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Cotswold Homes Magazine


CONTENTS COMPETITIONS Win RSC, Cornbury and Longborough Festival Opera tickets - and much, much more!

At the moment of writing, The Festival at cheltenham Racecourse is only a few days away, and it’s fair to say we’re champing at the bit. it’s a big deal in the north cotswolds so naturally, there’s always a lot of racing talk when we’re compiling our Spring edition. So imagine our delight when racing presenter/ equestrian Alice Plunkett agreed to an interview! Alice has a new role at cheltenham Racecourse and a new position in ITV’s broadcasting team, so there’s a lot to discuss. We also touch upon her husband William Fox-Pitt’s extraordinary journey from brain injury to competing at the Rio Olympics - one of the most dramatic stories to emerge from the equestrian world in recent times.

6-11 ALICE PLUNKETT Racing presenter and top equestrian on her new role at Cheltenham, and turbulent 2016


After the thrills and the spills of The Festival finish, Cheltenham Racecourse will also be hosting something quite different. The very first FReSh: Art Fair will bring galleries, artists and art-lovers together at this prestigious location. Find out how they’ll be making it a must visit for casual art-lovers and collectors alike - we’re sure it’ll become a regular highlight of the Cotswold calendar.


On that same arty note, we also profile two very different artists within this issue. The ever-charming John hammond explains how he uses his mastery of light and colour to immerse you in his scenes, while - in his latest works - mick Rooney RA beguiles the eye with something more ethereal, more mysterious in his latest exhibition at the Fosse Gallery in Stow this March. No issue of Cotswold Homes is complete without a foodie-focus, and in this edition we serve up the delicious story of local lad Wayne Sullivan, who went forth from the kitchens of Stow’s The Old Stocks and powered through to the semi-finals of last year’s Masterchef: The Professionals. And, last but not least we end the magazine with some expert advice on the North Cotswold property market. Don’t forget to enter our competitions - some great prizes this issue, including RSC, Cornbury and Longborough Festival Opera tickets. Enjoy!

WAYNE SULLIVAN From Shire to Masterchef - Old Stocks Head Chef ’s story of TV fame THE LONDON CONNECTION Get on the train! Things worth seeing in London


Cover Image Sheep Below the Trees, Lucy Pratt (Oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches). See more of Lucy’s work at www.lucypratt.com

Design team: Alias www.wearealias.com

0845 257 7475 sayhello@wearealias.com

3 Imperial Square, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1QB


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With Thistlecrack out of the Gold Cup, we get some tips on which horses to back now

Organise your Big Day with our Countdown Calendar; be inspired by our Wedding Pinboard


ROMANS AT THE RSC Indulge in a decadent ROME season and Chinese ghost stories

46-49 EVENTS Out and about this Cotswold Springtime

ART EXTRAVAGANZA Painters Mick Rooney RA and John Hammond and FRESH: Art Fair




Explore the Cotswolds with our new online property section and interactive map!

Expert advice and the best of the North Cotswold marketplace

80-87 cotswold homes magazine Our next edition, Summer 2017, 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:

78-131 editor’s Desk: matt@cotswold-homes.com Property: karen@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk Food & Drink/equestrian: collette@cotswold-homes.com marketing & Sales: keelin@cotswold-homes.com Website & Admin: rachel@cotswold-homes.com




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WIN! A THREE COURSE DINNER FOR TWO AT THE OLD STOCKS INN IN STOW ON THE WOLD Foodies rejoice in this great prize we have to give away to one of the cotswolds' favourite eateries.

Cotswold Homes readers have the chance to WIN a fabulous three course dinner for two people. (Old Stocks T&Cs apply below).

Nestled in the heart of Stow on the Wold, the Old Stocks Inn serves up hearty British cuisine, with a touch of quirkiness.

To enter the draw to win this great prize, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 4th May 2017. (Old Stocks T&Cs apply below).

Locally sourced ingredients come together under the watchful eye of head chef Wayne Sullivan (of recent Masterchef: The Professionals fame), creating sumptuous starters, tantalising mains and decadent desserts. Read the interview with Wayne in this issue by turning to page 30.

For more information on The Old Stocks Inn, visit www.oldstocksinn.com

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: • The prize winners’ table must be pre-booked • The prize is not redeemable during events at the Old Stocks Inn • The prize is not redeemable against special menus at the Old Stocks Inn and it does not include alcoholic drinks.


Cotswold Homes Magazine

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TO CELEBRATE THE FABULOUS NEW ROME SEASON AT THE RSC IN STRATFORD UPON AVON THIS YEAR, WE’RE GIVING AWAY TICKETS TO THREE OF THE PLAYS. THE RSC IS STAGING SOME OF SHAKESPEARE’S MOST POLITICAL AND BLOODY THRILLERS AS PART OF A PROGRAMME INSPIRED BY ANCIENT ROME. WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO SEE JULIUS CAESAR AT THE RSC, STRATFORD-UPONAVON ON A DATE OF YOUR CHOICE* Caesar returns from war, all-conquering, but mutiny is rumbling in the corridors of power. Opening the Rome season, Angus Jackson (Oppenheimer, Don Quixote) directs Shakespeare’s epic and thrilling tragedy as the politics of spin and betrayal turn bloody and brutal. Julius Caesar runs until 9th September 2017 at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. To enter this competition to win two tickets to a performance on a date of your choice*, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes. com. Competition closes 20th April 2017. *Ticket choices subject to availability.

WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO SEE TITUS ANDRONICUS AT THE RSC, STRATFORDUPON-AVON ON A DATE OF YOUR CHOICE* Shakespeare’s gory revenge tragedy presents us with murder as entertainment and poses questions about the nature of sexuality, family, class and society. Blanche McIntyre (The Two Noble Kinsmen) returns to direct this bloody and brutal play, where the decay of Rome reaches violent depths. Titus Andronicus runs from 23rd June to 2nd September 2017 at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. To enter this competition to win two tickets to a performance on a date of your choice*, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes 28th May 2017. *Ticket choices subject to availability.

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 www.cotswold-homes.com (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


WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO SEE ANTONY & CLEOPATRA AT THE RSC, STRATFORD-UPONAVON ON A DATE OF YOUR CHOICE* Following Caesar’s assassination, Mark Antony has reached the heights of power. Now he has neglected his empire for a life of decadent seduction with his mistress, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Iqbal Khan (Much Ado About Nothing, Othello) returns to the RSC to direct Shakespeare’s tragedy of love and power. Antony & Cleopatra runs until 7th September 2017 at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. To enter this competition to win two tickets to a performance on a date of your choice*, head to the competition section of www.cotswoldhomes.com. Competition closes 20th April 2017. *Ticket choices subject to availability. 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.



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WIN! TWO PAIRS OF CLUB/TATTERSALL TICKETS TO THE HUNTER CHASE EVENING AT CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE ON 5TH MAY 2017 The Hunter Chase Evening on 5th May at Cheltenham Racecourse is the jump racing season finale and gives the amateur jockeys their chance to take centre stage. It's a very popular fixture that invariably draws a large local crowd. To celebrate the end of the season BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James will be performing a live DJ set after racing. We've got two pairs of Club/Tattersalls tickets to give away to this fantastic evening of racing action. To enter this competition, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 20th April 2017.

Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park has delighted audiences for years with its collection of rare breeds making every visit as educational as it is entertaining. Now here’s another chance for you and your family to go free with our prize of a Family Ticket! To enter this competition, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 20th April 2017.



Fresh: is far more than any ordinary art fair. Visit live studios where artworks are created before your eyes. Browse and buy from over 5,000 works, from over 45 participating galleries. And if you’ve got a painting at home originating from the early 20th century (and earlier), fine art auctioneers Bonhams will be providing free valuations on the day. We’ve secured FREE entry to the Fresh: Art Fair for all Cotswold Homes readers. Taking place from 12th – 14th May at Cheltenham Racecourse, just quote ‘Cotswold Homes’ on the door to receive your free* tickets. *Free entry to the Fair any time at the weekend (Friday is free anyway) but this doesn’t include the Private View on Thursday evening. Fresh: Opening Hours: Friday 12th may - 11.00am to 8.30pm Saturday 13th may - 11.00am to 6.00pm Sunday 14th may - 11.00am to 5.00pm For more information, visit www.freshartfair.net

Independent children’s shoe shop, Groovy2Shoes in Stow on the Wold, is giving away a pair of child’s shoes to the value of £50! They stock well-known brands include Startrite, Kickers, Keds, Ricosta and many more! To enter this prize draw to win a pair of child’s shoes, just head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 25th May 2017.


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WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO THE MAGIC FLUTE AT LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL OPERA ON SUNDAY 16TH JULY 2017 Coming to Longborough Festival Opera is an unforgettable experience of world-class performances in the glorious surroundings of the Cotswolds. Located overlooking the spectacular views of the Evenlode valley, the intimate 500-seat theatre offers a chance to see great works of opera, performed by the UK’s brightest stars. ‘A great place to see ambitious productions from a tiny, innovative company’ Classic FM To celebrate the upcoming season – which also includes Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, Beethoven’s Fidelio, and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice – Longborough Festival Opera are offering Cotswold Homes readers the

chance to Win two tickets to mozart’s much-loved opera The Magic Flute on Sunday 16th July at 5pm, with a glass of champagne on arrival to enjoy in the beautiful grounds. Longborough Festival Opera 8 June – 4 August 2017 Box Office 01451 830292 | lfo.org.uk To enter our draw to win the LFO opera tickets, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 18th May 2017.



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WIN! A PAIR OF WEEKEND TICKETS TO CORNBURY FESTIVAL AT GREAT TEW PARK, 7TH – 9TH JULY 2017 After 14 glorious years, Hugh Phillimore has announced that 2017 will see the last ever Cornbury Festival. Nicknamed ‘Poshstock’, England’s most upmarket festival, Cornbury has featured many brilliant performers over the years - Joe Cocker, Amy Winehouse, Robert Plant, Paul Simon and many more. The festival has gained a reputation for its unique and friendly atmosphere, beautiful Cotswold location and its loyal audience of multigenerational families, aristocracy, prime ministers, film stars, farmers, rockers, Jeremy Clarkson and even the odd royal! This year’s finale features headliners, Bryan Adams, The Pretenders and Kaiser Chiefs, with Jools Holland, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Jack Savoretti, Scouting For Girls, recent No. 1 country sisters Ward Thomas, Keane front man Tom Chaplin, festival darling Imelda May, Midge Ure and Right Said Fred with an international flavour coming from last year’s crowd pleasers, Australian troubadours, The Pierce Brothers, will be announced as a late addition to this stunning line up. The festival will run from 7th-9th July at Great Tew Park in Oxfordshire. Tickets from www.cornburyfestival.com. To enter our draw to WIN a pair of weekend tickets to the final Cornbury Festival this summer, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 18th May 2017.


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RECEIVE UP TO £200* OFF A SOFA OR £100* OFF A CHAIR AT AMANDA HANLEY BY DESIGN Browse the sumptuous collection of sofas and chairs at Amanda's Burford high street store and save with this not-to-be-missed offer! Fans of luxurious fabrics and stylish design are in for a treat. Cotswold Homes readers can receive up to £200* off a new sofa or chair at Amanda Hanley by Design. Choose from an extensive range of beautiful sofas and chairs, manufactured by traditional craftsmen and made to last. Every item is made to order with your choice of fabric.

Are you newly engaged? If you’re about to start planning your very own ‘big day’ then don’t miss this great offer from experienced Cotswolds-based wedding and event planner, Julia Sibun.

Quote ‘Cotswold Homes’ to receive your offer. Valid until end of May 2017. Offer is open to the first 10 people who enquire.

Julia is offering a FREE one hour wedding planning consultation*, valid until 30th June 2017.

Visit Amanda's Burford store at 69 High Street, Burford OX18 4QA or head to www.amandahanley.co.uk

*Consultation to take place at The Hangar, Upper Rissington, GL54 2QB at a mutually agreed date and time.

*£200 off any sofa with a value exceeding £2,000 and £100 off any chair with a value exceeding £1,000

For further information, please contact Julia at julia@jsibun.co.uk or visit www.juliasibun.co.uk



Alice Plunkett


Cotswold Homes Magazine

Alice Plunkett

Alice Plunkett, racing journalist and presenter - and former eventer and National Hunt jockey - is the only woman to have ridden at both Badminton Horse Trials and over the Grand National course at Aintree. She is married to eventer William Fox-Pitt. The pair have four children. 2016 was both a difficult and an inspirational year for the family. Despite the odds, William’s recovery from a terrible brain injury (incurred by a cross-country fall in late 2015) saw him compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Now that Alice is presenting for ITV, and has a new role at Cheltenham, we ask what else is on the horizon. hello Alice. tell us about your entry into the world of broadcasting - and how that’s overlapped with your love of racing and eventing? I was very lucky. When I left university I evented full time. I was sponsored by a company called Racing Green which meant that I could run a team of horses and, at the same time, I was point-topointing. A television company were doing a series called Reach for the Stars. It was a series on young people. They had a gymnast, and a musician, and they wanted a rider. They followed me at Blenheim - the guy who was doing the story was John Peel, the radio presenter. I fell in the water but it was great telly! At the end of it, [John said] that I’d come across okay, and if I wanted to do more of it… My focus at the time was very much on my sport, and that’s what I really enjoyed, but I then started to do a few things. I worked for Fox FM, which was my local radio at Blenheim, the next year. I worked

at Festival Radio, getting jockeys out of the weighing room to be interviewed…and the guy at Festival Radio asked if I’d like to have my own show. It was crazy, really. Marcus Armytage wrote an article about it, and it went from there. I ended up asked to do The Derby and Royal Ascot, and somebody from the racing channel saw that and asked me to do a screen test, and so I got a job at the racing channel. And all the time I was still riding and saw it as a really nice thing to do alongside [my sport]. First and foremost, my passion was sport, and I sort of fell into the broadcasting side, I would say, but gradually I started to do more and more. When I did Badminton in 2000 I got offered good money for my horses, and I was 27, so that’s when I went full time in broadcasting. I’ve been so blessed. It’s an amazing way of life. I’ve had great opportunities to travel the world and meet interesting people.



Alice Plunkett

We hear you’re doing the Willbury Wonderpony charity flat race? Indeed I am! I’ve ridden in a lot of charity races over the years. I haven’t done one for a long time. I was approached to get involved. Hannah Francis touched all of us in the equestrian community, and both my sisters died very young: my little sister was 16 and the other was 27, so kicking cancer’s butt is close to my heart. So I thought I’d give it one more go, but I have to say, it’s coming up at a really tricky time of year! It’s April 20th, so it’s at the back of Cheltenham and Aintree, so I’ve got very little time to ride out. I’m giving it a good go, though I’m not expecting to win by any stretch - although I’ve got a lovely horse to ride. It’s a huge privilege to get to go round Cheltenham again, at the age of 44 with 4 children. (Find out more at www.championswillberry. org.uk - Alice’s donation page can be found at virginmoneygiving.com). Best of luck with that. So, you’ve got a new role at Cheltenham Racecourse: you’ve been appointed by the Jockey Club as non-executive racecourse committee director. What does that entail? I think it’s a really interesting [role]. I’m absolutely overwhelmed and flattered to have been considered for the board at Cheltenham, and I’m alongside some hugely experienced people. So for me at the moment, it’s really a learning process. Just watching the Cheltenham team at work is absolutely fascinating: they’re so professional, so driven. They work so hard. Cheltenham is iconic - and has been iconic to me throughout my life. I was brought up near Chipping Norton. For all of us in the Cotswolds, Cheltenham is huge - so to be involved in its infrastructure is really interesting. It gives me a whole new angle to learn about a side of racing that I knew very little about. Hopefully, I can listen and offer bits and bobs - I’m really enjoying the board meeting side of things. It feels very grown up [laughs]. I wanted to ask about 2016, because you had a strange and difficult year by all accounts - both wonderful, as your husband William [Fox-Pitt] competed at Rio, but there was a long period of recovery beforehand, after his terrible injury. What was that very dramatic year like?


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“Cheltenham is iconic - and has been iconic to me throughout my life. I was brought up near Chipping Norton. For all of us in the Cotswolds, Cheltenham is huge - so to be involved in its infrastructure is really interesting.” The call I got on October 17th [2015] was undoubtably my worst nightmare. I wasn’t in France - William was competing in the Young Horse World Championships. He felt very confident. But he fell, and was left in a coma. I didn’t get out there for twelve hours. When I got there - well, you go into a slightly weird overrdrive. Did I think at any point during the build-up that we would be going to Rio? No, but I feel very lucky that we were part of a world class team and Will was supported as a potential Rio athlete throughout his recovery and brain injury. Because I can’t imagine what you would do, as a wife and a mother, if you didn’t have the support network we had. It was a very challenging time. William is very much the alpha in our set-up and I realised that he’s the point of an enormous pyramid. He deals with so many people, and so many people wanted news on him. So dealing with all that was a pretty weird time, feeling responsible for dealing with that knowing full well that it could impact his chances of going to Rio, how all the [news] was going to be interpreted, how the staff would interpret it. All of that. But we are slightly evangelical now because we were so lucky. We were teetering on the brink of a very dark place, and we came back from it. [William] was partially-sighted for quite a long time, but now he’s fully recovered, and functioning, and back as a husband and a dad first and foremost, but also the great rider that he is. We’re all so proud of him and what he did at the Olympics. It was a very tough challenge and it was absolutely remarkable achievement for him and his team altogether. So yes - I’ve come out of the end of 2016 not being sad to see the back of it, I have to say! And feeling very lucky that my family is back intact and looking forward to the future.

What are you looking forward to at Cheltenham this year? I’m really looking forward to being part of the new ITV Cheltenham team. I’ve done 15 Cheltenhams for Channel 4 and - well, it’s so boring that I keep on saying this, but I’m so lucky.There are a lot of better broadcasters than me who didn’t make the cut for one reason or another but I am very lucky to be part of this. Ed Chamberlin is a great frontman. ITV are hugely committed, which is very lucky for racing. As we know, most sports have two or three days on terrestrial telly, but we’ve got 43 on ITV1 and 50odd on ITV4, so we’ve getting great exposure. I’m also looking forward to being part of the committee, because it means on Sunday we look at Cheltenham as it prepares for the big meeting and have a look at what goes on behind the scenes… and my God, it’s a monster operation, what the team put into it. So that’s a learning curve for me, but mostly I’m looking forward to the racing. Although not one of last year’s champions are returning, for one reason or another, there’s some fantastic young horses coming through. I am a huge fan of Cue Card and have been since he won the bumper as a four year old. Now it’s looking like he’s going to be favourite for the Gold Cup this year, and what redemption it would be if he could win it - most of us feel he would have won it last year if he hadn’t fallen. I can’t wait for what I hope will be Cue Card’s Gold Cup!

Alice Plunkett



The Anonymous Tipster


Tipster Our favourite jump-racing expert is back in time for Cheltenham, chomping at the bit! Here he gives Cotswold Homes readers the lowdown on four days of Festival racing, hot tips on what to bet on and why! Tuesday, the opening day of the Festival has the best of the racing, I think. If you’ve never been before, make it this outing and be sure to get out on the course for the first race.The roar that goes up from the crowd as the action gets underway with the 1.30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck! It’s a very tough call as there are plenty of horses that I can make a very strong case for but I’m sticking with Ballyandy, trained by Nigel TwistonDavies, as an each-way bet.There’s a small chance he may run in the Neptune on Wednesday so if you’re betting ante-post be sure to take advantage of no runner, no bet offers. Next up in the 2.10 Racing Post Arkle Novices Chase plump for Altior - winner of last years’ Supreme Novice Hurdle, trained by Nicky Henderson. I think that he’s the best Novice Chaser around and the betting market definitely agrees but don’t expect to win a fortune though, as he’s already odds-on favourite. In the 3.30 Stan James Champion Hurdle the most likely winner will come from the top three in the betting – that’s Buveur D’Air (Trainer: Nicky Henderson) Yanworth (Trainer: Alan King) and Petit Mouchoir (Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE). If I had to choose one of them I’d have a few quid on Petit Mouchoir but, and I fully accept the arguments against him. I’m with The New One (Trainer: Nigel TwistonDavies). He loves Cheltenham and if he can jump as well as he did when winning the International Hurdle back in December he’s got a chance in what is a very open race, particularly as the winners of the last two years’ renewals (Faugheen and Annie Power) are both sidelined through injury. It’s wide open. 18

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Willie Mullins has his fingers crossed for Douvan

Thursday looks set to be a good day out for Willie Mullins, who has been the leading Irish trainer at the Festival for five of the last six years, narrowly missing out to Paul Nicholls last season for the title of Britain’s Jump Trainer. Wednesday’s box of delights includes Finian’s Oscar, trained by Colin Tizzard, as the current favourite for the 1.30 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle but I’m not sure he’ll take that well to Cheltenham and this looks like another open race. Have a punt instead on Neon Wolf (Trainer: Harry Fry) or Death Duty (T: Gordon Elliott IRE). In the 2.10 RSA Novices

Chase, Might Bite trained by Nicky Henderson will have short odds so if you want to be holding your breath to the finish on an each way chance I would go for Acapella Bourgeois trained by Sandra Hughes.The day’s highlight will be 3.30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase and the most likely horse to be first past the post for this prestigious race will also be coming over from

The Anonymous Tipster

I’m with The New One (Trainer: Nigel TwistonDavies). He loves Cheltenham and if he can jump as well as he did when winning the International Hurdle back in December he’s got a chance ...

Sceaux in the 2.50 Ryanair Chase. For the 3.30 Sun Bet Stayers Hurdle I’ll be sticking a bet to win on Unowhatimeanharry, trained by Harry Fry. Friday’s final day of racing is going to be exciting to watch in the absence of Thistlecrack, the hotly tipped favourite now out of contention, leaving the field a very different shape from the predicted outcome a few weeks ago. Before I get to the Gold Cup, however, I will draw your attention to Defi Du Seuil in the 1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle trained by Phillip Hobbs, and in the 2.50 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle if you fancy an each-way there’s another chance for Nigel Twiston-Davies’s yard with Wholestone.

Nigel Twiston-Davies has high hopes for the New One

Colin Tizzard

Ireland. Willie Mullins has Douvan looking set to win but for an each way chance then have a flutter on Special Tiara trained by Henry De Bromhead. Thursday looks set to be a good day out for Willie Mullins, who has been the leading Irish trainer at the Festival for five of the last six years, narrowly missing out to Paul Nicholls last season for the title

Willie Mullins

of Britain’s Jump Trainer. His famous star was Dawn Run, winner of the 1984 Champion Hurdle and 1986 Cheltenham Gold Cup, the only horse ever to win both races. Currently second on the all-time trainers’ list behind Nicky Henderson, he’s ‘hoping rather than expecting’ at Cheltenham, with horses from his stable in the spotlight today including Yorkhill in the 1.30 JLT Novices’ Chase and Un de

So we get to the 3.30 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup! There couldn’t be a more popular winner than Cue Card but he was well beaten by Thistlecrack in the King George at Christmas. I thought that he looked a little battle weary and, at the age of 11, time is now starting to catch up with him, so you have to expect it to be anyone’s race as the field makes the final turn for home - the Cheltenham hill will catch a few out and I can see Cue Card fading on the run in. If that happens it’ll be Mullins’ Djakadam battling out with Native River to the line, which latter I have been backing for weeks (even when Thistlecrack was still on to run) to be right there at the finish. Saphir Du Rheu is still a classy performer but he would have to produce the run of his life to be in the mix. It’s possible, of course, but if you’re tempted to back him then go each way as no one in history has ever complained of a return at 66-1! (William Hill – price correct on 27/02/17). Finally, just to hedge your bets in this wide-open field, others of definite interest are Empire Of Dirt and Sizing John. www.cotswold-homes.com


Photography: Sarah Matthews Reproduced by kind permission of Worcester Racecourse


Top wedding planning points to help you realise the perfect occasion as all married couples will know, the run-up to a wedding is not all lightness and merriment – there’s a lot of decision-making and discussion to do, too! Julia sibun is a wedding and party planner based in the cotswolds. she has been organising weddings for fifteen years so she knows exactly what decisions need to be taken for the planning countdown to the big day!

