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yattar yattar









Yattars Yuletide Gifts GREAT OFFERS FOR YOU – SEE PAGE 38

Holiday treats

Ten pages of delicious winter food & recipes




CHESTER ZOO ★ FREE GYM MEMBERSHIP ★ BEAUTY TREATMENTS worth £500! Visit our new website:


Ruthin School Taster Days

Come and experience a typical working day at Ruthin School with one of our ‘Taster Days’. Entrance\Scholarship Exams

Carol Service St Peter’s Church

9.00am on Saturday 21st January

7.00pm on Thursday 8th December

University Applications This year sees 17 of our 33 students in Upper Sixth apply to either Oxford, Cambridge or Medicine courses. We are hopeful that they will achieve success as their recent AS Level module results demonstrated that they are on track to achieve at least 3 A* grades each in their A Levels at the end of this academic year. The remaining students are applying to a range of universities, mostly those ranked in the top 20 in the UK. A small number will apply to the USA targeting Ivy League institutions (Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth).

Education Business Award Ruthin School has been shortlisted for the final of the Education Business Awards (, in the category Independent School – Outstanding Progress. The nomination and shortlisting are a result of dramatic financial and academic improvement over the past 3 years (for example, in 2006 our league table position in the Times was 440, in 2010 it was 49 and it is now 31).

Catering and Cleaning After many years of using a third-party catering and cleaning firm, Ruthin School has decided to bring this aspect in-house. This means that local suppliers can now be used for the purchasing of food and other products. With this change, we anticipate a marked improvement to the quality of our food and we are delighted to be working with the local community to ensure high quality products are provided to our pupils and staff.

For enquiries, and to arrange a free taster day, telephone 01824 702543

yattar yattar* MAGAZINE

Editor: Stephanie Booth Publisher: Dan Bromage Assistant Editor: Cazz Jones Feature Writer: Jane Redfern Jones Art Editor: Julie Gagen Production Editor: Thomas Gagen

If you would like to work for Yattar Yattar, please get in touch on the numbers below or send an email to: Photography: DK Images,, Google Images, Press Loft, Ludlow Food Centre, J. McKinney Contributors: Lynne Allbutt, Sarah Griffiths, Sam Evans, Rosie Dunnage, Lucy Tubbs, Helene Cook, Gloria Mans, Jeremy Lamond, Carrie Topham, J. McKinney & Tom Hunt.

GET IN TOUCH Editorial:, telephone: 01978 813 035 Advertising:, telephone: 01978 813 035 Yattar Yattar, Brillybox Publishing & Media Ltd, CDC Distribution Centre, Unit 13, Vauxhall Industrial Estate, Ruabon, Wrexham LL14 6HA. Telephone: 01978 813 035


Publishing & Media™



In these days of economic problems, isn’t it nice that while other publishers are increasing the price of their magazines, we still keep Yattar Yattar free to all! However, copies do go quickly from Sainsbury’s, Tesco, your local high street and all our other stockists, so if you or a friend have difficulty obtaining a copy (although we are in over 500 outlets), you can receive a copy direct by post by simply filling in the subscription application on page 92. Bulging postbags mean that we have been unable to answer every letter we receive but congratulations to the winners of our competition names of whom are published on page 95! Well done, hope you enjoy your well-deserved prizes. Winter may be with us but in this issue you will find many articles of interest to read in front of the fire, gift ideas, things to do and see, winter wildlife, advice for New Year resolutions, discount deals, great ideas for food and drink and if that is not enough why not visit our website to view previous issues. I am filming a programme for Channel 4 about banks, since my own experience so many people have contacted me with similar experiences. Come on coalition, open a not-for-profit national bank that invests in the people and businesses of the UK and do not operate like casinos! We, the common people, who pay taxes deserve better. We have a world in chaos, where youngsters cannot get a job or afford to buy a house, where we spend billions on far away wars whilst we have pensioners unable to afford to heat their Calling homes and struggle to live on £100 a week. all writers! We need to make Britain great again, a truly democratic ny If you have a society where we look after the less fortunate, the old and ould stories you w lished, infi rm. Our lives, at an average 80 years, is so brief, and ub like to see p h by uc to many of us fail to leave a lasting legacy – so go on, join a get in rial@ email: edito local community group and be part of improving society for yattaryattar.c the benefit of future generations. I wish you seasonal greetings and truly hope 2012 proves to be a happy healthy year for A HISTORY OF SLEDS – DID YOU KNOW? you and yours. •In the UK, ‘sled’, ‘sleigh’ and ‘sledge’ all mean the same thing – a land vehicle for snow, grass or even stones. •A sled has runners, whereas toboggans don’t! •Modern sledding started in the Alps in the 1870’s, from which we get Olympic sports like the Bobsled.

Kindest regards,



Brillybox Publishing is an exciting new venture! Combining more years’ experience than we’d care to count across publishing, editorial, design, print, marketing and PR, we’re here to breathe new life into regional publishing. We are a not for profit publishing operation, giving back to local businesses some much-needed support for their advertising and public relations. ISSN 2042-8588 Origination by Suburbia Design, 01978 861663. Printed by Acorn Web Offset Ltd. Distribution by Self Select Distribution, Caron Promotions and North Wales Tourism. YATTAR YATTAR is published quarterly by Brillybox Publishing & Media Ltd. Every effort is made to ensure that the information and advice contained in these articles is correct and appropriate, but no responsibility for loss or damage occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action in reliance on or as a result of anything omitted from such articles can be, or is accepted by, the authors, the publishers, their employees or any other persons connected with Brillybox Publishing & Media Ltd. Save as expressively permitted by law no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written authority of Brillybox Publishing & Media Ltd. © 2011 Brillybox Publishing & Media Ltd, all rights reserved. Registered Number: 7725045.

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Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 3

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yattar yattar*

contents MAGAZINE

7 Letters

87 Professional Health Care

Your letters and our editor’s replies, including poet’s corner and Don Quixote!

The common cold explained, the snoring husband and keyhole surgery.

10 What’s On

92 Subscribe Today!

25 pages of great events in your area for all the family this holiday

And receive a year’s worth of this great magazine posted to your home!

34 A Traditional Christmas

93 Celebrity Astrologer

Traditions of old and legends untold!

Your stars for Christmas and the New Year – what does the future hold for you?

38 Yattar Yattar’s Yuletide Gifts Amazing offers for our local readers.


42 Winter Wildlife Pack the turkey sandwiches and enjoy the best wildlife walks in your area!

A penguin encounter at Chester zoo, a year’s free gym membership and £500 of skin care treatments!

46 From the Horses Mouth!

96 Puzzle Time!

Our new column about owning a horse

The perfect coffee-break conundrum

47 Give the Dog a Bone Festive treats: do they do more harm than good?

48 The Year of the Hobby Take up a new hobby this year and challenge yourself to something new!

53 Homes and Gardens Buying a rug, January sales and the antiques advice

98 Yattar On Why on earth do we turn the clocks back in Winter?


42 26


Three fa n prizes fo tastic r yo to win! u See p9



57 Home Heating Don’t be left out in the cold this winter! Expert advice from the professionals


59 Meet The Chef Meet David Rowlands, who’s travelled the UK and Europe as head chef

62 Kid’s Corner Gymnastics, round-the-clock childcare and great gift ideas

66 Food Glorious Food! Ten pages of recipes, great restaurant reviews and a cookery school

76 Winter wardrobe Find the perfect party dress and get some top advice from our style guru

79 Angela Jay


Our new Heart FM column with hot gossip from the stars

80 Health and beauty Winter blues, self-help recordings and top winter tips!

68 Lynne Allbut Celebrity encounters, in with the shoe, and New Year’s Greetings

11 Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 5


Enjoy Shopping and Festive Family Activities this Christmas!

Christmas 2011

Bring the family to The Plassey throughout December and enjoy kids Christmas crafts, special Christmas discounts, unique gifts and a huge selection of Christmas trees and wreaths. Come along and enjoy all that The Plassey has to offer at this festive time of year!

Shopping Extravaganza Weekend � � � �

Meet Santa in his Grotto Edwardian Craft Fair Unique Gifts Traditional Fairground Rides

� � � �

Horse and Carriage Rides Christmas Lunches Kids Festive Crafts Christmas Trees and Wreaths

Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th December, 10.30am - 5.00pm

CHRISTMAS PROMOTIONS all December with this advert Temptations

10% OFF

Plassey Oaks Golf Complex Traditional out of the jar sweets

Lemon & Lime Lingerie

10% OFF

All Lingerie and holiday essentials

Home & Gifts

10% OFF

4 for 3 offer

On Pay & Play

Kerry Anne Dodd - Contemporary Jeweller

Eyton Framers

Cameo Brides

10% OFF

10% OFF All accessories

Worth £20 with every new/used computer

10% OFF

Crafting materials & knitted items

All glasses and designer eyewear


Plassey Personal Trainer Every 10 sessions booked in December with Gary

10% OFF All purchases over £5

10% OFF


Plassey Stores

10% OFF

Framed prints

Footsies (Garra Ruffa Fish Spa)

10% OFF

A Footsies spa treatment

The Plassey Shippon Restaurant

Future Eyes

10% OFF

10% OFF

Customers with this voucher spending £50 or more in December will be entered into a free prize draw to win £50 worth of prizes.

Derwen Computers

10% OFF All jewellery

Ladies fashions and accessories

10% OFF

Acre House Equestrian All cushions and throws

Internet Security Package FREE

Top Barn Crafts All Home & Gift items


Christmas trees and wreaths

10% OFF

The Christmas Lunch Menu

The Barn Boutique

10% OFF All ladies fashions Phil Rees Photography Print worth £70 or £100 FREE Framed album credit for wedding bookings.

The Stables Coffee Shop

The Plassey Beauty Studio

10% OFF Your total bill

Tropez or Murad 10% OFF Stretail products

Plassey Plants

The Plassey Hair Studio

10% OFF

Christmas trees & wreaths


Free miniature hair product with every colour treatment

For more information visit or call 01978 780277 The Plassey Craft and Retail Centre, Eyton, Wrexham, LL13 0SP


yattarchatter Your news, views and opinions are welcome – write to us at Yattar Yattar, Brillybox Publishing, CDC Distribution Centre, Unit 13, Vauxhall Industrial Estate, Ruabon, Wrexham LL14 6HA or email to We do not publish your full details and address, but they must be included in all submissions as we will not publish anonymous contributions.

I am delighted by the way our readers interact with us by letter and e-mail and am heartened by the increasing numbers who write in with constructive comments and questions. This is your magazine and your feedback is really appreciated. Stephanine Booth

★ ★

★ Star letter ★ Dear Editor,

Your article ‘Helpful Banking? I Don’t Think So’ was excellent. You explained your financial predicament in a nutshell; a situation seen all over the country. Your Comments are exactly what your readers are thinking but haven’t the story you have to accentuate the state of the British economy. I look forward to seeing your television series on Channel 4. J J OWEN, MOLD The article “Helpful Banking – I don’t think so” brought in a large postbag either agreeing or recounting their own stories of woe with various banks. Unfortunately I can only see things getting worse next year and the only answer would seem to be to nationalise them or at least RBS/ Natwest where we as tax payers own 84% so they could be made to help people and businesses out just as we did for them.

DO I NEED A LAWYER? After splitting up with my partner and leaving our jointly owned house, I am being sued for bills which he is running up and refusing to pay. Help! MISS G.R. WREXHAM

Hopefully you informed the utilities immediately when you moved out but it is best you seek professional legal advice. We use GMA (Geoffrey, Morris & Ashton) based in Wrexham for all legal advice. They are efficient and cheaper than others we have tried. Contact them on 01978-291322. Website is


I had been suffering with a virus for over a week but when I visited my GP he refused to prescribe antibiotics. As an NHS patient surely he can’t refuse me? MRS R. GRIFFITHS, ANGLESEY Any doctor will do what they think is in the best interests of your personal health and I am surprised that he did not explain why he declined to prescribe antibiotics. The simple answer is that antibiotics are of no use in treating either the common cold or some common viruses, so he must have decided that this was the case when he examined you. Everyone should avoid taking antibiotics except when absolutely necessary as we are becoming immune to them which is making the fight against virulent infections such as MRSA much less effective.

Dear all at Yattar Yattar, Thank you so very much for the wonderful holiday I won with Alfa Travel. The hotel, food, rooms, staff, entertainment and all the trips we had were fantastic, and Mrs Quayle and I both won at the bingo! What more could we wish for, this was the perfect holiday thanks to Yattar Yattar, we are so grateful! LOVE MRS ROBINA DAVIES.

DON QUIXOTE? Two days ago a meeting of people in this valley and the adjoining valleys, gathered together to protest about the proposed wind farm that will forever ruin our views and peace, not to mention the harm it will do to the wildlife etc. I was very impressed by the article in Yattar Yattar by Sarah Griffiths, and as you live in the valley Stephanie and will have your view and peace ruined I was wondering if you will join us in fighting these mindless people who force these ghastly wind turbines to be erected in our beautiful mountains. JUNE LISTER, CORWEN The whole business of tilting at windmills is a horrendously expensive non-solution to our carbon emissions. The two simple facts are they only work when the wind blows and you cannot store electricity so all other power stations have to be kept on line regardless. Meanwhile we are adding copious blots on our beautiful landscape. I think Sarah was right, build ten new nuclear power stations on isolated parts of our coastline (we do not have major earthquakes or tsunamis) and then we can stop being reliant on Russia and the Middle East for gas and oil and just import uranium from America and Australia who are our allies. MORE LETTERS Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 7


I am planning to remarry; it’s been some years since I got divorced but my two children say they will never speak to me if I do! My current partner has not been married before and is keen to do so. I seem to be in a no-win situation so what would you advise? SAMUEL PEAKS, BROMPTON

Letters sent to Yattar Yattar magazine may be edited due to space constraints

Your children are being extremely selfish, you gave them the gift of life and they will go on to marry whoever they want to, whether or not you approve. You only get one go at this life and it is vital that you enjoy the rest of your days happily with your new partner. Marrying your new partner will make her happy (and protect her from death duties should you die). If she is happy then you will be happy. I suggest you meet your children and explain that you are going to remarry and why. If they decide to break off contact then they are being unreasonable and selfish but my guess is that gradually they will come to accept it and reestablish contact especially if and when they have children of their own

Poet’s corner Onwards and up

The wind of change may well get cold, To compete we must be bold. Progressive men in our job will be The spearhead of the industry. Interest will focus on enterprises few, Channels more streamlined for paces anew. Method more efficient, machinery our slave, Together will advance like a tidal wave. There are a few men, who will throw ahead their spear, To build their seasons into a happy, and prosperous, New Year.

Poem sent in by Reg, who lives in Llangollen. Thanks Reg!

8 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

TALKING POINT Watching the water disappear

With most of the planet covered in water, albeit salty and undrinkable, how come we now face a shortage? In truth of course we shouldn’t as most of our freshwater runs into the sea but storing sufficient is difficult and most of it is in the wrong place. We humans have not helped by consuming vast amounts for agriculture and keeping our lawns green. Whilst Americans consume 575 litres of fresh water per person every day, the inhabitants of Mozambique get by on just four litres. In the UK we consume 149 litres per person daily and can be proud that is a lot less than the USA, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, Japan and most other developed countries. Driving around scenic North Wales you will see huge reservoirs that supply drinking water to the Midlands with even the Llangollen Canal water being used as a supply. But in our country most of the fresh water is available in the north and west, whilst the majority of consumption is in the south and east. Moving water over vast distances is inefficient with about 40% of it lost en route to the paying customer. We humans are made mostly of water, (over 70%) and while we can survive a long time without food we die in just a few days without water so ensuring the supply of clean drinking water and minimising waste would seem to be in our best interests. Paradoxically, the driest place on our planet is Antarctica which hasn’t seen a drop of rain in the last two million years because the air is too cold to carry moisture. Prolonged drought now threatens hydroelectric schemes in Australia, Brazil and other countries who rely on them for their electricity. Even the UK is registering water shortages regularly which lead to crop failure and a resultant hike in food prices. Again this year we see photos of near empty reservoirs after a dry spring. With this finite essential resource we would do well to conserve it – so never leave the tap running while you clean your teeth and share baths knowing that you have saved 40 gallons of this precious resource!



I would like to write an article for Yattar Yattar. How do I go about it? MS B WILD, CHESTER. Please be aware that as we are a not for profit magazine we do not pay freelance writers and contributors; so if you write for us, it will be for the love and not the money. The first step is to e-mail Dan Bromage (see contact

details on page 3) with a brief outline of the subject. He will then advise you whether it is a relevant project and give you a guide on how many words would be required, then you write it, submit it, and it will then be either accepted or rejected for publication. We do have many contributors who do it for the joy of seeing their article and name in print so I would urge everyone to have a go – if you have what it takes that is…

EXPLORE NORTH WALES IN COMFORT - BY TRAIN ! Our two narrow-gauge railways run through the very heart of the Snowdonia National Park and provide the perfect way to relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery - during a car-free, care-free journey in comfortable carriages complete with an ‘at-your-seat’ buffet service and on-train toilets. Trains run throughout the year with a daily service from late March to the end of October. There is always plenty to entertain the whole family, both on and around the railways - you can ride the trains all day, take a shorter trip to one of our many stations and explore local villages and countryside at your leisure before returning on a later train or visit us for one of our popular, ‘family-friendly’ special events. Train times and further information available on our website.

FFESTINIOG & WELSH HIGHLAND RAILWAYS Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd, LL49 9NF

01766 516024

Visit Santa on the Bala Lake Railway December 10th & 11th 2011 Visit our website or call 01678 540666 for details


open Easte

r our 40th year 012 fo 2 r e b r to Septem

Bala Lake Railway Ltd, The Station, Llanuwchllyn, Gwynedd LL23 7DD

WHAT’S ON IN NORTH WALES Take pART 7th – 8th January 2012

Take pART is the only free arts and literature event in North Wales. Held at the magnificent Venue Cymru, this showstopping event is now entering its third consecutive year. Held over two days, it will be bursting with workshops and drop-in sessions, and this year there will be an emphasis on participation – so get ready! Workshops include: Birmingham Stage Company’s Horrible Histories drama workshops, Rambert Dance Company dance workshops, ex ‘Marvel’ Editor Tim Quinn offers cartoon workshops, West End phenomenon Mark Evans will be on hand to offer his experience and expertise for any budding musical theatre stars, as well as performances from his new album The Journey Home. Graffiti artist Andy Birch will be there along plus there are beat-boxing and rap taster sessions with Ed Holden. There will be a photographic workshop, and Richard Evans will give you all the tips you require for being successful at acting auditions. Heart Radio will be there too – come along and hear how you would sound across the airwaves with Heart’s interactive studio. This will be a fun day out for all of the family with workshops for everyone to join in together. For more information on take pART please log on to

Santa Specials at Llangollen Steam Railway

December 2011 We called Santa’s press office and got an exclusive from the boss himself! Santa says: 'Hello children! Join me and my elves on-board Llangollen Railway’s Santa Special. We make a special visit every year to Llangollen to travel with you. The Chief Elf is already supervising the seasonal decorating of the carriages to an extremely high standard. We are looking forward to joining you on your decorated steam train which will transport you in style from Llangollen Station through the beautiful Dee Valley to Lapland. Each boy and girl will receive a special gift from me and my elves and of course I must not forget about the adults; they will be given a mince pie and some mulled wine by my special helpers. Don’t forget to wrap up warm! See you on board! Ho! Ho! Ho!’ Visit: for dates and booking information

10 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

10-16 NW What's On 2-1.indd 10

The Historic Mail Route

● 1st – 30th November St Marys Heritage Centre, Chester ● 20th December – 17th January Theatre Clwyd, Mold We are all used to posting a letter or card and it being delivered to its destination within a day or so. But how did our postal service start and how did it affect your local area? The historic mail route exhibition is an interesting and informative insight into the origins of the mail moute in North Wales. It tracks the history of the London to Holyhead horse-powered mail route; from its creation with the horseback post boys through to the horse-drawn coaches and the perils they faced to its demise at the dawn of the steam trains. The Northop Heritage Group is a small voluntary, non profit organisation which promotes the history and heritage of Northop, Flintshire. In researching the impact of the Historic HH Mail Coach service on our village, the information collected was so extensive and of such quality, that with the support of the Royal Mail and Cadwyn Clwyd the Group created this fabulous exhibition. For more information go email and online to:


For more great activities to do this winter, go to page 30 and read ‘Winter Wonders’

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18/11/2011 12:06

GreenWood in the New Year!

Reopens mid March 2012 (also open February half-term 11th-19th, 2012) Your favourite North Walian theme park reopens for the new season in February 2012, even though that may be a little way off yet, there is still much to say in anticipation for such a joyous re-opening! Greenwood Forest Park is situated in the foothills of majestic Snowdonia National Park and is reputed to be ‘the family adventure park like no other’. All the rides and activities at this unique eco-attraction have been designed for fun with a difference – you provide the energy! From the famous 'Green Dragon' – the world’s first people-powered rollercoaster – to the therapeutic 'BareFoot Trail', GreenWood is an all-weather family experience that you’ll never forget. With magicians and pirates, face painting and craft making, who knows what fun you’ll find at the end of the next leafy trail? All the major rides and activities are included in the admission price, so once you pay you can play all day. Happy Green Year one and all!

The Plassey – A traditional Christmas craft fair and shopping extravaganza weekend!

10th – 11th December 2011, 10.30am until 5.00pm The Plassey is a multi-award winning and beautiful Leisure Park is set in 247 acres of magnificent park and woodland in the Dee Valley, near to the picturesque villages of Overton and Bangor-On-Dee. The Plassey has been privately owned and managed for over 50 years by the Brookshaw family and they have developed the former dairy farm's land and buildings into the luxury Leisure Park which consists of: a craft and retail centre (featuring 25 independent shops), a touring caravan park with heated swimming pool, nature tails and golf course. It is a hit with customers and tourists alike all year round but with the added bonus of the Christmas fair this December, it’s most definitely time for a visit, wouldn’t you agree?

The Plassey Christmas Fair features: ● Special Christmas discounts at Plassey retail shops ● Traditional craft fair of handmade items in their Edwardian Craft Centre ● Horse and carriage rides (under 5 years go free) 10.30am – 3.00pm ● Visit Santa in his grotto (all kids visiting santa recieve a present) £2.00 per child ● Kids fun Christmas crafts: with Christmas badges, festive spoon puppets, make Christmas tree decorations, coasters for the Christmas table and much more! ● Small kids traditional fairground rides ● Huge selection of Christmas trees and festive wreaths ● Christmas lunches at Plassey Shippon Restaurant ● Christmas light lunches and cake and coffee at Stables coffee shop

Wild Winters With the National Trust

● OCTOBER 7TH 2011 PANTOMIME FUN WITH ALADDIN 3RD – 4TH AND 10TH – 11TH DECEMBER, POWIS CASTLE Venue Cymru, Llandudno’s pantomime Aladdin visits Chirk and Powis castles to entertain with storytelling and hands on activities for all children. ● ERDDIG CHRISTMAS MARKETS FIRST THREE WEEKENDS IN DECEMBER Long regarded as one of the best of its kind in Wales and the North West the Erddig Christmas Market is a magical festive experience. Stroll through the Victorian Christmas village of fifty wooden cabins selling gifts, meet Santa in the ice palace, and watch the elves at work in the toy workshop. ● DEER FEEDING AT ATTINGHAM PARK 2-3PM ON DECEMBER 3RD, 4TH, 10TH AND 11TH DECEMBER AND DAILY FROM DECEMBER 17TH TO JANUARY 1ST EXCLUDING CHRISTMAS DAY. Get in touch with your wild side and follow the wardens as they feed the herd of fallow deer. ● VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS AT CHIRK CASTLE 10TH – 18TH DECEMBER 11AM TO 4PM Enjoy a taste of the luxurious Christmases previously only experienced by the Victorian gentry in sumptuously decorated state rooms. Try your hand at making traditional festive crafts, pick up some last minute gifts and be entertained by the Lord of Misrule and music in the chapel. ● PENRHYN CASTLE HEAD GARDENER’S WALK 15TH DECEMBER 11.30AM AND 19 JANUARY 11.30AM Witness the stunning winter structure of the castle’s grounds on a tour of the gardens followed by a lunch. ● CAROL CONCERT AT POWIS CASTLE, 17TH DECEMBER 7PM Carol Concert in the Ballroom, with the Chester St Cecilia Singers – a truly elegant event with all the added dramatics only found in a historic venue. ● CHAMPAGNE GALA EVENING AT CHIRK CASTLE 9th December 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm Treat yourself to a Champagne reception, tour of the decorated state rooms and delicious dinner.

Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 11

10-16 NW What's On 2-1.indd 11

18/11/2011 12:06



t For a the perfec gift experience choose White Water Active!

Based in the e picturesque De r Valley; we offe in a visitors a once unity. rt life-time oppo te See our websi all for gifts to suit t ar st budgets and dreaming of a white ‘water’ y! Christmas toda


Choose from: • White Water Rafting • Climbing • Gorge Walking • Kayaking • Canoeing • Enjoy the Riverside Cafe and Mountain Treks Book on-line at

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hers at nge of gift vouc ra us lo bu fa r ou See active.c www.whitewater r be ter nd rs s em a a he tie ec W s c vi D ite trip ou cti h V a W ing as all t af m r R ist fo hr le C ilab a


Wales Craft Council Ltd Trade Only

Sunday 9:30am – 6:00pm Monday 9:30am – 5:30pm Tuesday 9:30am – 5:30pm Wednesday 9:30am – 4:00pm

Wales Spring Fair 2012 January 22nd – 25th Venue Cymru Llandudno

on the River Tryweryn, near Bala, North Wales, LL23 7NU


01678 521083

visit For discounts please quote or use the promotion code SMC11

What’s in your Window?

2012 Wales Craft Council, London House, The Square, Corwen. LL21 0DE. Email Telephone 07971880150

Festive-iog and Welsh Highland Railway!

10th, 11th, 17th and 18th December 2011 The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways will be adding some extra elvish magic to Christmas this year with their festive ‘Santa Trains’ making a return visit for 2011. Staff at the railway are pleased to report that they have received a personal telegram from Santa himself, who brings with him the good news that both railways have been penciled in on the visiting schedule this year. What does this mean for you? Well if combining a visit to Santa and a ride on a narrow gauge steam train sounds like a very tempting Christmas treat then look no further than here. Adults can sit back and enjoy Are you interested a warming glass of sherry in taking up a new hobby in 2012? and a mince pie, while the Perhaps you’d like children receive a pleasing to turn your hand present and chat from a at a craft – turn to bi-lingual Santa Claus (English page 48 now! & Welsh are just some of his many tongues). Visit: www. for more information.

Corwen Creative Arts

9th – 11th December 2011 Why not learn how to create the perfect present for a loved one this Christmas? The five talented and well-respected artists that make up the Corwen Creative Arts group are giving you the chance to learn the secrets behind their ancient arts and contemporary creations this coming December. These local artisans will be exhibiting a fine selection of their personal work and will be sharing their creative knowledge to all who attend. The exhibition will be held at the Classical Mosaics studio based in Llandrillo and ‘Everyone is Welcome’, says Tricia, art director at classical mosaics. ‘Come and take a look at the work of the five artists from CCA and have some festive refreshments with us as well! See work in progress as we painstakingly chip away on one of our new mosaic projects for it’s grand 2012 unveiling’. Call Tricia for more information on: 01490 440261


It’s Panto time!

