation and you’ll be back like me for a drink, a meal, brunch... Enjoy. The Cosy Club The Old Delivery Office, Horseshoe Lane, Stamford Tel: 01780 767710 Stamford@cosyclub.co.uk

The Queens Head, Bulwick Fiona Cumberpatch tries out the new menu at this delightful village pub

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t’s always good to report that a village pub is back in business, and we’re pleased that Bulwick’s 17th century hostelry is firing on all cylinders again after a period in the doldrums and a three month closure. Under new ownership since May, The Queen’s Head has a fresh look, and a new head chef – Haydn Laidlow, previously of Oundle’s Chapel Dining Room. The cosy stone-flagged bar with its beams and wood burning stove has been lightened with mirrors behind the bar, cream walls and jaunty country checks, and there’s a more formal restaurant area, which extends over three rooms. A blackboard with a short list of specials greeted us, and caused instant mouthwatering. There was also a printed bar menu, and an à la carte one. We were in a light lunch mood, so though tempted by the venison pie with mashed potatoes and

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veg, a caesar salad with grilled chicken won the day for me. My colleague Bridget chose the grilled goat’s cheese salad with beetroot and pickled walnuts, and we shared some hand cut chips. My Caesar salad was crisp and delicious, with a good sized portion of char-grilled chicken, creamy parmesan dressing and – a surprise – fresh anchovies. Bridget made short work of her smallish portion of goats’ cheese salad, relishing the earthy nut and beetroot flavours. She would have liked some bread to accompany it, which wasn’t offered. But she made up for her carbfree first course with a splendid dessert of

bread and butter pudding, with fresh vanilla custard. My crème brulee with home made shortbread biscuits was an absolute blinder, with a crisp, crack-with-your-spoon caramel top and soft underside. Chef Haydn produces deceptively simple, appetising food, all locally farmed or sourced, and eminently suited to a country pub that isn’t trying to be too clever. “I’m very lucky to have game from our local estate,” he says. “And I can’t wait to get our pizza oven fired up in the summer.” Described as “a village pub with a restaurant,” you’ll find local drinkers, darts and dominoes teams here, walkers taking advantage of some fine paths, and dedicated diners wanting good food at an affordable price. There are CAMRA accredited real ales and an excellent wine selection, too. Yes, the Queens Head is firmly back on the map. The Queens Head, Main St, Bulwick NN17 3DY Tel: 01780 450272 www.thequeensheadbulwick.co.uk Open: Tuesday – Sunday Prices: From £9.95 for a daily special to £16.95 for a rib eye steak. Sandwiches from £5.50. Sharing platters from £8.25.

STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2012

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News from Oundle Mill

Rave reviews for the new Head Chef at Oundle Mill Oundle Mill and new Head Chef, Gavin Austin, have been delighted by the fabulous feedback about the new menus at Oundle Mill.

The food was fantastic, the service excellent and the whole ambience perfect

He is a young and dynamic chef, aiming to provide a stylishly modern take on local restaurant dining, appealing to diners looking for a great experience but with an eye on cost. We think he is well on the way to achieving his goals, providing beautiful, vividly presented and elegant food of a very high quality with great attention to detail It’s so rare to find a chef who can take the best techniques from fine dining and apply them to creating great pub grub that’s a cut above the rest A totally delicious taste sensation

Dine for

½ price

on Mondays in January.

The perfect opportunity to try the new menus This offer is available January 2012 OUNDLE MILL. A PERFECT PLACE TO EAT, MEET OR SIMPLY RETREAT

Oundle Mill, Barnwell Road, Oundle, Northamptonshire, PE8 5PB Tel: (01832) 272621 www.oundlemill.co.uk 41

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countryfile

Reviving an ancient craft Dry stone walling dates back over 4,000 years. Now expert Richard Donoyou is passing on the skills to a new generation of craftsmen Words and photos: Dave Phillips

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Richard (left) with Kirsty Stone from the Peterborough Regional College (centre) and Sara Blair-Manning, chief executive of the John Clare Cottage Trust (right).

I

n Britain we’re proud of our heritage and millions of pounds are spent every year preserving our great cathedrals and old buildings. Yet at the same time some of the most historic man-made structures in our area are crumbling before our eyes. I’m talking about the dry stone walls that are such a feature of the region. Did you know that in our neck of the woods (Northamptonshire, Peterborough, North Cambridgeshire and South Lincolnshire) there are more stone walls than in Yorkshire? No, nor did I. Nor did I realise that they are disappearing fast. To make matters worse, there’s only one man in this area qualified to build or repair them. Luckily that man is Richard Donoyou, who is on a one-man mission to ensure that there will soon be dozens of local people versed in the ancient craft of dry stone walling. “We are losing the stone walls of the Nene Valley at an alarming rate,” says Richard. “Look at almost any village and you will find a wall in disrepair. The big estates , like Deene Park and Milton Park, for example, have a major challenge in keeping their miles and miles of historic walls in good repair. “Look beneath many woodlands and hedgerows in this area and you’ll find the remnants of stone walls that must have existed in good repair probably into the early 20th century. Until then, building and repairing dry stone walls was an important job in winter for farm and estate workers in the countryside, but after the first world war the labour force was massively reduced and the attitude of the large landowners changed. There just weren’t the people available to manage and maintain them.”

Saviour of the walls Richard, who lives in Elton, is a qualified building surveyor who admits that he got bored sitting in front of a drawing board or computer screen and set about the task of learning traditional building techniques. “I think it is important to get some practical understanding of these skills so one can appreciate the problems and benefits when asking others to employ them. So I have rebuilt timber frame houses, taught myself traditional slate roofing and thatching, and limestone dry stone walling, lime plastering and so on,” he

says. His passion for the old building techniques is matched only by his determination to pass them on. He is currently teaching the art of dry stone walling to 17 and 18 year-old students at Peterborough Regional College and is about to start a series of courses aimed at adults who want to learn the craft. “Some of our students haven’t done well at school and left with no qualifications,” he says. “This is a way of bringing them back into education, encouraging them to work as a team and improve their employment prospects. Many of them go on to learn other building techniques and will get jobs in the construction industry.” The courses take place both at the Regional College and at John Clare’s Cottage, Helpston, where the students are currently renovating a dry stone boundary wall that dates back to the early 18th century, when the famous poet lived there.