After the excitement of the engagement party passes, sleeves are rolled up and everybody gets stuck into the detailed planning for the big day. It’s an exhilarating, yet critical time when no detail can be overlooked. Suppliers are sourced and secured; the chosen date is securely planted in the diaries of family and friends. A twelve-month planning calendar is important to allow sufficient time to be given to taking the many decisions and a checklist is the best way to keep an account of what needs to be done! Here are some pointers to help create the most perfect day. 22

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12+ months before Pick the date and time! After careful consultation with both families, select a couple of options and then check with the several choices of ceremony venue and reception venue (if the reception is not taking place at home), the vicar/registrar and those important guests that are to be invited to attend. Once the ceremony venue has been chosen, check that the seating is adequate: with small churches and chapels, additional chairs can be hired.

There are many wonderful venues to consider, from cosy and remote barns to beautiful manor houses and hotels. Research carefully, draw up a shortlist and allocate time and several weekends to view. Consider their rates, location and approved suppliers – draw up a ‘pros and cons’ list to help comparisons of each venue. Start planning the guest list – it will be important to have a good idea of guest numbers as this will be the main criteria when it comes to selecting a venue. Consider setting up a wedding website providing


interview the professionals for photography, filming and entertainment, including bands, DJ and florist. Consider the style of wedding breakfast before interviewing caterers. Think whether it is a plated meal served to the table, or a buffet, or family service of shared and mixed platters to the tables that you want – there are many different styles of service, and many couples prefer the informality of ‘chefs providing theatre’ with BBQs, hog roasts and giant paellas! Discuss your thoughts on the theme for the day and style of flowers and decorations. It’s a great idea to spend a little time online, specifically on Pinterest – which can serve as a mood board for your ideas - and buying up your favourite bridal publications for inspiration and ideas. Don’t forget to research a wedding insurance company to protect the wedding deposits, and safeguard against unexpected cancellations leading up to the day and on the day itself. Nobody likes to anticipate anything going wrong in any way but come any awkward eventualities, you might be glad you did! Research and make reservations for accommodation, particularly if there are any wellknown national events taking place in the area at the same time, or if the wedding destination is located in a beautiful area/tourist area. Begin to think about the wedding gift list, what is required and where the list is to be registered.

6 months before Request an outline of the order of service from the vicar/priest/registrar so that music and hymn choices and readings can be considered and chosen. Naturally the bride will be considering the wedding dress of her dreams. Make sure you allow time for shopping, and order the dress in plenty of time to allow for alterations as required leading up to the day.

Consider and book ceremony musicians to avoid the disappointment of not having the first choice.

8-10 months before

Don’t forget the planning for the honeymoon! Renew/obtain passports if necessary!

Speak to relatives and those special friends who are to be invited to be involved on the wedding day, or who will be a member of the wedding party – Matron of Honour, Bridesmaids, Best Man, Ushers and those with readings to be given during the ceremony.

Send the save the date card/notification to your guests – this is particularly helpful for those guests who have to travel and secure local accommodation. Your card can also direct your guests to the website where you can list more exhaustive information and take any questions that might arise.

4-6 months before

Begin to draw up a wedding budget as quotations are received and meetings take place, as it will be helpful to log all costs so that tabs can be kept on the agreed budget. A simple excel spreadsheet works very well, and it is possible to then prioritise where the budget is spent.There’s so much to factor in when planning weddings - a little organisation will help you feel relaxed and in control.

Think about researching and booking the wedding professionals and suppliers. This can be a daunting task considering the multitude of marquee companies, electrics & lighting providers, caterers, mobile toilet companies, entertainers, photographers and videographers (and so on) in the market. This is definitely an area where a wedding planner can assist. Allow time to

as much information as possible for the day. Post your fun engagement photographs on the website. Assemble a planning team, and consider using the experience of a wedding planner who can carefully guide you throughout the planning process and provide recommendations for good reliable and trustworthy suppliers.

Organise days out with the Bridesmaids to select and book their dresses.

Research and order the wedding invitations, and prepare the information list that will be useful for all the guests to provide information on dress code, order of the day, directions and parking, accommodation, wedding gift list, taxis and dietary requirements. This same information can be included on the wedding website. Don’t forget the wedding rings! Think about other clothes required for the wedding weekend and after – pre-wedding dinner, post-wedding brunch and the honeymoon. www.cotswold-homes.com



Research and think about the wedding cake, select and book the cake-maker.

1 month before

2-3 days before

Agree a tasting date with the chosen caterer so that the menu can be finally agreed – don’t forget late night munchies towards the end of the evening! At that time discuss wines, champagne and other drinks that will be served on the day, and place the appropriate drinks orders.

Firm up and agree on the timing for the day with the venue and the caterers, and advise all the suppliers and professionals.

Print, or collect, the seating plan, table names, menu cards, cocktail cards if appropriate, and place cards for each guest.

Bride to have a final wedding dress fitting with her Chief Bridesmaid to learn how to adapt the bridal dress for the first dance! Also check that all the Bridesmaids have their dresses and shoes ready!

Ensure all the presents and cards have been prepared to thank friends and family on the day who have been involved.

3 months before Plan the hen and stag events – allow the Matron of Honour or Chief Bridesmaid and Best Man to agree dates with friends, and book venues, entertainment and flights if travelling. Research and book a calligrapher if the invitations are to be professionally addressed. The Groom and Ushers should agree style and colour scheme, and book their formalwear. Think about wedding day transport for the Bride and her father, and other members of the bridal party – vintage or modern, and people carriers for large family groups.

2 months before Post the invitations, with the information sheet and any relevant maps. Ensure the correct postage, otherwise consider paperless post if many family and guests reside abroad. Think about and purchase gifts for parents and the bridal party, anyone who has played a part in the big day. Brides to book a hair stylist and try out different wedding day hairstyles and to book a make-up artist and have a trial run. Discuss the song list with the band and DJ, particularly the first dance, to enable the band to have plenty of time to learn and rehearse any new songs.


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Agree the photography list with the photographer and videographer to ensure no shots are missed, and assign two of the Ushers (one from each family) to be the photographer’s contact on the day to search out friends and relatives for photographs. Review all supplier and professional invoices to ensure that the correct payments have been received within the specified timescales.

2 weeks before Review the final guest list, and contact any guests who have not yet sent a response. Prepare the seating plan for the wedding breakfast.

1 week before Advise caterers and the venue of final guest numbers and dietary requirements, together with any additional meals for professionals working on the day. Ensure all the professionals, including drivers of booked transport, have full directions, contact numbers and timing for the day. Ensure that the venue manager has the name and contact details for either the wedding planner or Chief Usher who will be assisting on the day, if any queries or problems arise at the reception. Groom and Ushers to have their hair trimmed!

If needed ensure the Bride’s dress is pressed or steamed. Groom and Ushers have final fittings and collect outfits.

A twelve-month planning calendar is important to allow sufficient time to be given to taking the many decisions and a checklist is the best way to keep an account of what needs to be done!



1 hour weddin c g

onsult ation: see pag e 11

Day before Arrange for transport to pick up friends and family, without cars, from the airport or station. Rehearse the ceremony; meet with the wedding party, readers and immediate family and the officiant at the ceremony location to iron all the details and final timing. Determine the wedding party positions during the ceremony and the order of the party in the processional and recessional. Deliver any personal items that have been purchased for the day such as table stationery, wedding favours, decorations, disposable cameras, candles, etc. to the reception venue.

Attend a pre-wedding dinner with family and friends – either at home or perhaps making a reservation at the local pub to help with larger numbers! Present gifts to the bridal party particularly if the gifts are accessories to be worn on the wedding day.

On the day

Post Wedding Ensure that a friend has been nominated to return all rental items, and that the Bride’s dress has been returned for cleaning, and has safe protection for storage. Ensure the Ushers’ outfits have all been returned on time.

Don’t forget to give the Best Man the wedding rings!

Book provisional dates and look forward to meeting up with the photographer and videographer to review and relive the wonderful day all over again!

Enjoy every moment of the day, and allow the wedding planner or venue manager to ensure that the day runs smoothly!

And finally find time to write all those thank-you notes! www.juliasibun.co.uk www.cotswold-homes.com



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Cotswold-born Wayne Sullivan is head chef at Stow-on-the-Wold’s The Old Stocks Inn, although his face may seem more familiar from the 2016 series of MasterChef: The Professionals, where he sizzled his way to the semi-finals.



Lest we forget, MasterChef:The Professionals is serious business. Unlike the cuddlier The Great British Bake Off, the contestants are real chefs, putting real reputations on the line for the reward of culinary prestige. here, Wayne gives us an insight into his passion for food and how his time on the show has shaped the old Stocks inn’s new menu. Wayne, we hear you’re cotswold born and bred. So where did you grow up and how did you get started in cooking? I was born in Oxford, but my father was in the 30

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RAF, so the first ten years I lived all over the world, really. Then, when I was 11, we moved to Cheltenham… I’m 36 now, so that’s 25 years in Cheltenham! When I was 14, with two years left in school, I found out that my grandparents had already enrolled me in catering college. ‘You’re going to be a chef ’, they told me. I told them I’d rather be a journalist. They told me they’d heard of this thing called the Internet and that it meant nobody would be a journalist anymore, but people would always be

needed to cook. So, I went to college when I was sixteen and found my passion. Twenty years later, here I am, and I’m loving it. how would you describe your cooking style? I love to experiment with the traditional, creating classic dishes with a twist of the unusual. For example, our new menu at The Old Stocks uses locally sourced, seasonal produce, but injects a bit of quirkiness. For example, a main of rabbit saddle and leg served with prosciutto, offal, saffron risotto, carrot


and a milk foam, or for dessert, pistachio cake with olive oil, rhubarb and orange. I feel incredibly luckily to live and work in this area, surrounded by such fantastic local produce and ingredients. My team and I at The Old Stocks love to take those ingredients and do them real justice, creating dishes that both reflect the area and excite the palate. how, if at all, has your time on MasterChef:The Professionals influenced your cooking style? It’s given me a real confidence boost. Before I entered MasterChef: The Professionals I was never that confident in my own ability. People had always told me that I was an amazing chef and that I could produce really fantastic food – but I’d never really had that much belief in myself. However, cooking for some of the world’s most

renowned chefs and food critics, and receiving positive feedback from them, has given me more confidence to try new techniques and work with new ingredients to create bolder dishes and experiment more with flavours.

poached free range eggs with baked avocado and toasted sourdough, and a Ploughman’s, which includes a Todenham Manor farm sausage roll, double Gloucester cheese, pickled onions and seasoned English tomatoes.

I’ve taken away a lot of self-belief in myself and what I can do. My food hasn’t changed, but it’s become more refined in how I approach it.

The a la carte menu is a unique blend of British quirkiness. Chicken with soy, ginger, lemongrass and apple, and Hake served with braised oxtail, celeriac, onion and roasted hazelnut are just a couple of examples.

The old Stocks inn unveiled the new season’s menu in February, how would you summarise the new dishes? The Old Stocks Inn is developing a real reputation as a foodie destination here in the Cotswolds, and that’s down to our combination of tradition and innovation. We’ve created two new seasonal menus – a brunch and lunch one and an a la carte. The former is made up of classics such as freshly

We’re really proud of the menu, it’s been a real team effort and it marks a new era in The Old Stocks Inn’s restaurant evolution.

To savour Wayne’s food at The Old Stocks Inn, visit www.oldstocksinn.com or call 01451 830 666 to book.



Mick Rooney


mick rooney ra Charlbury’s resident Royal Academician on his memories of Ian Drury, the painting of ukuleles - and making custard for a young Louis Theroux. By Matt Dicks

Situated on the edge of the ancient Wychwood forest, the village of charlbury feels like a fitting home for an artist who - in his latest works – depicts the domestic and the mysterious, the commonplace and the sublime. Mick Rooney’s paintings beguile the beholder into secret places. Figures arise from some undercurrent of the subconscious, intertwined with meaningful flotsam, or move through dreamily-lit forests. Interior spaces are interrupted by fish, birds, toys, strange creatures. There’s a very English visionary genius to them, and I’m keen to meet their creator. Mick meets me near Charlbury’s train station, and we head to that least otherworldly of British institutions: the pub. ‘Hope you don’t mind,’ he says. ‘But I’ve got my pint waiting…’ Mick is a Royal Academician (there are no 32

Cotswold Homes Magazine

more than eighty RAs at any one time, and just over 30 of them are painters) and so I take the opportunity to ask after the Summer Exhibition - for purely academic reasons, of course, and absolutely not because I’m attached to anybody who has recently submitted their work. Currently in its 249th year, the Summer Exhibition is in fact ‘the largest open submission exhibition in the world,’ and so attracts thousands of entries every year from artists hoping to be displayed along the Royal Academicians. After the first round of judging, a ‘shortlist’ of 4,000 physical artworks are delivered to the Academy for the next round. Before the idea of weighing the merits of four thousand works in a shortlist stage overwhelms me with secondhand anxiety, we’re off to Mick’s. It’s obvious that Mick is well-settled in Charlbury. ‘There’s my hairdresser,’ he points out cheerfully.

‘She takes care of what I’ve got left.’ Once home, he puts the kettle on. We settle at the table where he often sits and paints with gouache while listening to the radio (he works with oils in another room). ‘Bit by bit, it’s been coming along. I’ve lived in lots of places over the years, but it feels like home, now. ‘It feels like my little enclave - quite nice, really - at which one feels one’s arrived at, and one’s ambitions don’t really anymore go beyond that,’ Mick reflects. ‘It’s surprising to me, too - when you go through the decades you don’t know where you’ll stand.’ So it’s a place of comfort and creation. After a spell of recovery from an illness, where things ‘got out of kilter,’ he feels that some of his work ‘has become quite other, in a sense. Lost all sense of the earthly, really, in many ways.’

Mick Rooney

The remark puts me in mind of William Blake, who industriously produced works of visionary genius from his London dwellings. But where Blake’s works were often bombastic and revelatory - all soaring angels and demonic beasts and bearded gods - Mick’s recent images seem to me more peaceful, their enchantments subtler, situated in some restful interzone between world and dream. I tell Mick of my difficulty in describing this work, and ramblingly ask what his method is, where the source lies. I’m basically asking the question detested by creatives everywhere: where do your ideas come from?

At Night They Might

‘What’s happening is…whatever the allocation in the brain, over years and years, has produced,’ he says. ‘Girls, nightmares and kitchens. Things that can’t be controlled. The impossible, really.’

“Girls, nightmares and kitchens. Things that can’t be controlled. The impossible, really.”

Dreaming Debris



Mick Rooney

mick rooney’s paintinGs beGUile the beholder into secret places. FiGUres arise From some UndercUrrent oF the sUbconscioUs ...

The Boyhood of Adam

But he’s already moving in a new direction. ‘All I can say is that, over this year and a half, I’ve gone from figures and interiors - which are beginning to have these invasions of strange animals manifesting - to my interest in the Creation, and pattern-making.’

‘I’d drunk a great deal of wine and was emboldened to knock at the door of the Therouxs. [Paul] asked me if I knew anything about making custard. The two boys were there - maybe six years old - and their eyes went wide at this smooth, creamy mixture.’

He shows me a Edenic scene he’s been working on. ‘I will take a piece of paper and put leaves and figures and snakes, animal heads and eyes. It pleases me. It’s gone away from the idea of a physical, architectural space. I expect I’m hankering over those days in the late sixties where one changed from a narrative painter into an abstract painter, because that was de rigueur. Don’t forget I was brought up on Stanley Spencer traditions.’

Mick and Paul - now living in Hawaii - have since kept up a ‘fairly regular correspondence.’ Meanwhile, the audacious Louis - now arguably England’s best known documentary maker - is turning his sights on President Donald Trump. (It’s tempting to draw a shaky link between the bright-yellow imitation custard Mick once served up and Trump’s cranial confection).

Like any respectable magician, Mick has plenty of stories. He met Stanley Spencer before Spencer’s death in 1959. My favourite story of Mick’s, however, is when he turns up, slightly inebriated, at travel writer Paul Theroux’s door, and is asked to make up Bird’s Custard for a young Louis Theroux. 34

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Other names emerge in the course of our conversation. ‘Dear old Ian Drury was at college with me. Always wanted to be famous. Did a wonderful series of illustrations for Queen Magazine (*now known as Harper’s Bazaar). Then he became The Blockheads. I would have loved it but I was by then ensconced in a four-storey house in Hastings, paying a mortgage, and so I only heard from afar.

Mick Rooney

‘Very latterly, when he was more or less invited to the Academy, he wasn’t very well. I judged a prize with him. He took ill at the dinner and my friend Gus Cummins physically carried him downstairs.’ Ian Drury was just one of Mick’s contemporaries, and he has an anecdote about most. ‘We were a generation,’ he says. ‘There’s always a sensation within a generation that they can’t put one over on you, whether they end up doing this or that.’ He’s full of admiration for his friends and associates: ‘Peter Blake is always Peter, has kept his Peter Blake-ness perfectly poised over the years.’ Those who came after the Pop Art boom, the (in)famous Brit Art generation (Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst et al) became experts at courting publicity, often to lucrative effect. Mick claims his lot are generally ‘too exhausted’ for the cutting edge, but he’s been throwing his efforts into a charitable project: ‘Some RAs take a very public stance. This is very interesting to me. A friend of mine runs a Hepatitis C trust and puts money made through art towards solving the disease. And so I’ve got involved in something…I had an idea. It’s always dangerous to have ideas…’

And so Mick shows me a room piled with ukuleles. Ukuleles that will, in the course of time, be painted by his artist friends and sold in support of the Hepatitis C trust. It seems the germ of it came when Mick’s neighbour, Tony, made a ukulele that Mick painted and displayed in a glass case in last year’s RA Summer Show. There’s little to see as of yet, but I have a brief, psychedelic vision of strutting ukuleles, transformed into uncanny objects by the artistic attentions of Britain’s finest. In the meantime, one has to be content with Mick’s new exhibition at the Fosse Gallery in Stow on the Wold (6th - 26th March). Do stop by and allow yourselves a glimpse into Mick’s world. You might find the experience transformative.

it’s alWays danGeroUs to haVe ideas...

mick rooney ra Forests of the Night and Other Tales Fosse Gallery, Stow on the Wold 6th – 26th March 2017 www.fossegallery.com

couple Before A Screen



John hAMMonD


Cotswold Homes Magazine

John hAMMonD

Dappled Light, Autumn Walk 24x18ins

After the Rain,The Promenade, cheltenham 24x19ins

Artist John Hammond’s works are often described as impressionistic, and yet they have a depth and vibrancy to them that suggests one could stroll right into the scenes they portray.

Lazy Summer, Montpellier 24x24ins

Working mainly in acrylics, John has often returned to the Cotswolds, portraying its iconic lavender fields, rural lanes - and, in his most recent series - the spa-town stateliness of Cheltenham.

but they’ve got a very strong underpinning of draughtsmanship and observation. That’s the one thing I was taught very well at art college. But the painting itself was self-taught in the years afterwards.

Regular readers will recognise John’s work from the cover of our last edition. John is represented in the area by galleries in Broadway and Stratford upon Avon. We spoke to John ahead of the Fresh Art Fair, where John will be debuting his most recent work in association with the John Noott Galleries (Cheltenham Racecourse, 12th-14th May).

While impressionistic, your paintings have a certain ‘reality’ to them. They seem almost like inhabitable spaces.

Let’s begin at the beginning. Where did you train? Initially, at Wimbledon. I did a one year course there and then headed up to the West Country, where I attended the Bath Academy of Art - a three year degree course in fine art. is your style something you developed in your formal education? No, that came later - with experience. My paintings fall into the ‘genre’ of impressionism,

All [my] paintings are environments, really. The subjects I choose to paint always say something to me when I see them. I think of myself as a painter of light, so usually it has something to do with light and shadow. That’s the starting point, the point of inspiration. Then it’s the challenge of recapturing, on canvas, the environment, the atmosphere, the feeling of being in the place: to recreate it [in such a way] as when a person stands [before] the painting, they’ll feel the same way I felt when I was standing in front of the subject. That’s what I’m always striving to achieve - the sense of threedimensional spaces that you could almost walk into. To feel the heat of the sun, hear the birds singing, or a trickling brook. www.cotswold-homes.com


John Hammond

Afternoon Tea, Montpellier Gardens 12x14ins

When somebody looks at a painting you want them to have a physical reaction to it as much as a visual experience. So it’s about capturing the elements that allows that to happen. I always consider what the paintings look like under artificial light, because the majority of the time the customer will be looking at the painting under artificial light. It is important that the painting works in a typical lighting situation that you’d find in a home - rather than in a flash studio with a big north-facing window. How do your buyers respond to your work? What do they take from your paintings? I enjoy the feedback I receive when customers tell me that they watch the painting change during the day, because the colours do change depending on the light. It takes on a whole different character. I like the idea that the painting can give more than just a first look. It’s always nice to hear about the paintings I’ve sold in the past, when people approach me at shows and tell me where they’ve hung my work, if they’ve noticed something new, if it’s still as exciting as it was on the very first day they bought it. That’s a real shot in the arm for me - it’s encouraging to 40

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know that the paintings are still giving after all those years. What connections do you have to the North Cotswolds? I live in Wiltshire, in Chippenham - about twenty miles south of Cirencester. I show in quite a few regional galleries, but the John Noott Gallery in Broadway is one of my mainstays, but I also exhibit in Stratford upon Avon. So I’m constantly doing that drive from Chippenham through the Cotswolds to Stratford, up along the Fosse Way. And that’s how I’ve fallen in love with the area. When I have the time, I’ll turn off the Fosse Way, ignoring the signs, and just drive, seeing what I’ll find. The architecture is beautiful, particularly the colour of the stone, but the countryside is spectacular as well. I do lots of what I suppose you’d call pastoral paintings, with sheep grazing in the field. They have a nostalgic feel to them. They remind me of my childhood…running through fields. I think the [Cotswold] paintings have a meditative quality to them. They’re calming. People seem to like to lose themselves in them, particularly the ones with sheep in.

John Hammond

Lunch Alfresco, Cheltenham 16x18ins

Summer Shade, Cheltenham 24x28ins

Into the Sunlight, Cheltenham 12x10ins

Meadow Corner 16x18ins

When I’m looking for subjects I often look for water. As a painter of light I think the play of light on water can be a very exciting challenge. And so I like the River Windrush, the Slaughters, and Bibury.

When I have the time, I’ll turn off the Fosse Way, ignoring the signs, and just drive, seeing what I’ll find.

What’s on the horizon for you?

The architecture is beautiful, particularly the colour of

The Fresh Art Fair in Cheltenham. John Noott is doing a stand there and it’s really one of the reasons why I’ve embarked on this big series of Cheltenham paintings. They’re a really strong set and I’m looking forward to people seeing them.

the stone, but the countryside is spectacular as well.

I used to show at a gallery in Cheltenham - quite a few years ago - and there was always a strong market for art buying there. It’s been a pleasure to revisit some of the places I used to study all those years ago.

See the debut of John’s most recent work (in association with the John Noott Galleries) at the Fresh: Art Fair, Cheltenham Racecourse, 12th-14th May. www.cotswold-homes.com



Sunflowers and Lemons, Edward Noott, John Noott Galleries

Fresh: is something new for the Cotswolds - and it ’s far more than you might expect. See 45 of the best UK Galleries in one place. Browse and buy from over 5,000 paintings and sculptures. See artists working live … understand how their art is created. And make room for new art - if you have an old painting at home that you’re thinking of selling, bring it along and fine art auctioneers Bonhams will give you a free valuation. Fresh: is the joint creation of Anthony Wardle and his daughter Eleanor, who own the Paragon Gallery in Cheltenham’s Montpellier. Anthony is a former chairman at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi and was instrumental in the original Bath Contemporary Art Fair. ‘Working with Charles [Saatchi] I was surrounded by his extraordinary art collection – I guess that’s where I got the bug.’ Anthony tells us. ‘When we opened the Cheltenham Gallery, it didn’t take long to realise that there was no major art fair in the Cotswolds – nothing serving Birmingham, Oxford or Cardiff and the many other surrounding towns and cities. There’s a big 42

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Pony Tail III, Iryna Yermolova, Paragon Gallery

gap in the market so we thought we’d organize our own fair, and as it developed, we realised there were other ideas we could bring that might change the game.’ When it comes to art lovers, there are many different species. There are the newcomers who enjoy the spectacle of art, but have yet to make their first purchase; those whose homes are enhanced by several works, yet still have much of the market to explore; and the seasoned collectors, who actively seek out scorching new talent to invest in. How will Fresh: cater for all these people? ‘One of the words we use a lot in describing Fresh: is accessible,’ Anthony says. ‘We want to make art accessible in both practical and emotional dimensions. We aim to help newcomers to contemporary art understand what they’re seeing and what they love. We want people to see art as much more than interior decoration. We think seeing and talking to expert gallery owners and artists at work will help.

