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Dec/Jan 17 Issue 73

connection magazine Inside this issue...

What’s On Seasonal Recipes The Hygge Movement A Village Christmas Puzzles Book Reviews The Hot Honey Toddy Finance - The Best Options for Saving Gardening - Fighting the Frost

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, Nayland, and Waitrose in Colchester.

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Hello Worldwide the last few weeks have been pretty surprising and there’s been no

escaping the news and the political events happening across the pond. However, we can escape the bad news stories , switch off the TV and computer and embrace what the Danish call ‘Hygge’. It’s a way of life over there and it’s not to be sniffed at! In a nutshell, it’s about comfort, nesting, appreciating the things and people we love and staying ‘present’. I like the sound of it and we have more on Hygge on page 14. As well as staying ‘present’ I’d encourage staying local. We have several shops and businesses in our villages and so we don’t necessarily have to travel too far away for those special gifts for our loved ones do we? As usual we have lots of local events in the What’s On pages, and we have ideas from local countryside blogger and bee keeper Ella Martin on what to do with honey. Ella has supplied me with pots of her wonderful honey for all my lovely distribution team as part of their Christmas gift from me. On the subject of distribution, we’re looking for people to deliver in Kelvedon and Feering and if you’re wanting to get fit in 2017 - now’s your chance -please do get in touch! Finally I’d like to wish all our advertisers, distributors, contributors and readers a very happy Christmas!


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

Inside 4 - Interiors 6, 8,30 - Recipes 12 - Country Mutters 14 - Hygge 15 -17 Village Christmas 18 - 23 What’s On 26 - Book Review 28 - Notice Board 32 - Finance 34 - Gardening 38 - Crossword 36 - Sudoku 40 - Spot the Difference 43 - Puzzle Solutions 44 - Useful Numbers 45 - Christmas Postal Dates 46 - Index

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

01787 210701 or email:

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.

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Next issue: February/March 2017 Publication date 26th January 2017

Deadline date for advertising: 13th January Deadline date for What’s On entries : 13th January

Delivered to over 20 villages See map on page 46

Home & Interiors Declutter for the New Year holding onto things that you really need and/or love.

What could be a better New Year’s resolution for your home than to eliminate mess, create space and generally have a good sort out? If too much mess and clobber has built up in your home over the past year, then it’s time to declutter your stuff and sort your storage, so that your home will be mess-free and super-stylish in time for 2017. First, grab some rubbish bags and a few boxes or baskets. Work methodically through each room and sort out obvious rubbish, things that can go to a local charity shop, items that could be sold second-hand, anything that needs mending, little-used things that can be put away in the garage or loft, and genuinely great stuff that you want to keep. Try to get rid of as much as possible, only


With what’s left, it’s now time to work out where it will go. Label your storage if necessary, and make sure the whole family knows what’s meant to go where. If you still need extra storage after your clear-out, look for all the areas where you could fit more in, whether built-in or free-standing: from backs of doors to under the stairs, tops of wardrobes to under the bed. Think racks, hooks and shelves as well as conventional cabinets and chests of drawers and, where possible, ensure they coordinate with existing furniture. You can also relocate some storage; for example by adding a storage unit in the living room to avoid having to tidy toys away upstairs every day. There are a few rules of storage that might be helpful. First, store like with like and match the size and shape of the container to what’s being kept inside (in other words, find small, lidded boxes for things like Lego and big squishy baskets for teddy bears). Store as much as possible near to where it’s most needed, but don’t store frequently used items below knee level or above shoulder height, especially if they’re heavy. Avoid storing things on surfaces such as tables or desks, and allow yourself

By Katherine Sorrell room to expand – but only within reason. If you have allowed extra space, and then filled it… it’s time to start all over again. Easy ways to banish clutter • Write a list of where you want to declutter.

• Have an intensive declutter workout and spend five minutes clearing as much as you can in one area. You’ll be amazed at the difference you can make. Repeat as often as you can. • Hang your clothes up with the hooks all facing one way, and only turn the hook the other way when you wear something. After, say, six months, you can easily assess which items you never wear. You could try the same idea in the kitchen (turn mug handles in one direction, put glasses upside down, and so on), the playroom, the living room…

• Make it a family competition with prizes. Who will be the fastest to find three things to throw away, three things to give away and three things to tidy away? • If what you need is some emergency decluttering, pop everything into a big box and hide it somewhere until you have time to go through it properly.

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Pepper & Turkey

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Serves 4

Ready in 1 hour 15 minutes

This is a tasty and healthy post-Christmas day family supper and a great way to use up leftover roast turkey.

Ingredients: • 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes, scrubbed • 2tbsp olive oil

• 1 red onion, peeled and chopped

• 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced

• 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced

• 225g cooked turkey breast, diced • 1 x 230g tub fresh tomato salsa

Just before the potatoes are ready, heat half the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 6-7 minutes until tender, adding the garlic after 5 minutes. Add the peppers and turkey and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp of the tomato salsa and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Halve the baked sweet potatoes and roughly mash up the flesh with a fork. Season lightly and drizzle over half the remaining oil, then pile the turkey and pepper mixture on top of the halves. Scatter over the cheese and drizzle over the rest of the oil. Return to the oven for 10-12 minutes until the cheese has melted.

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serve with chopped avocado and lime wedges and sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley. Spoon the rest of the salsa into a small bowl and serve on the side.

• Chopped avocado, lime wedges and freshly chopped parsley, to serve


• 100g Cheddar cheese, grated


Preheat the oven to 200C, Fan 180C, Gas Mark 6. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and place on a baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until tender.

For a vegetarian version replace the turkey with halved chestnut mushrooms or diced aubergine or courgette and use vegetarian Cheddar cheese.

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Show me the Honey The long winter evenings have well and truly set in. There’s nothing quite like nesting on a cold night surrounded by your home comforts, with a warm drink in your hand. Honey is most commonly associated to pairing with your morning toast or crumpet and whilst this is a more than delicious way to start the day, Ella Martin of Lodge Farm is here to tell us this glorious local pot of honey can be consumed in so many different ways.

The Hot Honey Toddy • 25ml Hayman’s gin • 100ml hot water • Half a miniature jar of Lodge Farm Honey • Quarter of an orange - squeezed • 2 cloves • 3 Cardamon pods • Garnish - orange twist, star anise and cinnamon stick 1. In a measuring jug, combine ingredients (leaving the gin until last) and stir. 2. Strain into a vessel of your choice and garnish with an orange twist, star anise and cinnamon stick. Snuggle down on the sofa and enjoy! This recipe was created in collaboration with The Craft Drinks Company – a bespoke mobile cocktail bar based in Essex. To find out more visit or follow them on Instagram @craftdrinks.


Bee well with Lodge Farm honey Keep the winter sniffles at bay with our warming honey and ginger drink. Consume as soon as you feel the first signs of a cold coming. The fresh ginger has anti-inflammatory properties whilst the honey can work as a natural antibiotic. Both the lemon and mint provide antibacterial properties combining a dream team in a cup! Ingredients One tablespoon of Lodge Farm honey Juice of one lemon Small chunk of ginger, grated A few mint leaves Combine the honey, lemon juice and ginger into a paste mixing with a little cold water in a mug. Add hot water and mix well. Sprinkle in the fresh mint and drink.

The bees arrived at the farm in Colne Engaine last year, and this season we are celebrating our first honey harvest. Local small-batch, handpoured honey. With minimal cold-filtering, the honey isn’t heat processed meaning all the pollens are present and none of the enzymes or sugars are denigrated. Virtually straight from the hive to jar. To find our more or to purchase a jar find us on Facebook @ lodgefarmessex or Instagram @lodge_farm_ essex. Try out our warming Winter honey cocktail using local brand Haymans gin and a mixture of comforting spices.

Ella Martin

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Country Mutters Santa Claws...

By Lady Muck

Ah – not long to go now before the arrival of the Christmas guests. Old ones, young ones, in-between ones, all with their own set of foibles and strange customs. No sooner have they parked their bags than they start to look around expectantly and announce, ‘Oh we always open our presents on Christmas Eve’. That sort of nonsense needs knocking on the head very quickly. I point out firmly that we are usually to be found still wrapping our presents on Christmas Eve actually. The rest of the time is allocated to arguing whether Brussels sprouts should have crosses cut into their bottoms or not and hastily fashioning cheerful penguins out of fondant icing to adorn the top of the Christmas cake. It’s a funny thing, but by the morning the penguins always seem to have transformed into cross-eyed trolls sliding around at precarious angles on still wet icing. It has been suggested that their appearance may have something to do with an overindulgence in festive eggnog but I absolutely refute that. There’s nothing like a guest to highlight your alcohol consumption. It’s downright disconcerting to have your eldest sons student friends looking at you sideways as you top up your Cava. Mind you, it works both ways. I remember the Great Aunt Hilda debacle one Christmas. We couldn’t understand why, in spite of abstemiously refusing every offer of a drink, my redoubtable Aunt showed every sign of getting steadily more befuddled throughout the day until my youngest son, then a nosy toddler, was discovered quietly rummaging in her handbag just as he pulled out a bottle of sherry three quarters empty. Turned out those frequent trips to the loo were merely a cover for private swigging. So much for all that genteel behavior and pursed lips.


