Page 1

the

connection magazine

Around Alcester, Bidford & the Villages December‘16 No. 112

Winter Wildlife Photography What’s On this

Christmas

in Your Community

Win a Christmas Hamper

Sanders&Sanders

See inside back page for your local Sales & Lettings

T: 01789 766771

www.sanders-sanders.co.uk

ESTATE AGENTS

You deserve it

Mavericks Hair & Beauty & Barbers www.maverickshair.co.uk

01386 244379 www.littletonauctions.com

01789 766222 or 766333

Experience the THRILL of The Auction!

Priory Road, Alcester, B49 5DY

See page 19 for details and dates of upcoming auctions


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Rodenstock Road lenses. Safer driving.

Independent Optometrist friendly personal service Call to book an appointment on 01789 549409

Less dazzle excellent night vision safe assessment of distances Also suitable for everyday wear

15a High Street, Bidford-on-Avon, B50 4BQ www.richardfantomeyecare.co.uk

RE-VAMP YOUR KITCHEN AT A FRACTION OF THE COST OF A NEW ONE! Choose from a clear finish or any colour you would like.

• Everything from floors, kitchens, stairs & tabletops • All finishes, new furniture to old, from deep shine to trendy shabby chic • Bring in pieces for expert repair & restoration • Suppliers of Oils, Waxes, Polishes - “all things good for wood”

Tel: 01789 778628 www.agwoodcare.co.uk Wellington Road, Waterloo Industrial Estate, Bidford on Avon, B50 4JH

“All things good for wood!”

AGW

To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

3


Useful phone numbers Doctors / Health

Alcester Health Centre Arrow Lodge Surgery Bidford Health Centre NHS Direct Samaritans

Hospitals

Redditch Hospital Stratford Hospital Warwick Hospital

Emergency

Emergency services Alcester Police BT Fault Electric power loss Gas Emergency

Others

Alcester library Bidford Library Citizens’ Advice Bureau Electrician Funeral Services Locksmith Plumber/Heating Plumber/Heating Plumber/Heating Volunteer Drivers

Schools

Alcester Academy Alcester Grammar St Benedict’s High Bidford-on-Avon Primary Coughton Primary Dunnington Primary Great Alne Primary Haselor Primary Our Lady’s Primary Salford Priors Primary St Nicholas Primary Temple Grafton Primary

Councils

Alcester Town Council Bidford Parish Council Stratford Dist Council

Welcome

... to the December Connection.

It’s that time of year again! Forget Trump vs Clinton, the most important issue now at hand is the Christmas tree... 763060 real or artificial? I must confess, despite growing up with 763293 a real tree each Christmas and loving the festive smell they brought with them, we now delve into the loft each 773372 year for our fake one. But, with two cats and two under-4’s 111 08457 909090 in the house, I think it’ll be a long time before we fork out for anything else. It’s chaotic enough trying to rescue my baubles without the stress of needles everywhere too! Christmas, despite what the heartwarming adverts tell us, 01527 503030 can be a pretty stressful, tough or lonely time of year for 205831 many people. We’re very lucky to live in an area where 01926 495321 there is so much going on within our communities and this seems the perfect time of year to get involved with one of the many local groups (p. 56 & 58) to meet new friends and find or offer support, or why not spread some festive cheer 999 or 112 by visiting neighbours and loved ones you don’t often see. 444816 You never know how much your surprise knock on the door 08008 00151 might mean to someone who lives alone, a carer, a stay-athome parent or maybe someone recently bereaved. 08004 04090 This month’s edition sees ‘Wildlife Matters’ make a 08001 11999 welcome return (p. 46) - don’t forget to send your photos to Ashley to have them featured in our March edition! 0300 555 8171 We also have a lovely Hillers Christmas hamper to give away, chock full of lovely cheese and wine (p. 59). 773239 Hillers have also provided us with a very yummy dessert 0844 855 2322 showstopper recipe over on page 10. It’s a great alternative 07771 616189 to the traditional Christmas pud (and making me feel very 766750 hungry just writing about it!). 762450 We have all of our regular articles again, including a sunny trip to Symi over on the travel page (p.44) for those of you 766200 finding the weather a bit too chilly at the moment, and those 270744 01386 871777 important Christmas Post Dates on page 38. Because we have so much community news, Back of the 763117 Net is taking a break this month but will be back in 2017. Finally, at the end of my first year as Editor, I would like to once again thank our advertisers - old and new - and wish 762285 you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas. 762494 762888 Seasons greetings, 773201 762444 Facebook.com/theconnectionmag 772200 Twitter.com/connection_mag 488247 Connnection circulation 7,550 488211 Editor: Amy James Phone 01789 491005 762555 Email: info@connectionmags.co.uk 772497 www.connectionmags.co.uk 762578 Printed by Warwick Printing Ltd 01926 883355 772384

Amy

766084 778653 267575

Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss, damage or omission caused by error in the printing of an advert. All artwork is accepted on the strict condition that permission has been given for use in the publication. Adverts are accepted on the understanding that descriptions of goods and services are fair and accurate. The Connection Magazine does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form – electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise – without the prior consent of the publisher.


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alcester flowers We would like to wish our customers a very Merry and Peaceful Christmas.

Festive Arrangements and Wreaths

Great Christmas gift ideas

for home lovers, as well as our lovely furniture with stock items available for immediate delivery. www.looksnice.co.uk Herbery Courtyard, Blackminster Park, Nr Evesham, WR11 7RE 01386 830420

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Each row, column & 3x3 box must contain the numbers 1 to 9

Easy grid

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Not so easy grid

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DON


THE GOLDEN CROSS Country Inn & Dining House, Ardens Grafton

The Golden Wixford Road, Ardens Grafton, The Golden Cross, Wixford Road,Cross, Ardens Grafton, Warks, B50 4LG Warks, B50 4LG

Tel: 01789 772420 www.thegoldencross.net Tel: 01789 772420 www.thegoldencross.net mwtmorris@gmail.com

Celebrate

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Christmas Fayre 4 courses £19.95

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The Morris family invites you to join us for fresh, home cooked food in our friendly country pub. We serve the best real ale with a great range of drinks in our cosy bar or dine with us in our stylish restaurant. Banish the winter blues with a bottle of Prosecco in front of our real log fire at only £14.95 every Fizz Friday. Follow us on Facebook for our latest offers. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Early Christmas present for you and your friends Book a table of 4 or more to dine and we will give you a free bottle of wine, with this advert. Offer valid until the 1st Feb 2017 (excluding Christmas Day). Main 4 meals must be purchased.

Enjoy 25% off at the Golden Cross

We will give you 25% off food when you dine with us and present this advert. Offer is valid until 1st Feb 2017 (excluding Christmas day). Not including drinks.

DON’T FORGET TO BRING THIS ADVERTISEMENT TO CLAIM YOUR SPECIAL OFFER!


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The Local Computer “Doctor”

Family dentistry from the friendly, caring team

Over 15 years working in the local area fixing computer problems for home & business.

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- No job too small - Home visits and lessons - Remote repair if possible.

General and cosmetic dentistry Tooth whitening Private home visits for those with limited mobility New patients welcome

Situated in the heart of the village: 11 Church Street, Bidford on Avon, B50 4DA

To get your computer healthy again call Steve Harris

01789 772 897

01789 - 490543 07977 - 599582

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CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR OPENING

Saturday 24th CHRISTMAS EVE Sunday 25th CHRISTMAS DAY Monday 26th BOXING DAY Tuesday 27th BANK HOLIDAY Wednesday 28th Thursday 29th Friday 30th Saturday 31st NEW YEAR’S EVE Monday 2nd Jan NEW YEAR BANK HOLIDAY Tuesday 3rd January

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9


Baileys Orange & Cranberry Meringue Roulade For a deliciously different Christmas dessert idea, look no further. Gavin, the Head Chef at Hillers, shares a quick and easy festive pudding treat that you can make and enjoy at home. 150g egg whites (approx 5) 300g caster sugar 60g chopped pistachios 200ml double cream 25ml Baileys Zest of 1 large orange 70g dried cranberries Serves 6-8 • Preheat the oven to 200C. • Whisk the egg whites in a mixer on full speed until stiff, then add the sugar 1 teaspoon at a time, making sure each spoon is fully incorporated before adding the next. • Spread evenly over a swiss roll tin, lined with non-stick baking parchment and top with the chopped pistachios. • Place in the oven, near the top, and bake for 8 minutes until golden, then turn down to 160C and bake for a further 15 minutes until firm to the touch. • Remove from the oven and turn out, pistachio side down, onto parchment paper and remove paper from the base. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. • Whisk the double cream with the orange zest and Baileys. Spread evenly over the meringue and sprinkle with the cranberries. • Roll from the long end as tightly as possible to form a roulade. • Chill before serving.

At The Connection, we love to support our local businesses. This month, we are proud to bring you a special recipe in partnership with Hillers - the farm shop & so much more.


We would like you and your friends to join us at our...

