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Dec//Jan 18 Dec/Jan e 79 Issue

connection mag�ine �nn Festive � inside this issue... Gi� ideas Creating a festive home Getting your skates on!


�ee Royal Marriage � Seasonal recipes Ding Dong - � �ee art of bell ringing

Win a Blooming Girls wreath worth £50!

The Connection is delivered free to homes in Aldham, Fordham, Great Tey, Chappel, Wakes Colne, White Colne, Colne Engaine, Countess Cross, Pebmarsh, Earls Colne, Bures St Mary, Bures Hamlet, Mount Bures , Wormingford, West Bergholt, Eight Ash Green, Copford, Braiswick, Lexden, Coggeshall, Kelvedon and Feering. Also available in Halstead, Sudbury, Assington, Stoke by Nayland and Nayland.


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This issue is all about celebrating - both the festive season and significant anniversaries! We have The Queen and Prince Philip with their 70th wedding anniversary and more importantly we have three of our featured local businesses who are also celebrating significant milestones! To celebrate their 10th birthday, Blooming Girls are giving away a bespoke wreath. See page 10 for competition details. We have gift ideas too. Books, beauty and lots more besides. There’s a recipe for Chocolate and Walnut Biscotti and a Salmon and Monkfish Filo Wreath - useful if you have vegetarian visitors coming to stay over Christmas. As usual the What’s On pages are full of local events, but if you fancy going further afield we have a few ice-skating venues in the UK that might take your fancy. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I’ll see you again in 2018.


4 - Interiors 6 - Let the bells ring out! 8 - Book reviews 12 - Cake and Bake 14 - 20 What’s On 22 - Christmas Postal Dates 23 - Notice Board 24 - Beauty gift ideas 26 - Crossword 28 - Codeword 29 - Recipe 32 - Sudoku 34 - Spot the Difference 35 - Travel 37 - Country Mutters 36 - Useful Numbers 38 - Index

Please get in touch if you want to advertise your business. Call me on:

Editor and Publisher: Sarah Banks Editorial Assistant: Amanda Findley Contributors: Amanda Findley , Ann Haldon,Alison Runham and Katherine Sorrell. Advertising and Editorial: 01787 210701 / 07527 489847 Email: Address: Applegarth, Whitestreet Green, Boxford, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 5JL

01787 210701

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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval systems or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical , photocopying, recording or otherwise - without the prior permission of the publisher.

£25 cash sudoku winner - Mr Warnerl from Earls Colne. Front cover image: Blooming Girls

Home & Interiors Christmas Elegance

By Katherine Sorrell

It’s all too easy to go overboard at Christmas. This year, why not decorate your home with subtle glamour, creating a sophisticated seasonal backdrop to festive times with friends and family. this living room is welcoming and cosy, but also cool, calm and collected, thanks to a subtle colour scheme of greys and whites, together with touches of texture in the form of wicker, wool and wood. traditional nordmann fir, from £29.99; led warm white string lights, from £9.99; wool throw, £59.99; firwood star decoration (set of three), £44.99; Magical Hare cushion, £39.99; tree decorations, from £1.49; all dobbies.

Beautiful baubles will add class to your christmas tree. Walther & co bronze acorn and leaf decoration, £9.99, cotswold trading.

a simple white backdrop with natural, twining leaves is perfect for offsetting the glow of candles. large silver-dipped candle holder, £29.99; led glitter twig wreath, £39.99; medium silverdipped candle holder, £9.99; reindeer bell ornament, £4.99; decorated glass bauble, £3.99; garland (price and details on application); all dobbies.

Instead of a knitted or hessian sack, how about a pretty, printed fabric design? night owl christmas sack, £5.50, sophie allport.

an intriguing and subtle way to display the twinkle of fairy lights. Bo 80 led glassdomed cylinder, £13, B&Q.

a glimmer of metal is all the rage, and these minimal, slightly rusted zinc garlands satisfy the trend without adding any bling. Use along the mantelpiece, twined along the christmas table or hung on the wall. £29.95, Decorator’s notebook.

Ideas for elegant festIve décor • Too many colours together tend to look garish. Choose one main colour theme for each room and stick to it. This season, dark backdrops are very on trend, with accents of gold or brass, while white, beige or grey are classics that always look great, with dashes of red or green for that seasonal feel. • With limited colours, textures come into their own. Think linen, wool, fur (faux if you prefer), wicker and – this year’s must-haves – concrete and velvet. • Christmas ornaments tend to be collected over the years, and so can look rather haphazard if all displayed in one go. Carefully choose a selection that co-ordinates and – stay strong – put the rest back in the loft for next year.


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Let the bells ring out!

Most people in Britain live within hearing of church bells but it is so much part of the soundtrack of our lives that sometimes we forget about the people who are creating those wonderful crescendos.

Barry Gibbons has been a bellringer most of his life and cheerfully describes himself as addicted to the art. Taught by his uncle from the age of 10, at 13 years old he took part in the celebrations on Coronation Day by ringing his first‘quarter peal’, a 40 minute sequence of ringing as part of a group. He hasn’t stopped since then and has travelled the length and breadth of the country, ringing in different churches with many different people. Churches have different numbers of bells and each set of bells has unique characteristics. He says,‘St Martin in the Fields stands out for me – those bells have a beautiful tone and it was amazing to hear them ringing out across the city.’ Closer to home, Barry is one of a group of local bell ringers who ring the church bells regularly each Sunday morning and evening in Little Horkesley, Bures and Wormingford. The group is very much part of the local community, also ringing for weddings and funerals on request.

are doing in order to keep in sequence’. There are so many patterns with varying degrees of difficulty it really would take a lifetime to learn them all’. Campanology is a unique pastime, requiring co-ordination, some physical effort and mental concentration, which all together produces a glorious sound appreciated by just about everybody in earshot. Just watching a group of bell ringers is quite mesmerizing as you witness the single focus of each person as they follow a pattern and the unspoken current of communication between them to keep the bells in time.

Christmas is a special time of the year for bell ringers everywhere. Barry also runs a Handbell ringing group and you can hear bells large and small at carol services at Ardleigh church on Saturday 9th December and at Nayland church on Sunday 10th December. And once you’ve been captivated by these beautiful sounds, if you’re inspired to have a go at campanology yourself, Barry can be contacted via St Andrew’s Church Wormingford’s website:

He is also passionate about passing on his skills and is always happy to teach learners. He says, ‘This is such an old art, dating back the 1600’s and so much a part of the identity of the country, I feel it’s really important to keep it going. He describes learning to ring as similar to learning to drive a car. He says’‘It takes time to learn the technique and to feel confident. Each person rings 1 bell, but as well as ringing their own bell with the correct timing, they need to be aware of what the other bells 6

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Gift Inspiration Books make great gifts. If you’re stuck for inspiration or looking for some ideas for your own Christmas wish list, check out this issue’s recommendations. for fans of sarah Waters and susanna clarke. the Mermaid and Mrs Hancock – Imogen Hermes gowar The year is 1785 and widower John Hancock finds himself the owner of what appears to be a dead mermaid. The artefact proves the talk of the town and gains John access to a whole new circle of society, a society that includes the alluring courtesan, Angelica Neal. 18th century London is brought vividly to life in this enchanting debut novel. enjoyed the rosie project and the curious Incident of the dog in the night time? try… the seven Imperfect rules of elvira carr – frances Maynard Elvira doesn’t see the world in quite the same way as most people. As a result, she lives a fairly sheltered life, caring for her overbearing mother and indulging her interest in biscuits. But then her mother has a stroke and Elvira has to find her own way in the world. With a great storyline, well-rounded characters and plenty of humour to boot, Frances Maynard’s debut novel is a triumph.


