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Cotswold Homes Magazine Whether highlighting the successes of local entrepreneurs, broadcasting the work of local charities, cheering on our young sports stars, debating current affairs that impact upon our community or featuring an impressive list of events from arts projects to theatre productions and festivals, we celebrate all the historic, social and cultural influences of the North Cotswolds that make this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty such a wonderful place to live.To that end, our fabulous property section is provided by Harrison James & Hardie, the North Cotswolds’ leading independent estate agency, featuring some of the most gorgeous homes currently available to purchase or to let, whether as a family home or as an investment.

not to be found in the hard copy version of our magazine. Cotswold Homes also has a growing database of around 6,000 residents and frequent visitors to the local area who are registered with us to receive weekly e-mailers on property, events and news plus exciting competitions and offers from independent North Cotswold businesses and renowned tourist attractions such as the RSC, Giffords Circus, Cheltenham Racecourse and Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park.

Our newly designed, beautiful and informative online magazine ( includes a back-catalogue of fascinating content, with exclusive interviews from influential local figures plus advice and opinion from expert professionals on topics as diverse as sport, health and garden design, as well as bonus features

Marketing with Cotswold Homes


Cotswold Homes was originally the name chosen to launch Harrison James & Hardie’s website at the turn of the new millennium, conceived at a time when property portals like Rightmove did not exist.Two years later, the bespoke property website was attracting a million hits a month. In the recession, recognising that many local businesses were struggling to fund expensive traditional advertising, Karen Harrison added an online business directory for fellow independents to benefit from all that traffic.The magazine, originally devised as an online page-turner, provided great editorial copy about local businesses – a hugely positive response from readers and clients alike ensured that a printed quarterly version was the logical next step.The rest is history!

the homogeneity of big brands threatens to overtake every high street.We understand that advertising creates a clear identity and the power of simple repetition reinforces brand awareness but we believe that a good story, well told, does far more to illuminate the abilities, intentions and values of independent businesses, encouraging trust and loyalty by focusing upon the experience, skills and knowledge of the people who make that business work and drive its success, rather than just their products and services.We provide a host of simple, effective marketing strategies to suit, combining the benefits of expertly written editorial with traditional advertising, the clever use of e-marketing and social media platforms such as Facebook,Twitter and Pinterest.

Our aim is to support local independent businesses as a significant part of the North Cotswolds’ unique identity, at a time when

Cotswold Homes reflects the ethics and values of great small business. Our local magazine is as glossy, gorgeous and high-end as you might

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find anywhere, full of interesting content with great production values, but we are a very small team and that allows us to offer excellent, affordable opportunities for local businesses compared with other publications of a similar quality and reach. Cotswold Homes produces 10,000 copies of our seasonal glossy magazine each quarter. Freely distributed so that every copy finds a reader, solely funded and supported by local independent businesses, the magazines are posted through the doors of the loveliest homes in around ninety villages and towns. Stands can also be found at Cotswold train stations including Kingham and Kemble en-route to Paddington, in the Members’ Enclosure at Cheltenham Racecourse and outside the High Street offices of Harrison James & Hardie in Bourton on the Water, Stow on the Wold and Moreton in Marsh.


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CONTENTS COMPETITIONS Our biggest ever haul of seasonal competition prizes!

EDITOR’S WELCOME Welcome to the Summer 2016 Edition of Cotswold Homes. it’s positively jam-packed with wonderful competition prizes (perhaps our biggest haul ever)! We have prize tickets to The Big Feastival, Cornbury, Longborough Festival Opera, The RSC’s Cymbeline and our beloved Gifford’s Circus, an outdoor romeo & Juliet courtesy of The Roses Theatre plus much, much more.

6-11 JAMIE OLIVER, CULINARY ROCK STAR Jamie channels his musical and political ambitions at The Big Feastival


And as for features, it’s a pretty busy issue. Renowned Olympic artist Jeremy Houghton invites us into his Cotswold studio, and reportage illustrator George Butler discusses his depictions of wartorn Afghanistan at the Broadway arts Festival.


High-octane TV chef Jamie Oliver returns for his annual paean to music and food - The Big Feastival - hosted at the Kingham home of Alex James. Comedy director Cal mcCrystal finds his funny bone with a Western-inspired production for Gifford’s Circus, whilst the BBC’s Father Brown returns to Blockley for a Christmas Special. Meanwhile William Fox-Pitt discusses his passion for all things equestrian. We discover the inspiration for martin and lizzie Graham’s ambitious staging of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at longborough Festival Opera and have lunch with lord Digby Jones as he campaigns for adult literacy. And if that weren’t enough, our Hot Property section showcases some of the most beautiful homes currently on offer with Fine & Country North Cotswolds, the international marketing department of local property experts Harrison James & Hardie.

MAPPING SHAKESPEARE Jane Tomlinson shows us her meticulous triptych of bardinspired maps MIND, BODY AND SOUL Our wellbeing experts explain how to make the most of summer’s natural bounty



Cover: Sheep at Wolford by Annabel Playfair (oil on canvas) Annabel was classically trained over 5 years at The City and Guilds of London, Chelsea School of Art and Les Beaux Arts in Paris. She holds a degree in Graphics and Illustration. Annabel has painted all her life but now that her children are older is enjoying devoting her full attentions to her art. We visit Annabel at home in the next issue.


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Design team: Alias

0845 257 7475

Star Chamber Offices, Hollis House, The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 1AF


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Jeremy invites us into his studio to talk about ten years of great commissions

We have a chat with LFO creators Martin and Lizzie Graham – plus longtime conductor Anthony Negus





Get the skinny on The RSC’s latest production in this significant anniversary year

Cal McCrystal, director of this year’s Western extravaganza, on his five years with Giffords Circus



Your comprehensive guide to the best Cotswold events this summer

A choice of stunning village properties to buy and rent – plus expert advice on all things property

76-83 Cotswold Homes magazine Our next edition, Autumn 2016, will bring you more upcoming events, offers and articles showcasing the local area – helping you to get more out of life in this beautiful part of the world. To speak to a member of our team, please telephone 01451 833171 or email:

88-131 editor’s Desk: Property: Food & Drink/equestrian: marketing & Sales: Website & admin:




SUMMER COMPETITION EXTRAVAGANZA Get ready for our greatest giveaway yet!


Go and spend a great weekend of food, tunes and summer frolics with this fabulous prize! a Weekend Ticket is an entry only ticket that includes admission and live entertainment across the music, food and family stages. a Weekend Ticket includes entry on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For more details about this year’s Big Feastival, head to our write-up on page 18. To enter our draw, simply visit competitions-and-offers . The competition closes on 11th august.

WIN! TWO ADULT WEEKEND TICKETS (INCLUDING CAMPING) TO CORNBURY FESTIVAL AT GREAT TEW PARK, 8TH – 10TH JULY Cornbury is a one-of-a-kind Festival, a lovingly crafted, top notch, very english open air party, tailor-made for the whole family set in the heart of the Cotswolds. We’ve got two adult weekend tickets including camping to give away to one lucky winner to this lovely event which is valid for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival. To enter our draw to win this fantastic prize, simply visit . The competition closes on 16th June. COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM THE PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE FOR THE NORTH COTSWOLDS 6

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WIN! 2 PREMIUM TICKETS AND 2 PRE-SHOW DINNERS TO SEE CYMBELINE AT THE RSC, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON ON 26TH SEPTEMBER See Shakespeare’s rarely performed romance of power, jealousy and a journey of love and reconciliation. Britain is in crisis. Alienated, insular and on the brink of disaster. Can it be saved? Cymbeline is Shakespeare’s coming of age tragicomic romance. A story of power, sexuality and identity - stunningly retold for the 21st century. An ineffectual Queen Cymbeline rules over a divided dystopian Britain. Consumed with grief at the death of two of her children, Cymbeline’s judgement is clouded. When Innogen, the only living heir, marries her sweetheart Posthumus in secret, an enraged Cymbeline banishes him. This prize is non-refundable and non-transferable. The prize is only valid for the date listed above and cannot be applied to tickets already purchased. See for more details Cotswold Homes has a pair of tickets up for grabs to see this amazing new production, on a date of your choice, subject to availability. To enter our draw, simply visit The competition closes on 1st September.

Ten actors lift Shakespeare’s words off the page and bring them to life, making it entertaining, fun and understandable to all. You can be assured of some amazing fight sequences, contrasting against the tender and loving scenes from romeo and Juliet themselves. Comedy and tragedy come together to form this ever popular play, enhanced by live music. The GB Theatre Company was formed in 2010 by Barrie Palmer who has performed with The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon and the West End. Over the past seven years, GB has proved itself as the foremost outdoor touring theatre company. producing excellent Shakespeare in traditional costume, using only the best classically trained actors. To enter our draw to win two tickets to this outdoor production of Romeo & Juliet at Victoria Gardens near Tewkesbury Abbey on 4th August (hosted by The Roses Theatre Tewkesbury), visit www. . The competition closes on 21st July.

Entry to our competitions is open to all except the colleagues (and their families) of Cotswold Homes. Winners will be drawn at random and notified by e-mail or by phone and may be posted on our website. No alternative prize or cash substitute is available for any of the prizes. In the event of a winner being unable to accept their prize then another winner will be drawn.

Entries must be made via the competition section of the Cotswold Homes website (or as specified in entry terms of a specific prize) and entry is restricted to one per person. Late, illegible, incomplete, defaced or corrupt entries or entries sent through agencies and third parties will not be accepted. The winner will be drawn at random from all entries received by the closing date and notified via the contact details supplied.

It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the competitor agrees to abide by these rules. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The winner will be contacted within seven days of the closing date of the prize draw. Should the Promoter be unable to contact the winner or should the winner be unable to accept the prize, the Promoter reserves the right to award the prize to an alternative


winner, drawn in accordance with these terms and conditions. The prize is described as available on the date of publication and all prizes are subject to the terms and conditions of the supplier. The prizes do not include travel insurance, food and drink, personal expenditure, or incidental costs, other than where mentioned. All elements of the prize are non transferable and there are no cash alternatives. The winner may be required to take part in publicity. Events may occur that render the prize draw itself or the awarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Promoter and accordingly the Promoter may at its absolute discretion vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to the Promoter as a result thereof.





WIN! A FAMILY TICKET FOR 4 TO GIFFORDS CIRCUS AT CIRENCESTER* all new for 2016, The Painted Wagon show from Cotswold favourites, Giffords Circus, is on tour around our region from 13th may, starting at their home base at Fennells Farm near Stroud, through to 25th September. We’ve snapped up a family ticket to give away to a lucky winner, who can choose a day to attend (*choose from Monday 12th Tuesday 13th or Thursday 15th of September). To enter our draw, simply visit The competition closes on 11th august.

WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO SEE A FILM OF YOUR CHOICE AT EVESHAM’S RENOWNED ART DECO CINEMA, THE REGAL The regal Cinema in evesham is a lovingly restored art deco style cinema with a coffee shop and licenced bar that attracts moviegoers from across the region. it hosts a wide variety of events that include live music and comedy performances, live sports broadcasts and transmissions of live theatre productions, as well as the latest blockbuster films! The lucky winner of this pair of tickets will be able to see a film of their choice for free (subject to availability). To enter our draw, simply visit . The competition closes on 11th august.


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WIN! TWO ANNUAL MEMBERSHIPS TO CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE TO INCLUDE THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL IN MARCH 2017! an absolutely amazing prize is up for grabs for all race-goers and fans of jump racing. The home of the world renowned Cheltenham Festival, Cheltenham racecourse, is offering Cotswold Homes readers TWO annual memberships to the racecourse for the 2016-2017 season, which includes daily entrance to The Festival in march. To be in with a chance of winning one of the two membership packages up for grabs, simply visit . The competition closes on 11th august.


Need a bit of design inspiration to brighten up your bedroom or lend some style to your sitting room? Well, now you could be in with a chance to win the expertise of Gloucestershire-based interior designer, amanda Hanley – renowned for her classic style and friendly approach. Amanda’s also offering the lucky winner £200 to spend on stylish Thibaut Design fabrics available at her beautiful store at The Gallery, 69 High Street, Burford. To enter our draw to win this great prize, simply visit The competition closes on 21st July.






WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO JANÁCEKʼS JENŮFA ON SATURDAY 23RD JULY AT LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL OPERA longborough Festival Opera is a small but remarkable opera house in the Cotswolds, and a highlight of the summer’s countryhouse opera season. located in the grounds of its founders martin & lizzie Graham, audiences enjoy the idyllic setting and splendid views. renowned particularly for its exceptional Wagner productions, longborough also presents a full season of mainstream operas - verdi, mozart, Handel, Janácek and more. Written over a period of some ten years and with the illness of the composer’s daughter Olga hanging over him, the three main elements of Janáček's inspiration at the time the countryside, social justice and his beloved daughter - are brought together in his great opera Jenůfa, a work of outstanding creative unity, scored with music of high drama and rare beauty in which the composer poured out his love for his afflicted daughter through

the central character of Jenůfa. Much-loved by Longborough audiences, Lee Bisset returns to the Cotswolds to sing the title role. For Longborough’s third foray into Janáček’s operatic repertoire, conductor Jonathan Lyness and director/designer Richard Studer, the creative team behind 2008’s The Cunning Little Vixen (“operatic imagery at its best... musically glorious” Opera Now) and 2012’s Katya Kabanova (“superb and idiomatic playing from the orchestra ... Lee Bisset’s wonderful portrayal of Katya” Opera), returns with Janáček’s sublime masterpiece. To enter our draw to win a pair of tickets, simply visit competitions-and-offers . The competition closes on 10th July. Please note that the prize is for the performance date & time advertised only.

As Countryfile’s ratings go from strength to strength, our resident Cotswold farming expert, adam Henson, is delighted to announce the publication of his deeply personal memoir like Farmer, like Son. Join Adam as he shares the touching story of his childhood, exploring a hidden family history and the unbreakable bond between Adam and his life-long hero: his father Joe. In his new book, Adam reveals the family traits and childhood experiences which have made him the man he is today. Like Farmer, Like Son is published on 2nd June. To enter our draw to win a SIGNED COPY of the book, simply visit www. . The competition closes on 11th august.


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WIN 3 X PAIRS OF TICKETS TO RAGLEY HALL BATTLE PROM CONCERT ON SATURDAY 13TH AUGUST WIN TWO TICKETS TO BARBURY INTERNATIONAL HORSE TRIALS ON SATURDAY 9TH JULY This year’s St. James’s Place Barbury international Horse Trials takes place from 7-10 July.The equine spectacular is located on the beautiful marlborough Downs and hosts four days of awesome eventing competition with over 1000 horse and rider combinations poised to compete.

The Battle Proms at ragley Hall, Warwickshire: Saturday 13th august, is a summer celebration with music, Spitfire, cannons, cavalry and fireworks, all with the lake at ragley providing a dramatic backdrop and making for breath taking effects during the many pyrotechnic displays. For more information see www. To enter our draw to win one of two pairs of tickets, simply visit www. The competition closes on 1st august. Please note that the prize is for the performance date & time advertised only.

The CIC three star competition is a highlight, which culminates on the Sunday with the crosscountry phase. Additionally, the horse trials are an important pre-cursor ahead of the 2016 Olympics with many riders destined for Rio taking part. A new addition this year is the third leg of the Event Rider Masters (ERM). The inaugural ERM is an exciting sporting series, showcasing the world’s best ‘Event’ riders with a total of £350,000 in prize money on offer with each leg promising a minimum of £50,000. With some of the very best event riders in the world taking part – it’s set to be another vintage year of equine competition at Barbury. Away from the Eventing action, visitors to the Barbury International on Saturday will be treated to The JCB Champions Challenge - an all-star celebrity race starring Jump Jockeys versus Event Riders, racing against each other over a specially designed course. In addition to the equestrian

spectacle there is plenty of shopping and fun for all the family. We have teamed up with the St. James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials by offering two lucky readers the chance to win two tickets with VIP parking to the event on Saturday 9 July. To enter our draw to win a pair of tickets, simply visit The competition closes on 25th June. Please note that the prize is for the performance date & time advertised only. If you are not lucky enough to win, advanced tickets can be purchased at and start from £12 per person, children go free. Twitter : @barburycastle Facebook: Barbury International Horse Trials Prize includes entry for x2 people to the St. James’s Place Wealth Management Barbury International Horse Trials on Saturday 9 July. There is no cash alternative. Competition winners are required to arrange their own transport to and from the event. The prize is for the performance date & time advertised only.

WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS FOR SUNDAY 7TH AUGUST AT THE FESTIVAL OF BRITISH EVENTING The Festival of British eventing at Gatcombe Park, presented by British equestrian Trade association (BeTa), takes place from 5-7 august 2016 and is one of the highlights of the 2016 equestrian season.

arena hosts the show jumping and a full timetable of family entertainment. With over 100 trade stands there is ample opportunity for some retail therapy, a great weekend for all the family.

One lucky winner will win a pair of tickets allowing entry and parking for Sunday 7 August.

To enter our draw to win a pair of tickets, simply visit competitions-and-offers. The competition closes on 25th July. Please note that the prize is for the performance date & time advertised only.

With much of the cross country action takes place in the stunning Park Bowl, the main



Jamie Oliver

Our Culinary Conscience With the Big Feastival triumphantly returning this summer for another year,

Collette Fairweather catches up with its co-founder Jamie Oliver

to talk Feastival, Baby Number Five and politics.


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Jamie Oliver


There was a backlash regarding your personal thoughts on breast-feeding. Have you come to expect and accept that because you are targeting the explosive subject of parenting, the public are reactive to your opinion? To be honest, I think people misunderstood and thought I was starting a new campaign about breast-feeding when I'm not. It's an area that interests me because it's key to good nutrition in early weeks and months. That was all. But I generally get criticised by someone because I'm on the frontline when it comes to food and health and sugar tax and everything else that goes with it. And not everyone agrees with a sugar tax, despite the fact that it's a tax for good. People think I'm anti-sugar when I'm not. I'm pro-food education so people can make knowledgeable choices about what's an everyday food and what's a treat to have occasionally. It was an obvious success for your campaign when your hard-lobbied sugar tax was included in the latest budget. However, do you ever question the motives of its inclusion? Do you feel the government are committed to the idea of putting a thought process behind our household consumption, or do you fear they are merely motivated by the £520 million this tax will generate per annum?

With approximately 47 restaurants, 28 books, 30 television series totalling over 300 episodes, a monthly magazine, an app, and a range of products ranging from a £2 bottle of olive oil to a £2k wood fire oven…it’s hard to know where to start when interviewing Jamie Oliver. The brand that is Jamie is a formidable force. Not bad for a boy from Essex who left school at sixteen with two GCSEs. Undoubtedly, he’s the most famed chef of his generation, and as much pleasure as the tabloids take in his rare missteps, his popularity remains a constant. A role-model family man - one with not a single ‘kiss and tell’ or employment tribunal hearing to his name - Jamie leads by example as he continues on his passionate crusade of education, and remains the voice in our heads striving us to question our consumption. I’m very interested to know about how the idea for the Big Feastival came about. Did you know Alex James before? Or had you sampled the famous Blue Monday and it got both your taste buds and your grey cells going? OK, well the Feastival didn't start at Alex's [place]. We did the first one on Clapham Common in London, and it was great but there was something missing. It felt a little bit too urban. Of course I knew about Alex, I'd grown up with his music, and as Blur were from Essex, they were like local heroes to me and my mates. I knew he 16

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was a foodie and we'd met briefly before it was suggested that we move Feastival to the farm. So I met with Alex and it was like we'd always been mates. He's also one of the few people who have more kids than I do - until August, anyway. The obvious connection is Alex – music; Jamie – food, but I remember in your early series, credits rolled as you went to town on the drums. Do you still have time to play? Are Scarlet Division still going? Are we going to see you on the music stage this summer? I still have a kit in my barn in Essex but I rarely get to play these days and my old band, Scarlet Division, is long gone. The closest I get to being a rock star is at Feastival. Every year Alex and I take to the stage at some point to "add value" to someone's act. Usually it's the Cuban Brothers but one year we were asked to play Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood with a band called The Producers, created by Trevor Horn, who produced Relax. That was a brilliant experience. So many congratulations on the news you’re set to become a father for the fifth time. I do believe August is the happy month - so what happens if due date and Feastival dates collide? Who is going to hold Jools’ hand? It'll be fine. Baby is due early August. Feastival is late August. There will be no clash. I hope.

Well, the tax is ring-fenced, as I understand it, meaning it goes to schools for sports. I think it should also go towards food education but it's great to have the money raised in the first place. But I think part of it is to get the drinks industry to think seriously about reformulation and some people in that industry are already doing just that. You tackle highly volatile subjects when you promote food education and policy reform. Did you ever predict that it would be such a fight? I'll never admit defeat because the longer the fight goes on, the more people - doctors, teachers, even politicians, all over the world - start to join together to make real change. But you're right, these are volatile, huge, difficult subjects and it requires people to think a long way ahead to even begin to find solutions. You'll have seen how delighted I was with the sugar tax news in March. I couldn't believe it. And there are now countries all over the world with their own sugar tax campaigns and moves towards proper obesity strategies - and that's really exciting. What are the plans for the near future? Or are you going to take some time out to get acquainted with number five? I'll definitely take time out for baby five but before that we've got Food Revolution Day on May 20th and a new book, Family Super Food, out in July, so that'll be a busy summer. When isn’t it busy, Jamie!

Jamie Oliver

The closest I get to being a rock star is at Feastival. Every year Alex and I take to the stage at some point to a" dd value" to someone's act.


SeCtIon tHe BIg FeAStIVAL HeADer

Summer’s here and thanks to the fifth Big Feastival, 2016’s going to be a real sizzler. Would you believe it - we’ve almost had five pukka years of Jamie Oliver and Alex James’ Big Feastival! Over at Alex James’ Kingham Farm, hobs are simmering and guitar strings are being strummed in preparation for 2016’s birthday bash… Since last year’s smash hit, Jamie Oliver and Alex James have been tweaking their festival recipe, ensuring new and returning visitors will be served up course after course of fresh excitements and lip-smacking treats. So, what’s on the menu this year?

Music First up, some meaty headliners: Mark Ronson, Tinie Tempah, Kaiser Chiefs, Róisín Murphy, Foxes and Ella Henderson will be strutting on the Main Stage over three well-stuffed festival days, hosted by star of BBC Radio Jo Whiley.

As if that wasn’t enough, festival stalwarts The Proclaimers, DJ Yoda, DJ Fresh, The Cuban Brothers, Reef, Norman Jay MBE, Toots and The Maytals and Stereo MCs will also be rocking the Cotswolds silly.