‘We aim to help art enthusiasts to expand their horizons and perhaps dip a toe into the world of collecting. Fresh: will show a very broad spectrum of genres, media, styles and subjects to help visitors explore new avenues in art. ‘And we aim to help established collectors discover new talent. Fresh: is so-called because we are bringing galleries and artists that are rarely seen on the art fair circuit. Collectors will see fresh faces. ‘We’re also accessible from the practical point of view – less than 10 minutes off the M5 with unlimited free parking and a shuttle to the town centre and station, Fresh: couldn’t be easier to get to.’ There’s going to be a touch of the Antiques Roadshow to Fresh:, Anthony tells us. ‘The valuations are really exciting. Everybody has an old painting in the house that they walk past every day and never look at. Time for a change in our view. But many people either don’t know


Girl Hugging Horse, Sophie Ryder, Wet Paint Gallery

The Cosmopolitans, PJ Crook, Panter & Hall

how to sell their old paintings or simply never get round to it. Visitors to Fresh: can bring up to three paintings or sculptures – early 20th century work or earlier – and Bonhams will provide valuations free of charge.’ It might very well be a world-first for art fairs. We’ll have a poke around in the attic, then. But we’re also pretty interested in seeing some art made before our eyes. What’s the deal with the live studios? ‘The live studios will give newcomers a glimpse into the hearts and minds of artists,’ Anthony enthuses. ‘There will be two studios, based in separate locations up on the balcony and possibly another artist working in the foyer. There’ll be half a dozen artists over the course of the weekend, working in a range of genres and media. ‘Visitors can watch the work take shape. Some of the watercolourists are very quick: a brilliant painting can be accomplished in as little as half-anhour from start to finish!’

Sablet in Provence, Lydia Corbett, David Simon Fine Art

Visitors will be able to see work for all tastes and budgets from emerging artists to Royal Academicians. Notable Cotswold Exhibitors include John Noott of Broadway; The Priory Broadway; Albion Gallery; Wren Fine Art; Hadfield Fine Art and Little Buckland Gallery. David Simon Fine Art of Bath will be showing Lydia Corbett, acclaimed artist and former Picasso muse. Wet Paint will be representing sculptor Sophie Ryder who has a large bronze on the Promenade in Cheltenham. Paragon Gallery will be showing the outstanding Ukrainian artist Iryna Yermolova. Fresh: even has its own charity initiative, Fresh: Start, which will raise money for St Mungo’s, who support homeless people in Bristol, Gloucester and throughout the Cotswolds.

A Weekend Ticket is £6 and if you buy online it admits TWO any time Friday to Sunday.

FRESH: OPENING HOURS: Friday 12th May - 11.00am to 8.30pm Saturday 13th May - 11.00am to 6.00pm Sunday 14th May - 11.00am to 5.00pm For tickets and more information, visit


Anthony and Eleanor have certainly given themselves lots to pull off in the very first Fresh: Art Fair, but their obvious enthusiasm and confidence assure us that this might be the start of something special. ‘There are a lot of exciting things we can do, and do well,’ he says. And we believe him. www.cotswold-homes.com



T H R I L L I N G , C O R R U P T - A N D M O R E R E L E VA N T T H A N E V E R

Introducing the RSC’s thrilling Rome Season The RSC puts all four of Shakespeare’s Roman plays on the stage - an epic undertaking that brings the excess of empire to Stratford-upon-Avon.


RSC tic kets see pag e7


Julius Caesar rehearsal photos, January 2017. Photos on this and opposite page by Helen Maybank

In Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, the titular general rages against the very idea of giving of power to the people. ‘…Bring in the crows to peck at the eagles,’ he seethes, pouring scorn on the common man. Violence ensues. Shakespeare’s words are echoing back on us here in Brexit Britain - not to mention an America that recently elected Donald Trump. As a discontented public and our erratic rulers sow socio-political earthquakes, what better way for the RSC to highlight the tensions of 2017 than to resurrect the Roman Empire? Spearheading Rome MMXVII, Season Director Angus Jackson (Oppenheimer 2014, Don Quixote 2016) is well aware of the parallels. ‘It’s really going to be a season of thrillers,’ he explains. Jackson will be opening the Rome season with his direction of Julius Caesar - the original and most definitive story of brutal betrayal - and closing it with Coriolanus, Shakespeare’s tragedy concerning the uprising 46

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“ I t h i n k w h at ’ s a m a z i n g a b o u t t h is is b e i n g a b l e t o j o i n t h e s e f o u r p l ay s t o g e t h e r a n d s e e i n g t h e e v o l u t i o n o f t h is s o c i e t y . . . ” and bloody downfall of a brilliant general. Inbetween the two, Iqbal Khan’s Antony & Cleopatra will retell the immortal story of seduction, doomed love and imperial ruin, while Blanche McIntyre’s Titus Andronicus re-stages a rip-roaring tale of extreme revenge, notorious for its grotesque climax. Designer Robert Innes Hopkins is working on all four plays, ensuring that what we see on stage represents the journey of one empire through some very turbulent times. ‘I think what’s amazing about this is being able to join these four plays together and seeing the

evolution of this society,’ Jackson teases. ‘Set up as a republic, becoming an empire…and when we get to Titus Andronicus, the one set furthest in the future, it’s a fictional play about the society tearing itself to pieces...a very bloody play.’ ‘We’re really going to create a world, to travel with this sophisticated society, through its birth to its decay. It has resonances of the activity in British, European and worldwide politics, in terms of people fighting for their political lives… and literally fighting for their lives. ‘It couldn’t be more appropriate to be digging into these very rich - and very highstakes - plays.’


ANgus JAcKsoN, seAsoN dIrector of shAKesPeAre's roMe seAsoN: Shakespeare's four Roman plays are a wonderful concoction of stories about power: physical power, sexual power and intellectual power. Julius Caesar is still the story that defines all political backstabbing. Brutus loves Caesar, but kills him for the greater good, and like all conspirators loses control of the consequences. The story of Antony & Cleopatra epitomises a passionate love between two of the most important leaders of the free world. They are so caught up in each other that they lose control; both of themselves and their empires. Titus Andronicus is the bloodiest of all plays, and feels more like a Tarantino movie than a historic play. And Coriolanus is more a famed Olympic athlete than soldier in our modern terms. He is thrust into government with no ability to play politics, and no sense of compromise. The stories historically span a thousand years. We've placed all four in one imagined evolving world, the story of an Empire from birth to implosion. We begin in 500BC with Coriolanus slugging it out in the mud with his broadsword. Then we travel forward in time when Julius Caesar and Antony & Cleopatra are living just before Christ. We’ve set them together in a Roman setting, complete with towering pillars and corners to hide round. Our Rome is then thrust together with a lavish Egyptian ancient world led by the most famous of all Queens. And Titus Andronicus is recognisably the same Empire which arrives in our modern day, carrying the tragic consequences of corruption, decay and dictatorship, right up to now. These plays are so relevant to today's political and personality led world they don't need to make a claim for currency. The cameras get as close to the actors as the front row of the audience. So we will take you on a journey back to Ancient Rome and chart the evolution of an empire up to the present day, painting every betrayal, every battle, every passion. I hope you enjoy the ride.

JulIus cAesAr Caesar returns from war, all-conquering, but mutiny is rumbling through the corridors of power. The RSC’s Rome season in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre opens with the politics of spin and betrayal turning to violence. Season Director Angus Jackson steers the thrilling action as the race to claim the empire spirals out of control. ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE | STRATFORD-UPON-AVON | 3 MAR - 9 SEP 2017

A N t o N Y & c l e o PAt r A Following Caesar’s assassination, Mark Antony has reached the heights of power. Now he has neglected his empire for a life of decadent seduction with his mistress, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Iqbal Khan (Much Ado About Nothing, Othello) returns to the RSC to direct Shakespeare’s tragedy of love and power. ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE | STRATFORD-UPON-AVON | 11 MAR - 7 SEP 2017

tItus ANdroNIcus The decay of Rome reaches violent depths in Shakespeare’s most bloody play. Titus is a ruler exhausted by war and loss, who relinquishes power but leaves Rome in disorder. Rape, cannibalism and severed body parts fill the moral void at the heart of this corrupt society. Shakespeare’s gory revenge tragedy presents us with murder as entertainment, and, as the body count piles up, poses questions about the nature of sexuality, family, class and society. Blanche McIntyre returns to the RSC after her debut directing The Two Noble Kinsmen (2016). ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE | STRATFORD-UPON-AVON | 23 JUN - 2 SEP 2017

corIolANus A full throttle war play that revels in the sweat of the battlefield, Coriolanus transports us back to the emergence of the republic of Rome. Season Director Angus Jackson completes our collection of Shakespeare’s epic Roman plays with Sope Dirisu (One Night in Miami, Donmar Warehouse) in the title role. ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE | STRATFORD-UPON-AVON | 15 SEP - 14 OCT 2017

W W W. r s c . o r g . u K / r o M e




A ta l e o f g h o s t s , l o c u s t s an d c u r s e s :

Re-imagined Chinese c l a ssi c S no w in M idsummer w i l l haunt audiences This year, the RSC is re-imagining an ‘ancient and haunting’ 13th Century Chinese drama to create a ghost story for the 21st Century.

Award-winning playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig has adapted the classic story of The Injustice to Dou E Touches Heaven and Moves Earth into a thrilling story for the stage, running in Stratford-upon-Avon’s Swan Theatre from 23 February - 25 March 2017. Ghosts, curses, locust plagues and droughts are amongst the torments at the heart of Snow in Midsummer, in which a businesswoman must investigate the unjust execution of a young widow in order to stop a terrible curse from destroying the living. It’s all a fruit of the RSC’s Chinese Classics Translation project, which is bringing together ‘writers, translators, academics and theatre organisations in the UK and China as part of a cultural exchange bringing Chinese stories to a modern UK audience.’

development and traditional beliefs in China.

the research team most keen to see?


PH: The production is a contemporary take on an ancient tale. Can you tell me a little bit about how the writer, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, has updated the story?

PH: Bonnie, in September you organised a research trip to China for the Director, Designer and Dramaturg of our new production of Snow in Midsummer. Can you tell me where you went and why?

BC: The original story is a famous tale about the injustice suffered by a young widow Dou Yi, who has been falsely accused and executed for murder. Frances grabs the central plot of the injustice and how the ghost of Dou Yi brings the townspeople who have condemned her to account. She has also woven in contemporary social issues like industrialisation, pollution and capital punishment to make the story more related to current Chinese society.

BC: That’s right. The main plot about the injustice to Dou Yi is still there in our new play. And because the play is set in the same place as it was in the original classic, we were very curious to discover how the place and the people are now.

BC: Yes, it was an amazing week! We went to Beijing, Shanghai and Huai’an. Huai’an is a small city in Jiangsu Province where the original story of Snow in Midsummer was set. Visiting these 3 places helped with our background research for the characters in the play, and also gave us information about the judiciary system, industrial 48

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PH: So, the play is set in modern China but with close reference to the original tale? What were

Huai’an, which was known as Chuzhou in ancient times, is nothing like big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. We simply had no idea what it would be like before we stepped on the soil. It was useful to see the industrialisation in a small city like this in China. PH: Who did you meet when you were there? BC: Oh, we definitely met some great people there! In Shanghai we met our translator for the original script and we had a great time


Snow in Midsummer rehearsal photos 2017. Photos on this and opposite page by Ikin Yum.

“ d r I n k I n g b a I j I u ( c h I n e S e w h I t e w I n e , w h I c h I S a S t r o n g l I Q u o r ) ! y o u h av e t o d o w n I t I n o n e at l e a S t t w I c e t o e v e r y b o d y at t h e ta b l e at e v e r y m e a l ! I t wa S S u c h a c u lt u r e S h o c k f o r u S a b o u t h o w a m e a l w o r k S I n c h I n a . ”

in a local gay club. (I swear that was for research despite the fact that it was really fun, you will see why when you come see the show.) And in Huai’an we were hosted by the Huai’an Culture, Broadcasting and Publishing Bureau and they helped a lot by showing us around and telling us about its historical and cultural background.

before and I was the only person in our group who speaks and reads Chinese, it was hard work interpreting for everyone. Huai’an was simply an extraordinary experience: we didn’t have any expectation at all before going, because we knew so little about the place beforehand. It was challenging, but really amazing. It turned out to be a really fruitful trip.

PH: What was the most challenging aspect of the trip?

PH: Best moments?

BC: Drinking baijiu (Chinese white wine, which is a strong liquor)! You have to down it in one at least twice to everybody at the table at every meal! It was such a culture shock for us about how a meal works in China. It was great fun though and we managed to keep ourselves sober enough to carry on the trip. Given that most of us haven’t been to China

BC: Waking up at four in the morning and running with the crowd to get the best spot to see the flag ceremony in Tiananmen Square was phenomenal. The exceptionally warm hospitality in Huai’an was also truly unforgettable, we were treated like VIPs and were well fed with amazing food. They were incredibly helpful in showing us to all the places and things we wanted to see as well: ancient courthouse, factory, local bars, hospital, temple, Chinese opera museum and a

lot more. We couldn’t believe how much we saw in just two days’ time, it seems like we’ve spent a week there. PH: Out of the material you gathered, what was the most interesting to you? BC: Everything was interesting and useful! As mentioned earlier on, we’ve been to the ancient courthouse in Huai’an, which was where the original story of Dou Yi happened. It was very interesting for us to have an idea of what the original setting of the story is like. Seeing the modern Huai’an and the daily life of its people was so useful as well. We also had a good chat with a professor in Shanghai, who is an expert in both ancient and modern criminal law in China. He explained to us how the judicial system works in China and its ideology from the old days to now. This is something we can’t easily find…

SNOW IN MIDSUMMER untIl 25 march 2017 In t h e S wa n t h e at r e . t o b o o k t I c k e t S v I S I t W W W. r s c . o r g . u K / s N o W




EVENTS The Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse is only the start of the excitement. Read on to discover our pick of events for the Spring season.

EQUESTRIAN The Festival 2017 at Cheltenham Racecourse 14th - 17th March 2017 The Festival™ epitomises and encompasses everything that is great about Jump racing. Jockeys, owners and trainers battle it out for the highest racing honours, for four days of frantic action. New champions rise and old heroes falter - as thousands cheer on. It all begins with Champion Day. After Gold Cup Day, it’s the busiest, and that first-day buzz makes the seven races an electrifying start to the proceedings. Ladies Day adds a touch of class, as lady race-goers turn proceedings into a high-fashion spectacle. But let’s not forget the racing: not least of the seven races is the Betway Queen Mother Champion Race, taken in 2014 by Dodging Bullets and Sam Twiston-Davies, sponsored by Harrison James & Hardie. Then the racecourse welcomes the Irish crowd on St Patrick’s Thursday, where two big races – the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase – get the blood pumping just before the big day itself. Finally, it’s Gold Cup Day – the highlight of the season, and one of the biggest draws around. The Cheltenham Timico Gold Cup is of course the main attraction (as well as the crowning moment of the Jump season) so make sure to book tickets and accommodation as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Book tickets to The Festival here at www.thefestival.co.uk 50

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#COLOURMEMARCH & #COLOURMEMARCHWOW on Ladies Day From hats to shoes, to scarves and nails, it’s all about colour on Ladies Day at The Festival on Wednesday 15th March. This year’s competition is exclusively for ladies, and is all about bringing colour and lots of style to The Festival™. Not only featuring the annual best dressed ladies’ competition - the #ColourMeMarch Style Awards where the winner will receive a host of fantastic prizes including a Boodles Diamond Necklace. And there's the chance to win a brand new MINI ONE car worth over £20,000 in the #ColourMeMarchWOW competition. For the first time, Cheltenham Racecourse is offering a fantastic prize of winning a Mini One Car and to win it, all you need to do is simply get spotted by one of the #ColourMeMarchWOW promo girls who will be dotted around the racecourse.* There are other prizes to be won on the day, including a beautiful gold label Holland Cooper Cape worth £4000, a share in three racehorses as part of the Cheltenham and South West Syndicate and much more.


*#ColourMeMarch - To enter all you need to do is be at the racecourse on Wednesday 15th March and post a picture of yourself on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ColourMeMarch. If you are not on social media you can enter via the website www.thefestival. co.uk/colourmemarch. #ColourMeMarchWOW - Ladies who have been spotted will be given a badge with a number on the reverse and the #ColourMeMarchWOW girls will then draw numbers throughout the day and prizes will be announced on the big screens. Make sure you keep an eye on the big screens and arrive early to get spotted.

Badminton Horse Trials 3rd - 7th May 2017 The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials will take place from Wednesday 3rd May through to Sunday 7th May 2017. The event is staged within the beautiful grounds of the Badminton Estate in South Gloucestershire. Wednesday is the first day of the ticketed event, with an array of over 500 tradestands opening for business, the international competition kicking off with the horse inspection in the afternoon, as well as the cross country culmination of the ‘amateur’ eventing

competition of the Mitsubishi Motors Cup. The event continues with Dressage on the Thursday and Friday, before the thrills and spills of the Cross Country phase on the Saturday. Sunday is the culmination of the competition and is a Show Jumping test over knock down arena jumps. This annual spectacle offers a great family day out, with children and dogs very welcome to enjoy great hospitality options, shopping, top level equestrian sport and more in a stunning location. Find out more at www.badminton-horse.co.uk www.cotswold-homes.com



CULTURE Cada aRT & anTiQue FaiR aT Blenheim palaCe 30Th maRCh - 2nd apRil 2017

CoTsWold haRe TRail 2017 maRCh To sepTemBeR 2017

The sixth CADA Art & Antique Fair takes place within Blenheim Palace’s Colonnade, Campaign Rooms and Orangery. Experience exceptional art and antiques in a perfect setting with many internationally recognised dealers taking part.

ChelTenham Wine FesTival 1sT apRil 2017

1stdibs, the leading online marketplace for the best antiques worldwide, is sponsoring the fair in recognition of its position as the pre-eminent quality art and antiques fair held outside of London.

For all those wine buffs out there, the Cheltenham Wine Festival held in the town's Pittville Pump Rooms on Saturday 1st April is an ideal way of exploring and tasting over 250 delicious wines.

The CADA Fair is the only art and antique fair staged within the Palace’s Colonnade, Campaign Rooms and Orangery. The Invite to the Fair provides complimentary access to the Blenheim grounds. Download a complimentary invitation at www.cadafair.com

Enjoy your favourites and have fun discovering exciting new ones from among France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, USA and more…Find out times and more at www. cheltenhamwinefestival.com


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Now in its 4th year, the award-winning Cirencester Hare Festival is extending its reach across the Cotswolds; local businesses and artists are able to get in on the action and train the spotlight on their area. Between March and September, the annual Cotswold festival features a Cotswold Hare Trail lined with beautiful and uniquely crafted giant hares. Residents of all ages are encouraged to take part in the festivities based in Cotswold towns and villages, which engage local people, encourage visitors from further afield and raise money for charity. Chipping Norton is joining in the fun in 2017, with a wealth of exciting possibilities existing for local traders to sponsor individual hares and Chippy artists to get involved in creating them. The Cotswold Hare Trail for 2017 is launched on 25th March.


Stratford Literary Festival at Stratford-upon-Avon 23rd - 30th April 2017

Cheltenham Jazz Festival 26th April - 1st May 2017 Guest-directed by Jamie Cullum, this year’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival continues with its traditional mix of international talent, home grown stars and up-and-coming new artists.

Book lovers are truly spoiled with another local literature festival to attend. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017, the Stratford Literary Festival offers a mix of events with celebrity writers, best-selling authors, new fiction, workshops, and events for families deigned to inspire and spread over 8 eventful days. There are masterclasses to attend for new writers, and the chance to hear a varied and fascinating range of topics including history, nature, cookery, gardening, mental health, illustration, music, humour, all set in a festival hub with a cafĂŠ and pop up Waterstones bookshop. Guests include Karen Maitland, illustrator Poppy Chancellor, Paddy Ashdown, Ken Livingstone, Simon Armitage and many others. For more information on the line-up and to book tickets, head to the festival website. www.stratlitfest.co.uk

Chipping Norton Literary Festival 27th - 30th April 2017 Hosting a range of events for readers, writers, children and young people, illustrators, poetry fans and school pupils, the sixth Chipping Norton Literary Festival returns in 2017 for four days of literary fun. Speakers include Armando Iannucci, the Reverend Richard Coles, Nadiya Hussein, Chris Riddell, Ian Rankin and Tony Robinson - and many more. Check the website at www.chiplitfest.com for further news and updates.

The Oxford Literary Festival 25th March - 2nd April 2017 This is a treat for all bookworms! The FTWeekend Oxford Literary Festival is an 8-day celebration of books and authors. Over 350 writers flock to the famous university city to discuss affairs literary, political, historical, environmental and culinary held in the atmospheric Christ Church College. 2017 will see the 21st anniversary of the festival.

First names are now confirmed and tickets on sale already: jazz fans can expect to see legend Chick Corea, the jazz/funk collective Snarky Puppy and genre-defying multi-instrumentalist Meshell Ndegeocello among many many others. For more acts and to book tickets, see the festival website at www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz

Visitors can also book to join guided literary walks, lunches and dinner parties with prominent authors. A creative writing course has also formed part of the programme for the last few years. Authors and speakers include Paul Auster, Hilary Mantel, Alexander McCall Smith and Lionel Shriver. For more information on the line-up and to book tickets, head to the festival website. www.oxfordliteraryfestival.org




CULTURE FRESH: Art Fair, Cheltenham Racecourse 12th - 14th May 2017 FRESH: is the first major contemporary art fair in the Heart of England, serving Cheltenham and the Cotswolds and the surrounding ten county towns and cities. In its first year, FRESH: will host 45 of Britain’s best contemporary art galleries in the Centaur building at Cheltenham’s famous Racecourse. The Fair will showcase some 5,000 paintings and sculptures across a full spectrum of genres, media and styles, appealing to established collectors, art enthusiasts and newcomers of all tastes and budgets. Many of the Galleries are rarely seen on the British art fair circuit so regular art fair visitors will see new artists and fresh work. FRESH: is in partnership with The RWA (the Royal Academy in the West), The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Bonhams, Hamptons and Cheltenham’s Museum & Gallery, The Wilson. In a world-first for art fairs, visitors will be able to bring some of their old works of art for which Bonhams will provide a free valuation at the Fair. The 2017 fair runs from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th May at Cheltenham Racecourse with a Private View on the evening of Thursday 11th May. Tickets for the three-day show are from £6 per person. One ticket admits two when bought online. The Friday is a free day for all visitors, and children under 16 years old have free entry throughout the Fair. Turn to our competitions & offers pages to see how you can receive FREE tickets to the Fair on 13th and 14th May. For more information and tickets visit www.freshartfair.net.

OUR SHOW PICK Tweedy’s Lost Property at The Theatre, Chipping Norton 22nd April 2017 Our favourite clown, Tweedy, and the star of Gifford’s Circus, presents a comedy about a


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clown who gives in to society and gets a real job in a Lost Property Office.

against him, Tweedy is constantly prevented from answering the ringing telephone.

The consequences of attempting to run the office are hilarious - the lost property in his possession seem to develop a life of its own and, coupled with his own body rebelling

Showing on Saturday 22nd April at 2pm and 6pm. Tickets from £8.50. Book your place at www.chippingnortontheatre.com




With excellent GWR rail access to the big city, London’s only a short trip away for Cotswold dwellers. Here we round up some of our favourite things to see in ‘the smoke’ over the next few months.

Twelfth Night THE NATIONAL THEATRE We’re spoiled rotten with Shakespeare in the Cotswolds, with the RSC in Stratford upon Avon. But it’s worth making the trip to London to catch the National Theatre’s take on Twelfth Night, staring Tamsin Greig (Black Books, Green Wing) as ‘Malvolia’. Greig looks a dour, puritannical, snape-ish figure, infusing the part with delicious bitterness in this comic tale of mismatching and cross-dressing (not to mention cross-gartering). Twelfth Night runs at the National Theatre (olivier Theatre), South bank until 13th May. Mon – Thu & all matinees £60, £52, £39, £29, £15 Fri & Sat evening £65, £56, £44, £31, £18. For more information, and to book tickets, visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk 56

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Catch Robots until 3rd September 2017, when the exhibition terminates. Find the museum on Exhibition Road, via South kensington tube station. £15 Adults, £13 Concessions. Entry to museum free. www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

Electricity: The Spark of Life and Making Nature: How we see animals AT THE WELLCOME COLLECTION

Robots AT THE SCIENCE MUSEUM Sometimes it seems we’re constantly being warned - or reassured - that robots will be taking our jobs…any moment now? But this is hardly a new fear. Mankind has been dreaming about robots for longer than you might think, as this new exhibition shows by tracing the development of technology over 500 years of history. As the promised robotics boom looms, the Science Museum’s latest barnstormer assembles over one hundred robots for your contemplation - twelve still in working order from a ‘16th century mechanical monk’ to ‘Cygan, a giant 1950s Italian robot with a glamorous past.’ Prepare yourself for the revolution with a look at the history of our steely future friends/ foes (delete as applicable).