Love dystopian fiction such as the Hunger games and divergent? try…

simple to follow, with attractive photographs and engaging introductions.

the gender game – Bella forrest In Violet Bates’s world, women rule. Men have few rights and boys can be sent away if they’re deemed capable of aggression. Across the river it’s another story – in Patrus men have the power. Violet is serving time in a detention facility when she’s offered the chance to have her slate wiped clean, in return for completing a mission in Patrus. An enjoyable, easy read.

love a good psychological thriller? add this to your wish list.

fans of the great British Bake off will be clamouring for this one… Nadiya’s British Food adventure – nadiya Hussain As Nadiya says, British food today is a melting pot of cuisines from different cultures. This book reflects that, with twists to classic British dishes and more modern favourites. The book ties in with Nadiya’s latest TV series, so includes several of the dishes featured on the show. You’ll find recipes such as Minted Lamb and Apple Pasties, Mango and Passionfruit Jam Roly Poly and Masala Eggy Bread. Recipes are

the stolen child – sanjida kay Without giving too much away, The Stolen Child centres around Zoe, Ollie and their daughter, Evie. Evie was adopted by the couple from birth, but starts to receive letters and gifts from a man claiming to be her father. A man who says he wants her back. Full of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. If you like neil gaiman and philip pullman, try… Hannah green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane existence – Michael Marshall smith Eleven year old Hannah Green finds the world isn’t quite as mundane as she thought, when it turns out her grandfather is in league with the devil. The world is out of kilter, and the unlikely trio have to work together to put things right. A thoroughly enjoyable read, with great descriptions, bags of humour and believable characters.

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Three of our local businesses are celebrating significant anniversaries this year! Congratulations to Pippins, Ziel and Blooming Girls! 25 Years Old and Still Outstanding

Pippins Nursery at White Colne, celebrates being in business for 25 years It is proud to have helped almost 1000 pre-school children set out on their educational journey. Opened in September 1992 by Sally Scobie, Pippins, which practices the Montessori Method of early years education, continues to go from strength to strength. Throughout the 25 years Pippins has always been rated as an Outstanding Nursery, a fact it is very proud of. It is also accredited by the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board. Pippins has witnessed many changes throughout the last 25 years within the pre-school sector. Sally Scobie, who was joined by her business partner Anita Huckle in 2004, says“Our continued success is down to adapting to meet the changes required to accommodate the needs of today’s parents and their children along with the demands of successive governments”. In 2011 Pippins opened its highly successful baby room which accepts children from 3 months, extending the care offered until

they leave at around 5 years. Places at Pippins are in high demand and the children are cared for by a team of over 20 excellent staff. Home cooked lunches prepared daily on site since 2011 have proved to be a huge success and this social daily event is thoroughly enjoyed by children and staff. The children enjoy a wide range of activities including dance, yoga, football, music, French, swimming and time on the fruit farm which surrounds the nursery. The first four pupils are now 27 years old! The children are very happy, confident, independent learners who flourish within our rural Montessori environment. Our continued success is also down to an ethos of consistent development of our staff and our service.

01787 221936

Win a bespoke Christmas wreath worth £50! There are 10 mini wreaths hidden in the pages of this magazine. Find them and send the page numbers to: Blooming Girls 26 High Street, Earls Colne Colchester, Essex CO6 2PA

Deadline date 5th December. The first winner picked out the hat will win the wreath. Christabel & Sally from Blooming Girls Florists say “A big thank you to all our customers. You make us what we are, we just love “doing flowers” for you. We're there for all the important moments big and small from a bunch to cheer a friend, your wedding day and the final send off, creating that perfect emotion in flowers.”


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Ziel Design F O R

Here are a few beautiful things you’ll fin ind in Ziel this Christmas!


Suzi & Bridget from Ziel would like to say;

Fillers Stocking under for £10 &

Sophie Allport Christmas Night Owl tea towel £8

St Eval Candle Co Inspiritus tealights £5.95

Cinnamon Spice candle £12.95 Glenmore lamp & shade £90

“Thank you to all our customers, both local and from far afield, for helping our business to flourish over the past 20 years. We love what we do, surrounded by gorgeous things, taking on new projects and meeting such lovely people, many of whom have become friends - Happy Christmas Season to everyone.”

Guiliano Champagne Flute £9.50

Cute & cuddly Jellycat Peanut Penguins from £9


Disaster Meow luggage label £4.50

weed son t 4 m a i l Wil uder £3 nah Han ught excl dra

• y y zielearlscolne •


Cake and Bake Chocolate & Walnut Biscotti These crunchy Italian biscuits are perfect for dunking into a festive coffee or serving as an after dinner treat. They also make a great foodie gift packed into clear gift bags and tied with ribbon and a Christmas label!

Ingredients: • 50g unsalted butter, softened • 100g golden caster sugar • 1 medium egg, beaten • Finely grated zest from 1 orange • 50g dark chocolate chips • 50g walnut pieces • 1/2 tsp baking powder • 175g plain flour, plus extra for kneading

Makes 20 Ready in 1 hour, plus cooling time


The biscotti will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. You can change the nuts – try pecans, toasted almonds or hazelnuts, if preferred.


1. Preheat the oven to 180C, fan 160C, Gas 4. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy, then beat in the egg and orange zest. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnut pieces. 2. Sift over the baking powder and flour and stir well until combined. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to a soft dough, adding a little more flour if necessary. 3. Divide the dough into two pieces and shape each to an oval shape roughly 20cm x 10 cm. Place on a large baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm and light golden. Cool for 5 minutes. 4. Transfer the two pieces of semi-baked dough to a chopping board and, using a sharp knife, cut each piece into 10 slices. 5. Return the slices, cut-side down, to the baking sheet and bake for a further 8-12 minutes until crisp and golden. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

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Christmas Dinner Traditional White Turkeys

Free Range Bronze Turkeys


Turkey Crowns

Plus a wide range of local produce

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What’s On General Christmas Tree Festival

Christmas Fair At Polstead Village Hall Saturday 2nd December 10.00am – 4.00pm Local produce, local crafts, cakes, tombola and refreshments. For stalls please contact Angela on 01473 827462. All proceeds to Polstead Community Shop.

At St Mary’s Church, Kelvedon

Earls Colne Village Late Night Opening Star Trail and Torchlight Carol Procession

Saturday 2nd December 11.00am - 6.00pm and Sunday 3rd December 11.00am - 5.00pm Over 30 Christmas trees to enjoy decorated in all manner of styles by local families, organisations and businesses. Live musical performances and seasonal refreshments. Entry by donation to include support for The Children’s Society and Essex Integration.

Great & Little Horkesley Friendship Club Open Afternoon At New Village Hall, Tile House Lane, Gt. Horkesley CO6 4EA Thursday 18th January 2.00pm – 4.00pm Cream teas, Falconry display, raffle and Lucky numbers. Please bring a friend, neighbour or relative. All welcome. For more details, contact Viv Williams on 01206 271614.

Tuesday 12th December 4.00pm – 7.00pm Earls Colne shops & businesses will be hosting a late night shopping evening including Santa’s Grotto and the ever popular Star Trail. Refreshments available. The Torchlight Carol Procession starts at 6.30pm at St Andrews Church and processes to The Baptist Church for readings and carols.