Of course, all the excess alcohol requires an excess of food to soak it up. I start cooking on December 1st and don’t really stop until the New Year. Even the pickiest eater doesn’t stand a chance because there’s always something to munch on every way they turn. I produce vast platters of food every 2 hours, force-feeding my guests so that by the time they leave they get out of breath booking their detox sessions on their smartphones. But worst of all are those guests of a nervous disposition. Our cat, aka The Feral Beast, is naturally deeply upset by all the strange people in the house and takes to hiding in obscure places. I suppose it is fairly alarming to someone airily humming a Christmas ditty while innocently searching for a towel in the airing cupboard to suddenly put their hands on a furry thing with razor claws. And while the guest is gulping a stiff one while their heart rate returns to normal, I’m thinking it could have been a lot worse. The house is usually kept well stocked with an assortment of decapitated rabbits, shell-shocked mice and limping shrews thoughtfully provided by The Feral Beast, but it wasn’t so very long ago that I found a snake wandering around the bathroom. Enough to bring on a hissy fit in anyone! Merry Christmas everyone.

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Hygge – not just for Christmas! Hygge, a Danish word with a tricky translation, the easiest of which is ‘cosiness’, is the latest Scandinavian import to have captured our imagination. And what timing – the idea seems to be synonymous with how we like to spend Christmas. And so the shops are full of hygge inspired merchandise; fluffy socks, warm throws and scented candles to help create our own haven of warmth and comfort. Undeniably appealing, it conjures up the perfect image of hunkering down for the winter in front of a log fire with an evening of pure indulgence stretching ahead. And yet there’s more to it than physical comfort. Hygge (pronounced ‘hue-ga’) also includes a wider concept of creating warmth, connection and well-being. It encourages mindfulness – taking time to appreciate the everyday rituals and the little things which root us in the present and give us pleasure. Settling down into a deep bath at the end of a long day, sharing a meal with friends, watching sunlight catch on frosted spiders webs – anything which inspires a personal meaningful response. Hygge reminds us to recognise those moments which feed our souls and enourages us to nurture ourselves. As Denmark frequently tops world happiness rankings, maybe there’s a lot to recommend it. There are many publications hitting the book shops now about how to find happiness the Danish way.


And unlike most ‘lifestyle bibles,’ where ‘being good to yourself’ usually means self-denial and exercise routines, hygge does not have any hard and fast rules and you don’t have to abstain from anything in order to feel better. It’s difficult not to like a philosophy which actively encourages you to treat yourself to cake and cocoa. Many of us share a suspicion that we’re hurtling through life, in a constant pursuit of happiness with no real idea of what that word means. Maybe we all need to stop and smell the roses, to take a look around us and appreciate the people we love, to cherish those things we own which genuinely give us pleasure and let go the rest. Our most vivid memories are created from when we are most ‘in the moment’ with our senses fully engaged in the experience as it happens. The Christmas ritual of giving and receiving connects us to the people closest to us – what better time to embrace a new spirit of hygge?

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A Village Christmas!

Earls Colne

Before we all reach for the online shopping option, let’s celebrate our villages and the shops and restaurants that are on our doorstep. Our villages have quite a diverse range of options for gifts, whether you’re buying a token gift or looking for something more extravagant for a loved one.

Earls Colne




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Situated on the High Street, Ziel is a gem of a gift shop! Affordable enough for Secret Santa’s, stocking fillers and teacher’s presents but equally special enough for bigger gifts too. This Aladdin’s Cave has something for everyone. For children: Jellycat softies, wooden toys, advent calendars and puzzles. For adults there’s St Eval candles made in Cornwall, Busy Bee stationery and Gin &Tonic hand cream from Cumbrian based Bath House. Also, UK made Sam Wilson kitchen accessories, Rachel Ellen tinware and Gisela Graham giftware. All with FREE gift wrapping ! The Old Forge, 39 High Street, Earls Colne CO6 2PA Monday-Saturday 10am – 5.30pm facebook: zielearlscolne Website :



For everything floral this Christmas come to Blooming Girls, your village Florist. A bespoke Wreath for your front door in lush foliage trimmed to match your theme. Swags and Garlands are also available as well as a shop full of the best seasonal flowers for arrangements and beautiful bouquets. Local delivery is always available. Call Sally and Christabel on 01787 221936 for ideas to make your Christmas magical.

Wakes Colne


e Colchester Brewery

The Colchester Brewery based at Wakes Colne are having two Brewery Open Days on the 3rd and 10th December. It’s free entry, beer tastings and brewery tours too. There will be BBQ bites, soft drinks, tea and coffee. There will be special discounts on the day for take home beers and bottle gift packs. Details are on the website about ordering in time for free Christmas deliveries . They sell poly-pin’s - 35 pints for £65 and demi-pin’s - 17 pints for £32.50. Ideal for parties. If you wish to order, they will need a couple of days notice. Viaduct Brewhouse, Wakes Hall Business Centre, Wakes Colne, CO6 2DY Phone 01787 829422 Open Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm


Two grandfathers have combined 150 years of experience to entertain and amuse in producing this alphabet. Suitable for adults and children! Available from Ziel in Earls Colne.

Places to eat The Lion in Earls Colne Tel: 01787 226823 The Five Bells in Colne Engaine Tel: 01787 224166 The Swan in Chappel Tel: 01787 222353 The Thatchers in Mount Bures Tel: 01787 227460

What’s On in Earls Colne


Tuesday 13th December - 4pm - 6.30pm

Earls Colne High Street Open Evening - featuring Santa’s Trail and Santa’s Grotto 15 6.30pm - St Andrews Church Earls Colne, Village Carol Service and Torchlight


Procession to the Baptist Church

A Village Christmas!


Little White Box



Coggeshall and Earls Colne




Having been established for thirty two years in Coggeshall and twenty years in Earls Colne, both lovely villages, Ricksu Hairdresserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s friendly team members have had the pleasure of styling customers hair for parties and family get togethers for many Christmas holidays, a time when we all want to look our best. Hair care products and hair styling vouchers make wonderful presents for your friends and family, there`s nothing quite like the gift of glamour. Tel: 01376 562160 Tel: 01787 224437


Interiors and Home Accessories. They have expanded their Christmas accessories over three rooms this year, offering you their biggest ever collection. They have a wide selection of tasteful tree ornaments, light up table decorations, throws, cushions and everything is reasonably priced. Their room sets give you plenty of ideas on how to recreate the look in your own home. Little White Box ,1, Market Hill, Coggeshall. Tel: 01376 564015



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If you need a break or are meeting friends, the Clockhouse is a great little place. Following its refurbishment earlier in the year, it has a really cosy feeling with its twinkly Christmas lights and low beamed interior. The food is good too! Whether you want just a scone, lunch or tapas in the evening, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plenty to choose from. The Clockhouse is open 7 days.

Jades Flower Design



Based in Coggeshall, Beverley Nichols, proprietor of Jades Flower Design offers a wide range of courses which would make an ideal Christmas present for any keen flower arranger. Beverley has over 25 years experience in the floral industry. Seasonal, wedding and Christmas workshops available . Gift vouchers can be bought. Details of all her course schedule, including Christmas workshops can be found on the website. Jades Flower Design also make Christmas garlands, wreaths and table decorations to order. Tel: 01376 563111 Email;


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Happy Christmas!

e e e




We think you’d be surprised by their range of stock. They have gifts for Him and for Her. As well as all the things you’d expect to find in a well stocked hardware store including a wide range of DIY equipment and gardening tools, they also stock quirky gifts and ornaments, Christmas decorations, lights, batteries, light bulbs, cleaning products, kettles, toasters, pots and pans, cooking equipment, log baskets and fireside accessories. Open 7 days a week including bank holidays, so they’re always there when you need them. Go and have a browse around their shops, they’re in the High Street in Earls Colne Tel: 01787 224851 and on Doubleday Corner in Coggeshall Tel: 01376 566950





If you’re looking for a new outfit for this Christmas and the new year, pop along to Phoenix. They have an eclectic mix of styles. Gorgeous casual and party wear jostle for your attention in this lovely two storey boutique. Beautiful fashionable woollen ponchos and knitwear and a great range of Great Horkesley evening wear by many designers including Frank Lyman make this shop a great place to find that something special. You will find plenty of choice A specialist wine merchant and deli with wall-to-wall with accessories too. There’s handbags, wines from around the world and the full drinks scarves and jewellery to go with your complement of spirits, liqueurs, ciders and beers. new outfit . Phoenix now have a shop Walk through a doorway and you find fashion, in Maldon too. jewellery, handbags, scarves, candles and home 8, Market End, Coggeshall. ware; together, an emporium of delicious food, drink, Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm. hampers and gifts, making for a complete shopping Facebook – Phoenix of Coggeshall experience in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Order a selection of gifts on-line at www.thewinecentre. and find out about upcoming events. The Wine Centre, The Causeway, Great Horkesley, Essex, CO6 4BH. (01206) 271 236, 17




The Wine Centre & Gift Room


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Thank you for supporting our village businesses!