Found next to Euston station, the wellcome Collection is a ‘destination for the incurably curious’. Showcasing the utterly eccentric, captivating collection of medicine man/ pharmacist Henry Wellcome, it also stages thought-provoking and splendidly designed temporary exhibitions. These have tackled big, important subjects such as like death, dreams, consciousness, sex and drugs - now it’s the turn of electricity (Electricity: The Spark of life, until 25th June 2017) and our relationship with the animal kingdom (Making Nature: How we see animals, until 21st May 2017). The two permanent exhibitions - Medicine Man and Medicine Now - will likely surprise you with their variety and strangeness. The Wellcome Collection is also home to an excellent library, a gift-and-book shop, and a cafe. It also puts on engrossing talks and interesting workshops, so be sure to check the website before your visit to ensure you don’t miss one. Exhibitions & Entry free www.wellcomecollection.org

David Hockney TATE BRITAIN This is a big one. The Tate’s comprehensive new exhibition pulls together some some of Hockney’s most noteworthy works, swimming pools and all. For all the sun-drenched Californian dreaminess on display, it’s easy to forget that some of the more erotic works were produced when homosexuality was still illegal in Britain. Leaving the Yorkshire of his provincial childhood behind, Hockney found glamour and liberation (and fame) in Los Angeles - and became its most perceptive chronicler. Somehow Hockney’s energy and vision remains unclouded by the passage of decades (now in his eighties, he’s still beating new pathways - even turning to the iPad as medium), but it’s endlessly rewarding to look back over his oeuvre and appreciate the myriad subtleties that emerge. Simply on a technical level, Hockney’s boisterous and unapologetic mastery of colour will leave you thrilled - even optimistic - and you’ll be wowed by his aptitude for drawing. This is lifeaffirming stuff: art with heart. Be warned, though - it’s Hockney, so you’d better book. The exhibition runs until 29th May 2017. Closest tube stop Pimlico. book online at www.tate.org.uk £17.70 Adults (without donation), £15.90 Concessions (without donation). Members go free and do not need to book online. Under 12s Free (up to four per ticketed adult); family tickets available. www.cotswold-homes.com


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We throw a spotlight on local businesses and initiatives

Stock up on your home heating oil The importance of great photos to market your property Photos sell houses. In today’s image-led world, this adage is more important than ever when it comes to making the best out of your most valuable asset, your property. So don’t miss your chance for a free floorplan worth £75 this Spring when you commission DML Photography to take beautiful, quality photographs of your home. DML has over ten years’ experience of providing high quality property marketing (photos, floorplans, EPCs, videos and virtual tours) to estate agents, letting companies and property developers and they are now offering their services direct to the public. Contact DML Photography for a first-class service on 01295 258807 or visit www.dmlphotography.co.uk

Get it checked, get it swept Although thatch fires are not common, over 90% of thatch roof fires start as a direct result of using an open fire, wood burning or multi fuel stove. And Springtime is when your home can be most at risk.The build-up of tar and soot over Winter will increase the chances of sparks being ejected on to your roof. Having your chimneys swept every six months will greatly reduce this risk so get it checked and get it swept! For more advice on insuring and protecting your thatch home speak to County Insurance Services Ltd on 01865 844980 or visit www.county-insurance.co.uk 58

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We might be just coming out of winter and hoping for warmer days, but now could be the right time to stock up on your heating oil for your home. Angelo Coletta, Depot Manager at Cotswold Petroleum, which serves customers across the Cotswolds says: “Prices have fallen by nearly 40% since this time last year, so this is an excellent time to top up your tank”. Cotswold Petroleum distribute a full range of heating oils, agricultural diesel and road fuels for home, farm and industry.They source all their product from UK refiner Phillips 66 ensuring quality and consistency. Customers also benefit from a focus on high quality as they are the first fuel company in the area to sign up to having their fuel monitored by independent tester, Oil Tank Services, on a regular basis. Cotswold Petroleum, Springhill Industrial Estate, Springhill, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 9TP Tel: 01386 579 579 www.cotswoldpetroleum.co.uk

Thinking differently about personal safety The recently launched national Dating Safely Campaign provides free information to single people, and clear professional guidelines to dating agencies, in order to promote a cultural shift in the way we think about personal safety. The campaign has been instigated by the UK dating industry’s body,The Dating Agency Association, following several high profile cases of women who have been harmed or killed as a result of meeting people via online dating agencies or social media platforms. But this is a wide-reaching initiative, one that is saying to both men and women of all ages that they are putting themselves at risk every day as a result of new and dangerous attitudes to dating. Industry expert and author,Trelawney Kerrigan, has

Style comes to Stow The former 17th century coaching inn,The Unicorn, which occupies a prime spot on the corner of the Fosseway and the Chipping Norton road in central Stow on the Wold, has been lovingly restored and refurbished by furniture and accessories emporium, The Cotswold Company. Opened in February, their Stow flagship store sells high quality oak, pine and painted furniture as well as quality interior furnishings and accessories for the contemporary home. Jenet Jackson, Store Manager comments: “Visitors to the store can view the furniture in its natural setting and we look forward to helping our customers find the perfect piece of furniture for their homes.” The Unicorn, Sheep Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1HQ Open 7 days a week Tel: 01451 828 185 www.cotswoldco.com

worked closely with The Dating Agency Association, safety professionals and charities to devise a set of simple guidelines aimed at saving lives. She says: “The frightening conclusion to my research is that the anonymity of dating apps and online sites has bought with it increasingly dangerous attitudes towards meeting complete strangers in isolated settings - blinded by the instant intimacy of online communication.” You can download a copy of the handbook free of charge at www.datingagencyassociation.org.uk or request a hard copy via the website.


Getting a run for my money in Volvo’s luxury hybrid Alexandra Tilley Loughrey drives petrol free for a week in the Volvo XC90 T8 The Volvo xC90 is not an uncommon sight at the school gates, supermarket car-parks and on Cotswold country lanes. For many years it has stood for safety and security in the large family car market. but this new xC90 hybrid version, the T8, is in another league of luxury and innovation. I’m a massive fan of trying out new technologies and have driven several electric cars, but I wanted to see if such a huge chunk of a hybrid car (it makes my Land Rover Defender look positively meagre in size) would fulfil my driving needs for the week. Volvo maintains that the car can drive up to 27 miles on a full charge, so I figured that was enough to do all my local daily driving. It costs about 90p to charge fully per night, so my plan was to do all the school runs, after-school clubs, work meetings, dog 60

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walks etc on about £7 for the week. My first trip out was to Chipping Campden (about 8 miles from home), driving demurely along winding country lanes, especially as I was stuck behind a visitor slowing down to look at the dormant bushes at Cotswold Lavender in Snowshill. Campden is always a great place to visit with its many independent shops, with their arts and crafts heritage. I found a gorgeous card from the Cherry Press, then dropped in to try on hats for an impending wedding at Louise Pocock millinery. I was seriously tempted by a headpiece modelled by singer Paloma Faith, but am considering a bespoke felt fedora, once I’ve found the right dress. A New Holland tractor had rather inconsiderately parked right on my front bumper,

but the XC90 is so easy to manoeuvre (and the rear-view camera ensured I didn’t “kiss” the car behind) that I zipped out of the tight parking space and headed off for school pick-up. When I collected my daughter she immediately “retrieved” the third set of seats from the boot. Unlike some family cars that can just about squeeze a couple of extra basic seats, these are as luxurious and large as the five regular ones, easily reachable for the rear heating controls and with extra cup-holders to boot (always a popular choice with my nine and eleven year olds). Again with many cars, folding out the extra sixth and seventh seats leads to a lack of bootspace, but there was still plenty of room for our leggy lurcher and the amply built Edward (the terrier-mutt) on our weekend dog-walks in Guiting Woods.


I loved driving the T8 so much (it’s like snuggling into a moving chic leather armchair) that on a couple of occasions I lazily drove to our wonderful new shop at Temple Guiting ...




Fuel consumption – Volvo claims the car can do up to 134mpg! Road tax - £0 – or as they’d say in Sweden – Nolla Safety – many mycket (Swedish for loads) - safe features, as most people expect from Volvo – if the car inadvertently leaves the road, the front seat belts are automatically tightened, and the front seat frame has a collapsible section (a world first) that reduces forces to help prevent spinal injuries. Another world first is its “City safety” (it works in the countryside as well) feature – offering fully automatic emergency braking if a large animal, pedestrian or cyclist veers into its path (even at junctions).

On a regular socket an overnight charge (from empty battery to the maximum charge of 27 miles) takes 6 hours. Charging the car really is easy. As easy as charging a mobile phone, which we all do, at various points throughout the day – with a full-on boost overnight. I just plugged the charging cable from the car into the bog-standard socket in our garage. On a regular socket an overnight charge (from empty battery to the maximum charge of 27 miles) takes 6 hours. Volvo have a deal with a company called POD who can install a fast charger at your home for about £400, which enables you to fully charge the battery from empty to full in about 2 ½ hours. People asked me if I’d found an electric charger (there are hardly any in the Cotswolds yet, though this is changing – Soho Farmhouse & Oxford Services have them), but you really don’t need one for local driving – you just plug in as soon as you get home. And of course, being a hybrid car, if the electricity runs out while you’re out and about, the car automatically kicks into using the petrol engine. I loved driving the T8 so much (it’s like snuggling into a moving chic leather armchair) that on a couple of occasions I lazily drove to our wonderful new shop at Temple Guiting (which is usually only a 15 minute walk over fields) to meet friends for coffee or grab some of their delicious Bertinet Bakery’s sour-dough, David Moore bacon and Jess’s Ladies organic milk. The week continued with trips to Bourton on

the Water, to collect my son from various football and rugby matches at The Cotswold School (armed with plastic bags to keep the mud off the immaculate leather upholstery). I bombed over Cleeve Hill to go school shoe shopping with my daughter in Cheltenham (“bombing” does eat up the electricity quicker than you’d like, as does whacking the heating or air-con on full blast), so when returning home I plugged it in for a couple of hours so I had enough electricity left to drive to Winchcombe for running club. Did I fulfil my challenge of driving for about £7 for the week? Well I did – yes. But, isn’t there always a but - one note of caution on the joys of running this car so cheaply - once it hits the high roads it gets extremely thirsty. My husband borrowed it for a couple of round-trips to Oxford and (of course loving the acceleration) it drank nearly a full tank (albeit a smaller than average tank as this is a twin engine car) of petrol. Ooh! Although it pains me to say this – I absolutely love, love, love this car. It pains me as Volvo has always had a safe, sensible car - ergo - dull reputation. This is a fabulous family car that has all the seats and space you need for the school run, the weekly shop, weekend rugby tours and motorway driving. This car is not in the least bit dull, it’s extremely exciting!

Follow Alexandra on Twitter @MissDashboardUK for a refreshing take on cars. 62

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Media - An easy to use iPad-style touch screen system which accesses radio, satnav, blue-tooth connection, fuel consumption, drive modes – with the most marvellous surround-sound speakers. That Bling Thing – heated front seats and steering wheel, the most powerful LED headlights that dip automatically. This season’s colours – 10 options covering a subtle Scandi paint palette in solid or metallic, with white, grey, black, brown and a slightly uncharacteristic red. The drive – Oh, just gorgeous. Light as a Mary Berry Victoria sponge and as smooth as whipped cream. You won’t believe that such a big car can turn so deftly. Trim – Three price options of Momentum, R-Design or Inscription, offering soft, luxurious leather upholstery in blonde or black and a range of alloy wheels and added extras – from safety features to widgets. This hybrid comes with a full length glass sun-roof as part of the package. Automatic or manual – Being a twin engine (hybrid), it’s automatic – with an 8-speed, 4-wheel drive gearbox. The T8 has seven drive modes: Pure, Hybrid, Power, Save, All-Wheel-Drive, Off-Road and Individual, which means the car can be a locally driven, zero-emissions electric car, a fast performance SUV, or a combination of both - all at the touch of a button. Optional extras – POD home charging system (for faster charging), 360-degree parking camera and park assist, retractable tow-bar, headlight cleaning system. The list goes on… Warranty 3 year unlimited mileage Price from £60,450


It’s well and truly time to get busy outdoors. This is the most exciting time of the year in the garden; things suddenly begin to look green and vibrant and the warmer days and lighter evenings can gladden the heart of every gardener. Garden designer, Sheena Marsh, says it’s time to shake off the winter blues and get stuck into the shrubbery.

Patio cleaning Getting the garden ready for summer should include giving attention to the patio. Regular sweeping is key to keeping the patio looking tidy. Dirt and slime can build up on a patio over time. Weeds growing between the stones can be removed with a knife, or use a specialist weedkilling product to stop them coming back. Using a high-pressure washer is the easiest way of spring-cleaning the patio. There are a plethora of different products to choose from, so if you’re considering buying one, think first about the kinds of tasks you’ll use it for, then make sure the machine you buy has the relevant attachments. Investing in a pressure washer can be a real time saver, making a whole host of garden cleaning jobs faster and easier. We clean bikes, fences, gutters, decks, even the wheelie bins with ours. Follow the manufacturer's advice for the best pressure setting and direct the water away from grouted areas on your slabs. The higher the pressure, the more the grout is likely to dislodge so a little bit of care is advisable. If you don’t want to invest in a pressure washer, try a proprietary stone-cleaning product. Once applied, if you’re lucky, the dirt may simply rinse off. Depending on the state of your slabs and the product you use, you might need to employ some firm brushing. Alternatively, the most economical and environmentally friendly method of cleaning 64

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slabs is to use a solution of detergent, warm water and some thorough scrubbing. But be warned, this is not a task to be carried out when you’re exhausted - you will need to be up for a good workout before you start.

Time to sp ruce up the lawn Now is the time to give your lawn some attention after the winter damage. The first thing to do is rake it vigorously with a spring tine lawn rake. In my opinion, this specialist tool should be in every gardener’s shed. Its long, flexible ‘teeth’ are ideal for removing worm casts, dead leaves and twigs, moss and dead grass which may have accumulated during winter months. It’s quite hard work, but well worth the effort. Leaving winter debris on your lawn will make it difficult for the young grass shoots to emerge. Once you’ve had your workout with the rake, give the lawn a dressing with a special spring food, available in garden centres now. In the business we use a mechanical spreader for this task because we’re generally covering large areas, but the quickest and easiest way to do it, is to use a feed applied with a watering can. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the correct dilution and within a few days the lawn will have taken on a lush green appearance.

The sound of a whirring lawnmower once signified the start of spring but because of the mild weather we’ve experienced this winter, you may well have started cutting your grass already. For now, while the grass is young, keep the blades raised quite high. Lower the blades later on this month as the growth quickens. Always try to cut when the grass is reasonably dry.

Sow flowers from seed If your garden borders have ‘bare patches’ now is a good time to sow hardy annuals outdoors. Good examples include love-in-a-mist, nasturtium, sunflowers, calendula, poppies, larkspur, and lavatera. The best thing to do is visit a garden centre and choose from the many varieties available then it’s a simple job of sowing them straight into the ground.


"Many studies have shown that simply being in the p resence of trees and plants reduces stress so at this lovely time of year relax and stop and admire natu re at its best."

Make sure the soil is well prepared and weed free and sprinkle them where you wish. The only thing you need to do is make sure that they are well-watered and kept weed free. If you’re not sure which are weeds, a good rule of thumb is the weeds are usually the seedlings that are growing quickest!

Protect plants With the warmer weather and spring rains, we will almost certainly see an increase the gardener’s chief foes - slugs and snails. They can cause enormous damage to young plants, so if you are not gardening organically, the easiest way to protect vulnerable new growth is to spread a few slug pellets around the base of the plants that are likely to be affected. There’s no need to do this for all plants, but the enemy does have its favourites - delphiniums, lupins, scabious make a very tasty meal for a slug!

There are several organic ways of dealing with these little pests; I sink a jar of beer in the ground with the lip just proud of the surface. In the morning, I find it filled with an amazing number of drowned snails and have no compunction about disposing of the corpses. It’s life or death in the battle for my delphiniums and every year I get a fantastic display, without the use of chemicals.

Give borders a tidy up Just set aside a day to go over the borders, doing those small jobs that make all the difference to the garden’s appearance. Lightly fork over the soil pulling out any weeds. It’s best to do it at this time of the year before they get too big and established.

Apply synthetic fertilisers All plants need nutrients to survive, but there’s no need to feed absolutely everything every year. Trees and shrubs, for example, will grow quite

happily for years, provided the ground is prepared properly when planting. With these all these, all that is necessary is to apply some fertiliser in the first two or three years after planting. After that, unless there is some obvious deficiency, they’ll cope well on their own. The areas of the garden that most need fertilisers every year are the vegetable and fruit patches, annual borders and plants in containers. There are many varieties available in garden centres. Choose a slow release fertiliser and sprinkle over your borders. The rain should take it down into the roots of the plants. And finally… take time to enjoy your garden. Many studies have shown that simply being in the presence of trees and plants reduces stress so at this lovely time of year relax and stop and admire nature at its best.

Sheena Marsh is the founder and a director of Oxford Garden Design who for over fifteen years has worked closely with hundreds of individual garden owners to produce practical landscape plans that result in gorgeous gardens. For more information on gardens they have designed in and around the Cotswolds visit the garden inspiration page on www.oxfordgardendesign.co.uk. www.cotswold-homes.com


What the Gamekeeper Saw

Adam Tatlow is a Guiting Power-based gamekeeper who documents the fauna he encounters during his day-to-day work. Adam’s work has featured in national newspapers such as The Telegraph and The Daily Mail, and has appeared in Cotswold Homes Magazine since its inception. Adam will be exhibiting his work with ‘Art in the Cotswolds’ in the Lower Slaughter gallery, found next to the Slaughters Country Inn hotel (from 17th-24th of May). He will also be returning to judge the photography at Moreton Show. Browse Adam’s work and order prints and gift cards at www.cotswoldkeeperphotography.com





a pa CHild’s iR Of sHOes: see pag e8

Groovy2Shoes in Stow on the Wold opened its doors to customers back in February 2012 and has never looked back. Specialising in fitted children’s footwear, it is a recognised stockist of major British and European brands. Bev Clough, the owner, saw a niche in the local market and wanted to offer the service and styles of shoes that she and her children had experienced from her independent shoe shop in her hometown in Yorkshire.With a background in child health she knew she had the skills to work with children but needed to gain shoe fitting expertise. She embarked on a year’s training course with the Society of Shoe Fitters and worked in several shoe shops both on a paid and voluntary basis to gain further knowledge and skills in shoe fitting. Over the past five years the business has gone from strength to strength and she now employs 2 members of staff, both of whom have undergone intensive training. She is passionate about shoe fitting and is proud to have established a great reputation for delivering a professional shoe fitting service. “The knowledge and skills that both myself and my staff impart to customers really has been the key to our success and sets Groovy2Shoes apart from what is is a very competitive and challenging market place. We have a very loyal clientele and a growing customer base, often from other customer recommendations. Some of our customers travel a

long way to see us, particularly those with challenging feet to fit. We are also gaining a great reputation with health professionals and regularly get referrals to fit children with specific foot health needs.”

Don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what some of Bev’s happy customers have to say:

One of the biggest challenges Bev has faced is the perception that as a small independent shop in the Cotswolds prices will be higher than the high street shoe retailers.The reality is that all shoes are sold at recommended retail prices or less. “I have always endeavoured to offer a price range to suit all budgets and in addition offer a generous loyalty scheme which has proven to be really popular with customers.”

“Fantastic shop - Bev is always so helpful and has a great choice of children's shoes, I have been using this shop for over 2 years and always very happy with advice offered. I love the new store.”

If you have not already given Groovy2Shoes a try pop in to our newly refurbished premises designed specifically for families in vibrant colours, there are toys and books and a very popular train set to keep our little customers happy. Above all there is a great collection of footwear from pre-walkers to teens that we are confident you will love.

“Completely amazing service, fantastic range of shoes and so much time taken to fit them perfectly. I love the fact it's so local in Stow - we buy all our children's shoes here and never have to drive to Stratford upon Avon or Cheltenham again for shoes...very stress free!”

You can also check out our website www.groovy2shoes.co.uk for a sneaky preview of our brands and stock or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for latest news and offers.

“Brilliant shoe shop! Very knowledgeable staff who KNOW how to fit shoes properly!!! A great choice and good prices for an independent shoe shop!”

“Bev and Louise are both fantastic! They offer expert advice, a wonderful fitting service and are both fantastic with the little ones.”

Groovy2Shoes | Hart Villa | Sheep Street | Stow on the Wold | GL54 1AA | Tel: 01451 798171 Email: enquiries@groovy2shoes.co.uk | Web: www.groovy2shoes.co.uk | Twitter: @Groovy_2_Shoes | Facebook: Groovy2Shoes 68

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anna macCurrach would dearly love to have a quirky, rural family life but the mucky realities of parenting keep getting in the way.

sPrinG I recently caught the end of Radio 4 programme, Saturday Live, which had the Yorkshire shepherdess, Amanda Owen, as a guest. Amanda is married to Clive and they live on a remote hill farm with their nine children (NINE!), numerous dogs, horses, ponies and 1,000 sheep. Amanda is not from the countryside but a shepherdess is all she ever wanted to be. Reading about their lives is fascinating in so many ways, but it was something she said on the radio that has really stuck with me. She said she doubted any child would grow up and recall how brilliant it was that everything was always ironed, but they would recall answering the front door whilst riding a pony. I recently collected my daughter from a play date at a friend’s house. When I got there they were eating pudding, which seemed to mostly involve them sticking their noses in it and then collapsing in giggles. The other mum didn’t mind at all. She was calmly going around collecting Flo’s bits of uniform, commenting: ‘Oh look, you label shoes!’ ‘You DON’T LABEL SHOES?’ I exclaimed - before inwardly crying in despair, because I don’t let my children put their faces in their food and spend too much time labelling stuff. Rearing children is a tricky one, and I doubt there isn’t a parent on the planet that doesn’t wonder if 70

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Rearing children is a tricky one, and I doubt there isn’t a parent on the planet that doesn’t wonder if they could have made a better job of it one way or another. they could have made a better job of it one way or another. I wonder if Amanda’s children will grow up desperate for a taste of urban life. I wonder if they will want to spend five days a week carting their children to different classes, fearing they will be social outcasts if they can’t do ju-jitsu. This spring we will be moving into James’ parents’ house, an event that presents itself as something of a crossroads. Could now be the time that we really take stock of all the crazy rushing around we do and actually decide to enjoy being on the farm?

I could get the children ponies, send them to school in unlabelled shoes and do less ironing. We could be one of those wonderfully eccentric families with millions of dogs and wellies. Farming is hard work for my husband, but what a wonderful thing it would be for him to see us all enjoying it in equal measure. I’d better reach for the antihistamines before my horse allergy ruins everything. Find out more about Tagmoor Farm at www.lovemycow.com



a famil y da pass: y see pag e8

Exciting Developments at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park One of Gloucestershire’s favourite family attractions re-opened last month, following on from an extended winter break. The team at Cotswold Farm Park had been working hard on renovations to the site since October last year and they’ve been delighted with the feedback from customers so far. This year, visitors have been greeted by a much improved admissions area, where the scattering of temporary buildings have been replaced by a bespoke barn housing ticket booths and improved toilet facilities. There’s also a new outdoor decking area and a ‘clubhouse’ tent providing more indoor seating, served by a brand new food outlet. The Farm Park then beckons with improved accessibility and pathways making for an enhanced visitor experience. The building work signifies another new chapter in the story of the world’s first ever Farm Park, opened by Adam’s father Joe Henson in 1971. Mr H, as he was known to many, sadly passed away in 2015, but was involved in the early stages of planning and the buildings have been designed with the Farm Park history and heritage at the forefront of the design process. Work is already underway for the next phase of the developments, with the camp site set to reopen with revamped facilities in April and a new animal barn on the horizon. Unsurprisingly, all of these exciting changes have failed to distract from the real highlight of the

With 539 pregnant ewes expecting a total of 1,005 lambs, the air up in the Cotswold hills will be full of bleating for some time to come.