Dedham Christmas Market At High St, Dedham Saturday 2nd December 3.00pm – 6.00pm Santa’s Grotto, craft stalls, hot food, Merry Go Round, spectacular hamper raffle, roast chestnuts, holly wreaths, games and more! Shops open on the High Street during the event. Proceeds to Dedham C of

E Primary School. For spaces available and more details please call Kim Spencer 01206322773.

Afternoon Christmas Celebration in Words and Music

Halstead Christmas Events

At St. Botolphs, Colchester CO2 7EE

Switch on of Christmas lights

Sunday 10th December 3.00pm

At Halstead Public Gardens, Trinity Street, Halstead CO9 1JD

An afternoon of traditional and modern music plus serious and fun readings - some Christmas-related, some not - all suitable for all ages. Performed by school choirs, soloists, instrumentalists, plus audience carols compered by Liz Mullen, Forces Radio, BFBS, in aid of CoHoC - Colchester Cancer Centre Campaign. Tickets £7 adults, £12 family (2A plus 3C) to include complimentary mulled wine, soft drinks and mince pies available from Manns Music, Colchester High Street, or email: hempsted02@

Have a Fair Trade Christmas At 150 High St, Kelvedon CO5 9JD Saturdays 18th, 25th November and 2nd, 9th December 10.00 am – 5.00pm Cards, gifts, food, toys, clothes, jewellery and more. For more information please call 01376 570200 or email

Saturday 25th November 4.30pm The Switch on will be performed by Mayor of Halstead with children from each of the three Halstead Primary Schools. Free event. Further details can be obtained from Halstead Town Council Tel: 01787 476480 or email: reception@ halsteadtowncouncil.

Annual Torchlight Procession and Town Carol Service At the top of High Street CO9 2UK Wednesday 6th December 6.15pm, for a start time of 7.00pm There will first be the blessing of the crib around the Christmas Tree at Market Hill and then a procession led by the Salvation Army Band will walk down High Street, to

What’s On continued over page

What’s On Bridge Street and Trinity Street arriving at the Halstead Public Gardens for the Annual Town Carol Service. Flaming torches (with glo-sticks for younger people) are carried by members of the public and are given free of charge by Halstead Town Council, providing a wonderful traditional spectacle; all are welcome to join in. The Carol Service is conducted by Churches Together in Halstead and will begin at about 7.30pm with free song sheets being provided; entry is free to all. A collection for the Mayor’s Charity will be taken. For more information pleas call Halstead Town Council on 01787 476480 or email reception@ halsteadtowncouncil.

Festive Fun event At the United Reformed Church, 89 High Street, Kelvedon Saturday 9th December 2.00pm - 4.30pm Festive fun for all the family with crafts, stalls, cakes, face painting and demonstrations by local clubs and societies. Free event.

Christmas Craft Market At The Cricketers, Spring Lane, Fordham Heath, Colchester Saturday 16th December 10.00am – 5.00pm Quality crafts for Christmas in a heated and floored marquee including leather work,

textiles, knits, glass, wood turning, pottery, ceramics and much more. Santa’s grotto, mulled wine, mince pies, sausage rolls and soup. Free entry. For more information please call Hazel Cronin 07974 264314 or email

Christmas at the United Reformed Church, Kelvedon At the United Reformed Church, 89 High Street, Kelvedon Saturday 16th December 4.00pm Joy to the World - an all age Poetry & Dance event with traditional Carol singing. Sunday 17th December 6.30pm Carol Service Sunday 24th December 10.00am Morning Worship And 4.00pm Christmas Eve Service Monday 25th December 10.00am Christmas Day Celebration

Joy to the World At the United Reformed Church, 89 High Street, Kelvedon Saturday 16th December 4.00pm - 6.30pm Join us for a fresh look at Christmas with Steven Turner, dancer and Sally Stephenson, poet and collage artist. Includes traditional carols, suitable for all ages. Entry by donation, all

proceeds to Kelvedon and Feering Youth Club.

Christmas Quiz Night with Leavenheath Cricket Club

be performing short acoustic sets throughout the day. Free entry. For more information call 01206 500900.

West Bergholt Gardener’s Association Quiz At the Orpen Hall, West Bergholt.

At the Hare and Hounds, Leavenheath Saturday 2nd December 7.00pm for 7.30pm start A case of wine for the winners and great Christmas themed raffle prizes. Tickets £5 per person (max 6 people per team). To reserve a table please contact Rob Sherriff on 07769 117734 or email davelittle33@

Made in Colchester Christmas Fair At Colchester Arts Centre Saturday 2nd December 10.00am – 3.00pm Made in Colchester is a collective made entirely of artists and makers from the Colchester area. The Fair will be full of wonderful gifts and goodies that celebrate local talent and handmade craft. A huge variety of quality handmade items available from jewellery to pottery, limited edition prints to handcrafted textiles. Café open serving hot drinks, seasonal cakes and savoury snacks. Local musicians will

Monday 11th December 7.30pm The questions have a bit of a gardening flavour, but they are general enough for anyone who enjoys quizzes. The quiz is open to non-members, and we welcome teams of four to six, or are happy to welcome smaller numbers to make up a team on the night. While we offer mulled wine and some light refreshments, you are very welcome to bring your own refreshments too. So, make a diary date for a bit of fun. For further details, please contact Terry on 01206 241256 or

Christmas Fayre At Nayland Village Hall Saturday 2nd December 10.30am – 1.00pm Father Christmas, musical entertainment by Nayland Primary School, traditional stalls and festive goodies, mulled wine, fabulous food, seasonal sounds, raffle and tombola, fun for all the family. Free entry.

What’s On Christmas Open Evening at Colchester Castle At Colchester Castle Museum Wednesday 13th December 3.00pm – 8.30pm A seasonal treat as Colchester Castle opens its doors for free! Come and soak up the Christmas atmosphere with carols, mince pies, entertainment and an opportunity to meet Santa before his busy night. Meet Santa and receive a gift £3.50. For more information please visit uk or call 01206 282939.

Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival

Festive Day Out with Thomas At the East Anglian Railway Museum, Chappel Station, Colchester CO6 2DS Saturday 9th, Sunday 10th ,Saturday 16th, Sunday 17th, Saturday 23rd December 10.00am – 4.30pm Thomas and Friends pay a festive visit to the East Anglian Railway Museum. The Fat Controller will be welcoming you and your family plus you can join him for Storytelling time and interactive reenactments with Thomas and other characters throughout the day. Tickets £13 adults, £9 children. Advance booking advisable.

Julie Cope, created by Perry. Free exhibition. For more information please visit

Flatford Ramble – Christmas Caper At Flatford Mill National Trust, East Bergholt, Suffolk CO7 6UL Saturday 30th December 10.30am – 1.00pm

For more information please visit www. or call 01206 242524.

Enjoy a 2.5 hour (4 mile) guided ramble through the beautiful landscape of the Dedham Vale, following ancient footpaths and lanes through the winter landscape. The walk will be led by one of Flatford’s team of experienced volunteer guides, who will be able to share their knowledge of the Dedham Vale. Tickets £6.50 available at www.