Learning the skill In fact dry stone walls date back much further than that. The remains of Roman dry stone walls can be found at Church Hill, Castor, for example, while in County Mayo in western

Ireland, dry stone walls dating back 4,500 years have been uncovered by archaeologists. The likelihood is that there is a dry stone wall very close to you. In fact you may have one on your property in need of repair – or you may even fancy building one. If so, Richard’s courses for adults, which start in the spring, could be right up your street. “Following the success of the student courses, I am starting adult courses in March and April,” says Richard. “We intend to offer week-long courses as well as weekend courses for those with full-time jobs. The courses would be suitable for builders and landscape contractors, estate workers, architects, building surveyors and conservation officers, as well as people who have stone walls in their gardens and around their houses which they wish to repair. A full week course should equip most people with sufficient skills to be able to progress by themselves. It is also intended that there will be further courses culminating in the Dry Stone Wall Association’s First Level Certificate standard.” It’s Richard’s hope that one day there will be lots of qualified dry stone wallers in the area to ensure that these important features of our landscape are preserved for ever.

ALL ABOUT WALLS

Dry stone walls are common in this area because of the ample supplies of limestone, literally under our feet. It is known as Oolitic limestone, laid down in the Jurassic period some 150 million years ago. The stone was formed as small invertebrate creatures died and fell to the bottom of the shallow tropical seas that existed at that time. Their calcareous shells then built up in layers, with each successive layer crushed to form the strata that is characteristic of limestone. As one works with the stone, the imprints of ancient plant fronds, large whelk like crustaceans and even trilobites can be found. “Oolitic limestone is a wonderful building stone that has a consistency that allows it to be shaped and carved and a wonderful honey coloured hue,” says Richard. “It was so highly valued by the Normans that its use was limited only to the church and the very wealthy. The quarries at Barnack produced particularly good stone and so became controlled by the church and the stone was used exclusively for great building projects including Peterborough and Ely cathedrals. “Other dry stone boundary walls clearly have medieval origins. For example, the wall that weaves and twists along the southern side of Sulehay Wood clearly marks a characteristic medieval boundary.” If you are interested in taking part in the courses, contact Richard by email: Richard.donoyou@btinternet.com or by phone on 01832 280494. You can also book with tutor Kirsty Stone at Peterborough Regional College by email kirsty.stone@peterborough.ac.uk or phone 01733 762288 STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2012

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ACTIVITIES

LEARNING TO DRIVE IN

STAMFORD

Richard Barry looks at the options

H

ere is the overall learner-driver picture. Last year we took 1,500,000 car driving tests. Of these, 700,000 were “first time” tests but an heroic 80,000 were being taken for the sixth or more time. How did they all get on? The overall pass rate was 46%, but that’s quite a slippery statistic because it lumps together the results of all attempts, whether first time or tenth time. First timers Everyone intends to pass first time so it’s the results for first-timers that people really want to know about. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) – the body that regulates all driving instruction and testing -- publishes detailed statistics. These show that the real stars are the seventeen year olds – boys and girls; they achieved the highest first-time pass rate (53%) of any age group. The longer you delay taking your first test the lower your first-time pass rate; delay ten years and the first-time passrate for 27 year old men and women has fallen to 44% (with women in this age group doing particularly badly -- falling to 39%) Any Stamford teenager keen to start driving should be grateful to Stamford Living for finding in the DSA files evidence that early learning is a good thing. This is even truer when the student factors-in the substantial cost – much more likely to be paid by Mummy and Daddy when you’re seventeen than twenty seven. Options and costs There are three basic options: be taught by the AA or one of the other national chains; be taught by an independent qualified instructor; or be taught by a parent or friend. Whichever route is chosen, the cost of the DSA’s examinations is inescapable -- £31 for the Theory test and £62 for the Practical test. You must pass the Theory test before you can book a Practical test. The national chains are franchises. The AA, for example, has about 2,000 instructors across the nation: these are not employees – they are

44

independent business men and women who pay a fee for the right to use the AA’s name and marketing services. Calling 0800 587 0087 gets through to the central booking department where you can sign up for lessons. There are two or three AA instructors in the Stamford area. Hourly charges vary across the country – cheapest in North Wales, most expensive in Central London -- but average about £23.50 in Stamford. A search of the web and directories identifies six independent driving instructors in the Stamford area: DRIVING SCHOOL NAME

PHONE NUMBER

Adroit

763247

Carol

751670

Freeway

751741

Jules

751611

Lisa

489275

Martin

07793 204789

be a couple of weeks or more before he or she can fit you in to their schedule. Costs are likely to be in the range of £20 to £23 pounds an hour. The DSA recommends at least 40 hours of instruction for a young person (more for an older person) before taking the driving test. Forty hours at twenty pounds an hour adds up to serious money. Small wonder that getting Mummy to teach you may look pretty attractive -- but it’s unlikely to be a good idea. Parent/child tension over the state of his/ her bedroom is bad enough – imagine what driving lesson tension is going to be like. That said, parents can be extremely helpful in letting the student gain extra experience on the family car. This requires a parent to accompany the learner and extra insurance will be needed for the family car. But still, this sort of experience – over and above formal tuition -- is highly recommended by the DSA.

How to choose? Word of mouth is often the best way, so ask around among your friends. The next step should be to telephone at least two or three schools for information: check that you will be taught by an Approved Driving Instructor (approved by the DSA) holding a green certificate, not just a pink ‘trainee’ certificate. The DSA green certificates come in grades 1 to 6 (highest). Your instructor should be grade 4 or higher. Check how long the instructor has been teaching learners. And check that you will get plenty of practice at the scariest thing around Stamford – joining the A1 and having to merge into its fast and heavy traffic If you like what you hear about the instructor then it’s probably best to book a trial lesson. Be aware, though, that if the lesson goes well and you want to continue with that instructor, it may

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110TH IN THE COUNTRY & 2ND IN THE EAST MIDLANDS IN THE SUNDAY TIMES SECONDARY SCHOOLS LEAGUE TABLE

72.1% A* - B GRADES AT A-LEVEL ACADEMIC SIXTH FORM WITH EXTENSIVE ENRICHMENT PROGRAMME If you missed our recent Sixth Form Choices Evening and are interested in joining us, please contact Mrs Penny Hawkins for an information pack and/or an informal visit.