OH NO IT ISN’T, OH YES IT IS! THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS NEVER COMPLETE WITHOUT GOING TO SEE A CLASSIC PANTOMIME; WITH ALL IT’S EYE-ROLLING HUMOUR AND CLICHÉD MAGNIFICENCE! ● SNOW WHITE, LYCEUM THEATRE, HEATH STREET, CREWE. 2ND DEC 2011 TO 31ST DEC 2011 The Magic Mirror declares that Snow White is indeed the fairest girl in all the land and Prince Rupert offers her his hand in marriage. This news sends the Wicked Queen into a jealous rage! Box Office: 01270 537333 ● JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, THE GRANGE THEATRE, BRADBURNS LANE, HARTFORD, CHESHIRE. 15TH DEC 2011 TO 31ST DEC 2011 The Grange Theatre tell us they are pleased to welcome new producers for their Christmas 2011 pantomime. AB Productions, in association with the Grange Theatre, will be presenting Jack and the Beanstalk this December for a 24 Show run. Box Office: 01606 723570 ● ROBIN HOOD & THE BABES IN THE WOOD, OAKENGATES THEATRE LIMES WALK, OAKENGATES,TELFORD. 8TH DEC 2011 TO 2ND JAN 2012 A classic pantomime tale. Plus the added bonus of one story merging into another! Robin Hood & The Babes in the Woods is twofor-one pantomime special and well worth every single penny; you never know, if you’re poor – you may even get your money back! Box Office: 01952 382382 ● CINDERELLA, LUDLOW ASSEMBLY ROOMS, 1 MILL STREET, LUDLOW, SHROPSHIRE.15TH DEC 2011 TO 19TH DEC 2011 The most magical fairytale of them all is coming to Ludlow! A professional, rags to riches production suitable for the whole family. Starring Mike Christie from X Factor’s G4! Lots of fun, songs and dances in this magical show. Box Office: 01584 878141 ● CINDERELLA 2012, THEATR BRYCHEINIOG, CANAL WHARF, BRECON, POWYS. 21ST JAN 2012 TO 28TH JAN 2012 This year the Westenders will present Cinderella, the most magical of all pantomimes! Box Office: 01874 611622 ● SLEEPING BEAUTY – THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL PANTO, CLWYD THEATR CYMRU, MOLD, FLINTSHIRE. 25TH NOV 2011 TO 28TH JAN 2012 One of our best-loved fairytales sprinkled with the magic of classic pop and soul hits, all played live by a talented cast of actors and musicians. Box Office: 0845 330 3565 ● SNOW WHITE, THE PAVILION THEATRE, PROMENADE, RHYL, DENBIGHSHIRE, 9TH DEC 2011 TO 7TH JAN 2012 Classic panto tale. Full of your favourite little fella’s, the seven dwarfs and of course the beautiful Snow White herself; life can’t always be as rosey as an apple though – can it? Box Office: 01745 330 000 ALADDIN (ALSO SHOWING CINDERELLA) WILLIAM ASTON HALL MOLD ROAD, WREXHAM, 11TH FEB 2012 TO 17TH FEB 2012 William Aston Hall always delivers on quality events at great prices and these two pantomimes booked for the festive season are certainly not going to disappoint. Box Office: 01978 293293 ALADDIN, VENUE CYMRU 10TH – 31ST DECEMBER 2011 The rip-roaring adventure story of Aladdin will be brought magically to life by a superb cast in a lavish production. Box Office: 01492 872000

Visit the Yattar Yattar website

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Christmas at Wrexham County Borough Museums & Archives DON’T MISS THESE WINTER EVENTS AT YOUR CENTRALLY LOCATED MUSEUM IN WREXHAM ● BREAKFAST WITH FATHER CHRISTMAS SAT 03 AND SAT 17 DECEMBER Come and have breakfast with Father Christmas. £7.00 per child (includes breakfast and a gift). Optional drink and a pastry for adults £2.95. Advance booking essential ● BRYN’S BUDDIES – CHRISTMAS CRAFTS 03 DEC Each month you will journey back in time to various destinations, meeting and learning about new people and places whilst doing lots of hands-on and fun activities. The Club meets on the first Saturday of every month throughout the year. ● TEA AND A STORY WITH FATHER CHRISTMAS THURS 15 AND TUES 20 DECEMBER Come and join Father Christmas for tea and a seasonal story. £7.50 per child (includes a party style tea and a gift). Optional drink and a pastry for adults - £2.95. ● ART ‘N’ DECS MON 19 – FRI 23 DECEMBER Try your hand at making gorgeous traditional Christmas decorations. Suitable for children of all ages ● CAROL SINGING WITH THE WELSH NATIONAL OPERA (WNO) THURS 22 DECEMBER Join for a free singing taster session with the WNO 4.30pm – 5.15pm, then perform 5.30pm-6.15pm as a special Christmas community chorus around the Museum’s tree, alongside WNO performers from Wrexham’s very own soap opera ‘Nine Stories High’. ● LATE NIGHT SHOPPING THURS 22 DECEMBER, OPEN TILL 7PM Browse the Museum shop for last minute unique gifts and cards. Indulge in a tasty coffee or treat at the Bwtri Café, and visit the museum’s exhibitions. ● CHRISTMAS LUNCH AT THE MUSEUM 23 DECEMBER If you are looking for a unique venue to enjoy a pre Christmas lunch with ‘all the trimmings’– why not try the Bwtri café at Wrexham Museum? Bookings are now being taken. Call: 01978 297460 email:

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod 2012 The dust has barely settled on the spectacular success of this year’s International Musical Eisteddfod and now, plans are already well underway for the 2012 extravaganza! True, the Eisteddfod lies a fair few months off yet (July), however it's never too early to start making plans. To remove the stress of buying presents over this festive period, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod has introduced gift vouchers, available in multiples of £10. A festival gift voucher lets your friends or family select their pick of events from the 2012 programme. For more information visit or call the box office on 01978 862001

Clwyd Theatr Cymru

25th November 2011 – 28th January 2012 Clwyd Theatr Cymru is a hustling, bustling hive of entertainment and performing arts. Not only does it deliver cinema and live performance it just happens to be hosting one of the most popular festive pantos on offer this year. Sleeping Beauty – The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto is selling prebooked tickets by the dozen, so hurry if you want to get yours! One of our best-loved fairytales of all time, sprinkled with the magic of classic pop and soul hits, all played out live by a talented cast of actors and musicians. This spectacular show features a riot of traditional panto fun, and a cast of memorable characters, including Phylip Harries as the Dame. Visit:

Right Here, Right Now at William Aston Hall! 12th December 2011 Russell Howard, he's the cuddly little blonde comedian we see all over the television! The witty 31-year-old comedian from Bath will be warming up the William Aston Hall at the Glyndwr University, Wrexham ahead of his sell out ‘Right Here, Right Now’ tour this Winter. If you really want to kick off Christmas with a bang then this handsome young man will not let you down! Heralded by The Guardian as having ‘An awesome ability to connect with an audience’ you’re surely in for a treat. Visit the William Aston Hall website for a plethora of events. Visit:

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Gorffennaf 2 -8 July, 2012 Gorffennaf 3 - 8 July, 2012 The Unique International Festival

Gorffennaf 4 – 10 July Box Office 01978 862001

World class choirs, folk singers, dancers instrumentalists & celebrity concerts.

Gaeaf hudol

A magical winter

Mae gennym amrywiaeth o ddigwyddiadau a gweithgareddau tymhorol ar gyfer yr holl deulu yn ein llefydd yng Nghymru – o ffeiriau a swperi Nadolig i deithiau cerdded gaeafol. Rydym ar agor yn hirach i chi’r flwyddyn hon…. felly dewch i fwynhau gaeaf hudol gyda’r Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol yng Nghymru. Am fwy o wybodaeth, ewch i

We’ve a variety of seasonal events and activities for all the family at our places in Wales - from Christmas fairs and festive suppers to wintry garden tours and walks. We’re open longer for you this year….so come and enjoy a magical winter with the National Trust in Wales. For more information, go to:

Elusen gofrestredig rhif 205846 / Registered charity no. 205846

Wharf Llangollen

2nd, 9th, 16thChristmas December at Powis A Country AQUEDUCT CRUISES A 2 hour cruise on our fully weatherproofed centrally heated boat over the mighty Pontcysllte Aqueduct. Commentary. Bar and Snacks available. HORSEDRAWN BOAT TRIPS Enjoy the peace and tranquility of a horsedrawn boat trip on the upper reachs of the Llangollen Canal pulled by one of our gorgeous heavy horses. Boats are covered for all weather trips. WHARF TEA ROOMS Enjoy our home cooked food whilst watching the boats go by or on the terrace overlooking Llangollen Famous for our home made cakes. Children welcome. HIRE ONE OF OUR SELF DRIVE DAYBOATS FOR A DAY On the beautiful Llangollen Canal. The boats have seating for up to ten people and are equiped with central heating, hob, fridge, and a flushing toilet. Book online.

Behind the 20 Scenes Conservation Sat 19 - Sun November 12-4pm Tours Powis Castle offers you the opportunity to visit the State Rooms, The of thewraps castle dressed forThe visitors now ground closed offfloor and under forwill the be winter months. an Edwardian Christmas. There will be a range of food will be able to see the meticulously detailed work carried out byand the craft stalls along the visitor route and Santa will be making housekeeping team, cleaning and conserving the historic contents and an appearance in the shop. Work up an appetite with a brisk interiors of the castle, and will be shown the particular, painstaking stoll in brisk stoll theingardens, the gardens, followed followed by a delicious by a delicious warming warming lunch in techniques of preventive conservation. the lunch restaurant. in the restaurant. 11am – noon - Normal Admission Price + £3.50

Open Fri-Sun in November & December 2011 Garden, shop & restaurant - 11am-4pm Castle - 12-4pm (last entry 3.30pm) Castle & Garden - Adult £6.50, child £3.25 Garden only - Adult £5, child £2.50. Members & children under 5 free.

You're never far away from us, so come along for a visit Book your event on 01938 551929

Tel: 01978 860702 Registered charity No. 205846.


The King and I performs at Venue Cymru!


10th – 14th January 2012 The King and I is heralded as one of the greatest musicals of all time, enjoyed by millions of people across the world since it was first performed in 1951. It has even been adapted into a Hollywood blockbuster and its glorious soundtrack is still a best seller today. The heartwarming story of the British governess brought to the court of Siam to tutor the King’s children is told using one of the most beautiful scores ever written; with sweeping melodies such as The March of the Siamese Children, I Whistle A Happy Tune, and the unforgettable Getting To Know You. This breath-taking new production is a lavish, grand-scale spectacle. With giant gold Buddha’s, sumptuous costumes, a chorus of adorable children, acrobatic dancers and live music. This beautiful production guarantees a standing ovation. Call: 01492 872000 or visit

Turn to page

OPEN ALL YEAR, WITH SOME EXCEPTIONS IN THE 94 to find out WINTER MONTHS (SEE WEBSITE FOR DETAILS) what great A collaboration between the Anglesey Sea Zoo, competitions Seasearch and the Wales Biodiversity Partnership has been established to monitor records of we have for seahorses in Welsh waters with the aim of releasing you this issue! captive-bred populations back into the wild. A male seahorse can carry 400 or more ‘fry’ in his pouch at a time and can produce several broods every breeding season, but the survival rate to adulthood in the wild is known to be low. Also, seahorses are notoriously hard to breed in captivity, and the Anglesey Sea Zoo are the first establishment in the UK to successfully rear short-snouted seahorses to the age of one year! This is a ground-breaking achievement in terms of marine conservation and may be the difference between a seahorse population and no seahorse population. Frankie Hobro, Director of the Anglesey Sea Zoo says: ‘Seahorses are incredibly rare in the wild, they are very well camouflaged and difficult to find in their natural habitat, especially in poor visibility. The good news is that we have identified a perfect habitat for them, so the area is now a prime candidate for a future release site.’ For your chance to learn more, visit:

Santa’s back! on the Llanberis Lake Railway

It’s a Brymbo Sports and Social Complex Christmas Celebration! Try saying that ten times in a row! December, a time for embarrassing Christmas work parties, an empty wallet and frost bite – if you're a Scrooge! For the rest of us it’s the most wonderful time of the year; which is why you should celebrate Christmas in style at Brymbo’s Social Complex and its annual Christmas party on Friday 16th December 2011 – its a steal at only £24 per head and this even includes a three-course meal (with all the trimmings) and a live band. It certainly promises to be a very merry Crimbo at the very merry Brymbo Sports and Social Complex! Book early to avoid disappointment.

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4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th December 2011 Enjoy a short trip on the train from Gilfach Ddu to Cei Llydan, where Santa will join the train from the North Pole. A present for every child and a glass of seasonal drink and a mince pie for every adult is on offer. This ever-popular event was sold out last year, so please book early to avoid disappointment. It’s going to be one bell of a ride! Visit:

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01978 293293

CAFE & BOOKS 17 Castle Street, Llangollen Tel: 01978 861963 E-mail: Open 7 days a week One of the biggest second-hand and collector’s bookshops in Wales.

Large long-established, family friendly bookshop, now revamped under new ownership. Come and visit us any day of the year and browse through just about every subject under the sun


Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market 17th Nov – 23 Dec 2011 Browse over 180 picturesque stalls at this traditional German Christmas market, enjoy the feel of a small village within the heart of the bustling city centre.

Steaming Hot Christmas!

10th, 11th, 17th and 18th December 2011 This Father Christmas fellow must be exhausted come boxing day; he’s already made countless appearances at many of Yattar Yattar’s yule-tide events; and low and behold – here he is again! The ‘Santa Steam Trains’ of the Welshpool and Llanfair Steam Railway are here to warm the cockles. Travel in warmth and style from Llanfair Caereinion on a steam train beside the River Banwy. Whilst the train makes its merry journey, each child will receive a present from Santa at their seats. Back at Llanfair, adults are invited to have a complimentary glass of warming mulled wine and no ones going home without a complimentary mince pie! The station shop will be open for last minute Christmas gifts and light refreshments. Visit CHECK OUT the website to order a selection of the railways exclusive OUR WEBSITE! hand-painted Christmas cards. Nadolig Llawen! Visit:

Wrexham Christmas Market 8th December 2011 Held in Church Street and St Giles’ churchyard. Now in its seventh year the market will have 70 stalls selling gifts, toys, food, crafts, Christmas decorations and trees. The Festive Gift Fair at the NEC, Birmingham 17th – 20th November 2011 The Festive Gift Fair at the NEC, Birmingham, has built up a fabulous reputation as the place to buy unusual and affordable Christmas presents.

Oriel Davies Open 2012

Choosing Mid-Wales for a Festive Feast?

The Brigands Inn says: ‘We are set in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Inn lies on the edge of the Snowdonia Manchester Christmas National Park where our guests can Markets reminisce of a bygone age letting all 17th – 21st December 2011 the cares of the outside world just melt No Mancunian winter is away.’ Talking of melting; that’s exactly complete without a what their delicious Christmas dinner wander through will do in your mouth! Using the chalet-lined only the finest ingredients streets of Manchester’s sourced locally, it is no For a really famous that the Brigands unusual present, wonder Christmas Inn comes up trumps market. check out these in Mid Wales restaurant Voted the recommendations time local Christmas best in the and time again. Tel: UK! markets! 01650 511 999 for more info.

Deadline for entries: Monday 5th December 2011 Here's one for the art lovers – you must be quick though, entries deadline is Monday 5th December 2011. The Oriel Davies Gallery based in the heart of Wales (Newtown) is seeking submissions from artists working in any medium. This includes performance, sound, digital, installation, painting, sculpture, print, photography and moving image. The exhibition will be shown at the gallery from 28th April – 27th June 2012. There is no geographical restriction and entry is open both to professional and amateur artists. First prize is a massive £1500 plus your own solo exhibition in 2013, and £750 for student entries. Paint, pens and mixed-media at the ready – it’s competition time. Good luck! Visit:

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The Wonders of Mid Wales Marketing the many wonders of Mid Wales to potential visitors is the task of the enthusiastic team of experts at Mid Wales Tourism


rom its base at Machynlleth Railway Station, this innovative, independent organisation represents more than 550 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Meirionnydd. The mission of chief executive Val Hawkins and her small team is to portray to the world that Mid Wales has something for everyone. It's a place to relax and soak up the breathtaking scenery or to enjoy exhilarating outdoor activities.

Amazing natural beauty The region has 75 miles of stunning coastlines along Cardigan Bay, spectacular mountains, wonderful rolling hills (with more sheep than people!), the longest river in Britain (the Severn) and the highest waterfall in Wales, Pistyll Rhaeadr at Llanrhaeadr y Mochnant. The Cambrian Mountains form a rugged backbone through Mid Wales from north to south and the region boasts two beautiful National Parks – Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons – ancient castles, outdoor adventures and unique attractions, which are all waiting to be explored. Famous botanist, broadcaster and author David Bellamy perhaps best summed up Mid Wales when he described it as ‘A wonderful patchwork of villages, small town, fields, hills, wild bits and not so wild bits’. Online marketing is now crucially important to the tourism industry and MWT works with the talented team at New Vision Group to deliver cutting edge technology to its members to help raise their global profile and take bookings. Underlining how important the Internet has become to Mid Wales tourism businesses, MWT’s online marketing channels attracted two million users

between January and August this year. Membership of MWT gives businesses, which range from small B&Bs to large hotels and attractions, access to a whole host of services and discount packages. A free oneto-one marketing review is tailored to individual businesses and includes a guide to using the Guestlink online booking channel for beginners through to the more confident. The team at MWT is able to help members to set up e-shop, pricing, short breaks, availability and booking, special offers and manage affiliate options. A £25 money-off voucher is also available exclusively for MWT members, which can be redeemed against Guestlink Web Booking and Guestlink E-shop options.

Promoting the best of Mid Wales One long standing member; King Arthur’s Labyrinth at Corris started using the Guestlink online booking system this summer and has sold in excess of 1,000 tickets online, greatly exceeding its expectations. A growing number of members are now signing up to the Mid Wales e-shop, which links to accommodation booking, thus enabling visitors to complete a holiday or short-break package at the same time. And the latest exciting project being undertaken by MWT is a Waleswide app for smart phones. This winter, MWT is launching a brand new online marketing campaign at www. promoting three for two offers, late deals, Christmas

Whether it’s walking in the remote hills and mountains of Mid Wales, the adrenalin rush of white water rafting on the River Treweryn, the heritage of Powis Castle, Welshpool or the golden beaches of the Cambrian Coast, Mid Wales has lots to offer all of its visitors

packages, Train-Stay-Save and attraction offers. Members interested should contact Zoe on 01654 704093 or email zoe@ Another important part of MWT’s work is to keep members updated on the latest developments in the tourism industry, which it does by holding regular conferences and trade meetings and circulating a monthly E-newsletter. In addition, the organisation regularly lobbies Mid Wales AMs and MPs to make them aware of the issues impacting members. At a national level, MWT is a member of the Wales Tourism Alliance, the lobbying voice for tourism in Wales. For details on how to join MWT contact the membership team on Tel 01654 70265. Or go to:

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Contact Beth on 01686 420 409

Cledan Valley Tipi's Recharge your batteries. Discover that life is not a race! Relax in front of a log fire . Spend a night under real canvas . Stroll around our on site hill walk. Ideal for Birthday parties-Anniversaries-Honeymoons. We have had people from all walks of life spend time with us, from Teachers and Doctors to Builders and Foresters. Everyone takes something special home with them, from the challenge of open fire cookery to sitting down outside with a cold glass in their hand, watching the kites circling overhead.

Mid Wales Tourism Twristiaeth Canolbarth Cymru ‘‘Tourism Businesses, working together to provide membership & marketing solutions in Wales since 1991”

How can we help you? Tourism Businesses • Marketing on and offline • Great savings on business services e.g PDQ options, Wifi Security, Insurance and much more • Helpful and friendly support • Online booking/eshop options • Trade representation (Trade)

Visitor Information Stay – See – Do – Explore

• Book your accommodation online • Special Offers • Extensive listings of Events & Festivals • 100’s of attractions/activities • Groups & Business (visitor)


A Powis Castle Christmas!

Santa Visits Bala Railway

10th – 11th December 2011 For a magical start to the Christmas season, visit Llanuwchllyn station – see the decorated stations, the lights, Christmas trees and of Santa himself! With decorated steam engines each end, the push-me/ pull-me train will take you on a gentle trip to the Lake of Serenity (that’s Bala Lake) to visit Santa in his grotto. All the wee nippers get to have a lovely chat with Mr Cringle and I’m sure if they are all good little girls and boys, a gift-wrapped present to boot! Mums, Dads and the older children won’t miss out either – it’s drinks and mince pies for you. Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas! Pre-booking is essential, visit: for more details.

Christmas cheer at Talyllyn

Talyllyn Railway has lots in store for you this Winter. First up, ‘Santa Specials’! Your journey starts at the terminal station at Tywyn Wharf on board the steam locomotive hauling Santa Special carriages to ‘Plas Nadolig’. Each child will meet Santa and receive a special gift, don’t forget the camera as there will be plenty of photo opportunities! The Visit: www. steam train will then return you to Tywyn Wharf where a seasonal treat awaits. King’s Cafe will serve for more you complimentary mulled wine and mince pies information and hot winter warmer meals will be on sale. On the ‘Mince Pie Specials’ it is a little more laid back and serene. Sit back in your heated carriage, enjoy the picturesque valley views and have a pleasant little munch on some more-ish mince pies and seasonal drinks – delightful! Christmas dinner at the café is quite simply the perfect added bonus to lure you in.

Powis Castle is a real Welsh treasure. Dating back to circa 1200 it has worn many guises throughout its turbulent history. It started life as a medieval fortress for a dynasty of Welsh princes; and has since been re-modelled and embellished throughout the centuries to become the face of intricate beauty and inquisitive appeal to many a local and tourist alike. The Castle has many wonders to behold; the formal gardens alone are reason enough to visit. Add to this a deer park, outdoor terraces, the Elizabethan long corridor, the exquisite collection of Indian treasures and the enigmatic grandeur, elegance and history that fills every inch of this great castle are just a few of the many reasons this ancient wonder is now one of the Nation Trust’s most prized properties. How can I enjoy the castle this winter I hear you ask? There are many events on offer at the castle this year, however if you wish to create your own Powis Castle experience, we are happy to inform you the new opening hours only see the castle close on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; so you can enjoy this wonder almost all year round! On the 2nd, 9th and 16th December, Powis Castle presents: ‘Behind the Scenes Conservation Tours’ – visit the state rooms, see the meticulously detailed work carried out by the housekeeping team, cleaning and conserving the historic contents and interiors of the castle, and will be shown the particular, painstaking techniques of preventive conservation. 11am – noon, normal admission price plus £3.50. On the 17th December the Castle hosts its very own carol concert in the Ballroom, with the Chester St Cecilia Singers, 7pm, £12.00, children £6.00 (booking essential). Or throughout much of December visitors can see Santa hard at work in his grotto. Visit: for more info.

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WHAT’S ON IN CHESHIRE Broughton Celtic Christmas Fayre

Christmas Lantern Parade at Tatton Park 9th December 2011 Tatton Park, home to Tudor Old Hall, a stunning Neo-Classical Mansion, 50 acres of immaculately landscaped gardens, a working rare-breed farm and 1,000 acres of deer park. Oh and not forgetting it’s wonderful range of specialty shops, restaurant, adventure playground, events and educational programmes all of which combine to make Learn to make Tatton Park one of the most popular tourist a Christmas spots in the North West! If all that wasn’t a reason to pay a visit, check this out – lantern at we can’t imagine a nicer way to spend Tatton Park on a Christmas evening than to see Father Sunday 4th Christmas arrive suited and booted, while you light his route with a home-made lantern December and say hello to his two favourite reindeer (Dancer and Prancer). There’s also a special posting box so you can post your Christmas wish list! Bring along any unwanted toys to donate to a children’s charity, festive music from a local band and choir will entertain, while the shops and restaurant will be open until 8:00pm for Christmas shopping and dining… remember to wrap up warm! Don’t know how to make a lantern? Don’t worry, pop along to Tatton Park on Sunday 4th December, between midday and 4pm for a pop in session in their downstairs barn room (near the carousel and shops, entry charge applies). Kiddies can also meet Father Christmas at the farm on December 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th and 24rd. Visit:

1st – 4th December 2011 One of north east Wales’s most popular Christmas attractions is set to return to Broughton Shopping Park off the A55 outside Chester in early December. Broughton’s Celtic Christmas Fayre will bring together over 100 of the area’s best known craftsmen and independent traders. Stalls range from jewelery and toys, to fashion and decorations, from candles and creams to every imaginable food and drink treat, supported by entertainment and a magically festive atmosphere. ‘It gives the thousands of visitors to our shopping park an ideal opportunity to find that unusual and personal gift, and brings an added sparkle to the park as we enter this most important period in the retail calendar,’ says organiser Nigel Rose. Email for more info at:

Cheshire Magic!

November 2011 – 2nd January 2012 Everybody knows that Chester is one of the best place to spend some Winter afternoons (and evenings) doing your Christmas shopping, which is often a cherished annual event in itself. This year, why not add an extra dusting of Christmas magic into the equation at ‘Chester Magic’. Fairy lights, snow frosted trees, the smell of chestnuts roasting – all polished off with ice skating, fair attractions, food stalls and of course, Chester’s famous Christmas shopping. What’s more is that this years ‘Chester Magic’ has gone that extra mile (or should we say ‘gone back’ that extra mile) to place you in an enchanted Victorian themed Christmas extravaganza!

Queen’s School set date for entry assessments

The Queen’s School in Chester is expecting record numbers of entrants for its annual entry assessments on Monday 16th January 2012. It has recently increased the number of spaces available at the Lower School CHINESE NEW YEAR IS HERE ON 23RD JANUARY, due to demand, AND 2012 WILL BE THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON, and is adding THE MOST ANTICIPATED AND BEST-LOVED more facilities at the Liverpool Road school. SYMBOL IN THE CHINESE ZODIAC. The Senior School on City Walls Road is We are all aware of our star signs, we always take a sneaky celebrating its recent Top Cheshire peek at our horoscopes (go to page 93!) whenever possible Ranking in the Sunday Times’ (believing the good comments and discounting the bad… Parent Power league tables naturally). We may also be distantly aware of which Follow us on for 2011, coming fourth in Chinese symbol relates to our birth year. The Chinese Facebook for the North West. Entry to New Year is the equivalent of our New Year’s Day, with one major difference – it changes its date every the newly refurbished Q6, weekly updates single year! That’s because the Chinese New Year is the school’s sixth form, is and What’s On sanctioned by the moon (the lunar calender). Each by personal interview and in your area New Year’s celebration starts on the darkest day and taster days. More details and runs for 15 days after, ending with the lantern festival a prospectus for all ages from when the moon is at its brightest in the sky. Many people Jane Taylor on 01244 312078 or in China like to book off the full 15-day festival to rejoice with the world and each other, celebrating with symbols of

Enter the Dragon!

Photo shows Felicity Taylor headmistress of the Lower School with pupils.

All aboard the Santa Cruise!

17th, 18th and 24th December 2011 If you go down to the port today, your sure of big surprise! Yes girls and boys, ladies and gentleman the National Waterways Museum has all bases covered this December. As if a magical canal-boat trip along the enchanted Shropshire Union Canal to see Santa hard at work in his grotto wasn’t enough – a vibrant Victorian Teddy Bears Christmas party awaits your arrival! The little ones will tuck into tales of teddy bears and adventure and then out will stroll Mr Santa Claus himself to unleash his brimming sack of gifts and goodies upon your little elves. Visit: for more information.

rebirth and regeneration. This year the Chinese New Year will be celebrated on the 23rd January 2012 (last year was the 3rd Febuary). Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one (Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig). He announced that the people born in each animals year would have some of that animal’s personality.

The luckiest year to be born This year, 2012, sees the dragon revisit for the first time since the new millennium, the dragon is said to be the luckiest and most dynamic sign in the Chinese zodiac and huge dragon puppets and trains will parade around the streets of Beijing for all to see and celebrate. When our festive time is over, theirs is just beginning; and if you were born in the year of the dragon then we imagine you, and all those lucky loved ones around you are in for a very good year indeed! ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le’ from China and Happy New Year from us!

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SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS In cinemas from 16th December, staring Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law and Stephen Fry. The next nail-biting installation of the Sherlock saga. This time we see the duo join forces to outwit and bring down their most cunning adversary, Professor Moriarty. Sherlock’s older brother will be played by none other than Mr Stephen Fry! All the familiar faces will be back along with some rather wonderful new ones! Director Guy Richie’s sequel (which also performs as a standalone movie) is sure to be a hit with all the family this winter. 5/5

Fancy a wildlife degree?

Do you love animals? Always wanted a job in wildlife conservation and never had the chance to make the dream real? Well now you can: the University of Chester offers a degree in ‘Wildlife Conservation’ on a part or full-time basis. The postgraduate programme covers a wide-range of areas within wildlife conservation such as the study of habitats, threatened species, field identification skills, wildlife crime, conservation genetics and welfare issues, and includes practical experience in the field. Visit: www. for more info on courses and queries.