Farm Park year; the newborn lambs have once again captured the hearts of locals and tourists alike… and there are still plenty more to come! With 539 pregnant ewes expecting a total of 1,005 lambs, the air up in the Cotswold hills will

be full of bleating for some time to come. Lambing and kidding will be taking place at the Farm Park until 23rd April. Visit www.cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk for more information. www.cotswold-homes.com



Being Human We tend to see God as otherworldly, but the Reverend Rachel Rosborough wonders if being human points the way to the divine.

From time to time, I hear some very interesting ideas about what church and the Christian life should be like. ‘I don’t come to church to enjoy myself,’ someone once said to me. ‘I don’t expect to be comfortable’ said another. I’ve even heard: ‘Christians aren’t supposed to be happy.’ Now perhaps these comments reflect the truth that living the kind of life that Jesus called us to has challenges. Christians are not exempt from hard times and struggles, and Jesus certainly models a life of sacrifice and service which can be challenging. But perhaps they also reflect a kind of religious understanding that is not a true reflection of Jesus’ life, or the life he calls us to. He says to his disciples that he has come that we might have life and have it to the full, or in abundance. I remember as a young Christian reading a book of reflections that a minister had given me. One of the reflections was entitled: ‘Do you ever imagine Jesus laughing?’ And I never had. It went on to ask us to imagine the little boy Jesus with his infectious giggles, or the young man Jesus with his friends, laughing at something, or Jesus at the wedding in Cana sharing a laugh with his disciples. Now of course, we do not have specific records of these events, but we do see a Jesus in the gospels who is totally and completely human and therefore, would have laughed as well as cried, sighed, wondered, dreamt, smiled and frowned. Christianity is a call to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. To allow God to transform us that we may become more like him. It is tempting to think that means more godly and less human. But Jesus was fully human, and right at the beginning of the Bible it says that humans are made in the image of God. So perhaps our transformation before God is into fuller, better, more whole human beings, the people that God made us to be. And that encompasses our trials and struggles but also our joys and our fun. Paul’s letter to the Roman church reminds us that we are to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. 72

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I hope that our churches offer a place where both our tears and our smiles are welcome, space to grieve and mourn but also space to laugh and celebrate.To offer people with whom to do this and the chance to discover God with us, always with us, whatever we find ourselves going through. I already mentioned Jesus at the wedding in Cana, perhaps laughing in celebration and joy with his friends. This story, found in John chapter 2, is a wonderful tale of the Jesus who is full of life: the

Jesus of abundance and plenty. It describes him taking ordinary water and transforming it into the finest wine – and lots of it, something like 500 litres! What a man to have at a wedding! Now whether you believe that this story is true or not, the writer of the gospel describes it as a sign, and signs point us to things, or show us things.This shows a God, seen in Jesus, who is full of grace and love and generosity and abundance and when he calls us to follow him, that is the life he calls us in to.

This story, found in John chapter 2, is a wonderful tale of the Jesus who is full of life: the Jesus of abundance and plenty.


a look at the fundraising activities of local charity Kate’s Home Nursing - and how you can help It is a difficult thing to imagine our own end of life circumstances.To give thought to where we might spend our last days, and to consider our own care, feels hard to do while we’re fit and well. But those in the final stage of illnesses have certain choices to make - and increasingly, people are choosing to pass away at home. Local charity Kate’s Home Nursing - based in Stow on the Wold - makes provisions for local people who choose to die in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes.The charity was started when Kate King (a resident of Stow, who died in 1995) became aware of the lack of nursing care available to patients wishing to die at home - and challenged her nurses and doctors to do something about it. The charity’s bank of experienced Registered Nurses provide expert ‘hospice at home’ care for people in the last stage of illness who wish to die at home. Kate’s Home Nursing seeks to ensure the best possible pain relief and symptom control; they also provide much-needed respite for the patient’s family or carer. Patients are generally referred through the GP surgeries in Stow on the Wold, Bourton on the Water, Northleach, Burford and Winchcombe. They also work with sister charities in looking after patients in the Moreton area. All nursing care is free of charge and financed through donations, legacies and fundraising. Kate’s are currently nursing between 80-90 people in a year, though demand is always increasing. How is it possible for a local charity to fund this? The charity seeks funding in both traditional and innovative ways (long-term readers will perhaps

“THE EVENT WAS GENEROUSLY SPONSORED BY LOCAL ESTATE AND LETTING AGENTS HARRISON JAMES AND HARDIE, WHO ALSO SPORTINGLY ENTERED A TEAM. FISH AND CHIPS WERE PROVIDED BY STOW’S SCRUMPTIOUS CHIPPY GREEDY’S.” recall our feature on Carry Me Home Kate - a fundraising campaign that saw an oversized rugby ball passed around by celebrities, local people and skydivers). Perhaps you’ve attended one of the Frog Race fundraisers - or one of the ever-popular annual quiz nights. Kate’s Home Nursing’s fourth annual quiz (pictured) resulted in the victory of team Offshoots, who claimed the trophy for the first time ever. Wooden spoons were awarded to the (aptly named) Quizically Clueless, who finished in last place. The battle was well-fought: a total of 13 teams clashed into St Edward’s Hall in Stow to pit their wits against each other over six rounds of fiendish questions, raising a magnificent total of £3,000 for Kate’s Home Nursing.The event was generously sponsored by local estate and letting agents Harrison James and Hardie, who also sportingly entered a team. Fish and chips were provided by Stow’s scrumptious chippy Greedy’s. The event was supported by local businesses including Cheltenham Racecourse, the Cotswold

Brewing Company,Tabitha James Kraan Organic Hairdressing, Michaela Devereux Natural Manicures, Berkeley Castle, Cotswold Wildlife Park, Clearwell Caves,The Crock Shop and R&R Catering Hire. Kate’s have plenty more in the pipeline, from Bingo (Friday 24th March, Cotswold School canteen) to the ever-popular Frog Racing (Saturday 25th March, West Wood Centre Northleach - proceeds will also help injured jockeys). There’s also a Golf Day provisionally scheduled for Friday 30th June at Naunton Downs Golf Club and a Car Rally on Saturday 2nd July (TBC). Kate’s might also make an appearance at the Stow Festival (Saturday 15th July) - so keep your eyes peeled. Come along and enjoy the fun - while supporting a very good cause. To find out how to support Kate’s Home Nursing, please visit www.kateshomenursing.org or call 07841 025 909. Please consider making a donation so they can continue their valuable work. If possible, please consider Gift Aiding your donation: this enables Kate’s to claim a further 25% from HM Revenue & Customs.




Ageing With Grace Find out how yoga can help you stay in good condition

Emma Lawrence of The Yoga Tree explains how the practice of yoga can keep you feeling strong, supple and confident - whatever the years might throw at you. Ageing is inevitable. It happens to us all. It is a process that affects you whatever your background, wealth or health. When anything happens in life - any happy, sad or stressful event - we get to determine how we handle it. And it’s the same for the ageing process. It is very easy to see the losses. For some, filling in the wrinkles, plumping the sunken areas and removing unwanted sections are the answer. For others, the added years prove to be an irritant, and something which is constantly fought against. Some choose to let it happen and embrace it. But one thing is certain: the process will happen and - despite how you choose to handle the external changes - it is important to help along your mind, energy levels and organs. So - how can yoga help? Yoga slows the ageing process by gradually improving key factors in your physical and mental health. Here are several reasons why you should consider not only practising yoga now, but also continuing your practice as you age, for optimal health.


Balance is a component of many yoga poses. The ability to balance involves both body and brain. And when we don’t put our bodies and our brains through their paces, our faculties begin to diminish. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons estimates 1 out of every 2 women and 1 out of every 4 men over 50 will suffer a fracture related to a fall. The balancing poses we practise in yoga help us to sync communication between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, improving our agility.


For most people, increased aches, pains and stiffness come with age. Unfortunately, some people think yoga is only for the flexible - but they couldn't be more wrong! Yoga creates flexibility.


Cotswold Homes Magazine

In yoga lies the path to greater comfort in your body as you age. Spinal flexibility is not just about comfort - if unused, spines will shorten and round. Creating space between the vertebrae with regular yoga practice helps lengthen the spine, improving nerve conduction to all the organs.


Yoga builds strength, slowly and safely. Strong muscles increase our protection from the conditions of ageing and increase bone density. Weight-bearing poses dramatically reduce the chance of fractures as you age. Yoga provides a safer option then other high impact or high intensity exercises that stress your cartilage and joints.


Yoga increases our lung capacity. Improving our ability to take in more air increases energy to all of our cells and helps us ‘get up and go’ as we age. Another advantage of proper breathing is lower blood pressure. In a recent study at the University of Pennsylvania, a team of researchers evaluated the effects yoga had on blood pressure. The team found that patients, who did yoga in a studio 2 to 3 times per week for 24 weeks, experienced a statistically significant drop in their blood pressure, greater than the diet-only group.

Breathing also improves digestion. Learning to take a full breath gives the digestive organs an encouraging massage. Poor digestion is one of the main reasons people visit their doctor. Bad digestion may not kill you, but it can make you miserable. Whether you can, wish you could, or are ready to give it a go, visit www.the-yoga-tree.com for more information.



maTTeRs iNTROdUCiNg dR sam JONes

Tell us a little about yourself… Growing up in rural Mid Wales, I have always enjoyed the outdoor lifestyle and a closeknit neighbourhood. After spending time at University in Cardiff and some years in Surrey, I moved to settle in Chipping Norton with my wife in 2011. I am thoroughly enjoying this area of the Cotswolds as, much like my childhood home, it provides an idyllic setting for my love of running and cycling, alongside a supportive friendly community.

What about your dental training? I completed my dental degree in 2008 at the University of Wales, Cardiff. I then went on to gain valuable experience working in general practices in South Wales, Surrey and Oxfordshire prior to joining Dr Bigg and the team at Milton-under-Wychwood. In 2012, I gained my postgraduate qualification of ‘Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties’ at the highly regarded Royal College of Surgeons of England and regularly attend courses across the UK to keep up to date with the latest advances in dentistry.

What do you consider your greatest professional achievement? In 2013 I completed a year-long Implant Course. This has enabled me to offer dental implants as an ideal option for the long-term replacement of missing teeth. Implants are the treatment of choice if the bone and gum condition are good and can be used to support a crown, a bridge and even dentures.

What inspires you most in dentistry? My passion is for high quality dentistry. I like to take time to put people at ease, listen to their concerns and calm any anxieties they may have. I then work with my patients to agree an individual care plan, focusing on keeping natural teeth as long as possible.

What do you like to do when you’re not working? I love entertaining family and friends. I like to cook using local produce, ideally from the garden (if our four cheeky hens don’t get to it first!). I am a member of both Chipping Norton Town Football Club and Hook Norton Tennis Club. Being part of this friendly community is of great importance to me and I’m delighted to offer my services to the local population.

If you want an appointment with Sam to discuss your dental treatment contact Penny at Milton Dental Practice: 01993 831396 or email reception@drbigg.com and come to us for a consultation. To accompany this article, we are offering a New Patient Examination at the reduced fee of £66.00 (normally £99.00) with free x-rays, if required, and a free Denplan Examination.




Choosing the

perfect sofa Your choice of sofa is one of the most important furniture decisions you will make, so it’s worth getting it right and investing in a piece that will last you for many years to come - both in terms of style, and comfort. Interior designer Amanda Hanley gives her expert advice on how to choose the perfect sofa for your home, family and lifestyle.

A semi-circle around a central table can work very well or a clean L-shape or corner sofa is perfect for gatherings of any kind, as you can seat more people in a smaller space. In fact, corner sofas actually give the appearance of a larger room.

Size and style There are so many beautiful sofas available today - but before you start browsing and ordering swatches, consider first the space available; the ‘flow’ of your house, and how a new piece will sit with your existing flooring and against other pieces in the room. You also need to decide exactly how much of your living room you want your sofa to fill. At this point it’s a good idea to use a paper template to test the size, and position, of your new sofa in the 76

Cotswold Homes Magazine

allotted space. Getting the size wrong can be a disaster; too big and it will overpower the room. Too small and it will get lost. With less space, any sofa is going to be in the spotlight. So it's important to pick something that is practical, but is also of a strong design or colour that carries and complements the rest of the space. Also, think about buying a sofa with low arms - it’ll make your room look larger.

Choose a style that suits your home - and go with your gut instinct! If your preference is sleek and modern, pick something that reflects that in clean lines and dramatic colours. These days, more and more customers are opting for bespoke solutions that fit the space available in a style they love. It’s not just tailormade, it’s built to last and in terms of comfort, the difference is considerable.


Shape and function Successfully planning a living space starts with analysing your lifestyle. What do you do the most in that space? Do your family like to relax together in front of the TV or fire? Surround your sofa with multiple seating areas that can be enjoyed together. A spot to snooze by the fire? Go for comfy and traditional. If you love to host dinner parties or social events, consider how many people you entertain regularly and ensure you can fit them in with ease. A semi-circle around a central table can work very well or a clean L-shape or corner sofa is perfect for gatherings of any kind, as you can seat more people in a smaller space. In fact, corner sofas actually give the appearance of a larger room.

Colour and texture

Other seating options

Aesthetics are important, but functionality is vital when it comes to choosing a material for your sofa. Whatever fabric you choose, it is best to take a sample to test the colour with everything else in your living room.

If you have a smaller space to fill, a chaise could be a good alternative to a traditional sofa. It still provides seating for several people, but is compact and can give a more sophisticated feel.

A simple sofa shape can be an ideal canvas to show off intricate patterns and indulgent textures – this is ideal if you want to be imaginative about the way you use fabrics and enjoy the richness of colour. If your home is an eclectic mix of colours and designs, a sofa or chair that combines several styles (such as a vintage piece re-upholstered in a beautiful fabric, or a more modern shape with traditional accents) could be the perfect expression of your own personal taste.

And if you're too nervous to experiment with bold colours and patterns in your sofa, you can always opt for a fabric ottoman, cube or footstool that can double as a coffee table. It'll add another dimension to your living space, while complementing more classic sofas and chairs.

With less space, any sofa is going to be in the spotlight. So it's important to pick something that is practical, but is also of a strong design or colour that carries and complements the rest of the space.

All sofas and chairs available at Amanda Hanley by Design

Find out more about Amanda and her projects at www.amandahanley.co.uk www.amandahanley.co.uk | T 01993 822 385 | M 07976 353 996 Amanda Hanley by Design, The Gallery, 69 High Street, Burford, OX18 4QA





An integral part of Harrison James & Hardie’s success throughout the last two decades has been the ability to stay ahead of the curve by making the most of new technology and trends. At the turn of the millennium the company was amongst the very first in the UK to appreciate the many opportunities offered by the worldwide web, launching with a bespoke website www.cotswold-homes.com where visitors were provided with a unique insight into the local marketplace. Well before Prime Location and Rightmove even existed the site was attracting a million hits a month. “Then, for a while it was all about getting in with the crowd as national portals like Rightmove became inescapably important,” says Karen. “The key to success is always to anticipate and embrace change, whatever shape that takes. We reinvented and expanded our Cotswold Homes website to embrace many other local businesses, highlighting tourist attractions and places of interest to illustrate the particular benefits and richness of life in the Cotswolds; this followed with a glossy quarterly magazine, freely distributed to thousands of North Cotswold homes and popular meeting places as a perfect showcase for the company’s portfolio of prime properties to sale and let. Today’s challenge comes from a new form of online-only agency. This must also be met head on but not as something to fear, or as a reductive process. This is a wonderful opportunity to stand out more firmly from the crowd by combining both aspects of our expertise, as leading local agents and as marketing experts. “As a means of gleaning information the worldwide web is a brilliant resource but it remains a very inadequate and unrefined sales tool. All that data has to be interpreted in a meaningful way and that’s incredibly hard to do with a national online only portal – it’s not specialist or remotely knowledgeable on the things that really matter, that give purpose and colour in day-to-day life. We live in an historic rural community and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: each property has inherently high value with benefits that can’t just be boiled down to price and the number of bedrooms. We don’t sell houses. We sell a lifestyle. As we set about constructing our own online service we didn’t want to design a pale imitation of other national online portals – we wanted 80

Cotswold Homes Magazine

This is a wonderful opportunity to stand out more firmly from the crowd by combining both aspects of our expertise, as leading local agents and as marketing experts something just as bespoke and personal, as friendly and knowledgeable, informative and professional, as parochial even, as visitors would find at the local high street branch. “Our new online service reflects the particular beauty and energy of the North Cotswold marketplace, of individual homes in unique locations. It is still Harrison James & Hardie, just packaged up and delivered twenty-four seven. Now as specialists in the local marketplace both online and on the high street, we are able to demonstrate our mastery of property and love of the North Cotswolds anywhere in the world you might find us. This is why so many buyers register with us – they want time, kindness and care, someone who can read beyond the brochure, who will know what will suit them best, who can distil and interpret all that raw information to help them find their perfect home - a fine art on the high street let alone to replicate in online form. “By setting our online platform within the

Cotswold Homes domain - a website already used by residents and visitors from all over the world and therefore a valuable platform in its own right –we ensure our properties are not reduced to another standard price / bedrooms listing but set as jewels on an interactive map, benefitting from expertly written editorial about surrounding villages and placed within the context of outstanding schools and amenities, enriched by local culture and history, by a celebration of the people in our community, utilising the wealth of articles from our Cotswold Homes archive. “For an even more detailed insight into the property marketplace, our curated sections provide a handpicked selection of homes and invaluable guidance from a panel of local industry experts according to a buyer’s wish list. As such, this online platform is of enormous value both for the idly curious and the seriously motivated, a single resource containing everything one could want or need to know about the North Cotswolds.”


Follow Harrison James & Hardie

STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD For everything you need to know about the local marketplace visit our new property section, complete with interactive map! Expertly curated by Harrison James & Hardie, market leaders in the sale and letting of North Cotswold properties, whether you have your heart set on a great family home or a traditional cottage to let, whether you are preparing to take your first step on the ladder or planning to retire to the country, whether you’re determined to find a bolthole or seeking out your next grand design, our unique online property tools will help in the search for your perfect Cotswold home. With handpicked suggestions for suitable properties that reflect your needs and wishes plus relevant guidance and advice from our

panel of local industry experts, our wonderful interactive map is also full of invaluable information on beautiful North Cotswold villages and towns, our schools and amenities, places of interest, tourist attractions and festivals. Make use of our calendar of local events, read in-depth interviews with sporting heroes, take a tour of ancient houses and famed artists’ studios, explore the psyche of eminent authors, go behind the scenes with actors, sample local produce with celebrity chefs – get a true taste of the good life that we enjoy every day within this richly diverse rural community.

Now as specialists in the local marketplace both online and on the high street, we are able to demonstrate our mastery of property and love of the North Cotswolds anywhere in the world you might find us. www.cotswold-homes.com



WELCOME TO OUR NEW-LOOK WEBSITE With a wonderful interactive map and a brilliant new property section, our showcase for the North Cotswold marketplace gives you a detailed insight into day-to-day life in this beautiful, entrepreneurial rural community.

Explore the area Discover everything you might wish to know about the North Cotswold marketplace, from detailed information on our villages, schools, amenities and events, to a selection of desirable homes currently on the market with Harrison James & Hardie

Property Click here to access our unique property section expertly curated by Harrison James & Hardie, market leaders in the sale and letting of North Cotswold properties

What’s On Find out about local events and news, competitions and much more


Cotswold Homes Magazine


Follow Harrison James & Hardie

Whether you’re looking for a place to retire, a cottage in the country, a great family home or your next grand design, we have removed the hard work for you. Click on the section you think most closely define your search, whether that’s A Place in the Country, Family Life, Investing in Bricks and Mortar, Your First Home, Retiring to the Cotswolds or Lettings.

Bricks and Mortar

Retiring to the Cotswolds

Interactive Map




EXPLORE THE NORTH COTSWOLDS WITH OUR NEW INTERACTIVE MAP Using our interactive map you can find detailed, useful and entertaining information on all our villages, towns, schools, places of interest and high street amenities and, placed into their proper context, take a peek behind the doors of gorgeous Cotswold homes currently offered for sale and to let.

Guiting Power

Guiting Power is a village with a strong sense of community and tradition.

WHAT'S ON WIN a family day pass to Cotswold Farm Park Wartime in the Cotswolds at GWSR LOCAL ARTICLES Victorian splendour in the heart of the Cotswold countryside

Detailed articles and gorgeous photography give a wonderful insight into everything that’s going on in the North Cotswolds.

Summer at Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park

We highlight all the best entertainment on offer from the much-adored Giffords Circus to the brilliance of the RSC, from snippets of local news about TV’s Father Brown on location in Blockley to the variety of regular Cotswold events, from the erudite Chipping Norton Literary Festival to the annual Big Feastival bash hosted by Alex James and Jamie Oliver in Kingham. We provide fascinating insights into the culture and history of the North Cotswolds, from hidden jewels like Snowshill Manor and Chastleton House to the grandeur of Sudeley Castle and Blenheim Park. We have exclusive interviews with sporting heroes, talented artists, renowned actors, respected authors, business leaders and rising stars whose energy, ambition and achievements provide admirable examples of the amazing people who live and work within our North Cotswold community

Bridle Close, Bourton on the Water £620,000 A well-presented five bedroom detached house situated in a small gated development within walking distance of the High Street and ...

Villages Information on towns and villages across the North Cotswolds



The Temple Ensemble concert at St John the Baptist in Great Rissington

A wealth of interesting features and interviews

WIN a three course dinner for two at The Old Stocks Inn

What’s On


Local news interest, events and competitions

Get yourself sale-ready! Preparing your home to go on the market An epidemic of kindness

Property Properties for sale and to let


Cotswold Homes Magazine


Follow Harrison James & Hardie

Behind the doors of Donnington Brewery In the heart of the Cotswolds lies Donnington Brewery which owns and supplies locally brewed beers to seventeen of the best-loved pubs ...a WHAT’S ON WIN a pair of tickets to The Magic Flute at Longborough Festival Opera WIN a three course dinner for two at The Old Stocks Inn LOCAL ARTICLES For the Love of Wagner: Longborough Festival Opera Amberley - a substantial detached property with fantastic views

CADA Art & Antique Fair at Blenheim Palace 30th March - 2nd April 2017

WHAT’S ON Oxford Literary Festival Cornbury Music Festival 2017 - The Finale LOCAL ARTICLES Visiting Blenheim Park All the world’s a stage: mapping the plays of Shakespeare





Valuation tool Find out what your house is worth with our handy online valuation tool - it only takes a few seconds!






Register If you’re planning a move in the near future, send us your details. With three high street offices we will get back in touch, keep you properly informed and take you to view suitable properties with accompanied viewings every day of the week.


Cotswold Homes Magazine





Follow Harrison James & Hardie


New Instructions This is particularly handy as a one-stop place to find our most recent instructions for sale or to let - but remember to register as we often arrange viewings within hours of a property coming to market and it’s easy to miss out, particularly in Lettings


Standard search bar Use this for a quick, simple search of your requirements according to house type, bedrooms or price range



Contact Find out about the people who make our business - get the lowdown on the experience and background of each person who is part of our professionally qualified and friendly team. We don’t just offer the best online platform for the North Cotswold marketplace, we’re right here on the high street too!


