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beacon the



Interior Design consultation out & about:

Interview with Jane McDonald fashion:

Autumn style forget subtle!

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your premier lifestyle magazine | enjoyed by over 20,000 readers

24/08/2011 15:46


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10/08/2011 18:43

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11/08/2011 08:03

the intro



and welcome to your favourite lifestyle magazine which has just got bigger, brighter and packed with colourful inspiration, so sit back, enjoy! With shiny new shoes, backpacks at the ready, mums and dads prepare to wave their little ones off to a new school year and, as I complete my daughter’s university checklist, I’m desperate to keep busy and welcome the Autumn and all it has to offer. Sound familiar? Helen from Loved Skin Clinic & Beauty Spa, discusses 'Empty Nest Syndrome' and gives a helpful survival guide while Alex Worsley advises on the benefits of Omega3 and how it can keep our children healthy. Once we have finished our waving and weeping(!) it's time to create a new style and make the most of our wardrobe. Cleo Lacey and Sheelagh Powell give us all the fashion and beauty advice we need for this season's bold, bright, spicey looks, all with an air of nostalgia thrown in - read on! The beacon team enjoyed a real treat at the opening of Hilary Downhill's new Face and Body Clinic in Gee Cross, check out all this wonderful new 'oasis'. We were delighted to interview the remarkably honest and humorous “Loose Woman” Jane McDonald - read her interview on p30. As the days get shorter make the most of the last few late summer/ early autumn days by getting out and about! Marple Festival, 'Marplebury 2011' promises to be a fantastic fortnight of fun, food and relaxation - turn to our guide on p37, we hope to see you there! This issue, George Bond wows us with his wonderful bathroom ideas and as the nights draw in we look at greener, energy efficient ways of heating our homes - turn to p56 to find out more. With new technology refusing to slow down, QR codes are the new 'kid on the block', read more about this hot new topic that soon will be a part of everyday life and look out for the codes throughout this issue.  This issue's competitions are as diverse as ever, enter on line now to win tickets to the Magic of Motown, a Scalextric Race Night and an Interior Design Consultation - good luck! Until next issue when we have all you need to know for the best festive season ever...

Viv x

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inside... health & well-being

8 Alexandra Worsley's column 10 Joanna Heckle


fashion & beauty 17 Sheelagh Powell's make up guide 18 Refine Face & Body Clinic opening 22 Cleo Lacey's Autumn fashion advice

charity 28 charity news

out & about 30 Interview with Jane McDonald 34 From the Lion's mouth - blog 42 What, where, when guide

homes & gardens 44 George Bond's column 49 The latest kitchen 'must have' 54 Garden advice 56 Renewable energy low down



business 67 Marie-Claire Interview

motoring 71 The review - 'electric avenue'

travel 72 Discover - The Maldives



74 The rental property market

competitions 32 A Scalextric experience 42 Tickets to The Magic of Motown 46 Interior Design consultation

Cover image: primark

5 25/08/2011 13:20

the intro

theteam Editor: Debbie Arthur t: 07772 101 300 e: Cheshire sales: Viv Murdey t: 0792 927 9371 e: Leicestershire Sales: Deborah Martison t: 07973 540 799 e: Publishing Manager: Lisa Roth t: 0116 202 2726 e: Design: Lee Italiano t: 0116 202 2736 e: Subscriptions: t: 0116 202 2732 e:

the beacon is published by Greenshires Group Ltd, 160-164 Barkby Road, Leicester, LE4 9LF Tel: 0116 202 2732

Is thebeacon reaching you? You can now collect a copy of your favourite lifestyle magazine from...

High Lane | The Red Lion Poynton | Waitrose Cheadle | Waitrose Wilmslow | Waitrose Whaley Bridge | Tesco Handforth Dean | Tesco Hazel Grove | Sainsburys Marple | Ring O Bells Bramhall | Alexandra Worsley

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QR codes

� Scan here r te to en one of s this issue' ns io it et p om c

Solving the squiggle riddle! Katherine Macfarlane lets us know what it all means...


ou may have noticed these little hieroglyphic squares popping up all over the place, on adverts, public information, even on clothing labels. They are actually called Quick Response codes (QR), they are the next ‘big thing’ and even better news - they are free. If you have a smart phone, the codes give you immediate access to the information being advertised. But QR codes aren’t new - they’ve been used extensively in Japan for over ten years and now the rest of the world is catching on. The squares look similar to bar codes but QR codes are two dimensional and can hold  much more information. This, and their ease of use makes them ideal for small business owners. They can be used anywhere you advertise; on your leaflets, business cards or letterheads. When you scan or read a QR code with your iPhone, Android or smartphone, you can link to a specific website, a text or phone number. This is a very quick and easy way of directing people to you.  To create your own QR code, just takes a few minutes.  Simply enter the required data into a QR code generator and your personal QR code is produced. There are a number of sites for generating QR codes -  I used Kaywa.  To read these codes you need a QR code reader for your smartphone. The most popular is i-nigma but an internet search will give you the options for your mobile.  Now you can impress your all friends with your technological know-how.

25/08/2011 15:34

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health & well-being

� Scan here r website to visit ou

Alexandra Worsley’s

-being Health and Well


Back to school, happy and healthy...


ello everyone, I hope you have had a good summer holiday. I've been busy writing more articles, finding you the best products and making sure you're getting the best advice - we never stop learning! I've been thinking about the top tip I would give all parents for supporting kids going back to school and it is - give them fish oils - the good fats! In order for you to trust that fish oil will do the job, I have found the market leading brands for you to choose. I've examined the correct ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 that works best, the pharmaceutical quality, I've checked if the brand can prove it contains what it says on the label, is competitively priced and most importantly that it passes the taste test, which will tell you how pure it is! So, why should your child need to take a fish oil supplement? I asked Tim Gaunt, Nutritionist from Natures Aid to pass on some wisdom, he told me "there's been an 80% decline in oily fish in our diet over the past 100 years which has lead to an increased need to take a supplement. An average person needs at least 3 portions of oily fish a day (which excludes tuna and large fish). If there is an imbalance in the body due to conditions such as eczema or ADHD, you would need to increase that amount. Please be aware that the

8 75129_08 Alex Worsley_HEALTH.indd 8

vast majority of fish oil supplements are molecular distilled so they take out all the 'nasties', Natures Aid ensure that all fish oils are in their natural 'triglisaride form' which are absorbed 2-3 times better. Some forms of fish oil are not prepared this way and will not make a significant improvement." Research suggests how important omega 3 is for; brain health, mental enhancement, mood hyper ADHD and low mood, cardiovascular health (for after school curriculum), anxiety, the immune system, skin hair and nails, hormone support and will reduce type 2 diabetes risk. Like vitamins and minerals, omega 3 must be supplied by our diet and is not produced by our bodies. Omega 3 are, in general, responsible for proper functioning of the cellular membrane and are therefore critical to the health of ALL our cells. Why not 'bump up' your omega 3 levels by trying the following:

Omega Peanut Butter: In a food processor blend into a smooth butter: 2 handfuls of pumpkin seeds, 2 handfuls of sunflower seeds, 1 handful of hemp seeds, 3 tablespoons flaxseed oil, 1 teaspoon sea salt lovely on toasted wholemeal bread. I hope by reading my columns you're feeling inspired to take action to a healthier and happier life. We have such a great team of therapists in our award winning complementary therapy rooms and very helpful shop staff offering well researched products. If you don't know where to turn we're here to support you and help you back on the right track when you are feeling out of balance we just love to help you!

Take care of yourself



'Omega Mania' Ice Lollies: In a food processor blend into a smooth purée: 1 large carton of organic plain live yogurt, 2 handfuls of mixed berries, 5 tablespoons flaxseed oil, 2 teaspoons honey. Transfer the mixture to ice-lolly moulds and freeze - enjoy as a sweet treat any time.

25/08/2011 13:26

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9 23/08/2011 16:10

health Dr Joanna Helcke

back to work

ease away those tensions

Yes, it’s that time of year again: back to school for the kids and back to work for us...


o you sometimes feel as though all the beneficial effects of the holidays are wiped out in one fell swoop? After a week back at your desk, do you notice the furrows on your brow deepen, the neck and jawline feeling strained and the upper back gathering tension? I am one of the lucky few who has a job with an enviable mix of physical activity – outdoors in wonderful surroundings – and cerebral pursuits, as I sit here writing this article, for example! I must say, however, that after only a matter of hours at my desk, I start to feel my neck ache and a general stiffness pervading my upper back and shoulders and this is despite being very conscious of maintaining excellent posture. It’s at this point that I throw in a few tension-relieving tricks before setting off on another bout of desk-bound work. On average I would say that I do a couple of chair-based exercises or stretches every 1½ hours and they really do work. Here’s a wonderfully relaxing stretch to get you started, although those who come along to my 'Pilates4All' classes encounter an entire repertoire of exercises designed to leave you serene and relaxed. If you find you are straining your neck and upper back as you sit peering at the computer screen, then this is perfect for washing away the tension. Now before you dismiss it (because you have an open-plan office and don’t want to look ridiculous) let me just say that it’s really quite subtle and you won’t look silly - promise! As you sit at your desk, with a lovely long back and your shoulders relaxed away from your ears, place your right hand on your left shoulder.

Now drop your head down to your left shoulder and let the weight of your head release the tension in the right hand side of your neck. Keep breathing – always a good plan! – and with every exhalation, feel your head drop a little further downwards towards your hand. Now repeat this on the other side, with your left hand on your right shoulder and your head dropping down to the right. As you can see from the picture of me (left) demonstrating this stretch, this really is something that can easily be done at your desk. You may well notice that one side feels tighter than the other – if so, have a think about your sleeping position. Do you sleep with your head always turned to one side e.g. the right? If so, that could well explain the one-sided tightness that you are experiencing. Food for thought? And, of course you all should now know where to find me if your back, neck and shoulders could do with a more substantial dose of TLC!

Dr. Joanna Helcke is the founder of Zest4lifeUK, the only complete system for mums and mums-to-be, that has taken over 400 women along the road to fitness, fun and friendship… as featured in the national media. Take a look at if you’re a yummy mummy who wants to have it all! For the ultimate fat loss and fitness plan take a look at

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24/08/2011 08:26

A day inofthe life Physioholistics 10.00 Bramhall: A new client experiencing poor mobility and frequent falls. Treatment involved an exercise programme to improve strength/balance, advice on using her walking frame correctly, ways to reduce the risk of falls and advice to carers on what to do in the event of another fall. 11.30 Wilmslow: A client with lung cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Worked on strategies to manage breathlessness/panic attacks, and advice about keeping active during cancer treatment. At the end of the session she enjoyed a short reflexology session for relaxation. 13.30 Alderley Edge: A lady with breast cancer following mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Taught strategies to manage fatigue. Massaged the area around her scar to loosen the tissues and improve shoulder movement. Reviewed her home exercise programme and gave advice on how to reduce the risk of developing swelling in her arm. 15.00 High Lane: Another new patient – a lady recently discharged from hospital following abdominal surgery. Taught an exercise programme to help regain her fitness. Talked through do’s and don’ts after surgery. Advice given regarding returning to basic activities such as housework, lifting and driving. Discussed abdominal exercises and demonstrated how to get into and out of a car more easily. Physioholistics provides specialist physiotherapy care and advice in the comfort of your own home. Email for further help or advice to reach your goals and improve your quality of life.