Holly Holy Day 2012 21st January 2012

How often do you attend a well established and ‘Holy’ reliable event that WAR HORSE has been celebrated by the In cinemas from 13th January 2012 staring townspeople since 1644! This Jeremy Irvine and Emily Watson, directed colourful re-enactment of by Steven Spielberg. In Devon at the the Battle of Nantwich sees outbreak of World War I; Joey, young Albert Narracott’s beloved horse, is sold to the the town come alive with cavalry and shipped to France. characters of a bygone era, Joey serves in the British with the Roundheads and German armies, and gets caught up against and the up in enemy fire; death, disease and Cavaliers. See Turn to page fate take him on an extraordinary. camp followers, 32 to read this But Albert cannot forget Joey, and fire eaters and other entertainers he embarks on a dangerous mission winter’s book of the period; as the townspeople of Nantwich to find him and bring him back to celebrate the relief of the parliamentarian reviews and Devon. Absolutely brilliant – 5/5 town from besiegement of the Royalist Army meet a local during the civil war. THE GIRL WITH THE author! DRAGON TATTOO In cinemas from 26th December, staring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, directed by David Fincher. This much anticipated film is an adaptation of the late Stieg Larsson’s Swedish trilogy entitled The Millennium Series. The film follows a harrowing, fast-paced and thoughtprovoking script. It may sound all doom and gloom, but this is David Fincher at his best since Seven. One for the adults, very good indeed! 4/5

WE BOUGHT A ZOO In cinemas from 23rd December, staring Matt Damon and Scarlet Johansson. Adapted from Benjamin Mees memoir We Bought a Zoo, This light-hearted comedy drama really does tick a box for everyone. The plot sees Benjamin (Matt Damon) succumb to the struggles and strains of city life and he takes the bold move to relocate his family and move to Dartmoor, England. The family take on a dilapidated zoo along with its 200 or more animals. The perfect family Christmas film, 4/5.

50 years of the Cheshire Regiment

Exhibition ends 31st December 2011 Your last chance to see an exhilarating exhibition honouring the Mercian Regiment at West Park, Cheshire is upon us. This fantastic array of commemorative objects including wartime garments, handkerchiefs, parachute silk, maps and memorabilia has been running the entire year of 2011 and is now entering its final month. Displayed at the West Park Museum, this exhibition celebrates the 750th anniversary of the Macclesfield’s charter, an insight into the local men who gave their lives in the first and second world wars. A festive trip out for the parents and a historical incite into their heritage for the nippers – but hurry, get there soon! Visit: for more information.

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Christmas Party Nights only £19.95 per person for three courses, until 23rd December

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WHAT’S ON IN SHROPSHIRE Santa Steam Specials!

Severn Valley Railway have many a merry event on offer this festive season. Here’s just a small selection for you to stuff inside your Christmas events stocking! Santa Steam Specials takes you on a magical (hopefully, snow-dusted) journey across the Shropshire countryside. A return journey from Kidderminster to Arley is topped off with a visit to Santa. How about something for you adults? Christmas Dining Trains has you opting for either a luncheon or evening festive feast; what could be more enjoyable than tucking into turkey while revisiting the days or yore upon a spectacular steam train? Perfect! Also in the Christmas steam cracker are Santa Heralds and Christmas Carol Trains. Booking is essential for most of these events, so get booking quickly before you’re left out in the cold. Visit for prices.

Christmas Dinner Bowling?

The Venue at Park Hall is a favourite watering hole among the locals and the intrepid traveler for that matter. It’s one of those fantastic venues that manages to balance education, activities, entertainment and (our favourite) food! New and exciting events, clubs and fitness sessions are happening all the time at The Venue, if you wish to add that something more to your life, I suggest you visit the website to find the perfect hobby… This Christmas, why not take advantage of their tasty three-course Christmas dinner with all the trimmings? What about if we add two free games of ten-pin bowling into the mix? At just £14.50 starting on the 25th November it doesn’t take much thinking about. Also on offer are The Venue’s ‘Christmas Party Evenings’ – if your Scrooge (we mean boss) is adding a touch of bar-humbug to the budget this year, then fear not you can still have a top drawer evening at a great price – just £19.99 for a three-course meal and disco!

Festive Theatre Severn

Shrewsbury’s number one hub of live theatre and entertainment has a huge array of dazzling treats through December and the New Year this Winter. Here’s some brilliant dates for your diary! ● Aladdin, 1st December – 8th January, The Auditorium ● Russell Howard, 10 December, The Walker Theatre ● Severn Jesters, 11 December, The Walker Theatre ● The Classic Rock Show, 22 January, The Auditorium ● Balletboyz, 25 January, The Auditorium ● Pluck: Musical Arson, 25 January, The Walker Theatre ● The Soldiers, 26 January, The Auditorium ● The Knicker Lady, 27 January, at The Walker Theatre ● Greg Davies: Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog, 27 Jan, The Auditorium ● Hugh Cornwell, 28 January, at The Walker Theatre ● Moscow State Circus, 30 January, The Auditorium For more info on these fantastic events visit: www.theatresevern.

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Santa Safari Anyone?

Arts Alive! (Pictured: James Hickman and Dan Cassidy, a folk and roots duo, part of Arts Alive.)

Arts Alive and Flix in the Sticks is a brilliant digital media, live performance and cinematic experience whose main focus is touring live performance and big screen cinema to rural outlets throughout Herefordshire and Shropshire. It offers a new and exciting approach to entertain the country masses who otherwise can’t get to mainstream theatres and cinemas. The company organises about 600 events a year including music, drama, dance, film, puppetry and storytelling. For more information and listings for events in your area visit:

Made in Shropshire at the Qube, Oswestry!

Various dates in December Dashing through the snow, on a one-horse open… Land Rover… oh, that’s not how it goes… unless you’re on one of Hawkstone Park’s magical Santa Safaris that is! Yes people, it’s true you needn’t be exploring the plains of deepest, darkest Africa to be on safari, you can do it right here in Shropshire, at the prestigious Hawkstone Historic Park and Follies. Perhaps better known as a magical land of mystery, suspense and adventure and also the backdrop for C S Lewis’ epic Narnia saga, Hawkstone Park is Shropshire showcased at its very best. Your festive frolics will begin at Santa’s desk where you will walk past illuminated woods before checking in, then it’s all aboard the Santa Safari which will whisk you off through the Grand Valley, past Swiss Cottage and Santa’s Workshop, under the Wishing Arch and through Santa’s spectacular network of caves to meet him in his Grotto. All the little ones will be met with a present from the great red man himself and a pat for Rudolf in his woodland dell is a must! A wonderful wander around the caves with Santa’s elves, treats and glow-sticks is next and before you leave, one would recommend indulging in a cup of steamy fruit punch on Grotto Hill. A must-do this Christmas. Visit: or call 01948 841700 .

For more ideas on great activities for 2012 turn to our feature on page 48

11th November – 23rd December 2011 This is an ideal opportunity to come in and browse some unique and inspirational work from local artists and designers. The group has rapidly established a reputation for high quality work with a unique edge. Artworks on display and for sale in the gallery include earthenware, watercolour paintings, photography, linocuts, snowflake and Christmas wreath beaded decorations. A perfect opportunity to pick up a gift for someone special – including one for yourself! Visit the Qube website for a profile of the twelve artists – go online to Feeling inspired? Join us here for a Christmas Illustration workshop and chocolate lollipop making! Saturday 3 December 10am to 12pm, cost is just £5 and places can be booked on 01691 656882. A great way to start Christmas.

Opportunity for Contemporary Visual Artists March 2012 – April 2013 Are you a contemporary visual artist based in Shropshire? Would you like to take part in a free Professional Development Project? Shropshire Council’s Heritage and Arts teams are looking for contemporary visual artists to be part of a new and exciting initiative. They will develop their professional practice within a supportive peer group, devise their own funded development programme and have access to a range of professionals including contemporary artists, curators and many more. Get that application sent today! Contact Alexa Pugh by email: or call: 01743 255938. Deadline Nov 1st.

Visit the Yattar Yattar website

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Time flies when you’re having fun! See website for details of our events Tel: 01902 376 200 Cosford, Shifnal, Shropshire, TF11 8UP

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04/08/2011 13:09


Bottles and Gift Packs available direct

from the brewery and other local outlets. Please contact the brewery for more details.

Stonehouse Brewery, Weston, Oswestry SY10 9ES t: 01691 676 457 e:


Monkey Forest

Buy your little monkeys a really wild treat this holiday – a gift voucher at Monkey Forest!

Monkey Forest located near Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, is the only place in the UK where you can walk amongst 140 Barbary macaques (an endangered species) in a stunning 60-acre forest environment. You are plunged into their fascinating world as you hear rustling in the trees, chattering in a strange language and see the monkeys crashing through the branches! Walking along the path you are transported into a different world of animal magic. Monkey Forest gift vouchers are priced at just £7.00 for adults and £5.00 for children, you can also add a Souvenir Guide for only £3.00 to complete the perfect gift. Visit:

Attingham Park Winter delights

The National Trust’s premier Shropshire property has a Frost Fair on the first weekend of December – it gets so busy that this year they’ve laid on an extra day – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2nd – 4th December. With only a grounds entry fee to pay it’s going to be very popular again this year, and there are great stalls, food and drink and entertainment to enjoy. Also, every weekend throughout the holiday season the museum is open for guided tours, on 26th December is the ever-popular Boxing Day Walk and look out for the Snowdrop Walks as early as January. Go to and search for Attingham Park to find out more!

Christmas on the Cobbles!

This idyllic little restaurant tucked away down the cobbled streets of Oswestry (next to Wilkinson’s superstore) is the perfect place for all the trimmings this Winter. Formally known as ‘The Avenue’, this amazing little Bistro-Bar really knows no bounds. Joint owners Emma Davies and Sarah Williams made the bold move to inject a new lease of life into this already successful business back in October, and it has since become one of Shropshire’s most respected and treasured gastronomic go-to’s. Call Sarah on: 07814 468848 and book your table today!

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The New Year’s Party!

SOME GO OUT AND DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY, OTHERS ARE HAPPY WITH JUST A GLASS OF SHERRY, BUT WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? WE’VE COME UP WITH A FEW NIFTY NEW YEAR’S IDEAS TO SEE 2012 IN WITH A BANG! Noisey neighbours! Don’t worry about making too much noise at the stroke of 12; in-fact, the louder the better! Tradition has it that making lots of noise at midnight will ward off evil spirits from entering the new year. The 12 grapes of luck Stock up on grapes for the New Year’s Party. A popular superstition in the Mediterranean and Latin American countries says that munching down on 12 juicy gapes at midnight will ensure good luck for the next twelve months to come. Jingle all the way! Make sure you leave a little lose change in your pocket or purse at the stroke of 12; legend has it this will bring good fortune for the year to come. Use the penny pot and share it out amongst the guests if their pockets are empty too, make sharing a thing for the future. Use your head – wear red! It’s good luck to purchase a new item, but there’s no reason why it can’t just be a new top or a tie for your guy! For extra special luck buy red – it’s meant to warn off evil spirits forever, so say the old wives’ tales. That New Year’s Eve kiss! The midnight kiss has a deep-rooted history attached. It ensures intimacy and a close relationship for the year to come. Make sure everyone one gets a smacker! Tips from around the world In Turkey people spend the morning of New Year’s Eve volunteering. They believe this promotes community spirit and brings promise of a rewarding year – you never know until you try. Also, choose your New Year’s Eve undergarments wisely; white panties for good luck (La Brazil) or yellow (Ecuador) to attract positive energy in the new year! Step back in Time with your kids. Make it a special evening for the kids too. You could make a time capsule full of memories and achievements from the last year. Fill with drawings, photos, toys and memorabilia. Tell them to write a personal letter that will mean something to them when they dig it up in years to come. Bury it in the garden or keep it somewhere safe. It’s quite a nice idea to have a look at these the same time next year, the year after that and so on. Happy New Year Everyone!

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RAF Cosford Air Museum

Top Ten Winter wonders 1 2

Feed the birds Take a little time out as a family to feed the birds – whether it be the quackers on the local duck pond or the many species which adorn your nearest woodland walk, sprinkle a bread-crumb trail and enjoy. And all that jazz! Winter is the best time for popping to see that famous West End show you've been meaning to catch all year! There are some fantastic Show and Stay package deals around, so why not turn it into the ideal Christmas gift? Have a winter BBQ Check the forcast for a nice, bright winter’s evening and invite the chums over. A few sweet ciders, mulled wine, roast chestnuts, sticky marsh mallows for the little elves and turkey stuffing baguettes for the adults. Burrrr-illiant! Hark the herald angles sing, glory to the new born king You can't have a genuine Christmas celebration without having a good go at the carol singing. Although one would recommend a pair of ear muffs – and not just for the cold weather! The Christmas jumper Here at the Yattar factory we uphold the Christmas jumper tradition. You can buy some fabulous numbers these days. Or why not unearth one of your old sweaters and redesign it? Mulled wine: pour one bottle of red wine into a pan and add one orange halved, 60g of demerara sugar, one dried bayleaf, one cinnamon stick and some grated nutmeg to taste. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves and serve to many a happy customer. It’s quite simply – Christmas in a glass! Make your own Why not save a few pennies over the festive period and make your own decorations, cards, wrapping paper, crackers, hats or even table attire such as candles and wreaths! Glitter = Christmas; so buy it by the bag full. Use glue and shake plenty over the desired decoration. If you do this on newspaper you can fold the paper in half and pour the excess glitter back into the pot, you'll have a clean and happy home and glitter decorations a plenty! The perfect red cabbage recipe You will need: one medium red cabbage (sliced), one white onion (sliced), two Bramley apples (grated with skin on), one cinnamon stick, one tbsp ground allspice, 200g soft brown sugar, 250ml of good red wine vinegar, 300ml apple juice, zest and juice of one small orange. Pop all the ingredients into one big saucepan on a medium heat, mix for five minutes and then leave on the lowest setting for a further 25 minutes. Taste, add some plum juice (or ribeina) for extra sweetness if desired. The perfect Christmas treat, marries with pork as well. Snuggle! You've worked like a trooper all year long. STOP! Relax, unwind and appreciate the loved ones around you. Winter brings us cosey nights in, films-a-plenty and snuggles with your nearest and dearest all winter long. The Christmas classics like The Snowman or Marry Poppins never fail to bring a smile to the face or a warmth to the heart. Treat yourself! Don't just spend your Christmas money on the kids, the pets or the chimney sweep you’ve been meaning to call since October. Spend it on yourself! Go on – we all have something we want but never get, January is the month where you can do this in the sales. Enjoy it, after all it is only once a year.

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Open all year except 24th - 26th December The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford houses one of the largest aviation collections in the UK. Seventy historic aircraft are displayed in three wartime hangars, including The National Cold War Exhibition. This landmark building contains military transport, memorabilia and interactive kiosks. This is a unique exhibition that reflects the social, cultural and political history of the Cold War era, in a fun and innovative way. A major feature are Britain’s three post-war V-Bombers the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant. Children and adults alike will be fascinated by fun ‘n’ flight – it’s a great way to discover all about how planes stay up in the air. The advanced flight simulator is also a great way to get an instant flying experience – soar into the sky with the Red Arrows or ride in a Eurofighter, the most advanced aircraft ever built. Learn all there is to know about flying at this wonderful museum and it may well be you delivering all the presents this year… How about that mum and dad!


A Christmas Carol:

bringing the film to life 17th December 2011 Did you know that 27 years ago the quaint little market town of Shrewsbury played host to the film crew, actors and festive sets of the 1984 classic, A Christmas Carol? And now you can re-trace the footprints of the famous on a guided Christmas carol tour around the streets and buildings of Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge and all the other memorable characters that made A Christmas Carol one of the best Christmas movies of all time. There will be two tours held throughout the day, one at 11:00 am and one at 2:00pm. Adults £4.00 Children £2.50. Come and learn the true spirit of Christmas and have a Dickens of a time!

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A complete family experience under one roof! Gym & Health Spa

Soft Play Area

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Fully Licensed Bar

Food Served All Day


8 bands perform from midday til midnight


3G Football Pitch Tea and Coffee Free Car Parking

Ideal Fun For A Fun Family Day, Just Off the A5/A495 The Venue at Park Hall, Burma Road, Oswestry SY11 4AS 01691 684840

An evening of awe and wonder awaits as Theatre on Ice producers Wild Rose, stage a truly magical production of the well loved fairytale, Cinderella.



Box Office 01743 281 281 Book Online

Theatre Severn, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8FT


Winter Reads IF YOU CAN BE SURE OF ONE THING THIS WINTER TIME, IT’S BOOKS! HERE’S YATTAR YATTAR’S PICK OF THE BUNCH FOR YOU! At Home: A Short History of Private Life. By Bill Bryson. Better known for his travel writing and extraordinary adventures, this witty little read takes us no further than Bill’s own home! The sheer genius of this book is that Bill takes us on a ride right back to the dark ages without ever having to leave his own home. Our reviewer says: ‘I don’t think this book would have worked if it had lived in a normal home, however he now dwells in a former Church of England rectory built in the 19th century. It is from researching every nook and cranny in his own home that we, as the reader, are taken on an incredibly funny, witty, and eerie journey back in time.’ Thank you Bill! 4/5 The Return of the Rings by J R R Tolkien. Don’t get too excited – this isn’t the author writing from beyond the grave, this is a time for bringing out the ultimate classic read. Spanning a massive 1000 plus pages this is a story of good vs evil that will last you all winter long! The prequel The Hobbit should begin your mammoth reading fix. Our reviewer says: ‘This is the best-loved and most wellknown fantasy novel of all time; if you haven’t read this yet, you are seriously missing out. It can actually put a fresh spin on life too. It’s a truly inspirational and a great read. The films, although brilliant, just don’t do the books justice.’ 4/5 Nelson Mandela Conversations with myself. Nelson Mandela is widely considered to be one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has bestowed his memories and remarkable experiences in a book for the people. Our reviewer says: ‘A truly inspirational read. In this book we see diaries and draft letters written in Robben Island and other South African prisons during his twenty-seven years of incarceration; notebooks from the post-apartheid transition; private recorded conversations; speeches and correspondence written during his presidency.’ 4/5

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A poem by Ken Holmes So you’ve put on a suit And washed your face You’ve become a rat So join the race You’ve taken a sip from the tainted wine And slept with the corporate concubine. Your soul is mine. It’s here to stay. Welcome to the American Way.

What’s it about? This is not your usual biography. Ken drags the reader along at breakneck speed with humour, poetry and philosophy. It begins with Ken (or Don Quixote) growing up in Liverpool. Feeling like a big fish in a small pond; wanting and feeling like he was made for better things – but what? Ken says: ‘There was a lust for fame and fortune, but the closer I got to this so-called fame and this so-called fortune the more I became disillusioned with money, and I discovered a world full of greed, evil and corruption. A reality check came a-knocking and I had a lightbulb moment; to succeed in this life I had to tread the winding roads (wherever they would take me) with honour and chivalry. I was now Don Quixote, chaser of windmills and this world would be my oyster – I just needed to figure out what that oyster was!’ Ken asks the reader to question the true meaning of life, what is love and why is it there. ‘Kiasu’ means refuse to fail and is the mantra Ken adheres to no matter what life throws his way. Why should I read it? As with all books sent in to Yattar Yattar; we make it our mission to read them all! Ken’s biography was without a shadow of doubt the office favourite. It is a comfortable and witty read; it paints a pure picture of our local area, as one of Ken’s many dreams was to own a humble house with enough land to build a Japanese garden. He found all this and more in Llangollen and it’s great to hear him speak of all the joys found in our local area. Ken says: ‘The beautiful countryside in north Wales can’t be bettered anywhere in the world, but it’s the people that make it A signed copy of Ken’s book. intoxicating.’ Ken’s story takes us all over the world, Answer this question and email your answer to his imagination and inventive nature make him an enthralling character to tuck into on a cold winter’s Which Spanish fictional night. Curl up in front of the fire and enjoy a story of character Ken compare adventure, honesty and inspiration – you may want to himself to in his book? make some extra spaces on that dresser of yours; as I'm The first five correct sure there will be a few new picture frames coming your answers win! way… isn’t that right Ken?


Ken’s Book Signing Dates – come along and say hello! Grosvenor Garden Centre: Wednesday 7th December, 6-9 pm Maxine’s Cafe and Bookshop, Llangollen: Sunday 11th December from noon

A companion to the series

The World of Downton Abbey is a beautiful companion book to this wonderful television show. Our reviewer says: ‘You can see that it was put together with a lot of thought and attention to detail! On its 300 pages it offers a wealth of pictures and information. The book begins with a foreword by series creator Julian Fellowes and is split into nine different sections after that: family life, society, change, life in service, style, house and estate, romance, war and behind the scenes. It also contains lots of interesting titbits about life before and during the First World War. There are lots of pictures from the show, of course, but also original photos from the era it is set in as well as war posters, costume sketches and more.’

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Discover our amazing world of science with 65 interactive hands-on exhibits, puzzles, live science shows and activities all the family will enjoy!

Present this voucher and one child will be admitted for free when an adult or concession pays full entry price. Open all year, Tuesday to Friday from 10am and weekends from 11am. Also open Mondays during school holidays. TQG Science Discovery Centre is located just off Junction 5, A483 Wrexham. Valid until 19/02/12. T&C apply. Code 70. YATNOV11 01978 293400 myTQG

A Traditional


The holiday season and its celebrations are a favourite time of the year for all. We retrace our traditional customs across the UK, which were an important part of the festive period, and some of which survive today. By Jane Redfern Jones

dropped into icy cold water. The taffy curls into all sorts of shapes – like letters – believed to be a way of divining the initials of the younger, unmarried family members’ future loves. Then there’s the Mari Lwyd – the grey mare that brings good luck. Imagine hearing a knock on your door around Christmas time Modern-day Wassail and being challenged to a celebrations in Wales battle of rhyming insults by a man with a scary skull-head horse! That’s the Mari Lwyd - a pre-Christian custom that’s still acted out in parts of Wales. The head would carry colourful streamers, perhaps symbolic reins. These days, Christmas celebrations in Wales The ‘horse’ would be joined by a group of are similar to those in the rest of Britain, but local men and the party would proceed to some older traditions continue, and in some call at the houses of the village. The Mari areas are being reintroduced. One custom Lwyd would challenge the householder to in many parts of Wales was to attend a very compete with him in singing and versifying. early church service known as ‘Plygain’ which would begin at 3am. In the dark hours on the morning of Christmas Day, Mari Lwyd and Wassail before the cockerel crowed, men would Unsurprisingly, not all households relished gather in rural churches to sing. They sang the company of a boisterous group mainly unaccompanied, three or four-part dancing about with a horse’s skull on harmony carols, in a service that went a pole, some might even have found it on for three hours or more. The custom unappealing to engage in poetic managed to survive in many country banter at a late hour. At any areas, still thriving today in parts of rate, the tradition began to Wales, and because of its simplicity be abandoned towards the and beauty is being revived in end of the 19th century, many others. particularly as the Mari Lwyd After the service, a day of parties gained an antifeasting and drinking begins. social reputation as they Taffy-making is another old Welsh custom still practiced in some Welsh LEFT The Mari Lwyd households. Toffee is boiled in pans tradition is being revived on open fires and dollops then


RIGHT A Plygain service

34 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

roamed the villages. Instead, Christmas carols were sung at the doors and the battle of insults and verse disappeared. By the 1960’s the custom of the Mari had almost died out. However this ancient custom is being revived in many areas, including by University students through the streets of Aberystwyth, although hopefully with not too much emphasis on the old tradition of boisterous behaviour!


The Calennig is still made by schoolchidren in North Wales Wassail is a tradition that went hand-in-hand with Mari Lwyd and other Christmas get-togethers. Whilst nowadays we drink mulled wine and punch at Christmas and New Year parties, a Welsh Christmas at the turn of the century involved drinking from the wassail bowl. These bowls were often elaborate, ornate and many-handled. The bowl was filled with fruit, sugar, spices and topped up with warm beer. As it was passed around, the drinkers would make a wish for a successful year’s farming and a bumper crop at harvest time. Pity the poor wrens at Christmas-time. On the Twelfth Night in Wales, groups of men would go out ‘Hunting the Wren’. The tiny bird would be caged in a wooden box and carried from door to door. Householders would pay for the privilege of peeping at the poor wren in the box. The ‘Calennig’ also sometimes makes an appearance at Christmas or on New Year’s Day. An apple or orange is supported on a tripod of twigs and studded with cloves. A sprig of box (from a nearby hedge) is inserted at the top. Today the Calennig is often decorated with gold foil and tricked out with raisins made to appear as though they grew from the sprig. Some would be displayed in the home or perhaps delivered

‘Nowadays we drink mulled wine and punch at Christmas and New Year parties’ to friends as a symbolic gift. It was held to be a token of good crops in the coming year. Many school children, such as those in St Giles Primary School in Wrexham, still enjoy making a Calennig each year to take home for their Christmas table.


Irish Christmas traditions are many and varied, in addition to the similar customs they follow as in the rest of the UK. Although religious devotion in Ireland today is perhaps less than it used to be, religious services for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and Midnight Mass, are popular with Roman Catholics to this day. In many homes the traditional crib, along with the Christmas tree, are part of a family’s decorations. Some people light candles to signify symbolic hospitality for Mary and Joseph.

A glass of Guinness

Father Christmas, Daidí na Nollag (‘Daddy of Christmas’), is known in Ireland as Santy or Santa. It is traditional to leave a mince pie and a bottle or a glass of Guinness along with a carrot for Rudolph, although in recent years Guinness has been replaced with milk, mince pies and cookies due to an American influence. For centuries it was a practice in Irish villages to set the kitchen table after the evening meal on Christmas Eve. On it was placed a loaf of bread filled with caraway seeds and raisins, a pitcher of milk and a large lit candle. The door was left unlatched. Thus, hospitality was extended to the Holy Family or to any traveller that might be on the road. This flickering symbol also served as a signal in times past to any priest seeking shelter and protection that he was welcome in this house. A similar custom to the Welsh hunting the Wren was the Irish ‘feeding the wren’. The custom is based on a legend of St. Stephen. Once he was forced to hide in a bush, but a chattering wren gave him away. In the past children caged the wren to help it do penance for this misdeed. Nowadays children dress up in straw masks and colourful clothing and, accompanied by

Advent Calendars

Two traditions that have caught on in England and Wales are the Advent calendar and the Advent Candle. The Advent Calendar originated in the 19th Century from the protestant area of Germany. Protestant Christian families made a chalk line for every day in December until Christmas Eve. Before long, commercial entrepreneurs started replacing the chalk lines with printed calendars, and the first known Advent Calendar dates back to 1851. Calendars nowadays usually have 24 or 25 doors. Behind each door there is a Christmas scene and in the most popular ones, a chocolate! An Advent candle often has 25 marks on it, a bit of the candle is burned down by one mark each day. In some homes, 24 candles are kept, one for each night from December 1st through to Christmas eve. One candle is lit for a while on December 1st, then a new candle is added each day for the 24-day period. However, it is now more common to have four candles for the four weeks before Christmas. The candles are often placed on a wreath upon the dining room table. Advent is the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus and begins on Sunday nearest to 30th November. Traditionally it is a penitential season but is no longer kept with the strictness of Lent and Christians are no longer required to fast. Advent wreaths are popular especially in churches. They are made with fir branches and candles and a candle is lit each Sunday during Advent.

Are you a lawbreaker!?

In Britain, the Holy Days and Fasting Days Act of 1551 (which has not yet been repealed) states that every citizen must attend a Christian church service on Christmas Day, and must not use any kind of vehicle to get to the service. There are a large number of Britons who break this law every year. The law may have been intended to encourage humility by forcing even the wealthy to attend the church on foot, or perhaps it was simply to avoid the traffic and parking crush that universal attendance would otherwise have brought about.

traditional céilidh music bands, parade through towns and villages carrying a long pole with a holly bush at the top – which is supposed to hide a captured wren, but nowadays fortunately the live bird is replaced with a fake one.

Hogmanay takes on a special significance in Scotland

Victorian Christmas traditions have the biggest influence on our celebrations today

party, and to put the products of Scotland’s famous distilleries to good use, could not be repressed. In effect, Hogmanay became Scotland’s main outlet for the mid-winter impulse to chase away the darkness with light, warmth and festivities.



Until recently, Christmas in Scotland was fairly low key. Christmas remained a normal working day until 1958 and Boxing Day did not become a National Holiday until much later. Up until then, people worked normally on Christmas day, although the children did get presents. Therefore if you want to have a real traditional Scottish Christmas, you should go into work on Christmas day! Scottish people have their big celebrations on New Year’s Day, called Hogmanay. Although some of the Hogmanay traditions are ancient, the celebrations were elevated in importance after the banning of Christmas in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Cromwellian crackdown It was under Oliver Cromwell that Parliament banned Christmas celebrations in 1647. The ban was lifted after Cromwell’s downfall in 1660, but in Scotland the stricter Scottish Presbyterian Church had been discouraging Christmas celebrations – as having no basis in the Bible – from as early as 1583. After the Cromwellian ban was lifted elsewhere, Christmas festivities continued to be discouraged in Scotland. But the impulse to

36 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

In England Boxing Day is traditionally a time to give gifts to tradesmen, servants, and friends. It originated in medieval times, when every priest was supposed to empty the alms box of his church and distribute gifts to the poor. Wealthy people indulged in huge Christmas feasts, and when they were finished, packed up the remains of feasts in boxes and gave them out to their servants. It didn’t become widely celebrated though until Victorian England.