Mark Ronson will be seeing in the weekend on Friday 26th August with an excellent DJ set, before Tinie Tempah drops new album material and past mega-hits on Saturday the 27th. Closing Sunday’s festivities are the almighty Kaiser Chiefs, featuring everybody’s favourite frontman/The Voice judge, Ricky Wilson.

Back once again are the UK’s finest beatboxing trio, Duke, who honed their considerable skills in nearby Cheltenham before storming the stage on Britain’s Got Talent (these guys have to be seen to be believed) – and don’t miss the irrepressible party starters from Ghana, Reggie and Bollie, whose good vibes make even Simon Cowell grin. But at the Big Feastival, music’s only a third of the story. Gourmets and grazers will be well-served by what’s in 2016’s larder…


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Family fun abounds at the Big Feastival, and this year there’s a cultural twist with the Royal Shakespeare Company, who’ll be celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare with children’s workshops and interactive activities. CBBC’s delightfully childish duo Dick and Dom are here for some Feastival mayhem, with entertainment sensation Justin Fletcher promising a live rendition of his biggest hits. And as the Olympics return, why not enlist the family to take part in the Big Feastival’s own Family Olympics? And let’s not forget the Big Top, the Vintage Fun Fair, the Little Dude’s Den and the ‘field-tofork’ fun of the Royal Agricultural University’s Allotment Project. Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park will be setting up camp too, establishing a Touch Barn that will allow inquisitive all-comers to cuddle-up to rabbits, lambs, chicks and piglets. With all this in store, 2016 is looking like quite the party. Let’s raise a glass to five years of fun – and here’s to the next five!

Food At the Big Feastival, culinary stars get as big a billing as their musical counterparts. And we’re extremely excited that joining The Big Feastival’s 5th birthday celebration is The Great British Bake-Off winner Nadiya Hussain, who will be baking up a storm in The NEFF Big Kitchen – not to mention new additions Cyrus Todiwala and Dan Doherty, plus nutritionalist and health food pioneer Madeleine Shaw. These latest chefs join a tasty line up over the three-day festival that includes: Jamie Oliver, Tom Kerridge, Raymond Blanc, Thomasina Miers, Gizzi Erskine, Nathan Outlaw, Olia Hercules, Gennaro Contaldo, Ashley Palmer-Watts, Neil Borthwick, Natasha Corrett, José Pizarro and the Fabulous Baker Brothers. (Oh – and don’t forget the and the one and only DJ BBQ, who with his unique brand of ‘catertainment’ brings meat and music to the masses). And who isn’t looking forward to savouring some delectable grub, with countless street food stalls, cookery schools, an artisan Food and Drink market, the Healthy Living Zone and the Friday Night Supper Club joining Alex James’ Cheese Hub. No Feastival goer is going hungry, that’s for sure.

THE BIG FEASTIVAL Bank Holiday Weekend Friday 26th, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August 2016. Alex James’ Farm, Kingham, the Cotswolds. Direct trains from London Paddington to Kingham Train Station. Book tickets online and find out more information about the Big Feastival at Camping Tickets, Weekend Tickets, Day Tickets are available – 12 and Under Day Tickets Free * (*There is a maximum of two free child tickets per adult. Child tickets MUST be applied for at the time of booking adult tickets. Access to the festival will not be granted to children without a ticket.)


Jeremy Houghton


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Jeremy Houghton

Jeremy Houghton In the Studio with

Broadway’s most prolific artist on chatting with Prince Charles, painting the Queen and how to make a splash in the art world.


Jeremy Houghton

When I became a full-time artist, I became aware that doing the painting was almost the easy part. When the paintings are done, you’ve got to get them out of the studio, onto gallery walls, and get people to buy them – that’s the business side of being an artist.

Jeremy Houghton is definitely an industrious man. Take a look at his curriculum vitae and you might just find yourself muttering appreciatively with eyebrows raised, like a recruitment consultant with a hot new candidate. So let’s have a swift peek at those accomplishments: in the last two years, he’s served as Artist in Residence at Goodwood for Lord March and at Windsor Castle for HM The Queen (the latter in 2014 – the same year as his solo retrospective in Broadway’s The Ashmolean Museum). In 2013 – when Jeremy and I last spoke – he was Tour Artist for the Aston Martin Centenary Tour of Europe, and also Artist in Residence at Highgrove for HRH The Prince of Wales. And in 2012, when the UK was abuzz with Olympic fervour, Jeremy served as an Official Olympic Artist. That was the commission when he met and painted Oscar Pistorius, then celebrated as the Blade Runner. In 2010, Jeremy exhibited in the Saatchi Gallery and in 2008, served as the Official Artist at London Fashion Week. That’s a lot of achievement for a career a little over a decade old, isn’t it? ‘The residences, the commissions, the projects – those are exactly the sort of things that I want to be doing,’ says Jeremy, when we meet in his Broadway studio (situated on his parents’ picturesque farm). ‘But they’re kind of like London buses – they all seem to arrive at the same time!’ So when exactly did Jeremy’s odyssey into art begin? ‘When I talk about my own career, I start with Cape Town.’ That’s where Jeremy taught as the Head of Art at the International School of Cape Town, from 2000-2005, after ‘a bit of art school and a law degree.’ (The ‘bit of art school’ being the Slade School of Art, and a course in Fine Art at the University of Provence, this unfinished thanks to the Cape Town job offer). ‘There, I did a series of drawings with a Bic biro, which is what the kids in South Africa had to write with in the state schools (and if you can get over the little hurdle of them blobbing, you can get amazing tone),’ he says. 22

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‘That was the real departure – ever since then I’ve kept a very limited palette, a lot of my work has been quite monochromatic.’ At the far end of his studio, Jeremy displays this very series - several sensitive depictions of the Zulu people, hung as a memento of his years in South Africa. ‘I was asked out there by David Rattray, who has since died.’ (Rattray was a selftaught, much-admired, award-winning expert on the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879. Famous for sharing Zulu memories of that conflict with his storytelling prowess, he was tragically killed during an armed robbery in 2007). The pictures recall the battles between the Zulu Kingdom and the British Empire. ‘[These] were the first military paintings I did,’ he explains. ‘When I hit the big age of 30 in 2005, I decided to come back home and make a go of it. I stuck with the military theme – I’ve always loved the army, the pageantry and the ceremony and everything that goes with it. ‘When I became a full-time artist, I became aware that doing the painting was almost the easy part. When the paintings are done, you’ve got to get them out of the studio, onto gallery walls, and get people to buy them – that’s the business side of being an artist. I knew that if I did military paintings, and worked with certain regiments, that there would be an immediate audience. People are very loyal to their regiments, as my grandfather was to his. So my first big London show was called All the Queen’s Horses, where I had painted the cavalry regiments. It ticked the right boxes: all the right people came along, and I started earning money, so I knew I could do it. ‘The spin-off from that was that some men came to the exhibition from the regiment called the Gentleman at Arms – the oldest regiment in the world. In 2009, they were celebrating their Quincentenary, and asked if I’d like to shadow them for the year. ‘They’re retired officers, and when the Queen has a state occasion, they line the corridors in their swan feathers and tunics, looking very smart.They have access to anywhere, which is pretty special, so on any state occasion – be it the opening of Parliament,

the Garter Service in Windsor, services at Saint Paul’s or Westminster…That was pretty revealing. ‘That lead on to me doing the Highgrove residency. It made sense – Highgrove is just down the road, me being a Cotswold boy. ‘As for the Olympics, our remit was to visually document the journey to 2012 – that was a twoyear journey, as we got the gig in 2010. In that time I [went] between the Olympics and Highgrove, which they were totally cool about. There was no game plan – it was a blank canvas.’ What was Prince Charles like? ‘He was fantastic. What was nice about it in hindsight was his vision was my inspiration. I actually went beyond the garden fence, feeling that the house and garden were quite well publicised, and into the farm, looking at the traditional and organic farming.

Jeremy HougHton

Opposite page: ‘Chickens at Highgrove’; left: one of Jeremy’s drawings of the Zulu people from his time in South Africa, created using a Bic biro; below: a sketch from Jeremy’s notebook drawn during his six month residency at Windsor Castle


Jeremy Houghton

‘He (Prince Charles) was fantastic. What was nice about it in hindsight was his vision was my inspiration. I actually went beyond the garden fence, feeling that the house and garden were quite well publicised, and into the farm, looking at the traditional and organic farming. ‘It was a new angle, and I think it said quite a lot about [Charles] – he’s a country man at heart, and also, he loves his art. On those grounds, we had a lot to talk about. He kept ten or twelve paintings for himself, which are now at Highgrove.’ And around this time, Jeremy painted the athlete Oscar Pistorius – now suffering a fall from grace after killing his girlfriend Reeva Steencamp in 2013. ‘At the time he was the man of the moment: the highest paid athlete at London 2012, and the only Olympic and Paralympic athlete. ‘His sponsors, BT, were our sponsors, so we got dragged out to various events together. He was young, rich, having a laugh – enjoying the attention, enjoying the fame. The world was at his feet, and that was why the events of that Valentine’s Day came as such a shock. The whole thing was weird, having known him – and as that trial was televised, well, it was almost like EastEnders every night.’ Regardless of that bizarre development, Jeremy’s 24

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pictures from that time have captured the sense of excitement and optimism that left the UK energised after the funk of austerity and global recession. This year the sporting theme continues. For the last eighteen months, Jeremy has been at Goodwood for Lord March. ‘That’s probably the sporting estate in the country, the most exclusive playground in the world, if you like, for the rich and famous.’ Beside the razzmatazz and ceremony of sporting events, the simple feat of motion clearly inspires him. ‘I’ve painted sport and movement a lot, and I’m aware that when you try to portray [those things] you can eliminate detail and go down to the essentials. Often, it gets quite abstract.’ Let’s return to the ‘business’ of art. How much does Jeremy enjoy the networking, the creation of publicity? ‘Outside the studio is as crucial as the inside. This is my job – it keeps the kids fed. I’ve got to get out there and exhibit. I’ve got to sell

the work.’ And so there are now eight galleries in the UK that sell his paintings, two in the States, a gallery in Mumbai, another in South Africa – a big difference from a few years ago, when he was ‘the captain of my own ship…the business of trying to sell your own work is quite punchy, quite ballsy. It’s a totally different mentality [to making it]. ‘But I don’t believe in just handing over a painting and expecting somebody to sell it – if you can supply a narrative, a CV that is juicy with residencies and stories, and give the pictures weight and provenance, then it’s a more attractive buy.’ And that’s partly why, I suspect, Jeremy has become so successful – his art of storytelling. Olympic ambition; a prince’s love for his countryside and traditional ways; the loyalty of old soldiers and sporting prestige – all these different and yet congruous narratives have found their expression in this Broadway studio. One can only imagine what stories will join them in the coming years.

Longborough Festival Opera

For the Love of Wagner:


Cotswold Homes Magazine

Longborough FestivaL opera

There’s something fascinatingly


improbable about Longborough


Festival Opera – likely, it’s the

see PAg e 10

opera house itself, happily converted from a barn and continuing to exist all these years later despite the early objections of the local council.

Or maybe it’s the sheer size of the dreams of its creators, Martin and Lizzie Graham. As if the creation of an opera house was impossible enough, what they planned to host in it was ever more grandiose. As is evident from their staggeringly ambitious (and since 2013, realised) dream of staging the entire Wagner’s Ring Cycle (very possibly something no other privately owned opera house has ever done) – the operators of Longborough enjoy a special commitment to the works of Richard Wagner. We interviewed Martin and Lizzie Graham and their long time friend, the conductor Anthony Negus, on what more there is to do with Wagner now that they’ve pulled off the entire Ring Cycle – and how younger listeners can get into opera and Wagner’s music. Lizzie & Martin graham

martin and Lizzie graham Martin grew up in the Cotswold village of Longborough and left school to become a labourer before starting a building business. He met Lizzie – then a schoolteacher - in 1978. In 1995 they moved to Longborough, where in ‘96-‘97 they began outfitting a barn with seats left over from London’s Royal Opera House. Longborough Festival Opera was born. In 2013 they realised their dream of producing three Ring Cycles. CH: Martin, when did you first fall in love with music? MG: In the fifties there was nothing in the curriculum at school. I used to freeze when the little old lady who was the headteacher clambered up onto the stepladder – she was so tiny – to turn on a huge radio that was bolted on the wall. The programme that was played was called Singing Together Rhythm and Melody. Not terribly inspiring but it had all the greats of early English music – and it sort of infected me then. I’m not sure if it did anybody else, but I’ve never forgotten that.

CH: As a child, didn’t you have a friend who encouraged the love of music in you? MG: He was a man named Jack Wilsher, a friend of my dad’s. He was a completely self-taught man. You’d call him a renaissance man, I suppose, he was a working class, East End boy, a cabinet maker who taught himself the violin, the piano, how to sing – everything. He did all of this from his cottage. I used to go around there and he would play things to me, and sing. He always had a very earthy approach to composers: he would talk about ‘bleeding Wagner, God don’t ever get involved with him…’ However, Jack did not live to see Wagner performed here [at LFO]. I would love to know what his attitude would have been – he always purported to hate Wagner. If I ever heard anything about music as a teenager, I could talk to him and he’d give me chapter and verse. It was a great thing. When you talk about how to get people involved in music now, just bear in mind that, now, a little boy going into his house and hearing him play the piano

would be unheard of. There would be suspicions and all sorts of unpleasantness spoken of. But in the fifties, in Longborough and other villages, children just wandered in and out of cottages that had their doors open. The whole concept of community was different, and if there were any untoward situations, I think people would have sensed it. Now, I think you have to be more proactive: take the music to the children instead of expecting children to sidle up and listen to something. CH: When did you first become enamoured with Wagner – and how did that lead into setting up the opera house? MG: There was a Centenary Ring. It was on the telly every Saturday afternoon, and I became transfixed. By then I was at work, married. I said to Lizzie: ‘This is it. We’ve got to do it. We’ve got to build a theatre and get an orchestra and do the Ring Cycle.’ Well of course you can point out that this was a piece of great conceit – but you never get anywhere in this world without being


Longborough Festival Opera

Theatre is really where I started. That’s the other thing about opera – if you like theatre, chances are you’ll like opera, because opera is like Theatre Plus, or even Plus Plus. overambitious. So, thus it was – I wrote to a few people I’d never met, they all told me I was bonkers - to forget it. But those are the words I love to hear, because I think every time you get an opinion like that the complete converse is true: that they were the ones who were nuts! One of my correspondents was Sir George Christie, who ran Glyndebourne - he died only a year or two ago - and he replied straight away: ‘Come and see me. I’ll help you.’ Now that’s what I call encouragement, and that’s why kids today should be completely, unashamedly un-censorious and just write to anybody asking for help. Because most people are nice. That’s how it started – but we didn’t know anybody in the business. We hadn’t got a theatre. But all you need is determination. When the local press and local councillors kept telling us ‘you’ve got to tear this building down before the next season’ – I’d love to see those minutes – the 28

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more confident we became that we were onto something. That all took about ten, twelve years before the Centenary Ring in 2013 arrived. That’s the story, and what needs to be drawn out of it is that anything is possible. Everyone is capable of so much more than they or the system would have them believe. CH: Lizzie, what was it like to have finally staged the whole of Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle at Longborough Festival Opera? LG: In a way it was a fantastic goal to have – you knew what you were working towards. It took fifteen years from the beginning to the end – in the early years we weren’t too picky about doing the whole Ring Cycle but we thought we’d put our foot down and do the whole thing. 2007 was when we started, and even then it took six years to do the whole thing…when

the bicentenary came around, we were the only opera house in the UK to do a full Ring in that year. It was a complete fluke, really – the Opera House had theirs in 2012 to go with the Olympics. It was exhausting – but incredibly satisfying. CH: There’s been a lot of talk about how to get the younger generation into opera. Where would be a good place to start? LG: You’d think there would be a very straightforward answer to that! A lot of people start with Puccini – that’s where I started with Madame Butterfly – and get bowled over by it. It’s usually the music that first gets you going, not the story – the story is simple and dramatic, but the music knocks you sideways. It depends on your nature, I think. The trouble is our terrible education system, unfortunately. There’s this ‘us and them’ attitude to what is perceived as high culture. It doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be.

Longborough Festival Opera

We – along with every other kind of arts organisation – have a schools programme.You might go in and they’ll think: “Oh, that’s only for clever people” or “That’ll be really boring.” But at the end of the day, and you ask how they like it, without exception they always say: “It was great! I didn’t know it would be like that!” And some end up begging to come to a rehearsal. At the end of the day, it’s simply exposure – that’s what it is all about. A lot of people think Wagner is difficult, but everybody’s heard The Ride of the Valkyries – and I’ve yet to meet a child that didn’t love it.

different challenge. Certainly one and possibly two will present a colossal challenge, because they’ve got very big choruses. One of the reasons we’re doing Tannhäuser this year is because it’ll give us an idea of how many people we can have in the chorus, how many people we can accommodate onstage. CH: What’s Tannhäuser about? LG: Like a lot of writers, Wagner kept writing about the same thing all the time really! This is one he really struggled with, knowing what he wanted to say but not quite sure how to say it.

Back when I was in my twenties and first going to the opera, it was always helpful if there was a tune I knew that I could look out for. That really helped. Now, I love going to new opera, to modern opera, and all the things I haven’t been to.

[The character of] Tannhäuser is Wagner, really, torn between the call of art and noble life and on the other hand wanting all the pleasures of the world. The two are embodied in the ‘good woman’ and the ‘bad woman.’

CH: What’s the next grand ambition?

He’s torn in the way that many people are – caught between the good that they want to achieve and also their longings for pleasure, for beauty. How do you reconcile those things? That’s really what it’s all about: life, really!

LG: Oh, we’ve still got ambitions! Now the Ring is done, our aim is still to stage all of Wagner’s operas. We did Tristan und Isolde last year, and reviving that again next year, and we’re doing Tannhäuser this year…Wagner only wrote ten ‘biggies’, so to speak, and by the end of this year we will have done six. Each one of the remaining four will present a

[Wagner] did several versions of it, and what we’re using is a combination version. There’s not one straightforward version that you can use because he kept going back to it. Our conductor told me that at the end of his life, Wagner said: ‘I still owe

the world a Tannhäuser.’ He viewed it as a work in progress, obviously. Again and again, throughout his work, you see characters that he’s invested a lot of himself into – and the problems that he had. CH: Lizzie, how did you first encounter opera? Theatre is really where I started. That’s the other thing about opera – if you like theatre, chances are you’ll like opera, because opera is like Theatre Plus, or even Plus Plus. I used to think that opera was silly and boring, like bad theatre, but now I’ve seen the light [laughs]. So I came from the theatre side, whereas Martin came from the music. Music has always been like a drug for him, really. I was sixteen when I saw my first two or three operas, which were okay, but I wasn’t that keen to go back. In my late twenties I thought I’d give it another go, and was hooked. I went to two Puccinis in the space of three weeks – Butterfly and Tosca – and I was totally bowled over. I thought it would all take ages…that somebody would be dying, that they’d be singing for hours while they were dying, and it’d all be very boring – but it all went like a flash! And so I thought: what have I been missing all my life? It was a real Road to Damascus moment, and I never looked back after that.


Longborough Festival Opera

CH: Tell us about this year’s production of Tannhäuser. In a way, Tannhäuser is one of the most adventurous things that we’ve taken on so far. We now have a chorus involved – in the case of The Ring Cycle and Tristan we had twelve sturdy men. Now for Tannhäuser we have double the number, because we’ve got ladies as well, for a chorus of twenty-four.

Anthony Negus Anthony Negus is Music Director of Longborough Festival Opera and gained international authority as a conductor and coach of Wagner’s works. At Longborough he conducted the acclaimed Ring Cycle in 2013 and in 2015 Tristan und Isolde. In 2016 he returns to the Festival to conduct Tannhäuser. Born in Buckingham, Anthony studied at the Royal College of Music, the London Opera Centre and Christ Church, Oxford. He was a member of the music staff in Wuppertal and Hamburg from 1970 to 1974 and musical assistant at Bayreuth from 1972 to 1973. Anthony was on the Music Staff of the Welsh National Opera from 1976 until 2011 and conducted many operas for them. He has recently been appointed Music Director of Opra Cymru. 30

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It’s a small chorus for a piece like this but for the size of the theatre, it’s the first time we’ve done a chorus like this and it is going to be very exciting. It’s a lot of pressure on them to be important parts of the drama. CH: What’s the story of Tannhäuser? It’s Wagner’s most autobiographical work, in some ways. It follows The Flying Dutchman, so if you’re taking that as the first of his mature works, then Tannhäuser is number two. The story very much concerns the sacred and the profane. Tannhäuser is a very extreme character,

one of the famous ‘Minnesingers’ from the 11th, 12th, 13th centuries. They sing about women and idealise them as their inspiration, and they celebrate chaste, chivalric love. But Tannhäuser, in his songs, instead sings of something very sensual and sexual. We discover him in the arms of Venus, having left his fellow singers for the sensual atmosphere of the Venusberg. It’s an absolutely sensual Wagner work, and it’s incredibly powerful and moving. The character of Elizabeth in particular is deeply moving, and Wagner writes some wonderful music for her in the second and third acts. CH: How can I get into Wagner? You couldn’t do better than to listen to the overtures of Tannhäuser and the Venusberg Music, because that would give an incredibly good taste of it. I got into Wagner in my teens because I heard great orchestral excerpts, like Siegfried’s Rhine Journey. A very, very good way to sample Wagner before listening to the more vocal aspects is listening to the more orchestral [pieces].

Find out more about Longborough Festival Opera by visiting


Broadway Arts Festival 3rd – 19th June 2016

This fourth biennial Broadway Arts Festival, features twelve participatory artsbased workshops, including “Colour and Light with Pastels” with Tony Allain, “Creating Textures in Watercolour” with Deborah Walker, “Paint with Oils and Gouache” with Gary Long, “Painting Painterly Portraits” with Roger Dellar and “Drawing for the Terrified” with Chipping Campden’s Niki Crew. The two music workshops are VOCES8 “Music for ages 12-19” and the “Come and Sing” Choral Workshop for adults. Children aged 3-11 will enjoy the free drama workshop from the Blunderbus Theatre Company. The eight strong lecture series features “Shakespeare’s Garden” by Sir Roy Strong, “Sargent in Broadway” by John Singer Sargent’s great-nephew Richard Ormond CBE, “Paddy’s World” by John Julius Norwich about international travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor. Photography fans will be delighted by an exhibition of the photographs of Patrick Lichfield from the Lichfield archives. The John Noott Collection of World War II art will be on show, as

“The John Noott Collection of World War II art will be on show, as well as a selling exhibition at the Little Buckland Gallery of 200 of the finalists from the Broadway Arts Festival Open Art Competition ...”

well as a selling exhibition at the Little Buckland Gallery of 200 of the finalists from the Broadway Arts Festival Open Art Competition – with the theme this year of ‘conflict’ in its broadest sense. The festival features four concerts with internationally known performers: Nicholas Merryweather, baritone, will give a song recital, and concerts by the acclaimed groups VOCES8, Trio Severn from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and a lunchtime ‘One Piano, Four Hands’ recital by Charlie Bennett and Jessica May who are well-known locally. Theatre is represented by a performance of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ by Heartbreak Productions.