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11 23/08/2011 16:31

fashion & beauty

Yvonne Gillon... ...discusses Breast Cancer Awareness month and updates us on her innovative design - Cami Confidential

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, during October we will be offering 10% discount on all our Cami Confidential range. Cami Confidential has close links with a fantastic cancer prevention charity and a donation from the sale of every Cami goes to The Genesis Appeal - - the only charity in the UK entirely dedicated to the prevention of breast cancer. I created Cami Confidential in response to several clients who had undergone breast surgery. Ladies told me that they were conscious of their scarring or prosthesis and wanted to feel comfortable and feminine again. The Cami is a soft lace top available in 3 styles, long, cropped or long sleeve lined and is cleverly designed specifically to hug the chest so that it doesn’t gape when bending forward. It can be worn on its own or under tops or

dresses and comes in a range of sizes and pretty colours. Whether a woman has had surgery or is simply modest about her ‘decolletage’ our Cami Confidential designs provide coverage where it matters. Cami also opens up wardrobes, saves money and boosts confidence. The response from our customers has been amazing. Many ladies have told us that Cami has renewed their femininity and helped them to look at their clothes and body shape with a new positivity.

Brand New Products! Alongside the original Cami designs, we love to work on creating products that provide comfort and enhance our customer’s wellbeing. A brand new range of silk pillow cases and turbans have recently been added to the Cami Confidential range. We are developing these lines specifically as silk contains

natural protein and essential amino acids, plus silk has no added chemicals or dyes, which can dry the skin and hair. We’ve also designed an Underarm Comfort Cushion which reduces the pressure of the arm or breast on sensitive areas after breast surgery. Cami Confidential also celebrates its second birthday in October and I’m so proud of how the business has developed. After designing couture for 25 years, it has been great to expand my horizons and create a new style of garment that makes such a difference to our customers! We’re constantly looking to add new styles and products to the range and I’m really excited about what the future holds for the brand. Here’s to another two very successful years!

Yvonne x

All products in the Cami Confidential range are available to buy at Yvonne's Hollins Lane Studio or online at For more information contact Kate, Helen or Yvonne: T: 0161 427 1881 | E: | | Cami Confidential 13 Hollins Lane, Marple, Cheshire, SK6 6AW

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24/08/2011 08:28

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what will you be doing?

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CELEBRITIES WEARING PINK "This year I’ll be encouraging everyone I know to put their best cooking skills to the test to raise money for 'Wear it Pink'. Whether you bake a batch of pink cupcakes, or bring back the blancmange, it’s a fun and easy way to show your support for a great cause." Lorraine Pascale, celebrity chef

the experience Hairstyling & Colour - Kate Collins Professional Nail Technician - Sarah Dawson

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13 24/08/2011 14:06

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23/08/2011 17:13

fashion & beauty


Nesters Helen Lewis discusses this highly emotive phenomena which evokes such extremes of feeling and sentiment in every family home across the globe

10 Ack Lane, Bramhall SK7 2BY


ome mums carry an utter dread of the day that their beloved sons/daughters will take their first steps to independence, moving out and onto their next phase in life – university whilst others have been waiting for the same day with excitement and anticipation – counting down the hours to their new found freedom! After years of nurturing our precious offspring it is, whichever way you feel, a BIG DEAL! It is a massive step that only a mother can fully comprehend. The incessant trails of clothing, crisp packets and debris are soon forgotten - It’s the laughter, the passion for their latest interest, the ever growing guitar collections, the romances, the mates, the dramas – these are the memorable and important things. Living with teenagers is colourful, noisy and non-stop. Love it or hate it, when it finishes there is an ENORMOUS silence. So, the day when Uni beckoned for us, to avoid that feeling of desolation, the room “make-over” became prime focus! We arrived with three carloads of soft furnishings (sounds familiar?), all to go in an 8x4ft room. My mother, vacuumed every student´s room on the landing – I think she was actually in a worse state than me! But oh how we battle to put on a smile and be enthusiastic, positive and happy. Transformation complete, the once baron room now looking a little more like home and the endless boxes of food, provisions and kitchen supplies unpacked and rammed into every available space – it was time for tea, homemade cake and to meet my son´s new flat mates! So what happens when the emptiness and grief starts to lift, when the silence doesn’t seem quite so deafening and when you no longer moon around their now immaculate bedroom desperate for something to tidy? You take a look at the person left behind, i.e. you focus on yourself - and not always too kindly! Sometimes the reawakening of a mother’s own identity is a difficult journey.

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Along with a waning sense of purpose, the gift of time to scrutinize what we see in the mirror before us is not always welcome! Being a mother is undoubtedly the most selfless career possible and many women unconsciously stop considering their own needs somewhere along the way. Despair not! All is not lost, it is time to change your mindset to that of excitement and opportunity – you need a good action plan to get the very most out of this new era of your life. One that involves mind, body and soul! As a starting point you would be very welcome to come and visit us at Loved for a totally illuminating facial consultation, scan and tailor made programme to suit your personal needs. Be it corrective light based treatments or perhaps a course of micro-dermabrasion to brighten and lift dull sallow skins. You may consider Lipomassage (endermologie), available to tighten and remodel body shapes, eradicating cellulite in the process. Spray tans instantly increase confidence and pampering facials or deeply relaxing massages, not only work wonders for the skin but feed your soul too. We will help you cherry pick exactly what is right for you. Treating yourself may seem indulgent at first but remember that if you don’t value yourself, no-one else will either! Take time to get out in nature, spirits are instantly lifted with beautiful scenery. Join a gym, start yoga, go swimming. Exercise will release the 'feel good' endorphins and a fit, supple body will give you much more energy and a greater capacity to enjoy all the great things life has to offer. Don’t forget the importance of special people, fun and laughter with girlfriends is irreplaceable and rekindling the romance in your marriage will have you feeling like a teenager all over again! Embrace the change, don’t fight it – it's your time again and its up to you alone to make the most of it!

x Love, Helen

15 24/08/2011 08:27

time to face up to it...

I hope you have all enjoyed a fantastic holiday, a great summer and been able to capture plenty of ‘feel good factor’ sunshine? Those of you who looked after your hair while soaking up the rays, congratulations, those who failed, take heed, there is work to be done! The old adage, ‘prevention is better than cure’ applies to your face, body and importantly hair, however if ‘prevention’ went out the window now the only ‘cure’ is to cut! It’s the ideal time to rid yourself of split ends and damaged locks by asking your stylist to be kind but honest. Treat your hair to some TLC by soaking it with hair masks and nourishing treatments and easing up on the heated tools. Start now, especially if you want to keep up with the current trend of long hair and shine. Your hair needs to be carefully looked after if you wish to wear it long, looking sleek and with lustre. Tousled, air-dried beach hair was for summer, we are now smoothing, blow drying in small sections with lift at the root. Using a natural bristle brush will keep the cuticles all facing the same way and reflecting the light. Root lift will give hair body so it doesn’t fall flat and styling with textured layers will allow for gentle movement and add personality to the style. Once you have the perfect style and obtained healthy, glossy hair by using the correct products recommended by your stylist, you can continue to create the shape achieved in the salon. Our biggest selling products at the moment are “Body Me” and “Soft n Straight” by Schwarzkopf. They all do exactly what they say on the tin! Perfect Lashes unsecure.pdf




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23/08/2011 17:22

fashion & beauty

a bright colourful autumn

Sheelagh Powell gives us the low down on make-up for Autumn...

With its daring accents, this season's make-up creates the look of an independent but delicate woman. Red hues are not only for lipstick; this season red eye shadow and liner are a big story with bold looks and colours which won’t disappoint those of you who appreciate retro glamour!  You can’t have failed to notice the amount of colour blocking fashion, from jeans to accessories it's everywhere and make-up has not been left behind! Bright, bold cosmetic colours were all over the catwalks and are a great way to add a bit of ‘oomph’ to your look. As the summer fades there is one fail-safe look that will keep you on-trend without requiring a total overall of your make-up bag - red lipstick! Remember to keep the rest of the face very simple – just a little mascara and liner, with a neutral eye shadow if you feel you need it. As to the colour itself, one shade of vermilion that most people can pull off is a straight forward pillar-box red. Chanel’s new Rouge Allure in Enthusiast (£21.50) is the perfect example of this – provided it’s properly applied.    For eyes, take inspiration from the shades and hues of autumn (a classic gold is perfect!) Try infallible smoky eyes in metallic, black and purple and to accentuate your eyes further apply eyeliner, with a smudge of eye shadow, to create a smoky effect. Leave your lips light-coloured using nude lipstick to

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create a sexy look for the season, experiment with a lighter red tint or break the boundaries by using orange and coral as shown by Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior. Bold, dark lips will be a totally hot look for the coming season! For the perfect pout, apply lip liner to fill the lips working inwards, starting near the lip line, using feather strokes then brush to add a bright shine.  Want a look straight from the catwalk? Designers such as Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Dolce & Gabbana and Dsquared2 chose red tints for their autumn/winter shows while Issey Miyake and Marni opted for coral. Marc Jacobs showed skin kept dewy and natural with a pinch of peach and powder pink cream blusher blended down the cheekbones. Why not take inspiration from Rodarte's russet reds, golds and tawny brown autumn shades. Apply a subtle creamy bronze shadow swept around the inner and outer lids with a chalky white just above the upper lid, fading to an ochre yellow at the base of the brow. Lashes should be left natural and brows untamed.

Hot looks round


Skin: a matte, natural-look foundation, applied to give an even finish, without a scrap of contouring or blusher in sight.

Lips: rich toffee-brown lipstick applied to lips which have been lined with a brick-red pencil. Hair: rough, choppy, wind-swept and natural. Sheelagh Powell is a makeup artist based in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire. She is available for bridal makeup, makeup lessons and master classes and for special occasion makeup. Sheelagh can be found at: on Twitter at: sheelagh_powell or T: 0796 755 1069

Sheelagh Loves ...

Chanel’s new Rouge Allure in Enthusiast (£21.50)

17 24/08/2011 08:31

Photography: Shesnaps

fashion & beauty

Refine has it’s very own facelift Time for a makeover? thebeacon team enjoyed being pampered by Hilary Downhill at the launch of Refine's Face & Body Clinic at Gee Cross...


he launch event of Refine's new Face & Body Clinic saw ladies flocking to meet and chat to skin rejuvenation expert Hilary Downhill. Since 2004, this exciting salon has gone from strength to strength with its relaxation and treatment rooms set over two floors now offering complete beauty and clinically enhancing treatment packages. The salon's 'face lift' is apparent as soon as you are welcomed into the warm, friendly, atmospheric, calm environment. The beautiful reception area is packed with displays of good quality skin care products from Guinot and Jane Iredale’s natural make up range, providing a taster of what to expect from your wonderful 'pamper experience'. Hilary is a registered nurse and an independent prescriber with over 30 years experience in both the NHS, as a theatre sister, and in the private sector working alongside the country’s top plastic surgeons. Hilary, who has worked full time in aesthetic medicine in beauty salons throughout the Northwest since 2004, explains “as we age, sometimes we would like a little extra help to promote that fresh face look, a natural facelift is most people’s ideal look and this is achieved with the right product and treatment." Hilary’s expertise in working with ladies similar to her own age enables her to choose the perfect treatment, using natural substances for a visible long lasting result.