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What’s On General Nayland Christmas Fayre At Nayland Village Hall, Church Lane, Nayland CO6 4JH Saturday 3rd December 10.30am – 1.00pm Fun for the family, Father Christmas, entertainment from Nayland School, traditional stalls, festive goodies, mulled wine, fabulous food & refreshments, raffle, tombola, seasonal sounds. Free entry. For more information please visit www.

Events at Aldham Village Hall One Day Christmas Shopping Day Saturday 26th November 10.00am - 4.00pm Lots of stalls selling Christmas gifts, light refreshments available all day. Entrance £1 per adult, children under 14 free. Christmas Quiz Saturday 10th December. Doors open 7.00pm Quiz will commence at Drinks can be purchased from bar on the on the night or bring your own nibbles and tipple. Christmas raffle. £4 per person, tables of 4/6. Contact Anne Fulcher on 01206 211624 if you wish to book your table in advance.

Jumble Sale At the Scout Hut, Lexden Road, West Bergholt Saturday 14th January 2.00pm Organised by the 1st West Bergholt Scout Group. Entrance fee 50p. £1 to fill a bag, £5 to fill a black bag.

and children from Halstead Primary Schools. There is no charge for entry to this event.

Halstead Town Council Tel: 01787 476480 or email reception@

Annual Torchlight Procession and Town Carol Service

Christmas Tree Festival

Wednesday 7th December 6.15pm

Sudbury Link Coffee Morning Friday 16th December 10am - 12 noon Bring and Buy, raffle, books.

Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival At All Saints’ Church, Brightlingsea. Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December 10.00am – 5.15pm Nearly a hundred trees decorated by individuals, families, charities, churches, schools, shops, businesses, clubs and societies. Live music, refreshments. Raising funds to support the upkeep of the church. For more information please visit:

Christmas events in Halstead

Starting at the top of High Street. Torches will be handed out from 6.15pm, for a start time of 7pm. 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, 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 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. Senior Citizens’ Christmas Parties

At St Andrew’s Church, Earls Colne

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

Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December

Saturday 26th November 4.30pm

by Mayor of Halstead

be obtained from

Raising funds for Essex Air Ambulance

Saturday 3 December 11.00 am - 6.00 pm and Sunday 4 December 11.00 am - 5.00 pm

At Halstead Surgery

These are hosted by Halstead Town Council for Senior Citizens who joined the programme of Summer Outings during the year. Parties are by invitation only and are held at Queen’s Hall, Halstead; doors open at 4pm.

Christmas Tree Festival

At St Mary’s Church, Kelvedon

Switch on of Halstead Christmas lights Further details can This will be performed

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 Children in Distress and Emmaus Colchester.

Christmas Fayre At Beth Chatto Gardens CO7 7DB Saturday 26th – Sunday 27th November 10.00am – 4.00pm. A wonderfully festive weekend craft fair featuring the work of local crafters. Perfect for picking up gifts for friends and family. Carol singers, mulled wine, mince pies, crafty activities for children. Free entry.

What’s On continued 19 over page

What’s On Lavenham Christmas Fair At The Market Place, Lavenham Friday 2nd December 5.30pm – 8.30pm, Saturday 3rd 11.00am – 5.00pm and Sunday 4th 11.00am – 4.00pm

Abbey Gardens to the modern Arc shopping centre and The Apex. A great day out for all ages with over 300 stalls selling a variety of gifts, crafts, food, seasonal produce and much more, there is something for everyone. For more information please visit www.

Made in Colchester Christmas Fayre Friday night switch on, Father Christmas grotto, hot food and mulled wine, craft and festive stalls, childrens rides, the Big Wheel, fun for all the family. Free entry. For more information please visit www.

At Colchester Arts Centre Saturday 3rd December 10.00am – 3.00pm

Colchester Chorus Iceni Christmas Concert At St Botolphs Church Saturday 17th December 7.00pm - 9.30pm Refreshments will be served during the interval. TIckets available at the door and also from chorus members - Sue Lott 01394 448551, Sue Coulson 01206 573244 or Irene Knight 01206 562989.

Waltz ‘The Blue Danube’, Radetsky March, Pizzicato Polka; Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite; Lehár: Merry Widow; and other favourites. Tickets: £14, concession £12, student £3, under 17 admitted free. Tickets are available on the door or may be reserved in advance by calling 01206 271128 Please see or colchestersymphonyorchestra for further information.

Christmas Concert At St Botolph’s Church, Colchester Saturday 10th December 7.30 pm.

At St Botolph’s Church, Colchester

At Clare Town Hall, Market Hill, Clare, Suffolk, CO10 8NN

Saturday 3rd December at 7:30pm

Saturday December 3rd 10am - 4pm Arts, craft, Music and Food all from the Colchester area.

New Year’s Eve party At The Waiting Room, near Firstsite, Colchester

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Street Fayre


Wind Concert by Colchester Symphony Orchestra

Christmas Craft Market

Stallholders from across East Anglia selling a stunning range of items including ceramics, original art work, papercrafts, felting, hand made candles, silver jewellery and lots more. Free entry.

Globe, stilt walkers, children’s shows and entertainment for the whole family.

Saturday 31st December Music, food and more. For more information please visit

Colchester Christmas Market At Upper Castle Park Friday 9th - Sunday 11th December 9.00am – 6.30pm

Strauss – Serenade in Eb, Dvorak – Serenade for Wind, Gounod – Petite Symphonie, Hummel – Wind Partita in Eb and ‘Puffin Ensemble ‘Lollipops’. Tickets: £14, concession £12, student £3, under 17 admitted free. Tickets are available on the door or may be reserved in advance by calling 01206 271128. Please see colchestersymphonyorchestra for further information.

Colchester Symphony Orchestra – New Year’s Concert At St Botolph’s Church, Colchester

The choral and orchestral concert will include Haydn - ‘Little Organ Mass’; Concertos by Telemann & Vivaldi; Six Christmas Sketches by Nicholson and English Carols. SBMS Choir & Orchestra conducted by Colin Nicholson and Jonathan Abbott. Tickets £12 or £10.50 concessions from Mann’s Music, Colchester or at the door.

Advent Carol Service

St Andrew’s Church, Saturday 14th Park Lane, Earls Colne. January 7.30pm Festive fun for all the 20 Please mention The Connection when responding to adverts Sunday 27th family. The market will The Fayre will extend from Our programme will include: J Strauss II: the historic Angel Hill and November 5.00pm include a magical Snow Thursday 24th – Sunday 27th November

What’s On Services at United Reformed Church, High Street Kelvedon Christmas Candlelit Carol Service Sunday 18th December 6.30pm Led by Rev Ken Thom Christmas Morning Celebration Sunday 25th December 10am Led by Rev Ken Thom (a short familyfriendly service) New Year’s Day Sunday 1st January 10.30am Led by Rev Ken Thom.

Colchester Organ Society At Alderman Blaxill School, Paxman Avenue, Shrub End, Colchester On the first Friday of each month 7.45pm - 10.15pm

A West End Christmas! At Coggeshall Village Hall, Coggeshall CO6 1UH Sunday 8th January 7.30pm Now in it’s 5th Anniversary year, The Wish Upon A Star Theatre Company are once again bringing the West End to Coggeshall. Genuine West End stars from shows such as Les Mis, Beautiful and We Will Rock You along with a choir of over 30, sing songs from shows such as Les Miserables, Wicked, Motown and more. Enjoy locally sourced food and drink whilst listening to some of the best musical theatre voices around. Tickets include a complimentary glass of Prosecco. Tickets £15. Box Office: 01376 618 711

Friday 6th January Nicholas Martin £4 members, £6 non members. Refreshments and raffle. Ample parking inside school grounds. Free entry for two non members upon production of this advert. Contact Alan Pilgrim on 01787 269458 or email alanwpilgrim@tiscali. for further details.

Dedham Players Spring 2017 Production - “God of Carnage” At The Assembly Rooms, Dedham 26th-29th April 2017

At All Saints’ Church, Brightlingsea. Friday 9th December 7.00pm for 7.30pm

A Christmas Carol by Candlelight

A Christmas Concert by Suffolk Phoenix Brass

Saturday 10th December 7.30pm

Friday 2nd December David Lingwood

Drama and Dance

Adults can often be far more childish than their offspring! When two very different couples meet for the first time to discuss their respective sons’ playground brawl, it should be civilized enough. Shouldn’t it? Don’t you believe it. As their manners start to disintegrate with, at one point, a jawdropping episode, chaos ensues! Look out for our main advert nearer the time (tickets when available from www. or Shakespeare House Gallery, Dedham).