SOUTH ROAD BOURNE LINCOLNSHIRE PE10 9JE

E-mail:penny.hawkins@bournegrammar.lincs.sch.uk or telephone 01778 391646

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Fax:

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• Residential & Commercial Conveyancing • Family and Child Care Disputes • Separation and Divorce • Wills, Probate and Administration of Estates • Accident and Personal Injury Claims • Employment Issues • Lasting Powers of Attorney & Court of Protection Work

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LOCAL BUSINESS

Work smarter, not harder

In an economic climate that continues to be tough, and with the huge changes and opportunities presented by the internet, there has never been a more important time to find advisers that can help you make smart decisions about your business or personal affairs. Nicholas Rudd-Jones reviews a number of local advisers

ACCOUNTANTS Duncan and Toplis 14 All Saints’ Street, Stamford PE9 2PA Tel: 01780 750888 www.duntop.co.uk Duncan & Toplis was established in 1925 and is now one of the largest independent firms of chartered accountants in the region. They have an unrivalled knowledge of local business issues and wide experience across many commercial fields. They are also very efficient if you only need to use them for tax returns. The Stamford partners are Tom Hindmarch and Richard Hardy, who know the local community and its businesses very well. One satisfied personal client said of their tax returns team: “They nag me ever so charmingly to get my tax returns in on time – it really works!” Hunter Stevens Limited 5-6 Maiden Lane, Stamford, PE9 2AZ Tel: 01780 761920 www.hunterstevens.co.uk Hunter Stevens believe in teamwork, in working closely with their clients in order to understand their objectives and aspirations.

“We recognise that everyone is different so we tailor our thinking and focus specifically on what matters to each client whether it be a sole trader, company or private individual.” It is a personal and highly supportive service that is offered which can be fine tuned to individual circumstances. Jackson & Grimes 22 Saint George’s Street Stamford, PE9 2BU Tel: 01780 751241 www.jacksonandgrimes.co.uk Their aim is to help their clients to achieve as much as possible with the financial resources at their disposal, and to ensure their growth, prosperity, and overall business/personal aims are met as a result of sound advice and support. This philosophy is apparent in the ways in which they look after the best interests of clients by providing informed, competent advice in a friendly atmosphere where integrity and the personal connection still count a lot towards the strength of the client relationship. Michelle Feasey & Co Chartered Accountants and

Chartered Tax Advisors Unit 1, West Street Business Park, Stamford, PE9 2PL Tel: 01780 751115 Website: www.feaseyaccounts.co.uk Michelle Feasey & Co specialises in small businesses based in the area, including Local Living Magazines. Michelle Feasey commented: “We aim to provide a very customerfocused value-for money package; smaller companies can lose out by paying for things that aren’t necessary.” And she has a sound business head which means that she can give advice, if asked for, on a range of business decisions. RB Crosbie Accountants 63 High St, St Martin’s, Stamford, PE9 2LA Tel: 01780 751700 Mob: 07702 456722 Dick Crosbie has been an accountant for over 20 years, serving both individual clients and small to medium-sized companies. Dick offers a very personal service and, as well as providing all types of accounting, is also a tax consultant. His feelings about how to operate in the current economy are clear: “Talk to advisers sooner rather than later. There are ways to spread the load with the big

one-off payments such as VAT and Corporation Tax; the tax authorities can be amenable to phased payments.” He sees growth in his own business because of the value he gives and the personal service he provides. Stephenson Smart & Co Stephenson House, 15 Church Walk, Peterborough, PE1 2TP Tel: 01733 343275 www.stephensonsmart.com Stephenson Smart was established over 100 years ago. They continue to build on their reputation for providing excellent advice and first class service to business and personal clients alike. As well as general accountancy, audit and tax skills, their six partners also have individual specialist skills which enables the firm to provide clients with a first class service as and when required. In addition to traditional auditing, accounting and tax services they also provide advice on how to improve and develop your business. Whether you need an integrated business strategy, access to corporate finance or specialist tax advice they are ready to help you achieve your goals

STAMFORD Living January 2012

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• Has recently qualified for the rigorously externally assessed Conveyancing Quality Scheme run by the Law Society. • Along with our outstanding personal support for all our clients at reasonable prices, this Quality Mark confirms we offer an excellent residential conveyancing service. • In addition we have vast experience, proven ability and extensive local knowledge and contacts in all Commercial and Landlord and Tenant matters. Don’t forget the wide range of other legal services we offer which include: WILLS & ProbAte • eLDerLy CLIent CAre & ServICeS MAtrIMonIAL & FAMILy LAW • eDuCAtIon & CHArItIeS LAW AgrICuLturAL • eMPLoyMent & generAL buSIneSS ADvICe. With the advantage of our Connect 2 Law Membership, we provide for our clients a complete range of legal services.

1 Broad Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 1PD Tel: 01780 751226 Fax: 01780 766407 Email: enquiries@stapletons.com www.stapletons.com

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LOCAL BUSINESS

SOLICITORS Buckles Solicitors LLP Peterborough office: Grant House, 101 Bourges Boulevard, Peterborough PE1 1NG Tel: 01733 888888 Stamford office: 3 St Mary’s Hill, Stamford, PE9 2DW Tel: 01780 484570 www.buckles-law.co.uk Buckles Solicitors LLP is one of East Anglia’s pre-eminent law firms, with a team of more than 80. They provide effective and practical solutions to meet the legal needs of business and individual clients. Their scale means that they can have specialists in a range of fields. Chattertons Solicitors 9 Broad Street Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 1PY Tel: 01780 764145 www.chattertons.com Chattertons Solicitors offers an extensive range of legal services and independent financial advice to businesses and individual clients. Their team of specialists have a wealth of knowledge and experience to provide you with a quality service. The firm has gained ‘Investor in People’ status and is a member of the Legal Netlink Alliance. The network’s membership of first class law firms gives clients access to quality legal representation virtually anywhere in the world. Chattertons is very much a Lincolnshire-based firm. It now employs over 190 staff, including 24 partners and is one of the largest firms of Solicitors in the East Midlands. Hegarty LLP Solicitors 10 Ironmonger Street, Stamford PE9 1PL Tel: 01780 752066 www.hegarty.co.uk Hegarty’s reputation is built on nearly four decades of providing

private clients and businesses with legal services in plain English against a backdrop of personal attention. Hegarty LLP started life in a small office in 1974; since then the business has grown organically as satisfied clients have returned and recommended Hegarty’s legal services. As demand has increased they have added to the hand picked team of staff, ensuring their knowledge, experience and client care meet the exacting standards expected by clients. Their teams of solicitors and lawyers – still headed by founder Richard Hegarty - can help and advise on everything from company law to insolvency, employment law to conveyancing, personal injury to family matters. Stapleton & Son 1 Broad Street, Stamford PE9 1PD Tel: 01780 751226 www.stapletons.co.uk Stapleton & Son provide qualityassured legal advice on business and domestic issues to local, national and international clients. Their experienced local staff know Stamford well and are pleased to provide a friendly and personal service in Elderly Client Care, Wills, Probate, Family Matters (including Mediation, Collaborative Law & Pre-Nuptial Agreements) and Education Law in addition to Residential and Commercial Conveyancing. As Members of the Connect2Law organisation there is no legal matter with which they cannot assist, if needs be by introduction to other specialists. One of the partners, Nick Fluck is Vice President of the Law Society this year. He will progress to becoming President of the Law Society next year – surely a sign that the firm is at the very top of its game. Belinda Smith Solicitors Asset House, 27/28 Thorpe