Beauty treatments on offer include: Jane Iredale make over (£25) using Jane's pure, natural, award winning products, Guinot Hydradermie facials

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(£30), Swedish full body massage (£25), St Tropez spray tans and Minx nails. A complete menu of all treatments available on request.

Clinic treatments available include: Vein Removal (for face and legs), Dermal Fillers (from £200), Chemical Skin Peel and Lip Enhancement. Hilary offers Restylane Skin Rejuvenation and Tear Trough Restoration (from £450) and is thrilled to introduce their latest treatment which offers amazing results. “I am delighted to introduce Restylane's new Soft Restoration Concept - the results are amazing (see below). It’s an anti-ageing treatment that is non-invasive, with minimal pain, swelling or bruising. No hiding away for weeks, quick results and an amazing fresh face look which has to be good!”



25/08/2011 13:28

fashion & beauty

ount offer: an introductory disc Refine has launched

0 off! a friend and each receive £3 & elf urs yo for t en atm tre le 30th 2011) Book an anti wrink voucher (Valid until September to download your Log on to www.thebeaconm

Refine Face & Body Clinic | 274 Stockport Road, Gee Cross, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 5RF t: 0161 366 7000 / 07738 305646 | Open: Tuesday – Saturday, Late nights Thursday & Friday

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19 24/08/2011 08:33

Autumn wedding fayres list... 4th September | Capesthorne Hall Wedding Fayre | 12noon – 4pm 4th September | Haydock Thistle Hotel | 12 noon – 4pm 18th September | Shrigley Hall Wedding Fayre | 11am – 3pm 18th September | Stockport Wedding Fayre | Masonic Guildhall | 12 noon – 4pm 25th September | Manchester Airport Marriott Hotel | 11am – 3pm 25th September | Combermere Abbey Wedding Fayre | 11am – 3pm 25th September | Moorside Grange Wedding Fayre | Higher Disley 2nd October | Hallmark Hotel Wedding Fayre | Handforth 2nd October | Belle Epoque Wedding Fayre | Knutsford | 1pm – 5pm 9th October | Peaks & Dales Wedding Show | Devonshire Dome Buxton 16th October | Arley Hall and Gardens Wedding Fayre | 11am – 3pm

AN INVITATION TO THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE Set in the heart of the Peak District with breathtaking views over the surrounding rolling hills, the Best Western Moorside Grange offers the feel of a unique country retreat and presents the perfect setting for your cherished wedding photos. The grounds include a wedding gazebo with a stunning backdrop of a picturesque scenery - ideal for holding your wedding ceremony on a balmy summer’s day.

HOLD YOUR ENTIRE DAY WITH US Our Alpine and Penine Suites play host for up to 200 guests, each with their own private bar and natural daylight. If you prefer something more intimate our Pyramid Suite can hold up to 60 guests and our Garden Room up to 100 guests. With our impressive Triangle Health, Fitness & Beauty facilities, prepare for your big day by taking a dip in our pool, kick back in our relaxation area, indulge in luxurious pampering treatment or get in shape in our fitness suite. At Best Western Moorside Grange Hotel & Spa our Wedding Coordinators will take care of your special day from start to finish.

Bridal Fayre•Sunday 25th September Free Admission•Car Parking•Prize Draw

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For more information please call 01663 or visit


Best Western Moorside Grange Hotel & Spa

Mudhurst Lane, Higher Disley, Cheshire SK12 2AP

23/08/2011 17:27

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21 23/08/2011 17:30

fashion & beauty

Forget subtle,

Autumn/Winter 20 11 is

totally fearless! Cleo Lacey has picked out top seven trends which you can easily relate to. They’re bold, dashing and Cleo dares you to take the challenge! Whichever trends you choose to follow, Autumn/Winter 2011 is set to be a very stylish season indeed


House of Fraser


Colour Collision: There is always a lot of black on the autumn winter catwalks (thank goodness I hear you cry!) but this year it is punctuated by dazzling Jewel and Spice Tones. Autumn's hottest hues will all be taken from your spice rack; paprika, cumin, ginger and mustard provide inspiration and the palette looks fabulous with dark denim, so get out those jeans! Come winter the colour turns from warm to simply eye-popping with sophisticated colours of emerald, ruby, amethyst, garnet, sapphire and citrine all featured on the catwalks. They are exotic, mesmerising and have such an impact, these colours have taken over from the brights of the summer, rich in colour and giving the feeling of luxurious glamour whilst wearing them. Swinging Sixties: The catwalk collections always reverence many a past decade. During the summer we saw the 70’s revival, but it's 60's that have emerged as the hottest fashion era for Autumn/Winer. This comeback is a serious head-to-toe affair with sloping shoulders and bracelet sleeves, polo necks and miniskirts, knee-high boots and beehives, trapeze shaped dresses, tunics and even velvet trouser suits - groovy baby!

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Feminine Forties: Another nostalgic appearance, with all its glamour and elegance is the 1940’s. It’s time to start polishing up your act, after a summer of relaxed dressing, things are smartening up this autumn and winter. Think sharp stiletto heeled shoes and ladylike bags with neat lines and you’ll be right on track. The recent lust for longer-length hemlines has given rise to this season's take on forties flair, which revolves around one of my favourite classical pieces, the pencil skirt. To fully dress for the affair you may need to add a couple of extras, a little fur shrug, pearls, long gloves and a slim belt. Embrace this feminine allure with a strong seductive power and elegance, add a pair of elbow-length gloves, and if you feel more comfortable, scrunch them down for a more relaxed approach.

Fetish Fashionista: It’s time to crack the whip ladies as this season has a certain dark mischief about it! Last year was all about gothic romance, this year it’s still black but somewhat sexier, think dominatrix boots, tight laced-up corsets, rubber, lace and leather. But beware, to wear this look without inviting unwanted attention at the school gates, you’ll need to harness your styling skills! Don’t start

24/08/2011 15:51

fashion & beauty

having heart palpitations, you simply need to look past the more extreme elements of this trend and play to its subtly seductive side, dressing with sheer inserts, black lace blouses, smoky eyes and a butter-soft leather jacket should do the trick. It’s time to work a seam of sexiness into your wardrobe girls!

Simple Spots: This season is rich in

There are so many different trends and looks out there for Autumn Winter 2011, there is bound to be one for you. Although I’ve challenged you to be a little more daring and go for a couple of bold changes to your wardrobe, some of you may not feel you have the confidence to do so. If you are the type of lady who welcomes winter dressing (covering up your body and wearing black!) then fear not. You are not alone and it’s about time you let Cleo improve that self esteem and have some fun - because you really ARE worth it! Why not try and update your outfits through simply accessorising, great if you are on a tight budget. You may love the thought of something sparkly but daren’t wear it, then try a metallic clutch bag? It is an investment piece too as it will go with everything. Love spots but couldn’t wear them on your body, what would hubby say? Why not try on a cheeky pair of spotty court shoes to wear with your jeans? Like the thought of black leather but don’t think the neighbours are ready for your dark side, then go for a fabulous pair of boots. If you struggle, you know where to find me, until next issue when I will bring you fabulous, festive style!

print and pattern, from decorative swirls to lavish floral’s; my advice for 'printbeginners' is to start with simple spots. t: 0781 299 1819 e:

Fabulous Fabrics: Texture overload



is what it’s all about, playing and mixing it all up on the fabric front. Throw the net out as wide as you can in terms of fabric mixes, as long as they're luxurious, robust and unapologetically mismatched, this trend is all about contrasting textures and is easy to carry off. Think about mixing sequins with fur, check tweed with leather, shearling and lace. Arm yourself against the elements and take pleasure in putting things together that don’t traditionally belong. No one will be left out in the cold this season, the most tactile and tempting of all the fabric trends is the many furry looks, yes fur is back in a big way this season, both real and faux so look fabulous whatever your preference.

Glistening Goddess: Shimmer, sparkle, glitter and gloss, this is your time to shine. Sequins were all over the catwalks, suggesting you can wear them casually for the day time by having a dash of a metallic top underneath your blazer worn with jeans.


They were by far the most featured print on the catwalks and are the easiest way to wear this season’s print trend. You can literally go polka dotty for spots and circles, the more the merrier!

Cleo Loves ...

Gorgeous seperates like this black bandage pencil skirt are a must have for your autumn look. Although it's bang on trend for this season it is also a classic wardrobe staple that will never date. Dress it up with a tucked in white shirt and patent accessories or look uber chic and effortless with a slouchy t-shirt and shoes boots. Black Bandage Pencil Skirt, £79 Mint Velvet - available from John Lewis.

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23 24/08/2011 15:51

Milly &Kirsty

are so excited


utton Nose designer children's wear in Bramhall, Cheshire stocks one of the largest collections of children's wear brands in the North West of England.


Available at

B U T TO N N O S E 0161 440 7667 10 Bramhall Village Centre, Bramhall, Cheshire SK7 1AW

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This season sees the arrival of Barbour. Milly and Kirsty, mother and daughter team, are so excited about stocking the new Winter 2011 collection. The collection made its debut in store last week and is already proving a hit. Other brands hitting their shelves are Scotch & Soda, Monnalisa, Eliane et Lena, Fred Perry, Rare, R'Belle,

SevenOneSeven and many more. Priding themselves on good customer service, Kirsty and Milly have recently opened 'Outgrown' Cheshire’s latest and biggest designer dress agency for children. Stocking only the finest highend brands for kids in a 'like new collection' at a fraction of their original selling price. All items they sell are 70% cheaper than their original selling price. You can find Outgrown upstairs at Button Nose.

Log onto to view all collections.

25/08/2011 13:29

fashion & beauty

new term style Just because you’re a busy mum doesn’t mean you need to slip back into your sweat pants for the school run! But before you splash your cash on the latest trends, here are five simple style pointers to consider when planning your new look...

Go through your wardrobe: Be honest with yourself and think about all the clothes you have. Which are the ones that bring you the most compliments when you wear them? Which are the ones that make you feel great? What is it about them is it the colour, shape, style or fabric; because it’s these things that you want to build on.

Resist the temptation to go back to black: The shops are still awash with colour! Rich, spicy shades are MAJOR news, but if warm hues leave you looking sallow, opt for juicy berry or jewel tones to brighten your complexion instead - there’s something out there for every complexion.

Your child has probably started the academic year with a new uniform, school bag and hair cut, but what about you?

Re-visit your underwear: When did you last get your bra fitted properly? A well fitted bra will lose (and gain) you inches in all the right places! It completely changes the fit of your clothes.

Bring your hair up to date: When did you last change your look? Go carefully on colour; keep as near to your natural tones as possible or wait until you have had your colours analysed professionally.