FESTIVE TASTER EVENT Friday 2nd December 2.00pm - 8.00pm

Come and meet some of our suppliers and sample many delicious festive products. We will also have a fantastic range of Hillers hampers for sale. Groceries • Hampers Cheese Shop • Deli Counter Bakery • Farm Shop Kitchen Butchers • Fish Shop

Many Great Christmas Gifts... Dunnington Heath Farm • Alcester • B49 5PD Tel: 01789 772771 • www.hillers.co.uk


5

14 High Street, Alcester 07814 794927 07909 125995 /5adayalcester

A day Alcester.com

INTRODUCING OUR Weekly Fruit & Veg Boxes Starting from just £10 CAN INCLUDE FISH & EGGS

OPENING HOURS: MON 9am-3pm TUE-SAT 9am-5pm

PRE-ORDER YOUR CHRISTMAS HAMPER NOW

Balsamic vinegar, olive oils, specialist cheeses, crackers and more...

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OFF WITH THIS VOUCHER

TO CLAIM, PLEASE FILL IN YOUR DETAILS BELOW AND PRESENT WITH PURCHASE

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High Street, Bidford on Avon B50 4AB

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12 connectionmags.co.uk

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Hair

Beauty

Tanning

Finishing Touch would like to wish all of our clients a very Happy Christmas & New Year! Join us for a glass of prosecco and a mince pie while taking advantage of our winter treatments. All aspects of hair & beauty including:

SHELLAC • WAXING • MASSAGE FACIALS • SPRAY TANS • BODY WRAPS SEMI-PERMANENT EYELASHES HAIR COLOURING • CUT • BLOW DRYS HAIR UP • RE-STYLES SUN-BED (60p per min or a course for £15) GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE

Call in or Phone 01789 773828 82A High Street, Bidford on Avon, B50 4AD

01789 778005

Lisa’s Country Kitchen Home Cooked Food by Lisa

Catering for all occasions including:-

• • • •

Dinner parties New Year parties Christmas catering Buffets

I have a real

passion for cooking Why not give me a call for a informal chat 01905 381215 or 07835 514306 10% off with this advert Delivery free in Broom/Bidford

Meadow Lane Bakery 70 High Street, Bidford on Avon, Warks, B50 4AB

We will be open on 27th November for our Christmas Tasting during Bidford Christmas Lights Switch-on Christmas orders now being taken for Christmas Cake, Mince Pies, Christmas Puddings, Shortbread Novelties... Call in and take a look!

To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

13


Lifespace Speaks Did you notice in the midst of the changing leaf-colours and dropping temperatures of October, there was World Mental Health Day? This triggered an autumnal flurry of articles and features in the media about a subject that - to be fair (and excuse the pun) - we are still trying to get our heads around. “Mental health”. What does that mean to you? What image or idea does that conjure up? According to a report by Business In The Community (BITC), more than 3/4 of adults in the UK workforce at some point experience symptoms of poor mental health, leading to lost productivity, work absence and a detrimental impact on relationships. This isn’t just an adult phenomenon of course. Did you know that more than half of adult mental illness first occurs before the age of 14, and presently around 1 in 6 young people deliberately harm themselves as a way of coping with emotional distress (source: YoungMinds). It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it can’t continue like this. I’m hopeful the awareness now arising in the national media means mental hygiene is becoming as important as dental hygiene. For example: The Right Honourable MP Norman Lamb recently triggered a campaign, backed by WHSmith and Unilever, for equality in the workplace between mental health first aid and physical first aid. Doesn’t this make sense, given we employ people for mental presence, not just physical presence, in order for them to be attentive, productive and safe? But what else gets in the way - whether with teens or adults - to talk about this stuff? I wonder if how we think about mental health is one part of the problem: when we hear the phrase “mental health” we strangely think (or have images to do with) “mental illness”. They are not the same. We ALL experience fluctuations in our mental health just like we do in our physical

"SWITCHING OFF"

health. Nobody lives on cloud nine permanently. Nobody is immune to the sometimes stormy impact of life on their wellbeing. Let us dig a little deeper: There is much in modern society which suggests an underlying philosophy that there’s something inherently WRONG with us. As if people are in constant need of repair and replacement. Consider the language: “having a breakdown”; “got a screw loose”; “can’t switch off”, as if people are machines which require fixing. *pass me the spanner* However, recent work in the field of positive psychology, notably Martin Seligman, reports we are more likely to experience sustained positive mental health when we view ourselves as humans (not machines) who fundamentally have something very RIGHT with us. “What’s right with you?” is a question at the heart of the mentoring work of Lifespace, supporting over 200 local young people individually every week to look after their mind as well as their body. Talking about how we are feeling - in the presence of good quality attention - improves blood flow to the brain, which leads to more regenerative thinking. Our minds naturally flourish when we express and receive appreciation and gratitude, which also improves the immune and cardiovascular systems. Is it such a surprise that our emotions, conversations, cognitions and body actually collaborate as part of the same team? We are not a jangle of independent component parts after all. When we change the way we think, we transform the way we talk and behave. We are people who require renewal, not repair. Replenishment, not replacement. You are not a gadget with an on/off switch, but a human who is designed to flourish.

Chris Spriggs, founder Lifespace Trust

You’re invited to support our mentoring work with local young people – Visit www.lifespace.org.uk and click ‘Help Us’ or call us on 01789 297400. A gift of £3 a month gives a young person facing distress an hour of quality attention and help. Human contact: 01789 297400

@_lifespace

‘Lifespace Trust’


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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Priory Road, Alcester,Warwickshire B49 5DY 01789 766222 or 766333 • www.maverickshair.co.uk To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

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BIDFORD HARDWARE 01789 772324

Tools • Ironmongers Paints & Accessories Calor Gas Supplies Household Fuels Gardening Needs Office Stationery & Cards Pet Care • Wool All Household Supplies Dry Cleaners & Alterations LOCAL DELIVERY SERVICE Fancy goods and a selection of gifts for all occasions. You are always welcome to have a look around.

at NEWLANDS GARDEN BUILDINGS, EVEHAM RD, Nr NORTON, EVESHAM, WR11 4TW

Tel: 01386 421700

PLENTY OF FREE PARKING

Optimist Suites...

from the Italian Collection available in five different designs

GAS, ELECTRIC, LPG APPLIANCES, COOKERS, FIRES & FIRE SURROUNDS, CENTRAL HEATING & BOILER CHANGES Brought to you by your local independent family business

84 High Street, Bidford on Avon, B50 4AD

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Holistic Therapies available Colon Hydrotherapy Kinesiology Dowsing Hypno Healing Angel Card Readings Crystal and Spiritual Healing

1 Priory Road, Alcester, Warks, B49 5DX (off Globe Island) • 01789 766611 www.jacksonsjewellery.co.uk Open Tues - Sat 9.30am - 4pm

• • • • • • • •

Gifts and Terracotta Cookware

01789 774030

92A High Street,Bidford on Avon,B50 4AF

The MALT HOUSE BARN

Ladies Handbags Scarves Throws Candles Bowls Dishes Terracotta Casseroles Tagines in three sizes ... and much more at Great Prices! Free and easy parking and relaxed shopping Open 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday

Tel: 01789 778188

A warm welcome awaits you at your independent out of town Gift Shop

Welford Road, Barton, Nr Bidford on Avon, B50 4NP

To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

17


stylish corner Ladies hairdressing Tel: 01789 763052

1 Church Street, Alcester

Up-to-date styling

S C

Wedding hair

Unit 19, Weston Industrial Estate, Honeybourne, Worcs, WR11 7QB

01386 841899 Carpets • Vinyls Rugs • Carpet Edging Natural Flooring Flooring supplied and fitted. Choose from 100’s of samples in store or in the comfort of your own home. Open Mon to Fri 10 - 5, Sat 10 - 1.30

info@grinnallcarpets.co.uk

www.grinnallcarpets.co.uk

Are you interested in Beekeeping but not sure what is involved?

Why not find out by coming to our Taster Day on Saturday 28 January 2017 @ Luddington Village Hall 10am – 4pm. The Day will provide an informal and low cost opportunity to find out more about the craft before spending money on courses and equipment.

With practical demonstrations (but no live bees!) our experienced Beekeepers will be on hand to give advice. This could be your first step to a most rewarding hobby! Cost is £15 for the day including light refreshments. For those with more serious intentions of

18 connectionmags.co.uk

becoming a beekeeper, but with little or no knowledge, why not join our Introduction to Beekeeping Course. The Course, held on alternate Tuesday evenings from mid February at Luddington Village Hall, also includes two hands-on sessions at the Association Apiary in Hampton Lucy. The cost of this course is £75.

For more information and a course syllabus please visit our website

www.stratfordbeekeepers.org.uk or phone Mike Osborne on 01789 731745.