Recently Sold / Let

Sell or Let Your Home

Whether you’re looking at what your own home might be worth, whether you’re right at the start of your property search or just curious about the marketplace, then this is a great place to start - with insights on current marketing trends and expert analysis from the directors in Sales and Lettings, this section is designed to illuminate your understanding and assist your research

Our superlative service standards are underpinned by the hard work, excellent knowledge and skills of a consistent, friendly and professional team - our mastery of the North Cotswold marketplace is second to none

In 2016, for example, from statistics provided by the Guild of Property Professionals we sold over 50% of all properties in GL54* and 35% in GL56* – if you would like to know more about the sale and letting of Cotswold homes, there’s no one better to ask than the team at Harrison James & Hardie, Fine & Country North Cotswolds

As market leaders in the North Cotswolds for the best part of two decades, we have a wealth of experience and detailed knowledge in every property sector. From the sale and letting of starter homes to marketing grand country pads on the world stage, whether you’re selling your very first home or your property is ideal for the London / international marketplace, we’re perfectly placed to market your home



Properties Sale Agreed / Sold during January/ February 2017

Amberley, Longborough

£999,950 – SALE AGREED IN 2017

A very rare opportunity to purchase a substantial family home occupying a tucked away position within the heart of this premium Cotswold Village. The property enjoys far reaching views and is situated within a large plot that extends to approximately 1.5 acres with terraces, mature and well planted borders and a spring fed pond. Entrance Hall | Living Room | Kitchen | Dining Room | Conservatory | Cloakroom | Utility Room | Glazed Passage Leading to Bedroom With Dressing Room and En-Suite Shower Room | First Floor Bedroom with En-Suite | Three Further Bedrooms | Bathroom and Separate Shower Room | Garage | Gardens | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: D Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

Fox Lodge, Aston Magna

£995,000 – SALE AGREED IN 2017

Fox Lodge is a substantial detached village home occupying a central position within a mature plot extending to approximately ½ an acre. The Georgian style property was almost completely reconstructed in 2004 and now boasts well-proportioned and characterful accommodation and benefits from a detached, self-contained 2 bedroom annexe, garage and office. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Conservatory | Study | WC | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Guest Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Gardens | Garage | Home Office | Parking | Detached Annexe Comprising: Sitting Room Open To Kitchen | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | EPC Rating: F Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

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

Little Court, Bourton on the Water

£725,000 – SALE AGREED IN 2017

A well-presented 3/4 bedroom chalet style detached house situated on the edge of the village set in a plot of just under half an acre, with development potential for two additional dwellings. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining/Living Room | Office | Cloakroom | Family Room | Guest Bedroom | En-Suite Bath and Shower Room | First Floor Master Bedroom | En-Suite Bathroom | Bedroom Three | Dressing Area | Bathroom | Access to Loft Space | Three Stables | Tack Room | Workshop | External Office | EPC Rating: D Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 824 977

Fosseway House, Moreton in Marsh

£675,000 – SALE AGREED IN 2017

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. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Drawing Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Dining Room | Conservatory | Utility Room | Four First Floor Double Bedrooms (One En-Suite) | Family Bathroom | Garage Guest Suite Comprising Bedroom and Bathroom | Gardens to Front and Rear | Off Road Parking | Separate Ground Floor Annexe Comprising Sitting Room | Bedroom | Bathroom | Private Garden Area | No Onward Chain | EPC Rating: E Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653893

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie

Properties Sale Agreed / Sold during January/ February 2017

Lime Cottage, Stow on the Wold

£625,000 SOLD IN 2017

Brushwood, Great Rissington

£575,000 SOLD IN 2017

Located within walking distance of the pretty market square of Stow on the Wold, this detached and spacious family home benefits from well-appointed accommodation, a generous front and rear garden and a private gated driveway with ample parking. Entrance Hall | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Garden Room | Study | Utility | WC | Master Bedroom | En-Suite Shower Room | Dressing Area | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Bath and Shower Room | Two Attic Bedrooms | Front and Rear Garden | Garage | Gated Private Driveway | EPC Rating: D

Situated in the desirable village of Great Rissington, this Cotswold stone detached upside-down design property is immaculately presented throughout and offers stunning views over the neighbouring countryside. Entrance Hall | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Living Room with Dining Area | Balcony to Front and Rear | Study/Day Room | Utility Room | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Separate WC | Pretty Landscaped Garden | Double Garage | Driveway | EPC Rating: E

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

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

Suns Eye, Bourton on the Water

£510,000 SOLD IN 2017

Hillcote, £495,000 Stow on the Wold SALE AGREED IN 2017

An impressive four bedroom 1920’s semi-detached home located in a tucked away position on the edge of the village. Suns Eye has been extensively renovated and extended to offer beautifully appointed family accommodation while retaining the character and charm of the property. Open Porch | Entrance Hall | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Large Sitting/Family Room | Utility Room | Sitting Room | Master Bedroom | En-suite Shower Room | Three Further Double Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Gardens | Garage | Parking | EPC Rating: E

A beautifully presented, bright and spacious 1920’s bungalow located within walking distance to the centre of Stow on the Wold.The property has been recently refurbished throughout and benefits solid oak flooring, exposed natural stone and landscaped rear garden. Entrance Porch | Hallway | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Three Double Bedrooms | Bath and Shower Room | Shower Room | Rear Garden | Front Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: D

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

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


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

4 Avro Road, Upper Rissington

£475,000 SOLD IN 2017

April House, Bourton on the Water

£449,950 SOLD IN 2017

A spacious four bedroom property with generous, landscaped south facing gardens. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Conservatory | Three Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Loft Conversion Providing Fourth Bedroom Suite | Study/Dressing Room | En-Suite Bathroom | Off Road Parking | Garage | EPC Rating: E

A beautifully presented double fronted Grade II listed character property, located within walking distance to the centre of Bourton on the Water, and set within close proximity to the Outstanding Cotswold Academy.The property benefits from five double bedrooms, garage and off road parking. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | WC | Five Double Bedrooms | Family Bath and Shower Room | Private Rear Courtyard Garden | Front Garden | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: E

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

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

1 Siskin Road, Upper Rissington

33 Halifax Way, Moreton in Marsh

£429,950 SOLD IN 2017

£400,000 SOLD IN 2017

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

An exceptionally well-presented detached home offering stylish and generously proportioned accommodation.The property and garden have been lovingly enhanced by the current owners to create a wonderful family home occupying a prime location on the perimeter of Moreton Park. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Utility Room | WC | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Guest Bedroom | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Integral Garage | Parking | No Onward Chain | EPC Rating: C

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

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

view all our properties at harrisonjameshardie.co.uk

AsK THe exPerTs

Ask the experts

Is the housing market slowing down again? With mortgage rates at all-time lows there should be plenty of incentive to get on with the business of nest-building, so what has led to recent headlines claiming that the housing market is slowing down and how do we ensure our sale goes through as quickly as possible?


Times Feb 18 2017

Guardian Feb 20 2017

Telegraph Jan 02 2017

James von Speyr, Principal Director is based at the Bourton on the Water branch of Harrison James & Hardie and assists Steven Buchanan – the company’s dedicated sales progression manager - with transactions in the pipeline. He identifies the loss of professional skills and falling fees as a major contribution to the slowdown and instability of the housing market today. ‘one particularly depressing element highlighted by the Sunday Times (Feb 19) is the sheer length of time it is apparently now taking to move nationwide, reporting up to ten months in some parts of the country. In the boom years, it was only half that. This slowdown is in part due to avoidance of risk as lenders have been forced to be far more careful about affordability, but the root cause is the impact of a decade of recession and uncertainty upon the health and effectiveness of the entire property industry (excluding perhaps the new homes sector 92

Cotswold homes Magazine

which generally has been making hay whilst the sun shines – that is until brexit takes away ten per cent of their workforce).

knowledge and expertise that once underpinned all professional estate agency and conveyance practice has been seriously compromised over time.

‘Increasing financial pressures have forced wholesale fee-cutting and job losses in most services from local councils to solicitors, surveyors, lenders et al. This has inevitably led to a combined critical loss of skills, experience and man-hours to deal with today’s transactions, however hard we all try to keep timescales as tight as possible. As a result, the local

‘Looking back to the crash in 2008 when over 2,000 estate agencies folded, those that remained were forced to slash their costs to survive, often by making redundancies that left them unable to react quickly when the market improved, a plight that was replicated by all other associated services, of course.The industry as a whole has continued

AsK THe exPerTs

Ask the experts

Steven Buchanan


2 roel Cottages, roel, guiting Power £580,000 Exchanged in 19 days from receipt of draft contract

to face a huge uphill struggle not just against fee challenges but increasing business costs, loss of talent and of course inadequate reinvestment into training, recruitment and so on. ‘In the ‘shock and awe’ fall of 2008, despite selling as many properties as our competing local agencies combined, our turnover still dropped by 50%. The directors were faced with bleak choices too, but unlike most agencies we were determined to retain valuable skills and experience, not to make redundancies and not to drop our fees, opting instead to move everyone into our Moreton and bourton branches with the temporary closure of our Stow on the Wold branch (which raised a few eyebrows but didn’t stop us remaining the most successful agency there even without an office). ‘As conditions improved with a sudden influx of investors during 2009 we re-opened Stow, but more importantly our decision ensured that we able to cope with rapidly increasing activity and to accelerate our position as the leading performer in the local marketplace. Meanwhile those who lost the luxury of experienced staffing soon began to show the strain, having resorted to fee-cutting to overcome questions on performance and engaging in over-pricing in order to secure their ailing market share.This merely added to their inability to achieve a successful result within a reasonable timescale; after a declining market during 2010/2011, the second pit of recession in 2012 only compounded those difficulties. ‘2013, 2014 and 2015 brought reasonable stability, a welcome uplift and some strong evidence of sustainable growth, especially in the upper quartile market and with an influx of professional landlord investors in the holiday let and residential lettings industry – but coupled with uncertainty over brexit, there is a new challenge. online-only companies that are offering really cheap conveyance and sales packages have fuelled the neglect of good agency practice under the false premise that traditional estate agents and solicitors are getting money for old rope.

How To Ensure A Quick Exchange of Contracts ‘These new online agencies sell marketing packages not houses, of course - no need for a successful end result to profit from the housing market or, indeed, even to be responsible on price, and of course conveyance work must be paid for even with an abortive sale. When the two most important elements of a successful sales strategy are firstly to ensure an acceptable offer in the shortest possible timescale from the best buyer and then to reduce the risk of failure at all points of the transactional process by the swiftest possible exchange of contracts, this wilful neglect of the real business of estate agency is not just foolhardy but actually fuelling the slowdown. ‘When their success is based not on proof of performance but on plausible slogan-making (“commisery, the misery you feel when you realise you didn’t have to pay thousands of pounds of commission”) and their fractional up-front fees are invested not into good practice but wildly expensive TV advertising campaigns, eventually the combination of unrealistic vendor ambition on prices plus poor industry practice is bound to create an over-inflated, stagnating marketplace – worse, with a highly unstable sales pipeline. ‘The average statistic for abortive sales in the uK (excluding Scotland) is one in three but the length of time and fall-through rates of sales will get considerably worse, as dedicated and effective sales progression is the most expensive and time-consuming element of proper professional estate agency. Vendors must understand just how vulnerable they are to a bargain basement option. Not only does it flag up their susceptibility to a low offer, a cheap remote online agency exposes them (and everyone unlucky enough to be part of their chain, wherever they are in the country) to a far lengthier and far more expensive outcome than the right decision in the first place. For sure, an online agency will certainly not ensure the best possible price in the shortest possible time nor provide the best chance of securing a desired onward purchase with the least possible stress.’

Don’t wait, anticipate

The most frustrating issue is that so few agencies and solicitors actually talk to each other. Avoidable delays will always threaten to derail a transaction.The shock of a tardy revelation gives way to anger – when tempers flare, heels dig in deep. What could have been a good-natured chat becomes the catalyst for a suicidal collapse in good will and confidence. Don’t, whatever you do, get your solicitor to write to the other side about things you know will cause an issue. Let us do the talking!

Check and re-check every fact at every stage

A chain is not in itself a cause for concern but online-only agencies and cheap conveyance firms are problematic, impossible to get hold of and rarely up to date on the state of play. We are constantly searching for the particular stress points in every part of the chain, because without due diligence these are too often only uncovered in the last few days before exchange. Has the agency ascertained the financial status of their buyer? Where is the proof? Do proposed timescales match our client’s needs? Will anyone move into rented to accommodate? And so it goes on…

Think outside the box

great sales progression means unearthing issues wherever they occur but the best way for us to ensure a good outcome is to resolve those problems quickly by taking proper control with effective collaboration and communication throughout the whole chain, giving a helping hand wherever we can. ultimately, it works. our average fall-through rate runs under 20% year on year, saving at least thirty sales each year that would have otherwise ended in failure, not to mention all the associated transactions of course. www.cotswold-homes.com


AsK THe exPerTs

Tom Burdett, Sales Director is based at the Moreton in Marsh branch; as head of residential sales he divides his time between both sales offices, keeping a track record on current local market trends and competitor performance. He believes that lack of funding and the costs of moving are still proving prohibitive for first time buyers and young families.

‘As you say, this situation is highly ironic when mortgage rates are so attractively low and so many people would dearly love to move up, down or simply get onto the housing market right now. In november 2016 alone we agreed an astonishing 250% more sales than our average monthly target to outstanding. These sales came from all sectors of the marketplace, from properties priced at entry level to those in excess of £1 million, so there’s plenty of motivation to get on with things locally, at least. however, there are factors here in the north Cotswolds that have increased difficulties beyond general failings within the industry, let alone the fears revolving around economic stability. ‘After the crash banks were very risk-averse for years, refusing first time buyers and young families high loan-to-value mortgages despite evidence - in the north Cotswold marketplace at least - that high demand and short supply of stock was set to ensure the recovery and stability of prices soon after the initial shockwave of recession.This reluctance to lend has slowed down a whole sector’s recovery, particularly when coupled with the government’s proactive support of subsidised, affordable new-build programmes, which produced volumes of entrylevel housing stock into what had previously been a very low volume marketplace. ‘Since the blenheim Park development was built in 2005 for example, the town of Moreton in Marsh has almost doubled in the provision of family housing (albeit without new infrastructures, schools and transport networks to cope with the additional volume). Meanwhile, the value of period village homes is only heightened by comparative rarity. Modern estate homes have had to contend with stiff competition from readily available, pristine new home stock for several years now, keeping prices static. All things are therefore not equal in the Cotswolds compared with the pre-crash marketplace when properties in every sector sold well, often and quickly. ‘Prime property here commands 20% more than in 2007 but modern housing only very recently stretched towards a 10% uplift, much of that due to investment into the lettings sector by professional landlords from 2013 to 2016. And since April 2016 any investment into the property market considered by many as the most secure form of pension planning – is now subject to an additional 3% stamp duty charge, with further tax implications set to undermine the attractiveness of the lettings sector from April 2017. Cash investors are now 94

Cotswold homes Magazine

% Listed Properties to Sold* 100


90 80





60 50


50 44




Agent 8

Agent 9

30 20 10 0


Agent 2

Agent 3

Agent 4

Agent 5

Agent 6

Agent 7

* source: statistical evidence on re-sales with GL56 provided by the Guild of Property Professionals for the period Jan 04 2016 to Jan 02 2017

noticeably less pro-active than this time last year but they are still circling and speculating.There is very little on the market at the moment – this at least keeps prices high - but the disincentives now in place for investors in the lettings marketplace should have left the way open for local families encouraged by great mortgage rates. ‘This has been the most active sector since the change in taxation, however things are still not easy. young homeowners struggling with the cost of living have taken on additional loans on essential items such as cars and white goods, for example. There is no spare cash and this 10% upturn is needed just to break even: debts will need to be cleared to get a new mortgage and the average cost of moving from a £300,000 property is around £15,000 including 3% stamp duty. how do families move upwards and onwards except to new homes when would-be downsizers currently occupying desirable, established family homes are unable to move, still accommodating their adult offspring? (At least £10,000 is required even for an ‘affordable’ percentage of a starter home when stamp duty is due on the whole value, not proportionate to the share, and having been worst hit as school leavers during the worst of the recession, no surprise the

average age of a first-time buyer today is still the wrong side of thirty.) ‘The re-sale residential sector does represent incredibly good value compared with the rise in prices for the prime sector since 2007, especially sizeable modern properties like Fosseway house on Fosseway Avenue at £675,000 (sstc), but affluent family buyers hoping to take advantage are being hampered by sheer lack of stock - in for a long wait before they can get their hands on those lovely mortgage rates, too. And no wonder extending is still a very popular option when re-mortgaging liberates cash without having to pay the government handsomely for the liberty of needing extra living space. ‘however, there’s little doom and gloom at local level.The north Cotswolds has proved time and time again to be remarkably resilient to stresses within the national marketplace. one has only to look at harrison James & hardie’s performance during 2016 [gleaned from statistical evidence on re-sales within gL54 and gL56 provided by the guild of Property Professionals for the period Jan 04 2016 to Jan 02 2017] to understand too, the hugely positive difference made by using a well-staffed,

AsK THe exPerTs

professional, experienced and demonstrably successful local high street agency, even against other apparently similar competitors on the same high street. ‘For example, last year 310 properties were offered for re-sale in gL56 by the nine most active local agencies (each recording seven or more sold properties during the year to qualify). harrison James & hardie was by far the best performing agency with a third share of those sold [91 of 310: 34%], almost as many as the two closest competitors combined [91 cf. 95]. by converting 95% of available stock [91 of 96] with an impressively low cancellation rate of 18%, the overall average time per property on the market with the company was just three months [91 days]. ‘The second best agent here was considerably less effective. Converting under three quarters of available stock to sold [56 of 75] with more than one in four cancellations [28%] meant their properties remained on the market on average for more than two weeks longer [103 days] whilst the next best in gL56 managed to sell only two thirds of their available property stock [39 of 59] with their properties spending a whole month longer on the market than those placed with harrison James & hardie [119 days]. ‘Again, in gL54 [excluding Winchcombe] harrison James & hardie was demonstrably the agency of choice, commanding a massive 51% of properties sold by the seven most active local agencies and as many as the three closest competitors combined. A 17% cancellation rate ensured the average time on the market for properties advertised by harrison James & hardie was even better at just under three months [86 days]. by comparison, the closest local competitor sold only two thirds of their available stock [50/75] and with a massive cancellation rate of 41%, their properties averaged a month longer on the market [115 days cf. 86 days]. ‘The investment / London marketplace has been hit by stamp duty changes and the three local branches of high-end national agencies fared worst in 2016, between them recording less than 50% conversion of available properties to sold, with a combined average of nearly five months for each property on the market (149 days).These agencies are experiencing a sharp reality check today, having thus far escaped the long harsh lessons of a decade of recession. having never needed to be proactive about generating activity, if not entitled and complacent then certainly over-reliant on the inherent desirability of their product, they have suddenly discovered themselves ill equipped to manage resolutely ambitious pricing by vendors and a clear decline in motivation and competition from potential buyers.’

Karen Harrison, Principal Director, has worked in the local marketplace since 1994. She considers that the trends and stresses of the national marketplace are down to the level of taxation imposed upon the whole industry today, particularly locally since increasing the levy for would-be purchasers in the investment marketplace. ‘The London market directly affects the health of the Cotswold marketplace. 40% of our sales usually come from the investment market but adding to all the inherent issues we face from the impact of recession, the government has continued to view the housing market as its golden goose and must take a large share of accountability for the current state of affairs. Despite the fact that market prices now exceed the previous height of 2007, every person involved in a sale or purchase today - within the industry or as a client - faces a far greater tax burden. Moving home costs far more than it did then, despite falling agency / transactional fees in professional services.There have been steep rises in business rates, uplifts in employers’ national insurance contributions, reductions in the benefits of dividends, contributions into staff pensions, the loss of mortgage relief, plus various increases in VAT and stamp duty, especially now in the upper quartile marketplace. ‘Skimming off the cream on any element of uplift in the housing industry is hardly a surprise when you consider that the average high street agency might gross £5,000 per sale (before all staffing and running costs) but the net profit to the government is double that in stamp duty and VAT alone. no other industry can offer that kind of return. however, the decision to raise extra revenues from the traditionally resilient ‘London’ marketplace is now significantly impacting on the health of that sector, too.The Sunday Times (Feb 26) cites renowned businesswoman Celia Sawyer’s investigation into the slowdown there. She believes the government’s actions are counter-intuitive, directly responsible to the tune of £500 million in lost potential tax revenue on homes in excess of £1.5 million that would be “enough to run two hospitals” and, she reckons, by the next budget there will be another £370 million lost. ‘When all these taxes are non-negotiable cash sums and salaries have been static for years where else is the money to be found to move, especially by struggling families, but to press upon agents to do more for less? And given pressures of affordability within every sector of the industry, how to survive but increasingly choose to concentrate on bottom line? It is really not surprising that some vendors are seduced against better judgement by cheap online platforms claiming that traditional high street agencies are a waste of money, when in fact the reverse is true. Especially in today’s marketplace, however, without the skills and experience provided by experienced and hard-working professionals, the stability and

“The rich aren’t paying.The rich aren’t buying. I work in the luxury top-end market and the market has gone completely dead. I see a lot of my clients not buying properties here any more.They are buying them abroad. If you are buying something for £10 million and you’ve got massive stamp duty on top of that, they just refuse to pay it. It’s not that they can’t afford to pay it - they don’t want to be taxed to death. other interior designers have struggled. Lots of suppliers have closed. People have scaled down their businesses because it has affected them so badly. It has a massive knock-on effect.” - Celia Sawyer speed of property transactions across the uK is undoubtedly beginning to suffer signs of stress. ‘To answer the second part of your question, when you consider harrison James & hardie’s performance against other local agencies in all sectors let alone the ten-month statistic quoted by the Sunday Times, even though the north Cotswolds is an inherently resilient and buoyant marketplace this confirms why vendors should never choose an agency on the basis of a plausible image, an over-ambitious marketing price or a low fee – those who do risk an unnecessarily lengthy and stressful experience in 2017. And those who throw away all sense and a few hundred pounds on a bet with a national online agent will fare even worse. ‘Focusing on the bottom line is simply not the right way to achieve the best possible outcome nor is relying on a ‘name’ in the upper quartile marketplace. There is a misguided notion that the ‘big boys’ are most likely to sell your house when in fact the reverse is true, as Tom’s statistics reveal. great businesses at the top of their game are always ‘expensive’ for good reason but the benefits of their hard work, skills and ability are manifest whatever the prevailing conditions, and even in the local marketplace there is a wealth of difference between the best and the rest.To make the right choice about which agency will achieve a sale at the best possible price in the shortest possible time, base your decision on professionalism and performance - not highest marketing price and lowest fee. In short, just look for the Sold boards. Anything else is simply smoke and mirrors.’ www.cotswold-homes.com


Properties Sale Agreed / Sold during January/ February 2017

27 Halifax Way, Moreton in Marsh

£390,000 SOLD IN 2017

The Old Post Office, £375,000 Stretton on Fosse SALE AGREED IN 2017

A detached four bedroom home located in a prime position on the perimeter of Moreton Park.The property is immaculately presented and benefits from a stylish kitchen/dining room with a glazed atrium style roof. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Study | Utility | WC | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Three Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garage | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: B

A recently improved detached period home situated in the heart of this pretty North Cotswold village.The property boasts an abundance of original features and benefits from planning permission to extend to the rear to create large kitchen/breakfast room on the ground floor and an additional double bedroom and bathroom on the first floor (16/01697/FUL). Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Bathroom | Three Bedrooms | Outbuilding/Store | Garden to Rear | EPC Rating: F

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

19 Hart Close, Upper Rissington

£365,000 SOLD IN 2017

Roseland, Great Rissington

£310,000 SALE AGREED IN 2017

A beautifully presented four bedroom detached property in the popular Cotswold village of Upper Rissington.The property benefits from spacious living accommodation and is within easy access of The Rissington Primary School. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Sitting Room | Kitchen Dining Room | Master Bedroom With En-Suite Bathroom | Three Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Off Road Parking | Garage | Garden | EPC Rating: B

A well-presented semi-detached house situated on the edge of the desirable village of Great Rissington, offering pretty views over the adjoining countryside.The property offers scope for further extension to create a four bedroom family home (subject to necessary planning consents). No Onward Chain. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Dining Room | WC | Three Double Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Front and Rear Gardens | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: D

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

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


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

3 Park Farm, Bourton on the Water

£310,000 SOLD IN 2017

40 University Farm, Moreton in Marsh

£300,000 SOLD IN 2017

A well-presented modern three bedroom detached house set in a culde-sac location. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Kitchen | Sitting Room | Conservatory | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Gardens to Front and Rear (with pedestrian side access) | Integral Garage | EPC Rating: E

A well-proportioned Cotswold Stone retirement property occupying a picturesque position overlooking the duck pond.This 2 double bedroom end of terrace home benefits from off road parking and a garage. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Conservatory | WC | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garage | Garden | Parking and Use of Communal Grounds and Swimming Pool | EPC Rating: E

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

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

90 Lamberts Field, Bourton on the Water

26 Lysander Way, £298,000 Moreton in Marsh SALE AGREED IN 2017

£299,950 SOLD IN 2017

A well-presented detached three bedroom family home with pretty landscaped rear garden, located within walking distance to the centre of Bourton on the Water and the Outstanding Cotswold Academy. Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Sitting Room | Conservatory | Three Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Front and Rear Gardens | Driveway | EPC Rating: D