Be ‘Accessory Savvy’: I know you’ve heard it before, but the right accessories make all the difference. Texture is key for all the Autumn/Winter looks and whether you favour tweed, wool, fur, leather or lace you can introduce it without blowing the budget, through a well chosen bag, belt, scarf or shoe choice. The key here is to trust your instinct and follow what suits you and your personality.

Remember to ask - Do I love it? If you are small-boned, choose the smaller scale pieces and skinny belts of this season’s lady-like looks; try adding a peter pan collar to a simple neckline; whilst a narrow scarf tied into a loose bow at the neck of a blouse will give that 70’s glam vibe. If larger scale pieces are more your thing, upscale jewellery, patterns and bags – keep your 40’s pearls chunky and rock block heels and wedges on your shoes and boots.

Contact Fyona to find out how House of Colour Bramhall can help you to find an amazing new look this Autumn T: 07771971584 | E: |

Colour Analysis | Personal Style Workshops | Make up Master Classes | Personal Shopping | Wardrobe Reviews House of Colour Bramhall is now on Facebook!

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25 24/08/2011 08:38

Pepper Pig comes to Wilmslow

A new nursery is coming to Wilmslow with kids TV favourite Peppa Pig welcoming youngsters through the doors at their open day in September

Pepperberry Day Nursery, in Cygnet Court on Hawthorn Street, is run by husband and wife team Gillian and Anthony Akaraonye, who have more than 40 years experience in childcare and is set to open in October. Open days giving parents and children a chance to get a feel of the new nursery are being held on September 24th and 25th September 2011 between 11am - 4pm. Activities available include the chance to meet Peppa Pig, the characters from In The Night Garden and have a photo taken with them. Children can also enjoy face painting, and parents will have the opportunity to meet the staff and sample food that will be served once the nursery opens. Gillian, 45, said: “We’re really excited to be opening Pepperberry. The last year has been busy making our nursery a great place for little ones to learn. We now have a team of dedicated staff on hand to look after the children and we’ve been working hard putting together a timetable that will cater for their educational needs but also ensure they have lots of fun too. This is a dream for us and we have invested in state of the art learning equipment and very highly qualified staff to provide the best possible care. A lot of hard work has gone into the nursery and we are proud to be finally welcoming the children who will start their education here and their families.” Gillian and Anthony have invested in state of the art interactive teaching boards for each classroom and the latest educational equipment and resources. The nursery is set in stunning gardens and boasts a sensory room; a sleeping room and an outdoor play area and has CCTV and fingerprint security. An in house chef is on hand to provide tasty, fresh and healthy meals and snacks and the nursery is open from 7.30am to 6pm. The nursery will also employ over 30 staff, bringing a welcome job boost to Wilmslow. Gillian said: “We’re both passionate about young minds and we hope we’ve created a nursery that encompasses everything a parent and child could wish for.”

Incredible Giant soft play frame

0161 440 9040 Headlands Road, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire, SK7 3AN

To find out more visit, telephone: 0845 680 5497 or email:

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24/08/2011 08:02

to school k ac B anxious times for parents & children after the freedom of summer...

Are you feeling the strain, is your little one struggling to sleep at night? Is your child unusually clingy and tearful? Perhaps your son is nervous about starting school or is your daughter under achieving, lacking confidence in her ability. SleepTalk™ helps you to help your family. Miss Pickford, mum to 5 year old A was relieved when A began to sleep through the night, in her own ‘big girl’s bed’. “Initially I didn't think SleepTalk™ would have the potential to work on A; however after trying the technique that Jenny demonstrated I found my 5 year old to be calmer, more settled, with her bedtime routine. The SleepTalk™ process was very easy to follow. Jenny made us feel at ease with the simple technique helping us with every step of the way. SleepTalk™ has been a worthwhile contribution to my daughter’s now, healthy sleeping routine” SleepTalk™ group workshops: now available at Alexandra Worsley, Bramhall call 0161 439 9856 book now for Wed September 21st. Alternatively a one to one private consultation with ongoing coaching can be arranged telephone 07515 261222 or email for details of further venues and events in Cheshire, coming soon this autumn.

You are your child’s best teacher.

Jo Jingles is Here!

Hi I'm Laura...

Fun Music, Singing & Movement Classes for children aged 3 months to 5 years

and along with my class teachers Karen and Jenny we run Jo Jingles Music and Movement classes in the North East Cheshire area.

Develop your child’s

Jo Jingles provides fun and educational Music, Singing and Movement classes for young children aged 3 months - 5 years. With the help of our Jo Jingles doll, trained and experienced presenters run the UK's most popular music and movement experience. Jo Jingles classes are carefully structured and each week we introduce educational themes i.e. colours, shapes, numbers, animals using well-known nursery rhymes and action songs. Children have "hands-on" experience with at least two percussion instruments e.g. drums, tambourine, bells and they get to join in with "Jo" who is always ready with the actions. He also knows over 1000 songs, some familiar and others that are unique to Jo Jingles. Our experienced presenters run classes in a friendly and informal manner so you can be safe in the knowledge that your child, and maybe you too will learn about music in a stimulating and secure environment. If you would like any further information about our classes, parties or about having Jo Jingles in your Nursery or Children's Centre then please visit my website which is northeastcheshire you can also follow us on facebook at Alternatively you can call Laura on 0161 431 0674. At Jo Jingles all babies aged 3-6 months old come to classes for free, this offer is at selected classes and booking is essential.

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• • • • • •

Social Skills Language Confidence Listening Skills Co-ordination Imagination

Children’s Parties & Nursery Sessions also available! NO JOINING FEE!

For details on classes in: Bramhall, Glossop, Wilmslow, Hazel Grove, Marple, Mossley, Cheadle & Stalybridge Call Laura on 0161 431 0674

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10/08/2011 18:52

23/08/2011 17:44

out & about


news Marple Carnival

Community spirit shone this summer as Marple was swathed in a blaze of colour! Mums, dads, children, teachers and friends contributed a wonderful effort to make this 'Up, Up & Away' a memorable day all for a good cause.

Wild Things Wild Things new play centre in Bramhall hosted a charity day with Crocodile Joe who entertained children with his wonderful range of small reptiles from snakes to lizards and chameleons. Donations were made to the Five Stars Charity who last year raised funds to buy a new scanner for Manchester Childrens hospital. 'The Premiership Cook Off' is to return in this autumn, book your place for this spectacular night by logging on to

'Les Mes' Night Led by Master of the House, Steve Pilling, The Red Lion High, Lane, Stockport, played host to a 'Wish Upon A Star' charity night spectacular musical, worthy of the West End stage! Diners enjoyed entertainment and an auction headed by DJ Paul Sleem, patron of the charity, before a wonderful performance by professional singers, talented pupils of Stockport Grammar and cast members who travelled up from the West End to perform the infamous Les Meserables. A musical night of colour and theatrical fun!

Kirsty meets Russell A fantastic evening was held at Simon Dunn Choclatiers in Wilmslow in support of Kirsty Howard. Patron, Russell Watson took time to join his 'little angel' on the evening even though he was due to fly off to Japan on tour the following morning. Oliver Dunn and Alex Epstein (from the BBC's Apprentice) took control of the auction and a brilliant £4720 was raised to help towards extending Francis House Children’s Hospice. For further details and photos visit If you would like to support the charity and join in Kirsty's 16th birthday email

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24/08/2011 15:53

Katherine Macfarlane of Shesnaps Photography reminds us that Christmas is around the corner and suggests...


gift ideas

The children are back at school, so it’s inevitable that the next few months will rush past. Suddenly it will be Christmas and with it the dilemma of what to give your loved ones this year. Photographs are always appreciated and the autumn is an ideal time to have a family photo session. Toddlers to teenagers, it’s amazing how their appearance changes in just 12 months. Use your photo session to create as many different looks as possible, you could even have a Christmas theme to use for cards. Christmas is also a perfect opportunity to create gifts with the pictures that you’ve taken this year. Family members love receiving gifts that are personal to them, it shows you’ve put a lot of thought into your present and it can cost as much or as little as your budget allows. From

bags to blankets, calendars to coasters - the possibilities are endless. A quick internet search shows up plenty of websites you can use to create gifts. If you use sites like Photobox or Snapfish already, start looking out for their email offers which will keep the cost down. A photo book with some of your best snaps will be appreciated, especially if your family lives far away. I created ‘A Year in Pictures’ for my mum who also loves being able to take the book out rather than a wallet of photographs. Finally, a beautiful picture in a equally lovely frame is a great present. Get your print done and take it out to the shops until you find a frame that compliments your photo perfectly. Happy snapping

Shesnaps Photography

Specialising in newborn and family portraits, with studio sessions in Marple just £25 Photo Birthday Parties and club fund raising sessions

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07981 281 654

29 23/08/2011 17:46

out & about

down to earth diva thebeacon meet Jane McDonald and chat about her forthcoming tour, cooking and corrie!

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24/08/2011 17:01

out & about


eeting singer, song writer and performer Jane McDonald is like a breath of fresh air! Jane's friendly northern accent and infectious laugh left me thinking I had just had a long chat with on old friend! Jane is about to begin her national tour 'Live across Britain 2011' appearing at venues the length and breadth of the country. I asked how she prepares for such a large number of dates and her answer didn't surprise me, it was simple; "It is what I have always done, I have always been a 'jobbing artist' and when I was appearing on the cruise ships I did 10 shows per week so I'm used to hard work! Of course we have been in rehersals for a while now, this tour is very different and I am excited to be working with musical director and composer, Barry Robinson. Barry has worked on hugh productions for stars including Whitney Houston and Natalie Cole and my show will be a glittering 'Vegas-type' production with amazing lighting, costumes and glamour!" Born in Wakefield, Jane trained as an opera singer between the ages of 14-16, which she describes as very hard work but it taught her to sing correctly; "when I sang opera on my last tour people were shocked". After working in clubs throughout Northern England and on various cruise ships, Jane shot to fame in 1997 when the BBC began filming their reality show 'The Cruise'. Shortly after Jane became a household name, releasing her first album in 1998 which immediately turned platinum! Over the past few years Jane has appeared on many chat shows and spoken openly about her mother Jean and her love life. Jane first met her fiancée, Eddie

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Rothe, drummer with the British group The Searchers, 30 years ago while working as a bar maid in Wakefield between persuing her singing career. Now reunited and planning to get married, Jane told me how Eddie makes her laugh; "It amazes me Ed is still here as he is one of the few people to see me with no make up! He doesn't seem fazed when I'm without my