At St Mary’s Church, Raydon

Live keyboard concerts with music to suit all tastes, featuring top musicians from around the country.

Christmas trees before the Festival officially opens at 10.00am on Saturday 10th. Tickets £10 to include a welcome glass of wine and nibbles, on sale at Spirals in Brightlingsea or can be reserved online at

Tickets, including wine and light supper, £8.50 available from 01473 310320 and 01473 312123. In aid of the Church Fabric Fund.

Music Without Borders concert

As well offering a At Colchester wonderful programme of Arts Centre festive music from around Saturday 24th the globe performed by December 7.00pm Octavia from Quire, the for 7.30pm Colchester World Music Choir, this event is also a Colchester Arts Centre great opportunity to get Director Anthony Roberts’ a sneak peak at this year’s traditional rendition

of the Dickens classic, with musical accompaniment by Jamie Cunliffe. Hear this wonderful timeless tale in the beautiful surroundings of a Victorian church, with the only illumination provided by candlelight! Guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit. All tickets £6 with all proceeds to local charity. For more information and to book tickets please visit www. colchesterartscentre. com

That Magical Night At St Peter’s Ad Vincula Church, Coggeshall Saturday 17th December 6.00pm The Wish Upon A Star Theatre Company presents a new family friendly Christmas musical. Featuring original songs and a cast of over 50 local children, this show is a Christmas treat for the whole family. Produced by the very popular Wish Upon A Star Theatre Company it is directed by Amy Jessop and is raising money for St Peter’s School and the local youth charity CPYWT. There will be refreshments available. Box office: 01376 618 711 Tickets: adults £6, child £3.

What’s On continued 21 over page

What’s On Cinderella At Nayland Village Hall, Nayland Thursday 1st – Saturday 3rd December A sparkling production of the classic family story by The Nayland Players. For more information and to book tickets please visit Tickets also available from Nayland Post Office (afternoons only).

Mr Pickwick’s Christmas At The Headgate Theatre, Colchester Monday 12th December 7.30pm This one man show performed by storyteller Robert MacCall captures all the zest and humour of the original. Mr Pickwick, and his friends travel by stagecoach to enjoy an exuberant country Christmas at Dingley Dell. All the delights of Christmas are brought vividly to life. Tickets £12, £10 (conc), £6 children. For more information and to book tickets please call 01206 366000 or visit www.

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

or please call Lesley 01206 262505 or Ken 01206 263266 for tickets.

5+. Book tickets at www.

Saturday 3rd December ‘Nativity 3’ (U)

Events at East Anglian Railway Museum

Starring Martin Clunes, Marc Wootton and Catherine Tate.

At Chappel and Wakes Colne Station, Wakes Colne CO6 2DS

The pupils of St Bernadette’s and the madcap Mr Poppy are back! When their new teacher Mr Shepherd loses his memory as well as Archie the Donkey, it’s up to them to save the day and reunite him with his fiancée Sophie in New York. Prepare for a race against time, fantastic flashmobs and plenty of Christmas fun on their greatest adventure yet.

For more information please call 01206 242524 or visit

Things for Children

Festive Day Out with Thomas and Santa Sunday 4th, Saturday 10th, Sunday 11th, Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th December Thomas the Tank Engine™ and Friends will be here in the run-up to Christmas offering unlimited rides on at least four character trains. Thomas of course, Daisy and Toad will all be here along with Toby and Henrietta. 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.

An interactive screening of Disney’s ‘Frozen’

Magical Grotto At Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road, Braintree CM77 8PD Various dates Explore Father Christmas’s busy Christmas base at Cressing Temple Barns. Learn the secrets of the wrapping machine, magic mailing systems and landing pad and then go on to meet Father Christmas in his traditional Grotto with full size sleigh. Children whisper their Christmas wish and head to the toy shop where an elf helps select the perfect Christmas gift to take away as a memento. Each group of 12 children has a 45 minute magical tour. £12.50 per child, including one free adult. Additional adults £3. For more information please visit http:// events/magical-grotto/ or call 03330 138156

Crafts in the park At Colchester Castle Park

At Charter Hall, Colchester Saturday 10th December. Doors open at 2.30pm, show at 3.30pm.

Elizabeth for more details on 07964 569149 or email elizabeth@huathe. £30 for 6 sessions or £6 per session.


Wednesday 28th December 1.00pm – 2.30pm

Come rain or shine, At Molly’s Wood bring a grown up and Full screening with Community Orchard, a picnic to Colchester lyrics on screen to help Sible Hedingham Castle park and enjoy free you sing along. Two CO9 3AL Doors open 7.00pm recycled craft activities. Singalonga Princesses for 7.30pm start. Wednesday mornings A range of activities will will guide you through 9.30am – 11.30am be available to try while the interactive screening, Refreshments (wine, beer, you enjoy your picnic soft drinks, tea and coffee) showing you how to Forest school activities and make new friends. use your free prop bag, will be available before for children under 5 and Wear old clothes in case warming up your singing the film starts and during their carers, including you get messy! No need voices and teaching the interval. Tickets £3.50 den building, playing to book, suitable for all per adult and £2 per child. you some dance moves. games, singing songs ages. Meet at the Castle Tickets are £15 for adults You can now reserve around a fire, pretending 22 online at Please mention The Connection when responding Park Rangers Station and £10 for children. your seat to be animals and birds to adverts and much more. Call Age recommendation (bottom of play area).

What’s On For more details, please visit uk and to book a place please call Elizabeth on 07964 569149 or email

Industrial Archaeology course at the WEA (Workers’ Education Association) West Bergholt Branch At The Methodist Hall, Chapel Lane, West Bergholt CO6 3EF

Mrs Claus’ Rustic Christmas

Beginning Tuesday 10TH January 8.00pm

At Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve, Colchester CO5 7DN

Tutor: Steven Worsley. Whilst the Industrial Revolution shaped Tyneside, the Black Country and the south Pennines, it also changed East Anglia’s landscape. Learn how traditional crafts became mechanised factorybased industries, and discover their legacy. Cost: £47.25 for 9 evenings. People on income under £15.276 net per annum or income based benefits/JSA free. Please come and sample the first evening for free. For further information please contact Gill on 01206 240512.

Meet Mrs Claus, hear some stories in her lakeside grotto, create your letter to Santa and post it in our magical woodland post box and make some fantastic traditional crafts with wood, pine cones, wool and more. Adult £2, children £1 entry. For more information please call 01206 729678 or visit

Courses, Workshops and Talks Fire Choir At Molly’s Wood Community Orchard, Sible Hedingham Monday 12th December 7.00pm - 9.00pm Join us for a sing outdoors around a community fire.

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

Feature your not for profit, village, community or charity events FREE OF CHARGE in our What’s On pages by emailing your listing to

Lavenham Farmers Market

Sudbury Farmers Market

At The Village Hall, Lavenham

At St Peters Church, Sudbury

Sunday 18th December and Sunday 22nd January at 10.00am - 1.30pm

Friday 16th December and Friday 27th January at 9.30am - 2.00pm

Contact Justine Paul 07704 627973

Contact Justine Paul 07704 627973

Colchester Farmers Market

Nayland Farmers Market

The Arts Centre, Colchester

At Nayland Village Hall

Friday 2nd December at 9.30am - 12.30pm Contact Rowley Castiglione 01206 367776

Wivenhoe Farmers Market Congregational Hall, Wivenhoe Saturday 17th December and Saturday 21st January at 9.00am - 12.00 Contact Rowly Castiglione 01206 367776

Brightlingsea Farmers Market

Saturday 10th December at 9.30am - 1.00pm Contact Justine Paul 07704 627973

Long Melford Farmers Market At Long Melford Village Memorial Hall Saturday 17th December at 10.00am - 1.00pm Contact Daryl Turner 07780 258202

At the Community Centre, Brightlingsea Usually on the last Thursday of the month at 9.00am – 12.00 Contact 01206 302055 for details 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.

Next issue: February/March 2017 - published 26th January 2017

Deadline date for entries in the next issue 13th January 2017

We also welcome details of slimming groups, keep 23 fit classes, language courses, farmers markets, boot sales and regular clubs, groups and societies.