This three bedroom well-proportioned home benefits from many upgrades and improvement by the current owner and enjoys a corner plot position with a good size garden, off road parking and a garage. Entrance hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | W.C | Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden to Side and Rear | Garage | Parking | EPC Rating: B

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

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

view all our properties at harrisonjameshardie.co.uk

Properties Sale Agreed / Sold during January/ February 2017

Oakey Cottage, Bourton on the Water

£275,000 SOLD IN 2017

10 The Park, £269,500 Stow on the Wold SALE AGREED IN 2017

A well-presented semi-detached stone cottage, with parking and garden, situated within walking distance of the village centre.The property is ideal for investment or first time buyers, and is available with No Onward Chain. Entrance | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Conservatory | First Floor Double Bedroom | Shower Room | Second Floor Double Bedroom | Garden Rear | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: C

Constructed from Cotswold stone, this three bedroom family home occupies a tucked away position just a short walk form the towns amenities.The property benefits from a well-proportioned garden to the rear and offers scope to extend (subject to the necessary planning consents). Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility | WC | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Parking | Ample Storage Throughout | EPC Rating: D

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

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

26 New Road, Kingham

2 Cotswold Gardens, Moreton in Marsh

£249,950 SALE AGREED IN 2017

£249,950 SOLD IN 2017

A delightful three bedroom semi-detached home situated within this premium West Oxfordshire village.The property offers scope to extend or convert the loft (subject to the necessary planning consents) and is offered with no onward chain. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen | WC | Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garage | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: D

A link detached three bedroom home offering well-presented accommodation within walking distance of the towns facilities. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Conservatory | W.C | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garage Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: D

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

10 Back Lane, Long Compton

£249,950 SOLD IN 2017

10 The Green, Moreton in Marsh

£238,000 SALE AGREED IN 2017

A recently improved village home with well-proportioned gardens to the front and rear, ideal for a young family and offering further scope to extend (subject to the necessary planning consents). Entrance | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility | W.C | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden to Front and Rear | EPC Rating: E

A well-presented three bedroom home situated within just a short walk from the town centre. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Conservatory | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: D

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

19 Hawker Square, £235,000 Upper Rissington SALE AGREED IN 2017

7 Wright Close, Upper Rissington

A very well-presented three-bedroom mid-terrace house with no onward chain. Entrance Hall | Living Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Cloakroom/Utility Room | Two Double Bedrooms | One Single Bedroom | Bathroom | Separate WC | Front and Rear Gardens | EPC Rating: C

A well-presented three bedroom mid-terrace house with off road parking, situated in a cul-de-sac. No Onward Chain. Entrance | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Gas Fired Central Heating | Rear Garden | EPC Rating: E

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

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

£225,000 SOLD IN 2017

view all our properties at harrisonjameshardie.co.uk

Properties Sale Agreed / Sold during January/ February 2017

Arkle Cottage, Moreton in Marsh

£195,000 SOLD IN 2017

31 Coachmans Court, Moreton in Marsh

£195,000 SOLD IN 2017

This Victorian three bedroom home has recently undergone much improvement by the current owners and now boasts beautifully presented accommodation on the edge of this popular North Cotswold market town. Entrance | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen | Master Bedroom | Bathroom | Two Further Second Floor Bedrooms | Garden | EPC Rating: D

A light and airy two bedroom ground floor apartment in sought-after central location. Entrance Hall | Lounge/Dining Room | Kitchen | Master Bedroom | EnSuite Shower Room | Further Bedroom | Family Bathroom | Garage | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

15 Lysander Way, £104,000 Moreton in Marsh SALE AGREED IN 2017

34 Barnsley Way, £103,750 Bourton on the Water SALE AGREED IN 2017

An opportunity to purchase a semi-detached three bedroom property located on the exclusive Moreton Park development.This property is offered for sale on a 40% shared ownership basis. Entrance Hall | Kitchen | WC | Sitting Room | Three Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Garden and Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: B

An opportunity to purchase a two bedroom property available to buy 50% on a part-buy, part-share basis on the popular Bourton Chase development.The property benefits from well-proportioned accommodation and a generous garden. Entrance Hall | Kitchen | WC | Sitting Room | Two Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

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


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


Ask the experts


Making the most of the marketplace

Having seen a number of your Sold boards springing up already this year, what would be your strategy to make the most of spring / early summer demand?

After spending my first year with the company I realised that the North Cotswold marketplace, and especially Harrison James & Hardie’s approach, doesn’t conform to the general trend and activity in sales. In fact, the autumn and winter months are often just as busy as spring and summer. Joining at the end of October 2014, it was absolutely manic from the moment I arrived all the way to Christmas - as soon as we came back in the New Year the pace picked up without missing a beat! The same was true throughout 2015 and, after an unusually quiet September, suddenly in November last year the market picked up. We agreed more than twice the number of sales we would expect at the busiest time and at a point when other agents were advising vendors to ‘rest’ their properties over winter.

Proactivity is so important. The best time to sell at the highest price is usually in the first three weeks so our approach is designed to ensure the shortest possible time on the open market. We base marketing prices on recent comparable sales and on our knowledge of potential purchasers, taking into account the preferred timescales for our vendors. In a choice-led marketplace it’s not always the price but the purchasers’ flexibility that determines the right deal; sometimes the fact that a buyer is local or has a young family can rank above other considerations. This is always the vendor’s prerogative but we thoroughly investigate every aspect - from finances, chain details and motivation to intended timescales - to ascertain that the buyer is willing and able before instructing solicitors, accordingly.

As you can see from this publication we have already been extremely busy so far in 2017. Our strategy is to make the most of any marketplace, not the time of year. What I thought I knew before I joined the company was just simple agency - that you put properties on all the right websites with a decent set of details and some nice photos, got a board up and waited for the phone calls. Not here! More often than not we will have already introduced the most likely purchaser before it even goes online. A lot of lip service is paid to the notion of ‘team’ and ‘networking’ but no one really ever works to sell another office’s stock without structure and incentives in place to do so. Teamwork is far more than a slogan here, though.

This is just the start. Sales progression is where the skills of the sales team really underpin the strategy. Steven Buchanan knows all the pitfalls and sticking points that can occur with chains and mortgages to undo a transaction, especially with period properties that attract lots of interest but can unearth issues at survey, for example. We are all responsible for helping with our own sales pipeline but he is continually checking progress right along the chain every day, delving more deeply into a problem in order to solve it. If a buyer starts inexplicably to drag their heels or if we discover problems down the chain, we will work to find a back-up purchaser - if we don’t already have one. We have very low cancellation rates compared with other agencies but even so most of our fall-throughs are re-agreed within a week or two.

We have eleven dedicated sales people based in Bourton and Moreton but Karen organises a rota of desk-swapping with our colleagues at the sister office for a day each week, ensuring we all get to work together with a coordinated approach, sharing information on properties and applicants quite happily. Everyone benefits from every sale no matter which office, but we are all targeted on activity and rewarded according to personal performance. We have our own registered applicants but we have to make sure we contact them within 48 hours of a new instruction or price change, or they’re open game for another negotiator to approach! As such, we all start working on who might be interested in viewing a property from the moment we are invited out. We usually have buyers poised to view before the property is launched. This means viewings are close together, generating competition and testing if the price is sensible. If so we’ll often get offers within a few days so buyers who wait until they see something online can find themselves at a real disadvantage, with negotiations already underway before they even spot the property is for sale!

None of this happens by accident – it’s a combination of a whole team approach, long experience, consistency, knowledge, skill and intelligent thinking that makes this company so good at what it does. Jake Lomberg-Williams MNAEA worked in estate agency before going on to complete a degree in Property and Land Management at the Royal Agricultural University, joining Harrison James & Hardie in 2014. With superlative service standards provided by an experienced, friendly, consistent and professionally qualified sales and lettings team, the company has been the leading local agency in the North Cotswolds for the best part of two decades. To find out more about the company’s innovative marketing strategies, telephone: Bourton on the Water: 01451 822977 Stow on the Wold: 01451 833170 Moreton in Marsh: 01608 651000 www.cotswold-homes.com 101


STOP PRESS! N COMING SOO Bledington £650,000 New instruction double fronted Victorian family home occupying a tucked away A position on a quiet side street within the popular North Cotswold village of Bledington. This detached property has undergone recent improvement and boasts well-proportioned and stylishly presented accommodation with off road parking within its plot. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Family Room open to Kitchen/Breakfast Room | WC | Guest Bedroom with En-suite | Four First Floor Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating:TBC

Dapple House, £620,000 Bourton on the Water NEW INSTRUCTION A well-presented five bedroom detached house situated in a small gated development within walking distance of the High Street and local schools. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Living Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Room | First Floor Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Two Second Floor Bedrooms | Shower Room | Garden | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: C

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

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

33 Mitchell Way, Upper Rissington

17 Hart Close, Upper Rissington



A four bedroom detached house within walking distance of the Rissington School. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom/Utility Room | Study | Sitting Room | Kitchen/ Dining Room | Master Bedroom | En-Suite | Three Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Enclosed Rear Garden | Driveway Providing Parking | Garage | EPC Rating: B

A well-presented four bedroom Cotswold stone detached property in the popular Cotswold village of Upper Rissington.The property benefits from spacious living accommodation and is within easy access of The Rissington Primary School. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Master Bedroom | En-Suite | Three 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


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



An immaculately presented three double bedroom detached family home benefitting from well-manicured rear garden with heated exercise pool, five stables and two acres of paddock land. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room/Family Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room with Atrium Style Roof | Study | Utility Room | WC | Master Bedroom with Dressing Room and En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Garden | Garage | Five Stables | Tack Room | Hay store | 2 Acre Paddock | EPC Rating: D Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

view all our properties at harrisonjameshardie.co.uk


Ask the experts

Sue Ellis

Is it better to extend or move? What are my options?


My wife & I moved into our property a while ago and have been thinking about the possibility of extending as we need more space with our growing family but can’t really afford to move at present. What are our options? As a mortgage broker I have helped numerous clients raise money to carry out home improvements, the purchase of another property to be let or used as a holiday home, to consolidate debts or to buy a new car, for example. Generally lenders are prepared to consider further borrowing for most legal purposes with the exception of funding gambling, or the purchase of a timeshare property. That said, some are more generous than others in what they will consider, so it is a case of researching the market to see who offers the most competitive deal given the reason for the borrowing. In any case, the proposed increase will be assessed in the same way as a mortgage - the lender will want to ensure that the monthly payment is affordable by seeing evidence of your income as well as a breakdown of your monthly outgoings and other liabilities and that you have sufficient equity in the property to allow this additional borrowing. Do bear in mind any lending will be based on the current value of the property, not after any improvements you plan to make. Firstly check whether you are still tied in to your current mortgage deal with an early repayment charge. Make this company your first port of call to see if they are prepared to lend the additional amount. If not, then the mortgage market as a whole should be reviewed to find the best deal based on your circumstances but some early repayment charges can be prohibitively expensive in which case it might be better to port the mortgage to a larger property. This at least liberates you from the inconvenience and mess and it’s worth remembering that extending your home may not be reflected in the price you sell for if the market suffers a downturn or the property becomes too big for the general location. There is wisdom in choosing ‘worst house, best location’ as it enables good uplift in simple improvements. By the same token it’s dangerous to have the most expensive house in the street

without a great plot / location so be wary of spending lots of money on a top-heavy loft extension, for example, without sufficient room to balance out the living space. If a standard first charge mortgage is not available for whatever reason, then another route to explore is to borrow through a ‘second charge’ lender. These second-charge providers are prepared to lend with their security ranking behind that of the principal lender but rates and fees are likely to be higher because of the additional risk to them should there be a default on payments with the property. If the property is re-possessed and insufficient equity is available, either because property values having fallen or the mortgage balance has been increasing due to arrears, they will lose out to the principal lender. However, second charge lenders can be useful is if you have an unbeatable deal with your current lender. A good example of this is historic ‘tracker’ mortgages that were around at the end of the last decade. These followed the Bank Base Rate but were priced to be below this rather than above, as current deals are priced. As such it would be sensible to take out a second charge rather than lose such a beneficial deal. Of course, everything must be properly researched to ascertain the best overall choice, with all fees and costs taken into account along with the circumstances of the borrower. As a rule of thumb, borrowing against your property is the cheapest way to raise funds but you must bear in mind that you are putting your home as security for any borrowing and failure to maintain payments could potentially mean your home is at risk should you default on these …but look on the bright side - your extension could become a reality in 2017! 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 www.jemfinancial.com

Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 106 Cotswold Homes Magazine


Ask the experts

Andy Soye

Mat Faraday

Successful Holiday Letting

In Or Out Of Season – Tips from the Experts!


With new tax legislation coming in, short-hold letting is certainly not as profitable as it was. I am tempted by the potential higher returns of the holiday let marketplace, but I am worried that it will be empty for half the season. What’s your view? Buy-to-let investment owners who consider letting their properties to the holiday marketplace often presume that the Cotswolds is primarily a summer destination for visitors. This can leave them concerned about the prospect of being without enough bookings to offset mortgage payments during the off-peak months. In more detail, not including Christmas and New Year, which are always extremely popular and generate prime bookings, the off-peak season runs from the week after October Half Term through until March, so without any specific holiday letting market knowledge, I can understand why some owners might be worried about this time of year. What many people forget is that booking a holiday home in the Cotswolds in or out of season is actually an extremely attractive idea. Unlike places such as Cornwall, the Cotswolds is easily accessible from both the north and the south, and is less than two hours by train from London’s Paddington station. Most importantly, the area retains its charm and appeal all year round whatever the weather. Holiday homes with real fires and cosy furnishings, welcoming country pubs, walks in the clean crisp air and picturesque villages in beautiful rolling countryside all provide the ideal setting for perfect weekends away. The key to maximising bookings is to continue marketing a property effectively and make sure your prices match demand at any given point in the calendar. At Character Cottages we maintain our

marketing spend throughout the year rather than just focusing on peak months, so that interest is constantly generated and bookings are taken all year round. We have also devised a dynamic pricing system ensuring that prices typically reduce the closer the time gets to an available booking slot. This has been a very successful strategy for our owners and has allowed them to continue to generate profitable income in months when some people perceive it to be too quiet to be able to make any money. Another important aspect of being successful in or out of season is making sure you are flexible. It’s as simple as doing what you can to accommodate the wishes of anyone interested in making a booking. For example, at Character Cottages, where possible, we will happily change start and end dates for late bookings, therefore offering a high quality, more tailored service. There’s no doubt that there is opportunity in the holiday market all year round if you have the right kind of property but if you are planning to let your second home, don’t wait to get started. It can take us less than four weeks to get a well presented property completely ready to let so there is still time to benefit immediately from the holiday let marketplace when the current tax benefits for shorthold letting come to an end this April, especially going into a period of peak demand. Andy Soye and Mat Faraday are the co-founders and owners of Character Cottages, an independent company specialising in the holiday letting of luxury properties in the Cotswolds. To find out more about their services email them at letmycottage@ character-cottages.co.uk, visit www.charactercottages.co.uk or telephone 020 8935 5375.

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I have up to £500,000 available on a buy-to-let mortgage for a holiday cottage, preferably on the northern edge of the Cotswolds as I live in Birmingham and plan to use it for occasional weekend breaks. I have my heart set on something picture postcard with a classic interior that will also offer a great annual return.

What do you suggest?

Senior Branch Manager Katy Freeman had been taking some time out on maternity but now her lovely daughter Elsie is nearly eighteen months old she’s back at the helm in the Moreton in Marsh branch. “Things are quite different from when I left. There’s an additional 3% stamp duty to pay on investment purchases but it hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of those seeking great holiday homes in the North Cotswolds. You can’t go wrong with a traditional country cottage – it’s the most resilient marketplace of all - so here are my Top Three.” Church Cottages

My first choice would be Church Cottages, a property situated in the picturesque village of Todenham on the north-eastern fringe of the Cotswolds. The village is primarily built of local stone and period brick cottages, some prettily thatched, set within a tranquil spot but offering easy access to local towns including nearby Moreton in Marsh where the mainline train station can be accessed with its regular service from Hereford via Worcester to Paddington. Todenham remains remarkably un-spoilt with a dignified manor house and a notably fine church that boasts an octagonal spire, a good 108 Cotswold Homes Magazine

local inn offering real ales and hearty food, with many beautiful walks across open countryside – indeed, a perfect holiday destination. Church Cottages is part of a row of double-fronted brick and stone period properties that sit opposite the village church in the centre of the village, enjoying beautiful rural views to the rear. The interior of this cottage is every bit as charming as the exterior, presented with an abundance of traditional features including quarry-tiled floors, exposed brick walls, picture windows, heavily beamed ceilings, stripped pine half-glazed doors and cast-iron radiators.


Church Cottages

The interior of this cottage is every bit as charming as the exterior, presented with an abundance of traditional features including quarry-tiled oors, exposed brick walls, picture windows, heavily beamed ceilings, stripped pine half-glazed doors and cast-iron radiators. Inside, family-friendly living accommodation is arranged over three floors. Three principal spaces include a cosy sitting room boasting an impressive inglenook fireplace and wood-burning stove served by a light-filled kitchen - fitted with simple country-style waxed oak cupboards, wooden work surfaces and Belfast sink - designed to work as an open-plan arrangement with the adjoining breakfast / dining room, large enough to seat six comfortably, with an Everhot cast-iron range cooker and traditional dresser adding considerable charm.

Church Cottages

Upstairs, there is plenty of individual character to be found again. On the first floor the generous master bedroom comes complete with original, stripped and polished floorboards. This and a further double bedroom are served by a luxuriously appointed shower room and separate family bathroom with a free-standing claw-footed bath. On the second floor, a double bedroom-plus-study is tucked neatly into the eaves, enjoying peaceful views looking down over a mature cottage garden bordered by fields and open countryside beyond. www.cotswold-homes.com 109


The Old Post Office

The Old Post Office The Old Post Office

On a smaller scale but offering similar accommodation and priced at only £375,000 is the delightful Old Post Office in Stretton on Fosse. This village sits on the border between Gloucestershire and Warwickshire on the far northern edge of the Cotswolds. Surrounded by countryside it is close to many popular tourist destinations including the Georgian village of Blockley and Shakespeare’s Stratford upon Avon. It has a sleepy and predominantly rural feel but is larger than Todenham with a happy thriving local community served by a village hall, church 110 Cotswold Homes Magazine

and public house, and enjoys considerable popularity given the ease of access to major road and rail connections, being situated just off the Fosseway and a short drive from Moreton in Marsh. This sweet little detached, period redbrick cottage is located at the heart of the village. It shares many of the same attractive, traditional features as my first choice but the accommodation is arranged over two floors with two reception rooms that come complete

with beamed ceilings, wooden floors, quaint shutters at the windows and a feature open fireplace forming the centrepiece of the sitting room. Beyond, a pristine white kitchen is amply furnished with cupboards and wall units, looking out over a private garden laid mainly to lawn with traditionally stocked borders, whilst upstairs currently are three bedrooms and a family bathroom. However, my reason for choosing this property, although the cottage serves perfectly in its


current arrangement as a potential holiday home, is that given the price you could easily benefit from plans that have been approved to extend to the rear, creating a larger kitchen/ breakfast room on the ground floor and an additional double bedroom and bathroom on the first floor (16/01697/FUL). Brick is a less expensive building material than Cotswold stone so this is an affordable option that would provide uplift in the annual gross revenue in addition to improving its inherent value, of course.

It has a sleepy and predominantly rural feel but is larger than Todenham with a happy thriving local community served by a village hall, church and public house, and enjoys considerable popularity given the ease of access to major road and rail connections ... www.cotswold-homes.com 111


Bedlam House

My third choice is Bedlam House, priced at ÂŁ495,000, found just outside the village of Little Wolford, tucked back from the road between Moreton in Marsh and Shipston on Stour and within equal distance of Chipping Norton. Little Wolford is mentioned in the Domesday Book, today a tiny ancient hamlet with a fifteenth century manor and two working farms and less than a hundred residents.

Bedlam House

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For day-to-day provisions, the ancient market town of Shipston on Stour is happily only a few minutes away, fortunate to enjoy an abundance of independent specialist shops, restaurants, cafes and bars including a butchers, bakery and local farm shop all on the doorstep. There are several local attractions including the museum, heritage centre and a contemporary art gallery,


Mat Faraday of Character Cottages, says:

Bedlam House

Church Cottages Todenham

Little Wolford is mentioned in the Domesday Book, today a tiny ancient hamlet with a fifteenth century manor and two working farms and less than a hundred residents.

and one of the main highlights in Shipston’s calendar is the Shipston Proms, a two week music festival showcasing local talent culminating in a spectacular ‘Last Night of the Proms’ on the High Street. This modern Cotswold stone property is nonetheless listed, being within the curtilage of a neighbouring period gatehouse, and has more than enough character to make up for any lack of age. A glorious, brightly lit three-bedroom home, it boasts a showcase open-plan ground floor offering around 750 square feet of gorgeously presented living space and comes with a child’s dream of a garden – a glade of broad lawns graced by mature trees, bordered by woodland and looking out onto open farmland. Positioned to take full advantage, the whole

property looks out over this garden, situated to enjoy almost complete privacy. On the ground floor, mullioned leaded light windows and wide polished floorboards give traditional character, with a well-designed kitchen to one end including a huge wooden-topped island. The main part of the room is a very sociable space, simple and informal, easily accommodating a large dining table and plenty of relaxed seating, with another comfortable family room beyond it that would serve as a ground floor bedroom to maximise income for a holiday let, with double doors onto the garden. There is no doubt that this would be a highly desirable proposition as an investment for you, being presented in great decorative condition and, an important bonus, more easily maintained than the upkeep required by a period cottage.

This is a really lovely cosy cottage with lots of character, set in a peaceful village location. A local pub is definitely an asset and such beautiful views are also a big positive. The holiday letting performance could be maximised by making the décor / furnishings a little more contemporary. Currently, sleeping six, the gross income potential is around £25,000 -£30,000 but with a more contemporary style, the gross income potential would be £30,000- £35,000 per annum.

The Old Post Office Stretton-on-Fosse

This pretty cottage has great kerb appeal and a lovely character feel – as it is, I would move the bathroom upstairs in order to maximize income, creating a snug/ ground floor bedroom with a sofa bed. As such, and with an upgraded kitchen, sleeping five people the gross income potential would be £25,000 - £30,000. Extending the cottage would improve the potential gross revenue to £35,000 - £40,000 per annum.

Bedlam House Little Wolford

This is a great property with a fantastic open plan layout, a pleasing blend of character features and contemporary style. The lovely mature garden is ideal for dining al fresco in the summer months. Converting the family room into a snug/bedroom 4 (with a double sofa bed) would give income potential, sleeping 6+2, of around £40,000 gross per annum.

www.cotswold-homes.com 113


Ask the experts

Robert Hamilton

Maintain your property in spring to be snug next winter!


I have just bought an old cottage and wonder what essential maintenance I should do over the spring and summer months? One of the best ways of surviving the winter in an old property is to use the (hopefully) dry months to maintain the external fabric of the house, so: 1) Get your chimney(s) swept before you need to light a fire again Well-maintained flues mean that fuel burns more efficiently and provides more heat, not just the benefit of avoiding chimney fire! 2) Get your stone-tiled roofs overhauled by a craftsman roofer Preferably the overhaul should take place twice a year; in the spring to remove the debris of the previous winter and identify or repair any damage caused by heavy snowfall or frost action, but also again to clear leaf fall and other tree debris after autumn but before the heavy frosts of winter. 3) Overhaul gutters and downpipes and install ‘hedgehogs’ or gutter-guards for easier maintenance Blocked and leaking gutter or downpipes, or those missing their end-stops, will cause problems to the fabric of the stonework if water is allowed to saturate the natural porous stone of the construction, hence causing severe dampness problems. 4) Check, too, that the gutters are long enough These should protrude by 4 inches/10cms to catch all the wind driven rain to avoid water cascading down the corners, verges and eves of buildings, which can cause wet rot decay of rafter ends and gutter boards and as walls become saturated, mortar decay and frost action will damage the surfaces of stone or brickwork, too.