“I can't jog and I am never seen without my heels!” glamorous styling and clothes. I absolutely love dressing up and I never dress down, you will not see me in tracksuits, I can't jog and I am never seen without my heels!" Jane left the popular lunchtime show, Loose Women last year. She found that over the past six years of appearing on the show she had concentrated less on what she loved doing - performing! With an album to write and produce there is very little time left for other projects but Jane says; "I feel lucky that that the 'door has been left open' for me to return to the show at any time". I asked if she kept in touch with any of the cast from the show, "when appearing I literally went in and out of the studio. My heavy work schedule left no time to spend socialising with the other girls and I admit I'm not a good friend due to my lack of time but I do try to keep in touch with Linda Bellingham". Jane is not known for her culinary skills and will soon be appearing on a new day time show 'Lets do lunch', hosted by Gino D’Acampo

and Melanie Sykes. The show invites celebrity guests to help Gino in the kitchen but when I mentioned this to Jane she sounded horrified, "god I hope they're not expecting me to do any cooking, I'm hoping Gino will teach me a few tips!" Following the new tour Jane's work schedule looks as busy as ever with her new album, due to be released in the Autumn of 2012. Jane is working on the project with a new producer and she describes it as 'really divaesque'. There will also be a host of exciting people to working alongside Jane whom she thinks will cause a few shocks - watch this space! Jane told me that the best advice she had been given was from her mother who told her ' it's nice to be nice' - and that is exactly what Jane is! Finally, I asked this extremely busy and talented lady how she relaxes - again the answer was simple - a cup of tea and an episode of Corrie! For more information on Jane's tour log on to For details of Jane's fan club write to: Shirley JMD Fan Club, PO Box 28, Pontefract WF9 4WS

31 24/08/2011 17:01

Slot Racing Goyt Mill Marple

Stockport SK6 7HX 01625 876325 07715 504035 Open Every Monday for Family Racing 7-8.30pm 1st Saturday Monthly 10-3pm Racing Challenges

Private bookings for Corporate Challenges Office Parties Social Groups


A Scalextric Racing night out

for a group of up to 12 people

worth £120!*

Julie Scale, of Scale Models Slot Racing, Marple invites you to take a nostalgic step back to your childhood and take the chance to win a night out with a difference! With two massive tracks, 150’ running length, computer timed to 1000’th of a second and organised tournaments, this is the perfect venue for work nights out, girls/lads nights and corporate challenges. Book early, for Christmas celebrations! Open races are every Monday evening aimed at families (only £3.50 per head) and there are open days the first Saturday of every month with race challenges at £5 per head - everyone welcome! To relive your childhood or just have a great laugh with friends with that competitive edge thrown in, visit or call Julie for more information: 01625 876325 or 07715 504035 *To enter simply log on to and select Cheshire competition page. Entries close 14th October 2011. Or download a 'two race for free' voucher. Valid every Monday (6.30 for 7pm start) and every first Saturday of the month (10am–3pm) Offer closes 31st October.

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24/08/2011 15:55

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33 23/08/2011 17:56

From the Lions Mouth... I

would like to start by saying good bye and good luck to two of our junior Chefs Tom Slevin and Steve Hicks. They have been working with us from

the start and have now secured positions in two of the country’s most prestigious establishments, Le Manoir aux cat Saison and Bath Prior to continue their training. But don’t worry Simon Stanley, my chef partner (who Raymond Blanc described as the one to watch) is busy keeping our standards high with Head Chef, Dave Lord and the rest of our team. It is almost like your youth team players being selected for a premiership academy side, we are all very proud and hope that our next crop of juniors will emulate their success. I would also like to remind you of the local food festival this autumn in Marple and encourage you to visit what promises to be a spectacular event with quality food from all around this area. We will be launching a 'Cheese Initiative' on 13th September with the cheese detective again and we would like to make this a regular event so please come along and have an inspiring evening. We are also excited about our new express market menu which is designed to use the freshest and most spontaneously available ingredients on the day to bring value and more choice to High Lane! All this starts at around £5 - amazing value! We have also included what is now our best selling product - 36 hour brown onion

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23/08/2011 18:03

soup with mature cheddar cheese, served in a good size tea cup which sells for £2.50. This is because the larger version was so filling that most people could not eat their main course - a real hit with our diners! I would also like to let you know about our new 4-5 week hung Sirloin Wing Rib which can serve 2-3 people. We roast it on the bone, rest it, carve it and serve it with vegetables, potato choice and also a choice of our delicious handmade sauces (no 'bought in' stuff for us!) You can also pre-order this joint for your sunday lunch, but be quick they go fast ! One final word about our now famous baker, Richard from Cowburns, he is moving in across the road from The Red Lion and we would like to wish him all the luck in the world! We will certainly continue to support him and if you purchase any of his fine pastries in the morning from 10.30 to 12.00, bring them over to The Red Lion and have them with a Red Lion coffee (don’t worry you only pay for the coffee)!

I hope you will visit us soon for a drink, snack or meal!

ing Steve Pill

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35 23/08/2011 18:03

apples galore? then bake a cake! Dorset apple cake Serves 8

Ingredients: 225g butter (softened, plus extra for greasing)

3 large eggs

450g Bramley apples

2 tsp baking powder

finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon 225g caster sugar (plus extra for dredging)

225g self-raising flour 25g ground almonds 1 tbsp demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 180째C/fan160째C/gas 4. Grease a deep 23-24cm springform cake tin and line with baking paper. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1cm pieces and toss with the lemon juice. Using an electric hand whisk, cream together the butter, caster sugar and lemon zest in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs,1 at a time, adding a little flour with each addition to keep the mixture smooth. Sift the remaining flour and the baking powder into the bowl and fold in with the ground almonds. Drain the apple pieces well and stir into the mixture. Spoon into the prepared cake tin, lightly level the top and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until well-risen, brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the cake starts to look a little too brown, cover with a sheet of baking paper after about 45 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove the cake onto a wire tray, dredge heavily with the extra caster sugar.

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23/08/2011 18:05

.. out & about

Marplebury Festiva l

You don’t have to travel to Manchester or Edinburgh -

just look what’s on in Marple this September!

Photo taken from 2010 festival


ake a date in your diary as festival fever hits Marple once again! Bigger, better than ever, in its 5th year with a full varied programme that promises fun for all. Cheshire local summer festivals are now becoming the staple of present day family life, villages celebrate, showcase home grown talent past and present and we learn to appreciate beautiful surroundings that past generations have gifted us. The canal town of Marple is no different, a perfect setting for Marple’s 2011 festival fortnight. The programme of events includes array of music, arts, heritage, sport, fine food and family fun with something for even the finest connoisseur, to suit every age. Visit for full details. Saturday 17th September kicks off what promises to be a food lover’s paradise with local restaurants and pubs joining in the fun filled events throughout the fortnight. With food and drink to tantalise your taste buds, visit Marple village and see an abundance of pies, cheeses, pates, steak sandwiches, speciality breads, fine wines and ales. For those with a sweet tooth look out for deliciously

tempting cup cakes and the infamous Marple Festival cake! Champagne and canapés are on offer at Archers Bakery throughout the day, all proceeds donated to breast cancer. Why not take to the water with a long boat cruise departing from The Ring o Bells pub, who are hosting a Beer Festival with tasting of local micro ales, or discover The Peaks on the historical day trip to Bugsworth Basin. 2011 has seen the heart put back into the community of Hawk Green, Marple by The Crown’s new tenant Lynne and her team. They extend a warm welcome for you to pop in and see for yourself, The Crown is back with an award winning chef, quiz nights and fun filled weekly events, everything that makes a truly great British Pub! For sport lovers Marple Cricket Club will host a variety of exciting events kicking off with a 'Best of Cheshire versus Best of Lancashire' cricket match on Sunday 18th September. The popular cookery demonstration night will return after last year’s success and of course a night of wine tasting. The fortnight's celebrations will culminate with the Marquee Festival Ball - go out explore and enjoy!


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37 24/08/2011 08:43

Ri v loads of recipes

e r f ord

outstanding f lavour

sweetcorn fritters

By Jane Baxter, Riverford Field Kitchen Taken from the Riverford Farm Cook Book

great value

Serves 6 organic

Ingredients: 3 corn cobs

2 tbsp butter

125g plain flour

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 tsp baking powder 2 tbsp polenta 1 tsp sugar 2 eggs

1 tbsp chopped coriander and/or chives

1 egg yolk

2 tsp olive oil

2 tbsp crème fraîche

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

125ml milk

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½ red onion, finely chopped

Peel the husks off the corn cobs, then cook them in boiling water for about 10 minutes, until just tender. Drain well and cut off the kernels. Put the flour, baking powder, polenta and sugar in a bowl. Add the eggs and yolk and beat together. Gradually beat in the crème fraîche and milk until you get a thick, smooth batter. Heat half the butter in a pan until brown and add it to the batter. Add the chilli, onion, corn and herbs and season well. Heat the oil and the remaining butter in a frying pan until quite hot. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and fry over a medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve immediately. They are good topped with crispy bacon or pancetta.

celeBrAte MArple FeStivAl on the Bell Friday & Saturday 23rd & 24th September 2011 the ring o’ Bells restaurant has a full A-la-carte menu, lite Bites & Daily Specials, plus luxury Bed & Breakfast accommodation. 130 church lane, Marple, Stockport, cheshire SK6 7Ay tel: 0161 427 2300

Hop aboard our 72ft Party Narrow Boat and sail along the Macclesfield canal for 21/2 hours. 1pm and 7pm sailings include sampling the on-board micro-brewery beers, supplied by: Buxton Micro Brewery (Kinder Falling Down Bitter & Buxton Spa Bitter) Bollington Brewery (Long Hop & Oatmill Stout) On Return to the Ring o’ Bells a buffet will be served. All inclusive price £30 per person.

Sunday 25th September 2011 Departing at 10am. A 6 hour cruise up to the Bugsworth Basin including Hot Pot onboard. Returning by approximately 5.30pm. £20 per person

To book now telephone 0161 427 2300 (hurry limited places) 38

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23/08/2011 18:18

out & about


H ighlights...

when: 29th September what: Poetry Evening where: Carver Theatre Poetry like you have never heard or seen before with Manchester poet, Tony Walsh who has performed at the RSC, the Ledbury Poetry Festival and as Poet In Residence at Glastonbury, his poetry has also featured in Q magazine. Leave your preconceptions at home; this will be a rollicking good night of truly dazzling wordsmithery.

when: 30th September what: Comedy Night where: Cricket Club A night of comedy featuring: Glastonbury Festival regular, Rory Motion; Karen Bayley and Ben Davids, who recently featured at the Edinburgh Festival with his quick-fire one-liners. Also organised in conjunction with Buzz Comedy Club, the show will be compered by rock star wannabe, Sam Avery. t: 0161 449 6010 |

when: 27-29th September what: Foreign films where: Marple College Marple College is screening three foreign language films exploring the clashes between class and age, ideology and idealism, retribution and revenge. Don’t miss The Edukators, La Zona and The White Ribbon.

when: 18th & 26th September what: Hallé Music where: Marple United Reform Church

when: 27th September, 7pm what: An Evening of Crime where: Carver Theatre You don’t often hear of organised crime in Marple but the Carver Theatre will host a evening of whodunits and red herrings! Carver compere Nigel Booth will talk to Chris Simms and Mike Walters, acclaimed local crime writers, to get the inside info on how they create their characters and set the scene. Then the audience will be involved in a crime quiz plus be thrilled by a crime sketch from Carver actors. (Cost: £5)

Marple history comes alive! There are so many reasons to visit Marple with walks, talks and canal cruises!

when: 18th September what & where: Enjoy trips on the Macclesfield, Peak Forest canals, commentary, food and ale, a great way to see beautiful scenery. There are also talks on the canal infrastructure and the unique lock system with its flight of 16 locks and aqueduct.

when: 1st October Manchester is famous for its internationally acclaimed what & where: There will be four free guided walks orchestras and members of both the Halle and the BBC Phil during the festival which last 1½-2 hours, at a slow will appear at the Festival. Hallé’s principal harpist, Marie pace so you can take in the wonderful surroundings. Leenhardt, and Tom Beer on viola, join other players to perform a Chamber and Tango concert on the 18th. Jim Muirhead, Hallé bass clarinet and colleagues have formed a jazz quartet playing swing era music and a special composed piece festival events: www.marp with a local connection on the 26th. For more information on all

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Marple Bridge


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24/08/2011 10:56


You’ll love Waitrose. Or your money back. We believe that few things in life are more important than good food, so we go out of our way to make sure everything we sell tastes as good as it possibly can. We’re proud of our standards, and we want you to know you can always trust us to meet yours. So if you ever buy something from us and find it’s not as good as you’d expected, simply bring it back. We’ll refund your money and replace the item too.