Grayson Perry: The Life of Julie Cope

Drama and Dance

At Firstsite, Colchester At Brightlingsea All Saints Church Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th December 10.00am – 6.00pm Approximately 100 trees on display, Christmas shop, refreshments, festive music. Entrance fee with all proceeds supporting the upkeep of the church. For more information please call 01206 306365 or visit www. brightlingseachristmastreefestival.

Saturday 18th November – Sunday 18th February 10.00am – 5.00pm The Life of Julie Cope is a unique presentation consisting of tapestries, woodcuts, ceramics and tiles designed by the Turner Prize-winning artist for A House for Essex, the building designed by the artist in collaboration with Charles Holland of FAT Architecture. A House for Essex serves as a secular chapel to the memory of a fictional Essex woman,

The Orpen Players present “Sleeping Beauty” At the Orpen Memorial Hall, West Bergholt Friday 26th, Saturday 27th January and Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd February 7.30pm. Saturday matinee both Saturdays at 2.00pm Doors open 30 minutes before curtain up.

Tickets £7 adults, and £5 children, available by calling Roger on 01206 241048 now, and from Ash’s Store West Bergholt from Saturday 13th January. “Oh no they are not”. “Oh yes they are”! Make sure you join in the fun.

Nathan’s Extravaganza’ Charity Dinner and Dance At Le Talbooth, Dedham, Colchester Friday 4th May 7.00pm - 1.00am The night starts with pre-dinner drinks and canapés, followed by an exquisite 2 course Barbecue dinner, live auction, raffle and dancing into the early hours. Tickets available now at an early bird offer of £55.00 per person (tables of 10) till 28th February. Thereafter the price will be £60.00. All monies raised goes directly to The J’s Hospice, The Sick Children’s Trust and David Randall Foundation. All these charities have helped and supported the Cain family (who are local to Colchester) with their son Nathan. If you would like to buy tickets, make a donation or donate a prize, please contact Suzan at nathan.

What’s On continued over page

What’s On A Christmas Carol At Colchester Town Hall. Monday 11th December 7.00pm – 10.00pm A reading of the Dickens classic by Anthony Roberts in the mayoral suite of Colchester Town Hall. A masterful and powerful rendition not to be missed. Drinks will be available. Tickets £6 available from

Puss in Boots At the Headgate Theatre, Colchester Wednesday 6th Friday 8th December 7.00pm, Saturday 9th December 1.00pm and 5pm, Sunday 10th December 2.00pm When the Miller dies, Ruffalino, his youngest son inherits only a cat, a mat and a flap. However, when FlibbertyWitch makes a mistake in her spells, the cat suddenly can talk. Together they hatch a plan to rid the town of the plague of rats, and win the hand of Princess Elsa. A fun, traditional pantomime for all the family by Headgate Theatre Productions. Tickets are £12 for adults, £9 (under 16s). For more information please call the box office on 01206 366000.


Colchester Symphony Orchestra Wind and Brass - Puffin Ensemble At St Botolph’s Church, Colchester Saturday, 13th January 7.30pm

Enjoy the very best of wind ensemble music. The programme will include Mozart’s Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments, an arrangement by oboist Rob Rogers of Rossini’s William Tell Overture, and the Suite in Bb major by Richard Strauss. Puffin Ensemble‘Lollipops’are of course an essential part of the programme! Tickets are £15, £13 (concessions) £3 (students). Under 17s are admitted free to all our concerts. Tickets are available on the door or may be reserved in advance by calling 01206 271128. Please see www. colchestersymphonyorchestra. or colchestersymphonyorchestra for further information.

Puccini Messa Di Gloria and Christmas Carols Concert At St James’Church, Tower Rd, Clacton on Sea CO15 1DA

£10 to include wine and nibbles. Children free. Tickets available on the door or call 01787 227490. Proceeds in aid of Stepping Stones Nursery, Colchester.

Christmas Music Concert At Bures St Mary’s Church Saturday 9th December 7.00pm Stour Valley singers and Bures Primary School Choir together with the hand bell ringers from St Mary’s Gestingthorpe present a programme of Christmas music. Tickets

For more information please contact Alan Pilgrim on 01787 269458 or email

Passamezzo At St Andrew’s Church, Church Lane, Marks Tey, Colchester CO6 1lW

Christmas Concert by Nayland Choir

Sunday 3rd December 2.30pm

At St James’Church, Nayland

Medieval and Renaissance concert. Old Christmas Returned: showing how Christmas was celebrated, banned and restored in 17th century England. Tickets available on the door £8, £6 concessions. For more information please visit

Saturday 9th December 7.00pm The Manchester Carols, a re-telling of the Christmas story by Carol Ann Duffy and Sasha Johnson Manning. Tickets £10 (including mulled wine and mince pies), under 16s free, from Nayland Post Office, any choir member, on the door, or call 07954 334548.

Colchester Organ Society

Saturday 2nd December 7.30pm A concert by Clacton Choral Society. Tickets £10 from 01255 221511, email debbietccs@gmail. com and on the door.

and raffle. Ample parking inside school grounds. Free one off entry for two non members upon production of this advert.

Cinema Leavenheath Village Hall Digital Cinema At Leavenheath Village Hall, Wrights Way, (signposted from the High Road)

At Thomas Lord Audley School, Monkwick Avenue, Colchester CO2 8NJ On the first Friday of each month 7.45pm - 10.15pm Live keyboard concerts with music to suit all tastes, featuring top musicians from around the country. Friday 1st December £4 members, £6 non members. Refreshments

Doors open 7.00pm for 7.30pm start Refreshments (wine, beer, soft drinks, tea and coffee) will be available before the film starts and during the interval. Tickets £3.50 per adult and £2 per child. You can now reserve your seat online at www. or please call Lesley 01206 262505 or Ken 01206 263266 for tickets.

What’s On Saturday 2nd December ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (PG) Starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens An adaptation of the fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

Dedham Films At The Assembly Rooms, High St, Dedham Dedham films screens a monthly feature on the third Wednesday of each month. The format of the monthly film evening will usually be 7.00pm doors open for refreshments, 7.30pm film begins. If there is a suitable break in the film, there is a 15 minute intermission for drinks at the bar and ice cream. There is open seating at all our screenings, so get there early to bag your favourite seat. Tickets are £4. There are usually a few tickets for sale at the door, but this cannot be guaranteed so please buy your tickets at the previous screening or as soon as you can from Shakespeare House Gallery, Dedham High Street or online from the link on our website at Wednesday 20th December ‘Beauty and the Beast (PG) A live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to

the original music while updating the score with several new songs. Wednesday 17th January ‘My Cousin Rachel (PG13) A dark romance which tells the story of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.

The Nutcracker At Firstsite, Colchester Tuesday 5th December 7.15pm Live performance of Tchaikovsky’s ballet by the Royal Ballet from the Royal Opera House. With its festive period setting, dancing snowflakes and enchanting stage magic, Lev Ivanov’s 1892 ballet has become the perfect Christmas entertainment, with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous, sugar-spun music the most recognizable of all ballet scores. Tickets £16, £14.50 concessions from or call 01206 713700.

Talks and Workshops Art Appreciation: Gardens in British Art in the 19th and 20th Century by Sue Pownall At The Methodist Hall, Chapel Lane, West Bergholt CO6 3EF

Starting Tuesday 16th January 8.00pm This course is presented by WEA West Bergholt Branch and is spread over 9 weeks and aims to explore how gardens have been represented in British art throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Cost £48.60 for 9 evenings. Enrol at, call 0300 303 3464 or at venue at the start of the course. Fee reduction/ waiver for those on low income. All very welcome. Please contact 01206 240512 for more details.