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ow g s N rin lie ffe pp O Su t

Pe

Bidford’s Dog Grooming Parlour is now stocking pet supplies! FREE DELIVERY TO LOCAL AREA From nail clipping to the full pamper, clip & style for your breed of dog. Also now, food and bedding for dogs, cats and small animals. Based at Bidford Boatyard, with ample free parking. FULLY INSURED TRAINED TO CITY & GUILDS STANDARD Please call Julie to book an appointment

07765 385282

Email: riversidepetsupplies@gmail.com Boatyard Drive, Holland Close, Bidford on Avon, B50 4JJ

www.riversidepetsupplies.co.uk

YOUR FRIENDLY LOCAL VETERINARY SURGERY

McGettigan’s Lissadell, 106 The Ridgeway, Astwood Bank, B96 6NA Only 4 miles from Alcester

PETS

Consultations by appointment

24 Hour EMERGENCY COVER

TEL: 01527 893016 FAX: 01527 893008

Fortnightly sales throughout the year offering you a local service with a global reach Auction Dates in December: Saturday 3rd, 8th & 17th

Try us First!

If you are considering selling your Antiques, Artwork, Gold & Silver Jewellery, Porcelain etc, please consider us first. Our well publicised fortnightly auctions attract not only local buyers but, since our auctions are broadcast on the internet via the-saleroom.com, attracting live Auctioneer Martin Homer with Flog It! presenter internet bidding from buyers all over the world, Paul Martin at our 16th June sale, to be screened over several episodes later in the year. we can ensure the best possible price for your goods. Annual Jewellery Our commission rates are very competitive and we pride ourselves on taking Auction at 7pm on time to dress our auction room to display your items in the best possible way. the 8th December.

We are happy to give free auction estimates and we can also protect your items with a reserve price. We also pay our vendors proceeds after 2 weeks (many other auction rooms take longer to settle).

FOR LIVE INTERNET BIDDING VISIT: the-saleroom.com

Call: 01386 244379

www.littletonauctions.com

School Lane, Middle Littleton, Nr Evesham, Worcs, WR11 8LN

Please call us for an informal chat if you would like to discuss entering your Antiques into one of our sales.

To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

19


Gardening Gifts by Pippa Greenwood

It is not that long until Christmas now, and if you’ve any gardening friends it is so easy to get them a present they’ll really enjoy and find useful. Any good local garden centre will have plenty of potential gifts in a wide range of prices, sizes and shapes to suit anybody from the complete novice to the most experienced gardener. Alternatively, take a look on the internet and get some gorgeous gardening gifts delivered right to your door. Houseplants make brilliant presents, so why not choose a couple of really good-looking ones? At this time of year there are plenty, such as the indoor cyclamens and azaleas or a flamboyant poinsettia or a gorgeous Christmas cactus, which look fantastic whilst in flower - but don’t forget that lots of the foliage houseplants look great, too. Make sure that you keep the plants at their best by placing them in a suitable position before you give them away. Outdoor plants are also an ideal choice, but make sure that you know that the plant you are choosing will go to a suitable home. There is no use buying a lime-hating plant such as a Pieris, rhododendron, Camellia or azalea for somebody if they garden on chalk - although a

20 connectionmags.co.uk

supply of ericaceous compost and a good sized pot could also be a present from someone else if you plan carefully. A lovingly created pot of winter flowering bedding plants, perhaps under-planted with a few small bulbs such as crocus or miniature daffodils, will make a lovely instant garden impact present for anyone. Despite the huge quantities of Christmas paraphernalia in garden centres now, any half decent centre will still have a good range of winter bedding plants and winter interest plants available. Anyone with an interest in growing vegetables would enjoy one of the many gardening books on the subject, or perhaps a ‘Grow Your Own with Pippa Greenwood’ Gift Voucher Card, which lets them select the vegetables they’d like to grow from the range I offer at www.pippagreenwood. com. Then, in the spring, we send them garden-ready plants accompanied by weekly advice and tips emails from me. Most gardeners love to encourage birds into the garden, so how about a bird box or feeder or maybe even some bird food? Bird feeding equipment and supplies take up plenty of space in garden centres, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.

/theconnectionmag

Gardeners love practical things so a good hoe like my favourite, the SpeedHoe, will always be welcome, or how about some Micromeshcovered or polythene-covered EasyTunnels, perfect for protecting crops throughout the growing season next year? A raised bed kit is a great gift idea, too, allowing people to grow vegetables when their own soil isn’t ideal. Some kits have the option to add crop covers made from fine mesh (to keep pests out) or polythene (to protect from the worst of the weather and provide off-season warmth). So rather than rushing out and buying something that ‘will do’ as a gift, take a moment and see what you can find which will really bring a smile to someone’s face! Visit Pippa’s website www. pippagreenwood.com and book Pippa for a gardening talk or peruse the really useful selection of Pippa’s favourite gardening items, including Nemaslug to control slugs, pop-up crop covers, SpeedHoes, SpeedWeeders, raised bed kits, pull-out EasyTunnels, ‘Grow Your Own with Pippa Greenwood’ Gift Voucher cards, signed books and lots more besides.

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Gates & Railings by Phil

I make gates and railings

FENCING Andrew Smith

No job too small or big 30 years experience Mobile 07789 721303 Home 01386 793248 Based in Inkberrow thesmiths@mearselane.co.uk www.inkberrowservices.co.uk

All colours available, made to order. Low cost fitting service available.

Please call me on 07747 032583 or email gatesbyphil@gmail.com to discuss your requirements. Working in the local area for 25 years www.gatesbyphil.co.uk

JD LANDSCAPE & GROUNDWORK CONTRACTORS Driveways Patios Fencing & decking

Drainage Footings Oversites

For a free quote please call James 07976 646140 or Steve 07789 325879

www.jdlandscapeandgroundwork.co.uk

OPENING TIMES 7AM - 5PM SATURDAY 7AM - 1PM

DAILY DELIVERIES TO YOUR AREA - CAN BE DELIVERED LOOSE OR IN BULK BAGS OPEN TO THE TRADE & PUBLIC

COMPLETE RANGE OF SAND & GRAVELS, ROCKERY STONE, WATER FEATURES DECORATIVE CHIPPINGS, RECYCLED & QUARRIED STONE, TOP SOIL, TURF, BARK & CEMENT. READY MIX CONCRETE & CPCS TRAINING ALSO AVAILABLE ON SITE 01527 893343 • Sandhills Farm, Edgioake Lane, Astwood Bank, B96 6BG www.sedavis.co.uk

To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

21


&

Professional roofing services

info@darcydemiroofing.co.uk 13a Bidford Road, Broom B50 4HP

22 connectionmags.co.uk

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Fruit Trees now in stock

Open Mon-Sat: 9-5.30pm, Sun: 10-4pm To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

23


Tuesday 6th December High Street - Alcester 5.30pm - 9.00pm

Christmas shopping, Santa’s grotto, children’s rides, Parade of classic & rally vehicles, White Hart Morris Men & a host of other attractions.

Festivities to be opened by Mr Nick Skelton Olympic Gold Medal Winner 2012 & 2016

5.30 p.m. – St. Nicholas Night opening ceremony 6.00 p.m. - Musical entertainment 7.00 p.m. - Parade of the Boy Bishop, classic vehicles & town organisations 7.30 p.m. - Lighting of church & tree 8.30 p.m. - Fireworks extravaganza 9.00 p.m. - Compline service at St. Nicholas church Further information available at www.alcester.co.uk – What’s On And via our Facebook pages

24 connectionmags.co.uk

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2016

@connection_mag


Are you ready for the

?

Traditional & Friendly Family Jewellers Specialists in Antique, Vintage & Pre-Owned Jewellery.

Calor Gas • Rock Salt Snow Shovels • Logs Electric and Calor Gas Heaters Coal & Smokeless Coal • Candles Kindling Wood • Picnic Stoves Paraffin • Screen Wash Anti Freeze • Sledges…

Delivery service available Unique Pieces. All Jewellery, Watch & Clock Repairs professionally undertaken. Over 50 years experience. The Jewellers in the Alley. 3 Market Place, Alcester, B49 5AE

01789 762464

T: 01789 763715 W: www.bonnersjewellers.co.uk

Swan Street, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5DP

Made to Measure Kitchens Kitchens

At Steven James Kitchens Ltd we specialise in making, supplying and fitting beautiful and functional kitchens from our workshop based in Alcester. • • • • • • • •

Complimentary 3D Design Service Beautiful Painted Kitchens Stunning Handleless Kitchens All Kitchens Made to Measure Kitchens to Suit all Budgets Full Project Management Supply Only Available Trade Partnerships Welcome

01789 508085 or visit our website www.stevenjameskitchens.co.uk 17 Arden Business Centre, Arden Forest Industrial Estate, Alcester, B49 6HW

To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

25


26 connectionmags.co.uk

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Established 17 years and built on recommendation. We are extremely competitive.

Challenge us to beat your existing quotes!

kitchens l bathrooms l bedrooms

bespoke, traditional and contemporary showroom T: 01789 491100

E: AandAKitchens@btconnect.com Units 1 & 2 Smallbrook Business Centre, Waterloo Ind, Est., Bidford on Avon, Warwickshire, B50 4JE

www.aakitchens.co.uk OPENING HOURS Mon - Fri 8.30am to 5.00pm Saturday (by appointment only) 10am to 1pm

Tel: 01789 766200 Email: info@agsgaslimited.co.uk Web: www.agsgaslimited.co.uk

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from all at AGS Gas Ltd

Accredited Installer

Unit 24, Arden Business Centre, Arden Road, Alcester, Warks, B49 6HW

To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

27


Come along and support

FESTIVE BALLOONS FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS Call: 01386 41015 www.valeballoons.co.uk

On St Nicholas’ Night in Alcester High Street

Tuesday 6th December Win one of the fabulous hampers that we will be raffling! Registered Charity no:1032182

Calling all embroiderers, crocheters, knitters, illustrators, crafters of all disciplines!