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02/08/2011 15:12

out & about

what where when Peter Kay

The Tour That Doesn't Tour Tour - Farewell Tour

Manchester Evening News Arena

27th September - 21st October Peter Kay returns to his hometown M.E.N Arena this autumn. Peter will bring the curtain down back in Manchester with a return to the venue where it all started, the M.E.N Arena, for The Tour That Doesn't Tour Tour - Farewell Tour. Peter says: "Returning to Manchester brings the whole thing to a close for me and allows me to finish off back home."

Sister Act

A Divine Musical Comedy

Manchester Opera House

29th September - 15th October Based on the smash-hit movie, Sister Act features a brand new score by 8 time Oscar winner Alan Menken. When Disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder she is put in protective custody in the one place cops are sure she won't be found - a convent!.

The North West Food Lovers Festival Tatton Park

21st - 23rd October With over 120 delicious food and drink stalls and the opportunity to taste, sample and buy all the wonderful produce, this is a taste sensation that is not to be missed.

The Magic of Motown Buxton Opera House

3rd November Get ready – the UK’s number one live Motown concert show returns bigger than ever before with its all-new 2011 spectacular. Fresh from sell-out performances in London’s O2, you’ll be dancing in the streets, dancing on the ceiling … The Magic of Motown: signed, sealed, delivered, it’s yours!.


Tickets to The Magic of Motown

The Magic of Motown is coming to Buxton Opera House on 3rd November. the beacon have teamed up with the producers of this superb production to give away a pair of tickets to see the show. To enter simply log on to and select Cheshire competition page. Entries close on 30th September T&C apply.

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24/08/2011 08:45

Marple Cricket Club Marquee Monday 26th Sept. from 8.00 pm

Never fear, this will be no ordinary Macbeth, Shakespeare’s darkest of dark tragedies is given the Oddsocks treatment and as Oddstocks can make a comedy out of anything, be prepared for spine tingling, eye popping, rib tickling hilarity- lots of witches! lots of laughs!

Tickets: 0161 449 6010 Marple Cricket Club, Bowden lane, Marple. SK6 7ND

Back to school, back to work back to health! Get on your bike and get back to freedom! Mountain, road and hybrid bikes, BMX and kids bikes We carry a wide range of parts, spares, bikes, clothing and accessories Custom bike builds a speciality Collection and delivery no problem! Christmas club now running Check our website for weekly rides Cyclescheme dealer

Call in to see us soon at: 189 London Road, Hazel Grove Click your mouse on: Call us on: 0161 483 3313

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43 23/08/2011 18:30

homes & gardens

George BOND’s


Updating your bathroom involves much more than just deciding on your new colour scheme. With much to consider, this issue I will be providing you with some top tips as to how to make the most out of your space.


athrooms are often not the most substantial room in the house in terms of dimensions, but clever interior design can work wonders in increasing the perception of the bathroom size. Using metallic surfaces or placing mirrors on opposing walls in order to disperse light throughout the room can work wonders in making a bathroom appear much bigger than it actually is. Lighting is also integral; the use of clever lighting in addition to a well thought out plan means that decadence can even be achievable in a small space. When you think of a bathroom, you think of tiles, and rightly so. There are an abundance of quality tiles on the market from those made entirely from mother of pearl (check Shellshock Designs) to tiles which actually look like wallpaper (Grespania Ceramica). With a smaller bathroom, simplicity is key, so white tiling is the order of the day. Currently on the market from Porcelanosa is a fantastic white tile, featuring a wavy pattern with a lustre

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finish. It can easily be accessorized with colourful extras such as towels, which can then be easily swapped to match the changing seasons. Window adornments are an often neglected area. There are three fundamental things to consider here: durability, privacy and style. Without proper ventilation, smaller bathrooms do sometimes struggle with the big temperature changes which are bound to occur. If you have a small room to decorate, leave out bIinds and go for a smoked or distorted glass finish. Blinds of any kind are hard to maintain good upkeep and can start to appear tired and aged well before time. When it comes to flooring, non-slip ceramic flooring is perfect, It adapts beautifully and is also scratch and water resistant. Consider under floor heating. The advances in cost-effective under-floor heating systems create a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. They are relatively quick and easy to fit under the tiles and eliminates the need to add bulky central heating systems when space is tight.

Take a similar approach with your colour scheme as you would with tiles. Beautiful creams and beiges make a great neutral base to a room, and you can start to create around that with complimenting colours introduced by either creating a feature wall by or by using soft furnishings to produce a space which has warmth and depth. Bright colours are still very much in vogue for 2011 and there are some stunning colour palettes. Use classic trends that are unlikely to go out of fashion any time soon. Classic, bespoke items will always have their place. Delicate pieces, such as mirrored cabinets and his-and-her basins emphasise the importance of the bathroom as a core room in the home. There is always a place for classic trends, especially when fused with modern design; they are after all, classic for a reason. George Bond is the National Director for the Society of British Interior Designers (SBID) as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. George is director and founder of Brandling Park Interior Design Ltd

25/08/2011 13:33

homes & gardens

. . . s m o o r h t ba

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45 24/08/2011 08:46

WIN an Interior Design visit and ÂŁ50 of Little Greene Paint That room you've been longing to change is now within your grasp. With expert help from our Interior Design Service. We can help find your perfect wallpaper, turn just the right fabric into beautiful drapes and blinds (in our own workroom, truly Made in Marple) plus paint for modern life in Little Greene's ULTIMATT TM To enter simply log on to and select Cheshire competition page. Entries close 30th September 2011 T&C apply. Harmony Decor No.4 Market Street, Stockport SK6 7AD Opening times: 9.15-5.00 Mon to Sat. Evenings & Sundays by appointment. t: 0161 427 3415 e:

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25/08/2011 13:10

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47 23/08/2011 18:42

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23/08/2011 18:45

homes & gardens

they’re hot hot hot

Once in a while a ‘vital’ new kitchen appliance comes along which changes the face of cooking. Trend-setters buy it, their friends admire it and immediately want one, kitchen designers and chefs recommend it and eventually it becomes a ‘must have’ in every kitchen...


oiling water taps are one of those rare ‘must haves’. This simple, ultra safe idea immediately renders kettles out of date and takes kitchens a giant leap forward. Although new to the UK, over 100,000 kitchens in Europe already depend on their instant boiling water tap.

Safety: Thousands of accidents, many involving young children (Source RoSPA), occur everyday in the kitchen. A boiling tap is securely mounted, has a child-proof push and turn handle and the water is dispensed in a fine mist rather than a solid jet.

So why do you need one?

Technology: Fresh water flows into a small tank in a cupboard beneath your sink, the water is heated under mains pressure to 110oc and is purified, the high temperature guarantees its sterility. The water cools off to 100oc as it flows out of the tap and starts to boil. When the water comes into contact with your tea or coffee it is at the ideal temperature of 93oc. If the entire tank of water is used at once it takes 10-15 minutes to reheat.

The short answer is you don’t need an elegant tap which dispenses instant steaming hot water and cold filtered water at the flick of a lever, however once you have one you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it! An obvious use is making a quick, energy saving cup of tea but what about filling the pasta pan, blanching vegetables, heating plates, preparing baby milk, peeling tomatoes and much, much more? Efficiency: A boiling water tap heats up exactly the amount of water you need with energy consumption of just 3p per day. Based on an average household usage of 10 cups per day, your steaming hot water tap is approximately 20% less expensive to operate than a standard electric kettle when heating water.

75129_49 TAPS page.indd 49

Maintenance: Every 5 years the filter cartridge should be replaced, depending on the water quality in your area with any limescale being removed at the same time. This can be carried out by yourself or your plumber.

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23/08/2011 18:50

homes & gardens


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24/08/2011 14:07

homes & gardens

Graceful napkin ring the

If your table is too small for a flower arrangement, floral napkin rings could be the solution...


, als: Allium, Anthurium Gather the materi um sa, Typha leaf, Alli Ro d ere flow e larg a e, adhesive tape, schubertii, knife, glu napkin. a and d oar db strip of car


Cut narrow strips off the Typha leaf and remove the flowers from the Allium schubertii. Wind both loosely around the Hosta leaf.

75129_53 NAPKIN RINGS editorial HP.indd 53

Step2 Glue Hosta and Anthurium around the cardboard tube.

Step4 Glue the loose rose petals around the stem of the Anthurium and glue the Allium nigrum florets to these.


53 23/08/2011 19:00

homes & gardens

from the



It is a common question this time of year

"how do I brighten up my garden?"


o often gardeners become excited by the arrival of spring and consequently fill their gardens with spring and early summer colour, leaving the borders looking slightly tired around the edges by August. The inclusion of a few key late-summer flowering plants will make a huge difference to brightening up the garden, especially as Indian Summers seem to be becoming more and more common. Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ has masses of tall, blue flowers, which add movement and dynamism into the border. The blue colour looks even more fantastic if used in a planting scheme with Rudbekia ‘Goldstrum’. Another useful summer shrub is Cistus, the Rock Rose, which is not only covered by successional blooms, but some varieties (e.g. ‘Silver Pink’) have lovely silver tinted, evergreen leaves. For a larger, back of border plant, nothing can beat Buddleja davidii varieties, with their fantastic cone shaped flowers. A tip that we use to prolong the Butterfly Bush’s season even further is to prune in late April or May, setting back its flowering time well into August. Mixing summer flowering shrubs through your borders, along with herbaceous plants such as Verbena bonariensis, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, and Agapanthus africanus, means that your borders will provide a wealth of colour and interest as the summer continues - enjoy!

Goscote Nurseries

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24/08/2011 15:58

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homes & gardens

Get ready for the Revolution Carl Benfield of Prescient Power Ltd introduces us to the renewable energy revolution.

In this issue he explains biomass – how burning wood can save the planet…


hose ‘in the know’ will realise biomass can be used to generate electricity, but that is a whole different ball game which we will not be discussing. Some renewable energy technologies have been around for hundreds of years, but have been adapted to the modern era. With biomass, this stretches to thousands of years, because biomass as described here, is essentially just burning wood! You may not think there is much technology to this, but combustion is in fact a very tricky science to get right and boffins have spent many years trying to get the maximum energy from it whilst minimising waste and harmful emissions. Initially, and perhaps most importantly, we’ll start with the fuel. For industrial scale production this can be fast-growing willow or miscanthus, but may also be slower growing trees which are used for traditional lumber applications. The wood can be turned into sawdust and then compressed into pellets or wood chips. Of course logs can also be used, but this is more labour intensive for the consumer.