A present-day Victorian Christmas The origins of the now traditional Christmas celebration, distinct from earlier pagan winter holidays, date to sixth-century England. By the middle ages, the 25th of December was a well-established, important holiday, with traditional pageantry, customs, music and feasting. Customs from pre-Christian days were incorporated into the celebrations, and many still remain. Most of our ‘traditional’ Christmas celebrations (other than the religious festival) originated in the 19th century (Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, had a lot to do with it!) and so England, Wales and Scotland developed the same traditions from around that time – Christmas trees, decorations, Father Christmas, presents, stockings at the end of the bed, Christmas Carols and Christmas cards. It was during Queen Victoria’s reign that Christmas became a time for gift-giving, and a special season for children. So the Victorians gave us the kind of Christmas we know today, reviving the tradition of carol singing, borrowing the practice of card giving from St. Valentine’s day and popularising Christmas trees, which were a German tradition, brought to Britain

and made popular by the royal family. Prince Albert first introduced the Christmas tree into the royal household in Britain in 1834. He was given a tree as a gift by the Queen of Norway which was displayed in Trafalgar Square. In previous centuries the church worried about pagan influences on the Christian festival, but today ethical considerations are focused on the over-commercialism of the holiday, with the average person in the UK spending hundreds of pounds on Christmas purchases. Protests against consumerism have been made by Christians and nonChristians such as ‘Buy Nothing Christmas’, encouraging people to spend time with their families instead of spending money on them. With carol concerts, Christmas trees, office parties, midnight mass, and television programmes, today’s festival has elements of the pagan, Christian and folk traditions all together. But whatever the celebrations, Christmas remains a time to forget about the long dark days of winter and time to celebrate with friends and family. y

Queen’s Message One Christmas ritual not drawn from an ancient tradition is the British monarch’s broadcast on Christmas day. The tradition began in 1932 when King George V read a special speech written by Rudyard Kipling. The broadcast was an enormous success. It began, ‘I speak now from my home and from my heart, to you all…’ Queen Elizabeth II continues the tradition to this day. Every year she broadcasts her message on Christmas Day, and it is heard by millions of people all over the world.

Yat Yu tar’s leti Gif de ts!

Stuck on what to get that special someone this year? Well fear not; we’ve done the hard work, so you don’t have to. These festive feats and New Year’s treats are the perfect pick-me-up for Christmas and Birthdays in the New Year!


Mulled Wine and Mince Pies for Everyone!

Rhiannon Welsh Gold Thinking of popping the question? Or purchasing the perfect piece for that special someone? Then you will fine no finer quality jewelry than what’s on offer at Rhiannon’s Welsh Gold Boutique and Workshops. Rhiannon Evans has been designing and making unique and beautiful jewelery in the heart of wales for over thirty years. Llewellyn Evans, of Rhiannon says: ‘Everyone at Rhiannon invites you to join in the merriment on the 2nd of December at Tregaron’s Christmas fair, with special offers, late opening, carol singing, and the attraction of craft stalls on the square. After all that, you’ll deserve a treat – free mulled wine and mince pies at the Rhiannon Welsh Gold Centre will be just what the Santa ordered! Don’t forget to pop in and see our beautiful pieces of jewelry crafted before your very eyes in our visitors workshops!’ Pieces of jewelery are personal and often significantly poignant items in peoples lives, make sure the gift represents the sentiment by choosing a quality assured and beautifully sculpted piece of jewelry; the likes of found at Rhiannon’s Welsh Gold Centre.

Glasfryn Activity Parc

Glasfryn Activity Parc is one of the biggest outward-bound activity centres in the country. It houses a wide range of outdoor and indoor pursuits including: go karting, cable wake-boarding, quad biking, archery, course fishing, ten pin bowling, a soft-play centre, children’s parties, a farm shop off voucher and restaurant (serving pipping-hot, home-made meals). Not to mention for every their on-site holiday cottages! Glasfryn really is a world-class day out (or reader short-break if you prefer) for all the family and with this exclusive voucher, participants will get £5 off their evening meal with every £50 spent on activities! We’ve selected this activity park to feature in Yattar’s Yule-tide Gifts as it really is one of the best in the country. Put a huge smile on a loved-ones face and chose Glasfryn Parc for an awesome family adventure. Visit: for more info and Christmas party bookings.


38 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

Gift Vouchers

for a helicopter lesson!

Whizzard Helicopters Ever dreamt of becoming a helicopter pilot? know someone who does? Then make this ultimate high-flying dream come true! Captain Jerry says: ‘Here at Whizzard Helicopters we can make the magic happen! From your first trial lesson right through to the dream of attaining your pilots licence – Whizzard Helicopters is here to help. Nothing beats the feeling of flight and many people often comment on the pride they feel after they’ve learnt to fly with us. Even if it’s just the experience you’re after, our fully certified pilots can make any dream come true. For the perfect gift we have vouchers in £20, £25 and £50 and if you visit the website you may be able to book one of our discounted late deals! We also have a careers section for the seriously committed among you; with guaranteed paid work on completion of your flying training! Sound too good to be true? well it isn’t; make someone very happy this festive time.’ For more information visit:

Chester Zoo

10% off for Yattar Yattar readers!

National White Water Centre

This is the type of gift that ticks the ‘once in a lifetime’ box. Rafting at the National White Water Centre offers the chance to tackle the awesome rapids and crashing waves of the Tryweryn River in the unspoilt environment of the Snowdonia National Park. Marketing Manager, Bledd Lloyd says: ‘The NWWC has been running commercial rafting trips longer than any other rafting company in the UK and remains the country’s most popular white water rafting destination 25 years later. On offer are various rafting trips suitable for families, groups or individuals, as well as thrilling tandem kayaking excursions and mighty weekend adventure breaks! Because the river is dam controlled, there are great water conditions all year round, meaning that your loved ones can cash in their Christmas gift during the summer and enjoy rafting on the fantastic Tryweryn River in the sunshine!’ Exclusive to Yattar Yattar readers, receive a fantastic bonus offer of 10% off all rafting, kayaking and canyoning vouchers, using promo code Yattar10. For more details visit their website

Many think Chester Zoo is the number one zoo in the whole of the UK. It boasts an amazing collection of wildlife from around the globe. With over 7,000 animals and 400 different species, it transports you to the various habitats around the world that otherwise wouldn’t be achievable for the majority of us; to put it another way – Chester Zoo makes dreams come true! Chose one of the Zoo’s amazing gift opportunities for a loved one this Christmas. What’s on offer? First up we have the Experience Days: choose from either a giraffe, meerkat or penguin encounter; get up close and personal with your favourite fury friends and yes, you even get to feed them too – little children are strictly off the menu though – so don’t you worry! With Zoo Keeper Experience, there are two options, one for adults and one for juniors; an exclusive glimpse at what really goes on behind the scenes and advice from the experts. Gardner for the Day: spend a day with the Chester Zoo gardening team, pruning and preening the grounds award-winning gardens. And finally: Zoo Keeper for Great offers the Day: work on a one-to-one basis on days out at with the keeping staff on the animal one of the UK’s best Zoos section of your choice… amazing! Gift vouchers are available, and Beastie in a Box, which is an adoption pack and cuddly toy set – a brilliant idea as all the proceeds go to the animals. Why not become a member? Or sign up for Chester Zoo’s very own wildlife conservation charity ‘Act Now for Wildlife’? Which ever you decide, any of these gifts are bound to put a smile on the face and a warmth in the heart. an animal


encounter experience at Chester Zoo Turn to page 94 for details

Yat Yu tar’s leti Gif de ts!


Picnic for all Yattar Yattar readers!

Berwyn Mountain Llama Treks! Treks

Here is an unusual and uniquely brilliant present for a loved one this year. Chose from a one-hour, three-hour or a full days llama trek in the beautiful Berwyn Mountains of North Wales. Having opted for this gift myself I can say with complete confidence – this is truly an experience of a lifetime! Not only do you get to hike the heatherladen hills with your very own Llama companion (mine was called Eddie!) but Carol, the company director enriches your experience with expert knowledge on Llamas and landscape in an interesting and hands-on manner. Carol says: ‘I began running the Llama Trekking Centre five years ago and it has been a dream come true! The Llama trekking experience is geared towards giving the customer a stressless, nature-infused and breath-taking adventure. Some clients comment on the sheer thrill of sharing their walks with an unusual and charming animal. Others are surprised at how therapeutic this experience becomes. Always enjoyed is the picnic-spot we’ve purpose built to accentuate the experience; I often see peoples worries slip away like water off a duck’s back when we’re here. The open fire ignites the senses, the feeling of a nice hot cuppa and a tasty treat in the great outdoors tends to be great experience for all who attend the treks. It’s a well-rounded day out that ultimately transports us back to our roots and connects you to the world around us’. What’s more if you book either the three hour of full-day trek Yattar Yattar fans will get a free picnic! That’s what I call Llama-licious! Cazz Jones. Visit:

Blue Planet Aquarium Here’s an unbeatable treat for any time of year. The kids are going to be bending over backwards to help with the house work for an Go diving experience like this! New to the Blue with the Planet Aquarium, and a UK first, comes shark kids! dives for children! Sounds a little scary we know, but this could not be further from the truth. Book in for one of these amazing junior dives and your little flounder will receive full dive instruction, expert advice and supervision, free hire of a special children’s SCUBA kit, accompanying adult and close up shark encounters guaranteed. From the very depths of the great oceans comes a diverse and magical spectacle for your eyes to behold. For your chance to get up close and personal with some fishy friends, so get in touch with the Blue Planet Aquarium and book your aqua-adventure today! VIP dives for adults are also available. Visit: www.

White Water Active White Water Active is a quality assured and incredible experience for all the many thrill-seekers amongst you. Perhaps you are a little apprehensive about rafting the choppy white waters of the River Dee? If so why not chose a more subtle approach and enjoy an up-stream paddle in one of the centres safety-certified canoes Get up close (or kayaks if going solo). However brave and personal you feel; White Water Active can cater with the River for you and a gorgeous gift-day can be Dee on a rafting enjoyed by all. For more information on gift experience to experience days or vouchers, visit: www. remember! and check out their range of outdoor pursuits too; gorge-walking, clay-pigeon shooting, paint-balling, quad-biking, climbing and absailing, problem-solving and obstacle courses are all here in one visually breath-taking and astonising place! Visit

Canolfan�Rhiannon�Centre Tregaron SY25�6JL 01974�298415�����


Shrewsbury & Welshpool

Specialists in antique and pre-loved jewellery Be unique in your decisions, your taste and your style, at County Goldsmiths we offer our customers individuality on every purchase. Most of our pieces are ‘one off’ items, so you have the knowledge is distinct and special to you. Specialising in antique and pre-owned jewellery, we stock everything from Victorian, Georgian, Art Deco to modern pieces with a budget to suit. You’ll be certain to find something truly special and unique in every way.

No2 Butcher Row, Shrewsbury SY1 1UW 01743 588751 5/6 Church Street, Welshpool, Powys SY21 7DL 01938 553784

Winter Wildlife Enjoy the Thrill of the Chill!

Why not set aside a day or two this winter to explore the frozen landscapes in and around Wales; you never know, you may just capture a winning photograph, get up close and personal with some great British wildlife – or start a new winter walking family tradition! By Cazz Jones habitat. Stride the sandy beaches of the South, walk the woodlands of the North, tread the tow-paths of the East or march through the mountains of the West. Each region boasts great wildlife treasures, but some are better renowned for their specific habitats than others. You needn’t travel far to enjoy the countryside; it’s never that far away from any of us, and if, like us, you like the idea of some blustery boot-walks, then pack a turkey sandwich or two and head to one of these fabulous locations for a wildlife walk with a difference.

Where to Walk

● ANGLESEY – This is by far one of the most diverse regions in Wales if not the whole of the UK. If a local population that includes sharks, rays and bottlenose dolphins tickles your fancy then Anglesey is the place for you! Here you’ll find sixty sites of special scientific interest, four national nature reserves, 125 miles of coastal path (most of which guides you through an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and more shipwrecks than anywhere else in Europe. ● SNOWDONIA – Heralded as one of the natural wonders of Wales, these rolling hills and mighty mountains, with


o you’ve decided the ten gateaux, fourteen turkey dinners and six tins of chocolates you’ve devoured over the festive period are starting to take their toll. Never a better time to start planning your winter wildlife walks! But where? Well, Wales is blessed with mile upon mile of diverse natural

42 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

Barn owl: not the hooting kind – that’s the tawny owl you can hear


Otters: resident in Snowdonia Castle; you may even catch a glimpse of a wild pony or two!

You’ll spot squirrels out foraging

17 national nature reserves, can cater for any wildlife walker, whether it be a gentle stroll along the coastal path (did I mention Snowdonia has a 142 miles of coastal pathways!) or a hero’s ascent up any of the 90 mountains that prick the skyline. The highest of course being Snowdon; bigger than any mountain in England and Wales. Amongst the lakes, castles and steam trains, you can walk amongst the local wildlife including mountain goats, otters, polecats and ravens – it’s a magical place and highly recommended.

● SHROPSHIRE AND THE BORDERS – The Stiperstones National Nature Reserve is very popular with visitors and walkers, so too is the Long Mynd. Together, they make up the largest area of heathland in the Shropshire Hills. Prees Heath Common is also a unique spot as it is the last sanctuary for the silver-studded blue butterfly in the Midlands and was once a Second World War airfield; a major restoration project is now reinstating heathland and grassland vegetation across much of the site. Lake Vrynwy Nature Reserve (just outside Shropshire) hides some mythical marvels, one of which is a flooded village and huge wood carvings jump out at you in the most surprising of places! Endless walks are plentiful here, as is bird watching with a huge variety of species. Wenlock Edge is home to a long wooded escarpment

Tracing Tracks With winter comes a fresh blanket of snow (even more guaranteed as we’ve seen in recent years) and with a fresh blanket of snow comes perfectly preserved animal tracks! When you’re out on your walks, see if you can identify the furry fellows who have been there before you by memorising the tracks on this page. You’ll also more than likely find the remains of nutty nibblings on your winter walks; throughout the autumn many animals such as squirrels, jays, nuthatches and coal tits have been collecting lots of nuts to stash up in preparation for the long, food-scarce, colder months. In winter time these hoards are being raided and not always by their owners either! If you’re walking the woodlands or have opted for a specialist deerspotting adventure (Attingham park in Shropshire is a particular favourite) then look out for deer antlers… rutting season has ended, the does are beginning to plump with pregnancy and the bucks are recovering after battling ech other. Please don’t be tempted to take these antlers home with you however, as the deer still need to use them. They posses vital calcium minerals which they lick off, and keep the deer ticking over in the long, cold winter months.

● COASTAL NORTH WALES – Captures the imagination with its sixty miles of coastal path which meanders along the Welsh coast from Bangor to Prestatyn (or vice versa if you prefer!) as it has done for thousands of years, stopping at various well-known Welsh towns along the way. At Llandudno, the largest seaside resort, walk from the Great Orme headland (680 feet to the summit) along the sand and shingle beach to the Little Orme (463 feet) for some incredible sea views or meet the locals; a herd of Kashmir goats! On Conway Mountain, reel in wonder at the impressive Conwy

● THE NORTH WALES BORDERLANDS – Without a shadow of a doubt sublimely beautiful; in particular, the Ceiriog Valley or ‘little bit of heaven on earth’ according to the first Welsh Prime Minister, Lloyd George. Rolling hills, glistening rivers, canal systems with their colourful barge boats, the far-off cotton white puffs of steam from the various steam trains that chug along the valleys. Celtic myths and historical artifacts like Dinas Bran (a hill-top castle built in the days of Owain Glyndwr) make any walking route a bygone adventure – and the Denbigh Moors boast the largest red squirrel population in Wales! The reasons to walk North Wales are infinite and no article would be long enough to describe them all; seeing is believing!

Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 43


Catch the roosters With winter comes bare trees and less hiding places for our flighty friends. Which means it’s the perfect time for bird watching and in winter time the sights can be spectacular! Many birds flock together in winter for warmth and protection; starling flocks can reach several thousands. Pied wagtails will gather in large roosts in towns and around manmade structures, wrens have been known to bundle together into nest-boxes (with a record 61 found in one box!), and hen and marsh harriers also gather around roosts, and visting migratory birds mean the chance to tick off some new species in your twitchers log. An hour before dusk will give you the best performance. Don’t forget to pop your nuts and fatballs out in the garden; food supplies are at an all time low in winter and our flying friends spend every waking hour searching for tit bits just to keep them ticking over.

‘Little bit of heaven on earth’ Welsh prime minister Lloyd George describing the Ceiriog Valley

It’s mating season for ducks in winter

and a limestone ridge, which just happens to be the remains of a coral reef – lots of fossil hunting to do here! And a visit to Kynaston’s Cave is also recommended; here you can find beautiful woodland walks, the remains of a hill fort and the hiding place of local highwayman, Humphrey Kynaston.

Wishing for wildlife? Mrs Tiggywinkle and her other hedgehog companions will be all tucked up in bed this winter, as will the dormouse and the 17 species of bat who reside in the UK; so don't expect to be seeing any of these little creatures on your winter walks. Other hibernating species include mason bees, queen bumblebees and butterflies. A relatively small percentage to say the least – so that's fantastic news for us! So what can we look out for? And how do we achieve maximum wildlife encounters during our winter walks?

Prick up those ears! Although some of our British wildlife may be making a hasty retreat from the cold this winter, there are still plenty more noisy characters

44 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

to listen out for. The fox for example uses the cover of premature darkness to sniff out a mate. The haunting screams heard during this period are apparently irresistible to the female fox (vixen)! Also at large during the winter months are the wise owls, in particular the tawny; who also happens to be in the mood for love. The ‘twit-twoo’ calls commonly associated with the tawnies are actually a combination of sounds made between the mating pair. Look out for these in deciduous woods or farmland at dusk. Also worth a winter eavesdrop are whistling wigeon, honking whooper swans, screeching snipe and the lovely lapwing ‘peewit’.

Winter wardrobe All creatures great and small are flaunting the furs and puckering up the plumage in the Winter. It's mating season for ducks as well, so why not pop some breadcrumbs and a flask of pipping hot coco in your haversack and head to your local pond, lake, wetland or estuary and gaze in wonder at the parading ducks in their dazzling drapery.

And finally... When out on your walks, remember to cover your own tracks! In the time-worn phrase: ‘Leave only footprints, take only memories’. Make sure you pick up all your rubbish, as package waste can be lethal to wild animals... the odd crust will be appreciated though I'm sure. A first aid kit is always a good idea for any grazed knees, bring a mobile phone with you, and always remember that camera… I hear David Attenborough is looking for a new apprentice, you never know… it could be you! y

In the garden Winter is a particularly important time of year to be aware of the needs of the wild birds in your garden. What can you do to help them survive the colder winter months? Martin George, wildlife advice manager at CJ WildBird Foods says: ‘Providing good, energy-rich, high-quality food can make a real difference to the bird’s wellbeing across the seasons, especially during the winter months when the days are short and the birds have limited daylight hours to search for food. High-energy foods which can be consumed quickly, such as husk-free sunflower hearts, allow garden birds to consume calories quickly and efficiently during the day and store surplus calories to burn off during the night to keep warm, drastically improving their chances of surviving the winter.’ It is important that you match the feeder to the food. For example peanuts should be fed using a mesh feeder to prevent birds from choking on whole peanuts and bird food should never be served in net bags as these can cause serious injury. It is also vital to ensure there is a supply of fresh water available too, especially in frosty weather. Martin says: ‘it is important to be prepared and have extra bird food on standby in case there is a drop in temperature or sudden snowfall as both will impact on the availability of natural food resources and the birds will be more reliant on the supplementary food they can find in your garden.’

W inter care forinwildyourbirds garden! 1

Winter is a particularly important time of year to be aware of the needs of the wild birds in your garden and what you can do to help them survive the cold winter months.

High-energy foods such as peanuts, sunflower hearts or fat cakes are vitally important when the days are short and the birds have limited feeding time. Surplus calories can then be stored up and burnt off during the night to keep warm.


3 4

CJ Wildlife’s recommended high-energy foods 1 Suet Ring £11.95 Our hand-made suet ring is bursting with high-energy goodness for your garden birds.



2 Gourmet Robin Peanut Cakes Squares (300g) 3 cakes for £8.00 Contains fruit, seeds and dried mealworms making this peanut cake a particular favourite with robins. 3 Fat Ball Saver Pack £15.95 Fat Balls make tasty treats for your garden birds and this pack includes a Fat Ball Feeder, 48 Fat Balls and a Short Tree Hook. 4 Peanut Feeder Pack £21.50 Attractive silver metal peanut feeder with 2.5kg of Classic Peanuts that are a firm favourite with a variety of wildlife. 5 Standard Sunflower Hearts 2.5kg £9.50 * With all the black sunflower husks removed, the birds can access the tasty energy-rich hearts immediately. 6 Hi-Energy No Mess 2.5kg £10.25 * Will appeal to the vast majority of your garden birds and is the highest calorie seed mix we produce.

10% off your orde

r when you collect from us in Upton Magna, Nr Sh rewsbury (excludes book

s & optics)

CJ Wildlife’s recommended high-energy food…

To order any of the items shown, please complete and return the form below. Photocopies and handwritten orders accepted, please ensure all orders are clearly marked with “Yattar Yattar – C2050” Item no.



Suet Ring

Quantity Price


Gourmet Robin Cake Pack



Fat Ball Saver Pack



Peanut Feeder Pack



Std Sundflower Hearts 2.5kg



Hi-Energy No Mess 2.5kg


Standard Postage & Packaging £2.50 Standard P&P free on orders over £50



£2.50 FREE Order Total £

To order: Call freephone 0800 731 2820 quoting C2050 at the start of your call or visit Or complete & send with payment to: CJ WildBird Foods Ltd, The Rea, Upton Magna, Shrewsbury SY4 4UR Title: _____ Initial: _____Surname: __________________________ Address: _______________________________________________ __________________________Postcode:____________________ Tel:_________________________________ (used for queries only)

* more sizes are available online at

I enclose a cheque made payable to CJ WildBird Foods Ltd. Alternatively, complete your card details below: Card no: Start date / Expiry date: / Maestro issue no.: Security code: (Last 3 numbers on signature script or for Amex, 4 numbers on the front of card) Signature/date:

To see our full range of products or to request your free CJ Wildlife Handbook of Garden Wildlife call freephone 0800 731 2820 or visit quoting C2050

Terms & conditions CJ WildBird Foods Ltd. Registered in England No. 2101581. Cards are charged at time of despatch. All items subject to availability. Orders are added to a mailing list to receive future catalogues. Your privacy is respected and your details will not be shared or sold to any other companies. Please notify us in writing to the above address or email if you wish to be removed from our mailing list.

This August I fulfilled a lifetime ambition and became a horse owner. ‘But that’s for people with money and land!’ I hear you cry! As you will discover, this doesn’t have to be the case… By Cazz Jones

From the horse’s mouth

We are dedicated to retailing fencing materials manufactured by the sawmill, as well as DIY products, Garden tools and garden furniture. • • • • • • •

Custom built sheds Kennels Summer and play houses Garden and power tools Pre Packed chipped bark Bales of wood shavings Decking accessories

Call 01691 772772 now!

Decision time

Next up is cost. Do not be under any illusion that horse ownership is ‘cheap’ either. If you think that owning Ned the horse will cost the same as owning Honey that hamster or Dave the dog, you are very much mistaken. You will need to budget in excess of £1,000 for the initial costs and approximately £100 a month there-after (subject to circumstance). So if you’re still with me after all this neigh saying (…ahem) then you’re just the right sort of loving and committed person that Ned the horse would be happy to have at his side.

Choosing a reliable friend Personally I decided the best option for me was a yearling; you’ll find these young horses are a lot cheaper than experienced, broken horses as you will need to do the work – the correct terminology is now ‘making’ a horse, it sounds a lot nicer and is more accurate. The lovely, reliable and crucially safe horse you ride down at your local riding stables has only got to be that way after lots of guidance and training. If it’s one of these you want as a first-time buyer then expect to pay a bit more. I found Buddy advertised locally; I went to see him a number of times before I decided we were right for each other. Horses cost anywhere from £0 (could be a rescue or unwanted animal) to a few thousand pounds (special thoroughbreds are much more expensive). You’re not going to find the winner of the Grand National on this budget; but you will find the perfect companion; which in any case should be your ultimate goal. Our Look out for next instalment will look at what you will ears forward need before your trusty steed arrives! y and friendly

Tip! eyes.

Westway Warehouse Stock Clearance

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Your budget

Find us at: ETC Sawmills Ltd, Moreton Business Park, Gledrid, Chirk, LL14 5DG.

ft of

There is one element of horse ownership which cannot, under any circumstance, be compromised no matter what state the bank balance is in, and that my friends, is time! If you can’t afford at least one visit to your trusty steed a day then forget the idea right now. Horses need a lot of care and attention. That time will be genuinely rewarding, wholesome and fun-filled, but a lot of hard work! Knee deep in horse poop, battles against the elements no matter what time of year and hours upon hours of trust building are all vital routines which must be adhered to at all times. Still interested? Then I must be talking to the true horse lovers amongst you.

46 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

ETC is one of the largest specialist fencing suppliers in the UK. We are a "one stop shop" service to the general public and local contractors.

We currently have a selection of Toy, Education Supplies & Craft equipment available from our warehouse with at least 50% off the RRP. See these products on our eBay & Amazon shops. call us 01244 531118 We are open to the public Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm Unit 1, Floods Yard, Rectors Lane, Pentre, CH5 2DH


2012 The Year of the Hobby With a New Year comes a new positive attitude and a new you! Do you feel like taking on a new challenge – do want a new sense of achievement and genuine pride? Then make 2012 the year you take up a new hobby; here’s a few of our top ideas to get the ball rolling! By Carrie Topham Crafts at Afonwen

Where does one go to get their hands on all the many tools and materials needed to make their 2012 works of art? Thankfully there are many places you can go, and a particular favourite of Yattar Yattar would be Afonwen which specialises in ready-made crafts and gifts. Situated in the delightful surroundings overlooking beautiful views of the surrounding Welsh countryside, this marvelous little complex has a restaurant, antiques centre and craft shop. Janet Dallolio, owner of Afonwen says: ‘Come and see the craftsmen working on their various projects; the silkmaking demonstration is a particular favourite among our visitors. Many people come in with aspirations to start a knew hobby and often leave with the perfect one in mind after seeing our finished products in the gift shop. Our craftsman love giving help and advice to aspiring artists; have a go yourself and leave with all the knowledge you need to begin your 2012 hobby! With prior appointment we will be able to arrange a session for you (and your friends) with one of our expert craftsmen in your chosen field.’ Visit:

Fabulous Fabrics!

‘Come and see the craftsmen working on their various projects’

48 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

Why not try your hand at dress making, patch-work or quilt making? In times like these, we all need to save a pretty penny here and there so making your own clothes will save you money and fill you with pride too! Mona Hallam of Fabulous Fabrics in Llandudno says: ‘Included in our collection of 100% cottons, we have a selection of 100% baby flannel, a huge choice of Christmas fabrics, waddings and battings. We’re a real Aladdin’s cave with a huge selection, perfect for all my patch-work and quilting needs!’ Call 01492 873500

Classical Mosaics! Fancy learning how to a make mosaic masterpiece? Create your own pieces for the house, or decorate your old plant pots for the garden! Tricia Jones, of Classical Mosaics says: ‘Mosaic making has a rich and long history spanning many civilisations. Through time these pieces have consisted of pebbles, shell, precious stones, marble, terracotta, glass, gold, ceramics, and found objects. With all materials supplied I help people to complete their first mosaic or improve their existing skills. All they need to bring are ideas and enthusiasm to produce a wonderful, original and unique work of art and participants can go on to make more beautiful mosaics for their own homes and gardens. Set in a peaceful and creative environment I offer weekend and up to five-day courses.’ Students are taught by Tricia Jones herself, an experienced mosaic artist who trained in Ravenna, Italy, and on completion of the course they receive a Certificate of Achievement. The cost of a single day’s instruction is £45 including all materials, tools, morning coffee, light lunch and afternoon tea. The cost of a weekend or two other consecutive days is £80 (£120 with a B&B stay in a beautiful Edwardian house, with homecooked food). Many students have gone on to sell their work in galleries and exhibitions. People quickly become ‘addicted’ to mosaic making – it is a very therapeutic and rewarding art form. Tricia says: ‘At our mosaic courses people have made new friends and enjoyed a sociable, creative experience. The perfect hobby for 2012!’ Visit: for course dates.