ARTS FESTIVAL Reportage Illustrator George Butler is just one of the many exciting speakers coming to this year’s Broadway Arts Festival, where he’ll be giving an illustrated talk about his work. George established the Hands Up Foundation in 2014 with three friends. The Foundation raises funds and awareness for those affected by the crisis in Syria. Beneficiaries include two prosthetic limb clinics and medical staff in Aleppo.

George Butler specialises in travel and current affairs. In August 2012 he walked from Turkey across the border into Syria, where he was an unofficial guest of the rebel Free Syrian Army. Six months later he made a similar trip back to Syria (Feb 2013) to record the stories amongst the refugees. These drawings were reproduced by the Times, the Guardian, Evening Standard, Der Spiegel, ARD television Germany, NPR (USA) and reported on the BBC World News, BBC World Service, CNN twice, Al Arabiya and Monocle Radio. In March 2014 he was commissioned by Doctors of the World to record the living conditions of the Syrian refugees in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon. The work was shown on the BBC and in the Guardian before being exhibited at the V&A Museum. CH: How did people who you were drawing in places like Afghanistan react to seeing you making pictures at the side of a street? GB: They absolutely loved it. There’s something 32

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nice about drawing [in public] where people will come and look over your shoulder, come and ask what you are doing. Because anyone can use a pen and paper, it’s a good introduction to people if you don’t have a language in common. People in Afghanistan were as friendly as they were in Syria, or Azerbaijan or West Africa. If you’re on your own and you’re doing that sort of thing on then street then it’s sort of an invitation, I suppose, for people to come and talk to you – and from there you can get invited to see things that you ordinarily wouldn’t see. Can you tell us a little bit about the prosthetic limb project that you visited in Kabul? A huge amount has been written about it on the Internet; it’s run by an unbelievable Italian doctor named Alberto Cairo, who has worked there for twenty-five years - he’s even been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Alberto only employs people who have lost a limb. The guard has one arm; the physiotherapist is in a wheelchair with no legs. The people there are very sympathetic towards patients because they’ve all lost limbs, but there’s no feeling sorry for themselves – there’s a fantastic atmosphere of people helping themselves and each other. If you walk around the workshops, you notice that every single person is missing a limb. Alberto jokes: if you want to work here, you’ll have to cut off your arm before we’ll offer you a job. At one end of the compound, they even have a basketball court. I felt lucky to be able to draw there. Again, people were very passionate and welcoming – it’s almost sort of embarrassing because people are thanking me for coming to draw them. I felt moved by their generosity and hospitality and the time they gave me.

george butLer

The drawings that I show aren’t about running around, chasing bullets or getting in the way of the action – that might be better left to war photographers to comment on - but rather show the lives of people who are left behind, just trying to get by.



My opinion on the refugees and the crisis in general is that the real issue is in and around Syria. There are a huge number of people who are vulnerable and need our help who still remain in Syria, and there’s a huge number around the borders.


Cotswold Homes Magazine

george butLer

In 2014 you were a guest of the Syrian Free Army in Azaz, and you’ve also witnessed the conditions faced by refugees staying in Lebanon. People in Britain have many different attitudes towards taking in refugees, but you’re a person who has seen the sort of conditions the refugees live in first hand…What’s your take on this issue, based on what you’ve experienced? I can only comment on what I experienced, and in a way I was lucky, because I was able just to go there and draw for my job. My opinion on the refugees and the crisis in general is that the real issue is in and around Syria. There are a huge number of people who are vulnerable and need our help who still remain in Syria, and there’s a huge number around the borders. Least in terms of numbers and cost are those who come across borders and into Calais. We shouldn’t ignore them any less than the next person, but if you’re raising money and being practical, I think Syria and the borders are a priority and a priority that we should raise

money for. (see Tell us about what you’ll be talking about at the Broadway Arts Festival. I’ll be showing some drawings from Syria, the first and second times that I went there (so 2012, 2014). The drawings that I show aren’t about running around, chasing bullets or getting in the way of the action – that might be better left to war photographers to comment on - but rather show the lives of people who are left behind, just trying to get by. That’s what these drawings represent. Have you got any other excursions lined up? I’ve just come back from a trip to Tajikistan where I was following Islamic migrants who were moving to Moscow for work, as economic immigrants. I’ve been looking at why they go, their reasons for doing it - and who gets left behind, again. It’s very exciting.

don’t miss george’s talk at The broadway Arts Festival June 16 at 7pm, Lifford hall, Lower green wr12 7bu. Tickets cost £10 and are available at The broadway Arts Festival is from 3rd – 19th June. For more information visit or call 01386 898387



to do well. I have been very fortunate in my career and have had lots of lucky times – so I am very aware that I am probably not due many more!

diary of an equestrian Lady

CH:You have a reputation for generosity when it comes to giving advice, even to your direct competition. Do you have any particular protégés you are working with? WF-P: Melissa Townshend – she is now riding my old wonderful horse Gaucho, and is hopefully stepping up to 3* level this year so it is a big time and is very exciting for me. She’s one to keep an eye out for.

Mr Fox-pitt collette Fairweather seizes the opportunity to quiz the famous Mr Fox-pitt on family, giving madonna riding lessons and the future of british eventing. With over two decades of competition in his career belt,William Fox-Pitt is a regular on the equine eventing circuit. A sport that demands balance, eventing requires jockeys to conquer different disciplines to triumph – competitors must show their mastery at crosscountry, dressage and show jumping. A bulging trophy cabinet lays testament to William Fox-Pitt’s talents, containing two silver and one bronze Olympic Medals, six World Championship medals and eleven European Championship Medals. Known as the gent of the eventing circuit, William will often be found discussing tactics with fellow competitors, displaying an apparent lack of killer instinct top-level sport encourages. Perhaps it is this chivalrous approach that has seen him dominate this sport throughout his twenty-year career. Both his physique and enviable relationship with his ride mean that he is easily identifiable both on and off a horse. His towering 6 foot 5 inch lean and chiselled frame, which has in no doubt inspired the odd Jilly Cooper character, is synonymous with his sport of eventing, and both spectator and competitor alike are ever keen to see how William fairs on course. His wife, Channel 4 Racing’s Alice Plunkett, is a top equestrian in her own right: the only woman to have ridden at both Badminton Horse Trials and over the Grand National course at Aintree.The Fox-Pitt family have made their family home and yard in Dorset, and are often found en masse at events all over the country, especially in our glorious Wolds, the heart of the eventing circuit. CH:With so many competitions featured over 36

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weekends, do your family join you, or is it just another day at the office? WF-P: The family come to as many events as they can. With eventing, there’s always a great family atmosphere with owners and friends at the competition. CH: Coming from an equine dynasty, do your own children enjoy riding? WF-P:The boys, Oliver (11) and Thomas (9), have their own ponies and ride when they can. They belong to pony club and enjoy the rallies, I go with them if I am not competing. Chloe (3½) has just started to ride her Shetland, and I am sure Emily (1½) will follow suit when she is big enough. CH:When there’s an imbalance between prize money and the cost of competition, how do you see the future of the sport? WF-P: With events such as the Event Rider Masters, they are the brainchild of a few proactive individuals in the eventing industry, one being my wife, Alice. It [will be] launched this season at several events, including Barbury Castle Wiltshire, Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.These specific classes will raise the sport’s profile and provide much needed extra sponsorship and prize money.

CH: I’m told you also have the odd celebrity ask for your advice, too.Tell me about coaching Madonna? How did that come about? WF-P: When she was getting back into riding she Googled me as a local rider and asked for help. She had plenty of lessons that were good fun and on the odd occasion she enjoyed riding Moonman, (twice British Open Champion). She has now gone back to America and sadly it all came to an end. CH: How do you see the next ten years? Are you keen to continue competition or are you looking to move into a training role, perhaps a Chef d’Equipe role at some point? (Or maybe a racehorse or two?) WF-P: I am still very much enjoying competing and I am looking forward to another few years hopefully on some very nice horses. Beyond that I have not thought too much, but would anticipate that I will be involved in the sport - and yes, perhaps a few racehorses in the mix would be exciting, if time allows. As we head off to print we’re keeping our fingers crossed for William’s horse Chilli Morning’s inclusion in the Rio Olympics – and wish him well as he sets off to his fourth Olympic Games on the quest of securing that elusive gold medal.

cotswold calendar of summer eventing 7-10 July 2016 ~ Barbury International ~Eventing and Show, Barbury Castle Estate, Wiltshire 5-7 August 2016 ~ Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire 5-9 August 2016 ~ Olympic Eventing in Rio de Janeiro ~ television coverage times to be confirmed 11-14 August 2016 ~ NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials, Hartpury College, Gloucestershire

CH: Having been at the top of the eventing game for the past twenty years, do you still get the same adrenaline fix from eventing?

8 -11 September 2016 ~ Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

WF-P: I still find myself as keen as ever and it very much depends on the horse I am on as to what my ambition is. If I am on a good horse I do still hope

16 -18 September 2016 ~ The Gatcombe Horse Trials, Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire

William Fox-Pitt


Jane Tomlinson

Mapping the plays oF shakespeaRe 400 years after the bard’s death, eynsham artist Jane tomlinson unveils her colourful new triptych of maps.

Above & opposite: excerpts from Jane Tomlinson’s triptych of maps


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Jane Tomlinson

Not many writers are still celebrated and studied four hundred years after they shuffle off the mortal coil, but then, Shakespeare was no ordinary writer. And so 2016 is an understandably significant year for Stratford-upon-Avon, but look around, and you’ll find tributes to the Swan of Avon popping up everywhere around this sceptred isle. Artist Jane Tomlinson might have moved away from the town of her – and Shakespeare’s – birth, but she’s seized the chance to honour the playwright who had such a big impact on her life. ‘I feel uniquely qualified to paint stuff about Shakespeare, because he’s been such a huge figure in my life,’ says Jane. ‘I was born just down the road from where he was born, in Stratford-upon-Avon. At school, we even got a day off on his birthday. It was as an important a date in the year as Christmas, as bonfire night…

So, where did the idea of creating a triptych of maps come from?

‘And as I painted it, I realised that there was more fun to be had. Many of the plays take place in the British Isles and Italy, and each of those places deserved a painting in their own right. So over Christmas and New Year I created Shakespeare’s British Plays, which was immediately followed by Shakespeare’s Italian Plays, completed in February 2016.’

‘I began with the simple idea of a painting of all the plays mapped out in their approximate geographic position, on a map of Europe and the Mediterranean. The result, completed in November 2015, was my Map of the Plays of Shakespeare. It was such fun to paint.

Each meticulously created A1 painting was displayed in Stratford’s Montpellier Gallery from March until late May 2016. Order prints and gift cards by visiting - and don’t forget to browse some of Jane’s other works.

‘Of course it meant much more than just a Free Day Off. The theatre absolutely dominated the town: we’d play in the theatre gardens, and my mum used to drag me along to the theatre itself at a very young age – only eight or so.’



With Cymbeline Director

M e l ly S t i l l

C y m b e l i n e i s n o w p l ay i n g i n t h e R o ya l S h a k e s p e a r e T h e at r e . Shakespeare’s coming of age tragicomic romance, Cymbeline is a story o f p o w e r , s e x u a l i t y a n d i d e n t i t y - s t u n n i n g ly r e t o l d f o r t h e 2 1 s t c e n t u r y. D i r e c t o r M e l ly S t i l l t e l l s u s w h y s h e wa n t e d t o d i r e c t t h i s r a r e ly p e r f o r m e d p l ay, a n d w h at a u d i e n c e s c a n e x p e c t. Pictured: Cymbeline in rehearsal. Photos by Ellie Kurttz.

Cymbeline is one of the lesser known of Shakespeare’s plays. Why did you want to direct it? I first read Cymbeline when I was 16, as it was compulsory A-level reading. It felt like a sort of thriller fairy tale - about two excitable people the same age as me: emotionally scattered, changing thoughts mid-sentence, losing confidence one minute and asserting it the next, full of ardour, rage, insecurity and arrogance, displaying the kind of death wishes that come with inexperience and a sense of invincibility. I’ve loved it ever since. It’s a play that expresses folly and valour in one person, brutality and kindness in another; it induces laughter and horror in the same moment. Like life, it’s full of contradictions. It’s about teenagers coming of age: Innogen and Posthumus think they are in love but have no idea how to sustain it. They have to strip themselves of their acquired identities and learn resilience, tolerance and acceptance before they can reunite, and even then there is no certainty. Similarly, the adult world they live in is also adjusting to a new age. Shakespeare depicts an insular Britain, which is trying to decide whether it wants to capitulate to the demands of Rome (or Europe). Innogen hopes that the world is bigger than the claustrophobic island on which she’s grown up: ‘Prithee think there’s livers out of Britain.’ The story is one that still strikes a chord today. The UK is still grappling with national identity both within its island and beyond; is it better off as a part of Europe or is the surrounding sea an irresistible sever? I can’t think of a more pertinent play in the canon than this one. Can you tell us a bit about your vision for the production? We’re framing our production in the not too distant fantasy future. It’s a dystopian vision: we’re imagining Britain after years of increased insularity and defensiveness, exacerbated


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by an insecure future. Suspicion, poison, corruption and banishment rule. Nature no longer flourishes, and our industry has withered too – modern comforts and technology are scarce. This Britain is a parched, old, crumbling and inorganic environment. Hope is being squeezed out. But this is a tragicomedy. Values and beliefs are tackled with humour and pathos. There is bitterness, sweetness and absurdity. Many people will be interested in your casting, especially your decision to cast Cymbeline with an actress. Can you tell us about your thought process behind this? Cymbeline explores the restoration of order from disorder. Whether we name it or not, to most of us that probably means patriarchal order. Apart from the fact that it makes no sense to perpetuate a limited view of women by having so few on stage, I was also interested in shifting expectations by making both Cymbeline (the monarch) and Guiderius (the heir to the throne) women. When Guiderius (or Guideria) and Cymbeline are reunited, the sense of relief at having a good King in place to restore order is undermined. Rather than the restoration of patrilineal order, it becomes more about the possibility of a new order. Queen Cymbeline is no less flawed than her original male counterpart. She is still ineffectually trying to make an old system work under the influence of her devious husband. But when we discover she has been separated from her child, we might focus more on her personal grief than on the country missing an heir to the throne. How does the increased number of women on stage and the flipping of characters’ genders (Cymbeline and the Queen/Duke) affect the play? There is no reason for the characters in this play not to be women, other than a desire to be traditional and to




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render the play as truly Jacobean as possible. In life there are as many women as men in the world and Cymbeline is a snapshot of life.

from the natural environment in the name of progress and civilisation. I can’t think of a play in the canon more pertinent to 2016 than this one.

I think it would have been just as valid to have Cymbeline the man played by a woman but I chose to swap the genders. The effect is that Cymbeline’s queen and Innogen – the two traditionally female characters, wicked queen versus spirited princess - no longer serve as polarised perceptions of women. The wicked queen is great fun but no more so than a dastardly duke.

This year will entertain the discussion of British identity and union at length in preparation for the European referendum: issues that are dramatised by the play. What does it mean to be a united island or to be united with the rest of Europe?; are we English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish or British?; are we better off as a part of the European Union or not?

Is this your first time directing a Shakespeare play – are there any challenges specific to staging his work?

Can you give us any sneaky peeks about what we can expect at this stage?

Just that the more you dig, the more you find, so I need more rehearsal time! It’s a challenge, but an exciting one. The language is sometimes impenetrable on the page: it’s full of changes of thought mid-sentence, sentences within sentences and thoughts half expressed; but when the actors embody and animate the characters, it begins to cast a spell. At the moment I can only think of the joys of staging, of everything I love: Shakespeare embraces wonder and the uncanny as part of everyday experience; his work demands an ensemble of physically and textually gifted actors; and there are no stage directions.

The play is reset in a not-too-distant fantasy future. The Britain we see is mildly dystopian: we find ourselves in a post-fuel crisis world. All our modern technology and industry has been lost, as well as much of our natural landscape. In this society, resources are scarce, so everything is upcycled or recycled. Plastic bottles function as gas masks; weaponry is make-shift; clothing is repurposed high-quality garments: the bits that have lasted. It’s the future, but there are no mobile phones, no laptops, no tablets.

The play is being staged 400 years after shakespeare’s death. What makes shakespeare’s plays still so popular after so many years? You can’t read a Shakespeare play without travelling in time. Every play reforms itself to fit any political, religious or cultural crisis. Cymbeline examines the impact of severing ourselves

The environment in the British Court is that of an old, crumbling, concrete-filled London: A tumbled, brokendown, palatial setting. Everything is parched. The only sign of nature we see, a single tree, is preserved like a museum piece. In Cymbeline, Shakespeare examines the impact of nature on our character as well as civilisation. In staging it, I was interested in how human progress can also sever us from our natural surroundings.

n o W p l ay i n g i n t h e r o ya l S h a k e S p e a r e t h e at r e , S t r at f o r D - u p o n - aV o n . f i n D o u t m o r e a n D b o o k t i C k e t S at w w w. R s C . o R g . U k / C y M B e l i n e


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seCTion HeaDeR





a director who specialises in physical comedy, Cal McCrystal has quite the CV – he’s worked on acclaimed films Paddington and The Amazing Spiderman, directed James Corden in smash-hit West end show One Man, Two Guvnors and shaped the sensational stylings of Cirque du soleil and UK comedy outfit, The Mighty Boosh. Returning to Giffords for his fifth show, Cal tells us how he joins forces with Giffords’ creator/ringmistress Nell Gifford (and Tweedy the Clown) to create a truly rib-tickling experience.

Hi Cal. Could you tell us how your relationship with Giffords started? An actor I knew was in Giffords’ production of War and Peace, and he knew Nell Gifford was looking for a director the following year, so he recommended me. Nell,Toti [Gifford] and I had a long chat about what circus meant to us. We clicked, and I’m still here five years later. What’s it like working with nell? Where do the two of you start when it comes to directing a Giffords’ show? Nell and I go for a cup of tea (normally while a tour is running) and come up with the theme for the following year. Nell gets very excited about the design of the show and I get excited about the potential narrative - it’s a collaboration between the two of us. Once we’re in rehearsal, we create the narrative the running order of the story and the characters. It’s the most fruitful and truest collaboration I think I’ve ever experienced, and I truly enjoy working together. What’s it like working with the circus performers, who don’t all necessarily have a ‘theatrical’ training? 50

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That’s a good question – it’s a very different process from working with a theatre show because it can be quite difficult to tell a story [using] people who have one main skill, be that juggling or whatever it is (albeit these are wonderful skills!). What I try to do is to get to know everyone and build the show up around their personalities – so I’m not asking them to act, I’m just encouraging them to do whatever they’re doing in the show with their full personality. I make little stories around them, and I can sculpt those stories by coaching them in body language, making sure that they’re heard… One doesn’t want to see acting in a circus anyway. The point is having a good time, and because there’s always a narrative in my shows (and there’s a particularly strong narrative this year) you just have to find a way to tell a story without relying on acting. What do you find exciting about this year’s show in particular? It’s a Western. Everybody has an idea of what a Western is, and people will be arriving knowing what the rules of Westerns are: baddies dressed in black, goodies in white…Classic films from the

1950s are a particular influence. (I grew up in the States, and we studied the Oregon Trail and all that in primary school). It’s when the audience think they know what you’re trying to provide that you can then break those rules, and still keep people on board, take liberty with previous ideas. I’ve found in the last couple of years the element of pathos that I’ve introduced has really seemed to hit home, so I’m developing that idea this year. I’ve got an unrequited love story – and there’s another secret romance running through that I can’t talk about! But it’ll all be very light-hearted fun, just with those little moments of pathos dropped in…with little moments of beauty dropped in amongst all the fun and excitement and pace. What do you think people get from the Giffords’ experience that they can’t get anywhere else? I think the beautiful thing about Giffords is the intimacy of it. It’s not a big tent: it holds a few hundred (and you have to squeeze a few more in because it sells out).The shows are incredibly warm. They’re full of heart. I think the element of comedy that I’ve brought has been very popular, because that makes the show interactive – audiences are participating in the show through their laughter.


the shoWs are incrediBlY Warm. theY’re full of heart. i think the element of comedY that i’ve BrouGht has Been verY popular, BeCaUse THaT MaKes THe sHOW iNTeRaCTiVe – aUDieNCes aRe PaRTiCiPaTiNG iN THe sHOW THROUGH THeiR laUGHTeR.



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I think also that Giffords Circus is genuinely a family, because we keep certain performers back each year – Bibi and Bichu obviously, Nancy and Tweedy, etc. So the audience get to know these people, and they get to love them.

one, am much more careful than I was in that first year.

It’s lovely to sit in the audience when the lights come on and hear a whisper go around the tent when Bibi and Bichu come on (which you also get with Tweedy) and there are running jokes about them that the audience get, because they see them every year. I think the audience feels a sense of ownership that they might not get with other shows and circuses.

I was an actor for a long time, around twenty years. I always did comedy and I suppose that without thinking about it I was always a bit of a physical comedian – it was just something instinctive.

Do you have a stand out memory from your years working with Giffords Circus? The first year I was with Giffords, I decided to throw a party. I got so drunk at this party that I ended up wandering around Bourton-on-theWater completely unable to remember where I was staying. I’d spent a lot of money on this party for the whole company, and everybody had gone home, and I was wandering around Bourton crying, and saying: ‘why is this happening to me?’ Somebody found me and put me in a hotel. The next day, a few people were absent from rehearsals. We still do the party, but I, for

How did you get into the business of directing physical comedy?

I then appeared in a show directed by the famous performance guru Philippe Gaulier, who I’d studied with.Then people started asking me to direct them – such as The Mighty Boosh, who were just two comedians at the time. I just got a name for being able to make things funny. The directing just sort of took off! I gradually took on more of the directing work that I was offered than the acting. I love my job. I still do tiny bits of acting now and again – I did some of the motion capture work in the Paddington movie, and I’m about to start work on the new Paddington movie. I had a small part in The Amazing Spiderman 2, where I was physical comedy director. I love all those, but my favourite gig every year is Giffords Circus.



We meet Ollie Halas, chef at Giffords Circus’ 60-seat travelling restaurant Circus Sauce, to talk Wild West dishes, puppets, platters and local provenance. Yee-Haw!