Biomass boilers will be floormounted and need around five times as much space as a gas or oil boiler, plus extra space for storage of the fuel. This makes them unsuitable for many smaller homes, but ideal for dwellings in rural areas which are not on mains gas. The wood fuel is stored in a hopper. The fuel is automatically fed from the hopper to the boiler by an auger (a bit like a corkscrew, which slowly turns), feeding a small amount at a time. By varying the feed rate and the amount of air allowed to enter the boiler, the heat can be turned up or down to match the need. An excellent benefit with biomass is that it is effectively a ‘one for one’ replacement for a conventional boiler. It will provide hot water and/or domestic heating and will have a similar maintenance regime. Is It Expensive? Generally you should expect to pay up to ten times the price for a biomass boiler than a conventional gas or oil boiler. However, once you consider how you have suddenly become resilient to increasing

oil prices and have looked at the renewable heat incentive (see below), things start to look a whole lot more attractive. In the summer of 2010, the government introduced the RHI scheme, for heat generation. Currently you will get paid 9p for every kilowatt-hour (unit) of heat you produce, for the first 15 years of the installation. The expectation is that the fuel will be more costly so that it will not be worth turning on your boiler and opening your windows, so this effectively acts like a fuel subsidy. Is It Worth It? Burning wood is seen as carbon-neutral. In a few short years, the wood is grown, taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere which is then released when burnt - hence no change. This is in contrast to burning fossil fuels which have trapped carbon for millions of years. Installing renewable energy is one more thing you can do to help protect our environment for future generations; it can also save you money which has got to be worth it! | | t: 01213 451399

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23/08/2011 19:19

homes & gardens

impressive Few people familiar with the pretty Cheshire village of Marple Bridge can have failed to notice the changes which have been taking place to an old building in the village centre...


he former shop and gallery of artist Sally Brown – a building which is believed to date to at least the 17th century and which has been a wool shop, tripe shop and sweet shop in years gone by – has recently undergone extensive development. Now the building has become the new offices of its developers, MPS Construction, and has been recommended for a special Conservation Award by Stockport Borough Council.

When MPS (who share the office with web design service, Drooling Frog) took over the building it was found to be structurally unstable and required extensive rebuilding. A focal point of the Marple Bridge Conservation Area all the work has now been completed in line with Conservation requirements, using traditional materials and the services of a local stone mason. From being a semi-derelict building its future is now secure. A brand new office-plan suite, with high specification two-bedroom flat on the first floor, should see the building well into the 21st Century. Company director Matthew Sharp commented: “the shop has been a focal point in Marple Bridge for many years. It is also an important part of village history. We wanted the building to blend into the local environment and demonstrate that a tired old building can be brought back to life. We also hope that it will encourage others who are thinking about redeveloping buildings in the village centre to do so in a wellconsidered way so that they fit well to | Matthew Sharp | t: 0161 449 9905

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the Marple Bridge landscape”. Electrical work for the development has been carried out by another local company, NM Electrical, specialist in energy efficient lighting, whose work is of an exceptional standard. The building work has, of course, been undertaken by MPS themselves. As well as construction this local contractor offers design, building and project management services with a team of professionals and tradesmen who have a particular interest in conservation work. MPS also has a sister company MPS Green Energy which is currently in the process of attaining MCB accreditation to carry out photovoltaic solar panel installations which are now eligible to benefit from Power Company Feed-in Tariffs. So, if you have a building project in mind, or require any other services available, feel free to call in at the office at 69 Lower Fold, Marple Bridge to discuss your plans and at the same time take a look around the new building for yourselves. | Nick McCormack | t: 01625 262 799

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Joinery & Building Contractors

High class joinery & building by local time served tradesmen

All aspects of joinery & building work undertaken l Extensions l General Alterations l Full Refurbishments l l Roofing l Plastering l Kitchens and Bathrooms l l Windows, Doors & Conservatories l Call Steve for a quote or friendly advice - Mob: 07872 901 171 Tel: 0161 292 3447

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23/08/2011 19:30

homes & gardens

‘the beacon builder’

discusses how to find the perfect builder...


here are many types of builders and navigating your way around the ‘not so great’ can be very difficult. You won’t find a builder who says “I used to work in a call centre but decided it wasn’t for me, so I bought a van and decided to do building work as I like going to B&Q at weekends!” Believe me they are out there. Most builders will tell you how wonderful they are and how quickly and cheaply they can do your work. They only have one chance to secure the work and unfortunately will tell you exactly what you want to hear. By the time they’ve started the job it may already be too late. With a little forward planning I can help you avoid the most common problems. Plan for your works: Once you’ve decided on what you wish to have done, compile a list in detail with sizes, shapes and any information to explain fully what you want, source pictures from magazines and take photographs of similar works. Use an architect or builder to compile a ‘Bill of Quantities’ (a breakdown of the works in detail) which can then be issued to all the builders you require quotations from. This will enable you to make exact comparisons. Recommendations are always good and all reputable builders will have no problem in allowing you to see their most recent work. This is a chance to view how clean and tidy they are and speak with the customer. Be wary of builders who don’t have any recent work to view or who cannot provide a list of at least 2 or 3 satisfied customers. If you don’t have a recent recommendation then try to use a builder who is affiliated to an organisation such as The Federation of Master Builders or The National Federation of Builders Once you’ve shortlisted 2/3 builders, provide them with your drawings and a list of works. Then allow 7-14 days for them to return a quotation, all good builders will be busy most of the time but should be get back to you

75129_63 BEACON BUILDER+ad.indd 63

within two weeks. All builders should provide you with a quotation, payment terms and details of the duration of the work. From this information you should be able to choose your builder. Before starting: Make sure you get a copy of the builder’s insurance, agree a start date and finish date in writing along with payment terms. Good builders will be able to offer ‘Minor Works Contracts’ for even more peace of mind.

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25/08/2011 09:28

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65 24/08/2011 13:12

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23/08/2011 19:41


money magnet

be a You too can

K ath e r i n e M a c f ar l ane t al k s t o cas h g ur u M ari e- Cl ai re C a r l yl e to f i n d out her mo ney mak ing s ecrets. . .


oney - we all need it and the vast majority of us would like to have more. But how do you feel about money? Is it a vulgar word that isn’t mentioned in polite company or do you feel you deserve every penny you get? Marie-Claire Carlyle, a former sales director from Chester, has used her own business experience to become a highly successful transformational coach. Her ideas in her book “How to Become a Money Magnet” are aimed at anyone who would like more money in their lives but don’t know where to start. This is especially true for small businesses, new and old.

Marie-Claire tells thebeacon... “small business owners need to take responsibility for their reality. It’s too easy to blame the shortfalls of your business on the economy, the government or your clients. Taking responsibility puts you back in the driving seat of your own life so you can create the life you want. My tops tips for small business owners are; know your accounts - how much money is coming in and how much is going out? Meet with your accountant, get real with your business and then you can move it forward. Have a financial target; write down how much money you want and by what date. You may not achieve it but you’ll achieve more than if you didn’t have a target. Finally, make sure you are really committed to your business,

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don’t cling on to a business just because you’ve always done it. If you are thinking of starting your own business, be clear about what you want, do something that excites you and that you are passionate about. Don’t go into it just for the money. Remember to ask for help, there are many people out there wanting to help with finance, creativity or can give you skills you’ll need. Business has changed , nowadays you need to be open to different ways of doing it. Look for complimentary businesses that you can pair up with don’t think you have to do it all yourself. That’s exhausting.”

There is one thing that Marie-Claire advises you can do right now... “Clear your clutter, whether it’s at home, in your office or your accounts, spend some time just clearing it all out. Even the people you mix with - if you’re with people who are saying ‘poor me’ all the time that will have an impact on you and you deserve better.” It’s easy to see why Marie-Claire has become so successful; her enthusiasm and passion about what she does, her ability to share her experience with others, so that they too can be successful, is infectious. ‘How to be a Money Magnet” by Marie-Claire Carlyle published by Hay House £8.99 Pictures by Shesnaps Photography

67 24/08/2011 16:00


Getting the most

.. from your marketing budget.

We all understand the importance of promoting our businesses and we have a variety of advertising and marketing options available to us, but how can we guarantee we are getting the most out of our chosen activity and how do we know if our campaigns are working for us and if our budget is being spent effectively?


arketing campaigns need to be sophisticated and any money spent needs to be returned in revenue. Nowhere is this more true than in a small business, where budgets can be tight and every penny has to work hard. It can be difficult to effectively track your campaigns and understand what is working for you, potential customers often can't recall where they heard about you and your staff have little time to waste questioning them, especially when they have other calls waiting and work to be getting on with. Your limited resources can leave many of the calls generated unanswered, wasting opportunities and distorting your evaluation of your marketing campaigns. Weekend and evenings are prime times for missed calls. When the weekend comes and customers are free and ready to do business your offices are shut, they get no response and the moment has gone! Moreover, with websites becoming the new shop front for small businesses, making your business accessible 24/7. Without phone booking and order support throughout the night and weekend many of your prospective

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customers can only window shop and will quickly lose interest. For large companies an easy way to become more accessible is to hire additional staff and develop their own 24 hour call centre, but for small businesses or self employed professionals the time and expense of recruitment is prohibitive. Many resort to mobile phones as a solution and are resigned to the fact that midnight wake up calls are a necessary evil! But first impressions count. The first few seconds of a client call defines their opinion of your brand and mobiles can make it difficult to present a professional image. The background noise or loss of signal can make conversations unclear and you can be limited in the details you can record when out and about. Prospects can get the impression you are disorganised or disinterested and if you are unable to pick up immediately or your phone diverts to voice-mail you are likely to lose the prospect to a competitor who is more responsive. One possible solution is to divert your calls to a call answering service. Your calls can be answered around the clock by professional operators. Your brochure requests can be fulfilled, orders processed, appointments booked, questions answered and full messages taken for you to follow up at your convenience without any interruption to you and your busy team. A call answering service could also provide dedicated phone numbers for each and every one of your campaigns and a variety of reports to tell you the demographics of your callers, the times they call and what they usually request - invaluable information for evaluating your campaigns and understanding what works. A call answering service is a cost effective way of ensuring none of your hard earned cash spent on marketing is wasted and you are getting the enquiries, responses and new business your hard work deserves.

24/08/2011 08:55

Whatever, wherever, whenever, your phones are always answered alldayPA telephone answering services mean that regardless of your whereabouts you will always be open for business. Whether you are busy with work or taking a well earned break, with alldayPA you will never miss call.Your own local PA will remotely answer your phones 24/7, as though based in your office - so you don’t have to be.

Call 0161 920 6646 to set up your alldayPA account today and never miss an important call again. Quote Beacon to receive your money back guarantee.* 0161 920 6646

*If you do not see the value of our service after two weeks, alldayPA will cancel your account and give you a refund on all costs incurred up to ÂŁ200.00

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29/7/11 17:35:54

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take care of your advertising needs... the beacon provides perfect combination of a high quality lifestyle magazine with a highly successful platform for local and national advertising.