Wood, Peterborough PE3 6SR Tel: 01733 267414 www.bscosolicitors.co.uk Belinda Smith Solicitors specialises in all aspects of Family Law, and has an engaging, professional and approachable style. Belinda is a fully trained collaborative lawyer and will promote this preferred approach to relationship breakdown wherever possible. She is also a specialist in Pre-Nuptial Agreements. FINANCIAL ADVISERS Landmark IFA Ltd, Magnus House, 60 St Leonard’s St, Stamford, PE9 2HU Tel: 01780 761313, www.landmarkifa.co.uk Landmark IFA has a professional but informal style that gives one confidence as soon as one meets them. I met with John Kellas-Kelly, who explained to me their three main areas of activity: Pre-retirement planning: “With so much changing now in terms of retirement age, and with an erratic stock market performance, there can be a huge impact of getting the right advice,” John told me. “On the positive side the pension regime has changed dramatically over the past couple of years, producing greater flexibility of income and greater opportunity for doing so tax-efficiently.” Long term care fees planning is another area of expertise for Landmark, who have two specialists that can assist you through this complex area and help you to think ahead and do it the right way. “We recognise that everyone’s situation is different,” John told me, “both in their existing financial portfolio and their on-going needs.” Lifelong Wealth Management is their third area of expertise, working with clients to help them plan for their various financial needs at each life stage.

BUSINESS SERVICES AND ADVISERS Orion House Barn Hill, Stamford, PE9 2ZS Tel: 01780 758 500 www.orionbusinesscentres.co.uk Orion Business Centres specialises in providing high-quality, fully-inclusive serviced office accommodation, front-of-house support (including virtual office services such as telephone answering/messaging service) and document scanning and digital archiving. They have been established since 2001. They also have a fully equipped meeting room, available for general use. By taking an office with Orion, businesses can concentrate on their core activities, without interruptions: we remove the burden of running an office and the need to employ reception staff to answer the telephone, greet guests or undertake administrative tasks. They support small local businesses and larger, national companies. Makin it Happen Do you need some business coaching or mentoring from an experienced business mentor who has already been successful in business herself? Liz Makin has worked with many business owners and helped them to make decisions that have made a genuine difference to their business performance. A recent client commented: “Somehow Liz enabled me to get my thoughts into a coherent framework and go out the door ready to take action – truly a catalyst for change.” • Liz Makin, Makin it Happen. Visit www.makinithappen.co.uk Phone: 01780 765270 email: Liz@makinithappen.co.uk

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MARSHALL VOLVO OUTSTANDING SERVICE AS STANDARD. Our highly trained and skilled team looks forward to welcoming you to our state of the art dealership, where we will be on hand to look after your every need. All our cars are handled with the utmost care and attention as we pride ourselves on offering the best deals on the latest range of New Volvo and piece of mind on quality approved used vehicles. From the new Volvo range, to Approved used vehicles right through to service and repairs, visit Marshall Volvo and expect nothing less than a first class service as standard.

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MARSHALL VOLVO PETERBOROUGH 7 MALLORY ROAD, BOONGATE, PETERBOROUGH PE1 5AU. TEL: 0844 411 9751 www.marshallweb.co.uk/volvo MARSHALL MOTOR GROUP LTD. REGISTERED OFFICE:- AIRPORT HOUSE, THE AIRPORT, CAMBRIDGE CB5 8RY. ALL CALLS MAY BE RECORDED FOR TRAINING AND QUALITY PURPOSES.

THIS IS MARSHALL JAGUAR

Situated in Peterborough, our dealership is equipped to deal with all your Jaguar needs. From the exciting new Jaguar range featuring groundbreaking technology and industry firsts, to Approved used vehicles maintained to the standards set by the engineers who built them. Enjoy all the expertise and knowledge of our Jaguar Academy trained technicians and with a range of exhilarating accessories to enhance the feeling of owning a Jaguar, make sure that you visit Marshall Jaguar Peterborough. MARSHALL JAGUAR PETERBOROUGH 7 Mallory Road, Boongate, Peterborough PE1 5AU 0844 334 0635 www.marshall.peterborough.jaguar.co.uk

SCAN WITH YOUR QR READER APP TO VISIT OUR WEBSITE

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MOTORING

Vehicle Thefts Vehicle crime may be falling with new cars harder to steal than ever before, but half of vehicle thefts occur from the owner’s home address, or close by. Ashley Martin investigates further

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olice say that with newer cars and vans becoming harder to steal, particularly due to the fitment of sophisticated mechanical and electronic security systems, almost a fifth of vehicles are stolen after the burglary of properties to obtain vehicle keys. Indeed the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre calculates that 70% of vehicles are stolen using the key. Additionally, due to the raft of security features fitted to new models, thieves are increasingly focusing on the theft of older vehicles, which are easier to steal as locks are easier to break, glass can be smashed without interference by security systems and they are easier to start by hot wiring with the engine control unit more accessible. The Ford Transit is top of a car thief’s hit list, according to the Association of Chief Police Officer’s Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVICS), the UK police unit dedicated to cracking down on vehicle crime. Although high-end prestige vehicles are frequently stolen to order by criminals, the list of most stolen vehicles includes more affordable models such as the Vauxhall Astra, Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Corsa, BMW 3 Series, Ford Focus, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Mondeo and Honda Civic. Vans such as the Transit, Britain’s best-selling van, and the Sprinter are theft favourites, says police, because they are valuable in terms of spare parts or scrap metal and may store tools and equipment. In addition, approximately a third of vehicle thefts occur when owners are away from their homes, thus further illustrating that taking precautions can deter vehicle thieves. Detective Chief Inspector Mark Hooper, head of the AVICS, said ahead of this year’s Car Crime Awareness Week: “Criminals will use a variety of means to steal cars, from towing them away or simply driving them off when owners leave the keys in the ignition to burgling houses.” Sophisticated car alarms, immobilisers, deadlocks, laminated side glass and more secure steering locks are among the features that have made cars harder to steal in recent years. Indeed many manufacturers work with ‘reformed’ ex-car thieves to redesign perceived weaknesses in vehicles that make them vulnerable to theft. Consequently, official Home Offices figures for England and Wales reveal that car crime has plummeted in recent years. Police-recorded figures for vehicle crime which include stolen vehicles as well as thefts from cars and vans - have fallen from more than 1.1 million a year in 1997 to 456,426 in 2010 12% down on 2009 (516,122). The Home Office data reveals that 107,437 vehicles were stolen