Westhope Craft College Fancy having a go at feltmaking, jewelery design or hand embroidery as your new 2012 hobby? Great news; now you can, as Westhope Craft College has three new teachers up in arms. Hungry, attentive and raring to share their knowledge with young and adult students alike. A spokesperson for the college says: ‘The new specialists recruited by Westhope Craft College for our City & Guilds weekend courses are Steve O’Keeffe (pictured, jewelery), Caroline Merrell (pictured, feltmaking) and Wendy Riddick (hand embroidery). The weekend courses are designed to complement the existing weekday courses in machine embroidery, patchwork and glass’. So if your lacking a certain something in your life, why not try learning a new skill which just might earn you an extra bob or two!

Here’s a hobby and a half! Many people share this longing; you’ll often hear ‘I wish I could play an instrument’ – well why not make that wish come true in 2012? North Wales Music Tuition have four centres throughout North Wales, with just one sole purpose – to make the medium of music accessible to everyone! Brenda Newton says: ‘At NWMTC we believe that one-to-one tuition is the best value for money as it ensures that the time you pay for with one of our friendly qualified tutors is devoted to you and your individual needs. We are confident that we can give you or your child the best chance to develop your potential to its highest level, whether you are seeking a career in music, performing in amateur concerts or simply wanting to enjoy a worthwhile leisure activity.’ So if it’s high time you made that dream come true, NWMTC can do this for you. Visit:

‘One-to-one tutoring is available for most instruments’

Steve and Caroline, two of the craft specialists at Westhope

North Wales Music Tuition


‘Courses begin in January and February’ Free gssyiomn

taster se s Gym, at Curve , for all m a h Wrex ers! Call out read 57711 3 01978

Hit the gym! In January take out a year’s gym membership – the simple fact is if you’ve paid for it, that’ll be motivation enough to keep you going! Chances are you won’t be very far away from a suitable gym; they vary in specification slightly, but they more or less serve the same purpose. Hannah of Curves Gym, Wrexham says: ‘We specialize in fun, fast fitness for women. Our workout is proven to help women lose weight, tone up, gain confidence, improve mobility, reduce stress and fight depression! Our members enjoy the social side of Curves too. You make new friends and the atmosphere is friendly and supportive. We’re a very affordable and beneficial hobby! No previous gym experience is required; our equipment is very simple and safe to use. Most of our members pay £29 per month; we have a fantastic offer for the New Year too: we waive the joining fee when you give a donation to Nightingale House Hospice. Yattar Yattar readers can also have a free taster session if they mention the magazine when they phone or call in. Our members love being able to exercise and chat with like-minded women and make new friends. If you’re a woman who’s looking to lose weight, firm and tone or just improve your health, Curves is definitely the place for you. We’re open 8.00am-8.00pm Monday-Friday and 8.00am-12.00pm Saturdays, so it’s really easy to fit in. Starting Curves you can look forward to exercising in a friendly environment, gaining confidence, losing pounds and most importantly – having FUN!’ Visit:

50 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011


Now here’s one that isn’t going to happen overnight; but if you’ve got the staying power; this hobby will fulfill your needs more than any other and you may just end up earning your living from it! Glass blowing is a specialist skill that takes years to perfect. David Pryce of Glassblobbery says: ‘We are always happy to have visitors to the workshop where individual travellers, hobby enthusiasts, or small family groups can watch the glass ’blobber’ at it. In the winter we will be open from 10am5pm(ish) with the blobber on the job most of the time! If you especially want to see the blobber doing his stuff please do get in touch. For those of you who really feel like this could be the hobby for them we have some courses coming up in January and February, where you will begin your journey into the wonderful world of professional glass-blowing. These specialist taster sessions are priced at £295 for two days with a maximum of two people attending; this is so you get maximum focus and tuition from the professionals! My wife Wendy is a professional glass-stainer too; which is another hobby you can learn all about! Oh and did I mention your new glass-blown master-pieces will be gift wrapped for

you to take home and show-off to the masses!’ With their on-site gift shop you can see many examples of their work and buy something gorgeous for the house too. There’s a cafe next door so you won’t go hungry and with the picturesque landscape of one of the most beautiful regions in the UK (Corwen) as your backdrop – it promises to be an experience you’ll never forget. Visit:

David Pryce at work, and some of his creations

Get that qualification!

Why not get that qualification you’ve always wanted? Lucy Evans, from Walford and North Shropshire College says: ‘We have a wealth of choices for people at many venues in the community, with courses for leisure or to gain a qualification. We have courses to help people back into work and into higher education. For leisure courses, there is everything from Pottery, Italian Cookery, Creative Writing, Yoga and Welsh – there is so much to choose from! We also offer Dry Stone Walling – a one-day workshop at Walford in Feb.’ Visit: to find out more.

S U O L U B FA S C I R B A F 10% discount th From January1216 31st 20 !

Over 1000 Bolts 100% Cotton, and even more choices of Fat Quarters. A large range of Haberdashery, Zips, Buttons etc Curtain and Upholstery Fabrics, Linings, Cushion Inners Alterations and Repair Service

Contact: MONA 12 Back Madoc Street, Llandudno Tel: 01492 873500


Achievement awards Trophies

Experience the Magic of Mosaic n Residential and non residential courses now available n Flexible programmes n All materials supplied n Produce wonderful and unique pieces of work n Work in the heart of beautiful and inspirational North Wales and stay in an Edwardian country house with home cooked food and a warm welcome. n Visit the website for more information and course dates n Commissions and school mosaic projects undertaken

All you need are some ideas, some enthusiasm and we will help you with the rest.

Contact Tricia Jones Mosaic Studio, Bod Erw, Llandrillo, Corwen, Denbighshire LL21 0SW Tel. 01490 440 261 web: Mob: 07746550107 email:

Gifts Live Glass blowing demonstrations





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When you need a solution for floor coverings, Carpets and tiles, Nigel Pryce and son Carpets at 45 Mount street Welshpool have been established for twenty five years and have the widest choice of branded flooring, direct from the manufacturers. We stock a hand selected range of Persian rugs, Vinyl, luxury tiles and quality blinds from Faber. We have new ranges of beds and mattresses from Myers, Sealy and Rest Assured. Also available are Leather reclining chairs... check in store for special offers.

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Furniture at auction

By Jeremy Lamond, fine art director at Halls, Shrewsbury People often ask me whether the furniture market is good at the moment given the bad press that antique ‘brown furniture’ seems to be attracting in some of the national papers. The market in furniture is a local as well as a national affair, and often a good local buyer can buck the misery and gloom of the national outlook particularly if they have their eye on a specific piece. In Shropshire, in the run up to Christmas, I have noticed several trends. Firstly, the antique furniture market is very much alive and kicking and people do not seem to be afraid to spend money if they have found the right piece. Since the housing market has slowed somewhat, there are plenty of people out there making the best of ‘not moving’ and buying furniture to give their old home a new look. Secondly, dining tables and chairs appear to be popular but this is often the case pre-Christmas as people think of the imminent visit of relatives. Thirdly, people are being canny enough to buy for investment as well as for practical reasons. The best furniture is making as much at auction as it ever did and, with the advent of online bidding, the audience is getting bigger and more adventurous. Fourthly, large pieces of case furniture seem to be making something of a comeback. Although the market for dressers, linen presses, coffers and sideboards may never return to the levels of 30 years ago, the fact that there is a demand is encouraging. In summary what is hot and what is not? Buy ‘brown’ furniture of good colour and of a practical nature. Dining tables, chairs and bookcases are ‘in’ as are chest-onchests (especially in mahogany). Victorian bedroom chests of drawers, davenports, parlour suites and mahogany breakfast tables (so popular a few years ago) are ‘out’ for the time being unless they are exceptional examples. Good quality regional oak is popular and pieces of small proportions are much sought after. Finally, buy what you like and can live with and always buy the best that you can afford it will pay you back in years to come. For a professional furniture valuation or sale advice contact Jeremy Lamond at Halls’ head office, Welsh Bridge, Shrewsbury on Tel 01743 284777.

Above: This rare George I scarlet and gilt Japanned doubledomed bureau cabinet grabbed the headlines at Halls earlier this year as it sold for £120,000.

Jeremy Lamond MRICS ASFAAV

Auctioneer and Director of Halls Fine Art, with 25 years’ experience including Christies, South Kensington. Regular expert on BBC One’s Bargain Hunt, Shropshire radio and writes for Antique Collecting Magazine. Specialises in European and oriental porcelain, furniture and works of art. Member of the society of Fine Art Auctioneers, Association Halls AuctioneersNational are delighted to offer of Valuers and Auctioneers, TheCollection Furniture History The Bernard Bumpus Society andofThe English Ceramics Charlotte Rhead Circle.

and related Art Pottery

Homes& Gardens Planning ahead is the secret to getting the most out of sales…

January Sales!


WHERE TO GO… With the current economic state as it is, companies are very keen for you to walk through the door at any time of year. In January however, this is magnified ten-fold. The price reductions are real and they are there to tempt you in no matter what. Choose your location wisely; there’s no point saving lots of money on products just to spend it all on travel expenses to and from your chosen location. Any of the big cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Llandudno and Chester are good for our area. Remember that the best deals are to be found in the first few days of the sales.

Dress not to impress! Wear comfortable footwear – put comfort first; it’s a long day amongst the crowds and this will be a lot harder in heels! Be up with the birds – the best bargains are found on the mornings of the first few days of the sale. Have a KitKat – during your shopping expedition and have scheduled breaks throughout the day, you can take stock of what you have left to spend, and what you still haven’t acquired from the wish list. Plan your trip – check opening hours, transport and parking.

Best buys? As well as researching your trip remember there are discount vouchers and deals to be found online, including those listed by myvouchercodes. It's easy to get sucked into January spending that is just unnecessary, so make a note of the things that have been on your wish list for a long time; big buys for the house, something for the garden… designer shoes. And remember, many sale items can’t be returned so make sure it is right for you before you buy!

to be held on

Wednesday 9th February 2011 For further details or for a free appraisal on selling your collection contact Jeremy Lamond MRICS FNAVA Christina Trevanion T: 01743 284 777

Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 53

Homes& Gardens Rug Buying… All You Need To Know for the bedroom, however the hallway will need something hardier and easy to clean. In essence a rug should reflect the traits of the room it lives in.

2. Type and materials

WHEN Buying a rug, The possibilities are endless and can be a little off-putting and somewhat daunting. As usual, Yattar Yattar is on-hand to help! A rug can change the visual impact of a room greatly; they can also be a quick-fix solution to keeping a room comfortable during the colder months. There are many things to consider when buying such a large item for the house and first up is:

1. Location Professionals will tell you this is probably the most important factor to bear in mind when buying a rug. Where is the rug going to be used? Really soft luxurious rugs are great

Wool, cotton, hides, paper, grass, bamboo and synthetic are all materials used in rug construction! Wool and cotton are commonly available but what about other materials? For a natural charm you can try either bamboo, paper or grass rugs. These can look fabulous in a bathroom or family-room which follows the same organic themes. Hide rugs are sometimes a controversial subject – however, it’s each to their own, and apparently hide rugs are amazingly soft to walk on – great for the bedroom. And with the right décor, a leather rug could easily be an eyecatching centre piece to any room.

Style and colour If you’re decorating your home by yourself and not getting the professionals in, have a look in style magazines or online and remember it’s your house, your design – create a look and stick to it! Minimalist themes have low clutter, whites and neutral colours. A thick shaggy rug can bring an interesting contrast and still follow the style of the room… for more tips like these, search online or buy a few home-style magazines. To list them all here would fill the whole magazine!

Too big or not too big? Most good stockists should have your chosen rug in a variety of sizes. A good tip would be to mark out the desired size and shape of the rug for the room and measure it with a tape measure. Take the measurements with you when you go rug shopping.

54 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

Quality and small print The quality of your rug is something your budget will need to account for; there’s never a truer saying than ‘you get what you pay for’. With wool, for instance, you need to identify a few elements to decipher the quality. How deep is the pile? What is the knot count? Where is the wool sourced from – these are all things to consider. TIP: pure New Zealand Drysdale is a mark of complete quality. If you do fancy an animal hide rug, then we am happy to say that the majority of animal hide rugs in this country have been ethically sourced – meaning they are a by-product of the food industry and would otherwise go to waste. If you desire authenticity (for example a Persian or Turkish rug) you will more than likely need your rug imported; make sure you do your homework and buy from a trusted source. And if you don’t want your fabulous new rug to be ruined within the first week, make sure you find one that is easy to maintain given your circumstances. Children and pets have no care as to whether you paid one pound or several thousand! Happy shopping.

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Bringing Warmth to the Heart of your Home


Lo g w s& ith L pu ev og rc ery Ba ha s s se tov ke d e t


Suppliers of Wood & Multi Fuels Stoves with over 50 Models on display, also Aga & Esse Range Cookers. We provide the complete service where stoves are concerned, offering FREE Home Surveys (in our area) ensuring your chosen stove is right for you and your home, creating the look that’s perfect for you. We provide everything you need from the sourcing of oak beams, to the creation of an inglenook. We are Specialists in Chimney Lining, whether it is a flue in need of relining or a twin wall insulated system to be installed in a home with no chimney. All our work is carried out to a high standard, giving you peace of mind and guaranteed warmth.


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Home Heating Do you love the idea of a stove as the focal point for your living room or kitchen? Let’s go ask the experts all about home heating…


s the cold, dark nights close in we all have to come to terms with the fact it’s time to turn up the heat. This unfortunately means more money on fuels, gas or electric. Is there anything we can do to keep the costs down? And what is the most economical home heating to have installed? We spoke to experts in the home heating field to make sure you’re not left out in the cold this winter.

A stylish stainless steel Esse stove, available at Log On Fires

Saxon Homecare, Chirk, Wrexham


We asked: what is the most efficient stove to buy? Log ON fires said: ‘Well, Burley make a 5kW multifuel stove called ‘The Hollywell’ and it says it uses 89% of the energy in the fuel – which is really high. It’s the most efficient on the market. ‘How long they last does depend on quality – Burley, Aga and Esse all come with 10-year warranties, but they all last longer than that! As long as you look after them they should last forever, and you only need to replace things like firebricks or ropes after many years of use. ‘It’s not always easy to convert a fireplace to fit a log burner. You do need a trained installer who is HETAS registered. When we install for people, the job takes up to two days but no longer – we’ll just put more men on the job if needs be! ‘It can take two to three weeks in the busy periods (winter), and you should really allow six weeks for the stove to arrive in case we have to order it in – so the key thing is to plan ahead. ‘If you want to consider a back boiler for your stove (so that some of the heat is shared with radiators in your house), take a look at the Hunter Herald, the Arrow Stratford and the Broseley Hercules – all of these are good stoves than can come with back boilers. It needs a plumber to fit it into your central heating system. ‘Whats we’ve noticed are getting more and more popular is these integrated ‘green systems’ or ‘thermal stores’ that act as a storage unit for whatever energy source you want to plumb into it – so you can use them to act as a hub for an integrated system – so it might be you have an oil range cooker and a wood burner and even solar PV panels – and they can all be connected to the thermal store.’


What do you specialize in? And what heating options are available from you? Saxon specialise in a huge range of Wood Burners, Fireplaces, and Range Cookers in gas, oil, solid fuel and electric, all of which are displayed in our large Rayburns – brilliant for the showroom based in Chirk. home and the kitchen What is the most economical? Wood burners have become increasingly popular over recent years mainly due to the rising cost of other fuels. A good quality wood burner, if looked after, can last in excess of 40 years. What’s an estimated time on the waiting list and what are the most popular styles? Delivery and installation can vary depending on the time of year. Saxon would always recommend that you plan well in advance of the Winter season for supply and installation. There is a huge range of styles available to suit all types of homes. What’s the best thing about Rayburn range cookers, and which one should I go for? Rayburn is a beautiful feature to add to any home and with a broad range of models available there is Rayburn to suit every home and lifestyle.

Log On Fires Gaerwen, Anglesey

Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 57

YATTAR HOME HEATING CHATTER The Town and Country Rosedale; an inset model built into the fireplace surround


‘Bear in mind changes to the chimney and hearth’ R H Bunner Montgomery, Powys Anne Bunner says: ‘For multiple stoves, we specialise in Town and Country, Stovax and Euroheat, and we also do a great line in Stanley Range Cookers, which run on oil, gas and can be multifuel (wood and coal). They’re made by Aga, and sometimes called ‘the thinking man’s Aga’! ‘If you don’t have access to a source of wood, the most economical heating is a central heating boiler run on oil. However if you do have a good fuel source, multifuel stoves are excellent and will last a lifetime, only needing minimal care - sometimes the rope seals need replacing after many years. ‘When you are having a woodstove fitted, bear in mind that changes to the chimney and hearth can cost as much as the stove – you might need a chimney liner for example, so get a quote before buying the stove. ‘If you can afford it, I would recommend a Stanley Stove to heat radiators – they’re really efficient when run on oil and depending on the model can run up to 20 radiators. Wood stoves that have back boilers do work, but their efficiency is impaired – the stove is constantly having to fight against the cooling effect of the water which they’re not really designed for.’

A Town and County Rosedale with added logstore

RN WIlliams have been wood burning stove specialists for years and have now embraced a full range of green, environmentally sustainable heating solutions. In addition to stoves, their huge product range now includes range cookers, pellet and Xnxnxnxnxxnxcznmcnmmncmnczcmnzcnmcnmcnmccz logcnmzncmzcmnzcmnzcmzncmnzczmncnmcznmcnmc gasification boilers, solar panels, underfloor heating and thermal stores. R N Williams says: ‘Every Multifuel stoves installation will be different, Multifuel stoves have a grate however in most instances on which the fuel burns and the fireplace would need an air inlet which allows air to be opened up, involving to enter from below this grate some building work, followed so they can burn coal and wood (whereas woodburning by the relining of the existing stoves have a flat bottom). An chimney. We would advise ash pan catches the ash as that this is carried out by a the fuel burns, so that it can registered HETAS engineer to be taken away. Only Multifuel stoves offer the flexibility of ensure that the work complies burning wood and coal. with current regulations when installing a wood burning and What size stove? multi-fuel stove. Through the The heat output of wood winter season the waiting burning and multifuel stoves is time could be several weeks measured in kW, and you can due to demand. find calculators online that allow ‘There are several stove you to put in the dimensions of your room and it will suggest an models that have a boiler output. Small stoves produce capable of heating your hot around 3kW, large ones go up water and radiators to different to 12kW. Small room – small capacities. Charnwood, stove, big room – big stove. Aarrow and Hunter are popular What is ‘cleanburn’? brands. Installing a log burner A cleanburning wood stove will stove to link in with an existing very efficiently burn wood. When oil or gas boiler could reduce you burn wood in a wood stove your annual fuel cost especially what is essentially happening if you manage your own supply is that wood gas is given off from the wood and it is this that of wood. actually burns. This gas needs oxygen to burn and this oxygen can be quickly used up. By introducing a fresh supply of oxygen above the fire, gases that otherwise would have been sucked up the chimney are burnt. This is also referred to as secondary combustion.

What is ‘airwash’?

The Charnwood Country, available as a multifuel stove, and a popular brand at RN Williams in St Asaph

A stove with an airwash system will tend to have a cleaner more see-through window. Airwash stoves take in air from above the stove window and pass (or ‘wash’) it over the surface of the window. This helps keeps the flames and gasses in the stove off the window itself as there is a layer of air protecting it. Less tar is deposited keeping the window cleaner.


58 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

RN Williams & Sons St Asaph, Denbighshire

Manor Joinery & Construction ltd

Bunners from a quad bike to a stanley stove

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R.H. Bunner & Son, Arthur Street, Montgomery, SY15 6RA. Tel: 0844 800 5288

Tel: 01938 590355 email:

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Stove options There is such a huge range of stoves on the market, with domestic and continental brands, traditional and contemporary styles, as well as different colours and even materials, so take your time in the showroom. The general rule of thumb is you get what you pay for, and don’t be tempted to buy a stove that’s too big for the room. Pictured: The Aga Little Wenlock (left) The Burley Holwell (right)


‘There is a huge selection of stoves: inset stoves, double sided stoves and stoves that even turn round…’ Cheshire Design Centre, Congleton Cheshire Design Centre houses one of the best wood burning stove showrooms in the country. As a distributor for the highly acclaimed Clearview Stoves, there is a dedicated showroom displaying all models and colours with a number of them as live displays so you can see the stoves in action. In addition they are now the premier dealer for both Chesney and Charnwood Stoves; a new extension to their showroom has enabled them to show customers almost the entire range for these additional brands. It doesn’t stop there though; with a selection of modern stoves, inset stoves, double sided stoves and stoves that even turn round…. Customers are able to compare and contrast the flame characteristics and controls of the different makes. There are fireplace settings showing how a stove will look in your home no matter what type of house you live in; whether it be a terraced cottage, a country manor or a contemporary modern dwelling. A selection of fire surrounds, hearths and accessories are available to dress your fireplace and for those of you who are not prepared for winter with a stack of dry logs there is a huge selection of fuels to choose from, all which can be bought from stock or delivered direct to your home in bulk. We spoke to James Salem about thermal stores: ‘Multifuel stoves are becoming incredibly popular to heat living rooms. The idea of back The Charnwood Country boilers appeals to many, however this 16B boiler stove usually impairs the efficiency of the stove. This problem can be answered by using a thermal store. They operate like a junction box for your total heat requirements, they are very versatile and flexible to suit the heat sources you have now and in the future. For example, you may attach a multi-fuel stove and solar panels now, then add a biomass boiler later on, using wood pellets. Thermal stores provide mains pressure hot water and because they are a vented system, they don’t need servicing every year. They really are remarkably well-made pieces of kit, and we think we’ve sourced the best on the market. They retail from £3,000-£6,000 and can be connected by a plumber. We have a thermal store on live display here in the Design Centre, connected to a woodburner, a biomass boiler, an air source heat pump and solar themal panels, and it just works really well.

60 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

Heart of Stone Shifnal, Shropshire Henryk at Heart of Stone says: ‘We import and manufacture quality stone products at affordable prices. We provide a service based on 25 years of experience in stonework ranging from domestic fireplaces to palaces for royalty. We also have our own unique designs and can create inexpensive designs to meet any clients budget.


A completed Heart of Stone What do you fireplace installation specialize in? And what heating options are available from you? We make and fit stone fireplaces and hearths. We make to order, so are not limited by standard sizes or design, but do have some pre-made fire surrounds in stock. What is the most cost-effective hearth to install and how long will it last? Hearths made from stone tiles are the cheapest product, and pre-made fireplaces are the cheapest form of surround. Fireplaces and hearths will last hundreds of years if maintained correctly and looked after. What qualifications should installers have? What’s an estimated time on the waiting list and what are the most popular styles? The installer of the burner and flue should be HETAS qualified. The hearth and surround should be installed by someone skilled in fitting stonework. The turnaround time on making hearths is usually just a few days. On fireplaces it can vary from a week to six weeks depending on the material and complexity of the design. Solid stone fireplaces made from UK stone typically have a three-week delivery period to get the stone extracted at the quarry, cut to size and delivered to the workshop for processing into the finished article. y


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Super gymnasts Helene Cook at Border Counties School of Gymnastics explains why the sport is such a huge benefit for kids With the 2012 Olympic Games just around the corner, gymnastics will find itself within the spotlight. And rightly so, it is a beautiful sport that is exciting to watch and even more wonderful to participate in. What we see on the television is the very best after years of training but how does that translate into every day gymnastics for all of our children and what benefits can they hope to gain?

The ABC’s of movement

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Gymnastics in its simplest form provides children with the ABC’s of movement: A is for Action. The opportunity to be physical and to utilise all of their body in a range of levels and situations. Taking weight on hands, jumping, rolling, swinging, bouncing as well as running and landing. These things will build a child’s strength, flexibility and physical confidence. B is for Balance. Even with two feet on the floor this can be a challenge for some. We balance on our backs, fronts, shoulders, one leg and hands. So much more than just our feet. Then we put you on a bench, block or box top and even raise you up a metre and you practice on a 10cm wide beam! C is for Co-ordination and Confidence. Skills are broken down into small parts to enhance the success of learning then they are slowly joined back up again to form a complete skill. Following that a gymnast will start to link skills and elements together. Gymnastics is performed the right way up and many times upside down. Knowing which bit of your body to move whilst you are upside down is a real trick! The confidence comes from learning something new, being able to make your body move a certain way and having faith you will achieve the desired outcome and from performing in front of others. The benefits of gymnastics provide an advantage in other sports and many children use gymnastics as a platform upon which to further enhance their other sporting successes – good for them! Our sessions are all delivered by British Gymnastics qualified, CRB checked and insured coaches in a GymMark or ClubMark accredited environment. That is the first step a parent needs to take to make sure they have the best place to start their children on the gymnastics path. Within the club we offer structured classes with a ratio of six gymnasts to one coach. The emphasis is on fun and skill development with an element of discipline and respect for the sport and safety. The ethos and the way we coach our sessions runs throughout the whole club from our youngest members at 18 months within our parent and child sessions to our ‘older’ adult gym class. We can’t wait to welcome you! Border Counties School of Gymnastics 01691 658048


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ALWAYS SPENDING OVER THE ODDS ON CHILDCARE? CANCELED APPOINTMENTS, RE-SCHEDULED MEETINGS, PROBLEMS OVER TIME-KEEPING RING ANY BELLS? YATTAR YATTAR IS HERE TO HELP AS WE’VE GOT ‘TICK TOCK’ ON BOARD TO TAKE CARE OF ALL YOUR CHILD-CARE WORRIES Tick Tock, Round the Clock Childcare is a group of registered childminders working together to offer flexible childcare to meet the needs of modern working parents. They are unique in that they can care for children around the clock, overnight, weekends, early starts and late finishes, as well as irregular shifts and short notice. Working from a family home in Chirk, they aim to give children the highest Limited edition monopoly games quality of care in a safe and loving environment. Staff-to-child ratios are £19.99, TK Maxx, 01923 473 3000 high and children build a close and long-term keyworker relationship with a consistent adult. Children from birth to 14 years old are welcome for as little as an hour, or for a full weekend, and with a great range of activities and exciting outings, all have a fantastic time and beg to come back! Some parents have to work nights, so Tick Tock can care for the children overnight and take them to school in the morning. The parent can pick them up from school and spend the afternoon and evening with their child. Other parents work regular hours at the weekends, or have a shift pattern which makes it difficult to find childcare. Tick Check out ’ n Tock can often care for a child at short notice, making it ideal for the ‘What’s O agency workers and those with unpredictable shifts. Children can m o fr n tio c se spend a night or a weekend at Tick Tock while the parents have a t a re p10 for g much-needed break. Tick Tock childminders can even come to s e iti tiv c your house for regular nannying jobs or occasional babysitting. family a Debbie Williams of the National Childminding Association said: in your area ‘The work Tick Tock are doing is excellent. The major gap in Wrexham is childcare for shift workers which obviously this service is plugging.’Tick Tock offers a flexible and high quality service to families in a variety of situations, meeting childcare needs which are not currently met elsewhere. For more information, please see Music step, their website,, Early Learning or contact Jess Morrison on 01691 772387, or Centre, £40, email:

Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 63


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Champagne Supernovas WHIP UP THESE BUBBLY TREATS FOR AN EFFERVESCENT EVENING OF ELEGANCE! CHAMPAGNE INFUSED PEACH SORBET CHAMPAGNE OYSTERS This dish will make you the talk of the town: half shell oysters with a champagne flavoured dipping sauce! Ingredients: 1/2 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup dry Champagne, 1 tbsp minced shallot, 1 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, snipped into small bits, 1/4 tsp pepper, 12 raw oysters on the half shell Directions: mix ingredients (except oysters) together in a small bowl until combined. Cover and refrigerate until party time. Place oysters on ice in a large dish or bowl and serve with a small bowl of mignonette on the side… you’re welcome.

66 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

The perfect pallet cleanser for any fine dining affair. These have a refreshing experience to die for! Ingredients: two cups canned peaches, packed in syrup, drained. Three tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/4 cup Champagne, three tablespoons corn syrup, two tablespoons fresh lemon juice, mint leaves and fresh raspberries for garnish. Directions: place peaches into a food processor and process until puréed. Add the sugar, Champagne, corn syrup, and lemon juice and place with the puréed peaches into a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens slightly, which takes about 10 minutes. Pour mixture into an 8-inch metal baking pan and freeze until almost solid. Break this frozen purée into small chunks and place in a food processor. Process until mixture is smooth. Spoon back into metal pan and freeze until just firm, for at least 1 hour. Using a small scoop, spoon sorbet into small bowls or Champagne glasses. Garnish with mint leaves and raspberries and serve cold. Makes 4 servings. Delicious.