Better stick some cutlery in your holsters, cowboys – because this year Gifford Circus’ travelling restaurant Circus Sauce has a distinctly Western flavour to suit the new show, The Painted Wagon. Featuring such dashing desperados as outlaw ‘El Gifford’ and the Cotswold’s favourite clown, Tweedy, Giffords is sure to deliver another brilliant show to families across the Shires. But what’s going on in the Circus Sauce kitchen? ‘This year we ran a competition to get inspiration for our menu,’ reveals chef Ollie Halas. ‘We’ve had lots and lots of really great ideas in, from gumbo recipes to prickly pear dessert.’ At the time of writing, Ollie and the team are rummaging through the submissions and picking out the ideas they like best.

Though he’s spent a little time in France, Ollie was mostly trained in the Cotswolds, in places such as Bibury Court. For him, one of the highlights of the Giffords job is ‘being able to cook local produce from the local area. The menu changes every week – we use suppliers based around each area that we visit.’ Devising the menu is a team effort, with the whole team getting together and devising the dishes from what can be found around the tour stops. ‘Over the weekend, we’ll be going foraging and looking for nettles.’ Setting a menu in this manner is just one of the benefits of working in a travelling restaurant. ‘As far as I know, it’s the only continuously travelling restaurant in the UK. Though maybe there’s a double decker bus that goes round!’

Since the end of the 2015 season, Ollie’s been working away in the Alps for the ski season, but tells us that while he was away he was anxious to get back to Giffords. ‘Getting the restaurant together is always fantastic, and this year we’ve got an amazing team. Plus there’s the puppets.’

The other great perk of the job being, of course, the sort of memories that only working alongside clowns and jugglers in a hectic touring circus can create. ‘There are so many great memories,’ says Ollie. ‘Though one that stands out for me is the time when Marco Pierre White.’

Puppets? In a restaurant!? ‘Yes! All the food comes out banquet-style on lovely Emma Bridgewater platters – Emma Bridgewater being Giffordsfounder Nell Gifford’s sister – and then we have a puppet show in the restaurant. This year, of course, there’ll be various Wild West puppets.’

Puppets? Local produce? We’re sure to visit Circus Sauce when the circus wagons come rolling around – and you should too.


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Find out more about Circus Sauce at


WE MET WITH MIKE PEARSON RECENTLY AND ASKED HIM TO EXPLAIN WHY AN ACCOUNTANT, WHO HAD SPENT OVER 25 YEARS WORKING IN THE CITY OF LONDON, DECIDED TO LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND AND BECOME A CIDER MAKER. So, the obvious question: What made you do it? I ended up in the City by accident really. A couple of years ago I realised that life was just passing me by. I wanted to be able to go home at the end of the day and to have done something tangible, rather than just writing some boring report or doing some sums. Why did you set up in Moreton in Marsh? I was born in Moreton and grew up in Blockley until leaving to start work in 1987. I’d been commuting to the City since we moved back in 2003. The farm where our cider mill is based is a really nice place to go to work, and there’s no commute! How did you go from making a few bottles for yourself to becoming a grown-up craft cider maker? I knew a bit about making cider, and then read every book on apples and cider making that I could find, everything on the internet, and went on a few courses. Our business plan was simple: “other people manage to do it, it must be going to work, we just need to make nice cider”. My wife gets involved, my dad helps out whenever he can, as do both my sons. And how has that turned out? It’s been a long and eventful journey. It’s like anything, you can read the coaching manual but you never really know how to do something properly until you get your hands dirty. Every day we learn something new.

What has been the high point so far?

What makes your cider so special?

We won two first places at the Three Counties International Cider & Perry Competition last year, one of the biggest cider competitions in the country. We had no idea and didn’t even turn up for the judging or awards ceremony.

There are certain golden rules of cider making that you just can’t break. But in addition, we only use carefully selected cider apple varieties, and have a saying: “if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t make cider with it”. We use specialist yeast strains to achieve the desired characteristics in our ciders. After fermentation we leave the cider to mature for at least six months before blending to produce the final product. But basically, we just take our time and really care about it.

How many ciders do you make? Three varieties, Medium (4.8%), Medium Dry (6.1%) and new for 2016 Dry (6.7%).




FR OM Ra i lWaY T O

CaTWa lK Great Western railWaY deButs neW uniforms in stYle at Bath in fashion Great Western Railway (GWR) has taken the fashion world by storm with the launch of its new staff uniform at ‘Bath in Fashion’. Unveiled at a special catwalk show alongside the spring collections of leading high street retailers, the Jermyn Street Design (JSD) uniform was met with applause by the assembled audience. With railway employees taking on top models, the train company is progressing its journey as GWR, reflecting the pride and heritage of the railway and the communities that it serves. Over 3,800 front line staff have now been issued with the new uniform, which can be 56

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seen at GWR stations and on board services from the end of April. GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said: “The launch of these new uniforms is an important step as we seek to bring about a renaissance of rail marked by the biggest investment on the Great Western network in more than a generation. “This will see new or refurbished trains on every part of the network, resulting in more frequent and faster journeys and an increase in the number of seats. These, and a range of further passenger benefits, will keep people moving and communities prospering, helping to drive economic growth across the South West.”

JSD Sales Director Ann Dowdeswell explains how the new uniform was developed, stating: “Our brief was to create cutting-edge designs that capture the great 19th century heritage of GWR within a contemporary uniform that is entirely relevant to modern rail travel.” JSD created a complete range of ‘feel good’ work wear across every job grade, comprising 55 different product styles in all. JSD in-house designer, Christina Burke, embraced the new GWR branding in her design inspirations. She said: “I was initially inspired by nostalgic photographs of the old railway and staff, and I sensed a touch of romance, of glamour and style.”


“the launch of these neW uniforms is an important step as We seek to BrinG aBout a renaissance of rail marked BY THe BiGGesT iNVesTMeNT ON THe GReaT WesTeRN NeTWORK iN MORe THaN a GeNeRaTiON.”

The new uniform colour scheme is based on the dark Brunswick (racing) green that is being used for the new train livery. “Green is a notoriously difficult colour to wear for many people,” says Christina, “I knew I had to take the green theme but make it more acceptable for the staff – many different shapes and sizes – that would be wearing the uniforms on an everyday basis.” She spent time researching the GWR heritage, putting together colour and mood boards. “It was important to identify tones of green that would not replicate, but rather complement and accentuate, the train livery. “We selected a fabric that is a subtle tweed mix

of different greens combined with a hint of blue. We then proposed shape concepts for garments that won’t date, deliberately avoiding the latest fashion statements and instead creating a classic edge but with a clean finish and quality feel. It was important for us to put a spin on heritage: this is a new uniform, with echoes of yesteryear.” Recycle and upcycle options for all of the old uniforms are being explored; which could see as many as 10,000 pieces of clothing either provided to prison service textile workshops, or converted into diesel fuel. Find out more about Great Western Railway and book journeys at



Julia sibun is a wedding planner based in the cotswolds. she has been organising weddings for fifteen years, so she knows pretty much everything there is to know about getting married in this beautiful part of the country! This year, I’ve found that brides are looking to enjoy a new found freedom and want a free spirited, ethereal, bohemian style to their wedding day.This can be easily accomplished and brings a wonderful informality to the day for the guests, particularly when the wedding is taking place outside at home in the garden or in a river meadow, or field. Brides choose fabrics such as lace and organza for their dresses, and quite often are opting for the twopiece wedding dresses with the stunning short top contrasted with a long flowing skirt, while grooms can wear anything from chinos and a white shirt to a simple linen suit. Ushers informally dressed with patterned ties, khaki trousers and braces complete the bridal shots. Brides are creative with their hair and accessorise with headpiece jewellery, vintage hair clips, braids in their hair or with flower crowns and bracelets, and then finally to add to the real boho look by choosing to go barefoot for the day! The traditional style marquee works so well for this informal, romantic vibe, with its central polished wooden poles dressed in ivy and roses, bunting hung all around at the eaves and the use of the guy ropes that all give that ‘village fete’ feel. A pretty way to decorate the ceiling of the marquee is to hang white pea lighting throughout and, if the budget allows, to cover the lighting with a soft ivory voile for that complete romantic look. 60

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Food is wholesome, local and in season and a buffet style or casual meat roasts work so well for that easy going feel to the day. Guests helping themselves and sharing food together is very sociable and relaxed. The naked wedding cake strewn with soft fruits, petals and flowers really comes into its own displayed on a wooden board, and consider using natural colours for the table linen such as hessian, straw, flax and hemp and mix up the china with vintage, stripes and plain all being used at the same time! On the tables floral arrangements that look perfectly imperfect are essential for boho celebrations. Bouquets of grasses, road side wild flowers and seasonal English garden flowers are arranged to look as if they have just been picked and bunched together with ribbon or twine. A collection of glass and vintage bottles and vases in different shapes and sizes can be filled with a variety of flowers such as ferns, sweet peas, phlox, dill, mini delphiniums, lissianthus and flowering mint. Some of the larger blooms such as a fabulous rose or peony can be displayed individually in a little bud vase. Little plants such as lavender, campanula or fresh herbs can also be placed between the collection of flowers heightening the English garden and relaxed carefree style. Aged galvanised, bark and moss covered containers can be used to create a more rustic, organic style.

Apples can be used to bring soft warm light to the tables – by carving out the tops and securing tealights inside of them. Outside by the marquee hurricane lamps with chunky candles can be placed all around the marquee next to the guy ropes, and garden paraffin flares dotted outside of the marquee will look so pretty as dusk approaches. Hay bales covered with hessian roll, and colourful picnic rugs can be scattered outside for seating for guests perhaps with a central fire bowl to keep guests warm well into the evening. A table of delicious cheeses, breads and pickles, a galvanised tin full of fresh apples and pears and self-service hot chocolate and coffee flasks keep the informal style for guests to ‘graze’ as they dance the evening away to the ukuleles, harmonicas and banjos playing! The classic way for the bride and groom to depart their boho wedding day is in a VW beetle or campervan! A boho wedding day is definitely a very relaxed, romantic and carefree day to share with your family and friends - who I am sure will soon be throwing off their shoes as well!

Wedding Tips

Every bride is told, and it is true, that the day passes very quickly. It is so important to enjoy every moment and not to rush the day - give yourself plenty of time for the ceremony, reception and party. A good photographer will always record all those wonderful moments that you may miss! Send out your invitations earlier than you think you need to – people need plenty of notice, and always give a RSVP date earlier than you need – some guests will need to be chased for their reply! Always be honest with your choices and decisions - it is your one and only day and it is important that the day reflects your own personality and wishes - allow your dreams to come true! When you first start planning your wedding day sit down together, and with your parents if they are contributing towards the day, to work out your budget before you start to book suppliers, and try to be realistic and keep to it during the planning stages. If your parents are contributing be mindful that you may need to ask for their input from time to time! When planning don’t ask too many people for their opinions as sometimes this can become confusing on the best way forward and may blur your vision on what you would both like for the day. A good way to consider selecting your suppliers is to chat to friends who have recently married for their recommendations and don’t forget to then ask those suppliers to recommend people they have worked alongside. It can be a small network of suppliers that all work together extremely well that can achieve excellent results as they know how each other works! Key items to book first are your church and venue, photographer, the wedding dress, catering and the bar and then your entertainment – after which you can then work on all the smaller details! Always ensure that your band arrives, sets up and sound tests in good time before your guests arrive at the reception so that your guests have a complete surprise after the wedding breakfast, and have not been disturbed during the reception. Don’t forget to allocate the flower table arrangements to family and friends at the end of the evening - a lovely surprise to take home with them! Be prepared for the unexpected - arrangements may not always go to plan but always try to relax your guests are there to be with you, enjoy your day and are completely unaware of any small hitches! And lastly a wedding planner can take the stress out of the day for you by co-ordinating and overseeing the various suppliers and contractors, as well as being responsible for the timing on the day, leaving you to completely enjoy the day without any worry, stress or responsibility!



BlaCKWell GRaNGe: a perfect cotsWold WeddinG venue

We asked William and didi vernon miller aBout Beautiful BlackWell GranGe, openinG in late 2016 What makes Blackwell Grange the perfect place for a wedding? There are a number of different elements that make a magical wedding venue, and Blackwell Grange ticks every box! A family home for generations, it is steeped in history and character and lies amidst acres of beautiful Cotswold countryside. As a wedding venue Blackwell Grange offers a beautiful, private and exclusive combination of 16th century thatched ceremony barn, brand new reception barn with signature staircase and gallery, a secluded honeymoon suite, guest suites, lawns and grounds with woodland dell and pond, and an English country garden and herb garden with moon gate. Tell us a little bit about the history of Blackwell Grange. How old is the property? The Thatch Barn dates back to the 16th century, so Blackwell Grange has been a working farm for quite some time. In 1943 Major Christopher Vernon Miller purchased Blackwell Grange, lured by the promise of running his own racehorse yard. Accompanied by his son, Charles, a jump trainer, they achieved many successes, in particular with their home bred and trained horse ‘Bighorn’, which won the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in 1971. Today, Blackwell Grange is a thriving sheep and arable farm, with Charles Vernon Miller and his son William at the helm. With fresh eyes on the property, William and his wife, Didi, a talented interior designer, are restoring its rustic Grade II listed farm buildings.The introduction of a contemporary new building alongside the 400-year 62

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old barns brings Blackwell Grange lovingly into the 21st century. Every space, both old and new, has its own unique and charming personality, from alluring décor to quirky design details and luxurious furnishings.

What is the venue’s approach to catering?

What’s the local area like? Are hotels and churches in easy reach?

The talented team at Galloping Gourmet are the in-house catering and events team at Blackwell Grange. With vast experience in planning weddings and extensive knowledge of the local area, they will work closely with every couple to create exceptional, bespoke dining experiences. From the formal wedding breakfast to theatrical live food stations, dining at Blackwell Grange will be a treat!

Blackwell Grange may be nestled in the pretty village of Blackwell and surrounded by acres of countryside, but it is within easy reach of other villages and towns.Three beautiful churches are very close by in the neighbouring villages of Ilmington, Darlingscott and Preston-on-Stour. When it comes to accommodation, newlyweds are invited to spend their first night in the idyllic Hayloft honeymoon cottage.There are numerous hotels for guests in Stratford-upon-Avon only eight miles from Blackwell Grange. Whereabouts will civil ceremonies be conducted? Civil ceremonies will take place in the characterful, oak-beamed 16th century Thatch Barn. Featuring its original cart doors and an imposing fireplace, the Thatch Barn is a magnificent setting for that ‘I do’ moment, before enjoying welcome drinks and canapés on Apple Tree lawn or in the bar of the new Orchard Barn. How many guests can Blackwell Grange accommodate? 150 people can be accommodated for ceremonies and a sit-down wedding breakfast, with up to 200 for an evening party.

Dining will take place in the charming new Orchard Barn, (currently under construction) and featuring bi-fold glass opening on to a generous Terrace.

How is the atmosphere of Blackwell Grange best described? It offers a heady combination of tradition and heritage, and combines the old and the new with modern design and exceptional service.Think characterful elegance, and pastoral romance. The venue opens in late 2016 – but is there any way couples can look around now? They certainly can. Seeing Blackwell Grange for yourself is the only way to get a feel of how perfect it might be for your wedding.The wedding team would love to hear from you on 01608 698798. What do you think wedding guests will remember about a wedding at Blackwell Grange? We hope they will have an overriding memory of happiness, of a joyous occasion set in the prettiest of locations, and a fabulous party! Find out more at

Anne McIntyre

in a Cotswold Medicinal Garden One of the great delights of being in the Cotswolds is the chance to experience the timeless elegance of a classic Cotswold garden. Here we find ourselves surrounded by much loved plants such as rosemary, sage, lavender, thyme, marigold, mint and roses, while outside the garden fence wild herbs including nettles, daisies, hawthorn, dandelions, meadowsweet, elderflowers, cleavers and burdock abound in fields and hedgerows.

While we can all appreciate the beauty of these plants that grow so happily in our inhospitably stony soil, we may not be aware that they are also powerful herbal remedies. I use all of them in my clinic on a regular basis. As a Western herbalist, as well as an Ayurvedic practitioner, I have always grown my own herbs and harvested many others from the hedgerows and countryside around me – sustainably, I hasten to add! This part of my clinic has been an absolute delight and one of the highlights of my work, so much so that in 2011 I published a book, ‘Drugs in Pots’, showing how to grow, harvest and make many day to day remedies. I am not alone in using local herbs as medicine. According to the World Health Organisation about 4 billion people (80% of the world’s population) presently use herbal medicine for primary healthcare. Medicinal herbs are effective medicines for many ills and are available to all regardless of economic status. The use of herbs as medicines can be traced at least as far back as Neanderthal man 60,000 years ago and modern medicine still relies on many medicinal plants: over 199 compounds used today are extracted from, or based on, plant compounds and about 74% of these are used in modern medicine in ways that correlate directly with their traditional uses in native cultures. While I would like to encourage everyone to learn a little about the herbs on their doorsteps to use for relieving minor ailments, if you gather wild herbs it is important to be mindful of not over-picking, and to harvest herbs with respect for the plant’s life. The best practice is to grow your own medicines at home as many of you are in fact already doing as you tend the herbs and flowers in your own gardens! If you would like to find out more about foraging for wild medicines, or how to grow herbs in your own garden, Anne runs day courses from her clinic in Great Rissington priced at £750 for up to 10 people, including a delicious home cooked lunch. For more information, please call 01451 810 096 or email

Brilliant Brain Tonic (from Drugs in Pots)

Exam season is upon us and the slog of revising all those facts and figures can leave even the most able of students feeling a little foggy in the head. Don’t rely on caffeine-filled energy drinks and over-processed snacks to keep you going, instead brew up this fabulous herbal tonic and enjoy your natural boost! This refreshing drink has rosemary, thyme and peppermint to enliven the mind and wood betony to send blood to the brain. Gotu kola stimulates blood flow to the head, clearing the mind, enhancing concentration and increasing creativity. Ingredients to make 650 ml (21 floz) tonic 60g (2.5 oz) each fresh or 30g (1 oz) each dried rosemary, thyme, gotu kola, peppermint, wood betony 600ml (1 pint) water 500g (1 lb) sugar 30ml (1 floz) brandy (optional) Method 1. Pour the boiling water over the herbs and leave to infuse overnight. Then strain through a find mesh sieve, or muslin, into a jug and press as much residual water from the herb mixture before discarding it. 2. Mix the sugar into the infusion in a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has started to thicken, stirring frequently. If desired, add 5 per cent brandy to preserve the syrup. 3. Store in a sterilised dark bottles, clearly labelled and keep in a cool dark place, preferably the refrigerator, for up to 6 months. How to use Take 2 teaspoons 3-4 times daily, over several weeks, for the best results.

About Anne Herbalist,Ayurvedic practitioner, author of over twenty books, lecturer and gardener,Anne McIntyre has lived and worked in the Cotswolds for more than three decades, using her own blend of herbal medicine and Ayurveda to treat patients in her busy practice. Anne runs courses in herbal medicine, Ayurveda and foraging in the UK, as well as residential courses in Mallorca. She will be teaching a series of three weekends on Ayurveda at The Clover Mill, a beautiful Ayurvedic spa near Malvern, as well as a series of four weekends in foraging and making herbal preparations at Trill Farm in Devon. Alongside her workshops she runs an online introduction to the increasingly popular study of Ayurveda -


Cotswold Homes Magazine

Anne McIntyre

The Rose:


I use rose leaves and petals in my practice for their cooling properties. Taken as a tea they help bring down fevers and clear heat and toxins from the body. They enhance the efforts of the immune system and help prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms and other respiratory problems including sore throats, catarrh, coughs and bronchitis. They are also rich in vitamin C - during war time, rose hip syrup was popular for helping to prevent scurvy due to vitamin C deficiency.

Sage makes an excellent remedy for infections with its antibacterial and antifungal properties and can be taken for colds, flu, fevers, sore throats and chest infections - in fact it was an old remedy for TB and bronchitis. Externally it is an excellent antiseptic first-aid remedy for cuts, wounds, burns, sores, ulcers and sunburn (please avoid during pregnancy and while breast feeding).

The perfumed rose must be the most beautiful of all plants, wild or cultivated. In fact, the rose has long been an emblem of beauty and love and has inspired gardeners, poets and artists for thousands of years. Roses have also been praised for their benefits as medicine. The Greeks considered roses a tonic, and the Roman, Pliny, listed at least 32 different preparations of roses for a variety of ailments including the bites of mad dogs!

Sage, with its aromatic, soft, velvety leaves and whorls of violet-blue flowers abounds in my garden. The praises of sage's medicinal benefits have been sung loudly since the time of the ancient Greeks, who knew it as the ‘immortality herb’ as it was said to cure so many ills. The Egyptians treated plague victims with it and the Romans considered it enhanced the fertility of women wanting to conceive. In the Middle Ages it was included in many a prescription for longevity and ‘elixir of life’.



During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance lavender was very popular as a strewing herb to perfume and sanitise the floors of houses and churches and to ward off the plague. It was hung in rooms to keep away germ-carrying flies and mosquitoes, much as it was hung in linen cupboards by our grandmothers to scent the clothes and deter moths. I use lavender to calm anxiety and nervousness and relieve stress-related symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, migraines, palpitations and insomnia. Lavender's anti-bacterial properties help fight off infections such as sore throats, colds, flu and chest infections, while its decongestant action helps to clear phlegm. Externally lavender is an excellent antiseptic healer, stimulating tissue repair and minimising scar formation. Lavender oil can be applied neat to burns and scalds, sores and ulcers and skin problems such as acne. It also makes a good insect repellent.

Hawthorn has been traditionally associated with May Day and fertility customs, and has been connected with fertility and affairs of the heart since the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Since medieval times, hawthorn has been employed medicinally for heart and circulatory problems, fevers, gout and insomnia. Today hawthorn is still the best remedy for the heart and circulation, improving blood flow through the heart and arteries, reducing blood pressure and the build-up of deposits causing arteriosclerosis. It regulates heart rhythm and is ideal for palpitations, arrhythmias, angina and degenerative heart disease as well as other circulatory problems elsewhere in the body.

Fragrant lavender is a much-loved traditional cottage garden herb, with its grey green foliage and spires of highly-scented mauve-blue flowers. Although it is a perennial shrub from the Mediterranean coast it is now cultivated in many parts of the world for use in perfumery and aromatherapy and it looks completely at home in the Cotswolds.

Hawthorn is a perennial shrub and its beautiful display of scented white blossoms can be seen all over the English countryside in May. By autumn it is covered in decorative red berries (haws). Joseph of Arimathea is said to have introduced hawthorn to Britain when he arrived in Glastonbury 60 AD and stuck his hawthorn staff into the ground, which then grew into a tree.