Christmas Dinner Free Range Bronze Turkeys

hristmas Dinner Turkey Crowns


Traditional White Turkeys

Traditional White Turkeys Geese Plus a wide range of local produce

Geese • • 01206 210383

a wide Pattocks Farm, Chappel,Plus Colchester, CO6 2EG range of local produce


We would like to thank Colchester Young Farmers who did a sterling job helping with G & J Barron’s first ever open day and the210383 food, car parking and machinery area. Christmas•market was held on Sunday 6 • 01206 Pattocks Farm,atChappel, Colchester, CO6 Father Christmas and the trailer rides made November Pattocks Farm Chappel. We 2EG £548.86 which will go towards the club’s were overwhelmed by the number of visitors charities for the year. Thank you to all the on the day and estimate around 2000 people other locals who also helped with car parking, came. Visitor numbers were so high that shop, Father Christmas and our drone photos. some of the Christmas market stalls sold out by lunchtime. Judging by the lovely comments on our Facebook Page (G & J Barron Farms) and Visitors were able to sit on farm machinery emails everyone including the traders had a and feed apples to pigs and turkeys and play great day and are looking forward to more in our feed wheat barn. Children enjoyed events at Pattocks Farm, so watch this space! tractor trailer rides and an early visit to see Father Christmas. The hot turkey rolls, and If you have not ordered anything for sausage and bacon rolls proved very popular Christmas lunch yet please do bear us in on such a cold day, as did our huge selection mind. Please like our Facebook page, G & J of home made cakes that Heather Hearn and Barron Farms to see more farm photos, videos family did a great job baking and serving in and recipes. It is a new page and we will our barn cafe. We must say a special thank continue to add to it. you for all their hard work.


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A Fresh Start The start of a new year is often the time when we take a critical look at our lives and think about making some changes. Whether you want to take up a new hobby or start your own business, this issue’s books are for you… The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way to Banish Clutter Forever – Marie Kondo If you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of ‘stuff’, this book might help. Kondo encourages us to only keep those possessions that ‘spark joy’. There is some waffle in places, but stick with it. There are some great tips and tricks. Most importantly, Kondo helps the reader to think about the emotions connected to items, and the kind of life they could have if they lived in a simpler, less cluttered space.

this genre, it’s also actually enjoyable to read.

The Idea in You: How to Find It, Build It, and Change Your Life – Martin Amor and Alex Pellew If you’re fed up with the daily grind and thinking of starting your own business, this book could give you the kick start you need. It’s packed with advice and encouragement for turning ‘your daydream into dynamite’. There are case studies, exercises, and useful resources, along with plenty of practical information. And, unlike many other books in

The Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style – Wendy Gardiner Those looking to indulge their creative side in 2017 could find plenty to tempt them here. The companion book to the fourth series of the BBC2 show The Great British Sewing Bee, the book offers advice on everything from choosing fabric to altering designs. There are also more than 25 patterns included with the book, with projects ranging from a Babygro to a cocktail


The Girl in the Garden – Melanie Wallace A single teenage mum, a grieving widow, a photographer, a recluse, a man trying to do what’s right. Characters with very different outlooks and lives, but their stories are all entwined. And their flaws, hopes and buried dreams are all too identifiable. They all need to allow themselves to heal and trust if they’re to take those first tentative steps towards a better life.

dress. Aimed at all abilities, this could well prove to be indispensable for new and experienced sewers alike. Bloom: Navigating Life and Style – Estée Lalonde Beauty and lifestyle vlogger Lalonde has gained a legion of fans, and much critical acclaim, for her daily musings on style, beauty, food and life in general. In Bloom, Lalonde talks about the highs and lows of her life, including overcoming depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. A beautifully designed book for dipping in and out of when you need a bit of inspiration. Making It Up As I Go Along – Marian Keyes In this collection of essays, Keyes gives us a hilarious insight into her daily life and thoughts. While it’s laugh-aloud funny, there’s also a good dose of reflection. Keyes isn’t afraid to poke fun at herself and reveal her own vulnerability. By doing so, she reminds us that often we’re our own worst critics and sometimes we need to just go easy on ourselves.

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All sizes fresh lifted with or without roots. Large selection in the yard. Or choose your own in the field. Prepared for your stand while you wait.

Bullbanks Farm Halstead Road, Aldham, Colchester, C06 3PT on A1124 - 2 miles from A12 Junction 26 (Tollgate)

Tel: 01206 212288 or 07860 235423


Notice Board Volunteers needed for Havens Hospices Fair Havens Hospice and Little Havens Hospice focus on the individual needs of the adults and children we care for, ‘Making every day count’ for those with lifelimiting illnesses, and their families.

We are looking for some volunteers for some collections we have coming up in December in the Colchester area. Can you spare a couple of hours to help? Please visit or contact for more details.

Santa Fun Run

Take part in a 3k or 5k run taking place in Colchester Castle Park on Sunday 4th December raising funds for the Cancer Centre Campaign. Adults £15, Teams of 10+ £10pp includes free santa suit Children £5 includes free santa hat and medal. Participants are encouraged to fundraise as much as they can. For more information and to register please visit uk/

St Helena Hospice Tree of Memories 2016

Christmas is a special time of year but it can be difficult or lonely if someone you love is not there to share it with you. Our Tree of Memories appeal gives you the opportunity to either celebrate the life of a loved one or to just acknowledge the amazing work we do for those living with incurable illnesses in the community, and their families. This year, we invite you to dedicate a Christmas decoration to someone special or simply show your support for the


work we do. To take part in this appeal, in return for a donation you will receive two decorations that you can personalise with a message; one to keep and the other to return to us in one of two ways: - If you are remembering the life of a loved one, we invite you to bring one of your decorations to a Tree of Memories service where you can place it on the tree. These services will be taking place at: Tendring Centre in Clacton Tuesday 6th December, 6.30pm Myland Hall in Colchester Wednesday 7th December, 6.30pm and Sunday 11th December, 4pm - If you can’t attend a service but would still like your decoration on the tree, please return it to us by 5pm on Monday 5th December and we will put it up for you. Should you be supporting the work of the hospice we ask that you return one of your decorations to us by 5pm Thursday 22nd December so that we can display it on one of our Christmas trees at the hospice. Please send all decorations to: Tree of Memories appeal, St Helena Hospice, Fundraising Office, Unit 1 The Atrium, Phoenix Square, Colchester CO4 9AS. For more information please call 01206 931468

The Waiting Room – end of an era

The Waiting Room, home to many of Colchester’s creatives, will finally close at the end of this year. This visionary project opened in 2013 in the run-down waiting room of the old bus station and quickly became

a venue for music, performers, food, art and makers projects. It gave many people the chance to try something new and the kitchen space gave fantastic low cost start up opportunities for new pop up restaurants. As we look forward to the regeneration of the wider area, The Waiting Room is set to go out with a bang with a New Year’s Eve party on 31st December. Before then, there’s still time to sample the delights of The Waiting Room, meet the members and learn something new. Textile Repair and Wear is a workshop where you can learn how to repair your own clothes and Makerspace Open Days showcase different makers working in silk screen printing, ceramics or wood work. There’s foodie events and a Winter Solstice Party with delicious food, live music, fire spinning and a DJ. All events listed on Facebook.

Magazine Distributors Required

Like walking? Get paid to exercise! We are looking for adult, mobile distributors for the following areas; Kelvedon and Feering. Please register your interest by emailing; editor@theconnectionmagazine.

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What Lucy did next… Following her success on the BBC Great Interior Design Challenge, designer Lucy Tiffney has been busy beavering away on various projects. Earlier in the year she completed a stunning mural in the restaurant area at the Church Street Tavern in Colchester. More recently, she has been putting her mark on the tea room walls at Perrywoods Garden Centre in Tiptree and there’s more to follow there in the new year. In between painting murals and designing interiors Lucy has been developing a new range of homewares for her online shop. Items such as cushions, tee towels, rugs, mugs and pictures and her distinctive and quirky ‘Dollypops’ will also be available. Take a look at her website where you will find more details.



Are you ready to party? Book online at

45 Church Street, Coggeshall 01376 562160

54 High Street, Earls Colne 01787 224437


Cake and Bake Mincemeat & Apple Mini Strudels These delicious sweet and buttery mini fruity strudels make great festive puds over Christmas. You can prepare them a few hours in advance, cover and chill in the fridge and bake just before serving.


1. Preheat the oven to 200C, Fan 180C, Gas Mark

6. Mix together the mincemeat and grated apple. Take one sheet of filo pastry and brush with some of the melted butter.

• 8 tbsp luxury mincemeat • 1 small cooking apple, peeled and coarsely grated

2. Place a spoonful of the mincemeat mixture along

one short end of the sheet of buttered pastry. Fold in a little of the pastry along each long side then roll up to enclose the filling. Place seam side down on a large greased baking tray.

• 8 sheets filo pastry, each measuring 18x31cm • 50g unsalted butter, melted • Filo pastry stars, to decorate (see Tip)

3. Repeat with the rest of the pastry sheets and

mincemeat mixture to make 8 mini strudels in total. Brush with any remaining melted butter.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes

until the pastry is crisp and golden. Cool for 5 minutes then halve and serve with filo pastry stars and dust liberally with icing sugar. Serve with whipped cream or brandy butter.