Gwin Llyn Wines THE ONLY WINE MERCHANT YOU NEED TO VISIT THIS CHRISTMAS! Here’s a treat just for our loyal Yattar Yattar fans. Gwin Llyn Wines, Pwllheli is offering you a massive 10% off any of their wonderful wines this Christmas. Dean Prichard, owner at Gwin Llyn says: ‘From well-made Vin de Pays to elegant fine wines, our wines are made by people who have passion and pride in the wine they produce and who don’t see wine simply as a commodity to be traded. Which is why I’m offering Yattar Yattar readers the chance to taste the best of the best at a fraction of the price.’ The eclectic range stocked at Gwin Llyn Wines are the only tipples you’ll need on the table this winter. With delivery on offer you needn’t travel to benefit from this generous offer; however the Llyn Peninsular where Gwin Llyn is based (hence the reference to Llyn in the name) is one of the most spectacular sights in the UK. So why not opt for a wonderful winter walk and pop in to meet Dean, listen to his expert advice and choose from his sensational collection. For more info visit:


For special occasions, the cake is one of the most important elements – and we know just the place to find the perfect cake to accompany the perfect event! Sugar and Spice is an elegant little boutique based in Charles Street, Wrexham. They can cater for any event and no request is too big (or too small) for them to cope with.

Decorative masterpieces


The Ludlow Food Centre: worth a trip for their homemade pickles alone!

1) The turkey: You can buy white or bronze turkeys – bronze are favoured because of their sweet meat. However, make sure you buy a fresh, local free-range bird and not one that’s been in a freezer all year. 2) Sprouts: Buy really fresh sprouts and try to get them on the sticks. They are great with some chestnuts and smoked streaky bacon or pancetta. 3) Cranberry Sauce: Make sure you look at the ingredients and don't buy cranberry sauce with anything in it other than fruit and natural spices. And by Jove, if you can make your own, the family will be mightily impressed! 4) Mince Pies: The variety of mince pies at Christmas is mind boggling and real ones are hard to come by. Go to a proper baker that makes them by hand and don’t buy the long life ones. Alternatively make your own with good quality mince meat and homemade pastry. 5) Cheese: There are plenty of local cheeses available and for a great cheese board. I would suggest some Ludlow Blue, Wrekin White, Ragstone and Gorwydd Caerphilly. If you want something stronger try Croft Gold or Stinking Bishop. 6) Pigs in Blankets: Whether you make them yourself or buy them; make sure you use dry cured bacon and high pork content sausages. To be quite frank, anything less would spoil any Christmas dinner as these are the undisputed champions of the festive feast! 7) Port: For me, Tanners Port is one of the best reasonably priced LBV ports around. If you like port but want something a little different try Noval 10 year old Tawny Port, it’s got a lovely nutty flavour. 8) Christmas Pudding: If you haven’t been organised and made one then try and find a pudding that someone else has made by hand. There are specialists locally and we make them at the Food Centre if you get stuck. 9) Mulled Wine: Buy good quality wine and look for good quality whole spices and not the cheap packets of spice mix. My suggestion is look for a quality Chianti with a cockerel on the neck of the bottle (wink wink). 10) Pickles: Every boxing day meal needs a good selection of pickles. At the Food Centre we make our own using local ingredients including Piccalilli, Yuletide Pickle and a lovely Sweet Onion & Balsamic Confit that are great for cold meats. Any good deli will also have a fine selection. Come and pay us a visit if you’re in the area, I can promise you’ll be back again. Merry Christmas! By Tom Hunt at the Ludlow Food Centre

Cake baking extraordinaire, Mike Gill prides himself in 100% commitment for every single cake he bakes; he decorates them to perfection and don’t even get us started on the taste! We’re going to be walking to work thanks to the truly delectable chocolate masterpiece Mike made us – and we’re yet to taste a cake that can rival its quality! Mike says: ‘Cakes can be 6”- 14” and to your required shape, they can be a single tier to a 5-tier (more if required). Please call in or telephone with your special requests or requirements, we will help as best we can.’ So if your baking skills can’t quite cut the mustard, or when only the For more fab best will do, our advice is to pop food stories, into Sugar and visit our website Spice for a little online at www. dash of ‘yummy’ and a lot of ‘ooo yattaryattar. that’s nice!’. Oh and PS… they also deliver; so don’t let location deter you from having the perfect cake. Visit: www. for more info

Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 67

All images ‘Ludlow Food Centre Produce’

Sugar and Spice and all things nice!


Farmer’s markets NORTH WALES LLANRWST: 3rd Saturday of the month, Tel: 01492 651 033

Luxurious Leftovers


The Christmas pudding

COLWYN BAY: Bay View Shopping Centre, Every Thursday Tel: 01492 680209


ANGLESEY: Ysgol David Hughes, Tel: 01248 490 213 MOLD: St. Mary's Church Hall, Tel: 01745 561999 CONWY: Conwy RSPB Reserve, last Wednesday, Tel: 01492 584091 GLASFRYN: Glasfryn Parc, 1st Saturday, Tel: 01766 810202

SHROPSHIRE BISHOP'S CASTLE: Town Hall & Market Square, 3rd Saturday, Tel: 01588 638141 LUDLOW: Castle Square 2nd and 4th Thursday, Tel: 01584 872043 OSWESTRY: Bailey Head, last Friday, Tel: 01691 680222 SHREWSBURY: The Square, 1st Friday, apart from September which is the 2nd Friday. Tel: 01743 792547

Pigs in blankets

I can’t imagine there will be many pork sausages left after the main event. However, should you have some or perhaps some unused sausage meat in the fridge, remove the skins and mix, add diced bacon or panchetta, black pudding, herbs and seasoning. Wrap in puff pastry and pop in the oven for 30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve as a breakfast treat or buffet special.

The vegetables If you haven’t boiled the life out of your veg it should still be capable of giving you a delightful meal. The veg can be used in bubble and squeak or a nice winter broth.

WHITCHURCH: Outside the Civic Centre, 1st Saturday Tel: 01948 665761

CHESTER: Town Hall Square, 4th Saturday, Tel: 01244 402340 ELLESMERE PORT: Market Hall 4th Saturday Tel: 0151 537805 NORTHWICH: Market Way, 2nd Saturday

MID WALES BRECON: Market Hall, 2nd Saturday, Tel: 01874 610008 LLANDRINDOD WELLS: Middleton Street, last Thursday Tel: 01597 824102 WELSHPOOL: Town Hall, 1st Friday, Tel: 01686 670722 RHAYADER: The Smithfield, 2nd Thursday

68 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

The Turkey

Method: Preheat the oven to 350F or gas mark 4. Line the muffin tins with paper cases. Whisk the egg in a bowl. Add the milk, melted butter, sherry and the Christmas pudding. Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into another bowl. Add the caster sugar and mix well. Make a well in the centre. Add the wet ingredients and mix together until a soft batter forms. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack. While they are cooking, make the sherry butter icing. Mix together the icing sugar and the butter. Add enough sherry, about 1 tbsp, to just soften the mixture and make it spreadable. Once the muffins are cool, spread the icing over the top and serve.

Why not get busy on Boxing Day and make a delicious festive curry?


WIRRAL: New Ferry Village Hall 2nd Saturday, Tel: 0151 643 1393

For the muffin: 1 egg, 75ml milk, 30g salted butter, 2 tbsp sherry, whisky or brandy, 125g leftover Christmas pudding, 125g plain flour,1 tbsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp mixed spice, 75g caster sugar. For the sherry butter icing: 125g sifted icing sugar, 50g salted butter, softened, 1-2 tbsp sweet sherry, whisky or brandy.

Of course you have the bubble and squeak and turkey soup, but let’s get creative with our gorgeous gobbler. Turkey tika makes for a super boxing day curry. Add some chopped spouts and cabbage to your onion bhajis and pack the samosas with diced carrots, peas and roast potatoes. For that extra special touch try cranberry and brie melted poppadoms. Delicious!

Three Pigeons: Three wishes come true

We find a warm welcome, brilliant new owners and a host of culinary delights at an old drover’s inn near Ruthin By Rosie Dunnage


f anywhere can grant three wishes for a magical night out, it’s the Three Pigeons Inn at Graigfechan. Food, fellowship and a flagon of something warming, is simply what most of us wish for. It’s what they do best – new very proud owners, Paul Henri and Deborah-Wilson Henri. A real ale pub and restaurant with an ambiance as rich as their five cask beers, which include the iconic Reverend James, this historic drovers inn is just two miles from Ruthin. Nothing historic about the menu though. Be prepared for some lovely surprises in the oak-beamed restaurant. Yet the dining is as modern as their soft Scandinavian style high-backed chairs. Beef strips in tempura batter, marinated in honey and soy with sweet chilli sauce chosen by my exceptionally food savvy dining companion, for their novelty, turned out to be his perfect starter. I went for the mouth-watering Menai mussels with a generous helping of cream and wine rich sauce. I happily made a clean plate of it with the deliciously fresh bread.

But their possible loss is everyone’s gain at the Three Pigeons. The couple happily view customers as an extended family. When the main courses arrived it was bliss. My fresh local salmon with fondue potatoes was such a good choice as it came with the most wonderful array of vegetables too. I cannot sing the praises of cabbage enough, especially as obviously the chef, Osian Morris, shares my view and also adds caraway seeds. Everything is fresh and local, including the perfectly cooked 10 oz sirloin steak which my dining companion praised to the rafters as part of his surf and turf main course. A former Cheshire restaurateur of some note, he proclaimed the meat well hung and that it had never seen the inside of a freezer. The bowl of the crispiest chips I have ever eaten, it turned out we felt were a must have. They are so home–made the potato skins are left on and lovely. But new and fresh is what Deborah and Paul are all about. Keen hill walkers and rat race migrants, they bought the inn after a two-night camp on the pub’s scenic site and a meeting of minds with then current owners. Paul’s hands-on skills, with all that goes into delivering a perfect pint of real ale, come from a successful career background in management within the building trades. And his new found skills front of house in the bar is a joyful discovery of talent of which he had never dreamed.

‘She started collecting wine when grape picking in France’

Wining and dining The iced water with lemon slices, waiting on the table while we enjoyed a pre dinner red Rioca, is a lovely touch but so was the Rioja. It came from Deborah’s own special 600-bottle collection, which she started as a teenager after grape picking in France. Deborah and Paul are happy imports from the Wirral some 12 year ago to Llanfair DC. Career-minded Deborah found herself at a crossroads when she saw a glowing corporate pathway with Superdrug .Yet the couple thought long and hard before deciding not to have children.

Deborah a great party organiser hails from a licensed trade family background. They both were drawn to North Wales from wonderful childhood holiday memories. They want to create the same memories for guests in the additional two modern spacious apartments with views to kill for, over the Vale of Clwyd.

Master chef We took time to talk to Deborah before the puddings to hear of the couple’s exciting future plans. These include gourmet and international ‘big table’ celebrity evenings. The idea is master class crossed with master chef, since the guests will have to give thumbs up or down on the food whilst picking up invaluable insider information from the speaker. Their community following is invaluable and they aim to keep it that way through the 700-circulation Pigeon Post. As an avid Steiff bear collector, Deborah has a new game to find a name for a lovely big cuddly bear, who sits where he likes to win  the right be ‘christened’ by someone to win a bottle of wine. We needed the break. My trifle was the real thing with cake, custard and whipped cream plus little surprises like crunchy caramelised walnuts. The flamed bananas in whiskey and butterscotch sauce shut my dining companion up for a few minutes as we enjoyed the short interruption to despatch it without trace. And by the way they really do know how to make coffee at the Three Pigeons Inn, which for me was the perfect sign off. y

Three Pigeons Inn, Graigfechan, Ruthin, Denbighshire LL15 2EU, Tel 01824 703178

Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 69

The Taste test! Homebrew from a Can 3.7% ABV

If the idea of brewing your own beer is tempting and you like good quality real ale, you must read this…

A Brewer’s Secret W

e challenged Shane Parr, owner of Stonehouse Brewery, an awardwinning microbrewery located just outside Oswestry, to show us how to make the best home brew possible – and then put it to a taste test against his own real ale – Station Bitter. We decided to try two different ways of making home-made beer. First, using a can, as you can buy in the highstreet, which you mix with hot water then cool and add the yeast, and a ‘full mash’– which means boiling the barley and hops before cooling and adding the yeast.

Home-made beer is simple The whole process, although it involves complex organic processes, is actually very simple. Shane says: ‘Anyone can make five gallons of Homebrew from a can. It only cost around £18.00 for the ingredients (the equipment, which you will use again, costs £20 - £80 depending on how particular you are), and takes about an hour to prepare.’ To make a full mash beer means a bigger outlay in equipment, and is more work on the day you brew the beer. Shane says: ‘Five gallons of full mash homebrew costs about £10 but requires an initial investment in equipment of between £50 and £200. The better the kit, the nicer the product! It also takes around six hours on the brew day. The most time-consuming part is cleaning

everything as if your containers are not clean, you risk bacteria getting in which will mean the beer goes off in the cask.’

Cask conditioned ale Shane explains: ‘After brewing the beer and one week’s fermentation (the temperature needs to be as close to 21 degrees centigrade as possible), the brew is transferred to a cask. This clears out most of the yeast (which has finished it’s job) and only a small amount remains to keep the beer ‘alive’ during the conditioning process (hence ‘cask conditioned ale’). This is then left sealed in a cool room, and after one or two weeks is ready to drink. Once you open the cask (‘tap’ the beer), it allows bacteria in, which will go for the sugars in the beer and means after 3-5 days it will go off. ‘The Homebrew from a can was Coopers English Bitter, using the sachet of yeast that came with the can. The instructions were followed closely, but I used spray dried malt as the sugar additive as this gives a rounder flavour. It was fermented in our airing cupboard so control of temp would have been variable – as would be the case with any home brewer using the basic set up.’ ‘However, the full mash homebrew is a smaller version of what we do commercially, and followed the same recipe as our station bitter. We also kept the fermentation at a constant temperature.’

❋ Appearance - a nice bronze, coppery colour, with good head retention and clean white bubbles. A little bit hazy. ❋ Aroma - very strong toffee notes, and butterscotch, and sweet prunes ❋ Taste - very strong bitter taste (the aroma and the taste are completely different), very ‘thin’ and flat tasting – even though it had a good head when poured. ❋ Aftertaste - a long, bitter finish, but not wholly pleasant. Astringent. Even with Shane’s experience, we weren’t able to make a nice bitter with a can.

Full Mash Homebrew 4.2% ABV ❋ Appearance - slightly paler, not great head retention (although Shane thought the cask may have been faulty). Much clearer than the Homebrew. ❋ Aroma - a strong hops aroma, and a pleasant alcohol smell ❋ Taste - Fairly sweet, not too bitter, but quite thin and flat and lacking in body. ❋ Aftertaste - A long very nice fruity finish, not too bitter, peppery. A very nice beer considering it is homebrew!

Station Bitter 3.9% ABV ❋ Appearance - very clear, slightly darker than the Full Mash, with a bright coppery colour and good head retention. ❋ Aroma - Hops, malty chocolately smells, coffee and biscuits ❋ Taste - More body, and the sweetness and bitter flavours are balanced ❋ Aftertaste - pleasant, long bitter and sweet finish, nicely balanced together. Overall, I’d buy it.

Summary There are numerous suppliers of homebrew products, but yeast will always be a problem for home brewers. Commercial breweries guard the secrets of their yeast very carefully as it makes up 30% of the flavour. I guess the point is that if you want to make cheap beer, then buy the cans. If you want to make it an enjoyable hobby, where you control and decide the product, then do full mash. If you would rather let someone else worry about it, then pop down the pub for a pint! y

Shane takes us through the process for both homebrew from a can (kettle in hand) and making the full mash. He then adds yeast and checks the alcohol content with a hydrometer. A great book for any full mash home brewer is Home Brewing by Graham Wheeler (available via the CAMRA website)

Students getting to grips with it!

Get hands on at

Brompton Cookery School Do you love cooking and feel you’d like to learn more, to extend your repertoire? Now you can!


he brainchild of Phillipa Home, Brompton Farmhouse B&B near Shrewsbury has quickly established itself as one of the best residential cookery schools in the county. Launched in 2009 and set on the estate of The National Trust’s Attingham Park, the farm’s outbuildings have been tastefully converted to house the school’s classroom kitchen. When you meet Phillipa it is clear why the school has quickly become popular – her huge energy and passion for Brompton farm, the location, and all aspects of fine dining – from the vegetable garden to the layout of the kitchen – have ensured high standards throughout. And it is a broad ‘cooking church’ at Brompton – the school is confident that whatever your level of culinary ability you will love every minute and go away inspired. Phillipa says: ‘We get all levels of cooking ability here. We talk to people before they choose which course they’d like to to go on, to see what fits them best. We find out their standard of cooking to get them on the right course. We

want people to come along and have huge amounts of fun – and we also want them to feel they have achieved and learnt a great deal.’ The setting is lovely – with a grand sevenbedroom farmhouse, now entirely converted to house guests for residential courses, with lawns, orchard and vegetable garden all open for the guests to enjoy during their stay. With two or three courses to choose from every week – from Simply Impressive Dinners to Canapés and Starters, Stylish Vegetarian Christmas, Meat Glorious Meat, A Taste of Italy, there is a wealth to choose from, with prices starting at £110. You can also enjoy Brompton in the evening with a ‘Demo and Dine’ – guests are served champagne and canapes while the chef entertains with a demonstration of some of the dishes you are about to enjoy.

‘On the advanced courses, students are often cooking two or three dishes at once, as you would for a dinner party’

Fantastic fish On the day of our visit, chef Richard McGeown was leading a group in a day entitled ‘Fantastic Fish’. With impressive credentials (training under Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc, and currently running Couch’s Great House Restaurant in Polperro, Cornwall) Richard quickly put his charges at ease – then unleashed them on baked scallops. For each of the six dishes that followed,

Chef Richard McGeown entertains with the finer points of his culinary art

the 16 students gathered around Richard’s workstation and enjoy the theatre of watching a professional cook (doing each element slowly, and carefully explaining the finer points) then go to their own stations, with everything they need prepped and laid out by the ever-present assistants Chris and Lucy.

Battle of the sexes? We’re interested to see that today’s course is mostly men. Phillipa says: ‘Overall, we get a huge variety of people from 18 year old boys and girls to retired couples. About 60 per cent of the people coming to learn are women – so you might say that 40 per cent of men is quite a high proportion. A lot of men come to learn and have fun in our cookery school thanks to a gift voucher from their partner. The meat and fish cookery courses seem to be the more popular courses for them, whereas women tend to opt more for the baking courses.’ But it doesn’t stop there for Brompton Farm – there are plans afoot already to grow into other disciplines. Phillipa says: ‘Feedback from the pupils is fantastic, we’re very pleased to say! We literally get 10/10 for everything – our students like our inspiring chefs, we are lucky to have great support staff and the facilities and setting are second to none. So from the success of Brompton’s cookery school, we would like to use some of the remaining outbuildings to establish a flower school and an art school, which we think will fit very well into this setting.’ y

q Valentines special q Valentine’s Demo & Dine will be held on Saturday 11th February, from 6.30pm, costing £85 per head including a complimentary bottle of champagne per couple. Bon appetit!

CONTACT DETAILS Brompton, Nr. Atcham, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY5 6LE, Tel: 01743 761629

If you fancy yourself as the next Gordon Ramsay, why not book a place now, or for more information visit

Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 71

The Brigands Inn Hotel and Restaurant

Set in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains, The Brigands Inn is a 15th century coaching inn that serves excellent food and offers elegant accommodation with stunning views. Our cuisine is a mix of contemporary and classic Welsh using seasonal, local produce to create unforgettable meals for all occasions. We also won AA Pub of the Year for Wales in 2006/2007. For more information visit or call us on:

01650 511999

Mallwyd, Nr. Machynlleth, Powys SY20 9HJ

The Penrhos Arms Hotel and Restaurant

• Accommodation - Boutique style rooms • • Brasserie and Grill - Stylish restaurant • • Cocktail Bar - Serves a great pint! • • Nags Café - Perfect coffee spot •

A traditional Welsh welcome awaits at the Penrhos Arms Hotel in the heart of Machynlleth.

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Enjoy a relaxing short break or overnight stay in one of our rooms all furnished to a high standard and with en-suite facilities.

Whether you would like a romantic dinner for two, a catch-up with old friends, a luxury weekend break or a full blown party the Nags Head can create the perfect experience for you!

Dine in our homely restaurant and choose from a comprehensive menu that changes on a daily basis with local produce, meat, game and fish.

The Nags Head Inn

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Garthmyl, Montgomery, Powys SY15 6RS Web: Email: Eat@thenags: 01686 207207

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Nags Head Inn Brasserie & Grill A family affair has resulted in the reincarnation of a favourite watering hole for travellers on the mid-Wales borders. By James McKinney


reviously known as The Nags Head Hotel, The Nags Head Inn has been beautifully restored by Emma and Bruce Campbell, daughter and son-in-law of Gerard Wilkinson. Gerard owns The Brynafon Hotel in Rhayader, and has taken over the lease of the Nags Head, tasking his daughter Emma and sonin-law Bruce with its set up and running. This 300-year old Grade II listed coachhouse on the A483 just south of Welshpool is once again an important part of the local community and a welcome place for travellers to stop. The focus was always going to be on food, as Emma says: ‘We really worked hard to create the menu – it really was a three-way effort – we would be in the kitchen trying new dishes into the wee small hours!’ After a drink at the bar we are shown to our table in The Gallery, remodelled into a light and spacious dining area decorated with local art. Emma says: ‘We’re really happy with the job the developers did on the interior and décor. The whole ground floor has been opened out to give a nice big central space, but we also have more private areas off to the side. The Nags head Inn has been closed for six years before we took it on and did a complete refurbishment – including the six rooms which have been appointed a 4-star rating.’

successful brasserie you have to offer beautiful food, great service, and tasteful surroundings – which is what we’re striving for.’ Our starters arrive - my companion as ever is the winner - the sheer quality of the creamy rich goats cheese, complemented by the salad and balsamic, was hard to beat, although I was left thinking why had I never seen mushrooms topped with bacon, rarebit and spinach before? Delicious. We notice how reasonable the prices are, bordering on low actually, when you see the dishes coming out of the kitchen. Bruce says: ‘We want people to come and feel comfortable whether they are spending £10 or £40 – it really doesn’t matter to us, and we’ve designed the menu with this in mind.’ The steak arrives, perfectly medium rare, and the belly pork is fantastic. The rosemary gravy adds even more juice to the lovely thick, pale meat, topped with a light and airy crackling, but the real star of the show was the black pudding mash – again we were left thinking why hadn’t we seen this combination before? There’s a buzz about the place with groups of diners and a constant to and fro of the bar staff and the waitresses. Bruce says: ‘I think our atmosphere has meant that we attract a lot of ladies groups – women like to eat here with their girlfriends, and we do have some live acoustic music on Sundays. We want people to come here often – not just on special occasions, so when we set out the menu it was very important to all of us that we keep the prices absolutely as low as possible without compromising on quality. It’s the people who make the atmosphere, and so far - touch wood - we seem to be creating a bit of a following in Powys and Shropshire.’

‘Brasseries have to offer beautiful food in tasteful surroundings’

Was it a diner’s delight? And Bruce says: ‘Food is the most important thing here. We wanted to follow the idea of a brasserie – so we have the same menu all day, and we have a more modern take on some of the dishes. We like the idea of the sharing platters – we think it’s a more relaxed way to eat, more sociable. We offer the full menu from 12 o’clock so people can come here during the day and eat as they wish. To run a

‘We see people time and again – one day they’ll come and eat pie with a pint of the local real ale, on other occasions they’ll turn up for a special occasion and eat kobe beef!’

A sense of place Provenance is important to Emma: ‘Everything is sourced in Wales or bought via a Welsh wholesaler. It’s really important to us to have a sense of community with what we serve to our guests, a real sense of place – and I think our menus and where ingredients come from is all about this. Oh – and we also have six luxurious rooms which we are hoping will be the start of establishing The Nags as a great little boutique style hotel in Wales!’ y


Grilled w elsh goat s cheese vegetable roasted & toaste d almond Chargrill salad £5 ed mush .25 rooms fill smoked b ed with acon & w ilt ed spinac with y Fe h topped nni rareb it £5.95 Slow bak ed belly pork on mash wit black pu h red ca dding bbage & From the gravy £12 grill, ser .50 ve d with h chips, fie and-cut ld mushro o m & onion oz Sirloin rings, an Steak £13 8 .95 For desse rt, the c h ef made of the da up one p y’s specia late l (cheese crushed cake wit Maltesers h ) and ord cheeseca inary ke with st rawberrie s!

The Nags Head Inn, Garthmyl, Montgomery, Powys, SY15 6RS 01686 207207

Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 73


Kasia: the only spa in the northwest to offer authentic Hamman treatments

A modern Mediterranean setting at Ciros, with great service and excellent food

Relax at the Grosvenor Pulford Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Cheshire countryside is a haven of peace and tranquillity, a place to leave the world behind… by Carrie Topham


he brochure reads: ‘Spa by Kasia, the North West’s most exclusive and opulent, award-winning spa, is a totally unique experience for mind, body and soul… Spa by Kasia provides natural, holistic and organic treatments combined with the most luxurious techniques to completely nourish, rebalance and repair the face and body.’ This sounded far too good to be true, so we just had to give it a try. But before we could, we would have to subject ourselves to a dinner and overnight stay in the hotel above… (sigh)… the things we have to endure for work.

Wedded to the Venue The Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa is a substantial 19th century inn, which, as we are shown by the General Manager Maurice Cannizzo on the way to our room, has been extended to add rooms around a courtyard, the spa, a function room and the Ciro Mediterranean restaurant. A four-star hotel, it has become a very popular wedding venue with 180 weddings last year alone. We’re then shown into Ciro’s Brasserie with décor reminiscent of a Tuscan Villa’s courtyard with food from head chef Leigh Myers presenting a modern European menu. The meal is truly excellent – seabass was definitely the winner, but was given a really good run for it’s money by the size and juicy deliciousness of the scallops and the belly pork entrée was done beautifully.

Leigh has been head chef at Ciro’s for six years, and manages all the kitchens for the three hotels – The Bear’s Paw and The Pheasant. His style is Mediterranean – the influences of Spain, Italy and France are evident on every dish. Leigh says: ‘For me, cooking is about having a real sense of theatre, and it’s not just about performance on the plate. The whole setting has to work – which is why we have Mediterranean staff. Seabass is the dish I think I’m most proud of. We source the fish from Conway, and in the kitchen we use mussels from Menai and Anglesey Langoustine.’ ‘We do go further afield - up to 80 miles sometimes - for our ingredients. I’m from Preston, and I know all about the great grazing in the north-west, which makes for excellent meat. My menu also includes game when in season, with dishes designed for duck, pheasant and grouse.’

So, the next morning, having indulged with too much after-dinner Baileys and mint chocolates, we plod wearily downstairs with some trepidation to find out what horrors would be visited upon us at the house of Kasia. One hour later, having discovered exactly what delights are entailed in a ‘totally unique experience for mind, body and soul’ we head off to Chester to do some Christmas shopping, feeling like we’re floating two inches above the ground. y


Pettini £ 9.95 Seared sc allops wit h tomato coriande and r, crisp p oppadom s, pineap ple salsa Tagliatell e Frutti di Mare Scallo p, £7.65 tiger pra wn an d tagliatell salmon e, corian der an d sweet ch illi o il Spigola S cottato £ 16.95 Pan seare d fillet o f sea ba spinach, ss w ith le crisp ba af sil an d se are d sca llo ps Pancetta Works outing to the Med di Maiale £16.65 Every year, Maurice, Leigh and his team travel Spice d belly pork, ch sa icor y an la d , to the Mediterranean to pick up ideas and war m ch d ra dis arre d ba cider ess by vegeta h inspiration from the countries where these ence ble,

‘The meal is truly excellent, and the seabass was the winner’

dishes were born. Maurice says: ‘This hotel has really become one of the most popular wedding venues in Chester. We are set out ideally for weddings - whether 50, 100 or 150 guests, and the added bonus of the Spa enables us to put together really good packages to suit the bride and groom.’

Spa by Kasia at the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel Wrexham Road, Pulford, Chester, Cheshire, CH4 9DG Tel: 01244 572199 Email:

The Spa Experience Spa by Kasia is the only spa in the north west to house an authentic Hamman (a turkish spa). There is also an Arabian Rasul (meaning cleansing with special mud) with twin thrones and tropical rain showers. The spa boasts six treatment suites, a VIP couple’s suite, three relaxation rooms; Penchan Snooze Room, Waterfall Lounge and Thermal Heat Relax, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, Rejuvenation Skin Clinic, Spa Eatery, Spa Boutique, gymnasium and to top it all off, a tennis court and now a new Japanese garden!