Craft Events

Craft-A-Holics Anonymous - 3rd Wednesday of every month (7.00 – 10.00pm) Free to come along, meet other crafters, chat, get advice/help on a project, craft and have fun. (Future dates are Wednesday 18 October, 15 November, 20 December (TBC), 18 January 2018, 15 February, 15 March, 19 April). For more information please call Emily on 07388 073555.

Art workshops At The Garrad Room, Bures Community Centre, Nayland Rd, Bures St Mary, Suffolk CO8 5BX Tutored one day art workshops 10.00am – 4.00pm by professional artist Sue Pownall

At The Three Horseshoes, 74 Church Road, Fordham CO6 3NJ Craft-A-Noon Tea - 1st Thursday of every month 12.00 – 3.00pm Free to come along, meet other crafters, get advice/help on current projects and have fun. For more info call Emily: 07388 073555. (Future dates are Thursday 2 November, 7 December, 5 January 2018, 2 February, 2 March and 6 April).

Each one is a standalone workshop, yet can be combined with others to increase your knowledge. These courses are suitable for all abilities in a friendly working environment. Students should bring their own packed lunch. A small equipment list is provided. All workshops include demos, plus group and 1-to-1 tutoring. Pen and ink basics Saturday 24th February This one-day workshop introduces the techniques of line and hatching using fine liner pens.

What’s On continued over page

What’s On Further Pen and ink basics. Saturday 24th March This one-day workshop introduces the techniques of ink washes, hatching and stippling. Drawing trees in pencil. Saturday 28th April This one-day workshop starts in the surrounding countryside just minutes away from the hall, where drawings from life will be made. If raining, the whole workshop will run indoors.

is £50. Book 2 or more for discount price of £45 each. To book: Please send name, address, and workshop(s) required by email: studio@ or note (inc deposit): 6 The Waldegraves, Bures CO8 5EG.

Operation Turtle dove with Essex Wildlife Trust – Braintree Group

At St Andrew’s Church Hall, Parsonage Street, Halstead Saturday 13th January 2.00pm

Drink Draw event At The Victoria Inn, 10 North Station Rd, Colchester CO1 1RB Wednesday 22nd November 6.30pm - 8.30pm A DrinkDraw involves an evening in a pub, sketching whatever takes our fancy. Our drinks, each other, the pub... but still observational sketches. Turn up when you can, leave when you like, but please buy a drink to support the establishment. Everyone welcome regardless of experience. Bring sketchbooks and pencils, paints, crayons etc. £2 to participate.

Farmers Markets

Lavenham Farmers Market At The Village Hall, Lavenham Sunday 17th December at 10.00am - 1.30pm Contact Justine Paul 07704 627973

Colchester Farmers Market The Arts Centre, Colchester Friday 1st December at 9.30am - 12.30pm Contact Rowley Castiglione 01206 367776

Wivenhoe Farmers Market Congregational Hall, Wivenhoe Saturday 16th December and Saturday 20th January at 9.30am - 12.30 Contact Rowley Castiglione 01206 367776

Pen and wash. Saturday 26th May This one-day workshop introduces the techniques of using watercolour washes on a line drawing. Bookings are being taken now. Please book early as places are limited. Places can be secured with a nonrefundable deposit of £10, with the balance due one month before the start of the course. Each workshop

Emma Stobart of the RSPB will talk about this critically endangered bird and how the RSPB are working with farmers in the Halstead area to try to reverse their decline. No need to book. Suggested donation £3 payable on the day. Nonmembers very welcome. For more details, contact Tracey Kay 07742 294358 or

Sudbury Farmers Market Please note that some dates may be liable to change so for more information contact individual markets for details.

At St Peters Church, Sudbury Friday 15th December at 9.30am - 2.00pm Contact Justine Paul 07704 627973

The Connection has listed all the events in What’s On in good faith. We cannot accept responsibility for inaccuracies, changes to events or cancellations. It might be advisable to check with venues before attendance.

Feature your not for profit, village, community or charity events FREE OF CHARGE in our What’s On pages by emailing your listing to We also welcome details of slimming groups, keep fit classes, language courses, farmers markets, boot sales and regular clubs, groups and societies.

Christmas Workshops 2nd December 10-1 Christmas Door Wreath 10th December 10-1 Christmas Garland 16th December 10-1 Christmas Table Decoration All workshops include Mulled Wine and Mince Pies WEDDING




telephone 01376 563111 website Jades Flower Design /courses/christmas-courses


TREES MINIMUM NEEDLE DROP AND TRADITIONAL DIRECT FROM THE GROWER All sizes freshly lifted. Large selection in the yard. Or choose your own in the field. Prepared for your stand while you wait.

Bullbanks Farm Tel: 01206 212288 or 07860 235423



LAST RECOMMENDED SERVICE POSTING DATES INTERNATIONAL STANDARD (formerly Airmail) Saturday 2nd December Wednesday 6th December Thursday 7th December Saturday 9th December Wednesday 13th December Thursday 14th December Friday 15th December Saturday 16th December

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Luxury Private Hire Swimming Pool

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willow fences We specialise in weaving willow fences in situ. Our fences are tailormade to suit your Further information exact specification. please contact: Screens or fences, Angus Scobie curved or wall-mounted, 01787 227171 this organic material blends perfectly into all 07905 894869 natural environments. Whites Farm, Bures Road, White Colne, Colchester, Essex CO6 2QF

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Notice Board

It’s fun…It’s festive…. It’s Lights for Flights You can illuminate your home this Christmas and raise vital funds for your local Air Ambulance! Lights for Flights takes place over the festive period and it couldn’t be easier: dress up your home, work place, or school, and ask us for a collection tin. You can leave this somewhere safe outside your house or workplace so that people can drop donations – and admiration – in! Want to be part of the festive fun? Register your home or business on our website to receive ‘Flight for Lights’ fundraising pack and collection tin. Just visit https://

St Helena Hospice Tree of Memories

Christmas is a special time of year, but it can be difficult to deal with if someone you love is no longer there to share it with you. In the run-up to Christmas, St Helena Hospice is inviting people to remember a loved one and make a donation to support the hospice. Messages can be written on specially-prepared stars which are to be placed on a Christmas tree at one of the hospice’s Tree of Memories services. These will take place at the hospice’s Tendring Centre in Clacton on 3rd December, at St Botolph’s Church, Colchester on 12th December and at St Helena Hospice, Highwoods on 17th December. The gesture of decorating a tree in memory of a loved one has brought comfort to many local people over the years and the funds raised play a vital part in supporting the hospice’s services. Anyone unable to attend one of the services can write their message on a star and return it to St Helena Hospice, whose staff will place it on one of the trees. If you would like to attend one of the services or receive a star to write a memory on, contact the fundraising team on 01206 931468 or visit memories17

Nathan’s Extravaganza’ Charity Dinner and Dance

At Le Talbooth, Dedham, Colchester Friday 4th May 7.00pm - 1.00am The night starts with pre-dinner drinks and canapés, followed by an exquisite 2 course Barbecue dinner, live auction, raffle and dancing into the early hours. Tickets available now at an early bird offer of £55.00 per person (tables of 10) till 28th February. Thereafter the price will be £60.00. All monies raised goes directly to

The J’s Hospice, The Sick Children’s Trust and David Randall Foundation. All these charities have helped and supported the Cain family (who are local to Colchester) with their son Nathan. If you would like to buy tickets, make a donation or donate a prize, please contact Suzan at nathan.extravaganza@

St Helena Hospice Around The Clock Challenge 2018

Just complete 24 hours of physical activity between 1st and 31st January 2018! This challenge is perfect for anyone of any age and of any fitness level as participants can choose any physical activity to perform throughout the month. Participants can log their hours on an app or keep a paper log which they will receive in their information pack when they sign up. It’s quick and easy to get involved: choose your own activities, record each hour, get sponsored and support hospice care! £10 entry per person with a suggested minimum sponsorship of £24. Register online at: http://www.