Craft Club Alcester

An informal free monthly meet up on the second Monday of the month. Bring along whatever you are working on for a couple of hours of inspirational chat and crafting with likeminded souls!

Where:

The Hollybush pub, 37 Henley Street , Alcester, B49 5QX

When:

The second Monday of the month from 7-9pm (12th December, 9th January) Follow Craft Club Alcester on Facebook for updates & more info.

28 connectionmags.co.uk

/theconnectionmag

@connection_mag


It's a Dog's Life at Avon Canine Hydrotherapy Centre When I had a problem with my knee, the doctor recommended I went swimming, so while still being able to exercise there was less impact on my damaged joint than if I was running and I still managed to keep and even build on my fitness, strengening the muscles around the joint, without causing further damage. It worked for me, why would it not work for dogs in a similar situation? So when my Labrador Arfer (many of you may know him as the pub dog at The Golden Cross) was diagnosed with elbow displacia I knew what I wanted to try. After eight weeks of lead walking I had one unhappy dog. Six weeks later, after six hydrotherapy sessions, I had a sound, much happier dog.

swelling around damaged joints and promotes healing. The dogs are all handled one on one and we get into the pool with them, the swimming is controlled so that there is no possibility of damaging the joints further, and directed so we can work on specific areas of the animal to help in their rehabilitation. Hydrotherapy is not just great for dogs with joint problems (spinal, displacia or arthritis), it is also great stimulation for dogs that, for whatever reason, cannot excercise properly (older dogs that find walking more difficult or antisocial dogs that can’t be let off the lead on walks) and can also be used to increase a well animal’s fitness without causing extra stress on joints (increasing fitness levels for dogs involved in flyball or field sports).

Kate Thomas had also had Hydrotherapy is also similar positive results with her Terrier, Billie, recognised by most pet insurances and a and was also a great believer in the benefits number of sessions are often covered by the of hydrotherapy. And so the idea for Avonside insurance policy. was born. As with humans, the benefits of With a BSC (Hons) in Animal swimming are countless. If you Managment I already had a lot would like any more information of the background knowledge or would like to come and visit needed to become qualified. It the centre to see what we do still was hard work though and please give me a call (Debbie a year later with a lot of work on 07974748961 or email experience I became qualified debbie@avonsidehydro.com). with a level 3 certificate. I can answer any questions or arrange a visit. Also check out Why don’t you just chuck them our website www.avonsidehydro. in the river people ask? Our com or Facebook page for case pool is heated to a lovely 30˚c, studies of the dogs we have which encourages blood flow helped. through the body and so reduces

Call Debbie at Avonside Canine Hydrotherapy on 07974 748961 or email debbie@avonsidehydro.com www.avonsidehydro.com To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

29


Answers on page 58


Computer Trouble-shooter Graham Smith

Carols in the Park Harvington

For Domestic and Business Users

* Local (Bidford)

* Reliable

* Reasonable rates

* PCs

* Laptops

* Virus Problems

* Internet & email

* Printers

* How-to tuition

Wednesday 21st December 5.45pm Village Hall doors open for hot soup and mulled wine 6.30pm Singing on Harvington Playing Fields

Call 07771 724697 or 01789 774719 or email graham_n_smith@btinternet.com

NO FIX, NO FEE

Free entry - Donations welcome

M u s i c Tu i t i o n

Led by Songbirds Helped by 1st Harvington Rainbows

Song sheets supplied

Andrew Swinn

Organised by the Committee of Harvey Bears Nursery and Pre-School

MA, ARCM, ARCO

Piano, Music Theory, Exam Accompaniment

Registered Charity No 1030907

01789 763 954

Alcester NSC All you need for Schoolwear & more

Happy Christmas

To all our customers!

SO MUCH MORE

...than just... ...SCHOOLWEAR • Workwear • Leisure and Sportswear • Printing & Embroidery T: 01789 400344 E: phil@alcesternsc.com

Alcester NSC

www.alcesternsc.co.uk

To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

31


IT'S ALL CHANGE AT YEW TREE SHOPPING VILLAGE With the changing of the seasons, the harvest safely gathered in and the new planting almost completed, all is calm on the farm. However, in the farmyard there have been lots of exciting changes over the last couple of months, so if you have not been down to see us lately it is well worth a visit. We are very pleased to have a new chocolaterie, with Sally and her team at Henley Chocolates who are making the handmade chocolates on site. There is also a workshop with chocolate making activites for all ages. My niece is very partial to making the chocolate pizzas and choosing all the yummy toppings. This is a great place for a children’s party. The Wild Hare is also new and we welcome Georgina who creates lovely handmade jewellery and cards. Georgina can design a necklace, earrings, etc to match any of your favourite outfits. So if you are struggling to find the right piece of jewellery to match your dress, bring it in and Georgina can make you something to order. Her prices are very reasonable and she has a large range of jewellery and cards in stock. We are delighted to announce a new boutique just open. Catherine, who runs Gosh Boutique, has a lovely range of fur, faux fur, cashmere, Emu boots, jewellery and handbags. For when you want to treat yourself, or if the man in your life wants to treat you to something special, this is definitely the place to come. Della and James, our long established lingerie shop is now under new management. Lynne has brought in some

exciting new ranges of lingerie, swimwear and loungewear. She specialises in mastectomy bras. You will be assured of a very warm welcome and friendly service from Lynne, and not many customers get to leave her shop without sharing a laugh and a joke. Spoilt Rotten baby shop has been here since May but has already expanded, not only moving to a bigger unit but also opening up a gift shop next door, selling a range of seasonal gifts. Much of the baby range is handmade by Liz and she makes the most amazing nappy cakes, which not only look good but every part of them can be taken apart and used for the newborn in your life. She also sells a range of toys, clothes and Christening presents. The Antiques Shop has also expanded and now occupies the whole of one side of the yard, with an exciting range of antiques and memorabilia. A real trip down memory lane. You can be assured of some great homemade and locally sourced food, both in Yew Tree Farmshop and The Cowshed Eaterie, so no one needs to go home feeling peckish. Of course, we still have a lot of the old favorites here who all provide unusual gift ideas in a friendly environment, with personalised service. There’s also free parking. We will be selling Christmas Trees from 1st December and we all look forward to welcoming you to our new look Christmas Courtyard Shopping.

YEW TREE FARM COURTYARD SHOPPING, STRATFORD ROAD, WOOTTON WAWEN, WARWICKSHIRE B95 B6Y GENERAL OPENING TIMES TUESDAY- SUNDAY 10AM- 5PM. SOME UNITS NOW OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

WWW.YEW-TREE-FARM.CO.UK


CHRISTMAS TREES & LOGS On Sale From 1st December

YEW TREE FARM COURTYARD SHOPPING

A stylish and contemporary shopping village made up of sixteen beautiful barns and coffee shop in a courtyard setting, offering a wide range of unique quality products from around the world.

MEET - GREET - SHOP - EAT

With something for the whole family, Yew Tree Farm Shopping Village comprises the following units: Yew Tree Farm Shop Home Baking & Local Produce 01564 795688 Cowshed Eaterie Brunches, Lunches, Afternoon Tea 01564 792979 The Antiques Shop Collectables, Antiques and Vintage 01564 898200 A World of Time Horologist 01564 792915 Elizabeth Jane’s Gift Shop 01564 792046

Della and James Lingerie and Swimwear 01564 794255 Beyond the Blue Lifestyle Clothing 01564 792025 Yew Tree Salon Hairdressers 01564 795429 Spoilt Rotten Baby Gifts 01564 792046 Henley Chocolates Chocolaterie 01564 794718 Gosh Boutique 01564 793355

The Wild Hare Handmade Cards & Jewellery 01564 792785 Le Grenier English and French Antique Furniture 01564 795401 Greys Teas Speciality Teas 01564 792295 Bizarto Design & Training 01564 793366 The Garden Furniture Centre Garden & Conservatory Furniture 01564 793652


Motoring

By James Baggott

Golf GTI Clubsport S

WHAT IS IT? It’s the fastest front-wheel-drive car around the Nürburgring, a stripped-out hardcore celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Golf GTI and a limited edition collector’s piece all in one. The Golf GTI Clubsport S is the result of asking engineers to do what they can to cement the GTI’s name in the hot hatch pantheon. WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET? Lifting the Golf’s bonnet will reveal the same two-litre, turbocharged petrol you’ll find elsewhere in the Golf range – notably the Golf GTI and Golf R. In this application it’s been tuned up slightly, producing 306hp – broadly similar to the Golf R’s output but with a different exhaust system freeing up a couple of horsepower. That’s paired with the six-speed manual gearbox for weight purposes, as the extra few kilos of the dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) would work against the weight-saving nature of the Clubsport S. WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE? The GTI Clubsport S is a topspecification Golf and it comes with the appropriate bells and whistles.