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Yoga teacher and practitioner, Emma Lawrence of The Yoga Tree, extols the benefits of long summer days on our health and wellbeing Here it comes again! We have travelled through the cold dark days and long nights of winter, we have welcomed the vibrant blossoming trees and the sound of the newly hatched birds calling for food, and now, as the energy of the summer is gently unfolding, our minds and bodies respond by feeling warmer, more passionate and energised. Above all, use this energy and passion positively by looking after yourself both mentally and physically. The days are long and light with very few hours of darkness and nature’s energy is at its peak, so try to match it with your own - live life to the full! Stay up later and get up earlier, taking every chance to soak energy from the sun, to absorb oxygen and to inhale the beautiful perfumes of summer whilst everything is in full bloom. Generate the personal strength to carry you through to the harvest and late summer and then the storing of your resources for the long winter ahead. Be joyful and and find your inner empathy with those around us. Despite the tradition of ‘giving at Christmas’, summer is the time to help others, make new friends, enjoy company, be charming, expressive and spontaneous – and if arrangements don’t always go to plan, just go with it and have fun!

Food and Drink

Keep the system moving. Eat fruit and vegetables with plenty of fibre and avoid getting stuck in the same old dietary routine, even if it is just eating something different for one meal a day. Summer is the best time to detox as seasonal foods are lighter and will make you feel more energetic. Seek out locally grown food, as each part of the journey from field to plate reduces the nutritional value, and eat as much red food and fresh, clean, water-based food as you can.

For a refreshing smoothie (with or without Pimms): an inch of cucumber, an apple, an orange, a few strawberries, a handful of mint leaves, a cup of coconut water or plain water and a little squeeze of lemon. Whizz it up, pour over some ice and enjoy!

Home and The Great Outdoors

Clear your mind. Pay bills on time, sort through paperwork, and make lists! Tick things off as you go. Feel good about it then get out there! This is a very important time of year for exercise, especially outdoors. Include exercise for the upper body and chest and get your arms in the air to increase lung capacity and support heart function.

Mind and Body

Do not take things personally. In this season, above all, act and speak from the heart, with feeling. Try hard to balance living in the moment with an awareness of what follows. Only take on what you can handle and practise saying “No”. Walk as much as you can in the morning and evening. Check your posture as you are walking. Feel length from the bottom of your ribs and the start of your hips. Grow an inch taller, stride out and use your arms. This is also a good time to socialise. Walking and chatting will be uplifting and very beneficial. If you have never practised yoga, start now and if you do, try fitting in another class or ask your teacher for a ten-minute flow you can do yourself at home or in the garden. www.the-yoga-tree-com


Susan Dunstall

How to make the best of a sloping garden

Does your garden never get used because it is too steep? Have you thought about using grasses as a backdrop for a terraced, sloping garden? Let Susan Dunstall give you some pointers. Sloping gardens can be a source of frustration for homeowners – particularly those whose friends enjoy flat gardens that seem made for large parties and wandering around with a glass of Pimms in the height of summer. But don’t despair! There are a few things that you can try to make the most of your lot. First of all, decide what you want – it may be a totally flat garden but that may not be possible. Then identify what you really need – it could be just a place to sit or a dining area with table and chairs. Or does the whole garden bank so steeply you cannot comfortably walk on it? An area of decking is a simple way to create some flat space and looks wonderful, especially by water, but is not the right solution for all gardens. Creating flat space in most gardens is done through terracing: where the garden is divided up into spaces of differing levels and retaining walls created.

Creating terracing The retaining walls can be built using many different materials and will depend on your budget. Concrete blocks can be used for the hidden construction work then faced in something more appealing. Consider using local stone, brick, flint, railway sleepers and even gabions for a more contemporary look, these can be filled with a variety of things from slates to coloured pebbles – even roof tiles. Be imaginative! It’s advisable to get a garden designer or

surveyor to measure the different levels in your garden and take dimensions before the design can be drawn. This information is needed to determine the height of steps and walls along with construction details and soil cut and fill calculations. Planting is vital in a terraced garden to soften all the hard landscaping. It can also be used to disguise any shallow sloping areas and gives the advantage of plants looking taller than they really are at the back of the border. Grasses are an ideal solution for sloping gardens.

Using grasses We all see them in the garden centre, but do you know how to use them in your garden? Just adding in one grass amongst existing planting can look very bitty and out of place. The worst look for me is the single huge Pampas grass just stuck in the middle of the front lawn - very reminiscent of the 1970s. But grasses can be beautiful and so effective when used properly, either on their own or mixed in with perennials. Any breezy site cries out for grasses – the graceful movement and gentle noise add a unique element. Their main benefit is to extend the gardening season and add impact through spring, summer and well into autumn when most other perennials are over; they are also low maintenance - only needing to be cut down once a year. Try some out - they look great in pots even if you cannot find space in your beds.

The best grasses to plant Miscanthus is low maintenance, needing no staking but providing excellent skeletons for the winter garden. With so many different varieties there is a size to suit any garden, and planted with Eupatorium it adds late season excitement. Try a few Stipa gigantea oat grass at the back of a border positioned to make the most of the setting sun, the light sets off their enormous golden oat-like flowers. Molinia ‘Transparent’ purple moor grass acts as a shimmering foil through which other plants can still be seen – plant as a group for a spectacular display or as a companion plant to Sedum ‘Matrona’. Pennisetum fountain grass - try Pennisetum ‘Tall Tails’ with orange russet flowered Helenium or the purple-hued Pennisetum ‘Hameln’ with Verbena bonariensis and Echinacea. Alternatively, the wispy Stipa tenuissima, also called Feather grass or Angel hair, looks as good as it sounds, especially with Crocosmia. For ground cover, you cannot beat the fantastic Hakonechloa macra, a wonderfully simple underplanting for trees.

Susan Dunstall is a Garden Designer based in Charlbury, Oxfordshire, providing landscaping and garden design projects across Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds. Designs cover any size garden and style, from contemporary to traditional, cottage garden to urban, Japanese or tropical. Contact her on 07879 842934 or visit


Cotswold Homes Magazine

DentAl HeAltH MAtterS


matters chilDren’s tooth Decay

Dr trevor Bigg, Milton Dental Practice BDS, MGDS RCS(Eng), FDS RCS(Ed), FFGDP(UK)

Did you know that in our country there is an epidemic of dental decay in children’s teeth? In England almost 1 in 3 five-year-olds is suffering from tooth decay. In 2013-14, nearly 26,000 five to nine-year-olds were admitted to hospital for treatment due to decay. Why is this decay continuing? Although in general our mouths appear to be improving, dental decay amongst children is still a problem. Why is this? • Primary or baby teeth decay more easily as the enamel covering the teeth is thinner and weaker than in adult mouths • Many toddlers are given frequent sugary drinks from a baby bottle or sipping cups, this causes decay in the upper front teeth that spreads to the rest of the mouth • Children visit the dentist too late. The first visit needs to be as soon as most of the first teeth appear, and that’s between two and three years old What does dental decay do to our children? • Dental decay causes pain and infection, leading to difficulties with eating, speaking and sleeping • Children may miss school and parents may have to take time off work for treatment • Repeated infections may lead to extractions, and these can cause crowding of adult teeth later So what can we do to prevent dental decay in our children? Around 90% of tooth decay is preventable, so: • Use a fluoride toothpaste twice a day and help with brushing until your child is at least eight years old

“children visit the dentist too late. the first visit needs to be as soon as most of the first teeth appear, and that’s between two and three years old” • Use an adult toothpaste from three years old, as children’s toothpaste does not contain enough fluoride • Give your children a healthy diet, limit sugary or acidic food and drinks, ideally only water or milk for young children • Try to change to a free-flow cup when children are six months old and definitely at twelve months • Use only sugar-free medicines, if possible • Visit your dentist as soon as most of the first teeth have appeared. At Milton Dental Practice, check-ups for the

children of existing patients are free until six years old. After their sixth birthday, children can join a Denplan scheme where regular visits and complete preventive care is guaranteed for only £2.75 per week, with a 15% discount for families of four. If you want more information about the contents of the article, go to the Children’s Oral Health Report from the FDS RCS, or contact Penny at Milton Dental Practice on 01993 831396 or email and come to see us for a consultation. to accompany this article, we are offering a power toothbrush to any child who joins Denplan.


reVerenD rAcHel rOSBOrOuGH

That Golden Eagle Moment The Reverend Rachel Rosborough finds that birdwatching can help understand both faith and God. It was reported a little while ago that england’s last remaining golden eagle is feared to have died. the male bird, informally named ‘eddy’, had not been seen in the skies above his normal location in the lake District for several weeks. For many British birdwatchers, eddy has been their one chance to tick ‘golden eagle’ off their birding lists and the news that he may have died has been greeted with sadness amongst birdwatchers. Over the last few years I have surprised myself by becoming something of a birdwatcher and I know how satisfying it is and what a joy it is to see some of those birds that are surely on the top of every birders wishlist. I think the top must-see species for most birders are either those birds that, like Eddy, are impressive and powerful, or those species that are stunningly beautiful and colourful – a kingfisher or a puffin for example. We long to see these birds, partly because of their beauty or their power, but largely because they are rare. There was until recently, only one golden eagle thought to be in England. Seeing it is a major birding achievement. Catching a glimpse of the unmistakable flash of azure blue of the kingfisher as you walk along a river is a most satisfying event, because most people have never done it. Since I have been interested in birdwatching, as I have learned more and gained more knowledge, I have done a lot of reflecting on my faith and belief in God. Birdwatching has given me, in so many ways, a framework to speak of and understand the God I believe in. Watching for the kingfisher, or seeking out the golden eagle - is that how we approach God? We search and long for the rare event when God is revealed to us in stunning, beautiful clarity, impressive and in great power and we are absolutely sure that we have encountered him. And I do know of people, myself included, who can speak to you of this kind of encounter of God. But for most they are very rare and for many they simply don’t seem to happen. 70

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We long to see these birds, partly because of their beauty or their power, but largely because they are rare. There was until recently, only one golden eagle thought to be in England. Seeing it is a major birding achievement.

I may never get my golden eagle moment now, but do you know what, birdwatching for me is not all about the rare, the new, the very exciting. I have learned that there is great beauty, stunning beauty, all around us in our everyday birds. We just have to stop and look, and remember, and see in a new way the ordinary and the commonplace. In a quiz recently I was asked what are the two colours of a magpie. Now I knew what answer they were looking for. Black and white – but have you actually ever stopped and looked at a magpie, a common bird that has been saddled with rather a bad name? Yes, they are black and white but also an amazing bright blue. And what about a duck? Where I live in Bourton on the Water, there are dozens of mallard ducks every day on the river being fed. Stop and look again at them. What colour is the head of a male mallard? Is it purple, is it green? It depends as the iridescence of the feathers can look different on any given day. Ordinary, everyday birds can be stunning - wood pigeons, robins, blue tits, magpies, I could go on. They are all around us in all their beauty and most of us simply don’t see them, or if we do, we fail to appreciate them. Again, I think of my faith in God. How often do I fail to appreciate the presence of God around me, the faithful constant presence of him in my

life because it has become ordinary? How often I forget to see the love of God in other people, in their words, their actions because it has all become rather everyday, or I am distracted by the irritations of life? One of the people who wrote the biblical book of the psalms wrote that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. Elsewhere the psalmists speak of all creation praising God. Certainly when I really stop to look, when I pause and put to one side the distractions of life, I am reminded of the things of God that have become ordinary and so I fail to see the extraordinary anymore. The faces of my fellow human beings, the breathing in and out, the food and water that sustains us, my children, my family, this place in which we live. There in the everyday, the ordinary, the routine, is the beauty of God to be found just like the tail feathers of the magpie or head of the mallard. So as spring moves into summer, don’t give up on seeing the kingfisher, or the golden eagle or whatever is at the top of your wish list but why not stop and look around again, stop and really look at life, stop and appreciate all that is beautiful, however ordinary it may be on first glance. You never know you might just glimpse the things of God.



neurological conDitions such as Parkinson’s, multiPle sclerosis anD cereBral Palsy can result in loss of Physical control for those that suffer them, anD can often also mean loss of mental wellBeing for Both sufferers anD their families. movements were changing. It was something we hadn’t seen as a standard training effect from just gym work – this was new. Something positive was happening. So we went to Switzerland and brought back the concept, adapting it so it’s [less intensive] but still reaps the same sort of benefit.

But with new advancements in rehabilitation treatment a better quality of life is on the horizon. We spoke to Ed Shaw of Co-ordinated therapies in Bourton-on-the-Water, who helps his patients forge new neural pathways to gain better control of their movements – and lives. cH: Hello ed. tell us, how can the nervous system be therapeutically treated? ES: The way the nervous system works is affected by different conditions. If you take something like Parkinson’s, for example, the messages aren’t firing through properly, so you experience malfunctions in walking, motor control, dexterity… We help people make precise coordinated movements, using a device to help them achieve this. This activity re-organises the nervous system, so where the nervous system is degenerating, you can get it to use healthy pathways to restore lost functions.

With something like cerebral palsy, it’s a trauma and rewiring can become permanent, whereas with Parkinson’s – which is degenerative – it’s a case of constantly trying to adapt to the degeneration. The person we treated is now working as a barrister. He lives in a house share, is completely independent, walks to work or gets the tube every morning, picks up his files…ironically it was only after he finished his therapy that he told us that he hadn’t considered if he would have been able to do his job if the therapy hadn’t worked. Now it’s two years on, and there’s been no decline in his condition. you mentioned progressive supranuclear palsy and Parkinson’s disease. What other neurological problems do you cover? Multiple sclerosis, strokes - we do a lot of stroke work. We’ve worked with a few people locally

who’ve got rare conditions, such as a man with surpranuclear palsy [a ‘rare and progressive condition that can cause problems with balance, movement, vision, speech and swallowing’ – NHS Choices]. He’s had incredible results, to the point where he was told last January to buy a very expensive chair because he wasn’t going to be walking for the rest of his life – but I played golf with him in October. The psychological benefits of effective therapy must also be profound. The thing I love about what we’re doing is that we’re creating a positive approach.You hear some horror stories sometimes - ‘you’ve got Parkinson’s, so don’t buy any more buttoned-up shirts.’ But not everybody who has Parkinson’s develops the ‘shake’ that many people associate with the condition. The tremors are only a small part of the story. We’re helping people who have these conditions through movement. There’s so little public understanding about these conditions. What we really want to do is raise awareness so these conditions aren’t a taboo subject.

cH: So how did you get involved in this area of treatment? ES: A few years back, a chap who has cerebral palsy approached us. He had met a physiotherapist and professor of neurology in Switzerland, and they had told him that if he underwent an intense course of therapy for a year that any neurological improvement that he might get within that timeframe would become permanently imprinted into the nervous system. So he wanted support and guidance for a year. About three months into it, we realised he was adapting neurologically, as his physical









reading skills are vital to a fulfilled life and a successful economy, as argued by Lord Digby Jones at a cotswold fundraising lunch for charity read easy, sponsored by local estate agency harrison James & hardie.

the staff of main sponsors Harrison James & Hardie


Cotswold Homes Magazine

Our economic prosperity rests on the literacy and numeracy of the population. And yet, poor reading and mathematical ability is estimated to cost the public purse billions of pounds a year. In fact, it is thought that 2.4m adults in England alone are of such low reading ability that they struggle to do their food shopping. That’s not to mention the great psychological and financial strain placed on people who cannot read well - pressure that results from them feeling isolated, frustrated or unable to progress their careers. People who experience difficulty with reading can be prohibited from seeking help by feelings of inadequacy, or the fear that they might be shamed or humiliated by admitting their struggles. It’s not uncommon for illiterate people to end up concealing their inability to read from their family and friends. Many raise families before they’ll admit that they struggle to read the bills, while others might lead marginalised lives. Some spend decades suffering from low self-esteem and anxiety stemming from constantly avoiding situations where they might be required to read. A common catalyst for poor readers seeking help for their problems is the wish to help a child or grandchild to learn and to overcome the same problems that they once faced.


Debbie Jordan from Colin John (Moreton) has greatly benefitted from ReadEasy’s help

we have raiseD much neeDeD funDs that will helP us exPanD, BUT EQUALLY IMPORTANTLY, THE EVENT HAS MADE MANY MORE PEOPLE AWARE OF WHAT WE DO. Now, thanks to Read Easy, adults of any age can come forward and get the help that they need. Read Easy is a charity that offers personal, confidential tuition and one-on-one coaching to enable people to become more literate and reach their full potential. Established in 2010, it now has a network of around 20 groups, currently mostly in South West and Central England, with more in development. People who have been helped by Read Easy report life-changing benefits, as seen is this letter from Steve, a Read Easy new reader from Winchester: “This is the first letter I’ve ever written… I’ve learnt more in the past six months than I learnt at school. If school was like this, I’d be a brain surgeon by now. Thank you very much Read Easy for

helping me to read and write.” To promote the work of Read Easy, Lord Digby Jones (a trade and investment minister in Gordon Brown’s government, and former director of the Confederation of British Industry) served as guest speaker at a fundraising lunch held at The Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh on 5th May. Speaking before an audience of local business people, Lord Jones made a passionate case for the importance of the right skills and training to business (particularly for the competitive advantage of Britain in a globalised world) and answered questions on issues such as the UK’s impending EU referendum and House of Lords reform. Ginny Williams-Ellis, founder and CEO of Read Easy UK says: ‘We’re so grateful to Lord Digby Jones for his support of Read Easy, and for speaking

at our fundraising lunch. We received fantastic support from local businesses and individuals who have sponsored us, bought tickets and made generous donations. ‘We have raised much needed funds that will help us expand, but equally importantly, the event has made many more people aware of what we do. We are looking for ‘Pioneers’ to start new groups, and we want to reach out to more people who want to learn to read, but who may not be aware of our confidential one-to-one service.’ Lord Digby Jones remarks: ‘Having a skilled population is the only way an economy like ours can succeed in this, Asia's Century. Basic skills are the bedrock of that advantage and adult literacy and numeracy is the Number One achievable aim.’ If you know someone in the North Cotswolds area who would like to learn to read, please contact Catherine Roffe on 01451 861774 or email: To make a donation or to find out about becoming a Read Easy Pioneer and starting a new group, please contact Ginny Williams-Ellis at Read Easy UK on 01386 700883 / 07880 330883, or e-mail


cHIP lIt FeSt

career (‘don’t ever do this,’ Carole says).Take it from us: her advice on approaching literary agents with your precious first manuscript is invaluable.

WANT TO BE AN AUTHOR? BETTER MEET THE AGENT Beavering away on your debut novel? Find out how to secure the services of a literary agent – and how to avoid annoying them. Pandora Award-winning agent, carole Blake, has over fifty years’ experience as a literary agent. The authors she has represented include Elizabeth chadwick, Barbara erskine, Beryl Matthews and Sheila O’Flanagan. Over the years, countless wouldbe authors have both delighted and pestered carole in almost every way imaginable. As any serious writer should be aware, it’s not just the brilliance of your manuscript that matters: it’s also the crafting of your approach. Pitching your novel to an agent, in other words. For most aspiring authors, literary agents are by far the best shot at attracting the interests of a publisher. Sometimes, people get this whole pitching lark very wrong. Carole’s had manuscripts pushed under toilet cubicle doors, ‘mystery envelopes’ left on dining room tables, lengthy synopses unspooled at her during casual conversation… Worse still, some haplessly enterprising soul even announced that he’d seen she would be coming to his town for a festival, so he’d taken the initiative and booked a restaurant table to meet with her, one-onone, to discuss ways in which she could advance his 74

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Carole recently appeared at the 2016 Chipping Norton Literary Festival as part of a busy programme that included appearances from David Nicholls, Prue Leith and Brian Blessed. During Carole’s talk, she conjured up an exhaustive list of pointers for writers intending on making that vital first pitch. ‘The vast bulk of my clients come from unsolicited submissions,’ says Carole, though the days of hefty manuscripts piling up in offices might be over – email attachments are much kinder on an agent’s working space. If Carole likes what she reads, then she’ll arrange a meeting with the author. ‘It’s a bit like a job interview.You’re forging a relationship that will see you both through when things are good and when things are bad. It needs to work for a long time.’ As you might imagine, there are a fair few Don’ts to consider when approaching an agent with your manuscript. Some are fairly commonsensical: Don’t send your own cover design. Don’t send a first draft. No spelling mistakes in your email or letter, or the address* (*and please pay particular attention to the spelling of the agent’s name). Don’t say that family and friends have enjoyed the manuscript. The more chuckle-worthy pieces of advice Carole swears all stem from experience: Don’t write the covering letter in the voice of a character – particularly if it’s a gorilla. Don’t say you’re writing a ‘Fiction Novel.’ Don’t write me abusive letters. Don’t openly email 50 agents at once. Gimmicks, too, are a pretty bad idea – sending Carole a manuscript in a fancy patterned box from Paperchase or offering to buy her dinner probably doesn’t bestow you with the competitive advantage you might be tempted to think. It’s infinitely better to read exactly what it says on the agent’s website and follow those instructions, than to try and make yourself stand out with some silly stunt.

Gimmicks, too, are a pretty bad idea – sending Carole a manuscript in a fancy patterned box from Paperchase or offering to buy her dinner probably doesn’t bestow you with the competitive advantage you might be tempted to think.

All submitted manuscripts are looked at, so there’s nothing you can do to better your chances than to just make the work as good as you can, identifying the audience, perfecting your pitch line and writing a really focused letter. Show the agent that you see writing as a profession (in other words, that you’ve got more than one book in you). Oh, and if you’re writing a fantasy or sci-fi book, don’t send it to somebody who specialises in romance or history. Sounds like a hassle, right? Well, if you can get a good agent on side, though, they’ll really fight for you: it took Carole four years and 43 submissions to sell Barbara Erskine. And guess what? Erskine’s now a bestseller. Be warned, though – if you choose to eschew agents and self-publish you’ll be taking on a lot of hard work. Sure, Fifty Shades of Grey was plucked out of Internet obscurity and made big bucks but you should probably bank on this being the exception, not the rule. If all this seems terribly vexing to any would-be authors still plotting out their nascent masterpieces, just think of all the bestsellers that started life in the slush pile. And why not get some inspiration at the next Chipping Norton Literary Festival? Check out to read the winning entries from this year’s short story competition and browse a photo gallery of 2016’s events.