Bring the magic of reading to a child in your community

Life is better when everyone can read well and express themselves confidently. However, low levels of literacy persist both nationally and locally. Beanstalk charity transforms children’s life chances by supporting volunteers to work in primary schools with children who are struggling with reading. Beanstalk is searching for members of the community around Sudbury to help children in local primary schools. A Beanstalk volunteer then works in the school supporting three children and sees each child for two 30 minute sessions a week, during term-time, for at least one academic year. With Beanstalk’s support the child’s approach to learning and enjoyment of reading is transformed.

Beanstalk sessions are relaxed, informal and fun. Reading helpers are given resources to meet children’s interests and play games together so they develop reading skills and wider language acquisition. No experience or education qualifications are necessary. Beanstalk provides training and ongoing support. For more information or to apply, please visit the website at www. or call Beanstalk on 0845 450 0301.


Beauty Christmas Gifts

by Kate Duggan It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a few ‘smellies’ under the tree. If you’re stuck for the perfect giftset this christmas, look no further. for tHe IntrepId traveller Whether she’s constantly jetting off on mini-breaks, or just pulls the tent out at the slightest opportunity, treat her to Elemis’ The Adventuress set. The six travel-friendly bestsellers include Ultra-Rich Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream (which smells amazing) and Smart Cleanse Micellar Water. You also get a case to keep them in. The products are worth £86, so the giftset is pretty good value at £54 from for tHe Man In yoUr lIfe Origins Men’s Grooming Treats looks to be a good buy. For £40 you get the Blade Runner shave cream, Save the Males moisturiser, Modern Friction exfoliating cream and Clear Improvement charcoal body wash. All the products are between 50ml and 150ml, and you’re saving over £15 on the cost of buying them separately. Plus you get a free wash bag. The shave cream in particular is sure to good, prove a hit. It smells soothes irritation, helps to avoid nicks and leaves skin feeling moisturised. See www. for tHe green goddess Optiat’s founders decided they wanted to do something about the amount of used coffee grounds that are discarded every year. So they started buying the grounds and turning them


into luxurious face and body scrubs. Now Optiat has several ranges, all featuring at least one ingredient that would otherwise go to waste. The 100% natural soaps include antioxidant-rich chai spices. The soaps are very gentle and help to boost circulation and leave skin feeling smoother. They’re also crueltyfree, vegan and organic. Individually, the soaps cost £6.95 each, but you could treat your ecoconscious friend to all five with the soap Block collection for £29.95 from for tHe perfectIonIst clarins have some fantastic giftsets out this Christmas. It’s hard to choose just one, but the precious lip collection (£20) is pretty high on the list. Four miniature lip products are included: Joli Rouge lipstick in 742, Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Honey and two Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors. They’re all very wearable colours, and you save over £11. Plus you get the obligatory free makeup bag, making it a really attractive little giftset. See for BUsy MUMs and WorkaHolIcs Rest Lavender Bath Salts by Neal’s Yard remedies should go down a treat. Made with French sea salt and organic lavender essential oil, the bath salts help to draw out toxins, calm the mind and aid sleep. They come in a pretty little drawstring bag and you also get a wooden scoop. It’s £15, from for lUxUry stockIng fIllers Sets that can be split into individual presents usually work out better value than buying separate gifts. Pacifica’s Mini Body Butters giftset is £28.99, so less than £6 per tube. Each butter is richly scented and packed with skinloving natural ingredients such as cocoa butter, aloe vera and jojoba oil. See www.naturisimo. com.

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St Helena Hospice Christmas TreeCycle 2018

If you are planning to buy a real Christmas tree this year, but you’re unsure what to do with it when it’s time to take the decorations down, St Helena Hospice can

help. Working in partnership with Colchester Borough Council the hospice, which supports local people living with life-limiting illness, is again offering a recycling service for supporters with real Christmas trees. On Saturday January 6th a team of volunteers will collect trees from homes in postcode areas CO1 to CO9. This year the scheme will also include CO13, thanks to support from Parkers Garden Company, Frinton. Christmas Tree-Cycle is a practical way for local people to help the hospice continue to provide support to families and patients. The hospice welcomes a suggested donation of £7.50 per tree. Sarah Wilson, Corporate Relationships Manager at St Helena Hospice said: “We’re really pleased to have the support from Colchester Borough Council again this year to provide the collection. We are also thankful to Parkers Garden Company in Frinton for supporting the collection in the CO13 area. “The help from Parkers means we are able to collect in a wider area offering the service to more of our supporters. Last year we raised an incredible £12,000 and we hope to raise even more this year. The Collection relies solely on volunteers and van owners to support the collection itself.” To register for the collection please visit or call the fundraising team on 01206 931468. Anyone able to provide a van, or help with collecting trees on January 6th should use the same number or email or swilson@


Monday evening 6.30-8pm £7.00 Christchurch, Upstairs Hall, Coggeshall. A drop-in class, suitable for beginners, returners and experienced. If you’re interested in coming along and would like any further info, please contact Judy:

01376 564121 or 07710 281722


Quick Crossword Across 7. Light wind (6) 8. Add up (6) 9. Not pretty (4) 10. Take away (8) 11. Tenth month (7) 13. Deprived (5) 15. Two times (5) 17. Remaining (7) 20. Booklet (8) 21. Assists (4) 22. Floats (6) 23. Unlocked (6)

Down 1. Horrendous (6) 2. Refute (4) 3. Childhood illness (7) 4. Investigate (5) 5. Barely (8) 6. Coerced (6) 12. Engaged (8) 14. Stopping place (7)

16. Gun or knife (6) 18. Bowed (6)

19. Nearby (5) 21. Pinnacle (4) Solution on page 34


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Renovation Loft Conversions Garden Rooms Bathroom Refits Driveways Fencing & Gates

Extensions Conservatory’s Kitchen Refurbs Windows Patios Fully Insured

For a Quote & Quality Service

01376 563055 07850 239373

A Golden Celebration for Dedham Arts Group The beautiful interior of Dedham Parish Church provided a splendid setting for Dedham Arts Group’s 50th Anniversary Exhibition, held in support of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH). From the Official Opening by the Group’s Chair, Angella Horner FRSA, to the presentation of prizes by the guest of honour, Lady Ruggles-Brise DL, on the last day, there was a steady stream of visitors and a very special atmosphere. The high standard of the artwork was admired and visitors were able to vote for their favourite painting. The winner was Helen Morgans, with her delightful painting (pictured below) “Sharing a Secret”. Helen received a prize and a magnificent Trophy presented by Lady Ruggles-Brise. The kindness and generosity displayed by visitors to the Exhibition resulted in £2,500 being raised for EACH through the sale of artwork and tickets for the Prize Draw. With a rapidly growing membership, the future looks bright for the Group, to be re-named Dedham Art Society from January 2018. For those interested, further information can be found at www.dedhamartsociety.