• Icing sugar, to dust • Whipped cream or brandy butter, to serve


To make the stars, fold a spare sheet of filo pastry into three. Stamp out tiny stars using a small star-shaped cookie cutter and brush with a little Ready in 35 minutes melted butter. Bake as above but for only 4-5 minutes until crisp and golden. 30 Please mention The Connection when responding to adverts

Makes 8

Unit 17, Wakes Hall Business Centre, Wakes Colne, Colchester CO6 2DY

Tel: 01787 222435

Promoting Health, Mobility, Strength & Flexibility McTimoney Chiropractic Nutritional Therapy Massage Therapies Acupuncture

Yoga, Pilates, Pure Stretch Tai Chi & Chi Kung Beauty Therapy Meditation

(Bupa, AXA PPP, Simply Health, etc)

Sports Massage

Back, Neck & Head Massage

90 mins 60 mins 40 mins

£60 £40 £35


Relaxation Massage 60 mins



Physiotherapy IA Follow-up

Leg Massage (Ideal for athletes) 40 mins

40 mins

£45 £40

Otheopathy IA Follow-up

£50 £40

For all bookings please call Amy on 07718 284278 or email



Interest Rates Are Low, So What Are Your Best Options For Saving? By Ann Haldon

With interest rates set to remain low for a while, it is worth considering what you could do with the spare cash you might now have. It is always a good idea to pay off your debts first, but there is also some benefit to starting a small nest-egg.

From April 2016 everyone has a Personal Savings Allowance, which means that many people won’t need to pay tax on their savings (subject to a maximum limit). This broadening of your options means you could switch your current account to benefit from the credit interest offered by a different bank, or perhaps opt for a fixedterm ISA that removes the temptation to spend. With each bank applying their own rules for eligibility, here are a few of the different accounts available at the time of writing.

Bank current accounts It is not something that we are used to, but currently some banks are offering high credit interest rates on their current accounts. Most of these deals only last for a year, however, and are used to attract new customers, but many also


offer cash back or a monetary incentive. • Nationwide offers 5% AER fixed on their FlexDirect account for balances up to £2,500. This rate lasts for one year only and then drops to 1%, so you will need to be prepared to swap again if you want to get a higher rate after this. In order to be eligible for the account you have to pay in at least £1,000 per month. Regular savings accounts As the name suggests, these accounts require a regular payment in order to benefit from the higher interest rates. Again, some high interest rates are only available for a year as the banks use them as ‘loss leaders,’ assuming their new customer won’t be inclined to move once the rate falls. • First Direct offers 5% AER for one year, to customers holding a First Direct 1st Account. You are allowed to save between £25 and £300 per month, but if you miss one deposit your savings account will close and the balance will be placed into a low-interest account. Cash ISA Once the obvious choice to maximise your savings, a cash ISA can be a good place to start your nest-egg if you don’t want to switch bank accounts or save a regular amount each month. • The Coventry Building Society Easy Access ISA

offers a rate of 1.1% AER. There is no limit on the number of withdrawals, and you can replace money that you have taken out in a tax year without it becoming part of the ISA limit.

Fixed-rate accounts If you want to guarantee your rate of interest and are sure you won’t need the money for some time, a fixed-rate account could be a good option. • Atom Bank offers 1.4% AER for a one-year term, but you must open the account with their Android or iOS app, which won’t appeal to everybody. You can deposit between £50 and £100,000, and the interest is applied either monthly or annually.

Savings accounts offer a guaranteed return on your money, which can grow surprisingly quickly, especially if the interest is applied monthly. Having some cash to one side gives you a degree of control to deal with unexpected life events such as redundancy, or simply the reassurance that you have a ‘cushion’ to fall back on. http://www.moneysavingexpert. com/banking/compare-bestbank-accounts#interest http://www.moneysavingexpert. com/savings/best-regularsavings-accounts#bb http://www.moneysavingexpert. com/savings/best-cashisa#manipulate http://www.moneysavingexpert. com/savings/fixed-rate-savings

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Gardening Fighting the Frosts

by Pippa Greenwood

if the container is in a very prominent position. If very harsh weather is forecast or a spell of mild weather has promoted some soft, new growth, drape a double layer of horticultural fleece over the top growth of the plants and anchor it well. Alternatively, consider Easy Fleece Jackets: they come in three sizes and have a draw-string and toggle so that you can easily insert the plant and then secure it – find out more on my website www.pippagreenwood. com/products/protectyour-crops. With frost, rain and perhaps even some snow, at this time of year our gardens can be in for quite a battering. Although most of your garden plants are probably fairly frost resistant, what can you do to minimise the damage to those which are not so hardy? It’s time to get outside and take some precautions. Plants in containers are particularly vulnerable to freezing or frosting, and thin-walled containers pose the greatest threat. Where possible, plunge your pots by digging a hole in the soil and placing the plant in its pot into the hole. If it is too heavy to move then wrap it well in several layers of bubble wrap, polythene or old curtains, using lengths of hessian to create a more appealing outermost layer


A double fleece layer can be used on plants in beds and borders too, or to protect slightly tender wall shrubs. Much larger plants can be protected with a home-made ‘cage’ – wrap a framework of four stakes or sturdy canes with netting or chicken wire, then fill the central space around the plant with dry bracken, straw or leaves. Evergreens in containers and in open ground may suffer from drought as well as foliage or stem growth, so continue to water these, especially if they are in a sheltered spot or the weather has been dry. A deep mulch applied to the soil or compost surface before the ground freezes will help to keep water available. Although most fruit trees - like apples and pears, cherries and

plums - are hardy, they are also prone to damage. The main risk is to newly opened blossom, though the buds themselves may be damaged too, with late frosts being the most harmful. If you are planting new fruit plants, it really pays to buy from a specialist nursery and to get late-flowering varieties, as they are less likely to be flowering when there is still a risk of frost. Finally, use fleece to cover any seeds already sown out of doors. A double layer of wellanchored fleece or a fleececovered pull-out EasyTunnel is quick and easy to install, and will help to provide protection and that bit of extra warmth for germinating seeds and seedlings. If you are planning on sowing any early varieties of crops such as broad beans or lettuce, then I’d also suggest that you cover the soil before you sow. A layer of wellanchored polythene will keep off excess rain and allow a little warmth to build up, so when you sow the seeds they won’t suffer from excess sogginess and won’t get such a cold shock. Visit Pippa’s website www. and book Pippa for a gardening talk or peruse the really useful selection of Pippa’s favourite gardening items, including pop-up crop covers, SpeedHoes, SpeedWeeders, raised bed kits, fleece jackets for plants, pull-out EasyTunnels, ‘Grow Your Own with Pippa Greenwood’ Gift Voucher cards, signed books and lots more besides.

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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

Tel: 07758 305742 or 01787 267986       








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 13th January 2017

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Hedge trimming

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NPTC Qualified Fully Insured 01206 210209 07583 953576

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Property and Garden Maintenance Colchester Workhorse Paul Richardson



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Indoor Winter Storage 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).

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

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Contact Essex Ovencleaners


Architectural Design & Measured Surveying


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Lakes Landscapes Small, friendly, reliable and local gardening services business.

Call Stuart on 07701302366

Quick Crossword Across 1. Snake-like fish (4) 3. Board game (8) 9. Get in touch (7) 10. Better (5) 11. Accomplishments (12) 14. Jewel (3) 16. Tracks (5) 17. Change colour (3) 18. Clarifications (12) 21. Punctuation mark (5) 22. Displaying (7) 23. Home-help (8) 24. Finishes (4) Down 1. Swap (8) 2. Midday meal (5) 4. Slap (3) 5. Dialogue (12) 6. Enthusiastic (7) 7. Certain (4) 8. Animals with many legs (12)


12. Consumed (5) 13. Texts (8) 15. Largest amount (7)

19. Vegetable (5) 20. Cooled (4) 22. Winter sport (3)

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Spot the Difference

There are ten differences - can you find them?

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.

Codeword and Spot the Difference solutions on page 43


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Season’s Season’s Greetings from advertising, design, exhibitions & print

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And Another Thing... Tom and the Christmas Lights by Tom Hughes @groomsdaybook

The crisp December air vaporised my breath as I skidded across the drive, shaking the last of the table salt onto the flags as I went. Suddenly I was blinded by a terrible seasonal apparition. Mrs Murphy, my neighbour from over the road, had flicked on her Christmas lights. I staggered back as spots danced before my eyes. The strain on my pupils (not to mention the National Grid) was all too apparent as Mrs Murphy’s much-extended semi-detached hummed into life. Reindeer, gnomes and, bizarrely, a festive ET, blazed out across The Avenue - Yuletide beacons for any passing sleighs or low-flying aircraft.

of decorations - isn’t about time you made your annual pilgrimage?”