Above: Carole (Right) with author Jane Wenham-Jones


Father Brown

brings Christmas Cheer to Cotswold Summer

As the Cotswolds sweltered its way into a scorching May, actor Mark Williams and the BBC’s Father Brown team were busily converting Blockley’s church and the surrounding environment into a charmingly wintery Christmas landscape, replete with nativity scene (donkeys included). Though it feels like only yesterday that we covered the making of the show’s very first series, Father Brown has now been renewed for a 5th outing. As the BBC’s only daytime period drama, it attracts over 2 million viewers and is sold worldwide to over 50 territories. Mark Williams (The Fast Show, the Harry Potter films) is back once again as the eponymous sleuth-priest. The show is set during the early 1950s in the fictional Cotswold village of Kembleford, where Father Brown is the parish priest at St Mary's Catholic Church. However, Kembleford is anything but sleepy, as multiple murders have seen Brown spontaneously assume the role of detective (usually after the local constabulary nabs the wrong man). His manners are mild, his demeanour genial – but any wrongdoer who attracts Brown’s attentions will find themselves facing a formidable intellect, sharpened by his knowledge of the weakness and strength of men.

“His manners are mild, his demeanour genial – but any wrongdoer who attracts Brown’s attentions will find themselves facing a formidable intellect, sharpened by his knowledge of the weakness and strength of men.” But Brown’s not so concerned with earthly justice as he is with the salvation of souls – as in a Britain where the death penalty is still in effect, capital crime can carry mortal consequences. Though the character of Father Brown is taken from author G.K. Chesterton’s stories, most of the storylines featured in the show are original,

and the action re-situated to the years after WWII, when the shadow of global conflict still loomed over the country. May’s shooting will see the eventual airing of the show’s very first Christmas Special – so keep those televisions tuned to the BBC to see what festive scrapes our priest gets into.





Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpicks

JUNE JUNE 3 ROBERT DOVER’S COTSWOLD OLIMPICKS DOVER’S HILL, NEAR CHIPPING CAMPDEN Reportedly over 400 years old, Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpicks have been entertaining in good old-fashioned style for a very long time indeed. But there’s much more to behold than the infamously boisterous shin-kicking contest. Don’t miss the torchlight procession!

JUNE 3-5 AMERICANA FESTIVAL 2016 SUBSCRIPTION ROOMS, STROUD Rock up for a weekend of fine blues, acoustic and country music from both sides of the pond! Local, national and international musicians come together to turn the town into the 51st State of the Union for a few days. Featuring Sons of the Delta, Hannah & the Broken Hearts and Brooks Williams.


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Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpicks


JUNE 3-5 WYCHWOOD FESTIVAL CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE A fabulous family festival of music and comedy, Wychwood will this year feature the chucklesome stylings of Bill Bailey, Justin Fletcher and Matt Berry and the Maypoles alongside the sonic offerings of The Waterboys, 10cc, Stereo MCs and Ms Dynamite.

JUNE 3-19 BROADWAY ARTS FESTIVAL A feast of workshops, talks, concerts and exhibitions are scheduled for this year’s Broadway Arts Festival – and of course there’s the Open Art Competition, centred around the theme of ‘Conflict’. Don’t miss the appearance of War Artist and Illustrator George Butler on the 16th, but there are events enough to appease any art lover (and those who’ve always wanted to pick up a paintbrush). See the full schedule on the website.

Broadway Arts Festiva l

JUNE 4-5 2ND LECHLADE ANNUAL VINTAGE RALLY BURFORD ROAD, LECHLADE A Rally & Country Show set in the beautiful small market town of Lechlade-on-Thames, situated at the southern border of the Cotswolds. Come for collections, miniature steam, tractors, karting, bouncy castle – plus all the usual Fayre excitements such as boot sales, trade stands and refreshments



Pop along for historic revelry and a good old-fashioned knees-up in beautiful Chipping Campden. Read all about the interestingly named Scuttlebrook Wake and its origins online.

The Bloodwise Blenheim Palace Triathlon is the second largest triathlon in the UK. With 7,000 annual entrants and 15,000 spectators, it’s a bustling, vibrant spectacle to behold.

Blenheim Palace




Longborough Festival Opera

Ever wondered just how the universe works? The Cheltenham Science Festival is the best place to find out all the answers to questions and concerns both big and small, and year on year has a stellar line-up of speakers who’ll leave you shaking your head in wonder. See the line-up online.

JUNE 7-9 BLEDINGTON MUSIC FESTIVAL Music-lovers will enjoy the performances held in St Leonard’s Church, Bledington, at 7.30pm each evening. Tickets are available online and also at Kingham Stores, The King’s Head in Bledington, Jaffe & Neale in Chipping Norton and Borzoi Bookshop in Stow on the Wold.

JUNE 9-AUGUST 2 LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL OPERA Nestled on a hillside and with splendid views over the tranquil Gloucestershire countryside, Longborough Festival Opera is a highlight of the summer’s country house opera season. The 2016 Season includes Tannhäuser, Le nozze di Figaro, Jenufa and Alcina.

JUNE 10-12 CHELTENHAM FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL MONTPELLIER GARDENS, CHELTENHAM Featuring top grub for foodies and casual munchers alike, the Food & Drink Festival is sure to satisfy. Don’t miss the wine tasting, food talks and entertainment also on the menu at Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival this summer.

JUNE 11 QUEEN’S 90TH CELEBRATION BIRTHDAY PARTY LAPSTONE, CHIPPING CAMPDEN It’s a significant year for anniversaries, so why not celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th with some traditional British fun? Enjoy a jump on the bouncy castle, peruse cakes and see the Punch & Judy show. Fun for all!

JUNE 11-12 ARTEMISIA ART EXHIBITION STANTON VILLAGE HALL Come to Stanton this June to see selected works from thirteen local artists, including Susan Morris, Linda Appleton, Lilian Watkins, Maureen Bayetto and others. Charity donations to Maggie’s much appreciated.

JUNE 17-19 FOREST LIVE AT WESTONBIRT ARBORETUM What’s so special about Wembley? The forest makes for an arena like no other! This year’s Forest Live features Rudimental, Kaiser Chiefs, UB40 and Tom Jones – but do move fast, because tickets to see music greats in the forest tend to fly.


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Longborough Festiva l Opera


JUNE 17-19 UKULELE FESTIVAL OF GREAT BRITAIN CHELTENHAM Have a plucking good time at the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain, proudly hosted by the pleasant spa town of Cheltenham. Join a uke workshop, or just jam out with the ukulele community for their splendid seventh year.

JUNE 17-19 BLENHEIM PALACE FLOWER SHOW When it comes to flowers, there’s more than just the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Why not come along to Blenheim’s – which this year is opened by none other than Sir Ian McKellen! From floral art to show gardens, there’s much on offer for the green-fingered to enjoy.

JUNE 18-19 MOUNTAIN MAYHEM GATCOMBE PARK Are you fit enough for a 24-hour mountain bike endurance event? Us neither, but the bold and toned can get involved at Gatcombe Park, hosting Mountain Mayhem for a third successive year.

JULY JULY 1-17 CHELTENHAM MUSIC FESTIVAL From Schubert and Satie to Tibetan culture workshops, Cheltenham Music Festival’s diverse programme has something joyous for everybody in a year of anniversaries. Don’t miss the Shakespeare 400 event The Play’s The Thing by the National Youth Chamber Choir & Jazz Orchestras.

JULY 2-3 THE COTSWOLD SHOW & FOOD FESTIVAL CIRENCESTER PARK An action packed two days for all the family, there’s food and fun aplenty at The Cotswold Show, which last year won at the Cotswold Tourism Awards. From falconry to traditional rural skills, there’s enough variety here to satisfy grandparents and toddlers alike.



2000trees is all about the music. A 5,000-capacity festival set in the rolling Cotswold Hills, 2000trees offers 3 nights camping, a friendly, intimate atmosphere and amazing food and locally produced ciders, ales & lagers. A great shout for the best underground rock and indie.

Over 15 beautiful gardens open in the picturesque 17th Century village of Stanton, ranging from large manor house to small cottage gardens, all packed with colour and interest, many with delightful natural water features. 2-6pm, £6 admission, children free.



Now featuring the Festival on the Field, the Northleach Charter Fair remains a fixture in the local calendar, and as good a place as any for a summer shindig, Cotswold-style. Full details available online!

A sell-out spectacle, the Air Tattoo is the world’s largest military airshow. See the mightiest machines of the military sail overhead and gasp at the dynamic displays. Fairford isn’t just fun for the aircraft enthusiast, but for the family at large.

Royal International Air Tattoo RAF Fairford



Cornbury Music Festival

JULY 8-10 CORNBURY MUSIC FESTIVAL GREAT TEW PARK, OXFORDSHIRE Featuring Jamie Cullum, Bryan Ferry and Seal, Cornbury brings mellow, musical family fun to the Cotswolds this July. With yummy gourmet caterers and vintage fairground jollity, you can’t go wrong with a few days at Cornbury.

JULY 9-10 TEWKESBURY MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL Hear swords clash and cannons roar! Feel filled with valour and chivalry! Tewkesbury’s battle re-enactments are legendary, but a mediaeval market and music and dance complete the weekend. Watch out for the surgeon barbers and dragon keepers if you want to return to the 21st century unscathed!


Lovers of classic American cars need look no further than the stately surroundings of Blenheim Palace this July. With so many proud vintage automobiles on display, a hog roast and BBQ is just the sparkle on the bonnet.

Cornbury Music Festival

JULY 13-24 CHELTENHAM CRICKET FESTIVAL Owzat?! The 2015 festival saw over 20,000 attend. The 2016 event will see international cricket being played at the historic ground. Supporters can look forward to two Specsavers County Championship matches, one NatWest T20 Blast, Two Tourist matches including England Lions and one Royal London One-Day Cup match. The medieval town of Tewkesbury


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JULY 16 BLENHEIM PALACE BATTLE PROMS Welcome to the Battle Proms Picnic Concerts: Summer celebrations with music, fireworks, Spitfire, cannons and cavalry! Unpack the hampers and champers and soak in the exceptional ‘Proms in the Park’ style entertainment. This year the Battle Proms will take place on a new site, especially selected for a growing audience, overlooking the iconic Column of Victory.

JULY 17 ART COUTURE PAINSWICK The funkiest homespun fashion struts its stuff! ACP is an innovative festival that transforms the streets of Painswick into a place of wonder, sparking a spirit of community. The event features stage shows among the iconic yew trees, where participants display their astonishing creations of wearable art before a panel of celebrity judges.

JULY 22-31 46TH GUITING MUSIC FESTIVAL For nearly half a century the Guiting Music Festival has been a highlight of the Cotswolds summer calendar, bringing an exciting variety of highly talented performances of classical, jazz and folk music by artists from around the world. See the website for details on events and performers.

Joanna McGregor, playing at Guiting Music Festival



Drinkers delight! This year, the Knights of Middle England and Hook Norton Brewery’s famous dray, along with their magnificent shire horses, will visit the Cotswold Beer Festival. And, of course, there’s the beer.

Much loved by all, Riverside has become a major fixture in Oxfordshire’s music calendar. This is a FREE family-friendly music festival in an idyllic riverside setting in the Cotswolds, with more than 40 acts playing across three stages - rock, indie, jazz, and folk on the main two stages and all sorts on the Riverside Fringe stage! Saturday 23 July (12pm – 10pm) Sunday 24 July (11am-8pm)

Riverside Festival Charlbury



AUGUST AUGUST 4-7 WILDERNESS FESTIVAL CORNBURY PARK, OXFORDSHIRE Wilderness is the multi-award winning 4-day festival combining live music, contemporary arts and an array of theatre, craftsmanship, talks and debates and dining experiences. This year The Flaming Lips and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant will be rocking out in Cornbury Park.

AUGUST 5-7 FESTIVAL OF BRITISH EVENTING GATCOMBE PARK, MINCHINHAMPTON The Festival of British Eventing takes place at Gatcombe Park, the spectacular home of the Princess Royal and her family. It incorporates the British Open, Intermediate and Novice Championships, as well as the Amateur Championship, The Corinthian Cup. As well as a weekend of top class eventing there will be a shopping village and arena attractions including The Devils Horsemen Cossack Riders.

AUGUST 5-7 GLOUCESTERSHIRE VINTAGE AND COUNTRY EXTRAVAGANZA SOUTH CERNEY Fan of vintage vehicles? Don’t miss this! The Stroud Vintage Transport & Engine Club stage their 42nd Annual show at South Cerney Airfield on the outskirts of Cirencester in Gloucestershire on August 5th, 6th, & 7th 2016. Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester

JULY 23-30 THREE CHOIRS FESTIVAL, GLOUCESTER The Three Choirs Festival is a week-long programme of choral and orchestral concerts, cathedral services, solo and chamber music recitals, masterclasses, talks, theatre, exhibitions and walks, rotating each summer between the beautiful English cathedral cities of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester. It is the oldest non-competitive classical music festival in the world, celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2015 and providing a spiritual presence at the heart of the nation’s cultural life.

JULY 30 COOPER 70TH ANNIVERSARY AND MEMBERS’ MEETING, PRESCOTT SPEED HILL CLIMB 2016 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Cooper Car Company, founded in 1946. The event takes place on Saturday 30th July 2016, almost exactly 70 years to the day when John Cooper and friend Eric Brandon competed with their self-built Fiat Topolino based, JAP-engined prototype Cooper Mk1, at Prescott’s inaugural Post War meeting.


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AUGUST 20-21 STEAM & REAL ALE WEEKEND, GLOUCESTERSHIRE WARWICKSHIRE RAILWAY TODDINGTON AND WINCHCOMBE It turns out that steam and ale make natural bedfellows! Take a train ride and raise a glass to real ale brewers from all over the country. Normal ticket prices for those wishing to travel but for those planning just to sample the ales, there will be a small admission charge.

Steam & Real Ale Weekend, GWR Toddi ngton


AUGUST 26-28 THE BIG FEASTIVAL KINGHAM Presented by Jamie Oliver & Alex James at Kingham, Oxfordshire’s The Big Feastival returns to Alex James’ Kingham Farm for three more days of fun, food, and smooth festival tunes. Turn to our coverage on page 54 for more info!

AUGUST 29, 2PM FOOTBALL IN THE RIVER BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER Local lads make a splash when they make the River Windrush their pitch, trying not to punt the ducks as they go. Don’t be late for this traditional match – the banks fill up fast with cheering spectators.

AUGUST 29 WINCHCOMBE COUNTRY SHOW WINCHCOMBE SENIOR SCHOOL PLAYING FIELDS Organisers of the 67th Winchcombe Country Show are promising another bumper show this year. The event takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 August, at Winchcombe Senior School Playing Fields and brings you the best in country show fun. Don’t miss the Rio Olympic-themed procession!

Alex James & Jamie Oliver

River Windrush, Bourton on the Water


What the Gamekeeper Saw Guiting Power-based gamekeeper and photographer Adam Tatlow trains his lens on local wildlife, creating arresting-yet-intimate images of our animal neighbours. Adam will have a stall with cards and prints at Guiting Power Fete on June 25th and at Naunton Country Fair on June 28th. He will also be at Brockhampton Show on August 27th and Winchcombe Country Fair on August 29th. Adam is also available to book for wildlife talks and presentations via his website,, where you can browse a number of galleries.



Looking ahead to a Fantastic Summer on the Farm



new bo

see pag ok! e 10

Adam Henson offers a sneak preview of what’s planned for this summer – on the Farm Park and beyond. Come rain or shine, the Cotswolds come alive at this time of year.

atmosphere and it’s a great opportunity to take some of our animals to a new audience.

There’s a buzz in the air and a real carnival feel. Small, ‘sleepy’ villages suddenly adopt a different pace. The start of summer brings with it a packed line-up of events, all taking place right on the doorstep.

As a matter of fact, there are some Big Feastival competition tickets available in this very issue (see page 6) – so if you fancy coming along, why not enter the competition? Kids and grown ups alike enjoy the chance to see our animals up close and really getting to grips with the realities of British Farming (and not to mention the music and food of the Feastival).

From village fetes, to street parties for the Queen’s birthday, to the huge festivals held in the middle of fields…there’s not likely to be a dull moment! Whether you’re donning a pair of sunglasses that you had to rummage through a drawer for, or squelching your way through what feels like two feet of mud, I think this is the best of British summertime. The Farm Park team and I will be returning to The Big Feastival in August – it’s our fourth year and has become a much-anticipated date in our diary. There’s always a wonderful family-friendly 86

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“The Farm Park team and I will be returning to The Big Feastival in August – it’s our fourth year and has become a much-anticipated date in our diary.”

I’m also very excited about the first Countryfile Live event, taking place between the 4th and 7th August. It’s set to bring together almost every aspect of the British countryside, all packed into the beautiful venue of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. This exciting (and new!) event will feature the Countryfile presenters, Adam's Farm, animal displays, farming machinery, outdoor fun for kids - plus countless food and craft stalls to browse. Savour the best of British food and drink and much more.You can even bring your dog! Head on over to www. and watch as the presenters attempt to climb a sixteen-foot haystack… We like to get in on the action here at the Farm Park, too, and this year we have more events planned than ever before. To name just a couple, our farmers’ market will feature some of our favourite local producers, whilst our ‘Meet the Machinery’ weekend will be a chance to get up close to our most impressive bits of equipment.You can find out more at


Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits: Anna MacCurrach ‘channels her inner Mrs McGregor’ and turns pest into feast SUMMER My husband puts hundreds of hours’ worth of work into each field of crops on the farm, be it arable or grass. Ploughing, cultivating, drilling, spraying, an awful lot of staring at the sky and studying the forecast (it is never the right weather) before can appreciate, I am sure, his frustration when he sees a multitude of rabbits out there eating it. The saying ‘breed like rabbits’ has good grounding – their gestation period is only 30 days and they can have between four and twelve kits per litter. Two rabbits can quickly become hundreds. Jimmy decided to take matters into his own hands and, together with a friend, he took off around the farm one night for a spot of lamping. They were gone for hours and the next morning he was still feeling triumphant, informing me that there were a couple of rabbits for me outside and if I wanted anymore there were sixty eight in the back of our neighbour’s Gator. Seventy rabbits! And I had to cook two. I’ll admit that it took me a few days to channel my inner Mrs McGregor but after a scout around the internet for some recipes I hit the jackpot on the BBC Good Food website. The outcome was so delicious. SO delicious that I have to share it with you.

I’ll admit that it took me a few days to channel my inner Mrs McGregor but after a scout around the internet for some recipes I hit the jackpot on the BBC Good Food website. Skin and roughly joint your rabbit/s. Dust with plain flour and brown in oil before removing from the pan. Add a chopped leak, some lardons if you have them, and some fennel seeds to the pan until softened. Make up 500ml of chicken stock and use some to scrape up the bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. Put the rabbit back in the pot, add the rest of the stock and then top up with cider until it is all covered. The recipe says to cook for 40-45 minutes until tender but ours was in a low oven for about six hours. Take the meat out and reduce the liquid to about a third, whilst stripping the meat from the bones. Then add cream and wholegrain mustard to the liquid to turn it into a lovely sauce, pop the rabbit meat back in, stir, and put the whole lot in a pie dish. When it is cool

cover with some all butter pastry, glaze with an egg yolk and bake until golden. So, if shooting, skinning and gutting rabbits isn’t your thing - and who could blame you frankly - I highly recommend heading to your local butcher to buy one (be very careful if you buy it from a supermarket, look for wild rabbit not farmed). Pretty much any chicken recipe can be adapted. And I take no responsibility from any awkward questions that may come your way from Peter rabbit-loving children. Find out more about Tagmoor Farm at


2 Roel Cottages, Nr Guiting Power

ÂŁ599,950 - SOLD

2 Roel Cottages is a charming,Victorian, Cotswold stone cottage with approximately half an acre of garden which wraps around the cottage and is bordered by railway sleepers and a beautiful Cotswold stone wall, with hedgerows and trees to the rear. Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Sitting Room | Garden Room | Master Bedroom with Ensuite Bath and Shower Room | Two Further Double Bedrooms with Ensuite Shower Rooms | Garden | Double Garage | Private Driveway | EPC Rating: C

Fine and Country Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 824 977

Bourton on the Water | Moreton in Marsh | Stow on the Wold | Mayfair | Lettings

Caffreys Cottage, Lower Swell

ÂŁ450,000 - SOLD

A charming Grade II Listed barn conversion with a detached one bedroom converted water tower. Entrance Porch | Two Bedrooms | Large Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Bathroom | Two Shower Rooms | Converted Water Tower with accommodation consisting of One Bedroom | Shower Room | Single Garage | Parking space | Gardens Front and Rear | EPC Rating: exempt

Fine and Country Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 824 977

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie

The Old Court, Burford

Guide Price £950,000 – SALE AGREED

A truly stunning restoration of a Grade II Listed townhouse.The current owners have comprehensively refurbished and sensitively modernised the interior to create a stunning four/ five bedroom home arranged on three levels. A central stone floored entrance hall leads on up to the original court room, today a luxurious drawing room some thirty foot long, lit by three picture windows that overlook the street scene below. Retaining many original features throughout including shuttered sash windows, stripped floor boards and high ceilings, the restored courthouse is full of inherent character but works extremely well as an eminently comfortable, spacious family home. Ground Floor - Entrance Hall | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Dining Room | Bedroom 4 | Shower Room. First Floor - Drawing Room | Bedroom 1 | Bathroom | Bedroom 5/Study. Second Floor - Bedroom 2 | Bedroom 3 | External - Garden to rear. EPC Rating: exempt. Fine and Country Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 824 977

Moreton in Marsh | Bourton on the Water | Stow on the Wold | Mayfair | Lettings

Old Warden, Chipping Campden

ÂŁ850,000 - SOLD

A charming Cotswold stone detached house dating back to the early 1950s, occupying a sought-after location at the edge of this eminently desirable market town.This beautiful family home has recently undergone extensive redesign and improvement whilst the delightfully landscaped garden is bordered by mature woodland offering absolute privacy. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Family Room open to Dining Area | Utility Room | WC | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Guest Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Landscaped Gardens | Garage | Gated Driveway | EPC Rating: D

Fine and Country Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653 893

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie

The Old Royal Oak


Old Royal Oak The High Street, Blockley Most recently home to the BBC’s Father Brown, the beautiful North Cotswold village of Blockley has been greatly protected from the march of progress and tourism by its topography. Its winding cart-wide high street is cut between deep-sided hills - too much of a squeeze for coach tours and no more space for new-build in the centre. Gathered along its length and radiating outwards, jostling for position, are rows of narrow-fronted, deep-pocketed period properties that reflect a glorious burst of Georgian affluence when scores of water mills powered the production line of a luxury industry - silk. At the entrance to the High Street a lavish church looms majestically, lasting testament to the grandeur and importance of those times. 92

Cotswold Homes Magazine

Whilst the mills have long since been silenced and the commercial interiors of plate-glassed properties - the bank and the shops that once also thronged with customers - have been cleverly adapted and refurbished, fashion-fit for twenty first century life, the vernacular of the High Street is still richly redolent of times gone by, of old money, of genteel wealth and continuing prosperity, and the address remains as prestigious as it ever was. The Old Royal Oak, no doubt placed close to the bank and church to take full advantage of the centrifugal pull of commerce and worship, was once a popular public house but is now an eminently comfortable three-storey, five-

bedroomed home, serving as a great example of the village’s characterful juxtaposition of ancient form and modern purpose. This Grade II Listed property is situated on an elevated terrace that rises above the properties on the opposite side of the street, taking full advantage of countryside views from the first and second floor. Invisible from street level, the garden banks on upwards in a series of Italianate terraces and where the view from the very top, sitting with a glass of wine in a strategically placed summerhouse, is truly breathtaking. Today, The Old Royal Oak’s discreet exterior may reveal little of its original function but once inside, it is easy to trace its history. Steeped in period detail, the property has been the subject of quite considerable investment

The Old Royal Oak

by the present owners, who have overseen a comprehensive yet sympathetic renovation that has ensured none of the inherent character has been lost. Climbing the steps from the high street to the front door, one enters a flagstone-floored lobby that opens into a reception hall and library that would clearly have been the parlour and leads to a formal sitting room - once the bar, a large serving hatch still intact with inglenook fireplace and low-slung window seat concealing a retractable television - an ideal spot for the idle curious to overlook the street scene below. A flagstone-floored passage leads on to the masterpiece of the renovation and a fitting

The most has been made of the space between rooms, too, on each level. Throughout there are fitted cupboards galore and four bathrooms - a shower room on the ground floor, a master en-suite bathroom plus family bathrooms on the first and top floor. reflection on the quality of a project overseen by Blockley’s most renowned and imaginative surveyor Oliver Dicks, where an earlier 18th century part of the building has been restored as a family dining room - complete with wood burning stove - and paired with a newly fitted stunning, double-height, glass-roofed kitchen, created from an original external tap room.