34 connectionmags.co.uk

The infotainment system is Volkswagen’s Discover Navigation with a 6.5-inch colour screen - but you can upgrade to the Discover Pro for £1,325, which adds a larger screen and DAB radio. You’re missing one or two things – not least of which are the rear seats, replaced with a faux strut brace and cargo net. Cruise control is absent, unusually, leading to an oddly sparse suede steering wheel. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? It drives exactly as you’d expect the car that set the fastest front-wheel-drive lap of the Nürburgring ever to drive. It’s really very savage in a straight line, barking through the exhausts with every upshift, and scrubs off speed no less impressively. The sticky Michelin Pilot Cup tyres offer huge amounts of grip, too. On the mixed and drying roads we used, the Clubsport S exhibited a little torque steer if you gave the car some stick, but far less than you might expect. Otherwise, it’s a very neutral car to drive on the road. WHAT DOES THE PRESS THINK? AutoExpress reckons that the Clubsport S has ‘even more involvement and surprising refinement’, while Autocar thinks that it’s ‘by a nose, the very best fast Golf you can buy’. WHAT DO WE THINK? It seems odd to turn a car with such broad credentials into a

/theconnectionmag

two-seater sports car, especially as the rear compartment trim is still present, but you can’t really ignore the way it drives. The Golf R might be a safer bet for all-weather performance, but the Clubsport S makes a great case for itself on dry roads and doesn’t feel as wrung out as other front-wheel-drive offerings of similar power outputs. Losing the rear seats makes the Clubsport S a bit of a tough sell when silhouette rivals retain the family usability and two-seat competitors are commonly less expensive, but as all of the UK’s allocation of 150 have already been sold, it’s almost a moot point. Model: Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S Price: £33,155 Engine: Two-litre, four-cylinder petrol Power: 306hp, 380Nm Max speed: 165mph 0-60mph: 5.7s MPG (combined): 40.4mpg Emissions: 172g/km TARGET BUYERS The performance car enthusiast who loves the Golf but wants a sports car. THE RIVALS Honda Civic Type R, Porsche Cayman, Ford Focus RS KEY SELLING POINTS 1. Limited edition cachet 2. Unflappable cornering manners 3. Usable real-world performance DEAL CLINCHER It’s no harder to live with than any other Volkswagen Golf

@connection_mag


To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

35


Special Offer! 10% off all vehicle hires* *Valid Monday to Wednesday only

VANS • LUTONS • MINIBUSES • CARS

01386 833700

www.eveshamselfdrive.co.uk /EveshamSelfDrive

Waterloo Road, Bidford on Avon

“Committed to offering an honest, quality service and repair to all makes of vehicle”

MOT’s £45

Air Conditioning recharges from £45

36 connectionmags.co.uk

For Service bookings & MoT Testing, phone 01789 773733 or 773200 /theconnectionmag

@connection_mag


VEHICLE SCRATCH & SCUFF REPAIRS

Bumper & Wing Mirror Scuffs Paintwork Scratches Leather & Vinyl Repairs Alloy Wheel Refurbishment Paintless Dent Removal Vehicle Graphics We come to you at work or home ’s OAP nt ou D i s c able l i Ava Call STEVE for a FREE, no obligation quote

07701 053640 or 01789 774700 www.wizard-on-wheels.co.uk

Collection & Delivery

Highly qualified technicians

AUTO SERVICES

VEHICLE CARE AND REPAIR 01789 765677 - 07952 000860

Why pay main dealer prices? NEVER OPEN YOUR BONNET? FREE FORECOURT CHECK!

EXTERNAL LIGHTS

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PEACE OF MIND ALL MAKES & MODELS • SERVICE & REPAIR • MOT PEUGEOT - CITROEN - DS SPECIALIST ELECTRIC & HYBRID VEHICLES SERVICED BOSCH SYSTEMS • SIEMENS TYRES • EXHAUSTS • BRAKES • WELDING ALLOY WHEELS REFURBISHED BREAKDOWN ASSISTANCE 26 Arden Business Centre, Arden Rd, Alcester, B49 6HW

To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

37


Christmas Postal Dates LAST RECOMMENDED SERVICE POSTING DATES

INTERNATIONAL STANDARD (formerly Airmail) Saturday 3rd December Wednesday 7th December

Africa, Middle East Asia, Cyprus, Far East (including Japan, Eastern Europe, Thursday 8th December Caribbean, Central & South America Saturday 10th December Australia, Greece, New Zealand Wednesday 14th December Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland Thursday 15th December Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA Friday 16th December Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland Saturday 17th December

Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxumborg

LAST RECOMMENDED SERVICE POSTING DATES

UK Inland Services

Tuesday 20th December Wednesday 21st December Thursday 22nd December Friday 23rd December

2nd Class & Royal Mail Signed For® 2nd Class 1st Class & Royal Mail Signed For® 1st Class Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed® Special Delivery Saturday Guaranteed®

CAR SERVICES LTD

All makes and models at very competitive prices

SPECIAL OFFERS

Free Fluid check with all MOT’s Free Brake Safety Check All offers subject to vehicle, most vehicles included

Interim Service • BRAKES • SERVICING • DIAGNOSTICS £99 inc VAT • REPAIRS • EXHAUSTS • BATTERIES Full Service • WELDING • AIR CON • TYRE SALES £180 inc VAT • HEAD GASKETS AND MUCH MORE Free Courtesy cars available upon request

(subject to availability) MOT’s £29.95 0 1 7 8 9 4 0 0 8 4 8

Free re-test within 10 days

Arden Forest Ind. Estate, Find Arden Road, Alcester, us at... Warwickshire, B49 6HN Opening Hours: Monday Friday 8:30 Sat: to 5:30 Mon - Fri:- 8.30 - 5.30; 9.00 - 1.00

38 connectionmags.co.uk

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VINYL RECORDS WANTED! MOST STYLES OF MUSIC BOUGHT FROM 1950’S TO CURRENT DAY GOOD PRICES PAID! LP’S, 45’S, EP’S, 12” AND CD COLLECTIONS

V S ’ I NY K ICCONTACT STEVE OR RICH ON 07711 832219

L

R

Beatles, Rock’n’Roll, Blues, Jazz, Northern Soul, Reggae, Soul, Rock, Punk, Heavy Metal, Indie, Britpop


A Very Happy, Peaceful and Safe Christmas from NHW. As the Christmas period approaches we would ask you to be extra vigilant. Crime statistics show that Burglary and Theft increase during the darker nights and the festive season. • Have lights on timers to make your house appear occupied when darkness falls. Unlit houses are a giveaway that no one is in. • Invest in external lighting. • Save energy and money with low energy light bulbs. • If you have a burglar alarm, make sure you use it when you go out and also when you go to bed. • Lock your doors and downstairs windows even when you are at home. Check them again when you go to bed. • Keep garden gates and side entrances well secured. • Don’t leave tools and ladders lying around gardens which could be used to break into your home. • Don’t leave car keys, ID cards, or valuables near windows, doors or letterboxes where burglars can reach through to steal them. • In the evening, close the curtains so that your belongings are not on view, especially if you live near playing fields, open ground or alleyways. • When walking or cycling after dark, wear something reflective. • Don’t leave anything in your car if it is parked on your drive or in the road. • When shopping, especially in the larger towns and cities, please be aware of pickpockets, keep your purse or wallet secure. • Do not leave your shopping on view in the car. • If you leave your house empty over Christmas, please tell your neighbour and ask them to make sure any deliveries are not left on the doorstep. • Do not leave Christmas presents on view through windows to passers-by, e.g. around the Christmas tree. Bogus “ summons” Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) emails Fraudsters are sending out a wave of scam emails purporting to be from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that claim you have to appear in court. Concerned members of the public have reported receiving the email entitled “You’ve been witness summoned to court”. The email entices people

to click on a link to view their start time/case details. This link is likely to lead to malware. This email has no connection to the CPS and anyone receiving the email should not download any attachments or click on any links. The next meeting of NHW Alcester will be held on Tuesday 7 February 2017 at 7.30pm at St Nicholas Church House. Contact details: nhwalcester@gmail.com or telephone Dorrie Manders on 01789 762999 Communicating with the Police Emergencies dial 999. Report a crime or serious incident 01926 415000. Stratford Police Station 01789 414111. 101 is the national police non-emergency number in England and Wales which diverts to your local Police. Calls cost 15 pence per call (landlines and mobiles) no matter how long a member of the public is on the phone. General enquiries: Alcester library now has a ‘Police Contact Point’ during library opening times. Call Crimestoppers anonymously with information about crime on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers is a charity that will pass on information to police without revealing any details of the caller. Alcester South Safer Neighbourhood Team dial 101 or 01789 444816. Please feel free to contact the team direct: Email: alcestersouth.snt@warwickshire.pnn. police.uk. To leave a Voice Mail (VM) message tel 01789 444816. PS 542 Bob Shaw (Team Sergeant) 01789 444815. PC Richard Lambert (Beat Manager) Mobile: 07979704373. Rebecca.morris@warwickshire.pnn.police.uk Mobile: 07979 704373. James.squire@warwickshire.pnn.police.uk Mobile: 07979 704373. Thomas.bagg@warwickshire.pnn.police.uk Mobile: 07979 704373. Contact Warwickshire Trading Standards 01926 414040 to report a suspect rogue trader. For general advice on scams and rogue traders contact 0345 4040 506. For access to latest information on scams go to www.warwickshire. gov.uk/tradingstandards or www.warwickshire. gov.uk/scams You can also report a fraud to Action Fraud on: 0300 123 2040 or visit: www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Alcester is a relatively crime free area. We work together to keep it that way 40 connectionmags.co.uk

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Evesham Self

STORAGE AT BLACKMINSTER 24 HOUR DIRECT ACCESS

8ft x 10ft Unit

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THE RUBBER ROOFING CO. FIT ONCE AND FORGET!