Magazine Distributors Required

Like walking? Get paid to exercise! We are looking for adult, mobile distributors for all our distribution areas to join our existing excellent team to deliver either on a permanent regular basis, or on a parttime basis for holiday and sickness cover. Villages include, West Bergholt, Eight Ash Green, Fordham, Fordham Heath, Pebmarsh, Bures, Colne Engaine, White Colne, Earls Colne, Coggeshall, Kelvedon and Feering. Please register your interest by emailing;


Codeword Each letter in this puzzle is represented by a different number between 1 and 26. The codes for three letters are shown. Once you have filled these throughout the grid you can start guessing words and reveal other letters. As you find the letters enter them in the box below.

Solution on page 34

� � � � � � � � � � � � � �

New builds and domestic properties Commercial Retail Nest thermostat certified installer PAT testing Fixed wire testing Fault finding New installs Central heating fault finding Fuseboard upgrades Domestic Smoke alarms Security and CCTV Under floor heating Fire alarm installation and Testing T. 01206 580363 E.


Non caustic Biodegradable products Fully Insured Trading standards approved and all technicians are CRB checked Trading since 2005 We clean all makes of cookers inc. Aga’s, Ranges, Rayburn, Microwaves, BBQ, also clean Extractor Fans and Hobs, Fridges, Freezers and Dishwashers. Clean includes shelves, loose panels, grill pans and roasting trays supplied with the oven. We dismantle and clean inside the glass on your oven doors, remove and clean behind control knobs (where possible). We also carry some spares such as hinges and door seals and carry replacement lamps to suit most ovens.

Contact Essex Ovencleaners

Telephone: 01245 451 003 Mobile: 07816 762 869 Email:

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Salmon & Monkfish Filo Wreath Serves 6 Serves 4

Ready in 1 hour 30 minutes, plus chilling time

This festive wreath makes a great alternative to traditional roast turkey and can be prepared in advance the night before. Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • •

Use the sunflower oil to grease a 1.2 litre capacity ring mould, then line the mould with cling film. Brush the sheets of pastry one by one with melted butter and use nearly all of them to line the ring mould. Overlap the pastry sheets slightly as you go and repeat the layers 3-4 times. Leave the excess pastry to drape over the side of the mould. Mix the salmon, monkfish and prawns in a large bowl and stir in the lemon juice and chopped dill. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon the fish mixture into the pastrylined mould, pressing down gently. Fold the excess pastry in over the filling and top with more buttered sheets of pastry, cutting them to fit and completely cover the filling. Stamp small star shapes out of any remaining sheets of buttered pastry and place on a plate.

Sunflower oil, for greasing 100g butter, melted 270g pack filo pastry, thawed if frozen 450g salmon fillet, skinned and diced 450g monkfish fillet, skinned and diced 225g cooked peeled tiger prawns 2 tbsp lemon juice 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill Salt and freshly ground black pepper Lemon wedges and dill sprigs, to garnish


Cover the ring mould and the plate with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour (or overnight). Carefully invert the ring mould onto a large baking sheet and then remove the mould and the cling film. Re-melt any remaining butter and brush all over the pastry.


Bake in a preheated oven at 190C/fan 170C/ Gas Mark 5 for 40-45 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Bake the pastry stars on a separate baking sheet for 5 minutes until golden.


Allow the wreath to stand for 5 minutes then transfer to a serving platter and decorate with the pastry stars. Garnish with lemon wedges and dill sprigs.

TIP Filo pastry sheets can vary in size so simply cut to fit. Don’t worry if they tear, just place another piece of buttered pastry on top to cover the tear.


Seventy Years of Marriage The Queen and Prince Philip but, unsurprisingly, he was courting older girls. However, he visited Windsor often and was entranced by the family feeling of Christmas there with Elizabeth in 1943, which his own life so lacked.

On 20th November, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip celebrate seventy years of marriage (the longest of any British monarch). We look back over their 75-year romance. a QUeen In WaItIng and a HandsoMe prInce Born on 21st April 1926 to Albert and Elizabeth, the Duke and Duchess of York, Princess Elizabeth became heir to the throne when her uncle’s abdication in 1936 made her father King George VI. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born on 10 June 1921 to Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg. An oftentragic childhood was spent in exile with relatives, mainly in England without his parents. His mother was taken to an asylum when he was nine. After boarding school, he joined the Royal Navy and served during WWII. Elizabeth and Philip first met at a royal wedding in 1934, but in 1939 Philip gave 13-yearold Elizabeth a tour around Dartmouth Naval College. She was instantly smitten


an UnsUItaBle Boy? After his posting home in January 1946, Philip regularly visited Buckingham Palace, carrying a picture of Elizabeth in his bag while she made noticeably more fuss about her appearance! In a letter, Philip wrote that he had “fallen in love completely and unreservedly.” But despite Philip’s loyal service and royal connections, the courtship wasn’t welcomed by all. Philip didn’t have the ‘right’ education, clothes or money - and had sisters married to Nazis. However, Philip’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten, worked to change popular opinion. When Philip proposed in summer 1946, the King consented but insisted on delaying the official announcement until Elizabeth turned 21. Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles and was merely Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten on their official engagement in July 1947. Before the wedding, however, he was made Duke of Edinburgh, with Elizabeth becoming Duchess on their marriage. MarrIed lIfe Elizabeth and Philip married at Westminster Abbey on 20th November 1947. A year later their son Charles arrived,

followed by Anne in 1950. But family life was soon disrupted. In February 1953, Philip broke news of the King’s death to Elizabeth while in Kenya, and abandoned his naval career to support her in her new role. They moved to Buckingham Palace and Elizabeth was crowned on 5th June 1953 at Westminster Abbey, watched by millions on TV. Andrew and Edward, born in 1960 and 1964 respectively, completed their family. golden years Throughout the years, they have continued to show affection and support for each other, enjoying the ups (jubilees, the arrival of grandchildren and greatgrandchildren) and weathering the downs (long separations from their children, family scandals and divorces, fires; their ‘annus horribilis’). In a thoughtful gesture, the Queen gave her husband the title of Lord High Admiral, titular head of the Royal Navy, when he turned 90. “Their marriage is a true love story,’’ said former Buckingham Palace press secretary Dickie Arbiter. On their Golden Wedding anniversary in 1997, they paid touching tributes to each other. “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years,” said the Queen. “Tolerance is the one essential ingredient in any happy marriage,” said Prince Philip. “The Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”

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An established Arborist & Tree Surgery Company based on the Essex/Suffolk borders FULLY INSURED AND N.P.T.C. QUALIFIED Tree Felling, Reductions, Pollarding, Thinning Crown Cleaning and Hedge Trimming Tom has over 15 years experience working as a professional arborist. Please call Tom Veater regarding any enquiries or for a free quote

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Sudoku Competition

How to play

Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3 x 3 box contains the digits 1 to 9, with no repetition! That’s all there is to it. You solve the puzzle with reasoning and logic - there’s no maths involved and no adding up.

WIN £25 Fill in and cut out and send to: Sarah Banks, The Connection, Applegarth, Whitestreet Green Boxford, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 5JL The first correct entry out of the hat will win the prize.

Closing date 5th January 2018

Lady Interior Decorator

Fully qualified, certified & insured. No job too small - just give us a call!