Tripping into the house I stamped my feet on the bristles. “Disneyland is back on again.”

“Just for that, you can sort this lot out.” Whereupon the Gordian knot, otherwise known as tangled fairy lights, was handed to me by Sarah.

Sarah glanced through the porch door. “Well I think it’s lovely. She goes to so much trouble and it makes me feel so Christmassy. Speaking


The loft ladders gave their familiar groan as I eased myself up into the eaves. The dusty boxes that we’d taken down from the last loft ten years ago sat impassively inured to the passage of time. After much scratching and cursing (which sadist invented fibreglass?) I managed to locate our box of decorations. Sarah regarded them. “Tom, they are pathetic. If we put those up, Mrs Murphy’s effort will put us to shame.” “This isn’t a competition dear. Don’t worry - Santa comes down all the chimneys, even the poorly decorated ones.”

“Well it’s your own fault for stuffing them back in like that last January!” This way and that I wrestled with the

blasted cord until finally I managed to straighten them out. Eventually the plastic Christmas tree was wonkily placed in the porch and decorated with baubles, dusty Santas and the lights. More out of hope than expectation, I plugged them in. “Right ready? By the way, before I switch these on, is it too late to call one of the Spice Girls?” “Tom, stop messing about and flick the switch.” Phiszzz. The lights glowed, then popped, then…nothing. “Right! That’s it - go and find some decent decorations!” I stared at the rows of glittery kitsch in the temporary popup Christmas shop. Which illuminated Santa should I purchase? They all looked equally gaudy. Haplessly, I asked a swarthy-looking gentleman sat at the till. He was head down with his eyes glued to a smart phone, so I cleared my throat to attract his attention. “This one, or this one?” I asked.

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“No, Mr Hughes, I’m waiting for the emergency electrician but it might be hours yet. My daughter is in London with her boyfriend but...” Mrs Murphy’s tears suddenly began to well up. “Oh Mr Hughes, Christmas isn’t the same since Henry passed away.”

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Puzzle Solutions Codeword

“So you’re on your own in this dark cold house?” “I’m going to put my camper stove on to warm up some soup.” “On Christmas Day? Mrs Murphy - grab your coat.”

1. Present colour changed 2. Santa’s mouth 3.Snow 4. Bow on present 5. Elf bobble 6. Button missing 7. Reindeer leg 8. Hat patch 9. Chimney pots 10. Sleigh bell missing

And so the big day, as it always does, came around. The Christmas dinner was almost ready. As the whole brood chatted happily, I strained to listen to Her Majesty the Queen on the telly while Sarah’s famous bread sauce bubbled on the hob. Then out of the window I noticed that Mrs Murphy’s house was in total darkness. Ignoring Sarah’s complaints about ruining my new slippers, I tip-toed across the road and tapped on the window. Eventually Mrs Murphy appeared. “Are you OK?” I asked hopefully.

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Spot the Difference

The plastic beaming Santas smiled blindly at the opposite wall. The assistant stared at me blankly then went back to Angry Birds. I bought both. Back home, Sarah grabbed both my Santas, went outside and nailed them violently to the wall.


And so, for the first time ever, Mrs Murphy crossed our threshold and sat down with us for Christmas dinner. Outside the elves and Santas were in darkness, but inside our house the warmth of our toast to Mrs Murphy (sat imperiously on her emergency chair) gave her a smile bright enough to illuminate any seasonal table. Merry Christmas Everybody!


Useful Useful Numbers Numbers Local Schools Local St. Peter’sSchools C of E Primary School St.01376 Peter’s561328 C of E Primary School Tel: Tel: 01376 561328 Honywood Community Science School Honywood Community Science School Tel: 01376 561231 Tel: 01376St. 561231 Kelvedon Mary C of E Primary School Kelvedon St. Mary C of E Primary School Tel: 01376 570411 Tel: 01376 570411 Feering C of E Controlled Primary School Feering C of E Controlled Primary School Tel: 01376 570296 Tel: 01376 570296 Earls Colne Primary School and Nursery Earls Colne Primary School and Nursery Tel: 01787 222205 Tel: 01787 222205 Colne Engaine C of E (Aided) Primary School C of E (Aided) Colne Engaine Primary School Tel: 01787 222717 Tel: 01787 222717 Bures C.E V.C Primary School Bures C.E V.C Primary School Tel: 01787 227446 Tel: 01787 227446 Chappel C of E School Chappel C of E School Tel: 01787 222296 Tel:John 01787 222296 St. the Baptist C.E.V.A Primary St. JohnSchool the Baptist C.E.V.A Primary School Tel: 01787 269300 Tel: 01787 269300 Great Tey C.E Controlled Primary School Great Tey C.E Controlled Primary School Tel: 01206 210415 Tel: 01206 210415 Fordham All Saints C of E Primary School Fordham All Saints C of E Primary School Tel: 01206 240251 Tel: 01206 240251 Copford C of E Primary School Copford C of E Primary School Tel: 01206 210439 Tel: 01206 210439 Stanway Primary School Stanway Primary School Tel: 01206 574819 Tel:Mary’s 01206 574819 St. Lower School St.01206 211242 Mary’s Lower School Tel: Tel: 01206 211242 Stanway Fiveways Primary School Stanway Fiveways Primary School Tel: 01206 574849 Tel: 01206 574849 Holy Trinity C.E. Primary School Holy Ash Trinity C.E.&Primary Eight Green AldhamSchool Eight Ash240880 Green & Aldham Tel: 01206 Tel: 01206 240880 Soaring High Montessori Coggeshall Soaring High Montessori Coggeshall Tel: 01376 564392 Tel: 01376 564392 C.E. V.C.P School Stoke by Nayland Stoke by 262418 Nayland C.E. V.C.P School Tel: 01206 Tel: 01206 262418 Primary Nayland Community School Nayland Community Primary School Tel: 01206 262348 Tel: 01206 262348

Doctors Doctors Kelvedon and Feering Health

Centre Kelvedon and Feering Health Centre Tel: 01376 572906 Tel: 01376 572906 Kelvedon Surgery Kelvedon Surgery Tel: 01376 574560


Tel: 01376 574560 Coggeshall Surgery Coggeshall Surgery Tel: 01376 561242 Tel: 01376 561242

West Bergholt Surgery West Bergholt Surgery Tel: 01206 241137 Tel: 01206 241137 Marks Tey Surgery Marks Tey Surgery Tel: 01206 213513 Tel: 01206 213513 Tollgate Health Centre Tollgate Health Centre Tel: 01206 710030 Tel: 01206 710030 Stanway Surgery Stanway Surgery Tel: 01206 572372 Tel: Pump 01206 572372 The House Surgery/Earls Colne The Pump House Surgery/Earls Colne Tel: 01787 222022 Tel: 01787 222022 Bures Surgery Bures Surgery Tel: 01787 227529 Tel: 01787 227529 Branch Surgery Branch Tel: 01787Surgery 227529 Tel: 01787House 227529Group Practice Hardwick Hardwick House Group Practice Tel: 01787 310000 Tel: 01787 310000 Nayland Surgery Nayland Tel: 01206 Surgery 262202 Tel: 01206 262202

Support Support Crimestoppers Crimestoppers Tel: 0800 555 111 Tel: 0800 555 111 ChildLine ChildLine Tel: 0800 1111 Tel: 0800 1111 Samaritans Samaritans Tel: freecall 116 123 Tel: 08457 90 90 90 Cruse Cruse Tel: 0844 477 9400 Tel: 0844 477 9400 NSPCC NSPCC Tel: 0808 800 5000 Tel: 0808Persons 800 5000 Missing Helpline Missing Persons Tel: 0500 700 700 Helpline Tel: 0500Debtline 700 700 National National Debtline Tel: 0808 808 4000 Tel: 0808Domestic 808 4000 Violence National Helpline National Domestic Violence Helpline Tel: 0808 2000 247 Tel: 0808 2000 247 Victim Support Victim Tel: 0845Support 30 30 900 Tel: 0845 30 30 900 Inland Revenue Inland Tel: 0845Revenue 010 9000 Tel: 0845 010 9000 RSPCA RSPCA Tel: 0870 55 55 999 Tel:Breakdown 0870 55 55 999 AA AA0800 Breakdown Tel: 887 766 Tel: 0800 887 766 Floodline Floodline Tel: 0845 9881188 Tel: 0845emergency 9881188 service Transco Transco emergency service Tel: 0800 111 999 Tel: Enquiries 0800 111 999 Rail Rail Enquiries Tel: 08457 484950 Tel:roadwatch 08457 484950 AA AA09003 roadwatch Tel: 401100 Tel:Faultline 09003 401100 BT BT Faultline