01663 763355 and quote thebeacon

Also contact us if you are looking to buy a quality used car Open Monday - Saturday

Packed full of articles about lifestyle choices, fashion, health & beauty, entertainment, property, interior design, motoring, travel, recipes, culture and facinating interviews. Bespoke door to door distribution throughout the East Cheshire area, from the edge of the Peak District including Strines, Marple, Marple Bridge, Mellor, Disley, High Lane, Poynton, Woodford, Bramhall, Cheadle Hulme, Prestbury, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow.

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Contact us to book your space in the next issue of thebeacon magazine! Call Viv on 07929 279371 e: or visit

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25/08/2011 10:09


Electric avenue

thebeacon magazine's motoring columnist, Andrew Wright reviews the Nissan Electric Leaf - 2011 World Car of the Year


n outward appearance, Nissan’s Leaf is fairly conventional. It sits somewhere between a hatchback and mini MPV, happily transporting up to five people in its light, airy interior. Pressing the keyless button start is almost an anti-climax, the only signs of life are the illuminated instruments and some beeps. Direction is selected by pushing something akin to a robot’s knee cap where a conventional gear lever would sit and it’s time for the off! Aside from the charging process and almost silent running, it is just like driving any other automatic hatchback: very easy. All the standard controls are present and it is the information in front of the driver which acts as sole reminder of the alternative method of propulsion. Certainly, it is difficult not to be drawn to the range indicator, knowing I had little choice where to charge the Leaf meant that I deliberately retained a significant buffer 'just in case'. To help counter some range concerns, the navigation

system cleverly displays available range in real time using a halo around the car's current location. The inherent problem is that with varied traffic and road conditions, predicted range doesn’t always translate into real miles (I managed to knock off 20 miles in less than five miles of real motorway). On the road, it’s oddly quiet with only gentle wind noise and a slight tyre rumble. Handling is competent, aided by the low position of the battery packs for stability. Power is to the front wheels via an 80 kW (110 hp) motor, 210 lb ft torque provides strong pull right up to motorway speeds despite a kerb weight exceeding one-and-a-half tonnes. Top speed is 95 mph – and in theory it’s the same in reverse (Halford’s car park wasn’t large enough to try this out)! Brakes are efficient although lacking the feel of the standard vacuum-enhanced variety and the steering allows easy positioning of the vehicle although with an absence of self-centring action. Recommended for home charging,

higher current ‘domestic sockets’ using the standard three pin plug but rated at 30A (like the feed to an electric oven) taking about 8 hours to charge the Leaf fully. Nissan's suggested use of standard household 13A sockets is really just a back-up method for occasional charging, taking 10-12 hours. Special 450V three phase outlets (initially available at accredited Nissan dealers) will bring the vehicle to 80% of charge in about half an hour. In variable conditions, the Leaf’s range is quoted at just over 70 miles and therefore isn’t currently a solution to fit all requirements. Nor is it cheap at £25,990 (including the £5,000 government grant), although some of this should be offset with charging at around £2 and over £1,500 per annum saved for those paying daily congestion charges in the capital. So if range isn’t important or the Leaf is to be a second 'commute-only' car, NIssan offer an attractive option worth considering - give it a try!

Andrew writes for, the motoring industry and various magazines. His motoring passions cover all vehicular genres; in addition to his love of modern motors, he also runs a couple of classic British cars.

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71 24/08/2011 16:02


discover... aldives The M

Be prepared for complete relaxation!


o need to search for it - in the Maldives, relaxation is more or less naturally thrust upon you! Imagine a holiday where the normal stresses of everyday life effortlessly melt away into a paradise of pure soft white sand and crystal clear turquoise lagoons. Where your most pressing decision is pool or beach; beer or cocktail? At first sight from the air, the islands appear to be part of an alien landscape. A world of water punctuated by a myriad of islands. Circular outcrops of lush greenery, each surrounded by a turquoise rim, like tropical freckles on a skin of ocean. The Maldives are a chain of 26 coral atolls consisting of around 1200 islands situated 400 miles southwest of the southern tip of India in the Indian Ocean. Of these islands, only 200 are inhabited and around 150 of these are holiday resorts. Each of these islands is a selfcontained resort ranging from natural, tropically simple and informal to sharp contemporary luxury. Some are small enough to walk around in 10 minutes, others are larger with a range of facilities and several bars and restaurants. Arriving at Malé airport is pretty straight forward. With a minimum of fuss, one is soon ready for transfer to your chosen island paradise. The outer islands are reached by a spectacular

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sea plane ride, but many can be reached by a short speedboat trip. The 3 and 4 star resorts tend to be bigger islands, the resort of Vilamendhoo for example has a putting green, tennis courts, spa, 184 rooms, 5 restaurants and even a football pitch! My personal favourite in this category is Kuramathi. A superbly designed 4 star resort with a wide range of well appointed accommodation. It has several bars, restaurants and swimming pools, all contained within an elongated island that takes all of 30 minutes to walk from one end to the other. At the other end of the scale, there is Maafushivaru, a tiny island but beautifully put together. Only 500 metres in length, the resort is the very epitome of a desert island hideaway. Its 50 rooms are chic, sharp and contemporary, an example of barefoot luxury. Some islands like Huvafenfushi and Baros are just impossibly luxurious. Huvafenfushi in particular is simply stunning. Follow sand paths from beautiful palm thatched bungalows to the only underwater spa in the Maldives where the 360° panoramic window looks straight into a world of coral and tropical fish. Having chosen an island, the decision then is the type of accommodation to go for. For many people, the thought of

going to the Maldives inspires dreams of staying in a water villa, whilst not unique to the Maldives, the islands are certainly well known for this type of accommodation. These are effectively hotel rooms built on stilts over water and afford guests direct access into the lagoon with unrestricted views over the ocean and of course, an incredible vista of sunrise or sunset. However, I personally feel that there is nothing to beat waking up in your own beach villa, walking across your decked patio onto a pristine white beach, passing a couple of palm trees and into a warm crystal clear sea. Whatever your choice, all the islands have some of the most spectacular snorkeling and diving anywhere in the world, most have their own reef, a dive school and expert tuition on hand. All are islands where normal superlatives become meaningless when confronted with a location described by many as heaven on earth. All are places where mind, body and spirit can regenerate and recharge. Some say that it’s not possible to relax totally – but the Maldives may just make it impossible not to!

Phil Van Roose e:

24/08/2011 08:57

a good level of service is what today’s landlords want more than ever

The Estas awards, the Baftas of the estate agent industry were hosted by property expert Phil Spencer from Channel 4’s Location Location Location, in April. He announced this year’s winners at a lavish ceremony in London. Phil said “All agents have to drive standards higher, raising the bar in terms of the quality of advice offered and the level of customer service they deliver and the ESTAS help to do just that!”. Small Letting Agent Medics on the Move (Stockport & South Manchester) was shortlisted as a TOP 10 Letting Agent in its first year of business in the North-West Region of the Estate & Letting Agent Awards. Annabelle Robinson, owner of Medics on the Move, said “I am delighted and surprised at this achievement in my first year of business. We take our levels of customer service very seriously because we know clients have a choice. We have always been very proud of the personal service we provide so this is great way to demonstrate how good we really are.”

the beacon were delighted to speak to Annabelle, to ask what makes her customer service business successful...

Why a lettings company? I have 15 years experience of working at a senior level for a Housing Association managing a large number of properties and decided that I would put my knowledge and expertise into setting up my own property business and try to fill a gap in the market.

What makes you different to the high street? Our commitment is to providing an excellent customer service to both landlords and tenants. We pride ourselves on offering a bespoke personal service and always delivering on our promises.  We manage a relatively small number of properties compared to the high street enabling us to give, a greater commitment, ensuring that our tenants and landlords receive

75129_73 MEDICS_Advtorial.indd 73

the service they are paying for. For example I always visit my tenants regularly and send a report to the landlord detailing the condition the property is being kept in, I never miss a visit!

Which area do you work? Across Greater Manchester and Cheshire

What services do you offer? • Tenant Find Only • Full managment service Combination of the two plus: • Project management of refurbishment works • Buy time (being available for home deliveries, tv installations etc) • Property Search – for rental, purchase or buy-to-let investment

What do your current customers think of your service? I have had many words of thanks here is an example: Testimonial “I invited Annabelle and another agent to market my home for rent late in 2010. I chose to use Annabelle's services as she seemed to have a very good understanding of my needs and also experience in managing properties, from her previous background. Annabelle has been efficient and professional in her dealings with me and the tenants of my house, and I feel reassured by her approach to her work. I would not hesitate to recommend Annabelle's services to others. Meena Modi, landlord" Good service and listening to your customers needs is the key, congratulations on your nomination.

73 24/08/2011 16:02


quality & service al property market in the rent

Service is paramount for the success of any business and this is no different in the lettings industry. Experienced, service-aware personnel are required to provide the same level of customer care for landlords and tenants alike. I have heard so many complaints from new customers that they have been let down in some way by previous agents. They become frustrated with the poor service they receive from the agent and need their confidence rebuilding. Problems with service include poor response times, poor workmanship and over charging. Customer led letting agents are trying to reverse this trend by raising the service profile and training staff in the delivery of exemplary customer care. The lettings industry continues to grow in the current economic climate and landlords want to see a return on their own property whilst having an agent they can rely on. Improvements in technology continue to facilitate improvements in customer care; the letting agent should be

‘always available’. Website portals, letting agent websites and local interest magazines have taken over from traditional weekly newspaper advertising, but more and more are using handheld devices (smart phones or ipads) to keep abreast of movements in the property market. With the average ‘let time’ of a property (from first vacant to being taken off the market) now at just a few days, the advantages of instant access to news of vacant properties, are self-evident. (A reliable agent will also contact his clients immediately after a property becomes available.) It makes sense to equip all staff with iPhones or Blackberrys which can handle the immediacy of the market. This allows the service-oriented agent to operate without the huge overheads of a high street shop which have been the downfall of many ‘would-be’ new agents. Thinking of selling? With house prices at an all time low and the demand for rental properties high, maybe it would be prudent to consider letting your property with a reliable, service focused agent until the market conditions improve.

Mike Cheyne | Cheyne Lettings | | 01663 766824

TBG Inspection Services (Electrical Contractors)

ELECTRICIAN Part P Registered Domestic & Commercial M E Beese I Eng M IET, M CMI Full Scope All Electrical Systems

ALL WORK IS GUARANTEED AND INSURED TRADING STANDARDS APPROVED • Domestic houses (extensions, conversions, new builds etc) •Commercial,shops, offices, clubs, warehouses, farm, stables. •Landlords Inspections,maintenance services,callouts. •Rewires and replacement consumer units. •Garden lighting and power, garages and outbuildings. •Alarms, security and fire, emergency lights, security lights. •Inspections and test reports for insurance, house purchases. CRB Checked, No job Too small

07976 893528 0161 285 6348 Areas covered by this publication

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24/08/2011 07:59


find you a tenant prepare your agreement

manage your property take the stress out of letting

Put your property in safe hands – call us on

01663 766 824

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75 23/08/2011 19:53

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