last year (2009: 124,599) with 317,830 incidents of theft from vehicles (2009: 350,545) and 31,159 incidents of vehicles being interfered with (2009: 40,978). To help consumers select the most secure vehicles, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre developed the New Vehicle Security Ratings in association with the AA, Department for Transport and Home Office. Accessible at http://www.thatcham.org/nvsr/, a five-star rating system for the ‘theft of’ vehicles and ‘theft’ from vehicles identifies the most secure vehicles. At the 2011 British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards, which are based on the ratings, Volkswagen won the manufacturers’ award with individual vehicle segment awards going to the: Audi A1, Audi A3, Citroen C5 Exclusive, Audi A4, Citroen C4 Picasso Exclusive, Volkswagen Sharan, Audi A5 Cabriolet, Audi A8 W12 Quattro, Volkswagen Tiguan, Audi Q5, Toyota Land Cruiser V8, Citroen C6 and Volkswagen Phaeton. Among light commercial vehicle manufacturers the winners were: Volkswagen Caddy, Nissan Primastar SE, Volkswagen Amorak, Land Rover Discovery 4 with Vauxhall winning the manufacturers’ award.

Top tips to avoid having your vehicle stolen and broken into include: • Don’t leave keys in sight within your home: thieves often ‘fish’ keys through letterboxes and open windows • Keep your car in a garage and not on the driveway or on the road • Lock the vehicle whenever it is left. Even if unloading the vehicle, make sure the keys are removed and it is locked. If it is stolen while being unloaded and the vehicle is unlocked with the keys in the ignition or keyhole, insurance cover could be invalidated • With winter here do not de-ice the vehicle and leave it unattended with the engine running. Known as ‘frosting’, some estimates put the number of vehicles stolen in this way last year at 66,000. Again, if stolen, insurance could be invalidated as drivers are deemed to have neglected their duty of care • Take valuables with you or ensure they are out of view, particularly mobile phones and satellite navigation systems.

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Advertisement Feature

Oundle Travel

Thinking of your booking your next holiday ? Then look no further than Oundle Travel, the area’s leading independent travel agent, situated in the heart of this pretty market town.

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ffering you truly independent and unbiased advice, as an ABTA bonded agent Oundle Travel offer full financial protection along with over 30 years of experience in the travel industry. Paula and her team always offer a warm welcome, and a fresh coffee or a glass of wine is always on the go - along of course with a wide range of more individual brochures to browse through. Holidays are a big purchase and those building their own ‘packages’ on line should be aware that their money will not be protected against the risks of insolvency in the same way as booking all the elements with one bonded agent, even when paying with a credit card. Recent events such as the volcanic ash, severe snow disruption and more recently the flooding in Bangkok highlighted the problems many travellers faced when booking directly with hotels and airlines. Paula and her team worked at full capacity to assist their

passengers with rebooking of arrangements. ‘Many of our customers were stranded when the snow brought London airports to a close’ says Paula, the staff worked tirelessly to repatriate their clients back to the UK in time for Christmas and rebook onward travel arrangements. Booking with a travel agent does not mean that a customer has to compromise on price or flexibility, ‘We have access to a wide selection of current offers, and we have a close working relationship with many suppliers and airlines, always keeping quotes very competitive’ continues Paula - ‘Booking early will be the key in 2012 to getting the best deal, the days of booking ‘last minute’ for a holiday are long gone, airline seats sell subject to supply and demand and change on almost a daily basis, capacity is also different to previous years, hoteliers have access to the lucrative Eastern European market all of which affects hotel pricing and availability’.

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Top DesTinaTions anD Tips for 2012

Tip – Virtually no jet lag and direct flights into Dar Es Salaam with British Airways.

CroaTia - One of the most sought after destinations in Europe for 2012, offering breath-taking coastline and pure white beaches Yesterdays secret, tomorrow’s holiday, go soon ! Top Hotel – The Monte Mulini – Rovinj From £1347.00 pp. Tip – Why not try a Tailor Made Fly Drive – 7 nights from £534.00 per person

MajorCa – Port de Soller – Miles away from the mass market image of this pretty island only 2 hours from London. Top Hotel – Hot off the Press – The Jumeriah renowned for its 5* properties in the Middle East is unveiling a new 120 roomed luxury hotel in Port de Soller for the summer season Tip – Book this one early for the Kids Club, Spa and choice of superb dining.

MarrakeCH – This is a no-brainer for a short, luxurious dose of sun ! Top Hotel – La Mamounia- A feast for the eyes, luxuriously renovated with incredible detail, taste the local culture, but also be cosseted. Tip – Let the concierge book you a driver for the day and head into The Atlas Mountains – Stunning. From £785.00 per person ZanZibar – Fed up with the Caribbean ? Head for sparkling waters and deserted beaches with 5* Deluxe properties, world class diving and watersports – Try and get there before the Russians do ! Top Hotel – The Baraza Resort and Spa – From £1800.00 per person

seville – Warm sunshine, even in the depths of winter perfect for that much needed winter break and the home of Carmen and Figaro. Top Hotel – Corral del Rey, fast becoming one of the most sought after boutique properties in Andalucía – From £685.00 per person Tip - Let Oundle Travel book tickets for The Taetro Maestranaza – Seville’s distinguished opera house. pHukeT - Phuket’s reputation as a luxury destination has suffered over the past decade thanks to excessive, unregulated development, but the east coast is another matter… Top Hotel – The Yamu – Set on a pristine

beach, this resort is due to open Christmas 2012 and is sure to wow ! Prices available from Oundle Travel. Tip – Don’t be lured by ‘cheap’ off season deals to this part of the world Phuket – It rains…. a lot ! TusCany – Widely regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. The beautiful, rolling countryside provides a totally different experience a place to relax, reflect and rejuvenate. Top Hotel – Castel Monastero – Only 18 miles from the historic town of Siena famous for its cuisine and art – Visit late June, the sun is high and the days are long. Tip – Book early to get the best deals with the low cost carriers - Easyjet are introducing extra legroom seats for the 2012 season, the days of running across the tarmac may be long gone !