Flooded with light and blessed with under-floor heating this eminently practical, social hub for day-to-day life has been luxuriously equipped with floor to ceiling country-style cabinets and wooden work surfaces. A doorway leads to a private patio, bringing in the wafting scent of herbs on summer evenings. From there, steps rise up and away to the garden above.


The Old Royal Oak


Cotswold Homes Magazine

The Old ROyal Oak

This is undoubtedly a sensitive and artistic conversion throughout - everything exudes an inherent sense of comfort, solidity and traditional country luxury. The most has been made of the space between rooms, too, on each level.Throughout there are fitted cupboards galore and four bathrooms - a shower room on the ground floor, a master en-suite bathroom plus family bathrooms on the first and top floor. On the first floor are three principal bedrooms - one of these has been commandeered as a study by the present owner, a writer, but would be equally suited to a private drawing room. Here, as with the master bedroom, the eye is inescapably drawn towards deep-set, ornate windows that look out over the roofs of neighbouring properties to the beauty of the surrounding countryside. All the bedrooms have unique character - the third bedroom is the most ancient part of the property with exposed elm floorboards the width of tree trunks, and, on the top floor, the exposed ‘A’ frame forms deeply sloping ceilings where two more double bedrooms enjoy a quintessential cottage charm, again with delightful far-reaching views. To experience the very best of these views however, and possibly the greatest pleasure of this lovely

home, one must climb the steps beyond the kitchen terrace to reach the main garden above*.This is a gardener’s delight, a secret place exuding a rare sense of peace and privacy. A series of winding pathways rise upwards between mature, formal flowerbeds crammed with sweet-smelling traditional perennials that catch the sunlight from dawn to dusk, leading on to a broad terrace above. Running across the heart of the garden, the owners have installed a clear, swift-flowing, shallow stream that provides a calming presence with its watery notes and where one can pause before walking on again to the very top, ready to take in the whole magnificent panorama from the summerhouse - the perfect resting place. *Note:There is also pedestrian access to the top garden terrace from Chapel Lane The Old Royal Oak is marketed at a Guide Price of £720,000 by Fine & Country North Cotswolds, the international country homes department of Harrison James & Hardie.To find out more and to arrange an appointment to view, strictly by prior appointment, simply contact the Moreton in Marsh branch on 01608 653893.

Climbing the steps from the high street to the front door, one enters a flagstonefloored lobby that opens into a reception hall and library that would clearly have been the parlour and leads to a formal sitting room - once the bar ...



Bank House Greenway Road, Blockley

An individual, detached modern property set in an elevated, central position in this most desirable Cotswold village.


Cotswold Homes Magazine


Always a second-home delight, being situated within easy distance of Moreton in Marsh with its regular train service into London, Blockley is now very much sought-after as an ideal place to bring up a family, with a wonderful primary school and village shop providing the hub of day-today country life.

... the new sitting room runs the whole length of the property, enjoying views over the village and garden, with doors leading out to the terrace.

Offering beautifully presented accommodation and benefitting from a lovely open aspect over the village rooftops to the countryside beyond, Bank House is a luxurious home eminently suited to family life. Once the local police house, since it was purchased ten years ago the current owners have entirely reconfigured and transformed the original layout, introducing light, space and beauty to the interior by opening out a number of small rooms and installing a double storey extension to one side, thereby creating a new dual aspect sitting room with two further bedrooms above. Having been almost entirely stripped back to its bare bones, the property has therefore been comprehensively refurbished - wiring has been replaced, walls re-plastered, stairs turned and rooms re-imagined throughout. Outside, the garden wraps around the property, its elevated position providing considerable privacy, bordered by low Cotswold stone dry walls and backing onto the grounds of the village primary school – here there is plenty of space for a vegetable garden, formal terraces for dining al fresco and for chasing the sun, and lawns for the children to run and play. To the front, a sweeping driveway rises up to a parking bay set into the bank’s Cotswold stone retaining wall, providing sufficient space for three cars. Stone steps and a paved terrace lead to the front door and into a wide, welcoming, glamorous entrance hall.



The greatest improvement to the original property has been the complete reconfiguration of an old hallway and galley kitchen into a kitchen / breakfast room and separate utility, now resplendent with a generous range of cream high gloss cabinets and integrated appliances, the sink perfectly positioned to look out over the street scene below and with sufficient space to eat together informally. It is of note that planning permission has recently been secured that will balance the existing extension, providing an open plan breakfast room off the kitchen with French doors onto the rear terrace - similarly, a new luxurious bathroom to the master bedroom suite would then be created on the floor above*. For more formal dining, the previous living room is now a separate dining room – here the original fireplace has been concealed to maximise the space but could easily be re-opened. Beyond it, the new sitting room runs the whole length of the property, enjoying views over the village and garden, with doors leading out to the terrace. Above, the first floor enjoys a spacious layout with four light-filled bedrooms, plus an en-suite and family bathroom. One of the bedrooms is currently used as a private family room but - being designed with a Jack and Jill access - could easily become a dressing room to the master bedroom. Bank House is marketed by Fine & Country North Cotswolds, the international country homes department of Harrison James & Hardie, at £565,000. To find out more about the property or to view, strictly by prior appointment, speak to Tom Burdett, Director, at the Moreton in Marsh offices of Harrison James & Hardie, on 01608 653893. * Plans can be viewed on Cotswold District Council’s online planning register. Ref: 15/00116/ FUL or CD.3200/H 98

Cotswold Homes Magazine

The greatest improvement to the original property has been the complete reconfiguration of an old hallway and galley kitchen into a kitchen / breakfast room and separate utility ...

Willow House

Willow House Great Wolford 100 Cotswold Homes Magazine

Willow House

Once, way back in the mists of the seventeenth century, Willow House was a simple, one-up one-down Cotswold stone cottage. Enjoying an elevated, central position in the tiny rural village of Great Wolford, hundreds of years later its origins are still intact but now form just the heart of a much larger, detached and ostensibly modern (from the outside, at least) family home. The humble cottage has been radically extended over generations and when the present owners first took on their home ten years ago, the result had become something of a muddle. “There were essentially three cottages in one when we first came to see it, with two staircases leading to two entirely separate first floors and a jumble of small rooms beneath. The lovely thing about it was its position, however, situated in

the middle of a rural street scene overlooking the church, with views over surrounding open countryside. The agency was quite disparaging but as we walked around we felt a sense of its potential, how to unify it, a belief that it could be made into a proper family home.� Local architect Ed Tyack agreed, coming up with a number of ingenious solutions that involved the removal of the original cottage staircase and the installation of an atrium to form a wide, welcoming, light-filled hall connecting the whole property as one on both levels. His design was both inspired and beautiful. The owners, delighted with his clever aesthetic, embarked on a comprehensive refurbishment under his expert guidance, modernising throughout yet retaining as much of the unique character as possible.

... at Christmas it’s still just a cottage really, especially once the fire is lit and the curtains drawn, cosy and comfortable with the Aga quietly chugging away in the kitchen. 101 101

Willow House

102 Cotswold Homes Magazine

Willow House

The lovely thing about it was its position, however, situated in the middle of a rural street scene overlooking the church, with views over surrounding open countryside.

Today Willow House presents in luxurious and immaculate order, decorated with a country cottage palette principally of stone and exposed wood, and now provides substantial family accommodation – two formal reception rooms (one currently used as a playroom), a kitchen/ breakfast room, separate utility and study on the ground floor, with four double bedrooms and two bathrooms above. Outside, the house is approached by a gravelled driveway with a garage, spreading lawns wrapping around the house and bordered by a low dry-stone wall, with plenty of room for a vegetable patch and al fresco terrace positioned to catch the best of the sun. What has been the best part of living here? “We have found the house very practical and eminently sociable, able to cope with all the varying demands of family life, blessed with plenty of natural

daylight, making it feel airy and warm.The sitting room is grand enough to host a drinks party and it’s easy for everyone to spill out into the garden in summer. Equally, at Christmas it’s still just a cottage really, especially once the fire is lit and the curtains drawn, cosy and comfortable with the Aga quietly chugging away in the kitchen.Village life is quiet and peaceful, too, with plenty of lovely places to walk, yet all the facilities of Moreton in Marsh and Chipping Norton within easy distance.There’s even a free taxi that ferries the children to the local primary school, Little Acorns. It’s been wonderful.” Willow House Great Wolford is marketed at £750,000 with Fine & Country North Cotswolds, the international country homes department of Harrison James & Hardie. For more information or to arrange an appointment to view, please contact Sales Director Tom Burdett at the Moreton in Marsh office on 01608 651000. 103 103

Fosseway House

Fosseway House Moreton in Marsh

Situated on the southern outskirts of the ancient market town of Moreton in Marsh is Fosseway House. Originally built in the late 1930s, this much-loved, substantial family home occupies a large plot in a secluded position on the edge of Fosseway Avenue. Enjoying a distinct sense of grandeur from the approach, being set well back from the street with a sweeping driveway providing parking for at least a dozen cars, the property is afforded a considerable degree of privacy by strategic planting of mature trees on all sides. Wide, brick-paved terraces wrap around the property, opening out onto lawns and well-stocked borders full of perennial shrubs and plants, with a summerhouse and pergola positioned to make the most of fine, warm days. Internally, Fosseway House retains much of its original character including high ceilings, picture rails and open fireplaces but the present owner has done a great deal to improve the house he bought for his wife and young 104 Cotswold Homes Magazine

family sixteen years ago, when everything was in need of a complete overhaul from wiring and plastering to bathrooms and an old galley-style kitchen. The property was extended and re-configured on both floors. It took vision, time and considerable investment but the result has been an unqualified success, with every attention given to comfort and ease of day-to-day life. At its heart, the most significant change was to combine a hotchpotch of small rooms into a spacious kitchen-breakfast room with conservatory overlooking the garden, fitted with an extensive range of high quality oak units and a four-oven Aga. The original layout was then also altered to provide an additional bathroom and en-suite to one of the bedrooms whilst a large utility room and double garage were built beyond the kitchen, with a grand master bedroom suite above providing occasional, luxurious guest accommodation.


Originally built in the late 1930s, this much-loved, substantial family home occupies a large plot in a secluded position on the edge of Fosseway Avenue. 105


As a tourist destination, supplementary income is easily generated from this ancillary accommodation, either on a shorthold basis or as holiday accommodation; equally, an edge of town location lends itself well to a Bed & Breakfast business.

With the main accommodation including two sitting rooms, a separate dining room and five double bedrooms there is now plenty of opportunity to spread out or to gather together. Such eminently comfortable, generous and flexible living space, combined with proximity to the mainline train station and access to excellent local schools, ensures the property will attract a wide range of purchasers with differing needs. Ideal for a multi-generational family or for anyone commuting regularly to London, for example, there is the added benefit of a separate onebedroom annexe with its own entrance, kitchen and private garden, perfect for a children’s nanny or elderly relative. There is yet further potential (subject to the necessary planning consents) to create a second separate apartment, simply by converting the double garage into ground floor accommodation and combining with the guest suite above. As a tourist destination, supplementary income is easily generated from this ancillary accommodation, either on a shorthold basis or as holiday accommodation; equally, an edge of town location lends itself well to a Bed & Breakfast business. Why then, given its many advantages, does the current owner wish to move?

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“We came here when the children were little, when all the potential was a dream come true and we never thought we would say goodbye – it has been everything we hoped for and more. We have regularly fostered other children as well as letting out the self-contained flat to holidaymakers, many of whom also became great friends. There are wonderful memories and it will be hard to leave. My father always joked that it would make a fabulous old people’s home but it really deserves to belong to another family, to be enjoyed to the full. Whoever comes next, whether enjoying barbecues on the terrace with friends and watching the children play in the garden, arranging endless sleepovers during the summer holidays or gathering extended family together to celebrate Christmas, we can rest assured that the new owners will undoubtedly have a wonderful time, doing so many of the fun things that made life such a pleasure for us here!” Fosseway House is offered to the market by Fine & Country North Cotswolds, the international country homes marketing department of Harrison James & Hardie. Priced at £699,950, for further information and to arrange an appointment to view, simply contact the Moreton in Marsh office on 01608 653893.


... supplementary income is easily generated from this ancillary accommodation, either on a shorthold basis or as holiday accommodation ... 107

2,WESt viEW

2, West View, Great Rissington

The principal accommodation now comprises a kitchen/ breakfast room, sitting room and separate dining room

For many, the village of Great rissington is the dream location – a perfect place to live the Good Life. Not only is it picture-book pretty, with quiet rows of Cotswold stone period cottages arranged along the length of a gently sloping hillside (down at the far end, an ancient church abuts a grand manor house, whilst a victorian-built primary school sits opposite the traditional Lamb inn at the top) but it also possesses that most desirable of qualities - a rooted, friendly community where the ancestors of some residents can still be traced back into the mists of time. then, the majority of villagers worked on the bountiful and beautiful surrounding farmland or as servants to the Big House. today, there is a greater diversification of employment – city bankers, classical actors and artists rubbing shoulders with musicians, sculptors and physicians - but the newer inhabitants have all embraced equal responsibility for the quality of their community. Swelling church pews on Sundays, cricket at the clubhouse on Fridays, school fetes and street parties in summer, the stuff of English rural idyll is all here for the taking only minutes from the A40 and the mainline train station at Kingham, in the catchment of the most highly regarded state senior school in the country (according to the times in its latest survey). Situated in one of the most favourable positions in the village is a pair of late nineteenth century, originally two-up-two-down cottages built to accommodate the chauffeur and housekeeper of a neighbouring house. In the 1920s No 2 West View was sold off, bought by a local family and lived in by their daughter for almost seventy 108 Cotswold Homes Magazine

years until the house needed comprehensive updating to make it properly habitable. By now an old lady, she reluctantly decided to sell. Her greatest wish was to preserve her home for another local family and her parting request to the grateful current owners, then a young couple who had competed against higher bidders and would have promised pretty much anything to secure their home, was simply not to fell the ancient apple tree in her beloved garden. Twenty years on, much has been done to improve the property – the tin bath in front of the Rayburn has long been supplanted by a hot water system fuelled by solar energy, and an extension built to provide a first floor bathroom. The principal accommodation now comprises a kitchen/breakfast room, sitting

with three double bedrooms and bathroom on the floor above - what matters most, however, is not the raft of improvements made to the interior but the position and plot size ...

2,west view

room and separate dining room with three double bedrooms and bathroom on the floor above - what matters most, however, is not the raft of improvements made to the interior but the position and plot size, which remain the most serendipitous qualities of this lovely property. From ground and first floor the outlook is breath-taking, a sweeping overview of village and valley, broad skies and distant hills, with a garden long and broad enough to

consider not only a further sizeable extension (as the neighbours have done with their half of the pair of cottages) but even to suggest a potential separate plot (subject, of course, to all the usual planning consents). Given the absence of listing, conceivably the cottage could become a home twice its current size. Certainly it is ideally suited for another growing family, the next generation and only the third owners in a century. Simply, don’t cut down the apple tree.

West View is offered to the market by Fine & Country North Cotswolds, the international country homes department of Harrison James & Hardie. For further information and to arrange an appointment to view, simply contact the Bourton on the Water office on 01451 822977 109

Smith Barry Crescent

Officer’s Life An

Smith Barry Crescent, Upper Rissington

Of all the properties in Upper Rissington, none are more sought after than the handful of prestigious officers' houses designed by renowned architect Sir Edward Lutyens. Situated in a cul-de-sac in the quietest part of the village, bordering fields and woodland with views towards Oxfordshire, No 9 Smith Barry Crescent is one of only six original homes built for the highest-ranking officers on the former air base. Extended by the present owners, the property is blessed by a generous plot overlooking landscaped gardens bounded 110 Cotswold Homes Magazine

by dry-stone walling and offers substantial accommodation including two reception rooms, a large central kitchen/breakfast room with separate utility and shower room on the ground floor, with five bedrooms served by a family bathroom above. The original homes at RAF Little Rissington were mainly built in the late 30s / early 40s. The base played a crucial role as a training ground for pilots during World War II - indeed, Smith Barry (where officers were housed) was named

after the officer credited with modern teaching strategies adopted by the air force at the time. The base had its share of wartime tragedy, most famously when one fatally damaged plane failed to make the landing on a return flight, crashing half a mile short of safety into the pub garden of the Lamb Inn at nearby Great Rissington. Once peace was finally restored RAF Little Rissington became an enjoyable rural outpost - it continued as a Flying School, hosting the famous Red Arrow team in the 1970s and generally acting as a magnet for local high

Smith Barry Crescent

society. The Officers' Mess in Smith Barry Road, currently being converted into glamorous town houses, was very much the place to be seen. Huge dinner parties frequently went on until dawn and the hunt also regularly met at the Commander's home, where even the Queen Mother once stayed. In the 1990s the site was sold off by the MOD for private development. The newly named Upper Rissington soon earned renown as 'the North Cotswolds' best kept secret'. Families settling here loved the friendliness of the local community, the freedom and safety for their children, the sense of peace, vast skies, tree-lined avenues, wide-open spaces and copious wild life. Those who purchased properties in the early years were amply rewarded by sharply escalating prices, and planning permission secured a few years later for a new homes development ensured Upper Rissington's long-term viability. There has been considerable investment into services and amenities, including a primary school, market square and supermarket. Combined with a naturally beautiful rural setting, a serendipitous location on the edge of the

The Officers' Mess in Smith Barry Road, currently being converted into glamorous town houses, was very much the place to be seen. Huge dinner parties frequently went on until dawn and the hunt also regularly met at the Commander's home, where even the Queen Mother once stayed.

Cotswold escarpment between Bourton on the Water, Stow on the Wold and Burford, today Upper Rissington has emerged as one of the most desirable villages in the North Cotswolds for family life.’ 9 Smith Barry Crescent was Sale Agreed within the first week of marketing by Fine & Country North Cotswolds. To register your interest in a similar conversion at The Officers’ Mess, please contact Company Director Karen Harrison on 01451 822977. 111

Chatcombe £575,000 (SSTC) Bourton on the Water

The Hawthorns Stow on the Wold

A beautifully presented detached home occupying a secluded position just off the popular Rissington Road.The property benefits from spacious and flexible ground floor accommodation with generously proportioned bedrooms above. Mature gardens back onto a lake and to the side is a detached timber garage with light and power. No Onward Chain. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Family Room | Kitchen/ Breakfast Room | Shower Room | Master Bedroom | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garage | Gardens | Ample Parking | EPC Rating: E

A substantial detached home located in a tucked away position offering flexible accommodation, benefiting from parking for multiple vehicles and a self-contained 1 bedroom annexe ideal for a dependant relative. Sitting Room | Dining Room | Study | Kitchen | Utility | WC | Master Bedroom | En-suite | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Large Rear Garden | Parking | Annexe - Kitchen | Sitting Room | Bedroom | Wet Room | EPC Rating: D

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

6 Landgate Yard Stow on the Wold


A beautifully presented Cotswold stone townhouse, situated in a tucked away location within walking distance of the centre of the town. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Master Bedroom | En-suite Shower Room | Three Further Bedrooms | Family Bath and Shower Room | Eaves Storage | Garden | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: C

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

1 Siskin Road Upper Rissington



A spacious detached family home offering generous living accommodation with scope for modernisation.The property benefits from lovely views over neighbouring countryside to the front and a private rear garden backing onto playing fields to the rear. Siskin Road is located within school catchment for the Outstanding Cotswold Academy. No Onward Chain. Entrance Hall | Kitchen | Utility Room | Sitting Room | Dining Room | WC | First Floor - Three Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | WC | Second Floor Attic Bedroom | Shower Room | Generous Rear Garden | Front Garden | Garage | Driveway | EPC Rating: F Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Bourton on the Water | Moreton in Marsh | Mayfair | Lettings

Lilac Cottage Stow on the Wold


6 Barnsley Way Bourton on the Water


This Cotswold stone period cottage is full of character and charm, and benefits from off road parking. Lilac Cottage is located just a short walk from the town centre and currently operates as a successful holiday let. Entrance | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen | WC | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Parking | Garden | EPC Rating: D

An immaculately presented three bedroom detached family home located within the desirable Bourton Chase development situated on the edge of Bourton on the Water. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Room | WC | Master Bedroom | En-Suite Shower Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Garden | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

3 Barnes Wallis Way Upper Rissington


61 Lamberts Field Bourton on the Water


A well-presented three bedroom semi-detached house situated on the edge of this extremely successful development and within walking distance of The Rissington Primary School.The property falls into the catchment for the Outstanding Cotswold Academy. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Master Bedroom with En-suite Shower Room | Second Double Bedroom | Single Bedroom | Family Bathroom | Rear Garden | Two Allocated Parking Spaces | No Onward Chain | EPC Rating: B

A bright and spacious three bedroom family home located in a desirable location within walking distance to the centre of Bourton on the Water and the Outstanding Cotswold Academy. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Conservatory Three Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Generous Rear Garden | Garage | Off Road Parking. EPC Rating: C

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

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1 Hercules Close Moreton in Marsh

£565,000 (SSTC)

38 Summers Way Moreton in Marsh

£440,000 (SSTC)

A substantial detached family home occupying a pleasant position within a private gated corner of the popular Moreton Park development.This spacious property boasts a well-proportioned rear garden backing onto a coppice, and a detached double garage to the front with off road parking for two cars. Entrance Hall | Living Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Study | Utility | WC | Master Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room | Four Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Generous Garden to the Rear | Detached Double Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: B

A detached family home with generously proportioned rooms situated on the edge of this recently completed development and overlooking a coppice.The accommodation is arranged over two floors and is presented to an impeccably high standard, the property also benefits from off road parking and a detached double garage. Reception Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Study | Utility Room | WC | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Guest Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Detached Double Garage | Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: C

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Finlock Bungalow Moreton in Marsh


Badgers Den Blockley


A substantial detached bungalow situated just a short walk from the town centre with beautifully manicures gardens, garage and ample parking for several vehicles.The property comprises flexible accommodation and benefits from an adjoining one double bedroom single storey annexe/apartment. Entrance Hall | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen | Dining Room | WC | Two Ground Floor Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | First Floor Bedroom | Parking | Garage | Garden to Side and Rear | Apartment comprises its own Entrance | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Double Bedroom | Bathroom | Garden | EPC Rating: D

This three bedroom barn conversion forms part of the picturesque and sought after Lower Farm Cottages complex.The characterful and charming property benefits from its own private garden and off road parking as well as having the use of the communal grounds bordered by Blockley brook. Entrance Hall | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen | Ground Floor Bathroom | Three Bedrooms | First Floor Bathroom | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: E

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Moreton in Marsh | Bourton on the Water | Mayfair | Lettings

Archway House Blockley


2 The Leys Little Wolford

£239,950 (SSTC)

This generously proportioned Grade ll listed double fronted cottage offers flexible accommodation arranged over several floors and occupies a tucked away location within this quintessential Cotswold village.The property benefits from private gardens to front and rear as well as use of the communal grounds belonging to the neighbouring converted silk mill. Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Sitting Room | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Gardens to Front and Rear | Parking | Access to Communal Grounds | EPC Exempt

A recently refurbished village home occupying a rural position with distant countryside views.The property has been completed to an exceptionally high standard and benefits from gardens to the front and rear. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility | W.C | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Gardens to Front and Rear | EPC Rating: E

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

19 The Terrace Mickleton


2 Southview Blockley


A Victorian town house with characterful accommodation arranged over three floors.The property benefits from a pretty rear garden, parking and garage. Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Bedroom Two/First Floor Sitting Room | Bathroom | Second Floor Master Bedroom | Garden | Garage | Parking | EPC Rating: E

Forming an integral part of a Victorian mill conversion this Southerly facing 2 bedroom apartment benefits from recently improved accommodation and boasts a pretty outlook over the communal grounds and Blockley brook. Entrance Hall | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Communal Gardens | Parking | EPC Rating: C

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

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Ask the experts

Karen Harrison

The price is right!