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5) Ensure the downpipes lead to a drain / infrastructure All too often these just discharge onto the surface, forming pools and puddles that then seep into the foundations causing all the problems above and, if very severe, subsidence. Something as simple as a ‘directional shoe’ can ensure that rainwater discharges away from the wall into the drainage system, or a downhill channel. 6) Cut back overgrowth surrounding the building, both at ground level and overhead Vegetation can harbour extreme dampness as can cold wet earth against the walls, whilst recent tree growth could make wires and cables susceptible to damage. A ‘French drain’ is cheap and easy; dig away loose soil and backfill the trench with gravel to prevent water ponding at the base of the walls. 7) Scrape out and re-point any areas of flaking or decaying mortar Just make sure you are using a correct mixture; lime mortar is usually the most appropriate for limestone masonry and early brickwork; later construction will use different mortars. Also, do try to match the existing type to ensure colour coordination and an overall pleasing aesthetic. 8) Make sure that painted goods, especially timber, are regularly prepared and repainted Depending on the climate and finish, this should be every three to five years. Exposed rafter ends and unpainted wood should also be given treatment with wood preservative. 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 www.centralsurveying.co.uk.


Ask the experts

Philip Ryder

In the Know – Buying a Listed Home


We have found our dream home, a beautiful 17th century cottage.We want to make an offer but the house is listed and various alterations have been made over the years.What do we need to know? English Heritage is responsible for maintaining the National Heritage List of listed buildings in England, the purpose being to recognise and celebrate the wealth of historical, cultural and architectural interest in this country. The planning system, working alongside the list, preserves that heritage for future generations. Almost all buildings built before 1700 are listed, as are the majority built before 1840. Generally, the older a building is, the more likely it is to be on the list. There are over 300,000 listed buildings in England, and different categories of listing. Only a small proportion are Grade I Listed - buildings of exceptional interest - palaces and castles, for example. Grade II Listed buildings are buildings of more than special interest, and the majority of listed buildings are Grade II Listed – those of national importance and of special interest. Buying and owning a listed building can be a great pleasure but it will come with additional planning obligations. Buyers need to know what they are buying, what changes have been made in the past, and with what consents.You also need to what you can and cannot do in the future, taking into account your plans for the property.Your solicitor will carry out a search via the local authority and obtain a copy of the listing itself. Speak to English Heritage with any queries. Most listings cover the whole building, including the interior, unless parts of it are specifically excluded in the list description. It can also cover other attached structures and fixtures, garden features and extensions or additions carried out after the date of the listing. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act recently made amendments to the planning laws that allow English Heritage to say definitively whether attached or curtilage structures are protected, and provide clarification about whether a part or feature of a listed building is not of special interest, for the purposes of listed building consent. The fact that a building is listed does not mean that it cannot

be altered but listed building consent must be applied for in order to make any changes, along with the usual consents. Listed buildings can be altered and extended in consultation with the local authority, who use listed building consent to make decisions about balancing the historic significance of a house against other issues such as its function, condition or viability. If you wish to make alterations you should liaise with the listed building officer at the local authority, only making changes after having obtained listed building consent and in accordance with the terms of that consent. When buying a listed property it is important to understand what changes have been made since the date of the listing. It is wise to arrange for an expert to check all such changes because it is very difficult, often impossible, to obtain insurance to protect against the risk if these have been made without consent. Equally, obtaining retrospective listed building consent can be expensive and risky. The law contains a number of criminal offences aimed at protecting historic buildings, making it an offence to carry out works that require listed building consent without such consent. Not all works need consent (for example, in Grade II Listed buildings, generally you can decorate without asking permission), but major work such as demolition, alteration or extension certainly will do. The local authority decides whether proposed changes will affect the character of a building, so check first. Consent often requires traditional building methods or materials to be used this can increase the cost of maintenance, of course. However, none of this should deter you from buying a piece of the wonderful architectural history of England – just ensure you investigate all the implications, costs and responsibilities that come with it, first. Philip Ryder is a Director at Thomas Legal Group – one of the Cotswolds’ premier property law firms. Please contact him via philip.ryder@tlg.uk.com or via the website www.thomaslegalgroup.co.uk for information on the cost of conveyancing your property sale or purchase.

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Ask the experts


Retiring to the Cotswolds Retirement is an adventure and most people have a slightly different idea of what the perfect retirement looks like to them but stopping full-time work doesn’t mean shutting down! Many early retirees continue to work part-time and as such transport links and broadband services remain important. With that in mind, it’s not hard to see why the Cotswolds is so popular with its fantastic transport links to the Midlands, Oxford and London making almost everywhere easily accessible in under a few hours. More importantly, taking a step away from the busy, endless schedules of your former working life may be your top priority and forging a rich social life now finds itself at the forefront of your mind. Unlike coastal areas where some shops shut for two months and community groups can go into hibernation, in the Cotswolds there are many outlets where you can still make a happy and productive contribution to society and enjoy hobbies that have perhaps been neglected all year round. As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty we are surrounded by glorious countryside. The North Cotswold Ramblers is a friendly group that has been in existence for nearly 30 years, offering a varied and interesting programme of picturesque walks in the Cotswolds throughout the year, also carrying out practical footpath protection work including clearing undergrowth, repairing stiles and bridges, and monitoring planning applications that include public rights of way. With over 5000 members in Gloucestershire alone, the Women’s Institute meets in a number of our towns and villages - crafts, holidays and the WIs national current affairs campaigns are all high on their agenda. Stow Art Group offers weekly, half-day art classes and workshops for all levels at Oddington Village Hall meanwhile Moreton in Marsh Bowling Club is an outdoor lawn bowls club playing friendly Ladies’, Men’s and Mixed matches against other clubs in the area, with some members also entering inter-club, county and national competitions. For some, of course, retiring comes at a time when mobility and access to amenities are key. The Cotswolds has a variety of retirement developments offering varying levels of care and

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assistance. McCarthy & Stone have three centrally positioned, brand new developments located at Station Road Bourton on the Water, just off the Fosseway in Stow on the Wold and in Hospital Road in Moreton in Marsh, where a high standard of personal service is combined with immaculately presented, easily maintained, spacious apartments situated within easy access of important day-to-day amenities. Meanwhile if you crave a more traditional Cotswold lifestyle then Chardwar Gardens, Bourton on the Water is a mature development of pretty stone cottages situated in the grounds of an old manor, close to the heart of the village with welltended gardens, parking and garages, where one of the pleasures of life is simply to watch the world go by from the comfort of a bench next to the River Windrush. University Farm and Bowling Green Court in Moreton in Marsh are also located close to the High Street. The former offers a private swimming pool – its lovely views over the duck pond provide a peaceful, secluded feel – whilst Bowling Green Court offers a leisurely flat walk to the High Street with an estate manager to provide essential support around the maintenance of your property and links to a 24-hour emergency alarm call service. Newlands Court Stow on the Wold is, without a doubt, the luxury standard; a beautiful collection of spacious apartments and stunning cottages situated within the grounds of a grand manor house that today provides a central social hub including fine dining and a hairdressing salon, for example, plus a tiered range of nursing and domestic support services providing round the clock care. Ultimately, you’ll want to find the best place to call home by determining what truly matters to you at this point in your life. As experts in the North Cotswold marketplace we know with confidence that we will listen and can find you exactly that. To speak to Kelly, telephone 01608 651000 or e-mail kelly@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk

11 Newlands Court, Stow on the Wold


Situated within stunning grounds on the edge of the open countryside and offering a comprehensive range of care packages, the development at Newlands Court provides the luxury standard for Cotswold retirement properties. This well-designed, spacious Cotswold stone cottage provides Sitting Room | Kitchen / Breakfast Room | Ground Floor Study/ Bedroom and Shower Room | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Guest Bathroom | Garage/Parking En-Bloc | EPC Rating:TBC

Herons Gate, Bourton on the Water


A detached, spacious chalet bungalow with off road parking, garden and garage. Kitchen | Dining Room | Sitting Room | Conservatory | WC | Ground Floor Master Bedroom Suite with Shower Room | Two Further First Floor Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Landing Area/Study | EPC Rating: C

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

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

Plots 1, 3 & 4 Hawker Square, Upper Rissington Prices from £310,000

16 Broadlands Court, Bourton on the Water

A brand new three bedroom chalet style house with completion expected early 2017. One of four one-off builds. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Ground Floor Bedroom and Bathroom | Two First Floor Bedrooms (Bedroom 1 with En-Suite Shower Room) | Gas Fired Central Heating | Southerly Facing Garden | Two Parking Spaces | EPC Rating:TBC

An extremely well-presented first floor two bedroom apartment located on this exclusive retirement development, a short walk from the village centre. Offered with No Onward Chain. Entrance Hall | Kitchen | Sitting Room/Dining Room | Two Double Bedrooms | Shower Room | Allocated Parking Space | EPC Rating: C

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

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


view all our properties at harrisonjameshardie.co.uk


Getting let-ready!

Getting let-ready! The do’s and don’ts of successful letting


I’ve just been relocated abroad. Whilst my Grade II Listed cottage is basically sound, it would need a serious upgrade to attract the holiday-let market. I reckon letting it as a short-hold assured tenancy will be easier, in terms of getting it up to an acceptable standard. Do you have any tips about managing things from a distance?



As you say, it must be fairly easy to rent your property out in this marketplace. Even if you do let us introduce someone and just get a few checks done at the beginning, no doubt those lovely tenants you bumped into at a friend’s house are bound to look after a property and pay the rent on time. Anyway, your dad’s pretty good with a spanner so you can get him to do your maintenance and check in on them occasionally, even if you’re off abroad for six months. As an experienced letting agent with rather too much knowledge about the endless things that can and do go wrong, always at the weekend or over the Christmas break, late at night or when you’ve just got the last boarding call for your flight to Tenerife, let me just ask you a few questions before you decide to go it alone. How regularly do you intend to update yourself with legislative changes? How do you check your tenants’ finances? Are you happy with all the safety checks you must have and what the potential consequences could be if not? Do you know what to do if your tenant continually pays the rent late? When there’s water coming out of the kitchen ceiling through the light fitting and it’s already flooded the ground floor, what then? How many PAT-tested spare heaters do you have to hand when the boiler packs up on Christmas Eve? Do you know what to do when the tenants have left the place in a dreadful state?

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And…I could go on. Letting out your house, from receiving an irate call that the handle has just fallen off the front door to finding out the tenants somehow installed an extra person whilst your back was turned, the reality is never as easy as you hope when you cut costs to manage your own property. Take it from me - I didn’t have any grey hairs until I went into Lettings! Our fully managed service is designed precisely so you do not have to worry what is going on. Whether it’s finding the perfect tenant to fit in with your lovely neighbours or simply replacing that dripping tap, with our ARLA qualified, trained and dedicated lettings team there’s always someone who knows the right person to call, on hand to take all the stress and strain. It’s not just you we look after, either – it’s equally important for us to create a good rapport with your tenants, too. From the moment we first do the check-in, we want them to enjoy living at the property, so we go through every detail on the inventory, show them how everything works and let them know who to contact if there are any issues. We register them with the main utility companies to ensure there is no confusion and we register their deposit so you don’t have to get bogged down with paperwork, leaving them in their new home with only one worry: where to put their belongings. Our maintenance e-mail address is monitored

daily and we deal with problems straight away, getting quotes and sending out our trusted qualified tradesmen once you have given us permission. If you have a small army of maintenance guys at your beck and call, it’s certainly not as stressful as searching for a plumber to fix a blocked drain on a Sunday afternoon! Every four months we arrange for an inspection, just checking that your tenants are looking after the property, then prepare a report with colour photographic evidence for your information. At the end of the tenancy we prepare the check-out report and deal promptly with any issues that arise, from a dirty oven to a broken cistern or worse. And that’s not all. We regularly attend ARLA courses (Associated Residential Lettings Agents) getting annual updates on legislation so that any changes can be put into action as soon as possible and to make our landlords aware so that they can be prepared, too. Did you know that from 2018, for example, it will not be possible to rent out your property with an EPC rating of F or less? Why put yourself through all this when you can have someone else do it for you? We’re always available by e-mail or phone, and if you feel the need you can always pop into the office to speak to us face to face -because yes, we do manage to smile our way through everything, come what may!


The do’s and don’ts of successful letting

Gloucester Cottage, Moreton in Marsh: Let agreed on the first viewing for £895pcm

you could get half as much again on your expected monthly income.


In the prime upper quartile lettings marketplace, important considerations for potential tenants are much more about wish lists than affordability. High up instead is their hearts’ desire - a beautiful old cottage in a great village location, something with bags of integral character and plenty of kerb appeal, a stone-built slice of the Cotswolds with roses round the door, wonderful views and a garden pretty as a chocolate box, stacked to the rafters with country charm. Think Cameron Diaz in The Holiday. These tenants aren’t here to stay but whilst they are here they want to enjoy themselves. They might not be British, they’re probably not local – Londoners, jetsetters coming to work or to play for a bit, furnished with a fabulous relocation package or city bonus (or a very well-to-do Daddy). So, what do I recommend before putting your home on the market? If you are able to find some money to finish off that cottage properly,

Generally, the highest rental values are reliably achieved with period, Listed properties rather than modern or new-build properties and top dollar will be those filled with simple, comfortable luxuries - heavy curtains, thick carpets, a deep bath or a fabulous shower, a log burner or two - and, the ultimate in comfort, an AGA. Having bought your property do spend some time and money making it look as fantastic as possible, and feeling as warm as toast, to give it that extra wow factor. Dress to impress, darling! You must make your ideal tenant die to live here, not just want to live here – so let’s start at the bottom and work up. Always opt for neutral carpets with a good underlay - not too light to show all the dirt but plain enough to match most furniture, colour-coordinated with the decor. If there are flagstones, wooden floors or ceramic tiles get them treated before your tenants move in, as this will also help to maintain the quality and presentation. Resist the temptation to use vibrant wall colours and heavily patterned papers – for the purpose of this experiment think Kelly Hoppen not Lawrence LlewellynBowen. Off-whites, palest blues and creams are all fine; purples and pillar box reds, not. Tenants usually prefer to be provided with curtains and blinds, especially in larger properties. These

should be thick, warm, blanket-lined, with blackouts in the bedrooms. Again, it’s always best to stick to neutral colours that won’t jar with their own furnishings. Showing an entirely empty property is always difficult to carry off but with minimal furniture and a scattering of accessories – cushions, lamps, a bookcase perhaps – viewers will easily imagine what their home could look like. Expectations are always highest when it comes to the heart of the country home, so the kitchen must be fitted in style and kitted out with integrated appliances. The same goes for the bathrooms these must be super-clean, offering a high degree of comfort with quality ceramics and a lovely rose-head shower or a roll-top bath! Outside, parking and a gin-and-tonic terrace is great but a well-stocked cottage garden is all the better if it comes with a gardener for a few hours a week. And remember to paint the front door - first impressions count, of course. If you can achieve this look, or even get close to it, then these changes will go a long way to making your cottage into a great moneyspinner rather than just finding a way to pay the mortgage whilst you’re abroad. Your property should be able to compete in this lucrative marketplace - if you can just find the funds to fulfil that wish list, it’s got to be worth it!

www.cotswold-homes.com 123


Getting let-ready – The do’s and don’ts of successful letting

Chilli Cottage, Bourton on the Water: Let agreed on the first viewing for £925pcm

service, of course, whether it’s a gas or an oilfired heating system.


We have such a demand for rental properties in the local area there is no doubt we can find you a tenant extremely quickly, but there are some things you must do first - and to attempt to manage your property without the help of an experienced agent is a bit of a risk to say the least, especially when living abroad. At the very least before you go to market with the cottage, you must have met your legal responsibilities, as you do have certain obligations under the Landlord and Tenant Act to ensure the property complies with all the relevant legislations “basically sound’ is not quite enough! Your property needs to be really safe, so you must provide smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in all the correct places and a suitably qualified electrician will be required to ascertain everything is properly installed and in good working order, to check and sign off all your wiring, fuses, plug sockets and so on, including any portable electric appliances such as heaters, fans, etc. Similarly, if there is gas supplied (as LPG or mains) you need to get a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate and you must have a proper boiler

124 Cotswold Homes Magazine

On the plus side, most properties need a valid Energy Performance Certificate, but this isn’t a problem as your home is Listed – unless you bought with cash, contact your mortgage provider because they have to give you formal approval to rent it out before you go ahead. Even though you say it’s not in great decorative order you must take a deposit, which should be registered with a Deposit Protection Scheme. This is does exactly as it suggests – it ensures you can’t run off with your tenant’s money where it will be held during arbitration in the case of a dispute (at the end of the term for example) until matters are satisfactorily resolved. Is that frayed stair carpet ‘wear and tear’ or wilful damage, for example? Decide whether you wish to accept pets and / or children - both create mess and leave muddy paw prints but to accommodate them does open out your marketplace! Either way, you should think about getting a professional company to prepare an inventory – you need the tenants to agree the basic condition at the start of the tenancy so you can have regular inspections compared against the original inventory, including the check-out at the end of the term. Once you have the above in place, we would normally advise you in detail on how to attract the right tenant and to achieve the best return on your property. At the very basic level, you should paint throughout in a neutral colour and ensure

everything is fresh and clean, especially those fitted appliances like cookers, hobs and hoods. All the carpets should be professionally cleaned; where there is a loo and / or a sink, the flooring must be practical (something like lino, for example). It goes without saying the bathroom should be spotless and do put in a shower if you can, along with light bulbs for all the fittings and ideally curtains (or at least poles and fittings) plus a telephone point and TV aerial (the last is a landlord’s responsibility, in any case). Finally, do tidy the garden and make sure it’s relatively low maintenance, so that it doesn’t cause the neighbours irritation when looking at it over the garden fence. Tenants are generally disinclined to do any jobs beyond keeping the lawn mown and the borders weed-free, so don’t expect them to be budding Monty Dons! If you have begun to feel that renting out your property seems rather overwhelming and / or you’re unsure of your grasp on the process, please don’t hesitate to call us. We can help you to arrange everything from marketing and finding you tenants to drawing up contacts, ensuring all paperwork and finance checks are carried out appropriately and that your property is compliant with current regulations. It might seem a great idea to manage it yourself but it could prove a huge false economy when you are so far away – we are the experts and can provide you with not only a reliable rental income for as long as you wish but total peace of mind.

Let during January/February 2017


The Old Bakery, Paxford

£1,625 pcm LET IN 2017

8 Avro Road, Upper Rissington

£1,475 pcm LET IN 2017

A most charming period Cotswold stone house standing in a prominent position in the heart of the village within walking distance of the popular Churchill Arms. EPC Rating: E

A delightfully extended five bedroom property presented in extremely good decorative order, offering substantial accommodation over three floors to include an inspired conversion of the attic storey to provide a large master bedroom suite enjoying far reaching views. EPC Rating: F

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

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

The Paddocks, Bourton on the Water

£1,450 pcm LET IN 2017

Emerald, Nether Westcote

£1,345 pcm LET IN 2017

A detached modern family house situated at the end of Lamberts Field on a private corner driveway location. EPC Rating: C

A well-presented detached property having beautiful countryside views to the rear with good sized garden and off road parking, located in the lovely village of Nether Westcote. EPC Rating: E

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

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

1 Whittle Close, Upper Rissington

£1,150 pcm LET IN 2017

9 Hart Close, Upper Rissington

£995 pcm LET IN 2017

A well-presented and newly built property located on the sought after development of Victory Fields in the up and coming village of Upper Rissington.The property is situated on a generously sized corner plot on an established part of the development. EPC Rating: B

A newly built semi-detached property set in the popular location of Upper Rissington. EPC Rating: B

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

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


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


Plums Cottage, Little Rissington

£925 pcm LET IN 2017

61 Lamberts Field, Bourton on the Water

£895 pcm LET IN 2017

A charming three bedroom cottage set within the heart of Little Rissington. EPC Rating: D

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. EPC Rating: C

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

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

6 Manor Cottages, Stretton on Fosse

£875 pcm LET IN 2017

36 Green Lake Close, Bourton on the Water

£850 pcm LET IN 2017

A fully furnished and immaculately presented cottage situated in the heart of Strettonon-Fosse benefiting from a private courtyard garden and off road parking. EPC Rating: F

A well-presented end of terrace three bedroom property in a sought after cul de sac on the edge of the popular village of Bourton on the Water. EPC Rating: D

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

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

Arkle Cottage, Moreton in Marsh

£875 pcm LET IN 2017

2 Manchester Court, Moreton in Marsh

£725 pcm LET IN 2017

A lovely well-presented Victorian three bedroom home located on the edge of this popular North Cotswold market town. EPC Rating: D

A well-proportioned first floor apartment conveniently located in a central position on the High Street of this popular market town. EPC Rating: C

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

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

view all our properties at harrisonjameshardie.co.uk

Let during January/February 2017


28 Primrose Court, Moreton in Marsh

£895 pcm LET IN 2017

Windrush Cottage, Long Compton

£795 pcm LET IN 2017

A stylishly and recently renovated Cotswold stone property located within walking distance of Moreton in Marsh Town Centre. EPC Rating: C

A detached period cottage tucked away in the popular village of Long Compton. EPC Rating: E

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

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

Roberts Cottage, Stow on the Wold

£795 pcm LET IN 2017

31 Gordons Close, Broadway

£745 pcm LET IN 2017

A wonderfully quaint Cotswold cottage located within walking distance of the popular market square of Stow on the Wold. EPC Rating: C

An executive and beautifully presented ground floor apartment benefiting from a private garden set within walking distance of Broadway high street. EPC Rating: C

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

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

12 Folly Field, Bourton on the Water

£725 pcm LET IN 2017

12 Station Meadow, Bourton on the Water

£715 pcm LET IN 2017

A recently updated two bedroom property conveniently located within the village of Bourton on the Water. EPC Rating: C

A nicely presented two bedroom property with easy access to the village centre of Bourton on the Water. EPC Rating: C

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

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


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


35 Coachmans Court, Moreton in Marsh

£710 pcm LET IN 2017

6B Errington, Moreton in Marsh

£695 pcm LET IN 2017

A stylishly appointed first floor apartment offering spacious accommodation and located within walking distance of the town centre. EPC Rating: B

A newly converted two bedroom first floor apartment completed to a high standard and benefiting from off road parking and a garden. EPC Rating: C

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

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

2 Malt Cottages, Bourton on the Water

£695 pcm LET IN 2017

Mill Race Cottage, Blockley

£695 pcm LET IN 2017

A nicely presented two bedroom cottage, tucked away within easy reach of Bourton on the Water’s High Street. EPC Rating: D

A delightful period cottage set in part of the former silk mill within the beautiful village of Blockey. EPC: Exempt

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

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

Flat 1 18-19 High Street, Moreton in Marsh

£595 pcm LET IN 2017

The Old Dairy, Longborough

£595 pcm LET IN 2017

A well-presented one bedroom flat located above the High Street of Moreton in Marsh. EPC Rating: F

A delightful furnished property located in the heart of the village of Longborough. EPC Rating: F

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

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

view all our properties at harrisonjameshardie.co.uk

What they say about us “All round, a thoroughly “...we were kept efficient and professional informed of progress service. A wonderful effort on the part of the HJ&H in a friendly but team. Well done to all.” professional way.” Mr C, Shipton under Wychwood

Mr & Mrs P, Stow on the Wold

“Level of personal service was second to none.” Mr & Mrs W, Bourton on the Water

“I have been constantly impressed by your enthusiasm, optimism and general management of the whole process of marketing and selling the property.” Mr R, Stratford upon Avon

“Thank you for your help. I was very pleased at the speed with which it was sold.” Mrs H, Bourton on the Water

“Thank you to all the staff in the Bourton on the Water office for their dedication in the sale of our property.” Mrs S, Bourton on the Water

“Super efficient and friendly. Purchase was assisted above and beyond expectations. Sales progression was invaluable and reduced our stress levels due to contacts in the market and professional knowledge and action. Highly recommended...Thank you all.” Mr & Mrs B, Upper Rissington

“I found the staff very pleasant, professional and helpful at all times.” Mr & Mrs G, Church Westcote

“...a true professional. Thorough, competent, efficient and thoughtful with an expert knowledge of the properties on your books.” Mrs M, Kent “I was selling the house at a distance on behalf of a relative and I felt that Harrison James & Hardie added a significant amount of value. You sold the property promptly within my target price so overall I have been delighted with the service and would not hesitate to recommend you.”Mrs R, Moreton in Marsh

“It was always a pleasure dealing with all members of the team. All queries were answered promptly and efficiently. What was particularly impressive is the fact that if the person we usually dealt with was not available, another colleague followed on seamlessly to answer any questions we had.” Mr M, Lower Slaughter Harrison-James-Hardie-Residential-Sales-and-Lettings

“Jo and Lucy were particularly helpful in our search for a new home.” Mr & Mrs M, Stow on the Wold @harrisonhardie


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www.harrisonjameshardie.co.uk The best of both worlds ~ experts in local agency, online and on the high street Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000 | Bourton on the Water 01451 822977 | Stow on the Wold 01451 833170

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