oundle Travel Market place, oundle, pe8 4ea 01832 273600 Why not subscribe to our newsletter www.oundletravel.co.uk 53

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TRAVEL

IN SEARCH OF WINTER SUN Christmas is behind us, winter has set in. The days are short and nights are cold. If, like me, you have a tendency towards winter blues, then it’s time to pursue some sunshine. I visited four local travel companies to see what they had to offer in terms of mid-winter escapes and found plenty of choice to suit various budgets. I’m ready to pack my bags. By Charlotte Newby More Than Travel 23 St Georges Street, Stamford PE9 2BJ, 01780 433333, www.morethantravel.co.uk My first port of call was More Than Travel, where I spoke to Helen Dooley: “When a client asks for winter sun, the most important thing to define is the client’s definition of “sun”. There are many destinations that are promoted in the UK as winter sun, such as The Canary Islands, Cyprus and Egypt but an honest description of the climate would be an average temperature of less than 20 degrees, warm enough for short sleeves but not for sunbathing and sea swimming. “That said, a cooler 20 degrees makes a perfect temperature for clients who wish to enjoy the cultural aspects of a destination, for example a visit to the Great Pyramids is infinitely more comfortable in January, February and March than in the sizzling 40 degree heat of summer! Destinations such as Malta with its rich archaeological finds, Marrakech with its ancient souks and artisan quarters, are considerably easier for us to explore in the early spring than when the heat of the summer takes hold. “For a little sun worshipping in the cold winter months, we really do need to be talking mid to long haul! The climate in Oman and The United Arab Emirates (Dubai for example) is just about perfect in January, February and March, with temperatures in the mid to high 20s, full days of sunshine and practically no rain, and with flights at just over seven hours, these destinations also make a fantastic short break. “Mauritius and the Seychelles are basking in glorious sunshine, January and February but are also prone to heavier downpours. Far better for the Indian Ocean in this period would be the delightful island hideaways of Maldives or Sri Lanka, both enjoying 30 degrees plus with very little rain. “The Caribbean and Mexico are in their peak season in our winter, but pricing can be a little over-zealous at times. Many of the best hotels also have blackout periods for children under 12, which can push the price up for families. “However, my absolute winner for winter sun holidays must be South Africa. With a time difference of just two hours (GMT) - meaning no jet lag, plenty of choices for sleeper flights for the 12-hour journey and temperatures pushing 30 degrees - this has to be the best winter

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sun destination. A terrifically diverse country with Cape Town perfect for a long weekend, vast wine lands, the glorious journey along the Garden Route, beautiful wide open beaches and some of the world’s best wildlife experiences, South Africa really does have something for everyone! I would always recommend tailormaking itineraries for South Africa to make sure you get to see everything that matters to you. We prefer to use private boutique hotels and smaller luxury lodges to give a reasonably priced, yet beautifully authentic experience.”

Oundle Travel Market Place, Oundle, Cambridgeshire PE8 4EA, 01832 273600, www.oundletravel.co.uk Next I called on Oundle Travel, a company that’s been established for over 25 years. They specialise in tailor made, bespoke itineraries to suit a range of tastes and budgets. I spoke to Paula Cockcroft and asked her about some of her current winter sun favourites. Paula herself has just returned from Guia de Isora, a tranquil and little known area of the island of Tenerife. Tenerife is known throughout the world as the Island of Eternal Spring. The area enjoys more hours of sunshine than any other part of Spain, with an average annual temperature of 20 degrees, making it an ideal destination for escaping the weather here. Paula recommends the five star Abama Resort and Spa. A seven-night stay on a bed and breakfast basis, including flights and private car transfers costs in the region of £1,000 per person. The resort features volcanic landscapes, exuberant vegetation and breath-taking panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean and has an exclusive beach. If sunshine, relaxing and shopping – and being miles away from the Brits abroad – appeals, this is the place for you. Paula agrees that if it’s hot temperatures you are looking for, then long haul travel is the sounder option. We’re talking the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, New Zealand and Australia. I asked her to give me an example of a good value four-star all-inclusive holiday, so Paula picked one from the Maldives. At the Kuredu Island Resort, from £1600 per person, 7 nights all-inclusive, guests can stay in luxurious villas and exotic thatched bungalows. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and shops, spas and the only golf club in the Maldives. If you enjoy watersports, there’s windsurfing, snorkelling,

scuba diving, kite surfing and big game fishing – and a whole lot more. The island with its warm waters and white sandy beaches, boasts 48 exclusive dive sites including wrecks and caves. It’s the kind of holiday that dreams are made of!

Stamford Independent Travel 44 St Paul’s Street, Stamford PE9 2BH, 01780 763030, www. stamfordindependenttravel.co.uk Stamford Independent Travel offers a wide range of holidays, family packages and worldwide itineraries. Using a variety of suppliers they are able to offer a very personal service to put together the right holiday to suit their clients’ individual needs. I chatted with Emma Scott about current winter sun trends: “Winter sun holidays are becoming increasingly popular, most people taking a second holiday/break in the winter months to get away from the freezing temperatures of the UK. “There are a number of winter sun destinations available. If it’s a short haul flight of up to four hours flying time you’re looking for, the Canaries are the most popular choice.

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The Canaries have so much to offer whether it’s a family beach holiday or a couple in need of relaxation. “If you are able to stretch your flying time a little longer to, say, seven hours, then Cape Verde, Egypt, Dubai and Gambia are good destinations. Year on year they are becoming very popular in the winter months. Cape Verde is a great location if you’re looking for a beach holiday. Egypt is ideal if you’re looking for a week of pure relaxation by the Red Sea or if you would like to do some exploring around Cairo, Luxor or maybe Aswan. Gambia is also great for a relaxing beach holiday, but it also benefits from having culture and history, which will offer you plenty of opportunity for exploring. Dubai is fast growing as a popular destination and has something to offer for everyone. It is contemporary, upmarket and glamorous and works as either a good city break or a beach holiday. “There are endless destinations to visit further afield if you have more time on your hands, for example the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Far East, Australia and New Zealand. Most offer fantastic sandy beaches,

culture, history and stunning blue seas. But not everyone wants a set package holiday nowadays, and many people want to travel off the beaten track, so tailor-made itineraries are becoming more and more popular in most destinations. “There will be plenty of late deals available; the most competitive prices can be offered in January and February (excluding school holidays). If you are quite flexible and open minded it is sometimes worth catching a late deal, though most people choose to book early on, especially if dates are set or certain criteria need to be met.”