Whatever your roofing requirement, you can be confident that a RubberBond FleeceBack installation will give you a flat roofing solution that not only looks good, but is proven to last over 50 years. Chosen by hundreds of thousands of home owners, RubberBond FleeceBack is used for conservatories and orangeries, house extensions, green roofs & roof terraces, dormer roofs, garages and porches.

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To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

41


Victoria Avenue

Evesham

Worcestershire

DECEMBER 2016 z

z

z

WR11 4QH

SALFORD PRIORS MEMORIAL HALL for your special event

Thu STEVE TILSTON: Folk in the Foyer 1 8pm £10

Sat RICH HALL: Grouchy comedy! 3 8pm. SOLD OUT

Sat BALLET SNOW WHITE: 10 Vienna Festival Ballet

• Parties of up to 180 • Patio area • Meeting rooms • Large car park • Stage • Well appointed kitchen

3pm £20/£18/£13

Sun BRETFORTON BAND: 11 Christmas Concert

Special rates for children’s parties and regular groups

Sun D-DAY DARLINGS: 18 Sing a 1940s Christmas!

For bookings and enquiries please call 01789 778940 or email patdare2003@yahoo.co.uk

7:30pm. £8

7:30pm. £14/£12

Victoria Avenue, Evesham, WR11 4QH Tickets: Evesham Almonry 01386 446944 &

www.eveshamartscentre.co.uk

/salfordpriorsmemorialhall School Road, Salford Priors, WR11 8XD

BIDFORD RURAL CINEMA BIDFORD RURAL CINEMA WISHES ITS PATRONS A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR

We will be back on 6th January 2017 at the start of what we hope will be an exciting year for films. To keep abreast of what films are coming, please visit www.bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk/events.htm where you will find details of films and other local events. Ticket prices will remain unchanged at £2.50

Refreshments sponsored by your local

All films showing at The Crawford Memorial Hall, Salford Road, Bidford on Avon. For further information, call 01789 778653 / 07718 628925

42 connectionmags.co.uk

/theconnectionmag

@connection_mag


Painter & Decorator

WiZ pan

Interior and Exterior

we buy & sell

Good Old Fashioned

Junk Shop

BRIAN SMITH

Call 01789 772077 or 07790 087219 for a free estimate

... browse online!

Look us up on

Furniture, Curios, Bric-a-Brac, TM Antiques, Collectables, SELLER ID: WIZPAN All items You’ll also find us on bought & sold sellingantiques.co.uk ... or call in and look around our

Blackminster SHOWROOM

Accounts • Tax Returns • Tax Advice • VAT Farm Accounts • Payroll Bureau Bookkeeping Support • Fixed Fees FREE Initial Meeting

PERSHORE - 01386 552644

Find us at: BLACKMINSTER BUSINESS PARK Nr EVESHAM, WORCS, WR11 7RE

The Courtyard, 19 High Street, Pershore, Worcs, WR10 1AA

email: wizpan1@outlook.com

www.crowther.co.uk

tel: 01386 833894

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43


Symi Island By Solange Hando Just 35 minutes from Rhodes by catamaran, Symi is one of the prettiest Dodecanese islands, ‘a neo-classical beauty’, they say, ‘ blanketed by the blue sky’, rising like a sentinel on the edge of the Greek archipelago. It’s only 8x13 km but the traditional ambience and scenery simply steal your heart away. From afar, the island is a rock, barren and dry, but sail into the harbour and on the deep blue inlet of the Aegean sea, Symi greets you like a dream with all the colours of the rainbow nestling in the cusp of the hills. Shimmering reflections, pastelhued houses at the waterside, Chorio, the old village climbing up the slopes, toy-like windmills along the crest, it’s a delightful scene which budding artists aim to capture from myriad vantage points. Chorio and Yialos, the harbour, make up the capital named after the island. Stepping ashore in Yialos is awesome. In such a lovely place, where do visitors start? Some make their way along the scenic promenade around the horse-shoe harbour, others while away the time in shaded tavernas where salads and seafood come with

44 connectionmags.co.uk

glorious views. Bells chime all around, tiny chapels beckon up interminable flights of steps and the beautiful mansions of the Italian era glow in the midday sun. At the end of the peninsula, the iconic clock tower leads to a smaller bay where pleasure and fishing boats bob at anchor and a sprinkling of parasols betrays the presence of a beach. Meanwhile downtown, a few stalls sell sponges and olive oil but beyond the harbour, it’s all tangled lanes and steps, hundreds of them, climbing up to Chorio through tightlypacked houses. It’s easy to lose all sense of direction in this never-ending maze but there are decorated gables and balconies, potted plants, secret gardens planted with vines, jasmine and citrus trees and courtyards covered in patterned pebbles, here an anchor, there a ship or a dolphin. At the top, the view opens out on the fjordlike bay of Pedi where below the rose-tinted hill tops, holly oak and conifers tumble down almost to the water’s edge. There, life moves at a leisurely pace, fishermen mend their nets on the quay and a narrow coastal path leads to the quiet cove of St Nicholas, reached

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only on foot or by water taxi. St Nicholas is no exception for all along this deeply indented coastline, near-deserted coves nestle below the cliffs, lapped by clear turquoise water, with not a road in sight. There are cruises around the island, past uninhabited islets and dramatic outcrops, but the most enchanting stop along the way is the Orthodox Monastery of Panormitis down south, rebuilt Venetian-style in the 18th century and claiming the world’s highest Baroque tower. It’s dedicated to Archangel Michael, the island’s patron saint, and when day visitors have left, it’s a wonderful haven of peace framed by pine-covered hills on the edge of the sea. Approaching Panormitis by sea is magical but one can return on a mountain road reaching over 600 metres at Oros Vigla, the ‘look-out’. It’s a scenic rollercoaster through forests and open land, peppered with ruined castles, forlorn chapels, goat tracks, footpaths vanishing into the distance and unforgettable views, from the rugged meandering coast to the nearby islands and, far below, the colourful harbour of Symi bathed in translucent light.

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Grooming At Ferns tv aerial & satellite installations • • • • • • • • •

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45


Wildlife Matters by Ashley Grove

WINTER 2016

To many people the Winter months are seen as a dark, cold and depressing time of year. However, to the wildlife watcher and photographer, this season can be one of the most rewarding. Various bird species head for the relatively mild winters of the British Isles, including large numbers of colourful ducks, majestic swans and very impressive flocks of geese and wading birds. With the sun lower in the sky than during the summer months, light is less harsh and helps bring out the detail in a bird’s plumage and reduces the contrast in a landscape shot, meaning winter photography can be more pleasing to the eye.

Sunsets can be spectacular in the winter and this one above, with silhouetted Whooper Swans in flight, taken in Norfolk, is a fine example. The shot on the left was taken in December 2010 during a haw frost that lasted a few days, you may remember it? Taken on Astwood Canal, Stoke Prior in Worcestershire. Visitors like this Redwing and the Waxwings on the far right make great subjects. Cold weather draws them to the UK, where they feed on colourful berries, sometimes in our gardens. Waxwings, about starling size, are less common, but can arrive in big numbers if we get very harsh weather. They particularly like rowan and sorbus berries, so if you have any well berried trees near you and we get heavy snow, keep an eye out for these gorgeous birds.


The flock of Oystercatchers on the left, was taken in Norfolk and much of our coastline is worth a visit and offers such spectacles during the winter months. Closer to home look out for large flocks of Lapwing and Golden Plover in local farmland. Also, flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare will be feeding in big numbers in the fields for worms, as well as stripping the berries from the hedgerows. Of course keep your garden feeders topped up to encourage and help your local birds through the bad weather. My volunteer role within the local RSPB is selling bird food, with profits going to the charity. So please get in touch should you need supplies, or just need some advice on what to feed to attract a variety of birds, my details are below. Here is a selection of what you might find attracted to your feeders this winter: Goldfinch

Siskin

Redpoll

Nuthatch

Things to do this Winter: • Every 2nd Tuesday of the month from September, Solihull RSPB group have a guest speaker, details on their website - www.rspb.org.uk/groups/solihull • Why not take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch on the weekend of 28th/29th January. Details can be found on the RSPB’s website. • You could book onto my Bird of Prey Photography Workshop, to be held at Hatton Country World on March 11th. Details on my website address below. Would you like to have one of your Spring wildlife or landscape images featured in the next edition of Wildlife Matters? Send a jpeg to ashley@veryphotographic.com, along with a brief description of when and where it was taken, with of course your name so I can give credit. My favourite will feature in the Spring edition of Wildlife Matters.