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Property and Garden Maintenance Colchester Workhorse Paul Richardson



Colchester Workhorse Paul Richardson

Gardening Grass Cutting Tree Topping Hedge Cutting Small Garden Walls Fish Ponds Sand & Ballast Deliveries HGV Tractor Driving

Lawn Mowers Serviced Including Ride-on Mowers Collection Service Available


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Brick & Block Work Rendering - Welding Punctures Mended Concreting - Fencing

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MDJ Landscapes Contract Grasscutting & Care, Hedging, Rotavating, Fencing, Turfing, Powerwashing, Weed control and all Grounds Maintenance

FREE ESTIMATES from Mark on 01787 220 396 07908 722 884

• Landscaping • Construc�on Based in Mount Bures, we work throughout Essex and Suffolk in all areas of hard and so� landscaping. Any size job welcome, call Mark for your free, personal quote.

Hedge and Tree Plan�ng Fencing and Gate Installa�on Brick Walls and Pa�os Tree Felling and Pruning Turf Laying and Decking 07742 696766

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Spot the Difference

Quick Crossword

There are ten differences - can you find them?


Tel: 01206 564885 The Studio Brickstables House Halstead Road Colchester CO3 0JU 1.Pocket 2.Bag Pattern 3.Boot Colour 4.Eyebrow 5.Jeans button 6.Phone 7. Eyes 8. Skateboard 9.umbrella 10.clouds

Spot the Difference

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Get your skates on!

Whether it’s for a bit of festive romance, frolics with friends or some family fun, skating on one of the many outdoor rinks in the UK is an essential winter experience, and a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. Over recent years, more and more ‘Winter Wonderlands’ have been opening up, transforming grey city centres and parks into fairytales with colourful lights, giant Christmas trees and carols. There’s plenty to d ofor all ages: cafes, markets and fairs accompany most rinks, and special sessions are available on the ice for beginners, tots and the over 55s. All you need to have a go is some long socks, gloves, a hat and a warm waterproof jacket – and extra padding is also good for those finding their feet (or blades!)

Who can go?

You don’t need to be Torvill or Dean to enjoy a little outdoor skating, but if you are taking children, it helps to have some experience on the ice as most rinks insist that under 10s are accompanied by an adult. If you’re thinking of taking a little one along, do check the rink’s minimum age beforehand and ensure that the venue stocks skates in their size. Some operate mother and toddler sessions and those with disabilities are often welcome, with wheelchair access straight onto the ice – but do make sure you book ahead. Many ice rinks offer discounted family and group tickets and for those who don’t wish to partake in the activity, there’s nearly always a cafe on the sidelines from which you can enjoy the skating with a mince pie or hot chocolate.

When to go?

Most are open throughout the Christmas period, but it’s well worth trying to get down mid-week for a quieter session. All rinks are closed on Christmas day, but do check individual websites for details.

The best rinks in the UK The Eden Project, Cornwall

Although not strictly an outdoor ice rink, this covered venue adds a whole new dimension to the must-see attraction. Skating lessons are available for beginners and 2 for 1 offers present

fantastic value. This rink is very child-friendly with parent and child sessions and special ice time for the under 5s. Open until: February 18th Admission: £7 (adults), £6 (children), £24 (family) for a 40minute session, plus standard entry fee (£27.50 for adults; £14 for children) For more information, visit o rcall 01726 811911

Somerset House, London

London has eight ice rinks in dazzling locations including the Natural History Museum, Hampton Court and Kew Gardens, but this one tops the lot in terms of glamour. New for 2017 are Skate Lates, a specially curated programme of music nights throughout the season. Treat yourself at Fortnum’s Lodge with Skate Extras – delicious edible treats designed for two to share - or watch the action rink-side from the Skate Lounge. The West Wing will once again transform into Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade. Open from November 15th until January 14th Admission: One-hour session costs from £7.50 + booking fee and transaction charge. Booking is recommended, with Ticketmaster (www.; 0844 847 1576) For more information, visit or call 020 7845 4600

Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire

Situated in front of the Situated fantastic gothic cathedral and amidst a large German-style Christmas market, Winchester’s rink has skating, mulled wine and strudels on offer. There’s so much going on in this beautiful city, including concerts and parades, that you can easily make a day of it. Open from November 20th until January 7th Admission: £11.50 for adults, £9.50 for children For more information, call 01962 857275 or visit www.

Edinburgh’s Christmas, Scotland

One of Europe’s largest, Edinburgh’s open-air ice rink is a spectacular winter attraction in a stunning setting beneath the Castle, the Old Town and Edinburgh’s Christmas lights. Skate beneath the stars, enjoy mulled wine or food and enjoy a festive season of live music, entertainment and Christmas cheer. Open until: 6th January Admission: Adults £12.50, children £8 For more information, visit www.edinburghschristmas. com o rcall 0131 510 0395


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Country Mutters Christmas Present... I knew it was inevitable that one day my children would insist on leaving the nest. This year it has come to pass that Eldest Son is currently residing on the other side of the world and so there will be one less place at the Christmas table this year. A chill wind blows as I look into the future, along with the challenging prospect of Husband and myself looking at each other myopically across the table half-heartedly pulling crackers, wondering where the last 40 years went and having to actually talk to each other again. Because by then our only companions will be a toothless and incontinent feral beast and the carcass of a turkey large enough to feed 6 people for 3 days. There’ll be no-one to help me untangle the Christmas tree lights, no-one to help make snowmen icing decorations that look like victims of a global warming disaster. Trivial pursuit feels a bit, well trivial when there’s only 2 players. And what more forelorn sight than a Quality St tin full of orange creams and coconut eclairs missing their rightful owners? Too late I begin to see the point of having a large number of children because by the time the youngest one leaves home the oldest might well be producing grandchildren to entertain you, if you’ve timed it right. We did have a good few years together before children came along. What were Christmases like then? Eating and drinking,

By Lady Muck

going to parties, sleeping. The eating and drinking bit I’ve pretty well mastered now and as for parties - who wants to venture outside into the cold and d ark once you’ve got settled in front of the fire? And when you get to a certain age people at parties just seem to want to talk about cars and pension plans. That leaves sleeping then. What shall I do while Husband is having his post lunch snooze? Have a post lunch snooze myself I suppose – let’s hope we wake up in time for Morecambe and Wise. And how long will it be before we decide that actually a frozen turkey roll is much easier because ‘it’s only the two of us’? It’s a slippery slope which ends in spooning down a TV dinner watching the Queen’s Speech dressed in slankets and electrically heated his and hers Big Slippers. I see why people of a certain age ignore Christmas completely and jet off to Mauritius for the season but we won’t be able to afford that, not having paid enough attention to boring old people talking about their pension plans at parties. So what’s to be done to get through Christmas? I could build a yurt in the back garden and hide away, write that bestseller or set up a soup kitchen to use up all that damned turkey. Or I can count my blessings and embrace every last sentimental, over-commercialised tinsel stuffed minute of it as I sweat my way round over-heated department stores, sob over ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and smile the 500th time I hear Noddy Holder’s eldritch screech ‘It’s Christmassss!’ I may even find time to share a festive eggnog with Husband. Merry Christmas everyone.


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Connection December/January 2018  

A seasonal issue with something for everyone! Gift ideas, recipes, beauty and lots of events to choose from in our extensive What's On pages...

Connection December/January 2018  

A seasonal issue with something for everyone! Gift ideas, recipes, beauty and lots of events to choose from in our extensive What's On pages...