Three months ago we began marketing our property with an online agency and since then we have had just two viewings. The price is based on what has been recently achieved by neighbouring properties (two almost identical to our property have sold within the last month) so we are certain we aren’t asking too much but now we have been told we should drop our price. What do you advise?


The agency you have chosen uses an age-old line to validate their experience in pricing your home correctly – “the value of your home is ultimately worth what someone is prepared to pay for it”. So much is obvious. But how did your agency arrive at the advertised price? They says that in “matching the evidence of 20 million sold price records” with your own estimation of value they are able to mix their “scientific expertise” with “your common sense” to conclude the correct price. The thing is, of those many millions of sold price records (to which coincidentally we all have access) only a very few are truly useful in the estimation of likely sale value for your home. Your own confidence is based on two similar neighbouring properties but, as land registry figures typically take around four months to become available after completion, you haven’t yet got access to the actual sale prices to make an informed decision. Of course, by relying on your “common sense” the agency is also abdicating ultimate responsibility to you, whether your home sells or not. Why should you know what to do or what the right price is? You’re not a professional. But the problem is an online agency simply doesn’t have the prerequisite local experience and level of personal contact with potential buyers to form a judgement on the likely profile of your perfect buyer, on what helps to sell one

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similar property over another, or even what to say about the particular benefits of your property to anyone who happens to express an interest, so it is not surprising that price is the solution they have seized on. I would say that the true value lies not in what ‘someone’ is prepared to pay for your home but in knowing the person (ideally plural) most likely to be looking for a home just like yours right now. A great local agency will already have many buyers registered in your price range and will already know who is the best match. They will also have the sales skills to persuade potential buyers of the particular benefits of your home over similar properties in the same vicinity and will have already created sufficient trust and rapport to get them to view as soon as possible. Most importantly, they will be adept at creating a sense of urgency and competition between buyers in order to achieve the highest possible price on your behalf. The worldwide web is undoubtedly a wonderful tool because it provides so much information to the widest possible number of potential applicants. Used wisely, online marketing can enhance the chances of success in finding a buyer but it doesn’t replace the necessity to ‘sell’ - without a skilled interpreter the internet alone cannot possibly be as useful and effective as you hope because, when


Ask the experts

considering all their many choices, potential applicants still need some gentle persuasion on the particular benefits of a property when making the decision to view. As you say, your house looks much the same as your neighbours’, so why have the last two likely buyers gone for those in preference? I would take a bet because they talked to someone who knew the right things to say. Bluntly, selling your house is not about what you can get away without spending but in considering the buyer experience, first and foremost. Potential buyers much prefer to rely on an educated expert to distinguish one potential home from another, especially as for them the service is free. They want to talk to someone who can distil and deliver all that information in a way that makes perfect sense, to help them to make the right choices. They will seek out someone knowledgeable, reliable, trustworthy and experienced in the local market place and allow themselves to be steered in the right direction. The longer a house remains on the market, the less likely it is to achieve its maximum value -and you are now in that danger zone. You have been persuaded by slick promotional material to trust (and to bet £495 plus VAT upfront) that your chosen agency is able to do the best possible job on your behalf for the least amount of expenditure, without any real evidence that this is the case. There is another adage that always does the rounds in estate agency – you are only as good as your last sale. So, look around. Do you know anyone personally who has had a successful experience using the agency in which you have placed all your faith and confidence? If not, why? The trouble is that online agencies are not invested in the local community or your personal circumstances but primarily concerned with bottom line. They are not interested in providing good aftercare but in making volume sales upfront. They don’t need to sell houses but simply to sell their marketing packages. Conversely, a local agency‘s success is highly reliant on good reputation and recommendation. In order to generate the best return for their clients this will be achieved by making sure that whatever funds are invested into every sale is money spent wisely. We take the risk and accept accountability on a no-sale, no-fee basis. We don’t make an upfront charge for professional photography, for floor plans, for preparing details or for putting our properties on a multitude of property portals, because that’s not where the bulk of the cost base is. The single biggest expenditure for our agency is great staff. To get and keep good people one cannot pay peanuts. To

be absolutely frank, anyone who loves selling houses and is any good at it will not be working for an online company in a faceless office on a light industrial estate but sitting at the heart of a reputable and successful high street agency. The best estate agents will be renowned in the local marketplace, having gained professional qualifications, valuable experience, knowledge and exceptional sales skills over many years - and they certainly won’t be cheap. Selling your house for the best possible price really does require an experienced and demonstrably successful local agent – ‘expensive’ only because they will have done this hundreds and hundreds of times before and have all the local ‘Sold’ boards to prove it. Specialists command high salaries not because of greed but because they are the very best at what they do. If, for example, you became seriously unwell you wouldn’t rely on websites to research the possible cause and to provide you with the likely cure but would seek the opinion of an expert, a consultant skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of that particular illness, who could interpret all the information and ensure you were provided with the best possible outcome. Sometimes, inexperience in a field of expertise is not just ineptitude but potentially damaging. Why take a gamble? Your home, like your health, is one of your most valuable assets – some things, after all, are really not worth risking a bet on. Simply dropping your price by £5,000 or even £10,000 will not make much difference to attracting your potential buyer but that’s your fee for a great high street agent blowing away on the wind. Be prepared to pay good money if you want to ensure the best possible outcome. Rather than drop your price, wave goodbye to the few hundred pounds you have unwisely spent and get yourself represented by an agency that is staffed by people you can trust, who care about the result and can clearly demonstrate they have the experience, knowledge, ability and skill to know your buyers and to prove whether the price is right. As they won’t charge you a penny up-front, what’s to lose? Karen Harrison is co-founder and owner of HARRISON JAMES & HARDIE estate agency, a local independent company that has enjoyed consistent success as market leaders and specialists in Residential Sales and Lettings of North Cotswold properties for sixteen years, and is the appointed agent for Fine & Country in the North Cotswolds. To speak to Karen, telephone 01608 651000 or 01451 822977 or e-mail karen@harrisonjameshardie. To view properties for sale or to let, visit 119

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Robert Hamilton

Get to grips with your guttering!


i recently bought a grade ii Listed Cotswold stone property that needs doing up. the gutters are leaky, causing a few damp patches, but are cast iron. given the cost of appropriate materials i would much prefer to patch than replace – what do you suggest? My advice is not to neglect simple maintenance issues – when you come to sell, we surveyors look beyond the Emperor’s new Clothes to the reality beneath! Sadly, I often see houses where the interiors have been ‘comprehensively restored’, decorated to the nines (or tens!) with fancy bathrooms and shiny new kitchens, yet the most important areas have been neglected. a particular crime is to ignore those all-important gutters and downpipes, which when faulty can lead to huge amounts of water saturating the natural porous stone of the construction, causing severe dampness problems that can even compromise mortgageability. When temperatures fall below freezing, soaked masonry will also expand and damage the surface of stone or brickwork, so it’s not something you can just ignore. all too often downpipes simply discharge onto the surface, forming pools and puddles on the surface that then seep into the foundations, causing ‘rising’ dampness - a ‘cold bridge’ that will lead to interior condensation, mould development and resultant health problems. If rising dampness is very severe subsidence can also result, so firstly check the downpipes actually lead to an infrastructure. Something as simple as a ‘directional shoe’ on the end of the downpipe can ensure that rainwater discharges away from the wall into the drainage system, or a downhill channel. Equally, check that the gutters are not too short, that they are clear of debris and complete with end stops. Guttering should protrude from the roof edge by

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about ten centimetres to catch all the wind-driven rain – if the gutters are too short or just blocked, then water will simply cascade down the corners, verges and eves of buildings, causing wet rot decay of rafter ends, gutter boards and mortar as the walls become saturated. you can also enhance lifespan by replacing all joints and bolts with stainless steel or brass and rubber/fibre washers with mastic seals to the moulded junctions. Cast iron is king when it comes to guttering – as you are lucky enough to have it, preservation is a must. Maintenance is not expensive but requires diligence (and a strong arm for all the wire brushing required!). It is vital to clean and paint the exterior and interior channel of the guttering, using rust proof or bituminous paint - if repeated every five years or so, such goods will last a further fifty to hundred years. If you need to replace sections, bear in mind that typical PVC goods are not very durable in the uK climate and are considered inappropriate for period and Listed buildings in any case. The good news is that the Heritage Office will often approve seamless aluminium or ‘Lindab’ steel gutters and downpipes - these very successfully imitate cast iron and can be fitted with elegant hoppers in various moulded shapes and colours, with a guaranteed life expectancy far in excess of plastic goods for not much more cost. Central Surveying has offices in the Cotswolds and Knightsbridge, specialising in independent professional surveying and property consultancy services for commercial and residential clients in the Cotswolds, South West and London. Robert Hamilton works from naunton in the heart of the north Cotswolds. to contact Robert, telephone 01285 640 840 or visit

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Sue Ellis

Funding a holiday let investment


Having just returned from a wonderful holiday in the north Cotswolds we would like to explore the options for buying a cottage here and letting it out occasionally to generate additional income. How do we go about funding this? Holidaying in the north Cotswolds is something that appeals to many – whether for a family, a romantic weekend or a get-away with a group of friends, the list of potential customers is long! There is no doubt that buying a property in this picturesque part of the uK can be a valuable investment, especially when run as a commercial holiday let basis. However, lending for a holiday let rather than a holiday home exclusively for your own use is a different proposition, not just in terms of the mortgage but also for regulatory purposes – to start with, a holiday-let property does not come under the Financial Conduct authority’s rules whilst a holiday home does. Should you wish to purchase a holiday/second home for your sole use only, then borrowing with typical high street lenders is based on your personal income and the ability to cover both the proposed mortgage payment plus any other mortgages/ liabilities you may have, much as a regular residential mortgage would be underwritten. If, however you wish to use your holiday home as a commercial venture, then funding will be rather more confined to a specialist panel of lenders. Most traditional Buy to Let lenders are not suitable, as they require an assured Shorthold Tenancy in order to consider funding (which given the frequent turnover, of course, a holiday let would not have). Interestingly, lenders that will accept this type of business are generally smaller Building Societies rather than big lending institutions. Some of these will only consider lending on a regional rather than national basis, governing where you might be able to buy, and bear in mind that properties in holiday parks or with a restriction on seasonal occupancy for example, could also adversely affect a lender’s willingness to fund the purchase.

To assess a case, typically the lender would want to see a deposit of at least 25% of the purchase price, ideally coupled with a proven trading performance of the property in low, mid and high season. you will only be able to provide this if the property is already run as a holiday let, of course. If not, the lender will require comparable evidence from a reputable local holiday letting agent. In some cases, lenders may simply ask their surveyor to assess the property on the income generated by an assured Shorthold Tenancy, using a specific calculation on this basis to assess whether the required borrowing can be made available. In addition to proving likely income generated by the investment, the lender will also expect a minimum income level and affordability on your part to ensure that the mortgage payment can be fully met in the event of any income void from the property. If you need full occupancy when you are not using the cottage, it has to be really well managed to generate the income you require. Be aware that a holiday let can be quite a challenge, particularly if it is not local to your main home. It will be onerous on your time and energy – if you aren’t meeting guests you will be checking inventories, taking deposits, cleaning, doing the laundry and replacing damaged items, as well as managing your spend on marketing costs and general maintenance, just for starters. a great letting agent will do all of this for you but, of course will require a chunk of your gross income in return. Whilst it’s rather easy to look at the headline income without considering the associated costs, on the other hand if the right property can be found in an appealing location then it could prove to be a worthwhile financial venture! Sue ellis works alongside Johnny Magee as a Mortgage Broker at JeM Financial planning. the team has over 50 years’ experience in investment, retirement and inheritance planning, mortgages, protection and general insurance. to speak to Sue or Johnny, telephone 01386 840777 or visit

Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 121

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Andy Soye


Mat Faraday

Dispelling Holiday Letting Myths: #3

We have a four bedroomed holiday let cottage in Blockley where there are many competing properties, so we need to get our price point right. i’ve been advised by my letting company that offering late booking discounts is wrong and can actually lose me money – can you give us your opinion on this? In simple terms, the idea behind a late booking discount is to reduce the published price of a booking slot as the start date gets closer, in order to sell it.The longer it remains unsold, the larger the discount. Late booking discounts, when implemented professionally, can significantly enhance the financial performance of a holiday cottage. The trick is to understand when to start discounting - if you do this too early then it could end up costing you money, but if you are smart and take the guesswork out, then it becomes a very effective way of maximising occupancy and profits. A time slot in a holiday cottage is a perishable item and, just like food products being sold by a grocer, time slots have “sell by dates”. Once a weekend has passed unsold you cannot go back in time and adjust the price to try and resell it. Consequently, monitoring demand and adjusting prices in line with patterns of behaviour is absolutely crucial. If you don’t have the necessary data analysis skills then it is very easy to set the wrong variable prices – but not having any variation in prices is just as bad.Variable pricing strategies are well understood and are used very successfully in virtually all industries, including airlines, hotels and car hire, but the old-fashioned holiday letting industry has been held back by a lack of investment and understanding in this crucial area. at Character Cottages, we are very data driven and analyse patterns constantly to optimise performance – as accountants, our many years of financial modelling experience has enabled us to develop various models and tools to optimise prices. Many factors affect pricing calculations, with one of the most important being a property’s “Booking Lag” - the time lag between the date a booking is placed and the date the booking commences. Each holiday cottage has its own average Booking Lag and understanding this data is essential for adopting appropriate late booking discounts.There will be a large difference in the Booking Lag between a property that sleeps twelve, when guests might book five months in advance on average,

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and a property that sleeps four that might only book two months in advance. It might make sense to start gradually discounting the larger property three months in advance, whereas it would be totally wrong to discount the smaller property at the same time – with the latter, discounting is likely to only start to be economically effective four to six weeks before the arrival date. Let us try to bring this to life, using your cottage as an example. In the Cotswolds, a cottage that sleeps eight could reasonably have a booking lag of around three months – e.g. the highest demand is approximately 90 days before the start date of any particular booking. Late booking discounts should therefore only commence after the cottage has had its best chance of selling at full value. In this example, we would advise a teaser discount of 5% eight weeks from the start date, then if it still hasn’t sold with five weeks to go, we would probably lift this discount to 10%. If a booking slot still hasn’t sold three weeks before arrival, it is then in real danger of being “wasted”, at which point we would suggest increasing the discount to 15%. Since each booking slot is a unique item, it is important to understand that guests are often not willing to gamble too much on the waiting game in order to get a discount. It’s not like buying a product from amazon, where there are an almost unlimited number of the same items for sale. With holiday cottages, each slot can exist only once and when it’s sold, it’s sold.Therefore, a carefully calculated discounting strategy can effectively market your cottage to various types of customer, with different buying patterns, minimising the number of booking slots that go unsold and maximising your profits. If you would like to find out more about how our data-driven marketing strategies are specifically designed to maximise income for all our clients, then please get in contact with us. Andrew Soye and Mat Faraday are both qualified Chartered Accountants and are the founders of Character Cottages, one of the leading luxury holiday letting businesses in the Cotswolds. telephone: 020 8935 5375 Website: email:


28 Mitchell Way, Upper Rissington


4 The Furrows, Bourton on the Water


A well presented, newly built four bedroom Linden Home, situated on the sought after development of Victory Fields in Upper Rissington.

A brand new detached family house finished to a high standard set on the outskirts of the popular town of Bourton on the Water.

Entrance hall | Cloakroom | Sitting Room | Large Kitchen/Diner | Four Bedrooms | En Suite Shower Room | Family Bathroom | Rear Garden | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC rating : B

Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Family/Dining Room | Master Bedroom with en suite Shower Room,Three Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Garden to Rear | Off Road Parking | Single Garage | EPC rating : B

Harrison James & Hardie, Stow-on-the-Wold 01451 833 170

Harrison James & Hardie, Stow-on-the-Wold 01451 833 170

Mill Race Cottage, Blockley


A delightful period cottage part of the ‘former silk mill’. Entrance hall | cloakroom | sitting room | kitchen | two double bedrooms | bathroom | balcony | off road parking and access to communal gardens | EPC rating : D

Harrison James & Hardie, Stow-on-the-Wold 01451 833 170

Fosse Cottage, Fossebridge


A refurbished, detached, 19th Century Cotswold stone cottage which has been loving restored and boasts many period features, a good sized garden and off road parking for a number of vehicles. Dining Room | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Driveway Parking | Garden | EPC rating : E Harrison James & Hardie, Stow-on-the-Wold 01451 833 170

Bourton on the Water | Moreton in Marsh | Stow on the Wold | Mayfair | Lettings


Gable End, Bourton on the Water

ÂŁ2,200pcm (LET AGREED)

A charming and substantial four bedroom family home with generous gardens located within a peaceful and private setting within easy reach of the centre of Bourton on the Water. Dining Hall | Sitting Room | Study | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom with En Suite | Guest Bedroom with En Suite | Further Double Bedroom | Large Single Bedroom | Family Bathroom | Extensive Gardens Including Orchard and Vegetable Patch | Ample Off Road Parking | Double Garage | EPC Rating: D Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Stow-on-the-Wold 01451 833 170

Copper Beech Cottage, Maugersbury

ÂŁ1,200pcm (LET AGREED)

A well-presented detached stone built modern cottage positioned in a tranquil location within the beautiful village of Maugersbury. Entrance Porch | Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Rear Lobby/Utility | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom with En Suite | Second Bedroom with En Suite | Pretty Garden | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: D Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Stow-on-the-Wold 01451 833 170

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie

The Orchard, Little Compton


A rare opportunity to acquire a detached chalet bungalow with a double garage situated in a stunning rural position within a popular North Cotswold village. Approached via a gated driveway this well-proportioned home is surrounded by a beautiful and well sized plot boasting mature fruit trees, well stocked borders and a large vegetable patch, and offers scope to improve and substantially extend (subject to the necessary planning consents). Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Area | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Conservatory | Utility Room | Two Ground Floor Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | WC | Two First Floor Bedrooms | Storage Area | Double Garage | Mature Gardens | Gated Driveway | Parking | EPC Rating:TBC Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

The Knapp, Armscote


Occupying a central position within the desirable North Cotswold hamlet of Armscote, this elegant double fronted Victorian residence boasts well-proportioned and beautifully presented accommodation. Enjoying an abundance of character and a delightful cottage garden, the property also benefits from a separate and substantial outbuilding which could be converted into extra accommodation/office space (subject to the necessary planning consents). Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | WC | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Separate Outbuilding with Garage, Workshop and Attic Space | EPC Rating: D Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Moreton in Marsh | Bourton on the Water | Mayfair | Lettings

Pye Mill, Paxford

ÂŁ825,000 (SSTC)

This stunning 16th Century mill conversion has undergone extensive refurbishment in recent years and benefits from a substantial and tastefully constructed extension. The property boasts a refined blend of quintessential Cotswold and country contemporary styles and retains many original character features such as exposed timbers and stonework, mullion windows and an impressive open fireplace in the main sitting room. Accessed via a gravelled and gated driveway this period family home occupies a secluded position overlooking well-manicured and private gardens towards the open countryside beyond. Entrance | Sitting Room | Dining Hall | Kitchen/Breakfast/Family Room | Utility Room | WC l Master Bedroom with En-Suite and Dressing Room | Three Further Double Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Detached Double Garage with Room Above | Driveway with Parking for Several Cars | Gardens | EPC Rating: TBC Fine and Country Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653 893

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Cotswold Homes Summer 2016  

Welcome to the Summer 2016 Edition of Cotswold Homes. It’s positively jam-packed with wonderful competition prizes including tickets to The...

Cotswold Homes Summer 2016  

Welcome to the Summer 2016 Edition of Cotswold Homes. It’s positively jam-packed with wonderful competition prizes including tickets to The...


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