Ashley Grove • 07704 189835 • www.experiencenature.co.uk • ashley@veryphotographic.com


Coughton Court's Christmas Wassail Returns to Celebrate it's 23rd Year

The evening will take place in Coughton’s stunning double height Saloon, which will be dressed for a traditional family Christmas, where a floor to ceiling Christmas tree adorned with foliage and vintage hand crafted decorations will greet visitors as they enter. Settle down in front of a roaring fire and enjoy an evening’s entertainment of carolling and festive stories with mince pies and mulled wine to take the edge off the winter frost. The Crescent Theatre is one of Birmingham’s oldest theatre companies and Coughton is delighted to welcome the company back to perform at the Court’s longest standing musical tradition. Visitors will also be able to pick up their own song sheets and join in with the fun, singing along to the Christmas songs we all know and love.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Farr

Join us this winter for a magical evening at our annual Christmas Wassail event. On Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December at 4.30pm and 7.30pm the renowned traditional Coughton Wassail returns with a feast of festive delights from Birmingham’s Crescent Theatre.

holiday spirit – a magical event not to be missed!” The shop here at Coughton will be open before and between performances for those last-minute Christmas gifts and yummy treats to eat over the winter season. So why not make the Wassail at Coughton Court your family’s Christmas tradition and start off the holiday season with a selection of beautiful Christmas music and touching stories from Birmingham’s renowned Crescent Theatre.

Dates for your diary Wassail Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December 4.30pm and 7.30pm Join our long established traditional Christmas Wassail with stories and carols from Birmingham’s Crescent Theatre. Mulled wine, a roaring fire and mince pies are included.

Claire Blackburn, Business support at Coughton says, “the Wassail has been performed at Coughton for over twenty years and over that time has become a Christmas tradition for visitors, volunteers and staff alike. The atmosphere in the Saloon is truly magical and it’s the perfect event to get everybody feeling suitably festive and in the

48 connectionmags.co.uk

Tickets cost: Adult £27, Child £11 Booking is essential by calling 0844 249 1895 For full opening days & more information please visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ coughtoncourt or call 01789 400777 Follow us on Twitter @NTCoughton or ‘Like’ us at www.facebook.com/CoughtonCourt

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Lifeguard Computer Care For Home & Small Business

contact Mark any time on 07981 158 507 visit website for client comments

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Chartered Certified Accountants and Registered Auditors Services include preparation of accounts for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies, registered auditor, self assessment and corporation tax returns, company secretarial services, payroll bureau, company formations and bookkeeping training. Contact: Helen Vining Grafton House, Bulls Head Yard, Alcester, Warks, B49 5BX

Tel: 01789 764972 E-mail: helen@vinings.co.uk Web www.vinings.co.uk To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

49


Alcester Town Council DECEMBER 2016

Town Council Meetings

All Town Council meetings are held in Globe House. Full Council meetings take place in the Library meeting room 4 and Committee meetings are held in the Council Board Room. Both rooms are on the first floor accessed via the Seggs Lane entrance (a lift is available). Full Council Meetings Tuesday 6th December. Community Care Tuesday 13th December. Community Facilities Tuesday 20th December. Strategic Planning Monday 12th December. Members of the public are welcome to attend any of the Council meetings. The agendas are published on the Town Council Web site at: www.alcester-tc.gov.uk and copies can be viewed on the Council Notice Boards. In addition, all minutes can be found online once signed.

Councillor Vacancy

Councillors will be co-opting a new councillor for the Oversley Green ward on 6th December.

Alcester Town Council Contacts

Town Clerk: Chris Wright, clerk@alcestertc.gov.uk. Strategic Planning & Communication: Kate Wright administration@alcester-tc.gov.uk. Community Facilities: Jan Rowlatt, reception@ alcester-tc.gov.uk. Community Care: Jenny Theobald, office@alcestertc.gov.uk . Health & Wellbeing: wellbeing@alcester-tc.gov.uk Tel: 01789 766084. Web: www.alcestertc.gov.uk. Alcester Town Council offices: Globe House via the Seggs Lane entrance first floor (lift available) Monday - Friday 9am–1pm (or call to make an appointment) More information on our social media pages: www.facebook.com/alcester.towncouncil www.facebook.com/alcester www.twitter.com/AlcesterTown

Cllr Mark Cargill, John Mattocks, Kathryn Cargill

Alcester’s Floodline

Alcester has had its fair share of flooding in recent years with the most recent events in 1998 and 2007. The impact was devastating for residents and businesses alike. However, since 2007, substantial investment has been made to mitigate against future risk, including the installation of a 3.25 million litre flood tank in 2011. When over 200 homes flooded in 2007, many residents came to the aid of those most severely impacted, especially the elderly and other vulnerable groups. Alcester Town Council has since established a Flood Group through its Community Safety Subcommittee. The focus has been the recruitment of Community Flood Wardens and the drafting of a new Town Flood Strategy which has been incorporated into the overall Town Emergency Plan. Training of new Flood Wardens is planned soon, along with other new initiatives to ensure that the Town is better prepared if flooding were to occur again.

John Mattocks, Cllr Mark Cargill, Cllr Andrew Foster

With funding from Warwickshire County Council, two new Environment Agency webcams have been installed near Gunnings and Oversley Bridges with images being broadcast via Twitter and on a dedicated website. The Flood Group also conduct regular inspections of the river banks to assess risks caused by debris and other obstacles and report them to the relevant agencies. Alcester Town Council continues to work with organisations such as Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Resilience to align its plans with other organisations and to share ideas with other Parishes. Anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer Flood Warden for Alcester or obtaining more information should contact Andrew Foster through Alcester Town Council. Further information and advice about flooding can be found at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/prepared


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51


Bidford on Avon Parish Council in the County of Warwickshire

BIDFORD RURAL CINEMA The cinema is closed for December – too many other community activities – and no “spectacular” Christmas films on offer.

All meetings are held at the Parish Council Meeting Room, Bramley Way, B50 4QG.

MEETINGS Monday 12th December 2016 @ 7.30pm Planning Consultative Committee Meeting.

Parish Councillors – a list of Parish Councillors contact details is posted on the notice boards, and can also be found online www.bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk/councillors.htm.

BIDFORD EMAIL INFORMATION As fewer residents have the time to read We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Noticeboards, the Parish Council is looking at New Year and look forward to welcoming you ways to keep the local community informed of back on Friday 6th January 2017 when we what it (the Parish Council) is doing, but also of will be screening BEN HUR (Cert 12a) – to be other village events. If you want to keep abreast confirmed. of local information, you can sign up by simply emailing the Clerk at info@bidfordonavon-pc. NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN gov.uk and your name will be added to the list. Another stage has now been completed. Your email address is not disclosed and you Following the completion of the Formal Submission, the plan and associated documents can request to be removed at any time. This method of keeping the community informed were sent to the Independent Examiner. This received good press at a conference I attended examination has been completed and the on Communications. Steering Group will address the suggested recommendations before presenting this to SOCIAL MEDIA the Parish Council (the Qualifying Body) for Another way the Parish Council is trying to keep approval. Thereafter, it will go to Stratford on the local community informed is by the use of Avon DC for final approval to prepare the way Social Media. Please follow us via Facebook for the final stage: the REFERENDUM, when (Bidford on Avon) and Twitter (@Bidford_PC). the local community will have its chance to PARISH COUNCIL CONTACTS approve the final document which will then form Clerk to the Parish Council – Mrs. Elisabeth part of the statutory planning documents applied Uggerløse. to Bidford on Avon parish. Parish Council Office is located in Bramley BIDFORD COMMUNITY LIBRARY Way, in the same building as the library. The It’s that time of year when we will all be popping Office is open to the public 10.00am – 3.00pm into Budgens on a regular basis. Don’t forget daily except Thursdays, when opening hours that an easy way to support your community are 1.30 – 4.30pm. If you are unable to attend library is by collecting your tokens (1 for during these hours, please contact the Clerk to every £10 spent) and putting them in in the arrange a mutually convenient time. appropriate collection box. If the cashier forgets Tel No. 01789 778653 / 07718 628 925 to offer you the tokens, don’t be afraid to ask Email info@bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk for them. Website: www.bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk

Monday 19th December 2016 @ 7.30pm Parish Council Meeting.

The Parish Council wishes you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Elisabeth Uggerlose - Clerk to the Parish Council email info@bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk 01789 778653 or 07718 628925

52 connectionmags.co.uk

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54 connectionmags.co.uk

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alcester flowers Come and see Marie, a friendly face at Alcester Flowers, for your...