Tel: 0800 800 151 Please mention The Connection Tel: 0800 800 151

Rivers/Floodline Rivers/Floodline Tel: 0845 988 1188 Tel: 0845Advice 988 1188 Citizens Bureau Citizens Advice Tel: 0870 126 4065Bureau Tel: 0870 126 4065 Samaritans/Colchester Samaritans/Colchester Tel: 01206 561234 Tel: 01206 561234 Volunteering Opportunities Volunteering Opportunities Tel: 01206 505250 Tel: 01206 505250 Al Anon Family Groups Helpline Al Anon Family Tel: 0207 403 0888Groups Helpline Tel: 0207 403 0888

Police Contacts Police Contacts Essex Police (non-emergency calls

to all stations and departments) Essex Police (non-emergency calls to all stations and departments) Tel: 0300 333 4444 Tel: 0300Of 333 4444 Police Ministry Defence Ministry Of Defence Police Tel: 01206 782917 Tel: 01206 782917

Councils Councils Colchester Borough Council Colchester Borough Council Tel: 01206 282222 Tel: 01206District 282222Council Braintree Braintree District Council Tel: 01376 552525 Tel: 01376Parish 552525Council Kelvedon Kelvedon Parish Council Tel: 01376 570285 Tel: 01376 570285 Feering Parish Council Feering Parish Council Tel: 01376 572882 Tel: 01376 572882 Coggeshall Parish Council Coggeshall Parish Council Tel: 01376 562346 Tel: 01376 562346 Stanway Parish Council Stanway Parish Council Tel: 01206 542221 Tel: 01206 542221

Post Offices Post Offices Fiveways Post Office Fiveways Post Office Tel: 01206 330451 Tel: 01206 330451 Marks Tey Marks Tey Tel: 01206 210314 Tel: 01206 210314 West Bergholt West Bergholt Tel: 01206 240355 Tel: 01206 240355 Fordham Village Store and Post Office Fordham Village Store and Post Office Tel: 01206 240391 Tel: 01206 240391 Earls Colne Post Office Earls Colne Post Office Tel: 01787 222258

Village Halls Village Halls Aldham Village Hall Aldham Tel: 01206Village 240682Hall Tel: 01206 240682 Mount Bures Mount Bures Tel: 01787 228055 Bures Community Tel: 01787 228055 Centre Tel: 01787 227278 Centre Bures Community Nayland Tel: 01787 227278 Tel: 0774 895 3175 Nayland Dedham Tel: 0774Assembly 895 3175 Rooms Tel: 01206 323921 Dedham Assembly Rooms Stoke by Nayland Tel: 01206 323921 Tel: 01206 Stoke by 262943 Nayland Wormingford Tel: 01206 262943 Tel: 01787 227631 Wormingford Little Horkesley Tel: 01787 227631 Tel: 01206 271841 Little Horkesley Leavenheath Tel: 01206 271841 Tel: 01206 263301 Leavenheath Assington Tel: 01206 263301 Tel: 01787 211162 Assington Stanway Village Hall Tel: 01787 211162 Tel: 01206 545062 Stanway Village Hall Feering Community Centre Tel: 01206 545062 Tel: 01376 572467

Feering Community Centre Marks Tey Village Hall Tel:01206 213250 01376 572467 Tel: MarksTey TeyVillage VillageHall Hall Great Tel:01206 01206 213250 Tel: 210248 WhiteColne ColneVillage VillageHall Hall White Tel:01787 01787221919 221919 Tel: ColneEngaine EngaineVillage VillageHall Hall Colne Tel:01787 223668 01787 223668 Tel: EarlsColne ColneVillage VillageHall Hall Earls Tel:01787 224370 01787 224370 Tel: BuresCommunity CommunityCentre Centre Bures Tel: Tel:01787 01787227278 227278 Eight EightAsh AshGreen GreenVillage VillageHall Hall Tel: Tel:01206 01206540245 562860 Copford CopfordVillage VillageHall Hall Tel: Tel:01206 01206211235 211235 Chappel Chappeland andWakes WakesColne Colne Tel: Tel:07771 07771622525 622525

Airports Airports

Stansted StanstedGeneral GeneralEnquiries Enquiries Tel: 0870 000 0303 Tel: 0870 000 0303 Stansted Express Tel: 01787 222449 Stansted Express Bures Post Office Tel: 0845 850 0150 Bures Post Office Tel: 0845 850 0150 Tel: 01787 227252 Gatwick General Enquiries Tel: 01787 227252 Park Street Gatwick General Enquiries Stoke by Nayland Tel: 0870 000 2468 Stores Post Office Stoke and by Nayland Park Street Tel: 0870 000 2468 Gatwick Express Stores and Post Office Tel: 01206 262335 Gatwick Express Tel: 0845 850 1530 Tel: 01206 262335 Nayland Post Office Tel: 0845 850 1530 Heathrow General Enquiries Nayland Office Tel: 01206 Post 262210 Heathrow General Enquiries Tel: 0870 000 0123 Tel: 01206St262210 Stratford Mary Post Office Tel: 0870 000 0123 Heathrow Express Stratford St Mary Post Office Tel: 01206 322150 Heathrow Tel: 600Express 1515 when responding to advertsTel:0845 Tel: 01206 322150 Dedham Post Office 0845 600 1515 Dedham Post Office Tel: 01206 323543

Tel: 01787 222258 Wakes Colne Post Office Wakes Colne Post Office Tel: 01787 222449

Tel: 01206 323543

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

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15, 16, 39







Garden Design


Oven Cleaning


Garden Services

35, 37

Pest Control

37, 41

15, 16

Planning Services

33, 38




Index of Advertisers Architect

33, 38

Giftware Granite Worktops

Beauty Therapist


Graphic Designer


Property Maintenance 37




16, 29


24 41



33, 45

Home Improvement





Home Interiors

15, 16


9, 16





10 33

Replacement doors


Interior Design IT Specialist


39 2, 11

Building Services

2, 11

Kitchen Fitters

7, 39, 48



Kitchen doors



37, 39

Computer Services


Ladies Fashion




Coal Merchant



37, 38

Sports Massage




Livery Yard


Swimming Pool



Massage Therapy


Tree Surgeon

35, 36


15, 16, 39

Medical Insurance








Window Repairs


Garden Design




Willow Fences

35 16

Childrens Nursery Christmas Trees

Farm Shop

35, 37

Oven Cleaning


Wine Centre

Giftware Granite Worktops

15, 16

Pest Control

37, 41



Planning Services

33, 38

Wine Bar Worktops

Graphic Designer





31 31

Garden Services

16, 29

Home Improvement

13 15, 16 A131

Poultry Plumber

10 33

Kitchen Fitters

7, 39,Pebmarsh 48



Colne 16Engaine

37, 38 Earls Colne


A131 Insurance Medical





Manicures Oven Cleaning



Massage Therapy

7 St Mary 39



Storage White Colne Wakes Colne

Great Tey



37 Feering



Eight Ash Pool Swimming Green


37, 39 38


Bergholt Colne Massage Sports



2, 11 Boxted






Tree Surgeon COLCHESTER35, 36 Copford


9, 16

Removals School


Landscaping Greenstead Green



Replacement doors Little Mount Horkesley Bures Wormingford

er C Ladies Fashion oln e

Livery Yard

Stoke by Nayland


Interior Design IT Specialist Kitchen doors




Home Interiors

Property Maintenance 37 River



Turkeys Lexden


Window Repairs


Willow Fences 35 ������������������������������������

37, 41

Wine��������������������������������������� Centre 16

Planning Services

33, 38



WineMagazines Bar 15 delivered to selected homes in these areas Worktops 7

Pest Control



Property Maintenance 37








9, 16


2, 11

Swimming Pool


31 31

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its Replacement doorscan accept, 7 editorial contributors and hereby disclaim any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or Removals 39 omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. The Connection does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. Storage 37, 39 46reserved. NoPlease All rights part of mention this publication be reproduced, stored in any retrieval systems or transmitted The may Connection when responding to adverts 38 in anySurveyor form - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise - without the prior permission of the Sports Massage 31 publisher


Connection Magazine

We can deliver ďŹ&#x201A;yers and leaďŹ&#x201A;ets to 1000 - 12,000 homes and businesses in our distribution area. For more details call 01787 210701 or email:


w: We believe a kitchen should be a place e: WKDWÃ&#x2DC;WVSHUIHFWO\LQWRWKHSHUVRQDOLW\ facebook: /PeldonKitchensLtd DQGFKDUDFWHURI\RXUKRPH$SODFH twitter: @Peldonkitchens WKDWZRXOGIHHOWUXO\OLNHWKHEHDWLQJ m: 07870 663 415 48 Please mention The Connection when responding to adverts p: 0800 917 7457 IXQFWLRQLQJKHDUWRI\RXUKRPH

December/January 2017  

Lots of local content in this issue! Local honey recipes from a beekeeping blogger. Local shops to do your Christmas shopping. And lots of e...

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