Shaws Coaches 49 High Street, Maxey, Peterborough PE6 9EF, 01778 342224 www.shawscoaches.co.uk Finally, I wanted to see what is available to those who prefer not to fly so I chatted with Jane Duffelen at Shaws Coaches, who celebrate their 90th anniversary next year! Shaws Coaches offer an all-inclusive eightday Spring break to Spain by coach. While not technically ‘winter sun’, it’s a trip that is

scheduled for the time we are just creeping out of winter. Shaws extends a very personal door-to-door service and an all-inclusive itinerary, which takes out the hassle of travelling independently. Jane explained that this is why the holidays appeal in particular to the over 50s market. The destination of this ‘Spring Siesta’ is Spain’s popular Costa Brava. While hot sunshine cannot be guaranteed in northern Spain, temperatures in April can reach the low twenties. Shaws’ package includes five nights at La Pineda, a quiet resort, north of Salou on the Costa Brava coast and two overnight stopovers in France. La Pineda is a sea-front village resort, with pool, sauna, jacuzzi and gym. There’s evening entertainment and all meals and drinks are included (in resort). There’s also a day trip to Barcelona, a visit to Figueres, home to the Dali Museum, and an outing to the city of Tarragona, a World Heritage Site. The holiday, priced from £650 per person, includes free travel insurance, excursions and the full itinerary. STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2012

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We have now opened our latest Antique & Craft Centre at - 15 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG Social Stitching, Haberdashery, Picture Framing & Tea Shop Open 7 days a week Antiques Bought and Sold • Free Valuations Restoration Work Undertaken

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DIARY DATES

What’s On Amander Meade selects the best entertainment in the region this month

Throughout January FILM: Cinema at Stamford Arts Curl up with your popcorn and catch up on some of the most eagerly awaited film releases showing at Stamford Cinema this month. Films include George Clooney’s ‘Ides of March’, Matthew McFadyen in ‘The Three Musketeers’, Matt Damon and Kate Winslet in ‘Contagion’ and an extraordinary performance by Michelle Williams with Kenneth Brannagh in ‘My Week with Marilyn’. Who needs a multiplex? • For details of showings, dates and times Tel: 01780 763203 or visit www.stamfordartscentre.com

Thursday 5 – Sunday 8 January, various times PANTOMIME: Aladdin There is still time to enjoy a traditional pantomime so join Aladdin on a thrilling carpet ride and an adventure of a lifetime with sparkling sets, glorious costumes, spellbinding special effects, dancing, singing, comedy and loads of audience participation. This show is guaranteed to enthrall the whole family so if you have three wishes this Christmas, use one to see Aladdin. • Stamford Theatre For booking information Tel: 01780 763 203 www.stamfordartscentre.co.uk

Friday 13 January, 7.30pm WINTER WALK: Ghost Walk through Stamford Join actor and director Martin Tempest for a Ghost Walk around the twists and turns of Stamford. Prepare to scream, laugh and jump out of your skin. • Starting point is the Arts Centre. More information Tel: 01780 763203 or www.stamfordartscentre.co.uk

Tuesday 24 January, 10.30am – 12.30pm GUIDED WALK: Winter at Barnsdale Take a very special tour of the Gardens with Barnsdale’s owner Nick Hamilton, looking at the highlights of this magical time of year. Discover why and how individual gardens were created and find out which plants and trees are at their prime during winter, and the best place to put them in your own garden. • Price £18, Booking essential Tel: 01572 813200

Tuesday 24 January, 7.30pm TALK: Who was Jack the Ripper? Stuart Orme is Historic Interpretation Manger at Peterborough Museum and will attempt to Answer this and other questions as part of his talk, as well as take a look at the story of the possible victim from Peterborough. This talk is not recommended for those of a nervous disposition. • Stamford High School, Ancaster Studio Tickets £5, SES staff and students free. Contact Helen Gibbons Tel: 01780 480267 to reserve a seat.

Friday 27 and Saturday 28 January, 7.30pm LIVE MUSIC: Mercury – The Ultimate Queen Tribute After a decade on tour, Mercury has firmly established themselves as one of the world’s most authentic tributes to the legends that are

Freddy Mercury and Queen. Joseph Lee Jackson as Freddy Mercury has an outstanding vocal range and delivery alongside the intricate guitar work of Glenn Scrimshaw as Brian May, and backed by the band’s superbly crafted harmonies and a driving rhythm section. • Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre, Broad Street, Stamford Tickets £15.50 Tel: 01780 766455

Sunday 5 February, 7.30 OPERA: A Feast of Gilbert & Sullivan Former stars of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company are accompanied by The British

Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. A fun evening presenting the best music of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas with funny short scenes of dialogue and witty anecdotes of times spent in the D’Oyly Carte. The programme includes a selection from all the Gilbert and Sullivan operas in a totally traditional style. • Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre, Broad Street, Stamford Tickets £17/£15 Tel: 01780 766455 STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2012

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PERSPECTIVES

Ask

Leo

Belmesthorpe Station The owner of Belmesthorpe Grange may be interested in this reader’s account of the origin of his patio stones. “In the late 1960s I was doing building work at Belmesthorpe Grange. The owner had recently purchased the old station land, the buildings had gone, and part of the railway line. He noticed that some of the granite slabs on the edge of the platform had been tipped over and broken. To preserve the remainder we took them to the Grange and laid them as a patio in front of the house. I expect they are still there.” Are they? Lansbury Hall We are grateful to all those who have sent recollections about this dance hall. JK told us, “Dances were run by Mr Darnes and his two sons Ron and Will and Will’s wife Beattie on the piano. When Will was conscripted into the Navy a friend took his place. The name of the band was SENRAD.” EM adds a humorous note to his recollections, “This was a great addition to the town. One of the main drivers behind its foundation was Councillor George Essex, a long time stalwart of the local Labour Party. The Hall`s great attraction from the 1930s to the 1950s were the regular dances. Many of the older Stamford generation learned to dance there or at least, for the men, to shuffle around the floor. The Band for many years was The Black Diamonds led by Will Darnes whose day job was running his men’s outfitters, Suitall, in St Mary’s Street. From 1942 to 1945 the