Flowers Balloons Cards Bedding plants Free local delivery (3 mile radius) Wrapping service available Bespoke Funeral Service Christenings • Weddings Home visits available for funerals and weddings Find us next to Waitrose

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55


community events & what’s on... Broom WI

Thursday 1 December, Christmas Workshop. Please bring a small plate of food for our Festive Buffet. Visitors are welcome.

Alcester Flower Club

There will be no meeting in December or January. Our new year starts on 7.30pm excepted). Visitors and new very members welcome. Contact Chairman, Mrs. Margaret Escott on 01789 763606.

Alcester WI

We will meet on Thursday 8 December, 7.30pm, at . talking! Members and friends all welcome, plus a plate of party food to share.

Bidford on Avon WI

The December held on 8th at 7.30pm work of the Abbey. If you would like more information contact Shirley 01789 773366 or Pauline 01789 773390.

Alcester Ladies Probus

Salford Seven Ladies Group , 'Christmas Party', with entertainment by Alan Benjamin. New members and visitors always welcome and first visit is free. Contact Pam Sharpe on 01789 773746 or Pam Seville on 01789 772540.

Bidford History Society

Friday 16 December, 7.30pm at St Laurence Church Hall, Church Street, Bidford, B50 4DA. 'Medieval Christmas Customs', presented by Mairi Macdonald, Her talk will cover Mediaeval Origins of Christmas, why Christmas is at this time and other sources contributing to Christmas customs.

Bidford & District Gardening Society

Visitors will receive a warm welcome on Thursday 15 December will present a talk on the recently renovated 'New Place Gardens' in Stratford on Avon. Admission £3, including refreshments. There will also be a raffle.

Alcester Men's Probus Club

December's meeting will be held on the 21st, the third Wednesday. Throughout the rest of the year we meet

We are a friendly social club of ladies 55 and over who meet for lunch followed by a speaker, every welcome. Lunch is 12.15 for 12.45. Next meeting is Wednesday 14 December for Christmas lunch and entertainment. For details please contact Secretary Mrs. Cynthia Hill 01789 763446.

com.

St Laurence's Church, Bidford

The 19th Annual Christmas Tree Festival is on Saturday

Alcester Singers

We present 'Christmas Past & Present' at St Nicholas Church, Alcester on Saturday 10 December at 7.30pm.

Open Doors Mums & Toddlers Group

refreshments) available from 01789 762718 : 01789 488401 : Humphries Shoes, Alcester.

for the mums. First session is free and it's £2 per family thereafter.

We meet at Alcester Methodist Church, Priory Road, every term time Thursday morning at 9.45 till 11.30am.

Big Lottery Reaching Communities programme - Funding workshop for Stratford District

Stratford District, which is currently underrepresented

focussing on the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities programme. Reaching Communities supports projects that help people and communities most in need. The event is specifically aimed at groups serving

56 connectionmags.co.uk

Jubilee Centre, St Faiths Road, B49 6AG. Jane Holdsworth, WCAVA Locality Manager, on: 01926 413 611 or email: jholdsworth@wcava.org. uk.

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This is a beautiful way to remember loved ones at Christmas, and benefit local charities In a change from previous years, you are now able to personally write the names of loved ones, and a message, in a leather bound ‘Tree of Light’ Remembering Book. This will be placed just inside the main entrance to St Nicholas Church, Alcester, from Sunday 27th November. The ‘Tree of Light’, the large Holly outside St Nicholas Church, will be lit as the final part of the Alcester Christmas lighting-up ceremony which starts at 4pm, Sunday 27th November. The lights will shine right through the Christmas period and, together with the symbolism of the tree, remind us that there is light and hope. You are very welcome to join us at the lighting ceremony. Donations are voluntary using the envelopes by the book. Money raised will go to St Nicholas Church & other local charities. Or, if you wish, you can send donations using the form below and post to: Alcester Rotary, c/o Mr P Hodges, Ridgeway House, 1 High Street, Astwood Bank, Redditch, B96 6DB. For more information please call John Kinnersley 01789 762 554 or Sue Matthewman 01527 854 723. I enclose a donation of: £ …………. (Cheques payable to Rotary Club of Alcester) Please treat the enclosed gift of £ …….…. as a gift aid donation, I confirm I have paid tax for the current year 2016/17

(see * below)

Name: ..……………………………………..…………… Tel No: ….……………………..….….…………...… Address: ………………………………………………………………….….. Post Code:…..………….…..…… Signature: ………………………………………... Email: ……………….…………………….……………….….. Donation for the Rotary Clubs of Alcester Tree of Light, all donations received go to St Nicholas Church, & other local charities. I understand that the Remembering Book is available inside the Church, for the personal inclusion of names.

* For gift aid to be claimed, the donor must pay at least as much UK income tax and/or capital gains tax (for the year of the donation) as the amount that will be claimed by this charity, and any other charities or Community Amateur Sports Clubs they have donated to.

Rotary Club of Alcester Trust Fund Charity No: 1097689

To advertise please call 01789 491005 or email info@connectionmags.co.uk

57


community events & what’s on... Events at The Alcester War Memorial Town Hall in December Every Tues Sat 3rd

10 am -11 am

7.30pm - 10.30pm

Flexible Friends - Ms. D Gray, 01527 401674 Town Hall Beetle Drive - Nick Dearling 765070.

Alcester Café

Silver Surfers

Faith’s Road, every Tuesday and Friday from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Drop in and see us or ring Carole or Roger on 01789 488088 for more information.

all tablets and Windows 10. Every Thursday between 10.00am and 12 midday.

Bidford Dementia Café

Senior Citizens Action Network (SCAN) meets

every other month at Alcester Town Hall and the Jolly Teapot, Church rooms, Church Street, Bidford.

Road, Bidford. For more information, call Wendy on 07713 648716, email secretarybdc@btinternet.com.

Age UK Warwickshire Befriending Service

discuss and campaign on local issues of importance to them. New members are welcome. For more information contact Marie Darwen 01789 260 108.

Visually Impaired? due to poor health, bereavement or little family contact. Modern living has also contributed to the are often strangers, resulting in fewer visitors. The Befriending Service aims to provide quality one to

which meets on alternate Thursdays at Jubilee Court, Alcester. It is an opportunity to chat, be Karyl Rees 01789 400561. Cupcake Café at Salford Priors

Saturday 3 December, from 10.00-12.00 at TOPs (behind Salford Priors Primary School). A space for share a hobby with their Befriender, others just want to chat and catch up over a cuppa each week. If you, or someone you know would like to use this service please contact the co-ordinator Nikki Gill on 01788 552545 or alternatively email her at

of tea or coffee with some yummy cake.

someone in your area contact Nikki for a chat.

join in. £1 per session, including refreshments.

Bidford Darby & Joan Bidford, every Thursday from 2pm - 4pm. We have outings every month. Come and join us.

Bidford Community Library

Children’s answers: The fish that are the same are ‘A’ & ‘E’. There are six ‘Igloos’ in the grid.

Sudoku solutions

Easy grid

Not so easy grid

(see page 6)

58 connectionmags.co.uk

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BIDFORD PANTOMIME Presents

December Competition

Aladdin Win a cheese & wine hamper to celebrate Christmas

Sunday 1st Jan 7.30pm Monday 2nd Jan 2.00pm and 7.30pm at the Crawford Hall

Tickets £5 each For tickets phone Judith Harrison 01789 773742 mob 07730765621

What is the date and start time of the Hillers Festive Taster Event? Email your answer to info@connectionmags.co.uk with subject HILLERS COMP or phone it to 01789 491005 and leave your name, address and phone number, by 6pm on Friday 9th December, 2016. Hamper contents to the value of £25.

THE AWARD WINNING THE AWARD WINNING ARD WINNING 1 S T S U N D A Y O F T H E MO N T H

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Sanders&Sanders ESTATE AGENTS

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Larissa, Hattie, Amelia, Warren, Claire and Rachael are here to help you. Not forgetting Jess (right), seen here checking property details.

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a name you can trust www.sanders-sanders.co.uk Burton House, High Street, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5AB

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WarnersBudgens

@warnersbudgens

LOVE LOCAL THIS CHRISTMAS WITH WARNER’S BUDGENS We are proud to bring you the best choice of local quality meats this Christmas

ORDER BY 15th DECEMBER* INSTORE OR ONLINE AT warnersbudgens.co.uk

Pick up an order form or visit warnersbudgens.co.uk for more details and to place your order *Orders taken after this date are subject to availability.

Salford Road, Bidford on Avon B50 4AW Tel: 01789 773352

warnersbudgens.co.uk

£5 OFF

WHEN YOU SPEND £40 IN STORE

To the customer: Redeemable at Warner’s Budgens Bidford on Avon, Broadway, Moreton-inMarsh and Winchcombe only. Only one coupon will be accepted per transaction, and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. The offers excludes tobacco, infant formula, e-top up, fuel, concessions (Post Office), stamps and National & Health Lottery. Photocopies are not acceptable. Offer only valid if presented with this coupon. £40 must be spent in one transaction. Valid until 31st December 2016.

16 dec mag web  

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