74 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

Collection of Prestatyn We specialise in quality gowns at affordable prices and we pride ourselves with the highest level of customer service. Whether your dream dress is, elegant, sophisticated, full or straight, a structured bodice, full skirts or beautifully detailed trains, you are guaranteed to have your ultimate dream dress to come to life with us. MENS HIRE, MOTHER OF THE BRIDE, BRIDESMAID & ACCESSORIES ALSO NOW AVAILABLE PROM/PARTY DRESSE & GLAMOROUS, EVENING WEAR

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Party time! Shooting star secklace, £20, Accessorize, 08448 110068

It’s the festive season and time for fun and frocks!

Sparkle firework earring, £12, Accessorize

Autograph sequin dress, £99, Marks & Spencer

One-shoulder maxi dress £60, Next, 0844 844 8000

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76 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

From Greenhouse, call Mac Tompsett on 01978 852816 for prices

Other news...

Exclusive wedding dresses from top Italian designer – right here in Shropshire!

Sequin dress, £160, EAST, 0208 877 6543

Long elegent dress, Mary Portas, House of Fraser, 0207 003 4000

Satin textured petal clutch bag, £18.00,

KG Bobbi platform shoes, £105.00,

At the invitation of world renowned wedding dress designer, Eddy K, Sally Lea from Shropshire Country Brides has been viewing the very latest collection from his range in the heart of Milan. There are only three recognised Eddy K stockists in England and Country Brides have been stocking Eddy K’s exclusive gowns for 10 years. Dresses from Eddy K are renowned for their attention to detail with styles to flatter all figures. Gowns are stylish and elegant and some are adorned with exquisite beadwork. His collections also feature destination dresses, floaty and flowing in chiffon, satin and organza for brides planning a beach wedding abroad. This year Sally’s daughter, Sam, accompanied her to view the designs. Sally says: ‘It is wonderful to be able to preview the latest wedding gowns and know that we will be able to supply these to brides from all over the West Midlands.’

Velvet devore tunic, £140, EAST, 0208 877 6543

Black high heel shoe, Matalan, 0845 330 3330

Christmas sparkle! Holly Willoughby studded pencil dress, £65.00,

Black clutch bag, Marks & Spencer

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efore you begin, think about what you will be doing this winter season; entertaining, partying, formal occasions – you may like to really dress up and take ideas from the glamour of Downton Abbey! Alternatively, if informal is your scene choose a simple new garment which can be worn several times in different ways – that way you can get multiple looks from minimal pieces. Most of us have jackets in our wardrobes which can be worn over a dress or with skirt or trousers from another suit. Try the new midi or maxi skirt. A slit in the skirt will elongate the leg and is very now! If you are buying a jacket, a double-breasted one will work well on straighter shapes but not if you are full busted.

Accessorise, accessorise

Update your wardrobe with a new bag. It doesn’t have to match your footwear and the high street stores have lots of choice. If you like the country look, try woollen or opaque tights with brogues – good with this season’s tweeds and knitwear. Dazzle and shine can be added to existing dresses, skirts or tops – look out for creative, fun items at your haberdashery department or in an old button and lace box! These will update your look if you add ribbons, beads or appliqué. Checks and tartans are appearing this season but do watch where you wear them – if you are curvy as they can enlarge! Try some animal print touches in shoes, boots, scarves, necklaces and handbags. And you can have some fun with red lipsticks and nails – select a bluer or deeper colour if you are dark in colouring but keep to the true reds or coral red if light in your colouring. To complete your look and protect your skin, Colour Me Beautiful have just launched new tinted moisturisers in three shades to complement your skin tone.

Yattar Yattar have teamed up with expert Mac Tompsett,

one of Colour Me Beautiful’s top image consultants to bring you lucky Yattar Yattar readers the latest in style, image and autumn perfection! Colour Me Beautiful are Europe’s leading image specialists with over 300 consultants in the UK and Ireland and a further 600 in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Call Mac on (01978) 852816 to find out more.

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Katherine Jenkins and Angela in the Heart FM studio The right clothing for everyday and that special occasion

Angela Jay What the celebrities say! Angela has won the ‘hearts’ of many a radio listener; putting the ‘rise and shine’ back into breakfast radio…

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will do my best to keep you up to date with the latest goings on in ‘Angela world’ – and any gossip I manage to extract from the celebs will be coming direct to you! If you’re already an avid listener, I thank you; if not… please tune in to my show on Heart radio weekdays from 6:00am with Spence Macdonald, we would love to be putting the rise and shine in your breakfast time! Now first things first – where has 2011 gone? I cannot believe that Christmas is nearly here already! I love the fact that, already, mulled wine and mince pies are on offer in the office, lots of sparkly things surround us and everyone is happy. A big excuse to indulge, I say with a big grin! I chatted with my gorgeous friend Katherine Jenkins recently; we met for lunch at St Davids Hotel in the Welsh capital and while we munched away Katherine told me about her very busy year thus far and also that she would be jetting off to Australia post lunch! Katherine really is a beautiful and lovely person. She says about her new album: ‘This is a return to my roots and the sound people know me for best is back! Folk songs, light classical pieces, music from shows, hymns in English and Welsh. Songs that touch me. It includes an interpretation of the Celtic classic ‘Black is the Colour’, ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ from Les Misérables and a new composition of ‘Ave Maria’. I love it’. Katherine explained how she loves the south to north Wales drive as it is so beautiful. The Welsh coastline has indeed been voted the best place to visit on earth by Lonely Planet, what an accolade. As a Welsh girl born and bred I couldn’t agree more! Katherine is one celebrity who despite her trim figure actually still lives and will eat, I can promise you that. She is a very good cook and does a mean cooked breakfast and a very good roast dinner too. She also has an extremely large jar of chocolates on her living room table and yes I scoffed my way through quite a lot the last time I was there!

la xx e g n A s e s is k d love an Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 79

Health& Top seasonal tips to keep you looking good and feeling happy in the winter months!

beauty Winter Blues…

The winter blues – to a certain degree it affects us all. You know the feeling: the alarm clock sounds, your eyes are reluctant to open and the feeling of dread as we look out of the dark window affects us all for much of the winter. Fear not, you’re not the only one, as this is actually a recognised illness known as S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder). This is a type of winter depression that affects an estimated 7% of the UK population every winter between September and April – in particular during December, January and February. It is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus (a portion in the brain) due to the shortening of daylight hours and the lack of sunlight in winter. Severe symptoms can make S.A.D a seriously disabling illness, preventing a normal outlook to day-to-day life. Victims of the illness will usually show many (if not all) of the following symptoms: depression, sleep problems, lethargy, over eating, loss of concentration, social problems, anxiety, loss of libido and mood changes. A less savage form of S.A.D is commonly known as Winter Blues and although less life destroying it affects a massive 17% of the population every year. If you think you could be suffering with this (very real) illness then get in touch with the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA) for help, advice and light therapy. Put the sunshine back in your life today! Visit:

80 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

No more shaving!

Tired of the laborious shaving routine? Craving a sensual bathing experience that can be enjoyed from start to finish without the risk of the dreaded razor blade? Or fed up of feeling insecure about unwanted hair? Pro Med Laser Clinics have the solution. Jan Williams, owner of Pro Med says: ‘We are a friendly, professional and unique clinic based in Mold – we’re the only one in North Wales who offers professional medical-graded laser treatment (the latest in laser treatment technology) which provides complete removal of the hair as opposed to most ITL treatments which merely stun the hair follicles instead of removing them. Our patients are always happy with the results! We also get NHS referrals too, which just goes to show how wellrespected and accountable our business has become.’ Jan continues: ‘Another aspect Take advantage which helps us sustain of 25% off your our reputation would first Pro-Med be our ethos to business treatment if you approach; we make it book before 31st our mission to treat each December 2011 client with dignity and respect; as we understand how sensitive this subject can be. Also, there is no area on the body that we will not laser – so whatever your reason for getting rid of that unwanted hair, we have the state of the art technology to make your experience a positive and crucially, long lasting one.’ for more info visit:

Top 7 Y a Resolu ttar tions!

Help Yourself?

Why not stuff the stocking with something a little more rewarding this ChristMOST NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS ONLY LAST A WEEK OR TWO, SO mas? Resident hypnoWE’VE RACKED OUR BRAINS AND HAVE COME UP WITH SOME therapist, Alan Wick, POINTERS TO HELP YOURS LAST WELL INTO 2012… has tried to convince me that his self-help Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep! This would be our first and most crucial resolution. Not to follow this one will leave all others open to failure. Only set recordings really yourself targets that are achievable and easy to reach. If that niggley, doubtful feelwork. In preparation ing is attached to the idea from the start – chances are you’ve set the bar too high. for our meeting I (somewhat sceptically) listened to a few samples of Alan’s selfStart With Something Simple: If you’re genuinely serious about making some help recordings and to my great surprise wholesome changes to your life throughout 2012, the easiest way is to start with a simple plan and stick to it. Start with a small, short-term goal to get in the I actually found myself feeling amazingly habit of sticking to the commitment you have made to yourself. relaxed and focused! Before now I’ve often thought of self-help recordings as Medium Term Resolutions: This could be anything from joining a gym to voluna little gimmicky – I am now completely teering for one afternoon a week. Volunteer work might sound easy, but mainconverted! I think the beauty of self-help taining it and convincing yourself that working for free is beneficial might be harder than you may think. If we could suggest one resolution; it would be this one. recordings is that they really can help you achieve that desired result. You can Long-Term Resolutions: These overcome your fears, insecurities and anshould be progressive goals, guish from the safety of your own home, for example learning a new skill. and remove the agony of having to bare Why not get that degree you’ve always wanted? There are many all to a complete stranger (ie doctor or degree courses now that will fit psychiatrist). Alan has developed a catainto your busy working lifestyle. In logue of self-help recordings to help the January, be brave, pick up that people who can’t afford a face-to-face visit phone and make the inquiry… with him; he recognises that the majority it may just be the best thing you ever do! of people who need genuine help with the effects and afflictions bought on by daily Determination: What ever it is you decide to resolute you must be determined life are often the ones excluded from the if you want to succeed. Here are a few resolutions for you to try. Start swimlife-changing therapy sessions delivered ming, join an exercise club or a weight loss class, give up smoking and drinking by Alan due to cost. Alan has a total of 12 (even a month will give your body a well-deserved rest) volunteering, helping others, be more considerate to others and see more of your loved ones, spend self-help recordings available on more time with your children, donate to charity, sort out your finances, be CD (pictured below) or downmore organised, walk to the shops more often. load. He says: ‘I endeavor to respond to every email Try This One! Did you know that the averGo online to: or query asked of me, age weight gain over the festive period is five to eight pounds? For starters, before www.positiveif you have a question even consider losing any further about the recordings or hypnotherapy. you weight, try shedding these extra Christmas need advice on how to net to find out pounds, chances are you will succeed get the best results from and the feel good factor achieved from more! them, then please don’t this will keep you going. You really could have that figure you’ve always dreamed of – hesitate to get in touch. My so stop dreaming, and start doing! recordings are available direct from my website or you can purchase Simple Yet Effective, Easier Said Than Done! them from itunes or Amazon. I look A really simple and effective way of losing forward to helping you soon.’ You needn’t a little weight and having a healthy life-style is changing certain elements of your diet. For suffer in silence, tune into the soulful example one of my friends simply swapped sounds of Alan Wick and chase those her daily chocolate bar for a daily banana cares away, forever. By Cazz Jones

1 2 3





and a few other swaps of that nature and she lost an incredible two stone! Another of our friends began to bike to work instead of drive (purely from a saving money point of view) and six months on she too has also lost just over two stone, simply from a ten minute cycle twice a day. That could easily be you…



Healing Thyme

e’d like to introduce a new column for Yattar Yattar readers written with Therese Hickland, a medical herbalist. This issue, she tells us how she began and how plant medicine can be used alongside or instead of conventional medicine to treat common and not so common ailments. ‘My story is all about healing. I have worked as a nurse, a midwife and a health visitor, and in 2000 left the NHS in Devon having decided to retrain as a medical herbalist. After four years of hard study for my degree in Herbal Medicine, I moved to north Shropshire to care for my parents. At the time, there was little in the way of complementary medicine for people within this area. I initially set up practice sharing with an acupuncturist. I then spotted this wonderful building for sale (on the High Street in Whitchurch) and decided to take it on, and follow my dream of creating an integrated health practice to include a wide range of practitioners. ‘This building has very positive energy which clients remark on immediately. The décor in each room has been designed to support the therapies being used, and each one is named after a healing plant – so ‘Lavender’ is for massage therapies, ‘Heather’ is for listening/talking therapies, ‘Sage’ is for medical herbalism, ‘Honeysuckle’ is for osteopathy and acupuncture, and ‘Willow’ is our room on the groundfloor with a step-lift for restricted mobility access.’ The shop on the ground floor attracts people in, and also acts as a dispensary for the medical herbalism practice.

Modern healing practices Medical herbalism has been practised for thousands of years – healers have always turned to the power of plants, and many ‘modern’ medicines are made with the same active ingredients. Herbal medicine can be used by all ages and for a very wide range of maladies. ‘Our herbal prescriptions are suitable for babies, children, teenagers, pregnant mothers, adults, and the elderly. We can advise and prescribe for chronic diseases such as arthritis, high blood pressure, stress and anxiety, for all kinds of skin problems, for coughs, colds and chest infections and for things like acute period pains or the symptoms of the menopause. The range is endless.’ When patients go to see Therese, it can be as simple as a 10-minute mini-consultation, after which you will leave with a medicine made up there and then – usually in the form of a liquid that is mixed with water in small amounts to drink three times a day (children can take theirs with honey or as drops), or a tea. If it is a more complicated case, then a full consultation will last up to two hours and cost £40.’ ‘If you take the case of a simple cold; antibiotics can treat a bacterial infection but cannot act against a virus. Most coughs, colds and sniffles that we suffer from during the winter months are viral in origin. What medical herbalism can do, by using the naturally evolved properties of medicinal plants such as garlic, thyme, elderberry, elecampane and boneset is to strengthen the immune system and combat the effects of the virus. ‘Patients are not treated by telephone or email – you have to visit the shop and be seen by a herbalist. This is a personal bespoke service for each individual because my training ensures that I can identify conditions that should be referred to a GP.’

Situated in the lovely market town of Whitchurch in North Shropshire, Healing Thyme is a centre of excellence for integrated health practice. They provide a choice in holistic healthcare through qualified practitioners and a high-quality range of health-related supplements and products. Address: 29 High Street, Whitchurch, Shropshire SY13 1AZ Tel: 01948 665565, or go online to:

82 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

Foosies Fish Spa!

A fish spa a day, keeps the doctor at bay! If you haven’t tried the latest sensation in exfoliation technology; your seriously missing out. The Garra Rufa fish (also known as the doctor fish) clean parasites off larger fish and in return will be rewarded for its service with protection and a free meal. This method of cleaning has now been adopted by pedicure centres! The Garra fish gently suck off your dead skin cells. The best part of this treatment is the experience itself, unique to say the least. Watching the little fish work away on your feet is a very enjoyable experience, having the giggles is quite a common side-effect too! Sid and Jane, owners of Footsies near Wrexham say: ‘Once used to the sensation this treatment often becomes a part of our client’s weekly routine. The results are undeniable, hands and feet become silky to the touch and a feeling of complete relaxation is often achieved. If you think you’d enjoy this unique experience; please pop in or give us a call, we’d be happy to assist in any way possible.’ Visit: to find out more.

Cotton Luxury

Check out this great new range from ‘Lucris’, a new on-line store based in Chester. Lucris have a range of 100% cotton products like the ‘Washi!’ washcloths. What makes them so great? It’s all about their unique texture. They have a gentle exfoliating surface to polish-off dead skin cells, and with seven cloths in each pack you have one for every day of the week. The Lucris ‘Lighthouse Walk Bar Mops’ is a smaller, yet plumper version of the tea-towel. Louise Lyon at Lucris says ‘it’s time to chuck out those massive yet skinny tea towels that crumple up and forget they were meant to be useful, because the Bar Mop has landed and it means business!’ Go online to www.


On the couch







This issue, Anita discusses common eating disorders, and how talking therapies can help…

E Healing Thyme offers complementary therapies from our centre in central Whitchurch. Therapies offered include: Herbal Medicine Acupuncture Aromatherapy Bach Flower Remedies Hypnotherapy

Osteopathy Psychotherapy Reflexology Reiki Remedial Massage

Tel: 01948 665565 Web:

Anita Louise Rushton & Associates Private Counselling Psychotherapy “We Believe your mental health is as vital as your physical well being ...” 1 in 4 of us will experience some sort of mental health issue during our lives. We've got expert advice and professional support to help you cope with the challenges you're facing.

For further information or to book an appointment Contact us on: Wrexham: 01978 846 081 Chester: 01244 680 214 Mobile: 07912 609 674 Email: - Visit our new website - Invest in a better mental health from as little as £35.00 per session”

ating disorders affect people at any age with some children being as young as six years of age. They are more common in women than men – although a lot of people think eating disorders are an issue for women only. Anita says: ‘Whether it’s binge eating, bulimia or anorexia, the root issue is often about control. The sufferer is trying to control a part of their lives by taking what they eat to extreme measures. Perhaps they feel a lack of control in their day-to-day lives or perhaps they had a very strict upbringing. ‘It’s also about body image and low self-esteem. So talking therapies help by looking at their lives to see what they’re unhappy with. There is often loneliness, and they feel they can’t socialise, or feel they are overweight and have a distorted view of their body image. Individuals can also be affected by their parent’s eating habits and attitudes towards food, or it can be a case of being in a bad relationship where a partner is overly critical of their looks. Media images certainly don’t help – skinny models and pop stars influence younger people into thinking you have to look like that to be popular! ‘So we look at what they want from the different aspects of their lives, and how we can make changes for the better. Sometimes, completing simple exercises such as writing down a list of pros and cons for each aspect really helps individuals focus. ‘We also look at their diet and consider healthy options, we look at their understanding of food. We ask them to keep a ‘food and mood’ diary so we can review with them how they feel before, during and after eating. This helps identify the triggers for their behaviour and isolate what we need to change. The length of time it takes to make progress does vary. Some people are hugely improved after six sessions, some people come for a longer time. If behaviour is deep-seated and has been going on for a long time it can take a lot of work to change.

A patient’s story ‘I had a patient who would exercise, then pop to the shops on the way home – and come out with a carrier bag full of junk food which she would then eat secretly. Afterwards she would feel ashamed and angry with herself – and diet the next day – and begin the cycle all over again. Only by helping her with wider issues were we able to gradually help her out of this. If you want to change something in your life, it’s best to take small steps; otherwise if you go too fast, you can fall and go backwards. ‘These conditions can cause other serious health problems. In fact, 5% of anorexia cases result in death, and all types of eating disorders are quite widespread in the UK – it is believed that at any one time there are up to 90,000 adults being treated. ‘In conjunction with Premier Healthcare Group you can have direct access to private in-house GPs and consultant psychiatrists.’ y

Anita Louise Rushton is accredited by the counselling society and a full member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Person-Centred Art Therapy Association. Anita has also trained with the RELATE institute at Doncaster University. As well as being affiliated to corporate clients, Anita offers a private, dedicated and confidential service. Sessions with Anita are available from £35 per hour. Telephone: 01978 846081 Mobile: 07912 609674 Email:, Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 83

Colourmebeautiful Dress for success & Make-overs with Mac Tompsett


t t Give Relaxation t & Confidence this t







Choose from • A colour class - discover which shades bring out the best in you. • A style Consultation - Learn about your body lines, scale and style personality PLUS How to flatter your figure. • A beauty workshop - A master class in make up for your different moods and occasions.

THE PERFECT PRESENT - Gift vouchers available. For an appointment which could change your life! Contact: Mac Tompsett Westwood House, Vicarage lane, Gresford, Wrexham LL12 8US Tel/Fax: 01978 852816

For a stocking filler with a difference visit or ring 01244 458676 for more information.

SAVE £1000’s with our made-to-measure replacement doors and accessories. Call now for a free home survey!

Creative Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathrooms 1000ft showroom now open at Eagle’s Meadow, Wrexham • Kitchens • Bathrooms • Bedrooms • Kitchen Door Replacement • Quality Products • Quality Fitting • Quality Service • Independent & Local • Full Project Management of Gas • Electrics • Plastering • Plumbing • Tiling • Flooring • Building etc

Call: 01978 696220

Address: 32-33 St George’s Crescent, Eagle’s Meadow, Wrexham. LL13 8DB (opposite Tesco and Mecca Bingo)


Lynne Allbutt: out with the old and in with the shoe! What a year is has been for our favourite barefoot wonderer. Lynne Allbutt talks us through her highs and lows, of pigs and troughs, and celebrity friends to rival that of the royals…


t was the poet William Blake who gave the great advice: ‘In seed time learn, in harvest time teach, in winter time enjoy.’ Let’s face it, especially for those who work outdoors, it’s all too easy to spend the winter whining and worrying. I agree with another poet, Edith Sitwell’s wise words: ‘Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.’ We should take a leaf out of Nature’s book and use the darker winter days to rest a little. This year has been a busy one for me; barefoot bee-keeping at the RHS Show in Cardiff, slate engraving for various art exhibitions, delivering and rearing 24 piglets, my barefoot and Guinness World Record run a Tree-Athlon, with over 300 barefoot runners organised with environmental charity ‘Trees for Cities’, and writing Allbutt’s Almanac 2012 – as well as speaking events, charity projects, my regular writing and also running the gardening business. I adore my lifestyle but it requires a lot of energy, so rest is important too. I have recently been made an ambassador for World Animal Day and become involved with another fabulous charity, Victory Outreach’s Animal Assisted Therapy; both of which I intend to dedicate a lot of time and

Lynne with Charlie Dimmock and Carol Klein, from Gardener’s World

effort to next year. Animals have a marvellous way of mirroring our behaviour and, like Nature, make great teachers.

Back to Nature with celebrities And there’s some exciting stuff in the pipeline as I collaborate with a couple of celebrities to encourage people to re-connect with Nature. It’s such a simple and effective way to recharge. Bill Bailey told me: ‘I think it is really important for people to be able to identify the birds, flowers and trees that are around them, so they cease being ‘things’ and have an identity.’ He explained, ‘Kids in particular like to know the names of things; knowledge gives them power.’ I also think when people recognise something and can give it a name they are far more likely to respect it. We may have a greater awareness of what’s happening in rainforests but still no idea about what’s happening in our own garden or local Park. Nigel Havers also adores the British countryside, with fond memories of being brought up in Suffolk. He agreed with the importance of being in touch with Nature when we spoke at Chelsea Flower Show where he also

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth”

shared his love (and knowledge) of plants. It was a combination of all this that inspired my ‘Allbutt’s Almanac 2012’, a Nature Lover’s Companion and gardening guide. Full of gardening news, ideas, inspirations, celebrity chats and much more. I hope it will inspire people to reacquaint and reconnect with Nature. It also makes a great Christmas stocking filler and is handy to post too. Details are on my website. So that’s the past and the present(s) dealt with, so all that’s left is to wish you a happy and healthy winter, fun over the festive season and reunion with Nature in the future. And finally to one last (Welsh born) poet, George Herbert who said: ‘Every mile is worth two in Winter’. That may be so, but my advice is to put an ‘s’ in front of ‘mile’and you’ve got yourself a winning combination and a positive outlook for the months ahead. Until next time. y


Bill Bailey says: ‘It is really important for people to be able to identify the birds, flowers and trees that are around them’. Absolutely, we say! And is that really Piers Morgan with our lovely Lynne? Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 85

Are you suffering from disrupted sleep?

Our snoring and sleep apnoea clinic could be the place for you Being sleep deprived can result in not just day time fatigue but poor concentration, reduced motivation, anxiety and even depression. Symptoms of sleep apnoea include: • Waking up feeling unrefreshed • Forgetfulness • Reduced motivation/energy • Poor concentration • Daytime fatigue

Following an initial consultation with Mr Arvinde Arya, ENT Consultant, our diagnostic service starts from just £430. Treatment prices: CPAP for sleep apnoea Snoreplasty

from £850 from £400

For more information or to make an appointment please call the Spire Yale Hospital snoring and sleep apnoea clinic on

01978 262462 or email

Wrexham Technology Park, Croesnewydd Road, Wrexham, LL13 7YP

Your Health



We talk to Mr Arya about sleep problems – in particular snoring and sleep apnoea, and find there are simple solutions available!

Q Why does my husband snore!? A Snoring means there is an obstruction in the airways, which then causes a vibration as there is a restricted passage for the air. We see more than 70% of snoring cases to be men – although it may be that men are not as likely to let their partner know! Snoring is very common. One in four people snore from time to time, and I have to tell you there are many many treatments people find on the internet – and they come to tell me they don’t work. Snoring can be exacerbated by lifestyle issues such as being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking, or too much caffeine. Q What is the best treatment for snoring? A Before our new treatment, we used to operate to solve the problems of chronic snoring. Ethically, I find it very difficult to offer people surgery for snoring as there are risks associated with general anaesthetic and a painful healing process. We have a much better procedure now – the ‘snoreplasty’. It’s a very simple injection with a local anaesthetic spray beforehand to numb the surface of the palate. We inject a small amount of ‘Fibrovein’, which causes the soft palate to become more rigid, so it does not flutter and vibrate – which is what causes the snoring sound. If it does not stop the snoring sound completely, we’ve found it reduces the volume and pitch of the tone, so its a lot easier to live with!

Q What is sleep apnoea? A If an obstruction is severe, it can cause sleep apnoea – which means your body ‘wakes up’ when ever your breathing becomes too difficult and this results is extreme fatigue. We’re seeing more of these cases as it is related to body weight. I am getting 10-20 referrals per week in my NHS clinic, and there is a long waiting list for treatment. It can be a serious condition and needs addressing as it can lead to long-term problems such as heart problems, diabetes and lung problems. Because it stops you sleeping properly, it can affect your daily life. Q Would someone know if they suffer from this? A To diagnose sleep apnoea, we use a home sleep monitor – this is the best way to know for sure if there is such a problem. You have a normal nights’ sleep with a monitoring machine (it’s a band around your chest and a tag on your finger), and the machine does the rest. If you suffer from this condition, you have ‘microarousals’ where only the body wakes up, so you never really achieve the deep sleep we need each night to be properly refreshed. The pulse increases, the blood pressure is raised – and this process can happen 50 times an hour – so you wake up feeling very tired, even though as far as you are concerned you have slept for a whole night. It can be a real surprise when people are told they have the condition – they might typically go to their GP complaining they feel tired all the time, and the GP may order blood tests which come back normal. Q What treatment is available? A If you are diagnosed as suffering from sleep apnoea, we can provide you with a mask that blows air to keep the airways open when it senses they are going to close. This mask works extremely well – it gives people a normal night’s sleep, and my patients say they use it every night.

Q Does the treatment work? A I see people literally change colour when they start using the mask – they are grey when they come to see me, then even after a few weeks they have much more life, and almost come bounding in! If you snore frequently and feel tired all the time, or if you wake up tired and have ‘unrefreshed sleep’, then get it checked out, you may be suffering from sleep apnoea. Q What happens when patients come in? A When you come in for the initial consultation, we go through your whole medical history and look at your sleep habits to find out if there are any other problems that need addressing by a different specialist. Q What sleep habits you can recommend? A Most people have a bad night’s sleep from time to time. Good sleep hygiene means getting into good bedtime habits and can have a huge benefit in getting a good night’s sleep. Don’t drink caffeine before you go to bed, and don’t eat anything at least two hours before. Don’t use a computer or watch Tv just before you go to bed – read a book instead. Use moderate exercise, and if your partner wakes you up try sleeping in a separate room for a while! y

Mr Arvind Arya MBChB, FRCS (ORL-HNS), MSc Qualified in 1999, and specialises in ear, nose and throat problems, including sleep disorders, disordered breathing and sinus disease. He is a Consultant Otolaryngologist, and an Everton fan. His private secretary can be contacted on (01978) 725 117 or for cost enquiries ring Spire Yale on 01978 262462.