dances were a magnet for the USAAF men stationed at the local airbases. Unfortunately, the local men often found themselves a second choice when it came to choosing a dance partner. The best way to restore one`s confidence was to cross the road to the Balloon Inn for some refreshment and go back later in the hope of better luck.” Pick Cars John Pick was a Stamford entrepreneur who first set up a business in 1896 in Blackfriars Street repairing and selling bicycles and doing light engineering jobs. Having seen some early cars he decided to build one himself, powered by a De Dion engine and exhibited it at a cycle show in London. In 1900 the Pick Motor Company was formed and a factory was built in Gas Lane which successfully built a number of cars. He was not an easy person to work with and had a disagreement with his Board of Directors. He then opened a business in St Martin’s on his own account. This picture is of an early existing Pick car called a Voiturette, which was built in 1901, recently on display at the Stamford Museum. It had been rescued from a scrap dealer in Yorkshire. The picture to the left shows one of Leo’s relatives on the beach in a similar car – probably at Scarborough or Bridlington where it was being used to entertain young children. Is this where Pick cars ended up? Can any reader identify this car? (More information about Pick cars can be found in Pick of Stamford by Michael Key).

Ask Leo for the Future New e-mail address: askleo@btinternet.com MW sent us memories of Lansbury Hall which spurred others to recall their experiences – do you have special memories of a work place, a place of entertainment or an event that you could share? Don’t keep it to yourself, have it in print! Send to Ask Leo at our new e-mail address to Leo Specialist Tours, address and telephone number below.

Leo Specialist Tours

leotours@hotmail.com

WEDNESDAY MORNING TALKS & DISCUSSION 10.30 - 12 noon People & Property of St Martin’s - Jan 11th, Feb 8th, March 7th - £18 for 3 British Art Movements of the 1930s - Jan 25th, Feb 22nd, March 21st - £18 for 3 STAMFORD LIVING JANUARY 2012

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• SL December January.indd 53

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15/12/11 16:56:43


PROFILE

Thierry Daugeron: Chef Harjit Gammon catches up with the little dynamo of culinary expertise that is Thierry Daugeron at his new venture (amongst others) Stamford Cookery School, with local businesswoman Denise Taylor

Christophe and Thierry

M

any of you will recall Thierry from the now demised TD’s Salon de The and French Patisserie, a little corner of 18th century France in Stamford; all white metal tables and chairs mixed with pink Toile de Jouy curtains and a striking black and white chequered floor. All perfectly formed, all very French, like the exquisite patisseries and chocolates that were the trademarks of this small French enclave in Stamford. If you pine for these creations you will be pleased to know that Thierry will now not only make these and many other exquisite food stuffs besides for your delectation, but will also teach you how to make them for yourself if you are so inclined. Stamford Cookery School opened its doors around six months ago, initially with just Thierry as chef, but has grown to accommodate the skills of many others, each expert in their own fields; including Sarah Lyon, Linda Hewitt, Matt Gregory, Yuko Swindells and Sean Hope to name but a few. Catering for everything from ‘Hen do’ cookery sessions to birthday parties and team building sessions - one of which was in full swing making exquisite chocolate lollipops and chocolate ganache when I visited. The premises are a newly fitted, compact building conveniently located near the centre of Stamford in Brownlow Street. From this unassuming base the School is a fabulous teaching and learning facility, as well as ambassador for around 20 food partners whose ingredients form the core of the food at the heart of the School. To this bow Thierry has many other strings. Firstly there is the Outside Kitchen, which provides outside catering for everything from weddings, to private parties and cocktail parties. Now nearly seven years old, the business has gone from strength to strength Thierry tells me. Well known for his attention to detail, “Everything is made from scratch,” including the butter for small parties, Thierry’s creativity and flair extends beyond the food to the visual presentation of an entire event. Priding himself on ensuring that each occasion, irrespective of whether it is dinner for six or a party for 300, is highly personalised to the occasion and individuals concerned. No standard menus to select wholesale here. Instead he relates tales of a 50th birthday party with a crooner, fire-eaters, disco, and a marquee with a clear roof and pink carpet, for which he created 15 different canapés, all individually presented on a variety of platters and followed later in the evening, in accordance with the client’s wishes, by a cheese board and pies. On another occasion a client requested 25 different canapés, all vegetarian.

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A challenge he acknowledges, but preferable to the drudgery of simply preparing the same dishes time and again. Then there is the teaching, two days a week at Peterborough Regional College, taking in not only teaching the youngsters in his charge how to cook, but also the trials and tribulations of service in the college’s restaurant. The new news however concerns a joint venture with his partner Christophe Baudouin, Thierry’s At Home. Previously a joint owner of TD’s, Christophe too has a culinary background; his father was a chef and Christophe himself has cooked from a young age. Launched last November, Thierry’s At Home sell jams, chutney, dressings and sauces, alongside ready meals prepared by the pair. In addition there is what Thierry calls Pre-Ready Meals, in essence the pre-weighed, pre-marinated ingredients for a meal to be freshly assembled at home. In this vein there is also a range of ready to assemble canapés. The products are available from local shops, a website, through Stamford Cookery School as well as at food markets and food fairs. At home in Essendine the couple’s kitchen is principally the domain of Christophe. On the rare occasions Thierry cooks, it is to make something very quick and very simple, he admits. “When I’m at home I don’t like to spend hours cooking. Just something quick, simple and tasty, with good ingredients.” This is in marked contrast to the sophistication and finesse of the French cuisine that characterises his professional life. “At home we like very traditional cooking,” he says. “Christophe loves winter cooking; rich foods like fish casserole, Beef bourguignon, chicken stew. Although, ironically neither of them are big eaters. Neither has breakfast or lunch he admits ruefully. But in the evening they like nothing better than to settle down with a Gin and Tonic and nibbles, before savouring Christophe’s efforts. Unused to cooking in small quantities, they will frequently eat a casserole over several days. Luckily for us however, Thierry’s At Home means we can eat something different every night. Stamford Cookery School, Unit 3C, Brownlow Street, Stamford, PE9 2EL Tel: 01780 752172 www.stamfordcookeryschool.co.uk Thierry Daugeron Catering Ltd www.thierrydaugeron.co.uk Tel: 07773 800804

STAMFORD Living JANUARY 2012

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Stamford Living January 2012