01978 262462

Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 87

Private treatment in a leading Enjoy the comfort of private treatmentspecialist in a leading specialist orthopaedic hospital.

orthopaedic hospital



unit private centre of excellence

Our specialist services: • Treatment of all bone, joint and muscular conditions • Hip and knee replacement and reconstruction

Our specialist services: • Treatment • Back disorders of bone, joint and muscular conditions • Children’s orthopaedic surgery • Hip and knee replacement and reconstruction World Class Reputation • Hand, foot, ankle knee surgery A dedicated Privateshoulder, Patients’ Unit within the Robert Jones and and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital NHS Trust; a centre with a worldwide reputation for clinical excellence, innovation and research. • Sports injury surgery Our patients receive personalised treatment by a specialist of their choice, at a time convenient to them.and All Consultants Ludlow Unit specialise in the treatment of bone, • Spinal boneat thetumour service joint and muscular disorders and are supported by progressive orthopaedically trained nurses. Both Worlds Best•ofMetabolic disorders Private treatment on Ludlow is carried out in addition to the volumes of NHS work • Sports injury surgery

• Hand, shoulder, foot, ankle and knee surgery

undertaken at the Orthopaedic Hospital. The income generated contributes to the costs of the NHS Trust, which benefits all patients and staff.

Benefits: • World Class Reputation Safety We have consistently low infection rates and a 24 hour high dependency unit. • Best of Both Worlds; private treatment in a specialist NHS hospital Privacy and Comfort Now with a new dedicated outpatient facility, Ludlow Unit also has 16 private en-suite rooms, tastefully decorated with flat screen television, access to Sky, direct dial and internet access. • Now Accredited to Highest Quality Standard ISO 9001 Our food is excellent; special requests can be accommodated. Tea, coffee and other drinks are served at all times. Daily newspapers of your choice are provided. Accommodation is • Consistently Low Infection Rates available for relatives if travelling some distance. Private Healthcare Insurance • 24 Hour High Dependency Unit We accept all forms of healthcare insurance and offer competitive fixed packages for the non insured. • Privacy and Comfort Referrals Please ask your GP to refer you to a Consultant of your choice. See our website for details of Consultants undertaking • Free WiFiprivate work at the Ludlow Unit. • All Private Healthcare Insurance Accepted The Ludlow Unit The Roberthealthcare Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital NHS Trust • No insurance? - we offer fixed price packages Surgeons undertaking private work utilise the hospital’s unique ultra clean air theatre suite, the skills of expert theatre specialists and share knowledge of the hospital’s considerable research work.

Contact For more information, please contact Elaina Lewis: Tel: 01691 404307 Fax: 01691 404060 Email:

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Contact Elaina Lewis: T: 01691 404307 E:

Referrals Please ask your GP to refer you to a Consultant of your choice: For a free DVD and further information, contact Elaina Lewis: T: 01691 404307 E: The Ludlow Unit The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 7AG Tel: 01691 404307

Yattar Yattar Advert.indd 1

07/09/2011 13:55:09


Through the keyhole... Surgeons can now use advanced keyhole techniques to repair recurring hip pain. We wanted to find out more… intermittent, but in some patients can be persistent, and the pain is severe and can radiate down to the knee joint.

Fixing the problem early on


r Karlakki, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Oswestry’s Orthopaedic Hospital, explains how advances in keyhole surgery are enabling minor hip repairs before they cause arthritis and the premature need for a hip replacement. ‘This is a very new field – hip arthroscopy or keyhole surgery – and it’s growing quickly and becoming much more specialised. Over the last five years it has come on in leaps and bounds, and there is more awareness amongst GPs and surgeons now about what we can do, so we’re getting more referrals. ‘Ten years ago, when persistent groin pain was presented to GPs, and the X-rays showed the hip joint looked normal, they would tend to prescribe exercise, painkillers and physiotherapy. Now with keyhole surgery we can make a significant difference. ‘Keyhole surgery is fantastic as it is minimally invasive. There is much less tissue damage, and healing is much quicker. ‘These procedures are specifically designed for a sub-group of patients that can be relieved from persistent groin pain, in particular when they flex their joint (so typically it’s painful when they are sitting down, driving, cycling or running). This can be caused by bony projections at the head of the femur – the leg bone – (which can be a birth defect), or by a hip socket that is too deep so the head of the femur hits against the margin of the joint socket in the pelvis. ‘This is a condition called Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI), which is a pinching of the soft tissues between the femoral head and the socket. It is mostly

‘The point is that if you don’t fix these smaller problems early on they can go on to potentially cause early arthritis, which will severely impede motion and require a full hip replacement. This can affect anyone, but the arthroscopic procedures typically help the younger patients most as they tend to have less arthritis. ‘On balance, surgery is not advocated just because there is a risk of future conditions – there has to be sufficient symptoms at the time to operate because even if the surgery is keyhole, there are other risk factors. During surgery, the leg is in traction to create a small gap in the joint, and this is painful afterwards and can cause problems for the sciatic nerve. We are therefore careful to keep the total time in traction to a minimum – under one hour usually. It’s also important to reduce the operating time as much as possible, so that the joint doesn’t become dehydrated. (During a joint’s normal working life, the body keeps these moving parts hydrated.) ‘However, keyhole surgery overall is a lot better for the patient as we never have to cut off the blood supply to the joint, so I would think we are going to see an increasing number of keyhole procedures performed wherever possible.’

‘Now with keyhole surgery we can make a significant difference’

Balancing the patient benefits ‘Medicine is all about shades of grey, about balancing the benefits for the patient. I never cure anything – I just make their quality of life better. The Orthopaedic Hospital has the second highest number of joint repair procedures in the UK. It’s like a Mecca for orthopaedic surgeons! Here we are constantly learning to develop new techniques, and using cutting edge technologies. ‘For hip arthroscopies, we’re constantly honing our techniques to keep the operation

and traction time down to a minimum, and we always make sure we do the operation for the right reasons – i.e. patients who have a need to get a problem fixed because it is affecting their quality of life.’

CASE STUDY Tom Pirson, 29 (pictured on this page with Mr Karlakki), is an IT engineer from the Isle of Man. In spring 2010, Tom initially suffered what he thought was a groin injury, which came on suddenly when he made a simple movement. He was referred by his GP to Mr Ross Barker, an orthopaedic surgeon. On diagnosis of bi-lateral femoroacetabular hip impingement, a secondary referral was made to Mr Karlakki. Tom Pirson had a private clinic appointment with Mr Karlakki in early July 2010 and his first hip scope on 23 July 2010. He was off work for six weeks after the operation. Tom explains: ‘When I initially saw Mr Barker, he explained that I could have remedial surgery now to remove the sharp pain or put up with it, but then I might well need a hip replacement in five years time. I was unable to get about, had to stay at home and use a stick and strong painkillers and wasn’t able to drive to the office to work, so there was no question of simply living with it. The benefits of the surgery have been enormous and I came back willingly to have the same procedure on the other side 12 months later.’ Mr Sudheer Karlakki says, ‘If the indications are right, it works extremely well, showing an 80% improvement, which is an excellent result.’ y

For more information, contact The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Oswestry on: 01691 404606 (NHS) 01691 404307 (Ludlow Private Unit)

MR SUDHEER KARLAKKI FRCS (ORTH) MSC (ORTH ENG) Qualified in 1992, and completed basic surgical training in Cardiff and Newport with fellowships from Royal Colleges of Edinburgh and Glasgow. Appointed to the RJAH in 2003. All Wales Higher Surgical Training in orthopaedics centred in and around Oswestry. Masters degree in orthopaedic engineering from Cardiff. Mr Karlakki specialises in hip and knee replacement/revision surgery and sub specialises in hip surgery and young hip arthritis. Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 89

Allech chi fod yn Ofalwr Maeth Therapiwtig?

Could you be a Specialist Foster Carer?

Ar hyn o bryd rydym yn chwilio am unigolion gyda phrofiad o ofalu am blant a phobl ifanc gydag anghenion cymhleth i ddarparu gofal maeth therapiwtig. Yn ddelfrydol bydd gennych gefndir proffesiynol mewn gwaith cymdeithasol, preswyl, cyfiawnder ieuenctid, lleoliad addysg neu iechyd a bydd disgwyl i chi gael CGC 3 priodol os nad oes gennych un eisoes.

We are currently recruiting individuals with experience of caring for children and young people with complex needs to deliver therapeutic foster care. Ideally you will have a professional background within a social care, residential, youth justice, educational setting or health and be expected to acquire an appropriate NVQ3 if you do not have one already.

Mae angen i blant Wrecsam aros yn eu cymunedau cartref gyda gofalwyr maeth therapiwtig proffesiynol. Fel un o’r gofalwyr hyn, byddwch yn cael pecyn cymorth ariannol hael ac yn gweithio fel rhan o dîm gyda sicrwydd cefnogaeth therapyddion a staff addysg.

Wrexham children need to stay in their home communities with professional therapeutic foster carers. As one of these carers, you will be rewarded with a very generous financial support package and work as part of a team with guaranteed support from therapists and education staff.

Os ydych yn meddwl y gallwch gynnig cyfle mewn bywyd i blentyn trwy weithio fel gofalwr proffesiynol, cysylltwch â’r llinell recriwtio yn y Tîm Lleoli mewn Teuluoedd ar RHADFFÔN

If you think you could offer a child a chance in life working as a professional carer, please contact the Recruitment line in the Family Placement Team on FREEPHONE

neu e-bostio

or e-mail

0800 783 0 618 DM411332 RG

0800 783 0 618

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Winter coughs and colds the paediatrician’s expert view

Ravi Jayaram, Consultant Paediatrician at Nuffield Health The Grosvenor Hospital in Chester explains why children often have a cough during the winter.


he most common reason for a child coughing is a cold caused by a viral infection,’ says Ravi. ‘Smaller children, under four years of age, have a shorter distance from their nose and throat to their chest so it is much easier for the virus to progress down to their chests. Viruses cause the lining of the smaller air tubes of the lungs to become inflamed. As a result, the already narrow tubes become more narrow and produce more mucus leading to difficulty breathing and coughing. So a lot of children get a cough when they have caught a cold.’ That makes sense – but how can parents spot the difference between a viral and a bacterial infection, and when should a doctor prescribe antibiotics? Ravi says:

‘Typically, a virus means the child feels unwell for two or three days, then may be left with a cough, which can easily go on for two weeks. In these cases, antibiotics will not help at all. However, if a child has an ongoing temperature, is off their food, is lethargic, then we would suspect a bacterial infection and prescribe antibiotics.’ Some parents say it feels like their child is constantly fighting coughs and colds through the winter. ‘A child can cough up to six weeks, but as long as the cough is generally improving and the child is well there is no reason for further investigation,’ says Ravi. ‘The average child actually catches 10-12 colds every year, and most of these occur September to April, so it’s perfectly normal for it to seem like your child has a ‘constant cold’. If the cough goes on longer than seven or eight weeks, and if the child is unwell – it may indicate immune system problems so we would investigate further.’ It also seems as if asthma is becoming more common amongst children, so what is the best way of identifying the condition and treating it if parents and grandparents

are worried? Ravi says: ‘Asthma is caused by the body’s own mechanism to fight infection becoming ‘hyperactive’, which produces mucus and makes the tissues tighten up, making it more difficult to breathe normally. The ‘wheeze’ is a musical sound heard when exhaling, and sometimes you can’t hear it without a stethoscope. The condition comes and goes, and is often worse at night because the muscles in our bodies are more relaxed (which sometimes means the family GP can’t hear it if they see the child during the day). The treatment we have does work, which is to use an inhaler during the onset of symptoms (usually a blue inhaler), and a preventer to help build up resistance (the brown inhaler).’ y

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Fay Weldon thinks she’s magic. Valerie Singleton calls her ‘a brilliantly intuitive and sensitive astrologer’. And now her predictions are here for you too BY GLORIA MANS


20th March - 20th April Is life unpredictable? Feeling thwarted? Don’t worry it’s nothing to do with how you’re doing things, it’s a question of riding out the storms. You like a challenge so rise to one and let your innate courage show. You’re one of the braver souls of the zodiac so remember the old SAS motto recycled by Del Boy ‘He Who dares Wins’.


20th April - 21st May If you are finding yourself faced with past actions you would rather forget, ask yourself if you can move into the future without resolving these issues. The trouble with sleeping dogs is that they are inclined to wake up! Perhaps it would be better bringing things out into the open, clearing the air and giving the dog a bone.



23rd July - 23rd August Martin Luther said: ‘Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree’. That’s a pretty good mantra if confusion and uncertainty has dogged your tracks because those times are ending. As opposing forces weaken, a new direction is appearing and showing a much clearer way to harvest those apples.


23rd August - 23rd September Don’t leave people in doubt about your intentions now or you’ll be faced with a barrage of misunderstandings. Your solar chart shows Saturn moving through the field of finances, there are limitations here, but with careful organisation you can make contingency plans for the future. Christmas is on the way so keep it simple. That’s what it’s about really isn’t it?


21st May - 21st June Jupiter’s movement through part of your solar chart symbolising ‘behind the scenes activity’ indicates someone’s going to be of great benefit this winter. This may not be obvious at first and you’ll have to look carefully to see the gift you’re being given but the world moves in mysterious ways so give thanks for what is about to be received…

23rd September - 23rd October If you did what I suggested last time you’ll be ahead, if not, then here’s what to do now. Something’s distracting you so cast it adrift and focus on what’s going to be best in the long run. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again were the words written for you at this particular moment in time.



21st June - 23rd July All Cancerians suffer from being over sensitive. I say suffer because they often get hurt even though they try showing a tough exterior. Your recent astrological pattern indicates a distinct lack of warmth and understanding in your relationship corner but if you try controlling your moods headway will be made. Protection is in not offering ammunition in the first place!

23rd Oct - 22nd Nov November’s full moon in Taurus could result in a refusal to budge. As a smart, clever and manipulative individual you’ll have to seize the day and show a good example of why change is required. Your power to spot what others cannot will enable you to see through the emotional clutter to the other side of a habitual seasonal issue.


22nd Nov - 21st Dec Your motto could be ‘Expectations unlimited’. You’re full of them, that’s the optimistic and gregarious side of your nature. Uranus, currently blazing a trail through your fellow fire sign Aries, makes a wonderful arc in the sky between the Motivator and The Explorer what does this mean? The words action and journey come to mind.


21st December - 20th January There is something about a cupboard that makes a skeleton very restless so although we are entering a festive time where secrets abound, the kind I’m referring to are not quite so joyful. Avoid getting yourself into a situation where you have to cover up something through guilt rather than wrapping up something which should have been done long ago.


20th January - 19th February That old master of disguise Neptune symbolises confusion and disillusion but the other side is selfless and spiritual. A crisis of identity is nearly over as the final phase of Neptune in Aquarius comes to and end... There’s much to celebrate as you emerge better from the experience you’ve been put through and richer in faith, hope and charity!


19th February - 20th March There’s a song called ‘The Elusive Butterfly’ describing you, Pisces. The question now being asked is why you’re being so hard to pin down? You’ll have to answer it sooner or later because arrangements need your input. Could it be that a line from that song ‘it’s only me pursuing something I’m not sure of’ is where the problem lies?

Profile of Gloria Mans Gloria trained in the art of astrology at the prestigious Faculty of Astrological Studies in London. This

involved astronomy and the study of longitude and latitude of planets and the ‘relationship’ they make through what are called ‘angles’. Astrology is also about intuition and understanding. Gloria has worked for many celebrities – Sally Burton, Richard Burton’s widow says: ‘Gloria makes a difference to your life’. Other clients have included Jerry Hall, David Bailey and David Icke. She lives with her artist husband, three cats, five hens and a rooster called Captain Jack in Powys. email: Winter 2011 yattaryattar magazine 93

Yattar Yattar competitions


A £500 SXY Skin treatments bonanza!

HOW TO ENTER Simply answer the following question and send your answer, along with your name, address and telephone number to by February 29th: Yattar Yattar, SXY Skin Competition, Unit 13, Vauxhall Industrial Estate, Ruabon, Wrexham, LL14 6HA. (Winners will be notified by email, so make sure you include your email address)

Q: Which is the largest organ in/on the human body a) Lungs b) Brain c) Skin

Name ........................................................................................... Address ........................................................................................ ....................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................... ............................................. Postcode ....................................... Contact number: ....................................................................... Email (please complete)................................................................... PLEASE DONOT SEND ME ANY OTHER INFORMATION


If you want to experience a range of groundbreaking beauty treatments including non-surgical contouring and plumping, skin rejuvenation, WORTH £ pioneering age management 500! techniques and the latest in laser hair removal, then look no further than new Chester clinic, SXY Skin. To celebrate its launch SXY Skin is offering one lucky Yattar Yattar reader the chance to win treatment vouchers for their Chester clinic. If you want to be in with a chance of winning £500 of vouchers for SXY Skin’s fantastic tailored skincare solutions then all you have to do is answer the following question: To celebrate the launch of SXY Skin Chester, readers of Yattar Yattar can get a fantastic £20 off their first treatment at SXY Skin! All you have to do is cut-out this voucher and take it along to your first SXY Skin appointment, to redeem it against your first treatment. Terms and conditions apply. Terms and Conditions This voucher is valid against treatments only, not against any product purchases. Please mention your voucher at the time of booking. Voucher valid on your first visit only. Please present the original voucher on arrival, no photocopies or other copies will be accepted. Voucher expires on 31st December 2011.No cash alternative is available. For more information about SXY Skin and the varied range of treatments available at the Chester clinic or to book a consultation visit: or call Deborah Cope on 07801 243 892. Address: 19 Chester Street, Saltney, Chester, CH4 8BL. By appointment only.

An Penguin Encounter at Chester Zoo

HOW TO ENTER Simply answer the following question and send your answer, along with your name, address and telephone number to by February 29th: Yattar Yattar, Chester Zoo Competition, Unit 13, Vauxhall Industrial Estate, Ruabon, Wrexham, LL14 6HA. (Winners will be notified by email, so make sure you include your email address) For your chance to win this exclusive penguin encounter at the UK’s number one zoo, answer the following question correctly:

Q: In the 12 days of Christmas carol, which bird is in the pear tree? a) Partridge b) Ostrich c) Parrot

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94 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

Treat someone you love (or yourself) to a Chester Zoo gift or experience. There’s an exciting range of animal encounters and experience days to choose from. As well as gift ideas for family and friends. Proceeds from gifts and experiences help fund Chester Zoo’s conservation work in the UK and around the world, which is good news for animals everywhere. For more information visit giftsandexperiences or call 01244 650 281. Terms & Conditions Regrettably certain guests will be unable to take part including people with epilepsy; relevant phobias or known allergies; pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals. Whilst every effort is made to accommodate those with a disability or learning difficulty, due to practicality and health and safety this cannot always be achieved. All experiences must be booked a minimum of 4 weeks before your visit. Animal encounters are suitable for adults and children aged 5 years old and over, however children (5 – 15 years) must be accompanied by a spectating parent or guardian.



A Years FREE Gym Membership at Curves Gym! HOW TO ENTER Simply answer the following question and send your answer, along with your name, address and telephone number to by February 29th: Yattar Yattar, Curves Gym Competition, Unit 13, Vauxhall Industrial Estate, Ruabon, Wrexham, LL14 6HA. (Winners will be notified by email, so make sure you include your email address)



Created specifically for women, Curves offers a complete fitness and nutrition solution. The Curves 30 minute workout exercises every major muscle group and burns up to 500 calories through a proven program of strength training, cardio and stretching. In addition, club promotions and events encourage women to support charitable causes, learn about healthrelated issues and forge lasting friendships as part of the global Curves community. For your chance to win a FREE year’s gym membership at Curves Gym, please answer the following question correctly:-

Terms and conditions for free 1 year membership at Curves are: Valid at Curves Wrexham only. Non-members only. Free year must commence by 30/04/12. Standard Curves Health and Liability forms must be completed and signed prior to first session. Over 18’s only.

Q: Which target audience are Curves Gym’s aimed at? a) Men b) Children c) Women

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Winners Gallery We never fail to disappoint. Here are our lucky winners from the Summer 2011 edition of Yattar Yattar Magazine

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Winner Joanne Thomas from Hereford


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Winners: (left to right) Anthony Phillips from Conwy, Mrs M Lloyd from Shrewsbury, Mrs S. M. Lewis from Cheshire, Heather Reynalds from Flintshire

Congratulations to all our lucky winners, we hope you enjoyed your wonderful gifts courtesy of Yattar Yattar Magazine RULES OF THE THREE COMPETITONS

DATA PROTECTION NOTICE Brillybox Publishing and Media Ltd will use your information for administration and analysis purposes and may contact you from time to time with relevant offers, information or for research purposes. Your details will not be passed on to third parties except the sponsors of these competitions. Please tick the relevant box if you do not wish to be contacted. COMPETITION RULES The promoter of this competition is Brillybox Publishing & Media Ltd, CDC Distribution Centre, Unit 13, Vauxhall, Industrial Estate, Ruabon, Wrexham. LL14 6HA. The competitions are open to all readers of our magazine and viewers of our websites except employees of Chester Zoo, SXY Skin, Curves Gym or Brillybox Publishing & Media Ltd and their immediate families. The winner will be the first person or persons drawn after the closing date who has completed the correct answer. No cash alternative is available. The winners names can be obtained by writing to the competition address with a self-addressed envelope after the closing date. The winner agrees to participate in any follow-up publicity. Brillybox Publishing may print the name only of entrants to this competition in subsequent issue(s) of Yattar Yattar. This is to enable competition entrants to fairly claim a promotional offer, for competition entrants only. By entering this competition you are giving permission for Brillybox to print your name only. No personal information will be printed. No purchase necessary, answers on a postcard are accepted.

Puzzle time!

There are two sets of clues, cryptic and quick, and the answers to both sets are the same. So if you get stuck on a cryptic clue, you can take the easy route! Answers in next issue








8 9 10













23 24

25 CRYPTIC Degree of difficulty 7/10. The only word for which readers may reach for the dictionary is at 21 across, and may not be in pocket editions. CLUES ACROSS 1 Female supporters soon start to make money (5) 4 Commemorate cat – died horribly on drug (8) 8 Carelessly paints radishes and cakes (8,6) 10 Thick puzzle setter isn’t! (8) 11 American DJ? (6) 12 Treed acre altered and redeveloped (9) 15 Small like Noddy? (5) 17 Pitch a coat (5) 18 This conversion of Paul’s

26 was widely acclaimed (9) 19 Use printing measure on cunning plan (6) 21 Spot cheap tie askew (8) 24 Third world source of fruit (6, 8) 25 Encloses drug removed from wrappers (8) 26 Relaxed in the sun, perhaps, and finished topless (5) CLUES DOWN 1 Jack was, in this genre of novel? (6, 6) 2 Poor Nan, on cue, to read first for Huw Edwards, say (9) 3 Sal is taken in and dried out for drugs (5) 4 Dumped, poets died in agony (9) 5 Hare died at top of wood (4) 6 Airport belts hymns

96 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

including American and European (9) 7 Article about that place (5) 9 Considered foreign nobleman in French article on ANC by top journalist (12) 13 European research facility, say, in complex (9) 14 Do they put the mockers on the music? (9) 16 Some tenants get them to release bears (9) 20 Pedestrian scheme incorporates one (5) 22 Release former lover, due out (5) 23 Pilots back zero in card game (4)

8 Sweetened cakes (6,8) 10 Having no idea (8) 11 Formal evening wear (US) (6) 12 Brought again into being (9) 15 Resembling a small, mischievous figure (5) 17 Hooded jacket (5) 18 Relating to Damascus (9) 19 Use, hire (6) 21 Small red or purple spot caused by bleeding into the skin (8) 24 Small, economically dependant state (6, 8) 25 Encloses (8) 26 Relaxed (5)) CLUES DOWN 1 Novel with sexual content (6, 6) 2 Speaker, usually on TV or radio (9) 3 Mexican agave cultivated for its fibre (5) 4 Laid down, paid in money (9) 5 Horizontal stroke in writing (4) 6 Luggage conveyor belts (9) 7 In that position (5) 9 Considered, contemplated (12) 13 Involved (9) 14 Devices used to reduce amplitude (9) 16 Tenancies (9) 20 Opposite of 13 down (5) 22 Discharge (5) 23 Card game (4) BY SAM EVANS Answers below to our Autumn issue crossword 1

H E P A B L O R A R F 8 E L E C T R I C E R A F 10 A R S E N A L S T B I












D O N I S T E U C C H A I R S 9 P K A J 11 S T A P L E R I

D E C O R R E F E R E N D A I R M E Y E E E 18 C O D E C S A N D S T O R M A L E A S 19 20 21 22 T A R M A C A S S A S S I N 23 E I I T N D F I 17

EASY CLUES ACROSS 1 Metallic alloy (5) 4 Commemorate (8)


C OM M I S S I O N A I R E R E E L I R J 26 B A L D N E S S E V E N S


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More light at night please

Why on earth do we have to make the evenings shorter in winter?… WORDS SARAH GRIFFITHS


n every survey the majority of UK citizens want more daylight in the evening rather than in the morning – all but Scottish farmers that is. Now Scotland wants independence (which is absolutely fine) but can’t we leave them with GMT and we move in line with our continental neighbours?

Winter nights closing in… GMT condemns us to dark afternoons and evenings as soon as the clocks change in October all the way through to March. Numerous studies show that we would be far better off with the extra hour of daylight at the end of the day, especially to help reduce road injuries as people are tired from working then face the long, dark drive home. Just because the Scottish farmers do not want to milk their cows in the dark mornings does not mean Wales and England have to go along with their preferences. Before the railways we had several time zones across the UK and clocks were only set to GMT to facilitate the production of railway timetables. As Wales has an Assembly and has made all prescriptions and hospital parking free, why can’t we do something similar and lead the UK in making life more bearable during the long winter months. My animals do not understand the changing of the clocks; they still want to be fed at British Summer Time even when we revert to Greenwich Mean Time, and to be honest I cannot face breakfast an hour earlier after the change either. The Scottish National Party might be popular in Scotland criticising and blaming the rest

of the UK for all sorts of historic grievances (real or perceived) but this patriotic fervour should not be allowed to stand in the way of the best interests of Wales, England & Northern Ireland. Ironically the Scots would be the greatest beneficiaries as with lower car ownership and more pedestrians they suffer higher road accidents so would save 41 lives according to the Transport Research Laboratory’s calculations.

Road safety issues Children in particular would be safer as there are three times more fatalities in the evening than in the morning. In fact, it is difficult to find anyone who would not welcome the change, even in Scotland, as the majority of inhabitants would welcome the change (YouGov) so why not let Alex Salmond and his cronies go off and do their own thing? The banks have made our lives miserable, and the government with their economic cuts have merely added to our gloom, so why don’t the politicians whose reputations are at an all-time low do something that would cheer us up and save a huge amount of energy to boot? It seems that the conservatives, who lack representation in Scotland, are frightened that making such a move might galvanise the Scots to go for full independence. As UK taxpayers subsidise Scotland would it be such a bad thing?

“David Cameron this is your chance. Please ditch GMT and make us happy”

98 yattaryattar magazine Winter 2011

Furthermore, the police reckon that the change would lead to a 3% reduction in crime and vandalism as most are committed under cover of darkness. Businesses would prefer to be on the same time as our major continental trading partners as would airlines and the tourist industry.

A popular prize So let this coalition be remembered for doing something good and give something that the majority of the population really want, thereby gaining praise without it costing the government a penny, in fact it would help them meet the UK’s carbon emission reduction target to boot. All leaders are remembered by a single act, usually a negative one. Margaret Thatcher is remembered for the hated Poll Tax, Tony Blair for invading Iraq and WMD, Gordon Brown for nearly bankrupting the country by selling our gold stocks at $150 per ounce (now has reached $1800 per ounce) and giving all our hard-earned tax money to the overpaid bankers. In his election speeches David Cameron promised to take us to ‘the sunny uplands’ when the time change plunges us into a vale of darkness. David Cameron this is your chance to be remembered for something good so please, please ditch GMT y and make us happy.

At Queen’s we capture and in frontt of develop talents both infron camera and behind the camera.

2012 ENTRY ASSESSMENTS Monday 16th January

Queen’s supports and encourages, bringing out individual talents providing an environment to challenge, involve and inspire. It goes without saying, Queen’s combines tradition with modern learning continuing its excellence at the top of its own class. With the best facilities, outstanding tuition, and over 100 extra-curricular options Queen’s continues to deliver the skills and passion to attain the desired university choice and career path. To arrange a visit call 01244 312078 or visit our website to order your prospectus

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North Wales and Chester's largest and most established stove centre Specialising in quality British & European made wood burning stoves Stunning showroom with over 150 stoves and cookers on display Working linked eco heating display - Solar, Pellet, Cooker & Stove An experienced team ready to help you every step of the way Easy to find, just off the A55 at St Asaph with free parking




Yattar Yattar Winter 2011 issue  

Our Winter 2011 issue

Yattar Yattar Winter 2011 issue  

Our Winter 2011 issue